Grief


ago
3 min
10
readings
7
Qualified
The sky king created the heavens,
With a blank canvas he began
squid’s ink and dragon’s blood
He mixed within a pan

With quivering hands he dipped his brush
The colors stained the sky
His universe had shattered apart
So he painted a new one up high

Shakily he took the burning flames
That had caused him so much hurt
And compressed it into diamonds
That he might lock away his heart

The emperor of the heavens
Was brimming with electric grief
From the death of his precious wife
Whose life had been so brief

The daughter of the king and queen
Knew her father now was shattered
She wished only to offer comfort
And fix what was so tattered

She asked him if there was a way
In which she might so vanquish
The unceasing cascade of torment
that had racked his soul with anguish

He gave to her a sewing needle
To weave this ripped and raw aching
Into the shape of clouds and mist
So the heavens would keep from breaking

With ethereal zeal the princess worked
To sew her father’s pain into dew
That she might heal his broken heart
And thus bring him peace anew

The king was not blind to her tired eyes;
With flowing gratitude he ordered her to rest
And sent her to play among the stars
That she could be filled with refreshing zest

The weaver girl wished to bathe
So she went to the Milky Way,
But upon reaching its crystalline bank,
She was filled with a bit of dismay

A handsome herd boy stood at the brink,
Taking his buffalo out to graze
The princess meant to sneak away,
But the young lad turned and caught her gaze

The celestial cosmos themselves were in awe
As they witnessed the birth of something holy,
A thing hallowed and blessed and divine
so sacred, it made even the heavens seem lowly

Just a boy and a girl and a water buffalo,
And the universe to bear declaration
That with just one simple glance
Their love was written in the constellations

Among the glittering stars they danced
Until deeper and deeper they fell
They noticed not the time that had passed
Because they both were under a spell

While the two didn’t realize the hour,
The king was much distraught
He tore through his whole kingdom,
His only beloved treasure he sought.

Far and wide he searched til she was found
And the king, he was so very relieved,
But that relief turned soon to anger
Because she did not realise her misdeed.

“Daughter, tis long since past thy curfew,
How much suffering must i bear
Thou knowest my great distress,
And it is the fault of that boy there.”

The emperor’s all consuming rage came,
All of his pain flew out of him at once.
Waving his hand he made a command
That the stars should come by the tons

Thus filling the stream of the milky way
creating an incandescent sea of fire
To sever his daughter from the boy
So his company she no longer would desire

And when the Emperor had calmed
He turned to the broken princess
Who was now torn apart by sobs
But she only said with kindness,

“Father, thou knowest better than all,
There is no agony that is more haunting
Than the absence of the person
For which you are most wanting.”

With shock at what he had done,
He saw that her heart was breaking
He trembled from the power of her words
And was penetrated by her aching

But there was no way to cross the waves
This was the cruelest of fates
The two lovers were stuck on opposite banks
And the remorse had come too late

The king, the weaver, and the herdsboy,
All inwardly shredded by woe
Silently grieving together
For their loss of heart and home.

The emperor could not forgive himself,
He knew the damage he’d caused.
But he came to the realization
That perhaps all hope was not lost

His tears proclaimed of his sorrow,
As to his daughter he softly professed,
“If truly you do love this man,
Then may you both be blessed.”

He explained how there was a way,
For the two to meet again,
If they willingly worked all the year round,
The laws of the universe might bend.

On the seventh day of the seventh month
Of every single year,
A flock of magpies forms a bridge
For the lovers to draw near.

It is the one day that they can meet
And hold each other so.
On every other day they must
Work throughout their woe.

But if the clouds rage, and water drops fall,
Then the boy and the girl must wait
For the coming of next year’s seventh month
To behold their beloved’s face.

If you are lucky and the night is clear,
Then up in the sky you may see,
Two bright stars, shining together,
For the one day that they can be free.

Legend says that, at a time soon to come,
They will never again part from each other;
Every star will fall from the heavens,
And the two sets of lovers will be together
For far longer than forever
7

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Margaret Hall · ago
stunning