portion of the artwork for Sean Farragher's poem

The God Tolphus
Sean Farragher
(circa. late 1990s to early 2000s)


The Mythology & Exobiology
of His Planet of Triple Suns


On Tolfs voices crawl in frozen walls
iced winds, sand like snow;
blue rock steppes pocked with craters
Sand sticks with lemon eyes rattle great rods
Magma from the flood floats in the valley,
fragile rope stones, icebergs,
silence burned by sobbing horns
Night walls cross the planet,
a blue dwarf sun,
Eidolon,
Eidolon
shadows on a sulfur sea.


2. Under a Triple Star

In a cove sailing ships,
ghosts with splintered decks,
Squeaking hulks in an orange haze
Icons from armadas roving out from Spain
monster timber cities,
Black faces stiff at the jib sails
All the grave ships lost in caves,
twisted with vines
yellow topped trees,
dandelions tower over naked masts
In a brown sun fall sea birds with orchid plumes
snap at the shoals; chilled night hands sleep;
while dogs with clock faces
darn nets, whittle masks

Double eye suns above the cliffs,
wolf eyes in a dark night wall;
Winged horse huddle in craters,
Horsebirds strut with gaping beaks—
Blonde eyes glare like red flares dance,
shiver like wax, an avalanche of mud
in an apple green lake;
Red glass beings,
Druids, Gods, some say:
Quartz sticks chip at mirror walls
crack glacier stairs
to insect wings hung like trophies.
In a gas they hunt each fly face,
Dragonflies strung like cattle
With each fly faces
madder, wilder
smoking stones,
woodfires encircled with bones,
a yellow mask over a sweat-shaved head

In magic Sandsticks fling their spears at the Horsebird sky.


3. The Ocean

In the first sea,
mornings with triple suns
Three headed goats in a bone black dawn—
Between the blue earth
and red grass, ashen spots
creep like worms, waves—

It is midday of the blue sun cycle,
Heroes bark to three moons, full circles
In the hail, I race a gas
colder than a dead face
I fall into a black sky
with red clouds and yellow sea.


4. Tolphus

Born between weak knees
in a rusting earthshine
Tolphus grew within the grass,
between mother wombs,
He crosses the heavens with a ram
In the mud flats, near a wheat field,
within a glass sky

Tolphus rides the hills to winter
Black holes suck his wings to rest
His heart within his thighs
His bleached hair in golden manes
Tolphus rides the paths
to a house and a cradle in a tree,
with ferns, chalk wings
In a trance Tolphus shivers,
Centaurs graze on his skull
Brown wings gnaw on his mane.


5. The Vision

Tolphus leaps from a three sun circle,
swings within the gears
the clocks stop,
sun springs scratch his back,
and in the clouds, within the talons of an osprey,
in a vision of a mountain and a city
his head falls in his lap,
his mother spread and naked,
his father, with a scepter, rides into a spear
into blood; the rivers spread with rocks, creamy snow

At the river, Tolphus grows from the cock
his father shook to blunt the sting of ants,
Buzzards with spitting beaks,
the child god cries,
thrust into a basket
on a yellow sea
Herdsmen, Horsebirds,
feed him gruel spun from the brain of a goose
The shepherds spoon their sperm
on the flat rock ice,
Our child god, half grown,
his arms tangled with his wings
draws his palm within its sheath
he weaves a shell for sleep.
The brown God in chrysalis,
brown veins shine through paper skin,
eyes closed, he weeps in dreams,—
in silent nods, he draws his knees and claws
closer to the splitting trees

While Tolphus sleeps, Winter is lazy
and Spring doesn’t not stop
until gray robbed gnomes with drawn swords
split his pupae, and the great Winter God
rises on his hind quarters,
Tolphus races from the walls,
A lasso strung over his breast,
he waits for the blue sun to fall into stones.
when limbs and straw from another dawn
creep within the whisper of Gods playing mad,
juggling a blue, dwarf sun,
Winds from three solar fires
clash with the moon tides on the beach
On a glass throne, Tolphus hears singers—
Within a glass womb he stores the Winter sky
In his rope and fire breath,
Tolphus drags the Horsebirds
from the Temples
and the black holes
in Hell close.


6. Fourth Planet: Beta Star

Tolphus, a singer, silent—
blind, he hides in the pocket
of a drunk woman,
sings death to her sleeping glass
And the son kills the father
in the gutter beside the Bar
The son sleeps with the mother
while sucking the teats of a Wolf
Voices like echoes in a well
Rows of preachers and barkeeps,
barstanders, songbirds in chorus,
weeping in a tavern, cold
with frozen lips and blood hair.


7. Nile Valley

There was famine in Thebes,
on the Nile, some years before,
but the hunger on Tolfs
was black like the coal hills
the night suns did not retreat
from their storms,
and the dwarf sun did not rise
the hills ran blue
the child, Tolphus,
wrested from the fire
flies with the carrion
over tents on the prairie,—
Tolphus broke the night God’s winch,
the blue sun fled across the day
Tolphus caught his father's cock by its sheath
The cities below weep with ice,
the moon tides mute, return
lift the desert to another Mars.
The earth opens,
and as the hero screams his death,
the city under the falling rods
dies in smoke and ash.


7. Oedipus on Tolfs

Far from the barroom in earthrise
the blue dwarf sun, now brown and cold
lights an alley besides a Bar
With the dead Tolphus
in a blanket of dry leaves,
A spear lances his throat
His jaw open, saliva on his cheek,
wings curled under his thighs,
And the back-hand winder of clocks
rolls out, shakes time mute
The warriors eat the Gods,
and Tolphus returns to his glass sky
with three stone suns.

Table of Contents



FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 40 | Spring 2013