Amudha P.

To Erehwon

Dreary storm clouds crowd overhead.
Roaring at a distance, the sounds of
thunder rise to prominence.
The seemingly perpetual growls are
muted by the shielding walls of
a local coffee shop.
Burgundy accents and forest green trims
complement the golden-yellow walls
that resonate with the warmth
and comfort of melting butter.
Outside, it is the storm that brews.
Resounding thunder is joined by
dashing streaks of lightning,
traveling the sky’s colossus.
Fears incited by the monstrosity
are invalidated in the calm of the
delicate whispering exchanges of conversations
scattered throughout the coffeehouse.
A frequent attendee settles by the fireplace,
swallowed by the cushioning armchair.
Habitually slipping out of her restricting shoes,
she prepares herself for self-cleansing comfort.
Successfully covering the sky,
hindering the goodness of sunlight,
the storm, too, feels at home,
finding a confidence once suppressed.
The habitué’s eyes fix on the inviting fire.
They fail to follow the leaping sparks,
and simply focus on the autumnal blur of colors,
allowing the trapped soul to become mobile and
free amongst a vast land of thoughts.
With its new-found fortitude
the storm reaches a forté.
Coalescing rumbles of thunder surround
the blanketing sky, which flickers like the light
of a lantern subject to the torture of forceful winds.
Reclusive, the devotee remains withdrawn from reality.
Mechanically raising her arm, she transports
the steaming mug, teeming with a hazelnut sea
of relaxation, to her lips, as if programmed to do so.
Down on earth, trees flail helplessly in the wind.
Dried leaves, carried by the thrusting currents, crumble,
torn by the chaotic change of direction.
A gust of wind elevates them to the sky -
 - only to release them in a tornado downwards.
Creeping like a vine, the steam, hovering above the
mahogany espresso oasis, engulfs the patron’s face, exciting her senses.
The distinct scent crawls into the empty body, occupying the
soul’s void, warming the protective exterior.
An extended sigh of relief follows in response.
Outside, harnessing its power,
the indomitable storm purges its innards.
Torrential rains cascade form the darkening expanse,
a satisfying weight lifted from the omnipotent clouds,
releases on the innocent, undeserving humans.
As the sweltering drink enters her mouth,
her thoughts dispense, exempting her from stress.
Indulging in the potion, she drowns in blissful joy.
Engrossed in oblivion, she is absolved of all problems.
The sole soul immune to external forces
is untroubled by the perturbing sight and sounds
of the storm.


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