The Anthem of Decay – Part 1

A very personal journey


To die, to dream of dusty graves,

To lie upon a grave of dust as dust

A passing foot to carve my name –

This is no idle dream, death comes

A host of dust from foreign shores,

A gluttony of dust stands at the door.


This is no dust of war,

No dust gathered for Fortune’s brew,

This is the dust of lazy deaths,

Sudden, violent deaths

Reined by the dying hand

That vainly strives against the noose,

Knowing that dust has nailed the flesh

And lined its palm with a map of death.


There is no denying this dust –

Paper sins burn a dark incense,

Move the blue mists onto the Earth

And paint the barely ripened face

With self incestuous hues,

Shades culled from its sorry days.


Dust on the tongue,

Unctuous, persuasive dust.

It penetrates the verb

And stars with the heart

As the language of air and light,

Of water, firebirds, stone and light.

It revolves an open thesis

Offering its scholarship to me

And I am caught in the fever,

The stressful bed of boredom’s whore –

I listen to its sermon and cry.



Grey eyes, grey veins,

Grey blood stuck in the aorta

Stiffening in my veins,

Grey rivers spring upon my arm

And run across the sun weakly rattling

And I so deep a sleeper,

I, eaten by the three dimensions,

I cannot respond and uxurious lie.


Insidious dust!

It comes to silence my heart

And stand a witness to my grave.


To die, to dream of dying,

To lie upon a grave of dust as dust

A passing foot to carve my name.

Shall I now add: “Before the word is dry

I shall be gone

And none shall grieve

For I am the dust,

A handful blown before the wind,

Blown into the semblance of a man

And torn before it can be recognised.”?


I sing of death,

Sing in a room without a view

And hope a window will appear,

Open as the dust awakens my wings,

Hands me mastery of the airy grave

From which the songs fed on my blood

Will drop a dusty manna of my name,

All who eat to grieve

And having grieved pronounce my name,

Print it on the centuries in fire.


How cruel the birds!


© PilgermannBM 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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there are stories of monks and nuns who block the only window of their room by placing an icon

this poem has an inescapable gloomy effect accentuated by the repetition of the word dust

very gothic poetry

there is a typo I think, uxurious perhaps should be luxurious?

there is a typo then, or misspelling? it’s uxorious. the only word I find close enough, doting. is that what you want to say?

I am lucky as I have met the last gentleman on Earth who is also the unluckiest male that has the unluckiest sister. They both dote a lot to no avail. Sorry for weird english and even weirder reply. Happy to have solved the mystery of uxurious now. thanks


There is a great poem here, trying to get out. With the greatest respect, I think you could par the poem down to free its spirit. I offer this after reading and reflecting upon it, over some days.



Thanks Pilgermann; I see I was a little too hasty; if it is a longer poem it will change everything. I’ll be looking forward to reading the following parts.


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