Earth, Air, Fire, Water
EARTH, AIR, FIRE, WATER
To satiated stillness,
The fierce brief flame extinguished,
And insanity washed away,
I know myself again
The storm spent,
I breathe the fresh, free air
And awake to a familiar verdant garden
Watched over by clearing azure skies
Radiant with your undying love,
The love that has carried us home.
This is my sanctuary, your safe haven,
Sha Ka Ree and Eden,
The place where blue and green
Meet on the horizon,
Never and always touching and touched.
Here, we rejoice at our homecoming,
And sorrow for each other’s
The rock that is the cornerstone
Of our mutual devotion
And anchor of our garden
Has been scoured and sculpted
By wind and sand, fire and water.
Our cynosure and guardian,
It endures, ageless and renewed.
Rekindled in my heart
Is the gentler flame,
The votive candle
Of love for my t’hy’la;
In your own heart abides
The unwavering flame of its twin;
Their union lights the steady hearthfire
Which brightens our lives
With enduring golden comfort:
These embers warm but do not incinerate;
This glow illuminates but does not blind.
Even in this moment,
Our passion expired,
Your compassion breathes:
You take time to give balm to my hurts;
You take care to give comfort
To my troubled mind.
I, in turn, doctor the wounds
Of my beloved physician
In a cool and refreshing fountain.
With ablutions of pure water
And my single tendered tear,
I bathe the scars of devotion
Written on your flesh –
My turn, now, to succor you.
Though the traces of your suffering
Sorrow my heart
And sting my eyes,
Stripped for now of desire,
I find your scarred body
More beautiful than ever
For the service of love you have rendered.
Long ago, my lion,
You left your mark upon this hunter
When with pain
Both unexpected and embraced
My heart was pierced
By barbed and gentle claws of love
That claimed me as your own.
Relieved to be home again,
We both recognize with saddened hearts
That our garden is not as we left it
Little more than a handful of days ago.
Scattered gray clouds hang low in the blue
The fountain is now stained with blood,
The relit hearthfire wafts
Occasional tendrils of acrid smoke
That burn our eyes and lungs,
And the anchor rock is scored and pockmarked,
Having been blasted by the storm.
Someday the sky will again
Arch high and free of clouds;
Someday our fountain will flow clear of
And the hearthfire will emit only fragrant smoke
That does not burn eyes and lungs;
But the rock in our garden
Will bear forever
The mark of the storm.
Time will weather and soften the scars,
But they cannot be erased.
The rock will endure,
As beautiful and strong as my lion,
Yet forever changed.
The marks will remain
Not a defect or blemish,
But a testament to our love.
Will mass once more above our heads,
Wind and deluge again
Sweep us off our feet
And throw us violently into each other’s
Against our own volition,
And fulmination will fill the air;
But at least we will know
That the roar of the storm
Need not leave us deaf to each other.
We have resumed the dance
We started long ago,
The dance of partners
Walking together in devotion
Through life and space and time.
The dance, too, is changed;
For now its music includes
The silent melody of the telepathic bond,
The unvoiced song we will practice together.
Tentative, we trace the new steps,
Learning the dance anew,
Determined to find a different rhythm
To carry us from the darkness we have visited.
If one of us stumbles
The other will have to lift the fallen
With the power of forgiveness,
And I know the most difficult step
Will be to forgive myself.
And perhaps, t’hy’la,
You remain the rational one,
For it is you who say
It is only logical to forgive
That which cannot be helped.
It is true I could control neither lust nor savagery:
Nonetheless, I am shamed.
Neither could your fears nor my ignorance be helped;
Yet I sense in you guilt for having withheld
The key to my release from insanity,
And resentment that I could not tell you
How to use that key, which all along you held.
You are stunned, as am I,
At what transpired on the mountain,
Both at the burning violence within ourselves,
And at the flaming union we experienced:
Neither is to be denied.
You tell me, in the silent language,
You will know how to save us both
When the storm returns.
I sense that you are wary even now
Of the new mental sharing
Through which you compel yourself
You catch my thought and smile,
And tell me in silent words,
I’ll have seven years to learn.
And so you promise me your inner thoughts
As freely as you have shared your heart and body
These past nine years,
And I am honored at the gift.
I know that my gift to you must be time,
Time before you again share your body,
Because though your wounds will quickly
The memory of having been forced will linger;
That, too, cannot be gainsaid.
In the dawn of another day
We will rise and share a banquet
At the private table
Where souls and bodies meet in bliss.
Here, now, together
We drink tenderly
Of the dew
On the flower of our love
thorn has withered);
In the wake of the passing storm;
Then we slip
Into the deep sweet wine
Of welcome sleep.
Notes for Canto VI: teretuhr: Vulcan
for “together; in or into a single
group, mass or place; in association with
or in relationship to one another;
mutually or reciprocally” cynosure: anything that guides or directs;
also, a center of attention votive:
given or dedicated in fulfillment of
a vow or pledge
Postscript: At the request of the author, Mr. Spock has scientifically
calculated that poems of this length occur
within the annals of S/Mc
fanfiction at the precise rate of 1:1701 p < .01.
He also informs me that Leonard is “not
quite as uncomplaining as
portrayed here.” He shared with me this exchange:
You ask, a bit dazed, and impatient as
What the hell happened just then?
And I know you speak of those last moments
When our minds conjoined and our pain disappeared,
Not of the agonized wildness which
And I admit that I am not sure.
I do not think this is the ordinary way
Of the full mating bond alone.
Perhaps it was a loud echo, a reverberation,
Of when you carried my katra.
I tell you that I think it may be
The way of pon farr itself,
That the partner in plak tow
Is pulled away from insanity and pain
When his bondmate opens his or her mind
To the suffering of the other.
I remind you of something
I told you long before,
The words of my father,
That each bonded pair
Must find their way through pon farr
And that some are lost,
And of my mother’s words,
That true bondmates need not fear pon farr,
And of her secret smile.
And you roll your eyes,
And say aloud, now he figures it
Then you roundly curse
The puritanical superstitiousness
Of my supposedly rational race,
That they do not share
The secrets of pon farr with their offspring.
I understand if not share your anger,
That my ignorance has cost us both so dear,
And might have cost us dearer still;
But those thoughts I do not share with you,
Neither silently nor aloud.
Then you say,
Damn if I’m going to wait
Seven years or more to find out.
I am asking your mother.
The prospect appalls me,
But I do not wish
To argue with you in this moment,
So I keep my peace.
Then you add,
With a roguish grin I know well,
If you’re wrong
And it is the normal mating bond
Or having shared your katra,
We can find out a whole lot sooner.
Then you wince and say,
Only not any time real soon,
And I say, I understand.