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Poetry: Mythology



They say he gave us
all these things:  days and nights in sequence,
                   number, order,
                   the understanding of words and winds,
of cloven hooves and
the whispered outbreath of
slit-bellied sheep -- the power to conceive
                     of tomorrow.

They say he gave us
fire, and for that,
he was crucified.

I am told he loved us more
then even himself, and knew,
full well, the price of
that love.
                     And, still, he gave us

Aeschylus taught
how harsh are the gods, who,
being immortal, grow bored,
amuse themselves with cuckoldry, rape, and
                  the subtle sadism of omnipotent
                  imagination, how
for the curse of Cadmus,
Antigone was sealed, alive,
in her tomb.  So,
it seems there was no Resurrection,
                  not even
expiatory death, only
the slow embers of vendetta.
                           And we, the earthmade,
                           fire-fed favourites of
                           the Son,
tell each other that
some Father sent him down and
                 raised him up, and
                 loves us, and
                 forgives us.

And we continue numbering and ordering,
writing and divining,
slitting the bellies of
bulls and men,
to equal purpose,         and even, proudly,
                          playing with fire.
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