Ein Klein Nachtmusik

February 15, 2016

 

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At last, falls the curtain,

still, dread velvet weaves the quiet,

a flurry of feathers, ancient tracks,

Aqua regia and wheaten witches’ moons.

How can I connect

the sacred and profane, the lofty and lowly,

the many strands of soundless symphony?

Do the trees answer life and death,

motherhood and loss?

Do lunar phases mark love’s mood

both tragic and elated?

Can the eloquent calligraphy of frost

record seasons, longings and sighs?

Is she Diana who births the night,

or Nyx spreading her inky cloak?

Is it the she-wolf, wraith or sprite

who strikes the danse macabre entwined?

Is this the lesser time of God,

or the penance to repair what’s lost?

Of snow and ashes, would I be remiss,

of that noiseless time when destroying angels pass.

In the lightless underworld,

do owls hymn thee?

When fearsome things tramp afoot,

does the unknown, unseen, unremembered cry?

There is appointed the time to awake

and to die.

After every day surely comes night

on rodent feet

singing the unsung requiem

taps on a graveyard bugle,

Nunc dimittis in velvet black

because the white of dawn may wake them.

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Eventide

April 7, 2014

Why for, we seek immortality and dreams?

Is time numbered by hours seated at a window wishing,

days spent counting coins,

months reaping and gathering?

By years rapt in love’s fires,

within age’s wintry night?

 

The sower toils golden fields, eyes vigilant

yet tends his father’s grave.

Children skip over gardens adance,

yet behold the eagle’s distant flight.

Friars pray in cloisters adorned,

yet sing evening’s requiem.

 

Death seizes and respects not.

Its day sure as resting sun.

Sure as the gnat circles in midday,

As lambs in darkness follow only their herder.

This silent visitor, the faceless judge,

beckons both doors of young and old.

 

Whilst plagued beggars shiver,

and consumption claims kings,

Weavers and merchants wail,

as virgins travail.

Men, all of men,

shall languish.

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Mater Dolorosa

July 9, 2013

Oh, sweet mother of the blessed one,

how far a path of darkness you trod,

pierced first by daggers of bitter prophecy,

pierced second by most-terrible loss.

 

You found him there, your son,

declaring independence from earthly things.

You saw him once, fallen and bruised,

and offered a mother’s hands.

 

His small boyish frame, you could not imagine,

yet he flourished like the yearling lamb.

 

Oh most severe was death’s dim shadow

when your little boy leaned against the cedar,

when he took up his hammer at dawn.

 

How you knew he was a priest,

unlike those who slaughtered beasts.

 

No, your boy, once grown,

would offer himself, the lamb,

clothed in scarlet vestments,

wearing the miter of thorns.

 

And you, kindly ewe,

will offer the incense of bitter tears.

His “consummatum

you shall answer “be it done.”

 

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March 9, 2012

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The swarthy angel perched

upon my bedside

raven wings ashroud,

whispered to me in that dead tongue

of devils and priests:

Veni, veni, venias

ne me mori facias.

A forgotten song

serenade for the dead

sung beneath archways,

where I sought my beloved.

in antiquity’s chill.

Roses glow

like blood-drops sprung out of the earth.

Their thorns outstretched

rebuking hands

leave a silent pin-prick

against my flesh,

telling me

my love lies here not

not within this dark place.

Once more clarion,

I hear the haunting psalm

its shadowy linger

resounding the fretful antiphon

of bygone years lost:

Veni, veni, venias

ne me mori facias.

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February 9, 2012

Dawn-light from on high breaks. In its lofty dome, first-creation stretches hands over a sea of cloudy blue. From that place, I first knew you, chosen and despised, scapegoat for their sins. Yet, I uttered no thing when they drove three nails through your royal garb and said,

“For this you’ll die.”

I watched them gather stones to slay you for the crime of blasphemy but seeking liberty from the lordly, barbed word, I acted not. Complacency became my shelter while you suffered and prayed for the suffering, praying world.

I was not like you…

I preached and brought love in my own way and needed no other. I was young, a whole life to live, and you were old, your life given away. How I cherished myself when no one cherished you!

From dust rising, brushing off the phoenix’s feathers, I at last spoke,

“He does no wrong, leave.” But surely, you were more wrong and corrupt than the rest of us? Surely, you polished iniquities into gold, wore them on your finger?

Silent, I stood…

Between that world and the abyss, saw heaven; that shining tower built from ivory stone, whitewashed alabaster. Warding the gates was the most beautiful, purest creature, the Shepherd of souls, Christ the Lord. He said:

“Look, behold my manservant!”

You again. I pleaded to enter in, but from your hands clutched, dangled the keys. Slandered, tormented and mocked, you blessed the great emptiness. My wrath could not overcome earth and your honor, missed it. I begged a martyr to open heaven and he thanked me for letting him die.