Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 8 – Frolics)

Posted to Billy Shakespeare Commissioned Artists Featured Gallery with 0 Comments on 16.01.13 by Billy Shakespeare

Frolics

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Eight: Frolics

Billy:
As I remember, Francis, you did promise
To help me close my treatise on ideas.
But here I find you like Sir John the Hog
Wallowing in wet clay and a fog
Of your own making. Why?

Francis:
Why? Why he says? The busy bard asks why?
Why because there is nothing more to say.
This toying with ideas is done. Over!
Where do ideas come from you ask and ask?
Birth, death, anger, love, chance connection,
Dreams of course and you even admit theft.
The tally is as told as Noah’s roll.
What other ways are there? Let me count them.
None. None. And yet you insist on looking
For more reasons without reason. End it
And let us enjoy idleness and frolics.

Billy:
Frolics?

Francis:
Aye frolics. And romps, larks, capers, gambols,
Foolery, frisks, skips, and scrambles!
Any idle end to end your endless quest.

Billy:
You are wise and yet a fool. Clear yet dim.
True yet mistaken. Pointed yet blunted.
The ringmaster and yet the baited bear.

Francis:
This is some riddle. You hope to tease me
Once more into your game. But I fence-sit!
I am lately sworn against sweat and toil.
I intend to be the piglet and play.

Billy:
Ha! You have spoken and yet did not hear.
As aware as a hare with hair in his ear.
You have hunted the answer like hound
Barked it out but not harked the sound.

Francis:
Oh out with it! I am a pig quite foxed,
And cat-curious to know what it is.
Where do ideas come from, you great ass?

Billy:
Play.
For when we work at play, we play at work
And then ‘tis not work at all, but play.

Francis:
That much is clear if crystal is now clay.

Billy:
Wisdom comes from acting the Tarlton fool,
For in jesting we gestate comedy,
For in tussling we tease out tragedy,
For in horsing we hurdle history.
With quick tongues we twist fixed language and by
Jibbering, we work, that is play, with words.
With quick minds we trust instinct, and not to ink,
For in play we must react, and must not think.
Play does not censure, or define what is wrong.
Even the patrons play, for they play along.

Francis:
Friend. You are true and I the happy fool.

Billy:
We shall be fellow fools, Touchstone and Feste.
Yea, let us both wear a suit of russet
And a buttoned cap. We will play the pipe
And tabor and while away this day
Playing ‘til we play out another play.

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
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Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 7 – Death)

Posted to Billy Shakespeare Commissioned Artists Featured Gallery with 2 Comments on 13.12.12 by Billy Shakespeare

Billy's Bloggerel

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Seven: Death

Now, I must rest on dark matters. List to me
That my words may mourn and tell like church tolls.
It may seem a simple game to reflect
On the source of ideas and thoughts,
On feverish novelties and notions.
For ’tis light to think on inspiration
When born from birth, love, dreams, even anger.
But there is another author, more feared.
Some say our round life flies before our eyes
In the last moments before the curtain.
Even if this be false, then we that remain
Know something akin to it, remembering
All our encounters with our passing friend,
From our first, cautious acquaintances,
To our many revelries, romps and embraces.
And we remember, too well, our final
Communion, wishing one more meeting,
Wishing one more encirclement of arms.
But all this, in vain.
These endings are like bellows to a flame,
The candle burns high, but the wax melts not.
We weak vessels that remain are as figures
Tricked by mist, which knowing not our bearings
Stand still, staring into naught, like stark skulls.
Only when the sun has painted the dial
With some few circles, do we sense the atom
Of intent, cradled within.
Perhaps it will be some few words, a poem,
A portrait, a lament or a worked stone.
When faced with all-ending, we must defy
And make memorial and monument.
Are these ideas the most sacred of all,
Hewn as they are in life’s failing fires?
Sacred or not so, they must be humble.
We cannot be like magi, conjuring stars
To convert the fixed constellations,
That we might preserve in their new shapes
Some memory, some thread, of life now lost.
We must settle for a few inky shreds,
For the dauby dabs of slickened brushes,
For the meagre marks that our bodies make
To commemorate those who have marked us.
One day we too will cross this Rubicon
And face what? Something? Or oblivion?
Yea. There are some destinies we cannot mend
And a play is not a play without an end.

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
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Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 6 – Anger)

Posted to Billy Shakespeare Commissioned Artists Featured Gallery with 0 Comments on 29.10.12 by Billy Shakespeare

Anger

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Six: Anger

Francis:
Was that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford?
He seemed most vexed, leaving at a gallop.
He almost bowled me about our wooden Globe
And skittled me into the King’s players.

Billy:
Aye! It was that same accursed noble
Who nobbles the very word noble,
Making noble a curse, noble a fool.
He would ask history to usurp me
And replace my lowly Arden smiles
With his over-born, glass-gazing visage.
Like a leech, he came to draw out my soul
To bite at secrets of inspiration.

Francis:
Tell. How did you answer his entreaties?

Billy:
At first I said naught, spilled over with spite.
Then I collected my cruellest curses
And gave him this gift…
You ask how ideas begin, you cur!
Demand to know? You cullion! You fop!
Hoping to bankrupt my hours of study
With your snake’s show of shallow flattery.
Prepare. For I direct you to a source;
My well of anger, disgust, fierce loathing,
In whose vinegary pail you will discern
Your own thin-tongued, vulture’s face reflected.
You sly sweeper-up of stray threads and hairs.
You bloodless scrounger of bold men’s banquets.
I will tell, but also command your ears
To wither under my full, righteous scorn,
And your tongue to gall from opprobrium.
True, some of my most prized rhymes and rhythms
Are sown from soft days beside the Avon,
Admiring soughing willows, dozing dogs,
Watching waterfowl dip for weed and wheat,
But not today, when anger is like the plough
That churns a golden field to blood-brown knots.
Aye, these ideas are as bone-strong knives,
Already sharp as flint and fit to plunge
Into an enemy’s fat, fetid heart.
Anger breeds anger until it fills out
The soul like foul cancer and must be felt.
When first we met, you saw air where I stood,
You had no talent for seeing talent,
Only for grubbing silver from fat purses.
But now that I am noted by noblemen,
You at last observe me as a thing opaque.
But even as you hoped to charm this wright,
In your haste, you shoved at the awkward maid
That stood ‘twixt your appetite and your meal.
Her body, which to you is a mere door,
Is to me the bearer of life and love.
Here you volunteer as my evergreen,
Renewing history in your favour,
You false, finical, coxcomb. You cuckoo!
You crave to ken what kindles me to scrawl?
Have this as satisfaction. It is you!
When I carve a criminal, a vile duke,
A putrid whoreson, empty but for low
ambition; when I smith a king of bawds
Then will I think on you and rage and write.
Your mark will be made, but as the fell fools,
The base, penny-proud, belchers and pukers.
I was a quill, a sail of smooth feather,
But here you have made a sword of my pen.

Francis:
You said all this? His haste was warranted.
Your anger is a font of profane words
That I admire greatly. We must harness
This wellspring of righteous woe and sorrow.

Billy:
‘Tis already begun.
Only when I have writ full this new play,
Will my ire be done.

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
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Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 5 – Love)

Posted to Billy Shakespeare Commissioned Artists Featured Gallery with 0 Comments on 26.09.12 by Billy Shakespeare

Billy's Bloggerel - Love

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Five: Love

Francis:
O Billy? Billy? Wherefore are thou hidden?
The Queen awaits your players and your play.
This protesting protestant is our head
And may remove ours if it pleases her.

Billy:
I am too busy for Queens of England,
For I have met the Empress of my heart.

Francis:
If you deem that a metaphor of merit
We are all doomed to smile on Royal spikes.

Billy:
But I am composing sonnets of sweet love
For you see, my heart, it flies like a…

Francis:
Please do not say ‘dove’. I could not bear ‘dove’.

Billy:
For my heart flies like a… white pigeon?

Francis:
Enough! The Queen demands a play and a private
Audience with her playwright and his pig.
She would know from whence your ideas spring.

Billy:
From whence do ideas spring? O who cares!

Francis:
BUT-

Billy:
Nay! Hush awhile. And listen to my sonnet!

From whence do ideas spring? Oh who cares
When all needs are nudged out for sweet Anne.
Wintry howls are our story-told affairs,
When rivalled to true troth-plights piped by Pan.
Why should I delve for tales like a mole that trawls,
Clawing for seeds in filthy thick clay?
Wherefore should I please strangers in stalls
Whose love for me ends with th’end of my play?
No. There’s no room in my inn for more guests.
For love fills me like a loaf tin of baked bread,
And o’erspills her like corseted breasts.
No corner is empty in us newlywed.
All else we are, love will ever outweigh.
As true for this man, who hath Hathaway.

 
Francis:
Tis a pretty sonnet. Worth a tear.
Perhaps more if the Queen hears not some verse.

Billy:
I am distracted. And content to be.

Francis:
Or not to be if she is unfurnished
With a tale that reddens her lead white face.
All our necks are yours. All our fates are married.
If you displease her she may make your Anne
Shaxpere into Hamlet’s Ophelia.

Billy:
O! That quickens the heart as much as love!
Come!
From whence do ideas spring? O from whence?
Now I see it! Ideas spring from love.

Francis:
Our friendship is like Falstaff’s waistband. Stretched.

Billy:
I will tell it in a sonnet.

Francis:
Must you?

Billy:

From whence do ideas spring? From our cares!
We are like old ice crusting the cold peak
Of a lonely hill. Till love like sun flares
Thawing our burbling tongues, letting us speak.
For whom would we write a single letter
Or paint a single stroke, or sing an ode
If not for those whose embrace unfetters
And makes us their prince where once was a toad.
When my love accepted a bent sixpence,
When she took a pair of gloves and a ring,
Then did her love let me trust my true sense,
Then did the sun melt the source to the spring.
When I am gone, and marked by a fell stone
Remember all my verse was by love grown.

 
Francis:
It is well said. Come, tell it to the Queen.
If we tarry longer then I shall cut
Both our heads off to save her the trouble.

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
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Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 4 – Theft!)

Posted to Billy Shakespeare Commissioned Artists Featured Gallery with 0 Comments on 21.08.12 by Billy Shakespeare

Billy's Bloggerel - Theft

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Four: Theft!

Francis:
Billy. You are late with expected verse!
Has your quill flown south with its former host?

Billy:
Francis, my dear pig, I am quite hollow.
Have you ever had an idea, so rich
And full of pregnant possibility,
That you marvelled at your own unique skill,
Only to realise it was never
Your original, your ingenuity,
But a memory of inspiration?

Francis:
You still yearn for originality?
A futile adventure. Surely you must
Know that nothing can come of nothing!
Surely you had a Mother, a Father?
You are no first draft, but a revision.

Billy:
I thought I was inspired to write a tale
Of an aged King and his three daughters,
About the division of royal land,
But then I remembered the old story
And now I am inspired to drink strong wine.

Francis:
Tonight, let us drink away your sorrows,
But tomorrow, you must prepare yourself
To be a thief and to steal ideas.

Billy:
I will not do it. I will not purloin!

Francis:
Listen to me! Each pig is his own pork
But all taste the same, all are good bacon!
Let us not call it theft, but distilling!
Yes! All artisans know well the goblet,
For they drink deeply from any they find,
But also because they are such vessels.
At their vintage they are full to the brim
With poems, painting, puffery and prowess.
They pour out their sweet wine with drunken glee
Into the ready mouths of their public,
But what can they do when they have poured all?
When they have run dry?
There is no choice but to refill the cup,
To sup and sip from the grails of others!

Billy:
You flatter robbery with a merry toast!

Francis:
No! You have not measured this new measure!
These many brews make a heady mixture
Of beers, wines, meads, and like good alchemy
They distil a new liquor, freshly potent!

Billy:
I will admit, there is something in that.

Francis:
Aye! And more important, though this new swill
May seem familiar, it has fresh flavour!
Certainly there are hints of grape and hop,
The tongue might note the honey and the grain,
But the wonder is the recombination!
It is an old story with new surprise.
It is a famous clown with bold, new face.
It is Ovid reshaped as William!

Billy:
Francis! I am persuaded! I will steal!
But I will refashion, remould, recast!

Francis:
I am glad you have met with my wisdom.
Here is more! Let us make haste to the inn!

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
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Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 3 – Dreams)

Posted to Billy Shakespeare Commissioned Artists Featured Gallery with 0 Comments on 29.06.12 by Sarah Ellis

Billy Blog 3

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Three: Dreams

Our dreams are both blessing, and curse,
Where we are gods, or else converse.

Fair Titania, will not cease
Till we have found our mystic peace.
In dreams, she guides us, like the blind,
Our hopes, and happiness, to find.
In her charmed cloak, we hide from woe,
And waking, keep her pixie glow,
At least for moments, then tis gone,
Though, haze of fairy, may live on.
If then we rest and contemplate,
It’s then, we open, we create.
For th’ Queen of Sprites lingers near.
Listen! Charms whispered in your ear!
Your hidden thoughts are now revealed,
No longer is the dream concealed,
See! Your bright hearth of desire!
The secret of your living fire.

Not all such journeys are so blest,
Some fright and haunt, when we would rest.

In dreams there is no iron song
To repel fell Lord Oberon.
The Fairy King in sleep has sway.
To him, the mares of night, obey.
They drag us by our self-milled chains,
To places of perpetual rains,
Where hate and fear have made a feast,
To satiate our hidden beast.
This Grendel quaffs a mead of terrors
Reminding us of all our errors,
Loves all of which we’re most afraid,
And shows each fall in a parade.
At last, the gloating King sets free
Our low souls to reality.
But here too in our wretched sweat
We owe cruel Oberon a debt.
The poison from his puckish potions,
Ferment strong and primal notions.
Even from his tricksy lyre,
Come the burdens that inspire.

Awake, we are like lucky steel,
That mute the fairies’ lulling reel.
Yet even here they wait like fades,
For daydreams where they prowl as shades,
They tease and taunt, like fools, like Lears,
And revel when we breed ideas.

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
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Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 2 – Connections)

Posted to Billy Shakespeare Commissioned Artists Gallery with 0 Comments on 07.06.12 by Sarah Ellis

Billy's Bloggerel. Connections

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Two: Connections

Once more I attend to where ideas are born.
We know a bite of it is our birthplace,
But that is just a beginning, a raw pip.
Not all designs shoot from our puking days.
For each new moment, virgin thoughts cavort
afresh in our minds, demanding sanction.
From where do these rude ribald sparks emerge?
What fecund field burgeons these brash schemes?
I say the answer lies anywhere
friends or families or foes meet and mix.
We are all Spiders, sharing a great web
that stretches from the school room to the inn
and from the church pew to the bawd’s chamber.
It is a monstrous mesh that boldly binds
each meeting house to all others, near or far.
As we creep and crawl along these threads
we may meet any Jack, every Jill.
If not a web, then we are a beach of stones
vulnerable to the variable tides.
We revolve against others, are reordered,
resettled, each day milled by new neighbours.
It is these chance collisions on silk links,
it is these luck-filled limestone jostlings
that mint novel forms and philosophies.
Then, suddenly, like a devil dog’s bark
clawing at the silence of a cavern,
an idea leaps from the quiet abyss
and thrusts his novelty into naked light.
From this first unaccommodated thought
may spew fierce sulphurous tributaries.
New notions roll and roil with Vulcan fire
until the idea is spent of good fuel.
Then it cools and sets into a lattice,
a web of abstractions, now set in stone.
Of course, not all meetings are like Pompeii.
Who’s to say if the nugget will be mined
from a chance fellowship with a tradesman
or from a society of mummers?
Perhaps from a reunion of pupils
who once recited from the same hornbook?
No one can tell when the earth will so shake.
But surely we can say,
It’s in the trifling instants that we converge
Where these unpredicted sprites emerge.

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
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Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 1- The First Place)

Posted to Billy Shakespeare with 4 Comments on 11.04.12 by Billy Shakespeare

Billy's Bloggerel "Where Do Ideas Come From? Part One"

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where Do Ideas Come From?
Part One: The First Place

Where do ideas come from, gracious friends?
These words are the first of my new web log.
Where do ideas come from? Where indeed!
Let us shake this question from all corners!
Why does one man or woman breed one idea,
While others nurture thoughts special to them?
What makes us the spout for these fountainheads?
What makes us the needle’s point that pricks the cloth?
Let us consider place. The place of our birth.
The place of our growth. The place we call home.
I was born between whealden and fielden
Where the river forced Caesar’s road ‘cross a ford.
A place we call Stratford-upon-Avon.
This place where we sprout from never leaves us.
It grows into our flesh like reverse roots.
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