The Crystal Fortress

The crystal fortress –

The clear expression of the certainly

That the world, which it was built to guard,

Could never yield under attack:

/

Its only knight’s armour

Is but her bare skin;

Her sword’s the clearest of mirrors

Cutting through flesh to reveal the heart;

/

The moat around the fortress

Is filled with blooming flowers,

Whose beauty drowns in joy and colour

Each enemy, who tries to cross – and falls;

/

The gates of this strange stronghold

Are made of silk and spring wind:

Whoever comes to them armed,

Leaves, enveloped in warmth;

/

This fortress hides no secrets;

Inside it no one’s prisoner;

No treasures save for the truth

It keeps in open vaults

I Promise, Part II

Have you returned

Ever

Or is this shell before me

But an empty

Vessel,

Which waves of time

Have carried to the shore?

/

In the storms

You’ve weathered

Have you been able to preserve

From certain

Drowning

Your heart – your precious gift,

Your heavy burden?

/

Sleeping with Death

Nightly

I fear you may have found

In her calm eyes

The peace and quiet, which

Unlike me,

Would never let you go?

/

Can you even

Hear me,

Standing before me as you are:

Callously smiling

At questions, which to you

Must sound

Pathetic and naïve?

/

I listen,

I listen…

And only wish I had for you

A soothing answer:

Can’t say the words

You wait and want

From me:

/

I have returned,

Truly,

As much of me, that is,

As there remains,

But, surely, much it is not

And none of it

Is good

/

No ropes, no anchors,

No sails

And no one at the helm

To steer it,

That’s me, the vessel, which at last

Has found this beautiful,

Long-dreamed-of port

/

The vessel’s vaults

Are all empty;

Not even rats now lurk across

Its rotten insides,

Where no one enters, 

Save for winds

And ghosts

/

Its cannons

Are quiet

But painful to behold,

Like memories,

Too wild and full-blooded

To ever loose themselves

Amongst the rest

/

Forgive me for coming

Back:

I only did because

When I had left you, I promised

I would return,

And you promised 

To wait

/

Yes,

I remember:

‘I promise to return,’ you said,

And I replied that

I would wait for you forever;

The words, the love, the hope

The good intentions…

/

All – wet gunpowder in the stores

Of life;

Small rescue rafts, too light

For real seas;

I prayed for you – you know? – through every day,

Shuddered in fear – you hear? – through every night

While I’ve been waiting –

Yes, I am waiting still

***

The original ‘I Promise’ is here: https://sixthsymph.com/2012/06/27/i-promise/

Without a Weakness

I step over the faded line, dividing

The realm of trust, built of my blind misunderstandings,

And this of the unknown paths I must tread on;

I’m certain, now there’s none and naught to guide me;

/

No light will shine into the air, which, stiff and heavy,

Settles in my chest, changing me forever,

Into a faceless embodiment of courage; the absence

Of hope should help me bear this utter darkness;

/

I cannot see what nightmares come alive where

I make my way, I can’t afford to dread them:

They help to build my fortress without entrance,

They turn my heart into a rock that can’t be moved;

/

Behind me, in a haze, still standing,

There is the house of lies from which I ran, and

In its small windows I still glimpse the candles’

Flickering light: their faint warmth once entranced me;

/

I watch the flames and shadows shake and tremble,

And laugh through tears, for now that ‘me’ is nonexistent;

The new one is a faultless stronghold, built to safeguard

What was your heart – what’s now my heart without a weakness

And Love Each Step

You have been cruel

And I’ve been silly,

So we are equally to blame

For the wrongs of lying and believing,

For giving ours – and each other’s – words such meanings

As were convenient on certain days;

/

Your mouth would laugh

But not your heart, while

My eyes would smile

But not my lips:

Our feelings, all – misunderstandings,

Our paths – too different to the same home to lead

/

Forgiveness is

The longest journey,

So one must forgive readily;

You I can say good-bye to, but how to

Part with my own pathetic childishness,

At being weak – with so much shame and guilt?

/

All I can do is

Keep on moving: utter my words,

Regretting what I say; make friends,

Who may or may not be that to me;

And climb mountains of pain

To glowing summits – in my head

/

And love each step –

And have no fear of loving;

For there is nothing worse than being scared;

Nothing could hurt more

Than the angry words we’ve spoken,

Except the kind words which remain, and die, unsaid

Everything

I regret

Everything or nothing;

If I could,

I’d, perhaps, rewind

The old film I am

To its black beginning,

Or leave it to run out,

As soon, I feel, it might

/

I have trusted,

And I’ve trusted fully,

Never for a moment

Doubting that

None would ever lie to me –

Why would they?

Foolish I have been

Among much wiser friends

/

I have journeyed

Where my dreams would take me,

Stopping not halfway

Until I reached

Endings, which became –

Again – beginnings,

Ceaselessly;

And now my name is Change

/

I adore

Everything or nothing

Of the world and myself

I see:

Pain and shame,

Cruelty and suffering,

Regret, trust and dreaming

With one’s dusty feet