Taskmaster

Taskmaster


the muse will not be
mitigated, satiated, filled
restlessly, he bids me always
to pen when i would sleep

i call him "he" tho'
in fact, "she" he may be
or even "it"-- as bestial
he often devours me whole

Phantasm? Demon? Harpy?
Fury? Friend? Foe?
Muse at my shoulder
monkey on my back

all senses or affect
any tranquility I may possess
or long for, any serenity I demand
is always answered "nay"

"Legion" he very likely is
for he or they never sleep
or take ease or allow it
driver driving the driven on

he takes my spirit to task anon
Quixote, questing, dreaming impossibly
haunts my wakings, troubles my night
tilting at windmills and at nothing

like Poe's eternal Raven
not imprecating "Nevermore"
but exhorting me "onward"
"Excelsoir" and "evermore!"

Not bird, nay, but yet hawk, even vulture-like
in wary watchfulness
knelling, compelling, opining
of what? je ne sais quoi

would that he were,
my night companion,
as Poe's winged fiend
made of flesh and feathers

Like Dickinson's thing with wings
for then I could perchance parley some
converse, rail, inquire, implore
enigmatic possibly, but living

Or, in greatest travail
cease his eternal bullying
silence his endless harangue
plunging my quill in his breast

but ever, mine is Petra-still
implacable, immovable
a fixture, with only orbs
and zeal alive and probing

all-seeing, omnipotent, still
pity-less, remorseless, relentless
like water on a stone
encroaching, eroding, erasing

further still, a millstone
of justice and retribution
a nemesis, revolving slowly
grinding steadily finer

wearing me down to
thought, emotion, specter, bone
taxing, teasing, telescoping resources
to unreachable reaches

would that my demigod ever
commended or even acknowledged
my passion-drained self
my craft-weary, word-heavy soul

Under his ceaseless, scalding stare
I will 'ere be apprentice
journeyman perhaps, but never
master, magistra, beladonna

In ages past and times to come
I will tarry not in slumber
while decomposing, I compose
in composition, no repose


~marilisa, 2/22/12 Ash Wednesday


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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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