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Hrad Kost (Castle Bone), Jicin district, Czech RepublicKost Castle (Bone Castle)

On a little Saturday we drive
Through white opium, poppy fields
And sideways rain
Beyond the Wolf’s Field
To Castle Kost
Where Lords & Maltese Knights
Grace The Valley of Tears
Through pastures of golden wheat & sweet clover
Hilly with a thousand years of buried bones.

We pass cyan chicken coops, an occasional red barn,
Bundles of hay collected in neat rows,
And Old Hag Angry Thistle painting amethyst
Along the crackling road.

Upon the castle fortifications
Even the stones are pinched in place
Sweet alyssum defy all common sense.
On the parapet doves nest
In crevices of rampart stone.
The falcon feeding her young
Is the battlement crest.

Taken first to the dungeon’s
Iron cages,
Dank cellars are our introduction
To the branding iron & metal cuffs
For sheathing hands and flaying skin alive,
Hot wax was applied for scorching out the truth,
The gauntlet designed for crushing,
And the Spanish Boot,
The stretching ladder, rack,
And bone braiding wheel,
Then at last,
A leather strapped guillotine and sword.
Whips & crosses share the torture walls
All done in the name of
A holy God.

If I were the Lady of this place
With its mahogany trunks of inlaid cardinals, stags
And compass rose,
I’d save the vanilla silk
Altar veils adorned with hand-tied pearls.
I’d keep the cellars for our Amarone wine
And gather lavender & foxglove from the nearby field,
Bake rosemary bread in copper pots
And cook spiced meats upon the iron griddle.
I’d braid violets into my hair
In lieu of braided bones.
For traveling ‘round the grounds
I’d use the wheel.
The pewter plates & goblets used to feed
The fattened queen would be refused,
For I would never want to share that cup.
Bohemian china instead for all my guests,
The table would be an artist’s speckled atelier,
And poetry would be read
After every single sup.
I’d light the hand dipped candles
So that you & I
Could record the glorious happenings of the day.
I’d bellow the fire to warm the castle stone,
Rub lemon balm upon your labored hand,
And on your palm
My kiss
Would be your loving brand.

If I were the Lady of Castle Kost,
Within my sphere of influence
Derived from birth
I’d blot out the Common Era
Returning Ano Domini to the earth.

gjh.

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