Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Nonsensical Fable

"Thus the spell was broken"

A scholar drove along the road
That led past the river, to town.
Along the way he hummed a song
About the fine dinner he planned.

Out of the corner of his eye,
He saw one of the crumbling cliffs
Of naked rock that lined the route
Begin to quiver in the sun,

As if it were undecided
Whether to collapse or stand firm
Or hitch up its rock skirts and run,
Which made the scholar stop and think,

As scholars, like opossums, will,
Thoughtfulness misidentified 
As feigning death,
And the scholar stayed motionless,

Waiting in case the cliff could prove
It had indeed begun to move,
And debated within himself
Which was the cliff and which his mind.

All afternoon he waited there,
Past the time his body grew bored
And left him to drive into town
And have that fine dinner itself.

Everything in the scholar's mind 
Began to waver with the cliff.
Dreams slowly shifted off ledges
And settled in memory's dust

That floated up in the sunlight,
Obscuring the sky and the cliffs,
Wheeled and settled slowly, trembling,
Confused, dust of life, light, cliffs, mind.

The scholar was not forgetful.
He had become disorganized,
So unbecoming a scholar.
When the cliff shifted, he was gone.

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