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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Desert Visions

The sun's first rays
brushed the mouth of the cave,
catching the tattered figures,
robing them momentarily
in light, and seeming to enhance
the clarity of their chants.
Their voices must
have echoed eerily in
the confined space
of their lowly hermitage,
though they soared
with crystal beauty
above the broken line of trees
where the birds of prey
were already circling.

And then the chanting stopped,
replaced by a nasal drone.
It was a signal known to the birds.
The oldest and wisest of
the hermits had long ago
made a solemn vow,
which he considered binding,
that by hook or by crook
he would save the souls
of those murderous birds.
Now he made a fist
and held it aloft.
The first and biggest of the birds
descended, perched on
the knuckles of his closed hand
and spread its wings,
forming there the image of a crucifix.

Written for The Sunday Whirl whose wordle is shown above.


Brian Miller said...

ooo very cool close dave....the bird on the fist, a crucifix....ha...best wishes to him on saving souls of the toughest birds....really cool imagery through the beginning of the cave and interaction with the sun and hermits

Mary said...

Lots of depth in this one, Dave. That ending, with the bird perched on the knuckles of the closed hand of the hermit, was breathtaking in its imagery.

Ygraine said...

I love the imagery here, Dave.
Beginning with the confines of the cave...and ending with the expanse of Spirituality itself (as symbolized by the cross of Christianity)...somehow puts me in mind of the union between the physical and Spiritual.

Very, very deep, this poem speaks the language of the Soul.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

A stunning poem, a transfixing final line.

Claudia said...

what a gorgeous close...love the images and depth in this dave

David Cranmer said...

Ending is particularly strong.

Elephant's Child said...

Powerful - but I have reservations. I don't believe that the birds souls will/can be claimed in that way. I hope not anyway...

Dave King said...

Much thanks for this. It still seems strange, writing from one of these, a totally different way of composing.

Thanks for saying so, Mary. The closing image was the latst to come to me, so it was something of a bonus.

Good to have your response and so gratifying to hear that you have found so much in it. Thank you for your comment.

Very satisfying to hear. Thank you so much.

Thanks Claudia. Much appreciated.

Thanks a salways. Good to know your thoughts.

Elephant's Child
Your reservations are well justified, I think. Personally, I am not one who believes that animals have souls, but it is what for the sake of the poem I have given the hermits to believe. Thanks as ever for your observations, always good to have.