Shiver Slave

I wrote this poem about 8 years ago while working night shift making printing plates. My supervisor was lax enough that I could frequently get away with breaking the monotony of my work duties by penning epics such as this. In remembering the writing of this poem, I can only recall that it came so quickly my pen could barely keep up with the thoughts.

Shiver Slave.

j. ramsey

Frostbitten fairies full of winter’s woe,
Descending softer than the lightest snow,
Regretting dwelling in the forest deep,
Now so in need of warmth they know I keep.

I hearken fairies rapping at my door,
I answer knowing what does lie in store.
I freely give to them the warmth they crave-
Their greatest fear to be the Shiver’s Slave.

As we are gathered in the firelight,
Suppressing coldness from the moonlit night,
They bide their time recounting stories old,
With tales of demons, dwarves and dragon’s gold.

Epic wonders in their history,
True but unbelievable to me.
Questions spawning, so I voice my mind-
“In what eon did you turn from mean to kind?”

As the eldest fairy clears his voice to speak,
He’s interrupted by a quiet shriek.
A satyr, entranced by the golden glow,
Has joined our company of woe.
_____

As faces turn to him, I raise my head.
His visage locked in a look of dread,
He tells us how this killing coldness comes,
Harvesting warmth to make a midnight sun.

The fairies quiet and myself in thought,
My heart is twisted to a celtic knot.
The creature says, “It seems we have no choice.
We’re Shiver Slaves, and we’re without a voice.”

At last the time has come to share the Key!
But something keeps it down inside of me.
How do I share the warmth I hold
With this camaraderie so cold?

As I’m pondering upon a plan,
A fairy voice utters, “You there, Man!”
So I’m broken out of quietness
To join the revelry of my guests:

“Have you any truth to share,
Or news to tell from a source that’s fair?”
But sorely vexed at his intrusion, I
Spitefully begin to weave a lie.
_____

I deny them any words that free,
And hold the warmth still deep inside of me.
Their attention turns to another, so
Again I’m left to lie inside sorrow.

What is binding all the warmth to me?
Why can’t I speak the truth to help them see?
“These ghastly shivers in my neck…” I sigh.
And not a single one there wonders why.

But as I reach out to the ember’s flame,
I wonder why I spoke the Shiver’s name.
I have the warmth way down inside, deeply.
How then is coldness killing me?

With a new dilemma surfacing,
I realize I must go before our King.
But before proposing Royalty
As the solution to the scene,

I’m contemplative of reactions wide,
But know there is no time to bide.
The freezing coldness of these dreary days
Is well past its time of welcome to stay.
_____

“My friends, I think I’ve solved the mystery.
I shall travel to the golden sea.
I’ll beg our case before the Magistrate.
Perhaps he’ll grant me enter through the gate.

From there I’ll journey to the throne
Of He who calls the castle ‘home.’
I’ll tell Him of our problems and our pain,
I’ll tell Him winter’s driving us insane.”

Quiet first, the masses seemed to think,
Then broke out in laughter echoing.
Ignoring looks of death and looks of spite,
I trudged across the land that night.

Not a single fairy went along with me,
So in fatigue I fell down to my knees,
And found myself transported instantly
To the throne of He who holds the Keys.

“Speak,” He said. One word, that’s all.
I rose, but found myself still feeling small.
“My Lord,” I said, “I fear our land is dead.
This Coldness came, and off it rent the head

Of the sunlight, therefore vanquishing
All it gave within its light- giving.”
“Let me understand this right,”
The King spoke with a kingly might.
_____

“You want a new sun to give you light?
Illuminating, and to warm your night?”
“Yes, Your Grace.” I answered hastily,
Thinking now that what I asked- obscene!

How, the King, could He succeed at this,
Within His limits, He’s not limitless!
“I see your thoughts, and what you think of Me,
I am King of Impossibilities.”

“I shall grant you your request, my son,
If you relay the message of the One
Who set your heart on fire in time of chill,
Who’s there for you and so conveys His will,

Whom you approached upon your bended knee,
Allowing your voice to be heard above the greed.
Your friends, they wait, so ‘Return!’ I say.
End this, for them, upon this winter’s day.”
_____

“Yes, my King,” I humbly reply.
And although earlier my well was dry,
I find I have a brand- new source of life,
Which reaches out to me to quell the strife.

A new peace I feel inside my heart,
Though there before, now I can see it start.
The warmth, it spreads away from me
It melts the snow and causes blooms in trees.

I reach my hovel, where they’re gathered still,
Listing ways to have this coldness killed.
They silenced are when I at first appear,
But soon their faces show no signs of fear.

One look and they can tell I saw the King,
And that He pitied all our suffering.
Now I have the means to share the Light,
Warmth-giving and planting new life.

A renovation to refresh the land-
As creatures gather hand in hand,
The bitter winter, gone forever, stays
Far, far, far away.

The end.

About Jeremiah

My name is Jeremiah. I was born at a young age to parents who were older than me.
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