Friday, September 23, 2016

Jack Scott writes

Part II

Cause can be half a world apart 
from its unforeseen effect. 
All that has been large before 
can be normaled by enormity 
if there be Juggernaut 
up to the task. 
Nova-noon! New island 
born unto a distant sea 
erupts volcanically 
wails steam and, spewing lava, 
screams loud enough 
to deafen oyster beneath obstetric sea, 
clears its ruptured throat 
of stinking sulphur breath, 
crimson bile and magma phlegm. 
Firebelches drive all space insane 
smashing everything within it, 
driving ocean rudderless upon itself 
stampeding all the winds of earth 
into just one wind, looting gravity, 
with nothing firm enough to brake it.

Darkest daylight’s dawn 
sees beanstalk timbered low 
without a logger’s warning. 
The tempest of this island’s birth 
rips pages from the record book, 
strews them upward into chaos 
swift as lightning going home, 
loud as all its thunders.

1 comment:

  1. Though in the late 20th century in the UK it also came to mean a large, heavy truck or articulated lorry, in general English usage, a juggernaut is an unstoppable force. This usage originated in the mid-19th century as an allegorical reference to the large carts in Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha (Orissa), which are used on annual festival days for carrying wooden statues of Krishna, his siter Subhadra, and brother Balabhadra and which reputedly crushed devotees under their wheels. In this case, Krishna is honored as Jagannatha ("world-lord"), sometimes believed to be the cause of all material creation; the “Brihat Samhita” and the “Vishnu Samhita” claimed that wooden gods grant their worshippers all four human aspirations (longevity, wealth, strength, and victory. The first European description of the festival was the 14th-century “Travels of Sir John Mandeville,“ which referred to sacrificial Hindus being crushed to death after throwing themselves under the wheels of the chariots. In the preface, Jehan de Mandeville called himself a knight from St. Albans, England, but no evidence of such a person exists; the author was probably either a Liège physician, Johains a le Barbe (also known as Jehan a la Barbe and Jehan de Bourgogne) or a Flemish Benedictine monk Jan de Langhe who wrote in Latin as Johannes Longus and in French as Jean le Long, Most of the work is either derived from earlier travel accounts or are fantastical; for instance, any fatalities that occurred at the festival were probably accidental, caused by the press of the crowd. But the book was widely translated and distributed, and was used as a reference by Christopher Columbus, for example. By 1844, the alleged sacrificial nature of the temple carts was embedded deeply enough in the public mind that Charles Dickens (in “The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit”) could comfortably allude to lovelorn Augustus Moddle as being crushed by “the Car of Juggernaut,” and three years later Charlotte Brontë have a character in “Jane Eyre” refer to the heroine as "worse than many a little heathen who says its prayers to Brahma and kneels before Juggernaut."


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