Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Joy V. Sheridan & David Russell write

Quest Triste
Section 9

The tree upon the mountain shed 
Some petals and some berries, 
For those who had been born, living and dead, 
From dawn until twilight, the petals unfolded, 
Pinky, pearly white. 
"Oh! what question here?" Meckelle did cry 
"Give me back the sea, and its raging lullaby!"
Then, uplifted, like a bird he became, 
A seabird, a tern, who wondered 
Where to return. 
He crossed the oceans on flights of thought. 
His memory distraught - with abstractions, 
Subtractions, dissensions, subjugations, 
Then he looked hence: 
The winged messenger appeared: 
He was entranced! 
"Meckelle, I am Mercury, the Messenger; 
He of the winged feet: you who chose 
To encounter the starry signs, 
Remember Ariadne must not be left behind: 
She came after the Bull, before the Twins, 
The forgotten one,
With wings on her shoulders and feet: 

Ariadne? Meckelle? Should I let you meet?" 
Thence Mercury dispensed 
With material images and words. 
He left it to Mackelle to choose 
The cobweb or the herd.

The sudden roaring of a lion,

A jungle, creepy, full of vines 
Myriad insects intersecting 
His fine and fragile thoughts. 
The sun full bright, and then a presence 
Like a glittering, elusive jewel. 
A tassel-headed god-like figure 
Did there beguile, 
To see how canny was Meckelle.

No bonds, no blindfolds, yet he held aside,   

Although in strength he knew himself outstripped 
In every sinew, every bite and whip 
Of mental presence and spiritual force: 
Meckelle, from his imperceptible birth 
Knew the force of things beyond mere mortals.

With a nod of the head, he twisted to the left: 

"Oh roaring lion, cardinal fire: 
What do you have to offer which I think I could desire? 
I who was born of ice, of cold and steam and fire; 
My mother imperceptible, my goal as yet unknown. 
Your crown and ruffled collar do not frighten me away: 
Me, born of ice and fire, who was Christened in the sea. 
What questions might ye pose? 
Perhaps, why does a rose hold a thorn? 
The lion roared, his crown did slide; 
His tail swung like a cat, bereft of pride.

"King of the jungle:  the evergreen, the concrete, 

The ever-being, the unbeing, the ever-will-be again! 
You have little to say to me, beast of the ground, 
In actuality!"

The lion turned in its tracks, but for a split second 

Its amber eyes flashed, from the Earth to the Heavens,
Then sidled away, into the undergrowth 

Of tomorrow's yesterdays - with a flick of the tail. 
Meckelle then heard the sound of the pining whale: 
"Oh thou, who lovest the  deepest sea, 
Think now of me: white whale, pale whale, seal's pup 
They chase us, and what for? 
The loving cup of blood and skin, 
For we are killed, numbers depleted, almost extinct" 
Cried the whale, as harpoons into his body did sink. 
With his dying gasps the whale did cry: 
"Oh Heaven, oh Mercy on thee that art 
The holder of seas, suns and tides 
Our bodies' substances and coverings 
The human lot desires: but we, like you Meckelle, 
Are born of ice and fire."

Then drifted far the voices of a million, million things. 

Meckelle did hear the singing of all beings, 
Within and out of reach his heart did turn 
From fiery red to drearest bleach, 
White as the sands upon which the tide swung. 
Meckelle, Meckelle had listened to the death pell, 
The mighty roar of those beneath creation to be undone.

"Oh mother, oh father! Is this the lair of your mortal selves? 

Upon what shelves do you wish to stack the bones, 
All dry as dust; as the ocean corrodes, and gold erodes to rust." 
He stopped his questioning and stooped beneath 
The fleeing fleece of a lice-ridden lamb 
"Oh Aries! Art thou now put out to ram 
Against the buttress of sadistic will, 
Like lemmings, their bodies for the oceans to distill 
Into what substance?

What think sea-things of thee? They need not bone, 

Nor bristle at the bottom of the sea. 
He chased into a corridor of time, 
And saw a goat, which first had sunk 
But then had risen, with cloven feet unto an icy peak, 
Its muzzle rested, to reach for earth-formed things; 
Its eyes downcast, how could it hear 
The tone of its death-ring? Content it was, this entity,
A metaphor for human frailty. 

Then, casting eyes upon the goat's back side 
Saw splinters of bone, and blood, and other things 
Unwished for, which were beached 
By an incoming tide.


Which parties now could be? Great Hera and fair Mahra - fused into one 

Drawn to impulsive exile from an island's bliss, fair Aphrodite, 
Now free to answer prayers and supplications? 
But for all their essential presence, Meckelle was in a labyrinth 
Threatened by forces within and outside himself. 
Could Ariadne be the last beacon of light?

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