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April 3, 2013


Taking a boat, I fled the land.
Fled the earth and fled the sand.
Unyielding dirt can never be.
As forgiving as the twisting sea.

Taking no map and taking no chart.
I set my thoughts and fears apart.
Left them on the shivering docks.
That they might be broken on the rocks.

As the water allows the whale his size.
I sought that its grandeur would swallow my cries.
That in all its other worldly splendour.
There would be naught out there to make me remember.

So looking once back at the raw, ragged coast.
I thought one last time of the things I missed most.
I thought of her smiling and brushing her hair.
Would she even have noticed that I wasn’t there?

I sailed for a month and a week and a day.
And by the swell of the sea, my thoughts were all washed away.
The sorrow I’d felt and the places I’d been.
All seemed to me now, a feverish dream.

I saw no shores and I saw no sails.
And the madness in me no longer prevailed.
The things that I’d lost and the way that I’d grieved.
Were summoned from me and sacrificed to the breeze.

But laying one night, gazing up at the stars.
I saw the sky darken, clouds drawn in from afar.
Rain and the rank smell of carrion rose up in the night.
A turn in the tide, something was not right.

Looking out on the water, I wondered if I might be asleep.
I saw something down there, rushing up from the deep.
The whole surface roiled as the shape rose from the gloom.
And now I made out its form by the light of the moon.

Breaching the waves like a Titan, tyrant amongst man.
The ruler of seas , Serpent of Days, great Leviathan.
Water rained from his writhing, dripping like poison.
As the infiniteness of his stature consumed the horizon.

And each word from which I’d fled.
Was written in verse upon his head.
The memories of faces I couldn’t curtail.
Were reflected in each shimmering scale.

And words do no justice, to the majesty of his span.
His body as great as a mountain, his eyes as great as a man.
Ridges all ran from his head to his tail.
And each one alone was a match for the whale.

And beneath all the fire about him hung.
I saw the Heaven from which he’d been flung.
Saw the hand that had summoned him here.
Saw etched in its palm the jealousy and fear.

And though my body trembled like a bird on the wire.
There grew in my breast a rebellious ire.
What cowardice was this, to believed that I’d sinned?
So with my foot on the prow and my gaze like a spear, I screamed through the wind.

“Hear your child, oh Lord, call your Demons return.”
“There is fire in my heart, but thou shalt not call me to burn.”
“I love her above all the creatures of Earth, above even you, curse your pride.”
“Come slay me with mercy, my sorrow a shield, I will stand with her love by my side.”

“I will face you and fight you on seas where forgotten fall.”
“Send your angelic armies, your heralds, your banners, I don’t fear them at all.”
“I will not kneel before swords of fire or arrows of light.”
“Come yourself, Father, with your Word and forgiveness, I will look you dead in the eye.”

“Yours is the cosmos and the glory and power.”
“And the great Kings of the Earth may shudder and cower.”
“Think ye know love? I’d laugh til I wept!”
“I held her before the dawn, whilst in darkness you slept!”

And the serpent roared so that Heaven might tumble.
The boat from below me started to crumble.
And I fell to the sea but I feared no death.
Defiance was cast at the beast with each breath.

He reared like a cobra, struck, and we were driven to the deep.
From whence he’d risen, abandoned by light, the darkness complete.
I fought him there in the Stygian depth.
Crushed in his coils, the life from me wept.

Though no man would see, the ocean filled with our blood.
Though in darkness entire, I still felt the light of her love.
I thought of her then, as when I’d set foot on the boat.
And drawing that power, my hands closed on his throat…

From the belly of water, I rose from the waves.
Now something more than a man, no longer a slave.
And the world was all riven, Judgement rang in the air.
But my heart beat with hellfire, like the red in her hair.

I heard the beating of hooves in the sky, The Host in their glory, cannons in rank.
Their armour shining with gold, white wings of war on their backs.
Beyond that grand enemy, lit with each peal of light in the sky.
Stood The Lord Over All, and there was hate in his eye.

He spoke through the air, like a Father to Son.
“Love her above me? Witness now what you’ve done.”
“Yield now sinner, and this is as far as it goes.”
But I wasn’t ready to kneel, and I whispered back, “No.”

“You set upon me your servant, that I might abandon her grace.”
“Better utter destruction than to not remember her face.”
“Loose all your battalions, realize ye not the power of man?”
“When your Angels are all fallen, before you I’ll stand!”

Rushing to meet me, I heard their heavenly cry.
And as I’d promised him, always, I met only his eye.
My blood boiled and fear was thrown in front of the horde.
By the power of her image, in my hand was a sword…

Talk not to me of blasphemy, boy.
For her I’d meet Hell, we who are His only toys.
Her joy is my standard and her hand is my rod.
For the love of that girl, a man might fight God.


From → Poetry

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