Tabris in Cantos: Mabus

Tabris fears one and one only:

Mabus, prophet of time and rot.

The feline steps freeze

as the tail whips. Black

body coils and hides

within the brown

and gray reeds. Mabus’

ragged hands clutch

as beard wires, coarse

and thick to frame

the wild man’s frail voice.

He speaks in riddled rant,

gnawing blood crust

lips to speak a future

no one sees, or wants.

“Worms, and pustule cyst.

All who hide from God’s

wrath delay what can’t

feel delay. Time dies in ticks,

And the tall twin males

buckle at the knees.

Then their elitist face

will crumble. The masses

gasp and wail as delusions

fall with them. My people

wander. Swallowed up

and lost in your world

of false life and gluttony.

Ishamael’s bowman track-

animals more fierce

than your bloodiest soldier,

fattened and sickly, gorged

on the cursed swine. We lie

in wait with sword and words.

Your war is waged on fear

and otherness. Only fools

fight that which cannot die.”

Mabus shivers as the cold

wind rips aging flesh.

He retreats to the hollow

mountain as the moon breaks

black clouds. Tabris rises,

and watches the Jandi valley’s

black gates. He licks paws

before stalking along his way.


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