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of God was pain. And the pain,
that suffering,
is inconsolable. November 22
Thanksgiving Day, 2007.
A national holiday:

a day to give thanks for
extravagance
ignorance,
gluttony. The victory
of madness over sanity. Victory
of the politics of death!

HB: AMONG THE DAMNED (Performed as if by a pilgrim reflectively lingering by the wayside during sojourn through Dante’s INFERNO. Spotlight, if available, is appropriate. The mood-image is that of one stricken, huddled, wrapped in a cloak.)

My valley of tears. Please do not forgive us for our sins. We are undeserving of forgiveness. We, who cannot, will not stop committing crimes. Orchestrating atrocities. My fountain of innocent blood, do not condemn us utterly, die of us and leave us dead. Although we are the source of our own evil; although we act in nightmarish sleep. Man is also anti-man.

Even if only a small candle sheds its pale, flickering flame of light in the vast, abysmal death camp of darkness, the satanic escarpment, do not; o tree of blood, bough of tears; do not forgive us either in our madness or abandon us. We are unworthy of one, undeserving the other. We have gone under. Yet, for the sake of a tiny candle, show us something—prophesy in a slipstream voice—something, anything. A sigh. A whisper. A whimper. A moan.

Bruise us bodily and break our hearts—o break our hearts rudely—you roots, you branches, you suffering, silent outreach of mystery. Sluice. And sea. And tide pools. Origin. And source. Deep in the density of our shells of evil, our deco-pod destiny: stored is the image. And the likeness. And the soul. Man is also…more.

Now tree of life: guide us in the Tao of freedom. Share with us some molecules of at-onement, childlike. Even if only a mirror, or the angel of the morn in robes of rosy dawn. Choral, supernal. But do not perish before our wickedness. Do not die of us.

Do not be clement either. Or solicitously merciful. While we, pretentious and cruel, are cruel. Listen! Listen! Listen! There is screaming in every near-distance, in the riddled corners. And the odor of murder rises above the clouds. Feel it. Feel it in your senses, pre-consciously, in your pores. The Quasimodo of moral deformity. The conceit. The inhumanity. Man is fallen. We… we are the ruins of catastrophe and bear the burdens of guilt upon our crooked backs.

O: my valley of blood, my fountain of wretchedness, my forgetfulness, my forgotten, my drizzling tears…my nothingness!

Somewhere between taut extremities, signifying intensity of our impending rupture, our “broken,” trick us all at once, together, into finding ourselves as never found before. Eureka! See how late it is. How far gone the season and this day. The hour. Look.


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About David Sparenberg


David Sparenberg is a poet-playwright, actor, primarly Shakespearean, stage director, storyteller. His literary work has appeared in over 100 print periodicals and journals, a few ezines as well, and he was a regular contributor to THE TRUMPETER, a deep ecology journal out of Victoria, for years. Presently doing some performance work for the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, the author was formerly a 20 year resident of Seattle and visitor to Vancouver. He has a play dealing with cancer as an environmental epidemic that an independent filmmaker in Montreal will be making a film version of in the coming months. Creative information on David Sparenberg can be obtained at http://dsOfferings.blogspot.com SHADOWS is part of a now being published book entitled PLAY for An American Activist Theatre, autographed copies of which can be obtained from David at EarthArtsTurtleIsland@yahoo.com, and any persons seeking to produce the play for performance should contact David for permission.

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