Sacred Whispers – Canto Two

Tradition is a dang’rous word, to me.
Not the me of song, but rather it is thee.
The me of placeless condescension,
And of ration’l righteous derogation.
The me in ignorance of his own past.

For while the push of old, and pull of new,
Doth guide the thoughts of men who blindly grow,
The structures of their mind on shifting ground,
When all that’s seen and seen to be is found,
Still blurry and unclear: a fancy’s dance…

…the masters hold their minds in chains and binds,
They show the way, and hold the reigns that guide:
The voters, plebs, the serfs, and slaves alike,
All are bound, enraptured in delight,
Before the splend’rous stories told from on high.

The power of the empire is the might
Of state, the strength of state is in the nation’s bite,
And as the people are the nation’s fist;
It’s lofty stories that inform their grit.
So if allowed, the bard is seldom low…

Tales around the fire of lengthy evenings,
Of great and mighty heroes and of kings,
From whom they all descend, and take their traits,
Virtues, quirks, and thus a glorious future make.
All behind the tongue of skillful bards.

In every song and tale there lies a test,
Will he who sits in shade beneath the best,
Rise to meet the challenge set – or maybe…
Go beyond the simple path and daily
Strive for greater things than any other.

But more than that the tales bestow a truth,
No single lesson, but a tree to bear fruit,
In newer ways to view their world and;
The ground on which a fact may thusly stand,
In full embrace of all and held in kind.

All the while; those bards, those wily wards of thought,
Will craft themselves the place within – they sought,
So built within the frame we’ll find them,
Champions of vital tales; the gems
In need of care and polish, lest they dull.

The finest bards are those who act their works,
With all their grandest foibles and their quirks,
Carried through in faithful acts to creed and will,
Or perhaps even to simple thrill,
As alluring as his words; are they all.

They speak the earth into its great purpose,
A wonder to enjoy or as a nurse;
We’ll know it by their song, be it the sky
In open space eternal? Or a mine,
Of precious gifts that only need be grasped?

Thus only in the wake of word and deed,
At last we find a full and honest creed,
To follow in their footsteps laid ahead,
We’ll know the sight and smell; and taste the bread
That nourishes our souls and calms our fears.

We know at once from whence we hail and rest,
Both who we are, and who we were, a blessed
And providencial folk of fate divine.
We as they once sung these chants but lost the cry,
Among the multitude of fleeting ‘me’s’.

Measured by the skill of bards and heroes,
When they as we once trod the path that goes,
Beyond the lives of mortal, ration’l man,
Our hardened hearts eschewed the easy; and,
Set ourselves upon the path to glory.

Crafting virtue into words was made
An easy task, so too the words to deeds.
Words to guide, and words to show the truth now-
Known and felt, a truth to which they all would bow,
With pure and righteous words upon their lips.

A single tool was now required to fill
Their hearts and minds – to now at last reveal
The path to: all we see around us hence:
In stone and steel their will is left to us.
But by that last component lost – we’re blind.

Only through a lifetime spent in works do
The stories, truths, and lofty virtue true,
Begin to make and grant a loyalty,
Giving a purpose, and drowning the ‘me’,
In a sea of honour, duty, and resolve.

Even the shadow of a valiant thread,
Only partly spied – not fully known. Yet
Working on the world and minds, revealing
Wants and ways, a tradition appealing
To the need for guidance in life and thought.

While heroes blazed the trail, the multitude
Grant conviction, strength, and sire the brood
To march the story, onwards, ever on.
And only then does a tradition become:
A Civilisational foundation.

But they were not to know it yet, for they:
Huddled around a warming fire, would pay
The fruits of their devotion forward, and
Through great and terrible dismay but grand
Designs and plans now built, on humble thought.

The glow of fireside hopes – yet warms me
Even now, and though their names are lost in seas
Of time and noise, the lore they felt and loved,
Once dragged the earth into the sky above,
Defiant in their fight against the fates.

Sacred Whispers – Canto One

Alone I stand; among the great and old,
Towering heights and finest sights untold.

The depth of carved inscriptions glow a hew
Of echoes found of knowledge sown but left
Fallow when none would care to reap, bereft
Of their once mighty claim or yet – perhaps;
The mighty will of these descendants: lapsed.

And yet, these towers, raised up to the gods,
Project the wisdom of an age, a nod
To all who care to see and understand
Or heed their call: a roundly felt command.
Those who did are lost, they who might, are far.

And so I trace a hand across the stone,
So close and yet deep in the unknown,
My fingers clasp at knowledge found, and yet,
The truth is shrouded ‘neath a lone regret.
Of lost language and a way to convey.

But even as the words are rent from rock,
And pulled as though they’re held by key and lock,
I know there lives no wisdom there, for while
I may unpack the signs, there is no style,
No thought, nor mind – a loss to endless time.

The death and thus ideas lost of those,
Who gave this stone a skin, ‘tis they who know,
While here – a mere creation left, to grant
Insight anew, never to know or plant
In fresher minds while sure of what they thought.

A solitary tear for every thread,
In hopeless want of more, and extant dread,
Of what may yet await me and my kin
Even while they stream down my face in vain,
In thankless, careless shadows of judgement.

To those about me; ignorant of cost,
Do they know that all is clearly lost?
Can they ever know the pain – or will they
Drown in canny schemes until the final day.
When all that’s left is ash beneath the stone.

These faces know no grief or empathy
But ignorance is blameless while they see
No thing beyond their eyes and ears, and so
Put signs upon their sight and claim they know
The feelings, thoughts, and knowledge held in kind.

These signs, these symbols held in kind, aloof,
Eternally they wear the mask of truth,
But can no sooner peer beneath
The veil – than change these laws with mere belief.
Behind the veil they stay – ‘neath lock and key.

And while we may yet touch the truth beneath,
It hides amongst the fog in lofty keeps,
Deliberately elusive of our gaze,
Unless it is mere man that crafts the maze.
It matters not, for blind – we shall remain.

Behind high walls; in wait the truth doth lie,
But even when they’re scaled, it will pass by
Without you ever knowing where it hid,
And so you’ll plant your flag to make your bid,
And hope your company is wise and true.

A wise detective you may be with tools
And expertise to match, but you’re the fool
If you attempt to peer into the mind
To see what’s held beyond the flaws of sign.
Or worse, to look into infinity.

You may convince the masses of your truth,
But know that it will stand up proud, aloof,
And rise beyond your small desires and wants,
For though you kneel beneath the sacred font,
Your god is silent – but his judgement: swift.

From atop your perch you’ll fall and wonder,
How it was your bond was split asunder,
By whom you were betrayed, for what, and why,
And as a humble seer of truth you’ll die,
Still blind to where the truth did hide that day.

Enough of your demise and fall; ‘tis they,
The men who went before – who’ll have their say,
Their glyphs and signs – though murky to decrypt,
Might yield the grandest tale, behind the script
That I, as humble seer of truth – will find.

Scribbles sheath the stone, and still elude me,
Their rocky etchings grin with teethy glee,
Betrayed by dancing satyrs with their pipes,
Who play a rhythm oft and true – to strike,
A reader with their music on the air.

I see the notes in play across the sky,
They sing a song of once titanic rise,
Atop the shoulders; great, of heroes found
In times of strife – who brought from out the ground,
A splend’rous age of virtue and plenty.

These men who held the bellicose masses
Close to hand and heart but knew how to dress
Their words in elegant delights and thus,
United man in common cause to truss,
The walls of empire, kin and kith – for me.

I: the sage; beyond the age they fought
To make their own, beyond the goods they bought
And sold, beyond the trifles, wants and needs,
Beyond the petty rivalries and greed:
See the ghost of what was once a mighty will.

Their relics carry through the ages past,
But all will fade to dust and then at last,
The signs will lie beside the minds they crave.


Wisdom begins with honesty,
So see, you must face and
Brace yourself for the fruit
Of your fleeting defeat.
Not so because you need
Note it down to learn. But
Because your return
cannot be spurned.

Taste the dirt, and savour it well,
Time will tell your story
All the more when Triumph
Finds you fit to sit
And feast at his right hand,
But only for a day
Then cast away
Until you’ve earned it once again.

Feel the blood trickle down your face,
And mix it with your fickle sweat,
Know the sting of mercy’s debt,
And promise to repay.
You will be broken,
Drowned in decay
And choking,
But you will endure.

A friendly hand will lend you strength
While you’re too weak to stand,
Clasp it, keep it,
Know the man who –
Through duty, love, and
Fidelity from above,
Will give your tree
New and mighty roots.

When finally within your keep,
Where daughters wail and mothers weep
To no avail, as you
While true to aim
And form anew,
Will not part, nor
Draw a breath
Content, until your triumph.

Those solitary steps will churn
The spirits and turn the heads
Of all whose limits kept
Them tethered to the ground,
But like a sounding horn
Your stride will drive
Into the hearts
Of progeny untold.

Each scar whose story tells of blows
And cuts when struck upon
The righteous path bygone,
Will school on parry, dodge,
And counter-harry, strike
On lowly pest
To rest and calm,
But little more.

Your ascent will bring both fear and joy,
For toying with the life they’d live,
Will deprive of reason
For their eternal drive
To quench the tended,
Cracked and mended
Inferno borne
Within your breast.

Triumph’s tang upon the palat,
Will linger just a moment,
Even while it’s not at hand
But grand within your mind.
As friendship finds its match,
Their company will lapse.
And so you’ll find the foe
Is now alone.

You’ll know the peak is near at hand,
By the pecking of their beaks, and grand
Vistas unrolled across
A limitless expanse.
Entranced at last,
The highest mount
Will yet humble,
Even you.

Atop the world your hall is found,
Companionship in troubled times
And enmity divined
All are thusly paid in kind,
And thus Triumphant
So you rise
Conqueror of all,
Beneath a sacred sky.

The Modern Beast

A beast now prowls the land, one whose name we knew,
But time has made us blind to wiley tricks,
And theived the guile of ages past – to sew
A fate befitting servile folk – now fixed.

But ears unblocked may hear a warning yet,
Above the churning gears: its gnashing teeth.
So sound the horn before the ink is set,
A better life may yet be bequeathed.

Beware the call of wealth, of mirth, of hearth,
It sings a web of cheery lies, but all
Eventually come to see the dark
It cradles where a heart was made a thrall.

To whom, you ask, was love thus bound? In name
And deed it acts as greed, but even if
It was a beast of night, covet the blame,
For though it was invited in,
Its prey are set adrift.

It captures, binds, and holds the passions close
Of those who give it gifts, but only hike
Its nails that reach into the sky and smoke
The souls of men within its mighty pipes.

It blights the land, offends the eye, and claims:
Design be better than a sacred canvas.
But even here it lies, for there is found the dame,
To impetuous man, who thinks that… alas…

He thinks to dominate his fate, and yet,
Would sacrifice a glacier for one sip
Of water offered now. Cement will set
But man cannot wait for patience’s gifts.

Instead his chase is downward bound, in search
Of greater pleasures and delights, to which
The beast will rub his hands, upon his perch,
If only man’s fealty he will now switch.

So cross the threshold of his knuckles foul,
And find his promise met not by reward,
But ever greater want. They’ll see no crown,
Nor how they’re led to curse their faithful ward.

Atop his palm they’ll stand, beneath the dirt
And muck, so witness not his presence, nor
His blight upon the soil, that once: unburnt,
Had seeded life and virtue – once, no more.

Even faustus knew a name to curse, yet,
They who feel the yoke and pyre of beast anew,
Have no such brief reprieve, they owe a debt,
Or so they think, until the graver debt is due.


Though Courage did much to stay the crowds,
He could not meet their grief with aught but scorn.
He felt it much below his manner; proud,
And thought as much until his final morn.

Then the people’s princess, young Innocence,
Who’d grown up in the company of all,
But even she could not have them see sense,
So breathed her last within her lonely halls.

And so it fell to a hero of old,
One of the companions of the late king.
Rare among nobles, his palace was sold,
Took to the streets, with his proceeds to bring.

Example thus set, he endeavoured for more,
Invested and conquered with renewed vigour,
So profit and plunder were brought to his door,
His means were engorged, as his gifts thus grew bigger.

He outgrew the mere cash paid to all,
Instead looked to projects to satisfy,
Better still, perhaps, to awe and enthrall,
As though by a trick, they were pacified.

Yet this was never his intent,
Liberality knew only the Duty,
By Wisdom and Duty and Courage he was bent,
In pursuit of the ideals of Beauty.

So even though his reign was short,
The people remember him still.
He set the example of righteous comport,
And turned them away from their once vicious thrills.


While all the men around her were bereaved,
There was yet one too young to be deceived,
She set an example – yielding them sense,
And likewise they raised her – young Innocence.


Patience warned his only son;
Not to go, or look for woe,
“Prudence is the better course”,
But Courage knew the time was right.

Crowned by Wisdom’s lost descent,
He ate his last with faithful friends,
And set upon his fateful task,
But they refused to stay.

Duty’s life and treasured school,
Had made them men, and more than that –
Aristocrats of mind and soul,
Companions to the end.

Thus they left in solemn pomp,
Beneath the banners raised,
For the glory of pride and death,
Upon their sacred hunt.

Only when the gates had shut,
And yielded their final ‘goodbye’,
Was the gravitas felt,
As a weight on them all.

Regaling the tales,
Of the path they now trod,
The way was not hidden or masked,
Save by the time and the snow.

The mount of memory passed first,
Old abode of the master,
The night was long in judgement’s shade,
But renewed for the journey to come.

Plains upon plains were the next,
To take them back to childhood,
The whimsey of play, though bordered –
By marvelous struggle refined.

At last the land where stories fail,
For lack of sources true.
A sacred place of withered hope,
Now lost to foul decay.

The peaks were high, but people base,
With rancid ways ‘neath lofty spires.
Bowing low to meet their liege:
The demon of deceit.

The demon tried to spin his lies,
But found the hero resolute,
And by the time he’d thought to run,
His reign was swiftly ended.

The plebs, they thought, would thus regain,
Their sense – lost to lies.
Instead their arms were raised in spite,
Against their liberators.

The brave companions then lost hope,
And bowed their heads to fate,
But Courage sought a different path,
And drew his loyal blade.

Words would serve as trusty shield,
Entreating that they stay,
But should their arms be pressed yet on,
His blade would have its say.

Deceit ran deep within their hearts,
So forced the party back,
But barricaded in their hall,
The roof was made a stage.

A second time the men lost hope,
Through fifty days and nights,
But cockrel’s call gave Courage say,
And none to levy challenge.

He did not cease ‘till sense relieved –
The demon of his throne,
And only then were they to leave,
At last – to home; return.

And only after fifty more,
Was Courage given grace,
He entered town a perished man,
And left – a head crowned twice.


Intellect – daughter to Wisdom’s acclaim,
Scornfully shunned the great deeds of her fame,
Thought herself higher through marvelous means,
Better, said she, than her luminous queen.

She found no trace of rigour there, and so,
Set upon a quest to not only know,
But be sure forevermore of all truth,
Such was sought in the tranquil tinge of youth.

To far off land, and pastures new she went,
Where only earth and air could yield their scent,
And all distractions left behind, to give;
A clearness of sight, and reason to live.

Every speck and movement, each little thing,
Recorded in wonder; oh how they sing,
A beautiful chorus in harmony,
In scope and worthiness too great to see.

A lifetime was spent in study and yet,
She felt little closer than first they met.
But her life spent in solitude – would grant,
Books upon books, and a gravestone to plant.


Patience’s skin of snowy white,
Against the peace of blackest night:
A statue to their sin:
The ever-present din.

A party without dawn,
Man: a locust swarm,
Neither hawk or scribe, nor sage,
A day’s meal: the banquet of an age.

From withered age on hairless heads,
And rivers thus to empty beds:
Smiles and frowns in darkness;
As seeds among the waves.

An aged pig, his lake of mud.
Salt and smoke, and iron blood.
Patience’s skin of snowy white,
Against the peace of blackest night.


The hero Honour would only accept the best,
In light of his triumph and rule,
He set off in search of the most worthy bride,
As befitting his grandest nobility.

From the luminous stars,
And glistening deep blue springs,
Was the spark of joyful light;
Found in the glint of her eye.

The radiant warmth on a midsummer day,
And the cosiest of hearths in the night,
Could be thawed by her smile,
And the gentle grace of her touch.

Songs of the forest – the music of life,
Lull of the ocean, and the call of the mountain,
Are but vulgar to melody’s voice,
Who can silence the earth with a note.

The artisan’s work of a century past,
And the vistas of radiant sunrise,
Cannot hope to compete with perfection of form,
Defined by her lines and her curves.

Floral dances of a hopeful spring,
Are yet more pale imitations of her,
As is the taste of a meal on the air,
After a bountiful harvest.

The purest intent of a summer-less lamb,
From a heart which has only known love,
These are the gifts of the daughter of Wisdom;
Named Beauty, for the bliss of the land.