colors of time
The Road
Ever On
Man of
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The Road Goes Ever On and On

A Journey Halfway across the Country and Back Again

November 1995
All journeys must atart at the edge of the sea, to have a proper beginning.
Come away from the sea, keep it behind you always,
       for there is no hope in returning to a past that really isn't there...

Come follow me down the dusty road
       amid the fields of dry yellow grass
                across the empty plain
                         underneath the illimitable blue sky.
Come up the hill, the road winds around, turns into a faint trail.
Follow the river running until it is only a stream, 
    to the heights of the mountain tops
        and then run down the other side where no rain falls 
            underneath the sullen, grey heavens.

Come to a little town in the shadows (doesn't it remind you of your home, 
    far across the sapphire sea?),
        in the middle of Nowhere, 
           on the other side of the lonely mountain pass
        --the mountain pass, where you can see that giants had a war here,
        tossing and throwing huge boulders at each other, 
           breaking the walls of the mountains,
    shattering the hillsides,
uprooting trees and hurling them at one another like spears--
        past the mountain pass is Desert, empty lands, 
           and the dull, grey salt seas.

Come follow me through the dead, barren wastes, where 
   hills ruined by the scouring winds stand,
haunting the emptiness with their warped majesty,
         tread through the desert vale, see the tumbleweeds 
            dance upon the breath of the wind.

Come to a city of neon lights, glittering 
      brighter than the stars above, 
where you hear
        the constant clatter of money against metal,
the spin of the wheel, the throw of the dice, eyes always burning 
   bright with the glitter of money,
come through this city and leave, kick its dust off your feet, 
   come again to the barren desert, the empty lands,
         keep pressing onward, the rising sun is up ahead.

See up ahead the great salty sea, the odor is overpowering, 
   leaving a sick taste in your mouth,
        pass through the City of the Lake, up the mountains, 
                   the Great Mountains,
        a mile and higher jutting into the blue sky where
the clouds change into dragons and castles and unicorns,
        lovers kissing under a tree, and a man standing 
                                    alone in the empty sky
        --there are endless stories in the skies, too many to tell...
Come ahead, through the Great Mountains, back to the road,
        ever eastward into ever increasing darkness 
            as the sun sets behind you,
    bleeding into the sky...
the Eastern sky is a deep purple, like royal fabric,
         and the stars are kindled one by one as the light of the sun 
                   fades, fades, and dies.

Come ahead, come follow me, to the Broken Lands 
           where great battles were fought.
red against white, arrows and spears against musket fire
        (and where have we heard this story before? It is ever the same...)
though the color of blood is the same on all sides,
         come ahead and see the dead faces carved into stone,
wander around in circles, the emptiness, clouds above like ghosts,
         the armies of the dead, ever fighting their battle, 
                   the battle will never end...
Come ahead, then come away, we must run back to the Sea,
         for we've tarried here too long 
  without really understanding what we're seeing...

Come follow me down the streak of concrete slicing 
    down the edge of the Great Plateau,
and metal monsters dance and sway alongside us, 
   playing games between painted lines...
                 speed up then slow down,
come ahead as the rains pour down 
  and you can't see your own hands in front of you,
                 stop, pause, and listen
to the sound of thundering rain, thunder, lightning, 
   pounding against the earth, then lessening,
now a gentle patter, trickle, only the clouds brood overhead.
Keep going, through cities where all we'll ever learn is their name
        --everything is the same with their metal and concrete--
come back up into the Great Mountains, winding this way and that, 
   up a hill and down again,
        turning, seeing the scars they tore into the rock 
   to cement a road through it.
Turn this way and that as the earth grumbles and gurgles, 
   shooting out its heat into the sky, steam and heat,
                          Hell itself threatening to rise out of the ground.
Look once then come away--maybe in time we'll have 
  a better chance to explore 
               and wish we didn't
Come away, down from the Mountains out back into the Desert,
   for back to the Sea we return...
See the gaping holes and gouges that Nature has left upon this land,
         rocks shimmering with the colors of the rainbow, turning deep red,
         glittering eerily as the sunlight moves across the sky.
There are, were people here long before us, not too different from us, 
   their story not too different from ours.
Here are the Seven Cities of Gold, and the tragedy of Great Empires and death.
Death.  We'll never learn.

Come away, across the mighty River, thundering through canyons and valleys,
carving, scarring the barren desert,
      back into the light of the sun, 
         the sky is blue again, well, not entirely
         --blue here and brown in the Western distance.
They've left their mark here really, these invaders from the Other Side, 
   that even the sky is tainted...
The City of Demons lies on the other side of those hills...
         The City of Demons--you'll remember that 
   that's where we first started this journey
         --already, the dream that led you across the Sea fades, doesn't it?
Westward again, westward, we go to that city, 
   back to where we first began long ago.
Hundreds of miles of desert road, over the mountains and hills,
       we come to the Grid, the web of concrete and asphalt,
       telephone poles and wires, streams of crome, 
          glass, and plastic flowing everywhere,
       red and white lights going in opposite directions 
          (but this perhaps nothing new)
       Oh, why can't we learn from these stories...
          red is not that far away from brown...

Let us wander through the choked, choking streets,
through the gauntlet of needy eyes and hands 
   begging for compassion they don't really expect to receive...
Steel you heart--hold onto the Dream--
   and compassion will leave every nerve of your body--
come away, come follow me, through the Grid, weaving between 
   stark towers of metal and concrete,
giant phalluses forever raping the sky...
         turn away once from this new land of your rebirth 
            (this land of the undead)
--my only home--and gaze into the deep blue sea
(There are still places where the sea is blue, even in this evil City)
Gaze across, as the sun sets, sinks into the endless sea, 
   gaze into the distance where sea and sky meet...
pretend for a while that you are a falcon 
   gliding between the infinte azure and deep endless blue...
You could go home if you really wanted to, 
   but I think you made your choice a long time ago,
        and this is your home now, just like it is mine...
Gaze into the sea...your past lies far West somewhere there, I don't know...
gaze into the sea, then turn away...
         there is nothing there for us anymore 
            except bitterness and hopelessness,
         for we'll never belong there.
But I think that is harder for you to bear, because you were alive there once,
         and to me it is only a dream (though I wish it were a memory.)

Come away, clasp your brown hands with mine,
come away, for our future lies in this land, 
   half-empty, half filled with demons.
Our future lies in this land, whether we wish it or not.
©1995 by Victor Ganata