Ophidian Crucifix


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Twofold tongue did whisper once
Of gnosis, impetuous to rise
And so envenom
The dust-born lords of earth:
So stern a knowing
Upon us is visited,
Slain by a wisdom
Too great to wield.

וַתִּפָּקַ֙חְנָה֙ עֵינֵ֣י שְׁנֵיהֶ֔ם
(Wat-tip-pā-qaḥ-nāh ‘ê-nê šə-nê-hem.)

(Recall again:)
The desert slithered with fiery scale,
And old enmities burned:
(Cycle of death)
The endless wheel of stricken heel.
But pharmakon hung aloft.

An ensign of brazen coils,
That the gazing eye, beholding,
Might strong physic find
Against the dust-eater.

Recumbent, the first axis:
Letter and limit, the salt of the dead.
Though affixed to horizon, mercurial-tethered,
The miracle sleeps under coldblooded crest.

Ὃτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν σου·

O liminal mount of transfixion,
Axis mundi, inverter of stars:
Here, Lord, thy knowledge speaks
A triumph, silent, from scaffold,
In that suspended twilight
Where wisdom runs backward.
Thou tookest up the cup
And drankest full the dust therein.

In thee we transcend death
Through counterwisdoms.

וַתִּפָּקַ֙חְנָה֙ עֵינֵ֣י שְׁנֵיהֶ֔ם
Kαὶ ἐπέγνωσαν αὐτόν·

Ascendent, the second axis:
Pillar of niter and salt of the earth.
The poison that healeth, the crown of the helix,
O flame-feathered Spirit, alight on this healer's staff.

This birthright of two trees,
Effected through the third.
In wisdom ophidian,
In innocence as doves.


from Hierurgy, released May 18, 2018


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