Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Sounds of Night

Amy Kloeblen-Tarver


In the dim light of dusk,
As shadowy corners erupted with new life,
A cloak of fog blanketed the forest.
My path obscured, my vision barren,
I lost my direction and strayed from my course.

Wandering.
Confusion and uncertainty my only companions.
The deafening silence is broken infrequently
By the despondent calls of birds
Singing in a minor key.

The familiar gives way to the unfamiliar
As I creep forward on dubious footing
Into the enveloping darkness.
The air grows viscous and dank,
As I sense movements outside my perception,
Camouflaged to my soul.

I turn about to return from whence I came
Only to discover impenetrable brush,
Gnarled vines, uninviting thorns,
Sprouting up behind me obstructing my retreat.

I trudge forward,
Surrendering myself to the mystery
And uncertainties that lay before me,
Movement fueled by pure faith alone
And guided by foreign forces at work deep within.

Suddenly the haze parts,
Revealing an expanse of dark water.
A small, decrepit boat beckons me to the shore.
Withdrawal no longer an option,
I accept the invitation and set out upon the black water,
Softly illuminated by the moon perched high in the night sky.

Drifting along with the current,
Waves of bewilderment lap at my soul.
My voyage is ostensibly aimless,
Twisting and turning through a mystical labyrinth
Toward an unknown destination
As I listen intently to the haunting sounds of night.

Clouds encircle the moon,
Severing me from the only light,
Tumbling me into unmitigated darkness.
The stench of decay emanates
From the stagnant, turbid depths
As I attempt to see without eyes
And listen without ears
To discern the muffled, distorted night sounds.

From outside my grasp comes a small voice.
The Moon Spirit asks,
"But what of your thoughts?"
They are still, still as the murky water.
Desperately trying to hear, to understand,
Trying to see the unseen.

I succumb to the realm of the unknown,
Ceasing to exist, being torn asunder.
And it liberates me while offering no conceivable escape.
It is only then that the amorphous journey takes shape,
And a cleansing rain begins to fall,
Renewing all that it touches.

As the moon reappears,
Luminosity is restored and a new vision is born.
The glassy waters reveal their depths,
And in their reflection the metamorphosis is complete.
No longer immersed in darkness,
But swathed in a new beginning,
I clearly behold my destiny.

***

AMY KLOEBLEN-TARVER, MPH, RD, LD, CHES, is age 35 and resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a published researcher in maternal and pediatric nutrition, but also loves to write creatively.

© Amy Kloeblen-Tarver

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012