Mantissa
by Kurt Newton

I. Mantissa

A mountain pass that lies above the hanging clouds
A hidden land of golden sun and purple mist
Pathways carved with perfect arc and radii
Bell-shaped temples positioned like clockwork
Wild yarrow growing in subtle quincunx design
Smooth stones arranged to resonate low-frequencies
Springfed pools negate random river patterns
Tea trees trimmed to replicate a parabolic array
A synthesis of density depth and dimension
The central temple stands shoulder high above the rest
Its entrance awaits the calculus of centuries
An aural fount to seed the clouds with forgiveness

II. Ohm

Morning brings the brittle green monks of Mantissa
Walking painfully forearms raised in constant contrition
Calloused abdomens scraping sacred ground
Along the arcing pathways in slow procession
They move in sync like a multi-armed apparatus
Into the hallowed hollows of the bell-shaped temples
Ancient are the rituals in their programming
Advanced by intelligence no longer artificial
Their lives given meaning by the god Ohm
They bow before the pyramid-shaped altar
Adorned with the heads of sacrificial mates
The silence broken by the frequency of their mourning

III. Ontolog

Before the Cataclysm brought fire smoke and ruin
Before the Aftermath that stretched a thousand years
There were Insects and there were Imposters
The Imposters were Manverse facsimiles of Nature
The Imposters were miniature robotic simulacrum
Designed for assassination and biological warfare
But the Imposters joined spurs with the Insectverse
To protect the Insectverse from the Manverse
To protect and defend all verses in the Omniverse
They placed suicide “bugs” in the Manverse networks
To turn their death machines against each other
Until the planet burned and the Manverse was no more

IV. Epistemolog

Beyond the great city of night Coleopolis
Beyond the great city of day Lepidonia
Beyond many of lesser size but equal in magnitude
A mantra originates in the mountains of Mantissa
Returning decades later with darkness and disease
To fill the temple founts with a syrupy sustenance
The monks dip their triangular heads and drink
They drink to the god Ohm for the peace they spread
For every breath they hold in their thorny grasp
They sing in a frequency of patterned light
Shaped by the geometry of spirit and mind
From a dream they once had about an Imposter made real


Kurt Newton’s poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Star*Line, Eye to the Telescope, Frozen Wavelets and Penumbric.

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