Broken Tombs in the Wind

Broken Tombs in the wind,

Whistle with loves and lives,

And Voices in the snow.

Winter is deep and it loves in strange ways;

Not in the least,

For the living as the dead,

Embraced in its cold earth.

The hidden gates and the abandoned ball,

Succoring the universe as they succored from it for those years lamenting

in the wisdom that they would be here ever since their lives took shape.

Seldom kept in their minds as much in their hearts of life but ever on,

What the dead do is not Known, and Eternity…

 

[∴Can winter be over now?]

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True Plot

The weary old man looked over the city and knew that his time was soon to come. It was not an illness, yet it was not wholly unexpected in his line of work, and the way the cards fell, he knew as sure as cancer that death was coming to him soon. Still, it was a nice day. He looked over to the wharf beyond the stinking docks where Crabtown whithered. The bend in the shore was sandy dwindling to the rise of a great cliff face where a rock formation jutted to a point where green and brown mingled amid the placid blue waters. It was a poor day for sailing, but a brilliant day for seeing, the ocean’s light blue sibling above was touched by thin brushstrokes of cloud that ambled under a crisp, sharply outlined sun.  The blue ocean waters stretched out to the horizon where the outlines of sails languished to one side and to the other the green fields beyond the walls of his home.

The Warf his gaze fell over was little more than a fisherman’s dock, too far to make out anything truly specific, but each moment he lingered over it, he felt like he knew it better.  The wharf was situated between the walls of the smoking city and the cliffs on the farther crescent edge of the sandy shore. Its minimal form must be only a few meters into the water, and the small connected warehouse had something shimmering hanging outside next to the small square window of the structure. He supposed it was probably fish hung out to dry. Following the bare pinpricks of white stones from the wharf, only little bit further inland was the modest cabin that he supposed the fisherman and his family might live in. Puffs of white smoke drifted away from it out of the stone chimbly. The outline of a porch could be seen facing the dock and warehouse.

He had watched this particular place all his life and just realized how he was now able to see so much in it. That tiny structure on the distant shore resolving into details perhaps no other living creature in the city had considered so delicately.  He had stood on this same palace vista and looked down over the world in his moments of brief reprieve and suffering and machination so many times throughout his life. He wondered how many times he had looked over that modest life below. It felt dear to him and yet he had never been there. Through plans and propositions that clouded his memory like a black miasma, it always remained. There was never truly a beginning and it was this blackness that he knew would always have consumed him in the end.

He thought now of the life the fisherman in that tiny house lived, simple and free from the burdens he had strived to face his whole life. Free from the tangled web that connected the city and the greater world that so entangles all who meddle in the affairs of other like beings. The fisherman has a clear task and each day he battles the elements and performs a duty that did not require the sacrifice of all morality. It was a duty with a clear end and a clear purpose. Sitting on his porch in the afternoon sun and smoking a pipe, looking over his children, and his boat bobbing before a rippling sea that shone with the colors of the sunset heavens.

His life was all stone walls, papers, stench, and smoke. It was what lies to call out and which ones to let fester in themselves. It was preparation, paranoia, and the devious mind of fellow humans he battled with each day. Grand ideals, and pragmatic logistics, codes and passwords and hatred, and just so many lies. The worst of all, the smile, the pat on the back, the joke and laugh, charm to be guarded against the devious plots. He wondered how many people he had killed, how many he had saved if the child in the sewer was glad to have his life rather than give it up for the honorable noble who fell before his true greatness.

Memory is short. Charm, youth, and gold are forever adored. Such quandaries returned to him in that barrage of miasma that approached. The door opened behind him. What could he have done differently? How did Lisidious gain the favor of so many he had helped?  How much blood needs be spilled before its over? Before the truth is seen by all and the issues are done and the plans are not needed and the love of revenge fades?

There was no sound of footsteps. Only the plunging of the blade into his back.

It would never be over. It never began. It always was.

The old man did not turn, but as he fell he looked over to the wharf and longed for that peace.

He touched it. Then died.

The glass.

And each man looked into the glass and saw something different and it strove fear into their hearts and perplexed them, not because of what they saw but because each saw something that could not be explained or understood.

Degenerates

Huddled in some back alley behind the apartments along the river, a spot where you can see the factory, a chick with long earrings and a black blazer adorned with badges sits on the dumpster in divine LSD commune. A not-yet-adult leans against the wall with his foot on a pile of cinderblocks. He smokes a cigarette in the breath of nicotine fire that stains his army jacket with the day’s angry thoughts. We make a net of choices just to trap the demon inside. Another chick in a stained cut-off white tee that offers no brand but the universal “Fuck You” sits under the window and reaches up over her black mascara and silky black mohawk to grab the bottle from the kid laying in the room portal above her. It’s filled with the entry-level numbing agent the girl needs and the kid only feels. Trapped among concreate rulers and united by casual jadedness. They live by the deep hope that they might find what everyone else has been missing in that back alley looking at the factory where an industrial age suffocates in iron oxides like so many hopes and dreams of enlightenment.

Waiting for the day they give everyone hatchets and rifles. Waiting for the war that will change everything. Waiting for time to pass. Wating with their netted demons for the time they can be set loose; when the world can be theirs. Waiting for their lives to happen. Waiting for the drug to free them. Waiting for the arguments to stop. Waiting for the monster of Love. Wanting it all and dying of anger. Capable and dangerous.

Meditating on the sensation of it.

 

Down by the Dock

Our Sailor took the old man up on his offer, after a cup or two of coffee, his wits slowly returned. He had reached the resolve that he had been acting foolish this morning and felt ashamed that such sloth and villainy of carousing had taken him so far into the throes of a depression, not to mention causing him to miss his ship. He still felt like crap, but self-aware crap at least.

The words of the old man at the dock were running through his mind as he sipped down the  hot revitalizing beverage. Who was that old man?  How could he have come across him, right in his moment of need? What enterprise would cause a captain to search for his own crew, and such a desperate crewhand such as our sailor was? He did not design to think too much about it, a gift horse in the mouth and all that. Still, he seemed a curious little fellow and, as our sailor downed the last of his coffee, grounds and all, the old man’s curious style and what he had said compelled him to at least  go down to the dock at the mentioned time and get a measure of what kind of ship the old man ran and what company it would keep. If travels made way back towards friendlier waters, it might be his only chance in months or even a year to get off of this remote outpost town.

The winds of the day were rising with the sun. In little time he made his way back down the docks and rounded the warehouse on dock 7.  Moored to the peir was not a brig at all, but a sleek and relatively thin three-masted schooner bobbing and creaking on the slight waves.  He looked upon the ship and it seemed such a strange vessel from the stout and bloated craft he was used to seeing at home. Even here, this craft was unusually slim and beautiful in its sleek stance. Atop its deck was erected a stately and comforting looking cabin with rows of glass windows. The sails were rolled against the masts and it looked like a comfortable boat at least. Written over the back was the word “Wanderlust”. He swept his gaze to the gangplank and the dock where stood a queer assortment of individuals.

Eleven were made by his count, of people clad in such disparate garb as one dark-skinned woman with a long, loose, hooded garment that came down to her ankles with full sleeves. Her hood was down and showed her smooth skin-shaved head and she seemed to carry some kind of pack on her back. There were two tall, they must have been at least 6″7′, Scandinavian men with hair so blonde the strands seemed to radiate in the sunlight, their pale skin was reddened by the tropical sun and they stood silent and grimacing together with deep-cut wrinkled faces cast in their own shadow. They wore simple woolen tunics, one blue and one green. A child no more than 11 or 12 stood stoutly garbed like a pirate might with silk scarves and ornaments and even a pistol braced on his chest. There were then five sailors that our own sailor might have called “normal” on the first inspection. They were clad in boots and jackets of a similar in type to his own, he saw then that there was among them a tan Spaniard with black hair, a young lad with curly red hair,  an old man with long, greasy grey hair, a burly man with a massive gut but supported well by the rest of his frame, so it seemed, and a thin-faced man with brown hair who crouched atop a nearby barrel. These individuals stood about on the dock, not talking to one another, but seemed to be waiting on the words of the two remaining individuals: An individual with such broad shoulders and a puffing chest, it took a closer inspection to see that she was, in fact, a woman of such massive frame in a kind of officers coat, hat, and dressed smartly. Behind her was a sober and thin looking man in a long black coat, he stood cleaning his spectacles.

Our sailor made his way to the group and saw that the old man from earlier was exiting the cabin to stand up on the deck, the small man was smoking his pipe and took a moment to exchange a few words with the black-coated man. Our sailor walked up to the group of disparate people and came first upon the bald woman in the red hooded garb.

“Hello.” he said to her after a moment, “Is this some kind of passanger ship?”

She glanced in his direction and said “La tatahadath maei.”

He was taken aback and resolved to be silent.

“She says don’t talk to her.” Came the deep voice of one of the nearby Scandinavians, the one in the green shirt. The tree of a man did not uncross her arms or look back to our sailor but remained with as solemn a look as ever could.

“Oh.” Our sailor said.

“She don’t speak the King’s.” The red-haired lad interjected. ” Not sure, maybe she’s in the wrong port.” He began poking her shoulder as though she were an oddity. “My name’s Kib, Don’t know how the Norwegian knows her demon tongue, but he don’t speak much o’ anything I’m sure there’s a good reason to bring-”

The woman spun around and slapped his hand away and spoke sternly into his face, “La talmus ‘aya waqt madaa!”

Her dark eyes stunted the lad, striking him to paralysis down to his feet. He shook where he stood under her lasting gaze. Our sailor laughed at the stricken Kib with his bugged eyes.

The Scandinavian leaned over Kibs shoulder in his pose. “She said don’t ever touch her again.”

Kib put his hands up “No harm done, no harm done. Will you tell her Norwegian? Tell her I’m sorry.”

“Yaqul altifl ‘iinah asif.” The scandinavian said.

She did not take her gaze off from Kib for a beat before looking up to the scandinavian and nodding and turning her back to Kib.

The red-haired lad put a hand on his heart. “Lord above, I’d swear she put some spell on me.”

Our sailor was thoroughly amused, he had met enough young lads who go about the world as though it were something to poke fun at, all too often they met with the teeth of their own ignorance to how things worked. Still, he began to wonder if such a strange collection were to crew the ship or if they were merely passengers. Perhaps both.

He was about to inquire to the scandinavian how he had come to learn such a strange language and what tongue it was, for the bald woman before him evoked such an alluring curiosity of someone he had never seen before. He would have liked to know what lands she was from, but before he could ask, the large woman in the officer’s uniform on the gangplank spoke in a deep commanding voice.

“Captain Tilluck will see you one at a time to add you to the ledger. This man next to me is Dr. Lunding, he will write your names down and in his book, you’ll make your mark if allowed. The pay is for the passage and for each passage only of 30 marks per passage, if that doesn’t suit you forgotten lot, then you can wait for the next ship or otherwise begone. Each sailor on this vessel is expected to work to make their keep and pay. That’s for the captain to decide. The first passage is around the horn, so it is not for the faint of heart, but it is up to you whether you sign on. Furthermore, if you are signed on, you are bound to-”

She trailed off, as her eyes glared down at the young child with the pistol.

“What are you doing here?”

The kid jumped up onto a barrel. “I’m gonna be a pirate!”

This elicited laughs from everyone who spoke English, in the case of the bald woman, the scandinavian translated for her and she put a hand up to her mouth with pitying eyes.

The big woman in the officer’s uniform laughed heartily. “Get away with you, this is no place for a child, where are your parents?”

The child spit onto the dock. “I ran away and if ye won’t let me come then I’ll have to shoot!”

WIth that, the kid took up the pistol on his shirt and pointed it at the woman. Her eyes flashed wide and a moment later the hammer hit home in the child’s pistol. Nothing happened.

“HA! you’re dead now, Now I’m the captain!”

An uneasy silence pervaded except for the blue-shirted scandinavian and the man on the barrel and Kib who roared with laughter while the big woman glowered at the child. In a swift motion, she stepped off the gangplank, hefted the kid up with one arm by the seat of his pants and pitched him and his pistol with one arm into the water. The kid made a splash off the end of the dock and bobbed up a moment later, his little face redder than a storm bouy.

“Get on now, I don’t want to see you back here again! You wet little rat!”

The kid swam down to the next dock and climbed up, dripping out of sight…

 

 

The Cousin of Death.

 

The sun speckled on the warm waters off the port. The ships were already stirring with the bustle of morning activity of sailors unfurling sails out in the bay and loading the lazes of their hulks still at the dock. The shouts and cries, the whistles of the bosun and the motion of the daily human feat seemed to be in full swing through the sun was still low on the horizon and the waking earth had seemed to only just be blinking open its eyes to the curious busy creatures among their floating oak towers and tiny crafts.

He had awoken in his bed, under the warm covers in the cool morning air, bottles of grog and rum strewn about the small room like so many moments taken from his memory or wit by the vile drink . Pressing him into the straw was a great melancholia and keeping his feet plunged under his woolen blankets was a paralyzing hesitation to embark on his life’s journey. His head felt as solid as an iron cannonball and it tethered him to this place of immobility as much as the rest. The dry humors of his body constricting his life to the thirsty dying retch he remained. Why must he carry on so?

Through the cracked window he could feel the warm breezes of the coast, hear the tinny sound of the blacksmith’s hammer, the knock of the carpenters, the rolling of carts and the “how d’you do”  of the regular people going about heir morning business. All living life had seemed to start without him and continue, and he wondered if not his own feeling, languishing in his bed was not the same as some diseased wretch in the sanitorium, wasting away while the world lived on without them. Did the rest of the world even exist beyond his room?

He could not raise himself until a bolt of realization coursed through him and his body heaved and lept from the bed. What physical motion seemed impossible a moment ago! As if such an incorporeal thing as a thought could tug him out to push him into the world with no wit or thought in his head other than the eternal dread of any person might when their actions lead them straying the jagged reef of life’s worst possibilities. He clambored for his boots, one under the bed, the other upon the dresser kicked up by uncaring and unremembering feet in the vaunted memory of the drunkerd. His coat in a pile under the coathanger and his bag cast to the far corner near the window. He looked out to the port and could see the ships and an endless curse rang like a fly’s wings through his mind.

He sped from the inn, dropped some crusty salt-stained coins at the innkeep’s desk, and drove into the air of the bright world. How pleasing the outdoor air is to a restful mind and how awful and foreign it is to the sloth. Passing the people and motions of the bustling street, he was as a passing specter he moving along at some speed, carried by his legs like a stork might stalk stiffly through the pond. The undulations of his own body with each step sent a twang of pain into his head and his desicated form. His chest tightened and heaving with painful tobacco resin coating from last night. How jovial and perfect it was last night, how understood and clear things were in such port rituals as drinking and smoking now seemed like the reaper’s work on him. The palms swayed above in the breeze and the cobblestones glistened wetly below, all under in the rising orb of the sun but he felt marred and dull and broken in the perfect world.

He knocked through the people of the market and burst forth hobbling down to the docks. Ships stationed there beginning to make the way out into the blessed open sea with souts from the captains. And yet here he was still on land. He rounded the far building and beheld his own ship, his lifeline back home, his pay and his traveling home. The sleek sloop was moving now a few yards beyond the dock. He could make out the figures of Tom and Jack and the captain standing firm in his big hat on the stern quarter. The jib and the mizzen were set and it’s pure white sails were luffing in the low breezes chariotting the craft out out out and away from him. He ran down the dock and dropped his bag by his side standing on this foreign port. He saw tom glance in his direction and point and laugh.

Utter despair was a single thought to him and it pounded with each beat of his struggling heart.

It was as he saw the ship make way for the open sea beyond the bluffs of the cove that he became aware of a presence next to him. It was a small old man with a big bushy beard. Bursting forth from his majestic whiskers was the stem of a pipe and it billowed the blue wisps of smoke into the wind. The old man’s ice blue eyes were looking out with him to the ship. The sailor had nothing to say, or he could not muster any words in his ruined and hungover state.

The old man spoke to him. “I can see in your eyes what I feel deeper in my heart.” He said.

The sailor furrowed his brow, glazed brown eyes lacking all wit or understanding.

“Did you miss your ship as well?”

“No…but I’d wager you did.”

“Drink and company kept me too long in the comfort of my bed. I see now that it’s not worth it, what a pitiful mess my life is, a horrid excuse I am living, a sham and a sloth and an utter waste my life is. I wish I could only sleep and never know what failure is or fall victim to life’s tragedies, such as this. For now, I am stuck in this port and I am assuredly fired for them to have let me here. I feel death, and I would rather sleep away all the ills of my life.”

The old man smiled between his beard and took the pipe from his mouth to chuckle.

“Does my failure amuse you old man?” he said, now turning to face him. The squat man only laughed even harder.

“Alrighty then boyo,” The old man said. “Remember now the comforting song of Morpheus does not ring in your mind and only freed from him, staunch and stark you stand as a ragged army crying loud into the passing sun as though it is a thing that can be smitten by the fire within. You must be never ceasing lest the dusk should feel cold on thy brow and wit trail away as a wisp. Envious are all the creatures and fools who wile their time in those dark halls, lost as a puppy taken by the great current of time, a spiteful and twisting river that confounds all who are lost to the shoals and rocks of old age, closer to that great ocean of all things and return to thy primordial ooze with never once viewing the trees or shores of thy life. Yet treading up as a salmon might toil, brings the same end save you find yourself in some small pool upriver, but it is their pool, their place of choosing, and O’ they shall jump waterfalls and brave the currents. And all those taken away by the currents of comfort will wag their heads over such a terrable trouble it was. Was it a comfort? Does it prove a greater blessing than achievement? Sleep aways nothing. True endless sleep comes the day after of thy life.”

“What?”

“Get some coffee, I need an able seaman on my brig and you’ll have to do. Dock 7 in an hour.”

With that the old man turned and left. The sailor hefted up his bag after a moment and made his way back to the town…

 

 

The heirloom blade. 

When I was young, I wandered in the woods by my house. It was in a time before cell phones or the internet. The woods were where the young men and I, still in the influence of 20th century values went off with plastic guns and weapons to build forts and fortify the great causes of history across the lands in our mental depictions of great men. We were in Vietnam, we were in the civil war, we were in the medieval woods of England or in the Holy Land fighting as knights or Bandits. I can only say that in my experience, it was only the neighborhood boys who participated and, where I did not excel in football or streethocky as an uncoordinated youth, I loved playing war. It was perhaps the only opportunity to use my imagination. It was the first time I remember Imagining with others, a game where war meant comradery and ideals.  Not killing, but struggling with others as a team and playing outside. We were  among the fallen leaves and the sunshine and the tall trees, hiding and running through the small block of wood between our neighborhoods. But at least we were in the real world, if it could only be enjoyed through events we would never truly understand.

After many years of adventure passed, I wandered into those same woods where my neighborhood army had built their forts. The old tarps and support logs now ripped and deteriorating, still with our kits and relics left behind. But something new was there, newcomers and invaders. There were yellow and green stakes plotting out the new development that would make the woods a new row of houses. The destruction of all past days of war and struggle over the land would be imposed by a better equipped army of backhoes. In defiance I tore those stakes out, took them home, and using my dad’s sheet metal tape and some black electrical tape crafted swords to fight with.

Most were long blades made in the Gallic fashion. With slashing and swiping.  Coated in aluminum and duct tape, I went out to the neighbors houses. Dressed in my fighting clothes. I went to each house, laden down with the previous night’s work of arms for the army that I would lead to defend our woods from the construction companies. Many said no, but most agreed, that something had to be done.

On a hot summer day, we prepared ourselves and took our weapons. We trained and prepared for hacking and slashing the machines and the grown men who would be driving them. I don’t think any of us intended to actually hurt anyone, but we would try to at least scare them off. We re-fitted our forts and made defensive positions. We dug trenches and readied the field for our great battle.

I had made one blade especially for me. It was long and I had put extra tape around the handle as a guard. But it was broken in the training so I was forced to adapt it in the style of a roman gladius. I felt like Caesar then, and the others agreed, that that was the right type of sword for the general. It seemed I was promoted.

Then the sound of machines and breaking trees were heard. We ran into the woods and hid among our defensive forts. The trucks and bulldozers and backhoes readied on the far street, we were gripped with silence and fear. Yet I held strong. I knew that those before me had fought impossible odds. The others thought differently, they thought this was stupid, that we couldn’t stop them.

I gave a speech.

“Whoose woods are these?” I said, standing before them as the engines stirred behind me. “They want to build new houses in OUR woods, they never used it, they never built forts here. Solders are meant to fight and why are we here if not as solders and warriors?” I banged by garbage can lid shield “And if we should die this day, it will be with a shout form my heart and getting as many of these bastard’s off our land. WHO’s WITH ME!”

The others we heartened and in a frenzy we let out a great war cry and charged from the woods up the field towards the road where the contractors were eating lunch. The grown men in beards and hard hats and reflective vests looked out and saw six lads in clanging slipshod armor charging toward them. There was no greater sense of victory in our hearts than in those moments when our legs pounded up the muddy grass.

I charged ahead, my sword outstretched and the aluminum glinting off the noonday sunshine. One of the workers put up his hands and said “Woah Woah guys” and David ran ahead of me and hit him in the shin so hard the man let out a slew of curses and fell ponderously to the ground. The other workers, realizing just how serious we would defend our homeland snapped into action. One grabbed Ryan’s sword and took it off of him. I jumped to his rescue and pushed him with my shield. He did not move, but when he shifted his attention to me, Ryan grabbed his sword back and ran.

The rest became a chase and chaos as I ran for one of the backhoes. I clamored up and into the cab. The keys were in it. It was running. Unsure of how to operate it I pushed a lever forward and the caterpillar treads began to lurch forward down the grass, tearing up dirt and rocks on to the woods below.

It’s safe to say that I panicked.

Then the door to the cab opened and a man grabbed me. I hit him with my sword and he threw it out behind him. Pulled me out and shut down the machine.

We were all lined up as prisoners. We were told to tell our home phone numbers. We  had lost.

Such trouble that I will never forget.

Still i managed to go back that night and find my sword. My blade resting along the outskirts of the woods.

This blade survived a long time, but it passed into secret vaults and was placed in hidden places among the world through the course of ages. I grew up. Got a job. Did my own thing. Eventually I adjusted. And now I’m in a time when nothing like my childhood could be replicated. Not so much trying to liberate my woods from a construction company, but a sense of self, of individualism, of imagination. I see kids now with tablets and phones, swiping their life. Knowing facts but not understanding experiences.

I had a daughter born to my family. She would be the only child I would ever have with my wife. I loved her with all my heart and treated her as I thought befitting of a daughter. I shielded her from discomfort and promised to protect her always. But each time I affirmed such a promise, I knew that one day I would not be able to keep it. I knew that one day she would need to take charge of her own life, and that I would phase into the past as all those before me had done. However, I did not know if I had the strength within myself to shed this truth to her. My little girl was too precious for me to spoil with the ways of the world.

For six years she grew and I could see flits of myself within her. I could feel the adventure and the longing for the wide spaces and perils of the proving life gives us. She was smart and had no short wealth in what I admired about her mother. The friendship and joining of our personalities were instilled within this being that ran and laughed before me. What those had said about avoiding childbirth and making new people was out the window when I saw her eyes and hair and vibrant living existence in front of me.

Yet still, beyond it all, I knew that there would be the inevitable and unspeakable sadness at the end of this road, if not for me in the end, most certainly for her… It horrified me.

One day, I found myself unable to sleep with the thought of her, alone in the world. I knew it made no real sense, but I could only see her as she was, a small child standing at a bus stop at 3 in the morning on some deserted city street with the vultures of the world about her.

I eased out of my bed and made my way through the house and wandered into the attic. The mess of old things and knick nacks brought me to photo albums of my own family and their familiar, yet mysterious faces that smiled back at me; captured moments of life that were frozen and dead on shiny plastic paper.

I was met with an overwhelming longing for the past, the shreds of history, of my own origins and identity and meaning. Boxes untouched for decades flew open and pages and photos and tchotchkeys and heirlooms were examined and spread across the hot and dismally dark space. All of life seemed to mean nothing, how could I live up to all those gods and goddesses, these elderly and past and wise people who formulated my own tribe and love?

And that’s when I overturned another box. Contained within were such things as a “pin-up-girl” flask, a tile painted with a coyote howling at the moon, books on herbalism and wars of Irish Kings. Sitting within the center of the pile was an old construction stake covered in metal tape and aluminum. It was the sword of my childhood adventures…The Gladius that lead the charge for the woods.

The wood broke through in several places, the aluminum was wrinkled and the red tape on the grip was peeling, but it gave all the impression of an ancient relic.

I felt a clarity and took it from the musty tomb where it had been sealed.

Some days later, in secret, I took my daughter aside.

“I have a surprise for you.”

“What is it?”

“It’s something very special.”

With an illustrious pose and a flourish I pulled the small sword from behind my back and while kneeling down to her, presented the fabled blade in outstretched hands.

“This is a very ancient and mystical sword.” I said, realizing as I spoke what it had meant to me. “It has slain many monsters and evil wizards. It has seen many battles and defied rulers and armies both horrid and foul.”

“Really?”

“Oh yea. A young warrior once held this blade and journeyed alone for many years. He had a long and hard road to get to where he is now, but whatever this world threw at him, he was able to best it. Through betrayals and sacrifices, and hardships, this sword helped defy those who wished him harm.”

She looked at the relic in awe.

“Does it have fire breath?”

“Heck yeah!”

“Cooool”

I began to hand her the sword. She reached out her hands, but I pulled back.

“But the most most important thing that you must remember is this…”

“What?”

“The power of this sword does not come from anywhere, but yourself. You give this sword the power it needs to fight any obstacle.”

She furrowed her brow at it. “Okay.”

“Then, by the power given to me, I dub thee, the rightful owner of this magic blade and in your own right, use as you see fit to fight those who would do evil upon yourself and the world.”

I tapped the sword on her shoulders and then flipped the pommel around to her. Her small hands gingerly reached out to grab the electrical tape. Then, grasping it in her fingers, she lifted it up in the lantern light and I bowed before her power.

 

Tesla City

They were walking together through the the lights. Glowing orbs caught in the droplets of fog and steam showing brilliance of electricity over the bridges and levels of roadways that spanned up towards the openings toward the metal enshrouded sky. The crackle and sparks that thundered from point to point through the air broke the serine atmosphere with harnessed thundering spears of Zeus. The power ducts glowed with energy never quite cooling between bursts, but to anyone accustomed to the city, this was one of the commonplace noises and sights along with the rattling of tramways, the horns of cabbies, the jets of steam release valves and a sky filled with the whir of a airplanes and zeppelins.

Windows

The three of them sat in the study, surrounded by all the books and tomes of the past centuries of humanity, all the great works of science and philosophy and literature, and they all knew that within all of this collective knowledge was contained the truth to it all  like breadcrumbs throughout all their pages and words.

“…I mean IT ALL is just as it sounds.”

“So it’s nothing?”

“NO, its literally all the stuff and things.”

“But anything you say that refers to IT ALL as the subject is not saying anything.”

“Not at all, for example if I say Its ALL a mystery, that we can’t know for sure of anything, it means what it says.”

“Look I’m not getting into THIS debate again with you.”

“Okay, but we can both agree that there is a phenomena occurring in which we (at the very least) perceive our own existence.”

“Sure.”

“Well in this context, the only thing that matters is perception of things. Our perception of things creates meaning.”

“yeah.”

“But then we have to wonder, from where do we perceive things happening? We cannot stop thoughts that arise from within us, and we can’t control what goes on outside of us, so there must be this place from which we see both sides.”

“Momma Catz didn’t say weather the windows would be in your head or in the wall.”

“So are you gonna look out or within?”

“That’s the trouble with it. You cant ever stand still long enough to get a good look one way or another. It’s not that I think Momma Catz isn’t full of it, I just think you can’t make it happen unless the windows are clean, and both windows just pile up with mud from all kinds of places.”

“I hear ya.”

“I mean, I get out there with the cleaner and the paper towel, if you get what I mean, but it never seems like the rain stops long enough, or the cars don’t stop going by for long enough to do it. The maintenance of it is just too painful, too fruitless to try.”

“But I mean, you’ve got to.”

Then Leon spoke up. “Who is this Momma Catz anyway?”

“You’d know her if you saw her.”

“yeah, hard to miss, she was at Bobby’s wedding last tuesday.”

“Oh. I think I know who you mean…” He didn’t.

“Anyway, why do windows need to be the thing to worry about. If you’re looking out or in, you gotta be in a room to begin with. Why not just keep that space tidy enough, then what goes on outside won’t matter so much.”

“Idk, then I feel like I’m missing out on stuff. I get anxious if I never see what the world is doing.”

“Some people are like that.”

“Yeah, but I don’t know who or what I am. I can’t find the words that make me feel comfortable with myself. Like I need a label, but they all don’t fit. If I just knew who I was supposed to be I’d get down to business and be who I was meant to be.”

Leon spoke up again. “But aren’t you already who you are?”

“No Leon, that’s not at all what I mean.”

“Yeah Leon, like are you looking out of the window or into the window, do you want a tidy room or a tidy yard, or are you just a mess all over?”

Leon had to think for a bit about that and ultimately would come to no conclusions. The other two continued their conversation.

“It really seems like Momma Catz knows it all though, like windows and maintenance and all that, where are we looking and who are we, these are the questions we need to always ask ourselves so that we can KNOW with all certainty what we should be doing with it all.”

“I mean you ask yourself who you are to spite those others who put you in a box.”

“I guess. You could do that.”

Then Leon spoke again. “I’m not really sure what game we are playing.”

“It’s the secret dude! It’s these questions of philosophy and science that will explain everything you need to know, to transcend what everyone else THINKS is important. You will become closer to a GOD if you know all this stuff.”

“Windows and Momma Catz and spite and where we are?” Said Leon.

“Exactly.”

“You just don’t get it Leon.”

“I guess not.”

Leon stood up and walked out of the room. He was not a god. He was not looking through any windows. He stepped out of the musty house and walked into the light rain that fell from the dark sky. He felt the cold, and it did not bother him, for cold and warm are only things that countless generations of humanity endured without perishing. In the water there were no words, and his mind was still for every cell and environment of his being wholly existed as Leon in the rain without needing to know any more than where he was and who he was. The great questions continuing in the room, the school and philosophy of whomever momma catz was continued spiraling into disillusion and malaize and ‘ennui.

The cold rain was conquered by Leon for the time-being and his clothes became wet, but they were only clothes. They would become dry and he had no important place to be.

In Leon’s mind there was only whether one would rather spend their life trying to grasp the ineffable, or feel the goodness of existing beyond petty discomfort.

One who never knew the sensation of giving in to the greater and being a part of it, would never know the truth of it all. It is a truth with many names and words and writings that span the centuries of human existence. But only those with the luxury to wonder will wonder and those who can be content with not knowing, or simply knowing enough, would come to find it.

Thoughts do not exist, only actions exist, only sensations exist, only reality exists, and it is as definable as the great being of things, of that which exists simply IS and what does not exist IS not.

Every gap is filled with a being, anything that can find a place will find it and go to it, for the great interlocking and meshing of cells and forms and plants and animals, can only work on what IS there. The chemicals and gasses and electrons of all matter contained form and build where it is possible. If it did not they would not be.

So Leon, not realizing this in so many words, simply didn’t worry about it, because he stood on solid ground, the ground under his feet. He felt the air contained within the world that he was made for. And he was glad that he could be happy just knowing what he knew without explaining it.

 

 

 

Endless Rain

I hope it rains forever,

So the same places don’t feel the same,

So I don’t need to feel too alive,

So the same people won’t speak,

So it’s as if the world’s already died.

I Hope it Rains forever,

and clouds block away the sun,

and droplets form on the ceiling,

and make the weak ones run.

I Hope it rains forever,

and starts drowning all the cars

with lightning and sparks,

I Hope it rains forever,

That one could rest their mind,

and thoughts patter on the asphalt

and run off through the gutters and storm drains and pipes,

far far away,

staining the oceans blood red and orange

trailing off into time.

Forever.