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"It is natural for the mind to believe and for the will to love; so that, for the want of true objects, they must attach themselves to false"
Pascal
 
 
 
 
 
From a Dash-7

 

as if the land itself had revolted
against its own creation,
strata wrung
from peaceful layer,
penetrated by the brutal mounds.
Summer's short and teasing strokes
allow a glimpse of green
in the clefts and lowlands
of the littoral.
Pools of water,
blue as a new-born's eyes
or blinded cataract-white by sand,
stare up at the sun
while frozen fingers from
the inland ice
still keep a hold,
grasping with their tips
at the sea.
 
 
Kangerlussuaq - Nuuk
August 2009
 
  
 
 
 
Whetherland

 

 
What happy people, those who never have
to think too much, in that never ever
wonderland, where doubt is cast out for sure.
 
Head-in-clouds Jain and Buddhist monks refuse
to hurt flies or swat mosquitoes. The child's
karma is to die from malaria
 
 Has anyone told the Witnesses that
Jehovah is wrong? That their Hebrew is
faulty? Yaveh is the more accurate.
 
Has anyone told the Rastas that they
number their tribes after Babylon's old
zodiac? That THC is harmful?
 
Repeated rejection is the fate of
every Pontiff's prayers for peace, century
after century. Have they got it wrong?
 
The question mark is an unused key on
computers in Westboro, except
in routine flops of rhetoric and rant.
 
These, and countless others, like Narcissus
can't tear their eyes away, stay transfixed, with
backs to the world and minds in chains. Poor souls!


 
 
 
 
 
Lupus
 
No more sons for the she-wolf! Spay the bitch!
No more packs or pax of anything, not
Roman, British or American. We
only suffer more.
 
No more sons for the she-wolf! Neuter them!
True virility and virtue lies in
fostering the next generation, not
training them for war.
 
No more goods for the she-wolf! Stop its greed!
Olive oil, cheap colonial cotton,
petroleum. The purple will be worn
by the kleptocrats.
 
Tear down the temples to the she-wolf! Soon!
The columns that imitate an older time
do not enoble, but should remind us
of the price of power.
 
 
 

Cartoon Heroes


There’ll be feasting in South Park,
celebrations in Springfield,
and chuckling in Calvin’s house.
Bruce Wayne’ll hit the booze
and Clark Kent’ll rodger Lois
when Wile E Coyote finally kills
That Damn Bird!


 


A Letter Home

 
Dearest Augusta
I hope you are well.
I am not. I have been forced
to take crucifixion duty again.
Our commander hates me
even more than your father,
who also calls me weak
but I won't expose healthy
girl babies to become
food for rats.
 
This is a bad time to be
here, a religious festival.
The thieving priests,
as corrupt as ours
mint their coins, slaughter
and burn the best beasts
as always.
Blood always flows
when the Holy rule.
 
When I served on the Rhine
I heard of Gods
who favoured warriors,
granted them eternal
feasting and fighting.
Everyone else was to freeze
in the underworld.
Here there's only one
for all occasions
but he loves punishing
all of mankind, so
even one God is one
too many.
 
Holy rebels come and go,
become martyrs, more dangerous
dead than alive. They preach
Heaven in heaven
heaven on earth and
hell out of spite.
 
The moans of the dying
hanging on the crosses
tortures me beyond bearing.
Sometimes I end their sufferings
with my spear. The women
carry the corpses away
to wash and bury.
 
I wish every emperor
would join the Gods,
every priest
ascend to the clouds,
every prophet
cry alone in the wilderness
and give us mortals
our world back
to enjoy in peace.
 
Give your parents
my politest greetings,
the children, kisses.
To you I send
my love and devotion.
 
Your husband
Longinus
 

Photo: Bart Westgeest 
 
The taste of paint
 
 
In the final seconds
of the big stretch,
before the universe stops,
between the last twitching
atoms and unravelling
strings, the other dimensions
unfold.
Inhabitants emerge
to begin their research,
a backwards extrapolation
which lights upon:
Opalescence - meditation
by molluscs and bivalves.
Canaveral - sacral site
for the rapture that never came.
Pheromones and whoremoans -
reproduction only possible
when case, number and gender agree.
Population growth - concomitant
with fossil fuel consumption. Therefore
the first PhD thesis concerns
the taste of paint. 
 
 
 
 


 

Filling the gap (I)

 or

A new pantheon

 
You know the game's afoot when
H punctuates his "murder" with
the horizontal semi-colon of
his cool Miami shades, and the
chase won't end until he calls
the perp "my friend".
Mac, Messer and the crew
watch over the city that
never sleeps like the eyes
of Argos, "enhancing that"
beyond the realm of
mortal pixels.
 The California cop
always gets his man, thanks
to the magic formulas of
Numbers. The great diviners
can read Criminal Minds. We
need never fear failure.
 But
the greatest of these,
the ultimate oracle, Zeus
among the lesser Gods
and Goddesses
is the great cockroach racer
Gil Grissom.
Will he ever choose his Hera?
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Near the end

 

His health was hardened
in the cold Best Parlours
he had to sit in
when he first came
to the parish.
Enthusiasm and new ideas
tried to survive 
 the unwanted cheap
ports and sherries
he forced on
a rebellious stomach,
but pliable thinking stiffened
into orthodoxy
and the drink became
a necessity.
He lived then by rote,
parroted sermons
and did his duty.
 
Now he takes up little space
between soiled sheets,
the beak-like nose
and lipless mouth
the profile of death,
his skin as yellow and dusty,
greasy and foxed
as a forgotten Bible
on a forgotten shelf
in a damp parlour.
He draws in air
in broken, stuttering gasps
that disturb the peace
of the whispering wimples
around him, praying
for his end.
 
 
 
Water scene

 

A conical rock rises
above the fjord's surface.
In it a crevice, wide
at the top and narrowing
as it descends, and
resembling an inverted vulva,
fringed by lichen
and surrounded by white
beads of ice.
Perhaps the petrified pudendum
of the Great Sea Mother
as she last presented
for a final Leviathan fuck.
 
Nuup Kangerlua 2009
 


 
 
 
 
Divinations

 

It must have made sense, once, when moving to
a new pasture as the seasons changed, to
graze and water a few of the flock first,
then cut them open, searching for the signs
of disease or parasites, preventing
greater harm. It must have made sense, once, to
know the sky and stars, the changes and signs
that signaled natures moods and the turning
of the year, to find the pictures that would
fire stories, aid memory and and keep
away thoughts of death on cold winter nights.
 
Before herders, hunters had drawn and danced
the chase, in caves, in huts, to teach the boys
how to return alive with the prey dead.
Skills of life turned into rites. The farmers too
when their turn dawned, watched nature live and fade
to live again, brown turn green, the bushes
rustle when hibernation, the little
death, surrendered to spring. They all believed
that earth gave life, so kept dead Grandad warm
under the hearth, (a hope or just-in-case?)
but with a stone to hold him there, or safe.
 
Then came the sacral high-jack, der Ansluss
that claimed the realm of lore and made the rules
of law. The first profession showed its mask,
shamans, diviners who took the liver
and saw the lights, who made nature a curse
that could be called down on command to force
obedience. They took a tenth part of
the surplus laid by for winter, rendered
service to their worldly ruler, who wished
to keep his power when respect ran dry.
The people were enclosed, became the herd
but had no voice, their life and rights were gone.
 
 

Oligochaeta Annelida

 

Ressurection men, always ready, red,
blue-ringed, blind and fat in the greasy earth.
Chief feasters in life's nourishment, nature's
steady diners with undramatic casts
of trillions, they have taken life where it needs
to go. As a tuft of grass or young, sweet bloom
that feeds the cow or bee and we may pass
through the guts of king or beggar.
 Darwin's last study, final proof of theory,
they turn stone to pasture and death to life.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Conundrum
 
Is death
the biological realignment
of the temporal experience
or the temporal realignment
of the biological experience? 
 
 
 
Start 
 
Big Bang! Very loud.
Prayers forever tinnitus
in the ears of gods. 
 
Afternoon on 3 - Norway and Sweden 
 
 
 
Face to Face
 
I died
and stood and waited with the rest.
An old fellow tapped an ancient microphone
before saying
"Hello everyone.
I used to apologize personally,
but there's so many of you now,
so you have to make do
with the pamphlet,
"It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time".
Please take one from the table
near the exit.
What's that? The hereafter?
That's another pamphlet,
"Making The Best Of It Now You're Here"
but I've run out of those
so I can only wish you
"Good luck"'
We shuffled off, to make room
for those behind us.
 
 
 
 Are you receiving?
 
The conspiracy theorists
of that amiable planet
Contra Terra, being eager viewers
of Earth T.V. have seen the
rise and fall of
the Third Reich before
Brad Pitt's razing of Troy
and Sting singing Dowland.
They now surmise that we
are an anomaly, defying time
and existing backwards.
The debate now rages:
Is it too late
to send a hail
or can they squawk and wow
before Dawkins devolves
into Lucy's mate?
 
 
 
 

Sisyfos ruller sten (ill.: Bjørn Hansen)

 
 Sisyphus Victorious
 
 
The man proved tougher than the stone.
A million and more uphill battles
built muscle, sinew and rage.
The rock, worn down to a missile,
forced skywards by triceps, deltoids
and adrenaline, struck,
and skittled indolent Olympians
from their hill.
The man remained.
 

A secular psalm
 
 
Look to the mountains and rejoice.
Nature may change their awesome beauty
but faith will never move a single one.
Look to the seas and be sure
that their natural motions are greater
than any Canute or Moses.
Look to the heavens and be glad
that for our children's children
no sky will ever be a limit.
 
We are born mortal, of flesh and blood,
finite in our lives but never in our asking.
The unlikely survivors of
ur-plamsa and supernova,
we are imperfect, never blameless
sometimes criminal but never sinful.
Our only duty and debt is to aid
each other in striving for freedom,
life, love and laughter.
 
 
 Filling the gap (II)
or
Future cults
 
They will lead their children
to the banks, the banks of
the Thames, the Mersey, the Hudson
and tell the old tales of when
there was global economic
warming because so many
had money to burn, and how
the fire-storm burnt down
the house of credit cards.
They will tell of mighty
beasts, the million barrel
tankers and the thousand
container freighters and
teach the young the
holy prayers, the keening
to the Gods.
"More Cargo! More Cargo"!
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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