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Seventh Floor

At dusk, a brilliant western panorama
displayed off our seventh floor balcony.
Fluorescent colors, clouds of fuchsia, amber,
yummy yellow golden glazes across the sky.
So spectacularly spanning sentient space
a show of shows of unearthly grace.
Looming large clouds block the final moments
of light, tumultuous turmoils of my
little life reappear to slant the final view.

In contrast to my current mind of hope lost
for the future, the world closes in as I fell
into the despairing darkness of sleep that night
to awake in my dream to a gala porch party
on our balcony, attending was everyone,
my benefactors - Mark Twain, Martin Luther King,
Albert Einstein, Leonard Cohen, Rudyard Kipling,
Robert Frost, Maya Angelou and Dorothy Parker.
The "usuals" who would, could draw me close
but I'd have none of it, my mood morose.

Sullen, I waded disconsolate through the crowd
to the rail, reached in the basket I'd kept
for the long hemp escape rope, supple as a snake,
knotted it, put the loop around my neck
heart pounding, they gasped, chatter turned to fear.
Then a white dove flew under our canopy
and sat on Kipling's shoulder peacefully posing.
Clumsily confused, I climbed atop the railing
turned to look at the party - troubled, bereft,
speechless, said nothing, then jumped.

Oh the rushed flying feeling enthralling!
Soaring in the wind, all the while falling -
instantly, I was sorry it would all stop.
The dove descending on me caught my gaze
an iconic spiritual symbol that allured.
Through the dove's eyes I saw the party leaning,
a taut rope, a body swinging below.

Startled from dour slumber, back in my bed;
no breath, panting, panicked, tears trickling,
my wife up to hug me, save me from myself.
Shaken, I knew just exactly what to do
quickly to the balcony, opened the rope basket
to find all in place, then I noticed my hands,
palms bleeding, rope burned and raw,
pinned to my nightshirt was a piece of paper,
on it was this poem that I'd never written.

Bleary beyond belief, a surge force welled up,
a dove flies into the dawn sky bursting new light -
the otherness released finally from within.
I felt new found freedom from dream depths -
reborn, awake with renewed hope,
that memorable morning on the seventh floor.

Copyright © Greg Gaul