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 Category:  General Poetry
  Posted: October 26, 2020      Views: 92
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I am very happy to be back on this site once again after an absence. I used to be ekpoet here years ago. I hope to be able to contribute with lots of reviews and some new material which I have been working on for the last several years. I have writte - more...

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Chapter 35 of the book Carolina Pastorals
A pastoral romantic journey of renewel
"Glen Ellis" by estory
Down into the glen
the path winds between stone cliffs
on either side of the stream.
The woods are dark;
gnarled and weather beaten oaks
seem weighted by the burdens of their leaves.
Sharp stones, roots, thorns and thistles
drag on my stumbling feet.
Still the path descends.

In this dark place,
the hardness that's gathered in my heart
seems like the hardness of these grim, old stones.
The twisted faces, the frozen figures
wrestling in the overhanging rock
bring to mind unresolved confrontations,
persistent doubts, nagging fears
wrestling in the rock of my soul.
I seem to walk over lost chances,
broken promises, disappointments
with every uncertain step I take
over the dead leaves scattered on the ground.
Still the path descends.

In the depths there is a clearing,
a light illuminating a sacred space
where the water in the stream,
come down from some wild, mountain place,
rushes over and over these falls
clean as raindrops that fell from heaven,
in some mysterious absolution of the spirit.

I stand and listen, and in the listening
and watching that endless stream
wearing away the sharpness of the stones
and carrying away the old, dead leaves,
I find myself stripped clean and born again
as if in the living crystal tumult of the pool
bubbling up from this Baptismal font
in a moment of epiphany grace,
granted by the maker of these falls.

And there, at the end of the cascade,
where the white tumult dies away,
the water calms and stills again
mirroring the open expanse of the sky.
I see myself emerging in it,
a new man, washed clean by the Spirit
embodied in this stream, like the clouds on high
rising above my head and into the light.

Poem of the Month contest entry


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Author Notes
Glen Ellis is a triple waterfall near Highland, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge mountains. Waterfalls have always been among my favorite places, places where you can sit and just listen to the peace of nature and let it carry away all your anxieties. It's not a stretch of the imagination to see why they are so sacred to people all around the world. They are places of energy of the Spirit, places of renewal and places that connect us to the fresh, wild nature of this world. I wanted to use this ode form to articulate a journey of self renewal through quiet contemplation of the nature scene. Very much in the pastoral romantic sensibility. estory
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