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Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Man With Two Shadows

Taken as a sign,
feted by his people,
possessor of a second light
invisible to them,
it pointed straight towards
the common source: the sun,
the candle or the torch.
On feast days it was extra strong,
became the only one.
So he was shaman, wise man
King - and giver of the law.

Then came the sun's eclipse.
He did the usual thing:
he pranced and prophesied,
berated and exhorted,
promised this
demanded that
and passed a law of instant death
to those who made false claims -
only then to find
that when the sun returned
the shadow was not there.

He'd had a dozen rivals
waiting for their chance
and now they all stepped up,
each with his magic mark
to prove himself divine.

Found guilty by his law,
they threw him from the cliffs.
It seemed to take an age
before his body hit
the rocks, to break
like angry spray.
And close beside him
down the cliff, rotating
as he fell, two shadows,
side by side at last,
converging as he died.

10 comments:

The Unknowngnome said...

Dave, I like the way you think! You come up with the greatest ideas. Another good one.

seasideauthor said...

Very interesting write. Law and divinity, reading was very well timed no rough spots. Shorter lines were good and transitioned to the next part of the story, the turnaround weave was absolutely great.

Morning said...

sad for him,

powerful piece.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

The two shadows at the end "seal" the poem's event printing it actually in the breath. In a way it reminds me of what has been for me the greatest among myths: the experiences of Carlos Castaneda as told by himself in his controversial books.

Carl said...

Each of us is the man with two shadows in our own way are we not?

unsungpoet said...

This is so deep, I really have nothing to add, except that I like it a lot.

Windsmoke. said...

The Shaman couldn't deliver on his promises and paid the ultimate price :-).

Mary said...

One must be careful what kind of laws one imposes, lest one be caught in its trap and pay the price.

Dave King said...

The Unknowngnome
Much thanks for those most kind words. It's always good to hear you liked my offering.

seasideauthor
That's fabulous to hear. I was unsure about the final stanza. You have done much to put my mind to rest. Greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Morning
Indeed. Good to have you visiting. Thanks for coming and for the kind response.

Tommaso
Thanks a s always. I don't know the books. Shall ahve to look them up.

Carl
Very true, and yes, very profound. Thanks Carl.

unsungpoet
Thanks a lot for that - in my book it's a most gratifying response.

Windsmoke
That would be about the size of it, yes.

Mary
I imagine something like that has happened fairly frequently on the world stage. Well said.

Bijaylaxmi said...

Such a thought provoking poem...! Very profound .... feel like reading it again and again...