astropoetry – Mercury

Mercurial phase.
 
Practice magic expressed as habit.
Impeccably design unbinding spells.
Slip and slide in scintillating sound bites,
encrypted tones of Temple bells.
Silly Buddha tricks
are for kids, hand in fist with cheap
extemporaneous thrills.
Ratiocination,
solitary skill.
Search cascading signs,
divine clues.
 
Silly me, to contradict
your view.
When we met, I was still
so new.
 
I  spy for gutter snipes,
smoke to assuage hunger.
Haven’t you?
 
Mercury Trickster
lithely larfing pixels and waves,
scatters mayhem silly and brave,
leaps between wandering worlds,
with the flick of a dial,
beams a cheshire cat smile
to the lips of a beaten down child.
Fleeing outside the scene
to quicksilver change,
out of range
of censor or brute,
soldier or suit,
then sneaks back to give ’em the boot.
Immortal mixer
in mundane affairs.
Unattached to plebian cares,
playing musical chairs
or the game of the day.
Merry and gay —
spreading that sunny moonshine
then dancing away.
 
Trail of effervescent Mercury’s abandon.
Charming trickster,
trips deftly on quicksilver surf.
Disarms in soliloquy,
untethered to memory…
Exhale old air’s detritus.
Inhale chaos mirth.
 
 
This phase relaxes — sings out for fun.
 
Unwind! The next track looms ahead.

flower moon of enlightenment

This Is Not a Sketch
*
*
Not the fire in the belly,
but the air in the lungs.
Clarity.
Fire warms, then burns in passion,
flaming, shameful, conflagration
of sin and victory.
Buddha-like compassion,
saintly wise, learned in cycles
of hard labor, blessed bliss —
messages like this mentored, memed,
given credence in electric market,
synapse scent, inhaled essence.
This is not a sketch.
This is awakening
from deep, drugged entanglement
in eiderdown.
Memories march in hideous mime.
Despair hangs heavy, grey,
unbounded.
Coarse, textured currents,
slowed for inhalation, beckon,
wave, invite companionship.
Bubbles surface, break
like flowers expelling seeds.
Breathe the inspiration.
*
*
*
*
stone Pan
*
*
Like a Pan of stone,
ensorcelled, cast in shame
from homeland mystic plains.
Immortal master held below
mundane sky.
*
Mercurial phase.
Experience teaches as ratiocination
never will.
Solitary skill.
Search cascading clues,
divine signs.
*
I fish for gutter snipes,
smoke to assuage hunger.
Haven’t you?
Silly me, to contradict
your view.
When we met, I was still
so new.
*
Practice magic expressed as habit.
Impeccably design unbinding spells.
Immersed in scintillating sound bites,
encrypted tones of Temple bells.
Silly Buddha tricks
are for kids who sell cheap
services for circus thrills.
This phase relaxes — sings out for fun.
Unwind!  The next track looms ahead.
Stone bases crack, licked by the Sun,
Spirit discounted as dead
wildly rises.
*
Glorious battles can start
in an era of heart.
Glorious peace be created
in an era of mind.
Stories absorbed in the womb of man
reach out
in the day to day,
cast an unconscious design.
Over ages, the Covenant is broken.
Astonished, stone breathes, alive.
Mature, Pan, self-freed, grieves
lost time.
*
*
*
*
Arising from Diffraction
*
*
Colder than the weather
and unsettled,
under collective oceans, scuttling claws.
Ill-content to follow temporal laws,
I ride moonbeams along neuro-electric
tracks,
distracted from segmented scenes.
Extended feelings report well.  No nauseous meds,
no precious moments ignored to awe some
foreign-speaking doctor’s presence.
Forever short-circuited, my essence
traded chronic pain
for devils’ staccato dancing through my brain.
Meditation, mediation, Buddha’s great epiphany:
mindful liberation.
Join us!  Joyous! The perfect wave.
Milky bright foam carrying home
what remains
after battles and grief.
Our place of safety
fragile, contingent on
circumstance.
Subaqueous protected crevices
hide special eyes
immune to humanity’s
fashion fascinations.
Intent upon
defense against
hungry beasts,
angry gods;
I can’t help you while
you deny
my existence.
*
*
*
*
Bliss Consciousness
*
*
People seem to be threatened by cognition of bliss,
tying, corralling the ineffable with definitions.
How can words surround without restricting open-ended bliss?
Have we no faith in a loving Creator?
Have I no faith in my co-creating higher Muse?
Suffering, disappointments, traumas, desolation — these are not voice of deities
demanding or displeased.  These are natural consequences of forces set in motion
impervious to prayer, blind to persons, unaware of individual woe.
Meaningless occurrence we empower by attributions of guilt, blame,
bitter condemnation.
Take a little turn, I tell me, into a truer dimension of perception.
Bliss is the source condition, essence of
all space in, around, between.
This is the Creator’s plan, Eden’s blueprint, Paradise here and hereafter.
This is Christ’s salvation, Buddha’s enlightenment, Mohammed’s dream,
Zarathustra’s revelation.  This is the holy secret Great Goddess whispers
in cradling lullaby.
All of consciousness, all that life can gift, is an option to open eternally
into completion as full awareness of bliss.  Breathe in the healing.
Breathe out the stale pain.
Laugh in the chilling rain, yes, even as the tsunami hits, the Earth quakes,
erupting ash burns, take my hand, my word, my promise.
A universe of bliss is ours for the accepting.  It costs nothing but our sins,
misconceptions, resistance to true unfettered life, immersion in immortal soul.
*
*
*
*
Under a Wesak Moon
*
*
…here we plug along. Sense implies human
construct.
Silent knowledge too intangible to
be quantified, measured. It is more subjective,
contextual, subtle,
ethereal.
Yet vital.
Such instinct, lore, ought
not be lost, drowned in prideful possession,
nor discounted for quick profit on the popular market.
*
Traveling through water.
Under a Wesak Moon
where the Buddha crossed the quarters,
liminal wisdom guides***
Unraveling.
Rebelling.
Revel in wry telling
gaudy tales for a shilling.
Skillfully fade; still outside the vale.
Intimate with rambling river —
admonished:  never expect a binding code.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em,
we club ‘em and mate
‘cause it’s all we know.
Tomorrow is only a threat.
Tonite is the moment we met.
To live by chance of regret could do us wrong.
Listen to me. I’m a song.
*
Why invoke Love, so imprecise an instrument,
when desire craves divine-like acceptance,
adoration of sparks within us,
all that can inflame.
Madness, empathy, a symphony, a cure for any dis-ease.
Love can become cherished remedy, if the world of we
define it as sanity.
Health, enlightened cooperation, happy inspiration
to keep us all at the top of our form.
Sentience suffused, fresco of swooping angels,
pledged to fly us to our highest goal.
Bliss,
aspiration enriched.
Bubbling of bittersweet stew, accrued heritage.
That metallic tang of blood, carbon bonds descended
through rock, dust,
skeletons deconstructed, salvage from waste.
Black swans, dragons, screeching heralds
surge through flame,
ever re-emerge,
ferry potential energy into collective deserts.
Sleep well in comfort of serene will.
Tomorrow
we learn to bloom.

*
*

Holy observation

+
A seer in a year of prophecies
+
+
between Heaven and Earth,
Above and Below.
Chilled, burned, abducted by prophecy,
by Gods, Demons.
What creature, fearfully aware of mortality,
prays to be the prey of fate —
prays for salvation from the other side,
accedes to forces beyond control
of flesh and mind?
What kind of sniveling, conniving coward
bends the law, the sacred trust,
covenant with all that is holy?
Cast into a class that laughs at rules,
what holds grimy chaos at bay?
(Classic Fools at least are pure, are gay and
without malice.)
Cunning schemes are not forbidden honour,
if they carry careful depth, just weight,
that integrated code.
How much is sold?  How much kept
for seed and nourishment?
This is why we invented numbers —
to have some objective measurement.
So good we become at spinning stories,
descending backward from our source,
so easy to proclaim:  “Of course,
everyone knows,
obstruction is the obvious choice.”
Because our goal is not solvency,
but Salvation; not solving common sums,
but absolution from our sins —
merry though they may be.
If Greybeard in some quantum sky,
hallowed by Name,
presides o’er rewards, blessed bliss,
cries in flames of perdition,
why would such a power be amused,
indulgent Grandfather bouncing willing
child on some ectoplasmic knee,
promising eternity if baby will but
keep still?
Wouldn’t such a benevolent progenitor
expect more joyfully creative heirs, better stories
for the choices given?
+
+
+
Pageantry
+
+
Could Christian Fundamentalism be the promised AntiChrist,
 and greedy Wall Street his ravenous Beast?
Could the Second Coming be prides of young
claiming back the streets?
+
Could Prophecies feared and hoped
to bring Sinners to our knees
to lift the Holy into just reward
by Blessed Hero’s mighty sword
defending, avenging the meek —
+
Could that parade be before us,
just not the scene we believed,
preached to prove the righteous right?
+
Has the final fight foretold been taking form,
storm clouds positioned for a hard rain to fall,
untidy time of transition as soothsayers call,
alarm bells chime?
+
Is the end of this trial of dependence nigh?
Can we break the Jesus code, create out of
Apocalypse our own
golden age, reign of Peace?
+
+
+
Jesus, before His Destiny
removed Him from common ribaldry,
banter and shoving that score for a man
his secure place among brethren,
Jesus loved the children even then.
He dared to imagine a gentle congregation,
free from bullies’ shaming, from easy blaming,
from traumatic scars of social war.
He believed in us, human kin above
judgmental sin.
Fatherly humor, the way fathers love
their children, with the pride of
ownership and the slave master’s
secret fear,
God disciplines His Heir.
+
+
+
Bliss Consciousness
+
+
People seem threatened by their idea of bliss,
tying, corralling the ineffable with definitions.
How can words surround without restricting open-ended ecstasy?
Have we no faith in a loving Creator,
or co-creating higher Muse?
Suffering, disappointments, traumas, desolation — these are not voices of deities
demanding or displeased.  These are consequences of forces set in motion
impervious to prayer, blind to persons, unaware of individual woe.
Meaningless occurrence we empower by attributions of guilt, blame,
bitter condemnation.
Take a little turn, I tell me, into a truer dimension of perception.
Bliss is the source condition, essence of
all space in, around, between.
This is the Creator’s plan, Eden’s blueprint, Paradise here and hereafter.
This is Christ’s salvation, Buddha’s enlightenment, Mohammed’s dream,
Zarathustra’s revelation.  This is the holy secret Great Goddess whispers
in cradling lullaby.
All of consciousness, all that life can gift, is an option to open eternally
into completion as full awareness of bliss.  Breathe in the healing.
Breathe out the stale pain.
Laugh in the chilling rain, yes, even as the tsunami hits, the Earth quakes,
erupting ash burns, take my hand, my word, my promise.
A universe of bliss is ours for the accepting.  It costs nothing but our sins,
misconceptions, resistance to true unfettered life, immersion in immortal soul.
+
+
+
Suppliant Psalm
+
+
Am I meant to be
a sacrificial lamb
as the Universe goes about its merry way?
Is this why we pray?
+
If it’s only me —
the great and wise I AM
engaging in some self-negating play,
what the hey?
Life is whatever you make it.
So go out there and take it.
Never, ever fake it
and you’ll be ok.
Or so they say…
+
Somnolent glide, sinuous, silvery stair.
What glimpse might I witness
if only I dare?
Is there purpose to wandering Earth?
Should I care?
A heroic myth to fulfill?
But how, when, and where?
+
“Jesus wept and died”
I always wondered what that meant.
An admonition to us to do the same?
Like, “Life sucks, and then you end”?
Or, if Jesus died for our sins,
did he first weep for our souls —
a holy pity party enfolding us all?
So, our sins have been wept for, died for;
we carry the blood of the Lamb, like disease.
Perhaps His sacrifice would be better released as
happy laughter; hugged forgiving;
genuine indulgence in feast of experience,
balance to weeping and dying.
For revelry balances grief;
ecstasy balances defeat;
and love, of course,
is the only balance to love.
+
Spitting on divine art.
Anger overtaking heart.
Ripping the world wheel apart,
invested in childish rage.
“Am I good now, Daddy?”
Purging my animal nature.
Ripping out the devils
under every bed.
I tell them, I tell them
what you said
about Fires of Hell awaiting
devotion to unsanctified ways.
Daddy, will you love me,
keep me safe?
My life, all lives, for You!
I humbly sacrifice
all life to You.
‘Cause you’re my Man, my Holy
Truth and Power.
Elevate my cause; it is your own.
+
+
+
Veneration
+
+
Honoring peace.
Honoring essence left behind
not blessed in sanctified fields
open to air and sunlight,
tended to father by father,
mother to sacrificed child.
Dust denied transcendence to
holy loam in presence of love.
Lives not given, not shared, but stolen,
ripped asunder —
limbs, guts, glory.
Shrieking abodeless waifs,
wailing abandoned intimates, kin.
Screaming bombs, squealing tanks.
Arms, throats lacerated.
Vision scathed, scarred.
For peace, for country, for prosperity.
Today, smoke, cinder flecks
obscure a longed-for Sun.
+
+
+
Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.
Jesus cried, and somebody grinned — don’t whine.
Jesus smiled his love on the least,
scattered his manna that the lowly might feast.
All you remember is that slavering Beast;
so remind me why it’s vital to deny
those who promote a peace of mind
based on revering kindness above
Divine.
+
+
Returning to the Light
+
+
In augured days of transformation,
blind scramble to climb past scorned station,
to fall enthralled into creation,
express as highest wave vibration.
Toppled over by savage wonder,
supine praise with gracious honor,
time expands to vastly ponder
who we truly are.
We learn to stand together,
celebrate our rising star,
eyes open, turned out toward space.
United human race, at one to become
voice of music merging into song.
Hallelujah, rejoice, be saved;
glad souls coalesce, exposed as holy mage.
+
Happy manumission from barbaric plans;
paradise is in our hands.
+
+
+
Gospel
+
+
Sally, won’t you go
downtown
Pick up some privileged party
clowns
We’ll teach ’em tricks of trade
from streets walled in by
degradation
Ain’t this nation grand
for glad hands raised in celebration
of shames we dare not name.
Hallelujah  Hallelucinations
Hallowed ground baptized
in blood
Saved from the cleansing Flood
by sticking to our kind
however we’re defining us today
If we were meant to live
a different way
wouldn’t He have told us?
+  +

Pink Moon Triptych

Masked Lady Moon shines
into my room,
speaks of fantastic adventure.
Dare I question her fulsome
abundance?
I a masked gypsy
painted in gloom,
a taste for wry humour,
impossible promises,
resplendent terrain.
A woman insane,
taken in by the Moon.
Fair sister, far sparkling cold.
I have no home to offer comfort
but that clear, quiet salvation
hiding like Moonlight
unmasked in my mind

Moonmirror

The many faces of the Moon
reflecting starlight in her many moods
Entrance the sky
My mortal eyes want to believe
adventures of myth and mind
Tell me, hoary elders,
rejuvenated for your fling
in sacred moonlight
Dancing from your castles
to mystic mountain
legendary glades
Tell me why I should believe
in magic, in codes and
spells and sacrifice
Is the wisdom of the wise
so constrained?
My species may be blind to
true eternity
but we mutate,
find and define
new ways to see
Belief is far too limiting
for me
Dear Sister Moon, separate entity
from birth, entwined
still with Mother Earth
Patterns re-cycling reveal
what we regard to be real
is but reflection
Face to face to face, fluid
to change

Lunation

Mist passes the Moon
as she moves through the clouds
trying to reach me
so far below.
How can I know
it is me she desires?
My mind is on fire,
moonstruck, some might say.
Flying along the Milky Way
fueled by moonshine.
She flashes her shadowy eye
through cloud-studded sky
and I feel fine.

root of desire (in progress)

Root of Desire

Chapter 1: Chalice
An empty chalice, open, to be filled by spirit’s essence, placed according to ritual, waits for its turn.

Goddess of so many duties, so many eras, so many sorrow-filled worshippers, She feels the tears, the emptiness.

“I cannot fill you. I can not fill the chalice of emptiness. That is not my gift or purpose. I can offer only what is already within you.”

Almost quiet, sea sounds, dank odor of lowtide, creeping Spring carries melt of harsher climes. She stokes the fire to remember warmth when the Sun was high and strong, and present. Fire has its own secrets, its own order. As do we all, each our own furnace, nurturing a flame that is destiny. So old, She has been burnt by many flames — blistered, scarred, hardened. She still feels every one, tastes fiery spice, seasonings, marinades. It all moves Her to cackling hysteria. You don’t want the pain of knowing what She endures. You just want soothing stories, fantasies to believe in.

She understands your fear, and withdraws. No need to escalate sorrow. She is self-contained in her work and close-knit layers of exquisite aeons, sense memories, distilled lives.

“Was I a woman, then, upon the Earth, feeling sweet breeze of early Spring uplift my being when returning birds and budlings made ready for new beginnings?”

In the dark, in the cold, enclosed below that hopeful ground, stirrings still find Her. She can not miss the Sun, the Sky, the open fields. They are ingrained in Her, as there and intense as ever they could be. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow. Always all times, all places, all emotions, overwhelm, yet gentle strand by strand amuse. She has no pity. There is only action, including the action of long enthrallment, of stasis within unfolding storms. There is no room for judgment, no excuses. She sees all the rationales, the weak flailing attempts at blame, at justification.

Laughter takes Her. It makes so much more sense to revel in explosion, expelling, cleansing for exploration, for readiness to take the next step.

—–

The Goddess stands over Her cauldron, deep in a hidden chamber of Her chthonic cave. She tosses in the herbs, reciting the liturgy, long-practiced but never without supreme concentration.

Sprite sparks, disembodied voices, curls of smoke stained with potent ash, swirl about, crazily careen, above and around Her energy absorbent pot of charming, of magicks.

The rampant confusion clears. She sees the moving scenes, hears the clamor of supplications, feels, breathes, the stories. She cocks an ear, widens the circumference of her eyes, takes in this kaleidoscope of landscape, of cacophonous data. As She minutely discerns cloying strings of powerful souls as yet unaware of their gifts, gladly grasps familiar flavors, She narrows in Her focus, becomes more attentively intent in Her seeking, in Her imagining of journeys to be undertaken. It has never been that She demands worship. It is, She is fully aware, Her responsibility to those few who demand Her influence, those who, knowingly or with but strange intuition, claim kinship.

Chthonic wilds, primordial, ancient castings, building over eternity, silent, archetype of will, ponders life. Intrinsically senses dispair, bottomless sorrow, waste of intent of expression on such a merciless plane. She is challenged, gives challenge to her wards. Find me, at the root of desire. Your truest wish of will to be fashioned, you must give only the price of who you were made against your nature.
—————–

Renata would not get her breakfast today. She was being unbearably willful. Certainly a Princess is expected to want her way; but there are some subjects a child of any class should be taught to shun.

Poor, motherless child. She is really such a sweet soul. She just does it for attention. She must be taught. We don’t want to attract attention of the wrong kind.

Born into royalty is just being born, thrust into a time and place, people, conditions of behavior having nothing to do with survival, other than it is learn or die defying.

“No time for me” wasn’t in Renata’s thinking. Accustomed to her own company while all hue and tumult went to her brothers’ training and vying for dear King Papa’s throne and favor. She carried secret smiles, knowing her bravery and sharp wit belong to her alone. No, not alone. All that she can mean belong to the Goddess who carries her, from within her first principles, before awareness. This motherless daughter, before the end while birthing her, last and only conscious gift from death to birth, was consecrated to her mother’s Protector, Friend, Purpose.

“His precious sons are his, to carry his legacy. I have paid that price. You, daughter, are mine to gift to Her; and She is my gift to you.” Renata feels her mother’s gift as the air of life, flowing through, in, sparkling energy, surety, allegiance.

“My life is mine,” a sweet phrase she might sing, even knowing that in this world it is anything but.
Look at them, the twins, ambitious, rambunctious, ready to the rule besting each other; little Terrence, bright warrior in the Queen’s (his mother’s) eyes — sons, heirs, worthy by their birth.

Renata knew she had been sold. Nothing so crass was said, or thought by any but her. She was betrothed to a man she had hardly met — seen perhaps on numerous occasions in close repartee with the adults who had sold her. She was part of a treaty, a sealing of a deal for mutual gain. What should she complain of? She was to be a Queen, of a nearby Kingdom — with all the rights of a young and pliant slave. Though she had not engaged in conversation with her husband to be, she knew enough of him to understand he would not be seeking her counsel, consolation, or companionship. He would expect to enjoy her body at his whim, at least while she was young and comely. He would provide the comforts of his opulent home and the companionship of guards and gossips, watchfully assuring her loyalty and continued ignorance of any means to power.

It could be a pleasant enough life, one certainly admired by girlfolk, frivolous women, or those in need of romantic fantasy. There would be no lack of the kind of luxury she had grown up within. Another woman would have been content if not thrilled by the prospect of such a destiny. Renata was not that other woman. She had always believed in a special destiny, perhaps implanted at birth by her dying mother’s promise.

Long that Full Moon night she stood on the balcony, staring at Lady Moon, breathing in sweet night blooming herbs from the garden. She fancied hearing faint music in the rustling wind. Slowly, not knowing that her body moved, she danced, the wind carrying her like a lover’s arms caught up in dancing slow and closer than a kiss. She felt helpless, unloved, unsupported. She felt a slow, undulating anger move through muscles and mind.

“Goddess?” Her voice quavered at the audacity; but she felt surer of her course.

“Goddess, I am your child.” Nothing had ever felt more true.

“I am of you; and in need of your aid. You know I have not asked anything of you before. We are an independent, self-dependent kind. We enjoy challenge, figuring out the puzzles, crafting our own prize, facing the demons square on with defiance and grace. I know these are your attributes when I seem myself thus behaving.

Tonight I am lost. I have lost my lust for challenge. I am defeated, unable to marshal the means to fight.

I beseech you, turn to you in supplication. Tell me, what can I do? How can I escape this false fate that will seize and drain my very soul, if I can find no exit?”

She continued in the ecstasy of the dance, eyes closed still facing moonlight. She felt a calming presence, so near, palpable. The perfume was like sleep, intoxicating, evoking dreams. That funny way that dreams have, half-baked images, fragments take on narrative.

She was somehow, without memory of travel, deep in the forest, archetypal forest. It was deadly dark; but the trees, the moss, flower petals, glowed, an unearthly light from an unannounced source.

She was drawn to a particular tree, indistinguishable from many others, yet a presence unto itself. Without segue, a shovel was in her hands, shoveling. Her apron pockets (an apron that had apparently fashioned itself and appeared atop her dress) had supplied themselves with a mixture of particular herbs, most of which were unfamiliar. Somehow her arms and shovel had excavated ground to reveal the roots of the tree.

Strange roots, these, alive. Yes, I know roots of a growing tree are alive; but these were lively. They wriggled, pulsed, seemed to dance, though in circumscribed place.

The shovel was now a knife. She cut open a finger of root. It bled copiously, a brilliant green. She mixed the root blood with the herbs from her pockets. A song came from her lips, from her throat, from her gut, bubbling through her as the herbs and tree blood mixed into a viscous paste.

“Root of desire calls
infinite melodies
binds the seven seas
spills through centuries
cast out among the stars
essence of who you are.
Feel the root of desire
enflame your heart
realize your part
play its haunting melody
charm vibrations repair your fears,
released from harm, from chains
of foes,
find your destiny
rooted in the throes of desire.”

She recognized the Goddess’s chalice that held the potent mixture as it touched her lips. Drinking the potion of the root, she felt light and free. Viscous green light poured through her, igniting every capillary, every neuronal fiber. The dream receded; and she slept deeply.

The Goddess smiles, spent for this evening. She fills her chalice with consecrated wine to drink, savor intoxication of liquid fire, as embers of her night’s workings settle, gently, into history.
Chapter 2: Challenge
Renata awakens. She is lying beneath a tree, on a summer morning. Her clothes feel strange, different. She has no idea where she is.

She hears other people’s movements close by, smells their animal odors. She open her eyes.

Around her she sees people in brightly garbed array, some lying on the ground, perhaps a sack of belongings as a pillow, or not, some rising upwards from sleep to activity. She looks up to sky, through dark green of healthy leaves, becoming light, going through shades of hues fractured by a rising Sun. She breathes deeply, taking in what she can. It seem best to do away with expectations.

“Figure out the puzzle. Look at the pieces for clues. I am awake; and in a foreign place. I must be careful in my actions while I learn how things are done here. These people appear relaxed, not hostile.”

She allows herself to rise slowly, circumspectly surveying her companions. This is a very small forest, no, not a forest, but what? Trees, benches, wild flowers, an ornate fountain not too far beyond this grove where people appear to wash and play, strange odors, strange sounds, she restrains from compartmentalizing. This must be some sort of magical kingdom the Goddess has transported her to, to save her from her dreaded fate.

“Thank you, Goddess. I will not let this strangeness detract from your great gift. It will be my challenge, my gift to you of my profound acceptance. I will find my way here, as you have opened this opportunity.”

Smiling, joyful in a way she had never known before, Renata becomes aware of the curious smile of a young man in her path. His attitude toward her, she feels, in puzzlement and gratitude, is that of an equal, a potential friend.

“What shall I say? Who am I in this place?” she wonders, nervously. Experienced as she has been with listening noncommittally to those around her, she is still too overcome by all this sudden change in her circumstances that nervousness takes hold.

“Rory, I’m Rory. And you seem familiar, too. That is why you’re looking at me so pensively? Because you can’t remember my name?”

He is jolly, well met, fine and sandy, easy to smile with, to feel cheered and comfortable. She likes him.

“Of course you are Rory. And where are you off to today?” She delivers a breezy tone filled with sunshine and a kiss of morning dew. He seems pleased.

“Let’s go get some breakfast, Sunshine.” He grabs her lightly at the arm. “I know a place where the donuts and coffee are free if you listen to their boring sermon. You don’t really have to listen, just pretend while you’re eating.”

It seems a reasonable way to learn more about her surroundings. She is hungry, but had put that off until she could learn enough to focus on food. This Rory obviously wants company in his little scam. She would give him a more pleasant focus than the dreaded sermon, and she would pick up what she could of local customs.

“You don’t say much, Sunshine.” He comments as they walk along roads paved of various hard materials between large structures filled with wares. Vehicles of various sorts carrying people and more goods appear on these roads, sometimes moving at alarming speeds. She concentrates on moving nonchalantly, letting the ever-changing scenery wash over and around her. It will all become clearer over time, she hopes.

“Haven’t anything to say just now. I’m sure you’ll hear me plenty when I do.” She replies flippantly, or at least so she hopes he will take it, without question.

“Or maybe you’re the strong, silent type, intense and ready for action, or too cool for words?” She feels as well as sees his easy smile, and knows they are in sync.

Concentrating on this repartee, letting the scenery be scenery, Renata feels herself falling into place. So far, so good, following through.

* * *

They arrive, enter a door next to a large glass window decorated in bright colored paint. It is a portrayal of a man on a cross. Bloody red holes mar his hands and feet. A thorny green crown sits on his head.

Inside are cakes and hot black drinks on a short table. A few others are also eating and drinking. On the floor, next to a large, tattered chair, a woman sits, rocks, dirty and worn looking. Her shaking hands make attempts to feed coffee to her lips, but more is spilled on her worn and spattered dress. She has been mumbling incoherently. She is getting louder. Renata starts to make out words.

“They fill yer belly with their babies. No more babies. They hurt and make me so sick. The men, they fill me with their nasty liquid babies. They make them grow in me, take over my body, make me sick, and cut so hard to get out. I won’t take them, horrid demons. So they throw me back in the street for the men to fill me again, hurt me again. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. No more babies. No more pumping out their nasty babies. I won’t. I won’t go there. You can’t make me leave.” She burbles, gasps, cries, mumbles, and repeats her litany. She rocks her body, suckles on her fingers and strands of long, lank hair. She seems in a trance, perhaps poisoned, perhaps cursed.

From further back in the room, a man dressed in black, prominently carrying a black book, approaches the group around the table.

“Don’t mind Betty. She’s a hard case. We can’t find anywhere that will take her.” He seems perturbed by this inconvenience, embarrassed by this woman’s plaint.

Thoughts of keeping still while learning how to blend in have flown from Renata’s mind. She goes quickly, yet with gentle motion, to sit beside this Betty. Close up, she is surprised to see this woman is young, certainly no longer a child, but not the old used up hag she had appeared to be. Her burbling snot and tears mixed with spilled coffee and older stains make her an unappetizing sight. Yet, there is something so fragile, so sad and affecting in her defiantly defeated form, Renata can not help but reach out her arms to comfort.

Rory ambles over with more cake and coffee to share. He is awed by this instant, by Renata’s compassion and Betty’s plight. He wants to be a part of the drama, the connection.

“I know a squat, a place that was abandoned, people stay there. Really, it’s a cool space. We could bring her there, stay ourselves and get her settled. The people, they’re ok. They won’t hurt her. They’ll be fine. Unless you have somewhere else?”

Of course, Renata has no where else. She is still adjusting to being in this somewhere else. Why not take what is freely offered and also helps this sad soul she seems to be taking on? Perhaps this is all part of the Goddess’s plan for her, for the destiny she must fulfill, the reason she has been saved from a life that she has no further need of, that was never really hers to lose.
Chapter 3: Community

Renata, Rory, Betty have what is understood to be their own room in this large house. They reside in a crumbling neighborhood, rats and weeds and broken sidewalks battling with bits and junk for identity. One assumes this place was once cared for. The structures and infrastructures must have been built with reason, with belief that they would become part of a thriving system of shops and homes. Now their reason seems to be these hideaways for throwaways, away from the eyes and minds of the good folk.

Here, people with nowhere else come, go, stay for awhile. Some few seem entrenched, even familial.

These three are acclimating, solidifying through routine safe structure for exploration.

Though the oldest of the three, Betty is as helpless as a small child. She is too disconnected from the here and now to act effectively. Betty has bonded to Renata as a makeshift mother, much better than the one that birthed her and left her to the world’s cruelties.

Rory is an effective forager. He has always figured out his next move on the run, kept in touch with where what might be needed could be found. He is happy to be a helpful friend, and stay out of trouble, under the radar, easily fading in out around.

Renata has found her element. Her element is air, the sweet breeze of creative activity, the place where dreams grow up.
Candle wax melts into layered color sculpture, artistic side effect of lighting our room and conversation. A very different home and family from what I knew is becoming my touchstone here. In this short time, I am more connected to, comfortable among, these erstwhile strangers than the people I grew up knowing as blood.

Marcus gets Betty in a way I can’t reach. It is more than the different cultures. They are akin, in some tribe of survivors whose lives have been shell-shocked into ever struggling in a dark mud of unacceptable circumstance. I have no desire to go there, or anywhere near. Yet it pulls me into strong love connection as I perceive their call to battle with respect and awe.

Rory is a dear and a darling. He preens so self-consciously. I know he wants to be too proud to acknowledge need. He wants to be the magickal genie — everywhere at once, granting wishes. He doesn’t want to admit to having fears, inadequacies, or craving for connection to lean on when energy palls.

Perhaps I am still but a child. Certainly I lack experience in this world’s history, customs, moral code. I can still love, feel empathy for human psychic tragedy that transcends social cues. No one here seems to care, or notice, that I might express myself strangely, have serious gaps in common knowledge. Whatever their personal self-flagellations or angers, they reserve judgment against others for hurtful qualities. Mere difference is cause for curiosity and celebration. Even my slight understanding of the majority of the locals gives me grateful confidence that I have been greatly fortunate in falling among these exceptional friends.

Janna is so sweet. She makes me dizzy with her rapid dance from idea to idea, moving so swiftly, so deftly, to leave a whirl of orderly beauty. Our room is transformed with colorful scarves and cut-out picture collage, candle drippings, whatever the day might bring. Her every motion, every smile, every word is a prayer of grace. Her touch, her kiss, her breath like a desert spring, encourages life as celebration. I am learning so much about how to be this new me, outside of this world looking in while creating a sense of how to be, with Janna’s calm excitement as example.

Of course I know Eddie gives too much. No, there is no way I could tell her that. She is practically bleeding, psychically, from invisible stigmata. These people, givers, spiritually pure, idealistic innocents ready to die to save the vilest of sinners, feel dirty. They don’t realize that they are designed to accept and transform ambient evil with their wealth of purity. In ignorance, they too often succumb to the poison that gladly pours into them for salvation. No one told them, gave them reason to believe, their holy vocation is not about blame and castigation, but about transforming love — which must first be learned through joyful love of self. How do I know this? I am filled with these images, interpretive stories, in Eddie’s presence. She exudes for sensitives, such as I seem to be, what she does not experience for herself. She has closed herself off from her own urge to healing, to nurturing. As a result, I want to strongly to heal, to nurture, her. That kind of giving is not in my nature. Is she concepting within me, creating new traits from her influence? Is this part of her gift, beyond the obvious will to sacrifice?

She is a “she” to me, despite anatomical differences. She feels like a sister. Men can be giving, sensitive, tragic, even nurturing, able to lovingly self-sacrifice. Women do it with a denser style. Women, like Eddie, Janna, I can even see it in little, old virgin me, feel it in our wombs, that enveloping protective instinct. We want to make it alright, make it alright, MAKE IT ALL right, so everyone can be happy, so it’;s not our fault, so we can relax and just be our adorable selves. Obviously, it’s not about genitalia. It is about the stories we tell ourselves about who we are.

How did I get so perceptive? Well, traversing worlds might do that to a girl. Goddess, I know you imbued me with wisdom beyond my years at my birth. But, it could just be my self-applauding mind making much of what everybody is born knowing.

Isn’t it marvelous that I have this new, alternative family that happily encourages me to voice these thoughts, to honestly probe confusions that might otherwise paralyze me. Goddess, thank you my soul mother for looking after me, giving me what I need to survive and more.

And here is Karl, soothing, energizing, always knowing how to move us. He never seems quite there, quite connected, quite grounded in the every day real and earnest life. He breathes a rhythmic eloquence I can not imagine. Yet, here he is, talking, laughing, eating, !@#$, carrying on among us.

I have been cast into an enchanted life, here. I feel responsible for these people, as if my presence had influenced them outside of their previous destinies. I feel grateful to them for taking me in without question despite my outrageous strangeness. They don’t make me feel that way. I am home. We are kin. I hope I know better than to expect this will last beyond the moments that we serendipitously share.

My mother and I shared such a moment. No one knows I remembered so early in my consciousness. I don’t know if it is true of everyone. I have always been aware. Now I am aware of these dear creatures around me in the candlelight.

We talk and argue and sing and spin and share our stories. Who could be more wealthy than we?

As in prayers, Renata explains subvocally, in reverence, her emerging relationships, her rooting in her new life. She is not wrong in supposing that her presence has become a significant influence on the destiny of her new friends. They had not before thought themselves family, or otherwise in organized connection. Her natural regality needs no trumpeting clothing or pageantry. Her natural empathy, reason, grace, and substance have not been lost on this bumbling group of perceptive outsiders. They understand, each in individual metaphor, that they have been granted access to a miracle. Beyond conscious consent, they know their allegiance, up to and beyond the forfeit of their lives, belongs to her.

Don’t tell me their lives were going nowhere, and now they have a purpose. Don’t tell me to spit on these brave souls simply because they were vague and unconnected to a greater cause. Catalysts are not so rare. A call to purpose can arrive any day.

Renata is a gift — that is intrinsic to her destiny. Renata’s new found family is her gift from the benevolence that is also intrinsic to her destiny. Gifts don’t need to balance. They are better when they synergize.

They had been searching outward for salvation, or looking inward to identify and cast out flaws. Accessing the possibility of creating a self-fulfilling clan could offer a different kind of salvation. If it’s okay to be me, how might my flaws be assets? How might I transcend labels and their limitations? In my innermost heart, I feel infinite. How far can I go if encouraged by circumstance, by the courage and comfort of true companions?

Families form over time shared and exploited for knowledge. How do I fit in? How do I matter? Not intellectualized, it is lived, inculcated, in the day by day. If a family is fortunate enough to be real, held together by mutual love and respect, the day to day can be quite beautiful. Work that flows, hardship that feels like treasured challenge, every little victory a celebration — every defeat an opportunity; along the way, most days get to be gifts of surprise.
Swift bare feet pound and release hot, gritty pavement.

Hot, gritty pavement. Feet pounding to the beat, to the swirl. A small crowd caught up in the trance, poetry, simple music, a lady dancing, glinting with glitter and smiles that light from her eyes. Just as the hot summer day slides into night with welcome melancholy rush of breeze reminiscent of dismembered yearnings. It helps to get caught up in ritual, undisciplined ceremony. Make a break from responsibilities. We don’t always have to be running to keep up with the plan. Thrown another dollar in the gypsy’s bright woven basket. Her exuberant craft reminds us to delight in the moment ecstasy, a feeling of being here as a part of shared energy, a tribal peace. If we could each dance, sing out our own creations, move completely from our centers, unconscious of pressing time or important matters, how could we continue as the people we have come to depend upon to sustain the world we know? We pay for the service to our soul, and hurry on.

Renata learns this city in excursions, finding objects to fashion into musical percussives, colorful craftworks, collaged art. She finds open air markets and parks where performers display their wares. People gladly throw coins and bills into her open basket as she dances charismatically to the tunes of her extemporaneous poetry. Betty enjoys playing musical accompaniment on the instruments they fashion and garishly or arcanely embellish. People also gladly buy their crafts. It can be amazing what people freely throw away that can be put to good purpose with some love and imagination.

Her natural authority is obvious on an unspoken level to everyone who sees her. It is one of those mysterious that she, who counts on her awareness, is oblivious to her own power.

Betty plays rhythmically, supplies beats and counterbeats upon their found object percussion kit. Her eyes turn downward, her vision inward.

By instinct Renata knows just when to disperse her audience to avoid unwanted attention. The spell descends, sending people flocking back into the thoroughfare of public space. She gathers up their proceeds into her pockets, art and instruments into the basket with its convenient sling for carrying.

“Let’s get some dinner to bring back to the house,” she urges Better, who, pleasantly worn out from drumming, is happily compliant. On the way new objects for their artwork might be serendipitously discovered.

Happy children play.
It’s getting colder. There’s no heat or electricity going to this abandoned home. There is always the fear that the owner will materialize and throw them out. They need a better option.

Janna works part-time at the Mercury Diner, does textured collage, crayon and chalk drawings. Karl sells weed, fashions musical instruments, to play for coin or sell to the fascinated, out of this and that. He enjoys teaching Betty about music, which seems to be more about awakening a language natural to her. Marcus is a middle-aged street revolutionary collecting a less than subsistence government pension for his wounding in a previous war. Eddie, often Edwina, happily scams the marks, sells her sexuality on the street, performs in opulent drag, and comes home to Marcus her soul-mate and mentor. Collectively building up a pool of cash they are looking to rent a cheap artists’ loft space, then promote events to get the community supporting further payments.

turning back

“I wasn’t aware that we had a leader. Something needed to be done. I took the initiative, and the responsibility. That gives me no authority.”
Backstory
Backstory

Rory – mercurial, self-defined, needs to be free (Gemini, Uranus)
characteristically bright, curious, a man who knows where to find resources because he travels around the blocks
He takes care of himself, expects no back-up. His deep desire is a cause or community we can believe in. He strives with his need to serve, for his energy to be part of worthwhile endeavors.

He’s got people, family; but they never got him. Maybe his mom did, sometimes. She’s mostly spaced out on prescription happy pills. They help her hide from that constant anxiety of desire to be doing the right thing, to behave well, to fit the mold that never fit her quite right. Brought up by abusers, a long line of alcoholic losers, she feels so lost in an overwhelming world.

Dad wasn’t like that. She thought of him as her savior. He tries to hard to make her be right, fit in, not embarrass him. He comes from a decent, hard-working, family values clan. She was so pretty, so vulnerable, so in awe of a secretly frightened about his manhood boy. Once she was pregnant, he had to do the right thing, for her and that molly-coddled boy. It became alright with the others, children that took after him and his. He could be a proud papa in the appropriate places. At family gatherings, football games, dance recitals presented so charmingly by his little princess and her talented friends, he could beam out his true worth. Elsa and her Rory might be disappointments; but she did make up for quite a bit with the rest of the brood she produced for him. At least she knew enough to keep quite, nondescript, not drawing too much comment beyond a pleasing sympathy for his long-suffering benevolence from concerned friends and family. He assures himself that it is just the right kind of concern that honors his position, not overly solicitous denigration. His Elsa is likable enough, if pathetic. She does obviously try so very hard to please, to overcome her inadequacies, even if falling short seems the best she can manage.

But that Rory, though certainly of his siring, was no son that Max Salinger could claim with pride. Mama’s little helper, cute when he was barely more than a baby helping to care for younger baby brother (who later making papa proud, came to despise this caring brother for his womanish ways), became more irritating when not outgrown. The kid wasn’t even pitiably gay, as far as Max could tell. Girls seemed to like him just fine, and he them. But the boys who ought to have been his friends, brothers of his brothers’ good buddies, wanted nothing to do with him. They weren’t actively hostile. There was no call for hostilities. Everyone in this social circumference understood his place. Rory’s was that of the tolerated, but not accepted, fool. The girls that liked him did so more for his attitude toward them as interested equal, though not put off by his, if effete, charming good looks. Regardless of his social standing, he was happy to be on his own, following his bliss of the week. His busy mind abuzz with curiosity, with chance adventure, could not be bothered with tiresome bandying rituals, small talk going nowhere, the popular qua popular. He danced to his own drummer, thank you, because this drummer is cook, hot, and right where I want to be.

The street can be all the theater one could ever need, for free. Why waste time striving for so much less?

Finally 18, so they can’t touch him for being underage, he’s feeling fully good about himself, his proven ability by now to land on his feet, keep his eyes open to danger and opportunity, go with that old cosmic flow and enjoy the ride.

Hear Rory roar.
Nobody likes to talk about Betty; but you can bet we cream over her (secretly, all cozy in our beds, in our heads and groins).

Nobody likes to admit what casual cruelty we are capable of. Gang-raping children because we can doesn’t appeal to our desired self-image. Her mother allowed it in exchange for food, a place to sleep, the blessed drugs to keep away the pain of knowing the endless, hopeless misery life had become. Or, she was alone on that dark street, lost and frightened, with nowhere safe to go, no one protecting her just then. Her sexuality tempted me, in all that frenzy of bonding blood cries, heightened primal energies, hot insistent bodies falling under ritual spell. She is but a sacrifice, a holding cell for sin. There is no freedom for will to grow within her, only unwanted, tainted seed, thrust outward from the nauseous collective psyche to poison her potential. Does she need to be defined by what has been done against her nascent will? Is there salvation in finding a slim, hiding, healthy cutting from her core, carefully planted and watered in hallow grounding? And what of all those other sacrificial lambs? What cosmically sympathetic vibration can be turned to healing, calling forth a will to grow whole, to become one’s own desired destiny?

Karl
The Musician
lives in a world of vibration.
Each experience-ordered sense memory
carries along a current
of song
He listens for the frequencies
in every item that intercedes,
works out the right and the wrong.
Call it destiny, Chorus of Fates,
or remembrance of where he belongs.
Rehearsed Lessons of history as told by devout
philosophies
miss obvious chords of diversity
perceived by those immersed in pure tone.
Never at loss or alone,
always at home in reality,
ever intent on clarity,
he listens and learns to play,
more competent every day.
Karl, those who know him say, is a man we can
depend upon. His song is his bond.
His word is his muse.

Janna feels.
Janna sees beauty in unlikely places.
Broken bits of treasure catch her imagination.
She deftly knows which pieces go together,
show interactive, amusing, yet profoundly moving aesthetic family.
She loves passionately every bright buzzing being that delights her day.
She wants, deep in the night, in her tears, in her innermost fears,
in what she laughingly calls her soul,
she wants that glorious lover who will make her whole.
Janna is wise, welcomes adventure or whatever arrives.
She knows how to juggle multiple lives, keep them all thriving
by enjoying the joke, not letting broken heart bring her down,
scolding that frown till it jumps to a smile.
She was never and always a child.
At play in the world, Janna’s a right clever girl,
yet never seems to get past the dreaming stage.
Janna’s at an age where she hasn’t much to lose.
Someday she plans to choose a place to stand,
a partner’s hand, a hearth and home.
For now she’ll let her moments roam as they may.
Janna feels deeply;
lets that carry her completely.
That’s the way she knows to make it be okay.

Marcus

He’s learned to love his demons — best of drinking, drugging buddies. They do give him an old familiar scare. Keeps the heart pumping, the adrenalin junkie ready to rumble. War wounds.

“It’s not my fault — it was war. I had to do my job, what was commanded. It is my fault. Of course, it is my fault. All mine. I could have let them kill me. I could have done the honorable thing and ended this stupid life. I could have, should have, never joined to serve my nation, to be a bully for democracy. I could have been a different man.”

Belly laughter ensures.

He is a very different man from back then in the field of battle. He is broken, but never ridden by any but the demons he calls his own.

Great friends, good listeners, demons hang on every word. Every blessed word of profanity, gives them little shiver dances, enhancing their macabre smiles.

“God, drugs, that’s the thing, the binding force that nature allows we buddies at arms, in my head, on the ragged road we call the street.

We need a home, guys. Sneak into this likely empty boarded brick and mortar. Just make sure there’s no gypsy boarders to give us a fight.

Yeah, we can have a good old time, you demon memories, you story screamers, and me with this sweet LSD that kid laid on me. That kid I laid. What was his name? It will come to me when I see him again. It’s good I have this pint of cheap brandy to keep warm. No heat here, in this abandoned homestead. Sewer and water pipes, though, are flowing. Get to take a real bath at last — can’t remember when. Good for these old bones to find some comfort. Not much here; but great wealth of privacy. Law enforcement doesn’t even bother to extend an appearance. Nothing left to steal — no one to exploit. No one know we’re here.”

Marcus parties, lets the world morph into dark hellscapes he knows well.

Eddie/Edwina
He/she secretly calls her/himself
“abomination”
Cat calls constantly claim “Pretty!” in fascination
A pleasure to the eye, the hand
appeal to fantasies all men have
far from procreation.
If life be sin, why not cash in on
that wage.
So much more than whore, though, this
child man who would be womb
to chosen kin.
Those wise enough to seek treasure
of intimacy such as she can express,
they bless by permitting her
to give.
Conversation

Condensation
The world bleeds.
Life consumes life.
Energy becomes lethal,
the sum paid.
Slipping away, recedes, a mirage of wealth
in the salted desert
takes on lifeform, Queenly grace.
She carries many faces.
Grandeur becomes Her.
Little deadly nano minions
slip along through Her
kinky crevices.
“Pinch me!”
“Beat me!”
“Devour my impure flesh —
become outrage, all the ill
humours, masque of gleeful
execution!”
This is no dream;
no sinful memory
blurred in twilight vengeance.
Crows, ravens, portents of
black flight circle above,
a crown of shrieks, feathers
cascade, rain like pestilence.
No blame in blindness.
“I could not see through feathered fog;
could not save you.”
I clasp my guilt like well-earned scars,
treat myself to belt bound arm,
sweet bitter sting and
ecstasy of retreat.
“Sweet dreams, my love, my world,
my semblance of reality.” Lull the anger
of your seas with chemical castration.
Enjoy this brief vacation.
The dance of End Times is ready to
embrace me, accept my plea.
Better to breathe a secret dream, embroidered
in internal rhythm,
feed that schism. Better to glance
inside if a chance arise.
Shhh.
Let the latest lullaby set the dance.
Just don’t miss the chance.
What am I saying?
Don’t listen to me.
The world is bleeding.
Taste it.
Softly sane, Betty has a delicate voice, redolent of secret inspiration, not often used.
There is the high-pitched panic
drones like angry bees, chaotic, insistent. That voice is not hers, but of her demons,
flaying, cackling, castigating, sizzling knives flown from angry hands — pyrotechnic effect while consciousness bathes in restraint;
senses restrict to calm, to cleanse, safe inside.

There is another voice, sure as ocean rain, forceful as gunshot on a silent night.
When we hear its tune, we listen. Pure bell that sings only Truth, it is in our sacred core to listen.
That voice is rare and wonderful, the essence of beauty. We become attuned, in awe, compassionate wisdom takes hold.
We become the voice of welcome, of familiar kind regard.
We become complicitous encouragement.

Mobs, ignorant, angry, boo and hiss, too loud to hear anything useful.
Lords of violence, long conjured real enough fear, sneer for the big screen. Pimping for Jehovah?
We learn to fear from what attacks every day.

Addiction

Choose to negate a life that is never true.
Better the degradation than devil’s compromise
to consensual reality’s unmeetable demands, measurements.
Like suicide, a mortal sin, to give in to bestial temptation.
End life of the day; descend into fetid disgrace.
Is that so attractive?
Is that reason to negate possibility of choice?

How can I explain?
Rats, spiders, assorted displaced vermin, semi-feral humans, scrabble through garbage, stagnant remnants of rain and refinement, to no good end.
Unspeakably worse, self-protection demands imprisonment to stave off temptation.
Children grow consuming what is available, what is given or taken.
Revised as zombies — no minds worth saving, subsisting on dead flesh and legendary fear. How can dreams cope?
One whiff and life as conceptualized dayplanner delineation loses all continuity, protection from chaos,
impossible to pick up such raveled stitch.
Nothing to be done. Leave them alone.

Watery imagery — the ocean that meant to keep me so many years ago.
I become a swimmer,
a survivor in the storm.
I don’t know why. It wasn’t my idea to be strong. I didn’t think, just let my body work along from one plane to the next.
It may well be about discovering one’s ideals and working toward them. It is certainly not about having it all together from the get go.
Sing of Summer surf, held close to mystery. Undersea caves cradle chests of gems, shining like starlight.
Stars far from here call our craft home.
Call the cheer that carries carefree souls.
We’ve made our career a matter of energy.
Find a free meadow under the sky.
After brief eternity, given the designation “life,” simple, mundane sensuality
— slimy tears dissolve eye grit; sore structural muscles ease into melodious jazz.

She is stronger more able, vibrant in song. We are all learning to sing, dance, play, in this world we create, build in conversation,
in turning conceptions from experience into a private wealth from each to each,
teachers and students on the art of renaming.

This peculiar Hades Bohemia reflects like jewel facets, bioluminescent charms.
Too bad those chained to arms,
deprived of what arms can claim to feel fulfilled,
seek release in arms defined to kill
or to be killed.
I elect representation, powerful self-devised agent to promote my best interests,
prescient shadows, to pay my penance,
ritually claim my soul.
Yet, essence,
possibilities inherent in living seed
grow in potent mixtures
(tinctures for violent bifurcation, strictures, intricate captivating lulls)
for acculturation.
Captive, imagination still wanders on
long walks that suddenly awaken questioning:
“Where am I going?
Who is this “me”
that has a destiny
or merely flits along prevailing wind?”
That wandering devolves to slumber.
No one to remember, holding on to random sensory familiarity.
Don’t trust the mirror.
Aging eyes have looked too far for reliable witness. They love to lie, lazy, wistful —
if wishes could be more real than these fantasies,
murals tied to greasy walls —
self-made Hell —
Why should death’s mystery entice so much more than life’s?
What hope the best of men survive death’s fiery trial?
Why insist, assume, the bond of flesh is blood consumed, all against every?
Where is ecstasy of hand touching hand?

Who are they to co-opt me into disapproving for them? It’s my time, my interpretation of the Universe and my place, purpose, revels and revelations. The paradigm of enslavement only works on they in its thrall. Otherwise, it’s just crass bullying, extortion, nothing to honor or obey. The sane response is avoidance, or if unavoidable, defense — improvised from any available resource. Flight, fight, laughter, mad disregard, mad incursion, sane reason, whatever carrot and stick comes to mind and hand. Best to understand who I am, how I am strong, how I am free.
The right amount of government —
just enough to protect everyone’s freedom
without destroying anyone’s.
But who decides what that line is,
each with our own dispositions?
Is it up to fate of
social evolution?
Not a satisfactory solution
for we who cannot wait.
Our lives are forfeit now
to silly fields of behavior
deemed acceptable
to the respectable
who rule the day.
While life is disrespected,
devalued, expect those
learning their behaviors from
the crowd
to coldly laugh and kill.
If that is the will of the people …
Such death we freely choose.
Those who would desist
not allowed to exist.
Instead organized Reality tv fights
define our rights.

We call someone evil when they don’t value life, have no compassion. Is treating life as valueless what they learned when discovering identify and relationship?

Our brains grow. We can change. We make that effort if we feel assured of a real reward. At best that is people thinking well of us, giving us place and positive identity. When we feel safely, honorably enmeshed, that feedback loop reward makes the effort to keep it worthwhile .
Unanchored, unconnected, we might learn that we do not matter, find pleasure in negative impact on unvalued others. With self-respect, self-valuation based on what we know of ourselves to be golden, we provide our own rewards and can easily afford compassion . We can teach an underlying understanding that living well (however defined) requires clarity in our vision of how our world works.

Virgo work song (for Karl)

in the rhythm
Shell the peanuts.
Scrub and cut up the potatoes.
Knead the dough.
Pluck and chop the herbs.
Music in the fixing, in the mixing,
each practiced movement.
Music of each meeting,
each handing on, a dance.

Caught up in cogent vibration,
safe in sound, lightly bound,
guides to construe sense from sensation,
turns tasks into merry play.
Easy to commune with tune, tonality, glee.
Such fun these school days can be!

Back in the forests, the caves,
the glades,
elemental chemistries exchange,
sonic waves call wanderers home;
soothing night fears with lullaby,
comradely cheer.
Know us by our song —
music we’ve carried through
long brave trails, travailed years.
If the Word is our binding charm,
our song is our vow,
ever renaming our power.
Engaging, blending, restorative potion;
energy, purpose, pleasure of motion
enthused by
humanity’s muse.

The people united
hanging together to avoid
being hung
one by one.
Growing their rhythm, get carried along in a
strengthening hum
tuned to common cause.
Shouting poetic, wrapped
together, in a banner of furious sound.
The people, excited, spring in their step,
clear on their ground, can not be kept down.

Entrapped, entranced
Who is to be gained
by loosening the ties?
What you remains
released into surprise?
Feel, beneath your eyes.
Ease into the rhythm.
Blessed familiarity —
heartbeat through pulsing memory.
Breathe, connect with the real —
the gift of air, of skin,
of night, of chance encounters,
of ringing melodies
strong enough
to call to potency
your most precious name.

There’s always a child
dying
to play
loved and protected
through chilling curiosity,
worries over being too big or
clashing to fit in.
Little one, listen:
Condensed to soft-voiced
Song,
loving companion
on treacherous icy walks
in winter rain
embraces from within.
Play and be heard, protected,
assured of unsuspected glory.
Song imagines your story.

Surging through heart,
capillaries,
our ineffable beauty
sings.
Haphazard People (Karl and Janna)

Haphazard People

Mostly pretty ugly, pretty useless, pretty ignorant,
not pretty at all.
But how can I discount them when unexpectedly
somebody kind, unreasonably wise, a vision of grace,
unbearably lovely.
How could we account for miracles, unlikely odds
coming through?
Random chaos is enough for human ingenuity
to engineer you or me, or any soldier joe
or social geek.
Whose to say which or any of us is the freak?
I like my women half-crazed, strong, and vulnerable.
I like someone to cry with.
I like someone who laughs me out of my blues.
I like that she could choose,
and freely cleaves to me.
Haphazard people.
Unplanned lives.
What are the chances we might get it right?
conversations (Rory, Karl)

Obviously, you can love anyone. Your crazy, abusive parents; your obnoxious, useless brothers; your nasty, foul-mouthed, foul-breathed, explosive spouse; your whiney, combative kids — you can and do love anyone you think of as family. Love is not without its component of hate — the hurts so good mystique, perhaps. Love does not act as a barrier to violence. Love is not the opposite of fear, but can be its fond companion. Love is a bond, a binding tie, an invisible cohesive. What we do, and call it love negates its claim to purity, to innocence, to angelic countenance. Or maybe it is a babe of fallen angels, raised to vindicate their cry for Holy favor.

“Look what a miracle we have given Man (dear favored brother of our Father’s Creation). We have blessed him with this bastard, gestated from our last union with Your Holy Love. (Though, to be honest, Your Holy Love can feel a lot like fire, brimstone, glacial ice, miasmic pestilent clouds, not what we expect from Grace.)”

Better than love: honest respect, loyalty based on confidence in its reciprocity.

I’m not knocking that singing, soaring feeling, that specialness of shared intimacies. I’m just saying, there’s a lot more to aim for.
You’re so Catholic, Rory. Fallen angels? Who was it, the Greeks? had names for all the kinds of love — not just family. Maybe we do love people who don’t deserve it. But then, who are we to decide? I mean, what is deserving of love, and whose, and which definition? I love you, man. That’s not because of your virtues and in spite of your faults. It’s a real bond, because we have been through it, you know. We know who we are. We know the key phrases, the easy rhythms and the syncopations. We can groove, and feel, be freely, because we know what to expect and that disagreements don’t mean !@#$ in the big picture. Like the way we harmonize, seems like naturally, because we now each other’s voices. Why shouldn’t people come together as family against the barbaric hordes, or to build a warm, safe home?

Yeah, sometimes we suck. Sometimes we take out our !@#$ on the people who are close by. That doesn’t mean we won’t be loyal when it counts.
Like any of our folks were so loyal to us? Where are they, our loving families?
Right here, bro. It’s not about biology. I mean, sex is cool; but it’s its own thing, not the same as love. Families based on who fucked who and the results I guess seem logical enough. That’s one of those other names of love, not what I’m talking about.

Truth, you know, it gets trapped in words. Then we think we’ve found it in captivity — but that’s not its natural state, not true truth. Maybe we should just hum a few bars.

Ommmmmmmmmmmm — as my hippie pappy used to say. And you can’t say they don’t love me, in that true truth sense. They didn’t abandon me or throw me away when I was too much trouble. They let me decide. They respected my choice, and were loyal to my cause while I was loyal to theirs.

I’m not saying that to be cruel. I am sorry that you feel disrespected, cut loose, because your asshole dad couldn’t appreciate and respect the much better man he produced.
You just say that because he thinks you’re a freak. His loving family might differ.
And you? Do you “love” him in some aspect of Greek philosophy? Are you a loving son, honoring your father and mother as God commands?
To be true truthful, he hasn’t seemed real to me in a very long while. I guess I’ve made him into some caricature in my head. Who he really is strangely doesn’t concern me. I am a distanced, unfeeling son. Surely I will be struck down for my sins. But then, I am a distant, unfeeling son to Heavenly Father as well. I think I prefer Renata’s Goddess. She, at least, produces useful miracles. My dad’s Heavenly Overseer just seems to keep them miserable, small-minded, falsely superior. And lookey, we have a Queen among us thieves and scoundrels. How cool are we!
Yeah, the mysteries and consensual foolishness of love.

You got something on for tonight; or are you gonna be here for the meeting?
Never sure, my man. You take notes.

Edwina Sings the Blues
You wouldn’t think it, but Marcus wants to be degraded. He wants to feel the pain, rushing through him, making him bleed and cry. He is sad and beautiful. With me he can be brutal, but then so tender, or clinging like a frightened child. He lets me love him. He lets me open to him, take him in my arms, in my mouth. He lets me be his source, his safety, his.

We are not so different, wounded children in the night. There are lots of kinds of wars. People excel at cruelty, at vituperative rage, destruction of each other. If we find a way to love, imperfect, awkward union, it can seem strange, pain attracted to pain.

I feel like I am healing here, slowly becoming my own by sharing who I am with people who honestly care. I am not the pervert, creep, unaccepted outsider, here. I am just me, discovering what I can do, can bring, can share, can receive. If blood families could be so clean, accepting, giving a sense of purpose and reflection, we might be better. We might be happy children, not make believe. We might not need to be so angry. We might be more graceful lovers. Imagine the dance, sweet and low and uncomplicated by fear or expectations.

When Rory and I sing together, it fits, though our bodies never touch. Is that another kind of love? When we all jam out, each from our own artistic sphere, a groove will envelope us We are free and entwined. We are love.

There are angers, misgivings, bad days, fights. They are ripples, with consequences. They are not the river. Fat, happy fish bask. We are a school. We are traveling together. Maybe we will fall apart, fall out, fall back into lonely disrepute. Maybe we will create something beautiful, wonderful, a theatre of joy and deeply layered meaning. Maybe we will have a chapter of our lives to write about, recreate as art, when we are old and trying to be wise. What do I know, just a creature of the night streets acting out building a nest for winter. Underground, cozy in dirt and stone, creepy crawly creatures without costumes and masks to appear normal, naked in the act of love.
social beings
we crave attention
Is anyone
looking
now?

conversation – generative instinct

The oligarchy, patriarchy, isn’t really about money, hoarding what is worshipped as wealth, or even in the sense we tend to think about power. It’s about the seed, the legacy, continuance of essence, dominance of influence.

Women, as the archetype of wife/mother within the tribal paradigm, instead want to nurture, to have the reality of family to focus their energy in inclusive relationship.

__________

Sure, sometimes we feel a thrill of conquest, a pride of prowess, instinctual pleasure. We’re human, too, though, you know, intellectualizing, insecure, needy, longing for love, to be cherished, a familiar clan where we can feel we belong in the thick of dramas, bickering, suffused with affection over time. We all enmesh in real, day-to-day relationships that mean, that are our world. We are not genomes or prepackaged wiring. We learn to follow pathways where we feel welcome, or at least sufficiently satisfied. Even the people we don’t like to admit to, the clearly brutal, the chillingly mean, are operating out of much more than instinct or unconscious compulsion, or even asocial psychosis. We, all of us, are projects of individual lives. We just have a tendency to aggregate, to identify by type.

But, yeah, hangover collective institutions, long-held civil structures and jurisprudence, accepted codes of behavior, probably often do reflect those generative values, that driving need to continue.

______

I’m not doubting that each of us, everyone, is a human individual with our own ways, ideations, desires, histories, angsts. It’s those whose images become archetypes, the myths and metaphoric memes that become a background shorthand, that informs us of who We (writ large) expect ourselves to emulate or rebel against.

___________

So, what do they matter? We don’t need to act out against some archetypal asshole. We can have a better time being who we naturally are — because the instincts I see here are about getting along, getting to know about being us and working out how to make it work. We each say what’s on our mind, get mad or get crazy or however we need to say, to make ourselves heard. It’s not abut competing or pissing lines in dirt, or trying to maximize our own share, to profit or rule. We want to be more by sharing what we have, what we can do, who we are, what we can become. That urge, instinct, whatever, can’t be unique to us. It comes from somewhere, from being human, from our instincts to survive, to continue, to get better.

_______

But do we get better, people? There always are, there have always been, small groups — families, if not of the established sort, or movement, coteries, salons, troupes — marchers to all those syncopating drummers. Yeah, I know they saw we live longer now, have less agonizing poverty, cures for diseases and nonlethal weapons, refrigeration, electric light (when the electricity is on). That’s not what we are talking about. Are people, generally, generatively, less obstinately cruel, more amiable or culturally aware, defaulting to enlightened self-interest instead of stomping on those we perceive as weak?

_________________

Of course there are cruel people, not just a few seriously damaged souls, I know. Sometimes it seems like they are all ganged up, throwing sharp stones at any target they can find. Mostly it’s a lot more personal — sharp words, angry faces, balled fists, spit and the damp odor of disdain. Where does that come from? It’s women every bit as much as men. Harpies shrike louder, even bolder at times. That’s not about any hoped for legacy. That’s rage, and profound disappointment, an all-pervasive idea of being cheated, cheated on, deserving retribution that can never be paid. Or maybe it’s just escape from boredom. How should we who live vivid lives understand? we have made the edge not a horror, but a glorious quest. If we claim compassion, we should have no trouble feeling for our fellow sin-filled humans dealing as we can with the fate befalling.

___________

But compassion wasn’t the point. We make our fates, or at least create our furnishings to fit that scheme. We have free will, or enough of an illusion to serve. We have bendable mindsets, reframing techniques. We are not slaves to instincts. We can tame and train them to our purpose. I can be immortal in my own mind, can be completely convinced. I am my own legacy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want the comfort and stimulation of intimate others. What would be the point of immortality alone?

________

Perhaps immortality could only be alone. You would outgrow, turn to different directions from the others. There is no guarantee that even those you feel most attuned to would remain and grow in the same fascinations. Forever is a very long time. The only way to manage it is to become wholly engaged in each episode.
That’s it for the jug of wine, and pretty much the candles. Probably time to sleep on it and see where our dreams take us.

She will perform as directed,
ready for her close-up.
It’s what she does to turn a street
of sad contempt into
her brilliant stage.
How can it matter, the fashion, or
the age of time.
Life as experimental Art.
Enjoy what
freedom can be sustained
within these walls: play inside.
Trading in secrets for wisdom

Acting Lessons

Act as if.
I know that one.
It never works.
They find you out,
send you back to the prison,
where you belong,
and the taunting never ends.
“Who’d you think you was,
anyways? Deserving better?”
The embarrassment.
Like peeing on your best friend’s mother’s
spotless floor when left there on a play date
for the first (only) time, and didn’t know where
the bathroom was until — too late.
Sticky, soggy, a puddle of tears and tremors.
They only ever notice the sin.
False expectations burn long.
Why should I be the fortunate one who
is remembered, lauded, for creative charms?
Why not believe in fairytales when they
have been so pervasively offered to pacify?
(dwelling in suspension of disbelief —
belief is fungible, never to be trusted)
Christmas was the worst. So cold,
alone, after false festivity.
It wasn’t disappointment over gifts, but
profound loneliness. No shining star,
no angel, just dead wood, artificial flames,
endless night.
I grew to love the night, feel blanketed
in darkness.
Alone I am impervious, protected by magic.
Please, don’t let them tear down my spell
with their palpable hostility.
I act as if I know nothing, am nothing, have
nothing. That is all true.
The magic that protects me, a ritual concantation
within my private theater.
Thankfully, they pay no attention beyond
my pained countenance.
All the long night I am left in peace.
I open my veins and bleed for my art —
not suicide (I bandage and heal after)
just needing the colour and texture
of blood.
girl talk

Marcus reads and pontificates, expansively stoned. Betty takes delight in his assured cadences and gestures she improvises dance to his expressions, which relaxes him. He enjoys watching her move, amused by her ease around him. He feels gentle, shouting when he does not in anger but enjoying the rushes of air and sound. Sometimes she cuddles her head on his knee or shoulder. He feels protective and honored by her trust.

Meanwhile, in their own stoned circle, passing the joint and jug, the girls — Renata, Janna, Edwina — talk about love.
(Karl and Rory are off on other adventures — which they may share later, nor not.)

Renata sits, imperious and giggling. She is a virgin, not a prude. Her friends’ antics, rolling on the carpeted floor, grappling, laughing, she understands to break the ice of embarrassment.
We make inroads to understand what is acceptable to you, to me. Here we have embraced a banner of authenticity.

Renata enjoys the camaraderie and insight into mores, modern memes, intimacies.

“Sex is simple. Love is complicated.” Edwina’s ready opening. In so many ways she had severed, shed instinctual link between social body and mind. She could be the fantasy that pleased with no hesitation, enjoying pleasures of the role. This was not a challenge, but a honed skill, easy and clear.

“Love, it’s got too many rules, too many layers, too much baggage, shame, ineptitude. It’s hard to know where you are. Except when you do, and the world, your bubble, is perfect.”

Janna, looking far away and small, a distant child, touched them each with an extended hand. She danced up and twirled into herself, a vision of delight.

“I always let them define me. It seemed easier than complaining. I needed the occupation of drama around me to make me feel okay, somehow to ground me. When I wasn’t okay, wasn’t enough, when they left or stopped showing up, or pranced onto the scene brandishing someone else, I was more ashamed than lonely. But there was always plenty to be done, and someone else would come along. Kind of like my mom, always being about the guy, no matter what a loser, no matter what an abusive pig or other barnyard critter. I don’t even know why except it seemed easier than not.

Karl’s not like that at all. I’m me. He’s him. We each define ourselves. It many not be easy; but the feelings are real and spontaneous, us.”

Renata does not want to break the flow of confidence. She knows something is not being said.

“We love each other without it being sexual. I know there is an electric, chemical flow, a palpable attraction between each of us, and together. There is sexual charge, but also an interest, a trust, intense caring that is not about sex. It is a biological thing, but more a choir of spirit, an integration of personal energies. Yeah, sometimes urgency feels more excitement, different friends excite us in different ways and circumstances. But isn’t that the essence of what you call “love” in your sexual partnerships? Who we are to each other is a complicated recursive partnership to the degree that we allow, I suspect. Or maybe it’s to the degree we shed expectations and really experience because we can.”
Rory and Renata Go to the School – draft 1, act 1

Rory and Renata Go to the School

“We work with a diverse population of the underserved underclass. We find the people we need, and the people who need what we can make happen.
Yeah, it’s a struggle every day, and a surprise that we figure it out and carry on. It’s following a vision that’s always being re-envisioned as we figure out what works,
how to pick up synergistic pieces and keep going because that is what we do.”

Karl and Janna, Marcus and Eddie along with Betty have settled in to their playhouse hotel that Tom River helped them acquire.

Rory is too city, too restless for bucolic creative bliss. Renata needs to expand her mortal experience, learn new skills, try new lifestyles.
They visit the crew when they can, take their part in the theatre. It is better that they bring refreshed perspectives from outside.
Rory has discovered the School through his elusive, randomly distributed contacts. He brings Renata to observe the dance and respond as she will.

Dorothy and Alice are at the core of the project. The have each had excessive lives, developed strong resilience and motivation.
Since they have found each other, they have further developed through mutual support. Their self-assurance and charisma inspire gifted idealists
to commit to a plausibly possible cause.

What is a school? A place to be shaped, to be contused and polished through interaction, to discover, be directed or create your own role and style.
It is an entrance of ignorance into a process into a home, a grounding to grow, produce from seeds and dung and work.
A school, a structure wherein we learn what we learn by lecture, by example, then practice to entice competence, tasks to master, ideas to fester,
projects to test and explore. A school can be much more than a prison for clearing the streets, teaching shame and defeat or for a few fanning ambitions
seldom fit to meet. This can never be that twisted. Rather we envisage a tool for healthy breakthroughs out of misery and flailing infirmity.
We dance. We talk. We teach and learn. We develop the skills we need to be the people we care about. We are put down, but we can care so much,
be so much, just by learning to be who we are.

Dorothy and Alice Gaya – We gave ourselves our surname in a commitment ceremony during our neo-feminist period. Heavily layered in spiritual/political significance.
It’s not that we’re against people using drugs. We’re against unconscious lives bereft of informed choice.

“Neo-feminist?” Renata, quizzical, “What are you now?”

Alice smiles. “Teachers of the oppressed.”

mythic renditions

Dancers dance
musicians play
Enchanting sylph narrates stories
while seductively moving to sinuous
back beat, tick of chimes.
Occasionally emphasizes subtle percussions
with intense expressions, leaps, cunning
stumbles, falling to crawl into spellbound speech.
Scheherazade myths, archetypal passion
escapades, poignant weeps, salient shouts
to power. Exquisite meditations on mystic
climes, spirit and form. Merry masks,
sparkly costumes, paint and glitter as
embellishment to the tellings.
Theater as intimate ritual.
Anything could manifest.

Pisces murky androgeny
Libra emits graceful beauty
Scorpio at home in passion
Deeply attractive
Complicated self-hatred urging service and demeaning.
At core strong self-belief expressed intuitively.
Stories from the collective well, mystic ether, imbued
in earth, exhaled by flames.
Centering, sense memory trances exhibits as
sinuous performance.

This world is ending …

Even happy families share dissonance,
complex histories, emotional triggers.
Happy families learn to thrive,
profound mutual respect as guide,
resort to good humor for smoother passage.
Why fight, divide strength from where it
is better spent?
Folk who pull together by choice
rejoice in shared communion.

Outside self-circumscribed worlds
Diverse perception of views
Sight with wide spectra of hues

She heard him crying, a lost child in the night.
In her prophetic heart she knew only she could comfort him.
But she was only a child who was never allowed to be lost.
How could she comfort this lost boy when she had no freedom
to reach out?
Late in quiet dark, after her people, asleep, would not be
checking on her, she opened her window and made daring escape.
Wandering in the outside dark, she listened for his cries.
At first she discerned wind among leaves and branches,
small creature forays, clash of metal against pavement,
perfumed strains from afar.
Then, yes, whimpers, ragged rhythm past exhausted weeping.
He was huddled, hidden, on the alley side of a cold brick building.
Seeing him, frightened, lost, she did not know what to say.
He smelled of rancid sweat and fear. She did not know how
to speak. She cried.
She emptied herself of every caustic tear, every regret held for
guilty ransom, every sadness kept inside so no one would fuss.
He looked up at her watery face and asked with amazed concern:
“Are you lost, too? Because if we are lost together, really we have
found each other. We don’t have to stay scared and alone.”
She looked around, realized that in al her blind wandering she had
lost her way. She had no idea where they were.
She knelt beside him. They smiled and hugged. For that precious
while they became beloved kin.
Perhaps some special night they’ll meet again.

Mythy visions to transcribe; thought fragments to form.
Myths we live, and how to rewrite them.

She knows she has awakened. Every effort of her body pinches, aches, demands refuge in self-talk, reason, mental override of pain.
Carefully, she measures out tools of destruction, what she must carry in her pack into the city, to her place of destiny.
Doing what one can to make sense, have meaning.
Life is short, ugly, pointless, unless you get that call.
Trying to act cool with familiar friends, laying low, hiding from everything that doesn’t allow relevant existence for dregs like us.
Recognition? Commendation? A scrap of real notice?
To sacrifice this humorless joke to Godly cause, that’s got to be imbued with meaning, to be holy.
How not find zealous courage, so dishonor numbing a drug, one point of focus.
All my sins, my impoverishments, inadequacies, forgiven in ultimate atonement. God can love me.
I am made pure in His sight. A tool, a weapon, no matter how lowly, bestowed sacred purpose in this great fight.
My parents, my kin, vindicated, their suffering denied nobility avenged.
Cleansed in adventure’s icy plunge, only ever young in throes of romance, a chance for breathless rush of brief immortality.

question everything
accept or reject with clear awareness
and flexibility
purity of essence is to will one thing
She didn’t like her skin. So hard to blend in.
She didn’t like her body, jutting awkwardly, too bulky,
not compliant to conscious control.
She ached to let her spirit free from matter’s burden,
to ooze out onto open air. Her envisioned wish took her
to aerial glee, and no more.
“What would I see, outside of eyes, no biological boundaries?”
Her attention, turned to this yearn for omniscient sight, was caught,
held strong and seduced. Ever present, ever expanding through
every crevice of her consciousness, she became inured to
matter’s inadequacies. She desired entirely. No one could
reach her, though no one tried. She trance-walked through
her duties and habits with none to notice any lack of
aliveness, lack of any impish spark within her eyes.
Self-consumed, obsessed, absorbed in apotheosis,
physical possibilities no longer matter. Her spirit no longer
held to this room, this body. Blind to her unseeing world,
enraptured in unfiltered light, colors far beyond our rainbow.
A brave and learned man hired out to guide a motley assortment
through a narrow, rocky passage to a settlement in need of laborers.
At this time, he was a stranger to settlers and these prospective immigrants.
He had an idea of joining their project, but felt nag of doubt enough to only
commit as far as hiring out for specified work and pay.
This Job – this man who gave his name as Job – was curious, clever, aloof
because caught up in thoughts complex, calculating, critical, cynical,
contemplative, entertaining. He spoke as necessary for terse communication.
He listened as if a subtle etching of rain on sand. He sucked in sounds
and all their meaning to nourish his chattering brain.
Though his behavior, demeanor, presentment appeared distancing,
others tended to respect his leadership, his abilities. Even those who
mocked or boisterously complained in private camaraderie in which he
did not join agreed that he bested them at coming through.
After their passaging, safely gathered at the settlement, words and
gestures of gratitude lauded upon him were spontaneous and sincere.
As settlers and new arrivals met together to discuss their common project,
ask questions, give opinions, figure out teams and chores, Job continued
his passage. Busy in their plans and adaptations, no one noticed him
disappear.

Capture my imagination
Take me for a ride
self-discipline, acknowledge without judging

Philip, he so tired, exhausted, can’t bear the nattering.
Silly people, spew of soft-heart advice. Stupidly happy people,
smug in their hugs and white smiles.
Philip recedes into deep, dark hate – so mired and convoluted
spirals down his mind.
Lethargic impulses, held back, kicked down, pounded to weakness
as he grew in twists and turns.
“Don’t look at me.” He hears his silence scream. Horrid beast snarls,
whimpers. Philip aches to hide from his own mind, beastly child
whining, cringing around cutting steel for comfort.
Snappy, happy babblers burst like saliva balloons, insult, annoy.
“Don’t speak to me. Don’t daintily pretend you understand; oh so
precious extended hands, limpid eyes question, judge, sentence
to demented status.
“I am fine, or will be when you all leave me alone. Ignore my retreat
into secure solitary recrimination, whip lash of vengeful sin. You know
you don’t really want to be let in, to feel the wrath I am. Scatter, you
flesh-covered delusions who choose to disturb my sleep, my darling
nightmares’ stomping victory. You clearly don’t need my input to be
complete. Complete fools – go do your better things. Enjoy your day.
I’ve no more to say, to share.” Aloud?
Allowed?
He allows himself to voice complaint aloud. And the folk crowd ebbs out
beyond his self-fixed point.
“Express your truth,” he silently affirms. People may listen.

Imbibe trance
Fall into story
Record intimately

Become one story
Imbibe trance intimately
Record while falling

face shifter. story spinner. dervish zeitgeist possessed.
defined by shades, by shadows,
by negation.

Sammy scary loco crazy. They say he got the paranoid schizophrenia.
What he got is commandos tracking his thoughts, grinning.
Party of demons who been with him, telling him what to do, clever talk when
he needs to answer some fool.
He’s got my nightmares, but can’t shake them awake.
No one wants to listen to me or him when we say what’s real.
They want us to be kids, whatever that is. They want us to make them feel
alive in their self-comforting fantasies about responsibilities.
What is Sammy responsible for or to? Because he suffers disability,
because he can’t break through Hell’s circles, flames of purity.
I walked from Hell. My mind still burns. I am strong, a born survivor.
He survives as he can. Is that weakness, or alternative dimensions habitated?
I am amazing, mobile, continuing, sensibly explaining, harmoniously relating,
conversing like a pro. I struggle. I hurt, it feels unbearably. I work until I want
to scream, become explosive screaming. I stifle, call up mania to work on.
Efforts only I applaud – amazing me! Nothing spectacular to entice the jaded they.
Sammy is spectacular. I am seriously amazing. I won’t let them blind me.
They walk in and out of patterns, broad swath of night.
No designated home; no one has to accept them.
They walk.
Dust, dirt, soot, effluvia collect, protect in the sense of repel.
In safe dark none encounter to harass. Those alive by day buried in bed.
They walk without notice or plan. This is their closest approach to sleep,
hypnotic glide through distance. Landscape undifferentiated by visible
presentation. Footsteps feel clearly what comes under, it seems by instinct
— or possibly familiarity. They walk on perhaps forever with no where to stop.
Pit stops. Beg for food or find leavings. Play merry fool, eyes gleaming,
lips voice hands form expressive grand soliloquies, hoped fee implied
(implored). Sustenance they afford varies by mood of kindness, unswayed
by desperation. Exhaustion only dulls, removes any attractive shine.
As air blows colder, nights freeze over, they seem to dissolve into
neverwere. Empty shadow, haunted tingle bereft of cause.
“They were never us, nothing like us.” Unspoken song bears rhythms
of walking unseen.
She awoke in a body, young, womanly, driving consciousness
on hold somewhere like dreamless sleep.
It was her occasional brief invasion to feel in touch with
mortal concerns.
She is to be a bride, again. Foolish, innocent yet of so many
regrets and betrayals to come. She is ready to exult in the veil
and it symbolic lift. Happy to perform, darling of her audience
of familiars. Happy day, swept clean of trepidations, of all
yesterdays and their burdensome effluvia. Today is always hers.
These ceremonies, traditional duties and pleasures, bind her to
cults, cultures, accumulated lore and intuition. Not creature, but
weaver – still she is inseparable from the story.
Today she again assumes bridehood. Tonight, awash in festivities,
again she removes her spell of possession.
This new bride returns to a familiar world, changed.
No longer civil child nor spiritual supplicant, she has ascended.
People see her differently, treat her with more deference, more
distance even as they proclaim her their precious chosen intimate,
ply her with cherished secrets as if her allegiance would add value.
Her bearing carries an air, an enhanced spirit, a subtle awareness,
unspoken by any inner voicing.
Language is a human art.

Dancers dance
musicians play
Enchanting sylph narrates stories
while seductively moving to sinuous
back beat, tick of chimes.
Occasionally emphasizes subtle percussions
with intense expressions, leaps, cunning
stumbles, falling to crawl into spellbound speech.
Scheherazade myths, archetypal passion
escapades, poignant weeps, salient shouts
to power. Exquisite meditations on mystic
climes, spirit and form. Merry masks,
sparkly costumes, paint and glitter as
embellishment to the tellings.
Theater as intimate ritual.
Anything could manifest.

Pisces murky androgeny
Libra emits graceful beauty
Scorpio at home in passion
Deeply attractive
Complicated self-hatred urging service and demeaning.
At core strong self-belief expressed intuitively.
Stories from the collective well, mystic ether, imbued
in earth, exhaled by flames.
Centering, sense memory trances exhibits as
sinuous performance.

This world is ending …

Even happy families share dissonance,
complex histories, emotional triggers.
Happy families learn to thrive,
profound mutual respect as guide,
resort to good humor for smoother passage.
Why fight, divide strength from where it
is better spent?
Folk who pull together by choice
rejoice in shared communion.

Outside self-circumscribed worlds
Diverse perception of views
Sight with wide spectra of hues

She heard him crying, a lost child in the night.
In her prophetic heart she knew only she could comfort him.
But she was only a child who was never allowed to be lost.
How could she comfort this lost boy when she had no freedom
to reach out?
Late in quiet dark, after her people, asleep, would not be
checking on her, she opened her window and made daring escape.
Wandering in the outside dark, she listened for his cries.
At first she discerned wind among leaves and branches,
small creature forays, clash of metal against pavement,
perfumed strains from afar.
Then, yes, whimpers, ragged rhythm past exhausted weeping.
He was huddled, hidden, on the alley side of a cold brick building.
Seeing him, frightened, lost, she did not know what to say.
He smelled of rancid sweat and fear. She did not know how
to speak. She cried.
She emptied herself of every caustic tear, every regret held for
guilty ransom, every sadness kept inside so no one would fuss.
He looked up at her watery face and asked with amazed concern:
“Are you lost, too? Because if we are lost together, really we have
found each other. We don’t have to stay scared and alone.”
She looked around, realized that in al her blind wandering she had
lost her way. She had no idea where they were.
She knelt beside him. They smiled and hugged. For that precious
while they became beloved kin.
Perhaps some special night they’ll meet again.

Mythy visions to transcribe; thought fragments to form.
Myths we live, and how to rewrite them.

She knows she has awakened. Every effort of her body pinches, aches, demands refuge in self-talk, reason, mental override of pain.
Carefully, she measures out tools of destruction, what she must carry in her pack into the city, to her place of destiny.
Doing what one can to make sense, have meaning.
Life is short, ugly, pointless, unless you get that call.
Trying to act cool with familiar friends, laying low, hiding from everything that doesn’t allow relevant existence for dregs like us.
Recognition? Commendation? A scrap of real notice?
To sacrifice this humorless joke to Godly cause, that’s got to be imbued with meaning, to be holy.
How not find zealous courage, so dishonor numbing a drug, one point of focus.
All my sins, my impoverishments, inadequacies, forgiven in ultimate atonement. God can love me.
I am made pure in His sight. A tool, a weapon, no matter how lowly, bestowed sacred purpose in this great fight.
My parents, my kin, vindicated, their suffering denied nobility avenged.
Cleansed in adventure’s icy plunge, only ever young in throes of romance, a chance for breathless rush of brief immortality.
question everything
accept or reject with clear awareness
and flexibility
purity of essence is to will one thing
She didn’t like her skin. So hard to blend in.
She didn’t like her body, jutting awkwardly, too bulky,
not compliant to conscious control.
She ached to let her spirit free from matter’s burden,
to ooze out onto open air. Her envisioned wish took her
to aerial glee, and no more.
“What would I see, outside of eyes, no biological boundaries?”
Her attention, turned to this yearn for omniscient sight, was caught,
held strong and seduced. Ever present, ever expanding through
every crevice of her consciousness, she became inured to
matter’s inadequacies. She desired entirely. No one could
reach her, though no one tried. She trance-walked through
her duties and habits with none to notice any lack of
aliveness, lack of any impish spark within her eyes.
Self-consumed, obsessed, absorbed in apotheosis,
physical possibilities no longer matter. Her spirit no longer
held to this room, this body. Blind to her unseeing world,
enraptured in unfiltered light, colors far beyond our rainbow.

1/20/15
A brave and learned man hired out to guide a motley assortment
through a narrow, rocky passage to a settlement in need of laborers.
At this time, he was a stranger to settlers and these prospective immigrants.
He had an idea of joining their project, but felt nag of doubt enough to only
commit as far as hiring out for specified work and pay.
This Job – this man who gave his name as Job – was curious, clever, aloof
because caught up in thoughts complex, calculating, critical, cynical,
contemplative, entertaining. He spoke as necessary for terse communication.
He listened as if a subtle etching of rain on sand. He sucked in sounds
and all their meaning to nourish his chattering brain.
Though his behavior, demeanor, presentment appeared distancing,
others tended to respect his leadership, his abilities. Even those who
mocked or boisterously complained in private camaraderie in which he
did not join agreed that he bested them at coming through.
After their passaging, safely gathered at the settlement, words and
gestures of gratitude lauded upon him were spontaneous and sincere.
As settlers and new arrivals met together to discuss their common project,
ask questions, give opinions, figure out teams and chores, Job continued
his passage. Busy in their plans and adaptations, no one noticed him
disappear.
Capture my imagination
Take me for a ride
self-discipline, acknowledge without judging

Philip, he so tired, exhausted, can’t bear the nattering.
Silly people, spew of soft-heart advice. Stupidly happy people,
smug in their hugs and white smiles.
Philip recedes into deep, dark hate – so mired and convoluted
spirals down his mind.
Lethargic impulses, held back, kicked down, pounded to weakness
as he grew in twists and turns.
“Don’t look at me.” He hears his silence scream. Horrid beast snarls,
whimpers. Philip aches to hide from his own mind, beastly child
whining, cringing around cutting steel for comfort.
Snappy, happy babblers burst like saliva balloons, insult, annoy.
“Don’t speak to me. Don’t daintily pretend you understand; oh so
precious extended hands, limpid eyes question, judge, sentence
to demented status.
“I am fine, or will be when you all leave me alone. Ignore my retreat
into secure solitary recrimination, whip lash of vengeful sin. You know
you don’t really want to be let in, to feel the wrath I am. Scatter, you
flesh-covered delusions who choose to disturb my sleep, my darling
nightmares’ stomping victory. You clearly don’t need my input to be
complete. Complete fools – go do your better things. Enjoy your day.
I’ve no more to say, to share.” Aloud?
Allowed?
He allows himself to voice complaint aloud. And the folk crowd ebbs out
beyond his self-fixed point.
“Express your truth,” he silently affirms. People may listen.

Imbibe trance
Fall into story
Record intimately

Become one story
Imbibe trance intimately
Record while falling

face shifter. story spinner. dervish zeitgeist possessed.
defined by shades, by shadows,
by negation.

Sammy scary loco crazy. They say he got the paranoid schizophrenia.
What he got is commandos tracking his thoughts, grinning.
Party of demons who been with him, telling him what to do, clever talk when
he needs to answer some fool.
He’s got my nightmares, but can’t shake them awake.
No one wants to listen to me or him when we say what’s real.
They want us to be kids, whatever that is. They want us to make them feel
alive in their self-comforting fantasies about responsibilities.
What is Sammy responsible for or to? Because he suffers disability,
because he can’t break through Hell’s circles, flames of purity.
I walked from Hell. My mind still burns. I am strong, a born survivor.
He survives as he can. Is that weakness, or alternative dimensions habitated?
I am amazing, mobile, continuing, sensibly explaining, harmoniously relating,
conversing like a pro. I struggle. I hurt, it feels unbearably. I work until I want
to scream, become explosive screaming. I stifle, call up mania to work on.
Efforts only I applaud – amazing me! Nothing spectacular to entice the jaded they.
Sammy is spectacular. I am seriously amazing. I won’t let them blind me.
They walk in and out of patterns, broad swath of night.
No designated home; no one has to accept them.
They walk.
Dust, dirt, soot, effluvia collect, protect in the sense of repel.
In safe dark none encounter to harass. Those alive by day buried in bed.
They walk without notice or plan. This is their closest approach to sleep,
hypnotic glide through distance. Landscape undifferentiated by visible
presentation. Footsteps feel clearly what comes under, it seems by instinct
— or possibly familiarity. They walk on perhaps forever with no where to stop.
Pit stops. Beg for food or find leavings. Play merry fool, eyes gleaming,
lips voice hands form expressive grand soliloquies, hoped fee implied
(implored). Sustenance they afford varies by mood of kindness, unswayed
by desperation. Exhaustion only dulls, removes any attractive shine.
As air blows colder, nights freeze over, they seem to dissolve into
neverwere. Empty shadow, haunted tingle bereft of cause.
“They were never us, nothing like us.” Unspoken song bears rhythms
of walking unseen.

She awoke in a body, young, womanly, driving consciousness
on hold somewhere like dreamless sleep.
It was her occasional brief invasion to feel in touch with
mortal concerns.
She is to be a bride, again. Foolish, innocent yet of so many
regrets and betrayals to come. She is ready to exult in the veil
and it symbolic lift. Happy to perform, darling of her audience
of familiars. Happy day, swept clean of trepidations, of all
yesterdays and their burdensome effluvia. Today is always hers.
These ceremonies, traditional duties and pleasures, bind her to
cults, cultures, accumulated lore and intuition. Not creature, but
weaver – still she is inseparable from the story.
Today she again assumes bridehood. Tonight, awash in festivities,
again she removes her spell of possession.
This new bride returns to a familiar world, changed.
No longer civil child nor spiritual supplicant, she has ascended.
People see her differently, treat her with more deference, more
distance even as they proclaim her their precious chosen intimate,
ply her with cherished secrets as if her allegiance would add value.
Her bearing carries an air, an enhanced spirit, a subtle awareness,
unspoken by any inner voicing.
Language is a human art.

Gathered on picnic table benches behind the home,
hot in sunshine. Karen explains, fact by fact, how Gus
became her inseparable soul. They beam together.
He gives consoling hand to shoulder as she grieves
children left with their father, her ex’s condemnation,
stern paternal assertion of power. Saving his kin from
this unrepentant whore. Karen cries, again – unrehearsed
habit. She carries sadness; leaks occur.
Gus hardly speaks. His troubled eyes, weary stance,
gentle pull and pass of their pint bottle as he glances with
deep countenance to each face around is eloquent conversation.
Sweat smells, condensed alcohol, burnt tobacco, drying !@#$ from
local dogs, passing fumes from the road out front, all permeate,
help set the mood.
They treat the stranger in their midst as a friend of long
acquaintance, just another straggly member of a morphing crew.
“Ain’t we all strangers of long acquaintance – everybody a
wrapping of layers, appearing in colored bits along our drowsy
companionship. Strange friends, welcome distractions, smoky
mirrors that let us see as we discern.”
Bonnie and Denise giggle at Big Dan’s pedantic speech.
They solicit contributions for their liquor store expedition.
Enough gets thrown in to make it a go.
Go, girls. We’ll be waiting, celebrating what we can because
here we are.
Extempore (from Root of Desire)
Swift bare feet pound and release worn, gritty pavement.

Cobbled stone surrounds flowing fountain. Ecstatic feet pounding to the beat, to the swirl. A small crowd caught up in the trance, poetry, simple music, a lady dancing, glinting with glitter and smiles that light from her eyes.

Just as taskmaster day slides into night with welcome melancholy, rush of breeze reminiscent of dismembered yearnings. It helps to get caught up in ritual, undisciplined ceremony. Make a break from responsibilities. We don’t always have to be running to keep up with the plan.

Thrown, another dollar in the gypsy’s bright woven basket. Her exuberant craft reminds us to delight in the moment, feel being here as a part of shared energy, a tribal peace. If we could each rhythmically extend, sing out our own creations, move completely from serene centers, unconscious of pressing time or important matters, how could we continue as the labor pool we have come to depend upon to sustain the world we know? We pay for the service to our soul, and hurry on.

Renata learns this city in excursions, finding objects to fashion into musical percussions, colorful craftworks, collaged art. She finds open air markets and parks where performers display their wares. People gladly throw coins and bills into her open basket as she dances charismatically to the tunes of her spontaneous poetry. Betty plays rhythmically, supplies beats and counterbeats upon their found object percussion kit. Her eyes turned downward, her vision inward, Betty enjoys playing musical accompaniment on the instruments they fashioned, garishly or arcanely embellished. It can be amazing what people freely throw away that can be put to good purpose with love and imagination. Their audience also gladly buys other art pieces they have set out on their temporary stage.

Renata’s natural authority is obvious on an unspoken level to everyone who sees her. It is one of those unspoken mysteries that she, who counts on keen awareness, is oblivious to her own power.
By instinct Renata knows just when to disperse her audience to avoid unwanted attention. The spell rescinds, sending they who had gathered flocking back into the thoroughfare of public space. She collects their tribute into her pockets, art and instruments into the basket with its convenient sling for carrying.

“Let’s get some dinner to bring back to the house,” she urges Betty, who, pleasantly worn out from drumming, is languidly compliant. On the way home, new objects for their re-creations might be serendipitously discovered.

Happy children play.
soclib sem 2 (the School
Everyone has their stories,
and they are fascinating
mused with imagination
would we not rather share, engage with
daring quests, brave romance, laughs of surprise
so much more fun, entertaining, even wise
than hiding behind barriers of hateful cruelty,
isolated, lonely, in despair with no stories
but our boring old self-deprecation?
Please, release these wonders you could become
to everyone.

root

Root of Desire

Chapter 1: Chalice
An empty chalice, open, to be filled by spirit’s

essence, placed according to ritual, waits for its

turn.

Goddess of so many duties, so many eras, so many

sorrow-filled worshippers, She feels the tears, the

emptiness.

“I cannot fill you. I can not fill the chalice of

emptiness. That is not my gift or purpose. I can offer

only what is already within you.”

Almost quiet, sea sounds, dank odor of lowtide,

creeping Spring carries melt of harsher climes. She

stokes the fire to remember warmth when the Sun

was high and strong, and present. Fire has its own

secrets, its own order. As do we all, each our own

furnace, nurturing a flame that is destiny. So old,

She has been burnt by many flames — blistered,

scarred, hardened. She still feels every one, tastes

fiery spice, seasonings, marinades. It all moves Her

to cackling hysteria. You don’t want the pain of

knowing what She endures. You just want soothing

stories, fantasies to believe in.

She understands your fear, and withdraws. No need

to escalate sorrow. She is self-contained in her work

and close-knit layers of exquisite aeons, sense

memories, distilled lives.

“Was I a woman, then, upon the Earth, feeling

sweet breeze of early Spring uplift my being when

returning birds and budlings made ready for new

beginnings?”

In the dark, in the cold, enclosed below that hopeful

ground, stirrings still find Her. She can not miss the

Sun, the Sky, the open fields. They are ingrained in

Her, as there and intense as ever they could be.

There is no yesterday, no tomorrow. Always all

times, all places, all emotions, overwhelm, yet gentle

strand by strand amuse. She has no pity. There is

only action, including the action of long

enthrallment, of stasis within unfolding storms.

There is no room for judgment, no excuses. She

sees all the rationales, the weak flailing attempts at

blame, at justification.

Laughter takes Her. It makes so much more sense to

revel in explosion, expelling, cleansing for

exploration, for readiness to take the next step.

—–

The Goddess stands over Her cauldron, deep in a

hidden chamber of Her chthonic cave. She tosses in

the herbs, reciting the liturgy, long-practiced but

never without supreme concentration.

Sprite sparks, disembodied voices, curls of smoke

stained with potent ash, swirl about, crazily careen,

above and around Her energy absorbent pot of

charming, of magicks.

The rampant confusion clears. She sees the moving

scenes, hears the clamor of supplications, feels,

breathes, the stories. She ****s an ear, widens the

circumference of her eyes, takes in this kaleidoscope

of landscape, of cacophonous data. As She minutely

discerns cloying strings of powerful souls as yet

unaware of their gifts, gladly grasps familiar flavors,

She narrows in Her focus, becomes more attentively

intent in Her seeking, in Her imagining of journeys

to be undertaken. It has never been that She

demands worship. It is, She is fully aware, Her

responsibility to those few who demand Her

influence, those who, knowingly or with but strange

intuition, claim kinship.

Chthonic wilds, primordial, ancient castings,

building over eternity, silent, archetype of will,

ponders life. Intrinsically senses dispair, bottomless

sorrow, waste of intent of expression on such a

merciless plane. She is challenged, gives challenge to

her wards. Find me, at the root of desire. Your

truest wish of will to be fashioned, you must give

only the price of who you were made against your

nature.
—————–

Renata would not get her breakfast today. She was

being unbearably willful. Certainly a Princess is

expected to want her way; but there are some

subjects a child of any class should be taught to

shun.

Poor, motherless child. She is really such a sweet

soul. She just does it for attention. She must be

taught. We don’t want to attract attention of the

wrong kind.

Born into royalty is just being born, thrust into a

time and place, people, conditions of behavior

having nothing to do with survival, other than it is

learn or die defying.

“No time for me” wasn’t in Renata’s thinking.

Accustomed to her own company while all hue and

tumult went to her brothers’ training and vying for

dear King Papa’s throne and favor. She carried

secret smiles, knowing her bravery and sharp wit

belong to her alone. No, not alone. All that she can

mean belong to the Goddess who carries her, from

within her first principles, before awareness. This

motherless daughter, before the end while birthing

her, last and only conscious gift from death to birth,

was consecrated to her mother’s Protector, Friend,

Purpose.

“His precious sons are his, to carry his legacy. I

have paid that price. You, daughter, are mine to gift

to Her; and She is my gift to you.” Renata feels her

mother’s gift as the air of life, flowing through, in,

sparkling energy, surety, allegiance.

“My life is mine,” a sweet phrase she might sing,

even knowing that in this world it is anything but.
Look at them, the twins, ambitious, rambunctious,

ready to the rule besting each other; little Terrence,

bright warrior in the Queen’s (his mother’s) eyes —

sons, heirs, worthy by their birth.

Renata knew she had been sold. Nothing so crass

was said, or thought by any but her. She was

betrothed to a man she had hardly met — seen

perhaps on numerous occasions in close repartee

with the adults who had sold her. She was part of a

treaty, a sealing of a deal for mutual gain. What

should she complain of? She was to be a Queen, of

a nearby Kingdom — with all the rights of a young

and pliant slave. Though she had not engaged in

conversation with her husband to be, she knew

enough of him to understand he would not be

seeking her counsel, consolation, or companionship.

He would expect to enjoy her body at his whim, at

least while she was young and comely. He would

provide the comforts of his opulent home and the

companionship of guards and gossips, watchfully

assuring her loyalty and continued ignorance of any

means to power.

It could be a pleasant enough life, one certainly

admired by girlfolk, frivolous women, or those in

need of romantic fantasy. There would be no lack of

the kind of luxury she had grown up within.

Another woman would have been content if not

thrilled by the prospect of such a destiny. Renata

was not that other woman. She had always believed

in a special destiny, perhaps implanted at birth by

her dying mother’s promise.

Long that Full Moon night she stood on the balcony,

staring at Lady Moon, breathing in sweet night

blooming herbs from the garden. She fancied

hearing faint music in the rustling wind. Slowly, not

knowing that her body moved, she danced, the

wind carrying her like a lover’s arms caught up in

dancing slow and closer than a kiss. She felt

helpless, unloved, unsupported. She felt a slow,

undulating anger move through muscles and mind.

“Goddess?” Her voice quavered at the audacity; but

she felt surer of her course.

“Goddess, I am your child.” Nothing had ever felt

more true.

“I am of you; and in need of your aid. You know I

have not asked anything of you before. We are an

independent, self-dependent kind. We enjoy

challenge, figuring out the puzzles, crafting our own

prize, facing the demons square on with defiance

and grace. I know these are your attributes when I

seem myself thus behaving.

Tonight I am lost. I have lost my lust for challenge. I

am defeated, unable to marshal the means to fight.

I beseech you, turn to you in supplication. Tell me,

what can I do? How can I escape this false fate that

will seize and drain my very soul, if I can find no

exit?”

She continued in the ecstasy of the dance, eyes

closed still facing moonlight. She felt a calming

presence, so near, palpable. The perfume was like

sleep, intoxicating, evoking dreams. That funny way

that dreams have, half-baked images, fragments take

on narrative.

She was somehow, without memory of travel, deep

in the forest, archetypal forest. It was deadly dark;

but the trees, the moss, flower petals, glowed, an

unearthly light from an unannounced source.

She was drawn to a particular tree, indistinguishable

from many others, yet a presence unto itself.

Without segue, a shovel was in her hands,

shoveling. Her apron pockets (an apron that had

apparently fashioned itself and appeared atop her

dress) had supplied themselves with a mixture of

particular herbs, most of which were unfamiliar.

Somehow her arms and shovel had excavated

ground to reveal the roots of the tree.

Strange roots, these, alive. Yes, I know roots of a

growing tree are alive; but these were lively. They

wriggled, pulsed, seemed to dance, though in

circumscribed place.

The shovel was now a knife. She cut open a finger

of root. It bled copiously, a brilliant green. She

mixed the root blood with the herbs from her

pockets. A song came from her lips, from her

throat, from her gut, bubbling through her as the

herbs and tree blood mixed into a viscous paste.

“Root of desire calls
infinite melodies
binds the seven seas
spills through centuries
cast out among the stars
essence of who you are.
Feel the root of desire
enflame your heart
realize your part
play its haunting melody
charm vibrations repair your fears,
released from harm, from chains
of foes,
find your destiny
rooted in the throes of desire.”

She recognized the Goddess’s chalice that held the

potent mixture as it touched her lips. Drinking the

potion of the root, she felt light and free. Viscous

green light poured through her, igniting every

capillary, every neuronal fiber. The dream receded;

and she slept deeply.

The Goddess smiles, spent for this evening. She fills

her chalice with consecrated wine to drink, savor

intoxication of liquid fire, as embers of her night’s

workings settle, gently, into history.
Chapter 2: Challenge
Renata awakens. She is lying beneath a tree, on a

summer morning. Her clothes feel strange, different.

She has no idea where she is.

She hears other people’s movements close by, smells

their animal odors. She open her eyes.

Around her she sees people in brightly garbed

array, some lying on the ground, perhaps a sack of

belongings as a pillow, or not, some rising upwards

from sleep to activity. She looks up to sky, through

dark green of healthy leaves, becoming light, going

through shades of hues fractured by a rising Sun.

She breathes deeply, taking in what she can. It seem

best to do away with expectations.

“Figure out the puzzle. Look at the pieces for clues. I

am awake; and in a foreign place. I must be careful

in my actions while I learn how things are done

here. These people appear relaxed, not hostile.”

She allows herself to rise slowly, circumspectly

surveying her companions. This is a very small

forest, no, not a forest, but what? Trees, benches,

wild flowers, an ornate fountain not too far beyond

this grove where people appear to wash and play,

strange odors, strange sounds, she restrains from

compartmentalizing. This must be some sort of

magical kingdom the Goddess has transported her

to, to save her from her dreaded fate.

“Thank you, Goddess. I will not let this strangeness

detract from your great gift. It will be my challenge,

my gift to you of my profound acceptance. I will find

my way here, as you have opened this opportunity.”

Smiling, joyful in a way she had never known before,

Renata becomes aware of the curious smile of a

young man in her path. His attitude toward her, she

feels, in puzzlement and gratitude, is that of an

equal, a potential friend.

“What shall I say? Who am I in this place?” she

wonders, nervously. Experienced as she has been

with listening noncommittally to those around her,

she is still too overcome by all this sudden change

in her circumstances that nervousness takes hold.

“Rory, I’m Rory. And you seem familiar, too. That is

why you’re looking at me so pensively? Because you

can’t remember my name?”

He is jolly, well met, fine and sandy, easy to smile

with, to feel cheered and comfortable. She likes him.

“Of course you are Rory. And where are you off to

today?” She delivers a breezy tone filled with

sunshine and a kiss of morning dew. He seems

pleased.

“Let’s go get some breakfast, Sunshine.” He grabs

her lightly at the arm. “I know a place where the

donuts and coffee are free if you listen to their

boring sermon. You don’t really have to listen, just

pretend while you’re eating.”

It seems a reasonable way to learn more about her

surroundings. She is hungry, but had put that off

until she could learn enough to focus on food. This

Rory obviously wants company in his little scam.

She would give him a more pleasant focus than the

dreaded sermon, and she would pick up what she

could of local customs.

“You don’t say much, Sunshine.” He comments as

they walk along roads paved of various hard

materials between large structures filled with wares.

Vehicles of various sorts carrying people and more

goods appear on these roads, sometimes moving at

alarming speeds. She concentrates on moving

nonchalantly, letting the ever-changing scenery

wash over and around her. It will all become clearer

over time, she hopes.

“Haven’t anything to say just now. I’m sure you’ll

hear me plenty when I do.” She replies flippantly, or

at least so she hopes he will take it, without

question.

“Or maybe you’re the strong, silent type, intense

and ready for action, or too cool for words?” She

feels as well as sees his easy smile, and knows they

are in sync.

Concentrating on this repartee, letting the scenery

be scenery, Renata feels herself falling into place. So

far, so good, following through.

* * *

They arrive, enter a door next to a large glass

window decorated in bright colored paint. It is a

portrayal of a man on a cross. Bloody red holes mar

his hands and feet. A thorny green crown sits on his

head.

Inside are cakes and hot black drinks on a short

table. A few others are also eating and drinking. On

the floor, next to a large, tattered chair, a woman

sits, rocks, dirty and worn looking. Her shaking

hands make attempts to feed coffee to her lips, but

more is spilled on her worn and spattered dress.

She has been mumbling incoherently. She is getting

louder. Renata starts to make out words.

“They fill yer belly with their babies. No more

babies. They hurt and make me so sick. The men,

they fill me with their nasty liquid babies. They

make them grow in me, take over my body, make

me sick, and cut so hard to get out. I won’t take

them, horrid demons. So they throw me back in the

street for the men to fill me again, hurt me again. It

hurts, it hurts, it hurts. No more babies. No more

pumping out their nasty babies. I won’t. I won’t go

there. You can’t make me leave.” She burbles, gasps,

cries, mumbles, and repeats her litany. She rocks

her body, suckles on her fingers and strands of long,

lank hair. She seems in a trance, perhaps poisoned,

perhaps cursed.

From further back in the room, a man dressed in

black, prominently carrying a black book,

approaches the group around the table.

“Don’t mind Betty. She’s a hard case. We can’t find

anywhere that will take her.” He seems perturbed

by this inconvenience, embarrassed by this woman’s

plaint.

Thoughts of keeping still while learning how to

blend in have flown from Renata’s mind. She goes

quickly, yet with gentle motion, to sit beside this

Betty. Close up, she is surprised to see this woman

is young, certainly no longer a child, but not the old

used up hag she had appeared to be. Her burbling

snot and tears mixed with spilled coffee and older

stains make her an unappetizing sight. Yet, there is

something so fragile, so sad and affecting in her

defiantly defeated form, Renata can not help but

reach out her arms to comfort.

Rory ambles over with more cake and coffee to

share. He is awed by this instant, by Renata’s

compassion and Betty’s plight. He wants to be a part

of the drama, the connection.

“I know a squat, a place that was abandoned,

people stay there. Really, it’s a cool space. We

could bring her there, stay ourselves and get her

settled. The people, they’re ok. They won’t hurt her.

They’ll be fine. Unless you have somewhere else?”

Of course, Renata has no where else. She is still

adjusting to being in this somewhere else. Why not

take what is freely offered and also helps this sad

soul she seems to be taking on? Perhaps this is all

part of the Goddess’s plan for her, for the destiny

she must fulfill, the reason she has been saved from

a life that she has no further need of, that was never

really hers to lose.
Chapter 3: Community

Renata, Rory, Betty have what is understood to be

their own room in this large house. They reside in a

crumbling neighborhood, rats and weeds and

broken sidewalks battling with bits and junk for

identity. One assumes this place was once cared for.

The structures and infrastructures must have been

built with reason, with belief that they would

become part of a thriving system of shops and

homes. Now their reason seems to be these

hideaways for throwaways, away from the eyes and

minds of the good folk.

Here, people with nowhere else come, go, stay for

awhile. Some few seem entrenched, even familial.

These three are acclimating, solidifying through

routine safe structure for exploration.

Though the oldest of the three, Betty is as helpless

as a small child. She is too disconnected from the

here and now to act effectively. Betty has bonded to

Renata as a makeshift mother, much better than the

one that birthed her and left her to the world’s

cruelties.

Rory is an effective forager. He has always figured

out his next move on the run, kept in touch with

where what might be needed could be found. He is

happy to be a helpful friend, and stay out of trouble,

under the radar, easily fading in out around.

Renata has found her element. Her element is air,

the sweet breeze of creative activity, the place

where dreams grow up.
Candle wax melts into layered color sculpture,

artistic side effect of lighting our room and

conversation. A very different home and family from

what I knew is becoming my touchstone here. In

this short time, I am more connected to,

comfortable among, these erstwhile strangers than

the people I grew up knowing as blood.

Marcus gets Betty in a way I can’t reach. It is more

than the different cultures. They are akin, in some

tribe of survivors whose lives have been shell-

shocked into ever struggling in a dark mud of

unacceptable circumstance. I have no desire to go

there, or anywhere near. Yet it pulls me into strong

love connection as I perceive their call to battle with

respect and awe.

Rory is a dear and a darling. He preens so self-

consciously. I know he wants to be too proud to

acknowledge need. He wants to be the magickal

genie — everywhere at once, granting wishes. He

doesn’t want to admit to having fears, inadequacies,

or craving for connection to lean on when energy

palls.

Perhaps I am still but a child. Certainly I lack

experience in this world’s history, customs, moral

code. I can still love, feel empathy for human

psychic tragedy that transcends social cues. No one

here seems to care, or notice, that I might express

myself strangely, have serious gaps in common

knowledge. Whatever their personal self-flagellations

or angers, they reserve judgment against others for

hurtful qualities. Mere difference is cause for

curiosity and celebration. Even my slight

understanding of the majority of the locals gives me

grateful confidence that I have been greatly

fortunate in falling among these exceptional friends.

Janna is so sweet. She makes me dizzy with her

rapid dance from idea to idea, moving so swiftly, so

deftly, to leave a whirl of orderly beauty. Our room

is transformed with colorful scarves and cut-out

picture collage, candle drippings, whatever the day

might bring. Her every motion, every smile, every

word is a prayer of grace. Her touch, her kiss, her

breath like a desert spring, encourages life as

celebration. I am learning so much about how to be

this new me, outside of this world looking in while

creating a sense of how to be, with Janna’s calm

excitement as example.

Of course I know Eddie gives too much. No, there

is no way I could tell her that. She is practically

bleeding, psychically, from invisible stigmata. These

people, givers, spiritually pure, idealistic innocents

ready to die to save the vilest of sinners, feel dirty.

They don’t realize that they are designed to accept

and transform ambient evil with their wealth of

purity. In ignorance, they too often succumb to the

poison that gladly pours into them for salvation. No

one told them, gave them reason to believe, their

holy vocation is not about blame and castigation,

but about transforming love — which must first be

learned through joyful love of self. How do I know

this? I am filled with these images, interpretive

stories, in Eddie’s presence. She exudes for

sensitives, such as I seem to be, what she does not

experience for herself. She has closed herself off

from her own urge to healing, to nurturing. As a

result, I want to strongly to heal, to nurture, her.

That kind of giving is not in my nature. Is she

concepting within me, creating new traits from her

influence? Is this part of her gift, beyond the obvious

will to sacrifice?

She is a “she” to me, despite anatomical differences.

She feels like a sister. Men can be giving, sensitive,

tragic, even nurturing, able to lovingly self-sacrifice.

Women do it with a denser style. Women, like

Eddie, Janna, I can even see it in little, old virgin me,

feel it in our wombs, that enveloping protective

instinct. We want to make it alright, make it alright,

MAKE IT ALL right, so everyone can be happy, so

it’;s not our fault, so we can relax and just be our

adorable selves. Obviously, it’s not about genitalia. It

is about the stories we tell ourselves about who we

are.

How did I get so perceptive? Well, traversing worlds

might do that to a girl. Goddess, I know you imbued

me with wisdom beyond my years at my birth. But,

it could just be my self-applauding mind making

much of what everybody is born knowing.

Isn’t it marvelous that I have this new, alternative

family that happily encourages me to voice these

thoughts, to honestly probe confusions that might

otherwise paralyze me. Goddess, thank you my soul

mother for looking after me, giving me what I need

to survive and more.

And here is Karl, soothing, energizing, always

knowing how to move us. He never seems quite

there, quite connected, quite grounded in the every

day real and earnest life. He breathes a rhythmic

eloquence I can not imagine. Yet, here he is, talking,

laughing, eating, ****ting, carrying on among us.

I have been cast into an enchanted life, here. I feel

responsible for these people, as if my presence had

influenced them outside of their previous destinies. I

feel grateful to them for taking me in without

question despite my outrageous strangeness. They

don’t make me feel that way. I am home. We are

kin. I hope I know better than to expect this will last

beyond the moments that we serendipitously share.

My mother and I shared such a moment. No one

knows I remembered so early in my consciousness. I

don’t know if it is true of everyone. I have always

been aware. Now I am aware of these dear

creatures around me in the candlelight.

We talk and argue and sing and spin and share our

stories. Who could be more wealthy than we?

As in prayers, Renata explains subvocally, in

reverence, her emerging relationships, her rooting

in her new life. She is not wrong in supposing that

her presence has become a significant influence on

the destiny of her new friends. They had not before

thought themselves family, or otherwise in organized

connection. Her natural regality needs no

trumpeting clothing or pageantry. Her natural

empathy, reason, grace, and substance have not

been lost on this bumbling group of perceptive

outsiders. They understand, each in individual

metaphor, that they have been granted access to a

miracle. Beyond conscious consent, they know their

allegiance, up to and beyond the forfeit of their

lives, belongs to her.

Don’t tell me their lives were going nowhere, and

now they have a purpose. Don’t tell me to spit on

these brave souls simply because they were vague

and unconnected to a greater cause. Catalysts are

not so rare. A call to purpose can arrive any day.

Renata is a gift — that is intrinsic to her destiny.

Renata’s new found family is her gift from the

benevolence that is also intrinsic to her destiny.

Gifts don’t need to balance. They are better when

they synergize.

They had been searching outward for salvation, or

looking inward to identify and cast out flaws.

Accessing the possibility of creating a self-fulfilling

clan could offer a different kind of salvation. If it’s

okay to be me, how might my flaws be assets? How

might I transcend labels and their limitations? In my

innermost heart, I feel infinite. How far can I go if

encouraged by circumstance, by the courage and

comfort of true companions?

Families form over time shared and exploited for

knowledge. How do I fit in? How do I matter? Not

intellectualized, it is lived, inculcated, in the day by

day. If a family is fortunate enough to be real, held

together by mutual love and respect, the day to day

can be quite beautiful. Work that flows, hardship

that feels like treasured challenge, every little victory

a celebration — every defeat an opportunity; along

the way, most days get to be gifts of surprise.
Swift bare feet pound and release hot, gritty

pavement.

Hot, gritty pavement. Feet pounding to the beat, to

the swirl. A small crowd caught up in the trance,

poetry, simple music, a lady dancing, glinting with

glitter and smiles that light from her eyes. Just as the

hot summer day slides into night with welcome

melancholy rush of breeze reminiscent of

dismembered yearnings. It helps to get caught up in

ritual, undisciplined ceremony. Make a break from

responsibilities. We don’t always have to be running

to keep up with the plan. Thrown another dollar in

the gypsy’s bright woven basket. Her exuberant

craft reminds us to delight in the moment ecstasy, a

feeling of being here as a part of shared energy, a

tribal peace. If we could each dance, sing out our

own creations, move completely from our centers,

unconscious of pressing time or important matters,

how could we continue as the people we have come

to depend upon to sustain the world we know? We

pay for the service to our soul, and hurry on.

Renata learns this city in excursions, finding objects

to fashion into musical percussives, colorful

craftworks, collaged art. She finds open air markets

and parks where performers display their wares.

People gladly throw coins and bills into her open

basket as she dances charismatically to the tunes of

her extemporaneous poetry. Betty enjoys playing

musical accompaniment on the instruments they

fashion and garishly or arcanely embellish. People

also gladly buy their crafts. It can be amazing what

people freely throw away that can be put to good

purpose with some love and imagination.

Her natural authority is obvious on an unspoken

level to everyone who sees her. It is one of those

mysterious that she, who counts on her awareness,

is oblivious to her own power.

Betty plays rhythmically, supplies beats and

counterbeats upon their found object percussion

kit. Her eyes turn downward, her vision inward.

By instinct Renata knows just when to disperse her

audience to avoid unwanted attention. The spell

descends, sending people flocking back into the

thoroughfare of public space. She gathers up their

proceeds into her pockets, art and instruments into

the basket with its convenient sling for carrying.

“Let’s get some dinner to bring back to the house,”

she urges Better, who, pleasantly worn out from

drumming, is happily compliant. On the way new

objects for their artwork might be serendipitously

discovered.

Happy children play.
It’s getting colder. There’s no heat or electricity

going to this abandoned home. There is always the

fear that the owner will materialize and throw them

out. They need a better option.

Janna works part-time at the Mercury Diner, does

textured collage, crayon and chalk drawings. Karl

sells weed, fashions musical instruments, to play for

coin or sell to the fascinated, out of this and that.

He enjoys teaching Betty about music, which seems

to be more about awakening a language natural to

her. Marcus is a middle-aged street revolutionary

collecting a less than subsistence government

pension for his wounding in a previous war. Eddie,

often Edwina, happily scams the marks, sells her

sexuality on the street, performs in opulent drag,

and comes home to Marcus her soul-mate and

mentor. Collectively building up a pool of cash they

are looking to rent a cheap artists’ loft space, then

promote events to get the community supporting

further payments.
“I wasn’t aware that we had a leader. Something

needed to be done. I took the initiative, and the

responsibility. That gives me no authority.”
Backstory

Rory – mercurial, self-defined, needs to be free

(Gemini, Uranus)
characteristically bright, curious, a man who knows

where to find resources because he travels around

the blocks
He takes care of himself, expects no back-up. His

deep desire is a cause or community we can believe

in. He strives with his need to serve, for his energy

to be part of worthwhile endeavors.

He’s got people, family; but they never got him.

Maybe his mom did, sometimes. She’s mostly spaced

out on prescription happy pills. They help her hide

from that constant anxiety of desire to be doing the

right thing, to behave well, to fit the mold that never

fit her quite right. Brought up by abusers, a long

line of alcoholic losers, she feels so lost in an

overwhelming world.

Dad wasn’t like that. She thought of him as her

savior. He tries to hard to make her be right, fit in,

not embarrass him. He comes from a decent, hard

-working, family values clan. She was so pretty, so

vulnerable, so in awe of a secretly frightened about

his manhood boy. Once she was pregnant, he had

to do the right thing, for her and that molly-coddled

boy. It became alright with the others, children that

took after him and his. He could be a proud papa in

the appropriate places. At family gatherings, football

games, dance recitals presented so charmingly by

his little princess and her talented friends, he could

beam out his true worth. Elsa and her Rory might

be disappointments; but she did make up for quite a

bit with the rest of the brood she produced for him.

At least she knew enough to keep quite,

nondescript, not drawing too much comment

beyond a pleasing sympathy for his long-suffering

benevolence from concerned friends and family. He

assures himself that it is just the right kind of

concern that honors his position, not overly

solicitous denigration. His Elsa is likable enough, if

pathetic. She does obviously try so very hard to

please, to overcome her inadequacies, even if falling

short seems the best she can manage.

But that Rory, though certainly of his siring, was no

son that Max Salinger could claim with pride.

Mama’s little helper, cute when he was barely more

than a baby helping to care for younger baby

brother (who later making papa proud, came to

despise this caring brother for his womanish ways),

became more irritating when not outgrown. The kid

wasn’t even pitiably gay, as far as Max could tell.

Girls seemed to like him just fine, and he them. But

the boys who ought to have been his friends,

brothers of his brothers’ good buddies, wanted

nothing to do with him. They weren’t actively

hostile. There was no call for hostilities. Everyone in

this social circumference understood his place.

Rory’s was that of the tolerated, but not accepted,

fool. The girls that liked him did so more for his

attitude toward them as interested equal, though

not put off by his, if effete, charming good looks.

Regardless of his social standing, he was happy to

be on his own, following his bliss of the week. His

busy mind abuzz with curiosity, with chance

adventure, could not be bothered with tiresome

bandying rituals, small talk going nowhere, the

popular qua popular. He danced to his own

drummer, thank you, because this drummer is cook,

hot, and right where I want to be.

The street can be all the theater one could ever

need, for free. Why waste time striving for so much

less?

Finally 18, so they can’t touch him for being

underage, he’s feeling fully good about himself, his

proven ability by now to land on his feet, keep his

eyes open to danger and opportunity, go with that

old cosmic flow and enjoy the ride.

Hear Rory roar.
Nobody likes to talk about Betty; but you can bet

we cream over her (secretly, all cozy in our beds, in

our heads and groins).

Nobody likes to admit what casual cruelty we are

capable of. Gang-raping children because we can

doesn’t appeal to our desired self-image. Her mother

allowed it in exchange for food, a place to sleep, the

blessed drugs to keep away the pain of knowing the

endless, hopeless misery life had become. Or, she

was alone on that dark street, lost and frightened,

with nowhere safe to go, no one protecting her just

then. Her sexuality tempted me, in all that frenzy of

bonding blood cries, heightened primal energies,

hot insistent bodies falling under ritual spell. She is

but a sacrifice, a holding cell for sin. There is no

freedom for will to grow within her, only unwanted,

tainted seed, thrust outward from the nauseous

collective psyche to poison her potential. Does she

need to be defined by what has been done against

her nascent will? Is there salvation in finding a slim,

hiding, healthy cutting from her core, carefully

planted and watered in hallow grounding? And what

of all those other sacrificial lambs? What cosmically

sympathetic vibration can be turned to healing,

calling forth a will to grow whole, to become one’s

own desired destiny?

Karl
The Musician
lives in a world of vibration.
Each experience-ordered sense memory
carries along a current
of song
He listens for the frequencies
in every item that intercedes,
works out the right and the wrong.
Call it destiny, Chorus of Fates,
or remembrance of where he belongs.
Rehearsed Lessons of history as told by devout
philosophies
miss obvious chords of diversity
perceived by those immersed in pure tone.
Never at loss or alone,
always at home in reality,
ever intent on clarity,
he listens and learns to play,
more competent every day.
Karl, those who know him say, is a man we can
depend upon. His song is his bond.
His word is his muse.

Janna feels.
Janna sees beauty in unlikely places.
Broken bits of treasure catch her imagination.
She deftly knows which pieces go together,
show interactive, amusing, yet profoundly moving

aesthetic family.
She loves passionately every bright buzzing being

that delights her day.
She wants, deep in the night, in her tears, in her

innermost fears,
in what she laughingly calls her soul,
she wants that glorious lover who will make her

whole.
Janna is wise, welcomes adventure or whatever

arrives.
She knows how to juggle multiple lives, keep them

all thriving
by enjoying the joke, not letting broken heart bring

her down,
scolding that frown till it jumps to a smile.
She was never and always a child.
At play in the world, Janna’s a right clever girl,
yet never seems to get past the dreaming stage.
Janna’s at an age where she hasn’t much to lose.
Someday she plans to choose a place to stand,
a partner’s hand, a hearth and home.
For now she’ll let her moments roam as they may.
Janna feels deeply;
lets that carry her completely.
That’s the way she knows to make it be okay.

Marcus

He’s learned to love his demons — best of drinking,

drugging buddies. They do give him an old familiar

scare. Keeps the heart pumping, the adrenalin

junkie ready to rumble. War wounds.

“It’s not my fault — it was war. I had to do my job,

what was commanded. It is my fault. Of course, it is

my fault. All mine. I could have let them kill me. I

could have done the honorable thing and ended

this stupid life. I could have, should have, never

joined to serve my nation, to be a bully for

democracy. I could have been a different man.”

Belly laughter ensures.

He is a very different man from back then in the

field of battle. He is broken, but never ridden by any

but the demons he calls his own.

Great friends, good listeners, demons hang on every

word. Every blessed word of profanity, gives them

little shiver dances, enhancing their macabre smiles.

“God, drugs, that’s the thing, the binding force that

nature allows we buddies at arms, in my head, on

the ragged road we call the street.

We need a home, guys. Sneak into this likely empty

boarded brick and mortar. Just make sure there’s no

gypsy boarders to give us a fight.

Yeah, we can have a good old time, you demon

memories, you story screamers, and me with this

sweet LSD that kid laid on me. That kid I laid. What

was his name? It will come to me when I see him

again. It’s good I have this pint of cheap brandy to

keep warm. No heat here, in this abandoned

homestead. Sewer and water pipes, though, are

flowing. Get to take a real bath at last — can’t

remember when. Good for these old bones to find

some comfort. Not much here; but great wealth of

privacy. Law enforcement doesn’t even bother to

extend an appearance. Nothing left to steal — no

one to exploit. No one know we’re here.”

Marcus parties, lets the world morph into dark

hellscapes he knows well.

Eddie/Edwina
He/she secretly calls her/himself
“abomination”
Cat calls constantly claim “Pretty!” in fascination
A pleasure to the eye, the hand
appeal to fantasies all men have
far from procreation.
If life be sin, why not cash in on
that wage.
So much more than whore, though, this
child man who would be womb
to chosen kin.
Those wise enough to seek treasure
of intimacy such as she can express,
they bless by permitting her
to give.

She was the living spirit of our small community,

fierce and bright. Elderly and frail in body, after so

many decades of caring for those struck by illness,

encouraging recovery, she could be comfortably

retired. We loved her, admired, understood her

growing outspokenness as entitlement and necessity

of her latter years. We were too ignorant to

understand the hatred.

People are desperate, frightened, overwhelmed.

Well-paid work is ever harder to get. Children

whine as families do without necessary comforts.

What we offer is not what they expect, is

unacceptable. We are heathen, hated.

I still see the bullets fly from the arms of brave

warriors of order, protected in kevlar, lips twisted in

anger. I see her, savagely torn into bloody meat

painting floor and walls. I can easily believe her

spirit remains, wails in outrage.

They tore apart that house, took her books, herbs

both living and dried, to fuel a triumphant fire, a

celebration. They rejoiced in the defeat, the murder

of their enemy. The old witch is dead.

Nothing was ever the same again after that.

This empty chalice to be filled by spirit’s essence,

placed open, according to ritual, waits for its turn.

The Goddess stands over Her cauldron, deep in this

hidden chamber of Her chthonic cave. She tosses in

the herbs, recites the liturgy, long-practiced but

never without supreme concentration.

Sprite sparks, disembodied voices, curls of smoke

stained with potent ash, swirl about, crazily careen,

above and around Her pot of charming, of magicks.

Goddess of so many duties, many eras, supplicants,

sorrow-filled worshippers, She bears the longing, the

emptiness.

“I cannot fill you. I can not fill your chalice of

emptiness. That is not my gift or purpose. I can offer

only to guide you to what is already within.”

Nearly quiet, sea sounds, dank odor of lowtide,

creeping Spring carries melt of harsher climes. She

stokes the fire to remember when the Sun was high

and strong, and present. Fire has its own secrets, its

own order. As do we, each our own furnace,

nurturing a flame that is destiny. So old, She has

been burnt by many flames — blistered, scarred,

hardened. She still tastes every fiery spice,

seasonings, marinades. It all moves Her to cackling

hysteria. You don’t want the pain of knowing what

She endures. You just want soothing fantasies to

believe in.

She understands your fear, withdraws. No need to

escalate sorrow. She is self-contained in her work,

close-knit layers of exquisite aeons, sense memories,

distilled lives.

“Was I a woman, then, upon the Earth, feeling

succulent breeze of early Spring uplift me while

returning birds and budlings rushed into new

beginnings?”

In the dark, in the cold, enclosed below that hopeful

ground, stirrings still find Her. She can not miss Sun,

Sky, open fields. They are ingrained in Her, as

immediate and intense as ever they could be. There

is no yesterday, no tomorrow. Always all times, all

places, all emotions, overwhelm, yet gentle strand

by strand amuse. She has no pity. There is only

action, including the action of long enthrallment, of

stasis within unfolding storms. There is no room for

judgment, no excuses. She sees beyond all the

rationales, the weak flailing attempts at blame, at

justification.

Laughter takes Her. It makes so much more sense to

revel in release, expelling, cleansing for exploration,

for readiness to take the next step.

The rampant confusion clears. Her eyes explore

moving scenes; Her ears hear the clamor of

supplications. She feels, breathes, their stories. She

cocks an ear, widens the circumference of her eyes,

takes in this kaleidoscopic landscape, cacophonous

data. Minutely, she discerns cloying strings of

powerful souls as yet unaware of their gifts, gladly

grasps familiar flavors. She narrows in Her focus,

becomes more attentively intent in Her seeking,

images of journeys to be undertaken. It has never

been that She demands worship. She is fully aware

of Her responsibility to those few who demand Her

influence, those who, knowingly or from inchoate

intuition, claim kinship.

Chthonic wilds, primordial castings, build into

eternity. Silent, archetype of will ponders life,

intrinsically senses despair, bottomless sorrow,

waste of intent on such a merciless plane.

Invigorated, challenged, She gives challenge to her

wards. “Find me, at the root of desire. Your truest

wish of will to be fashioned, you must give only the

price of who you were made against your nature.”

*************************************

Long that Full Moon night she stood on the balcony,

staring at Lady Moon, breathing in sweet night

blooming herbs from the cloistered garden. She

fancied hearing faint music in the rustling wind.

Slowly, not knowing that her body moved, she

danced, the wind carrying her like a lover’s arms

caught up in dancing slow and closer than a kiss.

“Goddess?” Her voice quavered at the audacity; but

she felt surer of her course. She felt helpless,

unloved, unsupported. She felt a slow, undulating

anger move through muscles and mind.

“Goddess, I am your child.” Nothing had ever felt

more true.

“I am of you; and in need of your aid. You know I

have not asked anything of you before. We are

independent, a self-dependent kind. We enjoy

challenge, figuring out the puzzles, crafting our own

prize, facing the demons square on with defiance

and grace. I know these are your attributes when I

see myself thus behaving.

Tonight I am lost. I have lost my lust for challenge. I

am defeated, unable to marshal the means to fight.

I beseech you, turn to you in supplication. Tell me,

what can I do? How can I escape this false fate that

will seize and drain my soul, if I can find no exit?”

Reveling in the ecstasy of the dance, eyes closed still

facing moonlight, she felt a calming presence, so

near, palpable. The perfume was like sleep,

intoxicating, evoking dreams. That funny way that

dreams have, half-baked images, fragments take on

narrative.

She was somehow, without memory of travel, deep

in archetypal forest. It was deadly dark; but the

trees, the moss, flower petals, glowed, an unearthly

light from an unannounced source.

She was drawn to a particular tree, indistinguishable

from many others, yet a presence unto itself.

Without segue, a shovel was in her hands,

shoveling. Her apron pockets (an apron that had

apparently fashioned itself and appeared atop her

dress) had supplied themselves with a mixture of

particular herbs, most of which were unfamiliar.

Somehow her arms and shovel had excavated

ground to reveal the tree roots.

Strange roots, these, alive. Yes, I know roots of a

growing tree are alive; but these were lively. They

wriggled, pulsed, seemed to dance, though in

circumscribed place.

The shovel was now a knife. She cut open a finger

of root. It bled copiously, a brilliant green. She

mixed the root blood with the herbs from her

pockets. A song came from her lips, from her

throat, from her gut, bubbling through her as the

herbs and tree blood mixed into a viscous paste.
“Root of desire calls
infinite melodies
binds the seven seas
spills through centuries
cast out among the stars
essence of who you are.
Feel the root of desire
enflame your heart.
Realize your part.
Play its haunting melody.
Charm vibrations repair your fears.
Released from harm, from chains
of foes,
find your destiny
rooted in the throes of desire.”

She recognized the Goddess’s chalice that held the

potent mixture as it touched her lips. Drinking the

potion of the root, she felt light and free. Viscous

green light poured through her, igniting every

capillary, every neuronal fiber.
Suddenly she knew what she had always known.

There was that moment when her Goddess spoke

through her, to her, seering, branding with faith that

all she could ever need was hers.

The dreamlike night receded. She slept deeply,

curled above hallowed ground beneath protecting

leave laden branches.

Her immediate fears and cares no longer matter.

She will awaken into a life she does not expect.
The Goddess smiles, spent for this evening. She fills

her chalice with consecrated wine to drink, savor

intoxication of liquid fire, as embers of her night’s

workings settle, gently, into history.
The oligarchy, patriarchy, isn’t really about money, hoarding what is worshipped as wealth, or even in the sense we tend to think about power. It’s about the seed, the legacy, continuance of essence, dominance of influence.

Women, as the archetype of wife/mother within the tribal paradigm, instead want to nurture, to have the reality of family to focus their energy in inclusive relationship.

__________

Sure, sometimes we feel a thrill of conquest, a pride of prowess, instinctual pleasure. We’re human, too, though, you know, intellectualizing, insecure, needy, longing for love, to be cherished, a familiar clan where we can feel we belong in the thick of dramas, bickering, suffused with affection over time. We all enmesh in real, day-to-day relationships that mean, that are our world. We are not genomes or prepackaged wiring. We learn to follow pathways where we feel welcome, or at least sufficiently satisfied. Even the people we don’t like to admit to, the clearly brutal, the chillingly mean, are operating out of much more than instinct or unconscious compulsion, or even asocial psychosis. We, all of us, are projects of individual lives. We just have a tendency to aggregate, to identify by type.

But, yeah, hangover collective institutions, long-held civil structures and jurisprudence, accepted codes of behavior, probably often do reflect those generative values, that driving need to continue.

______

I’m not doubting that each of us, everyone, is a human individual with our own ways, ideations, desires, histories, angsts. It’s those whose images become archetypes, the myths and metaphoric memes that become a background shorthand, that informs us of who We (writ large) expect ourselves to emulate or rebel against.

___________

So, what do they matter? We don’t need to act out against some archetypal asshole. We can have a better time being who we naturally are — because the instincts I see here are about getting along, getting to know about being us and working out how to make it work. We each say what’s on our mind, get mad or get crazy or however we need to say, to make ourselves heard. It’s not abut competing or pissing lines in dirt, or trying to maximize our own share, to profit or rule. We want to be more by sharing what we have, what we can do, who we are, what we can become. That urge, instinct, whatever, can’t be unique to us. It comes from somewhere, from being human, from our instincts to survive, to continue, to get better.

_______

But do we get better, people? There always are, there have always been, small groups — families, if not of the established sort, or movement, coteries, salons, troupes — marchers to all those syncopating drummers. Yeah, I know they saw we live longer now, have less agonizing poverty, cures for diseases and nonlethal weapons, refrigeration, electric light (when the electricity is on). That’s not what we are talking about. Are people, generally, generatively, less obstinately cruel, more amiable or culturally aware, defaulting to enlightened self-interest instead of stomping on those we perceive as weak?

_________________

Of course there are cruel people, not just a few seriously damaged souls, I know. Sometimes it seems like they are all ganged up, throwing sharp stones at any target they can find. Mostly it’s a lot more personal — sharp words, angry faces, balled fists, spit and the damp odor of disdain. Where does that come from? It’s women every bit as much as men. Harpies shrike louder, even bolder at times. That’s not about any hoped for legacy. That’s rage, and profound disappointment, an all-pervasive idea of being cheated, cheated on, deserving retribution that can never be paid. Or maybe it’s just escape from boredom. How should we who live vivid lives understand? we have made the edge not a horror, but a glorious quest. If we claim compassion, we should have no trouble feeling for our fellow sin-filled humans dealing as we can with the fate befalling.

___________

But compassion wasn’t the point. We make our fates, or at least create our furnishings to fit that scheme. We have free will, or enough of an illusion to serve. We have bendable mindsets, reframing techniques. We are not slaves to instincts. We can tame and train them to our purpose. I can be immortal in my own mind, can be completely convinced. I am my own legacy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want the comfort and stimulation of intimate others. What would be the point of immortality alone?

________

Perhaps immortality could only be alone. You would outgrow, turn to different directions from the others. There is no guarantee that even those you feel most attuned to would remain and grow in the same fascinations. Forever is a very long time. The only way to manage it is to become wholly engaged in each episode.

That’s it for the jug of wine, and pretty much the candles. Probably time to sleep on it and see where our dreams take us.

Root of Desire

——————————————————————————–

Chapter 1: Chalice
An empty chalice, open, to be filled by spirit’s essence, placed according to ritual, waits for its turn.

Goddess of so many duties, so many eras, so many sorrow-filled worshippers, She feels the tears, the emptiness.

“I cannot fill you. I can not fill the chalice of emptiness. That is not my gift or purpose. I can offer only what is already within you.”

Almost quiet, sea sounds, dank odor of lowtide, creeping Spring carries melt of harsher climes. She stokes the fire to remember warmth when the Sun was high and strong, and present. Fire has its own secrets, its own order. As do we all, each our own furnace, nurturing a flame that is destiny. So old, She has been burnt by many flames — blistered, scarred, hardened. She still feels every one, tastes fiery spice, seasonings, marinades. It all moves Her to cackling hysteria. You don’t want the pain of knowing what She endures. You just want soothing stories, fantasies to believe in.

She understands your fear, and withdraws. No need to escalate sorrow. She is self-contained in her work and close-knit layers of exquisite aeons, sense memories, distilled lives.

“Was I a woman, then, upon the Earth, feeling sweet breeze of early Spring uplift my being when returning birds and budlings made ready for new beginnings?”

In the dark, in the cold, enclosed below that hopeful ground, stirrings still find Her. She can not miss the Sun, the Sky, the open fields. They are ingrained in Her, as there and intense as ever they could be. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow. Always all times, all places, all emotions, overwhelm, yet gentle strand by strand amuse. She has no pity. There is only action, including the action of long enthrallment, of stasis within unfolding storms. There is no room for judgment, no excuses. She sees all the rationales, the weak flailing attempts at blame, at justification.

Laughter takes Her. It makes so much more sense to revel in explosion, expelling, cleansing for exploration, for readiness to take the next step.

—–

The Goddess stands over Her cauldron, deep in a hidden chamber of Her chthonic cave. She tosses in the herbs, reciting the liturgy, long-practiced but never without supreme concentration.

Sprite sparks, disembodied voices, curls of smoke stained with potent ash, swirl about, crazily careen, above and around Her energy absorbent pot of charming, of magicks.

The rampant confusion clears. She sees the moving scenes, hears the clamor of supplications, feels, breathes, the stories. She ****s an ear, widens the circumference of her eyes, takes in this kaleidoscope of landscape, of cacophonous data. As She minutely discerns cloying strings of powerful souls as yet unaware of their gifts, gladly grasps familiar flavors, She narrows in Her focus, becomes more attentively intent in Her seeking, in Her imagining of journeys to be undertaken. It has never been that She demands worship. It is, She is fully aware, Her responsibility to those few who demand Her influence, those who, knowingly or with but strange intuition, claim kinship.
Chthonic wilds, primordial, ancient castings, building over eternity, silent, archetype of will, ponders life. Intrinsically senses dispair, bottomless sorrow, waste of intent of expression on such a merciless plane. She is challenged, gives challenge to her wards. Find me, at the root of desire. Your truest wish of will to be fashioned, you must give only the price of who you were made against your nature.

—————–

Renata would not get her breakfast today. She was being unbearably willful. Certainly a Princess is expected to want her way; but there are some subjects a child of any class should be taught to shun.

Poor, motherless child. She is really such a sweet soul. She just does it for attention. She must be taught. We don’t want to attract attention of the wrong kind.

Born into royalty is just being born, thrust into a time and place, people, conditions of behavior having nothing to do with survival, other than it is learn or die defying.

“No time for me” wasn’t in Renata’s thinking. Accustomed to her own company while all hue and tumult went to her brothers’ training and vying for dear King Papa’s throne and favor. She carried secret smiles, knowing her bravery and sharp wit belong to her alone. No, not alone. All that she can mean belong to the Goddess who carries her, from within her first principles, before awareness. This motherless daughter, before the end while birthing her, last and only conscious gift from death to birth, was consecrated to her mother’s Protector, Friend, Purpose.

“His precious sons are his, to carry his legacy. I have paid that price. You, daughter, are mine to gift to Her; and She is my gift to you.” Renata feels her mother’s gift as the air of life, flowing through, in, sparkling energy, surety, allegiance.

“My life is mine,” a sweet phrase she might sing, even knowing that in this world it is anything but.

Look at them, the twins, ambitious, rambunctious, ready to the rule besting each other; little Terrence, bright warrior in the Queen’s (his mother’s) eyes — sons, heirs, worthy by their birth.

Renata knew she had been sold. Nothing so crass was said, or thought by any but her. She was betrothed to a man she had hardly met — seen perhaps on numerous occasions in close repartee with the adults who had sold her. She was part of a treaty, a sealing of a deal for mutual gain. What should she complain of? She was to be a Queen, of a nearby Kingdom — with all the rights of a young and pliant slave. Though she had not engaged in conversation with her husband to be, she knew enough of him to understand he would not be seeking her counsel, consolation, or companionship. He would expect to enjoy her body at his whim, at least while she was young and comely. He would provide the comforts of his opulent home and the companionship of guards and gossips, watchfully assuring her loyalty and continued ignorance of any means to power.

It could be a pleasant enough life, one certainly admired by girlfolk, frivolous women, or those in need of romantic fantasy. There would be no lack of the kind of luxury she had grown up within. Another woman would have been content if not thrilled by the prospect of such a destiny. Renata was not that other woman. She had always believed in a special destiny, perhaps implanted at birth by her dying mother’s promise.

Long that Full Moon night she stood on the balcony, staring at Lady Moon, breathing in sweet night blooming herbs from the garden. She fancied hearing faint music in the rustling wind. Slowly, not knowing that her body moved, she danced, the wind carrying her like a lover’s arms caught up in dancing slow and closer than a kiss. She felt helpless, unloved, unsupported. She felt a slow, undulating anger move through muscles and mind.

“Goddess?” Her voice quavered at the audacity; but she felt surer of her course.

“Goddess, I am your child.” Nothing had ever felt more true.

“I am of you; and in need of your aid. You know I have not asked anything of you before. We are an independent, self-dependent kind. We enjoy challenge, figuring out the puzzles, crafting our own prize, facing the demons square on with defiance and grace. I know these are your attributes when I seem myself thus behaving.

Tonight I am lost. I have lost my lust for challenge. I am defeated, unable to marshal the means to fight.

I beseech you, turn to you in supplication. Tell me, what can I do? How can I escape this false fate that will seize and drain my very soul, if I can find no exit?”

She continued in the ecstasy of the dance, eyes closed still facing moonlight. She felt a calming presence, so near, palpable. The perfume was like sleep, intoxicating, evoking dreams. That funny way that dreams have, half-baked images, fragments take on narrative.

She was somehow, without memory of travel, deep in the forest, archetypal forest. It was deadly dark; but the trees, the moss, flower petals, glowed, an unearthly light from an unannounced source.

She was drawn to a particular tree, indistinguishable from many others, yet a presence unto itself. Without segue, a shovel was in her hands, shoveling. Her apron pockets (an apron that had apparently fashioned itself and appeared atop her dress) had supplied themselves with a mixture of particular herbs, most of which were unfamiliar. Somehow her arms and shovel had excavated ground to reveal the roots of the tree.

Strange roots, these, alive. Yes, I know roots of a growing tree are alive; but these were lively. They wriggled, pulsed, seemed to dance, though in circumscribed place.

The shovel was now a knife. She cut open a finger of root. It bled copiously, a brilliant green. She mixed the root blood with the herbs from her pockets. A song came from her lips, from her throat, from her gut, bubbling through her as the herbs and tree blood mixed into a viscous paste.

“Root of desire calls
infinite melodies
binds the seven seas
spills through centuries
cast out among the stars
essence of who you are.
Feel the root of desire
enflame your heart
realize your part
play its haunting melody
charm vibrations repair your fears,
released from harm, from chains
of foes,
find your destiny
rooted in the throes of desire.”

She recognized the Goddess’s chalice that held the potent mixture as it touched her lips. Drinking the potion of the root, she felt light and free. Viscous green light poured through her, igniting every capillary, every neuronal fiber. The dream receded; and she slept deeply.

The Goddess smiles, spent for this evening. She fills her chalice with consecrated wine to drink, savor intoxication of liquid fire, as embers of her night’s workings settle, gently, into history.

Chapter 2: Challenge
Renata awakens. She is lying beneath a tree, on a summer morning. Her clothes feel strange, different. She has no idea where she is.

She hears other people’s movements close by, smells their animal odors. She open her eyes.

Around her she sees people in brightly garbed array, some lying on the ground, perhaps a sack of belongings as a pillow, or not, some rising upwards from sleep to activity. She looks up to sky, through dark green of healthy leaves, becoming light, going through shades of hues fractured by a rising Sun. She breathes deeply, taking in what she can. It seem best to do away with expectations.

“Figure out the puzzle. Look at the pieces for clues. I am awake; and in a foreign place. I must be careful in my actions while I learn how things are done here. These people appear relaxed, not hostile.”

She allows herself to rise slowly, circumspectly surveying her companions. This is a very small forest, no, not a forest, but what? Trees, benches, wild flowers, an ornate fountain not too far beyond this grove where people appear to wash and play, strange odors, strange sounds, she restrains from compartmentalizing. This must be some sort of magical kingdom the Goddess has transported her to, to save her from her dreaded fate.

“Thank you, Goddess. I will not let this strangeness detract from your great gift. It will be my challenge, my gift to you of my profound acceptance. I will find my way here, as you have opened this opportunity.”

Smiling, joyful in a way she had never known before, Renata becomes aware of the curious smile of a young man in her path. His attitude toward her, she feels, in puzzlement and gratitude, is that of an equal, a potential friend.

“What shall I say? Who am I in this place?” she wonders, nervously. Experienced as she has been with listening noncommittally to those around her, she is still too overcome by all this sudden change in her circumstances that nervousness takes hold.

“Rory, I’m Rory. And you seem familiar, too. That is why you’re looking at me so pensively? Because you can’t remember my name?”

He is jolly, well met, fine and sandy, easy to smile with, to feel cheered and comfortable. She likes him.

“Of course you are Rory. And where are you off to today?” She delivers a breezy tone filled with sunshine and a kiss of morning dew. He seems pleased.

“Let’s go get some breakfast, Sunshine.” He grabs her lightly at the arm. “I know a place where the donuts and coffee are free if you listen to their boring sermon. You don’t really have to listen, just pretend while you’re eating.”

It seems a reasonable way to learn more about her surroundings. She is hungry, but had put that off until she could learn enough to focus on food. This Rory obviously wants company in his little scam. She would give him a more pleasant focus than the dreaded sermon, and she would pick up what she could of local customs.

“You don’t say much, Sunshine.” He comments as they walk along roads paved of various hard materials between large structures filled with wares. Vehicles of various sorts carrying people and more goods appear on these roads, sometimes moving at alarming speeds. She concentrates on moving nonchalantly, letting the ever-changing scenery wash over and around her. It will all become clearer over time, she hopes.

“Haven’t anything to say just now. I’m sure you’ll hear me plenty when I do.” She replies flippantly, or at least so she hopes he will take it, without question.

“Or maybe you’re the strong, silent type, intense and ready for action, or too cool for words?” She feels as well as sees his easy smile, and knows they are in sync.

Concentrating on this repartee, letting the scenery be scenery, Renata feels herself falling into place. So far, so good, following through.

* * *

They arrive, enter a door next to a large glass window decorated in bright colored paint. It is a portrayal of a man on a cross. Bloody red holes mar his hands and feet. A thorny green crown sits on his head.

Inside are cakes and hot black drinks on a short table. A few others are also eating and drinking. On the floor, next to a large, tattered chair, a woman sits, rocks, dirty and worn looking. Her shaking hands make attempts to feed coffee to her lips, but more is spilled on her worn and spattered dress. She has been mumbling incoherently. She is getting louder. Renata starts to make out words.

“They fill yer belly with their babies. No more babies. They hurt and make me so sick. The men, they fill me with their nasty liquid babies. They make them grow in me, take over my body, make me sick, and cut so hard to get out. I won’t take them, horrid demons. So they throw me back in the street for the men to fill me again, hurt me again. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. No more babies. No more pumping out their nasty babies. I won’t. I won’t go there. You can’t make me leave.” She burbles, gasps, cries, mumbles, and repeats her litany. She rocks her body, suckles on her fingers and strands of long, lank hair. She seems in a trance, perhaps poisoned, perhaps cursed.

From further back in the room, a man dressed in black, prominently carrying a black book, approaches the group around the table.

“Don’t mind Betty. She’s a hard case. We can’t find anywhere that will take her.” He seems perturbed by this inconvenience, embarrassed by this woman’s plaint.

Thoughts of keeping still while learning how to blend in have flown from Renata’s mind. She goes quickly, yet with gentle motion, to sit beside this Betty. Close up, she is surprised to see this woman is young, certainly no longer a child, but not the old used up hag she had appeared to be. Her burbling snot and tears mixed with spilled coffee and older stains make her an unappetizing sight. Yet, there is something so fragile, so sad and affecting in her defiantly defeated form, Renata can not help but reach out her arms to comfort.

Rory ambles over with more cake and coffee to share. He is awed by this instant, by Renata’s compassion and Betty’s plight. He wants to be a part of the drama, the connection.

“I know a squat, a place that was abandoned, people stay there. Really, it’s a cool space. We could bring her there, stay ourselves and get her settled. The people, they’re ok. They won’t hurt her. They’ll be fine. Unless you have somewhere else?”

Of course, Renata has no where else. She is still adjusting to being in this somewhere else. Why not take what is freely offered and also helps this sad soul she seems to be taking on? Perhaps this is all part of the Goddess’s plan for her, for the destiny she must fulfill, the reason she has been saved from a life that she has no further need of, that was never really hers to lose.

Chapter 3: Community

Renata, Rory, Betty have what is understood to be their own room in this large house. They reside in a crumbling neighborhood, rats and weeds and broken sidewalks battling with bits and junk for identity. One assumes this place was once cared for. The structures and infrastructures must have been built with reason, with belief that they would become part of a thriving system of shops and homes. Now their reason seems to be these hideaways for throwaways, away from the eyes and minds of the good folk.

Here, people with nowhere else come, go, stay for awhile. Some few seem entrenched, even familial.

These three are acclimating, solidifying through routine safe structure for exploration.

Though the oldest of the three, Betty is as helpless as a small child. She is too disconnected from the here and now to act effectively. Betty has bonded to Renata as a makeshift mother, much better than the one that birthed her and left her to the world’s cruelties.

Rory is an effective forager. He has always figured out his next move on the run, kept in touch with where what might be needed could be found. He is happy to be a helpful friend, and stay out of trouble, under the radar, easily fading in out around.

Renata has found her element. Her element is air, the sweet breeze of creative activity, the place where dreams grow up.

Candle wax melts into layered color sculpture, artistic side effect of lighting our room and conversation. A very different home and family from what I knew is becoming my touchstone here. In this short time, I am more connected to, comfortable among, these erstwhile strangers than the people I grew up knowing as blood.

Marcus gets Betty in a way I can’t reach. It is more than the different cultures. They are akin, in some tribe of survivors whose lives have been shell-shocked into ever struggling in a dark mud of unacceptable circumstance. I have no desire to go there, or anywhere near. Yet it pulls me into strong love connection as I perceive their call to battle with respect and awe.

Rory is a dear and a darling. He preens so self-consciously. I know he wants to be too proud to acknowledge need. He wants to be the magickal genie — everywhere at once, granting wishes. He doesn’t want to admit to having fears, inadequacies, or craving for connection to lean on when energy palls.

Perhaps I am still but a child. Certainly I lack experience in this world’s history, customs, moral code. I can still love, feel empathy for human psychic tragedy that transcends social cues. No one here seems to care, or notice, that I might express myself strangely, have serious gaps in common knowledge. Whatever their personal self-flagellations or angers, they reserve judgment against others for hurtful qualities. Mere difference is cause for curiosity and celebration. Even my slight understanding of the majority of the locals gives me grateful confidence that I have been greatly fortunate in falling among these exceptional friends.

Janna is so sweet. She makes me dizzy with her rapid dance from idea to idea, moving so swiftly, so deftly, to leave a whirl of orderly beauty. Our room is transformed with colorful scarves and cut-out picture collage, candle drippings, whatever the day might bring. Her every motion, every smile, every word is a prayer of grace. Her touch, her kiss, her breath like a desert spring, encourages life as celebration. I am learning so much about how to be this new me, outside of this world looking in while creating a sense of how to be, with Janna’s calm excitement as example.

Of course I know Eddie gives too much. No, there is no way I could tell her that. She is practically bleeding, psychically, from invisible stigmata. These people, givers, spiritually pure, idealistic innocents ready to die to save the vilest of sinners, feel dirty. They don’t realize that they are designed to accept and transform ambient evil with their wealth of purity. In ignorance, they too often succumb to the poison that gladly pours into them for salvation. No one told them, gave them reason to believe, their holy vocation is not about blame and castigation, but about transforming love — which must first be learned through joyful love of self. How do I know this? I am filled with these images, interpretive stories, in Eddie’s presence. She exudes for sensitives, such as I seem to be, what she does not experience for herself. She has closed herself off from her own urge to healing, to nurturing. As a result, I want to strongly to heal, to nurture, her. That kind of giving is not in my nature. Is she concepting within me, creating new traits from her influence? Is this part of her gift, beyond the obvious will to sacrifice?

She is a “she” to me, despite anatomical differences. She feels like a sister. Men can be giving, sensitive, tragic, even nurturing, able to lovingly self-sacrifice. Women do it with a denser style. Women, like Eddie, Janna, I can even see it in little, old virgin me, feel it in our wombs, that enveloping protective instinct. We want to make it alright, make it alright, MAKE IT ALL right, so everyone can be happy, so it’;s not our fault, so we can relax and just be our adorable selves. Obviously, it’s not about genitalia. It is about the stories we tell ourselves about who we are.

How did I get so perceptive? Well, traversing worlds might do that to a girl. Goddess, I know you imbued me with wisdom beyond my years at my birth. But, it could just be my self-applauding mind making much of what everybody is born knowing.

Isn’t it marvelous that I have this new, alternative family that happily encourages me to voice these thoughts, to honestly probe confusions that might otherwise paralyze me. Goddess, thank you my soul mother for looking after me, giving me what I need to survive and more.

And here is Karl, soothing, energizing, always knowing how to move us. He never seems quite there, quite connected, quite grounded in the every day real and earnest life. He breathes a rhythmic eloquence I can not imagine. Yet, here he is, talking, laughing, eating, ****ting, carrying on among us.

I have been cast into an enchanted life, here. I feel responsible for these people, as if my presence had influenced them outside of their previous destinies. I feel grateful to them for taking me in without question despite my outrageous strangeness. They don’t make me feel that way. I am home. We are kin. I hope I know better than to expect this will last beyond the moments that we serendipitously share.

My mother and I shared such a moment. No one knows I remembered so early in my consciousness. I don’t know if it is true of everyone. I have always been aware. Now I am aware of these dear creatures around me in the candlelight.

We talk and argue and sing and spin and share our stories. Who could be more wealthy than we?

As in prayers, Renata explains subvocally, in reverence, her emerging relationships, her rooting in her new life. She is not wrong in supposing that her presence has become a significant influence on the destiny of her new friends. They had not before thought themselves family, or otherwise in organized connection. Her natural regality needs no trumpeting clothing or pageantry. Her natural empathy, reason, grace, and substance have not been lost on this bumbling group of perceptive outsiders. They understand, each in individual metaphor, that they have been granted access to a miracle. Beyond conscious consent, they know their allegiance, up to and beyond the forfeit of their lives, belongs to her.

Don’t tell me their lives were going nowhere, and now they have a purpose. Don’t tell me to spit on these brave souls simply because they were vague and unconnected to a greater cause. Catalysts are not so rare. A call to purpose can arrive any day.

Renata is a gift — that is intrinsic to her destiny. Renata’s new found family is her gift from the benevolence that is also intrinsic to her destiny. Gifts don’t need to balance. They are better when they synergize.

They had been searching outward for salvation, or looking inward to identify and cast out flaws. Accessing the possibility of creating a self-fulfilling clan could offer a different kind of salvation. If it’s okay to be me, how might my flaws be assets? How might I transcend labels and their limitations? In my innermost heart, I feel infinite. How far can I go if encouraged by circumstance, by the courage and comfort of true companions?

Families form over time shared and exploited for knowledge. How do I fit in? How do I matter? Not intellectualized, it is lived, inculcated, in the day by day. If a family is fortunate enough to be real, held together by mutual love and respect, the day to day can be quite beautiful. Work that flows, hardship that feels like treasured challenge, every little victory a celebration — every defeat an opportunity; along the way, most days get to be gifts of surprise.

Swift bare feet pound and release hot, gritty pavement.

Hot, gritty pavement. Feet pounding to the beat, to the swirl. A small crowd caught up in the trance, poetry, simple music, a lady dancing, glinting with glitter and smiles that light from her eyes. Just as the hot summer day slides into night with welcome melancholy rush of breeze reminiscent of dismembered yearnings. It helps to get caught up in ritual, undisciplined ceremony. Make a break from responsibilities. We don’t always have to be running to keep up with the plan. Thrown another dollar in the gypsy’s bright woven basket. Her exuberant craft reminds us to delight in the moment ecstasy, a feeling of being here as a part of shared energy, a tribal peace. If we could each dance, sing out our own creations, move completely from our centers, unconscious of pressing time or important matters, how could we continue as the people we have come to depend upon to sustain the world we know? We pay for the service to our soul, and hurry on.

Renata learns this city in excursions, finding objects to fashion into musical percussives, colorful craftworks, collaged art. She finds open air markets and parks where performers display their wares. People gladly throw coins and bills into her open basket as she dances charismatically to the tunes of her extemporaneous poetry. Betty enjoys playing musical accompaniment on the instruments they fashion and garishly or arcanely embellish. People also gladly buy their crafts. It can be amazing what people freely throw away that can be put to good purpose with some love and imagination.

Her natural authority is obvious on an unspoken level to everyone who sees her. It is one of those mysterious that she, who counts on her awareness, is oblivious to her own power.

Betty plays rhythmically, supplies beats and counterbeats upon their found object percussion kit. Her eyes turn downward, her vision inward.

By instinct Renata knows just when to disperse her audience to avoid unwanted attention. The spell descends, sending people flocking back into the thoroughfare of public space. She gathers up their proceeds into her pockets, art and instruments into the basket with its convenient sling for carrying.

“Let’s get some dinner to bring back to the house,” she urges Better, who, pleasantly worn out from drumming, is happily compliant. On the way new objects for their artwork might be serendipitously discovered.

Happy children play.
It’s getting colder. There’s no heat or electricity going to this abandoned home. There is always the fear that the owner will materialize and throw them out. They need a better option.

Janna works part-time at the Mercury Diner, does textured collage, crayon and chalk drawings. Karl sells weed, fashions musical instruments, to play for coin or sell to the fascinated, out of this and that. He enjoys teaching Betty about music, which seems to be more about awakening a language natural to her. Marcus is a middle-aged street revolutionary collecting a less than subsistence government pension for his wounding in a previous war. Eddie, often Edwina, happily scams the marks, sells her sexuality on the street, performs in opulent drag, and comes home to Marcus her soul-mate and mentor. Collectively building up a pool of cash they are looking to rent a cheap artists’ loft space, then promote events to get the community supporting further payments.
“I wasn’t aware that we had a leader. Something needed to be done. I took the initiative, and the responsibility. That gives me no authority.”

Backstory

Rory – mercurial, self-defined, needs to be free (Gemini, Uranus)
characteristically bright, curious, a man who knows where to find resources because he travels around the blocks
He takes care of himself, expects no back-up. His deep desire is a cause or community we can believe in. He strives with his need to serve, for his energy to be part of worthwhile endeavors.

He’s got people, family; but they never got him. Maybe his mom did, sometimes. She’s mostly spaced out on prescription happy pills. They help her hide from that constant anxiety of desire to be doing the right thing, to behave well, to fit the mold that never fit her quite right. Brought up by abusers, a long line of alcoholic losers, she feels so lost in an overwhelming world.

Dad wasn’t like that. She thought of him as her savior. He tries to hard to make her be right, fit in, not embarrass him. He comes from a decent, hard-working, family values clan. She was so pretty, so vulnerable, so in awe of a secretly frightened about his manhood boy. Once she was pregnant, he had to do the right thing, for her and that molly-coddled boy. It became alright with the others, children that took after him and his. He could be a proud papa in the appropriate places. At family gatherings, football games, dance recitals presented so charmingly by his little princess and her talented friends, he could beam out his true worth. Elsa and her Rory might be disappointments; but she did make up for quite a bit with the rest of the brood she produced for him. At least she knew enough to keep quite, nondescript, not drawing too much comment beyond a pleasing sympathy for his long-suffering benevolence from concerned friends and family. He assures himself that it is just the right kind of concern that honors his position, not overly solicitous denigration. His Elsa is likable enough, if pathetic. She does obviously try so very hard to please, to overcome her inadequacies, even if falling short seems the best she can manage.

But that Rory, though certainly of his siring, was no son that Max Salinger could claim with pride. Mama’s little helper, cute when he was barely more than a baby helping to care for younger baby brother (who later making papa proud, came to despise this caring brother for his womanish ways), became more irritating when not outgrown. The kid wasn’t even pitiably gay, as far as Max could tell. Girls seemed to like him just fine, and he them. But the boys who ought to have been his friends, brothers of his brothers’ good buddies, wanted nothing to do with him. They weren’t actively hostile. There was no call for hostilities. Everyone in this social circumference understood his place. Rory’s was that of the tolerated, but not accepted, fool. The girls that liked him did so more for his attitude toward them as interested equal, though not put off by his, if effete, charming good looks. Regardless of his social standing, he was happy to be on his own, following his bliss of the week. His busy mind abuzz with curiosity, with chance adventure, could not be bothered with tiresome bandying rituals, small talk going nowhere, the popular qua popular. He danced to his own drummer, thank you, because this drummer is cook, hot, and right where I want to be.

The street can be all the theater one could ever need, for free. Why waste time striving for so much less?

Finally 18, so they can’t touch him for being underage, he’s feeling fully good about himself, his proven ability by now to land on his feet, keep his eyes open to danger and opportunity, go with that old cosmic flow and enjoy the ride.

Hear Rory roar.
Nobody likes to talk about Betty; but you can bet we cream over her (secretly, all cozy in our beds, in our heads and groins).

Nobody likes to admit what casual cruelty we are capable of. Gang-raping children because we can doesn’t appeal to our desired self-image. Her mother allowed it in exchange for food, a place to sleep, the blessed drugs to keep away the pain of knowing the endless, hopeless misery life had become. Or, she was alone on that dark street, lost and frightened, with nowhere safe to go, no one protecting her just then. Her sexuality tempted me, in all that frenzy of bonding blood cries, heightened primal energies, hot insistent bodies falling under ritual spell. She is but a sacrifice, a holding cell for sin. There is no freedom for will to grow within her, only unwanted, tainted seed, thrust outward from the nauseous collective psyche to poison her potential. Does she need to be defined by what has been done against her nascent will? Is there salvation in finding a slim, hiding, healthy cutting from her core, carefully planted and watered in hallow grounding? And what of all those other sacrificial lambs? What cosmically sympathetic vibration can be turned to healing, calling forth a will to grow whole, to become one’s own desired destiny?

character sketch: Karl (#1)

——————————————————————————–

Karl
The Musician
lives in a world of vibration.
Each experience-ordered sense memory
carries along a current
of song
He listens for the frequencies
in every item that intercedes,
works out the right and the wrong.
Call it destiny, Chorus of Fates,
or remembrance of where he belongs.
Rehearsed Lessons of history as told by devout
philosophies
miss obvious chords of diversity
perceived by those immersed in pure tone.
Never at loss or alone,
always at home in reality,
ever intent on clarity,
he listens and learns to play,
more competent every day.
Karl, those who know him say, is a man we can
depend upon. His song is his bond.
His word is his muse.

Janna

——————————————————————————–

Janna feels.
Janna sees beauty in unlikely places.
Broken bits of treasure catch her imagination.
She deftly knows which pieces go together,
show interactive, amusing, yet profoundly moving aesthetic family.
She loves passionately every bright buzzing being that delights her day.
She wants, deep in the night, in her tears, in her innermost fears,
in what she laughingly calls her soul,
she wants that glorious lover who will make her whole.
Janna is wise, welcomes adventure or whatever arrives.
She knows how to juggle multiple lives, keep them all thriving
by enjoying the joke, not letting broken heart bring her down,
scolding that frown till it jumps to a smile.
She was never and always a child.
At play in the world, Janna’s a right clever girl,
yet never seems to get past the dreaming stage.
Janna’s at an age where she hasn’t much to lose.
Someday she plans to choose a place to stand,
a partner’s hand, a hearth and home.
For now she’ll let her moments roam as they may.
Janna feels deeply;
lets that carry her completely.
That’s the way she knows to make it be okay.
Marcus

He’s learned to love his demons — best of drinking, drugging buddies. They do give him an old familiar scare. Keeps the heart pumping, the adrenalin junkie ready to rumble. War wounds.

“It’s not my fault — it was war. I had to do my job, what was commanded. It is my fault. Of course, it is my fault. All mine. I could have let them kill me. I could have done the honorable thing and ended this stupid life. I could have, should have, never joined to serve my nation, to be a bully for democracy. I could have been a different man.”

Belly laughter ensures.

He is a very different man from back then in the field of battle. He is broken, but never ridden by any but the demons he calls his own.

Great friends, good listeners, demons hang on every word. Every blessed word of profanity, gives them little shiver dances, enhancing their macabre smiles.

“God, drugs, that’s the thing, the binding force that nature allows we buddies at arms, in my head, on the ragged road we call the street.

We need a home, guys. Sneak into this likely empty boarded brick and mortar. Just make sure there’s no gypsy boarders to give us a fight.

Yeah, we can have a good old time, you demon memories, you story screamers, and me with this sweet LSD that kid laid on me. That kid I laid. What was his name? It will come to me when I see him again. It’s good I have this pint of cheap brandy to keep warm. No heat here, in this abandoned homestead. Sewer and water pipes, though, are flowing. Get to take a real bath at last — can’t remember when. Good for these old bones to find some comfort. Not much here; but great wealth of privacy. Law enforcement doesn’t even bother to extend an appearance. Nothing left to steal — no one to exploit. No one know we’re here.”

Marcus parties, lets the world morph into dark hellscapes he knows well.

Eddie/Edwina
He/she secretly calls her/himself
“abomination”
Cat calls constantly claim “Pretty!” in fascination
A pleasure to the eye, the hand
appeal to fantasies all men have
far from procreation.
If life be sin, why not cash in on
that wage.
So much more than whore, though, this
child man who would be womb
to chosen kin.
Those wise enough to seek treasure
of intimacy such as she can express,
they bless by permitting her
to give.

Backstory

Rory – mercurial, self-defined, needs to be free (Gemini, Uranus)
characteristically bright, curious, a man who knows where to find resources because he travels around the blocks
He takes care of himself, expects no back-up. His deep desire is a cause or community we can believe in. He strives with his need to serve, for his energy to be part of worthwhile endeavors.

He’s got people, family; but they never got him. Maybe his mom did, sometimes. She’s mostly spaced out on prescription happy pills. They help her hide from that constant anxiety of desire to be doing the right thing, to behave well, to fit the mold that never fit her quite right. Brought up by abusers, a long line of alcoholic losers, she feels so lost in an overwhelming world.

Dad wasn’t like that. She thought of him as her savior. He tries to hard to make her be right, fit in, not embarrass him. He comes from a decent, hard-working, family values clan. She was so pretty, so vulnerable, so in awe of a secretly frightened about his manhood boy. Once she was pregnant, he had to do the right thing, for her and that molly-coddled boy. It became alright with the others, children that took after him and his. He could be a proud papa in the appropriate places. At family gatherings, football games, dance recitals presented so charmingly by his little princess and her talented friends, he could beam out his true worth. Elsa and her Rory might be disappointments; but she did make up for quite a bit with the rest of the brood she produced for him. At least she knew enough to keep quite, nondescript, not drawing too much comment beyond a pleasing sympathy for his long-suffering benevolence from concerned friends and family. He assures himself that it is just the right kind of concern that honors his position, not overly solicitous denigration. His Elsa is likable enough, if pathetic. She does obviously try so very hard to please, to overcome her inadequacies, even if falling short seems the best she can manage.

But that Rory, though certainly of his siring, was no son that Max Salinger could claim with pride. Mama’s little helper, cute when he was barely more than a baby helping to care for younger baby brother (who later making papa proud, came to despise this caring brother for his womanish ways), became more irritating when not outgrown. The kid wasn’t even pitiably gay, as far as Max could tell. Girls seemed to like him just fine, and he them. But the boys who ought to have been his friends, brothers of his brothers’ good buddies, wanted nothing to do with him. They weren’t actively hostile. There was no call for hostilities. Everyone in this social circumference understood his place. Rory’s was that of the tolerated, but not accepted, fool. The girls that liked him did so more for his attitude toward them as interested equal, though not put off by his, if effete, charming good looks. Regardless of his social standing, he was happy to be on his own, following his bliss of the week. His busy mind abuzz with curiosity, with chance adventure, could not be bothered with tiresome bandying rituals, small talk going nowhere, the popular qua popular. He danced to his own drummer, thank you, because this drummer is cook, hot, and right where I want to be.

The street can be all the theater one could ever need, for free. Why waste time striving for so much less?

Finally 18, so they can’t touch him for being underage, he’s feeling fully good about himself, his proven ability by now to land on his feet, keep his eyes open to danger and opportunity, go with that old cosmic flow and enjoy the ride.

Hear Rory roar.
Nobody likes to talk about Betty; but you can bet we cream over her (secretly, all cozy in our beds, in our heads and groins).

Nobody likes to admit what casual cruelty we are capable of. Gang-raping children because we can doesn’t appeal to our desired self-image. Her mother allowed it in exchange for food, a place to sleep, the blessed drugs to keep away the pain of knowing the endless, hopeless misery life had become. Or, she was alone on that dark street, lost and frightened, with nowhere safe to go, no one protecting her just then. Her sexuality tempted me, in all that frenzy of bonding blood cries, heightened primal energies, hot insistent bodies falling under ritual spell. She is but a sacrifice, a holding cell for sin. There is no freedom for will to grow within her, only unwanted, tainted seed, thrust outward from the nauseous collective psyche to poison her potential. Does she need to be defined by what has been done against her nascent will? Is there salvation in finding a slim, hiding, healthy cutting from her core, carefully planted and watered in hallow grounding? And what of all those other sacrificial lambs? What cosmically sympathetic vibration can be turned to healing, calling forth a will to grow whole, to become one’s own desired destiny?

Karl
The Musician
lives in a world of vibration.
Each experience-ordered sense memory
carries along a current
of song
He listens for the frequencies
in every item that intercedes,
works out the right and the wrong.
Call it destiny, Chorus of Fates,
or remembrance of where he belongs.
Rehearsed Lessons of history as told by devout
philosophies
miss obvious chords of diversity
perceived by those immersed in pure tone.
Never at loss or alone,
always at home in reality,
ever intent on clarity,
he listens and learns to play,
more competent every day.
Karl, those who know him say, is a man we can
depend upon. His song is his bond.
His word is his muse.

Janna feels.
Janna sees beauty in unlikely places.
Broken bits of treasure catch her imagination.
She deftly knows which pieces go together,
show interactive, amusing, yet profoundly moving aesthetic family.
She loves passionately every bright buzzing being that delights her day.
She wants, deep in the night, in her tears, in her innermost fears,
in what she laughingly calls her soul,
she wants that glorious lover who will make her whole.
Janna is wise, welcomes adventure or whatever arrives.
She knows how to juggle multiple lives, keep them all thriving
by enjoying the joke, not letting broken heart bring her down,
scolding that frown till it jumps to a smile.
She was never and always a child.
At play in the world, Janna’s a right clever girl,
yet never seems to get past the dreaming stage.
Janna’s at an age where she hasn’t much to lose.
Someday she plans to choose a place to stand,
a partner’s hand, a hearth and home.
For now she’ll let her moments roam as they may.
Janna feels deeply;
lets that carry her completely.
That’s the way she knows to make it be okay.

Marcus

He’s learned to love his demons — best of drinking, drugging buddies. They do give him an old familiar scare. Keeps the heart pumping, the adrenalin junkie ready to rumble. War wounds.

“It’s not my fault — it was war. I had to do my job, what was commanded. It is my fault. Of course, it is my fault. All mine. I could have let them kill me. I could have done the honorable thing and ended this stupid life. I could have, should have, never joined to serve my nation, to be a bully for democracy. I could have been a different man.”

Belly laughter ensures.

He is a very different man from back then in the field of battle. He is broken, but never ridden by any but the demons he calls his own.

Great friends, good listeners, demons hang on every word. Every blessed word of profanity, gives them little shiver dances, enhancing their macabre smiles.

“God, drugs, that’s the thing, the binding force that nature allows we buddies at arms, in my head, on the ragged road we call the street.

We need a home, guys. Sneak into this likely empty boarded brick and mortar. Just make sure there’s no gypsy boarders to give us a fight.

Yeah, we can have a good old time, you demon memories, you story screamers, and me with this sweet LSD that kid laid on me. That kid I laid. What was his name? It will come to me when I see him again. It’s good I have this pint of cheap brandy to keep warm. No heat here, in this abandoned homestead. Sewer and water pipes, though, are flowing. Get to take a real bath at last — can’t remember when. Good for these old bones to find some comfort. Not much here; but great wealth of privacy. Law enforcement doesn’t even bother to extend an appearance. Nothing left to steal — no one to exploit. No one know we’re here.”

Marcus parties, lets the world morph into dark hellscapes he knows well.

Eddie/Edwina
He/she secretly calls her/himself
“abomination”
Cat calls constantly claim “Pretty!” in fascination
A pleasure to the eye, the hand
appeal to fantasies all men have
far from procreation.
If life be sin, why not cash in on
that wage.
So much more than whore, though, this
child man who would be womb
to chosen kin.
Those wise enough to seek treasure
of intimacy such as she can express,
they bless by permitting her
to give.

Condensation
The world bleeds.
Life consumes life.
Energy becomes lethal,
the sum paid.
Slipping away, recedes, a mirage of wealth
in the salted desert
takes on lifeform, Queenly grace.
She carries many faces.
Grandeur becomes Her.
Little deadly nano minions
slip along through Her
kinky crevices.
“Pinch me!”
“Beat me!”
“Devour my impure flesh —
become outrage, all the ill
humours, masque of gleeful
execution!”
This is no dream;
no sinful memory
blurred in twilight vengeance.
Crows, ravens, portents of
black flight circle above,
a crown of shrieks, feathers
cascade, rain like pestilence.
No blame in blindness.
“I could not see through feathered fog;
could not save you.”
I clasp my guilt like well-earned scars,
treat myself to belt bound arm,
sweet bitter sting and
ecstasy of retreat.
“Sweet dreams, my love, my world,
my semblance of reality.” Lull the anger
of your seas with chemical castration.
Enjoy this brief vacation.
The dance of End Times is ready to
embrace me, accept my plea.
Better to breathe a secret dream, embroidered
in internal rhythm,
feed that schism. Better to glance
inside if a chance arise.
Shhh.
Let the latest lullaby set the dance.
Just don’t miss the chance.
What am I saying?
Don’t listen to me.
The world is bleeding.
Taste it.

Conversation

——————————————————————————–

Softly sane, Betty has a delicate voice, redolent of secret inspiration, not often used.
There is the high-pitched panic
drones like angry bees, chaotic, insistent. That voice is not hers, but of her demons,
flaying, cackling, castigating, sizzling knives flown from angry hands — pyrotechnic effect while consciousness bathes in restraint;
senses restrict to calm, to cleanse, safe inside.

There is another voice, sure as ocean rain, forceful as gunshot on a silent night.
When we hear its tune, we listen. Pure bell that sings only Truth, it is in our sacred core to listen.
That voice is rare and wonderful, the essence of beauty. We become attuned, in awe, compassionate wisdom takes hold.
We become the voice of welcome, of familiar kind regard.
We become complicitous encouragement.

Mobs, ignorant, angry, boo and hiss, too loud to hear anything useful.
Lords of violence, long conjured real enough fear, sneer for the big screen. Pimping for Jehovah?
We learn to fear from what attacks every day.

Addiction

Choose to negate a life that is never true.
Better the degradation than devil’s compromise
to consensual reality’s unmeetable demands, measurements.
Like suicide, a mortal sin, to give in to bestial temptation.
End life of the day; descend into fetid disgrace.
Is that so attractive?
Is that reason to negate possibility of choice?

How can I explain?
Rats, spiders, assorted displaced vermin, semi-feral humans, scrabble through garbage, stagnant remnants of rain and refinement, to no good end.
Unspeakably worse, self-protection demands imprisonment to stave off temptation.
Children grow consuming what is available, what is given or taken.
Revised as zombies — no minds worth saving, subsisting on dead flesh and legendary fear. How can dreams cope?
One whiff and life as conceptualized dayplanner delineation loses all continuity, protection from chaos,
impossible to pick up such raveled stitch.
Nothing to be done. Leave them alone.

Watery imagery — the ocean that meant to keep me so many years ago.
I become a swimmer,
a survivor in the storm.
I don’t know why. It wasn’t my idea to be strong. I didn’t think, just let my body work along from one plane to the next.
It may well be about discovering one’s ideals and working toward them. It is certainly not about having it all together from the get go.
Sing of Summer surf, held close to mystery. Undersea caves cradle chests of gems, shining like starlight.
Stars far from here call our craft home.
Call the cheer that carries carefree souls.
We’ve made our career a matter of energy.
Find a free meadow under the sky.
After brief eternity, given the designation “life,” simple, mundane sensuality
— slimy tears dissolve eye grit; sore structural muscles ease into melodious jazz.

She is stronger more able, vibrant in song. We are all learning to sing, dance, play, in this world we create, build in conversation,
in turning conceptions from experience into a private wealth from each to each,
teachers and students on the art of renaming.

This peculiar Hades Bohemia reflects like jewel facets, bioluminescent charms.
Too bad those chained to arms,
deprived of what arms can claim to feel fulfilled,
seek release in arms defined to kill
or to be killed.
I elect representation, powerful self-devised agent to promote my best interests,
prescient shadows, to pay my penance,
ritually claim my soul.
Yet, essence,
possibilities inherent in living seed
grow in potent mixtures
(tinctures for violent bifurcation, strictures, intricate captivating lulls)
for acculturation.
Captive, imagination still wanders on
long walks that suddenly awaken questioning:
“Where am I going?
Who is this “me”
that has a destiny
or merely flits along prevailing wind?”
That wandering devolves to slumber.
No one to remember, holding on to random sensory familiarity.
Don’t trust the mirror.
Aging eyes have looked too far for reliable witness. They love to lie, lazy, wistful —
if wishes could be more real than these fantasies,
murals tied to greasy walls —
self-made Hell —
Why should death’s mystery entice so much more than life’s?
What hope the best of men survive death’s fiery trial?
Why insist, assume, the bond of flesh is blood consumed, all against every?
Where is ecstasy of hand touching hand?
Conversation

——————————————————————————–

Who are they to co-opt me into disapproving for them? It’s my time, my interpretation of the Universe and my place, purpose, revels and revelations. The paradigm of enslavement only works on they in its thrall. Otherwise, it’s just crass bullying, extortion, nothing to honor or obey. The sane response is avoidance, or if unavoidable, defense — improvised from any available resource. Flight, fight, laughter, mad disregard, mad incursion, sane reason, whatever carrot and stick comes to mind and hand. Best to understand who I am, how I am strong, how I am free.

The right amount of government —
just enough to protect everyone’s freedom
without destroying anyone’s.
But who decides what that line is,
each with our own dispositions?
Is it up to fate of
social evolution?
Not a satisfactory solution
for we who cannot wait.
Our lives are forfeit now
to silly fields of behavior
deemed acceptable
to the respectable
who rule the day.
While life is disrespected,
devalued, expect those
learning their behaviors from
the crowd
to coldly laugh and kill.
If that is the will of the people …
Such death we freely choose.
Those who would desist
not allowed to exist.
Instead organized Reality tv fights
define our rights.

We call someone evil when they don’t value life, have no compassion. Is treating life as valueless what they learned when discovering identify and relationship?

Our brains grow. We can change. We make that effort if we feel assured of a real reward. At best that is people thinking well of us, giving us place and positive identity. When we feel safely, honorably enmeshed, that feedback loop reward makes the effort to keep it worthwhile .
Unanchored, unconnected, we might learn that we do not matter, find pleasure in negative impact on unvalued others. With self-respect, self-valuation based on what we know of ourselves to be golden, we provide our own rewards and can easily afford compassion . We can teach an underlying understanding that living well (however defined) requires clarity in our vision of how our world works.

in the rhythm
Shell the peanuts.
Scrub and cut up the potatoes.
Knead the dough.
Pluck and chop the herbs.
Music in the fixing, in the mixing,
each practiced movement.
Music of each meeting,
each handing on, a dance.

Caught up in cogent vibration,
safe in sound, lightly bound,
guides to construe sense from sensation,
turns tasks into merry play.
Easy to commune with tune, tonality, glee.
Such fun these school days can be!

Back in the forests, the caves,
the glades,
elemental chemistries exchange,
sonic waves call wanderers home;
soothing night fears with lullaby,
comradely cheer.
Know us by our song —
music we’ve carried through
long brave trails, travailed years.
If the Word is our binding charm,
our song is our vow,
ever renaming our power.
Engaging, blending, restorative potion;
energy, purpose, pleasure of motion
enthused by
humanity’s muse.

The people united
hanging together to avoid
being hung
one by one.
Growing their rhythm, get carried along in a
strengthening hum
tuned to common cause.
Shouting poetic, wrapped
together, in a banner of furious sound.
The people, excited, spring in their step,
clear on their ground, can not be kept down.

Entrapped, entranced
Who is to be gained
by loosening the ties?
What you remains
released into surprise?
Feel, beneath your eyes.
Ease into the rhythm.
Blessed familiarity —
heartbeat through pulsing memory.
Breathe, connect with the real —
the gift of air, of skin,
of night, of chance encounters,
of ringing melodies
strong enough
to call to potency
your most precious name.

There’s always a child
dying
to play
loved and protected
through chilling curiosity,
worries over being too big or
clashing to fit in.
Little one, listen:
Condensed to soft-voiced
Song,
loving companion
on treacherous icy walks
in winter rain
embraces from within.
Play and be heard, protected,
assured of unsuspected glory.
Song imagines your story.

Surging through heart,
capillaries,
our ineffable beauty
sings.

Haphazard People (Karl and Janna)

——————————————————————————–

Haphazard People

Mostly pretty ugly, pretty useless, pretty ignorant,
not pretty at all.
But how can I discount them when unexpectedly
somebody kind, unreasonably wise, a vision of grace,
unbearably lovely.
How could we account for miracles, unlikely odds
coming through?
Random chaos is enough for human ingenuity
to engineer you or me, or any soldier joe
or social geek.
Whose to say which or any of us is the freak?
I like my women half-crazed, strong, and vulnerable.
I like someone to cry with.
I like someone who laughs me out of my blues.
I like that she could choose,
and freely cleaves to me.
Haphazard people.
Unplanned lives.
What are the chances we might get it right?
conversations (Rory, Karl)

——————————————————————————–

Obviously, you can love anyone. Your crazy, abusive parents; your obnoxious, useless brothers; your nasty, foul-mouthed, foul-breathed, explosive spouse; your whiney, combative kids — you can and do love anyone you think of as family. Love is not without its component of hate — the hurts so good mystique, perhaps. Love does not act as a barrier to violence. Love is not the opposite of fear, but can be its fond companion. Love is a bond, a binding tie, an invisible cohesive. What we do, and call it love negates its claim to purity, to innocence, to angelic countenance. Or maybe it is a babe of fallen angels, raised to vindicate their cry for Holy favor.

“Look what a miracle we have given Man (dear favored brother of our Father’s Creation). We have blessed him with this bastard, gestated from our last union with Your Holy Love. (Though, to be honest, Your Holy Love can feel a lot like fire, brimstone, glacial ice, miasmic pestilent clouds, not what we expect from Grace.)”

Better than love: honest respect, loyalty based on confidence in its reciprocity.

I’m not knocking that singing, soaring feeling, that specialness of shared intimacies. I’m just saying, there’s a lot more to aim for.

You’re so Catholic, Rory. Fallen angels? Who was it, the Greeks? had names for all the kinds of love — not just family. Maybe we do love people who don’t deserve it. But then, who are we to decide? I mean, what is deserving of love, and whose, and which definition? I love you, man. That’s not because of your virtues and in spite of your faults. It’s a real bond, because we have been through it, you know. We know who we are. We know the key phrases, the easy rhythms and the syncopations. We can groove, and feel, be freely, because we know what to expect and that disagreements don’t mean **** in the big picture. Like the way we harmonize, seems like naturally, because we now each other’s voices. Why shouldn’t people come together as family against the barbaric hordes, or to build a warm, safe home?

Yeah, sometimes we suck. Sometimes we take out our **** on the people who are close by. That doesn’t mean we won’t be loyal when it counts.

Like any of our folks were so loyal to us? Where are they, our loving families?
Right here, bro. It’s not about biology. I mean, sex is cool; but it’s its own thing, not the same as love. Families based on who ****ed who and the results I guess seem logical enough. That’s one of those other names of love, not what I’m talking about.

Truth, you know, it gets trapped in words. Then we think we’ve found it in captivity — but that’s not its natural state, not true truth. Maybe we should just hum a few bars.

Ommmmmmmmmmmm — as my hippie pappy used to say. And you can’t say they don’t love me, in that true truth sense. They didn’t abandon me or throw me away when I was too much trouble. They let me decide. They respected my choice, and were loyal to my cause while I was loyal to theirs.

I’m not saying that to be cruel. I am sorry that you feel disrespected, cut loose, because your asshole dad couldn’t appreciate and respect the much better man he produced.

You just say that because he thinks you’re a freak. His loving family might differ.

And you? Do you “love” him in some aspect of Greek philosophy? Are you a loving son, honoring your father and mother as God commands?

To be true truthful, he hasn’t seemed real to me in a very long while. I guess I’ve made him into some caricature in my head. Who he really is strangely doesn’t concern me. I am a distanced, unfeeling son. Surely I will be struck down for my sins. But then, I am a distant, unfeeling son to Heavenly Father as well. I think I prefer Renata’s Goddess. She, at least, produces useful miracles. My dad’s Heavenly Overseer just seems to keep them miserable, small-minded, falsely superior. And lookey, we have a Queen among us thieves and scoundrels. How cool are we!

Yeah, the mysteries and consensual foolishness of love.

You got something on for tonight; or are you gonna be here for the meeting?
Never sure, my man. You take notes.
Edwina Sings the Blues
You wouldn’t think it, but Marcus wants to be degraded. He wants to feel the pain, rushing through him, making him bleed and cry. He is sad and beautiful. With me he can be brutal, but then so tender, or clinging like a frightened child. He lets me love him. He lets me open to him, take him in my arms, in my mouth. He lets me be his source, his safety, his.

We are not so different, wounded children in the night. There are lots of kinds of wars. People excel at cruelty, at vituperative rage, destruction of each other. If we find a way to love, imperfect, awkward union, it can seem strange, pain attracted to pain.

I feel like I am healing here, slowly becoming my own by sharing who I am with people who honestly care. I am not the pervert, creep, unaccepted outsider, here. I am just me, discovering what I can do, can bring, can share, can receive. If blood families could be so clean, accepting, giving a sense of purpose and reflection, we might be better. We might be happy children, not make believe. We might not need to be so angry. We might be more graceful lovers. Imagine the dance, sweet and low and uncomplicated by fear or expectations.

When Rory and I sing together, it fits, though our bodies never touch. Is that another kind of love? When we all jam out, each from our own artistic sphere, a groove will envelope us We are free and entwined. We are love.

There are angers, misgivings, bad days, fights. They are ripples, with consequences. They are not the river. Fat, happy fish bask. We are a school. We are traveling together. Maybe we will fall apart, fall out, fall back into lonely disrepute. Maybe we will create something beautiful, wonderful, a theatre of joy and deeply layered meaning. Maybe we will have a chapter of our lives to write about, recreate as art, when we are old and trying to be wise. What do I know, just a creature of the night streets acting out building a nest for winter. Underground, cozy in dirt and stone, creepy crawly creatures without costumes and masks to appear normal, naked in the act of love.

social beings
we crave attention
Is anyone
looking
now?

conversation – generative instinct

——————————————————————————–

The oligarchy, patriarchy, isn’t really about money, hoarding what is worshipped as wealth, or even in the sense we tend to think about power. It’s about the seed, the legacy, continuance of essence, dominance of influence.

Women, as the archetype of wife/mother within the tribal paradigm, instead want to nurture, to have the reality of family to focus their energy in inclusive relationship.

__________

Sure, sometimes we feel a thrill of conquest, a pride of prowess, instinctual pleasure. We’re human, too, though, you know, intellectualizing, insecure, needy, longing for love, to be cherished, a familiar clan where we can feel we belong in the thick of dramas, bickering, suffused with affection over time. We all enmesh in real, day-to-day relationships that mean, that are our world. We are not genomes or prepackaged wiring. We learn to follow pathways where we feel welcome, or at least sufficiently satisfied. Even the people we don’t like to admit to, the clearly brutal, the chillingly mean, are operating out of much more than instinct or unconscious compulsion, or even asocial psychosis. We, all of us, are projects of individual lives. We just have a tendency to aggregate, to identify by type.

But, yeah, hangover collective institutions, long-held civil structures and jurisprudence, accepted codes of behavior, probably often do reflect those generative values, that driving need to continue.

______

I’m not doubting that each of us, everyone, is a human individual with our own ways, ideations, desires, histories, angsts. It’s those whose images become archetypes, the myths and metaphoric memes that become a background shorthand, that informs us of who We (writ large) expect ourselves to emulate or rebel against.

___________

So, what do they matter? We don’t need to act out against some archetypal asshole. We can have a better time being who we naturally are — because the instincts I see here are about getting along, getting to know about being us and working out how to make it work. We each say what’s on our mind, get mad or get crazy or however we need to say, to make ourselves heard. It’s not abut competing or pissing lines in dirt, or trying to maximize our own share, to profit or rule. We want to be more by sharing what we have, what we can do, who we are, what we can become. That urge, instinct, whatever, can’t be unique to us. It comes from somewhere, from being human, from our instincts to survive, to continue, to get better.

_______

But do we get better, people? There always are, there have always been, small groups — families, if not of the established sort, or movement, coteries, salons, troupes — marchers to all those syncopating drummers. Yeah, I know they saw we live longer now, have less agonizing poverty, cures for diseases and nonlethal weapons, refrigeration, electric light (when the electricity is on). That’s not what we are talking about. Are people, generally, generatively, less obstinately cruel, more amiable or culturally aware, defaulting to enlightened self-interest instead of stomping on those we perceive as weak?

_________________

Of course there are cruel people, not just a few seriously damaged souls, I know. Sometimes it seems like they are all ganged up, throwing sharp stones at any target they can find. Mostly it’s a lot more personal — sharp words, angry faces, balled fists, spit and the damp odor of disdain. Where does that come from? It’s women every bit as much as men. Harpies shrike louder, even bolder at times. That’s not about any hoped for legacy. That’s rage, and profound disappointment, an all-pervasive idea of being cheated, cheated on, deserving retribution that can never be paid. Or maybe it’s just escape from boredom. How should we who live vivid lives understand? we have made the edge not a horror, but a glorious quest. If we claim compassion, we should have no trouble feeling for our fellow sin-filled humans dealing as we can with the fate befalling.

___________

But compassion wasn’t the point. We make our fates, or at least create our furnishings to fit that scheme. We have free will, or enough of an illusion to serve. We have bendable mindsets, reframing techniques. We are not slaves to instincts. We can tame and train them to our purpose. I can be immortal in my own mind, can be completely convinced. I am my own legacy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want the comfort and stimulation of intimate others. What would be the point of immortality alone?

________

Perhaps immortality could only be alone. You would outgrow, turn to different directions from the others. There is no guarantee that even those you feel most attuned to would remain and grow in the same fascinations. Forever is a very long time. The only way to manage it is to become wholly engaged in each episode.

That’s it for the jug of wine, and pretty much the candles. Probably time to sleep on it and see where our dreams take us.

Edwina Sings the Blues

——————————————————————————–

She will perform as directed,
ready for her close-up.
It’s what she does to turn a street
of sad contempt into
her brilliant stage.
How can it matter, the fashion, or
the age of time.
Life as experimental Art.
Enjoy what
freedom can be sustained
within these walls: play inside.
Trading in secrets for wisdom

Acting Lessons

Act as if.
I know that one.
It never works.
They find you out,
send you back to the prison,
where you belong,
and the taunting never ends.
“Who’d you think you was,
anyways? Deserving better?”
The embarrassment.
Like peeing on your best friend’s mother’s
spotless floor when left there on a play date
for the first (only) time, and didn’t know where
the bathroom was until — too late.
Sticky, soggy, a puddle of tears and tremors.
They only ever notice the sin.
False expectations burn long.
Why should I be the fortunate one who
is remembered, lauded, for creative charms?
Why not believe in fairytales when they
have been so pervasively offered to pacify?
(dwelling in suspension of disbelief —
belief is fungible, never to be trusted)
Christmas was the worst. So cold,
alone, after false festivity.
It wasn’t disappointment over gifts, but
profound loneliness. No shining star,
no angel, just dead wood, artificial flames,
endless night.
I grew to love the night, feel blanketed
in darkness.
Alone I am impervious, protected by magic.
Please, don’t let them tear down my spell
with their palpable hostility.
I act as if I know nothing, am nothing, have
nothing. That is all true.
The magic that protects me, a ritual concantation
within my private theater.
Thankfully, they pay no attention beyond
my pained countenance.
All the long night I am left in peace.
I open my veins and bleed for my art —
not suicide (I bandage and heal after)
just needing the colour and texture
of blood.

girl talk

——————————————————————————–

Marcus reads and pontificates, expansively stoned. Betty takes delight in his assured cadences and gestures she improvises dance to his expressions, which relaxes him. He enjoys watching her move, amused by her ease around him. He feels gentle, shouting when he does not in anger but enjoying the rushes of air and sound. Sometimes she cuddles her head on his knee or shoulder. He feels protective and honored by her trust.

Meanwhile, in their own stoned circle, passing the joint and jug, the girls — Renata, Janna, Edwina — talk about love.
(Karl and Rory are off on other adventures — which they may share later, nor not.)

Renata sits, imperious and giggling. She is a virgin, not a prude. Her friends’ antics, rolling on the carpeted floor, grappling, laughing, she understands to break the ice of embarrassment.
We make inroads to understand what is acceptable to you, to me. Here we have embraced a banner of authenticity.

Renata enjoys the camaraderie and insight into mores, modern memes, intimacies.

“Sex is simple. Love is complicated.” Edwina’s ready opening. In so many ways she had severed, shed instinctual link between social body and mind. She could be the fantasy that pleased with no hesitation, enjoying pleasures of the role. This was not a challenge, but a honed skill, easy and clear.

“Love, it’s got too many rules, too many layers, too much baggage, shame, ineptitude. It’s hard to know where you are. Except when you do, and the world, your bubble, is perfect.”

Janna, looking far away and small, a distant child, touched them each with an extended hand. She danced up and twirled into herself, a vision of delight.

“I always let them define me. It seemed easier than complaining. I needed the occupation of drama around me to make me feel okay, somehow to ground me. When I wasn’t okay, wasn’t enough, when they left or stopped showing up, or pranced onto the scene brandishing someone else, I was more ashamed than lonely. But there was always plenty to be done, and someone else would come along. Kind of like my mom, always being about the guy, no matter what a loser, no matter what an abusive pig or other barnyard critter. I don’t even know why except it seemed easier than not.

Karl’s not like that at all. I’m me. He’s him. We each define ourselves. It many not be easy; but the feelings are real and spontaneous, us.”

Renata does not want to break the flow of confidence. She knows something is not being said.

“We love each other without it being sexual. I know there is an electric, chemical flow, a palpable attraction between each of us, and together. There is sexual charge, but also an interest, a trust, intense caring that is not about sex. It is a biological thing, but more a choir of spirit, an integration of personal energies. Yeah, sometimes urgency feels more excitement, different friends excite us in different ways and circumstances. But isn’t that the essence of what you call “love” in your sexual partnerships? Who we are to each other is a complicated recursive partnership to the degree that we allow, I suspect. Or maybe it’s to the degree we shed expectations and really experience because we can.”
Rory and Renata Go to the School
“We work with a diverse population of the underserved underclass. We find the people we need, and the people who need what we can make happen.
Yeah, it’s a struggle every day, and a surprise that we figure it out and carry on. It’s following a vision that’s always being re-envisioned as we figure out what works,
how to pick up synergistic pieces and keep going because that is what we do.”

Karl and Janna, Marcus and Eddie along with Betty have settled in to their playhouse hotel that Tom River helped them acquire.

Rory is too city, too restless for bucolic creative bliss. Renata needs to expand her mortal experience, learn new skills, try new lifestyles.
They visit the crew when they can, take their part in the theatre. It is better that they bring refreshed perspectives from outside.
Rory has discovered the School through his elusive, randomly distributed contacts. He brings Renata to observe the dance and respond as she will.

Dorothy and Alice are at the core of the project. The have each had excessive lives, developed strong resilience and motivation.
Since they have found each other, they have further developed through mutual support. Their self-assurance and charisma inspire gifted idealists
to commit to a plausibly possible cause.

What is a school? A place to be shaped, to be contused and polished through interaction, to discover, be directed or create your own role and style.
It is an entrance of ignorance into a process into a home, a grounding to grow, produce from seeds and dung and work.
A school, a structure wherein we learn what we learn by lecture, by example, then practice to entice competence, tasks to master, ideas to fester,
projects to test and explore. A school can be much more than a prison for clearing the streets, teaching shame and defeat or for a few fanning ambitions
seldom fit to meet. This can never be that twisted. Rather we envisage a tool for healthy breakthroughs out of misery and flailing infirmity.
We dance. We talk. We teach and learn. We develop the skills we need to be the people we care about. We are put down, but we can care so much,
be so much, just by learning to be who we are.

Dorothy and Alice Gaya – We gave ourselves our surname in a commitment ceremony during our neo-feminist period. Heavily layered in spiritual/political significance.
It’s not that we’re against people using drugs. We’re against unconscious lives bereft of informed choice.

“Neo-feminist?” Renata, quizzical, “What are you now?”

Alice smiles. “Teachers of the oppressed.”
Monk Hill stands smiling in the morning sun. Early Spring, well-tracked snow still covers frozen ground.
Coffee-stained observations through my kitchen window.
Tom moved me here to heal, to figure out who I need to be and how. I don’t think he was so much scared as awed by my profound collapse
into frenzied inertia. He had helped to organize this place, this art-based enclave, to enjoy as occasional recreational refuge as well as
to give free range to special friends that he might be blessed in their blooming. He seems quiet and controlled, a useful cover for his
beauty obsessed soul. So fortunate that he has all that inherited wealth to indulge with. I mean that sincerely. So many highborn brats
indulge in nasty, even cruel, habits because they can. Or then there are those obsessed with out-earning daddy or expanding their
empire no matter the cost to collateral lives. See, I can record a logical progression of thought, sitting calmly, drinking coffee for the
luxurious warmth, smiling at the hill, the valley, the stone and brick buildings, the tracks in crusty snow, maybe a human or critter
intent on their own projects. This is comfort. This is breathing deeply, stretching gently, opening slowly toward the warmth of
activity, to explore in search of empowering questions.
Sounds like Eat Yer Pudding is open below. Guess I’ll take this party public, check out the scene over breakfast bread pudding.

my back pages

My Back Pages – a collection of links to my work online:

http://dreamsjourneys.blogspot.com/2013/03/dreams-and-other-journeys-by-laurie.html
a collection of poetry, short stories and thots from my late teens through my early 50s

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20010502215135/http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/8401/
my geocities page (from last century — links mostly obsolete)

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/laurie-corzett/words-from-the-sky/ebook/product-18613483.html
Philosophic and inspirational poetry and poetic prose. Notes from an ongoing journey of transformation, using language to capture visionary imagery. Complex, metaphysical, reflective — pieces embroidered in faery dust, others engraved in lead that alchemically turns to gold. Words from the Sky God, Uranus, progenitor of us all and grand inspirer through the chaos of change.

 

http://emergingvisions.blogspot.com/
emerging visions
MOVING FROM THE VISIONARY’S IMAGINATION INTO VIEW THAT ALL OF US MAY LEARN TO SEE FURTHER
an online ‘zine displaying various visual and written visionary art connected into a derivative artistic statement. It is free for anyone who wants to view it

 

https://bdelectablemnts.runboard.com/t1215
Root of Desire
working with a gaggle of characters in conversations, back stories and poems from their perspectives.

https://windsongmyths.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/root-of-desire-in-progress/

 

https://venusianair.blogspot.com/
Venusian Air
partial compilation

 

https://om2317.wordpress.com/
poetry
https://windsongmyths.wordpress.com/
chapbooks, cycles, montage pieces
and myths personal and reimagined
https://windsongmyths.wordpress.com/evening-dionysian/
working title: [evening dionysian] – performance of imagination:
Dancers dance
musicians play
Enchanting sylph narrates stories
while seductively moving to sinuous
back beat, tick of chimes.
Occasionally emphasizes subtle percussions
with intense expressions, leaps, cunning
stumbles, falling to crawl into spellbound speech.
Scheherazade myths, archetypal passion
escapades, poignant weeps, salient shouts
to power. Exquisite meditations on mystic
climes, spirit and form. Merry masks,
sparkly costumes, paint and glitter as
embellishment to the tellings.
Theater as intimate ritual.
Anything could manifest.

 

https://lunaramble.blogspot.com/
lunar rambles, random acts of sharing
and works in progress
https://yprophecies.wordpress.com/
seasonal writing and other journeys
https://yearprophecies.blogspot.com/
blogbbook word opera
https://postapocalypse13.tumblr.com/
the night’s pages precurser and random thots

 

https://nightspages.blogspot.com/
night’s pages
{patchwork narrative} a flash fiction serial following the story of a child vampire, the eternal child monster working out that existence.

Something Sacred online
experimental metafiction scif fi fantasy
http://caelastory.blogspot.com/?zx=c0685d9c70ddcc67
https://www.redbubble.com/people/libramoon/writing/25981754-something-sacred-metafiction?asc=u
https://www.redbubble.com/people/libramoon?ref=account-nav-dropdown&asc=u
http://libramoon.deviantart.com/art/Acts-of-Desolation-1-671429065
http://libramoon.deviantart.com/
https://yprophecies.wordpress.com/2017/03/
http://bdelectablemnts.runboard.com/t2582
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/postapocalypse13
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/libramoon2
Something Sacred – Prologue

In the time of antiquity, back before our written records, we are told that humans and gods freely played together and created a beautiful city in the heart of an exquisite landscape where all were free yet happy to cooperate so all might share a common bounty and all might know the joy of engaging each in their true work, respecting the best in all. It was a peaceful time, a happy time, with energy displayed in healthful work and joyous art. Every day was celebrated and every contribution honored.

But then the gods, who are immortal and powerful, grew away from their human playmates. The games they played became more sophisticated, less easily joined in. They developed concerns with a longer view and devised complicated scenarios, complex barriers which humans could rarely overcome to play in the fields of eternity. We became confused and frightened. Some of us would develop feelings of superiority believing we were the arbiters of rights and wrongs, that we deserved and needed power over others, to make our dictates law and punish those who did not properly honor and obey. Others developed feelings of inferiority and great fear of insecurity. We started to believe that there could not possibly be enough bounty for all, that we must hoard and fight off those who might take what we thought of as ours. Instead of happily joining our efforts to assure common good, to find equitable and practical solutions to problems, to enjoy and honor our individual abilities, we broke off into groups that underscored and denigrated our differences. We expended our energy inventing weapons, teaching and learning war. We praised our warriors, poisoned our lands and our minds with the detritus of hatred, passed on violence, discord, deep pain within our families and against our neighbors. We despoiled the gifts the gods had freely given us, repurposing them as game pieces against each other, even against our own best interests, even against the peace-loving, hopeful and ecstatic parts of ourselves. We dishonored the gods and all they had given us. We dishonored our own beautiful potential.

The gods were horrified and disgusted when they saw what we had done. Being ancient and wise, they did understand that they had a part in the blame. They tried to tell us where we had gone wrong, tried to enter our hearts and minds to lead us back to our true paths. But humans, for the most part, had gotten too caught up in our own dramas, feuds, thirst for vengeance or wealth, power, fame. The newer generations had been raised with these values rather than valuing themselves and their collective talents. They had never developed an interest in working and growing together at a high level of prosperity for all. They had learned, instead, to be bitter and angry and depressed, impatient for wealth that even when attained never provided the peace they unknowingly yearned for.

The gods held council and discussed the tragedy that the humans had made of their lives. Taking the long, immortal, view, they decided upon an experimental course of action. They would plant songs, ideas, legends, methods of discovering sacred knowledge. They would at whim walk among us and whisper or sing, act out, prophesize for any who were strong enough or weak enough or somehow developed the space in their minds to understand. They would plant the seeds of salvation in a variety of environments, then watch to see if any sprouts took hold. In this way they hoped to slowly encourage us to find our way back to our true nature as vibrant beings, to help us relearn, become the glorious people we were meant to be.

That is the story we tell. But, of course, we humans had become entrenched in our unhappy ways. A promise of something better was not sufficient motivation to change. The gods devised crises of various kinds and durations to shake up our misaligned order and give us new configurations to deal with, in the hope that in being forced to learn new ways we would eventually turn to the abandoned way that had given us so much. And, despite their horror, disgust and sadness, the gods found joy in their efforts made into games for their own amusement. Some of these games, their stories, are passed down as legends for celebrations or teaching, or told by our storytellers as spontaneous inspiration.

I am an old woman. I have lived a blessed life, with so many wonderful and terrible memories to keep me company. I have gone on a marvelous journey and won the greatest prize. Well, actually, there were several journeys. There were long, dangerous roads and dramatic adventures. There was love; there was loss. There was dedication to an underlying truth that carried me along even when all hope and reason strayed. I have grown and learned from experience, into a deeper wisdom, a luminous joy that is all I could ever be, till it flows out from me into all I perceive and into the hearts of my people to go on into those who will come.
Diaspora

I was born in the City, the only city on my world. It is a huge and sprawling center of culture, seat of government, depository of knowledge. There are marvelous tall buildings, street and underground transportation systems, concourses of commerce, magnificent museums, libraries, concert halls, theaters. There are public ceremonies of much pomp and circumstance. There are great universities, industrial complexes, sports arenas, and all manner of commercial enterprises. It is an efficiently run city where public servants take pride in their work and everything is kept clean and gleaming. I only have vague memories, but this is what I have been told, and have seen in elders’ memories. The military trains in camps on the outskirts of the City, not too far from the prison camps, from which many of the troops are recruited. Nothing is left to chance; little is wasted. There is freedom for the citizens in their private lives, but only insofar as they obey the public rules.

My name is Caela, and I am of the witchfolk. That is what we were called on our home world, Earth, centuries ago. Where shall I begin? There was that ancient era when a craze for genetic solutions came with advances in genetic research, as the histories tell us. Fashionable parents of that age reveled in their ability to choose special gifts for their offspring through the miracle of gene manipulation. It was thought by someone with the clout for the research dollars that there was a crying need in their society for people with enhanced empathy, minds that could probe the minds of others — maybe as clinicians, maybe as spies, maybe as weapons. We were used for all of those purposes, and not to our benefit. We became vilified, feared and hated by those who did not share our gift. Naturally, we tended to band together, to marry and live within communities of our own, of those who neither feared nor revered us but simply knew us as we were, as people much like themselves. Bonding together in enclaves within which we felt accepted and protected, we left the others to develop their fears and resentments. We had natural advantages in myriad social situations, able to know what others felt, to enhance those feelings or divert them to our purpose. Of course, some of us had used those advantages unscrupulously — although that very empathy in some ways puts a damper on the advantages of manipulation over time. Thus, there was actually much less abuse of our abilities than was expected by the general population.

Over time many of us learned to keep our abilities to ourselves and blend in more with the mainstream. By the time of the big wave of colonization, most of us were quietly assimilated, not particularly noteworthy. Still, many of us hoped for less constrained lives on a brand new world. Those who came to this planet, Eden, so named because of its bountiful natural resources, did so as common recruits like anyone else, looking for the possibility of paradise. Genetic engineering technologies did not ultimately solve Earth’s problems of over-population, pollution, depletion of resources. The solution came from the science of space travel, the brave new adventure of colonization. As star travel and planetary exploration permeated the media and popular imagination, the idea of leaving the troubles of Earth behind to start over on other worlds became a common dream. People from all walks of life became enamored of their own fantasies of what they could become given such a new start. People from all walks of life ultimately made the journeys, took the chance, found themselves vastly far from home, and, perforce, created new homes which they were privileged to build from scratch, in league with the others who had made the journey with them.

 

prequel – Acts of Desolation
from: Acts of Desolation http://caelastory.blogspot.com/2009/03/acts-of-desolation-when-battlefield.html

 

When the battlefield torn by mines is all the school or playground in which to grow,
how can the children be taught to know, to understand a lexicon of peace?
Bitter hatred permeates mother’s milk and what there is of grain,
permeates the very rain, gathered in barrels since the wells ran red
with poisoned blood, since the holiest of sites became blackened
with pestilence and shame.
Rumors expand on who is to blame; not much else to go around..

I like to walk the dark empty streets. Late at night, the city becomes its own. The smells, the silence, the stark black and white, shadows and streetlamps, without the people the city can become comforting, peaceful. But never for long.

It was a cold night, early in January. It hadn’t snowed much, but there were icy patches where puddles refroze after the hours of the traffic’s warmth. She was huddled in a threadbare shawl, moving at a pace some compromise between care for the ice and keeping blood from coagulating to avoid frostbite. I don’t like to get involved. In the end you can only lose.

Sure enough, a large, somewhat threatening looking, guy appears, yelling after her.

I keep to myself against the reassuring bricks and steel, and watch the drama ensue.

But maybe I’m not as sheltered as I thought, since the next thing I know I am waking with a monumental headache in a far different place. Bright lights, loud noises, sterilized activity, I am propped up against a wall in an overcrowded ER, a place where my disheveled, disoriented presence is sure to cause no alarm.

Then, I see her on a gurney. She is deathly pale, still. I am starting to wonder if this is all a dream, or some superdrug hallucination, but the sensory qualities are all too real, and distasteful. I hate when that happens. Now I’ll have to deal with all this gross stupidity without the benefit of knowing what it’s all about.

A nurse’s aide comes over with a form for me to fill out about insurance and next of kin. I motion, slur, get him to understand that I am concerned about the young woman on the gurney. He probably thinks she’s my sister or girlfriend, and tells me she’s lost a lot of blood, but they will be transfusing as soon as the right blood type comes up from storage. It may be touch and go, but she’s in good hands. He tells me a physician’s assistant will be calling me shortly to examine my contusions and lacerations, and I should tell her what drugs I am on.

I see the guy from the street come in while we are talking. Should I try to hide or get away? Or is he just here because of her? I was just an inconvenient by-passer, after all. I can’t get my legs to work under me anyway. May as well just let it play out.

Sure enough, he sidles over to her, whispering something in her ear as the life drains out of her. Like I say, I don’t like to get involved.

I waited for my body to figure out how to cooperate, and got out of there. Back home, I’m hammering this out on my antique manual typewriter. There’s no electricity here in the hole. Thankfully, there is a working fireplace, and places to scavenge wood.

The city’s got a million stories. I like to squirrel them away in these recordings I keep typing and filing. You can see them unfolding, refolding, just out there, everyday. The hard part is not getting sucked in, becoming the story yourself.

blessed be

*
Listen to the heart of bliss.
Lie on open sand, inhaling, vibrant,
under oceanic starlit sky.
Breeze breathes eternity, opening
inward to see intricately
expansive poetry —
thought in magnificent splendor.
 All art is magical; all magic is art.
Yet they are not the same, and part
of a grander landscape.
*
*
*
I Have All-ways Been
*
*
Magic is not part of me.
It is every molecule,
holding together higher intent.
Tracking the winding trail
stars and moonlight exhale potency
spells, incantations, hidden divinations
flicker in malleable materiality.
Living Earth, patiently moves through rotations,
inhales stardust.
In darkness, creation recycles.
Magic is all.
*
*
*
Dark Magick
*
*
In the still of the dark of the moon
after the revelrie has passed on
deep, deep into the frozen fields of dreamless sleep
we, walking, silently, along the riverbed
breathing in ancient ash of woodsmoke
breathing out long-growing tears
to weave ghostly tentacles
along our path
take each others’ hand up to our heart
to pray, to kiss, to whisper
thus casting an eternal spell.
*
*
*
Hekate’s Child
*
*
Child of Hekate,
sweetness and light?
Where is the mark
of your entombment?
Buried prematurely,
to strive for growth
in dark enclosure
striving for a breath
of the pompously negligent
Sun,
of the blushing Moon
of the squabbling sons and daughters,
of daylight’s pleasures.
Striving, tenderly
twisting around corners
aching for an unknown touch.
*
“Tell me, sir, then, how’s it going now?”
Looking up narrowly from a tepid meal,
all at once remembering
playfellows on the schoolyard
running, out of breath,
filled with pride
a jolly good game.
Always someone begging
my attention,
but it wasn’t really me,
just a story to steam off
or a butt to joke on.
All the silly give and take;
only time is taken
and that in big hungry chunks
of no tomorrows.
*
One long day
now the part all groggy
waking from fevered napping.
It wasn’t supposed to be a tomb
nestled in Transylvanian bloodlines.
It was meant to be a child’s cot,
freshly laundered cotton lace.
But the rats got in,
once the cats had been slaughtered.
*
Slowly wakening
I strive again to find my footing.
Learning to walk
was never as easy
as forgetting to fly.
*
*
*
Liminal Spaces
*
*
Twilight, the wee hours,
the dark of the moon
liminal spaces,
places where magic reigns,
crossroads, crises, cusps.
*
There is static on the radio.
A song
my voice was singing
taking flight to surround me,
the sound of music,
a comforter of down
to ease my soul.
*
I’ve been trying to define a taste,
a sense of bittersweet and salt.
I’ve been trying to find a trace
a footprint in the desert,
a sound, a scent,
a memory.
I’ve been trying to find a trace of me,
a piece to fit the puzzle,
my contribution to the grand design.
Seeking in the shadows,
the space between
myth and matter,
those places words
cannot define.
On those insubstantial plains
of myst and awe,
the stuff of dreams,
threshold of wonder,
creation begins.
*
*
*
Meta-Science
*
*
Magical thinking
creating room for the power
of possibilities,
nuances, shades between,
molecular space
unexplored, unexploited.
The magic of synaptic awareness,
unlikelihood of consciousness,
Dreams, Visions, Reveries,
ineffable emotions
too dear to deny.
See, smell, taste
chemical reactions,
hear reverberating air.
There is no limit
but that I impose.
Strict chanting and ritual
keeps reality in line.
*
*
*
Raising Hell
*
*
Not true sacred magick.
Cynical sleight of hand
turns sweat and dreams,
lives of desperation
into neat bundles of greed.
But the pain burns through
not content to be twisted
into fast cars, high-stakes games,
brilliant careers in glad-handing.
It wants its payment.
False wizards of arrogant charm
play with chthonic forces
more angry and deadly than flame.
Unaware of the cursed seeds
they cultivate,
strangling life force from below.
Unsupervised children
playing with matches,
grizzled and gray as some may appear,
laugh at the bright spectacle
as homes burn.
The balance is always paid.
Magick is never free.
Will the lesson ever sink in?
Be careful what you conjure.
*
*
*
gypsy hand
*
*
Too brite days
midnights that refuse to
abide dark and secret
when empty phrases chant
to fairytale Moons
I tell myself
This is no ordinary room
This is no fleeting flittering life
This is a magical passageway
sparkling like mica, like miracles
*
Quiet traces
luminescent impression
a trailing kite tail binds
silent whimpers, sojourning whispers,
tears shining behind mime smiles
*
Crone’s gnarled fingers, play
to spite agony
simulate touch
beyond ache
Crouched scarred shadow
I cast silhouette of metamagic gypsy
hand
offering
*
*
*
Brigid’s Way
*
*
With passion!
Outpouring care feeds our mythic spring.
Sparkling flame of peace abides within,
melts forbidding.
Not ignorant fools;
no pleas for altruist beliefs.
Relief of hunger feeds us.
No cunning deceivers could with malice
steal our good.
Need reaches to heal through magical
interchange.
Energies not replenished, giving
stops.
Why meanly measure out
moral scores in play at “who deserves”?
Purposeful use of flowing contribution
is no drain, but the focal point for
cyclic rain’s reward.
Fortune’s gift revealed, this well neverending,
fed by Goddess blessing
sacred vessels aching to be filled.
Dip in with grace, good will, wisdom
self-rejoicing.
This is not belief or even knowing.
This is breath of awe in motion.
*
*
*
Merlyn Enchanted
*
*
In secret unlit chambers
guided by wizardry
all eternity his(Hers) to see.
Walls of obsidian crystal, unable to penetrate.
What we do for love’s allure; allowing
liens upon a will of magic.
Omniscient night, he(She) stirs wonders,
bubbling sublime,
catches fluid rhythms in catechisms,
spells out vivid ceremony
in illumined rhyme before his(Her) avid mind.
Enchanted inward, beauty sculpted
pure, decanted music,
deep draughts of ecstasy.
Commingle, frolic with merry sprites,
conjured fumes,
intense, piquant elixir.
*
*
*
Twilight of Goddess Revelation
*
*
What twisted so maliciously your mind?
Your God — Created that greedy leaders may more easily prevail?
Is it guilty shame, seeded by consistent training insisting that you fail?
Lost to balance, whole possibilities, unable to be free or sane
Eternal life is yours, we scream, while you destroy our birthright
in service to conjuror’s dream of denial
*
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart
*
II.
*
Born other than imperial, torn into what we are told is real
without power to protect ourselves from venal brothers of the order
spreading hatred like any venereal disease
We no longer need to meet you cowering on our knees
Karma’s a hot potent ***** unschooled in mercy
Witches reclaiming noble heritage, reframed herstories will prevail
Though born, forced to service, in our master’s jail,
lost and lonely midst the masses, masked to fit expected forms
*
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart
*
 
III.
*
Listen, little one, watching every moment for our chance,
we will break free to adventurers’ romance; dance away the chill of
foreign hills enrapt in leaves and grass. Hiding in primeval castles,
tightly aligned to a bright inner sphere, holding to hope of life to hold dear
Learning to fly, ride to some unknown side, escape from the herd hate stone,
can’t be as hard as learning to stand alone.
*
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart
*
*
*
Maybe I can sacrifice my ignorance, my unfounded fears, my ill-advised temptations, self-imposed limitations. I sacrifice my weakness in the service of my strength. Sounds lovely. The thing with magick — be oh so careful when wishing that you are ready for the consequent reality after tweaking to magick’s demand. Be careful what you will for; it may become your destiny.  I am opening myself to destiny, not out of bravery, but necessity. What else have I got? It’s far too late in the game to switch over to a “normal” lifestyle. I have the candles, the incense, the herbs, the wine, the spell. Blessed be, all wise and witchy, and willing to manifest the joy of peaceful plentitude upon our world.
*
*
*
Singing to the Chorus
*
*
Getting warmer
Days numbered by travelers,
barbarians rushing in to conquest.
Taken in longer view,
tumbling through the ages ~
Sundials exchanged for
binary spiders click-clocking,
tabulating the enormous sum,
only a summary of things gone before.
The reality of childhood, striving creatures,
pulling upward from bootie straps,
scrambling for a place in the pile
near enough to the top
that derision, pouring downward,
obliges them to only the fiercest of Lords.
Merrily spent the pocket-change of
dollars flowing upward.
Old games reign under the big top.
Solemn children in the circus stands
betting on which clown will fall.
They speak to you of evil, o’ my children,
Church Fathers swearing to the sky;
cold, withered Mums hoping for a crust
of noblesse oblige.
Evil is the providence of Satan,
cloven-hoofed, dancing in circle’s
centerpoint, playing the pipes of Pan.
Oceans of blood boil
Leading edges swelter, crisp into
conflagration.
In Summerland children play, dance to
rollicking pipery.
Naked under beaming Moon and starlight,
they act out tales well-loved by All.
*

mutable Earth

Perhaps we are in the hallway
of a great reckoning.
e
e
Mother Earth is old, tired, sick
of slatternly bastard brats
pulling her teats, calling rude names,
fucking her over and over
e
Mad Earth grumbles loudly,
threatens to rescind Her bounty.
Men of ill will, men of destiny,
no interest in acting honorably as good
stewards of God’s Creation,
proudly proclaim their birthright
to pillage, to plunder, to prey upon
chaos, annihilation.
e
e
e
Petulant brats demand obeisance
to our code of conquest, of dominance,
of hard-assed outcast of deviance.
Rule over Earth and her issue;
break them to work for our wishes.
Honor, respect, these are authorities’ own,
the war lords we place on our thrones to command.
Progress is forward motion on moribund roads.
Marching, no conscience nor care for what may explode.
Let our Great Destroyer sort it.
e
e
e
Taste our pain.
Savor the flow of blood from torn veins,
wounds of idolic war, vitriolic rain,
beggars kicked into oblivion on deadened streets.
Pain, the great motivator.
Grind them all into a massive meatball,
cover with condiments extracted from tortured Earth,
this is the wealth that is worth
every sacrifice.
e
e
e
Rape of Earth,
hot spurts, invective words,
savage knives,
sliced, screwed, carved up for profit. 
e
e
e
Flowing rivers reveal lines for exploration,
mining ores,
mine and yours.
That element missing from accounting calculations,
Earth and her hordes, a separate salvation?
Wherever did you hear that enmity
would take you anywhere but desolation?
e
e
e
These people valued patriarchic hierarchies,
perhaps as being easier to control.
They instituted strict rules;
made sin of bodily gratification,
pleasure, fun.
In many ways they devalued the Earth,
intra or inter-species cooperation,
the eco-sphere, the kinds of interdependence
that lead to appreciation of each connection.
They embraced harsh competition,
violent confrontation,
us-against-them/winner-take-all.
They favored the wealthy and powerful
whose ends justified any abhorrent means.
Their moral code was about restrictions,
not remedies.
It seems to me that these people are mistaken
when they claim to be at war against Satan,
because the God they worship is the God of Evil,
Destruction, Death, and Despair.
Yet, there are other gods with other values.
How did this group gain so much control over mankind?
Why do we hate our lives?
e
e
e
When Earth no longer sustains human lives,
these arguments won’t matter.
e
e
e
but that’s the point — the end times
For whatever psychotic reason there are a great many
people who do not want to be here, on Earth. 
If their goal is an End to the Earth,
they have no interest in making anything better.
e
e
e
There is a potent mythology that it is God’s will
that the climate change become untenable,
require Judgment Day at last, the end
of our suffering here in this testing zone. 
For life on Earth is a test of our immortal souls. 
We are sent here by God to be tested. 
Those who pass get just reward in Heaven,
unhindered by unbelievers or those lesser.
e
e
e
We sing Epiphany.
All the holy, all the empty,
all the sorrows filled with poetry,
with charging beasts of challenge
and slip ping back savagery.
I hear the Angels sing of Earth
as mud, as muck, as fuckin’ murder in the womb,
as luck would have it, as black streaks redacting
the jubilance of Heaven.
I hear the demons laugh,
dancing akimbo hunker down
to limbo to lindy hop upon the prophet’s breath.
Such noise.
Such annoying brays and cagey whispers.
I would sleep, snore, evermore
if they would but diminish,
allow silence to enfold.  Instead,
the dream takes over,
dissolves all sanity
no morning (mourning)
e
e
e
On Judgment Day this Earth experiment
ends in floods and flames.
Who cashes out with greatest profit
wins eternal praise.
Rushing to the final contest —
so little time, so much dickishness to express.
Free to be mean, even vicious – what Fun!
e
e
e
On the hate wagon
enjoy this wild horror ride
to the end of Earth.
e
e
e
Promoters of the end times,
in favor of welcoming Apocalypse,
ending the travails of Earthly life,
fulfillment of cutthroat meritocracy
prophecies, gain ever more support.
Let violence and despair ravage the Earth,
that those who cynically twist evil and good
may transport to their Heaven,
miraculously escape the horror and destruction
they have wrought.
Annihilation for their own elevation.
e
e
e
Having built the fires of Hell
to burn your perceived enemy,
letting evil loose upon
the Earth we were meant to share
in peace and prosperity,
proving only that the Word
you claim your guide
you ignorantly ill-define,
expecting salvation
through worshipping sin.
e
e
e
Final Days
Basking in His glory
All Earthly chores and woes
ended like the planet we
never wanted to be our home.
e
e
e
Which of the plagues, weapons, increments of Earth destruction, cataclysmic storms,
nuclear heck, submission to fantasy starving for money, or even more fantastic
lapse of sanity will we choose?
e
e
e
The Earth screams.
People die before their time,
or never get much life.
Species die, their music silenced.
Crazy theories of wealth
belie obligation or simply seeing
the laws of consequence.
Scream Earth!
Pierce the cosmos with your
terrible cry.
e
e
e
Fragments, smoldering ash, attest inferno’s horror
beyond any concept of fright.
Desirous destruction
engulfs, combusts, devours the night.
Ghastly imbroglio to contemplate.
Holy emission of erupting sky
obscuring, engorging, torching heavens and Earth.
Maelstrom behind closed eyes of flesh-rending fire
razing, exploding, resplendent in awe filled
agony;
transcending density into shocks of deadliest
tremors.
Caught in a thread which ravels to end in
throat-clutching screams.
Send dread escaping, sad streams of molten tears.
Rent past all mending.
Quiet, so quiet tonight.
e
e
e
Endtime dreams of planet Earth.
We assume worth is ours to name.  Act
like we’re more than a bored God’s game or
random chance
or random plague.
e
e
e
Petroleum under the sea
breaks surface
fissures in our social contract
corroded wealth
corrupted Earth
leak of held back tears, grief of millennia
e
e
e
scenario:  Mankind wipes out other species;
creates AI “children” to be trained to do our work/
act as pets to pamper and punish and preen.
Humans become obsolete, Earth home to pointless
AIs made to serve biological beings who
no longer exist.
e
e
e
Speciesism.
Tragic boorish arrogance.
Deaf to wisdom, portrayed in
ominous myth, moral lore.
Slay the goose;
destroy the whales.
Uproot untold trees
bearing fruits that may have
saved us staggering agonies.
Crucial for human well-being
microbes, photosynthesis,
symbiotic
processes ignored, misunderstood.
Focus squandered on ephemeral
opinion, petty envies, rivalries,
diatribes on evil and good.
Ruination we have yet to account to,
acknowledge, grieve;
collateral damage
to insolent bravado.
When will we repent, let go,
rethink this mad master plan,
relinquish need to command?
e
e
e
When will we relinquish hubris, ruinous hatred,
accept Gaea as partner and home?
Progress with respect, ally so all may thrive?
e
The land, when we found her was warm and inviting.
We felt safe, supported, encouraged to grow.
e
We ate of her fruit, fish, herds.
We built with her trees, stone and clay.
We drank from her beautiful streams
which we soiled with our waste.
Gaea was saviour and womb.
We repaid her with rape.
e
We didn’t understand,
thought her merely land,
thought ourselves masters from afar.
e
Gaea sent storms to bring us to our senses, wild winds and seas.
Gaea tried to shake us off: Earthquakes, Floods, Famine, Plagues
sending us scattering, blind in rage.
e
Without question or shame, we murdered as if to keep score.
Without honor or remorse, we laid waste to our host,
to our only home,
then cursed her for not giving more.
e
Frozen in fear and rage, children swept out in the storm,
trapped in a self-made cage we had hoped to protect us from harm.
e
Gaea, we cry, why do you treat us so angrily?
What will it take for us to wake up and see it is we who are wrong?
To hear and be aware of Gaea’s song singing in our blood?
To learn the cycles, the seasons,
the reasons for fire, wind and flood?
e
To redefine our race,
to find out that our place is here among our Gaean kin?
e
The telling of new tale must begin.
e
e
e
Was there a time in the early history of homo sapien
when we and the Earth had been companionable kin? 
Could that kind of relationship be built here, now? 
Could there be a reconciliation, a healing? 
What is this primal wound that keeps
humankind from true sanity, integration with
a living world?
e
e
e
I wish for miracles that outdo, overwhelm biblical prophecy.
Let them fight, outside our Earth borders, those archetypes of Lucifer and Christ.
Let them whip up fierce, boisterous conflagration – epiphanies of rage against love.
Hell, take bets, cheer and get high on the action. Up there, in that realm made of digitized dreams.
Here, right here and now and always from here on, let it go.
e
e
e
Let the profiteers leave, and give us back our
common Earth.
Let them enjoy the angry rip of tribal sheathes,
repurposed scythes rising, colonial histories.
Let them eat the falsely filling cake of lies, forced miseries
that defile practical fulfillment, and
breathe the poisons they agree fit for our
common atmosphere, elsewhere.
Let us help them out the door, as we make
for ourselves a world worthy of all
who value terrestrial vitality.
e
e
e
Peace on Earth we seek in song.
Dear lurkers, please sing along.
Expand our voice, let all hear:
Peace is a choice, so is fear.
e
e
e
Breathe out the stale pain.
Laugh in the chilling rain, yes, even as the tsunami hits, the Earth quakes,
erupting ash burns, take my hand, my word, my promise.
e
e
e
Sea Sons
e
e
The Sea is changing.
Aging beauty, seething with rage
of the forgotten.
e
Once your tempestuous lover,
violently seductive, wild mystery.
Legends of monsters and gods
poured from her essence
into your sleeping ear.
Challenge of fear and glory brought you
to her shores, pleading for
acceptance, romance, adventure
and all its chaotic promise.
e
The Sea swimming with life,
unbound to expectations,
inspiring song and trepidations.
e
We are all changing, aging,
wearing down.
Less arrogant hero than
teller of tales,
what will we teach
our grandchildren
of the Sea?
e
e
e
The wild rains of spring
have caught me napping.
They catch me up in torrents
swinging me along,
a cradle in the sea.
I am dreaming mazes,
wondrous pageantry
woven into ancient walls
the sea surrounds.
I acquiesce to secret ceremony,
believing planet Earth to be my home.
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Earth Songs
e
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Aching times.
Ghost singers on the prairie.
Snug little home, hearthfire familial peace
against rage and winds. Stone and sacrifice.
Dust storms erode,
leave wastrel sentinels.
e
Far, in green glade mists
where sacred hymns are born,
chthonic wilds, primordial rune castings.
Building over eternity, silent, archetype of will ponders.
Intrinsic senses, despair, bottomless sorrow, loss of intent.
At the root of desire, truest wish to be fashioned,
sold at price of who you were made against your nature.
e
Wooden ships sail eternal sea.
Journey ages within these circles, free.
Easy found trades, winds selling seeds.
Back to the gardens of pagan lore —
earth, air, sun, and transforming water.
We wander days of potent destiny,
telling the tale, deep mystical incantation,
of a possible age in birth.
Love song ‘tween man
and Earth.
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we are not our ancestors
we are not religions
we are not lines on a map demarcated by war
we are earth made vital
we are seeking minds inviting partners
we are seed and core as skin sheds and grows anew
we are me and you and all we become, alone and together
we are as we agree, composed of dissonance and harmony
Thriving lives matter
Peace matters
Living Earth most greatly matters.
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Trees’ lusty greenery
Wind touch, trunk to branches.
Birds cry greeting in arbor breeze.
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Trees to Dream on
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Pine mountain scent
majestic snow-globe memories
ancient beings twixt sky and earth
bask in waning sunlight,
twinkling night encroaching,
fluttering leaves cast
in white lace, starry splendor.
Long have we lived
cycling through death’s rebirth,
seasons of land and sea linked
in living countenance open to
winds of fate and change.
Days have been when brutal cold
demanding sacrifice saw hunt and harvest.
Nights given to ceremony, entraining
frenzied dance, spontaneous gaiety
— a tribal stew of sustenance
warm spirit and body
through the dark times,
built on timber, built on years
of sun, storm, forces claimed
and reconfigured to bring us here.
Reconnecting, anchoring to tales
told in firelight, warm wood, bright tinder,
holding ancient light, charms, secrets,
holding warmth to warmth,
life to life,
year to year.
e
e
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Surging through veils,
storms breathe ice, sand,
the fire of prophecy,
the flood of repentance.
Glacial migration
bequeaths rage, rampage,
rapacious gratuities
boiling beneath.
It’s not winter here, nuclear quiet.
Not yet.
The eternal balance:
rocks, meteors, dark
inconsistencies with
metaphors of the righteous,
pilgrims past the age of bowing to scriptures.
e
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lush leaves of summer

*
swim waves of mind
on a glorious Summer reverie
*
Long daylight and beaming stars
share the fun of a summer day.
*
Ah to be a Summer gift.
Borne on Sun’s warm rays, a’smile,
a welcome lift for all our hearts’ desire.
*
Easy winds, breezy gush of summer rain.
Feeding the greedy young grains,
growing along the plains, the flowers of the storm.
Feeding the beasts of the field,
celebrating the cycle, as all is revealed.
*
Fruit of bittersweet summer
when taste and touch could overwhelm
sadness, tender exploration, sense memory.
*
busy summer
bees buzzing, buzzing
like cocaine
*
Summer fountain festivals
on opium fields, sickly sweet and sticky bun bewitching,
that cloying ecstasy you never want to leave.
*
Sweet taste of summer wine,
the innocent joy of uncomplicated affection,
the pure sensuality of passionate dance.
*
Burning passion within the summer’s blazing, sweating,
primal, mode of jungle dance, ecstatic ritual.
*
Burn with hazy summer wine and dance,
feet connecting dust to sky.
*
Sing of Summer surf, held close to mystery.
Undersea caves cradle chests of gems, shining like starlight.
*
Summers’ call of water and sand;
twilights of harmonic symphonies when Sun
touches green horizons.
*
Summer heat weighs in torpid breath, sweat, 
need to distract from here, today
*
As the hot summer day slides into night with welcome
melancholy rush of breeze reminiscent of
dismembered yearnings.
*
Summer serenades
romance
wraiths, spirits of Pan,
amorous nymphs a’hum in ripe foliage.
Crickets, nightwings,
mingled weeping and merry cries
slowly reveal
stragglers on night shores
*
unwinding carnival music sad evening blooms, cast out into summer wind
*
remembrance of soft summer nights by the sea, by the lute of starlight
*
Through orange Summer Moon
Dream leaf glides idyllic wind
Reinventing light
*
Love gently, like a summer evening’s rain
*
Was it a brutal Summer?
Does the Sun disburse energy
with no heed to the people’s woeful pleas?
*
Summer farce, far from clear, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure,
silly summer madness, as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable
*
Summer deceives
the stink of rot where flowers bloom
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage,
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation
*
Short summer nights, stench of rotting garbage,
insects intrude, homeless humans too hot to sleep
mumble, wander.
*
It was just an amusing summer game.
Those burning secrets, I’ve told them
a hundred times before.
*
Cleansing flame brings dreams,
scented summer secrets,
respite of brilliant rainbow
diffusing softly
into twilight.
*

Creating Hell for Fun and Profit

Creating Hell for Fun and Profit
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I – Suffer the Women and Children
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What becomes of unwanted children?
Pimped out or outright sold for
sadistic pleasures?
Dying on broken streets of disease
or violence, drugs of death, suicides?
Is this what you meant, what you demand,
vulture-eyed zealots rapt for your evil
deity?
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Young children are subjected to all kinds of horrible experiences perpetrated by their so-called caretakers, both abusing parents and those in whose care parents mistakenly leave them in order to go to jobs to provide for the material needs of the family. A great many people suffer basic deprivations of food and shelter. Many children face lifelong handicaps resulting from early malnutrition. Many are left with lifelong emotional and physical scars from having to fend for themselves on the streets from an early age. Violence is learned as the appropriate reaction to anger and frustrations. In the media and on the streets, violence is glorified and rewarded. Love is seen as being linked to pain, of betrayal, of loss, and the love/pain link experienced in abusive family relationships. Poverty both material and emotional is endured, but not quietly. Violent reactions are visited especially on the families and neighbors themselves subject to these brutalizing environments, as well as upon those who are materially better off, in the form of all manner of violent crime. The criminal justice system seems to only reflect and propagate the brutalizing conditions which do nothing to ameliorate the hate, pain, frustrations in an endless cycle of violence, victimizing victims and perpetrators and numbing the sensibilities of the professionals who attempt to work within the system. The education system fails to educate in most of the areas that we need to understand to function in our world. How much do we learn in school (or even at home or on the streets) about basic health and safety, financial management, childcare, legal rights and responsibilities, civic duties and how our democracy best works, communicating effectively and working well with others, building meaningful relationships, building self-esteem, building and maintaining a home? Instead, most of what our young people learn in the schools that they must spend most of their formative years attending seems to be more destructive and counterproductive than truly useful. Like it or not, our children (the children of our world, be we parents or not) are our future. The quality of life we can look forward to is the quality of life we teach our children to expect and produce. We live out the expectations we are producing today. Do we really want a world based on violence and ignorance? I don’t. I want a world in which I and my loved ones could live in relative peace, security and well-informed choice.
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I am beginning to think that this whole anti-abortion, anti-contraception idea is about rapists who want to impregnate their victims and then have access to torture them for life.  Mighty big hate on. No doubt politicians vote for policies to excite their red state constituency of white nationalist incels who can only reproduce through rape, and feel entitled to pass their rapey genes on for the next generations, with the added benefit that, considering the high rate of maternal mortality among black women, these laws can be part of a white nationalist attempt at genocide.
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Rape for the rapist can be likened to bestiality in that he negates the humanity of the victim.
Rape is a political statement.  It says: “I am everything.  You are nothing.”  When politicians force women to bear children, it is a form of rape.
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Woman needs to be seen as much more than a biological incubator, to be seen as a full person with self agency.
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Legislating against reproductive choice is not the classic protection of the innocent from the powerful, but really (no matter your position on religion) interfering with a sacred relationship. Because of the nature of mammalian biology, we have a newly forming creature growing within the body of a more mature creature of its kind. When that relationship is desired by the mother, it is wonderful and fulfilling. When that relationship is not desired, it is horrendous, nightmarish. Then, of course, there are the situations when the pregnancy is actually dangerous to the health of the mother, or to the health and well-being of her other children, or when the fetus is malformed to the point of surviving, if it does, in a horrendous nightmarish state which the mother would need to endure with the child. These are not the kinds of choices that government should make. These are issues much too personal to belong to the impersonal state.
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The US Constitution says absolutely nothing about abortion, which is as it should be.  Such medical decisions have no place being regulated by government at all.  The correct Supreme Court decision for this case, in my opinion, would be to state that very clearly.  It’s about being able to make our own decisions about our own bodies — not privacy as such, but personal integrity.  It is very dangerous to legislate in these areas.  For instance, look at the drug laws which have been used to lock up those perceived as social misfits, which is apparently a vast percentage of our society according to the numbers of prisoners who have had their rights abrogated.
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God gives us freewill, unless
we are fertile females.  The ability to
gestate/bear young
automatically makes one a slave.
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Divisive politics takes in a whole gamut of issues, of which abortion is but one, and RvW merely part of the overall picture.  What the Christians are rallying around is not merely abortion, but their idea that they are not getting enough respect by the rest of us because God Himself is their leader.  The abortion rights issue was one that was used, consciously and determinedly, by power-hungry leaders of “the faith” as an issue of polarization:  “See, all those who mock are evil murderers working for Satan.”  There is absolutely nothing wrong with believing abortion to be murder.  There are some sound arguments.  The problem is, there are many instances in which murder (defined as the killing of a human by another human or group of humans) is very much condoned.  There are many other instances in which it is tolerated as the lesser evil.  In fact, most Right to Lifers I am aware of are 4-square in favor of the death penalty, and the military.  Ultimately their problem is not so much with murder as with sin, the sin of sex for other than reproduction.  In fact, I have had several anti-choice folks tell me exactly that.  More basically, it seems to boil down to 1) who gets to make the rules for all of us and A) the absolutely nonsensical sick backassward attitudes toward sex so prevalent in this country.  (“1” and “A” representing two separate but equal streams)
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An Ignored Voice
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“Mommy, don’t make me!
Don’t keep me and hate me.
Your poisoned womb
tears my soul.
Please let me go.”
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“Child, it will be alright.
I’ll give you to outraged strangers
who have prayed for your life.”
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“No, Mommy.  Don’t you see?
I am your destiny.
Release me from mortal penitence.  Do what you must.
In this tiny voice, put your trust.
Grieving, set my spirit free.
You know this is meant to be.
We both know how much you care.
This choice is your cross to bear.”
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“Entitled man, don’t make me.
Don’t demand my birth and hate me.
My fate is mine, don’t you declare?
Not in my name – I’m not your cross to bear.”
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sacrifice
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Why would a woman risk
death or other bodily terrors,
social exposure to all the slings and arrows
of frenzied hate,
to end her unborn’s fate?
She is protecting her child, like a good mother does,
despite her own suffering,
protecting her innocent from this horrid world,
from people like you.
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For Christianity, life on Earth is a test of our immortal souls.  We are sent here by God to be tested.  Those who pass get eternity in Heaven, unhindered by unbelievers or lesser souls.  At last reward of the end of Earthly chores and suffering. This informs the Christian argument against abortion (aside from “sex is sin”). These innocent children must be born and baptized to get to Heaven (apparently once infants have been alive to be consecrated to God, “conservatives” would just as soon He take them) because God wants those souls incarnated for their testing.  No Heaven without birth on Earth.  Though, if life starts at conception, ought not that short womb life be test enough for those so pure that God accepts them back immediately, whether through divine intervention (miscarriage) or human agency (perhaps informed by spiritual contemplation)?
Not even going into what women (and even young girls) so often have to go through, what about these innocent children you are condemning (against their mothers’ wills) to a life in which they have no place, no warm welcome, no “safety net” for when they are defeated by the horrors of Hell such Christians are making of our Earth?  There is more to human life than birth.  Are we honoring vital rights to clean air, clean water, nutritious food, shelter including climate shelter?  Are the self-entitled “Godly” supporting any kind of real life at all?
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There Is Only One Sin
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Christ died to save us
for our sin of hubris.
But how be forgiven
while you persist
in twisting your own admonitions
as Truth,
then using this madness
as righteous excuse
to quell self-expression
that you proclaim “sin,”
persecuting lifestyles not
condoned by your kin.
Because truth is, the All
Knowing and Giving
includes multitudes as
exemplars of living.
Now, informed, enlightened,
pray for peaceful amends.
Acceptance outpours, a
welcome world wide with friends.
Hands stretch o’er bent knees,
upward open our eyes.
Humbled by divine truths,
loving and wise.
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Child’s Prayer
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Forcibly pulled from eternity’s
perfect view.
Wrenched out of limitless beauty.
Damned to dependent servitude.
Yet incipient brilliance, potent skills
offered no access route.
Disallowed, stamped down, suppressed.
Kept captive, starved,
brutalized, not for crime
nor failing.
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Conjuring puissant spirit
ought not be lightly perpetrated.
Never taught essential honor
attests poor training
for mentor responsibility.
May my nascent plea
whisper shrilly, disturb your
inner ear?
Release my wings.
You have no use for 
the person I would grow to be.
Set my future free.  Let me fly home.
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Many people who spittle hate against women who need abortions seem to have this little scenario going on in their head of licentious sex, lust-fueled irresponsibility that must be punished by inflicting yet another unwanted child on the world.
Yet, from what I have seen, most abortions are not in any way “convenient”. They are often chilling tales of life and death decision based on horrific circumstances. 
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Imagine sex separate from reproduction.  Now, understand that abortion is chosen for serious reasons not about irresponsibly giving in to lust.
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Struggling through childhood,
the tales get twisted.
Little boys & little girls
separate language.
We think we know our place,
our destinies,
from the games we’re given,
the words we’ve learned to imitate,
rhymes, reasons, rituals.
Imbibing passion body to body,
we awaken rules of blame.
The woman tempts.
The hero conquers.
The sad boy desires a
self-fulfilling fantasy,
stomping upon his heart to
start the flow of real blood,
real rage.
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Nobody likes to admit what casual cruelty we are capable of. Gang-raping children because we can doesn’t appeal to our desired self-image. Her mother allowed it in exchange for food, a place to sleep, the blessed drugs to keep away the pain of knowing the endless, hopeless misery life had become. Or, she was alone on that dark street, lost and frightened, with nowhere safe to go, no one protecting her just then. Her sexuality tempted me, in all that frenzy of bonding blood cries, heightened primal energies, hot insistent bodies falling under ritual spell. She is but a sacrifice, a holding cell for sin. There is no freedom for will to grow within her, only unwanted, tainted seed, thrust outward from the nauseous collective psyche to poison her potential. Does she need to be defined by what has been done against her nascent will?
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Post-trauma
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A child of my own
rape, it shaped me, made me
less and more
Memories stored, to
when I can’t go on implore:
“You’ll feel better
when you’re gone.”
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Bitter Dregs
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You don’t get it.
You don’t want to.
It would be too much to bear
if you let your thought go there.
Briefly unconscious, awakened to
hard concrete ground surrounded
by heels and toes, amazing
they don’t crush me, but no,
like clockstep they walk around
though occasionally a(n unmeaning?)
shove — I’m not a someone,
just a minor obstacle
unnoted in their busy day.
No worries.
Not like shoved down under
hard muscle, jutting  bone,
stinking of beer and rage;
or waking from too brief oblivion,
broken pain, bleeding
tears, torn, bruised, a
colorful toy
made for pleasure.
Then the voices, echoes.
Harpies and Sirens, Furies
and sad old women.  Fingers
shake in disapprobation.
Shrill voices call me beautiful,
in the way that ugly things are.
So bad, so pitiful, cardinal
status among the neverweres.
Struggling shadows, whispering
curses demurely lest anyone
notice and throw them further
down, below duration.
Never easy, confessing degradation.
The sin adheres.  No one wants to know.
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Ok, I’m going to try to explain this, though I will probably regret it.  The issue isn’t pro-life or pro-abortion; it is pro or anti choice.  No one is asking the government to require abortions.  No one wants to force anyone to have an abortion, even to save their own life.  I don’t know if any of you were around when abortion was illegal.  It was around the same time that judges were requiring indigent women to to be sterilized, because they already had children dependent on the state, or because they were deemed unfit.  The movement to legalize abortion under certain conditions to be performed by trained physicians was a movement to save lives.  Women who were desperate would have so-called backroom abortions or take poisons or falls or otherwise seriously compromise their lives and health to avoid what must have been to them a fate worse than death, for a variety of reasons.  The anti-abortion laws were not essentially about saving lives; they were about keeping women in their place.  Men who didn’t want a potential child could walk out.  However, there was always forcing their lady love into backroom or Tijuana abortions, a practice actually fairly common, certainly not generally frowned upon.  If they didn’t want to pay for that, kick her in the stomach/throw her down the stairs – whatever it takes to end this potential unwanted complication.  I also don’t know if you are aware that pregnancy and childbirth is no walk in the park.  There can be a variety of serious risks to the life and health of the potential mother at any point along the way, even late in the pregnancy.  No one is saying you should be required to consider abortion just because giving birth might make your child (and those you already have) motherless, and there are women who are willing to give their lives for the chance that their baby might live.  There are also women who are not ready to make that sacrifice.  There are certainly women who can separate the father from the child and carry their rapist’s baby to term, even raise and love the child.  There are others who can’t.  There are women who endure the suffering to love that tiny, short, agonizingly painful life that results from serious birth defects, diseases, anomalies, all the tragic possibilities that can become real.  There are those who sincerely believe they are doing a service to their child and their families by in a sense a pre-life mercy killing.  We all have to live with the consequences of the circumstances of our lives.  It would be better for us to take and bear the responsibility for those circumstances as much as possible.  I see the anti-choice position as anti-personal-responsibility.  I see the pro-choice position as saying we must each take responsibility for our lives, our actions, our children.  Shouting epithets, bombing clinics, killing or jailing doctors or advocating it, how is that about love or compassion or any Christian virtue?  Perhaps if we could generally come from a place of loving compassion, we could learn to speak softly and sincerely and find that what we all want, ultimately, is a kinder, gentler, better world for us all in which we can learn to hear each other’s stories, concerns, truths without rancor and condemnation.
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If you don’t believe that abortion should be allowed, don’t do it, scream your beliefs when you perceive someone is listening, understand that what would really help to limit these outcomes is to make it easier to be a parent and a child with real pro-life policies involving financial and social support for raising kids, volunteer to give loving aid to people in need, make a difference — not a law.
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The 2nd Amendment asserts that the right of citizens to even their dangerous property, such as weapons, is still sacrosanct against government abrogation.
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The underlying principle is that we are a free and independent people. We have the natural right to take care of ourselves rather than give over our power to a parental government on which we entirely depend. A further underlying principle is the right to private property for which we are responsible.
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What property is more personal, private, essential to individuality, than our own bodies? True freedom and independence is only possible if we have the power over how our bodies are used based on our own values and needs. Thus, I propose that the individual liberty side of such issues as abortion, illicit drugs, assisted suicide, and others of this ilk could well be argued on a 2nd Amendment basis.
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Hey Conservatives, what about a market solution to abortion?  While some abortions may not respond well to the market — those due to serious medical issues or rape — for those abortions we mostly say we want to end, those that are by choice due to financial or opportunity loss concerns, people who truly care about saving fetal lives could adopt the fetus and take on legal and financial responsibility, or put money into a stock option on it, or bid for it on some kind of ebay like site, or otherwise improve its market value.
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Abortions save mothers lives, both directly and in a broader sense. They often save the unborn child from a life that no one ought to be forced to endure. Perhaps what is needed are massive wrongful life suits (maybe class action or pro bono through activist lawyers) brought by horribly deformed and diseased children against the “right to life” groups that required their birth. Life is not always a gift, but sometimes more like a curse, a burden that those who insisted they knew better than the mother ought to pay for if we are to have credence as a free society. A right to life for free people is also a right to not be forced to live.
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Eureka! It all makes sense. No abortion or birth control or gayness so we build the population pressure as quickly as possible. No serious controls on pollutants or nuclear reactors or fossil fuel output, in fact let’s dig up whatever fossil fuels are left as quickly as we can — don’t worry about the consequences because
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We are heading for Armageddon
When we will no longer live on the dirt
Sentenced to Hell or Heaven
for Eternity — can’t be any worse
than how we’ve mucked up
God’s Green Earth!!!
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I spent a large portion of my life wishing I had been aborted so that I would not have to suffer my existence.  If I felt that way, I’m sure others do as well.  So many people have had it so much worse than I have.  Not abortion for birth control, but for death control, early suicide prevention.  Have you seen the statistics?  Not to go into gory details, but I can tell you that I have no fear of Hell.
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Cruelty (excerpt)
https://nightspages.blogspot.com/{patchwork narrative} a flash fiction serial following the story of a child vampire, the eternal child monster working out that existence
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Throughout night walks I see, touch their misery;
so many unwanted people, so much gratuitous cruelty.
Children thoughtlessly conceived, grudgingly expelled helpless,
let loose into the world without a friend.  All these people who
trust death much more than life.
A streak of compassion grasps my pondering mind, takes thought
into a whirl of streams.  I am drawn to wondering about mothers,
their archetype of loving protection.  How do beleaguered women
conscious of their inability to give what they lack, of their bleakness,
allow their children birth into useless suffering, into brutality?
Inculcated or innate, maternal imperative, moral responsibility to love
and protect, ought sound strong warning against prolonging
unfortunate gestation.  Certainly women have always shared knowledge,
means of ending what ought not have begun.  Or do they feel need for
outward manifestation of their sins of pleasure, of weakness, of
worthlessness?  Do they bear not blessings but images to punish,
a chain of blood and thorns as reminder and retribution?
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Do potential mothers, pregnant with potential children
who have no interest in being born, diseased or
precognizant of earthly depredations, do they as
sympathetic hosts feel this horror of gestation’s
consequences?  Are these unborn the true instigators
of abortive maternal acts?  If their mothers are not able,
or sufficiently sympathetic, to comply, is suicide a
rectification, a severely late-term abortion?      [Connection