Reveries of Helios

by Paul-Newell Reaves

I.  Helios’ Chariot
II.  Louis the XIV
III.  Song to the Sun King
IV. Once the Moon is in the Sky
V. The Day the Sun Dies

Reveries of Helios
I.
Sunrise:
drawn by fire-orange steeds,
Helios advances across the sky.
Light flashes illumination
into the minds of men.

Iron armor; radiant javelin;
giant wheels of gold;
crown of rubies;
shotgun shells of
how we know what.

King of the Sky,
Golden Prince of Knowledge,
shine on down,
shine on down on me.

II.
Golden Child;
five-year-old King,
bedecked in richest finery
of Renaissance France.

Renaissance France–
age of light and splendor;
Versailles–
monument to magnificence,
holy temple of affluence,
gold wrought craftsmanship,
precious stones abounding;
room after room,
hall after hall,
stair after stair.

Such momentousness won only by oppression:
the oppression of the Sun King–
baring down upon us.
He who lets us live
only by his light.
How would we know
without you?
Hedonistic Tyrant,
Emperor of day.

III.
Singing, HERE COMES THE SUN―
Dah dah da da dah―
long, slow march across the sky,
palace of the sky, he roams free.

Heavily do his sandals fall;
such a heavy tread,
the tread of illumination.
An awesome responsibility;
illuminating the minds of men.

Cheering, singing, songs to the Sun King;
verbal libations flowing from the lips
of every man, woman, child,
poet, pauper, Governor, RPG-armed Guerrilla:
HERE COMES THE SUN KING, dah dah da da dah.

IV.
Once the Moon is
in the sky,
the King knows
his fall is nigh.
Finally, finally,
Sun King, Sun King,
sinking, sinking,
slowly across the sky.
Those last few hours,
as light fails,
as temperatures drop;
the last dozen paces of fiery steeds.
They grow weary,
those horses of fire,
on their journey downhill.

The Moon grows stronger,
her silver chargers
racing, pacing,
till the silver
outshines the gold.
The Sun Sets.
Helios retires to his barge
the far side of the world:
vessel bedecked in richest finery
of ancient Greece and Rome.
Fit for a King, nay, a God,
sailing slowly back
across the far side of the world.

Revolution, sing revolution;
building from not-being
to cacophonous fury of night.
Those oppressed— the darkness—
rise, sing, dance the Carmagnole.
Stringing up corrupt leaders;
hanging bodies from streetlamp poles.
Tear down those stars.
Tear down those walls, those Kings.

V.
But rue,
rue that day,
rue that day the Sun no longer burns.
That day Helios throws down his reins,
that day of revolution.

We’ll hang the heavenly bodies
from the streetlamp poles.
Dance, dance, dance the Carmagnole.
We will live in darkness!
We will live in darkness.
How will we know then,
without the light of the Sun?

But not today, by God;
by Helios, by Lennon,
by Louis the XIV.
Today we know by the light of the Sun,
know all the wealth of rolling thought
accrued across millennia of human existence.
Skulls and dice, by skulls and dice,
today we live by the light of the Sun.

 

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