I began to dream under the same raw moon as the tides that bare down on fragile flesh, the flesh of my forefathers. There’s blood in the apex of these stones, calling us to stitch the wounds of our own callousness and fleeting desires.
I wandered into the wilds, under sand pine prophets and oaken kings; I lamented on the nature of our odorous civilisations, our war machines and dogmas of oppression.
The egret and ibis heard my prayer and came to see the stranger in their midst. A creature of sorrow and sickness and greed.
But I wandered aloud, my footsteps bringing me to piles of rubble that once stood the test of time… and time is now mine under the stars of my newfound fortitude, this reckless keen edge of awareness budding to life inside my sleeping bones.
I was wary, once, of travellers of that forgotten golden realm; longing to hide in the shadows, a conscious observer of the night flights of those fighters, the fighters wringing the life out of the pockets of creation.
And I stood there watching while the memories came to dance about my head, spiders spinning webs in my hair to trickle thoughts of liberation into my brain.
I thought once of you, the way your eyes would move to judge the very fabric that weaves our flaws together. I set that memory free, and again turned to the wilds that so lovingly called me home.
I followed a deer growing thick with fetus in her belly, asked after the hymns that so wind their way around and through beast and tree, and she told me to listen.
So I listened to the gathering dusk, the crickets’ music transforming my soul, and then I was no longer afraid of growing old. So I climbed into the crook of a giant’s sheltering limbs, and I ate nothing but what I could catch in trembling hands.
I sacrificed my self into the hunt for this wealth, this need to resurrect what once was a feral heart. I stopped playing prey and found sanctuary in the blood of the earth, the blood of reptile skin and spear pointed teeth. And I became a solitary predator.
I dug into the midnight soil seeking a space to sink my roots, to wait and trap any form, any trace of food for my thoughts.
I wanted to grow wisdom. I wanted to relearn that Mother tongue of soil, muscle and memory. The language of the land’s savage composition.
I wandered the forest, aching to be found among the palmettos, a dying breed of mystic, planting seeds and craving all things that a human craves when burning that all to cinders and ash.
I buried myself in the darkness among cypress knees and Spanish moss. Letting nightcrawlers sing me to sleep. I wondered then what it would mean if I chose to stay, if I chose to let myself forget to be human for awhile.
So I tore from myself small strips of regret and tied the cloth of those sins to a dogwood tree. I cried at the wrath of the earth calling for my explanations of falling off the edge of this world, so long ago, now, it seems.
I entered the badlands of buzzing insects, leeches and steam. I let myself go back that way again and found the answer to that riddle:
I was never really me.