Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Just occasionally I have included an item in this blog which has its origin in fiction or poetry. There is a web-site called 'Strange Angel' which appears to be run by a group of young people and is mainly interested in film. One of its authors has a surname we recognise as an early form of our clan name, McElhago. He has a poem on the site called Theophany which I reproduce below. I have known about it for some time and have not included it before as I have hoped to receive a reply from the author with his permission to use it. I haven't had a reply to my request but I imagine he is not averse to us reading his work, so here it is:


by Al McElhago

This morning I noticed perfection again;
He was dancing in a deep cloud of thunder,
Murmuring oblong nonsense to the snow,
Stamping his wooden leg on the tree's name.

A flutter of raven-kind alit near him,
Not to mock his blatant lack of sophistry,
But to huddle round the warmth of his scars,
Cawing War Hymns in flushed satisfaction.

They sat there and sang to one Lord Jezebel;
The barbed language from their mangled, 
Igneous throats glancing off the dark calm,
Reminding him of his own empty prayers.

They sang for the un-blackening of the dawn's guilt
(The hidden sun holds too much in its
Fat, saggy Conscience to be ignored):
Guilt for his unreturned complacency
While hiding in its dark and musty womb.
Waiting. Waiting for the grass to grow back.

A Theophallic answer to it all.

This morning I noticed perfection again,
As you fell past my slow, mordant laughter,
And I stole a glance at the pallid canvas
Of your snow drop smile, as it traversed
Through the meager light of our early hours,
Our earthly sorrows, our sodden souls.

Autumn is branded in your burning gaze,
Yet not the barren, leaf smitten playground that
Death can walk with such melodious ease.
Nor the forgotten appeal to spring,
Or the decadent torches that burn so slow,
But the fiery Gat that stays winters grip;
So strong in its religious resolve, that,
Even perfection flees from the flames.

My Perfection, lost to the saffron snow.
My name mingles with tears as you call it.


Perhaps the Frost has already grasped hold.
Perhaps it is his frigid claws that so
Neatly net my sight with blind fury,
Every time I look out at our Winter World.

He adds a comment, '"Theophany" basically means an experience of God. or something like that. "Theophallic" isn't actually a word, but I think you'll agree that the image is bizarre enough to warrant an addition to the dictionary. Its allusion to strong emotion, as there are few things I can imagine which would be less intense than sex with God. Also, I should point out that this isn't a religious poem - not that I have a problem with faith, just that it was written from an agnostics point of view. The godly imagery is merely being used to serve the theme of perfection.'

I would love to know whether this author's name is a pseudonym or not, and if not, how he fits into our clan families, presumably one from Ireland which emigrated to the United States.

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