And so you take the pilgrim's road|
The days that lie between you and the land
where you began are long;
the memories they brought to you are alien
and no longer belong.
And yet there is something that clings
from holy ground —
and in each grain, a crystal ball.
You see your past caught
in stasis —
you were someone else then
but you still reach out and hold
your child-self's hand
and you are no longer sure
who is holding on to whom,
who needs and who is needed,
who was the one that was called,
and which one made the call.
The common bones and ashes hold you together,
those you left buried
in this ground.
You left a living love, people whose tears farewelled you,
promising you would never stay away for long —
and somehow the years speed by, and too soon
when you return
you've grown, and your shadow on the familiar ground
looks thin and weak and wrong
and crosses above black stones bearing a year of death
are all that you have found.
Carrying one perfect memory of the place
where you first saw this world
is a gift jealous Gods gave to men —
and then twisted it with the bitter knowledge
that there is no going home
[Ed. Note: Last part of a 10-part poem. « Beginning | « Previous]
· · · · · ·
Alma Hromic, the author with R. A. Deckert of Letters from the Fire, was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. Trained as a microbiologist, she spent some years running a scientific journal, and later worked as an editor for an international educational publisher. Her own publishing record includes her autobiography, Houses in Africa, The Dolphin's Daughter and Other Stories, a bestselling book of three fables published by Longman UK in 1995, as well as numerous pieces of short fiction and non-fiction. Her last novel, the first volume of a fantasy series, Changer of Days: The Oracle, was published in September 2001 by Harper Collins. Hromic is an essential member of Swans. She maintains her own Web site (with Deck Deckert) where she provides information about her work and the professional services she offers: ButterknifeBooks.com
Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number. If we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.
Please, feel free to insert a link to this poem on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © Alma A. Hromic 2002. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
This Week's Internal Links
The Black Golden Spigot: To Saudi Arabia and China via Iraq - by Gilles d'Aymery
Christopher Hitchens And The Uses Of Demagoguery - by Edward S. Herman
The Grand Antithesis - by Michael Stowell
Hope - by Milo Clark
Outsmarted By Artificial Intelligence - by Alma Hromic
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - Poem by T.S. Eliot
The Ballad of East and West - by Rudyard Kipling
Alma Hromic on Swans
Essays published in 2002 | 2001
On the Anniversary (September 2000)
Subject: Into Myth (September 2000)
Sadness in Novi Sad, Serbia (April 2000)