Under the sun, disoriented and harassed.
This is the presence of the noonday devil:
A shape of glare impossible to grasp,
Time unwound and parallels disheveled.
The meridian has been cast loose:
Ante- and post- are equally radiant;
This grove of exaltation and abuse —
Palms raised, arms radial —
Is neither acedia nor arcadia.
It’s not the sun, but Apogee the demon
Who, always indistinct, always seeming,
Stirs the dread that catalyzes the comedian
To shine from immolation of the will.
A hardened shell would be a victory still
Over it all; caparison to carapace,
The cape of flames should dwindle to luciferase —
To entomon, to small satanic mill.
NOTES for Students of English
Noonday Devil – A creature mentioned in Psalm 90:5-6 of the Douay-Rheims Bible (1610): “Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night, of the arrow that flieth in the day, of the business that walketh about in the dark, of invasion, or of the noonday devil.” The earlier Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (the Septuagint, circa 70 B.C.) gives the phrase as “the demon at noonday.”
meridian – 1) a line of longitude; 2) an imaginary line in the sky passing through the highest point overhead; 3) the hour of noon, midday (obsolete).
ante- and post- – morning and afternoon/evening; a reference to the Latin terms ante meridiem and post meridiem, “before midday” and “after midday,” abbreviated in English “a.m.” and “p.m.”
palms – a play on two meanings: 1) palm trees, and 2) human hands.
acedia – (pronounced a-SEE-dee-a) In secular psychology, listlessness or depression; in Christianity, spiritual torpor and apathy, especially in monasteries; also identified with sloth, one of the seven deadly sins.
arcadia – (pronounced ar-KAY-dee-a) A region or scene of simple pleasures, rustic innocence, and untroubled quiet; derived from the name of a picturesque area of ancient Greece that was often a setting for pastoral poetry.
apogee – the highest or farthest point in an orbit; the culmination.
catalyze – to act as a catalyst, an agent or substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself being changed.
caparison – (pronounced ka-PAIR-a-son) 1) an ornamental cape for a horse; 2) richly ornamental clothing.
carapace – (pronounced CARE-a-pace) the hard outer covering of an insect or crustacean.
luciferase – (pronounced lu-SIF-er-ase) An enzyme catalyst in fireflies that produces bioluminescence; named for Lucifer, the fallen archangel, the Devil, whose name in Latin means “bringer of light” (lux, lucis “light” + ferre “to bring”).
entomon – The Greek word for “insect”; the root of “entomology”; increasingly used as an English word.
satanic mill – An allusion to a famous line from the poem “The New Jerusalem” by William Blake (1757-1827). The second stanza is:
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth among our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic Mills?