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(for Caspar David Friedrich) 

the roots of agony 
climb to the heavens; 

the broken husk 
of autumn 
lingers in their veins. 

Tentacles of sacrifice 
conjoin with the blood 
of sunset - 
their black tongues 
gossip in the wind. 

I have seen men totter 
when mist hangs a 
noose round the neck of 
their designs, 
when dry leaves scatter through 
like the tattered coats of 
murdered by their grief. 

I have seen black shadows 
turn to ghosts as you watch them; 
their gradual faces scrawled 
against the palimpsest of night, 
lingering at entrances 
hovering at windows. 

We carry forth the missions 
of our lord, 
though who that lord may be 
we lost sight of long ago. 

He vanished somewhere 
no one can trace, 
not in the nethermost 
corridors that wind through 
dust and stone. 

Our Lord may be the Lord 
of Ruins, 
Who hides His face in the 
rain and fog, 
whose death, perhaps, 
spawned the minions of those 
who prowl these gates and 
the stone paths of righteousness. 

Whose death, perhaps, 
spawned us, His 
to pray for the release 
of all the woven specters 
who prowl the ancient 
of the dark oak wood. 

- Paul Kesler

painting of graveyard
to Paul      to Moongate     to Caspar David Friedrich