Mother And Child

Ever fixed, mother and child,
lasting longer than the old limestone
carved to honor sneering gods styled
with grim-faced features, each god now strewn
amidst ruins, the grass grown wild
with disrespect, and by Nature sewn
to temper pride to something mild,
to hush the god and his feckless groan
and all others likewise beguiled
with conceits beyond flesh, blood, and bone
amongst the countless ruins piled,
whereas mother and child stand alone—
through eons, mother holding child,
strong without army or wealth or throne.

Roughspun Heron

Though stirred by the slightest wind
in want of flight, without the wont,
I tumble, end over end,
the word of Fate a wayward taunt.

My wings are frayed and thin
and depend on the whims of air;
I cannot fly like my kin
whose wings of flesh and feather dare

the stirless sky, or the storm,
but must keep to currents of chance,
yet…such is also the norm
for all things born of circumstance,

for all things in manner made
to be as Nature chose for them
must likewise be as so bade
by fold and form, by stitch and hem

and come undone at the seams
by wear and tear, by mold and moth,
by Fate which compels such dreams
to animate both flesh and cloth.

Poisoned Oasis

So polluted, this oasis
in this vast desert, and so parched—
poisoned with the unseen traces
of what slakes us during our march;
traces of poison created
for convenience of our thirst
thinking ourselves wise, and sated,
to drink from bottles that are cursed,
using death-essence that has staled
from creatures of other ages
to fuel the comforts which hailed
progress in its doubtful stages
till our death march comes to an end
and we sink deep into the wastes
to conclude, soon, this thirsty trend
to fuel other species’ tastes.

Three Myth Riddles

Firstborn, yet never born,
scooped from a womb of earth,
yet from me would be torn
she who would first give birth.

To give blood, and yet not the first
among killers, nor the one cursed,
but the first among the slain,
blood for blood—sacrifice in vain.

A wager cost him dearly,
though not a wager he made,
losing it all, or nearly,
except his faith which repaid
his losses, although not all
those who lost, and were thus laid
to rest to prove him God’s thrall.

The Ruling Rod

The scepter of his empire
had become a walking cane,
achy joints burning like fire
when the skies conspired to rain,
and though many lands still feared
the sharp tap of his gold rod,
they sensed, too, that there soon neared
the fall of that ailing god,
yet, meanwhile he did not fear
the whispers behind his back
nor the dagger or the spear
or any plot of attack;
what he feared above all now
was a change in the season,
knowing, with a wincing brow,
agonies worse than treason.