In the mountain hall of Swiss creation,
TASTE THE HEART OF DARKNESS
where mysterious chocolatiers worked
their creamy magic, I stared down at giant
shining steel paddles dipping in tandem,
churning great vats, a thick molten brown
river flowing beneath me. Smooth, raw
liquid chocolate was pouring into itself,
forever folding, beating the hot reek of
roasted cocoa and sugar into fragrant air.
This extravagant supply, the long-sought
source of all that was good and warm and
sweet and heavy in my twelve-year-old world,
stirred endlessly, hypnotically as I leaped
the rail, cast myself on the viscous rush
to float in ecstasy, my small milk-skinned
body a boat sucked up the dark river
back to its beginnings, up the deep luscious
current of chocolatey mud through a
ferment of tropical aromas to forests of
cacao flowering in dense steamy ranks,
a rain-dripping Eden of rich ripening beans.
And now so far from primal jungle,
I stand in line to buy a polished ebony bar,
tear the paper, tear the foil, hold the treasure
on my tongue, feel the river flow and swallow
the heart of darkness slowly once again.
Copyright 2000, William Keener
William Keener has eaten chocolate on several continents, but mostly
Northern California where he works as a writer and environmentalist.
His poems appear in several literary magazines, and his chapbook Three
Crows Yelling (authored in collaboration with two other poets) won
the 1999 National Looking Glass Award sponsored by Pudding House Publications.
Switched-on Gutenberg/Vol. 4, No. 2