Pieces of the past flicker in silent side-reel pantomime
On the mental mirror; mine? Another’s? Any and all
Could these pieces belong to, items and names lost
For lack of context, without co-adjutive perspective,
Yet strongly hold these nebulous fancies, despite no final promise.
Damp squelch in fetid rain matter dripping from dank stone
Travels with me over the causeway bridge, untold centuries
Here lasting as a result of one man’s dream, powerful
Enough to hold, mesmeric spell existing solely with others
Held enthralled, willing disciples loyal and resigned to dying.
Sky above pulses a’swarm with strange sigils in the bird flocks
Sign to portentous events, the ominous dripping, empty parapets
Above and singular decrepitude oscillating through all points
To calm unnatural, quietly a spell fell as of some dampening
Tone sounded from a millennium deep place; I freeze halfway.
Twisting corridors writhe out from door lined caverns, each
A route into its own kind of madness, some with tottering frights,
And here at least I find a knight… or more, acid etched armour
To dent in like all the others who tried, who came, before
To find the shock of a surging stake exploding outward.
We who would seek this power, a necromantic King’s,
Would well remember to reach far beyond our kinsmans’ reach,
And our own, to harness heaven and earth, an alchemical mantle,
Draw spirits of sky and sea to us, proof demonstrative
Of our power and right to bear it; the stairs only echo in response.
So many floors await from this front-facing of all entry points,
A story laid out in levels ascending only to descend, construct
Wrought by hands mindless and lifeless both, yet imbued
With genius! All that could be synergised by stolen prosperity
And aided thereupon by a team of engineers fierce in knowledge.
“Decadent days these are indeed,” they murmured in woe,
Expressions of barely real art set, lips of each a moue
Of disdainful regret, “days filled with visions of wayfarers
Who seek to seize this world…or to end it. Wanderers some,
Native others, the planes here meeting, a mouldy Nexus.”
Between many worlds then, this land resides across Time,
While we darkly winsome weapons of inexorable Fate
Vie on against the stream, the tides of gods moving
Pieces on a cosmic board over many dimensions;
I tire of their drama, and seek a holy knight at least.
Or perhaps a king? Addled faces watch my aspect, this spectral
Group of old nobles with dead words move again into orbits
And logic loops, and I move on, another wanderer gone past;
Stairs strike up golden sparks disconcerting for rarity, warning
Of things yet to come? We may only hope, for such a final spark.
I’d made mock of the estranged approach and been burned
For my arrogance, knocked down to recall the hegemony
Of twisting souls, writhing in agony to escape the cycle;
Echoes chase my enquiring steps and, seeing no warden
I ascend to the floor above, where ghosts keep a buzzing counsel.
Do they speak of the kingdom? Of taxes and fiefs abandoned?
Perhaps they always have, and I am the deluded, yet knowledge
Keeps me from acquiescence, and their voices titter to recognise me
Come at them, mace raised in fear, their eyes cold as paint
Slathered on strange papers, oil masterpieces immortally corrupted.
“How now, aggressive one?” call they in injurious tones, cause
Enough I say to drop down the threat of blunt force flange trauma;
Few would bandy words as soon as cleave the skull, so I listen,
Like a child at bedtime before father, to hear how they alone see
The ruin here wrought, worlds collided in these dry mummers.
I talk of the hands, the arms, blackened by time, and
The one, barely recalling a name through the gulfs,
Some semblance of signature identity as yet separate,
Untamed in challenge by the multitude of myriad madnesses;
Those swirling winds composed of dark flames indeed.
Belief then, to hold faith and know thyself, still pledged on
To the plain, the journey, knowledge that one is not enough;
Not one soul is the full form composed thereof, but many,
Many souls for many modes, means, etc; manifold dream
The metaphysical soul constructs, each to their own domain.
We wander on in this realm, a vision awaiting as the doors creak
Closed behind me, all fey musings forgotten at s forward step
Into that high ceilinged entrance chamber, marble and gold,
Helical staircases winding upward to a world where rare works
Of art adorn the walls, when the rarest is the place, sick jewel.