Monday, 22 July 2013

Shades of Mythology at the Cliffs of Time

Let us hope history will not judge the entire 21st century by its poor beginnings, certain world societies and socio-cultural-religious groups within them paying lip service to the basic human principles of mutual respect and understanding.

Yes, there are many good things going on and good people making them happen, but from where I am writing this sorry world of ours has not made a good start to the new millennium and badly needs to get its act together.

Can it be that leaders from all walks of life need to give less thought to their own egos and more to the ordinary man, woman, and child in the street to whom, invariably, relatively few can even begin to relate?  It may well be the way life is and history is made, but that does not make it right or mean things cannot be done differently, hopefully for the better, before it is too late and irreparable damage done to planet and  human condition alike.

Maybe, one day…

Meanwhile, humankind keeps busy creating  new mythologies that distant future generations will probably gloss over as metaphor - for what, exactly? 


Dark angels attacking from the sea,
only to hover defiantly between a misty
earth and sky, like bats put in cages,
choice specimens to admire, touch even,
without fear (or real appreciation);
we are safe enough since they can’t fly
in our faces like the world’s vices,
invite us to turn a blind eye or join in
the euphoria, excusing themselves
(and us) with fine rhetoric, no matter
we prefer to look eyes closed, innocents
playing fast asleep

Now, all quiet. Now, a rush of wings
depriving even the inner eye of light along
with harsher cries at ears listening out
for warning sounds, hints at reassurance
(of course, what else?) urging we visit
nether regions of the spirit, view dark angels
with awe if only for drawing our attention
to some patched-up failings in personal space
where we can but watch warily, afraid,
long since repressed by adopted criteria
for a ‘civilized’ life brooking little empathy
with its conscience

Marked for having made bad choices,
(like flying with bats, safety in numbers?)
in a frantic rhythm blithely imposed
by Earth Mother, composed by artists
inspired by passion’s adventurers,
content to leave all sense and sensibility  
to its own accountability and Apollo’s 
predilection for shadow play among rocks
and hard places of a maturity eroded
by time, forever vying with Omnipresence
for a place in history, human nature sticking
to its guns

New mythologies, last spotted breaking
into old Poseidon’s lair;
21st century in denial, affecting to get real 
about climate change…

Copyright R. N. Taber 2007; 2010

[Note: An earlier version of this poem under the title 'No Strategy for Surrender' appears in Accomplices to Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007; 2nd (revised) e-edition ed. in preparation.]

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