Through the Valley


Come, let us walk through the valley

Where the corpses of trees and flowers lie.

Where the memories of what we loved come to die.

Sing sweet little nothings to me as our essence pools in the alley.

Gleefully we used to prance and dance about.

Now nothing but glimmers of the past

Reflect dimly against the canal's waters, and at last

We can sing and play and laugh again, but don't shout.

Trotting off to some other poor sod's garden

To stamp on his baby olive tree.

To uproot his rosebushes, all twenty-three

Hollering, we departed after we heard a "pardon?"


The valley is not a pleasant place in my opinion.

Reminders abound of your sins on the ground.

As the blood on your hands drips, it makes not a sound.

"Oh yes, do as you please. You bought it. It's under your discretion."

I turned to my wife, sitting down and holding a mirror.

"Which face should I use today dear?"

"The stoic facade, or the grin from ear to ear?"

She mumbled something incoherent. I could not hear her.

The lumberjack, after a hard day's work

Turned around to observe his last felling.

A lump in his throat that kept on swelling.

The blisters on his hands remained, with intent to irk.


Nobody on the floor remotely expected it.

To see a face outside their very window pane.

Difficult, being seventeen stories up to explain

Why all of a sudden, the skyline had in it a bit more Janet.

The mountains on either side are obscured by clouds.

The wailing of the damned can be heard all around you.

Trapped in the hills, they cry because they know not who

Has decided their fates, and lets the details not escape any mouths.

Silence pervades all. Emptiness consumes.

A void fills my heart, and it grows and grows.

With festering boils, my body and will begin to decompose.

Our flesh is torn asunder by the rats in our tombs.


It is ever-present in both of our lives.

A crude reminder of that which could have been.

It has plagued my conscience since who knows when.

You can hear it in the wind, and in the deepest of sighs.

The artist sits at his bench and toils away.

The clay in his hands forms the young brains.

He hopes they form well, and that what remains

Is well-suited for the elements and does not decay.

The cardinals preach their sermons no more,

From the tops of old oak trees that served as their stages.

Their words were true scripture, but came not from pages.

Now nothing but memories from the valley of yore.


Beneath the willow tree I choose to rest my eyes.

For a while, peace is all I know, until a racket begins.

A thwack, then at once a saw blade spins.

I speed to arise, as where I was the tree now lies.

I eschew the limited human conception.

What lies in reality is beyond the definable.

One can only assume what they know is reliable.

An unspeakable truth beyond our words and perception.

Down the sidewalk I went, at a leisurely pace.

Sunlight pierced through the leaves down onto me.

Suddenly, nostrils burning, I turn around to see

A worker spraying blight all over the place.


Blindly we fumble our way through the pines

To orient our bodies and guide our souls

Toward our lofty goals and around potholes.

Then along come the fellers, to desecrate our shrines.

Give man free will and he will find a way

To bludgeon another, or to bring them down

To the Earth which he has divvied up all around.

The Tao is lost. We have led ourselves astray.

I lay bare my thoughts to no congregation.

Fragmented and disparate, here they manifest.

They languish and bleed and all leave this bequest:

"Heaven was here, before its mutilation."