Wednesday, November 30, 2005

In Case You Missed It...'s my flash which appeared in Quiction a couple of weeks ago.


I flow and gloat on high east-west winds blown by the breath of gods. Kilimanjaro is their king, and though he still shines radiance into the world’s gloom, his glory is melting. Long ago he was a volatile youngster, angry and misunderstood, and I watched him cry dry tears of ash, laying down a carpet for the ancestors of man. I watched them, too, loping across the plain in painful evolution. Have you seen their footprints?

I scry a river where the thorn trees grow. It snakes a silver path through grassland and forest. Water is the way of all life here, from the sequestered hippo in his deep green pool to the tremulous waterside wanderings of the shy bushbuck. The earliest humans were not different. They too knelt on these banks and savored the moments between life and death. I saw them in their search for stones, knocking one rock against another in pitiful imitation of the hyena’s teeth, the leopard’s claws.

Smoke rises to the west and I stretch across the savanna, searching the cause and sorting the species below like suits in a hand of cards. I have followed this dance from the earliest days, swaying and stomping to the tune. It began with the burble and squelch of protozoan proto-life,
the thunderous lowing of dino-herds. I’ve heard the hoof beat heartbeat of wildebeest replenishing the land as they suckle it dry, been tempted by the tintinnabulation of tribal song.

Witness to the rise and fall of phyla, I have smelt the decay as they fade, puffing my cheeks in eternal triumph, abiding forever. I spin on the wind and scent the future. It is not unlike the past.


Friends of the Earth International said...


It's beautiful. I love the rhythm and the poetry of the words. When I read this I feel as if I'm in the story.

Patry Francis said...

Great story, Sharon. The last paragraph is very powerful.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Debra - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Patry - Thanks! This is one of those half-story, half-poems that I never know what to do with.

gilemon said...
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Matt Getty said...

I'm gald you put this up here. Now I can give the rest of my previous comment, which was that I love the simplicity of the last sentence. After the intense lyricism of the rest of the piece it comes as a total shock. I don't know if you gave that much thought or if it was something that just happened, but either way it's brilliant.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Thanks, Matt! It was intentional, and meant to really grab the reader's attention. I'm glad it worked.