The Rune Has Broken

The Rune has broken—
mis-cast, mis-spoken,
mis-used, mis-heard,
some blasphemous Word
has echoed forth, resounded out
cracked celestial song,
drowned it out.

every breath you draw? Hear your own gasps,
your tired chest—hear how it rasps?
is that sweat, on an icy day?
do nightmares on your dreaming prey?

We are the Universe’s shame;
we’ve gone and broken a part of its Name.

Your dreams were sweet once. They’ve been plucked,
all their sweetness drained and sucked
out through your pores, while, asleep,
you sank to places far too deep,
for the Barriers are breaking, breaking,
under harsh claws, raking, raking.
A part of the endless Making Machine
has a wrench in the gears, something unclean:

the World is made of Word and Name,
one to shape, and one to claim,
the Word, to manifest your will,
the Name, which in a restless spill,
pours out its source into Creation.
And now, some damned Abomination,
some humans, with indecorous arts,
pushing treacherous blood through treacherous hearts,
have strained some piece of the Firmament,
’til part of existence is tainted and bent.

Blink your eyes; and blink again,
and look, you, at the Race of Men,
For it was only a matter of when
Before we would wreck things again.

That breath? Too fast. Your pulse, too quick,
You might notice a nervous tick,
and from a place which can’t be fled from
You might feel a horrible dread from

the back of the cave, the dark of no Moon,
the horrible shapes which have been hewn
to the back of your mind: “Soon, soon,
we will all perish. Curse the Rune.”

The Broken Rune, the Broken Rune,
The tumbling sky, the Great Untune,
an Unmaking, an Undoing,
all this time, we’ve been accruing
the costs of our misdeeds, our sins,
against the world we live with in.

The Rune has Broken. It’s ashamed
to be called on, or even named,
by creatures who, long before birth,
were made of lack and lunk and dearth,
whose saving grace and only worth,
is this: some day we die.

We build up cities. At what cost?
All our ideas are thrown out, tossed
into the rubbish; what remains?
A Broken Rune, and pure ungains.

The Broken Rune is keenly felt,
and it is not a hand we’re dealt.
Into every wound rub salt:
The Rune has broken. It’s our fault.

~Jeff Mach


(I’m not so sure that it’s our fault. I’m not sure I trust those who say that the world is in the process of unmaking itself. But that’s a longer story.)

My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. I also tweet a lot over @darklordjournal.

I write books. You should read them!

Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.

Comments are closed.