[Read to the rhythm you would read ‘The Raven’. Always and forever more.]
‘THE WHITE RAVEN’
Once upon a midnight dream wherein I walked adrift, serene;
Passing many upright conifers set firmly in the pineland floor.
Sunshine abound, the scurries of forest creatures could be heard all around.
From overhead there came a sound,
Clamoring from from above, silencing the critters that shuffled on the floor.
This unearthly noise gave my heart a start.
‘It’s just my mind’ to myself, I thought.
‘No beasts above the forest floor, it’s imagination…little more….’
Early time in sober dream is when it’s best to stroll amid the clovers,
below the outstretched boughs of the deciduous’ shadows;
Adoring silhouettes of branches resembling a sketch upon natures planted rows.
I walk to the rhythm of my chest’s metronomic blows.
Up ahead I spot a meadow; A clearing in my vision now, that divides the forest floor.
One giant shadow cast upon this ground, my heartbeat is the only sound;
My imagination conjured beasts from horror stories and lore of yore.
As I stepped into the clearing and made my way beyond the depth
Of the shadows laid by the pines blanketing the floor.
Outstretched, in the center of the clearing
Growing from the meadows clovered floor;
I see a tree standing tall, the king above the pineland floor.
A shudder struck me, twas the thought that we both stand alone;
What rests between is a transparent door.
I was ill prepared for the caw of the bird that fluttered over.
“It’s just a bird, a mighty tree, and my imagination, little more.”
Straight out front, above my head, there it perched on a broken bough.
Odd little bird with eyes blood red, twas an albino little fowl.
It picked it’s breast to suffice an itch, precision with an all white beak.
It ruffled feathers, suggesting comfort, and I wondered if this bird could speak.
“All white bird, raven shaped, frighten me some more.
State your name if you have a voice, this request I implore.”
It crooked it’s head and drew lungs full, as if to hold the air in store.
A moment passed and words fell out quoted he, “Not Ever More.”
This low hung branch was out of reach as plainly as I could see.
The sea of clovers grew ever smaller as I made my way towards the tree.
The evanescence of honeysuckle took it’s place within my senses.
“I feel the presence of a very suspicious, rare-bird, with infuriating intentions.
Tell me bird, what do you see? Be it anguish about my Gina Marie?
Her death impacted my life so hard, it struck me down into my core.”
Quote the white raven, “Not Ever More.”
Ever such a rare a bird, have I not seen before;
It perched itself upon a branch up above the pineland floor.
It sat and stared, layered in sheet white feathers, it’s red eyes piercing crepuscular rays.
It stared at me until my soul depleted whilst I thought about Gina Marie
-Whose name’s not whispered anymore-
My immortal muse who made the passing between Life, and Death’s door.
Not ever to be seen again to walk with me on my dreamscapes floor.
To mock my pain the white raven’s name: ‘Not Ever More’.
“Rare bird, why do you stare? You glare as if you have a care.
A care for what I won’t ever know as I stand below your familiar glow.”
The bird stayed peering through my soul as if it was a glass window.
A mild chill touched my spine, which felt disturbing in warm weather.
(It made me think this bird a jester as if it knew to what I was fettered.)
It brow beat me and I tried to run, to steal away on the Pine Barrens’ floor.
I failed to flee so there I stood, no longer moving anymore.
Shrieked the white raven, “Not Ever More.”
“Derilect! Filth I say! Your rare occurance is an abomination.
Birds like you should not exist they’re torn apart after gestation.”
There it lingered and stared deeper still, burning a hole in my tattered will.
How to resist this minuscule damnation that rests it’s wings for self preservation;
Projecting thoughts into my head of all the wrongs I’ve done and said.
A sordid terror filled my heart whilst this ghastly bird brought what’s in store.
Said again to shake my core the white raven caws, “Not Ever More.”
Karma waves it’s finger at me in my newly corrupted peaceful place.
The residence in my memory of Gina Marie, before death laid it’s hands upon her face.
Before my life got so detached and she remained a saving grace.
Before her life became a ghost, where only in dreams I can adore.
I linger now, it’s been so long since she wandered through my midnight door.
I look up at the rarest bird that’s reflecting me above the pineland floor.
There he was, this white raven repeating, reminding me “Not Ever More.”
So I strafe away from it. “Useless bird!” I scream while brandishing my walking stick.
I fix my sight upon my target, this empty, albino, hideous crow.
I pull back and steady my stare and give a holler whilst I throw.
My stick spins swiftly cutting the air shattering branches galore.
My target stayed perched upon the bough not moving from above the pineland floor.
“I know it struck you, I hit my mark!” Said I, to one with few words in store.
It looked at me distordertly, quoted he “Not Ever More.”
Reluctantly, I fell down upon my knees and clenched the clovers under me.
I plunged my fingers into the dirt and screamed, “go then, make worm food of me!
End this, leave me at peace, if it’s death you bring then make it so.
I’ve left all I own behind and you make it seem it’s time to go.”
Silence is the name of the sound as the forest exposed it’s deaf ears;
It carried on for years (or so it seemed) as a drop of tear passed to the floor.
The white raven cut the silence uttering, once again, “Not Ever More.”
As I knelt I felt, too, that my soul was no longer standing.
I observe a sight of pulchritude whilst my muse flailed by, dancing.
I looked up and sneered at my rapture and laughed at it’s deceptive, pintly size.
“You think that all that you can see is the demon that resides in me;
It’s now or it’s not to take my life deliberately.
Take your stand and present your trick, end it swift I do implore.”
It crooked it’s head once again and retorted sharply, “Not Ever More.”
My fury burned and flushed my face in my attempt to quell this rage.
This cunning bird, alabaster white, attempts to thwart life’s final page.
Or so I think this dubious act is happening on the pineland stage.
I decide to rise and gather strength to soldier through my drunken gait.
I make my way to this king of trees. Perched upon it, the rare bird defining me.
This white raven, this false prophet nonsense sage bids me what it has in store.
I hug the king and plea no more;
I quote the white raven “Not Ever More”.
I was craven and through screaming, berating, and cursing this nightmarish white raven.
The resin sticking to my palms has reduced my qualms and teary streaming;
Reminding me of the gummy feeling that slows my pace.
Not ever again will I see her face if I continue to linger in this place;
tearing asunder my scar laden heart to not ever find a home to restart.
It’s best to move on and find a cure and share myself with something pure;
To carry on forever more.
What is left for me to ponder aside from the doubt of where I wander;
And the insidious lingering of the smell of musk permeating the air.
All my life I’ve been the artist of my own deluded affliction
I’ve asked again and again for repentance through a silent benediction.
As for help I did so find. To ask for help, this act alone I do abhor.
The lonely squawk above my walk is a mirrored image of my life so poor.
If, in turn, I change this state, I’ll be alone not ever more.
I have noted among the shrouds looking up at the puffs of clouds
That the moment to evaporate will wake me from this curious state.
The wish of a purple world with lulliby and candy cloud
pushed this song to its wits end and opened up these once locked doors.
A flood of water fills the pinelands deluging from the Atlantic’s shore.
Filling my mind and cleansing my heart to reassure me there’s something more.
Something sure that I may not have, not again, not ever more.
The distant twilight casts it’s glow and reminds me that it’s time to go
Away from sweetness and Gina Marie back to my world where she’ll not ever be.
The quiet place where I once existed that the white raven perverted and twisted
Into a realm that no longer matters and that I may now detour.
A place I frequented in utter silence when midnight opens up it’s door.
Not once invaded by a bird whom above the king tree would dare to soar.
I’ll stay away not to come back, not again, nor ever more.
The rare bird, ivory raven, once was there and now unseen
Vanished into the backdrop of the clouds in the sky’s felicity.
I dreamed a dream of who I am. A reclusive hermit, a white raven.
A soul unsound that fights itself for all the goodness it’s so craving.
A distant memory flies away from me and redirects all I’ve bore.
It paints a portrait of a ghost, a monster, an empty shell sunbleached on the shore.
The life is done and not to be, I quoted he, “Not Ever More”.
For: William Poore
By: Charles Poore