An unfenced field of melting pieces of time
and purgatorial trees graces the dreamed
Elysion, the eldritch desert shore far
by the western sea under an eastern sun.
What shines in the odd relentless eye: a fair
mirage of magic streams of light flowing
around nude mounds. There the smooth torsos send
their branches out, which turn into the long
warped limbs of saints and knaves, stretched with rackscrews
ever-turning on a bed of burning
jaundiced sand. Well this yellow becomes the stained
cathedral window glass where martyrs writhe
ecstatically in their glorious fires
or lie on butchers' blocks skinned with righteous knives.
Downwind the driftwood buried under dunes
makes bleached bones out of the criminals hung
from rosy crosses as the white petals
fell in soft slow measures to the requiems
of the lowly one who died and rose to love.
God of Wrath and Tears unfold,
take my dead heart out of the cold,
and all wild worlds and wide enshroud
in rays of red and golden blood.
This poem begins as an ekphrasis loosely inspired by Dali paintings and then moves into a transmogrified view of the ancient and not so ancient ideas of a mythical underworld or afterworld called Elysion. The style is modern but the gist is medieval in the sense of a passion play performed to the tune of the Dies Irae under the light of Christ on the Cross. It's a rather surreal blend of dream, history, myth, and alchemy.