Dirge (poem)


Slowly, slowly, drums beat soulfully

echoing, echoing drum beats mourning

slowly, soulfully, echoing in mourning.

Softly moaning flute’s notes wailing

wailing softly, slowly echoing in haunting melody.


In moonlit glade do shadows fall

cast long and solemn amidst trees tall

with limbs outstretched toward muted sky

that hears their pleas — and gives no reply.


Trees sigh.  The sky seems not to hear the wind

whose haunting tunes are snatched

by outstretched limbs that seek a tune

that though forlorn, when offered, soar on, skyward bound.


What sound! To melody, mute sky replies

in rage — or is it echoed sighs?

What tirade sky does vent on trees: —

is it the answer to long-raised pleas?


Like silver tresses hanging loose,

the sky’s outpouring changing hues

with every fiery bolt of light,

from heavy limbs that seek the shelter of the night.


And finally, finally, the clamor sinks slowly,

hushing itself and echoing meekly

the steady rhythm of skins pulsating,

seemingly calling, from a distance hailing,


enticing from hidden corners the echoes of drums

that slowly, slowly, beat so mournfully

echoing, echoing, in endless mourning

slowly, soulfully, echoing the mourning

of enamored soul left long to wandering.

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