Countercommandment

Cover of Countercommandment (Analog 5 in paperback)

This short story was published in the December 1965 issue of Analog, edited by John Campbell.

It was subsequently selected as one of the best stories of the year and included in the annual collection Analog 5. When this book was released later in paperback it was retitled Countercommandment after Patrick’s story.

Here it is for you as a collection of images of the pages, photocopied from a first edition of Analog 5.  (The book was a special gift to JP from his wife Donna.)

While it’s a bit of a pain to have to click on each image individually, you can be assured that the story is worth the effort. I’m investigating WordPress plugins for better gallery management such as a slide show option. Continue reading “Countercommandment”

Birthday

The clock above the town has tallied one
more day. The tones suspend like domes
no longer than before, the hours have run
the normal pace. Gabled Rhineland homes
as ever sleep beneath the pointed church,
a crystal tree beside the wall like lace
or moonlight woven in the craftsman’s search
for all the lines that vanished with no trace.

Yet struck in brass tonight was time that made
me count thirty, ten thousand days that froze
into as many separate criss-crossed roads
with no sign of where my youth is laid.

Slender shadows stain the Gothic rose
cast from the ghost beside the chapel stones.

Ingelheim, 1963

Plea (by Patrick)

My love, I know that I have been a clown,
And, bending with a rose in hand, no claim
To formal loving should I have again;
I know, who never knew before, the sound

That rain makes kissing the dark before
It tumbles to the earth and breaks in crowns,
That you are painting beauty where it’s found
Seizing images I saw but never tore from objects.
You fold the word beneath your tongue
And tast the essence of an elm: reflect and lend
And air of legend to my life. Recall
And take the bloody thorns from my hand.

Greenwich Village 1961