Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 22

As I walked through the cold night of a dream
Air crisp and wind-chilled, half moon almost set,
The drops that seeped on stone shone icy wet,
Mist in faint film beneath stars' paling gleam;
And glancing up I spotted in the west
A new star like a dull red eye that burned,
And tracked its path down twisting roads that turned
To wind above the sleeping city's crest.

And on the hill I saw a shadow stand
In stone-like stillness perched above the world
With feathered darkness at his back unfurled,
A tapered length of blackness in his hand
That hissed and smouldered in the falling light;
I, knowing him, choked out: "Then you have come
To end all things?" His voice like crystal hum
Serene remarked: "It will begin tonight."

As he spoke on I stood, struck mute by awe:
"New young thrive and their elders pass away;
Your haughty race has had its sunlit day --
Why should you be immune to natural law?
The great age of the trilobites lies far;
The mammoths are no more; and in the deep
The kingly lizards lie in stately sleep
Their passing heralded, too, by a star.

By his son Zeus, the God of Time was slain
Who killed his father; just so are your hands
Stained with your Mother Earth's blood that demands
Fair retribution." Knowing it in vain,
Yet I began my plea. "Another chance --
I beg, have mercy; still among us dwell
Some who would change our course --" …And silent fell
Pierced by a single adamantine glance.

"You waste your breath," he said. "I may not yield.
I am but a sword-bearer and a voice;
The doom that I declare is of your choice
Soon wrought by forces you presumed to wield."
"And still --" I challenged -- "though all hope is banished,
I swear to fight you yet and never tire."
And with a smile like subatomic fire
He soundlessly saluted me, and vanished.

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