The bed is turned down

Sweet, sour fragrance

Sacrificial incense rise

Piquant, pleasing

From earthen altars these offerings

like baked goods on the hearth

They ascend to grey indifference

from mildewed collection

or smoking pyres

Their union imminent

It used to be nine

The warmth has wept her last

forsaken these lands

These upper parallels

to be shunned

for sins real

or only perceived

This grey monolith

enters unchallenged

He marshals his charges

into pens and cages

Vanguard of the ice to come

and all cruelties

suffered in banishment

Happily he takes his task

Bitter and vengeful

for his demotion