Half a mile from the Heart,
We stopped to stretch
And kick the tires of our egg salad sandwich.
“But this is ghost land, territory of Night,” our driver warned.
“No place for childlike wonder.”
So we rolled further into the west
Toward pink spires and totem stones
Where willowy mists plumed up from canyons
And coagulated into coarse light.
“Ghost militias.” Our driver pointed,
And a crowd of smoke appeared
Dense and turbulent, the volume of fog.
We watched the shifting light
Paint translucent structures on ether canvas.
Aligned in columns, fleshless and unforgiving,
Bone battalions mustered the courage to die again.
Sun setting behind a legion of hollow eyes.
The skull commander gave the benediction:
“All are drawn to light
And its naked opal understanding,
But most stumble and grope
“Only you who die here today
Will know the beautiful, dutiful truth:
Igla kenzit mi’in schomps –
The Universal Mind
Companion art: “Ghost Militia” by John Farley, adapted from Napoleonic Military Parade Milan 1812