The Enemy & Solstice Greetings!

 

THE ENEMY

 

They say that when He died,

He bled black blood,

that seeped, slowly, into the desert sand.

Oozing oilily like

Black Honey, like

some weird industrial nectar

secreted by metallic bees

perhaps from a land where the rust like pollen lay,

on the leaves.

 

Above the body, helicopters sporting Ray-ban’s

Hovered and Hummed

like industrious armoured insects,

a swarm of “choppers” chewing gum.

The cool menace of their mirror shades

reflects the scene

to be replayed

Tonight

on a billion TV screens.

Yes folks, TONIGHT!

Live in your living room

See

the Fallen Tyrants doom!

 

Restlessly the choppers probe and prowl,

Seeking here and there

for Hive and Lair.

Seeking

the encrustations

and corrosions,

those tell-tale indications,

of the teeming nurseries that become

Tomorrows Infestations.

 

A single Queen,” the Sergeant said,

could lay a million eggs!

Friend, can you imagine that?

So many mouths to feed,

So many

Teeth to chew the fat!”

 

Oh Yes,” I said, nodding, “I can hear them,

Hatching in the Darkness.

Their gnawing keeps me awake at night

and in my dreams I seem to see,

by the flickering light

of many torches burning,

the black unblinking eyes of insect armies,

waiting

by the still and stagnant waters

of some subterranean sea.”

 

The Sergeant he

fell silent then.

 

And some, they say

He never died, they say

He rode away, into the mountains,

an old man on a white horse.

(White robes, white beard of course)

Whispering that there He still lies sleeping,

in His hidden fortress cave.

Waiting,

For the Coming Day,

When He shall Awaken,

and Rising Up,

Bring down the Great Satan.

 

**********************************************

*********************************************

 

Solstice Greetings!

 

It is the custom of the Church of Spiritual Humanists to observe the Equinoxes and Solstices as suitably solemn, symbolic moments to commemorate and celebrate the Great Rhythms of Life. And so in that spirit, as an ordained minister of that August body, I extend benevolent fraternal greetings to all my fellow Sentient Beings. May the Great Spirit smile upon all your enterprises.

I had commissioned my personal Astrologer to produce some general prognostications for the forthcoming quarter, but the exhausting computations and calculations she must undertake have apparently delayed her predictions till next weeks sermon. We look forward to her grim visions of a nightmare future from which there is no escape. (Actually I used to have two personal Astrologers, like every great renaissance figure, but they just squabbled all the time. Its simpler just to be presented with one option.)

But as your leaping hand in hand over the bonfires with your Beloved (I assume thats what my readers do on the Solstice) glance up for a moment at the stars as you do so.

For the Solstice is the perfect time to consider the Great Duality of Existence, the Yin and Yang, the Woof and Weave of Life. For to my Northern readers it is the longest day of the year, the Midsummers Eve,

while for those of us clinging to the Southern hemisphere it is the Longest night, the Depths of Midwinter. Here we await Persephone’s return while the Sun has reached its lowest ebb, the world tilts and turns on its Great Axis and soon enough the cold will retreat once more to the poles and mountain ranges, or slither cross the Equator to the North where Autumn fast approacheth.

Round and round we go, shooting through Space, yet always we return it seems to the very same place.

A moment of equation and eclipse, where Winter striding by, kisses Autumns lips,

and Night exchanging places with the Day, spreads her cape of darkness over sky & clay.

O Fragile, Eternal, Ephemeral moment standing tiptoe poised amidst the clashing whirl of the Spheres. Tremble and we fall! Hesitate we are lost!

Reader, take a moment to consider.

****

 

Book of the Week;

Ad Infinitum. A Biography of Latin”

by Nicholas Ostler (2007, Walker Publishing)

The year I started high school they dropped Latin from the curriculum. For the deeply conservative private school I attended it was a creaking step towards ‘modernization’. (they also did away with hats as part of the school uniform) Indeed there was something very old fashioned about it, very Goodbye-Mr-Chipps- and all that. It was only a few years  before that the pope had finally stopped doing the mass in Latin. No doubt it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was all part of the twentieth centuries repudiation of the past, learning “Classics” in Dead Languages was out; learning Science was the way of the future, even if so much of that science continued to be expressed in Latin. the Cult of modernism reigned Supreme!

But when a language is lost a world of knowledge is lost with it, even with so well documented a language as Latin.

Latins history is long and varied. Like Sumerian before it and English afterwards, Latin in the past provided the known world culture with a lingua fraca, a universal tongue.

For seven hundred years the language of Empire, it survived the Decline and Fall to become over time the medium of Christendom, then it served as the Language of Learning, of the universal brotherhood of culture during the Renaissance. It became the language through which scientists’ communicated and the language of diplomacy. Though it is nearly four centuries after its heyday as the vehicle for scientific communication (Newtons Principia Mathematica was last significant British scientific work written in Latin)for a ‘dead language’ Latin has lingered longer than one might have expected, and its progeny, the Romance languages, are alive and well today.

English itself owes much to Latin,(see if you can count how many words in this review alone have Roman roots) But as time progressed works were translated into Latin, not written in Latin, and it became a device for citation not creation. Something you quoted to add gravitas to your contention. Latins role in the Sciences (its role in Taxonomy at least seemingly unassailable)and the Law even to this day provide ample evidence for this.

In Ad Infinitum, Nicholas Ostler follows these various twists and permutations that Latin and related languages have taken over the centuries with forensic precision and a story tellers zest..

You don’t have to know Latin to appreciate this book, but anyone with an interest in culture, language and history will find much here to ponder. For a poet there is the fate of their own tongue to consider.

LIVING LANGUAGE

 

Living Language will betray me

in the end, the Bitch.

She’ll change and leave

my poor dead-language poems

languishing behind.

A task and torment

for the Scholars to translate

the sense and sentence semblance,

the Sentiments and Meaning

for the blasé Modern mind.

 

***************************

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~ by reverendhellfire on June 20, 2010.

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