Saturday, 26 May 2012

Toreador



Toreador

Are these the things that you wanted to leave?...
are these the things that you wanted to say?
Now that the earth has swollen around your naked feet,
and the bull has taken you to ground.

I heard your name screamed across the court yard,
by the old toreador with the jumbled white hair and the mad stare, he walked amongst the crowd and bellowed:
'Serge has left us today, Serge has gone!'
They stood agape, aghast in the horror of the jape.
A hushed silence swept amongst the throng,
gathered by the stalls, bleached and broken,
beneath those shattered concrete walls.
The Bull, your Bull, your mad wild Bull,
strutting with the gore upon his horn,
the one that had torn a hole through your soul,
a wild fire burning in his eyes. 

Was this what you wanted said?
Was this what you wanted left?

When we spoke, the terror in your eyes fixing me to the spot,
firming my soul with those white hot coals,
the resolve exuding through those weathered lines,
I knew, as you, those lines would never crease again.
And still you did not say it, you did not say it!
Could you not say it?
or were you supposing there would be another instant,
anchored to the dirt, the weight of your tome,
dragging your eyes to the floor,
as all must meet their own, before the mirror or the door.

I recall your final turn, labored and shallow,
the tossed comment, a biscuit to the bull,
as younger men leapt those fiery horns.
What was it your broken face could not betray
in the darkening of that moment?
To read between the lines, the folded words unspoken.
The silence between the spaces, the folds of wrinkled letters,
written upon those worn out faces, spread across your own.

I saw him charge, as if all time had stopped,
and you, frozen in mid sentence, jailed by the moment,
your pen, like the silent tongue,
trapped within those jaws of steel,
what did you feel in that final thrusting rush?
tied up and trussed in the chute of the sticking throat,
That fence could never hold such a frenzied death,
that gargantuan storm upon whose horns you were born.

I watched in slow motion the dust rise to greet you,
to welcome you home again, to open the door,
my long suffering ancient toreador.
You who tore upon the page with wisp and wit,
humbling many a wild charge, full of snot and venom,
a plenum of monstrous muscle stopped in its tracks.
In your prime... yes!, in your prime!...
garlands and music, girls wound around your pen.
whirling even then, and then...

'Serge has left us today, Serge has gone!'
Gone to where the silence rules the day,
and the moon, the dawn. Serge has left us, down, and gone.
 
Are these the things you wanted to leave?
Are these the things you wanted to say?

'Speak the truth in your heart to those that matter!
while you can old friend.
For the ground is hard of hearing, and speaks in stones.
The dead carry the silence with them in the heavy earth,
and they are quiet enough, for all of us.'

© Richard Michael Parker 2012

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