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


Anonymous said...

Wow! Truly and totally impressive. Well done Francis! Maybe I could get you to teach me.

Francis Scudellari said...

Hi JD,
Thanks, but I don't think I need to show you anything. This one ended up like one of those classic rock song fade outs ... just get it over with :). I need to go back into abstraction.

ndpthepoetress Jean Michelle Culp said...

Ok Francis, you made me cry, you owe me a packet of tissues. This to me is by far the most cherished poem you have written thus far. Your poetry gives me such remarkable imagery. For some unknown reason I sensed birth and rebirth in your words. Then suddenly I felt as if I were an ant whom had made a long Spiritual journey cross-country and was left with more questions about life than answers.

Francis Scudellari said...

Hi Michelle,

I'll add the packet of tissues to the list of things owed you :).

The last stanza is a completely new ending to the original work, so I'm not sure how well it jived with the rest.

If you really want to feel like an ant, check out my post about Hubble. Actually, you'll feel like an atom swirling around in the nebula.