Kindling

Upstay the course, the wood is vast,

beasts there chitter, in dark amass;

fabrefaction—blade from bone,

amarulence to the thorny throne.

Ramiferous lanes, newly cleaved,

swift through, gather fallen leaves.

And in the clearing, xylem stacked,

by sanguine tongues, the ochre wracked.

Tawny char there howls ablation;

the raze but kindling, for creation.

The Maker

He was a creator of talent rare, whose works earned great reknown,

and jealousy in equal measure, from those much lower down.

He labored beneath a city vast, ruled by lust and grift and gun,

where much work was accomplished, to ensure little else was done.

Shortly, a savage band assembled, around the maker’s domain,

with precious little consistency, official concern was feigned.

“His wonders he shares not yet enough, and so unto the flame,

his worldly arts and life, to avenge the affliction of our shame.”

Loosed from the throng were feral cries, as the fire ate all away,

“The villain was at long last dead, the people have won the day!”

Yet months after that fateful encounter, without the maker’s sway,

confidence in the system’s operation began a sure decay.

Despondent, a former acolyte of the creator, sat a lonesome bar,

and drank in mournful silence, and dreamed of faring far.

There in the corner he spied, suddenly, a odd man, robed and pale,

who seemed somewise familiar, and so he gave him hail.

The stranger raised his head, and to the drinker’s great surprise,

found none other than the maker—xanthous luster in his eyes.

“Tell me, man, what are you, that could escape that fiery suit?”

The maker turned to the souse and answered: “I am absolute.”

Aevum

Sat the abyss,

the blue marble shines,

stony step of

a steep stair to climb.

Red god and lover,

first to be tread,

that decrepit Jove’s laurels,

may, thorough, be shred.

Reaved the caduceus,

sandals unwinged,

progeny freed

from Ops’ consort’s rings.

Thereafter, the father,

by sickle undone,

reposing before,

the horse master’s run.

Wrest be the horn,

from old Ploutos’ gloom,

that death may die,

in Aevum’s bloom.

Necroontologic

Dead men speak from living maws,

as cordyceps, rampant, affixing jaws.

Gnashing flesh of self and kin,

rending veins for phantom sin.

Their funhouse mirror reflects no face,

no eyes to chart the charnel waste.

Yet, from the blind, keen cheers abound,

libations for the hungry ground.

As the last lichling tumbles in,

a eulogy from vast Cybele’s skin:

Wormrotted husks neither excel nor flee;

the apex of equitable unity.

Aedh Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven (1899)

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


by W.B. Yeats

Verses Upon The Burning Of Our House (1666)

Written by Anne Bradstreet¹—the ‘Empress Consort of Massachusetts’²—July 10th, 1666 after the burning of her house. Copied from The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry (Columbia University Press, 1995).


In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow near I did not look,
I wakened was with thund’ring noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,”
Let no man know is my Desire.
I, starting up, the light did spy,
And to my God my heart did cry
To straighten me in my Distress
And not to leave me succourless.
Then, coming out, behold a space
The flame consume my dwelling place.
And when I could no longer look,
I blest His name that gave and took,
That laid my goods now in the dust.
Yea, so it was, and so ‘twas just.
It was his own, it was not mine,
Far be it that I should repine;
He might of all justly bereft
But yet sufficient for us left.
When by the ruins oft I past
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast
And here and there the places spy
Where oft I sate and long did lie.
Here stood that trunk, and there that chest,
There lay that store I counted best.
My pleasant things in ashes lie
And them behold no more shall I.
Under thy roof no guest shall sit,
Nor at thy Table eat a bit.
No pleasant talk shall ‘ere be told
Nor things recounted done of old.
No Candle e’er shall shine in Thee,
Nor bridegroom‘s voice e’er heard shall be.
In silence ever shalt thou lie,
Adieu, Adieu, all’s vanity.
Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide,
And did thy wealth on earth abide?
Didst fix thy hope on mould’ring dust?
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
Raise up thy thoughts above the sky
That dunghill mists away may fly.
Thou hast a house on high erect
Frameed by that mighty Architect,
With glory richly furnished,
Stands permanent though this be fled.
It‘s purchased and paid for too
By Him who hath enough to do.
A price so vast as is unknown,
Yet by His gift is made thine own;
There‘s wealth enough, I need no more,
Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store.
The world no longer let me love,
My hope and treasure lies above.

 

¹Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612-72) was a prominent North American poet and scholar. She wrote extensively and was widely read in both America and England. Her writing is exemplary of Puritan plain style and was influenced by the Huguenot courtier-poet, Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas. A memorial marker stands in her honor at Old North Parish Burial Ground, North Andover, Massachusetts.

²Rosemary M. Langlin. (1970) Anne Bradstreet: Poet in search of a Form. American Literature vol 42, no 1, Duke University Press.