I migrate to wonderland, only to be deported...
|Upon the sea of sand I camped,
hiding in a tomb from the sun.
Long-ago lifeless, an abandoned shell
working the graveyard, I barely dared
hope to rest in peace.
Whispering in moonlight, an elusive shadow haunted
me amid the demons and ghosts of our lives and loves —
testing and teasing and warning me away
yet always invoking the best in me.
My pixie prophesied our dreams entwined:
promises that roused my slumbering spirit —
not forever buried, no matter how barren
the desert winds had stripped this man's desires.
Thus, my spooky Seelie danced
upon the strings inside my chest,
quixotically strummed up the urge to follow her
beyond the sands to darkened woods.
I heard the lore, and counted well the price
of answering my dearest siren's quest;
then, with eyes wide open, I scattered
all my treasures to chase that Cinderella crown.
I trespassed in the sacred woods,
drank forbidden wine and slept in faerie clover
as I reveled with that mad, enchanted princess
who filled me with spring's endearing embrace,
branded her name in the walls of my heart
and withdrew eastward, into the dawn,
evoking and fleeing the blizzards in her wake.
By evoking my dark angel Winter,
the clever sorceress set in motion
the project she had forgotten long ago,
when summoning me to her world.
Banished to mortal home, I returned
sadder, wiser, yet also richer,
though I carried only burned-out keepsakes —
no magic beans, nor talking cow,
no proof of the wonders that transpired.
Within the sand-blasted tomb of my soul,
I presided over the blazing glory of Winter's retinue.
Though I shook and shivered and railed against
the stunning white emptiness that swept over me ...
though she threatened to occupy me for all time ...
though I appeared to all the world as mad ...
... I rediscovered the tremendous beauty
that is the hallmark of this hardest season:
not because Winter's frost is sweet, but because it is stark;
not because her aura caresses, but because it quakes to the core.
In the presence of this terrible apparition,
an ally who seems a magnificent enemy,
an invisible companion who seems as solitude,
I took my place and stood.
By accident or design,
in denying all we promised,
proclaiming me unsuitable for her side,
the Seelie sorceress made room for me to rise.
Am I merely dancing with Winter
or betrothed for an age to the queen of ice?
The cold has not reached our limits —
the walls of my tomb lost and buried,
I find no sign that any limit exists.
An ocean of snow ripples through all horizons;
I cannot fathom the distance or plot a course
to any far-away imagined shore.
Settling in the frozen sands,
I stop chasing the setting sun.
The silvered frost shimmers
with golden promise and distant flame and,
as perhaps never before, I am
finally — breathlessly — alive.