Poetry – Dark Paths (Revision)

February 10, 2012

Dark Paths

Underfoot, sodden grass and mud take my footsteps

giving a little, threatening to make me slip.

At each step, a slushing sound and sweet

dank odours rise. Pungent, I welcome them

like a drug, taking the sting, breathing it in

because in the end I know its good for me.

It keeps me from falling for the snares of sleep.

The swaying reeds are hypnotic, too,

but they’re also stiff as bars, warning of

imprisonment. Just off the path lie the faces

of all those who lost their way, merely reflections now

of my own warped face. Branches hang from swamp trees

dipping into the waters, obstructing every way.

They are surly and beckon a fight with the

structure of their being. They are also the guardians

of the dark paths and the pleasures beyond.

Behind their cruel arms are hints of these temptations.

Only gloom and mist, but through them, rolling

with the wind as weak as breath, there might be something you see.

A path of lesser resistance. A surprise of green pastures

paved stones, or even hard packed dirt.

You have to shake your head and the delusions away.

On every path are pitfalls, quicksand, and even death,

but nothing new. Monsters, terrors, the unspeakable,

are all forbidding but they’re on every path

and they’re all just nothing new.



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