In the fractured sleep of night’s immersed
in dreams based in nothing familiar or known,
one word repeated over and over – direct.

I watched power-less as background images
of tall buildings, lattice, and cross-stitched patterns
rotated and approached my view with ever increasing velocity.

At the end (or beginning) of a tunnel
bathed in wavering light with no sound
a shadow slowly approached.

The sides of the tunnel began to
move and rotate, grey lines
and intricate patterns covered everything.

and I briefly lost sight of the shadow
until something pushed me through
and I landed on the empty fields

near the forest where we first
met in ancient times and you
silently spoke directly to me.

The lonely path tunneled
through the daily routine
and expectations.

The tunnel became your
gateway and hiding place,
a retreat when life
became too real, a distraction.

Did you ever see the
colors of the sunset?

Or even then was
the winter sun awash of colors,
a gray scale landscape
pushing you inward?

Dear sweet moon –

staring at me when I stumble
out the door at 4am.

Your gaze and presence
the cyclops of the morning sky

providing a lighted path
through the dark tunnels.

Photo from

The black tunnel begins and ends with light.
In between is unknown, and unwritten…

Local rumors and heresy from people who
may or may not have passed through
speak of witchcraft, ghosts, spirits,
deities, demons, and nothing but an
empty black tunnel burrowed through Cathedral Mountain.

Since the time I can remember,
the age of five, I heard the whispers
of adults over wine and other alcohol
beyond the closed door, where we
were supposed to be asleep of these
rumors and certain townsfolk…

They say Bobby, the only mechanic
in town, who at 43, went in one night
with flashlights, lanterns, guns
and a cigarette, determined to put
the gossip and rumors to rest and
emerged on the other side 3 days later,
naked, shivering, and mumbling.

He has not been the same since,

Then there was Cindy, 17 years old,
a trouble maker of sorts, born to
alcoholic parents, abusive to her
and themselves, who one night during
an especially heated argument, packed
a few things and ran away, into the

She was missing for 10 days before
she ambled home looking 15-years older
wiser, and decided she was moving to India.

I have not gone through the tunnel.
I stood at the entrance once, after the
3-hike it takes to get there, and
that is when you know where it is,
and listened.

Some time passed before I realized there was
no sound, not even birds, or squirrels chattering.
Calm trees as no wind was blowing.
Still like a painting or nature.
And then I saw it.

I sit in the cafe and local VFW, listening
to folks talk and whisper, and I take notes,
looking for any indication that others
have seen what I saw.

It was then I realized what it
the black tunnel is –
the one thing, fear, that we must face.