Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Cave

It had always been there,
so far as anybody knew,
though some oldtimers swear
the fairy tales are true,
that one night in a hard freeze the hill
gave way, set staring at the town
the dark eye vacant in a face of stone,
set the townfolk whispering, as townfolk will.

From deep within arose
a constant ululation,
almost-lucid echoes
of ancestral conversations:
soon the council chamber reeked of fear.
They talked of evil portent, buried sins,
the easy virtue of nitroglycerine.
While they talked the people disappeared.

One by one they fled,
the vacant houses bought
by a crop of newlyweds
who needed space and thought
a cavern with a waterfall was just
the thing, who put in catwalks, colored lights,
and candy stands and rides and Ladies’ Nights,
but the crowds stayed home. The thing went bust.

Again, in droves, they fled,
the crop of houses bought
by still-more-newlyweds
who needed space but thought
the argument for safety very strong.
The motion carried. Council bombed it tight.
But now we often hear it, late at night,
a low, dissolving, subterranean song.


Debi said...

Shivers down my spine.

Minx said...

You could be writing about Cornwall - cows go missing all the time!