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Friday, 25 October 2013

CONQUISTADOR



Conquistador, now the Angel of Death
comes seeking your heart of stone,
is it cursed by the slightest hint of remorse
for the countless cultures misunderstood
that you've razed to molten ash?

Remember your past - that corner of Spain
that, for you, was never enough;
until raging avarice eclipsed humanity
to incite a full-scale insurrection
that exploded across the globe.

To build an empire you would stop at nothing,
so conned from the Aztecs their gold.
Their simple ways incensed you so
and architecture dedicated to unknown Gods
disturbed you, so had to go.

Terrified of your might, they fled and hid
behind barricaded windows and doors.
Such cowardice made you despise them more:
fired instinct to crush any weak resistance,
along with their pointless lives.

So you rode on a brutal rampage and torched
every straw-clad dwelling, then averted
your face from the heat of the raging furnace -
until a piteous sobbing reached your ears.
You looked back...and your stomach lurched.

There beside the embers a cowering young girl,
smoke blackened, gazed up at you.
You lifted her up and felt her tremble.
Her soft helpless body clung to yours,
silently for mercy begging.

Something alien touched you then:
compassion...and a need to be seen
as something other than what you were.
So you lifted her up onto your stallion
and from the carnage galloped away.

Soon the odour of burning flesh
was no more than the guilty recall
of a past in denial and the promise to come -
if she would only believe your lying tongue
when her saviour you claimed to be.

Well, you possessed her body but not so her Soul -
that part of her seemed to know better.
In fact, the thing you now desperately craved
had already perished in the hellish flames,
along with all those she had loved.

So what you held then was empty and cold.
In frustration, you struck her hard.
Was it that for once you had no control
over someone who aroused in you a love
that for the first time wasn't carnal alone?

Or perhaps it was the image of molten ash
in your conscience insidiously smouldering
that drove you to run her through with your sword...
then cry like a baby as her dying eyes
transfixed you in their basilisk stare.

Illustration courtesy of Google Images.

14 comments:

  1. This one should be published for sure Ygraine :)

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    1. Oh, that is so kind...thank you Keith.:)

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  2. I have just finished reading a book on the influence of African culture on the Americas so your poem chimes with the topics I've just read about. Very nicely written, your poem is. It is a very strong and passionate piece.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Yes...it seems that these sort of acts have been inflicted on many cultures over the years...sometimes makes me feel rather ashamed of my ancestry.
      Many thanks:)

      Greetings from a somewhat blustery Hampshire!!

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  3. Wonderfully done… Sad how overpowering cruelty and selfishness is when in competition with a small warm heart so easily cooled, turning from lava to stone..

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    1. I totally agree.
      When you come to think of it, all atrocities can be traced back to a simple lack of love and respect for others.
      I wonder if that will ever change...
      Many thanks Anthony:)

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  4. wow you know your Celtic name suits you to a T...a Story for the ages, Ageless stories told in fairy tales that never were. You are an awesome storyteller...

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    1. Thank you so much Lorraine...it is so kind of you to say that!
      I guess I do like story telling... you know, stumbling on an idea and then expanding it - keeps me out of mischief for hours!
      Think I must have had a past life back in the Dark Ages!! lol

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  5. our imperialistic nature...through history...we come we see we conquer...and care little of the indigenous people...erasing others history to make it our own...we did it to first nation, just like the conquistadors did

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    1. You are so right Brian, it is happening everywhere we look, isn't it?
      I can never quite fathom what it is that makes us behave like that.
      We humans believe we have reached the pinnacle of intelligence...then we systematically destroy every other creature on Earth - including our own kind.
      We are strange creatures.:/

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  6. Ygraine,
    so well told this part of history.
    mighty pen you have my friend.
    x

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  7. Thank you Margie!
    Have to admit, though, a lot of it was pure fiction! haha :D

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  8. A universal story that you wrote with such passion....loved it.

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    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that.:)

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