Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Epistemology: Demons

Stone Gargoyle Face - Statue


Epistemology:Demons


What do we know 
about demons? Angels may
float the sky in a white penumbra 
of  cloud, but you know 
where you are with a demon.

We know demons are god’s
black ops, sent to
do his wetwork, to keep
the wings of the angels
always clean.

We know they have radiant
faces of fire, red eyes
of ember, a split singing tongue,
tails that thrash like pythons
and a foot divided,

that if they speak
then they are lying, that
they play us like dulcimers,
sucking the music straight
down to hell.

We know they’ve come to
burn down the heart, but first
pull up the flowers on the doorstep
to scent the flames that
cover the smell of blood.

They are not distant
but near beside us, the better to catch
a lungful of loss and smoky grief
from  feelings clean as diamonds
they‘ve turned against us in the blaze.

We know they are as we are,
damned or dancing to the tune
of the universe, which says
some things must die
so that others can live.

Yes, you know
where you are
with a demon.

 
June 2011

Note: This is a companion piece to Epistemology:Angels, found here.
 
 

posted for   OneShotWednesday   at the inimitable OneStopPoetry
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Image: Stone Gargoyle Face, by Digital Wallpaper on flick'r
Digital Wallpaper's photostream

37 comments:

  1. fine write hedge - reminded me on c.s. lewis' screwtape letters..they play us like dulcimers,
    sucking the music straight
    down to hell...excellent and you know - i hate the thought of any music being sucked down to hell....gggrrrrr

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  2. As a lover of Jung - I feel they sleep with us, walk with us and know us well...to deny them is to find ourself damned...they sit in a lit candle awaiting a larger flame...contain them but ignoring them feeds their fire.....bkm

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  3. This is probably why I like Blake's "Proverbs of Hell" so much: demons are local, familiar, far more resident in psyche's redneck backwood. We know just about every damned thing about demons, cast as they are by our own shadows. We don't know jack about angels--'course, they don't know shit about life. A fine preening of our homeboys' wings, friend, hanging them wide to dry atop their aeries in our hearts. - Brendan

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  4. screwtape letters was my first thought as well...oh they are 'alive' and well around us, and yes you 'damned' well know where you stand...smiles. the pics a bit freaky...

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  5. @Claudia: I think the jazz you play is safe--too hot for them. ;-)

    @bkm exactly

    @B: Also Twain's Letters from the Earth. Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts, as always.

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  6. Hey...
    I used to date one of them in College!!
    Penumbra...hehehehe
    Walking Man was right! He told me you have at least one Google word per epic.
    Yeah...We were talking about YOU.
    Loved your One Shot JA....

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  7. "They are not distant
    but near beside us, the better to catch
    a lungful of loss and smoky grief
    from feelings clean as diamonds
    they‘ve turned against us in the blaze."

    That's writing clean as diamonds.

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  8. So far out of your cloud of lightning poems, I think I like this best of all. When I got to sucking the music straight / down to hell I felt something like salvation. Oh I grew up with demons, as enemies. I needed to learn to receive them as part and parcel (annoying as they are).

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  9. Out of coal baked in time, polished to brilliance - every facet casting a spectrum of meaning..from Hades to the pot of gold at your front door..this set of karats even better than the angels!

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  10. Lovely write specially these lines ~ *I shivered*

    We know they are as we are,
    damned or dancing to the tune
    of the universe, which says
    some things must die
    so that others can live.

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  11. What a read. Phew! A great write not sure I want to move Just in case???

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  12. They are what they are, neither good nor bad, just part of the cycle, the plan. It is we who demonize. This is a terrific, downright educational, piece.

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  13. Did you see The Adjustment Bureau? It was about a bunch of angels who acted more like devils...so maybe the lesson is don't always go by what people call themselves. I thought Matt Demon was appropriately cast in this movie.

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  14. Nice - it's always a delicate balance :)

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  15. Dear Joy: Definitely and most certainly

    know you know
    where you are with a demon

    where I am with a demon? Where am I? Angels and Demons reflect the duality. A balancing act. Ying/Yang energies. Demons may play the energy which causes a negation our temporal polarity.
    The Epistemological approach; very teacher dialectic in the platonic vein. We should keep these demons at arms length if possible.

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  16. A nice write....creative and perfect :)

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  17. Do demons really know their nature.

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  18. @Ollie: I doubt they spend much time worrying about it.

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  19. Most say my musical choices come straight FROM hell...hmmm, could be I know that as well! lol Again, here I am to tell you what an amazing "joy" it is to read your work, and I do sincerely hope to one day make my pen work as effortlessly as yours seems to. I think with this particular piece, I too, have found a new favorite.

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  20. Frickin' demons...thinking they're all that. This is my favorite bit here:
    a lungful of loss and smoky grief
    from feelings clean as diamonds

    Love it....well constructed, and fun even in its darkness.

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  21. I believe you know too much ... keep it secret ... oh fine post that is...beware of demons baring gifts... or fangs

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  22. Thanks all for reading. Everyone's got a good one up tonight. Appreciate all the time and input.

    @G-man: See how ya are. Just think of me as a vocabulary builder for new limericks.

    @Ruth I'm glad you liked it--I'm off my pagan stomping grounds here, but I think demons are a universal concept, from Tibet to Timbuktu.

    @Tash: I'm laughin at the music from hell. :_)

    @brenda: sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying ;_)

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  23. Vocabulary building with Hedgewitch!

    Seriously, thanks for including the link to Angels. Together, these are fascinating. Of the two, demons seem rather more likable. I wonder what that says about us?

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  24. The 2 poems together are great bookends. I have more sympathy for the demons, since, as you write, they "dance to the tune of the universe."

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  25. 'white penumbra'wow, this is intense and powerful,something must die so that others die.

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  26. I love this and the thought behind. Little demons one and all!

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  27. My, my, my.... there's no end to the creative talent here!

    We know demons are god’s
    black ops, sent to
    do his wetwork.... What lines, the phrasing isperfect, and the image so unexpected.

    This should be the companion to Faustus!

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  28. @Kerry--those were my favorite lines, actually. Thanks for noticing, and for reading.

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  29. Oh! One of the very best and most 'real' deplictions of demons I have EVER read. I write about demons in a novel, but I think this poem has really expanded my understanding of them.

    This is a marvelous, earthy delight. "Wetwork of God" indeed.

    Everytime I read your poetry, I am in awe at your abilities.

    Brava!

    Lady Nyo

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  30. @Lady Nyo : Thank you--your one shot this week on the Cooper's Hawk also resonated with me--a fine poem.

    @MK & MZ: Thanks for reading the two poems as a unit and giving your feel for them. I also find I'm more comfortable with demons--what it says about us is in the who knows category, but I think it has something to do with realism.

    And again, many thanks to all who've come by to read. Much appreciated.

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  31. I think of demons as hackers -- hacking and defacing a life. Great poem.

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  32. Oooh, I love everything about this! That second stanza was a sort of a-ha moment for me. I've always thought it best to at least acknowledge our demons if not embrace them. But here, you've made demons thoroughly likeable.

    Off to read Angels...

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  33. Thanks, Belinda and annell, for reading both. Much appreciated.

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  34. your demon looks wistful
    i wonder if humans are their demons or angels
    or if it is all facets

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg