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21 April 2008

As the Magpie Flies

- a personal out-of-body experience

Written mid April 2008 - (84 lines)

*

NOTE:
Just in case you do not know - a Magpie is a
bird of the crow family and about the same
size but in my opinion much prettier.

*

Once in my life I was a Magpie -
Honest! I tell you no word of a lie!
Maybe only for a fleeting moment
And here is how it came and went:

A couple of lines of background info -
In Germany many years ago
I worked as a freelancer at IBM
And one job was to assist them
Implement a system which was to set
The standard but which we now forget
Soon superceded by the early Internet

It was late summer and the day was bright
Working on the tenth floor, if I remember right
Sitting in my office at around noon
My colleague gone for lunch and I would follow soon
Needing a break from the technical routine
I looked away from the computer screen -

And out through the window to rest my eyes
On the trees, the clouds and the skies
And I noticed there was a pretty Magpie
On the roof of a taller building nearby
Just sitting there maybe admiring the view
Or possibly planning what next to do

Preening was obviously high on the list
Tidying up with a little twist
Of the head and using its shiny beak
To give the feathers that perfect tweak

Then, right on the edge of the vertical drop
It prepared itself with a little hop
Launched into space with an elegant dive
Which only a bird could hope to survive
And gracefully moved away in the air -
An experience I was about to share!

My soul found wings and was ready to fly
My body probably thought it would die
My stomach surged, I braced myself
Grabbing the desk and clutching a shelf -
The moment before I had been at ease
Now all I could do was instantly freeze
I do not know if my heart stood still
But the rest I remember - and always will...

*

Now you may not believe one word
And I know that to most this sounds absurd
But during that moment I was that bird -
Something of which I had only heard
Made contact however briefly and stirred
Into action some natural
And fundamental principle
Which overarches and underlies
All that walks or swims or flies -
Laugh if you must but I do believe now
That all living things are connected somehow

Was it simply the right time and place?
An unguarded instant in my inner space
Leaving behind a subtle trace
After the brief but total embrace
When thoughts for a second ceased to race?

Was I in some special receptive mood?
So little is properly understood!
Was it extraordinary empathy?
Or a case of - mistaken identity?
Had my soul already gone walkabout
Then entered the Magpie in a moment of doubt?

I cannot explain in an adequate way
The nature of what took place that day
But it DID happen so I know it was real -
As to what an event like this might reveal?
To myself it still only makes sense
As an out-of-body experience

And that of course proves that we do have a soul!
Like a prisoner briefly let out on parole
By the system which exercises control
The self may venture for an innocent stroll
Until re-arrested by the vigilant patrol
Of the physical world and its tight grip
On us all, even those who dare to slip
Away for a moment of timeless bliss -
All I can honestly tell you is this:
I am very grateful I did not miss
That ripple in time's monotonous flow
And if nothing else it goes to show
That had I blinked I would never know
How short is the distance to Paradise -
But only as the Magpie flies...

*

Copyright © 2008 - IBRAHEEM (O.E.H.Johansen) - All Rights Reserved

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