A Story In Verse, Part 3: ACROSS THE FLATLANDS
I followed the bird with its herald of love,
Imagined it hovered about and above,
As white as a cloudlet all empty of rain—
The magical bird I'd been dreaming of
That kept me engaging the barren terrain.
The dunes now behind me, the flatlands ahead,
I'd heard from my grandfather tales of the dead
All picked to the bone by the vultures that glide
On wings that surpass an eleven foot spread,
That dive on the living who've no place to hide.
So traveling by night with the cross in my eye,
The four fuzzy stars through the dust-shattered sky,
I made my way south doling food from my pack,
A dwindling slosh of a water supply;
My mind pushing forward, my heart pulling back.
When suddenly there up ahead in the gloom
A darkness much darker, a chasm, a tomb;
A column of wind shooting out from the deep
That smelled like the scent of a witch's perfume—
The pungence of incense for langourous sleep.
I stopped like a stone and I stood like a bear,
My senses alert and my muscles aware.
I edged toward the lip of the chasm to look,
Got knocked to the ground by the blast of cold air,
And there, as if frozen, I trembled and shook.
The wind from the chasm was wind of a kind
That blows through your head and erases your mind.
I lay like a living cadaver it seemed,
For hours on end, eyes open but blind,
And fell into visions unwillingly dreamed.
D. Edgar Lamp