The Changeling

April 4, 2016

 

Where moor dust and night shimmer collect,

on cloven grass below,

heaven and earth, and eldritch things,

begets a child.

But a wraith, a wisp, fairy-sprite,

cries the changeling.

Her dreams are unicorns, her sighs, crystal wings,

and her longings all wrapped up in the moon.

Do fox and sheep wait by her cradle,

quaking aspen, oak and elder tree?

Do not starry Orion and twinkling Ceres

lie at her whiten folds?

Come morning, the sow will roan

the cock chime and heifer low, earth telling of earthly things.

Yet fay-reeds will fan, the toadstools like folded lyres, sing,

the choir of crickets, damselfly and bog-rose

raise once more, its lonely antiphon.

Only things of heaven do things earthly dream,

of trollish feet, elven lips and angel wings,

doth cries the little changeling.

 

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Jinn

January 28, 2013

In dreams and apparitions I arise,

aloft on wings of gold,

tempting forth luckless wishes.

I make my playground betwixt heaven and earth,

astride a torrent of smokeless fire.

If I bring thee fortune, it is because I so choose

yet my ruby-eyed dice rattle the name: “mischief”.

 

A game I play in measureless deeps,

skipping amongst sprites,

taking maidens, leaving sheep.

With thunderous voice, I scatter the four winds,

play Solomon’s chords on my flute.

If I shake mountains, it is because I so please

yet my diamond-shod feet make no sound.

 

You do not dare summon me,

rouse the ifrit’s fiery heart,

stitch together star-crossed portals.

Know, my wages destroy those faint of heart,

but raise palaces from rubbish heaps.

Come closer, mortal, your wish is my command

yet only if the chips fall rightly.

 

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The Age Old Battle

December 8, 2012

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Satan wraps upon the Holy Door

With unveiled shadow clothed,

Claws atop marble tread.

His talons round the altar rail.

Snap, summon and rouse

Rome’s old Bishop from eventide prayer.

Frail humanity doth behold

The Light-Bearing Angel everlasting.

emerald eyes aloft,

chill heels below.

And as the most-glorious

Chorus of old

Did Satan’s voice sweetly ring

From sweetest lips untold:

 

 

“Doest thou well a Lord to hail

and call upon his name…”

The bishop unmoved

royal crosier his cold hands grip

yet fearful the reply”

“Devil, I know you not, hear ye, it is written

The Lord God alone, shall ye serve.”

Wings black of flaxen flesh

and wondrous plume,

The Fallen unfolds.

“You were told not

that if thou serve the true world-lord,

all glory on earth and power,

shall be unto thee.”

 

 

Follow the bishop’s timid protest:

“All known to me is this:

If thou seek first the Kingdom of Heaven,

all good things shall come to thee.”

In thunder rapt and darkness evermore

shouts the devil anon:

“Fool confess that I am thine king

and the Kingdom mine

before God smites thee for foolery!”

“By the blood

of the New Sacrifice

and the name of Him, who offered thus forth

get thee behind me!”

 

 

Did Satan leap like starlight

great limbs pressed the frescoed ceiling.

Bid he oncemore the bishop

praise to his unholy name.

And oncemore the cleric refrained:

“Hath Lord Christ, own Son of God sworn

The gates of Hell shall not prevail.”

Clawed hand swift,

jeweled gaze intent,

the devil’s final utterance fall

as wetted stones downcast:

“Because thou refused mine accord

of all glories and treasures, an offer invaluable,

I shall never cease my tireless attack

upon ye…

May your age sting ye

and thine flock rebel against ye.

May heresy and confusions multiply like wild grass,

Disturbing your brethren.

Great strife visit the house

entrusted unto you,

many to come after shall pollute thy oversee

defile thy apostle’s holy throne.

Error and unrest seize thy people

so they will even deny the Lord among them.

They shall fall deaf to a shepherd’s call,

ravaged by wolves.

Curses unspeakable, I now fulfill

against anything named “holy”

 

 

Satan took leave sudden.

Trail swirls behind of serpentine smoke

holding putrid embrace.

At last quivering,

the bishop did stand.

Lips parting no sound

In darkness silence bequeathed.

His hands met rest

with countenance resolute, concluded even-prayer.

Gargoyles are Awesome

March 8, 2012

Spires, descending snow spirals,

twirling, twirling cast down.

In wintry twilight, there land

upon a stone-clad, grinning crown.

Horns and all, ears silently prik’d

stares the greyest gargoyle.

Unfazed by months of gusts, gushes, weather and wear.

 

 

Towers, dirty windows, mist

rising, rising smothered round.

In spring morn, there stands

beside his clutched paws, wings curling to see

the farthest height.

Untroubled by years of sleet, splash, wet and tear.

 

 

Beams in summer come, blocked by autumn shadow,

dancing, dancing thrown aloft.

Stares he alone.

Cracks and all, claws perched soundless

catching midnight rays with moon-washed eyes.

Unmissed by ages, by those walking below, beneath and out.

 

 

Voices, vespers, plain-song,

calling, calling timely beyond.

Listens he without reply

for the gargoyle’s answer is quiet watch.

 

A Parable

November 13, 2010

                               

            Looking up at his mother, a little lion-cub said,

“I am so weak, I have no mane and I cannot roar,  how then shall I endure

this harsh life in the pride amongst all these who are bigger and stronger?”

            His mother answered, “Tuck your tail between your legs until the day you are a lion.”

 

 

                      

In past days, a cardinal, Timotheus, lived under rule of a certain, wicked pontiff and so detested his works.

 Whilst praying, an unclean spirit came to him saying, “Rise up and bear no more this corruption.”

Timotheus replied, “Why? I’ll bear all things that corrupt souls be purified.”

Surely, you hear reform spreads from afar…take up noble cause and denounce the pope’s authority.”

I’d rather believe on the Lord’s word as writ by Holy Matthew:

that against His Church, the very gates of hell shall not prevail”

Said the spirit; “Forsake ye the yolk of your office, rise up and mete vengeance!”

How can I since vengeance belongs not to me?”

When the pontiff fell ill, same the spirit taunted:

Kill him and remove his sin from the earth!”

In prayer answered Timotheus, “I will let sin rather than multiply it.”

Thus, did the Lord God reward one who chose humility over defiance; who gazed upon evil and returned not evil?

Rightly, while some of his brethren cast off their priesthood and clamored for Rome’s demise,

Christ in awesome power, anointed Timotheus as Peter’s Successor.

Hence, he who detested corruption and compliance thereof was given ample place to repair it.

 If he’d left in rebellion, the corruption might have festered and become worse.