The large oak door that guards the tomb -
sealed by time, and wind-worn bare,
it stands - mid moss, age, and gloom.
Centre carved, dark eyes stare
with troll like nose on devil features
and razor fangs from gaping maw -
born ugliness, this guardian creature.
A warning to man, beast, and all:
"Barren trees gnarled and twisted,
grey mist secrets earthen floors,
all are lost, the souls that visit,
who brave this fateful, darkened door."
Fueled by legend, story, and myth
came one young man, a traveled stranger -
truths revealed, his heart's own wish.
Not obstacles nor threat of danger
would keep him from his life of quest,
in search of knowledge and wisdom aged,
a valiant knight who knew no rest.
The tomb before, the landscape staged,
his eyes he closed, and swallowed hard.
The fear that wound up through his spine,
he bade it gone with uttered ward,
and felt the pull upon his soul from depths within the ancient shrine.
As steps were silent on forest floor
came winds of warning, cold and sharp,
that slashed and pierced his very core.
The arcane mists wound round his heart.
Though hands were numb, frozen wholly,
with steadfast will to perilous task,
through burning cold he reached out slowly
to bind pained fingers round the latch.
The angry winds that cursed and tore
fell to breezes soft and warm,
that left the forest as before....
promised chaos ahead the storm.
Tarnished and heavy, removed the bind,
revealed a world of dust and age.
Stone-leached cold and stale air find
a single room that stood the days
and tests of time and nature.
No life within; no guardian came;
no old and ancient creature,
just trappings bare, and stone walls plain.
There laid no chests of treasures gold,
but save one book in deadened light -
the untold secrets it would hold:
the knowledge, the truth, the divine insight.
By muted sun black leather glowed,
time's scent curling from its pages.
The dull bronze clasp kept secrets closed,
unseen throughout the ages.
The weighted book, here for the brave,
held now by trembling hands,
and sent to reel the stony knave
was thunder's roar and lightning's bands.
Air thickened by the Gods' own threats,
warnings screamed, and wailed, and crashed.
The youth drawn taught by coil of dread
the tome did fall; the clasp did smash.
The din of rain poured in his ears.
Exposed, the words now lay.
On his knees, cold filled with fear,
his thoughts began to sway.
The mysteries of the ancient past,
lost answers now unfurled,
old wisdom's light would soon be cast
upon the darkening world.
His mind was open; his heart was true.
The pages kissed his eyes.
His concepts changed; his outlook new.
The truth behind the lies.
The night aged old as on he read,
the text to bring new life.
He'd know of Nature and of Death,
of gods and men, of wrong and right.
By bated breath each page was turned,
and anticipation ruled his thoughts
of all the world that he might learn.
He did not hear the thunder stop,
the tomb and forest fall away.
So enraptured by his find,
his muscles sore, skin ashen grey,
with discomfort found in kind.
Words written, read by pale moonlight,
as page to page he flew.
And knowing the last would prove him right,
within, his urgency grew.
Words soon faded to nothing more
than to a pocket that was made.
The truths revealed would shake his core.
Instead, therein, a card was laid.
His breath released, the secrets known:
"C. Columbus - 1492".
Left in mystery, this book alone,
as Columbus feared the charges due.