Of many names, of many lands, praised by both Germans and by Greeks as I ascend the earthen peaks— rosy-fingered, my outstretched hands. From my bed in the East I fly, flaring colors, crowned with sunlight, bringing an end to the dark night as my raiments cover the sky. Eos, Eostre, Aurora, Dawn, by many tongues I am thus praised as I bring the warmth, my arms raised and my radiance shining on.
The Halcyon birds rile and fly away while the Nereids flee upon froth and wave, floating over shipwrecks from yesterday smashed by vengeful boulders thrown by the slave; the slave: sentinel cast in giant bronze, a titan overlooking his dear isle, standing tall and steadfast through dusks and dawns to defend his Crete paradise erstwhile, but now, stricken, his strength bleeds out his heel, and though his essence is molten passion the colossus collapses, made to feel the agonies of his mortal fashion. Howling, he recalls the small, subtle hand that twisted the vitals from the weak spot, a lithe, little hand whose soft command could not be resisted once it had caught the crux, the crank, the crucial clutch that turned to empty his veins of his sole vigor and then strolled along the beach where love burned— a great ruin, and her distant figure.
A single grain of sand slips through the hourglass and with it falls whole buildings, cities, empires, crumbling to dust in an instant, so brief, the demolition, and yet so many years to build it, to amass the sacrifice of days, of skills, of lives, all now gone with the smooth slippage of inevitability, the giddy evanescence of the material world, sand unto sand, the humanistic mandala imprinting the earth erased by restless winds, by sleepless tides, burying pyramids with gravity’s intractable pull and the erosion of fickle electrons. There is no compromise to be found in the sinking sands of Time.
A devil is blacksmithing down below, hammering agonies into my foot, laughing as he works hard, blow after blow, while embers flare and he heaps the sloughed soot of an unthinking life I once knew well in ingratitude and a thankless peace, but now, in this Hephaestus pit of Hell, flesh is enfolded in pain without cease. Hammer, clamps, tongs, furnace and the anvil, clutching and smashing with Vulcan focus to forge the leg to a fallen god’s will— a monument of pain, aching locus whereat there spirals the spiteful fire that brands the soul with the maker’s design, scarring mortal flesh, his single desire to make what is like himself: pained, divine.
Reality rooted in nerves, walls of sensation, innate jail where the clew-woven warden serves punitive sentences; a hell. Body horror without escape as spooled flesh and blood both betray the existentialist great ape whose pained intricacies relay agonies visceral, instant, and terrors stemming from thought, imaginings you cannot shunt like blood to one side, but a clot that causes fever in the brain and a stroke at the narrowed strait of the much-overloaded vein, thoughts and blood at a rapid rate. The pain hums like cicadas, each vying for attention, the swarm overwhelming, all with a reach deep within the somatic storm, and while we recall the beliefs of our ancestors before us, the pain drags us along its reefs while we hear that siren chorus. No escape and no compromise for the flesh that begets mankind, shackled as we are by the ties never to be peeled, fruit from rind.