Thursday, October 22, 2009

(tenatively) Sibyl and a pile of leaves

(posted before, but I added to it)

I decided to write you a note
A story told in plain speech
Without too many words,
or big ones
That have too many syllables

It’s a story for the people;
I want its message to ring through the streets
To resonate in the hall,
Pollinate the ear drums

It’s a story by the people;
Chiseled from bone and steel
Dripping with sweat,
Coughing with black lungs,
Hiding its pride like a bruise

Birthed in the same dried up garden,
From the same prickly cactus
Same angry, trampled hole in the ground

Oh, our mother.
Is she not at the heart of all our great tragedies?
Harmonizing over them like a wailing Siren

She is blowing like the wind,
She is picking fruit off the tree,
She is changing the seasons,
She is dying the leaves.

She is moaning a cautionary tale –

She is arranging the oak leaves,
Forming constellations of our fates outside her cave

It tells of shattered glass
Of sea-foamed shores swallowing entire cities

Of bruised buildings collapsing at their heels
Toppling like a house of cards
Ill placed by the Master Magician

Of slithering serpents sneaking through gates
Tempting young virgins with ripe fruits

They tell of people becoming pansies for the picking
No longer fit to survive
No longer quick as the carpenter
We are lined up
To be pinned down

And there we rest
Like ill-fated butterflies
Our perfect patterns resorted to collecting dust and awkward glances
Pressed behind glass
Framed on the wall

Drowning in the waters
We swim against the current
Just to survive
Our scaly, limp bodies flailing wildly in the foaming rapids

But her call falls to deaf ears
As we shuffle along, dirtying our hands
Working for a clock that bends, but never breaks
Working for a man that grins, but has no face

For the wind has blown away her leaves
And the pattern is lost

That old hag never gave us anything but a spider web to get tangled in
A jar to get caught in
A river to drown in

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