A secret cave in the glacial
of gas and air stretching beyond all comprehending:
a light, tiny, unwavered,
the faint glow a beacon to that
chiefest coven of principals, prior
to the fall the greatest array
of lordly wings in Heaven.
Lit down lonely in secluded arrival
the five dominions accepted by
the cavern, gather in quiet counsel
with Raphael and Michael.
With grave and self-made drama
the Chamberlain relates the scene made
by Satan at their door
earlier that day.
Murmuration and constrated faces
the archangel turned to speak:
“If that time should come, an
angel fallen reclaim Heaven,
no god nor crucified may hope
to save us. He coming home
turns off the light; it is over, once
the prodigal returns. The world
is nothing but a test
for evil to do its worst. The lord
created Earth as a battlefield for us
to contest. But if ever the enemy
succeeds in crossing it entirely
we are lost. All creation will cave
behind him, lost stars fall, collapsing
in his wake,
and Earth too.
This babe is nothing but a ruse; whatever
the truth of his remorse, immovably
the fact persists: by any way
should Satan regain Heaven,
we are lost.
We must drive him back. Like the
legend of Magonus, let us gather
sticks, clubs, to beat the serpent-in-disguise
and guide him back to Hell.”
“You mean to kill a child?”
this duke of Heaven near faints away
and Raphael is pained. “This
is no child. This is Satan, unrepentant,
intent on fooling God.
He cannot win
by force, and so he seeks by guile
to corrupt the natural order, to swindle our sweet father
in allowing him return.
What then? What would happen to the princes of Heaven,
to God’s Right Hand, if his first right hand regrew?
Where will we go, we who opposed with righteous fire
his usurpation all ages before? If God forgives him
need that mean he forgives us? Nowhere is that written.
No time was that said. Satan remains Satan, enemy to all,
intent to destroy creation, everything
he cannot have or own.”
“What would you have us do?” one junior in the hierarchy
filled with urgent zeal.
“Watch, for now” said Raphael “and wait for that time
when we may press and turn him away
from his paradise.”
Their leader drew in dirt around their feet: “For now
this child must know disconcert, synchronous
with natural harmony. Make him displeased
to exist in his skin, make him a mocker
of all he belongs.”
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones