Poetry by Christianna Cannon

PHANTASMAGORIA

I remember, long before
When we all wondered where we'd be
And swayed like waves upon the shore
Of some distant, brooding sea
Back there, back then, we were as such
As mortal men should never be
And everywhere we went, we brought
Things no mortal man should see;
And others too acted their worst,
Though never such as we.

We carried with us plagues of thought
Visions better left unseen
Ah, yes, we were a vicious lot!
We wandered mostly gaunt and lean
We ate what we could not befoul;
With motives dark and senses keen,
We followed no one but ourselves
Recall the time, the darkened scene
Bring from the past the ancient call
And nightmares most serene.

Perhaps one day we shall return
To days long past and nights long gone,
Though we still have so much to learn
We'll always act as nature’s pawn
Or is it nature? What compels
All life to live and carry on?
For what dark purpose are we here
So forced to wander hither-yon
With moral memories aside
Cast off somewhere along.

Where is our home? We find it not
Among the rest of humankind,
Though nothing acts the way it ought
Therefore, we know not what we'll find
When we stand before the rolling breeze
While sins and shadows lurk behind;
All together, all apart,
Forever seeking our own kind;
Though some shall know eternal rest,
Not every star has shined.

And thus within dark shadows lost,
When something stirs within the gloom
And every martyr, man or faust
Watch demons flit within the room
At the bidding of masters unseen,
We hasten toward our very doom;
And so our fettered souls careen
Like loosened threads blown off the loom;
And find within our very hearts,
Our own infernal tomb.

What catastrophic dreams provide
Images we hold apart,
And perhaps when worlds collide
We shall find another start,
And when will we truly realize
We all are shackled at the heart;
With madness comes a soft surprise
Of choices made by throw of dart;
Even with our power-drunken ways,
We are a work of art.

Chosen gone, and choose anew!
We have ways to get our fill;
With every nightly fall of dew,
And every birth and every kill,
Joined with our powers of belief
Should amount to more than nil;
Like the ocean sundered by the reef,
We can be rough; we can be still;
And one day, we shall reach our goal,
By sheerest force of will!

circa 1996.

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