Poem – Bartered Reality

From the collection “Beyond the Border Kingdom

(1)

I barter one dream
(was the dream even real)
(or true?)

for another and give the mind
(doubt is paralyzing)
(choice is foreign)

time to adjust, this shift
(I feel a change)

taking place no matter the current state
(is the slate ever clear?)
(at our own choosing?)

and I know the block towering high
above the tree line is not real but
fear is powerful and overwhelming
fear eradicates logic and the mind
latches to anything, an attempted
grip to, and a piece of, a reality
(the world each believes)
(when did perception erode?)
(how did we become lost?)

Faced with a choice of which reality
I will consume and the force pushes
time forward down the path.
(what is the light’s source?)

at the center of one road splitting
where three paths
(are these choices or memories?)
(whose memories are these?)

converge
a chair cradling a wooden ship

depressions appear to be carved symbols.

(2)

I look behind –
the path already traveled and I see
brief fragments of people and moments
that remain intact in the fracturing mind.
(what was the turning point?)

grandfather…

I pause.
Briefly he is there sitting, and I feel the
fragments behind me distancing themselves
chaotic energy subsides, the chatter quiets.
(what the hell has happened?)
(I feel ten-thousand breaths)

black rolling clouds, tall thunderheads,
cumulonimbus with fuzzy white bellies
the monster builds
white teeth of lightning flash
a disjointed grin seemingly aware
of where I stand, the path I came from darkens
and the fragments turn, begin to vibrate
as each is consumed and the monster looms
above me, alone with the chair at this
crossroad, this fork.
(what does it want from me?)
(who built this monster and let loose, to roam the land?)

and I wonder, how do I know if
this is reality or a dream,
however, within the dream version
of this, I would ask the opposite question.
(dream within a dream, then what is reality within reality?)

Which is true and which am I now experiencing?
From which will I learn and build upon the previous self?

(3)

I turn and look at each symbol
delicately carved, deep hues, I am
reminded of the red violin,
a crimson butterfly perched atop
the ancient three.

(4)

outstretched arms feel the increasing wind
with eyes closed I imagine mountain peaks
and from the mountain top I see you.

floating in the cold turbulent
waters.

and I watch you until the
sun falls into the sea
and stars take over.

and I let you go.

wild-river-2008-02-14-044

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