The gods live uphill, the better to look down
on humans, below (literal) and beneath (social),
who roil among mirrors of the immortal.
The hill, with crags and steeps, deters climbing;
the gods like a shortage of face to face;
they’ve never done multicultural.
Affront is their reaction to attempts
to reach their home. Hubris they call it.
Through lack of social skills, they have no talent
to interpret its meaning. Is it challenge,
attack, mistake or funny (peculiar) prayer?
The gods receive supplication – praise
is preferred – but chants and babble can fade
into the hillside and be ignored.
Sudden sobs and screams bring on alarm. The gods
don’t deal well with the unexpected.
Best loved is like the old days, smoke
from prayers on bark or parchment and burned.
They love the scent. But in the modern age,
with humans, fire is out of fashion.
The gods struggle to cope with change.
E A M Harris (UK)