Poem: Soul Outpost Cantos 1–2

Canto One Divergence of Paths

Gleaming field of white marble monuments

Mom’s with Presbyterian cross

She’ll eternally bunk with her sailor boy

When he lays himself down to sleep

Accompanied by my two beloved daughters

I visited the day before leaving for China

A remnant of preserved plums

Blessed before Chinese ancestors’ tomb

Delivered across the deep

An offering between bloodlines

Shades fall across familial tablets

Fractured earth opened into an offering slot

Bronze I-Ching charm dropped into darkness

From the depths uncoiled a blue-gray spirit

Risen to bless the journey and pledge protection

Airport farewell awash with tears

Steadfast daughters must turn away

Brave souls and strong hearts overflowing with blessings

Love and assurances illuminated the path ahead

Our lives once all-one beside the other’s footsteps

A divergence of paths towards a distant reunion

Soar above the Bering Sea on destiny’s back

Before plummeting into the smelting pot

Nothingness remained

Soft ambrosia of love — an amber glow ahead

Rooted upon the known, the unknown blossomed

Disembarking, spirits coalesced

I stood in an inherited future

Testament to the enduring human spirit

Confirmation of the unbreakable will to survive

Those who held the line against annihilation

Did not surrender to death’s shadow

I too had survived devastation

My mortal spark twice nearly extinguished

But their blood granted me strength

A portion of their soul remained intact

Outside the maelstrom

Their vital energy blazed a trail and

Drew the outline of my unborn being

There could be no “I” without “them”

This mortal coil is bound to their spirits

My heart-fire is the glow of their posterity

Canto Two: Uncover the Way

Laborers eat beneath the steam-canopy of handmade noodles

Makeshift sidewalk restaurants brim with red-scarved school kids

A hundred brilliant golden caps explode from the crowd

Ramshackle facades charred with grease and motor oil

Overlook specter-farms

A thousand arcing novas erupt across the landscape

Dusty rubble piles of past homes delineate the future

As life flourishes in the cramped dominion of the jostling masses

From over the western horizon comes the hint of unfamiliar scents

Risen sun, crimson against the hoary deep

Offers no warmth to the muddy ground

Skeletal steel sentinels stretch the skyline

Clamoring higher upon ashen vapors

Orange clad street sweepers

Crumpled papers folded into their soles

Insulated against the bone-chill

Floating white heron

Featureless gray walls

Plum silhouette on a window shade

Corrugated blue ceiling

Green plastic panels

Black ceramic tiles

Brown iron pipes

Gray gutter-water

Red azaleas

The old, ever-shatter, discard and hammer out a place for the new

Disregarded and discarded the pulverized past paves the way to the future

Sidewalks crowded with bicycle carts and jerry-rigged three wheeled farmers’ cars

Hawking inexpensive vegetables, textiles and trinkets to put meat in their woks

Modernity has little impact on essential human nature

Dark beams jut up from ancient alluvial planes where

Over-spilling pestilential drainage ditches fill with waste

Subtle pathways slip through traditional landscapes

Floating temples drift overhead on a supernatural sky ocean

Inherent potentiality emerges to transform posterity

Notebook paper softens — its recycled content trying to convert back to sticks and old newspapers

The pen gouges into the page like a twig writing on a leaf.

Seepage — hidden agendas, restrained emotions, and constrained thoughts seep through crumbling mortar

The grit that now restricts brick and slab a past edification

Stones prevail against time and tide over a lifetime and so people become stones inside

Atrophying souls grow dense, smooth and cold from social-acid-wash

The pliable power of changing times moves like a trickle or a torrent — depending upon the resistance met

Instance streams to insistence to patience to coexistence

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Writer, Artist. Manifests Positivity. Neotranscendentalist. Spiritual nature. Taoism enthusiast. Editor & Univ. Lecturer in China 12 yrs. Https://cewheeler.art

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C.E. Wheeler

C.E. Wheeler

Writer, Artist. Manifests Positivity. Neotranscendentalist. Spiritual nature. Taoism enthusiast. Editor & Univ. Lecturer in China 12 yrs. Https://cewheeler.art

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