Sorrow of the Gorge

The Book of Onei is an antinomian dream grimoire, providing deceptive yet true information about the art of Oneiromancy or dream magic in the form of poetry, fantasy, and intentionally ambiguous instructions.


A shock of light above the gorge,

One moment of the sun.

The cliffs are like a closing mouth

Of frozen rock, and north and south

The frigid waters run.


I pause and glance ahead. The path

Is vertical and thin.

An ancient, rusted chain is here,

I wrap it round my hand in fear.

It bites into my skin.


The roots and boulders, tangled thick

As fingers intertwined,

Jut out as sharp as broken bones.

I cross a heap of ancient stones

And pour out half my wine.


“Come out and taste the wine,” I call,

“Come out and drink your fill.”

The wind comes roaring through the trees

And something in me dimly sees

The spirits of the hill.


I light an incense-stick and bow.

“I know it’s cold up here.

The world has changed, and we have come

To hate the things we started from,

The magic and the fear.


“The face of death is hid behind

This horror we have made.

But fools prefer what’s clear and bright.

They turn their backs on every sight

Of mingled light and shade.


“Still, there are things we owe the ghosts.

And some do not forget.”

A mournful bird came floating by.

The mountain ghosts did not reply.

They haven’t answered yet.


– from the Book of Onei, Part II: The Lore of Onei


Image by Eugen Bracht

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