PREVIOUSLY: Previously, He Was A Poet By Maggie Robertson

Word Count: 445

Previously, He Was A Poet
Maggie Robertson

Perched on the edge of the cliffs high above the valley floor, he wondered, how had it come to this? Visions of past lives filtered through his memory, and he wasn’t so sure anymore that humanity had come very far at all.
He had flashes of the cruel difficulties of his soul’s early lives. Hard labor with life-threatening hazards in the course of a day’s work, putrid scraps being all that was left to sustain life at the end of long, hard winters, brutality at the hands of others who owned his life.
And then came the easier, more prosperous lives. A shopkeeper, a banker, even nobility, when the tables were turned and he exercised power over others. He’d like to think he was a more benevolent overlord than those he was subjected to during his early lives, but his nightmares told other stories.

He came back as a woman once. That was… different.

But then, aah yes… he was a poet. That was his favorite life of all. There were times when he was revered, and there were times when he was reviled, but he claimed for himself the freedom of self-expression. He did not care if others loved or hated his words; they were his, shared with others strictly by his own terms.
Words are power, he thought. Poetry was like painting music, creating orchestral landscapes and symphonic storms. With poetry he could bring forth the amazing beauty in foreboding places.
The life of a poet wasn’t always easy. There were times of abject poverty and loneliness, but there were also periods of abundance and comfort. There were immeasurable benefits that came with the artistic mastery of language, and he was grateful for them.
But then came the moment that humanity broke and was laid bare for all to see. The unspeakable cruelty humans wrought upon both the living and the non-living world tore his soul to the core. Stunned and immobilized, he wondered if perhaps there was never a time humanity was un-broken.

As his soul went numb, his pen etched painful words into parchment for the last time:

My heart aches
But for what, I do not know
Oft moved to tears
Yet unable to cry
To Cry…
For myself,
But for Humanity, during the darkest days
Tears apart the soul in ways
We cannot comprehend

And now his words were silenced. Whirling around his head in silent storms, he found himself without the means of releasing them. No longer could he paint music, his freedom seemingly extinguished.
It was with these last thoughts that he knew it was time. He leapt off his perch, stretched out his wings, and flew.

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