Odes, Kubla Khan
Naked Venus of desire
the Evening Star of man’s unrest
adorned in dreams of wanton fire
was charmed by Kubla Khan’s request
and sent this message East and West.
“Renowned craftsmen from afar
nursed on visions Khan has seen
instilled with constructs of the stars
shall build his pleasure dome’s decree.”
Buried stones of enormous girth
compressed and gardened by the earth
upon these stones his Kingly prize
Khan’s tall white structure will arise
with chiseled columns that shall breach
through balustrades that rise beneath,
amid the raging skies of blue
the center of the dome of pleasure
will twin the sun at the height of noon
and in the evening's gemstone treasure
adorn the anklet of the moon.
Below in caverns hollowed by the waves
strange creatures in the darkness thrive;
they swim the sea with lidless eyes,
with instincts soul map myriad caves
with black nocturnal sight;
creatures glow through endless night
and in their spine each tiny spark
colors dance from drop to drop,
florescent creatures lone delight
rejoicing in each faint speck of light.
But oh! the passageway that leads
suspended between the mountain and the gate
upon these terrible heights the clouds give siege
bright lightning strikes and thunder quakes,
and through this rite on charging steeds
Khan bequeaths his reign of dreams.
The archway at the precipice
vaults deep into the rock
and the force of the intermittent fountains
lifts their two bride stones to unlock
the entrance grate to the covered mountain
that is fed by the falling ice
where trickling streams fall fast and ever
melting in persuasive light
each drop sounding its harp-like measure
as the creatures sing in the sea of night.
The dome of the Mount of Pleasure
appears floating on the rays
supported by frozen fountains
of an ocean's sunless waves.
Venus awoke to this new sight
a floating pleasure dome
on waves of ice!
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
to the fabulous Khan.
Venus has so ordained.
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