The Beast Below

July 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Word Portrait.

They are a slippery skittering thing, evading grasp, evading definition. They are layered softness and shifting forms. Moss grown thick and lush over once-shining chitin. The chitin a carapace to protect the tender furred creature within.
They come from out the barrow, and the barrow is their home. They live beneath the earth with crawling things and slithing beasts, growing moss on their hide, fungi in their hair, the roots of the world entangling in their soul.
Listen, listen. The rhythm of their heart is a chittering insect sound but you have to listen close. The sound of their breathing is that of the wind over the heath. Spiders wove their spirit and cicadas sing their thoughts.
Look close. Burrow into the mud and grit of the underbelly of the world. Let the centipedes roam through your fingers and the worms taste your sweat. Learn to love the scent of decaying leaves. Be quiet and still enough to hear the small insect sounds of the underbrush, the brief bold lives of the people of the earth.
They are the soft rich yielding of grave-loam and the fire-heart beneath the earth’s crust and the heavy shifting of tectonic plates. They are the murmuring contact of ants and the biting defense of spiders. They settle into safe separate solitude beneath leafmold and winding roots where few will venture for fear of crawling things and imagined horrors, they befriend the many-legged and no-legged things of the warm dark of earth and heart, and they peer through the cracks of the world.
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