Friday, February 17, 2017

The Wasting Chair

The Wasting Chair

In chair He sits as the manor decays,
Old enemies gathering at the gates.
Grown strong with time, and malaise,
Ready to feast upon His chosen fate.
With saddened eyes His children watch,
Emulating—womb state bystanders.
In their own small chair, legs do notch,
The moments too easily pandered.
His wife’s love is all but gone,
To be plucked away by the gathering horde,
Who laughing—mocking His lack of brawn,
Chase her from His heart without need of sword.
The mob has come to claim last of the bole,
New lumber wrought from His weakened soul.


The Coward is old before His time.
His bones ache on ill-used hinges and rusty joints,
His muscles buried and covered with lime.
A corpulent embrace ready to anoint
His favored and constant companions—
Fear and regret are never far from His side,
And they whisper the lulling songs
That keep Him rooted and tied.
He has not forgotten the dreams from youth.
The feel of His sword held tight in His grip,
His mind soaring in search of truth,
His heart His body’s chosen flagship.
Only the love that He bears His family
Hangs fast to guide His last move of sanity.



In these dreams of memory
He remembers the man closer than brother,
That heroic boy who faced jeopardy
With a laughing heart, no burden unshouldered.
Forsaken this hero, left behind to battle the separation,
But perhaps he fights on still,
Perhaps on the island planation
Where joy was grown to endless fill,
He lies in prison entombed,
Amongst the ruin of a forgotten term.
The courage of his heart not yet consumed.
To his old friend’s side might rally firm.
That madcap champion of heart and soul,
Of strength undaunted by fear’s vise hold.

Rising from chair and sneaking away,
From manor to vessel, and across the sea.
With grace He has no right to call this day,
He prays the gates hold, oh, hear this plea.
Against the tempest and writhing tide,
He hides in cabin, and cowers,
As one by one the crew tumbles broadside,
All will be lost in the passing hour.
To the deck, through raging panic,
That threatens to crush Him into the planks,
He crawls to the base of the mighty stick,
And rapping coil around arm, gives mighty yank.
Hold the sail till help arrives,
A crew of few, but still alive.

A soft wreck on the forgotten shore,
Where atop the mountain lies the grey prison.
A treacherous journey through spinney gorge,
Surely failure before they’ve risen.
But the journey has been lean and hard,
And His muscles have slowly woken,
Feasting on restraining lard,
Bones now thick and oaken.
His crew abandons halfway up the hill,
Fear of legends too real to dismiss.
Of forgotten ghosts that worse than kill,
Who sever manhood with sirens kiss.
But close is He, too close to falter,
And makes to the base of the the grey altar.  

Heavy stone gate creaks like His bones,
As He pushes inside the dark passage.
Strewn throughout the halls are things His own,
Childish things, toy trucks and carriage.
Books and bats, balls and cars.
His confused heart is lamented and fraught.
And at the end of the hall, cell door ajar.
The hero is freed? All for not?
With trembling hands, red raw from sea,
And toil with rope, and cliff stone,
Aside He pushes the cell door free.
His eyes wide, he weeps and moans.
Singular in the cell’s vacant air
Lies His own begotten tattered chair.

He lifts the chains which were always His,
And sinks into the upholstery.
No hero waiting to fight there is,
Only the same foreboding banshee.
His children, His wife, His home, His soul—
All have only His failed dreams to save them.
Dreams of twisted memory now whole,
The disappointment of which He is alum.
“Goodbye my love,” he cries.
“Goodbye my failed children.”
“Forgive me as I lay down to die.”
“I have failed finally and again.”
And a voice His own screams no,
A coward’s request will not be bestowed.

His own words bite and tear at His flesh,
The pain great, a raving furnace.
Against His shame His mind does thresh,
And somehow foot finds purchase.
One step and to his feet he climbs,
Stopping to pick up his lost toy sword,
He shuffles through the dank and grime.
The sun stings His eyes, twice He’s nearly floored,
One step to the shore.  His ship is broken,
And so one plank, one lashing, one hammer fall,
An Umiak for one now is woven.
A set of oars, stroked against the squall,
Next to His love once more to lie?
Homeward bound at least to die.

The wooden oars creak and squeal
Like the ill-used hinges of His old bones,
But these joints don’t creek as they guide the keel,
And the the cry from His chest is no coward’s moan.
Swiftly the longboat picks up its speed,
And the man at the oars is not the same,
When night now falls on hands that bleed,
To the whetstone His sword He tames.
Tempests come and tempests pass,
But they do not find the Umiak of one.
It moves with a purpose under hero’s wrath,
A timber marlin racing the sun.
One more look into His children’s eyes,
Homeward bound, perhaps to die.

Broad of shoulder and strong of back,
The hero lands on homeward shore.
Fear and regret linger amongst the wrack,
Their old companion they recognize no more.
But turning briefly the hero screams,
“You will follow; the carnage is yours as mine!
“Together we made it, stitched its seams,
“And together we see it resign.”
Sword in hand, no longer a mere child’s toy,
Ahead to His manor sieged, the hero storms the beach,
His enemies have made their ploy,
To his loved ones they have reached.
And from the ramparts His enemy smiles,
His own image looking down beguiles.

And so there sits His enemy, laughing above the gate,
In an armchair notched with wasted time,
Crying now “You’re late.  Too late.”
The hero’s companions, heads nodding mime,
This enemy they recognize with comfort.
And the hero knows, they may be right,
And putting arms around fear and his cohort,
He accepts the arduous plight.
“You will tempt me no more,” the hero calls.
“Either you or I will fall this day,
“But I will not lay down without a brawl,
“and the to each our dues we pay.”
So raising sword and setting his jaw,
 To new life he charges yaw!

And reflected in his children’s eyes,
Next to his wife sure he will lie,
This hero who is yet to die.



   






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Scarlet Hopewell