Beautiful Paths that Lead to Dead Ends
For years I traveled to this place,
And never once did I lose faith,
That there beyond the city gate,
I’d settle down and find my fate.
My family waited there for me,
And cheered me on through my journey,
Others like me traveled too,
Towards this place none of us knew.
At times we’d gather and we’d share,
Our dreams and hopes for when we’re there.
For those we lost along the way,
We mourned they’d never see the day,
We reach that fabled promised land,
Embrace our futures hand in hand.
For once we’d get there, we were told,
We’d reach receive our weight in gold.
In this land we’d all be kings,
Dressed in gowns and diamond rings.
In this land we’d all be free,
To find our own grand destiny,
And leave behind a legacy,
For future pilgrims to come see.
When far away the gates were clear,
The pilgrims all began to cheer,
They tossed their hats into the air,
And skipped along without a care,
For soon we’d finally be there.
But as those mythic gates drew near,
I felt a sudden jab of fear.
The soft white clouds of which we spoke,
We could now see had all been smoke.
And the shimmering lights that we had seen,
Had not been gold at all,
But just the cold metallic gleam,
Of factories a thousand stories tall.
Once in the city, I could tell,
There was no going back.
The sun rose and fell again,
And I could not keep track.
How beautiful the path had been,
I suddenly recalled.
The trees had all been lush and green,
Yet here they all were bald.
On our way when night would fall,
We’d sleep beneath the stars,
But here the smoke had hid them all,
And all the lights were cars.
In this city of despair
There is no night or day.
The wind is absent in the air,
And the sky is always gray.
A constant hum of electronics
Buzzes through the ground,
And even when it’s silent,
I feel an eerie, piercing sound.
So many games we used to play,
Sometimes it gets me thinking,
Those days now seem so far away,
Games here all involve drinking.
The others I had traveled with,
All seemed weary, too.
The diamond rings they had been promised
Turned their fingers blue.
Those who were unhappy
Were given pills to take,
So they would forget
We ever made this grave mistake.
One day amidst the chaos
I see a curious little thing.
Small and white and hairy,
I thought what luck this thing might bring.
His cotton tail would twitch about
As he jumped around by habit.
No one seemed to notice him,
This perfect snow white rabbit.
Around his neck, a golden watch,
I thought would tell the time.
Yet when I peered into its face,
The face I saw was mine.
Though surely it was me,
This face seemed alien and cold,
Creases lined its features
And it seemed so worn and old.
Then he bounced away from me
And after him I ran.
Wherever he was going,
I had to follow if I can.
I ran as fast as I could go,
To the city’s edge,
The rabbit jumped into his hole,
And I stood at the ledge.
Inside the hole it was so dark,
I could not see at all.
And yet I knew I had to go,
So I let myself fall.
I crawled on forward through the hole,
Although I could not see.
I struggled for a while
And then I finally was free.
What I saw beyond that hole,
Amazed me beyond words.
Endless fields like from my past
Danced with singing birds.
That rabbit’s hole had tunneled beyond the city’s reach,
Many wonders spread around me
And I was drawn to each.
A genuine curiosity
I hadn’t felt in years
Coursed throughout my body
And brought me down to tears,
But not the tears that one would shed
When one is feeling sad.
The kind that burst with every laugh
Because I was so glad.
Although this place was paradise,
I knew I could not stay.
Once I had to leave,
I promised to return another day.
When next again I had the time,
I jumped straight out of bed.
Dreams of fields outside the city
Swarming in my head.
I longed to hear the songbirds sing
And see the sun shine bright.
I thought today that I might bring
A friend to share the light.
I thought of those with whom I traveled
Who had been feeling down,
And at the thought I marveled,
Knowing we’d soon be out of town.
One by one I went and knocked upon each door,
All the people flocked to me to see what was in store.
I led them all the way to where the rabbit had led me,
But on their faces I saw fear
In place of curiosity.
“What is this hole and why’s it here?”
They began to say,
Accusingly, they looked at me,
And exclaimed “someone’s got to pay!”
“Won’t you even look inside?”
I begged them all, in shock.
But the crowd made up its mind
And wouldn’t let me talk.
“This hole is dangerous” they said,
As they filled it to the brim.
“We’d rather stay the same instead,
Not run out on a whim.”
And once the hole was full as it could be,
There remained only one more problem,
And that problem left was me.
“There is no room for one like you
In this world of ours.
Leave and go somewhere new,
Or we’ll put you behind bars.”
I knew they knew as well as me,
There was no other place.
The gates would close and set me free,
Gone without a trace.
What lay beyond those gates this time,
Not a living person knew,
Only one who steps outside,
Can find out what is true.
Fear and anger, sadness, lust,
I gripped my chest so tight.
It will be okay, I trust…
Then everything was white.