Wales again, woods again
Lost again, I find myself
Walking down a loggers' road again.
As the loggers' road reaches the end
And peters out, again
(What is this? Cortege of flies herald
The impending death of the continual moment -
This means what?)
I'm already lost, though how lost can you be, here?
Confidence tells me there'll be a path
And there is, just about;
Hidden through low-hanging trees unfelled.

It goes on, I go on
It's a long path - it goes down
That's good - I want to go down
Then it goes up again.
Here's a side path down - who knows where it goes?
I don't take it.
It goes on, I go on, it goes
Under a fallen pine trunk
I must crawl under, hat off, legs scraped
Reminder of nightmares of gaps that trap, and no way back
Mud, scratches, carrying on
How lost can you be, here?
Those sappy vines of fear tickle and embrace my mind, very gently, very gently
I carry on up, to a gate. Up to a gate.
After a pause for breath...

Flies again, and a very young me in a dark cinema,
Gripped in the closing titles
Of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' -
Titles roll, with backdrop:
Silhouette of a dead horse, and the sound
Of many flies for a long time.
This is death - in the end, nothing happens
Nothing happens for a long time - and flies

After a pause for death..
Over the gate and out of the shade
Into a field of unuse, a hot rise towards trees
More going up again, nettles, thistles, doubt,
Certainty of uncertainty
I can't stand this anymore
I'll go back the way I came
Path back down through thistles, path made by me
Over gate, out of the sun again
I go back, it goes back
Under pine, more scrapes
Mud looks different from this direction
The side path down -
Uncertainty of certainty - I can't bear
To go back the way I came
The side path down, this time - what the hell?

Downwards, through woods,
And out into the sunshine and path across a field
And into Heidi Land, high over sunlit valley,
Walking a broad green road;
Civilisation - I find the path I lost, and I take it.
On the map now, I know where I was
When I didn't know where I was
I get where I'm going to, the long way round
After a forty minute detour
Which felt half a week long.

Post Office not quite friendly, even though I've shaved
I buy carbonated water (which tastes nasty)
She shows me where the desiccated coconut is
The woman says she's just gutted ten chickens
They find this funny; I say goodbye, and they don't quite.

On the way back caravanwards now,
Trust the map contours this time
Down and up over the brook,
Steep, steep, full shopping bag and nasty water,
Heart going 164, good for me.....
Up, up - finally wobbly over the last stile,
Finally back on the sheep path to the caravan
Just a bit further, levelling out now,
Reflecting, though -
Have gone from the
Known to the unknown and back to the known
And feel safe now - and how do I know
I'll even get back there?
How do I know the caravan's still there?
Here fear of the unknown meets
Love of the unknown
They smile and shake hands
The present consumes the possible futures
And flares bright

The caravan is there,
And I'm almost disappointed
(Listen - cortege of flies herald
The continuous death of the impending moment -
Oh, that's what it is)
It doesn't go, I don't go
I reach the caravan
And I'm almost disappointed.
Who am I when I don't know where I am?
Where am I when I don't know who I am?
The tilt between the known and the unknown
Is no-one's koan.

© 2000 Dharmachari Padmavyuha back...