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Voluntary Exile

by Oonah V. Joslin

I flee to Lothlorien when I feel low,
dive between those ever-fresh white sheets,
commune with elves on paper primrose paths
under innocent skies and yellow sun
where kindness and imagination meet and dance
to silence, as when Earth was young.

Or in forest glades under the powder blue,
I meet fawns on the Dancing Lawn,
talk with Narnians and water sprites,
watch the trees eat chocolate-mousse soil —
the waters bubble up brown, frothy draughts —
hope for a glimpse of Aslan or Gandalf.

There all I love is perfectly described.
Elegant cadences have survived the mangling
of the spoken word. The sword is just there,
the blade cannot be bought. Laughter
is a gift much sought after; money,
for its own sake, has no meaning

as in the 24th century,
on a planet far away, trekking
some distant quadrant of the galaxy
under a pink sky and purple seas
Captain Benevolent puts alien species at their ease.
No one ‘gets evicted’. Prime Directive. Please,

what dishonesty!
I close the book. Stop the film.
try to switch off
Reality TV. Everything I hate.
Escape along a stormy beach,
allow the grains to sandblast my thoughts clean,

yet conscious always of the politics
of the sea, the never-ending ebb
of history, my little place in its maelstrom.
Still and quiet on the margin of the tide,
at the centre of my self-made storm,
Still I feel the sunshine of Lothlorien.

Copyright © 2012 by Oonah V. Joslin

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