mercredi, mai 11, 2016

The MIDGE (5)

The MIDGE (5)
by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Gàidhlig AN SEO

And Eve honey, don't you know
that the moon died in sympathy for you?

Adam's was the public power;
yours was the intimate power.
He was the high mount of law, you the deep well of grace. 
He was Rome, you were Greece.
He Odysseus of the struggles, you Calypso of the spells. 
He statement, you metaphor.
He form, you metamorphosis.

You were the living prism:
You touched the light and it became rainbow;
you touched the wind, and it became music;
you touched the water, and it became wine;
you touched the caterpillar, and it became butterfly; 
you touched the stone, and it became diamond;
you touched the grass, and it became flower;
you touched man, and he became a god.

You were the Oracle of Delphi;
you were Scheherazade of the stories;
you were Taj Mahal of the pointed towers; 
you were Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, 
and the mysteries of God secreted within you, 
but you became Pandora's Box,
plundered of everything but hope.

You were the All-flower, blossom of a thousand petals. 
You sucked into you the molten energy of the earth; 
your nectar bestowed the fire-vision of the prophet. 
The truth sang to you in colours
but you did not discern the hue of the lie, 
and your heart acidified.

Your pure elixir became a narcotic drug,
inducing vapid dreams in place of reality.
Leaves could not hide the withering of your glory,
and where your petals fell
there grew lotus and opium poppy;
and henceforth your daughters’ breasts would be bruised 
to alleviate the torment of men.

You were the gate of Paradise, and Adam the key, 
but you became scabbard to the flaming sword.

And from the dragon's teeth of your plowing were we born, 
like Greek warriors springing from the soil
with pointed blades like thorns,
with shields like leaves,
with stately plumes like thistle-down; 
but we drag a chain.

And though we win kingdoms, 
and though we found empires,
 still we remain slaves,
fettered to you
by a twofold umbilical cord - 
a double helix of thorns.

Power and vulnerability
are interwoven in our bodies.
Thorn and berry.
Nail and flesh.
Nazi and Jew forever contending within us.
ARBEIT MACHT FREI is inscribed
above the iron fence of our ribs,
and somewhere is discovered there a naked emaciated soul 
fleeing the permanent pogrom of our heart.

We clamber over each other
like gas-chamber victims
struggling upwards in hope of air, 
building pyramids of bodies
among the brick-kilns of our vulnerability.

Pyramids of dead foraminifera 
for the immortality of Pharaoh.

I'll tell you this –
empires are built out of grave-stones.

Pyramids like dragon's teeth.

Napoleon broke the Sphinx's nose. 
A prescient man.
There can be only one Atlas.

Many a false prophet beguiled us;
many a Moses promised us freedom;
but we were led into a terrible wilderness.
Our saviours lost their way;
they could not bring forth water from the rock, 
and in the end the scorpions played
among the broken harrows of our bones;
and the chains on us yet like harnesses.

We would be super-Titans,
clearing Olympus with one lusty bound.
We would be cosmic Fingalians,
setting the planets careering
like kids blowing soap-bubbles,
laughing all the while.
But we were left scarcely alive,
asleep on one elbow,
and vulnerability oppressing us like the weight of a mountain; 
and the chains on us yet like the condemned giants of Dante.

Do you think it will always be our fate
to be entombed under the mountain of our frailty?
do you think the turf will always be too heavy for us?
Do you think there will ever awake in our midst a real Fingal 
casting the mountains from him like blankets;
shouldering Adam's yoke and breaking a new furrow
like an earthquake above us,
sounding the horn of our resurrection?

Do you think a benign Atlas will appear 
who will be both lion and lamb;
shaking the universe in his wrath, 
catching the sparrow in his compassion?

Let me bear witness now to the Messiah
who will bear the weight of our torment, 
plucking us from the dust of our thralldom, 
and raising us on high;
he the holly-tree and we the jagged leaves; 
he the Christ and we the crown of thorns.

And when he comes
the heavens will tremble like a peacock's tail; 
the stars will fall like confetti on his head 
and the planets like golden apples at his feet.

And when he comes
the rainbow will be to him a victory arch, 
and the aurora borealis will dance above him.

And when he comes
Medusa will close her eyes
and the stones will shout Hosanna.

And when he comes
the government will be upon his shoulder.

I saw the universe
like a burning bush;
and darkness was no more.

I heard a Voice
from the midst of the flames; 
and death was no more.

And I noticed with a smile
that shoes were out of fashion; 
for all Creation was holy ground.

And I knew
that Pharaoh was dead at last.

Word and light. 
Milk and honey. 
Freedom and truth.

I saw a clay vessel like stained-glass, 
and a torch laughing inside;
it was the second morning of man.

And when the King comes,
he will come as the Word of God.

And when the King comes, 
comes resurrection.

I learned something-
I am mortal;
but maybe tomorrow won't come without me.

I am small, and I like the small things: 
the buried seed that splits the sidewalk; 
the water-drop that devours the stone; 
the grain of sand that inters the pyramid; 
the first bird that welcomes the sun;
the little country, the little language;
the word of truth that is heavier than the World.

Suddenly I rose
and went to the kitchen,
returning with a sharp knife. 
I opened the window and cut carefully
through the web around the midge
till she was free.
She flew off,
and the spider went back to its dark hole.

Vulnerability and power; 
the way of the universe.

Vulnerability and power; 
and mercy.
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