AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker

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They were people of dreams and ladders.
Their homes were hollowed into cliffs.

Their temples bored beneath the ground.
By day they planted corn and squash.

At night they pleated mythic baskets.
Four worlds ago they tunneled up

ant people pouring from earth’s navel.
The world we’ve earned we live in now,

the next is soon to turn the tables.
Each stage emerging from the last

reversing what we thought we knew.
No simple progress from the past,

for though the light grows daily brighter,
the night wells up around our feet.

And while our hands crane toward the sun,
the drumbeats of the earth increase.

The brash set sights upon the future,
forget the depths from which they’ve come.

The ancient ones who dwelled in crags
spent prayerful nights in sacred holes.

For what emerges must descend
as sap sinks back into the root

to push up the aspiring shoot—
the fifth world merging day with night.