DANCE OF THE GARGOYLE

Elemental – spirit flame –
Splay of snout and horny hoofed.
Deadly as a tiger lame
Bronze of claw and palate roofed.

Black as pigment night the hue
Of scaly hide, ocher eyes
Stir the cauldron – churn and strew
Smoke across the boiling skies.

And upon its wivern head
Hideous beyond compare –
Wattled monster of the hood –

Vanity with heavy tread
Stamps a livid imprint there –
“This is beauty, this is good.”

9-17-42

DEA

The leeching vacuum of hard space
Has sucked my tissues dry
And left a little pile of dust
Beneath the Gothic sky.

Mother Goddess, Queen of Space
Virgin of the Caverned Deep
Crone of Dark Death, Maiden bright
Magnet of Thy Star-son’s leap

Thy longing pulls all worlds to Thee
Upon the dark Space Sea.
Intoxicated on our Blood
Thy Soul sings fittingly.

Mother Goddess, Queen of Space
Virgin of the Caverned Deep
Crone of Dark Death, Maiden bright
Magnet of Thy Star-son’s leap

Thy Spirit of stability
Moves on the altered Dark;
The Blood Thy Saints have bled for Thee
Spills from Thy grail-fire Ark.

Mother Goddess, Queen of Space
Virgin of the Caverned Deep
Crone of Dark Death, Maiden bright
Magnet of Thy Star-son’s leap

Thy crescent priestess, Lunar Star,
Has met me on Thy path
To guide my driving, homeward thrust
And shield Thy Gorgon wrath.

Mother Goddess, Queen of Space
Virgin of the Caverned Deep
Crone of Dark Death, Maiden bright
Magnet of Thy Star-son’s leap

Thy Beauty, drunken on our Blood
And pregnant with our Death,
Casts forth our soul-fire, born again,
As Stars before Thy breath.

Mother Goddess, Queen of Space
Virgin of the Caverned Deep
Crone of Dark Death, Maiden bright
Magnet of Thy Star-son’s leap

4-4-62

 

DEUS EX MACHINA

So has it come to this
The Hour of Peril
When Armageddon roils the storm of war
And kilted Mars bestrides a crumbling world
Of armor plated dragons belching flame
Of slant winged harpies sharding through a haze
Of incandescent fury
And of monstrous eggs
Ovum of a world gone mad with fear
And rationed thought

Such is the fate of gadget minded man
Who placed his faith in mechanistic thought
And sought no higher good than pleasure-pain
That now he finds his logic’s fatal flaw
In skew-wise reason

And his need for love
Is smothered in the coils of The Machine
Upon whose altar lies his lilied soul
Till Moloch’s triggered fingers arc the arms
That feed the flames

3-11-52

DREAM OF THE GHOUL

Ah, dear one, your fair face alight
With such joy is a blessed sight
As we embrace among the crypts
Through which the sluggish water drips;
Slowly it finds saturation
From bodies merged with hydration.
Lie reposed upon this lid, dear,
It is so long since you were near.
My stiff fingers would undress you,
My worm-eaten arms caress you
And in this dark my ghastly lips
Mash down upon the flesh-pink tips
Of your firm, yet soft yielding breast
That surges like an ocean crest.
Our love is stronger than the grave
For to my corpse a life it gave
To drag it back from out the slime
And now I live beyond my time;
Live? Undead is the better word;
My blood is whey, my brain a curd
And still the melting flesh flows down
From out the mattered hairline crown
As off my softened bones now slips
The feral flesh. The grave worm sips
And wriggles in this charnel slush
Of a corruption that is mush.
My rot-filled hair will yet grow out,
Each mud scaled string a grisly sprout
And from my dripping nostrils run
A filth that drives mad anyone.
But you, my love, have no such doom;
You were mad e’er you burst my tomb!

9-14-40

EGO

I, Star, swing out the perihelions of my round.
A million streamered tendrils coruscate and bound
Into the sky, they would escape, but no, I hold
Them yet more firmly, crush them, back into the fold
They slump with laggard bodies, yet their writhing souls
Strain out. While, fear lapped eyes are rolled in knotted boles
Away. Ha. Come to me my little ones, I play.

12-4-41

ELD

It is told in sagas and songs of old
That strange men dwelled on the world’s high roof
And held strange commerce with gods aloof
When our Earth was young – and before the Cold.

And the stories tell of a fairey gold
That was bartered for garments of elfin woof,
For sequined jewels – but here is no proof –
So who is to know if the truth were told?

The dream worlds touch on those years of our eld
And hearty dreamers may voyage at will —
Through lands the waking have never beheld

They storm with their thunder winged steeds uphill
Up valley and mountain and icy ledge
Spearheading the sky-winds – over the Edge.

3-11-45

ELUSIAN

The Old Gods die not in their age
Yet curls the clinging vine
Pure Eros spins the subtle cage
The limbs of Kali twine
Brute Thor still plies the firmament
The corn of Attis sways
With jubilance and merriment
The Bacchic revel brays
Grim Pluto stalks the nether spheres
Pan pipes along the rill
Plump Juno scores the spinning years
Sophia lives her will

In bloody sacrifice the ranks
Of human kind are hurled
The Field of Mars by Tiber’s banks
Has covered well the world.

2-2-42

END RUN

Load ’em up, lads, and break the camp
We’re throwing the bomb dumps forward again
For Patton’s Armor is off the map
And the winged sky-cavalry riding his flank
Has need of a rest.
So we are off at the dawn in a drizzling rain
And we’re wheeling east, though we’re going north,
For over there on our left, just beyond Falaise,
The whole damn German Seventh Army
Is being annihilated.
We have them behind the eight-ball
And in the side pocket.
But not without its cost to us
For here and there along the route
Are the remains of our gallant little Sherman tanks
Who have taken the brunt of the German Tigers
And are now clustered among the green trees.
Their burned out turrets have turned a bright orange-red
From the oxidizing rain;
A color scheme that is not appreciated
By the discerning observer.
Then out of the rain and into the clear
And we are wheeling north for hours on end
Until we begin to find Frenchmen lining the road
Yelling “Paree libres, Paree libres.”
Yes, Paris is liberated.
So the Mademoiselles start throwing flowers at us,
And the little French kids throw anything they have.
Have you ever tried to catch a ripe tomato
At thirty miles an hour?
Then don’t.
But Paris! Ah, Paris …
And this would be the best of all possible times
For an American soldier
To be in Paris!
But we have a slight matter of a war to win
And a job to do
So we stop at Chartres instead.
Chartres, city of the cathedral of Chartres,
Cathedral of the Tower of Chartres,
Said to be the most beautiful in the world!
But not half as interesting at the moment

As setting up this bomb-dump
On an abandoned Luftwaffe field
Rich with mines.
So we are off on the high-way and into the fields
Where you are bounced from the truck
To land on your heels,
And your helmet’s off in the mud.
So?
You wipe the crud off with the back of your hand
And put the bucket back on your head, of course.
What-the-hell else can you do?
We find a shack to sleep for the night,
For the rain has started again,
“Unload those trucks” for a long haul back
But how do we dump the bombs, without a crane,
Which we left back in Normandie
To load out the rest of the dump?
Oh, it is really very simple, once you know how.
“A soldier in the field must find his own expedient”
It says here,
In The Book.
You know, the Ordnance Field Manual.
Well, Aberdeen would go crazy if they saw this;
Wrestling them off by hand,
Five hundred pounds of high explosive and pig iron
Dropping fifteen feet from the top of a prime mover
And thudding into the mud with a shock
That jolts the back of your teeth.
If there is just one defective bomb in the whole lot,
Just one little precipitate of nitrogen against the iron
To make something deadly like a ferrous-nitrate
(Like the one that blew low-order
Back at Strip Three, on the Beach),
Then you, and your crew, and the whole damn countryside,
Not to mention that new six ton truck,
Would disintegrate in one heaven shaking blast of thunder.
But nothing happens,
Not this time, anyway.
So you see the convoy off
And post your guards, just in case,
And bed down in a shack with a leaking roof
And forget about it.

2-17-46

ENTITY

Tenuous it wells and spreads far out across the sleeted sky
A shapeless bulk against the suns which, immersed, within it lie
And glow a dull red angry hue, convulsed they wave with life aware
Arched tendrils of the galaxies; sentient, they curl and stare
Into the closely crowding gloom, taut filaments of pearl strung light
Stand stiff from where a bursting sun collapsed beneath the crushing might
Of this vast sprawling entity, spawn of the darkness, spherical
Or cubic relativity, a mindless thought, a miracle.

Into a finite consciousness there threads a thought of Being,
Intelligence is wrought to life within a mammal; seeing
With clumsy organs blind to all but one prismatic cord
Yet in that spectrum reveling to rob it of its hoard
Of orange, yellow, green, and gold, amethystine and blue,
Each sharp distinction rivaled by some subtle shade or hue
In the glory of the morning, at the brazen gong of noon
Or the swirling dusk of evening lapping at a sated moon.

Some wonder why it clings to earth, to live and live again
To taste with the ephemeral their joy and hate and pain
Why one who could destroy or build a universe should live
Within the confines of a man, what has that man to give?
That man has sight and taste and smell and touch to guide him by
And he can hear a thousand sounds, some beautiful, some wry.
For though his senses may be fogged and though his mind be dim
Each process of perception forms a thought distinct to him.

To one who broods within the void and is to all receptive;
A planet with encrusted life is but a pawn; perceptive,
Attuned to an infinity of graded radiation
Produces an intelligence that knows but one sensation
A color, it would be white to us, an unbearable glare
It has no shield, there is no help, it can only cringe and stare
Into the fire; or thrust itself into the mind of you or I
Escaping from the bitter cold, the blinding snow fields of the sky.

(undated)

ENTROPY

Far out beyond our lace of bars
Among the sprinkled world of stars
We find, at their swift play, the knaves,
The gossipers, the spectrum waves
That leap from out the fiery hearts
Of countless of the starry darts
That stud the blackened blank of space.
Humming joyfully in its race
This willful, gay precocious light
Will have its sway in bursting flight
Until vibrations dance is slowed
The star-dust of the suns
Is sowed.

Lashing out on its flashing wings
Around the universe it swings
For shy light is the fleeing prey
Of every swaggering cosmic ray
That struts along the aisles of space
And brags of this far distant place
Or, floating in the void close by
A blazing sun that brights the sky.
For by a random chance it sprang
From out a nova’s bursting pang
Then lanced out through our galaxy
And on and on
Infinity.

With streaming, rainbowed plume aloft
It charges out in brave assault
To scatter wide on cosmic dust
From violet to the red of rust
And only then, with driving spent
Can it find quiet or content
From white searing heat, spreading rife,
This is the ultimate of life!
Of power, flooding from its source
To dissipate its heaving force
Throughout the limbo of the night
That shrouds and swallows
Eager light.

The rip tides of eternity
Pulse slowly in maturity
As, when unto death relinquished
The last faint fires are extinquished
And glowing radiation pale
Comes sifting down the spectrum scale.
The time clocks of the suns are slowed
And all the hall where once they glowed
Is now a vaulted, hollow husk
Where light has played from Dawn to Dusk
When on this feral cosmic sea
Triumphs the final
Entropy.

(undated)

EZEKIAL’S BESTIARY

The Seven Headed Beast has won
The Woman Clothed With The Sun

The Beast comes from the Conscious Sea
The Beast walks in eternity

Each Sign-Change must be served its Beast
As sacrifice, and royal yeast

The Lion and the Lamb shall share
The innocence of Beastly lair

The Eagle tears the Taurian sky
Androcles leads the Lion by

A Beast is beastly without sin
In Eden Beastly men begin

The Serpent is a Beastly tree
In His Edenic purity

And forests of the Trees of Heaven
Burn with Thy Star, Unstable Seven!

8-31-61

FORT MASON

The guns are gone. The casements stand
Gaunt and impotent; where the sand
Dunes of another day have lain
Green parks arise and funneled rain
Sprays fountain-wise across the lawn.
The rolling years of Time have drawn
Another picture on the page
That is Fort Mason’s shifting stage.
Behind the drapes the props are changed,
Within the wings the actors ranged
By rank are not the same as when
Black Point stood guard against the Men-
o-War of other nations’ fleets.
Headquarters’ buildings, well paved streets;
Administration of supplies
Now reigns supreme and occupies
The personnel, and in command
A General Officer whose hand
Guides and directs the flowing streams
Of goods and merchandise and reams
Into the ships and holds their course
Far out to where the Nation’s force
Of arms is gathered, there to build
Our ramparts strong. They must be filled
With fighting men and guns and planes
Prepared against the day when rains
Of bombs and shells sluice down the sky.
There must be food, there must be high
Test gasoline to throw fast
Dread fighter craft above the cast
Of stalking bombers. All of these
Depend on the abilities
Of officers and men who man
Fort Mason’s port. Within the plan
America has for defense
We play a vital part, though since
The days of yore our guns are gone
Another day has seen the dawn
When wars are won by those who ply
The life-blood of our arms–Supply!

9-4-41

Definition: GODDESS

Gravity
     Cavity

4-11-62

GODHEAD

All day we two had wandered in the hills
And, wind-blown, sat ourselves at last to rest.
Within your hair the poppy bloom I wove
Then by your side stretched out upon the grass
And closed my eyes; but you would savor now
Each shifting scene that comes at close of day—
You speak the ecstacy of living flesh
And that to be alive upon the Earth
Is miracle enough – why search the cause.
But I
I saw not fields of green and flowers there
Nor woods beyond that shimmered in the glow
Of sunset hyperboreal, nor heard
The pleasant breeze caress our wearied feet.
I only know
As one enthralled in chains of levined fire
An emptiness that spread its hollow cloak
Across the gulfs of space, where atoms swirl
Close-latticed in the slag of stars that were.
The wind I felt caressed no mortal brow
But streamed athwart the face of one who stood
Implacable as Death, the chaos stormed
On cyclone wings that roiled the ordered spheres
To twisting vortices – before mine eyes
Volcanic geysers thundered as the suns
Exploded in the duress of the wrack
And I
I stood four-square that roaring blast
Looked steadfast down the bronzen maw of Hell—–
                         and laughed.

5-18-42

HAIKU

Smoky the Bear contemplating
Sounds of tourists departing:
A pile of tin cans in a high wind.

(undated)

HER LOVELY HAIR

I walked the dog in the woods today
And he consecrated the trees
We watched the bounding squirrels at play,
Crunched the snow in the rustling lees,
And echoed his joyous, belling bay
Down the hollow eternities.

Existential monad swaying
Star imago, molten attire
Lepidoptera unfolding
Metamorphosis, Angel fire

I walked the woods of the world today
The wood of the Ruined Towers
Where night-side trees in their Panic sway
To a lyre of lethal powers
I saw my skull in the disarray
Of Her gorgon-serpent flowers

Diana Archer, Maid of Light
Slayer of the Dragon-Tree
Thy Beauty’s Beast, Thy Serpent Priest
Burst my head, and set me free

Her Arrow coursed the bright sea sands
And found me in my lair:
The universe came apart in my hands
And I pray-said Her lovely hair.

1-12-62

I, REBEL

Ho – rebel – you
There in the darkness
What have you seen? What weird
Infernal gorgon nychtolopic holds
Your trance-like gaze in awestruck wonder set?
What liche – or vicious larvae lethal have you found
That snares your thoughts in mesh-like plexus bound?

O fool – thou
There upon the precipice you stand
Slobbering and gibbering at the moon – know this truth
There is a universe – and there is a not universe
A seen – and an unseen
A Thing – and a no Thing
A Being – and that which is a beyond Being
A Chaos – and a Cosmos
A That-Which-Is – and a That-Which-Is-Not
You are
I am not.

9-7-43

IDENTIFICATION to be used in my own ritual

I am the Hymenaeus Alpha
My number is 777
I am the Bridge that is Between the Worlds
I man the Watchtowers of the Universe
that light the Way
On the shores of the Abyss of Night.
I am as Cold as a Cave of Ice
And as Dry as a Candle

I take the Work
The task I dare
As I enflame myself with prayer
The Bull that lows
The Lion’s roar
Are for the Saints
Who go before
The Eagle’s scream
The Serpent’s hiss
Are for the Babe
In the Abyss

I am the King
The King must die
That He might live
Beyond the “I”
My Heart’s life blood
I offer up
To Babalon
To fill her Cup

I give my Life
I give my Art
I hold not back
One speck of dust

I give my _____
I give my all
I am the Grail Knight,
Parzival!

(undated)

IN SEPTEMBER

The rains come down – the chalk grey mud of Gaul
Is foamed beneath the slash of treading tanks
And soldiers curse.
I used to like the Fall
And will again, I hope, stand on the banks
Of flooding streams made rich with Autumn rain,
A seasoned briar clenched between my teeth,
And breathe the stinging frost wind.
Once again
Stride down the tree laned byways where the heath
Has mingled scent of sage with fern and pine
To savor there the breath of growing things
Distilled in ice-chill silence.
This is mine!
This time of year when airborne ice makes rings
Around the Bacchic moon – when sun and tree
Thrall the wooded land with Summer’s ember.
When these campaigns are but a memory
And I am home again. In September.

9-30-44

JERICHO

Phantom walls and phantom halls
The universe exploding
Desiccation in the soul
A phantom wind eroding

Imago and Jericho
Our tiger blood is urgent
Son of Midnight and the Sun
A winged splendor emergent

(10-16-61)

Ram’s horn and Unicorn
The star-track waves are twinkling
Disassociated sense
A sieving Siva’s inkling

(10-20-61)

METROGNOME *

Once, when traveling, I came
Upon a shrine of primal shame
Now desolate and lost in sump;
Sitting me upon the stump
Of the tree of life I thought
Back upon the knowledge sought
By Eve, when she was in her prime,
Slither tracks across the slime
March by a bore, the earthworm’s door,
Where lay a molding apple core.

Humming faintly to a rune,
Some call it dun, some call it dune,
While munching steaks of Devon shark
I chipped the log of Noah’s Ark
Until I came to where it said
“I wish that I had never read
Those books that Daddy used to keep
Well locked within the ocean deep.”
By which I knew, it must be true,
The hair of Davy Jones is blue.

Materializing where he stood
Above a pot of rancid blood
A friendly ghoulie took a seat,
And pounded it beneath his feet
To see if it would break in two;
It did, and so he found a new
One. “Good Morning,” said he, “Mister,
Who was that you were with yester
Day night.” On clicked my nimbus bright
And I reached out to take a bite.

Addressing half the varied throng,
I told the tale I tell; “Too long,
My Fiends,” said I with much delight,
“The time has come, the time is right”
And left they marched along the shore
In search of that which went before
While aft the bow was going down
To where most things of that sort drown
Their troubles here in, “Thanks old deer,
If you are thirsty, there’s the bier.”

9-27-41

* One what keeps time, literally. — 777

MIMEOGRAFT

The NYA, with printing press,
Has left us high and dry unless
We find, and soon, another way
To make the Mason paper pay.
Sez Whitie to the Chief of Staff
Now wouldn’t it be quite a laugh
If we resort to mimeograph?

And that’s the why of what’s been done
To see the Mason paper run,
As regular as we can do
We get the paper out to you.
If only we controlled a mint
We’d spare no effort nor a stint
To see the Guard (this rag) remains in print.

Yours truly,

Sgt. Grady L. McMurtry

(undated)

MY PHOENIOX OF GOLGOTHA

I looked at you and you were dead.
You lay supine, your well groomed head
Was cradeled in the cushioned bier.
I looked at you, there was no fear
Within my choked and troubled heart
For you who were of me a part
Yet knew not of the grief I bore.
The life that swirled within your core
Is gone; and what there here remains
Will follow soon beyond the pains
Of life; the ecstasy we knew
Within the love life of we two

Is also gone, and yet, my Life,
My sweet, my lovely teasing wife
You lie and are to me as real
As when your hard pressed body’s feel
Returned my yearning, hot desire
With your own joyous, fervent fire.
Your comely body I adored
And that was why I sought to hoard
Your beauty to myself alone
At first, and then you were my own
I knew and jealousy was gone;
Of hate I was no more a pawn
But gloried when men turned to see
That which I hold so close to me.

And now you’re dead, and I am hurt;
I feed you to the senseless dirt.
Yet even as I know this thought
The tendrils of my soul are caught
To whip and writhe within a tone;
An essence that within you shone
Extends its light, caressing kiss
Across the ageless, black abyss.
The Tree of Life from which we grew
Reveals its heart to us, as you
Your love and benediction give;
Within my heart, again you live!

(undated)