The Flock

They look up to you,

Eyes brightly blinking,

Feathers ruffled and wings flapping,

Their little minds flitting-

A moment there, and a moment gone.

 

Small, darting, a blink of thought,

A twitch of sight, attention brought,

They’re not bright,

Incapable of flight –

Yet adoring all the same.

 

How eagerly from your hand they’ll eat,

Content to have the crumb of crust,

Overjoyed at a spatter of meal,

They hop over your toes,

About your legs circling and squawking.

 

What love and affection,

How simple and untroubled –

No creased forehead,

No mistrusting glares,

But the soft, tone-deaf cluck

Of contentment,

Harmony amateur.

 


 

A not particularly good poem I feel as though I practically vomited up. I couldn’t help it really.

I was just out feeding my chickens, and I suppose it’s a commonplace enough sight – but there’s something charmingly simple in the way they swarm over you, squawking and clucking and milling around your feet, staring up at your hand as they wait for grain to fall from your fingers with an eagerness comparable even to a Labrador. Sure, a cynic will be quick to point out, “They only love you for the food you give – you’re just a walking meal.”

True enough, but are we any better? How well can we trust the affection of those around us? Any cynic can, with sufficiently logical-sounding arguments, disassemble the whole of human relations into a series of trust-based transactions built on the necessity of cooperation for survival. In many ways your garden-variety corporation differs little from a flock of animals – to the cynic, both are merely a band of individuals who shelter together for their own individual well-being. If things get tough for other members, the only justification to helping them out is that it must benefit the self in some way. This is the extent of flesh relations, what the flesh and cerebellum alone can rationalize.

We are not good to one another because we are all human. If humanity were all we had to rely on – I can only point to the decadence of Rome, the savagery of Gaul, the depravity of the Levant, the myopic slave-mongering of the West African kingdoms, the bureaucratic tyranny of Imperial China, the callous culling present throughout every epoch of the Russian civilization, our own American history with slavery – and while some might cry that Man has often justified his actions with God’s own Book, allow me to highlight the operative clause:

Man has justified his actions.

It is when Man desires to justify himself that he leads himself into error, and abandons himself to his evil as thoroughly as the ignorant pagan.

This essay must be continued another time, sadly. But allow me to end on a message of hope, not despair.

Though Man is adrift in a sea of our own wretchedness, evil from head to toe, whether it be our hands or our muttering hearts which drip with blood, we have a savior. We have One who is better than us, One who, though receiving only hatred and contempt from His people, chose to love us past the point of death. He asks little of us, compared to what He has already given us in our lives here on Earth, even before we believe on His name. He loves us with a courage and a compassion palely reflected in the broken body of the mother who shields her child from bullets with her body; in the beating heart of the volunteer who for his small republic goes to battle against the pitiless foe, though he knows he will not return home; in the eyes of the king who wields the power to take life and liberty – and seeing a guilty man before him, broken and pleading for his life even as he admits his wretchedness – spares his life.

From God comes a love that neither you nor I will experience whilst trapped in our flesh. Only when freed by the Spirit will we taste of it, and only in the final sanctification within the halls of the New Jerusalem will we truly feast.

So, do not treat your fellows cynically. Do not mistrust their love or suspect them of manipulation. That is not for you to know. But merely imitate Your Lord, and love them ever more, and love Your Lord even moreso, with all your heart, body and soul. Upon these commands is founded the whole of His Law.

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Desire’s War

I am still too long.
Again and again it comes,
like a war in the trench,
volley by volley,
an unceasing bombardment.

I fight, fight and die to myself,
Time and again and repeat,
chained to my rifle,
red from the fire,
rhe flesh minions,
soaking the ash-blackened soil.

Leave me be!
I will not stand
your presence-your
moaning wail
siren call
hellbound hail
I need none at all!
I need not your defeat;
There are no seats,
on the train of grace,
for your monstrous race.

Away with you, witch’s sprites,
temptresses and idols!
I do not want
your cheap trinkets,
half-minute pleasures,
short-stopped sensuality.
Your attentions are delicate
like the spider entombing her witless victim

God has set aside,
this one for greater glory;
He will not be had –
Neither Him nor His servant!

For His Excellence, Labor

Lord, I am tired.
I desire to labor
but my mind is short
of the perspicacity
which I demand

Lord to what do I labor
Your greater glory I
desire above all else
If not in heart then
in mind — in cold, cold mind.

Oh Lord why does not
my heart beat for You
as it does for her?
Oh Lord — why, oh why
why oh does not Your spirit
flood my heart to wash
all away which displease
Your Holy Excellence

Lord purge me –
purify the small man – the
weak man – the
pauper who thirsts for You
No more strife, warless days
Lord, quickly, come!

Consumptor

Purge me of hunger
Not for bread
But for flesh

It gnaws       turns
tears      the screws
bites      ever tighter
twists     and tighter still
I want it gone!
No more         the flesh
Nevermore        as ash
It fades                  the cursed parasite
throbs and pulses and swells
like an abscess of desire
The hunger grows, devours
engorged upon itself till
it bursts and drains its human pus
into the mouth of Hell.
To Sheol it beckons me
a king and his son battled this beast and came to dun;
his name was David, son of Jesse
and his son was Solomon, Bathsheba’s son.
But they cast themselves upon Your mercy
They were spared the fire, though not the pain
and ascended they on high to rest
in Your Maker’s Hands.
Make it tremble, make it burn
Reduce it to ash
Put the flesh to the sword
and from the Consumptor’s gory pyre
arise the spirit saved to light.

It’s a Poem What Don’t Have a Name

I’m only black and white.
Not strong in stride,
I’ve never known pride,
Only love undebriding.

I was there for the castles,
I was there for the night’s hassle,
Of you trying to sleep, but secretly dreaming,
While all the world carried on snoring.

You used to talk to me, that sweet “pillow talk,”
Of course we never called it that then, mom’dve balked,
(And it would have been weird, like stalking)
But now you don’t. It’s like your mouth’s plugged with caulk.

You once told me of dragons and knights,
The brave and the meek, fighting through the night.
Or the maid and her lion, leading the other unto dawn’s crest.
I sleep now under a silent thrum, held against your chest,
A subject of your tight, nervous arm, the grind of broken teeth,
and the whine of a more broken heart, alone on the heath.

Now the night stories I hear are dark and cruel,
It’s not dragons and knights, but tyrants and traitors,
And the maid is held in chains, dragged on by twin masters.
Regret and pain, loneliness, covered in white plaster,
Undone in sleep, unraveled in dreams.

I loved you once and I love you still, warm against you,
Though now you never name me,
Only murmur incessant, shuddering in the cold.
I know my time has passed, for you seek others to love,
Others taller, others fairer, sweet like a dove.
You’ll find for yourself who to trust, and who needs a shove.
For it’s not just me that’s waiting patiently in bed,
But all childhood’s songs and hopes not dead,
Only dreaming inside your head.

-Rylie

Inspired by this prompt from the Poet’s Billow

Poetry! Well… Maybe?

This was something I wrote as a culture piece in a indeterminately nearish future grunge sci-fi universe for an obligate carnivore species of seven foot tall metal-scaled horned neo-fascist space viking colonists of a recently deceased empire driven to extermination by a) hubris, b) civil war, c) crapshoot unpredictable sentient robotic war machines, and d) EATING PEOPLE FOR PETTY AMUSEMENT. And their texture.

Continue reading Poetry! Well… Maybe?