Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Before the Lotos Dream

by Steve King

All rights reserved

I thought that I would never be with you.
For you had always been a part of clamor—
joining tumult with a most profound
sense of peace; and you there at the center,
fending supplications with your ease,
adroit, alight, abominable tease.

I had never voice, nor had a choice,
except to watch it all, your pale hand leading
other souls in charmed communion,
one, then another, each in sacred turn,
up to a point of astonished silence,
their lips tasting the lotos of your wrist.

I wonder how it was our gazes met.
You always seemed to cast your eyes above
my station.  Where were you seeing then?
It was a darkened age, no gilding light
to mark the forming puzzle of my page.
I would not play the fool, nor strut the sage.

I worried that my presence had no gauge.
But you were well adept at listening.
Still, the furor rose around your aura:
you among what then were merely others.
Other than you and I.

I saw you step quickly out of their circle
and then were gone;  but you had shown them well.
They would embrace the spirit of your perfume,
the palpable mirage you trailed behind,
and love your idea as soon.

And then you stood
within the shadow that surrounded me.
Unbidden, you had come the unlikeliest way,
you unknown and I as yet unknowing.
Who knew why, or wanted then the question?
Now near my heart there was a sounding board,
your breast a solemn tabor for my cries:
my words now songs that will or will not soar,
but won't die borning, the old silent way.

I must hold quickly:  Somewhere in dying light,
amid the clamor that enchains them still,
I watch your clan of once-deserving souls
that sings no other dream, nor ever will.