Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Probably never meant to be a monster

This is from BLDGBLOG who took it from here.
"John Balaban describes how villagers growing rice during the Vietnam War—where Balaban, a conscientious objector, served with the International Volunteer Corps—stumble upon an extraordinary feature in the landscape:
Beyond the last treeline on the horizon
beyond the coconut palms and eucalyptus
out in the moon-zone puckered by bombs
the dead earth where no one ventures,
the boys found it, foolish boys
riding buffaloes in craterlands
where at night bombs thump and ghosts howl.
A green patch on the raw earth.
This "green patch" has an usual shape, however. Balaban continues:
In that dead place the weeds had formed a man
where someone died and fertilized the earth, with flesh
and blood, with tears, with longing for loved ones.
No scrap remained; not even a buckle
survived the monsoons, just a green creature,
a viny man, supine, with posies for eyes,
butterflies for buttons, a lily for a tongue.
And the sight of this "green creature" proves too fertile, unforgettable, haunting all the villagers who've seen it:
Now when huddled asleep together
the farmers hear a rustly footfall
as the leaf-man rises and stumbles to them.
Out of the darkness, convinced by the life they give to the land around them that they might not yet be dead, the missing-in-action pull themselves from the tangle of the earth and rise and walk again."

Number of Hit Dice varies according to the Fear of the Villagers, the darkness of the night and the sorrow of the dead ground.

I dont know if cross-posting this much from other blogs is the done thing or not. If anyone wants me to take it down or replace it with a link only, I will.

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