“The Plains of Lhee” by Guest Poet John Taylor

Guest Poet John Taylor; Photo credit Chris Daw

For many years I traveled far upon a ship of sleep,

My body ageless, kept alive,

While I in conscious dreams survived,

My destination distant stars,

I rode upon a wave of hope and left a dying Earth.

 

Aeons passed as if in days as I in perfect slumber lay

Yet finally my vessel stayed,

Orbiting a yellow globe,

The seventh round a seventh star,

A soulless, barren, deathless world –

For what place can there be for Death

Where there is naught to die?

 

For thirty days and thirty nights I looked throughout this land

For signs of life: I searched in vain

Yet nothing in this place remained,

This sere and broken sun-bleached plain,

These cursed Plains of Lhee.

 

And then a light, and then a ship, a mirage seemed to be,

A-sailing on a long-dried sea

That split the arid Plains of Lhee.

Like moth to flame, this eerie craft,

Seeming drawn to me.

 

A song of silence deafening from this strange skiff arose,

Through every sinew of my being

Pulled me forward, beckoning,

A siren-song drew ever on,

I followed at the call.

 

All dead, all dead the passengers, all dead lay all the crew,

Their withered corpses alien

In shape and face to me and yet

One thing transcended all of this

And etched into my eye –

A sense of sheerest horror at the moment that they died.

 

Bodiless, I lingered long upon the Plains of Lhee,

Longtime ago decayed to dust,

And join that savage crew, I must,

But one last task remains –

Unfettered by constraints of time

And space I cast my conscience wide,

To find a writer’s ready hand to pen this tale of mine.