Saturday, March 01, 2014

Bestiary fun

Speaking of Bestiaries: "This abundance of animal images was not to the liking of some; St. Bernard of Clairvoux, writing in his Apology around 1127, says: "'What profit is there in those ridiculous monsters, in that marvelous and deformed comeliness, that comely deformity? To what purpose are those unclean apes, those fierce lions, those monstrous centaurs, those half men, those striped tigers, those fighting knights, those hunters winding their horns? Many bodies are seen under one head, or again many heads to one body. Here is a four-footed beast with a serpent’s tail; there a fish with a beast’s head. Here again the fore-part of a horse trails half a goat behind it, or a horned beast bears the hind quarters of a horse. In short, so many and marvelous are the varieties of shapes on every hand that we are tempted to read in the marble than in our books, and to spend the whole day wondering at these things rather than meditating the law of God. For God’s sake, if men are not ashamed of these follies, why at least do they not shrink from the expense?'" I'm now working on my own and enjoying rhyme. It feels pretty good to write slowly and go where the rhyme takes me. Looking up I realize I spent the whole day "wondering at these things."

When a chameleon calls, honey is near.
A question mark graces his derriere.
Mists move silently atop the roof of the world.
Chameleon is a glowing green flag unfurled.
Lounging relaxed, he has seen it all before.
Sans labyrinth, this tree-sized minotaur
kvetches to the Amazonian breeze.
This bluesman is due back royalties.
The day can be strange, depending on his mood;
once green, this freak's now vermilion hued.
One eye front and one rear-view
don't invite him to your next fondue.
Leave him be, this lord of fly.
It's witchy to watch him transmogrify.

The bali mynah is an iceberg of white;
This sucker is alone, hidden from sight.
Through labyrinthine leaves, soft eyes beam
in some jungle chili, a dab of sour cream.
When it comes to reconnaissance this bird's an old hand
those legs, involuntary music stands.
The most fetching wings, let the world behold
what nature can do when it aspires to more than slime mold.
Thank you for the serendipitous tête-à-tête;
We should have shared a cigarette.
You could pass for a slumming billionaire.
Quand est-ce que votre libération conditionnelle, mon cher?
You were a "star at dawn, a bubble in a stream
a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream."