tsai . myth : copyright © 1999

 

Myth

...all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.1

[mag33]

Deep Sky began to fall today,
hacked into bits without delay,
as Earth watched Clouds descend and pry
confessions from the Gulls nearby.

Earth screamed and cried, “But why, oh why
are you willing to slaughter Sky?”
The Clouds reply, both odd and grim,
was to ram the air full to a chalky white brim.

And chortling and cackling to a silent hymn,
Clouds burned an effigy, in the air now dim,
of kingly Deep Sky — now no longer their rival,
said they: “For today, we salute our survival!”

• • •

[mag34]

Into the water onto the cobble,
the remnants of Lord Sky, once noble,
were strewn upon the grassy gown,
as chaff and glume that drift and swan.

Where was the knight, rook, bishop, and pawn —
sheltering arcs as in a vault’s groin?
Drafted?  Foul Moon, Fog, Vesper and Star —
by wispy hyenas, thieves of air?

Traitors.  Who first had schemed to err,
to cloud the Reign with sins and fear?
But Cousin, Counsel, Fierceful Wind
who beats the saplings, makes them bend.

• • •

[mag35]

Was Wind like some past knight, a friend
who, torn to serve or win the hand,
as liege to Sire (Queen’s paramour),
severed the land with blood and mar?

Or chieftain, Moses’ kin, who tore
the Assembly asunder from under the pair
with insolent scoffs2?  By his censer
his defiance was censored: cancer.

Not lust nor contempt drew Wind’s rancor.
Yet like the knight, Wind was a dancer,
martial fierce.  As chieftain, a voice
dissentient, where his words entice. . .

• • •

[mag36]

... a cloudy soul whose thoughts are loose
and uncontrolled, whose wont to grouse,
unstoppable.  Fierce Wind he preys
on so-such souls, who’s drawn to please

him where he blows.  He plays on praise
like the malformed mind who set nails3
in one brother’s hand for the other brother’s soul.
From this conceit, explains the scale

of Fierce Wind’s plan to cruelly seal
Deep Sky in hell.  He forms a school
of artful treason, there to invert,
what once was sweet, what is now tart.

• • •

[mag37]

In fraud, his actions did comport
with loyalty of a kinsman’s heart.
Such fealty that none could shame,
outdo, or prove Fierce Wind a sham.

Yet, in her thoughts, the Sun did gloom;
her husband’s fate shone in a dream:
a crumb in a drum, of ruin, of dust:
a wolf in a lamb, to skin a host.

Of such portent, she warned with haste
her love, Sky, of her fitful rest.
But Wind rooked Sky of trust in Sun
and cozened folly from the sane.

• • •

[mag38]

“Thy wife is bright and is Thy boon;
but of her chasteness, rumored blotched.
Her womb is sound, made full by Rain,
the child to come, a mongrel rude.

“She smiles for him in bows of red.
In blushing hues, she waves her rays.
As Rain departs, her eyes are soft
with lashes drawn like butter silk.”

Wind whispered all in feigned concern
then counseled Sky as Chancellor Sum:
“Be lenient, Sire, and kindly judge;
forgiveness stems from one who’s just.”

• • •

[mag39]

Advice discreet, yet stout with gibe
with hidden sneers and mocking japes,
Wind well knew soundness would incite
Sky’s jealous wrath and righteous spite.

If this be true,” stormed Sky, all sore,
betrayal against Our Crown and State,
forgiveness, true, is rule divine,
but they shall taste Our wisdom vain!

And then pronounced, in rage and verve,
We’ll squeeze Rain’s drops as in a vise,
then strip Sun of her regal shine
and banish both as outcast shunned.

• • •

[mag40]

“But Sire, should Thou choose such ill shores
of penal paths, Thou risk the shade
of life; for they, when far, might seek
an ally to usurp Thy State.

“Better to chastise in word than sooner
lose Thy throne are my thoughts sincere.”
With such crafty speech, Fierce Wind sought
the mortal end of Rain and Sun.

As grace departed, Sky’s face grew sullen
with saturnine green lips of scathe.
How right thou are, then they must die,
unpardonable are their deeds dark!

• • •

[mag41]

Feigning a grimace of displeasure,
“Sire, such measures are drastic and fatal. . .
but Thy decree is my truest desire.”
Ensure Our words are brought to life!

With a treacherous, satisfied, fleering smile,
he bowed to Sky and called the Clouds,
“Guards, capture Duke Rain and Queen Sun
by order of Deep Sky, the King.”

Amid terse pleas of innocence,
Duke and Queen were brought to the throne,
victims of Wind’s withering rumors
and pawns in Sky’s tragic demise.

• • •

[mag42]

“My Lord, my Love, what have I done
to wear these shackles, I, Thy sun?”
A quondam friend, a present fiend!
“My Liege, Thy words are too unkind!”

Thy aid to her thus proves thy guilt,
Our sometime noble, rancid Rain
who sires in darkness his Sire’s babes.
Now, be showered with endless night.

“Dear Sire, my Love!  Thou need not right
what is not wrong!  My womb is tight
with Thy seed true; legitimate
is this soon brought forth intimate.”

• • •

[mag43]

But her desperate truth met dumb lips,
and Rain’s guiltlessness cost him life. 
In tears, Sun labored in her cell
and poured life for an unripe child.

Her noble attendant, Sweet Dew,
reported to the King in tears,
“Thy precious wife in timeless sleep. . .
Thy powder blue prince cold and limp. . .

“From grief, in grief, they died of grief. . . .
Bereft of, my Lord, is Thy warmth and peace!”
As grace returned, the King’s heart rived.
Knowledge of truth too late arrived.

• • •

[mag44]

Our Sun, our son, be now revived,
smote by kin who against Thou connived —
dissembling villain, uncouth and vile,
vicious foe, iniquitous bile!

With false devotion, Wind chose to rile
Our throne against friends without guile.
To thrash this knave will not placate
Our wrath, Our anguish, Our cold, grey state.

Sky called the guards.  To his dismay,
the Clouds cuffed him with blows and strikes.
With shrouds of night, they dismembered him
while Fierce Wind watched with snickers snide.

• • •

[mag45]

I insisted on indulging faults,
You could not abide.  Is it my vice
your jealousy consumes pristine lives?”
But, why?  Thou was Our favored friend?

“Your issue, you have proclaimed, will rule
the spheres of void and dust.  Why should I,
Unbounded Wind who marks nowhere home,
serve the celestial and solar nest.

For a wind’s breath, he pitied Sky,
but with a sudden blast, brute Wind howled:
“For your undoing you are to blame,
now join Death in matrimonial bliss!”

• • •

[mag46]

As Heaven’s Lord crumbled and rained down,
Supple Waves gathered his bruised remains
while Tan Dust clung to visceral bits —
Woe came for all of azure-green Earth.

Lady Dew entombed Bright Sun and child
in a sepulcher inside Old Sea.
Warm land became raw, enslaved by Clouds
and hemmed in by the thousand-eyed Fog.

As land denuded, raped by Lord Wind,
Vesper compromised Clear Day by might,
and shamed Day gave birth to Opaque Time
who terrorized Earth with her eerie tread.

• • •

[mag47]

Pale Moon with Sun’s entourage of Stars,
who all had schemed to eclipse their Queen
of her poised splendor, elegant shine,
coveting her stature ‘midst the lights,

when Sun was disgraced, went lunatic
with lust, as they vied among themselves
for luminary fame.  Luminescent
pretender, Moon contested and won.

Phantom of smoldering, resentful trust,
Fierce Wind, now king, commanded from high
his host of treacherous, untoward minds
to conquer, pillage without restraints.

• • •

[mag48]

With Rain’s demise and Sun’s absence, Land
suffered from barrenness.  Green, no longer —
Tall Corn unable to rise, Oaks’ sap
long dried—Land lived her winter of ruin.

Bleak was the habitat of the Creatures
who roamed the tan dust, who swam the waves,
who flew the void.  The cycle of seasons
was now a memory, a tragic myth.

Imagine not one grove with bluebells
and mourn gently of their passing grace.
If the sea should lose the mighty whale,
wail threnodies of tender, sour pain.

• • •

[mag49]

But if all should float into oblivion,
Acheron’s woes and Cocytus’4 laments
would then overflow and flood the realm
of ageless shadows, timeless despair.

The Wise Mounts surveyed their lurid home,
the sallow, fogged vault, the Tyrant’s helm,
where Wan Moon’s pallid glow scarcely shone
through her courtesans of Clouds.  “What shame,

Earth suffers,” sighed Wee Ant, “to sham
allegiance to the Liar, a shrine
of hell.  You must devise a plan
to pluck Wind of ill-gotten plume!”

• • •

[mag50]

“I am small, of no account.  Plumb,
Fierce Wind may not, my errands plain.”
Wise Mounts nodded and understood,
“Great, though small, gallop like a steed!

“Bring these words to Sea: In Mounts’ stead,
be a gorge of flint as Mounts stud
the ground with molten tides.  From ocean
to shore, from shore to ridge, let ashen

funnels direct his course.  Kreeaeshun
Our Hope, will champion our thoughts; Pashun
Our Shield, will govern our strength.  Fail
not to bethink
him who once fell.

• • •

[mag51]

All knew the tale of the ancient fall
of Reezun’s thought to smear and foul
Kreeaeshun’s realm.  And from his mind
sprung daughter, Dowtt, who chose to mend

the predepraved with this demand
“Why be ruled?  Aren’t Thou free to command
Thy self’s realm?  Follow Reezun’s lead!”

Then, the rebel crew, fiercely led

by Reezun and Dowtt, warred with loud
threatening boasts, but Defeat belied
their vaunts.  And hurled from the ÚnMaed
by Kreeaeshun, they fled afraid.

• • •

[mag52]

Through countless tunnels, Ant bored.  Weighed
down by Destiny’s yoke, evade
Wind could not his predestined course.
He paid heed to rumbling Sea’s hoarse

response to Wee Ant’s cheer.  Divorce
of heart from zeal was spark and source
of Fierce Wind’s cruel madness.  Controlled
by Feeare, Dowtt’s young from Reezun, cold

with distrust, Wind with relish, bowled
Ant down with stones.  Suddenly, rolled
into great funnels, Old Sea swallowed
Wind with a gulp, then towards shore, wallowed.

• • •

[mag53]

Blasted by Sea’s icy brine, followed
by Land’s bubbling gases that hollowed
out an intestinal cindery lair,
Mount’s molten spew hardened.  Hot air

in vortical whorls like a snare
noosed Wind from Sea sucking him rare
through tubed portals to lava chthonic
bowels.  Like a sealed jinni, demonic

and vengeful, Fierce Wind fumed.  Laconic
threats he puffed and hurled, but the tonic
of hope had saturated all.
Around Earth, each foe met his fall.

• • •

[mag54]

On the edge of Earth and Air, a birth
of light rose from the Sea.  Like Mirth
in revelry, Bright Sun’s rays leapt
with frivolity.  She, thought swept

under by Sleep, emerged long kept
in Old Sea.  Resplendent, she wept
with ferocity as dark Clouds
of dank humor withered in shrouds.

A wonder grew before the crowds,
but remembrance often beclouds
firm faith; for the resurrected sight
caused some to doubt and some, delight.

• • •

[mag55]

For what they saw was the eclipse of night,
a leak of the past, of a father’s might.
The hands of Destiny grasped at their hope
and tightened their joy like a noose of rope.

For there in the void engulfing all scope
was a pearl-blue emerging on a slope.
Diffusions of color, a glow of peace
infused the etherworld, its every crease.

Free to rejoice, the Creatures did not cease
to cheer the Prince and bid his reign increase.
The past now redeemed with the future unknown,
as for the present, Heav’n’s securely sown.


1 Ecclesiastes chapter 1, verse 14b [mag33]

2 Story from Numbers Chapter 16, verses 1-35 about Korah, son of Izhar, a chieftain among the Levites. [mag35]

3 Richard III, Duke of Gloucester [mag36]

4 Two of the five rivers that separated Hades, the underworld, from the land of the living.  Acheron was the river of woe which poured into Cocytus, the river of lamentation. [mag49]