Another New World

April 7, 2015

The leading lights of the age all wondered amongst
Themselves what I would do next
After all that I’d found in my travels around
The World was there anything left?
“Gentlemen”, I said, “I’ve studied the maps”
“And if what I’m thinking is right”
“There’s Another New World at the top of the World”
“For whoever can break through the ice”

I looked round the room in that way I once had
And I saw that they wanted belief
So I said “All I’ve got are my guts and my God”
Then I paused, “and the Annabelle Lee”
Oh the Annabelle Lee, I saw their eyes shine
The most beautiful ship in the sea
My Nina, my Pinta, my Santa Maria
My beautiful Annabelle Lee

That spring we set sail as the crowd waved from shore
And on board the crew waved their hats
But I never had family just the Annabelle Lee
So didn’t have cause to look back
I just set the course North and I studied the charts
And towards dark I drifted towards sleep
And I dreamed of the fine deep harbor I’d find
Past the ice for my Annabelle Lee

After that it got colder the world got quiet
It was never quite day or quite night
And the sea turned the color of sky turned the color
Of sea turned the color of ice
‘Til at last all around us was fastness
One vast glassy desert of arsenic white
And the waves that once lifted us
Sifted instead into drifts against Annabelle’s sides

The crew gathered closer at first for the comfort
But each morning would bring a new set
Of tracks in the snow leading over the edge
Of the world ‘til I was the only one left
After that it gets cloudy but it feels like I lay there
For days and maybe for months
But Annabelle held me the two of us happy
Just to think back on all we had done

We talked of the Other New World’s we’d discover
As she gave up her body to me
And as I chopped up her mainsail for timber
I told her of all that we still had to see
As the frost turned her moorings to nine-tail
And the wind lashed her sides in the cold
I burned her to keep me alive every night
In the lovers embrace of her hold

I won’t call it rescue what brought me here back to
The Old World to drink and decline
And pretend that the quest for Another New World
Was well-worth the burning of mine
But sometimes at night in my dreams comes the singing
Of some known tropical bird
And I smile in my sleep thinking Annabelle Lee
Has finally made it to Another New World

Josh Ritter
So Runs the World Away
Another New World

Arrival

April 1, 2015

I come around when the action dies, when a moment stands as still as a deadened lake, when the resident owls coo in ominous approval, when the white skirts settle into their stone circle atop the hill, when the songs have broken amidst cries of mourning, when the hearts of many dawn beneath a glowing moon, when the dead come to pardon the living, when the forked road merges into one, when the 14,000-foot mountains rise to the challenge, when the sky grows dark and fills with exploding stars.

Pendant

February 21, 2015

I am here on your darkest days.
I wander the corridors like abandoned dust.
I listen to your quiet sobs of pain,
the notes of sadness you carry into the night.
I remain in the dark folds of these rueful corners,
unflinching, unwavering, untold.
For I am here at the end of all things,
when the sun has burst and the debris descends like mist,
when they have left their decadent palaces for higher ground,
when you have fallen to the earth in bitter defeat,
when there is nothing left to salvage.
Here I remain in my infinite patience.
I await your arrival in meager anticipation.
My sentiment is old and weary with grief.
My ancient bones grow restless,
for I have reached my final zenith.

Forlorn

February 6, 2015

If I could pluck the fireflies from the mist and toss them into the purple sky, I would.
Who would contest such a poetic notion?
I wander across the bay like a mourning apparition,
the dewey grass succumbing to my bare soles.
I hear voices carried in the wind,
ballads of longing and of loneliness,
swirling overhead before dropping gracefully into my lap.
I mark the end of their winded journey as I pour their souls into my painted ewers,
having the final pleasure of hearing such wondrous sounds.
These are the most beautiful of them all, I ponder dreamily.
The last set of voices tend to be the loveliest,
for they have been relinquished from prying hands,
and become free of their heartbroken conscience.
Such is the purpose I fulfill in this strange place,
releasing these crestfallen spirits into the sky as they join the fireflies.

Sooner

January 16, 2015

The important is the simple,
the whispering wind at the close of twilight,
the smell of fresh coffee brewing,
the open book in my lap,
your warmth beside me, within arm’s reach,
I see your lips in slow motion when you sing,
their laughter, their presence,
our conversation over buttermilk pancakes this afternoon,
I’m looking at our skyline in the distance,
this coast, my coast, our home,
the package on my desk, wrapped so perfectly,
the kisses I received this morning,
these little pleasures fill my days,
the important is the simple.

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