Fancies gormless Hufanoru;
Insufferable jingoist knifes
Neutralized on poisoned,
Quack-quarried, razory string.
Xyresic young zealot!
Ithru, liminal lightning-rod on acid-keen oxygen sky-high:
Bittersweet shapeshifter, saltating passions electrify;
On the cusp of efflorescence, sloughing puerile blush:
Pinioned stripling ululates, relishing manhood’s rush.
Irrepressible intellection sizzles technic power,
Transcending earth-bound pull, this tempest-billowing flower
Provokes quiescent promises of two-edged break-neck kiss,
Seeding meme-pools meteoric with exploratory bliss.
Gold-infused gasping as truth-glinting dusk thick-dawns,
Second-splitting inkling, fate surreptitious spawns;
Half-conjures full life-chalice for loved-up sacrifice to sup;
Giggling wings mercurial melt hubris, wax up
Sea’s stupor, excite sun’s katabatic sweat:
Ecstatic gas-ball thrums out threads of thermoplastic thread;
Guilt-giddily gulping woody nightshade breath,
Surf-spume sardonic laps up lackadaisical death.
Bemused lingual apparatus scarlet wound-words balls,
Lisping to spasmodic grunt – then youth dumb-floundering falls.
Death-light azure, damp-dark feathered, oxymoron unrequited:
Firmament indignant spews out figment – fleshy sand-pearl – uninvited;
Over-grasping, so self-lost: sole chance of maturation blighted?
[The title means "Life (is) Bittersweet" (or "A Bittersweet Life") in Classical Yrthian
— Gertrude Llwynlesg.]
Honed spell explodes, well-machined, oil-primed;
Drowned knowledge wings afresh as wild-word blossoms,
Chimeric charges through furled aether climb,
Hoofed, jewelled, incensed, sear gist’s glossed existence,
Bore gimlet holes through every thought's quartz-grain;
Fuse crust to silica-sea, sweat-clammy oceans boil,
Summon that dragon that ties the sundered worlds,
Live amber-wire enthuse; out-thresh static birthing-signals;
Sprout doubtful seeds in heart-volcano ground;
Rain names upon the oath-sieve, uncoil syntax golden,
Your speech a brazen law: to mage alone beholden!
Charms ember-penetrate earth's passion-hallowed scales,
Coagulating, melting, coiling, setting right
Belief through action, base reconcile with noble;
Pool deep-gored blood-stream in hell's gory cauldron;
Light-spool white-feathered sacred sacrifice,
Fantastic prayer-flight's practised ornament;
Pearled incantations, swinish lead-wings laden,
With lusty cruel-iron voice, all destiny condense;
Words, lacerated copper-pink, and self-upholding,
Bind permafrost savanna to their wracking task:
Dark-matter weighty, unlace quivering cosmic flask!
More locks secure the triple cock-crow blasted grove,
Where dusky eagle-girl and lusty whale-boy play,
Than cell-leached binding-spells in myriad tales untold,
Seducing mortals into hero-questing alloy-woven trove;
Pure art’s desires breathe silver lying ways:
Fresh worlds spin out from words’ embittered gold,
Smelt tainted speech on grammar’s mythic stove;
Deft skills cloud-weave substantives’ heady spray;
Redeconstructing threads unravel, as of old,
With rainbow key unfurling smoke-born stair;
Leaden names’ elixir from rock-pool water flay,
Thresh adjectival leaves, in purple thought-cloak rolled;
Outlandish charms enliven soil’s clay-shoddy wares,
Scorned rowan-switch, chides ravens’ quills to blood,
Chilled worm-fire lambent-licks doomed seeker bold,
Deep sin-gored – entombed alive –
In fay-realm’s perilous unwinding lair.
Rude alien spirit caught in ever-shifting mud,
Wits’ mossy tangle frigid sky-nerves rend:
Dumb ash transmute to amber-swifting air,
As jade grass-knives into Otherworldly rose-eggs bud;
Then churlish blue-moon’s mocking lights ascend,
Erasing lawful history with flick of fickle scales:
Delude, bewitch, coerce: smitten serf’s eyes, flood;
Sweet river-valley hiking, from beguiled ken send;
Stone-tree, bone-house, tear-wine, rust-breaded nails:
Nightmare minutiae, dice echo-jumbled wholes;
Bleached time-hound’s baleful half-heard baying wends,
Where dogma’s chasing trance, Earth’s well-brink wails:
Thus, Tamlin slick, tithes seven years from wandering human souls:
Queen Mab guards hawthorn bound-posts on returnless trails:
Glass-day delights enriching, in sour, deathless faery vales;
Iron-enchanted – flight-lorn – bound
To life’s despairing, self-sustaining, goals.
All things that wither are sent but as guidelines;
The Earth’s Lack of lustre thus outstrips its confines;
Escaping description here all lies completed;
By feminine soul untruths’ wiles are defeated.
You’ll be bringing me a rare something tonight, my familiar Rosepetal?
An awful treat? Mete sweet meat?
Something – indescribable? Something – needful?
What kind of thing?
Tell me exactly. Be explicit, precise,
Or this sorrowful servant cannot
With requisite alacrity
Execute your desires,
As you should cognize
Why, I don’t really know, specificity evades me, but the old, cold hunger calls,
Gnawing like a freezing fog, prowling like a bone that’s lost a dog.
Well maybe I do have something that’ll please you,
I know not how, can you think why?
I’ve inspected hundreds just
For you, Piastres, hidden behind the
Drapes you so ingeniously dropped,
Covering, enclosing, constraining, and
As they say: She who seeks shall find.
I’ll bring it here instantly, and set it down
To satisfy your cravings, feed your hungers,
For your strange delectation, your peculiar delight.
Are you sure it’s that which I want, that I need, I desire?
Well, that’s why I search, of course, and
I’ve looked closely at tens of thousands,
Weighed souls, sniffed hearts,
Prodded, grave-depleted, probed,
Globe-circumscribed, and gouged,
For aeons immemorial, till time’s wheel’s
Stood stark still. Ah, yes, hellish hard it’s been,
If truth be told – or not. All for you, Master,
So suffering sweet.
What kind of things? What are their sorts? Their species? Flavours? Names?
Oh – I’ve keenly regarded million upon million, and yet
Of mortal things
The type and genus,
Inspiration and denomination,
Is hidden from one such as me,
Undisclosed, on the wrong side of the veil
Of knowing and being known.
Why this might be, I can’t really conceive,
That’s not my raison, my métier, my modus,
But that’s the way I look, as I am summoned
And the fashion after which I’ve found.
Are you sure? Set it down! Show! Let me see!
Set it down then, there,
Just this one here,
Out of billions
To all your craven, craving prayers.
But beware, it isn’t quite what it appears,
This it cannot be, and never is,
And you know why, Piastres, so
Ingeniously, insidiously, cloaked?
No, I don’t know: my status denies me that skill, for
I am a seer, with the seventh sight of heaven seared:
To my tremulous eyes appearances can only deceive,
Cursed by my new wisdom to seek always vision,
Which forever eludes them.
Though I have one now, to feed my eyes upon, yes, yes,
With which to play, on which to feast, pure joy!
But, O worshipful Piastres, beware!
Take care – ah – wait – be still – !
No, no, no,
I cannot! Prophesies must be resolved!
Tears give way to dreams: I desire, I possess, I kill
With a glance; essence ferment and magic distil, but
Despite all my magisterial skill,
Yawning emptiness ever descends to rule over all.
In the name of deathless truth – I am undone!
Ah now, once more,
My gratuitous midnight task never complete
With dawn growling at the door
And appetites forever unfulfilled
Duplicity appears and
Dreams unfold themselves in tears,
So tonight, again, I foresee,
With utmost certainty,
That poor, poor
Rosepetal will have much more dark labour to perform,
In vain attempting adumbration vexatious.
Angry gods! When will she ever be free?
From the cradle I am purposeful as
In sullen rage or vile obsession, I
Outrage the sphere of youthful sympathy,
Trading sly sneers with evil-primed spawn,
Delighting not, I, in art whose end is peace.
Red and gold, flesh breaks: heroes are buried,
Or burned. The gongs and trumpets and drums
Cast derision upon those who think
Themselves happier than before.
I watch, impassive: still, I lie.
But am I yet not myself, my blood-flask
Insufficiently full? Give me your children;
Make yourselves hard, in the image of what you see!
As Woden wanders past, a wild presence,
Judged by a jury of unanswered oaths.
Old now am I, hanging from the Life-tree;
You pick the worms off me like wisdom’s pearls.
Woods march to watch and stand arrayed;
From furrowed earth sprout poison snakes
– In terror I have traded an eye, and now I see!
And I regret nothing. Regret nothing, I.
As if anybody cares, though
Thick tongues blurt prayers, and
Silent eyes squirt grief;
Dumb to tell heart’s crooked rose:
Love life for itself, alone.
I am going to keep things like this;
Yes, like this, things shall I keep.
Here, where the dark comes quick,
By an open grave, in a wood of desire,
I sleep, exhausted.
Waiting for the end, aye:
This blind, end-awaiting eye.
White-enswathed woman, star-clad, disrobing,
Silken-showers shedding mysterious sound,
You bear me homeward, bodiless walking,
Mother Star lightening world’s yawning ground;
Riding the milk-stream, galaxies spawning,
Goddess creative with cosmic-ray soul,
Seeds supernovas, nuclei fusing,
With eyes pulsar-bright, her heart a black hole;
Numberless aeons teach us night’s loving,
Then in our bright chain-days are we both bound;
Dimensions twisted mirror our dancing,
Vacuum births fabric in entropic roll.
First womb-deep nothing: Star-Mother self-makes,
Life-folding matrix that all nature shapes.
Amidst primordial chaos, Word,
Enfleshed in everlasting flame
Tears consonants from vacuum's loom –
Then hovering over Great Grey Sea,
Soft-cloaked with incorporeal pain,
Soul-renders genesis and doom!
Before all time dream I, disconsolate:
For goat-scapes claim not sacrificial lambs;
Proud flame-sons spark forth, bidding me create
A thorn-wire scourge to mock the crooked brood
Who could know truth – if anything were true.
So crawls forlorn burnt star-ship’s cutting course,
Where craven, word-spent, worm-tongue mouths gape wide;
There voyage sailors fertile seas once bore,
Whose hand-wracked pilot, blood-robed, fiddling,
Upends cleft feet in endless moon-mad dance.
Souls, absolution stained, all rise as yoked,
To soar above poor closed-door stable roofs;
From here to there few fret on which is what,
As dusty palm-shakes hail mule-rider king,
On hills where nail-blows pierce soon care’s side.
What saviour loves these herded-cattle folk,
Cast down, disowned, consumed in earthly fires?
Not I – and no brave sky-tears shall I spill,
For distant thunder’s certain prospect – no.
I sip gall-wine as world’s last horn-blast fades.
Exquisite terrors, dispassionate cherubs
Refrain from expunging one pitiful soul;
Angelic wing-beats gather it breast-wards,
And hardly abiding, astonished thing screams;
Tectonic hymning smothers its birth-pangs,
Flood-lighting the cosmos with star detonations,
Gamma-ray blasts searing measureless voids;
Then intricate meat-sac shudders convulsively,
Raptured by seraphs' pure-intellect blaze;
But in life unchosen, death's seed's not yet woken,
Though Lethe's mute maelstrom swirls madly deep down –
As sinews trap spirit and reason jerks bones in this
Flesh-burdened flame-spark – uniquely alone.
Exhausted satin rends with crippled fall
Of livid orbs refused strife's lawful sleep;
As bodies birthless catapult to depths,
Forever pinioned in boiled sulphur seas:
Stained lambs cast out by predatory pride,
Dissenting doves thrust so beyond dawn's brink,
That lying hope foments not loss-seared flesh,
Whilst ruthing breath entombing spaces shrinks.
Youths' nacrous wings revengeful hewn from backs,
Frame phosphor fountains scorching regal lungs:
As punishment's mired platters overflow,
Refulgent Cherubs savour severed hearts clean plucked
Still drumming nays, from breasts of shackled foes;
Elite World-wrights, cross-torqued in steel-shod Hell,
Of every mighty lust spent, save revenge –
There, craft quicksilvered, crushing boredom quells.
Creation's marvels, fountain-spew thought-spores,
Proud questing minds consumed for evermore:
Whilst blood-names since defeathered, wordless fly,
Cleaved hoofs out-sourcing every horn-clad sin;
No subtle tongue, though, fetters viper's craft,
Inspiring nightshade truth-fruit's toxic bite:
Fanged reason flung to waste in cold clay's grasp,
Stars' scorn abusing wisdom's withered light.
Once rainbow-droplets purest raiment wove,
Anointing bright-rayed faces triple-blessed;
Whose introspective praises felled them low,
Accreting debris aeons old, last sent
Into chaotic cauldron, forging worlds –
Though now drab aether blind Designer mocks –
Which goads chance switches in twinned braided strands,
Core-plaited with Extinction's grisly locks.
Self-mastery bought in first days – such wild gain,
Toil-shears each flailing comrade from the next:
Un-willing souls plough life's free course – in vain?
Single squashed sphere
tiny sun-life encases,
stealthy bite entices,
Nature’s rude death-glow
With sweet pleasure, crouching
A naked, savage beast
From the earthly wasteland
Tastes its own toxic heart,
Tearing out something fresh –
Choking on confusion,
Baying at the blood-moon,
To threaten the dead sky,
As human nature forms,
Partaking of both worlds,
Hot lusts outpacing thoughts –
In fear standing proud; though
The thorn-strewn path be long,
Through anguish growing strong.
We once talked the talk of birds and bees,
When we walked with them upon the breeze,
Speaking wordlessly with nature,
Knowing every rustling of the trees.
But time has passed and we’ve now forgot
Most of what we once knew then.
Oh, how can we remember?
Who can tell, ah, who can tell?
Speechless, carefree creatures,
So full of life,
Denied the words for laughter
Or for sorrow.
You lack language,
Yet are you free from strife:
Unable to look forward
And now for all our clever reasoning,
Words just tie us up in thought-filled knots,
As we chase around in circles, seeking out
The nature of the truth.
But long ago, without language
These shackles fell away.
Ah, when will we recover?
Who can say, oh, who can say?
Hear now the tale of childhood's end –
Can you believe this gig?
Grand Pooh-Bah whistles, calling up
Two youths to tend banned figs.
Along slides lore-rich rebel sly,
As nude bloke praise-hymns bleats,
And with a well-placed hiss or two
Tempts scholar-wife to eat.
Belle senses what she does is right,
But then feels insight's flame;
She takes the fruit for Beau to taste –
On impulse, sharing shame.
Soon, I-Am lands to do his rounds,
And spies the kids are dressed;
With fresh-won guilt they scarper fast,
Vines twined round loins and chest.
The masterplan is rent to shreds,
How could Big Cheese not grasp –
Adjure bright sprogs with 'Thou Shalt Nots',
They'll devilry's nettle clasp?
Lo! High King puce spews forth his spleen,
On all, his peeved wrath falls:
Forked-tongued savants're forever cursed –
Youth's arbours, sealed off with walls.
So labour's pains become our lot –
In sun’s heat we get sick;
Cast out by reason's fiery sword –
Prone yet to scheming tricks.
Hear then this tale of breaking chains:
How freedom springs from woe;
And learning gained through strife and grief
Stirs curious seeds to grow.
Perhaps, in time, if we keep faith,
Enlightenment will sprout –
And candid wisdom's balanced words
Will soothe hot-headed doubt.
Maturing, thus – we hope, we pray,
Our growing-pangs will cease;
As human moral values build
A just world – from love, and peace.
Last words when end is nigh:
Words pierce the heart,
They make us cry;
Or laugh and blush
As is their wont –
Mere puffs of air,
Replete with meaning,
Awesome sonic power;
Frame human life –
They make us who we are!
I stand, proud master of a brave new land,
Grown strong with splattered blood and shattered bone;
So many sacrificed by human hand,
That heavy corpse-fed earth begins to groan,
As worm-food-full as beaches washed with sand.
Now, winners scribe whatever tales are read,
By later ages, glorifying sins,
Ensuring that a lying truth is said;
Deeds done shall not have been as they appear,
With me emerging bright far-sighted king,
Whose sacrifice supreme dispelled despair;
Thus, bonny children no more dance and play,
Their futures blotted out on altars bare,
Land’s needful victims in those ireful days.
Lone tide-tossed, heart-wrecked, stone-washed man,
Rust-drenched by night's consuming sun,
Bones salt-black kissed by freezing fire,
As time’s syllabic prayer cold runs;
Mere brittle driftwood-twisted shape,
Bare witness to long-promised song,
Weak, painful, frosty hoof-marks makes,
In broken, quaking, cut-glass sand;
Fresh-caught autumnal shame-wind mourns,
Green soul-sea drowns remembered breath,
While raven’s blood-clot shadow child,
Crab-crawls to empty tear-spray death.