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Scott Parson, dabbler in typestries and fabulations

Pine Barrens

“You have circled this mountain long enough.”
Deuteronomy 2:3

The pine barrens look familiar
in which I’ve lost my way.

The leafy litter crushes underfoot,
no blazing marks the trees.

What signposts have I missed
that I’ve reached this point
where, flowing far below, the river
I thought I’d left behind.

How long I climbed to get here,
clouded stars can’t show me.

My dust-caked feet and aching legs,
the way all light recedes to shadow,
a night owl waking up to feed,
measure out the distance.

Edge of the Cliff

Photo by Aravind Kumar on Unsplash

I come upon a cliff-edge
that crumbles where I stand.

Clods dislodge, cascading
down where the river waits.

They fall and fade in mist
no splash, no sound, just fear.

But — oh — how strong the urge
to clutch my knees and follow after,
simply one more tumbling rock
to fill the river up.

I slip and topple headlong,
smashing into liquid.

It swallows and digests me,
to spit me out an ocean later.
I crawl back up to shore
and make the trip again.