The River

And the ravens descended upon the
Unearthly shadow, blanketing the air, their

Cries resounding; they dissolved unto the wraith-
Like moons, they clasped the cryptic isle; the citadel

Drowning, its spires evanescing beneath the glacial
Depths. And an ancient wolf gazed out across

The fathomless chasm, the adamantine crag, haunted
Fairies of the lilac dawn – inexorable the fateful

River; the pitiless plains whereon Kutuzov reigned, the
Terrors of the brutal charger, their insatiable hooves

That clove the earth like thunder; crusaders of the black
Sun howling, their bones scattered across the bound-

Less steppe, an ungodly horde that wore unreason’s
Crown; the vampire lurking, missiles of

Armageddon lusting for human blood; no mind
To check the cannibal, no hearth to soothe

The traveler. And the river carved a swath into
The hand of immutable time, midnight calling,

Windswept sighs; unfelled the raging of the
Dragon, unwept the waning of the half-

Light. Vanquished was the realm of that false
Empyrean; the crystal chalice, a throne

Thus spent, black glass groaning beneath
The black sky, unto the shroud of silence

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.