Uranian

Playing out the Pluto restructuring, the cracks from Uranian lightning, the archetypal drama.
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there is a rift between those who want authority to keep everyone in line and those who want the greatest possible liberty. Saturn v. Uranus. The reality is that we need a good mix of both to have needed changes and maintain a backbone of structure within which to usefully employ innovation.
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Sea Change
(Uranus/Neptune 1993)
 
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 All the bridges crumbling,
we are falling to the sea.
— Tumultuously ripped & rocked
beyond all sound foundation.
 Tossed adrift, lost and lonely
 Crying out in fear and pain
 To what gods may be, if only
 what we’ve lost might be again . . .
 And the sea erodes our souls
as the waves have rocked our faith
 No more when we could be secure,
firmly anchored to the past.
This is what it is, to undergo a sea change.
This is what it is to dream a new awakening.
This is what it is when what has been forsakes us.
This is what it is
when what’s to be must start to form.
 
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Uranian
 
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Not the fire in the belly,
but the air in the lungs.
Clarity.
Fire warms, then burns in passion,
flaming shame, blame, conflagration
of sin and victory.
Buddha-like compassion,
saintly wise, learned in cycles
of conscious 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 drudging entanglement
in eiderdown.
Memory march in hideous mime.
Despair hangs heavy, grey,
unbounded.
Changing course, textured currents,
slowed for inhalation, beckon,
wave, invite companionship.
Bubbles surface, break
like flowers expelling seeds.
Breathe the inspiration.
 
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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.
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Andromeda and Medusa
 
For no apparent reason I am being intrigued by the Andromeda myth (or maybe it’s subconscious suggestion from “The Andromeda Strain” and the Gene Roddenberry tribute show “Andromeda” showing up on my tv listings as I drifted in a semi-conscious state).
     Andromeda, as I understand the myth, was a victim of her parents’ sins (most particularly hubris), and was chained to a rock — helpless, without any power over her fate — to be devoured by a sea monster (the sea represents the unconscious, the monster our repressed anger and fear). Fortune smiles and the brave hero arrives to save her, defeating the monster with his mojo (or the mojo of the dead Medusa’s head) and marrying her. Marriage here, I assume, meaning an integration of the masculine and feminine, anima and animus. All ends well, as the parents’ kingdom is saved from the
wrath of the goddess, and Andromeda goes off with her hero husband.   I have been experiencing an understanding that the depression and mania of the bipolar syndrome are both reactions to unprocessed, suppressed anger — helpless bound anger perceived as Saturnian chains from traditions of proper socialization and punishment for
the parents’ sins of dishonor to their role as sacred stewards. The anger is primal — the monster of the deep and the damsel in distress different faces of the same dilemma.
     Where is the hero, and how might the monster be slain and personal integration accomplished?
     Ok, I know I’m totally projecting, so feel free to debate or contradict. I am coming to a new understanding of this story. It is a Goddess myth. The men are basically ineffectual. The king is unable to protect his kingdom or his daughter from the Goddess’s wrath. The hero is a pawn of the Fates and a conveyor of the true power of the gorgon, still fully powerful even in death.
     As in dreams all of the characters are parts of the dreamer. The female archetypes play out a psychic drama. Hera, the angry Goddess; Cassiopeia, the evil Mother; Andromeda, the dutiful sacrifice; the monster, seething anger, revenge; Medusa’s head, pure power,
able to turn the monster into stone. Again, Saturnian images — the monster (Neptunian emotion) turned to stone, unprocessed anger metamorphosized into a pillar of experience built from the trials of the past.
 
Hera, the wise Goddess wants to sever Cassiopeia, the vain Queen, from her dutiful daughter. But Andromeda is dutiful; she will not willingly leave her role as servant to Mom’s needs. She must suffer, pushed to the brink, her life in forfeit, to develop her own self.
Cassiopeia willingly gives her daughter in sacrifice to save her own skin.
     Andromeda has repressed her anger. She is chained to the rock of her own felt duty to her mother’s responsibilities. The repressed emotion, sent unprocessed into the nether regions of the subconscious, rage and arise from the water against the rock. There
is a fierce storm that can ebb and flow for quite some time. There is the repressed anger as defeated depression, resigned to, even eager for the restfulness of death. There is the unprocessed rage, rising up revelrous, hungry for elation, for expression in any
excessive display available.
 
It’s not just anger. It’s feeling powerless in the face of the situation causing the anger. The depression is the anger turned inward, with no outward outlet it feeds on and mutilates the subject. The mania is defiance. It is the whipped child lashing out against the much too powerful adult by saying: I can do anything I want, I am omnipotent! It has to do with obstacles perceived as overwhelming and an indomitable, yet sorely confused injured spirit.
     If the anger, the emotion, could be contained and safely examined, so that the subject could work with it instead of bleeding life force in despair and defiance, it could become a useful fuel.
     Perhaps Andromeda in her extremis, or perhaps a compassionate Fate, calls forth her hero, her inner strength, her self-respect, that piece of her Self that knows it has reason to survive. The hero carries the gorgon’s head, a pure and unambiguous power beyond the
judgment of good or evil; it is a power of pure lifeforce that can turn the flailing rage into impotent stone. Now, with such an ally, the princess can be freed, integrate with her shadow which carries the traits which will allow her to become a whole person in her own right. She is freed from her mother’s curse to make her own way, complete with the wisdom she has learned from her trials. Andromeda becomes the star, indeed the constellation, of her own myth, immortal in the heavens.
 
 
 
 
Andromeda Unbound
 
Primal emergent scene of fear/betrayal/rage
Against prosaic life tuned to a simpler age
A woman and a man and progeny of course
A life tailored to plan, no stranger to remorse
 
So early in the days of what might hence occur
The learning of the ways of how to be are stirred
So legends have been cast, so myths in mist abound
As some realities are buried underground.
 
It was a cold and gilded house, camouflaged as home
It was a brutal game of chance camouflaged as life
Chain me to my jagged rock and let me bleed
Let the ravage start, I will not plead,
My tears will only flow when primed by raging seas
 
They say that life’s a school, we must learn or die
They knock into us what, where, when, forgetting why
Each put into our place and left to wait our turn
It’s not about what we may be, but what we earn.
 
Tree-lined sidewalks, car-lined streets, children at play
It seems so calm and peaceful, keeping fear at bay
Do the laundry, buy the groceries, pay the heating bills
Get it done, don’t delay, no matter who it kills.
 
It was a curse hurled from the gods, but it wasn’t mine
Punishment for a crime of pride I did not commit
Clinging to my prison door, I hide my eyes
Expecting no pardon from the skies
No where left to go to hide from my mind’s lies
 
What can’t be told infects a deep and deadly path
Buried wounds untended surface into storms of wrath
A beaten creature huddles beneath a snarling face
Dying for a welcome smile, the warmth of caring grace
 
Some doors left open lead to mystic hidden rooms
Of purple velvet drapes, plush carpets and rare perfumes
The tapestry of life upon an ancient wall
Or was it down a rabbit-hole you meant to fall?
 
I begged a chance to be saved, but it was not my time
The monster’s howl a hungry hound denying rest
Lost in a tempest, finding none to care
Petrified by my own inward icy stare
Bound and cursed by the gods, of what use is prayer?
 
Comes the time in spiraling life of do or die
Take the time to breathe the air, read visions from the sky
Willing change, allowing pain to tell its sorry tale
Rearrange the picture’s frame, learn to adjust the scale
 
The rules laid down to keep us bound were never friends
A hero’s quest with divine intent can open stories’ ends
Gods inspire nature’s desire for beauty, healing, choice
Reclaiming heart, we do our part, obeying our true voice
 
Opening my eyes, raising my voice, I claim my power
The gods respond not with violence but with joy
Claiming my life as my own, I turn my demons into stone
Free at last my spirit soars as I
dance by day through sweet Olympian fields — by night among the stars
 
 
 
 
And Why Not Now?
 
The 4th dimension that subsumes the 3
— length, width, depth.
We move as we will in space,
Yet we move always in time
Whether we want or even know it
Ever onward through eternity;
Moment to moment
Encompassing all of our lives.
 
And yet they say there is no time, only now.
 
Every precious moment, every interminable hour, every slippery slovenly unrelivable day
an unrelenting onward and inward and outward soulesque surrounding eternity.
 
Where is now? Yes, everywhere, of course, but how do we divine the intention,
manifest the intention
give birth to form and substance
give meaning to the here and now that expands into times unknown?
 
How do we have meaning that stands true and real
that stands the test of time
that expands outward, strands playing in the breeze entangling and evolving?
 
How do we tame Now and make a dance of time, swinging and swaying
executing formal twirls of shadow and light to uplifted applause?
 
How do we account for time, yet spend it like raindrops, yet live in eternal awakening?
 
If it must be done, it must be done now!
There is no waiting room in eternity.
Yet there is no being done.
There is only doing, and being, and bravely swimming uncharted seas.
 
 
 
 
Art’s Fool – or – Angry Artists Unite!
 
Art is the most demanding of lovers
Cruel and abusive.
She’ll use you, and once you have served her purpose,
toss you aside.
Then, if she pleases,
she may call you at the most inopportune of moments,
demand your full attention to her every whim,
and you’ll love her and beg for more.
You feel so empty when she’s gone.
You will do whatever it takes,
suffer pain, poverty, indignities,
destroy your health,
destroy your mind,
and do it over and over again
just to have her,
fleeting, ecstatic moment to
fleeting, ecstatic moment
 
 
 
 
Bad Seed
 
 
 
Guilt as a constant drip of toxin
 
a constant flow of tears
 
a constant beat of blood
 
pounding behind my eyes
 
exhorting me to arise
 
to rise to the occasion
 
to fall upon my knees in shame
 
begging for any scrap to salve
 
that gnawing, angry pain
 
a constant burning drip
 
a ring of fire — pass not beyond this point
 
for life is not a journey
 
but a downward spiral.
 
What could such an open, curious, loving child have done
 
to merit such punishment?
 
 
 
 
 
Beltane 2004
 
Bright Moon and shining Jupiter watch and call the tune
First day in May, oh master of the rune
Lightly we dance, and in light cast our eyes
Into the chance, into the future’s vast surprise
Undulating to the gypsy, minstrel, evangelic choir
Movement so intensified our light bursts into fire
Protecting Mother Earth envelopes our flame
Gives our lives hearth and home and name
 
 
 
 
Capitalism
 
        Capitalism
              All well and good
              But we are not always
                    (thank god)
             driven by profit.
              We have the capacity
                 to be driven by all kinds of motives
               and to act sometimes
               for quite foolish reasons
                 when looked at objectively.
 
             It is not all black and white
              neither is it plus or minus
                for we are not logic machines
            but human beings
            creatures of passion:
            capable of intense emotions,
              unreasoned behavior,
            and not always
                predictable.
 
 
 
 
Celebration
 
Caught up in the whirl as the world evolves
 
We weave by the light of the moon
 
a fabric of fancy, sunbeams, flowers and mist.
A trail of bluebirds embroider your hair.
 
A veil of gossamer softens your eyes.
 
A breeze of belief fragrances your breath.
Dressed for the dance in the finest of jewels
 
Alive to excitement, shining with love
Wrapped warm in a floating cape
of wishes fulfilling
 
 
 
 
 
Chironic Vision
 
Part I
 
 
 
The future descends
 
from the fear-embroidered skies
 
the vision is of holocaust —
when everybody dies
 
A new day is dawning, but is it sun or storm?
 
We have a chance to make our mark
 
but is it right or wrong?
 
The military marches
 
The anti-warriors too
 
We take our stand in battle
 
The many and the few
 
Spinning tales of magic, of wizardry and fate
 
We want to know just how it ends before it’s all too late
 
We sing our song too late
 
We right our wrongs too late
 
We want to know the date
 
To find a better fate
 
 
Can I tell you?
 
Can I help you to know or understand?
 
Can I utter the words that will make you see me?
 
Standing here before you, I want to take your hand
 
to be swirled up into a magical dancing
 
to be taken to worlds of beauty entrancing
 
to give you the will and the wonder to set you free.
 
Can you see me?
 
Plutonic Verse
 
 
 
As long as it matters that I exist
 
As long as I’ve something to go back to
 
As long as there is a community of which I am an integral part
 
The rest is just details
 
And though “the devil is in the details”
 
So are the gods.
 
 
 
One Hand Clapping
 
 
 
Is a reflection in a glass,
 
like moonlight,
 
half empty or half full
 
or, like moonlight
filled with the stuff of dreams?
 
What is the sound of moonlight
 
dripping onto the earth
 
down a silver stair?
 
What is the demand of dreamlight?
 
Emotion spilling onto sand or clay,
 
roaring like soundwaves?
 
Light coalescing into sound into waves into sea?
 
What is the demand of sky
of sea
of fire
 
dripping through the twilight?
 
Reflections
 
half moonlight, half mind.
 
 
 
Revelation
 
 
 
Weave into the fabric of a tribe of artistic dancers.
 
Fall under the spell of pure magic.
 
Silent night, peace and cold
 
Imbue me with music
 
In ecstasy, I dance to the stars.
 
 
 
 
Cinema Show
 
Darkness at the Break of Noon:
the malevolence of disconnection in chilling allegory
 
globally replace each noun with the pronoun of your choice
mix well
replace each verb with passivity
shade in the shadows to represent perspective
add background hellfire and brimstone for dimensionality
orchestrate with thrash metal out-of-phase syncopation
and booming bombing artillery — donder und blitzen
analyze, organize, digitize, advertize
project to sell-out crowds
rewind, repeat, replete with popcorn, pepsi and promos.
 
 
 
 
Coming to the Light
 
My mind playing tricks on my eyes
That golden glow bringing me into
worlds of pumpkin coaches,
Valkyrie in flight,
neverlands that never were,
yet so much more real than
what passes for day to day.
 
Sadness is beauty brought down by ugliness,
truth succumbing to convenient lies.
Joy is opening all the senses into the
spectrum of beauty.
No moderation,
no limitation,
no convenient structural captivity.
Let the stars be shining beacons
calling us home.
Let the wind be a magical cloak,
the rain an exultation.
Let the cold, dark night be
a treasured, inspiring friend.
 
Let the night take me forward
Into everfulfilling fantasies
The never empty cup,
the magic wand/magic word,
sprinkled with faery dust,
toasted with the fine bubbles
of celluloid champagne.
Let us, the night and I, sneak off into
exotic adventure.
Let us learn the secrets of the Moon and Stars,
ancient runes and alchemical wonders.
Let us play upon the backs of dragons,
learning to fly,
learning to breathe fire,
learning to explore the mountainpeaks
and caverns of
our cthonic fears
and spin them into gold.
 
The new day dawning
it will encounter clouds and hailstorms,
turbulence and destruction.
It will be a day of startling showers and
unsettled wind,
of unreasoned pain
and empty solace.
It will be a day to try our souls.
But it will be a day of infinite possibilities.
 
Let my good friend, the night,
join me in play
to help prepare me for the day.
Let the earth and fire and rain and wind
infuse my spirit
that we all be fellow friends
in the new ventures
coming with the light.
 
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
deathdream
 
my life is bare and i don’t care and no one knows my mind
the world is old and frigid cold, and there’s no one left behind
today’s a day that  never came
tonight’s a dream of death
as I sit beside the fireplace, shooting smack and meth
my mind is dark, my body numb
dehydrated beyond tears
so I’ll go on til the kingdom come
who cares?  it’s only years . . .
 
 
 
 
 
Enchanting
(for Kala Snowflower)
 
Magical child, the world awaits you
 
Not just this place,
any world you care to grace,
 
relate to, turn your lovely face to.
 
“We love you”
sing the winds, the seas,
the creatures large and small
 
“We love you always”
 
 
Singing and dancing long into the night,
 
you turn it into day.
 
Play that haunting melody.
 
It moves you into dance,
 
into a chance to name your trance,
 
to name us all
 
as we dance before your eyes.
 
The skies will dance for you,
 
will open wide their hearts of stars.
 
Sparkling through the night,
 
Shining into day.
 
You play.
 
All of creation dances to your song.
 
We dance with you,
 
creating worlds of joy.
 
 
 
 
Evening Prayer
 
So sensitive, fragile, rare flower beyond price
A boon to pure salvation, love and grace.
May you blister in pure agony beyond a thousand hells
May life kick you to the curb and curse your name.
We demons, devils’ minions, mites, mosquitos, vampire shells
We thrive on hate and sorrow, grief and pain.
We call to you for pity; prey on your earnest care.
Your innate fairness gives us footholds into actions most unfair.
We strangle you with hope and use you as a stair.
You’d best believe in crisis lies your fate.
Believe in your imagination.
Believe you are as imaged in your unseen inner eye.
The place where we can’t touch you; where you heal.
Find the rhythm, find the mantra, find the song that sets you free.
Replace the toxic myth with a sweet reality.
Envision potent symbols to take you where you long to be.
Create pure music from your tortured cry.
Let that peaceful, joyful dream become the real.
Let it be.
 
 
 
 
Fairy Tale
 
A memory of haunting nostalgia
I cannot not touch it, taste it, hold it, know it, breathe it
Still it picques me at the corner of my eye, below the level of perception.
The words escape me.
One must be very careful of words.
They hold great power, mystic and legal and personal.
Words can weave a whole world, a whirl of worlds, a wild wind of words
They can create reality for those who get caught up in them.
The right word at the right time can catalyze miracles.
The right word at the wrong time can destroy the eternal.
How might I find the words to capture my dream, my destiny?
Enter the Fool upon the Precipice, prattling ditties of the daily airwaves.
She is whirling blithely, eyes upon a distant rainbow, breathing in clouds
Breathing out daisies and daffodils and a brilliance of pansies.
She is dancing to her own symphony, entranced in her deepest essence.
Without thought, without prayer, without a government authorized identity
There are no guarantees, no happy ending.
There is a tale I try to tell.
Its point escapes me, withering into fairydust.
I breathe in the poisoned air, drink the poisoned water, eat the poisoned food
Like a desperately swimming fish in a polluted bowl, like a creature of the streets eating garbage,
Like a child.
The pattern is corrupted, but I follow it as best I can.
I have been told that if I can properly put the pieces in place
All will be revealed; all will be peace and beauty and love.
The pieces of my shattered heart.
 
 
 
 
For D.P.
 
Produce, Perform, make us Proud
 
(tho not so crudely said aloud).
 
I, meek and ground to dust by shame,
 
Have no idea to acquire such fame.
 
I work (a slave in truth to whims
 
Of all those brazen hers and hims),
 
And cry all night instead of dreaming.
 
No good am I at plots and scheming.
 
I wish to die, I wish to sleep.
I wish to make a violent leap.
 
But wishes need real strength to appear.
 
I wish to be my own career.
 
 
 
 
Human Nature
 
Raging winds and rain.
 
Cataclysmic interconnections.
 
A wild ride through ever disintegrating times.
 
Can we assimilate where we’ve been?
 
Ancient footfalls inexorably emerging into
 
battering rams, explosions, firey projectiles,
 
grief, despair, immolation, utter destruction.
 
Can we feel the pull into the maelstrom,
 
powers ripping our being into basic components,
 
the essence of nature?
Perhaps there was/is/will be
 
a time of peaceful reflection,
hoped for abundance,
 
shared joy and laughter,
ecstatic entertainment
 
moving us higher through an upward spiral
 
of feeling so good, feeling so free, feeling so loved.
 
Perhaps it is here, around an unseen corner,
 
ever available, to those who can perceive,
 
who can let go of misperception and it’s
 
hate-filled companions.
Perhaps the only solace is in stolen moments,
 
the sweet taste of summer wine,
 
the innocent joy of uncomplicated affection,
 
the pure sensuality of passionate dance.
Perhaps these will tell us,
 
if and when we stop to listen,
 
will lead us to the promised land.
 
 
 
 
 
knife’s edge
 
My heart is on the edge of a knife–
not licensed surgery
just self-medication for pain.
What else is true?
Betrayal by the gods can result in confusion.
Sometimes it all seems clear and clean and real —
When sensation makes sense.
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,
’cause they’re all busy looking at their own.
Knife’s edge — the end of the rainbow
See the shining beatitude, the joyous reunion.
When all the lonely, separated strands and coloured bands
finally find their proper placement in celestial harmony.
Oh, the trumpets will sound calling all to glory.
But what else is true?
Are there cries for war throughout the land?
Are there crises crying for attendance while our leaders are otherwise involved?
Are there cowering souls, beyond earthly torment, crying for release
while hiding in cubicles or corner offices or ivory towers
playing at mind games, convoluted strategies, never quite sure
who they are?
Are there banners flying, urging all to attend the great banquet?
Is this the feast for which we’ve come?
The knife cuts both ways.
Does it matter why we bleed?
 
 
 
 
for lovely Lady Luna
 
 
Enchanting Lady of the night,
Muse of romance and mystery,
Melodious face translucent in an airy trance,
Send me glorious moonbeam dreams
Illuminated and grand beyond passion.
Send me solace of fantasy wings
and luminous lands just made for dancing.
The treasures of the day were never enough for me.
My coin is in the realm of worlds not yet born,
visions only seen
by the light of the Moon.
 
 
 
 
Libra
 
The scales of Justice
Yin and Yang
The interchange of love
A world in perfect balance
Twixt summer/winter extremes
The perfect beauty of sun shining 
   on rainbow puddles 
    reflecting the brilliant colors
    of changing leaves.
 
 
 
 
 
Life
 
 
They locked it up in tinker toys,
covered it with colored silk
 
They made me think it was my choice,
all glittery with shame
 
Where once I found a lion’s den,
a heart of gold, a rainbow’s end
 
Now is dust and long-smoked ash,
a thousand tears that died unnamed.
 
 
 
 
Lullaby of Light
 
Ride a stallion of snow to the heart of your dreams
Imbibe the sweet nectar of endless romance
Twirl into the world of magic and melody and dance.
Send out twinkling moonbeams as smiles of delight
Gift us all with love’s vision of bountiful peace
Pour out joy that every beauty filled impulse increase.
Find a song that fills your heart
Feel a beat that sets you free
Embrace the dance of who you’re meant to be.
 
 
 
 
 
Mars Retrograde
 
Energy caught, held back, bursting inward,
finding any weak link to kink.
It hides so loudly,
protects me from no one, not even myself.
And it would be so nice to have that energy
freely flowing
to tap as desired.
Energy at the end of a long day to enjoy my solitude.
Perhaps that kinky, blocked up energy
is what troubles this human world.
Blocked in all the hurtful places,
what could be fueling our fondest dreams.
Is this an object lesson to learn and profit?
Is that the nature of these worldly conundrums?
To suffer this seemingly useless pain
until I learn a more fruitful living?
 
 
 
 
 
Moon Child
 
Created from the Milky Way shining into Mother Moon,
Reflections from that ancient light emerging from her womb.
A sad guitar, a raging sax, emoting through the sea
Of stories sung through ages all, what was through what will be —
Were you the Lady of that lake, were you the piper’s reed?
Were you the luscious, sacred fruit fulfilling every need?
Yes, you the child dancing in the fullness of the night
To ring the rune and cast the spell to make the darkness bright.
Of goddess born to keep us safe and sing our lullabies
Till we emerge as sparkling stars to light the dreaming skies.
 
 
 
 
Movie Themes
 
Late one recent night I watched “You Can’t Take It with You” and “Harvey” on Turner Classic Movies’ Jimmy Stewart mini-fest.
Both films had an underlying theme of the guardian spirit taking care of those who dare to create their own way despite social convention. Then, of course, there was the antagonist of the social institutions in place to maintain conformity. Jail or the nuthouse loom for those who step off of the sidewalk, so to speak. Always those equally opposing forces. The angel on one shoulder, the demon on the other. (But Lucifer was an angel, and as we know from the Buffyverse, demons can be like any other ethnic group, so the choice of advisers is not unambiguous.)
I seem to keep running into the concept of living in two worlds (or perhaps many, but that’s another story). They can be given many designations, but right now I am looking at a world of my self and one of others, the rulemakers. This is colored by my astrology: Capricorn Sun in the 1st house, Uranus in Cancer in the Seventh — wouldn’t that tend to have me identifying with the rulemakers and seeing the scary other as the iconoclast? Not unambiguous.
I have memories from throughout my life, starting as a very young child, of breathless invigorating ecstatic inspiration standing as my self basking in the universe, too excited to keep from dancing with joy internally if not in actual motion, and yet in a profound stillness of awe and peaceful understanding. And I have memories of profound guilt, depression, boundless anger with no outlet except against myself.
I am feeling lately like I am trying to break through a semi-porous membrane into some kind of wholeness, to a sublime adventure, a living myth of profound beauty. The energy is not quite there — it surges and fades without regularity like stars peeking through the clouds.
I was awake very late at night, watching old movies and letting them take the place of my dreams. Magic is everywhere, a parallel consciousness to both sunlight and shadow.
 
 
 
 
music of the spheres
 
In the quiet of the evening
when starlight and peace prevail
a haunting rhythm,
music of the spheres,
comes dancing
embracing fear,
kissing the pain away.
Sadly I watch the sky
hoping for a shooting star
to swoop down and carry me
far into another lifetime,
where kindly constellations
tell stories of joy and thanksgiving.
The evening star crackles and strains
like an old jazz recording.
Music of another age
written on a mighty, sacred wind
told like Homeric verse
by the wanderers —
heavenly nourishing guides
leading us home.
 
 
 
 
My Firefly Heart
 
My firefly heart burns cold
flickers of remorse, of holy terror, brutal pain.
My firefly heart bleeds for you, but you don’t listen
don’t see or hear, disdain to know how I need
your mirror of my flickering light, my
howling darkness of remorse, holy terror.
Beating unheard at your doors and windows. 
My firefly heart yearns to fly away, always onward
never resting, beating, beating, ever further
never resting but open alive to the passing
wonders flickering light and dark and
arrayed in colors so bright so
breathtakingly heartbreakingly.
My firefly heart beats into a thousand rays
striking out into the stratosphere playing
with the sunlight, prism bright rainbows
beating, flickering, cold and hot and
How can I make you see?
 
 
 
 
Mythopoesis
 
Reality enrobed in symbols
Where would we be outside our trance?
Ecstatic in the sunrise
Open to the rainbow rays
Moving, life within the dance
Each cell, each system, synchronized
Vibrating to celestial tones
Each jagged lonely fragment
Joyfully bonded, created anew
Sent on to chance.
 
 
 
 
 
Neptune in Aquarius
 
Zen and the art of waiting for the site to load
 
A 21st century meditation technique
 
We are blessed by the universe
 
Bringing our attention to our spirit’s lessons
 
in the here and now
 
 
 
 
New American Anthem
 
After Shock and Awe
 
It’s a transitional time
 
Of untidiness
 
 
 
We bombed in Baghdad
 
Now we have no idea how
 
To clean up this mess
 
 
 
Forget peace on Earth
 
Let the common folk suffer
 
And not have a say
 
 
 
Since god is with us
 
Against the rest of the world
 
We’ll just have to pray
 
 
 
 
Not in Our Name
 
 
 
Nobody wins in a war
 
(well, maybe a few financiers of war industries, but)
 
Not us, not them, not humanity
 
Not the dead, not the living
 
Not the yet to be born
 
Not the land, water, air, our natural resources
 
Not the roads, buildings, pipes, utility lines, the infrastructure
 
Not love or peace or morality
 
Not human nature
 
Not Right
 
Not Justice
 
Not God
 
Not the battlegrounds or the cemeteries, or the unhealable wounds in our souls
Whatever we may hope to accomplish with war,
 
There are better ways.
 
 
 
 
 
Paean to Pain
 
Is there an incantation
that could free me
 
From my chthonic wall of pain?
 
I cry the words of solace that I’ve never heard,
 
The words that echo from the wall of pain.
 
There are none to answer, out beyond the wall;
 
There are none here with me to hear my cries.
 
So, yes, I am free:
 
Free to cry as loudly and as long
 
As the pain will bear it.
 
 
 
 
 
peaceful moment
 
Like a warm day on the beach, all woozy from the sunshine
Feeling the tingle of sea breeze and that ocean scent of the wild
As the sun diminishes, cooling, refreshing, yet still a lazy summer eve
Oh that luscious feeling, that overflow of quiet emotion
Seeping out of a sleepy reverie, washing so gently through pores and follicles
Like a sweet warm breath caressing
 
We give what we can; we take what we need
Marching, in orderly fashion
Or beatifically walking to a sacred beat.
The horizon shifts through daily duties and nightly prayers.
We take what we can. We give.
Without notice, without rational equation
We give each outward breath, and take in what is given.
 
Like a happy, inspiring song springing from memory to lip
Moving the fortunate mind into momentary ecstasy of dance
Moments meant to linger, to haunt as a loving ghostly guardian
Wrapped in that lovely ethereal glow of grace’s perfection
Summoning iridescent spirits to play joyfully ubiquitous harmonies
Like the words we tell ourselves to bring us peace.
 
 
 
 
 
The Perfect Tree
 
It was a perfect tree, in a perfect forest.
 
Standing majestic, it’s roots planted deep into the earth,
 
Easily drinking of underground streams.
 
Basking in the magical sunlight,
 
Wordlessly enjoying the chemical process of life.
 
Enjoying the company of other lives:
 
Nesting birds, transforming insects,
 
Perhaps even playing host to the occasional human child
 
Climbing amongst its strong, cheerful limbs in happy union.
 
A perfect tree.
A perfect forest.
 
Until the urgent need for a shopping mall destroys it all.
 
 
 
 
philosophy
 
            What are the words that I’m saying to say
              when they’re made simply words in a row?
            The world is revolving, and people today
              are revolving with nowhere to go.
            Revolving, revolting, evolving and floating
            And never quite sure where we are
            I search for definity in the midst of infinity —
              a sign in the midst of a star
            And wonder if I am a meaning, or why
              the whole thing simply exists
            It’s not that I care, but I’d like to know where
            I will be when we’ve gone thru these twists
              and turns
            and eternity years
            for a meaning beyond being THERE
              but where?
 
 
 
 
 
Pluto Transit
 
like a hurricane
 
like a natural disaster
 
wind and rain laying waste to my life.
 
tossed, torn, left astray and a stranger
 
in the way, or at least not the norm.
 
a sad wastrel left adrift in the storm.
 
sing my wanderers’ song tonight.
 
let the wind carry my fading melody
 
off onto wind-whipped ports of call.
 
my breath’s been carried out to sea
 
nothing left to become of me
 
once the hurricane has passed into the day
 
the foggy, rainy day . . .
 
I gaze upon the ragged sea.
 
 
 
 
politics
 
 
 
infinite regression of change and resistance
 
multi-rhythmed rhyme
 
singing into the winds of change
 
to move their vector more in line
 
with where we wish to arrive
 
 
 
 
Pop Quiz
 
What is more useless than a poet, and why?
 
Encloistered in my artist’s garrett, threadbare garments more holes than whole
Paint spattered, unruly and unkempt
Barely aware of the need for sustenance or even air
Entranced by the necessity of exploring, exposing my vision
I am the essence of romance.
 
Writing words on paper, I am merely effete,
Despite my black attire and permanent scowl.
Even if they are good words, finely wrought, expressing deeply true emotion
They are almost literally a dime a dozen.
To expose my wound is inelegance, to explore my essence a narcissistic malaise.
 
I am the real deal — the poet-philosopher, the idealist dreamer, the journey’s fool.
Surely I should be surrounded by accolytes at my feet, honored to breathe the sacred
Incense of my magesty.
 
Yet here I stand with bills unpaid in the squalor of a rented room,
Unadorned by idolatry.
 
 
 
 
 
Purity of Essence
 
“Purity of essence is to will one thing.”
Ooze into the dark.
Disappear forever.
No diving necessary.
 
 
 
 
 
reality
 
We speak of science as a source of knowledge, as a reality. We have created that reality, as a collective agreement (though not all agree). We have created our own reality in the laws and theories we create to describe and understand the segment of the infinite realities which we have found accessible to our senses and reason.
It is not so much about creating our own reality as it is about attending to that part of reality from which we create our lives.
Like that old saying (or something like it): Some look at a problem and say, “why?” Others look at an opportunity and say, “why not?” And still others look at a mess and say, “I’m not cleaning that up!”
But maybe it’s not a mess to be cleaned, but a game to be caught up in, luxuriating in the soapy water, intrigued by working out a system to turn the chaos into valuable resources. Are we having fun yet? Because if we’re not, we’re probably missing the point.
I miss that point alot. It’s not as if I have the answers. What I have are open-ended questions into which theories and possibilities can be dropped. If reality is about perception and perspective, and the reality you are looking at blows, walk around, look at it from other perspectives, find the interesting shapes and contours.
As far as I can tell, life is not about getting an easy ride, or hoarding toys, or holding on to a place or situation, or even building a nest egg upon which to set. Life is a constantly evolving self-creation, one to be proud of, to rejoyce in, sometimes to find collaborators with whom to expand one’s perspective, sometimes to dance free in a self-designed sacred meadow while all the possibilities whirl about in free-form ecstatic play.
Not to say there isn’t darkness, and drama, and tragedies, and despair. That’s why there are tears, and anger, and drugs to dull the pain, and heroism, hope, and dreams to mend the weary. But it’s about opening up to find the better ways, to create satisfying, inspiring realities to live.
The only viable option is to go outside the box/forget about the box and wing it with as yet unknown options, to throw out the Piscean paradigm and open up to unbound creativity. The only way out is through, but we need to believe in our ability to cut our own path with the tools we create from whatever is at hand.
The old forms, the old rules, the new rules evolved from the old, are about restriction, poverty, pain and fear. They are about wanting a powerful ally in the sky to smite our enemies, as we smite those who make us uncomfortable. The old rules say that the way to make up for our lack of vision is to denigrate those who can see. Even more, they say that destruction is the just response to destruction; hate for hate; pain for pain; buy low, sell high and keep labor as cheap and downtrodden as possible.
There is energy in chaos; there is the possibility of order, a new order, an order made to order. If our godly creative core is allowed to fly free, who knows where it may take us. Do we fear too greatly the possibilities to allow ourselves to soar? The dizzying heights? The new worlds, not to conquer, to find mutually beneficial arrangements, partnerships, inspiration, creative enterprise, is this what we fear? Because the unknown is fearful; but, then, so is the known.
I don’t know where I’m going. I’m trying to allow the magic to find me.
I’ve been feeling a transition into a more magickal realm that I have been aware of always in some unconscious understanding, but it is becoming more evident, more relevant, more insistent.
Getting in touch with the personally meaningful because that whole “real world” (yeah, like the tv show) American values of self and everyone else destruction just turned into a cartoon feature not amusing enough to pay for.
I am finding hope in such manifestations as Live8 and anti-neocon revelations, as well as people here and there who actually make sense to me. It could all come crashing down as the latest cosmic joke, but then, what have I got to lose?
Where is reality? Is it something we can cage and observe? Why are some stories we tell ourselves “real” and others fantasy or even lies? Is magick real, is it a valid, authentic, varifiable way of life? Can we live as on a parallel road, seeing the deadening horror of a whole stream of lived experience as a passing train on a parallel track? Can we devise alternate and wondrous transportation that takes us along a shining, winding, path of beauty and serene sanity that we know is real? How tell the mad from the merely awakening? Which is stress relieving dream; which is real?
Can we be in a world of pain, yet not of it? Can we transcend, or at least manifest our fantasies through visualizing with a potent will of love? Will that vision protect us from the world of destruction and despair? Or will it heal us?
Perhaps compassion is more effective when it is dispassionate: chop wood, carry water, dress wounds, listen lovingly to the screaming, understand it as ritual music, keep to the grace and balance of the dance.
I visualize beings made beautiful by loving grace in a grand ecstatic dance out in open country, breathing free the clean aromatic atmosphere of healthy life; giving and healing and sharing as we are learning. It seems so easy, here in my dream.
But then I have that dream, you know (or maybe you don’t) where I’m late for class and unprepared and the teacher is sternly disapproving. It’s all a jumble and I can’t find a way to make it right. Somehow I’m lost in a dark and spooky superhighway, with cars whooshing by way too close, and my feet are stuck in tar, and breathing gets real hard, and there’s no way out — nowhere to go but painful dark and bleeding slums of crumbling fantasies.
 
Philosophy is the love of truth. But is it only truth because we love it into being? Can we create our own ideal truths, our own ideal lifestreams, the reality that we find most ecstatically resonant with our truest selves, by simply (or not so simply) loving it into being? What are we to make of that other reality, the one that sucks? Has it been loved into being as well? Can we safely leave it to those who love it, and wonder off their path onto our own?
 
 
 
 
Intergalactic Circus
 
Ride the seasons of the moon
Let the moment call the tune
Ramble through the tongues of Rune
Into my empty city room
Where the circus plays at daybreak
And no one seems to care.
The court jester shrieks, the raven she seeks
and the idiot speaks of the secrets of night.
The Solomon sage who owns pretense of age
sits alone on the stage beyond the spotlight
and sings softly the song that says we belong
to one who knows wrong is the shadow of right.
But can anyone know
just what is the show
and what keeps us going back
night after night . . .
 
Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends
it wiggles and it bends,
it follows all the trends,
and the energy it sends,
the welcome it extends,
the curtains that it rends,
the sounds and sights it blends,
all serve to make amends
for what in daily life offends.
 
We have always been in the circus.
We act the clowns, the brave acrobats, the freaks
Life is tragedy, comedy, banal pratfalls, heroic stunts
as we gamely act it out upon the stage.
Come one, come all who hear my call:
Enjoy the show!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ritual
 
Ritual gives form to meaning
 
(every wiseman’s son doth know).
 
Every act from which we’re gleaning,
 
Every sack that we must sow
 
Gives rise to tides that make us wise;
 
Gives humor chance for binding wounds.
 
Does good these ancient weary eyes
 
To dance abandoned round the moon.
 
 
 
 
 
Samhainic Verse
 
Caught up in my Demeter role
I brought winter to my grieving soul.
Numbing ice, concealing snow,
No nurturing soil for seed to sow.
Longing to sleep in dreamless haze,
Aching for peace from ravaging rage,
I ask to serve, to give to others’ lives
what I am bereft of.
But the gods in their wisdom,
send me to fools,
wicked, nasty fools who mock me
knowing not my sorrow, knowing not what I disguise.
Hiding behind hysterically blinded eyes,
I prepare for my journey deep below.
 
Others have travelled this path before me
and lived to tell the tale,
strengthened by their devotion
to their stolen loves.
In a bubble of my own clouded atmosphere,
I shall fear no evil.
Blood coagulates around my heart
allowing no feeling
but deadening pain.
My lips are bound.
My tearducts desiccated by vacuum.
Thus am I prepared.
I am not prepared at all
for what I may find.
But neither do I care.
This is all about desperation.
This is all about emotion so intense
that I am beyond response;
there is nothing left to feel.
Step by step
I descend.
 
Something about a veil.
But more like
a brick wall —
there may be explosives
hidden behind that solid image.
It seems unyielding.
There are glimmers,
minor crumblings.
At times the bricks seem to shift.
Unexplained.
If I let myself,
if I am very quiet,
molecules move silently,
disarming resistence,
there will appear a stair
to my senses of solid granite,
wet with the drip of
melting ice.
 
Treacherous.
A misstep could kill me,
falling all the way,
breaking stair by stair.
I must take care.
Make careful measure:
What is the true worth
of what I might find?
 
My weight is unsteady.
Gaping below —
a colorless vortex,
a lake of emptiness
sucking in all sensation.
It is enormous, all-consuming.
My salvation.
I leap.
Overwhelmed,
I am sucked in and through,
breathlessly,
silently,
alone in the Universe
of silent, inexorable,
intensity.
Pulled into an event horizon
a singularity
another, nether realm.
 
Every act
Every thought
Every dream
Every wish
Everyone I’d lost
at every stage of
our shared experience.
Every sin.
Here they live,
each acting out it’s own story
in a cavernous space,
of encapsulated diaramas.
I don’t sense my body
— only a vague weight
of uncertain dimensions.
It is time released —
all happening at once eternally.
No choice but to let it wash over me,
wave after chaotic, metaphoric wave.
Sound/light/fragrance/taste/touch/emotion
craftily embodied in exquisite, endless pain.
 
Is there a voice here?
Is there a way to make it talk
in reasonable tones?
Is there a way to unravel the senses,
to frame neat packets of sense
and talk with them reasonably?
Is there a rationale within which
to deal with the feelings,
to put them in place,
rational and calm and dignified?
Is it too much to ask?
And of whom?
There is no guide, no authority,
none but me, infinitely mirrored.
What will become of all these “I”s
staring at me, demanding
retribution, stark, cold justice
Just Ice and Cold and bitter, stinging snow
to wrap my frozen soul in hope of sleep
while Nazgul track my dreams.
 
The innocent must bear the sacrifice.
Power too dangerous to the wise
and power-enabled,
that would overtake their skills,
turn them to evil purpose,
may be safely given to innocent hands, destroying
only the sacrificial lamb.
The wise, in their compassion,
may suffer unhealing wounds
of painful knowledge;
but the innocent are destroyed,
pitted inside out by corrosion,
unable to fight,
unable to understand.
I am not wise, nor innocent.
I look into the battalion of
mirrored images
and am left just short of
destruction,
picking at scabs,
unwilling to heal
my agony of remorse
and betrayal.
I didn’t know,
couldn’t know,
no one told me.
They said:
“Do what you are told.
It will all be alright in the end.”
But whose end, right for whom?
 
What is the treasure I have come here seeking?
That sweet, sparkling child,
who played upon the hillside,
picking flowers
to weave into our hair —
I didn’t mean to leave her unprotected.
I left her in the care of trusted friends
while I went off to earn our daily bread.
The screaming
in my heart
as she was taken,
the shattering reverberations,
I’d never known such pain.
It stopped me in my tracks,
overcame my senses,
never leaves me, never lessens,
though in time, like anything, I guess
recedes into background noise
that I may hear my orders,
do as duty demands.
 
But, duty to what demands?
The gods,
my very brethren,
I realize, have betrayed me.
Cut to my womanly core
to drink my blood in bacchanalia.
The mirror images smile grotesquely.
I am sickened,
brought to my humbled knees,
not in obeisance.
I have not the strength nor will
to stand.
Perhaps I shall dwell here in hell,
unmoving,
unresponsive,
bleeding out,
pale and ashen.
Serving them no more.
No bread upon the table.
Just Ice and snow.
 
II.
 
“Mommy,” she cried, dead eyes open,
awash in tears,
“I didn’t mean to leave you.
I didn’t know I would be gone so long.”
 
My desiccated heart bathes gladly
in those soothing tears.
I am brought back to my journey.
The mirror images have softened.
Every face, every form, every failure,
every sin
I can’t quite grasp why it would matter,
how these essences
combine with mine.
Perhaps I am hallucinating.
Perhaps none of us
exist at all.
 
Baby girl, I have always loved you.
Hated you for dying.
Hated life and death for dividing us.
Hated, blamed,
damned to hell,
all those mirror images,
all those wraiths and wretched
wayward souls who pass me by.
I have loved and lost and
lonely wandered.
And wondered why.
I hold you close as
I look into the mirror, deeply,
drink of the magick of lethe.
Falling, gently, easily, even leisurely,
letting go and drinking in,
all that Hell allows
now that we create the rules.
 
Caught up in my Hecate role,
I feel the power of my soul.
Rain and wind and ice and snow
I feel you all from here below,
and revel in elemental energy.
I am the wind, the seas, the fire
I am all will and all desire.
It is me you love, and me you hate —
I am the master of your fate.
Yet I am hidden from all sight,
beyond the reach or need of light.
I have found my peace,
my place, my voice.
Take heed, O’ mortal,
create your choice.
Create it every day.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 slow tuesday nite
 
slow tuesday nite
of cosmic awareness
long may we be
long may we be blinded by
the intensity of day to day living
long may we be bound to
an unimaginable rainbow’s end
long may we bend around
glass reflected in starlight
for all that there is,
all that matters,
all that we owe allegiance to
is a song
conscious air on wind
 
 
 
 
SOMDAY
 
I am designating a new lifestyle syndrome:
Self-involved manic-depressive artists – yeah!
based on my own nature, and as a tribute
to all of us who
ride high on the wings of a muse,
out beyond ecstasy
dancing to our own intricately sculptured tune
alive and awake and enraptured
to ultimate degrees, without reservation.
We who revel in our own juices,
marvel at our own electric chasm-jumping inspiration
who marvel at our own marvelousness,
with never a doubt until
we fall with bruising force
into our own banal, excruciating, screaming purple
anger reddened blues, self-denunciation,
self-flagellation, total ineffable despair.
Exhausting. Exilirating. Overwhelming and omnipotent.
How could we ever expect to fit all that
into a regularly coded lifestyle?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Study War No More
 
What lesson can be applied?
When imperialist troops crash down upon a people’s pride?
When might as right meets the instinct to survive?
When Midas greed lashes out to destroy?
We’ve been here before, o my brethren, o my children —
repeating the fouled lessons poured into our thirsty minds,
pushing back the horror before our eyes with blinding rage
forged into weapons by mortal foes
who hide in plain sight.
The only thing I know —
The lesson repeating agony in all our souls,
Haunted by the pleading eyes and bloody hearts
Of the slaughtered sacrifices to malignant gods —
There is something vital here to learn.
 
 
 
 
succumb
 
I’ve been tired, agitated, caught up again
flitting here and there against mental dungeon walls.
Pressure building with no strength to resist.
Warn, weary, ragged of breath,
bleary of dry, unfocused vision
burning like a three-day fever
flickering, unable to stand.
I had been so grand just days before.
Deflated, defeated,
yet beating, beating
against my mental prison bars.
Until it came to me.
Relax, release, indulge myself
as we indulge our friends,
our children
when we see them in distress.
I am not in service bond to responsibility.
I am a multitude, a diversity, alive.
I am substance moving through shadow,
sometimes gliding, sometimes stumbling
yet moving at the pace of time.
 
 
 
 
Sun in Pisces/Moon in Aquarius
 
Letting spirit out of body
dancing  purified energy
merging into music
outside of law or obligation.
Reinstate the time of bright lights in darkness,
of good cheer and boisterous laughter,
of twirling into ecstasy without reason or rationing.
Reinstate the time of quiet sunrise
smelling of pine and wild roses,
of unending sky and majestic formations of earth,
of unbridled adventure encompassing silent reflection,
all orchestrated in bold tones of exquisite complexity
and simple truth.
Take me there. Let me fly
forever undisturbed by a need to touch down.
 
 
 
 
This Is the Way I Communicate
Like light flickering over a piano in a sultry cabaret, like a round blue balloon fitfully drifting out into the storm-laden sky, like anyone you know or I know trying yet again to remember just what it was we were doing with our lives: that’s what its all been like. The cat cries, and I respond filled with the illusion of concern. The world cries, and my besotten brain bleeds into tears of angry, chain-rattling despair. It’s all about language. It’s all about the symbols we choose. A new day dawns cloudy and forbidding.
We are entering San Francisco in the morning fog, early, early, the world still dreaming. Or maybe it was Cambridge, Mass., lost in the fog, unsure of time or space. Sometimes there is singing: something about a “Yellow Submarine” or “Strawberry Fields” or sometimes haunting melodies without words. But it’s all about the words, even those implied by the music.
Wine can help. By the gods, wine is sometimes all that can help (tho sometimes even wine betrays me).
The stinking debris of mornings after the night before, or just morning by the coast with the stink of rotting fish, the cries of gulls or sirens, the emptiness without tears, the cold of morning — I remember that too. That no more mornings could touch me, that I could hide contented in the night dreaming flying dreams so none could touch me. Fragments. Taking life in fragments. Folding each shiny fragment into tender velvet pockets sequined to reflect the light, let them be all right, feel cared for. Let the nights protect us from the days. Like a wandering hermit with a self-igniting lantern . . . .
 
 
 
 
thot games
 
I have been thinking alot about the fragility of life, the brutality of war, the emanations of hatred, despair, futility, anti-life beliefs, subjugation of the natural world and our natural ways of being, the yin and yang of human power.
 
They chose Hiroshima as a target because it had not been bombed, was not already disfigured, so there would be stark contrast between before and after.
I’ve been wondering how to possibly have faith in a world where so many suffer so regularly. Do we create such realities? Do we really learn and grow from horror and death and ugly bleeding wounds?
Collective mythology points to a pantheon, whether extraterrestrial, divine, or some other origin. Somehow the group which instituted Judeo-Christian-Islam was able to wield power so that they gained sway over this segment of human history which we call Western Civilization.
I don’t know what this means, but it seems significant. The Jewish gods were jealous, arrogant, warlike. They valued patriarchic hierarchies, perhaps as being easier to control. They instituted strict rules; devaluated bodily gratification, pleasure, fun, intra or inter-species cooperation. In many ways they devalued the Earth, the eco-sphere, the kinds of interdependence that lead to valuing each and all. They favored harsh competition, violent confrontation, us-gainst-them/winner-take-all. They favored the wealthy and powerful whose ends justified any nasty means. Their moral code was about restrictions, not solutions. And Christ-be-damned, this is the god-council the Christian authorities worship. Yet, there are other gods with other values. How did this group gain so much control over man?
What is needed is to go over to the win/win concept where we each benefit when we all benefit, as opposed to survival of the fittest. Then we could do what actually makes sense rather than being preoccupied with a mythical bottom line. We could all be much calmer, easier, more usefully productive and playful. Is this the way it was before the evil gods? Was this the Eden we were booted out of because the gods had other plans? Why didn’t we fight harder to keep a way of life that was good for us? The imbalance is killing us and our home.
Man is within nature. Man’s habitats, no matter how grand and complex we may think, are natural in the sense of being created of by and for that which nature provides.
 
I have thot of this a bit, in terms of beauty. There is the often grand and breathtaking, often soft and ethereal, beauty of the natural world. There is such beauty as well in the art and architecture of man. Each has its story, its music, its water colour. Each has the power to move the rhythm of my heart and bring tears streaming down my face. Each has the power to make me feel hopelessly inadequate, or to inspire me to reach to the stars.
Mind can be more lonely than body would imagine. Mind can search for answers, for questions, for quests, for endless conundrums, and so enjoy the game. Yet mind wants other minds to play with, to bring in ideas that surprise and excite. It is spirit that knows to blend and meld into all that is. Yet spirit too can identify with loneliness, as an essence, as a way to die a little while caught in the ecstasy of exquisite pain. There must be a very important reason for loneliness. There must be a wholeness of interconnection that we truly need to attain.
I’ve been working the random universe/intelligent design/mystical maya one quite a bit lately. My conclusions are sometimes random, highly emotive, itchy and veiled. However, I had a revelation about the dweller on the threshhold (a revelation to me at least). It’s not about going over the threshhold. It’s about living it that eternal magic between the worlds and enjoying the view from each side. There may be a time when going onward is appropriate; I don’t know. First I have to build my home on the threshhold, learn about living there, learn who I am that I may have myself as a trusted friend on the continuing journey.
 
Streaming in and out of consciousness, I don’t know what I know. I feel,
but fleetingly. I feel exhiliration and fear. I feel so abysmally sad, so
ecstatically unbound, so small and insignificant, so rebellious and angry,
so tired, so endlessly used up, so guilty, so abused, so resigned, so itchy
to be free, so overwhelmed, so stagnant, so magickal, so impossible, so
dangerously close to the edge yet happy to be here dancing on the head of a
pin too small to do other than fly.
There is magic. There is the ability to send out energy and have it return
as your heart’s desire. There is a magical path that will take us there
once we have the courage and grace to find it. Like the end of the rainbow
with its pot of gold, it’s tied up in koans and hidden between the
dimensions. The only thing I know to do is dance.
 
We are social beings because we are born unable to care for our own basic needs. In our very earliest experience we learn it is vitally important to behave in ways which will enhance our value to those around us so they will keep us alive. Before we have the language to encapsulate our memories, and therefore subject them to reason, we learn to manifest certain strict behaviors that mark us as members of the group into which we were born. Primal conditioning.
 
However, our species is not just a few tribes in a small geographic area. There are billions of us, all over the planet. We have a vast variety of primal tribes, each with its own strict behaviors and belief systems. Yet, to each of us, encoded with our primal conditioning, only those behaviors/beliefs that belong to our tribe are vital to survival. Yet, here you are, from another tribe, with other behaviors and beliefs. This is very, very scary. You have no right to exist with such anti-survival ways. You may be a demon, or a test that I might fail.
 
I was dancing to Steely Dan’s “Katie Lied,” which brings me close to tears as I sing along because of its tale of love and betrayal. I’ve been reading Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas’ “Luminaries” about the Sun and Moon in the horoscope, including mostly stories about family constellations and curses. Thus, I have been traveling through early lessons, about …………………………….
love and betrayal.
 
Life lessons say trust no one. Anyone I love, anyone who professes to love me, will betray me. So, perhaps I need only learn to forgive human frailty. Perhaps my true love belongs to the gods. Yet, they as well betray me. So, perhaps the lesson is not to love. To be only for myself.
 
Yet, there is this need for/to love, to connect and share and be more than myself. I also want to feel real communication, that the world is more than me and what I see and feel. Like having a hand to shake the kaleidoscope and find more possibilities in the patterns.
 
Perhaps the lesson then, is not to have expectations of trust, of permanence, of relationship beyond the here and now. Perhaps love must be free of temporality, ephemeral, rare and precious and of the fleeting moment, exquisite beauty without further responsibility.
 
Yet again, “be here now” ever changing landscape; ever changing dance of me to you.
I am leaning into the whole illusion theory. Too many coincidences/synchronicities, object lessons, deja vus. There’s too much that makes too much sense in a totally fantastic way. I feel like I’m slipping down the rabbit hole, through the mirror, into the Twilight Zone.
I feel like stuff keeps coming to the surface so I can embrace it, build up my resources of inner allies. It’s moving suddenly, quickly, like there’s not much time left before I need to be secure and strong and ready for the onslaught. “Claiming my life as my own, I turn my demons into stone” I wrote that a year ago. I have greater glimpses, here and there, of quite sensible cosmic truths. My revelations are about magick and those moments, those inebriated feelings of pure will to being that are all that life need or indeed need aspire to be. I feel like I am slowly mutating, part worm/part moth. Sometimes people, just people as they pass before my eyes, seem like some kind of mechanistic cyborgs, biological, but barely. Like beings of flesh emerging from some factory vat. I feel a chronically acute ache within my inner eye. From some chronically fatigued neural net images flash in and out, sometimes clear enough to form impressions.
I feel humble; I feel weak; I feel times are turning, I know not where.
 
People’s lives can be so sad and frustrating. It’s like we move around with cumbersome weights that just get in our way, sometimes tragically so. I find that so many incredibly wonderful bright shining stars just can’t see their own beauty and crumble into hideous holes trying to hide nonexistent ugliness. And that bipolar thing, it’s like a hungry beast in wait to devour any lucent progress. Very exhausting. But they say some of the greatest have had to work their way through that weight; like wearing weights to increase strength, if they don’t overwhelm you first. Perhaps compassion is more effective when it is dispassionate: chop wood, carry water, dress wounds, listen lovingly to the screaming, understand it as ritual music, keep to the grace and balance of the dance. Yes, we are survivors when we survive. Sad survivors, perhaps wondering what we must do to deserve such fortune. But, yes, crisis shows us our true strength, compromised as it may have become by that very crisis.
 
So, maybe that is what suffering is about — that we intimately understand the fellow suffering of our kind, that we may ultimately learn to transform the pain into creative healing. I don’t know, but it is a lovely story.
 
Do you know about Chiron, the wounded Centaur? But he was wounded, accidentally, by a friend. He bore his wound, and made his way becoming a beloved teacher and healer. Eventually he became a hero, giving his life to end another’s pain.
I look for lessons in the myths, archetypes, fairy tales. I don’t know if what I find bears truth, but they can be lovely stories. They can lead me into deep, complicated emotions, into dancing and poetry, into a need to share. Perhaps I am consecrated to beauty, in all it’s terrible majesty. The pain of exquisite beauty is everywhere to be discovered, held closely, and set free. I am dancing closer to the fire. Giant shadows dance with me.
Curiouser and curiouser. Alone on the precipice, while the winds blow, hot, cold, eerily.
I used to feel ancient, slogging through with barely any lifeforce. Lifeforce is still flickering, but the core seems to be warmer, maybe getting ready to ignite.
 
I got all in a tizzy about trying to make some metaphoric hay, shoot out arrows into opportune targets, or otherwise take advantage to advance. Same old hang-up — don’t know where I’m headed, so advance to where? So then I thot, maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s all about really learning to open up and let the road unroll itself. Maybe if I let go of all the trying and frustration, the space will expand through me in feelings and thots and unbound possibilities. Let go and let Gaia? Then there’s that whole trust thing, or lack thereof. And the whole what does it really matter …
 
Let the games continue; let it be
 
 
 
 
The Ties that Bind
 
The only boundary is love is hate is strong emotion.
We are each bound by memories that push us that poke us
     provoke us to respond.
Each new day we relive the old, acting out dramas unresolved.
All we need to do is breathe to play to dance into our unbound creation.
 
 
 
 
 
Timothy McVeigh Is Still Dead
 
It’s morning in America
The morning of June 11, 2001
A warm and beautiful Spring day
And in Terre Haute, Indiana — a little after 7:00 am
–Timothy McVeigh is dead.
What more is there to say?
We all know the score:
Death: 169, Mercy: 0
The hero “bloody, but unbowed”
Silenced, but still proud
Ashes to scattered ashes
Death to death.
 
 
 
 
Twinkling snowflakes in cold dark night
 
Wishing, dreaming, taking fancy’s flight
 
What are the dreams your snowflakes bring?
 
What are the songs your carolers sing?
 
Where is that land — secret in your mind —
 
where the seas are strong, the winds are kind
 
and everything turns up right in the end?
 
Where is that place, and who is the friend
 
counting snowflakes across that cold blind sky?
 
Who is the playfriend
who is the I?
 
Twinkling snowflakes, I wish I may
 
Send warm, healing visions by dream-drawn sleigh.
 
 
 
 
Virgo is a blessed and beautiful Sun sign. There is something very pure about a Virgo, no matter what muck s/he may fall into. You guys can be hypercritical, but it’s not out of meanness, but a desire to bring out the best. You are hard workers, because you don’t think of it as hard work, but as what needs to be done to make the real as close as possible to the ideal. You are practical, yet magical. You have a vision and no doubt that that vision can be realized. Virgo is the sign of the Vestal Virgin, consecrated to the gods, and bringing that spiritual consciousness into the everyday. Virgo is the sign of the farmer, working in the fields to bring forth the harvest to feed the community. Virgo takes care of the devil in the details, counts the angels dancing on the pin, and serves both commoner and king all in a day’s work.
 
 
 
 
Waking Beauty
 
You saw me, a playing child, laughing amongst the roses.
My shining eyes reflected worlds;
singsong choruses to which I danced proclaimed their glory.
I, a cherub princess, all the doting subjects at my command,
all I asked was their love and beneficence.
Fairys clapped for me, flittered in with luminescent kisses,
fed me on honey, cakes and sweet lilac tea,
whispered me their blessings, giggling and tittering,
watched over me with warm caresses of enchanted nurturing.
I loved easily, laughed whole-heartedly, sang from my soul
happy dance tunes and whimsical madrigals.
There shone radiant magic throughout the land
in the morning of the world.
 
It was not so easy as I grew.
Word got out, worried whisperings,
that there was a curse upon me.
Those who had seemed so open and friendly
grew distant, masked their faces so I would not call to them,
or became furtively hostile so I would stay away.
I thought it was the power, soon to be mine by succession.
Surely they feared to be too familiar with the potential Queen.
I tried to reassure them, to be warm and familiar, to look for
little ways to please them.
The fairies still played with me, but sometimes turned mean.
They whispered ugly rumours, pinched me and flew away.
They called me fat and ugly and would feed me only thistle and briar.
Then, sometimes, without notice, all would be forgiven, all would be
a madcap party, a whirling swirl of luscious scents and colours,
a warm embrace of magical happiness,
warm and safe and cherished.
 
I learned to be needy without showing need;
peering sideways into partially opened doors
to see if I could find one safe to enter.
I took to finding little chores that would take me into
unused corners,
bending over so none would look into my face with malice.
I took to wearing common clothing, layered into camouflage.
I took to telling myself that I must indeed be awfully horrid and
worthless to have lost so much and be so reviled.
I took to taking on any sorry chore that would have me
that I might say to the courtiers:
“Look, I am a humble laborer, not worth your attention.”
 
So I was spinning and pricked my finger, as the curse foretold.
My blood called forth the evil energy to swoop into my open wound.
Unconscious.
Life moving along beyond my senseless form, without my knowledge or input.
Who can tell what may have been done with my unprotesting body.
I was not dead, not appropriate for burial;
still helplessly breathing, metabolizing/catabolizing, inexorably,
yet so slowly, so quietly, so manifestly without power, so easily forgotten.
The wicked ones who would benefit from my demise became old and dust
while I slept.
Those who were false to me acquired many more sins and salvations,
traveling their own rocky roads.
The curse took no notice of time or circumstance.
I existed in a liminal state of vague dream images,
static discharge of random sensory neurons.
I did not expect; I did not wait; I was not aware of being.
Sometimes excruciating nightmares might overtake me;
no matter.
I could neither hear nor utter, but just breathe on
as images vaguely formed and dissipated.
 
They say there was a malaise over the kingdom.
Work became hard to find and
wandering adventurers moved about the land
hoping to find their fortune.
There was a far off war diminishing the resources
and often intense skirmishes along the borders
increasing fear and bravado.
The once wise and strong ruling family, disrupted in
succession squabbles, had been deposed.
There were no strong rulers, but only petty tyrants,
and not so petty.
The gardens had gone to weeds and brambles.
The fields suffered; sometimes from drought,
sometimes from mildew,
sometimes from marauding scavangers.
Perhaps these were my nightmares come to life.
 
There was a young prince from a noble but impoverished
family.
He had grown strong and brave, taking in stories of better times.
He had heard the fable of the cursed princess,
sleeping, hidden, once a source of glory and happiness
in a merry and prosperous land.
He had nothing but a dream, to find me.
 
They say he set out down a road that others had followed.
But where others had met with sorry fates, or become lost,
or defeated by the inpenetrability of the twisted trees and brambles,
he found no incumbrance.
There I was, within his reach, so pale and still.
It is said that he wept for joy, took me up into his arms,
whirled me about and kissed me reverently,
infused his bouyant dream into my sleeping form.
 
I felt the warmth of living moving through me.
I felt safe, exultant, cherished.
My senses slowly revealed themselves,
though true consciousness had not yet returned.
 
He held me close and danced me into movement,
laughing freely and whispering words of encouragement.
He did not rush me, nor let me feel anything but loving support.
He told me how he had grown up dreaming of finding me,
returning me to my rightful place,
removing the curse upon the land.
“And what, my lady,” he asked, “have you been dreaming all these silent years?”
 
 
 
 
We Are Interconnected
 
We are interconnected:
A widening web of information
Taking in knowledge of all sizes
(for though one size can not fit all
All can find the size they relate to).
We are diversity writ so large,
Encompassing all into one,
So that each thread upon the web,
That spreading neural network,
Is a conduit to and from
An expanding universe
Of interconnected ideas.
 
Swimming in an amniotic ocean.
Breathing the essence of eternity.
Finding our way, day by day, week by week,
Era by era.
Entranced in entrainment to a hypnotic beat,
Now and then to break into awakening,
To find that time and place and language
Have morphed again,
Into another image of the dream.
 
 
 
 
Welcome to Summer
 
Dream-laced lunar light
Infuse our summer days
With magic and romance
Free in joyous play
Enraptured in the dance
Where fantasy takes flight
Above the rule-bound maze
To wild impassioned life
 
 
 
            Wild and windy flowers blooming
 
            Sending scent to enliven, rejoyce
 
            Warm, warm breeze and rivers flowing
 
            Endless days of dreams of running free
 
            Let your summer magick abound
 
            Lost in youth, those days refound
   
        A season of playful reformation
 
        So play on …
 
 
 
 
 
Welcome to the Twilight Zone
 
Welcome to the twilight zone
for twilight presages the night
the beautiful, magickal night
where anything can happen
any dream can be revealed.
 
I ride a marvelous nightmare over evanescent swamplands,
mysterious passageways into undiscovered treasure hoards.
There is so much, mirroring its way into the future,
recombining images, sounds, visions, eery macabre skeletal touch.
Endlessly morphing images, whirling through me,
each fleetingly touching its sweet taste onto my tongue,
eternally cherished in a magnificent instant.
There is no future in the night, no past, no present,
only dreams and surreal landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes.
There is an anticipatory quality that moves and dances,
ever out of reach, never coalescing into form.
This is the essence of magick.
This is the promise, the curse, the incantation, the lion’s roar.
This is the homeland of vampires, lycanthropes, sorcerors from beyond.
This is the holy see, the mist shrouded mountainpeak, the smokey lake,
the boundaryless mystery.
 
Welcome to the twilight zone,
the band of pale purple light
that draws us home.
 
 
 
 
We Are Our Verbs
 
Somewhere along my surfing today some article told me that we are not what we do. But we are what we do; we are our verbs. I am thinking, waking, deciding, dancing, constantly doing, even sleeping. I am growing or decaying, living and dying, communicating silently or speaking, yelling, crying, demanding. Even in pure spiritual beatitude, I am transcendently trancing, breathing, flowing, submitting. We all are, every living being. The nouns with their adjectives merely describe. The verbs are our ever changing essence.
 
Is this a poem? It is a statement of truth. Or Truth. It is very real; but it is only words, marks on a virtual slate. Where is reality? Is it something we can cage and observe? Why are some stories we tell ourselves “real” and others fantasy or even lies? Is magick real, is it a valid, authentic, varifiable way of life? Can we live as on a parallel road, seeing the deadening horror of a whole stream of lived experience as a passing train on a parallel track? Can we devise alternate and wondrous transportation that takes us along a shining, winding, path of beauty and serene sanity that we know is real? How tell the mad from the merely awakening? Which is stress relieving dream; which is real?
 
Philosophy is the love of truth. But is it only truth because we love it into being? Can we create our own ideal truths, our own ideal lifestreams, the reality that we find most ecstatically resonant with our truest selves, by simply (or not so simply) loving it into being? What are we to make of that other reality, the one that sucks? Has it been loved into being as well? Can we safely leave it to those who love it, and wonder off their path onto our own?
 
 
 
 
You
 
“You” is ambiguous.
Do I mean You — over there, second from the left, with the gold scarab pendant
Or You — every blessed one of you out there who is not me?
Or some grouping inbetween?
A failure of the English language? I think not.
Because ultimately
There are but two worlds: The one in here of me
And the one out there.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Adapt Persist Question

promote questioning in all the public places.
 
*
 
long walks that suddenly awaken questioning:
“Where am I going?
Who is this “me”
that has a destiny
or merely flits along prevailing wind?”
 
*
 
articulate the important questions,
take them in as guides,
converse with them as colleagues,
play with them as children,
look through them as windows on our future world
 
 
*
 
 
Send a question to the universe
in due time the reply appears
kinda like scrying
 
*
 
Within the sacred crystal
of the moment
question and answer merge,
synthesize eternity.
 
*
 
Questions can be so comforting.
Anything can be supposed as
simple what ifs.
It is only an idle question,
not threatening nor
demanding.
 
*
 
question everything
accept or reject with clear awareness
and flexibility
 
*
 
the dangerous questions
are constantly being asked by real life circumstances.
We who hear feel compulsion to answer disturbingly.
 
*
 
 
I think the real question is, why
do so many people hate their lives
so much that they prefer to live in dreams
of ultimate destruction?
 
*
 
we must question our metaphors,
our underlying principles,
our shared or unshared perceptions,
in ever more precise attempts
to cover the distance. 
But who has the time for that?
 
*
 
I see your reflection.
The answer decodes the question
a higher order includes us all
 
 
*
 
The question:  Do we wish to learn where we each
find context, or prefer to live within what we
assume?
 
*
 
We are called to ask ourselves
what it is that we truly value—
what will matter in the end
when we question the meaning of our lives?
 
*
 
Caught in conundrum ‘tween twilight and dawn
Formerly someone, lost without form
Back to that question you asked being born
and the answer that started when?
 
*
 
The big question?
How humans can learn to live
successfully together, doing
what needs doing in our own
best interests.
 
*
 
we tend to move through the world
with blinders and coded boundaries,
not seeing what we see,
but what we have told ourselves
or been told so long
questioning is never sought
 
?
?
   ?
We devised a game as drugless school chums,
dubbed “The Question Game”.
Each in turn would ask a question of a philosophical
nature – perhaps a question with which the questioner
had privately wrestled, or not.
Then we all played the question, speaking our random
associations or tangent questions or answers or
hypothetical tests or suggested scenarios
or whatever we fancied.
Once we had nothing urgently to say, the question
had been played, the next person got their turn
as questioner.
If any of the group did not get their turn they would be
the starters for our next session.
We came to know each other very well – how each thought
and expressed, and believed.
We each learned about ourselves – what questions
spoke to us, what they said.
And the wide expanse of answerings.
?
?
   ?
Not to detract from dramatic renditions
of sober reflection – every exception
still begs the question we lack language
to ask.
We digress from distressful suggestibility
onto easier path.  Does it matter?
To whom?
 
*
 
Q & A
?
?
I need you, out there,
to ask delicious questions,
feed my liminal factory —
imaginal machinery set to
engineer exquisite ideas
in shrink-wrapped phrases.
Tell me your shame-held
secrets, fears that track you
in the night.
Let me meld them with
trenchant fairytales,
legends that recapitulate
on cable news, vibrant stylings
of the Blues,
surreal cartoons rendered by
Nietzschean travails.
Let me knead this recipe,
sprinkle with inchoate memories,
bake at near 99 degrees
until brilliant fragrance overtakes the air.
Now, open wide and taste
enchantment, as your questions
and my answers
meet, mingle, mutually complete.
?
?
?
Questionnaire
?
?
fill out your portrait in my gallery.
*
1. By what name do you call yourself?
*
2. What land/sea/sky scape captures and carries you?
*
3. What is your quest?
*
4. What color do you see when you think “color”?
*
5. What do you consider a landmark instant in history – its myth and your opinion?
*
6. What book/song/film most haunts you?
*
7. If you were totally cut off from all humanity, with whom would you want
your one telepathic link?
*
8. If you discovered a new celestial object, what would you name it?
*
9. Who remains your favorite childhood heroic character?
*
10. How do you get your news?
*
11. With what non-human animal do you most identify?
*
12. In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty, what image most easily
calms you?
*
13. What face do you put on to face your fears?
 
?
  ?
   ?
Is there an answer? (or nest of answers)
What is the question?
What is our quest,
if we allow ourselves that story?
 
*
 
questions for our billions’ dreams
?
?
Is it a blankness,
a lack, an inability?
How do functioning people
not feel the pain, the shame,
the horror at insanity that engulfs,
destroys hope for noble stories,
soul destiny, journey of humanity?
How do we so self-injure, inure to
stench of rotting murder?
If some one, sage or fool, could explain,
had that overview, that knowledge, how
could such abhorrent consciousness
respond? Where is the confessional, the
congregation of outpouring faith,
caring community, self-help group,
spirit cell to tell our sorrow, our
abreactive truths, release inheld
suffering,
escape delusive silence,
find each other to unite
as common strength, open a conduit
to create a kind and vital people
within to honorably live?
?
?
  ?
 
 
*
 
If I could devise, discover
words and gestures, embodied
answers to join us all
in happy equilibrium,
I would gladly reach out
so far my arms might break.
I would fly above the fray,
call cleverly to
mesmerize, dismantle stagnant walls
that crassly hold nirvana at bay.
Would you dare to question fate,
exercise escape?
 
*
 
It’s not as if I have the answers.
What I have are open-ended questions
into which theories and possibilities
can be dropped.
 
*
 
Intuition insists
the answers exist.
It is the questions that await asking.
 
*
 
What it is to be human.
In search of the answer
questions met on the trail.
 
*
 
Questions.  Questing makes us wise.  Resist
hypnotized consent:  “Yes, oh great glowering
crowd, yes, Sir Mighty Educator.  Your words
stink with deceit under sweet perfumes, narcotics
draining of ability to decline.”
?
Beat down, swallowed in
sweat, too hot for questions
to make sense.
?
?
  ?
a world of inconsistencies to ponder
questioning is the key
 
*
 
It’s that question we need to explore,
experiments that intrigue us,
that essential project calling for our attentive exercise,
work to improve our lives that feels real,
that gives us shining dreams, appreciation
for who we can be
 
 
*
 
 
Adapt   Persist  Question
 
*
 
When in doubt, ask questions —
why assume
intuition will come through?
Peace offers a great deal more of benefit than
ignorance
when in doubt, ask questions
 
*
 
What everybody knows
is often just what most of us
are too lazy or uncaring to question
 
*
 
 
Trial by Wonder
?
?
And the young monk
on the hillside thrice gave
weight to his staff against
greenhold ground found this day
along his sacred quest.
In answer, the land opened,
revealed a winding descending stairway.
The monk feeling bidden, ventured down.
Below, he became aware he had entered
cavernous chamber lit by broad torches.
An array of ancient armament displayed
upon a large wooden table, its edges
intricately carved.
Exquisite poignant music, angelic pure
voices unsullied by words emerged from
vibrating air.
“Welcome, child. You are expected.
Nourishment will arrive soon.
Knowledge will take longer.
Think on your questions.”
An old wrinkled presence, kind without sign
of emotion, spoke and settled into
luxurious green tapestry now clearly carpeting
the room.
The monk had embarked on his journey without
expectations.
That was one of the rules.
He eagerly followed each of seeming reasonless
instructions, on and on.
Now he had reached a place of contemplation,
a different kind of challenge.
He considered his questions in short mental movies.
Brought to him food exactly suited to invigorate,
water like clarity washing through him.
His mind paints the walls, animate characters flicker
in shadows. These converse with the monk, and each
other. Merry questions cavort as shapes, colors,
directions. When the monk awakes, he is walking
a familiar trail. The teller of his tale has decreed
it leads to a sacred hillside.
He hums to his steps, rehearsing his questions.
Their answers reside in his trusty backpack.
He has collected and carried these shiny pebbles
with intention to fabricate a magnificent rock collage
when the appropriate backdrop appears.
How lucky to be a monk in a time of such
abundance.
 
*
 
Do you get what we’re all missing?
We could be questioning and listening.
Giving credence to each other’s dreams
 
?

pluto

.
.
Pluto transits, transformation of being,
a permanent change.
People may see transits as temporary
conditions we get over,
but influences of life’s experiences
make us something new.
The challenge and the gift is
to embrace the changing, dance with it,
not static “beings” but amazing ever-becomings.
.
.
.
Pluto in generations 
(disclaimer: I am talking about the general mood; of course individual
mileage will vary.)
.
.
Pluto in Leo — The Boomers playing out children’s
roles, questioning authorities, impudently laughing
at the elders, looking to express ourselves
creatively and with arrogance.
.
.
Pluto in Virgo — critics, of the Boomers and the parents and themselves,
looking at health and jobs, our place as stewards, with critical faculties.
.
.
Pluto in Libra — seem to love to socialize, harmonize, look at partnerships from a
what? more practical? more balanced perspective?
.
.
Pluto in Scorpio — oh how you delve, bringing dark matter into light.
In your face; they will be the aftermath of this
transforming era, leaving behind the dross (hopefully). They will also be
looking at death, sex, regeneration, more deeply.
.
.
Pluto in Sag — oh what adventure awaits, revisioning the big
picture, perhaps traveling beyond the Solar System.
.
.
Pluto in Capricorn — the new world order to come?
.
.
.
Pluto Transit
.
.
like a hurricane
like a natural disaster
wind and rain laying waste to my life.
tossed, torn, left astray and a stranger
in the way, or at least not the norm.
a sad wastrel left adrift in the storm.
sing my wanderers’ song tonight.
let the wind carry my fading melody
off onto wind-whipped ports of call.
my breath’s been carried out to sea
nothing left to become of me
once the hurricane has passed into the day
the foggy, rainy day . . .
I gaze upon the ragged sea.
.
.
.
Pluto’s Wife/ Demeter’s Daughter
.
.
Persephone, your will is free,
even as your living is in bondage
to forces much older in their power.
You are free to reconcile your fractured life.
Daughter in Summer’s sun
smiling warmly, playing at innocence
with charms long practiced.
Mother’s Fool
Mother’s Lamb
Saved from that horrible man —
Well, joint custody.
Ever Her beloved child.
While it is no secret,
down below you are honored Queen
among tortured souls ever needy of your
attentive care.
Far from noblesse oblige, it is your
chosen career, though not chosen by you.
Are you told enough:
“You do it proud.” or even acknowledged
for the prowess your will gives existence?
Free Will, not Free Choice
It is learning to make of the whole sad cacophony
discrete instruments of harmony, of divine symphony
to find, realize, act with
impeccable integrity
as child or Queen
or someone between.
.
.
.
Persephone’s Worlds
.
.
I have wandered far from thoughtless girlhood,
am woman grown, a Queen
in my own right.
Yet I am treated with the expectations
of a mindless child
in my mother’s Summer home.
The Gods are all agog with Zeus,
fickle, abrasive, free to take full stance
above the laws he so imperiously commands.
My Dark King is so much more a man,
sincere, deeply feeling, committed to his realm,
compassionate, if not always kind.
Yet, this season I must obey the crowd,
display charm and grace
in haute couture, make small, insipid
conversation with useless socialites
decorating Zeus’ lawn parties.
Up here, life is meaningless,
all flash and doggerel
to amuse, O’, do entertain us.
So tiring to endure the ennui.
Those not privy to opulent entitlement,
relegated to the dregs of servitude, or less
endure for their time, brutal, painful, short,
for no good reason.
I hear their horrid tales,
back in my rightful place and purpose.
Shrunken souls, shriveled by life time hungers
still growling beyond the grave.
I am balm and wise mother.
At last they matter, their stories opening in me
a marvelous passageway through which they are
taken into paradise.
My life above, the petulant daughter,
the pampered goddess spawn,
I endure coldly.
Summer’s trivialities, properly obedient to
rituals of social condition,
know nothing of my true calling
under Winter’s glory.
.
.
.
Persephone’s Breakthrough
.
.
This is where the idea is born.
.
Soft green meadows gently transforming into fall.
Sounds of dying, scent of woodfire and candlelight.
No separation between what is becoming.
Accept and be revealed.
.
Summer’s wild adventures —
Spring was a torrent of clarity, precious rain,
Earth coarse, ready for fecund pleasure.
Queen of night in daylight’s realm
obsessed in flowering
roses and daffodils,
valleys and nubile hills,
all is vanity and laughing vice.
“But, Mother, I’m not a nice girl.
I’m a creature of the breeze; secure in shadow;
alive on the cutting edge of the storm.”
Myth in revision
Standing at the back of the playground
learning theater, tucking metaphors
into interstices of sense and anticipation.
In spring, kicking stones along sandy riverbeds,
reading the classics
to savor practice: valor, glory, dramatic lines.
.
Summer deceives.
The stink of rot where flowers bloom,
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage,
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation.
.
Within greed-swollen seed infectious fear
makes merry with misery’s habit.
Mythology frustrates, curls back on its own ash.
Eyes burn with hazy summer wine and wilding.
Feet connect dust to sky — but only in designated
spheres, with designated peers, self-selected inhibitions.
Sweat out poison into the ground; now, eat the bounty.
Midsummer farce, far from honor, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure.
Silly summer madness as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable.
.
Early autumn firelight
reminiscent of witch hunts, ghosts of calvary,
dire warnings and endless hide and strike.
The game, the funhouse, turns deadly.
Sanctuary calls, demanding sacrifice.
The noble phoenix fed on frankenseed
can not rise.
.
Skies descend, dark mirroring.
Smell the woodsmoke, intoxicating, soft and sweet,
masks the taste of bitter bile, secret vomiting,
starving despite harvest’s gay array of treats.
Faded, nearly blind, falling in and out of
shamanic fever, primeval native callings beyond sight,
ripple of tribal beat at the periphery
ecstatic vision dark/light/agony and brilliant breaks,
starbright constellations.
.
Traversing worlds,
seasons, years, moments of clarity.
No need to navigate, to invent boundaries;
dance of the highlands warmth and sustenance
permeates
makes whole.
.
.
.
taking on colours Plutonic, ambient dark
encrypted in the depths as if in death
(and the meta)
Old enemy a friend in waiting – teaching
if I will but listen instead of running,
silent screaming,
beating my breast from within,
re-breaking, re-breaking a heart
so shattered,
not to reset but to bleed.
And then, a whisper: “yes, reset,
remember with new respect for who you
have always been but feared to see.”
This ally silently screaming within
my deepest heart, my darkest dreams.
“Listen, love and revere this wild child
who laughs at whirlwinds and dances
to life’s changing, challenging melodies.
Be free to sing along without inhibition
or internalized mockery.
This is our time, yours and mine,
to be wonderfilled.”
It Is Written.
I stand, open and defenseless,
waiting for Pluto to overpower me,
take me where he will,
suit me to his purpose.
Or, is that my sister Hecate
coming to meet me,
to embrace me,
to set me free?
Wondrous are the ways of the shifty,
glamour-ridden mind.
We peek out through rainbow slits
onto a sinuous landscape. Slippery bits
of meaning slither along
hissing out of forked tongue Oracular riddles.
“Oh, yes, my love awaits me.
In the tall grasses we will twain.
Great fortune is to befall us.
It is written.”
And rewritten, and rewritten
on and on through the fever.
Burning molecules, organic fuel,
dancing, wildly, within a fiery pentagram,
within channeled schematics,
ignited by a living passion.
I am beyond words. Tumbling through
shiny bubbles and iron-wrought hieroglyphs.
There is nothing to depend on but pure will
and the ability to suspend belief.
.
.
.
Plutonic Verse
.
.
As long as it matters that I exist.
As long as I’ve something to go back to.
As long as there is a community of
which I am an integral part.
The rest is just details.
And though “the devil is in the details”
So are the gods.
.
.

memory theatre

)
Flying, leaping, swirling through my inner eye,
synesthete imagery, marbled well with
delusive narrative.  What does this scry reveal?
)
Secreted, giggling children hide in imaginal
shadows, uncertain of how to appear, what to say,
who might listen.
I will invite you, children, will you to this shambled
stage for dancing, for becoming declarative actors,
evocative poets, acrobats beyond mere
reality’s range.
)
Suit up.  Take your time as tale and adventure. 
Be, in the way that humans understand, subjective.
)
)
)
Distracted, Summer heat weighs in torpid breath,
sweat, need to distract from here, today,
simple amusement, O’ Muse – spin me fables of mercy,
attraction to wispy ease, abandoning of grief
in favor of fantasy, pleasant memory,
a day to depend upon for lightening.
)
)
)
Small child, toddler size but self-assured, climbs over crib
railing play table conveniently in range, down climb to floor.
She cooks her scrambled eggs, chair to stove, learning to defy
her size relative to her world’s expectations. 
She exits toward adventures.  So big and beautiful
the flowering yards, wide-beaming trees,
puff-cloud sky.  A world of unnamed promises,
enticing wonders to discover.  Follow a rainbow
through unknown neighborhoods whispering of magick, of
fairy-tale witches and wishes and friends yet to meet.
She sees me, here in my mind’s eyes. 
We share a silent smile, camaraderie.
)
She says:  “Look through me again;
we have adventures yet to wander.”
)
)
Youngblood
)
)
City Summer park picnic fresh air outing.
Box lunches, games, other unwanted kids to befriend.
We merged within each other’s eyes for hours,
eternity, until sun waning end of City organized event.
)
You gave me your crashpad address.  I promised to
find you on the other side, after release from separate
busses back to our given neighborhoods.
)
)
)
Mourning memories of deep emotion
steeped in beauty
no other mind will see
)
)
)
Collar up against the wind and dark.
Rising smoke creates warmth illusion.
Wrapped in sanity’s delusion,
fog’s memory of mist, imagined tide.
Seated here, salt-etched wall
alone between vast sand and
murmuring waves.
No one sings.
The notes, the voices
appear
)
)
)
Synapses firing
memories like photographs
stories told in childhood
realized to older eyes.
So close I didn’t see then.
Now brings tears, great waking
sadness, ironic humor.
)
)
)
Scars are evidence of life.
What once embarrassed
gives humility, pride without hubris
for surviving with civility
the exuberance of youthful folly,
the ignorance
only time can absolve.
)
)
)
Songs that guided me,
burned into my essence,
surprise me, out of time
a ghostly presence.
)
)
)
Fall into whispered memory,
the best of scenes in dreams, in ether.
No time left for hope.
It’s do or die unsung.
One scene at a time.
)
)
)
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.
)
)
)
Old treasure in my chest.
Memories of lovers who
told me pretty lies,
then, ugly truths.
This is how wisdom comes upon us,
bit by bit, consuming, assimilating,
angry eyes, words black as coal with
the impact of blood diamonds.

)
Long, lazy, joyous explorations in the spring
of love’s yoke,
burning passion within the summer’s blazing, sweating,
primal, mode of jungle dance, ecstatic ritual.
Each endearing trip of the tongue,
awkwardness of form,
allowing greater gratitude of intimacy.
)
)
)
Complicit in weaving identities.
You and me – such a fragile song.
Brief meetings, long lost secrets, linger.
Friends who live forever in fragments,
erratic memory.
Catch fire to your mind, to your brutal
December,
to your losses cast upon a lotus sea.
Hold for your life, upon this memory;
into this lonely Moon of sad reflection
send those longing nights when no one
remembered you.
)
)
)
Essence, scent memory
cinnamon, pine, family
wafting incense
fragrant air
redolent of antiquity’s winds.
)
)
)
I have memories from throughout my life,
starting as a very young child, of breathless
invigorating ecstatic inspiration
standing as my self basking in the universe,
too excited to keep from dancing
with joy internally if not in actual motion,
and yet in a profound stillness of awe and
peaceful understanding.
And I have memories of profound guilt,
depression, boundless anger with no
outlet except against myself.
I am feeling lately like I am trying to break
through a semi-porous membrane into some kind
of wholeness, to a sublime adventure, a living
myth of profound beauty. The energy is not quite
there — it surges and fades without regularity
like stars peeking through the clouds.
I was awake very late at night, watching old
movies and letting them take the place
of my dreams. Magic is everywhere,
a parallel consciousness to
both sunlight and shadow.
)
)
)
Memories, they weave a silken web in silence
We talk of times past in gently measured tones,
sometimes bitter humor.
We watch a bird circling in the distance,
and build patterns in the clouds.
Last year I spied a mole burrowing in
the unmelted snow of early spring.
Today I tend to think of you
smiling as you did last night
when you first saw me after parting.
                                       

                                                 )

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.