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Monday, November 28, 2011

Planet Narnia

Recently, I read a book entitled Planet Narnia.  If you like Lewis, you MUST read this book.  It changed the way I read him!  Lewis was fascinated with the medieval system of planets.  It differs from our system in that it only includes seven planets (one for each book in the Narniad) and included the sun, which of course we see now as a star.  As I said, the book was phenomenal and I won't waste your time summarizing the book.  You just have to read it.  It is written based on very scholarly research and beautiful details.  So first make sure you've read the entire Chronicles of Narnia (NOT watched the the BOOKS!)  It would also help if you've read the space trilogy as well as a good biography of Lewis's life.  (I highly recommend Jack's Life which was authored by his step-son Douglas Gresham.  I won't waste space here to tell you how irritated I am with Gresham himself.  However, he did manage to write an excellent biography of his step-father.)
All of this to say, the following poems were inspired by the book Planet Narnia.  The original intent was to write one for each planet.  I ended up with two for Luna since I didn't like the first one I wrote, though you'll find both below.  I have also not included here one of the planets.  If you've read Planet Narnia these will make much more sense.  However, even if you haven't read it, I hope you will get some pleasure from these poems anyway (you just might find them to be more abstract than I meant for them to be.)  As with all things, I'm not completely happy with all of them.  I just wanted to capture the essence of what I was thinking through at the time.  Lewis was a big fan of saying things under layers in hopes that it would actually better communicate his message.  (Many say that Narnia was his fiction version of Mere Christianity.  And the impact has been stunning...)  So here, for whatever it's worth, is my nod to his brilliance.

Seeking Jupiter in Kappa (12 July 2011)

Sometimes you are found
on mountain peaks I labored to achieve
Sometimes you are found
in open fields inviting somersaults and dance
Sometimes you are found
in crushing ocean waves that overwhelm.
But always you are wide and broad
an expansion of perspective
peaceful passion
longing joy
humble joviality
fleeing at deliberate touch.
But if my conscious ignorance will
look along the wave
instead of at it
You will remain
and Saturn's blades will slowly disappear.

Mars Silvanus et Gravidus est (13 July 2011)

Strength all courtly
Meekness all war
Drunk with beauty
Yet battle born
Her hand in his right
His sword in his left
The warrior tends his garden

Aslan Chrysocomes (14 July 2011)

Spears of fire spewing from the circle of the sun
A mane-framed face
A golden lion sways
his heavy head and scatters
so soft and bright
consumable, even
Alive, Awake
with eyes of glitter
face of flame
and feet that tread the sun.
They that drink the gold of Sol
can chase the Morning Star.

Senseless Moon (15 July 2011)

A certain lunacy directs
the noticers of night
When silver slivers through the darkness
slither serpentine.
A cold and wet uncertainty
dominates the air,
thickly tugs the silent moon
down from her lifeless chair.
Below the liquid sky we shine
heavy, huddled in, we wait
weep low in rivulets until
the silver drizzle will abate.

The Trial of Luna (15 July 2011)

Show your face, pale Felon.
Come to the bar to hear
Your judgment.
I, the White Witness,
will clear attest your treachery:

Though blessed with beauty
in frail dainty grace
and rimmed with riches
silver lines and silver lanes,
you have from men withheld both blessings
and in place
restrained the freedom of sweet sanity.

Now Jupiter shall
bind you with golden Sol.
Come forth in silver chains.
Henceforth you merely shall reflect
and never glint your own.

Mercury Addresses the Poetess (18 July 2011)

Your language is quicksilver
that shimmers near Sol.
Your mind is two twins
who fight and embrace.
I watch from the actual
as you study and play,
diffusing your verse in
stable, deep silences.
And as you approach Me
in these mundane ways,
You will come to discern:
I am an aspect of Him-
One who has waited long for you to speak.
Sanctify these pleasures.

Saturn (20 July 2011)

Saturn is an empty room
a cold, white face,
a barren womb.
He is endless desert wandering
lost in logic
senseless pondering.
He is medical inspection
fatal-sickroom aura.
He is anti-resurrection.
He wants for ears to hear the
wrenching human cry.
Thus under chilly, Saturnian reign,
Death Does Not Die.


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