Cantos of the Faithful
— a poem by Terry Wall

#1 - Excerpts from the Book of Bob

“Tell us, what do you think?
Is it lawful to give shortening unto
Caesar, or not?”

“Render unto Caesar
That salad which is Caesar's
(Including a big red hothouse tomato)
For he is the king of comedy and does not eat shortening,
And unto god, the things that are god's:
Perhaps a new Hawaiian shirt
Of ample breadth with enlarged borders,
For he owns daytime radio and is therefore spirit
And thus can not digest lard.”

And when they heard it
They got up and went to the movies
And ordered buttered popcorn.

Bob 22:24-27 (or, see the film)

Ye publicans and harlots believe me in this:
You may repent yourselves
After the eating
Of the fried cheese balls.

Bob 22:32

And as he sat on the Mount of Olives
There by the River of Palm Oil
He sang unto them:
“Mama's little baby loves shortnin, shortnin;
Mama's little baby loves shortnin bread.”

Bob 22:37

Nutrition Facts - Shortening
Serving Size 1 tablespoon (12.8 g)
Calories 120 Calories from fat 120
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total fat 15g 3%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 3.75%
Cholesterol 5mg 1%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugar free
Excellent source of fat
All dietary fiber removed
No artificial colors or flavors
100% free of B vitamins, iron and zinc
Absolutely no Red Folate
Not a significant source of anything good for you

*Percent daily values are based on a 4,000 calorie all-fat diet.
Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your fat needs.

Bob 22:44-48

And he saith unto them,
“You need to eat right or you will perish.”
But the people said,
“We have nothing.”
And so he went away,
And when he returned he said to them,
“Behold, I have made ready the French Fries.
Now that's eatin' right!
And at an affordable price!”

Bob 22:52-53

#2 - She Wore a Yellow Diphthong

A good man
In a trench coat doing nothing,
A voice crying wolf
In the wilderness,
He calls for the linguist
Who wears a yellow diphthong
(Or the mauve monophthong
If he wants it Zulu style).
“Why do you dislike the musical question:
'Tell me [wät] Street
Compares with [mät] Street
In July?'”
She [sèz],
“Sorry, I'm afraid I am too diacritical.”

And so she must sit upyne his lappe
And jiggle and wiggle
Hither and yon,
O, hither and yon,
And aspirate upon the giant allophone
While he,
In his own dark grammar,
Tear-streaked syntax,
And club-footed morphology
Stumbles to a climax.

And when it is over
He pays her in shortening
As it says to do in the Book of Bob.

                                                                      Bring Me

#3 - All the Tired Horses

I have a bus pass,
Good for unlimited rides,
And I have a stuffed lunch box –
Hay mostly,
But sometimes
I find an oat or two.
I travel the city
From virgin morning
To slutty night
(I am no longer in stud work
And so am not tempted
By much I see here from the bus).

We pass an alley
Down which the Sociotrope Horses
Huddle like supplicants
Around their fire drum
Burning their dreams to stay warm.
I thrust my shaggy mane out the window
And call to them:
“Naaaay! Hrrrphrphroo! Naaaay!”
I see them smile –
The first time in weeks for most of them.
They give me an approval-seeking wave
And I think,
Goodbye, Sociotrope Horses,
Remember to live in the moment,
While Driver Bob presses the pedal
And leaves them
In a miasma of moments.

Further along, by the rendering plant,
I must flick my tail
At the young Blue-Bottle Flies
Who kamikaze into my face and haunches –
Too many of them,
More all the time.
“Douglas Bareflanks Jr!”
They taunt as they dive
Out of the cloud
Of my-words
And your-tubes
That hang in the thick city atmosphere
Like millions of camera lenses.
I close my eyes:
“Naaaay! Hrrrphrphroo! Naaaay!”

This day,
As most days,
I am powerless on the bus,
So I drop a pile
On the seats near the front,
The ones facing the aisle,
Opposite Driver Bob.
I am not sure what to do next
But I recall the words
Of my equine psychotherapist:
“Always ask yourself,
'What is my body telling me?'
Before deciding what to do.”
So I ask that question
And I realize I must
Plop another load
On the floor near the coin box,
But I also send a hot steamy stream
All over Driver Bob's right shoe,
by accident.

Driver Bob,
Now eager to get back to the terminal,
Does an allemande left at the corner
(Not the published route).
Then I cringe at what our wrong turn has brought us:
I hear the Horrible Hissing Hothouse Tomato
On the curb
And I see his full-fat-milk mustache and
Greasy drumstick jodhpurs.
His followers,
In bacon-wrapped-foie-gras shirts,
Step down the pavement
as though wired together
Leaving an oil slick
Of discontent
And intolerance.
They have put up signs:
“Eat right or die.”
Down the street I see
The man in the Hawaiian shirt
Walking briskly away.
I extend my trophy head
Out the window and
I implore him,
“Naaaay! Hrrrphrphroo! Naaaay!”
He tosses me a French Fry and smiles
As Driver Bob drives on.

The Poet: Terry Wall is just beginning his quest for publication. He thinks of
his work as offbeat and quirky, or perhaps, the work is normal but he is
offbeat and quirky. He lives in St. Louis and is sometimes heard playing
thirties and forties jazz standards around town.

The Artist: Eleanor Leonne Bennett is an internationally award winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature's Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph , The Guardian, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited , having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles ,Florida, Washington, Scotland,Wales, Ireland,Canada,Spain,Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the year Exhibition (2011) amongst many other locations. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.