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T h e   S e r p e n t 



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the sun sets slowly


and darkness replaces the shadow


from which you emerge



candles flicker in corners


heavy tapestries, rich in stories, adorn the walls


feel stone floors, see gilded furniture



an old man silently moves to the window


to look into the night



he gazes at the sky, the stars and the planets


the moon rises from the east


reflecting his lost love on the stone rampart



his timeless vigil continues



clouds march across the heavens


night fliers search for prey


memories flood and subside with audible sighs



he returns to his throne in the empty hall


echoes hide around corners


warmth is banished by the serpent of cold



memories of love consumed by the serpent



wrapping and crushing those thoughts


that honor what once was



spiders rapidly fill the hall with silk


entombing those joyful times


with webs of sorrow and despair



face of pain and suffering


gnarled hands spasm, quietly slumping


time slowing, breath rattling


eyes lose focus, thoughts diminish


tunnel of light


burnished gates


swung open with trumpets



embracing his empress again




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p o n


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copyright Patrick O'Neil


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