Pools of Dark
by Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
Friday, November 26, 2004
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Here I am, again, sitting outside, only,
Its night, and itís dark. About a week ago,
over my objections, the property managers
of this mining town site and its two thousand houses
or so, scalped my front yard palm tree.
They had tried twice before, a few months back,
but serendipity had intervened. A breakdown
and stormy weather had stopped the deed.
One day last week, though, this same man,
an older man, knocked on the door, unexpectedly.
I knew the moment I saw his company truck
what was going to happen. I almost
had him talked out of it, I mentioned the birds,
insects and the few bats who housed
under the thick, dead-hanging fronds. Certainly,
my cats appreciated the diversion of escapable prey.
He almost acquiesced, then I saw his face change.
He was thinking of the trouble he might get into
if my palm wasnít sheared. I persisted. Asked
if anyone else had expressed concern and appreciation
for the habitat their palms contained. Apparently not.
So I hid in the house, couldnít watch, slanted the blinds
to blind my sight. But, before I did, I saw the first fronds
start to fall with heavy thumps. Green fronds. They
had hired a company out of Tucson, professionals,
with a crane lift. I heard the metallic gas-whine
of the chain saw lopping off limbs. It took about
half an hour. This thirty-foot beauty with its five-foot base
had doubled its size in the twelve years weíve lived
in this copper-based community, mirroring our children.
Itís chilly, tonight. The skies, clear, the moon, full,
while the stars are queuing into timeís night sky.
The mulberry tree over the picnic table
has lost many leaves to Fallís appetite for life,
and the rope light I strung in the tree is on.
The streetlightís glare, long thwarted by the palm,
shines up the side yard, stretching its metallic shadow
into the back with a phosphorescent ambiance,
as I listen to far-off dogs barking, and cars
passing on the road above.
Suddenly, my eye is caught by a fogginess of dark,
a miasma of black, about twenty-five feet from me,
just near the bottom of the pomegranate tree
that butts the fence separating the rented houses.
Itís at the very end of my railroad-tie tiered garden.
I blink. It blinks back without movement. I study
its form. Maybe three feet high, two wide, edges
undefined and flocked black. I look away, then back,
it seems to become more substantial in inkiness.
I check around the backyard from my tabletop seat.
I notice several more shapes of pooled darkness.
None are overly large, just collecting in
innocuous spots, like slumped and clumped
shadows, commiserating and consorting
while hiding from sentient eyes. One of my cats,
a black one, enters the garden form's depths, and
disappears. I wait, nothing happens. I observe
this concentration of ebony with new interest.
And, now, I think, maybe itís a doorway,
an ethereal gateway to Ö where?
I muse on perilous, unknown pathways, think of
stygian blackness without light, taste a thickness
of sullied caution. I canít take my eyes
from the non-sight, it seems to send out tendrils
of distress, weeping along the foot of the garden wall.
I glance quickly at the other pools of deep dark,
they throb and pulsate with an inner anxiety
that bothers my senses. I hear a sound, a tiny
throttling gurgle, and turn back to the largest entity.
It blinks. I donít. Because, Iím wondering
where the cat is, why it wonít come out
so I can see it, and whatís going to occur next..
A wind starts the leaves rustling above me,
scratching at my nerves. A car passing
vibrates a rock off the cliff face, sending it
tumbling down with a small crash, making me jump.
Once more, I study the fugue-form with ambivalence.
I hear the few remaining, spiked palm fronds
murmur with dismayed chatterings. And,
there are answering whispers, from my backyard.
The pools of dark send out soft sighs of longing,
implode with collapsed hopes, coalescing into
indeterminate essences that have lost their abode.
A home once lushly inviting under its darkened umbrella.
Cheerful with bird twitterings and singings, breedings
and nestlings, its insects; comfortably cuddled
with bats in dark-soft entwining; listening to star-song
and night breezes croon with sweet travelings, tickling
their fringes. Mother palm calls again, and falters.
My pools of dark begin to dwindle in disappointment.
I am angered at the thought of their undeserved exile,
mourn their forever displacement. So I welcome them
to my backyard, and into my life, with open arms.
And, now, the cat walks out.
Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
© Copyright 11/26/04 †††††
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|Reviewed by Gene Williamson
|The interdependence of all things living. You capture
it movingly. A writer to be read, reread, admired, and
envied. I'm an Erin fan. -gene.
|Reviewed by Joshua Miller (Reader)
|Even sans hero, this is an epic! Simply incredible write Erin.
I shall have to read it again!
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
JAYSUS! what a captivating, heartwrending write THIS is...one is drawn in by the power of your words...BRAVA! a keeper...now you see why i track you. i am never disappointed in your brilliant works.
(((HUGS))) and love, karla. :)
|Reviewed by Kevin Mc Crum (Reader)
Holy fucking shit!!!!!!!!!
This is faaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr tooo good for this place baby!!!!
I had to spend an hour reading and re-reading this epic monument!
An undeniable triumph of poetic masterpiece...I can't say enough!
|Reviewed by Rebekah Rosie Lang
|Oh Erin, Top-Notch Poem!
Most Awesome! Well-written
|Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU
|Magnificence of expression in this prose-poem, "Pools of Dark",
combines with its important message on behalf of Nature's harmony.
Thank You, Poet!
Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
|Reviewed by Thomas Lanechanger
|Erin, visiting your Den, is like taking a deep in the pool of life, my friend. Your natural ability to express and present such descriptive images is stunning to say the least. I love any forms of trees and when I lived in Nevada, it presented a problem because all I mostly saw were pine trees, not that I donít like them, Ďcause I do. Palm trees are really cool, I just donít know much about them. If they needed to be cut down, then I guess itís okay. Personally, I donít like seeing any tree cut down unless itís dead or has some kind of detrimental ill affect upon the surroundings around it. However, Iím sure as mankind continues to infringe upon Mother Natureís beauty, we bring too many different things into her environment and disturb its delicate balance. Maybe one day weíll figure out what we need to do in order not to tear it apart for the sake of change. An excellent write. I enjoy reading your work. Thank you for sharing it. Take good care and be well.|
|Reviewed by Sherry Heim
|This is a captivating write, Erin. The eco-system is so fragile, when disturbed, it can create much havoc. I have been told that palm frons pose certain eco-hazards as well, but I wonder. Perhaps it is that they are now intermingled with plants that would not have been native to their natural habitat. The plams, themselves, stand so tall, above all of the man made changes, that I would think that they still respond to natures call as they always have.
|Reviewed by Dana Matthews (Reader)
|When you write like this it reminds me
of Henry David Thoreau. You present
yourself in nature's scheme and
you show that natural harmony does exist
if observed. And with this prose, the reader
can see what happens when that natural
harmony is destroyed.
I've said this before but, I just loooove
the atmospheres you create.
D a n a