Poem: 48
Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Brother’s tear

Had I not, like Gilgamesh
Restless in wild-boar fever,
Ravished the realm?

Was I not
Upsetter-of-households,
Banger-of-doors, Demander-of-tributes
Wrecker-reckless, table-turner,
Car-smasher?

Would I not
Suffer equals, joust challengers,
Spurn counselors, duel friends?

Yet secretly
Desperate?

Too proud to parlay,
Unlimited ambition for
Unlimited desperation– a
Reasonable trade, but for
An unreasonable man
Unyielding.

Oh Aruru, that you would
Love me so much that you would
Rid me of arrogance, and send me
This Master of Animals;

Virile youth, pure-bred of the forest
Not raised by priestesses in Uruk,
But by deserted lakes, wolves’ lanes.

Nature teaches her own 
Sophistication, and Intuition his own
Cultivation.

Not attempting to be equal, but to be
Individual; Not desiring contest-in-arms,
But brotherhood-in-arms.

Aye, a brother
I knew not, until you.
And for you I shed
A brother’s tear
In thanks, in
Tribute.

Such a gift when I
Needed it most, Aruru
Only you, could have known
Could have provided, 
So far in advance
For such a dark
Day, was light made in 
Foresight fashioned, 
A Helper — 
All those years ago.

Someday they may
Read how Gilgamesh suffered all
And accomplished all;

They may say
He had seen everything, 
had experienced all emotions, 
from exaltation to despair, 
had been granted a vision into the great mystery, 
the secret places, 
the primeval days.

But none of this
Dear Enkidu, could I do
Without you. ‘Twas we, we two
Slew the Monster Humbaba,
Defied the Bull of Heaven.

As for Gilgamesh
The gods made Enkidu
So they made you
Mighty for me.


Recording available: 
Listen to me read this aloud.