Heaven

In this place the rain has fallen like this forever – a mist, the monsoon downpour and its white noise. Then the forest, the edge of a forest where blackbirds call meekly and woodpigeons shelter on the curved branch.

Lightning cracks through everything in vanishingly small moments. And thunder unites.

Spaced along the eternal border are houses, backing on to the woods and in each, the back door is open and swings slowly since the wind is slow. Raindrops fleck the glass, and wet the mat.

In the center of each garden, one of the risen stands, staring into the swaying woods which moves with the shifting intensity of the rain. It is warm, and their clothes are wet. They never look away. They want nothing except to continue to look. They are granted this.

The lord’s prayer dances on their lips, but it changes nothing, and means nothing. Still they call it, whisper it, softly. Its sound is completely lost in the rain.

They seem still, and at peace. And they are

A Theology of Thunder

The peculiar tale of the discovery and ordering of this manuscript will be told at a more convenient time. The peculiarities of its form of recording deserve their own discussion – suffice it to say that the text is a gloss of a Hittite or eastern ancient Mediterranean language unknown until the ‘Vrontin’ carving was found in the cave in mountainous central Anatolia. It is perhaps the stub of an alternative development of a primitive religion, although the inclusion of unparsable terms makes its translation very difficult. To aid in comprehension, we have entered the most likely English counterparts, although it should be remembered that, for example, the goose noted in 15 [1] is probably not any species of goose that the reader will be familiar with, although similar behaviours have been found to exist in aggregate over many populations of goose across the world. The most difficult term to translate was found in carving 3.1, where a term for emotional brain capacity was found wanting. We have used the vastly unsatisfactory ‘limbic system’ as a stand in, waiting for a time when a translator with the right powers of sight can offer up a more fitting word.

With regards to the numbering of the individual epigrams, the translators have here grouped the terms in order of likely relation, given the variety of their array and depth in the cave. Roughly (and this will be gone into in more detail in later articles) the lower the appended figure, the deeper into the cave its hieroglyphics were found. Numbers in square brackets indicate the rough location of repeated forms of the epigram, but changed. For example the repeated refrain of epigram 2 repeats unchanged within the system of carvings several times. But the figure of 21 [1.1] is one of these altered carvings, that appears in (roughly) position 21 but also appears redacted in position 1.1, which is to say, related to carving 1 spatially, but struck out, or reversed, or written in a different hand. One of the deficiencies of our manuscript is that it does not indicate which of these separations has occurred. But we considered that even an unsatisfactory preliminary exposure to these texts was worthwhile to readers of this series.

We will of course update you with any exegesis we receive of the religious system here denoted, and of any further carvings that come to light. If you are reading this, we assume you are of high-caliber and fully suited to do the exegetical or theological work required. We look forward to receiving your suggestions.

A quick word for the working title. Originally we had intended to replace the title which casts anachronistically back western intellectual categories into the ancient past. One of our interns suggested Vrontinalia but again, that seemed unacceptable. We assume that a new title will emerge in time through academic consensus.

– The Text –

1 The white moon is rung with haze.

2 The storm has no parent but rises out of the past without ancestor.

3 The storm neither breathes, nor holds its breath, but breathes and holds silence within itself.

3.1 The storm propogates out of itself in shapes different and indifferent, in the limb, the nose, the eye, the limbic system.

4 The storm is peace and war, and fear and love echo from it.

4.1 The storm is peace – thunder brings the force of silent contrast.

4.2 The storm is war – lightning breaks the branch and water breaks the land.

4.3 Fear echoes from the dark storm but love is bright in the eyes beneath it.

[…]

5 Nothing can stop the storm, neither can it be held back from where it wishes to go.

5.1 Only by moving the land under it, or by moving upon that land can an end be found.

5.2 The storm moves on, and beneath it the land changes, or does not change.

6 The air is heavy with rain.

6.1 Quenching will bring emptiness and fill the land, and press it down.

6.2 Water is heavy as rock, and yet the storm holds it dark in the sky.

6.3 A feather is light, and yet the storm brings it to the surface of the water.

7.1 The storm has an eye but cannot see.

7.2 The storm has arms that cannot touch, and cannot help but touch.

7.3 The storm has no head, and so when it thinks, it thinks only in patterns of water.

7.4 The thoughts of water guide the sky.

8 The storm cares not where it strikes.

8.1 It will strike the same place again and again until that place is wrack, as no custom has reach over thunder.

8.2 The storm’s finger points but does not blame.

8.3 Blame is for the breeze, and the small branch that taps on the window.

[…]

10 The storm cannot be read, for the world has tried to read the storm and failed.

[…]

12 When it rains, it pours, or the pour is missed.

13 [10.1] The storm is never the same, for sameness is never present within it.

13.1 [10.2] The storm is never different, for difference is not present within it.

14 The storm has no parent but rises out of the past without ancestor.

15 [5.3] The storm rests in the sky whilst it boils in the cup.

15 [1] Every day the goose flies low under the black clouds.

16 [2] The storm is afraid of the spiders web, and of the dew on the grass, for the spider is sharp and straight, and the dew is a small jewel.

16 [1] The moon’s black belly holds within it the storm, therefore watch for the black moon if you search for the storm.

17 [5.4] The storm tears when it moves against itself.

18 The storm will strike down the highest first, but will strike the dancer before all, though it loves a dancer.

18.1 The storm cannot abide disregard.

19 The storm is sad and slow, and the storm is fast and joyful.

20 The storm will wake the sleeper.

20.1 The storm draws unto one all who hear her.

20.2 The storm will wake and draw all unto one who hear her, and all that cannot hear her, but feel her.

20.3 Lightning in time is nothing compared to the storm in time. But in mind the flash overrides beyond its realm.

21 [1.1] The storm is heralded from afar by thunder that ties time to the land.

[…] the storm without warning […] shores [illegible]

22 The storm has no parent but rises out of the past without ancestor.

V.50

Rain! Rain! On the river! Falling!
Oh my world! Heavying my hair!
Til it drips down my face! Oh rain!
Cupping my jawline exactly!

Rain! Dampening my clothes! Cooling
my shoulders and neck! hanging out
on the windscreen! Little deltas!
Dancing on the mud! just dancing!

Always a pleasure! Falling out
of the sky! or so they tell me!
I believe rain is liquid air!
That gets so bored sometimes it melts!

I believe rain is a sea spore!
Ready to grow a little sea!
Wherever it drops! It could be
anywhere! Like in your ear-hole!

The audiologist would gawp!
At the little ships, their foghorns!
And the sea mist forming cloudlines
which pour down your neck and caress!

I would spend days alone with it!
Which roars on the roof at night! So
passionate and so sensuous!
Each drop its own exclamation!

2 Storms

8, 3×8, Storm 6

Then, I heard the thunder would come
but mouths murmered, the top end cut
So I never really got it

Their predictions had none or less
crunch or grind to my mouth, my eyes
now the thunder here, behind woods

does the scrape that only skies do
dumps all the folds in the stratos
rattling the bin of history.

We are talking, when the thunder
comes, stops us, sets us up on posts
ready for the whip-cracks, the fright

deep fright of the millions year
dark creep of the cloud-shadow, fast
ancestor. It puts us on edge.

I love it so much I could end
arms outstretched with one last static
shock to end all shocks, to end storms.

But you still tend orchids outside
As the rain tends all other plants
then sit close and we wait breath tensed

baited with small sounds to draw out
deeper ones. Each new paradigm
storm sound to teach all others how

2, 3×6, Storm 5

Thunder comes once when I
am stood among poetry
among the old books, new

Only once, but enough
to set a featureless
day in stone memory.

Storm 4

There was a storm, the other night
as I paced in a cold sweat
There was a storm which was persistent like a headache
Out the window I gazed, feverish
and the jittering fields gazed back
Paddock and field, the horses huddled in a corner
The thunder didn’t roll so much as it tumbled
and their black eyes in the darkness became grey in their wordless staring
moment by moment, grey, with the surging light
I was ill, I closed the curtains
And the thunder was my lullaby
a grating lullaby to jolt me awake, from time to time
Til lost among the collage of dreams
There was a storm, the other night
it loosed the dirt to carry it down the hill
an endless task, for the hills tend to rise again
I lied, fizzling out
My aches generating small pockets of consciousness
storms on the face of the earth.