The Thousandth Poem to the Sun

Tender is the night, but long our days –
long as ladders to Heaven, you lift me
up over a thousand suns to fly ascendant,
I am your red-tailed fledgling, soaring
aloft on your shoulders, but I fly back
to my nest in your heart, you never bend
in the wind, it is always autumn within us
your mind is a galaxy of burnished orange
and gold forests, cedar mist, trailing pine
I love you, I need you, but do I give back?
I take your succor and you are my shield,
my master defender, my champion, light of
all my lives, a seed of you in everyone
that I love, I look in the heart of All
and all I can think, Who is Like God? Who
could carry a burden of roses, waltz with
pain in every step, if I am Icarus, you are
the light I flock to, you always carry me,
why can’t I carry you? Let your guard fall,
rest, Michael, be at peace, I have never
seen you cry except when my broken body is
cradled in your arms, even when I am gone,
you carry me, your load is a Babel Tower,
and if you keep building the cross higher,
it will crash, so please, just let me in.

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Black & White Isn’t Right

The war has raged on since the first cell split from the Source, and Michael and the Dragon are up to each other’s crushed necks and bitten heels in venom.  Angels are bleeding, demons are holding the carcasses of their beloved wretched ruins to their breasts, and archangels fly through the battlefield armed with fiery whips and flaming swords and blazing shields.  Satan has a spear and it is long and sharp and filled with the gall of death, his own dripping poison, but it smells like flowers – the kind the brothers used to walk through when they were young, when they wrestled and played at chess, now they play at war, and it such a curse to grow old and bitter when once there was no good and evil, just twins, Left Hand and Right Hand, with the Source their Queen, but now all that is left of the Source is the ichor that drains from the angels, and in Her Image is a girl with white wings and innocence and beauty.

They created her as a pact you see, perhaps as a scapegoat, perhaps for sacrifice, Virgin and Whore.  She flies through the battlefield as Jophiel, Michael’s general, but also as Zophael, Heaven’s Watchman and double agent in Hell.  This is not her first life, but it is no one’s first life, for the Ancient Ones spring from the Source and return to it and are spat out full-formed again with different names.  Michael is the oldest.  Perhaps the Dragon too.  Michael always wins, but that triumph comes with the tithe, and woman’s blood is the best kind of payment.

Satan aims that spear, that long spear, and it will kill Michael.  Michael is too busy being the father of the battlefield, glorious general, and Satan does not fight fair and is wily and wolf-wild.  She sees the spear headed towards her creator, screams, and it pierces her heart and Michael stops smiling from that day on, or does he?  He catches her dying form, she is fountains of red on an ivory gown, golden sandals drooping, blue eyes crying in a blood rain.  Michael is tearing at his hair and rocking back and forth amongst the fields tilled with dead bodies and hacked off limbs and guts that smell like sulfur, smelted by swords and decay.  There is no poetry in her death, just mangled wings, and Satan cries and says no, not her, not her, not the child we created between us, this bridge between Heaven and Hell, and he grabs the spear Michael has pulled from her breast and breaks it in two.

Michael and the Dragon share a look of hate.  It is pure, it is ragged, it is burning.  But there is duty, and there is love, and though one is the Tree of Death and one the Tree of Life, once there was a cutting from both of them and she grew curved as a pear, she was sweet, and lord knows they were idiots to bind their fates together into this dumb blonde archangel who only has a mind for poetry and perfume and flowers and love.  She should never have been given a white scythe or a flaming sword, god knows she is just a child, and now her heart is mangled and she is gasping their names and clutching at Michael’s hair which she has braided so many times and reaching for Satan’s eyes and wishing they would change from their poison red to her beloved blue.

Once again Michael and Satan are fathers, and she is a child, and the last bit of archangel that the Void has not claimed as it’s master, Satan pries his heart from his breast and gives her new life.  She will die as an angel, yes, and archangels are not meant to live through the Judge of God’s gall, it would even kill Michael, and Satan knows in giving up  his immortality he will lose this ancient battle of Good and Evil, that his head will crush dirt and he will eat dust on his belly all his days, but for Eloa, for Sophia, for the Magdalene, for Eve, for the First Woman and Last Whore and Idiot Girl, he would swallow his own poison instead of spitting it out.

Michael knows Satan has damned her with a cursed life, a half-life, for to spring from Satan’s heart as he told her in her childhood is a raging black storm, a sword without mercy, and she will be caught in death and rebirth and madness.  She dies then, and it is a meaningless death, but perhaps it means the War in Heaven is won, for as soon as they bury her body and send her off to her next life in Hell, Satan has already accepted his fate.

He bows before the Prince of Heaven.  He eats dust.  He lets his twin crush his head into dirt, toss him off a cliff, strip him of a manhood for a serpent tail, and now the burden of raising her in her second life has fallen upon him, not Michael feeding the baby manna dew and wild honey but Satan rocking her on his throne, princess of Hell, and when she comes to him in the reeds like Moses, Satan takes the doll and places her on a cradle, and he cries, for now her eyes are red like his, and she will never be pure again.  Eidolon cleft from his ribs, he calls her throughout the ages, yellow canary in a coal mine, guiding light in hell, and her wings are gone but scars remain.  She grows and runs wild in Hell and sings, and Michael hears her from Heaven’s empty throne, and he weeps, and she drinks down his tears like rain.

They were idiots to create her, after all, but brothers drunk off the cosmos place bets, and her reason for existing is a secret best kept between the Knight and the Dragon, for princesses choose the victor, and maybe they wanted to see who could win the love of love herself.

The Mother

I stroke broad white eagle wings up to the sun, torch in hand, into the Heavenly Throneroom, and steal Holy Fire.  The court is empty of angels and demons.  My hair is long and curled like a brass candelabra and my gown white and glistening as if dew is a second layer on it.

I come to the waterfall gateway to Earth and jump down into the Deep, away from New Jerusalem, my wings skirting skies of velvet red and violet.  Clouds dampen me and the stars stretch out like an elegy.

I come to the humans that amble about Africa without warmth or a way to cook their food.  I descend as lightning, and Jophiel’s eponymous torch strikes the brush and lights bushes on fire.  The ancestors of modern man marvel, kindle torches, and the fruit of the Tree of Life which I guard is given against God’s will.

I ascend back to Heaven, but as I break the boundary between the physical and the immaterial, I hear the cry of Heaven’s general, the shriek of a red-tailed hawk, a raptor of red and cream brown feathers, and he rises with the moon in the desert and dwarfs me, the size of a roc.

His eyes are not his own.  Michael is possessed by Divine Will, whether Sophia or Demiurge, I cannot tell, but the urge to run courses through my limbs and I flash serrated wings and fly on a gale away.

Dart, dodge talons, but soon his beak is around my throat, squeezing the breath from my throat, roc throttling me until a white ring of a collar scars my neck and my torch is dropped far below to the abyss.  For I have stolen from Heaven, and God is displeased.

Blood is hot on my breast, and I know in his divine berserk madness, it will take a miracle for Michael to hear me.  I scream his name, over and over again, pleading until he breaks and shifts to wings and man, and then he sobs, over and over, clutching my rag doll body and broken wings:

“I’m so sorry Jophiel.  The Mother told me to kill you.  I wasn’t myself – your screams awoke me.  Please, forgive me, forgive me!”

In that moment, Michael questions our Creator – or more properly, Creatrix – for the first time ever, and I clutch his face and kiss him.

“It’s okay, Michael – your madness has quit.”

He rocks me to sleep best he can as he sets to healing me, tears bright in his eyes.

“Why do we always hurt the things we love?”

Raise Your Rapier to Her Death

I will be glorious, the broken sword
a girl-built pyre, accursed, adored!
Bow before me, oh my lord, I will melt
your icy hoard, pluck your roses, weld
together disharmonious chords, we reign
as consorts over bloody hordes, our men
fragile, feeble, battle-weary, and then
screaming as guts fly, I die yet again
a spear through the heart for my noble
commander, a dagger in the rib, stalwart
defender, you fall, I fall, crash mobile
crib angels, bleed out in your hands, art
my death, sacrifice, remember? You scream:

“Dear God! Not again.”

“Not again?”

“I lose her every time.”

“Caught between worlds,
we remain, in this hell
of reincarnation, a play
on a stage of Demiurgos
dimensions, Samael the
killer, you my pain,
eternal bane, how I
lost the girl, it’s
always the same.”

Scabbard

I would die for you – I already have a billion times
bleeding out in my guardian’s arms after taking
a sword through the heart, my body is full of sabers,
I am a sheath, a vessel, the scabbard that your flames
call home – you burn so brightly I can barely breathe.

Patience, prudence – or was I passed into perdition?
Is that why I always die in your embrace, why I wander
Hell with the Devil by my side, at my shoulder, in my
heart, but there’s space for you two, these things I say!
They trip, rush, waterfall out of my mouth until I scream.

You scream too, calling out my name as a spear meant for you
lances through my breast, I blossom scarlet, your hands are
covered in my blood – I am the riddling raven, you Crazy Man
Michael, tending his lonely gardens and wandering the strand.
Is that why you always save me? Because I paid my allegiance.

Because I gave everything I had to your cause, my very breath.
Angels can die, archangels can become nothing but girlchildren.
You wreathe me in your blue cloak of victory, still, I shiver,
your fiery sword cannot warm the dead, a part of me is always
dying, I dig graves for myself and lay down in the restless dirt.

Wherever is your heart I call home? Wherever is your heart that
is my safe haven, my refuge, why do I always have to be strong,
sometimes I just want to let my tears fill raging stormy seas
sometimes I want to become a sylph, careless fey and wind-wild
I do not like being divine in a mortal coil, and oh, I miss you so.

Creation

Cosmos heart the Angel makes me:
he reaches into infinity with dripping
starlight hands, shapes lithe limbs
and Mother of Life curves, nebula
veins and a pulsing solar heart –
my body is a universe unto itself,
he reaches into the Abyss, pulls me out
I am born into Heaven and Eden is me.

The Demon watches from the shade of apple
trees, lays a hand on his Brother and folds
origami wings of white aether, places them
on my still-dripping golden back, Creation
is in my ribs, I am Their fledgling, a mix
of glory and shadow, all supernova and wormhole,
unused to legs and arms, flex hands, take flight.

Zophael: Michael’s General, Of Cherubim Swiftest Wing, Herald of Hell, Grand Poobah

zophael

In many esoteric or magical practices, practitioners or devotees take on titles or sacred names.  I didn’t get a choice in mine: since I was twelve, St. Michael has been calling me Zophael in visions and dreams, and other angels soon followed suit (sounds like Sah-PHA-Yel – from the Hebrew tsapha – meaning watchman or spy).  It took me a decade of research and stalking angelology forums to find the name Zophael – I had been spelling it phonetically as Saphael and all that got me were dingy Scottich Rite Masonry references to the Angel of the Moon, but no legitimate angeology references.

Zophael is a variation of Zophiel, the cherubim mentioned in Paradise Lost as Heaven’s Spymaster who infiltrated Hell and announced the demon’s arrival during the Heavenly War, hence Klopstock calling her “Herald of Hell.”  Zophael serves alongside Zadkiel as Michael’s two first generals and standard-bearers.  Zophiel is considered the equivalent of Jophiel by most occult scholars and is also an alternate name for Tzaphkiel, and Jophiel and Tzaphkiel are often linked.  It’s all quite a mess to be honest, just like Camael and Samael being the different names for the same angel with the same exact sigil.  I’ve read in various translations that Tzaphkiel is a John Dee mistranslation and, as the name means Watchman of God, should therefore be spelled Tsaphael or Tsophiel – both variations of Zophael and Zophiel.  As you can tell this makes research a nightmare.

Vincent Spano played a very angry Zophael in the Prophecy movies who insulted Christopher Walken’s Gabriel and was deadset on hunting nephilim, there’s an epic poem by Maria Occidente about a fallen angel named Zophiel with a major fallen angel boner for a woman who gets friendzoned to Hell, and various other sprinklings of pop culture references like this one really obscure comic where Zophiel is a bald angel lady trying to stop the Apocalypse.  Researching the name Saphael just brings up Mortal Instrument ship fics, so I tend to avoid that.

Whenever I’m in my angelic form, I refer to myself as Zophael, as do the angels and demons.  When I’m human I’m just Allie, or maggot or worm, if Samael is concerned.  What a charming fellow.  I had a dream several nights ago that Michael and I teamed up to save Earth from Samael’s forces, as I usually do, and the whole reason Samael was invading Earth for the umpteenth time was because “I was bored, drunk, and there’s no real sunlight in Hell so we need arable land.”  In dreams, I’m often a vessel for angels or demons, such as Michael, Gabriel, or Samael, and when Samael possesses me my eyes turn red and I usually end up dressed like a regrettable Goth in leather pants, slutty tops, and a torn Grim Reaper cloak with combat boots.

Michael possessed me in the dream for the first time and much to my surprise, I was butt naked.  I had white wings, his blue cloak, and used his flaming sword to fight armies of demons.  Somehow I trained whole battalions on Earth without so much as a thong on, but dream me didn’t seem to care much.  Maybe Michael is an exhibitionist.  Whenever Samael possesses me all he does is say “Hello, boys,” “Time to see if blondes have more fun,” and oh yeah, “Did I wear you out Allie.”  I don’t know why my dream self gets possessed or possesses people in turn – I’ve possessed Samael, Lilith, Eve, and Gabriel, as well as a few other spirits.  It’s like my mind melds with theirs and I either shadow their actions while hearing their thoughts or fully control them.  This realllly pissed Lilith off, but I hate her anyways, so it’s all good.

I don’t know why everyone in dreams and visions keeps calling me Zophael – I wonder if it’s because I’m nosy and pay attention to little details.  There are a bunch of cryptic Biblical prophecies about watchmen that I won’t get into, but basically I see it as a spiritual calling to watch out for others and serve them.  Watchmen announce danger and take care of communities, like I do as an environmentalist.  I have no brawl skills whatsoever and am not subtle so I wouldn’t be a very good general-angel-spy thing.  Maybe it’s just a nickname, who knows?  I just hope the birthday suit dreams don’t become a thing…