Saturday, November 22, 2008

Without

I went out at night,
wilfully unprepared.
without torch,
without phone,
without purpose,
without plan;
save that of being vulnerable enough
to receive the things
from which I normally hide.

Engine switches off…….silence.
Lights off next……. darkness.

Opening the door,

face-tingling cold damp air waterfalls
into the warm car cocoon.
But I am going out.

The sky dark with night and mist and black cloud brooding.
The bridlepath a tunnel of
grasping tree fingers groping to touch me
and a breeze blowing through dead leaves;
tumbling them down with a skeleton rattle.

Everywhere, the silence quivers.
Rats breathing, mice creeping, owls calling.
Hidden eyes watch me.
Ears turn to follow me.

Mouse whiskers twitch among the leaves.
Mist whispers in the trees; seethes through ragged branches.

All senses are alert.
I walk slowly enough to be silent,
slowly enough to be unnoticed,
slowly enough to force my heartbeat down.

Time and space distort in darkness.

Trees are airy, eerie geometries enclosing
fractal shapes that shift between dimensions
depending on light, fear and imagination.

But strangeness electrifies.
Every sense is amplified by darkness,
fingering new feelings I never felt before.

I sense the silt of history stirring in the breeze

and phantom memories uncurling in the misted wind.
Long dead shepherds mutter together,

bringing long dead sheep down for the night.

Beyond them the landscape flickers like an ancient film as
woodlands come and go, wolves howl at the moon and far behind,
the mammoths lumber through;
ice frosting the wrinkles on their elephantine skin.

This is the moment of connection.
Time and space flex with elastic ease
and the mystery of life's feisty pilgrimage

hangs heavy in the autumn air.

It only deepens as the decades into aeons run
and standing in the darkness of an autumn night I see
That I will nourish worms one day
wthout diminishing
the miracle of me.

(c) A McN


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