Vetrinn

Wither the heart, in furloughs of chastened brooks bespoken,

The runnel’s mouth rimed and mute,

And downs of fallow, amber, tawny, fawn, caressed, windswept; forlorn.

In muted skeins drawn from Lady’s shuttles, ever running on,

Unburdened now the petal-brows, the eye resiled inward,

Snares of warmth in lightless earth until all life returns.

Charnel-wooded, winter-damned, of quiet contemplation,

In whispered spring beneath the snow, the guttering fire-hearth burns low,

Idle not the sacred spark to animate, dutiful once more to thaw.

Chartreuse and Laurel, Olive-preened, lurid hope condemns,

Vestige of the frosted landscape corpse, twice-doomed,

Lingering yet, looming gallows braided,

Errant dreams of timeless, silent slumber.

Life demands the Awakening forestalled.

Death seeds the Reckoning foretold.

The cold soil trembles between them.

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A Measure of Seasons

Ever is the quiet humility of contentment, the paradox of life’s simplicity; the pulsing intensity of the frenetic and the soothing inevitability of the receding tide. And as a wanderer marooned on the island of mine own choosing, it is a rare paradise, a fleeting union ensconced in all the happiness and purest of joy that eternity can yet offer us in such a small, self-contained fragment of a lifetime inconsequential in the aeons incalculable before and beyond.

To merely hold it is to watch the immeasurably precious granularity of life’s most wondrous punctuation and memory-echoes dissipate, borne aloft by the four winds. To soar and seek some enigmatic destiny unknowingly yearned for in the sprawling expanse of another Far Away. And there upon that promenade, so vibrant, luminous, and dazzling as only the briefest of scintillating star-light can be, the new self looks back upon you, That Which Once Was, Now Never To Be.

Such relief to embrace the unbridled challenge of creation, the defining struggle and perennial tribulation of one’s self-concept; the journey, the meaning and purpose resonant and resolute, the impassioned howling, inward and outward, that such vitality is warranted; earned in every measure of spirit-breath our mortal lungs exude. That whatever life this is, we fight and love and rejoice and stagger onward, defiant in ebullient hope and wonder as stumbling infants before the harrowing dawn.

Defined not by the oppositional nor the inverse of the Other, Adversarial; rather, the purest sentiment of undeniable truth and indomitable will that “I Am!”. Scream to the sundering chasm and the towering monoliths that silently demand capitulation of this proud little creature balanced between, a mountain upon the shoulders, a yawning abyss beneath the feet.

 You already know exactly who you are, and the laudable and mythically obfuscated Once I Shall Become is the illusory champion of ambition enthroned: nascent, nurtured, needed.

A smile found as one turns to the night-dark sky, and the blossoming reverie of the ethereal sun woken from somnambulant journeys. A satisfaction in treasured moments that succour and unfurl the balanced paradigm of sovereign self, and discourse internalised finally heeds the heart unspoken, unburdened. Whisper-light and aspirate-soft, a wish never pledged yet granted. A boon, a bountiful grandeur. Years fall. Autumn sheds her skirts to embrace the falling snow. And I am content.

Elegy of the Maugh

Men trade their own potential for reputable greatness,

To carry the name of another and another there upon their backs,

Like the leering sneer of the master’s lash,

To temper the will in servitude beneath another’s yoke,

And every redoubt of a man’s soul that once was staunchly fortified now lay rent and ruined,

A corroded dilapidation of the heroic vigour once held in great store;

Equals amongst our brothers with whom we might have shaped the world.

 

And in my quiet heart, know I the vile seeds that have taken root lay there still,

And affixed within mine own person a most ignoble, wretched blossom;

That I should find fault with much, and by misdeed and poorly cast word,

Succumb myself to no great or effectual change for the better,

But contribute in my own dismal way to the repudiation of all,

In all that I would otherwise seek and hold to firm in steadfast, earnest acknowledgment.

 

A better life, and purpose grander, a dream for my brothers and I to weave,

Though shamed I am to know not how to guide them,

Nor in myself a man worthy to see, to helm the righteous ship and steer such ailing souls,

Myself and brothers all, towards the dauntless goal.

Simple comforts, hubris, both; shackled and bound to ease and ignominy,

We can but dream empty and hollow,

For the world we leave to our sons.

 

No great shadow shall we cast, and but a minor ripple in the roiling currents of eternity,

To spur our progeny to an excellence beyond our own reckoning.

Like a hellion’s wrath,

the clarion call to worthy action resounds with stultifying castigation,

And I am laid bare upon all my faults, excoriated.

 

And in the bitterest valleys of despondence and recrimination,

For myself and those brothers who have served beside me, in a life of idleness;

Of adventurous spirit for knowledge and far-ranging travels within and without,

I find a small, solemn whisper; a promise, that shall not go unfulfilled.

It little profits an idle king to hold a throne in dotage and senescence.

So let the winds carry us forth, brothers dear,

If to no great action or memory at all, but even small and forgotten,

A minor measure of our own greatness,

Be it humbled by withering years and ignorance,

And misunderstanding of our peers and womenfolk,

That the fleeting raiment of our flesh, yet unbuckled from the fiery spirit within,

May work to some noble, permanent satisfaction.

 

To scale a mountain tall, and as we fall,

We relish the final rays of the old morning’s dawn,

Hereafter.

 

Let our empires collapse into worthy ruin,

Of memories lost and sundered to all but a few,

And give truth to the lie of Triumph,

that only we shall carry forth,

And recede as the ebb tide.

 

To cast the gauntlet aside,

And strike with knuckles bared to break upon the perennial stone.

No heed of tribulation and pain,

Exultation, alone.

 

Gladly, we march to our doom.

The Ocean Void

Thinking of aquatic leviathans; Krakens mostly. And yet, mirthful imagination aside, I cannot conceive of anything so utterly alien and inhuman as the fathomless depths and the cyclical, carnivorous maw-threshing of the ancient things that still hunt the seas. Mechanical apparatus and countless treasures sink along with entire empires and their peoples beneath those voracious waves, and I wonder how those black, lifeless eyes beneath mark the passage of time in the crushing depths of the void.

 

Seven bells and seven hells, damnation, thus benighted,

Shellback hoary, the eye a-grizzled, on high the skipper’s perch,

Becalming grace, tempest clear, maddening souls consigned,

Ocean’s creed, the prophet-spurned, rum-sprawled circumlocution

Unfurls the weight of silent-song, cetaceous doom-rhyme aft,

The mid-bells chime but once and none, constricts the bunk-roused lumber

And clad in ancient, cloying shapes of sundered-swept and sunken wreck,

The bladed light on prow unsheathed, a pall on fretful slumber

“Icthyous ruin!”, the flailing curse-afflicted cry aloft,

Fervent hope constrained, the squall-hewn biers descend,

Lagans laden, flotsam hurled, the jagged thundering howl,

Graven mass, ominous, a judgement shorn of warmth

Writing Assets

Writing is a most wondrous hobby. As with any passionate pursuit, it is immeasurably rewarding. My habitual proclivity toward a deeply immersive work environment requires either meditative focus or the utilisation of music to simultaneous remove the exterior sounds and distractions of the outer world, and to facilitate a gateway to the inner, where I can explore at a more leisurely pace. Pursuant to this ideal scenario and circumstance for creative production is the notion of managing time; in a far more ethereal sense.

Surface efforts and cavalier application to a task usually would find one lamenting the slovenly pace of the hands on the clock-face, and inverse of deep immersion in an activity propagating a relentlessly frenetic expenditure of hours without a commensurate awareness of said pacing. I find, however, in my most connected singularities that hours pass without notice, and yet the productive output is considerably greater in terms of volume and content than I would otherwise have allowed for or considered realistically achievable within that particular time-frame.

I’ll refrain from the delusion of time-travel, at least in this capacity, and note the appeal and predilection I have toward the Classics in this regard, finding succour thus. When the ‘Daemon’ is upon me, I find inspiration and contemplation roiling and churning as some incalculable maelstrom swirling about me. Lost to the machinations and primal tremors of this fugue-state, the winds carry me where they will.

I find my keys to unlocking this mesmeric mind-state are an appropriate sound scape to accompany those initial footsteps, and yet all too soon the notes and compositions slough away. Second skin shed, exposing the chondrite foundation of the myriad stars that otherwise dominate the cosmic pageantry of the mind’s eye.

So, which keys are the most effective? I hazard any writer or creatively inclined person will have sufficient introspection and knowledge of self to identify at least a few. For my part, music that evokes wordless images and palpable atmospheres prove the salient gateways forth into the aether of the imagination; a subliminal transition point.

I remain oddly hesitant to identify them as such specifically, for it would seem a transgression against the almost sacred quality of the works and their impact; to utter the very words would seem profane, base. An act that may negate or otherwise truncate the nascent potency of such a profound and powerful asset to this writer.

I withdraw from the river Nameless, abraded and excoriated. Complicit in the act of restitution, unequivocal in the abjuration of ambiguity, where Paradox withdraws, bemused.

An equally potent pleasure and hobby; comforting solace and warmth, an apoptraic guard against exanimation, a gift to the winnowing scars of all that shall never come to pass, in the wake of what always must be. Inconclusive, and probably a tad indulgent.

I digress. Irrespective of one’s creative pursuits, music, and more specifically the ‘instinctively correct’ music, can be a most compelling method and tool for enhancing sublimation of the self to the greater demands of The Work. If nothing else, it can serve to placate and direct some of the mind’s focus upon the surface, concurrently facilitating contemplative forays and furloughs into the chasms where embers of creative compulsion are nonetheless inhumed.

Strike the proverbial flint, to awaken the conflagration.

Samnadrinn, annask thik thairna

Wind-swept sprawling emptiness, a skyline infinite,

The temporal and squall-wracked rage, the lashing, roiling waves,

Belligerent, such mighty sundering strength, recedes to loam and stone

Expanse of grainy tactile soil bleached soft beneath the sun, upon

Where rare their footsteps fall, no trailing lineage beyond

Cold hinterland that slowly upward yields, accession to plateau

Where timeless pillars of timbers green and silvering-grey, aloft and firm to stand

A threshold ward of mustering dusk, while crackling embers call the wayward home

Rowing-tomb, Sjorinnhleypa shucked from wardens felled in warmer climes

And wisdom, Melrakki’s capriciousness, bemused; carved out of time,

Inculcation revenant, to restore what once was lost,

The taken-torn, by sea-spawned maws, grey eyes reflect the clouds

From where they sit beholden to the harrowing mantle-hope

Brine-clad, calling, the bracken nest, chasm-fathomless below,

Contemptuous, pallid skies becalm plains silent, strewn with foam,

Ponderous wandering nether-wrath yet dwells beneath the surf,

Indifferent, cold, the languid ocean’s hunger aches, subsumed ‘neath hollow spume

The gentle slapping, rhythm-damned, sails tattered; worn

And hand-wrung cloying threads of cloth, ensconce with chill, Samnadrinn forlorn

No oars to plume and pace the seas, and Spjor-locks splinter buckled dreams

No oars to heave and chase the suns, and sallow-faced the oceans run

Across the seas, a wordless tome,

Bereft, the shore, alone

Howling holds the barren-tongued, desolate Ekkjagrunnrinn,

And Skjairnal-sunken, ruin-wrought, a pyre-final glance

Grows dark, benighted storm-bruised wash, and guards the vengeful tide

Remembered life aggrieves such death, for timidly, they swim

To dream of hearths once-warmed,

And reach their home, no more

Ver muna, ver harma

Avalt Kaldr edha vesall

It asks, and they answer true:

Ver Aedhra

Holjrskjipinn

Every door, and Nowhere

The desolate labyrinth. No footfalls, only the resigned eternity of silence. A small clicking at a constant tempo, a grandfather clock at the end of the hallway. The pitch of the clock’s mechanic staccato varied slightly every few beats, almost a cryptic melody unheard as he strained his eyes against the benighted hall.

The weathered timber windows were all open, but no wind carried in to dance with the curtains. The very air about him was lifeless, oppressive and quiet. He stepped cautiously down the hallway, gently easing the pressure of his steps with trepidation against the musty carpet. What he took for moonlight splashed in each open window, casting muted silhouettes across the walls about him. He continued creeping along the hall, his eyes fixed upon the door at the end.

He neared the grandfather clock, and turned to glance at the austere, stoic face as he passed it. The hands dutifully ticking in sequence, endless and perennial, neither rumination nor commiseration to offer. A soft scraping noise echoed down the hallway from where he had entered. He paused, mid-step, and turned to cast his gaze back down the long, eerie thoroughfare. The door at the other end lay ajar, the mildewed bottom dragging across the ancient floor.

He held his breath, an anticipatory reckoning of what must come; an emergence of some inexorable thing amidst the shards of lunar radiance slashing through the murky gloom. Nothing ventured forth, no nascent ruin or salient suddenness to accost him. Silence and emptiness, just as before. He looked, almost absent-mindedly, to his watch, noting the late hour, before he turned back to the clock, frowned at his own dissonance, and resumed his measured pace toward the door. He reached one withered hand forward, taking a firm hold of the cracked, brass doorknob, and turned it carefully.

The door had suffered serious neglect, and stuck firmly in place despite leaning more and more of his weight against it. Finally, he slammed his shoulder against the door, busting the hinge and flinging the withered, swollen door open violently. A wide platform opened out abruptly in front of him, mottled with dark stains and the torn, ragged wreckage of a book sundered terribly.

Thorny plant-limbs curled in a serpentine pageant across the dilapidated planks of the platform, and at one side a heavily rusted outdoor setting of chairs and a table stood resolute in their decay against the brilliance of a moon alien to his eyes, iridescent and magnificently large, but utterly indifferent to the mandates of geometry, of physics, of aesthetic compliance. Another enigma to abuse his precious proclivity for order.

There was no sign of the sentinel or warden of the motionless wretches; his only companions these fading vestiges of furniture, chained and bereft of sentience, in the sprawling, tenebrous exterior of this place that had become a prison. A tomb, perennial. He sat wearily, contemplative of the empty expanse beyond, and the illusion of the lunar blossom silently mocking him. A sigh of resignation sluiced unconsciously from his mouth, a final condemnation of his own mortality.

Agon

Nightscape-dream becomes one with the starlight

The Fires of Sun, Stars and Moon are aligned,

Abstract in absentia, the formless eternal

Surreptitiously echo the cries

Climbs the Scardrake; a mountain of hunger, salival and yearning

To expunge and devour;

A Champion arises, cosmic-born, with no sire,

Dauntless virtue and courage, stalwart one thus aspires

Sweeps the starlight of the Champion into the cavernous emptiness

Ancient sentience awakening, stretching, from where it has lain forever

Sprawling for centuries in every direction

Scardrake yearns; so it has hungered,

So it must feed

Upon all light

The Champion, wandering nether-realms of darkness and hate

Assailed by foes, courage prevailing, cleaving the swarms

Scardrake strikes, a chasm to devour the world

The Champion raises the weapon to wrathfully smite the foe

Vibrant scar-fires thrashing and writhing,

Resplendent the Champion’s blade rises and falls

Shale-scaled Lernaean drinking the future and past; downcast, and one

Stymphalian, ever-wrought bronze, the threnody screech, the stultified thrall

Scardrake lay gutted and sundered, viscerally dissected

The Champion has bested timeless malevolence

To reach, and fall, to tear the very heavens asunder

Twin-willed; appositionally birthed and bespoken of

All that could never endure

In defiance of beckoning silence, serenading the exultation

The hero climbs wearily to stand, and fight, once more

Fieltnoss

Negation of light, for remains only the chasm

Abjuration of meaning, for everything withers and falls

Deny the illusions projected thus, for nothing will endure

Aloft in the currents of time and the infinite spectrum, the void devours all

Existence drowns, wordlessly crushed by monoliths of emptiness

Nothing is all and one

Extinguishing the final flames, a sombre pyre for life itself

In the charnel waste and future ruin, no destiny yet persists

Time buries entirety, all becomes the end

Drowned in torrents of dust and the temporal chasm, the abyss gnaws the bones

Decaying, crowned, excoriated; agony, bereft

Nothing is all but one

Death of sound and sight, the realm for one, as none,

Emptiness nascent, denuding from the ruined ones their All,

The sprawling oblivion of Timelessness that naught shall survive to observe

Guttered out, the animate forces of energy and movement,

The future ruin

Failing, silent, gone

Nothing is all, and none

The Riddle of Trees

The eyes that see no breath misting before the air beneath,

The sound, whispers of the trees, ancient and weathered their frozen stare,

The secret, cryptic riddle scored and carved into the timeless skin,

The rope, the way to breach beyond; those limbs reach deep beneath the world

Heedless of footsteps in the wild the branches creak and sway,

Needle-pine carpet now threadbare;

Birch and Willow, Oak enthroned,

Seeing, singing silently of All That None Shall Know

Calling softly into whispering woods, the longing uttered silently,

Threading through thicket, stand and grove; the spirit journeys on,

To Birch and Elm and Oak behold,

Traveller, where no human thought has dwelled

The eyes behold the death of life renewed in empty air,

The sound, whispers of the heart unlocked, ensconced the wooded realm,

The secret, cryptic spirit-song inscribed in timeless kin,

To grow, to stretch, transverse beyond;

Those limbs reach deep within the world

Lychen-coats and moss-clad arms unfurl, embracing eternity,

When gone is man, the bark-clad stand, alone, to watch the ages

They ask the question without speaking,

They know the answer without hearing,

They shift the world without moving,

They hold secrets without knowing.