sackcloth & ashes

The Past is the region of sobs, the Future is the realm of
song. In the one crouches Memory, clad in sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope flies with a free wing, beckoning to temples of success and bowers of ease. Yet the Past is the Future of yesterday, the Future is the Past of to-morrow. They are one—the knowledge and the dream.
—  Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
know my face even in a crowd, have a hand ready to point. remember me. even if you would have to blaspheme the holy temple with india ink and wine stains, have the syllables of my name on your body, like a bruise, like blood collecting under, like something you feel to be there. see me in shadows, against your eyelids. force me into your prophecies, make me inescapable.

don’t ask me to promise not to leave, because i would never, but i couldn’t stay. i am cruel, and selfish, and i love you. but i have never known love to be selfless, and so go ahead, have my hands pierced through your own palms. know that i would go before you sleep (my hair heady with your scent) (sackcloth and ashes at the ready) (walking away, all the while looking back).

when i bleed, and i will, when you run and find my knees on asphalt and the thorns of the roses they threw at you: don’t venerate me, my blood isn’t wine, isn’t holy. and don’t lay a hand to heal. i will not be a stripe on your back.
—  the conditions set by a non-believer; or, on loving a modern messiah pt. 1 || bsc

Before anyone dons their sackcloth and ashes, please note that those two articles posted today were saying exactly the opposite of each other. Somebody’s playing games through the media. It is literally impossible for both articles to be 100% true.

"Boy in the Corner"

By: Poetic7~

Trade your suit and glasses for sackcloth and ashes

Remain pure to your past self, unmasked and passive

Stay sophomoric and tragic, take slap shots, and don’t panic!

Affray? We’ll wreak havoc, you’ll be a mascot for the moribund

Stay savvy, trade your muses and nuance for fame and famine

Pyramid schemes for your dreams, is it fair?, oh you’ll manage

Imagine what we fashion when we see through your glasses.

Tape your education through conversation then charge you for classes

We’ll rape your souls in the marriage bed and claim it never happened.

So what will it be, your roots or our fruits?

The trenches or the barracks?

Do you believe anything will stick if we hold the field of carrots?


March 10, 1863 – Wedding of Prince Albert Edward and Princess Alexandra of Denmark 

The wedidng was set for a date in Lent, the season of sackcloth and ashes; the dress code for the court was half-mourning colours of grey, silver and lilac, and the Queen commanded that it should take place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, rather than London. She insisted that this had been Albert’s wish, but insiders thought the Queen’s real reason for cheating London’s show-loving crowds of a royal wedding was the fact that in St George’s Chapel she could watch the ceremony unseen from Catherine of Aragon’s closet.

Inside the chapel was packed. The Queen insistence on inviting her entire household left few seats for the great and the good, and invitations were highly prized. Bertie himself was allowed only four friends. When the Queen entered the box, the entire congregation bowed. As Vicky processed up the aisle, magnificient in white satin trimmed with ermine, she caught sight of her mother and (wrote the Queen) ’made a very low curtsey, with an inexpressible look of love and respect, which had a most touching effect’. Next Bertie entered, wearing Garter robes and flanked by his supporters, his brother-in-law Fritz and his uncle Ernest of Saxe-Coburg. He seemed pale and nervous but, some said, ’more considerable’ than usual. He bowed to his mother and kept looking up at her, Victoria thought, ’with an anxious clinging look’. Bertie stood waiting for what seemed an eternity, ten or twenty minuts, until at last Alix appeared. Instead of the magnificent wedding dress of Brussels lace given to her by King Leopold, she wore Honiton lace patterned with roses, shamrocks and thistles and garlanded with orange blossom - a last minute change of plan which signalled her role as ambassador for English fashion. She was pale and trembling and red-eyed, having cried all morning at leaving her mother. Not that she was doubtful about marrying Bertie; she said to one of his sisters : ’you perhaps think that I like marrying your Brother for his position but if he was a cowboy I should love him just the same and would marry no one else’.

When the marriage was over, the Queen recorded ’I gave them an affectionate nod and kissed my hand to sweet Alix’. Afterwards, Bertie and Alix lunched with thirty-eight royal relations, while five hundreds wedding guests caroused elsewhere. They departed for the honeymoon to Osborne. Neither Bertie nor Alix wrote accounts of the wedding.    {Bertie a Life of Edward VII}

The year that I met you, blue thousand and sand.
The year of hard living. Of fracture and reconstitution.
The year I lost you, in which loss connotes diffusion,
And diffusion denotes the strangeness of bodies.
Of first - kissed strangers, of even stranger:

Motel rooms where the light bulbs
don’t work. Hours passed in lieu of nights.
Tongues that function for other than confession.
A second person in the plurality of persons.
The year of searching for the limits to my self,
crumbling into anxiety any given Friday,
festering into jealousy any prolonged
silence, panicking at the solipsism
of my void.

I had thought myself cynical, and found
myself still lyrical. I had thought the world
all surface, but found roots beneath
the rhizome. I had resigned to rule
by body, but founded instead
an insurrection of the heart.

It was the year I broke my brow
in reaching around for sight.
The year I dressed in ash and sackcloth,
cut into mobius strips of self-loathing.
A year of searching for you— any you, my
lowercase person, my final Other, a subject
to speak and say: and then there was light.

It was not the year of epiphany.
I was not a new man. Two boats
were dragging their anchors away,
‘til the ripples no longer touched.
Still, when the water was 
settled, and the silt sunk,
I found a lone man
adrift in the flume.
He had an honest
wound, this keening I,
this foetal poet in womb.

—  Samuel Caleb Wee, A Year in the Death”

Matthew 11:20-30 (HCSB)
Then He proceeded to denounce the towns where most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago! But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was Your good pleasure. All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”