Friday, October 2, 2009

Hephaestus

Hephaestus, the greek equivalent of vulcan, was the 'god' of technology (if such a thing can be spoken about). he worked with fire and metal, and made a great many fabulous things, including some robot helpers. he worked with his hands, and was lame. he was rejected by his parents. i thought to myself, is this a way of seeing our relationship to technology? all this working of metal and etc has made us lame, unloved, unlovable. following on the poem pretty much wrote itself....



Hoplites. Attic black-figure lekythos, 510–500 BC, found in Sala Consilina. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lekythos_hoplite_Petit_Palais_ADUT01575.jpg



Cunning limping god, born without fire
Borne without father, aegis riding sky
Who brings life along the surface of the
Sea, aegis riding sky holding storms.
Unloved son thrown from the heavens.
Forced to forge the manacles to confine
The fire sharing mild of light. Forced to
Wed the copper eyed lover of laughter.
Unloved child, cuckold husband. Thrown
Down from high, falling full nine days
And at the windy time of the of ninth
He landed alone an unknown island.
Into the world, cast aside his parents.
Born by no father he was abused by
Dread son of Cronus, false fabricator,
Suckled of the goat, fed honey from bees.
Storyteller, inventor of lies.
When he landed, shattering his legs,
At the going down of the sun, and the
Spreading into all places of shadows,
At the windy time of the day, after his fall,
At the meeting of women, his wounds
Were tended with virtuous plants,
And his pain was eased. All the night
The hoplites, danced naked, clashed shields.

The rock flamed and made liquid magic.
Thin arabesque of gold and silver,
Rings with sparkling precious stones,
Tendriled undulating arm bands
Of sharpest copper and shiny bronze,
Chains of purest gold as fine as spun
Silk and worked with tender scenes,
Gold as if from hay spun into threads,
Terrifying neck piece of power and diadem.
To bejewel his wife. Countless vast
Spears and arrow heads of dread orbit
Flew deadly true, chains and locks
Equal revenge and justice. The red hot
Metal into the icy barrel plunged.
The steady rhyming of hammer blows.
Painful memories. Legs broken and swollen.
His feet back to front, his mothers taunts.
Nine years cared for nine years in healing.
Cunning limping god of roaring rearing flame.
Lame and hunchbacked the forge, with anvil
And adamantine hammer, that forged helpers
Of metal uncomplaining to assist his work.
The clear uncaring flow of heat and sound
And constant pain made him halting and
Slow of speech. Those that scorned him
Despised not his creations. But with gold
And precious things he fashioned a cage
Of mind forged manacles, down the ages.

Over time, over time, over countless sleeps...
The few grew, more and more, over time,
Became many and put nature on the rack.
Tore out the smoky secrets of the caverns,
Mocked the sun and sky and moved them
In portion and rank. The technique passed
Down and over the generations. No longer
Divine, no longer sacred, known but a few.

And this new extracted knowledge spewed
Wealth and greed, mendacity and ignorance.
Towered cites grew and spread, tendrils
In all ways and time, an incessant hum.
Until even the far off terrible mountains
That border Sinia have become polluted
With the detritus of a restless knowledge,
That knows no soothing slumber, no holy
Days for home and meditation. Only more.
The busy hum of children men and women
Flitted across the lonely Sahara dunes,
The cold windswept plateau of Tibet.
The rough groans and piercing screams
Of trucks and chain saws echoed the giant
Tower trunks frail wild rain Amazon.

And so the gods retreated, turning their backs
On nature, on history, and on the logos.

Even the fiery mountains have grown cold.

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