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Thursday, 7 February 2013

Canto II

Canto II
Rome had not fallen. She was pushed, bruised and battered from the inside, her precious substance trailing to Byzantium like the dying pig dealt the dirty slit in that final run to lose her insides. Just to save a little work for teaming slaughter.
 Giving those flying the Red Cross something to sack to save the same effort and avoid the Saracen, some nine hinging centuries later. *Give or take a century or two.
Malthus had not visited her in time...nor had the wise of her enemies.
All of whom had her blood, not just on the outside, but the inside. Bravely and lusting so much alike...all to come to commonly inevitable ends.
And I, her Patron, had deserted her?! Hardly. Count the lives I gave her back. Count those maddened hearts I quieted, Sulla, Caligula, Nero...to name but a few. Just so that I might entertain the rare splendors of Augustus Caesar, Antony, Cladius, the mighty clans that shone through the squalid bickering of Patrician arrogance.
Men of grandeur, men that knew vanquishing a foe meant to make a whole race indelibly an enemy. Granting citizenship and favor to common men of brave heart.
Not even Sparta had shown such wonderful council. An eon and nothing so wonderful had blessed the earth. Wonderful enough to give a dying soldier's spilled blood meaning.
I am her Patron, unknown to you, highest God of the Etruscan Priest Caste.
God, in that I am strong enough to strike down even the dearest when they would defeat themselves...if for no other reason than to save them the final despoliation, shame.

Lament of the Fallen to God
It makes no difference,
Water has washed under the bridge.
You have stoned me--yet,
Water reforms the gap
And the stone's smooth-likeness.
It is my best to know this,
Not to prod memory further--
Further than forgiveness comes
And where kindness is out-paced.
Let the water wash past.
Not so long ago, still
I sat at Your table.
The room seemed larger than before.
Inside the walls whispered.
Even when Yours was One Voice repeated,
One of, among...with the others.
Honesty darkened with Your Brow.
For whom do You reserve the Word?
Outside they laugh, the others laugh.
We have known of the others, You and I.
We have never known What We are
(For We are not like the others)
And cannot see Ourselves but in each Other.
--To know and be helpless to remedy,
Instead, to seek stones
For mutual targets that are...
tragically mutual.
Water washes, will always wash. 
Copyright � May 2001 James C. Horak

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