Prose Poem #237

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One Autumn day when sticky black molasses
trapped my feet inside its smoothsome snare
a dream streamed loud in my synapses
with an icicle of glee and wintry glare
about a man who thought his course was run
who felt that he had nothing more to share
and that the pattern of his life was done.
So here’s the dream in full. I left out nothing;
neither have I changed the makely sense or
anything which would disguise its providence.

Sitting down… [or was it standing?]
on a precipice of crushed pushedupness
(known as mountain to the uninitiated)
razor poised like flashing diamonds in the air
he falls onto his knees and senses lichen
on the stonely rock of sacrifice below.
A test of health is when that yellow stain —
a fungus and some algae all-in-one
which lives together symbiotically —
flourishes and spreads itself besottedly
on bark and stone. Their natural home.
He wondered just how lichen’s growth and he
could be so ruthlessly opposed diametric’ly.

Nineteen thousand feet below,
(the kind of cliff from which one easily
could throw oneself were one so-minded)
earth was heaving like an excremental sea.
It’s stench was still embedded in his clothes
(the lingering reality of DNA’s decree),
despite the years that latterly had passed his way
since he’d ascended through the forest robes
which hugged the foothills’ fencing low to highland.
Having trouble breathing at that altitude
had meant that less of human scent
(the very opposite of heaven-sent)
went to his nostrils, though his engram feelings
froze like filigreesome whore[sic]frost upon the trees.

Just then a loudly thing fell from the sky
and landed hard before his gaze —
a creature of some kind whose “legs” were broken
so the bones stuck through the rolls and folds
of skin though he or she [or now whatever else
it was within] was conscious and alert
and otherwise unhurt, despite the gore.
“Hello,” it said. “I once was human, unlike you,
though from our planet (where you soon will be)
we have been monitoring everything you do.
We have the means and the technology
and by the way I’ve just been sent to stop you
from committing what amounts to fool stupidity.”

The kneeling man then spoke these solemn words
(his razor still poised threatly in the air):
“It’s kind of you to share your deep concern
(intrusive though it is to drop in on my slab)
but please don’t think I’m here upon a whim
or that I haven’t taken in the implications
of this final act. I know now for a fact that
everything I am and have become no longer
has a place within this sphere and staying here
is now no more an option, let alone a choice.
(For Sydney Carton said it well before the scaffold
held him in its warm embrace — a shaft of moonlight
falling on his lovelit, cellbound face). This 3D circle’s
now become a living hell” (at which he dropped
his voice down to a barely little whisper,
not so much to emphasise solemnity but more
because of tears which dribbled down into his mouth
and choked the dulcet patterns of his voice).

The thing which fell with bones and flesh enmeshed
then intervened and said “Your life is not your own!”
while raising up his broken corpse onto its haunches
which, I swear (the whole bloodspattered scene),
resembled now some mighty God upon a throne.
“It was a gift in ways you cannot nowly comprehend.
When we, in all our wisdom, love and foresight
deigned to send your soul (as you would say)
onto this plane, don’t think we did not know
that what you would endure here would be sure
to drive your mind in all its beautiness insane.
This world’s designed not as the end but as a means
to hammer out your mettle on the anvil of despair
through which you pass as students there until
you rise above the dirt and drowningness
and choose instead the paths which will be best
to carry you to worlds beyond imagination’s
limitations — not to mention all the ways
you flagellate yourself unnecessarily,
indulge in meaningless and injudicious therapy.”

Imperceptibly, the razor in the hand began to drop
and came to rest not on his neck but on the stone.
For in that moment, he had come to realise
that he, in all his vastful solitude, was not alone.
The two then sat in silence on the clouds.
He folded up his razor then it turned into a crown
at which he knew that he must once more venture
down and move among the lost and wailing crowds
and play his pipe to melt their makeshift shrouds
and draw them to the realm of light, ensuring that,
though wave of grief on wave should come along,
he never compromised his role, or soul, or song.

And when I pondered what this storyline could be
I saw that both the sacrifice and thing were me.


© Alan Morrison, 2014

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