If you must leave,
then let it be on the most quiet night,
when the roads have been deserted
and there are no dogs barking in the distance.
Be certain the streets are naked
before you venture into the unfabricated dark,
into the valley of discoloured bones.
Be quick on your feet,
but do not let your ears hear your thuds.
A bevy of bats will flap through the reeling dark,
you must not bend your head,
you must not fret,
even as the darkness threatens
to swallow your resolve;
just mutter your mother’s name beneath your breath.
If the crickets are silent and the frogs are quiet,
and there are no fireflies;
light a lamp in your heart,
let the wick be made from passion.
When you meet the cat, do not stop.
Do not entertain questions from strangers,
do not answer familiar calls.
At the crossroad,
you will be tempted to look back, but dont;
not because you are afraid of mutation,
but because you do not want a loved one’s kiss
to lure you into changing your mind.
For you must go to fight the bloodless war,
and then you must return with the golden sword,
to bring to an end the shaman’s monopoly.