Sample stanzas from Part One: Prehistory


From sea to land to tree we've made our way,
Bright gentle ape, great graceful swinging ape,
Now comes our day. Safe, free in tree-tops, sway
While predators crawl low. Past fear, escape;
Race with a rising sun above the earth
Untilled. Sing at our feast of nuts and fruit.
Attaining new perspectives, sing! Well worth
A climb are highest limbs, the tender shoot,
Our chance to ride this crest of Time's vast wave
In strength and courage, past all need to kill;
One family in overcoming. Rave,
Most jealous Chaos. Bend to this new will.
      Remembrance mixed with power to forget;
      A dawn of peace, our primal scene is set.


But then somehow the wave came bursting down.
I waken, wondering, on strange damp ground,
Awake from sea-dreams, dreams that I might drown
Before Prometheus rebels, unbound.
Did changing weather wilt our leaves, our fruit?
Did sly new killers creep into our trees?
Or were we mesmerized into pursuit
Of distant tones? Our mind past reason sees.
Alert, we move across beaches, woods, and plains,
But claws, sharp claws and fangs! We’re chased without cease
And struggle to transcend our hunger pains
And wonder: Was it real, remembered peace?
      We scavenge, run, hot blood on trembling hands;
      No mother soothes, no father understands.


Reflecting Fire from caves, our eyes ablaze
(Praise brave Prometheus!), Fire trapped and held,
We hold to warmth, to light, but still a maze
Of need we see, persistent need to weld
Survival in a world that doesn’t care.
Help – Darkest night – Help me – Not spoken yet.
Fire’s gifts bring hope, and yet . . . Where are we? Where?
Fierce predators still howl. Hold moon. Don't set!
From death, from dreamed of and remembered doom,
Will we be saved? Ah, yes! Life-bearing Sun
Comes pushing – Ah – out from its grave, our gloom,
To rise, to plot once more the race we'll run.
      Auummmm. Blazing Sunlight . . . dread night's weight gives way.
      Auummmm. Blazing Sunbright . . . guide our trip today.


Moving, always moving, desperate, homeless,
Lost ones – Me – hunger foremost – Food – small one
Hanging helpless, dead . . . dead! Mate! Where’s closeness?
Help! – Our group must hunt or die now. Run. Run!
Blood-lust hunt to kill, to live. Compulsive hunt
And run and kill with, cross a valley,
New words – Look! – screamed over – Kill! – reluctant,
Urgent cry to run and kill though weary,
Sick, that others’ pain is turned to quivering meat,
The price of life for us. Yes! Please! Save me!
Starvation foiled, surviving children eat,
So sleep, dear Troubled Love. See what I see:
      Swing high – Come safe day – ripe fruit hanging there
      Again – Dream swirl – and flowers in your hair.


Entranced, one moment, by the face, my face
(Yet yours) aglimmer in a pond of ice,
An image, clear dimensions fit to trace
Our journey. Birth's bright morn to death's night splice!
Transparent, candid ice . . . turn . . . Crash! The gift
Of rare serenity is split, thick ice
Now torn by lightning, image torn and rift.
I’m set adrift . . . such cowardly retreats entice!
But Neurod shrieks, "He speaks! God speaks!” and they,
Panicked, listen gladly, watching madly,
Dumb with fear, our people dropping, stay,
Then broken, pray – “Please!” – following sadly.
      Wait. What is there in the ice and thunder?
      Neurod leads while, stunned, I stare and wonder.


Death flows from birth, that stream from which we draw
Our being, draw all change; we end, begin . . .
And yet we’re desolate. The frozen jaw,
Dark somber eyes, and Neurod trembles, thin,
Sick, pale, and thinks, “Remove this cold from me!”
Then “Hmmm,” he plots, “when I keep secrets, weaklings keep
Me warm if they believe that I can see
Those things to which they’re blind. I will look deep
Into their fear for ‘Truths’ they feel they need . . .
There is a pattern we must follow. Hear!
All who refuse bring us destruction. Heed!
Repeat past ways; from God's path do not veer.”

      Past simplified and dire events foretold;
      A python's grip, religious farce takes hold.


High bounding doe, astounding sleek-black doe,
In trailing you we find a mountain pass.
How is it, refugees in trust, we know
Where we will go? I've dreamed this swaying grass,
These flower fields, these trees of fruit and bees
Through which fresh water turns. Fade, dreams of storm!
How is it, shining doe? Intricacies
Unfathomable converge and take form;
With hope and joy, we look down on lush lands
Unknown, yet have I not been here before?
Here we may stop. Come, friends, let’s join hands
For healing, gathering; resist Fear's roar.
      Discovery sparks a vow, our deepest will:
      We'll find our way back past the hunt and kill.

This oscillation between courage and fear
will continue throughout history.

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