Read Write Prompt #11

October 9, 2009

Read Write Prompt #11: What Equals Metaphor Plus Math?


My hands are scarred with the heat of the flames,
The cause for so many consequences,
So much pain. Agony, torture; eagles
Pecking at my liver each day and night.

The humans light their incense for me, but
They do not sacrifice to me; no, that
Honour they reserve for the one who would
Have rather left them crippled as rabbits.

I wait.

Fire was not the only gift I gave.
I taught them how to build great things, how to
Read the patterns of fate in the stars, and
How to read and write – letters, symbols, maths.

The first to know was a girl. I sat her
On the centre of my palm and whispered
To her the secrets of the many arts.
She liked one best of all: mathematics.

I wait.

She would swing her legs over my fingers
And smile up at me – her secret half-smile
That seemed to say that everything I
Would teach her would fall on welcoming ears.

She asked, once, why the human soul was not
God-like; why it did not live forever.
I swept her up onto my shoulder, kissed
Her hands, and taught her how to count to ten.

I wait.

She did not live long after that. I took
Her back, back, back to humanity, and
They sowed up her lying lips with black thread,
And gouged the eyes from her small, pretty head.

I taught another, and another. My
Secrets eventually forced themselves
Into the universal knowledge of
Mankind. They learned: finally, but they learned.

I wait.

They understood the changing of seasons.
They knew when to plant, and when to simply
Wait for Demeter’s winter to pass by.
Finally, they understood their own world.

They drew maps, found correlations where none
Had ever thought to look before. At last,
They flourished. They bred–like rabbits–and Zeus
Watched all, and now his eagle comes for me.

I will not have to wait for long.


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