© 2008 -- 2011 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Veils

I’ve won my uncle’s heart and bring you proof
Of your revenge. This platter, Mother, is
My gift to you, who taught me how to put
The hunger in men’s souls. Today I learned
How deep their twisting streams of passions run.

As you had said, my uncle’s cowardice
Could not exceed his beastly lust for me,
And your accuser’s paid the price you set
To satisfy an old man’s lechery.
So here’s your prize. But now I want it back.

If I had known this man whose head I bring
He might have tempted me with righteousness
And certainty. I know this from his eyes.
The soldiers could not close them. Even now
Your hate can’t make them shut. See how they burn.

They threw my uncle’s body into fits
And made him lose his appetite for me.
He lost his dinner too. He’s such a fool.
But here’s no fool. These eyes that will not close
Undress our souls. They see our nakedness.

You’ve had revenge. My uncle’s had his fun.
I’ve one request before we put these things
To rest. Give me the head. Let me preserve
It here beneath these veils. In time, its eyes
Might drive us mad, or teach us how to see.

Originally published in The Formalist, Volume 14, Issue 2. 2003.
© copyright 2004, 2008 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic Blog
All rights reserved


  1. This is awesome Grandpa!

    Is this part of your John The Baptist opera?

    Am I right that you were writing that?

    Peace - Rene

  2. You're right, Rene. I am writing that. And this is part of the inspiration. It's not actually part of the opera, although the characters are.

  3. Each line is a feast. Well written, Grandpa. I'd like to know the entire context...

  4. I appreciate that, Gran. Thank you.

  5. So, your talent makes you Salome` too? amazing, Grandpa! Aloha-

  6. Seems to my a cross between John the Baptist and the house of Atreus - are there connections?

  7. Thanks, Cloudia. That's a wonderful thing to say. I'm flattered.

    Hey, Marty. There's no deliberate connection although Herod's and Herodias's family histories do have some similarities to the myth.

  8. Very moving. I think I know what it's about, and if I'm right, it may be too personal to share the whole story. But thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Its great to see more of your 'work' Grandpa. Eyes are the windows to the soul. This is an excellent and moving peice of writing. Almost haunting. Have you told us about your writing career already on your blog? I would like to know more.

  10. Thanks, Lilly. I have said some things. I will say more as time goes on.

  11. Heavy, and I say that with all the sincerity I can muster.
    I envy your use of words. That's going to stick with me for a while.

  12. Thank you, Pearl. Heavy's a good word. I appreciate your comment.