The Young Glory, by Stanley Gemmell

The Young Glory

I Orb, my heart's mercy to my heart
Quick another chalice to compare
See the shapes escape each other
Who have I unsealed and who has
Made me into a circle
From any point of this infinite reference
I may begin or I may choose to end
Thus my self as memory of my self
Precious the path among such resistance!
Time, oh, time where to tell your tortured hollows
Where once I rested my fragrant head
To touch my precious love's temple
Like a flower I feasted upon the light
But like the flower I shall die
Withered with my own contusion.
I was battered by egress, your eclipsed moon emerging
And while you torn, clustered and cratered
Preternaturally beautiful, awakened
By this deathless, white rose
Which quivers in my skull,
Reach out your shining white arm
Carelessly sweet, woven of lashes,
Seeming to weaken at the ritual stars
Holding my thorned stamen between your fingers
How can I not fall from my senses
Dark purpose nude beneath fixed heaven
Burned of all color, buried in the after-sweetness
Of you, gently poured, tears kept in crystal vial.
A single word exhaled by your name
Stays the transfixed elements
Water and word, wind and wine
Fire and foy, earth and ease
With these you have tempted my fable's destruction
Until I can no longer contain my fadeless shadows
Faena circling the golden, bleeding bull
Breast bleeding black blood, drunk and stumbling.
Distended heart of hope, production of absent things
Abnormally beautiful, wish-dripping, eyes folded
Into the future as if violent tempests and raging skies
Could thwart the gift of amber, the morning-gift
For your first arrival, carefully veined in ivory.
Proud labyrinth, I walked among the venomed lances
Of your admiring looks, I shut out the glances
Of foraging, lesser beasts and gazed upon the hives
Instead, rooting for honey, blending colors
Allowing your even breath to rise and fall
Into my neck, softening at this second sight,
Following prisms streaming out from the sun.
Mouthfull after mouthfull of kisses
Sweat tangled hair, muscles strain against
Themselves, drowning in light, probing fresh wounds
How love has illuminated this answerless craving.
Body reaching for marbled body dark with need.
Green and sharpened, think of you, only time can tell.
Reasons tear at my breastplate, the bull's agony
Silvered by the forest light, kill consecrated to trust
Meat for the burning villages, meat for the flooded
River houses, meat for the mountain king
Myself at the oracle, wind streamed
Line of platinum drool from beneath the beast's muzzle
The droning hive in his throat
Surrounded by royal slaves
Take your token about my corded arm
Twist dreams into plans
Fears into hopes, wildly beating heart
Magnified by your sacred, indifferent eyes
Wildly beaten drums at your crisp march
All around rumors as to my end
Deathless, rioting thrusts into your soft, woman's body
Grasping haunches, musks mixed with moon.
Tonight answers for itself always as a circle.
The chalice fills with your name.
Darkness drunk wings bear me to fulfillment.
Stop and ponder this breed.
Strangely brimmed dream
Pour forth your assent
At last for time renews.
The eclipse has passed, the bull lies dead
And the thousand-stinged swarm has
Buzzed up and away like an erratic cloud.
Was it waterfall or dream this test to my rise
Among slaughtered Hawthorns and Oaks
Let the willows grieve for nothing is real
And soon the dawn shall shrieve our sins
As too our wounds congeal to scars.
Harbored in my ecstasy are wide awake memories
Do not sleep among the bitter thieves of fortune
Prest petals between the pages of closed books
Endlessly exchanging their own precious absent
Intervals with no heaving doing only as they are told!
Armies awaken at the wave and crest of my smile
The shielded eyes of the encomiasts sing forth
Upon the riddle of my masthead
And I shall never lay to sleep the pungently flavored
Seavines announcing my return
Forever forewarned are the betrayers to my muse
Whose forgiveness is as limitless as my wrath harsh
For the sake of those unjustly charred embers
Of wreckage, the golden hopeful, whose voice
Is still amber. II Arrow, the push through verdant green
Slowed the frenzy and first swirl
Now become horizon
Unbroken line, yet another spectrum
Though this one's much refined.
The muscles are cooled, their toil monotonous
Alternating flexes and rest, seeking forest verge.
More careful now, brushing creepers past the eyes
Organizing the mind into continuous consequence
The light diffuse and breathing life into turf
Her saddening eyes reflecting what it means to live.
Still, her proud breast heaves
Softly net-veined with remembered kisses
She smolders scans the skies
Notes avian patterns describing various
Locations for abundant grains
And compares these to memorized glyphs
Of magical resource.
Face grown more lean with the weather
Unconsciously drawn more closely about
Her seemingly fragile shoulders:
Tall the muse of the sibilant whisper
Horse hoof dressed with coiled snake.
Melodious gratifier, huntress of sundials,
Glorious regime of awakening color.
She carries orchids twined about her fragrant arms
Whose vivid reds and orange crissed with wavy prawn
Colored veins are like her thoughts
Precariously recovered from strange brinks.
Refocused, her prat rubbed in rhythm by her steed
Continuously blinking her eyes away from haze
Precognition forces attendance upon the prairie
Which she will cross and then the mountains
Half asleep and half electric until she touches versant
And the long climb begin.
She is cooling. Lava turning to obsidian
Purpose evened edge to words
Plans shaving splinters
Plane to edge of wood
Organized rows
Necessary to feed her people
Young beak regorging younger
Until the proud capillaries of her earth again expand.
Her passing renews the trees and grass
The lakes and rivers and dryads
While her enigma deepens with deeps
And crystals they shall never know
Godlike and self possessed by surviving
Furious trench of ocean's undertow
Toward which someday she will return.
But now mother ocean's salt is hidden behind her eyes.
Betters to drink the bottles she's preserved
Not for feast of red-golden bull, sweet hive honey
And black paint from blood, occasional smile.
Dreams come true she reminds
Patient supercollisions in her sex
Fragrant pink orchid.
So those she meets lower their eyes
Strange radiance her face had known
Circle of the tyrants, survived to reap
The jewel's gleam.
Dreams come true she reminds
Hunter's bloodied face in memory
Of a land of darkness and a sea in fog,
Tall walls glorious bathed city in sacred lights
Behind her coincidences she could command
With a word. While he sleeps, precious infant
In her arms, until again she wakes, another smile.
It is a new day, untamed death stalks the unprotected
Family. She must never allow herself too far away.
Her love has deepened, she concedes
Bathes herself in familiar mists
Reckoning the mountains not impossible to pass
At this time of year, well chosen harvest
Not for her ruts, programmed to consume.
The ourobouros near her hoof protects.
The days and nights enjoyed as orison
Single sheaf in an ocean of wheat
Maginificent, golden divinity.
Her thought trained upon hypocrisy
When her ignorant authorities
Not realizing they fed upon their enemies dead
Think themselves unpoisoned (even as unicorns flock to her).
They wonder why her face is blank upon
The education they offer --one who
Has seen first-hand much more.
She is the fiery arrow of the golden dawn
She is the elf-song of the ancient tribe
Tall, sad and wise with regal posture
Who will never know defeat
Whose silvered laugh is drumbeat
And her slender tread yields secret knowledge
To those listening, threading mountains
She is wild maned mustang and serpent
Wed with harmony, beyond men's laws.
At last her panthers at her feet
Crossed distances unimaginable
She shall dream for dreams come true
She thinks as she steepens her tea
Far from battles and successions. III Flat surface to coastal slope to shore at edge
Of ocean, incline covered in aloes, sky
Flecked with stars, ocean inked in white-foam
Two panthers at their feet, one white, one black
Oblong moon warped full in the sky toward set
She wears a blue sash and silver robe
And he is dressed in crimson and white
A little off gambol two young, white lambs
The ocean breeze is cool, their eyes sparkle
During their time together they sip upon a cloven flask
Which they pass between hands unconsciously
Her lips sometimes tremble, his brow then furrows
Knowing time is short and however things may
Be explained his love for her is such that he
Would rather take the wound than her.
Vapors curl at the corners of their mouth when they speak.
This is what she says, "I am the Young Glory, my love,
When I speak flowers tilt their heads toward me.
At my grace the minotaur bows like the willow
And my dark eyes swallow the moon. Search yourself
Well and listen to my derivation, for both the hawk
And the partridge nest in my ridges and I have
Kept council with ancient things while you slept.
I was never indifferent to you, although I appeared to be.
I faced each hostile day with forty diamonds
Tucked to my breast, tears you left unshed
But which I still managed to gather
For I knew your simple dreams even better than you did.
Pallor kept watch over the windows you let open
I wandered among mirrors you let cloud
Tore holes in the sky above us when you were silent
And made the night bleed. I hoped for children
And I spoke curses upon your enemies who
Attacked me before you, knowing it the greater pain.
At night I folded back my trust into the streaming
Lights of your child's love and rested in your arms
Chaste as snow. Each time you died I revived you
And I garlanded you in laurels and crowned you
Victor over my unchained heart. Knowing the next
Day and the next would be the same and you would
Not stop drinking me. Although I begged you lordly
To never hasten the desperate struggle between
Fate and knowledge, hinting at my fatalism.
Now, though I am surprised, I did not expect you here."
He had taken her hand, pressed a smooth, pink stone into it.
"Many years ago, " he began, "I never thought to love
This way. You are the Young Glory, your sacred mandala
Stretches East to West. You are the oldest wisdom.
The milk sloped and long neck of eternal springtime
Meets at your shoulders. Your long back bears the
Teeth of mountains and your belly is the basin
Of the river of life and death.
I have kissed your cheek and tasted immortality.
Your hands signaled me among deathless planets
To write your mercy in the spirals of the stars.
At your sex my third eye beheld
The beginning of all things. I am made of flesh
But you turned my flesh to life. A life beyond
Bone and torment, despair or the ravages of need.
You set me in paradise until no one understood me.
The language I spoke inspired them with terror
And confusion. My mind curled in among the
Equations of heaven. Some still seek certain descriptions
I have made of the slight downward tilt to your head."
The Young Glory smiled then, at the coast, looked
Up at the sky and shook her lion's mane with a laugh.
Love closed her eyes for a moment
A hiss escaped the heart, where there coiled
Emeralds cooling after a journey.
They talk of evolution
Watch the undines dance at the surf
The curve of her throat reflecting moonlight.
Deliverance of different freedoms
Each with a wordless music in their eyes
Her shining brow and pink, soft lips
Like birdsong to his glittering darkness
Night keeps watch from his gaze.
The ocean, coast and hill-slope
Are still a spectrum.
They assume each pole.
Beyond that they are one, as they always were.
She blesses his wounds for having warred
With severest passion, even his own undoing
All for her sake, made of marble
Her skin hardening, becoming blue veine'd
Growing cold as the orb set. He fired the arrow
Towards the earth's edge where ships had sailed at peril
Before he grew branches and sprouted leaves.
Their lips met in a kiss. Any who wandered
To that spot understood the marble fountain
And the rose tree.
The red and white flowers
Growing from the blue, marbled basin
And the silver waters running down the slope
To the sea. Two panthers, one white, one black
Who drink at the fountain, and two lambs
Who gambol nearby.
Thorns and fragrance mix with music
The water bubbles at peace in calm and breeze.
Beloveds met at coastal sunset's flame. - Stanley Gemmell

Stanley Gemmell