Paul sits in a sacred grove.
An elk body lies unmoving.
Ribs glisten in sunlight.
The bluebottle flies
buzz an elongated Om.

Pestilence, the horseman,
disturbs grounded pine needles
and aspen leaves
and shuffles an arcane circle
around the prone elk body.

Perched upon a stone, Paul
holds his faith close to his vest
as he ponders Why
Pestilence creates protection
for the bluebottle fly larva,
but not the termites and bark beetles
in nearby fallen trees.

What an oily abyss
to attempt to fathom
God’s cunning strategies
and the latitudes
of light in a valley of shadows.

Paul rises to descend the mountain
shortly after reading the sky
and its clouded message
of a fast moving storm
soon to clear the ridge.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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