Thursday 13 February 2020

FaithWriters' contest entry wins First Prize! It's called "Viewed from Out There"

There was excitement among the green people of Planet Gog, as the scientists returned from their historic mission in space.

Emperor Bonapog was there in all his splendour to welcome them as their spaceship landed – such was the importance of the occasion. It was a huge, time-consuming and expensive undertaking. His dreams of interstellar conquest depended on it.

After the ceremonies were over, the leading scientists were summoned to his conference room, together with other interested scientists.
Both Drs. Einstog and Newtog looked a little conscious as they gave their report.

‘Your imperial Majesty, we did our best,’ said Einstog anxiously. ‘The distance to Planet Earth is more than fifty light years away. Even our first faster-than-light robot ships crashed into unexpected space-debris before getting anywhere near it. Hence the space station. Dodge Technology finally got our Surveillance Saucer through with little damage.’
‘Less excuses and more results! What have you discovered?’

Dr Newtog nervously fumbled with the hologram projector, and a magnificent 3D image of Earth and its moon appeared. He displayed some of the lovely geological features, zooming in and turning the image to and fro. The blue oceans shimmered and the snowy peaks flashed in the sunlight.

Gasps of admiration came from many multi-throats. Even Bonapog was impressed.
‘It is beautiful! A worthy prize! I see there are green people also. Tall and stately, many are. Are they intelligent? Are they strong and well-armed?’

‘Er… these are not the ruling peoples, your Majesty,’ answered Newtog apologetically. ‘These organisms are like our photosynthetic herds, but stationary with deep feeder-tendrils into the Earth’s crust.’

‘Then the people who control them must be powerful indeed!’

Newtog then focussed on the towns villages and cities. Mutters of contempt greeted the moving images of earth-folk going about their daily business.

‘They are pathetic! Small bipeds with big mouths!’
‘Only one head! No feelers!’
‘There is not one green one among them!’

‘Then they shall be easily conquered’, remarked the emperor, with satisfaction. ‘What is the state of their weaponry?’

In answer, Newtog showed them a battle in progress. He zoomed back a little to show starving children, acts of terrorism and masses of discarded refuse in the oceans.
Finally, with a grim expression, he revealed an atomic explosion.

The scientists were aghast. Some had to hang upside down to properly comprehend what they were seeing.

‘Do they fight among themselves? To destroy enemy species is understandable, but…. themselves??’
‘How have they survived? Atomic fission as … a weapon??’
‘Will they destroy their own planet??’

Even the emperor looked rather daunted at this.
‘Is it worth the effort and expense to enslave such horrible creatures?’

At that moment, the great Dr Freug, the psychiatrist of their mission, wriggled forward and was handed the controls.

‘Your imperial Majesty,’ he said in measured tones, ‘We have decoded much of their languages, and have examined the substance of their conversations. Amongst the huge quantities of worthless and inane subjects that they discuss – and fight over – we gathered the following.’

He showed first a gargoyle on a cathedral, then a gathering of dark figures at a coven, muttering strange mantras, then various paintings of Satan or his demons.

‘It appears that this species was conquered, or allowed itself to be ruled by a malevolent spirit-species, pictured here in various guises. These subtly and deceitfully persuade them into self-destructive behaviour. Hence the consequences that have nearly brought their peoples to extinction. It appears that self-centredness and self-worship is at the source of it all.’

The emperor was shocked. ‘How could anyone be like that?’

Dr Freug cleared his multiple throats, exchanging brief, ironic images with his colleagues’ light-receptor organs. Some multi-mouths smiled.

‘It seems, however, that there is a counter-revolution happening of a gentle, but powerful, nature. It begins with their concept of “Love”, “Self-Sacrifice” and “Faith”, beginning with an historical figure 2,000 earth-years ago. His name was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator.’

He showed a well-drawn painting of a crucifixion scene. A translated portion of the Bible described His disciples preaching with radiant faces, doing deeds of kindness, then dying for their faith.

You could have heard a small Magogian-made fastening device drop.

A few tear-ducts were activated in some light-receptor organs.

‘This counter-revolution has been happening ever since, little though it is displayed in their media. Is it not what we have been seeking ourselves?’

‘If that is the case, these people cannot be conquered!’ declared Bonapog. ‘We must send a mission to discover their secret.’

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Latest BardSong: "The Revenge of the Vegies" and "The Fruit Fights Back."

 Whoever deplores
All of us omnivores,
And carniv’ry you cannot pardon,
But cheese and eggs, then, you
Remove from the menu,
And murder the plants in the garden??

To eat a veg-ettable
Is quite regrettable.
What if it’s turned on its head?
How it would astound
If the produce turned round
And started to eat us instead.

A warning to smarties
Who hold garden-parties
And raid the fresh stuff from the bed:
Beware, all you vegans
And other houl-ee-gans:
You eat all the mushrooms, you’re dead!

Beware of that fruit
You think looks “You beaut”
And the juice would be great with your stew.
Then don’t come and whine
If you find on the vine
The Grapes of Wrath souring on you.

Imperialist man,
His expansionist plan
Is to grow more and fill up his greed.
But some day, the lettuce
Will shake off his fetters
In a snap he will bolt straight to seed.

And do not presume
To pick a legume
And eat it without its permission,
For once it’s internal
The reaction’s infernal
Resembling nuclear fission.

The root vege-table
Is willing and able
To take on all humans and cattle.
The turnip and swede
They have taken the lead
They’re all dug in and ready for battle.

The activist ‘tato
Will often quote Plato:
“By silence I’m giving consent!”
No! That left-leaning spud
Is no stick-in-the-mud.
To fatten us he is hell-bent!

The apple and pear
They declare “It’s unfair!
These capitalists sell us for money!
So, let us arise
And squirt juice in their eyes!
Then they won’t think it’s so funny!”

There it lies, so defiant,
A great, sleeping giant –
That menacing, huge pumpkin patch.
The dozing cucurbit
Pray, do not disturb, it
Can squash you with fearsome despatch!

The Family Brassica,
Facing a massacre,
Took up the Hammer-and-Sickle.
The cabbage and cauli
Attacked poor Aunt Mollie
Who finds herself now in a pickle.

The odorous onion
Complains of a bunion.
(It’s a long walk from garden to pie.)
But when you are peeling,
Its white flesh revealing,
Ironic! It’s making you cry!

Tomatoes turn rotten
When they are forgotten.
So don’t forget! Water that bush!
And if you are fine
With a fallen-down vine
Then you’re sure to get one in the moosh.

And as for the orchard
Its trees have been tortured
By secateurs, saws, ev’ry winter.
And then we complain
When we get a sharp pain –
Cleaning up, we get stuck by a splinter!

The celery stalks
Like fierce hunting hawks.
The blueberry’s turning blood red.
The thorny ras-berry
Is getting quite scary –
A socialist, commo hot-bed!

Those moldy stone fruits
Are a bunch of bold brutes.
‘Gainst the grower they’re hatching a plot:
To drop stones on his shed,
Bring it down on his head,
His posterior stuck in a pot.

For many a veggie
Is getting quite edgy,
‘Specially at harvesting season.
The plot and the field
Are refusing to yield
And the trees are all guilty of treason.

So don’t be a vulture
When you do horticulture.
Those yummy things treat with respect!
Don’t impose your agenda
On tissue so tender.
To the Greens Party they may defect.

Copyright © 2020 Bardswell Creations

Sunday 2 February 2020

First Bardsong for 2020: "They Labour in Vain"

Behold the mighty castle tall
That crowns that tow’ring hill.
A baron there once held in thrall
The lowly to his will.

He looked out from the battlements
With pride his realm surveyed,
Knowing not his peril, hence
His vain thoughts him betrayed.

For guns and war machines were sent
and battered down the wall.
His power was crushed, his wealth was spent
His foes possessed it all.

For though the hills may long endure
Yet kings shall rise and tumble.
The wayward hearts of men impure,
As founding stones, shall crumble.

Behold these ruins, caked in grime,
Their former strength is lost
To endless batt’ring rams of time,
Of rain and wind and frost.

How frail the fortresses of men!
Though very few will last,
We build on shifting sands – again!
Not learning from the past.

Yes. Man has ever refuge sought
‘Ere since we Eden lost.
For this we strove, for this we fought.
So tragic is the cost.


Behold these roofless walls forlorn,
‘Twas once a fool’s fair vision.
Wise fiscal counsel held in scorn,
He’s held, now, in derision.

Ambition towered beyond his purse,
To build himself a name.
His dream then stalled, and what was worse:
He built a name of shame.

In Nimrod’s tower this we saw.
He counted not the cost
Of disobedience to God’s law –
He all his people lost.

Yet, when we mock such hopeless dreams
By pride and folly killed,
Do we not start ambitious schemes
That cannot be fulfilled?

So many lives, on sand they rise
Then tumble to the ground,
Are built on greed or fear or lies.
Can solid rock be found?


Behold the towers of modern man
Built from our hearts of stone,
To raise his banner: “Yes, we can!”
To house his little throne.

He builds inside the halls of power,
Or on king Mammon’s floor.
On stage or screen, he has his hour,
But still he yearns for more.

Though riches, fame may be his strength,
His tower is undermined.
And it shall fail or fade at length
His mem’ry left behind.


There is a tower that never falls
The Lord of Hosts is He.
The righteous find within His walls
Their true security.

He is not made from cold, hard stone
But everlasting love.
And righteous justice is His throne,
His saints His treasure trove.

The founding stone in blood was wrought.
He willingly laid down
Himself, for we are dearly bought
To call us all His own.

Within His walls we healing see.
Then, sent as warriors strong
We fight dark Satan’s tyranny,
Show love and right all wrong.

So come, shake off that dark king’s chains
Of crumbling dreams and strife!
Whoe’er will join King Jesus gains
True everlasting life.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, They labour in vain who build it…” (Psalm 127:1)