From clifftop here I gaze, alone,
Across the fields of broken stone
across the high and barren heath
Into the North where, faintly wreathed
by Valar’s Sickle and Durin’s Crown,
the Pole Star hangs, and there around
The heavens pivot in their flight.
As eve surrenders into night
Up mounts the Steersman of the Sky
Far freer, in his way, than I
and designates his nightly quarry,
His to chase until his starry
hunting grounds are razed by dawn.
Then He must flee, or look upon
The face of She who spurned his games,
Rewarding his romance with flames.
Diminished and cast off, he turned
To night flight. Better alone than burned.
I think on this familiar theme
Till up between the peaks a gleam
Announces Eärendil’s rising.
I think of Elwing, her devising
Magical and silvered wings
to fly to him, above all things
Forsaking earthly peace and ease
to risk the perilous stellar seas
For his sake, patiently abiding
lonely journeys, moon’s-wake riding.
Stories only. A children’s fiction.
For I see only contradiction
between Eärendil’s mythic wife
and female ways in waking life.
We watch the sun, daily chased
By him she callously defaced
And stars, alone, forever dwell
in breathless heights of Tarmenel
But none have ever witnessed this:
Fealty spanning the abyss.
I’ll keep my doubts and watch the sky
Until the day I see a woman fly.