There he sits, upon the throne
Or perhaps the throne sits on him
With grizzled skin and grizzled bone
Attending to the silent hymn
Searching out the rusted seraphim
Stretching out the three-branched limb
Ruling, if he rules, according to his whim,
A land once green now turned to stone.
Where is the hope
Now when we need it?
Where is the love
Now when we wither without it?
Where is the joy
Now when our dearest are turned away?
Where is the strength
Now when we are stripped naked?
Where are the castles of dreams
Now when everything has shifted?
The stage is set.
Musty velevet curtain pulls back
There against the tattered scrim
Of all we held dear
A mourning dove sings her dirge
And weeps for us, mankind.
I wake to a cold, empty bed
Alone and shivering
My soul coiling and twisting
Writhing while I, shocked
And dumbfounded, look for She Whom I Love.
She is not here.
From my core to the vastness of space.
She is not here.
All my life I served her,
I lent my words, a shield, for her.
Now, she has been wrenched from me
Dragged down, away,
Taken by gibbering ignorance,
Tattered and torn,
Mocked by the cries to make her great again
Coming from the very lips
That spit upon her and all she stands for.
Vultures perch upon the ballot-tombstone
Pecking and shoving for a chance
To rend her scarred and perfect body yet again.
Where is she, my heart, my soul,
My country, my beloved?
For Memorial Day and the Glorious 25th of May, for those who fought and died, in this world and in Discworld, the creation of Sir Terry Pratchett.
The Poppies and the Lilies
The ones who fought, the ones who died
Defending soil and freedom, home and truth,
On the barricades, snarled on barbs of no-man’s-land,
Red mist of caustic sand rupturing,
Etching man into memory,
The ones who stood, the ones who gave no ground
And those who, stumbling, died in headlong flight,
Those impaled by the hook and claw of revenge,
They scrambled across the beach, into the rubble,
Leapt from the bulwarks toward bow and blade,
Hope ripped away by turncoat and not foe,
Facing death and life, not knowing which—
Cascading into darkest light.
The poppy and the lilac bloom to silent speak again,
A task at hand, a job to do, and nothing more,
The heroes’ shades proclaim,
While round about the living still,
The scent of Remembrance remains.
Flashie Friday/Saturday/Sunday contribution, by me.
The compass rose points up and down
Along the river’s banks,
A border gurgling ‘mine’ and ‘thine’
Dividing into ranks
The whole of everything and all,
Joined here by hope’s stone arch
A treaty-truce, a gathering,
Where friend, not foe, may march.
And yet, unseen by common eye,
The compass rose does turn,
The selfsame arch becomes the mark
Where ‘dream’ and ‘real’ both yearn
To mate and part and mate again
As once in times of old
The dreaming walked in broad daylight
And real, the stories told.
A door between two worlds, perhaps,
A tenuous join at best.
A way across for entering in
May open on request.
“As above, so below. As within, so without. As the universe, so the soul.” — Hermes Trismegistus
“It is the thing, and the whole of the thing.” — Sir Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant
Where I am, that place is mine.
Where I will be, that place is mine.
Where I sit, that place is mine.
Where I stand, that place is mine.
Where I lie down, that place is mine.
Where I rise up, that place is mine.
Where I toil, that place is mine.
Where I rest, that place is mine.
Where I live, that place is mine.
Where I die, that place is mine.
There is a pit of deepest hell
That treads upon the sod
From which the richest treasures grow
So promises the god.
From suffering comes the purest voice,
Throat that bore the unspared rod
And in the darkness measured full
None dare cry the Ichabod.
Nightmare spawn with fangs and claw
Hold no fears for those who know
The terror held in empty crib
Where angels never go.
Say not the child is borne away
Where never evil shows
Say not the heaven stench departs.
This monstrous grace, bestowed,
Rips limb from soul and heart from mind
And leaves its mark of woe behind.