Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Fall of the Rebel Angels (Bruegel), Sonnet #157

There's no reprieve. The angel falls out of its soul,
Becomes a creature of the earth, a splitting toad,
Blowfish, shark, naked soldier, or blind vole.
From eggs grow butterfly wings and white tails,
Reptilian, self-constricting. Calm angels goad
And herd them with blackened swords, spears, and flails,
Their wings edged with dried blood. A pustulant strumpet
Dances to the wailing of a thousand trumpets.
This is the great war of faith, so nothing must die.
One angel, still robed, tries, but can no longer fly.
Nearly blinded by the sun, it can't choose between
What it once believed in and what its eyes have seen,
And, crashing, becomes Belial, verminous beast.
His diseased tormenting of man has never ceased.

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