House of Solomon Now Available

Apes of Eden

Powered by WP Bannerize

Apes of Eden on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Archives

Meta

Apes of Eden – The Scribes of Eden by Jon P. Gunn

The Scribes of Eden is the completion of a Post-Apocalyptic
Search for God by a tribe of killer apes who began their journey in the Garden
of Eden.

Available on Amazon Kindle for $2.99 and Kindle Unlimited

Paperback on Createspace for $10

 

 

It is written in Heroic Couplets, a form of Iambic Pentameter.

I’m kinda glad you got us in this fix–
you never let me do my magic tricks.

 

In the year 19067, a tribe of killer apes leaves Eden on a Post-Apocalyptic Search for God. They
face evil creatures from Hell and Heaven alike. The story is told in the
words of Literate Louie, the Scribe of the Tribe.

A tribe of killer apes living an idyllic life in the Garden of Eden begins a monumental
quest to search the post-apocalyptic Earth in search of God. The Journey
Begins is the first of a trilogy. The Apes of Eden is written in iambic
pentameter. It is a humorous look at religion and philosophy through the
eyes of an intelligent ape.

The Apes of Eden is written in rhymed iambic pentameter thus falling into the category called
heroic couplets. Each line has 10 syllables and the pairs of lines rhyme.

While many lines were written in 10 syllables in very early Latin, it was Geoffrey Chaucer who added the meter and originated iambic pentameter in the English Language which was further immortalized in many plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare.

 

Jon P. Gunn wrote The Apes of Eden over a period of many, many years beginning as a teenager. He
read Spenser, Chaucer, Dante and Cervantes. Many oddball philosophies,
from solopsism to deism are explored and mocked. Allusions to a broad spectrum
of myths and canons are made.

Jon never graduated from college even though he had twice the number of hours to
graduate. He was too busy reading the great works of literature to bother. He
shared his work with a friend. It is that man and his friend, Rick Lakin who
are bringing you Jon’s work. We think it’s very good. We hope you do too.

 

Interlude

The Tribe another mighty battle won,
and overthrew the House of Solomon.
It’s known by written lore, but not as well
as by the epic tales our gaffers tell.
Our tribal sagas give it high renown.
We blew our horns; the walls came crashing down;
the Tribe stormed in, destroying every foe
and razing every building.
Even so,
recorded variants are so confused,
it’s hard to know which version should be used.
One scribe asserts he saw the towers fall.
Another claims there was no war at all;
that fort was just mirage. Still others say
the city fell to foes who passed that way
a thousand years before the Tribe arrived—
and several other versions have survived.
I’ve tried to puzzle out the facts, but failed;
so my description isn’t too detailed.

We captured quite a lot of human lore
which they had saved from centuries before:
the daring deeds of famous heroes bold,
and tales that make my aging blood run cold
of human inhumanity to man
surpassing that of ape to pithecan—
the preludes to their racial requiem.
We apes are civilized, compared with them.
As much as I would like to work it in,
there’s too much to it, even to begin.
Of human lore, I’ve little more to say,
unless I write another book someday.

There follows quite a “lull in history.”
To leave this era out, it seems to me,
would give the false impression that our grief
and woe and hunger pangs were fairly brief,
which wasn’t true at all. It looks quite short,
because our scribes found little to report.
While passing through unpopulated land
not much of interest happened to our band
except the constant struggle to survive
and finding food enough to stay alive.
There wasn’t too much forage in the drouth.
Our livelihood was mostly hand-to-mouth.
A scribe who has to forage day and night
to stay alive, has little time to write;
and brief although this Interlude appears,
it must have lasted several hundred years.

As one effect of sunlight on the skull
historiography grew very dull
and hard to read. The topics scribes left out
reveal as much as what they wrote about.
For instance, in the records now extant,
they’ve rarely mentioned any types of plant
except for cactuses and fossil trees,
remarking there were very few of these.
The scribes weren’t ignorant of botany;
but when the desolate monotony
is unrelieved by any leaf or sprout,
the subject’s one of those that get left out.

Some scribes completely lost their sanity,
and took to scribbling sheer inanity,
which represents itself as serious
philosophy, but sounds delirious
by normal standards. Many scribes, it seems,
have blithely written up their fever dreams
as fact; for though our scribes possessed the best
of minds, their brains were boiled like all the rest.
Some terrible examples have survived
their cadence ragged, and their rhymes contrived.
I’ll copy one example of the sort
of psychedelic nonsense they’d report.
It typifies the writings still extant.
I hope you understand this stuff.
I can’t.

The Prophet of the Gulch

A certain scribe went out one day alone
to do a little hunting on his own.
For half a day he chased—but couldn’t catch—
that sportsman’s dream, a six-point bandersnatch;
then finally took what game there was to take:
the commonplace, but wholesome, rattlesnake.
As dusk approached, the hunter started back
with half a dozen serpents in his sack.
(The sack, of course, was that in which he bore
the Tribe’s· collection of recorded lore.)
He picked his way through groves of fossil trees
which stood immobile in the scorching breeze
and flashed like crystals in the slanting light
of evening. Some were pink and some were white.

He came upon a clearing, to behold
a bird whose aspect made his blood run cold.
It stood about one-third as tall as he,
and perched upon the fossil of a tree.
Its ragged plumage was as black as night
except a tufted collar—greasy white—
around its neck. Its naked head was blotched
with pink and brown. The beak was hooked and notched
and had a scalloped rim. The beak was decked
with pulpous lumps. The glassy eyes were flecked
with spots of purple, amethyst and red,
and stared like targets from its bony head.

When first he spied the vulture sitting there,
our tribesman jumped a cubit in the air,
alertly raised his tomahawk to throw
and sternly challenged, “Enemy—or foe?”

“My friend,” the vulture said, “I’d say your nerves
are much too highly strung, as one observes
from this alacrity with which you reach
for things to throw. I have some lore to teach,
and not too many pupils, way out here;
so find a place to perch, and bend your ear.”

“What kinda lore you got?” replied the ape.
“I never seen no scholar quite your shape.”

“I’m more than just a scholar,” said the vulture.
“Some have called me Prophet of the Gulch—or
others call me Prophet of the Air.
For esoteric Truth I have a flair;
so hearken, and for better or for worse
I’ll spill the Secrets of the Universe. “

“Go fly in circles!” sneered the ape. “No bird
that’s two-thirds devil, and another third
some kind of dust mop’s very apt to know
what makes the prickles on the cactus grow—
much less what makes the stars and atoms tick.
I think your propheteering’s just a trick.
One look at you’s enough to plainly see
you’re faking—and you got it in for me!”

“I’d never harm an ape who’s not yet dead;
I’m more fastidious,” the buzzard said.
“We vultures aren’t exactly birds of prey,
although we’re often thought to look that way.
As long as you’re alive and on your feet,
you’ll never qualify as fit to eat.”

The ape said, “That describes my feelings, too.
I’d eat a snake, but not the likes of you.”

“My gospel,” said the bird, “is Truth and Good;
my teaching Universal Brotherhood.
Be not misled by Externalities.
Beyond Appearance lie Realities. “

“Okay, then,” said the ape. “Let’s hear your stuff.
I’ll damned soon stop you when I’ve heard enough.
I’ve never yet turned anyone away
with anything intelligent to say.”

He set his sack of snakes and archives down,
and then, affecting an attentive frown,
he took a seat upon a rock near by.
He set one elbow firmly on his thigh
to rest his chin upon his doubled fist—
the image of a metaphysicist.

“I’m ready,” he announced, “so let her rip!
I’ll interrupt, if I don’t dig the trip.”

“Attend,” the vulture said, “and when I’m through
there won’t be much that’s still unknown to you;
for there’s a Thing that’s Natural and Inherent,
sometimes called the Universal Parent.
Fathomless it is, and void of motion,
vast and all-pervading, like an ocean.
Infinite, it cannot be exhausted.
Never moving, no one’s ever lost it.”

“Be specific,” his disciple said.
“That abstract jive is way above my head.”

“One cannot say just how its name is listed,”
said the buzzard; “but, if you insisted,
I could call it Tao. If that should throw you,
then Supreme’s the label I could show you.
Since ‘Supreme’ means always Onward-Going;
Going On means speeding, never slowing;
that means ‘Going Far,’ as you’ll be learning.
Hence it’s clear the Tao must be returning!
Therefore, Tao’s the Universal Ruler.
Next comes Heaven, up where flying’s cooler.
Then comes Earth, then us. So it would seem we
rank among the Four who reign supremely.
We the laws of Earth are manifesting.
Earth obeys what Heaven is behesting.
Heaven’s law’s by Tao administrated.
Tao’s autonomous, and self-created.
Therefore, men of Tao refrain from action,
not arousing an opposing faction;
use no words or books to spread the Teaching,
since their silences are further-reaching;
neither fight, nor run from opposition;
offer no consent, nor prohibition;
never try to amplify nor edit;
get things done, but never take the credit.
Claiming nothing is their bonum summum,
so the credit can’t be taken from ‘em.”

“But,” the ape objected, “tell me how
you figure jazz like that explains the Tao!
At talking all around it, you’re a whiz;
but that don’t tell me what the subject is!”

“Defining Universal Tao,” the bird
went on, “is not accomplished in a word.
The Tao that gets expressed is not Eternal.
Labeled truth is not the Real Kernel.
Into deeper mysteries we’re reaching­
hence the vagueness of my Deeper Teaching.
Nonexistence is the Antecedent
of the Earth and Heaven; but the pedant
with his bookish speeches, meets resistance
when he tries defining Nonexistence.
Though the isn’t is the Primal Mother
of all things, they’re told from one another
by Distinction, which therefrom arises.
Hence, from Non-Existence, one apprises
all Beginnings, calmly and serenely;
then, from Being, sees Distinctions keenly.
They’re the same in origin and nature,
but we give them different nomenclature.”

“Hey,” the ape exclaimed; “what you just said
like starts to tell me something! Go ahead!”

“The Sage, who’s never from his window peeking”
quoth the buzzard, “finds the Tao he’s seeking.
As the over-zealous seeker travels,
less and less geography unravels.
Cool your heels; don’t stir yourself to wander.
Thus you’ll know All Things, both hith- and yond-er.”

“That I gotta cool,” the ape put in.
“We would of starved, by staying where we been.
We’d sooner do our seeking in a land
that ain’t so short on food, and long on sand.”

“That’s up to you; but things are lost by sticking
to them. Well-honed blades are prone to nicking.
Guarded treasures are more often stolen.
No moss gathers on a stone that’s rollin’.
He who strides too fast is apt to stumble.
Lofty towers are the first to crumble.”

“Now you’re swinging!” cried the ape. “I think
you’re treading on the Cosmic Secret’s brink!
It’s time this stuff got taken off the shelf
and passed around! You make it up yourself?”

“Not I! It’s handed down from long ago,
when Lao Tzu tried to leave the Land of Chou,
and Yin Hsi wouldn’t let him out of town
until he’d written all his wisdom down.
He wrote a book of dark and subtle hints,
then hit the road, and no one’s seen him since;
and rare has been the sage who’s figured out
exactly what his Teaching’s all about.
In Lao Tzu’s words, “I’d gladly walk the Tao,
but people seem to think I don’t know hao;
for though the Way is very plain and easy,
they prefer the byways, slow and sleazy.
While the palaces are painted slickly,
herds and fields are looking kind of sickly
and the bins are empty. When you polish
up your swords and trinkets, and demolish
quantities of food and wine, the bandit
is encouraged. If you understand it,
that’s the kind of ruling reminizcent
of the things the Tao of Heaven izn’t.”

“Man, you’re getting through!” rejoiced the ape.
“This Taoist scene’s like really taking shape!”

The bird continued, “Don’t exalt the worthy.
Teach the common yokel to prefer the
unexalted life. He’s dumb and happy.
Since he needs no feathers in his cap, he
isn’t lured by objects of desire,
therefore, neither cheats, nor rises higher.
Sages rule by Virtue Transcendental,
filling bellies but ignoring mental
aspects of the people’s constitution.
That’s how we discourage revolution.

“Keep the people innocent of knowledge!
Keep the crafty from attending college!
Do away with learning! Banish wisdom!
Shun the fatal curse of moralism!
With Confucian ‘righteousness’ rejected,
generation gaps will be corrected.
People then will benefit a hundr’d-
fold, where educated rulers blundered.
Stifle cerebration! Conquer mental
tendencies! Let natural love parental
be restored, along with filial duty.
Once the thief gives up for lack of loot, he
can’t be lured by gains or artifices.
Who needs education? It suffices
just to flaunt your simpleness and plainness,
once you’ve overcome your selfish vainness.
He who governs by complete inaction
causes neither progress nor reaction.”

“We just crossed the sophic Rubicon!”
the ape exulted. “Man, this turns me on!
There wasn’t nothing Lao Tzu didn’t know!
The Taoist trip’s the only way to go!”

“The men of old who walked the Tao were subtle,
penetrating, never in a muddle;
so profound you couldn’t understand ‘em.
Here’s examples (more or less at random):
Cautious—like one crossing streams in winter.
Soft—like melting ice about to splinter.
Circumspect—like one who fears his neighbors.
Plain—like wood unmarred by whittler’s labors.
Modest—like a beggar come to visit.

“Who can lighten the obscure? Who is it
who can calm the turbid till it slowly
clears? When you’re a sage you’ll follow solely
Principle, renouncing satiation.
Thus you’ll renovate your own stagnation.”

“Stop!” the ape broke in. “I’ve heard enough
to hold me—but it’s real swinging stuff!
I’d hear some more, except I gotta get
to camp. I see the sun’s about to set.”

“You act just like Confucius,” said the vulture.
“No capacity for Deeper Culture.”

“That ain’t it,” the wise old bird was told.
“I’m just afraid my supper’s getting cold.”

The Apes of Eden – The Age of Thinkers by Jon P. Gunn

The Age of Thinkers covers a time when the tribe reflected on their philosophy and their theology. According to reviewer Jim Bennett, “You will probably laugh, as I did, at some of the ‘logical’ developments of thought, about Earth, God, Creation, the Trinity, and Prophets.” This is Book 5 of the Apes of Eden Saga. Coming Soon, The Writings of Louie.

Available on Amazon Kindle for $2.99 and Kindle Unlimited

Paperback onCreatespace for $10

 

Can one literary work be an epic poem, a tutorial on philosophies from Mesopotamia to the present and a laugh-out-loud compendium of satirical humor? Welcome to The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins.

I’m kinda glad you got us in this fix–

you never let me do my magic tricks.

In the year 19067, a tribe of killer apes leaves Eden in search of God. They face evil creatures from Hell and Heaven alike. The story is told in the words of Literate Louie, the Scribe of the Tribe.

A tribe of killer apes living an idyllic life in the Garden of Eden begins a monumental quest to search the post-apocalyptic Earth in search of God. The Journey Begins is the first of a trilogy. The Apes of Eden is written in iambic pentameter. It is a humorous look at religion and philosophy through the eyes of an intelligent ape.

The Apes of Eden is written in rhymed iambic pentameter thus falling into the category called heroic couplets. Each line has 10 syllables and the pairs of lines rhyme.

While many lines were written in 10 syllables in very early Latin, it was Geoffrey Chaucer who added the meter and originated iambic pentameter in the English Language which was further immortalized in many plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare.

Jon P. Gunn wrote The Apes of Eden over a period of many, many years beginning as a teenager. He read Spenser, Chaucer, Dante and Cervantes. Many oddball philosophies, from solopsism to deism are explored and mocked. Allusions to a broad spectrum of myths and canons are made.

Jon never graduated from college even though he had twice the number of hours to graduate. He was too busy reading the great works of literature to bother. He shared his work with a friend. It is that man and his friend, Rick Lakin who are bringing you Jon’s work. We think it’s very good. We hope you do too.

The Apes of Eden is written in Rhymed Iambic Pentameter thus falling into the category called Heroic Couplets. Each line has 10 syllables and the pairs of lines rhyme.

While many lines were written in 10 syllables in very early Latin, it was Geoffrey Chaucer who added the meter and originated iambic pentameter in the English Language which was further immortalized in many plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare.

Harpies and Heretics

That brings my record past the Hero Age
and into one of Scholar, Scribe and Sage-
a sort of “passing phase in evolution.”
Thinkers found no permanent solution
to the questions Eden’s Tribe pursued,
and wrought no basic change of attitude.
It was an aberration, as you ‘ll see,
in Eden’s long-term tribal history.

As we had wandered over hill and plain
our Faith had undergone tremendous strain.
In all the lands our questing Tribe had trod
no race except our own believed in God.
And once we stopped, and had some time to think,
new questions rose, which pushed us to the brink
of Skepticism. Eden’s first great Sage
who led us from our homeland (in an age
long buried in antiquity by then)
had made his main appeal to tribal yen
for Novelty. Since then, much time had passed;
and now we found his word was not the last
as far as evidence and logic went.
Though Eden’s bounty might be Heaven-sent,
the same could not be said of lands we’d long
become aware were built completely wrong–
nor of the world at large. We could have thought
of ninety ways it might be better wrought.

Without the sun, nocturnal winds were chill.
They made us shiver by our fires, until
the sun arose at dawn to warm the air–
then, all too soon, became a scorching glare
that hammered on our heads and shoulders, and
rebounded from the glowing, smoking sand.
All day we longed for evening cool, but then
confronted night’s remorseless cold again.

It wasn’t hard to think of better ways
to plan the cycles of the nights and days.
It would, for instance, be a real boon
if sunshine went through phases, like the moon,
so that its full intensity would roast
our hides one week of every month, at most.
Or else, if days were just a fourth as long,
the sun would not have time to wax so strong.

An even better way it could be done
would be to tilt the axis of the sun;
had it around the Earth’s horizon gone,
we’d always be enjoying dusk or dawn.
With neither noonday heat nor night’s cold breeze,
we wouldn’t alternately scorch and freeze.

Again, we knew that God created land
to give terrestrials a place to stand;
but what could He have had in mind when He
created it in endless quantity?
This vast expanse was clearly not designed
with those who went in search of God in mind;
it separated us from distant goals,
and bruised our feet, and overwhelmed our souls.

And other qualities the cosmos had
–although we couldn’t call them good or bad-
were inexplicable, as if designed
expressly to confuse the mortal mind.
For instance, shells are grown in lakes and seas,
and yet we scribes can find them where we please.
Whole epics, scratched on strings of shells, describe
the triumphs and misfortunes of the Tribe.
The plains are strewn with shells, and in the hills
they’re found by handsful in the arid ghylls.
But how could shells have come from sea to land?
Such oddities were hard to understand.
If God had wanted desert lands like these
producing shells, He should have made them seas.
Some said there had been seas here, long before;
but this was speculation, nothing more.

Nor had our long-enduring faith been crowned
with much success–since God remained unfound.
Was this the way a Quest for God was meant
to be–or were we just incompetent?
Or was it possible that God preferred
His privacy, as some of us inferred?
In other words, was Satan’s lying tale
true after all, that we were doomed to fail?

These burning questions and a hundred more
were undermining our esprit-de-corps.
My records never mention apes who went
completely atheistic; but we spent
another thousand years in hot dispute
of philosophic issues deep and moot.

The first recorded mention of this trend
was in the Briny Desert, at the end
of one terrific war we had to fight
against some human beings, for our right
to ransack their oasis for the Word.
That race of men had mimed some kind of bird.
No angels, these. Along their arms they grew
a flange of pinions, and with these they flew.*
Their feet were modified to grasping claws
much like a hawk’s. Instead of human jaws
they’d bone-hard lips, everted into beaks
with which their noses fused. These human freaks
built dwellings, like their congeners, but quite
distinctive: towers of enormous height.
They mainly occupied the upper floors,
and entered through the windows, not the doors.
In fact, though ground-floor entrances were found,
the only birds who entered at the ground
instead of windows many stories high
were those too young, or old, or sick, to fly.

_______
*An angel’s wing is much more deftly made:
a hypertrophic, feathered shoulder blade
which makes him, technically, a “hexopod”
created by a special act of God.
________

Not unexpectedly, they turned us down
when we requested leave to search their town,
and left us no alternative to war–
as nearly all their kind had done before.
We mounted yet another fell attack,
out-fought the harpies’ flock, and drove them back
until they had to seek the safety of
the easily-defended spires above.
We found material for rams, and staved
the portals in, then resolutely braved
the boiling oil the harpies tried to pour
upon us as we climbed from “floor to floor”
–a term I use advisedly. Inside
each tower where the harpies tried to hide
we found one single undivided room
without a ceiling, which was seen to loom
at stellar altitude. Across this shaft
were two-by-fours, on which they perched and laughed -.
There were no “floors,” just joists on which they hopped,
bespattered with the mess the birds had dropped.
The real floor was also heaped with moist,
fresh droppings, mostly underneath each joist.

They laughed too soon. Since prehistoric time,
we apes have naturally known how to climb.
We scaled the crisscrossed two-by-fours with ease,
as if performing on the high trapeze,
while dodging missiles dropped from overhead
by desperate defenders as they fled.
We fought them to their topmost perches. There
they dived through windows, taking to the air.
They fled in all directions. Weeks went by
while we pursued, as far as they could fly.
When they by sheer exhaustion had been downed,
the braves of Eden slew them on the ground.

When all of them were dead, we stopped a while,
and occupied their town, to live in style-
but not inside the messy, floorless towers
built for their convenience, not for ours.
Their stables, granaries and cowsheds were
–for comfort–quite a bit superior.

As usual, we heard our Chief describe
the honor, might and glory of the Tribe,
while gathered braves’ enthusiastic screech
provided punctuation for his speech.

One ape, there was, inclined to disagree.
“Was genocide essential?” argued he.
“What tangible advantage have we gained
by making sure that not a soul remained?
These battles that we’ve almost always won
have paid off insults; but what have they done
toward realizing nobler tribal dreams?
Why must all skeptics die? To me it seems
there must be better ways to prove the truth
of our convictions to the world’s uncouth.
Our victories keep heaping on my head
the tacit maledictions of the dead.”

This school of thought subsided rapidly
when we had hanged its founder to a tree.

The Briny Desert was so aptly named!
The only areas that could be tamed
by apes or human beings were a few
oases. Elsewhere nothing ever grew.
Between the scattered green spots on the plain
the only water fit to drink was rain
which almost never fell. We’d sometimes think
we’d found a lake or pond, and try to drink,
and learn that we could guzzle till we burst
without the least diminishing our thirst.

The Tribe marched on. No stop was very long.
Discordant voices in our ranks grew strong;
and harsh suppression was no longer used
because the Chief himself became confused.
He knew dissent was wrong, but couldn’t quite
decide which views were wrong and which were right.
If he endorsed one view, on private whim,
then all the Tribe might disagree with him;
and that, the Chief predicted, might be bad.
He wasn’t quite the dumbest Chief we’ve had.

Our days were spent in travel; but our nights
were spent in arguments, which led to fights.
We covered lots of philosophic ground
as well as salt flats. All our most profound
disquietude and speculation grew
from cosmic flaws that were so plain to view.
In such a universe as this one, could
there be a God omnipotent and good?
The blunders of creation seemed to be
too gross to be ascribed to Deity.

Some tribesmen thought they could, and that this land
was good in ways too deep to understand.
Apparent flaws, which mortals counted odd,
revealed occult, unfathomed ways of God
Whose intellect performed at such a height
no ape could know what He considered right.
The very worst of sandstorms may be found
ideal for moving tons of sand around
to redistribute over other lands
for Purposes no mortal understands.
A rattlesnake–our racial enemy-
might benefit this sparse ecology
on desert lands, by thinning out some breed
of rodents who on vegetation feed
and–but for snakes–would overrun the land
and, by sheer numbers, strip it down to sand.
The fact these lands existed left no doubt
that their Creator relished dust and drought
for reasons which we hardly understood
but which, we could be sure, were Right and Good.

This answer seemed to reaffirm God’s powers,
but failed to prove He was a Friend of ours.

So other sages, apes of high repute,
proposed this answer to the Great Dispute
which didn’t satisfy the Tribe for long:
At first creation, nothing much was wrong;
till human tribes, and other misfit life,
had introduced an element of strife,
remolding Nature to their perverse tastes
(which seemed to run to arid, barren wastes),
or uglifying Nature with such tricks
as cutting mountains up in cubic bricks
to build their dwellings, as we’d seen them do.

But there were grave objections to this view:
It might account for this or that detail,
but, generally applied, was quick to fail.
If drought was humans’ handiwork, why, then,
was this “remodeled” land devoid of men?
The stony ruins were the humans’ fault;
but could–or would–they turn the lakes to salt?

Another theory, with a sounder base
in observation, was: the only place
that God Himself had made was Eden’s land.
That might explain why immigrants were banned:
He wouldn’t want His private hunting ground
despoiled by apes and beasts from all around.
The theory was that Lucifer had made
the world. To him, not God, the fault was laid.
This theory saved our faith in God’s intent,
but made Him seem not-quite-omnipotent.

A further difficulty with it was
the Tribe had left our ancient home because
we’d hoped to find the Deity somewhere.
We would, of course, have stayed, had God been there.
It wasn’t very plausible to say
that God, disliking Eden, went away
to live in deserts Lucifer designed,
where mere subsistence was a chore to find.

So tribal orthodoxy fell apart.
To build a new one, where was one to start?
Our only bond of gnostic unity
was that no two dissenters could agree,
and thus presented no “subversive cause”
that might have challenged Eden’s tribal laws.
Our classic views remained at any rate
as starting points from which to deviate.
We had to tolerate dissent, because
we weren’t quite sure what orthodoxy was.
We’d thought we knew; but now that questions were
debated openly, we weren’t so sure.
Our theories needed data not supplied.
If we could find some facts, we could decide.
Our need for solid facts was growing strong.
We’d have to find some clues, before too long,
or Eden’s long-enduring Tribe would be
beset with Crises of Identity.

The Philosophical Enterprise

 

As if the salt flat wasn’t harsh enough,
the land we now approached was really rough.
We’d find no more oases; that we knew.
Beyond this last one, all that lay in view
was blistered desert, glowing hotly red–
all right for frying eggs, no place to tread.
A few intrepid scouts continued; then,
with toasted feet, came hopping back again.
As much as we’d have liked to forge ahead,
this natural barrier had stopped us dead.

Until that time our custom was to steer
directly west, unless compelled to veer;
but what, exactly, is “Compulsion”? If
one comes upon a chasm, lake or cliff,
and no convenient way across is found,
one either has to stop, or go around.
One has to veer. But indications are
we sometimes let ourselves be swayed too far
too easily. Convenience, more than need,
determined which direction we’d proceed.
The humans also traveled on the plain
(for reasons crass, commercial and mundane),
so if we followed cart tracks here and there
across the sands, at least we got somewhere.
Although we’d find no dazzling truths to learn,
at least there’d be a town to sack and burn.
And, later on, when we resumed the Quest,
we chose a trail that led us almost west.

A seeker after Truth should not avail
himself of every pre-established trail;
yet he who strikes out boldly on his own
may find himself forsaken and alone.
We tried that also, many times–at first-
and nearly died of hunger, heat and thirst.
In deserts there were no more clues to find
than in the settlements of humankind;
and trackless routes due westward often took
us into dull and dreary spots to look.
So who am I to say, in retrospect,
we never should have wandered, as we trekked?
Our forebears took whatever trail impressed
them as the quickest way to end the Quest.
The situation, now, was not the same.
The only trail led back the way we came.
Ahead lay desert, lifeless, stark and vast,
a prospect leaving even us aghast.
We clearly saw the fatal aftermath
of sticking to the Straight and Narrow Path;
yet actually admitting our mistake
and turning back, was more than we could take.
In tribal council, most of us agreed
we dared not forge ahead, nor yet recede.
That really left us no alternative
except to stop, and find some way to live
until some tribal genius had evolved
some means by which the problem could be solved.

This was by far the longest of our stops.
We even tried our hand at planting crops.
We found a long-abandoned human town
and had, before we knew it, settled down,
postponing–week by week and year by year-
resuming our itinerate career.

Our Quest, it seemed, might be deferred a while.
Meanwhile, our Thirst for Knowledge to beguile,
we started sifting theologic facts
from long-accumulated scribal tracts.
It started with a sage of some renown,
who said, “We shouldn’t let this get us down.
We’ve gathered information since the year
we left our tribal home, to end up here.
There must be something, in some tribal text,
that tells us how to go about it next.
It still might be a problem we can whip-
let’s try some hermeneutic scholarship!”

With desert all around us, bleak and wide,
we’d little contact with the world outside-
a situation which inclined us more
to quiet scholarship than holy war.
For centuries, the best the Tribe could do
was inventory everything we knew
from records scribes had treasured since the age
when we were led from Eden by our Sage.
Our documents and sources, sad to say,
were largely myths from that forgotten day,
transcribed as told by gaffers of the Tribe,
somewhat revised by each successive scribe-
free-wheeling sagas of the Good Old Days
which different gaffers told in different ways,
and scribes embellished, either on their own,
or else from sources known to them alone.

Our tribal books are bulkier today
than once they were; but even then, they say,
the records we had kept of past events
made grist for dialectic eloquence.
The hints we’d heard, throughout the Hero Age,
were re-examined, word by line by page.
There wasn’t much in tribal history
that helped us solve the Cosmic Mystery.
Specific data that our scholars found
was often based on insubstantial ground.
The documents were scraps of stone and shell
which scribes had treasured long–but not as well
as one might wish. They’d been through many plights:
employed as missiles in the heat of fights,
regathered later–if they could be found–
stuffed back in sacks and ported all around.
A sack of rocks can come in handy. There’s
a host of uses. Ours were used as chairs,
or heavy-duty blackjacks in a brawl.
The wonder is that they survived at all.
Those lost in war, catastrophe and storm
were later on recalled, in garbled form.
Odd bits of poetry turned up among
those strings of shells that broke, and were restrung;
and unexpected endings got attached
to songs and sagas that they hardly matched.
In time, of course, the archives came to be
a potpourri of myth and history–
a quarter ton of ill-assorted trash,
with one part truth to ten parts balderdash.

Despite the nature of our documents
our efforts weren’t without accomplishments.
We pieced together mutilated sherds
interpolating crucial missing words,
and thus ingeniously restored the lore
misplaced by scribes and chroniclers of yore.
Then theologians undertook to sleuth
these reconstructed records for the Truth.
By arts not known to every common clod,
they learned which scraps were valid words of God,
and which were altered, and to what extent,
and what the baffling contradictions meant.
Construing every passage twenty ways,
we left each other in a gnostic daze.
Manipulating jigsaw-puzzle texts
gave rise to multiplicity of sects.
We’d prove, by quoting some authority
in old, authentic codices (which we
devised by rearranging broken sherds)
mystiques for which we lacked expressive words,
inventing–then abusing–terms abstruse
which experts coined, expressly for this use.
By methods which to them alone were couth,
they’d wrestle out some grudging, makeshift Truth,
to use as premises for sound conclusions
free of errors, bias or delusions.

Ages passed before we realized
what manuals of madness we’d devised.
Quite early in this period we faced
such questions as: On what is Knowledge based?
Can such a thing as Certitude exist?
In what does valid Evidence consist?
Can one be certain that the formal laws
of Logic don’t embody subtle flaws?
What errors might some Higher Test detect
if Logic’s rules are slyly incorrect?

Those apes who’d spent their whole careers in search
of sound apologetics for the Church
were sometimes irked by questions such as these
and prone to brush them off as heresies;
but socially-responsive sages tried
to show that scholarship was justified.
They said although the Archives were in sad
condition, they were still the best we had.
By junking them completely, we’d forsake
our tribal Quest–a choice few apes would make. ·
And Logic, though depending heavily
upon the thinker’s objectivity,
was still the way the pithecanic mind
was built to operate–as one would find
trying to derive conclusions sure
through modes of thinking more or less impure.
At last our thinkers’ purely-scholarly
research began to lose its novelty.
The climate of the times was growing ripe
for theologians of less formal type
who didn’t think conclusions must perforce
depend upon a documented source.
The Naturalistic School of thought averred
that scribal lucubrations were absurd.

“The proofs that God exists,” they said, “abound,
if one will only take a look around;
for all about us, earth and sky and air
attest that Someone must have put them there.”

No logical objection could be found
to reasoning so manifestly sound,
until the Naturalistic School became
a self-refuting theologic game.
They couldn’t rest content with what they’d proved,
but piled up theories many times removed
from observations tangible and clear
to which they still pretended to adhere.

For instance, it was “obvious,” they said,
the God must have at least one extra head,
so while Head One could get its sleep at night,
Head Two could guide the stars’ nocturnal flight.
Another school could prove the heads were three.
Thus rose the Doctrine of the Trinity.
Some thought the tricephalic concept odd,
and settled for a polymorphous God–
one Aspect stayed in Heaven, one on Earth,
and one just sort of flitted back and forth;
and took no major action on his own,
his office being one of liaison.
Some theologues thought God was “One in Three,
“while some held out for “Threefold Unity.”
Hard words arose between divergent schools,
who liked to call each other “threefold fools.”

Jim Bennett Reviews House of Solomon

Apes of Eden Book 4 The House of Solomon    Jon P Gunn

A Continuation: Please Read On

images

This unusual, challenging work is the continuation of the previous book, The Apes of Eden. Be prepared for similarities and differences.

The same, amazing, iambic pentameter with rhyming couplets goes on. It is wonderful that this can be done while telling a story and not being intrusive.

The same alternate universe is alive around you, with the Apes being in a world of humans, mythical creatures, and difficulties, having left Eden in search of God.

The same questioning of values, and the same dashes of humour await you.

This book begins in a difficult desert situation, foreshadowing the dystopia to be revealed by the human guide encountered by scouts. The Sage and Poet are dispatched to a citadel on the basis that they can most easily be spared, should their reconnoitre fail.

They are met by a ‘human’ who conducts them on a tour of his super-human technological history. In an alternate past Earth, computers have been used, and other machines, to augment mankind. Here are some quotes from this weird, semi-substantial guide:

“You apes have let your sheer tenacity

engender cortical opacity.”

“The Central Data System, you’ll surmise,

provides my conversation. It replies

to all the questions you see fit to ask.

If asked why I do not assume this task,

the answer is that humans don’t demean

themselves with work done better by machine.”

“It culminates our most ambitious goal:

mechanical replacement for the soul.”

“An ape believes in anything he wants

by disregarding skeptics’ lies and taunts;

but humans need computers to reject

conclusions it decides are incorrect.”

In this ‘brave new world’ the humans don’t do anything: machines repair them, ask new questions, answer them, provide any information at any level of depth thought of, keep them alive. All instincts have been overcome. Nobody dies; nobody reproduces.

And, to these humans, clearly there is ‘no need of that hypothesis:’ the existence of God.

Thus, not with a bang but a whimper (to quote T. S. Eliot) the world, and this amazing work, both end.

Those familiar with my reviews will recognize what follows here. My personal guidelines, when doing an ‘official’ KBR review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. This is an extension of the earlier Apes of Eden book. Unique, provocative, fun, and disturbing. An easy five-star decision, and exceptionally recommended.

Jim Bennett

Kindle Book Review Team member.

(Note: this reviewer received a free copy of this book for an independent review. He is not associated with the author or Amazon.)

Sample Chapters from House of Solomon

HOS Front CoverThe Citadel

 

 

The vultures watched the Apes of Eden plod

across the salty waste, in quest of God.

One thing we’ve never lacked is fortitude.

Another thousand years the Tribe pursued

its Quest, across that desolate expanse

where buzzards wheel, and vague mirages dance.

An enemy we’re almost sure to find

no matter where we go, is humankind.

Some manlike species were in evidence

in all conceivable environments;

and arid haunts of desert ghost and ghoul

were no exception to the general rule.

In chapters past, I’ve had harsh things to say

of human tribes we’ve met along our way;

but are they all so vicious?             That depends.

Some were, in their misguided ways, our friends.

 

 

One day, as through the desert we advanced,

our Chief’s patrol of scouting tribesmen chanced

to spot a lonesome citadel atop

a lofty butte.  Our leader signaled Stop.

He scanned the somber view, his aspect grim;

the castle’s looks did not appeal to him.

 

“That fort was built by human types, all right,”

he quickly ascertained.  “Here comes a fight.

I guess we ‘ll have to take a look around

inside, to see if Logos can be found.

Though nothing’s really likely to be learned,

we can’t risk leaving any stones unturned.

They won’t be overjoyed to see how far

our searching goes.  Those humans never are.

I’ll have to send some spies in first, I fear…

I heard a sneeze.  Is that a volunteer?”

 

A road that spiraled up the mountain led

to scowling walls and turrets overhead.

The battlements were uniformly gray

and sinister, despite the glare of day.

It was a gloomy and forbidding place,

the lair of some voracious, grisly race,

as humans tend to be.

Our leader sent

two volunteers as spies, while runners went

to warn the Tribe to be prepared for war,

in case this town–like most we’d searched before-­

was hostile to our Purpose, and preferred

to try to thwart our questing for the Word.

 

While wondering which spies he should appoint

to go (at mortal risk) to case the joint,

he noticed that the Sage and Scribe were there;

and these, he thought, were apes the Tribe could spare.

 

“Just take a look around,” he told the two.

“Stay out of useless fights, and out of view.

Don’t mess things up, as spies have done before.

His clues we need, not just another war.

If God, or traces of Him, aren’t in sight,

then this might be a war we needn’t fight.

Don’t worry; if you’re slow in getting back

we’ll know you guys got killed, and we’ll attack.”

 

The Chief’s patrol returned to camp to wait.

The volunteers trudged off to meet their fate.

 

“In golden ages past,” complained the Scribe,

“a poet had prestige, around this Tribe.

He didn’t have to double as a spy.”

He glumly kicked a stone, and watched it fly,

and added, “I’d be smarter just to quit.

I get no recognition for my wit.”

 

“You think you’re persecuted!” scoffed the Sage.

“The job I’ve got’s a grind, in any age!

Our Leader never wants me to advise,

but still insists I keep on being wise.

To be a Sage you’ve got to use your brain,

and heavy thinking gets to be a pain!

If you don’t think a Sage’s job is rough,

just take my place.  You ‘ll soon have had enough!”

 

The poet said, “One thing I know for sure:

the job of Chief’s a real sinecure!

The only thing he does, resembling work,

is making certain no one else can shirk;

yet every time you listen to him, he’s

bemoaning his responsibilities!”

 

The spies proceeded, tossing to and fro

their tales of self-evaluated woe,

until they reached the bottom of the butte

and paused a moment for a quick dispute:

The poet thought they ought to take the road.

His archive sack, he said, was quite a load,*

 

_____________

*The sack went with him everywhere he went,

to guard our books from theft or accident.

_____________

 

and might impede their mission’s progress, if

they lugged such heavy reading up a cliff.

The thinker held another viewpoint quite:

they’d been instructed to avoid a fight;

and since the roadway wasn’t very wide,

it might be hard to find a place to hide

if, in their stealthy, secretive ascent,

they met a downward-headed resident.

 

They made a circuit of the butte, and found

the cliff rose sheerly upward all around,

and bulged unclimbably at greater height.

The Sage agreed perhaps the Scribe was right:

the only way they’d ever get that high

was either take the corkscrew road, or fly.

 

While they were hiking back to reach the road,

a Flying Disc came swooping past.  It slowed,

returned, and hovered near the mountainside.

It looked to be some thirty-five feet wide,

of flat and circular design.  The spies

set down their clubs so they could shade their eyes.

They stood with heads a-tilt and mouths agape,

examining this strange, metallic shape.

It hovered for a minute, lightly parked

on air, then soared aloft.

The Sage remarked,

“If we get caught, y’know, our mission’s botched;

and something makes me think we’re being watched.”

 

The pathway up the butte was channeled through

the solid rock, like threading on a screw.

Along the outer edge, a waist-high wall

protected careless hikers from a fall

which would have ended in the fatal shock

of stopping at the bottom, on the rock.

The road went spiraling around the hill

a half a dozen times or so, until

it led them to a gateway at the top-­

and there the secret agents had to stop.

The steel portcullis stood some ten yards tall

and somewhat wider, in a concrete wall

which loomed above them, rising toward the blue

until its top was nearly out of view.

The gate was studded, like a porcupine’s

integument, with wicked metal spines.

 

But neither of the apes was greatly cowed.

The Scribe set down his sack, and called aloud,

“Wake up in there, and open up the doors!

You’re being honored by some visitors!”

 

The Sage came forward, and began to drub

the huge, resounding portal with his club.

 

The agents hadn’t very long to wait.

A shutter opened, up above the gate,

and there a darkly-hooded head looked out

to see what all the racket was about.

 

“Let’s have a little service!” yelled the Scribe.

“We’re here to spy this joint–from Eden’s Tribe!

In towns where folks oppose us from the start,

our custom is to tear the place apart!”

 

The hooded head withdrew without a word,

but shortly after that, the tribesmen heard

an awe-inspiring and portentous sound

of grinding rumbles from the rocky ground

–a noise that jolted them from toes to brains-­

and then the clanking of enormous chains.

 

While asking what such auguries would bring

they noticed that the gate was opening.

A center line appeared,  and then the gate

divided and began to separate,

until the spies could see the light of day

between the massive slabs of steely gray.

They stood and watched the slowly-growing cleft

as gates slid ponderously right and left.

 

The rumbling stopped.  The gate was standing wide.

Our tribesmen nonchalantly strolled inside

to be confronted by a human host

who bore a marked resemblance to a ghost-­

in shape and posture seeming to conform

approximately to the human norm.

He wore a hooded robe of charcoal black

that hid his frame completely like a sack,

and had a redolence of mold and must.

The only features they could see were just

his yellow eyeballs I staring like an owl

from inky murk beneath the bulky cowl.

He stood upon a platform, flat and round,

which hovered oddly just above the ground

but seemed to be as steady as a rock.

 

This apparition carne as quite a shock;

but Eden’s tribesmen never heard of dread .

The Scribe thrust out his jaw, and firmly said,

“Our mob left Eden, centuries ago,

to rove this crumby planet to and fro

in search of Logos, God or Deity,

or any traces of Him we could see.

We’ll all be here to search tomorrow, and

there’s one thing you guys better understand:

We don’t like getting laughed at.  Furthermore,

the way we search a place is door to door

and inch by inch. When we get done, we’ll go;

but one reply we don’t accept is No.

We’ll finish what we come for, right or wrong;

so don’t act hostile, and we’ll get along.”

 

“Perhaps,” the human said, “we could direct

your search–though not in ways you might expect.

We, too, have searched, though on another path,

and seen what you have not–the aftermath.”

 

The oddest thing about the human’s voice

was that his hearers seemed to have their choice

of where it carne from.  They could hear the sound

from five or six directions, all around.

 

The Scribe rejoined, “No phony leads of yours;

our Tribe don’t need advice from amateurs !

No walls or weapons ever long deterred

our gang from searching places for the Word;

and no one’s ever fooled us.  Some have tried

to cloud our minds, and consequently died!”

 

The human chuckled hollowly.  “I sense

a somewhat overweening confidence

in beasts who might be wiser to respect

superiority of intellect.

You ‘ll quickly lose a lot of your aplomb

when you’re confronted with a cobalt bomb

…However, 1et’s assume you spoke in jest.

Your Tribe, you say, is on a holy quest.

How nice for you. We humans sympathize

with noble goals like yours.  We realize

that just such random ‘questing’ led to our

incalculable technologic power;

so pithecans and humans, it would seem,

have shared a sort of common racial dream.

If you can curb this choler you display,

we might agree to guide you on your way.

We know the path, you see, which must be trod

by those who’d seek a realistic ‘god’.”

 

The Scribe did not reply, but looked perplexed.

The Sage took up the conversation next.

“Well, stranger,” said the thinker, “if it’s true,

I’d call that real neighborly of you.”

 

“Then welcome,” said their host.  “I said before

you’re ill-advised to take us on in war

–our strength is not to be disparaged–yet

you needn’t take that as a counterthreat.

Long, long ago, we humans had our fill

of warfare, so we bear you no ill will.

Your nosiness derives from motives pure,

and so– (He turned) –you’ll get the Guided Tour.

Just follow me.  I’ll show you what we’ve done

to end the quest your race has just begun.

 

“Although we’ve left your species far behind,

your manifest activity of mind

entitles you, at least in some degree,

to share our common Primate Destiny.

The fact that we’ve been able to advance

while you could not, was partly due to chance.

We found the way, while you did not.  Bad luck

was all that dug the rut in which you’re stuck.

This needn’t be, and with the impetus

of Education you’ll receive from us

(if you accept it) you’ll attain the place

that Intellect confers upon a race.”

 

The charcoal-colored buildings, left and right,

rose windowless and blind to lofty height.

The human led the way along the street.

He didn’t touch the pavement with his feet,

but floated grandly on his metal raft

like milkweed seeds that ride a gentle draft.

 

The apes, behind him, quietly conversed

to make their plans if worst should come to worst.

The Sage observed,  “This could, y’know, be a

locale for catching claustrophobia.

They sure have got a somber-colored town.

I feel conspicuous, just being brown,”

 

“We can’t bug out; there’s spying to be done,”

the Scribe replied.  “Besides, it’s two to one-­

this jerk’s no match for us.  There’s still no threat.

We’ve seen no other human beings yet.

Let’s get this place all spied, and save the fuss.

Our Leader’ll be real proud of us.”

 

Their guide approached a building.  As he neared,

a doorway preternaturally appeared.

The mechanism wasn’t clear: the wall

dissolved from view and wasn’t there at all

within an archway, maybe five feet broad

and seven tall.

The apes weren’t overawed.

Completely confident that they would win

if strife arose, they calmly sauntered in.

 

 

 

Perfected Man

 

 

“The Primate quest for Truth,” their guide began

“took vastly different forms, for Ape and Man.

Your own approach–a random search around

the Earth–is scientifically unsound.

The limitations of the eye and ear

we humans have discovered interfere

with one’s perceptions of the universe;

so hardly any method could be worse

than trusting senses clearly to perceive

the subject.  Such directness is naive.

There are phenomena the eye and ear

when unassisted, cannot see or hear

and which–although they readily affect

our instruments–our senses can’t detect.

It will, for instance, likely be a shock

to learn that what you think is solid rock

consists of little more than empty space

through which neutrino particles will trace

as straight a course as through the empty air.

If data aren’t interpreted with care,

you’re sure to draw erroneous conclusions

based on simple optical illusions.

Bear in mind, the meaning and the end

of Science is completely to transcend

the limitations which your own physique

imposes on the data that you seek.

The Scientific Way to search for gods

is just like classifying arthropods

or mice, or elephants, or apes, or snarks,

or leptons, J-psis, tachyons and quarks.

Hypotheses are easiest to test

which can be mathematically expressed.

One finds the patterns in the data known

to see what Basic Principle is shown,

and then extrapolates it to explain

whatever gaps in knowledge may remain.

Though observation is the place to start,

until Evaluation plays its part

no data which are merely sensory

can build a model of Reality–

a model only, true, to that extent

that it predicts controlled Experiment.

Unless you show that all predictions jibe

with what unbiased instruments describe,

your theory’s open to a valid doubt.

All failures must be firmly weeded out.

You apes have let your sheer tenacity

engender cortical opacity.

A Scientist is ready to revise

the instant new discrepancies arise.

Our first progenitors were much like you,

not just in shape and size, but point of view.

We too, in ancient times, went far astray,

before we found the Scientific Way.

 

“But more of that anon.  Permit me first

to show that our approach is reimbursed

with tangible, applicable effect,

which proves our methodology correct.”

 

The apes were led through hollow-echoed walls,

where eerie light exuded from the walls,

until the human took them through a door.

They found a vault, with implements of war

displayed in cases, or arrayed on racks,

and labeled “spear” and “mace” and “battleaxe.”

He led them past displays of bows and slings

and arrows hafts and arbalests and things.

They saw an iron suit, with lance and shield,

and other gear that human warriors wield;

and then the relics of more recent wars,

with telescopic sights, and rifled bores.

 

“In very ancient times,” their guide resumed,

“it seemed our race would be forever doomed

to unremitting and unequal strife

with specially-adapted forms of life

–who nearly wiped us out, to tell the truth-­

the cave bear, mastodon, and sabertooth.

So naturally, in rowdy days of yore,

our prime concern was instruments of war.”

 

“The same with Eden’s Tribe,” the Scribe replied.

“In olden times, a lot of critters tried

us apes for dinner; but they quickly learned

the compliment was apt to be returned.

We started making weapons out of stone,

with hefty helves of wood or bison bone.

We made us hatchets, spears, and all the rest.

Of course the good old bludgeon’s still the best.

A spear’s okay; but when the war gets hot,

it’s hard to see if someone’s speared or not.

But with a club, no matter how you’re rushed,

there’s no mistaking when a skull’s been crushed!

A head that’s busted has a different feel

than one that isn’t.  That’s a club’s appeal.”

 

“A most inventive race,” the human laughed,

“to think of mounting spearheads on a shaft!

But there was so much more you might have done,

and even more of your encounters won,

if you’d renounced your atavistic quirk

of liking closeness to your heavy work.

We humans had a healthier respect

for crafty subtleties of intellect,

and worked some rather urgent problems out

by methods you’d consider roundabout,

but which, in actuality, were far

more efficacious than brute muscles are.

You apes on brawn and ignorance relied,

and stopped advancing, wholly satisfied.

We might have made the same mistake, and spent

all time in static nondevelopment;

but our successes, unlike yours, have led

to more inventions, so we forged ahead.

 

“It wasn’t any easy thing to do.

We started out with even less than you.

A man, deprived of artifacts, would stand

but meager chance of living off the land.

Incapable of camouflage or flight

and all but helpless in an open fight,

the only thing that got us off the hook

was subtlety, so that’s the course we took.

Besetting enemies with traps we laid

–the logfall, covered pit, and ambuscade–

we compensated with the use of these

for Natural Man’s innate deficiencies.

Our racial limitations were, for us,

a constant source of mental stimulus.

For us, a problem’s there so it can be

resolved by Human Ingenuity.

Our Adaptation is, and shall remain,

the awesome power of the human brain.”

 

As apes and guide continued to advance,

the thinker gave the Scribe a sidelong glance

and raised one eyebrow, to convey his doubt

of what their host was blathering about.

The Scribe made no remark their host could hear,

but waved a finger vaguely at his ear

and crossed his eyeballs, with a grin inane,

implying that he thought their host insane.

 

At last the little group arrived at where

an armor-clad conveyance, huge and square,

was squatting on its iron-cleated treads.

Its phallic cannon loomed above their heads.

 

“We had some crude and inefficient ways

of fighting wars, in prehistoric days,”

the guide continued, “sending in a flood

of human ·fighters–muscle, bone and blood-­

to grapple physically with enemies.

In more sophisticated eras, these

contrivances were standardized in war,

to cut the casualties we so deplore.

Its guns could pulverize the stoutest walls.

The caterpillar treads on which it crawls

are armed at intervals with metal lugs

it used for squashing hostile troops like bugs.

Machines replaced the human fighting force.

 

“The change was rather gradual, of course;·

and this invention was a passing stage:

It held a crew.  But in a later age

we gave machines more flexibility

by using microwave telemetry.

The ‘drivers,’ in a distant, bombproof hole,

could operate it by remote control.

The space once used for men to ride inside

was now with better weaponry supplied

and larger stocks of cannon shells and fuel

to give it more endurance in a duel.

When such machines in battle were deployed

they couldn’t be too readily destroyed;

and if they were, their crews of living men

took charge of fresh machines, to slay again.

 

“Still later, we devised the robot brain,

which never slept till every foe was slain,

and which reacted with the speed of light

when enemy equipment came in sight.

Whenever we were menaced by a foe

we turned the robots on, and let them go.

The only drawback was, when they were used,

their high-strung circuits sometimes got confused,

mistaking for a fort some harmless town,

and blasting thousands of civilians down.

But carping moralists were satisfied

if most disasters struck the other side;

for with a war to win, no time was spent

on mawkish and enfeebling sentiment. ”

 

“That thing won’t work on us,” the poet said.

“We’d toss a couple boulders in the tread

and stop it in its tracks; then tie that gun

in knots, to keep from losing anyone

while we were ripping it apart, to choose

the chunks of metal someone wants to use.

It might be real useful, even so

against some less resourceful breed of foe.”

 

“It’s problematical,” the human said,

“how close you’d get before you’re full of lead.

The smaller guns with which this tank abounds

have firing speeds of many hundred rounds

a minute.  It’s equipped with infrared

perceptors, so approaching foes are dead

as soon as they’re within its line of sight.

They’re not concealed by fog, nor dark of night.

 

“And here’s another thing we used to use

in warfare.  Pull the lever, and it spews

a deadly stream of flaming kerosine,

destructive both to soldier and machine.

It doesn’t matter now.  This thing’s retired.

The violence our progenitors admired

arose from Instinct.  Now that human brains

have been perfected, no such urge remains.

There’s more to see, however.  Shall we go?”

 

The human led the tribesmen down the row

until they found another strange machine

the likes of which few apes had ever seen.

It had a hollow nozzle from its tank,

from which a wisp of gasses hissed and stank.

The poet wiggled levers, while the Sage

took special interest in the pressure gauge.

 

“It’s used,” the guide explained, “in types of war

we hardly can imagine, any more. It took a rather hardy foe to last

a battle out, when he’d been mustard-gassed.

Less deadly fumes were used by our police

to help suppress revolts, in times of peace;

so concepts first evolved for use in war

made governments more stable than before.

This proves we humans weren’t preoccupied

with warfare.  New techniques that war supplied

were later used in less destructive ways.

Each scrap of data, ultimately, pays.

Without a military missile race

we’d slower been, in reaching Outer Space.

You’ll find this out yourselves when you begin

the studies we intend to start you in.

 

“Now let me show you how we’d fight a war

if Man were ever threatened any more.

You ‘ll find it interesting, I believe.”

 

The human pointed, with his dangling sleeve,

where, just ahead, a doorway stood ajar

and said, “That’s where the master consoles are.

Let’s have a look–but let me caution you:

Don’t handle things.  Disaster may ensue.”

 

The Apes of Eden – Book 4 – The House of Solomon is Now Available

The Apes of Eden – Book 4 – The House of Solomon is now available on Amazon.com, Createspace.com and Smashwords.com

 

HOS Front CoverThe House of Solomon, Book 4 of The Apes of Eden saga tells of a visit to literal Museum of Human Technology hosted by a mysterious hooded figure.  The author provides stunning detail and biting commentary on man’s unending quest for domination of the Earth.  Will it end in failure? Will the human race be the ultimate victor?

 

In the year 19067, a tribe of killer apes leaves Eden in search of God. They face evil creatures from Hell and Heaven alike.  The story is told in the words of Literate Louie, the Scribe of the Tribe.

A tribe of killer apes living an idyllic life in the Garden of Eden begins a monumental quest to search the post-apocalyptic Earth in search of God.  The Journey Begins is the first of a trilogy.  The Apes of Eden is written in iambic pentameter.  It is a humorous look at religion and philosophy through the eyes of an intelligent ape.

The Apes of Eden is written in rhymed iambic pentameter thus falling into the category called heroic couplets.  Each line has 10 syllables and the pairs of lines rhyme.

While many lines were written in 10 syllables in very early Latin, it was Geoffrey Chaucer who added the meter and originated iambic pentameter in the English Language which was further immortalized in many plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare.

 

Jon P. Gunn wrote The Apes of Eden over a period of many, many years beginning as a teenager. He read Spenser, Chaucer, Dante and Cervantes.   Many oddball philosophies, from solopsism to deism are explored and mocked. Allusions to a broad spectrum of myths and canons are made.

Jon never graduated from college even though he had twice the number of hours to graduate. He was too busy reading the great works of literature to bother. He shared his work with a friend. It is that man and his friend, Rick Lakin who are bringing you Jon’s work. We think it’s very good. We hope you do too.

 

The Apes of Eden heroically brings forth a heroic vision of the world, cast in perfect heroic couplets. Bravo! – Richard Lederer, author of 50 books, including Anguished English and Amazing Words.

 

“The author developed a story around spiritual restlessness using apes as his main characters as they travel through human history looking for God. ”

Larry Gray, bookreviewsbylarrybgray.blogspot.com

 

Cover Art by Annie Hobbs

 

 

This is an amazing and truly unique work.

Jim Bennett, Poet, jim-bennett.ca

 

This is a must read for the “Literate Elite;” it is a classic in the making.

Sheila Dobbie, Author of Peach Cobbler for Breakfast, sheiladobbie.com

 

Apes of Eden is elegantly crafted, whimsical, and witty.

Jennifer Calderón, Journalist

 

Thought-provoking symbolism, witty commentary on the human condition, and a sense of humor that will leave you chuckling throughout.

Lee Mabry, Boston University

Jim Bennett – Retirement Clock: Poems 5

Jim Bennett such a great review of The Apes of Eden that we must congratulate him and wish him good luck on his new book of poetry.

Retirement Clock: Poems 5

Paperback, 80 Pages
Price: $15.00
Ships in 3-5 business days
What would happen if the clock ran backward? This is a volume of other times, of the cold war, of bomb shelters and nuclear submarines, of Formula One races at Watkins Glen. Sad and scary events in the United States, and a couple of Canadian tragedies too. Poetry is about experience. It has the power to deliver experience to you. Retirement Clock explores retirement, the past, and regret for the passing of time. If you are approaching or of retirement age, these poems will speak directly to you. If you have a friend or relative in that situation, it will help you gather a clearer idea of what they are going through. Retirement Clock includes 54 somewhat longer poems, including free verse, cinquains, multiple cinquains, rondeaux, rhymed verse, one lyric, one mirror, and a compound poem—chosen around a theme. As always, ambiguity may be present. You’re encouraged to explore the multiple meanings. You’ll figure this out, as these poems were written for you.

5 Star Review by Larry Gray

The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins by Jon P. Gunn

A review by Larry Gray

 Click Here for the original link

louie title

The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins

By Jon P. Gunn

My Rating

status
Read January 27, 2014
format
Kindle Version
review

Book Review Disclaimer
The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins by Jon P. Gunn is a fascinating read. I got caught up in the book and had a hard time putting it down.
Jon P Gunn wrote the book in “rhymed iambi pentameter thus falling into the category called heroic couplets. Each line has 10 syllables and the pairs of lines rhyme.” This follows the style of Geoffrey Chaucer and many of the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare. For me this made for a great read.
The author developed a story around spiritual restlessness using apes as his main characters as they travel through human history looking for God. He did a great job of taking a very deep, philosophical subject and creating a fictional look at it. The story was easy to follow and very well written. I really like the way Jon P. Gunn developed his characters and made them real and easy to identify with.
I really enjoyed reading The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins by Jon P. Gunn and I recommend it to all readers.
[Please note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.]

The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins is now available in Paperback

Createspace is a unique service that allows small publishers to quickly bring their books to print at a reasonable price.  The Apes of Eden is now available for $14.99 at this link

Here is the back cover description:

Can one literary work be an epic poem, a tutorial on philosophies from Mesopotamia to the present and a laugh-out-loud compendium of satirical humor? Welcome to The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins.

 

    I’m kinda glad you got us in this fix–

    you never let me do my magic tricks.

 

    In the year 19067, a tribe of killer apes leaves Eden in search of God. They face evil creatures from Hell and Heaven alike.  The story is told in the words of Literate Louie, the Scribe of the Tribe.

    A tribe of killer apes living an idyllic life in the Garden of Eden begins a monumental quest to search the post-apocalyptic Earth in search of God.  The Journey Begins is the first of a trilogy.  The Apes of Eden is written in iambic pentameter.  It is a humorous look at religion and philosophy through the eyes of an intelligent ape.

    The Apes of Eden is written in rhymed iambic pentameter thus falling into the category called heroic couplets.  Each line has 10 syllables and the pairs of lines rhyme.    

While many lines were written in 10 syllables in very early Latin, it was Geoffrey Chaucer who added the meter and originated iambic pentameter in the English Language which was further immortalized in many plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare. 

 

    Jon P. Gunn wrote The Apes of Eden over a period of many, many years beginning as a teenager. He read Spenser, Chaucer, Dante and Cervantes.   Many oddball philosophies, from solopsism to deism are explored and mocked. Allusions to a broad spectrum of myths and canons are made.

    Jon never graduated from college even though he had twice the number of hours to graduate. He was too busy reading the great works of literature to bother. He shared his work with a friend. It is that man and his friend, Rick Lakin who are bringing you Jon’s work. We think it’s very good. We hope you do too.

 

    The Apes of Eden is written in Rhymed Iambic Pentameter thus falling into the category called Heroic Couplets.  Each line has 10 syllables and the pairs of lines rhyme.    

    While many lines were written in 10 syllables in very early Latin, it was Geoffrey Chaucer who added the meter and originated iambic pentameter in the English Language which was further immortalized in many plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare.

5 Star Review – Jim Bennett – Kindle Book Reviews

Alternate reality? Epic myth? or sheer entertainment?

by Jim Bennett, Kindle Book Reviews, Jim’s Blog

 

images   Review appearing on Amazon Kindle Store

This is an amazing and truly unique work. It is, if you like, an alternate history of an alternate Earth. As in much science fiction, our hero can conveniently understand every being he overhears; as in some modern plays, there are anachronisms; as in Shakespeare, everything is in iambic pentameter – and rhyming couplets to boot.

You will not be bored. It is also a good story, well told. As always, look up any word you’re not absolutely sure of. This author has a wide range of knowledge and sprinkles neat, obscure, and entirely appropriate words in what passes for a simple narrative. The versification is more like Robert Service’s narratives, telling a tale well. The repetitive rhyme scheme is so cleverly done that you will enjoy some of the harder rhymes.

Gunn has provided us with a classic mythological journey in the Joseph Campbell sense. In this world, humanity is not the dominant species. The apes are. They set out on a quest from Eden in search of God. The evolution of humanity has taken a different course. This is not our world, but much of our world’s philosophy is known here.

As an example of the whimsy in this unique volume, here the ‘author’ explains why a creator must exist: “Consider trees: Were trees one foot in height,/ how could we build our nests up high at night?/ Or fingernails: exactly where they ought /to grow. Without them, how could fleas be caught? /There’s no place on us where a flea can go /that can’t be scratched with finger or with toe; /so even we were planned, in each detail, /to be ourselves, from brain to fingernail. /This couldn’t all be chance. Please understand /this world did not ‘just happen’–it was planned ! This proves– /(He paused to puzzle through his scroll) /–that all these things are under God’s control!”

If you’re looking for raw humour, try this: “… When he sought /suggestions from the magic Scroll he’d brought, /he found that tribal wags, with peerless wit, /had rolled Repugnant Matter up in it. /We’d known he had a flair for words. Now he /displayed a talent for profanity.”

If you’re looking for the tiny carps, they are few. There might be one or two close rhymes (everything else is perfect.) There might be a typo or two. In a work of this size, these are ridiculously small carps. Back to the book, where the undaunted apes continue their quest: “Our leader called the Tribe in council, then/ (or what was left of it). He spoke again /of Pithecanic Destiny and such. /Our current woes, he said, were nothing much.”

There is an alternate version of heaven, expounded by a devil: “”I can’t describe the sense of uselessness /you’d feel, if you’d attained Eternal Bliss. /You sing the praise of God, but when you’re through /there’s simply no constructive work to do.”

There are strange moral questions too, as in this: “My expertise in teaching Virtue should /not be construed to mean I must be Good. /We Teachers only practice what we preach /when teaching student teachers how to teach!”

As for theology, Gunn has a mermaid priestess utter these words: “A god comes into being at the whim /of those with genuine belief in him /so there’s a mutual dependency /between believers and their deity.” Buy this book and read the rest of this passage slowly when you get to it; it’s a lot of fun and questions belief while also supporting it.

In the final third of the book, Gunn gives us a version of Satan’s temptation. Again, this is lightly done, cleverly disguising the careful thought and provocative content in a deceptively simple narrative. For example, the satanic figure claims, ‘my cause is just.’ You will laugh, and then be startled by what you are laughing at. The book ends with an epic battle between the apes and the underlord’s horde. No spoilers here; again, buy the book and just read and enjoy it.

Why five stars?

My personal guidelines, when doing an ‘official’ KBR review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. Usually assigning the star count is the hardest part of a review, but in this case, it was the easiest. Gunn easily rates five stars. Trying to give you an appreciation for this work was the hard part, and I hope to have done an acceptable job. Extremely recommended.

Jim Bennett, Kindle Book Review Team member.

(Note: this reviewer received a free copy of this book for an independent review. He is not associated with the author or Amazon.)

 

Jim Bennett is married and lives in Toronto. Jim has taught “Poetry Techniques for Prose Writers” in Sheridan College.  B.Sc. and M.Sc. in pure mathematics from UofT. Then I decided to learn how to be a human being. Married, worked at IBM and CIBC and some really interesting contracts. Three kids, four grandkids. Poetry began in my head in high school, and except for about three crippling years at UofT (M.P.C. was not a picnic) 

Apes of Eden – New Low Price – $2.99 – Click Here

For the next 4 weeks, The Apes of Eden – The Journey Begins will be selling for only $2.99 at the Amazon Kindle store

Click Here for the Amazon Kindle Store