Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Murderous Season

His dark majesty rode in with fluttering cape shrouding the day
With no bugles to herald, no chorus chanting his usurping of the light
The people in the village huddled and together trembled with fright
Pulled down the shades and barricaded the doors of straw and mud
“We’re not ready for you,” they shouted peering through slits of rotting wood
“I come at my pleasure”, he roared from his fiery eyed ebony mount

“Where are your offerings…your fealty…your sacrifices?
Where is the fattest of sheep, the youngest of sons, the purest of maidens?”
“Tempt me not to summon my minions to wreak havoc on your lowly abodes”

“Oh your eminence, forgive us for our shortcomings, turn your anger
Somewhere else…the next village perhaps…we will be ready in a fortnight”
The sheep will be fattened, our Benjamin ready and the virgin dressed in white
With a shrug that shook forests, blew away clouds and tossed seas
He said “I am a god that does not wait, I want your offerings now.
Your pleas insult me, your excuses disgust me, your promises infuriate me

All throughout the village a heavy pall of fear and dread hovered
Then he left with a shattering flash of lightning and the roar of crashing waters
Even the dawn was reluctant to shine out of the gloomy wake

Through the gray of an unsettled morning light
No babies bawled, raucous children silenced and dogs lost their whimper
Huddling in corners of their decrepit huts mumbled prayers ululated
Fathers and mothers wrap their arms around their quivering wards

Somewhere in the village young men grouped and with loud voices
Declared “prepare, be ready, let’s put up a stand against this onslaught”
Lit torches crackled, the staccato thud of pegs driven on hardwood and
The gnashing of metal sheets lashed on steady moorings were heard all night
(Lit torches crackled, steel against steel gnashed with their honing
The staccato of bamboo poles hewed and sharpened in broken rhythms)

As before, his dreadful majesty comes without herald, without ominous harbingers
The sky will crack up and with bright electric storm light up a silhouette of trees
Along the edge, a bleak horizon flashing off and on in rapid succession
As bats dot the darkened the forest’s canopy like scattered ants in a broken hill

Now he came as threatened…sudden, looming big, terrifying and horrid
Against a backdrop of a splintered sky…a tattered Aurora’s hem
Thunderous hooves fell on hard and dry ground shaking up mountains
Primeval forests bared and hills flattened with every heavy stride

It was a peaceful night in the tiny hamlet, only the rustling of rotted leaves
And the mewling of a distant cat could be heard in the village square
Past the ruins of an adobe chapel, by the field of withered corn stalks
Roods of odd sizes and slabs of crude granite scattered on weeded plots

A murderous season came to pass, a plunder most cruel and swift
There is no redress, no recompense, no relief and no reparation
Injustice, unfairness and unconscionable cruelty never were protested
It is the way of all things and it will inflict its fury again in time

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