Ian Stewart Black

Modern master of classical poetry

A Death Awake

The end of all things.
When the water fills my lungs,
Will I be alone?

Will memory conspire to set my soul
Adrift on vestiges of bygone days,
Expel the mortal horror from my gaze
And drown me in the joys of old.
Will fantasy compel me from the waves
With glimpses of a new, untainted life –
To walk unhindered on the sea of strife,
My shadow sinking to his grave.
Or am I bound to reap as I have sown,
Confined in cold and breathless depths to wait;
With neither sight nor sound, a death awake –
Descending into dusk alone.

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Blood Upon Your Knife

Like a honey bee – 
The sting that irritates me 
Is fatal to you. 
 
You say the moon is static, still it spins, 
You proffer tales of war in times of peace – 
You label me the phantom of the feast 
When all your demons dwell within. 
And what have I to fear of slander, I 
Whose fortunes rest upon my will alone – 
Do you believe my pride so fragile, prone 
To shattering? You claw at stone. 
Disparage me, deride my works, and curse 
The day my light beset your dreary life – 
But know you this of blood upon your knife: 
That you, not I, shall suffer worst. 

 

Lash

I wish for all that I deserve –
For nothing more and nothing less;
If passion idled in reserve,
I’ve sown a life of emptiness.

But let it not be said of me,
Not I who fought the rising tide
When all about were glad to flee –
Not I who bore my scars with pride;
No, let it not be said of me
That mine was such a timid heart –
I sought and strove to wander free
And sacrifice my life to art;
I cast aside a cynic’s fear
Believing love would save us all,
And thanked a fabled god to hear
The voice that mocked me as I crawled;
For I was faithful as I bled,
My promise true until the end
When all that’s good in me was dead –
But I would die for love again.

And I would struggle on in vain
To clamber from a lake of mud,
In sheer defiance of the pain
Though battle-worn and smeared with blood;
Believing that a fist of fire
Is stronger than a wall of steel –
Conviction, passion, and desire
Will seldom fail and never yield.

So measure not my worth in what
I have, but that which I deserve –
Consider what my words have wrought,
And test the limit of my nerve;
When all my lesser deeds are shown
In every hue of fear and hate,
Regard these sins by shame atoned
And only then decide my fate;
To be a ghost that lingers in
The splendour of your gilded frame,
Or roam the paradise within
And light my soul upon your flame.

I ask for nothing more or less –
To sow my worth, and reap in kind;
Thus never say my life was blessed,
But rather say my life was mine.

Defiant To The End

Our work is never done. Not while a beating heart
Has reign of ragged bones, and breath invigorates
This vessel of the earth. Our work is never done.
The truth no longer hurts; compassion is our cause,
Our reason beauty. Still, our work is never done.
While there is life ahead, and while the spirit writhes
Defiant to the end; while there is strength enough
To clear the fog, and see the world that ought to be:
Our work is never done.

Unobserved

Beauty finds a way;
Flowers bloom in the desert,
Perfectly alone.

The stars burn brightly
In the eyes of mortal men,
And in their absence.

A songbird echoes
In the chasm of my heart,
Though she sings no more.

Queen Of Starlight

Cold stone shimmers on a solemn grave
Beneath the speckled starlight massing;
Blooms of amethyst in silence wave,
Lamenting not the seasons’ passing.
Elenír, the scourge of darkness, laid
To rest atop the cliffs of sorrow:
First to watch the morning light cascade
Across the ocean of tomorrow.
Elenír, for jewels of heaven named,
On eastern shores interred – the ‘Weeping
Star’ whose odyssey of woe would tame
The jealous night while all lay sleeping.

Fair as she was wise, an era spanned
The reign of Elenír – exalted
Queen of Dórvendúath; Unshadowed Land
Wherein the wiles of evil halted.
Valleys coveted the sun and moon –
As crystal, flowing rivers glimmered;
Dórvendúath would shine as bright as noon
Beneath the night’s enchanted shimmer.
True serenity defined her reign,
And humble folk for nothing wanted;
Happiness prevailed in her domain
And all were free to dream undaunted.

At her side the noble Nimruin,
Whose name is ‘Pallid Flame’ – a gracious
King who answered only to his queen;
Their love impassioned as tenacious.
Living memory could not recall
The days before their hearts united,
Though forgotten legend spoke of all
Things good upon the earth benighted.
Any truth in antiquated tales
Was lost upon the tide of ages;
Fear that light in Dórvendúath should fail
Lay now beyond the dread of sages.

In the west, their seat of power lay –
The ‘Starlight Tower’, Minas Gilith;
Wrought of ancient magic, so they say,
Of gleaming heavens and serene heath.
Thus the land was ever skyward turned,
And all upon it felt its blessing –
Whether golden sun above them burned
Or in the moonlight’s soft caressing.
Dórvendúath was ever bountiful
In long and happy days of plenty;
Blessèd was the reign of heaven’s jewel,
‘Til sunlight fled and skies were emptied.

Wherever goodness reigns unbridled,
Treachery will fester in the shade –
The hands of evil seldom idle
When the work of saints might be unmade.
And thus a mind of stone and metal
Sickened of the peace that all held dear;
Where others cherished leaf and petal,
Only power sated Dúrfánir.
His very name is ‘Veiled In Darkness’,
Yet his thoughts in shade were deeper still,
For he had dreamed the nights were starless –
Bound to answer his chaotic will.

As all men know, the stars are sacred,
Wander in their midst and doubt will fade –
It takes a mind of lust and hatred
To desire a thing so fair decayed.
But Minas Gilith drew its power
From the glinting sea that dwells above;
Within that grand and ancient tower,
Elenír exalted light and love.
The peace and purity she cherished
Held a mirror to her noble soul;
Still Dúrfánir would see her perish,
And the land return to days of old.

What peerless works the world could witness,
Such as never dreamed or feared before;
The strong made weak, the learnèd witless –
These our wretched villain sought, and more.
To first profane the Starlight Tower,
Bleeding shadows over Dórvendúath,
And thus to siphon heaven’s power
For the service of a devil’s wrath.
Too long have flesh and steel sat idle
By the silver stream and laden tree,
Enfeebled by a cowards’ idol;
Bloody conquest waits across the sea.

It is a burden of the honest
Ever to have faith where none is due,
Believing all that one is promised
By a forked and poison tongue is true.
Thus cloaked in words of admiration,
Dúrfánir deceived the royal court –
He joined in song and celebration,
Humbly giving speeches of support.
So easily his lies were trusted,
Swiftly evil over good prevailed;
He gazed on happiness, disgusted,
Cloaking venom in a kindly veil.

He sowed his seeds among the restless
In a revolution yet unseen,
With gold and silver turned the reckless
Into wretched traitors to the queen.
Forgetting endless fruitful seasons
In the sun-kissed hills and verdant dells,
Such lesser minds were turned to treason –
Damning all to ruin for themselves.
To Dúrfánir alone they answered –
His, the black ambition they would wield;
The ‘Silent Daggers’ of their master’s
Making, thus he named them ‘Dínsigil’.

That Minas Gilith stood unguarded
Cultivated pride in people’s hearts –
Ascended royals they regarded
As beloved kin a class apart.
What need had Elenír for distance
From the countrymen she kindly led –
The better part of her existence
Spent ensuring they were clothed and fed.
Thus many met the court a stranger,
Only to become a loyal friend;
A cynic would have feared the danger
And foreseen an undeserving end.

Amid the happy court of equals
Fell the shadows of the Dínsigil,
Awaiting he who spawned their evil
So their cruel intent might be revealed.
And Dúrfánir himself would savour
Every wicked moment to the last,
His hollow grin would never waver
As he bid a golden era pass.
Arising from the merry table
Honoured by a peerless king and queen,
The villain with a heart of sable
Drew his blade in spite of Nimruin.

A host of smiling faces gathered,
Puppets at their scheming master’s side –
And even as a doting father
He surveyed his foolish pawns with pride.
Had Elenír the fabled magic
Of the Starlight Tower in her grasp,
Still Dúrfánir proposed a tragic
End to Nimruin to stay her wrath.
And so the ageless queen diminished,
Yielding solemnly her rightful throne;
The countless years of light were finished –
Sun and moon were driven from their home.

The clothes upon their backs were given
Freely by the gloating tyrant-king,
Whose grasp ensnared the stars of heaven
And the fertile lands of endless spring.
Their people lined the streets in anguish
To lament the dying of the light,
A realm of plenty poised to languish
For the savage lust of blood and might.
So many eyes with fury burning
Met the ever watchful Dínsigil,
With visions of their queen returning
To a barren land of fire and steel.

But even now in flight from treason,
Elenír and Nimruin knew peace –
For Dúrfánir had little reason
To pursue them as they ventured east.
The wilds of Dórvendúath were pleasant
As the stately gardens they had known;
Thus happily they lived as peasants
Wandering in meadows richly grown.
Undaunted by a strained emotion,
In a land where stars shine bright as day;
They met at last the distant ocean,
And they felt content to fade away.

The light of stars above them kindled
Offered hope in endless peaceful days,
But now the vault of heaven dwindled
Nightly in celestial malaise.
The waning daylight hours were chilling –
Soon the green, abundant lands would die;
At once they knew the heedless villain
Sought to drain the magic of the sky.
In time the sun itself was banished –
Bound in chains, the people toiled in gloom;
Divine, eternal stars had vanished –
Blackness smothered out the yearning moon.

The darkness offered no horizon,
Neither dawn nor dusk in Dórvendúath;
The only distant light arising
From a ghastly flame of devilcraft.
Despair was blossoming in royal
Hearts to see their sanctuary profaned,
And greater still their grief for loyal
Hands conscripted for a tyrant’s gain.
If only anguish now awaited,
All the more would courage echo clear;
By fortune wrought or spirit fated,
Darkness would succumb to Elenír.

The magic of the tower lingered –
Vestiges obeyed her strength of will;
With all her might she sought to hinder
Dúrfánir’s intent to rob and kill.
Thus perched upon the cliffs of sorrow,
Eastern precipice of Dórvendúath,
She bid the ailing sky to borrow
What remained of her enlightened path.
The distant ocean bore a glimmer
Burgeoning into a golden flame,
And soon the inland waters shimmered
As if nature’s seat had been reclaimed.

But Nimruin beheld a creeping
Shadow in the eyes of Elenír,
A darkness for the moment sleeping –
Dreaming of an end as yet unclear.
The cloudless sky of her creation
Held aloft an otherworldly sun –
Sublime as heaven’s own elation
When the whims of malice are undone.
A day imbued with wholesome pleasure
Steeped in memory of goodness passed –
When life was rich with love and leisure;
Joyous visions fated not to last.

The dusk beset her realm of splendour
As a tidal wave of lightless gloom –
A masterpiece of hues surrendered
To the endless hunger of the tomb.
Enfeebled by her own volition
As the shadows crept into her eyes;
Engaged in battles of attrition –
She began to wither, and to die.
As Nimruin looked on despairing
In the darkest days of Dórvendúath –
His life and soul before him wearing
Set his grieving heart aflame with wrath.

In exile he had sought to cherish
Elenír until his final breath,
And now he feared alone to perish
In the ceaseless mourning of her death.
But Elenír had not surrendered
All her glory to a fruitless end;
She had in mind a plot to render
Justice for the blood her foe would spend.
Diminishing and still contented
In the hope of future days foreseen –
She gave her subjects now tormented
Freedom in the grace of Nimruin.

Awoken by a rosy morning
Blooming far beyond the blushing sea,
A mirror to the water’s warning
Glinted in the eyes of Nimruin.
For Elenír had not been idle
As her ailing stars endured the night;
The tyrant’s potency yet bridled –
With a heavy heart she deigned to fight.
And thus with heaven’s light she fashioned
Hilt and blade resplendent as the moon –
The ghostly ‘Traitor-Hound’, an ashen
Sword of vengeance known as Gurgofrýn.

Beholding such a bane of malice,
Crafted as it was in dire need,
The former king absolved the callous
Tyrant of his narcissistic deeds.
He wanted not for strength or courage,
Though he shunned the way of blade and spear –
His faith proclaimed the stars would nourish
Even one so cruel as Dúrfánir;
A fleeting pacifistic vision
Of a bloodless dawn that none should fear,
But little use was indecision
While the shadows conquered Elenír.

The blade of silver’s ghostly gleaming
Burst into a chilling flame of wrath;
A crimson sky of sunlight beaming,
Silent fell the winds of Dórvendúath.
The touch of destiny awakened
Righteous fury bound in Gurgofrýn –
Now Elenír must be forsaken
For the light of sun and star and moon.
As Nimruin embraced his lover,
Neither spoke a word nor deigned to cry;
From this fair realm into another,
Soulmates never truly say goodbye.

He set his sights upon the sickened
Realm of brooding darkness in the west;
A land of song with silence stricken,
Malice looming where the shadows rest.
The yielding orchards seemed to waken
As the king of starlight passed them by,
A final flush of beauty taken
By a wholesome thing condemned to die.
Majestic streams that used to glimmer
In the gentle sun’s triumphant rise
Now trickled aimlessly, and dimmer –
Weary from the sting of watchful eyes.

A chill amid the sunlight creeping,
Shadows looming though the skies were clear –
The verdant hues of nature seeping
Heralded the spies of Dúrfánir.
Emerging dark and fierce as ravens,
Deathly grim as vultures on the wing –
Flown eastward from their gloomy haven,
Hunters menaced the crusading king.
With icy eyes intent on malice,
Brandishing their blades of blackened steel –
The tyrant, brooding in his palace,
Made assassins of the Dínsigil.

They numbered five, and all directions
Fell within the lashing of their knives;
Ill-fortuned was their insurrection –
Honourless the spending of their lives.
For Nimruin upheld the gleaming
Sword of Gurgofrýn in silver flame –
His regal gaze upon them seeming
To inflict the traitors’ hearts with shame.
As mist upon the moonlight, glancing
Hazily the endless stream of time –
The fallen king’s ferocious dancing
Bore a grace both savage and sublime.

His former kinsmen fell, defiling
Virgin water with disloyal blood;
These faceless puppets to their smiling
Master were as raindrops to the flood.
Still Nimruin would mourn their passing,
Knowing as he did that life is hope;
His sadness at their death surpassing
Dúrfánir’s ambition-blinded scope.
Their bodies in the soft earth sleeping
Where a mighty river once had flowed,
The sullied king of starlight weeping
Ventured on his dark and lonesome road.

A veil of malice ever deepened,
Skies were slowly fading into gloom;
Reluctantly, a sickly seeping
Dreg of light escaped the shrouded moon.
But even now the looming peril
Drove a weary pilgrim from the road;
Thus shambling wearily and feral,
Nimruin beheld the night’s abode.
A forest in the midst of open
Country, sanctuary from watchful eyes –
To while the restless hours hoping
That a haggard sun may yet arise.

The shade of countless trees fell heavy
In the sullen glade where vengeance slept –
A peaceful darkness holding steady
As the centuries around them crept.
Perhaps the sleeping stars had woken
And the hands of evil shook with fear,
Or else a fiery dawn had broken –
Not the faintest whisper echoed here.
But still a promise resonated,
Purity both sorrowful and fair –
As if the woods forever waited
For a spirit to ignite the air.

Arising in a womb of tangled
Shadows, rested and bereft of sight –
It seemed an omen of the strangled
World awaiting at the end of light.
But Gurgofrýn was forged to banish
Darkness greater still than ancient gloom –
At once the veil of blindness vanished
As a flaming sword of silver bloomed;
Emerging in the twilight hours
To a sun that faded as it rose,
And bitter chill in summer showers
Haunting as the presence of a ghost.

The solemn road ahead unfurling
Whispered songs of home to Nimruin –
Fragmented, fleeting glimpses whirling
Of the paradise this once had been.
An Eden rich in fruit and flower –
All things good and wholesome blossomed here;
Now waning in its final hours
To a silent realm of doubt and fear.
Where fields of colour stood proclaiming,
Featureless and lonely was the path;
It seemed that death itself was reigning
In the very heart of Dórvendúath.

The desecrated Starlight Tower
Dimly shimmered in the dying light,
Now burgeoning with nature’s power
As it ushered in an age of night.
What time or hope remained would dwindle
‘Til the fires of heaven scorched the land –
Before that lustful flame was kindled,
Traitor’s blood would sully royal hands.
A glimpse of rosy sky enduring
In the swelling dark and gentle rain,
The Dínsigil conveyed the fury
Of a tyrant to the traitor’s bane.

The spawn of Minas Gilith, seeping
From the shadows in malicious hordes;
Like streams of precious lifeblood weeping
From a fresh-envenomed wound they poured.
As Nimruin beheld their numbers –
Countless icy eyes of cruel intent –
His mind returned to years of summer,
Fearing sun nor stars would shine again.
His skyward hand began to tremble
As the flames enveloped Gurgofrýn –
The host of villains now assembled
Gazed upon his majesty immune.

At first it seemed the silver gleaming
Brightly in the fire of Traitor-Hound
Cast embers wide and ripples streaming
Through the slowly-dying world around.
Until a clarity descended
With a terror apt to rend the heart;
The battle for the sun had ended
And the heavens would be torn apart.
If Gurgofrýn was shining brightly,
It was only for the utter dark;
The rosy sky that glimmered lightly
Now a bleak abyss without a spark.

The bitter gnawing of the shower
Ceased to chill the bones of Nimruin –
The grim usurper in his tower
Nevermore would fear the exiled queen.
These lands had yet to feel a blizzard’s
Sting in glist’ning stream or verdant field,
Nor answered to a would-be wizard
Seeking more than all the earth can yield.
The rains became a wintry torrent,
Swirling snows assailed the true king’s eyes;
And all at once came the abhorrent
Sufferance of Elenír’s demise.

The queen had yielded all defiance,
Fighting on until her starlight ceased;
Beyond the reach of spells and science,
Bravely fallen in the lonesome east.
A veil of darkness skyward soaring
Sealed the heavens’ eyes from Dórvendúath;
The sea fell silent as in mourning,
In its own unspoken epitaph.
The noble queen had died with honour,
Hope forever burning in her breast;
With dreaded night at last upon her,
All would be decided in the west.

As Nimruin endured the lashing
Fury of the frenzied wind and snow,
He felt the bitter knowledge gnashing
At his heart – the world around him slowed.
The shade of Minas Gilith looming
Like a talon of the underworld,
A vicious cry of anguish booming
As the king’s abyssal wrath unfurled.
He roared until his lungs were tired,
Madness dancing in his weeping eyes;
He seemed a wraith immersed in fire –
Seared with endless pain he did not die.

The Dínsigil looked on and cowered –
All their number overcome by fear;
Now bearing witness to the power
Of the heart he swore to Elenír.
The truly honourless retreated;
Those who stayed renounced their wicked ends
And knelt upon the snow, defeated –
Dreading to incur his ire again.
As Nimruin surveyed the yielding
Soldiers of the enemy afraid,
He still believed that nature’s healing
Hand would guide them on to better days.

In turn they pledged their blackened daggers
To the service of their former king,
Who bid them only bladeless stagger
Home to beg forgiveness of their kin.
The tainted weapons of the tyrant
Cast as leaden weights upon the ground –
Now all that called to mind the Silent
Daggers languished in a sorry mound.
There came a momentary flashing
Of the flame-enchanted Gurgofrýn,
And all at once they fell to ashes –
Bright and tranquil as the harvest moon.

But still the scheming villain waited
In the Tower of the Stars profaned –
Afraid that Nimruin was fated
To the accolade of ‘traitor’s bane’.
The very pinnacle ascending,
To the summit of the sacred spire –
Now Dúrfánir would face his ending
Or in bloodshed claim all he desired.
The magic he had siphoned coursing
Wildly through the raging blizzard’s sting,
He bent his fiendish will to forcing
Nature’s might upon the exiled king.

As Nimruin emerged emitting
Silver flame with every seething breath,
The two at last united – pitting
King against usurper to the death.
A rain of stardust from the rising
Hands of Dúrfánir and he was gone;
A shadow in the dark disguising –
Moonlight fading in the brighter dawn.
A low and cowardly perversion
Of the power Minas Gilith held,
And still it seemed a mere diversion
In the trickster’s arsenal of spells.

But Gurgofrýn glowed hot with yearning
On the brink of justice and revenge,
For Nimruin was now determined
To award his foe a fitting end.
He lashed in beastly strokes of violence,
Hurling flame and steel to either side –
And somewhere sheltering in silence,
Dúrfánir was losing ground to hide.
Ferocious tongues of moonlight burning
Smote the swirling snow amid the air –
The Traitor-Hound and hunter blurring
In balletic fury fierce and fair.

The jaws of the inferno closing
Inch by inch upon his fearful hide –
The conjuror at last had chosen
To renounce his shadow-veil and fight.
A blinding flash of heaven’s power
Shook the dormant skies of Dórvenduath,
Colliding with the ancient tower
In a peerless fit of nature’s wrath.
The whirling slashes of the gleaming
Blade abruptly stuttered to a halt,
And silver flames in darkness teeming
All at once surrendered their assault.

A symphony of thunder echoed,
Waves of lightning broke on Gurgofrýn;
Its power woke the fields and meadows
But the stricken king looked on immune.
A maddened smile at once enraptured
Dúrfánir’s assured, defiant face;
The gleaming moonlight blade had captured
Bolts that ought to lay a god to waste.
His arrogance foretold his ruin,
Grappling with a might he scarce had known;
Entrusting Nimruin’s undoing
To a force of nature once his own.

A final fit of desperation
Drew an act of cunning to the fore;
Illusions all, and fabrication:
Shadows scuttled wide across the floor.
The cornered villain’s eerie laughter
Summoned up his image all around;
First shapeless entities, thereafter
Perfect duplicates of sight and sound.
A silent watcher in the middle
Towered in a fiery silver glow;
The traitor’s cunning bore no riddle
For he studied well his mortal foe.

Each cruelly laughing tyrant brandished
That same blade that met the royal throat
Before the sun and starlight vanished
From their realm both regal and remote.
And all were lashing wild and reckless –
Lunging, stabbing at the heedless king;
His will of iron firm and speckless
As he readied to avenge his kin.
One solitary villain faltered
As he faced the wrath of Nimruin;
Ensnared by fear no spell could alter –
He would answer for the fallen queen.

The countless spears of snow hung thickly
As the fatal moment crystallised;
A savage fury rose too quickly
For the reckoning of watchful eyes.
At once the silver blade igniting,
Nimruin would see the villain slain;
Advancing as a bolt of lightning
To pronounce himself the traitor’s bane.
The scheming Dúrfánir’s disloyal
Heart engulfed in flames of Gurgofrýn,
Unmade was he who marred the royal
Providence of sun and stars and moon.

The fire smote his bones to ashes,
Lost amid the whirling shards of snow;
Defeated as a wave that crashes
Hard upon the cliffs to fall below.
As Nimruin reviewed his labour
In the lightless days of Dórvendúath,
A bolt of sorrow struck the saviour –
Left alone to walk his destined path.
And what of Elenír, the saintly
Queen who passed from living into lore;
Her name to glimmer on but faintly
When the rule of nature was restored.

The hero’s oath to vengeance finished
And the fullness of his loss revealed –
The flames of Gurgofrýn diminished,
Disenchanting ordinary steel.
The passion of the king would follow,
Stripped of love and battles left to fight –
When all that waits ahead is hollow,
Sunny day may just as well be night.
Thus not by pain but sadness blighted,
Falling to his knees in laboured breath,
At last was Nimruin united
With the queen of starlight now in death.

His subjects, weeping for their sire,
Bore his body through the falling snow –
From pinnacle of gleaming spire
To the tomb of ancients far below.
And though their weary limbs were aching
In the dreary labour of their quest,
With every heart among them breaking
They conveyed him to his final rest.
None cried for Dúrfánir’s disloyal
Carcass in the cleansing moonlight burned;
But Dórvendúath would mourn their royal
Father in the dusk of no return.

So too was Elenír delivered
By the people to her final rest;
A solemn journey crossing river,
Field and forest from the distant west.
But death would not conclude her story,
She who scorched the skies with blazing day;
The sun still answered to her glory
Thus the earth embraced her where she lay.
The sorry stars and moonbeams shining
As they offered up their bonds of grief,
The mourners ventured homeward, pining,
From the cliffs of sorrow – Naergoníf.

A year of sadness followed treason,
Spirits lowly in the aftermath –
Enduring each chaotic season
Of a newly changing Dórvendúath.
A whispered rumour told of stirrings
In the hallowed crypt of royalty,
Of phantoms in the darkness blurring
Truth and myth in deathless loyalty.
And ever after it was spoken
That if fearful days of pain were seen –
The wrath of moonlight would be woken
In the risen ghost of Nimruin.

But as the final hours of winter
Petered out in beautiful despair,
The earth and heaven seemed to splinter –
Some subversive magic filled the air.
The morning came without a burning
Sun to signify the breaking dawn –
Nor stars or moon but barren yearning
For a light when all above had gone.
If any prophet thought it dire
To bear witness to a blackened sea,
Such morbid tales would soon expire
As the shadowed land was poised to see.

An eerie glimmer in the reigning
Gloom presided over Naergoníf –
Where nature’s magic flourished, gaining
Breath and form that would defy belief.
The skies had sacrificed their essence
In a ritual of gratitude,
And summoned from the earth a presence
That abided there in solitude.
To look upon its ghostly shimmer
Would compel the heart to love, not fear;
Rekindled in that eerie glimmer
Stood the wakened soul of Elenír.

The queen of starlight, newly risen
From the peace of her eternal rest,
Set out to walk among the living –
Bound for Minas Gilith in the west.
Her spirit wandered by the rivers
In the primal east of Dórvendúath,
Through valleys seldom seen and never
Walked she followed her appointed path.
By standing stone and waters falling,
Wilderness to mortal eyes unknown;
Foregoing all to seek her calling
On a weary pilgrim’s journey home.

A few among the living wondered,
Having travelled far on lonesome roads,
If sanity were torn asunder,
Or what evil such a sight forebode.
Ethereal, this haunting vision
Breathing light upon the sleeping earth;
Eluding common superstition
In a dream of mystical rebirth.
But clarity endowed them slowly
With a will to gather near and bow;
Uplifted hearts that once were lowly,
Asking of her neither why nor how.

If Elenír retained awareness
Of the waking world, she bore no sign;
Her people gladdened by a fairness
They could yet adore but not define.
And so it was they watched the hollow
Queen advance into a distant blur;
Despite their love, they would not follow,
For they knew not what awaited her.
The secret of her destination
Would elude the minds of mortal men,
Who faltered in their contemplation
Of the fallen queen who rose again.

Before her lay the fields of plenty,
Where the sun enriched the earth beneath;
But now the skies were black and empty
From the western spire to Naergoníf.
It seemed the animals would slumber
While the fountainhead of light was bare,
For not a beast of pasture lumbered
Nor did merry birdsong fill the air.
Perhaps she moved in lustrous colour –
Who can tell what waking spirits see?
Her spectral eyes surveyed a duller
World and fixed upon the distant trees.

This forest once, in bleakest hours,
Held the king of starlight as he slept;
Impenetrable shade its power –
Secrets in the well of darkness kept.
As Elenír approached the giant
Womb of shadows sprung from lightless ground,
The blackness bowed to her, compliant –
Yielding life and colour all around.
The flowers of the forest clearing
Lifted up their heads and beamed with joy –
And spectral lights enkindled, searing
Bright as stars from common earth deployed.

The sky above her gleamed with jewels,
Shimmering in strange, unearthly hues –
The ancient glistened with renewal,
By her long-awaited touch infused.
And drawn to her amid the splendour
Such as mortal eyes have never seen,
A soul eternally surrendered
To her love – the ghost of Nimruin.
The ‘glade of spirits’ ever after,
When the spring defied the winter air,
Would echo with their song and laughter –
Happy were the whispers of Parth Faer.

From Minas Gilith’s gleaming spire
To the wailing sea at Naergoníf,
The plight of Dórvendúath was dire –
All but insurmountable their grief.
The Dínsigil in silence woken
Answered to the wiles of Dúrfánir –
By Gurgofrýn’s enchantment broken,
Nimruin avenging Elenír.
In time the tales of darkness dwindled
Now that light and birdsong filled the air;
And when their kindred spirits kindled –
Happy were the whispers of Parth Faer.

Everything About You

I love your eyes. I love your knowing smile.
I love the warmth and texture of your skin.
I love to hold you, silent for a while –
The air you’re breathing out, I’m breathing in.
I love your voice with laughter bubbling through,
The way your hair obscures your pensive face;
I love that when you’ve nothing else to do,
Your thoughts meander out of time and space.
I love that you’re a little crazy, and
That it’s okay because I’m crazy too.
I love that you can somehow understand
Me when I try to hide myself from you.
I love to feel your heartbeat in the still
Of night. I love you. And I always will.

Eyes Of Liquid Fire

With eyes of liquid fire
Burning in the stillness of the night,
You seal a single moment
From the chaos of eternity;
The silver-glinting sky hangs
Heavy with an icy permanence,
And sparks of darker magic
Linger in the air outside of time;
The world of your enchantment
Ripples with the trembling of my heart,
Reverberating in the
Silence. Wordlessly, you call to me
With eyes of liquid fire.

Paler Moon

Wounded, weary and weak.
A paler moon, a darker night.
Lonely, lost and longing.
Crying for the end.

Myths Of Old

We sought the darkened corners of the world
Enraptured by a lust that never dies,
With destinies of glory to unfurl
And monsters to be slain before our eyes;
What kingdoms sunken in the mire of time
Or heathen arts to history resigned,
What tomes of magic lay in foreign climes
Unthinkable to those we left behind;
Aspiring to the feats of ancient lore,
A common heart was blessed to beat with pride –
The sea of dreams lay open to explore
For those who venture courage on the tide.

And what have we to equal such a faith
When all we deign to contemplate is known –
Existing in the shadow of the wraith
Without a fleeting spark of wonder shown;
Our gods and monsters slaughtered long ago,
Their mystery and might explained away –
Too jaded now to let our vision grow
Beyond the shackles of the everyday;
And bolstered by the bleating of our peers,
We sneer at those who still revere the dawn –
An age of man without ambition nears,
For all that’s sacred and profane is gone.

The moat of souls encircles not the house
Of god, but flows into oblivion –
And I proclaim the tales we once espoused
Are proof of miracles beneath the sun;
There is divinity on earth, without
A call to prayer or sacrifice of blood –
A glimpse of paradise defying doubt
As veins of silver gleaming in the mud;
I may believe in nothing, but I yearn
To revel in a wondrous story told –
Alive with tears of joy as cynics learn
That there is beauty in the myths of old.