Author Topic: The Guise of the Phoenix  (Read 1077 times)


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The Guise of the Phoenix
« on: February 12, 2009, 06:06:52 PM »
The Guise of the Phoenix

A hermaphrodite
with a comet tail
Bursting fireworks when it sings,
plumage purple and blue.
A mighty and auspicious bird,
For half a thousand years
It hibernates,
Musing the mysteries of the universe,
A feathery sage.

Confucious conversed with him,
His nest of cinnamon twigs wafting spices through the air.
In his spare time he sells them
To the marketplace bazaars.

With a flick of a wing he ignites it,
A pyrotechnic display
burning fiercely
Ashes carpet his den
Swept under a Persian rug,
A flying carpet
That sits in his library
Of gilded volumes,
the knowledge of all the Ages.
You can’t help but become wise,
Living through the creation of the world.

He cocoons himself, his dust
In an egg made of frankincense and myrrh--
Perhaps a Mexican confetti egg,
The kind they toss and break
To sprinkle the world with color
During celebrations.
Reborn anew to live again,
Puncturing the egg until it splits
Like a pinata, colored paper and wind
And releases him, refreshed.

Every morning while lighting the sky,
Helios stops by his den
To listen to him sing. (He has a lovely voice).
Sometimes he fills in for Apollo
When he is called away on business.
Every morning
(an early riser)
He goes for a swim--he lives near a wishing well.

He is a spy, a secret agent, a top-secret document
He will self destruct in flames
Once he has told
A single golden secret,
One per resurrection.

He has many alter egos
Having traveled the world,
He is known by different names:
Huma (“hu” means ‘spirit‘, and “mah” ‘water’
In Arabic. He is multilingual.)
Bird of Paradise,
Immortal Bird.

As such, he has many responsibilities:
The phoenix is the leader of birds
Fenghuang is the most important bird in Chinese mythology,
And the most important animus
(second only to the dragon).
He is the avian representative to the Empress.
He possesses the deciding vote
For royal coronation
When he has made his choice
He will alight
On the appointed one’s shoulder.
He donates feathers
To adorn the turbans
Of sultans and emirs.

One time
Zeus held a masquerade ball on Mount Olympus.
He enjoyed shape shifting.
He cloaked himself in feathers.
The Phoenix, however,
Refused to reveal his identity.
If I had a Phoenix
I would name it Anastasia.

His regenerative powers are impressive,
But not so much
As the fact
That he knows the secret to a successful resurrection
Is being able to control your own fate.
It was he
Who instructed God
On bringing Lazarus
Back from the dead.

His tears restore
And can make one immortal.
This is preferable
To other methods of doing so,
Unlike vampires,
There is no Faustian bargain,
No deal with the devil.

As you can imagine, he is quite well-known
And has been exalted in great literature:
The Bible, the Talmud, The Book of the Dead
Flavius Philostratus wrote of his magical powers,
Believing he was living sunlight
(he can touch heaven with his head).