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February 1, 2017  in Trinidad, CO

annette meserve writing storyteller poet author fiction flash short stories novels


Taboo is warning,

But not 
the starkly worded, 
geometric shaped,
primary colored 
warnings of traffic signs,

the officially sanctioned, 
evenly typed, manila enveloped 
warnings of legal notices,

the capital lettered, 
bold numbered, 
wall posted 
warnings of gymnasium rules. 

Taboo is warning more tribal. 

It comes on whispered drumbeats 
while standing at the mouth 
of Culture's cave.  

It's the cool, 
mountain's breath 
from inside deep rock, 
a breeze that stirs the undergrowth, 
the vines and bushes 
that obscure the edges of mystery.

It's the exhalation 
that ruffles our forelock 
as we stand on the threshold 
within the dark night of jungle.

It's the sound of crackling fire, 
of pounding, dancing feet, 
of high, wailing song at our backs

as we consider, 
as we weigh consequences, 
as we wonder.

It's the inhalation
that tingles 
the hairs on the backs of our necks,
that pushes 
at our exposed shoulder blades,
that shivers 
around our cloth-draped hips,

Compelling us forward into the blackness, 
into the unknown, 
into the forbidden.

Taboo is warning, 
a place we must not go.

But if we truly must not, 
the word should be harder, 
word to cut across a path, 
to halt progress without question.

Instead it is a round, 
dark sound, 
a whispered drumbeat 
that says,


While it crooks a finger, 
lowers hooded lashes, 
and adds,

"But maybe…"
                                                 ©2019 Annette Meserve  

on the Shelf


An evening of Myth and Poetry

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