This cavewoman and her baby make for a vivid pair nearly 200 feet above the cathedral’s north lawn. She’s hard to see; the chip on her shoulder is hard to miss.
I’ve no gold cups to catch your shrieks
And noises foul, no nailing rock
Where cronish faces fade, and matrons
Remoulded as maidens mourn so gleefully
The babe whose face they fouled with runes.
No—grear my mouth and gray my eyes,
And shriv’ling hairs in handfuls twine;
Time is a rot-wyrm that riddles us through
And broods in its hole upon our brighter days
But shares secrets mere seeresses hide.
All this I owe you; I own nothing more.
The work of the world fathers wolfish brats,
But hold your ground. Heroes will loathe you,
Knowing they need you, lest no one forge
Prurient tales from pride alone
Nor string a song from strokeworn beards.
Behold how hall-thugs hungry for butchery
Score rusty sword-tips ’round scabs, hearing
Echoes of Caindom in all but their own.
Rave when one belches some rum-ram-ruf lay;
His bones will break. Just bide your time.
Thole and thrive, son, throughout dull days;
You’ve naught to fear. Face them, beaming.
Swive or just sing with them. Savor their smell.
Their bile, rising, my boy, you’ll taste,
And soon you’ll crave their crawling flesh,
And late you’ll drain their draughts of blood,
And ere the dawn their oaths they bleat,
Graying faces greeting the morn
Will gape at your night-work, noble heroes
Strangled, overthrown, strawberry-flecked,
Sweet sentinels, singers of tales,
Wyrd-graven warlords, woebegone boys.
Peer from the tree line; try not to gloat,
But make them hear you howling your name.
All youth survives in you alone,
So be for me my bitter angel
Rightfully fated to rage in the dark.
Motherly lore will light the gloom:
Like candles touched to torchwood pyre,
Mere men flicker; monsters explode.
(For all the entries in this series, hit the “looking up” tab.)