by Ian Chung
One night, a long white road came down from the black mountain. Walking as one people, we came as a fire comes. The road was warmed by our feet. We walked as it burned, smoke and ashes at our feet. We could have flown, but the people to come were not to see this. We came to the trees and stood, the full moon round and white and cold. Earth, sand, stone and water, we knew them and gave them tongues.
One by one, new men and women were seen and heard, and it was good. They sat, stood, walked, swam, but did not fly. We flew, at night, not seen by the people. Many suns and moons came round and died, and we saw the people eat seeds, roots and leaves, what the trees gave.
We knew it was good to give them meat, so we gave birds that flew and fishes that swam, and it was good. The men and women killed and ate, and their bellies were full, and it was good. Skin and meat, blood and fat, the people ate it all. We gave them dogs, and they gave the dogs the bones, and it was good. The rain came in the night and gave water to drink, and it was good.
Then one night, we saw smoke from among the trees, and we saw the people eating and drinking by fires. We did not give fire, and knew we had been lied to. We would have killed, but knew not who was to be killed. One or many? Not knowing, our hearts were cold and it was not good.
Many suns and moons came round and died, and we were not one people. The red said to burn and kill. The green said to see and give. The yellow said to sit and stand. The white said to hear and know. The black said to bite and lie. Round and round and round, moons and suns came as we sat by the trees, the stars cold in the night, and it was not good.
Many suns and moons came round and died, and the black lied to us all. They came to the men and women, one and all, and lay with them, knew them. Their mouths and their necks, their bellies and their breasts. The black ate and drank of the people, and it was not good. Men and women named the black The Feathered Ones and came and sat at their feet or stood in smoke and ashes from the burning fires that warmed the night, and it was not good.
We had not known all this, or we would not have come down from the black mountain. On that mountain, we knew all. By the trees, we saw but knew not, heard but knew not. Our hearts died as we saw the black lie to the people, but the new moon came and dried the water, killed the trees, birds and fishes. We saw that it was not good, but we walked on the road to the mountain, not knowing the people, not seeing their eyes, not hearing their mouths.
We sleep on the mountain, and many suns and moons will come around and die, many stars will burn into ashes, and we will come. A long white road will come down from the black mountain. We will not walk as it burns, smoke and ashes at our feet. We will fly to the people and we will say, 'The black have lied. We are the one but many, the many in one. We will know and we will come.’
Copyright © 2011 by Ian Chung