Alone I sat on a dark summer night in the thick of the reviling insects
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the moon shone bright, a golden smiling token in the heavens.
Accompanied by only the stir of leaves and many tiny violins of the crickets
I stood up silently, a phantom of the night, and walked in a slow gait towards the well;
I had only the padded crunch of dry grass to add to this cacophony of sound.
Brick by brick this well had been meticulously laid, a masonís nightmare way back when.
No more rose the comforting gable that sheltered the bucket
whose playful wind-blown sway had long since ceased
as its abode crashed down from above,
giving way to sharp, blackened spikes rising as bitter knives from the porous concrete
As teeth grimace with pain or fright.
An inky blackness welcomed my gaze, drew it in,
the moonís welcome glimmer melting to pitch black
only a short way into the cavernous, gaping mouth of the well
yawning wide and weary though the years so that I may, on this night, glance down its throat
Into the innermost recesses which lay hidden,
with only my imagination left to run wild.
Down I lay upon the worn, tired stones,
closed my eyes and opened my mind.
Opened it to thoughts of so many workers, sweating and writhing in agony to hew such bricks
endlessly toiling in the bright, unyielding sun,
for the sole purpose of constructing this well.
Opened my mind to the mountains of dirt upon which the children laughed
as one chased the other round and round, up one side and down the other
while the slaves toiled on and on in the unrelenting heat
constructing a Machine of liquid salvation for those far less needy than they
Countless miseries lie imbued within the most innocent of inventions;
items we so graciously accept yet easily ignore,
as if to understand the truth is to open oneself to agony -
it must be easier to live and play on foundations of comfort than atop the buildings of reality.
Awoken from my thoughts I leapt into the air,
sliced deep though the reverberating crescendo of small creatures,
silencing the music -
no more sang the chorus -
allowing me an interlude to leave in peace.
Peace is brother to darkness; its foreboding evil twin
who lurks around the corner with pincers outstretched
and waits for the unwary, the disillusioned, the fearful -
waits to prey upon them with its long, dark joyless fangs.
Its lips clenched tight and face contorted to a wily, monstrous grin
he rushed out towards me with gleaming bright red eyes,
expected me to run and hide, turn tail, flee -
but no, not me, not an inch of ground did I give up.
I awaited the onslaught, fixedly gazed into its heart.
It came at me still, its feet shredding the turf underneath,
each blade of grass crying as it was severed from any life it had
while the air gasped its fear and rushed aside.
I did not move, away I dared not dart -
I let darkness envelop me, engulf me in soot,
yet into its eyes I held my stare -
the turmoil, the tension! But no, I did not waver.
Looked past its teeth and beyond the throat,
when reaching the mind I finally stopped,
searching for answers to fulfil my quest
I found fear within fear, fear of itself.
This creature was scared,
stuck between one side and the other of a deep dark moat.
Writhing in agony was its tormented soul,
seething in a cauldron of pure dark
though a tiny hand reached for escape.
I pulled on this hand with all my might
and out popped peace, free from no small duress and sighing relief.
It conducted the crickets and awakened the birds,
turned on the starts, brightened the moon
As quickly as it came, it went -
I was left alone to part the well
each step one length closer to the sanctity and security
for which we all seem to strive.
I stopped and listened, thought and rethought,
changed direction and walked toward the unknown, back towards fear -
for fear itself is scared and only a shadow.
And though to capture and conquer fear is a feat in itself,
I know no better path to peace than that.
P.S. Yes, this doesn't rhyme, but who said that poetry had to adhere to such standards? What else would this be?
-akira of platoon
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