Thursday, August 2, 2007

To See Leonie Again

One month. One deadened month had passed,
In which no playful sunlight fell,
Since sweet Leonie breathed her last
And plunged me in a gateless hell.
I’d stroked her cheek upon the bier,
So cold to touch, devoid of breath,
Cocooned within her tragic death
From love and waste and morbid fear.
And, in my blind, oppressive trance
I cursed the slap of circumstance.

But then, one morn, a colleague came –
Oh puppeteering alchemist! –
With potion, amber as a flame,
To cleanse, said he, my darkened mist.
And I, with neither care nor heed,
Drank deeply from the proffered vial,
While he, with easy, pleasing guile,
Observed the fast-descending mead.
And as I gulped the bitter draught,
I spied an old abandoned raft

That bobbed and wavered by the bank
Of some foul-smelling, hateful stream,
While somewhere close upon my flank,
An old man cursed my devious dream.
Upon the swaying craft I sprang
And loosed the moorings from it’s side
Submitting blindly to the tide.
And in my heart I felt a pang,
A tremor swathing through my veins,
As though enclasped by ghostly chains.

Across the nitred dark I flew,
While deep below the flimsy boat,
Half-hidden from my trembling view,
Swam shadows black as creosote.
And lo! a smould’ring coast appeared,
And high upon a craggy rock,
Clad in a charred and smoking smock
Arose that figure once revered.
With writhing hair and blackened eyes,
Leonie uttered wretched cries.

I tried to turn, to move my limbs,
But terror held me petrified,
As all the while, those hellish hymns
Like lightning crashed above the tide.
And when the prow defiled the shore,
A great three-headed dog appeared
Behind a poplar, black and speared,
Emitting a triumphant roar.
Then as I cursed the crimson moon,
I fell into a blackened swoon.

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