I woke into a frightful terror
That lasted until noon
Two eyes of spoken yellow glowed
Terror to my soul
Then wafted into my study so soon
A fragrance of the beast
Leaving me to recollect
My passing there that noon.
As my footsteps changed slope from uphill to downhill
I crested into a new valley
It was a particularly notable valley cresting
For the view I was afforded stretched from tip to bow
At the far end I could see a tail of smoke rising steady
Hovering for some time at the cloud line
Making its ever looming presence felt
As I looked down and stepped between the pebbles
Dodging in and out of the single-path trail I had been following.
My memory floated back to a woman I once had known
A woman whose smile touched the very essence of a man
Changing him instantly to a friend, forever
I had last seen her walking out of the tack store
In preparation to depart with a fresh pack of jerky
And enough rice to keep me a while,
She had asked where I was off to
And I told her what had honestly come to mind
I shared with her my dream of this land
With leaves the size of a horses head
With trees that bled sugar and turned as red as wine
She looked at me and shaked her head
Scolding that all us men ever want is our devil juice
I explained to her it wasn’t so,
She smiled and knew she was scolding the wrong man
I asked her if she would like to join me
An honest man on an honest journey
To a land beyond, to the East
But she had only replied in jest
Saying: “Honey, I’ve got too many mouths to feed.”
I started at a cracking branch
To my left, not 7 meters away,
I looked and staring back at me
Was a moose, hovering way above my head
He was looking straight at me
Antlers standing so tall and proud
Chewing on a tuft of a shrub
That hung down from the left side of his mouth
He snorted softly as he stared at me
Demanding I respect his space
I nodded back, gave a grunt
And quickly scanned the nearby forest
For any signs of a calf around.
My footstep didn’t stop
Rather, they kept along the trail I went
My heart beating loudly in my cool breath
The words of many an elder echoed in my mind:
“Moose are more aggressive then bears.”
I instinctively touched the blade
That rested at my hip
Foolish to think that such a weapon
Could disengage such a large beast so strong
I couldn’t feel the beast charging
Though I looked to check just in case.
I didn’t relax until I was over the next bend
Which didn’t take long to get
The familiar sound of a creek returned to my ears
No longer wise words warning and uncontrolled heartbeat
Echoing through my every breath
I softly observed the old man’s beard
Growing thicker as I descended into the valley below
Moss crawling higher up trunks of the silent giants
Experienced woods folk always say
That the birds will all be silent when there’s a predator around
So the light whistling of the forest’s inhabitants
The unique call of a raven
Calmed my senses once again.
When I reached a small opening
I dipped my hands in and splashed the fresh creek’s water
To my face, to wash the cold sweat that had gathered
I recognized bear droppings
A short distance from where I sat to rest
Looking at least a week old now
No danger for me, at least for the present
But a sign that they are around
And perhaps some tasty berries, too.
You don’t understand the envelope of my heart
You never did.
You grabbed hold
Of little pieces
I had never used before.
That held me dreaming
Because I am a dreamer
Dreaming my damnedest truths.
Buy your grabbing on to,
Was your dreaming of, too;
I, wild as beasts held
Flickering of hope
On the heaviest and darkest of nights
Finding cold love
In the season of heat.
We whisked away the midnight danger
Upon a solemn sleigh,
A hoof and breath,
A peak and trough,
Heaving the way we went.
I cannot say how long we sat
Being our beasts poor burden,
But alas, upon the valley floor
Ahead of us lay,
Amid deep nights deeper darkness,
A silhouette I knew familiar,
What any visitor could barely distinguish as
Our humble home to which we owed
Warm nights, forevermore.
I crawled through thick underbrush
To reach a mossy patch,
One which I had felt
Would bring bounty to fill my pack.
As I stared into the beast
I had heavily prepared for,
In front of me I beheld
A patch to make me cry,
A patch that was so full of life
My bags began to shutter
In great anticipating weight!
It was like gold!
It was divine!
It was so heavenly I began to fly!
Bending at my knees
I scooped in fast,
Arm in arm with my comrade’s heart
I dove, neck deep, into mushroom.
In the glen; wild roving stallion,
I paused to stretch my limbs.
And when dismounting my hairy beast
A chorus of chick-a-dees sang to me.
To listen intently I spread my wings,
Laid myself low, enjoyed with the breeze
And over my head did fly all at once
One hundred black sparrows gathering their young.
Where butterflies fell over lazily my outstretched wings
And careless little flies found my warm skin.
And I on my back with my eyes to the sky
Watched clouds float on by; lazy summer breeze.
Long grass swayed as the warm sun spied between
Kentucky Blue, Fennel, and Orchard
Which my stallion munch on unceasingly,
“Chompity chompity chompity chomp.”
A soothing repetition with each grass pull; roots.
Up again, off again. Forward on was I!
A creek to be over! A fence to be had!
This glen of that glen, and fields in between
A small pond, a homestead, a row of red oaks.
Then after the huckelberries there’s a lane off ahead,
Then I’ll be home, my family’s ol’ stead.
Ahh but I’ve been trying you see
To excel at all my studies
I am, after all, a studious beast
Studying all day, as it is
I’ve picked up some secrets
Theories and quantifications
Which makes sense, if you think about it
Complete sense when taken in context
But without questions
There are no answers to logically justify
So then when you ask
Should I be asking you questions?
“Of course!” I shall answer
It is but a trifle upon my abilities
No hindrance to my day at all
To answer you with vigor
Responding to your inquiry
For in the end
Without my knowledgeable responses
What good would my studying be?
How just are my studies
If I do not share them
Impart what I’ve learned on eager ears
Surely it’s a fools game
To withhold knowledge
From the inquisitor
Assuming the inquisition
Isn’t a dispute over whether or not
My head should remain on it’s comfortable perch
Dr. John can be purchased here.
If I move aside
Will love swarm in
If I pull outwards
Will it flow within
Dangling roses in front of my nose
I stroke the wild beast with sharpened fangs
Laying beside heavens that rumble with rage
I watch the sunsets roll on in
In this space, it is whole
It is dark corners with sweet soul sounds
And polka dots that swell with pride
Slumbering around in a flowy night-robe