The Tale of the Tale

- jan-u-wine
Gandalf
says
it would
help me
to write it
all down.
 
Bilbo....
 
dear Bilbo
 
anxiously awaits
the conclusion
to our tale.
 
on a morning
sweet with
summer heat,
heavy with
the insistence
of bees
about their work
in sun-drowsed garden,
I begin.
 
how far away
it all seems,
now,
and yet,
close,
so close,
 
like the sharp
facets of a blade,
flashing bright,
cutting
through the edges
of my dreams.
 
the pen grows
heavy
in my hand.....
 
it would please me
better
if I might tell
the story of
fabled Beren
or of the deeds
of brave Earendil.
 
something
that would sing
with the sweet flow
of Elven script....
yes,
that would please me...
 
something burnished
soft
by time
so that it does not
hurt so,
something that in the telling
brings only tears
of remembrance,
not of too-closely-held
grief.
 
and so my mind
turns
to nights
when the world was new
and there were none of these strange folk
called hobbits,
no, nor a  
country called the Shire.....
and those lands
now sleeping
beneath the wave
were newly
bright with tender Spring....
 
my mind turns there,
but does not stop.
it is carried forward
by those very waves
unitl,
unwilling
it touches,
again,
across all the ages,
that which is still there
for it to touch.
 
I see it now,
as if it were
a faded print
upon a wall....:
 
The Quest......
 
something which
cannot have
concerned me,
 
something veiled
forever
by time and ages
of shadow'd regret.....
 
something
which
cannot
have
touched me
at all.....
 
it was not me
whose feet
walked that long
and terrible
Road.....
it was not me whose
eyes
saw things too
horrible to think upon....
it was not me whose hand....
 
 
 
my
 
hand.
 
 
 
 
my hand bears
silent witness
to who and what
I was....
 
who and what I became.
 
How is it that
that empty space
threads pain,
 
spills
night,
echoing
night
 
into the blank
wall of my mind?
 
I look down:
 
somehow,
there are
words,
words
standing large
and darkly
elegant
against the whiteness
of the page:
 
Graceful Elvish script
embracing
the foulest words
that ever there were.
 
I do not know why,
but I am laughing.
 
only
 
it does not feel
like laughter,
buried
in my breast.
 
it hurts......
like a cold hand
crushing
my heart,
it hurts.
 
there is a fire
burning
its small life out
in the grate....
 
little eyes watching
with fierce red wakeful
desire.....
 
there is only my own
shadow
upon the wall
as I feed the whiteness
of the paper,
bit
by
bit
to the anger waiting in the round
hearth.
 
I cannot get the sense of what it all means
yet
somehow,
I feel peaceful,
I feel at rest.
 
Outside the window,
the sound of half-hearted
shears,
not at all busy at their work,
ceases.
 
knowing eyes,
a year and more older,
a year and more wiser,
meet mine.
 
Dear Sam.
 
I recall  the
suddenness
of his last
journey
through
an open window.
 
truly,
I am laughing now,
my hand
caught
to the sturdiness
of his.
 
this time,
it is I
who journeys
over the sill.
 
Elvish words
come just as readily
in the sun-hazed
study of my garden,
over-written
by the soft touch
of the wind.
 
there is no pen here
to distress my hand....
only words,
 
words....
and a friend
to hear them.
 
the stars
and the slivered
finger
of a moon
find us,
sitting,
still,
upon the ground.
 
I never knew
there were so many
words.
 
And you
sat quiet
and bore them all.
 
More:
when I had done,
your voice
spoke in the
fleeing darkness.
 
within the threads of my tale,
the embroidery of yours....
all those moments
I did not see....
could not see....
those bits of my life.....
our lives....
you saved for me.
 
_______________
 
we have tea
in the homely
echoed silence
of the kitchen.
 
sharp black tea
and bits of bread
toasted upon the grate
and running with Mari's jam.
 
I hum one of Bilbo's walking songs
down the hall-way and into the study.
 
I wait for the sound of shears.
 
The fresh whiteness of the page smiles at me.
 
I take up the pen and begin to tell our tale.