If by fire
Of sooty coal th’ empiric alchymist
Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold.
—Milton, Paradise Lost
L E A D
Pentatonic maelstroms finishing the holy chore—
Galgalimic vagabonds of the Magdalenic corps.
Angels pave the way for us; I thank God for this life—
The Guardian of this thresh holds my days in strife.
Blood-morphed creature in the holy sky—
Headless black raven gives a bleak reply.
Dearest Kali Yuga, Sovereign of the night-land marsh—
You open up my Heart Box, but the killings are so harsh.
Archangel and a purring Holy Flower—
Of his own children Saturn must devour.
Coffin dweller, Sat-urn-ine charmer—
Dig up the bones of the Divine Farmer.
T I N
Flattening circles emboldened by time—
Thrust from a goat, heart of a mime.
We slide off the ship, our ears are a’ ringing—
Flying through the air, unattached, spinning.
Myriad dreamer, so quaint and so wise—
Is it “the world” you so deeply despise?
Abscond the blood of Eros, while Philia prevails—
Is it love or friendship on which the One impales?
Naked ontic porridge sitting in an onion bowl—
It is in the mourning that tears revive the soul.
I R O N
Iron lung of rayon sand, demeaning demon’s seed—
Engulfed is the ferryman who floats without his reed.
Ripping off the scabs, a lark begins to sway—
Eat the diaphanous pie and be on your way.
I am darkness of my-self, heretical and a despiser—
When will the black crow leave so life will be kinder?
Irking creature in a moth storm, flying high with delight—
Enter into going nowhere and never again feel the fright.
Upending the sickness, in sly root of stealth—
Up on three crosses lurk the seeds of health.
G O L D
Doldrums, dewdrop, Incan, Mayan—
Upon this shore: the greening of the lion.
Ring the fire body eclectic, may life reveal the Way—
As body, mind, and spirit, the nymphs begin to play.
Fragments within, elements of true light—
Within the lumen grows the womb of a sprite.
Illumination dancing in the fifth hour—
As sexual force, Elohim will transpire.
Sassafras believer of threading angled stars—
Walk into divinity, but prepare for some scars.
C O P P E R
Inner Venus sparking copper fire—
It is Divine Love thou dost desire.
Christic, causal, harpoon Lover—
Cupid’s eyes you’ll soon discover.
In love but with no other, courting invisible au pairs—
Desire without an object, cleaning house for holy mares.
Silly trees and crooked hailstorms, painful, aery winds—
At the bottom is a harvest, quelling all of nature’s sins.
Fraught like a whisper in your true lover’s hair—
Caught like a diamond for the Beloved’s care.
M E R C U R Y/quicksilver
Faulty lines and filthy toads, speckled to the core—
Frothing out the tadpole’s mouth: a sulfuric spore.
Do not fear at all or fear all of everything—
In the night side, demons fly without wings.
A tiny, crimson nimbus floating overhead—
Seven flowers’ petals engendering a spread.
But Butterfly Boy, how couldn’t you know?—
Without the whimper, your garden won’t grow.
Like a brain flute, you have ripped the seams—
In the bluest realms are our deepest dreams.
S I L V E R
Incandescent Mother Moon, tides are stirring in the Bay—
Swirling are the seas of time when you point The Way.
Tender is the babe of bane lying furtive in a basket—
Look twice before you cross or you’ll wind up in a casket.
A Peruvian Queen, a wand, and a mite—
To shed one’s skin on a silvern dolomite.
Dolomitic sprite, so spry, and none the wiser—
Beware the frugal rhetoric of the Inner Miser.
Pouring vapor on a limelight, a liver and a spleen—
In the garden of the cervix grows the Astral Queen.
Brad Baumgartner is a writer currently based in Central Pennsylvania. Recent creative work has appeared in Tarpaulin Sky Magazine, Coffin Bell Journal, X Ray Literary Magazine, Vestiges, and others. His digital chapbook, Quantum Mechantics: Memoirs of a Quark, is forthcoming from The Operating System in late 2019.
Banner Image from: “Opus mago-cabalisticum et theologicum : vom Uhrsprung und Erzeugung des Saltzes, dessen Natur und Eigenschafft, wie auch dessen Nutz und Gebrauch …” by Georg von Welling, 1655-1727 via The Internet Archive