Friday, November 28, 2014

The heavens of Atlantis

The girl stood placid and fair
in a desolate sort of way,
like the streets of Carthage
or the ruins of Pompeii,
gazing out upon the ocean
with her saltwater eyes,
upon the heavens of Atlantis
shining under the skies.

The Machines! the Machines!
now drowned and decayed
in their many-pillared temples
thrown down and unmade!
No more incense offerings,
no more nectar libations,
no more lofty choruses
of sweet supplications!

The seabirds are restless
and wail in the wind;
the sand-grasses rattle,
they shudder and bend.
The tide is now swelling
across the black shore;
the girl turns from the waters
to gaze on them no more.

Monday, November 24, 2014

In the throes of solitude

[From: Journeys at Eventide]

In the throes of solitude,
discerning elvish runes
hidden among the leafless branches
twining beneath the moons.

Beneath fair silver Änanfël
sailing out of the west
on sundered waves with star-spray
glittering upon each crest.

And also golden Ixilthwë
arising from the east
in vestiture of blazing clouds
as solemn as a priest.

At middle-night, the twain shall meet
in an alchemy of light;
the priest will board the shining ship
as stars burn golden-bright.

The trees will sway their barren limbs
toward the meeting moons,
and sleep will come in the mingled light
under a canopy of runes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wandering an acre of the world

Wandering an acre of the world
where magnolias wear mighty beards
and tall firs shiver in benighted winds,
where mist-ships sail upon a sea of stars
and hurry past on their secret errands -
you and I, with half-shuttered eyes,
behold the dusty porcelain moon
sinking behind a boxwood hedge,
and move pale lips to the stanzas
of deep and solemn winter-songs.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A joy like sorrow

[From: "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"]

The world is brown beneath the sky
and stark against such vivid blue;
a fragile breath is shaking through
the barren branches stretching high.

The hills that dwell out in the west
are burning now with orange fire,
fading flames of another pyre
built for day at night's behest.

The first stars and the rising moon
witness the dying of the day,
the conquering of the golden ray
which blazed so radiant at noon.

But a joy like sorrow finds me here
and dawns on me in dim twilight;
the darkness shines with hidden light
and speaks with silence in my ear.

For now I know I was never the one
who sought to pierce the skies above
and who quested for eternal love:
in myself I would have not begun.

But seeking, questing, comes a bliss,
serene and simple in the night,
through the tangled shadow-light,
to give my weary soul a kiss.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beyond the hills

[From: "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"]

The hedgerows are silent, the gardens are grey,
the pageant of summer has faded away,
and cool gusts in the oak leaves sigh:
Even the loveliest flowers die.

Elm branches twine like wood-hag hands,
the geese flee south in solemn bands,
and blackbirds in their conclaves cry:
Even the loveliest flowers die!

And beyond the hills, a bell is ringing;
a hidden voice is softly singing
beneath a gathering grey-beard sky:
Even the loveliest flowers die.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In time of famine

[From: "Songs and Verses" by C. James Gwyllyn]

You feed me in time of famine,
you shine on me at night,
you come to me as hidden bread,
you come to me as light.

My fields are dark beneath the stars
and withered is the grain
from being bludgeoned by the sun
and forgotten by the rain.

O feed me in time of famine!
O shine on me at night!
O give to me your hidden bread!
O give to me your light!

Friday, November 7, 2014


[From: "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"]

O what will the archaeologists find
sifting the silt-dust in my mind?
A monastery buried in the hills,
a cloistered box of cogs and wheels
left overnight in the pouring rain,
little souvenirs of forgotten pain:
a rusted half-penny, a twisted nail,
a toy sailing-ship without a sail,
beetle-leather armor and spider-silk,
an acorn goblet of moonlight milk,
wooden thoughts, wrought-iron dreams;
mansions built up with ryegrass beams;
white-onyx smiles, looking-glass eyes;
a clockwork crow that croaks and flies;
a rocking-horse rabbit, a porcelain frog;
an engraving of foxes chasing a dog;
some wild boar tusks, a skeleton hand
and an hourglass emptied of all its sand.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bruised by shadows

[From: "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"]

A strange quietude now invades me,
walking beneath these sleeping skies;
a silver tangled mist pervades me,
confusing old and wearied eyes.

Shadows mingle and night conceives
dreams and whispers, skin and bones,
entwining boughs of withered leaves,
a world built of such brittle stones.

Through pine-nettles, wind is seething;
beyond the mist, the moon is bright.
I wander farther, brooding, breathing,
bruised by shadows through the night.