Temple of the Rat, 2008

The notebook with no mouth,
In the dresser cannot smile.
For those who dance,
a fading glance,
Will linger for a while.
Sometimes they say,
whispers in the nighttime, who
say that it’s too good to be true.
The wind goes through the trees,
that swayed:
the overture of Nature’s polonaise.

Their sonorous dance, soliloquy,
the sound as heard by you and me,
the dice rolled by a blind child, Destiny.
The tendrils are the shapes around the line,
these pirouettes inside the mind
under a glass blown chandelier,
a faux pas nocturne in your ears
Close your eyes and just lean back,
put on a smile; try to relax.
I’ll take you to the hallowed grounds,
Where pitter-patter infant sounds,
in the ruin of the Hierophants
blind children by a fire dance.

The temple of the rat, they called,
a rundown shack with mud-streaked walls,
skies of gray that overlay
the skies that looked like TV static.
The clouds themselves have formed a frown,
when we looked up, the sun went down,
and sighing went another round.

Another comes, another comes,
the piper plays, the rats must go,
and follow in a narrow row,
to the melody of life transposed.
Rustling pages in the breeze,
are poems I wrote last summer’s eve;
where oft it rained off-colored leaves,
Where ruins and rumors of a child,
walk amongst the papers wild.
Then turn red when falls the light,
and glimmer in the newborn night.

The silhouette of figures strung,
dangle from the trees like plumbs,
a young girl’s Hope hangs from a limb,
whose suffocation sings a hymn;
Like scribbled notes across a page,
the undone etude never played.

The temple of the rat is where,
a children in saffron dress runs scared,
through leaves and empty houses bare,
who in the mirror caught a stare:
a girl in blue and ivory stairs,
returned to him a gentle stare:
with cheeks that blossomed like a rose,
winked and smiled, away she goes.

That same old story and the urn,
the same girl in the blue dress turns
which now is faded, withered blue,
long it’s luster loss and grew,
a shadow of the pallor on her face,
and hangs above a shallow grave.
Where follow kings and nameless knaves,
when the cards are dealt.
The black card upturned ace of spades.
beside it a suicide king was laid.

Nocturne in C a moment’s spoke,
and violins and flutes arose.
Dancers rose their hands to meet,
spin and dance then obsolete,
when there’s no where left to dance,
the world a wreck of cause and chance.
There’s no where left to dance, the mind,
where the melancholy dig their graves,
a vacant face when one’s alone,
the ceiling swells just like the walls,
when silent footfalls softly all—
to the pipe,
the Piper’s call,
that song again–
a song we all sang once back then.

Those who loved and those who made,
the passage of the light bulbs through the gray,
at the end of road, the end of the way,
just a room of nameless graves.
When I go I tend the path,
of friends and family from the past.
And someday in the temple,
I’m sure to lie as well.
Though in conclusion this illusion,
is my own private hell.
Once my mother told me,
when she saw my crayon art,
from the corner, at an angle,
“You see hell through the eyes of an angel.”

In the dream-worlds of my mind,
there are two who dance inside
the window of the soul with open blinds
and in the head it’s hard to see,
the Temple of the Rat is me.

That’s what I call it, all the halls,
all the black floors, mud-streaked walls,
and milk black floors,
those sickly empty corridors
and in that light of sun we see,
dusty specks dance in the breeze.

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