By Degrees

A trace of snowflakes flutter down

Amidst the light, warm wind unusual

For the deepening December night.

Few land softly along the long, lithe back

Of the aging, brooding beast which breathes

Slowly, heavily within the folds of darkness.

A tinge of frost upon his breath, a second’s damp

Upon his nose, finds voice from the angry creak

Of a rusty hinge, protesting against the touch

Of the Wind’s chill fingers as they tap, tap, tap.

The lion huffs a humid cloud, the tendrils of which

Eek out their brief existence in a swift, silent moment,

Vanishing as swiftly as the sound of the breath that bore

Them into beautiful, meaningless life.

The creature does not stir with the passing, however,

Sitting a statuesque silhouette against the  backdrop

Of deep indigo and pearlescent moonlight.

And he remembers.

Such time has past since one he roared

Ferocious, proud , reverberating,

Declaring ascended dominance

Throughout the vibrant foliage,

Echoing his exalted eminence

Across the mighty plains!

And he mourns.

Sultry summer Savannah days

Have since slipped past to memory,

Aghast among Time’s frail decay

Their traces effaced into the dry

Dusty desert of the absent and neglected.

And he rages.

Hidden scars lay dormant, covered,

Bitter trophies beneath the frail, noble gold

Of the armor he has constructed over them.

Painful tokens carved and covered from days long past

When first he protested the intrusive captors come to claim

Him from his youthful invincibility.

Bodily he threw himself against the bars,

Terror, teeth, asperity mixed with despair

And disparity between beliefs of dominance,

Slavery and natural justice in this world.

Yet roars are useless, anymore

Fit only for a child’s awe or startling passersby.

Freedom’s form a foolish game

Within the scope of responsibility.

The rage has passed, his passion past,

Hid beneath nobility.

He does not cry nor wonder why,

But greets all with empty civility.

The World may pass this lion by,

In awe it marvels what it sees.

Yet beneath the calm, collected form

It knows not that he dies by degrees.

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~ by nihilano on December 18, 2013.

One Response to “By Degrees”

  1. Beautiful.

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