by Cam M. Roberts

I remember: Et in Arcadia Ego. Once I was a Shepherd remote, screaming for daybreak.
On the inception of declaring all lexicons obsolete: Ubi sunt. It all simply plunged –
A trite beast quivering out of the ash & leaves, while the smoking wisps of nocturne fleet
as if Bathsheba were bled out of a reopened wound, clotting diabetic red – Starkly gothic
it appeared within its flaccid ministry, retching in the dry sniveling tree: A limp willow.
Then, I kept on wondering what altar I saw but no stars for it was pitch overcast.

The violent hacking, the baldness of those wilting eyes made the sheer overcast
procure; a deep iron conducting algidity, but the nearness of Apollo’s lyre: Daybreak
still tarred in darkness, wet dermis of sod underfoot – Arching its back wearily as the willow
tree had once done, though t’was pruned in spring, I remember: Absalom – sounds, some plunge
of stagnant hairy air all belched out. Then the vane’s vertebrae rose in spinal contortion, a gothic
cathedral: il duomo – Such sharp angles; those dry spires heave – Empathetic buttress yawns flew fleet

over into the next victim, involuntary parabolas. O’ reassemble our passing fleet,
but the moment dissipated. That coughing phlegm unbreaking, the inflamed overcast
clouds gathering thicker of nimbus instead – So devoid of light as if some barbaric Gothic
from the Dark Ages was hellbent on carnage. I prayed in paranoia for a Kilroy sun of daybreak.
I waited for the lark and loon to sing their anthems of invocation, but the nightmare plunged
through the cold death-rattles of breath billowing from whooping cough thus tittering the willow

tree some hundred yards off, it fluttered like diaphragms of nausea, burning willow
lungs and aching belly. That tormenting moment wherein hope whiplashes, halts in fleet,
where time and space of one’s breathing seems contrived or absent. It plunged –
In this instant – This distressed feline. It released shadow before sun. Thor’s overcast
Flickered like delirious expunged stasis. The disillusioned feeling during daybreak
was so barren as if thunder came before lightning like in Faulkner’s Southern Gothic.

Go down, black bulimia – Sequester this stillborn paradise of all those bubonic gothic
legacies. This cat, you shadow figure: What of the silence & stillness of the willow?
In the last sordid ruin left tired on the bastard ground, the glowing commenced daybreak,
and the bird went to chirp & cheep while the decadent smoke of night went to fleet
and assert.  The assembling of faint light came oblique through that rising overcast
curtain – The retching ceased, and the brief moment felt the air as sparse light plunged

through a partition of clouds, but to no avail; grey layers bore my failure. Disgust plunged
not the ashen veils away – The high ceiling sung a shattering hymn in gothic
echoes of release, the purging of stained-glassy rain fell in the early morn overcast
and dampened my crown & creature to misery. And from the halo of wisteria willow,
this bird choired upward to the dome: Reverberating – The harmonium mordent fleet
filled as slackened sails to bosoms bounty – Once again, I prayed for a clement daybreak.

Newfound: Sudden tranquil reverence, daybreak excels us all – Yonder Sun, my breath plunged.
Life recollects the power of surprise, compelling the willow to revel at the now vanquished overcast.
Gothic traditions depart their dominions – The beast turns towards the light, and like shadows, it fleets.

© CMR, 2012