The Time Traveler’s Carol

Shadows and tall trees tell me
I’m a tourist in the fourth dimension.
The flying cloud, the frosty light,
suspended water, tree perfume:
through the canopy of the leaves,
a rich mandala hallucinates
in high fidelity.

Through this throng of trees,
a little fir grows. In the midst
of the wood this tree is
a crystal chandelier; his hair
is like a star, his hair is like a fire.
The body, listening, points me
to the stars: I’m up for the chase.

The stars are brightly shining,
sweetly singing over the plains to
touch their harps of gold while
smitten by a lofty moon. One
escapes and drifts low to the earth.
All the words bleed from me
as I look up at the sky. Veins
collapse, opening like the end
of a candle: how the fire burns!

I think I could lose myself in here,
an eidolon of fire: eyes water,
peeling back my flesh,
following yonder star. I am
vibrating at the speed of light.
I say: God, are you trying to
capture me? I see a newborn babe,

eyes cluttered with stardust and
cradle wishes: born the King of Angels,
the day’s divinity. The fire
leaps up, with my soul inside it.

Composed 12/12/13
————————————————
This cento was composed for We Write Poems Prompt: 188 in which Yousei Hime asked us to compose a holiday-themed cento. I used both holiday and non-holiday sources, with some interesting results.

Lines used:

  • Shadows and tall trees (“Shadows and Tall Trees”, U2)
  • Tell me I’m a tourist in the fourth dimension (R.E.M., “Animal”)
  • The flying cloud, the frosty light (“Ring out, wild bells”, Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
  • suspended water, tree perfume (“Eclipse”, me)
  • through the canopy of the leaves (“The Changeling”, me)
  • a rich Mandala (“Hour for Magic”, Jim Morrison)
  • Hallucinate in high fidelity (“Various Methods of Escape”, Nine Inch Nails)
  • Through this throng of trees (“Eclipse”, me)
  • A Little fir grew in the midst of the wood (“The Foolish Fir-Tree”, Henry Van Dyke)
  • The tree was a crystal chandelier (“The Foolish Fir-Tree”, Henry Van Dyke)
  • His hair was like a star (“A Christmas Carol Poem”, G. K. Chesterton)
  • His hair was like a fire (“A Christmas Carol Poem”, G. K. Chesterton)
  • The body listening (“Various Methods of Escape”, Nine Inch Nails)
  • Point me to the stars I’m up for the chase. (R.E.M., “Animal”)
  • The stars are brightly shining (“O, Holy Night”, English translation by John Sullivan Dwight)
  • Sweetly singing over the plains (“Angels We Have Heard on High”, Traditional French Carol)
  • To touch their harps of gold (“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”, Edmund Sears)
  • While smitten by a lofty moon (“Minstrels” by William Wadsworth)
  • one escaped and drifted low to the earth (“Miriam”, me)
  • All the words are gonna bleed from me (“Seven Nation Army”, the White Stripes)
  • As I look up at the sky (“Murder Was The Case (DeathAfterVisualizingEternity)”, Snoop Dogg)
  • Veins collapse, opening like the (“The Lesson”, Maya Angelou)
  • on the end of a candle (“Hour for Magic”, Jim Morrison)
  • How the fire burned! (“The Little Match Seller”, Hans Christian Andersen)
  • I think I could lose myself in here (“Various Methods of Escape”, Nine Inch Nails)
  • an eidolon of fire. Our young eyes water. (“Twine Peppers”, Joseph Harker)
  • Peeling back my flesh (“Somewhere Veins Are Leaking”, Barbara Fant)
  • Following yonder star (“We Three Kings”, Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr.)
  • I am vibrating at the speed of light. (“Animal”, R.E.M.)
  • I said: God. (“A Season in Hell”, Arthur Rimbaud)
  • Are you trying to capture me? (“The Box and the Machine”, Rudy Simone)
  • I saw a newborn babe, eyes cluttered with stardust and cradle wishes (“Icarus”, me)
  • Born the King of Angels (“O Come, All Ye Faithful”, attr. to John Francis Wade)
  • The day’s divinity (“Ghost Song”, Jim Morrison)
  • The fire leaps up with my soul inside it (“A Season in Hell”, Arthur Rimbaud)

Hope you enjoyed the poem!

-Nicole

About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
This entry was posted in Cento, Poems, Prompt Poems, WWP Prompt Poem and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Time Traveler’s Carol

  1. Yousei Hime says:

    Very, very cool. I love that you mixed the sources. It has a story-like quality which gives it an authenticity hard to achieve with cento. Well done. :D

  2. Misky says:

    I love your imagination, that brush that paints the reader into suspense. Clever, clever, girl.

  3. ms pie says:

    how you weaved the cento taking us on your journey to to..?? I cannot help but to think of “…dust to dust..” as you travel…. fire and the cosmos… creation along the way….

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