Uncle Samaya Wants You!

Rally, men! Uncle Samaya wants you
to defend our home, the red, white and blue
against our foes abroad, both far and wide,
in foreign lands…or those within, stateside.
Do not question our leader or his plan,
he needs us united, unto a man,
lest the enemy beat us, or we stray
from the warpath, the American Way.
Come away with him for basic training,
follow orders, obey, Freedom reigning
over your lives like a strange paradox:
repeat the lies the way a parrot talks
and know yourself to be free at long last,
free from choice, uncertainty, and the past,
living day to day, order to order,
all things arranged, like a hostel boarder,
never thinking about what could have been,
but accepting the bloodlust with true Zen;
never questioning the Neocon wars,
nor the zero-sum games, the either-or’s.
Come, men, become a devotee of Sam,
learn the tenets of both lion and lamb,
led about by the pride, but in a flock,
fang and fleece, claw within a clove-hoofed walk,
and from this oxymoronic conceit
realize your potential: butcher and meat.
For he is a tengu abducting boys
to teach them combat before he deploys
them against his foes, against those opposed
to his eagle-winged rule, those as hard-nosed
as the tengu himself, that red-faced elf
whose eyes are affixed on power and wealth.
A guru of blind faith, a tribal force—
Rally men! Heed his warcry! “Stay the course!”

Paean

I busy myself with
throwing noise at the void,
humming a hymnal myth
till the day is destroyed,
then silence will claim all,
uncluttering vast space
with a hush that will fall
over God’s deaf-mute face.
Will the echoes linger
when my mouth goes quiet?
Will another singer
raise their voice in riot
against the void we know
beneath the paean’s din?
Or will what is below
deafen all that has been?
Myth is a song of lies
sung against the Silence,
rallying Man to rise
to defy…deny sense
of the gulfs in the void
wherein meaning fades fast,
a chorus soon destroyed;
even gods cannot last
within the howling din
of the cosmic spaces,
the deafening within
that steals and erases
all that was sung before,
and all to come after,
singing songs nevermore,
nor words, sobs, or laughter,
nor even the last sigh
of the last thing on earth;
the unsounding goodbye
before a stillborn birth.

Dead Hand Butter

“Round and round, dead hand go,
churn the milk to creamy butter.
round and round, to and fro,
to a thickness like no other!”

‘Twas a dead hand for a black rite,
pickled with a virgin’s blood draught
and churned round in the dead of night
to waxen, corpse-like dairy craft.

The hand had belonged to a lass
affable to those who knew her
and of a soul as clear as glass;
a wise butterer and brewer.

Her latter talents earned the wrath
of the resentful preacher’s wife,
who claimed the maid on a dark path
and, so, exiled her from church life.

Nor did this sate the preacher’s wife,
for her jealousy could not cloy
and like a pagan god of strife
she sought to torment and destroy.

The preacher’s wife convinced the flock
that the maid’s crafts were blasphemy
and, given time and serpent talk,
a noose was dangled from a tree.

They confined the maid in the jail
in the cold month of December,
and soon she expired in her cell
without wamth of cloak or ember.

The trial was forfeit, hereby,
and the village claimed God’s will done,
for guilt, they said, had made her die,
whereas virtue warms like the sun.

They buried the maid on the side
of the graveyard reserved for those
unbaptized, heathen, all whom died
destined for purgatory’s woes.

And the preacher’s wife, like a fox,
crept to the graveyard where there laid
her victim, exhuming the box
to cut hand from wrist of the maid.

For the preacher’s wife was the witch
that churned butter with a dead hand
a hand that would tremble and twitch
at the hag’s covetous command.

The Yuletide Dragon

There is a dragon within the wind
whose bite cuts straight to the trembling bone,
and though no wounds remain aft to mend,
the bite lingers, still, like seeds deep sown.
The dragon seeks with its pallid eye
heartbeats by hearth, by fire, those warm lives
that flee from it as it roams nearby,
its keen unseen teeth like icy knives.

The backcloth sky is but harsh white wool
through which the bleak, blank sun often glows
cold, far-off, like a corpselight of Yule
when the biting air swells up and blows.
We are scorned by that distant-drawn sun
for yesterday’s oft ungrateful cheer,
our Summer arrogance now undone
by the Yule dragon’s icicle sneer.

Elder-aged, now, I lay all alone
in this Yuletide season of the cold
and try to sleep, but I toss and groan,
wondering how I became so old.
The dragon snorts, then groans, too, and sighs,
and licks at me through a frosted crack;
will I survive till the dragon dies,
just long enough for Spring to come back?

AR15, ARIS

Aris, the god of war,
proclaims that our “Freedom”
requires blood, and much more—
the lives of those to come
that will never know how
it feels to drive a car
or dance at prom, to wow
the crowd with their bright star;
no, that star now sinks deep
into crimson waters,
a senseless sunset sleep
for our sons and daughters
because guns have become
the fetish of our faith,
the maxim of “Freedom”,
so says the ardent naif
who writes laws and defends
the instruments of War
at all costs as he sends
more children to Death’s shore
by protecting their god,
by protecting the gun,
lawmakers overawed
by a Constitution
writ in times so backwards
that the writers owned slaves,
the glib-loaded black words
like splintered, rotten staves
for the gunpowder kegs,
for the barrels of blood
that drain down to the dregs
in a rabies-froth flood.

Sanctimonious fools
whose brains keep forgetting
the cost of frontier rules
and the keen bloodletting,
bow to your bloody Lord
and forsake the piled dead—
kids may die by the sword,
but it butters your bread.

Death’s Indignity

This Winter passes on without a snow,
yet is cold as a corpse drained of its hues,
all is either black or brown or sallow;
a fell tumescence festers in its views.
Snowfall no longer drapes this scabrous land
like the white sheet spread with grief and pity,
nor is a shroud laid by a loving hand—
all is laid bare in Death’s indignity.

The Witch Jar

Glass jar, your belly clattering
with rusty nails, urine, and hair;
glass jar, cease the crone’s chattering
in the witching hours, cease her ere
she drives me mad with her flights,
riding me beneath the moon
like a steed through dark nights
all whilst laughing like a loon;
trap her soul in your glass pit
and keep her, warden, while I
recover from this Fae fit;
lift it from me ere I die.
Through hearth she sought me betime,
yet ’twas my heat she desired,
clinging like gooey birdlime
as I struggled ‘fore I tired
and was confined to my bed,
growing ill with chills and sweats,
soaken, clammy in the head,
my forehead wrinkled with frets.
Dreams oft come astride fever,
staying in wakeful daylight
like thoughts from the Deceiver
which tempt and torture and bite
until we surrender, thus,
and He claims a bit of soul
from evils compelled in us
and, bit by bit, takes us whole.
So was she set in her toil
like a raven in the eye
of a dead man half in soil,
her chattering ever nigh
her raspy song of old trees
during Autumn, when the wind
twirls the leaves, before the freeze
that brings Summer to its end.
So, please jar, capture this witch—
Bellarmine, confine her now!
By St. Andrew’s cross, the bitch
must be imprisoned somehow!

Total Acceptance

In such a car wreck as mine
you have no say-so, no line
to draw between what is now
and what will be, no know-how
or power will save you then,
nor have you say how or when;
nothing obeys your dire voice
and you truly have no choice,
but to accept what’s to come
in a state of peace, or numb,
or fearing it all, to fear
and to scream, though none will hear
whom may change what will be next,
what comes at the final text.
This is total acceptance,
this is mortality’s sense.
You cannot simply say “No”
when it is your time to go.

The White Knight Cavalry

Aloft, sword and shield,
good sirs one and all,
we must thus wield
for yonder clarion call!
Milady needs us,
row by row by row,
mount our steeds thus,
to her fortress, tally ho!
She raises her flag,
that red banner high,
so do not lag,
for our good fortune is nigh.
Round her fort, good men,
be not pale or frail,
but guard her when
a lone beauteous female
is in need of aid,
nor falter when wrongs
are by her made,
but rally in many throngs,
for a female rules,
beauty being truth,
and none but fools
would question her aught, forsooth;
the more she has raised
of her red banners
the more unfazed
we should be in our manners,
for she is a queen
over one and all
and her soul clean,
clear as her ice crystal hall.
So rally hie here!
Protect her pure soul!
And do not fear
her castle’s oubliette hole.
‘Twas not her design,
nor her need, that pit,
so fall in line
to form a wall that is fit
to protect our love,
our lady, devout
as stars above
fixated through years, throughout,
or else as a moat,
a pit of squalor
o’er which no boat
might ford fast to befall her.
A White Knight’s duty
is never done, quite—
Lo! Tis beauty!
Let us gallop! Let us fight!