In thirty years of darkness,
We thought nothing would grow, and that
Energy-loving beings would perish
Like light-starved beans in a greenhouse.
We forgot the white asparagus, of course,
Its shoots buried underground.
We forgot the passionate speeches,
Fist-formed, and tossed like cocktails with rocks.
We, in the webwork of existence, were irredeemably lost.
Darkness — How it covered our world . . . .
Under its tyranny not a kindle caught,
And news of a rejuvenating white light
Was confined to border states. Far beyond Belief.
Hope alone thrived;
Primarily the hope for which our brother Gilgamesh is known:-
Gilgamesh, who sought to preserve his perfect awesomeness forever,
And to lord his kingly power, from aridest dessert to wildest sea.
How we cowered before our own Gilgamesh,
Like the hostage alone in a damp cellar,
Keenly aware he’s up against the snark.
Against it we had no helmets or shields
Could not arrest
Could not convict
Could only doubt.
We doubted Progress,
Unable to see through her Gilgameshian robes;
But Progress designs with irregular lines,
Lines you may trace her with,
But cannot use to define her.
Look closely at Progress.
You’ll find her at the heart of every revolution:
Alluring, misunderstood, broad and dark.
Isn’t it this darkness which promotes ire,
Ire which turns soft tissue to stone,
Then resurfaces as soft, iridescent pearls?