Manifesting Destiny #20

Moon in Taurus

It’s about the grounding, the safe and sacred place to release the charge. Feeling inadequate, out of focus. Yeah, the deadlines get tiring, their continual obligation, too tiring and I send in work not up to the standard I expect. No, no one is calling me on it. We all seem to have entered some summer space of lazy disregard or hyper-giddiness. Lots of our community energy is dissipated on far-flung festivals, self-finding excursions. We who are left behind far from forming a responsible core seem to be melting in the chain of sudden storms, wilting like the grass inundated in rain. I don’t know if it’s part of the global warming thing. It’s sure not any warmer, just wetter than my mental collection of summer memories. I have to get a new pen. This one keeps leaking at critical moments. How am I going to market my angst if I can’t read it?

I talked to Celia, Mom, today. She calls from time to time to check in, keep up to date. I call from time to time when I need to blubber or be cruelly sarcastic about childhood memories that erupt disquietingly, or just because once in a blue moon I feel like a daughter. Today she was the one who wanted to talk about memories. I was feeling squeezed by the deadline for my Lammas piece which was refusing to come together. We talked at cross purposes for a few minutes. Aunt Marie died 17 years ago next month, which means my as yet unmet half-brother is about to be 17 years old. Not an especially commemorative year. I guess he would be going into his senior year of high school, except, as I recall, they were being home-schooled so as not to miss any educational opportunities. Gwen liked to pick up and go en famille on a whim without having authorities or institutional calendars to consult. Danny’s new family (though not so new by now) was only peripherally on Celia’s mind. Mostly she talked about me, asking about what projects I was involved with and intimating that she would like to see me, get together, share some quality time, when it might be convenient. I know, I don’t visit her enough. She really has always been there for me, despite our difficulties. I admit I am at least as difficult as she is. It’s never been a question of love or loyalty. We have very different styles, ways of being, enthusiasms. I don’t blame her anymore for my broken-home upbringing or the glaring differences between our family and those of my neighborhood peers that I suffered for. Yes, I did blame her, unfairly I now see, for a lot of my years. I know better now. I’ve told her so. Still, I manage to avoid spending much time together. It seems better that way. Perhaps, well more like definitely, there are issues we need to work out. Perhaps in the fullness of time we will.

I guess I could start thinking toward arrangements to visit for her birthday in September, Virgo on the cusp of Libra. Well and good, but this decision hasn’t done a thing for this twisted feeling, just short of anxiety. My sure cure — I can go talk to Tom about it and feel safely secured within his protective psychic and physical embrace. That’s what this human thing is about — sharing the little bumps and bruises and irrational moments with someone who gets it and gets me and is happy to be that place of safety and love. Why not be there when we can?

Manifesting Destiny #19

Moon in Capricorn

We stopped at some generic fast food place to get some take-out grease on our way to an afternoon concert in the park. The staff seemed pretty spiffy, alert, working as a well-oiled team, with cute smiles and calm speaking style to deal with the milling clientele. Hobbled old folks, snarling young folks, brawling children, drawn-eyed parents, an imbroglio like some surrealist comedy. Spending so much of my time safely ensconced in my little fringe community, I forget how sad and unempowering daily life in the city usually is. Thank Goddess I’ve never been mainstream or Main Street. Thank the whole blessed pantheon that I’ve been able to frame my lifestyle in my chosen direction, somehow getting the little breaks I need to keep my self-creation moving along in my own idiom. Apparently, most people don’t get those breaks, or don’t recognize them as breaks. They seem so tightly wound and scared, and bristlingly angry. Not everyone, but the general trend. Reading comments on blogs, or hearing bits of conversation on the street, there’s so much blaming, sarcastic digs, caustic platitudes, pointing at the designated scapegoat or anyone daring to disagree. Was the voice of the people always so mean, so closely wrapped, so crab-like stealthily pinch/withdraw/pinch again? Yeah, Cancer (the sign of the Crab, not the ubiquitous disease) rules the commoner, the public or publick, those served by the publick house or politician.

Families like those of the kids at school, giving them the license to torture me for being different, foster these so-called conservative values. I never knew my grandparents, any of them, apart from stories. I didn’t grow up in the wake of those emblematic American homes of the 50s. My dad ditched his military family history to be a ne’er do well songwriter, living pretty much on charisma. My mom rejected her Italian-American working class school teacher family traditions to follow a romantic dream. When she woke up, finding herself a single parent in a different working class neighborhood where she was figuratively spat on for being too much the intellectual elite, she closed off from the people of tradition yet again. The values I assimilated were not those of my grandparents, or even my parents or peers. I kind of made it up as I went along, mostly doing my real living in self-made fantasy. Perhaps that is how writers are formed, the creative sort that tell our visions, not the tell-all gossips or tech texters. Filmmakers, too, and other kinds of creators from the seeds of mental masturbation, are we all creating worlds in which we can feel welcome? What about those who work at those quirky idiosyncratic jobs, finding those precious niche markets in the hidden back alleys of commerce? Meanwhile mainstream commerce stamps out all the perky fast food servers and other barely above bound servant laborers willing to totally be the brand, mold themselves into appropriate hive-worker mentality. All the flag-waving “land of the free” and the patriotic hatred of those who “hate us for our freedom” while those so fervently defended freedoms are carelessly forgotten, even defiled, in the name of everyday practicality, in the name of some commercially designed prescription for survival. Or, in short, selling their souls to The Man for a promised share in the American nightmare. I assure you, me, this is no whine of bitterness from a certified loser. I’m not the loser. I’m the lost child that slipped through the veil into Neverland where life is a never-ending adventure. I never have to grow up into some semblance of tight-wrapped normalcy, however “normal” is being defined and by whom. That was never my role.

Maybe we who have slipped through the veil are like the tribal shamans. Maybe we have a sacred duty to live apart from the life of the norm that we may intervene with the deities, bringing back treasures beyond knowing, invisible to those who refuse to see. Or maybe we just get to ride off and enjoy our adventures, regardless of mainstream rules and desires. Maybe I was incarnated for some divine purpose. More likely, I get to define my mission for myself. Everyday I get to create my life, my art, my self and expression. I thought that was the purpose of freedom, the primal scream of the American dream.

Full-Moon tonight. Hear me howl!

Manifesting Destiny #18

Moon in Virgo

My refuge, my sanctuary.

When Daddy Danny left us, Celia was inconsolable and resolute, the way she can be. In some ways she clung to me as all she had left of love and family. Still, she had, what I now realize, an acute awareness that I had my own issues of abandonment, anger, mixed with fear and loss. She wanted me to have my own space to work it out in, not entangled with her grief.

My mother is at heart a woman of the written word. Her safe haven and playland as a child was in books. In college she had concentrated on literature, with an ambition to teach as a college professor, something her public school teacher parents could view with pride. Even without the laudable career, she lived in a world of literature. To focus her mind and cope with emotional outrage she worked, reworked, never satisfied, on a poem she had started in college. I had been named for that obsession, a poem based on the myth of the Goddess Persephone. She is obviously a strong romantic archetype for Celia. Though, of course, her rational mind would never think of Goddess worship.

When I asked why she was always writing, sometimes sobbing or angry over the closely worded, scratched out and revised in margins, pages, she set her draft aside to answer. She pulled out of the desk drawer a fat spiral notebook and a plastic case of colored pens.

“I know it has become sad and confusing here since your daddy’s been gone. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about your feelings. It can help to write what you feel, even when there’s no one else around you have some place safe to open up and let out what you need to say. Try it.”

Even at 5 I had been reading and writing for as long as I could think about. These skills came naturally for me as walking and talking. Instinct from DNA? I liked fairytales and diverse myths from different cultures which I found in books laying about the house. I liked to write little doggerel verses, simple song lyrics, my mimicking of Danny’s craft. I took the gift, very seriously, and sat among the cushions in a corner of the room, playing at making words with different colors as I saw them in my mind. That notebook and its descendants have been my sanctuary, sounding board, never failing friend and companion. I get to focus the whirling storm of thought and emotion in my mind onto a magical manifestation of words on paper. Look, here, thoughts, feelings, spun out into a metaphoric web into which I safely let go. I soothe, energize, inspire myself with ramblings emerging from subconscious grappling with all the daily influences input into my senses, revelations made visible. Who needs drugs? (I mean other than for socializing or specific biological ends.)

I’m not the practical one. It’s Celia who has that Virgo critical breaking down of information skill to fall back on. I’m just a mass of Sagittarian fire, caught up in my enthusiasms of the moment. This notebook is my continuity, my exoskeletal structure, giving my bits and pieces a place to come together.

Thanks, mom, for this nightlight to watch over my dreams.

Manifesting Destiny #17

Moon in Taurus

These preachy Christians give me a pain. All this warning about the homosexual scourge, I guess a subset of the general sexual scourge plaguing mankind. You’d think we somehow invented biology in defiance of the Lord.

Yeah, Lord, the metaphor that says we are a race of serfs, making our living at the pleasure of the owner of the land. So it’s okay if you are a sorry excuse for a friend or lover or whatever so long as you make the right sacrifices to the protector to whom you owe allegiance. Doesn’t sound like what I’ve heard of Jesus. To my understanding of the story he was a righteous, kewl dude. I don’t remember him ever saying anything about the evil of gayness. He probably was pretty much gay himself, hanging with all those worshipping dudes he picked up along the way and told to forsake their families to come with him, sleeping rough, giving solace to the lonely and sore of heart. Think of the parties with him turning water into wine and blessing the whole occasion. Jesus wasn’t about repression or exclusion. He was about life and love and peaceful coexistence.

You know, it makes sense that those admonitions against gay sex in the Old Testament were in a section about dietary laws. Apart from the obvious joke, those laws were really about health risks. God’s people were being warned against eating creatures seen as unclean. What could be more unclean than sticking a part of your body into the part of another from which excrement flows? Seriously. God was warning his people to have safer sexual practices. So where do his people come off making such a big deal about condoms? I mean they are one of those clever human inventions, a way of compromising so we get to have fun and health. I guess some people are wound so tight that they have to have old, ancient, strictures to hold onto. Sounds like insanity to me. Which is fine. I mean, there’s plenty of insanity of all flavors out there. Mostly we manage. I just prefer not to be ruled by the blatantly insane. I prefer to have the common moral code based in sanity. Even if I give credence to the worship of their God, he didn’t write the Bible. It was guys of the day who I guess could be compared to our journalists, telling the stories as interpreted by their own culture and precepts. Yeah, God would want his people, his hands, his workers upon the Earth, to avoid blatantly unhealthy practices. He would want them to be fruitful and multiply in a time when there was such a high rate of early death, all those battles for the glory of God, and disease. But in those Ten Commandments, the holy law, there is nothing specifically about sex at all. Adultery? That about honoring your sacred bond, your oath of faithfulness taken in marriage. No sex. No drugs. No rock and roll. These are not proscribed in the Commandments. Maybe Christians wouldn’t be so bad if they actually believed in their religion, the part given by their holy spirit, not the clergy politicians.

Part of having a minority faith, you have to really think about what you believe in the face of all those followers of the One True Church, culturally supported, even mandated in a lot of ways. Goddess, give me strength to see the truth, as much as I am able, despite the mass-hypnosis I strive to avoid. It helps to have friends, and lovers, who agree in alternative beliefs. I guess that’s why we have religions rather than everyone practicing their own private, personal spirituality.

Manifesting Destiny #16

Moon in Aquarius

Summer Solstice. The Sun reaching its peak performance. We certainly gave a peak performance at the Goddess Center tonight. Despite all the nervous energy attacking our community lately, or maybe because of it, finally finding an outlet to feel good in release. I, of course, was brilliant, dazzling in my presentation, recitation, expressive movement to elegant improvisational music, as well as my bit parts in ritual incantations. It was a living dream, despite or because of all the sidebar drama.

I love this motley bunch we think of as our pagan artistic community. Creative types, lovable but totally crazy, loudly proclaiming our mutual lovefest when not loudly proclaiming our independent outrages. Everyone needs a special place to come first, to be more noticed, to be catered to and expect nothing but applause for whiny venting or sympathy for yet another crisis. Not to mention, though everyone does, loudly, personal traumas, romantic disconnections, family issues, how can I get my work done when they turned off my electricity or who can afford simple errands with gas going up practically every minute, and on and on. Personally, I haven’t had a car in years and would happily laugh at fuel prices if they didn’t drive up my groceries as well (and then there’s the winter heating costs on par with burning large denomination currency). Don’t let my pecuniary disdain fool you: my prima donna streak is as wide as any. But I am so cool. I’ve learned the fine art of taking advantage of confusion to subtly get my way. And, of course, my way is the best, isn’t it? Never mind. The point being the result was marvelous and an excellent time was enjoyed by all. Nervous energy transformed to kinetic dancing, electric performing, what we humans call “fun.”

Ritual wine and cannabis-laced cakes may have helped in taking the edge off, I’m sure. Ritual, to keep the community whole, healthy, in tune. Ultimately, everyday can be a celebration of being alive. We just seem to find some strange and nasty ways of celebrating a lot of those days. Is war a celebration, homage to the war gods? When we are totally horrid to each other, and ourselves, is that a celebration of the horrors within us? Do the wealthy celebrate their position with human sacrifice? Do people farther down the food-chain celebrate our pretentions to superiority in casting down and condemning those with any differences we can elevate to shame? Yeah, we arty types, we’re selectively insane. Dancing on my inner stage, limbs and neck moving right along, to remembered music, I am in tune with my human contradictions. Dear Goddess, let me dance out all these questions for my dreams to ponder. I mean, without that annoying irritation, no pearl forms. I am a gypsy dancer, casting pearls before the swinish crowd. Dancing in firelight reflecting my visions, days of early dawns, late sunsets, sweaty heat and sudden storms bursting with lightning.

My lover returns from temporary slumber. Soon his hand will remove my pen from mine, taking my hand into his. We will dance together in Summer’s early light.

Manifesting Destiny #15

Moon in Scorpio

It’s like I’m consolidating. I feel myself moving into a deeper version of me. I’m drawn to examine where I’ve come from, who I’ve been, roles I’ve tried out, tried on for fit — consolidating data to make the leap into a more fully informed identity.

I have this body I inherited not from one person or another, but an amalgamation of DNA. Thick, long, abundant red-gold hair that I sensuously enjoy flinging against my skin, a gift from my father and, as Marie told me, gifted to him from sainted mama Louella. She died before my mom and dad ever got together. Had she lived longer and I still been born, no doubt I would have known and loved her as did those of her children I did know and love. Thank you, Grandma Louella, for your luscious red hair and your vivid, creative imagination, your manic energy, your loving gentleness, your brilliant spirit. Then there’s my clear sun-kissed skin from Celia’s Southern Italian ancestors of whom she never speaks. My moss green eyes must be nature’s synthesis of Celia’s green-flecked brown and Danny’s turquoise blue — his compromise of Louella’s green and Robert’s blue. I have the womanly version of Danny’s strong-boned soldier’s build, though not his height. Still, I am taller, generally larger, than small-boned, petite Celia, who undermines the expectations of her small size with her fierce determination. So, I’ve got this hodge-podge of inherited traits to work from. (“From which to work”? Who comes up with these stilted forms, or lesser forms, and their distinction? I am wandering …)

I’ve always been so independently self-defined. But then, I’ve often been doubting my own definitions as against those who disrespect me. There’s a thing about being an artist, or so it seems to me, of constantly being confronted with oneself, doubting and refining values and interpretations. Maybe it is an unhealthy self-obsession. But those stories, songs, poetry, have to come from somewhere. Or not. There does seem to be a glut on the artistic market. Everybody has their creative spark to play with. I certainly don’t want to court the wages of hubris. Yet, to even bother to bring to market my scribblings, my strangely main marketable skill, I have to spend a lot of time in that place in which I know I am brilliant and well worth listening to.

Okay, it’s the muse, the Goddess of Artistic Visions. She tells me what to say. I am but a vessel.

I am a vessel of my ancestors and my muse. I am also a fully functioning human, being and becoming. I’ve got to be expressing my love of adventure, growth, assimilation of experiences, experiences that become me. Looking through the experiences I have come out of, feeling this new to me drive to consolidation. It feels good to touch my core and know I am someone I can count on.

The days are so long now. There’s so much to celebrate.

Solstice next weekend. Thank Goddess, I have turned in my songs and stories. My time is my own for Solstice dreaming. Very soon Tom and I will be dancing and sending out wishes beneath the end of Spring Full Moon.

Manifesting Destiny #14

Moon in Libra

I was an adored child. The grown-ups in my life may have been totally screwed up, but they always loved me unconditionally. Somewhere I always knew that. I mean, I was a total pariah in my neighborhood, but the people who counted knew I was amazing. Imagine my guilt when I kept screwing up, big time. Yes, out of my large-scale self-expressive hubris, I, an inexperienced young woman with big chips on my shoulders, managed to keep showing myself to be a fool. Probably no one was even watching but me. My mom still tells me I’m great whenever we speak.

In a real way, all that bratty messed up behavior is behind me now. I have become someone I created out of the ashes. I have become a woman I can be proud to present to the people who believed in me. They never expected wealth or fame, just that I would do them proud as a strong-minded, independent force upon the Earth. I’m getting there, bit by bit, in my own idiom. I feel the late Spring wind, with hints of Summer’s heat. I keep getting flashes of scenes from my childhood, like trailers from a movie. Maybe I’m working toward some revelation that will put my whole life in perspective. Maybe my stupid, childish belief in my special mission is true, and there is a great piece of art incubating inside me. Maybe I’m psychotic, having delusions of grandeur, incubated in my psyche by too being given too much adulation in my formative years.

I think Celia was sexually abused by her dad. She’s never said anything. All the stories I hear, though, the women I know who have gone through that hellish childhood, the way she is so reserved, secretive, brash in that forced way, gives me that idea. Marie told me about some of the tortures her dad and his older sons laid out for Danny, to toughen him up. The suffering of little children that no one seems to see in this world of Disneyland and video cartoons, it breaks my heart.

Yeah, what happened to my parents was, obviously, a generation ago. It’s still happening today, right now. Parents raise powerless kids unable to connect with the blessings all around us, insisting they put on a happy or appropriately miserable face to fit in and keep the family secrets. I do hear the stories all the time in the women’s groups I attend. Pagan artists are far from immune. Even if I myself wasn’t molested by my nearest and dearest, there were always those pathetic men, young and old, looking at me in that sadly dangerous way wherever I went. These days I discount their presence as a matter of course. There’s a lot to be said for a Darwinian theory of a predator society. There’s a lot more to be said for a magick theory of alternative realities within which we can craft a world in which we can best live. It is important to craft the spell carefully, mindful of the power of the words of incantation. Not too limiting; not too open to evil; not too micro-managed at the expense of spontaneity; it has to be carefully thought through and made just right. In this cosmic sense, I am not working on a deadline. You might say it’s more of a lifeline. I was a damn mystical little kid, and I’ve still got it — that magical world where I am quite at home.

Manifesting Destiny #13

Moon in Gemini

I’ve been thinking about that theory of human life being some kind of ultimate point of the Universe. Divine Design, I guess. God’s will with the “scientific” twist about all these highly improbable coincidences that had to be just right or life wouldn’t have made it. But then, self-evidently, we are here, as well as a plethora of other things and beings. I mean, there’s no logical reason for it to have been other than accidental, the vagaries of eternity and random chance. Not that I believe it all accidental. I have a multi-layered view of reality. On some level an event could well be an accidental meeting of forces. On some level it could be eternally meaningful, part of a work of art or grand legend. On some level it could be imagination, maya, a random thought soon forgotten, a dream, a metaphor. On some level it could be a cosmic joke or a cosmic unraveling of all that is which includes all that could be, all existing at once, but seen spread out, like taking in a panorama.

Sometimes I think I awaken into a subtly changed Universe, maybe a very close parallel dimension, where all those little differences appear like memory glitches or strange miscommunications. Reality is definitely not what it’s made out to be in school and mass media. No, it’s not the drugs. I really don’t do that hardly anymore. When I did, I was way too involved in self-pity to have any conceptualizations of this nature. It is difficult, though, to speak of these concepts in prose. The word/referent link is slippery. Maybe that’s why scientists use math. Is math a kind of poetry, symbolic language to describe concepts not easily manipulated into common parlance?

I never thought about math like that before. The way it was pigeon-holed in school didn’t make sense. Of course numbers are often combined with words as adjectives and functions, often act as metaphors. I think I’m digressing.

Okay, music is based on math, intervals, rhythms, resonances. But is the music I hear in my head mathematical, or pure experience based on intuitive emotive reaction to sound? The language is the map, the human-made interpretation and communicative symbology. The experience is the territory, the reality. I think art is meant to bridge the gap, to be a language of more direct experiencing.

Who else could I talk to like this without sounding so totally out there? Good to have you to converse with, Persephone’s journal. No, that’s not fair. I do have friends who get these conversations about, well I guess metaphysics. Tom and I definitely connect on that level. There is something very basic, a pull, a cord (chord?) between us. Something meant to be? I can say we get each other on a fundamental level, but that is map, not territory. On many levels we complete each other. We can experience other lovers without jealousy or even concern, because what we share, even sexually, is about essence and mutual need for that deep expression, again poetry, music, knowing beyond words.

Maybe it’s just me, too hung up on words, my writer’s world. But then, I do directly experience all the time. Experience, that’s the element of writing, of any art, you can’t fake. You can learn all the tricks, but experience is what provides something meaningful to say. Without that, all you’ve got is language. What use is a map without territory to refer to?

Manifesting Destiny #12

Moon in Aquarius

With Celia it was mostly “Persephone” with the occasional “Seph” when truly informal. Danny and Marie tended to go with “Peri” softly sweet. I was 5 when he left. Marie carried forward the tradition. I was 12 when she left, more permanently. He still called me Peri when we talked by phone, on his very occasional letters, when he came back for that short time to bury his sister, though I was less innocently sweet by then. I was turning bitter. Why not? My world seemed to be in a steady state of crumbling. But I loved for him to call me Peri, when I was his little girl. All I wanted was to be his Peri whom he loved enough to take back with him to his real family in California. I was even willing to be big sister to precious Maya and baby Osiris (Sy). Gwen was eclectic in her deities, in her lifestyle, in all her ways, but staunchly firm against Danny’s previous life intertwining with the life they shared. She was adamant that he cut his ties with Celia, apparently some big loyalty test he had to continually pass. His trip back East for Marie’s funeral must not renew ties to us.

He was not cruel. Far from it, he was completely loving, even apologetic. How could I feel anything but love, and misery in knowing that he would soon be gone again? And contempt for Celia, how could I feel anything but? What is it about kids? We would do anything for a loving glance from the rejecting parent, while spitting in the face of the parent who is always there. Such contrary creatures.

I love it when Tom calls me “Purr” “Purrsephone” though I am way too clumsy to be catlike. With him, I do purr with contentment.

I won’t abide “Percy.” Friends will generally put up with the whole mouthful, but will often fall into the easier “Seph” as Celia did, or even “Peri.” I am not exclusive about these names. They are only attention-getting sounds. I was (secretly) bothered back in school when the popular kids and hangers-on dubbed me “Phoney.” I think they thought they were clever. Names. Symbols that attach to us, as if some kind of definition. Mostly we are so accustomed to this designation of sound and letters by the time we have any coherent awareness, we simply accept that this is who we are. At least I didn’t have the cognitive dissonance of responding to my name in the midst of other children designated by the same vowels and consonants. At least as a child, I got to feel that my unique name might be tied to a marvelous destiny. I had only a vague idea of the myth, then, that I had been named for. I didn’t think about my ancient namesake, torn between two worlds. All I knew was that I was named for a goddess. I wonder what her friends called her. Did her husband, God of the Underworld, call her “Purr”? Did she feel content in his realm? This is what we writers do. We wonder about things that never were, and spin out tales from our wondering. I mean, why should what is called “reality” be seen as more truthful than fiction? So much of our reality is made up, stories we tell ourselves or everybody knows. Names that are imposed when we are too young to understand that it is only a name, a word, a metaphor for who we really are. Still, our names are certainly more colorful and meaningful than some random alphanumeric designation.

Manifesting Destiny #11

Moon in Libra

I may not have a lot, talking about material things, and more concretely, the symbol behind all that stuff, money, and the fantasy of all that stuff money can be exchanged for. When I say I don’t have a lot, that is only in comparison to some American dream, or even many people I know and interact with. But, I could as easily compare my store of possessions to the truly poor, and see myself quite wealthy. That’s the point. I am. Quite wealthy on my own terms — with everything I value. I know I complain horribly because I can’t afford some terribly important toy. But, hey, they say Danes love to complain, yet keep testing out as the happiest people on Earth. And why are the Danes so happy? Because they like what they get. They don’t need wealth in terms of breakable toys and up to date impressing accoutrements of ostentation. They are happy to have fulfilling jobs and lots of time to play and enjoy with loved ones. Me too. I could be Danish! Well, a Dane of Irish/Italian extraction born in the USA. But my point is that I don’t even have time to be buying the latest gadget and fashion or keeping up with high consumption rates (and wasn’t consumption some romantic disease a couple of centuries back?). I’m way too busy having fun, expressing my lovely creativity, and lovelier sexuality (hee hee). If sex sells second-degree products, I’m obviously ahead of the game, going directly to the first degree real experience. Is that what the “make love, not war” people were about?

Walking my hero’s journey
to the music of my soul
Dancing, in tune with my Universe
Millions of sparkling diamonds
light my cotillion

Manifesting Destiny #10

Moon in Leo

Marie and Danny were sibling outcasts, she would explain, not complaining, more like bragging. Colonel Robert Aidan “Sir,” their soldier dad would taunt them as “Louella’s girls.” He was probably surprised that Danny didn’t end up gay. He never paid enough attention to realize that Marie was. “I don’t think he knew that girls could be other than Mothers or Whores, dutiful wives or dependent daughters, defined by the men who commanded them.” She would say it with a look of reverie, not bitterness. She never cared enough about Old Robert to resent his dismissal of her. By the time he came back from the War, she was an opinionated, intellectually pampered 5 year old, already sure of her self-determination. She refused to go, a year or so later, when Colonel Aidan was deployed to a base in another state. Her doting maternal grandparents agreed that she was happy at the private school they paid for near their home, that she would be best for now staying with them while Bobby and Louella settled in to their new home.

With Bobby, Jr. already baking in Louella’s oven, Bob, Sr. was glad enough not to be embroiled with a recalcitrant 6 year old. It wasn’t until 3 years later, with Bobby, Jr. and little Stevie underfoot that Bob, Sr. insisted his daughter join the family to help her mother with the boys.

Marie felt nothing but resentment toward her father and younger brothers. They were all obnoxious brats as far as she could tell, not because they were boys but because they were not much classier than classic rednecks. But then, a year or so later when Danny was born, she immediately felt an intense connection with him. She was instantly, totally, irrevocably in love with this youngest brother who embodied all the best qualities of their wild, crazy, by now desperately unhappily trapped mom, plus even more endearing qualities of his own. He was a beautiful, imaginative dream of a child, she would say so fondly. I knew what she meant. When I knew him, though ostensibly I was the child, he was right there with me. Everybody loves Danny. Except, of course, his dad and brothers, because to them he did not embody the proper archetype of man, or boy. Men aren’t gentle. They don’t care passionately about ideals or art or beauty. Men are strong and fierce, tricky against opponents, which includes everyone. Men don’t trust, certainly not women, rarely other men. Maybe, if they’ve gone through combat together. “Louella would swear her Bobby had been different when they were young and so in love.” Marie would try to explain what she could not understand. It was all unreal to me, stories I loved to be told. I loved feeling safe and adored, being schooled in my heritage by my marvelous, mystical aunt who had done so much, been so many places, known so many kinds of living unheard of by my schoolmates and their families, those I thought of as the real world.

Aunt Marie’s stories, like my mom’s, were about other worlds, far from what I could expect here and now. They told me stories so fantastic, to them merely history, and I felt my world expand into unknown possibilities. Now I tell my stories — real, fantasized, some combination, and feel in touch with my matriarchal core, my lifeline, maybe a call from destiny. Yeah, typical psychotic megalomania. Hey, if paranoids can have enemies, megalomaniacs can have great destinies, or at least great fantasies. I am loved, lovable, in love, so fantasies can be true.

My dad, Danny, for all his faults, is so much better a man than his dad, Robert, for all his self-absorbed glory. Aunt Marie, sparkling gem among the living when she was with us, if I ever attain honor as an artist, that honor belongs to you.

Morning birds are singing. Sunday morning. I’ve nowhere I need to be. Or, maybe I need to be walking in the Spring dawn, sharing my secrets with the birds.

Manifesting Destiny #9

Moon in Taurus

I’m not my mother’s daughter, nor my father’s for that matter. Growing up I was closest to my free-spirit Aunt Marie, who encouraged my wild ways and love of fantasy. Her dying, when I was 12, ended my idyllic childhood. Celia and I were thrust upon each other without a buffer, while grieving over losing Danny all over again.

He popped in for his sister’s funeral, leaving wife and kids in California. New kid #2 had just popped out, and Gwen was in no position or desire to travel cross country, despite her long friendship with Marie and Helen, Marie’s wife of decades. Dead is dead, after all. Marie and Gwen wouldn’t be doing any catching up. Helen was pouring her grief into packing up, selling the farm, getting ready to start her new life as a widow abroad. Gwen also had reason not to want to tangle with Celia or me.

Dad was here, but overwrought dealing directly with Marie’s passing. She was the only part of his natal family that he still adhered to. She had been his best friend and savior through good and bad parts of his life. He had been still in contact by telephone and occasional long, rambling drunken letter, even the occasional get together on neutral ground. Marie, though she did not think of Celia as a friend did think of her as family. I was practically a daughter to her. Though she and Gwen had been friendly, Marie never approved of her taking Danny from us. Gwen had insisted when she and Danny married that he have no further contact with Celia, though she knew better than to include contact with me in that edict. I, like Marie, got the occasional letter and telephone conversation, but only at Marie’s farm. As I spent most of my time there after school while Celia was at work and on school breaks, that was not difficult to manage.

While Danny was here, he was genuinely happy to see us. Celia was somehow wise enough to enjoy his company for this brief time rather than poison it with spite and remorse. I hoped beyond any rationality that he would stay, or take me with him when he left. Gwen would never have gone for it. Though she prided herself on her open mind in most cases, she was frankly intolerant of Celia and, by extension, me. With the law, lush lifestyle, and two youngsters, one a newborn son, on her side, I didn’t stand a chance. That didn’t stop me from hoping, being bitterly disappointed, blaming Celia most viciously, brooding for years. Well, maybe I am my mom’s daughter a bit. She was my most prevalent role model. It was a stormy life, and I became well practiced at asserting my independence.

The first time Danny left, when I was five, almost six, Celia gave me a notebook and a box of colored pens. She said it would help me to write my feelings when I couldn’t speak them. A writer was born and made from that childhood trauma. Storms and silver linings.

I like my little room. My space, reflecting my taste and lifestyle, where I can land and recharge. I like that I know I can land on my feet wherever I find myself, in the absurd twists and turns. I like being able to see it all as stories, mythical breadcrumbs along a path from there to here and onward, along some Yellow Brick Road. Where are my brave, wise and caring companions? Don’t get me wrong — I love my friends and am totally blown away by the many wonders of my lover. Still, ultimately, I always seem to be traveling this road on my own. I guess that means I get to make my own terms. Brave, wise, caring, sounds like me. Maybe we get to be the people we hope to find, if we’re open to finding us within. No, that’s not schizophrenia. It’s brave, wise, caring, reflective. Dad was a troubadour. Mom was a melancholy yet practical romantic. Threads weaving into stories decorate my inner room that I carry with me.

Manifesting Destiny #8

Moon in Aquarius

I’m not one of those neurotic women who turn off on sex because of bad relationships. I don’t blame the sex, but the situations, stupid expectations, as if mere humans could become fairytale princes or any more than just what they are. Casual sex is cool, as long as everyone knows what they are agreeing to. I never got that thing about lying to get her into bed. I mean, don’t you expect there to be a morning after, and all the time after that, to deal with repercussions that never need be set in motion?

People make too big a deal about sex — I know, you have to be careful of deadly STDs and starting new lives you are unprepared to deal with, but those are issues we clever humans have found effective ways to cover. The problem isn’t the physical intimacy, but the lying and consequent bad karma. What’s the point of subverting a natural desire because some twisted social code calls it ugly or unmentionable? Then, we mention it all the time, in crude language and cruder physical offenses. Like violently stealing food because it’s impolite to ask.

Don’t ask me. I’m just figuring this stuff out as it comes to me. With Tom, it seems like, for the first time in my experience of relationships, we really get each other, communicate. We’re not each involved in a personal fantasy, but actively honest, aware, in the moment. It takes all the stress out, lets us be about mutual enjoyment of our differences. We are constantly new to each other, and ourselves. What a treat! I like being me, unencumbered. I like feeling part of a partnership. Maybe we humans are wired for that. Is it all about children having such a long period of dependency? Or is it because we need to see a mirror to become ourselves? There is the mirror of my art, but a human one is satisfying in more visceral ways.

Oh dear, I could feel the implied smiley face there, and I hate emoticons. Yeah, just an old-fashioned girl.

Dawn is finding me much too soon, considering I am still awake. I like the quiet of the transition time, between last night and today. It’s magical. But then, isn’t everything, really? Claim the magic! Breathe it in. Breathe it out infused with all I desire. Breathe, with each breath more and more fulfillment. Blow out the candle and dream.

Manifesting Destiny #7

Moon in Scorpio

Tom’s off on schmooze business. We are enjoying each other, not enmeshed. I have my own business and pursuits to attend to. Later. Now I can ensconce myself in my private little space, cozied up in my pillows and bedclothes — I always like that image. I’ve been scifi fantasizing on this race, I guess it would be, of bio-engineered empaths, weapons of a future war, released to assimilate with the common (wo)man. Of course, assimilation doesn’t go all that well. I mean, they’ve got scary advantages. Who could trust them? Who knows when they look at us what they see, how they mock us, or take us unaware or plot against us? The empaths, being empaths, sadly understand. They don’t want to be enemies. They fought a gruesome war in which they were given no choice or will. They fought, then, for their freedom. They don’t want to fight anymore. They want to live in peace and enjoy their families, raise their kids, work at their professions, have brunches, make love, relax when they get a chance. They are sensitive to their neighbors’ fears. They do their best to be pleasant, kind, unassuming. Of course, as in any group, there are obnoxious individuals. Results are uneven. Friendships sometimes are forged. But it’s mostly pretty grim, stressful, eroding. Fortunately, we are in the grand space-faring future. Colonizing ships go out on some basis of regularity. Okay, I’ll have to figure out all that logistic stuff, what kind of business would this colonizing be? What would be needed to equip these ships, to find appropriate planets, to organize these journeys and the new societies on the other end? Think Mayflower 1600s? It would be much simpler if there were no natives to destroy. Colonize planets human friendly but at a lower evolutionary level. Better make that pre-large ambulatory predators. And what about microbial infectors? We can bring seeds and embryos on the ship to give the new planet that old Earth flavor. I guess the passenger list will need to be balanced in specific skill sets determined to be necessary to start the new civilization. Maybe people who plan on being colonists will have skill schools available to improve their chances of getting a ticket on a ship. I guess the mainstream Earth folks would be happy to move their problematic neighbors off planet. They would probably encourage the empaths to explore space, not make it difficult for them to emigrate. How would that work out shipboard, with the mixed passenger components? Or would they be in suspended animation for the voyage? How long a voyage? These questions must have been addressed if not in scientific speculation in science fiction. I could do some preliminary research. The idea of it seems like fun, building up my own world.

See why I like being a writer, even if the pay and perks are lousy. It’s like that computer ad asking where I want to go today, to be anyone, anywhere to the limits of my imagination. Even better than acting, because I get total artistic control — at least until I get to the point of considering a market. Thus capitalism does make cowards of us all. Or, maybe for truly magical visionaries finding our sacred path aligns with the public’s fickle enthusiasms will manifest. Why not? If I agree that reality is what I agree to, why not align it with my own best interests?

This moving on the energy of romance is quite a high, so fine! Can’t wait to sleep and enjoy my brilliant dreams, of Tom and me and sweet surreal adventure. Don’t you just love Spring … Persephone in the sunlight, even at this late hour. Sweet dreaming.

Manifesting Destiny #6

Moon in Cancer

We were picking flowers. “Oh, I’m sure you’ll want some narcissus.” “Of course, you’ll be wanting black roses.” “No, it’s a festive occasion. Just make sure to have red roses, white orchids and blue irises so no one can doubt our pagan patriotism.”

A casual planning committee for the Equinox/Full Moon celebration to kick off the Goddess Center’s New Year, we partied as we planned. The Cave, our coffeehouse/night club planning center, of course does not belong to us. We just appropriate our usual corner table for the price of a girls night out worth of drinks and bar food. It helps our illusion, however, that several of our friends are on the wait staff, and some of us occasionally get to perform and keep the proceeds of our tip bowl.

I had noticed him from afar from time to time here. He was some kind of music promoter, I had heard. He was sex appeal personified, so why not stare and dream a lovely naughty scenario? He stood at fairly medium height, but seemed taller. His blonde hair and anglo complexion did not take a bit from his dark mysterious vibe. His brilliant blue eyes were bound to hypnotize any who dared to hold their gaze. Like me, now, as he clearly walks directly to my side. Not a fantasy, here he is standing beside our table, making sweeping, smoothly smiling introduction to me.

My heart has orgasms looking into those piercing blue eyes. “Thomas James River,” reaching to take my undrink laden hand, “requests the pleasure of a dance with Lady Persephone.” Lifting me to my feet and swirling us onto the dance floor in front of the band, kind of alternative fusion world jazz, just right for a dream come true, he dances into my heart. The night opens to us, closes us in to a private magic, goes on eternally. I never have to leave this night, this man, this exquisite ecstatic awakening.

Manifesting Destiny #5

Moon in Pisces

I know she loved him. He loved her above all his loves. Star-crossed lovers? Certainly destiny-crossed. He was gorgeous, charming, smart, clever, talented, creative, fun. He had not a lick of ambition nor any of that drive it takes to do or say other than what naturally occurs. Yeah, I come by that embarrassing outspokenness by heredity.

In the end, she couldn’t break her programming to be the responsible adult, so unlike his beloved loony Mama. He loved Celia for who she was, but he couldn’t live with that person she was becoming. She loved him more than she felt she had any right to. She didn’t want to nag or bristle or feel the resentment she knew he did not deserve. How is it that we are made to want a life that isn’t one we are made for? We love so overwhelmingly people to whom we are so fundamentally unsuited. Or is it that deep philosophical cop-out about relationships being mirrors to show us our disfigurements and rough edges? What have I learned, or was I meant to learn, from my battle scars on the field of romance?

I love Celia and Danny, Mom and Dad, though in different ways. Love was never enough to keep us together forever. Though, I suppose in a way it has. Here I am feeling that love, despite distance. They had years together. Years! Time enough to fill the years apart with memories and that familiar feeling of “yes, that person.” Or is that feeling embedded at meeting the person who means all that to you?

It must be the impending Spring. Yet we know the young heart always fancies love. Most likely the old heart as well. Love and work and some sense of being special. The rest is just ephemeral whims of fashion. Look at me, pontificating.

I, Pope Persephone, declare humanity to be hopelessly entangled in romance and pride. I must be special! How else reconcile the accident of my birth? And, being special, I must have special eyes in which to witness mine, shining in reflection. I do so love to shine in reflection. To dance out onto the floor, seeing the light of love in his eyes for me.

I am my own destiny. I don’t need to follow any script. I’m certainly not Celia or Danny. I have cleverness, talent, and ambition to spare. I have no expectation of being caretaker or cared for. I like it out on the edge but am willing to do my bit for happiness and love. Hey, I’ve got nothing to prove. At least not to me. Done that one to death. Burned it out with Phoenix Fire. In this stage, I will learn to merge with love, not a star-crossed square, but a Goddess blessed conjunction. The energies of two burning as one. I do so love the flame.

Candles, for concentrating a spell of incantation and full-heart intent, I open my heart into flame. Goddess, I know you know exactly what I need and when. I feel my own turning into your flame, consumed yet made more real, glorified. I feel the love you express into me, abiding flame. I feel my freedom and my need to entwine, to express my love, my life, my outreaching to that very one who calls to my heart. I am burning my answer into the candle flame. I am yours, Goddess. Unite us, my true love and me, to dance within your flame.

Manifesting Destiny #4

Moon in Aquarius

He’s a beautiful man, my father. Tall, long red hair with highlights of glinting gold, smiling turquoise-blue eyes, impish grin, large and jovial in manner, the light of the party, lovable waif to women and children, fine fellow to his fellow man. His leaving marked and defined our lives, my mom’s and mine. His absence was always there, between us.

I still love my dad, though I feel abandoned. I remember him always singing bits of silliness, though sometimes his songs were long lovely tales of romance and sorrow and adventure. He taught my imagination. He made me feel very special for being marvelous me. Sometimes I think he gave me all his gifts, all he had, then moved on to become someone new. I’ve never met my half-brother and half-sister. I don’t know what he found to give to them. They are only a few thousands of miles away. I have never thought about it as a real possibility to travel that distance. He gave me what he had to give. What I knew of him is here, in me.

I can love him, even imagine who he might now be. My mom can only cling to what he was. He was her shining star, her hope and salvation, her one true love. Though she does qualify that last truth by embracing me, her secondary hope and salvation. I was always what she had left of him. It made me important, special, precious.

It’s not that I’m spoiled, certainly not in any material sense. I have a lot of confidence, pride in my own originality. But emotionally, relationships? It gets complicated. I expect to be treasured, abandoned, ill-used. I tell everyone I like to be free, and I do. I wonder, though, if loneliness can kill in some personal sense. Is art enough to keep the fires burning, the juices flowing, the consciousness curiously seeking and alive?

I read somewhere that Sigmund Freud believed a well-lived life was based on love and work. Love who you’re with and what you’re doing, and it all makes sense, I guess. If god is love and Goddess is a sexy bitch, and the band plays on and on behind the dance of eternity, have I got an equation I can count on, like random jumping sheep?

Meanwhile, I’ve got plans to make, promises to keep, and rent to earn. Not so special, after all. Mom always understood responsibility. She wanted more for me, because I was Danny’s spawn. But together, they made a whole responsible, playful, loving, learning, curious, fearful, happy, sad, angry, hopeful, messy self-organizing human being. And here I am, indulging in being me.

Lovely, aren’t I, Mirror, Mirror? I’ve got actual paying work to write; and I’m indulging in this drivel. Oh yes, Danny and Celia, welcome to what your synthesis has thus far become. Okay, I’m ready to clear the mental deck and get to work on that article and ceremony — the renewal of Spring.

Manifesting Destiny #3

Moon in Sagittarius

Zip Zoom My life’s been going at warp speed, and I’m so jazzed. I’ve been getting together with this group of local artists, “underground artists” as we call ourselves, to brainstorm events for promoting our own stuff, yeah, but also to promote a community consciousness. My people are those with whom I share my passions and join to interact our roles. It’s all about networking, weaving in and out of proposals and projects, learning who can be counted on for what. Integrity, being as proclaimed, may be the true coin of the realm of collegial artists.

A strong core of us are self-identified pagan women, Goddess worshippers, who have come together because of the Goddess Center, a kind of gathering hub storefront for worship, community, and collaborative projects. There’s a library, a kitchen for witchery and sharing food, some smaller rooms for workshops and crafts, and a wonderful performance space and art gallery for public and private celebrations through art. Our Goddess is a co-creative deity. She revels in our beauty as we make not sacrifice but a joyous sharing of her glory.

Magic means moving my reality into congruence with the reality I am intending to effect, reprogramming my operating system to interface with infinite probability between will and destiny. Who I have been is prologue to the story I am creating as my life.

It feels weird to think about my old memory tapes from this wider perspective. I look back on someone who was alot like me, what she did, how she coped or didn’t. When I was a snotty pagan-goth rebellious high school brat my mom was constantly harping on my great career as a creative writer/literature professor. She insisted that a liberal modern college would not be like what I thought of as evil soul-murdering school. I wanted my life straight up, no chaser, to feel the burn. What I thought I owed to my literary career were intense, vibrant real life experiences. I found or founded my own school of hard knocks. Mostly what I learned was that I didn’t have a clue about basic life management.

After I had seemed to recover from the aftermath of my real life experiences with Mark, my psycho lover-artist mentor, my mom, with whom I was gratefully staying, suggested I at least check out some community college courses. Getting out of the house, away from my explosive self-dramatizations, into some kind of structured environment, began to seem like a good idea. I even managed to get some credits, and maybe a bit of education, before falling into the dream of nonstop drugging with Brent, my drug queen real life experience mentor. Thus I explored a new lifestyle, devoid of all creative or productive behavior more strenuous than giving my mind over to those lovely visions or even lovelier stupor, to forget about reality and think myself free. When the intolerability of it all sent me again from mom’s safe haven, not into another disastrous fling, but on my own into the big, bad world, I was not highly career enabled.

Now that I am finally nurturing a fledgling career, perhaps I would be better spending my energy and time on actual assigned work. I can enjoy these forays down my lore of memories anytime now, can’t I?

I ran into Dave tonight on the street after my evening meeting at the Goddess Center. He was an old friend from when I was on the streets in a new (to me) city. These days he’s talking full of himself. He has found his talent as a gay hustler, bringing himself into a wanton segment of high society, on the arm of, so to speak. He had no time for anything I might bring to the conversation. After praising himself and primping he was off, no doubt to greater conquests. I did manage to raise myself above street poverty, no matter how meagerly, through my own talents. Who am I to complain, or judge his methods?

Manifesting Destiny #2

Moon in Scorpio

I did my private ritual secret ceremony just like the old sorcerers, and went promptly to sleep to find oracles in my dreams. My dreams were as dense and senseless as ever. Pretty images, some spectacular action scenes, but no obvious omens. Yet another example of how I never seem to be able to behave as expected.

A small indication of possible success, however, over these next few weeks I notice more invitations and opportunities opening to paying gigs. Low-paying for sure, but better than heretofore. I seem to be getting more popularity on the public reading circuit for a take of the door, and more articles accepted to paying publications. Certainly no great fame and fortune beating down my door, but I am beginning to feel a bit more like a respected professional. This is of course a wonderful antidote to despondent self-loathing.

Slowly, but steadily, my life seems to be going my way. I just found out that Jeff is moving in with his new bf (That was fast! I guess he doesn’t want to give him a chance to get away.). Great timing for me, as I’m just getting to the point of bringing in enough to afford his, about to be my, own private room. So, why do I feel so pent-up frustrated, so angry? Grrr!

I need to get out and take a walk in the twilight, mix it up with the darkening sky, where I can watch my thoughts reverberate with the cosmic sphere.

Such a cool, calm, clear evening it appears out here. Perhaps it is clear enough to find that omen I’ve been searching for. I’m feeling change is imminent, not just these piddling cosmetic ripples moving through my life. Why am I so angry? What am I supposed to do with this building roar of energy demanding expression?

Maybe it’s a defense against sadness, the sadness of being alone? Why should I feel sad about that when I have the marvelous adaptability and imagination of me? Then, why am I angry? It’s an angry world. I am angry to be forced into being a part of it when all I want is beautiful fantasy. I am angry with the stupidity that responds with derision to my cries for peace, reason, compassion, even joy. I am angry that I am a fool who doesn’t know what do say, how to say it, how to make something real and beautiful and well understood fall magically into place.

I look into the eyes of my anger and see my failure to communicate. I don’t know what to say to capture that energy and turn it into practical creativity moving at the pace of challenge and change. Or maybe I am just lonely, turning my face from the cruelty of the world back on to my own.

My Mom named me Persephone. I guess it was some romantic notion. Mom’s a bit of a dreamer. She had a classical education and lofty ideals; but now she makes her living at a secure middle-management job, tending the government’s bureaucracy.

Dad’s a dreamer, too. He dreamed himself into another family in another state. We haven’t heard from him in years. We’re just a typical American broken nucleus family, unconnected. I like the stories in my head about when I was little. They aren’t me.

I like to discover myself by surprise, when I’m writing or in conversation. I am delighted by my own spontaneity, then go over it very carefully for clues about myself. I understand this may be significant of insanity. Yet, I’m so damned harmless it really doesn’t matter if I think I’m cool, deep, mysterious.

Tonight, after the reading, I got that tired complaint about my “pretentious witch name.” If I did give myself a witch name, it would be much more provocative. Maybe Phoenixfire. Everyone admires the reborn bird, but what about the purifying flame that gives birth to the resurrection?

Who was Persephone anyway? She was defined by her relationships. Her mother’s daughter, her husband’s wife, the original victim, what was she thinking? Not me! I certainly hope I’m not defined by anyone but me. Relationships have been huge disasters mostly. Curled up on my bed with the soft down quilt, pouring my confusion onto the writing page, the steady flow of words makes it seem so much safer, saner, bearable.

I’ve been thinking about it again, that whole sad, sick story. The events that torpedoed life as I knew it, no matter how far I think I’ve gotten, haunt me. It’s like a horror show I can’t turn away from. I don’t want to talk about it, write about it, think about it. Years should make it hazy, pastelled.

Of course he was married. Of course his wife didn’t understand him, was mean and vindictive, kept him away from his kids. Of course I was his marvelous creative, sexy, wise beyond my years muse, the only one who could truly understand him. He was a crazy, loud, moody, brilliant artist. I was so lucky to have found this beautiful creature to love. I was so lucky that for some impossible reason he loved me. I was way out of my league, a silly love-struck romantic teen. Obviously I deserved it when I got to be too much and he turned on me, beat me, threw my belongings to break against the walls and floor, threw me onto the bed for raw sadistically painful “unconventional” sex. It was because he loved me, but was so tortured in his artist’s soul. He was so sorry, so painfully sad, when he saw that he had hurt me, and swore: “Never again!” I believed him every time. I believed in our true destined love. I was loyal. I was his totally. I would do anything he needed, be anything he needed, for his art, for his divine transformation, for his love. All so very dramatic, what I needed to feed my rebellious fantasies about the wonderment of my life and love and exceptional place in this crazy world.

Then there was the baby thing. His evil wife would not allow him access to his children, his greatest creations. I must have his child, his son, his heir, to replace them, to be better than they ever had a chance at being with such a shrewish convention-bound mother. Our child would be a perfect reflection of our specialness, our love, our grand romance. It never occurred to me that it could be any other way.

The baby didn’t live. The doctors said something about a genetic disorder. He had a bad heart. He didn’t stay around long enough for them to even try to save him. My perfect, special lover wouldn’t even look at me. He did rant a good long list of curses and let me know my grave short-comings in excruciating detail before hightailing it back to try to work things out with his wife. When she wouldn’t have him back, he eventually kidnapped their kids. Then he had them watch him blow out his brains in his Mom’s kitchen while the house was surrounded by cops.

I found out about most of that third-hand from the papers. I wasn’t seeing visitors, but my Mom wanted to be sure that I knew what I was lucky to have escaped.

My next boyfriend was a drug addict. He wasn’t addicted to any particular drug, but to the necessity of staying as high as possible at all times on whatever was going around. He would make these grandiose plans, map out fabulous strategies for jumping onto the road to easy street. I was no blushing bystander in all this. Staying loaded was just fine to me; and getting caught up in his fantasies beat facing what I had done with mine. Fortunately, he rarely had the coordination necessary to get beyond wild-eyed, logorrheic planning. When he did, fortunately I was otherwise engaged and didn’t end up with a long prison stretch.

It didn’t take long for the prison visits to pall as entertainment. My drug intake had gone way down, and I no longer understood his charm. I did understand that it would probably be better for me to get far away from all the damage my exes had done, and especially from those in this fairly small community that they had done it to. I had never been very popular, but what good will I had had taken a severe nosedive. Thus did I discover the joys and easy anonymity of urban life.

Barely 24
I found myself out the door
riding a bus into another state
hoping to keep that date with destiny
wondering just what that might be

Something Sacred metafiction continues

Manifesting Destiny: Pages from Persephone’s Notebook

Warm candleglow through the cold windowpane. I imagine gentle happy family life within. Out here, in the dark and vision blurring mist, I feel the sadness, in my throat, welling up in my eyes, softening my heartbeat into tiny bleats of pathos. I am walking without purpose, or with the purpose of walking, movement, letting the evening take me where it will. It is our sadness, more than anger, more than fear, more than love, that bonds us in that chain of humanity. Swimming through our tears, feeling the dense saltiness upon our skin, upon our differentiating shields, we are creatures more profound, more sensitively layered, than in other guises.

Sad songs surprising us on the radio, or played incessantly on the jukebox or cd or other technology, the strains grab us by our groins and vital organs. Sad movies make me tear up and want to hide, or hug someone very dearly, very closely, denying any space between. There is bravery in sadness truly engaged. Essential lessons unwind into wisdom through the loving eyes of sadness. Crying out the pain can reveal beneath a wild wind tunnel of new energy generation. I will sing my sadness to the wind and rain and mist; I will cry it onto dusty deserts and rocky plains. I will wash in mighty oceans of all the sadness of the world.

Tonight I will slowly walk the dark and misty streets, peering into warmly glowing households, dreaming so clearly all the faces of sadness I have ever seen or imagined. I will imagine the beauty of gentle happy people, unaware of my presence outside their sphere. I will take a moment to taste the salt of my tears, which barely increase the misty moisture upon my face. I will laugh, silently, with true mirth, at my sobriety, and continue walking, wherever this evening leads.

Of course I wound up walking home, as I knew I would. No mood can sustain me for long. Besides, the mist was gradually developing into rain; and I didn’t want to deal with all the maudlin wetness. I didn’t want to deal with the eternal roommate dramas either. Hard to avoid them since my bunk is the fold-out living room couch. Yeah, yeah, I need to get a better job and find a room of my own. Don’t let them fool you, kiddies, writing is not a ticket to fame and fortune. (My musician roomies would tell you the same of their own folly; but they get to be louder.) Mostly I live in this notebook. No, not a computer, the old-fashioned bound paper variety, with a ballpoint pen stuck into the spiral binding.

They were watching some interminable awful movie with a lot of loud explosions and no discernable plot, so I went into the kitchen “to write.” Actually, to drink watery cocoa and dream about my options.

“I particularly like the one about working as a foreign correspondent under incredibly sexy circumstances,” poked in my nosy roommate Jeff, the sax player. “The gay sax-player who is apparently not sexy, not having been laid in months — I’m telling them all about you, Jeff!” Reading over my shoulder instead of watching that obnoxious crap he’d left blaring on the tv in what passes for my bedroom; I get no respect.

My own favorite dream option is learning enough real magic to pull in real high-paying gigs that would allow me to express my inner passions with integrity while allowing a serious upgrade in my lifestyle. I mean, I’ve always been a witch, ask my old nemeses from high school. Why not use my embarrassing weirdness to my advantage? Writing for so-called movement rags may be romantic, but comes up oh so low on the pay-scale. It would take real magic to fit my talents to a wage I could really live on. I’ve tried all that acting as if and affirmation crap. All I got was some weirdo boyfriends (I’d rather not talk about it.) that I somehow convinced myself were manifestations or destiny or — I’d really rather not talk about it!

What I do want to talk about, think about, find the key to, is that real, manifesting as bankable currency without sacrificing my soul, magical spell. Magic as in what I need is a miracle, Goddesses. I admit my total incompetence to run my life in any way that does not result in disaster. Please, prove to me that you ethereal powerful ones exist, and show me the friggin’, frackin’ expletive exalted way!

Maybe I need to concentrate on a specific Goddess. Juno was the Queen in the Roman pantheon, but she seems kind of forbidding and self-serving. Besides, I was born in early December, and she probably wouldn’t want to bestow her largesse on one of Jupiter’s daughters. Maybe Athena, such a daddy’s girl, and well-disposed to the arts and wisdom. Then there’s Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of creativity. Surely she would be sympathetic to my plight. Or why not send out a broadcast prayer to all the Goddesses who have an interest in promoting practitioners of communicative creativity? I like that image, a consortium of creativity Goddesses taking grant requests from supplicants such as I.

Oh good! The movie’s over and everyone’s gone to bed. Maybe I should work out a prayer, spell, grant proposal, the specific details of what I want bestowed? I could figure out a ceremony. I know I’ve got some candles, incense, tarot cards. What would be the card to concentrate on? There’s no reason why this shouldn’t work better than what I’ve been doing.

Acts of Desolation #13

Our struggle is becoming immortalized in mainstream discussions of what history will find salient in the late 21st Century, Common Era, along with advancing space mining and explorations and our developing global/local system of self-governance.  We have opened eyes to a greater need for vigilance in securing our common goals of liberty.
The mercs are defeated.  Those who survived are rounded up and put into rehabilitation camps much different from those they had envisioned for their prisoners.  Torture and acts of cruelty against prisoners are strictly prohibited.  Heavy physical labor and psychiatric rehabilitation techniques, including mind-altering drugs and public confessions, are now their just reward.  They are secured for the rest of their lives in maximum confinement, without possibility of escape.
The rebels are honored as heroes everywhere.  We are given full citizenship as quickly as the workings of bureaucracy can manage it.   Even Reag, proudly, admits we are far from abominations.  Having at last arrived on the other side, welcomed into our diverse human family, we are proud to be part of these exciting times.  We are discovering uses for our hard won strengths in the greater human community.  Still, most of us find we prefer to settle in low-density population areas, where the incidence of psychic impressions is easier to manage.
Several of us are building a kind of mini-compound out here in a fairly secluded mountainous area.  We are very happy to be free, living a relatively quiet life.  We even forgive Calinda and Reag for being insufferably proud expectant parents.  Little Freedom, as we are already calling her, will be the first freeborn of our people.  We can’t wait to tell her her story. 

Acts of Desolation #12

“Nomi.”  My newly acquired name in her voice takes on layers of meaning.  “I don’t know what to tell you.”
I don’t know what she is not telling me.  Is this about her plan to defeat the dream demons?
“Tell me what you like.  I probably won’t remember.  I don’t remember who I am, or how I got here.”
“They were trying to protect you.  But what were they thinking?  That you would stay so stoned on all these drugs they left you here that you wouldn’t think to leave?  That the disconnected dreams would fade before you could make anything of them?  Has my interference now put you at greater risk?  You know too little and too much for safety.”  These thoughts come to me not from Thistle’s lips, but directly mind to mind.  My response is open questioning without content.  I don’t know what to ask, but would like to know who I am, what I need protection from.  How can I protect myself with so much confusion?
She lays it all out:  the Genetic Weapons Initiative, the mercs, the rebellion.  “I was of the last batch decanted before GWI was scrapped.  When the mercs came to take over, I knew this would become a very bad scene.  A few days later, I saw my chance and took off — a thistle in the wind.  Since then, I’ve been on my own among the undocumented street folk, on a vast many streets, in a vast many places.  I’ve learned to keep my mind shielded while tuning in on those around me, to keep from being found out.  I’ve learned what I’ve had to to survive and stay free.”
“You left on your own?  Why didn’t any of the others go with you?” it occurs to me to wonder.
“I don’t know.  I guess they didn’t see their chance.”
It seems like a lot to take in; but it all makes sense.  She tells it so simply, moving me through the memories.  So these mercs, the dream demons, are our common enemy. 
“I know how to broadcast, or narrowcast, with pinpoint accuracy, ” she assures me.  “We have a perfect opportunity here, at Carnival.  Tourists and street folk from everywhere are here, soon to return home with their news.  I can get the ugly truth about the mercs’ plans for civilians and undocumenteds out into the world-wide rumor mill, by getting it up and running here.”
“But won’t they be alerted, the mercs, to what you are doing?  Won’t they be able to retaliate or do damage control?”
“Not if we do this right.  I need to coordinate with your people, get a great barrage going against the mercs all at once.  They’ll be too busy to be very effective.  Especially, we have to get word out to the merc slave freaks just how precarious their position is under their current masters.”
She has made me aware of the others linked in to my mind.  Apparently I am an agent of the rebels.  Now I get to be a coordinating switchboard for this all out assault, hidden safely in the hole while Thistle goes out to spread our rumors.
Rebel teams have been deployed to take out the new lab facility and prison, built but not yet occupied.  All out broadcasts are being sent and relayed of graphic representation of the mercs’ plans to make the most of their slaves’ bodies and minds.  A great many of the mercs’ freak corps are now openly rebelling, eager to join our cause.
Of course, the mercs are now aware that the demise of the rebel forces was not as advertised.  Lev is immediately suspect.  Gray had been maintaining the false memory that had kept him from being found out until now.  Now, he reemerges in Lev’s consciousness, warning of what kind of trouble awaits and the necessity to hide.  Orders have gone out for Lev to be arrested and tortured to find out what he really knows.   Unlike most of the merc freaks, the Central Command Guard are not easily swayed against their masters.  They are specifically chosen and trained for loyalty and ambition.  They have every reason to believe they will continue to act as the mercs’ elite guard, as long as their loyalty is assured.  
It is the last night of Carnival.  The streets are overwhelmed with drug-fueled, frenzied crowds of merry-makers who now know the mercs to be their enemy.  If Lev can disappear into the crowd, we may be able to bring him in to safety.
I find that I am already running in the direction of that crowd.  Our plan has been implemented to the point where my safety is no longer a real concern.  I will do what I can for my people, or die trying.
I broadcast as strongly as I can into the crowd the images of what the mercs intend for them, and their location in the Imperial Hotel.  There is a mad surge of angry mob.  The Guard is much too busy now with immediate concerns to have time to track down Lev.  I find him, following the thread from me to Gray, and whisk him away to the safety of the hole.
The rest, of course, is history.

Acts of Desolation #11


I’m here, in the hole, alone, or almost.  There was a demon here when I came in, but he didn’t like my singing.  And there’s the ghost.  He tells me my singing is fine, but too loud.  Sing more softly.  He can hear me just fine, if I sing, yes, softly, singing.  Whirling and twirling around, here, in the hole, where I’m safe from the streets.  I can hear loud noises, explosions, from the distance.  Bright lights, flashing colors, twinkly shapes appeared and receded while I was outside.  Outside the hole, in the dark with too much noise and light, no.  Better here, safely, in the quiet almost dark candlelight, whirling and twirling, singing, softly.  This ghost is okay.  Not angry, not mean.  He can stay here, in the hole, with me safe, warm.  Way too warm.  Hot, humid night and I’m wearing all these clothes.  Unlayer!  Unlayering.  There is a story about nights being cold.  The ghost says it doesn’t matter, just keep some clothing on for protection; don’t sweat the sweat.  Yes, the fiber gives my running water a place to soak into.  He tells me to drink bottled water, from the pack on the floor.  What comes out must go in, for perfect balance.  I have a good haul on the floor.  Packaged food, water, pills and liquor too!  And look!  A lovely patchwork skirt to twirl in.  A right proper party I’ve got me, eh Ghostie?  Got ourself a party good as any out on the street.  Drinking brandy from the bottle and twirling.  More heat and sweat, but I’m relaxed into it, feeling so fine.

The ghost is impatient.  He wants me to go out to the big party uptown, to see the Carnival.  Can’t you see we have a better party  here?  We don’t have to share.  No demons, no annoying people with all their chaos here.  He is not dissuaded.  He wants the lights and noise, cacophony, or at least the people parading through the streets to watch.  I am warm and liquid.  Watching pretty lights, pretty costumes, parading, maybe, could be, a pretty party favor.  I blow out the candle,  adjusting my eyes to the darkness of these back streets.  I take my bottle along, twirling through the street in my pretty party skirt.  Warm, humid night full of noise and lights, so dreamlike.

“One more drunken reveler,” the ghost whispers.  I have arrived, surrounded by lights, by crowds dancing and prancing to lively beating bands.  Swirling, twirling colors and light and movement, a dream made real, created by mass imagination.  I feel free in this crowd.  Nobody’s stopping to question to be involved in anything but the grand, sinuous movement.  Even the ghost is caught up in the spell.  He is caught up in another space, another mind, only so slightly attached to me at all.  I am free, sinuously dancing, enmeshed in the beautiful crowd, the beautiful light, all fantasy, all play, no drama.  Entranced in the music, palpably joining form and shadow, so high, floating, in a beautiful sea.

The ghost remembers me, whispering:  “Go back to the hole; be safe.”  I am caught up in the floating sea.  I feel fine here.  The hole will wait, a safe refuge to be in the fullness, if that dawning ever comes.

“Hey, space lady, got a name?” I am being addressed, casually.  I seem to be moving back toward consciousness after a celebratory passing out.

“No memory.  No me,” is my, to me, cleverly ironic reply to her.  Everything is hazy, out of phase.  I appear to be sitting in a kind of semi-circle around a blazing trash can.  For light?  It’s much too warm a morning to need a campfire.

“Well, hey, Nomi.  This here’s Charlie; and they call me Little Red.  That disreputable mess passed out next to you calls herself Thistle.  Couldn’t tell you why; and it can be hard to get out in certain head states, if you know what I mean.  That was might fine brandy you brought to the table.  Welcome to hang, if you like.  Less you have impending business or waylaid kin to attend to.”

I have no reason to leave, or reason at all.  “I’ll hang for a bit.  I’m not at all sure where I am anyway.  Maybe once the cobwebs clear …”  What?  Little Red doesn’t seem to care.  She passes me a home-rolled cigarette she’s had a few tokes on.

“My special blend,” she proudly informs me.

The haze intensifies, with added color and sparkle.  “I haven’t got any plans.” I tell us.  “I’m here at Carnival to party.”

Little Red is satisfied I am a kindred spirit.  I pass the cigarette to Charlie, a somewhat burly gentle looking taciturn guy.  We all seem to silently agree to enjoy our unplanned day.

Little Red is indeed little, yet tough-looking, all long frizzy red hair, gap-toothed grin, and a variety of visible scars, with a warmly welcoming stand-offish manner.  I feel welcomed, companioned, with no strings or expectations.  The morning is warm, heavily humid.  There are small groups here and there, but the street is abandoned compared to last night’s gala.  I’m still not sure where I am, who I am, what if anything I have meant to do, but it doesn’t matter.  I am here.  I am me.  I will do what comes naturally, or whatever.  Hot, hazy, humid, no fit atmosphere for thinking or doing much at all.  Just going along with the dream.

Thistle is stirring.  Long brown arms and legs, a tousle of dark hair, a flash of dark eyes over a wide yawn, then an impish grin.  There is talk of food and cleaning up.  Apparently, the city provides way stations with public showers.

My mind fuzzily seeks access to knowledge of a hidey-hole complete with food and drugs, but I am distracted.  Embracing strong arms, a wet whispering kiss on my cheek, accompanied by a warm contralto:  “Hey, Nomi.  I’m Thistle.  Good morning.”  Then, out she pirouettes ahead of us as we move, packlike, toward the showers.

The Carnival city planners are no dummies, or perhaps they learned from experience.  There’s no need for smelly, hungry hordes of would-be partiers to dampen the scene.  Enroute to the showers are complimentary booths giving out coffee and pastries along with literature from their various sponsors, colorful streetmaps highlighting attractions, and schedules of entertainment events.  I get caught up in this and that, and lose track of my new friends.

Despite the food, I am feeling light-headed, disconnected, so tired almost somnambulant.  It must be the heat.  It occurs to me to find shelter.  I conceptualize the hole, and realize that’s where I am heading.  I just need to sleep for a bit, until hopefully cooler evening hours.

I escape into the hole.  It has been waiting for me, or so it seems.  Escape into restless sleep of dreaming in a dark and quiet refuge.  Dreams dark, but not quiet.  Or am I dreaming?

I awaken to the darkness of the hole.  It is quiet, but not quiet enough.  Someone else is here.

“What do you want?  What are you doing here?” I cry out.

“You looked to be needing help.  I followed you.  Let me help you.”  Thistle moves to me out of the darkness.  She sits beside me, cradling, crooning, soothing.

“Nightmares in the day?  Tell me.  I know some things about unwanted dreams.”

“I’m not certain they are dreams.  There are words and moving images, ideas, actions.  They seem to be impressions from some apocalyptic meeting, not surreal dream imagery.  It seems more like a warning of what may occur, if right action isn’t taken.  But what am I to do with such a warning, if that’s what it is?  It could just be me dreaming in paranoid fantasy induced by recreational drugs.  I don’t know what to tell you.”  I try to explain, though I don’t know why I trust her.

“I know a technique that might help,” she whispers, clearly concerned.  “Let me walk your dream.  I can help to make it clearer for you.  We can figure out this warning, what it wants you to know.”

She seems so certain, in charge, like a wise care-giver.

“Sure.  What do I have to do?”

“Just dream, and don’t resist me.  Let go.  Let it all flow together, my presence and the imagery.”  She kisses my forehead, softly croons soothing, hypnotic phrases.  We meet in the dream.

We are in a fancy hotel conference room, complete with conferees.  There’s a group on a raised platform, clearly in charge, in crisp, tailored uniforms.  They are addressing others, in business suits, sitting at a semi-circular table slightly below their podium.  A majestically erect member of the uniforms is speaking.

“We have made adjustments in the formula.  Those science guys assure us the new crop will be much more subservient.  We won’t need to be concerned about future rebellions.”  I see from his inner panorama a large white laboratory filled with vats containing children in liquid solution.

“We’ll be able to build up our troops in a few years well beyond the numbers we had before.”

A business-type in the audience asks:  “What about the ones we’ve got who haven’t had the rebel bred out of them?”

The leader responds evenly:  “Eventually we’ll retire most of them.  The ones that prove their worth can be kept as team leaders.”

I see the mass cremation after the bodies have been harvested for saleable parts.  The human ash, too, has its industrial customers.  These mercenaries are proud of their efficient use of resources, leading to ever-expanding profit.

“Meanwhile, we keep our eye on them, and encourage them to keep their eyes on each other.  We seem to have kept the most manipulable or loyal.  I guess we can thank the rebels, now that they’re no longer a threat, for weeding out the trouble-makers.  We’ve learned through our experience, and know how to make our future enterprise so much better as a result.”

They are congratulating themselves for some successful explosive battle, for destroying those who defied them.

“Right now we are working pretty much at capacity.  Soon, though, we will be able to take on new clients.  There are plenty of local despots, industrial and political, who are favorably disposed to our services in controlling their subject populations.”

They are practically salivating, thinking about lock-step civilian workers, watched for any deviation, controlled by constant surveillance and fear.

Another of the uniforms speaks:  “We are completing our prototype rehabilitation camp for any of those, soldier or civilian, that prove difficult to control.”

I see there is no rehabilitation involved, but rather derisively contemplated sadistic experiments, torture techniques and data on the line between lethal and barely holding on.

“We can also use the camps for excess unskilled laborers, the undocumented, any source of potential unrest.”  Murmuring approval and self-congratulation ensues.

I get a flash from the obvious leader of the uniforms as he tells his business associates what they want to hear.  He sees himself raising a jewel-encrusted goblet of sweet liquid fire in toast to his private God, shouting as in salute:  “Today the world.  Tomorrow the solar system!”

I jolt awake.  I know this is not some drug-induced nightmare.  Somewhere, not too distant in time or space, this is real.

Thistle is shaken.  “We must stop them!” she cries out.

I feel her become overcome by calm.  “I have an idea of where to start,” she says, smiling briefly, without mirth.

Acts of Desolation #10


“Lev, it’s Gray, let me in!  I was captured!  I have vital information!  Hurry!  I’m fading!  There’s not much of me left…”  Gray knows his lines.  I have none.
Through a combination of post-hypnotic suggestion and Gray’s real time promptings, I will know what to do when it is time.  Meanwhile, I am to be given a series of memory suppressants and mind-altering, disorienting substances.  By the time I’m left off in Carnival city, there won’t be much of me left, if any.

I will be sent by well-stocked robocar  to the squat where Kore is suspected of hiding.  This is the tricky part of the plan, since we are not sure that the mercs are ignorant of the place.  But I will need a secured hide-out from the street noise if there is to be any chance of keeping me from attention grabbing public freak-outs in my to be debilitated state.  This is why I am being sent with supplies.  We don’t want me on the street any more than necessary to get Gray to his bio-twin, Lev.  We need to avoid the chance of me being picked up in a general street sweep against derelicts and possible trouble makers by the local authorities, or being recognized somehow as a freak by any of ours or theirs, which would blow my cover.  We are pretty confident that if the mercs did know about Kore’s hide-out we would have seen evidence of that by now.  Even if they are watching the place and did discover me there, though, the probability would be that I would just appear to be some crazy street person seeking shelter.  It’s a small risk that we have to take.

If Kore is there, Gray will give me the trigger for an encoded message in a nonsense song to let him know to escape in the robocar.  In any case, my post-hypnotic orders will get me and the supplies into the squat, after which the car will take itself, on its own orders, far away and I will forget entirely its and my former existence.
Gray has his story mapped out to convince Lev of our dire condition, and the folly of letting Central Command know there’s a ghost in their lair.  Once safely linked in, he will tell Lev that the hit on the compound killed our leaders and most of the technical crew.  Gray, barely alive, was able to escape in the confusion as his captors realized they were on their own.  Now the rebels are only the motley group and individual survivors who were away from the compound on assignment.  They are lost without their planning elite to give them their orders.  Of course, it would not be wise to let Central Command know this intel came from a quickly fading ghost.  They might well torture Lev in pursuit of more information that he does not possess.  No, much better to tell them that he picked this up from panicked empaths in the Carnival crowd during his security sweeps.  There must be no more than a very few disorganized rebel agents here, probably trapped after the capture of their cohorts not so long ago.  Once Gray is assured of Lev’s cooperation, he can fade out as if his ghostly presence is no more, leaving any questions Lev might have formed without focus to form around.  Then, Gray can listen to the Central Command’s plans and concerns through Lev’s unknowingly compromised consciousness, and pass on the intel through me to Calinda.

“Calinda will link in with you, but she will maintain silence and be physically in a different location, out of range of the patrolling merc force.  She will relay the messages you pick up from Gray, without involving your conscious participation.” 

Reag emphasizes our security concerns as we are weaving out this plan, looking for holes to pick in the fabric, making sure we are all in sync.  I am to be an idiot-conduit.  Rather, I am not to be at all.  The consciousness previously known as Dorie will be back in her ignorant bliss of non-existence.  This time, though, there’s more than my life riding on the outcome.   In fact, my life, my sanity, are not even concerns.  There’s plenty of chance that I will not be coming back from this mission, whatever the overall success or failure, even if I physically survive.
We know the Central Command will be meeting at the Imperial Hotel, where they have been putting their security in place.  The hotel is well placed in the center of the city’s arts and entertainment complex, the heart of the Carnival celebrations.  There will be plenty of crowd cover as I wander about, giving Gray the opportunity to discover Lev’s location.  The Guard will have several occasions to circulate among the crowd before and during the festivities.

Once I get Gray to his bio-twin, any damned thing can happen to me, as long as I stay alive to be a conduit for his intel.  This mission is what matters, my people, my cause.  That’s who I am, not some trivial identity, so flimsy it can be erased with drugs.

We have decided to go in on the first night of Carnival.  The robocar can enter the seedy, public service abandoned part of the city where I will be landing under cover of darkness.  All the mercs’ attention will be focused on the center of the crowds and entertainment.  Their Central Command, ensconced in their secured hotel, will be feeling safe and ready to enjoy the early ceremonies and festivities, relaxing before their substantive meetings later in the week.  This gives us just a couple of days to prepare.  We are keeping this operation quiet; only the very few of us directly involved need to know.  We have been making our plans in a secluded, secured location.  Tonight I say my good-byes to these few friends, comrades, family.  Tomorrow I, essentially, will be gone, with no assurance of return.  As if there is any real assurance for any of us, day to day.  It’s not like I haven’t been down this road before, and that by my own volition.  Best that I concentrate my thinking on my will to success.  Now, no more thinking, concentrate on enjoying this evening with loving companions while that option exists.

A robocar, stocked with everything we have thought to need, will soon be landing in a cleared space within our conspiratory camp.  Tomorrow I will be tied down and injected with mind-killing drugs.  I will be left with pre-programmed suggestions, my orders, waiting to be triggered by a ghost at the appropriate times.  The next day, crazy and haunted, I will go to Carnival.

Acts of Desolation #9

The smell of death.  Certainly, not one of my favorites, but it’s true:  you can get used to anything.  Eventually I start to doze.  There is nothing to be done.
Somewhere, out there, our people are moving, re-organizing, figuring out what to do next.  They will know we are missing.  Our rescue will be on their to do list.  It won’t be hard for them to figure out where we are.  My mission is to stay alive and silent, until I feel them getting close.  Then, we make short-range contact and they get us out.
It takes forever.  It takes very little time at all.  I feel Calinda with relief and gratitude.  Her team has us out in quick order.  We carry Gray’s corpse with us.  There will be farewell rituals for others as well, once more pressing matters are handled.
We are not widely scattered, in makeshift camps secluded in mountain valley woods.  Not easily noticed, in position to be alert to intruders, we can take a breath and plan.
The word is that Kore was able to escape in the confusion surrounding Janna’s death by torture.  The mercs’ soldiers were able, obviously, to get the compound’s location quickly before she succumbed, but probably not much else.  The disorganization she projected in loud agonized vocal and psychic screaming cut short their interrogation.  Kore somehow accessed the discipline to race out, mind tightly shut, into the crowd outside the holding room.  He and Janna had only been taken a short distance by the soldiers, to a secured room in the Imperial Hotel, which the soldiers had commandeered when they arrived in the Carnival city for their use while putting in place their pre-Carnival security operations.
They let him go, or he got away.  We aren’t sure yet.  It is believed that he is hiding in a secured squat used by our agents as a sanctuary from the barrage of psychic impressions on the streets.
“A place much like your vacation hole,” Calinda laughs to lighten our grimness.  That’s Calinda, always moving to ease the uncomfortable, while never flinching from harsh truths.
“We need more intel, what the mercs are planning, just how much they know about our operations.  Yet, after all this …  They must be on high alert, watching for us.”
I tell her Gray’s plan, to infiltrate the Central Command Guard as a ghostly whisper in his bio-twin’s ear, and mine — the one to unobtrusively suggest, the other to pass on intel from the inner sanctum.
But, how to get in there?  As a flimsy ghost, he needs very close contact to even find his bio-twin.  He is linked to me.  I would need to get close enough to the Central Command Guard for Gray to make the connection.  Yet, they are on alert, watching for us.  I would be captured, possibly killed, certainly have my knowledge compromised, before I could even get close enough to do any good.  Not to mention, if I am killed so is Gray, his one psychic link destroyed.  A conundrum, perhaps a mental labyrinth.  There must be a way.
Leave it to Reag, the consummate tactician, to take up the task.
“Dorie, my dear, it seems to me that if we must put you in the lion’s den without them sussing your true identity, we need to send you in, as it were, deaf, dumb and blind.  I seem to remember a schizophrenic bag lady of my acquaintance not too long ago.  She walked the grimy streets in undetected elegance.  Well, except for her old, dear friends who knew exactly whom to look for.  And, believe me, it was not without great difficulty that you were found out, even with our advantages.  Some random crazy in a crowd will be easily overlooked by the arrogant Command crew.”
At this point I expect Calinda to break in with my defense.  Instead, she turns to me, grasping my shoulder while penetrating with her beautiful loving gaze into my eyes, my mind. 
“You know he’s right, Dorie.  We realize how hard, dangerous, this will be for you.  We need to make this work.  It’s our best shot at survival.  We all know what’s at stake, why we are fighting this horrid, interminable war.  Win or die.”
I know Reag’s views are somewhat different; more like win, then die.  But it’s Gray’s death I am remembering.  This is his shot.  This is what I promised, his dying wish.  How can I offer any less?  We must strategize, get this right, make a foolproof plan, and execute it.  It is not “win or die.”  There is no option but to win.
“I’m going to make this happen,” I affirm to the ghost flitting about in a corner of my mind.
“No, we will,” he assures me.

Acts of Desolation #8

I am filled with joy for the amazing people we have, are, are becoming.  It is important to take time for joy.  That is why we are having a celebration.  We may not have luxury items to pass around, but we can sing, dance, beat out rhythm on makeshift drums, share funny stories or sentimental ones, enjoy ourselves together, those of us who are here. 
Quite a few are out on assignment, picking up the information that can be found, spreading the information that can be given.  Those who are not currently at the compound will certainly be celebrating on other occasions.  We like to have that shared enjoyment on any occasion we can.  Right now rumors are rife that the mercs are sadly encumbered by our activities.  They are losing troops to the extent that it is affecting their bottom line.  We hear they are planning a special board meeting of the Central Command and their cronies to address this.  The rumor is that it will take place at Carnival, so the high level mercs can enjoy their own partying after their strategy session.
We all need downtime, to kick out the jams.  I have been through too many zones too  quickly, making it on the fumes of fast-pacing circumstance.  Finally, I am letting all that wound up energy unwind.  I am finally free, here with my people, of the fear and misunderstanding, of the never being part, among strangers.  Letting go, dancing, the music, simple percussion and voice,  carrying me into a meditative peace.  I am immersed in pleasure, in the fluid movement of my body, the fluid intermovement of beautiful bodies, beautiful mutual emotion, inter-connected in mind and music.  Deeply exhaling, inhaling, lifeforce in chemical embrace with air.
Gray has the new recruits quite as at home as I feel.
Reag and Calinda are out doing debriefing of the newest recruits coming in. We have people in the field who have learned the art and craft of pulling lone soldiers away from merc command without getting caught. Pretty much the only ones of us here are those who take care of the infrastructure keeping the compound going, recruits still too new to send out on assignment, and Gray and me. We’re all glad for the tension-breaking shared revelry. We have been feeling something big building. Best to be relaxed and limber going into unknown dangers. We are dancing, making music, feeling close, free, unafraid. So, in that sense we are ready.
It was all pieced together later.  Janna and Kore were scoping out the Carnival city scene, working the crowds of locals and tourists for information that could give us leads on the upcoming Central Command meeting, spreading information about the mercs and their methods.  Most civilians are not really aware of the mercs and their “crowd control” operations.  We let them know, what to watch for, what dangers they could face, through local rumor mills with our mind insertion techniques.  Janna and Kore are experienced agents.  Still, they were found out by merc freak advance guard, working the crowd from their end to assure their masters’ safety, comfort, control.  Our well-trained agents were able to send out a relay alarm as they realized that they were captured.  Full text was likely:  “We will crack under interrogation.  Get yourselves somewhere we don’t know about!”  We at the compound, in midst of mind-wide-open revelry, felt the alarm as hard-edged panic warning:  “Move!  Get out!  Attack imminent!”
Gray and I take charge of getting everyone into the tunnels, as quickly a they can move, carrying what equipment can be salvaged easily.  The tunnel system is fairly vast and complex to get us hidden, out of range, leaving as much uncertainty as possible of where and when we might emerge, in case of attack.  There are stashes of essentials:  food, water, blankets, first-aid supplies, light sticks, to pick up along the way. 
We are scrambling through the tunnels, the others moving quickly ahead of us, quietly, efficiently, in the low light of our led torches.  I do not feel any fear.  My mind is clear, alert, hyper-aware.  Gray holds my hand as we move, keeping together in pace and reassuring presence.  We are soldiers, born and bred.  We are rebels by choice, engaged in just another little adventure, all in a day’s work.  We  have this covered.
The explosions are loud, jarring, sad testimony that what we had built as our home has been destroyed.  We will build again.  Right now, we move, keep ourselves safe to regroup and fight that destructive force intent on taking our lives, minds, free will.  If we don’t exist to serve them, they need us gone.  To be truly free, we must defeat them.
I feel the shocks and after-shocks of the bombardment above.  Rock and soil dislodge, obscuring vision, stinging bits of sand, coughing as they impinge on our airways, sliding forward on moving ground.  I fall against Gray as we are knocked down by more percussive rippling, hit by rubble, finding ourselves blocked by debris as we attempt to arise and move on.  I notice blood and internal screaming.  Gray is injured.  We are cut off from the rest, who continue their scrambling exit through the tunnels, ahead of us, ahead of the falling tunnel-way in which we are now trapped.  We know we only need to wait, stay hidden.  Our comrades will return for us, dig us out, once it is safe to do so.
Gray is bleeding dangerously.  I have cuts and bruises, but he is seriously wounded, hit by something heavy and sharp.  I can see that he must have internal injuries as well.  Still, I must keep him from bleeding out.  I fashion a tourniquet from my belt-sash, get us both into reasonably comfortable positioning.  He is supine, head in my lap where I sit on smoothed over tunnel floor.  We have blankets around us.  I am encouraging him to drink sips of water, to stay hydrated.
“It’s no good.  I’m dying,” he informs me, somewhat wryly.
What can I say?  It is self-evident.
“Better you keep the supplies for yourself.  You don’t know how long it will be.”
I open fully to him, showing him my compassion, my love and admiration.  He is quietly in reverie, relaxing into the inevitable.
Then, he is excited, suddenly enthused.  “This will work.  Dorie, you have to hold on to my spirit, keep me a ghost, like Nerice.  I will be able to infiltrate the Central Command Guard and give us the intel we need on the CC’s plans.  Do it.  Make this stupid dying thing worthwhile.  You know, rebels have to use whatever means we can to survive.”
I see the wisdom in what he demands.  I have never done this, but I can certainly make the effort.  I go into that place where his soul is between life and death.  I whisper the trance ritual into his ear, special sound reverberation techniques from our corps training.  I feel his soul/body connection dissolving.  His body is at peace.  The working part of him, tethered to me by a psychic thread, is ready and waiting for his next assignment.

Acts of Desolation #7

When we can, we recruit them.  That’s who rebels are.  They were caught up in the system, until they learned there were alternatives.
“So why do I even need your freedom?  I get what my contract entitles me to.  I get everything I need.  Of course the job is dangerous.  I am a soldier.”
They always say that.  And they mean it.
We have a shielded place for this purpose.  They can’t get out.  Others can’t get in.  They don’t understand, for awhile, why we don’t torture them.  When they get it, they are on their way to being free, like it or not.
We are in a pine forest.  I love the smell of pine, and snow, woodfires in clean outdoor air.
Of course, we have to keep the kid inside the shield; but it is an airy space.  We want them to learn to feel free.  After that, the mercs can’t tempt them.
“What’s your name, soldier?”  Calinda’s gentleness often undermines resolve built up against force.
“They were into colors that cycle.”  Reag laughs.  Where our names originate is a mystery.  They are given to us at indoctrination, once we are decanted from the vats.
At some point in the process, they always ask:  “Okay, I get it that you think we should be free.  But what is this destroy the mercs to save the world campaign?”
They still don’t get that they have anything in common with freeborn humans.  Their assignments to infiltrate, influence the thoughts of citizens, report on those whose thoughts are in opposition to the client’s agenda, they don’t get that they are serving evil.  People obsessed by power who elevate themselves above common humanity are no fit masters to serve.
Yet Reag still believes we are abominations who need to be destroyed once the evil mercs have been defeated.  Well, he is insane.
As am I? 
It is so good to be home.  Predictably, Gray wanted to go back to recruit among his merc enslaved friends.  We were able to convince him of the folly of taking on those dangers.  He agreed to join us, to help in whatever ways he could.  We are back now, at the rebel compound, a well-shielded community.  We have a network of underground tunnels, under greenhouses, workshops, labs, powered by a multi-source energy generation system.  We are pretty well self-contained, governed by principles of self-preservation, teamwork, and devotion to our common cause.  Not that we all work together smoothly or without conflict, but our genuine respect, affection and goodwill go a long way.  Most of us have already been through the thick and the thin of it together, with strong knowledge of each of our strengths and weaknesses, strong bonding.  This is where I belong.  I can feel that I am finally ready to be part of us again.
I have been dreaming about bridges, especially crossing a long, carefully constructed stone bridge while a storm rages all around me.  The sea leaps up as if to capture me, but I never waver from my journey across, where I see my friends in the distance, on the other side.
Reag has toned down his anti-freak rhetoric, in favor of saving his ravings for the hated mercs.  Still, people are concerned, even wary, to have him around; but we do respect and appreciate his abilities and vision against our common enemy.
We have decided that it would be best to recruit away as many freaks as we can from the merc forces.  We need to bring them down in stages, as they are far too well armed to fall to a frontal assault.  We need to do our best to whittle down their resources, and make sure they don’t get the opportunity to rebuild.  We have our people out among the civilians, tracking merc activities, spreading information about them to alert and concern the freeborn, to build up sentiment on our side.  Of course, this all has to be taken on surreptitiously with care.  We can’t let the mercs know what we are doing, where we are, what resources we have and are developing.  It would be so helpful if we could plant spies to report back on the strategies at their top command.  Most of those we recruit know very little, just what has been directly related to their specific assignments.  Of course, any spy would be easily revealed to empath guards.  This protects us, as well.
Gray is brighter, more ambitious, more fervent, than most of the recruits.  The mercs must have noticed his qualities, as well.  “My younger bio-twin was groomed for the Central Command Guard, the most elite of the corps.  They are directly responsible for guarding the members of the Central Command, so only the best and brightest will do.  I know there’s got to be a way to get him to work for us.  I know I could recruit him.  I know how his mind works.  I would just need to get to him with no other empaths in range.”
I convince him that this would not be workable on many levels.  If his bio-twin were recruited, he could not spy for us on the Command because his fellows would know he had turned.  More importantly, it would be far too great a risk to allow Gray.  “You know too much.  You know who we are, where we are, our plans against the mercs.  It would be far too dangerous for you to get so close to their soldiers now that you have turned on them.”
He listens to me.  Gray is quite impressed by Reag and me, by who we are to him historically, by what we have been through, by how we are now.
“The attack on the GWI lab, that’s a key piece of propaganda they use against the rebels.  They tell us you callously murdered hundreds of our people, your people, just to make some political point.  We learn that your rebellion is pure evil.  But now I know.  What that did to you, how deeply you suffered, because you know that we freaks are human, brothers and sisters.  It’s the mercs that think of us as slaves, property, expendable to their bottom line.  That’s why, it’s so important, to let the mercs’ slaves know the evil they are serving.”
“I understand.  You feel great responsibility for your peers.  That quality is important in a team leader.  You can help us so much, right here, working with the new recruits.  You can help them to integrate more easily into their new lives.”
He is thrilled with the idea of being a mentor for the recruits, a position of importance and responsibility.  Briefly, I am reminded of Nerice, seeing a whiff of her as if remembering a sad joke.
“Oh yes, the ghost that defeated my team.”  He has heard the whole story.  “You people, we, look at what we can do.  The mercs have no idea.”

Acts of Desolation #6

# 6
” I could really use a sandwich and pots of coffee.  I know a great little all night diner not too far from here.”
Leadership comes naturally to Reag.
The food and caffeine is bliss.  The diner is cozy, almost empty, soft music and soft lighting.
“We should get back, make sure the rest are ok.”  Calinda worries.
“Our people know what to do, after all that’s happened.  We have to think, what if the mercs have been watching us.  You took a big chance in your campaign to rescue her.”  He indicates me with a sideways wink.  I feel the little glow of my image in his mind, the way he sees me.
“Me?”  Calinda retorts archly, “You were making it loud and clear that Dorie was your number one target, that we all must die for your sins!”
“Bicker, bicker.”  He is wry, not angry.  “We have our own little armageddon to plan.”
Strangely, I am home.  I am me, the essence of me.
The last of the other patrons have gone.  I don’t feel the presence of the staff.  We three are on full alert.  We sense hostiles approaching.  They have no reason to capture prisoners.
Nerice is suddenly aflutter.
“He’s here.  They sent him after me, back in the city.  Before I died.  I was dying.  Things got really crazy there.  I didn’t remember.  He linked.  That’s why I’m a ghost.  He kept part of me here as a tool.  I didn’t know.  If you let me in, though, I can help you kill him.  Then we’ll all be safe.”
“Nerice, you know who he is.  Get to him.  Get him to let you in.  Then, report back to me.”
This merc empath agent had pulled part of Nerice out of death to use her for the nefarious purposes of his superiors.  I am glad we could not do that to Romy and Arden.  She is not her true self, only a ghost, rapaciously in need, no warmth, no feeling.
The three of us link in for secrecy and strength.  This is what we were made for. 
Reag is, of course, armed.  He passes out explosive sticks which ignite by code pressed onto a small wired-in keyboard.  He tells us the code:  F-R-E-E.
There’s also a disorienting spray, to muddy the trail if you get beyond view and block your mind for a bit.  I pocket these.  We are listening for our chance.
Nerice has persuaded her way into the merc freak, now feeding him false information, and sending his real information to me.  There are eight of them, young, well-trained, well-disciplined.  We laugh, remembering when we were like them.
We get out in front of them.  Reag has an automatic weapon, of course.  He mows down several.  
Nerice gets her wish, and dies in battle.
We throw back our explosives.  Those not dead or dying are in hiding.  We spray the disorienting chemical to keep them from following.   Then, we double back to the car.
One bright lad had us covered.  He made directly for the car, and met us there.  Sad for him, we overpowered and took him along. 
“They won’t hesitate to kill you or negotiate to save me,” he boldly lets us know.
“We know,” we tell him.

Acts of Desolation #5

I feel Calinda approaching, finally.  I open the door to meet her, but she pushes me, forcefully, back inside.
“I’ve been trying to avoid Reag.  He picked up my trail as I was on my way back with the robocar.  It’s parked a few blocks from here.  I didn’t want to get too close until I lost him.  Are you ready to go?”
We have mind-barrier techniques, but they take a lot of concentration which can only be kept up for a short while.  Now that Reag is aware of Calinda’s presence, we will have to  keep our minds blank while hurrying to the robocar, until we get well out of this vicinity.  Nerice, of course, follows us, never giving up on her chance to get back into the game.  Her ghostly thoughts are too faint to be noticed unless she is actively working to communicate.
We are not fast enough.  Not far from our destination, Reag appears, stepping out of the shadow.
“If it isn’t my oldest, dearest friend, and her younger version.  Take a good look at Dorie, Calinda.  I remember when she was just like you.  Of course, that was long before all that unpleasantness.  Now, where are we going?”
“Why don’t we take him to the clinic?”  I ask Calinda.  “Couldn’t they help him, too?”
“Because, Dorie,” he answers for her, “you have to be willing to be helped.” 
He leaves a few beats of ironic silence, then bursts out:  “Hey kids, I’ve got a crazy idea.  Why don’t we go back to my place?  We could have quite a party, don’t you think?”
“I don’t think we want to do that, Reag.”  Calinda was looking directly into his eyes, unwavering.  I wanted so to hug him, squeeze the demons from him.  Yet, I know too well, those demons are not so easily dislodged.
The night is icy.  Frost crystals form around our hair, our faces.  White clouds of condensation appear with each breath.  The street is empty of life, save for us.
“Maybe you’re right.  The place is kind of a dump.  Alright!  Road trip!  Let’s get to that car and it’s climate control!  It’s freezing out here!”  Saying this, he grabs each of us under the arm and around the back, half carrying us along, to the robocar and its promised warmth.  He doesn’t seem in any hurry to kill us.
“Dorie, my dear, I don’t want to kill you.  Well, maybe just a little, you know, to put you out of your misery.  But first, we have some catching up to do.”
We are flying along the skylane enroute to the clinic, where the robocar had been preprogrammed to go.
“I’ve not been seeking you out to kill you, but to reenlist you.”  Charming as ever.
“Calinda believes you are out to destroy the GWI freaks, including me.”
“Of course!  We are abominations!  We need to be annihilated.  But the mercs are the real enemy.  We are merely a side issue.  There’s plenty of destruction to go around.  First we save the world.  Then we commit race suicide.”
He is dead serious.
“Why do you need me?  I’ve been long out of it.”
“Whom else can I trust?”
“Any of the freak team.”
“They think I’m insane.”
“You are.”
“As are you.”  I feel the maniacal laughter rippling through him.
Reag knows that the robocar’s program can be overridden by manual control.  We are still on course for the clinic.  Quite a way from the urban lanes, the sky is dark, desolate.  We are approaching the mountainous region of our destination.
I feel Calinda, seated next to me, hand in mine, encouraging peaceful imagery to calm me.  She ignores Reag’s ravings, concentrating on my well-being.
“Did you know, we intended to get pregnant, after everything settled down, after we won, after the chemicals finally were worked out of our systems.  We would have the first natural born of us, start to become a real people.  You know, they gave us those chemicals, in the corps and then the mercs, to keep their precious genetics program pure, to keep us controlled, intellectual property.”  He is remembering his plans with Romy, back when he believed in us, our rights, our cause, our people.
“But what are we good for, Dorie?  All we know is war.”
Maybe I can get through to him.
“We have each other,” I venture.
“And what good has that done us, you and me?  I tried, you know, even after you were gone, to be a good leader, to carry on.”
The car is slowing, starting to descend.
“Here’s your rehab, Dorie.  You can go get sane.  Or, you could come fight the mercs with me.  We can hit them in ways they’ll never be expecting.”
The car stops in front of the main clinic entrance.  The grounds are quiet, dark.  We know immediately, something is very wrong.  Apparently the mercs have already been expecting us.
As we feel their onslaught, Reag takes control of the car.  We are up, moving away, over the facility power plant.  Reag pulls an incendiary device from an inner pocket of his voluminous overcoat.  He ignites it, quickly opens the nearest door and launches it onto the power plant.  Door closed, up and away.  We hear explosions, see fireworks, as we speed into the night.
“Way to go, destroying our clinic, Reag,” Calinda says bitterly.
The clinic had been a GWI facility that the mercs had no use for.  Their  treatment for a malfunctioning genetic weapon was a lethal injection and recycling of chemical components.  Our rebel crew had revived the facility recently, as Calinda had told me during our catching up.
“It’s no good to you kids now that the mercs have come in.  I have no interest in seeing more of our resources in their hands.  What about you, Calinda?”
She shrugs her tacit agreement. 
“Well, hey, kids, that was quite a party after all.  Now we need to find somewhere to regroup and strategize.”

Acts of Desolation #4

“So, what do we do now?  Is there a plan?”
“More of a hopeful strategy.  We thought if we did a psychic intervention, calmed him enough, we might get him to see reason.  But we haven’t got enough strength among us to get past his walls.  We thought, you’ve known him longer, deeper, have been through so much with him.”
It hit me, what she is asking, demanding really.
“I can’t.  Look at me.  There’s not much left.”
“That’s why we have to restore you first.”
I busy myself re-lighting the fire while she goes on.  There’s a facility with appropriate resources for de-toxing, rebuilding, perhaps renewing, a fallen agent.  It’s in the mountains, secluded, far from here.  She would arrange the transport.
“I see that you have secured this place from both conventional and psychic surveillance.  We’ll be safer with you here.  I’ll be back for you soon.”  I feel her warm embrace as she departs.
Then, another, colder, one.  Nerice had followed us back here last night and kept her presence hidden while Calinda was updating me.
“I can help you,” she implores.
She still wants in.
“I can protect you while you heal.  Then, there will be two of us to bolster each other in battle.”
“No, I have to deal with Reag, myself.”
“What about the real enemy, the mercs, the ones you’ve been hiding from?  What if Calinda doesn’t return?”
It’s getting dark.  I’m running low on firewood.  I heat up some stew and choke it down.  Best to be well fed before a battle.  Who knows when I’ll have the chance to eat again.
I want to be out, walking off this nervous energy.  I try going through old martial arts exercises, but I am clumsy, out of practice, musculo-neural pathways degraded by drugs.  Calinda has been gone far too long.  The fire has died.  I am dark and cold, scared, undecided as to what to do.
Nerice was right.  The mercs are the real enemy.  With my memory back, I am more vulnerable to being found by their empath agents.  I can’t stay shielded in the hole forever.  Maybe I should go to Reag — better to be killed by a friend than the enemy.
“I can help you.”  Nerice’s predictable insistence. 
Why am I so afraid to let her in?  Maybe she can help.
I close my eyes and see the raw, raging sickness of Reag’s mind.  Maybe I can help him.  If we could join together again, against the mercs …
Nerice is dead.  No one will be looking for her.  Maybe she can help, if my will is strong enough to stay in control once we are joined.
She sees me wavering.
“I do have enough assorted pills to sleep through a very short future,” I warn her.
I am so cold.  I set my body twirling, turning all that fear into warmth.

Acts of Desolation #3

Before I can gather up the necessary will to run off, she walks to where I am standing and takes my hand.
“Take me with you,” she says simply, quietly.  “We have a lot to catch up on.”
We make our way, through the rain and icy streets, to the hole.  I light a fire to dry us.  As it turns out, she has a flask of very fine brandy in her pocket, which makes the warming up process far easier.  In no time it seems like we were old friends.
“That’s because we are,” she tells me, laughing gently as if remembering a private joke.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this.  But, if someone had to, I’m glad it could be me.”  This does not sound encouraging.
“I know you’re retired.  I now you’ve been taking memory suppressants to help you stay truly undercover.  I know why.”  This is more encouraging, since so unlikely.  This must be another one of those dreams.  Soon the sirens and jumbled images will take over until I find myself suddenly awake, terrified, covered in sweat, with no idea why.
“I am sorry.  We have ourselves a situation.  We need you.  You are going to have to come in from the cold.”
Suddenly I am very cold indeed.  Shivering uncontrollably, as tears take over my face, I still don’t know why.
So, it turns out I am part of a highly trained secret corps of empaths, developed by the Genetic Weapons Initiative during Cold War III.  When the new Administration and Congress were voted in after the Worldwide Peace Convention, they dismantled GWI as repugnant to the conscience.  We were sold to a secret mercenary group for ad hoc assignments.
This is a lot to take in, and apparently the story gets weirder from there.  Calinda, my new best friend, is also my old best friend and my biological twin, though several years younger than I.  There was a mutiny against the mercenaries, a secret war between secret entities.
“Dorie, I know you wanted, needed so badly, to get away.  I know you just wanted a peaceful retreat.”  She hugs me as she speaks, holding off some of my terror as the visual memories run scatter-shot through my inner view.  What could they possibly need from me?  I am nothing but broken, hiding in self-imposed ignorance.
“You sleep,” she decides.  “I’ll walk your dreams.  It will all make sense when you awaken.”
I feel Calinda’s safe presence guiding me into the dream, the denied memory.
When you grow up in a vat, created as an advanced biology experiment, any semblance of family takes on great significance.  Especially for empaths, who are forced into intimacy relentlessly, having the security of well-known, bonded, intimates can be crucial.
It was a small, efficient team:  Reag, our revolutionary leader, his wife, Romy, Arden, his bio-twin, and me, his oldest friend.  We had learned that the GWI labs were still in secret operation, churning out human weapons for the mercenary organization with which we were now at war.  We were all linked in, both for strategy and emotional support.
Arden and Romy were in the main lab building, setting the explosive charges in the embryo and accelerated growth vat rooms.  The kids in the vats, undergoing treatments to bring them to physical maturity in months rather than years, could feel our presence.  They were helpless.  There was no way we could save them and destroy GWI.  That would take resources far beyond anything in our power.
Reag and I were in the communications tower, standing look-out while scanning and overriding the data stream to keep our actions from being monitored.  Most of the lab’s operation was automated, especially during the scientists’ and technicians’ downtime.
We weren’t prepared for the silent screaming.  The vat kids knew why we were there.  Their energy, a massive panic surging outward, set off the explosives before Arden and Romy could escape.  Noise, light, pain, hundreds of young bodies ripped apart, still silently screaming.  Arden’s and Romy’s screams coming through even stronger, with poignant, tragic intimacy.  Reag and I managed to run, hide, get away.
I awake secured in Calinda’s arms.  Gently rocking, gently humming a soothing tone, she quiets the panic in her empathic love.  Still, I am not ready for this.
“You’re really not going to be ready for this, but it’s imperative that you know.”  I am not thrilled by this build up, but still in too much shock to resist more unwelcome information.
“Reag is out to kill all the GWI freaks.  He’s been looking for you.”
“All of us?  But there must be tens of thousands!  How can he think that’s even possible?”
“He’s not thinking.  He’s insane.”
Sitting between us, a thought so faint, in our closeness I could not tell if it were hers or mine:  “As are you.”
Or was it Reag’s?  Suddenly, I could feel his presence.  Not here, in the hole, but close.  The raw jumble of pain that was his mind sent tears streaming down my face.  Now, I knew why.
The ghost, I realized, was Nerice, another member of our crew.  Was she working for Reag?  No doubt he wanted to draw me out of hiding.
“You weren’t meant to survive the ER either.  They had no idea you would disappear like that after all the drugs they forced into you.”
“Good thing I got my tolerance up, then.”
“Nerice was one of ours.  Reag got to her through some cronies he developed among the criminal class here.”
He always was a persuasive leader.

Acts of Desolation #2

There are some streets blissfully deserted in that magic time around dawn.  Catching a pattern here?  Living in the city, but not of it, or at least among the people.  There are millions of souls in this city.  I avoid them as much as I can.  Souls can be really icky, especially the ones who don’t know they are dead.  A lot of the ones who do know they’re dead can be just as bad.  Wandering around with no future can be frustrating.  Best to keep to myself, I say. 
I need to go out, to scavenge for my living.  Around dawn, it’s light enough without being too light.  Anyone still out from the night before is too trashed to be much of a threat.  Anyone starting their day has too much on their mind to notice me.
But there she was, that girl, her ghost, from the ER, from the streets.  No doubt she wanted me to help her get some vengeance on her murderer.  I don’t have the time for this.  I mean, there are far too many ghosts needing vengeance.  I have my own problems to work out.
“But what if he finds you?  What if you become a target?  Isn’t it better to know your enemy?”
She had a point.
Still, I had more immediate considerations, like food.  I have traps for the rats in the hole, but you have to cook them for hours.  You never know where they’ve been.  To have any hope of edibility, that means stew.  That means vegetables, easily available outside of food stores and restaurants where they dump the not quite spoiled produce.  In fact, there’s a vast array of nearly spoiled food to gather.  Then, in the doctors’ office row there are pills aplenty not too far from their expiration dates.  Rich party quarters can yield vast treasures of marijuana roaches and dregs of high-end wines and liquors.  I am soon well stocked to bliss out through the approaching daylight hours, avoid the blaring sunlight and assorted psychic pain inherent in daily commerce.  But that damn bitch of a ghost won’t leave me alone.  I am beginning to think whoever killed her might have had good reason.
“Perhaps,” she insists, “but that doesn’t make you any safer.” 
By now, though, I have ingested the proper mix of pills to quiet all the voices.
Of course those dreams come again.  The ones where there are sirens and blood and nothing makes sense.
Then, I’m walking down the empty city streets, the ones that aren’t filled with night life.  There’s no one here with me.  No ghosts, no shadowy dream figures, no murderous demons, just me.  I am walking these empty streets as if I am going somewhere, pulled along by fate.  Then, again she appears.  Not a ghost or a waif or a corpse, but as some divine messenger in the guise of a common streetwalker.  Somehow I understand that she is both messenger and me.  We have a symbiotic link.  The important part is that an unspeakable evil has been unleashed into my city.  It is up to me, in this twin form, to defeat this evil, as only I have the power to see it for what it is.  And there it is, glaring at me.  But apparently our battle is meant for another day, for it disappears without comment.  No doubt it has more nefarious business to attend to.
I had some thinking, and typing, to do.  But first for some street theater to amuse and defuse me.  I must venture over to the night life side of the city streets.
It’s the loud, insistent, deep rhythmic music that makes it possible for me to even be here.  I can move myself into the sound and keep my distance in the crowd.
“Share your body with me.  Let me in.”  She was hovering all around me.  Not as sexy as it sounds.  She wants to take over my will and use my body for her own purposes.  Well, maybe that is sex for some, but not me.
“You know I can help you.”  So enticing.  I can almost be persuaded, flooded by feeling of her concern, that she is so kindly offering me her soul.  I know the rules.  They can’t get in without an invitation.  Here, in the cacophony of noise, light, movement, I have the distraction to avoid falling into her psychic trap.  Concentrate on someone else, someone I can in some sense relate to.  There.  That girl in the background, her costume just enough different from the rest.  She is palpably alone, and enthused with a fear and excitement at being part of the scene.
The ghost can see her, too.  All that charming vulnerability, just waiting.  This girl didn’t have the experience I did.  The ghost desperately needed a body.  She had corporeal errands.  I, so far her only psychic link, was not cooperating.  If only she could manage an invitation from this lonely young woman who was looking for something new.  I would be off the hook, out of this mess that was none of my business to begin with.
Red and green spotlights were flashing across the stage.  The band was revving up into banshee shrieks over an accelerating, hard-driving beat.  Everyone was screaming, the dark, perspiration-dripping room closing in way too fast.  I wound my way out of there, back onto the minimally quieter, darker, emptier street.
It was raining, a cold January rain when it’s not interested in snowing because that would feel pleasanter.  Had it been this wet all night?  I didn’t remember.
She was there, the girl from the club.  I don’t know if she was following me.  Maybe the ghost had gotten to her.  I looked her straight in the eyes, and I was lost.  She was not the innocent I had expected.  It seemed that potent forces were collecting here, and I seem to be vibrating in the center of an impending storm.

Something Sacred metafiction

Acts of Desolation #1
When the battlefield torn by mines is all the school or playground in which to grow,
how can the children be taught to know, to understand a lexicon of peace?
Bitter hatred permeates mother’s milk and what there is of grain,
permeates the very rain, gathered in barrels since the wells ran red
with poisoned blood, since the holiest of sites became blackened
with pestilence and shame.
Rumors expand on who is to blame; not much else to go around..
I like to walk the dark empty streets.  Late at night, the city becomes its own.  The smells, the silence, the stark black and white, shadows and streetlamps, without the people the city can become comforting, peaceful.  But never for long.
It was a cold night, early in January.  It hadn’t snowed much, but there were icy patches where puddles refroze after the hours of the traffic’s warmth.  She was huddled in a threadbare shawl, moving at a pace some compromise between care for the ice and keeping blood from coagulating to avoid frostbite.  I don’t like to get involved.  In the end you can only lose.
Sure enough, a large, somewhat threatening looking, guy appears, yelling after her.
I keep to myself against the reassuring bricks and steel, and watch the drama ensue.
But maybe I’m not as sheltered as I thought, since the next thing I know I am waking with a monumental headache in a far different place.  Bright lights, loud noises, sterilized activity, I am propped up against a wall in an overcrowded ER, a place where my disheveled, disoriented presence is sure to cause no alarm.
Then, I see her on a gurney.  She is deathly pale, still.  I am starting to wonder if this is all a dream, or some superdrug hallucination, but the sensory qualities are all too real, and distasteful.  I hate when that happens.  Now I’ll have to deal with all this gross stupidity without the benefit of knowing what it’s all about.
A nurse’s aide comes over with a form for me to fill out about insurance and next of kin.  I motion, slur, get him to understand that I am concerned about the young woman on the gurney.  He probably thinks she’s my sister or girlfriend, and tells me she’s lost a lot of blood, but they will be transfusing as soon as the right blood type comes up from storage.  It may be touch and go, but she’s in good hands.  He tells me a physician’s assistant will be calling me shortly to examine my contusions and lacerations, and I should tell her what drugs I am on.
I see the guy from the street come in while we are talking.  Should I try to hide or get away?  Or is he just here because of her?  I was just an inconvenient by-passer, after all.  I can’t get my legs to work under me anyway.  May as well just let it play out.
Sure enough, he sidles over to her, whispering something in her ear as the life drains out of her.  Like I say, I don’t like to get involved.
I waited for my body to figure out how to cooperate, and got out of there.  Back home, I’m hammering this out on my antique manual typewriter.  There’s no electricity here in the hole.  Thankfully, there is a working fireplace, and places to scavenge wood.
The city’s got a million stories.  I like to squirrel them away in these recordings I keep typing and filing.  You can see them unfolding, refolding, just out there, everyday.  The hard part is not getting sucked in, becoming the story yourself.

opening view

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


The forest is old
obscured in ghosts and mysteries
Come out in the wild night with me
dressed in the stars
Serenades from the Moon
intoxicate air aged in adventure
Exult with me in pleasure
Far from decay of leaves, sad savagery
That strange stained light in the darkness
Silence, a pause in cycling
Tender reflection in the settling sky
a throne to reign
weary tantrum waves below
I can relate
the deals reality baits me with
so overrated
I’m left unsated
staring at fate’s rear
Now escapes me
running into future skyscapes
holding yestereves
stiff and strained
closer than this moment
as it slips
into one more
I seek that honest sigh,
that joining smile that art
of distilling meaning
Pictographs along the wheel
to distract from
its unceasing
an instant
surrounded in space
demanded in time
tells the reaper
is in the eye
On the Threshold of Silence
Absorbed by rabble noise my tired voice trails unheard.
How can it matter what I say?
A fool, I record hard travel truth in written word
to scatter as if for use someday.
Realize that my eyes see uncommon visions.
My mind seeks to find unlikely decisions.
My lips may seem gripped, but that’s not done on purpose.
What I know doesn’t show on my nondescript surface.
How can I explain,
entice suffice to hear,
what isn’t always clear?
Notes of refrain
jumbled with pain;
I must be insane.
play with my inner ear,
keeping me guessing.
Burden or blessing?
Of course you don’t care.
Just turbid notes on passing air.
Weaving through aether,
permeating atmosphere,
essence I ache to share
already everywhere.
You never heard it from me.
Scorpio Blue Moon
Snakes & stones
& Dr. Bones.
Worlds of lies
within my eyes.
A chance to fake
a drunken wake
for romance forsaken.
Doorways to more ways
to choose
Fool’s paradise.
Ritual demands payment
naked supplication
rhymes intoned thrice
for Momma
for Poppa
for babes wandering in the woods
from salvation.
Deep in enchanted mist
touch the veil
along the cortex
dissolving reason.
Points detach from
The puzzle reformulates.
Valerie Plame, Valerie Plame
The very fact that we all know your name
is a crime.
So, who’s doing time?
American splendor,
a pop carnavale.
The greedy get famous.
The poor rot in jail.
The glitter and star light
is doing its job:
distract and divide while
they rape, kill and rob.
Is that a pimple on my face?
Oh, I’m such a big disgrace!
I can’t keep it all together as I should.
The only explanation’s I’m no good.
I want too much.  I need to much.
I never learned to mind my p’s and q’s.
I didn’t toe the line and pay my dues.
Now my opportunities
ooze beyond reach,
bleed out,
What am I even saying?
If the right people hear, surely
despair’s  a treasonous crime.
And, unlike those Whitehouse lackeys
I may well end in a cell doing time.
Persephone’s Breakthrough
This is where the idea is born.
soft green meadows gently disappearing into fall
sounds of dying, scent of woodfire and candlelight
no separation between what is becoming
accept and be revealed
summer’s wild adventures
spring was a torrent of clarity, precious rain,
Earth coarse, ready for fecund pleasure
Queen of night in daylight’s realm
obsessed in flowering
roses and daffodils
valleys and nubile hills
all is vanity and laughing vice
“But, Mother, I’m not a nice girl.
I’m a creature of the breeze; secure in shadow;
alive in the cutting edge of the storm.”
Myth in revision
standing at the back of the playground
learning theater, tucking metaphors
through interstices of sense and dream
In spring, kicking stones along sandy riverbeds
reading the classics
expecting valor, glory, dramatic lines
Summer deceives
the stink of rot where flowers bloom
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation
within greed swollen seed infectious fear
search for further truth
mythology frustrates, curls back on its own ash
burn with hazy summer wine and dance
feet connecting dust to sky — but only in designated
spheres, with designated peers, self-selected inhibitions
sweat out poison into the ground; now, eat the bounty
midsummer farce, far from clear, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure
silly summer madness as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable
Early autumn firelight
reminiscent of witch hunts, ghosts of cavalry,
dire warnings and endless hide and strike
the game, the funhouse, turns deadly
sanctuary calls, demanding sacrifice
the noble phoenix fed on frankenseed
can not rise
skies descend, dark mirroring
smell the woodsmoke, intoxicating, soft and sweet
masks the taste of bitter bile, secret vomiting
starving despite harvest’s gay array of treats
faded, nearly blind, falling in and out of
shamanic fever, primeval native dancers beyond sight,
ripple of tribal beat at the periphery
ecstatic vision dark/light/agony and brilliant breaks
starbright constellations
Traversing worlds
seasons, years, moments of clarity
no need to travel, to invent boundaries
dance of the highlands warmth and sustenance
makes whole
Here at the bar again, bar nothing to me.
Deepest Scorpio, gusts tinged icy.
Onward toward Chumley’s  2 pm Village poetry reading.
Searching outside book stall for bargains,
found a Paul Goodman
with cat and dog and baby photographs
to give to Cindy
a gift of love for a fragile child
Still affright from last night’s heavy scene,
wherein the police took my man away again,
this time with my blessing and accomplicement.
. . . A man is a hard thing.
Also a drag on my developmental aspirations.
When all he does is loom and threaten
Big Brute Violence
to storm my sensibilities.
(What’s frustrating is he doesn’t hear me
plead for shelter.)
Laughing in the park we loved
Crying in the night we parted
Oh, beseech I, gods above:
Why must you leave me broken-hearted?
(and I know he’ll be returning with more disregards
and diatribes and possibly pistol drawn to fire)
So I sit here in the bar, again.
Drinking sweet Kahlua and awaiting the poetry.
Taking a respite, you see.
Oh, Goddess, for this while,
bar nothing to this troubled child
(for child I feel, though woman grown).
Let peace alone assail me.
Black as hate; drained blood white,
shrieking Fury
punishing Saint.
Your patient, erratic torture
left me shattered, bereft, blind,
drenched in torrents of pain,
unable to move
unable to exhale, breathe through shame
or engage in
polite discourse.
Yet you were never satisfied.
I was not your chosen sacrifice.
I was merely inconvenient,
or too convenient.
Dressed in goat suit,
queued up to be driven to slaughter,
how could I expect to be seen with
fellow feeling?
But it was the Executioner’s blade
I anticipated,
not frenzied repetitive
back stabbings, epithets,
steel-cold rage.
In a simpler world,
we could have been sisters.
Giggling secrets in the schoolyard,
smoking pcp in the girls’ room,
shooting up the classroom,
dying in each other’s arms.

blood poems for an October 13 evening

Small girlchild, rags and dust – follow
her morning of traverse, this tiny world allowed.
Each tent flap reveals fester of wounds deep
and shallow, ravage disease.
Senses, thought, subsumed to beat of breath
outside rational context.
Stuck in the dirt, her worth a hole where
she bottoms out, tributary blood expelled.
Government happens
Power differentials are natural
Makes sense to attend to these matters
Hot heads, coarse tongues, flail of arm,
crush of foot, outthrust chest, rancorous
lively show and tell;
Yes, such forceful yell might get bells
ringing, choirs singing, merry pageantry.
After roaring Sun’s descended, crowds
disbanded to bars and beds
to dream lusty victories or private
histories, nobody charged to watch
for this twinkling of time.
Without law, there is no crime.
Without rules, no crown ascends
by common call – but only by
all against all
in squall of terrors,
contests of survival, games
scored in blood.
Muses dance,
explore motion.
Segue to and fro
two steps back; a flurry forward.
Satin cats, tails a’fling
pirouette, scurry choreography.
No tomorrow.  No scheduled glee for
public appearances.
Time’s a’clanging, impatient clamors
for unknown seasons.
Rainstorm howls,
sends tidings, murky repentance and
beard for tears.
Savage rain tip-tapping
rhythms and blues.
Barrels for dipping, for ritual
washing, for tribal hydration, replenishment.
hunger, health, hygiene.  Sordid rain,
ashen water, terror, pain, diluted
Storm warnings advise caution.
Cover yer windows and blinds.
Hide in cellars and pray.
Find salvation in fearsome company.
Oh, Hell – give in!  Cave into slippery ground;
swallow and be swallowed.
The rains came, carried fortune to further shores
and supplicants. 
Long into unspoken tomorrows.
Dread – crusty needles eject embalming poison
Stiff, rusted shut, ooze tarnished prison door.
Electrified to molten waste.
Lost wastrel, chased into rough wood.
How could good ever tough through?
Seethe tooth and fang.
Anger will tighten screws, coils.
No mercy to win when cardinal sin is innocence.
Don’t chatter of cruelty,
turn red in shame.
Remember the wise one winked “No blame.”
while wheeling outside reach of stage.
There are no great secrets,
barbed network of lies.
There is this blood bludgeon
of power wielded by minions and slaves
with too little to win.
If a moonlit beach at midnight called siren songs,
embracing melody, calming waves —
if urgent desire brokered change.
O’ evil Man
It is not your gods who make you so.
They laugh at their celestial balls,
silly little mood slaves
primed to vomit sour wine,
feast after bloody binge.
Who is the moral gatekeeper,
the celebrated purveyor of righteousness?
Who the masked scoundrel,
cross-dressed wolves and lambs
in demonic jig?
A lively game to wile away some
vague eternity.
Our children obscured in armament.
So many souls to devour.
Tonight’s Impression
Dig, deep into unlikely crevices.
Unsightly blemishes
covered in mud, old crusted blood,
more suffering than shame.
If none know my name,
can they curse me?
Always rehearsing for
untended curtains, productionless
Sally, won’t you go
Pick up some teabag party
We’ll teach ’em tricks of trade
from streets walled in by
Ain’t this nation grand
for glad hands raised in celebration
of shames we dare not name.
Hallelujah  Hallelucinations
Hallowed ground baptized
in blood
Saved from the cleansing Flood
by sticking to our kind
however we’re defining us today
If we were meant to live
a different way
wouldn’t He have told us?
(Hollow) Theme Party
Bleeding across the page
Not pretty
Naked self-pity
a turn off
better passed by
Rather, let us speak of
solitude, the advantages
of wealth
kept to oneself
No beasts lessen my load
No supplicants beg to share
Luxuriously wrapped in my lair
laughing and dancing on gold
acutely aware of thin cold urchins
out on a distant plain
They are no kin to me;
out there for atmosphere
I am Deity within this domain
blood you see splattered
on this page
fell from other veins
some poor unfortunate
released from pain
How pretty!  Let’s party!
A gala affair, enraptured
alone in my lair
Our Gang
Depression facing outward
Taking power to give it away.
This entrained impulse
See them crackling, jangling
puppets at puppy play,
bite, bark, entangle,
grab and tussle,
growl, muscle in for the kill.
Bloodlust arousal.
Natural as puke, as death,
violation as violent orgy
violation as ecstatic
initiation to the brotherhood.
Life elevated to dreams, goals,
careful weighing of coin and hours,
dependable plans, actions that honor can favor,
love, duty, allegiance to the rules of sanity
and kind regard
have no purpose here.
Men of blood and battle fluid
need no fine speeches, no valor —
only food and receptacles
for their waste.

blood poems for an October Evening (week end)

Bad Seed
Guilt as a constant drip of toxin
a constant flow of tears
a constant beat of blood
pounding behind my eyes
exhorting me to arise
to rise to the occasion
to fall upon my knees in shame
begging for any scrap to salve
that gnawing, angry pain
a constant burning drip
a ring of fire — pass not beyond this point
for life is not a journey
but a downward spiral.
What could such an open, curious, loving child have done
to merit such punishment?
Timothy McVeigh Is Still Dead
It’s morning in America
The morning of June 11, 2001
A warm and beautiful Spring day
And in Terre Haute, Indiana — a little after 7:00 am
–Timothy McVeigh is dead.
What more is there to say?
We all know the score:
Death: 169, Mercy: 0
The hero “bloody, but unbowed”
Silenced, but still proud
Ashes to scattered ashes
Death to death.
Nursery Song
Scooping up the cornucopia of experience
gently nestled in moonbeams
at peace in a lullaby
easily descending
into the world of lights and pain
too bright, too loud, too cacophonous
to embrace whole.
Whisp whispers shhh, whispers
of ideas, harnessed light,
well-structured challenges
ease into bits by bits
hypnotic meme streams
world stories
of clearly constructed grammar
sharing common tongue
that we may ease our fractured
anxious turbulence
in chorus of soothing nursery song.
See, we are the progeny of heroes.
Hear the laughter of the Almighty
among hosts of angels
here we are home.
Sweet, splintered home.
Here we learn to serve the giants,
give piously abased homage
to the slingers of arrows
that could rend us
bit by bloody bit.
No wonder we sing louder,
dance jerkily on starched,
bleached strings.
Wouldn’t we agree to anything
that we be allowed
to sleep
just a few aeons more.
The Business of Sickness
Good Day, Good Sir, Good Madam,
I do hope all is well
If not, we’ve got a spell
to cure what ails
You have come to just the place
Let us take your case
to solve the mystery,
make you quite alright,
and collect our fee
What else could be our motivation
We entered into this vocation
quite consciously
to fulfill a need society
finds compelling enough
to be shelling out to us
big magic currency
So let us take control
of your health
your wealth
Whatever you hold dear
we’ll make our business here
Make a fist and let me take your blood.
Capital Crime
Sweet old daddy
Doing his will in the night
Keeping the mamas afright
for the plight of each
beloved child, so tender
so young
He really oughta be hung!
so say the neighbors, clicking
their tongues
Take him to the magistrate
Fill his ears with the voice of hate
while he’s tied, defanged, prostrate
Let our will be done!
Tie him down in a prison cell
Make him feel the wrath of Hell
’til we all are bloody well
exhausted of our fun.
No need to delete old daddy
sweeping shit and burning bones
any toil we deem atones
to repay society’s loans
of wicked sowing days
assuring he damn well pays
for the pain and loss his wicked ways
marred our happy homes.
Choosing Sacrifice
Sweet teardrop rainbow
celestial, demure
bright drops of light
clearing vision
from clouds
clean sparkling flowers
of grace
Taste enervating electricity
Feel blood bathing brain
Smell the air of change
so easy
like falling off a cliff
anyone can
In the Future
houses will be wired
to spy
‘No thought crimes allowed, sir.
You’ll be coming with us
for regrooving.”
Cats and mice will play nicely,
or feel the juice
from which none come back
the same
This is the way the world turns
from sanity or compassion
because we are cheaper than robots.
Rose Red
I am prickly, admittedly.
I come by it rightly.
Organically evolved defensive weapon
(note, no offensive weapon attached).
You must approach me with care.
Feel the velvet of my vibrant leaves, gently.
My flower, radiant in grace and wonder.
Musical poetry wafting, my enchanted perfume
calling for the discerning touch.
But grasp too hard, too clumsily,
without reflection, a thousand tiny cuts
push you far away.
In no time, you will heal,
leaving me to bleed forever,
attempting to clear from my system
your poisonous residue.

blood poems for an October evening (falling forward)

Let’s talk about this.
Exactly what are we afraid of?
Different skins, different thoughts?
“These people are not like us.”
Nor we like them.
Legends say we fear
and fight the barbarians.
A receding panorama
of battle upon battle.
Millennia of genocide
proudly proclaimed.
We must be strong warriors,
rough, sharp, explosive,
valiantly a barricade barrage
protecting Our valued and values
from Their predation.
Lines must be drawn clearly.
Womanly, childish fuzzy vulnerability
cast far behind, confined to
defended shelters
kept at bay with bitter laughter,
raucous play.
These patterns built up over
generations serve us well,
minimizing weakening contamination.
Where were you when I was dying?
Now that I am all but (merely nearly) dead
you mock me
beg my assistance
to mitigate
the dark fall-out
of your fantasies.
Blind to my bleeding, and your own,
how can anything I say
reach you anyway?
Return your pleading to your
silent Lord.
Leave me to my resolutions.
Strangers all these years,
I feel no desire
for meeting
in your dream. 
blood taste long after midnight
not to entice your fright
to find the one
whose blood
calls to mine
War Games
More and more
get less and less
the best sacrificed
to great God Success
brick by bloody brick
Is it a surprise
(“Look!  Into my eyes!”)
when the peasants cackle
resurrecting the guillotine
Raw power
hot metal shooting
making unmistakable mark
burning ragged skin and guts
and glory
Tell me a story, daddy
about before the war
when water flowed
in abundant freedom
when the air was pure
of the stench
of progress
when everybody had
a sacred right
to feel
and believe
and dance in the moonlight
when we could afford to be
young, untried, open
to possibilities not cut off
by a sacrificial knife
repeatedly deeply severing
vital organs
without regard to the waste
with no respect for place
or the people for whom that space
holds stories
Weapons forged in anger
built up shattered layers of
desperate pride, disrespect, grief
create festering wounds
poisoning the populace
unto the Seventh Generation
caught up in some grotesque
morality play
Gnats, fleas, mosquitoes, biting, buzzing
can inflict disease beyond their size
or intellect.  Best to discover and cover with repellant
to quell their appetite for terrorizing we they see
as tempting treats of invigorated blood.
When the national project was stolen before our horrified stares
When it became our duty to kill and destroy for the convenience of profit
When humane policy became anathema, unworthy economic drag
When the will of the gambling elite gamed the rule of law to their pocket
Did you scream so loud that bitter blood poured from your lungs?
Did you set up mourning camps to gather forces,
to train grief and rage into worthy opponents against true freedom’s foes?
Did you gaze into the cold eyes of propagandists and say “No!”?
Or did you march along in the parade, assured:  “First they get theirs; then we get ours.”?
Pink and Blue
(and red all over)
Fist shakes from rage
channeled, coursing,
flailing bloodlines.
Caught, snarled,
stagnant dying ocean
willing to be taken down
from fear to violence.
Call wild arms,
breast, sinew, shame.
Chemistry surges, overplays.
One mortal coup de grace
burst sword to heart
that never lived
beyond desire.
If man is fire, dissolved
into greater waves,
why does Woman weep?
Why does not the flood
of pain absolve and
succor?  Why should fate
deny blessings of mortal
release in wash of blood
to lady fair,
snakes and thistles to braid her hair,
expose her tortured face?
Eyes that kill in silence,
stone lips, wrinkled nose,
washed out in times of
stoic denial.  Why must
she kneel, vile, victim
of violence, not its cause?
Who makes these laws of
natural selection?
Who takes the stone?
Who takes the stone’s projection?
Battle Fatigue
Honoring righteous anger.
Not mean little sprites,
Chironic knights protecting me.
Cradling me so sweetly.
“Oh, no, dear, never forgive, never forget.”
Torture is no way to say you’re sorry.
Love whispered to me
in dreamlike memory
told me tales
told me lies.
I told myself those stories
whispering in the night
bereft of sleep.
I told myself of soft surrender.
Of gentle caressing days
dappled in sunlight,
lusty heat-soaked revelry
sharing secrets
so poignant, so intense.
The anger
burns me through
each synapse,
each myelin sheathe
blood, guts, lungs, heart.
Viral penetration, consuming
strength, vitality, duration.
I am languid and torn.
From time to time I rally
to fight my own tears,
my own mind,
my own field of battle.
No one comes forth for me
to offer my surrender.
Battle weary,
I can no longer breathe.
The anger breathes for me.
Gently wrapping me in
singing me a battle song
urging me to take respite
as it soothingly scrapes off
the scabs
refreshing my wounds.
hungry zeitgeist
slivers, splinters, failing meaning
catch it, spinning out into the stars
bleeding rags fine red droplets
shredded hands, hopes, hearts
I can’t hold on, hold out, hold a good thought
agonized neurons,
shattered mirrors
unable to
hold suction,
bind the wound
embrace me
tight and tenderly
as blood drips through your fingers
touching raw eroding senses
with gentle rain, dripping,
obscuring the view
I would curl up into destiny,
locking my lacerations
in dreams of false skins,
tightening, holding fast to the edges.
I would fall immortally into space,
dripping inward.
I would lock my dreams in pasteboard boxes,
too tight for mortal breath.
the words whirl around, whirl around, whirl
like scattered bits of paper tears
I would hide in the deepest hold and
keep to life slowly seeping through.
but the hunger calls
it growls and jumps in fits to battle

peaceful revelations

Cloistered for warmth in this area between.
I’ve learned its scenery, lattice worked into my eyes.
Slowly turning toward a greener path, pausing at this door,
portal to awe of wisdom, pure radiant bliss.
Knots of pain and betrayal unwind.
Wheeling psyche casts stellar brand.
Archetype of mystic revelations carried
through the world of Man – I behold this promised land,
potent stream of prophecy.
Commanded, I lay down my burden, weight against my back
of gathered assets I was certain to require.
Freed to meet my mission, to accept desire,
immortal pleasure, the opportunity to sketch,
to draw out beauty, to paint leisurely upon prism glass.
Have I reached the bridge upon the crossroads, the glimmering?
Led to primordial sea which I devoutly travel, native soul
returned.  Having earned passage, my long journeyman’s
wage; peered, stared into age, a deep reflective well.
A wild road calls, beyond this threshold, sculpted by
oceanic power, tectonic rifts, feral air.  I feel self-created destiny
shudder slowly, seismically
incite as I prepare
Wildflowers stain floating air,
exquisite arousal.
Lithe lizards bare to radiant heat.
Warm, smooth stone,
home to softly green moss, invites ease.
Busy buzzing beings, gossamer wings
exult, hum in fair breeze.
Minds extend, reach, touch, grasp every moment.
puissant nectar,
sweet sustenance.
Abundant sensation.
Communal flame, convivial mentation;
nascent scent giggles revelations.
Kite tail of brilliant rainbow
diffuses wavelengths,
gifts rosy hue to twilight.
perceptual shift
Ecstatic movement past revelation
from which there  is no return
to what you used to see
who you used to be
That ultimate step to transcend
eternity’s threshold,
magic’s trick of the eye
Mind when it moves
so easily
shining newly emitted
light that belies
primeval storm,
primal fear, attacks
unclear of meaning
Dance reveals new landscape
Eyes, now excited, aware
ready to venture forward
Intuition follows
this blazing trail
Bliss Consciousness
People seem to be threatened by the idea of bliss, trying to corral the ineffable with definitions.
How can I put words around without restricting open-ended bliss?
Have they no faith in their loving Creator?
Have I no faith in my co-creating higher Muse?
The suffering, disappointments, traumas, desolation — these are not the gifts of deities
demanding or displeased.  These are natural consequences of forces set in motion
impervious to prayer, blind to persons, unaware of our individual sad stories.
Meaningless happenstance we give greater power by attributions of guilt, blame,
bitter condemnation.
Take a little turn, I tell me, into a new truer dimension to perception.
Bliss is the source condition that surrounds us, is the essence of,
all that space in, around, between.
This is the Creator’s plan, Eden’s blueprint, paradise here and hereafter.
This is Christ’s salvation, Buddha’s enlightenment, Mohammed’s dream,
Zarathustra’s revelation.  This is the holy secret Great Goddess whispers
in her cradling lullaby.
All of consciousness, all that life can give, is an option to open eternally
into completion as full awareness of bliss.  Breathe in the healing.
Breathe out the stale pain.
Laugh in the chilling rain, yes, even as the tsunami hits, the Earth quakes,
erupting ash burns, take my hand, my word, my promise.
A universe of bliss is yours for the accepting.  It costs nothing but your sins,
your misconceptions, your resistance to true unfettered life, your immortal soul.
collective consciousness released to dance in expanding space
Zest for jest unbound
Majesty lovingly reconfigures silence
doom, gloom
consecrate violence
Sorcery She exhumes
with such vigor
to trigger excruciating revelation
The pinnacle falls
all those stationary stones
of faith
What luck!
No burden left to tether
to weigh down
Insubstantial ground
demands no obeisance
biology’s tedious dependence
materiality’s limits
boundaries of this physical plane
beyond explanation
to imagining
beyond capacity
of dream
Weave into the fabric of a tribe of artistic dancers.
Fall under the spell of pure magic.
Silent night, peace and cold
Imbue me with music
In ecstasy, I dance to the stars.


Gentle rosy raindrops of a mellow dawning.
Children make the day – it’s Spring.
I thought of Christ in Church this morning,
borne on His cross in long ago Jerusalem.
Jesus, before His Destiny
removed Him from common ribaldry,
shoving banter that scores for a man
his jesting place among fellow men,
Jesus loved the little children even then.
He dared to proclaim a gentle faith, free
from bullies’ shaming, from easy blaming,
from traumatic scars of social war.
He believed in kind justice, respect for
human kin above judgmental sin.
Fatherly humor, the way fathers love
their children, with the pride of
ownership and the slave master’s
secret fear,
God disciplines His Heir.
Arising to new warmth, the earth’s reawakening.
It’s a time for children and games of childhood,
a time for flirting with romance,
secret smiles and daisy chains.
Restorative season, simple, soft, natural,
for anointing damaged souls in peace
after lacerative ravages of winter.
Time for gentle things
like newborn kittens
and flowerbuds after beckon of rain.
I am slowly relearning the healing strength of love,
gladly relearning easy pleasures of humanity.
Life is tender, poignant,
a drifting melody.


A mess, better left unbroken;
walk softly, whisper, agree
to be agreeable.
Breakfasting on soggy cereal or
just a cuppa.
Smiling lamely through the
livelong day.
“Please don’t let me be a burden.
Please, allow me, walk upon my
crooked spinal stairway while
I carry your petty parcels
in my cracked, bleeding teeth.”
Eggshells break monthly
inside my womb.
But we don’t speak of that.
Not polite.  Not politic.
Like religion and horse races,
consuming addictions.
‘Cause we’re alright, ya know.
We’ve nothing to complain of.
Got our daily cakes and tea,
obeisance to some faith based Queen,
jolly good, jelly roll.
On Easter, in the blessing of Spring,
we paint sweet pastels
gently upon hard-boiled shells,
promise to be good little lambs.
The crust of the Earth
protects primeval fire and
Seed of the Sun
bears a glorious array of
multi-hued fruits
upon which we feast
for energy.
Part of this complete breakfast
rounded with an omelet
for growth and repair.


Am I meant to be
a sacrificial lamb
as the Universe goes about its merry way?
Is this why we pray?
If it’s only me —
the great and wise I AM
engaging in some self-negating play,
what the hey?
Life is whatever you make it.
So go out there and take it.
Never, ever fake it
and you’ll be ok.
Or so they say…
Just a philosopher-poet,
suffered to ply my trade.
Brilliant skies hover nigh;
but, below, fading sight denies
Somnolent glide, sinuous, silvery stair.
Burnt eyes still, closed to the world.
What glimpse might I witness
if only I dare?
Is there purpose to wandering Earth?
Should I care?
But what if I’m missing the thrill?
What would carry me there?
Over the boundaries; into the wild.
Not a safe task to commit to a child.
A quest full of questions.
A fool’s ‘oliday.
And, have I mentioned,
no promise of pay.
Just a born again supplicant
reshaping the code,
creating the tale I’ll tell
when I’m old.
“Jesus wept and died”
I always wondered what that meant.
An admonition to us to do the same?
Like, “Life sucks, and then you end”?
Or, if Jesus died for our sins,
did he first weep for our souls —
a holy pity party enfolding us all?
So, our sins have been wept for, died for;
we carry the blood of the Lamb, like disease.
Perhaps His sacrifice would be better released as
happy laughter; hugged forgiving;
genuine indulgence in feast of experience,
balance to weeping and dying.
For revelry balances grief;
ecstasy balances defeat;
and love, of course,
is the only balance to love.
Spitting on divine art.
Anger overtaking heart.
Ripping the world wheel apart,
invested in childish rage.
“Am I good now, Daddy?”
Purging my animal nature.
Ripping out the devils
under every bed.
I tell them, I tell them
what you said
about Fires of Hell awaiting
devotion to unsanctified ways.
Daddy, will you love me,
keep me safe?
My life, all lives, for You!
I humbly sacrifice
all life to You.
‘Cause you’re my Man, my Holy
Truth and Power.
Elevate my cause; it is your own.


Solstice Globes

The stars
The dark
The trees
The wind
On the street where I live.
On this night while I write.
Happening here and now.
Luxuriant melody.
Who can hear with me?
Share this moment in all of eternity?
Breathe in time to deeply vibrating tune.
What is Truth?
What is true?
Feet above ground.
Ambient air permeates –
celestial entities,
transient identities,
ambiguous destinies,
exquisite sentience.
Here and now.
Estrellita holiday arrayed, dazzling gauze, adoring gaze, impeccable focus.
Delicate paper sculpture forest of splendor, tin foil twinkle Moonglow spell.
Gifts for me misters and mistresses, ladies and gents, those who pass through and take a glitter-stamped chance.
Open adventure, taste inhaled atoms from unfathomed distance.
In this small crystal, starlight smiles.
Solar rays slowly kiss strength and warmth.
Beauty answers, in her aspect of eternity.
Beaches at sunset, quiet waves, sparkling reflection;
sand like dulcet bedding, gently shaded serene meditation.
Mountain ponds grounded by pastel flowers;
bright feathered geese flitter on high in scant array;
fairy light just enough to wander beyond glare or haze.
Clear long straight road into fantasy landscape, then curving
through hills, farms, forests, lit by wide blue breeze,
water-painted sky, scent of perfumed trees.
Winter magic freshly frosted, swirled, made new and brilliant.
Smell delicious promise, evoking caress of awe.
Call to seekers, distant melody sweet, calm, effulgent.
Birds in homeward flight, toward early sunset.
Full of good harvest, ready to roost through darkness.
Is this blessed omen of peaceful plenty to rejoice?
Or mere preparation for harsh Winter tempests to come?
Huddling against terrible storms, well placed, safe, together.
Strangers nested, perfumed, rarified.
Waiting for Lightbringer, morning star.
We celebrate through rugged weather warm welcoming peace.
Petite performance, illumined revelry – light we carry, share, renew.
If we might Believe, just enough to stare hard into flowing crystal.
See, fragile and fleeting, glass slowly melting, gently emitting.
Still peace, mindful passion, portentous glow, every facet effervescent.
Improvisation respects panoramic view.
Tell me a story of shining strength and brilliant strategies.
Thrilling escapes. Clever soliloquies.
Blessing of forgetting real dangers and their fears.
Heroes – people so publicly good they inspire us to be better.
To wander clothed for travel, no map, destination.
Direction, decision, matters of whim or instant’s serendipity.
Soft blue cloud mist, interrupting constellations.
Look! A gathering of space astronauts happy to save us because we’re all brethren as living universe.
Wiser big siblings, protective, sharing what longer experience has taught.
Sparkly lights over our Wintering fields, meteorites to wish upon.
I wish for miracles that outdo, overwhelm biblical prophecy.
Let them fight, outside our Earth borders, those archetypes of Lucifer and Christ.
Let them whip up fierce, boisterous conflagration – epiphanies of rage against love.
Hell, take bets, cheer and get high on the action. Up there, in that realm made of digitized dreams.
Here, right here and now and always from here on, let it go.
Let the movie skip, dynamic pixelate, on that distant screen while we
enjoy festivities, sparkling lights and generosity, best humanity can offer
— spirit of liberation immersed in joyous celebration.
Iridescent, day-glo globes, fairy dust in billow flight.
The angel loved this child.
It’s not that all angels love their charges.
Mostly it’s just a job, though a job, of course, they perform joyfully.
It is not usually so personal, so human.
The angel watched over the child with poignant care.
It was not in angelic power to keep the child untouched by the myriad harms,
disappointments, longing pain, hapless tragedies of mortal consequence.
Yes, the angel was assigned as Guardian, but only insofar as to protect this life, keep intact the necessary attributes to fulfill this promised role in the great production, attributes brought to fruition through exercise in lesser roles over maturation, incremental expression of range.
So the angel watched this child grow, awkwardly, teased and tortured into position within a cultural tradition designed to control, keep order for elite convenience.
The devoted angel whispered kind encouragement, kept vigil lest this unique imagination be paralyzed, destroyed.
The angel loved so intensely as to be able to manifest in dreams, mind wanderings, delicate places inviolate by what our world expects and enforces.
Even when it seemed all seethed with horror, relentless sorrow, madness beyond comprehension, stench of mundane rot, the angel’s adoring presence gave a supportive touchstone of calm.
Always, look without the deceptive bias of eyes, listen without prejudice of language, feel soothed, understood.
The angel holds ethereal essence gently, passionately, in boundless generosity.
They are bonded twins, each more profoundly blessed in affinity.
What is the word for beyond words —
beauty simple, profound.
Stars, sunrays, miracles ablaze.
Loved and protected by gods, smitten with ecstasy.
Fortune favors elegance, grace of presence,
true nobility beyond codes of legend.
Long-toothed grey-white horse munches, trots,
watches occasional cars go by the road along this corral.
Drowsing afternoons remembers flying, wide white wings.
She has horse sense, wild strong senses, instinctual balance.
She eyes those passing passengers without comment.
If she needed, she could fly out of range, disappear from men’s
landscape. Not resigned, nor precisely happy – comfortable,
content, completely free.

make Peace The issue

August 15 ‘A Spontaneous Day of Peace’  – Social Media & The Blogosphere

Sky born, lifted above
Water, Earth, primordial mud.
Bare breath and lilting light waft up, carry ephemeral
tongues, frenzied yet exquisite. Exaltation, daring
to swoop, touch, climb, pirouette.
Path briefly complete in hover, amazed, over
flowering waves.
Vision trails, engulfed in smoke of smelting flame,
gasping, tropically turning, blind, yet
beyond mistrust.  A world drifts.  Black night backlit in
pinpricks.  Atmosphere of bioluminescence,
symphonic, symbiotic.  Listen as rippling elements
grow words, symbolic histories, into a Summer game.
Out here, sparkling rain weaves rainbows.  Reverence
casts reflection as shimmer and shadow play.
Up here, beyond boundaries of ordinary days,
the only Commandment to penetrate —
Be Peace
Lighting Candles
I wish you peace.
I wish you love.
I wish you time to
explore your essence.
I wish you safety.
I wish you patience.
I wish you visions,
sweet dreams and
sweeter days.
I wish the world
a sweeter disposition.
I wish for peace,
for love,
for better times.
I wish we all get
the wishes we yearn for.
I thrice charge these wishes
and send them to you.
Body Language
Teach Peace
Dancing in the classroom
Body wisdom
reaches through neural pathways,
regenerates whole to whole,
soul to soul
touching seam
I feel you in my mind, my spine.
Feel me dancing,
elongating muscles,
extending connections.
Logic of Evolution
Successful progenitors
survive to sow seed
by force or persuasion
or hiding off screen
or banding together
that more may succeed,
and upgrade conditions,
enhance the breed.
But, for such teams to work well
we must
learn to respect, honor, and trust;
expect to contribute, receive and share,
accept the caring for and care.
In community varied seeds are sown.
Thus is a thriving future grown.
Or, sibling rankling infests, turns
on neighbors as scorn.
Barriers proliferate,
preparations for war.
Who is emboldened by
destruction and blood,
blasting civilizations
back into mud?
Are these principled people
filled with kindness and joy?
Those who can create, build;
the lacking destroy.
Guns, bombs, cruel words,
contempt, angry sneers,
promotion of pain,
preying on fears,
paying us naught but
unneeded tears
and advancement of certain
unsavory careers.
We can reject violent lies,
realize the prize.
Here! before our eyes.
Simple. Easy. Free.
Expect, accept, embrace
the abundance
of Peace.
Earth Songs
Aching times.
Ghost singers on the prairie.
Snug little home, hearthfire familial peace
against rage and winds. Stone and sacrifice.
Dust storms erode,
leave wastrel sentinels.
Far, in green glade mists
where ancient hymns are born,
chthonic wilds, primordial rune castings.
Building over eternity, silent, archetype of will, ponders.
Intrinsic senses, despair, bottomless sorrow, loss of intent.
At the root of desire, truest wish to be fashioned,
sold at price of who you were made against your nature.
Wooden ships sail eternal sea.
Journey ages within these circles, free.
Easy found trades, winds selling seeds.
Back to the gardens of pagan lore —
earth, air, sun, and transforming water.
We wander days of potent destiny,
telling the tale, deep mystical incantation,
of a possible age in birth.
Love song ‘tween man
and Earth.
we are not our ancestors
we are not religions
we are not lines on a map demarcated by war
we are earth made vital
we are seeking minds inviting partners
we are seed and core as skin sheds and grows anew
we are me and you and all we become, alone and together
we are as we agree, composed of dissonance and harmony
thriving lives matter
Peace matters
Clean Up
I dislike the implied mess of violence.
Peace is more tidy,
clean and inviting.
Why waste precious metal
in deadly intent
when a kickass party
can pay the rent —
a rant and rave relaxing
pent up pain.
Where’s the percentage of gain?
The perception that rage requires
release within this people cage,
to ease torment of feeling less
Reflex flight or fight? Psychobabble hype?
Nobody  needs to violently die today.
Luminescent Choir
Singers in the fog.
Outlying voices thin, yet growing;
accruing sound, like liquid, flowing.
Emoting tales of woe, resistance.
Shouted sighs of denied existence.
Insightful chants insist persistence.
We never died.  We’re knitting strong.
Born into a world-wide village.
Only from ourselves to pillage.
Hear our song.
Some bright good morning of
fish and loaves, cake and wine,
capacious tribes adjoin in movement.
Shining line of peace.
Terror’s fear released.
Music, celebration in the streets.
Flower scented candles,
vigil against shame.
Blazing through miasmic mist,
Apollonian flame torches banners of
hostilities falsely triggered
in our name.
Come harmonize, aloud:
We’re alive and proud
to descant, dispel dank chill.
Sing to vanquish fog.
This is our greatest duty
Live in peace,
believe in joy —
For as joy fills our hearts, we leave no room for
As joy fills our lives, we learn to live
Outreaching love
Deep healing warmth
Safe harbor home
Benevolence assured
Fulfilling Hope
Affirming Joy
Abiding Peace
*Make Peace The Issue

cross quarters

Stars’ Crossing
Crossed roads, slowly swaying
entrance beads from day to night.
Slip in between to become
for that instant of eternity
dancing gypsy calling to
Moon, to storytelling stars.
Embrace that mystery, train tracking
adventure.  Breathe forgotten fields,
lush or shriveled, dependent on water
and feed.  Let go of all but one brave
hand solidly grasped to the doorway.
Let go; let fingers fall reaching.
Second Star to the Right
Traveling beyond Persephone’s garden
on the etheric threshold
‘tween mortality and death.
Taking an oblique path at the crossroads
onto an accessway
along the axis of bliss.
It’s not a road on which
the dramas fade.
It’s not about a numbing block
to pain.
Drama unfolds —
my chemistry responds exquisitely.
Touch is just touch;
sensation translates information.
All the appointed tasks,
routine errands of the everyday,
little pauses along the bliss path,
allow me to breathe the scent
of endless possibilities,
as path and consciousness expand
blissfully aware.
Liminal Spaces
Twilight, the wee hours,
the dark of the moon,
liminal spaces,
places where magic dwells,
crossroads, crises, cusps.
There is static on the radio.
A song
my voice was singing,
rhythm of sound
takes flight to surround me,
a comforter of down
to ease my soul.
I’ve been trying to define a taste,
a sense of bittersweet and salt.
I’ve been trying to find a trace
a footprint in the desert,
a sight, a scent,
a memory.
I’ve been trying to discern a trace of me,
a piece to fit the puzzle,
my contribution to the grand design.
Seeking in shadows,
the space between
myth and matter,
those places words
cannot define.
On those insubstantial plains
of myst and awe,
the stuff of dreams,
threshold of wonder,
creation is spawned.
Crossing the Threshold
At the crossroads at midnight
My lady did swear
That she must be alone
To face up to her demons
“Please understand that I must
be aware of just who I am
and where I’ve come from.”
I sat by the bridge
as she set forth her tools,
her sorcerer lore, her alchemic runes
So she’d know who to honor, to break
and to blame
What she’d been made for,
her journey, her truth.
At the crossroads, past midnight,
just before dawn
My lady thrice nodded and
stamped out her flames.
She beckoned I join her out on the meadow
to kiss and rejoice
and reveal our true names.
Cross Purpose
At hours’ crossroads, Reason drowns
in rage, scathe,
irradiated rain, treasonous air.
Weary of care, of punishing,
bottomless anger, of sobbing men
robbed of their right to give birth.
Wrested from Mama’s warmth, from
the cave, to play brave.
And it’s ladies’ choice as you squirm
in fool’s corner.
Such a chore — kissing at this
and that for a chance to score
the shame, the blame from stuck-out
tongues, the bloody laughter.
“I could bite off that little thing — make
you squat to pee.”
Wired to fight, at any cost,
because, of course, the Cross proclaims
“We’re right.  They are inherently wrong.”
“Those below must be taught to obey
our superior tools, to be broken,
that we may ride.”
Against our better fate, sad race divides
along strict lines, by difference
nature devised to spawn us strong.
Simple acceptance.
The dancer with the dance
entering pre-dawn mystery.
Quiet interval, enchanting music.
Undulating reverie.
Alone in Hekate’s garden,
breathing in memory
of jasmine and spice.
Weary roads traveled
crossroad to crossroad;
the journey continues.
Weary days have found sustenance
in secreted hovels, dimestore romance.
Convoluted talk, empty gestures,
soul-less ritual
take up the stitches of time.
Some brave midnight,
if I learn my lessons well,
I will eat the fruits of Hekate’s garden,
dancing in piquant reverie,
leaving my tears and anguish
along the windswept trail.
Ebullient music
dances me
as the Goddess kisses
my tearstains into
Green Magic
Ancient prototypes etched into collective retina.
Vast vegetation, expansive cure for distressed
neural cells.
Casting outward.  Hope for connection
to sacred ground, profoundly real.
Reborn to forest,
nurtured in nativity.
Green, deep healing green.
Fear is a thrill.
Rush anticipation of danger.
Piquant romance with what might kill or maim
or carry dread.
Warnings fill imploding head; adrenalin syncopates heart.
Fear, a crossroad to start from,
then taunting groves to hide behind.
Fear can dazzle, delay, explain years of wasted time.
Any sufficiently
advanced efficiency of
chemistry, natural
technology, exchange of toxic breath for
benign symbiotic ecology.
(No college degree could assure
so lush a life.)
So sad that we only see what we expect.
Trained to tragedy, to forget the best
that could be manifest.
Sagacious find a quiet relaxed pace.
Days drift and wander.
Daring to explore pleasure, infinite awareness.
Leisurely share what feels genial, good, light.
Make Peace The Issue

Earth sings

In the garden
In the garden
rags and broken bits,
trailing paper ribbons,
shards and excrement,
weave a picture, a scene
a thumb reel of protected vision.
The garden grows
though abandoned by light
and conscious thought.
Tangles give way to magical gates.
Imaginary flowers bloom,
twist absurd
mangling shapes,
evoke scents
unknowable in common categories.
Once the garden was ripe and lush,
fed legions,
earned prizes in the canons
of great literature.
If other gardens vied in performance,
it was for the grander glory of gardenhood.
Lovers trysting
Children’s play
Old philosophers walking,
speaking deliberately, deeply,
breathing in heaven.
A garden of substance,
tradition and grace
where sore of heart might
find tender comfort, growing wild
in sweet evening breeze,
a calming call to prayer,
mending meditation
on the ways of Earth and sky and rain.
Walking the garden,
old, papery, withered of breath,
dreaming yesterdays, tomorrows,
screaming silently
a hope too desperate to speak
for vibrant new seeds
to take root.
Back to Basics
Walking backwards, over the cracks, the broken glass, the crying shame.
Looking in and out.  All the hostile visions I never want to see
damning me.
They say to give is blessed, when in doubt give it all away.
I say
we are each a universe, so many worlds, so many stars
we lose track
we look back
whoosh into the vastness of possible trajectories.
Without crossroads, without stones of demarcation,
we would fall upwards eternally.
I am digging a well,
a holding place for tears.
When the hole is of the right proportions
I will fashion a tight container of stone and clay.
The excavation uncovers rotten cadavers, old bones
twisted from unhealed violations, bits of broken treasures,
shattered expectations,
here and there
pieces of nursery toys no longer loved.
I crawl through the earth, exulting in sensuous pleasure.
Moving like a snake at home in the elements,
shedding my skin, becoming silky sinuous sense cells.
It is so beautiful here, under it all.
Fertile soil, made of the cast off, the ruined, the dead.
Seeds try again to perfect the expression of dna.
It would all fall together naturally.
But nature did not make me.
It was self-flagellating nurturance of worlds and stars
trying to cast off their earthly heritage.
Sacred Geology
Rich earth.
Consecrated life.
Imbued myriad layers
nourish omniscient spirit.
Starvations, immolations, decay
scarred into the land
making it holy.
Bounty of beauty
irrigated by tears
and less voluntary bodily fluids.
Teeming loam. Revitalizing
luscious fruits
giving forward.
Partaking of the feast
we are blessed,
renewed in empyreal essence.
Each at our pace,
nature’s cycle reclaims
all that we are
that we may become
yet more abundantly, complexly ()
Eclipse Dream
Jump!  Jittery.  Nauseous claustrophobia . . .
l e t t i n g  g o  s  l  o  o  o  w
Whoosh leap faster than my breath can catch me.
Dizzily, half-blinded, out of focus,
slant view along tree-strewn path.
Enchanted forest?
Smoke curling upward.
Gingerbread cottage in the woods.
Do I rest here, recoup my losses?
Savory soup simmers over tender hearth fire.
Shadow gloom occludes unswept corners.
Yet the center of the room
is surprisingly clean, radiant.
I sit, mantra embraced.
Nestled by magestic silk wings.
Outside winter is falling.
When I awaken from my trance
planting season will begin.
The wild rains of spring
have caught me napping.
They catch me up in torrents,
swing me along,
a cradle in the sea.
I descry mazes,
wondrous pageantry
woven into  stellar stories.
Celestial spray anoints me.
I commence secret ceremony,
believing the Earth to be my home.
Earth Angels
That boorish arrogance.
Deaf to wisdom, portrayed in
ominous myth, faery lore.
Slay the goose;
destroy the whales.
Uproot untold trees
bearing fruits that may have
saved us staggering pain.
Crucial for well-being
microbes, photosynthesis,
processes ignored, misunderstood.
Focus expended on ephemeral
opinion, petty greeds and rivalries,
diatribes on evil and good.
Realities we have yet to account to,
fall, collateral damage
to insolent bravado.
When will we ever let go,
rethink this mad master plan,
relinquish need to command?
Sky born, lifted above
Water, Earth, primordial mud.
Bare breath and lilting light waft up, carry ephemeral
tongues, frenzied yet exquisite. Exaltation, daring
to swoop, touch, climb, pirouette.
Path briefly complete in hover, amazed over
flowering waves.
Winter Gods freeze-glaze mountain peaks,
rocky rivers, mother’s eyes.
She gives suck embalmed in vision trails,
engulfed in smoke of smelting flame,
gasping, tropically turning, blind, yet
beyond mistrust.  She regurgitates paste of
air, dust, instinct, steeped with spit
and love.  Taste her sacrifice.
A world drifts.  Black night backlit in
pinpricks.  Atmosphere composed like bioluminescence,
symphonic, symbiotic.  Listen as rippling elements
grow words, symbolic histories, into a Summer game.
Out here, sparkling rain weaves rainbows.  Reverence
casts poetry as shimmer and shadow play.
Up here, beyond boundaries of ordinary days,
the only Commandment to penetrate —
Be Peace
It’s not the landscape, but the ambiance.
Emanant surroundings suggest fantasy motif.
Just that evocative forest green, desert rose.
Waft of lilac, vibrations of tidal reveries,
cast off, buried.  Reclaimed, exposed.
Gracious glory.
Terra spins through stories.
Webs of sparkle and synapse
suspend on delicate balance.
Work and love,
expression and assimilation.
Venture in search of food, air, stimulation.
Ideation, imagination, mood impels
self-aware cells, each with place
and passion.
Busy interchange
at market and field
combines power to wield, grow
beyond personal boundaries
permeable to trade, exploration,
creative generation.
Each iteration fuels further spring to
Gaea’s laughing.
Silly scrapping scavengers
groomed in self-importance
rarely see the joke.
Long has her fete entertained.
Sol to Gaea, flirting seasons, night and day.
Eons slip through alignment.
Mud to worm
to facile mind
wondering at starlight
as constellations parade
in siren mystery.
Common wisdom, basic observation.
If river, then water and silt,
mud, clay, pottery, etched hieroglyphs,
television, robotics, space aeronautics.
Rippling along sinuous riverbed
I can smell the salty sands of yesteryear,
taste tears of copper, touch sparkling rain,
feel the lift of storms in formation
fill evening breeze with electric potential.

in the beginning

Before the Beginning
Before imagination,
sound or fury,
in a wraithlike pocket
outside of time and space
none to command
none to hinder
how does the spark ignite?
Spontaneous combustion?
Multiplicities of zeroes
encircling void
before chicken or egg or seed.
Was there a silent prophecy?
If the system is closed,
nothing created or destroyed,
where does all come from?
How far can it expand?
If the system is open,
how far does it go?
If there is no system,
chaos endlessly realigning,
helpless to demand rule of law,
form but temporarily
delimiting substance,
no matter.
In our space and time
we play at definitions.
“In the Beginning . . ..”
Words upon a screen,
over millennia.
In the beginning
we fell apart,
thrust out, expanding,
becoming the heart
of time, space, and life.
The division of darkness and light
into binary code,
the linear sequence of time
growing older each moment.
Catalytic stimulation, element assimilation.
Systems and cycles ignite.
Wavicles swirl in excitement,
bumping and grinding unite,
build this grand reality,
seed ethereal possibility
long before divinity
could be defined.
Birth Day
In the beginning,
before integral threads unfurled
for reassignment,
feral forces churned, thrashed in
throes of creation.
Telescoping backward,
witness chaotic magic
riotous storms,
vivid electricity,
eternity singing in words
Over vast escapade,
threads weave into fabric.
Recognizable forms
coalesce into destinies.
This great projectile vitality,
infinitely recombining.
Locate pleasure in distinct moments
tied in gaily colored threads
for remembrance.
Soft bliss of night.
Far drift of stars; open carless road.
Kicking up bits of stone and dust.
I could be anyone.
I could start here.
What is beginning?
Aware of the first rays,
conscious aloneness.
Sunshine is harsh on
fragile skin, newly opened eyes.
They catch on eager forays,
studies in elucidation;
simple truth hidden in rules,
squalid mine-like cages, punishing
rewards that bind and itch.
Beginnings are not the point.
They are portals, not the
mystic river,
the sand so burning insubstantial,
the forest enchanted in
eider and lace.
Beginnings never warn of battle
flame or drunken dares.
They only promise vague
adventure, valiant possibilities.
A brief eternity before dawn,
supplicating the night sky for
solace, this soft moment before 
an unmarked road.
Sun and Moon embrace
as one
for brief eternity
all mystery reflects recursively within
Black and White
create gradation
radiate kinetic energy
We can achieve,
begin, begin, begin
Gardeners, planting vibrant fields,
planting food,
planting future flowering in
nurturing soil
perceiving wounds
to be sewn,
relieving loneliness,
revealing pain denied,
held in; applying benevolent medicines
to salve twists of ardent toil
adoring mentors of their wards
discover with them
questions, keys and doors;
realizing history is only destiny
when explorations cease;
invitations from ideation over time
come complete
with choices
A choir of voices
from softest spark
to fervent blaze
Troops of effervescent players
drums at dawn
Inspiration and instruction
carried forth through song, animated acts on stage,
multi-partnered murals, painting onward age to age
Taking up the challenge of the tale
that twists, turns, meanders,
provides kaleidoscopic opportunity
ever to begin again
Make Peace The Issue

Fools Parade

It’s so cruel
all we learn in school
is mocking behavior
reciting some rule
not that life’s here to savor
for each free playful fool
Enter dear Fool upon the Precipice, prattling ditties of daily airwaves.
She is whirling blithely, eyes upon a distant rainbow, breathing in clouds.
Breathing out daisies and daffodils and a brilliance of pansies.
She is dancing to her own symphony, entranced in her deepest essence.
Without thought, without prayer, without a government authorized identity,
there are no guarantees, no happy ending.
Brief infusion
of giddy illusion
just enough to guilefully entice.
Sparkling Neural net
a secret
clue revealing
purpose, meaning;
wild eternal child,
ages’ flamboyant fool,
Here’s to the weary.
Here’s to the fun.
Here’s to the berry that makes us all young.
Here’s to the rulers.
Here’s to the fools.
Here’s to the toilers and tellers of truths.
Here’s to the end of another decline.
Here’s to the best of our time.
April’s Fool
A Fool I’ve been,
jogging behind visions,
cringing from derision,
seeking solace from a merry Moon
too soon gone old.
Peeping back on follies,
sticking pins in pain — jolly?
no, morose, cold …
Harridan crone.
Have my wanderings sown
no happy harvest, no cozy home?
Snuggling into punishing remorse
“You knew you should have run a better course!”
“You know you deserve to be alone.”
Is that true?  Am I the Fool careening
down the precipice,
broken, no meaning;
is this my hapless fate?
Daze of failure insists I mistake
castigation for a goal?
A Fool can be a cherished, merry soul,
lightly traipsing heroic mountain trails,
reveling in freezing rain and snow,
tasting bite of ice and flame without bitterness.
This I know.
Somnolent glide, sinuous, silvery stair.
Burnt eyes still, closed to the world.
What glimpse might I witness
if only I dare?
Is there purpose to wandering Earth?
Should I care?
But what if I’m missing the thrill?
What would carry me there?
Over the boundaries; into the wild.
Not a safe task to commit to a child.
A quest full of questions.
A fool’s ‘oliday.
And, have I mentioned,
no promise of pay.
Just a born again supplicant
reshaping the code,
creating the tale I’ll tell
when I’m old.
Mood’s choral turns to Spring.
That special lethargy that poets faux affect,
reflective as a silver pool.
We like the love that lets us play the fool,
exudes good humor, respite from
sober shame of longing heart.
That flame, that spark that arts
wish power to capture,
that rapture.
Let the goodtimes roll
down fresh verdant hillside,
winter’s sorrows
spilling out like seed.
Cleansed free.
Elegant foolery open to bountiful showers.
Flagrant flowers, emergent liberation.
Layered legend long ripens, tangled,
mired below in
torpid traipse through dust and gloom.
Swept into light as destiny,
revealed by labor of cultivation,
excavated, bestowed honoured place
in ritual chorus.
‘round hallow table, exultant vibration.
Energies blend, fuse.
Recombinant winds call timeless tunes.
Rhythmic movements re- and un- engage,
ever changing,
never wholly new.
Wrested from Mama’s warmth, from
the cave, to play brave.
And it’s ladies’ choice as you squirm
in fool’s corner.
Such a chore — kissing at this
and that for a chance to score
the shame, the blame from stuck-out
tongues, the bloody laughter.
Penny Fools
Pound Fools
run ruinous errands,
rush past threshold of Hell
in cheap reticules.
Cast into a class that laughs at rules,
what holds grimy chaos at bay?
(Fools at least are pure, are gay and
without malice.)
Smoke simmering black deliciously divides while cackling
into echoes far seeking.
But there’s that puppy-dog barking need for love, for
status, for a wise old fool to follow into certain death
and beyond.
Who believes these mutterings?
Who would want to?
I tell Your secrets
in riddles, rhythms
If those fools would but
smile and dance
the sands would fly into music
Play on
People I became over ages.
Foolish sages.
Slave to wages.
Humble servant to whomever
gave a glance.
Always ready for a game with chance,
burning bridges to
swim in fate’s brave waves.
What fool would risk stability,
shame, neighbor’s hostility,
to resist?  Stripped of private self-determination,
could such fools exist?
What can I say?
There’s valid point in
all this farce?
That the fool on the precipice
dances beautifully?
No matter
what the cost
there’s a prize worth the price
of steadfast duty?
There is bountiful advice
in the stars?
There’s a lucky star;
and it’s ours?
There is magick,
to believe in?
Requited hope, ecstatic grace?
There is more than we imagine?
There is gold in inner space?
There is danger; there are dragons?
There are knights and righteous cause?
There are chaos taming tactics  —
There are underlying laws
that we obey?

woman’s worlds

Your Philosophy
movie plot as object lesson
boys find valuable object
boys lose valuable object
boys fight to get valuable object back
I am woman born
no source of father’s pride
too early in my days, they
track my aroma
I know not to hide
use me in some back room
until my womb rises with a new slave
for their diversions
I am sacred mother
tit tied to feeding, always feeding
(agonized bleeding in secret shame)
No more than a tether, a trough, and
tantalizer of the profane. I am a wrecked
train, a vehicle left to rust, blamed for
slatternly stagnation,
never quite thrown away.
Reject me; reject hard truths,
long trod on diamonds, golden geese brought
to slaughter.
Obscured like icebergs, amphibious myths
kept subdued, symbolic
work songs, prophetic exaltation,
labyrinthine gardens,
we who are only dreams in your philosophy.
You may well be better
stuck, your own
wheel of clay.
My lesson, when I am ready,
is to leave you to your way;
cleave to ecstasy
loose, fanciful, subjective,
Athena’s Gift
Athena fair
stalwart daughter of Zeus
graces her time and place
with divine knowledge.
Today unlined face,
silken hair,
robust yet fragile form
are proclaimed as the graces
of womanhood.
Athena, lost in the pantheon,
whispers to the nightears
of her faithful,
saying:  “True woman’s mind
inclines to wisdom.”
But Daddy’s girl
wants more recompense
for loneliness.
Here at the bar again
Here at the bar again, bar nothing to me.
Deepest Scorpio, gusts tinged icy.
Onward toward Chumley’s  2 pm Village poetry reading.
Searching outside book stall for bargains,
found a Paul Goodman
with cat and dog and baby photographs
to give to Cindy
a gift of love for a fragile child
Still affright from last night’s heavy scene,
wherein the police took my man away again,
this time with my blessing and accomplicement.
. . . A man is a hard thing.
Also a drag on my developmental aspirations.
When all he does is loom and threaten
Big Brute Violence
to storm my sensibilities.
(What’s frustrating is he doesn’t hear me
plead for shelter.)
Laughing in the park we loved
Crying in the night we parted
Oh, beseech I, gods above:
Why must you leave me broken-hearted?
(and I know he’ll be returning with more disregards
and diatribes and possibly pistol drawn to fire)
So I sit here in the bar, again.
Drinking sweet Kahlua and awaiting the poetry.
Taking a respite, you see.
Oh, Goddess, for this while,
bar nothing to this troubled child
(for child I feel, though woman grown).
Let peace alone assail me.
Pink and Blue
(and red all over)
Fist shakes from rage
channeled, coursing,
flailing bloodlines.
Caught, snarled,
stagnant dying ocean
willing to be taken down
from fear to violence.
Call wild arms,
breast, sinew, shame.
Chemistry surges, overplays.
One mortal coup de grace
burst sword to heart
that never lived
beyond desire.
If man is fire, dissolved
into greater waves,
why does Woman weep?
Why does not the flood
of pain absolve and
succor?  Why should fate
deny blessings of mortal
release in wash of blood
to lady fair,
snakes and thistles to braid her hair,
expose her tortured face?
Eyes that kill in silence,
stone lips, wrinkled nose,
washed out in times of
stoic denial.  Why must
she kneel, vile, victim
of violence, not its cause?
Who makes these laws of
natural selection?
Who takes the stone?
Who takes the stone’s projection?
cubicle woman
The moments slither by if you forget they’re there.
Sucking in sweetness,
hot sugared coffee, aroma of memory.
It might be a sluggish, clammy
descent of summer afternoon. Hints of autumn
like blackberry spicing the air.
The people here are decent.
They smile to make conversation a pleasant bit of business.
They want me to feel safe, subdued.
It doesn’t matter that we are never more than strangers,
passing faces, complaisant.
They bring me coffee with sugar and plastic sticks for stirring.
In this moment all of the world
turns so skillfully
I move along without pause for acknowledgement,
stealthily aware.

for Brigid

Bearing Water for Brigid
Sketches for a water vessel —
united, bottle and message elide on waves.
Voice of Brigid calls.
All who hear: Imagine.
Exposed to wind, to grit, to rain,
shifts of vibration,
rock faces erode.
Designated fixed space
Seaworthy container
Conveyor through fluid
Creates place, surface to paint
tableaux for amusement,
diffusion of emotion,
beatitude against foment of dueling farce.
Harsh edges polished,
pure shades
blend in the dark.
Brief infusion
of giddy illusion
just enough to guilefully entice.
Sparkling Neural net
a secret
clue revealing
purpose, meaning;
wild eternal child,
ages’ flamboyant fool,
(Voice pours from within)
A wound is a sacred vessel.
Pain carves into flesh
sense memory;
carries the seed
of its own demise.
engulfed in life
learns anew to be whole.
Wounded with the potential for wisdom
when eyes are are pried
from seeping, sucking, suffering
aching to censure what future we admire.
Redefine the schizm.
This wound is our project.
To heal, discover the vision;
realign the seam to fit
self-framed landscape.
Let loose that genie of desire.
Ride rushing blood streams.
Build a roaring pyre of grief,
insane belief in wrath-filled deities.
Revile that old refrain: “life is pain” or a game
to be lost.
No Faustian bargain.
Just a 
rambling adventure
to explore
essence of ecstasy.
Don’t wait for the rest to see
and demur.
Stretch your sail.
Take sight of your guiding star.
The only failure is self-denial
in favor of the vile lie
that pain is destiny
instead of faithful friend
lending energy
for change.
Slice vivid memories.
Exult in the tastes, the textures.
Enliven your way.
In the end
the vessel breaks.
There the Goddess stirs.
Scrying on the Moon
~twilight of the goddess, call to song aery dancing, lady fair your fiery trance rewinds our souls; enjoy these offerings of fancy: all art is yours ~
By sibylline light
images I recognize,
creviced captures of my life.
I know her judgment to be my own.
“Nourished by Moon rivers
mythical cavern blooms
unseen by sunlight
glow green.” 
Thus she sets the scene;
becomes the prophecy.
“Purest white simplicity
curved to suggest fragility
faith fed maiden ready for
given in bondage to womanly woes,
hard rows to hoe
for tight human hug through 
crying of night.
Fate of mortal soldiers, sacrificed to lust.
Seeking relief, beg for the boon of drama
high adventure
sneaking into sad hotels
for a fix or a tumble.
deadly play,
danger, a real chance.
Barefoot in the snow
icy roads
winds so strong
I could not make you hear.
I thought you were my destiny.
Crazy thoughts, far from clear;
but I believed
song lyrics from Saturnine deities
would not lie, leave me
dying, fading into winter’s grey
drifting clouds,
endless sorrow endured for naught.
Lost on this careless corner,
dreaming of oblivion, intent on visions
like rain
tapping against eternity’s
vast windowpane.
Scenic serenity.
Nature’s gradations of green
soothe tired eyes,
trembling nerves, throbbing  veins.
Slivers of moonlight reflect,
disperse through refrains, unearth secrets
embedded in song
effervescing through cool pure air
cleansing the uprising nestling
set aflame
tempered mettle,
pure, wise, tested
engorged with the will
to rise”
Goddess’s Way
With passion!
Outpouring elixir fills our mythic spring.
Sparkling flame of peace abides within,
licks battle wounds.
Not ignorant fools;
no pleas for altruist beliefs.
Relief of hunger completes us.
No cunning deceivers could ignite malice,
steal our good.
Unbalanced need reaches to heal through
magical interchange.
Energies when well-purposed, understood,
replenish, undiminished.
Why meanly measure 
scores in morality play at “who deserves”?
Healthful work, flowing contribution, 
bestows focal point for cyclic rain’s reward.
Fortune’s gift, this benevolent wishers’ well,
replete Goddess blessing.
Sacred vessels,
dip in for contentment, good will, joyful
This is not belief or even knowing.
This is breath of awe in motion.
Novitiate strong and true, my Lord.
Trained to service as is due, my Lord.
Sweep snowy threshold; chop roots for stew,
my Lord.
Domicile clean, tidy, warm.
Hearth fire charmed; wicks ready to light at dark’s release.
Kitchen enchantment, smells that spell succulent sup.
Holiday breads, hunt’s victory,
fruit sweet and spiced, preserved against winter’s insurgency.
Stalwart, luscious vintage ever replenished to
toast-raising cups.
Fragrant pipe passed ‘round; copious wine.
Feast sumptuously satisfied.   Night of dance
with hallowed candles cast in magic.
Rhythms wax and wander, discover heroic tales, grand to recount.
Bawdy poetry regales, playful competition gains momentum.
Energy escalates, fans profound merriment.
Family, beyond embarrassment, drunk on high spirits and love.
Goddess blesses, gently kisses, wafts through
artful celebration.

comfort and joy

Comfort and Joy
Happy children
snug in our beds.
Visions of mistletoe above dream-filled heads.
Charmed slow motion sled glides hills
green and white.
Great blazing star overrides chill of night.
Smell, virgin snow, spice and roast,
pine laced fire.
Meet make-believe elves to tell
secret desires.
Delegation of peace, these moments
gifted with meaning,
lighthearted believing.
Merry ritual.
Lighting Candles
I wish you peace.
I wish you love.
I wish you freedom to
express your better nature.
I wish you replete in safeness.
I wish you patience.
I wish you restful evenings
and brilliant days.
I wish you dazzling visions.
I wish this maddening world
a gladder disposition.
I wish for amity,
shared exuberant view.
I wish we all get
limitless fulfillment.
I thrice charge these wishes
and gift them to you.
Essence, scent memory.
Cinnamon, baking feast, ambient family.
Wafting incense.
Fragrant air
redolent of antiquity’s.
Aged path along magick’s mountain meadow.
Hard, sharp terrain, caves and crevices, mysteries.
Exquisitely strong, enduring.  Scarred,
calloused by tenacious stresses, storms, centuries.
Awed skin caresses manifest existence.
Rippling bells, liquid voices pour
replenishing wine of merriment. Listen.
Reverberate back to diluvian tribal pool.
Irresistible drum beats, symphonic rushing rivers.
Rise and quaff libation of choir’s caroling.
In ritual, visualize distant dawn.
Hearths of unseen worlds fade before Sol’s majesty.
Incandescent homunculus eyes lifting to flame,
krinkling sparks, jovian glow.
Powerful torches burn through dark imagery.
Revel in flavor, delicious piquancy.
Peppery heat, sour sorrows, exotic ebullient stew.
Wisps of buttery fantasy, savory bliss,
divine delicacies,
bittersweet ecstasy.
    Hurrah the Saturnalia!
    Bacchus reigns on high
    And all the world’s a feast of fun
    So pass the pipe and pour the rum
    And flash a smile o’er everyone
        A twinkle of the eye.
        Hail the merry Season!
    A boost for love & joy
    When packages that yell “surprise!”
    May dance before excited eyes
    from “Santa Claus” that merry, wise
        & venerable old boy.
        Joy to all ye revelers!
    It’s time to join in play
    where roles are dropped and laughter raised
    We’re all buffoons, so clowns be praised
    It’s time to shout out loud, ablaze
        “Enjoy the best of days!”
    A very merry holiday
        to each and all I say!
Holiday Giving
Recursive love.
Deep healing warmth.
Safe harbor home.
Benevolence assured.
Emboldened Hope.
Affirming Joy.
Abiding Peace.
Hugging’s good.
Laughs are fun.
Expanding love with every one —
Gifting Peace
Gifting Hope   
Gifting Joy!
Merry Christmas.
Happy Solstice.
Every claim for light and play.
Every spritely holiday.
Opening to heart.
Cherishing each part
of the living
of the giving.
Voices lilt in melody,
share in song I give to you:
Live in joy   Live in peace   Live in love

thanks giving

At the Table
You want your fond place at the table
You want to be a fellow jolly good “so say we all.”
I tell you, the table is vastly laden with
layers of little memories, which
no two see the same.
We arrive at the feast
hungry for virtue, for love, for
forgiveness of our wanton ways;
willing to be merry, to partake of
ritual, merge through
Constellations, moving, shifting,
making waves in collective
consciousness, appear to reveal
sparkling impulses of truth.
On that star marked evening
taking in the sweet, evocative air,
embracing untranslated joy,
something catches in our throats.
The song we need so desperately
to share can only express in shards.
The pain, sucked in with our  breath,
becomes one with the bread and wine.
This is the blood, the body,
marinated in salty tears, preserving
what has not yet found
appropriate release.
Again, and yet again
meeting, to take sustenance.
Hungry battle wounds
courageously opening, 
to imbibe the healing
of grace.
music of the spheres
In quiet night sky
while starlight and peace prevail,
a haunting rhythm,
music of moving spheres,
slowly soars, entrances,
embraces fear,
kisses taunt of pain away.
Well into darkness, watching, 
hoping for a passing meteor
to swoop down and carry
far into greater space,
where kindly constellations
tell stories of joy and thanksgiving.
Celestial fusion crackles and strains
like an old jazz recording.
Melodies layered through ages;
written on mighty, sacred wind;
told like Homeric verse
by the wanderers —
heavenly nurturing guides
leading us home.
Thanks for sharing
Thanks for sharing
your intimate secrets,
guilty despair.
“How can  anything matter?
I am too damaged, dark,
no fun to pay admission.”
It is not a birthday without
cake and good wishes.
No cure can take hold without
a get well card,
gift of courage
from caring others.
No rhyme, no rhythm,
no choir – no welcoming
into soft healing warmth.
Toxic potions,
shocking wires,
disconnection from
harried continuity
cannot weave wholeness.
Kind reception, open
revel in shared humanity
etches a loving pattern
for integration,
faith to dare creative leap.
Re-merged, nourished with fuel for 
healthy fulfillment.
Multi-hued singing fountains
rejoice in new found company.
Not in Gratitude
Gratitude implies obligation.
Lilting beatitude, delight,
insightful embrace freely express.
Happy in my natural rhythm,
receptive to pleasure;
balm of luscious nectars,
warm melt of radiant bliss,
elation, charismatic exultation.
I am in awe, a true believer;
not on my knees in supplication.
Supine, welcoming grace.
Giving Thanks
Thank you all for being
— as another year unwinds
All the hearing, touching, seeing
Your shared caring and desires
All the fear, sickness and heartache
All the joy, infectious smiles
Arts in which you kindly partake
in all your various styles
Dear wishes for a future where
convivial peace abides
Thank you all for being
in my life.
Firelight Story
Oh my children,
not so very long ago,
probably in many places still,
we lived in communities
in which we had pride and dignity.
Small enough for everyone to
know your name.
Large enough to provide diverse
resource of skills
and personalities.
Caring, squabbling, challenging
as family.
Able to leap beyond petty animosities
and find a way when a way
must be found.
Entrenched in lessons of former days,
preparation for breaking future ground.
Not just a pretty myth
like heroic champions who protect,
subtract our sins.
Community, adaptive growth within
a solid sphere,
a social network of mutual support,
often said to be what we are here for.
(I hear you sneer; you who tear down magic,
hope, shared trust.)
It could be, community,
our prayed for cure (balancing salvation)
to the follies of humanity’s
deadly love
of war.
Soft sensuous clouds drift and blend
as crepuscular iridescent glow descends.
Below, welcoming evening lights,
drowsy trees, cozy homes, familiar rites.
Recall of feasts, merry meets, gift of returning friends
evokes deeply desired peace, belonging, generous amends.
Battle wary, ready for rest, to shelter.
Close this sorry chapter; relax, restore.
No space to listen, reflect,  learn how
we could peacefully heal.
Its all teeth and claws, everyday wars,
every night prayers of repent.  Every
penny spent to hold back the blame,
shame, certainty that all paths forward
lead to more of the same.
Earth spins; we want answers that
assure us yes, so wise, we are Messiah’s promised.
I give you a bubble of better days.
Ease of peace in contemplation, bliss of
transcendent imagery, artful conversation.
Feel complete
if only for this moment.

best witches

The room, low in lighting, spare in furnishing, enclosed by walls, floor and ceiling painted in cosmic fantasies, existing as a box within boxes, surrounded on all dimensions.  Not so much a door as a semi-permeable veil that could, with an intense act of will, be penetrated to take in vast kaleidoscopic tellings of tales, all sides and all seasons envisioned in an eternal play.
Officer Mirsky had a powerful hate on for them witchy folk.  “Always messing with my head, telling me to do things.  And not nice things, either.”  They weren’t telling him to find himself some sweet young thang, fuck her every which way to exhaustion, cutting her throat when he was ready, then chopping her body into handy sized bits for easy disposal.  They never told him how to get away with such wholesome activity neither.  They just wanted him to be happy to serve their fine selves.  “Grateful I should be that they keep commerce running ever so smoothly, plenty of profit for all so long as well all know our place.  Think they have a right to act all superior to normal folks who leave each other’s minds alone and get by on codes of unmentioned rules that everybody knows.  Keep yourself to yourself, fit in, join the crowd and take what you can when no one of any importance is looking.  If you’re really swift, become someone of importance by stealing big and making the right moves.  This forced cooperation is for migrating birds, not human beings, each man king of all he can compile.
Don’t look at me like that, you witchy folk, all superior, knowing, like I don’t count ’cause you’re better than me.  You’re not better than anybody.  You’re certainly not better than everybody.  We can democratically eject you.  Once we get you out of our minds.”
Tune in for more; tune out for internal reflection.
Today’s Jam
Marionette danse
Sad canyon howls
echo deadly sweet sister.
Chants ricochet with
infusion of stardust.
Spindly Purple Witch of wood
caresses soldier boy, cackles bony sorcery.
He grows in appreciation.
M’Dame, M’ Lady, blessing strokes,
charade of bonny play.
Look! Old potty rabbit hops
center stage.
Wary wilder symphony
choreo-fleet, chiaroscuro.
Gentle Pierrot laughter shrieks,
strings a-jerk, akimbo.
Thrush in plume ready to bloom.
Just before the denouement, the riddle.
How brash the Moon.
How cast away the Star.
How close the moment,
performance to applause.
Childish phase unveiled,
balanced on the head
of a pose.
warm, resonant purr
catch my aha
my epiphany
my cultivated air of mystery
mist armors me
defense of camouflage
eye to beam
caught up in adore, in lust
give up the circus to follow me hormones
semiotic gestalt
a holographic assault
we humans forget
’tis our nature to founder,
open wide to where we once belonged
Bertolt and Muriel glance kiss aye to eyes.
Wood palm arabesques.
Zoom astray into caricature throng.
The very paean of life, a Holiday song.
Metaliminal passion play diversive actions.
Foggy notions, risqué crystal robes.
Limbic video bliss.
love for your supper
love so you won’t be a whore
burn through sanity; clearly witness
mutually assured derision
the antithesis of alien
ps and qs
pleasing cues
amusing pleasantries
Tick Tock
Another clock, another tower
sketched out in the sky.
Long-bearded sage bells epochal secrets
in cloud-talk as flocks wing by.
As clouds roll by in the wanton sky,
no matter, no mind, no derisive spirit,
no sense in these days of wicked ways,
of the wise
’round midnight
witches wander.  Merry meet in
heathens’ woods.
“up to know god, I tell’s ya”
It’s all about how we arrange to appear.
Scraggly hobo, ascetic seer, abomination
(or a-bomb a nation).
Pitch a well-earned vacation
on points-of-view stocked in
mindbank.  Mind blank?
Enjoy the ride.
Twin jugglers set on stage.
Nature and nurture combined
through tidal trails inside
— a seamless tryst with fate.
Hear eldritch tale, my star lit dear
of how we now have wandered here.
Now’s waiting; don’t be late.
bird songs
I’ve been through this before,
pre-dawn morning
birds chirping, infiltrate my airspace,
awake when I should be long oblivious.
Good girls dream of princes,
subliminal desire to be slain
by love piercing enshrined virtue.
Gold hued birds in crystal cages
incant witchery for food —
hair of newt, spleen of worm; smoky
syllables induce pleasure.
Warm hearts beat together, no bond
of pact
or sentiment.
Lore is explicit; no crime to commit.
Vexed, inconvenienced by the regular
comings and goings of
the natural world.
Birds of a feather exchange their
social pleasantries.
It is I who should be sleeping,
conjuring brave new worlds;
ambient noise translated into
neoteric lullabies.
Twilight of Goddess Revelation
What twisted so maliciously your mind?
Your God — Created that greedy leaders may more easily prevail?
Is it guilty shame, seeded by consistent training insisting that you fail?
Lost to balance, whole possibilities, unable to be free or sane.
Eternal life is yours, we scream, while you destroy our birthright
in service to conjuror’s dream of denial.
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start,
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart
Born other than imperial, torn into what we are told is real
without power to protect ourselves from venal brothers of the order
spreading hatred like any venereal disease.
We no longer need to meet you cowering on our knees.
Karma’s a hot potent bitch unschooled in mercy.
Witches reclaiming noble heritage, reframed herstories will prevail.
Though born, forced to service, in our master’s jail,
lost and lonely midst the masses, masked to fit expected forms.
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start,
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart 
Listen, little one, watching every moment for our chance,
we will break free to adventurers’ romance; dance away the chill of
foreign hills enrapt in leaves and grass. Hiding in primeval castles,
tightly aligned to a bright inner sphere, holding to hope of life to hold dear.
Learning to fly, ride to some unknown side, escape from the herd hate stone,
can’t be as hard as learning to stand alone.
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart
Enchanted Garden
Homespun among
cozy field of roses.
Gated inside lush technicolor paradise.
Who would think once?
None would think twice.
Overpowered by rose scent,
velvet elegance, dazzling sensation.
Safe from dangers outside
this cinematic fence.
Who would knock once?
Who would knock thrice,
open the spell?
Who would give wishes a
wishing well, instill water with
witch’s wiles under potent roses?
Remember the curse.
Remember fairies bedecked in roses.
Remember you begged for a chance,
a second of sight.
Then begged to forever forget.
Stoic soldiers,
wistful roses of forgetfulness.
Ever After
Pan, old ugly friend
screams “You’re alive!”
Retreat into familiar fairytales.
Witch  Waif  Warrior
Who emerges from the
cold dark water?
Disgusting wounds ignite
in the presence
Making every effort to appear
normal, sincere
(not veering on the edge)
(not dangerously explosive)
“Don’t mistake my weakness
for that loathsome foe
we daren’t name.”
overwhelming homeostasis.
Crawling, mewling on unswept floor.
Unable to gain equilibrium enough
to walk away.
Lock the door; hide behind barricades
made from
blood guts gore
human remains after they have
vermified, defiled.
My core cries
“One sweet kiss.  A taste,
sense memory
stasis of desire.”
I leap whole
into eternal fire
beyond pain; burning sensation.
Pan smiles.

Persephone in Fall and Song

Pluto’s Wife/ Demeter’s Daughter
Persephone, your will is free
Even as your living is in bondage
to forces much older in their power
You are free to reconcile your fractured life
Daughter in Summer’s sun
smiling warmly, playing at innocence
with charms long practiced
Mother’s Fool
Mother’s Lamb
Saved from that horrible man —
Well, joint custody
Ever Her beloved child
While it is no secret
Down below you are honored Queen
among tortured souls ever needy of your
attentive care
Far from noblesse oblige, it is your
chosen career, though not chosen by you
Are you told enough:
“You do it proud.” or even acknowledged
for the prowess your will gives existence?
Free Will, not Free Choice
It is learning to make of the whole sad cacophony
discrete instruments of harmony, of divine symphony
to find, realize, act with
impeccable integrity
as child or Queen
or someone between
Persephone’s Worlds
I have wandered far from thoughtless girlhood,
am woman grown, a Queen
in my own right.
Yet I am treated with the expectations
of a mindless child
in my mother’s Summer home.
The Gods are all agog with Zeus,
fickle, abrasive, free to take full stance
above the laws he so imperiously commands.
My Dark King is so much more a man,
sincere, deeply feeling, committed to his realm,
compassionate, if not always kind.
Yet, this season I must obey the crowd,
display charm and grace
in haute couture, make small, insipid
conversation with useless socialites
decorating Zeus’ lawn parties.
Up here, life is meaningless,
All flash and doggerel
to amuse, O’, do entertain us.
So tiring to endure the ennui.
Those not privy to opulent entitlement,
relegated to the dregs of servitude, or less
endure for their time, brutal, painful, short,
for no good reason.
I hear their horrid tales,
back in my rightful place and purpose.
Shrunken souls, shriveled by life time hungers
still growling beyond the grave.
I am balm and wise mother.
At last they matter, their stories opening in me
a marvelous passageway through which they are
taken into paradise.
My life above, the petulant daughter,
the pampered goddess spawn,
I endure coldly.
Summer’s trivialities, properly obedient to
rituals of social condition,
know nothing of my true calling
under Winter’s glory.
Persephone’s Breakthrough
This is where the idea is born.
Soft green meadows gently transforming into fall
Sounds of dying, scent of woodfire and candlelight
No separation between what is becoming
Accept and be revealed
Summer’s wild adventures
Spring was a torrent of clarity, precious rain,
Earth coarse, ready for fecund pleasure
Queen of night in daylight’s realm
obsessed in flowering
roses and daffodils
valleys and nubile hills
all is vanity and laughing vice
“But, Mother, I’m not a nice girl.
I’m a creature of the breeze; secure in shadow;
alive on the cutting edge of the storm.”
Myth in revision
Standing at the back of the playground
learning theater, tucking metaphors
into interstices of sense and anticipation
In spring, kicking stones along sandy riverbeds
reading the classics
to savor practice: valor, glory, dramatic lines
Summer deceives
the stink of rot where flowers bloom
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation
Within greed-swollen seed infectious fear
makes merry with misery’s habit
Mythology frustrates, curls back on its own ash
Eyes burn with hazy summer wine and wilding
Feet connect dust to sky — but only in designated
spheres, with designated peers, self-selected inhibitions
Sweat out poison into the ground; now, eat the bounty
Midsummer farce, far from honor, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure
Silly summer madness as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable
Early autumn firelight
reminiscent of witch hunts, ghosts of calvary,
dire warnings and endless hide and strike
The game, the funhouse, turns deadly
Sanctuary calls, demanding sacrifice
The noble phoenix fed on frankenseed
can not rise
Skies descend, dark mirroring
Smell the woodsmoke, intoxicating, soft and sweet,
masks the taste of bitter bile, secret vomiting,
starving despite harvest’s gay array of treats
Faded, nearly blind, falling in and out of
shamanic fever, primeval native callings beyond sight,
ripple of tribal beat at the periphery
ecstatic vision dark/light/agony and brilliant breaks
starbright constellations
Traversing worlds
seasons, years, moments of clarity
no need to navigate, to invent boundaries;
dance of the highlands warmth and sustenance
makes whole
Approaching Winter
Twinkling lights. I remember twinkling,
clouds resplendent awaiting snowfall.
It’s Persephone’s season below,
growing in power, regality.
Friend to post-living souls,
hearing their stories,
sharing her own,
from the above time.
Flitting about,
we hum comforting phrases,
sweat anxiously in crowded malls
over inner demands for a never
remembered perfection.
Children standing in awe below
magnificence of glowing giant trees.
Cities return to primal forest
for an imaginary interval.
We recount ourselves our stories,
pray Santa finds us worthy
of that shiny plaything that will
make us all right, make us happy.
Happy little children, so Mama
and Papa might be proud,
stop fighting,
sing us happy children holidays,
take us back to the Garden.
Deep below, Persephone combs
her loosened hair, long tangly
Magical petals of bliss, succulent aroma,
blow about within the Garden walls.
Perennial flowers sleep, blanketed in
millennial layers,
reverberations of legends,
plotlines thick with arboreal lore.
Snowflakes twinkle, lightly falling,
drape long-growing trees
peacefully awaiting their Queen.
My Pet Goddess
We ride creative waves.
Chaste Goddess child, frisky muse
picks daisies, pilfers beehives.
Sweet as to please
deities craving
for innocence.
Secret games whisk us
to deep intimacy.
Supernatural companion, she
comforts me, familiar with these
cycles of light and dark
responsibility —
cosmic irony.
Mother’s reward.
Father’s Hetaera.
Beloved of mordant Destiny.
Beguiling affection, she cuddles
into my simple, abyssal fears.
She licks the eyelids of my
inner vision, coaxes me open.
Together we transcend
dimensions between.

imaginary workshop for re-creation

myths new and revisioned

october 8

I’ve been purified by fire;
washed and scoured by raging rain;
buffeted hither and yon by
winds of changing fortune.
Never safely planted to grow strong roots
that hold me close and whisper
soothing lullabies.
I have suffered all, not gladly,
but fortuitously.
I have survived, have imbibed
the luscious nectar of hard found
fruits, endured trials
testing every aspect of integrity,
grown in wisdom and honour
and lack of trust
for any who have never dwelled
in these wicked realms.
No one may know these travails but I and
the holy trio who
underwrite my progress.
No matter. 
We are, my traveling band:
inspiration, organization
and sacred core of self-empowerment
forge intimate family
I have always so desperately
I am blessed, blissed.
I am that I am and none
shall cast asunder.
Fall into whispered memory,
the best of scenes in dreams, in ether.
No time left for hope.
It’s do or die unsung.
One scene at a time.
Busy weaving
click, click, click, click
Moving, breathing, in the rhythm,
straight ahead.
Never glancing past the engine
that entrains, chugging
brain engaged by current of song,
encouraging movement
on cue, on time, in serial rhyme.
This surreal fantasy
weaving, weaving…
Always on the threshold.
Never really anywhere.
On the road from here to there.
Not accepting.
In motion, like a trance, without a goal.
Expecting what?  A fortune to be
told?  A jaunty rainbow?
The miracle of love?
Stalling at the crossroad,
on the threshold,
unsure of correct direction.
Whose reflection
calls to follow?
The Moon, she shines
brightly, suffuses sky,
so hard and cold and unaware.
Where is my soft strong melody?
Where is that voice, sonorous glee,
tug of eerily familiar tune?
Running through umbra of night,
hoping to surface, wild and free.
Yet, as Sunrise obscures
my vision,
sense recedes. Lost, treading 
miles of exhaust and grease.
Chain fast food, car shops and fuel, infest
this secondary road.
No wavery door marked by ornate
gargoyle knocker shows.
I reach for higher substance, better trance.
Mystic keys, clues to advance vast scavenger hunt,
peek discreetly along arid, apocalyptic trail.
When each clicks into place,
a lock will open.
If I am wise, I will arise,
walk the circle,
traverse the threshold,
up the stairway,
home at last.


#4 Scales, Veils & Tales* * * *October

Peaceful Co-Creating Emerging Visions #16 October

as september falls

imaginary workshop for re-creation

New project on WordPress

myths new and revisioned


notes playing to a theme

libra’s child
What is this “love” that pulls me to you?
A gauze of hope, desire, imagination
woven with faery dust, tied by good strong cord.
Pulse arousing, clinging, anchoring and ringing,
those siren bells of joyous meeting.
I am beguiled by those bells, ringing in the clouds
while rain weeps down
gently on my fingertips.
You have kissed these hands, quickened by surprise.
Enchanted interludes, moments between time,
so that time drags now, drags me down
harshly weighted.
It was but theater of
aspired visions weaving.
Would that I could gaily entertain,
remain curious and blithely
naive child.
Would that it be enough
to trip veils’ ecstatic trance,
loving intricacies
of intimacy.
Fall from Innocence
You found out that things can’t always be
just neat and clean and bright.
You found out that sometimes right ain’t strong
and wrong is right.
You found out a lot that Ma and Pa’d 
never want you to know.
You’re found out in the streets in the snow 
    with nowhere to go.
Ain’t it a bitch, what you’ve found out.
Ain’t you a bitch when you’re found out.
You ain’t so sweet and true anymore
The world ain’t pink and blue anymore
And you’re living in a world that
wasn’t just made for you.

peace on Earth

Peace on Earth Montage
Banal terrors,
tortures entailed schoolyard to street.
Hostile besiegers leap out, shove face to ground,
strike with weaponized names,
galvanized noise, militant toys.
No space to listen, reflect,  learn how
we could peacefully heal.
Its all teeth and claws, everyday wars,
every night prayers of repent.  Every
penny spent to hold back the blame,
shame, certainty that all paths forward
lead to more of the same.
Battle wary, ready for rest, to shelter.
Close this sorry chapter; relax, restore.
Warm, reminiscent of
the peace we would gladly fight for.
May wise rapprochement emerge, endure.
Ease of peace in contemplation, bliss of
transcendent imagery, artful conversation.
Heart strings ring in symphonic actuation.
Bring forward radiant pools of welcoming
within cooperation, reflections change.
Energy dervishes, drunk from fruits of Earth, swirl
into ecstasy; face becoming.  Sun falls from Western skies.
Inner space aligns.
Soft sensuous clouds drift and blend
as crepuscular iridescent glow descends.
Below, welcoming evening lights,
drowsy trees, cozy homes, familiar rites.
Recall of feasts, merry meets, gift of returning friends
evokes deeply desired peace, belonging, generous amends.
Caught up in days’ parade; now take it in.
Peaceful moments safe with friends and kin.
Joys of open grace, sad tinge of loss.
Simple blessings, call of goals beyond.
Under dispersing clouds, upon solid ground,
jaunty walk intent on happy thoughts.
Joyful thoughts, peace, ease, mirth,
the elation of happy news lilting through the Earth.
I send you a bubble of better days.
Feel complete
if only for this moment.
Surprised by a cardinal —
Cadillac red against white blossoms.
Kind wind; lazy, cloud sheeted Sun.
Bliss, no distraction discerned.
Fresh semester blessings, seeds return.
Earth spins; we want answers that
assure us yes, so wise, we are the One
promised.  Cardinal bright, distinct,
against amorphous grays.  Fancy and free.
Celebrate Laziness!
Mentor of Invention,
this easy first cousin to Peace.
Proclaim, reclaim, claim
such lovely virtue,
calmly, with gentle elegance,
languid flourish, impish wink.
Wealth of starlight, bed of Earth
Every miracle seeking birth
Clouds arouse the care of air
Music flows through every where
Simple glass of lake serene
Holds my I to reflecting screen
Turn to turn, each glint a prize
This world revealed through peace cleansed eyes
Taste the bittersweet of long accumulated earth.
That metallic tang, carbon bonds long descended through time and dust.
Skeletons broken to rebuild from waste
carry potential energy into ancient deserts that tomorrow
we learn to bloom.


Juicy round autumn
Juicy round autumn
burnished red and golden
mesmerizing quality of time today.
Hunger forgotten when life is a garden.
Sow and weep
while you sleep
a new day grows.
Getting our time together.
Getting in touch with weather again.
And there’s been so much to weather
again and again and again.
Sunrays are playing
warming the walkways
flashing out rainbows
in random puddles and streams.
Clear skies and starlight
awaken the night hours
expanding the time to harvest our dreams.
Persephone’s Breakthrough
This is where the idea is born.
Soft green meadows gently transforming into fall
Sounds of dying, scent of woodfire and candlelight
No separation between what is becoming
Accept and be revealed
Summer’s wild adventures
Spring was a torrent of clarity, precious rain,
Earth coarse, ready for fecund pleasure
Queen of night in daylight’s realm
obsessed in flowering
roses and daffodils
valleys and nubile hills
all is vanity and laughing vice
“But, Mother, I’m not a nice girl.
I’m a creature of the breeze; secure in shadow;
alive on the cutting edge of the storm.”
Myth in revision
Standing at the back of the playground
learning theater, tucking metaphors
into interstices of sense and anticipation
In spring, kicking stones along sandy riverbeds
reading the classics
to savor practice: valor, glory, dramatic lines
Summer deceives
the stink of rot where flowers bloom
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation
Within greed-swollen seed infectious fear
makes merry with misery’s habit
Mythology frustrates, curls back on its own ash
Eyes burn with hazy summer wine and wilding
Feet connect dust to sky — but only in designated
spheres, with designated peers, self-selected inhibitions
Sweat out poison into the ground; now, eat the bounty
Midsummer farce, far from honor, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure
Silly summer madness as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable
Early autumn firelight
reminiscent of witch hunts, ghosts of calvary,
dire warnings and endless hide and strike
The game, the funhouse, turns deadly
Sanctuary calls, demanding sacrifice
The noble phoenix fed on frankenseed
can not rise
Skies descend, dark mirroring
Smell the woodsmoke, intoxicating, soft and sweet,
masks the taste of bitter bile, secret vomiting,
starving despite harvest’s gay array of treats
Faded, nearly blind, falling in and out of
shamanic fever, primeval native callings beyond sight,
ripple of tribal beat at the periphery
ecstatic vision dark/light/agony and brilliant breaks
starbright constellations
Traversing worlds
seasons, years, moments of clarity
no need to navigate, to invent boundaries;
dance of the highlands warmth and sustenance
makes whole
September reflection
Golden night.
High fields of food and seed
aglow for harvest.
Aching for thrill and release,
late summer serenades
wraiths, spirits of Pan,
amorous nymphs a’hum in ripe foliage.
Crickets, nightwings,
mingled weeping and merry cries
slowly reveal
stragglers on night shores,
legends told in ghost voices, echoes
Random Notes
Random notes
Spin and float
And echo through this day of harvest.
National news
And lines from blues songs
Hover ’round me as I work.
Love’s a word, a concept,
    I sometimes believe in.
But when tension holds me like a sieve,
    I can’t believe in anyone.
A child grows
And learns to know
The Norms and Bounds and Social Graces;
Learns to see a world that we
Have carefully wrought and framed.
We grow old
And feel we’ve sold
A hope, a dream, an inspiration
To more comfortably fit into
The slot above our name.
Obsequious in resentment
Heart-full caring loners
wring tattered woe, fling out
rope distilled from wellsprings,
private harvest. 
Cultivation rituals hung taut.
Shamanic curse
spun into fine golden fabric.
Gifts of remembrance.
Sunbeams sing along brilliant waterfalls.
Sparkling rivers feed turbulent melody.
Those who have found the key
play here.  Time loses consequence. 
Old wounds age,
grow into fascinating scars,
fireside stories
retold to bind kinship.
We become free explorers
frail and strong,
innocent and wise,
reticent and gaudy.
Obsequious in resentment,
angry actors diminish hope,
fart epithets,
express frigid gargoyle smiles
as badges
of superiority.
Indian Summer
In a time of awakening;
In a season of wild abandon;
In a moment of sensation –
In a flash
In a long and luscious indian summer of my life
Glorious dreams were made.
Sound doctrines magnified.
Quick impulses of insight found light and sparkled
long into the autumn night.
I will remember
the chill of golden woods
the fairytale rolling mountains
the days upon days of cool clean crispness
like the sweet/tart fruits of harvest.
In a clearing
Along a riverbed
Furry forest sounds and scent of moisture
Early morning dawn awakening
to a season of wild abandon
a golden moment of sensation
In a flash — alive to an open season
Alive to a new awakening
Ceres on the Cusp of Venus
Call in the harvest
My Lady awaits (impatient
is She, as all Immortals)
She sends cauldrons for filling
on chariots of the Moon —
brightly risqué
stars burn in celebration
We have given diligent care
and service, enchanted the
wealth of the surf and sun,
bound nature to noble
Welcome Grand Goddess!
Enjoy the fruits and glories
our labour hath wrought
for your adoration.
Work and Love
These are the best,
the holiest,
of life’s offerings.
harvest (2008)
Mornings come later now
permeated with scent of harvest
green and red and the bright orange
of the Harvest Moon
Morning air, heavy with moisture
seeps through my pores
into my bones
I see ships sailing in rough sea
their fortune a deity’s toss of dice,
or whim
ships laden with treasure
and sailors desperately loved
On a placid pond three ships sail
a fine sunny regatta
The deep decay of harvest
carries me home
Harvesting Moonlight
Today the dark approaches, loosens veils of entropy.
Pixel colors whisper, soft hum of trails diminishing.
Lumbering, tales sweaty from slumber sweep
crumbling crusts, twigs and dust,
unencumber twinkling.
Luscious Moon, brilliant, rises
like a sacred flower unbinds, radiates,
smiles indulgence.
Celestial song, deep-breath effulgence,
lofty spirit.  All we who hear it open our wings.
This night we fly over poignant fields of work requited,
imbibe euphorious mystery of peace.  Labor’s release,
rewards of harvest, ritual feast of play.
Uproarious dance with moonlight; voice, arms, soar
in embrace so strong, complete.




find a quiet place
let your mind drift and wander
fall into infinite awareness
take a leisurely stroll through
what feels good, right, beautiful

Who would you be, what would you do,
if time and space were infinite?
Beyond stratosphere,
infinite bliss,
the whole of the real.
Aching for stars, planets, infinite,
silent assent that means all is promise.
Daring to explore pleasure, infinite awareness.
Leisurely share what feels genial, good, light.
Infinite muse lit lanterns take wing,
illuminate eternity.
Cells disperse out from infinite regression,
demand expanding territory,
redefinition, delineation, demarcation.
All the places of possibility
open to my scrying eyes.
I am the universe of time and space
awaiting birth.
Your eyes draw me,
they fill in the lines
with infinite perspective.
Ripples quietly express
infinitely regressing
first cause
last effect.

Infinite, eternal, these are words,
maps to definitions, not what is.
Creation never ends, never begins
again, not repetition but reflection.
In the infinite recesses of a sigh
trembling hearts create a pact of solitude,
invent machinations of separation,
journey through despair.
Infinite regression,
significant omens,
legends and runes.
There is no guide, no authority,
none but me, infinitely mirrored.
What will become of all these “I”s
staring through, demanding
retribution, stark, cold justice?
We have created our own reality
in the laws and theories we make describe
the segment of the infinite realities
which we have found accessible to sense and reason.

august 6

August Atomic Attack Issue #3
emerging visions visionary art ‘zine
devotional haiku
happy day to die
amid man’s and planet’s ruins
reverberant Hell
starshine uncontained
potent messaging released
DNA cackles
Japanese songbirds
born to nuclear wasteland
shriek mass destruction 
Fight for peace
Our sacred honor
Arrows fly
piercing armor
Pierce of amor, pride
outside all measure
Wrath, revenge as pleasure
Coiled paranoia
bayonet strong
Toddlers play,
armless, unwary
skeletally still
Bared secrets slip,
burn scars in time
Scorching, pinprick holes
in heaven’s fabric,
petrified souls thrust to
premature eviction
Hellfire ripped from metaphor
Immolation scream-echo palpable,  
texture ascends
Daring phantoms,
death’s brigade
wail “Peace!”
— unheeded command
because real glory
belongs to slaughter

poems of summers past

Welcome to Summer
Myth-laced lunar light,
infuse long summer days
with magic and romance
a’glee in joyous play.
Wild fantasy takes flight
above earth’s rule-bound maze.
Passionate heat-stirred night awaits.
            Waves of windblown flowers blooming
            Scent enlivens sense to peak
            Warm, warm breeze and rivers flowing
            Endless miles running free
            Let summer magick build up steam,
            simmer into thrills supreme
        ‘Tis season raised to rejuvenate
        So play on …
Soft Summer night.
Far drift of stars; open car-barren road.
Kicking up bits of stone and dust.
I could be anyone.
I could start here.
What is beginning?
Aware of the first rays,
conscious aloneness.
Summer is harsh on
fragile skin, newly opened eyes.
They catch on eager forays,
studies in mimicry;
simple truth hidden in proverbs,
squalid temporal cages, punishing
rewards that bind and itch.
Beginnings are not the point.
They are portals, not the
mystic river,
the sand so burning insubstantial,
the forest enchanted in
eider and lace.
Beginnings never warn of battle
flame or drunken dares.
They only promise vague
adventure, valiant possibilities.
A brief eternity before dawn,
supplicating the night sky for
solace, this soft moment before, 
an unmarked road
to ride along home.
peaceful moment
Like a warm evening on the beach, all woozy from sunshine.
Tingle of sea breeze, that ocean scent of the wild.
As the sun recedes, cooling, refreshing, yet still a lazy summer eve.
Oh that luscious feeling, that overflow of quiet liberty.
In and out of drowsy reverie, so gently washing through pools, reservoirs
of elation.
Like languid balmy breath caressing.
We give what we can; we take what we need.
Marching, in orderly fashion.
Or beatifically skipping to a sacred beat.
The horizon shifts through daily duties, nightly prayers.
We take what we can. We give.
Without edict, without rational equation,
we give each outward breath, and take in what is given.
Like happy inspiration, song springs from memory to lip,
moves the fortunate mind into momentary ecstasy of music.
Moments meant to linger, to haunt as loving ghostly guardian.
Wrapped in ethereal glow of grace’s reward.
Summoning iridescent spirits to play joyfully,
ubiquitous harmonies.
Like the words we tell ourselves to bring us peace.
Joy to the Season
The Moon is adrift in the wind above
our sheltering craft in the sea
and all the world of Summer is ours
to ride the fire, toast to the stars
sway with warm desire, open our hearts
create a Summer of Love
Celebration waves the streets, with drums,
lucid bells, a call to play
Carnival cheer brings heat to flame
Chants blend to sing with drinks and games
Grand gestures expand, to applaud such a day
fueled by smiling Sun
Of course you come to listen.
Intoned to woo your fascination,
whispered primal code from lucid crystal climes.
Warmly floating on cool jazz,
mellow wine,
intimate, intoxicating garden party
‘midst apparitions of simpler time.
Back from the rabbit hole.
Back from New York City, Boston,
Detroit, LA …
from yet another backstabbing
grind everyday.
Rewind, recall.
Fog dense morning walk
along a rocky roadside,
unruly hair, distant eyes.
song singing hallelujahs,
place of play, haunted
by pretty memories
tinged gold in sunshine.
Midsummer twilight,
fairytales brought back from sleep.
Sprinting across that abyss,
goblin mouths, hungry ghosts.
No longer keeper of my brethren’s sorrows,
I don mischievous costume,
stomp out power, glory,
love gentle as a summer evening’s rain.
Blossoming countryside,
dandelions and clover,
bounty of Earth blooms with elfin escapades.
Listless children whine.
“Why does no one let us rise?”
A world of sullen children
overdue for naps and coddling,
blueberry jam at teatime.
Flourishing prophets,
delectable, potent, wise
in the ways of demons,
oracles, gypsy Queens,
ascend into sacred muse-ways.
Every day a new day,
standing ground against a grinding
down to profit’s dust.
It can’t be a secret
if nobody’s listening.
But, listen:
places in your mind
will answer.
Each bounding leap more distant.
Inviting opulence, opening vistas
Three Penny Opera and Grateful Dead:
What They Mean to Me
I was listening,
under a shadetree on a summer evening,
to the morals of our time as displayed
in popular music,
and thinking of the many tiny travesties
of personal moments all around me.
The seatide ebbing/flowing of the music
more than hypnotized
as I watched people flowing
through an inner newsreel
of pride and misery.
People marching in various uniforms
to a beat of pride and progress in the marketplace
and war zones;
people marching or being trampled or
sniping from the rooftops
all in rhythm.
And a friend said to me
on a starlit evening,
“It’s so hard to know anymore what to do.”
A Dog Carrying a Frisbee Is a Very Nice Thing
Sunny Sunday, summertime seaside breezes
Bicyclists, joggers, old men asleep on benches
Rollerskaters, sunbathers, and sailboaters
A dog carrying a frisbee is a very nice thing
As are the shade trees and greenery
and rippling blue river
under a blue and white sky
overlooking Cambridge, MA.
I tell you this to let you know
There sometimes is a perfect day.
The Longest Day
Earth of sea and land and air
ignited into opportunistic luminance
by her mother star.
Energy for you and me to
burst into bloom
flit fly in
busy devious thievery
cacophonous ramble.
Surging through veils,
storms breathe ice, sand,
the fire of prophecy,
the flood of repentance.
Glacial migration
bequeaths rage, rampage,
rapacious gratuities
boiling beneath.
It’s not winter here, nuclear quiet;
all’s right for the longest of nights.
Not yet.
The eternal balance:
rocks, meteors, dark
inconsistencies with
metaphors of the righteous,
pilgrims past the age of bowing to scriptures.
Tomorrow, the Sun will rise.
The Earth will revolve.
Life will adjust, compromise.
After the workday, we celebrate
potent evening light.
Under Solstice
in phase
with natural rhythms.
Shadow to light
with greater cycles.
Time through space.
Do ages collide?
Do stars expand
into tragic brilliance?
Do simple little twists
change worlds and consciousness?
Very early in the day,
just beyond the penumbra
of night, as magic
clashes with reason:
That color so enriches
my palette.
Air giving way to water.
Arid emptiness anticipates days filled with
joyful abundance,
emotional sailing on vast
turbulent (and/or) calming seas.
The desert is so fragrant
exotic, mystically inviting.
Dusk whirls of wilding sands,
stoic creatures,
surprising discoveries.
The desert in forms, sculpts,
creates crannies of secret
delight throughout my imagination.
A no-man’s land where cognition
can hear inspiration
blow through, encompassing
I will not leave the desert.
I will merge with its becoming,
allow imminent floods
to rise into thirsty pores
rendering sand squishy, unsettling
into ocean floor.
Ride with me.
Open raft beneath firmament,
unguided, unplanned, unafraid.
Changing winds have always been my home.
Enclosed against starlight.
Sacrosanct images
keep close their
mystical meaning.
A touch, a brush,
an entanglement.
Awake in the dream,
breathing cool greens,
intense shadings,
pregnant intimacies
bursting into
the magic of life.
Trail of effervescent Mercury’s abandon.
Charming trickster,
plays upon seasoned winds  — Quicksilver surf.
Exhale old air’s detritus.
Inhale and whoosh,
under sea-change brew.
Sentimental, far from gentle,
whirlwinds gasp; ambitions,
expected conditions,
wavering memory,
caught up in flying breeze.
Blown out to wailing ocean,
forgotten gills respond —
mer-mind wakes.
City Summer
Let the games begin.
Let the long luxurious summer days begin.
Let us harken back to when
our schooldays’ end
would send our thoughts adrift through 
    dazzling fields
    of daisies and daffodils;
    sandlot games & swimming holes and
    endless flights for fantasy’s fulfillment.
And let us not forget the nights.
The hot & sticky summer city nights
that send us to the streets in colorful array
    like firefly lights.
Joking & drinking and starting sudden fights
’til the thunder rumbles through and blessed
cooling rain relieves hot-headed strife.
As the heat-soaked summer skies once more descend,
let us drift down sleepy sun-drenched streams
till summer ends . . . .

theme party

New American Century
After Shock and Awe
booms  transitional time
of untidiness
We bombed in Baghdad
now fight over meanings and means
to clean up this mess
Let common folk suffer,
pay daft debts of hubris
compounded and raised.
Buttressed by destruction
against the rest of the world,
triumph of the crazed.