The Youthful Dead, And Useless Old Men

O, I hear the bean sidhe—she is shrieking
in schoolyard and school hall, the fell, bleak thing
sounding an alarm for the many deaths
when goodly youths shall draw their final breaths
while old men diddle and dither, at odds
with one another, and their bloodfed gods.
The gruesome Redcaps dip their dripping hats
into crimson puddles like vineyard vats
and a murder of crows descends anon
from the shoulders of grim-lipped Morrigan
and all youth is squandered in misty vale,
blooming anew with rot and maggots pale
till the ancient echoes of pagan song
be sated in surfeit of age-old wrong,
the wrong of wrongs such were long forgotten
when clans clashed fiercely, each chief besotten
with the blood-debts accrued in times before,
that fateful geas that binds forevermore.
Do nought for the dead but ponder and pray
and be grateful that the capricious Fae
demand no more than the youths hereby piled
for their burrows and mounds and woodlands wild,
for the Land of Youth needs our youth to bleed
ere Tir na nOg be a place old men heed
when nodding at their thrones as if glamored
and impotent, their weak hearts enamored
of the Cailleach, that old baleful elf
who enchants to think only of the self
as the long winter of old age reigns on
in those resentful of youth, their youth gone.
O, our country is as the headless wraith, the Dullahan, that runs forth with a faith
steeped in blood, cracking a whip made of spine
as if backbone is enough to consign
the peace hungered for in our times of grief,
times when blood-stained blade oft slips from the sheath…
but we’ve lost our heads, and the youth their lives,
as old men nod, ignoring Elphame tithes.

Tisiphone

Bullets beget bullets, thus,
as seeds to trees to seeds,
a violence which enslaves all of us
until murder, itself, breeds.

Pernicious pandemic of profiteers
pilfering the dead for a lucrative cause
and promoting a life of arrears
and chaos from order’s laws.

Your seeds bloom from fertilizer
afforded by endless blood debts
in the hearts of each survivor
who, aggrieved, never forgives or forgets.

And so the paradox bears fledglings
as fear and anger born of Love,
for the slain dead spread their wings
in every heart—hawk born of dove.

The Fury comes, serpent-haired and wild,
cloaked in blood and flayed skin,
raising Cain as Christ is exiled
and seeking vengeance against sin.

Each bullet is a snakebite
envenoming vendettas ever onward,
pursuing a perpetual fight;
cycles into cycles, culling the herd.

It is a cull to credit the coffers
for those whose creed is Fear,
prostituting the Fury with offers
of human sacrifice, year after year.

Behold the war to hereby become
king of the corpse mountain,
the rest of us desensitized, numb,
while blood gushes as a fountain.

Thoughts and prayers to the dead,
but offer blood to our new idol,
and a space in your heart, in your head,
subsuming all else dear and vital.

And join us beneath our beloved goddess
whose serpents bite their own tails—
her bandolier is but a bodice,
each bullet increasing its own sales.