Seventeen years we traveled,
seventeen dark winters damp and cold,
lonely Geonauts plying the underground Space,
defenseless and yet so strong and bold.
Creeping horrors thinned our ranks
leaving but a few, those cast in a special mold,
to maintain blindly the ancestral faith
in a Rebirth at our journey's end.
But lo and behold!
The darkness is being torn and shredded away
and already the fabled Light embalms my eyes
dipping them in a bath of Beauty beyond belief.
Oh, Glory of Glories, I can see !!!
Air is rushing in through gaping cracks,
rinsing my body with freshness and
the smell of sea and sun and pine and
a myriad other magic things!
But first hold your breath and listen.
The whole Universe is abuzz!
A thousand voices struggle through the weeds
on the wings of a worm and gentle breeze,
the happy songs of drunkards
drunk by too much Sun.
Now listen again! ...might it be?
Distant but unmistakable as heartbeats of hope,
there are the notes of my own folk's Hymn to Love,
sung by a longing mate!
Lord, I am no longer alone !!!
Forget the seventeen dark years, the fatigue,
the unnamed terrors, the moldy smell of roots!
Forget all that were, for every minute of what is
outweighs a voyage of a thousand years!
Cast away that worn-out suit, dry up and,
clear and loud, sing the Song of Songs.
Stan Sýkora, Castano Primo, June 1999
This poem was commissioned by my sister to go with her beautiful photo of an empty cicada's cocoon. She told me that the larvae of cicadas live 17 years underground before they mature, take a nuptial flight, mate and die. So I tried to imagine how it might feel to be a cicada at the end of the long journey ...
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Copyright ©2004 Stanislav Sykora    DOI: 10.3247/elcl09.042 Designed by Stan Sýkora