Lost monsters in the smoke.
In these brimstone acres,
I shall erect with tools of gold,
A fountain of flames to watch the party
And snare the minds as they escape.
And as caretaker of this great monument,
I shall invoke images; the legends of old ghosts
To overwhelm the tired, wrinkled eyes
Of those assembled at this place
On the night of finding venom.
Demons in the trees of dusk!
The fields of gentle beasts and soft flavours,
Are over the hill, across the river;
This is the harsh land;
The stems are not eaten for the day,
They are sacred in the night;
The stars are different here;
Here we suffer on jagged rocks and forget,
Here the grains of earth scrape and scourge
Through our little worlds of many caves;
Here we use our mouths differently,
And feast politely on the remnants of mind.
We see faces in the caves, inside the walls;
Faces in the clouds, faces in the leaves,
The gathered debris, the ragged scarves of skin.
Spiders and old jaws gathered in the caves;
Lanterns breathe a colour,
An angry, ruptured sky breaks in the caves.
You were trying too hard; it was already found;
You could have been anything; you didn’t know;
You just behaved; talked ‘till you agreed,
And then kept talking.
No one got anywhere, until the night ended;
And finally corroded, the colours deified;
You mingled with the soft laughing birds
And waxed proportions;
Everyone had a poison in their pockets;
Its’ glimpse was your silence.
When you were in your bed of slow wanderings,
That time between the darkness and the light,
Unknown face to the unreachable breezy ground,
And hung in the wind, still, as the land fled;
Did you ever fear the world would fall,
Suffocate and clog your attempt of life?
You thought you could do everything
This life and still Return.
You ventured into your beast in the night
To find the world on another day
Not I, keeper of the flaming fountain.
They gathered on the hills
Watching you collect yourselves;
I in white feathers was with them,
I had not slept, I went nowhere;
The world was still the same;
You could not lift, you cried;
Vile cement had filled your space of air,
And you were eaten, collapsed;
I came down to anoint your crude recognition
As you lay in bile stained, ragged cloths:
“Pain I will not lament in the wrinkles of my face,
‘Broken flesh I will not guard in the clothing of hands”
And they remained in twisted, wasted ramparts;
They became a desert of scarecrows;
Their skulls settled in the earth, winds whistled
Through their bones; it was the only thought around;
Weeds and sick trees grew among the scattered skeletons;
Those who drank from the hole joined the scalding radius.
The ravens, in their paths of collection, knew about
That hole, over the hill, across the river...
From that hole came something mean.