Cats and Theories
a blog by coticheque
a blog by coticheque

Poetry exercises

Saint John the Evangelist receiving a Revelation on the island of Patmos

I am John, I sit in my cave.
Dreaming of man whom I’ve never met.
Outside there’s morning, vast space, slow rotation of Earth.
But inside of my cave only rocks and the dirt. 

I envision the kingdoms that ought to fall.
7 churches. Antipa. Balaam. Balak.
While I write my treatise, counting days until end,
Herbs are blooming on fields of Ephesus, Smyrna, Sardis.
And other places that I made up.

When the morning dew falls upon grass,
I shrug from fever and dream of eternal death.
Lake of fire, the locusts, famine. Hot oil is my bath.
These are days – and I count till they pass.
Till life’s gone. So I summon the earthquakes, I dream of conquest:
Many towns, many lands,
But most often I dream about none.

Women of Pátmos came by other day, bringing me melons, figs,
A jug of goat’s milk. Olives and dates.
Swords rushed from my mouth and I cursed them of sin.
Wearing animal skin, they’re nothing but ashes and dust.
To be so attached to this world is a sin.

And what do they know about salvation?

I lean back and I think of furnace. Blades and flames,
Needles. Mingling with keys of death,
I walk among seven gold lamps. Crushing barley, mosses, pomegranates.
Inner petals of crocus. Bloody moon on the rise. Sun like sackcloth.
Life is nothing but ash and remorses.

Rosy mornings, pink skies, warm vapors from bogs.
Carnivals, dances – I put these aside.
Forest floors, fluffy sourdough, blossoming vines.
They all pass me by. But the villagers keep coming in.

On the longest of days, they sang songs.
While they sang, I prayed for their mouths to shut.

While they sang, I prayed for their mouths to seal.

In the quietness of my cave I enumerate and I judge.
44 thousand Jews. Issachar. Zabulon. Asher and Naphtali.
Third of waters, of tribes. Third of ships.
There’re way too many things in this world – it’s a sin.

While they were dancing, I watched. In the shadow I grinned.

So I split, separate, then I judge and decide.
Trees and grass – to perish in a blazing hail.
Sea to become bitter blood. Sage grasses to be their food.
Bitter waters of Wormwood star.
There’s no light in the bottomless pit anyway. Mountains fall on their lap.
I deem life incorrect. I remain unamused and proceed.

Their home is a bottomless mine. Governed by Abaddon.
Designed like furnace. With their folly, their games and produce.
They should rather seek death, it will flee them away.
Dine with locusts that have lion teeth and wear crowns on faces of men.
In hot air. Sea of glass, lightning, thunder.
But the temple of God is around there. 

Then, 18 months of exile are gone. 2,000 years pass me by.
Now they deem my home cave the Apocalypse’s grave,
And sell tickets for 2. Working hours are: 8 to 1.
They’re still there, they eat and they dance.
Frail, despicable race. Still they read my treatise.
Feeling only disdain, I curse everyone and I spare none.

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