The Garnet Wanderer (Ballade)

The Garnet Wanderer (Ballade)

I, Garnet Wanderer, opened the page,
my eyes rafting down the ink current’s flow.
I read the serpentine scrawl penned that day
I’d never forget, though lifetimes ago.
With each word read, I froze a little more
and gripped my dagger to steady my nerves:
The Gem had been found, had claimed a new soul,
and pain and desire deep within me burned.

Scarce stopping to sleep, I rode hard for days,
warily avoiding crowds, towns, and roads.
My greatest fear was I would be too late,
and crystalline claws would have taken hold,
that this one who dared picked It up would go
too far to be rescued, too far to turn
away from the Gem’s allure. The tears flowed,
and pain and desire deep within me burned.

Arriving at the letter-foretold place,
I didn’t bother knocking on the door.
There I beheld them both, and there I faced
the moment—the choice—that would wait no more.
I screamed, and I knocked the Gem to the floor.
Now free, that soul ran, never to return.
I picked up the Gem. It began to glow,
and pain and desire deep within me burned.

A blood-red glare covered me, head to toe,
and in Its light my heart began to yearn
to hold It close and never let It go—
and pain and desire deep within me burned.


What is a ballade?

Birnam Wood (Fornyrðislag)

Blade that belies the desirer’s deeps,
Longings that lay within the heart
Cut a corridor through moral marshes
But trap the trekker in mere and bog.

The scarlet spot resists cleansing,
The bloody blotch grips ever tighter.
Garish mind-ghosts cause stumbling
When memory’s receipts are tallied.

The tree-limbed liege, half-parented heir,
Destined to Dunsinane: its conqueror.
Beware the witches’ double-doubtful talk
And trust the truth no matter the cost.


What is a fornyrðislag?

Sneezing with Your Eyes Open

Desire gestating, growing, giving birth:
Delivery of all that waiting and hoping.
But sometimes, getting what you wanted
Is like sneezing with your eyes open.

What a useless, torturous, dangerous skill!
Who would long be impressed
By something, that honestly, is pretty gross
And not, rather, tell you, “Give it a rest!”?

It serves no purpose, accomplishes no good,
And runs the risk of bodily harm.
Why on earth would you not do something—anything—else?
Why would you not yourself be alarmed?

Is there not something better, something more useful,
Something more beautiful you could do?
Is there no goal, however small or mundane,
That could make you and others better or new?


The Illusion of Nirvana

Desire fulfilled is sweet to the taste, but fools hate to turn from evil. Proverbs 13:19 HCSB

What the wicked dreads will come to him, but what the righteous desires will be given to him. Proverbs 10:24 HCSB

The desire of the righteous turns out well, but the hope of the wicked leads to wrath. Proverbs 11:23 HCSB

Take delight in Yahweh, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4 HCSB

One of the primary tenets of Buddhism is the renunciation of all desire. Desire is the root of evil in the world, and therefore, eliminating desire eliminates evil. Nirvana, then, is the completion of this process of renunciation. Ravi Zacharias, in his excellent book The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha, has the Buddha describe this “enlightenment” this way: Continue reading “The Illusion of Nirvana”