She Smiles The Moon

The mind that finds its way to wild places is the poet’s,
but the mind that never finds its way back is the lunatic’s.
-G.K. Chesterton

The ocean rises from the deep wounds of the Mother,
like a briny hulking soul, to the bitter sight

of Moon in a fertile crescent
besieged by thieves of chastity. Burning stars,

ribald and irreverent in their flagrant heat;
raucous clouds smacking her round shanks

with rude claps of thunder; the wild swan
with his vice tucked in ruffled white feathers;

a hundred mythic lovers rooking their way
to private bliss; and learned men, growing old,

peering from their dark habits, rub her secrets raw.
These rutting suitors strut, tusked and spurred,

before her sire’s raging eye,
while four oceans and seven seas

yield the green deck to the tumbling shout of love,
and with a crested wave

cool the gaslight king to a limp wick,
and snap the stem of every flowering star

that comes to smolder in her eye. That good water,
rising on rippled thighs of lapis lazuli,

knows the needle of desire
and the red stipple of its prick

and favors no insult or thin contempt
for the man-cooed virtues of the goddess.

And as the broken bones of men
clatter on the ocean floor,

the ocean muscles up a fat vein
with the force of a shrug and a scarred heart,

pumping riots to the flood. The lion in the tide
roars his kingdom’s praise, trumpets ruin

to the coiled serpent of the apples core,
and rakes his claws on slime-spun rocks

and black cliffs of Ego.
Any pilgrim in the house of night knows

moon brings forth madness other than love.
But finding no meat on these bones of vice,

he passes through the fire of his fetishes
and makes his blistered way to the Moon,

proclaiming all his mermaids, nymphs
and siren women storied fish, compared to her.

Up, up he goes from his rocketing headlong world,
a twisted flume of mist

on the feathered circumstance of a conjured kiss.
Oh, but time comes quick to its silent counsel,

scything down the long tongue
of his affection, and as the ebb tide bleeds

into a quiet gulf, and failure pelts
the bent shore of his eternal heart,

pounding out a cradled act of love,
he conceives the sweet illusion of her smile.

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