*Note* This is a poem originally intended for my second book of poetry, We Never Get Snow Down Here.
The book itself is a collection of poems that tell a story, so this poem will not make full sense without it.
However important this poem might have been to the puzzle, I could not include it in my book at the end. The main reason being that it was too long and doesn’t flow well as a poem, but also because I didn’t want to include too many poems from a different narrator. I decided to wait until the original first person narrator left the book before changing to another one, but the placement of this one would have just created confusion. At any rate, here is the poem that didn’t make the final cut, but will help whoever has read my book understand the bigger picture a bit better.
Snowflakes touch my face like tears.
The escape of a mountain ski resort…
There could be no better place
for me to fully breathe.
This is where the magic will happen,
For in my possession, I have this ring;
Holding a diamond rock –
Born from the earth itself.
Tonight, I’ll ask her to marry me.
I’ll give her this diamond,
So that Passion might
once again dance and sing.
I think about the outcome
As we put our ski gear on.
Not even this cold wind
Will put out the fire we’ll make.
Our passion will melt this snow,
And this ring is all it will take.
She always skis down the Lil’ Pup Hill;
And I can’t help but admire her gentle nature.
But I need something more for me this time.
Ah, there it is, the ski lift to the Alpha Wolf Slope.
It’s a long way up! She kisses me to be careful,
And I can tell by the way my heart wants to melt,
That she will always keep me warm.
The highest slope, here I am at the top,
Judging the drop and looking astonished.
This is going to be great!
The Wind, herself, will not slow me down!
And here I go! Time to coast over this snow!
Faster and faster, like gliding over water–
This adrenaline rush is what I needed!
This wind though…
So freezing and full of force,
it’s making my nose bleed.
I’m still in control, so it’s all okay.
I remember the day when that breeze
was gentle and soft to the touch.
Wait, no I don’t! Where did that thought come from?
I’ve never felt a gentle breeze!
The wind does nothing but try and knock me down,
It’s cold and aggressive, always
trying to freeze me, like now!
As I near the bottom, I start getting dizzy.
I’m losing consciousness and this wind
Is blowing with a strength that’s vicious.
The blood on my nose, freezing solid
As it leaks. I can’t breathe anymore.
Can’t breathe. Can’t speak.
The white scenery turns black.
My head… oh God, my head hurts!
Snowflakes touch my face like tears.
Slowly I wake from my slumber,
An angel shaped in the snow
Plays mattress to my aching bones.
My head is throbbing. Am I still alive?
Slowly, I rise to a sitting position.
My feet are bare and they look a bit blue.
What happened to my skis? My socks?
My shoes? Come on now, I’m about to freeze!
No footprints around to suggest a thief.
Odd. Odd, indeed.
The minutes take turns singing sixty second songs.
I manage to stand and access the damage,
My head is throbbing like my overstressed heart.
Where the hell am I? There’s no sign of the lodge.
Solid white snow surrounds me for miles.
Not even a trail remains on the path I slid down.
Oh, no. No one. No sign of civilization here.
Just me and this snow angel, and maybe a few deer.
I study the snow angel that I couldn’t have made.
There’s something shining on one of its wings.
I pick it up and trace my fingers over the strange engravings.
A band of gold and a touch of blue. A woman’s ring.
Beautiful enough to make me wonder
What kind of money it might bring.
This sapphire stone brings a breath of beauty
Like the woman I’ll marry who will love it and—
But wait… did I not already get her a ring?
My memory struggles as my head still throbs.
Yes, but this seems to be the one. I think…
I’m fairly sure. It would not feel so familiar otherwise.
Must have fallen out of my pocket.
I gaze at my prize with a gleam in my eye,
Forgetting my strange surroundings;
And that’s when I hear her, or is it the wind?
It’s a ghost of a voice; the wind
Carries it with a whistle.
No emotion in the melody,
Just a hint of sarcasm in a mocking tease.
She says to me,
“Dug up a shiny new bone from the snow, I see”
I clutch the ring in my hand to hide it
From what? The snow? No…
It’s the Wind, herself, that sings,
Her voice sounding more and more human,
I turn to face the wind’s direction,
And there she is, the Lady herself, the goddess of air,
Eyes of golden honey gleam like a lioness staring at her prey.
Knee-length ringlets playing in the breeze,
Her skin so pale, a transparent ghost of perfection
A platinum tiara with a sapphire jewel adorns her brow.
Am I truly seeing this? How?
Her gown is pure white, blending perfectly with the snow,
But that gown, I swear, is changing as she starts
Gliding closer and her eyes begin to glow.
That dress is turning yellow, a darker shade
Each foot closer she gets to me.
Her breath chills my ears as the vibrations
of her voice pound words on my drums.
“I’ll trust you to return my ring. It is you,
After all, who made it especially for me.”
“Y—you must be mistaken. I don’t know you at all.”
My teeth are starting to chatter.
“This is a ring that I purchased myself,
And I intend on giving it to someone who matters.”
I open my hand ever so slightly, admiring the stone
And the engravings that match the woman’s band on her brow.
This is got to be a mistake. This is the ring that I bought, is it not?
My memories are so clouded, but I know I purchased a ring!
I know I bought this ring because if I didn’t; then why
Does it make my heart treasure it so as a priceless valve
That makes the blood run thorough it so my soul can grow?
“You don’t know me at all…”
A whisper of repetition leaves her lips
As they come so close to touching mine,
Contact. She kisses me. Now I’m frozen stone,
And I can’t help but fear
That I might not ever make it home.
“Wh—what did you do to me?”
“You can still talk. I’m impressed.
I thought perhaps you should go back
To your roots. Stand still like the mountain
You were carved from, and perhaps then
You’ll remember your true home.”
If I close my eyes, perhaps she will disappear,
No use, they are frozen, my eyelids have crippled.
I’m looking at her gown again and it’s as golden
As the deer piss dotted in little circles all over the snow.
What happened to the white? What happened to purity?
I need fresh air, but this air elemental, she doesn’t care.
“You intend to kill me then, just to take this ring?”
“If that was my intention, I would have just siphoned every last breath,
But this is not my dream, now is it? You will one day be your own death.”
“You’re not real! You just said it yourself!
This is only a dream! You’re not real!”
I pray my anger turns to such a passion
That it might free me from her spell.
There’s no way I know her,
Though I feel like I might.
A spirit of nature? Come on now,
“You’re just an illusion! You’re nothing to me!
You’ll not get this ring; I will give it to my princess!
I will make her my queen! Passion will live again!
You just wait and see! This ring is my token and you…
You’re just broken!” Wait… what did I just say?
How would I call a stranger, a goddess of the wind—
How could I call her broken? I don’t know her!
My heart and soul need not pretend!
“Why do you try so hard to hurt me
When it’s so obvious you don’t want to?”
Her face is touching mine and she’s holding
Me in her cold embrace, and for a moment
I begin to crave that familiar, yet alien taste.
“And to what do you present your stolen
Passion token? Is it with the feeling of undying love?
Or is it, I wonder… with overwhelming grief?”
“I have nothing to grieve!
I love her and that’s the honest truth!
No one will take that from me! Not even you!”
She sighs a chilly breeze as she backs away from me.
Her gown returns to the innocence of white,
And I can’t help but wonder if it’s just a trick of the light.
That’s right, back away. I don’t owe you a thing.
She can’t have this ring; it’s trapped inside of my frozen fist.
She won’t take it from me. A little wind can’t break a mountain!
She holds her hand over the ground and the snow starts to rise,
And as I stare in amazement, she talks to herself.
“The oldest and wisest element, driven to madness
By his own grief. Tragic, but it’s over, Love.
This woman you wish to melt your heart is not Fire.
Fire has left this world. She had no more tokens.”
The risen snow turns to pages of a book;
Bound with a cover of mud-colored ice.
“You warned the Rain and me once of what happened to immortals
When they get too tangled in humanity’s web…”
She flips the pages for me to see, like an animation flip pad,
Yet there is no moving picture, only pages full of poorly lettered ink.
Over and over she flips the pages so fast that I struggle to see,
All the ink is morphing back into liquid and gathering
Into a massive single black stain, before sliding down the pages
And vanishing into thin air. I don’t understand. What is she showing me?
“An immortal’s journal. Every memory of every lifetime,
Stored away into the pages of earth. This one is yours,
But it’s such a shame… look what you’re doing
To your own precious archive.
Play human and make love to that NPC all you wish.
Once the last bit of ink fades and the pages
Blank and white as this snow…
By then, it’s too late and—
Now let’s see, what was it you said would happen…”
She looked up at the sky as she touched her chin and smiled
“Well, I guess it doesn’t matter.
I have a storm to catch,
But because I still love you so,
I will advise you with caution:
Don’t get trapped here.
This world you’re making
To resurrect the Fire, it will never be–“
My head is still throbbing, but I hear a different voice.
It’s the voice of a man, checking vitals and such.
The love of my life stands beside my hospital bed,
Sleeping like a baby with her hand on top of mine.
Aww, how cute! She’s been here with me this whole time!
Fire isn’t dead. Passion never died.
As long as I have her beside me,
She’ll keep this world alive.
Waking up to reality is so much better than that dream.
I was unconscious all along. And the Air queen
Is not a being that would ever willingly be seen.
Wait… why am I thinking that? She isn’t real,
So she couldn’t appear even if she wanted this ring.
I say to my lover after I’ve fully recovered
And lavished her with shopping trips of
Wintery souvenirs to discover,
“is a token of my passion for you—
A token of the fire that you’ve lit inside my soul,
The fire that thawed my frozen heart before it died.”
I engrave that priceless look
On her face into my memory,
As I slide the ring on her finger.
“Level 1 Complete.”
Wait… what? Her voice… I ask her to repeat.
“It’s just a saying, silly. It means
We’ve reached the next level!
Level 1 complete!” Her voice is hers,
I just have a headache.
She accepts my smile as a mutual understanding
Then she says something even stranger still:
“This diamond is so amazing! We should get it engraved
With our wedding date! Yes, we definitely will!”
I studied the ring for a moment before meeting her eyes,
Does she not see that it’s not a diamond and the stone is blue?
Has she never seen a real diamond? Does she not have a clue?
Does she not see the exquisite engravings on the band
That would no doubt be ruined if touched by another engraver’s hand?
We take a selfie to capture our happiness, and I hold back my panic
As I see the ring in the picture is, in fact, a diamond stone
No engravings, just yellow gold that had no stories to tell.
It must just be the head injury. No. I’ve shrugged it off too soon,
For after a night of burning passion, I hear the flipping of pages.
My wife-to-be is asleep by my side, so she couldn’t have made that noise.
By the light of the moon that bounces off the snow and through my window,
I see a book that I know I’ve seen before, only I can’t remember.
It must be a journal because all the pages are blank, but wait—
As I flip through I see a page with a single word written:
Okay, that’s strange. I continue to flip until I find another word:
Is this a message? A message for who?
Keep flipping until I have the words:
IT WILL NEVER BE
It will never be? What will never be?
No more pages to flip through;
And the last page, it looks as though it’s been torn out,
But there is a mark of ink on what’s left,
which indicates there’s one more word I need.
What is the word? I wonder for many years. It haunts me like a ghost,
Those same words appearing in places with a last word that I can’t read…
My wife and I, we setteled in a place where it never snows.
And with this new warmth, I forget all about that dream I had.
I forget all about Lady Wind and her ring.
There never was a sapphire, it’s just a diamond I now see.
Yet still on the nights when I feel cold and blue,
I still dream of a lonely snowstorm,
And the heavy flakes that fall touch my face like tears.
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