An End, or Beginning? by James G. Piatt

“When our days become dreary with
low-hovering clouds of despair, and
when our nights become darker than
a thousand midnights, let us remember
that there is a creative force in this
universe, working to pull down the
gigantic mountains of evil, a power
that is able to make a way out of no
way and transform dark yesterdays
into bright tomorrows.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

As I stood near the edge of a tall cliff, my feet
felt the sharp stones through my worn sneakers.
A whispering voice in my weary mind created
illusions veiled in unreality as my emotions
tumbled down into the ravine far below.
I was mesmerized by the way my emotions
caressed the sides of the cliff, then fell gently
into the brook at the bottom while the rough
ones bounced from boulder to boulder shattering
into pieces. Everything was lost, which was
once mine, they had vanished into the sound of
sighing breath. I was shadowed by clouds
scudding slowly above me in the sky. I bent
over to look far down into the chasm at the thin
blue line flowing like a scene in a dream, felt
my body swaying in the breeze, and sensed
something gently pulling at my body. I looked
to the sky and wondered if this was where I was
meant to be. I closed my eyes and saw long lost
memories soaring in my sorrowful mind. I told
myself that the elusive peace that I had sought
all my life could never be found: Grief’s dust
sung its
despondent song in my mind. There were no
church bells pealing in the wind, but a
mockingbird sang its stolen songs, and a
mourning dove cooed its words of woe into my
mind as I looked into the caverns of my pain.
The sky was like an ancient panorama, the dawn
bleeding crimson across the meadow far below.
Shadowy figures appeared in the mist, and a
whispering voice started dissolving my
memories into scrambled thoughts. I wondered
if this was the exit door to the final act in the sad
opera of my life. My feet inched slowly
forward, and I became aware that my journey
might be coming to an end. Suddenly, my
concentration was broken, and my self-absorbed
essence was taken by the hand over the cliff and
down into the mist below. I felt gravity pulling
at my body, but it no longer mattered. It was
later in the night that I awakened from the
nightmare in a cold sweat
and sighed.
Photo by Valdemaras D. on

About the Poet:

James G. Piatt, a retired professor and octogenarian, is a twice Best of Net nominee and three time Pushcart nominee. 

He has had five poetry books, “The Silent Pond,” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), “LIGHT,” (2016),

“Solace Between the Lines,” (2019), and Serenity, (2022), which has just been released, over 1740 poems, 

five novels, seven essays and thirty-five short stories published in over 260 magazines, anthologies and books. 

He earned his doctorate from BYU, and his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, SLO.


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