Poems Page 6


Giant ears the venous wings of bats,
A chronicle of war sits on his lap,
Historian, between his pointed claws
The pen of death, the lawlessness of laws

An epic of the fight, his own account -
The nib is running blood and writes it out -
Homer, Mephistopheles and Faust,
With talons on his toes, a prissy mouth

Like Moses on the battlements of God
He's far above the slaughter of the mob,
Writing up commandments for a battle -
Sorrow is the bellowing of cattle

But sometimes there's a passage to amend -
He shakes the bloody spatters from his pen,
Strikes a name and scrawls another in -
He doesn't know the hero till he wins

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Do we worship cats? Is it an idol?
Sanctified the feline eidolon,
Twitches, breathes - the effigy is real,
Couching on an altar made of stone

What beast is this, what sovereign of this place?
A coward mob adores it, and a friar
Bows, a shadow covering his face,
To that which kills the truth and spares the liar

An owl with enormous eyes, spread-winged,
Sets on from the right, and all must wait
To know if this gigantic cat will spring -
Silent is the temple of the fates

A fantasy? Delirium? Oh no,
A veritable place where all may speak
Whatever is unspoken and may show
Submission to the master by the weak

Bow down to the master, stoop and bend,
Cover up your face if you approach,
Offer to obey, and serve, and send
Your child to it, to carry and to fetch

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A parrot in a cassock - the torso is a man,
Is it a chimera or a priest?
A laughing ass, a laughing hound, a
swine at his command,
Master of a mockery of beasts

Why the genuflection with imploring human arms
Spread in exhortation or in prayer?
A homily to heaven, a sermon to the worms,
A signal to the spirits of the air?

The undulating mob in the ripple of a dream,
Malarial, a vehemence of dread -
The judge and the fanatic,
their rectitude and blame,
The double-mounted faces of the dead

Eyes that look above, eyes that look beneath,
The ram of desolation has arrived,
Candles of the terrified who light them
from his breath,
The blessings of infernal paradise

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