Religion

by sibyllene   Dec 21, 2008


I. Summer

I figure near the equator,
in that sticky delirious throbbing
heat, it's easy to imagine gods
that come in the night
as physical hairy bodies
with heads of twisted lions or randy goats-
dressed in sumptuous fabric and fur, they come
(there is still warmth from last day's sun)
to mingle, slick and close
with their drunken
hosts. There are rituals as old as spit
and dung and blood, setting souls in place.
The spirit is green and dark and hot,
tied up to the body.

II. Fall

Heat is sucked away with the sun
dropping from its zenith,
its corona trailing, the hair of an insane old king
hallucinating crimson and scarlet and gold.
Maples are robed in bright, decaying garments-
fields are stretched, gold skeletons of grass.
There is a burning of the spirit as
inexorable as the coming of fall,
as this beautiful, doomed season
when the trees bloom
while the flowers fade,
and the fullness of the world transforms-
a dark metamorphosis
like a butterfly who, petal wings folded,
swaths itself in sleep and shell again.
Absurdity, that brings
the end of life
in a burst of color-
the dying tree crowned with the mad, exultant glory
of the setting sun.

I. Winter

Brutal blank cold. There is space,
white blunt dead dull flat.
We are all dagger sharp and ice brittle -
the color of a shadow cast in snow.
(There is no heat left from last year's sun.)
Here there is no hot wet pleasure, no gods with bodies to cling to,
no music for the feet to dance to, no
nest for the soul to rest in.
There is only
the sadistic wind, flaying flesh from bone.
It drains away
life, stealthily but constantly,
and we are punctured, doomed
skins
of consecrated wine.

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Latest Comments

  • 8 years ago

    by Jordan

    Sibs, I will never find a poet on this site whom I appreciate more that you. You have a way with words that is just...immaculate.

    I've been reading Frank Miller's Sin City novels lately...this reminds me of them. The way you can take words that are not so beautiful and spin them around my head - soft like a silken cloth.

    "There are rituals as old as spit
    and dung and blood, setting souls in place."
    ^
    I love this.

    Thanks for continuing to write :)
    Jordan

  • 8 years ago

    by NewVesuvius

    Unfortunately I lack the mental concentration to fully appraise poems with any respectable amount of depth, so I'll comment fully when I haven't just exterted two hours at the gym.

    However I wanted to say thanks, and that I like your style of poetry. Less effort with rhyme and rhythm, more emphasis on depth, metaphor, enjambement, imagery and other things. Although I think you use rhythm somewhat unconsciously. I suppose we all do to an extent.

    Nice seeing you again.

  • 8 years ago

    by Stumbling Shaman

    My mistake, the one on my list is another tangent on the first part of the poem called Religion on the Plains. Both have their merits.

  • 8 years ago

    by Stumbling Shaman

    I personally agree with Mr Nalley. It is one of the most interesting pieces of writing I've ever come across, and is in my list of favourite poems.

  • 8 years ago

    by Michael D Nalley

    This is one I would like to ponder on for a good while and not give a standard critque on because I feel its unique depth and find it as stimulating as your avatar if you don't mind me saying so