Playful pranks in the dark, but give thanks for the lark, one-eyed priest, yet a boy, not a beast, full of joy. A yokai, he can see with his eye all that we do as sin, all misdeeds done by men kept as beads on the wrist of a god whose long list reveals fraud, lies, deceit, sloth and wrath, do not cheat— tread the Path.
The bristled treetops are sketched in dirty wet charcoal strokes across ashen canvas stretched above Appalachian folks. Each rain-blurred mountain smokes like mezzotint darkly etched, acrylic mixed with egg yolks or black ink hazily fletched.
Rally, men! Uncle Samaya wants you to defend our home, the red, white and blue against our foes abroad, both far and wide, in foreign lands…or those within, stateside. Do not question our leader or his plan, he needs us united, unto a man, lest the enemy beat us, or we stray from the warpath, the American Way. Come away with him for basic training, follow orders, obey, Freedom reigning over your lives like a strange paradox: repeat the lies the way a parrot talks and know yourself to be free at long last, free from choice, uncertainty, and the past, living day to day, order to order, all things arranged, like a hostel boarder, never thinking about what could have been, but accepting the bloodlust with true Zen; never questioning the Neocon wars, nor the zero-sum games, the either-or’s. Come, men, become a devotee of Sam, learn the tenets of both lion and lamb, led about by the pride, but in a flock, fang and fleece, claw within a clove-hoofed walk, and from this oxymoronic conceit realize your potential: butcher and meat. For he is a tengu abducting boys to teach them combat before he deploys them against his foes, against those opposed to his eagle-winged rule, those as hard-nosed as the tengu himself, that red-faced elf whose eyes are affixed on power and wealth. A guru of blind faith, a tribal force— Rally men! Heed his warcry! “Stay the course!”
I busy myself with throwing noise at the void, humming a hymnal myth till the day is destroyed, then silence will claim all, uncluttering vast space with a hush that will fall over God’s deaf-mute face. Will the echoes linger when my mouth goes quiet? Will another singer raise their voice in riot against the void we know beneath the paean’s din? Or will what is below deafen all that has been? Myth is a song of lies sung against the Silence, rallying Man to rise to defy…deny sense of the gulfs in the void wherein meaning fades fast, a chorus soon destroyed; even gods cannot last within the howling din of the cosmic spaces, the deafening within that steals and erases all that was sung before, and all to come after, singing songs nevermore, nor words, sobs, or laughter, nor even the last sigh of the last thing on earth; the unsounding goodbye before a stillborn birth.
There is a dragon within the wind whose bite cuts straight to the trembling bone, and though no wounds remain aft to mend, the bite lingers, still, like seeds deep sown. The dragon seeks with its pallid eye heartbeats by hearth, by fire, those warm lives that flee from it as it roams nearby, its keen unseen teeth like icy knives.
The backcloth sky is but harsh white wool through which the bleak, blank sun often glows cold, far-off, like a corpselight of Yule when the biting air swells up and blows. We are scorned by that distant-drawn sun for yesterday’s oft ungrateful cheer, our Summer arrogance now undone by the Yule dragon’s icicle sneer.
Elder-aged, now, I lay all alone in this Yuletide season of the cold and try to sleep, but I toss and groan, wondering how I became so old. The dragon snorts, then groans, too, and sighs, and licks at me through a frosted crack; will I survive till the dragon dies, just long enough for Spring to come back?
Aris, the god of war, proclaims that our “Freedom” requires blood, and much more— the lives of those to come that will never know how it feels to drive a car or dance at prom, to wow the crowd with their bright star; no, that star now sinks deep into crimson waters, a senseless sunset sleep for our sons and daughters because guns have become the fetish of our faith, the maxim of “Freedom”, so says the ardent naif who writes laws and defends the instruments of War at all costs as he sends more children to Death’s shore by protecting their god, by protecting the gun, lawmakers overawed by a Constitution writ in times so backwards that the writers owned slaves, the glib-loaded black words like splintered, rotten staves for the gunpowder kegs, for the barrels of blood that drain down to the dregs in a rabies-froth flood.
Sanctimonious fools whose brains keep forgetting the cost of frontier rules and the keen bloodletting, bow to your bloody Lord and forsake the piled dead— kids may die by the sword, but it butters your bread.