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       A Verse Narrative by Michael E. Mautner


    In the dream-time he flies,
    but never when the world's awake.
    At night there are no lies
    and he never has to fake

    Rest may be best for humans,
    but the Kryptonian --
    whose skin soaks up sunlight that sparks,
    in turn, an internal engine
    that burns brightest when it's dark out
    -- must take flight then, or pout
    over energy wasted.  Clark
    doesn't need to eat either.
    He lost his taste for food
    the first time his body fueled
    itself, the night he woke startled
    and broke his last sweat.  The dream,
    of the worst kind, recurred.  Seems
    it might again, so his bed
    keeps all the visions his head
    has traced and he, each evening,
    races to meet the moon.

    (Curiosity as to the dream
     and its content, reader dear,
     must wait to be sated, for here
     we shall hear DIANA'S TUNE,
     as it sounds to young Kent's ear.)

      A goddess calls you, warrior!
      Peel off the bedclothes in answer!
      Wade in the milky glow that floods
      your room, the bland demonic blood
      that oozes from her chewed eye
      to stain the deep purple sky
      and rustle the anguished curtain
      which, translucent with the wetness
      of the light, flutters sluggishly,
      as her hair might to the huntress'
      shoulders fall if warriors fought
      in slow motion.  Heed her call,
      boy.  Swim to her, to Artemis,
      swim to her through her glory,
      dive out the second story
      and into the lunar mists!

    He plummets, first, then picks up speed
    clamoring after the soothing mead
    of audience with his lady-liege;
    but, he is too humble to kiss
    her silvery lips.  His arc sags at this
    and he fears he'll tumble earthward,
    but quickly waves off despair
    as to the Far West he repairs
    himself, to that fertile region
    which yet repels the ogre Drought.
    Here he hears less false religion, for
    nimbuses billow damp and blot out
    the goddess' lunatic vamp.
    The seductive glint of her eye
    gives way to a gray tinted sky
    through which Kent can plunge,
    reckless and carefree.
    Through Zeus' sweatshop he lunges,
    silently battering down
    gateways made of matter
    not meant to be resilient,
    so to inspect the violent
    electric clashes that therein sew,
    in their proper season, caps of snow
    for the peaks below to wear.
    Tonight they sow seeds more fair,
    that sprout a drenching rain.
    With unclenched fists he eagerly greets it!
    Open-mouthed and jubilant he meets it!
    Be gone, insomniacal pain!
    Be quenched, all doubt -- Power is good!
    Against one's fate one can revolt!
    How they tickle him, the thunderbolts!

    There is born, in Clark's ecstasy,
    a plan by which he'd remedy
    the regret that's lately plagued him.
    CRACK! and BOOM! --
    the sound barrier breaks, as back he zooms
    from the Rockies, all the while reveling,
    cherishing the thought of leveling
    that damned tree and every memory
    it carries.  From twenty miles away
    he targets one knot and...0:00, :01, :02...a bower
    soaked in blood shatters under his brawn,
    tarnished shade melts and there's a shower
    of embers on the prairie this dawn.
    He still remembers.  It is done,
    yet the dead rise not.  Fervor blinds,
    so he is surprised.  As it winds down
    he perches on the smoldering roots
    and plays at jacks with falling splinters.
    He is just another sinner.

    In the night-world we try
    to rise and meet our maker,
    but the dark is full of lies
    and fliers are fakers,
    so we fly in our dreams
    and cry when we're awake,
    when the Truth screams:

      God gives for His own sake,
      He writes no motive on the sky.
      Man lives but his due to take
      and his is not to reason why.

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