Heaven Sent Fire

The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds,
and it will not rest until it reaches its goal;
it will not desist until the Most High responds[.]
                    —Sir 35:211


Scatter from the watchtowers the inconsolable grief of those lonely • soldiers, those solitary hunters, who seek in the embrace of • strangers their scrutiny escapes, whose seed they eat, some sort • of relief, fleeting security to hold them together, if only • for a moment, viscous escapades to get through the night, • to embolden tongues that will not speak until kisses open • •


like old wounds closed mouths, boxes of bones filling with • whispers rattling teeth, chasing and chancing death until it tastes • sweet, those sentries whose homesick sorrow drops from the ramparts • like snow and sows in the hearts of hope’s approaching • messengers waxing globes of discontent those wayward guards impart, darkening • from within, and afar, holy faces throwing off sparks, glowing • •


at a distance like lanterns in winter, temper their anger, • temper the misdirected power of their glances with more respect, • make way, act now, they are angels dressed like mendicants • begging you to believe, to pardon them for having made you • wait, for taking so long to reach this place, so • behave and obey, remove from the messengers’ entrance every hindrance, • •


let them pass through the gate unseen, followed only by • reverent silence, remove from those fiends the wings of their • mercenary arrows, their weakness for flesh, break the bows of • those desperate scavengers, strengthen them in mercy and weaken their • desolate animus which seethes and seeks to pick clean the • ribs of sacred visitors, those ancient wizards who, true magicians, • •


fume patiently as embers of incense tempting censors with thoughts • that yet go unread, holding secrets in sealed lips, each • soul a vessel ready to spill through the body’s lead, • welcome these hierophants whose elixir melts through wineskin, command to • kneel with shut eyes before those approaching travelers these doorkeepers • whose minds their burden of wisdom will soon open, grant • •


them sanctuary from pestilent winds for these are penitent princes • come to comfort sinners, let in without threat these Chaldean • men bearing in the breadth of their steady hands the • weighty abundance of their lengthy beards, virility and virtue knit • into braids hanging from kingly heads, take courage and have • no fear, take heed and hear their prayer, for what • •


these seers ask is that they may soothe with their • mighty prescience every doubt you have of your creator’s presence, • to accept that she is everywhere, wisdom appears whenever you • ask for her hand, an oracle foretold before the world • was formed, before you were born, what would be asked • of them when she sent into the wilderness, into the • •


desert across a vast distance of enemy sands and ignorant • centuries whose tyranny still stands, this embassy of sages in • answer to your question, let them enter into the record • of your consciousness knowledge your senses cannot register, but you • can still feel as it burns to the ground all • defences, levels all battlements, and reveals the keys to Paradise, • •


realize that though you do not deserve its gift, you • get what you give, what goes up comes back down, • by now you know the famous maxim, ‘As above, so • below…’ that Hermetic axiom by which the ascent of your • ecstasy went farther than any of your failed attempts at • chastity, in your sin there hid the pounding of an • •


agony whose rhythm convinced god of your innocence, sang to • her of underlying suffering, unhid an inner conflict your wickedness • was covering, and since heaven rewards transgression sevenfold, and Cain • your ancestor knew this when the earth cried over the • blood he spilled, that of his own brother, she sends • instead seven wise-men, magi to confide in you what binds • •


them to each other as sons to a mother, a • love for which no language has a name, and myth • possesses only a symbol many have misunderstood since it was • first rendered, a crucial message whose meaning is incomprehensible to • all but those who have beheld and resisted true evil, • people in every age have blasphemed against this purest principle.

1“Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach”, [Chapter] 35[, Verse] 21, in “The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament: New Revised Standard Version” of The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version, published at New York by Oxford University Press in 1989; pages 112–113.