Annual Commemoration of the Divine Passion

You eclipse me & I have stained the Sun with black love . . .
death from a bottle cools my ardour
for a while, until I see you again.

The damp distance is bleached
then blackened with shadows
& flocks of shrill birds, screaming for blood

Bound hands grow swollen
body – silently numbed
a bed on fire I laid upon
now reddened with burning life

In these blistered hours of insomnia
objects are like lead
I believe they are other things & less than they are
as if fewer of them would create
a stillness like sleep
— if only to dream of her again

The cushions beckon in the mirror
white & summoning, judicious
the bed reflected in that fantasy land,
that round pool of hope

Why stir dust on a sacred tomb
as I lay down with a prayer for darkness
a snowflake melts on her virgin eyelids
somewhere & now, together again
we drink every breath of poisoned air
she asleep, I awake . . .

Not believing in resurrection —
I stroll through cemeteries
looking for her name, not wanting to see it
the damp brown earth reminds me
every hour we breathe is our last;
victims don’t want blind skies
their toil & consistency as mortals
are truer religions than faith itself,
so welcome me as one of them — into your house.

The last star’s neon spark
will be dissolved painlessly.
Morning will knock on the window, still —
like a grey wet wind
slow day will begin to stir.
Livestock shiver in the cold dawn,
some kind of slaughterhouse morn
the blood drained dreams
dissipate, replaced by
perpetual sameness . . .

Awakened from a long dark dream,
I thought I saw her somewhere in there
the awesome force of sleep’s return
shut me down like wild song
like black amphibious wine
a hollow ghost —
peering senselessly through the cold
window of every lost night

This morning once again
on motionless ground,
& along with it
drinking cold mountain air outside;
refined air, once, our air . . .

Across the crisp cool valley — white snow
blue mountains of decrepit glass & dream
dissolve, in this fresh green brocade

Hope sparkles in the diamond dew
that mirrors the sun
for a minute
while across the way, beyond this place
despair draws its dark curtain of cloud
over the broken road;
another day annexed,
closer to you again, I come.



This poem was written as a bit of a homage to Osip Mandelstam. If you haven't read any of his poetry then I recommend you do - far superior to most of the dross being produced these days!!!
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