Departure

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/22/08

By mid morning, the absolutely pristine
Late-summer skies pour down such
Unrelenting quantities of light, that the trees,
Stirred only grimly by the breeze,
Seem almost to be supplicating, hanging,
A little limp, in dread anticipation of the heat,
And longing once more for night, and cold,
And wet. Last night’s big moon, just waning
From the full, her august demise,
Perhaps a premonition, is remembered only
Faintly as a chant of silver rest, fading
In the distance, her choirs haloing a lonely
Traveler, who moves into a swarming haze,
Which obliterates all dreams. What does this
Traveler know that prompts him to leave?
That the journey inward to the nourishing springs
Cannot occur in the blaze of optimism?
That hope is the product of a different, a purer
Emotion, one that stirs scents of ashes in the air?
The dry leaves rattle their dry stalks in our ears,
And the shaman, that wayfarer, that traveler,
Who has followed the departing day almost out
Of earshot, almost out of mind, chants a garbled
Talisman in a foreign tongue, his bare feet
Leading us down a stony path.

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