exponentiation ezine: issue [2.0:literature]
"Apparitions of Darkness to Come"
The first time I had gazed upon you,
A figure bathed in black,
In shadows swept,
My heart and body were enthralled.
Your pearly flesh reminded me
Of snowcapped mountains:
A river of hair flowed from your scalp,
Down your shoulders,
Down your back,
As long as the tallest mountain Alp.
They showed the darkest light,
And it was from them, your eyes of ice,
They woke me from my lifelong plight
Into a world where darkness reigns,
The beasts of night supreme;
And from the Earth,
The darkness gave
You to be the Queen.
The second time I gazed upon you,
My heart arose to behold
It's life anew.
You, clad in black, with ink in arm,
Are the darkness in this light;
You, set upon this world so bright,
Can save us from this loveless blight.
My darkling dear,
My fallen angel,
Come, let your powers grow
To change our worlds,
All that we know. - hrothgar
"To Face the Night"
Pain and Death came calling
and the World turned away
to flee to the bosom of the Church
to the bottle
to the needle
to the safety of slave pens
One turned to face Them
to look Them in the eye
and found no wolves at his heels
nor enemies at his gates
but Life in the living
and Life to be embraced
not as a Martyr
suffering to suffer
but as a Hero
enduring to Live
"Apologies to Bill"
The mystery of the ages
not the void nor that beyond
nor the cool sleep of Death
but Life itself
and the Fates we forge
To be - That is the question!
A man once asked me
"Which lasts longer, the mountains or the sea?"
I thought it strange
that he should ask
to hear a story begun before
the first footfall of Man
and shall surely end
only after he has passed
"That's the World Talking"
Take your paycheck and run
Fill your life with plastic dreams
and soothe your heart with pleasant lies
It lay there
in the lengthening shadow of an ancient oak
just hand hewn limestone
a monument to a man who knew himself
What else even matters?
I slew Hector in the shadow of Troy's golden walls
and learned of duty from Krishna's lips
I've sailed with heroes
and dined with kings
I've stood alone amidst the trees
I've tasted my own blood
and I have seen Death
but Truth remains
if I live, my people live
Truth shall never die, so long as we proclaim it
- planetary eulogy
In due time, I heard through the scuttlebutt word of a most amazing
creature. An Indian Goddess. With iridescent beauty holding forth,
standing proud, high atop a lush green hilltop in Armuelles. Our
destination! And this Goddess's name was Estrella.
So this was what it was all about: Estrella. They spoke of her with
reverence. Beauty untouchable. Estrella's light feminine mannerisms
captivate. A ray of hope shines from above with the mention of this
Goddess. Genuine seven crowned Chiriqui. Her dimensions consummate
apparition like karat fixates diamond. Blameless vitality shifts
through spectrum. Bizarre shades of night. The earth, created for her
amusement; water conceived so she might have somewhere to walk. Well
formed bare feet, exquisite in their arch. She moves through dreams.
And upon them. Every ethereal grace rewards those touched by Estrella.
A glimpse of her as she wanders down toward the sea, on midnight
strolls with a sleek panther who comes in out of the jungle to nuzzle
against the firm of her thigh. Momentary pleasure indulges as they,
two together, amble along the noiseless depth of riverside's mist. As
if in dance, she'd sway; he'd stretch velvety paws of guile. Heel and
paw glisten over shiny slate, over garlands of flowers draped along
the bank, sashaying through low fronds brushing against the calves of
their legs. Touching the wily innocence of this night. Clinging vines
reach for river's succor. Before glowing orchids of Espirito Santo the
atmosphere smacks of forever. They absorb the water's babbling gurgle.
In plain sight. Reptilian alertness. El Grande Zappo. The sensitive
eyes of all God's creatures. Below nesting birds of paradise, the
cat's haunching vertebra slithers to the tickle of brazen fingernails.
Down to the river's mouth, they step, often carelessly setting foot
within the tempting flow, keeping clear of large round phosphorescent
boulders. Dappled moonlight gleams.
Down to the gushing mouth where white crests of algae-laden sea lap
against this peaceful flow, against these deep reflective pools which
began their trickle and fall from craggy mountains, clear as day,
rolling down through leafy hillsides to vast grasses, dipping to
banana plantations. Estrella's native land. Top soil takes on new
meaning. Still waters span loamy banks. Aqua elements meet, touch and
mingle. Rich dark silt sweats out nutrients. Shallow roots caress.
Palms touch the starry starry sky. Thin trees, overgrowth of vine.
Shoots and sprouts, scrubby bushes, blossoming bijous. Tiny, scurrying
things thrive here. Off to the side of the pummeled footpath, beneath
lush cover - small eyes blink. Noises coo. Magic escapes in
effervescence. Memory bubbles!
To a hallowed opening in this suffocating jungle flora. The melding of
fresh water and salt, a frothy bubbling point where the flow's clarity
is engulfed. Clouded. Enraptured. This land's sweet nectar gives way
to the sea's stiff breeze. Estrella bids the famished black cat drink.
Lowering its head, the panther dips its tongue into brackish liquid.
Slurping, lapping up juices of life. Sublime juices, pledging elusive
powers. His sleek black whiskered mouth stitched with incisors; nimble
pink lapper one notch above silence. Need pulsates like spanning
rings. Desire craves this vicinity.
Estrella parts with her midnight paramour. Puma, lord God of fear and
respect. She'll walk with him tomorrow night. And ever after. Her
ankles kick. Sand and salt sift through urging toes. Dry beach
luminescent against crashing waves. Frothing traces of brine. The wind
tugs her hair, a knowing smile glistens; she outshines. Her muscles
flex. Shadowy flanks curve. Eager feet prowl. In search of dawn.
Yes, this is what I overheard from the beaten and world weary sailors
as they made their ways back and forth from the meal table. I was
mesmerized. Stunned. My anticipation shot up through the overhead. All
I wanted to do was meet this woman. Yes. I needed a goddess like never
before. - skeeze whitlow
My eyes opened; the temporary blackness of a slumber caused by some
trauma faded and the world took its place. For some amount of time-
minutes, hours, I know not- my gaze was fixed upon the leafless
branches and the grey sky above, thinking that this must be a dream,
but it can't be; the burning cold sensation of freezing white flakes
on my face is too strong. The howling of the wind of this winter
storm, a beautiful but desolate serenade, haunts my ears, but no
feeling accompanies it; perhaps the stump of some tree that did not
survive the difficult test of nature's winter is shielding my face
from its bite. The sound is unusually high pitched...almost alive. As
the after effects of the trauma wear off and reality sets in, the true
situation is revealed; the howling is from a source much more powerful
than I, and death will beckon if I do not escape. Attempting to pick
myself up off of the ground yields no results; my body, like a statue,
remains motionless. At my side rests a large limb; seeing this, it
becomes apparent how I came into this plight, and what my fate is. I
scream in fear of the unknown, of the void that I shall soon know. The
limb fell on me, delivering a blow to my spine, temporarily cradling
me away from the awareness of this world, only to harshly drop me back
into reality with my limbs immobilized.
How foolish it was to go hunting on this winter day! Sprawled out
beneath the wrath of the storm, I reflect on the irony of the
situation; nature is a grisly joker, indeed, and now I am the butt of
her insatiable humor. I left my home for a bit of sport, and to kill
some animal to have a great meal on this winter night; however, now I
have been turned into the quarry, and the feast shall belong to those
creators of the howling, the masters of the woods, who are coming ever
closer to me.
As I lie here, time seems to stand still. How long have I been here?
Minutes? Hours? I know not. But now, the incisors of those grand
canines, the kings of the woods, are burying themselves into my body;
thanks to the spinal damage, I feel no pain, but scream in horror at
the visage of my body being ripped apart; the ground is spattered in
gore, the snow has become the juice from a strawberry, and the void is
calling me to where I was before birth...
* * *
Hunger is our company; it is time for our mother to administer her
cruel test which determines which of us will see the future seasons.
The cold wind deals death to her children who did not prepare their
winter nest, and those who are in their nests are unavailable to
sustain us. Two among our numbers have already failed this test; we
fear that none of us shall pass; our bodies are gaunt from this lack
of nourishment, and none is in sight. We cry out to our mother, and,
in response, hear a scream from a few minute's journey away. She
loves us; she has chosen to give us the energy that we need to see
Slowly, we stalk the prey that our mother has graciously given to us,
being careful that it is not just drawing us in. A few minutes later,
his form is revealed; soon, we shall be nourished by one of the two
legged weak creatures who carry a loud, lethal weapon, and who have
killed so many of us in the past. Our mother, in her infinite wisdom,
offers him to us as a way to continue the cycle between life and
death, and to strike a balance between the two of our types. Again we
cry out to her, this time in thanks for her gifts.
Soon, we are upon him; our bodies are invigorated by the energy that
we gain from eating his flesh. He releases a cry to our mother, a
shrill, piercing, desperate scream, but it does him no good; she has
decided to bless us with life on this day. - cynical
And calmly falling snow
Sun shines faintly
Through the grey clouds
Little creatures of the forests
Leave their tracks
On the everfalling
This will be always
And never again - frostwood