On the Wane

To think of you is plain and shallow:
An ocean of I do not care.
I lack the memories to share –
There is no fondness left to hallow.

The light grows dim, and not too soon,
There will be darkness all around.
And never shall I thus confound
A truth which cannot be impugned.

To think of me is plain and shallow:
An ocean of you do not care.
You lack the memories to share –
There is no fondness left to hallow.

Soon

[I wrote the following poem for this world of text. Rough coordinates: x:2; y:-3]

There is always an empty page to be filled,
And words are our means of doing so.
But what, if anything, can we do to fill
The emptiness in our hearts –
Black holes that tear
Into the very essence of our being?
Soon all shall be consumed by darkness,
Erasing memories both dear and painful –
Soon it will all mean nothing.

Payment

An ancient dark creeps up my back:
I feel it in the blink of rime.
Pulsating clocks of thyme, alack,
Cast ashen shadows on my spine.

The haunt of nightfall keeps awake
The broken stare of eyes long dead.
For only fate is here at stake
Where oceans turn to rivers red.

The calyx tastes of locust blood,
Engulfing numbness, deaf to blind,
This downfall sings a soothing thud,
And lays to waste this hope of mine.

An ancient dark consumes me whole:
I fade into obscurity.
It asks unfathomable toll,
I give my all, it sets me free.

From the Lost Notes of the Deep Dweller’s Shipyard [Fragment #15/The Escape Note]

Though the edges are rough, the main body of the note remains intact. Despite the haste in which the words were written, the letters are, unlike those on the last note but this, easily readable. It may be a sign either for the note’s importance or that it has never been found by the person to whom it was written.

I cannot wait any longer now. I must make a move. The dark closes in on this place, and the others will soon be coming after me. They may still be feasting on that which has been left in the wake of the slaughter ensuing the ritual, but their hunger appears insatiable. The other day I heard one of them murmur something about a silent song while tearing a still somewhat alive victim to pieces. I do not know why you have not met me here; I do not wish to assume the worst; I do not want to leave you behind; I love you more than anything, yet if I stay, I, too, shall perish, and if you should still be alive, somehow, somewhere, it would have all been for nothing. If you find this, I will be gone. Come after me as soon as you can. I love you so much that it hurts.

Rote Flut (Red Flood)

After a long time, I have finally written a new poem in German. Please scroll down for an English translation.

Auf der Stirne liegt ein Degen,
balanciert auf dem Gesicht.
Es sieht aus nach rotem Regen,
Sturmfront gegen Gleichgewicht.

Küßt du mich, dann muß ich sterben;
hälst du mich, seh ich das Licht;
meine Sicht wird rot sich färben,
so die Welt in Scherben bricht.

Schiffe wollen Anker werfen,
transportiern ein großes Heer;
soll ein Schmied den Degen schärfen,
bringt gewiß das rote Meer.

Auf der Stirne lag ein Degen;
aus dem Gleichgewicht der Nacht,
hat er, mit der Strömung Segen,
endlich rote Flut gebracht.

[English translation:
A sword is lying on the forehead,
balanced on the face.
It looks like red rain,
storm front against equilibrium.

If you kiss me, I must die;
if you hold me, I shall see the light;
my sight is to be coloured red,
as the world shatters into pieces.

Ships want to cast their ankers,
transporting a huge host;
a blacksmith shall whet the sword,
for certainly, it shall bring the red sea.

A sword was lying on the forehead;
from the balance of the night,
it has, with the blessing of the current,
finally brought a red flood.]

Demon-Haunted History (Part 2)

The delusions of which I have written so far are, unfortunately, not a thing of the past alone. They continue to evolve into new idiocy, such as young-world creationism or world-conspiracy theories. As it tends to appear as backwards evolution, I am tempted to call it devolution. Ironically, while there are more sources of knowledge and manners of obtaining knowledge than there have ever been before, large parts of humankind appear to get more ignorant by the decades. The saddest thing about this is that ignorance goes along not only with stupidity but also with confidence. Ignorant and stupid people are usually the most outspoken ones, and, even worse, they appear to be immune to doubt. Both politics and religion (I tend to think that the latter is only a variant of the former) teach people not to question the authority of that which they are told and of those who tell them so – a strategy that has been successful for as long as we can trace it back in human history.
Let me introduce you to a case of which I have not been fully aware till recently. You know how it works when you look something up on the internet and click yourself from one link to the next till you end up somewhere that has more or less nothing to do with that which you were origially trying to look up – and you cannot even remember how you actually got there. Well, this recently happened to me, so that I cannot even provide you with any reason for which I came to the website, but here is the link nonetheless: Occult Symbolism in the Music Industry that is Hidden in Plain Site. (By ‘Plain Site’ they most probably mean ‘Plain Sight’.) What this article says in a nutshell is that at the Video Music Awards 2009, the songwriter Taylor Alison Swift became part of the Illuminati, a secret order of a select few who secretly rule the world – or, on a side note, not so secretly any longer according to this website: http://www.illuminatiofficial.org/.
While it may be true that there are agendas to entertainment – such as selling products and making profits –, people who believe as the article linked says got extremely carried away. Ironically, the Bavarian Illuminati, an organization which was founded in the Age of Enlightenment, opposed, inter alia, superstition and religious influence over public life. Apparently, interpretors have got carried away into extremely different directions since then. They see hidden symbols and signs everywhere, and there can be nothing to disconfirm their hypothesis because everything necessarily confirms it. Behold a classic case of selective perception. How intriguing it can be to imagine secret orders behind everything is demonstrated by the sheer amount of conspiracy theories (in the broadest sense) that has been formulated over time. There are quite a few people who sincerely believe that the Bible contains hidden code, for example, when the world is going to end. A case in point is this website: http://www.understanding-the-bible.com/hidden-codes-in-the-bible.html. At least this site admits that ‘[t]o some extent it comes back to faith: you will try to prove what you want to believe.’ Unfortunately, the author appears not to take this possibility too seriously in their own case.
All of these cases share a common fault. None of them actually gives us good reasons to believe them, nor does any supporter of those would-be theories provide us with actual evidence. Instead, in order to be convinced of those systems of beliefs, you need to be in a preconditioned set of mind, which means nothing more than that you already believe in them (at least partially). For instance, the author of http://www.understanding-the bible.com/ writes, ‘Firstly as we examine these codes, we will see that they are from a supernatural source and could not have been devised by any human, as they require knowledge not available to us.’ This statement alone is at best problematic as to several aspects. Both this statement and everything that follows draws conclusions at which you can only arrive by ignoring several facts.
First of all, the Bible is a conglomerate of stories originating from several different cultural backgrounds which used to be handed down from generation to generation orally before they were even so much as written down. And even when those stories were finally written down, the texts changed significantly over time. Not only were words exchanged for other words, but entire stories were added, removed, added to, removed from, and so forth. Even today, there are several versions of the Bible, and the authority of the texts has remained as arbitrary as ever.
Second, if a supernatural being with the ability of foretelling the future would want us to know about said future, why would it go to such lengths as hiding the information in religious texts, that is to say, texts the truth of which is allegedly a matter of faith rather than knowledge? And if the hidden code refers to the future, why hide it in texts that refer to the past and are basically inaccessible to most people in their original language? A supernatural being of such enormous power would certainly be able to communicate this vital information in a more convenient and more easily accessible manner.
Third, randomly or arbitrarily starting at a word, then skipping several words, may or may not lead to something which may appear meaningful in its own right. It does not prove anything, however, especially not that it actually was put there on purpose and with the meaning ascribed to it. Consider the following example:

You of all people should know better. Are you not the one I trusted? Most beautiful are the stars tonight, behold!

I make this up as I go. There is no hidden message or code in the text above, but if you try hard enough, if you look hard enough, you may find something. For instance, each of the three sentences consists of exactly seven words, and the number seven has been deemed a lucky number for ages. And if you connect the first word of the first two sentences, respectively, with the first two words of the third sentence, you get the following: ‘You are most beautiful’. Yet even though all of this is true, it neither proves that today is your lucky day or that you will be lucky henceforth, nor that I intend to tell you that you are (most) beautiful.
Besides, it is nothing more than an historical accident that it takes as many letters and words to say or write something as it does. Furthermore, many aspects are simply the result of errors and grammatical constructions that faded away over the course of time.
But as I said, nothing is ever going to convince someone that their system of beliefs is not only unsubstantiated but also incoherent and implausible, if not absurd, if everything counts as a confirmation. If you try to point out to someone that the world is most likely not ruled by the Illuminati or any other secret order, they are going to take that as a confirmation of their hypothesis, just as much as they would if you were to tell them that the world indeed is ruled by the Illuminati or any other secret order.

[To be continued.]

Demon-Haunted History (Part 1)

There has always been this borderline between amusingly stupid, ignorant, or delusional, and dangerously paranoid or delusional. All of us are stupid or ignorant or delusional to a degree, and while it may be comic in many cases, it can evolve into a cause soon to get out of hand. Outstanding historical examples are, without a doubt, crusades, the witch-hunt, and German fascism. Interestingly, the second is most often construed as a part of medieval culture and life, yet it actually culminated in the modern era and continued well past the Age of Enlightenment. And just as popes had repeatedly drawn on the power of mass delusion and the urge of the majority of people for a common cause and a scapegoat to blame for all social and economical issues alike, fascism found the most furtile grounds in Germany for the exact same reasons. The difference between Italy and Germany consisted mostly (albeit not only, of course) in weak and strong leadership, as well as economical power. Again, it would mean to oversimplify the situation to say that it only took one man. It goes without saying that Adolf Hitler was not alone, he was not the sole cause of the catastrophe to come. And he could not have succeeded without help or, even more importantly, without the conceptual seeds sown decades, even centuries before. A single cause to unite us all, one leader, one nation, one enemy, one goal: those are the words that have always led into the abyss. They promise both glory and safety – they bring but doom and despair.
In the Western countries, crusades, the witch-hunt (as a historical event), and fasciscm faded away into the obscurity of an awkwardly remembered past that appears to be less and less relevant to the current age. In fact, however, these events keep returning and repeating themselves in different shapes and shades. The fantasy of world domination, of a single ruler, of a single nation to rule them all, has been kept close to mother’s teats and nourished well. And when it grows larger, it will find futile ground again. Gullible masses cheering for it to come down on them, eagerly sucking up the poison raining from its open veins. And as it burns inside of them, eating them up till they are but shadows, it marches them on again to their shallow, nameless graves. And those who survive the madness will use these graves as a foundation for their next futile attempt of building a flourishing society upon the denial of the horrors they caused, supported, or tolerated.