Now turn our gaze towards things long lost,
Ere the coming of Socrates and Christ,
The silence of the blind bards,
And the snaring of wild Enkidu.
Behold primal waters
Concealing that which first writhed,
Like hideous drops of onyx,
In that winedark deep.
There πόλεμος, father of all things,
First wove itself into life.
And so the living were never of one essence,
Nor two, but mix’d.
In that muck, where nothing reigned,
Disparity was crowned.
And soon, like crows streaming across midwinter skies
When night’s soon to come, driven thither to roost,
Knowing not why, but only thus,
Macht the vast hurtled down from the stars,
Up from deep trenches, and out from living tendrils,
As a knot of roots growing ever outward,
With no nexus, nor single shoot,
But innumerable nodes.
Behold bios vying against itself,
Soldered in that oceanic kiln
As when thick winds converge
And roiling clouds turn green with anguish
As a funnel creeps downward.
Thus things did not remain,
But were crushed ceaselessly under the hooves of time.
From its own powder, ground like fennel in a mortar,
Then coagulated bios, and was crushed
And coagulated, and was crushed.
Then out from gyre’s center, whirling bios upon firm soil,
A thing cast its gaze across the horizon
And, assailed, it spoke.
Behold ἄνδρα, a thing not quite, complete not yet.
There he stands, beholding vapours aloft, ridges afar.
Forces delivered themselves unto him,
And by force was he consumed,
Like cotton skein submerged in purpura.
Words came to him, and words he recalled
Forces drew him north, and drew him south
And fastened him to all points,
As rawhide stretched across a frame.
Far they cast him,
And wherever he dwelled,
Force delivered itself unto him
And by force was he consumed.