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Clade Song 7

A Roaring Lion

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

A French composer from the 12th century named Leonin
helped to create The Magnus Liber Organi, a collection
of music intended to celebrate polyphony: many voices,
many parts, in harmony.

The earth is composed of polyphonic music, among them
lines of lion litanies; memorize them. A liturgy for Panthera leo,
his tawny belly and his low, slow approach on the savannah and grassland
or through the bush because he is king and shaman scavenger with tufted tail.

He is Moses of the burning bush and apex predator, nocturnal. He meditates
twenty hours a day on the great silence of being before the roar.

A lion’s music --- a carnival of sound, beyond the roar of reserve, park, zoo, circus,
and safari, the wild kingdom beyond the definition of safe and unsafe,
cruel or kind, in sub-Saharan Africa, or in India, Gir forest, where the heart beat
and drum beat and incense are heavy.

A social animal, he can be heard from five miles away by animals
whose hearing is keen and who know his reputation for sound defeat.

At the Revelation, when the fifth trumpet is blown, gold-faced locusts
will come forth with hair like women and lion’s teeth.

Behold the lion and the lion-hearted. Pride – live in it,
they say.  Make it a virtue. Hunt. Fight. Mate.
That is all.

The cave lions at Chauvet move to the left, faces eager and intent.

Growl to say it, and say it loud. This is the way of prophets
and music directors who say forte, pianissimo, grande.

Secure your survival. Know how to escape. Rely on your memory.
Seek buffalo and bring it down.  Bite deeply, love deeply. Scowl
and prowl. Be thirsty to the core, and drink in loud laps, shake your lovely
mane. Be proud and vain. There is no need to explain.

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb, but only in heaven,
not in this life, not on your life, not while he is hungry.

The one who would lie down with a lion best grow sharp claws and a bold appetite,
a carnal carnivore, a feline femme fatale who opens herself to his world and brings
him food.  She stalks, then rushes toward her prey, and in one leap the game
is over -- the clutch, the blessed asphyxiation.

They rub their heads together, and roll together.

Sekhmet, Egyptian goddess, a solar deity depicted as lioness, formed the desert from her breath and drank the Nile.

She protected the pharaohs and was herself a fierce warrior and hunter,
leading armies into war. Her dress, her robes were the color of bright blood from a fresh kill, and across each breast a leonine motif.

One Before Whom Evil Trembles

Lady of Slaughter, She Who Mauls

It was not wise to make the lady angry, and so to appease her, the people performed rituals in temples with many statues of her.

Jesus went out like a lamb, but he is coming back the Lion of Judah.

The Earth loves her lion; she lifts him up in stately trees, from which he can see
all that is his, in the remarkable kingdom of many voices.


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Tamara Miles

Tamara Miles is a college English, Humanities, and College Skills instructor at a technical college in South Carolina. Her writings and artwork have appeared in Fall Lines: A Literary Convergence, O’Bheal Five Words Vol. IX, Love is Love (a poetry anthology benefitting the families of shooting victims in Orlando), Auntie Bellum Magazine, and UnLost Journal. Upcoming publications that will feature my work include Pantheon Magazine, The Tishman Review, Subprimal Poetry & Art, Verity La, and Flash Fiction Magazine.