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The Silent Sacrifice~ a poem by Michael Maxwell
"The Silent Sacrifice”
Black, brown speckled horse flecked
with the gray dust of a long-scorched land,
carrying the fatigued rider, burdened with mail and secrets,
weary-eyed from the invasive sun,
is shadowed by the wingtips of a red hawk,
a harbinger of the flight of refreshing times.
And finally, breaking forth into springtime’s valley,
all things being made new,
an ancient being riding ancient lands,
in search of the security and solace of a feminine touch,
of a long lost love Ethelia,
the rider had not felt the comforting dew
in too many frosted moons, coerced by deadly melting suns.
The palace now, after this one thousand and half a thousand miles,
in sight, the treasure of the world inside:
her gaze and curvature, long spoken of
and highly valued in the surrounding mountains.
Peering from her lone window, her famine of his presence concluding now thirteen years,
tears burst freely as she bolts to the fields below to embrace the lost rider.
His hand reaches out to grasp
the newness, the fresh warmth
and sorrow dissolves like foam in the sun.
Desire flows like twilight tides;
rhythm, pulse, and rush of waves
aligns with the passage of blood
coursing through their veins,
and they soon find rapture, the encirclement of two temples.
Momentarily they are encompassed
in the sands of time, dust and days.
Lingering at the first moment his soul touched hers,
and in their lips a secret lock,
that became undone, their spirits linked, entwined.
Beyond the fears and limits of the mind, the valley,
and the tremulous depths of despair upon death’s journey,
their love rises into the air, breathed in by God.
Their life is but a shimmering haze
moving across the horizon at sunrise,
and if they would see good days,
let them part once for all for the welfare of lost souls.
The rider, touched by Spirit, knows the sacrifice awaiting his future,
knows that the higher powers crave the very food of love on which he has feasted.
And even the angels desire to feel such things and fall
seeing them from the deep sky beyond the cloud wall;
and they curse their flesh and blood the day they land,
yet change that scorn to love when they find that hand,
that hand so precious, that fits one in another,
as seeds in pods, like new warm child in mother.
That fall is worth the while for the gods,
who dare to taste what mortals’ fond embrace
can quick dissolve the devil’s hateful snares;
and demon minions, lovestruck, play it fair,
and, given wings of freedom, find the air.
The air is open only to the doves,
who blessed by God with wisdom, power and love,
gave up the mortal taste of lips for wings,
abandoning earth’s desires for heavenly things.