The reflecting pool lay long and flat, a massive mirror door...
I stepped up to it's concrete edge, and looked down to it's floor.
I saw pale tiles beneath the water, some pennies, a dime, a nail.
I dropped my thoughts beneath this sea, which quickly grew in scale.
One foot of water became, thus, ten... A hundred... thousand... more.
My view was that of one who's soaring many miles above some shore.
I was, at once, consumed with fear at how this made me feel,
That is to say, I convinced myself that this height was truly real.
That was when I dreamed I fell, but before I'd be no more,
I had much time to think awhile on what had come before.
I had much time to regret the past, and dread what was yet to be,
Saw images of fortune, ruin, the dust of you; the ashes of me.
Small joys helped to bridge the gaps where fear eroded hope,
The terror of my empty room, the makeshift hanging rope.
My thoughts of death reminded me that the moment should be much more,
I opened my eyes to the rushing air, my throat felt raw and sore,
Looked down to see a blaze of leaves and the fast approaching forest floor.
Asleep, I fell, through sunlit leaves that seemed to fill the space,
Awake, I stood beside the pool when you had touched my face.
Something in your eyes was telling me you were concerned,
You somehow knew the man who left was not the man who returned.
We stood at the shore then, you and I, expressing futures yet to pass,
Fishing out mythologies and illusions that might last.
Our mouths were full of histories and secrets that we bared,
The reassuring comfort that illusions can be shared.
Look east and see the brightening sky, but not yet see the sun,
Look west and see the shrinking black,
The place where last night's stars have run.
Look up and see the limbs and leaves of the high forest canopy,
The ones above the gloom that's half obscuring you and me...
A bright gold glow suffuses them, but only way up high,
Where they already see the dawn, and the guiding star that fills their sky.
I'm reminded by these tall trees rising high into the air,
When shadow darkens my small world, but light is everywhere,
You do not need to see the sun to know that it is there.
So as I lifted up my face,
To where sunlight paints the highest tree,
In this expansive time and place,
I felt the same; beautiful and free.
Read here by the author:
This is a collaboration with a poet friend. We have traded original titles and tasked each, the other, with writing anything at all under that title. No rules, just the title as a touchstone; a point of departure. My friend's titles are sometimes long and descriptive. This one made me think of a sensory experience I have had in dreams and waking hours, too, where I play with the reference of world scale inside of my head, my relative spatial perception becoming expansive and colossal. The title evoked the memory of this feeling, so I set about describing it in verse.