Shamanic Sunset


I’m cut loose, a convict escaped,
Fleeing the simmering Piedmont.
A lone, whirring cicada
Seasonally attuned
Slipped his shell, clinging
Empty and stiff to bark.
I’m parched as cicada’s crunchy shell.

Survival instincts free me
To a higher perch in the Blue Ridge.
From a stone wall on the crest,
Legs dangle into oblivion.
The sun slips lower
In a Massanutten-Alleghany meltaway.

My head in the sky of diminishing day,
Magic and wonder return.
In a hail farewell at the horizon,
Sun tosses a burst of red light.
A sun-bear flies to within my reach
And we merge! “Huh!”

It is ecstasy and exhalation.
A higher voice interprets,
You are a shining ball of light,
From head to toe.
 The message echoes within, encouraging
Comprehension as diminishing light
Takes the cacophony of day.

Trees covering mountainsides
Withdraw to their roots.
Air cools. Insects and butterflies retire.
The only sound in the panorama
An uplifting nocturne chirped in duet.
Moon takes center stage.
Day is done.

No longer a wizened Piedmont shell.
Homebound, full, nestled in fleece.


copyright Louise M. Mitchell

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