David Gray

An Old One

and today the sun shines a bit too brightly,
today the world outside changes once again
from cold winter
into exhilirating summer.
Today the wind is ashamed to blow,
and the clouds too lazy to form.

Today I sense things,
after a sleepless night of the bizarre,
after a blackness of dreams
the morning saw me awaken with fury,
and with a depression of incredible depth.

Any many things seems futile now
and there are futures unveiled
without terror or fear,
but a simple acceptance of the way things must be
the questions of the past mostly answered,
and my heart understands few of the places
of this new reality.

seeds have grown,
and indeed the full blossoming of spring outside
echoes perfectly the growth and disunion
of the greatwood inside my soul,
the longing for that which shall not be
and the memories of those that never were
are birds nestled in the upper branches,
the securities of my soul
that are unchangeable as the day and night,
only slowly mutable with season and fire.

where is that passion?
and the answers are burned away,
as is the history of the trees,
lost in unforgiving time,
the distance of years on a soul.

nothing is perfect
but all is twisted by man,
by nature,
and the understanding of people and the world
destroy all magic and make that sorcery improbable.
the twists,
the deviations from my understandings,
from my knowledge,
the gaps in the stories,
in the truth
all culminate together in a small turn of metal,
and I lack the power to do that which I must,
and fulfill the man that I should be,
or should have been.

the leaves speak to me,
the winds of time rattling them in the branches,
their music is sad and speaks of pain,
and of breaking,
of the death that came in winter,
and the doubt of that new life with the spring.
The patterns of the leaves,
of their shadows,
those patterns on the ground below the trees,
they speak to me in a mysterious language,
of persons I shall never know,
and tiny worlds on earth that I shall never discover,
that have not been granted unto my sight.

And where is the top of the tree,
standing tall and proud in the sun,
I am blinded by the light behind it,
and I cannot see the birds and leaves in the uppermost branches,
that is the future,
and behind it is fate,
blinding me from sight,
from knowledge.

What are the words that can be expressed?
There are no words,
there is only the speach of the leaves,
the clattering of their dried bodies,
the sadness songs they sing.
None can understand that language,
and I can only gain a glimpse of their mood,
and nothing of the intonations,
of the subtleties and dialects,
and therefore cannot communicate their message
for I can speak the language of no other,
and none can speak my own.

There are burnings things,
there are dying things,
there is life within and without,
though that life without is a promise,
and the life within is a hidden one.
Within I can see some of the branches,
and I can see what has been placed there,
another vine to grow upon the tree,
and with the winter it shall die once again,
and its clinging corpse shall be cast to the earth,
and again the tree shall feed.

The rings.
There is fire marked upon those rings,
the fire of ages and of passions,
and each ring bears the scars and the growth invovled in each.
And the rings are again of metal,
and of sunlight and shadow,
rings from the tree,
rings from the magic,
rings from the leaves,
language and passion and magic and time,
they burn together
a cycle of endlessness,
for nothing can change,
the top of the tree is the same,
or nearly so,
as the lower parts,
as the roots,
and no one part can be taken from the whole,
and no one can read the language upon the boughs.

Futility and reality.
They twine together,
futility and reality.
The land around is darkened,
and those keys are hidden so very far,
and reaching them is a task,
a task for me and no other,
for no other can hear the leaves,
and no other should see the inside of the gates again.

Around the ages I see tranquility,
calmness and silence,
an acceptance of reality,
an acceptance of futility,
and I envy those silences,
those strengths in the wind,
in the face of the oncoming spring and fires.
I envy,
yet with such a great respect,
that wisdom that has shut their words,
and the ages hold to their secrets and their histories,
and understand them as the prizes they are,
personal and personable,
proud heritages of scars and growth.
I am so envious of thier age,
the age that has brought them closer,
and has given them their own keys.

Do I talk nonsense?
In point of fact I do,
for the leaves are speaking to me again,
and the winds outside,
or without,
shall stir once more,
and the leaves shall sing of that greatness again,
and teach of rings and fires and history.
I must learn to listen,
to listen without speaking,
for that speach itself is a fire,
and it is not the fire of passion,
the growth fire inside the tree,
but the destruction fire of without,
the burning lack that consumes.

Do I hear nonsense?
Never shall I know,
and never shall one have ability to tell,
for the languages are so imperfect,
the communion and communication so false.
Do I hear in those leaves falseness?
Do I see in the shadows lies and histories that never were?
Has time muted the colors and winter dulled the growth?
I doubt.
I so seriously doubt,
and I have all but finished inquiring,
I shall soon be content among those leaves,
among the shadows at the base of the tree,
and I shall forget of those upper branches,
of the light of fate shining brightly down from above,
changing the very shape of the tree,
turning it this way and that,
as it searches for the fire passions,
and avoids those flames of hunger.

It is weakness that moves my tongue.
Weakness and hope,
hope in the incorrectness of the songs,
hope in a distortion in the trees,
and the search for the key.
Weakness that consumes,
it must be a part of the flame,
and I begin to see a change here,
so I shall end.

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 8, 2009

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