One Small Cog

“I’m merely a cog, one insignificant gear,” said Charles to his friend Robert at a dimly lit table in the corner of a small cafe. His voice, not much more than a whisper, was not meant to travel beyond the booth in which the two men sat, but travel it did. Not far, but just far enough to be heard by an older man at a booth nearby.

The older man rose slowly from his seat, a slight hunch to his shoulders betraying his age to any who might care to look. His hands and face wore the lines of years as well, but his eyes…if you only looked at his eyes you would think that you gazed upon a much younger man.

He took the five steps that it took to arrive at the table of the two younger men, and he pulled a card out of the pocket of his immaculate three-piece suit, presented it to Charles, and said, “If you would care to come to the address on the card, I have something to show you that you may find interesting.” Without another word, he walked to the front, placed some crisp clean bills on the counter, and walked out of the cafe.

The two young men exchanged a glance, and shrugged off the unusual experience before continuing the rest of their meal in silence, but the thought of the older man did not quite leave them alone.

A few pages of the calendar turned, though, before the two men broached the subject of the old man again. “Do you remember that old man?” asked Robert one day, and Charles only replied by putting his hand in his pocket, and pulling out a card. Only after placing the card carefully on the table did he speak, “I can’t stop thinking about him. What do you think he wanted to show us?”

“Should we go find out?” asked Robert, and with little more discussion, the two men found themselves on a journey they had never quite intended to take.

~~

At the end of their drive, they found themselves at a small and unremarkable building. A door, a small window,and little else. “What if he doesn’t remember us?” asked Charles as he lifted his hand to knock.

After knocking, they waited long enough that they were certain that no one would answer, and were just beginning to turn to walk back to their car when they heard the sound of the lock being turned.

The older man slowly opened the door, looked at his guests and smiled. “I’ve been expecting you, but I didn’t realize my humble shop would be quite so hard to find. Please, come in!”

Robert and Charles noticed immediately the sound of ticking. As they followed the old man, they saw the source of the sound: clocks of all sizes, too numerous to count, lined all of the walls, and when they arrived at the back room, they saw a table covered in gears, springs, pendulums, each laid out in a precise order. At the end of the bench was a clock that was nearly assembled, but had not yet been placed in its housing. “Come! Look!” The two men went and were amazed at the fine intricacies of the work in progress. Some gears were large, others were tiny.

The old man then said, “I once heard one of you say that you were ‘merely a cog, an insignificant gear’. Can you tell me, in this clock, which gear is the least significant?”

The two men stared intently at the already ticking time piece. After a lengthy inspection, they finally called the older man and pointed to the smallest gear that they could locate.

The old man then put on a pair of magnifying glasses, pulled a pair of tweezers from a drawer, and pulled the tiny gear from the workings. Immediately, the clock stopped.

“You can see that that gear was more significant than it first appeared. Would you like to try a different one?”

Charles guessed that any gear removed would have the same result, regardless of the gear’s size.

“Correct!” replied the clock maker (for that is what the old man was). “We are all, indeed, ‘cogs’ or’gears’, but my friends, never make the mistake of thinking that any gear is insignificant.”

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The Ship Will Come

The ship will come, to take her away
To her brand new home across the sea
The schedule is secret, she knows not the day
And so she waits, expectantly

“I hope it’s soon,” she says to me,
“I’d like to board, be on my way”
And though I’ll miss her thoroughly,
The ship will come, to take her away

Compared to there, this land is grey
And filled with pain and misery
“I’m ready to go,” is what she’ll say,
To her brand new home across the sea

When the call to board comes, there she’ll be
For from the docks, she does not stray
And though she waits most eagerly
The schedule is secret, she knows not the day

No cost to board will she have to pay
The price has been covered, and so she’ll sail free
To the Land of Joy where she’ll go to stay
And so she waits, expectantly

The price was Jesus’ blood, you see
And Heaven is not so far away
It’s where her heart now wants to be
And though she may not know the day,
The ship will come.

~~

Rondeau Redoublé for OLN at dVerse.  Written for a friend who loves life fully (as can be seen by the sparkle in her eyes), but knows that she will love the next life so much more.

Sharing this also to the Daily Post on Feb.14, 2017 (the word of the day is “expectation”, so I figured this fit.

~~

Notes on form:  Opening stanza is A1,B1,A2,B2, each line takes its turn as the closing line of the following 4 stanzas (babA1, abaB1, babA2, abaB2).  The closing stanza is 5 lines – baba(R), where R is the rentrement, or a repetition of the first half of the poem’s first line (usually does not rhyme).

The King’s Banquet

The following is based on Matthew 22:1-14

I dreamed that the King held a banquet to celebrate the wedding of his Son.  He sent invitations to all in the land.  The prostitutes received the same gilt-lettered envelopes as the doctors.  The drug addicts and lawyers received invitations that were worded the same:

“Come to the wedding feast of my son, two weeks hence.  A package will arrive with clothing befitting of your value to the King.”

I saw what sort of people were getting the invitations and was thankful that would not be receiving the same humiliating garments as some of my neighbors, and so, when the package arrived, I placed it, unopened, in a dark corner of my basement, for surely my own best clothing were far superior to anything that my neighbors would receive.

The day of the banquet arrived, and I strutted out in my finery, certain that every eye would be on me, envious of my splendor.

I knew that indeed, I had made an impression, when the King himself came to my side and spoke to me of my clothing, but he surprised me by what he said, “Friend, how is it that you came to my banquet without the clothing that I provided?”  I would have answered, but it was then that I finally opened my eyes to see that my neighbors, whom I had despised, were adorned in the most radiant of garments, and the clothing of which I had been so proud, were nothing more than the filthiest of old rags.

As His soldiers escorted me forcefully from the hall, I heard the King say, “my loyal subjects, you look in wonder at the garments I have provided, and I know that you think, ‘I am not worthy of such raiment as this’, but you forget, that I see you not as you have made yourselves, but as I myself have made you to be: for on this day, I have made you my friends.  Now let the feast begin!”

Out of Fiction… (or how I came to write poetry)

out of fiction, a seed of truth
out of prose, a poem is born

At dVerse, Tori (aka Kanzen Sakura) has asked us to write poems about the poet(s) that inspired us to become poets.  My story begins with prose.  As a blogger who primarily wrote short stories and essays, but had virtually no “followers”, I wanted to expand my horizons a bit.  I eventually found a site called “Trifecta”.  This site (now defunct), gave prompts for writing short stories, and for quite some time, I became a regular participant at that site.  One of my fellow Trifectans quite regularly responded to the prompts with works of poetry.  At first, this seemed a bit odd to me, but as time went on, I grew to appreciate these poems more and more.  I noticed that this writer participated in a few other prompt sites as well, and through him, I eventually started participating in the dVerse community, and have not regretted it one bit!  So no, I was not inspired to become a poet by Byron, Keats, Shakespeare, or any other “household name” poet, but by dVerse’s very own Björn Rudburg.

After arriving at dVerse, I was made welcome by many other fabulous poets:  Brian, Claudia, and…and…and…(I won’t start making a list, out of fear of missing someone important)

My couplet today, although not in Björn’s style, is an attempt to encapsulate my experience: from writing fictitious prose, I began to discover who I am as a poet, and also, through reading the works of others, discovered the beauty of poetry.

So…Thank you, Björn, for showing me the path of poetry!