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The Sons of Perdition

by E. L. Van Hine


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

Not by my own striving but by the exercise of Divine Grace did I first journey to this realm of the Temple of Time, realm of Chronos, and was through willfulness destroyed by His hand; yet through Divine Grace and not by my own striving lifted from the realm of darkness to serve His Son and heir, reformed in fashion as Man, female in form, and arrayed in glorious garments that I might aver the testimony of the boundless Grace and benevolence of His Majesty the Lord of this World whose name is known as the Red Dragon, foretold as the Lion of Judah, who dwells where the prophet Nostradamus placed Him, but not upon a throne, who wears upon His hand the signet of the Rose and Gold Cross, the Masonic Emblem, and who serves in the Inner Temple. I have seen and witnessed the founding of the New Order of the Ages at His command.

With my companions I have come to know many great truths which I speak of symbolically, and offer them in my own hand that you may seek for yourself a means of salvation and redemption as I have been given. This is the age of Prophecy; this is the moment of the beginning of Grace. I have returned to Time to reveal this to you.

Novus Ordo Seclorum

12-01-1993 C.E.

A.D. 1999


Metaphor is the natural language of mysticism. It is in our contemplation of the symbols presented to us in the subjective world, that we explore our inner natures. This is a vitally important activity, for it is in the exploration of our inner self ,and its environment, that we discover that within us which is of ignorance, or darkness, and that which is of wisdom, or light. The subjective world is the source of all ideas that are born into physicality from the hand of man; and consciousness is the vehicle which allows us access to that subjective world. 

I began an exploration of that subjective world in my first collection of poems, Epistle to the North Americans, in a series of poems called "The Zebratta Poems." The passageway into the hidden spaces of Zebratta is made through the act of contemplation, or what the mystic calls "Cosmic Attunement." 

In this state, that which is becomes that which is known and understood, and those things which are actual then become realizations. These journeys are taken out of time, as it were, and independent of the progress of culture. In encountering this collective metaphor, however, alternatively conceptualized as "Hell" or "Sheol" in various theologies, I sought to change my relationship to it, to retrieve from that place all of the consciousness of the Inner Self, from the darkness, into the diametric condition of attunement I call "Dyne", or source of power, thus retrieving for myself, and for those who identify with the journey, all of the knowledge and the awareness that comes out of the experience of that realm. But from the point of contemplation there must come action; and from the completion of my exploration of Zebratta there inevitably arises the need to examine the objective world. This work concerns itself with the interaction between the soul's awareness and the objective condition of humankind at the end of the second Christian millennium. 

This is what I found.



For the Intiman Players

Within those gentle peals a trace
Of ballads not of Ballybaeg

You tell of Christian heirs of Wales

Ensconced in lichen-crusted towers 

Thick green moss on ivied face
Their stone too cold in morning showers

Ever fast, those chains of Gael

Upon their woodland castle walls 

Over-gentle, touched by Grace
You cannot speak in tongues that wail

Invoking Cymryk's ancient powers

Sweetness soothing, thus enthralls 

And brings us to a milder place
Away from cairn of mystic tale

And not the cries of Ballybaeg

To echo through your scenic halls 

But hymns sung high in holy space
Disperse the angry gods of Gael

Confusing hosts of Ballybaeg

Erin's ghosts flee from those bowers 

And give the land an English face
And make the play an English tale

And not the dirge of Ballybaeg

Despite the playwright's doleful powers 

Your actors never shall embrace
Reluctant Christian heirs of Wales

Your English two-act thus appalls

The bloody ghosts in mossy towers 

Let us approve your English grace
As you elude the chains of Gael

You cannot go to Ballybaeg

Nor enter in those ancient bowers 

But echo faintly some slight trace
Of anguish born in Erin's jail

So let us sip its bitter galls

Until remembrance gives us powers 

To see the craggy, careworn face
Of ghosts in lichen-crusted towers

Aristocrats of Ballybaeg

Chained to woodland castle walls.

Written on the occasion of attending Jonathan Friel's "Aristocrats"
by the Intiman Repertory Theatre on September 26, 1990 with my brother Edwin

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If I could reach that open sea
Then I would sail

And hasten forth to greet the Muse

Upon the tempest's gale. 

It storms
The sky is dark in misty morn

And I exult in rain

I drink its liquid freshness in

And am reborn. 

My daughters are the cooling ponds
The rivers are my sons

I pour myself on forest fronds

And kiss my little ones. 

The sky is new
Transitioning in lightness now

From empty grey toward blue

I am transformed

And far below the flowing rain

The earth grows wet and warm. 


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The Beloved Country

A beachhead on the southern coast
An empty ship at anchor

Invaders from the cruel north

Approaching through the mist. 

Assegais follow them through veldt
Across the river Fish

Shadows slip away from dawn

And swirl through morning mist. 

Greet their white and holy Day
The resting day of Christ

Rifles shout and echo north

While shadows haunt the mist. 

Fires wake and eat the veldt
Houses fall to ash

Churches shine like glowing wraiths

Like ghosts ashine in mist. 

Assegais follow them through veldt
Across the river Fish

Ships at anchor in the Cape

Are lost in morning mist. 


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A parcel of invented facts
A weighty tome of lies

An insect in a pool of wax

Stirs briefly, slows, and dies. 

It is the hour of the moon
When sleep has fled their eyes

But little ones astir in gloom

Behold the flickering skies. 

They watch the lamps of evening light
And call their men to death

A war resumed with call of night

With every fall of breath. 

The fireflies, those tender things
Are caught in pools of white

The souls of evening flee like wings

In aimless, wandering flight. 

I will not be a firefly
An insect drawn to flames

I will not fight, again to die

In mindless children's games. 


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Eusebius Goofs Off Again, And Listens to a Tape Recording of Handel From a Time Warp in the 21st Century

Water Music Suite

The overture begins again
On spinning ochre ribbons

In a garret far away

Orchestras are playing on the rippling water

Just beyond my ears... 

I know that master, listen to that string!
Like a flame aburst from coals

Like a mountain's echoing

I am Eusebius, I know that hand

I could sleep within its folds

And never stir again. 

I saw the angry violins upon the Danube
The day they climbed in tails and wigs upon that boat!

I lay without a string along the arbored shore

Kissing too much flesh, and wanting too much music

Too much music for her simple piccolo. 

The strings disliked St. Joseph's music then!
But here it is again

Like preaching from proscenia

The subtle, clever man

Here he is on ochre ribbons

Singing threadlike metal bands

Sliding through my idle hands. 

I saw the bitter cellos on the Dnieper
The day they sank that boat!

And the Emperor was laughing, and Eusebius was laughing

For he had no proper instrument to play

But one sweet tender piccolo

Upon a bed of hay. 

St. Joseph had a trick on us
He made us write our parts

That was why I sold my bow

And wasted days at hearts

(That was why I played the clavier at night

To rebel against St. Joseph's might)

Eusebius was worst at connotation

Subtlety and innovation

And here's St. Joseph once again, it is disheartening

Forcing me to tune again

I could sleep within its folds

And never stir... 

I saw cornets flash upon the Don
The day they moored that boat

Eusebius was found undressed

With someone's married sister

For he had no proper instrument to play

Kissing too much flesh, and wanting too much music

I was much too drunk that day. 

The overture begins again
I know the part I play

I spin an ochre ribbon

Orchestras are playing on the open water

Far across the Bay. 

Will St. Joseph remember me today
As I play his water music

Across the starry ocean

Far across the Portage Bay

Will he come to scold me, preacher of my nightmares

In this garret where I lay

Punching silver buttons on a deus ex machine

In a most undignified and most unstringlike way

Will he tell Eusebius to raise his bow

And lead the first and second violins

To play that ancient composition

In this frightful modern day? 

Have I had enough of lounging
In this most un-German way

Scrounging for a piccolo

Amid a pile of hay? 

I feel his breath upon me
Forcing me to wax this bow

For soon I'll wake, and then I'll go

With violin

I'll go

Resume my place nearby his hand

His inner keep, his private band

Eusebius, no longer just a stringless man

In this steel and contrapuntal land

Kissing too much flesh, and wanting too much music

I am much too wise today. 

The overture begins again
I know the part I play

I spin an ochre ribbon

In the garret where I lay 

Orchestras are playing on the open water
Far across the Portage Bay. 


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Saying Something French

Don't bring your dirty wash in here
Keep it at the door

I am not driving to the mall

I'm not going to the store

je m'occupe. 

I'm not going to that restaurant
I won't be found there anymore

I'm not spending my last buck on tips

Leave that laundry at the door!

je m'occupe. 

There's a word in French to stop you cold

You might find me suddenly too bold

But that is not my problem now

I have life to live inside myself

je m'occupe. 

I will not be a serving wretch
Washing socks and ironing shirts

To drive Your Highness here and there

I will not soften all your hurts

je m'occupe. 

The lashing fury of my strife
Is bleeding out of all my pores

I want to live my lonely life

I want to be my own goodwife

So take yourself to all those stores

je m'occupe. 


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No one looks at Kasimir
Hiding on the street

No one books the Vance Hotel

Just west of Kasimir

I am slipping into city like a stream

Like an undertone, unheard

Beneath the city's flowing dream. 

No one sees the Dahlia
A block or two from Vance

No one hears my crystal voice

Rebounding from the windowledges

Resounding from the galleries

Full of Art Nouveau

I am slipping into city like a dream

Like an undertone, unheard

Beneath a cloud of rising steam. 

In the rooms the women come and go
Talking now of Art Nouveau. 

No hears me singing here
Nor sees my splendid dance

Harmonies of colored light

Vanish toward approaching night

An undertone... 

Stone and shadow wait for busses
Just a block or two from Vance

I wait to sing a choral fugue

And rise in joyful dance

Undertones assail the peaks

Beyond the city shrieks. 

Harmonies of colored light return to dawn
The brakes of busses waken me

And take me high and outwardly

To dance another, bold original

Elsewhere, in the mountains

Where birds will cheer my song

Where undertones are echoed chimes

Where spiders sing their honeyed rhymes

In cushioned blue of dahlias

And morning sunlight scales the peaks. 

In the banks the bankers come and go
In rooms bedecked with Art Nouveau. 

Stone and shadow huddle close
And beckon me with mimes

Undertones are building slowly on the cityscapes

Dripping from my consciousness in rhymes

The mountains loom in majesty

And take me high and outwardly

To dance a bold original

Among the ancient pines. 


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Inquisitor's Confession

I killed him.
I stabbed him with a blade of grass

And he lay dying on my rain-fed lawns

And then he gave his ghost into the black beyond. 

Weeping on my laughter
Kings and sages came to sin

I sinned

Against the only man of honor

Raised to power without wars 

I was his demise. 

I killed him.
I choked him with a water glass

As he lay drowning in my grass-filled ponds

And then he gasped his ghost into the silent dawn. 

Raging on my laughter
Priests and friars came to sin

I sinned

Against the only honest cardinal

Who had not betrayed his God 

I was his demise. 

I killed him
And yet, he would not die

That holy man of Trento

Remains before my eyes

That dirty monk from Pinsk

Approaches from the skies

That healer from the mountains

That heretic at large

He breathes, he lives again!

And forgives me as he dies. 


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The Prayer of Angst

Our mother, who art in Narnia
Legion is Her name.

Our spirits feed in ignorance

Upon her breast of shame.

Our bodies twist in agony

Our hands recoil in pain! 

Blot the drops of night which drip as ink 
Into our Christed palms

Seal the iron wound that keeps us 

Reaching for her charms! 

There has to be a parent meek
To hold in mild bliss

There has to be a Jesus Christ

To bless us with his kiss! 

I thought only Numen stayed the fangs
Of lions poised to maim

But I have done the very same

I have done the same

And blot the drops of night which drip as ink 

into my Christed palms 

The Numen's strength has held me close
And succored me in bliss

And stayed the striking lion

In my mother's wounding kiss. 


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The Song of Polyphemus

Will I escape his cold, unblinking eye
And sail beyond those narrow straits

And find the open sky?

Can you hear Ulysses crying in the dawn

Beneath the gaze of one who never flinches, never tires, never yawns? 

Transfixed in Polyphemus' cave
Beneath his single, staring eye

Perhaps I'll sing my funeral dirge

Prepare myself to die. 

Will I escape this bold, unthinking eye?
Will I look again into the mirror of my fathers

Knowing I belong beyond that distant, gentle sky?

The night impends,

The light is small, too small by far

To strike him with its fading fire. 

Have I escaped the cold, unblinking eye
To sail again to freedom in the free and open sky?

Can you hear Ulysses crying in the dawn

Remembering the horror of grave he left this day?

Beyond the hands of one he had defeated with his chains

Resplendent with the courage of dismay? 

11/18/91, 4/27/92 

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The Song of Solitude

If I could see the red and fervid cloud
Descend as florid night upon their dusted brows

If I could see! 

Pry my eyelids wide apart and 

Peer into the breaches of their shrouded consciousness

Strewn with diaries of passions loved and longed

On sheets bespattered with the wasted seed of shattered longing... 

No! If I would look!
At photographs so long familiar to my eyes

I've memorized the creases of the old desire

Disguised as intellectual

Embedded in the sheen of faces cased in polaroid... 

If I could stop, at length full stop
Upon the poised anticipation of that oldest chase

That old familiar, hot embrace of need,

If I could rein myself, a steed in gallop

Racing toward a ribbon half-perceived,

Myself a weapon, half-unsheathed

To separate them from the enemies they breed

Within their swollen depths 

Then I would stand alone
Upon the grey, the most indelicate of dawns

And greet the morn with courage in my loins instead of ashes

With victory in my heart instead of thorns

With love unsteady on my face but flickering there

A brief, uncertain candle

But brave,

And growing braver with the power of the light 

Bold, and growing bolder
With the conquering of night. 


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A Personal Penal Colony

Gloom hangs thickly over Prague
And I am due at court. 

I stand upon a railway bridge
Watch the leaves die into water

Watch the life descend to gravel

Watch the tears blend into rain

And cry in terror at the Golem

Hanging over Prague. 

I drank myself to numbness
I listened to the piano at the tavern

I drank my bitters deeply at the tavern

I left the piano player chuckling in the tavern

And cried in terror at the Golem

Hanging over Prague 

And I am late for court. 

There are factories below the bridge
There are people walking quickly on the bridge

There are trains approaching very quickly toward the bridge

But I have drunk too deeply at the tavern

No longer crying, 

numbly waiting,

for the Golem

Hanging over Prague 

They have called for me at court. 

There is metal on the bridge
And there is metal in the factories

Watching life die into water

Watching leaves descend to gravel

Watching rain blend into tears

As I greet the horrid Golem

Hanging over Prague. 

I am on my way to court. 

There is life within the rivers
There are fish alive in rivers

There are rivers slicing Europe

Into towns and dorfs and countries

The Jewish men who walk around me 

Cannot see the grey-eyed Golem

Hanging over Prague 

Defendants wait for me at court. 

Gloom hangs thickly over Europe
And I weep the smoky rain.

Can I die outside this tavern?

Can I die beneath that train? 

There's a map of modern Europe
That I posted on my wall

And there is no pin-clad Kaiser

Holding all my dreams in thrall

What happened when the factories

Spewed our death into the skies?

What happened to the Golem

Smiling death with smoky eyes? 

There is metal in my mouth
As I leave the smoky tavern

There is smoke adrift from chimneys

As I turn toward the south. 

I drank in bitters at the tavern
Watched the leaves spin on the river

Felt my tears become the rain

Felt the weight of all my years

Knew the end of all my pain

No one listens to the piano

With a smoky glass of bitters 

For there is no grinning Golem
And there is no grey-eyed court

And there is no storm of madness

Sweeping westward over Prague. 

(for Franz Kafka) 


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To Purveyors of Popular Literature
(On the occasion of a certain sadness)

Beware of poet salesmen
Consigning to your wreckage heap their shining cares

Grasp instead with hungry hands a more familiar lie

Do not assuage their burning lips

With wines of richer ages

Do not soothe their aching throats

With manna from your sky. 

Loose the fervid grip they claim
Upon your sacred threshold

Send them down to nether fame

Where poets grow, in flame, 

In time and tone and temperament

More bold. 

This age needs pressing at the gate
To greet our need, to feed our hate

This land needs mould and steaming slate

And trolls agape with two and forty hungry eyes

To entertain us in the chilly dawn of disillusion

As we wait. 

More bold indeed, my good proprietor
Send them back to dry their seed

And store it safe through winter

And yet another winter falls

While salesmen rise to make their calls. 

More bold indeed! my good proprietor
Send them back to urban night

They must have husbands somewhere there 

To hold them back

Or mothers waiting at the edges of the stage

To hush their cries, to hem their rage

Do not consign them to your heap

For you will lose your dreamless sleep 

For you will hear their wizened sage
Whispering familiar lies

Of useless cares, of empty skies

You will see them make their calls

The poet salesmen climb your walls

And no one holds them back

They come! They come

And salesmen rise to make their calls

As yet another winter falls. 


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Mine Is Not The Hand

Fresh the wound that bleeds inside my heart
And cold the ancient stone on which I weep

But mine is not the hand that wields the Law

And mine is not the shade that haunts her sleep. 

The stroke of rusted swords assails me now
And pricks the blood so lately healed to scar

But mine is not the hand that wields the Law

Nor burns the mark of Cain upon her brow. 

The pity of my love would stay her time
And beg that God and man unstain her deed!

But mine is not the ink that pens her fate

Nor executes the sentence for her crime. 

Fresh the wound that bleeds inside my heart
And cold the ancient stone on which I weep

For mine is not the ink that pens her fate

And mine is not the hand that wields the Law. 


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Song of the Skagit Elder
(for Vi Hilbert)

Skagit's land is now unbounded by the bleeding pines
She watches seven shadows

Flee the dirty longhouse

And the dead Olympic mines

To haunt again the asphalt forest. 

Seven black-edged slivers reel above Seattle
Seven ravens shiver briefly in the sun. 

Take them back to history
Unduplicate the treads of black progressing

Over minds held frozen

In distortions of some dreaming earth! 

Skagit's fence is wounded by the prodding of the heads
Of seven sneering shadows

Strutting from the longhouse

And their steamy fouled beds

To play again in asphalt forest. 

And I, the dogged caucasian
Remain bewildered by the slow-eclipsing moon:

Is there no white man's mythos here

To haste a white man's thought?

To stem the putrefaction issuing

From some symbolic beak?

Is there no fire kindling in our collective heart

To bid our own awareness speak? 

For Skagit's land is now unbounded by the severed pines
The metaphors have taken wing and fled their ancient home

Breeding like a nested bird among our emptied lives

And feeding like a cuckoo on our young. 

Seven black-edged slivers reel in joy above Seattle
Seven ravens make a shadow on the Sun 

And seven symbols in formation
Feed like cuckoos on our young. 


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The Tower

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. 


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Eaters of the Dead

Let me tell you about the Nickel Man
And his hairy friend the Soldier

(Foreigners, my father said)

Come to Annaganthas for the Sunday fair

Come to sell their bodies and their foreign yellow hair. 

They sold their shoes on Sunday
And laid their limbs on pegs

They asked a penny for the arms

A nickel each for legs. 

And war broke out in Annaganthas
Sunday as the arms and legs changed hands

The Nickel Man and Soldier had filled a sack with lead

And when the wounded came into the square

He offered them a nickel for the dead. 

The Huns had taken Annaganthas
As the Nickel Man made money at the fair

And then loaded down with flesh and coin he fled

(Scavengers, my father said)

Gone to feed the countryside and fill his sack of lead

Gone to offer carrion to eaters of the dead. 


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I dreamed again last night of war
I was in the land of Albion

On the day of her destruction

And turned her bay into a burning lake

Until her boats were blackened heaps

And all of devilry had danced upon her cinders. 

I dreamed again of monuments
The cairns along the Roman Road to Gaul

We torched her villages in rain

And smoke obscured the fire

Marring valleys with a thousand scars. 

We are mercenaries living still
With memory fresh burning in our minds

We still see the wounded and the dead

And ruined hulks our fires left behind. 

I dread the eve of conscience and remembrance
Of enemies we laid upon the clay

Who torture every sleep with accusations

Until beleaguered night surrenders day. 


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Wardens of Protection

Wardens of Protection hear my pleas
For I appeal in supplication at Your altar, on my knees! 

She cut me dead with icicles and doom
She drew the curtains of her lace assassination

Privately she drew the curtains closed

And lighted black-edged candles in the gloom.

And then the witching woke
Mascara-limned and taut against the eyelids of her night

She blinked the litanies of lace assassination

She woke the witching at the elder home

Where she waited at the crossroads

Waited with the curtains drawn full fast 

Against the prying eyes of light. 

The witch's wrath is like a seething
Like a lightning bolt of breath

Coursing like a flood through intellectual designing

Hidden with a painted kiss of sainthood

She cut me dead with teacups and with spoons

And wards and prayers of madness seeking form 

In deepening gloom. 

Wardens of Protection
Cast your eyes upon the curtains of her lace assassination

Upon the painted kiss of sainthood

Curb the dancing angel laughing death on New Year's eve 

In the bowels of the elder home

Ease the pain that grows like gunshots in my side!

For she I loved so well has come and shot me in the side

And stitches me with wounds which bloom from ignorance of pride

Do not let the wounding of her ignorance

Keep piercing me inside! 

She cut me dead with icicles and gloom
With angels armed for dreadnought

Cast your eyes upon the signing pentagram

And shout her scorning winds to zephyr! 

I know that blooming ignorance will die upon its vine
If I will seek your altar, and forsake her poison wine. 


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The Dawn of Yahweh

Could it be the vigil ends
And breaks the mordant peace of centuries?

A madness is upon the earth, a sudden storm is wrought

Mountains fall as shards into the seas. 

Fast escape on terror's wings
Flee the martyrs from the crumbling land

The glaciers flow as water, and transform the pebble sands

While far below, the brutal Fury sings. 

The morning greets a molten day
A golden calf is singing to the Sun

The word of Baal is spoken now, a language long forgot

A deity is fashioned out of clay. 

The steed of terror flees its groom
To trample on the hands that bid him hold

The hulk of Marduk's tower is a temple for the dead

Whose sacerdotal bodies line his tomb. 

Blame not the priest for Yahweh's wrath
For death cannot be held from rampant youth

Vengeance is illusion on the straight and narrow path

Vengeance in the pain of knowing truth. 


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The Winter Song

Who had rippled on the starry ocean
Crashing waves against the light

Who had driven suns into my eyes

And molded shape to formless night? 

The gasp of bold discovery is gone
And cold the iron's metal touch

The wind of that magnificence is fled

Now silence has become my winter song. 

I have traveled storms behind Your cloak
And I have sailed the inner sea

And spiting eyes of demons in the rock

You hastened me to set the Titan free. 

Now winter shakes the trees, and I am dumb
And wait the shadows out to dawn

While eagles scratch their talons at the sun

I wake the Muse to bring my winter song. 


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Critias The Rhetorician (after Plato)

I am rolling in my grave
While Critias debates with politicians

He overends ideas like rotting fruit

He thinks our petty tyranny is saved

With scheming words in straining ears

While I am counting spearheads in my side. 

Critias is Caesar of the streets
Battling Justinian with oaths

And senators now listen to the champion

And hearing him, remember me

Each expostulation is the hemlock for my tea. 


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Kingdom of the Air: A Mystic Tale

He commenced investigation from a pit in Middle Europe
In the fractured year

When they carried Mussolini from the gibbet in the Square

Priests and poets lectured there

A soggy sop of intellectuals

Expounding on the sorry state of morals

While he observed the humans from the kingdom of the air. 

It was cold in Middle Europe
And it was cold in southern dells

And it was cold as ice in Africa

As he discovered later, on the sand

He had come to teach a lesson on the humanness of man

But he couldn't find a bed without a flea

He couldn't find the missionaries traveling in bands

And he couldn't feel the fabled fires of Hell. 

It was colder still, but quiet
In the precinct of the sea-god

And he kept it there, the sanctum of his sanity

For torpitude is valued by the races of the air

He didn't comprehend it, all the bleeding in the Square

He was sure he found the right peninsula

And yet there couldn't be a Renaissance unfolding there. 

All of middle Europe spelled disaster from the air
And all of southern Asia was a wound

All of northern Africa was skeletally bare

So he retired early to record his contemplations

Retreating from the humans to an oceanic lair. 

The dawn of inspiration came to light his ocean room
And consciousness awoke and led him out

Back to Middle Europe, to restore a commonwealth

By telling fabled stories of the kingdom of the air

To the children who had witnessed all the killing in the Square. 


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Querulous, the wandering shade of Empire
Ghost without a haunting place

Now that Rome is burning

Now that Venice is an island full of gulls

Betrayed, Religion, by the blood upon her doors

Witness to the martyrs of the Empire. 

Let there be no martyrs here
Let morning shine on reasonable men

With no secret passion buried in their souls

Who have no torch to symbolize their burning

And no brethren prisoners of Rome. 

Let there be rain upon the blackened ruin of Empire

And greenest shoots will rise in flame-fed soil

These are our only memories of martyrs

At last we have outgrown them, every king

And every head Jerusalem had rubbed with oil. 


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The single footprint on the shingle beach
The interrupting waves destroyed

Imagines for my eye the break of continuity

A single-legged stranger leaping for the void. 

Here the silent counterpart of time
Imagines me tonight an ocean

The ancient water, home of Continuity

A metronome the Moon inspires into motion. 

Yet here, one mark upon the shingle beach
The interrupting waves destroyed

Ebbs against the ponderous urge of continuity

Mortal answer to the challenge of the void. 


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The Hill of Red Flowers

It was the Odyssey I started
When I left the hill

Covered with red flowers

And followed the trail of nine

And bound the city to the earth with nine

Leaving behind, wistfully

The citadel of the Women

With braids of yellow hair

And started on the path

To the town made of wood. 

I left the hill (red)
Squeamishly by two and two together

And found another hill, another citadel

Ruled by a kindly king, also red

Rather more a knight (I wasn't sure)

In the town they made of wood

But could not stay although he asked me to

And promised me that he would keep my epistle safe

And I found the five and the two and the two

And journeyed by them

Until the four and the five made nine

Until there was only five

And by five I followed the blue

And the white and the red

Guided by the white, flanked by the blue

Into the Royal City. 

Psychosis is a rare and wondrous thing
A country full of simple nouns, of numbers

And of colored inspiration

And every man a priest, a king, a noun

And every girl a queen, a witch, a wraith

A princess in the citadel

With braids of yellow hair

On a hill

Filled with red flowers. 

I waited in the Royal City.
I breathed in numbers and ravens and light

And watched the boats of blue

And the rivers of the night become the streets

I had sailed the royal road

Guided by the blue, heralded by white

And fell before the Numen with my eyes reflecting night. 

I gazed into the meaning of the not
And gasped as only rare and wondrous minds can do

And for moments I saw the earth was full of dashing priests

In flashing robes

And all the sun was flashing strobes

I slashed across the ravens and fought against the fours

And broke the blue and stabbed the gold, and knew. 

And I left the Royal City, crushed
And the hills did not reflect the golden hue

That I had rushed and breathed,

I carried not a book, and not a message

And sank, a hollow earth, and became a hollow man

A wraith, a shadow of the golden dream

And blue became the sky, and red became the sunset

And all the fives returned me to the freeway

But the radio was whispering

And the radio shrieked and sang and lied

And I broke upon the freeway

And all the meaning died. 

And I came back to Woodinville
And a man, more blond than red

Gave me back a book that I had left with him,

And I traveled by way of Redmond home

And I saw no hill

Covered with red flowers

And no citadel, and not a single yellow braid

Hanging from the heights of Alphagraphics

And bound no flailing demon on the Route 90 bridge

Nor saw a priest, hailing Helios

Descending into dusk upon the Sound. 


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A Mortal Day

And so, I spring again, newborn
A sprite full-formed and heedless

Of the headache pangs of birth

Minervas give to Jupiters

Who grant them life again on foaming tides

Without account of troubles

Every one commits against him

In the name of love. 

Would I be a parricide to smite him
Little Goddess that I am, 

Toddle bold against the forces of his cold implacability

Claiming immortality with smugness

Like my bold half-brother on the stone

Looking for a flame to steal for men

Or a sword to lay him out? 

But something hid matures me as I play
And I am lost among the fantasies and shells

That danced, or seemed to dance before me

Living playmates in the foam

They danced away

And left my bright divinity to fade in mortal day

And I become as you

Another mortal made of clay. 


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Requiem for the Beats

The smoke in Sausalito creeps across
The yawning sill,

Invokes the spell of San Francisco

Where the city lies awaiting light

In paralytic chill

Prepares the hue and cry of mourning

As the final beatnik poet starts his journey into night. 

This was the place, fantastic as a seashore
Where hills were carved in neoprene

And floored with acid sands

These were the stairs

Where saxophones were held by angels

To the lips of jazz despair

And cries of eloquence were dreams

Forgotten in the fogs

Drifting from the heights of San Francisco

Lisping from the mouths of garbage cans. 

This was the landscape that beheld the beatnik age
Slipping like an isotope into the midnight bay

Beneath accusing moons and scientific waves

They moved, like walking dead, across a moving stage

And worked their twisted anger to an ecstasy of rage

Gulping youth like crows afeast on carrion

This was the beatnik age. 

This was the empty stairwell where declined the beatnik age
Where gentle mist obscured his last lament

In corridors and halls of fabrication

Where vomited the last of them the Muses sent

To rail in monotone to a riff of jazz despair

In cloying smoke, in moisture-laden air

And die of emphysema under roofs of wet cement. 

The smoke in Sausalito is a pall upon the town
Where once there shouted meaningful abuse

Beneath the foggy moon there waits an empty limousine

They bring him out, the last and lipless poet

To a resting place above the lofty stairs

To a tribute far beyond the subtle urgings of a Muse

To a tomb among the hills of neoprene. 

3/8/92, 8/8/93 

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One Summer

I once turned my eyes to Babylon
To wait the surge of sun

To wake the passion, wake the flame

To seek my bright escape again

One summer in the flame. 

I had the turmoil pressing me
Like waves, like thunderous waves

The lure of Sirens toward the rocks

Like teeth, like jagged staves

They drew me like an Argonaut 

Toward their lifeless caves

One summer on the waves. 

I once turned my eyes to Babylon
Searching for the one I once beheld

In flaming noon;

But evening proved too cold for such a visionary charm;

That fades like dew, and dries like dew

That dries like salt, and stings like salt

In love's imagined wounds. 

3/1/92, 8/8/93 

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Priests of Rationality (After Plath)

Twilight has come to the ancient land
And patience has tumbled Olympus

From heavy moorings of epic and song. 

For we the priests of Rationality
Cannot be swayed by the thunder of an oracle

Nor Yahweh, nor effigies in stone or stick

Nor even, in our solitary sanctums

Bow, or find a moment of humility in atoms

Slicing radiation through our bones

The age of wonderment is fled

Its passage breaks the fundament of youth. 

No longer injured by your inattention
No longer crushed by prayers unheard

We rush to fill our barrenness with life

Our wombs with Hierarchs new-formed

Whose countenance reflects our everyday

Whose sacrifice of clay remains, unburned. 


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A Case of Synesthesia

(The King of Jazz has packed it in
And fled from demon heroin;

Hosts of angels guide him home

Bearing gifts of methadone.)

Who am I to tear the vision from his eyes
Confuse his limpid view of clouds and chords

Or halt the synesthesia

Of philosophers and trumpets?

How shall I sift, as sand
The solitary teardrop of his poem

From nightmares painted blue

An ignorance enforced

By imagery ill-wedded to ideas?

For emotion dressed in intellect

Is just as raw

As nightmares peering from the mouths

Of trumpets painted blue.

Once again I see the form of pilgrimage
In atheism's garb;

Another seeks the metaphor's salvation

Imposing verse on his impinging nightmare blues:

He cannot know he has unmixed the muddy palette

And reverted to the black and white of news.


(Poetic refutation of "miles into merwin" by john raven)

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Bitsy McFarland

There glowed excitement in her rapid laugh
We yearned toward horizons barely seen;

And she and I were one in purpose, one in faith

Travelers along the narrow path. 

Closer still we grew as we progressed
Yet my caress embraced the chilling air

A wraith in flesh, discorporately real

An empty promise breathed on waiting ears. 

Though we lived each other's lives each day
I found myself apart and pushed away

By dreams of false horizons in her eyes;

Absurdity fast-fashioned into lies. 


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Anxiety in A

It lies unsung, a marbelized creation
Lifeless craft, anxiety in A

Mute amid the turbid intermezzo

Despair before the coda's opening 

From evil dreams of composition
Skirmishes between the horn and string

The blood of innovation springs afresh

From scherzo blades of cunning exposition 

Oh Blessed is the instrument of madness
Squiring the doomed in blissful noise

Dragging from Elysium's most cold and haughty muse

A paean to obscure and hidden joys. 


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Two Old Men at Millennium's End

It's time the world is ended once again
For it has gained the fullness of a former age

The shape of putrefaction we abhor

It has taken on the savor of the season of destruction

So we proclaim at last the glorious Millennium. 

It's time the Angel blasts a tone
To send the tower cities into flame

We think the lands have grown too ripe with age

Too full of humans and their meddling ideas

And yearn for death to make them young again. 


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The Sons of Perdition

By Paradox, a desert by the lake
An ancient drying ocean laid to waste

A paradise is ready for the building

Gathered sons of Ephraim lay their stake. 

Not by faith these miracles arise
But hardened hands and harder persecution

And not by angels ministry is done

But fierce devotion to the second Christ. 

On paths of rock I tread with Rose and Cross
I meet the sons the Saints have cast aside

The children of perdition sent to shame

The waning lights Melchizedek has lost. 

Not by unbelief these ones have fled 
No more insincere these faithless pray

They cannot buy the pearl of boundless price

Or let the proxies justify their dead. 

With Rose and Cross I tread a rocky path
And meet the sons the Saints have cast aside

Whose unbelief has failed to make them vain

Whose destiny defies their elders' wrath. 

Not all are bound to Zion's double call
Nor summoned by the Prophet's secret seal

Not all are of the sacred race of Ephraim

Born to grace from boundless grace to fall. 

By Paradox, a desert by the lake
Has paths away for children of perdition

For not by sin their rebel souls have fled

To seek the road of rock the mystics take. 


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Nox Dormienda

If it were only true
The final sleep, the moment of surrender

When we die, perchance to dream

Without the lesson dreaming draws upon our soul

Till tomorrow's toll resounds 

And we awake. 

There is the myth of endless sleep
Catullus sang for Latin emperors

Devoid of purgatorium, devoid of fight

A dreamlessness alike for hierarch and catamite

One stroke in silence 'ere our conscience sink

In death's eternal night. 

But what memento mori skulks the streets
Where now I glimpse the half-avoided truth

The promise of the life ahead

The memory of the last?

What immortal creature greets my smile in the glass? 

One by one the sleepers wake
From stupor and confusion

Surrender torpid dreaming and their mystical delusion

Of the final rest, the final emptiness

To bend again to labor in a new and higher place

To live reborn as members of a better human race. 


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When sundering the universe
Fulfill the promise given 

To the children of the Rose; 

Grant us that portion of the evening
Where sings the nightingale

We would have the piece of sky

Where streaks the sun

When you break apart the world

Remember us. 

Give the greatest portion to the children of the Rose
For all we ask of God is Heaven's dross;

The foundation-stone the world has cast away

The blooming of the Rose upon the Cross. 


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The Last Week at Gizeh

Here will not be found soft death
The cushion of forgetfulness

Is rent by fury's fever

Soured by the sweat of toil

Carried scraps in scabrous hands

To harrowing at Gizeh. 

And all our flesh is glass
Crystal for the sun to gaze us through

Ribbed with iron, rimed with rust

Shattered in the blast above

Battered far below

Here will not be found soft death. 

I make my bed at this unholy station
Offer solace to the ghost I leave behind

And wait the biting sickle of the harvest

To separate the mortal from the mind. 


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Death of a Mad Composer

Three quavers sat on an alto clef
And watched me through the window

The piano grew a horn and served me stew.

I would like to know who brought this clavier

Who left this violin to haunt my hall. 

Daubrun informed my friends I wrote a symphony
They played at Esterhazy in the spring;

Can he discern the madness of composers

From the madness of the poets? 

I remember listening with joy to him
Expounding on the masterpiece I wrought

While I was dreaming in the lunatic asylum

Watching motes of dust caress the window

Where escaped allegro quavers from my manuscript

Sought the branches of an alto clef. 

I think someone should write a Mass in C
To ease my body finally to peace;

And leave Daubrun to talk of my imaginary music

Written in imaginary keys. 


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Epistolary Form

My dear Theophilus
Reader of a million Pauline tomes

Single corpus of the ancient Church

I haste reply to Ephesus

Your letter was delayed;

Love to all the faithful laboring for Christ

Our blessings find their way to you today. 

Paul has gone to meet the Lord
And tour His many mansions

Vespasian defeated in the wars;

Your questions on the will of God

I fear I cannot answer;

The Pope refuses minor visitors. 

There was a plague in Europe
While your letter met delay

An empire was founded in the West

There have been revisions in the way we're meant to pray;

Seven thousand martyrs did their best. 

There was an Inquisition
While your note was on its way

And forty-thousand Jews were sent to flame

Seven governments were plotting on the Pope's succession

Several zealous Spaniards made their fame. 

There was a Reformation
While your letter went astray

And the wisest men of Europe came to blows

And the kernel of the faith interred in veils of secrecy

Sealed beneath the sigil of the Rose. 

There was a decimation
While your letter met delay

And seven million Jews this time were burned

And several dozen supermen were hanged at Nuremberg

The age of martyrs hasn't yet returned. 

There was an obfuscation
While your note was on its way

And the empire in the West a Babylon

Beware the gaudy crosses on the Christ-encrusted temples

Priests of Mammon preach there and abscond. 

There was a liberation
While your letter met delay

Among the fragment of the faithful long ignored

Beneath the sigil of the Rose you'll find him laboring alone

Humble in the service of the Lord. 

My dear Theophilus
The ancient church is gone

And all the sacred rituals undone;

But on the hand of one you'll find the signet of the Rose

Raised in salutation to the Sun. 


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The Bard is dead
And all of his inheritors are slain;

I have seen the sundered words

And metaphor undone;

All his proferred verities are vain. 

Did they break beneath accretion of the centuries?
Did some bleak Angel quell the song

'Ere melody could rise?

What Force of darkness sends the truth

To such a rude demise? 

Cacophony precedes his words
And spreads her brutal leaven:

"'Tis better still to rule in Hell

If Hell is made a Heav'n." 


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Variations on a Theme by Isaiah
Opus 62, No. 4 "A City Not Forsaken"

This prayer for all who wail and gnash
And sing the praises of the nether kingdom's lord;

Who gripe and moan of pits and prices

Banks and armageddons; 

There were four women marching
To the golden gate of Zion;

Sisters bleak whose feet trod bare

The cobblestones of time

And these four Graces came to wear

The ash of the forsaken

For they were marked with badges

Of their mother's ancient crime. 

Profoundly women live each others lives;
And weave together chains that bind

The future course in sameness; caresses bound arrested

By the fabric of intrigue;

Who kindly bleed their sadnesses into each others' wounds

Who see themselves a single soul, forsaken. 

Forsaken was the sister who ascended on that march
And shed her sackcloth tear by aching tear;

She bequeathed her sisters equal portions of the ash

That symbolized for them a life forsaken. 

There turned four soldiers marching
Toward the golden gate of Zion;

Brethren meek whose feet trod bare

The straight and narrow Path

And these four Seekers came to hear

The prophet's message spoken

For they were marked with badges

Of a dying age's wrath. 

The dragon's face turns from the city
And the dragon's tail minces among the garbage cans and car parks;

And is seen no more.

Be a city not forsaken, be a city of the blest: 

This prayer for all who wail and gnash
And sing the dirges of the nether kingdom's lord;

Remember well the promise

And prepare your marriage bed

Remember that illusions breed the counterfeit of time;

Remember four who grew to be

The pillars of the Temple;

Who then fulfilled the scripture of the Guardian of Dyne. 


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Lethe in America

At the crossroads south of Andover
Lies Lethe's mighty water

Dark with blood from Pilgrim hands

Washed clean of infant slaughter. 

The sacrifice of virgins swells
The fluid of its veins

Where offal-coated parricides

Wipe clear their guilty stains. 

At the crossroads south of Andover
Lies Lethe's mighty water

Where cold Medea comes to drown

Her infant son and daughter. 


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A Child of the Lie

Now there comes the beating of the drum
Cacophony had eaten me alive

I was a ragged ruminant, staring at the sky

I proved a charlatan, an emptiness

A child of the lie

Until I heard the beating of the drum.

I was not the girl in rags,
Singing dirges to the walking dead

Smothering the living with my rages;

I proved the singer of the ancient paean

In the city where the evening sun 

Melts slowly into midnight;

Dancing to the beating of the drum.

And morning came in roses
To the land of evening sun

Where sentries stood in theatres

And pronounced their baleful will

To all who listened, gasping

To policeman of the lie

Gathering for festivals of song;

Drowning out the beating of the drum.

And I wept, at last
Knowing when I heard them, what they'd do

Breaking truth like ribbon candy

Scattering its shards

Making sport of poetry

And torturing its bards

And no one wept beside me but a witch

Who made me quail;

The day they mocked the beating of the drum.

The great Northwest olympiad
Draws children of the lie

Who gather thick as parasites on carpet

From Missoula and from Portland and Eugene

Cacophony is eating them, digesting them alive

The spiritual temptation of the age;

But I am not discipled to their Muse;

Mute and stolid with the witch

In the ranks of the refused

For I still hear the beating of the drum.


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Enigma Variations, Opus 119
Biblios Pacem ("The Book of Peace")

1. aleph 

How many books this year are sealed
In blood from Marduk's tower

Will newly-ancient souls reveal

The secret of his power? 

2. beth 

The scripture of the hidden Ark
Is writ for all to see

Though all have spurned the purer Spark

The darker light to free. 

3. gimel 

For red are scriptures writ in blood
In black and blacker scroll

Whose Demon stands upon the flood

Above the Fremont Troll. 

4. daleth 

Spent in full is all the seed
The lover's craft decrees

And thorns abound among the weeds

Upon his fertile knees. 

5. he 

How many books this year arise
From English doggerels?

How many mouldy Spanish lies

From Portland's mongerels? 

6. vau 

The pagan mouth has opened wide
To greet Chthulu's horde

Who gravely prep for surgery

When sex has left them bored. 

7. zain 

I sang an older paean once
Until they struck me dumb

And so I let my voice grow soft

And left my bow unstrung -- 

8. cheth 

Until the rain had driven forth
The dreamers from their dreams

Until the Titan lit her torch

And all had fled her beams; 

9. teth 

For ages pass and covens cast
Their blessings to the wind;

From all their holy formulae

Arise tomorrow's sin. 

10. jod 

For red are scriptures now in print
From Necronomicon

Whose curses are a testament

To all-embracing wrong. 

11. caph 

For now the rain has driven forth
The sinner from the sin

And cast the actor from his role

Of whistling in the wind. 

12. lamed 

For now the rain has driven forth
The lessor from his deed

And landed men arrive in port

To gather stolen seed. 

13. mem 

Dominus the black-robed scribe
And dominus the Saint

And dominus the golden-eyed

To give our blessings taint; 

14. nun 

Be grateful we cannot be heard
Above the whistling wind

Be grateful we will not be paid

For all our godly sin. 

15. samech 

We have heard Satanic verses now
In every modern tongue

We will make our Goddess bow

To every paean sung; 

16. ain 

Until we have our vengeful God
And eat our Satan too;

Engrave His number on our brow

'Til we are devil's brew. 

17. pe 

Dominus the hidden door
And dominus the great

Leave the lion to his spoor

And give my verses weight; 

18. tzaddi 

I plead the cause of Cross and Rose
Among the ash of Ram

To bring the air and water down

To feed the dying land. 

19. koph 

For all the bibles red with black
And red with curses few

Are few indeed to send us back

To make us start anew; 

20. resh 

We have our devil's instrument
The God has grown from seed

We have the serpent at our bent

And all our godly need; 

21. schin 

To shine in silence as our souls
From mettled metals gleam

For bibles black will never staunch

The ever welling stream; 

22. tau 

The scripture of the Hidden Ark
Is writ for all to know;

The light reveals its ageless mark

Upon our stainless brow. 


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There Will Be Kings

There will be kings
The smudge of ebon to anoint them

On the day of Bethel's coronation

Rituals and papacies an offertory palm

Welcoming the lion in the wardrobe

Heralding the prince of Gallifrey. 


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The Seventh Sojourn (Reprise)

A Qabalistic Hymn (Apologies to Justin Hayward) 

The pain of Saturn faces 
On the old Atlantis smiles

Betray the dusty traces 

Of the travel-weathered miles 

And I am rendered comatose
And stake myself a Cross

Where naked lust is ruby rose

And naked power dross 

I cannot sing azubah songs
Of Mithra's golden grain

I cannot raise Geburah's scythe

To slice their minds in twain. 

For I am stilled.
And boiling blood of final hours

Gradually is chilled.

I hold the snake within my palms

And thus entombed he cowers

I hold the stake against his charm

That renders null his powers 

The boiling blood and shifting sand
Effluvia and rain

Are torrents in the mind of man

Of guilt and lurid pain; 

For I have seen the past today
And harvests of its grain

I have seen the Sun today

And greet its violet rain. 


Azubah - Hebrew, "desolation" 

Geburah -Hebrew, "severity" - the 7th Circle of the Sephiroth, The
sphere of Mars, or war 

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