My Love

I wander by myself in my palace garden,
Where moonlight gleams on bamboo and willow leaves.
Once I preferred the calm and quiet here
To the chatter and clamor of my busy court.
Never had I felt alone,
Until I met the one I love.

My love lives many thousand miles to the south and west,
Beyond many mountain ranges and many desert wastes.
There the sun always blazes with the fury of summer
Almost never do the snows of winter fall.
It is a land of mudbrick huts and limestone temples,
And tombs big as mountains with golden caps.

My love is the fairest I have ever seen,
Yet she is not pale like the maidens here.
The linen hugging her curves may be white,
But underneath she is black as her river’s floodplains.
Gold and colored stones sparkle on her limbs and neck,
But her full lips and dark eyes glisten even brighter.

My love is the fairest I have ever seen,
Yet she is not frail like the maidens here.
She can read and write in hieroglyphs,
So she has learned the wisdom of sages and scholars.
She does not bend or sway to the will of all men.
Instead she holds her head high with a lioness’s pride.

My love is like no other woman I have ever seen.
So there is no woman I desire more than she.
Yet she is the daughter of a king who claims kinship to the heavens.
And he does not want my pallid self to soil their divine lineage.
He has sworn to all his many gods,
That he will protect the one I love.

I will not let him get in the way.
No man shall stand between me and my love.
I shall send my largest galleons to his shores,
Each of them stuffed with soldiers and cannon.
I will claim the one I love for myself,
Even if I must raze her whole kingdom to the ground.

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After the Fallout

We thought it’d be done,
That the whole world was gone.
We thought we’d eaten up all life,
And bombed away all our cities.

So into the ground we fled,
Squatting within the vaults.
We thought they were our last home,
Since we destroyed our past one.

A century and a half would pass,
Since the last vault door was shut.
We thought the world above to be denuded,
And stained with fallout from our folly.

But we humans tired of our own sanctuary,
And could not stay cooped in those tunnels.
We thought about the sunlight we left,
And wondered what it shone above.

So our leaders decided to open the doors.
They sent the best soldiers and scientists.
We thought we would see only skeletons and ash.
But then we stepped out to breath fresh air.

The sky was clear with scattered clouds,
All gleaming pure white instead of dirty brown.
We saw not a mess of naked logs and soot,
But the dense green overgrowth of jungle primeval.

Our cities did indeed rear up in ruin,
With crumbled concrete and cracked glass.
We saw the vines and ferns on their scaffolds,
And the foliage sprouting through the asphalt.

Birds twittered and monkeys hooted
Where vehicles honked and citizens chattered.
We heard the grunts and bellows and even roars
Of beasts we thought should have been gone.

Pterosaurs glided and soared among skyscrapers,
Sauropods drank and cooled off in the pools.
We spotted horned ceratopsians and armored ankylosaurs,
And the stunning colors of stegosaur plates.

Plumed packs of raptors prowled in the alleys,
Crocodiles and sharks swam in the sewers.
We hurried away from the political offices,
Once we bumped into the tyrant kings of them all.

We do not know what happened to our world,
Or why the past has reclaimed its future.
We are still glad that life still found a way
Even after the fallout.

Continue reading “After the Fallout”

Building the Pyramids

The white gaze of Ra bakes us from the blue above,
It glosses our backs and brows with salted water.
But we are the favored sons of the Black Land,
Sculpted from dark silt by the hand of Ptah.
So unlike those Babylonians in their woolen robes,
We from the Nile shores can take a little sun.

We stretch our muscles and crackle our bones,
We scrape our palms pulling the rough rope.
The blocks we drag up outweigh the hippos,
The ramps we ascend wind towards the heavens.
We sing and chant to wash away the stress,
The drummers provide the beats by our side.

Our hair may grow out into balls or dreadlocks,
Our loincloths may be stained with sweat and worse.
Dust and sand may paint our ankles white,
Our feet may have toughened like the rhino’s hide.
The strain has built muscles on our arms,
Think of it as working out while you work.

Men with spears march along to prod slackers,
Either with cold copper or heated threats.
But despite what you might have heard,
We are farmers and masons instead of slaves.
Pharaoh needs us to help him rejoin the gods,
And we need him to help water our fields.

The gaze of Ra has turned red with sleepiness,
And the heavens fade from gold to copper.
We flex our brawn and return to our huts,
Ready for beef and bread beside sweet beer.
Our children run to us with squeals of delight.
Our women will reward us with our favorite gifts.

Continue reading “Building the Pyramids”

The Six Gods

When existence was born from black oblivion,
So did They hatch from six glowing eggs.
All would claim Themselves the Great Creator.
Each would favor one race of humankind.
But the truth none dared to tell
Is that They’ve all decided to share our world.

There in the sky beams the motherly Sun,
She with the radiant halo of hair.
Her gentle soul warms and lights half the world,
Her rays feed the plants and burns the pale.
They say She is Matron of the Africa race,
From the Nile to the Niger down to the Zambezi.

There in the night glows the fatherly Moon,
He of the curling beard and curved nose.
His white-eyed gaze brings light to the dark,
And He oversees the cooling of the desert.
They say He is Patron of the Arabian race,
From Jerusalem and Mecca to Babylon and Susa.

There in the north scowls the grim Ice Jarl,
He of the snow-white skin and frosty eyes.
He tests the resolve of his people with yearly winters,
But they always melt to water the yews and pines.
They say He is Patron of the European race,
From the firs of Finland to the heather of Britain.

There beyond the shore swims the tempestuous Ocean,
She of the waving mane and ambiguous smile.
Her waters house both meals and monsters.
They can crush ships or bring them to all continents.
They say She is Matron of the Mediterranean race,
From Rome and Athens to Carthage and Madrid.

There in the east sits the sagely Earth Maiden,
She of the flowered gown and volcanic eyes.
She provides soil for farms and rocks for walls,
And the lava She spews forms both island and mainland.
They say She is Matron of the Eastern races,
From China and Japan to Hawaii and America.

There in the south grumbles the Thunderstorm,
He of the lightning paint and cracking laughter.
His rains fill the rivers and billabongs,
But even elephants and crocodiles fear His crooked weapons.
They say He is Patron of the Indo-Australians,
From the Indus and Ganges to Papua and the rock of Uluru.

All these Gods claim to be the Creator,
And all have a race they personally favor.
But none are truly greater than the rest,
And the truth is that They all have to share us.

Continue reading “The Six Gods”

A Minyan’s Lament

Author’s Note: This might require at least a superficial understanding of Greek and Germanic mythology to fully appreciate.

Hills rolling down to the turquoise sea,
Their slopes mantled green with cypress and cedar.
Stags and goats bounding in the berry bushes,
Fish shimmering in the streams and shores.
Sunlit summers and breezy winters,
But only the highest peaks knew icy cold.
This land we of Minyas called our home.

The trees gave us timber for our longhouses
And for the boats from which we fished.
The wildlife gave us meat for our pots,
And hides for clothes to cover our pale skins.
The hills gave us stone for our shrines,
And copper ore for our own defense.
For all this we of Minyas thanked our Aesir.

We thanked Wodan the Warrior,
He of one eye and two ravens.
We thanked Donar the Thunderer,
He of the hammer and two goats.
We even thanked Loki the Cunning,
He of the great wolf and greater serpent.
Yet not even our faith could save we of Minyas.

From the craggy wastes of the East came the hordes,
Trampling forest and plain under their sandals and chariots.
They bore tawny faces and hair black like pitch,
But they hid these under blazing suits of bronze.
They called themselves Hellenes and swore by Olympus,
Which they claimed rose from our country.
They told we of Minyas that we stood in their way.

At first we turned to the south searching for allies,
For only they had the numbers to crush the Hellenes.
We rowed across the sea to the black kingdom of Kemet,
Land of shining tombs and columned temples.
We knelt before the Pharaoh and tugged at his kilt,
Yet he merely wrote us off as unwashed barbarians.
We of Minyas had to face our destruction alone.

We struck the Hellenes with more strength than bears,
And we roared from our hearts with more valor than lions.
Yet our axes shattered on their shields and breastplates.
Not even our arrows could puncture their protection.
The Hellenes drenched their spears red with our blood.
They slaughtered women and children as they did our warriors.
And then we our Minyas saw our longhouses bloom into flames.

Over time the Hellenes ripped our hills asunder,
Plundering our stone for their acropolises.
They cut down our forests and butchered all our game.
They swamped our waters with their wastes.
Our souls may rest in the warmth of Wodan’s hall,
But no heavenly feast can soothe our loss.
All we of Minyas can do is mourn our former home.

Aging Triceratops

The gray mist cries tears of water.
They drip through the tangled treetops
And pool on the undergrowth’s fronds.
Thunder’s grumble bounces through the shadows.
Frogs sing their joy for all the moisture.
But one greater being shares not their elation.

Once the earth shuddered from his stomping.
Now his column legs ache as he lumbers.
Once rainbow gems dazzled on his hide.
Now the colors have faded between the wrinkles.
Once a thick round shield protected his neck.
Now the Tyrants have chomped off its edges.

Once two spears thrust from his brows.
Now the first has dulled and the second splintered.
Once a dagger stabbed up from his snout.
Now its blade has worn from overuse too.
The scars of battle still stripe his face.
But all the rains have doused his past rage.

With a hooked beak he prunes vines and herbs.
Only their flavor soothes his inner pain.
Still his limbs wobble under his weight.
Their bones have grown brittle and the muscles slack.
With a final trumpet that breaks into a croak,
He tips onto his flank and crashes with a thud.

The world blurs and blackens.
His heart stills and silences.
The jungle chorus fades from his ears.
All his thoughts leak from his mind.
The birds and lizards crowd around his corpse.
His loss will feed their lives.