The Doorkeep's Last Carnival: A poem for those who stand and wait.


The Doorkeep
Wore a golden scarf,
Not yellow gold, but blood.

Night and day,
Flesh and bone,
Sinew and hair,
Nails and fluids,
Carnival creation
Passed this way
And that.

The Keeper of the Door
Knew nothing more
Than to open out and in
To whoever, whatever passed by.

No secret password was required,
No special visas of past action,
No important message to deliver,
No impending doom to meet,
No sweet revenge or lovely just desserts
To give out,
Nothing, nada.

The poor Keep,
Kept keeping watch,
Opening the door
Just so,
With a salute,
A hello,
Perhaps a smile now and again,
A word of encouragement,
When required
A stiff look.

The Doorkeep’s golden scarf,
Blood gold,
Became burnished
More subtle in its color
As each year passed,

And the Doorkeep,
In the annealing of time,
More and more sure
That this was not a passing
Pissing poor vocation,
Unworthy because
Control was not the goal.

The Doorkeep,
Kept the door open,
Knew the carnage
And the carnival,
The unending stream
Of human suffering and joy,
And attended more and more
To each passing soul,
Not rewarding or condemning,
Giving and receiving only
That which the pilgrim
In the passage already had,
Or had lost.

When the Keep died,
The old scarf became a shroud.
It was reported that the funeral pyre
Glowed with a strange blood gold fire.

Watching they said
The Doorkeep must have been
Wrapped in compassion.

The  golden fire, passion
Or compassion,
Was not a surprise to anyone
Except perhaps
The door itself,
Which finally was a portal
For its faithful friend,
A keep for the Keeper.

And with the Doorkeep
Resting in paradise,
The blood flame at the door
Complete in its final work,
In a final consummation of itself
And the door together.

And God rested.

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

What a fine poem, Mark. Thank you.