Wednesday, April 30, 2008

XII. Overtaken by the Dawn-breaker

In the second gyre of the Age of Four Wandering Moons:

A critical juncture will be overtaken by
The Dawn-breaker;
Queer and base, his sublimity is barely perceptible;
Cunning and brave, no-one will judge him at his
True value.
Three unimpeachable historians will call him villain,
A shabby clown performing in tapestried parlors.

In iron shoes and a steel jacket with prismatic
Dorsal plates,
A prisoner languishing in the cavern of a hundred walls,
Retains stewardship of ten thousand illuminated
Light and glory, honors and commendations, reward
Her perseverance.

Parched encroachments into every water on earth
Will be forestalled by a deep reservoir for the
Entire planet;
The lion's share for two million in the sacrificed

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

XI. A summer's marriage-feast despoiled

In the dialected gyre of the Age of the Middle Gohlguanarchy:

From a summer's marriage-feast despoiled in reel
And rout,
The knight stands aloof; he wears upon his shield
The puppet crown
And slays with his sword fifteen long-suffering captives.
In thirty long years he will defeat twelve generals,
Burn ten churches, demolish ten temples, and build
Ten cities.

His denatured bride, widely praised and most
Closely guarded,
Arises with his silver-bedecked allies to supplant him.
The perfect cavalier cannot comprehend this opportunity
For ambush;
In the absence of the sun, fountains spring like a cloud
Of fire.

In a great arc she brings down the cursed hilt of
His saber,
Forged in witch's oils burnt green, blue and white,
Which fractures his unwary skull but does not kill him.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

X. Quaint and infamous traditions

In the itinerant gyre of the Age of the Yequirthed Crisis:

Quaint and infamous traditions prevail after
The quakes
Caused by the gravitational anomalies
Of the Y1 asteroids.
Sailors melt down the entrails of manatees for salt;
Soldiers carve hawthorn for bullets and scatter
Poppy seeds and amaranth before the thrones of infants.

Such is the fruitfulness of the original chaos:
Green child-like primates, clothed with flames,
Living along rivers and streams, bury their coffins
Filled with rich food and eat dirt from their tombs.

Gypsy bandits paint the thumbs of sleeping travelers
Held in place by a circle of rice paper and javelins,
Secured by their necks and shoulders with violin strings.

IX. A vampire tainted by burnt blood

In the sixth gyre of the Age of the Yequirthed Crisis:

On the crib of a child born with a caul
A starling finds the inscription of the Venirregantha
And tells of seventeen boundaries of existence.
A new voyage around the world will measure
The demeaned climates of several coasts and islands.

The torture of pilgrims of a children's crusade
Along the borders of the Field of Wrathful Dieties,
Will be avenged
By a bronze-footed creature, a vampire tainted
By burnt blood,
Victim of murder on the adjacent soil of Letlapa.

Foxes and jackals swim through black water beneath
The cleft gate
On the near side of Royal Asia's western fortification,
Descending into the belly of the largest kitchen of five.

Friday, April 25, 2008

VIII. The towers of the humming world

In the fourth gyre of the Age of Eichenblon's Crater:

All things are parallel, yet many are askew,
And a new leaf will be locked fast into a skin
Of consequences.
Across the wine-soaked fields of chamomile and poppy
Stand and fall the towers of the humming world;
White crows feed on the seven spleens of the coastal

A dusty adder marks the grim man's mossy face
With the bloody token of the mercury ion.
Inscriptions of a greatly distant empire are drawn
On the linen cloth placed under him when
He is beheaded.

The air is replenished with various living creatures
Shown in orange-red weather on rising lake waters;
This intensely cold isthmus is not of the earth.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Chosen Wolves

I first thought words like "phinnaft" and "diumalk" were words from some kind of angel-language. The Lorwolm let me labor under that assumption for quite a while, until one day I asked Nihr Avna-attu about it. That's the way they work, they're not big on long explanations. If I want to know the details, I have to ask a specific question. Nihr Avna-attu informed me that there is no angel-language, that angels use mortal languages when they need to speak. Different angels know different languages--Nihr Avna-attu knows twenty-seven human languages, although he/she might have learned more since he/she told me that fact. Any particular situation will usually dictate their choice of language--for example, there would be no point in speaking to me in anything but English.

The Lorwolm give me words like phinnaft and na-awult (words from the future, from a language that will be called Bruyeil-Pacifican) because these words come from languages that will be spoken by the people who will be able to decode and understand the ecteiroglyphs. These people will be the true prophets of the Lorwolm, called the Alleiliosek in Uru-nauwi, another future-language. Which means the Chosen Wolves, but you must understand that they are not chosen by God or any Entity, they will choose themselves.

The next question I asked was the obvious one: if the Alleiliosek will be speaking Uru-nauwi or Bruyeil-Pacifican, shouldn't I be writing the ecteiroglyphs in those languages?

Nihr Avna-attu's answer to that?


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

VII. When ring draws upon ring

In the fifth gyre of the Age of the Recluded Star:

When ring draws upon ring in the sky
Towards the right,
The flesh and spirit of the ransomed king wanes
In the growth of the moon's scorched stone heart.
And a new sickle cuts no sharper than the song
Of a skylark besotted with a frost-broken brute.

In one burst gun fate opens for a follower
Of the acorn mage,
Walking with a scroll in the sole of his shoe,
Holding in a bird's-eye glove a blossomless vine
With spined husks from the branch of a barren tree.

Hidden will be the changeling, a rough female
Of one talent,
As she crouches in the round grave of storm-dogged
Loa Mu,
With a tooth in each of the twinned bodies of law
And faith.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Poet and the Woodlouse

By Algernon Charles Swinburne

Said a poet to a woodlouse--"Thou art certainly my brother;
I discern in thee the markings of the fingers of the Whole;
And I recognize, in spite of all the terrene smut and smother,
In the colours shaded off thee, the suggestions of a soul.

"Yea," the poet said, "I smell thee by some passive divination,
I am satisfied with insight of the measure of thine house;
What had happened I conjecture, in a blank and rhythmic passion,
Had the aeons thought of making thee a man, and me a louse.

"The broad lives of upper planets, their absorption and digestion,
Food and famine, health and sickness, I can scrutinize and test;
Through a shiver of the senses comes a resonance of question,
And by proof of balanced answer I decide that I am best."

"Man, the fleshly marvel, alway feels a certain kind of awe stick
To the skirts of contemplation, cramped with nympholeptic weight:
Feels his faint sense charred and branded by the touch
of solar caustic,
On the forehead of his spirit feels the footprint of a Fate."

"Notwithstanding which, O poet," spake the woodlouse,
very blandly,
"I am likewise the created,--I the equipoise of thee;
I the particle, the atom, I behold on either hand lie
The inane of measured ages that were embryos of me.

"I am fed with intimations, I am clothed with consequences,
And the air I breathe is coloured with apocalyptic blush:
Ripest-budded odours blossom out of dim chaotic stenches,
And the Soul plants spirit-lilies in sick leagues of human slush.

"I am thrilled half cosmically through by cryptophantic surgings,
Till the rhythmic hills roar silent through a spongious kind of blee:
And earth's soul yawns disembowelled of her pancreatic organs,
Like a madrepore if mesmerized, in rapt catalepsy.

"And I sacrifice, a Levite--and I palpitate, a poet;--
Can I close dead ears against the rush and resonance of things?
Symbols in me breathe and flicker up the heights of the heroic;
Earth's worst spawn, you said, and cursed me? look! approve me!
I have wings.

"Ah, men's poets! men's conventions crust you round and swathe
you mist-like,
And the world's wheels grind your spirits down the dust ye overtrod:
We stand sinlessly stark-naked in effulgence of the Christlight,
And our polecat chokes not cherubs; and our skunk smells sweet
to God.

"For He grasps the pale Created by some thousand vital handles,
Till a Godshine, bluely winnowed through the sieve
of thunderstorms,
Shimmers up the non-existent round the churning feet of angels;
And the atoms of that glory may be seraphs, being worms.

"Friends, your nature underlies us and your pulses overplay us;
Ye, with social sores unbandaged, can ye sing right
and steer wrong?
For the transient cosmic, rooted in imperishable chaos,
Must be kneaded into drastics as material for a song.

"Eyes once purged from homebred vapours through humanitarian
See that monochrome a despot through a democratic prism;
Hands that rip the soul up, reeking from divine evisceration,
Not with priestlike oil anoint him, but a stronger-smelling chrism.

"Pass, O poet, retransfigured! God, the psychometric rhapsode,
Fills with fiery rhythms the silence, stings the dark with stars
that blink;
All eternities hang round him like an old man's clothes collapsed,
While he makes his mundane music--and he will not stop, I think."

The Heptalogia, 1880

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

VI. A lunar wolf will emerge

In the third gyre of the Age of the Recluded Star:

After years of seclusion frequented by terrifying
The fugitive from the sky becomes the arcane priest
Stirring mad dreams in the younger son
Of the saturnine mogul.
Torture, paralysis and remorse are the gifts
Of the gaudy Moccawmune
Who speaks of truth and patriots with a ferret's tongue.

When machines believe in cold ghosts,
From the depths of a maze, a lunar wolf will emerge,
Followed by a coarse terrapin with two legs of lead
And two legs of silver,
Bringing a map from the echidtors
Of the diminishing moon.

Strange objects cross the unnatural verge
Into the alkali soul of the immaculate triangle,
Shattering the turning point of a serene world.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Heaven: You're soaking in it

I have asked all three members of the Lorwolm about heaven.

Of Tsitao-utna I asked "What is heaven like?" There was several moments of silence, then a voice unlike Tsitao-utna's customary voice spoke from above the blue bowl: "You're soaking in it."

I refer to Tsitao-utna as a female because she uses a feminine voice. This voice was also female, but it was apparent to me that someone else was speaking. The voice was weirdly familiar; I felt like Tsitao-utna had played a recording of someone I had known in my childhood. It took a few days, but I finally realized who had spoken: "You're soaking in it," had been the catch-phrase of Madge, a character from an old Palmolive commercial. Madge was the manicurist who praised the gentleness of Palmolive dish soap to customers who were surprised to find that their hands were soaking in it.

The actress who played Madge was Jan Miner; she died in 2004, but I am sure it was not her speaking from beyond the grave.

Ask yourself:

What do you think is more memorable--Dante's Inferno or Gustave Doré's illustration of it?

Friday, April 11, 2008

V. An edictal bloodline is born

In the third gyre of the Age of the Glass Council:

An edictal bloodline is born: the poet Maogul-atoda
In the likeness of a daughter of the moon.
She recounts the sorrow of her long search
For the lake named Throat of Omaplar
And the headwaters of three major rivers.

The riven serpent unites before going to war.
Those of the unwavering earth will hold for their
Outcast prince,
Singing to their sacred lamps, plumes tied to their hair.
Those of the white lily will fall for the guardian churches.

Twelve oxen caparisoned with flowers, amber
And gold foil,
Kneel before an ornate dais crowned by an arrow
Of raw iron
Etched with fire and spoilt with thick pink rust.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

IV. The odabild of Zaurik

In the ladder gyre of the Age of Four Wandering Moons:

The odabild of Zaurik, the buried host, a lord of ruin--
His transport vessel crossing the waves of the air realm
With Percevirmal’s lions, guarding the velvet bones
Of ninety-seven books,
Is finally demolished in three attacks from
The fire griffin,
Before his testimony can be heard by the poisoned seer.

A red branch and a white branch act for
The unawed nations
Exiled to the farther coast of the female pope called Salt.
The male pope known by his peacock dagger and graffiti
Demands that they return a great relic they stole.

The innermost walls of the giant planet fall away
In copper and arsenic, in plumes
Of white, yellow and brown;
The satellites fall silent amidst the roar
Of erupting sulfur.

Monday, April 7, 2008

III. Within the vanished margin

In the hooded gyre of the Age of the Shielded Immaltant:

A small force of besieged soldiers,
Sent into the midst of a storm of clamor,
Intervenes too late on behalf of the depraved ones;
Marking the empty doors with charcoal and chalk
Within the vanished margin
Of the four-volume epidemic.

A radiant wheel formed by the league of the frostborn
Is offered in wrath against the king
Of unblemished reputation.
A celebrant raven in a false costume
Feeds his infants and usurps his wives

Upon the date of execution, the outland nations
Stand with the obscure youth rising
Against thirty-five years of wickedness.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The phinnaftu of the Lorwolm

Each of the Lorwolm appears as a different phinnaft, a smallform, a form that is unlike their true form. A diminishment. Ga-ukogomen, who sometimes shows signs of vanity, says if he showed me his true form and then left me, I would kill myself with longing and loneliness. His most common smallform is a little gray bird, smaller than a sparrow, a kinglet. Other times he is a crow, but in miniature, no bigger than a finch. His vanity shows itself in the brilliant black perfection of his feathers; his claws, beak and eyes shine like onyx jewels.

Nihr Avna-attu's phinnaft is a warm, white mist which sometimes fills the whole room and her/his voice wanders within the mist. The voice is both feminine and masculine, or neither.

The smallform of Tsitao-utna is invisible, but her herald, her sigil, is a small blue bowl. When she wishes to speak to me, I take the bowl from its place in the cupboard and set it on the table and put a pencil beside it. Her voice comes from a place 14 diumalks above the bowl. A diumalk is approximately a half-inch, according to Tsitao-utna. She was about to tell me what a gyre is but Ga-ukogomen told her to shut up, in an angelic kind of way, with a very loud sound like glass breaking, like a thousand windows breaking. I had a ringing in my ears all day afterwards.

Tsitao-utna can remember the name of her last mortal life: Claudia. Ga-ukogomen and Nihr Avna-attu are much older and say they do not remember their mortal lives. Ga-ukogomen once told me there are tasks angels cannot do if they have not forgotten their mortal lives. Yes, angels have tasks: they are always learning something new. Ga-ukogomen told me that the learning never ends. Tsitao-utna said she thinks the learning will end but it will take a very long time.

The Elder

Ga-ukogomen is the oldest of the Lorwolm, called the na-awult, which means the elder. I once asked him how old he was. He said he is forty thousand hundred gyres younger than the Arc of Lauma-athorin. I asked him what is the Arc of Lauma-athorin? He said it is a galaxy whose light will not yet reach the earth for three hundred gyres. I told him I do not know what a gyre is. I told him that his answer did not help me understand. He spoke a sound that was not a word, not a sound a body can make, an angel-sound. It was like a shrug. It meant, "So what? Not my problem."

II. The mountains feel the accumulation of the whole

In the gyre eclipsed of the Age of Broeudhe-bas:

Cities of grandeur, ruins sculptured by water, gouged
By ice,
Are made plentiful along the streams and rivers
Of the throne plateau.
While two companies are disputing a hill folded in gold,
An auspicious voice fades in the brigade of wax.
Northwest of the Dragon Aspect the volcano expells
Fire and rock.

The mountains feel the accumulation of the whole in
The days of the ungrown castles.
Liddewsinough goes searching in the corners of
The planet;
A cup of wine is balanced on a branch over his head.
Courage, vision, cruelty and pain are the force of four.

Two dead nightingales dream among
The Temple's brown liquor;
Seven Hundred of the canyon owners drink deeply
Of both vials of blood
In the cisterns of the crossed village and go mad
With greed and riot.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I. When the noble tribe goes to war

In the second gyre of the Age of the Shielded Immaltant:

When the noble tribe goes to war in a holocaust
Of law,
A true choice can become round and bloody.
When they touch death, those choosing the right hand
Of life,
Decorated by any distinction, by any ornament,
Order silence and denunciation with false songs
Of mourning.

A small kingfisher with a long curved beak,
Her two hands under her chin, she will design
A woman dressed in black, open-headed with
Clean hands; her sister is closed with bittersweet.

Shadows opened up by the eyes and feet of a child:
White, gold and green lose one hundred killed in
This battle,
Four thousand wounded and taken by the black and red.