A Common Evil


Who’s there?

 

I

Old walls, old cycles.

Old walls—
                 a common evil,
                 divining a daemon.

The castle of a dead empire.
        Lost, for a second.
               Reminded.

Safety in solitude.
               A seventh chance.
               A hidden glimpse.
               An honest smile.

A greeting — old friends,
                        old walls.

Sequestered in liturgy,
        but focus wanders;
        and we return to—

 

II

A building site
            disguised
                      as a temple.

            False history—
          but truth lies
                down the way.

Home
           to the human heart,
religion.                   The self
            cannot survive
without                    your kind glance.

See me, or—
                                 be me,
as I wish that I could be you.

    And then cut away,
    close-up of sweet smirk,
    shadow of hooked hand on wall.

And such small portions

 

III

Shot through ochre—
Brighter than the sun.

Leaning towards restraint,
We cough up mounds of
Grey paste,
That we trudge through
Day by day.

Then,
Under it all—
What is there?

I can tell you:

Several spheres, marked by curious lines,
Connected — and grand eyes,
Watching — soft — lingering—
Obscured and denied.

Alabaster mask,
Connected — and staring out,
Carven features — soft — lingering—

Do you understand?

 

IV

Survival.

               Climbing
            Higher
                  Than the last end,
            The false start.

Survival, day by day.

Trying
Not to repeat
Again, again again—

Survival: this time we move inside old walls,
                Sketchy signal,
                TV flickers.
                Fair features.
                Nobility, eternal history—
                How to engage damage
                And yet still wake up.

And then, morning:

For lo! the wishèd day is come at last

 

V

Differing wavelengths, changed masks.

I have no god—
           but I know He watches.

Silence matters.

Tracks lead to streets aglow,
Great Creator knows my moves:
But approval is ’fuscated.

       Never mind.
       You must find the path—

Chaos differs, but time stays the same.
Shadows again, on the windows shut.

Almighty! what gift—
What look thy give—
Lord! what have I done?

 

VI

Adages can lie—
You cannot simply deconstruct.

You must create,
        and whether it real or not,
        you must foster care.

It is but we who hurt each other.
It is only we who make us bitter.
Jove’s litter, Man—
And we live here, for now.

Verona shewed us light;
            but for now, the Tusks
            dig deep in our ribs,
            and our dying eyes see
            sweet sunlight, borne history, and innocence.

Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d

 

VII

Seven simple statements.
Seven forms of fate.
           Seven muses lie by my bed,
           and dictate solemn the date.

Four sisters of order;
Four days that are shewn.
           Four rules to channel your luck,
           and plead we notice too late.

One kindness is given,
One kindness received.
           Hold breath in reverie silent,
           Before thy great silver gate.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name;
Please hear these words:
We did not choose this—
We did not—

 

VIII

Surrounded now
                                            by angels,
                           another gift.
Lifted by iron wings
                       you know better than I.

Did you see us waiting for you?

Exhumed fluids
                      never
                               never

Insalubrious
                      never
                               never

You entwine two worlds:
All those yet to be
                (and)
             Those who have left.

 

IX

Voices whisper ’round ruins
Tongues never remain, yet
We hear them.

Almost silent—
Catch them, bottle them,
Seal them in writing—

And never speak them again,
For words are stronger
And crueller than you or I.

Let them be,
Or else expect
To hear them — murmuring
Jealousy in your ear at night.

Can you see the face—
It lives in the curtains.
It sinks low on the yellow lace.

 

X

Something has made its way in.

Distorted now, pitched lower,
Childish din, sallow face. Crawling.

Do         you       understand

Lord—release me.
I can’t stop it.
I think it—

             The sun, equidistant, a million miles.
             Reach out — now, green grass, children frolick,
             Water never seemed so fresh.

Silence.

             Everything adds up. Food never tasted so good.
             This is the life. Good wine. Red. Like the old days.
             Serenity.

Something crawls up the back of your neck

 

XI

There are ghosts in this town.
There are soft sighs on the breeze.
Summer’s sweet vengeance.
I turn, and cover my eyes.
I am a sundial.

We create beings we can’t control,
Left at the mercy of faceless hives:

But — there are those
Who carry the light.

I have met one,
                          two—
                                     three.

The corrupted corrupt,
Tainted needlessly.

But still live those
Free of the Dark Mother’s grin:
I have seen the beauty inherent in the soul.

 

XII

Barbed claw-blades.
A night gaunt’s tickling talon—
I cannot run, these
              old walls have me
                    paralysed.

I lie vulnerable
As teeth enclose
     around my wrist:

No escape.

 

XIII

         Not every
         offering
         completes
         a ritual.

We are young,
But pain is ever pain.

         Nothing
         is ever
         easy.

What can we do, but try again,
Ad nauseam.

Not every sacrifice calls a god.
Ancient city,             so distant.

Waiting for the rain,
             to drink deep and catch
             a glimpse of the lonely spirit
             as it wanders by.

We were strangers

 

XIV

Such a strange face
            that frames those spheres.
Many decades will pass,
            and lines shall appear
On my face, as well
            as your strange face.

Yes, lines will grow,
            but keep your strange spirit,
Keep it clear and soft,
            like your strange face.

Did I see you?
Did you see me?
Do you underst—

I know what I see.

 

XV

Room umbrageous.
Blackout.
Voices — weal or woe?

Frozen in darkness.
No knock.
Footsteps — by your bed.

Eyes light up.
Seeping.
Laughter — unkind.

Cadence discords.
And so it unravels.

Then, crushing what he chanced to mould in play,
The idiot Chaos blew Earth’s dust away

 

XVI

The serene song of Cherubim,
Strained descant.
Lilting.

Wait for the walls,
Barriers between sight and vacuity.
A never-ending white
Like static in the synapses.

To guide the hand
Like a tutor,
Like a sibling.

You—
But, leave it.
We make our own way.

There is much time
To fret and strut,
To observe the whistle
Of the wind.

We lift each other up,
Words at play.

 

XVII

In the boughs of yellow trees.
Hiding in plain sight.
Conviction.
A simple dedication.
Dedicated eyes,
Cracked alabaster mask,
Trapped outside dichotomy.
Unwavering mark.
Bane.
Wych-hazel,
Sprinkle ingredients
For invocation to
Summon a yellow sprite
From boughs of
Yellow trees.
A subtle mistake—
Now, catastrophe.
And in a foreign town,
In a foreign land,
Many years on:
Something has found you—
Something from which
You hoped to hide.

 

XVIII

Finnegan erupts, and realises
                            he cannot go back
                            this time.
An unmarried mother concocts
                            a tale, and creates
                            himself again.
The half-conscious desire
                            to embrace, to shy
                            away, to care, to
                            shake in dismay.

       To see oneself in a mirror
       and realise:
                            You are the
       voice in your head.
       To see your hair
       grow long,
                            grey, and fall out.

       To begin again, for what it’s worth.

 

XIX

Mist sinks low on hilltop,
Ensconced in coddling cloud.
Move behind glass.

City walls of craggy brick,
Music sets the scene.
Heartbeats, fast and irregular.
Like a foolish boy.

Capture short moment to laugh,
Dancing invisible together.
Just interrupted.

Kind heart sets other aflame,
Simple tongues,
Native,
Missed.

 

XX

A call from beyond,
Fathomless notes
             between
                           notes between—

       The peace
       of repetition.
       Sand calls

       Creep between shadows
                  between

                  soft

                  lingering

Cast aside sickness
        (soft)
Get on your goddamn knees
        (lingering)

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

Spit out blood,
        hemorrhage,
                Tusks split bone,
                        return to your death,
It ends here,
        flatline,
                Tusks pierce organs,
                        see your own ghost,

In death’s dream kingdom

Life flashes now,
        annihilation,
                Tusks spear heart,
                        premonition,
Wish you spoke,
        honesty,
                Tusks remind you,
                        better to have loved—

For lo! the wishèd day is come at last—

                and lost—
                speak in your own ear—

And such small portions—

                soft spit, those eyes, I love—

Be all my sins remember’d—

                dead between sheets surrounded
                by old walls—

We did not choose this—

                soft

We did not—

                lingering

My God!—

                spit.

 

Go, bid the soldiers shoot.

 

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