Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pericles Rising

And by the example of our Declaration
Make everybody want to be a nation.

They are our wards we think to some extent
For the time being and with their consent,
To teach them how Democracy is meant.

Robert Frost 1942

From a swollen earth,
Wrought-cracked and splitting,
Rose Hellen’s dream.
The Mighty stretched out,
Dry and fraught,
Fingering their empires
To city states,
Gold like a phoenix claw,
Pierced upward through wilting flesh.
And the Mighty recoiled,
Snapping back each hand,
One by one by one,
Shrieking and lashing tongues.

A revolt of grime and blood
Burst from pierced arteries
To fill the ravines.
And Pericles kept rising.

As each new city severed
The chord to its mother,
New cracks were filled in the earth.
As each new city found a song,
The land began to glisten,
Woven as a brutal tapestry.
Each song new.
Each song unique.

As time marched on
Kingdoms dissolved
Leaving just their name,
Echoes of a hollow scream
As a new world was born.
And Pericles kept rising.

And the new way spoke
Of freedom and truth
In the place of
Darkness and tyranny,
And Pericles kept rising.

While his monstrous head grew
To caste its shadow
Over free peoples,
And Pericles kept rising.

Until he was high enough
To roar of danger
Beyond the horizon,
And Pericles kept rising.

O great leader save us!
They cried.
Without seeing an enemy,
And Pericles kept rising.

Then he bent down
Sweeping his hand across the land,
Taking up his flock
Crying: “I have created all this for you.
Follow me, to your war.
It is inevitable.”
And they followed.

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