Monday, December 19, 2011

Glimpse From A Dream

I was maker of shoes
in a coastal city
my shop two blocks up
from the beach.

One afternoon
I glanced up from my work
and saw rushing agitated crowds--
shoppers, shopkeepers,
streaming my street down

I waited till most
had hurried past,
I locked my doors
and followed

eagerness and irrational fury
sparked blue in breathless air
anticipation hurried my feet
rumour I was told:
something had crawled up
from the sea.

as I drew near,
I saw crowds converging
on a man placidly walking
parallel to the waves
along the sand
barefoot, dressed in a simple
ivory tone robe.

In spastic crashing waves of fury
as if to pursue and kill
groups armed with bottles and sticks
rushed him
but dropped or brandished
powerlessly as they approached

admiring crowds also gathered
who walked beside, behind him,
he was the calm centre
in a maelstrom,
whirlwinds of anger, amazement,

Walked as if no weapon
formed against him
could stand,
walked embodiment of peace
strolled down this beach,
a candle with a tall flame,
burning motionless and clear
perfectly clear,
in a violent storm.

A curious thing:
as he walked through the tumult
I saw
scattered among this throng
those who were held by his eye
as though
an unspoken question
embraced a silent answer
for one, then another.

I knew now his purpose,
and that my turn would come.

He looked deliberately at me
from centre of his clear still flame,
his eyes called my secret name
my knees buckled
a golden voice rang in my brain:
"Go back to the city,
I have work for you to do."

I faded away from the crowd,
returned to my work
making boots and poems,
commissioned and amazed,
forever changed.

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