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

Poetry for People, Dragons
&
Other Unusual Creatures

by Mel West

 



The Prometheid
(1972)

Part V

The Redemption of Anna

Jumping over the side of a dream-swept yacht
Eli fell into a bottomless, slippery slot,
a gossamer, ether betwixt extreme,
Falling, falling, I think, from bliss to Lucifer.
As he fell he dreamt he was with another,
The fair Anna whom he'd soon redeem. 

He could see the fiery furnace below,
Where sinewy hands stretched to him in woe,
Trying to drag him to their burning coal.
Eli fell through eternity, well beyond the moor,
Seemingly to infinity's further shore,
Like Satan himself thrown to Hell's ragged shoal. 

Eli plunged into the infernal chasm,
Down, down, down he fell in body, retching, spasm,
Until he found himself in a boiling flood
Burning his hide like he'd never dreamt,
Singing him with Hell's most heinish contempt,
Until he became a scabbed corpse without any blood!

A fiendish face then occupied his eye,
While Eli heard him cry out, "This one's dry!"
Eli's body was then hooked from the Styx
And thrown upon the shore where vultures sate
In suffocating heat to celebrate
This latest offering and crucifix. 

Then vile smelling, bat-faced, red cloaked demons
Stretched Eli's remains over a cross of corroded bronze,
Whilst another singed his limbs to its frame!
Then he was placed upside down without a drink
And left-over coals to shrivel and to shrink,
While bats sucked moisture from the drippings off the frame.

Now Anna had set sail to the below,
To serve her sentence with the vile and low,
And standing on the black "Bellerophone"
(The yacht of treachery and fiendish deceit)
With all of her possessions near her feet,
Anna watched Eli plunge through Hell's fiery cone.

Her yacht stopped at a bleak, humid harbor,
Where Anna donned a black robe to transfer
In dark confusion to that ominous red pit,
Wherefrom she was placed in a diving bell:
Windowless and alone she was dipped into Hell,
With, of course, her jewelry to purchase her permit.

The door of the bell clanged open before long
And she was pushed through a gate midst a circling throng.
As she passed by the gatekeeper, thereupon he cried,
"Gate number one, six more to go; your gems
Miss and be quick; the fare's twelve diadems!"
Anna paid her fare as she was pushed aside. 

"Follow that path to the Halfway House man,"
Said the guard to Anna, "Go on, now scram!"
She wept along the loathsome path to Hell,
Over a dusty, lifeless mount's suffocating path,
Which caused her tongue to swell from the reeking wrath
Her throat speechless, hoarse and dry, too dry to foretell. 

Her mouth, no feeling as if it were filled with cotton,
She slowly dehydrated, a corpse almost rotten,
Led away to meet her earthly damnation.
The dusty path led her spiraling downwards to a blacker gate,
Whereupon more of her gems were swiped in rebate
As she roamed on farther in further privation. 

The next path led her through a lightless cave
Where she heard screams and pain from an old grave,
A field of the dead not yet dead, an eternal torture,
Where dead men pierced the darkness in battle,
Being sent to slaughter as we send forth our cattle,
Whilst their hate raised even more the cave's temperature. 

Another gate showed itself, Anna paid the fare,
And, with four more gates to go, she's now gasping for air,
Staggering in a desert heat and void,
Yet tantalized by mirages of palm-shrouded streams.
She swooned, only to be revived by the screams
Of demons who drenched her with dew from the bodies just destroyed. 

She stumbled on to the sixth gate to find
But one gem left from the fives gates which tithed her behind,
And stripped naked, she begged, "Oh, guard, this walk, I suffer;
How much further, my Lord, is the torment?"
"Take the lower path through the great battlement
And you will soon arrive there," he replied, "If you prefer." 

The path led through hot, sticky, boiling mud,
Where leeches gripped her flesh and sucked her eyes of blood;
But she had been deceived there by the gatekeeper
And had been sent down the most hellish path:
Getting only one small gem at his gate drew his wrath;
The gatekeeper resents tithers who are cheaper. 

Now it is a fact, Hell has seven levels,
And each of the levels had its devils,
Some more vile than others, but lower found;
But the halfway house was nearer the sixth gate.
"Halfway" it was called: half filled with jealousy and half filled with hate!
Who did not chime in to castigate were simply gagged and bound.

She was slushing through that house , its mud and leeches,
And found a grove of wretched peaches
Midst a field spewing eye burning vapors
(Which burned off the leeches) but left her on the edge
Of Hell's great fiery pit of Sacrilege!
It was the vilest place of all of all the Devil's floors.

Anna pined for a drink and spied the fruit:
Groping at the precipice and destitute
She grasped the juicy morsel, ate therefrom,
And, nauseated from the smell she fell
Over the pit's edge to the lowest of Hell!
She landed, dear reader, in the scum. 

I fear I'll turn your stomach, to tell you more,
For this wrenching story we all deplore:
The scum was foaming with writhing maggots and crawling lice!
And fair Anna, attacked through nose and ears
With worms even chewing about her tears,
Fell into the Styx scratching, yes scratching, and even her eyes.

 

Lucifer himself, pleased at her pointless distress,
Watched her fall in error to his throne of duress;
And noting how fair the young damsel was,
He ordered her to be hooked from the bubbling deep,
Scalded and with bloody eyes she can no longer weep
She sits sightless beneath his viperous dripping claws.

For at the foot of Lucifer's serpentine throne
Rested his pet Basilisk coiled and hissing its glutted groan,
In a heavy, toxic sleep. Its glance, we warn you, dear reader,
Would be fatal and so too his vile breath;
With the head of a snake his bite surely means death,
His dragon breath, enticing, a lure, a man eater!

Anna was trapped, having no way to leave,
Even with eyes it would be hard to conceive
An escape from Lucifer's monstrous guard.
So she wept blood red tears, though oddly without pain,
And despaired among Hell's fiendish insane!
Then one time some wine Satan thought to discard.

At last, she was offered a drink! Though it was planned
By the tempter Lucifer. None the less, she scanned
And probed the ground with her fingers and would drink her fill.
Lucifer knew that a flask each day
Would before long bribe the sightless damsel his way.
So each day he grogged her to his will.

Now it came to pass during an unplanned orgy,
Where Satyrs raped and drank in Platonic glee,
That Lucifer's Basilisk deigned to romp
Amongst the proceedings and went astray.
While he was gone Anna heard someone pray!
"What's this?" she thought, "Who prays midst this piss and pomp?" 

Anna crawled to the mournful pleas to God
With her hair dragging behind in the blood soaked sod.
Her silent hands searched the bleak hideaway
Through sharp edged rocks, pitch, and hot boiling tar.
Then, behold, Her heart leaped; she found the bronzed spar
That held the charred body of the love the proud betray.

Her nimble fingers crept over dying coals
Which were placed below Eli's simmering and shriveled jowls.
Still hanging in death but yet alive, as the cold
Metal members which drew the last warmth from his flesh.
"Eli?" whispered the fair lass, with words suppressed but fresh
And hair wisping with spring's last offering from the marigold.

Through parched lips, broken with death's rasp and ulcer,
Eli released a clatter-choked murmur,
A strangling voice, Death's Great Rattle.
"Eli," it is I," said Anna, and she offered him Lucifer's wine;
She raised the sweet nectar over his dried lip,
Slowly it flowed, a drip, another drip;
He coughed, and he vomited, now free of death's brine. 

Anna silently returned to the throne,
And waited for her chance, most unbeknown
To Satan, to bring Eli's corpse to the wake,
And whilst each Bachallinean delight
Amused Satan's kennel and appetite,
Anna stole Eli from Satan and his fiery lake.

It came to pass to Lucifer's woe,
That Anna plotted the pit's overthrow,
Bringing Eli back to strength with the discarded wine
Which Lucifer had tossed in hope that he
Would keep Anna drunk and diseased indefinitely.
Such is our testimony to the ignorance of Satan and his design. 

Now every eve at half past the rape
(Satan keeps his time through this and the grape)
New souls are dumped into the seventh pit
From the lost beings of levels above
As tormented boatmen down the Styx would shove
To keep the kindling fresh in Satan's turning spit.

Little do most people (or devils ) know
That Lucifer's fire continues its glow
Through the constant surging of hardened sin
Down the lower branch of the river Styx.
Aye, it is so, the guiltiest are the sticks
Which are the best to stack in Hell's fuel bin.

So boatmen who veer from the guilt they'd see
In the tunnel of sin are more rapidly
Conveyed through the Styx's fieriest gate
And down the channel to the bottom floor
Right to the worst pit and the oven's quickly closing door!
Yet, though vile it may be, there's still a worse fate!

For there are such men encrusted in guilt
Where their soul burns on, disdaining to silt,
And would incinerate mayhaps forever
Were Hell's devils impatiently begging to heat
Their notorious den, Lucifer's sweaty suite,
To intolerable heights too hot to bear.

 

So, deigning not to let the fire cool down,
Lucifer lets hard souls reach golden brown,
And, seeing them not turn to a hellish red dust,
Has them cast from the ovens into the gloated stream
So to float out from Hell and life redeem
That is to say to continue on earth his hellish lust. 

Thus it is so that skulls float to the sea,
To be replanted there midst the debris
Of man's eternal and infernal, his wars, hatred, and spite.
Now, on the other hand, there are some souls
That are far too cool to warm Satan's ghouls,
Who are not hardened and ripe as the sinner's proselyte. 

So it is in hell that Lucifer grogs
The stumbling fools to be inane hogs,
Until the searing pit should encrust one's skin
Enough to serve more fuel to his foul way;
So it is in hell that spirits decay
Until his fiery pit would consume all men! 

Now it came to pass that Eli espied
The stoker of the furnace of Satan's favorite fried
And beseeched Anna to lure him away,
Leaving no tender to catch scream-laden boats
Plunging down the Styx. So they lured and smote
Him and escaped through Anna's negligee! 

Thus it was that the two made their escape
By stealing a boat through the lust and desire to rape,
And riding the two way river off current
From the pit of hate to the waiting sea,
Where the first door stood to eternity,
Between two extremes: Charity and Torment.

But woe unto poor Anna, oh, we fell, remorse:
As they opened the door there came a mighty force
Which cast them into the cavern's outer room,
Where nothing stood between them and fresh air,
Where they heard the Titan guard cry, "Eli, beware!
Go not outside, for it will be to your doom!"

Thinking the guard referred to his charred but renewed frame,
Knowing not that the guard referred to the dame,
Eli and Anna sped down the great chiming hall.
At last, light! Caressed by virgin sunbeams
The loving two stood freed of both extremes
As one until weak Anna began to fall! 

Oh, horror! For Anna's face turned yellow
And her body from weakness began to bow;
Ugly features began to cross her face
And, like a writhing hag of Hecate's brood, I'd remark,
She took repulsive shapes hideous and stark,
And crawling on the floor returned to disgrace!

"Anna!" cried Eli, "Come back!" But she left
The light and her lover Eli bereft,
And crawled, slithering and limping back into Hell,
To repay the torment listed in the great Book,
To replace whatever her weakness took,
And to earn her own chance to in peace dwell.

 

Poor Eli! Again alone, but now free,
He became another in our epoch of the refugee:
He fell exhausted on the stony shore,
Wailing in a most delirious and, for Timon, an obnoxious way,
Over his lost love and the failures of his day;
He gave up, so it seems, at fortune's door.


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Launched 10.25.97; updated 5.27.2000; 3.17.05; 5.29.14

Copyright 1997-2005 Maravot. All rights reserved.
Copyright 1997-2005 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved.