The Innominate in Thirteens: Part 1, The Story Holder

Oh that, that morn, that quiet fore storm,
And the slugabeds fast asleep.
But a hero stood, at the edge of a wood,
Reflecting on the murky keep.

The setting out, or starting in,
With hopes to find those things…
But came the loss of welkin,
And the shadows the forest brings.

Bore down upon this hiker’s crown,
The temper of the trees,
To argue the outsider,
And to drive it to its knees.

During a blink, the trail kinked,
Then limped off into an abyss.
The treader trampled forward
As the clouds let out a mist.

Through all the wet the traveller bent,
To find some kind of cover.
But boughs allowed the waters down,
And spilled it all like gutters.

It showered a span and soaked a spell,
The end was well past noon.
But now the trespasser was at a loss,
The mood was swamp and gloom.

Then out of pines, a sad song sprang,
A voice of great affairs,
In language lost through neglected past,
Solemn words, as if sung by bear.

And sung by a bear, the trampler found,
Or a bearish kind of beast.
For bear it was, and upon its back,
A small forest of greenery.

The beast was aware of its audience,
But continued in lament.
The fear that overtook the wanderer,
Stilled at hearing the verses spent.

The lyric grew to a bewitchment,
Then floated into dreams.
Stories that were shared that night,
Those abandoned histories.

Well, perhaps we can share them hereafter,
Too much sadness before the late,
The mythical extinction,
Stains of humanity’s mistakes.

Before the next day’s dawn appeared
The fur-robed forest-friend,
Guided the traveller back to home,
But that’s not how this story ends.

Oh that, that morn, that quiet fore storm,
And the slugabeds still fast asleep.
But the hero frowned at the edge of town,
And left that place in grief.

This poem may also be found in The Artery Winter 2021