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The Great Whore

The Great Whore
by Deborah Walker

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“She will ride into the city
on the seven-headed dragon
and consume us all,”
says the old man of Judah.
The other men, those who have accepted
the new ways, look away.
They know she whispers
to Nebuchadnezzar,
sharing some of her secrets.

Nebuchadnezzar has built
an Empire upon her the foundations
of her advice.
He has built the wonders of the worlds
A tower reaching to the gods.
A garden interwoven with strangeness
that will surely grow into history.

The old man is angered by their silence,
“You have tasted her golden cup.
The whole world is mad with
the flavour of her wine.
She is the Whore of Babylon.”

The lone mushussu dragon turns
its earless, serpent head to the old man’s voice
The flickering tongue tasting treason.
Its eagle’s talons flex,
they know the savour of her enemies.

The dragon spits a plume of venom.
The moment, extends into silence
in the market square, before the screaming, searing,
white-blind pain of an old man’s sealed eyes.

He will not see the truth of his prophecy
His eyes will not gaze upon the scarlet, multi-headed
beast who waits at the gates of inlaid lapis lazuli.

* * *

First published in Paper Crow 2010.

* * *


Deborah Walker loves dreamy, dark poetry. Her heroes are Christina Rossetti and Jacqueline West. Find Deborah’s poems in Scifaikuest, Apex Magazine, Dreams and Nightmares and Paper Crow.

Where do you get the ideas for your poems?

From Wikipedia. I'll start with something, say griffins, then hyperlink until I find something that catches my fancy. They also have a lovely Random Article button on the left hand side. Let me click it, my next poem will be about . . . a Sardiita Quijarroa. I can work with that.

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