The Lost Path

The Lost Path

by Sean Dempsey

The air, just breezy enough to be warm,
Cast a spell on our walk, as sun trick’d through:
No risks to be seen or signs to forewarn:
Not but the trees and the brush in our view.

And divine was it, our walk on the path;
I still will attest, with every breath left.
In the bleak torments of this aftermath:
Still I say: on that dear walk I was blessed!

And we strolled on, not ceasing to turn…
Lone pause in my steps, to gaze in her eyes,
And in vain attempts there, try to discern
Which ‘twas more pure, they or sapphire sky?

And giddy then with how deep we had strolled,
We soon approached a sharp fork in the road.
Yet I kept staying straight, ambling bold,
But she ventur’d a query, so our pace slowed:

   “How ‘bout I steer to the left this one time?
You still stay straight, for I’ve tried paths alike…
   ’nd when they converge…we thus surly will find
Us together ‘gain on this wood-traversed hike…”

So we ventured ‘pon our two separate paths:
The roads would be quick to rejoin once again,
This I prayed, as my feet took to the grass.
Only qualm was just not knowing when…

The wood seemed much darker, soon did I find;
Much beauty seemed lost, concealed in a haze.
The path seemed to narr’w, if but in my mind,
And lead back on itself: to form a thin maze.

My pace then did quicken, and so did the wind.
I looked for the path….it was beginning to fade!
I stopped fast, with my head starting to spin:
Sunlight, I found, for darkness was trade’.

The path, looking down, was absent from view.
Around me, it seemed, was dark, empty…cold;
The sky, what was present: no longer blue:
But ebony black, emphatic and bold!

I looked ‘round slowly, in pure darkness now.
Chose a direction, plunged in, with tireless trust
That through weeds and the chaff that I ploughed,
I might find her path through the harsh underbrush.

The thorns slashed at my face; vines at my heels.
The darkness, it mocked my praying for hope.
Oh, you can’t know the pain…nor how it feels;
I’d wish it not on hell’s misanthropes!

I felt not for the wounds that stained my clothes red,
Nor for the fear of the darkness around;
I suffered the thought for which my heart bled:
That she, who strolled with me, might nev’r be found.

True indeed, I ran for miles to see
An end to the forest, screaming to find
Help from a soul who would care to help me;
I was lost in a wood, bleeding, and blind.

Soon my scratched voice and my limbs tired out.
I sunk to my knees in despair. – Agony
swept all through me, and in tears and in doubt,
I tried to perceive what light I might see.

There was none! The cold, dark thistle and vines
Seemed to lower and cackle with a desolate laugh.
I shout’ at the darkness… eyes flowing a brine:
“Help me find who walked with me on the path!”

In response came a thrashing, deafening shine:
The sky flashed! Such horror—a brazen deep flame!
The trees swayed and danced, now free from their spines…
And hell dropped a bitter and impassioned rain.

Creeks and groans from the trees battered my ears—
Pain bludgeoned my body as the sky roared;
I ran in the darkness, wet, blinded – seared,
As the woods and the sky settled a score.

Fleeing in darkness, pale sky and the wood
Melded together, as joined by dark bonds.
Running through trees…or on sky that I stood—
I knew not! I just screamed … and ran on.

Pale shimmers of demons arose in the shadow.
Fleeing in darkness, bare devils flew by.
Legions outstretched through echoing battle:
They were soulless!—as that moment was I.

Through flashes of light I saw them quite clear:
They smiled fake smiles of feigned empathy,
And rain hit my face with talons of fear.
I ran on … through a night which I couldn’t see.

Dear God, where are you when lost in this wood?—
My plea is unheard through the scathing dark wind.
I find no more hope… nor reason I should,
For the trees have encroached…and I am left pinned.

If I should die in this wood, here so alone—
If I should be marred, and beaten, and drowned…
I will let out this bleak and desolate moan,
That might one day hence be dug up and found:

“I leave this fair wood, alone, in my head;
I go forth to the path walked in good light…
I say words that I wish then had been said:
‘My love is forever; in day and through night.’ …

And night crowded in, I lost in that wood.
Bleeding heart, bleeding soul—r’fusing to mend:
My one only remorse, named if it could—
Be that her hand not find mine once again.

Sean Dempsey
Sean Dempsey moved to New Hampshire as one of the first 100 ‘Free Staters.’ He unabashedly believes in the US Constitution and the message and principles enshrined by its founders. Sean believes the country in which we live needs to re-examine what Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, and Adams believed (and were willing to die for). The message of freedom is not a tag line or something to be embarrassed by, but is sacrosanct and more important than ever!

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