The Tomb

Once there was a village,
that sank into the ground.
Upon its earthen bones,
was built the tomb renowned.
I never thought it grave,
that lively catacomb.
One could cooly wonder,
how many call it home?
They slug into the day,
and shrink into the night.
Bend to fill the coffers,
and flee without a fight.
What are these strange creatures,
who daily immigrate?
Like ranging flocks of fowl,
in season go to mate.

As prying were my thoughts:
I set upon the trail.
To find the hidden port,
which lead me to my tale.
I followed a great herd,
unto lethargic barge.
A coin will cross the styx,
they ask a dearer charge.
I sat upon a bench,
among the sundry crowd,
And listened to their coughs
words never said aloud.
The creaking barge set off,
upon the river dim.
It screamed, shook and rumbled.
Its hull filled to the brim.
Among the starless eyes,
I saw an abject soul.
So huddled in a nook,
as ugly as a troll.
He slept a fitful nap,
under a shabby shawl.
He caught me by the eyes,
my skin began to crawl.
His eyes were nigh corrupt,
his skin a pallid scab.
Unnerved I looked away,
to shake that optic jab.

Among the busy hills,
the river slowly flowed.
In barks and fits of smoke,
the ancient motor towed.
We came unto the mouth,
a smooth and somber maw.
It swallowed whole the barge.
I duly watched in awe.
Into the mournful cave,
the heaving barge did leap.
For in sudden darkness,
my eyes began to steep.
For from the twilight cave,
I sensed the creeping deep.
The river’s drenching song:
that shaking earthen weep.

The barge slowed with thunder,
with pain its speed abort.
Arrive with howling shriek,
to moor in chthonic port.
So quickly disembark,
onto the mezzanine.
My gaze upon the gate,
the bones had lost their sheen.
The flocks embarked in fog,
of habit or in trance.
I followed close in form,
awaiting my first glance.
The light pierced my senses,
its visage fin’lly bare.
But though my eyes found joy,
my nose had found despair.

The reek assaults the air,
so soak putrid retched stench.
The street so drenched in soil,
which no perfume could quench.
I left the sickly cave,
The herd went on its way.
For as I walked the streets,
but for a breeze I pray.
I spied a copse of steeds,
their riders plainly fair.
Their steeds did yearn to race,
the nobles wouldn’t so dare.

‘tween the mausoleums,
I spied the ancient bones.
So beautiful and grand,
their neighbors they bemoan.
The village clear was fair,
but death has left it plain.
For beauty knows its own,
and tombs can only feign.

The streets began to change,
a curse seemed to descend.
Among the starless eyes,
a pox began to trend.
Though death had stayed its grin,
it brought its fangs to bare,
discharged a shroud of ghouls,
which no abyss could spare.
I took towards the hills,
desperate to escape.
In this stygian place,
here nature took its shape.
Upon the highest peak,
I watched the heaving tombs.
I feared what other things,
were wrought from buried wombs.

Yet gazing at the base.
A city in a depth.
A great and lustrous pit.
I wondered at its breadth.
Where none may go to live,
but all may come to die.
We built our Tartarus,
and long entombed the sky.

I from this vision fled,
made safe my fast retreat.
To gaze upon my glen,
with luscious hills to greet.
In peace I met my bed,
to meet the things obscure.
In comfort fin’lly slept,
and cleaned those things impure.

I dreamt of a forest reclaimed,
So wound around and nicely framed.
By rough frozen teeth,
as tight as a sheath.
The works of man may yet be tamed.

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