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Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.

Aether Unbound

Saad Khan

Atlas shrugs his shoulders, lowering the dreamy sky,
Gaia's hands lumber upwards, to escape and feel all the possibilities that lie.
Chin forward, proud smile plastered
Ear-to-ear, with the supersonic speed of soaring metal birds
Following their metal senses—he bellows,
"Mother of mothers, bless you with everlasting goodbyes and hellos
Is all that is set free, destined to shackles? All that speaks, be shushed?
All that mixed, doomed to separate? All that slows, be rushed?"
Sweat beads dropping from the sky, hurricanes brewing, and tornadoes spinning;
Desolation abound.            

Gaia wiggles, escaping her slumber, yearning for stars, and as she shakes,
Consider cautiously: tickling Atlas with upward flowing rivers building into lakes.
The humane mother of humanity, maternity questioned, water breaking, giving birth
To a thousand cold nights around fireless hearths.
Hearing the wounded howl of a cub of a cub, she wails,
"The Earth knows no bounds, swimming beyond the horizon, digging beyond depth,
Everything in its pursuit, nothing beyond its grasp, yet has kept
And must keep, the forests, its lungs, watered, the cities, its intellect, watered,
The fields, its bread basket, watered. The Earth pursues in its willingness,
Yet must deliver in obligation." Reality abound.                    

Atlas rattles the sky, proving it the passion worth pursuing; obligation overshadowing
reality. Thunder bolts downwards, solar flares, fire-storms ring
Through forests, the supposed lungs, proving them worthless as no need is a want,
And every want is a need. Ashes scorn those who cannot sustain the fire, angels taunt
The statue that stands still. "Prometheus, my brethren, hear me as the Earth won't,
Is the fire you shared for the candles of those who live-not? Or if asked: don't?
The Standstills? Was your fire ordained to flicker at every breath, to cause no harm?
To fuel no adventure? To heat no hearts? To spark no discoveries?  Disarm
Your worries and burn your queries."  A flame dances in its temptation.
Curiosity abound.

Gaia rises, the world around her crumbling, shaking in awe,
Mountains erect, tors rise, columns of cliffy chalk islands collude, no physical law
Bounds a decision that is fully made, with no thought to limitation or restraint.
Pillars holding the temple of desire and hope,
Atlas screws free; Earth sustaining sky: a burden no man, woman, being, can cope.
Gaia holds her own skies, her own capstone, "The Earth is master to its own
Citizens, it is subject to whatever burden it passes on to others. Alone,
Earth will hold its burden, and reclaim its sovereignty." The ground
Stands against fire, water, air; all of which pour from the skies Earth now bounds.
Proud Mother. Protecting Mother.  Fair mother. Vanity abound. 

Atlas scuttles away, into the Aether.                          Mother left against the meter
And meters of skies and      lies. Proud Mother, rocks      cracking, tors weathered,
mountains        eroded.
                                             What             was once separated. . . now mixed.
To hold
Your own edges, your own constraints, like hugging yourself and your arms
engulfing you two to three folds—to
know your own bounds when you jump
Off a cliff of the mind and restricted by what was once fear, but now the logic that the
    Is a hill no taller than your knees.  The cliff is no cliff.
Essence has no sense, as bounded by freedom are the free. The shushed speaking to
shush the speakers.  Pure    Vacuum.                                                Aether Unbound. 

Saad Khan is a new writer and poet whose work focuses on challenging existing writing conventions and playing with different established forms of poetry.

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY