The Happy Cannibal

When I partake of verses from the past,
My verses that I wrote, but scarce recalled,
Some of them please me mightily and cast
A resurrecting glow upon the pall
Of troubled silence which has held me fast.
I hear a rumbling wakening, a call
     Of hunger, naughty, wicked like a child
     That has free reign to romp around the wild.

There is a lust, a good and wholesome glee,
A narcissistic urge of masturbation,
Which grips my heart and steals over me,
When I perceive within a lost creation
A well-wrought phrase, or piece of imagery,
Or flow, or rhyme, or metric evocation.
     It makes me hungry, so I eat it up,
     And take again the Muse into my cup.

My Muse is like the Phoenix: she expires
In ashes as she burns her spirits out,
But in the dying of her darkling fires
Something remains, a life that seems to flout
The laws of nature, and though it retires,
It waits for circumstance to turn about.
     Then FLASH! An unexpected spark ignites
     Her being. She's reborn into our sights,

A new, unsundered whole. She lives and breathes,
And leaves her mark again upon this earth.
The sluggish planet, at her bidding, seethes,
And hosts of visions swarm to her rebirth.
Creation rocks her cradle, and she teethes
On all that came before her. All of worth
     She makes her own, and when I call her name,
     I take inside of me her lofty flame.

A poem, once created, has a life
As inexhaustible as ocean waves.
In dormancy, it's like a faithful wife,
A sleeping beauty hid in hallowed caves,
Unmoved by all the chaos, will, and strife
That makes for living. It transcends the grave.
     And reading it awakens all its powers
     In new light, and brings forth yet unseen flowers.

George Chadderdon © 1997