Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Owl By Jasen Sousa

The Owl

Sitting in a cemetery under a midnight mist, pen clenched in my fist,
pondering my dear friend who had too young perished.
Wide awake from the moons glare, from my eye fell a tear,
directly down at his grave I stare, at a friend I greatly cherished.
Then, there was something, all of a sudden my shirt un-popped a button.
I heard a dog growl, I heard it howl, then I seen an owl who arrived and said nothing.

As I preciously recall, the owl did not make any movement at all.
Fog from the graveyard squalled, the horror came to a halt.
My strength was getting slender, you see, from the cemetery I wished to flee,
words walked off my breath, my friends death, was it my fault?
The owl’s behavior, it did not waiver, still stood the earth,
believing I might be the reason my friend’s corpse is buried underneath dirt.

Although I could not see past the fog’s blur, I was sure, the owl and I, alone we were.
I did 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 did not leave,
indeed, I started to bleed and I felt like I might not survive.
I seen the moment my friend died. I cried and puddles of mud became puddles of blood.
The owl stared with his scowl directly into my eyes and extracted every ounce of love.

My soul grew weaker, the night became bleaker.
I wiped blood off my sneaker and said, “What is it that you came to claim?”
It began to rain, the pain driving me insane, I took out a lighter and with the bright flame,
in the dirt with my finger, I spelled my friend’s name.
As if the owl wanted to spite me, the owl slightly, nodded his head,
as the letters, C——H——R——I——S, out loud, I read.

Out of my lips, then out of the owl’s lips came the name, “Chris.”
The silence had been broken, the owl had spoken.
Inside the owl, could the identity possibly be someone who was a very good friend to me?
Lost in the darkness of the night, fingers crossed tight, hoping.
The conversation I was having, a dialog I couldn’t fathom,

words only one other poet in history could imagine.

Two souls who were boldly brave faced each other by the grave.
With a whisk wave the owl tapped his toe on top the tomb,
waiting with respect with what would come next,
under the midnight moon, we stood amongst gloom and doom.
The obdurate owl observed obnoxiously and obsessed,
the invisible imagination of the owl was noticeably stressed.

“Chris,” the name of my friend was spoken by the owl once again.
The evil eloquence of the owl’s comments made no living sense.
The owl stayed on top of the tomb where my friend laid,
there I stood, head draped with a hood, facing a mystery that seemed immortally intense.
It was killing me, but willingly and diligently I paced back and forth trying to decipher,
the night seemed so long, but the sky was not getting brighter.

Maybe again never to see the light of day, the owl’s fur ghostly gray,
quietly, it only spoke one word, yet it sounded so loud, the owl stood so proud.
The wise owl on a mission to make me listen,
both our bodies glistened inside the fog, it looked like we were floating on a cloud.
“Please speak something else from your lips!”
The owl’s wings flapped, it almost seemed to laugh, out came the word, Chris.

In a circle I started to wander and proceeded to ponder,
that this, my friend Chris, was unearthly upset and unable to peacefully rest.
Somewhere in the spirit world he was trapped, on the dirt, the owl’s shadow was cast.
Boundlessly and boldly off the owl’s breath, there was something to confess.
Did the abrasive owl appear in the midnight air out of anger?
Was my facade familiar to the owl, or was 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 yet understand,

I stretched out my arm in frustration and like it was on command,
swirling smoke from the sand. It landed on my forearm, four inches from my hand.

What I observed ignited my nerves and made me want to vomit, amazingly astonished.
The leviathan landed and lingered. Carefully with my fingers, I padded the owl on its beak.
It stared into my eyes and much to my surprise, the owl wicked and wise,
more language began to leak out of its beak, another word the owl dared to speak.
The owl moved its lips and spoke, “Still exist.”
The owl moved its lips and spoke, “Still exist.”

I started to speak, but stuttered, from what the owl uttered,
something amazing I discovered, the faint familiarity of the owl’s speech.
The sound of my friend, it seems as though I have heard from him again.
Now it’s an idea that’s not too far out of reach, but what was the owl trying to teach?
In the twilight I was receiving a telegram from a transparent man,
but what was the purpose of his presence, and did he have a poignant plan?

I stood straight, the owl draped on my arm, not too far from the cemetery gate.
My friend who I thought was destroyed, now his presence, I again have awkwardly enjoyed.
Body tightening getting stiff, scene frightening like standing on the edge of a cliff,
a sign for all mankind that the vanished 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 what it meant.

Back from an endless journey from all eternity, my friend has returned 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 gave me a little nudge and I knew this tale was a moment meant for mythology.
The owl’s look of affection, the undeniable connection,
to my recollection, there was no doubt this was some sort of resurrection.

My friend stood on my arm in his new form, attracted to the sound of a heart torn.
My stressed out spirit stained with scorn.
Not responsible for his death, was the message coming off the owl’s breath,

the pain from my mundane mind, could this be a weight I no longer had to mourn?
The owl let out a yawn that put me at ease,
all of a sudden there was a rustling that came from the trees.

I carefully scouted, and then, “Shouted!”
The owl flew off of my hand, back on top the tomb where I first seen him stand.
Heavier, it began raining, from out of the darkness appeared a raven,
with its big black bold wings it flew next to the owl to land.
Out from the shadows appeared a second raven, who no longer felt the need to hide.
On top of my friend’s tomb stood an owl and two ravens, side by side.

I could tell they were allies from the look in their eyes,
in the sky, thunder and flashing light, I stared at an unreal sight.
Cemeteries are places of death, but here tonight, you could 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 was being told.

The soft spoken luminous language of the deceased, helping us humans live in peace.
The owl moved its lips and again spoke the name, “Chris.”
For years I shed tears as my heart fluttered with fears,
maybe because of me, my friend might not exist,
that was a thought that came nevermore as a raven spoke the word, “Lenore,” ever so slow.
It took awhile for the second raven to speak, admiring my style, it spoke with a smile, “Poe.”

Taken From
Selected Poems of Jasen Sousa
Comprised of works from:
Life, Weather (First Collection of Poems Written At Age 17) (Not In College)
A Thought and A Tear for Every Day of The Year: A Poetic Diary (Written Between ages 18-19) (Stint at Suffolk University)
Close Your Eyes and Dream With Me (Written During Early Twenties) (Bay State College)
Almost Forever (Written During Early Twenties) (Bay State College)
A Mosaic of My Mind (Written at Age 24) (Beginning Emerson College)

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