''NOT / MEN (Ikhnon V)'' - A poem by John Eric Gulliksen

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Copyright by John Eric Gulliksen
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NOT / MEN (Ikhnon V)
a poem by John Eric Gulliksen

In the days that followed
the path of Ikhnon led him through a deep wood
and it was there that Ikhnon first encountered
not / men

And it came to pass
that as Ikhnon wandered absently
along a forested trail
he was struck down by a sling-thown missile

It was then that nearly a score of strange beings
revealed themselves from the green growth
and surrounded Ikhnon where he lay

As small men was the stature of these
with faces like unto men
but for the ears
pointed and animated
and eyes
a large and soft brown

Covered with fur about the body were they
and each did sport a magnificent pluming tail
which they waved about as they spake
one unto another

Leader of these was one who was called Rramaaror
and it had been he that felled Ikhnon
with a stone from his weapon

-What manner of hairless thing be this?-
they did ask of one another
but upon word of the chief Rramaaror
they fetched Ikhnon home to their dwellings
within holes in a mountainface

And upon regaining his senses
Ikhnon did communicate with these beings
finding them to be
despite their initial action toward him
a kind and gentle people
fearing only invasion from those who were different

upon speaking further
he did conclude that these quiet people
indeed possessed the secret that he sought

understanding of being

And it was so that Rramaaror had him a daughter
a lively lovely creature who was called Rraamah
and Ikhnon became enamored of her
and sought to woo and win her

And according to the custom of the tribe
he did slay food for her
and endure hardship for her
but her sire, Rramaaror,
would sanction not the union
For Ikhnon was pale

And it came to pass that in the heat of anger
Ikhnon did slay Rramaaror
and, in his cunning,
girded himself about with the skin of Rramaaror
and affixed the tail of that warrior
at his own behind

Now the people of the tribe did not question
the new appearance of Ikhnon
neither did they enquire as to the whereabouts of Rramaaror
nor did they obstruct Ikhnon
in the plighting of his suit for Rraamah

But it came to pass
that as Ikhnon was being smothered over with kisses
he did reflect upon his new position
and inquire anew of the elders
as to his quest for meaning

but to his chagrin
the wise ones did reply

-we know not
nor careth we
it sufficeth us
to concern ourselves only
with our own welfare-

Then Ikhnon sprang to his feet
and pushing Rraamah aside

-but I must know!
For I am MAN!-

Shedding his trappings
and grasping Molnir the Hammer
he did flee the village

But Ikhnon did not ken
that still
he had not left his own tail