Thursday, February 16, 2006

Poetry Break: "Ozark Spring Storm"

Another poetry break? What gives?

Well, my site meter shows that the number of people recently visiting this blog has risen to unprecedented heights. Since heights make be dizzy, I figured that I'd better post something obscure to drop the number back down.

So ... here's one for theologians with a sense of humor. Maybe it's not so pithy as my joke about the apostle Paul, but it'll have to do for now.

And Phil Harland might like it:
Ozark Spring Storm

Mephisto's cracked the night's hermetic seal,
And shards of light come crashing to the ground.
(In vain the darkest prince had hoped to steal
Unnoticed from these hills without a sound.)
What mischief is he up to now?

Disturbed, my sleep, I listen to him howl
In pain -- it rattles down the window frame
And creaks loose boards beneath the bed. A growl
(A curse?) escapes his lips ("Goddam' my lame . . .") --
His cloven hoof give out again?

Come day, I'll seek what damage he has done,
Inspect it close, evaluate the cost.
On judgment day, he'll surely owe me some --
I'll bargain for my soul and not be lost.
Saved not by grace, but clumsiness.
I wrote this one way back in 1984 (yes, copyrighted) while I was working in Stephens Lounge, a fifth-floor coffee lounge in Stephens Hall for those U. C. Berkeley students who managed to discover it after trudging up steep stairs on their way to something that they likely wouldn't find since most of them had no business in the office above the lounge anyway.

Occasionally, individuals with even less reason to show up ... showed up. But that's another story...


At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the thing about obscure posting material, it seems to bring the weirdo contingent.

But wait... I'm commenting aren't I?

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Ah, the weirdo contingent. Well, it's fated, you know. The Old English word for fate was wyrd ... which is sort of a weird thing to think about.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As is one of the traditional Norse runes. Which, as I recall, was the only blank one.

Weird, that.

At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea that even supernatural entities could be subject to the rule of random accidents (if there is such a rule).

Of course be careful not to offend any of Mephisto's supporters or they might start rioting. Incidentally are you getting a lot of hits from Hell all of a sudden?

At 3:44 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, the devil is often portrayed as a legalist, perhaps from the etymology of either the Greek "Diabolos" or the Hebrew "Satan," which mean "accuser" and "adversary," respectively, often in the sense of a prosecuting attorney. This fits in with the Medieval belief that the devil enters into contracts for souls. Think of Faust, for example.

So, the devil might not be the sort to instigate a riot. I'd be more concerned about a court order to cease and desist from my slander of the devil's good name, etc.

Of course, there is Milton's "Pandaemonium," popularly associated with chaos and perhaps rioting ... but not quite so in Milton's thinking.

Hits from Hell? The demons would probably use Unipeak's search engine to avoid being traced.

By the way, you and Gabe -- being writers -- might be interested in checking out the blog Contemporary Nomad, which is maintained by four writers.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The monsters in your tales seem to meet unfortunate even has a surgically correctable cleft lip...



At 4:27 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, Satan traditionally has a limp, and as for the Gnostic Demiurge, he is portrayed in the writings as a flawed 'god.'

Besides, they wouldn't be monsters without something monstrous about them.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well, Satan traditionally has a limp"
--Horace Jeffery Hodges

...And with your help, Satan has also traditionally sat on his pointed tail!



At 5:46 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

A recent tradition.

Jeffery Hodges

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