Christopher Edgar


Scene of an Ancient Ambush

Just as cedars are known to kill snakes with their odors
Silvester not only welcomed him to his house
But introduced him to the as of yet
A green so green it is blue and yellow and seldom seen
Rendered sightless he saddled the horse and rode it fearlessly to the mountain
He took the mountain by storm and brought it back to a woman on the verge of
She did not want the gift of constancy he offered her and so chastened he gave
     it instead to a wolf
Who was chased by a crow who drove him into the sea with the beating of its
Whence the poor man's corpse sank to the bottom and was devoured by
     marine monsters
Who heard a great voice and began to regret their actions as only do those who
     inhabit evil
As the sum of the divining rod curls and dims the tiny fires so they asked you
     before they departed
To the far shore, this purgatory, which is but a temporal resting place, a
     fragment of a broken vessel
In the arms of time the worms and wounds inflicted upon him diminished
     mightily, his spirit was great, he slept the sleep of the just
As an eloquent breath blew airlessly past the counseling tongue past the long
     channels of the rivers
Shapely as noiseless planks all concurred with the august reasoning from up
While forty steps from the pit, a wagon was brought round for each family, each
     an octave
Of devoted vermillion palm cypress cedar olive a flock slumbering happily
     knowing it is safe from wolves
She was on her way back from the camels when a girl came to tempt her lest
     she not prefer to retire to a solitary life
There are but three movements of the body and two are silent
The third is the hand peeling the apple
Driven from place of shame to place of shame on a kind of sled
After his sleep, he awoke his mind full of the second principle
A great and ancient anger rose within him, a wild vigor which steeled and
     girded him
To successfully defend the vineyard and not yield the basilica
Or the level bridge. He drove many foes into the river, smote
Welters of blows upon them as an arrow dipped in poison
Pierced his cheek he fell and was gathered up by the enemy
Neither converted by admonitions nor frightened by marvels
He was whipped and beaten, mangled until his bones showed
Through the torn flesh. So black was his humiliation that he
Disappeared into it, and so expiring, was rescued by it
His restive soul borne on the air to the interior
The only remnant a distant wailing
Left there to prefigure the legend