machu picchu

Accidents of Empire


These are the accidents of Empire,

a language or a habit chance acquired,

a culture or a custom

in the mountains lingering,

an ancient scale for flute still found,

in some peasants fingering.

old man and flute

The thread of a belief unwinds

through history’s labyrinth and finds

itself in the ornamental patterns

of a carpet woven,

or echoed in the tribal tales

they tell at night to children.

old woman in jungle

A temples mighty marble blocks

are stolen to make a stable, or a sty.

A certain style of beard is banned

and no-one now remembers why.

A Madmans name comes down to us,

restored in Reputation,

their murderous flaws forgotten

they end up Father to a Nation.


For the Past provides a mirror cracked

for Presidents and Kings,

or a sort of portrait polished by

their tribes of tame historians.

So when farmers’ ploughs

unearth forgotten

ruins by the sea,

Dictators and collectors squabble

over the debri,

(while looters and archeologists

dispute the pedigree.)


But these are merely accidents,

the accidents of Empire,

like a language or a habit chance acquired,

a custom or a culture

in the valleys lingering,

an ancient scale for lute still found,

in some courtesans’ fingering.

lute girl


time slip


September 2016 handbill red blue


Rev in blue profile

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism 

AND the Church of the Universe.

Will validate your parking token.


~ by reverendhellfire on September 4, 2016.

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