I decree, that all men are, that are under my patronage, of my law, and only of my mind in their actions, and if so in their actions they disparage the law, it will be then actions of the just in my will upon their backs which shall break them, and shatter their souls. And so sayeth the lawgiver Tenebraecus.


Clouds, black and tenebrous,

Under the cover of sunshine,

Rolled forth upon the City of Columns and Marble,

And took for their habitation the hearts of eager men.


Radiant, as they smothered they told of fresh air,

And soft, as they seeped darkness they told of bright sun.


But soon the crops began to wither,

And the clouds said sunshine was to blame.


When it was cold, and shadow fell on the homes of the honest men and women,

The clouds said the sun had refused to shine.


And when it rained, and the fine new clothes of the rich became wet,

The clouds scolded them for not thinking to bring umbrellas.


Woolly, the poison was too lush to resist,

And the city breathed, the ether warm against that same new cold,

Tendrils of the fog in warped gyres stained the City of Columns and Marble,

And even under the door of the house of justice murk seeped.


In their blackness, the clouds shone ghoul-gold, but only blood rain fell,

And the people of the city still did not cry out for sun.


The blue of the sky was forgotten but to lore,

And Scipio had sown his salt.


And later, when the rivers flowed with tar,

The clouds needed not but say it was the City’s righteous blood.


And when in the forests no bird called and no tree grew,

The clouds needed not but say it was a noble sacrifice, and the people bowed.


Clouds, no, for what are clouds without a sky.

The lawgiver Tenebraecus said unto the people of the city,

I am your sky, for you shall look no higher than me, for there is no God,

And I am God on Earth, and in the City of Columns and Marble.

And from the gold black sky dipped a great vortex, for it was to lift the people.

Tys Sweeney likes nature, but goes to school in the city. He studies English and economics at Tufts University, makes art with words, and cooks various things in cast-iron frying pans. He likes to travel, but when he can’t afford to, he writes poetry instead.

Follow him on Twitter @tyssweeney

August 14, 2018


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