A viel thin, the crafting of kids’



caught in between.

The shore was narrow, the people few,

resolution stunted by a child’s purlieu

in a brain still wispy, languid, and bored

in a pew sub-standard, a low wooden cord.

We read it then, all but me:

I sought to find the etymology.

Genesis prevailed in its genealogies,

taxing the child’s mind and me.

Beginnings dull, I sought the end

without the basis that eschatologies prepend.

Revelation, it seemed to be an appropriate word,

casting out tedium with the flaming sword.

Like pulp fiction recycled, it caught me up:

my brain, my heart, my imaginative crux.

Or perhaps it didn’t: it merely portends

the coming of an inexorable end.

Twice it happened, thrice denied

before all but my own perceptive I:

the shore was narrow, crowded yet lamely

by a dozen sods, staring plainly

at a Beast risen up, dripping with flame,

but never witnessed directly, my eye too tame.

But I knew the book, so I knew its path:

to the shore and beyond, marking its masks.

An agent approached me, known but not seen:

the agent of God and the mark of the Beast.

My child fell, as he often does in dreams,

bowing in fear, fearing the stamp of bad deeds.

Never seen, and never to rise

my child lay trembling, knowing just why

that the hundred and forty four would not be me,

a kind of toddler’s statistical plea.

I don’t think I was marked, or perhaps I was wrong,

but I remember clearly the coming of the Lord.

Again unseen, entering stage left,

apart from the Beast, right in the drift.

Toyed and flaccid, my child could not move

awash by the powers impossible to prove.

Yet clearly I knew: the One in flesh,

the two in agents and feeling bereft.

Marked or not, shamed into submission,

One did not relieve as I envisioned,

instead the cowards, I and all,

were marked for fire, abyss, and the fall.

Rousing then, rising ocean of sweat,

the dream took as much as it left.

Reflecting now, triplicate ends in turn,

I wonder how my world would burn:

Men stand, no doubt, in my mind,

but the ocean’s fare is still high, tide

to lap, to whimsy, and to brine,

my ship built lovingly may still tell time.

The third still comes, alive and wide,

a buckling anchor cast starboard side;

yet breadth be damned, no man will die

if my instincts keep native, wild-eyed.