Muwashshah for the Mighty Dead

nine ghastly birds    are bearing
a perfumed    floating Scimitar
    in the frozen night     they perch upon
    the walls of the      Alhambra
concealed within    a wooded hill
I clutch a bone white     candle
    and pray that the moths of   the Dead are roused
    and flit about      my signal
a withered old man     appears beneath
the tresses    of a willow
    though his body is wrapped     in radiant birds
    He has no shadow
one drop of blood    is all They ask
a coin    and a bowl of water
    and flocks of white petals     will I receive
    from the hand of Lenore    my lover
so I descend        to the banquet hall
where the King    and the Star-Queen hover
    and see faces    lit by azure lamps
    the strange         and my Familiar
the first chill threads      of Winter claim
the walls        of the Alhambra
    as the moth-white souls      of the Mighty Dead
    have come to the light of my      
                                                Granada, Spain
                                                                November 2012
[Slippery Elm is a loathsome he-Witch, poet, and hip hop emcee from Vancouver, Canada.  He travels the world performing his poetry in the street and at venues, festivals, political actions, by hearth corner, and under leaf. Most recently, his work has appeared in Mandragora: Further Explorations in Esoteric Poesis. He is a permaculture activist and strives to support garden initiatives and green urban areas wherever he goes. As a member of jazz/hip-hop trio Elekwent Folk, he has released five albums, and Nazza, his first book of poetry, was published in 2011 on the Summer Solstice.  He haunts bookstores and wild places, roots through graveyards, and panpipes at many a May-Day revelry. Visit him online .]

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