"Whiter Shade of Pale"

Windows
(Companion Poem to Stained Glass)

I sit silently in this room.
Walls of greying stone
and dying mortar...
Damp and seeping moisture,
Tears tracing laggard trails
through mired clefts,
the products of age
And heedless neglect.

Silence echoes thunder in the mind
to become an overpowering roar
Past voices gutter sleeping memories
of those who, long ago,
were inside this place...

I breathe deep to feed my lungs,
to clear my mind...
but none is disentangled...
Sluggish air used too many times,
too long ago...
chokes my dry and swollen throat,
and sends my heart into
Rapid retaliation.

I close my eyes
against the webbed recesses
of my now familiar cell...
Making shadowed fog
of the jagged, narrow porthole
through which I see.
Making quiet the thick,
murmuring communions
of the past
of which I hear.

I catch a breath,
a scent of warmth
I've known before,
In a dream, so many years ago...
I breathe deep,
this time to rouse my lungs,
stretching their eager tissues
to capture each
and every particle.

I invite life into my body,
breathing deeper and heavier
Swirling sweet,
delicious flesh odors
within my heaving chest...

I open my eyes and rise
from my sullied sentence chair
and see before me...

Windows.

With blitheful, blinking,
seeking eyes
I gaze...
and drift...
like feathered wings
on weightless air,
to embrace the enlightenment
from the Windows.

I see latticed, gleaming light
revealing depths of landscape
unlike any I'd known on Earth.
Dusty-green ravines twine
through silver, smoky bluffs
rising high above the soil...
high above
The common creature.

Through the Windows I see
the sheltering mushrooms
of treetops
stir gently from the whisper
of warm breezes.

The sun blushes rosy-red,
as if witness to the intertwining
of two long-lost, kindled lovers.
It causes turquoise-streaked skies
to fill with golden radiance,
illuminating the lands
With the rainbow sheen
of artist's oils
on tranquil, dusky waters.

Through the Windows I see
the promise
of late summer's evening,
a time of rest
and quiet renascence...
The hope of a new morrow
bringing dawn's dew to dance
like stars of water
on vibrant morning blossoms.

I feel

The dankened, clammy, air
turn to sweet and heated breath
on my face.
I close heavy eyes once more
to experience
the tender suspiration
on my flesh,
And etch the revelations
of the Windows
in my mind forever.

I breathe...
I touch...

I see...

A dimension of forever...
And when I raise my eyes again
Stony walls crumble into ashen,
dying dust
Pearls of light fall
and bounce at my feet
and echo melodies in the air...

Into the Windows I can see
the very essence of your being
Looking through Windows
back at me...

The Windows
of Your Precious Soul
have freed me from that prison
May I gaze into Your Windows
Till a rose is no more crimson.

For Alan...
I love you so very much...
JRILY *k*

© Sharon Angleman
11/08/99

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