Three poems by Austin C. Morgan
Published in March-April 2018 Issue

Introduction to the Poet: 

Austin Morgan hails from Southern Indiana, where he grew up. In 2014, he became a contributor to Aaduna Inc., based out of Auburn New York.  He has served as a contributing editor for Aaduna since 2016. As of 2018, Morgan attends Arizona State University, majoring in Art History with a minor in Philosophy. 



The Doctor’s Daughter

La luna,

Of elegant pearl,

Veiled by threadlike

Summercloud – humid,

Surrounded by fleeting hue

Of communal festivity aglow,

The streets slick with

The silver glimmer of mid-August rain.


Against the equinox,

Its eventual zenith,

The feathers of her wing

Ruffled as she found me

There upon the courthouse step.

I greeted her with eyes of warmth,

Burning, burning as if to say

Alas, alas!


The pillars of eventide

Shouldered the weight

Of the heavens spread above,

The seraphim fighting

To cease its aimless spilling

Upon those below.


I asked her

“Was it you who dwelt

Behind shutters of azure blue,

Among bronzed Eastern statuettes,

Beside the stairwell of royal oak?”


I pondered not the banality

Of contemporary romance,

Abloom with petals of endless sixteen,

As was she,

Derived from nymph of the sea,

A mystery to me.


And I was pardoned,

I was absolved within her prayer,

Friday faith known to none but she,

Not unlike those surrounding,

Not unlike Zoroaster

Atop the mountain peak.


He spoke of mortality among gods,

Of twilight in the desert’s gleam,

Although upon his cruel descent,

Found all eyes fixated upon

Certain earthly tragedy;

The pitfall of better men.


Beneath many an illuminating bulb,

We spoke of verse

And of kindly chariot music,

Unaware that the tune

Had gradually slowed.

So, chimed the church tower bell,

So, chimed the evening bell,


Cusp of nocturne,

That she would eventually part from me.


For she had greater aspirations than I,

She departed to walk the red clay hills

Of distant seaside cities,

Leaving behind mere feathers in her wake,

As I witnessed the demise, petals of faded sixteen.

All that remained being the manuscript of her father’s,

My only isthmus, this manuscript of her father’s.


How I do recall

Her eyes of woven silk,

Her mouth of timely riddle,

Her face of artful sculpture,

Her soul to rest upon the base of Olympus

As the diviner gaze on.


I shall continue this recollection

Within her absence.

I shall rest upon the mount

For to write a sonnet of her naming,

And, perhaps, upon her sweet return

I will have finished, my soul ever-burnt.



The Amulet

A Brief Appreciation of Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Gay Science



The statues of the forest

Weep in medium light,

Upon the sea beside.

Mars, above, looms on,

Casting crimson rays upon the waves.

The sea,

A mirror earth,

My soul subsides.


By what hand

Have these lovely creatures

Been sculpted?

Perhaps a stone mason of Alexandria?

The gold gleams within the trees,

Sour grapes too dense

For our comprehension –

A failure of mine,

A sin of which I shall not be absolved.


The uncinatum of the caverns

Heeds not the will of mortal men.

God has breathed his last breath here,

The procession, a shadow upon the wall,

Cast by hands of the communicants.

The faithful, from whom spirit does escape

And bows into the falling light,




The empire bustles

In evening,

Our enemies

Of equestrian persuasion

Invade from the East.

Every maiden, once of such great beauty,

Now harkens, stone-faced, to the march

Of Hermes, who tumbles in from

Painted ceilings within the Grand Tower,

A place once reserved for the knowledgeable,

To announce the fall of the West,

Where mediocrity has devoured pillars

Like cavities in pale marrow.

“Heed not!” Shouts the stone mason.

“The time of nigh has passed.”


His roses grow frail,

Bloom cast the color of dawn,

From a hillside overlooking Eden.

Her face, there, remains,

Slightest hint of cholera

Blushing against her cheek.


Beg of the idols

That she might return





The statues of the forest

Know well,

For the superstitions

Of lesser men

Form shackles upon the wrists

Of the wise

And the silent voice

Carries greater echo.


The child has died in vain

By the hand of jealous brother,

Lower brother,

Lost to the Canaanite field.

Know, though, that it shall be by will of

A wicked sister that men are devoured.

Yes, she shall unveil your words

Of righteousness to the soldiers

Of corrupt fortune upon the horizon –

Forever lost,


Upon the horizon.


The Prince arrives

Enshrouded by a flock of doves,

Pale and saintly,

A title hardly shaded

By trite nostalgia

Projected from his early sonnets.


Pure, the stars hang idly,

Boney light shone down upon the terrace.

“Learn not the will of men,”

Spoke the Prince.

“But the Will – that of the sea.

That of which remains ever-present,

Ever-flowing within its vast rage.

See now, the waves no longer envy,

Currents no longer yearn.

The eternal hue of emerald gleams.”


Mephistopheles emerges from the crowd,

Draped all in gold, eyes exotic lilies

Of the Old World,

For to speak, “the moon shall be mine,

Every verse, every line.”

There she lies,

A slight thicket of evening cloud,

Crevices of age

Folded into the rhythm of her flesh.

Aglow with beams as pale as hope,

How I knew I could never love another!


“No man,” speaks the Prince, “shall harness her beauty.

This beauty is to be a means

Of admiration from afar,

Just as the summer, infinite days of youth,

Glimpsed from afar.”


…with which we had fallen

Beneath the spell,

Behind the blustery curtain

Of night.


To beguile the greatest man,

The battle but a fortnight away.




The women of the courtyard

Move southbound in rhythm to

The incendiary tune against this

Calamitous scarlet sundown.

Scarlet, indeed,

Cased in crystal strata

Of fairer Asteraceae,

A temple abreast of flourished July

With harlequin breath of May.

“Fit secundum regulam,”

Declares he who no longer follows,

Fearing not the beasts of the forest,

My brothers, savages of the strangest persuasion.

How I long to be among them, beachfront and

Awestricken, having beheld the bath of Venus

Churning madly upon the sea before them.


“But what greater motivation is there, Robert Burton?

What shrapnel shall be collected from the earth, so holy?”

Surely there is more to be gained from the absence of lust,

Perhaps the pursuit of higher knowledge, a genuine appreciation

Of the cunning ways of the women of the field,

Wading out into the twilight, a sisterhood to minimalize

The bond of brothers.

What greater motivation?



The statues of the forest

Pray with cupped hands,

Stone palms pooled with water,

A blessing of the sea beside.

Their heads have bowed in shadow

Cast by boughs of poplar above.


There on the footbridge

Lingers the Prince,

Who raises one hand

To wield against foolish disciples,

Those who embrace the madness

Of our often-tumultuous Condition.


“For there is no room for interpretation –

One must possess a heart of Mars

And a soul of blanketed stars,

The soul upon which this strange midnight

Has fallen.

If not, one shall surely bleed far more

Than to nurse his battle wounds.”


And with this, he departed

On wing of palest feather,

This Prince to be freed

From the boundaries of lesser earth.


Upon departure, I saw Hypatia

Walking lonesome by the sea.

I fell before her in a breath of June

And kissed her feet as if the face

Of some long-lost lover.


“Lesser men never comprehend

The secret tongues in which we speak,”

She sighed and closed her eyes against

The cryptid wind across the water.

“How they have forsaken the greater art.”


I had not a word to utter,

Basking in the otherworldly glow

Of her shadow, laid across the sand,

Deep within the bones of beasts unrecognized,

Just as the tongue in which she spoke,

I only learnt of the festivities above,

Failing to spread my arms in joyous wisdom.


“There she rests,” breathes Hypatia, pointing.

“The aeon has not been so kindly

Across such a delicate face.”

Stellae, la luna, I swooned.

“The greatest pain is that of

Failure to obtain such beauty,

To objectify the muse, indeed.”


I thought not of Mephistopheles,

Although his shadow was present,

Ever so.

La luna, la luna, which shall remedy

Your aching separation from me?

Two planets basking in evening air,

The first being that of fortune,

The second, that of the language of verse

In which we had so softly spoken.

“Grasp the latter, hold her there upon the sea

Until the hazy light of Heaven falls like a child

From the lovely blanket of dawn cloud.

There you shall obtain.”


Among the ashes,


Embers gleam.

Man has lulled his

Higher demons to slumber

And chased his lover,

Fingers sprout of leaf,

Flesh no longer porcelain,

Given way to the mossy bark

Of the great forest before him.

Every face of which he has written

Remains lovelier from then on.


I see the celebration of the villagers,

Their boundless glow piercing the night,

But I choose to remain here, at the waterside.

The value of the night rambling among

Lonesome waves, silent now.

This jealous sea has nearly parted,

So, Cupid, toll your lonesome bell

Upon the waking dreams of the enchanted,

Cupid, toll your lonesome bell

For to set us, the dreaming,

Free at last.



Selections from Rafaela (II, VI, X)




That night, from afar,

I watched her face

As pale as porcelain moonlight

Fallen across the night.

Such secrets, the night – saudade –

Whispered toward

Her rostrum of light.

The sound crept softly to me,

Low and lovely as the scent

Of melting snow in February.


I would look upon such a face,

With its silent hint of displeasure,

At which the apples of her cheeks

Would swell, caressed by shadow,

Shadow blacker than the night.

Or should I stand to witness

Such joy upon her face,

Then the spirits of the room

May drift lightly

To rest upon the canvas

Within the hollow of her cheekbone,

Saudade, saudade.




Among the misty groves,

The milk of the moon

Glistens upon her skin.

I’ve waited for this,

Among the blossoms,

My steely soul eternally bent,

But to no avail arrive such hopes.


Fairest of undertones,

Light blue,

Swell in swirling hues of flaming chivalry,

As the centuries drift and dance

Across the cradle of her face, so lovely.


Beside a lake,

Partially frozen, pale,

Ice gathers like

Shattered glass around the rim.

This faint lunation

Upon the skyline above

Hangs as if haunted – transparent –

And should it know my name, I may swoon,

For to know such a memory

Crashing through nighttime air,

Thin and misrepresented.


The sun is of better days.

It is cooler in the forest,

A million winding paths

From which I may not

Find my way back.


The lake, Patoka,

Bluer river underbelly,

Face the dawn.

Beachside, which I have walked.

There is a spirit which glides

Beside her,

He is conventional


and alizarin,

waiting bedside to her roses,

the petals of which fold by midnight.


On this day, “God has healed.”

Hebrew, I embed her name

Within these words.

Lymantria dispar dispar,

Wings against the leaves.

Trouvelot has waned his soul,

Children beneath floral moon.

Petals fall as embers,

In the garden glow, eternal June.


Dispelled from the shop,

Like Pound unto Rome;

Not to keep, not to want,

Never to return.






The earth,

Brittle as bone,

Foxtails, mi culpa.

Toward the waxing,

Bitter I have grown,

Such luck to have

Amidst the grand Seventeen.

Now I am lost to time,

Lilies upon the water,

And Jupiter weighs


A storm which refuses to cease,

A fraudulent masculinity,

Those beneath me,

Their persuasion toward battle,

Mere echoes

Down the passage of history.


…and I fade


This longing,

Simply a grand mosaic,

Of what love could have been.


Still it was beautiful,

It was divine.

I shall recall thee

In perfect form

Upon the dais

Until my final breath,

Upon which this love

Shall be as in a dream,

Spoken in murmurs

Across lips awakened,

Acknowledged only by fools

And dreamers, alike.


…but until the day has arrived,

I will linger, lonesome,

Forever more,

Lost like a child

Within the flowing,

infinite passages of time.