When I was three I saw you in a dream.
I did not know it then. It would be years before I understood what I saw. A decade and more of study and practice, seeking out the poorer places that still scar with the cracks of your entropy, walking along the towering acrid hallways where gods were tortured and died. I was so full of bravado, then, so sure of myself and my place in this world.
A fool, a fool is what I am / for look what I have done
A thousand years to walk the earth / and still I am shunned
I met the queen of that blackened place, her smile a threat and a promise. Her sister’s long-ago screams still echo in the empty spaces there, her brother-in-law’s blood still pooling wet on the floor. I kept my eyes on her as I dipped my fingers in earthen blood, anointing myself a harvest. I had read of this and thought I was prepared.
The trick, I had been told, was to walk five miles below the black sands of Egypt, to find the pyramid that sanity has forgotten. To hold staff and self as weapons, to walk unafraid.
You sleep, the legends say, down in that temple. There is a gate that can be found in an impossible place and anyone can enter the blackened halls if they can find it. The secret is to hold true and ignore the blood and laughter that spirals around us both like reddening leaves in an autumn breath. For those brave and quick enough can trace their way in and out, a handful of us keep you sleeping.
The reward for this is that what is continues to exist. We fight for nothing more than to be.
How brave I thought I was. How clever and quick.
The laughter spills out of cracked lips / lucidity fades away
Caffeine is the only god / to which I kneel and pray
I saw the truth so long ago and it fractured my mind. I thrashed and fought, kicking and screaming, letting your seething into my life to keep you asleep. It broke me and I spent a decade putting myself back together, trying to make sense of what I’d seen.
When one millennium ended and another began I went walking with a broken saint, both of us trying to get a sense of our lives. He doubted you were real until I stepped past the gate and he felt the cold air from beyond it wash over the mountains we lived in the shadow of.
A few years later, he fled for warmer climes.
He never understood the scope of what you are.
Weaving myself back together, I crept around the edges of your memory. I let myself sink slowly into the truth of you, returning every year to take a little more out. Careful and cat-quiet, I learned your dreaming deceits, the traps you left to catch anyone that would follow in Enki’s wake.
I was one of the lucky ones, I learned. Most of us that let you in are driven hopelessly mad, your decay tainting destiny into rot. You leech into the world, a spiritual disease, and even if the great day of our wrath is to come how can any of us stand against you?
I know what it is / to walk the streets of Troy
And though I might be here / I don’t want to annoy
Three years ago I walked home among autumn leaves, the thick summer air fading to a chill edge. Autumn cold cuts to the bone, a scalpel that dances past skin and leaves anyone that can breath bare. The world reflects as darkness encroaches and light falters. It’s true that every day is born anew, but the night is eternal, waiting, calling.
And as summer dies and autumn begins I took the sacrament and walked the ancient halls and I knew them for what they were.
I saw you.
I saw you.
Scales larger than cities, a serpent encircling the world. I saw an echo of you slither across the sky, blotting out the stars and the sun, your balefire core of an eye staring down at the mite that sought to trap you. It was like an ant fighting the sun, your cancer crackling into his understanding…
… but he tricked you, held you. Reality continues to be, spiraling outward, finite but unbounded.
Twelve thousand years ago now and so few remember.
And I stood, understanding the scope of, funneling your entropy to make the lives of so many people better. A new trick, a new way to keep you sleeping, but you shuddered in your sleep and your cunning nightmare lay a sweetling trap.
The exorcist stares / light the candle, ring the bell
It’s a warzone quiet in my head / and I don’t feel well
A friend of mine explained to me long ago the paradoxical nature of suffering and god. The oldest conception of the creator is the ain soph, meaning the all-nothing. A secret swallowed by religious dogma for its complexity is a simple koan: nothing is, nothing is not, nothing becomes.
We are all god.
There is nothing that god is not.
No church will ever acknowledge this because churches base their authority on a lie, a divine right made manifest, but we are all divine. We are all shining. Every living thing and unliving thing is a star. Angels, demons, humans, animals, plants, minerals, and more. This is the secret every magus must keep close to their heart.
And why will people not accept this truth?
God may not be aware of us but becomes aware through us; we choose what it is and are free to do so because we are all of us divine. Some of us choose to suffer and some of us choose to inflict suffering, but we are all of us free to change, to grow, to become better.
Because it is easier to abdicate responsibility to some external power, and there are so very many willing to accept what power other people will give away if it makes their lives simpler.
It doesn’t; all that abdication does is make it harder to understand the world.
But understanding is so exhausting.
It ends, it ends / it all fades away
No color, no monotony / no more night or day
It’s hard, holding this. You know that.
Two years ago you were all smiles, gentle hands and words. Your nightmares blossomed into flowers, offering succor to a weary head. You and I can see the truth and know where this began and where it must end, see the tie that binds us all together. You called upon that and offered to let me rest, and I was so beaten at that time, so tired.
It does not excuse the fact that I accepted your offer.
Mental states / the politics of soul
I gave you everything / and you took control
The consequences were immediate, wild-fires and dead coastlines, a shining icon proven to be lies, the rise of Donald Trump. Nazism creeping back into light, more death and violence, sacrifices whispered to an unknown name. The queen that rules your corpse laughed and laughed and is laughing still; I can hear her in the lonely early mornings when no one else is alive.
How many of us did you trick?
How many of us failed to keep you asleep?
How long have you been planning this?
Last year I fought and this year I’ll fight and I will win, locking you down, but I’m not sure if it will be enough, not anymore. Too much of you soaked all our souls, broiling us from within. A fever of ghosts when those lives between us refuse to see anything beyond the material. Emotional wounds are still wounds, the intellect is a body all its own, the mind is a place where souls gather but you’re there now, whispering wisdom that will make this reality an offering to your name before you slither to another reality.
I know your face. I know what I’m fighting.
I only hope the others do what they must.
We have so little time left.
You slithered into all of us / and we’ve little left to take
Iataad taohif aamgae / none may escape