Forbidden notebooks final pages
Filled with the symmetry of poems
Locked in boxes for no one to find
Oceans love horizons in disguise
Questions that make or unmake a life
Consequence has patiently waited
At the end of immortality
Exploring infinity inside
Can't keep a butterfly from fl(d)ying

Can’t Keep (Click for original version!)

From Iron Man, by Ted Hughes

“Then I’ve won,” shouted the Iron Man. “Because I’m quite ready to roast myself red-hot again. If you daren’t, then I’ve won.”

“You’ve won, yes, you’ve won, and I am your slave,” cried the space-bat-angel dragon. “I’ll do anything you like, but not the sun again.” And he plunged his chin in the Pacific, to cool it.

“Very well,” said the Iron Man. “From now on you are the slave of the earth. What can you do?”

“Alas,” said the space-bat-angel-dragon, “I am useless. Utterly useless. All we do in space is fly, or make music.”

“Make music?” asked the Iron Man. “How? What sort of music?”

“Haven’t you heard of the music of the spheres?” asked the dragon. “It’s the music that space makes to itself. All the spirits inside all the stars are singing. I’m a star spirit. I sing too. The music of the spheres is what makes space so peaceful.”

“Then whatever made you want to eat up the earth?” asked the Iron Man. “If you’re all so peaceful up there, how did you get such greedy and cruel ideas?”

The dragon was silent for a long time after this question. And at last he said: “It just came over me. I don’t know why. It just came over me, listening to the battling shouts and the warcries of the earth – I got excited, I wanted to join in.”

“Well, you can sing for us instead,” said the Iron Man. “It’s a long time since anybody here on earth heard the music of the spheres. It might do us all good.”

And so it was fixed. The space-bat-angel-dragon was to send his star back into the constellation of Orion, and he was to live inside the moon. And every night he was to fly around the earth, through the heavens, singing.
So his fearful shape, slowly swimming through the night sky, didn’t frighten people, because it was dark and he couldn’t be seen. But the whole world could hear him, a strange soft music that seemed to fill the whole of space, a deep weird singing, like millions of voices singing together.

Meanwhile the Iron Man was the world’s hero. He went back to his scrapyard. But now everybody in the world sent him a present. Some only sent him an old car. One rich man even sent him an ocean liner. He sprawled there in his yard, chewing away, with his one ear slightly drooped where the white heat of that last roasting had slightly melted it. As he chewed, he hummed in harmony to the singing of this tremendous slave in heaven.

And the space-bat-angel’s singing had the most unexpected effect. Suddenly the world became wonderfully peaceful. The singing got inside everybody and made them as peaceful as starry space, and blissfully above all their earlier little squabbles. The strange soft eerie space-music began to alter all the people of the world. They stopped making weapons. The countries began to think how they could live pleasantly alongside each other, rather than how to get rid of each other. All they wanted to do was to have peace to enjoy this strange, wild, blissful music from the giant singer in space.

The End

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