"Into the Valley of the Bogs" Cried the Two Thousand

One of the Dungbeetle's Grizzly poems for 2011.

Huddled hordes gathered against the elements,
their expectant chant rising to a crescendo
against the wild March wind ...

"To the Bogs, to the Valley of the Bogs,
into the Bogs of Scant Reward,
the Bogs of Exhaustion and Depletion",
"This is our voice, our destiny, our penance
and even our conscious choice.
This is our soul-searching and our release,
the journey through desolation to our inner peace".

(Thus, together, they ran for selflessness and lost tradition,
their quest - to quell the voices within
to silence their compulsion to battle and to win
- against no-one but themselves
on this primal, Grizzly expedition).

Over hill and shore they stumbled
ever closer to that mysterious, illusive core
exploring the paradox of their loss
and how that can be transformed somehow to permanently more.
One, connected, snaking line of runners
they etched their way across the sodden scene
like fugitives from an ancient war
cast upon a landscape of endless dreams;
their battered spirits knowing only the Way of Ways
their only exit lying yet further INTO this perplexing maze.
Certainly - there can be no harvest without a sowing
no darkness without a light,
never an absence of some tiny, glowing brightness.
Like messengers of piety, and for pity's sake,
they must keep going, fearful lest they strain the thread
of this indestructible connection to their wholeness.

Knowing nothing of purpose and little of progress
yet everything of fearfulness and dread,
and comprehending not the force that drove them into this darkness,
they are tightly bound to some unverifiable promise of escape
to the labyrinth layers of their collective soul.
They are a pulsation within a greater pulse
a glimmer of Hope on the horizon of exhaustion
a realisation that they must survive
but only, yes only, for the sake of the whole,
this is the just reward for their boldness.

Then - a slow dawning at the rim of their senses
where the veils of limitation part
where everything is a gift
and in their deepest consciousness
at last, a perceptable, golden shift.
Now the glimmer becomes a beacon
guiding their constant seeking.
This is the beginning of an ending
an impossible destination finally drawing nigh
a place where the sigh of utter relief
merges with a fresh appreciation of Being - truly alive.

They have come through - survived :
- no world could be better
- no sense more refined
- no satisfaction more divine.
Soon they will rest
- blackened but not bowed
- shaken but not broken
- stronger and freer in their exposed frailty;
almost as if the bogs have sucked their running from them.
Now is the time to give thanks,
thanks to the mystery of their deity
and to feel the surge of wonder from within.
Now, they have joined the legions of the Grizzly clan;
survivors, as they always will be,
back hOMe, at last, where they began.

© Dave Kelf, 2011