Flight over the Valley of Mo’ara: An Ode
O what bliss o’erwhelms my feet
As they leave from the hardwood ground
Past the bridge o’er still water found
And the embrace of flower petals meet!
Much beauty lies in the mystick valley.
Green plants blanket all the sandy rocks
As the dire-horse all thought of evil mocks
And the far-sounding drums cry out the victory.
Yet to reach the highest song—
The Hallelujah Mounts, from which the cataracts fall—
I must possess that kind of gall
That tames the wildness, for the sake of that for which men ultimately long.
This wildness is the ikran called,
And I feel that I must needs calm my fear
In immediate form, but when to his scales I am forced to draw near,
Fury strikes him, and I am thus appalled.
I clutch to his neck, and as we fall from the trees,
He bellows, shakes, and trembles, and I cannot maintain my ease.
Yes, I am riding him, but how much must I suffer
To reach and know heaven, to touch the clouds of ether?
Jostled on his back, I doubt the strength of my own heart;
Feeling his muscles surge, pain seeps through as my skin the nearby branches part
Surely this assignment of the Spirit clashes
Direct with untamed flesh, in which goodness had long turned to ashes.
And falling turns to dodging naughty waves,
But predictably I’m soaked as the ikran misbehaves;
Just then I look to my earthly guide for aid,
But dearly my neighbor leaves me lone on the high mountain grade.
I start to climb—o blessed last hope!
Sure I can reach the summit beyond the slope!—
A larger beast, however, incites an avalanche,
The sight of which causes my ikran to dive and I to blanch.
Speedily we screech and stop in the cave
Smothered in darkness, void of the love I crave.
“O blast it all!” I weep and say.
“Does not anyone know that if my strength is left alone, I may certainly die today?”
Then from the darkness proceeds a light,
Nay, more than such—a creature!—
Its petals like palm leaves act as limbs might.
Instinctively I reach to cradle the flower-like sprite.
In my hands and against my bosom it calls
In its own pretty language its friends.
One by one they like raindrops fall
Granting to the ground they touch rainbow hues all.
After touching the ground they come to me
Swirling round my brow
Then in the pools’ reflections I see
A crown formation—a transformation—
Their whispers of I see you reminding me of shoved-away royalty.
At Providence my spirit broke free.
I know my strength, though tested, will hold strong.
Climbing once again on my ikran, I embrace my suffering long
And now he defers to me. Dancing on melodies of rainbows,
We reach the summits of Hallelujah, and my hand, dainty as that of one born new,
Touches the clouds. And looking on the earthy valley below,
I now see that I will find it easier to praise in the happy dew.
So when downward we fly, my ikran and I,
Toward the smiling horizon-bedded sun,
I know I shall need to tame my beast once more,
For all this lesson I will soon forget. But for right now,
I am able to feel quite young and free—
As a sacred I see you passes my lips in the highest form
And to the highest God.
October 9, 2019