Yima

King of the world for my time,
I ruled the world, and in my time
There was no death nor disease
(Except, of course, tooth disease
Which we will conveniently ignore).
My father was the sun, and I was
A simple farmer believing in the
Old ways before I met my destiny.
The creator of all things came to me,
And called me to be a prophet.
He asked me to spread his words,
To make his religion, to be his voice,
And I said, 'no.' I refused the call
Of the creator of all things. I said
I believed the old religion. I refused.
I would not be his prophet, his voice,
And so he asked me to rule the world,
And I was a shepherd. I said ‘yes.’

King of the world for my time,
And in my time the world grew.
The creator of all things asked me
To be the King of the world, to
Make it grow, and I made a vow
That I would protect and nurture
The people of the world. I did not
Allow death to come into the land, nor
Disease (though I could not stop
Tooth decay. It comes to everyone,
Eventually. so it is a very natural thing).
I stopped the cold wind and the hot wind,
And they did not rampage my people.
The world was a handsome place,
And I was a king and a husbandman
To the people of the creator, Ahura.
I brought peace to the world, and
The people of the world flourished.

King of the world for my time.
I, Yima, Husbandman of the world
Gave my people peace, and for
All my peace, the world grew
(Tooth decay was not enough
To destroy the people of the creator).
The land was not enough for
The children of the world. The creator
Called to me, and told me to
Do the duty of the husbandman,
To make the land grow. I heard.
I sought the ends of the land, and
With my voice, my dagger and my seal
(tokens of my office from the creator)
I called to the world to grow, and it heard.
The edges of the world expanded,
The people filled the new land.
Three times I caused the land to grow.

King of the world for my time.
A thousand years was my time.
A thousand years of peace, growth;
I, Yima, was king and husbandman.
But there was a day when the counsel
Of the heavens called to me, and
I answered the call. I sat with the
Counsel of gods, and heard.
The Daemon winter was coming,
And I was to build myself a house
Under the ground, and keep there
A thousand men and women
(All with no tooth disease at all),
Animals and seeds of every kind.
The gods warned me and bade me
To prepare. I heard. I began my work.
I, Yima, A king but not a prophet
Built a shelter under the ground.

King of the world for my time,
I was commanded to build a house
Below the ground. The Daemon winter
Was coming, and I was the ruler.
I, Yima, the husbandman of the world,
Built a house beneath the ground.
I built it large enough for a thousand
Men and women who would live there.
I sought over all the land to find
Honest, potent, healthy, clean,
Kind, peaceful, righteous people,
And not one with tooth decay.
Two of every kind of seed, but
Not diseased seed, for I could
Only keep disease and death from
My people. The plants and growths,
The animals of the world I gathered.
Two of every seed, two of every beast.

King of the world for my time,
With a house underground at the age
Of nine hundred years. I, Yima,
The husbandman who was not a prophet,
Built a house for a thousand men and women.
And they lived in my house. They came
To me, and sought shelter in my house.
I, Yima, who had conquered death
And disease in my kingdom brought
None of it into my house. Here at last
Was a place where tooth decay could
Not reach. Here was a place free from
The influence of the Daemons whom
I could not control. The snow came.
It covered all the world. I lived
Beneath the snow for one hundred
And fifty years. I, Yima, King of
The world, now only King of my house.

King of the world for my time,
And my house below the snow
Was my Kingdom for a time.
One hundred and fifty years I
Lived with the people of my kingdom.
One thousand men and women.
And every forty years a child was born
To every female in my house. Every
Person, every beast, every animal
Every bird had increase. And I lived
With all the increase of my house
For one hundred and fifty years.
And there was no death, and there
Was no disease (no, not even
Tooth disease could enter in).
I was a husbandman to the world,
And in my house I fed the beasts,
I kept the seeds of the plants.

King of the world for my time.
I, Yima, who had lived and served
Ahura for a thousand years now
Received my reward: I built a house
Beneath the ground, and the Daemon
Winter came down onto the world,
And I lived in my house below the
Ground, and fed beasts all day,
And I had no rest from the thousand
People with fine teeth who lived
In my house, and ate and talked
And increased. And I was not
A prophet, but I did my work as
A King and I lived in my house,
And they lived in my house, too.
A hundred and fifty years and
Every forty years an increase,
And no death to take away the excess.

King of the world for my time,
And my world was covered in snow
From the Daemon winter which I
Who had kept the cold wind and
The hot wind out of my world could
Not turn back, could not control,
For I was a king, and a husbandman,
But I was not a prophet. At last
The day was arrived when the snow had
Melted, and we were free to leave the house.
I could do my duty as a husbandman,
And I did. I took the seeds of the plants
Of my kingdom before the storm, and
I planted them in every place, and made
Them to grow. I made the world green
Which had slept so long in white.
And my people rejoiced, and I
Was king of my kingdom once again.

King of the world for my time.
My people were free from the house
Built by my hands below the land,
And they sang and danced upon the world,
And they hungered. The elders came to me
To ask for meat. They wished to give
Their thanks to the gods for their life
Before their teeth began to decay.
But there was not meat in my house,
There was not meat in all the world
Save only for the creators flock. The
Elders asked me to eat the creators flock,
And I did not say no. They killed,
They ate, and they rejoiced. I, Yima,
Husbandman of the world, and
King of the world, but never prophet,
Gave them of the meat of
The creator’s flock, for they were hungry.

King of the world for my time.
A thousand years is long and long.
A thousand years of fighting death
And disease, though I could never
Fairly conquer tooth disease.
I kept the hot wind and the cold wind
Out of the world, and I was a
Husbandman to my people, I was
A king to my people, but I was
Not their prophet, for I believed
The old religion. And I gave the meat
Of the creators flock to my kingdom.
And in so doing, I lost my immortality.
Death came into my kingdom.
Disease came into my kingdom.
Famine, pain, pestilence. The Daemons
Rejoiced, and I, Yima, king of the world
Who had done my duty to the world, rested.

ancientcreatordiseaseepicgodshusbandmanimmortalityprophetTooth diseaseYima

She wants to feel 日本 (Japan) ►

Comments

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Randall Eckstein

Sat 14th Jan 2017 03:38

Thank you so much, Cynthia, elPintor, and Travis. I was intrigued by the idea of someone who would dare say "No" to God, and then go on to be someone special. I'm really glad it kept your attention. I do enjoy writing longer poems on occasion, and hopefully you will find them as equally pleasing. 😃😃

Travis Brow

Fri 13th Jan 2017 12:56

This is great Randall, it kept me hooked and, as elPintor suggests, long pieces can be onerous; this isn't.

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elPintor

Thu 12th Jan 2017 22:16

I don't usually make it through long pieces like this but the style kept my attention. Each verse is like a story told from its beginning to another successive point in time--each the same length. Ingenious simplicity, if you ask me, with something of an epic feel.

elP

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 12th Jan 2017 16:34

A long read, circuitous but really interesting. I can't imagine that once through does it any justice (except for the 'tooth decay' aspect which is a great leveller).

I'm presuming it's written in pure metaphor, and the reader must sort out the 'keys' to the best of his/her abilities to understand the actual 'message', assuming there is one. Or- you could be playing mind-games, lampooning the references in many books of 'religious history' and their consequent 'instruction'.

It sure is a brave piece as an introduction to a new site. I look forward to more. I'll go through it again tomorrow. Once was enough for today.

.............


OK, I looked up YIMA. I wasn't so far off, after all.

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