Writing me Down

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Epic of Bollabus - continuing the story

All around, the stones did ring, their voices raised in song
Bollabus heard their music and the words they came out strong:
“Bollabus, great Bollabus. We know you hear her call.
She will have you for the wanting and we don’t want that at all.
You’re our only hope of ever standing still and growing strong
and letting any life grow on this planet ever long.

Bollabus tried to edge away; he didn’t like the sound
He wasn’t sure he belonged here upon the stony ground.
“Bollabus, please don’t leave us, if you do we’ll all be lost,
Forever rolling onwards just to satisfy her lust
for power she has plenty and she thinks of you as hers
you’re her only scent of danger and her unconquered curse.”

Bollabus, crouching low and spread out like a continent
Opened wide a cave-like mouth and issued this lament
“What can I do in this dry place? I should be in the sea
This land is hard and worrisome; the rolling troubles me
I cannot get a hold against the pink moon’s bold desire
But I’ll fight her face to face if I can just reach a bit higher”

But the stones, they held his tentacles in fierce rocky hold
“No, Bollabus, you can’t fight her. She will swallow you up whole.
We will help you pull against her and you must, as much depends
On your making her retreat so that this dreadful pulling ends.”
Bollabus knew inside him that the stones were speaking true
With their solidness supporting him, his felt his strength it grew.

So digging deep his tentacles, he felt the stones take hold
And with a surge of muscles pushed against the pink moon bold
And staying low he slowly surged his bulk across the land
The moon she tugged and swore at him but couldn’t force his hand
The stones they cheered and helped him on, “Bollabus, you’re our King
Go forth and find the Sun for He will light and comfort bring.”

Bollabus didn’t know exactly who the Sun might be
But he ventured onwards anyway, and slowly left the sea
And as the sounds of crashing waves had finally died away
The pebbles seemed to end, and massive rocks stood in his way.
He persevered, and clambered up to find a bouldered plain
Where great cracks ground together and the rock seemed to complain.

He wedged himself into the cracks, and listened to the groans
That echoed in the stillness and he felt he was alone.
The moon sank down and hid from him, her pull it seemed to wane
But darkness came upon him and he shivered all the same
The clammy rock froze under him. The sea seemed far away
But still he fell into a sleep and dreamed of the waves sway.

Before he’d been asleep too long, the moon she rose to say
“Bollabus, I will have you. Just give in and come this way.”
“I shan’t,” he cried and waking up, he tensed his frozen limbs
And crawled across the shifting rocks, his bulbous face set grim.
Then suddenly in front of him a cavern opened wide
Bollabus knew that somehow he must cross the other side

But stop, he thought, perhaps this is the place I’ll find the Sun
And he took a massive breath and from his mouth came forth this song
“Oh, Sun, whoever you may be, I’ve come to seek your aid
Will you come out and help us for we’re very much afraid.
The moon is going to pull us all into her greedy hold
And no life grow to follow us when we have become old.”

The cavern rang with echoes of Bollabus’ desperate song
But from those ringing echoes different voices seemed to form
“The Sun cannot be reached here, you must cross the other side
And the great-sea-in-the-rocks is the place that you must find.”
Bollabus gazed across the darkness of that great divide
And wondered how he’d ever cross to reach the other side.

He heard a fearful howling and one great eye turned around
To see that right behind him were the moon’s faithful hounds
With jagged teeth and slobbering jowls they went to grab his flesh
And it seemed they would consume him and at once end his quest.
But suddenly the rocks around exploded with a crack!
Bollabus grabbed eight pieces and he hurled them at the pack.

With yelps they fled the painful blows, retreated from the flack
“Bollabus don’t just stand there, get a move on, they’ll be back!”
A mighty groan of rock rang out and slowly there did slide
A set of mighty stepping stones across the great divide.
Bollabus slipped and slid across, ignoring blackness deep
That easily could swallow him and its belly keep.

For days Bollabus surged across the barren shifting rock
And always hoping that he’d find the great-sea-in-the-rock.
Then one day he became aware of sounds above the grind
A splattering and splashing and he raced towards the sound.
A mighty spout of water shot towards the pinking sky
Pulled in a curving arc obedient to the great moon’s cry.

Bollabus felt the cool drops and he wallowed in the fresh
Of the water on his tentacles and aching bruised flesh.
His stomach felt much lighter, he’d not eaten for so long
Much of his bulk had disappeared; the Moon’s pull was less strong.
He drank and drank to slake his thirst and lay beneath the shower
And he dreamed about the sea and of the creatures in its power.

And in his dream the sea it called, “Bollabus, come and eat!
And he saw delicious jelly fish and seaweed round his feet
Just waiting to be scooped into his salivating jaws
“Come on!” the sea was gurgling, “give it up, this can be yours!”
When he woke the gurgle carried on and from his guts it came
For a moment he was tempted to give up this weary game.

But the rocks they ground and growled “Bollabus! Do not let us down”
And Bollabus rubbed his stomach and he cursed the barren ground
“But tell me where I go then, where I find this hiding Sun?”
Then he heard that in the water’s gush a song had just begun.
“Bollabus, that great yellow orb you’re seeking is below
And as far as the moon is wide, that deep you now must go.”

Below his feet another chasm opened with a crash
He couldn’t see across its width, just blackness in his path
But leading from its edge he saw a series of eight steps
Diagonally crossing the rock face of the abyss
So feeling with the tips of each long tentacle he went
Down and down, around each step his tentacles bent.

The weightlessness grew ever more with each descending step
The moon she could not reach that far into the rocky depth
The darkness loomed upon him as the water sounds receded
And as he edged still deeper, poor Bollabus comfort needed.
All he felt was the vibration of the ever moving rock
Which started to get warmer and his tentacles got hot.

Poor Bollabus, tired and thirsty, couldn’t hold on for much more
And with a slip of tentacle, he crashed down to the floor.
It was later he was woken by a dazzling golden light
Of a colour he’d not seen before, a colour that shone bright.
Before him there were passages that stretched out all around
And all were filled with light. And all were filled with sound.

And then a voice boomed out as warm and rich as freshly made honey
“Who’s there? Who comes to wake me?” And Bollabus croaked “It’s me!
I’ve been sent here to find you and to ask you to come out
To help us stop the moon from pulling everything about.”
The voice rang out, “Bollabus, do you know what that would mean?
I would take up all the waters, and I’d fill the land with green.”

Bollabus felt his rumbling guts and desperate raking thirst
“Do you think I would I be able, though, to have a meal first?”
“I cannot guarantee this,” boomed the warning of the Sun.
“I don’t know that the seas will stay in place once I have come.”
Bollabus thought about his life, how lonely it had been
And of the life that wouldn’t be if he gave up this dream.

“Please come,” he said, yet trembling. “There’s always hope there’ll be
Enough left of the waters that it just might sustain me.”
“Bollabus, you are brave. So I will do just as you wish
And we will hope that there will still be plenty food to fish.”
And with a mighty whoosh the light shot up and filled the caves
Bollabus hurtled upwards, whirled like helicopter blades.

Whoof! He landed breathless on the rocky ground outside
And saw the sky explode before once more his vision died.
He was woken by the water softly splashing on his skin,
The grinding noise had gone and no more cracks lay beneath him.
Up in the sky a yellow orb was gleaming warm and bright
And best of all the pink moon vanished with the endless night.

The great-sea-in-the-rock it had become a gushing stream
Then a river and it scooped Bollabus up and bore him clean
Off the rock, it took him gently on until he reached the shore
Where the pebbles chuckled happily, when they Bollabus saw.
Once he got back to the waters, he felt so much more at home
But he still heeded the warning of the mighty golden Sun.

And he went to tell the creatures that dwelled there within the deep
That they must swim up to find the land and new food they must reap
From the greening shores. He led the way, and showed them how to find
The freshly running waters and the weeds that grew on land.
And over time the sea creatures swam up the river roads
And clambered out and breathed the air and some turned into toads.

Bollabus he had lost his greed, and so small he remained
That thinking of the Sun’s last words, he was no more afraid.


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