Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Blind Storyteller


Old, blind, godless, my stories have withered.
It's years since that I have plied my trade: lit a candle,
slipped on my old paisley vest and the soft fez I wore
and, crouched on a stool, begun my tale. I well remember
the magic of all that. How the words seemed to push back
the darkness for a while and make actual the fancies I conjured.
How my hands would transmit form.
How, just once in a while, a voice would speak through me
and I would utter some phrase hinged to the moment
and move, as if through a doorway, between worlds:
the hint of otherness staying with me for days.
We inhabit, I believe, realms of wonder.

My curled fingers transmit no shapes now; my lumpy, fused joints
no longer clasp. I am scaly with age.
They fuss about me here and make me comfortable; clean me up.
But I am left increasingly alone, and every day
I wander through some of those overgrown doorways
and talk with whoever I meet there.
It's not always who I expect, and the worlds distort and the colours
bleed one into the next and I shamble along - half in wonder,
half in fear - bemused at the porousness of it all: I am leaching away.
Mumbling, I do understand that this is my only way to pray.
At the end of a life - god, or no - this is, perhaps, what is left to do.
The blind storyteller, my friends, turns, heaves, mutters...

and out of my own body a long, silky thread trails.


16 January 2013

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