Saturday, 4 August 2007

An Epic Prose Poem: The Fifth Moon (Ghouls of the Mosel Valley)

An Epic Prose Poem

The Fifth Moon
(Ghouls of the Mosel Valley)

By Dennis L. Siluk

A Dramatic Prose Poem
The Fifth Moon
(Eltz Castle, Night in the Mosel Valley)

Part I

(1974) “I must talk to the dead,” Eva said. The old seer listened closely, she asked for ten-marks for her services.
Said Eva, “Is it death—, I must face to reach him, to go through?”
“Death, O death,” responded Ronda, the seer, “death with a tear you may think is death, but it is not.”
So the old seer (at Eltz Medieval Castle, in the Mosel Valley of Germany) laid her hands upon her breasts, The Duke, called the Lion, looking from his den of Saxony and Bavaria (AD 1192), just stared.
Said the old Seer (with wide, owl looking eyes), “You must not groan, when you go down to death lest you wake them up and spoil your quest!”
“If the dead come to my aid, I will reward you with 1000-Marks,” said Eva; a nice sum.

In and out of the courtyard the old seer paced, swimming with thoughts, chanting; then someone was yanking on the iron bell, ringing at the gate, a summon to let them in, and the seer opened it, but no one walked through, no one visible.
The breath of dusk, sank over the valley, a dark sickness came with it. And the old seer laid down, as it sank overhead, laid down holding her knees in her hands, her forehead bruised, as if something (hauntingly and inimitable) had slapped her naked flesh (life form around). She whimpered quietly, covering herself with old fallen leaves, as Eva knelt beside her. The moon had lowered itself; it seemed now to have acquired ripples, five ripples in all, to its rim, making it look like five moons, five eyes looking at Eva.
The hideous night— was developing into crystal orange, purple ash darkness, laced with shady hues.
Both remained silent; Eva, waiting for the seer, and her journey to the unspoken, rambling deep; it was funny she thought how the fall leaves that laid upon the ground, around the seer, seemed to leap around her, and the air, the atmosphere had no wind: in consequence, Eva’s nerves were under agitation.
“Is it time?” she asked.
But the seer’s eyes were bolted shut, with blackness, dark lids. Her pulse was nil: Eva stumbled and then stopped, and her body lifted, hands unseen once waiting, were not waiting anymore, but were laid over her breasts and diaphragm: then an assault took place, panting over her fleshly frame, young and tender like a child’s; her flesh hot—inside out, took on pain; then the presence withdrew, muttering as if it wasn’t through
and the shadows now under the walls of the fortress, moved like blinking eyes: moved into a little light from the fire on the moons, as it trailed down upon these moving shapes in the courtyard, and the old woman seer, who didn’t move and yet was bruised.
“Ingles, speak Ingles,” Eva cried. And the voice that muttered in German went silent
“I will take you down to hell to see your brother, who at one time was your lover…,” then another voice yelled,
“The ghouls want her too!”
Between the devils and the ghouls, the demons and the imps, she had to strip and dance for them as they sang impious songs. And she danced and they sang, and she danced and they chanted, and the seer remained in some kind of trance, unmoved.

Eva (‘And she danced and they sang…’)
And the ghouls asked her to dance more, “No, I will not,” held Eva, in defiance, and the seer’s eyes opened wide,
“My dear child, unless they are pleased…you shall not see your brother, you must endure more,” and she shouted this second time, scorched red from her attacks:
“I cannot!” said Eva, boldly.
A hand appeared, touched hers, and accepting this alien being for just a second, strange it seemed, it undid her garments; she had just fastened back on. She tried to stop the hands: tears now rolled over her face—like cracking icebergs, but the male voice, just said in a chanting way:
“This is part of your contract, agreement!”
Naked her beauty was taken again—!

The moon now bright, and as white as her milky skin: the shadows all leaped about her, as she wept; the husky spirit now ruled her like a cub lion to its mother. And the spirits continued to dance across her naked body.
Slender was her body, in the moon’s light one could see the dreamy flesh they were after, and the polluting, penetrating dance of the spirits—almost visible, but not quite, all of them seemed to touch her inviolability, or what was, almost once, whatever had taken place, between her brother and her, she was no longer an invidious virgin, not at this hour or time.
The dead, the quiet, the chanting, the departed the deceased, all wanted her, the mantra of doom, continued as the seer closed her eyes; Eva’s spirit almost broken, wailing inside of her; her legs trembling, leafless her arms fell to her sides.
She heard the voice again, the one that was trying to enslave, enchain her, yoke her.
“Obey…” it said—cold it was the lurking shadows, shapes, shades of gloom, as the evening was, and the lurking moon— ere, everything had substance now, the moon’s light upon her, the shadows and shapes over her, upon her; flesh assaults continued to take place, the beautiful girlish body was pulsating now in pain, aches from the beasts like parade that had invaded her, widening her frame.
It rained from the moon: shadows; watching shadows, as if in an arena. Her body now gone mad; the seer still in her trance, Eva, now running out of the courtyard, down to the Valley low, by the river—the Mosel: shadows swaggering along in a long trail. She hid—on hands and knees, telling herself, ‘…if this is less than hell—by gosh, my brother must be insane by now,’ then she added, ‘his soul can live without seeing me.’ She had had enough, enough, enough, a sufficient amount of pain for her to say enough!!
The five-moons were now becoming one again, she noticed, as if she had been somewhat in a trance herself. She remain hidden half naked behind the boulders and foliage. Said an old sounding husky voice, “Show your face Eva, we got carried away, we’ve traded love and wisdom, for power and control, long ago, and it was hard to let go.” And as she looked above the stones, there was her brother on hands and knees, on a dog leash, barking.
She would not show her face, she had much to offer, but only the woman in her did they want offered, and that is all they wanted, to discover whatever man found in woman for pleasure; it was an experiment to them; a developing curious desire for them, to fill: to fulfill their needs again, but at too high a price: of which she had already paid. She had been brought down to disgrace, humiliation, and hells soul. This love making was not clean; savagery, it had ripped her and soiled her.

There the seer stood, looking at her, and then in back of her, said, “They cannot murder you, only make you endure them more. Now you can go to hell with your brother if you wish. They will keep their deal; they have to, for it is written.”
Thus, out of some kind of protest she alleged, but did not want to say, “Can I come back, will I be able to?” She told herself inside her mind: realize Eva, devils lie, ghouls stretch the truth, they will simply keep telling me: it is postponed and I’ll never be able to return.
“The child in you is dead, now deceased, you were submissive, and there are more spirits that want your flesh for pleasure—and willing to do whatever you wish, you can be their goddess! They want you willingly”
And she thought, deeply thought, ‘…with them there is no opposing once in their grips; God forbid. When does more sin, transgression, offense, indulgence, buy something worth while?’ She looked at the moon, it was only one, and she felt good, oh so very, very fine.
Then the husky spirit dragged her brother by the hair, all around her, like a flying vampire. Said the voice is some kind of jealous, envious masquerade, pose,
“Did you know Eva, when you lay in the courtyard your brother was among the many that lifted your legs, put fire inside of you? He was the snake upon your crown, he likes being your meander, the wind that twists your mind.”
‘Oh,’ she thought, ‘if it is not desire they get fed, it is hate they wish to have…if it is not hat it is twisted revenge for seeking a pardon.’
Eva knew there were many watching: and for simple pleasure, many swept over her, but had no idea her brother would—and he nodded his head—yes, yes, oh yes…when she looked at him for confirmation—yes meaning, he was her aficionado.
Then the seer, just like that, disappeared, “Ah!” Eva said, adding, “…she’s a ghost-seer, and so old a woman, that burns with lust also.”
Said the old husky voice, “She will be back, the dead are ripe for this…she had you in her real form.”

Eva looking at the moon, there was only one, not five, as they had troubled her before. “Come, follow me, it will not burn, God does not look down in hell, so He will not see what is happening, it will be pleasurable, with the door shut.”
But Eva hated this voice now, this maddening horded of ghouls and devils, shadows and shapes, and all; now she hated her brother as well, hated them all the same: and knelt where she had stood, and started to pray.
She prayed loud and clear, wounded she was, yet she cried to the high heavens, past the moon. Half bare, unclothed she sobbed, and the ghoul was no longer by her side. Shameful as it was, sour grief had burned up her love for her brother; and her being was now hollow, voiceless, “Let fire eat fire,” she murmured, “I am breathing, a live dog perhaps, but better than a dead lion.” Subsequently long black shadows shouted, mimicking her, and turned the valley into a rippling roaring echo, than came stillness, no wind: as if in the center of a tornado, cyclone, and this wind speed this coil of wind, come twisting with the sound of a vortex, and chased every shadow out in a dash. And a voce said, “You called me?”

Part Two

Bright Death
(An hour later)

(The Seer) She was a woman in her middle 60s, or perhaps one could say, un-aged; neither short, nor tall, nor thin nor stout (and cast no shadow at all about). She had a cold contemptuous idiotic face, and a lazy voice, a dweller among the valley. —long resident, who had impressed many with her fortune telling, necromantic life; even those who had never seen her work.

The Duke from the Window

For the most part,

it is not as you think —
the dead live, and can be witnesses for the living on what lays ahead. They are in their own prisons though, exiles to the full—physical world, and that misty face of a Duke in the window, in the castle window, is still looking down upon the courtyard (as Eva noticed)—neither alive nor dead, in one of the 72-deaths given to man (given to him 1000-years ago or so), what was his fate, and is he just an illusion, for a moment’s grace he had, earned, thus, no more than a projection?
Whoever he was he was like a thief for a moment in time (perhaps the husky one now; taking the Dukes place), he had flung thoughts into vapor, and created a moment of time—; snuck back to the castle to see the starlight, the moons he was still watching, creating out the window, pulling Eva to him: he was standing in a room of ‘bright death,’ where a candle was lit, and it lit the whole place.
I do believe he was looking for lost and warm memories, making it shape itself, in itself, the memories from whence he came; or had, or wanted to make. He looked at Eva, as if she was a goddess, walking the path to the castle, as if in another trance, the five moons overhead: magnetically pulling her to the gates. He could see through walls, and all such things, and followed her every stop.
“Ah! To be like her,” he said, rustically.
As Eva looked up at the moon, it seemed on fire again, spreading out, in ripples, akin to a lamp lit, with no holding stick, a macabre fire surrounding it.
The shape in the window, wished to hold her in his arms, but he was just a shadow of death, lit up in a room, a room called ‘bright death,’ for no other room could he stand in. Death and the underworld have its rules: its hierarchy, its courts and counsels. And this was the only room they were allowed in, in the castle; it was where death took place, it was where death could linger, lurk, watch the living.
“Come, oh come,” he summons her, looking out the window, like a bird in a cage.
“My love, my love,” he echoed out into the courtyard, she caught his eyes, “O,” she screamed, “No, no, no—not again!” (But she didn’t know, the devil did not want saved souls, perhaps to mock, but beyond that, it was a waste of time.)
As a result, she ran behind a tree, away from the window; as she glanced around, and up, but she saw the side curtains aflame, and he was dancing.
She fell to the ground, hid now under the leaves, watching the spirit dance around the flames (peeking), as they filled all the room: an illusion she claimed, for there was no heat or smoke, or crackling from the sound of fire, or any such thing with the blaze.
‘Ah! there he is…’ she thought, the old devil, the one with the husky voice, mixed within the frame of the Duke, who was really not anything, just an illusion, a fluke, from some dark, hidden place.
The quick crescendo of this voice, lulled her back under that brutal arch of a gate, to the window (a long day, it was).
“You evil spirit, leave me be!” she cried loud, and she clung to her knees shaking; and the moon was bright, she knew now, death in its hellish form, would not leave willingly it wanted its due, its fancy, its fell, its last breath of impious dominance: she screamed within her silent shriek, noiselessly still, until the courtyard was full of bright death; light from the moon’s breath never ceased.
“But why did you come back?” asked the voice, to say something, to have a conversation, to hear her reply, to try and catch her like a spider to a fly. She was on the edge of escape, and came back, but then so did he.

And she looked at the moons once more, there were yet five of them, one transposing…the others. (I suppose both could say ‘…why do we do what we do…’ but neither asked themselves that question.)
Behind her, stood the old seer, she was back again, she murmured, “Did you think you would go home laughing at us?”
And the old seer, fierce with orange and purple light, embraced Eva, and she screeched:
“Christ has mercy
Christ has mercy…!” (And her voice was like a dying boom.)
And the trees and the great fortress walls were terrorize with flaming fire, and the wind from the valley came back with double force.
“Fire, fire,” moaned Eva, it was the fire that didn’t burn; the physically burn that is, it didn’t flame but it glowed; only did it burn to the invisible, and grief came quickly, and insidiously.
Said the seer to the devil-spirit, in the window: “We must escape, or we shall be nothing, soon …nothing, nothing but residue…hurry, hurry!”
With nausea in her, she smiled nonetheless, at the moon, which was single again, to her vision: she thought how funny—illusion, delusion, or real: too much, way too much for the mind to endure.
For the fire can kill a ghost, a demon, a devil or imp; especially the fire from the Holy Spirit; and the fire now had subsided, bright death had reversed itself.
The seer had staggered and her arms grabbed the spirit in the widow still in a trance from the fifth moon, and wanting his desires filled, disassociating for the moment, yet he left in a menagerie rave, delirious.

Elegy: Like bugs swirling across the light of the moon—the ghouls ballooned away—; debased and brutalized, spirits slewed—but at least they had memories.

(The Husky Ghoul: End) And the Ghost, the ghoul of the courtyard, the one of the fifth moon, who had the powers to subdue, to put into a trance (with hypnotic chanting); in fear he would return and be silenced by the Holy Spirit, he simply glanced at Eva, then he vanished, leaving an echo of rage…!

The Fifth Moon
Part III €

Half Moon
And Chant of the Ghoul

Half Moon

The teeth of the shadows, and ghouls could be seen in the dried-up sea-cliffs of the moon; had some one taken time to examine them that is. The shadows and shapes had hoofs and were tasting blood they had brought from earth, and stomping their hoofs about the airless plateau, into the crumbling sod, and dust: drunken wits with desires came over them, as they continued dancing, dancing, dancing wildly dancing on the edge of the moon as if putting on a show, but who was watching—ah, I was.

There was tides, ripples, drowned around the moon, and a shadow with a husky voice, called the Chanting Ghoul, sluggishly, cast his eyes down to earth, to the windows of the renowned Castle Eliz, his abode, in the Mosel Valley.
And the spirits ears heard the request, wish (Ronda the seer, transported, via, telepathy; ah yes, crushing to the ghoul’s lustful ears, icy fingers and all; the waves and currents of the message read:
“A young woman called Eva, wished to visit the land of the dead—to see her lover, who was also her brother, once more; begging the spirit, please!”
Thought the spirit, ‘How does she know he is here? —for he is not!’ But nonetheless, he’d play the best, show he could. He was indeed an actor, not reactor. And like fish with no bones, the Ghouls of the moon, left their abode—for the Mosel. (Of course you all know this for you’ve read the story.)

And with him went the power, the Chanting Ghoul took with him the power to transpose the ripples of the five moons, an everlasting repetition of framework and trance.
Then the chanting spirit, walked along the Mosel River, dabbling with sea worms, and dead bones, along its banks, “We are glad you came,” said the hundred or so Imps, devils and demons, waiting for the women (who had according to them: given her rights away: wishing to enter their abode, alone!).
The Chanting Ghoul groaned, moaned, chanted in a low voice: “We shall crack her bones, like old timbers, mark her soul: vacant: for wickedness has no eyes for love.”
And all his fellowship followed him to the courtyard of the Castle.
The voice said, to his comrades (boastfully): “I shall put this young life into a little box, and inside the box she will find out, this is where hell-dwells.” The followers answered nothing: just thoughts hidden in desires, and waiting.
“Lo,” he shouted, “I shall choke out the candle inside her soul.” And the horde of demonic creatures yelled, shouted, and had merriment for the moment: anything to make their boring lives spark.

(And that is how it was, the morning of the half-moon.)

And Chant of the Ghoul

The Chanting Ghoul

The Chanting Ghoul thought of what he would do now full of lust, desire, with this woman seeking to enter the harsh cracked walls of the underworld: thus, planting seeds in the corner of his mind:

The shroud of the morning mist was now lifted, faintly lit, “Let the feast begin,” cried the ghoul, “let lust light your gaze, be what you will, O Beelzebub, will be pleased.”
Several ghouls were around the Chanting One, listening, “What was it I said yesterday,” Amrita asked.
“You said a lot yesterday,” and the Chanting One, adding, “a lot of what it was, was ‘a fellow will trip himself foolishly the someway, in the same day, over a woman; I think you mean me?” And Amrita said not a word, but thought, ‘We shall see.”

Note: I have traveled up and down the Mosel River, (in what was known back in the 1970s as West Germany), and throughout the valley area; the castle I am referring to here is Burg Eltz, it is back in the hills on the other side of the Mosel River, probably the only castle you’ll ever walk down to. At your first glimpse, from the cliff, you can see it. It is far from the river and road, perhaps that is why it was not destroyed in past wars. It was build a little after the time of the Dark Ages, around AD 1160. Henry, son of the Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony and Bavaria lived there from 1129-1195; written at Barnes and Noble (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA), Part I: 2/15/2006, in poetic dramatic prose form. Part II: 1/16/2006 #1213; Part III: 2/17/2006: #1214 [Half-Moon, and Chant of the Ghoul. Re-edited, 8-4-2007 (Huancayo, Peru.)


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