Alan Falkingham

Uncurling, swirling, a carousel whirling.
Slow from a crouch, a flashing black pounce.
It sleeps with deep breathes, sigh, rise, sigh, rise.
Dreaming its dreams; muffling its cries.
It opens an eye then stretches and flinches.
I watch it awaken, synapses twitching.
Chained and shackled, it half rises then sinks,
Startled by sunlight; Blink, blink, blink.

Trill birdsong, fresh morning, the guns are now still.
From its throat a whisper, that murmurs and spills.
Will I listen and hear it, or tighten its chains?
Turn and wrestle it back to the dungeon again.
It used to be mine, I grew it from seed.
Then muzzled it, hid it, held it unleashed
And though it has slept in this hollow so deep,
Now it is time for release; to be freed.

Freed from what’s past, by the slash of this life.
A stranglehold broken, the noose rope untied.
The cage door was open. It was always thus;
There was no key. There were no hooks.
I just tied it down so I can now let it sing
It sniffs at the air, lap, laps, from a spring
I eye it with caution, this baby come beast
Then hold out my hand and allow it to feast

I love her more tenderly now than forever
I love her in words that are as light as a feather
I watch her with glimpses, daring and stolen
I gorge on her image until I am swollen
I untwist the untwistable feelings I have
I express them in ways that are foolish and mad
My love is released from the cage that I made
It’s clarity sharp as the edge of a blade.

Faster and faster, the carousel whirling
The black flashing panther, my feelings unfurling
Like unyoked oxen in thick arid heat
I will not toil longer, my love is too fleet
It skips now and spins, it dances and soars
What started a birdsong, has grown to a roar
I love her with softness, now I see who she is
My feelings escaped from within the abyss