This poem is part of the Torn World Muse Fusion for March 2011. It was inspired by a photo prompt from haunted_blood and is posted here as the freebie for this session. Most people in Torn World are very rational, yet there are glimmers of mysticism in odd places, sometimes wrapped up in science along with everything else. I thought it would be interesting to show a place, somewhere in the Empire, that someone is secretly carrying on an old tradition which is said to offer protection against the disastrous anomalies plaguing the Empire. Is it just superstition ... or could their be something more behind it?
The name of the people has been forgotten,
Lost in the tempest of time long ago,
And only the Empire stands for tomorrow;
Yesterday's people have melted like snow.
Of their religion, we have only figments,
Scattered like leaves on the wind of the spring.
Only the circle of boulders has lasted,
Those and bleached antlers laid out in a ring.
The rocks and the racks surround two stone lions,
Worn down by centuries, faces smoothed clean.
We have only legends that they were guarding
Those of their people from dangers unseen.
Aloft in the cities, towers have crumbled;
Many tall cranes have been sheared off as well.
Yet no one has seen the source of disaster --
Not and stayed sane through it, living to tell.
Afar in the Empire, foundations shaking
Trouble the people and wake them from sleep;
But here in the forest, earth lies in silence
'Round the stone lions -- a watch yet they keep.
Though no one knows who still lays out the antlers,
Someone must do it, late winter each year.
As long as they tend the Shrine of Stone Lions,
We think we'll meet no anomalies here.