28 February 2021

#28 - Queen of Winter

 

(Russell J Turner)

The Cailleach is a Gaelic creator and weather deity. In modern Scottish folklore she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter


Her mountain tops are cast like stepping stones

across the fields and forests, down the glen

where deer run between her strides and then

the hammer falls. All silence. Owls are flown

into the night, beyond the tracks of bone

which spiral downwards. Downwards, once again,

it is the doom and destiny of men

to live, to strive, to die beneath her throne.


She strikes a summer bargain with her shade

a covenant not made with pen and ink

division of forever is the price

which both will pay. She gathers up her blade

to strip the logs and kindling, then she drinks

deep from the well before it turns to ice.


RJT




#27 – Aleph

What did you do at the weekend, Fay Roberts? Well, I did the world’s quickest study of the basics of cosmology and the hypothesised end of the universe, then turned it into 14 bouncy lines of poetry. You?

Depending on your thoughts upon the matter
(On which some of our finest minds have views)
We’ll either crunch or freeze or even shatter
(Although to harsher churches, that’s not news).

If space is closed, then gravity will crush us
But if it’s open, we’ll all rip apart
And entropy will see a mighty hush as
In any shape, the cold could kill our heart.

But here’s the thing: we need to weigh our ’verse
And find out if it’s more or less than one.
I simplify, of course, but please don’t curse
The dark that pulls at us has not yet won.

If omega is greater than the first
We might collapse, then bounce back in a burst!

-FR


A stylised depiction of a flat, square universe (black plane filled with coloured swirls, like galaxies) in a variety of sizes, though the galaxies stay the same size and the black around them alters in size, connected via a triangular shape as lines radiate from a cartoon blaze of light at the bottom to the top universe, which the largest
The “Big Crunch” Graphic from Wikipedia. The vertical axis either demonstrates expansion or contraction, so it’s difficult to tell whether we’re coming or going (I’ll be here all month, enjoy the salad!).


26 February 2021

#26 - Sorry Not Sorry

 

In one account of the Tungusic creation myth, Buga, their central deity, set fire to a vast primordial ocean. Following a long struggle, the flames consumed much of the water, exposing dry land. Then Buga created the light and separated it from darkness, and descended to the newly created land, where he confronted Buninka, the devil, and a dispute arose between them over who had created the world.


It's possible my mind was not entirely on this subject.

 
When Buga woke, the world was teeming ocean,
like some gazpacho soup of promise made.
Then Buga spoke: his plans were set in motion;
the fire burned – ingredients flambéed.
 
On land denuded, scorched, Buninka woke,
with eyes abused beneath a newborn sun.
In voice of earth and stone Buninka spoke:
“Behold this awesome world wot I just done!”
 
Beginning thus the sonnet yesterday,
I broke to check our progress in the cricket.
Well, in Ahmedabad, by close of play,
had tumbled seventeen sucessive wickets.
The shortest Test since Nineteen Thirty-Five?
O how’s a Yorkshire poet s’posed to thrive?

AWB


This deity appears confused.


25 February 2021

#25 - The Proper Paperwork

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a sci-fi novel by Douglas Adams. It follows Arthur Dent, the last surviving human man, and his adventures after the Earth is demolished by aliens (to make way for a hyperspace bypass). It’s one of the most bureaucratic, frustrating and unnecessary ways for the world to end, which is why I’m quite fond of it. 
 


The Proper Paperwork 

I understand why you’re a tad annoyed,
but there’s no need to whine and be a jerk.
I’m sorry that your planet’s been destroyed;
you should’ve filed the proper paperwork.

The bypass has to go through hyperspace.
Now, surely, we can all agree on that?
It looked like such a dreadful little place – 
your planet wasn’t even on the map! 

You’ll have to find another spot to live.
(It’s not like you can settle locally.) 
You’ll have to learn to hitchhike and forgive:
it’s not as bad as Vogon poetry. 

So, try to find the bright sky in your scowl.
Get on your way, and don’t forget your towel.


LM 





24 February 2021

#24 - ir/rational

(Russell J Turner) 

An irrational sonnet is an Oulipo form devised by Jacques Bens, with stanza lengths based on the digits of π. This one takes its cue from both mathematics and the non-creationism of Jainism


A circle curves back to infinity,

yet paradoxically constrained by three

point one four one five nine two six (or so)


The endless wheel rolls round, rolls on and on



For there are bounds to everything we know 

the limits of irrationality,

approximate perfectibility

uncertainty above, caprice below


The endless wheel rolls round, rolls on and on


We dance at dawn until the summer’s gone

We read the words and then we turn the page

We feed the fires and dream all winter long

We sing a path through this eternal song

We live, we die, we love, we cry, we age


RJT




#23 – A Raft of Hope

The Four Worlds legends of the Hopi people tell how the tribe progressed through barbarous, uncouth phases to the Fourth World, through the intervention of Spider Grandmother, who taught them civilisation. In reading around the legends and learning a little more about the Hopi people, I was treated to depictions of some of the deprivations visited on them by various waves of marauders, and couldn’t, in all conscience, ignore this.


No matter what he tells you, here’s the truth:
Kookyangwso’wuuti led you to this place.
You’ve been here since the earth still glowed with youth;
Her intervention summoned you to grace.

Whatever cataclysm shattered hope,
Your ancestors were saved by hollow reeds;
With charity and faith in constant scope,
You’ll go wherever loving kindness leads.

But kind does not mean cowardly or soft;
Pahána learned your spines are formed from stone,
As you were rooted deep in tongue and croft,
And wedded to your quiet spider-crone.

Your legends tell how new tribes rise from rifts;
Cut hair will grow, the earth renews your gifts.

-FR

Over a dark landscape, a textured orange globe hangs in the background, barely lighting a scene where most of the light comes from an enormous woman with light brown skin, high cheekbones, and long, dark eyes, who dwarfs the mountains and seas glimpsed in the background. She is gazes intently but impassively somewhere beyond the viewer and her straight black hair is being swept back in the wind, across the dark sky. She has a long, thick braid of it reaching down her near arm and it's impossible to tell her age - is the silver in her hair from time, the light from her cobwebbed cloak, or actual strands of cobweb? Between her outstretched hands half an enormous web glows in silver and a kind of greenish gold, with strange, blue accents. Down the side of the picture is an elaborate cartouche of stylised eyes, spirals, geometric shapes which echo the glimpses of the woman's clothing under her cloak, and a cartoon spider composed of golden lines in a web with a cross in a circle on its back. Under the spider is writing of the same golden colour saying Susan Seddon-Boulet 1986.
Spider Woman by Susan Seddon-Boulet. See more of her extraordinary ancient goddess art hosted here by Tutt'Art. Image description in alt-text.



22 February 2021

#22 - Curriculum Vitae

 Dreaming (also the Dreamingthe Dreamings and the Dreamtime) is a term devised by early anthropologists to refer to a religio-cultural worldview attributed to Australian Aboriginal beliefs… Creation is believed to be the work of culture heroes who travelled across a formless land, creating sacred sites and significant places of interest in their travels. In this way, "songlines" (or Yiri in the Warlpiri language) were established, some of which could travel right across Australia, through as many as six to ten different language groupings. The dreaming and travelling trails of these heroic spirit beings are the songlines.


For my daughters

 

With every step we make the world anew.
Each footprint paints an illustrated page
of comedy to mark our time onstage;
each pace a moment with the ones we knew.
We scatter pansies, rosemary, and rue –
desire lines of folly through the sage;
we sing a thousand songs as we engage
this narrow thread between the green and blue.
 
We’re all creator spirits in the end –
so shape each interaction as it finds you,
while tripping through them all with joyous tread.
And bearing crowns of daisies to your friends,
make beautiful the mazy path behind you,
and carve the way you wish to see ahead.
AWB




21 February 2021

#21 - The Tenth Cycle

In Hindu philosophy, there are ten major avatars or incarnations of Vishnu, the god of preservation. Vishnu is said to descend in the form of an avatar to restore cosmic order whenever it is out of balance. According to Hinduism, nine incarnations have already appeared, and the tenth, Kalki, is due to appear at the end of the present epoch, when chaos and evil have reached their nadir.
 


The Tenth Cycle   

When chaos, fear and horror reign like kings
and pestilence and poverty loom large, 
he takes his flaming sword and leads the charge,
restarts the world and changes everything. 
So, close your eyes, breathe deep, and count to ten.
Let all disasters fade into the past.
The universe is infinite and vast:
there’s time to change the world and try again. 

Existence can be filtered by degrees
until the water’s clear and sweet and warm.
This battle is pursued internally;
compassion is our vital call to arms.
In cosmic circles, balance is the key, 
and, after all, the tenth time is the charm. 


LM

Kalki Avatar by Raja Ravi Varma 




20 February 2021

#20 - Frashokereti

Frashokereti is the Zoroastrian belief of final judgement, wherein evil will be purified and good will meet with God in his 8 forms: The Gods and demons will fight, melt all the metal in the hills into a molten river, through which all humans will have to wade, either passing through unharmed or being ‘purified’ out of existence.

After Frashokereti, those that are deemed worthy will live free of need and pain, will speak a single language on a unified earth, and will be so light in form they will literally cast no shadows.


So Zoroaster (man or myth?) was led,
By visions of Lord Wisdom multiform.
He taught the people good will win, and said
 
‘Your acts and thoughts are yours alone’. Forlorn
and fraught, we know our freedom means our ilk
must choose the end for all. Gods fight, and torn
 
they must melt metal from the hills, like milk
to most. Though swaling those still deemed unfit:
they’ll burn in rivers many treat as silk.
 
While after judgement none shall have to split:
No need for state, or food, or drink, or bed.
One voice to sing, and love, and laugh, well lit.
 
So Zoroaster (man or myth?) was led,
But never told the people ‘God Is Dead’.
 
Just that we choose to whom we will be fed:
The evil maw, or mouth of bliss instead.

PH-R



19 February 2021

#19 - Wagtail

(Russell J Turner)

 Earth-diver creation myths are found throughout the Pacific Rim and beyond. This piece is a mash-up of various tales of the Ainu people


The ocean lies upon a giant trout

whose movements cause the earthquakes and the tides

A film of oil covers it about

and rises up in fire to form the skies

Five-coloured clouds are spinning on the mist

as gods and demons roil in the dark

The sun and moon emerging in a kiss

that clarifies the heavens with a spark


Then wagtail dives, from out of history,

to find the flotsam scattered on the deep

to make the islands out of sticks and mud


Then wagtail thrives, in all its mystery,

to wake creation from a dreamless sleep

to build a floating world for flesh and blood


RJT




18 February 2021

#18 – A Black Box

Even a brief examination of Jewish eschatology reveals many mysteries. “Black box” is how software testing theory describes an unknowable, untestable element of a system.

As we examine endings and beginnings
And how those thoughts have shifted over years
When we strip down the details and the trimmings
You’ll see our history’s what shapes our fears

So where the Norse meet Fate in icy darkness
And others know we’ll fry in fearful heat
We also long for when all this will hurt less
And where our present stress will find defeat

For after all-too clearly pictured strife
And all the scattered children gathered home
Those who’ve suffered earn a pleasant life
Where no-one ever has to be alone.

And if this comfort helps you to be strong
But harms nobody, I can see no wrong.

-FR

The image search for “Jewish black box sunset” brought me many interesting images, especially around use of tefillin, or phylacteries, but this one seemed the most fitting, after all, from an Adobe stock image used on this site about Jewish ideas and ideals in a blog article about women donning tefillin.

17 February 2021

#17 - Esoterics

The 2012 phenomenon was a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events would occur on or around 21 December 2012. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae were proposed for this date. A New Age interpretation held that the date marked the start of a period during which Earth and its inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 21 December 2012 would mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggested that the date marked the end of the world or a similar catastrophe.


I guess I need to buy another bed.
Perhaps I’ll get my job back if I plead –
and tell my colleagues that I was misled,
espousing some apocalyptic creed.
And maybe I’ve still mates who will consent
to furnish me with things that I now lack,
if I admit this foolish nonevent
took all except the clothes upon my back.
 
I reckon they’ll believe me, credulous
fools that they are. I need a little grace,
some earnest study, calm and sedulous,
so I can pinpoint the true time and place –
the end of things: desired, cold, supernal –
cuz hope in disappointment springs eternal.

AWB

I mean, it's obvious when you look at this, right?


16 February 2021

#16 - Between Our Hips

 In Māori mythology, at the beginning of the world, the sky and the earth embraced so tightly that not even time or light could pass between them. It was only when their children separated them that the world as we know it was formed. 


Between Our Hips 

Our corresponding shapes are so aligned,
no light or time may slip between our hips. 
Our limbs and vital spirits intertwined;
I taste your breath, like salt air, on my lips.

Our puzzle pattern bodies interlace,
as eons pass and we maintain our hold.
A beautiful, perennial embrace.  
A cosmic cuddle, keeping out the cold. 

But each beginning must foretell its end 
and even ecstasy is mutable.
Despite our fealty, we must both transcend 
and find positions less inscrutable.

Although it hurts to be apart, we’ll try. 
I’ll be the earth and you can be the sky.


LM

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech



15 February 2021

#15 - Viracocha

It is said Viracocha created the universe, sun, moon, and stars, time and civilization itself. He was worshipped as god of the sun and of storms and was represented as wearing the sun for a crown, with thunderbolts in his hands, with tears descending from his eyes as rain. Viracocha may be assimilated to Saturn, the "old god", who the planet Saturn and the day of the week Saturday are both named after.  





















Viracocha 

Thunderbolts in your hands, you are juggling 
fire, ideas, responsibilities. 
It’s so hard seeing people struggling. 
Broken lightbulb pieces in your hands, please 

can we allow ourselves to say thank-you 
to the people juggling thunderbolts, 
the people we need to say well done to. 
Let’s try not to focus on all our faults. 

Deep breaths. Positive thoughts. Optimism. 
We should create a new day of the week 
between Saturday and Sunday; escape 
while we get back to a healthy rhythm. 
That stutter every time you try to speak. 
You’ve always been scared of making mistakes.

14 February 2021

#14 - The Problem of Susan

 (Russell J Turner)

This sonnet shares its name with a Neil Gaiman short story which has since become synonymous with debate about the fate and treatment of Susan Pevensie, as referenced in The Last Battle and other writings by C S Lewis


The earth lies black beyond the stable door

where bones dissolve beneath a dying sun

the holidays have only just begun,

the shadowlands a dream that went before.

So feel the breeze and hear the lion’s roar,

as further up and further in we run

towards that dawn where worlds become unspun,

to pass through death and live again once more.


But Susan sits and paints her face with grief,

with all the pretty colours of her pain

condemned to be an exile by belief

that judges her perfection as profane.

She rails against the prophet and the thief,

she weeps for love and innocence in vain.


RJT




13 February 2021

#13 – Covenant

CW: interpersonal violence and death. The creation myths of the Cherokee people involve a fair amount of disobedience and sibling issues (and sleep deprivation). Accordingly, this is more “inspired by” than “about”…


On recollecting times my brother struck
(When I would make his doom my fondest wish),
Although with fists and dolls and boards and muck,
At least he never hit me with a fish.

So hard to tell which one of us was wilder,
For both of us were born of bitter blood:
My temper, often loosed, was also milder,
While his, hard-dammed, could cause our home to flood.

Our parents’ secrets broached gave rise to pity,
But shame can turn to rage if not addressed;
And coping looks a lot like being shitty,
When hunting down self-care while sorely stressed.

When yearly mourning falls on stony ground,
More fruitful families should then be found.

-FR

Symbol for Homecoming (from this Thought Catalog article about Native American symbols) – again not citing its sources, so if you have better, and can tell me whether there is one more specifically Cherokee, please let me know and I will amend accordingly. 


12 February 2021

#12 - Ilmatar to Väinämöinen

The Kalevala is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology, telling of the Creation of the Earth. The Earth is created from the shards of the egg of a goldeneye and the first man Väinämöinen is born to the goddess Ilmatar. Väinämöinen brings trees and life to the barren world.


Suspended in the sea – I’ve been here years,
or months or weeks or decades, hard to say –
awaiting your arrival, son. This day –
foreseen but not foretold – at last appears,
with burning thighs and shattered hemispheres.
Breathe now, and carve on through the spray;
inspire the land with laughter, song, and play –
too soon will springtide joys be raked by tears.
 
Remember me as one who gave you air,
and blessings uterine and manifold;
remember as you scan the primal swell,
recall a mother’s words that float like prayer:
youth’s curse forgets the wisdom of the old;
the curse of age is knowing this too well.

AWB



11 February 2021

#11 - Fenrir at Ragnarök


Ragnarök is the end of the world in Norse mythology, a great battle in which many gods are killed. Fenrir is a great big wolf god (son of Loki). He kills Odin and then is killed by Vidar (who is Odin’s son). Complicated family dynamics…
 

Fenrir at Ragnarök

Prepare for an apocalyptic brawl 
where gods and beasts and giants meet their end.
A bloody war where fury conquers all, 
where father turns on son and friend on friend. 

While mediation thrives on compromise,
these bearded lads would rather have the fight.
To lunge - head-first - towards their own demise,
and, on the way, engage in righteous smite!

The crashing crunch of jaws reverberates,
but he resolved to swallow Odin whole.
It is impertinent to masticate 
a deity ‘round whom the world revolves.

This Vidar, god of vengeance, plays his part
and pulls his wolfy body clean apart. 



LM



Odin and Fenris (1909) by Dorothy Hardy

10 February 2021

#10 - Tagine: A Recipe For End Times

An important part of Islamic eschatology is the Day of Resurrection and the Day of Judgement similar that deipicted in the Book of Revelation. Mid pestilence, I felt to reference Rumi's writing on the subject rather than look to current affairs for inspiration.




On these days without dates, there will always be you,

New layers from teary roots. While in the kitchen;


Ruminating on Rumi, a ruminant stews,

Earthenware roiling hints of incense and saffron,

Sultry sultanas bright with almonds, scents of you,

Underneath it all, his words, “A lover in life

Remains a lover in death a lover in the tomb

Resurrection day and a lover in paradise.”

Echoes of scripture.” You say, on a cayenne smoulder,

Capturing the truth of us in sugars and spice,

Tomorrow, further infused with loving whispers,

It returns to being the pot boiling device,

Over the top, like Dulce et decorum est,

Noting: “the heart that is not in love will fail the test."



RD

 
Desert Sunset - North Africa

09 February 2021

#9 - Haida Gwaii

(Russell J Turner)

Raven Tales are the traditional human and animal creation stories of the Pacific Northwest Coast. This sonnet draws on a tale of the Haida people


White raven catch a pretty eagle eye

a nod, a wink adornment to his scheme

to liberate her father’s hidden dreams

of fire, water, baubles of the sky.


Above the trackless territory he flies,

to hang them high, to make this island gleam

by starlight as the overflowing streams

all whisper to the worlds that hurry by.


Then fires flame and embers fall to hide

beneath the rocks, to make the mountains crack

with industry, with arrogance and pride

with hearth light that still draws the traveller back.

The trickster shapes creation as a guide,

the cinders turn his finery to black.


RJT




08 February 2021

#8 – Chorus

From Ainulindalë, the Tolkien Creation Myth for Middle-Earth.

Eru Ilúvatar lifts unseen hands
And beckons harmonies on grander scales
His lovely instruments will weave their strands
To summon up from nothing hills and vales.

The tune moves onward: elegiac, strong,
And concepts bold and novel now take flight.
The song is everything and all is song,
With sound translating every shade of light.

But dissonance creeps in through one raised voice
For Melkor needs to stand out from the crowd
Thrice shifting up the theme he makes his choice
Departs to where he’ll loudly stand new ground.

And though rebellion’s notes still echo, raw
Its children’s beauty’s worth the broken law.


You know when you find a perfect image but the place from which you got it doesn’t cite its sources and reverse image search just keeps bringing you back to the same place? That.
Cite your sources, people!


07 February 2021

#7 - Corvid Muggins

 Quite frankly, I smoked a blunt, wrote the words 'corvid muggins', and the rest is an afterthought with a bad joke at the end. Here's a wikipedia link to some stuff you might find interesting.


assigning guilt is such a human trait
all blaming corvid muggins for their plight
and yeah so what my care for them is slight
they make you god and then get all irate
at piddlin’ tiny changes in their state
trickster they call me, never honoured sprite
they worship without love just fear and spite
a trickster god? ha! name me one that ain’t
 
it’s spondee time: I’m. A. Bird. Mate. ya see
i barely even notice if you’re there
this world revolves in no small way round me
so if i ever hold you in my stare
unlikely i’ll be thinking much of you
cuz in the woods i got bare shit to do

AWB

Yes, yes, Never More, can I go now?


06 February 2021

#6 - Creation with an Axe

The Slavic Creation myths include several different stories: creation by diving, creation from a cosmic egg, and creation from dismemberment. I went with the ‘creation from dismemberment’ myth as inspiration for this poem. It is a little bit gory though, so here’s your content note for violence, blood and viscera. You have been warned. 


Creation with an Axe

A blazing, sanguinary wound of light,
this reddish star – our sun – a brutal breach.
The viscera of moonlight bleeds through night
and stains the sky with triumphs out of reach.

While shoulder blade tectonics move beneath 
the sinew soil of slowly shifting dunes, 
Creation swings its axe and grinds its teeth
and softly hums an ever-changing tune.

A god can give their body to the earth,
their bones transferred to sediment and scree.
A violent world demands a violent birth;
the axe must bite the bark to fell the tree. 

A god can give their body to the earth;
a violent world demands a violent birth.


LM

Dolmatov World Tree
Dolmatov World Tree


05 February 2021

#5 - High As An Elephant's Eye

(Serin Thomasin)

The Creation Myth of the Mayan People.

The makers: Gugumatz and Tepeu
Have dreamed the earth awake, alive, and now
Desire some adulation for their new
Creation. Praise is surely due, but how?

From mud, then wood, they recreate themselves
But soon discard plans A) and B) with scorn
The wood won't think, the mud simply dissolves.
Plan C): they make their avatars from corn.

And men of corn can think, and love, and know!
But soon they reach too high, and know too much.
The gods feel superseded now, and so
They prune back hard: a practised farmer's touch.

For gods do not not want equals, they want praise.
Shoot up too fast, they'll grind you down for maize.

-ST


Image from Siggi of Maine


04 February 2021

#4 - She sleeps until a whistle cuts the dark

(Russell J Turner)

Yhi is an Australian Aboriginal goddess of light and creation


She sleeps until a whistle cuts the dark

of Dreaming – light falls soft upon the earth –

to usher in a sunrise and a birth,

the dawning of an unimagined spark.


And where she walks her footsteps leave their mark

a panoply of greenery and mirth,

as flowers, grasses, fruits and fungi girth

the world while branches frame the heavens’ arc.


But she would dance, and bids us to the ball,

to leap and fly and creep across the plain,

to greet the skies and seas that feed us all,

to whirl beneath the gentle evening rain.

She draws the darkness round her like a shawl.

She sleeps until the sun comes up again.


RJT 




03 February 2021

#3 - Inundation

Egyptian mythology has a surprising amount to say about what happened before creation happened, but it all depends on where you’re standing when you hear the story.

From out of nothing everything shall rise;
The darkness washes, sigh becoming sea.
This pointed land is silent, nothing cries –
The eight have twined and, dying, made this lea.

Now boundless dark is limited, secure,
As Sun bursts forth and so the sky is seen.
The Maker mates himself and so ensures
That generations cleave to paint this scene.

But travel further south and they’ll dare swear:
Creation comes from thoughtfulness, not swank
And down the river, stranger, they’ll declare:
The Form Behind All Forms first formed this bank.

Though details dicker, shifting in the sun,
One thing’s for sure: we’ll end as we’ve begun.

-FR


“Sunrise at Creation” from Ancient Egypt by David P. Silverman, via Wikipedia
(incidentally, the least obscene depiction I was able to find...)

02 February 2021

#2 - Further Revelations

 The Book of Revelation. It's in the Bible, depending on who you ask.


I sing, deluded mortals, of my dreams –
the woeful strain of this distempered lyre:
of seas of blood, and trumpet-tortured screams;
of War and Famine, Pestilence and Fire.
Of broken seals, and Judgement’s endless day:
the Beast unleashed, the lost denied a heaven;
betraying in each sign along the way,
my strange obsession with the number seven.
 
Now listen, John, mate (if that is your name) –
we’re not accusing you of telling lies,
or disbelieving owt that you proclaim.
It’s just… We wonder– don’t you realise?
that no one cares what happens while you’re snoring,
cuz other people’s dreams are fucking boring.
AWB




01 February 2021

#1 - Primordial Waterfowl

The Ob-Ugric creation myth is the genesis story of the world in the mythology of the Khanty and Mansi people of Western Siberia. It tells of an old man and an old woman (sky god Numi-Toorum and fertility goddess Kaltaš), who live in a cottage on an endless primordial sea. One day, a loon flies out of the sky, and dredges some mud up from the depths of the water, inadvertently creating the world. (Or purposefully, it’s not quite clear.)


Primordial Waterfowl 

Existence is a brief and fleeting act 
when set beside the endless, rushing void.
Outside of time, stability’s abstract;
uncertainty makes everyone annoyed.

We tried to take our comfort from the sea
but dark uncanny surges whispered words 
of disconcerting volant sorcery; 
a new beginning, heralded by birds. 

The glassy blankness of his gazing eye,
this feathered harbinger of metaphor.
He dove beneath the waves to claim his prize
and turned the world to earth and sand and shore. 

Creation is a brief and fleeting act;
reality condensed in the abstract. 

LM 

A black bird with white stripes, swimming on open water.