• kurtphilipbehm 10w

    The Raven Has Fled

    The ribbon is cut
    The die is cast
    The cement is dry
    Yet nothing lasts
    The brazen rewarded
    The hero a fool
    All reason outdated
    New fury the tool

    A journey presented
    Your ship to go far
    With doldrums eclipsed
    By the light of new stars
    The lands will seem foreign
    The people most strange
    But they’ll smile as you pass
    And call you by name

    You run and you run
    And you run from it all
    With no map to guide you
    The albatross calls
    And then sweet intention
    Returns from respite
    Rephrasing the unmentioned
    Where maybe you might
    In fear of the tonic
    All healing disdained
    Right, left-side disjointed
    The cork from the drain

    The covers pull back
    Your bones are now bare
    The tiller is slack
    And there’s nobody there
    So you take to the helm
    Hands firmly in place
    And you care not a whit
    If it’s all empty space
    As a raven is perched
    On the yardarm so high
    A land bird that lurches
    Cawing all truth a lie

    And you wonder then maybe
    Have you wandered too far
    As you ladle the future
    From a long empty jar
    The wind starts to move
    A gift from the moon
    What’s whole has been halved
    And the sun almost noon
    The rigging is creaking
    The mast ever tall
    The wind has died down
    With no new ports of call

    The feeling still burns
    In the fire within
    To find that one thing
    That unfound—to you sings
    The ocean is flat
    The seas become calm
    The seasons repeat
    From reflection embalmed
    The night sky is clearest
    The darkest the days
    The winds have escaped you
    Adrift you now stay

    But then just a wisp
    Of a breeze on your cheek
    Portends of a magic
    And the vision you seek
    It strengthens and gushes
    Throughout all the night
    As the red sky last evening
    Had hinted it might
    As the headsails go up
    The big linen comes down
    And you climb up the mast
    Stepping over a frown
    The creak of the lapstrake
    Splashes over the bow
    The present’s in sight
    Incarnate right now

    You look down on a lifetime
    In this moment of joy
    As the smell of the brine
    Covers anything coy
    And an Island approaches
    From the mist up ahead
    As the stillness reproaches
    And retreats to its bed
    The wonder returns
    All speculation begins
    Of the magic you’ll find
    In this newness again
    At the top of a mountain
    Strange trees then appear
    In a shape that’s uncertain
    Neither familiar nor clear

    The closer you get
    The more they seem to move
    As their shapes become giant
    And your hopes then behoove
    Now anchored offshore
    With the dinghy in place
    You can see them more clearly
    Each shape and each face
    Like monolithic Gods
    They reign high on the hill
    Looking down on who enter
    With a warning that’s shrill

    But where are the people
    The Island is bare
    Just giant stone carvings
    That linger and stare
    As you land on the beach
    The ground starts to shake
    And from deep in your heart
    The primordial aches
    The mountain then trembles
    All paths become closed
    With the thunder a warning
    Any trespasser knows
    As you run to the dinghy
    Its been stolen and gone
    And your ship is now missing
    In its place just a song
    Calling out in those words
    That you already know….

    “A price not paid dearly
    is only for show”

    You turn back to the mountain
    And in an explosion of light
    You’re lifted up to the heavens
    Spun around in a fright
    Then shooting straight downward
    Toward the mountain below
    With force you are planted
    Along monument row
    And now that you’ve joined them
    All questions abide
    The distance and separation
    In heaven collide….

    “Can I leave, am I destined
    to be left here entombed ?”

    And in language you recognize
    You hear back so soon
    From those pillars immortal
    Voices start to be heard
    Your welcome now total
    Reborn in their words

    “You can leave if you want to
    the choice is now yours
    but this mountain goes
    with you
    all places defer
    you’ve reached
    through the mystery
    you’ve passed your own test
    the tonic’s within you
    —the raven has fled”

    (Villanova Pennsylvania: July, 2013)