gnarled

it finally had to happen
I should have never answered those questions
they had found me sitting there on that rock
water still dripping from my ragged clothes

it was said that I was giggling like an idiot
I don’t remember much aside from the cold
the cold and that strange hand from nowhere
I can still describe each of those gnarled fingers

fingers with twisty knobby joints like tree roots
that hand supported by such a long thin arm
reaching out through frigid murky water
stopping my senseless plunge into darkness

queries delved far into my deepest thoughts
memories that would not remain suppressed
leaving a chill deeper than that frigid water
a chill that lingers after all these years

they tell me I am all better now at long last
the decision to commit had long been made
nothing much has changed after all this time
shocking brought intense pain but no relief

relief has finally come I am on my way home
my ordeal is almost ended or is it really
nagging doubts assail me from every side
should never have made mention of that crown

that crown is at the root of all that happened
I can longer charge recklessly at windmills
I feel that my days of chasing giants has ended
restraint would have been wiser than wine bags

I could care less what they think of me now
time has come to start on the final chapter
first I must take away of all those old pages
my committal has generated a deep resolve

a deep resolve to revisit that strange event
a convulsive plunge into frigid murky depths
reaching from nowhere that same gnarled hand
this time extended in welcome

TENEBROUS SUGGESTIONS

A vile, strange smelling concoction
slowly stirred by a wooden ladle
bubbles madly in an iron cauldron
blackened by countless ancient fires
in a cave beneath mountainous roots
with a meager light coming from coals
over which simmers his noxious brew
a stooped figure continues silently working
accompanied by shadows that dance in time
with swirling motions of his wooden staff

vague light reflected from sooted panes
offer tenebrous suggestions of lidded jars:
jars, pots, vials, vats, that offer no clue
to whatever might be hidden therein
mysteries to make Pandora’s denizens
seem paltry and tame by comparison
faint hints of things that seem to shiver
anticipating in this almost light of madness
created by pallid flames generated by a fire
that seems to burn without benefit of fuel

faster, faster, faster, goes that wooden staff
pinch of this, dash of that, into the boiling pot
as with reckless abandon there begins a chant
a cloud slowly forms not quite hiding a figure
who has now become a prisoner in its midst
a breeze springs from nowhere bringing change
chill is carried throughout this hidden cavern
as heavy silence suddenly becomes cacophony
a fire truck has arrived at long last bringing
relief to Father’s latest cooking catastrophe