An inviting path,
under the shade of a gigantic tree
and the shadow of a bird flying above.
The bird chirps,
as another one sings.
The aura is over me.
There’s an opening ahead,
where the water, crashing at the falls
eliminates the silence.
There, on a small cliff, I stand,
embracing the mist, which, ever so lightly,
covers my face, and tickles it.
The water, ever so calmly,
slips over, and falls,
into a world unknown to us.
The water simmers into a motionless pool,
the thunderous sound of crashing water slowly simmers
and silence again approaches,
but only if you carry on.
This path ends at the intersection,
where another path begins,
another chapter etched,
for better, or worse, or neither.
Were these trees always broken?
Were these steps always here?
What did their bridge look like?
Did they even have one?
And what about their water?
Was it suffocating like ours?
Were their creatures frightened of man?
Did they screech, and jump,
like that little frog just did?
Am I an alien to this place?
Why are even chipmunks paranoid?
The ancient trails are left, right, and center.
In between are huge rocks, isolated and lonely,
bold and mysterious.
Two rocks, together, look perfectly placed.
Did they put them that way?
A part of me feels like digging for answers.
I want to find an artifact, or some clue,
to better understand this world,
and whether it has always looked like this.
On the bank, I tip-toe on a slippery slope
of rocks coated with fluorescent green moss.
I grab on to skinny trees for balance
as I struggle to make my way around the rocky bend.
There, is an opening, a ghostly cave of sorts.
Inside, I look for writings on the wall.
A war scene, a deer… anything.
To no avail, I sit, crossed legged, thinking…
what went on in here?
Were there stacks of branches nestled in a flame,
eyes gazing into a downpour,
quiet conversations amongst friends,
baskets of recently caught fish,
shamans performing rituals
and animal sacrifices?
Will we ever know?
But, today, there is just graffiti, plastic trash,
and pieces of shattered glass,
bitter signs of the wrath of the alien man,
violent and frustrated.
As I left this sacred place
I read, from page one of my entry, the line
the aura is over me.
Not liking one word, I took my pen,
to change the ‘aura’ to ‘spirit’, to read:
‘the spirit is over me‘.
That was more like it.
With the change made, immediately,
something fell from that gigantic tree.
I turned to my left, and backwards,
and looked slightly downwards over my shoulder
to see a giant acorn roll gradually to its stop.
Did you know that trees could speak?
At least here they do.
© Craig Considine