Sunday, June 24, 2012

A New Poem Draft and Four Poem Re-Drafts

All in various stages of roughness.


How sleepless is this night!
Heat battles for my soul,
There is too much of light,
And I am not yet whole.
I toss, I turn, I twist,
This verse again I turn,
And write it down and list
'Wake thoughts in which I burn.

Hail, Rome!

Hail, Rome! The sun is bright,
the serpent perched on high
on bough that bears the apples light
whence you shall surely die.
And are you strong? O Mighty Rome,
know this to be your failing.
However much your base is stone
or mighty is your sailing,
the likes of you are not brought low
by sea wolves or by reivers --
Look to glass to see your foe,
or check your brow for fevers.
For one hand always slices through
the neck, however shielded.
It is your own. Its aim is true
with weapons you have wielded.
Or yet, the small, the scarce, unseen,
that sickens from inside,
encouraged by your deeds unclean
shall newer days elide.

Hail Rome! You shall surely die;
the world shall weep to know it,
the nations gnash their teeth and cry
to He who can bestow it
as highways built by human hands
are ripped to shreds by grasses,
and trees break streets you have unmanned,
and stones block lonely passes,
or sealanes that have sought your trace
forget you, love another,
and airlanes cease to know your trade,
but only wind that wuthers.


The fairies are godlings Christ has tamed;
we know their haunts, we speak their names,
we hear their whispers in the air,
and majesty and strength are there.
But never do we rise to pray
or sacrifice to keep their way,
nor ever do we bend the knee,
but stand before them, less but free.
Some may revere, but all are bold:
we love them as loved tales of old,
as rumors of an age of gold.

St. Michael, Defender of the Tempted

Prince of hosts! Defend us now
as battles 'round us rage;
support us in the march and fight
in warfare that we wage
against all crowns and thrones that serve
the spirit of the age!

You are one like unto God;
God's image are we too,
and though the prince of darkness rule,
God has his word renewed
through broken bone and flowing blood
of Faithful One, and True.

Then fight with us by God's good grace,
all angels at your side,
and as the dragon was cast down,
cast down oppressor's pride;
the liar walks with cloth of light --
reveal his wicked lie!

Upon the name, the Holy Name,
lift up your voice to call,
and carry soldiers from the field
who, arrow-ridden, fall.
Cast back the serpent's malice cold
ere death envenom all!


War among the gods!
The world is shaken,
Mountain thrusts back sea,
Sea swallows violent mountains,
Winds uproot eternal stones,
Monsters fight in boundless deep.
The ceaseless warring of the gods
Can any imagine, can any know?

But even divine wars fall to quiet:
Even gods know harsh defeat.
Battles ended. The darkest god,
Darker than the dark of night,
Starless, lightless void that burns,
Fell to his knees, his crown broken,
A chain-encircled mighty form
He was driven across the wastes,
Brought to judgment by the gods.
The rite and law of that ancient court
Can any imagine, can any know?

But once I traced a lightless thread
Errant in its dreams, and found
At its end a windless sea
Sorrowing at world's end.
The stars were deep within it.
A blanket fog, wisps of cloud,
Rolled across the starry glass.
Upon the lapping shore a boat,
Mighty of prow, had been moored.
Without wind it moved across the sea,
And carried me to sullen isles.
Upon a rain-wet granite stone
A form of darkness sat in bonds,
And from it blindness poured.

I quailed and fled.
When the darkness falls,
When you fall down in harsh defeat,
When mind by gloom is chained,
Some little clue of darkened wisp
Across that glassy sea has come
And tangled with your inner thoughts.
One strand, one thread, one wisp.
In our world the darkest dark
Is a night that knows the stars
Or earthy darkness mindful of fire.
But there is a darker god inside.
The rain will rust his iron chains
Until they weaken, twist, and break.
The time when darkness wars again
Can any imagine, can any know?

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