Sonnet Sequence for Beauty

I. Prologue

We learned to speak before we learned to write
A story’s life was only day-to-day
For fifty-thousand years or more each night
We told our tales then let them pass away
From time to time we tried to pass them on
From mouth to ear as often as we could
But life is short and soon these too were gone
The dissipating smoke of burning wood
And so the Muses gathered every tale
Within their godly perfect memory
That they might not be lost through our travail
Along the paths of our pre-history
And now that we’ve begun to learn to write
The muses let these stories come to light

II. The Muse

To light from dreams and visions in the dark
At first the glow is distant and obscure
My Muse compels me onward toward the mark
And only leaves my side when she is sure
That I can see the setting of the tale
And hear the voices of the players there
She guides me like a hand passed through a veil
Precisely so the fabric doesn’t tear
Then with a slight embrace she sends me on
To make the tale I see become my own
And strange I feel myself that I am gone
At least the parts of me I thought I’d known
And like a god now everything’s revealed
Though god-like as I watch I am concealed

III. Desolation

I am concealed inside a grain of sand
I am concealed in every single grain
Perspective shifts like nothing I had planned
And every shift brings horrifying pain
The searing heat of Desolation’s plague
Consumes my senses and thereby my mind
I cannot breathe, the air is very vague
And with the heat a stillness is combined
The emptiness around me is complete
I am completely in this empty place
A land that has the feeling of defeat
A land devoid of hope, of life, of grace
And fittingly inhabited by one
Who wanders all alone beneath its sun

IV. The Steward

Beneath its sun the steward of the land
A solitary wanderer, a man
Who like the desert rock and desert sand
Exists where only sterile objects can
And though perhaps he once was filled with life
His empty land has only brought him grief
He strives alone with loneliness and strife
And searches where he wanders for relief
His memory evaporates and then
With emptiness his mind begins to seethe
He can’t recall how many years its been
Since he could still remember how to breathe
Then passionless, not knowing what he’ll find
The steward leaves his stewardship behind

V. Departure

His stewardship behind him, and ahead
There lies a path of questions and of doubt
He wonders if his will was forced instead
By circumstantial forces from without
Or if each step he takes that leads him on
He takes because to take it is his choice
Is he the master or is he a pawn
His thoughts are only words without a voice
And yet he finds his feet obey his will
And carry him beyond his boundary
Then standing at the apex of a hill
He feels he knows for certain he is free
Below him is a valley touched with green
And yellow flowers like he’s never seen

VI. Dandelions

He’s never seen a brighter shade of hope
Than that worn by these optimistic weeds
Their colors show, although it’s clear they cope
With land that barely satisfies their needs
In green and gold; the wanderer is awed
He falls before the flowers on his knees
He feels his whole existence has been flawed
Compared to the perfection shown by these
These tiny tokens of a higher art
Invite him to explore their matchless form
His body shakes as if it were the start
Of some impending catalytic storm
His memory of breath comes flooding back
And thoughts of Desolation fade to black

VII.  Breath

To black, to night, the dawn is simply death
Where light exists it’s clear no darkness can
And where there’s life, there must be living breath
And so it comes again to this lone man
He lifts his head enough to loose his throat
He knows his mouth will open if he dare
He parts his lips, a signal to denote
An invitation for the living air
And as the inhalation fills his chest
It mingles with his thoughts now unobscured
And every whirl of breath within his breast
Enshrouds the thought of each unspoken word
And then he cries with exhalation’s might
“Oh beauty, dwell forever in my sight!”

VIII.  Wind

My sight begins to shift away from where
The man remains unmoved to meditate
Upon the yellow flowers planted there
By either god’s design or random fate
His breath, his words have found a wind to ride
A wind born in the passion of the heat
Which rises like a phoenix, undefied
And sweeps the stillness into a retreat
I’m swept along and follow where they fly
The wind, the words, with all their passioned strength
We move above the earth, beneath the sky
A thousand miles or more until at length
A high and ancient wall impedes our flight
Behind the wall a garden’s kept from sight

IX.  Garden

From sight the ancient garden is concealed
But wind is blind and enters through a crack
By rustling leaves its presence is revealed
The words still riding firmly on its back
Around the faded flowers, untrimmed trees
Among the hedges overgrown with time
The mighty wind becomes a playful breeze
And moves the silent notes of some old chime
A trace of dust is lifted from a stone
Along a long neglected garden path
A mossy fountain stands now overgrown
Where birds no longer take their daily bath
And fixed in trance inside this ancient place
A princess stands with tears upon her face

X. Beauty

Upon her face a stoic reverie
Cannot conceal the perfect curves and lines
Converging like the notes of harmony
As melody throughout them intertwines
A song unsung, unquantified by time
Each silent moment marks eternity
Forever young, exquisite, and sublime
In spite of dwelling in obscurity
And when she laughs, the garden fills with light
And when she moves the flowers bend her way
It seems at times the walls recede in height
Although she knows for now she has to stay
Awaiting some small sign or circumstance
To sing her song or else perhaps to dance

XI. Dance

To dance, an invitation must arrive
Compelling her to rise and move her feet
The little breeze, still with his breath alive
And with his words still whispered small and sweet
Surrounds her hair and lifts it like a veil
Encircles her and whispers in her ear
They fill her hope as if it were a sail
And seven words are all she needs to hear
“Oh Beauty, dwell forever in my sight”
Becomes the invitation and the sign
And as the wind surrounds her, left and right
The wind, the words, and Beauty now combine
Their movements in a singular reply
And as they dance, they spiral toward the sky

XII. Storm

The sky receives the dancers as they rise
Reborn, she rises high above the walls
Enraptured and in ecstasy she cries
In answer to the breath of words she calls
Her voice is thunder rolling from a cloud
Her countenance is lightning in a storm
There’s nothing in her actions disallowed
And nothing supersedes her perfect form
She flies in search of him whose breath revived
And blows his words back to him with a gust
The echoes of “Oh Beauty” have survived
And now they bear the strength of Beauty’s thrust
Her tears are made of joy and not of pain
Descending gently as a summer’s rain

XIII. Convergence

A summer’s rain begins to kiss the face
Of each anticipating little weed
A gift of liquid life-sustaining grace
And hope for every newly fallen seed
The steward sees the seeds have scattered far
Into the depths of Desolation’s sand
He feels her tears and wonders what they are
And if perhaps she’ll cry them on his land
She reaches down, inviting him to dance
He reaches up, accepting, though in awe
And with a single touch, a single glance
He sees more Beauty than he ever saw
And once again he finds his breath is gone
Until her kiss revives him like the dawn

XIV. Epilogue

The dawn returns my presence to my place
The dream retreats before my waking thought
I’ve grown accustomed to such shifts in space
And know the dream, the vision has been caught
Then quietly I write the scenes I’ve seen
At first I just record each sight or sound
Then later I can ponder what they mean
And hope that some conclusion may be found
Though I’ve concluded Beauty isn’t rare
She waits behind a wall of apathy
And if the seeker doesn’t seek her there
He’ll languish in his mediocrity
But if he calls by purpose or by chance
He’ll find himself a partner in her dance

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