Somewhere in a weird uncharted expanse of fields and withering anecdotes, a child plays wistfully as she spins her life around a startling nut bound cage. It's propped precariously above the wanton wayward watchtower that spies her unlikely perch before plunging haphazardly to the wilting waves below. Suddenly her attention peaks a standing bastion on the horizon jumps to focus, wallowing sadly as it waddles down the shore, head ablaze with torment and retarded satisfaction. Why this traveler balks at his task she doesn't know though instantly resolves to find out. She sits, waits, her intent to burst upon him as he passes. What harm can a little shock do? Sitting in the calm embrace of that withered tree she ponders, precluding her inevitable encounter, surprised at her sudden indifference to caution. Regardless, she still waits as that bobbing head plods stumbling on through gently breaking surf, stomping to and far in the wetted sand that is his decay. He clears the bend, the shaggy veins of circumstance that reach vainly, some miles above his head, roots tracing, trapcing through the knarled space that shelters the hollows of his mind, grasping at dreams that pass the lonely mind in the gentle caress of sleep. He does not notice. He is too weary from the sinking imprint of his leather boots to spy the beaconing tendrils. What cares he for the heavens above if the earth below proves so contaminating? Fatigue in sodden shuddering breaths belies the exhaustion of his experience. Undoubtedly, he looks not to the horizon or across the willowing expanse of bark and limbs that shelter the waiting child. Instead, he sees the solid sordid pace of his own misery. She pauses, pondering the stolid encumbered one as he approaches. He does not look up, but towards the hell fire of his end, he does not speak, his voice no longer hastens moisture, he does not linger, for his clouds cannot belch the cooling rain of salvation, he does not sleep, for dreams offer recompense for the demons of his soul. She stands, shrouded in the haze of cracked brown that envelopes the twisted oak and fights a smile that creeps across her face. A perfect prey. He is near now, within the helpless net of her constancy, arms length and malleable, unsuspecting and uncaring. Strike. Years pass as a snapping gun propels its round, deep into the rotting flesh of his teetering soul. The present brews and festers still as nets do break and scrape onward. New faces and places he trundles further, contextually, regretfully, dejectedly, diligently, rewriting the music of his soul. There is no maestro to set his pace, no pleasing scale to tune his thoughts, no harmony to his caucus melody, but still he stumbles on. Trembling, waking, washing, wasting. The reality of his existence remains clouded, though sun can pierce the mired and unforgiving heavens. Lighter he stands, straighter his course, and once again the master of his own destined sunrise, minstrel of his own demise.