Silver Under Ash

          For my Erebus, from his Charon,
this ferryman whose heart has paid
          the price for him again and again—

                    i. Drawn by the Moon’s Coin of Light

A rising at water’s edge,
     everyone in the baptismal procession
     a solitary presence the crowd
     possesses. Crowned with esses of

flame, from their respective silences
     each hisses an essence of
     their forgotten names. An asset,
     this, forgetting what it is

to have lived, embraceless. Only
     by themselves now held. By
     lamplight guided, toward a star
     within led. Two vessels: what

one pours onto scorched ground
     births this crowd, the other
     nourishes the thirst of the
     tortured earth with enough tears

that it drowns into an
     ocean’s worth. The puddle to
     pond to overflowing bowl to
     which wealth all are going.

                    ii. Toward Her Silver Under Clouds of Ash

A solitary witness from afar,
     unseen, shows his knowing without
     speaking, but perceives. A patriarch
     whose prophecy none dare speak.

His beard the length of
     a prayer thought but never
     said. This time he wanders
     where another era’s dead did

tread. They do again, called
     to Judgment, but not by
     trumpets. This path his feet
     ponder as, from under his

hood, he sees his boots
     are better off unacknowledged as
     he contemplates the war between
     wisdom and knowledge their experience

wages as time’s passage erases
     from memory theirs as together
     each soul passes. ‘Question not
     silver under ash,’ thunder crashes.