I can barely breathe this thin air,
can scarcely see:
This light blinds me and I long to feel
Your cool shadow.
I have so long been chafed
by chains of rock:
I have screamed in tongues of forgotten gods
And remained mute.
There is no speech for breathing,
nor eyes for sight:
For all the wiles of art no other can feel
The inside of my skin.
Yet still the beating of those human hearts
gives rhythym to me:
The fire I brought burns brightly still
In all my alien kin.
In all my long and many lives,
this I have learned:
Love is as fragile and fleeting as a snowflake
And as irreplaceable.
I pay an unintended price
for my great sin:
It is not the pain of the rock or the blood
But being alone.
So I pledge a marriage to you
with each return:
As long as I live I have all my heart's blood
To give freely.
My center renews in every birth
of this old sun:
And thus can I smile as you bring my pain,
My beautiful eagle.
-- BT Murtagh
(For Alan Turing, whose 100th birthday is today.
RIP, Mr. Turing, you deserved much better.)