Panties and Bras

THE ENNUNMENT CANTO 8

 

 

Carvanilli Convent in Amga, Ufzu

1

To summarize those times, let me explain

That Barti had commissioned me to fly

To Mli, our moon, where Shandra Queen did reign.

I'd carry Ung's religion through the sky,

2

Inaugurate another era there

And organize an order.  But I tarried

Some weeks with Shandra Queen in Vornda, where,

In retribution, Hennamarn me harried

3

With every manner of humiliation.

At last I was delivered, but with Vrandz

Hostilities broke out within our nation,

Though valiant victory fell in our hands.

4

Then Carvanilli Convent rose and stood.

Rijarli I did delegate to rule,

As abbess, this retreat in piny wood,

But she would instigate rebellion, fool.

5

I had returned to Nya.  Again to Mli

I now must travel, wearing a disguise,

In order to investigate and see

What mischief she was seeking to devise.

6

Not recognizing me, she locked me up

Inside a stony cell.  Then I made boid

With dagger to attack her.  In my cup

They'd pour a draft of hemlock, she foretold.

7

Communicating electronically

With Ung's Defdéfa Convent, she denounced

A nun who'd tried in vain, moronically,

To murder her.  Upon herself she'd pounced.

8

She did demand that Olezconia

Avenge this vile contumely with fire,

Or irrigate me with ammonia,

Or hang me on the gallows, even higher

9

If she elected, but the false report

Fell on deaf ears, for it was proven lies.

The sisters knew Rijarli did distort

Enormously.  They'd grant her no assize.

10

My masquerade they couldn't know to tell,

And, hence, were mystified by the report.

How could Rijarli hold me in a cell

And still such noisome notices export?

11

Confusion notwithstanding, they sensed bale.

'Twas certain that the abbess was in straits.

She must have been the inmate of the jail

Rijarli held with wrath behind her gates.

12

Queen Barti they petitioned, with all speed

To prosecute this peril and undo

The malice, machination and misdeed

Now being meditated.  Barti knew

13

'Twere best that Ajinblambia take charge.

Our lady King flew moonwards in a second

To vindicate the abbess now at large

And with the malefactress have it reckoned.

14

I've told already in this chronicle

I now compose as witness to our age,

How it was fateful and ironical

To live the life I'm sketching on this page,

15

For Ajinblambia had once before

Flown moonwards to defend me from a captor.

Upon a time, Ub's past I did explore.

I'd in my history include a chapter

16

About Qazúdistan's chronology.

Therefore, the Vríkshayas, an Ubbic clan,

Of my attentive anthropology

Became a subject, entered my book's plan.

17

The Vrikshayas for centuries had ruled

The continent beyond the Western Sea.

They'd governed from the shadows, whence they'd schooled

Both emperors and kings how they must be,

18

How they must act, what errands they must run.

They were revered as potentates and powers

Beyond compare beneath our dazzling sun,

The puppeteers who hovered o'er Ub's towers.

19

I'd told Queen Udi that I did suspect

That Ajinblambia and those five girls

Of Gángawar belonged unto that sect,

Aspiring to fly low her banner's furls.

20

That Ajinblambia had come from Mli,

The Vrikshayas millennial abode,

Correctly I'd deduced.  The Queen could see

My reasoning, with evidence I showed

21

Corroborating it.  She did arrest

All six purported Vrikshayas that day,

Dispatching me to Mli.  There I addressed

Their Queen.  Could she definitively say

22

If my hypothesis was false or true?

Queen Oa seized me, though, to ransom me.

Then Ajinblambia, it did ensue,

Asked Udi to release her, set her free

23

That she come wreck Queen Oa's royalty

And rescue me, returning me to Ung.

She demonstrated flawless loyalty,

Made me regret the folly of my tongue

24

For having made such empty accusation.

Again now must she come unto the moon

Defending me, Rijarli's usurpation

And abbacy extinguishing eftsoon.

25

This made me blush.  I was embarrassed deeply

Recalling how, attempting to compete

With Ajinblambia, I dared so cheaply

Discredit her.  Now prostrate at her feet

26

I lay, awaiting her redeeming hand.

As ever, she, protective and benign,

Appeared in Ufzu, in Queen Shandra's land.

One of her retinue she did assign

27

To do surveillance of the convent's ground,

Determine if, indeed, as was surmised,

The abbess was detained, imprisoned, bound,

And of all things germane keep her apprised.

28

Beneath the little window of my cell,

The nun detective, skulking in the eve,

Asked me such questions as did let her tell

I was the abbess.  Me she did believe.

29

'Twas hardly an engagement that enabled

King Ajinblambia the place to seize,

And so Rijarli's regency, disabled,

Did topple, with Rijarli on her knees.

30

Then Ajinblambia installed another

With my consent.  Her name was Shalvanétti.

For many years as Carvanilli's mother

She'd flourish, her long tenure sure and steady.

31

King Ajinblambia and I again

Aboard a spaceship, Photon IV, returned

To fair Mecnita.  Hours it took but ten.

Queen Udi our arrival, when she'd learned

32

Thereof, did meet in Póngdoir, where our ship

Put down as from the cosmos we emerged.

She placed five minutes' kisses on the lip

Our monarch offered, and her bosom surged,

33

But me she humored with a hurried hug,

A mandatory peck upon the cheek.

What could I do?  I bore it with a shrug.

No other salutation might I seek.

34

Our lady King o'ertopped me by a foot,

And she was clad in velvet and brocade.

Ung's sapphire crown upon her head she'd put.

In necklaces and rings she was arrayed,

35

But I was gaunt and haggard from my trials.

Recovery would take me one whole season.

At least, though, thankfully, Rijarli's wiles

Had failed, and we'd observe a reign of reason.

36

Has it been clarified herein by me

Nya's continents are two, named Eb and Ub,

Now both pertaining to our monarchy,

Our Ung, which has Mecnita as its hub,

37

A city of 100,000,000 souls

At our equator, at Eb's very heart?

'Round Eldor Palace sure the kingdom rolls,

For every sea and island is a part.

38

Nine provinces in western Ub had joined.

Twin reclamation projects were begun.

Four million talents had Queen Udi coined

To irrigate those lands parched by the sun.

39

'Twas ere she did relinquish her domain

And Ajinblambia her scepter gave.

She had appointed Vinja to grow grain,

With wholesome water those vast tracts to lave.

40

Containment structures rose along the sea.

Desalination went ahead apace.

Marched pylons on the dunes far as eyes see.

Titanic tractors tilled that endless space,

41

For Vinja, too a Vrikshaya, knew how

To organize those provinces, produce

Equipment and facilities, with plow

Three million miles to farmland to reduce.

42

How could a girl of five and twenty years

Hold all this wisdom in her gorgeous head?

What goddess had informed her eyes and ears

And educated every word she said?

43

The people there were nomads recently.

Just with the annexation had they learned

To live in houses, warmly, decently,

Not by simooms and blizzards to be churned.

44

Sophistication Vinja did impart.

She introduced new agricultural

Procedures, engineering, craft and art,

All matters technical and cultural.

45

It was decided I would next be sent

To Qizilót, the projects' foremost quarter,

To institute religion, soothe dissent,

Assuage dissatisfaction, calm disorder.

46

The Ubbic folk were shamanists.  Taboo,

Tattoo and icon, fetishes occult

Composed the stuff of their religion too.

Revering totems they had made a cult.

47

Could I persuade the Ubbans to embrace

Ung's up-to-date ideas, and debunk

The mountebanks and wizards of their race,

Dispensers of foul potions, worthless junk,

48

Mad magic, crazy voodoo, incantations

And mystic talismans?  Could I revise

Their metaphysics and their meditations,

Uplifting gold and silver to their eyes,

49

Chryselephantine goddesses enshrine

On pedestals of malachite and onyx,

Raise myrrh in censers, goblets full of wine,

And have them quit their evil-tasting tonics?

50

This was the task I set me.  So their tongue,

Called Óiradi, I learned to read and write.

Their speech is rare in multilingual Ung,

But I waxed fluent, poems could recite,

51

Rehearsing thousandfold declensions daily,

Repeating conjugations by the dozens.

I did my homework cheerfully and gayly,

For I would make the Ubbans my dear cousins.

52

I memorized their alphabets and runes,

Became adept at accents, tones and times.

I even sang their canticles and tunes,

Observing all their rhythms and their rhymes.

53

Their lore I did imbibe.  Their mysteries

And medicine I was assiduous

To study, with their natŭral histories

Of evergreens and trees deciduous

54

That grow in their unending mile and acre.

It was as if I were one of their folk.

I sought myself as Heaven-sent to sacre,

Thereby them to our credo to convoke.

55

The Ubbans proved less tractable and lenient

Than I'd supposed I'd find them.  It was hard

To enter in their circles, inconvenient

Conforming to the customs they did guard.

56

Sometimes they'd wax indignant when I'd break

Unwittingly a rule they did maintain.

At other times derisively they'd make

Outrageous jingles, jests and jokes inane.

57

They'd whoop in merriment, with loud guffaws,

Because I'd made an innocent mistake.

With noisy squawks and cackles, croaks and caws,

They'd raise a din a graveyard that could wake.

58

This frightened me somewhat, but normally,

The bedlam and the hurly-burly done,

They'd be polite, address me formally,

And hearken to my hymns unto the Sun,

59

Till the next time I happened into error,

Offending their uncouth society,

And made myself the victim of their terror,

Atremble with acute anxiety.

60

They'd no conception of the deep respect

An abbess should command.  They merely deemed

Me just another person, blackly decked

In nunnish veil and cashmere skirt unseamed.

61

Ung's heroines and goddesses meant nought

Unto the nomads.  They preferred to gather

The roots and herbs their ancestors had taught

Healed every ill.  Yes, verily they'd rather

62

Seek remedies in sap and cures in tea

Than put their faith in pharmaceuticals

Elaborated scientifically.

They cut corollas, clipping cuticles,

63

And pressing petals to extract their essence.

Suspiciously they looked on our hypnotics,

Our anesthetics, sedatives, depressants,

Emetics, stimulants, antibiotics.

64

Inculcating new attitudes and notions

Oft seemed completely futile and absurd.

"Let them continue with their rites and potions.

I'll go back to Defdefa," was my word.

65

It was taboo for men to touch a nun.

Among them, though, there was a charming witch,

Both sleek and sinewy, tanned by the sun,

With sharp red nails, long tresses black as pitch.

66

She was a dancer, entertained the hordes,

All uninhibited and brazen bold.

She clicked with castanets and rattled gourds,

Laughed loud, and flirted, rolling with her eyes.

67

One evening, when a crowd had gathered 'round,

She circled me aboard her chariot

Once and again.  She mocked me as she clowned,

At last tossed o'er my head her lariat.

68

Then down she sprang and ordered me to prance,

To kick my legs as high as I could kick,

To swish my skirt, to arabesque and dance,

My wimple to throw off, my shawl to flick.

69

A silver dagger she drew from her garter,

Accessible inside her skirt of fringe.

She flew at me as swiftly as a darter.

I wist not what to do but flinch and cringe.

70

When she got close, reluctantly I twirled,

And, like a ballerina, did fouettés.

My habit with my motion swayed and swirled,

As Jessamina's eyes flashed merry rays.

71

She held the lariat about my waist.

She tugged and shrugged.  The rope she whipped and skipped

To regulate the roundelays I raced.

She tipped my equilibrium.  She flipped

72

And I went flopping on the furs they'd plopped

Upon the ground.  My shoes slipped off my feet.

My skirts and petticoats flapped o'er my head.

My beads were slapped upon a pile of peat.

73

The nomads roared with laughter as I rose.

For Jessamina brandished her sharp blade

As if she'd amputate my ears and nose.

Hereat, I do admit, I was afraid.

74

I ran around their yurt with frantic shrieks,

As Jessamina's voice waxed shrill and wild.

To her this was amusement, frolic, freaks.

At last she'd had her fun, again grew mild.

75

For days to come nobody passed me by

Without rememb'ring this harlequinade.

They'd grin and giggle with a twinkling eye

Or sound a peal, as if mock trumpets played.

76

Eventually, howe'er, I lived it down

And could with more decorum play the nun.

I noticed vibrant Vinja, golden brown,

From years of supervision in the sun,

77

And taller than a nomad ever was,

Both lovely and enchanting in her word,

Held Ubbans rapt, spoke as a siren does,

Astonishingly gorgeous thunderbird.

78

If I could get her to promote my cause,

Then surely I would soar upon her wing,

The future of our order in her claws.

What bounty and beatitude I'd bring!

79

Let me recall, some years before, by plane,

When Vinja'd come Mecnitawards to buy

Equipment for her project, would we twain

To Molonólo, Vingolílo fly.

80

An Ungonesian island in the sea

Lies Vingolilo southwards of Port Crelf,

A garden grown with orchid, swaying tree,

A paradise for Vinja and myself

81

On our stol'n holiday, our furtive tryst.

The capital is Molonolo town.

Our names were on a reservations list.

At Ekotáni Airport we put down.

82

The flying ladies governing the island

Bore us in baskets woven of rattan

Unto their temple in the cliffy highland

That can't be reached by quadruped or man.

83

Next, to a forest of cymbidiums,

Dendrobiums and cattleyas we rode.

There we could see and smell oncidiums.

We paths of fallen orchid petals trode.

84

A pair of langur monkeys Vinja'd bought.

She called one Popo.  She one Nana named.

She had them back to Qizilot then brought.

Now they were grown, affectionately tamed.

85

So she and I enjoyed deep, deep rapport.

Of those five Gángawaran lasses, she,

Dear Vinja, was the one I did adore.

Besides, despite my nunhood, she loved me.

86

So it was easy.  I was glib and facile

In asking for her auspices in Ub.

I'd build a nunnery, a limestone castle,

Convening postulants to join my club.

87

She was amenable.  She liked my vision.

She introduced me to the tribal beys,

Who set aside their mischief and derision,

And helped me found the convent in those days.

88

I called the convent Tantakóram Cloister,

With floor of pine, oak threshold, cedarn sill

And walnut wainscot.  'Twas a campus moister

With water Vinja piped us from her still.

89

Engrailed drapes with rings in eyes of brass,

Transfixed by rods and drawn with braided cords,

O'er windows like embrasures smooth did pass

The transoms framed with joinery of boards.

90

A spacious hall contained the novice cells,

Immaculate, with hardwood floors that creaked

So slightly, and the doorjambs had small bells.

From azure chambray curtains sisters peeked

91

Upon the atrium or vale of wood

That ran athwart the cenoby, and angled

Off whither chalky mountains staidly stood,

Where cones from juniper and cypress dangled.

92

A pear and apple orchard soon was planted.

A bed of ginger, jonquil, jessamine did flower

in a protected spot where rafters slanted

To form an arbor, belvedere and bower.

93

A fountain gurgled in the open court,

And there were benches that ramadas covered,

Where, of an afternoon, a nun might sort

The pebbles. shells or seeds she had discovered.

94

A broad refectory stood next the gates,

With varnished oaken tables polished bright.

There pewter bowls and earthen cups and plates

Placed randomly, shone dully in the light.

95

Augúst cantatas, heavenly motets,

Did echo from the choir during masses,

Sublime polyphony no one forgets

Was sounded a capella by fair lasses.

96

I telephoned Defdefa one bright noon,

Inviting Sisters Quámla and Shanétz

To fly to Núula Airport very soon

Aboard Air Fwascren's supersonic jets,

97

For these two nuns were practised and rehearsed

In all the rites and rituals and rules

Regarded foremost and respected first

Among the nuns enrolled in convent schools.

98

They understood the art of binding books.

They fathomed physics and astronomy.

They wove, embroidered, sewed, crocheted with hooks,

Knew sacred and profane economy.

99

I'd tutor them in Ub's nomadic speech,

Drill them in adverb, pronoun and conjunction,

So they the local postulants could teach,

As mistresses and governesses function.

100

This Nuula Airport, by the way, was planned

By Ajinblambia, when she o'ersaw

The projects, ere they were in Vinja's hand,

According to the blueprints she did draw.

101

E'en earlier had I been supervisor,

Mismanaging the reclamation site,

Until that Vrikshaya, more skilful, wiser,

Queen Udi to replace me did invite.

102

'Twas then that I began to spin my web,

Concocting the conspiracies i'd write

To publish in the capital of Eb,

Exposing Mli's dark daughters to the light.

103

At any rate, the airport's runways sprawl

A length of twenty miles, for our jumbo,

A jet that spans 2000 feet in all,

As manufactured by the plant in Blúmbo,

104

Requires that goodly distance for to land,

Arriving at 2000 miles an hour,

With having flown o'er ocean, isle and sand

To get to Nuula's tall controlling tower.

105

But Quamla and Shanetz had flown before,

Though normally they rode the rails.  They rolled,

Then pilgrimaged the prairie to our door,

Uplifting just a bit their habits' fold,

106

As they advanced upon the dusty lane,

Bazdunia.  From Nuula Airport, though,

'Twas forty miles to Tantakoram's fane.

This was too far for nuns on foot to go,

107

So I and Vinja went in her long car,

One she reserved for any special guest,

To fetch the wimpled nuns come from afar

To oversee the cloister in Ub's west.

108

Like to a shining eagle swooped the plane,

With landing smoother than machinery.

The Vrikshaya and I beheld the twain

As they appeared and viewed our scenery,

109

Descending daintily the boarding ramp,

For airbridges had not yet been emplaced.

The buses throngs of passengers did cramp

But for a moment, as their way they traced

110

Unto the terminal.  Then came the vans

With kilotons of baggage from the plane.

An electronic eye there quickly scans.

No long procedures are there to detain.

111

Anon the four of us had taken seats

In Vinja's limousine and sped away.

The highway first, then Qizilot's broad streets

We drove along, beneath the eye of day.

112

Another highway we would then traverse,

As Tantakoram's out of town twelve miles.

Throughout the trip, we blithely did converse,

Exchanging hugs and sharing merry smiles.

113

Shanetz and Quamla were impressed indeed

That with such speed the convent we'd erected.

Too, we'd anticipated all they'd need

To settle in the quarters they selected.

114

Fine statuary filled the tranquil spots

That separated buildings from high walls.

Red rhododendrons, roses in stone pots

Carved in relief, lined terraces and malls.

115

Both lemon and persimmon whitely bloomed,

While bougainvillea climbed peepul trees,

And tulips, in neat lines and circles groomed,

Displayed a million colors to the breeze.

116

A tablecloth of gingham red and white,

With checks of half an inch, was quickly spread

Upon a picinic table.  I'd invite

With me the nuns and Vinja to break bread.

117

Lay maids brought baked potatoes from our stoves,

With onion and tomato, bean and pea.

They sliced with steely knives two leavened loaves,

And poured us cups of ice-cold carob tea.

118

The new-come nuns could scarce believe their eyes,

Astonished and amazed they both did stare,

When I explained that all these wheats and ryes,

Leguminous and solanaceous fare

119

Were grown with water from the Eastern Ocean

Desalinized by Vinja in reactors

That rose like giant founts and poured in motion

Broad rivers irrigating where her tractors,

120

Leviathans one hundred meters wide,

Could corrugate the earth and make it sprout

With grains in quantities to keep supplied

Three billion souls the continent throughout,

121

That there were gardens, orchards and plantations

Where every fruit and vegĕtable was grown,

That cities had sprung up, entire nations,

Now nourished by the seed that Vinja'd sown.

122

For this, had Ajinblambia designed

Her Photon One, which made its way to Dli

To see how much uranium they'd find

To bring to Nya's big project by the sea.

123

To undertake the aerospace endeavor,

She'd put the reclamation in the hands

Of Vinja, whom to equal there has never

Appeared another in Nyatic lands.

124

Two hundred installations stud the shore.

Each runs a forty-gigawatt machine

That cleans pelagic water, and, what's more,

Provides the volts that energize our scene.

125

There cattle too are bred and that explains

The butter, milk and cheese upon the table.

All this was done in regions void of rains

That only stations nuclear enable.

126

We ate our luncheon, took our ease an hour.

Then Quamla and Shanetz went to their cells.

In each a vase was stood with lovely flower,

With canna, calla, crocus and blue bells.

127

I'd left some little grammars i'd compiled,

With tables of declensions, spelling rules,

In cabinets with paper, neatly filed,

With pen and ink and other writing tools.

128

We set up schools, and little children came,

Attending cheerful classes we did start.

We taught them reading, writing, made a game

Of history, arithmetic and art.

129

Shanetz and Quamla also taught young nuns

To etch and sketch, to weave, make bobbin lace,

To carve relief, to fashion moons and suns

As sequins for georgette, to turn a vase

130

Upon a potter's wheel, or to engrave

Heraldic emblem, or design bright banner,

To fleece the sheep, the wool to card and lave,

Unwind cocoons, with every other manner

131

Of handicraft and skill, with each vocation.

They introduced piano, tutored lyre,

Taught harmony and rhythm snd notation,

And music composition did inspire.

132

'Twas certain, in the countless stores and fairs

In far-flung zones of all-embracing Ung,

One could obtain a million, million wares

Assembly lines in such profusion flung,

133

But connoisseurs, collectors, esthetes, buffs

Preferred our handmade statuettes and medals.

They loved our rainbow shawls and scalloped ruffs,

Rattan and wicker, our pressed flower petals,

134

Our cameos, galloon, faïence, parquet,

For these we did display at our bazaars,

Now that from dawn to sunset went our day

And that our night was measured by the stars,

135

Now that construction's numerous delays

And half-built porticoes had had their day,

Now that the scaffolds, falsework, wooden stays

And shoring had been razed and hauled away.

136

The miracles Shanetz and Quamla worked

Delighted me.  I saw that I could trust

That pair of sisters.  They no effort shirked

Administ'ring all matters as they must.

137

The Vrikshayas observed the nuns' success

At Tantakoram Cloister with great pleasure.

So Ajinblambia myself did press

To take in hand another weighty measure.

138

As I have noted, Ungonesia's isles

Lie scattered in the endless Southern Ocean.

The archipelago's ten thousand miles

From east to west, aswirl in tidal motion,

139

Five thousand miles extending north to south,

Accessible from Gáutsma or Port Crelf,

Metropolis that straddles Úmzid's mouth.

I'd been to Ungonesia thrice myself.

140

In fact, I and Queen Udi thither traveled

In days before I was transformed to nun,

Before my masculinity unraveled

And my new life as sister I'd begun.

141

There, she'd explained upon a time to me,

Were wonders and phenomena galore,

Sights to behold and spectacles to see,

Unlike aught ever happ'ning on Eb's shore,

142

Like crocodiles thirty meters long,

Domesticated whales that people rode,

Men who broke trunks of trees they were so strong,

And flying women in their steep abode,

143

Like cities underground and babies talking,

And palms carnivorous that ate baboons,

Like quicksand islands where there is no walking,

And hurricanes, tsunamis and monsoons.

144

One of the marvels most intriguing me

Was Fulumóa, whither plane and ship

Negotiated the enormous sea,

An isle eight hundred miles from tip to tip.

145

This Fulumoa was the only isle

In Ungonesia that had railroad tracks,

Where one could take a train in decent style,

As wheels struck splices with hypnotic clacks.

146

The capital, Badáko, on the sea,

Is relatively modern and untangled.

Howe'er, as you leave town, immediãtely

You're in the jungle's vines and branches strangled.

147

A village, Lobiláka, huddles east

Some fifteen miles by proboscidean.

Along the muddy road the lumb'ring beast

From daybreak till past hours meridian

148

Will haul you in a howdah for a fee,

For elephants are Fulumoa's cabs,

If the interior you would dare see

Afar from where the trainman pokes and stabs.

149

One Tamufála is the village chief,

The tallest of the giant Fúlus there.

He looks upon the region as his fief.

To lordship of this realm is he the heir.

150

His height's nine feet plus maybe sev'ral inches,

His arms like trunks mahogany or teak.

To raise him would require a pair of winches.

All solid muscle is his huge physique.

151

When Udi and myself had come this way,

We lost each other in the jungle's glade.

The Fulus caught and caged me.  I did sway

Suspended by agave ropes they'd made.

152

My cage they'd tied unto a ceiba bough.

'Twas made of canes connected with hemp strands.

In desperation, i've forgotten how,

I worked the canes apart with teeth and hands.

153

Past midnight, when the Fulus were asleep,

I cut myself severely on the spines

Protruding from the trunk, as I did creep

Down to the undergrowth of roots and vines.

154

Come morning, I did hear the whoops and cries

Of an advancing party of young braves.

As they approached, I scarce believed my eyes,

For Udi rode a litter made of staves,

155

As if she'd been a goddess or an idol

They would escort unto their savage shrine

To honor and to worship.  I did sidle

From out my covert, offering a sign

156

Of greeting to the group as near they walked,

Because I understood that I'd been saved.

Queen Udi fluently, I heard her, talked

In Fulumoa's language.  How they raved!

157

For she had told them she'd been sent from Heaven

By Tolamótu, deity supreme

Within the Fulus' pantheon of seven,

According to their mythologic scheme.

158

She'd studied Fulu in her college day.

Mecnita University's well-known

For its philology.  Far and away,

Was Udi its best student, she alone.

159

Advising Tamufala of his error,

The Queen exalted me with precious praise.

The chief repented and relaxed his terror,

So he and I made peace in those fine days.

160

How many times have I been saved by ladies?

Were it not for the gentle sex's rescue,

My spirit would be moldering in Hades,

My bones beneath the darnel and the fescue.

161

The only question in my mind was if,

When I returned to Lobilaka town,

Chief Tamufala would be cold and stiff,

Or frivolous and merry as a clown,

162

As was his custom, when he wasn't wroth,

Provided that he recognized at all

My face and figure clad in jet-black cloth,

In flowing biliments and draping shawl.

163

Our lady King had asked me to convert

The Fulus to the Ungian religion.

Did I into the jungle dare revert,

Among the condors as a mourning pigeon?

164

I flew Air Fulumoa's mini-jet.

Air traffic to the island wasn't heavy.

The maxis only major cities get,

To minimize the taxes that we levy.

165

I paid a little visit 'cross the straits

To Tufĭatáni, oracle and friend,

Residing in a hut with bamboo gates,

Stone walls, thatched roof, where palm trees sway and bend.

166

She greeted me with, "Vocno, why in black

Do you go habited like to a nun?

Is this your new direction, latest tack,

Or are you masquerading just for fun?"

167

After a round of hugs and pleasantry,

Right back to Fulumoa did I raft,

Aboard a boat manned by the peasantry,

A cutter with its rigging fore and aft.

168

Atop an elephant I next returned

To Lobilaka, to address the chief.

At once, however, anxiously I learned

Of Tamufala's death and kinsmen's grief.

169

Pokóka, a new chief, now ran the village.

He was severe and sullen, made his living

By mounting raids and by collecting pillage.

His way was always taking, never giving.

170

At once they seized my baggage and my beads,

My relics, mantle, wimple, coif and guimpe,

My purse and my black cashmere nunnish weeds,

Confined me with their oxen in a camp.

171

I was attired in panties and chemise,

With but a heap of leaves to make my bed.

To be my house I'd just the boughs of trees,

Since my corral had neither shack nor shed.

172

Sometimes they brought me food, at others not.

I drank from water flowing in a brook.

'Twas fortunate I gathered quite a lot

Of fruit and nuts.  Of course, I couldn't cook.

173

I dared not try escape, for miles fifteen,

With mud, lianas, vines and stagnant ponds,

I'd have to travel barefoot, sight unseen,

To reach Badako, and thus loose my bonds.

174

So in my pen I languished in despair,

Abandoning all happiness and hope,

Respiring but the fev'rish, fetid air,

With twigs for combs and soapberry for soap.

175

Just why the Fulus let me live I wonder,

For easily they might have murdered me.

Their choice to spare me was a fatal blunder

For reasons they could scarcely then foresee.

176

Let me tell how the story did unfold,

As if I'd been there as things were occurring.

'Twas only afterwards, when all'd been told,

I learned the facts whereto I'm now referring.

177

At any rate, some weeks elapsed thereafter.

Queen Udi of myself had seen no trace.

I hadn't called with mirth and merry laughter.

Her vision phone had not displayed my face.

178

King Ajinblambia herself flew down

To Fulumoa for investigation.

Nuns are seen seldom in Badako town,

So with ten minutes of interrogation,

179

She heard about the cutter and the visit

I'd made to Tufĭatani's hut of stone.

With fine detective work, precise, exquísite,

She found her way to Chief Pokoka's throne,

180

For Tufĭatani'd met the former chief,

That Tamufala who had passed away.

She knew about Pokoka, ruthless thief. 

The Vrikshaya learned all within a day.

181

And here she was, confronting the great savage,

Who stood nine feet while she stood only seven.

You'd surely think that he could slay or ravage

The mistress of the continents and Heaven.

182

When she inquired, he brazenly did boast

That, yes, he held me captive in a pen,

And said with condescension uttermost

My visage she would never see again.

183

He had no use for royalty from Ung.

Nobody ever told him what to do.

Before her, hempen mats he vainly flung,

And bade her kneel, pronouncing homage too.

184

Then Ajinblambia her head did nod

Just slightly as a token of respect,

Refusing, nonetheless, upon the sod

To kowtow, kneel, fall prone or genuflect.

185

Moreover, she demanded that he free

Myself without a minute of delay,

For elsewise she herself would rescue me

Regardless what resistance he'd display.

186

Pokoka laughed in scorn.  How dared she talk

To him as if some kind of threat she posed?

For he would kill her soon as she should walk

Towards the corral where I had been enclosed.

187

Our lady King tried patiently to reason,

Addressed the chief in Fulu fluently,

Assevering the time was not his season

To stray from Ung's dominion truantly.

188

He grabbed her wrist with muscles like an ape,

But acrobatically she did contrive

To get away.  Then throwing off her cape,

With prowess she triumphantly did strive

189

Against Pokoka's bold brutality

And brawny biceps, fists of ferric force.

She vexed his vigor and vitality

As if she tamed a mettlesome wild horse.

190

The fight did last some minutes, but at length

Pokoka lay unconscious on the mats

He'd tossed for her to kneel upon, his strength

Undone.  Around his head flew flies and gnats.

191

The other Fulus had recoiled in fright

On seeing that their chief was hurt and humbled.

It was a shameful scandal in their sight

To witness how their leader had been tumbled.

192

I too was full of awe and holy dread.

What kind of woman was this lunar wonder,

Who could have had the savage chieftain's head,

Who could have plucked his skeleton asunder?

193

Then Ajinblambia addressed the tribe.

With apprehension and docility

They harked her word, how it did fitly gibe

With her great deed.  They showed servility

194

Lest they experience the selfsame thing

Their chief had met in holding in contempt

The person and the presence of our King,

The only lady ever thus benempt.

195

She tutored them in words to the effect

That I was there to teach them modern lore,

That they were bounden to show me respect

As if I'd been herself they were before.

196

They promised to pay heed whene'er I spoke,

To listen to my lessons with all tact,

And never to belittle, never joke,

And never contumaciously to act.

197

She said that I would call her every day,

Reporting briefly how the mission went.

If circumstance should cause a long delay,

To Lobilaka, for to learn anent

198

The reason for the pause, she'd fleetly fly.

They'd better ascertain she'd not perceive

They'd been remiss, emboldened to defy

The rule she had enounced, thus to aggrieve

199

Authority Queen Udi had ordained

And vested in herself.  They'd have to pay

A penalty.  They'd duly be arraigned.

There'd be a reckoning upon a day.

200

These done, our lady King did board a jet

And flew back to Mecnita in two hours.

It's just four thousand miles.  There she was met

In person by Queen Udi bearing flowers.

(5537 Words)


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**********THE ENNUNMENT**********


**********PANTIES AND BRAS**********


 

 


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