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Among the Stones

For National Poetry Day, I took a page from the Graveyard Poets and went wandering among the stones of my favorite necropolis -- Cleveland's Lakeview Cemetery. I brought paper, pen, and my camera. Here are some words and some photos from the day's pensive ramble: Graven Angel

When you gaze into my eyes, do you see eternity? I peer into those depths, and I do not blink. In these cultured gardens, I stand betwixt and between, Guarding your sense of what is now and what is to come. And at the end of days, you will see me watching still, The regiment of years gathered like wind-swept leaves about my feet.

[slideshow]

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Dusk

Wrote this poem in image and words yesterday while strolling through Medina's Old Towne Cemetery off public square, posting each section to Twitter as it was composed. Here's the poem in its entirety for those who missed it in the moment of its creation: Dusk

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In the waning light, ruminations on the brevity of form.

Shadows cast upon the dappled grass. Not who we are, but what is seen.

Life has but one end, and that's the grave. Every flower blooms, then fades.

Yet our spirit endures. In our words. In our dreams.

And as the sun sets on one day, elsewhere it dawns upon the next.

-- M. Belanger

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Eurydice

This poem, originally published in my 1994 collection, Dark Song: Fantasies in Twilight (now out of print), was republished in Soul Songs from Distant ShoresI do a reading of the poem here, for those who are interested in hearing it performed. Eurydice

Death is certain for the born. Rebirth is certain for the dead. You should not grieve for what is unavoidable.

-- the Bhagavad-Gita

wandering among the stones lost within myself i try to retrace those footsteps that led me into this granite garden far from you

voices tear through my consciousness, weeping, beseeching, calling my name

but i do not wish to answer i do not wish to let go

there is music in the distance a song as familiar as your caress

i find myself amid the goblin market temptation upon temptation heaped up on plates brilliant with the heavy glint of gold

i shall wait i shall not betray my memory of you those opulent hours we spent in the splendor of the sun

i recall the story sung of mournful Kore but one pomengranate seed and i will be undone

seeking something lost i find only myself Eurydice huddled weeping in the eldritch embrace of silver birch and whitethorn

have i ever known any other arms that held me with such strength, such understanding?

there was something but i've forgotten what here where the light of the gravid moon soothes stark granite and marble into cool, pure silver and flesh melts away into brilliant, unburdened bones

naked i spin atop an obelisk reaching into the sky and eating stars like candied dates

there was something but i'm free of it now the trees teach me what it is like to shed leaves endlessly easily as the seasons command

there is nothing but myself and the understanding that a seed must fall to the ground and be buried before it can aspire to oak

-- M. Belanger

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The Messengers

Author's Note: It is very possible that I have been reading too much Rilke, as this just poured out of my pen the other night and demanded to be born on the paper. Somewhere between prose and poetry, it has an intensity enhanced by its brevity.  

Angelos. Messenger.

What if they are messengers, but not in the way that you think? What if their job is to demand that you wake up and change your life -- right now, no excuses, no hesitating.

And they do not do this gently. They do it with trumpets, with voices that resound to the vaults of the heavens, shaking everything.

They plummet like a thunderbolt into your life, brilliant and deadly, overwhelming in the sheer reality of their being.

There is nothing soft about angels. They are not beings of love, but beings of pure will. The unyielding logos of the godhead.

Their nascence was in the birth of stars -- those embers in the deepest dark, burning with a ferocity mortals can barely imagine. And some of that fire is still in them -- it is them -- and it sears all who dare meet their lambent gaze with the pure light of revelation.

-- M. Belanger

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