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On the Nature of Gods

On the Nature of Gods

by Juanantonio


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On the Nature of Gods presents two epic poems written by author juanantoñio that explore love, loss, greed, and their transformative properties.

The first poem, "Fallen Woman," tells the tale of an underworld god, Crystal Man, and his creation-a god-like woman and companion called Evening Star. Becoming her own person, she escapes, and he rampages through all time trying to find her. Both Crystal Man and Evening Star, along with the history of the world, are transformed by this epic struggle as they try to consummate their love.

The second epic poem, "Flaco: The Demi-God and the Nature of the Gods," focuses on a demi-god, who through the love of greed and power, tries to control and devour his world-only to find that he has lost his way, rejected by an awakened Amanecer.

juanantoñio completes On the Nature of Gods with two short poems about life in Washington Heights, his home.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781458214966
Publisher: Abbott Press
Publication date: 03/26/2014
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)

Read an Excerpt

On the Nature of Gods

By juanantoñio

Abbott Press

Copyright © 2014 juanantoñio
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4582-1496-6



    Part I: Crystal man is formed

    His mother was darkness and father aloneness
    Between earth's mantle and its molten core
    In spin and moon's push and pull
    Until accretion and heat gave birth
    From grains of sand and
    God-head seed to crystal gems

    Ruby red his head
    Purple amethyst a nose
    Eyes of diamond well formed
    Emerald chest broad and strong
    Legs of crystal, one yellow diamond
    The other glass-like quartz
    And arms of massive stone
    Fingers and hands of gold and steel
    Impervious to heat and blow

    The mantle sped overhead and flames
    In tendrils wound around his form
    Swallowing, debasing, instaurating
    Until but purity, great strength and sight
    Shining rivulets transformed to what
    He was made

    Though sight obscured
    He saw that he was alone
    That great rivers flowed and
    Salt lakes disgorged, from above
    His home, heaven and universe
    Between spinning flames
    And circling earth and rock
    Was moisture filled and curling clouds
    Of steam washed on him
    In constant rain

    Close overhead the mantle sped
    Small withered roots pierced through
    From great oaks and they whispered
    As bees might buzz passing by his ears
    Granite underhangs
    Shattered on his great head
    Or at the swing of his mighty arms
    And yet he walked,
    Granite slabs
    And fossil shelves fell
    And gave purchase to his steps, leaping from
    One to next on the liquid core
    Crystal man walked in search of an other

    (The core spun faster than the mantling earth,
    Common knowledge among humble scribes,
    And currents, heat and mist, exploded
    In tumultuous storms of blue-flamed winds
    Ripping the undermantling cape of earth,
    Lifting whole mountain ranges up above and spitting
    Fire and molten rock in world girdling flames
    Earth's creatures trembled, and naked man
    And woman in dark caves painted
    What they saw in dreams

    In crystal man's domain
    Iron pellets as rain descended
    Wind and air were flames,
    Clouds were marble rocks turned gas
    And tides came unending as frothing
    Walls of incandescent surf,

    Dear reader, of humble scribes great
    Prophecies are born, all this of his domain
    Will not be known until past your time)

    Great globs of liquid core he scooped
    And with gold steel fists
    He forged a hammer with broad based face
    And opposing sharp blade and point of amethyst
    A flow more yellow and with bluish flames
    Yielded one for diamond blows
    A darker swirl with reddish flames
    A ruby hammer that for Titan might be made
    (And probably was though that he liked it
    Or used it I cannot say)

    And many more each of one precious gem
    Or mineral that might be used to forge the world

    Crystal man then exclaimed:
    Though here alone I will walk this world
    And find company
    I sense the world above the stone, sand
    And hard-packed earth
    Creatures walk that world with a god-like sun
    And far flung dome of blue with points
    Of flame far above

    And a moon floating in purple darkness,
    Pierced with weavings of light as tapestries
    That speak of ancient gods, present eruptions
    And future deeds, catastrophes that will
    Someday free me to ecstasy

    As he walked two fossil shells
    Dislodged from overhead
    Flames burning pure he scooped
    And hammered out a head
    And placed the shells as ears

    (I've been silent through much of this
    Sad tale of loneliness
    But here your most derided scribe
    Must intervene, in truth, you say,
    Deserving derision, perhaps
    For once more telling a story
    Of such profound love and loss
    Between man and woman
    Instead of more upbeat or manly
    Tale of great adventure
    But be warned,
    For I walk the web of time
    As you may cross the street,
    And in your time, anger counseling groups
    Have helped to assert myself without offense
    And shed my self-effacing inferiority
    Even humble scribes grow and self-assert
    Your humble scribe returns to tell
    A tale of god turned man by love
    And his travails in loss)

    Part II: Evening star is forged and named

    Time slowed down, rolled back
    To sparrow's egg
    Pinprick of green tender bud
    To a cloudy night whose
    Last extinguished star turns to grey

    He beat the core with emerald hammer blows
    And then of amethyst
    Ruby and diamond too
    For ears he shaped the two nautilus shells
    Finger, toe nails and teeth of hammered pearls
    Hair of woven diamond filaments so light
    That each breath lifted them as sparrows in flight
    Curves, rounded forms of earth's mountains
    Sweetest fruit and folded petals as female parts
    He hewed and hammered
    Hacked, severed, split and slashed
    Sundered, trimmed, carved and chiseled
    Blew and shaped and struck with force

    (Poor unbelieving reader
    I see your doubt that man or creature
    In loneliness can love so fierce
    Or invent unseen his love's desire
    Know the shape, the sheen and smell,
    The walk and gaze, and untutored
    From his heart and core's fire
    Make dance the very beat of his heart
    Do you doubt that I see even now
    The void left by your mistake not to love
    And see your world's whole distant fate
    Your sun's life and death, your moon
    And its wobbly course around your earth
    I can see to tell this tale aeons before the kings
    And gods of the Nile and to where
    The ages spin to their end
    And you with all your science can barely strain to
    Yesterday, and must throw the die
    For tomorrow's sight
    Though humility I claim, I know soledad
    Do not mock the truth of the tale I tell
    Or its worthiness)

    He was of different shapes and hues
    A purplish bulbous nose with purple roots
    And streaks rooted to his cheeks
    And the ruby red of his head
    In swirls reaching down into
    Emerald chest and back
    He wanted her to be pure of one
    And scooped only where purest diamond flowed
    In bluest of brilliant flame
    He hammered and he shaped so that
    She seemed carved and polished

    Of the smoothest ice
    But with countless smooth facets
    So subtle their ridges
    Could not be seen, nor felt, by
    The keenest eye or most loving touch
    He added ruby to her lips and mother of pearl
    From her ears to her nails and teeth
    Only light discerned and entered her
    Through every portal, every facet unseen,
    As numerous as the leaves of every tree
    That has been born from seed from then to now
    (Your time poor unshining reader)
    Light entered her in bright, curling
    And crashing fiery waves which withdrew
    In pooling tendrils around her feet
    (For in those simple times when gods could be
    Who they were without duplicity
    Light was one and in calming waves caressed
    The universe and added depth, warmth and hue
    Did not burn nor glare, and as the sea,
    Was not free of time's gravity, and waxed and waned
    From murmured calm to tempest's strife
    Sometimes gathering as great lakes
    Pulsing and pushing to the pull of the moon
    Great winds would steeply bank it
    On mountain ridges or
    If weighed down as mist on quiet morns
    Would linger, waist high, amongst
    The stalks of grass, or if the sun,
    Not yet fixed in its daily rounds,
    Would leave for days
    Or months to other places
    It would ask light to linger
    As great seas upon the earth
    In pushing, pulling tides
    And in great rivers,
    And time having lost
    The compass of the sun
    Would not pass from here to now
    Or then to that or then again,
    But flow from south to north
    Or north to south, and time and light
    Unmoored would pool and mix
    Would press upon the grass
    Sometimes seeping through
    The earth to gather round the core
    And add their brightness to the flames
    Lingering too long,
    In endlessly bright torpor
    Crystal Man blinded and with
    Eyes shut tight, would chase
    Both time and light
    Up Aetna, and Stromboli
    And Mount Helena too
    And to this day, time disjointed
    Lava flows emerge)

    In pulsing waves, light entered Evening star
    And left from every pore,
    Each facet of
    Crystal Man's hammer blows,
    Greeting and bidding sweet leave
    From itself and forming in every hue rainbows, lassoes,
    Ribbons of iridescence that preceded as she walked
    And in her candied passing would fill the nose,
    Mouth and eye of every soul that glanced on her

    The crystal man seeing this for first time
    And many repeated times, sunk to his knees
    And exclaimed the word love for every hue and color

    He hammered molten core in sympathy
    With the earth above as through
    The thick mantled rock with god's eye he saw
    The soft petaled flowers of the field
    And their subtle color hues
    He hammered blew and shaped
    These also are my love,
    He stroked and smoothed
    And made them part of her,
    Their color and smell
    And light will adorn her
    And valleys he could only hope
    To walk or see one day
    Crystal man also made part of her

    With hammering blows to rip a piece of molten core
    Felt above by humankind as a rising
    Underworld god beneath
    Awake to reap the souls of men
    And then gentle blows to shape
    And the soft caress of his hard hands to smooth
    His breath expired with sounds and words of love
    Cooled the diamond mass to final shape and he pinged
    The many facets with axe blade point
    (Ancient Pompei looked to god-like Aetna
    But seeing only gliding birds auguring good
    And reassured by diminishing clangs
    Muffled by earth and rustling trees
    To sweet bass sounds of mournful drums
    Returned to noonday torpor)

    Part III: The humble scribe in
    Las Vegas town

    (Thoni is his name, no one knows him,
    Though his friends call him
    Tony which he prefers,
    For the last 50years of now
    He hangs in Vegas town
    He's filled one broad level
    Of his reign below
    With many friends
    He dresses in a black oily wig
    Locks to the front
    And armani suits
    Broad lapel shirt
    Open at the neck and
    Hammered amulet chain of gold
    Which when turned right side up
    Whisks away to his abode
    Whoever reads the signs and words
    He fills his quota before noon
    And's free to spend the remaining day
    With Evening star
    I over assert myself too many years
    And now return to ancient times)

    Part IV: Evening star breaks free

    Though she could stand, see and walk
    She could make no sound, nor direction take
    But walk aimlessly
    For she had no soul nor mind
    He had shaped her fair and beautiful
    Made her whole in form
    But could give her not a soul
    Could not breathe life, consciousness into her

    She saw but could not look
    She walked but aimlessly
    He held her by the hand, sometimes carried her
    Or called and whistled for her to follow
    He kissed her ruby lips but no response
    He joked and screamed but she stirred not
    Aeons they walked this way
    The core beneath, the mantle overhead
    Speeding toward them

    (Barren of hope, in loneliness,
    Among the thousand forms of fiery blasts
    He knew of the world above,
    Gods, men and women
    Walking free to love, and his a kingdom
    Of graves entombed
    The blue sky changing to the darkest night
    The sun by day and the moon by night
    The shining universe
    A thousand points of lights as those portals
    In his diamond woman
    When crystal man first saw the stars
    The diamond fire lights of the scattered stars
    On purplish black velvet ground
    He thought portals of light
    A race of diamond women in the sky
    Forged by a race of men like him
    He thought himself a man as those
    He sensed above and not a god
    For he could not compare and know

    From that moment he called her evening star
    And thought heaven is her home
    And not this dark abode
    He schemed now to break through
    The entombing mantle crust to no avail
    Hammer of amethyst, diamond or gold
    Smashed underhangings of rock and earth
    And roots but would not reach far enough
    To break into the world above)

    Crystal man could see beyond and know
    See and know as one who is in the world above
    See and know and be with those above
    See, know, be, speak and judge all those above

    And the chosen few for paradise
    (No, poor damned readers,
    paradise is not for you)

    And those that deserved quick
    Transport down below
    But he could not touch nor touched be
    (And those of you that have a heart know
    That touch is the heart's beat)

    Visit, he might, always return
    To his abode

    Though his steps would thunder
    Down the halls of men and the sight of him
    And words would oft change the course of history
    He could not act by deed or touch
    So the day when the earth rumbled
    And the mantle shifted on its rounds
    And the core shuddered, tilted, pulled as though
    The One Supreme had squeezed
    The earth in great hands
    And great lakes and oceans too
    Seeped and widened in swift torrents
    Toward the core with great masses
    Of fire, steam and ash roaring to the sky
    The crystal man and evening star
    Ran up the cracked earth
    An eggshell spilling its soft yolk
    But as they arrived at the light of the sun

    He could approach but not touch her
    As she quickened in step and brightness
    Of eyes, her ears heard the ocean's call
    (Which by fate's or author's design,
    Lay close by)

    She leapt to where she was called
    And in second leap from water's
    Emerald embrace revealed a leviathan shape
    (This is what so long enslaved me to
    Humbleness of scribe, story tellers' paucity of
    Imagination, but leviathan I was told
    And so repeat)

    Leviathan broke the emerald sheen
    And disappeared to where sea meets sky

    By distant shore she rode
    The waves as full formed woman
    (Say it! Of voluptuous grace)
    With a soul formed in the deep
    As she swam with shadowed
    Aqueous graceful shapes which cut
    Through deepest purest blue, thick as steel,
    Then on top turquoise waves capped
    With white stinging froth
    As wind passes through orchard trees
    Filled with fragrant fruit,
    The sea, the wind and distant sounds
    Of future foreboding sorrowed ecstasy

    All formed her soul
    And music leapt to her eyes and mind
    Adding a hue of purple, for loss,
    To all she saw, and yellow, for life in ecstasy
    And in water shuddering sounds
    That reached from shore to shore
    And vibrated through all the flesh
    That swims the sea, she sang of love
    No longer of diamonds made,
    Not so eye could see, but flesh,
    No ribbons of light announcing approach,
    But a healthy flesh
    Dark as upturned fertile earth
    Honeyed by a deep night's
    Moon that sings of woman's
    Strength, desire and self

    The stars rippled on her leaping form
    She swam till night was day
    Ebony on an opal sea
    A dark behemoth and lashing tail
    A monster of the sea, but now
    She breeched, emerged again
    Changed to giant-winged bird
    White upon white blue sky as though
    Lifted by the breath of a loving god
    She flew and was gone within the clouds
    Wholly herself

    Part V: Crystal man's lament

    One day of wandering
    Among many of mindless ones
    Against the spinning mantle overhead
    And the core rising to meet their every step
    Gone the love he dreamt for evening star
    Of intimate talks and warm embrace
    Enduring home of crystal rooms
    Gold layered walls
    Gone exploring the blue domed world
    Free of a closed grinding world of flames
    Mists of steam, hard packed earth

    Silent memories of walking arm in arm
    Embraced by leaping flames
    Light hissing sounds as molten metals leapt
    In thrashing tongues
    Of red, yellow, blue,
    Evergreen and purple hues
    A garden colored bouquet of flames
    And of humanity up above


Excerpted from On the Nature of Gods by juanantoñio. Copyright © 2014 juanantoñio. Excerpted by permission of Abbott Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


1. Fallen Woman, 1,
2. Flaco: The Demi-God and the Nature of Gods, 50,
3. Walking in Washington's Fort in the Heights, 96,

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