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VxPoem ID: 30396


Posted: September 27th. 2007 1:35:45 AM

Views: 1420


by Julian the Apostate

Age Group: Adult

I wish that I was beneath the cool shade of the sheltering pine,
Lost in mystic thoughts, fallen into mystic depths
Listening to the long, soft notes of the Eternal,
Tones so subtle, so long that they stretch out and embrace the soul,
Stretch on into pure silent being...and end.
Before one even realizes that they've been held so, those notes are gone,
Taking with them a piece of the soul.

Instead, I'm here, burning, a fire, burning:
My tongue - flames; my teeth - flames; my hands - flames;
My heart full of flames
Feeding off of this mingled wood, of pain and passion,
An inexhaustible fuel. Only death will douse this flame
And nothing will remain of this fire, of this pain and passion
But the dry dust and damp charcoal of memory
That too blown by the wind, ashes scattered,
Fallen into the slumbering earth.

Sometimes even the dead are unquiet, and the sleeping get no rest.
I dreamt that I was awake...I was dreaming, but my eyes were open
I was sleeping, but I could see. A woman came to me
With berries in her hand; she told me to eat them
The berries of ever-wakefulness.
An eye opened within me, and in my sleep I cannot rest.
Instead, I see fields of orange-berried bushes,
Rowans from some strange awakened dreamscape.
In eating them, in opening that ever-wakeful eye
I've started a journey, I've stirred the dead.

Do not think, because the dead can't move, that they rest.
I was listening to Beethoven yesterday (such sublime pleasure)
That eye opened within me, and a pair of eyes were watching me
I saw a man who was a man no more, entombed in blackness
His gaze fell upon me, eyes that were no eyes
He smiled, sardonic, a grin that was no grin;
He took pleasure in that sound.

I saw a friend last week, laying there, dead
There was nothing left in him, no peace....
The peace of death is a lie.
He was just matter, a pale body, collapsing already into rot and dust.
Yet, something surreal hung about him, a cloud, a haze ;
He looked like a dream about to disappear upon the awakening of the dreamer.
Now he's gone, into the hungry earth, but his soul is elsewhere;
Consciousness, so unlike the body, must persist somehow, somewhere.
I don't know where he is right now, but last night I awoke
Something was pressing upon me, suffocating me, strangling me,
Pulling me down, trying to bury me beneath the hungry earth.

Today is another day, worse than yesterday, worse than the day before.
This fire burns inside me - I cannot control it;
This fire is mine - but she has stoked it.
Life, words....poetry poured forth from a desperate heart.
My heart cannot lie, nor know shame, for shame is a lie
Foisted upon an honest heart. Sometimes, in life, in words
I stumble upon beauty, upon something more;
But usually I just fumble, driven by this fire in my mind,
And an unquiet heart.

I dreamt another strange dream last night
This fire burned so head was hot, my brow fevered,
Sweat upon my pillow....I could feel the flame inside me.
I prayed for that fire to be put out, to be doused, to be extinguished
I tried to blow it away.
I struggled all night, I slept for fourteen hours, but I didn't sleep at all.
I dreamt (a dream?) that a priest came, a holy man,
And sprinkled me with water - that flame went out
For a moment, I was becalmed, I was rested.
Then that fire came back, burning brighter than before;
I sent it out to her, wanting to explain everything, to tell her everything.

That when I think about the other night, a mingled pain and pleasure arises within me;
When I wonder whether it was enormous or not, I feel a kick in the gut,
A hatred, a desire to rend my own flesh, to let my blood pour forth
Upon fields of virgin flowers. I wish that I had killed my passions long ago,
Calmed my spirit, beneath the shady pine.
What I want from her is not physical, not mere sex....
So often so painful, so lonely, so sad ....
I want to throw myself at her, break her open, break myself open
So that our souls pour forth, and the ineffable is made tangible,
The unknowable made known.
I dreamt (again!) that I sent my fire out to her, and she understood
Her breath was upon me, and she was hot too
Tears mingled with words, then she was gone.
Just a overactive imagination.

Yesterday I bowed before Aphrodite,
I cursed Her and I prayed, in the immortal words of Sappho:
"but come here to me now, if ever in the past
you have heard my distant pleas
and listened....
so come to me now, free me from this aching pain,
fulfil everything that my heart desires to be fulfilled: you,
yes, you will be my ally."
But Aphrodite said nothing, and that's okay too.
My ardor will cool, this fire will transform, through words, into poetry
The gift of the Gods.
Already a cool breeze blows, caresses me, the rain eases my soul.
I understand the meaning of death, the need for a great forgetting;
I'm grateful that at the center of the universe,
There's a great compassionate power
In whose embrace we can wash away our mistakes, our pain,
Our memories, our lives... tear by tear.

copyright Julian Rose 2007

Author's Location: Akron, Ohio
More Poems: Julian the Apostate has posted 2 additional poems- View them?
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