Ichabod

Ichabod

As the head goes, so goes the tail.

Black Proverb

So. This one is long. A bit epic. Autobiographical in the existential sense.

It doesn’t really follow convention much except the rhyme. I just wanted to finish it, and finish it I did. I went through and did 2 cursory sweeps for rhythm and then typos. I will do it again and again as time goes on. I don’t think I’ve ever written a poem that I’ve just left alone. so if you see a typo or the timing is a bit off, fix it in your head and keep it moving. I always welcome suggestions.

Also: I gave it to you it the usual visual form that’s pretty stark cuz WORDY. I also just dropped the verse down below. Cuz wordy.

Enjoy.

Once as I was surveying my kingdom all around
I grew tired and while resting, put my golden crown down.
I sat it somewhere close; I am quite certain this is true.
Yet when I reached back for it it was gone! Oh, I was through!
I called out for assistance; no one around to hear my plea.
I’d wandered off a bit too deep down into it, you see.
Even a seasoned traveler would find foreign there the land,
And none in my kingdom would chance traverse these desert sands.
And so, because my crown was where my strength and power lay,
I found myself an aimless wreck starting from that same day.

My thoughts a jumbled mass of sorrow and uncertainty,
I stumbled upon a place that looked like a safe place to be.
The thickets all about grew quite unkempt, but all in all,
It seemed clean enough to wait out winter crushing down the fall.
The master of the manor welcomed me with open arms.
Exhausted, it took little to be engulfed by his charms.
I settled there, unsettled but safe enough til I could find
The one thing that my crown could bring to me: a peace of mind.
I spent my days tidying up the manor with greatest of care.
I hadn’t realized the extent of its great disrepair.
As I went about task to task the master never stood,
Instead he sat full of himself as though owed all my good.
I washed and mended, cooked and cleaned, fixed all that could be saved.
I even figured how to get his household to behave.
It never dawned on me to look up and see what lay around;
My only pressing thought was where my starlight could be found.
But when I did pause to draw breath, the master gave his thought.
And can I tell you how he felled me? Ahhh the pain he wrought!
I found myself engulfed in waves of confusion, distress
I seemed never quite good enough, the worst thought of my best
Ridiculed, isolated, and a victim of deceit,
All I could do was keep looking for what made me complete.
Though never touched with human hand—affection or misuse,
The criticism and unkindness was its own abuse.
I could not keep my head about me suffering the rod
Of bitter words and broken promise. I was now Ichabod.

And so…

I tried to make the manor the thing that replaced my crown.
But the master thereof always kept me looking down.
When I did perchance look up to sometimes question his odd choice,
He’d cut me down. And without crown? I found I’d little voice.
My fight grew less and less as I began to believe lies
Thrown at me as I kept wiping tears and muffling desperate cries.
I wanted to run far and fast but could not find my way.
Uncertainty and fear became my constant and my stay.
All hope deserted me. At times, I wanted life to end.
But ever so often, I’d hear my name called high up in the wind.
“My crown! My crown!” I’d whisper to myself late in the night,
Praying for the return of what was lost in the moonlight.

One day, as I was walking round the cold manor quite deep,
I came upon a winding stair, its descent dark and steep.
Yet something in my heart would not allow me to forget,
And so each day I go down farther, and still farther yet.
Until one time I reached the bottom, at its end a door.
Behind that door a lonely box sat dusty on the floor.
Inside that box? A sight so wondrous that it knocked me down:
The box held what I thought I’d lost—hidden away! My crown!
I marveled at the shine of it: no tarnish could be found.
What joy and peace did my heart burn with as I hugged my crown!
Resolved to never let it leave my sight ever again,
I put it on my head, sat for a minute, breathed, and then,
As I walked calmly up the stairs, my thoughts arranged in rows.
The shock of single mindedness touched down inside my toes.
How did it come to be my crown was hidden in this home?
I thought back to the moment that I realized it was gone.
It seemed so unbelievable, my crown being so near,
That something so overtly bright would up and disappear.
It dawned on me at once this act was quite deliberate.
And I was sure the manor’s master was the main culprit.
For oh so long he reveled in my instability,
My unsure footing confusion? He lorded over me.
Each time a glimpse of glory shone through the fog of my mind,
He struck down any thought of me more than he thought was fine.
I contemplated what he might think now I had found my shine.
It didn’t take long to figure out that he‘d now lose his mind.
The anger that awaited—let me tell you, what a sight!
Who’d have thought a one so desperate to dim another’s light?
The more I held firm to my stance, the more wicked yowled he!
I gave my thanks, made low my bow, and walked away guilt free.

I’d let another lead me on into bitter lonely nights—
All because I took off my crown and let it out of sights.
It never crossed my mind the danger in that act, you see.
For all my life I’d never known such evil wizardry.
I’d only known those who would help me, whose hearts has been pure.
And when I’d stumbled upon the master then I’d been quite sure
That he too would lead me to a place that would be safe
Until such time my crown be found and I’d regain my place.
Yet years I’d spend following round someone who had no clue.
Never stopped for sound advice but knew not what to do!
Would lead and lead into distress then blame others for his ways
Emptying vitriolic bursts of shame for days and days.
He’d never take the ownership of manor nor of self,
Content to laze about and point fingers at someone else.

I’d wondered why I wandered all about that time confused,
Not realizing how critical the leadership you choose.
Looking back it’s no wonder all the suffering and travail
My granny never lied: as the head goes so goes the tail.
And tail I was and tail I did,
And Ichabod indeed.
Without your head, your crown, your mind, you will never succeed.
And giving over your self will to another is loss,
For men are limited by their own weakness. So please count the cost
Before you give the reigns to someone or benefit of doubt?
I beg of you, measure the miles and make them plot it out.
If not then everything you put you hand to will always, always fail.
It is the truth, don’t doubt: AS THE HEAD GOES? SO GOES THE TAIL.


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