Across So Wide a Sea

- jan-u-wine
(it is said
that the last of the
Ringbearers
passed the gate
of the Sea,
sailing away
into the West)
*  *   *   *   *   *   *
It fair broke my heart
when my Rosie
left..

worse,
still,
worse…..

when
she went
where
I could not
follow,
then
I could,
at last,
follow you.
*   *   *   *   *

The years
have
been long
and
mostly
kind:

My Rosie….

Elanorelle….

All the
Flowers of
a Gardener….

The Shire,
blossoming gold
and green,
ripe
with more
trees and
bright
flowers
than ever
I could name.

There could be
naught else
to  wish for……
*   *   *   *   *   *

Sixty years…..

Sixty years
and more……

still,

sometimes,
in the silence
of the road,
I hear your voice….

sometimes,

when the moon
chances
to walk in water,
I see you,
within the tired
circle of my mind.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *

This home
was never
really
my Home.

Oddly lonely,
the ink-stand
and quill
rest
upon the red and green
of orderly journals
in the study's
muted
light.

Bright curtain's lace
fitfully
traces the winds
calm breath
as She searches
the bedrooms
feather'd silence.

A crackled vase,
its worn face
lined in sky-blue,
waits upon the
tea-dyed plank
of the table.

The last of the summer roses
rest sweetly
within its mouth.

She loved
white roses……

my Rosie..
*   *   *   *   *   *

Frodo-lad
stands
quiet
by the gate.

My son.

Your namesake.

Somehow,
his head
seems always
in the clouds,

yet

I have made
certain
his hands
are anchored
to the very
rightness….
the strength

of solid earth.
*   *   *   *   *

I scarce know
what
words to say
to the lad
I shall n'er
see again.

The eyes
that fill with tears
as slow Elvish
words
of farewell
spool,
like silver,
between us,
are as summer leaves
upon a stream.

I cannot see him
for the  pain'd
knowledge:

to go towards one
of you,
I must leave the other
forever
behind.

I do not look back


until


I reach

the very top

of the Hill.


The Row
sleeps
beneath me,

and
he…..

small……

so


small……


hand
raised
in soft star-light.

Farewell…..

my son,

my home….

farewell.

It is September the twenty-second, 1482.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Not all roads
are lonely……

even if
one is alone.

This path
leads
through a field
my younger feet
have known.

The fog's grey
shirt
embraces
a tree
whose roots
once held
two hobbits
bent
on aimless Adventure.

no
Fair Folk
journey West
these days….

and though
my road
now joins with theirs,
still,
I feel sad…..

sad.

Even now,
I cannot say
why.

It is leagues
and
weary
leagues
to the edge
of the Great
Sea.

There are
no smials
upon that drifted shore….

my
Elanorelle
dwells there.

She
who may never
seek refuge
over the Sea,
stays yet
beside it.

For me,
she has come
this far,

for us,
she will stay,
ever,
and look,
ever,
into the undying West.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The ship lies
steady,
quiet,
upon the turning tide.

It is as if
she knows
my fears.

I kiss the tears
from Elle's
fair  cheek.

With tender care,
she holds the book
against her heart.

She is smiling.

I know now that I have never been whole.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Fearsomely dark
and
empty
it is
upon this great
expanse
of water.

The sighing
of  wave
to bow
fills me
only
with a longing
for the soft feel
of earth
beneath my feet,
the smell of rich soil
warm
within my hands.

Like a child,
newly set out
upon a journey,
I wonder
how much
longer
this ageless
night
shall last.
*   *   *   *   *

The Phial.

The Lady's Light:

That is what it looks like:

soft  hills
pierced
by starred
splendour -
pearl'd Light
playing like grey flame
over dreaming quays.

It seems
an eternity
before
the graceful
bow
rests her
head
upon the
sanctuary
of the dock.

I must
walk  forward,
I know.

Never
in all
my life
have I been
afraid
to touch
foot
to earth.

Until now.

What if…..

what if you
are not
here? 

The fair
Elvish voices,
which have
accompanied
this endless
voyage,
cease

Impatient
footsteps…..

a walking dance
whose rhythm
I recognize
even
after this long age,
stop a little above my head.

A hand that I know
as well as my own
pulls me
(again)
from a water'd berth.

What words
could
we ever
really
say
to each other?

None.

And so,
just for a moment,
like we did then,
we hold fast to each other
and tears of thankful
sorrow
fill the great gap
of time.

How different
in meaning
the words
that sing now
with soft
wonder,
with joy
upon my ear:

"I am glad you are with me…..
here,
at the end
of all things, Sam."

I am, that.

~Valinor, Home~
*   *   *   *   *   * 

Frodo:


It is different,
here.
 
Time
has not
the same
flow…..

yet
 
I cannot
remember
how else
her tide
might feel.
 
The very sunlight
fills me
with calm,
the grey storm
of the Sea
touches my mind
with dreams of peace.
 
The great wheel
of minutes,
hours,
days,

drifts….

a smooth,
veinless
leaf
suspended in
the crystalline river
of my life.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 
 
A ship
rides
in the haven of the harbour,
white sail luffing
in  down-turned wind.
  
Grey,
swan-prow'd,
she shimmers there,
like a pearl
laid upon
the brow of the Sea.
 
I smile.
 
A familiar shape
stands
sentinel
by the rail,
a roughened hand,
nervous as a
rider
upon an errant pony,
grasping
a silver length
of Elven rope.
 
Sam.
 
I have
so much
to tell him….
 
so much…
 
and yet,
nothing…..
 
nothing
at all.
*   *   *   *
 
The rounded green
of the door
stands open
to the soft cries of mourning doves,
their lament
entwined in the faint
salt
of the Sea.

He is waiting.

I pass
through
the riot  of
my careless
garden,
brushing
fingers
through the soft tangle
of amaryllis
where Bilbo lies.. ….

Odd….the lilies bloom there
as well….
their speckled gowns
lie
upon the sugared-pink-and-green curve
of earth.
 
 
My mind
fills
with thoughts
of him
 
and
 
Sam.
 
He will miss
seeing 
again
the lad
who so painstakingly
learned his letters
so long
an age
ago.

He will miss
speaking
slow Elvish
and hearing
a  shy,
stumbling
reply.
*   *   *   *   *

Soft sighs of
waves
hush
against sea-wormed
wood….

he stands quite
still
upon the gentle
shift of grey dock.

His eyes
are still
like sun-flecked leaves….

his hand
still
sturdily,
warmly brown
as it clasps mine.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *

There are
many words
as we climb
from Harbour
to Hill.

He tells me
of the King….

my Lady Arwen….

little Pip….

and Merry…..

Rosie and Elanorelle….


Even here,
there are tears,
even here,
I still taste regret.

We linger
among the trees….
bemusedly,
I see that he is naming them
In his mind.

his hand
touches
each,
gently,
as if they were
his child.

For a moment,
I am far away,
In pine-scented
forests
that I shall never see again…

his hands,
with knowing calm,
fall upon my shoulders,

his eyes hold mine
with steadying wisdom.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
The three Ringbearers:
 
Here,
in this
darkening garden,
a world and more
away from Home,
we meet again.
 
gentl'd
afternoon
settles to
lavender dusk….
 
Already,
we are silent.
 
Trailings
of the vine
that Sam
names
thatra untibah*
weave their
golden embroidery
about 
our feet.
 
Smoke rings
of insignificant
magnificence
rise
like unspoken
words
into leaven'd dark.
 
Sam
has never been one
to insist
on having
a final word.
 
Sam,
like much else
that I have known,
has changed.
 
"Well,"
says he,
bright
tears
shadowing
the gentle
sadness
of his eyes,
"I'm back."


 
*from Old English: "there and back" 


Samwise Views Bag-end West