(Green as the Wood) By Turns Tender and Abusive

                    I live not in myself, but I become
          Portion of that around me; and to me,
High mountains are a feeling[.]


          A prayer for you who,
                    like your god,
                              rejected me—


In the shedding of the light
Michæl, Latinized, comes
from the Hebrew for “Who is
like God?”—a hard question, not
some soft statement, as with life
and its attendant aching’s
abundance of suffering,


and in cases of alleged
demonic possession, need
for meaning eludes reason’s
convention, the deep-rooted
ambiguity’s built-in,
speculation’s temptation
a disease carried by sound,


breath green as the wood, turning
breeze over on tongues until
complacent, breath cooling coals
whispering phrases by turns
tender and abusive, wind-
whipped lips witness to die in-
to echo silence’s whys


each as a lie’s lesson, those
forgiving teachers, faced with
ignorance, eagerness to
speak increases for the weak
their reaching’s likeliness of
diminishment of gains, an
investment in things feigned fakes


wealth for those at great pains to
respect acceptance of their
fool’s defeat, takes pleasure in
forsaking oaths made while youths
to always aim higher than
falling for fulfilling fate,
mandating for Selves our taste


in men, in beginnings and
endings with them dictating
how complicated our flames’
complications diminish
this myth of us when sparks dim,
chances are slim anyone
wants to become Sisyphus


going into bliss when its
actual going through is
hell, analogous to kiss
after kiss redolent with
stench of love’s hopefulness crushed
under boulders rolled over
fists pulling roses from shit.

1Lord Byron, “Canto the Third”, Stanza LXXII, Lines 1–3, of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage in Lord Byron: The Major Works: Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Jerome J. McGann, published at New York by Oxford University Press in 2008; page 125.