Frightened Gods

The god of fear is a coward.
Eyes closed, he sees nothing.
Trembling against the headboard,
my eyes dart to the corners of the room,
to the ceiling, in search of shadows,
minute twitches in the air that must be imagined
but I still twist to follow them, staring at the spot
where they vanished to see if they come back, a horrific
thought that slides across the back of my head and down
my neck like a rotten tongue — what if this time it’s real. I curl
into the shyest of gods as he huddles beside me. Wrapped in a cloak
of the star-dotted sky that pools out from his drawn legs
to brush against mine, its touch like the errant brush
of wind against a bare shoulder in the sun, a satin
curtain, he slowly vanishes, keeping me company
for only as long as he can stand it, drawn
and repelled as he is by fear.

(This is meant to be in the same universe as “Hellis’ Eye;” still feel like it needs some work, so I’ll probably come back and revise it, but for now I’m not sure what it needs.)

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Leaves (an attempt at word play)

I.
Leaves, flakes of stone stand alone,
Fluid air flowing through bone.
Alone in sunshine, hiding
Fluid whispers, sublime for some time.
Stone-still broken drones fall to flakes,
flakes of leaves of stone, still and alone.
Flow still, oh drone, fluid gears of bone,
Rusted, scattered, in tatters, stoned.

II.
Said drone wandered, wondering its wisdom wise,
Else worried in slumber, stilling slowly
‘Till movement stopped. Sour pores on drones
Breathing, leaving letters in air, hanging
Crystals silent with noise. Not for fear
Of falling they search for still sands
And winds without leaves and stony silence.

III.
Echo on, giants of sand, before all flakes
Are fallen, floored with grief of eyeing
Stretching plains, rune-smothered scepters
Full of regale. Baleful woes, those haunted
Living poles stalked by man, their arrows swift-
Witted, poised for throats, knives swoop,
Divide metal arms from torso, old blood
Pooled in lakes, then hardened to snow.

IV.
Bones in snow set to thunder
In rolling droves, one hundred
Doves hindered in kind by heavy
Shades of stone. Shadows sheathed
To hip inside minds molded over
Green with sleep, grown through feathers
In patches, Earthen-colored, blown. Wide,
Those once narrowed eyes,
Still focused below, on logs spinning
In waters roiling blue. Layers
Under rising up, bold enough,
Cold enough to rove, reaching
Water’s edge kissed with grass, last
To taste land’s bones. Dry bones,
          Those roots alone, grasping, gasping
                    Rasping tomes of days past, years flown.

V.
Flying above, fluid lands stoned
To standing on islands of ocean below,
Doves drone in swarms of beaks, silver-
Tipped with no teeth to speak of, calling
Open prairies home.

It’s Madness

Originally an imitation of Geoffrey Brock’s “Abstraction” but after several revisions it’s now less an imitation and more an inspiration.

It’s like the sensation of falling,

like slinking down the stairs while

moving too fast, both palms gripping the walls

of a mug brimming with tea, the liquid a sloshing,

stormy ocean scenting its coasts with Earl Grey

instead of salt, disgruntled fish firing foamy bubbles

that froth on the surface as the strange warmth

of their waters spill over and waste into the carpeted steps. Eventually

you catch yourself at the base of the stairs where a couch

lies in repose; she asks to be painted

like one of your French girls, but you’ve forgotten your brushes

in another time. Out of breath, a small dose

of adrenaline still hissing in your knees, urging

you forward, faster like the shadow of your inevitable

death is at the top of the stairs, like the fish in the ocean

in you hands will jump up and bite you if you take a sip

without first sitting down, you start walking

again, your pace calmer yet no less urgent. You lay on the couch

not intending to sleep but knowing you will anyway.

            The mug you’ve placed on the coffee table will cool, the fish

                        will die, the ocean will settle and become tea again, and the table

                                    will be faintly puzzled as to the sudden weight placed on its face

                                                before curling into itself and disanimating.