Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Treasure Hunt

Open, says me!
Fine, don't say you weren't warned:
there were signs on the door and portents in the sky.
Look down that rabbit-hole,
there's no ladder to climb out...
sure you want to take the plunge?

These caverns are lined with gold and gems
the dreams of avarice fulfilled--
but don't you think it's warm in here?
Your torch flickers and dies in the draft,
but the smell of burning doesn't go away
and fire-glow comes from deep in the mountain.


The scaly slithering behind you grows to a freight-train roar.
Flames lick at your heels
and then the tunnel floor opens at your feet
and you're falling into dark...

rock dissolves around you
and you're falling into stars brighter than diamonds!
Dark, sparkling water: the Milky Way flowing underground.
Some caves are bigger inside than out.

Flying weightless, swimming through space
suns drift just beyond your grasp
strung with colored stones.
Agates, ringed like Saturn. Mars-colored carnelian.
Azurite-- (that's green and blue) --like Earth.

It's not the treasure you came to claim
and found guarded by fire and impervious scales,
it's much better.
But be careful how you reach for it--
this weightless dark has its own guardians,
more terrible than any earthly dragon.
(Haven't you learned?)

Drift a while yet. There's more to see.

You're flowing in a river of red stars, or scarlet jellyfish,
rising and falling on tides.
No moon rules this ocean--
salt tide driven by a humming dynamo
(perhaps it's the dynamo that's driven?)
singing, electric heart.
You're swept through vast aortic arches
like a boat past the giant statues of ancient kings.

Strange gilded fish appear and whisper
stories you've heard before and won't remember.
They touch you and you taste violets, or smell sunrise.
Try to catch them and they melt like butter,
Cheshire grins sliding through your greasy hands.

On an island in a river of stars,
by a fallen statue with broken pointing arms,
you may meet a Guide
who says: "I am the Inner and the Outer.
Whatever treasure you seek is only Me."

1 comment:

Jane Doe said...

What a delightfully clever poem. I really loved this one! Thanks for participating in Jane's Inspirations!