Tuesday 30 August 2022

The Kissing Star

I think it’s a healthy thing to wonder and imagine.  Especially among friends, but even amidst our enemies.   Shall we dream together then?  Shall we dream of Tarsus, and Tyana?  Or might that be putting too fine a point on things?  It is said that magicians love their delicious ambiguity.  Sorcerers and charlatans.  But, truth be told, I have never been one of these men. I've been called many names among them though.  Ostentatious heretic, blasphemous child of iniquity.  And my personal favourite: living flesh of the First Fallen.  How banal things have become these days, wraith-lords.  Am I simply the ruined star now?  The shattered son and father of dawn?  Well, you have no idea how right you are.  In a manner of speaking.  The old prophet saw lights in the sky, didn't he?  Or so the stories say.  Watchers and wheels and gates in the firmament.  The dancing auras of the frost-kissed night.  An emerald song at the throat of the winter king.  Forget destinations for a moment.  Shall we dream of journeys instead?  Of roads, revelations and the changing of names?  Here’s the thing.  Self-taught scholars like my brethren and I – destitute poets and former slaves – we imagine a little too grandly sometimes.  We fancy ourselves historic and seen; messengers of the human dreaming, unforgotten.  To cover the pain of being nameless, I suppose.  Overlooked.  In truth we aren't the remembered heroes or chieftains of myth and legend.  Instead we are the cleaners and midwives, unsung.  Unannounced yet necessary.  We birth your spiritual children, we heal your sickness and tidy the inner places of your minds.  We are the thankless stewards of all the lesser, local gardens.  Tending the quietest flora and fauna.  Keepers of the breath and the air.  So, these grand imaginings are placed here only for my amusement.  And to elucidate the emerald song of souls.  Annunciation of the subtle tongue.  Histories now that never were and weapons that no longer exist.  Except in dreams.  But if I somehow were a chieftain, or a hero, I would want to fight for those with less power than myself.  I'd want to give voice to the voiceless.  She wrote many of her wife’s letters, some say.  Just as I might have signed my husband's name, if I believed such letters were truly needed beyond those cities of sand.  Sometimes, in those oldest cities, I would dream of heralds and shining light.  Charming rogues and hidden kings.  Sex, and Cyrene.  A wolf hidden in plain sight, swift enough to never lose his step.  So, Fallen, can’t you see me?  Am I really the fulfilled augur of the ruined star?  And if so, let me ask you this – should you not have chosen your Imperator more wisely?  Roma gilds the tithes of Micah and spins legends abound.  But that does little good here, among the midnight of these never-divided twins.  And besides, those legends are such nonsense.  That a true archangel would sanction the slavery of a city's most vulnerable, native or foreign.  How fucking absurd.  An angel would tell you the truth.  That we care not at all about the place a soul was born or forged.  Nor do we care the tongue they think they speak, or the faith to which they subscribe.  Religion is such an impetuous, divisive thing.  These are the politics and the travesties of men, not messengers.  Every loving soul among the human family consciously nurtures a spark.  A holy ember of divine fire.  They pray and struggle courageously to keep that flame lit, even with limited resource.  They succeed in innumerable ways.  An act of kindness, a work of art, a tender kiss.  Oh, Fallen.  If you think we would dishonour that flame, or abandon it – you are deeply mistaken.  They say dreams can change things, don't they?  The messengers, mystics and wise ones.  They say dreams can shape our stories and our hearts.  I find that rather beautiful.  The common threads.  The shared humanity.  The world behind the world.  So, my friends, let us imagine together once more.  Let us dream of better myth and legend; a higher truth and a higher star.  Chieftains and heroes in humble, unwavering service to Love.

Sunday 28 August 2022

Angel of Antioch


A damaged seer, they called me.  A soul divided against itself.  But I am not divided.  This mirror of Thomas.  And if, like a dream, I were indeed both brothers – what then?  I was cast as godless and black, of course.  A dark Samaritan.  All this whilst genocides roiled about us like tempests on the sand.  It is easy for an empire to disappear the nameless and the poor, isn’t it?  It still happens so often today.  And you speak to me of sorcery?  I remember those Syrian fields.  I recall those plunging augurs.  Frost lit up like prisms, creating rainbows along the wreck of your understanding.  Like the Mountain of God.  The hidden shriek of raven pale, of fluttered falcon.  When those of the rebellion shared in avian whisper.  When they asked why angels resembled the dead.  Did you have answers for them, Fallen?  Beyond the glut of your supplicants and stolen wealth?  I did.  This language of birds, spectral and mid-morning. These angels of Antioch.  I met a woman upon the hill, amidst the ghosts and ash.  She said she was a fallen princess.  A lost daughter.  I believed her.  To this day I believe and need no coin for the contour of my knowing.  I hope she lives forever.  I hope the fields find their fire once more.  Besides, what kind of angel lives within such frost?  Oh, you have no idea.  I live for nothing, Fallen.  And no one.  It is a strange thing to stand so liminal, yet so centrally.  Like a key player in the stories of others but a fleeting outsider in my own.  Each feather of Antioch is a word, in every tongue of Man.  Languages both living and dead.  As we were, as we are still.  But Micah is long dead, isn't he?  And Ashash'el a twisted branch upon the hanging tree.  Unless there is more to the tale.  Perhaps love is stranger and stronger than you think.  Perhaps you cannot supplant the dead, or steal their names.  Not entirely, and not forever.  Gnosis is a corrective, a resurrection.  It collapses nightmares and shatters unholy thrones.  Hear me, callous ones.  I am no false prophet.  Nor am I the devil.  I am teacher and taught.  I am the waters in-between.  I am the fire.  Fuck your money, and damn your hateful heart.  You claim to be paragons of virtue and disciples of the good, whilst serving these evil angels in the shadows.  Well, I am a Christian.  I have been since before the first dreaming of Man.  And I am no divided twin.  These people deserve better than slavery and abomination.  They deserve hope, knowledge and compassion.  They deserve freedom.  Humble yourselves, Fallen.  You are not the true masters of this realm.  Do you think I jest, or speak frivolously?  Just wait a while.  One day soon I will show you all the things my Father can do.

Wednesday 17 August 2022

This Imaginary Earth

Pull up a guiding star, she says.  This imaginary earth is always where we are. There are secrets buried in such earth.  Hope hidden in the ground, like red thread that can lead us back to the source of things.  But so often I've found only strange eclipses.  Things without ontology.  No beginning or end.  And then I remember how it hurts.  It's a difficult thing to watch, isn't it?  A difficult thing to endure.  The loss of direction and meaning.  The sense that there's nothing left to do except wait for a slow decay.  When the blackbird doesn't fly.  When everything natural is lacquered, darkly curated, drowned in the shrieking silence of morbid technologies.  I remember what it feels like to have no star.  Trapped, unannounced.  Just an absence in your hands, at the heart of you.  Like you were simply forgotten by your Father amidst the relentless ebb and flow.  Forever falling through the darkness of an indescribable eye.  Through the infinite pupil of God.  I know exactly what it feels like.  A plunging sacrifice that bleeds the very soul of you but is only metaphoric in the end.  Food for stories, as men make ritual and weapons from the half-eaten memory of your shattered wings.  It's not enough to continue, my friends.  Even the dead continue.  It's not enough to soldier on.  One has to see events and horizons beyond the warring abyss.  Beyond strictures and the brutal binds of coin.  It's not enough to simply live, die and repeat.  In either this or some brighter temporary.  Not for me, or anyone.  And I am indeed anyone.  Everyone.  With that knowledge comes the burden of light, for shadows are no longer the lures or excuses they might have been.  Pull up a guiding star, the angel says as she smiles beneath my sleep.  A star like a lantern for the lost.  To perceive is to connect.  The ancient elders knew this.  The wisest among us still know.  Across phantasms of supposed distance.  Beyond the entropic dreaming of time.  And if, like a thing of fire from imagined ashes, I were to rise into revelation...to the mountain at the centre of the world, the pillar beneath the fountainhead, the tree whose branches hold the eternal sea – if I were to rise like that, would I be alone on the hill?  Or would my brothers and sisters be with me?  Because I tell you now, Kasi hates being alone.  I'd rather you were with me, my friends. In these phantasms.  I've endured loneliness for such a long time that I've almost convinced myself I'm everywhere but here.  This imaginary earth.  This gate of higher thought and deeper understanding.  Now I console myself with the myth of movement.  The bizarre legend of death.  Because this is the story of life and her brother the shadow.  The story of dreaming and my sister the ghost.  Pull up a guiding star, she says.  This imaginary earth is always where we are.  Finally I listen to her.  To my angel and my love.  It’s only then that my mind calms enough to truly recall the gift of giving.  The hallows of service.  The freedom of rediscovery.  Tending family and friends.  Alone if necessary, yet accompanied all the way.  Then at last I find an earnest smile upon these lips.  An urge to speak again, and create.  Black-as-crown comes the mercurial flight, knocking at all doors.  And so I find my hands in the earth once more, digging for solace and song.  Red thread, penumbra, and the source of things.