Angel Amongst Ashes

By Joseph Armstead

The sign on the hill
Has the marks of muddy
Boot treads on it and
It is sinking in the mud and ash.

Ageless eyes
that beheld the wonders
Of the endless spaceways
The glories of the cosmos
Blink back cold tears.

He is alone.
The wind fans his hair
And it smells of old fires,
Wet concrete and rusted steel.
He listens for the silence.

His wounds bleed.
Here there once were kings,
in this place of shattered brick,
and they held sway over nations
and armies of fearsome might.

He sees Time
Pass like the waters of
An infinite river, no stone
By the same water twice,
As the embattled world decays.

He is forever,
All that exists around him is not.
All that burns, smouldering, will fade,
Into dim memory for descendents
Of proud warriors and greedy lords.

Curtains of blood
Descend on the last dark act of
A passion play with no audience,
The ghosts of war-torn history
And the sad last pages of the future.

Immortal eyes,
Like twin stars,
See the sign that lies in the
Wet ashen muck, and read
The words
“You Can Save”
and the tears that fall
thereafter are hot and bitter.

The sign on the hill
Is covered by gray ash and
Obsidian smoke as the
Mud swallows it whole.

A Sigh In The Forests of Midnight

By Joseph Armstead

Breathe in, breathe out…

You can smell it in the air,
That scent of rain and regret,
The perfume of bittersweet
And old dreams vaguely
It imbues a strange feeling
In the soul, a stirring
Of melancholy for
Things that can never be,
And it creates its own
Moonlight, transforming
The harsh metallic silver
from the gloomy evening
sky to the color of
gun-metal when you stare
down the barrel.

It’s there, that feeling,
That smell, that sound,
That music without

It stays with you long past its time.
The ticking of the clock is meaningless.
There is only that
tremorous feeling
just before the tears
begin to fall.

Despair a’birthing.

The mind becomes a
window on the world
and the world is a large
wild forest of midnight,
full of night-magick and
mysteries and it is both
a refuge and a prison.

A wind birthed from
Springs up and rattles
The dry leaves of the
Forest of shadows
And you swear that in
its rushing hush you
can hear your name and
that breeze brings with it
an aroma, the
of a broken spirit.

Imagine that…

Breathe out, breathe in.


By Joseph Armstead

Forgive us our trespasses…
There is a room inside
Our minds, inside the
Swirling maelstrom of
Sensation, fear, sex
And ego that makes us each
Unique, where we joyfully
Visit the deepest pit
Within the Circus Infernal.

No one likes to admit it.
No one likes to
Acknowledge they know
Where this place is in
Their minds, this tunneling
Spiraling hole through
Their soul, but when
Emotions are at a fever pitch,
When despair takes hold,
When the reptilian brain
Awakens, we stride growling
through the door, willingly,
and we dance amongst the
sulfurous magma and the
leaping flames with the
lunatic abandon of
broken children at play
in the fields of the brutish.
Our lust for the wicked
brings us to tears, falling
like wet crystal razors.

It frightens us, how much we belong.
It is our darkling home away from home.

Forgive us our trespasses,
Because we can be ever so
Much more inventive than that.
We need to sin big or
Not bother sinning at all.
It is our nature to be cruel.
It is our desperate aspiration
To be children of the Divine.
There is beauty in The Pit,
There are stories of courage
And of devotion, tales of
Raging angels and crying devils,
Of sins against nature and
Sins against the purest of Love.
The flames on the pyre of
Malevolence leap, burning
white-hot, close as an embrace.

We love that dark doorway
To Hell every bit as much
As we despise hosting it
Inside our hearts and minds.
Our duality is a curse.
It is also our strength.
Battling the beast enobles us.
At least, that is what we
tell ourselves when we are
alone staring into the
mirror at a face that seems
more animal than Man,
insanely impassioned, yet
more angelic than mortal,
perfectly flawed compassion.

Forgive us our trespasses…
Opening the doorway down,
We do not look back.
It frightens us, how much we belong.

Our hunger for all things
Wicked brings us to tears,
like wet

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