The Waiting Room - I

Janus-like he feeds me
with a silver spoon,
his eyes intent on
all his doors 
all his doors are open.

Pinkie finger, left hand,
a ring of gold and jade
fades when the light is shut by one shutting door.
I look round this world's 
vestibule, where he is King, 
and ask what I am for.

For me, he opens one door
and leaves the next ajar
and door leads onto door 
down each long corridor
until a last despair is reached
the last door locked
is never breached.

Impeached inside each lies
eternal silence barred
and only his hard hand
can raise that latch
and prise the wood 
the door swings ajar.

I am told it gives
to those who seek it
one way through to land beyond -
fertile-green and bright, far from
stones and silence, stony doors.

He rests, pensive, on his throne
idly sets the salver down, pours, pours,
takes it up and drinks, deep, deep
of thought and sorrow, tears and time,
wine dipped in human skin
and pressed from human suffering.

Janus-like he tends the fires
that both-ways burn, in heat and cool, 
that freeze or flay,
that both in silence 
rise as twins.

Beyond the walls the wind picks-up, veers 
south to north, whips up the water wildly
that roams from west to east
and Janus-like he listens, raises hands,
keeps their peace, bids silence
and he warns.

The jade on that left finger
fires and spreads
as his hair reddens, curls and grows.

Such a crossroads 
have I seen
like a dream within a dream:
an octagon of doors leading
fore and aft
in front, behind,
from side to side
with corridors like spokes radiating 
from his throne, 
the hub within.

His neck bends to hide his eyes
of basilisk, reptilian,
and profile touches chin
double-profile of that
God within disguised as form
with eyes that never close.

He shakes the hands of time
and stems the tide until
its backward run begins
for the weaving of his crimson robe
does not end till it begins
and from his belt suspend
ten thousand thousand
that free all locks
and turn all mechanisms.

He knows 
that all his Seer sees, has ever
been, will ever be, that I
am in the waiting-room
and in my hand a key.
But all his doors stand open
wait for me.

Janus-like he fed me
with his silver spoon
till I had learned to cross his doors
negotiate his corridors
go on alone
as one.
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