Friday, February 02, 2007

The Aetnaville Limestone Cave
By Don Iannone

For some reason today,
I remembered the old limestone cave
we used to explore,
as growing young boys in Martins Ferry.
The cave, located in Aetnaville,
just south of Martins Ferry,
was very much a hidden mystery,
known only to the true initiates
of the sacred geometry of Eastern Ohio,
or those taking the time to trapse
the area's ancient woodland landscape in detail.
While a long time ago in years,
the Aetnaville cave and our adventures
are never more than a thought away
at given moment.
Give them a thought, and there they are,
and there you are.
Sensing the cave could swallow us up
in any loose-footed moment,
even as boys we took precautions
to ensure we could safely exit
what we had in the first place entered.
Wet and cold,
the cave was not conducive to candles,
or the homemade kerosene torches
we used for light in other caves.
We were entirely dependent upon
our trusty ever-ready battery flashlights
to light our cautious footsteps
into the earth's deep limestone belly.
To ensure we found our way out,
we tied together four balls of sturdy string,
each the length of a football field.
Twelve hundred feet into the earth was deep
for three eleven year-old boys,
who lived about the same distance
from the Elm School,
where they spent days
from early September to early June.
To this day, I vividly recall
the damp sweet smell
of the Aetnaville limestone cave.
And to this day,
I equate the twelve hundred feet
into the foreboding cave,
as roughly the same distance
I must travel inward
to reach the cave of my heart.
Isn't it funny how
all inward journeys feel the same?


Janice said...

Poignant piece Don...the ending superb!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

One thing about your poetry is that they often make me think of something from my own past. That's great writing! :)

Borut said...

Really enjoyed every turn of your Cave story. Plato had his own. The title of chapter 18 of the Koran is ‘The Cave’. One of my early attempts to write poetry included a simple piece on the cave dwellers of our hearts…

floots said...

love the story and the shift in tone at the conclusion

trinitystar said...

Love your childhood stories full of adventure ... and you still see life through a childs eye ... the difference now is ... With Wisdom!
Great ending on your story.

Pat Paulk said...

Dark and scary!! Good tie up at the end!!

gautami tripathy said...

All soul searching poetry have to be like that..

Don Iannone said...

Thanks all.

Enter the cave of your heart, where you find the child still awaiting in the sacred womb.

Dan said...

Missed this one yesterday in the face of my day. I like it. I also like that I'm one who has been inside the very cave you're writing about...

Don Iannone said...

Yes Dan, You were there! What times we had...and still are!

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