Saturday, July 17, 2021

Two Poem Re-Drafts

 Sleeve 

"Why, my son, is it I see
the red of blood upon your sleeve?
Son, my son, come speak to me."
"It is some dye, some dye you see,
red as blood upon my sleeve,
bloody red upon my sleeve." 

"Too rusty-dark, my son, to be
some dye you've spilled upon your sleeve!
Son, my son, come speak to me."
"It is the bulldog's blood you see,
red as blood upon my sleeve,
bloody red upon my sleeve." 

"Too human-red, my son to be
the bulldog's blood upon your sleeve!
Son, my son, come speak to me."
"It is your youngest son you see,
red as blood upon my sleeve,
bloody red upon my sleeve."

"And how, my son, could this thing be,
your brother's blood upon your sleeve!
Son, my son, come speak to me."
"We struggled by the willow tree;
his blood was red upon my sleeve,
bloody red upon my sleeve." 

"What shall you do, now that we see
your brother's blood upon your sleeve?
Son, my son, come speak to me."
"I can only rise and flee
with brother's blood upon my sleeve,
bloody red upon my sleeve." 

 "Where shall you go when you flee
thus marked with death upon your sleeve?
Son, my son, come speak to me."
"In a ship I'll sail across the sea
though brother's blood be on my sleeve,
bloody red upon my sleeve." 

 "And of your son, who is but three,
marked with shame of blood on sleeve?
Son, my son, come speak to me."
"Care for him, let him be free
of shame of blood upon my sleeve,
bloody red upon my sleeve." 

 "Will you ever become free
of stigma from the bloody sleeve?
Son, my son, come speak to me."
"On Judgment Day perhaps I'll be
free of shame upon my sleeve,
bloody red upon my sleeve."


Seven Incantations 

Seven incantations in the Elven realm are known,
three for power, three for splendor, one that stands alone,
mighty as the morning sun and hidden as the night,
locking and unlocking doors between the dark and light. 

First, to use a power you must hold it deep inside,
thus in power's fire's flames unburning to abide.
Dying to your shadow frail, life's borders you will cross;
worthy minds alone may make that journey without loss,
getting by returning thence a threefold work and might:
earth, by which the runes of lore are opened to your sight;
water giving vision of the future to the mind;
flame reforging heart and thought to greater mode and kind. 

 Seven incantations in the Elven realm are taught,
three for power, three for splendor, one most highly sought.
Force they have for changing, for they change your inmost name;
those who have partaken thus, no longer are the same. 

Speak the second spelling and a greater flame descends,
sevenfold its working borne on seven burning winds,
placing strength within the heart and crown upon the head,
lore of those who have advised and force of those who led.
Sightedness of eagle and the subtlety of snake,
fishful swimming through all dreams as though they were a lake,
divination's guidance like the tortoise in his shell,
elephantine toughness to endure the dark and fell,
kinship with all creatures good in land and sky and sea:
by this incantation's might the mind of bonds is free. 

Seven incantations in the Elven realm are learned,
three for power, three for splendor, one on which they turn;
rooted are they deep within the universe's rite,
cosmic in expression of the liturgy of light. 

Rare indeed the one who finds the third high Elven song;
only those should seek it out whose wills are sure and strong --
not with elemental force nor living souls it pours;
stars instead that rule the worlds with might in endless stores.
By the power of this rite the acolyte may rise,
walk among the rolling suns and change unchanging skies,
master of all charm and shaping, gramarye and chant,
from the cosmic tree receiving seeds of flame to plant. 

Seven incantations in the Elven realm are sought,
three for power, three for splendor, one beyond all thought,
signs of power testifying to a higher world,
seven words within whose hearts the universe is curled. 

Charm of binding, too, may sound and subtle sages find,
ways to share the course of thought and mingle flesh and mind,
weaker than the flame of stars, yet endless hearth of light,
warm against the winter cold, against the shadows bright,
a never-ending flame that burns with never-ending sign,
a friendship high and hale in which two hearts will intertwine.
Burdens born from trouble may be shared like heavy load;
thought with thought may travel down the long and winding road. 

Seven incantations in the Elven realm are made,
three for power, three for splendor, one will never fade,
armaments to shake the earth, to walk the spirit way,
inner secrets of the spheres brought down to realm of day. 

Sickness has no power; by a word it is unwound,
medic more availing than mere mortal man has found.
Leprosy it washes into skin both new and clean;
blindness it dispatches, giving eye its healthy sheen;
tongues are freed for speaking, lameness let to leap,
tumors brought to level and deep pain made gentle sleep,
souls transformed to healthy life and minds made newly sane,
and by it, too, there is undone the weakness of all strain. 

Seven incantations in the Elven realm are found,
three for power, three for splendor, one perfects the round,
full of living spirit and of life unending source,
infinite in wonder and unlimited in course. 

Death itself has weaker sway on those who know the end;
spell there is to beat it back and bounds of life to bend,
giving to the body's flesh a force to be unharmed,
unfettered by the graveyard with a life thus rendered charmed,
giving to the mind a light that dark of grave may flee,
something of the life of youth and youth's agility;
such a might is given to the one endowed with rhyme
such that even death may quail, though only for a time. 

Seven incantations in the Elven realm resound,
three for power, three for splendor, one for godhood crowned.
By their vibrant power souls in holy place have trod,
changed in stages, bit by bit, to something like a god. 

Nectar and ambrosia sweet may give the grace of youth,
wisdom like to ancient sage, eternity of truth.
Power beyond power such as gods alone may know
brings the final chantment as it sets the air aglow,
bright apotheosis laid in layers like the sand,
greater by the growing as it piles band on band,
higher than the mountains, higher than the crystal sky,
higher than the shining stars that live and do not die,
farther than the final sphere, farther than the end
step by step in endless way the final spell shall wend. 

Seven incantations sound in Elven land and hall:
three for power, three for splendor, one above them all.

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