NPM: Waiting

A daub of mud, a bit of twine

Are the winged craftsman’s tools

to build his short-lived shrine

Devoted to waiting in endless night

on the still, silent egg

Long after the others took flight

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NPM: The Handless Watch

Monsieur Cotillier had not always been

the remarkable person of fable.

He was once just a child

By the name of Armand

who slept on the hay in a stable.

 

And little Armand woke up every morning

to care for the cows and the hens.

He’d work through the day,

then lay down and pray,

and sleep to start over again.

 

A less magical life can scarce be imagined.

Armand knew that this was his lot.

Until one day there came

a traveling market

and everything changed on the spot.

 

For after the milking and feeding was done,

Young Armand snuck off to the fair.

He saw trinkets and baubles

straight out of his dreams,

enchantment hung thick in the air.

 

A two headed-lizard spoke sonnets of love,

Cards built themselves up into towers.

And out of a wagon,

a wizened old woman

sold beautiful crystallized flowers.

 

Such blossoms have never been seen on this earth

They delighted and dazzled the boy.

Each perfect cut bloom

so vivid and sharp

filled Armand with ineffable joy.

 

The woman looked up and noticed the child

admiring all of her wares.

“Long have I waited

for you, my dear boy.”

Armand could do nothing but stare.

 

She reached into her shawl and pulled out a chain.

A pocketwatch hung from one end.

“This is for you, child.

Now open it up,

It’s time for your tale to begin.

 

Time and Fate are two faces of the very same coin

Together they bend and are bent.

So why should a watch

tell only the Time,

but not Fate, to a certain extent?”

 

Wide-eyed, Armand took and opened the watch,

and stared into a face without hands,

but he heard a small voice

that spoke right in his ear

and revealed a bit of Future’s plans.

 

“You will travel, Armand, you will see wondrous things.

You’ll face danger, betrayal, and fear.

You’ll know love ever-true

but it is not for you

to spend life with the one you hold dear.

 

And much like this bazaar, from your travels afar,

you’ll collect many wonders exquisite.

People will come to you

for a glimpse of true magic.

Only once in their lives can they visit.

 

So go, dear sweet boy, and don’t lose the joy

you hold in your heart like a flame.

You are destined for greatness,

But never forget

the humble start from whence you came.”

 

When Armand looked up from the watch’s blank face

A shiver ran all down his spine,

for the market was gone

and no sound could be heard

but the whistle of wind in the pines.

NPM: The Tree of Life

As I walked along by a lazy stream

That tumbled and flowed like a liquid dream

I looked into its depths and saw a gleam

I reached toward the glint and managed to free

from the silt and the mud a golden key

Embossed on one side with a silver tree

I slid the key deep into my coat pocket

Somewhere was a door, and I would unlock it

And I cherished that hope, though some might mock it

But the key never fit, though I tried many locks

Though I traveled to places where no one now walks

And listened for guidance where no one now talks

My heart said it mattered, I shouldn’t give in

If I persevered, I would certainly win

If I opened the lock, a new life would begin

I dreamed of adventures and stories untold

I dreamed of lost treasures, and mountains of gold

And in the long meantime, my body grew old

Quick, light, and hushed comes the footfall of death

And so ends the surging of blood and of breath

The eyes must go blind and the ears must go deaf

And as my heart finally started to fail,

I slipped softly beyond the thin mortal veil

and came to a door of exquisite detail

Tooled with a tree laden heavy with fruit

Lofty its crown and unfathomed its root

I trembled before it, reverent and mute

A weight in my hand, I noticed the key

Somehow it had passed to the next world with me

I approached the grand doorway in awe, timidly

Inserted the key, turned the latch, pushed the door

and found all I’d spent my whole life searching for

A new life, a treasure, a story, and more.

NPM: The Fire’s Heart

Far under the cracked and dying earth

the molten fire had given birth:

a thing of light, almost too bright

it sparked with joy and mirth

 

The fire’s child pushed up through rock and sand

and climbed toward the surface land

The darkness deep, it could not keep

the bright fire child within its hand

 

The child broke into the open air

expecting worlds both rich and fair

Its laughter bright, filled with delight

rang out, fell soft, grew silent in despair

 

A shadow of the glory days of old

A ruined waste none had foretold

The fire child’s glow was dimming low

Its warmth did wane, its heart grew cold

 

There still remains upon that barren ground

the crater where the child was found

and all alone, a glassy stone:

the fire’s heart at last unbound

The Renewal of the Promise

It had been so long

I’d forgotten the taste

of hope

The effervescent tingle

bubbling up

warming, buoyant

 

The sight of something more

than endless tomorrows

stretching to a flat horizon

 

The hope of something astonishing

in this life

not just the next

Hope for today

not just for tomorrow

Hope for me

not just for us

 

I’d forgotten that life eternal

begins now

Mirror, Mirror

So often, I feel like I’m walking a psychological tightrope. My experiences teach me to be one way, but my heart tells me to be another way. My cold practicality wants to protect myself, insulate myself from pain; my longing to love and be loved forces me to make myself vulnerable. It’s infuriating! I feel torn and I’m the one tearing myself up! I want to be strong and independent and free from emotions…free from caring. The wounds in my heart (still unhealed…how long has it been now?) are like gaping mouths yelling at me, “Don’t let yourself be taken in again! You know what always happens!” But I cannot go along on my own. I can’t. The more walled-off I become, the safer I am, true. But the more desperate I become to feel cared for. The maddening need to be needed!

Foolish, stubborn girl. I want to walk away from her sometimes, this girl who stares back at me in the mirror. I see the look of mild disappointment around her eyes, tucked into the corners of her mouth. But there is no separating us. She knows it; I know it. This is a mutual disappointment. I’m none too pleased with her either.

All That I Have Loved

I have loved this world

This delicate, terrifying expanse of sand and sea

Its beauty made urgent by constant decay

But I am not afraid to pass into the next

An unchanging world, bright and heavy with glory

Smoldering on the horizon of my mind

It waits for me

.

I have loved the warm breezes and wild gales

The feeling of grass beneath my feet

The smell of fallen leaves

But I will soon feel the breath of God

against my face, whispering “At last”

I will walk through a garden

fragrant and verdant

and shelter beneath a tree whose leaves never wither

.

I have loved the sunshine draped across my shoulders

The rain soaking my hair and running like tears down my cheeks

Lightning rending the sky with awful glee

Yet where I go, it is not dark and cheerless

Though there is no sun or turning moon or star

I will dwell in the abode of Light itself

And skim across a glass sea on the backs of thunderclouds

.

I have loved this world

But more than all its wonders

I have loved the people in it

I have loved you

But I do not go where you cannot follow

No– all that I have loved is there, and more

In that land, I lack for nothing

Glorified, I will wait for you