Unearthed

Perhaps the artifact you unearthed

was waiting for you.

Perhaps not.

The ancient wraiths of your fathers bear witness

to your own thievery.

Doubtless, the dormant curses will

begin to manifest.

The sleeping souls of the past

stumble as they walk toward the light

they’ll never reach.

The old soil encrusting your stolen treasure

is crumbly with dreams, fertile with memories,

and yet, nothing grew.

The redolent scent of the earth’s loam

gives way

to an afterbirth of blood.

Perhaps the artifact will break your clutching fingers

and release itself.

Perhaps not.

Worlds Within

The blood on my fingertips

is mine.

It holds worlds within its oxidated spheres

that some, walking down this city street,

can taste on their tongues

like vipers.

 

Their eyes change color and form

when you look deep enough,

the eyes of reptiles

and

things that fly in the night

to hunt.

 

They smile at me,

knowing I see them

as they think to

savor the worlds within

my blood,

rich with learning.

 

Their leader smiles at me too,

ferocious, flirtatious, and feral

as she mouths the words, ‘No escape.’

 

I drip the blood on the tip of my tongue,

and offer it to her.

 

Laughing, she approaches,

eager to begin

the dance of worlds within.

 

I Kissed My Vices

The moon was high,

the hour late,

and my vices came to me with gleams in their eyes,

dresses unbuttoned, hanging off their shoulders,

skin sweaty with shiny sins,

promising, in sibilant whispers,

pleasures unparalleled in

a paradise unknown.

I opened my arms,

and they came in a pleasing swarm that caressed my shoulders,

soothed my mind, ceased my pain,

and stole my soul.

Night after freezing, endless night,

I walked back to the lair that beckoned with smoky eyes, neon lights, and phony smiles as my pockets deflated

and my ego burst beneath long fingers, teasing lacquered nails,

my deceiving reflection lifting yet another whiskey in hollow celebration of a dying life as his murderers smiled

and professed their undying love.

And one night, I kissed them all, my vices, every one,

losing myself in the scent of perfume that didn’t quite hide the corruption.

They slipped their poisoned nectar tongues past my lips

and bid me suck.

And I fed like a flitting hummingbird.

When the sky turned from black to indigo with the coming dawn,

they bit my bleeding lips and left their blight behind, a

as they fled from me, their laughter mocking me

in birdsong

and the susurration  of taxi tires

on dewy, steaming streets.

In the morning light heralding the void of a plagued and restless sleep,

the crows and flies of hell gathered to feast on the remnants of myself,

now repenting in the light of the sun,

while the consequences of all I lost gibbered among themselves

and nipped at my heels like jackals

not waiting their turn

for the lions feasting on a carcass.

“Forgive me,” I said to the emptiness slipping about me like a filthy blanket,

The paper trash and gutter dirt rolled in eddies of laughter,

as the cold breeze slapped my face, and said, simply,

“Never.”

It stripped another piece of me and swirled down the block,

leaving me diminished, depleted, defeated,

a split rock with no chance

of ever being whole.

I stopped walking, not knowing where I was,

trembling from the stripping of the cloak of night,

the dread comforts of my kissing vices

breaking apart like cirrus clouds ripped asunder

to make way for the storm.

And I despaired of ever seeing home again…

But before me, right there in front of me,

in a crack on the sidewalk caught in a brightening ray of  light

was a small, sprig of transcendent green, with one tiny, verdant leaf

dancing on the wind like a miniature banner

unfurled and raised

in a hopeless battle.

It blurred once, and then again,

as drops of salty water filled my eyes,

and said to me, in all its infant glory,

Begin again…

 

Rhyme’s End

What brings you now here to my side.

my sad and mournful friend?

It’s nice to know though death betide,

that death is not the end.

Shall we now walk together down

the verdant path so green,

or take the one with flooding blood,

more than I’ve ever seen.

For heaven waits above, my friend,

and hell roasts down below,

so cease your tears and boasts, my friend,

and choose which way to go.

I will admit I’ve missed you now

for oh-so-long a time.

It’s nice to have this comfort now,

when life has ceased to rhyme.

Let’s tarry here no longer, friend.

I’m eager to be gone,

and be free of this burden’s bend,

to lightly travel on…

Waxen

By candlelight I write

late into the night

as the wax weeps

molten tears into the

hollowed skull

watching me

with hollowed sockets,

jet black in an ivory face.

Chimes toll the witching hour,

though it is no spell I craft.

My eyes grow heavy with sleep,

but the characters dance

a noble duet

even as the darkness

envelops us all.

They spin, and fall,

and fade

until the coming of a new day,

full of promise

to begin the pas-de-deux

anew.

Children of The Well

I hear the children crying

at the bottom of the well.

In hot and chafing chains they march,

and journey into hell.

And on the misty hilltop starts

the ringing of the bell.

The children slowly change to creatures

of a wicked spell.

They snarl and growl and claw and bite

with every tolling knell.

A cloud of death surrounds them

with a rotten carrion smell.

To a pagan god they’re praying

to be free but they’re all staying.

Yes, I hear the children baying

at the bottom of the well.

There’s No More Time for Poetry

“There’s no more time for poetry”

the ragged poet said.

His eyelids had gone heavy.

It was way past time for bed.

 

But every time he stopped the words

from flowing through the pen,

they’d cry, cajole, and threaten

til he picked it up again.

 

He needed water, food, and sleep,

but they’d not let him be.

His sleepy eyes began to cry.

They would not set him free.

 

His candles burned to pools of wax

throughout the quiet night.

The poetry was piled in stacks

of neat, prodigious height.

 

And as the sky was paling o’er,

the last word penned had dried.

And when the sun was at his door,

the ragged poet died.

 

The poem had not been finished though,

the words had more to say.

They’d help to make his writing flow,

and work throughout the day.

 

The ragged poet’s fingers twitched

with necromantic life,

and with his writing hand bewitched,

the pen gripped like a knife,

 

He wrote unceasing,

running out of paper, and of ink.

The paper curled and blackened,

and his flesh began to stink.

 

The nib keeps dipping, dipping,

in the inkwell long run dry,

The maggots keep on dripping

from his long unseeing eye.

 

And should you pass his humble home

alone there on the hill,

you’ll hear, beneath the starry dome,

the scratching of his quill.

 

 

 

Wisps of Wishes, Wraiths of Dreams

They’re all gone now, every one.

Nothing has been redeemed, and no one spared.

The darkness is consummate, ultimate, and victorious.

All that remains are the wisps of wishes,

the wraiths of dreams,

aimlessly wandering a desolate land

that holds no one to birth them

into a desperate world.

They float, adrift on a sea of abandoned hope.

With despairing cries, they dissolve.

Even Death, who claims all Life,

comes to loathe his task,

and snuffs

the last candle

that forever extinguishes

all the stars.

A Full Heart

My arms are open.

My heart is full.

The fire is warm.

The night is young.

The moon is rising.

The stars are silver-white.

The wine, as dark as my intentions.

You look at me and know

that in the end

it’s you

who makes me feel

alive.

*************

My arms are folded.

My heart is still.

The fire is out.

The night is ending.

The moon is setting.

The silver-white stars blend with the clouds.

The wine, as cold as my flesh.

I look at you and know

that in the end

it’s me who

dies.