By E. L. Van Hine

published by
Threshold Publishing Company
P.O. Box 4033
Blaine, WA 98231


In the life of every mystical seeker comes a moment, or perhaps many moments, that can be termed the obscure night.  It is a moment when all that is of light is eclipsed in the consciousness of the aspirant, and that which is of darkness, looms pre-eminent.  It is a test, not designed by any malevolent or capricious deity, but by the immortal soul, and reaches to the very foundation of being and personality, in order to wrench the ego from its comfortable harbor and bring it into alignment with the Cosmic unity in which somewhere, above, we all dwell.   Once this task is accomplished, the light of understanding illumines the regenerated self with a greater sense of its original purpose and goal, and wisdom is freely available whenever requested or required.

Many never pass this test, and the first murmurings of the material temptation or of the despair that comes of the illusion of loss, will flee from it back to the comfort of the familiar, pleasant, and material.  And for some, the test is a recurrent one, if the aspirant is indecisive.

This book is a compendium of poems, most of them allegorical, representing various eras and stages of my personal obscure nights, from the very beginnings of my mystical journey in “Kitsilano,” to my observation of the spiritual struggle of those I have encountered on the way.  A great power can be released within oneself when a recognition of the worthiness of this struggle, and its ultimate triumph, is proclaimed.  It is this power I sought to release, and to share,  in “Andalusia.”  This book lays the foundation for a more extended allegorical work, “The Book of Lies,” which I wrote in 1998.  As a result, there is an overlap in content between “Andalusia” and “The Book of Lies,” which is a set of allegories.



The Tower (I)
Theseus at Illyria
Time War
A Thousand Days
The Devil's Minuet
Warriors in Mead
Behold the Sign
#18 New Church Hymnal
The Last Revolution
On the Great Plain
Ulysses in America
Edgar Allen Poe
Homo anthropos
Soliloquy of John Xavier the Younger
The Wine of Violence
The Three Disgraces
My Love (I)
Loose the Tongue
A Victor Over Stone
A Prophet's Holiday
For The Daylight Herald
And If I Closed My Eyes
Dissolution Theatre
Rainless Storm
The Last Rower
Twelve Step Hymn
The Trout
I dreamed of spiders
Soldiers of the Sun
Prisoner of Time
The Sons of Ptolemy
Yellow Peril
The Bard Laments
Day of the Rabbit
Nil Sensorium
Palace at Pella
Once, In the Palace at Pella
Gold Coast
Therion And The Green Maiden
One More Summer


Is it the anger of the sky
Which evokes my cry of pain
As I walk in Kitsilano
Under seige of bitter rain?

What is this cold despair within me
Forcing tears I can't restrain
Which mingle with the icy drops
Flooding streets with bitter rain?

The sky in storming song above me
Hammers out a steel refrain
And the torrent of my sadness
Fills my eyes with bitter rain.


Return to Index

The Tower (I)

The Tower stands, a testament, before the foreign Knight,
The first boot to scrape a heel on Albion’s back;
He comes to pray, knowing that in silence comes the Light
Certainty as steel upon his breast.

The early dawn releases day upon the vale of glass
Whose ancient trees are tongues that loll from frigid cracks
He kneels in supplication to the gods of British might
Powerful as steel upon his breast.

Is he so certain that the Silence brings the light
Or ships from Gaul will bring the victor’s mass?
Is this the reason for the urgency of prayer
Before the bier of some forgotten past?

The Tower stands, a testament, before the kneeling Knight
The first boot to scrape its heel on Albion’s back
The rain of tears has melted from his eye
Unleashing sobs of anguish from his breast.


Return to Index

Theseus at Illyria

I am sudden-bright with memory
A summer storm at evening's break
And now, the line of craggy mountain towering again
And now revealed, the cold and frosted moon.

Weary captives lime the funeral pits
While I, the wretched servant, dig
Choking on the acid breath of newly opened tombs
Maddened by the acrid taste of death.

How many pits the once-great regent digs
To throw the dry Achaean bones?
How many brethren lost to ancient treachery this day
To lay unwaked a thousand leagues away?

How many pits the wretched servant digs
Until a breaking cloud forestalls the storm
Dispelling heaps of ash and sand before my sodden eyes
And sealing fast the vision of the tombs.


Return to Index

Time War

I saw the invader
Impaled upon a shaft of orange sunlight
I was in a beam of opalescence then
And never saw his dreadful fall into the maze
For all was fractured
In a haze of orange sunlight.

I saw the shaven heads of luminescent tin
Their prisoners held motionless, aloft
While darting blades awoke the angry hordes within
Then all was lost in silence
And the raging orange light.

Impaling forms of ocean boiled bright
Recall the fragmentary memory of him
That dim metallic messenger of tin
Who cannot breathe our swollen air
Nor launch his army through the door of time
To let the madness in.


Return to Index

A Thousand Days (for I.C)

I met the man who drew me to my doom
A thousand nights, a thousand bleeding days;
We reunited on the plain of Evolan
And whipped our horses dead upon the sand.

He was a sulking, brutal prince of Baal
And darkest sloe the color of his eyes
A brother and a lover he became
Beneath the red unholy color of those skies.

I weep when I behold him once again
For I remember now the frozen steppe
He bound me prisoner and brought me to his lair
And prisoner again within his gaze.

The Numen's light will turn his eye from me
Erasing night that looms within his gaze
For clouds are gathering cold upon his brow
And bring with them another thousand days.


Return to Index

The Devil's Minuet

In my minor world
I played the Devil's Minuet
In godless Minor A
so that God would not forget

That Satan was a higher Light
Than Ra could ever be
That all the lowly souls on Earth
Would scorn his Key of C.

But darkness fled my minor world
Before the rosy dawn
The Cross of matter broke my form
Its melody was gone;

And Satan fled my minor world
And lost his minor A
And left me empty to be filled
With light from golden Day.


Return to Index

Warriors in Mead

I was fathered in the dreaming eye of Perseus
And raised in faultlands in the upper Well
You know the place I'm sure
The arch of Gaea towered over all our heads
We dreamed of vengeance and of warlord games
And that farthest jewel, that Rome
Where riches of the known and unknown God lay ripe;
And I was raised to battle for the outland throne.

Pass another by us, keeper of the inn;
These are tales of marvels!
Have you ever seen the golden vestment of the Pope?
Have you ever seen the treasuries he keeps those vestments in?
Oh wealth beyond the steppe! The tapestries;
The aqueducts those great Italians build
What had we upon the faultlands
And on the freezing plain?
A hovel and a river and a muddy field of grain;
We grew in bitterness upon our freezing plain.


Return to Index


Capricious was the sudden bolt
That struck me bright from sleep
I rode at once the sail of inspiration
Driven by Caprice to the compulsion of the deep.

Capricious dawned the morning
After promises of light
I felt the dregs of my frustration
Driven by Caprice whose mocking voice had fled the night.

Capricious is the sudden bolt
That wakes me yet again
There is no music in her tempest now
No Muse to guide my way.


Return to Index


Something bade me climb the walls of the world
Out of the darkness of flesh
The dwelling of the other I
The mansion of the overmind.

From where I fled, up the walls of the world
I viewed from vastnesses
Encumbrances that gripped the body me
Beneath the glory that became the splendid I.

The self became a galaxy
And somewhere in the sweep of it
There shone a brief scintilla
That had been the past of me
That had been the life that was my last.


Return to Index

Behold the Sign

Prophecy comes at its expected hour
As the final century has reached its close
The plan has been written for a thousand years
Stitched into our banner’s very folds.

We are the knights original
Who launched the great crusade
We sent the ship of Doves upon the ocean
We brought a healthy child from the womb of dying Europe
And set the present destiny in motion.

Mystery conceived the plot
We paid for with our blood
And bartered our tomorrow for all time
We hastened to the sanctum and conceived the brotherhood
So we would wake when we beheld its Sign.

Behold the sign as minted
In our currency and coin
Behold the virgin stand upon the Bay
For one byone we wake again
From death’s uncertain sleep
When once we see the lamp upon the Way.

There are far too few of us
To suffer any stray
So pause a moment longer with the Creed
Prophecy arrives again at its expected hour
Rousing us to meet a present need.

The plan that has been written
Since the Pyramid was new
Has brought us to a ripened Destiny
We hasten to the sanctum to rejoin the brotherhood
Waiting for Columbia to rise.

Behold the sign we minted
In our hearts and in our minds
Recognized when wakened by the soul
Behold the opportunity that waxes gold in time
And brings the victor surely to the goal.


Return to Index

#18    New Church Hymnal

 Jerusalem has land sharks
Upon its wounded breast
Devouring Zebratta
Where albatrosses rest

In feather beds of worry
Bound by the strife of sin
A mortgage on their jasper
A tarnish on their tin.

What price beyond the telling
What cost upon their feet
Who skate the crystal river
And tax the golden street

With rolls of cash like preachers
Arrayed from Nordstrom’s halls
With hymns of glad desire
They throng the crowded malls.


Return to Index

The Last Revolution

It began in the west
To the west of the mountains
In a small fertile valley
By the sea

It was made by our best
In the shade of the mountains
We laid claim our nation
By decree

From our hands came the plans
Of the first revolution
And the first Constitution
Of the free

There were chains to the past
To the last generation
Who had founded the nation
They had sold

On we pressed, further west
From the land's devastation
By a new revelation
We were told

And we thought, when we fought
In the next revolution
We had purged the pollution
From our souls

By the sea, where we rest
Having crossed o'er the ocean
To the lakes and the fountains
And the streams

We have stood every test
And we conquered the mountains
And laid claim to the islands
Of our dreams

Here we stayed and we prayed
Through the last revolution
Till the last evolution
Of the scheme

And we stayed.


Return to Index


The wistful grey of morning broke in silence
And ravages of cold assailed my skin
The tide arose to wash the ancient hoarding
Mists and fog had closed the harbor in.

How like the weeping of a child is the rain
Made grief by lamentations of the wind
How like iron is the chill of autumn morn
The clinging mists that close the harbor in.

The rain came forth like weeping from a child
And fell upon my flesh like iron beads
The sea beyond the silences had vanished in the storm
Boats lay still as fish among the reeds.

She lay, a rag, among the refuse on the wharf
Her tattered silk no longer gleaming white
The sea had fled the hoarding to reveal a lady drowned;
Arrested in a futile act of flight.

The rain came forth like weeping from a child
As tides arose to claim her broken form
No cry of mourning echoed me as I escaped the mist
To flee the futile teardrops of the storm.

11-10-91, 11-13-93, 8-12-95

Return to Index

On the Great Plain

Insulated as I was behind the windshield, I had no immediate impression of the air around me, until I stopped in Pierre to take a picture of the monument of the eternal flame, but the artificial silence of the car blended with the Sunday morning silence of the empty capitol, and I began to feel, in the open, the weight of the sky.

It is not a city, as Easterners know cities; the city, in South Dakota is an exit off the highway, the sudden appearance of a railway siding, several huddled grain silos, parked cars, a series of sudden features on an otherwise blank land.  The monument, the Capitol building where the state legislature meets, an old hotel where Roosevelt probably slept during the New Deal, an historic clapboard shed, all lean, almost imperceptibly except to my alien eyes, away from the prevailing west wind of the Great Plains, insignificant barriers huddling as though for protection against the unseen but always-threatening force of winter.  I can feel winter here, in mid-May, I can see the scratching of winter's fingers in the sod along the highway, where ice that crept up from below yielded to the sun and the ground above collapsed, revealing the chilled but endlessly fertile black soil.  The wheat, the corn, had not yet risen above the mulch, and the only relief for the eyes were a line of scraggly trees, deliberately planted as a windbreak, west of Pierre.  They, like the hotel, the barns, the silos, had been relentlessly turned eastward by the wind, dwarfed by the early frost and the yearly advance of snow.

The capital city was five minutes from end to end, a single main road and several cross streets, a newspaper truck.  I drove east again, then north, a mere thumbnail's width of highway on my map but nearly two hours overland, to De Smet, to photograph the home of Laura Ingalls, and envision in my mind the actual locale of her struggle with the prairie.  Her schoolhouse still stood in De Smet, as did the clapboard house her father built after they moved out of their soddy, the first two-story building in the town.  There was almost nothing between Pierre and DeSmet except for Lutheran churches, a far-flung farm, a stunted line of trees along the horizon; the miles ached.  It was 1990, and the only change perceptible upon this horizon from a hundred years before was the asphalt ribbon of road, a rare John Deere tractor grinding over a hummock, and the absence of buffalo.  The clapboard churches were the same, the occasional house and hay barn leaning away from the wind.  Between the empty tracts of fallow land, the unreachable stretch of sky.  I thought to myself, in a kind of agoraphobic panic, what would happen if my car broke down here?  It was conceivable that there was no one within 40 miles of me at any given moment on this fragile track leading from one minor town to another.  There was no civilization, no infrastructure: only the sky, the grass, and the air, fertile with promise, empty of men.

South Dakota has counties, towns, cities, and government, but in its essence, has never been settled.  Someone undoubtedly owns these featureless tracts, seasonally buried in tons of snow and then gradually revealed in the timid advance of spring; but there was no one here now, and it seemed that, except for the vanished buffalo, no shod foot had walked these plains or planted tree or grain.  And despite the immediate comfort of car and speed, I felt myself for the first time, truly alone.


Return to Index

Ulysses in America

The forgotten seaport of Podebno
Where mallets pounded bone to healing sand
It is the city of my lost delusion
Painting fresh remembered bloody hands.

Imagine cruelty in the seaport of Podebno
Hypnotic surges of an angry ocean tide
Imagine limpets on her oceangoing ships
Fresh as on the day her sailors died.

I have a haunting memory of her harbor
The siren song, the seething of the sea
The serpents of Medusa in the tresses of their mistress
Hissing her temptation's ruthless plea.


Return to Index

Edgar Allan Poe

Is there no niche for him to dig between
The mortar and the stone
The spider and the antiphon
The nightmare and the dream

For surely pity would be found
If he could keep his fears in check till morning
If he could make the God-desired sound
Postpone the march toward the yawning crypt?

He holds a leaping fear
Unswallowed in his throat
Suggestions of a knocking on his door
The promises of laudanum are far too distant now
To keep the sun from dawning
Winter freezes him inside his coat.

For surely pity would be found
If he could keep his tears in check till morning
If he could make the Demon cower down
Postpone the march toward his nightmare's grip?

Oh well I know that twist of fate
That keeps us bleak till morning
That drives a wedge into our minds
Twixt mortar and the stone
To staunch the wound mortality
And keeps the mortal cowed
Oh loose the coil that keeps the mortal bowed!


Return to Index

Homo anthropos

Have I, upon this series of awakenings
Been made a finer form of chrysalid
Delving ever-nearer, nearly recognizable
Toward the sanctum of the private self?
Confusion seen so close, a landscape
Alien; its pulse the engine of a fairie realm
And I, unseen, the watcher wrapped within.

The mirror walls thrown up by time’s reflection
Betray the face beloved and unknown
The scent of flesh is brief and quickly hid;
And yet returns to stir impending change;
From wall to wall, illusion I escape
An alien; yet solid as the dream I waken from
Reflected man revealed in light oblique.


Return to Index

Soliloquy of John Xavier the Younger

Do not suffer angels weep
For yet another season
Revenge is honey on the lips
That drew you into war,

Great the gaping arrow's wound
That stole away your reason
Whose ebbing flow has stopped the world
According to its law;

Do not suffer angels weep
For yet another season
Greater is the power you keep
Who bear the dragon's claw.

12-3-93, 7-12-94

Return to Index

The Wine of Violence
( apologies to James Morrow)

If I had stopped to wonder on this rock
Instead of pressing forward foot by foot
Tracked like prey and tracking prey alike
Perhaps I should remember love today.

For she was as a meadow full of wheat
Heady with the sun's full-flowering scent
And had I stopped to wonder on this rock
Perhaps I should remember love today.

These fields of death whereon I march
Wanderer adrift from beached sails
Tracked like prey and tracking prey alike
I cannot remember love today.

For she was metal drawn from Priam's sheath!
And she was poison burning in my breast
And she was Lethe's fountain springing forth
To break my sword and cleave my heartless chest!

If some kind eagle hear this sob and light
And marvel at a ship at broken mast
His laughter would be melody and horn
To thrust remembrance back into my clay.

For she was metal forged in Priam's fire
And she was glorious Death in glad array
I lay with Death and plucked her gilded lyre
Until her passion bled my love away.

There was some god who bid this madness go
The fever fled as Luna wanes above
And now I stop to wonder at this rock
And beg the sky to shelter me with sun.

How did I become the hunted prey?
How was manhood bled into the dust?
Where was Death when I was dreaming love
Drunken with the poison wine of lust?

The mark my feet have made accuse the man
Whose wandering convicts him of escape
The meadow's eye now empty of her form
Condemns the sullen wanderer for rape.

Here I stop and grieve for passion's sin
The dying flower wilting from above
This wine of violence distilled in clay
From equal parts of hatred and of love.


Return to Index


Had I sailed to port and held my ground
And netted Kraken with a single cast
Then Ariadne's smile would reward me
And Ariadne's thread would bind me fast.

And had I sailed to Andalusia instead
And conquered dragons on the desert floor
I climbed to greet the sages in her caves
Then Ariadne's spell would blight her moors.

But neither of those odysseys I took
And like the men enamored of the Song
I bound myself to stone and Siren sea
I lingered here, and tarried overlong.

How subtle is the pattern of her thread
Cretan in its weave, and white as milk
Binding all my senses to the web
Spun into the fabric of her silk.

Oh let me find the Andalusian plain
To free me from the treachery of Crete!
Let me climb the dragon's hidden tower
Safe upon the Sphinx's stony feet.

But neither of those odysseys I took
And like fair Helle cast upon the sky
I fell to earth in Ariadne's book
And drowned within her coldly smiling eye.

A hero is a metaphor in Ariadne's web
An odyssey a fantasy of dread
Andalusia's temple is a mote of dream and dross
The Hellespont a crossing for the dead.

A hero is a metaphor, Odysseus is dead
And now the princess cleans her blade erelong
And grows anew the tresses bound anew with milky thread
That weave together sea and Siren song.


Return to Index

The Three Disgraces

1.    Deus Irae

Oh, to stand before this rage
And watch cold fury flung
As far as man can pit himself
Against the Infinite
So my foe opposes me
And so I stand

As pitiless, uncaged, these beasts unchained
Behold the limitless and flail
Like boughs against resistless wind
The rage of rain is so unlike the storm
That rises coldly from within.

2. Calumny

Calumny, what joy you feel
In spreading lies, like linking hands
As carelessly as children play in schoolyards

I greet the subtlety of smiles
And much too late my cunning wins
This day is won in numbers and in coins
How could I know your currency is vested in your loins?

3. Insobriety

Insobriety, my priest, is praying on the hill
His mantra grows a new five-fingered hand
He nurtures it like life itself
The source of light and truth
A chattel serf on Marijuana’s land.

Return to Index

My Love (I)

My catamite, my honored prince and whore
I dreamt of you in yesterday once more
And cold I woke, alone in now
Alone forevermore
A prince of men, a chattel slave of yours.

For who was loved and what was love
When lovers were as coins
Tossed at begging strangers in the dark?
And what was I that I should lie
Awaiting your delight
Passing you in passing in the night?

For dreams came on the moment
I approached that lidless Eye
And dreams came on to take me from my bed
For conscience was provoked
As I lay sleeplessly in dread
I dreamed a life of days as I lay dead.

My catamite, my honored prince and whore
I dreamt of ash, I dreamt my conscience sore
And cold I woke, alone in now
Alone forevermore
A slave of none, unchained, and nothing more.


Return to Index

Loose the Tongue

Loose the tongue that bids a conscience speak
And let the wraiths that seek to rest
Be let to die at last.
We have the clouds of pity
Fast upon our heads
Our ceiling falls too soon
Before our cantors raise the call
Wait the signal of the fall to bring the fever down
Let the madness last until we call.


Return to Index

A Victor Over Stone

I recall the winter I was five
I lay as dead, although I stayed alive
I wept alone, and watched the fireglow
Reflect the glassy ice and drifting snow.

I lay as dead, and fought the icy fever
Grip my chest and force my spirit down
The world grew small from breath to ragged breath
Punctured by the fantasies of death.

And succored late, I wandered to this place
To pray in supplication on the stone
And here I laid a treasure for my race
So that ancient truth may soon be known.

I here relive the winter I was five
And raise my weary body from repose
Alone I rise, a victor over stone
A servant of the Cross and ruby Rose.


Return to Index

A Prophet's Holiday

While the poet lays his pen aside to sleep
The four bleak angels make their reckoning
Conscience reawakens in their swords
To clamor for the last to take the wing;

Some pain has struck his heart a blow too great
Some tempest from an Archangelic host
Some element of rage is loosed and plummets from on high
As ailing Nostradamus yields the ghost.

'Tomorrow I shall be no more a Prophet!
Tomorrow all your laughter will be sobs
The poetry I write today tomorrow will be ash
Fuel upon the pyre of the mob.

I sink into the swamp of Last misgiving
A neophyte in alchemy of old;
A vision I misunderstood vouchsaf'd to me in dream
Misinterpreted, as long foretold.'

The poet takes the Prophet's holiday
His tragedy, his stolen century
That idiot St. John should have been the one to stay
To free them from the Rapture's potency!

The Devil pitches dung upon the hills;
And rats descend to eat the early corn
All the morning patients go without their morning pills
All the scheduled neonates are born.

You are the men humanity must fear,
Yours the great Millennial event;
Nostradamus took his prophet's holiday,
Now dogs of war are picking up his scent.


Return to Index

For the Daylight Herald

Could I hold myself so precious
That I would take for me that draught?
Ascend into the corridors of soul
And guided by the force of Godhead
Greet the daylight Herald, Beauty fair.

Return to Index


Through sheerest grief and glassy tears
I drifted out of sight
I crossed an aching vale of fears
Denied of simple light.

Oh let the wind betray itself
And make the ocean tame
Let the fire that fed my heart
Subside into a flame

This is the abreaction storm
Conceived within my mind
Freed like furies ocean-borne
Who frolic in the brine

Who can stop the ocean break
Or press the undertow
And herd the press of demon-life
Back beyond the bow?

Who can make the thunder cease
And soothe the horrid foam?
Who can end this day in peace
And bring me safely home?


Return to Index

And if I Closed My Eyes

And if I closed my eyes
Would there rise again the spectre of the demon?
And if there were a greater dark
Would something greater rise against its gloom?

For some unspoken grief has waked me
Damned me to the vigil of this dawn
Something greater looms, like destiny approaching
Goading me to meet it further on

And if I closed my eyes
Would there rise again the dread concatenation?
Wednesday is approaching on the Martian end
Bent to the destruction of the damned

What force has pressed me forward in the moment
Prophecy has pinned me into now
Free me from damnation in the knowledge
Heavy grief is resting on my brow

And if I closed my eyes
There will rise again the spectre of distress
Spirit sighs in solitude, and all our gold is dross
The time has come for man to make redress.


Return to Index

Dissolution Theatre

I watched the door, and ached in wait
And stabbed the brutal thief
I watched the door, and stopped the dream
And leapt into the breach;

And held the air between my lips
As though my death would keep;
Until the gasp of wretchedness
Could plunge me back to sleep;

Who will watch my back tonight
And find the hidden jewels?
Who will take the thief by sight
And second for my duels?

Who will race my dreams of flight
And get me back by day?
Who will draw the curtain tight
And stop the bloody fray?

I heard the guns that shot me dead
And woke to greet the sound
My fists fell on the closet door
Where pain began to pound;

Will I find the thief tonight
Who stole my yesterday
Or only props of childhood
Forgotten in the play?


Return to Index

Rainless Storm

This is a way that I would die
Unfavored son, scarred by Zeus's might;
I make my watch this night alone, unmet by oracles
His cloying earth has smothered me in night.

Fallen and defeated by the desert
That drinks the skin and drinks my ragged breath
I am unseated by the politics of Hades
Rainless storms have pressed me unto death!

And none will give an ear to my complaint
All have turned away from my despair
My passion burned to misery, my love a prisoner
Precious wraith I wrestle in the air.

This is a way that I would die
The victim of Olympian decree
Dispensable, forgettable, a mote among the sand
Cast upon a dread and hungry sea.


Return to Index


I wait the Bodhisattva of Compassion
And pray to the eternal Lord of Light
The world around has gone to ashes quickly
Passing through eternities of night.

Born upon the cusp, when greater works are done
My labor seems eternally delayed
The hour turned but slowly while I tarry
Suddenly my hand is oddly stayed.

I have returned, to give this sign to you
This moment while the greatest works are done
To wear the patience of the age upon myself
And stand in salutation to the Sun.

But where, I wonder now, is the eternal Lord of Light
Where the Bodhisattva of Compassion?
Must patience be the waiting game another century
While we watch a hundred nations arm and fight?

I have returned, but my sign has not yet come
The greatest works are not yet made complete
The prayer of peace is heard by all by morning or by night
But still their bombs are thrown into the street.

I am born to serve a purpose, at this most auspicious time
Born to show the harbinger of love
But not until the shout is stilled from cannon on the front
Will I receive this order from above.


Return to Index

The Last Rower – (for H.R.)

Ezra Pound, the guiding light
A genius of his age
A lord of Greek and old Chinese
Imprisoned in a cage.

Inspiration for the young
A decade from his death
The league who followed bore his cross
And drew his ragged breath.

The legions of cacophony
Who gathered at his head
Enthroned a verse inscrutable
For poetry was dead.


Return to Index


I have lived so out of time
In lands now dust and stone
Whose tale is not more glorious
But only better known.

If those who follow turn and track
The vision to its home
They will not heed Cassandra's word
Or read Cassandra's poem;

If they still live so out of time
In lands Atlantean
They will not meet me at the gate
Nor gain Empyrean.


Return to Index

Twelve Step Hymn

Our hearts belongs to Mammon
As the addicts pass the tin
George in silver, George in green
We toss the Georges in
Salve to conscience, only for today.

The litany, the litany
The tide of our inconstancy
To act as if, our motto for the moment
Make our moral inventory,
Paste it to our souls
Cleanse the sinful!  Only for today.

Step inside another hour
Listen to the Word
For Sanity has ventured forth again
The mortal damned, again redeemed
Is on the podium
Sober still! but only for today.

Our coffee burned, our wives in tears
Our Georges in the tin
We light a smoke and stay another hour;
A crowding mass of misfits fill the basement of a church
To be with God; but only for today.


Return to Index

The Trout

The narrow keels return
And slice the air behind the slowing hulls
Like evening tide bright foods appear
And lure them to the world of light and gulls.

Its texture burns
The nothingness that empties them of breath
And where the prey that brought them here?
Forgotten in the heated dance of death.


Return to Index

I dreamed of spiders

I dreamed of spiders
She sang of doves
Of other horse
And other riders

Blue or yellow beaded glass
Are eyes that pierce the veil above
Do not bare this pane of truth
To spiders who unweave her love.


Return to Index

Soldiers of the Sun

Draw close, beleagured nation
I will bind the shadows
Till the moment of light comes
Stand fast a generation
I will bear your sorrow
With the might of the Sun.

Armies of the future
Have no world to conquer
For the glory of man
Stilled swords, stirred by honor
Held by sleeping hands
Will be raised as one.

Children of tomorrow
Who have dreamed their heaven
In the hour of dawn
Turn back for consolation
They will shed their sorrows
When the army has gone.

Masters of the Temple
You have bled your tears
For an age that is gone
Bring forth the rising nation
And return those years
To your daughter’s sons.

1-8-95, 3-5-95

Return to Index


This is a lament of strangers
Encountering the awful strength of God
These the petitioners of woe
Come late into the rite of Evensong

In catechism do we seek to grasp
And quantify the might of Deity

Come late into the rite of Evensong
Join with our lament, forgotten Christ.


Return to Index


In the brain of fashioned God I slept
A god alone, imprisoned in His depth
His language was a trigonometry
An echo of some mathematic piety

The fluid madness of inconstancy
I woke within His mind in cold October

Sensate being in the insensate
It seemed sensation made me inchoate.


Return to Index

Prisoner of Time

Caerleon was master of the plain
As Avalon the mistress of the lake
Grey the ghost that shattered night
And wrote the bloody tale that opens

Soldiers march whose boots will beat
The rhythm of my heart
And blood commit the noblest of crimes
Wars are waged in histories
Unwritte except by One;
A prisoner who watches out of time.

The Thorn has risen as foretold
From Norway to the south
And Saxony will boil over soon;
The armies of his memory and fresh with stain and sin
Waxing with the power of the Moon.

So plunders on the army of misfortune
To battle for an empire vast and green
So blinded is the visions of its vanguard
Harrying a future unforeseen.

Dark their prayer upon their conquered soil
Considered solemnly, their light near-spent
A hasty ritual, for day was nearly wrent
A score of Britons, dead for all their toil.

So press the shadow minions
Through the storm and ancient mist
The armies of misfortune plunder on
So shatter bitter morning with the horn and thud of hooves
Conquer day and harry to the dawn.

Awake in death, I lay in sand devoid of grass
Yearning for the loss of recent night
Where had battle fled on hillsides bled of green
Where the sound of cavalry and fight?

So press the shadow minions
Through the storm and ancient mist
Charging through the swiftly flowing stream
Shatter the illusion with the thunder of your hooves
Wake me from the ritual of dream.


Return to Index

The Sons of Ptolemy

What dark task units these wayward sons
These two, each mirror of the other
Sorrows great as stones too long they held;
Their arms too laden to extend in love.

Some cruel arbiter arrests their course
These two, each foil of the other
To clash, to fall, to rise to fall again
Forgotten all but lust to close and fight.

Sorrows great as stones betray the age
And all are ransomed to the sons of spite;
They wait, they die, they rise to die again
Indulging in the luxury of life.

And two, the sons of Ptolemy reborn
Return to horrors ancient and arcane;
An icon writ, a stick laid on the sand
Draws the smoke of conflict to a flame.

They wait, they die, they rise to fight again
As time’s incessant pendulum resounds
The hour is nigh, the sign is made
The debt has fallen due
The stroke of executioners  is stayed.


Return to Index

Yellow Peril
(apologies to Becker and Fagan)

From the broken faith of Emperors
The family of Wan unites
Their onyx face betrayed and wide
Cast as drifting seed among the fallen race.

The chaff is cut and rats abound anew
Toward the brink they flee the listing Craft
Ship of state and ship of grifted graft
Poisons rise from deep below the stew.

Hebe sleeps, as Helle flees the storm
To find her place below the leaping ocean
The star returns to right the newly-wronged
The Virgin greets a savior newly born.

Hebe sleeps, so greet the grey-eyed Morn
Our feast of wrath is not yet fully formed.


Return to Index

The Bard Laments

Eyeless kings stand silent at our heads
Tongueless prophets herald yesteryear;
And none may know tomorrow
Instead, alone, the eldest Bard laments:

“This broiling season finds me dumb anew
So full was I of promise on this day
I must return, and bring my light to dark
For fewer grow the chosen and the few.”

Are the lamps of evening merely two?
Does magick wait to strike a burgeoning?
How can we know our labor finds its mark,
While summer burns the promises of spring?

I grieve.
And though the ancient creed is lost
I somehow still believe.
And yet, though none have followed me,
The Words still force the deed.

The English Army turns, and we are lost
As Wan’s emboldened minions arm to fight
The age has turned, the battle is engaged
And none are clothed to stand before the Light.


Return to Index

Day of the Rabbit

The time is come
The tide has lost its ebb
The voyager is landed at the bottom of the sea
Greeted by the third and final angel of the clock
The Sun is breaking cold upon the Lea.

2-28-96 4 p.m.

Return to Index

Nil Sensorium

Trapped by rounds of endless smiles
Mortal coils and social circles
Seizing unaware
As weapon in my private aisles
Of soul despair
No solitude is deep enough
To make me unaware
No silence tolls profound enough
To sweeten up my stare
I crave the unaware.


Return to Index

Palace at Pella

I see at last a figure waiting
Trapped until the season’s passing
And memory awakens now
I yearn for light

I am blind today
Vision has not yet wakened in me
Barely seen, a figure stands
Mutely echoing the past
A touch, a memory, a trifle hardly glimpsed,
He slips away…

Return to Index

Once, in the palace at Pella  

The stillness of the season has advanced
And presses grief inevitably forth
It is ever thus with me;
The time of weeping always is today.

Though once the great king strode
Upon the avenues of Pella;
And once his army conquered half the world,
His lands are reduced to darkened gloom
And solitude today his sovereign realm.


Return to Index

Gold Coast

An easy yoke, this summer
The sameness of the sullen damp
The jungle's restlessness
Where myriads abound amid decay
Hurried by the rain
Impeded by the sun;

I breathe an artificial air
Engulfed in chilling luxury, my love,
Oh love, that would extend the endless summer
The tumult of the flood and hurricane
It will not stay, I will not stay --
The winter will upon me once again.


Return to Index

Therion and the Green Maiden

As green as grass upon the battlefield she lay;
Her naked form exposed beneath the sun
And one by one they took her as she lay beneath the sun
An incidental victim of the fray.

And broken did she seem when found by Therion
The captain of a mercenary band;
No rapist he, but of a kinder sort of man
He saw her safe toward her forest home.

And never did she speak, as she beheld the human man
Yet clung in terror when he tried to leave
The soldier was bewildered by her grasp upon his sleeve
And tarried in her dark and shadowed land.

Long he slept and long he dreamed, of fay and fairy lands
And woke to find him bound against a tree
His captor willed to hold him fast and never let him flee
A hostage of the hostile fairy bands.


Return to Index

One More Summer
(from the Gold Coast) – 8/4/97

An easy yoke, this summer
O Love
That would upend my endless summer
Remove the pain that lances through my loins
I crave your touch, your taste upon my mouth
Embrace me bodily; I cannot quench myself.

The love I felt a hammerblow
A tripping in my chest
It makes me cease; I cannot breathe without you
Is this madness, Love,  to come to you each day
And beg for love to cover me with night?

You my love, you be my madness then
Let madness be the death of me this summer,
And let us sport tonight again
Let madness reign again
Until we sleep; to part again in pain.

O Love, I cannot breathe enough
To breathe You into me.
My striving does not cleave into your flesh
How can I weave myself in cloth
To be your ornament
To make ourselves as one in soul enmeshed?

Return to Index

Copyright 2004 Threshold Publishing Company • All Rights Reserved
Copyright www.zebratta.com All Rights Reserved