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.