"Under the Lovecraft Tree" by jon Lyndon
"Life is a hideous thing." ~H. P. Lovecraft
I recollect when Damascius, the gardener-bot, had planted the Lovecraft Tree:
Black metal Necronomicon leaves like fruity flesh
had fallen slow & fresh on that torturous day
w/ a taste of sour snow under thick clouds of gray.
There was a smell dank & damp as murder, as if from the Dead Sea.
Dripping like festering pus w/ words from a slithering root that turned into
a carcass bus in the now famous Nameless City.
I watched as the dark seeds Damascius, mad and years past his Retire Date,
had selected sprouted from the blood-muddy earth;
Each fast & surreal growing branch breathed of mystical rites & morbid lore,
like science rats beneath a forbidding door,
Infecting the garden w/ grotesque words that soon grew into the Cthulhu Mythos
As hideous & existential as a labyrinth of demons in chaos,
Transcendently as the blue-blooded & raw red ivies that snaked &
wrapped through wounded worms & fungal bricks
through our stained-glass windows and the winds
around our house, secret & at ease as a mouse
With a mysterious cant, frightening our furious cats, as the macabre day turned
into such an eldritch & bizarre night.
Damascius, mad & delirious, gone was his sight,
stood in a heavy rhythm of rain;
crawling with chaos
I watched as his titanium bone-shell flesh rusted
in our backyard garden
beneath that Lovecraftian Tree - an odd sense of pain
I felt for our mad & delirious gardener-bot
that my father exclaimed was unrestrained, while drunk.
An hour later mushrooms & snails clung reverberate
to his queer & apocryphal trunk
in Poe-esque gothica
tintinnabulating w/ an anthropoidal violet, violent luminance,
like a strange & unnatural universe
The Lovecraft Tree branches seethed, exploded like flowers
blossoming w/ verse, phrases, syntax,
w/ metaphors, and more...
full of anthropomorphisms
through the horror hours like nebulous machine meteors -
Magnalia & Medusa plants fell swollen from its swelling limbs
as convict creatures breaking from the
confines of Arkham Asylum
just outside of Gotham or Boston.
Off a new branch, the words: "eldritch," "rugose," "noisome," "squamous," "ichor," and "cyclopean,"
off another the anachronistic spellings: "lanthorn", "phantastic" & "phantabulous"
while beyond the garden a lugubrious howl, wild, malevolent
& full of torture:”N’dai, n’gha ‘gha ‘ghaa, bugg-shoggog, y’‘hah”
in strange rhythmical crescendoes, shrieks & screams
trailing like burning vapours in whippoorwills
then the birth of the monster, Yog-Sothoth
I became filled w/ a calm & unhallowed expectation
the symmetries of the tree split w/ unordinary squamous geometries
revealing demented eyes & undeveloped mouths
open & veined w/ sickly greyish-white teeth, broken stems
yellowish in foetid ichor in their curious discoloration;
the tree leaves turned into black coarse fur & snakes
w/ a terrible stickiness & hissing...
along the Lovecraftian Tree-limbs w/ alternating & annular markings
almost brailled, this monstrous atrocity
leathery, now, & weeping w/ pinkish tentacles
and there! two words: teratological crocodile,
fabulous & horrible, unhuman, unholy...
spuming from the tree-trunk’s abdomen
w/ disjointed fragments of some things half-eaten;
I should be afraid, I should be very afraid, but
I grow more curious. In the Lovecraft Tree’s dark red shade,
beneath the gibbous moon
stands the frozen statuesque form of
poor Damascius - and there, our dog Ginnungagap
yapping & barking at this strange monstrous thing
growing in our garden, planted just a few hours
earlier by our mad gardener-bot; “Gingap!”
I call; his ears perk but he does not take his concerned eyes
from the growing thing; he growls, barks
& slowly steps towards the writhing monster
(my heart stops for a fraction of a beat,
I feel a hollowness that tuns into
a maddening sense of curiosity
watching as the peculiar faces & hands,
blood-seeping limbs & tentacles, sucking
& breathing most disgustingly: a ghastly miasma
then Gingap is pawing frantically, puzzled in the
nocturnal exhalation of this profound & hideous evening
as I watch my dog devoured, being devoured,
by this god-like monster thing
borne from a dark seed that Damascius planted.
I recall now, his last words, “A Lovecraft Tree”
(“What is a lovecraft,” I wonder,
something like witchcraft? And then I realize it was
the rusted chemical-blood of the gardener-bot
that bled into the top-soil where the
dark seed was planted, before the Medusa Spell pushed
him into Pause Mode; now its Retire Date,
beyond expiration, has finally activated
I will miss the old gardener-bot
I will miss the old dog
and now what of this strange god-like monster thing,
this Lovecraft Tree? I gaze at the organic & artificial
abnormalities through nervous echoes
obscure & primal
Tsathoggua, a formless tentacled word shuddering w/ a museum of hybrid myths:
gorgons, chimeras, dragons, nymphs, orcs, cyclopeans... Cthulhu
dark & dangerous; alien, ineffable, w/ rat-scratching sounds
and how I can feel the breaking of space-time continuum
as the monster tree grows, swallowing, now,
not just my dog, but the gardener-bot, surrounding plants,
the entire garden... its tentacles, branches, limbs, many-faceted mouths
& twisted eyes growing & stretching towards our house
(my family inside
on the porch Chaos, our cat, watches on in mild curiosity
then bolts as the Lovecraft Tree reaches toward it,
disappears into the alchemy
& ink of shadows).
Damascius bought the dark seed from Howard & Phillips,
the Unsmouth Town’s booksellers
at the old town New England book shop
on Main Street, w/ the smell of the Atlantic ocean.
The shop keeper, a twisted version of two people,
the Anima & Animus, had told him that
the seed was the colour of space,
would grow what the moon brings
and called it by its name, mixed with
the alchemy of Nyarlathotep: I found this information
recorded in a hologram read-out from the gardener-bot’s
before he/it turned to rusted metallic stone.
The Bot was there to find me an ancient, true book
written by one of the world’s last true horror writers;
a novel in word form instead of the Holo-Simulations
we have grown used to. It was his last book,
it is two-hundred years old, and is called:
Petohtalrayn Sinnatarium: A Terrible Crawling Chaos
in it he mentions the Cthulhu Mythos).
The tree bore no fruits, but did spell forth excepts of stories
And words as bizarre as any holo-monster, it exuded a perfumed smell,
like the season w/ April as the Lovecraft Tree bloomed,
bleeding blood-red flowers reeking of sea-salt scents & death;
earlier in the October the year before I read my first novel,
A heavy tome the gardener-bot brought back to me
from a trip he took overseas
to a land far, far away;
I read those words and became hypnotized,
enchanted, prized; bound to the smoking myths,
mirrors & madness
of that ancient, haunted book of verse -
a vellum from an author named
Brian Lumley; the books: The Transition
of Titus Crow
& Mad Moon of Dreams.
I read them as they blossomed
From the tree branches
through black, static snow).
I believe, now, that Damascius was attempted to leave me a precious gift,
believing that this tree would offer me perpetual words
& novels that would fall with each autumnal leaf -
unaware of its freak Frankenstein nature,
its ugly monstrous evil, somehow brought
& wrought to fruition
by the gardener-bot’s rusted machine-blood:
he knew, somehow, in the end
& that is when he finally switched off. Now, the Lovecraft Tree
has devoured the entire garden and parts
of our Georgian mansion, Gothic Gormenghast home,
the sagging gambrel roofs and peaked gables,
the cracked gray & moss-green gargoyles.
I don’t know why but it seems to have
chosen to ignore me. Perhaps it is waiting, waiting until
there is nothing else left in this universe
before it bends its many eyes
bend my way... “Before...”
New words escaped, scraped across the surreal winds: Dagon,
then: "Celephaïs”...and, again...
Nyarlathotep... then the tree speaks, “Nyarlathotep...
The crawling chaos... I am the last... I will (static noise interrupts)
void...” Dark chill currents run through my blood,
sweat & electricity stings my flesh as I find
myself staring into the abysses, the blackness,
the pale & terrible phantasms that is
this monster, this creature, the Lovecraft Tree,
pure Chaos: Nyarlathotep. I now sees me...
I realize a thousand years have gone...
...Unsmouth is gone, the lands are gone, the universe is gone...
I have heard in my mind’s eye the stories
of the writer named Lovecraft, the crawling stories
from: “The Alchemist” & “At the Mountains of Madness”
through: “Medusa’s Coil”
to: “The Tree” & “Winged Death”
and I have heard all the convoluted & anatomical weirdness
within his matrix of the grotesque, and I believe
the nature of from beyond.
And there are the echoes, in multifaceted layering, from the tree:
"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die."
This tree is chaos, and I am Death. It is now Time
for us both to die, to burn away, to fade away...
The time for Death & Chaos is done
(gone to the universe
I reached up into the branches and picked a single leaf
The tree sucked me inside, into its mammoth gut
Each side of my face peeled away, my flesh turned into rotting misery
drought as a tomb’s cold clamminess
And in place of my death, the death of Death, is born Shub-Niggurath
w/ seaweeds off the black coasts of
old New England’s glens (I recall Unsmouth,
I recall the big house, the plush garden, the old fountain...
I recall my drunk father, his fists, his belt...
I recall our lost dog Gingap & Chaos our fat cat;
I recall Damascius, and I believe I shall miss him most,
shadows in the gutter, the sounds of the gate crashing
those creaking tree branch noises,
the thing I could never see-
there will be nothing left
of me for there to be anything to remember...
With a smile I close my eyes, and feel the Lovecraft Tree’s many teeth
I breath in the scents of its blood-ink,
all of its old & lost languages,
and I see its story.
I crawl now, miles away, below.
And for years afterwards I slept as if part of that old garden
December © 2007