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Nicholas' dream
Nicholas was 30 when he heard the voice of God.
He’d been brought up an atheist so hearing God was odd.
It came in through a dream in the sound of cobalt blue,
And everything it said to Nicholas, he knew was true.

The voice spoke out in ripples and it made him want to cry
As it whispered in his heartbeat that he did not have to die;
That the path of men and women is to grow their Angel Wings,
And to operate their earth life from the interwoven strings

Of the Universal lattice weave that holds the world together;
That to live thus on the Earth plane is to live a life forever.
And Nicholas beheld the message back into his life:
He quit his job; he sold his home; he kissed and left his wife.

He climbed into the mountains and he built himself a shack_
In which he made a bed of straw on which to lie upon his back.
At dawn he rose and washed himself beside the mountain stream,
And every night he prayed to know the meaning of the dream.

He’d watch the stars by dark and sing the sun up every morn.
Then he’d walk along the cliff edge feeling peaceful but forlorn;
The distance from the cliff top to the canyon floor below
Was a measure that the young man had a long way still to go.

Nicholas was sure his angel wings were somewhere near,
But the weeks became a month and the month became a year;
The year in its turn became a decade and beyond,
And Nicholas began to think that, maybe, he’d been conned.

He would sit upon the cliff edge every day and every night,
Praying for his angel wings with all his human might:
“Let me be the angel of the mountains and the sea.
“Let me be the servant of the world’s humility.

“Let me be the answer to the sorrow of the land.
“Let me be the consciousness of every grain of sand.
“Let me be an angel whilst I’m still a human being.
“Why have you forsaken me? What am I not seeing?”

But God did not reply. He was obviously busy.
Nicholas felt sick with rage.  The feeling made him dizzy.
Here he was at 45, content to serve the Earth.
Yet here he sat despondent; of no value; of no worth.

That night he lay awake on his simple bed of straw
When, suddenly, there came a knock at Nicholas’s door.
“Who is it?” he called aloud, his blanket round him tight.
“Who d’you think it is?” said God. “I’m coming in, alright?”

And there stood God, quite plainly on the threshold of the shack.
And Nicholas could only lie there, speechless, on his back.
God sat down and looked around the shack with shining eyes;
It seemed to Nicholas that God was made of fireflies –

A buzzing, a vibration and a wave of coloured sound:
He could see it in the ceiling. He could feel it in the ground.
“What did I do wrong?” he said. I’ve given you my life!
“I left my job and home for you. I even left my wife!”

“Yes,” said God. “I know you did. But did I ask you to?”
“I want you to be honest; to be happy; to be true.
“I want you to embrace that you’re an angel here and now.
“So grow your wings. Come fly with me.” “But, God, I don’t know how.”

“Well,” said God, “the trick...” and then he vanished from the shack,
And Nicholas sat up, appalled: “No! Wait! Don’t go! Come back!”
But God had gone again and Nicholas was quite alone,
He lay back down, dumbfounded, with a dark deep hearted grown.

His sleep that night was broken, and the next night and the next.
His days seemed almost stagnant. He felt desolate and vexed.
He sat upon the mountainside and, daily, asked to fly.
He asked God to release him from his curse; to conquer sky.

He asked to be rewarded for he practiced every day.
He’d sit atop the cliffs and watch the aerial display
Of the falcon and the eagle and buzzard in the air,
And by the age of ninety-six he’d all but lost his care.

To Nicholas it mattered not, now, if he grew his wings.
He’d learnt to find contentment in the days more simple things:
In the water that he drank; in the food he grew and ate;
In the meditative calm he found within the figure 8;

In the daybreak and the dusk; in his walks atop the cliff;
That the practice of his yoga kept his joints from getting stiff.
And finally, one eve, as Nicholas lay down to rest,
He heard the gentlest voice of God; “Nicholas, get dressed.

“It’s time for you to journey home. Night will be here soon.
“Your body’s at its end and needs to die beneath the moon.
“But if you grow your angel wings before the sun goes down
“You can stay on Earth forever. You can wear the Angels’ crown.

“Put your clothes on. Hurry now. Go sit upon your throne.
“Watch the sunset one last time and know you’re not alone.
So Nicholas obeyed, put his clothes on, left the shack,
And slowly climbed the jagged cliffs, his body like a sack.

He could feel the weight of years fast descending on his limbs
Like the darkness round a candle as it weakens; as it dims.
He sat upon his favourite piece of cliff and watched the sun,
And tried to cast his mind back to how all this had begun.

When, suddenly, from farther down the cliff he heard a sound
Like a whinny and a whoop but there was nobody around.
The whoop became a scream of joy, the laughter of the wild,
And Nicholas could swear that he was looking at a child;

A little girl with golden hair; her eye were blue and bright.
Her arms were stretched out wide and her face was filled with light.
She was racing up the mountainside towards the sheer drop.
And Nicholas, in horror, saw she was not going to stop.

And sure enough she didn’t. She just hurtled off the edge.
Nicholas could only watch and weakly clutch the ledge.
Down the little girl went like a solid bar of lead.
Did she know what she had done; that in a moment she’d be dead?

Clearly not, for Nicholas could hear her peals of laughter.
He couldn’t bear to watch so he threw himself off after,
And remembering the days when he had watched the buzzards dive,
He shot down like a bullet. This child must survive.

If he could catch her up and garb her, hold her close to him,
He could protect her like a cushion though his candle light was dim.
He could clutch her to his chest and hit the ground upon his back –
His chest was soft; his back was hard from sleeping in the shack.

And with exuberance, arrow speed and poise the old man dove;
His heart burned green like emerald fire, roaring in a stove.
The tiny little girl was now so close that he could touch her,
He pulled her up and spun around to cradle and to clutch her.

And at that moment, Sun’s last rays fell clear on the scene,
And from the old man’s shoulder blades burst wings of gold and green.
They open wide and gently turned the man and girl around,
And pulled them out of imminent collision with the ground.

Up into sky shot the old man and the child,
The sky was ruby red and the air, sweet and mild.
Up the canyon wall they climbed, fast as any bird,
And from the old man’s wings the songs of angels could be heard.

He hears the music, knowing that he lives a life forever,
That his task is showing faith cannot be won by being clever.
That if we trust the ground will always rise to meet our feet,
We can live our lives eternally in every single beat.

© Simon Welsh Poetry 23rd July 2010
 
 
 
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