I Hear the Darkness Fall
I hear the darkness fall;
the shadows sigh;
I cannot make out what they say,
but the sound is of meaning full.
The borderline between light and shade
twangs like lyre softly played
with melodies both warm and sad.
The darkness falls with gentlest song,
nostalgic with memories
as old tunes once sung,
fresh like harmonies
Pukka is never angry.
It rides with joy the storm.
The wind is in its laughing,
in lightning it is born.
Pukka is never flagging;
it never wearies or fails
but roars across and flattens
all creatures small and frail.
Pukka is wind in running;
pukka is rain that falls;
pukka is fire leaping;
Pukka is stone that calls.
It never will aid your heartache,
it never will comfort give,
nor speed your journey homeward,
nor help your soul to live.
If it aids you, it never intended;
if it kills you, it does not hate.
It is as joyful as shining heaven,
but as ruthless as bitter fate.
Weep, if you must sorrow.
Rage as you may dare.
It all will come to nothing:
pukka does not care.
The Razor's Edge
I wandered, thinking well,
through sordid gates of hell
with subtle traipsing made to walk
unknowing on a blade,
razor's edge over chasm laid,
into which my glories fell,
as He bade.
Darkness all around me winging
but the grace of heaven singing,
but the wedding party flinging
wine in dance, and like the sea,
wine-dark was light in me.
And I with all my glories bringing
across a razor's edge did flee
above a dark and broiling sea
of fire; that sea reflected me.
Meanders great and small in grace
brought me to a sacred place,
a grove of light,
where I burned
with flame inside
and gravely yearned
to catch the fox that fled the chase.
That fox reflected me; and in that race,
I found a stream and turned
to see in mirror my own face.
What I learned
was a lesson hard and bitter-laced.
Across the razor's edge I fled,
across the shadows of the dead;
my success wandered among the shades,
ghostly death of life that fades.
Each triumph bled
with flooding blood, flamed-iron red,
each glory a cut upon the blade,
each victory a fiction in my head.
I thought that I on lilies fed,
but I was to the darkness wed,
as He bade.
A moment before the dawn's bright flame
I caught an inkling of a name,
a hint of breath.
Each choice was made
upon a wire
pending above seething fire
that bore my face and death.
some old, forgotten game
with darkness and in desire
I saw my death; it was the same
in visage as my unwatched shame.
In darkness softly stirred
a rustling like some morning bird
in leaves, a single word
like a lyre that makes the air to sing; exhausted,
I beneath the wing fell, protected
by the Thing that stirred
but held me fast.
And in the darkness, still and fleeting,
no sound but grace and my heart beating,
light came at last.
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