The Old Pali Road Part 3

old pali road 064

Morgan’s Corner

Winding, ever winding
amongst the long quiet.
You wonder when it will end?
As its painted lines
seem to unwind
from an infinite spool.
Only the unsettling thoughts
are left to drool into view.
Only decay,
fallen fruit and turned over trees in red clay,
these are the ones that stay.
Mr. Grant said it best,
that perhaps Morgan’s Corner is
“Nothing but a dark parking lot for the imagination”
for sinuous thoughts snaking between eventual ends.
It is about greetings and what grasped you?
About the fleeting who never last with you
past the next bend of banyans.
They say you should never whistle
when you are under their swaying branches.
They are like pendulums playing scenes of mystery,
urban legends whispered over and over.
This intermediary for history to repeat itself.
Imprints beyond that barbed wire entrance,
no trespassing back decades
to a murder site once cordoned off with police tape.
Past the scent of rainforest incense
and the moss ridden cylinders of trash and debris,
past the point of no return.
There’s a half-fastened noose in a tree
past the crossroads, a hairpin turn
cathedraled even during the day,
canopied by its terrible story
under the gnarled roots of this curiosity.
Past the fascination that beckons you forward
into the unknown.
A draw that originates somewhere
beneath the cliffs in this sacred grove.
Here where the jungle creeps over the road
and doesn’t disclose so simply its past
or the secrets that sleep underneath the concrete.
Mystery motions to loosen the wheel just a bit,
soaked in rain,
grounded in its tracks again,
there to remain under the Pandanus tree.

Cultures, history, shaped in the dying.
Shading the discovery of ritual.
Sketched to become visual,
some are whole, some are fractal,
sliced into and erased by the moving landscape.
It proceeds from some mysterious wellspring
to suggest to those who come under its spell
that not all is material.
Delicate and withdrawn,
we sit in ignorance along the borders of our tragedy.
But there is a tendency to take that corner too sharply
and there are no second chances at Morgan’s Corner.
What sordid rendezvous happens just off of the shoulder?
Under the eaves of great trees and out of sight?
You feel many have died here.
Claimed by its decaying walls.
Memories strung up in vines
that overhang and strangle the light.
So, if you go to Morgan’s Corner on a moonless midnight,
proceed cautiously,
for in your folly you may unwittingly
become part of its legacy.
Like the damned that went before you,
hung up there for eternity
or like fallen trees
were dragged across the road unceremoniously.
Through the frame of a waking dream,
suddenly limbs become tangible,
roots graspable, tugging at you.
All we ghost from real trauma,
from real armor over all the sorrow
that has been written here.
All the terrible drama buried from long ago,
you could swear something was sharing it with you.
Remember, Morgan’s Corner takes root in the mind.
To yourself rationalize,
“Is it really all within?”
The sudden snap at the periphery,
that flicker of movement,
you’re unconvinced
but that could just be the wind.

old pali road 065
Further reading from the dark side of the Pali:


2 thoughts on “The Old Pali Road Part 3

  1. Why not show your poetry to the world

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