Upon my travels, I came upon a path, Which no one seemed to take. Devoid of pleasure, Of scenery and charm, It stretched beyond the mists.
No one I asked noticed the path, Indeed, no one noticed me, But still, I tried, and still, I failed. Finally, I set my heavy tread, Upon its worn cobbles. To see where it would lead.
Like Alice, I had tumbled, Twisting between bracken, And scrambling in the earth. On and on the path led, Like a labyrinth with no turns, But strangely, I was a man at peace.
It was as if I had peeled back the curtain, Like the skin of a ripe lychee, To gorge on the sweet flesh beneath. This new world was so strange, So far from my cities and life, And I can't feel a sniff of them now.
Seven days I walked, The moon rose and set and rose again, And set on my lonely trek. Not a sound I heard, Not a beast I saw, As I jorneyed this limitless grove.
But with equal and opposite force was I pulled, And pushed, And never moved. And still my path went on. Slow and ponderous but still, I continued.
And then, quite abruptly, I came to a fork, where the two roads diverged, And stretched beyond. One bent in the undergrowth, The other was grassy and wanted wear, And before both were guards.
Identical guards, Monstrous and beautiful, Born from the skies, the earth, and the fires. By a mad-man were they painted into life, And terrible to look upon, But I could not turn back.
And so to the first I turned, 'What is the meaning, Can I not pass freely? I have walked so far, To be denied to continue, Would be an unfathomable crime.'
Then I sighted a pedestal without an owner, Or any disernable reason of being, And these words appeared; 'One leads to heaven, And one leads to hell, One lies, and one speaks only truth.'
And in double-tongued voices, The guards said to me; 'Ask us a question, one question to pass, And you may travel through. To eternal bliss, or endless pain, The choice, is yours.'
I did not know the answer, And I do not know it now, I am stuck between twin guards - Limbo and Purgatory, Sitting atop the ownerless pedestal, Hunched with a broken back, And a fist to rest my weary head.