The Blue Flower - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
He walked a thousand miles
and thousands more,
it was as if obsession had befallen,
and thoroughly infested his whole being.
He could not help it, he was simply driven.
And where he rested, heels so sore
and blistered from the stony trails,
he looked around, searched all the ground,
turned over stones and smelled the air,
each tree stood like a sentry but all-knowing,
he never found it, though he never rested long,
he only had the lifetime of one man, to see,
to hold and breathe in sweetness and the promise
of God's own hand upon his head to heal his soul.
Where are you, fragile, rare elusive beauty,
why are you hiding when my need has not abated,
what must I do to hold you near my aching heart,
carress your petals, keep you safe from any evil?
I'm seeking what is known as the Blue Flower.
A rare, exotic and forgotten living creature,
and she is capable of healing ailing souls,
of breathing life into discarded shattered dreams.
I have been granted only limited resources,
and not a clue was handed down to ease the task,
though right at birth I knew what had been duly scripted
my journey started when blue eyes opened at dawn.
Oh, I would recognise her, it would be electric,
a spark of closure to a life spent in a cloud.
Once I was greeted by the fragrance of a violet,
which stood alone beside a frosty Alpenpath.
But it was not the one, though sorely tempted then,
I sat beneath the happy branches of a birch
while cooling well-worn and much toughened tired feet
in cooling waters of the brook that knows the snows.
Sweeping the ground there was a gaggle of white geese,
munching God knows what herbal leaves during their stop,
a lonesome crow with devil's eyes, a vivid contrast
to what all scholars want to study, all romantics
regard as mankinds queen of all the living plants.
Oh, yes, the Edelweiss, a beauty without peers,
she only lives where any man will fear to tread,
many a life has been so prematurely ended
in silent quest to bring the promised one to her.
But, do not worry, sweet and noble queen, be greeted!
I shall from here take your portrait to foreign lands,
and you will soothe my troubled mind until I find
what I have come for and must see before I die.
A spotted deer is rubbing true angelic features
against a hemlock, home to motionless red squirrels,
above us all an eagle cruising and observing
sends little cries of accusation and of glory.
The sun now waves with fading, slowly sinking rays,
wide banners of earth's vapours painting curtains
it's time to go for me, I travel not at night, as not to miss
the glimpse I live for, of my ever waiting flower.
I settle in between the boulders for the night,
and enter dreamland as is custom in these mountains.
And there she is, wearing the most exquisite hue
with tiny droplets of a lovely mountain dew.
And I am torn between pure joy and bold possession,
my hand now reaches, though my soul will not allow.
A breech of ambience that has engulfed the peak
is now descending with its painful truth from heaven.
A wind comes up and stirs the leaves and aging branches,
an ancient oak is creaking, bats are flying low,
rain drops start smacking as they hit the mossy stones
and my blue flower now looks sad, perhaps distressed
Two hands can form an urgent rainproof shelter,
it's called a steeple and my warmth contained therein
she leans her face against bare skin as if to say
yes I am yours and full of joy that you have ventured
so far from home, and just for me, with scant regard
for your own safety and the life you ought to live.
And thus we sit through mountain showers, gusts of wind
until the sun comes up again to start the day.
But I feel tears as I awake from cherished dreams,
she now has vanished from my life as she has come.
Yes, the old Edelweiss, as ugly as before
and that bland violet amongst the alpine grasses,
they own the hills where there is real sound of music,
but only emptiness and loneliness for me.
I must continue on my journey without failing
my heart and soul, in my desire to appease,
no, not the Gods or other men, nor Father Time.
And as I start my journey with a timid step
I take one look behind me, thinking of Lot's wife
and there she is, the ugly Edelweiss, just nodding
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