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Lay for the Day
21st May

A story of two brothers, to mark the cusp of the sign of Gemini, the celestial twins.
The poem can be found as an Inkjet Book with linocuts.


There’s a place far away
where the sun shines hard
and the days are as long as our weeks.
It’s very, very hot – hot enough to melt metal.

On this planet there were two people,
Adam and Eve,
and they had two sons, Cain and Abel.
Adam and Eve were quite old and the sons young.

Abel was bright and strong.
He shone in the sun.
Radiance fell all about him.
Cain was pretty much like us, like me or you.

But Abel was boastful. He boasted about his powers.
He could fly and he could kill.
When he flew he appeared like a shining red flame.
When he flew down low he set fire to the ground.

Cain made himself some wings and tried to learn to fly.
On the first day he couldn’t fly at all,
nor on the second day,
but on the third day he managed a short distance

and on the fourth day he could fly as far and as fast as a bird.
He flew round and round about his brother’s head,
laughing and making fun, till his brother got so angry
he shot him, destroying his wings.

Cain fell into the sun, and when he came out
the sun had burned all his old limbs
and stripped away everything
so he came out a new and superb monster.

The two brothers parted
and wandered over the universe,
joining up sometimes
to fight a strong enemy.

John Gibbens
from the booklet Aliens

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar

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