.
The mystic steed gave chase to red-eyed day,
His forelock flying in the morn’s raw gust.
Providence, my constant mount with whom I,
On hills and shores, through lofty steeps and crags
Had foolhardily stole, forgetting Fate
In the undead days of my storm-tossed youth,
Now strode o’er new plains, and charged unthwarted,
The thick fibers of his flesh pulsing with
Unshackled might, his lead hooves drifting like
A swan at once both swift and graceful o’er
The sunlit plain, his knees and hocks swinging
On their sinewy hinges as his full
And fibrous breast impelled us on toward
The sweeping glory of another noon.
But as we strode, the once red eyes of that
Once serene day now swelled with white ill will
And every shaft of light from heaven seared.
Our pores let out our bodies’ tears and with
Our mouths we gasped, our lips dry, our tongues spent.
But on we swept beneath the Sun—until
A wood appeared beyond the hill at hand.
A wood that whispered in the winds, whose trees
Were draped with lace-like webs, whose ground bemoaned
The tread of any worthy man, whose buds
And leafy clumps dripped with sappy nectar
Running from the vice-vined trunks, whose very
Air was heavy with the steaming murk of sin.
Yes, there was Evil, but there was cool shade
And only there was shade from the Sun’s shafts.
I halted Providence as we approached
The wood of Evil, tugging his damp locks.
Evil’s better battled in shade than sun,
I thought, and prodded Providence toward
The leaf-fleeced grove. But he protested, and
I struck his head. Should he, my mount, tell me
Where I cannot go? Should the commanded
Command? Would the saddled guide his rider?
We entered shade, which, like a blackbird’s wing,
Spread over us with a silent coolness.
But silence and coolness attend the dark;
The speckled shade gave way to depthless black.
We staggered in the weighty fog, our trot
Devolving to a halt, and then we sank
And Providence’s hooves were soon involved
In wet mire. I took his mane and tried to
Urge his weakened figure from the miry
Patch of forest ground, with no great luck;
Good Fortune, I supposed, had left us to
Ourselves (that or the cruel and childish whims
Of Fate had finally cut across my path).
So we stood, sunken, blind, tormented by
Abiding Evil. And whereas before
Our bodies hunched beneath the heat, we now
Were cold, writhing, and our bodies shivered.
To flee from sun to shade, from trials to ease,
Was not from warmth to coolness, but from Light
To Dark, from Good to Evil, from the wide
Expanse of Purity to Sin’s awning.
So I released my steed’s willowy mane,
And freed him from my weakened, selfish grasp,
And Providence, Leviathan-like, rose
In mighty triumph from the mire, free.
Again his limbs were filled with strength, again
We charged unthwarted, and again the Sun
Appeared, beyond the woody veil, and I,
With joy before unknown to me, burst out
In a song of doxology, for now
I knew that Providence directed me,
And did not need my guidance any more
Than I would want the guidance of the blind.
My mount stood still to twitch his gleaming crest
And from his mane he shook the dewy spheres,
Then trod again across the open plain
Of life with me, our mystic bodies one
In purpose, hastening until the end.

.

.

Stephen Ramsek is a 12th grade student at God’s Grace Academy, in Kentucky.


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2 Responses

  1. Ryan Watch

    What a unique way to describe, or rather, portray Providence! Nice work Stephen.

    Reply

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