The Raven Banner
Mythic poetry from Ramon Elani
I dreamed that I stood upon a barren plateau, the wind screaming.
And I heard a rush of voices all around me.
The growling rocks, the screeching sands, the whispering clouds.
They told me of the cities below the ancient plain.
The told me of the entrails of the earth dragged up with ripping claws and teeth of steel.
They told me of war and catastrophe.
They told me of great forces beyond the ken of humans that were rising, powers long neglected and forgotten that sleep but never die.
On the day the sun turns black, so they said, a great shifting will come and all will be restored to what it once was.
The beasts will return and humanity will meet their cousins again in kindred friendship.
Old bonds will be reconsecrated and the sacrifices will be made to preserve them everlasting.
The circles of stone, the gifts freely given, the fragments made whole.
Fear not, they told me, the songs of oblivion and the chants of doom.
We will walk the path together amidst the ruins of this darkest age.
Raise the Raven banner! Bloom fungus!
Wash away the bricks and steel in a flood of shrieking fur, tusk, tooth and claw.
Pierce the clouds of filth with a thousand spears of light and fire to drive away the darkness of generations of hate and fear.
Rise up oak and smash the stones that choke the dirt and strangle the weeds.
The wind will blow from the West full of fragrant petals and musty leaves.
And those who left will return from the land of the dead upon a ship made of toe nails.
And bones will stir and shake off millennia of moss and vines and stampede forth across the plains.
The wild flowers will burst into the air with a thousand explosions of blue.
And the mountains will erupt with ferns curling up to the sky.
And the gilded temples built to the cold crystalline gods below the earth will shatter and be put down into dust, their priests and hierophants dragged naked and bloody beneath the wheel.
And the wolf, tiger, and lion shall rend the gowns and silken rainments of kings and magistrates.
And their thrones will be swallowed by the mist and left to rot for worms and beetles.
The flags of a thousand empires will totter from the lances and monuments of state to be pecked at by pigeons and plumed birds.
And the stars will blaze in the sky.
And nations will be devoured by glaciers possessed by blue-shirted demons that will crash down with the cold fury of a twinkling diamond.
And the rivers will swell and break the dams.
The deepest black waters of the ocean will surge with life.
And lost creatures that history has forgotten will wake from uncountable ages of slumber to churn the waters into a mighty typhoon.
And the detritus of a decadent and rotten culture will be swept away into grottoes and chasms, where millions of years hence strange fish will blink their eerie glowing eyes in bewilderment at these meaningless relics.
The titanic carcasses of whales will fall among them and bury them under pillars of fat and guts and bone.
And the wild children will rejoice and spread their arms to the howling moon and rub ashes, blood, and black mud upon their strong arms.
The old and proud will be humbled and their free sons and daughters will untomb the masks of the ancients.
And they will walk into the wild with heads held high, virile and robust despite the heavy weight on their shoulders.
And the people will cease their endless search and they will live in the wisdom that seeks not riches or power over any thing living or dead.
Nor revels in the creation of abstractions, of empty ideals that pollute the mind with the fog of intellect.
And in time the ice will gather with brooding moans.
And the ice will shudder when the soft paws of the bear lords march upon it.
Snowy mist will pour down from the mountains and slither among the evergreens like a wyrm.
And in the murky gloom of twilight the elks’ proud antlers will shine like fire through the dusk, beckoning fur-clad travelers.
Their beards frosted with snow, steam floating upwards from their heavy brows, old blood caked on their spears.
A horn will sound in the depths of the dreamtime woods and they will trudge on closer to the hearth fires of their kinfolk, safe and warm in smoky halls.
Their brothers the wolves will herald their return and the Ravens will gather among the clouds for gifts of bloody tendons and innards.
In the time to come we will put off the shirts that have strangled us for many thousands of years.
We shall once again be whole and free.
Ramon Elani holds a PhD in literature and philosophy. He is a teacher, a poet, a husband, and a father. Until recently he was a muay thai fighter. He wanders in oak groves. He casts the runes and sings to trolls. He lives among mountains and rivers in Western New England
More of his writing can be found here.