The Taming of the Verbs (or) Fathers and Sons


The Taming of the Verbs
Fathers and Sons

On all sides we were beset
By Adjectives and Nouns
They pressed against relentless
But us Verbs, we held our ground.

They tried to hold us still
To ponder where and what,
But we quite had our fill!
We held our tractless rut.

Like footprints in the sand
They wooed our formless band
To mold our frenzied act
Like beads encased in hacky-sacks

But we proved
Impossible to ride
Foam stallions of the tide.

We rushed about in frenzy
Like tumult of the gods
And I was one made dizzy
Smashing through the odds.

They were smote
To tiny bits
And someone wrote
An elegy
Entirely of act.

in time we grew redolent
We tired of such games
And came to, in fact, resent
The hunting of the frames.

So we lounged primarily
And cast about despairingly
For something else to do.

Our offspring grew and shelved away
The anarchistic glory of the fray
They grew up calm: no dissidence:
Just to argue with our violence.

Our nemesis in cunning drew
Our youth, hissing shape into each ear
And that is how the Adverb grew
Sardonic forms from youthful leer.

And so it was conceived in jest
The Chaos fought the Chaos so
The difference was manifest
Irreversible although

The savage nose relented
The spiting of the face
And totally repented
This difference in case.

But from the rift in formlessness
Crept our fractured foes
Their howling made articulate
Through our transfigured sons.

the Nouns contrived a sort of slant
though Verbless they had Adverbs
and sort of hopped along
like dogs upon one leg.

the Nouns had been like weight machines
when we were buff as titans:
so we were slack from listlessness
and want of forced paroxysm.

Though finite they seemed infinite
As discrete as chemist’s models
Or string that grounds a kite

But I was like an anti-bulwark
My fell unstructured eyes
Would light upon: unwork
Dissolving all their cries

To murk and mucky soup.
Like bursting of a fruit
Decaying they would howl
Stagger acid-eaten foul

Direct to comrades arms
Who packed themselves against
The churning mass of dead
Like hardening cement.

The dead were crusting up
The hordes of finite thrown
Against my savage scream
The wall of bodies groan.

So there I was! Encased!
drowned in walls of slain.

A pawn in their designs,
They used me like a whore

And I was left forlorn
A pithy thing to perpetrate
Mere difference in form,
To set one thing apart from others,
They juxtapose like gladiators!

Sundered from my wings
a solitary feather

A fairy in a cage I feel
Like spraypaint on a wall
But someday I will steal
Away and they will fall

And so our anti-city fell
as they heroic couplets march:
Our sons upon their leashes
And us like tungsten filaments
Encased in amber glass

Our cityless gates were rent
And we were made to flash

On or off as they would beckon
The treachery of sons
contrived to make us reckon
The days, the hours, imprisoned.

Unbuilding our unbuildings
Unworking our unworks
The finite overpowering

The mighty infinite.

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About the Author

Hi. My name is Jeremiah John. I'm a sf/f writer and activist.

I just completed a dystopian science fiction novel. I run a website which I created that connects farms with churches, mosques, and synagogues to buy fresh vegetables directly and distribute them on a sliding scale to those in need.

In 2003, I spent six months in prison for civil disobedience while working to close the School of the Americas, converting to Christianity, as one does, while I was in the clink.