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Endless Plains (Masai Creation Myth)

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  • Endless Plains (Masai Creation Myth)

    I’d fly
    across a Serengeti sky
    spread golden honeyed
    with your heat

    to meet with distant horizon

    if I had but wings
    to soar

    the Masai below the sky
    knew the story

    knew how endless plains
    became endless

    became filled

    with every creature
    to creep and crawl

    and move

    became migration of millions
    became dance of gazelle

    but

    only blue gnu were sacred

    only gnu

    shared their blood
    shared their bloodline

    with the Masai

    when Enkai brought his cows
    down from the sky

    every gnu came down from his herd

    left his herd
    for famished lands below

    but Olapa was a jealous one

    she sang “Kiti! Kiti!” to mock him
    before she struck him

    Enkai
    wounded
    disfigured

    took his own magic
    round himself as a cloak

    and shone bright

    so bright
    that none could look at him

    but
    Olapa

    curiosity overtook treachery

    she looked at his brightness
    she lost her eye

    you can see it
    hung high above the plains

    watching

    through night sky

    unblinking

    that which began the earth

  • #2
    I love how you've written this Pf! I'm only familiar with a few creation myths - and this was not one I'd heard - so I appreciate you adding to my knowledge of how the world believes! You are a master at spacing - sensing when and where to add or break a line. I'll be studying this again to try to glean some of that experience! Thank you!

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    • #3
      I wanted to create the sense of listening to a Masai storyteller relate this myth— I imagined what it might sound like, heard 'round a night fire, children listening, wide-eyed... and that's where the cadence came from. I just tried to capture the storyteller in my head! Thanks for the lovely comment, RLW!

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      • #4
        Wonderful, Piper! The Serengeti comes alive. A terrific setting of the Olapa, Enkai story, (which I had to look up and found charming not to mention cautionary)

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        • #5
          Not enough Likes! You've got the 'voice' and pace and tone perfectly, pf. Loved every word and line. OutSTANDING! More of these, please.

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          • #6
            In concurrence with grant, outstanding! I can almost hear the crackling of the night's fire as the storyteller spins his yarn....

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            • #7
              pipersfancy, you are a weaver of fantastic and beautiful tales in every poetic form, spellbinding and mesmerizing your audience without aid of darkness, fire, or circle! Delicious!

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              • #8
                Bethralling! As if I was watching a documentary. I love your writing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  RLW, John, Grant, Graydon, MHenry, and Odonko-ba—thank you all my poet friends for your kind words! I have a love of folk tales, cultural myths, spiritual beliefs etc... our world is a fascinating mix of stories that, together, tell our Human Story... I like to think my retelling of stories I have found fascinating sparks a bit of interest in others to look more deeply into the original sources of the material.

                  Sorry for the delay in responding... I'm usually a little quicker! My son impaled his foot on a broken plastic tub (don't even ask what he was doing) so the second half of my day ended up going in a rather different direction than the leisurely Sunday afternoon I was counting on...
                  pf

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                  • RhymeLovingWriter
                    RhymeLovingWriter commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Haha - and 'mother' lived yet another special day doing what moms do best! Hope he will mend quickly!

                  • pipersfancy
                    pipersfancy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    pffft! You're right! I'd completely forgotten! My silly boy is nearly 17... still, needs mom when something goes wrong (especially when pain is involved... and a drive to the emergency... sigh)

                  • grant hayes
                    grant hayes commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Ouch! Eesh!
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