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Crucial Distance

by Ken Poyner

The Neibillers spill, in mathematically perfect
Worship, their symbols across the length
Of our galaxy. Every travel an homage,
Every constellation a proof of faith.
Their ships are palaces of piety;
Their gods go barefoot on board.
Without reserve they collect stray worlds,
Bring ordered belief to all species,
Cleanse the unyielding and blend
Cold orthodoxy into any indigenous biology found.

The Neibillers hold their theocracy sacrosanct,
Unalterably pure, imbuing their religion
With their ambient joy in slaughter,
Their anonymous glee in destruction.
Keepers of the primal knowledge in the
Perfect right, they recognize no pause,
No clemency, no tolerance.
The names of those they have made extinct
Roll about the abandoned nebulae of hopelessly quiet
Galaxies, ghosts unworthy a truth.

The Neibillers will best level their prayers
Within the ruins of renegade civilizations,
Not by seas, nor forests, nor finely empty deserts:
They howl their songs of majesty to soulful
Gods within the shadow of limitless mayhem,
Gods who by their interpretation are pleased.

From a distance we marvel how harshly
A ministry committed can take hold and
Propel one malicious species self-righteously
Across endless innocent space, displacing
The work of millennia with bone-grinding
Ritual and erase the best sense
Evolution can make. What exactly
They believe so thoroughly, and to such
Violence, the entire Universe suspects
No one actually knows. They cleanse with their holy,
Evil march, praise oblivion, label it
Good, and then with ever more purpose move on.

For now, we stay out of the way, darken our stars,

Copyright © 2018 by Ken Poyner

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