The palm reader
These blithe lines
across your open upturned hand—seem
To do absolutely nothing.
But watch how the small marks
that ring the summit of your five fingers
trickle down through even thinner rivulets of wrinkles
to turn into the widening noiseless
streams of your palm.
plummet way past the edges of your bones
and converge in a whirlpool of nearly endless space
where their flowing—remains invisible.
Yet as you wait
you can hear and see them this time
rushing out of you
and past you again
these lines from your hand
that I type and sound out now
through the channel of your half opened mouth
and spiraling fingertips.
Helios: The sun personified as a god, father of Phaethon.
He is generally represented as a charioteer driving daily from east to west across the sky.
—The Oxford Dictionary
Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth
and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
—The Bible (New international version)
No horses ever eat there.
But those of us who clean the barn
see the oats and hay glisten suddenly with red and amber light
and hear for a few moments in the shifting breeze
the clink and clank of invisible hoofs.
We are warmed even by the hope
that a horse from the chariot of the radiant sun itself
comes at dawn and dusk low enough
with its rippling coat of fire
briskly to eat a few
of the humble treats offer.
But it easy to be lazy
when it comes to feeding a horse
that can’t be seen.
Easier still to use a holy book
that mentions a flaming horse
to be feared. Say when that horse comes
in the final hour just before nightfall— those large red nostrils
will be spitting decease and devastating fire
and there shall be no peace.
We make the most sinister prophecies come true.
As we make war and the blood trots out of our bodies
we finally see and hear—in the ever widening pools of blood
in the bombs, the guns the explosions, our self inflected deaths—a blasting braying
a terrifying and terrified horse of fire—burned and burning.