Last Of The 222nd Terrestrial Assault Battalion
In exquisite repose he lay,
Upon a hillside knoll of home,
The soil of his motherland,
Substance of his marrow bone,
The core of his fathers gone.
Highland grass grew lush beneath,
Drew out the fire of memories,
Absorbed the ache of foreign deeds
And blights upon his noble creed.
Aroma lay upon the breeze
Of herb and flower gone to seed,
Beneath a blue infinity of
Lathia’s tranquility. Of Lathia
The finches sang, and drank
Sweet drinks from crystal streams,
And brought to shock late autumn dreams
From demigods upon the sky.
Peace, said the world.
Peace, said the day.
Peace, said the way of Lathia.
"Peace," Montrog uttered to the world.
And from his lips warm breath unfurled
That lifted on the chill of air
Like spirits come in misty swirls.
Of peace he thought and felt the pain
Of battles fought and lost in vain,
Of mockery contrived to stain
The will of gods and words of men.
No peace in life, no peace again,
Until all life’s oblivion,
Until the gods of Lathia
Explain away the days.
In his mind he said, no more -
No more to pain and horror’s ways.
The holy writs all spoke of peace,
Mortality a testing place of right
And wrong and holy grace.
Good Lathia the gods had made
To justify a sore disgrace
Of lesser worlds they wrought in shame,
Of lesser worlds that lost their way.
On Lathia death came as light,
No horror from the other side,
A friend to usher swift away
A soul to sleep on winter night,
The ugly death of other worlds
No jurisdiction here to wield,
No frightful screams of agony,
Nor gurgling cries of blooded lungs,
Nor e’er the pounding of the guns.
No horror here, the horror done.
He reached and found the greenery,
And pulled a handful by the roots
And held the fragrance to his cheek,
The sweet spice of his ancient race,
Not else but wholesome gentle life,
Yet blinded by a cannon flash,
And stench of fire within his brain -
Foreign grounds now beaten down
Before the hand of anarchy,
A body fallen at his feet,
And half a head, the eyes a stare,
A friendly gaze that was no more
For honor seeking in the blaze,
Long led astray by godless men,
While all gods turned their face away.
No honor in the death of friends.
No honor in the bloody ends for
Which the worlds of others waged,
For interest sons of honor paid,
Honor all the while betrayed
By faceless, godless men.
Says the Writ, What is man to ask
Why rivers flow into the sea, into the deep?
What is for the gods is for the gods.
And so his mortal conscience clean,
Montrog released the priming pin,
And held the foreign tool of death,
With shaking hand, upon his breast.
"Dear Lathia," he cried aloud,
From deep within his wretched soul.
And gods gave ear to his distress,
Thus sent a gust of winter breath
To clear the tear drops from his eyes,
And soothe the blood upon his chest.
There’s a land where I cannot go.
There’s a visionary place
That time doesn’t know,
Or there’s only space.
You’ve gone there, I fear.
And I am here.
Shall I Join You?
Shall I join you there?
Shall I forsake air?
Shall I shed my weight?
Dear light, what is true?
Why must I hesitate,
Before I join you?
What I seek, I cannot say,
For I have vainly searched many seasons
All diverging into winter.
When I was a boy,
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Upon a sunny summer’s day.
In the fragrance of an arbor rose,
I thought I saw the answer there,
Drifting to me upon the transient air.
I tried to understand but it was gone.
Now I have grown, the dream is done.
I know no more than I knew then.
I cling to remnants of autumn days,
Now that spring is merely rumors of breeze
Blowing through the trees at evening.
Should I shed tears for you?
Shall I despair for you?
Or have you found the answer there?
Beneath the earth and settling snow,
Has truth eluded you eternally,
As I fear?
Are no more gruesome
Than a day
In a rest home
With cheery bulletins
To stare at on the wall,
The wait for pleasant nurses
To clap my hands for me,
And wipe my shit for me,
And making believe
There’s more than clean diapers
And strained peas for supper.
Why rage against the dying light,
When night has come?
I think I’ll go out with a bang -
No Beethoven refrains to end the comedy,
Just one staccato note I’ll never hear -
Idaho air and a twelve-gauge,
Hemingway’s ghost in my ear,
Good shot, man, very clean.
The Chamber Of The Spurious Dust
In the bowels of a chamber tower,
By the glow of a sulfur lamp,
The haggard one moved languidly
Through the beads of the floor stone damp.
By the flicker of a brimstone fire,
In the curl of a genie smoke,
The damned son took freedom form,
As the grating of a door bolt spoke.
All the shackles of a thousand years
In a sparrow’s hour fell to rust,
And a stiff hemp wick freed an ancient power,
From the chambers of the spurious dust.
There is nothing more dismaying
Than an architect’s debacle -
The élan vital decaying,
A stench of decades reeking,
Never speaking of demise,
These tabernacle walls crumbling,
Depending on self-deceit to cope,
Mumbling words of comfort,
Sweet placating lies
To disguise a disquieting truth,
Stumbling about in ignorance,
Seeking hope in decadence,
Fumbling for assurance of youth,
Then awakened from a trance,
And surprised that it ends.
Upon this threshold breath
Draw forever cold.
Enter Then, Mystery
I will not yield,
Yet shall yield,
Will not but shall,
Powerless to oppose,
Loathe to abet,
Resigned as I am.
Close then, curtain.
Enter then, mystery.
The Suicide Society
Hear ye! Hear ye!
The Suicide Society
Is now in session.
To all, a hearty greeting!
Though by way of confession,
I must confess
That I profess
To be the only member
Since last December.
The others canceled membership.
They took the trip
We’ve all been planning.
So much for the banning
Of personal initiative!
Now there’s no alternative
But to replan our itinerary,
Since the funerary
Expenses really blew our last dime.
Oh, well! I’m still here to pay.
By the way,
Can anybody take the minutes for next time?
I think I’ll drink some hemlock tea
To chill the warmth inside of me.
I think I’ll steep a bit of bane
To help me sleep this afternoon.
The hour is coming soon.
Off to sleepy lane!
I believe I’ll put on the pot.
Some arsenic should hit the spot,
With cyanide biscuits on a flowery plate.
It’s time for tea. I shan’t be late!
To whom it may concern: Don’t concern yourself at all.
I’m just preparing my scholarship for the up and coming fall.
I believe it’s time to graduate,
Or withdraw completely if it’s not too late.
The prerequisites have all been met.
My tuition has been paid.
I’ll await my final grade.1
But don’t worry about my transcripts just yet.
My cap and gown feel a bit too tight.
1. Refer to bibliography, How To Grade A Grave Site.
The Final Cut
Practice has been long and intense.
But practice makes for a perfect performance.
You’ve rehearsed a thousand times in your head.
So, get out there, and knock ‘em dead!
You’ve honed your talent to a razor edge.
Now, you must ascend a monumental ledge,
Before the curtain can draw shut.
It’s time to make the final cut.
The sarcophagus retains
An exacting likeness of youth.
For a moment, it maintains
A living element of truth.
The sarcophagus still smiles
As if in everlasting trust,
Although creation reviles,
Though its soul has long turned to dust.
But the sarcophagus decays.
On the mercy of clime depend
All surrenders to time’s forays.
And death gloats, blissful, to the end.
Croon, croon the ancient tune,
The loon-note moan the ancients croon.
You view the song within the moon,
The melody, the meter, the rune.
Croon of lost bloom,
The soon coming doom.
Slowly groan of flesh and bone.
Lowly go and croon alone.
Swoon long and low at nocturnal noon.
Rest, my weary friend.
At last you’ve found the end
Of all suffering and strife -
The conclusion of this life.
Is that not what you sought,
After all the battles fought -
Respite from mortal foes,
In exquisite repose?
You’ve made your last stand,
Quite conquered pain’s dominion,
With a final sweep of hand
Silenced the world’s opinion.
Your journey is complete.
Sound the last retreat.
No more must you roam.
At last, forever home!
I Must Go Alone To My Bed
I am a weary wanderer
On a lonesome and winding road.
I am a daily ponderer.
I bear a ponderous load.
My shoes are worn down to the soles.
My pants are rent with gaping holes.
But I still maintain my feet
And earth as a temporal seat.
I have nothing to call my own.
All I possess, I do on loan.
All my possessions I shall shed
Down to the last verse in my head.
And whether I’ll taste victory
Before I face my last defeat
Is an unrecorded story.
But gain and loss I shall both meet.
I have a few more miles to go.
I have a few more thoughts to know,
And my destination to see
When I arrive at destiny.
Shed no tears when I pass on by.
We must face both drought and rain.
It is only torture to cry.
Perhaps our paths may join again.
Every road eventually ends
As love passed far beyond our tread.
Each friendship leads to parting friends.
I must go alone to my bed.
Sleep comes not easily in the ensuing day.
Rest comes on as a numbing sensation.
Eyes turn to crystal but refuse to dim.
Stand at my shoulder, oh, sleep!
Terminate this waking restless day!
Come, dreamless night!
Bring thy lusterless paler.
Still my palpitating agony.
Drape my agitated face with shadows.
Dress my pain, my aching distress.
Oh, sleep, where is thy sting?
I Go, Yet I Stay
I am here, and you there, and distance in between.
And you stay.
But lingers my heart eviscerated.
I must leave my treasure, my jewels.
I depart in poverty.
I embark in despair.
My diamond, my emerald, and my ruby, I leave.
This day, I weep bitterly.
But I have no tears to shed.
My eyes are barren and blind.
I have abandoned my life.
I am torn from my love.
I go, yet I stay.
May Or May Not
Is it better to burn out than to fade away?
Which is better, night or day?
Should one be morose or gay?
Should one work or play?
Is it better to leave or stay?
To live might not be best, but it may.
My Soul Take
I often dream that this dream has passed,
See visions beyond my final breath -
Mere glimpses of concluding despair,
And onward to a blackness so vast,
Eternally wandering the borders of death,
Earnestly searching for an end to this nightmare.
Oh, God! Please let me wake!
Oh, maker, my soul take!
A Minute To Midnight
Gone, gone, gone!
The final day is done.
Pain, pain, pain,
And only fear remain!
Life, life, life,
Is nothing more than strife!
Rue, rue, rue,
In knowing it is through!
Dark, dark, dark,
Without another spark!
Cold, cold, cold!
The coming of the mold!
Rot, rot, rot!
Decay is all I’ve got!
Woe, woe, woe!
Where did the moments go?
Past, past, past!
My time has gone so fast!
Tock, tock, tock,
Like ticking of a clock!
Fright, fright, fright!
A minute to midnight!
This Dark Night
How alone I am in this crowd!
The memories of those I love,
In my head, are speaking aloud.
I therefore, to be heard above,
Raise my voice in lonely reply,
Say the things I want to say
Before the chance crawls away
Like some worn dog gone off to die.
Oh, how lonely is solitude!
How sorrowful is memory!
How capricious this attitude
Of my long bygone history!
The ghosts awaken from silence,
To the forefront of consciousness.
I can offer no recompense
To the restless souls I suppress.
Oh, solitude, what frightful might!
How fretful is my mumbling!
How inept my mind’s fumbling
For a companion, this dark night.
Scream Of Silence
Someone, please listen to me!
I am out here in a black sea.
Eternal darkness has swallowed entirely
All that I shall ever be.
Though I shriek, or whimper softly,
No one ever notices that I am here.
I would try to get back on my feet,
But I am so cold and wet with fear.
Like an eviscerated lamb, I hopelessly bleat.
I roar like a lion, like a mad hyena laugh.
I squeak like a mouse, caterwaul like a snot-nose calf.
I squeal my rabbit-in-a-trap pain.
I scream out my terror in vain,
But no one shall ever hear me.
Home No More
Home no more!
Silence beyond the door!
What wayward wind
Blows as a host?
Which moments sinned
Are measured most?
To naught entrust
What here has passed,
When bones are dust,
And graves are grassed.
I am in love with death,
My only redeemer of breath,
My only true lover,
His vow like no other -
Our betrothal from birth.
I shall take him to bed.
Forever shall we wed,
And elope from this earth.
Spirits Of The Mist
Does anyone see me floating here?
It seems I’ve become lighter than air.
There is no need to feel fear.
I just came to ask if you care
Enough to tell me how to go.
I want to pass on, but I don’t know where.
Listen, up above the trees, up in the leaves there.
It is I, passing as the wind might blow.
I surrender to the seeping glass,
Twilight creeping fast upon my wisdom,
My eyes dimming at the shadows shifting,
The sands sifting past my fragile grasp.
Sad And Sleepy Twilight
Sad and sleepy twilight,
Lie your head upon the breast of night.
Weary time has come and gone.
Pillow your soul on tranquility.
Make your bed a starry flight.
Beneath a blanket of eternity,
Slumber until dawn.
Slumber until dawn.
Sleepy twilight ceiling,
Hazy dreaming evening,
Pass away, oh, pass away
A song of old,
To sing the heart to stupor,
Sinking there, is sinking
Off to rest.
Oh! Avid voice of ambition,
Still thy quaking tone!
The day is done!
The night has come!
The struggle, at last, is over!
Until I Sleep
Can you hear my heart weeping?
Can you feel my soul seeping away?
I cannot stay.
The night is deep.
Hold me close, until I sleep.
Embryonic entity clinging feebly to these fetal bonds,
Against these powers wrought to tear it outward into darkness,
Struggling, reluctant more than any word to face this final birthing,
Clinging, clinging feebly, deeming this fleshly womb all of being,
I resist with tremulant cries my departure.
Where did your fire go -
That last candescent glow
Of light, of life, of thought,
That once burned so hot?
That final spark of divinity
Lifting in a wisp to infinity!
Oh, dry leaf, insignificant and transient,
Formed so, and abandoned so,
That your passing should have a fixed course,
That your rustling might linger for a time more,
That remembrance of your passing might linger,
This is the core want of my substance.
This is the dire need of my soul, oh, dry leaf.