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Sunday, November 5, 2017

The 7 Days of CryAction 6: 1452-1519


In Day Six, Adonai
made no mules, illegitimate
off-off-Broadway offspring
of animals attracted by
unrestrained desire,
either a strong donkey
and a mare or a nimble
steed and a lazy mother.
[1460] Yet like heroic horses
mules sometimes won
in Olympic hippodromes;
they also carried Cardinals
in their red garments
(see Raffaello’s fresco)
to meet the messengers
from queens and kings.
Tho’ a thoroughbred’s son
can prove an ass, and so
[1470] does a mare’s daughter,
the first case is infertile
the second won’t conceive,
no mule mothers a mule
as horses habitually do
and in the Army’s herd
a son succeeds his father.
Causes are conjectural.
Deformed ducts” said
old Democritus the one
[1480] who, while blind, booed
delusions and disasters
of humankind humorously.
Empedocles who debatably
decided to meet death
in the flames of Etna
thought a failure follows
two orgasms too soggy:
contraries coalesce better—
as when someone melts
[1490] silver with a very
different metal, tin.
A more eminent mind
the philosopher frequently
adopted by tradition
saw the cause of sterility
in the coolness of seed
since donkeys are cool
unable to bear winter
so that none of them dwell
[1500] in northern Europe
though often in France.
A donkey-born he-mule
unlike his father has
infertile seeds inside
whereas a rare phenomenon
is Miss Mule with child;
but a seven-year-old mule
can mate with a mare
and make her pregnant.
[1510] In the Syrian sun
tho in ancient centuries
she-mules proved prolific
and mule came from mule
so that their descendants
mirrored the ancestors and
the race was preserved,
now however forever lost
among modern Syrians
worried over the war.

(to be continued on Nov. 12)