Hollowed Out

The poems are best when they come too quickly for me to think about. I don’t want to know what they mean until they have said it. That takes forebearance–I am as ego-invested as anyone in creating dignified work that will not embarrass me! The problem is that one never knows which work that will be until it is too late.

Tonight, I saw a woman gazing into a mirror–not at, but through, her face. She was searching for something down the long hollow tunnel or tube she saw stretching away in the silvered glass. She found it, and then she had to understand it. Her perspective shifted, and she was not sure which end of the tunnel she was at. She thought she started out as the one outside looking in, but now? Someone else is there.

She was led to this place by a song that inspired her, and she was hoping to hear more. Magic songs, to retrieve from the other world. By the she returns from the mirror, she has all the images; now to retrieve their message. Lamb–springtime–sacrifice? Never mind; it’s still in motion; we might never really know.

Knowing too much is the real end of the line. Not much danger of that!

12 March 2021


Out of a Hollow Sky

The mirrored reflection led down to a hollow

that swiftly proceeded along a dark track

and twisted around till she felt herself falling

forever toward–where there’s no turning back.

The music repeated, containing the message

that spoke to her soul so directly she wept,

then opened again and again further lessons

and soon she was borne through a passage–windswept–

like a burden of feathers through uncanny weather,

and nothing of home in the valley in view.

I had a long hopeless talk with the leather

that once used to wear a live lamb–not a ewe,

because lambs of his breed seldom linger past springtime.

One little twist of the knife, like the trail

through the endlessly unreeling shadows here winging

across the bare field where she crosses the pale

and exceeds outer limits of bounded protection.

Now she’s a lamb to the slaughter, perhaps–

but she goes on unknown and unnoticed–selected

by someone who knows where the shadows lay traps

and where they escape from their own bad devices.

Darker the way, but her eyes start to clear.

Something is borne on the wind beyond ice, and

it’s melting the edge of the sight shining here–

The ice is reflective in moonlight, a mirror-

bright glimpse there awaiting its caster of gleams

that shine in the eyes only known to appear in

the very last moment before waking dreams

subside into daily, reflective, awakened

yet magical–weather–as if we were skies,

while under us–poor helpless children–poor maiden,

poor mourned one–we shine like spring rain to their eyes.


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at rainharp.com
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