Friday, December 31, 2010

The night-black Raven
Bright shiny things in his eyes
Flies away alone

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dream of the Raven's Gate VIII

Lost in the timelessness of the Dream World...



A shiver ran across the spine of the Great Key. It's silver skin flashed the subtlest of despair, and it once again resumed it's place in my mind.

My body lay dying on the cold tile of the bathroom. I could not hear the shouts of the men at my door, nor could I feel the tugging and pulling as the scene developed in slow-motion into one of the many stereotypical take-down reels to be shown at police conferences for years to come. The one overzealous rookie shot me 4 times after I convulsed, and would never again serve in the uniform. The paramedics arrived, working frantically to save this murderer, and the scene continued to spiral deeper into chaos. I was dragged off, resuscitated, with the hope that I would make a recovery and be able to be held accountable for my egregious actions. I saw all of this through the far-off eyes of my dream-self, and prayed that I would forget before waking. My home was ransacked, and my life rent asunder by the men trying to prove my guilt. It should not have been so difficult, as the clothing I had worn was in plain view, and my bedclothes were still covered in the filth of the night.


In the darkness of a long-dead tomb, a green glow began to pulse with certainty. The faintest of glows began to spread into the retched darkness, and Death still hadn't taken notice. So finally, after so very long, The Great Old One stirred. Storms, the like unseen for centuries, spread over the seas in places rarely covered on maps. Ships caught in these storms suffered as few living understood. And for so many, madness came in their sleep. Words, unspoken and strange, were uttered in the sleep from the very mouth of chaos. Children begged for their mothers and babies started awake unable to be cooed back into slumber. It had truly begun, and there in the cell where He had been bound, He began to prepare for the coming reign.


Karasu frowned at me from the shadows... He could see the recognition on my face. He knew I knew, and could not yet decide if I should be led into the arms of understanding. He decided to leave, and turned away from my eyes and vanished into the nether. The train sidled onwards...

Continued

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Jaunt

Follow me in the night
Follow me in the morn
Follow me in dusty boots
Through evening, dusk, and dawn

Follow me in sunshine
Follow me in rain
Follow me when skipping rocks
Through joy, heartache, and pain

Follow me into your eyes
Follow me into your heart
Follow me into your very soul
Please don't ask me to stop

Angus

Angus MacRae's body lie face down in the snow. Blood pooled under him and an eerily festive crimson stain spread to reach far from where he lay. A small dog sat patiently at his feet, and pawed his master's pantleg from time to time. Quietly and without drama, the moon set and darkness finally came. A host of animals emerged from the woods all around, not to feast upon a dead body, but rather to pay respects to one of their own. Angus MacRae was a Vampire. He was a singular creature who understood what a demon was supposed to do, but never forgot what it was to be a man. He never lost his connection with the world he left behind centuries ago, and he never took for granted that he was anything more than a shadow; a beast to be shunned when the sky grew black and children cried out in fear of the night. Angus MacRae spent his time here in this world acting as a custodian of life, and carried a dream of love in his still heart. He knew, deep inside his being that although he could never again gaze at the Sun, it did not mean that he had to forsake it's existence.

Angus was an ancient creature, and grew weary of his gift of immortality. So long ago, he decided that he would will himself to live and die as a man. He took a wife, a woman so fair that the night itself dared not come too close, lest it be turned back in to daylight. Her infinitely deep eyes saw in him what he did not see in himself, and that kindness was repaid into the world around him. He cared for his home, his community, and his town as any man of wealth and power might. He fed only upon those unable to cross into the beyond by themselves, being merciful and kind in his choices. He tended his gardens by nightfall, and was generous with their bounty. But time waits for no creature, and even though he begged her to join him in eternal night, she refused. His love, she had said, would keep her forever young. She was wrong.
As all mortals must, she passed from this world. However, she left while wrapped in the arms of a demon, while his bloody tears streamed from love-sick eyes that would never again see anything quite so beautiful. Her death affected the creature in ways he had not foreseen. Love would forever more be a stranger unwelcome to his heart. At least the kind of love that kept him anchored to his home. She passed. He wandered. Time marched on.

Angus MacRae gave to the world. He gave himself. He stalked in the night men who made his kind seem weak and harmless. He stripped these men of their gift of life, a gift wasted on madness and hate. He took any he could find, and slowly, began to feel as though he was making a difference. He waged his war on evil for decades, and made a small piece of the world a safer and kinder place. Children ran in the night unafraid, and mothers did not worry quite so much when a place was left empty at the dinner table. They knew the child would return. Children always returned. It was fact. Unlike the love of Angus MacRae's lonely existence. She was gone, never to return, and that bound his heart to a life without human companionship. He chose, instead, to keep a dog. A small dog that reminded him of the whimsy that he knew must still be in his heart, no matter how deeply buried. A dog passing would be less hurtful, he thought. Again, he was wrong. The first death brought back all the pain of the loss of his beloved. He wondered if it were possible for a Vampire to die of a broken heart even after all this time had passed. But still, Angus kept dogs. No matter where he went, he kept a small dog by his side. And those that came to know him, could recognize him no matter his visage by the accompanying pet. It made the knowing humans feel less threatened by his presence. It helped make them trust him, and as they came to know him , love both him and his dog. And Angus MacRae understood that being loved was as important as loving others. A lesson he thought he knew, but yet still had to learn.

He watched as children grew into parents, then grandparents, and so on, until they then marched off into the beyond. He saw the world change ever so slowly. He saw times of war, and peace. and all manner of new developments. He watched as the world became smaller and smaller, relative to the people who lived on it. He watched as the places he tried so desperately to protect succumbed to the ever-expanding modern world. And he realized that he would not be able to keep it safe forever, even though he would be there for as long. So one evening, Angus MacRae finally did what he felt he could do so very long ago. He willed his own existence to be snuffed out like a spent candle, and fell, face down, into the crisp, fresh snow that covered the grave of his beloved.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sonnet Two

Whispering in flowers touching my eyes
The fresh scent of blossoms in the crisp air
Your hand and your heart a sweetness the prize
Kisses and kindness and beauty so fair

Does not your very breath speak of my name
When sleep comes in darkness silent and free
Your bedclothes wrap'd around your graceful frame
Holding you fast to dreams of shores and sea

Does the wide-open sky shelter your smile?
Will you hide it under stormy clouds gray?
Will the soft rain bring you peace for awhile?
Please give me your hand and promise to stay?

Your love it is pure and gentle and sweet
With beauty and joy your gaze I shall meet

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dream of the Raven's Gate VII

Wednesday Still



Screaming, I fled to the sanctuary of the bathroom. My mind raced, my heart pounded, and my skin was peppered with goose flesh. I ran the cold water from the sink into my hands, and splashed it copiously onto my face trying to shock myself back from the brink of madness. Rising, I caught my reflection in the mirror and made a horrifying connection. I was graying. Not only were my eyes darkening, but my hair was graying. It was a very subtle change, but I finally accepted the only possible explanation: I was mad.

I threw open the vanity drawers and found the bottle lying like a cat ready to pounce. I hadn't liked taking them when I hurt my ankle last year, and left the pills in the drawer. "Madness cannot fight death" I thought. I poured a handful out and threw them in my mouth. I sucked water from the faucet and crumpled to the floor below. No more of this. No more. My mind screamed at me "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I babbled as I began to feel that light, far-off feeling swoon over my head and face...

I felt the train coming down the track as I stepped into the glare of the station. And suddenly I was standing on the platform, while an evil creature resembling a locomotive skulked along the tracks. It's sinuosity repulsed me, the glistening black and chrome skin slid past the platform and dragged to a halt as a door opened up and what might have been ochre-black rot fell out of the doorway. A woman exited the beast, looked at me from behind her wedding veil, and smiled. "Good evening, my dear" she said flatly. "Would you please help me with my luggage?" My eyes darted from her face, to the open, oozing door, and back to her face. She seemed perfectly rational. It had to have been me. I nodded, stepped towards the open wound, and stepped inside. Instantly, the wound closed, and I felt the beast lurch along the tracks. I was trapped in side this thing, this demon. Spinning, I fell into a waiting bench, and struck my head on the rail just above. A tiny trickle of blood began to run from my skin, down my face, and dripped rhythmically onto the floor where it was lapped up by what I thought were half-formed shadows. I felt sick, crazed, and amused all at once. Then the Creature swooped into my vision, a shadow of memories and desires. Karasu.
"Foolish child. What have you done?" Karasu asked me. I did not want to answer, but I couldn't stop myself.
"Ended it. Ended this madness."
"No, fool. You began a different journey. One that you are not yet prepared for. Why didn't you bring them here, instead? You know how much you needed them here?"
"I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!!"
"You weak child. You do know. You don't remember the first time you saw me? They were with you. They came with you and you were complete. Now there is no hope."
"I DON'T KN....oh my god. My god my god my god! I remember... I ..." fear washed over me. I had some tickle deep inside me that made my dream-skin crawl even more than it had in the real world... back there... where my body lay dying...


In the darkest of night, in the heart of hate, a faint green glow was pierced by a noise that could have sounded like laughter.

Continued

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Caught

I saw before the edge of all I know
A streaking trail no night could keep from me
My knees did weaken and my head lay low
Beauty blazing across the dark sky-sea

My hands for purchase doth greedily grasp
As blinding beauty to my eyes did greet
Fingers deftly closing with hopes oft dashed
Surprised when star's tail caught for a heartbeat

But writhe nor twist not this heavenly love
With quiet grace and beauty did she seek
To calm this mortal creature from above
Grant a heavenly kiss upon blush'd cheek

Celestial beauty snared in my heart
Shooting star wished upon to ne'er part

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

victim on the wind

The crow spiraled down
and the earth came up to greet him
in a decadent splash of black and
red
red
red
the crow no longer called
and the dread silence sang
whilst black feathers fell
a perverted snow on the cheeks of the earth



Why does joy always yield to darkness? Why is it so easy for the smiles to vanish, only to be swallowed up in the gritted teeth of anger and misery? For once, why can't the darkness simply accept defeat? Because Darkness rules the night, and eventually we all belong to the night.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dream of the Raven's Gate VI

Wednesday




I awoke in my bed, sweating and exhausted as the the sun warmed my room. I had some far-off memory of a dream and some hint of a nightmare, but my mind was completely blank. I couldn't even remember getting into bed, but I must have, since I was here. There was a rather odd sensation in the sheets, and I threw them back to find my linens filthy and damp. My feet were covered in grass clippings and mud. I had no lawn, and no recollection of having gone out barefoot in the night. A sinister dread filled my thoughts as I began to examine the rest of my body. My knees ached, and both knees and my right hand were swollen and bruised. My head hurt some, but not like any headache I had ever felt. More like trying to think under water whilst a marching band played just above the surface. I turned in the bed, dropped my soiled feet onto the floor and discovered immediately that I must have had some kind of episode during the night. My room was a mess, the drawers of my dresser and armoire open and rummaged through. 'How strange' I thought to myself as I began to make my way out of the bed holding me captive.

I stopped as I rose, my reflection in the obviously broken mirror halting all voluntary muscle control. My face was bruised, a shiner hung on my left eye like a badge of confusion. But worse than that, someone had put contact in my eyes! My eyes were dark, and hollow, and something else... difficult to nail down, but I looked older somehow. I got to my feet as quickly as I could, and to my amazement, could barely walk. The pain in my leg was excruciating, and flared from my ankle into my calf. "Fucking tore a tendon?" I asked the empty bedroom. So I hobbled to the bathroom, and began the arduous task of washing my battered body. While I was standing before the bathroom mirror, I realized I could not take the contacts out. Maybe I was drugged? Maybe something happened to me and I have blood in my eyes or something.... First to wash, then to call my doctor. I washed...and cried... and the pain made it impossible to do anything but.

After my visit to the doctor's office (thank God for sick-visit priority), I mulled over the results. Acquired heterochromia, probably caused by blunt trauma to the head. The other damage seemed to be a result of some kind of bar fight (me? In a bar fight?). The memory loss was also attributed to blunt-force trauma. CT scans and a bloodwork showed nothing abnormal, so the doctor chalked it up to a fight and told me to get some rest. So that was the plan... home to rest. Wish I had before putting the TV on.

"...officer was beaten to death and found mutilated..."

"In a dumpster" I finished, chiming along with the announcer.

"...Police are currently investigating, and remain tight-lipped" the TV barked at me as my head swam with fear and confusion. The face of the young policeman on the screen smiled back at me, his cadet-new shirt contrasting with his pale skin. I had seen this man before, somewhere, and recently. But where? And why did I seem to know that his body was found in a dumpster before I heard the words coming out of the newscaster's mouth? "Well, I must have heard it somewhere in my travels, then." It was my rational mind commanding to quell the madness swelling in side of me. "But his face!!!!" Again... my mind reared up...

"You did thisss"

I started, my heart racing. "Who said that?" I screamed into the empty apartment. But there was no one there. I was alone.



Continued

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jigsaw

We all just want to be complete. To find that missing piece that makes us whole. The question becomes: "What makes me complete?" For some of us, the quest to find that missing piece (or pieces, I suppose) is the entirety of our lifetimes. For others, it is found and life becomes everything that it was supposed to be. So which are you, my friend? Do you know what it is that is missing, that completes you as a person, but are unable to find it? Are you completely in the dark as to what that is? All good questions, no? All good questions that are often difficult, sometimes impossible, to answer. But asking them starts us down a path that cannot easily be avoided... a path within our very souls.

The trip inside the darkest of nights, where we hide our secret face, and keep the fears, hopes, dreams, and wishes, is not one that should be taken as just any leisurely stroll. It is a journey that can rip apart the very life that we live. It can force us to look at the choices that we have made and see them with a critical eye, a dark eye, and we might ask ourselves if they were made for reasons we can live with. Sometimes we can't. But as you act bravely, and travel within the dark woods of your inner self, know that each and every choice helps make us who we are, just as much as who we are helped us make that choice.

The trip towards finding all of our missing pieces is sometimes all we have. As you ponder the open spaces left within you, I urge you to breathe slowly and deeply. It's a hell of a jaunt.

Autumn On My Mind

The cool breeze blows in through the open window
Making me pull the blankets up a little higher
And cover my shoulders
The sun, weakening, shines brightly and beautifully
As I try to cover my eyes and catch more sleep
But I can't

So instead, I turn over
The sheets wrapping around my ankles
Trapping me in the warmth of the bed for just a bit longer
My heartbeat in my ears, the sunlight in my eyes
And leaves blowing in the wind
All around

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dream of the Raven's Gate V

Lost in Time.


I danced with my long-lost lovers, and I sang with the greatest bands I ever knew. I rolled like a child down the green hills of places I had only ever read about in books, and lay on my back looking up at the brilliant sun. My heart was dancing and my soul was so sated that I could not imagine what to do next. I spun around on the largest carousel I had ever seen, manned by REAL dragons, eagles, seahorses, and all manner of whimsical creature. I wandered the world I have imagined. And I knew, deep within me, that there was still more to see, and experience, and enjoy, and create...so much more.

My long-silent companion slunk from the shadows and spoke. "Having fun, Child?"

"Yes, thank you" I replied, my lips suddenly cold and tight.

"Why won't you bring them here, Child? I know you need them here, so why won't you just show them the way? It is simple for one so skilled..."

"Who are you talking about, and why should I care?" My heart was now racing, my skin cold...Why was he asking me to bring them here? Should I know who he was talking about? Was I missing something important?

"Child," the darkness hissed at me, "Look into the spaces you haven't filled. You can see them, can't you? The lost and ready? The ones you need here. Bring them." The creature's voice seemed to boil from the darkness around me. I could feel the first pangs of ... what? Frustration? Hurt? Need? It was difficult to tell, but there was most certainly an undertone of tension. The creature, Karasu, watched me from the pits of the underdark. My heart became still and refused to beat until I cast my gaze away.

"I don't know what it is you speak of, beast. Who? And why the need for others. There are already so many here with us..." my voice left my throat in a ghastly whisper.

"Fool of a child. Look. You will see."



Rap-rap-rap

A knocking began to drag me from my world. Over and over the rap-rap-rap pulled me higher and higher, until I opened my weary eyes. A police officer was standing beside my window, and my car was not running. It was running just a second ago. And why was it so dark out? What time was it? I just pulled over a sec... I looked in disbelief at my watch. It was tomorrow. Very early in the morning. RAP-RAP-RAP. I turned my face to the window and reached to crank it down. The reflection in the glass told a story I had not expected. My eyes... my blue eyes were now dark.

Continued

beyond midnight

the wind blows the leaves in circlets around you
and the moonlight ravages the lies

and the peace I found inside the dark

looks into my eyes and tries


for there in the deepest darkest night

just before the slumbering dawn

like a beast in skilled and ancient hands
my protective wool is shorn

and all the chills I have ignored

and all the frightening wind

grip my pale and trembling flesh
as I lie with you, my friend

for the calls I hear upon my heart

are dragging me from here

all the wind filling my sails

prove my skies are clear


but the swirling throb inside of me

and the hammering of night
point me to a darkened tomb
and do not make it right

under a moon of brightest white

I lie upon the earth

and in my black and twisted heart

your words still give me worth

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reese's Pieces...

So, after a sleepless night, I find myself longing for words. I feel the imminent birth of another installment of the Raven's Gate, but the seed eludes my grasping mind. I can taste the sweetness of the night in my mouth, but the darkness continues to mask the intended direction of the story. Has the great Cthulhu forsaken his humble servant? Did Randolph Carter get his damned key back? I'm not entirely sure, my friends, but I do know that the story is far from over... in fact, it's barely begun.

I'm without my compass to guide me into the mangled depths of the Muse's Lair for now, but rest assured, the trip shall be undertaken.

In other news, I seem to have found my smile. Interesting enough, but when added to the rest of my quirky behaviors of late, it seems I might be genuinely losing my mind. Well, as far as I can see, that is. Me? Cheerful? Impossible! Enthusiastic? Boulderdash! Let'e be real, shall we? I mean, what exactly is going on here? OH! That's right! I made a CHOICE to be that frikkin' ray of sunshine. I refuse to become yet another anchor in the lives of those around me. And I shall choose every damned day to try to lift the spirits of my fellows, rather than grab their despair with outstretched claws and rake them into the pits.

How about you? What will you choose to do with your days? I have watched too many of my acquaintances pass from this life at too young an age to continue with my malcontented ways. Every day I reach out to you, my friends and family, and offer what I can to cheer your mornings, to brighten your afternoons, and to assist in the smooth passing of the evenings. It seems so simple a thing. A 'Good Morning' to a stranger, said with a smile... a "Let me help you with that door' to a passer-by needing just an instant with an extra hand...Even the acceptance beyond what you agree with of a person's choice. Try it, you might find that you like it.

And with that, I seem to have run out of things to offer. My Muse needs some coddling and perhaps a tiny bit of excitement to ensure her return. Here I go, Offer me luck!!!

And who the fuck is Reese, anyway?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Already?

Has it really been eleven days since I wrote anything?

Hang in there guys... I'm working on it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Words escape me for the first time in what seems like ages. Incredible as it seems to me, my muse is silent and I am alone in the long, dark spiral of the starless night.

Be free, my demons. Be mighty my rage. Beware my love.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Advice to You is to Get Married

I wrote this for my niece and her husband on their wedding day. I hope you all enjoy it...





"My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher"
-Socrates.

When I was asked to speak, I thought to my self, "No Problem". Then I found that I HAD a problem. I could easily write yet another poem full of the typical clich├ęs one often hears in these readings, or I could
simply stand here in front of all of you and make fun of the "Happy Couple". But as I wrote, I kept falling into those traps. If you've ever written anything, you'll know exactly what I am talking about. If you've never written anything at all, I suggest you try.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

No, huh? Well then, moving along...

Months ago, I heard an interview with Barbara Walters regarding her memoir. It was entitled "Audition" and I thought that it would make a fantastic nugget for a speech having ANYTHING to do with Jennifer. But then there's Josh. Did HE ever audition for anything? I didn't know. So I waited for that certain inspiration. That magical Fornit that would come and guide my hand with this rapidly-approaching task I had been given. The Muse never arrived.

So I was back to an audition. And I considered that every day could be an audition for some people, couldn't it? They slap on their makeup, deal with wardrobe, then hit the stage. After putting on the best performance they are able to, it's back to the trailer (metaphorically, that is- Jennifer).

And, taking that one step further isn't today the biggest audition of the happy couple's life so far? I never considered it at the time, but my second wedding certainly went off better than a well-rehearsed stage production by some low-rent production house (Forgetting the part where the appointed, er, 'volunteered' photographer locked his keys in the car. Oh, and the part where I thought maybe the Horse was going to pitch my new bride. Anyway, I digress).

So, Jennifer, Joshua, esteemed members of the audience here in attendance, I present to you my speech.

I watched my niece grow from a wobbly infant into a wobbly adult. I watched her travel through adolescence, a time I like to call "The Putrid Stage", and what is termed "adultolescence", and it seems that she just
might be all grown up. Well, as far as the Little Mermaid constitutes "Grown Up", that is. As for josh, I didn't watch him do much of anything except provide me with an inspiration for asking "What the hell ever happened to my comic books", unless you count making my niece happy as doing something. And I do. And there, my friends, is the cause of this whole mess: These two people making each other happy.

A very dear friend of mine once told me during a very dark time that life is too short to be unhappy. I offer to both of you on your very special day that no truer words were ever uttered. So be happy. Even if it means that others may not approve of your choices, be happy. Even if it makes no sense at the time, be happy. Discover for yourselves what makes the two of you work, be happy. When you argue, really argue and be honest about your feelings, and then when all is said and done, be happy. Listen to all the advice you will be given, yes, even this, and run it through the filter. Process accordingly and take with a full glass of water and a grain of salt. When you decide for yourself what advice you will keep, be happy. See the common thread here? Be Happy. If I had a two-by-four handy, I'd write it in big black letters and hit you both over the head with it. Be Happy! It's important to a relationship, and it should be important to you.

Are you all still with me? Does anyone disagree? I didn't think so.

And we are on the home stretch here.

Josh, I ask that you keep making my niece happy. And I want you to practice those magic words for all of us on this side of the fence. "I'm NOT Going to Do What You Want". Please try to remember that the phrase does not include the words "right now" as you had previously stated.

Jennifer, I ask that you give Josh a chance to do it wrong. Sometimes your way might not be the only way, although I know that doesn't have much weight coming from a man.

As I close my "Sentimental Moment", I'd like to lightly point out that there was a person in my family that should have been here to share this day. Jenifer, you know how much Poppy would have loved to see you walk down that aisle on your father's arm. And you know how proud he would have been of the Child your parents raised. Give him a single breath of thought, and share some of him with your new husband, if you would.

Best of Luck to you both.

Like a soft breeze blowing 'cross my face

You cool me and love me

Your caress against my skin flutters my heart

And moves the sky into your eyes

Forever

8-16-08

Secrets

A morning sun rises above the treetops
And I sit
A glass-like lake reveals no secrets

A swarm of insects feed the fish
Jumping and writhing
In the shallows of my heart


I hear the call of songbirds on the wing
And I smile
For all there is

Today

My fingers trace her face
With light touch and care
Her dry skin awaiting rain

I place my fingers against hers
And I feel the warmth of sunlight
Sink into flesh and stone

I breathe in her scents
A feast for the spirit
And my mouth goes dry

Spirits of the Earth
Mighty and Ancient
Rise to the sky from her back

A wind blows across my face
And all is right
In this world

(From 2003)

For Our Dead Fathers

We place into the earth a shell that carried the spirit of the person we knew and loved. It is the gifts that we received, the lessons we were taught, and those loving memories that carry our beloved on through life with us. The grave is there as a reminder that this body is mortal, and should be respected as such, but it is the eternal soul that truly gives us something to remember, until it is our turn to move into whatever beyond we believe awaits us.

My father has long since departed, so I am on the same side of the fence, but I am the man I am because of the man he was. Not all of his lessons were good ones, nor were all of my memories of kindness and hope, but all of my memories were formative to the father I have become. Light and Dark dance on the same blank wall, it is what we interpret from that dance that guides our decisions.

Be the person you are and know that your father would have been proud. No matter how he expressed it, he surly said 'I love you'.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dream of the Raven's Gate IV

Tuesday

Sunlight beamed into my face, burning the sleep from my eyes and wrenching me from the world I had seen within myself. It was morning, apparently, but I had no recollection of the night's wonders. Like the early-morning fog, the daylight cast my dreams aside and dragged me into the here and now. I was again chained to reality, grounded in today, and bound to labor another day of my life wastefully away. I was out of bed and showered before I felt even the slightest pang of remorse. And I didn't even remember what felt badly about. But I felt it. And it passed quietly as I started my day with a cup of coffee and a pasted-on grin.

At lunch, another ice-cold spike buried itself in my spine. I didn't know why, but it was there in me, and I could not shake the sensation. I began to feel quite tired, and had to force myself to stay awake throughout the rest of the afternoon. As my day closed, I finally had to succumb to the irresistible urge to sleep. I pulled off the road for just a moment, to rub my eyes and try and stay awake. I could not resist. My eyes closed. And when they snapped open, I was standing before an enormous iron gate. A gate I recognized. And in my hands quivered the Silver Key. A smile broke across my face and I unlocked the gate and it swung freely open unto a world of my own creation. I stepped through and left any memory of the world I was born into behind me.

And beneath the swirling darkness, a faint green glow pulsed ever stronger. And a vast evil imperceptibly shuddered with a coming greatness...

continued.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pierre

standing before the mirror I asked the face there
to tell me why he did not see the cracks
the face answered
what cracks?
we raised out hands and pointed to the place
our fingers touching at the faults
here
i stated
here are the cracks
but the face in the mirror turned away and left me there
pointing to a place
i thought was cracked
but as i watched him leave
i saw
the cracks were words
and it told me what I needed to know
that i am alone in the mirror
for my soul is turned away
and the message is to be read by my willing heart
rather than
my bared soul
and still my
mind
refused to read or bare
so I stood agape at the largeness of it all
and held my breath
as the glass shattered
and crimson spilled on the hard woods below
roses appeared on
a vine of razors
in the mirror
of my eyes

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dream of the Raven's Gate III

Lost in time...


The Great Old One lay cold in his tomb. Shadows, aeons old, draped themselves around his bloated, slime-covered body and stilled the creature beyond death. But the beast had long waited to return, so long that Death itself had finally turned a blind eye to the demon so patiently counting the untold millennia. As the Dream Land was formed above, strange energies began to stir deep within a long-forgotten place below. And somewhere in our world, men young and old began to gray overnight, and woke with eyes wild from the impending madness. Those who listen too closely to the whispering in the night and mumbled nonsensical words in their slumber began to focus power in an unthinkable direction... Backwards and forwards through time and space... from this dimension to the land that lies between dusk and dawn.

And ever so lightly, the Great Creature began to take it in. The waves of madness and dementia pulled from the world we know being consumed without conscious effort by an Evil beyond all limits of comprehension. Few other times in our recorded past had this evil been stirred, and the ensuing madness guaranteed that the memories of It's coming are unreliable, disjointed things that were not meant for the newspapers, but rather for filling the pages of fantasy novels.

And still, it slumbered. But just as the most insignificant light can be seen in the pitch blackness of the ocean depths, so could the faintest of green glows be barely made out from beyond the Old One's eyes...

continued

Bon Voyage

A Dying Sailor to His Shipmates

"Oh, wrap me in my country’s flag, and lay me in the cold blue sea
Let the roaring of the waves, my solemn requiem be
And I shall sleep a pleasant sleep, while storms above their vigils keep

My Captain brave shall read for me, the service of the silent dead
And yay shall lower me in the waves, when all the prayers are said
And I will find my long, long home, among the billows and the foam
Farewell my friends for many a league, we’ve sailed together on the deep
Come let us shake our hands, I’ll sail no more, but shipmates wear for weep

I’m bound above, my course is run
I near the port, my voyage is done"


Life is too short for sadness and unrest. The voyage that we get is made more interesting and wonderful by the people we are surrounded by, and those we invite into our lives. If we are very lucky, we get friends close enough to include in our families, and once in a great while someone gets close enough to understand you.

I lost someone in my life today. We weren't especially close, and we didn't spend a whole lot of time socially, but he was someone I considered a friend. And respected a great deal.

Thanks for being part of the crew, Robert.
Your Voyage is done...

10-7-10

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dream of the Raven's Gate II

Monday Still

The Darkness hissed from somewhere outside my ears, but my world grew still. Upwards and outwards, beyond all measure of my imaginational limits. From a blank canvas sprung the meadows and glades, while a breath of wind sweept the barley into a wave that carried lover's wishes away into the newly-formed azuline sky. All of this driven by my whim, my wish, my desire, my lust. But there was another side to this Dream World. And from the hissing the Darkness spat upon my painting, I felt the stirrings some where deep down of a creature I did not yet believe in. It's tentacled face blank and it's eyes closed still. Quietly, the Silver Key trembled in my grasp as the stirrings began.

A glorious sunny day opened before me. The wild creatures I had become accustomed to were there in abundance, as well as animals I did not recognize. Half-formed abominations that slunk away under shrubs I could not honestly identify. But this was MY world, and as such I expected that those unfamiliar things to be nothing more than fleeting memories from forgotten days. I turned around on the neatly groomed path upon which I stood to face her, suddenly there, and wearing the same squint I wore from the golden rays. Turning again to the path, I felt her gaze no more, and did not think twice until much later. "You must continue, Child" the Darkness whispered into me, "Don't stop there. Bring them here, you will see how much you missed them when you see them for yourself".

"Who? And What do I call you?"
"I am the ancient, and I am the sleepless. Call me what you will, but I call myself Karasu." I was shocked at the name. Karasu. The Raven. Where had I heard that before? The thought was hung there in my sleeping mind and I hoped I would remember to check when I woke from this slumber.
"Why won't you bring them here, to us? You know they want to be here, don't you? Bring them" Karasu seemed to writhe with anticipation. But still I knew not of what he spoke.

And the Silver Key trembled again.

Continued.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Promised Musing

So the dance began with aplomb and gusto
All twirling and swinging of hips
She wheeled and gathered her dress from her ankles
A smile ablaze on her lips

Kicking her heels and dipping her shoulders
And Blowing a kiss to the boys
Who watched from the circle ringing her sways
And calling and cooing their joys

Ebbing and flowing as she presses the crowd
Then drags them back to her close
Her heart leaps up as the strangers cheer on
Her fear remains but a ghost

As the music crescendos in her hungry bare ears
She bows to those gathered around
Her dress hanging low, her skin damp with a fame
That glitters her brow like a crown

The sun rising high and bright in the sky
She drags her spent body to bed
She laughs at herself for her long-vanished fears
And wonders for what she held dread

A dreaming muse sleeps in silent sweet slumber
Grinning with no fear or remorse
Her dreaming mind visits the bravery she bared
Her life upon a new course

9-30-10
For Gina

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Roku

A small row boat floats lazily along in the long, golden beams of sunlight. The crisp air smells of apples and leaves, while the constant lapping of the water sooths away the remainder of the day.

"So, is this how it is going to be?" I asked. I really didn't want to hear the answer, but I needed to. If for nothing else, to know once and for all.

"Yes" She answered, "It is. It has to be."

My heart pounds in my chest like the rap-rap-rapping of some crazed man trying to send a message to nonexistent neighbors in a long-abandoned tenement house. I can feel it building in my throat, my pulse screaming at me from just under my right ear. "I... I.... I can't believe it. Are you sure?"

The little wooden boat spins poetically around, unanchored and free in the confines of the lake. I look at her face, her neck, her hair... all glowing more beautifully in the afternoon sun. The curve of her collarbone dragging me back to stolen glances under the moonlight so long ago. Her eyes dance along the edge of the boat, searching for purchase in the graceful transitions in wood. She leans to one side, then the other, less uncomfortable than she seems, but looking the part for the moment.

A pause. Her decadent lips part... my heart slows to a single beat in each millennium...

"No." She says.

My heart becomes as stone, ready to slip into the waters and weigh me down until I can no longer hold my breath, and I become another purchase for the denizens of the lake to grow and feed upon until my bones return to the dust they are made of.

"No, of course I am not sure. But I feel it is right. And that is as good as I can ever answer you. "

I feel it begin... the closing of the darkness that will wrap my heart in the eternal black forever. "But we said... well we promised... and now this? This is where we stand? I gave you my heart, I gave you my soul. I gave you everything I knew how to give. And now you tell me you can't and won't? You tell me there is no way? Why not? WHY NOT?" I could feel them now, the tears. Building up inside me, begging for release. But I deny them, and swallow them back down.

"Because it just is. I cannot explain it and do not wish to. I have nothing more to say except take me back."

And there it ends. I began to row slowly and evenly... the little wooden boat cutting a vicious wound in the stillness of the lake's surface. Her gaze away from mine. Until we reach the shore and she stands, placing one foot firmly on the rock...my heart begins to fall from my chest...


I sat upright in the darkness of our bedroom, sweating and trembling. She lay there like an undisturbed angel, still covered in the sheet. I rubbed my temples, and felt her place a hand sleepily on my back. "You ok? What's wrong?" she asks, the sleep still heavy in her voice.

"Bad dream" I answer.

"You want to tell me?" she asks distantly, slipping quickly back to the void.

"No. Just a bad dream. All gone now."

She moves under the sheet, and my eyes feast on her covered form, my heart beating steadily now. "OK. I love you, baby. Goodnight."

With those simple words, the world falls back into line, and the nightmares go back to their pits, and I lie beside her now, holding her against me in the night.

"And I love you, woman."


9-25-10
Six years.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recently Released

Since my Muse seems to be dragging her feet, and has decided that she'd rather go bowling than give me a hand here, I figure I'd put some stuff here that I have posted in the past on FB. SO, without further fanfare or delay... here's a couple from the recent past.

-----------------------------------
"The Siren's Love

Wit' a daisy on me collar
And a fair and favorin' breeze
I set out upon the ocean
I set out upon the sea

Me heart so safely packed
Me soul given away
I think about the woman
Who says goodbye to me t'day

An' I look out upon the water
An' I look back upon he dock
An' I smile a sailor's smile
An' I hear a ticking clock

The time is growin' short
The twilight is growin' long
An' the boys are doin' work
Then I hear that siren's song

That calls me to the rocks
An' promises me a smile
From the crashes of the waves
The deep fathoms and long miles

There upon the shore
A beauty beckons me
A ray of burning hope
A love of the raging sea

end
6-1-10"


-----------------------------------

I saw the sun today
and the wind in my face
and a sweet caring voice
took me back to a place
where I was a child
and you were my friend
and we promised to love
till the bitter end
and my dreams were not dark
and my cares were still free
and it was just us
a you and a me

-----------------------------------

Seems my Muse has been awakened.
Good friends and kind words go farther than can be expected.
The truth and honesty give us wings.
Dreams and Hope teach us to fly.
Love takes us away. ♥

-----------------------------------

Until next time...
Fare-thee-well.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dungeon Crawl

black and sinuous the creature was
a silken fist of raging hate
working through the twisting dungeon
eyes like flame and jaws agape

our heroes spent within the earth
after dangers beaten back
binding wounds and mending limbs
they heard the jaws begin to smack

with venom dangerous and vile
dripping open-mouthed and rank
the creature flashed it's eyes of red
and crashed into the party's flank

swords were drawn and wands revealed
clerics prayed and thieves did skulk
the bravest leapt into the fray
to beat this dangerous lumbering hulk

back into the darkest depths
the creature slank and edged away
sizing up the party's faults
preparing to return and scrape and slay

under watchful eyes of stone
the party slept and rested deep
and one by one in slumberous haze
dozing made them grain to reap

the dark shape it came in glistening fury
unto the quiet group of men
slashing claws and baring fang
the party met it's gory end

with hunger slaked and thirst appeased
the demon rested in it's lair
no story to be told of them
no tale to weave of men lost there

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Starlight

We lie together under a field of black dotted with the light of countless stars
Separated by a distance measured in lifetimes and innumerable branching paths
Never able to be crossed, never able to feel each other’s embrace
Alone under the same sky
While a tear rolls from my eye to crash upon my cheek like waves upon a rocky shore
I wonder if you share the same sadness and the unbearable solitude in the depths of your heart
I wish with all I am that you do not, for I love you
I wonder across the great expanse of space and time wondering if you do as well
But I cannot hold hope for that truth
For I am alone in the dark, surrounded by my life
Dreaming under the sky of your eyes

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Three Little Words

A lifetime spent searching
For less than a moment's span
Of another's lips or eyes or touch
To hint at the truth hidden beneath
Just a breath in an eternity
For those words that weigh so heavy
On the heart, or on the page, or on your face
From a tremble, a glancing brush

Look into the depths
Search for the space between
And hope for those words
Those Three Little Words
Waiting to burst from your mouth
To crash upon the aural penetralia like eagles
Locked in a lover's embrace
And falling to earth, never knowing that the moment has come too late

Wait...
I Love You

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Can you hear my heart?

Fair in eye
Kind in heart
Deep as the oceans blue
Lips so red
Skin so fair
My love all this is true

Through times long past
And futures yet
And here and nows to be
I have loved you then
And love you still
For you mean the world to me

You cannot know
My secrets dark
When alone I be
In dawn or night
When closed my eyes
'Tis your face I see


Sometimes, it is love for the sake of love that drives Passion. And Passion can express our deepest secrets openly upon our faces, even when the crowds press in upon us and make our breath short in our chests and dry upon our lips. Look deeply, and you might see yourself in the mirror of my eyes. Watch closely, and you might catch a glimpse of a secret that should not be given away so easily. Was that your cheek I felt in the darkness, just there? Why was it wet, my dear?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dream of the Raven's Gate

I there anything sweeter in life than to travel with your eyes filled with the future, your hands held with care, your heart filled with love, and adventure yet to come?

I don't think so either.



Monday.


The rain soaked the world outside my window as I lay in the bed wondering how long I had until the alarm finally screamed at me from the bedside table. It was still raining when I rolled over to turn the still-silent clock off, and when I fell back to sleep in the pre-dawn darkness. That same darkness crept slowly across my bedroom and perched atop my dreaming brow.

"Wake up, child" It hissed And I opened my eyes on the far side of a familiar landscape clutching the Silver Key. I choked and gasped, but the dream held me and began to grow beyond the initial musings.

"Where am I?"
"Here, Child"
"Where? And who are you?" I demanded of the unseen voice. "What am I doing here?"
"A dream, Child. Your dream. And you hold the Great Key in your grasp. A treasure many would kill for" The menacing hiss dragged me along deeper into the spawning world around me. Hedges, rolling fields, intricate iron gates, each feature growing out of the nothingness that was before. My eyes brightened with the realization that this was MY world, and I could make it anyway I wanted.

...continued

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Going, Going, Going...

The Fortieth Death

I was greeted this morning
by stretched golden rays
and a crisp taste in the air
of closing summer days

no more shall the leaves of green
grasp to swaying limbs
no more will calling frogs
enthrall us with hymns

e'er slowly the winter creeps
into the setting sun
and the chilly morning air
becomes autumns new spokesman

so i say my fare-thee-wells
and i wish for it not to end
but another summer's gone
goodbye my graceful friend

9-2-2010



Each year, I get to enjoy insomnia as the seasons blend into one another. It is usually worst at the Winter/Spring and Summer/Autumn transitions, but it was pretty bad going from Spring to Summer this year as well. There is a certain amount of darkness that drags itself into my life when this happens, and it becomes harder and harder to sleep soundly and sleep enough. But this was the first year (go figure, it only took me 40 to notice this) that I saw the mornings really have a significant color change to that beautiful golden glow. It is so beautiful, and yet causes me so much dread for the coming winter.

Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the winter sports (yay hockey!), and seeing the kids have themselves a jolly good time out there in the white stuff, but it's not my favorite time of year. Oh sure, I get to play Snowblower Man and Snowplow Man (With my 45-year-old garden tractor, no less!), and I guess it is OK that the drive to work can be a little more interesting, but the days are so short, and the darkness outside claws it's way into my heart and finds a permanent home.
But I suppose that Darkness is just better for writing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spotlight's Glare

As I look at my life, I see the great expanse of jumbled purposes, long-forgotten goals, and good intentions. I pass my days being concerned with the mundane necessities of the here and now, sometimes wrapped in the worry of what's next. I stare blankly at the wasted days, skipped chances, and lost opportunities. I am amazed that here, at 40, I have as good a life as this, seeing as how many poor choices I have made in the past.

And i recollect, on this day, something that I wrote almost too long ago to remember. And when it reappeared as a reply to a friend, it struck me much as it had all those years ago.

"Did you come here to see the show or to sing for us all?"

Not much of a line at first glance, I will admit. But there is depth to it. That phrase has real teeth. Are you just another body sitting idly there in the audience waiting to applaud at just the right moment? Are you going to sit there and smile to your neighbors while they smile back each time something remotely amusing happens up there on the stage? Are you going to wait quietly and patiently (or perhaps be that patron of the venue who cannot be satisfied no matter how fine the seating or how prompt the service) while the players parade themselves across the stage to the amusement of all in attendance? Will you simply drop your long-empty boxes of treats down at your feet and watch hour after hour as the show continues it's progression from will it ever begin to will it never end?

Or will you stand there, before the sheep with your hat on crookedly and your coat tails fraying in the blast-furnace gaze of the expectant crowd and bellow at the top of your lungs a tune that refuses to be carried well? Would you dance awkwardly in the bright light under the great magnifying lens of the masses not caring if they are truly entertained, but rather for your own personal satisfaction? Would you be shamed before the shameless with your petty movements and misunderstood words? Would you risk your own soul for the sake of happiness in the name of creative expression? Would you let your heart be broken by the stares and laughs and taunts of those disapproving members of the audience?

As little as I ever thought I would be admitting this to myself, evidently I came here to sing for you all.