5/29/14 Maravot's Poetry for People continued
 


Poetry for People, Dragons
&
Other Unusual Creatures

by Mel West

 



The Prometheid
(1972)

Part II

The Dog Killer

 

Dear reader, we must rush on and not tarry
To convict you how heavy is truth to carry,
Which was thrown upon young Eli at the cornice
Of the highest mountain in this free land.

Alas, it would only be a bore, I fear,
For you to read. And in reverent respect
For your tired eyes, I shall hence select
Only those incidents which are easy to read and hear.

Most mortals in our day and age might doubt
Eli's visions were they to be cast out
Upon a lonely crest holding such fires
As Hellish to cause one's blood to knot and curdle.
It would seem too much for even the prophet's girdle
To carry such truths only, to confront the legion of liars. 

Let us leave the matter as we may
And accept in faith Eli's learned dismay.
Whether you, gentle friend, believe it happened or not,
Let me proceed to tell of Eli's journeys,
Factual, devoid of similes;
Who among you would envy his lot? 

It came to pass for Eli now,
Wrinkled more with Titan concern on his brow,
To make haste for his humble town below
To warn his people of the deceit near
To the heartland of our future career.
With god-like speed he left the fire in the snow.

 

Dawn began creeping over the mountain ridge
From whence he came and, as he neared a bridge,
He looked back to see if the fire still burned:
Whether the Titan returned to fire
More pages in Hell's great funeral pyre.
Behold! The fire flared! A new page had turned! 

The Book of Good would continue forever more
To light the winding path by which Eli fore swore,
Led by the Promethean teacher;
And, as he plunged into the new light,
The sun's great orb soaked the young proselyte
In golden cinders smelling of heavenly myrrh.

Dawn is a pleasant time for one to spend,
As it is the greatest adventure life attends.
The air is clear and nourishes the breath
And the dewy grass, like tiny bubbled quilts, nature's sheet,
Spread beyond, before the youth's cloud-laced feet.
The meadows surely declared his triumph over death. 

The snow stained crests above the bounding boy
Faded away in the lifting haze. The joy
Within Eli's heart would have melted all around
Had not the valley's springtime air caressed
The path written upon Eli's new quest
With dawn's wispy vapors off the ground. 

Below his route showed the ravine and trees
Where his stately tractor wept in the light hearted breeze.
There were dewy tears over its red metal hood,
And nearby stood his old buckled pick-up truck
Which wept too wherever the morning rays struck.
Behind, near the trees, a timid creature-a doe-stood.

Eli descended into the ravine;
The still of the morning was broken by thumping grouse wings;
And Eli, whose heart thumped too, rippling his veins,
Marveled at a golden pheasant launching,
From his evening thicket dawning.
The Morning surely claimed these gilded demesnes. 

Eli jumped into the old truck's rusty cab,
Which still stood proud though aged with colors drab,
Gleaming in dewy shades of black and grey.
He turned the key; the engine coughed, then died;
Two more tries; "Awaken!" Eli cried,
But the old truck refused to quicken that day. 

Again the youth tried, but to no avail;
The truck protested and would not take the trail.
It, in good foresight, was on a small rise,
So Eli dug his heels to the crusty earth
And shoved the old truck for all he was worth.
Success! The frosty wheels turned and broke their ties.

The boy jumped into the cab and popped the clutch;
Another pop, a bang, a sputter; it sputtered so much
Eli nearly gave up hope that it would go.
When all was nearly lost, the slope behind, the engine purred,
It sighed in the morning warmth and whirred,
Off to the silent cheers of the on-watching doe. 

The tiny pick-up truck renewed in the morn
Flew down the wash-board road on wings born
To arrow through time's sage-brushed hinterland.
And as it flew droplets shed in its wake
From frog-eyed headlamps which were made opaque
From the narrow road's churning dust and sand. 

But soon--an hour hadn't passed homes were in view
Where life too stirred under roofs steaming off dew.
As Eli approached the village bounds
And broke over the crest of a tiny hill,
He spied three Lotus-eaters romp in swill
Midst the bone-heaped refuse of their campground. 

Now Eli was a prudent land, so he thereupon stopped,
Behind his truck he quietly eavesdropped
On the plans the evil creatures were making then.
He stooped behind a bush for just one moment
To hear an overheated argument
Where eyes were aglow from a fire roasted hen. 

Eli could not understand the speech,
For the villains babbled things beyond his reach.
Changing subjects, ramblings continuously,
Choking and garbled words absurd,
All from smoky breaths and eyes so blurred;
Besides this they never spoke conclusively. 

Beside three evil creatures lay a torn lotus bud
With its seeds gone and petals stained with blood.
Then, absurd as it may appear, he viewed
One of the three eat some of the white seeds;
Another crammed them into his nose, causing it to bleed;
And the last smoked them in a wrapping from a paper feud. 

"So this is why they seek the white lotus;
They plan to eat, smoke and snuff it from us!"
Thought Eli, as he watched the dreamy eyed beasts.
He left the Lotus-eaters to their meal
And made haste to his village with the Promethean appeal:
That everyone must resist those dumb beasts.

Knowing that the people may scorn his lot,
He left his truck and in the square sought
To speak to people passing by. He cried,
"Beware, my people, the Lotus-eaters will come;
Ignore them, for they are thick-skinned beasts, surely numb,
Who will steal our Lotus before evening tide". 

He spent some time speaking to passer-bys there,
But just a few heard his words in the square.
"Ha! Surely you jest!; are you mad?" many replied;
"You dream, Eli, no such fires
Burn on the mountain. The Promethean pyre
Is but an old myth, a children's riddle," they all cried. 

"Woe unto those who fear not my word,
For they shall perish as you all have heard!"
Eli argued. But to no avail
His warnings were lost and fell on deaf ears.
As he began to step down, new jeers
Came from the crowd, and they shouted, "Throw him in jail!"

A helmeted policeman came from the crowd;
"All right," he said, "Yer talking far too loud, far too loud;
Be off! Inciting a riot's not allowed!"
"But sir," Eli begged, "I've done no wrong;
I only warn of deceit coming midst this throng.
Look! see for yourself, they're now in the maddening crowd!"

To be sure, Lotus-eaters had already snuck in
And sowed their deceit midst Eli's bretheren.
"Look, you!" cried Eli, "You can smell the smoke
Of their rancid dreams; It will not be long
Before you shall be pierced by their stealthy prong.
Their vile breath will destroy the best of folk. 

"Throw him in jail!" yelled a Lotus-eater.
"Stop, can't you see he's a Lotus-eater?"
Cried Eli in reply. But deceit had been bred
And the crowd chanted, "Yes, put him in chains,"
As their faces turned pale from the Lotus stains,
As they too munched the treasured blossoms newly shred.

The crowd lunged forward to bind young Eli.
"Stop!" cried Eli, "You are to be consumed by a vile lie;
Don't eat the beauty you've cherished so long!"
The crowd grabbed him while police whistles rang,
And Lotus-eaters sneered over the harangue
They just sowed and could now reap and, better still, prolong. 

Eli felt cold clammy hands grip his skin;
He panicked and kicked a man in the shin.
Jumping from the altar of their hope,
He stole the last Lotus from the peddler's dish,
Fleeing the greed laden grasps to find new men to fish.
The sewers already began to reek of Lotus dope.

The crowd pounded behind his winging heels,
But, being too fast for their deathly peals,
He reached his truck and sped from the village,
Leaving a cloud of dust in his wake.
He drove aimlessly, passing a dry lake,
Until the fuel approached "empty" on his gauge.

He stopped the truck on a knoll where he saw
A freeway span the horizon. In awe
He looked upon the concrete edifice
Where cars careened in their confusing haste.
"Ho! What goes on down there?" he wondered, as he braced
Himself to view a sight gone quite amiss. 

For, peering closer through the smog-stained air,
He saw thoughtless cars wildly bouncing there
Not from their own clumsy, careless crashes,
But from droppings of waste, careless litter,
That was strewn through the course to ensnare
The dreamy drivers in painful smashes. 

To make matters worse, dogs were jumping
From cars where nerveless drivers were dumping
The unwanted creatures to a deadly game,
Where driver and brute were merged into one
Through the blood-stained bumpers of the pun.
"My God," cried El, "These drivers are insane!"

Below Eli's knoll, he then overheard
More Lotus-eaters reaping the absurd,
For they screamed in delight over the roar,
Watching the cars grind carcasses to meal,
All the while chanting, "There's another meal!"
As they cast fish-hooks flying towards the gore. 

Eli rose in disgust over what he had seen,
And he climbed in the truck to leave the awful scene.
As he drove away he heard this last cry,
"The Dog Killer, O god, feed us well;
O god, keep sending man's best friend to this hell!"
Eli parted behind him the great Dog Roast and smoky sky.


 

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Please send me back to Maravot's_Poetry_for_People3.html
Please send me to Maravot's_Poetry_for_People3.3html, Part II, "Eli's search for the Funny Bald Men."
Please send me to Maravot"s_Poetry_for_People3.4html, Part IV, "Eli's journey up the river Styx."
Please send me on to Maravot's_Poetry_for_People3.5html, The Prometheid, "The Redemption of Anna."
Please send me on to Maravot's_Poetry_for_People3.6html, The
Prometheid, "Spiteful Timon."
Please send me on to Maravot's_Poetry_for_People3.7html, The Prometheid, "The War".
Please send me on to Maravot's_Poetry_for_People3.8.html, The Promethied, "Impressions of Cambria."

updated 5.27.2000; 3.16.05; 2.18.06; 5/29/14

(background from a painting by Maravot from the early 70's)
Copyright 1997-2014 Maravot. All rights reserved.
Copyright 1997-2014 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved.