Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rm w/ Vu

I turn from where I stand at the window.
The pane is double frozen with the rime
of hard December.  Outside falls the shade
that marks the fullness and the fast limit
of these diminished days: the stunted light
that traps my vision and denies my gaze.

There is a fire to draw the spirits close,
and here in welcome silence have I paused
to call the murmurs of another world
that breaks its slumber when the sun subsides.
The gathered shadows whisper, and the flame
becomes a mirror for the soul's own light,
reflecting bold and bringing now to life
the shuttered vision of a heart's delight.
I have but to wish, and then to see,
catching each fleeting vapor at its dance;
and yet, how often fails my busy eye
to linger in this dreaming panoply.

There are hard limits to the use of words,
and in the silence that surrounds each thought
I play both sorcerer and crystal glass.
I am what shall, and what shall never, pass;
what soon will once have been, yet always is.
The memory of an echo of a song
tolls to proclaim an hour longtime gone:
the music of some quaint antiquity,
soft prelude to the chorus of regret;
it is all of me and all I know,
the silence and the song and the regret.
There will be song; there will be silence yet.

All this little world is still twilight,
and in the dizzy moments that lead me
to the ascent from daylight into dreams,
I rejoice to sing delights like these,
if only for a moment to assure
that I have grasped them ever as they are;
that something of the quaint eternal stays,
to salve the grind of intervening days;
that in the shapes of a receding past,
there might be found a moment set to last
more than this instant.

What secrets have we,
if such things reach the limits of their spell
with cooling embers, come the morning knell?
What memories of wonder have I kept
secure from scrutiny, thinking others slept?
Must it be vanity to wrest desire
out from the ashes of the midnight fire,
to wait, to see, to hear as I would do,
and trace a vision I might render true?

I woke to find full daylight on the world.
A backdraft from the empty hearth proclaims
the morning's greeting and dispels all dreams
that might have lingered to enchant a dawn.
The brittle music of the winter wind
sifts through the lapses in my dark redoubt.
Outside, a frozen light grips on the air,
one that would foster fear were I in need,
but there is kindling left to conjure dreams,
and last a season more against despair.

I am not fit for dreams or dreaming now,
and know not when nor where my waking leads,
for now the empty echoes only haunt.
There are others stirring in the house,
caught in the coda of their own silence,
fit music for the morning's overture—
though I have kept some few imaginings
to whisper bright reminders to the soul.

A challenge for the vision that endures:
the empty window frames a lifeless scene,
a fast and unrelenting monochrome,
a hieroglyph inscribed in ice and grit.
I shall find lingering charms
to caption it.