THE SWORDSMEN'S DANCE OF HARATAI
(mental sketch modified)

dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-sko-dah-dah
O dancers of Haratai Village
Decked in tufted cowls of black tailfeather
Brandishing your single-edge blades
Under tonight's crescent moon of strange array!
You cast the damask-rose milk of spring
Into the privations of Alpen farming
You dedicate the blue-green fires of the living dawn
To the wind and the light of the plateaux
You envelope yourselves in twine and linden bark
O my friends, warriors of the atmosphere !
You intensify the white-hot lights of the sky
You gather the grief of the beech and the oak
You display signal fires in the serpentine mountains
You shake out the locks of the cypress
And blaze new nebulae
In a sky the scent of quince
dah-dah-sko-dah-dah
You whittle your skin in humus and earth
You coarsen your sinews and bones in cold carbonic acid
You trouble yourself each month over sunlight and wind
O paternal masters who have spent your years in piety!
On this night celebrating forest and galaxy
You sound your drums even more fiercely
Where the skyline sweeps peneplain
You reverberate the clouds clouding the palest moon
Ho! Ho! Ho!
long ago King Akuro of Tatta
lived in a pitchblack cave two miles long
crossed only by dreams and the god of darkness
his head was chopped up fine and pickled
And you roll Andromeda into your signal fire
the bluster of those blue masks
bathed in swordplay and gasping for breath
spider's dance at the nadir of the nightwind
puked out of its writhing spindly sac
dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-sko-dah-dah
You set your blades together with yet more skill
You give off the blue tongues of immense thunder
You invite the demons of the four corners of the night
O men of this night when the sap shudders!
With your red robes fluttering against the ground
You deify both the wind and the hailcloud
dah-dah-dah-dahh
The nightwind thunders the cypresses tousled
The moon a row of arrows shot through in silver light
Struck and passing on...the life of a spark
Seconds before the grating of blades dies out
dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-sko-dah-dah
The swords' stirring of harvest lightning
The bed of the Milky Way that bears no trace
Of the rain of fire scattered into the Lion
Struck and passing on...a single life
dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-sko-dah-dah


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