Monday, June 16, 2014

From the Verse Essays of Ivar Benløs: Spirit Time

"I have the power to read! And sing books! And make the wind come every day!" ~ Sequoia, verbatim, age 3

No sorrow, said sad Helen,
Long since returned back home,
Trying to ease suffering
In the wanderer's offspring
And friend as she slipped nepenthe
Into the wine comforting
Them against their memories.

If you, child, should ever feel
Pain after a long absence,
I hope that you will realize
The magical potion lies
In you speaking through these lines.
You have always been the balm,
The spirit that calms the man

Who feels like a captured beast
Locked in a traveling cage
Of a frame that will not yield
Around him, though it bears him
Constantly onward through what
Woods the cage itself was made
From, blow by blow, long ago,

Like a stranger on a bier,
Like a helpless king on shields,
Like an old tree trucked as logs,
Like a sentimental fool
Who writes verses for his child,
Crying in his cups. Helen
And Penelope were one

And the same, upon a time
When charm and perseverance
Grew from the same poetry
And the drug of forgetting
Could be drunk without hurting
The thought of an enduring
Suffering too terribly.

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