In Heaven Of Our Hearts
2018 08 01
Naked and hungry on the rocky coast
of Bohemia, drenched in reluctant rain,
the young boy walks across the soggy sand
to huddle in cave of sharp coral rocks.
"I want to return to my safe warm room
at the top of the gray-stone castle tower
where I watched sunlight glitter on the sea
and ate grapefruit as the breeze swirled my hair."
Thrusting fingers into soft glittering sand,
the young boy digs up dozens of black clams,
then clutching stone he cracks open hard shells,
and swallows white meat as rain stings his face.
"My father told me that after he died
I would be crowned Duke of this fertile land,
and manage our large fleet of fishing boats
while protecting our land from foreign thieves."
Shivering in cold sunlight after rain stops,
the young boy climbs trail winding up steep cliff,
and trudges far across the wind-swept plain
to knock on the door of the old wood inn.
"Dear innkeeper, kind lady of this house,
we sailed to attend the king at his court,
but thunderstorm smashed our ship on sharp rocks,
so I swam ashore from wild swirling waves."
The woman with long blond hair in a bun
brings him in warm inn from the blustering rain,
then gives him clean dry pants and shirt to wear,
and tables bread and milk for him to eat.
Seven wagons full of people arrive
so the woman asks him to help build fire
then roast meat that sizzles over hot flames,
and he chews sweet steak as he turns the spit.
Four courtiers, dressed in elegant clothes,
approach and ask him about his lineage,
so he explains his father is the Duke,
and welcomes their help in getting back home.
The young man follows them in the dark night
when they promise to take him to his castle,
but armed guards grab him and bind him in chains,
and throw him inside the locked wagon cage.
"This rugged coast is no longer controlled
by the old senile King of Bohemia,
and we conquered your castle yesterday,
killing your father while he prayed in church."
Shocked at the news that his father was killed,
the young boy huddles in the freezing cage
and weeps when gold sun shimmers on the sea
as the wagon arrives in large port town.
The courtiers sell him to master of slaves
for twelve gold coins that glitter in sunlight,
then wave to him as they all ride away,
so he stares at sunlight gleaming on waves.
Forced into cargo hold of the slave ship,
the young boy sits with slaves, both young and old,
who all stare at blank nothing of despair
as the ship lurches into blowing wind.
After endless days groaning in the hold,
the young boy blinks at soul-shattering sunlight
as they are lead down the plank to the stage
in town below high range of jagged mountains.
The tall red-skinned man in flowing white robe
purchases all the boys and men for gold,
then chains their hands and leads them walking far
thirty days into the blistering waste land.
Climbing winding trails into Atlas Mountains,
the young boy dreams about garden of fruit trees
where he played the lute to woo pretty girls,
then stumbles as they trudge into dark cave.
Deva, red-skinned man in long red-silk cape,
snaps whip that tears his back so it streams blood,
then places pickaxe in his trembling hands,
so he hacks to free jewels from jagged rock.
For thirteen thousand days the young boy slaves
in jewel mine, hacking diamonds, amethysts,
sapphires, rubies, opals, emeralds and topaz,
free from the jagged rock with callused hands.
One morning when he wakes from dreams of light
streaming through fruit trees in garden of girls,
the young boy grown old with long tangled hair
lies numb on his back, unable to rise.
"Thirty-five years I slaved in burning hell,
whipped on the back by Deva and his minions
who forced me to hack jewels from the gloom,
and now I fall dizzy in bleak abyss."
Deva growls and gestures to four young slaves
who carry his old body on wood plat
from the jewel mine down to river shore
where they dump him and leave him in the dirt.
After he lies in the dust of despair
and hallucinates for a thousand years,
the old man crawls to the river and drinks,
then stands and looks around at the lush dale.
Wandering slowly along the sparkling river,
the old man arrives at lush field of trees
where oranges shimmer in the glowing sun,
so he plucks one and devours its sweet juice.
The young woman with long curling black hair
takes his hand and leads him to her small hut
where she gives fresh bread and milk to eat
then touches his cheek with tears in her eyes.
"Though you were enslaved and condemned to hell,
and suffered from the whip of cruel Deva,
you are now purged of your terrible sin,
so now you can live free in paradise."
Every day the old man helps the woman
with farm chores, gathering eggs and firewood,
sweeping the house, pulling weeds from the garden,
and filling buckets in wagons with water.
Tamar takes Richardus to her soft bed
and they make love by the light of the moon,
and he gazes entranced in her black eyes
as his spirit sparks life inside her womb.
Tamar bears two young daughters from his seed
who laugh as they play chase among fruit trees,
then sit beside him near the hearth at night
when he sings heart-aching songs of his home.
"I lived in tall castle across the sea,
till my father died and I was enslaved,
then freed from hell I found this paradise
where we all sing in Heaven of our Hearts."
#Poem #Poetry #ArtOfPoetry #HistoricalFiction #AmWriting #DailyPoem #Hell #Heaven #Devil #Mining #Bohemia #Paradise
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