Second Battle of Uruk, Battle of Life

Feet running over hills with fill of blood; shields and swords crashing, clashing like thunderstorm to form real ethereal battle for the life of humanity in calamity of heaven, hell and earth where the worth of every woman and man is tested. Metal on metal for hours upon hours and still battle rages in cacophony no sage in any age could have prophesied — and even so, never would — in this time memory nearly forgot, though survival was bought at such cost as men and women sought freedom from the Fallen Ones, the Watchers.

Will the city fall? Will humanity call to Dyēus or succumb to the scum forces of sheer lust for blood and rape neath dark capes — hideous in might and power; in sight, perfection of evil beauty; will warriors attend their duty? Ah! test of strength, skill to kill; determination in extermination of enemy horde; bravery and courage uncaged, erupting and disrupting balance of the world; skills till now unknown, unfurled. Was this, then, the field of fate or freedom? Destiny sealed or choice given to yield or no; even the best could not know. But days passed into nights and nights into days. Here is Kheba and Lemek, Innana and Metuşelah; many brave men and women … and the Watchers and wraiths.

So many bravehearted youth lay dead — they could have fled — where they fell prey to enemy sword, life cord severed; so now they sleep, not in tomb, but in womb of Gaia, kindly mother earth, who will give birth to ten thousand coloured flowers for the untold number of sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers, who willingly paid in blood and laid down their lives for others to survive and thrive…

st__ishtar_by_terezbellydanceI jolted awake in a cold sweat, bolted upright in bed and said, “My God! Have I seen such true horror; what’s been on field of battle for Uruk?”

“You weep; that is good, and good to keep in memory this battle. Bury it not deep, but let it sweep over you, and seep into every fibre of your being,” Innana spoke, fighting back choke of tears; “this battle you missed since my sister kissed you farewell, yet you can tell from vision I’ve burned into your soul what you might have learned had you stayed, rather than obeyed … if, that is, you’d fought without being caught by battle-axe or sword, fang or barbed-noose cord.”

Worn. Torn. Forlorn.

“This was more than one more battle fought, in one more war; more than just another score of victory with price paid in blood and tears shed as we laid our dead in bed of earth… So much of this evil is of our own birth. Why? Can you try to understand?” I dared not answer in the pause; the cause of her pause being contemplation with some obvious self-degradation. “Why try anymore? Why cry? Why not say ‘good-bye,’ and be done with humanity? Ah! This would be cruelty, would it not? That we laid upon humanity such curse, then bade them be holy, wholly as the gods, and yet … so many gods have fallen — nine and nine and nine again; ten and ten thousand — and in their fall so many humans stood tall above them, but in love of virtue, died in cold blood… So we practically damned humanity and now have the gall to reprimand! To command? Yes … but it is also for us to reverse the curse.”

To reverse the curse?

To reverse the curse…



Kheba: In the Crumbled Rubble of Uruk

warriorwomanhAnd there she lay in splay of ruin — Uruk — as if torn apart by evil bruin and, indeed, she had been; only the splendorous Temple of Innana stood in radiance in bright light of new sun rising on newly begun day, yet in complete disarray. People could be seen like ants running to and fro and in between half-eaten buildings, bitten by the Watchers. The great city had been hard smitten by foul attack, but evidently in no lack of defense… Uruk did, after all, survive, and she would revive.

Some sizeable clouds rolled across high-sky, teasing of rain without appeasing, proud they could partly shroud war-torn land without answering demand for much-needed water. As I drew nearer, the slaughter was unimaginable; the day hotter than usual, which only worsened matters for the  rotters. And where was the Mater, Innana, in all this? She may as well have been little more than squatter! How many lives had been lost, tossed into netherworld, to defend her precious parental temple?

“A bit harsh, don’t you think?” came familiar voice. “In blink of an eye, you shrink from grace and lace your thoughts with condemnation.”

I turned. My heart burned. No better sound could have entered my ear, and no dearer sight could have met my eyes than the one I beheld: Kheba. Battle weary but alive, she revived this weary man, smiled and piled on kiss after kiss. “Did you think I wouldn’t miss you? That I wouldn’t worry that you had to leave in such a hurry, to scurry through wasteland filled with haunting band of ghosts and wraiths?” And I made most of the moment and held her tightly, pressing lips to lips again. And all doubt about what had happened left as I breathed out with one great heave. Leave such foolishness and believe, I told myself. If Kheba fought, she brought sister with her, too! This much I suddenly knew.

“And Metuşelah and Lemek?” I asked as we continued our trek back into Uruk, or what was left after being horrifically ransacked.

“No death toll has rung for those two. Except for a few wounds, they do well,” Kheba answered. “But you? Tell me what happened to you? I knew your journey would be hard and fraught with danger, perhaps even bought at the price of your life… Yet here you are alive, and though worn you somehow seem to thrive.” She took pause to consider the cause. “Ah … you met Şifalâhe … after being saved from blight of Ddiafol and set aright again … and you sank into crystalline lake, and drank freely sweet honey of heaven. Am I right in my divine hindsight?” She swung me around off my feet and began to beat in laughter.

“Oh, the gods! The gods! Never did human trod this earth as mysterious as the gods!” I had to laugh, as well, but then chaff from the ruins floated round about. “But how can you be so joyous and buoyant in chorus of mirth amid such death and dearth?”

“Well, we finally won by the rise of yesterday’s sun; at great cost, for  many, many were lost. We scorned and cursed the Watchers even as we mourned family and friends fallen … but in that hour victory was ours.” Kheba looked at me squarely, barely able to continue. “Even still, I had no joy, no thrill in having bested the enemy, especially having invested so much blood to do so… Oh, no. No … my joy comes in seeing you, and being here, right where I am now … after all, even the goddess knows true love.”



Bedouin Backtracks: Someone is Watching

watchersWhere to go now and how? Would I wander forever? Should I? Does the Bedouin live fonder life? Though I seriously pondered remaining in verdant hills in thrill of life, beside crystalline lake, heart and mind moved me to take the advice of my shadowy savior. But yonder where should I wander now? No, I could not falter! I would alter my course and return to the source of this new and strange episode; after all, in the end I did not erode, but exploded into new and vibrant life! I was not the same as when I first came; someone had saved and made claim upon me while freeing me at the same time to the celebratory chime of the heavenlies. It was settled, then: With mettle I would return to Uruk with stern determination, where I yearned to be again with Kheba…

And so I began descending the hills with but one plan, as if some guiding hand were driving me across the desert sand. No longer breeze; seize of hot wind pounded me, confounded me, but my direction seemed still sure, even through wind-dust and sun-glare blur. Someone spurred me onward toward Uruk … toward Uruk. Every step forward toward my destination was made in painful determination; more than frustration, threatening complete expiration. Yet in expectation of achieving my goal my soul was revived, though the wind sounded like howling dhole. And what did troll behind and around me? I did not know, but would not let fear grow. Truly this was uzak-yerde, but surely I was not alone. If I’d been prone to cry for help, though, who would have heard the little chirping bird in this dæmon-spurred storm; the thought was absurd, but courage stirred again and I remained undeterred.

Then in the swirling sand, blurring vision, I caught a glimpse that brought a chill, even in the heat, to the seat of my soul. Dark shape, stark eyes, drape of black and crimson, cape of vermilion interlaced with hue of reddish blue; long silken hair of regality in pair with face of celestial birth that told of his worth… And I understood: Here stood before me an infamous Watcher with no good intention, no pretention of mercy; in his empty soul, no retention of heaven; his sole purpose to leaven the earth with foul offspring and destroy the beauty of creation; this was his duty. That this Watcher would bother to botch my trek, and wreck my journey back to Uruk was quite the prize of surprise, grand knock of shock! Why would he take interest in me, and make such effort…? Ah! Perhaps it was no strain for him to gain my life’s blood on desert plain.

And was there here anyone else, or was I alone? Someone to intervene, or would I here be undone? New life ended so shortly begun?



Uzak-Yerde  —  remote place; distanced from community/society

Long is the Night; Long the Road…

Long is the night to those for whom sleep doth fight; long and dreary the road to the weary; longer still is the cycle of life for those who live in strife … within and without, so rife with pain and no gain of peace in lease of time. Such was my frightful flight east away from beastly terror now marauding Uruk, stalking the countryside round about; the sound of such blight still floating on light wind, but I would not stop to bend knee, though free to pray. Kheba told me to stay the course, and though I may travel alone, an ill-suited fool-companion would only cavil and unravel my senses, lowering my heart and mind defenses, putting me in closer range of physical danger, as well…

But I’d reached the desert sand, where dæmon band could be heard clear as warped and twisted bird on this my third night of flight. My water skin was now dry — and did I try not to consider my thirst — but there would be water if only I could make it to yonder hills featherwhere lay still ponds and gentle brooks, or so it looked, if not an illusion born of my mind of confusion. No matter; I’d made my resolution from the revolution underway in my soul being purified by deprivation, new creation within; that is, the manifestation of determination and sobriety, of illumination and deadly-defiant piety.

Ah, but I was not alone; I knew, for the wind blew with the Spirit — mysterious, imperious, perhaps even deleterious, yet Source of Life — so yes, something was there to be with me. Something, or Someone, had always been but never seen. As an ancient sage of another age said, “hidden in keep of the deep! I do not know who begot this child nor if she is mild … but this, the same, came even before God!” Far older than the sod under my tortured feet plodding along the sanded heat that so nearly threatened my defeat. But would I bleat like some little lamb?

Oh, but damn the very thought! What a sham it would be, I boldly told myself. I’m not a lamb but man! Or to hell with it! Man to view; woman to few who know what I show from inside but try to hide? Does it matter? What fracking scatter of thought! I’m human, at least; not beast … but what? Even beast would not concede to dying without trying to live! The instinct for survival and revival is vital to the nature of every creature!

robe-desolate“Water … water … water from the daughter of Kheba… What could be wrong coming from one so strong?” the voice carried with ease on the gentle breeze. Enticing. Alluring. Seductive. Slicing through my senses. Impressively reassuring. Destructive. “Water … water … water you need to feed your strength lest at length you perish … and truly I cherish you.” Lies. Lies in angel guise. Snake eyes sharp to incise the unwise; to apprise the demise of desperate man; ready to baptize him in flood of his own thin blood. “Fear … you fear, my dear … fear you fear, not me, the one you do not see. Ah, but let me be your heart’s decree, and you will be free … free … free with me for whom you never sought, in liberty unbought, given freely with no thought … free to be what you really are … bright and shining star.” Not far from truth, I needed no proof from prophet, priest, or sayer of sooth; yet there was nothing to say but, too, I could not stay, though the hills still seemed so far away.

And So I Kept Walking…



Note: Both illustrations stock photos/pictures free for public usage.