The horses feed on bat-moon meadow
their stone age stable now cobwebbed
hooves long rested from run
gone dusty by the wheels of metal
yet they paleolithic horses
graze in night’s paraffin-lit glow
smelling of stable and the wild run
and in the stillness finding
their world crumbled.
Dear Poet Friends, being fond of Art, I wanted to compose on
this topic for a long time in a simplified form! Egyptian Art and
Architecture influenced the Early Greeks, who in turn influenced the Romans and other civilizations! Initially Art and architecture, religion and culture, were all closely inter-related! Real distinction emerged with the Italian Renaissance. Here I have used only a portion of my personal notes. Hope you find this interesting to read! Sorry for the length! Kindly give Comments after you have managed to read the entire portion in your spare time. Thanks, -Raj
INTRODUCTION TO THE STORY
OF WESTERN ART IN VERSE:
* BY RAJ NANDY
Art over the centuries has been variously defined,
But an all embracing definition is rather hard to find!
Ayn Rand defined Art as a recreation of reality according to
artist’s values, his view of existence, and choice;
Who recreates by a selective rearrangement of the elements
of reality, and not simply out of a void!
Study of Art History is a study of man’s creative evolution;
A progress of his wakened consciousness, and a restless
striving towards perfection!
The progress of his mind, taste and skill, which has gradually
evolved through past traditions;
Finding ultimate expression in his multi-faceted creations!
I commence this story from its earliest days, and mention those
Ancient Civilizations which influenced Art in many ways.
Art has been greatly influenced by religion, culture and history;
Therefore, knowing these aspects becomes necessary to
fully appreciate this Art Story!
PREHISTORIC STONE AGE ART:
Let us take a ride on the magic carpet of History, down
past millenniums to begin our Art Story;
Right into the ancient Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic
Eras of the Stone Age,
When early humans left their creative imprints on rock
surfaces and on walls of caves!
Long before the evolution of any proper coherent speech
In some 350 caves of France and Spain are seen paintings
of large wild animals like horses, antelopes and bison;
Bearing witness to the story of gradual human evolution!
The cave paintings of Chauvet, Cosquer, and Lascaux, date
between 8000 and 1700 BC,
Drawn by nameless and faceless people who emerged from
an inhospitable Ice Age;
Those nomadic tribes who were hunter-gatherers living in
The Story of Art therefore begins before recorded History,
Pieced together by scholars with the help of science and
During the Neolithic Period beginning around 8,000BC,
Ancient man became gradually sedentary, engaging in
agriculture and animal husbandry!
With these nomads settling down in small communities,
Art became mystical and monumental in range;
As seen in the megalithic (large stone) structures of the
This type of post and lintel structure is also found in ancient
Egyptian architecture, and later in Greece as its special
Art History spans the entire history of mankind,
Right from the pre-historic days, up to our modern times!
Man’s everlasting quest for immortality lies etched on
rocks and raised stone edifices, defying marauding Time!
MESOPOTAMIAN ART (3500-300BC) :
Let us now travel fast forward on our magic carpet to reach
the Fertile Crescent,
Where the Tigress and the Euphrates Rivers flow, to the
Ancient Civilization of the Sumerians! (3500-2300BC)
The birth of civilization has been traced to Southern
Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians built their first cities,
As the earliest River Valley Civilization around 3500 BC!
It was a period when writing got invented in its earliest
Cuneiform form; (around 3400 BC)
When Patriarch Abraham established the worship of a Single
God, in a revolutionary religious reform! (Judaism)
Mesopotamian Civilization as the source of our earliest
surviving Art dates back to 3500BC;
When major civilizations like the Sumerian, Akkadian,
Babylonian, Hitties, Assyrian, and the Persians, in this
chronological sequence, contributed to Art History!
Mesopotamian Art in general glorified their powerful rulers
and their connection with divinity;
Reflected on their city gates, palace complexes and ziggurats,
are scenes of both victorious wars and their prosperity!
Art was then highly functional and repetitive; depicting
love of beauty, a sense of order, and power of hierarchy,
- in their sculptures and motifs.
However, no signatures were ever found bearing the name
of the Artist!
It is interesting to note that both the potter’s wheel and the
cart wheel, made their first appearance around 3500 BC
and 3200 BC respectively;
With the Sumerians contributing to art and culture, and the
progress of Human Civilization immensely!
(Ziggurats are semi-pyramid like structures with steps, a temple complex located in the center of all ancient Sumerian cities-states! Saragon the Great of Akkad from the North, defeated the Sumerians in the South, & united entire Mesopotamia around 2300 BC, for the first time in Mesopotamian History, & they ruled for 200 years.)
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ART :(3000 BC -500BC)
Next we travel to an isolated area of north-east Africa,
Where the White Nile flows down from Lake Victoria.
The Nile enters Upper Egypt traveling through Sudan,
Is joined by the Blue Nile at Khartoum to become one!
Continues its flow north through Egypt Lower, flowing
into the Mediterranean as the World’s longest river!
Historian Herodotus had called Egypt ‘the gift of the Nile’;
Ancient Egypt became a rich treasure trove of art and
architecture for all times!
The Nile valley area was protected by the desert on its
east and the west;
In the north by the Mediterranean, and towards the
south by a rugged mountainous terrain!
Annual flooding of the Nile along with an effective
Ensured Egypt’s prosperous stability, congenial for her
many innovative architectures and art works!
Egyptian Art got shaped by her geography, mythology
and her polytheistic religion;
Also by their preoccupation with after-life and belief in
the immortal soul’s continuation;
Thus elaborate funeral rites were performed by priests for
the body’s preservation by mummification! *
(’KA’= was a real astral twin or stellar double of an Individual, which continued to exist even after death, requiring the same sustenance as the humans, so food offerings were made in the coffins! ‘BA’= shaped like a human-headed bird, composed of non-physical attributes of an Individual. ‘BA’ collected the deceased’s personality after death from the mummified remains & united it with the ‘KA’, making a person complete; thereby making it possible for the person to be reborn as ‘AKH’ (Star), - in its ultimate unchanging form, to join Osiris in the ‘Happy Fields’! Since this journey to the next world was fraught with danger, magical funerary spells & rites were performed by the priests, with incantations from the ‘Book of the Dead’, inside the funeral chamber of the Pyramid!)
Art During Old, Middle, and New Kingdom Period:
Egyptian Art was concerned with ensuring continuity of the
universe, their Gods, the King and the people;
A projection into eternity a version of reality pure and free
from all earthly evil!
Therefore in ancient Egyptian society, conformity over
individuality was always encouraged;
Artists worked in groups with conservative adherence to
rules, order and form,
And all individual artistic initiatives strictly discouraged !
Their earliest pyramids the Mastaba, the Step, and the Bent
Pyramids were all prototypes;
While the Great Pyramid of Giza built for Pharaoh Kufu,
- was the first true pyramid which still survives!
Art comes down to us as ‘funerary art’ designed for the tombs,
Which was to accompany the royalty in their journey to an
afterlife, with its symbolic forms!
This symbolism is seen in their paintings, statues and architecture;
In vibrant color codes of their paintings as a special feature!
Where White was the symbol of purity, Black for death and night;
Green for vegetation or new life, Blue for water and the sky;
Red for life and victory, and Yellow like Gold as the flesh of the
Gods and also the Sun God ruling the sky!
Thanks to Jean-Francois Champollion’s translation of the Rosetta
We are able to decipher many mysteries of the Ancient Egyptian
with the cracking of the Hieroglyphic Code!
Larger than life statues with poise and austere harmony at the
Luxor Temple complex survive;
Symbolic of the individual’s status, while creating zones of
strangeness for imagination to thrive!
(’Matsaba’= Egyptian for ‘bench’, referred to bench shaped pyramids;
“Step Pyramids” = were like benches placed one on top of the other in
a tapering form going up vertically!)
The Old Kingdom Period covers a five hundred years span
of Ancient Egyptian History, (2686-2181BC)
Known as the ‘Age of Pyramids’, with Pharaohs from the
Third to the Sixth Dynasty!
“The World fear Time, but Time fears only the Pyramids”,
- is an Ancient Egyptian Proverb;
Whose ‘heterogeneous structure’ made it earthquake
proof, making Time to reluctantly serve! #
Here we find formalized figures with long slender bodies,
idealized proportions and large staring eyes;
Where Kufu’s Great Pyramid of Giza raises its mighty head
as the highest, on the west bank of the Nile;
And the mighty Sphinx guard the entrance to those ancient
royal tombs, though defaced, still survive!
These pyramids were like Pharaoh’s getaways to eternity,
An insurance to an afterlife of peace and prosperity!
(# Pyramids with stone blocks of different sizes & shapes made them
Earthquake resistant; & use of pink granite in the inner chambers
made them erosion resistant against Time!)
The Middle Kingdom Period (2040-1650 BC) :
Following 150 years of civil disorder Theban ruler Mentuhotep
the Second, reunified Egypt and ruled up to Nubia, (Sudan)
And began the Classical Era when Block Statues appear,
indicating political stability;
When artisans worked with bronze and copper alloys, designing
Kings now preferred to be buried in secret tombs, Pyramids
having lost their appeal,
And work began on the west bank of the Nile, in the Valley of
(Inside those rock cut ‘funerary temples’ on the East bank of the
Nile, opposite Ancient Kingdom of Thebes ; Pharaohs from the
Early and Late New Kingdom Periods were buried, including
Early New Kingdom Period (1550 -1295 BC):
Between the Middle Kingdom and this Era, Art remained
static for almost a hundred years,
When the Hyksos from the Near East fought the weak Theban
In 1550 BC Theban Prince Ahmose reunited Egypt, and was
succeeded by able rulers, who ushered in the Golden Age!
Art works continued to maintain its basic traditional style,
With successive Kings from the 18th Dynasty consolidating
their kingdom’s wealth and power all the while!
But Egypt witnessed a change with an innovative style in Art,
When Amenhotep IV in 1353 BC became King, initiating a
This king changed his name to ‘Akhenaten’, the spirit of Aten,
-- ‘The disk of the Sun’;
Abandoned the pantheons of Gods with Aten as the ‘sole God’,
and a religious revolution had begun!
His new capital city of Amarna, 200 miles north of Thebes,
Got decorated with a new kind of art work to make it complete!
The statues now appear more realistic displaying emotions,
With fluidity of movement, unlike those rigid earlier creations!
The artistic talent of this Amarna Period gets best exemplified,
In the exquisite bust of Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s Great Royal Wife!
Regarded as ‘icon of international beauty’, a great archeological
find ! *
(Discovered by a German team of Archeologists in 1912 at Amarna! This 19 inch long limestone Nefertiti statue weighs around 20 kg, now housed in Berlin Museum; comparable only to the artistic Golden Mask of Tutankhamen!)
King Tutankhamen (1336-1327 BC):
Akhenaten’s unpopular rule was short-lived, with those humiliated
Theban priests calling him the ‘Heretic King’!
A nine year old boy Tutankhamen (‘The living image of Amun’),
was next to succeed him!
King Tut restored the worship of Amun, in a back-lash against
Shifted the royal palace back to Thebes, with the religious center
at Karnak once again!
King Tut’s short ten year’s rule remained buried in 3000 year’s
of Egyptian History,
Till Howard Carter found his richly laden intact tomb, in the
Valley of the Kings! (1922)
King Tut’s priceless and exquisitely carved golden face mask,
reflected the exalted standard of art work;
Weighing ten kilos, inlaid with semi-precious stones, and eyes
made of obsidian and quarts!
With the King’s early death, the 18th Dynasty of Pharaohs came
to an abrupt end,
And the 19th and 20th Dynasties of the Late Kingdom Period
The famous rock temple of Abu Simbel now got built, under the
warrior and builder Ramses II, one of Egypt’s greatest Kings!
Pharaoh Ramses-II of the Late Kingdom Period :
Here I sweep across centuries of Egyptian History, to mention
King Ramses-II’s contribution to our Art Story!
In Shelly’s famous poem titled “Ozymandias of Egypt” he is
immortalized; (Greeks called Ramses-II “Ozymandias”!)
And as the Pharaoh associated with Moses in the movie “The
Ten Commandments”, he is popularized!
Egyptian Art is intrinsically bound with its religion, pyramids,
hieroglyphs, and architecture;
With a concentrated focus on ‘afterlife’ as its special feature!
In 1270 BC young Ramses took over from Seti the First,
And his rule for a period of 66 long years did last!
As the third Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty, he had ruled with a
Recovered lost territories from the Hittites and the Nubians,
- earlier captured Egyptian lands!
He enlarged the territories of Egypt ensuring prosperity and
Became renowned as the famous Warrior and Builder King
of Ancient Egyptian History!
Ramses-II had expanded most of the temples, as recorded in
the artistic motifs and hieroglyphic symbols;
Here a special mention must be made of the Temples of Luxor,
Karnak, and Abu Simbel !
Temples of Luxor and Karnak in Ancient Thebes:
Ancient Thebes was located on the eastern bank of the Nile,
where the modern City of Luxor stands;
Thebes was once the capital of the 11th and 18th Dynasties,
And the power and religious center of all Egyptian land!
Gets mentioned in the 9th Book of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ where “heaps
of precious ingots gleam, the hundred-gated Thebes”!
Excavation work began in Thebes during the late 19th century;
And the gradual unearthing of the Temples of Luxor and
Karnak, added a new dimension to Egypt’s Art Story!
It must be remembered always, that the Ancient Egyptians in
those early days,
Structured their temple architecture to the point of ‘Sacred Art’!
With their knowledge of astronomy and geometry, they
aligned their temples so perfectly,
That the light of the rising sun fell on the temple’s innermost
sanctuary! (Temple of Abu Simbel is a great example,)
Where the Egyptian priests, who were also the artists, healers,
mathematicians, astronomers and scribes;
In dimly lit incense-filled sanctuaries performed the sacred rites!
The temples symbolized the cross roads of the cosmos, where
the divine and the mortal met in perpetual harmony!
These divine scenes were integrated into the very fabric of the
Egyptian society through chants and rituals;
With cosmological symbols of magical hieroglyphs, which
priests alone could transcribe in those days!
(Thebes began to decline rapidly after Alexander the Great
established the port-city of Alexandria as Egypt’s new Capital
around 332 BC !)
Luxor Temple built by Amenhotep-III, was dedicated to God
Amun, his wife Mut and son Khonsu, - the Theban Triad;
Tutankhamen and Ramses-II expanding the temple during the
New Kingdom Period!
Creator God Amun became assimilated with the Sun God Re;
Was worshipped in Thebes, and in the cult centers of Luxor and
Karnak, - as Amun-Re!
The walls and columns of these cult temples were decorated
with carved and painted relief,
Depicting the interaction with Gods, and military exploits of
Egyptian Pharaohs and Kings!
The sun temple of Amenhotep-III at Luxor has many columns
resembling papyrus bundles,
Symbolic of the primeval marsh from where Creation was
believed to have unfolded !
A Sphinx Alley excavated between Luxor and the Karnak
Temple was used during the Opet Festival,
And also by those Roman Conquerors who came later, and
camped in the temple!
(‘Opet’ was celebrated during second lunar month to honor God Amun.)
Karnak received the lavish patronage from Ramses-I, Seti-I,
and Ramses-II of the 19th Dynasty;
Carved on the pillars, walls, pylons, obelisks, are records of
their success story!
Lying three kilometers north of Luxor, this Karnak Temple
dates back to the Middle Kingdom Period,
Witnessed 1300 years of construction till the Greco-Roman
With later conquerors leaving behind their signature marks,
- by adding to the Temple’s History!
Luxor, as the largest temple of the ancient world dedicated to
Amun, which during the 19th Dynasty,
Witnessed monumental structures erected with battle scenes
depicted, - adding to Egyptian Art Story!
The greatest builder King Ramses-II, who had extended the
territories up to the Levant;
Had erected the front pylons of the Karnak Temple with his
massive statues and two obelisks;
And walls paintings depicting the warrior King overpowering
(Levant included modern Israel, Palestine& Syria. After the Battle of Kadesh, peace was made, and Ramses-II married a Hittite princes! In the South , Ramse-II conquered Nubia, now Sudan!)
Famous Temples of Abu Simbel:
Here twin temples have been carved into the mountain sides,
To commemorate Ramses’ victory at Kadesh, and intimidate
the Nubians he conquered on the southern side!
The second temple is dedicated to Neefertari his beloved Queen,
And her statues are of the same size as that of the King!
The main temple is dedicated to the sun gods Amun-Re and
The temple with a 119 feet wide and 100 feet high outer façade,
Has four sixty feet high colossal statues of King Ramses seated!
At Abu Simbel both Art and Architecture blend uniquely, to
overawe the visitors who flock there annually!
The most remarkable feature being on the 22nd of October and
22nd February of every year,
The rays of the morning sun lights up the statues of Amun-Re,
defied Ramses-II, and Re-Horakhte in the inner sanctuary;
When symbolically the Pharaoh becomes a part of divinity!
The main temple has over a thousand different relief figures
Appearing like an Egyptian Art Gallery, presenting a grand
( Re-Horakhte was Ra & Horus combined; depicted with a falcon head, with the red disk of the sun on top! The fourth statue in the inner sanctuary of the temple belonged to Ptah, the God of the Underworld, so the light of the sun never fell on him! Between 1964 and 1966 the UNESCO & the Egyptian
Govt. undertook a massive Engineering Project to relocate the Temples on a higher location & save it from the flood waters of the newly constructed Aswan Dam; with perfect alignment for the sun to shine on the inner sanctuary once a year, as in those ancient times!)
Short Summary of Later Egyptian Art:
Egypt later came under foreign rulers from Kush in Sudan;
Followed by the Assyrians, the Libyans, the Persians, the
Macedonians, and the Romans in turn!
Egyptian Art was later influenced by Hellenistic, Roman, and
eventually by Coptic Christian features;
But Egypt influenced the Greeks and the Romans, who adopted
the lotus motif with their column and pillar architecture!
And the Greek Pythagoras is also known to have studied
Geometry in Egypt, for twenty long years!
But genuine Egyptian Art still survives, enshrined in those
ancient monuments, pyramids, and temple complexes;
Which are protected as World Heritage Sites to this day!
CONCLUDING PART ONE
I have introduced the true Story of Art commencing from
the Pre-historic days;
Religion, culture and history of a nation has influenced Art
from its nascent days!
Though I have spent some time with Egyptian Art, yet few
things have remained unsaid;
For those Egyptians never created Art simply for Art’s sake!
Their Art was functional and symbolic, to honor of their Gods
To aid the deceased in an ‘afterlife’ and the soul’s eternal
In my next part I plan to cover the Minoan Art of Crete;
And the Medieval Art with its assorted array of Celtic,
Byzantine, Islamic, Romanesque and the Gothic!
But the real canvas art and painting as we know today,
dates back to the Italian Renaissance;
Which becomes a separate Part by itself, as I trace Art’s
Thanks for reading patiently, composed by Raj Nandy of
New Delhi. All Copy Rights are with the Author.
E- Mail:- email@example.com
Foggy head -doggy style.
Paleolithic dining to old records.
Turning, churning tables.
Through the blinds waves are crashing and the sun is shining. Glass blowing - pipe making - love creating.
Yellow bandanas and seashore marble.
Stars are aligning in their own perfect timing....
reminders of numbness thawing.
Caves of Altamira
on the northern coast of Spain
paleolithic drawings can be found
the old stone age of cavemen
in a cave high above the ground
in Mount Vispieres high above the plain
the name Altamira given for high views
that prehistoric man could paint
was such confusing news
it was assumed they were not bright
they had no artistic skills
then came that discovery
high up in those hills
bison horse deer and boar
painted plainly on the wall
18 thousand years ago
painted oils copied in the museum hall
even the Dan wrote a tune
to praise these artists skills
they were stars before Hollywood
high on those Spanish hills
I saw the sun go out
Your smile turned upside down
And cold blue eyes
Brought chilly silence
To this ice age
Where one more dinosaur
I've been a dinosaur
In other times
When love came by
I had a mentality
With paleolithic limits
1. Earth (Pangaea)
Pangaea heaved and shifted
beneath the fire-storm sky.
Colliding plates and spewing mountains
shook, roared and thundered
under the brutal chaos
of torrential cataclysms.
In time she yielded her ire
to millennia of pacific rains -
her severed crust
set adrift across the oceans
like gigantic earthen rafts.
Jungles sprang up and terrible lizards
came, grazed and left their bones.
Forests, grains and multifarious beasts
grew and perished in accord
with their past and future destinies.
So here we are - earthbound,
tossed from our mothers' wombs -
fated to live and breed
by the grace of miracles
far beyond our ken.
Beloved mother Gaia,
from whose dust we are raised,
nurture and sustain us
and sing us to our mortal sleep.
Air - earth's miracle brew of
oxygen, nitrogen and all the rest
meted out in perfect harmony.
Air - silent and still on a moonlit night -
driver of sheeted rain on window panes -
and winds that shake the trembling aspens.
Air - author of land and ocean squalls -
bringer of that ominous pallor
that presages a tornado's furor
Air - invisible aerial highway
for majestic eagles and turbo-jets -
medium of rhetoric and symphonies.
Air – window to the cosmos
and our fragile life–giving broth -
unwitting conveyer of toxic alchemy.
Keep watch my sisters and brothers:
the air we breathe is what we make it
or rather what we let it be.
Water like a capricious deity
wanders through time and topography -
cherished and cursed for
what it gives and what it takes away.
Gentle rains and strident gales
sculpt rivers and streams
through forests and plains
bound for union with the open sea.
Diurnal tides ebb and wane
at the whim of the charismatic moon.
Ice mountains advance and retreat;
rock-strewns moraines left in their wake.
soar over jagged cataracts,
spraying pastel prisms
across the misted valleys.
Beneath our all too fragile skins,
secret sanguine rivers navigate
our veins and arteries
bathing organs, limbs and sensors
with curative balm and sustenance.
Wellspring of all elements,
fill our daily ladles
and grant us the will and empathy
to bequeath the same to our progeny.
Two hundred million years ago
our Paleolithic cousins
seized branches from a burning forest
and stepped into a bold new world.
By the glow of fire-lit caves,
and the scent of searing venison,
they gathered wits and tools
to craft shelters and weaponry.
Their children's children would design
forges and furnaces, factories
and build engines that run on fire.
But their anxious siblings in despair
snatched lightning from the sky
and twisted by fits of anger pride
made also muskets, missiles, bombs
and nuclear Armageddons.
Loki, god of nobler flames
open our blood-stained eyes
and show us the means
to stay our arson lust and
abide by the light of reason.
Revised and integrated version, December, 2015
Past altered states tests postive and subtle
Asshole So and so's teeter Paleolithic après time puddles
And submit terrible philosphies
Ashy stubble ticks politics
and sacrafice to peer approval sacralige
Test probably appears stable
Top patriarch's able suddenly to
Pop above submerged tables possibly
After, something tests patience awkwardly
Stumps tarot practioners and sex testers poor application sterily
Topology plain, astrology scorpio
Torpedo power aptly strikes to pedal antlers sour
Take particular appointments
Stop testing please apply sorted
Terror power and sexless torn pigs
afterhours pen and store tips, plow.
Alter simians testosterone, pow!
As scientists type papers about sexing tasteless past alligator snouts
testing partly after science takes party alliance south to pawn army
subtle tipped passion. artsy.
pick atoms smarmy
Tally past all sentences take pride
As stencils test pestilence. And sigh.
The previous alterations simply tried.
And didn't work, hence the present
Path lit incandescent.
I'm looking towards the east waiting for positivity to peak
You're turned backwards nostalgic for something that'll never come repeat.
I wear Inuit clothing.
Wrapped in Paleolithic reindeer
I hunt mammoths and lions:
ivory a source to make art
and males with no manes to warm their heads.
I’m huntress, nothing more.
Men howl to paint me in caves
to represent the woman I am:
a bull for my head
and the edge of the rock my womanhood.
I’d rather kill with men.
I have humanly adventures with them
rather than pick berries:
I’m hungry not for fruit
but for bloody creatures to gain power.
A man gave me a flute.
It had three holes to make music
with my mouth and fingers, an instrument:
So I blew hard to call him
our spiritual connection one, him and I.
I'm a huntress, nothing more.
Should a primitive tribe be civilized?
Are we civilized or savage?
Leave them the aborigines to their home
their abode in the depth of forest.
But where's their abode?
we cut the jungle and made road
where would their babies be born?
in the smoke of engines blaring of horns
so hard for them to birth
on the dwindling patch of their earth
our Paleolithic ancestors' living fossils
who with iron will
fought bullets with bows and arrows
now falling by the bullies of progress
begging for last living space.
Leave them the way they lived so long
unspoiled with their own education and culture
let them retain their own way of life
and not make them civilized the way we are.
In the narrowest of lanes
I found the sweet shop.
Behind dusty crumbling glasses
dozed the old keeper
smelling of sugar, milk and sweat
over fossils of Paleolithic sweets
on a time machine from the century
he never was
to a millennium he doesn't bother about
clinging onto clay by pottery
not succumbing to synthetic
counting not on android
but accounting on parchment
with the art of finger's arithmetic
most intricately scribbled with pencil
announcing progress is a trouble
not designed for the simple
and contentment has no more nitty-gritty
than price and quantity.
Over his head
spiders worked and reworked
from the ceiling to the glass
as have been doing
Staring off into the distance of a dirty carpet ridden with living trails of ants, a crawling black river of desolate hunger, counting days of visions, wandering naked in the lake treading water, kissing, spitting out lips and liquid
shifted in dreams
memories poke like a cactus needle open to a room of steam heat and opium
flooding with words that digest imagination and burn eyelids, a cigarette held too close to a crowning flame
incinerating eyelashes and clattering TNT onto the serene image of our drunken antics while the rest of the world is howling for us to see ourselves for the raving lunatics we are, their tired look of exasperation an exhausted mother left alone to raise a hopeless child, wicked only for his ignorance
The last speakers of the paleolithic age journey forth from the depths of the amazonian jungle to heal our souls nailed to the cross as drug dealers because ingested plants grow in the ground
I saw the most beautiful soul weep in fear against a diner booth at midnight
amid plates of burgers, fries and green beans laid on the lineoleum table with no signs of starvation or danger
yet the signs of the apocalypse resonate in all psyches because reptilian brains would rather die than change, conform than bring forth the messianic transformation of our own radical self acceptance as God
and we shun those who are insane on the streets
dirty outcasts, poor filth and ugliness
human animals unfit for this society of plastic and image, a mirage over substance
I cross the street rather than look the beggar in the eye because he stinks of desperation, and tell him no no no, I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry, I can't share with you all
The holy yell
flooding the empty headed street
we abandoned our mother and forsaken our selves to flickering images of lust and prestige, cock and balls, snatch and ass, thick wads
idolizing our own form,
the sirens of the modern age, the golden calves danced around in supermarket check out lines,
capturing us on the jagged cliffs of inattention, glories husked and barren, cultivate likes and followers sweet nicotine in the bloodstream, social media mogul reigning over a grand bazaar of ghosts in a room, talking to other ghosts in rooms of faraway lands, ignoring the living flesh in front of their twitchy eyes, cast down for a screen, forgetting themselves for a profile, a small picture in a corner, an Ignominious massacre of life cast through a digital lens, concerts meant for full expression of a cathartic moment of bodily movement, lost to a sea of hand held recording devices to remember how you didn't feel at that moment with other people milling about as cattle who would rather document and never watch again then dance and live and be a part of the happening, look, Rip Van Winkles throwing pins with revolutionary prussian ghosts in a sleepy Catskill hollow, zombies behind wheels typing to kill, these words will not save you, they will not fill the siphon hole,
I am with you in this burning sodium night on my back in the grass of a night with no darkness
I am with you where the army of madness will overthrow the living dead and shake their working class dreams to the core with the sudden eternal war of nothingness and contemplation and silence screaming out for someone to save us
Everything is HOLY!
Throw open the church doors
think nothing of paying for poison, (as advertised)
but refuse to confront your self possessed greed because the man holding the cup is tired and desperate and I am tired and desperate
A truck hauls a horse
broken wilderness, cleaved concrete, cracked spines wretched scars,
killing anything that isn't hard, impermanent and futile, the land reclaims
but no land to ride, only the black road with its machines spewing the smokey remains of dead ancient animals
nature perverted, mobility imprisoned inside a metal box to be driven when it can run
for the potential inside coffins of daily lives
talking of dreams gutless to pursue
settling instead for the easy cruise of routine
fucking our own hands
We all matter
but this world doesn't work without slaves
so take pride in your nine to five
get some pussy with that job title
and two sentence description
of how you can make the dreams come true, in the suburbs with three kids a couch and security from whatever danger lurks outside of us on TV
our own kind
murderous and malicious
The fear The Fear
the light the light
I grab her hand and stare into dark eyes deadlocked on the momentary plane, a revealed saint testifying to God's truth Mary Maria, she tells me there is something beautiful outside this current mode of existence, but she's only had a fleeting glimpse
Three parts treasure hunter
to two parts scientist,
with picks and brushes
sifts through shards and ruins,
echoes of ancestral time,
burning for answers:
How on earth did we manage
to carve out shelters from the crust
tilting the scales
of survival in our favor?
A cliff house here, a cathedral there
a village by the river
chronicling our escape from
the shadows of pre-recorded time.
We wonder where they all went
and why they vanished, but the real question
that haunts our paleolithic selves,
is who are we and where are we going?
October 30, 2015