Saturday, November 17, 2007

These paths, darkening

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to resurrect an old unfinished poem and attempt to resolve it. It was a verse with grand ambitions, which followed a cross-country trip with hopes of self-discovery. I may yet be tempted to tweak it more, but for now I'm committing it to the permanence of a blog post.

These paths, darkening
by Francis Scudellari

These paths, darkening, I wander
Through deep, brambled forests I step,
Past towering firs, boughing down
O'er black soil, dried leaf, soft moss beds,
Leap mushroom-blossomed, decayed wood,
As crooked creeks murmur, mumble,
Tumble o'er pebbles, searching in
Light-speckled shade, still, not finding

I roam across long grassy plains
Spotted with wild flowers--yellow
Pink, violet flecks, dots, bursts, rays--
Among mists' white vapor, hover
On gentle hills, cut by cold streams
As jet crows cackle, dart and dive
As slow herds nod, graze, bellow low
answers beyond my dulled hearing

O'er buckled plates, alone I'll climb
Menacing swells that jut, roll, surge
Stumble over craggy rock, carved
Red canyons sheer, deep chasms, stone vaults
As eagles soar, shriek, shadow glide,
Mere crook'd shapes on wind blasted crests,
Weathered, proud sentries of
Guarded secrets in sere sage brush

Shall I crawl on hand, foot, belly
across deserts' hot gravel, dust
Burned, scorched by a fierce, pale sun
Lithe lizards slither, so might I
Over arid riverbeds, rocks
Past spired cactus, limbs lifted
Toward the endless sky, my arms
Too, pointed, reaching up, praying

Ever beyond I could seek it
Re-ent'ring the salt bath, life's womb
Plumbing depths, diving in vast seas
Cleansing cataract sight, to see
Or weightless, rise up heavenward
Peer into the void I stargaze
Hoping to glimpse the divine, yet
Only my own face reflected
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