The otherworld lies to the east, a place of mystery, veiled
in darkness. The road leading there is plain, simple,
no delusions, no illusions
a dusty path trod by many thousands
To the east lies a gate, guarded by an ancient woman,
who can pass through the doors
and back again.
infinite wisdom, she beckons.
Those with courage
The crone laughs,
‘Where do you wish to go?’
The answer is always the same,
She responds, 'There is no return,'
and waits, challenge thrust forth, unexpected, frightening.
'But, mother, once I find myself,
I wish to change that which I have done.'
The old woman chuckles, 'That which is, will always be,
There is no return.’
A single glance back is enough to see the road
already shimmering, distant, a faded moment
the old woman prompts, ‘you may camp
by the road but
what will you gain?
You've passed many gates in your
unaware of most, ignoring the rest.'
Still, there is hesitation.
She becomes impatient, striking her staff on the ground.
'What do you choose to do?'
the deepest part of your soul
for only then the East gate swings open.
By Ruth A. Souther - 1993