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Poetry Magnum Opus

fireflies


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An autistic boy drowned and the sea

dreamed him back into being. The boy

used the moon as a drum and the rhythms

of the water. Four fireflies arrived

they brought projections of Gandhi,

Buddha, Napoleon and Genghis Khan. The

fireflies flew in a circular cadence

Buddha and Gandhi stepped into the

middle leaving Napoleon and Khan to

witness the advance of their wars and

bloodshed replayed. The two sages

clothed a dead tree with the skin of

war casualties, a raven with eyes of

red and a robin with eyes of black

led the watch over the fruit that grew.

The autistic boy waited for the fruit to

fall, the two birds heard a call and left.

A bearded carpenter helped the boy lift the

fruit into a basket-from the tree he built

a boat. At sea the carpenter cut two apples

into segments and ate-he dreamed about fragments

that formed the moon and earth and as if giving

birth he sweated and screamed-three inquisitive

seagulls hovered. After reaching dry land the

carpenter constructed a stage from the boat and

acted in a play with tyrants from every age. They

were directed by an unseen author turning the pages

of a distant script-the autocrats became the audience

and watched the carpenter perform with saints and

mystics- dictators received revelation and wrote pages

of a script-. the bearded man became a spectator as

saints and dictators performed together.

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  • 2 weeks later...
David W. Parsley

There is a lot going on this poem, eclipse, but it hangs on a discernible set of cables - which means it is going to appeal to me. It is an old play recast in your unique surreality. Somehow it brings to mind Poe's "Conqueror Worm," which was his remake on a typically narrower stage. W.S. Merwin flatly diagnoses your carpenter as dead, in "December Among the Vanished." Interesting to see him cast as a spectator in the current timeframe, watching "From a Distance," so to speak.

 

"... At sea the carpenter cut two apples

into segments and ate-he dreamed about fragments

that formed the moon and earth and as if giving

birth he sweated and screamed-three inquisitive

seagulls hovered..."

 

Not clear to me if "he" is the carpenter or the autistic child. Is it important for this to remain ambiguous?

 

Cadence snags in a few places, but it is difficult to guide so large a theme.

 

An interesting creation worthy of revisits.

- Dave

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Wading through your web of metaphor I can't help but think of the fragmentation and abuse of fundamental philosophical ideals. Of organized religion in particular, that originally had good intent, but has been usurped by a human juggernaut of perverse interest. As Dave said, there is much going on here. Your last lines in particular, “the bearded man became a spectator as saints and dictators performed together.” remind me of that wonderful final scene in Orwell's Animal Farm; where the innocent animals looked in through the farmhouse window. They could not distinguish the difference between obnoxious controlling pigs, and humans. Benjamin

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David W. Parsley

As I said, worthy of some revisits. I am wondering why 'autistic' is necessary in line 16 and how the persisting resurrected boy gets lost after line 18.

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