The beginning of this dreary tale begins in the late fall
When the leaves are all dead and the birds cease their calls
The October wind shook the branches of a thousand trees
Whispering that there is more around than my frail eye sees.
I continued walking ignoring every subtle warning I received
Pondering why we as people are so easily ensnared and deceived
And whether this life and consciousness are what they really seem
Or if our brief existence is only a dream within a dream.
Yet all the while just beyond the limited scope of my view
A figure stood silhouetted against a cloudy sky devoid of blue
I approached where he stood but his face I could not truly see
He stood before me and said “My boy, my child, walk with me.”
So we walked beside each other in silence for awhile in the wood
I still could not see his true face, it was completely shrouded by his hood.
Looking at him I asked “My good sir, what may I ask is your name?”
He chuckled “Names are not important, they all amount to the same.”
He smiled at me and his pointy bloodstained teeth were revealed
His eyes were red and glowed but his face was still mostly concealed.
“What brought you to my woods today?” the dark man asked me
I shrugged “I come here often, I find it's a wonderful place to be.”
The dark man nodded “Yes, I come here as frequently as I can,
It's where I have met many a weary and confused man.
They all are searching for something better it seems
Something they have seen in their most divine dreams.”
He went on “But they all meet the same end eventually
They give up on paradise and spend eternity with me.
Tell me my son, is your immortal soul right with the Lord?
Is it the blessed holy light that you are heading toward?”
I replied “To tell you the truth, I don't really know
My thoughts and feelings about Providence come and go,
Sometimes I believe, sometimes I am filled with doubt
Is it all just a grand illusion sir, will I ever figure it out?”
The dark man chuckled “Your questions are profound,
But I tell you now that the answers you seek are all around
Look at injustice, look at rape, look at thievery and slaughter
Consider the loss of you and your future wife's unborn daughter.
Observe the hurricanes, the flash floods and raging sea
Observe the God who is absent that you can never see
Remember all the pains of yesterday that left you burned
Remember the terrible times when the tides turned”
I frowned “Your words distress me and cause me to fear
Are there any words of comfort from you I can hear?
In your dark wisdom can you see beyond the grave?
Is the soul something that we should endeavor to save?”
The dark man smiled at me “My boy, how naive you are to think that!
Lost and sad souls are meant for selling you must know that,
After all your bitter sleepless nights and dreadful nightmares
After all your tiresome worries and your countless cares,
You should know that life sucks and then you die
Go ahead and shut your eyes, go ahead weep and cry,
For I have just told you the sad truth about you fate
Be forever filled with all manners of misery and cruel hate.”
I stopped walking and looked into his shrouded visage
He wavered and became distorted like a gruesome mirage
His cloak burst into flame and he was reduced to ashes
He's gone now, yet my heart still aches and then crashes.
I don't walk through those secluded woods anymore these days
I now walk different paths that lead other safer ways
What happened that day was never a part of my plan
But I know I will never forget my walk with the dark man