A twisted path along a dirt road,
skeletal trees loom overhead,
naked branches reach out like claws,
long decayed leaves crush softly underfoot,
a reminder of what was and will never be again.
Lurking behind is the motivation to move forward,
every print in the dirt is a monument of how far you’ve come,
how far is left to go,
every broken blister,
snare of a stray thorn are a test of will,
the pain, fear, and humility ebb out of memory,
until only the recollection of it remain.
The encroaching woods lead to rolling fields,
covered in emerald grass,
beckoning you forward.
The hills give way to mountains,
each taller than the last,
a dangerous, labored climb,
at the peak a sprawling desert.
The heated wind lashing out,
cutting at the flesh,
ripping away the hardened layers from the soul,
each step harder, the path longer.
The veil of mist pulls back,
to reveal black rivers,
building of steel that rise higher and higher,
as if to breech the Heavens,
here a million or more faces linger,
lost, forgotten, or somehow swayed from their path,
it is here the test of the will and soul,
neither are broken as you continue on.
The sea of grey despair falls into an ocean of sapphire blue,
the crest of the wave, a chariot to carry you on.
From ocean to forest and the strengths they represent,
from forest to mountain and the trials that they present,
from mountain to desert molded the soul an unbreakable essence,
from desert to city to sea and back again.
Until the journey leads to a great precipice,
a canyon where darkness is only broken by angry lashes of flames,
where the tormented scream out their agony,
above clear blue sky and soft whispers of peace,
fall or fly,
the final step is a collection of all the ones before.
I cut this out of ‘Where are the Readers At’ since the two aren’t really related. It could be argued, in my head, that since this poem was inspired by Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe that they are related. I’m not arguing though. This one means a lot to me, I’m not sure really why yet — but it does. It and Dawn Rise are two of that mean something to me, and both inspired by Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe though one the movie and the other the book.
I’d forgotten how much poetry helped me sort though stuff, and I am glad it is no longer death to God, darkness, doom — the pretentious ranting of a teenager — I’m not writing for shock anymore, or to make people realize that there was something really bad going on. I write, now, what I feel or have observed in my little isolated part in the word.