The Nice and Accurate Apocalypses of the good Knight KyL
Invocation To The Now Silent Muse. 5
The Winds. 6
The Empty Chair 7
Tristan Moon. 9
Down To The Sea Again. 18
Broken Hands. 19
Ad Hominem.. 20
My Old Ring. 21
Nightmares and Masquerades. 23
A Rose for the Kimberly. 24
The Price Of Peace. 25
Apocalypse, broken shadows and forgotten Dreams…... 26
Thirty Pieces of Silver 27
The Apocalypse and The Masquerade. 28
Distant Thunder 29
I. The prelude. 31
II. The betrayal 32
ETERNAL: The dénouement 35
The Snowflake. 36
The Dance. 38
Never Enough Time. 39
Travelers And Shadows. 42
Only Legends... 43
The Stare. 44
The Storm.. 47
The Window.. 48
The Game. 49
Tuning Fork. 53
Too Many Questions. 56
Masquerade 95: Unbound Spirits. 57
Masquerade 94: The Beast Within. 58
In The Temple Of A Once Forgotten Muse. 67
The Departure. 69
Tales of the Dragon...... 71
A More Bitter Taste Than Tea. 72
The Mountain. 73
Bluer Skies. 75
May All Your Days Be Olde. 77
The Flyer 78
The Greatest Composer 80
The Last Word. 83
End Game. 85
Epilog: Le Morte de James. 86
A Walk In Milo's Meadow.. 89
There Is One Less Star In The Sky. 90
A Friend in Need. 91
Golden Angel 92
The Good-Bye. 93
A Poem For A Lady. 94
No More. 95
The New Puppet Master 96
She's Gone Away For Christmas. 97
Just A Friend. 98
The Lady. 101
Invocation To The Now Silent Muse
When the sun sets each day, can we ever truly hope to forget the light?
In the midst of deep winter snow, do we not think of summer’s heat?
When frightened, do we not think of those who kept us safe at night?
In times of war, do we not remember heroes that kept us from defeat?
So too, must we invoke the now quiescent Muse as we try again to create
and reveal the concealed poetry in the worlds that we discover and explore.
For without her unspoken benison, no words have hope of being great.
Oh, most divine inspiration, for your graces, we most humbly now implore.
Speak to us, as before, and give us the words of passion without bound,
so that all the universe may know how true love and loss must feel.
Give to us the words to lift the hearts of pitiful souls from the ground
and into the star-filled heavens, where every dream grows to be real.
Walk with us through the heartaches of life so others may soon learn
that even the greatest of hardships can be overcome if the love is there.
Let us ease the pain in others who shall forever reach out and yearn
for another that shall never offer anything but contempt and despair.
Oh, faire Muse, where once you revealed glimpses of your soul boldly,
now you reject our pleas, letting our discourse grow painfully silent.
Where once we felt your fire, which fueled our burning quills, now coldly
your silence reminds us of all the wonderful opportunities we have kent.
We beseech you to exonerate the unforgivable, unspeakable sins against thee
and bequeath favor upon your unwavering, humble aficionados once more,
so that we may again set the wonderful poetry from the tapestry of life free.
Oh, grant us this small favor, golden-haired one that we shall always adore.
Sit with us one final time and watch the vermilion sun dissolve away.
Walk with us in the winter of our lives and warm us with your fire.
Help us to forge the heroes we need to keep our childish fears at bay.
Provide us the words to keep our ideals while enduring death’s pyre.
Smile on us again, so that we may feel you sweet magic’s embrace.
Inspire us with the phrases to transform the impossible and give
us the puissance to again write with your divine sanctions and grace,
so that all the world can know your glory and power over all that live.
"Change is the only true constant under the deep blue sky,"
said Grandfather to me on the day that he was to die.
"We must be like the tall grass growing within the ocean sand
that is willing to sway, bend and endure Typhon’s great hand.
"When the proud trees stand fast and vow never to move,
how rapidly they break is all they ever seem to prove.
Even the vast green ocean takes heed, submits and makes way,
preferring to show its weight on a more calm, gentle day.
Still, the powerful winds constantly change as they blow,
conforming to the power of the stone and earth below.
Yet, given enough time, patient winds change the earth’s face
by moving each grain of sand into a new resting place.
Our vanity causes us all to reject nature’s lead,
so we keep fighting change in a vain effort to succeed.
Like kites, we are cast about without so much as a clue,
simply hoping in the end to have weathered it through.
There is no such thing as change for the good or the bad
and change is indifferent to what makes us happy or sad.
Yes, change is as certain as night following each new day,
but with time’s great persistence, even that will go away."
Then he smiled at me, closed his now gray eyes and joined the past
where everything must go because nothing ever can last.
Strangely, I found that I could not cry at Grandfather’s end.
I drew strength in thinking that he had returned to the wind.
The Empty Chair
In the middle of the room, a worn empty chair
rests vacant like a monument to a battle.
Yet if you are really quiet and listen very
closely you can almost still hear the sound of a
pencil being tapped against the tattered, gray arm.
There is an odd kind of silence that now fills the space
where laughter and joviality once danced and played
like little school girls. Now even the rustling of
papers doesn't hold the same impact as before.
Of course, the universe will recover and resume
Its endless march... but for just a single moment,
everything seems to have paused and asked
in the end just exactly... "what were we thinking?"
Now mute, the weathered chair doesn't have the answers
it once did. The hymns have faded and the last notes of
the hauntingly bitter sweet symphony linger
only in our blissful Dreams and fond memories.
How many lives have been touched and altered by that chair
over the years? How many lost souls have been saved?
If only we knew the countless burdens that were
shouldered there without a word of remorse or pain.
They say that now if you listen and you are rather
quiet you can hear the excited cheers of a new life
running merrily through the forest. And then a
slight smile parses your lips and you can't but help to
be happy for the man that owned the empty chair.
When I first beheld your majesty and grace, I was mesmerized
by your glistening walls and golden towers dividing the skies.
Your great harbor reached out like a worried mother’s arms to her lost
children, or like a Greek whore, to anyone willing to pay the cost.
In the end, do you think that the price of love was too high, dear friend?
Were the wages of the heart worth the pain of seeing my world bend,
brake and crumble into forgotten shards beneath the winds of change?
Could now banished dreams of happiness simply have been out of my range?
Did your delicate mosaics so enthrall my desperate mind
that, for a moment, I felt I held with you what I could not find
Yet the tighter I grasped, the faster the sands
of life slipped through my fingers and left me standing with empty hands.
Even now as I stare at the crumbling towers and breached walls
of my once happy youth, wandering aimlessly through bloodied halls,
I can not help but to remember how gently you embraced me
and how every moment I was with you set my passions free.
Is it possible that I always knew my time with you was doomed
or was I too blinded by your endless ballet as it consumed
my every thought?
Should I have foreseen the curtain in the play
was to set far too soon and that for our crimes we all must now pay.
Sometimes, it seems that even true love is simply not quite enough
and that even the greatest of noble warriors is not tough
enough or smart enough to keep himself from being led on a course
of destruction by a woman and the gift of a wooden horse.
Yet even as the sands of time envelop fading memories
and the wounds of yesterday are now like the leaves of winter trees,
I know, deep down in my damned soul, that I would never have been whole
if I had not, just once, held in my frail hands your apple of gold.
The leaves rustle wildly… playing harbinger to
the approaching fury of the autumn tempest.
Once brightly lit stars wither from above as
if the heavens have finally lost interest.
Screeching rusted chain provides treble to the dull
rhythmic thuds of a porch swing battering the rail.
Still struggling to hold on to the dominance it
demands over the sky, the cratered disk grows pale.
The world turns bright, a poor ashen imitation
of daylight, as fury escapes its earthly bounds.
The roar of burned air, muffled by the cascading
sheets, seems almost tranquil as the rain starts to pound.
Drops twist into puddles and then small rivers which
wash away the sins like dust at a summer’s fair.
Numbness drowns the world with the raw symphonic dance
of shadow trees flailing about through untamed air.
The enraged winds, Aeolian harps without a
score, scream wildly as the maelstrom vents its might.
From between the boiling clouds, sterling fingers struggle
to regain lordship over the argentite night.
Somehow, even amid the chaos and fury,
the falling rain’s cadence brings a stillness to heart.
Inside the soul of a storm, solitude seems to
secretly wish to be confusion’s counterpart.
Gradually, the tempest wearies of its wrath
and concedes to its own inevitable death.
Millions of glowing teardrops, like earthbound stars, dance
across murky leaves as the squall takes its last breath.
When at last the storm collapses after a long
Evening's orgasm, the silence embraces the land.
Forcing its way from behind the last vagrant clouds,
silvered rays stroke the aftermath with gentle hands.
I am told by those that seem to know, that there are
people that collect amber. They like the feel of
the cold stone as it slides effortlessly through their
roughened fingertips. They find pleasure in watching
the dance of stars swirl within the golden gem as
they hold it up into the light. And while the true
treasure of amber is most often the delicate
creature locked within, this tiny element is
often overshadowed by the casing that holds the
fairy eternally within its hardened stone grasp.
There are, of course, those that believe amber is best
used when forged into jewelry. It becomes a
window dressing serving only to enhance the
appearance and the status of the current one
owning the prize. Like bangles on a dancer, they
pick and choose the piece that will shimmer the most for
them at that moment. And when that instant passes, the
piece is set aside until the next time it is
needed for show. For the insect within, time is
meaningless as it rests suspended in the past.
When I look at a piece of amber, I find a
feeling of incredible loss and wonder wash
over me. As I stare past the layers of the now
translucent rock and at the tiny life that found
itself slowly encased within a coffin of
immobility, I cannot help but mourn for
one that finds itself forever trapped in a past
that offers no chance of change. I can’t help but think
of the places that were never explored and the
dreams that were killed when locked away in the amber.
I watched her go down yesterday
and there was nothing I could do.
She took in the ocean water so very fast
that I knew our voyage was through.
I cast myself into Neptune’s hands
as I leapt into the vast blue sea.
The rains swept about me like a demon in the night
and the might of the waves would not set me free.
Like a leaf in the wind, I was cast about
as I struggled just to stay alive.
What God or Fate had I so offended
that forced my final hellish dive.
When I was a child, I once heard stories
about men traveling on their great boats.
The wind at their backs, the waves beneath.
The conquered storm and wave with everything that floats.
Great Odysseus, now long dead, keeps time with Columbus
and Poseidon no longer lords over the darkened sea.
Miracles simply do not happen anymore and
No great legend of seamanship will part Pluto’s doors for me.
Across the room I watch a wine glass teetering
on its base. Performing a delicate dance that
will determine its ultimate fate. Will it live?
Or will its existence collapse into one last
final, albeit spectacular, end that will
fade from memory mere minutes after its world
crashes into broken shards. Each pivot brings the
Pale horse’s rider an instant closer to a
rendezvous with the fragile chalice or grants an
extension to an appointment that one-day must
be kept. And still the goblet spins as if it is
still trying to right itself and extend its life.
From far across the room, I watch this brief, fatal
ballet. My every instinct is to run and
try to save it from the Destiny that is held
within gravity’s slippery fingers. Like a
jaguar my reflexes snap into place and I
find myself in a desperate race against time
to push back Destruction’s army before it can
arrive. Just like in the gray shadows of one of
Morpheus’s dreams, time slows down to accommodate
my efforts to reach the doomed vessel before it can
meet an untimely end. And though all I desire
is to save it, the distance proves impossible.
Before me, a thousand diamonds explode into
Newborn, glistening life as the cohesive bonds
find their manacles broken and surrender to
the power of entropy. In despair, I stand
frozen mid-stride…half-way between my goal and where
I stood. In what can only be blamed on a brief
bout of delirium, I believed I could be
the one to catch the glass in its mortal fall to
Earth. Looking over my shoulder, I see the bright
crystal wine glass I was holding spinning wildly
on its base as if it is trying to preserve,
for an instant, its life and forgive my folly.
Blood, if it can be truly called blood, slides across
his shoulders and down his chest like Death’s icy touch.
Through the thick smoke, his eyes can’t tell where the screams are
coming from…but they seem to be around him in
every direction. He tries to stumble toward
the nearest sounds but the ground shifts, slides and crumbles
beneath his feet. Crashing to his knees, the sharp sting
in his right arm almost goes unnoticed. Wrapping
his fingers around the twisted metal, somewhere deep
inside he finds the strength to drag himself back up
and onto his feet. If the rage wasn’t so all
consuming, he would feel the pounding of his heart.
Blood is everywhere. It seems to conspire with the
smoke and the dust to summon a level of gray
unearthly surrealness that rests firmly between
Dream and nightmare. The heat seems to be growing worse.
Somehow forgotten primitive instincts tell him
that he should run… There is danger here. There is a
very great danger and if he doesn’t run he
will cease to exist. Maybe it is a cruel prank
of Delirium or maybe somewhere in the
back of his twisted psyche he feels a Desire
to fulfill his duty until the end. Every
beat of the heart, Destruction seems to draw nearer.
Blood has a taste that is remarkably easy
to recognize. It is as if each creature has
some form of innate ability to alert
it to the presence of its blood within its mouth.
He could certainly taste it now. For the first time,
he became cognizant that the fluid he kept
having to wipe from his eyes was his own blood. Now
he understood that Destiny held him within
its hands. There would most likely be no tomorrow
for him or for any of the others caught in
this maelstrom of hatred. And when the heart plays its
final beat, who will be left to hear its silence?
Blood… the fluid of life… the symbol of someone’s new
covenant… But where are those that would make the frail
promises now? Where are they when holy blood is
spilt? Where are they when the smoke is so thick that you
can’t even decide which way to drag the injured
toward safety? Where are they when Despair arrives
and there just doesn’t seem to be an exit left
to take? Just how far can the Proud fall before they
hit the bottom of eternity? Some say that
every action has an opposite and equal
reaction… If that is the case, then what sin
is the heartbeat pumping all of this wasted blood.
Were I to write for others,
the words would never flow.
The ink would not pour from my quill
and the text I would not know.
If another were to read what I write,
the majik would be broken.
In my script, just like in life,
some words should not be spoken.
Were my thoughts to be printed,
they would die like fish without the sea.
For my passion unbridled without myself in control
could never survive if free.
If I were to die tomorrow,
then these words would loose their heart.
Bare bones of emotion and passions are what is left;
only broken fossils once I depart.
Loneliness taught me how to write
while keeping company with Despair.
Boredom showed me the proper style
while Determination kept me there.
Sorrow fed me the words I sought
while Confusion spilled the ink.
Passion emblazed the lines upon the page
while Hatred made me think.
Rejection gave me the plot from which I drew
while Defeat wrote most every word.
Endurance kept me at the task
while Perseverance ensured I would be heard.
Hope suggested that it would get better
while Confidence assured me so.
Friendship guided me through the final draft
but it was Love that made my words flow.
When I was a child, I enjoyed warming
my hands around the campfire.
It kept away the evils of the lonely night
and we told a ghost story around the pyre.
But when the light of night comes
from a ship’s mast high in the air,
remember that fire makes no promises.
So it is best to beware.
Often, we forget how fragile our lives have
become as we scurry through our hectic days.
Yet the smell of one’s ship turning to ash beneath you
washes all of the fragile illusions away.
Now I am left sitting alone upon the rocky shore
with nothing but the shards of the ship’s burnt wood.
Enlightened, bewildered, abandoned and bored...
yet more of life is now understood.
From the broken edge of the cliff,
I look down at the busy world below,
filled with the thousands of little ants
scurrying about trance-like in a quest to
fulfill whatever missions their queen
has decreed is vital to their continued existence.
Never once do they stop to ponder
the nature of the orders that they execute.
Their small minds simply hear the commands
and like a soldier, unquestioningly carry out
the imperial directive until they die or
the queen’s will has been accomplished.
I wonder, as I look at the small insects,
do they ever consider the possibility
that there is more to life than
the progressively difficult task of locating
small bits of nourishment to sustain them
and allow them to hunt for food on the morrow?
Could it be that they are so blind
that they cannot see how much they are missing
as they struggle to meet their society's expectations
or could it be that while I stand here, looking down
at them, that they have learned the necessity of
self-sacrifice for the greater good.
Down To The Sea Again
Remember yesterday (or was it the day before?),
when we went down to the beach to play in the surf and sun?
Our passions, bold and brave, could not be ignored.
All we wanted was a distraction; it was a time for play and fun.
We built a castle that stretched out across the sands
and towered forever into the empyrean sky.
Next to this wonder we would proudly stand
and display our achievement to all the passers-by.
As sure as the moon rises from beyond the lonely sea,
the tides would wash away our princely halls;
and the sands we bent to our will, again would be set free.
Yet the uncaring waves of change caused even the greatest fortress to fall.
But as we were but children, the next morning we would return to the site.
New walls and towers were raised to replace the old.
We were determined not to yield to this fight.
Yet each new dawn at that place, the shore was lonely and cold.
When we grew older, we returned to visit the sea
and to play upon the granules of once golden sand.
But unlike in our youth, we were no longer free
and watching the children building their castles was more than we could understand.
We tried so hard to recapture the magic that we held yesterday,
but the spells which we uttered are now forgotten and unknown.
The permanence of the castle’s fragile walls is completely washed away.
We are left to stare at a sea which we don’t remember, barren and alone.
In our youth, we refused to see the folly of our mistakes
and as a result we toiled only for joy of creation and life.
As adults, we want more from existence: less to give than take.
Yet, more and more, all we find is unhappiness and strife.
Wouldn’t it be nice to go back down to the sea again
where we could play among the ocean’s waves and beneath the lonely sky?
Once more we could be children that are free from sin
and then we would be free of our life’s pain once more before we die.
I sit here enwrapped in the arms of this high-backed chair
pondering how my life became so terribly confused.
Beads of sweat roll down my creased brow from my hair
and I simply sit here... feeling spent, depleted and used.
In my left hand, I hold the letter that I read each long night.
Every bitterly ironic word is burned into my now cold heart.
I have long since stopped asking whether or not I was right.
Now, I can’t even remember just how the end got its start.
The shadows around me grow longer and the world fades to gray
but somewhere in the back of my mind I vaguely recall
that this sort of thing is supposed to happen each and every day.
Yet as hard as I try, I can’t remember its purpose at all.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
I think there was a time when I could love and probably care
but the friends that stood by me back then have faded
like puffs of thick, black smoke rising into the darkening air.
So I just sit here... broken, tired and forever more jaded.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
There must have been a time when others had need of me
but maybe that illusion was simply another bitter lie
that I told myself so that I could in some strange way be
able to spare the decision as to whether I should live or die.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
I look up at the old clock on the great mantle of stone
and wonder how long its arms have been unable to move.
Somewhere along the line it was probably tired and alone
so it gave up and stopped... having nothing more left to prove.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Who shakes the stars from the heavens above?
What makes the young grow gray and old?
When do we know we have found true love?
Where do we hide to stay out of the cold?
Why are there always so many questions and rhymes
with answers that we will never be able to know?
How do we continue even as death’s somber chimes
draw a good knight’s coffin into the ground below?
Can we ever see folly in our deeds before they are done?
Do we have a choice at our roles in the cosmic play?
Are our destinies determined before we have even begun?
Is there nothing we can do to stop the pain and decay?
If we know we will fail, should we still answer the call
to battle or must we endure the horrors as we abstain?
Would we make different choices if we could do it all
again and not repeat the noble catalyst of all our pain?
I think that even the brightest star knows its day will set
but that its light will continue to travel long after it's gone.
And that is something, that we humans, far too often forget
as we struggle to make sense of the chaos, ever and anon.
Yet, I feel there is, within each heart, an insatiable desire
to justify our existence and feel unique within our universe.
This is the fuel that we consume as we endeavor to aspire
to solve our riddles and to find answers to the perverse.
My Old Ring
There are two gemstones left in my old ring:
one for you and another one for her.
It’s scarred with the moments a life can bring:
the pain, the passion, the hate and the hurt.
Once a dozen stones danced around the band
promising… sparkling with the chance to shift
my life in the light and to understand
the answers to all the great mysteries.
Time took the gems from where they were held tight
with each choice that I made. But at the time
I hardly noticed the falling star’s light
as it tumbled from my life and my heart.
Only two gemstones left before the end
of my dream and delirium awaits
the chance to watch me twisting in the wind
as death moves her hands across my body.
Ten chances wasted singing destiny’s songs
without knowing the proper words to use.
In between despair’s and desire’s war, long
forgotten hopes fall victim to neglect.
Memories gather like thought’s tiny pools
as I try to recall each gem’s luster.
My own destruction rests with those jewels
and the stories that they could start to tell.
I have only two gems left so I must
make every single little glimmer
Yes, two gemstones left to win my trust:
one for you and another one for her.
Last night while basking in the embrace of the pale light
of the argentous moon at the mid-point of night,
an ancient fairy came to me with a story so very tragic
it had stolen her will to fly and to use her wonderful majik.
She told me that, much earlier, one most depressing day,
she had flown up to the Mid-day sun to see what it had to say.
The Mid-day sun whispered that from his position high in the sky,
he could see a beautiful young sun that made his heart fly.
This bright Morning sun walked with a charm that so inspired
and so moved the Mid-day sun that he sincerely desired
to forsake his position lording over the Heavens for the chance to hold
the Morning sun before time had passed and they had grown too old.
The bright Morning sun, her eyes filled wonder at the green world below,
saw the great light of the Mid-day sun and marveled at what he must know,
but as hard as she tried to reach out to him in the great blue atmosphere
her rays of light fell short of the mark and were never in time to draw near.
Day after day, the pair reached out to each other with longing beyond compare,
until at last the Mid-day sun found the distress more than he could bare.
"I will shine no more, my fairy friend, until my heart is again complete..."
Beneath him, the flowers shivered and begged to heaven for the afternoon heat.
The Morning sun was miserable and mourned as the clovers and the flowers died.
As the life passed from the green below, the morning sun simply cried and cried.
The Mid-day sun heard the downhearted sighs of his one true and faithful love,
and decided that to make her happy, he would once again shine from above.
And so the fairy told me that the Mid-day sun still shines ‘til this day,
but he does so knowing that he helps to bring happiness to his love far away.
Each new day brings with it the gentle caresses of the Morning sun,
as she looks forward to the day when she can be with her beloved one.
The fairy, weeping as she walked away, spoke with a most solemn tone,
"Remember that eternal hope of the suns is the most power majik known."
Today, I awoke basking in the warm embrace of the Morning sun’s fire
and now I know that her energy is born from a love that will not expire.
Nightmares and Masquerades
(Masquerade: 96 Nightmares)
There rests a place somewhere just between the realms of Delirium and Dream
where mortals’ greatest nightmares are born and allowed to grow to the extreme.
It is a place avoided every night as we struggle to awaken.
It is a land so wretched, that even the gods have left it forsaken.
It is here that the shadows always seem to move… even to swirl about.
No matter what we do we can never hope to suppress our urge to shout.
In the hellish unsilence of Destruction, we feel its perverse breath.
We whisper pleading prayers once more for our God to be with us at Death.
Yet we know here in quiet Morpheus’s realm, our prayers will go unheard
and our sleeping souls can be crushed without so much as a single word.
We try to pretend that we are courageous and that we are unafraid…
but the monsters of our dreams can see through the walls of our childish charade.
It knows where we hide deep within ourselves and mocks us with its venal laugh.
The incubus toys with us and draws us down its diabolical path.
The immense ignis fatuus flays open our wretched tormented shade
and makes us all desperately Desire to hearken the coming aubade.
As suddenly as the horror arrived, it starts to fade and recede
and at last we believe that our tortured souls have finally been freed.
They say darkness has a hunger that is insatiable and they are right.
For all the horrors held by mortal hearts are released as they sleep at night.
Each eve’ we feel the terror growing deep inside our souls as the fear burns
and once again we begin to Despair and cry as the nightmare returns.
We try to rationalize that this is but the stuff of which dreams are made
but nothing we can do will prevent the return of the great Masquerade.
A Rose for the Kimberly
Bright scarlet... how fragile...
It was cold that evening as he sat
upon the white marble bench crying. He
tried to remember his last words to her
when they parted but they had slipped through his
fingers like the smoke from the campfires he
and his dad sat beside in his youth. The
moon’s reflection upon the sea of white
markers taunted him with each second that
passed. Could he ever again relax here
under these skies without her ghost there to
ridicule him with the unvoiced laughter?
Watching... like a bright plum just out of reach.
Bright scarlet... how fragile...
How essential it is...
Maybe that was the whole point of her game…
Had her grand scheme always been to bury
herself so deep within his heart that he
could never escape? Well, if that had been
her objective, she certainly had forged
success. Even as he cursed her name, he
pined to be with her for one more moment.
From the instance he had first seen her, he
knew that she was the one he had searched
for his whole life. Like a star collapsing,
her gravity crushed him into her orbit,
swallowing up his light and energy .
Bright scarlet... how fragile...
How essential it is...
Crimson on snow concrete...
Even as he spiraled toward this final
darkening sun, there seemed an eternity
of cold and emptiness keeping them apart.
Her spidery tendrils pulled him closer
to her and ultimately would shred the
very fabric of his reality. There
were times when he couldn't remember what
life had been like before she had arrived.
And now that she was gone, he didn't want
to know what it would be like not to have
her there beside him. It was as if her
last movement was to be his denouement.
Bright scarlet... how fragile...
How essential it is...
Crimson on snow concrete...
Blood falls like rose petals...
The Price Of Peace
The world outside is burning with the bitter fires of hate.
The issue goes unsettled and there is no more debate.
Crowds gather round the steps of justice and shout throughout the day,
But the unpleasant reality of their lives fails to go away.
They came in peace to vent their grief at the Lords within the Halls,
Yet their passion while stirred in their breast led acts that will appall.
The fires of hatred burn through the night as a beacon to all that hate;
A cry for attention by a desperate few that can only be answered too late.
They marched through the streets causing mayhem and pain.
They were ripping away at each other like rabid wolves gone insane.
Blood covers the once gray concrete streets as the group passes by;
Throughout the chaos of the city a chorus of mothers cry.
"Enough is enough," the Lords declare and sent the Army in.
"There will be no more bloodshed. This terror will now end."
And the tanks rolled into the streets that night.
There they were met by a mob ready to fight.
In the dawn, there was silence across the land,
Not a single soul was left to make a stand.
The streets were now deep in pools of crimson red
And in the muck slept the now peaceful children of Adam, broken and dead.
Apocalypse, broken shadows and forgotten Dreams…
“I would give up the entire universe for you…,”
he whispered to her in the kind of moment that
cements two people into a spider’s web of
intimacy, hopeless desire, fear and despair.
The words hung there for what seemed an eternity
without reply, without comment and utterly
without the hope of possibly being recalled
or recanted before the world crashed around him.
“I don’t know what to say…” she stuttered in the kind
of voice that a Literature major uses
when trying to explain quantum theory to a
classroom full of nuclear physicists from Yale.
“You don’t have to do or say anything at all…,”
He fumbled over the words like an Olympic
hurdler suffering mid-stride from a sudden and
intensely torturous epileptic seizure .
Then came the Pause… the kind of silence that even
gives gentle Death a chill as she waits to part the
veil between the “Here and Now” and the mystery
beyond... Even she hates a dead conversation.
Somewhere between delirium and destruction,
a broken specter of the conversation crawled,
like a yellow fog from the Thames, back out of the
strangling depths of the silence’s murky waters.
He wasn’t sure but he thought somewhere in the back
of his mind, he heard the screams of the Ravens as
they gathered to feast upon the remains of his
broken illusions that now littered Fiddler’s Green.
Thirty Pieces of Silver
Sometimes in life we are compelled to choose between wrong and right,
but there are questions that sometimes demand more divine insight.
We try to make the best decision but we don’t always succeed.
Instead of improving life, we find that we only impede
the designs of others that were created to ease their pain.
We do the best that we can and always attempt to refrain
from interrupting the carefully constructed strategy,
which has been set in motion and now runs so ineffably.
So the plan runs on and we are compelled to enact the part
that we promised that we never would play from the very start.
Oh, how can I ever be forgiven for what I have done?
My doubts and stupidity have killed your only son?
Could I have known what evils they were going to do?
Would your plan have given me the chance to think it through?
I was with him from the genesis and believed all he said.
There wasn’t anywhere that I wouldn’t follow as he lead.
His words gave me my direction and gave me meaning in my life.
For him, I would lose anything or make any sacrifice.
At times, I thought that he could be just a little too extreme
and others, moving around him, did nothing but plot and scheme
to create a new empire and see that the current one fell.
He always saw the very best in men but I couldn’t tell
whether he grasped their flaws or was it something he could miss.
So I made a deal with the devil and sealed it with a kiss.
Oh, how can I ever be forgiven for what I have done?
My doubts and stupidity have killed your only son?
Could I have known what evils they were going to do?
Would your plan have given me the chance to think it through?
There are thirty silver pieces laying on the temple floor
And I can’t bear the guilt, the grief or the pain anymore.
Will I always be the betrayer? Is that how it was planned?
Is there nothing I can do to make everyone understand?
Sometimes, we take for granted the strength and many uses of a rope
but for me, it promises release now that I have no hope.
Yet, for me, I fear that God will bequeath me no divine grace
and I will suffer forever in a frozen, wretched place.
But was there any other way that I could have played my last card
or had God always intended for me to play His dullard?
Oh, Lord, can I ever be forgiven for what I have done?
My doubts and stupidity have killed your only son?
Could I have known what evils they were going to do?
Would your Plan have given me the chance to think it through?
The Apocalypse and The Masquerade
(Apocalypse: Masquerade 97)
An eerie silence descends as vibrations
from the last note of the trumpet fade
"The time has come…," Rasputin the prophet
proclaims, "for all of your debts to be paid.
You have played around too long and the
honeymoon is finally at an end.
The great granite walls you hid your dark sins
behind are now only dust in the wind."
We stare blankly in each other’s eyes, not
knowing just what next to do or to say.
Just as I think I know the proper words
to speak, you turn and start to walk away.
You’re right, of course, I think everything
seems meaningless now as the sun sets
My broken mind is flooded with a lifetime
full of forgotten dreams and regrets.
Once the world was ours to control and like
vampyres we hunted victims through the night.
Love drove us near insanity and exposed
the beast within to the moon’s gray light.
Like unbound spirits we prowled the earth
searching to justify what we had done.
Yet the nightmares and dreams faded as we
were awoken by the harsh morning sun.
In the light, we felt dirty and looked at
our naked bodies with unspoken shame.
We snarled bitter words and shouted curses at
each other as we tried to appoint blame.
The apple core resting next to that foul
tree bears sole witness to our transgression
and we cannot help but think how upset
God is that we never learned our lesson.
Off in the distance, I heard the thunder
from the hooves of the approaching pale horse
And I realized that, at last, my odyssey
and my pain had completed their course
In these final moments, my sins march past
me like some kind of perverted parade
and now I understand that this is finally
the end of the great Masquerade.
For Kathy at Christmas 2000, because she asked…
A tumble of gingered leaves sweeps along the once
paved but now broken pathway up old Lakewood
Hill. There was a time when the air here overflowed
with the uncoordinated sounds of children
at play and of overly-taxed, tired parents that
were desperately trying to remember the
freedom that they had held in their youth. Now only
the dull roar of the leaves at play seems to recall
yesterday’s chaos. Time’s gentle rain has eroded
away the smell of cotton candy that pulsed
like life-giving blood through every inch of the
hill and the fields around it. Though the electric
air that provides the illusion of life to the
burnt amber leaves is that of Autumn, this place seems
now to be frozen in a forgotten winter.
From here they watch the leaves dance and spin like phantoms
of the tiny ballerinas that once would laugh,
giggle, and sometimes cry in anticipation
of the magic to come. Now the jocund sounds of
the organ pipes have been replaced by the howling
winds that must come from south of the vast river Styx.
Like misplaced statues of an army that will no
longer be called to march in the parade, they
stand frozen, watching as their finery fades. Great manes slip
from brilliant purples and golds into time’s dull
gentle gray. Bright roses that once held lover’s Dreams
have watched their fiery petals drop away like the childish
game of “loves me…loves me not.” Their grand silvered hooves,
while still at attention, no longer have the sharp
sparkle that seemed to cleave to the light so tightly.
They watch her as she sits upon the back of the
Lippizaner Stallion that once had the name
Thunder painted on a small sign above his head.
Gently, she strokes the unmoving wooden mane. Her
hands lightly caress the broken remains of what should
have been an ear. Somewhere in the recesses
of her memories, she thought she could still hear the
sounds of the organ grinding. Yes…She could almost
feel the motion of the horse as it rose and
fell beneath her. Somewhere between memory
and Delerium, she could see the other great
horses dancing up and down around her. For an
instant, it was like she had never grown up. For
a moment, it was almost like she had never
lost the magic of a girl on a carrousel.
Damn, how I hate
I can’t do my work with
I’m going really crazy with
Won’t anything cure this
20 December 1994
I. The prelude
Once after journeying from a far away land,
upon a great mountain’s peak I did stand.
From that spot I beheld such a wondrous sight,
that my heart beat profoundly and my head grew light.
Just past the great lake, beyond the mighty dam,
I caught my first glimpse of the faire lady from Cam
as she sat high upon a great white mare,
with its albino mane flailing wildly in the air.
She could not see me from my perch, so high,
but I knew at her word, I was willing to die
rather than to face an eternity without her near.
Surely this nightmare was to be my most adamant fear.
Never did I tell her the joy she brought to me
on that cold winter’s day, when she set free
the passions, which I had long kept bound,
for fear that another like myself was not to be found.
From that moment on, I had given her my heart
and I vowed that from her I would never part.
So it was, that I was too soon to depart the lady faire,
forced to run from opponents but not knowing where.
But now, I put the cart, as it were, before the aging mare,
so I must speak first of the events which placed me there
in a prison whose torture exceeds even those of Hell
and where the pain was more enduring than a Fay’s spell.
II. The betrayal
It came to pass that I was to serve as a great Lord’s knight
and was charged with protecting the weak and fighting for right.
I believed in my mission with complete and total resolve
and around these tenets my world was to revolve.
Whether charged with fighting against the land to the west
or sent to recover a stolen holy item on an impossible quest,
I embraced my lot in life with fervor and glee without bound
believing my deeds would win me fame and great renown.
Now at that time that I served my Lord and gave him my support,
the faire maiden of my heart was also to be a favorite of the court.
She was there for the Lady but she had the Lord’s ear
and I was the champion sworn to keep her from fear.
It was but a short time before she was to be my closest friend
and she claimed that our bond was eternal— ‘til time’s very end,
which filled my heart with a joy beyond that which can be known.
What had started with mere passion, into friendship had grown.
For my faire maiden, there was nothing she could ask that I wouldn’t do.
No matter the quest she charged me with, I always saw it through.
There were many battles to protect her and defend her from potential harms
but each time it was needed, I was always there to take up a shield and arms.
During this same time, I also earned my Lord’s confidence and trust,
and was award the title of "Knight Protector" and called "the Just."
So when my Lord was troubled and asked my council on matters of import’,
I was always there to advise him or give his troubled soul comfort.
One foul day, the threat of a great war came to my sovereign Lord’s land
and he described to me his plans in the vain hope that I would understand.
To prevent our lands from being bathed in the blood of the dead,
he would give our enemies all of our faire maidens as payment, instead.
No fouler words spoken in creation had there ever been heard
but when I objected, I was ordered silent and bound by my word.
Realizing that the treacherous plan included my dear maiden faire,
I was thrown into a state of horror, depression and despair.
As a knight, I was sworn to follow whatever my Lord would say.
It was ultimately not my job to question but simply to obey.
Yet, I had also sworn to always defend the weak and uphold right
and to lay down my life for my friend, no matter the fight.
So there I was, left without any idea of what to do,
yet either choice would destroy me— that much, I knew.
For days, I lamented over which impossible action I should take,
feeling that with each new moment, my heart would break.
My dearest friend sensed my intense turmoil and pain
and asked if she could do anything to ease my strain.
She spoke about our friendship and about the impact it had
and how she could not bare to see me so hurt and so sad.
As always, her words, like arrows, flew straight to my heart,
and I knew I would have to tell her everything from the start.
But before I spoke so much as a single word of the tale,
I made her promise that not a word would she speak, without fail.
She then told me, "My dearest friend, I will never betray thee.
I would sooner allow the venom of a thousand daggers to pierce me.
For have we not sworn to be friends now and forever more?
Surely, you know that you are one that I truly trust and adore."
So I told her the schemes that my misguided Lord had said
and I told her that if she spoke of it, I would keep time with the dead.
But again she spoke words to assure that my trust was well placed
and with that, we said adieu for the evening as we hardily embraced.
Morning was heralded by sounds that no knight will ignore,
there were perhaps twenty soldiers gathering just outside my door.
"Good knight," called the sheriff, "with you we must have a word.
The Lord is quiet upset at something he’s just heard.
So lay down your sword and cast aside your silver shield.
To the authority of the Lord’s sheriff, you promptly must yield.
Of course, we wish for you to come quietly, without a word to say
but if you don’t, we have orders to fetter and to drag you away."
I knew surrender meant a stone block and ax to my head,
so I decided to fight the twenty soldiers outside instead.
But truthfully, no wounds they could give me would begin to compare
to the pain I felt from being betrayed by dear one, so faire.
Swords clashed and by my sword, twenty innocent men died
but nothing harmed me more than the pain I held inside.
I fought my way, like a man possessed, through the great halls
and avoided certain death by using hidden ways through the walls.
While using such a passage that was quite near the northern gate,
I encountered the faire one that I could never truly hate.
There was terror in her eyes as she sensed the intensity of my rage
and, for a brief moment, she seemed like a frightened animal in a cage.
But I told her that I could forgive her for what she had done
and that our "eternal" friendship was the most important thing under the sun.
She said it shouldn’t have happened... that she was like a pawn before the king
and once her Lord had spoken, like a bird she had to sing.
She told me that she would do anything to keep me from harm’s way
and beyond the fact that she was sorry, there was nothing more to say.
A gentle, loving smile crested the lips of her most angelic face
and then we held each other in a final warm friendship’s embrace.
I never saw her draw the dagger that was stuck in my side.
I simply collapsed to the floor utterly defeated and cried.
She left me there on the stone floor with crimson blood running out.
"But why?" was the only thing that I could manage to shout.
I lay there for an eternity, loosing life’s most vital element,
feeling that all my reasons to live were now long spent.
Still, I couldn’t help but question where I went wrong.
Well, if God had the answers at least it wouldn’t be very long...
I looked at the dagger, which was coated with the fluid of my life
and was startled to realize that it was my own knife
which she had used to betray me and strike with a most fatal blow.
My numbed mind simply fixated on, "How could I not know?"
Contrary to what the sages say, death is not always so very quick
and waiting around to die is enough to make any warrior sick.
So, I lifted myself up on my extremely unsteady, trembling feet
and decided that I would fight my way to the gate and out of the keep.
It occurs to me that God must truly like to play very subtle jokes
because even so close to death, I parried a thousand deadly strokes.
As I mounted a horse, battling as I made a hurried egress,
not a single arrow, lance, spear or knight could halt my progress.
So with an army behind me, I fled from my dear homeland.
But why God had let me survive, I would never begin to understand.
Yet the horse I was riding was strong, hardy and fast.
With great care and proper rest, I could make his strength last.
Having betray my vows, killed my good fellows and forever lost my heart,
I wasn’t sure exactly where to give my wretched life a new start.
So I made up my mind to discover where and why I had made my mistakes
and vowed to continue until I had the answer— no matter what the stakes.
Five long years passed by and the side wound never healed.
The sages told me that the answers to my quest could only be revealed
by God, himself, with his knowledge beyond the scope of measure
and instead of my obsession, I should enjoy life’s great treasure.
But the promise of revelations at the end of time was too far away
and the need for answers consumed my every thought, every day.
As I wandered about the lands, I was called the "passionless knight"
by those that I saved and by those with whom I would fight.
In truth, that wasn’t true for there was one for which I could care
and despite everything she had done, I still missed the one so faire.
The pain I had suffered had brought to my soul a winter chill
which to observers made me impossibly invulnerable and almost unreal.
So I went about and did the things that knights are supposed to do:
rescuing maidens, fighting battles and simply trying to muddle through.
Yet, it was pointless to me because I had nothing to fight for
and I found my thoughts drifting to the one I shouldn’t still adore.
One day, I heard two men talking about the defeat on my land of old
and of how the Lord of the land suffered more than could be told.
The lands were now barren and its great prizes were stolen away
and the people of the shire were left with only memories of a better day.
From time to time, I hear rumors about fairest Lady with her new Lord
and of how because of her external beauty she is still the most adored.
I can’t help but wonder how she has changed deep down inside
and whether she has an eternal wound like mine that she will always have to hide.
ETERNAL: The dénouement
Ten long years parted before I again met the lady faire
with a bitter Northern wind flailing about her golden hair
as she stood upon a great mountain’s rocky and barren slope
having given up on life and utterly devoid of all hope.
Oh, tell me dear lady, what causes this pain and moves you so?
Please speak of it now, for it is imperative for me to know
what evil power could steal the light from the sun
and has robbed the dawn of its glory before it has begun.
Have you grown tired of the songs that call your name?
Have you at last chosen to flee your beauty’s fame?
Or have you, my dear, simply discovered a universal truth
concerning the dwindling brevity within the sands of youth?
Is it some foul words that were spoken to you in horrid jest
and has pierced the golden heart within your breast?
Has some dark knight, with fiery steed, tried to steal you away,
and in the process, corrupted your youth or led you astray?
Have you lost your way along the path of life?
Did you succumb to the pain, hate and strife?
Could you have sold yourself short in the end?
Did you bite the apple and taste life’s sin?
Are you not the great woman whose very words sent
soldiers to battle until they were dead or spent?
Wasn’t it your smile that moved every heart,
and prompted men to cry when forced to depart?
Reality is built atop mounds of uncertain soil
which can change the future with pain and toil.
For all good things eventually will reach a close
whether for good or not, only but Heaven knows.
Now weathered as the cracks begin to show,
simply another victim of time’s erosive flow.
Perhaps, life’s ultimate irony has come true
and those who care but for your beauty are through.
Yet those who knew more than the surface display
are ones that will be there throughout the play.
We are the Little Johns of life, who beside you ride,
Through storm, sickness and the times you have cried.
When first I saw you, my most angelic light,
you helped me define the meaning of wrong and right.
Now even after a decade has passed us by,
your sharp wit still causes my head to fly.
So remember, dear lady, when faced with doom,
that your paladin will fight the darkness and gloom.
You have only to whisper the slightest word,
and your will is my command, once heard.
Oh dear, gentle lady, now that your mare of youth has passed
and seeming everything eternal and immortal has failed to last.
Looks, the fleeting illusion of youth, are deceptive and fake.
Only your soul is the one jewel that time cannot take.
When I was ‘bout eight,
my teacher made everyone in the class
use white paper and scissors and stuff to
cut out a snowflake.
I had never seen
a real snowflake ‘cept maybe on TV.
But she roared, glared and ranted and made me
do it anyway.
I bent the paper
this way and that… And I cut and I cut
and I cut… ‘cept when I was finished, it
looked nothin’ like snow.
It looked more like a piece of paper with lots of holes in it.
When I was nine, we
moved to a place where it gets real cold… And
then in the winter, I got to see real
snow for the first time.
I sure was cold but
I knew that no matter what happened… I
would catch me a snowflake… So the next time,
I would have my own.
As the snow swirled, the
flakes danced around me like flies over the
dead ‘possum I found next to the old dirt
road last September.
I knew I had to
catch one… So I chased it and chased it and
chased it but the more I tried, the more it
dodged, twisted and danced.
At last, I caught it.
It was perfect as it sat there sparkling
on my finger tip… shimmering, shining
and full of magic.
For just a moment,
It seemed like I was looking at an earth
bound angel. It was the wonder of an
ice cream in Summer.
And then, while I was
watching, its light began to fade away.
I tried to set it free again but it
was only water.
I never again tried to capture a snowflake in winter.
"I love you," he said.
But the words came too late...
They fell only on the cold snow
and blew across the frigid lake.
"You can't leave me," he begged
Yet there was no one else to hear.
His words failed to reach the stars above
Or anything more near.
"I'll always be there for you," he pleaded.
However, there was no other there.
A day late and a dollar short
had assured him that she wasn't anywhere.
"Think of all the good times we had," he sighed
To the fringes of Nocturna's dress.
And of the bad times, the silence spoke volumes,
much to his distress.
"I'll never give up... It won't be over!" he demanded
Just to keep his male ego intact.
Yet the vast emptiness that surrounded him
seemed to dispute that fact.
The deeds we do and the choices we make
often tell us more than books...
Remember that real love is a two-way street
and relationships are built on more than looks.
We move through life thinking we know people
but the truth is we never really do.
We give them our love and our understanding,
but in the end they take the knife and run us through.
Sometimes we walk together along life’s rocky shores
as we try to make each other’s journey a little freer of pain.
Yet, so often, we find that those traveling with us
on our quest are simply using us for profit or gain.
There are those who chose to beguile us with promises
while giving us false hopes with mirrors and hollow dreams
but in the end, we always find ourselves left standing alone,
deserted, abandoned and betrayed (or so it seems).
The worst of the deceivers are those that claim to be our friends
but quickly they forget us once the day’s Sun falls from the sky.
For them, it's off to another party to hear another band
and in their revelry they always seem to pass us by.
But when the time comes that they need help,
we are always the first "friends" that they try to call.
For they know that we are like moths to the flaming candle
and we will always fight on until we burn and fall.
There has to be hope somewhere out there in the night
but I’m afraid that it has long since gone away.
Our dreams have been corrupted by the modern world
and its darkness now scripts the plot line in the great play.
Yes, we move through life thinking we know folks
and eventually we see them for who they really are.
but we still give them our love and our understanding,
in the hope someday their cloud will form a bright, new star.
Never Enough Time
If we had just another second, I would stare you in the face
and I would place my arms around you in a final embrace.
If we had just another second, I would speak a magic word
conveying how I feel for you in a language never before heard.
If we had just another minute, I know what I would say,
I would tell that more than anything, I want you to stay.
If we had just another minute, I would take you by the arm,
then promise to guard you and keep you far from harm.
If we had just another hour, I would tell you all that I know
and we would walk beside life's shore watching the ebb and flow.
If we had just another hour, I would tell you how much I care
and promise you that if you ever need me, I will always be there.
If we had just another day, I would stand beside you all of your life
and ensure that you are protected from the slings, arrows and strife.
If we had just another day, I would write you a song to sing
to keep you occupied while I pulled out a diamond ring.
But we simply didn't have enough time for what I wanted to do.
It seems that long before I realized it, our dance was through.
The game has ended and all the musicians have gone home.
And now I'm simply left alone out in the cold to roam.
gracefully dancing through the air
swirling about like a whirligig
swirling through life
never in one place but for an instant
one with the music
Object of desire
a china doll standing on the shelf
drug off her pedestal
drug through life
drugs swirl her near reality for only an instant
the scene is the music
sneaks through the shadows
plays with those who cared
plays for life
had a chance for true love only for an instant
forgotten by the music
Forgotten old hag
barely able to walk
stumbling, spinning out of control
stumbling through life
her mind never in one place but for an instant
remembers youth’s forgotten music
life fading from her.
The air, bound with unseasonable warmth,
dances about as I sit
waiting for you…
My mind, drifting between images of the decaying neighborhood
and phantoms of you twirling
in my mind…
Stunned in self-amusement, I realize that
like a school boy on a birthday’s eve, I
await your arrival…
Conversations yet to be held wrestle with those
that never will find substance as I continue
to bide time…
More time passes than there are stars in the heavens
as I dream of the moment when
we will unite…
Travelers And Shadows
"I am a traveler," said the ashen knight
moving from the shadows and into the light.
"I have traveled boundless seas and seen evil’s face…
Never once laying down my sword or shield or mace.
"They say I am not human but I fear they lied…
Not so long ago I loved, but now that has died.
Or at least, that is the lie I try to believe
for broken hearts are easy to try and deceive.
"I have sworn by my sword to love never more.
Pretending to be happy, like I was before.
Yet there is a disturbance in my force and life
that reaches out and tears my soul like a blunt knife.
"Hearing your voice, my heart soars like an angel’s wings
reaching toward heaven as it twirls, dances and sings.
Like the fallen, your grace is just beyond my view
but each night I speak a prayer just to hold you.
"Beneath my armor, no one may ever see tears
and yet my love of you has awoke my dark fears.
So into evil’s shadows and away from the light…
I trust you will be kind with the heart of the Knight."
To a little girl with her blonde curly hair,
nothing is as secure as when her father is there.
To her, he moves mountains with the pass of his hand.
To her, he is the wall behind which she will stand.
There aren’t many heroes left today;
they have all rode into the sunset and faded away.
There isn’t anyone to push back the horrors of the night.
There are no cavaliers to stand up for what is right.
Once there were champions to leap through the air
and rescue the young damsel from danger and despair.
But Lord Robin and Little John are no more
and the tide of injustice reigns just as before.
Arthur lies buried across Avalon’s lake
and the good Templars have perished at the church's stake.
When even Superman was beaten into the cold ground
there were no other heroes left to be found.
"Only legends live forever," it was once said,
"while the men that make them are interred with the dead."
Yet within the heart of each man lies a fire
that burns strong and bright enough to forge an empire.
But life is filled with chaos above all
and the sturdiest wall will one day fall.
Oh, dear little child it will not be all right,
for a drunken fool has forever turned off your daddy’s light.
You sit next to me entranced, staring blankly off into space.
There is a fire in your eyes and a peculiar smile on your face
that betrays your thick cloak of silence and reflection
with subtle hints that you enjoyed our recent expedition.
The smudges and spots on your brow of the red spring clay
seem sharply misplaced as the flickering light dances its way
around the twisting strands of spun moonbeams of your golden hair
and yet these marks stand as monoliths of the journey that we share.
With each new-relaxed breath the you draw deep inside,
I puzzle at the vast unexplored world that you hide
behind your walls of deafening silence as you probe the sky
of sapphire for signs of a herald with the answer from on high.
You glance at me briefly, smiling warmly without a word
and in that instant, the silence sings the greatest chorus ever heard.
Then you retreat back into safety of your distant veil of stone
to perform a mental ballet that will forever remain unknown.
There are a million things I want to... need to... should say
but my words die unspoken, tragic victims in life’s play
of the need to preserve the delicate balance of our dance
yet I cannot but question if the smile betrays you in your trance.
Yes, dear lady, you still remain an enigma wrapped deep in mystery
but every second that we remain together, the more I can see
how important it is for me to understand the world beyond your stare
and to discover what enchantment can steal the heart of one so fair.
For now, next to your side I sit staring... merely watching you;
simply being content observing the vastness of the sky of blue.
Yet even the hardest of granite eventually cracks and gives way
and with luck, I will know the meaning of the smile one day.
There are many forms of pain in life...
When our horse throws us, we are bruised.
If we slam a door on our hand, our fingers shudder.
When we watch others suffering, we are frustrated.
As disease tears us apart cells by cell, we ache.
In times when friends die, we weep and grieve.
The death of a relationship tears at our heart.
Yet all of these forms of pain are mild
when compared to the damnation of the poor
wretched souls that experience true love
and cannot act to see their love realized.
Pity them for they are barred from entering
the ecstasy of Heaven and having felt
their unending desire unfilled, Hell, in its fury,
can offer no punishments to compare to their pain.
Pity those that have allowed themselves
the eternal condemnation of unfulfillable love.
Mourn those that know of the graces of Heaven
but forever are barred for Nirvana’s release.
Heed these words well ye mighty and despair.
Abandon all hope ye who choose to enter.
13 February 1995
Have you ever stood outside a pet store
watching puppies playing with each other?
At first they seem happy pouncing back and forth
yapping at each other in jestful challenge.
There are times in our lives, hard times...
when we would give anything to live like the playful pups...
We would love to laugh, to jump and to play...
To forget the cages that our lives are made of.
Just as such thoughts occur to me,
I dispel them back into the ether from which they came...
For even the frolicsome dogs rejoice
at the attention they gain from the casual observer at the window.
Few can deny the effervescent joy a puppy
as it has the bars removed to run free
once again among the fresh daisies and clovers
of the open field which stretches out before it..
Yet from the outside of that cold brick pet store
the puppies do at times seem so happy.
In all their vaulting back and forth at each other
could they have so quickly forgotten the joy of the field?
Oh, my dear Amanda, how did we create this chaos and decay?
When did we lose sight of all we once loved and held so very dear?
How did our greatest dreams so easily die, dry up and blow away?
Where were we when the forces of evil were born and grew so near?
Looking back, even the bad times seemed so majestic and grand.
The good times were forged from the very stuff out of our dreams.
Everything was so much more spectacular than we ever planned
and even the great Sun bowed and embraced us in golden beams.
There were picnics, dances, parties and a hundred songs to sing
as we enjoyed the our lives and the wonders of the world around.
Each new day was as beautiful as a new rose blooming in the Spring,
with crimson petals spread wide and not a single thorn to be found.
When the rains came, they were as gentle as the early morning dew,
giving life’s blood to the world and never asking anything in return.
The winds would caress us with their coolness as they passed through,
while the gentle Sun gave us warmth with a fire that could never burn.
Ignoring Eden, we wanted to be masters over all that we could survey.
So we built ourselves a new world, greater than any ever imagined before.
In the end, we paved over the flowers and smog drove the sun away.
For the name of progress, darkness was the crime we all tried to ignore.
Now, the hard rains that fall, burn the hands and eat skin from the face.
The fresh dreams have been washed away and only nightmares remain.
Our once jocund dancing music, has now gone— vanished without a trace.
Only dirges now fill the air, reflecting our troubled souls and inner pain.
The only flowers folks care about now are the kind that they smoke
and picnics in the park have given way to gangs fighting over dope.
Yes, it seems that, at last, mankind has fallen victim to his own joke.
Where once we lived in paradise, now we own a world devoid of hope.
Yet, even the most powerful of storms eventually must end its wrath
when the hatred and insanity that fueled it, at last draws to a close.
And somewhere a flower will break its way through the concrete path
that covers the world, proving that even in darkness, beauty still grows.
Oh, little sister, only we can secure our dreams and never let them die.
Only we can provide the vision to steer the others through evil’s night.
Against the rain, we must stand and protect the weak from the sky
until the storm is over and everyone can see our rainbow’s warm light.
Then, my dear lady, can we once again know the Sun’s gentle embrace
and listen to gentle violins of Summer as Vivaldi again fills the air.
Only after having faced the dark can we appreciate the light as we face
the future and overcome the oppressions that once caused us despair.
There is a tiny crack that I found in the Wall.
It wasn't very big-- truly no threat at all.
At first, I thought that mortar would do the trick,
But on closer inspection it became clear, the Wall needs more than brick.
Today I looked through the tiny little hole
and witnessed incredible sights of new and old.
What wonders were there, just on the other side!
Yet when my friends asked of it, I snickered and lied.
I told them that "There was nothing beyond the Wall."
I chuckled with triumph-- for I had fooled them all.
So I sat in front of the hole for the rest of the day...
Not again looking but to keep the curious away.
When morning came I returned to the place,
Yet the crack was repaired and clean was the space.
My window to the beyond was again no more,
But the wonders I alone had seen left me greater than before.
When I saw you yesterday, there was a tear in your eye.
You were upset that another lover had passed you by.
Your heart was filled with hurt and pain beyond compare
And you had given in to heartache and despair.
He said, "I love you" and "We will never ever part,"
Yet all that time he was simply playing games with your heart.
All he wanted was a warm body to use for the night
And you were forgotten by dawn’s first light.
Now you feel dirty and broken inside...
You are frustrated that you cared and he only lied.
Sometimes you want to scream and let it all out
But you have too much pride to let anyone see you pout.
He is not the first to hurt you and surely not the last
Unless we all learn lessons from the things in our past.
"People are inherently evil," preachers always say,
Yet if we look hard we may find a diamond in the clay.
Just like you once heard from a wise man of old,
your revenge will be a dish best served cold.
Someday he will crawl back with flowers in his hand
And it will be your chance ignore him and make a stand.
Yesterday, you were feeling depressed and alone
And you trusted me enough to make your pain known.
I can only speak to you about what I can see,
And that is a spirited young lady who is wild and free.
You have seen the signpost along the highway of life,
That proudly heralds the arrival of chaos and strife,
Yet you always survive with your head held high
while others shrink like violets, then whither and die.
Sometimes it's hard to accept pain and move on,
But time soon leaves memories after agony is gone.
You create what you feel and ultimately what you are.
Only you keep yourself from catching a star.
So don’t worry what other say to you or do,
Your flair for life will always see you through.
So today, let’s not shed a single new tear,
Because for you the future should present no fear.
You had a smile on your face today--
The first I had seen in a long time.
It was the kind of vision I dreamed to see--
A sight granted by the Divine.
Your eyes seemed to sparkle--
there was a new fire in soul.
There was a glow about you
which asserted that you were back in control.
You carried yourself like an angel aloft--
Yet wings weren't needed to hold you high.
The cheer in your voice said everything it must--
You would no longer have reason to cry.
You seemed to be happy when I saw you today--
and what joy the thought brought to me.
The world is too full of gloom and sadness;
It is long past time to set yourself free.
You were in love as I spoke to you--
I'm not sure you realize it yet, but that's okay...
In time you will understand from whence the glow came,
And 'til that time I will wait and never go away.
What fuels the fires of your rage and your hate?
What passion drives you to hurt those around you?
Did your champion not come or did he arrive too late?
Were the sacrifices made by your friends too few?
What causes the tears that stream down your face?
What pains you so very deeply inside?
How could any defeat have you feeling such disgrace?
Has someone you trusted betray you with a lie?
What demon has stolen your once bright light?
Did he promise you happiness with end?
Could he have touched you gently throughout the night
and left you with scars that will never mend?
Are those tears that now fall, like the autumn rain
on your soul, a testament to the sins which you must bear,
or could they simply be bitter monuments to the pain
which you must hold inside and can never hope to share?
Have you forgotten how your laughter used to sound
as we walked in the golden sands by the bay?
Did you forget that your true friends are always around
and that we will never be found very far away?
Do you even remember me and what we were all about?
Have the hardships of life so chilled your heart
that that the spark which fueled our friendship has burned-out?
Or have you chosen to move on and force us apart?
Last night I had a dream about a maiden with golden hair.
She was witty, charming, and ever the lady fair
as she spoke to the dark and weary recesses of my mind
and wove her ancient spell which caused our souls to bind
for all eternity in an embrace that transcended any trance
and called forth remembrances of the primeval dances
of old which stripped away the bindings of civil men
and thrust us headlong into the heart of unrepentable sin.
My wayward voyage suddenly seemed to alter its course
from the moment my named flew from her golden voice,
and asked me where my odyssey would carry me to.
My answer, a failed attempt to obey, came as but a few
words which failed to capture the spirit within my breast
and fueled my heart to wander endlessly without rest
until stumbling to describe the one true thing of my desire
which was embodied by the passion in her amaranthine fire.
Tonight, there are no dreams about an angel in the dreary night,
who steals my soul with her sharp wit and enchanting light.
No faint illusions dance about within my barely conscious mind
and weave their dark, enticing spells—promising happiness behind
the wall I have erected to protect my fragile ego from harm’s way.
Instead, into my world, like the shadowy twilight of the coming day,
Fate transforms my pale dreams, visions of hope, which I lock and hide
within my heart, into the enchanting avatar that rests by my side.
Have you ever thought about a tuning fork?
I mean really pondered exactly what it is they do.
When touched, it is cold, metallic and hard.
The smooth metal seems ordinary... common.
But when struck, something magical happens.
It achieves supremacy and frees a perfect ‘A’ note.
With each repetition, this simple tool grasps perfection.
No matter how hard or softly we strike, passion escapes.
It’s like the metal wants to reach out with its music.
Inside, there is something divine that craves freedom.
And once it releases its spell, it never wants to stop.
So, it hangs on to the enchantment until the energy fades.
Then, it returns to mediocrity, only shiny and cold,
Waiting patiently, silently for the next time it can sing.
As you enter the room, silence falls like cold rain
in winter while your presence steals their attention.
All the men struggle to refocus their eyes on
their dates before a critical threshold passes.
The women all whisper "bitch", "jezebel" and "whore"
in a sub-audible curses as you draw near.
Ironically, you are ignored, hated and
the object of lust (desire) simultaneously.
Your hair, a swirl of flame and light, is the topic
of debate from on-looking jealous seraphim
that claim you are blonde or that no mortal like you
should be given such an angelic appearance.
Oblivious to the conflicts being waged over you,
you twist your hair (as if it needs more attention!).
Like the great Pallas lording over the city
from her hilltop temple with spear and shield in hand,
there is a defiant power in your stance that
proclaims you sole lord of your own destiny and
elevates you so far above the scourge and wrath of
humanity that you must be a hidden god.
As you speak, the men gently tremble where they stand.
They wrestle to maintain their false decorum and
their composure even as their more savage and
primal instincts struggle to overcome ghostly
shackles imposed by our modern society
and its carefully crafted rules of etiquette.
Like a nervous school boy at the prom, butterflies
sail through my stomach like spring petals in a storm
as I build strength to make my way over to you.
I stare into the mirrors of your soul that are
shifting ocean tides of sapphire and emerald,
and I can see that you conceal some mystery.
What unforgiving nightmares does Lord Morpheus
haunt you with deep in the eternal arms of night?
What life has been stolen from you by winds of change
like the down of an April clover cast skyward?
Whose caresses slowly slip away from your thoughts
like blood that flows from a fading rose’s severed veins?
I wonder if the breathless others can see your pain.
Do they feel the desperate separation you
hide or are they fooled by the outward facade that
you use like a cloak to conceal your agony?
Why do they never see beyond the illusion
and hear the silent torture of your beating heart?
How empty the word that I now feel
that tears its way into my soul.
The wounds it makes remain unseen
yet the damage it does feels far too real.
How I do hate you most of all
as you strip me of my accomplishments and fame.
You, and you alone, have the power
to crush a man's pride and beat him 'til he falls.
How bitter is this disease you breed within men
and that grows more savage with each day.
Is this the curse placed on us by God
as retribution for some unknown and distant sin?
How much longer must we embrace
before I will leave you for great Pluto's shore?
Yet in death would I find escape
or does in there rest a more solitude, lonely space?
Too Many Questions
If I had you in my arms tonight,
Would I tell you that I love you?
If I had you in my arms tonight,
Would I say how much that I care?
Does it matter how much that I do for you,
If these simple truths with you I do not share?
If I were to hold your soft hand tonight,
Could I caress it like a mother does a babe?
If I were to hold your soft hand tonight,
Would our worlds ever be the same?
Do these questions to you sound like I rave
Or else do you cower from fear of shame?
If I were to wish you were here,
Would you gently reveal to me inner truths?
If I were to wish you were here,
Would you smile for me again?
Can these questions be but reflections of youth
Or are these merely signs of our end?
If I were to tell you that I will always be there,
Would you believe that I was telling the truth?
If I were to tell you that I will always be there,
Would you ever say "I do?"
And can in this lonely world these questions be answered?
The answer lies only within the heart of you.
Masquerade 95: Unbound Spirits
Do you know the kind of chill that makes your skin crawl,
as you walk alone down a dark, deserted hall?
Did you ever pass a graveyard late in the night
and thought you saw movement just out of the light?
Could you have heard the movement of steps in your room
only to find no one waiting inside the gloom?
Have you ever known a fear, beyond all compare,
when you hear the voice of someone no longer there?
Have you ever seen a shadow pass near your eye
that scared you so much, that you wanted to die?
Do you have the feeling someone watches you here
and can you feel down deep inside your growing fear?
Would you ever believe that the long dead could speak,
rising from the cold earth to wander and to seek
those that they hated throughout life's bitter charade
and draw close the curtain on man's Masquerade?
Masquerade 94: The Beast Within
There are times when the light fails to shine as bright
and shadows of gloom reach for you from the edge of sight.
It is a night of horror that lingers forever-- without end.
It is time to free the fiery passion of the Beast within.
After months of hiding in the shadows and gloom,
the Beast has risen to herald in death and certain doom.
Fear is the meat that shall feed the lust
And return the unfortunate from dust to dust.
It is time once more to end the civilized charade,
and return to the shadows of the great Masquerade.
The hot sun seems to suck the energy
out as it reaches from high overhead.
From this vantage point, the great god Re can
watch each of the ant people move about
like pebbles thrashed by the Nile during the
Season of Life. As far as the eye can
see, tanned workers, bowing under the heat
like oxen with heavy loads, go about
their daily routines. Laborers strain to
move the ominous stone blocks from the green
water’s edge and toward the temple of a
newly mortal immortal god-king, whose
name has already faded from the minds
and the prayers of the struggling masses.
At the edge of the great structure, a stone
statue of the new god stares out blankly.
Here, next to the waters of Eternal
Life, it is not uncommon to watch the
children playing with their wooden toys as
they sing the songs that only appeal to
the young or those of light spirit. In their
impassioned faces it is possible
to imagine a future without the
burdens that plague us in this world of pain.
Through the childish songs, those that are willing
to listen can find the answers that the
Book of Going Forth still fails to whisper.
As they dance about, even the gods must
find enjoyment in the folly and the
merriment that consumes youth’s every thought.
Along the river’s shore, the children’s eyes
spark hope and make promises of greatness.
In a home, made by station to be far
from sacred shores, gods hear their canticles
and receive offerings for far more than
the family can afford. The eldest
daughter of the house, barely seven, had been
blessed with a keen wit and eyes that Horus
would envy. Around her neck, Aika wore
a necklace of fine stones that had once been
her mother’s. She liked to imagine they
were as grand as those of the god-king’s wife
and that someday she would be a grand queen.
Some days she dreamed of a time when she could
work beside her mother. Then she would dress
and mark her raven eyes as an adult.
Standing outside her home, she imagined
the wonders that would pass before her eyes.
Each year, there comes a time of great joy for
those residing next to the life giving
River. It is a season where the dark
waters flow through the man-made channels and
nourish the crops that bring prosperity
to the sun-drenched lands. It is a time of
danger when the Nile can swell suddenly
and the only recourse is to yield to
the water’s power. It is a time when
a child of seven should not play so near
the shores. It is a time when prayers are
said, that gods hear their canticles called out
and receive offerings for far more than
the family could afford to make.
Now cold gray eyes stare up through fine linen
and promises of new life seem distant…
In a much simpler time, in a place that has become but a distant memory, he lived
by the great river. During this age, the men had not yet arrived and his only company
was the great animals that came to the edge of the river to drink. To him time was
meaningless, the past, present and future all collided in a blur of chaos. He saw
the arrival of the great cities and the God-Kings that would some day command the
river. He saw the great green marshes and savannas give way to the harsh, bitter
heat of the desert winds.
But most of all, he thought, he would miss the animals. Once they were gone, there
would be no one to keep him company.
At night he would marvel at the dance of the great stars above him and reach out
to them with all his might. But they would never accept his caress…
And so it was for a time… Not a long time or a short time… but some amount of time
that is needed to transform a paradise into an arid hell. To him, it was all-meaningless.
He neither felt, nor suffered, nor hungered…
But he did miss the animals… He would look into the heavens and for just a moment,
he was sure that the great dancing lights had formed their images.
The people had come and they sailed past him on the great river. Like ants crawling
across a carcass they went about doing just whatever it was that people did. Of course,
unlike the animal, these dumb creatures could not see him. They would simply avoid
being wherever he happened to be. And so it was for more time.
Then one day, a human pup came to the river’s edge like many humans do. This time
however, the pup sat by the water’s edge and spoke to Him. At least, He thought the
pup was speaking to Him. He wasn’t really sure, because language was something He
had never needed.
In all of his memory, no human had ever seen Him, much less spoken to Him. It would
have been a great curiosity to Him had He had the ability to feel. Then the pup did
something rather strange. The pup waded into the water… deeper and deeper. It didn’t
try to swim or to struggle as the rushing waters pulled in down into the darkness.
This caught His attention and he chased the drowning pup along the river’s bottom.
At some point, the pup tried to scream but the silted water choked off all sound.
Then He decided that the pup should not stay within the water. He reached out and
grappled the drowned pup. He wasn’t sure just how to hold the pup because he had
never touched a human before. As he surrounded the pup, he felt his energy start
to wane and for just a moment, there was time…
He felt the pounding of a heart… There was a burning rejection of water… The darkness…
The tumbling… Sharpness and ache… Agony…
Then He was free.
Stunned, He watched the body drag along the river’s bottom.
He knew that he would have Time again.
And he did. When he would see the humans walking alone near the river, he would surround
them and feel the pulsing of their hearts. He knew their fears and their dreams.
He saw their Gods and heard their silent cries.
At first, they were only his toys for a short Time. After mere moments, they were
all used up and He would have to find new playmates. With practice he could make
them last for a Moon or maybe even longer.
And so it was for a very long time.
Then things changed. More humans came to the river. These were different. There words
were new and their ways were exciting. Eventually, He took one of the new humans.
In their minds, he could see distant lands and great temples of marble. He heard
wonderful music and knew of their great mysteries. When that that human had expired,
He came to a decision.
One evening while looking up to the sea of lights, he decided that the time had come
to leave his river. As he made his way along the shore, stars rained from the Heavens
as if saying “farewell.”
And so his journey began. Where He journeyed, He left a trail of discarded humans
breadcrumbs to mark his path.
For what must have been a very long time (He knew this because when He was with a
human, He knew something about time), He explored the great cities and rivers of
the world. He met others of His kind along the way but generally He preferred to
wander in solitude.
Then there came the First One. The First One saw Him when he was without a body.
As He approached the First One, he could sense the blood and knew that the First
One was close to the discard point.
As He was about to travel on, the First One spoke to Him… to Him.
“Demon, angel or spirit…,” said the First One in Latin with far more strength than
a dying one should have had. “If you aid me, I will give myself to you…”
He paused for a moment.
The First One said, “Spirit, let me finish my quest I beg of you…”
He looked at the First One for a time… Why should He bother with a human that would
expire so quickly. No, it would take far too much energy…
He started to move away.
“Damn you then spirit, I will defy God and the Devil, to finish my task…” And the
First One started crawling away from Him.
If the human were that determined, why should He take Him. It would only be for a
moment and then the First One would expire.
He surrounded the First One and slid easily in.
From the moment He entered, He knew that something was different about this one.
The body responded easily to his thoughts. His vision… His vision was vibrant. He
felt alive like he never had before.
Unlike the other humans, he could clearly hear the voice of the First One talking
to him. It was calm and collected. He knew why the First One was so desperate to
As They stood up, there was no weakness. He felt the strength of the First One’s
convictions flowing through Them. He knew that he had found a match.
Together, They succeeded where the First One failed. And for many years, there was
great happiness. They gradually became less and less He and the First One while the
merged into a single being.
Then the world changed. Someone discovered the truth about Them. So in the name of
so-called religion, they bound the First One to a large pole. He tried to reach out
to the human’s minds but He had been with the First One for far too long. They were
As the flames consumed the body, He watched the embers floating into the sky like
a thousand stars rising back into the heavens. As He watched the First One’s body
being consumed, the skies opened up and ten thousands stars tumbled from their perches.
After that, there was darkness for a long while. Cities came and went. He just wandered
along the dark rivers. He was without shape and without form and without purpose.
And so it was for a time… Not a long time or a short time… but some amount of time
that is needed to transform a forest into barren city. To him, it was all meaningless.
He neither wanted, nor suffered, nor hungered…
But he did miss the First One… He would look into the heavens and for just a moment,
he was sure that the First One’s image had been formed by the great still lights.
From time to time, others would call out to Him and He would be there for a short
while. None of the others were what the First One had been.
Then as he drifted far away from the great river, He heard the voice of a small child
crying out into the night.
“Please help, me…,” whimpered the boy child with desperation. “Please help me… anyone….”
He paused for a moment.
“God,” continued the boy, “if you let me live, I swear by my existence that I will
He approached as the shattered boy slumped down against the concrete walls of the
“GOD DOESN’T MAKE BARGAINS…” He whispered into the boy’s mind.
“I just don’t want to die… I just want to go home…,” whimpered the boy into the shadows.
“Please don’t let me die…”
“THERE IS A COST TO EVERYTHING… YOUR FREEDOM MAY COST YOU MUST MORE…”
“Please… Please… Please…,” the boy said with fading strength.
And then He surrounded the boy and the boy was now His.
This time, the merge was different. Past, present and future slammed into Him. He
could clearly see everything that would pass in Their future.
He saw Them walking along familiar rivers and touching familiar walls. They read
in the old languages and the marveled at art that had long ago lost its meaning.
He saw the great triumph success and the hollowness of singularity. He watched as
They gathered and helped others of His kind become more aware. He held the hands
of the two great loves and cried over the first’s betrayal. He stood in the grassy
field and watched as the Heaven’s began the Countdown toward his death with a shower
of a thousand falling stars. On the same day for three years, the heavens would cry.
And He saw the End. The death of this boy that He would raise into a Man.
He wiped the single tear from Their eye and he moved into the future.
I’m spent… my magic is all but gone…
I’m tired… so very tired…
I saw something that I wanted… needed… and I went for it…
But like so many things I have attempted, I failed.
Now what am I going to do!?!
I love her…
But she can’t or won’t love me…
She says she does but it’s a lie. I can see it in her eyes and I can feel it in my
I have been such a fool.
Now it’s too late. I love her with all my heart and soul.
What do I do now? So I sit here… frozen by inaction. My heart aches, burns, for her.
But I know she doesn’t love me.
I just don’t know what to do or where to turn. There are times when I wish I was
stupid. You know, too stupid to catch on to the reality around me.
Instead, I have to superior and see through the illusion…
In The Temple Of A Once Forgotten Muse
The jungle growth is so thick, I can barely pull myself forward
through the tangles of the twisting vines which reach out with iron fingers.
Somewhere in the dark recesses of my fragmented mind, wayward
thoughts conjure up illusions of familiarity and linger
on the broken images of a forgotten ancient temple.
Beads of salty sweat caused by humidity sting my strained eyes
and I wonder why nothing in my life can ever be simple.
Yet, as I press on, the fear of the unknown I feel slowly dies.
I have walked this trail long ago wearing the sandals of another life
and carrying the burdens placed upon my soul by the hands of fate.
My legs, numb from fatigue and from the trickles of blood caused by knife
-like thorns barring my way, scheme with blind ambition to deviate
from my destination and to find safety beside a warm fire.
Blood, sweat, and grime paste my tattered shirt to my chest even as my
strength ( or is it hope) is sucked from me by the heat’s unseen vampire.
It is all I can do to resist the urge to lay down and die.
Time loses meaning (as if it held any before) until at last,
I find myself standing before a broken sun-bleached stone column
at the edge of a place that stands as a monument to the past
and rests in jungles of neglect: forgotten, deserted and solemn.
Weeds pry apart the white stones of the steps I climbed in my youth
while the defiling vines tear away gold which emblazoned ancient frieze.
Though crumbling and shattered beyond hope, this is where I found the truth
and the safe place that I left behind with such remarkable ease.
Mid-shrine, she stands there, in stone, a piece of art nearly two stories.
Sunlight leaps through her still glowing golden hair forming aureoles
of pure light as inspiring as when I first beheld her glories.
Her eyes are the mirrors through which men know the nature of their souls.
She seems untouched by the ages that have passed since I called her name
or uttered an invocation to the silent muse before me.
Looking at the marble statue I cannot recall why I came
but I know that having returned here I have set my demons free.
Among fallen columns I find a dead man in eternal rest
wearing what must have once been the fine robes from which all dreams were made.
There in crumbled hands, held tight next to ribs which once formed his chest,
he holds a tablet, so valuable to him that he must have paid
for it with his very life and yet, until today it was lost.
The cold stare of the naked skull tries to comment on its sad state
but as with fragile living things, silence is Death’s ultimate cost.
I lifted the work and read the words carved deep into the plate:
When the sun sets, what choice do I have but to embrace the cold night?
In winter’s embrace, summer is a dream as I trek through the sleet.
What once frightened me, fades from memory when exposed to the light.
Once the war is over and heroes dead am I any less complete?
After the ashes of hardship have disappeared, I know the great
Muse which once inspired my words and hopes has been replaced and ignored.
Her forgotten benisons, which I once used to dream and to create
have been replaced by new miracles and new worlds I have explored.
And though the language was one I had never heard and never read,
and, by all the graces in heaven and hell, should never have known.
I understood exactly what must have been passing through his head
and why he must have chosen to die here in this temple alone.
"It’s time to go..."
"Already? It feels like we just got here."
"Sometimes it’s like that."
"From what I can remember, it sure was a lot of fun."
"I can’t argue that point."
"There were so many people. Each one unique and interesting."
"Sooner or later everyone stops by, if only for a little while..."
"Oh, and the great dance was so fascinating. There was love and adventure and passion..."
"And pain... and hatred..."
"Yes, but as I remember, that was only a minor part of the story. The real focus
was on love. It was about how we all can be happy."
"How short sighted...."
"What do you mean? There were lovers, acts of kindness, sacrifices and children...
Lot’s of children."
"That’s true but wasn’t all of that just window dressing..."
"What do you mean?"
"The real story was the struggle to stay alive. And everyone ultimately loses that
"I suppose you’re right but I don’t believe life’s about how long we live. I believe
it’s about how we got along during the journey."
"But in the end, it's all meaningless. There are no second chances. Once you die,
"But that’s the point of having children. They are our immortality. Through them,
we live on eternally."
"Yes, but what’s the point. They live... they die. End of story."
"We also have the ability to start the ripples which can move all of humanity to
be better. Like a stone cast into a calm lake, we can start the wave of change. We
have the potential to aspire toward heaven’s purity..."
"Or shock Hell with the potential for evil."
"Yes, but that’s the gamble isn’t it. We are humans with the blood of billions of
years on our hands but we have the potentially to say ‘not today.’ Each morning when
we arise we can say, "Yes, I have the potential to be evil but I won’t do it today!’
And that’s all it takes. Every day saying, ‘I won’t do evil today."
"But people do not enjoy that path. It’s far too hard. Everyone wants the easy way
"But there are those noble characters who aspire toward a higher state. They sacrifice
themselves to me the world better. They raise humanity to a higher level through
their pains and their love."
"But they too die. And with their death, the cycle begins anew."
"No... that’s not true. Like the spark that starts a forest fire burning, their ideas
are carried with the wind to others. They inspire the next generation to reach higher.
Like I said earlier, they are the ripples in the pond."
"But given time, the ripples in the pond stabilize and disappear. Ultimately, the
pond returns to stagnation."
"But the importance is that the pond has been changed. No matter how hard one tries,
the pond can never be the same again. We have the potential to do the same to humanity.
We can stir-up the pond. When we love... when we cry... when we care, we change the
world around us. Every action that we take or don’t take changes our world."
"You presume that the changes improve the situation. What if they are negative? Or
more appropriately, what if the negative and positive cancel each other out?"
"That’s where our capacity for love tips the scale. It gives us the drive to fight
harder against the tides of evil. We have something to fight for, while the opposition
does not. The universe around us does not care whether we continue or not. So we
can use that to our advantage."
"But isn’t humanity its only true enemy? As dominant creature on this planet, humanity
could transform this world within a week. But they haven’t. Instead, they fight over
the price of apples."
"I can not deny that but look what we have done. We have walked on the moon. We stay
warm on cold Winter days and cool in the Summer’s heat. Diseases which once killed
thousands are now virtually unknown. We can travel half way across the planet in
a matter of hours. We have risen to unimaginable levels in just a short amount of
"And in the process, man has raped the planet and left it for dead. Where old diseases
have passed, new more deadly ones have arisen. Entropy can not be stopped."
"Entropy? I cannot believe that mankind is destined to decay. We have too much to
offer the universe. We have too much that we can do before it’s all over."
"But as you pointed out, ‘the universe does not care whether mankind continues or
not. All things die. Winter always follows Summer. Nothing can be done to stop that."
"I guess your right. I’m going to miss being here."
"Perhaps, but all good things must come to an end."
"Well then, I guess it’s time to go..."
"Yes, sometimes it’s like that."
Tales of the Dragon
There was a time when I was quiet small,
that I met a man dressed in gold.
He carried a book, as I recall,
and he said it was a million years old.
I laughed when I heard what he spoke,
for I thought it was but a lie.
His words must be no more than a joke,
which he believed in my youth I would buy.
Yet I decided to give him just one chance.
So, I told him I would listen to his magical tale
and before I realized it I was entranced.
The stories, I have carefully scribed here without fail.
A More Bitter Taste Than Tea
Once upon a time in an imaginary land there lived a good knight called George. Throughout
the land he was known for his virtue, charity, and bravery. One day while riding
his horse through the dark woods of the land of Discontent, he came across a maiden
with golden hair resting against a tree.
"Good day, my lady," he called to the stranger as his horse paced beside her.
"Good day, Sir knight," the Lady responded. "What brings you so far into this disconsolate
"I walk the world alone in the hope of doing good," the paladin responded. "And besides
there seems to be far more evil dragons lurking about in the forest."
The Lady smiled with a Cheshire grin and asked if he would mind having a cup of tea
with her so that she could hear of his great adventures. Flattered by the generosity
(and never one to pass up an offer from a beautiful woman), Sir George gladly consented,
tied his barded steed to a tree and the Maiden led the flower of chivalry deeper
into the forest.
"Do you save many damsels in distress?" the Lady queried.
"Only those that truly need my help... My job is one filled with danger but the most
important part of it is choosing right from wrong. After all, what good would it
do to rescue a maiden from an evil knight if she were in love with the evil knight?"
"I see," the Lady mumbled as she twisted her hair. "How do you tell if a knight is
evil? Does he always wear black? Or are his teeth as sharp as lion’s?"
"No dear lady, nothing like that... Evil has always been relative. Most folks don’t
even consider there actions evil. Is a dragon truly evil if it kills a person while
looking for a decent day’s meal? Is it wrong to kill a robber when he’s threatening
the life of your family? I think not."
After wandering for what seemed like an eternity, the pair reached the outside of
"Within that cave is where I live good Sir knight." the Lady said cheerfully. "I
think your way a thinking is most honorable and I am sure that you must be a most
excellent warrior. Most of all, I am glad that you have come to tea with me."
Beguiled by the charms of the Lady, the knight-errant overlooked the clumps of dragon
dung to the left of the cave's entrance. His thoughts hung on her every word as she
questioned him about his latest quest. Resting his shield and helmet by the doorway,
he overlooked the portrait of the golden-haired damsel and the tall scaly creature
hanging in the hallway.
Seating themselves in a large den, which had been burned out of the granite around
it, the paladin described saintly acts and lost, loves as the Lady poured the cinnamon
As the conversation continued, Sir George of the Huntington soon discovered that
the Lady lived in this castle of rock with her husband who was out preparing for
the evening meal. Feeling himself grow suddenly more tired with each passing moment,
the knight struggled to follow the conversation but found the world about him beginning
He never even saw the rather large red dragon that killed him.
What’s the moral to this little journey, dear soul? Never have tea with a maiden
while sitting in the dragon’s lair.
By now you all know the story of the old dragon Tor-Ree,
who lived atop the peak of the jagged Mount of Entropy.
They say he’s been there for almost a thousand years without end.
and that he suffers from a form of pain that even time can’t mend.
One day a hatchling, known as Amos from the Dark Green Sea’s edge
decided he must know more about the one upon the ledge.
He flew as high as he could and climbed the rest hand over hand.
Reaching the peak, he found Tor-Ree gravely surveying the land.
"Tell me old one, what sin has condemned you to this lonely place?
What crimes have you executed that could cause one such disgrace?"
inquired Amos with an air of urgency within each word
but the old dragon sat there pretending he had never heard.
For three days the pair sat there and not once had the old one spoke.
Finally Amos grew tired of the ancient one’s subtle joke.
Just as Amos rose, dusted off and began to walk away.
Tor-Ree looked up and decided that he had something to say.
"There was once...," crackled the archaic one from his unused throat,
"a woman so faire that even the most stoic would take note.
Hundreds of years now past, it still hurts to hear the name Lenore
and know I will wait forever for the one I most adore.
"We first met in the time before the Glass Desert came to be,
where we lived in a hamlet at the edge of the Southern Sea.
Lenore, though young, was the model of charm, of wit and of grace.
Just a trivial word or glance from her would make my heart race.
"She was everything that I dreamt of while listening to the ocean’s roar
for truly nothing could compare to the majik of Lenore.
Over the years, we became an almost inseparable pair
and in truth, I would have done anything for my lady so faire.
"From within her passionate soul, emerged an incessant light
whose purity peeled away the uncertainties hidden within the night
and, for the first time, left my poor, wretched soul free to explore
the wonderment that life had to offer me forever more.
"I was far happier with her than my limited vocabulary can say.
To me, she is warmer than the golden orb, which heats the day
and she is more radiant than the brightest stars or moons above.
In truth, on earth no other dares compare to the one I love.
"There comes to every afternoon, a time for darkness to fall
and the nearing of night is an event that we may not stall.
For night’s embrace serves its purpose in the Cosmic wheels
and the unmerciful Fates don’t care whose love they try to steal.
"She told me that she ‘needed more time and that she would return.
All the world lay before her and she had so much more to learn.’
Not wanting to hold her back I told her it was time to go
yet the pain from each word was more than anyone else could ever know.
"I said ‘I couldn’t wait forever!’ and then I crawled up here
where I have sat alone lamenting many a horrid year.
Hoping... praying...begging for mercy with all my shattered heart
that one-day she will return and we will never again part.
"An eternity passed as I waited on this mountain top
for the unyielding anguish within my broken heart to stop
but like the pain Prometheus bore, the hurts renews each day
with thoughts of my now absent favorite living so far away.
"So that, young one, is my lamentable tale of pain and woe
so carry my tragic story to every lover you know."
Then silence fell as the ancient one looked out over the land.
Amos rose paused a moment and then simply said "I understand."
That day the hatchling Amos stared out across the Dark Green Sea’s shore
thinking about the irony of the story of Lenore.
A single acidic tear rolled gently from his great wide eye
as he watched the great golden orb setting in the crimson sky.
Now you know the rest of the tale of the famed dragon Tor-Ree
and of why he sits high atop the rugged Mount Entropy.
Yes, dear children, he’s suffered through a thousand of years of pain
but his sacrifice testifies to how well love does sustain.
The crisp night’s air twinkled in anticipation as Christof made his way through the
great forest. Already he was late for his appointment with the mighty and all, too-powerful
Dracus Imperious, the Dragon King.
Cutting through the evening’s shadows, a warm light danced about from the Great Cave’s
gold encrusted entrance. Humbly, Christof with his coppery neck and his well-armored
belly dragging, crawled toward the massive throne.
"Speak," thundered the ancient one from atop the throne in a tone that reminded Christof
of a parent speaking to a child.
"I... I am Christof," he stuttered with a tremble. "I thank your lordship for indulging
"Get to the point!" interrupted Dracus.
"Well, your omnipotence, I have spent my whole life studying the legends of the Mythical
land of Realtus. According to the ancient text, it is a land where gems are as large
as cows and purer than honey. The air is filled with the sweet smells of fairy dust
and the warmth of the sun is divine. It is a place free from war and hate. One can
simply kick back, curl his tail up, and eat gems until he’s pink in the face."
"And what of this children’s tale?" growled the Dragon King in a slightly impatient
"My dear, most generous and wonderful sovereign, I have used the forbidden elven
majiks and invoked the name of the High Elf Lord, Ernie..."
"My Gods... What has possessed you!" roared the Dragon King more in fear than in
"I have located Realtus," peeped the trembling dragon.
The words hung in the air for what seemed like hours. For the moment, no one dared
even to breath.
Suddenly, in a roar of celebration, the Great Dragon voiced his approval and preparations
were made for the long voyage.
For many months, Christof worked day and night to prepare the ship that the Dragon
King had granted him for the journey. Day after day, he recalculated just how long
the odyssey would last and how far Realtus was. Every thought was, however, driven
by dreams of how sweet the air would be and how wonderful the gems would taste.
When his contemporaries would encourage him to play volley-human, he would remark
that the games in Realtus would be much more stimulating and then he would walk away.
When friends would ask him to fly with them, he would remark that "The skies above
Realtus were so much bluer, that to fly in the dreary skies above was unthinkable."
As the time for the departure grew closer, Christof grew more obsessed with the majesty
that awaited him in Realtus. Each passing day saw him grow weaker from lack of food;
because as Christof would say, "The gems in Realtus were made of such high quality,
that the anticipation of their taste made all other gems taste bitter."
The day that the great ship left for Realtus, all of the dragons in the realm attended
the celebration. The best gems were provided by Dracus Imperious as food for the
crew. Trumpets declared the importance of the event as squadrons of dragon soldiers
flew in formation above. The Dragon king gave a wonderful speech about the importance
of discovery and progress. Beautiful ladies kissed the mariners for luck even as
other patrons donated the finest of clothing.
Silently, from the bridge of the Obsession, Christof watched the revelries of the
lower decks. Struggling to stand, he staggered to the announcement platform.
"It is time...," said Christof weakly.
His first officer, hearing the mumbled words cleared the ship of visitors and the
voyage was begun.
For weeks, the tiny ship made its way across the turbulent waves that lay between
them and Realtus. Even as the ship’s quest continued, Christof grew more infirm from
lack of nutrients. Logicus, his first officer, begged the stubborn captain to eat,
but the only response was "In Realtus, the gems are much sweeter. It is worth the
At the mid-point of the night of the 187th day, the lookout spotted land. Logicus
was awaken to confirm the sighting as standard protocol demanded.
Ordering the ship to half speed, the blue dragon peered through his looking glass
and clearly saw the moon lit beaches of the new land.
It was Realtus. It had to be.
Rocketing across the deck to Christof’s cabin, the first officer pounded at the door
like a battering ram. Seconds seemed like minutes as he eagerly anticipated telling
the captain of the success.
No one responded.
Opening the door, Logicus could see the captain still leaning over the charts of
the way to Realtus. Approaching the great oak table, Logicus knew even before he
reached Christof that the explorer was now venturing in the undiscovered country
As Logicus sat on the glistening shores under the bluest skies anywhere and ate his
fill of gems the size of cows, his mind for a brief instant drifted back to Christof.
"Alas, poor captain, you were right."
May All Your Days Be Olde
Once in the city by the dark blue sea
a dragon named Kalvin, grew old.
Rumors whispered that he was ten thousand and three...
some elders claim he was many, many more.
Nowhere under the clouds hanging in crimson sky
had ever a dragon lived so long.
The young asked, "When will he die"?
as they too grew old and sang their songs no more.
Generally, dragons simply adore all the pomp of their birth;
there are festivals, and dances too often to count.
But great Kalvin wanted nothing but to hide in the earth,
and be bothered by the foolish children no more.
You see, as dragons grow old, their magiks grows stronger,
until at last they are too powerful and cease to be.
But Kalvin held on to his power much longer,
because he refused to let his magic go free.
Most dragon rejoice in the art of displaying,
their powers before the young ones while they fly.
Yet while using their magiks, their control is decaying,
so that by the time they grow old they will die.
Kal never was one to show off himself when he flew
and he always felt it was far more important that his peers
remember him for what he did and not for what he knew.
This was the strength than conquered death and took away his fears.
Once, I heard rumor that a dragon of bright gold,
came to steal great Kalvin’s magiks away.
But only a foolish, evil child could be so bold,
and ancient Kalvin was prepared for the day.
There once was a great forest of glass beyond the emerald hills,
and that was where Kalvin and the gold dragon clashed.
The forest burned as they worked to break each other's will,
their jaws crunched and their claws slashed.
The gold dragon realized he bit off more than he could chew,
as he was burned by great Kalvin’s magic flame.
But it was over for the gold dragon for he was now through,
for Kal’s claws were quite sharp and so was his magik's aim.
Yes, children, in the city by the sea of dark blue,
a great silver dragon named Kalvin will now sleep.
His ten thousand three years are now through
and his magiks are again his to keep.
Long ago in the grasslands, just south of the Darkwood,
beyond the Mercury River, a small dragon village stood.
In that hamlet, a hatchling named Amanda was born,
who destiny decreed would live a life of scorn.
Amanda was different from most dragon of her day,
because once she had an idea it would never go away
until she had seen whatever challenge she met through
but just where the obsession would end, no one quite knew.
The other hatchlings laughed when Amanda looked to the sky
and told them stories about how some day she would fly
so high that she would be able to reach out and touch space
and feel the light of the stars caress her ruby face.
So each day she would practice harder maneuvers in flight
from the time that she awoke until the crimson sky’s last light.
Friendless, she focused on the great challenge at hand,
for it was a sacred task she held which no one could understand.
Each passing day Amanda did her best to put up with the grief
but it seemed an endless task with little hope of relief.
Still each morning she lifted herself a little higher into the sky
while the pleasures of companionship simply passed her by.
When she turned nineteen, still quite young as Red Dragon’s go,
there were whispers that she was the best flyer by those in the know.
Nowhere else in the world was there anyone who could compare
to her expertise and power as she moved through gracefully the air.
Then one day a councilman came to fair Amanda and spoke,
"We have a special mission for you and this is not a joke.
For years you have flown higher than all the rest,
some say that when it comes to flying you are the best!"
Amanda didn’t know just what she should say,
but of course she could out fly anyone, any day!
The elder spoke with purpose in his voice
about the dangers and that Amanda was the only choice.
She was to fly higher than any dragon had ever before
and finally, a challenge that made her heart soar.
She was to be the first to touch heaven’s pearly gate
and in the process make the hamlet look great.
With excitement bubbling just under her brow,
she told the councilman that she was ready to go now!
Every dragon in the village came to watch her that day
standing at the town’s center, she looked up and was away.
"Fly higher... Fly higher... Fly higher!" shouted the crowds,
until finally dear Amanda was higher than the clouds.
She started to rejoice as the blue parted, for at last she was there,
but then came panic and burning lungs as she ran out of air.
So far from the earth, in the heaven next to space,
the daring young flyer starting falling from her place.
Spinning around like a great top, twisting free and loose,
Amanda tried and tried to stop her fall but it was no use.
As she was falling, she knew that she was soon to be through,
so Amanda decided it was time to try something new.
She spread open her wings almost twenty-feet wide
and instead of her flapping, she just tried to glide.
Just when the crowd was filled with doom and despair,
Amanda found herself coasting on the pockets of air.
Everyone danced about her for hours it seemed
and Amanda knew that finally she was at last redeemed.
So when next, little dragons, you look into the sky and stare,
simply remember that unshakable determination put Amanda there
and next time someone mocks your dreams to your face,
simply tell them the story of how Amanda reached space.
The Greatest Composer
The crimson sky over the land of Rubies
once was filled with the sweet music
of the greatest of all dragon composers, Marti Consentus.
Marti could create a dragon song a day
and each song brought tears
to the eyes of the young dragon girls.
Each note that he created was divinely inspired
and perfectly followed the note before.
So great was the fame of Marti Consentus
that dragons traveled great distances,
from beyond the great desert just over the emerald hill
and some as far away as the edge of the land of men,
just to hear the beautiful music.
His songs were his magic and the spells that he cast
have never been surpassed anywhere before or since.
It is true, what they say, that Marti Consentus
was the best that there ever was or will be.
Yet this story must have changed somewhere along the lane,
as he navigated the great cross waters of time,
for very few of you knew of the music that came from him,
the master of the great dragon song.
One day as the great master was composing what may have been
the greatest of all dragon songs, a man came to him
and offered to improve the music of great Marti Consentus.
Marti listened to the human describe a great machine,
which could turn the music into writing at once.
He told great Marti that with such a great thing
he could create three dragon songs a day.
Hearing the man’s offer, Marti thought for a while,
pondering the little human’s every word.
Three dragon songs a day would be beyond incredible
and would shake the foundations of the music world.
Everyone would now hear the great music of Marti Consentus.
No longer would he have to spend a day creating, writing,
and learning his new, improved dragon song.
For now in the land, by the city of the dark blue sea,
a device would give Marti the gift to create many new songs.
When offered this device, Marti didn’t think twice,
for now all the world would see his true genius.
The device, paid for in gold, was given to Marti Consentus.
For the next three straight days, Marti slaved away
creating musical score after score.
These may have been the best works ever of Marti Consentus,
but he was writing so fast he could not stop and listen.
To write, to write, that was the passion this night
of the great dragon songwriter and his device.
Well after eleven superior songs of the dragon lore,
Marti grew tired from the push.
He sat back, to catch his breath,
but the machine kept writing for Marti Consentus,
and it seemed far from through.
Surprised as he was, he leaned forward and told
the music device that it must now stop, but
the machine failed to hear the pleas of Marti Consentus.
At last in a rage that lasted for days,
Marti smashed the machine in the rocks,
but the battle was over and the greatest of the composers,
was no longer the greatest of old.
The machine had now beaten Marti’s compositions to pieces,
and left his career in shambles.
The world no longer cried to hear a song by Marti Consentus,
instead they looked to a squirrelly man with a book
and a device that bested the greatest.
Once again the sky over the land of Rubies, is filled
with sweet music of the greatest of the dragon composers,
But nowhere can be found a single work by Marti Consentus.
The machine can create ten songs a day,
and somewhere far, far away they bring tears
to the eyes of old, great Marti Consentus.
Long before the age of men, in a time when dragon’s ruled the land,
a great dragon searched for the perfect gem to fill his golden band.
Both near and far he was known for the wonderful deeds he would do
and it was said that unlike most silver dragons, his enemies were few.
One morning, a salesman offered the most beautiful ruby ever found.
Its fire fueled the passion of ruby collectors for hundreds of miles around.
Even though the great silver dragon, for this gem, lusted and desired,
this one fell short and was not the prize for which he had always aspired.
Once, the great Imperial king offered a reward for a deed that was done.
He presented the most brilliant diamond ever to rest under the golden sun.
Though the diamond’s resplendence sparkled without that of compare,
the dragon knew that the passionate love he needed, was simply not there.
One day while walking, the dragon came upon an emerald that seemed to be
the most perfect treasure that he had ever raised to his eyes to see.
He studied it for hours, pondering its facets in the day’s shifting light.
After reflection, though it was wonderful, something wasn’t quite right.
Late one night, while resting next to a rock forged from times of old,
he was tired of searching for the gem needed to fill the ring of gold,
when he noticed a small stone glistening in the moonlight’s pale beams.
He reached out and plucked the sapphire from the stone road’s seams.
Its blue core, a passionate fire, captured the dragon’s neglected heart.
Once he heard its sweet songs, he knew that from it, he could not part.
At last he knew just what it was that filled his soul’s desire—
It was the cold, azure light that waited within the heart of his sapphire.
The Last Word
Across the fog-blanketed moor, Sir James clattered in his silvery, wet armor as he
stalked his prey.
"Here it ends," he thought to himself without hearing his lips release the words.
After battling his opponent for eight years, the conflict had entered its final moments.
Pausing for a second to re-secure the makeshift bandages that covered his left arm,
the paladin prayed that his wounds wound not stop him from completing his holy mission
and ridding the world of the Evil one.
Breathing hard, the knight forced his eyes to probe the shadows for any sign of the
monster that he stalked. He knew the creature was out there waiting for him. The
question was "where"?
Cautiously, the good knight moved across the field where the only sounds were those
that sprang from the rattling of his armor. The faded sky above him grew grayer as
the sun yielded to the threat of the nighttime sky; yet, the champion of chivalry
pressed forward. Before him, the moor ended. Beyond it lay the Dark Wood of Malcontent
where he and the Spawn of Satan had first met.
It would be waiting there for him.
Unsheathing his broadsword, the knight prepared himself for the battle. When this
latest round in their eternal fight had begun earlier in the afternoon, James’ shield
had sacrificed itself in preserving his life. Having failed to protect the arm that
carried it, the pavis had purchased its owner the time he needed to deliver what
should have been the killing blow. Yet the hatred, which had fueled the conflict
over the years, had given the monster Odeen the strength to escape.
This time, it would not be so fortunate. Now, Lucifer’s child would pay for the burned
villages and the imprisoned maidens that it left in its wake. The monster’s defeat
had been the sole quest of the man in the suit of metal for many years and now victory
was at hand.
Into the forest the warrior ventured as shadowy forms danced wildly through the blackness
of the branches. The silence about him was deafening. Still he pressed on.
As sweat rolled down the paladin’s brow, his keen eyes found evidence of the beast.
Glowing like the last light of a dying candle, a pool of the dragon’s blood congealed
along the truck of a fallen tree.
"I’m coming for you," the knight errant shouted as rage filled his voice. "Tonight
you will die."
The only response was silence.
Deeper into the brush, Sir James ventured.
From all around him a hollow voice softly spoke, "Hello, old friend... And so it
ends. Our dance with death at last has drawn to a close..."
Every muscle in the crusader’s body tightened. Pushing his senses to the limit, the
gallant cavalier readied himself for the attack.
Not being one for melodrama or suspense, Odeen the Dragon crashed through the forest
behind the knight and the fray was renewed.
An orgy of fire and blood danced through the ashen sky, while the clanging of sword
and claw drowned out all other sounds. Hours seemed to pass as the two enemies ripped
away at each other. Finally one of them lay dead among the twisted debris of what
had once been a forest. Fragments of armor and broken scale littered the scene while
nothing dared to stand.
Wearily, the knight arose from where he had fallen out of exhaustion.
So much of his life had been dedicated to fighting the beast, which now that it was
over, there was no satisfaction. He stared at the broken body before him.
"What was left for me?" he wondered. The last of the dragons was now dead and as
everyone knows, without dragons, knights are very close to being useless.
Sir James looked down at the splintered remains of his great sword that rested on
the ground in front of him. It had served him well over the years but now it was
useless for the were no more dragons to fight. Those talents that he had honed would
no longer prove to be useful. In many ways he had defined his life by his enemy and
now that Odeen was dead, he had nothing.
Of course, there would be other foul villains for him to face: black knights and
foul wizards. But none would prove as challenging as Odeen.
Throughout all of the years they had been enemies, he never would have considered
the possibility of mourning the death of the beast but now he wasn’t so sure.
Leaving his sword where it rested, the paladin turned and slothfully made his way
through the dark night to face an unknown future.
So you laugh at the marvelous tales that I spoke,
and you think that my muses are too grand.
I would tell you, dear children, that this is not a joke,
but I am afraid that you wouldn’t understand..
Yes, there was a time when I was quiet small,
and I spoke at length with wise a man of old.
He read from the ancient tome that revealed all
of the stories of the Dragon which have been told.
Then he looked up at me with a spark in his eye
and a faint grin creped across his wrinkled face.
Then from his back grew wings and he started to fly
back into the bitter cold darkness of outer space.
Epilog: Le Morte de James
He stopped to rest for a moment. He hadn’t remembered it being so far. And was the
forest always this thick? Was it always this hot? Well, at least he wasn’t wearing
He squinted and forced his failing eyes to survey the ashen sky overhead. It would
be dark soon and that meant the chill of the night would soon creep into the world
about him. He hadn’t prepared for that contention.
The last time he was here, he was in such a hurry to arrive, that he had hardly noticed
how far he was traveling. But that was a long time ago... a time now forgotten by
just about everyone.
But the trees, the trees would remember. As he looked about, he realized that the
young saplings surrounding him could not have been here the last time he was. Of
course, the dragon’s fire had burned the forest around him. How could he have already
forgotten that? Thirty years sure could change a place...
Slowly, he shifted his weight and continued on as he limped on through the thick
brush. If he could still ride a horse, the trip would have been easier. One too many
falls had ensured him that his days as a horseman were over. With a steed, he could
have been here in half the time.
Hacking his way through the briars, he stopped only to nurture his nagging cough.
There were times when he thought his lungs would simply give up but he wouldn’t let
them. Not today. He had a final quest to achieve today. Tomorrow, he could rest.
Finally, through the thorns, he caught a faint glimpse of rusting metal.
So there it is. Hobbling over to the ruined steel, he hoisted the broken and oxidized
remains of his broad sword into the air. It was amazing that after all these years,
he could even recognize it as his sword. But the sword had given its life protecting
him. Foolishly then, he had abandoned it here after the battle. he didn’t think he
would need it anymore. He had killed his nemesis. The war was over.
He had been wrong. Not about the killing his nemesis part, but about the war. It
never ended, there was always some form of evil lurking about in the shadows. Every
time he thought the war was over, someone else had moved in the picture. And every
time, he had been standing in the evildoers' way.
Things had never quite been the same after that day though. No one else could compare
to the evils Odeen had mastered. No one else could quite generate the sheer terror
in the population. No one else tormented as many maidens or destroyed as many villages.
And no one else ever had been a worthy adversary to him.
Briefly, his mind wandered back to the final chase and the battle. He vaguely remembered
something about losing his shield in the fight. He slothfully stretched his now arthritic
left arm in the position he had once used to hold his pavis. It automatically held
His eyes strained to find Odeen’s resting place. There it was. There is where the
monster had fallen. The bones were gone now. Either decayed away or serving as a
keepsake for some forest animal. But that was where the beast was felled.
Shuffling toward it, he felt the texture of the ground shift. Laying his sword beside
him, he felt the earth beneath him. Half buried in the dirt and leaves, he found
the remains of one of his gauntlets. Now decayed beyond any hope of use, he still
forced the tattered glove on his left hand, which was still locked into the shield
position. Picking up his rusted blade, James continued toward the point where Odeen
"Hello, old friend... So it ends. Our dance with death at last has drawn to a close...
Tonight we will die and with us the memories," he screamed out into the ether. And
somewhere, deep in the darkening forest, an owl was awoken by the noise.
His minded became enchanted by the memory of that moment. Madly he flailed about
at the dark shadows of the limbs around him. Lunging wildly in every direction, he
slashed at the phantom of the long dead dragon. The imagined spirit always proved
to be too quick and his broken blade never did make contact.
The strain was more than he could take. He watched the world spin about him as he
dropped to the forest floor.
Wearily, the knight arose from where he had fallen.
So much of his life had been dedicated to fighting, that now that it was over, there
was no satisfaction. He stared at his broken and aged body. His once mighty arm trembled
"There is nothing left for me" he said looking up to heaven. "The last of the dragons
is dead and without dragons, I am useless! I am old. Let me die..."
Sir James looked at the splintered remains of the rusted great sword he held in his
hand. It had served him well over the years but now it was useless because he no
longer had the strength to fight. Those talents that he had honed over the years
are no longer useful. They were betrayed by the failing of his all too human body.
In many ways, he had defined his life by the enemies he kept and now he was prepared
to join Odeen.
There would be no more foul villains for him to face. And if there were, he no longer
had the strength to face them. Better to fade away than to die a sickly, old man.
Throughout all of the years since the final battle, he pondered whether Odeen rested
in the after-life laughing at him for the wreck his life had become. Yet, in his
heart, he felt that Odeen would have been saddened to watch him die of old age. There
just wasn’t enough time. There never was.
From all around him a hollow voice softly spoke, "Hello, old friend... I’ve waited
quiet a long time for you to join me..."
With lightning reflexes, the ancient knight-errant spun about to prepare for an attack.
"I have come for you, James," said the hollow voice. "The game begins anew... We
now have an eternity to finish."
"Spawn of Satan, I shall not rest until your kind is no more...," yelled James with
Leaving his body where it eternally rested, the paladin turned and joyfully made
his way through the dark night to face an unknown future without end.
The Early stuff
Or stuff that just plain sucks
A Walk In Milo's Meadow
I have never written about true love
for I live in a world of hate.
I have never danced with angels from above
and I pray it's not too late.
I have never asked to stop the pain
that lingers throughout the land.
I have never stroked a lion's mane
or given any beast a caring hand.
I have never walked along the Alaskan shores
and looked at mankind's wrath.
I have never explored the British moors
or wandered the dying Amazon's broken paths.
I have never stood under the sky
with the crumbling world about me still.
I have never seen a planet die
and I pray to God that I never will.
There Is One Less Star In The Sky
There is one less star in the sky tonight.
There is one less angel above.
They say that death has turned out the light;
They say that death has crushed the dove.
There is one less verse in the song of life.
There is one less lark to sing.
They say it was caused by hate and strife;
They say there won't be a Spring.
There is one less joy for me to know.
There is one less heart for me to share.
They say it was time for you to go;
They say that you would never have cared.
There is one less flower to brighten the day.
There is one less masterpiece to see.
They say that the curtain had fallen on your play;
They say that we weren't ever meant to be.
There is one less reason for me to live.
There is one less light in the sky.
They say that you had nothing more to give;
But I think their words do lie.
A Friend in Need
I won’t have to say good-bye to you.
There are no more words for me to say.
To me, it was clear that we were through
the day you went away.
When times were darkest you called for me
and like a paladin, I ran to be at your side.
But now that the storm has gone and you are free,
I’m like a coat on a summer’s day— cast aside.
There were times when we were very close
and we knew each other’s thoughts well.
Now I find that rapport but a ghost
as I am left alone in my own private hell.
I looked upon a great angel
whose hair was forged from gold.
Her every move drew the attention of the stars.
She was brave and young and bold.
As she walked the world stood silent
while she lordly strolled by.
All of heaven was hers to command:
the earth and moon and sky.
I once looked upon and angel
whose beauty was beyond compare.
Never before (and never since)
have I beheld a goddess so fair.
There is something that I must tell you before I go...
There is something that I really should say...
It's nothing that I'm well practiced at,
so bear with me and I'll try any way.
I've never been much of a lady's man...
Quite frankly most ladies give me a fright....
Yet when we're together something special happens
and everything seems to work out right.
Every time that I'm around you, my heart leaps for joy...
Never have I met another for whom I could care more....
As old as I am these cold winter days,
There are none like you that I adore.
When first we met, you were less than a friend...
You were simply another casts among the crowd...
But now your soft voice, gentle face and flowing hair call to me
And they do so strong and loud.
The Lord knows how careful I've been not to push too hard....
Yet with each passing day, you've become more important to me....
You are now a vital part of my existence,
like a sailor and his need to return to the sea.
Yet I fear when my words are known, that the majik will be undone...
You will have felt a different song with your heart....
And once again I will be left to wander--
To walk alone through desolate, yet all too familiar, parts.
But for the chance that you and I could be together...
If only I could be certain... If only I could see...
I would give up all that I am today
In the vain hope of setting my love free.
A Poem For A Lady
When I first thought to write of you,
No lines fell on the page...
For how could I describe your majesty?
No words did I dare phrase....
I thought to write of you a second time
And the images were so immense...
How could an amateur at the art of words,
Hope to capture your elegance?
The third time I tried to write,
You were there within my soul...
Here I had the inspiration to try
To show the world your whole...
That time was not the last,
And never could it be...
For each time I looked into your heart,
There is more and more to see.
I have no more tears...
I will not cry...
The future is filled with fears
But I refuse to lay down and die.
At every turn I tried to fight...
I always stood my ground....
Yet now that I have seen the light,
My options will abound.
The New Puppet Master
I have a friend somewhere out there with a tear in her once shining eyes,
For years she felt alone, down trodden, weak... (she bought their lies!)
She listened to the voices of those that do use...
At every turn they tried to feel more powerful and to force her to loose.
Yet that time has passed with Chronos' bitter sand...
No more will she be the child or the fragile puppet in the stand.
Today she is resuming control of her destiny and her life....
At the helm she will be, standing forward against tribulation and strife.
I have a friend somewhere out there preparing to sail through life's turbulent sea,
And to her go the blessings of a new life and the hope that within there's room for
She's Gone Away For Christmas
She's gone away for Christmas
and now I sit alone.
She's gone away for Christmas
and now is far from home.
She went away for the holidays
and I'm alone with a shining tree.
She went away for the holidays
and won't even think of me.
She's gone away for Christmas
to visit parts unknown.
She's gone away for Christmas
and without me, she now roams.
She went away for the holidays
to spread joy and Christmas cheer.
She went away for the holidays
but I wish she were back here.
Just A Friend
I close my eyes, yet she’s still there,
I see her smile and golden hair.
Her angelic laugh rolls through my head
and washes away all my fears and dread.
I say to myself that this love cannot be.
She is just a friend... that is all to me.
But my hearts got a mind of it own...
It doesn’t hear my mind as it whines and moans.
Sometimes I just don’t know what to do...
Cupid’s arrow has pierced my heart right through.
I try to forget he every move
yet my memories simply won’t approve.
I try to drink these thoughts away
just to make it through the never-ending day.
But when I look next to my side
I see she’s there with nothing left to hide.
Why must I play this horrible game?
If I love her, won’t everything still be the same?
Oh, for just the chance to let her know
that I fear she may one day go.
What can I do to keep her near?
Should I speak the words she should not hear?
Yet if I give in and make it known,
Fate may still leave me here alone.
This night I sit below the starless sky
couched under the waves of clouds wandering by.
The moon is wrapped in their down's embrace
Yet this sight does not force my heart to move.
Across the continents I have explored,
There were shrines, temples and women adored
That swept up this lonely mind
yet has left me far from fulfilled.
A quill and ink is all that I now embrace
Yet my mind is haunted with images of your face.
There is a sparkle in your eye that lifts me beyond the mortal bounds
And only within your shadow can harmony be found.
Yet for now these words are mine alone...
My true feelings shall for now be unknown.
As the gentle limbs sway beneath my winter's breeze,
There's an eternal candle burning for a springtime that may never come.
And this does force my heart to move.
I screamed out your name in the dark of night,
But you were not there to hear.
When I called for you it was out of fright
For I long to have you near.
I remembered your face deep in my mind
when I thought of you yesterday...
Those piercing eyes-- the sorrows concealed behind--
had almost faded away.
I thought of the time not so long ago
when you were my best friend.
You were so important to me, more than you know,
I wish you could be here again.
I protested strongly at the winds of fate
which had forced us then to part.
Yet how could our efforts have come too late...
Why isn't now the time to start?
I laid the roses upon your grave
and as I did, I began to cry...
Your tender caress is what I now crave...
That and the chance just to ask "why?"
There was a fire that burned in her eyes
that made all hearts stand still.
Gazelle-like she moved with purpose in each step
and carried a look that was bound to kill.
Eyes followed wherever she went
yet it is said that she was quite scandal free.
As an explorer off the world she had no limits.
Her only fence was how far she could see.
I never found the name of the dark-haired saint.
Overlooked, she passed me by...
But just being given the chance to glimpse from afar,