“Full moon, pass the window sideways…”

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.

MEARCSTAPA

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.)

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