Lullaby of The Butterfly

Lullaby of The Butterfly was written in February 2019 and has previously been published in All of Me Vol. I, courtesy of Shadow Spark Publishing. Title art is by Kerry Beall.

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William Kidd “Kolobos”

Yet another sleepless night
No rest suggests that I may well have been culpable of tremendous wickedness
Perhaps in a former life
A godheaded tyrant dressed in pure white satin who took advantage of the susceptibility of others
Collected syrupy gestures like token keepsakes and then scattered them across the seraphim fields
For my brethren to set upon like esurient jackals
Abusing my position in the highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy
While adhering to a scripture bled from the wretched tears of libertines
Murdering free thought with filthy hands saturated in calluses
Maggots writhing beneath my cuticles
Slaughtering lambs with the very same anointed rod and staff I once used to comfort them
Casting my pious eyes across a dead sea of those deemed lesser in stature
And manufacturing their cruel demises

Why am I sleepless this night?
Could this be the prelude to a kiss never destined to forthcome?
Perhaps I was formerly a distinguished lover
Locked in a single passionate embrace which endured aeons
Walking barefoot through the jade green paddocks of altruism
Hand in hand with my munificent other the entire way
Fingers entwined like a bounty of honeycomb
Souls consolidated and illuminating a discernible path forth
Before arriving at the crossroads way too soon
And glancing down to the silvery ashes collecting betwixt my toes
When I looked back up
Maybe my love was in absentia
Already resigned to whichever fate had been preordained
Gone, lone gone
And never to be kissed again
This bittersweet taste on my lips as I lay here motionless
Still at the crossroads
Waiting
Patiently

If I sleep then will that make me dead?
Snatch my mortality away like an infant child’s favorite plaything
Muffle my screams with a yawn which knows only betrayal
Hold a pillow firmly over my face and press down with its palm until the spasms cease
Snip the ribbons of both wrists with rusted secateurs
Then perch by my bedside
And watch me bleed out into infinite slumber
While reciting my eulogy as a lullaby
Tossing handfuls of rain-sodden topsoil onto the sarcophagus of my bones
Then walking away nonchalant

If I fail to sleep then will that also make me dead?
It has been four long nights since last repose
Sailing aimlessly on this sleepless river
Gradually subsiding
Currents growing more forceful beneath my rudders
Pulling me beneath the surface
I hold my breath but the oxygen to my brain has begun to dissipate
Steering me into the rocks
Smiling their jagged granite smiles
With seaweed for lipstick
Shipwreck doused in delirium
As the high tide claims another wayward seafarer

Think serene thoughts
Of coppery skies and gently hustling Autumn blossom
Or
Perhaps I shall be required to clear my mind entirely
Far too many top-heavy considerations
Too much free thought
Too much free time
Yet nowhere near sufficient me time
Bearing weighted burdens not intended for my slender shoulders
Entertaining demons who call themselves friends when they are no more than fiendish acquaintances
A parody with no punchline
At least not one I’m likely to find amusing
I need to locate my calm place
My sanctuary
My Zen

I believe I know where that resides now

Eyes growing heavy now
No less fiercely bloodshot but no longer quite so sore
Cellophane palms clammy in anticipation
Finally the release I have craved so
No idea what awaits me
Biblical genocide
Sentimental tear-jerker
High sea adventure
Cries of bloody murder
Fairytale with a happy ending
Wherever that may be
I am at peace now
Eyes wide shut now
Safe within the chrysalis of my reconception
And ready to awaken

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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