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The Raven Has Fled

The ribbon is cut
The die is cast
The cement is dry
Yet nothing lasts
The brazen rewarded
The hero a fool
All reason outdated
New fury the tool”

A journey presented
Your ship to go far
With doldrums eclipsed
By the light of new stars
The lands will seem foreign
The people most strange
But they’ll smile as you pass
And call you by name
You run, and you run,
And you run from it all
With no chart to guide you
The albatross calls
And then sweet intention
Returns from respite
Rephrasing the unmentioned
Where maybe you might
In fear of the tonic
All healing disdained
Right, left-side disjointed
The cork from the drain
The covers pull back
Your bones are now bare
The tiller is slack
And there’s nobody there
So you take to the helm
Hands firmly in place
And you care not a whit
If it’s all empty space
As a raven is perched
On the yardarm so high
A land bird that lurches
Cawing all truth a lie
And you wonder then maybe
Have you wandered too far
As you ladle the future
From a long empty jar
The wind starts to move
A gift from the moon
What’s whole has been halved
And the sun almost noon
The rigging is creaking
The mast ever tall
The wind has died down
With no new ports of call
The feeling still burns
In the fire within
To find that one thing
That unfound—to you sings
The ocean is flat
The seas remain calm
The seasons repeat
From reflection embalmed
The night sky is clearest
The darkest the days
The winds have escaped you
Adrift you now stay
But then just a wisp
Of a breeze on your cheek
Portends of a magic
And the vision you seek
It strengthens and gushes
Throughout all the night
As the red sky last evening
Had hinted it might
As the headsails go up
The big linen comes down
And you climb up the mast
Stepping over a frown
The creak of the lapstrake
Splashes over the bow
The present in sight
Incarnate, right now
You look down on a lifetime
In this moment of joy
As the smell of the brine
Covers anything coy
And an Island approaches
From the mist up ahead
As the stillness reproaches
And retreats to its bed
The wonder returns
All speculation begins
Of the magic you’ll find
In this newness again
At the top of a mountain
Strange trees then appear
In a shape that’s uncertain
Neither familiar nor clear
The closer you get
The more they seem to move
As their shapes become giant
And your hopes then behoove
Now anchored offshore
With the dinghy in place
You can see them more clearly
Each shape and each face
Like monolithic Gods
They reign high on the hill
Looking down on who enter
With a warning that’s shrill
But where are the people
The Island is bare
Just giant stone carvings
That linger and stare
As you land on the beach
The ground starts to shake
And from deep in your heart
The primordial aches
The mountain then trembles
All paths become closed
With the thunder a warning
Any trespasser knows
As you run to the dinghy
Its been stolen and gone
And your ship is now missing
In its place just a song
Calling out in those words
That you already know…

“A price not paid dearly
is only for show”

You turn back to the mountain
And in an explosion of light
You’re lifted up to the heavens
Spun around in a fright
Then shooting straight downward
Toward the mountain below
With force you are planted
Along monument row
And now that you’ve joined them
All questions abide
The distance and separation
In heaven collide…

“Can I leave, am I destined
to be left here entombed ?”

And in language you recognize
You hear back so soon
From those pillars immortal
Voices start to be heard
Your welcome now total
Reborn in their words

“You can leave if you want to
the choice is now yours
but this mountain goes
with you
all places defer
you’ve reached
through the mystery
you’ve passed your own test
the tonic’s within you,
—the raven has fled”

(Villanova Pennsylvania: July, 2013)
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Submitted by Kurt Philip Behm on October 04, 2018

3:35 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 3,719
Words 717
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 8, 118, 2, 12, 2, 6, 10, 1

Kurt Philip Behm

Longtime writer with twelve books in publication. Three of them Poetry. : The Death Of The Playground : The Sword Of Ichiban : Searching For Crazy Horse : Darkening Sun : An Anthology Of Perception-Vol's 1 & 2 : After Midnight : Sammy And Bumpers : The Fall City Mandate : Revenge Along The War Trail : Death from The Sky more…

All Kurt Philip Behm poems | Kurt Philip Behm Books

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