Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eschatology II

For now you are sad,
My dear one, my friend,
For all the ruins we traipsed through,
All the daylight of my nighttime beauties,
All the larklight of your laughter
And the hedonism
Of our carefree days, our sad days,
Our days when the smell of spring grass
Could take us away to far-off kingdoms,
Our days when the inviting finger of the sun
Invited us in our infancy,
Our dependency,
Our total annihilation of ourselves,
To take the road to the highlands
Where glowed the green gloaming of Ireland,
Where her fair face on the faery mound
Was but the dust of our dreams, our uncertainties,
Our groaning.

And now, when the deep reaches of our souls are silenced,
Now, when the green waves of the sea
Wash away the arbor of ourselves,
Now we wish we had that and yet we do not
Yet we do not.
We have each other,
But maybe that is not enough for either of us;
For we dream of something more,
A dream of seabirds flying across the far reaches
Of the ocean's kingdom
On unbroken wings,
Wings we can no longer imagine
And can only occasionally feel,
Wings that stretch behind us
Like the seabird's briny feet,
Wings that take us deep into the ocean of ourselves
Where we lose us,
Lose each other,
Lose all the things we once held dear:
All the things we see,
An ocean's worth of grace, it seems,
Disappearing into the brine, into the foam,
Into a wine-dark sea that no Aeneas could ever sail,
All of our days running in the woods
Where the green leaf-dapple
Made our skins into something other,
Made us into dragons and fae-folk,
Made us monsters in the form of ourselves;
All our days of breathing fire
And thinking the end would never come
And that we were free
Free forever
All of those days would end.

And now we feel that it is that sea,
That rock,
Scylla's bite and the whirling of Charybdis
That eats up our souls
And spits us out in a mature and pastoral form
That we hate,
That we run from,
That we swim away from
Over that same wine-dark sea
Where the gulls cry but where their white feathers
Turn to ice,
Black ice,
Ice laced with feathers turned black from the white-hot core
Of an earth that was never our mother,
Or if it was, then one that spat us out of the womb
And never looked to us again.

And so we cry.

So we cry.


It is not for the beauties
And the tragedies
Of the sentiments we feel
Nor for the far shores
(The Grey Havens)
The rest we hope for and look for at the end of all things;
For my dead grandfather—
What will he profit from my tears?
Will the salt-water I spill on his grave
Form again a wine-dark sea
That he may swim through,
Laughing after seabirds and seachildren,
Fae folk flying on their ice-laden
Unbroken wings?


It is for me that I cry,
For myself and the journey I have yet to take.
It is for the loneliness and the loss
The sense that all those I love will find love
Apart from me,
The sense that all my love will be for nothing.
It is for the loss of all I hold close,
For the slow death that is any one life,
For the festive mural
Of seabirds and faechildren and the albatross
The mural all black like my bedroom at night and gray like old snow
And blue like the eyes of a girl I once loved
And purple like the night sky when the stars have just come out
And like the wine-dark sea,
The sea of my childhood that I cannot seem to leave.

And yet there is hope;
Hope in our tears,
Hope in the smirk of the seabird that flies on unbroken wings
Higher than any hope I could muster,
Up to a star whose light will still shine when I am dust,
And whose light will wink out but will still go on forever.
There is hope in our very tears,
For tears will only dry,
Sorrow will only heal,
The wine-dark of the sea will deepen until all things
Are contained within it,
And despair will never reach us, for it cannot.

For how can we despair when we have understood,
Understood what the intellect cannot understand:
That tears are not an end in themselves,
But only a form of hope.


NOT Freddy Jones said...


Damned wondrous.

Ethan said...