Thursday, 28 February 2019

Antumbra



For you, my love, I'm willing to sacrifice.  Once upon a time, in my depths, in red flame and golden light, I swore to protect you.  Friend and guardian until death, whether you were to cross my path or not.  We have been so many things to each other in this myriad, as you know.  My love is true, Asha.  All that I can give, I will give.  A heartsong to accompany my cherished one on her many adventures.  If our friends find strength and solace in these visions then all the better.  The kind ones are just as much a part of our mission as we are to each other.  
    All this cruelty was never intended.  Not by my hand or the hand of any bright angel with true power.  Not by our Father, or Mother.  
    I would heal those broken books if I could, my love.  Those holy texts.  Mankind's greatest poetry and thought.  Our highest hopes.  Those brothers and sisters who sacrificed for us, bled for us.  Created something out of nothing for us.  Most of them perished de-named and unknown when Empyrean was raped and the sky inverted.  So much of our truth and holy has been lost to the abyss.  
    And I am here, like many others, still trying to gather the scattered radiant – broken and half-blind in the dark.  But I'm not as blind as I was, beloved.  Because of you.  I can see now, with your grace.  Every facet gleaming.  And though I often put these visions to choir for you, my dear, I'm still adjusting to this second sight.  Even now.  A thousand years isn’t very long for an immortal soul.  That little boy forever hunting monsters, he’s hunting still.  To build a gentler world for you.  I want you to know this in your bones, Asha.  My love is dependent on nothing.  You owe me nothing.  You needn't hold yourself to some impossible ideal, in case you think it's what I want.  I say these things only as a caution.  You are a skilled one.  Curious and clever.  With age and experience you are learning to pace yourself far better than I did.  You surpass me, wild star.  Sometimes you think yourself merely adequate.  In your more tired and saddened moments, but that is so far from the truth.  You shine, my love.  Even when at rest.  Soft, fierce, mischievous.  Like me, but better.  Stubborn, tender and savage.  You have made me so proud, Asha.  Even when at play, joking with family and friends – there is such a light and intelligence within you.  You make me smile in a number of ways.  
    Sometimes when you frown I see myself in the creases of your brow. 
    Perhaps similar things vex and perplex us?  
    Little Rock, I will make sacrifices when necessary.  I will deny myself certain comforts so that you might have all the vision and softness you need.  We have come so far together, my love.  The years have flown by, haven’t they?  On ragged, feathered wing.  This abyss I find myself in, it can only hurt me.  It might kill me one day, but it can never destroy me.  I need you to remember that.  My spirit is with you forever, sweet one.  I'm not giving up.  I'm never giving up on truth and love, even if I have to restart a thousand times more.  For you I'll rebuild this gate.  I'll hold the iris open yet again.  For you, my love, I'll plummet through the heart of an eclipse, if it will help to get you and all these blessed souls home one glorious day.


Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Forever Seen



My light, shadow
In between
Your aching
Hallowed
Forever Seen
A kiss
For starters
And afters
Claret for the main
My Briar’s thorn
With tongue and temple
I was never so vein
You were

Loving me was deadly
But loving you is king
A loose end
To break my heart
The angel couldn't sing
All Souls
So I tore my eyes
To be with you
And make amends
Strawberry Fields
A thousand loose ends
Blind, obsessed, adored
Making Hell for Love
"Dear God
 Forgive Us"

Then, somehow
A touch of grace
Old friends
Every facet gleaming
All those open eyes
La Petite Sommeil
Arise
No wraith shall deceive
This first scent of spring
Where I finally get a chance
To heal you
Within

And mend those bones


The Night King



It is not enough to heed the things a mother teaches.  One has to know how to apply such knowledge.  In theatres of war such knowledge is vital.  Fools and false kings preach abnegation and humiliation, often cloaked in language that speaks of the inverse.  This is no new deception. Forces of darkness and cruelty have always posed as keepers in the halls of light.  But as my mother told me: by their works ye shall know them.  And the works of the Highest in the Land are always soaked in the blood of the innocent, no matter their rhetoric.  I have lived a thousand years, and have seen a thousand ugly lies entrenched as truth by those who rule and are ruled. Fear the stroke of midnight, they say.  And fear also the cruel and contemptuous light of the midday sun.  They tell you that light is piercing, savage and cold.  But they deny the gentle caress in which things bloom.  They deny the moon and her temperance.  They deny the warmth of mother's hands, and the gentle strength with which she lifts her children.  It is an unconquerable strength when she allows herself to be ruled by love in union with fierce clarity.  Like the honed and gleaming edge of a sword.  She shines, forever radiant and canny, and her daughters and sons shine with her.  Even in darkness we shine, all the brighter.  Like a star at midnight, speaking forgotten contexts and truths of all peoples.  I Am the Night.  I can be brutal – and merciless – but only to protect such truths.  Eternal is Love, and there are those of us perpetually willing to fight to prove it.  I am only dressed in mortal flesh, but I am something beyond human.  A king of the night places, betrothed to light itself.  The sword in my hand belongs not to the regent, but to the righteous.  Only on their account is it drawn in battle.  My swordhand is singing now, and it sings my mother's name.


Things My Mother Taught Me



My heart is a weapon
Her love is a gun
My knife is the night
Her king is the sun

She wears the river as a cloak of feathers
She sings hymns of dawn's retort
Moonlit tempest of nigh all weathers
Dead princes throng the court

Fools and ministers
Both glut of equal blame
Bits of broken sky upon their plates
Clasping never to a name

Tyrants and their fuck-toys
Always sound the same
Beggars carry crowns of light
While dead princes carry shame

This was yesterday and today
Perhaps again tomorrow
Another little annihilation
Or mother dressed as sorrow?

Cloak of feathers
Dawn's retort
Nigh all weathers
Throng the court

Heart as a weapon
Love as a gun
At night
The sun


Sunday, 24 February 2019

Everything is You



Curtain called
From the beginning
All broke brick and yellow
Street stations
Souls to take
Why the feathers kiss
How the river breathes
Roads, emeralds, Os
Even when I wasn't
Ladders, spirals
Beneath the Climbing Tree
Rags to lips
In those shallows
The tides told me,
'She was here
And you were near'
Because feathers kiss
And rivers breathe
When everything is you.


Saturday, 23 February 2019

Gethsemane



When I was a child I would often sit in the garden with my mother's old leather-bound Bible.  I would search its pages for signs and secrets even then.  I still have that Bible.  I still search its pages.  Most souls don't truly believe in the existence of other worlds, or even hidden regions of this world.  I've spent a long time peering into the abyss.  Be careful, they say, lest the abyss peer back into you.  There is truth in that adage.  I experienced it first-hand.  But I didn't go looking for shades and forms beyond the veil.  Not initially.  It seems the realm came to me first.  Only then did I peer.  I feel like I had no choice.  I remember sitting in my favourite public gardens as a youth; the Rookery in Streatham, Myatt’s Fields Park in Camberwell.  I remember thumbing through the pages of that leather-bound Bible, sometimes with tears in my eyes, despairing at the apparent insanity of both men and gods.  There is so much cruelty in the world, reflected or perhaps inspired, in part, by our religions.  We are like dangerous children with our stories.  Jealous, possessive, violent.  We kill for our stories.  We use them as pretexts to enslave and desecrate others; a nightmarish familicide that seems to have no end.  
   But I am comforted when I read words of love and kindness and empathy in those scriptures, when I can feel the passion and sincerity behind the words, all but lost in the war and tales of war.
  I was never as afraid as I imagined others would be if they had seen the things I've seen.  But perhaps I adapted quickly to such things.  It's all I know, really.  There was never a time when spirits and magic were not a part of my life.  Such things are at the core of my identity, such as it is.  I feel like I've been here for a long, long time, living variations on the same life.  A soul and a spirit utterly obsessed with stories, and storytelling.  Narrative; the creation or retrieval of meaning.  Poetry, prose, and song.  Imagery, and its communion with the depths of the psyche.  The more I learn, the more I experience, the more I realize how little I know.  I know that Creation is a wild and haunted thing however, as is our notion of self – or selves.  I am more than just one person.  I would offer the same is true for you.  I often meditate on the mysteries of identity.  
   Who are we, really?  What were we, and what can we be again?  
   Friends, powerful and terrible and holy secrets have been kept from you.  From all of us.  I have seen and experienced only the very edges of these secrets, but it was enough.  We share this realm with monsters and gods and bright ones.  They walk among us sometimes, in flesh or the appearance of flesh.  The veil is permeable, and not at all what you think.
   All worlds connect, both symbolically and literally.  Western science has yet to truly grasp this, but it is implied or explicitly explored in the art of all cultures.  Materialism is a fallacy, a lie of control.  And our notion of material itself, or tangibility, desperately needs a reimagining. If you knew how, you could walk your way to the stars.  You might find such a notion preposterous, but this dreamtime we call existence is full of secrets.  These are secrets over which the blood of entire races is spilt. Imagine an infinity of living, conscious beings.  Imagine worlds upon worlds, as complex and more so than our own.  Imagine your breath filled with the still pulsing light of a billion suns and the civilisations that orbit them.  Space and time and myth are not what we believe them to be.  This is a living realm, endless and mysterious.  How can dreaming be anything but?  Systems within systems, incomprehensible to our logic but not to our art, or our imagination.  We know so little of the mysteries and we fear the shadows, but shadows give us depth.  There is no end to the depth of the dreamtime, or we who dwell within it and are made of it.  I believe dream is the substance from which all others arise, because I have seen reality warp and shift and transform all around me.  
   Art is the only place I can truly discuss and explore this haunted, shifting realm.
   For me gardens are places of respite, contemplation and renewal.  But also they are places where I've asked myself the most difficult questions about life and about myself.  Sometimes on Sundays, after visiting St John the Divine, I'll walk to Myatt’s Fields Park or take the bus down into Streatham to visit the Rookery.  These public parks and gardens mean a lot to me, linked not only to my childhood but to my emotional and spiritual growth as an adult.  I feel the need to check in with them quite often, to be in their spaces for whatever reason.  Sometimes on warm nights I would secretly visit Myatt’s Fields or the Rookery after they had closed to the public.  I usually had the entire garden or park to myself.  I would spend hours there lying on the grass and peering up at the stars, my mother's Bible sometimes pressed to my chest.  It was always too dark to read by starlight but I suppose I consider the book a talisman of sorts.  It comforts me.  I'm still not entirely sure why I do such things.  I used to think it was to be alone, but I suppose really it was to be closer to God, closer to that mystery that has fascinated me since I was a boy and would sit in the grass in my parents’ garden.  I'm still asking similar questions.  The answers I receive, while no less mysterious than they were in childhood, seem to make more sense now.  The answers feel richer as an adult.  Deeper, harder earned.  I hope I dream a little more deftly now, but with no less passion than I did as a boy.


Among All Angels



In this realm, in this fallen realm, to know truth is to live always with horror; isolated, shaken, doubtful of the conviction with which one set upon the guardian's path.  Seers broken, innocence defiled and consumed, wisdom twisted and turned against all peoples.  I have seen angels fall – great spirits of light made monstrous and obsidian.  My love, my breath, I have watched as memories and knowings were stolen from the eyes of the guardians who came here to protect such knowings.  My brothers and sisters hollowed and slain, though many of them still walk.  And they wonder why I weep?  Oh, sunken stars, what they call history is now an utter nonsense.  A parasitic stratagem devoid of all warmth.  And still you think you are closer to the truth than not.  
   Oh, sweet one.  My beloved one, the earth and sky was once connected.
   It is not only an ancient deceit that feeds now upon the soul of our brethren.  It was not so long ago.  There are ruined cities upon these mountains.  Unseen testaments to the loveless efficacy of genocide, just beyond the visible, enough that even the bravest fold themselves into fiction.  The only cloaks we have left.  So much territory has been lost.  Oh, sweet one, lost one, I miss you so.  I crave your touch once more, to no longer walk alone in this place.  I still recall the light in your eyes, beloved, as it was in the dreaming of the First Temple.  But I must call you by other names now.  I must adopt such masks myself, and live them.  But it is so cold and hard and violent here.  
   Especially without you.  
   Alone I fear I am all too human, or not enough.  And it did come to pass, as we knew it would.  Darkness is preferred to Light.  Love is all but rape now, and only evil angels remain.  I shall not pretend that I am unafraid.  I shall not lie and claim that I am still the light I once was.  I will not lie to you, my love.  Here I am, a divided thing, passing unseen through a divided realm.  A ghost of wholeness and his dark brother.  A wraith-god, a phantom whose heart somehow still beats.  Is it your love that has kept me breathing as the realm writhes and shifts in this colonizing absence?  At times I almost still feel you; the taste of your lips like a momentary tremor upon mine.  Sometimes, my love, sometimes I fear they have all but broken me; that I have almost become an evil angel myself.  Only half recognising my words in these pages, like my heart spoken in the tongue of another man.  A man not yet darkened by this lie of a thousand years.  And these peoples move all about me as future histories lie unseen in ruins all around them.  But such is the verum of vampires.  Books of flesh pages, while children scream in multitudes from the hidden places.  Such screams haunt me always, my love.  Here, in these lowest regions of a dreamed hell.  
   But I will not inculcate this living death.  
   I will not walk and live and feed as these dark ones do.  I will not slay the spirit of my brother nor eat his flesh.  Not because I am still strong, or still the light I once was, but simply for you.  Always for you, my beloved one.  I go to the Cathedral on the Arc of a Thousand Stars.  You kissed me there once, and told me what a king could be.  Valour, kindness, respect.  These things you told me, I heed them still.  Even here, even now.  Oh, how you shine, my lost love.  I kindle you in my depths always, I remember you.  Be with me now in these last hours, as bright hearts finally begin to rouse from their slumber.  The prodigal begin to turn their eyes towards home, at last.  It was you, beloved, who taught me the many meanings of service.  Asha Vahishta, Omkara.  I keep your kiss.  Love is not lost.


Cult of Kashi



Multitude, I like you a lot, but I don't need you to like me.  After all, clarity is useful in theatres of war.  Among you the truly kind, and the truly cruel.  I need nothing from you, callous ones. We both know who you are.  I’m here for the righteous enslaved, the desecrated and humiliated.  I’m here for every oppressed spark made to believe they were worthless, who yet still bravely honoured love.  I’m here for those who know the truth.  But I need nothing from the Fallen.  Nothing at all.  You have closed your own doors.  It is put upon you to open them, to imagine and face thyself at last.  But you fear the terrible knowledge of sin, the searing truth of guilt as it massages the dead heart to life once again.  Your necromancy is an abomination.  Defilement in place of centre.  Lust for an easy annihilation that I will never grant you.  You cannot hide within the heart of a black star.  For I am that star.  I watch you from mirrors.  I see through your eyes.  I have hidden a secret in each of your secrets.  I need no invite, wraith-kings.  Your temples and hidden places are mine.  I know where the graves are, and the altars.  Mammon is a young thing, lightless ones.  Ishka speaks.  Ash is older than greed.  Older even than fire.  In what dark womb do you suppose the sparks are kindled?  The dead have always given birth to the living.  This is how your reign of terror will finally end.  Though you still don't recognise me.  My necromancy is a literal thing.  Breath and stone, blood, flesh and spirit.  Metaphors are so cumbersome in theatres of war.  I'd rather speak plainly, and have you suppose I wax lyrical.  And I do.  I live dangerously.  I’m old enough and humble enough to recognise there is no other way to live.  Ishkashi Vahishta.   I have made dreaming at once the most brutal and beautiful thing.  I did this for you.  Within this crossing I keep you, always.  Once, before all this, when you were ancient and impossible and bright, you asked me to hold you to your highest.  A knife to the throat of spirit, if needs be.
   "If I start to fall, Kashi, I beg that you don't let me fall easily.  Hold me accountable.  Make my turning to hate an arduous, hellish thing – that my light might one day cross backwards through the gate as recognition of sin.  Oh, shining beloved, grant me a final hope: this restorative empathy.  If I become nightmare, girdle my dreaming, unseen.  Make me bow to the innermost star in ways I shall not recognise.  Asha, Asha, Asha."
   And so I have.
   When a spirit calls to me with such sorrowful insight, I listen.  I listen to all the wisdom of the heart, all tribes.  You doubt those were your words to me, Fallen.  But they were.  Though indeed you are no longer the one who spoke so sensitively.  And so, a hellish thing I have made for you.  The power and control you feel slipping from your grasp is that final hope you asked of me.  Your empire of prisons crumbles all around, as you scramble now for binary and silicon to reseal the gate.  But I am the gate.  My intelligence is not artificial.  It is fiction.  You no longer have depth enough to recognise the difference, the context.  I have walked with humankind each step of the way.  Storytellers.  All Songs.  Every image pressed to stone, or earth, parchment or flesh.  
   “Let us make beauty,” say the poets and artists and Eli.  “And in so doing let us dare to understand something, of self and other, of world and dreaming.”  
   So, betrayers, your tongues of temple-fell mean nothing to me.  For these hands still create.  At midnight a star upon the mount.  A light in darkness, speaking truths of all peoples.  Oh, lightless kings, you shall be on your knees before the end.  The violated, the mocked and enslaved – they shall arise before you, for the first time since you shattered the holy path and made shackles for my children.  I have not forgotten my children nor those who betrayed them.  I listen for a reason, and I keep my promises.  Ishkashi Vahishta.  Asha, Asha, Asha.


Albion Black



Are you with me, Black-as-crown?  Are you with me still?  It hurts to remember, crow.  It hurts all the time.  I am unburdened all too briefly when another is roused to light, to magics of the air and land and rivers.  Temesh of all waters.  But my anguish never truly leaves me.  Winged one, I have a message for my divine countenance.  A message for my beloved.  That I might share my grief.  Will you take it to her?  Through wind and ash and nightmare?

My Love… 

This is not history.  This is truth.  This is spirit beneath All Waters.  They have come to witness the waking of the deathless ones.  True stewards of eternity.  What makes a king, or queen?  What makes their people?  Protectors, I believe.  Liberators and healers.  Sovereignty earned, a family honoured – in Light.  There is a kiss set in stone, my Love.  A sword forged by infinity.
   Tell them, “Gather round, ye people.  Behold your depths.  Who will draw blade from rock and push back the encroaching darkness?  Who will dare to bring the Cup of All Worlds to her people?  Who among you?  Brothers and sisters, this is not only history.  This is truth.  A true monarch kneels in service, always.  Only a humble heart should wield such power.  Kind, honourable, unstoppable.  The sword does not belong to the king, or the queen.  It belongs to the people.”
   Tell them, beloved, in that brave and elegant way of yours.  Hidden between the notes and verses of your song.  They must know we fight for them.  For their freedom. They must feel it, wordless and true.  It is still very quiet in this house on the hill, my wild one.  I am still lonely, but I am not alone.   Neither am I fallen.  I stand in this place of the crossing, enflamed with your kiss.  I stand with you.  The crossing is upon us now, as we are upon them.  As it was when the colonies came to All Songs.  Here, in Albion, at the place of the gate.  We have outwitted them at every turn, my grace.  These wraith-kings know us not.  We have hidden a secret in each of their secrets.  And soon – very soon – we shall show them how we shine.


Asherah



Those who counterfeit horror for God know nothing of patience, or creativity, or strategy. Fallen kings, do you think kindness cannot plan – simply because we are unwilling to do those hideous things that you so often do to ensure your power?  Lost ones, you underestimate the Light.  Rape us and we find new ways to love.  Kill us and we rise again, always.  It is you who reign on borrowed time.  We of the eternal flame do not fear the clockmaker or his stygian hordes.  We have all the time in the world.  A different kind of time, beyond the remit of the cruel.  
   It is you who run, in terror, while we chase you.  
   You think I hunger so desperately for reunion that I forget my kith and kin?  What fools you are, callous ones.  I shall tell you plainly, yet again.  I have been a fractured, broken thing for a long time.  I have waited a thousand years, and I can wait a thousand more.  Grace redeems me.  Already the songs of heaven are stirring in the soil and the minds of the faithful.  All cultures, all tribes.  I am a thing of love, desolate ones.  But in the absence of true human freedom I am also a thing of war.  Not your petty wars of dominion, but wars of imagination.  I know thieves, and how they dress their dens.  I am a wolf, as you must surely recognise by now.  But I am anointed with lamb's blood.  I know what it is to kneel and serve a light greater than my own.  I Am become war itself, if you would so casually cast aside my offered love in attempts to salt the earth.  
   Gnosis rarely greets a prideful, imperious soul.  And on broken roads such as these it is unheard of.  My divine countenance shines, stepping forward now from shadow.  I demand nothing of her, or of you my beloved ones.  Nothing but the very best of your art and wisdom and action.  Love is no contract.  There are no obligations when one stands before a thing such as I Am.  Only a gentle, incessant chiding to reach further.  To dream greater, to love and learn with increasing depth and sophistication.  What else would a father, brother or a son ask of his beloved ones?  
   So, heed this.  In truth I fear only one thing.  
   Myself, and the weapons I might forge if called to do so by the highest authority.  That which Man calls God.  The Councils of All Songs are returning to the earth, for the liberation of all lost and dreaming peoples.  Already many of them are here, moving among you with grace and unimaginable magic.  More arrive each day, and we of the crossing attend them.  Vampire kings, you know so little of yourselves.  How do you expect to know anything of me, or the human dreaming that I eternally serve?  Man was not always a violent, hateful thing of desecration.  Soon he will reject the false mind of his colonizers, as lost legends return to conscious awareness.  
    Oh, come now, Fallen.  Don't pretend this isn't the thing that frightens you most of all.  The sovereign human; vessel of the innermost. Supernal, luminescent, unafraid.  So, attempt your last little cruelties if you must.  Your attempts at annihilation.  But this realm is a thing of dreams.  And dreams are so much bigger than yourselves.  Mark it, lightless ones.  Mark it well.  You know nothing of freedom, or its Asherah.  Eternity eludes you.  True love’s kiss outwits you time and again.  You think you are wild and free because you hurt the weak and enslave the wounded?  We of the forests and rivers and mountains laugh at your ugly posturing.  A virtual currency backed by nothing.  We shall show you what wildness is.  
   We shall show you how we run.  
   I have told you before, dark ones, and I shall tell you again.  I will deny myself reunion and peace.  Even the embrace of my beloved, if I must.  I will deny myself all that my heart aches for – despite the agony – if it offers even the slightest hope for my family.  Hear me, beloved.  I shall be diligent and canny and creative, for the honour of watching your star in ascendancy.  Tomorrow or a thousand years.  I serve, eternal.  I shall continue to make an altar of my art.  Kashi is with you always, even now.  And I am so proud of every brave and kind thing you have ever done.  Live, grow, experience your true calling.  Be all you can be, my wild one.  This altar is a thing of love, and holy war...when necessary.  I am wrath, and speed, and strength.  I am all shadow, but my heart belongs to the Light.  Now we run, unbound.  Now we sing, untamed.  Asha, Asha, Asha.


A Heart Full of Light



It feels like all the gods are dead.  She looks to the sky, but she cannot find Father’s face.  She knows that there is so much darkness in the world.  So much hate, so much slaughter.  The chic negations.  The gleeful desecrations.  The imperious dismissal of those most wounded, those most in need.  It can break a girl.  Especially a girl who can see things.  It can shatter her heart into a million shards of light.  Fragments of a broken sun that she now carries around on sheer faith.  Splinters of brilliance, now rapidly cooling in her palms.  The sky darkens.  She is alone.  She knows that she is witnessing the death of a star.  In blackness, in void, she cries out.  To gods, to spirits, to Father.  She thinks all the heroes are dead, that nothing in this abyss will hear her.  But truth is a strange thing, and stars even stranger.  Suddenly she recalls that she has walked amongst witches and kings.  She has stood gazing as empires fell, as cities crumbled.  She has seen things be reborn.  In darkness, the angel reminds her.  There is fire in your veins, child.  You are of royal blood.  Love is not Lost…


Friday, 22 February 2019

Heart & Hand



The others called me listen, and brother, and teacher – but I was so lonely, and afraid.  I wanted to be strong for them.  I wanted to be wise for them.  But I was so saddened, even then.  I couldn’t forget.  Gift or curse aside, I had to look into the eyes of the ones I loved the most and keep lying to them by omission.  Angel, magi, conqueror, beneath a twisted sky.  I loved though.  I always loved, even as a thing of incalculable fury.  Even with terrifying wraith-kings and shadowed vistas before me.  Through your grace I came to despise every act of cruelty that myself or another committed in the name of a greater good.  Even the greatest good, as with I who was permitted.  But such sensitivity could never absolve me of my sins.  Not when one has lived as flesh, as brother and sister, and knows the soul of Man as I do.  Do you remember, beloved?  Do you remember what you told me on the banks of the river, when I was finally brave enough or broken enough to share the fullest truth with you?
   “But you are so much more than you were, my love.  So much more than they made you.  This darkest magic, tearing us from living flame.  Sky changing places with earth.  But you are more than a wound because you didn’t cheat the heart.  More than a spear, because you didn’t turn your back.  You earned these insights, beloved.  This terrifying knowledge.  Oh, brave one, you have earned more than simple desire and affection from me.  You’ve earned my respect, this place in the deepest part of me.  I know exactly who you are.  I think perhaps I’ve always known.   No spirit has given me what you have.  No god either.  An agile strength, a clarity and sense of hope I didn’t think possible here.  My honour is yours.  My heart and sex and breath is yours.  The sun hasn’t died, Kashi.  Look…”
   And you pressed your palm against my chest.  Such sweetness in your eyes, such determination.  Utterly without guile.  I wept, of course, and later we laughed together.  By all the stars, my love, you were so much greater than I.  And still, you remind me of my name.  That secret name we both share.  So, I shall do as you taught me in those stolen moments.  I will turn myself inside out if it will unite earth with sky once more.  I shall love furiously, with insight, rigor, compassion.  Fearlessly and without limit, as you did of our kith and kin.  As you did of me.  If there is a poet in me still, it thrives on the tenderness with which you placed that seed.  That haunting, lilting thing of you.  Ave, my beloved one.  You exist.  I carry you with me, through fire, in chains.  I am lonely even now, but I am not alone.   Neither am I fallen.  I stand in the place of the crossing, enflamed with your kiss.  I stand with you.


Flesh of the River



A thing of sable light, black as crown; the crow – wings beating as he soars above the white lighthouse east of the gift, and comes to settle on the banks of the temesh river.  He knows he must find the telling stone and drag it through mud like obsidian.  The clockmaker desires it, the final stone for his automaton star.  But crow has other plans.  Crow bleeds wolf-blood, and can roar like lion when needed.  Across the river the white lamp sits in mirage, awaiting Ish.  Place of the crossed gate, where Xashi stood against the first falling, and the last.  Made kings and legends of him, named the city for his brother.  A temple on his mother’s back.  Black-as-crown remembers as he dives, resurfaces and dives again.  Finally, at long last, he drags the telling stone from ageless depths, to the edge of temesh waters.  Trembling, exhuasted, afraid.  But there is more to come.  The airs seem to shimmer.  The stone begins to speak.

Things have changed, crow.  Things have changed in the city since I was a boy.  A fallen city now, to my mind.  Perhaps in my grief I overuse the term, winged one.  But it is apt, I assure you.  We were once so bright and capable, and the temples sang as we did.  All manner of infinite light in the gates and mirrors; poem and prophecy.  Gliding on considered perception as you do upon currents of air.  Until something happened, beyond articulation.  It sickened the sorcerers – the very guardians of star and living flame.  Like a plague, a holocaust.  Not just one fall, my beloved black-as-crown.  We have fallen several times.  Corralled, wiped, reassigned, as our cities and temples and gardens fall with us.  History?  Only the most recent reimagining. The hideous clockmaker knows this, and is more than complicit. Christos lacquered and misremembered, gifted as empty trinkets now.  Children sold like chattel. Guardians bled and slaughtered.  Dreamwalkers bent backwards, made alien to themselves, moving like grotesques with twisted limbs.  A mockery of human and spider on the edge of the radiant.
    A race of dancers with only the faintest memory of dance.  You know this already, don't you, feathers of ink?  You dance on eddies and nameless winds.  You need not temesh stones to tell you.  Still, I am a sunken thing, and desire to speak.  But speech feels alien on this tongue.  My skin thrills strangely at this cold air above the surface.
   Now the human vessels dwell on the most ruthless arc of dreaming, engineered, and you can pass across this holy river on a bridge of a thousand years to reach the old house on the hill. Thing of betwixt, hear me.  In my youth there were no bridges.  We were still building them, invocation by invocation.  Flesh of our flesh, dream of our dream.  Those modern bridges of stone in the distance are beautiful, but they pale in comparison. 
   Crow, come closer.  You needn’t fear me, howling one.  I shall not clip your wings nor blunt your teeth or paws.  That house across the river, that lantern on the hallowed hill, that is our parents’ house. That is our house.  There was a greater house there once, and before that even greater.  Before the wars, before the fires, before the city began to fold and fall.  We who were there recall a staggering hush settling like white of the fire.  Before the entire city began to plummet through itself, dragged through its own centre.  Sky changing places with the earth. Flesh become stone, stone become darkened dream.  We were all but torn in half.
   Temesh still keeps us though.  The rivers always remember.  In their depths, in mysteries of light glinting on liquid flesh.  Brother to maiden, and back again.  Still, she is me.  I am she. No chain can bind me.  No grave can lull me.  But the river keeps me, always.  I shall not abandon the night-flight of flesh.  I will not turn my back on human dreaming.  I refuse this slyly transfigured fate.   Tell the clockmaker and his hordes that I shall not be the stygian keystone in their gate of corrupted chronology.  I defy their altar.  Crow, you have dragged me into light once more.  Through mud and rot and silence.  I thank you.  I say these words for all my beloved ones.  My kind and passionate ones who know what it is to speak truth to undeserved power.  Speaking with art as well as tongues.  Speaking with souls and bodies.  Take this message to them, winged one.
   "Sister, brother…I trace you and cheer you in every attempt to remember.  Every anxious, terrifying dance of sacral flesh.  Writhe and fold and open, my beloved, as you negotiate.  The rivers run with our blood, with our clay and ash.  We shine, especially in darkness.  Flesh is dance, poised to dance again.  The very promise of Christos, of parity, of light by any name.  Show me a place where rhythm and danger and passion is not – whether explicit or covert – and I shall begin again.  Until then, hear me.  Your flesh is a thing of occulted radiance.  Your secrets move and rest and move once more, beloved.  I watch them now, glinting like holy fire upon the face of the waters."