Tales of Aeora (1.3)

“Tree Between Two Countries”

Great-horned owl flew east over

a craggy coastline, every night 

passed through different

phases of the moons,

soared within range of a fig tree

that teetered on the edge of a

multi-layered, sandstone cliff-face,

battered by angry waves and sea foam,

hugged the precipice with coils 

of roots half-buried, half-revealed

crescendoed in and out of the stonework

like a lattice of waves.

Myriad of creatures housed 

within moist, fertile

underbrush; thick, cobwebbed 

branches twisted eternally toward the 

sunlight; disfigured ladder stretched,

its limbs hide several hundred 

miles above in a thick cloud 

of impenetrable vapors

where fly and roost the most mysterious

avians never glimpsed by mortal eyes.

Plethora of flora furled 

around the trunk, bundles of

grapevines grew unimpeded 

in patches of royal blue, 

clasped stems entwined in

leafy, wooden rivers joined with

the thick, thorny tendrils of a

black rose — over-ripe,

leaning toward the earth.

Locked, oak chest buried within a

hollowed-out shrine beneath the roots,

held a fire stolen back by the gods,

guarded by the watchful eyes of the owl 

(with its 360° vision and immense province 

of flight, the raptor spies an isle northwest 

ordinarily out of sight),

people seeking peace unaware that

their armistice laid top a ridge

left uncharted a few miles out at sea,

proved, instead, that life did not exist

with mathematical and philosophical proofs;

murdered one another for centuries 

despite answers hidden poorly 

just beyond their field of vision — 

kingdom of zealots to the southeast,

across the fig tree’s massive circumference, 

orchestrated prayers loudly in droves;

prepared crusaders to invade the forest and

burn sacrificial lambs deep in the 

heartwood — scar torn open and


Fig tree roots cried salt-water tears,

condensed and splashed on its

dense outer layers, as the owl learns 

that it can unlock the chest with its beak.

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