By Stephen Cheney
The Gypsy is at her table in the dark-clothed tent.
Here for a day, here forever. What is the difference?
Waiting within, dreaming of all the might-have-beens.
A customer arrives, nervous and full of expectations, and soon parts the curtain.
The candles, set a-flutter, soon resume their quiet prayer.
Here the light is dim, a twilight intimate to the passing of secrets.
Here the still enclosed air forms a boundary
where the outer world cannot enter, cannot belong.
Here, at a price, may be revealed the doorway to another world,
But all change needs courage.
With two chairs there is a table. The table is small and round.
Round, representing the circling world
that lies closed out beyond the tent.
A circle of life paying respects to an enclosed ground.
“Please sit down”, said the Gypsy, half rising,
an invitation with the grace of her hand.
They now sit, the table a bridge between them, facing each other.
One in veils and one unveiled.
A meeting of two bodies, two minds, two souls, eyes.
The cloth that covers the table is dark.
It has been sown with many symbols, mixed voices from a lost time.
And on it, exposed, there smoothly shines a ball of crystal.
In its aloneness it represents the oneness of the soul.
Its eye flickers with inner flames. It reads the soul of all around it.
It invites each candle on the walls to a dance.
The ball is a mystical sphere of the curve of the earth.
It looks and weighs the depths of each soul.
It sits and waits, but though the Earth turns, the ball does not move.
Prometheus bound, an offering by slaves to the gods.
The pearl of the Dragon.
The walls and candles standing overhead look down.
The table offers up its crystal to the heavens
as two people of different worlds sit around it
immersed in the presence of each other;
but while the visitor is locked in inner thoughts and turmoils,
the other is freely projecting and appraising.
“Welcome to my tent”, said the Gypsy softly, as she was the master of Hosts.
She took, for a moment, the visitor’s hand in hers.
“You come to seek my help”, she politely said, as she was the master of Ghosts.
Ghosts of the night, of moon, mountain, plain and forest,
And of the ghosts that lurk within each troubled soul.
Sensing that her visitor deserved the truth, she gave it.
“Do you know … where the crystal ball is?” the Gypsy slowly and kindly inquired.
“Why … it is there — on your table”,
responded the visitor logically as if partaking in a game.
“What you CAN see and what you CAN know are rarely the same”,
advised the Gypsy in a hardening whisper.
Her eyes flashed.
“No … I AM THE CRYSTAL BALL!” revealed the Gypsy
in a Voice that Loomed Out as from a Well.
She had lifted the veil between matter and mind, splitting realms.
The surrounding Hosts of Dark, of Light, of Time,
were called and surged into the room, a tide from a dark unseen sea.
Answers awaiting questions. Shells on the shore, awaiting their selection.
It was time to begin.
(Image: Metraton's Cube by John Brooks)