Sample stanzas from Part Two:
Early “Civilizations"


Once hunger pain . . .  How is it that I lie
Quite calmly on the sea today?  Once cold;
Alone and cold . . .  Today warm salt spray, fly!
I am these sails and sailors dark.  Behold!
Drop anchor in a cove of Crete.  Groves laid
With care and garden terraces slope near,
Anoint with perfumes our return, and shade
Safe-nursing mothers, breasts bared without fear,
For mother-warmth, life-bearing passions flow
To flute and harp, milk flowing; small hands play
Across the pulsing flesh that babies know
Is theirs, soft heirs of seaweed and of clay.
    Wood from our land creaks, blending ship to dock.
    Our swaying walk the dark-eyed children mock.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Journeying on through Egypt and Mesopotamia,
we find times of creativity

inspired by the mythic characters, Bahdawils
(an ever-inspiring shamanic woman)

and Hurabo (a revolutionary stalwart defender of freedom),
both of whom will live throughout Fire,

but these positive, hopeful moments are ever-challengD
by Neurodic impulses:


No birds accompany this mournful song
Of spring.  Red buds and violet, green leaves
On blue sky, unifying blue . . .  What wrong
Has quelled the birds?  Our apprehension weaves,
Alert (Come quick, Hurabo!), grieves and sighs
(Come, Bahdawils!), spring's promised growth destroyed
As we approach a place, a time, that dries
The wells of our enthusiasm.  Void,
This bleakest and most sterile void, will shroud
The procreative season.  We are drawn
And chilled upstream by shrieks, a crowd,
Doomed prey of Neurod’s pain, our bleakest dawn.
    Prepare, Hurabo, for another sight
    Of blood and might; prepare for Neurod's rite.


The living circle sways around a girl
And boy.  From drums and reeds: discordant waves.
The young girl dances, doubt mixed with her whirl,
Fast, faster, frenzied crowd, while Neurod raves
Above them, shrill, above the curling girl
And circling boy who joins her, joining fear,
Their brief, pained, forced embrace, then caught, crowd swirl,
Crowd shout and rush and crush of stones . . .  “Forbear!”
No chance; the sacrifice is swift, complete.
“This!  Only this brings children," Neurod cries.
"Our crops, our herds will grow now; we will eat.
Weed out the doubters, their agnostic lies!"
    At dusk the burial mound stands alone
    Till . . . now they’ve come: two prostrate mothers moan.


Still, bards preserve old images that traced
A once so potent, distant rumbling,
Time, the shifting land 'gainst which life braced;
Warring planets, stand-still sun, a crumbling
Of creation, Neurod's empire not exempt.
Never again forget: Uncertainty
Is King.  Eternally our bed’s unkempt.
Our bards and artists tell of you and me;
Of epic woes, endurance, and travail;
Of deep collective memories that hurl
Us past the conscious sphere.  We glide and sail
In dreams as our instinctive acts unfurl.
    Yes, Homers sing.  And we find strength in this:
    Our infants recreate our tenderness.

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