The Hermit’s Hymns

I

I love nothing more than love that speaks not.

To love is silence broken – scent of rot.

In silence one hears the music of the spheres

In solitude thoughts are the only seers.

Show me a walled cave and I’ll show you

A new constellation with a winged view.

Supernovas, stars, swirling nebulae,

Glimpses of knowledge waiting to pupate;

But dare to love and submit, and silence

Will cloud the skies with ignorant incense.

And dare you let a single flower bloom

Without listening to its petal’s croon?

 

II

 

Stars like trees, trees like stars, waves without sea

Capers creeping crawling through bastion’s seam,

Ancient angels refusing to exist

Time-worn devils too idle to resist.

These scenes are I all I have ever dare known

For I was born with no old place to go.

I was born with the world mapped in my sight,

And every man’s story is mine by right.

Whenever I travel it is to see

The lives of those who will never touch me.

Antony and Paul, heirs of desert crowns,

This is the Fate which on me never frowns.

 

III

 

A monk without robes ascends steep mountain sides

Why do the religious have more fun than me 

Why do the agnostic know more transcendence

And hermits wander more than rovers?

 

History is a parody of what will never be.

Byzantium rules the desert sands

Constantine imprisons the freedom of martyrs.

              I don’t even belong where I belong

I’ve always dreamed of making

My nightmares come true.

 

From the top of the breathless mountain

The monk could see Constantinople blooming

From the shifting sands, its walls tattooed

With the words that made God great:

Hallelujah               Miserere

            Jerusalem    Ikonos    Vera Icona

                         Machismo-Pauline

          Death – death – fear – God is true

 

“I don’t want to see anymore!”

A city crafted for the worship of a death-god

Dreaming of rapture when Virgil will re-write

The Fate of men before judgement

– Poets can fool even the Christ-king –

 

It’s as if I were never born:

All I crave is to enter into life

Be it through a whore’s womb

Or an angel’s chest

                            Anything!

 

The mountain peak casts an eclipse of solitude:

Each grain of sand is married to its neighbour

Yet still, it is a mere grain of sand.

A grain of sand that created the entire universe

For if that grain of sand did not exist

Neither would the entire universe.

 

Constantinople sinks in the shadows

And the whole of icon-starved Byzantium

Was swallowed by the dunes

– Just as the monk craved.

 

Enjoy the collapse of all you loathed

And in your solitude beware the curse

Of your dreams coming true.

 

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