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The Lord God descended.
There was a house,
the house was on fire.
Tears from the eyes
of the Holy of Holies
hissed in the crackling
rage of conflagration.
Blood dripped down
from the wings of angels.

Earth is not heaven;
hell is not far
from the tips of our fingers.

The living Lord God
erupted and said:

"I am Auschwitz
and you are ashes.
I am Hiroshima
and you are dust.
I am extinction
and you are the malicious
toys of oblivion.
I am death today
but you are death’s
tyranny of tomorrow.”

The Doomsday clock is ticking,
friend. Midnight
is the renunciation of God in
annihilation of the generations of Adam;
in the massacre of the children of
Hava – a name (Eve) meaning life.

The one who invented
The Bomb – the “A”
for Apocalypse Bomb-
inverted the flowering of consciousness;
shaped humanity into billowing fungus.

The pyromaniac
behind the petroleum of global warming
mocks the venerable
linage of Prometheus. Behold! The dwarf
of greed is gargantuan and ensanguined.
Earth… o Earth!
Earth is not heaven.
Hell is not far
from the tripping of our tongues.
Confess this much:
We are liars.

The Lord God
falls in black rain;
we grow in
blood thorns covering halos. Blood
drips down from the candles of angels,
the light of their eyelashes splattered with misery.
Prayers are obscured
by the obscenity of war.

Earth… Earth…
O mother of mercy!
Sweet Dove of Now
the pornography
of burnt offering.
Rabbi! Rabbi!  Love’s treasury, my
As I lean into your embrace,
where are we? Land of lost?
The street corner? The kingdom?

Earth is not heaven; Eden
the promise of the covenant
of bereavement, broken.
Hell is not far
from the crimes in our names.

What are our wishes?
The fragments, the char-bones,
of our abandoned dreams?

Confess this much:
We have become conjugal
with the angel of death.

The Lord God descended,
crying, like a wounded lion,
like an orphaned lamb,
for the dove of peace.
The whole Earth was in flames.
The dove found no place
to build the nest of Eden. The beatitude
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
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.

Quite possibly, the sun that bleeds will never awaken or arise again. And even the dead, ghosts who drink at the pools of our memories, are anxious to escape here. If you stay, be heavy handed; drive home. Until we feel the hurting thorns that now define us. These camps, with armed guard, are permanent. And more elaborate than the rings of Dante’s Hell. Inferno: time’s cage for burning. Here, I am a dove among the damned.

Forgive only those who, in their nakedness, are not splattered with a brother’s blood. As blessed, indeed, are the peacemakers. The remnant of our kind are pell-mell thrown into the scales of justice. And cannot be loved or redeemed, or love or feel loved beyond their own repentance.

Let every living one of us then look, caringly, to the purity of the soul. If it cannot be offered back as crimeless as was given, indeed, it is time to hide. And where will you run to? And where, mass homicide, will you hide?

Blessed the dove that descends; the heart that is broken. Golden, ethereal violin, strung with soul-strings thin, plays out its captive, plaintive song. More so, in the blackness where the troubles gather, the accusers, the bombs of thunder. And the raging cries of those at war.

“Do you not know wayfarer what place we have come to and the orifice before which, in frozen terror, we must pass?” The first evil is for lying, the second for acceptance. Beyond this, there is oil…and blood….

Dance of the Damned is performed here to SINNER MAN by Nina Simone, up to as much as 7:24 minutes of the recorded track.


You explain it, in the eyes of a child, how children are born into this slaughterhouse world and here is hunger and war; here is neglect and pain, thirst and famine, hatred, crime and abandonment. But a child is just a child, a miracle happening in a season of play. But pain is bigger than children. Fear is bigger. Wounds in the heart where blood paints heart shapes; mind blown skulls. Death.

You explain that

if a child can understand the inhuman, then I can understand how madness is a mother of children who breastfeeds nations and murder

murder is a father’s breath, casting shadows of phantoms—being men in armed uniforms—onto the hiding places, the secret treasuries, the dream incubations, of God.

Child Faces.

But if a child can explain

your, our, the adult explanation back to me, to us and still be a child, in the trance-dance of innocence, and look back at life with children’s eyes, wide with wonder; images of a dove taking flight out of a palmed clod of clay or angel walking dream waters, being a fisher of salvation for drowning souls—for

heavy malice is corruption, dry, the husk, the waste, the crown of thorns stabbing the heart and war the fires of hell; then I too

will feel no pain, no pain or shame, outrage or despair, no, no, no, no agony or down in my bowels where conscience shudders gut wrenching convulsions of anguish and disgust (rebellion is the first human, is body first, responsive flesh)… But I will conform too, compliantly shut up, be withered as well, normal and withdraw into desiccation

silent as stone when storms break over this Earth of homelessness. Rags of living refuse; refuge. Refugees. Victims. O loaves! O fishes! How vast the multitudes in the lands of possession where demons, devils, shape-shift into us! How overwhelming, brethren! Sisters!

People, there is terror. There is terror and terrorism. There are armies; there are terrorists: legions, armies of terrorists. There is horror. There are vampires, ghouls. There are monsters, psychotics, psychopaths, politicians, profiteers. War. And there is Death. Death unbound. DEATH in all caps. Death and children. Death as direction, death at horizons. But a child

a child would slip away, would sail off to find the Spirit House of God, where loved ones lay dreaming, where love is collectively asleep. O Gautama! O Lord Jesus! New baby Moses in a basket of trust

on this plagued Nile of tears and trouble. Sorrows, brethren, sorrows! Woe! Now who’s gonna save us? Who’s gonna save us now, we who slay the flesh of tomorrow? Blood. Ashes. Drought.

Famine. Howling—Dust.

Darkness, brethren. Witness, sisters. Portents: Dark descending. Dread of dark. Savage sun setting, furious, over all the earth at one and the same hour. One and the same… Imagine!

Come near. Prophesy. Explain infanticide, explain state sponsored crime. Marauding, wild dogs of Golgotha, the dog-men who chew bones of life, sacred gone mad, and the venomous swarm of our insects of war. But you, you and I, verify soullessness. Explain

dare, tell it, clarify. Turn genocide into a shape that will not haunt for generations. What can, what does, it mean to say, as we stand apart, like statues of narcissism in death’s garden of guilt, mute and surrounded by networks of mass graves? To say Mass. To mouth words. Liturgy: Child. Elliot’s Hollow Men. Nietzsche’s Last Man. Go! Tell the betrayed of Africa: “The hyenas are praying. The scavengers of slaughter are the gods of money and war.” Shout it out:

Child of Darfur!

BW: CRUCIFIED CHILDREN (In a mood of urgency, religious fervor and despair, yet as if reciting a rosary. This segment must be performed with restrained intensity, so as to bring the audience to breathless tears. The words are an anxious breathing pattern, a spiraling ascent that breaks at the end into an emotional crescendo.)

Santa Marie

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About David Sparenberg

8 3
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...read more 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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