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CHOOSING SIDES (part 3)

**We sleep and dream what might have been
should we prefer this to what is?
the reality of kith and kin
which world brings us the most bliss?**

A hickory nut awakens me
by bouncing off my cap clad head
loosed by a squirrel up a tree
hauling leaves and twigs for autumn bed.
The woods are in their autumn blaze.

I see I'm high above a stream.
Through ancient trees it wends its way
like something in a Tolkien dream
where ents walk and the elves play.
The morning sun breaks through the haze.

With yawn I rise and look around,
Tall hills and bluffs all around me
in woods that seem alive with sound.
No mark of man that I can see.
I feel I've been walking for days.

It seems like I've been here before
but I have no idea why.
Barely in sight two red hawks soar
and rend the air with their harsh cry.
They dive in their mating display.

For some reason I turn up hill
I slowly walk as in a trance.
With unease i go on, still
as cool winds cause tree tops to dance
making sunbeams shift and laze.

Suddenly a wall appears to me.
I pause, frozen with sudden shock
as my mind floods from memory.
I've seen and felt thos old wall's rock.
My world shifts then comes into phase.

I stare and let my heartbeat slow.
I recall this from long past dreams.
Same stones stand, same mosses grow,
same mortar in the same tight seams.
Far off a lone hound runs and bays.

At last I move, reach toward the wall.
I feel it so it must be real.
It's still ancient, it's still tall,
still solid from its crown to heel.
It stretches equally both ways.

I then recall an old great gate
and listen for remembered voices.
Which way to go? I hesitate,
It seems I have two equal choices.
I turn left, enough delays.

To my surprise upon next knoll
that old gate stands just as before.
Toward it I confidently stroll
thinking I know what's in store
as autumn sun reaches mid-day.

Soon I stand there once again.
Something doesn't seem the same.
At last the difference makes my ken.
Beyond the gate no voices came.
Perhaps it's the wrong time of day.

I grasp iron knocker in my hand.
This time the sound lacks former ring
and fails to echo through the land.
The first response is....nothing.
I wait, a nearby chipmonk plays.

Then comes a growl behind the gate.
Next the grate of sliding bar.
Heartbeat increases as I wait.
The gate creaks open, not too far
then with a screech it opens all the way.

Within a whiff of cooler air
a figure is revealed to me
which makes my eyes widen and stare
for what I see just cannot be.
I nearly turn and run away.

For it's taller than any man
and covered in a long coarse hair
save on face wrinkled and tan.
There's a big foot standing there
his peering eyes a bluish gray.

He motions that I come with him
then turns and walks back through the gate
whose threshold makes his form grow dim.
He turns, growls "Come", I hesitate.
I'll learn nothing if I stay.

With a deep breath I take a stride.
At threshold my vision blurs
then clears when I reach the other side.
A fateful step which now ensures
that I won't forget this day.

I can't describe all that i see
for senses are near overcome.
Every where I saw...beauty
intense enough to strike me dumb
where ever my glance chanced to stray.

Steep crags and cliffs were everywhere.
Each accessed by gentle trail
topped by dwellings here and there
built of wood and roofed by shale
od a color weathered gray.

And all had their own waterfall;
a neverending water source.
Some were mighty, most were small.
All singing as they sought their course.
Their waters danced as a ballet.

Each ending in a clear cold pool
along the winding valley's floor
amonge copses green and cool
where gentle breezes seemed to snore
pierced here and there by sun's warm rays.

Then there were those many trees.
Mostly old and huge with age.
They seemed to whisper in the breeze.
Their stories would take many a page.
I saw oaks and pines and chestnuts sway.

Higher up on the steep hills
hemlocks and redwoods and bristlecones
overlooked the lower rills.
Some twisted as arthritic bones
but most were absent all decay.

Even the air was fresh and clean.
The sky a startling bright blue
above a world covered with green
and fall flowers of every hue.
A landscape worthy of Monet.

Then big foot coughed and broke the spell.
"Tonnewoch's my name of late."
in a voice deep as any well
"I am keeper of the eastern gate.
They said you would arrive today."

"I welcome you to Auldenkept.
please sit and ease your aching knees.
It's been too long since you first slept
so rest here in cool autumn breeze.
Watch as season sets the woods ablaze."

A bench appeared so I sat down.
Tonnewoch sat upon the ground.
My brow knitted a puzzled frown
because as I looked around
there was not wall nor gate I could survey.

I asked Tonnewock how this could be
but he just smiled and said nothing
then plucked a chestnut from a tree
said "Listen to the warblers sing.
Answers come to those who stay>"

So we watched the condors fly
high above the tallest peak
while sun moved westward in the sky.
We said a lot but didn't speak
conveying more than words would say.

I reclined, then, upon the bench
and watched the sun make shadows long
while watching a tiny finch
as crickets began their evening song.
I was struck with a delayed malaise.

Then eyes closed to gain some rest
while ears picked up honey bees' buzz
and murmurs approaching from the west
mixing with bees' lulling buzz
Tonnewock said " The come this time of day..."
And bees buzzed....buzzed....buzzed.......

Alarm clock buzzes me awake
though the dream stays in my head
imploring I once more partake
and return to land of dreams instead.
Alas, today's another day.

----end part 3----
DAMN! accidently posted this as a blog

Comments

I love the fantasy and beautiful imagery! Sounds like paradise in dream world with phantasmagorical creatures. Rhyming is brill - the structure is well built and sturdy!

Well done to you - this epic story is interesting and holds my attention - wondering what will happen next.

Love Mand xxxxx

Glad you're enjoying the ride. As to what's next......well I have an idea but it's not fulle fleshed out yet. But in keeping with the pattern already establishe it will take place in the waking world................stan

author comment

I look forward to reading it!

I'm coming to this soon.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
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no hurry.........stan

author comment

I have put all three parts on one page will read it later as have a busy day, just to let you know that I haven't forgotten this one,
Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

As I told Rula, there's no rush. This tale has come to a crossroads and I need to decide which path to take before continuing this story. Oddly enough I have the ending almost 75% complete but have the 2-3 parts before the end yet to write lol...........stan

author comment

This definetely deserves a closer and more focused rhythm. I have been told by a famous storyteller once I submitted a lengthy piece, that meter makes the difference . I didn't understand then but now I do. Not that this is not good, but I know you shall revisit when you finish this meter workshop.

Sorry, but it is the only critique that I have to offer.
Have nice dreams Stan!

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

This entire poem, all 3 parts, is being submitted as a very rough draft. It's my intent to do very little editing until after the final part gets posted. Then I'll go back over it one part at a time. I fear if I worry about editing now the muse will leave...........stan PS I appreciate your patience in following this

author comment

"Chipmunk" is spelled with a "u".
These other two are just missing letters. Typing too fast I suppose.
od a color weathered gray.
Tonnewock said " The come this time of day..."

The meter in this is improved over your usual work and because of that I noticed a tendency you have that I like, but it would work best if all the rest of the meter was still a little more consistent.
You write the first four lines in each quatrain in more or less consistent meter and then shorten or lengthen the last line. The contrast is good.
Bigfoot? Curious. I like it.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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See above about editing at this time. but I appreciate your spots on spelling and typos as that will be good places to start when 1st edit Does occur. I'm glad the fifth line changes in rhyme and meter are working. I decided to try this as a means of thwarting the nursery rhyme effect that might otherwise manifest with such a long write. And the bigfoot will be joined by more characters in part 5. I appreciate you taking the time to hang in there to this point..............stan

author comment
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