Game of the Day – Rapid 10 min time control

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Today’s game versus IM: Rated 600 points higher than me; after getting a winning position, he blunders with an exchange gone wrong. 

Game of the day versus a really strong, 2244 rated player. 🙂

Followed an MVL game up until the trade of the queens; a difficult game to convert against a strong opponent.

Phrenology and IQ – measurement exclusion

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In the 19th century, scientists began to measure the intelligence and inherent difference of the races by means of measuring the circumference of skulls among racial groups and tallying numerics correlated to learning and capacity…

I

Phrenology as a means of testing intelligence and ‘inherent differences among the races’ has been an extensively debunked science, having had its motives and its findings and their inferences widely rejected. But there is now an arbitrary assessment that presents a number of mathematical, logical, and spatial reasoning questions of varying difficulty. An academically oriented person with a college education could pull an IQ of 145-160 in such a test, especially if their academic success reflects a life of hard work, studying and effort that does not correlate to IQ assessment.

As a chid I took the SAT test and got a 1580 and was then given a battery of pscyhological tests. Teachers at my school arranged this after my second year, after which I had started teaching a smaller class of kids who were having trouble reading. There were questions if I should be skipped to high school, or if I should take seriously the chances of going to university. I wanted to do things other kids did, though at the time I was spending weekends with a relative, tasked with teaching me Greek and Latin classics, literature and myth, the various philosophical schools of stoicism, epicureanism, and the works of Plato and Aristotle. I was never advised to take the Mensa test, but they sent me a box of puzzles with a letter after my Stanford test scores were reviewed. It was not my best result, but it was consistent with my earlier scores.

This is not something I am divulging as someone who believes IQ to be a valid assessment of someone’s capabilities. As a result of my circumstances, I was exposed to a number of things very early, language learning and with a drive to prove something. If there is natural, latent talent, it cannot be measured in a number that factors in the likelihood that such a capacity is partnered with the will to work and realize the latent potential that is only, perhaps, suggested by IQ test results.

When you talk about IQ results over 125, you are essentially talking about something that would be only known or considered after one’s works; it is not a reasoning forward that validates whatever intelligence a given person possesses. One must reason from said person’s works that their IQ must reflect it, or at least their natural intelligence. Natural intelligence can be understood as what one might be endowed with genetically. The genetic component comes apart when we consider the unknown number of geniuses who have slipped unknown due to unfortunate circumstances. Had Franz Kafka’s comrades honored his wishes, we would have never known of his work and subsequently would have lost the literary masterpieces he produced. The Hunger Artst, The Metamorphoses, Amerika and The Trial reflect what the partnering of effort and natural intelligence produce. Without Kafka’s dedication and will the works would not have realized themselves. It is the material evidence that suggests, not the pure assessment.

As a language student and tutor for many years, I’ve taught innumerable students, young adults and children, publishing five novels, two collections of poems, and innumerable short stories, academic essays and assorted fiction for money here and there, while working as a translator when I needed the money. My first poetry was done as a child, my first novels in my early teens. I did well in school, though I was never comfortable there. My 9th grade English teacher attempted to publish my poetry while I was still in highschool. I wrote my first book when I was 14, but lost it, and published my first book when I was 17.

In my college years, I wrote the essays of my more affluent students and earned a decent living off it. I did work in physics, biology, and literary critique. I wanted to do these things, mind you; I was compelled to do so and so put in many, many 20 hour days over the course of decades. In the meantime I learned to play guitar and piano, expanded my linguistic studies and took up the chess. None of this is easy to master, though within three years I made significant progress. To what extent does natural intelligence override or correlate to natural will?

Does this justify such a high IQ score? I never tried to justify the scores I’ve gotten throughout my life, and whether or not my work reflects it is something I am not fit to judge, being incapable of objectivity. But I don’t think the assessment beyond its indication of potential is capable of measuring outcomes in an effective way as to justify it as a scientific application. I tried to justify the word that hung over my head from my earliest memories: prodigy. It seems a duty that one become universally learned when so named, and do everything. Paint, draw, write, play instruments, have a classical education: everything is the lowest bar a prodigy must clear. The will to prove this to myself and my family drove me to realize whatever intelligence I had. Without the will, the intelligence is gas in a car without wheels: going nowhere.

The argument need not be sociological or philosophical, as to whether intelligence is quantifiable by measurement. We can understand this in historical, rational terms. The genius of the past is preserved by particular mechanisms. The works of Aristotle were preserved for centuries, passed into the hands of Arab translators in late antiquity and passed into Academia in Europe, handed off as a baton of wisdom preserved for future generations. The works of 20th century philosophers such as Satre, Camus and Wittgenstein have continued this tradition, an intellectual culture of humankind that belongs to all of us. The intellectual heritage of humanity is the possession we call knowledge and all human beings are heir to it upon birth. Whether their environments, circumstances and will compel them to contribute to this heritage is uncertain. It certainly cannot be exclusionary nor based on a number, no more than can the measurement of ones cranium.

The point is that one must be judged by one’s actions, to the point that intention and ability are unknown factors beyond the extent to which they effect and direction action. Phrenology never considered anything beyond the raw factors of numbers, much less the socio-economic implications that are deterministic factors in the suppression or cultivation of intelligence. My adoptive parents saw to it that I had the best tutors and that I worked hard to meet academic goals, and I was inclined to please them and make my father proud. Of course, we cannot exclude factors outside of my control. When we judge someone of a crime, we concern ourselves with the circumstances; one’s mental and emotional constitution being paramount. If one is beyond moral judgment if their crimes are compound by circumstances outside a person’s control, it is a difficult judgment to blame this person. No more than we should blame those of great ability who were unable to find their manner of expressing it. Measurements of logic puzzles, mathematical equations and reading comprehension assessments do little to suggest their reliability in measuring anything beyond potential, a factor that can or cannot be realized due to innumerable factors.

In light of this, we should not be so quick to assert that a person’s IQ is the ultimate sign of what their capabilities may be. It becomes even more difficult to evaluate across languages, learning methods, and cultural factors that are beyond an individual’s control. The same is true of the opposite scenario. Someone with great potential who realizes their potential are to be applauded, but their contribution is not the product of their genes but of their work ethic and individual circumstances. None of this can be derived by a test nor the measurement of an individual’s skull.

The Spaces Between Us, draft 1, 5 Sept 2020

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Dedicated to Artichoke Ash Coin – get better, sister

Dedicated to Artichoke Ash Coin – get better, sister

A poem in honor of a friend, whose name is an anagram

TWO PRINCES OF TWO TWINS
& THE TWO-HEADED CAMEL

      THERE WERE TWO BRANCHES OF THE BANU Ayyub & t

hey tried to distinguish themselves in a way that would signal to the people, those whom they protected – their people, their children, their subjects and wards; it was said that before the split, the line was born of a pair of twins;

Omar ibn Rushdi al Doo and his brother Harun al Rushd ibn Mazmadoon, one was the sun – the other the moon.

And they came upon twins such as they had not seen since the first man was cast in clay;  The tradition was that, after the harvest, when the seeds had been sewn, the men who had cut their princely knot would take a wife.

The twins would come upon twins so lithe, so lovely and dreamy such paradise, such heaven and hell between their thighs, inside their warm welcoming hal’hah and when the moon came out they were each with child.

So were born the Banu Ayyub, sons of Job; were to spend their lives at the knee of a Rishi, a seer, and at the madrassa, they’d learn of God and coleander; the oases and the djinni the mirage in the sands; the Banu Ayyub were destined to find a land of that became the largest city in Tel’rane.

At the masjid in the center of town, by four minarets that touched the sky as it was shy and letting go of the wind. The two sides of the family divided would fight for the city and for their pride, and each would try to buy the love of the subjects they would yet rule; each morning at speakerbox tinned at noon,

You are loved and you are doomed

But in darkness there is truth

In sin there is penitence and there is grave;

In the silence of thought is the peace of the sage;

Seek god, seek love, and don’t be afraid

Of the Fire that Burns and the Fate that awaits

The Sinners and the People elect, selected before their birth that death, would convey them to a garden next to a bridge with a riddling troll standing guard. Straight out of Persia, Zarathurstra thought that upon our death each one of us walked across a bridge as wide as a knife as sharp as remorse as cold as a lie, as hard to cross as it was to lie to a two-headed camel who made it big, all the way to the Sheikh of the City of Sha’n Hal’al Balna’ri; ante-chamber of the womb.

From a young age they learned the ways of the world, from the doctor of medicine and of the Faith, pure as snowater true as the gasp of the blindman who sees the heavens at last.

4

The twins raised their children to rule and to be merciless if needs be, then needs be; while one dined the devil on choice cut meat, the other sat in the silence of Utz, in the sweating lodge as he took, in the breath of the soul and shook.

      Prince Shi could tap on the wind and shatter it, peer through the other side and draw it closed, like a curtain to be drawn and pulled at will. The devil offered an imitation gift, to get what one wanted at the cost of not having what one needs; some philosophers argue that this is the best deal to make; others suggest that if it be necessary to deal with Satan himself, one should at least get a deal that doth please the heather that signed his soul out for lease.

      When the time came for the Kheyn’ash, the counsil of eldars who would pick between the two princes, without knowing which family they represented; each walked in to the judgment den naked as a jaybird and waited until the accuser read the first of the scriptures they needs must interpret in a way as such it aligns with the orthodoxy of the Church, the sin-a-gogo Masjid, temple of Hate, altar to empty wastes, demons and Satan awake!

Now it must be said that the family has long been cursed for the deeds of their founding Fathers; the bargains with Satan they would default, leaving for the next round to pick up the cost, to burn off the karma of a holocaust and pay the price of an era just lost, to the fire of the beast that exhausts only at the instant lust is lost.

The dealer with the devil stood proud and firm, and the servant of god was meek and alert;

      The council looked over their skin, bronze as a temple bell and broad, in the chest and of bearing regal, polished, washed; the servant of Satan was ever so suave; the penentant prince, whose knees were scabbed from hours long in patient t’yan, the beseeching of the Great Unnamed to draw you in, to see the Flame, the living God with the eyes of Shame.

 the Rishi who could tap on the calm wind and peer through to the spirit world; and yae, said he they were Angels, and most lovely. And born unto the Angel Dinayal was Ben Ibn Ha-binyan al-Yom; he was darkly complected with coal black eyes, a heavy and thoughtful brow; his countenance was that of thought sincerity, and his ayyaba held his youthlock; it would be severed when he took over management of his father’s possesions; the fields, the crops, the mother and the camel.

      And it was said that the camel gifted them by The Mercifulest of Merciful Lords bore unto them great dates, and oases amid desert wastes which, over eons would sculp them to blend in, to mix with the dust devils and the djinn, and blow away along a caravan route, a caravanserai and disappear, a name.

      And so it was, the camel was of defect most perculiar; and the Philosophers, much learned though yet humbled by the Beneficent, Most Terrible Lord of Lords, made great speculation;

      Could His Holiness, his Great Silent Guidance bring forth such deformity? Would a being of endless wisdom, endless reason and foresight, produce an animal incapable of reproduction, to spread the seed and gift of life? This vexed the faithful, and they despaired; they pulled out their youthful locks and there was much prayer.

      The two-headed camel was the childhood pet of the oldest son of the oldest twin; and the starboard head – an arbitrary marker, was more inclined to do as the female line of the House Ayyub; they demanded to know what justice was this, that the Lord, though perfect, could cause such distress, a defect in being that bespoke his Wonder; the sun burns bright as a thousand fires some unimagined distance off; but the camel with two heads, Lilah and Na’hr, each ran half a day, the other not far; they would run to the shadow line, where the Senior line of the Ayyubid family plotted with a most queer riddle; in a Kingdom of God – dar al-harb, the submission is to the Living God; yet it seemed that the once Great being had fled and so came such a thing, a two headed camel that ran one way for an hour and ran the opposite then, from one corner to the other end. Despite the trodden path of some thousand or more miles, they had never left the tiny stretch of dust and desert running through the seedy town of Hon’lah’ul. The biggest dwelling in the city was that of a Harem famous for miles; there were four floors and business was swift; a marriage license on the first floor, a romantic encounter above, on the second floor of a castle, that, once held the collective wisdom of the Banu Ishmael, son of Hagar – [the Stranger]; though the two branches of the family were descended from the union of a twin on twin conception; the children closed their eyes and rode on the two-headed camel and they lo’d, and lolled and laughed until they passed the shadow lines. Night rolled in over the valley, the dunes and the caverns, and within lights sparked in the night and smells of onions and goat boiled in garlic spice drifted down the pathway, and the inn did a swift trade.

      When it was decided that one line of the family should be more luxurious in status and wealth, it was agreed as a matter of course, but in time they would attempt to make it fair; to alternate the Caliphate between the senior line and the Matri’line. Sometimes the passing of status and land goes smooth as a avalanche of restless sand.

      At the time that camel was gifted to the Prince, Prince of the Incumbent line had an interesting life, so far; he had studied with the mystigogues of the Soma and of Brahma; the Al-jibra & al’Kamy; tactics and strategy; manners, to be a gentlemen and how to properly address women; the varying marks that a household could carry based on trade and tax; the Caliph said the morning Prayer through a megaphone, and blind roosters at the House of the Outgoing Prince, who looked at a crown not to be, he had thoughts on his mind unpure to recite, of selling his soul to Satan that he could take the throne from Ben Ali.

      And it was so that the Prince would go to the forests of fire, by the cove; a walkway rested just beneath the water and one had to be careful, as there were drops that were said to never end; God help us if it is to never end, Inshallah, and in the forest he said, Shai’tan, mighty being of handheld sun; thy tricksters and bugger of all. I need your help,

      “So say they all.”

2

The Small Print in the Deal with the Devil

The Great Evil himself was as lovely as summer, as a meadow a van Gogh or Monet an echo of life is not as pure, as beautiful as the sun in its place, beset by an all-knowing Loving and late being who made the camel’s gait, one of painful circuits by the shadow lands on the outskirts of Tin’ver’diy, the lands where djinni took the form of the image that forms in the Oasis of the thirstiest soul, lost in the city that never holds, a city of formlessness, a city which rolled, ephermeral as the touch of Gold, as the touch of Lust and Denari as such one could shit on gold; life is more than mystic ore, the sinful trinkets of this war, the danar, the kopex, the dollar and pound, the coefficient of need and factor of doubt; the blemish of shame on the family’s name would exist for a generation if, one were to sell their soul and for hell get all one wants in the World; but this world is brief and Eternity, sheesh, it would take all day to show; so when the smokeless fire rose the would be King was breathless. The Prince froze, but the devil is an icebreaker of great renown, and soon they had a tumbler of the finest date-wine, the finest tablewear, earthen pots cast on a kiln and fired and rough; a city rose out of mirage and took the form as substantive as taxes and death as late-fees and the mess that is promised by the meal and yet we sigh and look at the used plate and think to wash it and think but it’s lake, but the soul is renewable, and each time, you sin you only need to lie and tell that Unebelievable God above that sadist and silent father who bodes ill for his children and must go.

      The Devil himself had called on the Lord, to show himself a being of sound mind and planning, in light of a camel that ran so many miles but went no where but back and forth between the canal and the fort, the accounting office in between the breathing delusion and the endless dream;

      “Satan, you vex, and torture and yet,
      think to put on the Lord to test!

To question a being with two lovely heads!

Who runs and runs but is home all the while!

Who has ran for miles but never moved,

Who is the symbol of balance, and truth;

The camel with two heads is the course,

Put before the faithful who,

      Ponder the mysteries of the Room

That awaits us at closing time when the dust piles on

And the bagpipes fade and fade into yawns;

What makes a man or better yet, a woman or indeterminate sex,

Is the degree to which their love results in actions that help the poor and the orphan whose back

      Is burdened by the karmic film,

The sticky samsara that restarts the cart and thus the wheel

Of Dharma goes flailing off the hill;

The Dance of Shiva on the Hill

The Dance of Tondala and that eye

That sees the space between you and I

That sees that twins both men and women when they connect recreate themselves in a form they can correct and better, else

      They end up scattered with the city and lost in a desert unseen by man, and lost

      If atlantis were true and it fell from a height

That was equal to our pride

It needs to have fallen, and it must

Remain a relic, collecting dust;

It would be of no real use to us.

A mirror that says what we all know true;

The window be brief and so is the view

And brief is the counting that we must do

When weighed by the Judge of Life and Death, the angel of Silence the mender of breath; the weaver of faith and a silence so great the deaf can hear it in their sleep.

      The footsteps of the formless shepherd, whose sheep

Have praised their own creations, and,
Fallen asleep mid-task;

They thought that if Christ Died for This
We’d value life and fight for it
But if he died for nothing and we’re still waiting now

The plan was a camel that can’t get out;

Running with all its will and might

It stands in place but moves all night; and is in a much different place in the morn, when the roosters blind crow on their horn, shake their fist at the solar storm, and stomp back in to their silent cove,

The antechamber of the womb,
Where the prince who sold his soul

To the devil waits with a kim’bos’ko;
as the Madhi is to come through,
To be reborn what does he do?
But fulfill his debt to Satan due;
to kill the redeemer, and end it there
No second coming, no refunds there;

No conversions in Israel or warfare;
Just the same silence that’s always there,

That always speaks if we listen and deep

Think in ways that break our sleep

And listen to the whispers and contemplate the space between the doorway and the space unseen

Between me and you and the Great Unseen

The Devil is always at your call

Because he’s not so chic at all;

Father has never left, not once,

And we do not find nor discover such

The fire at the crucible,

The force

That brought for the sun and stars and whores and Kings and judges tangerines

sultans Kar’ka karma and lust sin and shame the pains of a slut.

The dirty prince was raised and rushed

To anointed the Time and Place where he was put upon the throne of Beelzebub; “Praise he who allows what is forbidden and now, praise be to he who forged

The ocean out of air and blew into the current and made blue, the endless ocean

The bounteous view

Was made for no one,

And for you

There’s no center of the world

And we’re not there if it was;

But at the center of what we remember is that which hurt and helped

When we needed a boost or a beating

That put us upon the path

That led us to hold with strength and stay

A glass that held and did not break.

A product of the glazier’s waste

On the same pile as the face

That goes on the double-head

Of the camel that can stand

And travel from one place across the land

It is said that if one knows

The truth of where such a camel goes

Will find a path, an obscure road

To sneak into Jinah and enjoy the view

Of a paradise lost renewed

Wouldn’t it be great if what we told

Ourselves at the edge of the unknown

Was true in the least, would we be whole?
Or would the hole be bigger still

And take more than the silence speaker
box to fill and make us full?

Or was there never a hole at all
And the search was long and though

You found the doorway it was

Closed.

Say what you will of the devil,

He’s a cad;

He’s a hustler, a pool-shark a cardsharp and used car salesman without a lot;

Selling the space for the body to rot

To the desperate who have forgot

The devil is greed and, as such,
Can give but what is taken from us
For a soul we might get luck
At the cost of peace, of love
Of her smile, the fragrant ouerve

Of exotic fragrant that endures

When she passes and demures

The oasis takes her shapes and plays

In the artificial shade

Where birds without form take baths and squirm

To pull the garden free of worms.

8

The garden of Eden wasn’t what’s needed

It sounds the dream of a child

Where there

Are but the vines of nature and time is divided by sunrise and sunset and thyme

Crops and solstice and to kneel ‘for the sun

Is to worship the mother
whose credit has gone

To the other hangers-on;

Spirits neutral, spirits wild,

Some that possess some that beguile

Some that enchant and others that dance

In rigadoon beneath a moon as bright as neon underoos

Do not regret what you have left

The sum total of the experience of life

Is a shopping spree without items that we must by

Only to cast aside when out

Of the time and must make our way out.

Go peaceful, quiet, let silence be

The anteroom of the womb for the.

8


Took the throne and gave the key
To the temple to the Priest

Whose speakerbox shook out and shot when words garbled tin like through

Fell in a way that the spell went away and the dust turned to brick and coalesced to stay

The valley of the sons of Love who died in search of the lever of the lurch
To redeem them in the way that frees

Them from the sadist who it please

To create a maze without such clues
Without a purpose without use
And make it so easy to lose.
The deal with the devil fell through in the end
When the funds came up marked un-available and the wish

For the leadership as he risked
His immortal soul for the leadership

Of the Banu Ayyub caliphate
Their kingdom of shifting sand and grace
Where the faithful underwent such trials, as the labors of Job and Iphigenia, each by their beloved set upon the pyre they’re to die upon

But it’s just a test, unless one fails
And in to water goes the child
And arrives in the Fire of Jahannan, sad
He calls out to God in Jinah; the Garden of Honey and of Love;
If thou art just why take me at such an age after I cracked? A year ago I had not sinned; why not take me before I did? You could have pulled me from the fire, had you let me die in time, but instead I will burn and when
the candle dies in the wind
They will tell us in the end

We chose to come and we chose the end

Of a life we could not agree to be a part of save for you;

Had we not been we shant have sinned nor felt the fire thou intend for the sinner who thou make a guarantee when one can die before they see the proof, the sound or image that calls to them in the empty vat where their hole was formed in childhood at and full they sing the psalms and say, God is Good and Job went astray; he had no right to say what he would say;

Justice is the fact that life is given to us at all

We did  not pay for the equipment nor tech

To see or eat or love and inspect

That is the gift, that is the speck

Of the silence in the speakerbox

The reuniting of the lost

Would take two twins and undo each

Into the antechamber of the breach

The dim waiting room inside the womb

While the Lord of Lords shakes and rolls

The die that casts your fortune, lo!
Death from an accidental blow,
In his fourth little Leonard would;

And up in Heaven he would speak
With force in his voice to the Fire of Deep

Eternity that burns to bring
The form of galaxies into being
To stand before the creative force that brought us life and ask for more
Is to go in one direction on a camel with two heads;

One must cross the shadow that veers
One into one lane one into tears
one to the garden, one to the fire
The great sadist loves to play with die
It’s the value that sets the rest of the price

That we bargain when we lie

When we steal

 And when we try

To deal with a puff of smoke and fire

Who would not help if he wasn’t a lie

The counsil which judged each prince would pick the godly man but the

The butterfly would flap its portentious wings again

A thousand miles away it starts
The ripple that transforms into a storm and covers the eastern seaboard and when the storm receeds we praise and sing the songs for the rain that brought us such pain and praise the God who made it this way.

Handheld sunshine is the gift

The moonshit and the treble clef

The rainbow twisted in on itself

A camel with two heads is life

And it

Has turned against itself and hit

The threshold of futility and that’s it

6

They will join the dodos yet
Who thrived on Maritious once upon a time

Before the disease came with the tribe;

Before the beasts of a different land

Collapsed the pillar and the dome
of each species on its own

And another one bites the dust, the song

We sing must be sang at least ten ways

Every ten minute every single day

There is more empty in the way than

There is anything, I must say

I think I will rest a bit today,
The devil will always be there, and will wait,
But for the Lord one must be on time
Or risk a canceled appointment and such a line
You’ll end up dead before you find
The angel to direct you up ahead
To the garden of the dead
Who bloomed again in the end when they resurrected and their skin

Glowed anew as Prince Adh’u who scorched the land as Genghis Khan,
Wiped out the House of Wisdom and long
Has the age of ignorance stayed on the land
of Glass;
One crack and the shattering line will run
Along a pressured edge and turn
into pieces holding on with inner strength to outer bonds hoping to remain in tact lest they break, and lest they crack,
The glazier was drunk when he cast the sand
And has not updated the design

Since the day of rest expired.

7

Pain is the price we pay for the chance to see the view of the Catalan of the Canyon Grand of Mesas and the Jungles of Tenotchtitlan;

The House of Wisdom might have fallen
in the midst of war;
Yet we have such knowledge that we can choose what we will have
The hole or the silence that fills that gap

Make friends with the space between or ask
The devil to take a check;

But it if should bounce – one strike

You’re out

Cast into fires, never put out.

A futile waste of a spark of the divine

That coalesced in a being sublime

That came for a time and made its mark

Passed through the sunshine and into the dark

To sleep as they slept before their start.

God loves the orphans, and the hard

Working simple beggar’s hand
That works but for his fellow man,
we can but lean on our fellows and see

If we make real the common dream

To have some purpose, whatever we need

To look at the sun and take heed

Of the Master who conjured such warmth, such heat
Or ignore this sadistic bore who toys with the whole of time

And put your faith in your fellows and hate less and there you will find

If you can’t find God you can find love and love is enough to make

The candle re-light and spark in the night

To tame the sun and hold the light.

That we’ll make real the common dream

5

      The problems that come of our own design,
      as they account of the butterfly,
      who miles away can flap his wings

      And destroy Mumbai in great waves,

      Without a thought of the flutter nor grave,

      Nor the moon that beckons the wise to let their minds drift and, in time, they get to see the fire that burns at the center of throne of Sha’haral, the Great Unknowable whose very form is the empty spaces ‘midst the space – the crack in the door the width of the vase, the bloom of the rose the ding of prose, the sting of poetry, the handheld light,

A pale imitation of the Living Eye, the transient figure as firm as the thread of a broken spider web by the bed.

TWO PRINCES OF TWO TWINS
& THE TWO-HEADED CAMEL

THERE WERE TWO BRANCHES OF THE BANU Ayyub & they tried to distinguish themselves in a way that would signal to the people, those whom they protected – their people, their children, their subjects and wards; it was said that before the split, the line was born of a pair of twins;

Omar ibn Rushdi al Doo and his brother Harun al Rushd ibn Mazmadoon, one was the sun – the other the moon.
And they came upon twins such as they had not seen since the first man was cast in clay; The tradition was that, after the harvest, when the seeds had been sewn, the men who had cut their princely knot would take a wife.
The twins would come upon twins so lithe, so lovely and dreamy such paradise, such heaven and hell between their thighs, inside their warm welcoming hal’hah and when the moon came out they were each with child.
So were born the Banu Ayyub, sons of Job; were to spend their lives at the knee of a Rishi, a seer, and at the madrassa, they’d learn of God and coleander; the oases and the djinni the mirage in the sands; the Banu Ayyub were destined to find a land of that became the largest city in Tel’rane.
At the masjid in the center of town, by four minarets that touched the sky as it was shy and letting go of the wind. The two sides of the family divided would fight for the city and for their pride, and each would try to buy the love of the subjects they would yet rule; each morning at speakerbox tinned at noon,
You are loved and you are doomed
But in darkness there is truth
In sin there is penitence and there is grave;
In the silence of thought is the peace of the sage;
Seek god, seek love, and don’t be afraid
Of the Fire that Burns and the Fate that awaits
The Sinners and the People elect, selected before their birth that death, would convey them to a garden next to a bridge with a riddling troll standing guard. Straight out of Persia, Zarathurstra thought that upon our death each one of us walked across a bridge as wide as a knife as sharp as remorse as cold as a lie, as hard to cross as it was to lie to a two-headed camel who made it big, all the way to the Sheikh of the City of Sha’n Hal’al Balna’ri; ante-chamber of the womb.
From a young age they learned the ways of the world, from the doctor of medicine and of the Faith, pure as snowater true as the gasp of the blindman who sees the heavens at last.

4

The twins raised their children to rule and to be merciless if needs be, then needs be; while one dined the devil on choice cut meat, the other sat in the silence of Utz, in the sweating lodge as he took, in the breath of the soul and shook.
Prince Shi could tap on the wind and shatter it, peer through the other side and draw it closed, like a curtain to be drawn and pulled at will. The devil offered an imitation gift, to get what one wanted at the cost of not having what one needs; some philosophers argue that this is the best deal to make; others suggest that if it be necessary to deal with Satan himself, one should at least get a deal that doth please the heather that signed his soul out for lease.
When the time came for the Kheyn’ash, the counsil of eldars who would pick between the two princes, without knowing which family they represented; each walked in to the judgment den naked as a jaybird and waited until the accuser read the first of the scriptures they needs must interpret in a way as such it aligns with the orthodoxy of the Church, the sin-a-gogo Masjid, temple of Hate, altar to empty wastes, demons and Satan awake!

Now it must be said that the family has long been cursed for the deeds of their founding Fathers; the bargains with Satan they would default, leaving for the next round to pick up the cost, to burn off the karma of a holocaust and pay the price of an era just lost, to the fire of the beast that exhausts only at the instant lust is lost.

The dealer with the devil stood proud and firm, and the servant of god was meek and alert;
The council looked over their skin, bronze as a temple bell and broad, in the chest and of bearing regal, polished, washed; the servant of Satan was ever so suave; the penentant prince, whose knees were scabbed from hours long in patient t’yan, the beseeching of the Great Unnamed to draw you in, to see the Flame, the living God with the eyes of Shame.
the Rishi who could tap on the calm wind and peer through to the spirit world; and yae, said he they were Angels, and most lovely. And born unto the Angel Dinayal was Ben Ibn Ha-binyan al-Yom; he was darkly complected with coal black eyes, a heavy and thoughtful brow; his countenance was that of thought sincerity, and his ayyaba held his youthlock; it would be severed when he took over management of his father’s possesions; the fields, the crops, the mother and the camel.
And it was said that the camel gifted them by The Mercifulest of Merciful Lords bore unto them great dates, and oases amid desert wastes which, over eons would sculp them to blend in, to mix with the dust devils and the djinn, and blow away along a caravan route, a caravanserai and disappear, a name.
And so it was, the camel was of defect most perculiar; and the Philosophers, much learned though yet humbled by the Beneficent, Most Terrible Lord of Lords, made great speculation;
Could His Holiness, his Great Silent Guidance bring forth such deformity? Would a being of endless wisdom, endless reason and foresight, produce an animal incapable of reproduction, to spread the seed and gift of life? This vexed the faithful, and they despaired; they pulled out their youthful locks and there was much prayer.
The two-headed camel was the childhood pet of the oldest son of the oldest twin; and the starboard head – an arbitrary marker, was more inclined to do as the female line of the House Ayyub; they demanded to know what justice was this, that the Lord, though perfect, could cause such distress, a defect in being that bespoke his Wonder; the sun burns bright as a thousand fires some unimagined distance off; but the camel with two heads, Lilah and Na’hr, each ran half a day, the other not far; they would run to the shadow line, where the Senior line of the Ayyubid family plotted with a most queer riddle; in a Kingdom of God – dar al-harb, the submission is to the Living God; yet it seemed that the once Great being had fled and so came such a thing, a two headed camel that ran one way for an hour and ran the opposite then, from one corner to the other end. Despite the trodden path of some thousand or more miles, they had never left the tiny stretch of dust and desert running through the seedy town of Hon’lah’ul. The biggest dwelling in the city was that of a Harem famous for miles; there were four floors and business was swift; a marriage license on the first floor, a romantic encounter above, on the second floor of a castle, that, once held the collective wisdom of the Banu Ishmael, son of Hagar – [the Stranger]; though the two branches of the family were descended from the union of a twin on twin conception; the children closed their eyes and rode on the two-headed camel and they lo’d, and lolled and laughed until they passed the shadow lines. Night rolled in over the valley, the dunes and the caverns, and within lights sparked in the night and smells of onions and goat boiled in garlic spice drifted down the pathway, and the inn did a swift trade.
When it was decided that one line of the family should be more luxurious in status and wealth, it was agreed as a matter of course, but in time they would attempt to make it fair; to alternate the Caliphate between the senior line and the Matri’line. Sometimes the passing of status and land goes smooth as a avalanche of restless sand.
At the time that camel was gifted to the Prince, Prince of the Incumbent line had an interesting life, so far; he had studied with the mystigogues of the Soma and of Brahma; the Al-jibra & al’Kamy; tactics and strategy; manners, to be a gentlemen and how to properly address women; the varying marks that a household could carry based on trade and tax; the Caliph said the morning Prayer through a megaphone, and blind roosters at the House of the Outgoing Prince, who looked at a crown not to be, he had thoughts on his mind unpure to recite, of selling his soul to Satan that he could take the throne from Ben Ali.
And it was so that the Prince would go to the forests of fire, by the cove; a walkway rested just beneath the water and one had to be careful, as there were drops that were said to never end; God help us if it is to never end, Inshallah, and in the forest he said, Shai’tan, mighty being of handheld sun; thy tricksters and bugger of all. I need your help,
“So say they all.”

2

The Small Print in the Deal with the Devil

The Great Evil himself was as lovely as summer, as a meadow a van Gogh or Monet an echo of life is not as pure, as beautiful as the sun in its place, beset by an all-knowing Loving and late being who made the camel’s gait, one of painful circuits by the shadow lands on the outskirts of Tin’ver’diy, the lands where djinni took the form of the image that forms in the Oasis of the thirstiest soul, lost in the city that never holds, a city of formlessness, a city which rolled, ephermeral as the touch of Gold, as the touch of Lust and Denari as such one could shit on gold; life is more than mystic ore, the sinful trinkets of this war, the danar, the kopex, the dollar and pound, the coefficient of need and factor of doubt; the blemish of shame on the family’s name would exist for a generation if, one were to sell their soul and for hell get all one wants in the World; but this world is brief and Eternity, sheesh, it would take all day to show; so when the smokeless fire rose the would be King was breathless. The Prince froze, but the devil is an icebreaker of great renown, and soon they had a tumbler of the finest date-wine, the finest tablewear, earthen pots cast on a kiln and fired and rough; a city rose out of mirage and took the form as substantive as taxes and death as late-fees and the mess that is promised by the meal and yet we sigh and look at the used plate and think to wash it and think but it’s lake, but the soul is renewable, and each time, you sin you only need to lie and tell that Unebelievable God above that sadist and silent father who bodes ill for his children and must go.
The Devil himself had called on the Lord, to show himself a being of sound mind and planning, in light of a camel that ran so many miles but went no where but back and forth between the canal and the fort, the accounting office in between the breathing delusion and the endless dream;
“Satan, you vex, and torture and yet,
think to put on the Lord to test!
To question a being with two lovely heads!
Who runs and runs but is home all the while!
Who has ran for miles but never moved,
Who is the symbol of balance, and truth;
The camel with two heads is the course,
Put before the faithful who,
Ponder the mysteries of the Room
That awaits us at closing time when the dust piles on
And the bagpipes fade and fade into yawns;
What makes a man or better yet, a woman or indeterminate sex,
Is the degree to which their love results in actions that help the poor and the orphan whose back
Is burdened by the karmic film,
The sticky samsara that restarts the cart and thus the wheel
Of Dharma goes flailing off the hill;
The Dance of Shiva on the Hill
The Dance of Tondala and that eye
That sees the space between you and I
That sees that twins both men and women when they connect recreate themselves in a form they can correct and better, else
They end up scattered with the city and lost in a desert unseen by man, and lost
If atlantis were true and it fell from a height
That was equal to our pride
It needs to have fallen, and it must
Remain a relic, collecting dust;
It would be of no real use to us.
A mirror that says what we all know true;
The window be brief and so is the view
And brief is the counting that we must do
When weighed by the Judge of Life and Death, the angel of Silence the mender of breath; the weaver of faith and a silence so great the deaf can hear it in their sleep.
The footsteps of the formless shepherd, whose sheep
Have praised their own creations, and,
Fallen asleep mid-task;
They thought that if Christ Died for This
We’d value life and fight for it
But if he died for nothing and we’re still waiting now
The plan was a camel that can’t get out;
Running with all its will and might
It stands in place but moves all night; and is in a much different place in the morn, when the roosters blind crow on their horn, shake their fist at the solar storm, and stomp back in to their silent cove,
The antechamber of the womb,
Where the prince who sold his soul
To the devil waits with a kim’bos’ko;
as the Madhi is to come through,
To be reborn what does he do?
But fulfill his debt to Satan due;
to kill the redeemer, and end it there
No second coming, no refunds there;
No conversions in Israel or warfare;
Just the same silence that’s always there,
That always speaks if we listen and deep
Think in ways that break our sleep
And listen to the whispers and contemplate the space between the doorway and the space unseen
Between me and you and the Great Unseen
The Devil is always at your call
Because he’s not so chic at all;
Father has never left, not once,
And we do not find nor discover such
The fire at the crucible,
The force
That brought for the sun and stars and whores and Kings and judges tangerines

sultans Kar’ka karma and lust sin and shame the pains of a slut.
The dirty prince was raised and rushed
To anointed the Time and Place where he was put upon the throne of Beelzebub; “Praise he who allows what is forbidden and now, praise be to he who forged
The ocean out of air and blew into the current and made blue, the endless ocean
The bounteous view
Was made for no one,
And for you
There’s no center of the world
And we’re not there if it was;
But at the center of what we remember is that which hurt and helped
When we needed a boost or a beating
That put us upon the path
That led us to hold with strength and stay
A glass that held and did not break.
A product of the glazier’s waste
On the same pile as the face
That goes on the double-head
Of the camel that can stand
And travel from one place across the land
It is said that if one knows
The truth of where such a camel goes
Will find a path, an obscure road
To sneak into Jinah and enjoy the view
Of a paradise lost renewed
Wouldn’t it be great if what we told
Ourselves at the edge of the unknown
Was true in the least, would we be whole?
Or would the hole be bigger still
And take more than the silence speaker
box to fill and make us full?
Or was there never a hole at all
And the search was long and though
You found the doorway it was
Closed.
Say what you will of the devil,
He’s a cad;
He’s a hustler, a pool-shark a cardsharp and used car salesman without a lot;
Selling the space for the body to rot
To the desperate who have forgot
The devil is greed and, as such,
Can give but what is taken from us
For a soul we might get luck
At the cost of peace, of love
Of her smile, the fragrant ouerve
Of exotic fragrant that endures
When she passes and demures
The oasis takes her shapes and plays
In the artificial shade
Where birds without form take baths and squirm
To pull the garden free of worms.

8

The garden of Eden wasn’t what’s needed
It sounds the dream of a child
Where there
Are but the vines of nature and time is divided by sunrise and sunset and thyme
Crops and solstice and to kneel ‘for the sun
Is to worship the mother
whose credit has gone
To the other hangers-on;
Spirits neutral, spirits wild,
Some that possess some that beguile
Some that enchant and others that dance
In rigadoon beneath a moon as bright as neon underoos
Do not regret what you have left
The sum total of the experience of life
Is a shopping spree without items that we must by
Only to cast aside when out
Of the time and must make our way out.
Go peaceful, quiet, let silence be
The anteroom of the womb for the.

8

Took the throne and gave the key
To the temple to the Priest
Whose speakerbox shook out and shot when words garbled tin like through
Fell in a way that the spell went away and the dust turned to brick and coalesced to stay
The valley of the sons of Love who died in search of the lever of the lurch
To redeem them in the way that frees
Them from the sadist who it please
To create a maze without such clues
Without a purpose without use
And make it so easy to lose.
The deal with the devil fell through in the end
When the funds came up marked un-available and the wish
For the leadership as he risked
His immortal soul for the leadership
Of the Banu Ayyub caliphate
Their kingdom of shifting sand and grace
Where the faithful underwent such trials, as the labors of Job and Iphigenia, each by their beloved set upon the pyre they’re to die upon
But it’s just a test, unless one fails
And in to water goes the child
And arrives in the Fire of Jahannan, sad
He calls out to God in Jinah; the Garden of Honey and of Love;
If thou art just why take me at such an age after I cracked? A year ago I had not sinned; why not take me before I did? You could have pulled me from the fire, had you let me die in time, but instead I will burn and when
the candle dies in the wind
They will tell us in the end
We chose to come and we chose the end
Of a life we could not agree to be a part of save for you;
Had we not been we shant have sinned nor felt the fire thou intend for the sinner who thou make a guarantee when one can die before they see the proof, the sound or image that calls to them in the empty vat where their hole was formed in childhood at and full they sing the psalms and say, God is Good and Job went astray; he had no right to say what he would say;
Justice is the fact that life is given to us at all
We did not pay for the equipment nor tech
To see or eat or love and inspect
That is the gift, that is the speck
Of the silence in the speakerbox
The reuniting of the lost
Would take two twins and undo each
Into the antechamber of the breach
The dim waiting room inside the womb
While the Lord of Lords shakes and rolls
The die that casts your fortune, lo!
Death from an accidental blow,
In his fourth little Leonard would;
And up in Heaven he would speak
With force in his voice to the Fire of Deep
Eternity that burns to bring
The form of galaxies into being
To stand before the creative force that brought us life and ask for more
Is to go in one direction on a camel with two heads;
One must cross the shadow that veers
One into one lane one into tears
one to the garden, one to the fire
The great sadist loves to play with die
It’s the value that sets the rest of the price
That we bargain when we lie
When we steal
And when we try
To deal with a puff of smoke and fire
Who would not help if he wasn’t a lie
The counsil which judged each prince would pick the godly man but the
The butterfly would flap its portentious wings again
A thousand miles away it starts
The ripple that transforms into a storm and covers the eastern seaboard and when the storm receeds we praise and sing the songs for the rain that brought us such pain and praise the God who made it this way.
Handheld sunshine is the gift
The moonshit and the treble clef
The rainbow twisted in on itself
A camel with two heads is life
And it
Has turned against itself and hit
The threshold of futility and that’s it

6
They will join the dodos yet
Who thrived on Maritious once upon a time
Before the disease came with the tribe;
Before the beasts of a different land
Collapsed the pillar and the dome
of each species on its own
And another one bites the dust, the song
We sing must be sang at least ten ways
Every ten minute every single day
There is more empty in the way than
There is anything, I must say
I think I will rest a bit today,
The devil will always be there, and will wait,
But for the Lord one must be on time
Or risk a canceled appointment and such a line
You’ll end up dead before you find
The angel to direct you up ahead
To the garden of the dead
Who bloomed again in the end when they resurrected and their skin
Glowed anew as Prince Adh’u who scorched the land as Genghis Khan,
Wiped out the House of Wisdom and long
Has the age of ignorance stayed on the land
of Glass;
One crack and the shattering line will run
Along a pressured edge and turn
into pieces holding on with inner strength to outer bonds hoping to remain in tact lest they break, and lest they crack,
The glazier was drunk when he cast the sand
And has not updated the design
Since the day of rest expired.

7

Pain is the price we pay for the chance to see the view of the Catalan of the Canyon Grand of Mesas and the Jungles of Tenotchtitlan;
The House of Wisdom might have fallen
in the midst of war;
Yet we have such knowledge that we can choose what we will have
The hole or the silence that fills that gap
Make friends with the space between or ask
The devil to take a check;
But it if should bounce – one strike
You’re out
Cast into fires, never put out.
A futile waste of a spark of the divine
That coalesced in a being sublime
That came for a time and made its mark
Passed through the sunshine and into the dark
To sleep as they slept before their start.
God loves the orphans, and the hard
Working simple beggar’s hand
That works but for his fellow man,
we can but lean on our fellows and see
If we make real the common dream
To have some purpose, whatever we need
To look at the sun and take heed
Of the Master who conjured such warmth, such heat
Or ignore this sadistic bore who toys with the whole of time
And put your faith in your fellows and hate less and there you will find
If you can’t find God you can find love and love is enough to make
The candle re-light and spark in the night
To tame the sun and hold the light.
That we’ll make real the common dream
It’s there – yes there, in those spaces
Those spaces in-between!

— unfinished, 1st draft


To Chart an Endless Sea Coast, for Anais: Improv on consciousness – 26 August 2020

Quote

Written for a talented colleague and friend in the writing community, Anais Chartseacoast

HERE IS A DOOR WITHOUT A KEY THAT OPENS UP BEFORE A SEA
inside the mind, those corridors,
walked by mystics, madmen, raving in iambic pentameter
while our heroes shoot themselves we line up and take it well
Emulate the march into the marsh and hope we escape hell;
We walk into the fire and we worry of the flame,
We burn away our future and we curse the family name;
WE curse the chaos and the cause, the consequence and LAw
enacted by the greatest fucking sadist of them all.
7:38 AM

It might be easy for another man to try and leave
The poetry and consciousness to be studied free
but there’s obsession and possession that do overcome
And some who are possessed do not want to be done.
7:39 AM
There is a devil on both shoulders, and they have conspired
To lead me to the well to cure me of impure desire;
But each devil has a different gaffe, each a riddle of their own,
And each would betray the other for one moment alone,
But if they knew the painful truth, that each is well alone
We are single drops of a rainstorms crop that never blows away
A ring of smoke passed through a door
out the other to dissolve
Whence not knowing wither not going
get nothing and but want all.
7:43 AM
Is it too much to ask, that a life once give at least must last?
What kind of sadist would just make us and push us off the bridge
As we walk along a blade that divides the pure from sin.
And on the other side there is a blindman and a guide
And we must pay the toll
To walk the long walk home is a walk we walk alone
And conscience is the tomb that comes
that is our very own

Improv in the manner of the Rubaiyat, 22 August 2020

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OASIS – first draft, Brandon Nobles

An empty coffee cup has cast
a stagnant halo on the glass
The glass of rum has long been drunk,
the sin of the scholar, sin of the monk,
of trying to look God in the face
to demand
A trial in regards to the design of Man:
That we were made flawed, commanded to be right
Unable to change by plan but gifted with infection
In this light what are we
buta selfish scab collection
For an idiot whose Creation long cast off
His tyranny and lust to be the Boss;
And so threw back another around, let be!
For once empty it remains, empty!

On the other hand the Data duly shows,
There could be no prayer answered or foretold,
For if one choice be made by an all-knowing Mind,
The details are known for once and all of time!
And thus what is to come is a rerun already seen;
In which the timeless creation horribly mocks his seed!
From the Sheik to the Peasant in his Jeep
Which grew from oil spills, green
A hundred years from now who knows,
What camelids will prod and pack that road,
That once Tamur the Lame’s swift horses trode!

Let judgement come and stare it in the face,
Look at the all-judging eye and hold your place!
For the wind that blew us from the other side
Is quick to blow us out the other – and in haste!
But this Oasis standing twixt the two
That bid us passage through the Dew
That we may say that we passed Through!

abdication – improv, 28 july 2020

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& EACH MORNING IS CO-MORBID,
SHEETS ARE SOAKED WITH SWEAT
and wound tight around my waist as though the Jackal headed priest
appeared and wrapped me for forever, yet to come
For some it is a garden where buxomly women attend to each care
For some it’s a Mansion, high as Babel, wrong as can be,
The ziggurats are anthills to Yahoo, the God of Storms,
Or Yahweh who sometimes speaks from
Within a whirling thunderstorm
To scorn the would be judgers who,
Would judge the bailiff, not the fool
Who sinned against the laws of men
The laws of God and was brought in
Read the charge the Herald called,
The dead man entered in the hall.

The ceilings high were white as a lie

as hollow as hello
 as pale as goodbye;
The congregation sat in waiting for the Heretic to make it,
That he might reproach,
The Lord of Hosts, Elohim, the God of the World,
The fire is Free,
The fire that as a finger wrong on the marble he wrote
The mitzvot on;
And it was said if we behaved we’d have our own lot in the shade,
And if it would not come for us, not in this life, surely it must,
Be beyond the threshold of dawn on the other side of silence glittering on


But I doubt beyond the shout that rises fast and faster fades on out;
The gnashing of teeth is saved for the beast,
Not for the agnostic scholar who grinds his teeth,
In speculation if there’s God or Heaven in the Whole of Oz,
And if there isn’t there could be a people just as loving just as free;
The secret is there is no need, no need for the throne of Elohim;
They kept his footstool in Zion, and set the rules they relied on;
And Hilel said hell, I’m write, you’ll see;
The Heavens themselves will agree with me!
And just at the time came undeniable signs,
Of the power of God with Hilell;
And his friends, with a laugh, held to their stomachs and gassed,
Has it not been said that as we grew, we’d take on reason and make do,
With our own dealings without,
The L-rd himself to help us out.
And Surely any God would be,
Happy to have such children as these;
Who’d rather with reason work out the meaning
Than blindly follow the lights
The lights may tantalize and mesmerize but lead one into knee-deep lies;
And the dreams of Jinah are just thieves that steal away the yet warm eve;
Life is what we got and that is more than enough to get on with in fact,
So I think that never was so proud,
The man who reaped his harvest watered by the sweat of his brow;
And never was a son so contented that,
He asked his dad if he could be alone and sat,
To ponder the multiform this-and-that,
The puzzle They put before the rats.

The Ballerina’s Rose – an elegy – Poem

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In loving memory of Garrick Bledsoe and Kayla Stephens, friends for whom this elegy was written.

The Ballerina’s Rose

1

What could have been a happy life,
blinked out in the dark last night.
In doing so it took the sun,
and robbed us of the light.
What is left is a reflection,
Sunlight fractured no direction.
To feel this way, that’s what we do;
To live and to love is to love and to lose.

2

What should have been a normal life,
happy husband, happy wife,
blinked out like a firefly.
Now those toys those kids adored,
will gather dust lost on the floor.
No more of those who were so close,
They’ve left the world, and leaving us,
have turned what we thought bright to dust.

3

What should be yet never is,
is something very serious;
It makes you think would may have been,
what should have been can never be;
It’s all just like the falling dream.
Where we fall from no one knows,
And when we land, we die to go—
To wake and look that we may see
the silent room – Eternity.
Why wrestle when one’s widow walks,
The story’s over, they are gone;
They left this world, but left a girl,
and while we wait alone,
for the never breaking dawn—
Let’s sing the Ballerina Song.

4

The light that so shines twice as bright,
may shine for half as long.
We shouldn’t wait until they’re late,
to put them on a throne.
What have we then? These hymns,
and songs?
Echoes fading long and drawn,
are not the croonings of a bird,
it’s simply what cannot be heard,
except by canyons, by the Earth–
Where we all will be interred.

5

Memories when written down,
Spring to life as magic somehow.
Although that future’s road is closed,
we still know how to see them so
within this pen they live again;
We’re ruled by cause and consequence—
Where are they now?
They’ve closed the lid,
with a rose she’ll never hold.
She died in darkness in the road.
Nor smell the scent,
will we again,
or hear the laughter in the den.
And we the family and friends,
wonder what there could have been.

6

Driving wild, hair in the wind,
Death was waiting round the bend,
not as a villain, but a friend—
The war for them came to an end;
Death is real, and life pretend.
It doesn’t matter how it ends, or ‘if,’-it will;
It’s over now, just stems and sticks,
Driftwood floating twenty-six,
Twenty six, too young to fall—
What have we left, our hymns,
our songs?
We have the Ballerina’s Song,
It is, ‘The Never Breaking Dawn.’

7

To live is but to write your name
in disappearing ink;
To watch it fade like footprints,
on a wave-tormented beach.
A seed we all fall from some tree,
And from us fall the Autumn leaves,
as dandelions in the wind,
we blow them and they scatter, then
they go away somewhere to grow.
How they begin, how they will end—
Appreciate your family, and friends,
you’ll never know when it will end.

1

They say we should not cry, nor mourn,
for those we lost walk with the lord;
We will see them all again,
and we will see them soon.
A band-aid for a gunshot wound,
that never stops, and bleeds,
it bleeds and seeps into our dreams.
And in those dreams we sometimes see,
them smiling by a silent stream.

2

It might sound odd, but this is true,
when you see them in a dream,
they are looking back at you;
They float around inside our heads,
and wake us wailing in our beds.
And while they’re trapped inside our mind,
we make for them a paradise.
Golden spires, velvet streams,
and for them the Siren’s sing.

3

These images, these scenes, our things,
where ghostly walk they through our dreams—
We cry, we pray, what can we do?
Death came for them; it comes for you.
They may be there, and looking down,
Wishing that we would not frown,
life is only what you make it,
and is why it is so sacred;
And if we choose to turn to booze,
we have but memories to lose.

4

They say we should we should not cry, nor mourn,
for loved one’s lost walk with the lord;
Even if that was the truth,
not a belief, something we knew—
We’d still weep, that’s what we do.
And if they’re in a better place,
I’d trade my life and take their place,
To see their family, their children play—
One more day for them to stay
so we can see them laugh and play,
“I love you” uttered as they fade.

5

I see them all in silent rows,
going out where in they go;
We need to stand there and to cry,
one after another, why?
The funeral was held for us,
For us to say goodbye.
What hurts the worst no one cay say,
it leaves you sleepless in the night,
a waking dream becomes your day;
They may be somewhere else, yet lost,
trapped outside of time, a ghost.
For all the ghosts which haunt us most,
are the ghosts we did not know.

6

When the Red Queen dies, the queen she was,
she’s carried through the crowd by love.
And her mother, my dear friend,
inspired me to take this pen,
to never let them be forgotten.
To show some beauty in this life,
in lowercase under a light,
I think I may have been too late,
to say the things I wished to say.
I’ll save them for her, face to face,
If there’s a heaven and I manage,
to find a way to sneak into that place.

7

To live is but to write your name
in disappearing ink,
to watch it fade like footprints,
on a wave-tormented beach.
From the trees we fell as seeds,
rooted rose and sprouted leaves,
to die and scatter with the breeze;
dandelion puffs caught in the wind,
we know where they start,
and where they may begin.
with no idea how they will end.

1

Dying flowers, rhetoric,
that is what the preachers said.
That this will not be the end.
That may be, but look, you see—
They have left us, that’s enough
for anyone to grieve.
Wherever they may really go,
she is leaving us, and so,
that is itself enough to mourn,
as shadows lengthen in the morn,
children of the light forlorn,
turn to the night so that it might,
halt a never breaking dawn.

2

We need to hurt,
we need to cry;
This is how we say goodbye.
All we know is what they took,
the pages from some future book,
of events yet to unfold.
And when she died, I went outside,
And wistful looked at a blank sky.
Now we’re chasing yesterdays;
our photographs become our graves.

3

What have we left to let us know,
they see no blue moon no sun yellow,
we have our anecdotes and jokes,
none of which replace them though.
The crazy angel, free and wild,
the wild angel cannot call,
to a never breaking dawn,
but they can dance by happen chance
In my Ballerina Song.

4

To cope sometimes we’ll have some wine,
to wash away our fears, our tears,
these photographs are ghosts arranged,
after they’ve gone in lacquered frames;
we sometimes talk to them in vain.
Silence the answer is the same—
A picture does not know its name.
As was the sun when she passed on,
time itself must carry on.
It takes the rich, the poor, the weak,
the strong;
We’re not really living,
we’ve been dying all along.
And most of us are doing it wrong.

5

The scenes in dreams of golden rings
all of them lost, no longer seem,
quite bright as they used to be;
That spark inside when it divides,
and disappears—the body dies;
it separates then dissipates,
and rejoins the circling sky
to ever go around us by.
Write a note,
set it on fire;
when it fades it just may find her.

6

No more will I see her there,
by the water, tasseled hair,
no more playing truth or dare.
Spin the bottle, there it is—
My first kiss, we were but kids,
and that I doubt I could forget.
Though sometimes I wish I could,
so I didn’t feel this way.
If I could change it, I’m sure I would,
all day every day.
If I could have one moment delayed,
the future would change in so many ways,
it’s possible she could’ve be saved.

7

A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
dissipates once more to go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see the ballerina pass,
and what a show;
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
she does her number, strikes a pose,
then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the curtain, in her robe,
the dancer does not see the rose.

1

To see such easy comfort cold,
sitting in a pew, we’re told—
Everything will be okay,
don’t worry, doubt, just wish, just pray.
But the one of whom they speak about,
fill empty seats within the house.
That quiet church, that sad music,
it is designed to make you lose it.
A variety of colored flowers,
decoration for a higher power.
The reason for the obsequy,
their reason to be loud,
was not a witness in that crowd.

2

In that quiet church, that silent scene,
I saw faces smiling on a screen.
Her penultimate place to rest, the flowers,
from the family and friends around her.
Then the music came so loud,
startling the yawning crowd.
The sympathy, the empathy,
and chasing you is misery.
The misery will never stop.
It chases you until you drop.

3

This is the dash between the dates,
these are the words and not the dots,
that they chisel into rock;
an angel sleeps just underneath,
With multicolored flowers, bold—
Plucked in bloom, like her, and cold,
and once picked the beauty fades;
The dying decorate the grave.

4

I’m just a poet you may notice,
that these words are just my roses.
Every verse is not a hearse,
I’m not here to make a grave;
it is a bridge, it is a wake;
If you look between the lines,
you may see familiar eyes;
A lost friend smile, a lost friend wave.
When they died I did not cry,
I thought it was a dream, a lie,
For her to die at twenty-six,
and him to die and leave his kid—
We’re ruled by cause and consequence.
The blood, the color, that rose red pose,
around her pooled her dead eyes closed—
The violence comes, the violence goes,
What has a dancer but a rose?

5

Upon that grave, that stain of Cain,
became a promise to fulfill;
that salvation for the thief was real.
So there they lay, for all of time,
no one can take it back, there is no Why;
That’s just a philosophical alibi,
that we use to justify—
Why nature’s cruel, why life is wild;
Why gift us life if we must die?
But it was true, and it was so:
There’s nothing that can change the past,
no–not even hope;
That’s why Pandora’s box was closed.
For the ghost that haunts us most,
is a ghost we did not know.

6

Life isn’t fair, nor should we dare,
assume some outside purpose there;
to comfort people with their fear—
There’s no edifice to settle this,
it’s all just cause and consequence.
That doesn’t mean it has no reason,
When we can’t come to terms, we burn,
but when we burn is when we learn.
Some are so bright that like stars,
as we see them burning from afar—
For even if it’s dead, and dust,
it shines in heaven high above.
Because of the speed of light,
all those stars that seem so bright,
may long ago have dimmed and died,
washed away with the time, the tide.
And out it goes into the night,
to leave us waiting and forsaken,
by a dawn that’s never breaking.

7

A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
dissipates once more to go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see the ballerina pass,
and what a show;
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
she does her number, strikes a pose,
then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the curtain, in her robe,
the dancer cannot see the rose.

1

Destiny weaves spider-webs;
the waters comes, the waters ebb.
I guess it’s nature, so they say.
They measure time, and measure days;
Morning coming, Autumn eve,
I will recreate the scene:
Two young adults, if more, not much,
where lost in that moment such
that it repeated many times;
For when our life, it flashes by,
you return to the moment when you died,
so when you die you may, you might,
get caught in a cycle reliving your life.

2

This is how we see the morning,
how we see the sky,
Another day, the new sun rise,
and hear the mockingbirds go by.
When the unseen sunrise comes,
the people stand in silence, dumb;
And listen to that silent drum,
the one we’re always marching to.
We all take different roads,
to the same place in the end–
forever reliving our visions again.

3

It will repeat, we’ll go to see,
our sleepless loved ones quiet at peace;
Destiny weaves spider-webs,
people cross and intersect;
this is the way that we connect.
All the choices in our lives,
to alleys lone and those alive,
to alleys where the good guys die.
We choose those streets,
we talk and meet;
a brick wall where it all leads.
“No Escape,” is what it reads.

4

To see a girl her life unfurled,
chasing fireflies at night
we ran around with such delight.
She was a dreamer, now a dream,
I came unraveled at the seams;
each patch of quilt only she filled,
cared for me when I was ill,
And thereby, being curred,
to see we live this way – absurd,
forever falling like a bird,
into an invisible world.
To stop, to move, the choice is cruel,
for time will play us for a fool.
For those who went for her, to weep
saw her there at peace, so sweet.
Her cheeks not dim,
her hair well kempt;
And in her hands that dying rose,
we leave it there and therefore buy,
our friend’s bus-pass to paradise.

5

To live is but to write your name
in disappearing ink,
to see it fade like footprints
on a wave-tormented beach.
A seed, we all fell from a tree,
that’s why we have that falling dream;
We’re falling all day, all our life,
And when we hit the ground, Goodbye
As we grow we too have leaves,
which fall to be caught in a breeze—
A dandelion, uncertain wind.
Cup what you have dear in your hands,
For when spring dies they’re gone again.

6

It’s never over and when we’re older,
we’ll hold those pictures of them closer.
And in that moment realize,
long as we love they’re still alive,
not in a grave, that silent place,
in our minds the child still plays,
on trampolines and roller skates
Points in time they intertwine,
they intersect and when we find,
a child who lived and died so wild,
has found their way to Miracle Mile.

7

A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
to dissipate to once more go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see it pass, and what a show—
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
She does her number, strikes a pose,
Then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the curtain, in her robe,
the ballerina never gets to hold her rose.

1

To be this sad proves only that,
in the end sleep we as kings;
We have the same things in our room,
reserved for all of us – the tomb.
There is no way to just move on,
when a piece of us has been torn off.
So notice those who live alone,
for all who’ve gone, who must then move,
down into that silent room.

2

I cannot raise them from the grave,
But I’ll preserve them on the page.
And while I think, she’s on the lawn,
her hair brown and braided long,
smiling as she plays, a song—
She hides behind the lines and smiles,
Think with her voice and pass it on,
let it echo till it falls.
The body shed, they’re on their own,
their faces on this page have shown—
That we chase yesterday, we long,
to try to see what can’t be shown,
just close your eyes and there, they’re home;
The body shed, they get to go,
to merge with clouds which hover low,
into the sky to fall as snow:
And at the winter’s ending blow,
out of our owns having had to hold,
a China doll does not get old.
The person who you love is gone,
but we must hold this vigil long.

3

We whisper to the dark, the night,
just in case some spirit might
in that silence hear our plea,
and wait for us to fall asleep
crawl into our ears, our dreams—
Only to leave when morning comes
they disappear and we go numb.
What we expect, the light, bird song—
Is in the never breaking dawn.

4

To see them so alive in dreams,
makes it hard for us to bring
ourselves to get up, out of bed,
to walk around the house half-dead.
We wish to live that sleeping lie,
to whom we give these blessings to,
it never seems enough to do.
“I’m sorry,” or, “I’m here for you,”
are band-aids made for gunshot wounds;
This is the cure, this is the truth;
at first it burns but then it soothes.
To bring them comfort, give them calm,
show the blind the rising sun.

5

Those faces past don’t seem to last,
although we hold on fade they fast—
Until we get to see, alas,
that life is more than just a dash,
between two dates under the rain.
No need to call out to the deaf,
or interrupt that sleep of death,
where neatly dressed they peaceful rest.
Always scared and ill-prepared,
we’ll meet them at the cross-roads there;
And in the self-same way,
for disconnected moments often,
intersect like fate.

6

Life is not the words, nor dash;
Life is different, life is mad.
When intersecting lines are crossed,
names can be stricken out, and loss
cripples both the weak, the strong.
You can’t go back,
you can’t move on.
You wait for dawn—which never breaks.
For those who sleep so sweet a sleep,
have never yet been known to wake.

7

A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
to dissipate to once more go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see it pass, and what a show—
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
She does her number, strikes a pose,
Then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the curtain, in her robe,
the ballerina was the rose.

1

To scream at one who hears you not,
who long ago this woe forgot—
For innocence is what has died,
the child in us, the Lord of Lies,
tells us all will be alright;
we all return to Earth, interred.
To be fossilized, conserved;
We cannot walk between these worlds,
is it okay for me to say
that I intend to haunt this page?
It might not serve to help you by,
but if you look close,
between the lines,
You just may see a pair of eyes,
familiar—watching as you cry.
And if these mazes endure ages,
they’ll live forever in these pages.

2

I say these things that haunt our dreams,
so we may make new memories.
Memories to help us sleep,
to keep us from choking when we scream.
That I might become a guide,
to help you guide a wounded mind,
where they’re alive outside of time,
where she smiles, and, still alive,
though to our mortal grief not bound—
Untouched by the accident,
resurrected, heaven-sent.
There is no place where she could go,
that could lessen sorrow, so,
Unless it was to come back home,
not to lay beneath the stone,
so cold, so long, forever, alone;
for they will never see the dawn.

3

That stone we fear that year by year
Draws ever near and in our fear
we see it clear;
we try to run, and blindly, dumb,
stumble through life, drunken bums.
Lost in a daze for on that day,
I had nothing left to say—
To decorate a grave this way,
that beauty may somehow assuage,
so learning of it in the night,
I found my pen, turned out the light,
There I lay, I closed my eyes,
and saw her waving to me, Bye.
Then I saw her going by,
in a car into the night,
and night is all she may see now;
we cannot speak; we don’t know how,
to see the dew glow on the lawn,
of the never breaking dawn.
Such few years between them both,
and as such were not enough;
Somehow that sweet girl might have found,
someone to turn her life around.
Someone to be kind, and be nice,
to smile and talk with her at night;
And now they’re gone, and we all know
such sorrow when we see them go.

4

One moment there, one blink, they’re gone,
we’re on that very path alone;
marching to the banging of a madman
on a drum;
Time calls us weary wand’rers home.
The next dawn died when that moon rise
unseen by two pairs of eyes,
their essence having faded to the background of the sky,
to forever go around us by.
Out of this there is no sense,
to take the young, the innocent;
Through all of this, this I have learned;
get too close and you will burn.
But that scar is not a mark
I’d have the heart to pick apart,
I’d wear it just to keep the pain,
for losing it would be a shame.
The sun suspended in the sky,
presses the night against our eyes.
It is when you can’t move on,
that you understand a never breaking dawn.

5

Life is too short and we all know it,
we cannot keep alive one moment,
in a glass that it may last,
a present always, never past:
Think of her face, think of his laugh:
And they may appear,
look harder and the faces clear.
Sitting on a couch she was,
beside a light where motes of dust,
ricocheted away in chaos just as us all day,
No one knows what could have been,
we know what cannot be.
In this case,
today they may
be safe–alive–inside page,
Tomorrow is not guaranteed;
anything that may have happened,
was killed by that action, fractured—
And for this there is no answer,
Life is painful, life is rare,
to think about her lying there,
pulls my heart into my throat.
I lose my mind, I lose my hope,
We look for comfort and for peace,
but no belief can stomp out grief.
This band-aid on that gunshot wound,
will always sting, they always do,
it’s hard to breathe, and still we bleed;
maybe this is what we need.

6

Nothing would be better
if our friends could live forever.
To never age or fade away;
all the graves could be replaced,
and turned into a happy place,
garden groves, where children play—
Where someone may just wish to stay.
We’ve seen it coming all along;
Death comes too soon, and stays too long,
and when he comes he takes it all;
But I’ve been wrong, and all along,
they’re living here inside the song.
To lead us to the golden dawn,
where days unending never fall;
It won’t go down,
there are no clouds;
the light has struck the surface now.
The nighttime came and now it’s gone,
the sun comes up and breaks the dawn.

7

A ring of smoke through one gate blown,
to dissipate to once more go—
Life is a scene between these rings,
from one to another
like a porcelain figurine.
We see it pass, and what a show—
The curtains ruffled, lights aglow;
She does her number, strikes a pose,
Then bows as the curtains close.
Behind the writer and the prose,
this is the Ballerina’s Rose.

Revolving Window, 1st draft – poem – 14 March 2020

Regret is how a man
can drown
without getting wet,
Fear is the lie,
that we’ll survive,
If we just do our best;
Hope is the bet,
we make that yet,
we’ll glimpse the other side.
A summer breeze,
that stirs the leaves,
In a tempest as it climbs.

Into the waste of empty space,
beneath a star-strewn sky
In our distress we seek redress,
Silence gives no reply;
So in our longing for belonging,
We take this as a sign;
For if we heard,
these whispered words
we’d hear time ticking by.

We forget that never yet
has one returned from there –
the revolving doorway,
empty stairs –
the garden tended is not there;
What lies behind that curtain fine
we can never be quite certain;
Take it all in stride and hide,
until the hour falls.
Until you pass the revolving door
and hear the silence call.

The Siren’s song was far too long,
we never heard it all
We washed ashore as we were born
And wandered through the hall
Looking this way, to and fro,
whence we came, nor where we go,
were we supposed to glimpse, to know?
And such regret may help us yet,
if we can rise, as do
The leaves that lift upon the breeze
and settle with such quiet ease.

Digging up the Bones of God: the Flat Earth Movement – 13 March 2020

Quote

Digging up the Bones of God
On the Flat Earth Movement and its Antecedents

First of all, this will not be any attempt to discredit nor slander anyone who holds the beliefs discussed herein. Rather, I will try to ascertain the motivation, the thinking, and the impetus behind the growth of such movements in recent years. Secondly, we must keep in mind that we are dealing with people who, for the most part, are engaged in a type of science; in the case of the flat Earth movement, people are actively seeking knowledge, though it runs contrary to physics, our cosmological model as understood by modern science and observation. Today I wanted to say my piece about the flat Earth movement, and in a follow up discuss the anti-vaccination phenomena.

What we have are a group of people that are making a number of assertions, which, when added up, seem to show them that the Earth is flat and, moreover, they have been lied to by government agencies and the scientific community. I believe this base impulse drives these communities, the flat Earth movement and the anti-vaccination movement. When we look at it from this perspective, it is not hard to empathize with this sentiment; the last fifty years have given us ample evidence which demonstrates the extent to which our elected officials and institutions are willing to bend the truth in order to further their own agendas. These impulses are natural, and rather than resulting in a healthy skepticism, lead them to embrace notions outside of the norm. Furthermore, though it may be easy to simply dismiss the earnest, truth seeking people among these groups, it is unproductive and ultimately accomplishes very little. When attempting to explain why someone may be wrong, it is important to realize that we have to meet someone where they are and not attempt to talk down to them.

A quote from one of the leading figures in the flat Earth movement, “…In fact, it’s just silly when you think about it. Astronomy and astrophysics and all of that, they aren’t even real sciences. You, obviously, are going to claim that they are. But you can only observe. You can’t make hypothesis, or make predictions, all you can do is observe…” Later, he adds, “Do you just believe everything the government tells you, that they are right about everything?” And freemasonry is brought into the discussion, for some reason, which is an attempt to show the physical structure of the planet we live on. If the argument were strong enough, these comments would be wholly unnecessary, but from the perspective of someone who believes in the flat Earth model, this is not irrelevant at all. Far from it, actually, it is the linchpin around which everything else revolves. First they must prove that ‘they’ are lying, and somewhere at the end of that road is a flat Earth, Freemason plots, and a society of elites who control the world, sometimes Jewish, sometimes gentile, but always invisible and impossibly competent, powerful and all-knowing. Godlike, you could say.

That the flat Earth movement has yet to create a model that can be tested and observably make predictions does not seem to be a problem for this man, though he asserts these claims with all the confidence of a Nobel laureate. What we have here is a group of people who have been left behind, left out of the mainstream scientific discourse, and have a deep-seated feeling that they have been lied to for their entire lives. Many of us have now seen the now infamous Netflix documentary. During its runtime, a prediction is made that, everyone present claims will behave in one way if the earth were a sphere. Yet, when the results come in and it does just that, no one is willing to meet this head on. It is practically ignored. What is it that we have here? Is it a case of confirmation bias?

Perhaps this is more of a case where we have a group of people who have found a community where they have found acceptance, a sense of belonging, in which the work they are doing is attempting to rewrite the book on some of the most fundamental and perplexing questions to ever trouble the minds of human beings. Rather than the Earth being a single speck amid untold billions, instead we have a special garden, lovingly crafted and distinct amid the celestial bodies and part of a unique, special creation unique in the entirety of the universe. This realization may give one pause in attempting to debunk such theories; scientists and those conversant in physics and mathematics can, to their heart’s content, give example after example. But as long as those examples come from an establishment they have roundly rejected they will be roundly rejected, as the science is not being rejected as much as it is the establishment it represents. As long as that establishment has been linked to institutions which have, in their minds, deluded and misinformed the public for so long, attempting to refute these ideas by relying on information gathered from these same institutions will be met with hostility, rejection and mockery, and are likely to never convince.

It is also important to recognize the role of conspiracy in modern culture. It plays a role once played by religion. Instead of all powerful Gods who control the forces of nature, like Zeus and his thunderbolt and Poseidon’s mighty waves, there are shadowy, all powerful groups whose footfalls shake the Earth and only they, those in the know, privy to the secrets like the initiates of the ancient mystery cults of Athens, can feel their tremors and recognize their true origins. As we see again and again, if someone believes that the Earth is flat, it is also likely they believe in other conspiracy theories. Browsing the Flat Earth and Globe Discussion Facebook page, home to 125,000 members, one is likely to come across other, often unrelated conspiracy claims. Is it a coincidence, that in finding the truth about the globe, they also decided that every other conspiracy was also strong enough to persuade them? Or is it more likely that, once you roundly dismiss the world and its history because of the sources from which that information is derived, the only way to rebuild the world is in a way that maintains the Gods, albeit in different forms, and to reclaim the dignity and uniqueness of humanity? Claims are not supported, rather they are repeated; what has no place in a normal scientific discussion, like the trustworthiness of the government, is irrevocably linked to these movements because they have no trust in these establishments, nor the institutions from which our counter-arguments derive.

I would argue that this is what is going on, and that it is not about what proofs they may present; for each argument to be presented can be easily rebuffed. The gradual set of the sun, for example, the day and night cycle in which half of the world experiences darkness while the other daylight, while each becomes less dark and more bright by gradient, is enough to disprove by observation the notion of a low-orbit sun, we are trying to convince people that what is, essentially, a new religious community that we have dug up the bones of their God and measured them, classified them and put them into a category, as a butterfly specimen is pinned to a display case by a needle. Some may be acting in bad faith, and others may just be curious, but for the majority of the community, working with contradictory models and acting on faith, it is more accurate to look at this for what it is: the attempt to reclaim the uniqueness of humanity, the Earth, and their dignity in the face of what they feel to be a world full of lies, deceit and misinformation. They are not scientists, they are theologians. And we all know it is so much easier to preach to a choir.

Furthermore, you will often hear references to the Bible, the energy of the Heavens, selective quotations and claims from pre-modern scientists. The flat Earth movement may not be exclusively religious, nor all its members inclined towards religiosity, but the impulse that once drove us to religion is one and the same that drives those who now seek to remake the world among themselves, among people whose faces they can see, whose problems they understand and whose eyes they can look into without flinching – ‘real people’ – not representatives of institutions that have lost their credibility. Only a flight into space has a chance of putting this to rest, but I guarantee you if some eccentric billionaire was to pay to take the leaders of the flat Earth movement into space, far enough up to see the curve receding in the distant and giving way to the shapes of our beautiful planet, they would find a way to dismiss their eyes before giving up their God.

The Sacrifice, 1st draft [new poem]

Quote

The Sacrifice

Draft 1, Brandon Nobles, 15 February 2020

Lindow Moss was a close community,
built atop a rubbish heap, a dour bog,
Somewhere between near and far.
A miasma to the north, just past the bank,
through virgin forests, the kind that ring,
With bird-song in the bloom of Spring
The equinox sun shines down on the drus
that the shaman strikes with passion and hums;
Praise God!
God be praised!
Said the priest atop his Dais;
Beside the pyre with a torch, he gave it to the heap;
As the rains give seeds the Mother needs,
the millet and the rye.
Meanwhile the chosen sacrifice,
bound and gagged cried for his life.
Cheers and shouts cut through the air
The sacrifice had been prepared.

The flames spurred the winds to action, when,
The demons, they kept peeking in;
And God hath risen from the Moss,
above the priests, above the heap,
Above the ground which God bequeathed.
The people of Lindale turned to the priest,
The shaman chief,
who chanted deep inside his throat,
a sacred rhythm no one knew.
The ground shook loose its crown of dew,
the glittering rainfall
God is great!
The Sacrifice was brought in bound,
wreathed bout his brow with a laurel crown.

Give us Grace dear Lord of Rains
Lord, virile and fertile!
Give us millet, honey-suckle!
Give your seed to Mot!
That the womb of the Earth gives birth to the crop
That we sing these songs for our Great God, Mot!
Give us the children, give us the crop!
Give your Great Seed to the Goddess mot!
They took the scapegoat, crowned and bound,
Atop an ever-burning mound
Beneath a mound of peat built high
Beneath a circle of rose-red burning concrete
arranged beneath the Goddess’ Wreath
as worn by the offering that is Given;
The sacrifice was twenty-five and groomed, well-cut
All his life;
Raised for the People, for the sacrifice.

Repaying a life for life.
They did not know his name, but sang,
Feasted his good health in the afterlife.
They’ll sing of him for centuries;
The way he burned for the Gods in peace.
They sing of him when they knead their dough;
The virgins long for the Lindale crow.

At Lindale Moss in the countryside,
Each solstice the village builds a pyre.
And gives to the flames the royal heir,
Each summer the Shaman chief would take
A walk through the woods and sit by the lake
And go into visions, to the spirit world
To commune with the ancestors, hear their words
the world is alive and it sings such lies
filling him as smoke through a blown-glass
Contorting and forming to the touch of fire
Across his nerves, fingers on nylon strings
Played by a ghost in his waking dreams
The mirage conveyed that he wished for Slaves,
And indicated the time was at hand.
Beckoning the old man into a trace.

Back at the camp the logs were stacked,
The Heir to the Fire was drugged and wrapped
The priestesses in virgin dresses
Rolled him up the hill;
From behind a shrine on gaudy pines
Followed them up a slight incline
Surrounding men and women cheered
As the sunlight struck the cement grill;
The sacrifice was stricken twice
Senseless, the poor boy fell;
Twenty-three and bread to bleed
He lived a short life, the sacred creed
Gave them rainfall, gave them seed;
And returning him to the womb of the Earth,
To the Lindale Crows this assured Rebirth
In an air-conditioned Spring like Eden
Milk and honey rolling greenlands.
It was a tough life, but oh well,
to prep for paradise is hell.

 

the glass long in breaking

Quote

The Teacher said,
“Consider, children –
that noble art, the fine tradition,
of mending what is broken and not blurring out
or censoring a living thing to hide the shame of mending
Something broken does not need
to be hidden but seen
the art is in its breaking,
The human touch is that tape
propping up a botched Eden with elbow grease
“So, children, art has the type of scars,
left by the long breaking jar;
which must strive to hold itself,
the moment it is dropped.
The lines appear the time is here
the space between each shard disappears
the drinking vessel by association with us,
The Shame!
The children of Adam gave sin to the Saint!
Children, look upon the glass, the rag
The duct-tape holding shivering glass –
But I tell you, it is the human touch
To feel such empathy for a cup!

The student said,
And think, Master, then of the cup;
Are we not cared for by our Lord?
And the master smiled and nodded.
“But why his silence, Father?
No succor for the fragile,
nor heed for the hopper.
No weed for the daytripper smack for the Bopper –
Where was God when they cried out then,
Not the glass, but God’s own men?
He is a sadist, this mad potter that –
Casts with lots such things as that!

The teacher eyed the boy, a smile,
How curious thought the old man, while,
The others in the room had taken sides;
“And what is the greatest gift we could have of God?”
The master asked and waited, calm.
Shouts of “Faith!” and “Peace for all!”
Shouts of Messiah and the Fall;
“Children, please, you must believe.
The truth, how sad, but none the less correct for that,
God’s greatest gift is his absence, for glass,
may shatter beneath the most loving of Hands;
the hands that held the hells below and lifted mountains
through the snow,
would wrap around each one of us,

And in that cocoon – as safe as the womb,
as warm as a summer evening,
Our Lord brings sand and casts in hand
The long in breaking Glass;
Oh, sweet children ye are such,
A cup, nay a fount,
That yearns to be full to keep God out;
The jungle we have is not to be wrapped
In silk and kept in a case in the back
The glass is Atlas and he cracks,
But long in breaking he keeps track.
If Atlas were felled in the embrace of El
Is broken by the love that held the reserve,
the glass that’s long in breaking is the glass
that long endures.
wrapped in silk, even silk will press,
and in that cocoon as warm as the womb,
pressed sweetly and kept safe from the world,
Is broken by the love that held the reserve.
The glass is Atlas when he staggers and trips
and sad for sure but we break just as pure
the glass long in breaking endures.

The student asked, why then,
Not making the succor more milk than cement?
Is the balance of Rent in this Universe
so great that we must trudge through this desert first
Talk less of Atlas that beggar, Alas!
And more of why we must be as glass,
If we were made from sand to be loved,
Then sure,
The children can endure their maker, no?

of a glass Atlas and he staggers

And splintering like porcelains things
They burst into ash into smithereens
But the glass long in breaking
Cracks beneath embrace,
of God and ever slightly breaks
hairline fractures spread in shouts of crooked violence
The love of God is instruction through silence.

To survive it we must be the same glass that
long in breaking keeps holding that –
The space between the shards of glass
that Atlas left when he staggered left
and caught on the floor of the Universe,
To hit rock bottom beneath the Earth,
To hit such a bottom, God damn it hurts.

That’s the final break, when the space between the pieces is no longer close enough
to be held together by the attraction of the pressure which did bring
The glass from sand through magic and chant into the glass that lasts;
The glass long in breaking is not ours, after all
We must not keep our glass, sweet children,
lest we be,
fused into glass at the moment of transmutation
When in the hands of God the sand as wind trod up like a Saraband
And in that force was turned to Glass,
To break and break long but to last.

by God but slowly starts to break

Born into splinters a fissure’s spool
Sends fracture lines throughout the glass
And – image it, you fall, and land
Above a cliff, caught by a pane
of glass that breaks the moment you land.

The glass long in breaking having survived the hand of God
has dignity as one might have a scar;
And paralyzed we empathize with the Mantis who ever righteous
Bows in submission with arthritis –

Early improv, 9 october 2019

Quote

Come, take the Cash, May my Credit Spike and Void
The bank, the bars, the Hapless Worker Who
Pushes buggies sweating as they Do,
In Sierra Leonne whose heaves and groans
Offer quite a rich delight, for that special someone
That special night.

Oh silence, judge us not!
Forgive,
The beast that had to kkill to Live!
Pardon, my Lord;
The thief who stowed away and Crossed
The Shimmering Curtain – ah, a scent of moss!
Is it not for him whose thorny crown,
Who paid the loan the forgotten Earthling, he
East of Eden kicking leaves;
Cursing the Wind, Cursing his God,
Be Fruitful, bring in the wine!
We’ll toast to the Justice of Job an’
In thyme, may we make just,
Those in the pitch black shadow that
is cast, Time has a shadow,
This Rust,
Is the future’s whisper through its mirror
That it has its eye on us.

A time will come when the sun will freeze
And dawn will hang suspended, trembling
An autumn leaf caught in a breeze
Lifted by a breathe, Breathe, now,
Sing! For the silent Lord!
For the Two-Faced God who Butched Job,
And Satan who was patient,
And did not raise his sword;
Shame on thee, oh Mighty Lord;
How you rebuke the many, the few!
Because they did what you knew they’d do!
How can a God lament what it is
To be accused of a Fall
Diagnosed with Sin
Condemned to burn for something He earned,
Maybe him, but not us;
The straggler in the room, in lust;
The gambler whose eyes red and shot
Rolled on Jesus and his Lot
He raked in empty armfulls, Ah!

Mercy, merci beau coup,
Ha’el shli loh baha’nim
Red rouge vahtza-hov
Prekaynizye shel Sherchezade!
Tell me a Tale, lift from the Well,
A glance of the Cleansing Ale!
Who confounds the Weavers and the Webs,
Looses the strings round flies, when trapped,
But the poor spider she sits beside her,
And looks up, Mas shim’kha?
I’m a spider darling, no parlez vous Akvish
Capisce?
You cannot hang a painting with Peace,
No glass hammer can hold
The weight of the Gallery and the Gold
Between the canvas, and There, our Lord!
Peaks through the space between
the cecar cabinets and beams,
Sending coded letters through
The spinning silk of a spider,
Hypnotized,
Eik ahah’va, nahon, my home is far,
Lilah, oh tov Lilah come and be,
Sweet as lemonade on the beach.

Sing as do the cockatoos,
Croak as the rooster greetong anew
Dawn, the cosmic cue
Curtains up, Mah yuh’sah now?
We’ll all die never knowing how.
Never knowing why, that’s it,
Don’t fret, don’t weep, it’s within reach
The air we breathe is air we keep.
When you fall just reach, and there,
Where fingertips grasp at the air
The silence catches and reflects
The empty space – it reaches back

And lifts into a jeweled burst
The sense of hearing – it goes first.
I was afraid of silence as a child,
I was, and thought – with dread;
How terrible it’d be
Without Heaven;
Or in Hell,
But in the end I could take,
The condemnation in the lake,
But not the silence without end,
Suspended in between the rain,
Between what was and deja vu;
And it hits me as a Seraiph’s kiss,
We have nothing to fear;
Without ears there’s little to hear.
Embrace it sweet child,
My sweet dear.
Count memories, not years, not time
Where we came from, through the ring,
Through the outdoor through the Spring,
Pray that Eden was a dream.