The Timeless Cave In The Cliff

He found a little frequented cove
As he sailed the Southern Seas,
An island, not on a current map,
But one bereft of trees,
I only know, for he left a note
In that cave, way up in the cliff,
And it's had me wondering ever since
Not how, or why, but if?

What was left of his boat was there
Washed high, out there on the shore,
Battered and beaten by storm and tide
Ten years, or maybe more,
The Isle was barren and treeless, not
One thing would pleasure the eye,
Except the cave in the towering cliff
Well up in the face, and high.

I anchored there and I rowed ashore
Then I walked around to the face,
Somebody else had been there before,
A rope was still in place,
I'd never been much of a climber, but
I scaled that rope all right,
Just as the sun was going down
So I had to spend the night.

The face of the cave was sheltered, and
The weather, it wasn't cold,
I curled up deep in a corner ‘til
The dark had entered my soul,
I dreamt of many a sailing ship
And men of a stately mien,
Who stalked grim-faced through a whirlpool race
In a land that I'd never seen.

And up above was a starlit sky
That had seemed to spin and curve,
Taking the glow of the Pole Star south
With the curvature of the earth,
I woke when the first few beams of dawn
Shone in from a blighted sea,
Where my boat had tugged at its moorings
In an effort to cast it free.

The cave led into a passageway
That was dimly lit in the dawn,
I ventured along it gingerly
Over moss, as green as lawn,
Then I came on a line of candles, set
In the rock to light the way,
Into the heart of a grotto there
Where a pool of water lay.

The pool was glowing an azure blue
From a light reflected below,
That shone back down from the ceiling rock
In a shifting, glittering show,
And beyond the pool was an altar there
That hadn't been made by man,
Of shining stars and a crescent moon
And a figure that looked like Pan.

I tip-toed cautiously round the edge
Of the pool til I came to stand
Right in front of the altar there,
Half covered with silt and sand,
And lying crouched at the side of it
Was a huddle of ancient bones,
That lone seafarer who'd left his yacht
And followed these stepping stones.

The bones lay there in a deep despair
As of one who'd given up hope,
He must have come with the boat out there
And climbed with that length of rope,
But the bones were grey, looked terribly old
Too old for that boat, it's true,
With the fingers gripping a note, half ripped,
The one that I'll read to you.

‘You've come to an Isle where there is no time,
So take this note and be gone,
I came, like you, from out of the blue
When I woke, time travelled on.
The stars spin crazily every night
And they thrust me into the past,
I woke to find that my boat had gone
And the cove was covered in grass.'

‘It could be a million years ago
It could be a future time,
The sea has receded, that I know
And the year, it isn't mine.
The altar glows with the crescent moon
When a major shift occurs,
And the devil man that looks like Pan,
I think that his seed is cursed.'

I took the note and I stumbled out
Of the cave, and slid the rope,
Then ran back over the beach, and rowed
Back out to my world, my boat.
I hadn't been more than an hour away
When the heavens went black, and weird,
I looked behind and I feared to find
The Island had disappeared!

15 September 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: horror
Edward Kofi Louis 15 September 2014

Great work! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. E.K.L.

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