Valley of the Green and the Gray

David Ethan Kennerly, Beltane, 2001

Lichen laden rock o'erlooking a frothin' sea. Wind whippin' the scruffy knob. Silent bells bangin': The Sun, she's a setting o'er old ocean.

Poppa's boy a perchin' on top of ye ol' lichen laden rock. Black crow's wide wing catches the whippin' wind, winding winding his huntin' height. Vermin vaultin' from his faux hawkin' sight.

Ere down there a house o'er looking a town and ville, kissin' a merried sea. Sweet frothin' salt, salt whippin' wind, when the sun settin' all the shadows toward bed, and all the hairs a whippin' away from the sight of the whitened bay.

Yonder deep conifers collect the shadows, bury them to hibernate in winter's play. Summer now, summer now, simmers down the nappin' noon time play. Shiverin' spring's tune.

Alien magenta sproutin' weed like the megatower for tiny breed.

Old gray tangle of a once green bush, bleached away. Silent frazzle, did you once, ever, have your bold day? The rock sits while the boy goes away. The rock sits while the boy goes away.

*

The rock mutters on the wind whipping to the descending boy: "It wasn't always this way." The boy continues, glancing incredulous toward the o'ergrown rock.

"That bramble gray was once an emerald princess," The boy blinked considerably and fell to listening to the whipping wind, near a faint hole that dotted the weed wanton hill. He turned out of folly to return to the ville o'erlooking the frothin' bay. Marvelous as the view was from so high above, dinner time's come and mother wants him home to stay.

He got up to go, but he rapped the door of another kind of prey. Out flitted the double dagger. The stab, the stagger, the serpent shrank away. The boy, had a cause to cry, cry, live long the day.

"Harken now," the voice came solid as the wave, and not like the whisperin' wind again. "Listen and stay."

The boy wimpered, but listened, and lay, upon a patch of the hill o'erlooking the bright sunny bay.

"In my day, I traveled round the hills, in the woods, and high on the mountains you can see on clear days." The boy faintly nodded, and listened, feeling a bit better, though forgetful of his way.

"Time since, my journeys took me into the hill you find me at today. The sun called on, but an emerald flaying in the wind flayed my heart to beat, so I stay. I stay and listen. I stay and listen to her soft windy voice the long summer day. Lichen laid upon my back, but I stayed to hear her weep, her song, her brave speech.

One by one the green faded away. The bushes surrounded her, crowded her, sapped her gray. I stayed and listened, my own, now hardened face of gray, collecting green, by her gift of tears. I sat, listening, o'erwatching her final day. She, husk of tendrils, I still see, through lichen lidded eyes, as emerald as the deep forest across the vale."

As the sun was blushing and igniting the sea, the rock finally shouted to the now napping boy, "Get up, get home to mother, sister, and kin." The boy looked, sleepy-eyed as if to stay and listen. "There'll be other days for tellin' the tales I've lived. And," he sighed. "I've got my company, through the silent night and day."

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