Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Song at Korazim

"Face in Profile 2" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

Word of his teachings reached us
   even in the lowlands
      though much garbled
         frequently misquoted
and rarely understood

Many of the tales we quite simply disregarded
   recognising in them the quaint traditional features
      of every popular myth:

that he was not born of woman
that luminaries had bestowed gifts upon him
that he had been suckled by wolves
that a tyrant had sought his death
that he had been rescued by water
that unnatural phenomena had coincided with his birth
that birds could communicate with him
that he was impervious to lust
that he could perform miracles
that he had come, specifically, for us
that he was incapable of death

So we had gathered on this cliff
   to hear him discourse
      on the method of discourse
a young woman in her seventh month
   and I
      in my own disconsolate July

And how he spoke! -
   inevitable as a circus hypnotist
   his purple robes flowing as his arms flapped
as comically as any circus clown

"Flame growing into flame -
    the great urge has not yet found a body
       but urges towards creation
 with the great creative urge"

Was this new?
   Was this another prophet’s teaching
Was this it?
"The death of darkness is light
    Only the sun cannot be extinguished
       A mirror reflected in a mirror
 engenders infinite possibilities"

This was more like it
   the commonplace obscurities
      that are made to sound like mysteries
the high-flown banalities
   platitudes, absurdities -
      just what we expect from our Messiahs

"You yourself will always be
    the worst enemy you can encounter
You yourselves lie in wait for yourselves
in caves and forests"

But o what power - Lupus
   What eloquence!
      What charisma!

And hearing him speak
   watching the enrapturement of half the crowd
      sensing the vague misgivings of the other half

It was already so easy to prophesy:
   the words that would bring comfort equally
      to those who would kill
and those who would die
   in his name
               and in the name of his prophecies

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Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
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The Argaman Press

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