Tag Archives: dreams

Fall Wedding

I drank in the crisp air, thin and sharp like the bite of mint – the sting ran down my throat and lanced the belly of my lungs.  A soft wisp of steam poured from my mouth like the smoke from a train piping through a bright valley morning. I could feel the heat lighting from the back of my neck, and from the tips of my ears, covered though they were by my soft, brown wool hat.  I hugged my elbows closer to my ribs, squeezing the heat back into my core,  smiling beneath the ineffectual sun as she shone bright but cold upon my face and upon the water of the pond.

A soft breeze scattered a fleet of dried leaves across the nascent ripples birthed on the sheer surface of the glass-smooth water.  The sunlight bobbed and danced over the ridges, shooting crazed patterns like knives in the pumpkin and stone colored canopy above.

I stopped on the path, just before it ducked into the shade of the chattering maples and oaks.  I listened in the quiet to the playful chattering of beech leaves on slender, elephant-smooth trunks.  Those leaves would hang through the long, cold winter in fierce competition with the late oaks – the blissful ignorance of youth pitted against the reluctant willfulness of the ancient.  I would merit from them both, happy animal that I was – free to meander through the light and shade, open to thought and motion so quick as to be ephemeral.

That day I squinted my eyes against the radiance of an October sun on the umber-cobalt sheet of the pond but I gazed through sheaves of years, back into memories of greenest grass and pique of buzzing midge.  I looked not upon the gravel path, succumbing to the onslaught of falling leaves, but rather gazed into the shining eyes of a semicircle of storied faces, backlit with dreams and good intention.

My mind was not focused on the collective whispers of the forest leaves, nor on the mournful cry of walnut-gray geese resting before the continued push south.  Instead I heard the soft strum of string, the guitar ringing free in the outside air, looking for wall and floor to spring from in echo, but finding only shining air and distant cloud.  I no longer heard the soft lapping of frigid waves licking the edge of weathered hull, but instead my ears remembered the expectant hush of minds focused on myth and ceremony.

I stood complete and present in a time that was no longer present.  Fully self-aware in a memory whose mutability my probing thoughts enhanced, I swayed beneath a closer sun, years away and a season apart.  I could hear no words, nor see the detail of face nor of raiment. Yet I felt the mood, and bathed in the goodwill and expectation. We set aside there doubt and fear.  We cast anger from ourselves like empty cloaks – it was not needed in that place we had built.

I knew the sun waned through twilight to evening in the vision.  The untamable eye in the heavens replaced by man’s pet servant – fire, as she danced and kissed the sausages and vegetables, charring and caressing.  And in the darkness we feasted, dancing and singing and smoking and drinking. With feet bare, and hearts open, we revelled in the togetherness of celebration, and we forgot of yesterday and of tomorrow, and of those things to come later.  In that moment we were. Simple and fulfilled, we were.

A shiver ran through my toes, and I, as if from slumber awaking, became present again in the present.  I stood, short pillar of gray and green against the racing brush of time, painting the world before me in maroon and brown and yellow.  So slowly, and yet so very quickly, I counted year upon year stacking neatly behind me, ever pushing me wiser and older down the path towards rest and completion.  I looked upon my world, pastoral beauty framed in billowing trunk beneath cloudless cold sky.

I looked and felt a stirring for the crafty peace of autumn, for smokey childhood days of heroism and timelessness.  I watched a small boat trail glacially slowly across the pond, piloted by a passive silhouette of detailless suggestion.  I felt the heat of the earth retreating slowly into the depths as if all of nature were drawing a hushed breath before slumber.  I knew a wistfulness for the unbridled possibility of youth, and for the slow, deliberate wisdom of age. Within me stirred some primordial duality – the hope for newness and creation, married perfectly to the restfulness of death and darkness.  I saw myself not as a part of the world, but rather as someone watching a world, a stranger catching a shadowy glimpse of a deeper truth that was so much larger and grander than I could comprehend. But I was so thankful for the symbolism, though I understood nothing of the meaning.  I stood in awe, a child behind the discussion of kings and gods, lost and adoring, alone and insignificant – but complete.

I pulled the boots from my feet, and tucked my socks neatly inside.  I placed the boots next to each other, resting to warm in the nearly cold rays of the sun.  The earth beneath my feet was distant and cold. I did not feel grounded. Heat and life fled from my toes, evaporating in the cool dry air, feeling carried away by the breeze.  The soles of my feet spoke of stones and twigs, but their voices were muted in the vacancy of my mind. I walked to the water’s edge, and felt the clear tongues of the waves as they lapped at my toes and ankles.

I drew a deep breath again, and closed my eyes.  I spread my arms and tumbled into the icy blackness of the pond, the flame of consciousness extinguished by the icily merciless bite of the cold, dark water.


Pre-joy fog

Bow me down before I sleep,

the long, tired walk of restlessness in pseudo-dream

and fog between waking and knowing.

Therein lies a mist-blanketed shore,

acrust with gems of shell

and litter strewn by eons lost

beneath Time’s own slumberous tread,

forcefully forged from bone and shield

to powder dust of crystal

and thought.

On silent beach spill sapphire waves

yielding their life upon unlit sand

and polished heart of wood

no longer adrift.

Under clouded night

with moon hid behind gauzy cloud,

gray-yellow above the black glass sea,

unfolds nothing

but weighty time

and build of pressure,

dead steel of sword upon my head

shorn and cold and alone in thought

beneath ever deepening nightshadow of cliffs

tall and stern and proud –

unyielding.

 

Unfold my eyes before the dawn,

cold grey expanse.

The day is pain of sinew and structure,

of back and foot and head and heart.

Perhaps the joy, indeed, lies under varied sky,

and I err to search for it here.


Lament

I can see it.

Can you  not?

This brightness and white-hot light?

Can you not smell

the fire-scent of rebirth?

.

Darkness follows,

cool, soothing darkness,

a balm to all of my wounds.

.

You can just barely sense the arrival of the new self,

the air tingling with discovery.

.

My back rests on cold, polished stone

as I reach my hands to part the velvet,

but nothing,

thick and musty nothingness

meets my arms and face.

.

In the distance I hear music;

soft, slow music.

Words of twisted lament

speak of ultimate sadnesses.

But I am new and have not yet been filled,

so I drink the emotion and revel in feeling anew,

.

All that I know is of sadness.

It is filling and complete.

My eyes see dancing,

the music leaps in the darkness.

.

I awake to vague impressions,

a desire for sadness.

Apr 5, 1996


cracked sky – revisit

I gaze upon the painted sky; it cracks.

I press against the hoar-rimed horizon,

so cold and biting. I strain to see through

but am allowed only a furtive glance;

a peek at another world. Mystery

and shadow – I see my dreams through the crack.

.

I flatten myself against the dome and

struggle to slip through the hole in time, o’er

gossamer borders spun ‘twixt life and dream

as the icy kiss of the bounding wall

warns of edges sharp from fractures honed,

cold claws that reach and rend my mortal flesh.

.

Through action wary, misplaced though it be

I fail to mark the cruel blade sliding

into my belly, piercing through my ribs,

until the point rests just within my heart.

my lifeblood’s warmth over my body spills,

a mask to the glass bite raw, elation.

.

Into my mind through mist of shock-numbed pain,

disbelief of thought, “What has just occurred?

what trick of dream-disguisèd sense is this?”

Though to the earth I drop in pain of wound

aknee across confines of worlds apart

I fall owned, part of each, by neither claimed.

.

My form just short of dreams cast down, I hear

the serenity songs through branch of tree

and peace of moon called forth, “come now to us”

Sweet voices of a thousand birds cry out,

Come fly with us, through mystery unveiled,

panoply vista of sight enchanted.”

.

I make to lift my breaking style, weak now

through loss of blood I retch in painful breath.

from just below my chest strikes out cruel blade

nearly hilts-deep into my belly thrust .

Upon the pommel resting light – a hand,

the trembling mother of this grievous pain.

.

The very form of grace and beauty warm,

How I long to stroke this exquisite hand

To touch and to be touched upon the face,

please let the caress come to end this pain.

Violent sobbing jarring my bladed chest,

through agony forceful, my tears are dried.

.


White Runners _ 1

Joah crested another hill, his feet crunching the fallen leaves – dried husks of burgundy and gold.  There was a scent to the air here, Joah felt more than smelled it – a thick patch of must.  He paused atop the hill, panting to allow his old lungs to catch their breath.

To his left, at the bottom of a small gully, Joah saw a massive slab of rock.  The boulder was moist, caked with fresh brown soil.  Up the slope to the rear of the gully was cut a fresh track of destruction from the wake of the stone’s tumultuous descent to the valley floor.  The source of the trail was lost to a curve in the hills.

Joah made his way carefully down the slope to the monolith.  He tested each step with his staff.  The tempestuous summer had left many loose stones uncovered from tremor or flood.  Joah had no intention of adding his name to the list of those who had fallen to their death from misplaced trust in old paths.

As he approached, Joah found that the stone was far larger than it had appeared.  The oblong behemoth was roughly three times Joah’s height, and half as thick.  During the fall, one end of the massive white stone had cracked off, revealing a deep blue-black slate beneath.  The severed portion had landed flat side up just beyond the stone itself.  A ray of sunlight decorated the rough surface, immaculate as the altar of any village chapel.  The fractured blacked surface was like a rough sea, frozen mid-storm.

As if  compelled by the rays of sun, Joah turned his gaze to trace the path of the stone’s descent.  He was blinded by the early morning sun as it leapt from behind low clouds, bath the stone in a blaze of fire.   He fell to his knees in rapture at the base of the stone.  Surely this was a sign from God, this was the place to be prepared.

For a long time Joah remained kneeling reverently at the altar, lost in prayers of thanksgiving.  Finally, as he started to rise, his ancient knees failed him.  Joah shot out his hand reflexively to steady his fall.  His palm slid across the edge of the altar.  The flesh was shorn nearly to the bone on the razor edge of the flint.  Joah clutched the wounded hand to his chest, watching as the blood seeped into the white shell of the altar.  The blood that spilled onto the black face of the altar was lost, its deep color a perfect match for the dark luster of the cloven stone.  This was not a frozen sea, but rather a churning roil of frozen blood.

Joah pressed a broad plantain leaf to his wound and bound it clumsily with a rage from his pack.  Swooning, he turned back to the source of the ravine.  The sun had been masked again with cloud, and no longer dazzled the eye.  Now he could see that the rim of the surrounding hill had fallen.  A shear crown as tall as a man wound around the rim of the gully.  At the head of the scree pile gaped a deep blackness – a dark portal beneath the hills.

As carefully as he could, Joah picked his way through the loose dirt and small stone up to the cave entrance.  The long walk from the village, the spiritual discovery, and the loss of blood had taken a toll.  A wave of nausea overtook him, just shy of the cavern’s mouth.  The world spun in his eyes, and Joah collapsed, his wounded hand reaching out to the darkness.


Judging

And long before the end of the council

he stood before them all,

lost in the eternal darkness

that swallowed the faces of his judges.

He stood alone,

nearly naked,

his skin covered by tattoo.

He stood to prove himself.

his skin tanned brown between the ink,

for he was of the Earth,

a child of his Eternal Mother,

“wild”

they called him,

and he did not move,

but remained still

and quiet,

judging his judges

with the fire behind his eyes.

.

1.14.99


Poem in a Bowl

Have you,

can you

see

moonbeams on silken,

flaxen

gossamer webs

of cat-spiders

against a midnight-blue

ghost of a sky

chasing the white queen,

the moon?

.

Can you soar

upon the back

of warm,

soft,

metallic dragons,

shimmering gold

and silver lighting

the line tree-tops

reaching up

from acres of

wood below

as to tickle

your feet?

.

Have you ever

had your heart broken,

rent apart

onto the rough floor

of reality

by a father,

by your mother?

.

Have you seen your

old friends’ dreams

playing like old

colorless

films onto the

white lace of your lover’s

wedding dress?

.

Can you feel the burden

of a gray,

rainy sky

pushing darkness

onto your back

in an attempt to force

the air from your lungs?

.

Can you see your life

echoed in nature

in a spider

or a wave upon the beach

or the rock it attacks?

.

Can you think,

tell yourself words

to stir you to tears,

to fill your heart with passion

burning

as fiercely as the sun?

.

Can you tell me

these things,

make me understand,

place your thoughts

into the fertile ground

of a vivid imagination?

.

Can you honestly tell me

and tell me you have lived,

that you understand?

For my brother

September 7, 1995


Water (recast)

Oh what an overcast morn! And oh how

it causes my heart to bleed out as I

watch a black bird float alone in the sky

ever so slowly on currents of air.

Yearning to cry out in warning of mind,

“swiftly take flight, o spirit befeathered

fly ‘pon the wind ‘cross the dome of the sky,

take leave of this place, of this most ruinous life.”

.

I utter no sound, and not even a

thought do I spare from my mind, but instead

hold guarded my tongue, e’en as this black beast

holds my eye with its own, catching my mind

and locking my soul in a battle most

desperate, trapped in a struggle between

the gaze of beast and loss of the real.

And as he flies off, I sink to the ground. Broken.


The Legend of the Brother Sword

A shadow falls across the hall,

backlighting themes aligning into strange patterns.

The forest floor echoes those whispers,

two brothers alone together,

power and strength as a completed team,

shadow and panther.

The dim light of a flame

flickers in the eyes of the one,

the other trained on the back of his brother,

respect and fear mingle together,

blend with determined grit.

The goal is godhood,

the price – a life.

 

5/10/01


Spring Sun Rising

The spring sun is rising

and close behind comes the heat of his cousin,

the hot warmth of the summer blaze,

the promise of the thaw,

the desire for dark things forbidden,

changed through absence from light and sharing

to a burning hunger for dirt,

of lust and a watery hope.

The night falls late now,

storms call through dreams

quenching the earth of her thirst,

yet ignoring the forbidden desires of man.

The dawn brings the light

the torturous light of movement,

heating and loosing those plans,

the half-whispered thoughts

of the heart.

 

4/21/01


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