The White Tree sighing

(A song of Gondor)

Children, do you hear?
In the breeze, beyond the meadow?
Carried in the echo of tears
the echoes of time,
it is the White Tree sighing.

Love, can you feel
the weight of blessedness,
the love of the gods?
From the first Silver Tree
to the blossom in the courtyard,
the breath of light
leads us all.

Borne afar on winds of sorrow
past the death of hope,
knowing that its end would come
rejoicing all the more in life
White Tree! White Tree!
I hear your ancient sigh.

Flowers bloom
and flowers wither;
leaves flutter to the black water.
The tree dies aged and ageless
while in the mountain snows
a sapling sprouts
sad seeds, waiting
quietly breathing desolation.

My liege, my liege
can you lead the way?
Can life o’ercome crawling
death in the darkness?
Yes, for yours are the hands
of healing and of light;
pure, silver, as the eldest
of all the lamps of Heaven.

Children, do you hear?
Wafting on the sound of love,
Tree and King,
Love and Life,
joined at last together again.
This joy you hear is
the White Tree sighing.

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Mindon Eldaliéva

Mindon Eldaliéva calling me down to the shore;
Mindon Eldaliéva lights the way home evermore.

From beyond the mists of twilight
Where earth and sky kiss and meet,
A silver beacon seems to show me
The way back from long defeat.

Though my eyes have never seen it
Shining from green hill afar,
My heart is ever turned toward it
As my only guiding star.

Mindon Eldaliéva shimmers over waters still;
Mindon Eldaliéva shining gently from your hill.

Slender silver beacon in the tower,
In the Mindon, there upon
The green hill of Elven Túna
In the midst of Tirion.

Will I walk into the gardens?
Will I ever see the walls?
Can I stop there? Can I rest there
Before I leave from Mandos’ halls?

The light of gentle Mindon calls to me near and far.
My footsteps ever searching by the water for this star.

I haunt the edge of seashore
Where my tears mix with the brine,
And as I know my heart is breaking
The foamy waves begin to shine.

Ulmo, Lord of Waters grace me
With deepest wisdom of your heart.
My blood beats with the waves’ sighs
Yet I lack the courage to depart.

And seek Mindon Eldaliéva beyond furthest mortal shore,
To die in light of silver beacon, leave this world forever more.

Mindon Eldaliéva guide me for in this I ever trust;
When time and tide are ready I will find you as I must.

(September 29, 2006)

The Road continues ever on

The Road has wound past many gates
And many pathways unexplored
I’ve passed by many different fates
And pondered mysterious, shadowed doors

Yet my feet have always known the way
No matter what distractions lie
Fate always let me have a say
And I chose to gladly pass them by

The Road has widened with the years
The journey has not been alone
For all the laughter, all the tears
I feel the close approach of Home

Yet it goes ever, ever on
Though my feet shall walk no more
New footsteps born with every dawn
New paths to ever-distant shores 

My Road now leads to silver rain
Golden sun, far country green
The Straight Road takes me far from pain
The gentle bliss of the West is seen

I have reached the end at last
Beyond all hope, beyond all fear
And when I see your shining mast
I’ll know the Road has brought you here

Dedicated to the memory of Professor Daniel Timmons and other friends whom the Valar now hold in their arms.
July 26, 2006

Twas the Night of the Movie

(Here’s a fun one from December 2003, written with fond memories of The Gathering in Toronto and seeing Return of the King with friends and fans for the first time.)

‘Twas the Night of the Movie …

‘Twas the night of the movie and all through the house,
Many creatures were stirring – not even one a mouse.
Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits were all preened with care,
In the hopes to see Gandalf with his gleaming, white hair.

All these, like children, were nestled snug in their seats,
While visions of Elessar rode to Rohan’s hoof beats,
And Papa in his woven cloak and I in my gown,
Settled ourselves hoping PJ wouldn’t let us down.

When up on the screen came such an unholy clatter,
I sprang from my seat wondering what was the matter.
Away to the projector, we all stared in concern,
But a voice calmly said, “This guy’s new. He will learn.”

Light shone on the screen, a commercial with snow,
And I sighed in relief – not far now to go.
Then to our wondering eyes it appeared.
The opening credit! We all clapped and cheered.

There before me was Smeagol, so deadly and quick,
The Ring making him evil, decrepit and sick.
A rapid progression of images then came,
Yet I remember so well, the beacons of flame.

Minas Tirith! Min Rimmon! They went speeding west!
Through the mountains to Rohan – calling them to the test.
Riding hard on the road, they answered the call,
And sped to the White City, beleaguered and tall.

But there, like a hurricane, Denethor’s anger did fly,
And poor Faramir withstood it, with tears in his eyes.
To Pip’s gentle song, the fatal charge sped through,
Knowing death was in wait as above Nazgûl flew

And then in a twinkling to a sickly green gleam,
Frodo and Sam hiding – the Witch King’s harsh scream.
Smeagol’s evil leer as he’s turning around,
Sam’s heartbreak and courage – to duty he’s bound.

A gigantic horror – terror from head to foot,
Victory and defeat midst blood, ashes and soot.
Whisked away yet again to the one leading this pack,
As he marshals a city, we are given hope back.

I can still see his eyes twinkling at Pippin and Merry.
Ah, that Gandalf the White! He’s magnificent. Yes, very.
Legolas and Gimli, fearsome with axe and bow.
But, alas! We’ve not seen how their friendship did grow.

The black smoke of Mordor encircles all like a wreath,
As Grond rolls to the gates, with fire in his teeth.
But poor Frodo and Sam – tired, dirty and smelly,
With the Ring eating up Frodo’s mind just like jelly.

Andúril, sword of the king, borne by a great Elf,
And I smiled when I saw him, in spite of myself.
Aragorn leads us through the Paths of the Dead,
The king I remember, defeating both fear and dread.

Now Arwen is dying – the book has no such quirk,
Yet, I weep for her vision and it all seems to work.
The end of the world, the end of Smeagol’s woes,
Frodo seemed beyond pain when above the ruin he rose.

Parting at the Grey Havens, a loving, hopeful epistle,
The screen faded to black and we all wept and whistled.
We were left with good feelings as our friends drove out of sight,
Peace reigns in Middle Earth. Be blessed. And good night.

Broken

She knew when first she came that it would not be easy
Nothing ever to be easy again
She sensed before she saw what they had done to him
And then she had only her days to remember
Gently come to new-plighted troth, he had loved her
She wandered with him through fields of singing wildflowers
And held his face in wonder in the silver dew of Isil’s light
But as children they were
Foolish, playing
Unheeding of the wild, uncaring of the dangers
A rush of steel sounds, blood tastes, was all she remembered
His blood? Her own? She knew not
Then the dark
Never had there been dark like this
Not even when Eru went out to the Void
For the Void was pregnant with opportunity
This darkness was the weight of the grief of Arda
A pit of sorrow with no joy, suffering without end
And she learned to hate

She hated the red eyes that blinked slowly out of the darkness
She hated the black spirit within them
She hated the shrieks she could not place to bodies
And she hated Them

First there was only darkness
Blackness to undo the mind, deaden the senses, weaken the fëa
But not so weak as to loose it from the bonds of life
Oh no, never that — suffering was the purpose
After, there was fear
Glowing eyes in the darkness, wet touches on the body, whispers of something along the ground
Fear that unravelled the last vestiges of hope and ravaged sanity
Fear that tasted of blood
And then came Pain

Who or what came to bring it, at first she did not know
But she heard him scream
For long now she had not heard his voice
Yet, she knew it through the throbbing notes of raw agony
Speech was stolen from them, images stripped from their minds
But love they still held, although unsure of what to call it
So she screamed with him, and They came to her
Eyes leering, rough hands pinning her down
And Pain, a real thing, with shape and force
She could never have known, would not have guessed

She felt them marring her face, cutting, shaping, slicing
Then her body was broken and held to heal in broken posture
She wept in garbled sorrow — They laughed
And then she saw him
They brought him to her and gave them light that they might look on each other
Through watery eyes burning with hatred for the feeble glimmer
She saw what They had done to his body, his gentle face
But his eyes were his own, the eyes of her people
He reached toward her with misshapen arms
Howling and screeching, but she understood and rushed to him
Their bodies came together roughly, painfully
Her arms, elongated, went around him too far
Her body was twisted and fit his no longer
Dimly she remembered a different embrace
He was weeping on her face and They laughed, mocked
How she hated Them
But They were not finished

Together they were kept
He taken out and used for hunting
She was given blood to drink, and
Threw it against the wall – there was Pain
She got nothing, for days he ate what he killed in front of her
They brought back the blood and she drank it all
She did not remember Manwë, she did not remember Light
Her memory was leached out of her like a painful, whining screech,
Slowly, hurtfully, with care for the Darkness that would replace it

They had no language, no salvaging thoughts
No prayers or shredded hopes
They were beasts, with minds unmade
They were mated, for Darkness cannot make, only mock
They were made to give offspring like animals
And she knew this was wrong
It remained at her core that her people made children only out of love
Although she no longer knew that she had a people
Or that she had love
She hated the creatures They made her give Them
Those that were weak, they were forced to eat
He did it willingly, she hated him for that

He was useful to them, could be trained
And given the new language of the Dark
He had forgotten everything
No tingle of starlight on windy nights remained
Bright lights in the eyes of his people forgotten
Darkness only there was and sneering hatred for everything
So They gave him language and taught him to fight
She was dross, useless now even for breeding
They destroyed her body, fed it to Their wolves
And some of it to him

Her saddened, weak fëa watched his horrific feast
It remembered
She turned to the West, felt immeasurable pity and compassion
Grief for her that would last beyond the undoing of the earth
But they could not save her, she was ruined
Mandos could not claim her essence, it was putrid
And she knew then, the fullness of Morgoth’s hate
To undo in shame and depravity what Eru had wrought in grace
To deny the Firstborn fëa even a breath’s solace in Aman
She heard her name uttered on the breath of Manwë
Then she sighed and was lost forever

Whisper in the firmament

A new music stopped her
set her heart aloft
into the whirl of notes
sliding and trickling down to
liquid light of dawn

From whence did it come?
this harmony
without tingle of starlit glade
nor moon gleaming
through conspiring leaves
Asked the tiny star-flowers
that reached up
from her footsteps
“Do you know?”
they nodded coyly to
the leaves above
whispering secrets she
could not hear

In solitude of Isil’s beams
she wondered, reached
for the singer who brought
Anar’s fire flooding
through silver heart

“Tinúviel!”
Call from afar
wounding in a thousand ways
music in his voice
heat and light

She ran up hill and
over meadow to escape
the longing curled
about her waist like
a lover’s hand gently guiding
her steps to destiny
Yet she knew not
quivering touch
of lover’s hand
nor butterfly brush of
lips on her brow
Her heart was her own
never taken, never offered

Thingol’s daughter, Melian’s joy
Her dance was radiance
welling moonlight spilling
on to grass
splashing forest leaves
silvering all things
beneath her feet
Always alone in bliss
until his song

“Tinúviel!”
She fled through trees
across river stones
notes of his voice
lighting her steps with
love, lest she be lost and the
world unforgivably marred

She felt, tasted
love inside the wind
heard the pulse of her life
slide into rhythm with his
Turned
gentle mist adorning
raven hair with
unworldly iridescence
saw him step from silvered trees
Leaves, star-flowers
silent now, their plot complete
And she understood

“Tinúviel”
a name softly moving
the worlds
to run fate down
a different path

Sank to his knees
before her
meeting her eyes at last
a face with only love
as its light, a soul with
only her at its centre

All things in Arda stilled
for her answer
star-flowers bowed on slender stalks
she walked past
to the circle of his arms

A whispering echo through
through the Firmament
“Tinúviel”

Love song

He named me –
for starlight – Kindler –
so long ago

‘Tintallë … Tintallë‘
whispers fell into my hair
‘Kindle your light within me’
How had I known him by his bright love?
For an age his eyes seared
through the fabric of my mind and
opened the Way from which there is no return

Tintallë
‘Light me a lamp by which to steer my life’

and he loved me
to wondrous heights
He made know that I was whole
then smashed me to pieces on
his love
From wreckage smouldering in Delusion and Despair
a light arose soaring as a flame into the Dawn

Fable of the Phoenix made vision
flying past all comfort
to the place where What Was and What Will Be

simply Is

I knew neither peace nor torment for there was naught to be known
but not to stay

Plummeting like a spear to the murky depths
of the material

I gazed at him and the
light lingered in his eyes
‘Tintallë’
on a breath

and he brought me neither bliss nor joy — as a basket of flowers

I am not his | he is not mine

In an outstretched hand, the secret to move mountains
but I did not understand
Whispering with the song of Eru
so long ago — from so very far away
‘Set a star for me — live in your light
We are of the same stardust and moonbeams’

‘Tintallë…’

Whispers circling my heart
Love to break not bind
Never to call my own