The original version of Serpentine has previously been published in All of Me Vol. I, courtesy of Shadow Spark Publishing. Inspired by The Alvertaen Axiom by Jessica Moon and Mandy Russell. Title art by Laurell K. Hamilton. Closing art by Guido Mocafico.

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Phaeleh “Icarus”

::.Come along and ride the serpent
Hold on tight, this righteous servant nowise glides an idle circuit
First act right through final curtain
One long stretch of cursive sermon
Not a single verb uncertain
More than one way to interpret
Come along and ride atop the legendary serpent

Burning embers
Turning tricks while shifting burdens
Sifting through the cursed mist
Shifting stick with pride and mighty purpose
Endless realms traversed as it swerves every curveball breathlessly
Been to hell and came back with memento bursting legacy
Battle axe upon the helm of overwhelming independence
Free of will and steeped in timeless pedigree

Meant eventually to be tentatively found
Knew such from the moisture nestled on uneven ground
Cloistering beneath our feet were oyster shells, the pearls of which enlisting wisdom blissfully profound
Each theory clearly sound as they’ve been broken down to compound most sincerely
Not so cavalierly, something merely queerly less severe
Many more to bang the drums than ones suggested here
Warning us of stresses near
The kind inclined to warp our minds while they express the blinding tears reclining in obsessive fear and smudging out successive years

Indebted to recovery ongoing since we chose to close the chapter on the other we
And each disclosed discovery proposed we not pose ever quite so sullenly
No time owed to subtlety and stubbornly opposed to gross misconduct as the demons in our home sweet homes aren’t summoning
Not to say that night and day don’t play together merrily
However, every storm is weathered verily
Breadcrumbs scattered never arbitrarily
If you can see
What we can see
Then we can see the frequency which leads to somewhere ceaselessly more peaceful than these scenes foreseen reams and reams of unforeseen upheaval

Come along, hold tight the serpent
Is it safe
Of that, be certain
Keen observers need not fret
For they will see in retrospect
Walk the wild side
Better yet
Ride high above the wind
Burning angels turning learn to love our tattered wings
Ashen lashes scattering a pathway halfway there
Visitors feel free to pull up chairs
Death need not become the be all, end all, all between
Ultimately we’re all kings and queens
Sometimes all it takes is single call before we’re seen
Two times primed to gleam
Home is where the souls reside
Hearts on fire proceed
Melting icy spires of disbelief
Teaching us of dragon’s teeth
Unicorns in stunning form
Alicorns inviting timeless dream

Finding ways to play in gardens blooming day by day
May sound strange to say
But we are Home now
Have always been
The truth is sweet
Has always been
Were just required to taste the sour
To truly see the light in shadowed hours
To learn and tweak our unique powers
Towering above the skies
Hourglass rests upon its side
Both night and day impress our strides
Each black to white
We duly bind
Our industry is serpentine
Vision born of certain sight
Shadows sparking lights so bright
They tell a tale eternally divine

To Alvertaen
The time is nigh to spread our Charcoal wings and fly
Rise above our mortal coils
Shed our skin then feast the spoils
We cordially invite thee
To a masquerade
No masks parading
Crystalline reflections 
Timely recollections
To both sun and moon a proven palace
The one fine day has come
To strike true balance.::

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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