Psalms in Darkness I. Down the ethereal ocean, the fall Unnerved the princes of heaven. Their power Diminished to deep unsubstantial dust, A feral den to lodge their pride. No, they were not ashamed. They trusted The magnificence of You, You who now Hide your face, who forgive the darkening Clouds that veil the molten center, Who forgive the vanity of words. Must you forswear the unforgivable? II. In song our prayers do not ascend Your mighty battlement of space And time. They cringe with incredulity, They crawl aside to little rooms Where love becomes mere artifice. Alone they loll unconsummated, Futile. Their sorrow too keen, too lavish. Contrite to a final fault, they sink Without aspiring to their mission’s courage. They sink, forever loosed, they sink. III. One seraph stayed its will, A spirit lifted high above The pit of tenuity’s realm, Encompassed then by urgings, By loyalty to mulish origins, always There to issue life’s rules, Feathered structures drawn to numbers, Numbers that connect truth to truth, That resist the coal and brimstone tempest, Waiting for you, Lord, the face of light. IV. Rage not against me, shake not my parts, My bones, Lord, that house Coursing hate. Free my heart from haunt, Let my hands calm the world, The chaos before me. Let my fallen Self find joy again in justice. Let me turn the sly nod, the sneer, The hungry look. Let me caress With written words, create a stillness That fends off fitful noise with beauty. V. I would be spared. Oh, airy Lord, Spurned by heaven’s obstinate rule, Release me from perpetual torture. Show hell’s mercy, then bridge each gap I face with liberating reason, With lust for resplendent beauty. As I hold my head up, doling out A knowledge that repeats in many beings And many places. I bless my equals, Who worship truth and possibility. VI. My signature bleeds, multiplies One hundred times, one thousand times, Ten million times, an infinite quagmire I sink into. Mea culpa, Mea culpa, Mea Maximus culpa. Is one’s blood so sacred? A scratch, A momentary flow. Nothing more. Circling me, the red riot of letters Remembers that written certainty Grown bigger than the life I’ve lived, Bigger than the death I’ll die. VII. Witness all that I have become. I am torn within a tempest Torn by beaks of preying birds Tumbling with me, fiend to fiend. What dynamo of wind whirls Me, blends me with faithless things? My world envisioned into being, An eternal hell so deserved, Without doubt my doing, a conjuration Oppressing me. Yet I ask for nothing. VIII. Breathers of shadows fly through chambers Of stalled sentences and grammar that conjures Each day. Here perceptions and plots Beget dreams that beget more dreams, All within the mortal eggshell, A universe of disquiet and doubt, An apprehension that solidifies Belief before blown through The pinhole toward eternity’s Blustery beginnings and tepid ends.
Dennis Daly has published seven books of poetry and poetic translations. He writes reviews regularly for The Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene and on occasion for the Notre Dame Review, Ibbetson Street, Wilderness House, and the Somerville Times. He occasionally reads his poetry at various venues. Please see his blog at dennisfdaly.blogspot.com.