Keepers of The Last Verse – A Poem

This poem is a prelude of sorts to Gomorrah, a seven part poem I wrote. I had not planned really to write a prelude, or any more of the poem for that matter, but this came to me and called for me to do so. If you are interested, the rest of Gomorrah can be found:


Keepers of The Last Verse

We were named The Keepers of the Last Verse.
Knowing nothing of ships we set sail to The New
Land that was once Old. Before entering the valley,
in the mountains we built The Shrine. Aienu, The
Sun God, The Crownless Peacock King, spilt his
blood over the evening sky.

The valley was empty and life bearing when we
arrived. It was We who founded The City. Built
The Library over The Ancient’s Alter. Dug out The
Catacombs for The Old Gods to watch under us.
Placed The Door deep therein. Began The Festivals.
Set watch at The Gates. Formed their opening
and closing Ceremonies.

We tilled the soil. Harvested The First Fruit for its
wisdom before The Tribes arrived. Nomads who settled
in the valley. Becoming artisans, architects, financiers,
politicians, merchants. They laid the roads and
erected the buildings. The Three Spiraling Towers
to please Aienu and his wife, Linti, Goddess of
The Sleeping Star, The Crowned Mongoose Queen.
The Tribes crafted the bells that have chimed in metered
time ceaselessly ever since.

We became The People and The Tribes Citizens of
The City. Together the valley prospered and grew
in our care. We shared much of our knowledge with
The Citizens. Our Library was opened to them. But the
secret of The Door, the hidden ways of The Catacombs,
and The Last Verse We retained. These We passed by story
and song only to our children in The House of Life that will
one day be left abandoned.

Gomorrah – Part VII – A Poem

This is the final installment to the poem Gomorrah. Other entries can be found


Gomorrah VII

At home Gomorrah puts his newspaper in a drawer. Hangs his straw
hat up on a peg nailed into his desk. The purple sky paints the room.
Owls are out. Hunting in the dry air. The trees shake. Gomorrah
finishes his dinner and prepares for bed. Seasons his cast iron skillet.

He will not sleep. He knows this. It has been years since he has.
He smiles. “I picked you.” Michelangelo and Jonah escaped. They
carry the knowledge of The People. The Door The Old Gods
departed from stays hidden. Forever buried in the catacomb maze.

The snow is continuing to fall in the higher elevations. In the mountains
there is joy. Thick ice now blocks all of the passes. Secretes cool
water to the west. To the sea. The radio plays ballroom jazz. Muffled
and static. Bells in the towers ring. The key must have gotten lost.

Time walks. Creeps. Keeps the bass line occupied. Skips a beat. Bleeds
and yearns for a forgotten past. A future lost. Gomorrah can feel it. Hair
tingles his arm. Tickles his neck. God and gods stung by their own victory.
The fire approaches. It comes to consume the hollow remains of the city.


Thank you for following along and reading!

Gomorrah – Part VI – A Poem

Other installments of the poem Gomorrah can be found:


Gomorrah V

The Tribunal asks Gomorrah what he remembers. He says to tend
roses in the yard. And to gather the rain water. They ask him if he
remembers his family. His Father. His Mother. Susan. He says only
that they are dead or gone. The clock is covered in wet cheesecloth.

“What of Emily?” they ask. Gomorrah sees blue eyes. His soul stuttering
in the living room. The spell of a smile. Hears forget me nots whispered
in the wind. Under the sun a whimpering kiss. The stone of doom weighs
down heavily on his heart. He replies he does not know an Emily.

The Tribunal requests the book. They tell him to open it. To read from
it. Gomorrah can see the words but they no longer make sense. Random
scrawls along the paper. But he knows they cannot see them. Blank
pages brighten the dank room. The Tribunal mutter among themselves.

The verdict comes. The book must go to the furnace. Gomorrah knows he can-
not take it any longer to The Shrine. Only Susan knew the way. A man leaves
to stoke the coals. Gomorrah nods his permission. He is given a cane. The
city emblem is on the handle. He leaves. The Peacock Sun King is crowned.

Gomorrah – Part V – A Poem

Other installments of the poem Gomorrah can be found


Gomorrah V

They say that from the top of the tallest of the three spiraling
towers one could see past the mountains to the ocean. It is
so tall it makes Gomorrah dizzy to think about. He never went
up to investigate. Inside on the first floor City Hall resides.

Built over the entrance to the catacombs. Writhing in organic
shadows cast by no light. The lobby has many chairs. People wait on
their discourse.  An empty desk. No receptionist. A television
broadcasts a game show at low volume. Gomorrah passes through.

He finds the room matching the number he was assigned. The
Tribunal waits. Gaunt men and women whose number Gomorrah
does not care to count. They wear pleated pants. Or skirts.
All grey and white. Their vision disappears under domed hats.

The welcome him kindly. Firmly. Seasons change outside. Gomorrah
sees the maple. His favorite tree. It stretches arms to collect the
sun. Shifting green patterns sneak in. Play on barren walls. He takes
a seat at a long table that fills the room. The leather burns him.


Only two more entries to go on this poem. I have them written. Just running through the final edits. Thanks for reading!

Gomorrah – Part IV – A Poem

Other installments of Gomorrah can be found


Gomorrah IV

Drums announce a procession in route to the Evening Gate to perform
the Opening Ceremony. It marches down Gomorrah’s Street. He
stands by his fence. Incense perfumes the air from golden decanters.
All of their eyes red from the swirling smoke. A robed man leads them.

The man carries a tattered flag at half-mast. The cities emblem emblazoned
upon it. Four white dots in a diamond pattern on a field of blue.
The leader asks Gomorrah if he captured the rain water. He nods. He does
not know anyone in the parade. Only that their number has dwindled.

They leave. The horn of an unseen car sounds. But then all numbers have
dwindled Gomorrah thinks as he begins his journey to City Hall. He walks and
recalls Father and Mother’s House. The many rooms of crowded camaraderie
with his brothers and sisters and cousins and friends all meeting in mirth.

The nights in summer. Parties under stars and moon that are now oblique and
un-known. The music and dance. The delight. Father’s stories. The laughter
and the love. Mother showing him the Earth with tender patience. Susan
being taught the tales and legends and secrets of The People from Father.

Gomorrah – Part III – A Poem

Other installments of the poem Gomorrah can be found


Gomorrah III

Gomorrah prepares to leave. He picks up the book from
the attic. It had been there for years on top of the piano
next to an empty bird-cage. City Hall requested it. Stale
water in a vase holds a grudge. Maliciously bends light.

He thinks of the flower Susan gave him. A rose. She picked it
from Father’s Garden when they were kids. She said
“This is you. I picked you.” Her skin was translucent when
they came for her. Luminescent. The Old Gods hid in the wind.

It masked their laughter. The furnace was stoked.  Coals burned.
All Susan left behind were her children. She told Gomorrah
they were his now. The father being long dead. He kissed her hand
and wept and cursed heaven and raised the boys until grown.

Michelangelo left one day. Crossing the mountains to the
ocean to sail in unbound compassion to distant lands. Jonah
descended into the catacombs in search of The Door. Both of
them never returned. The Old Gods disappeared in a sigh.