The Web-Ring

- jan-u-wine

The White City.

Her seven circles
echo with quiet,

the purity of hewn stone
serene beneath the early
Spring sun.

As serene as I,
following an arrow'd flight of birds,

black

against the sweetly
white-whisped bowl of sky

In my regard of them,
I have missed, entire,
the thread of the talk.

A great waiting silence falls.

Sam
(steadfast, as always, in his regard)
is looking at me.

His eyes are dark,
like the deepest pools
of the Brandywine
on a still summer day.

Beyond him,
Pippin,

(Pippin,
whose name, written,
somehow looks like him,
like a carefree,

care less
bit of cloud,
heartened along by the merry Sun),

waits.

Pippin has seen,

been,
learned much.

But not all.

Pippin wishes to hear
of Shelob.

I had not looked to the East,

no,

for there is naught there for me,

but now......

now that he has said

Her
name,

now my eyes rise
to where the dreaded
pass

lies,

and my mind falls to cloud
and

confusion.

"Cloud"

That is how the Elves name her:
Cloud
and

Dark Shadow.
 
Both she was to me
and I do not think

there are words with which
to tell this story.

It is not a tale for Shire-folk,

no,

not even one such as Pippin's own deeds
might make:

it is not one of sword and buckler
nor even of bright blood

spilt to hungry earth.

And if, my young cousin,

you
have looked into the Stone,

if
you have seen Him,

felt him seeking you,
then you have felt only

a dreme

of which we knew the desperate waking.

Do you,

can you

understand,
cousin?

It was not only that we were to die,
(and my mind becomes

weighted,

torn
by the memories
that spill,

like slimed water,

like her very webs,

from it)
It was not only that we
were

to die.

It was that all the World,
also,

should be

lost.
__________________


First

you must understand the dark,
the terrible absence

of even the recollection
of light

and
 
the smell,

the smell of we-knew-not what,

save
that there was death about,

death,
Ages old

armoured with evil.


And it did not simply

wish

Death
for us,

this evil.

No,

it wished for all the World
to be as it was:

in darkness entire,
bloated

with Death,
feeding Death,

feeding upon Death.


She is,
after all,

cousin,

His 'cat',

and we,
the witless mice

left for sport
within her trap.


I have not words
even

to tell you
of the sounds

and smells

and terror
of the darkness

and
my mind falling to desperation

even
as I ran.

I have no words.

But

I remember now,
as if we were lost,
still,

within that night'd earth,

I remember
my sudden fury

that it not end

thus

And
dear Sam,

wanting of some light,
spoke to me of the Lady.

Oh,
the Lady and her gift.

Before ever I drew it out,
there was a surety

of light within me,
my mind suddenly clear

in the mere remembrance
of her.

And I held the star-essence
within my hand,

calling upon the Mariner,
he who also

fought the darkness

and won.

And the light of him shone out,
showing her as naught but

the twisted and sad remainder
of a larger Age.

We ran,

still,

ran,

but now
with light and

moving air
fresh

and free

before us. 


And here my tale,
like the threads

of her
broken web,

ends,

bookended
by singular pain

lost dremes
and light,

whispers
and screams

and a waking
more terrible

than them all.

____________________________

Sam is suddenly by me,
as he was then.

His eyes are still dark
like the Brandywine.

I hear Pippin upon the stair.

Merry is with him.

I am glad.

No one should be

thus,

alone
with their tears.

And Sam turns with determination to the West,
to

where Earendil glows steady,

the beacon and promise of all who might sail

a worrisome Sea.