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Babylon: 4 Poems (Expanded)

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  • Babylon: 4 Poems (Expanded)

    Babylon: 4 Poems

    Today, 09:28 AM
    At Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace

    While speaking with friends who sought an audience
    With our ruler waiting in an anteroom to perform
    A ritual washing before entering his sacred presence

    I saw you in the light-splashed courtyard bent over
    At the cistern filling two pottery jugs with water
    Already early in the morning the sweat glistened

    On your olive-coloured skin and stained your beige
    Tunic the lovely valley between your ample breasts
    Was moist and fragrant as the soil that lies between

    The Tigris and the Euphrates I became aroused by
    These intoxicating darknesses but did not speak
    About this pleasure then or afterward to my friends

    Morning Redemption on the Euphrates River
    in Ancient Babylon

    My neighbour Josephus and I were walking in the morning
    Along the banks of the Euphrates up ahead we saw a crowd
    I could see that the High Priest with his fish-mitre hat and
    Two other black-robed priests were lashing together a man
    And woman back to back wrapped so tight they could not
    Move from the upper chest down to their bound feet “It is
    An alleged adulterer and her lover” mused Josephus “Let’s
    See what happens” I recognized you when the crowd
    Parted to let us high ranking noblemen pass through to the
    Front of the gathered throng I overheard two women
    Saying that your name was Anata named for the Goddess of
    The Earth the High Priest spoke to your husband you
    Uttered no words yet I could feel your penetrating blue eyes
    Cut through the air as you stared at him in silence with
    Your head held proudly high your lover wildly begged for
    His life to be spared the High Priest and his helpers quickly
    Shoved you off the bridge your lover thrashed his arms
    About in the river an eternity passed in those few moments
    Then your husband yelled “Get them Out!” Josephus muttered
    Under his breath “Nehemiah - that Man is a fool” But I knew
    A different and more divine truth you were worth more than
    One hundred and eighty altars to Ishtar The Great Temple of
    Marduk or Nebuchadnezzar’s Hanging Gardens of Babylon

    Letter to Anata

    You do not know me but I have seen you twice before once at
    Nebuchadnezzar’s palace filling water jugs and last week at that
    Unfortunate incident on the bridge my name is Nehemiah and
    I have had difficulty sleeping since that time I must meet with you
    I have an overwhelming desire to learn about the fierceness that
    Resides behind your lovely eyes which remind me of the deep blue
    Sky at dawn I also want to understand your courage and your inner
    Resolve in the face of death that day your silent determination
    Showed more strength than the greatest sword that has ever been
    Forged will you grant me the honor of meeting with me tomorrow
    Morning at the break of dawn at our community well near Marduk’s
    Temple I want to witness the first rays of sun as they caress your
    Dark brown hair I must mention one last truth your parents chose
    Your name well I too have a restless spirit and have found little
    Satisfaction in life my servant Zachariah memorized


    Anita I did not think you would come
    I thought it would be too dangerous for
    You to leave your home in darkness
    When first light bled at the horizon but
    I am glad as the stars begin to vanish
    I see their fire left behind in your dark
    Eyes that take my breath away so I can
    Hardly speak I see you wore the same
    Beige tunic I admired when you were
    Fetching water come closer here share
    My kisses excuse this liberty but I must
    Wander in the valley of your breasts
    Let me gently trace your ample areola
    I feel myself stiffening as our bodies
    Lean against each other let us hide in
    The Temple shadows here in privacy
    I want to worship you on bended knee
    Please let me kiss your nether parts
    Your aromatic spice is an intoxicating
    Elixir lay down with me in your beauty
    At your altar your essence anoints my
    Soul as I worship the goddess of earth

  • #2
    Still prose, and kind of anticlimactically pornific at the end (and the 'ample breasts' glistening sweat in the first stanza: cliché). Apart from the second stanza, which evokes some sense of another time and place, the rest seems to dwell on fairly stock images of desire. What happened to the Tanner of the succinct, exquisitely deft suggestion and telling original detail? This is far from your best work.


    • #3
      Grant, welcome back from your hiatus. Thank you for the well-deserved thrashing of these poems. The first 3 were written 7 years ago when I was unfortunately involved with someone online and this situation was emotionally intense and debilitating, and Tanner literally lost his faculty of judgment for a while. # 4 was a lark writing (5 minutes) at the request of MHenry. Be assured, these 4 bad pieces of writing aren't in my manuscript for editing. Could you please send me an Australian mailing address where I can send you a hard copy for review. Thanks. send it to [email protected]


      • #4
        Yet, I am always a sucker for titillation in any form!