The Stone (Lowlnthorne)

Beneath horizons red

with sorrowf’lly bleeding clouds,

a brooding stone ponders

empty fields.

Obelisk ancestor, wider than

nine man’s joined hands,

legend claims all skies lie balanced

on its unseen pinnacle,

quietly gutting cumuli

crawling by.

The stone strains, listening

for mouths long-lost

of breath to break apart,

whispering

Lowlnthorne,

Lowlnthorne,

Voices choked by dirt and

caught by roots,

only scampering black shells

privy to their canticles,

once moaned from grass-kissed knees,

songs swelling the night,

carried to heaven on smoking husks of calf,

driven to lusty adoration

by ground jasmine and scalding

witchhazel rev’rently splattered across

granite skin, sacred syllables

thick as summer milkhoney

slipping off lovers’ lips,

Lowlnthorne

Lowlnthorne,

Lowlnthor

Dark echoes

ne

beating down the mountains,

Low

out of the valleys and

lnthorne

up across the long mesas.

Curses spit through heavy scarves

– “Heathen! Pagan!” –

as

Lowl-

blades drop, cutting

nth- 

faithful verse

orne Low-

into gurgled grunts,

lnth-

hutted fires casting

slender black

shafts from

orne

hearts,

Low

eyes,

ln

throats

thorne . . .

Silence.

An aching emptiness

squatting atop charred

roofs, dangling from

rigid limbs twisted

beyond pain.

Silence.

Skittering ‘cross the great cold

sides, through miniscule

fissures and stony pores,

winding its way skyward,

rising like heat, a flush

quick’ning to fever as

it climbs higher . . .

and higher . . . 

Ground thunder rumbles west

as raiders retreat to their havens

beyond the rocky ranges.

Above, the stars wink once

and hide from the billowing brew

churning toward turned backs.

Whipping after the pillagers,

winds insistently clutch at cloaks and manes.

Night cracks in half with

throbbing hands of grief and spasm.

Electric veins split apart and

fling down upon the silencers

burning crimson tears.

Caws, cries, pleas

screamed too late

From keen mouths dissolving

to dripping caverns,

fingerless palms attempting

to shovel faces again into wholes,

man thigh and horse hide draining,

gathering in murky puddles until

only driftwood femurs

bobbing in a mud-red sea

remain.

But onward the storm rages, 

tumbling off the plains and

surging into the lush glens,

looming over souls

ignorant of the raiders’ butchery.

Inconsolable and fury-blinded,

Deafened by its own shouting, unable

To hear the pleading name

Thrown before it

like trembling hands before a specter:

Lowlnthorne!

Lowlnthorne!

Lowln –

Rain spilling the innocent,

Their flesh flooding the streets,

Rage unquenched until the valleys

bloat into dark basins,

lifeless ripples bubbling in the

new-born lakes of acid.

And still the tears fall,

hysteria subsiding to melancholy,

depression lashing the land,

leaving year-wide scars like wrinkles

on the face of a childless father.

It stands yet, they whisper,

beyond blasted crag, boiling

loch, and barren steppe:

cursed god,

ever holding the skies,

perhaps waiting for

one who will walk the rain,

head bowed, voice transcending

sizzling stillness through

soaring chants,

a pilgrim’s craving betrothal,

Lowlnthorne,

Lowlnthorne,

my song, my soul,

to you forever,

Almighty Lowlnthorne

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