Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Devil's Door (2002)

Saxon churches had
a Devil's Door facing
north: Some say it was
where the door
pagans would enter
that still reached
the old built-over gods:;
Your bias was thus
known by which door
you entered: Some
Sussex people believed
that the Devil lay in
wait outside that north
door to damn the soul
of any poor Christian
foolish enough to
egress that way: Today
you'll find most of
those north doors
permanently blocked:
Recall that Oran
travelled north from
where he was buried
in the Columba
abbey footers, descend-
ing north into the
icy regions of Hell:
This Well egresses
or drills north, dooring
pole-wraiths & welling
a witch's tit brine:
At the end of my
workouts at the gym
I ease down into a
cold splash bath and
remain there some 5
minutes applying
physic to sore knees
& back with 48-degree
water: Seal-cold waters,
North Sea waters:
Survivors of the wreck
of the Titanic died of
hypothermia in waters
like this, blueing into
hard clumps of
supplication & knocking
into each other like
billiard balls: When I
can stand the cold
no more I submerge,
& hang for a moment
in that wild cold
to pray my Devils
Door prayer -- "By
the Rock of Saint
Columba sworn" I
intone deep inside
then burst up like
a narwhal glad to
death for the sky:
Upon Oran's cold-
splashed bones I build
this low chapel: Through
his Door I egress
and transgress this
daily vowel movement:
I am baptized by
his brute underworld
swim: Harrowed by
the ice-lords and snow-
queens found there
isle to polar isle: Up
beyond Skye and
Bute and Callanish,
way north of the
Orkneys where Thor
hammers & hearkens
his infinite gale: Hell's
balls bell a thrall of pure
icy fire: Pealing that
freezing foam ghosting
wave-beards where
demiurges roam:
North Door with your
high brow of skulls:
Where the black
apparition lies in wait
to confound & ferry us
home: I'm writing runes
today on the Devil's Door
for all who would transgress
here in the pedigree of
most ancient stone: Down
and north, sound the
buckets down to that
dark island where the
bones of the fathers pack
the loam: Marrow this
song with those cold ribs
& ghost peckers: They
are the rock upon which
all churches we know
grow:For those who would
worship here you must
use the queer door so fair
and foul which opens to
an upside down demesne
of backassed whirl:
Heaven's down here, folks
-- below -- it's where the
angels all go when pieties
fail and Moby's gut is
a pink beehive cell: Not so,
sighs the wind outside
the Devil's Door: Not
The ice is clear:
Blue imps flicker like
wattage in the polar
night, singing low
in the glacial undertow:
Not here, tragic son,
Not here. Welcome home.


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