The Chess Variant Pages



Chess Morality XI: Pleiadic Dialogue


También el jugador es prisionero de otro tablero
De negras noches y de blancos días.
Como el otro, este juego es infinito.
Dios mueve al jugador, y éste, la pieza.
¿Qué dios detrás de Dios la trama empieza
De polvo y tiempo y sueño y agonías?
--Jorge Luis Borges, 'Ajedrez'

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The Falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold...
--W.B. Yeats, 'The Second Coming'

Stars fade like memory the instant before dawn.
Low in the East the Sun appears, golden as an opening Eye.
That which can be named must exist. That which is named can be written.
That which is written shall be remembered. That which is remembered lives.
--Book of the Dead

Electra(F): In the very beginning was the Move --
Before there ever being 'Deed' or 'Word' --
The origin of all of the above
The pieces to explain what has occurred.
The Pleiades rising render a hymn, Sol,
To Falcon and ankh the living symbol.

Merope(P): From particle and cell, to Pawn and star
The natural shapes of things bespeak the sphere.
This volume inscribes equal lines that are
The five Platonic solids which appear,
Two hands put round with their ten digits drawn
Sealing this paean to the sphere and Pawn.

Sterope(N): If the Horse and Falcon did not exist,
Then these pieces we would have to invent.
If the correct movements take a strange twist,
It's the sign of a singular event.
Imagine the track of a trebuchet
As opposed to the path of a rocket.

Maia(B): What's in a name? Take so-called Creation
And the scientific term Big Bang. Both
As products of the imagination
Suggest a more elegant name -- the Glowth --
Herewith made up, a neologism, coinage.
(Every new word having its first usage)

Taygete(K): How can one claim to be free of all blame
For any matter gone from bad to worse?
Who says 'The World's a stage' or 'Life's a game'
In metaphor for the whole universe?
No sense waiting for the other shoe to drop
As the turn of events knows no full-stop. 

Alcyone(Q): 'The game is up' was not a clever hoax
When Players made the moves so long ago.
(About these matters no one ever jokes.)
It is no myth: 'As above, so below.'
One yet appreciates the rarity
Once having been brought down by gravity.

Calaeno(R): Motion requires the fabric of space-time.
So, is not the Move preceded by the Turn?
A change within existing paradigm
Means a number of positions to re-learn, 
Just as if a theory of everything
Were hanging by a thread and not a string.

George William Duke  2003      


Written by George William Duke.
WWW page created: June 26, 2003.