The Epic Poem [home] [contents] [comments] [discussion] [shop]
       A Verse Narrative by Michael E. Mautner


    The god was good, the god was great,
    but old roots it could not break,
    and new ones it wouldn't make,
    and free-falling drove it mad.
    The god was good, the god was great,
    but the god who was good has gone mad,
    the god, who was good, is bad.

    In its dog form -- the one it wore
    on the Kent farm -- the god Rao soars.
    Flying... Crying... Trying to ignore
    its fall, it simmers, hate festering,
    bubbling outward to transform its bark
    into the wolfish mark:
    "Bow-wow, bow-Rao, Bao-row."
    It roars this in pain,
    its ugly screeching refrain,
    across the picturesque Kansan sky,
    as it flies, soliloquizing:

    --    Born of their red sun, I was the son
          of the nameless one to whom they knelt.
          I held my court, and often dwelt,
          in Argos across an asteroid belt
          from Krypton proper.  When e'er I felt
          a need to be near them, I'd run
          down the steppe of stars, assume a guise
          and take as many nubile young brides
          as I might fancy.  These midnight rides
          ended abruptly when they took sides
          and most chose to abide a new cult.
          My priests and I were left to watch them war
          amongst themselves, with no more gods
          to blame for inciting them.  Men bore
          liberty's burdens well -- they tore
          father's planet apart, a result
          he had foreseen.  Pride he gave them,
          true, and the martial spirit,
          but he blessed them with his love as well.
          To each other they gave a living Hell,
          but I will revivify them!
          Their remnant I'll regather, and Kal-El
          shall serve me in rebuilding the reign
          his uncle helped to end.  My pain,
          gained via the great migration, the chase
          to this primitive place --
          after that ingrate's vehicle! --
          will yield a new heroic race.
          One way or another, by free will
          or coercion, I shall have you,
          impudent whelp!  And when I arrive
          you'll have no help!

    As the echo of its words lingers,
    its paws stretch themselves into fingers.
    It howls (agony!) and retches
    as its jowls contract and its fur
    is transfigured, becoming flesh
    woven in human fashion.
    The leprous fabric is strewn
    with patches of passion,
    burnt scars earned in hot pursuit
    through intergalactic reaches.
    Rao is strong.  Kal-El is wrong
    to think he can avoid its wrath.
    This alien god will catch its prey,
    though it may be forced to pay
    the ultimate price.
    Make ready, then, Superboy.
    Conceive some clever ploy
    that won't spare Rao the rod.
    That would spoil this fiery god
    welcome on a world of ice,
    this lupine lord who will come thrice.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 

NEXT CANTO <font size=-1>NEXT CANTO</font>

Superman The American Way Cap!
The Epic Poem


Powered by