Shavings of Gold

Crenulated dunes sweep into inverted commas as the ancient lava hardens and earth tones paint their places on the butte-like ridges great flat humps of soil with channels cut deep for unlikely plants to grow cut wide to sweep pebbles into their grasp embracing their geologic sisters enhancing their claim on longevity as the moon spills a pale luminescent beam across the whale-back hills of porous earth and sky and fire and endless sand This is the path of my journey inward the sacred trail leading to the cathedral of canyons and mountains of accordion pleats of earth squeezed hard as bellows belting out the sonar notes of landlocked whales diving deep in my imagination how I have wandered through the unknown past the unwanted alleyways along Frost’s roads not taken you walk them both the same they differ only in their angle of repose buffered by the same tufts of grass disappearing into the same dark woods dancing around potholes and recalcitrant surfaces flying into rough-hewn shoulders of gravel and dirt the earth’s arid leftovers Many have been left behind in this desert bivouac many have unfastened their belts tossed down their broadswords bent their wide stamped shields sworn allegiance only to the gods who scurry among the clouds as though they were the agora of Athens where Socrates humbled the city’s great men not directly but by reducing their ideas of justice morality virtue and happiness to absurdity only Plato could improve upon this and now we labor in the shadow of his myth of the cave we bury our chains in the cold desert sand secretly hoping that they will not rust will not yield to the weakest link that strains to hold its place amid the ocher-tinged dunes and their shavings of gold

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