Laura Jean Kelly
Fleeting - Poem by Laura Jean Kelly
Oh catch me with silver ropes, braided with starlight,
And bind me with lightning all strung with gray pearls,
And saw off my horn with a blade of steel, tempered
In the fires of Mount Fury, and shear off my curls,
And still you won't have me! I'll slip through your fingers,
Your long grasping fingers, your ropes and your chains,
And a fast-falling star that is burnt to a cinder
In your hand, is all you'll have left for your pains.
And away fly the things that you thought you had taken:
With me go my freedom, my mane, and my horn,
For the secret to liberty, joy-at-heart, wisdom,
Is to follow, not tether, the bright Unicorn.
Will you come, then? The pathway is not what you think it;
Undreamable tragedies wait for you there.
You must journey through forests of ivy and brambles,
Wild hills, roaring rivers - so come if you dare.
Oh, come if you dare! Come and run in my hoofprints,
Be chained by the wind, and no longer walk free!
Become a bond-slave to the Law of the Cosmos,
Then, bursting like rainbows, will come Liberty.
Descend to the valley where roses make music,
And fall on the Thorn that will rend you apart,
And fling the Love-Jewel in the River of Sorrow.
Then, raining with teardrops, will come Joy-at-Heart.
Come play with the children and learn to be nothing,
No more. Like the glowworms with lights but no eyes.
Learn to sing with the toad, learn to dance with the field mouse!
Till you know yourself foolish, you'll never be wise.
And now that you've heard, will you come to the country
Where the young are made old, and the old are reborn,
And learn the great Secret that cannot be spoken
Till you walk in the path of the wild Unicorn?
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