Bats -written March 2011

Bats

March 10, 2011 at 9:05am

My stories die today

No longer can I blame

Another for the sorrow that is

Clotted up

And caked in caves concealed from light

I have crawled down deep inside

Unwittingly at first

For at first the path had been clear and

I had smelled

The mighty Ocean’s calm breath

And tasted her promises as truth

How easily and gaily did I dance toward that Ocean then!

 

I danced for many days and nights

Through many seasons, planting and harvesting steadily

Cold winters came and threatened to freeze

My memory, but I would not forget her waters

 

And then it was time

I left all the things I could carry behind

And set off alone into the darkness

 

I traveled by night for protection

From the ones who wouldn’t understand

And for a while

I felt joyful

When creatures big or small came to me asking for favors

I gave them whatever bread I had and lived off of my laughter

I’m not sure when the hunger began

I only know that it surprised

And confused me

I sat down then to think

The trees that once comforted me hissed at me I felt

Startled

I looked around and

Couldn’t find the path I almost

Wished for the things I had left behind for the

Timely winters, and the dry, dry land

And then I heard the voice of what I already knew

And had forgotten

I looked up to see the Ocean

I looked up to see the Ocean

Rising fast against the sky

A shriek

So shrill from within me came, and I wished to run

But found my body frozen, my will numb

I looked down to find my feet

And found them bound and painful

Buried beneath the mud of my ancestors

I looked up

To find my hands raised in fists

So tightly clenched I could no longer use them!

What stories did pass through my mind then

Words of every color shape and size

Flying as bats fly from a cave only to hit against a glass

And fall back inside again

They echoed like that for some time

And I was afraid it would never stop

 

The water swelled up, high and mighty

The sounds of the forest were absorbed into it as it rose

Neither the sun nor moon could shine through it and

All the forest was cast in its shadow

As it fell

I pushed beneath it and pressed my belly to the sand

 

Hush said the water

Hush said the sand

And it was silent at the bottom of the Ocean

 

I live at the bottom of the Ocean

This sand is the fertile soil of my mind

Where senseless seeds were sown and have grown

Into stubborn weeds, weeds turned into bats taking flight

I have tried to swat them and they have returned enraged

And so, surrendering I say

 

Bring before me

All flying things

All black and vile things

And let them loose into this night

Though they echo in the caverns of my mind

They are not me

They are not mine

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