A word. A will.
A flame of hope. A spur of longing,
Driving our sluggish feet with ungentle proddings forward,
Enslaving each thought and passion,
Possessing every limb and tendon,
To march, bit and bridle, towards the hill of holy Success.
A wheel relentlessly turning,
Bearing each man from cradle to tomb,
Overrunning all obstacles as it plows the furrows of our destiny,
Paving vast highways through the mountains,
Raising new towers to pierce expanding horizons,
Freeing ocean, sky, and beyond to human ambition.
Each man becomes a new spoke
Imparting strength and structure to the whole of Progress.
A hunger. A fierce and brutal hunger
Gnawing at the soul,
Filling the spirit with lust and avarice,
Grief and madness born of envy,
Drinking the blood of conscience,
Eating the flesh of human benevolence,
A rapacious amoral predator
Absorbed in its morbid gluttony,
Bloated with the meat of its kills,
Yet never to be sated.
A beacon guiding fools from the shoals of ignorance
To the sunswept shores of wisdom,
Engendering harmony from Nature's dissonant themes,
Truth from a sea of broken images.
Illuminating the passage from the wild and savage realms of Less,
Beating back the hounds of Famine and Disease,
Breaking the yoke of the elements from our backs.
Our genius, our depravity
Sired under one sun,
The warring twins of desire's get
Cast their bids for dominance.
What more is there to live for?
For weal or woe
We change and grow
And to what end?...
We made a little shack out of branches, manure, and mud,
Our shelter from the icy winds which came at night.
We sat by a campfire
Telling ghost stories and relating ancient woodland lore.
By day Finney and I would hunt wild boar for the four of us.
Running, flying through the briars and grasses,
Fleeing the cruel men with their wicked spears.
Must fight or flee to live.
Must gather roots and leaves to eat.
Must fight off wolves and cougars with my tusks
To protect the little ones I must nurse.
This is my life.
Peg would tend the garden and cook us hearty stews.
If we were lucky, bread and tea were added to our table.
We learned how to stitch pelts and hides together
To make blankets and clothing.
But it gets cold here when autumn has blown.
Last winter, little Jack fell ill and died.
We buried him under the roots of a great oak.
Two sticks lashed together were his cross.
From the city's regal breast
I long to milk the very best:
Caviar and fine champaign,
Any less to be disdained.
Let stylish fur and leather rest
Upon my eager beating breast,
A Swiss-made time-piece for my wrist
And gem-encrusted, I insist.
Adorn my walls with paintings rare;
Grace me with fine silverware,
A mansion and a large estate
Guarded by electric gate.
With silk and lace my windows dress,
A sculpted garden to impress.
A maid and butler at my call,
A chef to cater every ball.
Another item that's a must,
A harem to attend my lust!
A Rolls Royce and a private jet,
A winter palace in Tibet,
A gleaming fortress on a hill,
An army to pronounce my will.
Mystic stones in royal crowns,
My wants and needs will brook no bounds!
Our eyes meet in a fleeting glance;
How I wish they would linger.
Look upon me, tender maid,
For I am lonely and desire a companion.
Do not turn your eyes from me,
Lest you wound me with your scorn.
Speak to me, gentle one.
Break the cursed silence which hovers between us.
Dispel the sullen emptiness in my spirit.
Reveal yourself to me in word and gesture.
Delight me with your rapt attention.
Let me know your deepest thoughts and passions,
Your loves, your hates, your fears.
Grace me with this simple pleasure;
Let me know you, lady.
A kiss, my dear. I beg you.
Your parted lips beckon me wordlessly.
Your eyes sear mine with frenzied passion
Disarming all fear and restraint.
I must touch those sweet lips with mine
Or remain cursed with the pain of this terrible yearning.
Let me taste the nectar of your breath, love,
The air of unearthly Elysium.
Make love to me, my darling.
Let us be united.
I long to drown, delirious, in your feminine warmth.
Let me worship every exalted inch of you, my love.
I will spare no part of you my tender adulation,
For you are my goddess and I am your thrall.
The wonder of your soft skin and flowing tresses
Fills me with ecstasy heretofore unknown in this world,
And I am reborn anew under your caresses.
Let paradise be revealed unto me, my dearest:
Make love to me.
Your soul, love. I must have your soul!
No less than eternal union is my desire.
Would you die for me, love?
For only then would I be contented,
Warmed with the knowledge of your undying fidelity,
Knowing that the bond between us is at last complete.
Contemptuous of the envious world,
Let us live and die as one!
Martyrs to our shared passion,
Let us perish in the flames of our glorious rapture,
One with the harmony of the heavens and the earth,
Together in death joined unto the immortal universe,
The essence of unearthly Elysium.
Black, immutable silence...
Gotterdammerung has descended.
A lone, bent figure surveys the ruins wrought by his desire.
All is won and lost.
Aged eyes search bitterly for new slopes to climb,
But all is flat, grey and featureless,
Cold and unearthly (Elysium?) in its bleak vacuity.
No air or chant, no whispering wind.
No scent of rose or rancid dung.
No dreams to seduce, nor cravings to haunt.
No pain to flee, nor passion to chase.
The final dissolution of all questions and yearnings.
The very essence of Death;
George Chadderdon © 1993