2017 01 26
After running forever over rocks
of sharp terror that stab his throbbing heart,
Ezer stumbles up jagged hill of hope
and falls panting under old cypress tree,
lost alone in weary waste land of shadows.
Trembling as he gasps for breath in thick heat,
Ezer opens his hand and stares at gem
that glitters bright green like grass after rain,
polished emerald that gleams immortal light,
and smiles in rainless waste land of shadows.
"Though Gedaliah took Atarah from me,
and crowned my bride as queen in his gold hall,
I took as payment emerald from his scepter
that glitters light of truth in darkest night
to illuminate grim waste land of shadows."
Alone on rocky hilltop, under sky
of shining silver horror at mute death,
Ezer lies still in shadow of broad cypress,
watching sunlight flash across distant hills,
and becomes hard as vast waste land of shadows.
Licking his cracked lips in blast of hot wind,
Ezer remembers drinking sweet goat milk,
and senses Gedaliah holding sharp sword
that flashes rays of sunlight through his heart,
who stands near in aching waste land of shadows.
Starting from dream at prick of jolting fear,
Ezer stares at hilltop of broken rocks
where his shadow stretches thin across dust,
and mumbles at vanished ghost of Gedaliah
who hovers over frail waste land of shadows.
"I turn to stone as I forget my name,
and I swirl and shift, incandescent as cloud
that wanders listless over radiant lake,
and yet I know her eyes are emerald green,
watching all that lives in waste land of shadows."
Atarah stands before him, dark as cloud
of shivering rain that bursts over green sea,
so Ezer reaches out his trembling hand
to grasp her hand, but grasps dead cypress limb,
and calls out her name in waste land of shadows.
"Weighed down by sorrow of my lost desire
under dark cloak of substance beyond mass,
I struggle to climb from shaft of dark fear
where seed of my heart sprouts not without tears
that cannot fertilize waste land of shadows."
Placing emerald on his tongue, Ezer hums
lullaby his mother sang long ago,
but words disappear in her lightless eyes,
and she sucks his body back in her womb,
so he flails at fear in waste land of shadows.
"Gedaliah is greedy and enslaves men,
whipping their backs to build palace of gold,
yet that evil man wears crown of acclaim,
reigning free though he raped me wife from me,
and I wander lost in waste land of shadows."
Howling at ghost of Gedaliah who sneers,
Ezer screams and thrashes in helpless rage,
then sobs as he clutches his heaving chest,
and feels his heart escape on wild hawk wings,
soaring aimless over waste land of shadows.
"Where is justice of El in this cruel world
where evil men are rewarded for theft
while good men are punished for honest craft,
since he hugs my wife while I clutch her ghost,
spilling seed in sterile waste land of shadows."
Flickering flame of desire walks up high hill
and gray shade of his wife stands in white light,
so he laughs, "Ghost of Atarah, begone,
and haunt me no more for my heart is dead,
transformed to hard stone in waste land of shadows."
Atarah kneels and clutches his frail hand,
emerald eyes beaming sunlight in his soul,
and speaks with grim sorrow of hope reborn,
but her words flutter in hot desert wind
that erodes bodies in waste land of shadows.
"Ezer, my love, I threw his crown in dust,
and escaped clutching hands of greedy king,
then wandered weeping to find you again,
so drink sweet goat milk to nourish your heart,
for I found you, ghost in waste land of shadows."
Crawling over jagged rocks of despair
to escape glamorous ghost of desire,
Ezer groans in fear at touch of her hands,
and weeps when she clutches him to her breast,
lovers reunited in waste land of shadows.
Staring in emerald eyes of pretty ghost,
Ezer shakes his head and laughs in hot wind,
"You cannot be real since you chose gold crown
over humble wreath of flowers I wove,
so leave me alone in waste land of shadows."
Floating in darkness of miserable love,
Ezer remembers when he first saw eyes
of sweet Atarah, shining green as emerald
that burns cold in his hand clutched to his heart,
transformed into rock in waste land of shadows.
Waking at dawn under broad cypress tree,
Ezer stares across jagged shadowed hills,
and sighs, "I cannot tell if she was here
in warm flesh of love, or if she was ghost
of hope I conjured from waste land of shadows."
Opening his hand to gaze at bright emerald,
Ezer stares in shock at white gritty dust
that dissipates in gust of careless wind,
so he searches everywhere on hilltop
for heart of his love in waste land of shadows.
Holding bright emerald in her trembling hand,
Atarah stands over him in white sun
and weeps to watch him searching in dry dust,
blind to her presence with bag of goat milk,
so she walks away from waste land of shadows.