Morning Light


The waning voice of the hills means

no great loss. Tepid pools collect dew,

spew mist into the morning miasma

of the new, of dawn's breaking on

the reddened horizon, riddling bracken

and heather with dappled rays of gold.

Within this fevered world of promise,

I struggle to find a lasting path forward.

No whispering wind points the way,

no guide awaits, adorned in shadow.

Each step shall be my first and my last,

forging a sacred road through

the fractured landscape. Birds flutter

in my wake, flummoxed by invasive noise.

Clouds tie the nascent sky in knots, pull

taut the strings of cirrus streaking through

the hemisphere of blue, too early for their cue,

too thin to bless the earth with rain. They lack

the muscle of thunderheads, which pummel

dust into mud, impregnate sun-drunk flowers

with sodden pollen, pistils limp, petals

shaped into bell-like goblets to catch the flow.


I have left behind a lifetime of riches, buried

in the past, obliterated into oblivion, hidden

underground with the dead, who count

wealth in opportunities missed: windows

to re-create the possibility of victory with

the simple toss of the dice, with the winning card

tucked safely away in your hand. I am no gambler,

but I thrill to the endless chase for glory,

Everything depends on its radiant flux. How it

enlarges the self, how it rises above the mundane,

sharing in the grandeur of the gods, who frolic

in the lowly human's plight. Our heroes began

as flesh and blood: Hercules, Achilles, Odysseus.

Who will call on them to savor our triumphs?

Who will fly to our aid when Apollo turns his back?

None can say nor dare invoke the Delphic Oracle.

We fight alone, mired in the finite, craving the infinite.

O mercy without end. When will you come? When

will we die in the edict of the eternal: the present

everlasting, now wholly human?

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