To prepare for this voyage,
this journey into the wasteland of my sorrows,
my desires, my eternal soul
I seclude myself in a forest beyond.
My eternal soul.
Easy to say.
People say it all the time.
I'm not sure we even have a soul,
much less an eternal one.
As far as I know
no one has ever seen a soul.
Some might say they have felt their own souls.
Not sure about that either.
Could've been indigestion.
As I prepare for my odyssey
I withdraw into the forest beyond,
concealed from sight,
listening to the soft screams of leaves falling.
What am I to do
here, out of my element?
Look for guidance,
direction and courage I suppose.
But instead of beseeching the forest beyond for these skills
I go down on one knee and weep.
While in my posture of sub-servitude
my tears dry upon my face,
turn into hard rock pebbles and fall from my cheeks
sounding like gentle raindrops
as they collide with reverence on the forest floor.
My hardened tears falling
soft as a whisper on the forest floor.
Is that an omen?
Does that mean I have been forgiven,
and if so,
forgiven for which act unbecoming to a civilized man?
I think not,
no, I believe I've passed some kind of test.
I stood and followed where my feet took me,
deep, much deeper, into the thickness
of my personal jungle.
As I tread,
mindful of the chattering around me,
understanding, even answering
the denizens who lived where I had come,
unannounced, to visit.
They spoke to me
not as friends,
they bid me leave their home, the forest beyond.
unafraid, but mindful of changes within.
When, out of the blue a wind
frigid as Wyoming in January
undressed my mind,
leaving it naked, indefensible
but not unable to tell that
the world had taken on quite a different appearance.
Somber is the word, if indeed an appearance can be said to be somber.
Without conscious thought
my feet began to walk
as a deafening crack of thunder
cleaved the sky apart,
and biblical torrents of rain assaulted the forest beyond.
I stumbled blindly
through the violent flow of rain,
breathing in quick gasps because this was rain like none before.
If you can believe the bible.
Holding a hand over my mouth
to keep from breathing in rainwater,
drowning as I walked.
Suddenly I found myself inside a structure tar black inside.
There was no rain,
but there were smells
I turned to flee back into the choking rain,
I'd rather drown standing than smell my own rotting flesh.
No way out.
Both entrances sealed off.
How could that be?
I felt a cold breath on my neck.
The giggling stopped.
An old crone's voice shrieked,
This ain't yer grade school picnic, Jerry, my boy.
©July 9, 2010 / Jerry Pat Bolton
~ If they give you ruled paper, write sideways. ~