The Writers Voice
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Martin H. Tesler
desperation, another glass of wine,
To ease the grief of loneliness and soothe my weary
Depleted by the sadness that made my spirit weep,
I nodded from my grogginess into a sleepless sleep.
No sooner had I drifted, the driver did declare:
"We've reached your destination, sirtwelve
guilders is your fare."
I wakened from my slumber; so dreary and so drab,
I paid the fare, I bade farewell, and disembarked
The streets were dark and quiet; the moon the only
No other soul was present at that hour of the
Uneased by the surroundings, which eerily I knew,
I had a strange foreboding and a growing sense of
I did not know what drew me to that so quaint a
Could not recall my leaving homemy route I could
But as I walked the cobbles that lined the
Clear visions of Roxanna dancedthe ghosts of my
Like water in the channels that span and ring that
My feelings swelled up helplessly against my
Though she was all I wanted, so innocent and pure,
I fought to keep my love at baymy mind remained
For she was just a maiden, with dreams that maids
Should she be with a younger man, in age much more
The quiet interruptedI heard a voice decree:
"The answer thou art seeking's in the question thou
When I turned to see who spoke, a Gothic structure
A gargoyle on clock tower perched o'erlooked the
As if it were the watchdog of all within its sight,
With Sphinx-like glare and hunchbacked pose, it
peered into the
Strange likeness to an image I oft had seen
Perhaps it was that photo hung beside my study's
It's voice too was familiarI knew it very well;
Yet whose it was I did not knowI simply could not
I knew I must be dreaming, for gargoyles cannot
I must have heard an echoed voice from somewhere
But looking round the courtyard, nobody did I see,
Except that lifeless gargoyle's face, whose eyes
stared down at me.
"So it was you who answered the question I just
But you answered with a riddle that cannot be
The gargoyle looked intently, and then it said to
"Turn thy question inside out, and the answer thou
Yet another riddle that I did not understand
I felt like Carroll's character, lost in a far-off
With riddles wrapped in riddles; enigma in
Confounding my attempts to find the answer that I
Then Roxanna's image rained from tulip spouts
Strolling, jumping, gaily dancing, and show'ring me
"This surely is an omenthis vision that I see."
The gargoyle stared and then it spoke: "This vision
shall not be."
Although it did not answer with a puzzling riddle,
Without an explanation, its words said very little.
"Please tell, foreknowing gargoylewhat say you to
Can you tell me of Roxannawhat is it that you
"This is the final question thou mayest ask of me
I'll provide thee one last answer, then banished
thou shalt be."
Then softly it whispered of the woman I adore,
And as it did, the hour turned, the clock's chimes
I stirred from my stupor as I sat by study's door;
The glass I held slipped from my hand, and crashed
upon the floor.
Startled, round the room I looked: The window
shades were drawn;
The sun had not yet risenone more hour until
Visions of the gargoyle's face came rushing to the
And in my head I heard its voice: "Her love is
The answer to its riddles was suddenly so clear:
She should be with a younger man, in age much more
Remembering the photo beside my study's door
The gargoyle one I oft had seen so many times
I glanced in its direction, and was surprised to
That photo was a looking glass; the gargoyleit
© Copyright 2002 Martin H.
Tesler. All rights reserved.
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