Education in Immolation

or Evanescent Epiphany

At Winter’s night witching hour

Sleepless dreamer rolls awake

wrapped in an unholy shroud

Of swaddling doubt, deception,

and shame

Dancing sweets of Yule

Yield to ghouls

Malevolent Magi bearing baneful gifts

Time past

Time present

Time future

Parading penumbral palimpesests

of phantasmal possibilities

lost to eternity

Where is the bright blue-eyed Summer’s


Barefoot believer

Shirtless pagan saint of the street

Unadulterated dreams

Unvarnished by the school of all is not

as it seems

Rot in the timber

Worms in the meal

A curdle in the milk

An envenomed Midas' fouling wake

Digging graves and bricking walls

Smoking cigarettes and drinking gasoline

Burning houses for the transit warmth

An education in immolation

“Alone, alone, all, all alone,

Alone on a wide wide sea!

And never a saint took

Pity on my soul in agony?”

Comes a circus of True and

charlatan balmers

beating books and beads

Words and blessed bangles do not

undo the deeds

A new day’s shackled shuffle

Toward the desultory denouement

Adorned in walking chains

of waking dark recalled scenes

Smiles are a fleeting disguise

for the possesive host of self-wrought lies

Hushed murmurs and quiet indictments

A cautionary tale

Words cannot imprison one already

in jail

Jaundiced stars?

Corrupt Helix?

Blame and recrimination

But all signs lead back in one


Broken, bruised, bankrupt, and beat

Bound for the Mercy Seat

Nobody can cheat

Where are the words in the Silence

Where is the dance in the Stillness

The Child in his beastiary

Daily betrayed by his menagerie

There is truth in the lies

and light in the black

As a morning mountain mist burns away

Once bright eyes fade and grey

Evanescent Epiphany

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