The Storyteller

I had a story to tell

of the wild night

and the East wind

that came to steal time.

 

I forgot the words.

I lost the plot.

I couldn’t find the cadence

to lead you down

to the edge of the forest,

where the witches dwell.

 

I couldn’t remember

what I was supposed to do

with my hands.

Do I keep them folded

in my lap

and let the story speak itself?

Or do I use them

to emphasize

and illustrate

and make wild gestures

in the places where the story gets good?

 

You see,

I don’t need you to only listen,

I need you to understand

that the wild night

and the East wind

are deeper themes.

 

Metaphors,

symbolism,

avatars,

existing in this story

for a particular purpose.

 

Though it may not seem obvious,

we are having a conversation here,

you and I.

Even if only one of us is talking,

it takes two

to have a good conversation.

One to speak

and one to listen.

 

Neither one is more important,

but without the other,

each of us is just a madman.

Can you imagine,

me telling this story,

without you to hear it?

Or you,

just sitting there,

listening to nothing?

It’s madness.

 

So like the wild night,

I draw you from your comfort,

for I offer you

the rare,

the strange,

the bizarre.

 

And like the East wind,

you drive me to keep telling

the story of the forest

and the witches that dwell within.

 

We come and go

with the rhythm of the telling,

It’s peaks and valleys,

dark and narrow paths,

that twist between

the black trunks

of Ash and Poplar,

deep into the forest.

 

Under a dark sky,

the East wind pushes

a torn veil of clouds.

Leafless limbs wave mockingly,

as the detritus

on the forest floor

swirls and rustles

like a stalking animal.

 

It’s best for us

to keep moving,

for if the witches find us here,

they will trap us

in the parts of the story

that I couldn’t tell.

 

These words are not mine;

not anymore.

Once off my tongue,

they belong to the ears that hear them.

Of the eyes that read them.

I cast them,

out on the East wind,

and hope

that they are magic.

 

HG – 2018

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