Panties and Bras

 

THE ENNUNMENT CANTO 5



 

 

Illuminated Text from Defdefa Convent

 

 

1

With coronation done and nuptials sung,

The abbess, King and Queen and I were met

The statues and the tapestries among,

At Ajinblambia’s for tęte-ŕ-tęte,

2

There in the office where she turned the helm

Upon the poop of Ung’s great ship of state,

The argosy of Ung’s perennial realm

Heavy with its encrimsoned, golden freight.

3

Descending from the high formality

Of great occasions, just pacifically

We chatted in relaxed normality

Of this and that, of nought specifically.

4

Then Ajinblambia began to speak

Of that great marble statue she’d upraise

Atop Mount Vlacva, the sublimest peak

Within Mecníta, gilt by golden rays.

5

Mount Vlacva, standing 20,000 feet,

Would be surmounted by a sculpture white,

Depicting nude and beautiful and sweet,

The royal pair embracing in day’s light.

6

Two thousand feet the carving would ascend,

Which to erect would take full seven years.

Two hundred miles their faces would resplend

To draw from loyal eyes their movčd tears.

7

Mount Ajinblambia-and-Udi named,

The peak no longer would Mount Vlacva be.

The sculpture over all the planet famed

Would stand in pride for everyone to see.

8

Then Ajinblambia bade Jorbing tug

The model of the statue that would be

Into her office with its lavish rug.

’Twas mounted on a trolley, we could see.

9

The replica was scarcely eight feet tall.

But nonetheless, the abbess and myself

Were much impressed and taken therewithal,

On seeing it atop its rolling shelf.

10

I rose but for a moment to admire

Its graceful lines and beauty unsurpassed,

Then backward but a step did I retire,

Forgetting where I had been sitting last.

11

I had been seated on an oaken chair,

Upholstered in wine plush with golden lace

In tapes sewn to the back with perfect care

With likenesses of blossoms on their face.

12

Howe’er, unthinkingly, instinctively,

In Olezconia’s great lap I sat,

In folds that marked her so distinctively

As abbess of the nunnery whereat

13

I served her as my mistress and my dame.

The King then smiled and said to me with glee,

“O Sister Rogizlenia, your fame

As loveliest of lesbians will be

14

Exclaimed throughout the length and breadth of Ung.”

Her words were like to carillons or chimes,

With golden melody so fitly sung

With silvern harmony’s most perfect rhymes.

15

As I descended, though, the lady King

Bade me upon the abbess’s lap stay,

If that to be therein were just the thing

Myself, I would have chosen on that day.

16

From that day on, there was a single chair

For Olezconia and me to use.

The meaning from thereout did brightly stare.

Could I the will of majesty refuse?

17

For only three great ladies made a quorum,

And I was just a babe or pet for sport,

A non-participant in their high forum,

Meseemed the one-chair rebus did import.

18

The eastern oval would a harem be,

King Ajinblambia to us expressed.

She’d marry girls from Ung and o’er the sea,

Good-looking women into service pressed.

19

She reasoned 20,000 she could wed

Without affecting population trends.

They would be ladylike and nobly bred,

Among themselves sweet comrades and dear friends.

20

Queen Udi o’er the ladies would preside,

Extravagantly, gorgeously attired.

The ladies, though, would e’er be locked inside,

From public view extracted and retired.

21

Just Ajinblambia would come to visit,

Selecting her companions and her brides

From the most elegant and most exquísite

Brought thither from the ether and the tides.

22

The coronation had been held in peace

Within a chapel quaint and dark and rich,

Where swaying censers did their myrrh release

And golden angel flew in oaken niche.

23

Quite few were the attendees at the function,

Who gathr’ing round beheld the crown emplaced

And saw my fingers carry out the unction,

As I the symbols on her forehead traced.

24

But there would be another coronation,

In Pantoflambo Field, a vast expanse

That could contain the millions of the nation

As they would sing rejoicefully and dance.

25

Above the campus beetling, stood the peak.

Mount Vlacva, where the statue would be stood.

It was a mighty emblem that did speak

The glory of the King so wise and good.

26

Both troubadours and minstrels walked about,

And actresses and ballerinas strolled

From stage to stage, and into grove and out.

For there were hill and dale, and wood and wold.

27

The sound of viols, mandolins and lutes

Was blent with that of trumpets and recorders,

And there were bagpipes, oboes, horns and flutes

Amidst wide Pantoflambo’s foursquare borders.

28

Jute sacks of walnuts, cashews and pecans,

Did vie with heaps of pomegranate and pear,

And popping corn, and baking tarts and flans

Released their sav’ry breath into the air.

29

And there were lobster, venison and pork,

And wheaten loaves with sesame bestrewn.

Sufficed the meat for everybody’s fork.

Sufficed the sauce for everybody’s spoon.

30

Liqueur and cider, brandy and champagne

Flowed copiously on that gay pageant day,

Nor were there clouds and wind or pouring rain

The spirit of the feast to drive away.

31

Contestants vied at sports and prizes won,

While poetesses sang their lovely rhymes

Of love and beauty till the day was done.

These were the fairest and the fondest times

32

That ever did befortune Ung’s vast lands.

For Ajinblambia, with high resolve,

Would for a century within her hands

The gimbals of the planet make revolve.

33

Late in the afternoon, she climbed a stair

Onto a dais sápphirinely black,

Pavilioned all around with satin fair

Edged with galloon in front and sides and back.

34

The Queen, the abbess and myself did gaze

With boundless admiration at the sight.

Around such majesty a hallown haze

Was wafted and did mellow solar light.

35

Now Olezconia without a word,

Just almost imperceptibly did nod.

Unto her silent bidding I deferred,

And meekly to the dais quickly trod,

36

For I would give unto the King her crown

That she might raise it to her sovran head,

Then by the stairs would I come quickly down,

And in the abbess’s direction tread.

37

Magnificence and majesty supreme

Embodied by our monarch is this wise,

’Twas likely none would ever even dream,

Much less expect to see it with their eyes.

38

Then skyward we all looked and there beheld

In three dimensions standing on the plain,

A thousand leagues in height, to Zenith swelled,

The likeness of the lady who would reign.

39

Translucent statue, figure made of air,

Hallucination or a mystic swoon,

I wist not what befell us, ’twas so rare

Like this to happen of an afternoon.

40

The great similitude did fill the sky,

As if a goddess were our royal dame.

The apparition reason did defy.

Who was this Ajinblambia by name?

41

The image paled and disappeared at length.

Again the sky was cloudlessly celeste.

Then suddenly a roar of mighty strength

We heard to sound from out the planet’s chest.

42

Meseemed Mount Vlacva rumbled, but ’twas known,

Volcanically the mountain was extinct;

So did the realm’s geologists intone.

To what occurrence was this tumult linked?

43

Alone in apprehension I was not,

For many sighed and gasped to hear this thunder,

Improbable, impossible, I wot,

For this was like to miracle or wonder.

44

With bated breath, in palpable alarm,

We waited for the sequel of this noise.

Were we in danger of eruption’s harm?

Or should we just maintain our wonted poise?

45

The mountain rumbled time and time again,

And tremor followed tremor, fleet and fell.

A panic gripped all women, children, men,

Hysteria that it were hard to tell.

46

Then jets of fire spurted from the mouth,

And lava flowed adown the lofty slopes.

A molten inundation, north and south,

Both west and east would dash our finest hopes,

47

And bury us in seas of flaming stone.

But as the gushing mountain with its charge

Did or’nge the sky, vermilioning the zone

Whereof our pageant grounds were at the marge,

48

A spectacle like none in all my hours

Unfolded on the foothills and on high.

For flames became bright blooms, flamboyant flowers

Whose petals tinged all quarters of the sky.

49

Or’nge pixie and enchantment lilies vied

With irises, or’nge dawn and fleur-de-lis.

Of flaming parrot tulips furlongs wide,

And orchids, birds-of-paradise asea,

50

Of pompoms rouged and marigolds galore,

Red riots, yellow bursts and golden sprays

Kaleidoscoped above, while couronnes d’or,

Canary-colored peonies, did blaze,

51

Aflame with fireworks and cressets bright,

In shades of pumpkin, scarlet, crimson, rose.

The firmament was glorious with light,

A choreography of bright flambeaux.

52

The pirouettes and pas de chat of fire

The arabesques and cabrioles of light,

Now burst and leapt, ascending ever higher,

To vie the Sun, if they were just as bright.

53

Then petals and corollas ’gan to pale.

The flames to flicker and to shimmer dimmed.

Now earthwards all the flowers in a gale

Were downward blown.  Mount Vlacva next they limned,

54

But momentarily, because eftsoons,

Into the ground, like scimitars, they vanished,

Elongated, like luminescent lunes

Into the planet’s surface they were banished.

55

Anon the sky was azure, and the Sun,

Alone presided Heaven, as before.

Of great phenomena the greatest one

’Twas what we’d just beheld and did adore.

56

However, once again a roar was heard.

Would now a new eruption us betide?

The fumaroles and vents, divinely stirred,

Sent skyward new disgorgements high and wide.

57

This time, candescent lava, dazzling white,

Erupted in a cloud with nacre pearled,

Amorphously at first, till it gained height,

And, over Pantoflambo wafting, swirled.

58

Then patterns and designs began to form,

And symmetries to cut the sky in two.

Just vaguely I descried that from the storm,

The likenesses of birds now fleetly flew.

59

Great ibises and herons seemed to glide

And swans and cockatoos were there en masse.

The avian display, both far and wide,

The limits of the sky did overpass.

60

White pelicans and egrets in formation

Turned Heaven into marquetries untold,

Like to a vault in living tessellation,

As quickly changing patterns did unfold.

61

Cranes echeloning with great storks did wing

In aerial fantasias, flames of white,

With jets and swirls and eddies they did ring,

Ascending towards illimitable height.

62

All of a sudden feathers they did shed,

Which fell like raindrops opalescently,

And glistering and glistening o’erhead,

At last sank into earth quiescently.

63

Cerulean the sky again became.

The golden Sun, declining in the west,

Empurpled cloudy strands, with shades of flame

In the interstices, ere it did rest.

64

As dusk o’erfell the plain with darkling shade,

I and the abbess sadly did retire.

The feasting, only till the morn delayed,

Full seven days would run and then expire.

65

Mecnita’s hundred millions would regale,

in Pantoflambo Field from sun to sun,

On florid hill and in florescent dale,

To celebrate the newly-crownčd one.

66

“Shall we back to Dwesfesco with the morrow,

Or shall we stay to frolic and be cheery?”

With curiosity, perhaps a little sorrow,

To Olezconia I turned to query.

67

“By golden comet early we depart,”—

Thus to our trains we give the sobriquet—

“Day after ‘morrow, walking, we shall start

The pilgrimage beneath the eye of day.”

68

Mubúnur Station, Fwascren’s terminal,

Lies twenty miles the convent walls without.

Our pilgrimage, just merely germinal

Unto that compass, long without a doubt,

69

We’d have to fetch, if from the Holy See,

Mecnita, we’d come walking all the way,

Six thousand miles o’er knoll and vale and lea,

Would measure just those twenty in a day.

70

This was a sacrament, a ritual, a rite,

We nuns were bounden always to observe,

When that, detraining with dawn’s early light,

Unto the nunnery our course we’d swerve.

71

Once in the palace oval, in our room,

A fancy chamber curtained in brocade

Of burgundy and gold from daedal loom,

Our figures habited we haply laid,

72

In order just to chat and to converse,

The eiderdown-filled counterpane upon

That did the abbess’s resilient bed

In tufted satin gorgeously o’erspread.

73

Into her arms, by chance, as ’twere, I slipped.

In her embraces it was sweet to be.

My spirit and my heart elixir sipped,

With Heaven’s opium I was asea.

74

Intending no such thing, we fell asleep,

And only when the daystar tinctured Heaven,

Did we wake up.  “We’ve slumbered long and deep,”

Quoth I, “The clock will presently chime seven.”

75

Ere we could say it, we were on the street.

We hailed a hansom cab.  “Unto the trains!”

Commanded Olezconia, “Be fleet!”

The driver cracked his whip and grasped his reins.

76

This precinct of the city knows no cars,

For motorized conveyances are banned.

Esthetic regulations, zoning bars,

Against intrusions of the kind now stand.

77

At Forgsha Station, just in time were we

To board the comet bound for Fwascren town.

From our compartment we could barely see

The platforms whizzing back, as we sat down.

78

A day went by and we’d traversed the whole

Of those six thousand miles we’d had to go.

Into Mubúnur Station did we roll

When, in the east, day’s theater did show.

79

Nurúshul Boulevard lay just hard by,

And Squingba Boulevard was near at hand.

So we began to walk.  My, she was spry!

Her paces full a meter must have spanned.

80

Eight miles on Squingba quickly we did march.

The late forenoon was on us when we came,

Beneath a sun whose heat my lips did parch,

To Fwascren’s limit, Pweshcoir Street by name.

81

At Pweshcoir, Squingba Boulevard does end.

From thence, there’s Old Bazdunia, the road

That to Dwesfesco’s nunnery does bend.

Thereon, twelve miles at least we duly strode.

82

The oaken doors, flung wide, did let us in.

Now I’d a cell, no lock upon the door,

Beside the old scriptorium, wherein

I’d have my office, library and store.

83

Thereto I did betake myself with haste,

For I was weak and weary from the hike.

Throughout whose twenty miles I merely chased

The lofty abbess, who too was tired belike.

84

Refreshingly I bathed.  Then I did sleep

Upon my linen pillow filled with straw.

Meseemed I scarce had slumbered sound and deep

Whenas the dawn its azure drape did draw.

85

Instead of the refectory inside,

At Olezconia’s I ate my fare.

I was so privileged as were a bride

Within the wedding morning’s festive air,

86

Thus with the dame of our sorority

To break my fast, for likewise for to do

’Twere the desire of the majority

Of sisters living in the convent too.

87

“Today,” said she, “I think that we shall start

To organize your bindery and press

In the scriptorium a step apart

From your straw-pillowed bed that angels bless.

88

With paper, parchment, vellum, lacquer, ink,

With mucilage and leather, paste and dye,

We can illuminate some books I think

To offer to our patrons for to buy.

89

If that a coin or two fall to our share,

Materials additional acquiring,

A workshop we’ll establish, and a fair,

A magazine of art for them desiring

90

To purchase sacred works and holy books.

A dozen sisters working like a team

Will illustrate the leaves in all our nooks

Producing calligraphic ream on ream.”

91

Delightedly I set about my task,

When we had breakfasted, relaxed and talked.

Full many a question did I wisely ask

Ere to my special studio I walked.

92

Supplies were brought.  The room I did restyle

To suit the needs of my envisioned press,

The bindery where books I would compile,

And on their flyleaves sacred seals impress.

93

Long hours I would work, but in the e’en,

Unto my looms and hoops I would repair,

Where blunts and sharps pierced crepe and gabardine,

And clacking treadles sounded in the air.

94

Eventually, a binding school to found

The abbess counselled me, nor did I shirk.

A dozen other nuns then gathered round

For my instruction in their future work.

95

Each page to be illuminated, placed

Upon a table, held by masking tape,

Received designs in faintest pencil traced,

And then the richest colors took their shape

96

With graceful brushes held in dainty hands.

Erasers then removed the pencilled lines,

And leaves were sewn together with sized bands,

When that cahiers were folded, to make spines.

97

The bindings, both of leather and bargello,

Of plates of silver, laminae of oak,

Imposing, lavish, éxquisite and mellow,

Thoughts of the ancient ages did evoke.

98

Nuns schooled in the scriptorium by me

Would work long hours to manufacture books.

These were the rarest specimens to see.

No other volumes shared their regal looks.

99

Still all the while, I spun and wove and sewed,

Selecting dyes from insects, clay and flowers

That haply nuns could find along the road

Betwixt Dwesfesco and the convent’s towers.

100

Our clime was kind to cotton.  We grew wool.

A colony of silkworms we maintained.

We sheared and combed.  The fibers we did full,

And with the loveliest of colors stained.

101

Betimes we had amassed a heap of shawls,

A plenitude of scarves and soft apparel,

Along with drapes and tapestries for walls,

With gloves and stockings to fill full a barrel.

102

An auditorium then fallen in neglect

Into a room for making cloth and lace

I did convert that there we might collect

Our implements and instruments apace,

103

For soon ’twould summer be.  A gay bazaar

We’d stage right in the convent’s open court.

To every counter, table, shelf and bar

Our wealthy patronesses would resort.

104

The hours flew by, the days and weeks elapsed.

Our books waxed stacks, our tapestries waxed heaps.

Our eagerness and zealousness scarce lapsed

As we continued forward bounds and leaps.

105

At last, we threw the nunnery’s gates wide.

The fair was set.  The ladies we did call.

The convent’s benefactresses replied

By coming in good numbers, nearly all

106

That near Dwesfesco, north of Fwascren, dwell,

There to appreciate the objets d’art

We had assembled, offering to sell,

In this our showroom and premier bazaar.

107

Transactions and transactions in the coin

Struck in the realm to be a legal tender

Accrued in sums we gladly would conjoin

To those already present, which we’d render

108

To Olezconia, to be disposed

According as she willed, for even then,

Obeying the instructions she composed,

I merely was the script from out her pen.

109

We had a chest of gold we’d earned by art.

The abbess wanted to annex a wing,

To add another building to be part

Of our abode, where ivy tendrils cling.

110

Conforming to her judgment, I was bound

An architect to make myself eftsoons,

And I the plans and calculations found

Depicting all the cornices and lunes,

111

The pediments and vaults with all their groins

That were disposed the nunnery to build,

The dadoes, piers and arches with their quoins

That walls’ expanses beautifully thus filled.

112

Directing, as it were, with my left hand

My bindery and sewing room, I drew

Additional designs of rooms I planned

For to enlarge our enterprise anew.

113

The nuns themselves with fine machinery

Were able to construct with skill the wing,

Which complemented our fair scenery

Afforested with poplars on our hill.

114

A score of rooms for offices and shops

Were like a suite of classrooms in a school,

But that extensive tables with oak tops

Stood in the midst of bench and chair and stool.

115

Materials on gantries, shelves and racks,

In closets, bins and chests were stored away.

And there were pins and scissors, knives and tacks

Convenient for the labours of our day.

116

Recruiting other sisters to be taught

The crafts of bindery, embroidery and more,

I started classes.  Excellence I sought,

And many gifted hands went out my door.

117

Straightway a hundred nuns worked busily

Illuminating texts and weaving lengths.

The project hurtled forward dizzily.

We scarcely knew our talents and our strengths.

118

But word of our successes reached the King,

Our Ajinblambia, the newly crowned,

And she took careful note of every thing

That in her correspondence she had found,

119

For she had letters from our visitors,

All full of praise and lofty admiration.

She had no need of stern inquisitors

To monitor and witness our vocation.

120

Then with a grant, she honored us as well

By naming our new school a College Royal.

Now we would have a scutcheon that would tell

The tale of the fruition of our toil.

121

A keen observer would forsooth declare

That Sister Rogizlenia, myself,

By industry and wit beyond compare

Had to the ancient convent drawn much pelf.

122

However that may be, it was not I.

I was the pen within the abbess’ grip,

The magnifying glass before her eye,

The ring of keys that swung upon her hip.

123

She was the nervous system, I the muscle

The nerves did innervate to make them go.

She was the breeze that made my habit rustle,

The sun that caused my countenance to glow.

124

My ritual and my routine I learned

So thoroughly, so automatically

That it was said, not that I still interned,

But that I worked paradigmatically.

125

A year went by, and then ’twas two or three.

Our college flourished, our repute was great.

In our museum of fine arts were we

Like holy muses of the royal state.

126

One day, the abbess told me she would leave.

She’d take a well-deserved sabbatical,

To study for to see what she’d achieve,

And I would tend the flock abbatical.

127

A year or more as abbess I would reign,

As acting abbess, maybe to rehearse,

For later ladyship of our domain

And treasuress of the abbatial purse.

128

Great Olezconia did dictate text

That as amanuensis I transcribed.

She sat behind her desk and I was next

As I her prudent sentences inscribed.

129

She set forth all the rules I’d need to know

Throughout my tenancy of her position,

Each ‘if’ and ‘maybe’, every ‘yes’ and ‘no’,

Each adverb, adjective and preposition

130

In the morphology of nunly speech,

The various syntagmata and dictions

Whereto the mind conventual does reach

In parsing catechisms and convictions.

131

I was elated.  I was borne on high.

A better, finer habit I would don,

And to exalted tasks my wit apply.

The convent’s curule chair I’d sit upon.

132

“Milady, Sister Rogizlenia,”

A voice I fancied even then I heard,

“O mea culpa, mea venia.”

Thus to address an abbess goes the word.

133

It happened just as it had been foretold.

The abbess her sabbatical began.

I was the mistress.  I the keys did hold.

Yes verily the nunnery I ran.

134

To others unbeknownst, I oft did look

In the instructions that the abbess gave,

The canon from her lips that, in the book

Neatly transcribing, jealously I’d save.

135

The college grew, new dormers were annexed.

With wings and porticoes it was enlarged.

The muscle of our treasury was flexed

To bear this burden on it supercharged.

136

More postulants enrolling, we increased.

Our population doubled.  Rose our number.

Prosperity and plenty never ceased.

Therefore we purchased stone and brick and lumber.

137

The walls we circled with much farther walls,

Thus adding acres to our fair demesnes.

We varnished wainscots, carpeted long halls.

We planted trees along our country lanes.

138

Our canon stipulates all work be done

By sisters of the order, them alone

And no one else, nor lay sister nor nun

Of other orders.  This we don’t condone.

139

But we used cranes and derricks, lifts and hoists.

Without great bodily exertion so,

We builded walls, placed rafters, beams and joists.

No effort or expense did we forgo.

140

King Ajinblambia approved our measures,

Applauded us and gave me special thanks.

She deeply delved into the kingdom’s treasures

And gave us gold wherewith to load our banks.

141

Each increment to our exchequer we,

Myself and all the sisters I o’ersaw,

Turned to account, investing for the See,

For poor were few.  The kingdom lacked this flaw.

142

From all the many miles of plain around,

With only scattered coppices and brier,

The King apportioned us a sprawling ground

To be a sacred precinct, holy shire.

143

This would become a realm within a realm,

A city-state, if I must find a phrase.

Her generosity did overwhelm,

Her philanthropic nature did amaze.

144

More garths and blooming gardens we did plant.

More malls and pergolas we did lay out.

Long trusses cantilevering aslant

Incumbent on entablatures stood stout,

145

Renitent with their shakes against the rain.

A fountain here, a statue there we stood,

Retreats and silent groves rose on the plain.

Each dune or hummock so became a wood.

146

Originally we ten thousand were.

My abbacy did multiply by ten

That number, so at least did I infer,

So numerously postulants came then.

147

I was a magistrate, a monarch, so to speak,

A loving elder sister, as it were.

You would have said, if thither you did peek,

I were a Queen, but for the ermine fur.

148

One happy day, however, she returned,

Dear Olezconia, our highest nun,

The dame for whom we sisters long had yearned.

Her studious sabbatical was done.

149

She knew of course of our designs and toil,

But visiting in person bosk and bower,

And seeing we’d replaced once useless soil

With esplanade and promenade and tower,

150

She did decide that she would soon retire,

And let me run the nunnery instead.

Just peace and solitude were her desire.

“I’ll govern from obscurity,” she said,

151

“Entrusting you to implement my will,

Committing to your hands the convent’s fate.

I know you will your destiny fulfill

And make our order reverend and great.”

152

I was exhilarated to assume

Abbatial dignities on me bestowed,

But this elation quickly turned to gloom

One day when that a nun unto us trode,

153

A black-skinned nun, both muscular and large,

Who’d come supposedly with joyful thanks.

Into our privacy she rudely barged,

Engendering confusion in our ranks.

154

As soon as she herself did introduce

As Sister Mbambo, and we’d welcomed her,

Suspecting not at first woe or abuse,

We saw a grim dilemma would occur.

155

This nun was sullen, arrogant and rude.

She started giving orders like a lord.

Her sentences were impudent and crude.

Perhaps within her habit she’d a sword.

156

She even laid her hands on sev’ral sisters.

She picked them up as if they were but straw.

Her hand inflicted bruises, wounds and blisters.

We all were terrified.  We stood in awe.

157

I met with some of our sorority,

Some of the bravest ladies of our bevy.

And they were strong, the great majority,

An army, as it were, that I thus levy.

158

In our deliberations, we were slow

To broach the subject of a mutiny

To banish her, but nought else did we know

That would avail, despite the scrutiny

159

We did upon the matter then confer.

We made a pact to rush her in a throng

And cast her from the gates, expelling her,

Unto Bazdunia, to walk along.

160

We chose one hundred nuns who’d join the fray,

As we drove Sister Mbambo to the dale.

I never did expect—Oh, rue the day!—

That our one hundred nuns would not prevail.

161

We couldn’t move her even one wee inch.

She easily withstood when we attacked.

She hit, she slapped, she kicked.  With painful pinch

She tweaked our ears.  She smartly hacked and thwacked.

162

Aggressively she chased us all about,

And herded us like ewes into a vault.

She locked it so that we could not get out.

Thus she undid our furious assault.

163

One hundred nuns defeated and confined

By Sister Mbambo, acting all alone

With her bare hands.  Oh, woefully we pined!

We shrieked and wailed.  Oh, sorely did we moan.

164

Soon other nuns came running to assist,

But just as quickly, Mbambo drove them back.

She used her elbow, kneecap, foot and wrist.

The nuns just cried, “O woe!  Alas!  Alack!”

165

Disbanding, they ran off and tried to hide,

But Sister Mbambo, capturing them all,

The vault, with keys unlocking, opened wide,

And pushed them in till we stood wall to wall.

166

Demanding with the abbess to have speech,

She let me out, when she saw I was she.

With her right arm towards me did she outreach

To grasp my habit and to jostle me.

167

She raised her arm and held me high in air.

I wiggled and I wriggled, kicked and flailed.

But she was stronger than a feral mare,

And all my effort nothing me availed.

168

She said that with three fingers she could break

My humerus.  Her hand my skull could crack.

She with my blood her thirst could quickly slake.

My vertebrae she could knock from my back.

169

But fortune was to visit me anon.

For mounted on a stallion, two nuns rode.

A lariat they tossed.  It fell upon

The shoulder-blades of Mbambo where she strode.

170

So taken unawares, she toppled o’er,

Releasing me involuntarily,

When that the horse did shy and trot before,

Thus dragging Sister Mbambo scarily

171

Thither whereat four sisters could with cords

Completely bind the villainous black nun.

They brought a cage of iron and oak boards

Confining her, her mischief thus undone.

172

The wheeled cage was locked metallically.

The mighty nun in nowise could get out,

Tied up both chirally, podalically,

Quite incapacitated, there’s no doubt.

173

It’s disallowed in our sorority

To hold a dialogue or to consort

With those of secular authority,

Policemen, sheriffs, officers of court.

174

We merely wheeled the cage out on the road,

Bazdunia, that passes by our gates,

And left her there, beneath the clouds’ abode,

To suffer her encounter with the Fates.

175

A few days later she had disappeared.

Perhaps the sheriff carted her away.

This episode was frightening and weird

But we resumed the rhythm of our day.

176

Ne’er had I seen a brutal show of force

Of such proportions as those of this nun,

Except for Ajinblambia’s, of course,

When she fought royal Oa, one on one.

177

That was some months ere Photon I was launched.

Queen Oa, despot of the worst of reigns,

Was like a hemorrhage not to be staunched

Within her kingdom’s arteries and veins.

178

Mli is our moon, and Ufzu is thereon,

One of a dozen realms that strive and vie.

The throne of Ufzu Oa sat upon

And planned to sit until that she did die.

179

I thither had betaken me to learn

If Ajinblambia and Oa schemed

To undermine Queen Udi, and to churn

Such mischief as they federately dreamed.

180

But Oa took me hostage with demand

That Udi pay a ransom for my head.

In nowise would she otherwise unhand

My captive self, but rather I’d be dead.

181

But Ajinblambia, under arrest,

On Nya, in Ung, because of information

That I had made that she aspired to wrest

The crown and make herself hub of the nation,

182

Entreated Udi that she set her free,

So that she could depose the evil Queen,

And from her lethal clutches rescue me,

Delivering my person from the scene.

183

Queen Udi did assent to this design,

And Ajinblambia flew moonwards to wage war.

O’erthrowing Oa, penalty condign

She meted out to settle the whole score.

184

For Oa fled upon an ibex riding.

The Vrikshaya pursued her, and they fought.

From her fierce wrath there wasn’t any hiding.

So she Queen Oa a hard lesson taught.

185

Thus  I was saved.  So guilty did I feel

For having made such flippant accusation

Of Ajinblambia, that I must kneel

And offer her sincerest adoration.

186

This was the time in the chronology

Of our relations that the Queen began

To make it clearer than tautology

That she preferred that woman to this man.

187

One day into the bedroom of the Queen,

As was my custom, I went late at night,

But Ajinblambia was on the scene.

In gowns and rose peignóirs they were bedight.

188

Then Ajinblambia did bid me leave,

No longer would I dally with my wife,

For I had been replaced, if you believe,

And banished from thereout throughout my life.

189

It soon would happen, as told in these writs,

That she would order me to be a nun,

She’d change my sex, endowing me with teats,

And clothing me in habit, all fordone,

190

While she did reign o’er the entire world,

From pole to pole, on every sea and land.

She reveled in that me she thus had girled.

Ne’ermore could I stand at the Queen’s right hand.

191

But I had made the best of my new lot,

And now was abbess of the nunnery.

The name of Olezconia I got,

Far from the realm’s campaigns and gunnery.

192

Now I was Olezconia the Second,

The nun of nuns if not the King of Kings.

An influential abbess I was reckoned.

Hark how the convent’s bell so sweetly rings!

193

If this was vengeance, punish me some more!

As mistress of a convent I was glad,

Yes, thoroughly delighted, with the chore

Of bringing to perfection what we had.

194

Methought ’twas a wee kingdom of the veil

That I was building for our glory’s sake,

There was no point in pining or travail,

No thorn whereon our tender hearts should ache.

195

The usurpation of the black-skinned nun

Was told to Ajinblambia the King.

She was, of course, relieved as anyone

That with success we had dispatched this thing.

196

Still she saw humor in the picture too.

She could imagine how I jerked and shook

Attempting with inanest derring-do

To get me down from off her awful hook.

197

Along these lines, she ordered to be made

A statue meters tall, in sculpture clear,

That would stand on a major promenade,

Depicting me in air, aghast with fear.

198

Held high aloft upon the nun’s right arm,

As if I’d been a puppet or a dolly,

Like to a talisman or to a charm

Upon the bracelet of a stalwart Molly.

199

Though I protested, still the King would rule.

She went full speed ahead; the die was flung.

She placed the statue right before a school

That stood beside the Avenue of Ung.

200

Presumably, this statue will declare

To future generations my meek state.

Embarrassing perhaps, but should I care?

E’en had I cared, ’twas anyway too late.

(5646 Words)




 

 

 

 Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuttlefish/38245875/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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