I take one more step.
The cracks radiate from me,
The wierdest high whine
Tells me I'm all done with this.
This ice will not hold my world.
I am too burdened
With illusion, too heavy,
But I'll freeze naked.
I look up. Ravens
Have gathered. I have become
A spectator sport.
They descend, gently grab me,
So many hold me, lift me
And dump me in snow
At the edge of this thin ice.
Then they fly away.
Written December 24, 2008 8:44 AM
First Posted April 8, 2009
Karen commented on this poem's first posting and called this the best poem I had posted to date back in my early days. As noted, this was written the day before Christmas in 2008. I was living alone and I had no reason to specially observe the Christmas season. In my original post, much closer to the day of writing, I claimed I was snowbound that year. That happens maybe once or twice a winter in the Portland area of Oregon.
In that post I claimed I had no real idea what the poem signified except in the obvious general ways, since I write of illusions and my certainty that I will die without them. The ravens save my ass so I presume I get to keep my illusions, so long as they include ravens who save my ass.
Then they fly away. I suspect illusions do too, so I may have to create new ones. I may have to because the basic issue is I will freeze without them. Hmmm. I "know" I won't freeze without them. The wise people tell me so. The brave folk say I will live better.
This might be why it is so freaking hard to get people to live free of illusions. They "know" they can live without them but remain certain they will freeze nevertheless. Possibly they fear being naked and ashamed. Possibly I fear being naked and ashamed. Possibly.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.