Friday, August 24, 2007

Witches, Madmen, Dreamers

Sunday Scribbling's prompt is "that sinking feeling..." Coincidentally I had just written a poem about drowning and/or floating...

Edgar hid himself by feigning craze
while his fortunes seemed to only float
on ebb-tides. Tom’s a-cold, with just thistledown
to keep him warm; he couldn’t steal a coat
and feared to set the forest all ablaze
though rain was falling hard enough to drown.

“Poor Ophelia”, they say, “she drowned
herself, forsaken, disgraced and crazed.”
But was it worth it? For a time, she blazed
and if in the end she couldn’t float
she had her memories, warmer than a coat.
Did they hold her up or drag her down?

Jeanne d’Arc put the English army down,
refused to let her mother-country drown
in English tides. Someone turned his coat,
made her out to be a witch, or crazed.
The French navy couldn’t stay afloat,
the army followed where holy Jeanne blazed.

Sometimes witches have been set ablaze
or hanged from black trees on a lonely down
or else, thrown in a pond to float
if “guilty”; if “innocent”, drown.
And all the while, this witch-killing craze
was covered by the Inquisition’s coat.

Joseph wore a many-colored coat
as bright as his imagination blazed.
His brothers didn’t like it, thought him crazed:
you know the story, how they did him down
threw him in an empty well. Did Joseph drown
or did his coat of colors help him float?

Trust in your courage and float
with imagination for your coat.
There is no water that can drown
the fire only you can see, the blaze
of mind that will not be put down.
Do not dismiss it as a fad or craze.

Walk down the trail your dreams have blazed.
Be like a crazy saint or a witch floating,
a coating of dreams will not let you drown.

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