Theogony V: Creation

by Paul Martin Freeman (July 2024)

Creation (detail), Cabinet panel of the ancient sacristy of Bramante, Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy




Now all these wonders happened instantly
Although in sequence here their story’s told:
The Plains of Heaven in Eternity
A realm where old is young and young is old.
Events that followed though are part of history
As now in plodding time our tale proceeds.
And though Eternal Truth is wrapped in mystery
Yet science records those long-forgotten deeds.
For of a huge explosion scientists tell us
Creating Matter in expanding Space:
A bang that ever outwards will impel us
That formed the Cosmos, Time and Human Race.


Now stand we at the moment of Creation:
The scene is set and all must take its course.
The Archangels assume their place and station
In lines of golden chariot and horse.
And Principalities and Seraphim
And Giants that dwarf the tallest mountain peak
With every visor down and visage grim
All imminent and dreadful war bespeak.
Dominions, Thrones and Powers in gleaming armour
Vast phalanxes of Light and Beauty form;
And in the van, all pure untrammelled ardour,
The Cherubim advance towards the storm.
And other Spirit Beings are present too,
Of types and kinds unknown today to Man,
Their names forgotten now which once we knew
When in a world apart our world began.
For mortals only see what mortals see,
Confined to what their senses apprehend,
But these are Creatures of Eternity
Where Time and human understanding end.
And yet they live inside us still as Feelings
And Presences that overlook our lives,
That witness all our daily human dealings
Where God eternally with Satan strives.
And these as well are on the Plains of Heaven,
Equipped with all the furnishings of war,
Prepared to meet aggression with aggression,
For Angel Blood exacting Demon Gore.
And Virtues soar aloft with blazing shields
And dazzle with the brightness of their arms;
They climb in fire above Unblemished Fields:
No fear these Spirits entertain nor qualms.
And Angels on the wing ascend in Glory
In certain knowledge all will surely die,
For death for these is central to our story
In which must all with Destiny comply.
For all is present in Eternity,
And time is thus primordially preset;
And all that comes to pass is meant to be
As thus to Destiny we pay the debt.
And facing them is Satan’s rotting army:
All viciousness and wickedness obscene;
A vile and putrid, bestial hierarchy
That smells of Death and everything unclean.
And these have come for fun as much as battle
For killing is the thing they most enjoy;
And yet themselves as well they see as cattle
Which Angels in their fury must destroy.
So much, indeed, does Evil hate itself,
It cares not whether killing or being killed.
In loving Death the Fiend is most himself
Who ruins worlds because he cannot build.
And as he stands there in Eternity
And looks across and sees his hated foe,
He points to this malign fraternity
And pledges an Infinity of Woe.
And so, as though according to a script,
The sides in deadly combat now converge,
And for their endless war with arms equipped
Like two titanic battling oceans merge.
And just as tiny atoms forced in fusion
Create enormous energy and light,
That mighty shock induced a huge explosion
Which formed the wondrous starry world of night.
The joining of unyielding opposites,
Of twins impossible to reconcile,
Producing thus that flash of scientists
Our wanting lines the War in Heaven style.
Events occurring on the Plains of Heaven
Prefiguring those of trudging Father Time,
For all that passes in his long procession
Is merely one eternal, endless rhyme.
And so that timeless conflict, now we see,
With all its struggles and enduring fray,
Is fought forever in Eternity
And in and all around us every day.
It’s here, it’s there, it’s everywhere at once:
It never stops nor takes a moment’s rest;
The Universe is all its many fronts,
As life and human history, too, attest.

Yet this is but a story that we tell,
And things, we know, are never what they seem;
And God and Satan, Heaven, even Hell,
And we perhaps ourselves are all a dream.
For mortals only know what mortals know,
And made of Matter are to Spirit blind;
And all there is is just an endless show
That runs and runs inside the Dreamer’s Mind.


Table of Contents


Paul Martin Freeman is a former art dealer. This is the final part of Theogony which concludes the writer’s collection of stories, The Bus Poems. His book of whimsical verse, A Chocolate Box Menagerie, is published by New English Review Press and is available here.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast