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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fast Day 323 August 17 2013 Nightmare Gardens

edited 8-20-2013

Nightmare Gardens

A grumpy demon of the forest haunted
the old root cellar that was beyond the bell vine,
near the old out-house made of wood
to which paint could not stick,
and fell in flayed strips in summer;

where the flowers swooned and paled,
and mildew spread its suffocating powder carpet,
below the bloat of bully and sullen bees
and yellow-jackets, both prisoners
of their poverty and religion :

being hard shell Anabaptists and missionaries,
whose uppermost apparel, coarse saffron striped,
no silk, satin, chamblet, nor taffeta in their gowns…
tired doublets and jerkins of their faith,
their stingers of certain disorders villainous -
evil and malicious against man’s presence;

embittered snakes that crawl along the garden,
see me and interrogate:  God save you, noble sir!
What are the secret whisperings? The grumblings
of the voles and slanders of the mice…
Is the old man gone?

I shouted:
Hieroglyphic animal!
Viper of old times!
Embosomed while envenomed in His very garden!
Serpent author of the books…
divided into four parts…
first, bees and wasps, and those that part the thorax;
then corn, wheat, barley, and ploughing;
Osiris’ tail-bone the third book,
and viticulture the last!
Begone! I cried, as I threw my staff at them.
And I sat down and wept,
weeping long for the past,
when demons hid grey among the ruins,
unseen in their weeds,
where the great marquees of vines
support the dark and sunless day,
creating baleful shadows in the deep recesses!


"unseen in their weeds"  - the old expression "weeds" meaning "clothes"

This may be my father's garden, little attended since his demise, or it may be Eden after the Fall. I have always thought a demon inhabited the root cellar, and grew thin and taut until it could feast on blood or some near-blood items.
It used to frighten me, until I realized how much a prisoner it was, and how obsessed with a paltry existence it was.

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