A Child in the Verdant Hills
17 Poems on Ice, Night, the Forest and the Sea
God Intended Darkness
Within those words is the assertion of my existence to a skeptical race. Offering no deduction I proceed to live, sleep, eat and drink and carry on in misery.
In the industrial brightness of night I now contend with this fallacy. The fleshy spheres that compose my rectified mind fail to fully intersect and so my doubt persists.
Unfists its gauntlet and releases the rods of my pretension.
Though in the sunlit hours I walk from misty peaks to vales dull and warm in the deep and silent nocturne, when all about me are in the throes of regeneration, I forget the taste of dawn. All the earth is metallic and ticking and lit.
Lit when God intended darkness.
Lit when all is to be lunar and stardomed and forged of cold shadow.
I recall hating the night for the leering void of its blackness yet always I knew that in this fiendland’s greatest glory from the east salvation would come.
But for this most autistic of nights there may be no breaking. Each dim and fetal sun is stillborn afore its fiery depth may be reckoned.
Like all our milking kind men are a communal animal, and thus this fearful isolation is most unnatural.
Where is my tribe that I would run in gaiety?
Where is my mate, the one creature to whom I am free?
Where are my children to carry my blood into eternity?
Lost or fled or never were.
We are a strange people, holding our lonely pleasures above the lives of our offspring.
Who am I to be among them, these persistent ghosts of pre-war flounderings?
Wherefore did I come to be placed here in the curled soul of the race?
Why am I to be, to think?
To carry on through the steely night.
Spasm of Mind
I circle around some endlessly repeating idiot thought
The notes call,
a flowing of the layers piercing sediment mind.
Lash out strict spasms.
Voice contorts into sounds never heard
bits of existence strewn.
Through the walls they talk on, fragmented lines only a madman could follow.
I taste disgust in my mouth,
The future bears down a horseman suddenly upon me,
cringing cower he passes.
Joy a gangrene limb and all happiness bleached away;
contentment running out like blood I wish I could bleed.
Like emotion I swallow.
No comfort yet no agony.
Splinters I never saw imbed.
A desperate plea a stupid outcry,
a boy too blindly slow to see the paths in multitude.
All others root out some life to live but he is too weak,
too pitifully weak.
And they tire of him,
depart from him.
And are right to, he will never move from his sole-worn crossroads.
Die stupid boy
See this stone – swallow and die
See this knife – slash your vein and die
See this cliff – leap, fall and die
Anything and but die
And at hearing this they come running, spewing retorts.
Saying much without saying a thing; altering nothing.
I resolve that the boy may live,
but only from fear
No cause for this extension, no reason
Parasite of a paradox burrowing deeper,
sowing its poison,
sapping both will and mind.
I do not know how to wrench it from me
I do not know how to be free
There is no escape
No way out
Run boy, and die
I am coming
I, a child
in the verdant hills?
Nostalgia and spent grains,
it was -
A terrifying place.
Agony and shame,
it was red lights in the long night
Child, fearful child,
thank God you did not see this
Child, oh child,
how can you run?
Your home is so green,
paradiso of rains,
purest of elixirs pouring from the sky.
What beast have you found
at the heart of the river
that you would flee with such vitriol
and set your footprints alight?
What horror must you see
at the corners of your vision?
What fear of mighty fiend must consume you?
Alas for you, Child
Alas for your dreadful fears
Alas for the dreams of your fathers
Child in his arms
Forgotten world -
now so dangerous.
Towering walls like ill-begotten
Dull horror fades,
life creeps back in
Roots entwine charred earth
“sucking life out of death, the forest eats itself and lives forever”
The water of burst roots has put out the flame,
but time is the only healer
Shame may fade,
but only time can cool the embers
Where is death but now?
The plant in the broken pot cannot live long without a master
The water flows away
and the sun desiccates its roots
What is love, this wall?
What is joy, an illusion?
Misinterpreted words of the mystical haunt me
Haunt the informal you standing behind my shoulder, peering down
What do you see?
Life has never been better, never been worse
A boy in a freefall,
afraid to grip the edge of the chasm
A tiny shoot gazing at the giants,
not seeing that they are beyond the walls of probability
A man born a thousand years
Tired yet so very young
Time comes and goes
despair, anxiety, joy
all of these pass away
shoots bleach pale in the sun
Each leaf withered
Nutrient back to the root
I eat myself and live forever when all I wish to do is pass in a flame of glory
To flare up, glimpse the sun, and die before time can work its slow decay
Slow asymptote to mediocrity
Time sweet time
and leave me in peace
Slow assault of history bears down.
A wall so vast I can but scream that throat jarring silence as I gaze into the terrible minutia.
The voices I have trusted have yet to show their colors,
but I know the contrast I will see when at last the disembodied voices are made flesh.
And some eerie cymbal tears my thoughts, replacing them with naught but itself.
I know not what it is I have heard,
from where that melting began,
whence that beautiful harmony struck that I should be so laid open.
I watch, as if from afar, as my mind turns toward a candle
and finds a flame so bright nothing can be seen.
My eyes seem to flicker, as if to open as never before,
and see a structure in the entropy,
some new sight uniting these snapshot sensations.
But my mind settles, the erratic searching falling into a steady beat,
vision sinking back into greyscale normality
disgusting sick slime monotone allowing for none of these dreams.
And the rules of science prevail.
Until another set of eyes is found to gouge out these would be blindness –
in the absence of sight the mind reigns free,
calling forth images to suit its every fancy.
And thus this animal must be purged from me,
all anesthetic bled out.
For these scales must be torn from my eyes,
these lids opened.
And perhaps then –
perhaps I shall see.
Skies Roll By
Suspended as I leap
Caught, as it were
Memory distant -
Far flung from me
Drones of dilemma emanate
A shake of the head and a laugh-scream circling above
Inexplicable irreconcilable irrational buzz
A bubble in time
Skies roll by as I turn my head and ponder
To what end, any end - no end - blasted fuck void end
end this, end that, end everything
no don’t dare
endocrine never-the-less despondent
Is there such a thing as a beautiful insanity?
The man who thinks himself a bit of glass may still laugh and sing at his own idiosyncratic eclecticism
Vision snaps back
Tor rising from the long grey sea
At last on the shore of the
Socratic inchanted Veil Of Israel
craven crow clamor
To the sea I come
To the sea I go
What’s the difference I for so
Jokers leap and fall
fall and die
but not I
Frozen, as it were
As it always was
One day she took a chisel and told me spring would come,
but perhaps it was all a trick of the ice
A crystal in my mind
A bubble so quickly burst
First, durst, worst
Curse a day, curse a god
Curse a leg with which I jumped
But would could not die
Never die, never peace
Piece of mind, piece of soul, piece of heart
Cut out and tossed
Fumbled and dropped in the muck
A city is far beneath my feet
Yet it draws not closer
So I rhyme and reason
Play the maestro and the poet
Just trying to scratch out a simple tune because I cannot break my neck
Grey ocean, grey sky
Songs flit in my mind amid the crashing of the sea.
Grey waves, grey stone
Memories of a future that never occurred,
like a madman I awoke and found the world I had created immaterial,
had never been, will never be.
I have seen a thistle on a hill,
common enough, yet utterly beautiful,
noble, yet so bitterly unreachable.
Thorns sink deep as I tentatively reach,
neither can I grasp the flower nor withdraw my hand,
forever imprisoned by a memory that could never be
A grey wall forms,
long and slow advance from the horizon
I, alone on this thistle-ringed tor, wait.
Wait for the storm to come and the earth to renew itself,
to bring life to this monotone –
But though this forest will live eternal in the harmony of cannibalism
I will never breathe even a particle of that peace.
For like some fairy-tale cursed anti-hero I pain and wail,
pledge vengeance and bring a ready sword.
Yet in truth –
bitterness is a callous to dull this life, grating and grey.
The odium of the hated cannot bring agony,
so to this world,
I give my loathing;
for a grey world may be blackened by fire but light can never bring purity.
So I bled myself out,
drained the anesthetic,
woke up and looked around me;
cold and shivering,
clammy and pale,
faint but conscious.
I stand and see again the desolation,
remember why I laid myself down
why I took their medicine,
put their needle in my arm.
I reach back for the numbing fluid
but recall the nightmares that engulfed me.
The horror that followed the ecstasy
spread thin to a slow and deep ache
I once saw a web ad for a pain-inducing drug
marketed to those who wanted only to feel, feel anything.
I almost laughed.
It was almost a joke.
It is an incomplete thought I have voiced,
a cave to whose end I have not crawled.
My purge is incomplete, needles still within reach
and when I near sleep I long,
nearly cry out.
Walking through an ice-bound forest,
rimy snow crackles like frost-bitten earth,
vapor flows low among the trunks and mounds.
Silence of winter, breathe fills my ears,
alone in this razor beauty,
cold and dry, gelid tendrils reaching.
In my dream you walked beside me,
your wire-frame body close.
Shake my head, clear the image, and repeat the incantation
…a human’s biological response to beauty…
is of no avail
Awareness cannot numb hope,
though a twisted hope it may be.
I wish and pine as I wander,
Desiring but that I have described -
a body nearby
Breeze whisks frozen mist from the treetops,
shiver and shudder, alone in muted silence.
an unspoken desire echoing into nothingness.
The Knifing Sun
Haze before the mountains,
sun burning through,
burning beyond all eyes can see.
Burning into the mind it’s dim morning knife.
Piercing deep through fog its rapier strikes jugular,
spills my blood on the frost
Knife and then the crushing mace
The unknowing elegance,
icy hammer smashing any sane skull to pieces
Tear out my eyes, sever my ears
Maim me that I would be numb
Send me farther than all pain can follow
Send me to that knifing sun that I might be flayed open and burned to cosmic ash
Come oh chasm of Sol, and swallow me
Let me taste your sweet oblivion
Oh you ice-bound girl,
I see you in the garden, chisel in hand.
Through the rimy haze I make out a ghost,
a splinter of you I have conjured up;
formed out of air to shape this frozen flesh.
Years ago a woman I loved told me spring would come,
the glancing light may drive me mad but the earth will never right itself.
In this storm-ringed place I see your shadow a star below the horizon;
whether you intend to arise or sink away out of vision
you have turned the clouds all orange and fiery.
A memory of warmth from a bygone simple age.
The fractures in my mind all point to your image,
All that an onlooker can see.
Though where your soul resides, I cannot know.
Oh vision of Botticelli,
all I can tell of you I adore.
Dredge up my soul from a thousand miles east and let it feed on this fantasy.
All that he wanted was moisture for the garden,
and he gave me naught but the depth of winter.
Would you bring a torch and be my spring?
Thawing fire liberating,
glacial prison melting upon you;
oh gelid maiden, be my spring.
I Have Walked
I have walked a hundred roads waiting for chance to strike in my favor,
for the hand of God to move.
Sol has decended on my search and I pass from pooled light into white beams and panning shadows.
Sky, once ashen, then lit up into a lonely exaltation, now a murky charcoal,
no moon shines upon me as I trudge -
pledge never to return but watch my words decay.
The roads fan out into a wide world but somehow I always…
Wander back to the house of my parents and collapse amid the sickening memories.
Listen as they gesture toward a blank wall,
can’t I see the open gate?
I have walked until I can face the long dark no more;
I have walked until all hopes have fallen and shattered on the wayside,
until there is nothing left to see or hear,
until I have screamed my voice hoarse and cried my eyes dry,
until I have whipped my mind senselessly numb,
until the dark and silent houses call out a mockery:
Oh you most despicable of boys, go home.
The unlikely will never occur,
the coincidences are all against you;
be gone from our world of shallow havens.
You are a cursed man,
leave us before we catch your disease.
Bedrock at the Edge of the World
Fearful beauty of my dreams in prismatic cratered eyes.
A sunset moonscape in crystal irises.
marching a road to the horizon whilst the somber hymn rings
“Thou my best thought,
by day or by night
Naught be all else to me
save that thou art”
Serenity evanescent as the sun rises,
crumbling like bedrock
at the edge of the world.
Fading as I awaken,
blanched by dawn sunlight,
cross-bled into incantations and premonitions
and tears, water for those not yet dead
Sheathing the Knife
Run, leap and hack
Never stop fleeing
Shiver, shake and cry
Never until I take flight
What can I eat,
here in the wastelands.
What map can I follow
through this bleak land
What am I to be,
among an alien people
What can I die
if all is bloody ashes
Where can I sleep,
here in Gomorrah
Where the manor that I seek,
a watchman to receive me
Where is the Duke
with horn, axe and mighty wind
Where might my search conclude
if I wander into the tundra
Why do I stand here
on the ice and the mountain
Why must I balance
on this knife ridge
Why can my eyes
pierce pumas cloud mist
Why not I fall
and imprint on the dust
Fix my eye
on a tower beyond the stratus wall
Rinse off my adolescence
Pass into ambivalence
Sheathe the knife
and let the wounds heal
eye of the gale or riven vale before the assent.
Terrors somehow washed clean.
Life humming abundant in the nest of spring.
One day I ripped the needle from my arm,
but now it has run dry.
In a robin egg dawn I awaken,
scent of cool morning,
fading incubi leering though the nightmare has shattered.
And amid the painted visions and child dreams
I am glad.
Through the detritus of a world not to be put right,
through crystalline tears and rimy veils
I see -
In the dark and billowing ash
the sun broke upon my glacial remains,
and into the rich earth I fell;
yet in my grave’s end
a mangled heart beat still
- I cannot say what brought me forth
upon what wind this vernal warmth came blowing
but I am glad,
glad to be.
Saturn, Herald of Autumn
Like chalkless night there stands before me a time of all lurid dreams.
The glimpsed surreal destiny has utterly fled.
Deafness descending in mute terror,
winces and gasps and flitting about,
Shall I lay myself down on this undoctored bed?
Prostrate myself before my nemesis, Saturn, the herald of autumn?
Fall into lucid sleep and march on,
awaiting the never for to be.
Here in the evening,
amid sundown, all despair becomes westward desert winds.
In crazed light I halt afore the fiendish torridity of a promised lone weeping destructor
And in faithless abhorrence
I fall unto the end.
Forthwith the dawn will come,
sunbeams knifing a rift in the very desolation of the sky.
Some dawn will come
and I shall awaken anew.
Ants and Tide and the Axes of Men
To the sea I come,
to the sea I go,
what’s the difference, I for so?
The ocean, in its rich salt lechery,
pulses an eternal rhythm and its feces lies ripe on the sand and the stone.
Its tempestuous fury rips the forest’s might from their soil,
vomiting them on some foreign beach for ants and tide and the axes of men to bring to dust
Here again, with grey skies approaching,
at the very edge of the world, I wait.
In Artemis’ wandering the waves recede and what terror must grip those left to scurry.
Yet the blessed waters shall return,
the driest of sands may bring forth a wealth of infant life when the desert rains fall.
All the world’s a vengeance, shaped by its seekers;
those with ready swords only bloody the blood-soaked ground.
All who wail join the multitudes,
mothers riven from their children,
husbands of slain wives.
The peace lies in the wildly cycular spasms of terra,
in its daysprings and starfalls,
in its tannin rivers and sacred isles,
in the falls of its sons and the abandon of its daughters,
in the tears and the trout and Arien’s chariot circling above.