Wandering Blind

Last night I walked about the Luxembourg
In my shirtsleeves...
The sky was red as blood

(No, no more clichés.)

The sky, truly, was
But red of something else
The embers in the fire as it begins to die
Rubies shot through with sunlight

(Now my clichés are my own.)

The trees were bare, and thrust into the air
Intricate networks of
Wood, black against the sky
They were
Sinister and spoke of fear...

(No! Another cliché. I don't want any more.)

They looked as trails of tar
Melted down
Trickling a path through the blood --
The rubies --
The embers...

"Prouvaire, what is this?"

"I don't know... It's something..."

I thought for a moment
That I saw stars
A moon
Slashing ivory light through the sky
But I looked again
And only red remained.

(How can I say this correctly?)

Perhaps I dreamed the light, then
And yet...
Stars are so real, although they cannot be touched........

"So you did write it?"

"I did..."

"I see."

"How can you be that calm? Aren't you going to ask how it came to be on your desk?! Won't you lecture me?! Do I ever do anything worthwhile, save scribble away my dreams on scraps of paper? They only blow into the streets. Gamins pick them up, and cannot read them, and burn them. --Why don't you reprimand me?! Reprimand me!"

There was another man there,
In the silent, red-stained garden
Watching me with silent eyes
Smiling at me a

(Now he sounds like Grantaire. But he wasn't!)

I wanted to turn away, perhaps
To close my eyes
But didn't dare.
He whispered words to me
Soft, unbearable
If I wrote them,
Would they break? Surely. They were words
Not meant for ink
Meant only for incarnadine skies
And blood-soaked nights
I would whisper them back to myself
And I could
Ponder the meanings
But I knew the meanings then, and though
I have forgotten
I need not revive them
They were meant for that night only

(It's getting better. Oh, God, if someone interrupted me now, I'd lose this...)

There is an agony in joy...

"No. I won't. There's no cause to."

"You ought to be angry at me for strewing your desk with my worthless thoughts. For daring to place my parchments among yours."

"I am not angry. But you're drunk again, Jehan. Go home."

"I don't want to leave this candlelight..."

I abandon my Muse sometimes
I write in the mornings, watching the sunsets
They cast red light over the clouds
But none
As that night
Was I afraid then? No,
But safe.

(Damn this whole verse! It's all too real! It doesn't belong here! ..I need a drink.)

The man I saw in the gardens
His face young
His hair as white
As any agèd, noble man
Was he an angel?
Or are the only true angels the ones
Pure, lovely
Robed in white
Crowned in gold
Embracing harps unto themselves
Fingers stroking melody from silver strings
Chords that echo and wallow in beauty?
Perhaps he was an angel...
God knows what they really are

(This is no good. I've no inspiration. This is terrible.)

Not all angels must have wings...

"Prouvaire, you will go home."

"Oh, don't look at me like that! I'll go! Please don't look at me like that."

"Like what?"

"Au revoir."

"...Au revoir..."

(It didn't even rhyme. What was I thinking?)

(Does he know I keep every poem that he puts upon my desk? If he did... --No. And he mustn't ever know. Disapproval. Always, it must be disapproval. Of everyone...)

(I'll try again tomorrow.)

("Not all angels have wings...")

Chapter Two.
Back to the Index.