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Metamorphosis

 

I suppose there must be words

to describe that meeting,

but I for one do not know them.

Certainly

there are the words of all the experiences

occasioned by man

gathered and carefully nurtured

down through the countless years

he had to make those feelings last,

but how can the same sum total

of even all these

approach what really happened

that day?

 

Instead let me talk

of all the things that happened in the world

while for a brief moment in time

ours stood still.

 

I will talk

of the slow mellowing of a summer

not yet seen

and the golden promise

hidden within its lips,

better for the long wait

had in coming.

A warm coming it was

and doubly welcome,

the earth tempered

by the deep bite

of the rain,

and the longing even deeper

of which a rain

could scarce touch the meaning,

except to show beginnings of a satisfaction.

 

And I will tell you of the sight that day

when Spring unloosed her bonds,

the thongs of a winter long spent.

And the sweetness revealed

made man kneel

in wonder at the song she could sing.

If a cloud passed that day

it was not a cloud such as men know

in their moments of reason -

more a moment of softness

filtering into full flame:

a wave of colour,

whirl-colour corona

that flashed to the core of the world

in a stab of such sweetness

that reason had no reference

nor wakening.

 

And a song I will sing

of the surge of a wave,

and the depth of its pull

and the strength of its need,

for the hold of that wave

on such day as I knew

never called such a depth,

nor described such a view.

But it warmed and it lulled,

and its energy freed

all the bonds of an age

bound in linkage indeed -

though links, too, it forged

as the sheer salty taste

gave a new kind of bond,

born in fathoms embraced.

And on down through the depths,

filled with sheer, surging swell,

plunged the current of life,

learning lesson too well,

to a bottom so broad

that all knowledge could scarce

take realisation

there's yet end to the race.

 

And I'll tell you, my love,

of the bird which fled free

from those waves -

in spirals he rose

like a song to the skies,

sheer-song-silkened wings

of fabulous prize -

and he rose.

The sun drew him upwards

in circling song,

as if all earthy cares

and the worries of years

had been holding him back

for too long, far too long.

Ever up he still climbed

as he sought the white heat

of the glaring, bright sun

in his seat of the skies.

Great daggers of flame

flung from far out in time,

in ecstasy's grasp

caught at the divine

bird-like form

and it burst -

no form can bear so long sweet pain

and stay the same.

Down he tumbled many miles,

in long-swinging sweeps

and far-falling spirals

to the sea whence he came.

And his face hung with joy,

head flung back at the sky,

rolled,

and surged,

and sighing sank

with the lull and the suck of the sea on the shore,

and was still.

 

They say the world turned on its way

just the same that day

as it always did.

That all these things were no more than that:

just its usual wont to sing

or reason to chat,

and the sum of all this day's happenings

are life, in its way;

no more nor no less than that.

But I for one don't believe what they say.

For among these events

we met that day.

................................

(c) Copyright John McNeil, all rights reserved. Apart from the purposes of fair review, this work may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form, physical or electronic, without the express permission in writing of the author. He may be contacted at jandhmcneil<a>paradise.net.nz