A Writer’s Plight – 1

I do not know until this day
whether I was awake or dreamt
and never before did I say
these things; for I was too ashamed

What happened was that once I went
through cooling air an early morn
out with the trivial intent
to visit someone I hadn’t seen for long

I reached his door and then I’d ring
the bell, but I got no response
I waited long but for nothing
and then I had this dreadful hunch

I opened the door, called out his name
but the house remained in silence.
I searched the rooms, it was in vain –
then I sensed somebody’s presence

Into the living room I saw
and this moment I shall never forget
for as I opened up the door
I saw a sight of awful dread

He was at home, but he was not
within his usual human shape
what I beheld that day, with shock,
had over it a table cover draped

Somehow he was turned to a rock
of massive granite, to this day
I cannot say through all my shock
how I approached the sad display

I rested my hands upon the stone
and yet again called out his name
never have I felt so alone
never did my voice seem so in vain

But then the stone began to speak
to me, and yes, it had his voice
although the tone had become bleak
to match the terrible words of choice:

”This is a curse”, he said to me,
rock trembling beneath my hand,
”but there is a way you can set me free,
please help me return to the shape of man.”

I asked him what it was that I
could do to help him out of there
and once again come back to live
to breathe again the refreshing air

He guided me, and all I did
was following his instructions
I merely did whatever he said in,
I thought, an act of compassion

First I removed the table cover
and beheld the rock in entirety
then I took a pencil, and all over
the surface I wrote repeatedly –

his name, again and again and again
repeated all over the rock surface
and as I wrote I saw, first faint,
how the shape began to be replaced

But not with flesh and blood, oh no,
something must’ve gone wrong for me
for what I now began to see
was nothing like what I’d expected to:

His voice went silent and the rock
with strong and powerful tremors shook
began transforming, and with shock
I now held in my hands a book

The title was his name I saw
and when I dared to open it
I startled then i shock and awe
when seeing what it did emit

It was the story of his life,
his face hovered over the pages
I had not turned him back to life
but made him undead for ages

I held the book, cried out my pain
but no-one heard and no-one cared
my howling disappeared in vain
and since that time I haven’t dared

to shed a tear for him or me
for any way I turn the subject
it’s all my fault, for it was me
who made him an inanimate object

Maybe it wasn’t my intent
but it doesn’t matter anymore
as over my old desk I’m bent
I ponder wounds remaining sore

Was it a blessing or a curse
what happened to him on that day?
I carried him home in my purse
and on my shelf he’s on display

I could not bear to leave him be
(though it might have seemed right to do)
in some cold, distant library
cold-hearted people passes through

I keep him on my shelf to see
I keep him as a stark reminder
that though my intent was him to free
rather I became a murderer

He’s still alive and present here
but only in bookform today
and in due time I suppose and fear
that he too will succumb to decay

But until that day he has an existence
beyond the borders of life and death
where, even though I feel his presence
I can’t feel Him, and to his voice I’m deaf

Undead, forgotten and locked inside
a book cabinet drenched in tears
is now the person who once inspired
such great hopes and such great fears

Not dead but certainly not alive
not lost but long forgotten
the fault wasn’t his, it is all mine,
and alone now I carry its burden

Be careful of what you write, and of
when and where you use your pen
writing is remarkably tough
and you might very well regret your end

Be careful whose name you put to print
and of whose voice you should detail;
you might do harm without intent
so do be careful to prevail

My friend now rests not in a grave
but high upon my cabinet’s shelf
if you don’t want yours to share his fate
then keep your writings to yourself

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