The Wind Is Isolde
The warden’s bewildered, the watchman’s amazed
as the gate slowly opens a hole in the haze.
The steps seem uncertain, the cobblestones crazed
watching stars burn above us like pinwheels ablaze.
Though lanterns hang vacant in streets starring blind,
broken paths kindle riddles –
recalling the Sphinx... I’ll not leave you behind
The lepers laugh, leaping from tombstones of steel
chasing rollaway caskets on luminous wheels.
Their shadows shake, frozen, in echoes confined,
twisted time melts at midnight –
take hold of my hand... I’ll not leave you behind
The ponies of plunder roam, riding on high
watching pilgrims on stallions cast stones from the sky
at the statues they’re stalking which pay them no mind.
But our broncos are bolting –
just cling to my cape... I’ll not leave you behind
The bandits are brazen, the leprechaun’s lurk
while imbibing dark brews of a hag’s handiwork.
They’re gulping from goblets that goblins designed,
sipping wisps of the wind –
Woman! Throw your wings wide... I’ll not leave you behind
The orphans and widows lean, bent in the breeze
while a horrified hangman nods, passing decrees.
The engines of mercy have come to a grind
for they’re facing the Furies –
just fade neath the night... I’ll not leave you behind
The tattered toy teddies and raggedy Anns
have escaped to the highways of kid caravans.
They’re shepherding shadows, know not what they’ll find.
Their parade’s fast departing –
adrift in your dreams... I’ll not leave you behind
The circles are swirling, they flash from the crown,
from the rainbows of summer, the circus in town.
While the compass wheel’s spinning, the minutes unwind
in the morning monsoons –
help me grab what you need... I’ll not leave you behind
The gremlins grin, groping, they know that they must
though the sprites and the pixies no longer have trust.
They sling bolted arrows at shades undefined
but the clouds are unsettled –
so fly from your fears... I’ll not leave you behind
The cannons keep calling, the piccolos shriek
and the druids drift, drumming, while pale pagans speak.
They’re urging me forward, my senses they’ve mined,
and the trail is erupting –
just follow my heels... I’ll not leave you behind
In vampire steeples, cathedral clocks tick
dripping droplets of wax neath a white candle’s wick.
Within the night’s terrors the flames are enshrined
but the glim is fast fading –
so scatter the ash... I’ll not leave you behind
The looking glass glistens, the firefly glows,
hear the fairies tap-dancing on tiny tip toes.
The twilight’s collapsing, which serves to remind
that the dusk turns to dust –
so forget your farewells... I’ll not leave you behind
The wind is a woman, she burns like a brand
and conceals crazy secrets caught carved in the sand.
She whispers her mysteries but leaves them unsigned,
for the wind is Isolde –
I’m raising my sails... I’ll not leave you behind
Terry O'Leary's Other Poems
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