18 August 2017

The Worship of Defiance


Evil is not a force but a cavity
Rotting stones underneath the foundations
            of the earth
Evil is a force with a purpose
Not decomposition: the orderly re-
            verse and renewal
Of hexagonal flakes
But deconstruction: the harvest of matter
Before harvest, leaving only flakes.

The motley grizzly of the earth
Runs a certain manly course
The spring berries, and summer salmon
And honey during harvest-moon.
He does not deviate from the habits of men
And though he’s safe beneath the firs
He has forgotten, he has forgotten.

The Greater She-Bear of the sky
Never bathes in th’ ocean wave
Her white neck is outstretched ever North
She knows that life abides in the colder
Regions, where the air is thin
No-one who has drunk from the heavenly hives
Shall ever thirst, shall ever thirst again.

The bees of the earth make gold
But the bees of the stars make silver
Stringing their polygons in spirals for
pedestrians who comb
Along the shores of space. They make
Food fit for their make: planets are like
Pebbles to them: they weave their wax
Out of suns, and the sun is their home.
For the bees of the stars know their art
They know that the temper of celestial milk
Must last them a longer winter than
            their urban cousins.

Gold is young, but silver is old
Gold is thick, but silver will mould
Gold is warm, but silver is cold
Gold is good, but silver is gold.

Is the ocean a friend to man?
Is God a ghost, but a good ghost?
Or is the only worship
The worship of defiance?

It is true, we have lost the claim to kingship
But how is the rightful heir restored—
In the City of Man? By participation
Or conquest? Or is the only worship
The worship of defiance?

The bees of the earth make gold
But the bees of the stars make silver
What mad pursuit? I’ll wonder no more
At the fiery hunt. The boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars.1





[1] T.S. Eliot “Four Quartets” 59-61


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