Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Owl: Tribute to Chris Ormond and Edgar Allan Poe


THE OWL


Sitting in a cemetery under a midnight mist, pen trembles in my fist,
as I ponder my dear friend who has perished.
Wide awake from a moon’s glare, from my eye falls a tear,
directly down at his grave I stare, at a friend I greatly cherish.
Then there was something, all of a sudden, my shirt un-pops a button.
I hear a dog growl, I hear it howl, I see an owl who arrives and says nothing.

There is no movement from the owl at all.
Fog from the graveyard squalls, horror comes to a halt.
My strength is getting slender, you see, from the cemetery I wish to flee,
words walk off my breath, my friends death, is it my fault?
The owl’s behavior, it does not waiver, still stands the Earth,
believing I am the reason my friend’s corpse rests underneath dirt.

I can not see past the fog’s blur, the owl and I are alone, I am sure.
I concur, who in their right mind, while alive, spends time where the deceased reside?
“Fly away,” I plead! “Fly away,” I plead, but the owl does not leave,
indeed, I begin to bleed and I feel like I will not survive.
I see the moment my friend died. I cry and puddles of mud become puddles of blood.
The owl stares with his scowl directly into my eyes and extracts every ounce of love.

My soul grows weaker, the night becomes bleaker.
I wipe blood off my sneaker and speak, “What is it that you come to claim?”
It begins to rain, the pain drives me insane, I take out a lighter and with the bright flame,
in the dirt with my finger, I spell my friend’s name.
As if the owl wants to spite me, the owl slightly nods its head,
the letters, C——H——R——I——S, out loud, I read.

Out of my lips, then out of the owl’s lips comes the name, “Chris.”
The silence has been broken, the owl has spoken.
Inside the owl, can the identity possibly be someone who is a very good friend to me?
Lost in the darkness of night, fingers cross tight, hoping.
The conversation I am having, a dialog I would never be able to fathom,
a situation only one other poet in history could imagine.

Two souls who are boldly brave face each other by the grave.
With a whisk wave the owl taps his toe on top the tomb,
waiting with respect with what would come next,
under the midnight moon, we stand among gloom and doom.
The obdurate owl observes obnoxiously and obsesses,
the invisible imagination of the owl, I can only guess.

“Chris,” the name of my friend, comes from the owl’s lips once again.
The evil eloquence of the owl’s comments make no living sense.
The owl stays on top of the tomb where my friend lays,
I stand, hood over my head as I face a mystery that seems immortally intense.
It kills me, but willingly and diligently, I pace back and forth and try to decipher,
the night seems so long, but the sky is not getting brighter.

Maybe never again to see the light of day, the owl’s fur ghostly gray,
quietly, it only speaks one word, yet it sounds so loud, the owl stands so proud.
The wise owl on a mission to make me listen,
both our bodies glisten inside the fog, it looks like we float on a cloud.
“Please speak something else from your lips!”
The owl’s wings flap, it almost seems to laugh, out comes the word, “Chris.”

In a circle I begin to wander and proceed to ponder,
that this, my friend Chris, is unearthly upset and unable to peacefully rest.
Somewhere in the spirit world he is trapped, on the dirt, the owl’s shadow is cast.
Boundlessly and boldly off the owl’s breath, something to confess.
Did the abrasive owl appear in the midnight air out of anger?
Is my facade familiar to the owl, or am I a grave stranger?

“Here I am! One man, in front of you I stand!
An explanation, a translation of your thoughts is what I demand!
Is your one word sentence part of your revenge or part of your repentance?”
The span between our spirits is not something I quite understand,
I stretch out my arm in frustration and almost on command,
swirling smoke from the sand, it lands on my forearm, four inches from my hand.

What I observe ignites my nerves and makes me want to vomit.
As the leviathan lands and lingers, carefully with my fingers, I pat the owl on its beak.
It stares into my eyes and much to my surprise, the owl clever and wise,
more language begins to leak out of its beak, another word the owl dares to speak.
The owl moves its lips and speaks, “Still exist.”
The owl moves its lips and speaks, “Still exist.”

I start to speak, but stutter, from what the owl utters,
something amazing I discover, the faint familiarity of the owl’s speech.
The sound of my friend, it seems as though I hear from him again.
Now, it’s an idea not too far out of reach, but what is the owl trying to teach?
In the twilight I receive a telegram from a transparent man,
but what is the purpose of his presence, and does he have a poignant plan?

I stand straight as the owl drapes on my arm, not too far from the cemetery gate.
My friend who I thought was destroyed, his presence again, I awkwardly enjoy.
Body tightening getting stiff, scene frightening like standing on the edge of a cliff,
a sign for all mankind that those who vanish can come back from the void.
After the devastation of his demise, I looked to the skies, for this situation I have dreamt,
an owl who flew down from Heaven because it knew how much it meant.

Back from an endless journey from all eternity, my friend returns to me,
back from the annals of astrology, back to accept my apology.
“I hope you can still feel love and find it in your heart not to hold a grudge.”
The owl gives me a little nudge and I know this tale is a moment meant for mythology.
The owl’s look of affection, the undeniable connection,
there is no doubt this is some sort of resurrection.

My friend stands on my arm in his new form, beside the sound of a heart torn,
a new relationship is once again born.
Not responsible for his death, is the message which comes off the owl’s breath,
pain from my mundane mind, can this be a weight I no longer have to mourn?
The owl lets out a yawn that puts me at ease.
A rustling comes from inside the trees.

I carefully scout, and then, “Shout!”
The owl flies off of my hand, back on top the tomb where I first saw it stand.
Heavier, it begins raining, out of the darkness appears a raven,
with its big black bold wings, it flies next to the owl and lands.
From the shadows appears a second raven, who no longer feels the need to hide.
On top of my friend’s tomb, stands an owl and two ravens, side by side.

I can tell they are allies from the look in their eyes,
in the sky, thunder and flashing light, I stare at an unreal sight.
Cemeteries are places of death, but here tonight, you can feel the power of life.
Myself, the owl and two ravens alone in the graveyard in the middle of the night.
Truly something to behold,
from the dead to the living, a message is being told.

The soft spoken luminous language of the deceased, helping us humans live in peace.
The owl moves its lips and again speaks the name, “Chris.”
For years I shed tears,
that maybe because of me, my friend might not exist.
That is a thought that will come nevermore as a raven speaks the word, “Lenore,” ever so slow.
It takes awhile for the second raven to speak as it admires my style, it speaks with a smile, “Poe.”

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