There is a brown mist in the air. like smoke, it curls. lazily, slats across the way. Slithering to escape, a miasma of vapor clogs the turnstiles. I am trapped. the memories emerge, like ghosts resurrected. Now I hear a voice. was that a name or an echo of times gone by? I shake this incredible lassitude that has settled on me. Like a purple haze across the sea. I am the mariner with an albatross. standing here on the edge of the universe, I take a dive. long, shallow and sweeping. And I emerge. on the other side. What am I this time? Or that time, or any other time?
Look around. I ask a question. A bird twitters in reply. I go up to it, it slips away; like smoothly running sand. I try to run, but where are the feet? Where is the heart that powers this surge? A lost predicament. I ask again. Milton’s murmur. A poetic license. The bird returns. A sudden flit of the wings and its here. Perched on my shoulders. A whisper in my ear. “Is that the question ?”, I ask. the strange murmur disappears. landscape dissolves away. a different hue of me is there. Dare I speak again?
There is a silence. Deep inside me. An ability long-lost. Often misunderstood. The bird comes back, its face illuminated by rays of mortal sunlight. Marlowe’s eulogy. The face that launched a thousand ships and burned the topless towers of ilium. wasted effort. I ask again,”why?”.
“Why not?”, the swift rejoinder. The light shines around me. People forgotten, places visited; it all comes back. Who am I?, becomes why am I? I see the haze shifting. As if asking a question. A lean murmur. Cut to the stormy sea. Battling the tempest. A foggy vision and a petrifying beast. The strength. Would it return, was it even there? The contradictions continue. I am now a maze. a lost crossword. Nobody has the key except me.
The voice from within is stronger now. “Jabberwocky! I know your ministrations”. The one thing that holds you and makes you unique, and you forget that. The stone is my brother. Silence speaks from within. And crashing to a crescendo comes the thunder across the haze. Things are moving now. Back on solid ground. a neighbourly twitter. All seems fine. I see the angel again. I approach, though the shadow glides away. I run, it runs faster. Consciousness is returning, like a phoenix reborn. A voice, mine, shouts. Wasted effort though. A last sigh! and stop the caravan. It’s on the horizon, but I can’t catch it this time. I know that. I call out. Not in entreaty, but in amity.
But, we will meet again. The voice and me. Till the ravages of time. Across the dying hulks of stars. Me against me. Till then, it would be quotidian. An August, ending.