In the City of the King

- jan-u-wine

A cold wind
has found the City
this day,

a wind smelling of Sea-salt
and glass-green spray,

a knife-wind,
the ice-blade of it

lingering
against ruined
stone,

voice keening,

searching,

dying
upon empty battlements.



Yesterday.



Yesterday
a Ranger

knelt
before these gates....

yesterday
a King

returned.

Light,
pale and gold
as fair mallorn,

played like watered silk
upon the high Tower,

blushed rose from wall
and street and throng'd turret....

caught crystal
fire

from a jewell'd crown.

A ruled (and unruly) joy followed,
song flowing like star-lit silver,

wine staining streets which had of late
known only the heated spill of blood.

And I.

Somehow,
I can not get the sense of it,
this City.....

this King....

this
joy.

Beneath the unblinking eye
of a gilded Sun,

beneath the searching fingers of
the Sea-driven wind,

I no longer find my own

Home.

And the voices.

The living voices,
with their joy'd burden
of wonder,

fall like a dark, bitter rain
upon my ear.


Still,
 
I
am

The Ringbearer.

Moreso now than even before.

In these days
of peace,

in these hours
of celebration,


in these
moments

of joy,
there are yet

tasks
for even he who
was

 

Frodo of the Shire.



Within the seventh level
of this City.

there stays a great hall,

a hall
wherein high tales

and the King's own wine
flow equally.

It is not to this hall I am bound.

Upon a scarred and winding street
of the first level
waits a door.

Perhaps I shall find myself,
again,

behind
its riven face.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A certain quiet
lives

within the clamour
of this place,

boisterous bids for
food and drink

falling, at the last,
to uneven silence.

More uneven, yet, my hand,
more
 
uneven
the space this un-fingered

gap
opens within my self.

Still..........

there is the music,
pushing, tender

upon the dark-distanc'd places of my mind,
gentling my hand upon

sombr'd strings,

quickening my fingers
about their work,

(four fingers
clever enough

to twine a phrase,
unhurried),

chords and single notes
rising

sweet upon smoke-heavy air.

And,
in the

reaching,
in the

playing,

there is a learning,
a knowing,

that touches
more

than this
simply

marred hand.

A great yearning
for

Life,

for all the ghost'd
people and places

of late gone missing,
fills me,

voices of shadow'd memory
calling,

unrushed,
like the deep-hidden pools
of the Brandywine on a slow
summer day.
 

There is joy in this playing,

joy
in these small remembrances,

joy
in this,

my life.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author's Note:

While working on this poem, researching events immediately leading up to Aragorn's coronation, I began to wonder about Frodo's well-being in the month that followed the destruction of the Ring. Unlike movie-verse, which reunites the hobbits in Minas Tirith (the Eagles surely had their work cut out for them!), Frodo and Sam wake in Ithilien, upon the Field of Cormallen.  Scarce a month passes between the events on Mt. Doom and their departure to Minas Tirith, a month of rest and healing for Frodo, but also a month during which his original joy and relief in being rid of his burden might begin to be overshadowed by grief and growing uncertainty. Then -  a voyage, by boat, away from the relative quiet and perhaps home-like feel of Ithilien. As much as this voyage was one of ending AND beginning for Aragorn, so it must have been for Frodo, as well. What should his fate be? Should he be, again, simply Frodo of the Shire, or would he always bear what must have seemed the dubious honour of being the Ringbearer? Aragorn journeyed towards the reuniting of his house and kingdom, as well as his marriage, certainly all joyous events. What did Frodo journey towards, what were his feelings as all around him celebrated the return of the King, the return of normalcy to their lives and world?