Trial by Wonder

And the young monk
on the hillside thrice gave
weight to his staff against
greenhold ground found this day
along his sacred quest.
In answer, the land opened,
revealed a winding descending stairway.
The monk feeling bidden, ventured down.
Below, he became aware he had entered
cavernous chamber lit by broad torches.
An array of ancient armament displayed
upon a large wooden table, its edges
intricately carved.
Exquisite poignant music, angelic pure
voices unsullied by words emerged from
vibrating air.
“Welcome, child. You are expected.
Nourishment will arrive soon.
Knowledge will take longer.
Think on your questions.”
An old wrinkled presence, kind without sign
of emotion, spoke and settled into
luxurious green tapestry now clearly carpeting
the room.
The monk had embarked on his journey without
expectations.
That was one of the rules.
He eagerly followed each of seeming reasonless
instructions, on and on.
Now he had reached a place of contemplation,
a different kind of challenge.
He considered his questions in short mental movies.
Brought to him food exactly suited to invigorate,
water like clarity washing through him.
His mind paints the walls, animate characters flicker
in shadows. These converse with the monk, and each
other. Merry questions cavort as shapes, colors,
directions. When the monk awakes, he is walking
a familiar trail. The teller of his tale has decreed
it leads to a sacred hillside.
He hums to his steps, rehearsing his questions.
Their answers reside in his trusty backpack.
He has collected and carried these shiny pebbles
with intention to fabricate a magnificent rock collage
when the appropriate backdrop appears.
How lucky to be a monk in a time of such
abundance.

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