Seaside Battlefield

Oh tell, dark mud, stained and dyed in rivulets of blood,
Why scream harsh tones, the ravens and crows,
Amidst the ash and hellish cries, choking skies
Bone and flesh, metal-torn, bowing to the reaper’s horn?
 
What saw you fading to the years,
What said you against the deafened ears,
To still their hearts to cold hard death?
What wind you stole to take their breath,
How lie you silent, reeking mid-sun,
The first is finished, the war begun.
“Silence, mortal, I am but they
Who in late years have passed this way,
They died to fall and live in me,
Someday to fall into the sea,
Forever roaring battle song

Assaulting ships and wrecking wrong.

“I saw more blood than I can hold,
To them who fell as they faded I told,
Be now at peace, no war can find you
And with new fire their forms flew on,
Kindling stars with battle-song,
The body of old falls deep to me,
Each soul goes to where he would be.
No tempest shrieking moves them now,
Before no conqueror shall they bow.
I lie here famished, glutted in death,
Waiting the tide to cleanse me again,
To send the memory of these wretched men,
To the grave, to the fish, to the birds, to their rest.”
And their memory? is it to be lost
As changing to fog flies the frost?
 
“What matters it now, they know who they are!
Some are remembered for the deeds they achieved,
But remember this, you hot-hearted fool,
Not Achilles would be known if not for the thousands
Who perished before him and after his wake,
Though his victims be piled and burned in red mountains,
Pain and oblivion spurting black fountains,
Leaving behind them ten thousand to grieve!
Alone man is futile, in battle or peace,
Surely ’tis true that great men may come –
Not one, I tell you, not a single one,
Has lived but for the weak who first raised him,
And if dying in violence and heat of Hell’s hate
Is action held worthy of memory and song,
Then hold still in closer the hope of each tide,
The flow of life and peace and war,
Each birth and death, every drop of rain,
Which over history cleans and renews
The ill or good fortune all nations shall choose.”

 

A Memory with You

In the darkening hours, with whispering wind,
All feathered flight alighting in trees,
Singing to the stars an evening song,
Watching the sun stretch shadows long,
And forested mountains black in the shade,
Shadowy clouds and evening breeze,
Looking down on the lights all man-made,
Awaiting the starlight and moon-shafts to fade,
Under clouds for a moment, and burst forth again,
Revealing the names of a thousand dead men,
And softly sitting, whispering there,
In the peacefulness of Somnolent Prayer

Distance of Dreams

Alone was the evening; awaking the breeze,
Away went the wind, casting off to the seas
Worn red dust of the hidden road running,
First earthbound now flying, and mocking the clouds.
Clouds of once-white gleaming all a’gold-red,
Afire from dragon, or lash of the sun,
Welding sky to ground, star-place and Ocean,
Most brilliant blue and gold, setting in motion
Some minutes of stillness; a love’s silent wonder.

In harmony with strains of the mountains’ deep heartsong,
When a girl let her heartbeats, her breaths, her longing,
Be caught with the waiting winds, off where they will,
The stars heard them rise and woke from dreams thronging,
Flickered and pulsed, keeping time of their fires,
With that of her soul; To fly glist’ning o’er wind 
Feeling cool clouds ‘neath moonlight she would,
To the stars and dreams if anyone could.

You Shall Yet Find Me

Perhaps we’ll find a Time somewhere,
In a crag of memory made,
Singing along with the crickets there,
‘Neath a ceiling of sunlit shade.

Or then that Time may give a share,
Of a darkened raining glade,
And to wander a path will be ours ‘ere
The sweet new Dawn is made.

We wait for the Time to find us then –
I’ll be there just the same,
Wherever a Hope finds a path to run,
You’ll find me there – Somewhere.

. . . forever past fleeing snow,
In the shade of a tall tree’s glow.

Winter’s Anticipation *

Light-haired and soft, the Sky shakes out her locks, 
Sends starlings scattering in wheeling flocks,
Arising from restless night, the land
Moves rippling, unfeeling, beneath her soft hand.

Just a-flick’ring and flashing all silver serene,
Shining and shimmering mercurial sheen,
The world lies glimmering in beauty – but dead,
Still mourning, the Sky in clouds veils her head.

She longs for her lover to wake and be free,
So long has he lain ‘neath this grimly wrought sea,
Ah, patience must bear the discontented hours,
‘Ere the grasses appear and the land flourishing, flowers.

All lovers apart might long for the spring,
While seeing in the Other some cold deadly thing,
Desiring to thaw the cold, glittering skin,
Rooting out the clouds casting shadows of Sin.

Still despite a lonely night, unrested,
A little thought of Spring is tested,
And the sun brightly shining can not bear to leave,
Lest alone the other should chance to grieve,

The light is of hope, though not perfect life,
Alone we now see it, winter’s little knife,
Will melt in the presence of the oncoming Sky;
The sun giving heat, ice shall willingly die.


*This can not be said to be solely my own work; my lady lent me the most important portion of the poem before I began – both word and thought.

Be Our Fire

Frosty gale, come up, come up,
Climb up and o’er the mount.
Flying, singing, Icily flinging,
The snowflakes like stars beyond count.

Wailing winds, come down, down,
From scorched hilltops high.
Fan the dust from our souls,
Revive the white coals,
‘Till they blaze and burn with a sigh.

Oh God, our God, draw near to us,
We would love through you alone.
Be the Sweetness between us,
The Fire in our hearts,
And Desire to be brought Home.

“Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.
~ St. Augustine of Hippo

First Hope

The man took fruit from the hand of Eve,
And bitter was the taste within,
A lie was plucked from the youthful tree,
The skin was soft, the core too harsh,
For any of flesh to bear.

The sun was quenched before the noon,
Within their souls they felt,
A chill of guilt, and heat of shame,
The man looked fearful at his wife –
Her eyes burned his, apart they ran.

When evening had cooled the garden,
Descended God to earth as He
Did daily to walk with His newest children,
But found them not before Him there,
He looked and saw them cowering.

And from their Paradise they were banished,
They themselves had turned away,
A serpent writhed in pain before a Cherubim,
Sword of the Almighty’s flaming wrath,
Denying all the fruit of Life.

Oh you first of Man and Woman,
What grievous choice in Pride you made!
You now have nothing but a promise
Made in love, of Love to you.

Your children will bleed and suffer,
Generations will fall away,
You will have been but dust for centuries,
Before the world shall see the day –
The Day of Salvation, when on a Tree,
A Man unblemished will take your sin.

The Tree of Life has changed for all,
It’s Fruit is bitter-sweet,
We must now take up our inheritance,
The misery of the Fall, but Hope
Remains to us at it did you,
We hold the fruit of Sin,
And die not for Sin but Salvation,
Like you, one day, your God will meet.

Now take we up these days of Penance,
And Prayer before commemorating
The fasting of the Christ – the Forty Days –
Who felt the hunger of humanity.

Don’t Wait for Tomorrow

The sunlight has dwindled to moondust,
And fixed in their usual place,
Uncountable stars are guarding the gate
To where gold does not turn to rust.

The day is now over, past are all it’s cares,
Tomorrow has yet to be born,
Be peaceful, Beloved, don’t meddle with Time,
It will come when it will come.

Each angel places a gentle kiss
On the face of each sleepy soul,
And guards with his shining, unyielding rod –
Sleep now, in the presence of God

The Holy Innocents

Innumerable lives of children slain,
Upon the altar of Herod’s doubt,
And the will of Pharaoh – abandoned to Hapi,
For fear of new power, new life, to keep old,
The earth and its joys; they preyed on the mothers,
Stealing their offspring –
They saw the death of the ones who should bury them.

The earth and the river, the seas have cried out,
And call still to the Lord: “How long must we wait?
When will you make us new, cleaned of this blood?”

The waters have yet to be turned to dark red,
Bones still have not choked the rivers dry,
Nor the swarms of carrion-eaters enveloped the sky,
Hidden are the remains of the unjustly slain.

Innumerable lives forbidden to choose,
‘Ere they saw daylight their beings were sundered,
For fear of an army for the nation of God
As traitors they were dealt,
And while none could yet so much as raise
A weapon against this hell,
The bronze-edged sword and point they felt,
In battle silent fell.

. . . . . .
Amidst the cries and tumult, a soldier leaving,
Looked back on a mother grieving,
Lying in blood of her dying infant,
Mingling her tears with the innocent red,
Wishing herself to be fallen there dead,
And the warrior, sun and battle-seasoned,
Duty-sworn, wrongly obeyed, in heartbreak swayed,
And wiping his sword of twenty long years,
Cleaned it also with his remorseful tears.

Ad Venit IV

Four pillars upholding the light of the prophets;
Though made by none less than a conqueror-king,
Alexander’s tower shone not half as long,
Neither did it feel tremour of an Angel’s song.

Long-standing dark, the last cry for Repentance,
Blazes high among stars, overpow’ring the Dawn.
Look not to the sun but replenish your vows,
Make ready your heart for the Angels’ King.

Feeding and growing the light silent listens,
Holding its breath in anticipation,
And melting wax falling and slipping down, glistens,
Ensuring the bridge from the Fire to the World –

. . . the Christ is coming soon.