Watching a young black snake slow gliding across leaf and rock. She stands out against the brown and yellows of coming fall. Silent and quick, and as long as a kitchen broom. Coiling up and then straightening out she threads her way along. I often loose sight of her amongst the fennel an goldenrod. It’s only after a mad dash and leap of a surprised frog that I find her again. The soft shimmer of black scale gliding along betwixt and between the plants helps idle the last of summer away…
I have been here always. Knelt before the same wooden altar. Bathed my mind beneath the ever shifting light of stained glass. I have read and pondered the stories that remain framed within those panels of glass.
They are glittering jewels that dazzle the eyes. Drawing the mind into the inner light that radiates out filling the void of the room beyond. Marble floor with the patterned grain of darkened stone tracing out it’s ancient markings from time long lost beneath the sea. Here in quiet remembrance the candles burn, and none but I know why.
The Watcher sat just beyond the doors of the great hall. The large metal rings which had been fastened as the doorhandles and knocker lay flaccid against the ancient wood. Their immense diameter and thickness making anyone’s hand look childishly small. No one as far as the Watcher knew had ever tried the rings to gain entrance to the rooms beyond. He had though witnessed the rare occasions when those within had swung open one of the doors to come out. Usually they emerged suddenly and in silence. The great doors hinges effortlessly giving way, and then with little effort reversing back to the closed position. It was during those random moments the Watcher was able to see the doors construction. Thick as a man’s forearm, and framed with metal bracing within. Definitely stout enough to slow any intrusion of people or sound. As for the room beyond it was shrouded in an eternal darkness, but at the distant end one could just make out a sparkling of jewels upon the floor and a dazzling wall of colored light. The Watcher imagined that between the brilliant glitter of jewels and blinding light a dark figure knelt silently. Any certainty on exactly what lay at the far end was to never be known by the Watcher. Some places he knew well enough to stay clear of. It’s just the way it is.
My mind wanders back to the day I sat watching the slow drifting mirages dance across the hot valley floor. Almost as a dream a desert goat appears munching on dry twigs and leaves. I silently watch as she moves on. Just like the petroglyph that lies close beside me of a goat and the blazing sun. Time immortal, I understand what life is about.
I am … The rustling of the autumn leaves which hang tight for now amongst the maple and oak The borderland at the far edge A small stack of stone piled up along the imaginary lines of a map Even the rill filled trickling down between root and rock Sparking gentle reflection beneath half shadows of this wilderness before seeping down Disappearing into the land No one cosmopolitan will understand this simple satisfaction of a season And the acceptance of the passage of life Before we go our way
Before my days grew cold Naked and unafraid I walked the wilderness bare The coarse earth bore my presence Silent footfalls beneath the endless sky of blue Golden light filtered through green seas of leaf Undulating waves back and forth moved with the soft breath of God Floating feathered squadrons in an endless circle Farther each moment High above
The sharpest blade tarnish and dull without the touch of decay The strongest bull and fastest horse stumble upon the rock Youthful vigor drains away evaporated with disuse In old age wisdom flounders where truth has lost its worth
I am forgotten upon those places where once I traced my name No sacred tree carries remembrance of me All time worn stone and fire scarred wood have long dissolved with bone And yet I hunger for tomorrow Though I never see the day
Along the waters edge where sand and ocean meet The worlds first words are spoken By the soft and whispering breeze
It speaks of the many kingdoms and of ageless palaces carved of stone All the chambers filled with musical laughter far below in the surging sea The echoing ripples flowing Splashing playfully upon the distant shores above
Alas the people of the land no longer remember the beauty Nor can they walk the halls Time since it has passed deep beneath a sea foam gray
Softly the wind summons back the memory As the crabs solemnly standing guard lament And flying high overhead seabirds call out a sullen praise
There at the waters edge where sand and ocean meet
Leaves fall spiraling dance
Drift alone but in a breeze of chance
Countless colors of yellow and gold
Even the darkest browns becoming bold
The garden rustling with the wonder of where spring fled
Aster and mum sharing their purple and red
Naked and alone in a world grown cold
Where has the buttercup, the iris, and violet gone
Beneath a blanket of earth to sleep as the nights grow long
With the setting of the sun And rising of the moon Stars unseen glow with new life I watch in silence Becoming lost between worlds One infinite Filling all my sight The other Even more expansive Filling my thoughts With mystery and hope