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October 2011

The Path of Solitude

At first only but a trickle, a growing wish to surge forward,
Its beauty isolated, within a mythical pasture
Floating by rolling hills
Bubbling and twisting through the fingers of prosperity,
Paradise is purity, paradise is clean
But paradise is not forever.

And so the river continues on,
Through the valleys and around the mountains,
Rough terrain becomes tame under its power,
It turns and bends
Crookedly meandering back and forth.

In the country,
Flowing across a plain of scenery that seems all too similar
Passing by the same fields again
As the days repeat and blend together
Unsure, it wavers frantically throughout the winding land

It passes simple villages,
Still the bringer of new life,
The people treat it with safe passing
They praise the waters for its kindness
And in return,
The river brings blessings
Here it is called magical
An almighty power of life in their hands.

Approaching the towering city,
Meeting civilization for the first time
These waters lap up against the sides of great buildings,
Almost absorbing their wonders and technology in its awe,
Flowing between the skyscrapers
Its innocence is dirtied by the city’s use,
Pollutants, like a wave of evil, clash with this river
Intermingling to form one.
Only bringing corruption.

In the city,
Man sees this river
Sees what has happened to the one that was once so bold,
Its muddied banks now burdened with his soot
The knowledge of the people.
But it is only a river,
Only a drink, only a source of use
So he carries on; unaffected by its fall.

At the journeys end,
Its waters old and weary, search for a place to rest.
At last the ocean, spreading vast,
This river pours out into its welcoming hold
A greeting, a welcome home.
But the river is engulfed,
With no power left to fight on,
The ocean brings destined destruction.

And as one follows it out into the ocean,
Its traces disappear, like a tear wiped away.
Never to return, never to be found again,
A paradise attained only in death.
Awash in a sea of solitude.

(c) 2011 Maxwell
The O’Neal School
Southern Pines, NC
Grade: 11

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