Phoenix Rising

An inspirational poem by Prodigal Brother

Introduction by Occult Mysteries

We publish very few contemporary poems, not only for the reasons given in the introduction to our article on the Magic of Poetry, but because we believe prose is a more effective literary form to communicate Occult Knowledge and Truth to our varied readership. But there are exceptions to every convention, and the poem which follows this introduction is a very welcome one which it gives us great pleasure to publish. The author—who wishes to remain anonymous—speaks to us in limpid, lucent verse of the thorns and pitfalls on the path to the Light. A path we are all treading, each in his or her own way, whether we realise it or not.

There will be few readers who have not experienced the longing, the despair and the disappointments the poet tells of. With minor variations—the merest difference in light and shade—have we not all dreamed the same dream and felt the same Light calling to us from afar? To say any more would be superfluous except to express our further gratitude to the author for his afterword which has saved us a good deal of time and not a little hard work! Joking aside, we cannot think of anyone better qualified to tell us something of the meaning of the symbols and allegories he has woven so skilfully into his narrative poem.


Phoenix Rising

Inside me lives a bird
of rare and jewelled colour
who burns with rainbow's prismed fire.

Yet he is hidden—he must hide,
casting grey-drab on his wings
and his throat is tight
as he never sings.

He never sings his secret Light,
that's never heard,
whose words he knows by heart
in this dull, cold dark.

This bird within me wants to fly,
to try and fly up in the sky. . .
But word-stones hail down,
word-ice rains down:

You dream too much,
these dreams of flying,
a silly dream. . .
there's no point trying
. . .

But the bird within me wants to fly.

At least he dreams,
he dreams such lovely, sun-drenched dreams.

For what's the point of song and fire?
it's too late at the funeral pyre,
It's worse than useless screwed away,
unexpressed by night or day. . .

. . .You're worse than useless anyway. . .
The famished faces turn to say.

He wants to dance in Dervish whorls,
to dance with the boys and dance with the girls,
he wants to dance 'til he's not there
and lose himself within this prayer.

For the dream is there.
The dream is always calling,
still there,
ever dawning.


One day, he ran away,
falling and tumbling away from the Day,
on a quest to the West and away from the East,
he ran through the fields
to the noise from a feast
and far from the words
of St. Paul told by priest.

It was dark,
and the marionettes were dancing,
prancing with painted, rictus grins,
but I couldn't see their strings
for the light of this fire deceived me.

And I thought these mannequins were real
and I thought they danced alone for me,
and I thought I danced for them.

But I danced alone.

For the marionettes have velvet claws
and are only the pimps
for the peddlers and whores
who writhe 'round the thresholds
of neon bright doors
that beckon you in
with the promise of fun.
Yet all the while
at your head they've a gun.

And it seemed this twilight carnival
never supplicated Dawn,
never prayed for Her warm return.
But I could still remember Day
from the fire's pulsing embers
a distant sun ago—so distant
it was a memory outside time.
Had it forsaken me, or had I let go?
So far away and sense-torn now
I scarcely know. I just don't know.

Where are you Sun?
I stopped and said.
What happened to the Day?
It can't be dead.

Where has it gone?
My life of gold and radiant hue?
And where my song?

Poor heavy HEAD!

And the mechanised music
the marionettes marched to
ground out some more
its bitter sweet tune
and the dancing dead danced
a meaningless dance
to the metronome of their moon.

And a shadow of starlight,
which sparked in that fire,
flashed, brief, in those eyes
of death and desire:

There was nothing, not a thing
In these glassy doll's eyes:
not even a butterfly wing
or a song flame to sing.

Then you came.


A Dawn Friend, a godspell
passing through this republic of dreams,
someone who knew that these things
are not what they seem,
paused at the edge of this festival of fools.

Perhaps she had heard something,
perhaps she too had dreamed here once
for she stopped and turned and smiling said:

You live in the land
of the dull-dancing-dead
who spend all their days
treading time in their beds,
whose souls have alchemically
been altered to lead.

They are the dancing dead.
These are the dancing dead.

Now, I must move on
from this marionette's feast
and return to the Golden
Bloom of the East:
To Dawn and Real Life.
Real Life is best.

But you have been dancing
with the witch of the West!

Do you want? Would you like?
To come to the East?

I cast off the cloak
I had worn at the feast
and followed this godsend into the East.


High, high, look I can fly,
a little way up—up into the sky
. . .

High! High! The Sun is shining
and I breathe out a sigh
. . .

And a star-spark of spirit fizzed up from the pyre
to a Diamond, now twinkling, in Dawn's opal choir
whose colours are scents on a lyre's astral strings.

I am flying through Morning's Melodious Fire.

I am rising in LOVE
as I breathe out new wings.


NOTE: Prodigal Brother contributed a further poem to our website in May 2021—The lady of the Bluebells. You can find a complete list of all the poems and articles written by our contributors on our Readers' Comments page


Poem and afterword © Copyright Prodigal Brother. Introduction © Copyright
All worldwide rights reserved. Published 17 November 2019.

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