exponentiation ezine
exponentiation en ezine

exponentiation ezine: issue [5.0:literature]

Roundness Is My Joy

I wouldn't wish my mind
To ever stiffen to angles
The creeks of my joy
Demand gentle curves
My smile, the roundness of leaf
As my laughter will tinkle
Only on clouds' surfaces smooth
Delightfully unpredictable
Just like!
The veins of a leaf meander...

They are, after all
Children of the Sun - Frostwood


Erosion and Bones

They sat in the creaking wooden cart in silence: a young man, and a figure in the blackest of robes. Blacker than the darkest storms, they adorned a form of indeterminate shape.
"So are you headed up to the old castle?"
The cart moaned as it rolled, testing their balance. The rain poured heavily.
"...this is pretty miserable weather."
The young peasant looked at the figure, not expecting a response. He became entranced with fear. Inexplicably, he felt a sudden calm overtake him. The abysmally black figure stood, revealing a sword in his leather-gloved hand.

The horses screamed abruptly and the rider was thrown off. His neck broke when he hit the dirt road; he died on impact. The horses stopped, confused. Three mighty steeds, as black as the murderous figure, rode down from the sky, unaffected by the storm. Two of them bore riders abreast the central horse, which was adorned in a crown of bones. The riders were adorned in a similar manner as the figure in the cart.

The figure rose and approached the crowned horse and mounted. It removed its glove, revealing naught but the skeletal structure of the hand and upper arm of a human being. It touched the horse, and the horse began a terrifying mutation.

First, its flesh was sucked from it, tearing in a sound so horrifying that residents in the large, cosmopolitan city in the distance heard it. The sounds sent parents rushing to their children to lock them indoors. It was a loud and anguished tear; as the flesh ripped and was drawn into the figure, the beast screamed. It stood, paralyzed. Slowly, its muscle matter and its organs were pried from it. The hand was now adorned in a sagging, yellow flesh. The riders rushed on, and raced into the sky.

On the leering hills before the castle, the grass had yellowed. The trees in the distance were bare. The young princess, heir to the titanic and barren castle that encages her, stares outside, the storm raging violently. She stands at her window and the rain pelts her hands, but she does not flinch. She sees three riders in the sky and steps to the back of the hallway, screaming.

"Father!" she cries. A guard runs into the room. He looks at her, and pauses. His eyes bulge, and in a moment his flesh spreads onto the floor, his face is stretched loose, and his organs form a lump for his armaments to rest on. She screams, and runs down the crumbling path in the open rain, to the main hall of the castle. The guard there stands and looks at her, and starts trembling. His flesh contorts, and his face is molded into a revolting, inhuman grimace. He collapses into a sack of flesh and his armor clatters. The young woman picks up the sword, examining it carefully. She sees her eyes in her reflection, and is mesmerized. She touches her fingertips to her warm, pink flesh.

She enters the central hall and approaches a fine and tightly woven rope. She screams a horrific, banshee yelp, the scream of burning forests, and cuts clean through the rope. The drawbridge creaks and snaps. She crosses the room and proceeds in the same manner as before with the rope on the west side of the room. Her yell reverberates down beyond the forest, waking the restful in the distant city, and it is amplified and contorted by the descent and crash of the bridge.

The three riders stood before the gate. Their horses were calm and poised. The woman approached the rider to her right, screamed with all the natural strength of her lungs, and slashed off its arm. As it descended, the cloak faded into the ether, and a bone of an upper arm and hand hit the ground. With the same rage, she slashed into the sky and sliced off the rider's head. Nothing made contact with the ground. The horse rider on the bone steed looked at its remaining compatriot. They rode off into the storm, as the clouds blackened.

The young woman takes the relic, and proceeds down the central hallway, to her father's throne in the northern core of the castle. The doors open before her, and her father, an aged king, sits in his throne, alert and silent. He stands and approaches her. "What is the matter, my daughter?" he asks, standing a step above her. She hisses, foam spitting from her mouth and dripping onto the floor. She raises her left hand, holding a fist against her father's chest. He recoils and stands back, a step closer to the throne, looking at the relic. She cuts off his head, and when it hits the ground she stabs into it. The force of the blow cracks deep into the stone floor, and the skull is split in two-the severed portion forming a bowl from which she drinks and devours his brain. She sits on the throne gripping the sword loosely and rests; her flesh reflects all radiance and splendor though her face is smudged with blood.

The sky is charcoal relief with weighted clouds and snow covers the trees. The path to the castle remains unaltered by the heavy snowfall, as though it were acrid, ever-burning decay. A solitary rider approaches the castle, cloaked in starless black. It descends from the skeleton horse it mounted, and the frame of the creature is returned-musculature, nervous system, organs and flesh-to the fullness it once bore as a living being. The howling and yelling it emits shatter the eardrums of any remaining living creatures for countless kilometers-it is an inversion of the pitch it yelled so feverishly when its flesh was first subsumed by the rider. Its pain is brief, and it calmly sniffs the air with its cracked and dry snout when its form is restored.

The horse rider entered the castle. Snow had crept in where the bridge had descended, but no snow covered the bridge itself. The cloaked figure walked like the clouds, entering the throne room as though no time had elapsed. In the field, the remains of a long dead man barely emerge above the snow, half buried in the dirt. The ancient princess, pale and withering, sits on the throne, sword deftly resisting gravity with the tips of her gnarled fingers. She rises, and the sword clatters against the frosted stone. She walks toward the robed figure. The figure raises its hood and reveals a face of incomplete, rotting skin, and loosely assembled muscles. Only its bust is visible outside the cloak. It approaches the woman, and they lock lips. From a skeleton against the stone ground flies swim, and the figure obtains a golden crown. It adorns itself with this, looking out into the storm. The shimmering of the crown dulls as it touches against the creature's rotten flesh. It takes the throne.

Outside, the horse quivers, and its entire being explodes into a fine mist as its bones are torn from it instantaneously; they are propelled into the throne room that very moment. The bones dance in the air and form a throne beside the decaying king, where the queen sits. Her skin sags and withers, rolling and tumbling as her eyes melt from her sockets.

In the crumbling, eroded stone ruins of a castle on a warm mountain, the skeletal remains of a cloaked king and a withered hag lay. They are limp and sallow; their garments drift in the occasional wind. Outside, the land is dry and bare. The sky is white, and the trees have become petrified and dehydrated. The wind blows dust: fine red dust. - Risc


From Moss To The Blue, I Reach

How I love to soar
Over mountains, over dales
Into the infinite blue
With wings of rapture reach
Cold lands sinking far below
Into the oblivion
When I see the fire of my heart,
The gentle life of Sun!

But as surely as
The silent Winter cape
Shall come to grace my form,
Even a falcon, that swims
On rivulets of mirth
Must sometimes descend
Through boughs and leaves,
The green forest roof
Amidst trees, plants poetic
To the chilling halls
Of purity's palace

Bark burdens my feathers
Mountains appear so vast
When gazing from here,
Midst dimness of life,
On the crust of earth
But what the rapturous blue,
Singing flows of dreams
Would be without faceless stones,
Bitterness of black soil? - Frostwood


Streams that Don't Flow

Cars zoom under the bridge. They stare down, watching with no fixation the blurry lights as they bleed into one another. Orange, white, red, transitional hues. Sometimes gaps where the dwindling sunlight reflects against the paint of the vehicles: dark green, grey-hardly as brilliant.

It doesn't stop, the steady river of cars and lights. When exhaust hits their nostrils they cough a little, their stomachs clench. Steve clicks his teeth as the wind hisses passed them in the open air. Audible chill ripples through his nerves. His clothes ruffle. "What's up?" Kyle asks, raising his eyes and looking forward. Hills with trees line the highway and conceal suburbs connected by the concrete bridge. "I'm really high, and it's fucking cold up here." "Let's get moving then." Shoes bounce off pavement arhythmically. The wind resists them. Cars pass-an endlessly moving line, filing and shuffling. Wait your turn. The procession slows, crawls, and stops. Thin sheets of exhaust drift upward.

Trails and trees, and out of every one, you see the same thing. Large, open houses, two door garages. Kids skateboarding. Rows and rows of houses, and a car to adorn each one. They walk by hastily. "I know this little stream. One way it just dies off, and you're at a huge freeway. I haven't gotten to the find the other end yet." A ready dirt trail stretches in the direction Kyle has turned, grass cropped on either side. It's dark.

Leaves mosaic, little asymmetrical blocks of color peek through and where trees are scarcer, coherent images are revealed. Tan-yellow painted houses behind wire fences. Tool sheds and sky and windows into kitchens. Steve looks at his shoes. Squirrels chirp and rotate up trees. Rabbits hop onto the road, where a car may or may not swerve from them. Rails and steel tubes punctuate the creek. We're putting a road here, so you gotta make due buddy. We've got to keep going. You? You'll get along just fine. The creek thins, but houses become more disbursed. NO TRESSPASSING-huge plots of land with long driveways where they walk into the distance through the front yard-grass nicely kept to frame the wild, knotty, untended fields and short trees. Cars rip by them.

The stream is gone. Bare hills roll out encircled by trees and other foreign yards. The refreshing drone of high speed rolling time bombs provides ambiance. They stare at the sky cool and damp in the grass, passing a joint back and forth. Light is sapped from the sky and stars fill in gaps. Their isolation has grown over the years. Fine matter nearly invisible linked them together so smoothly in the sky, but the evenings darkened and even the moon fought resiliently to continue showering stolen rays. So, they kept their distance and spoke their own names weakly. The ponds listened less while still casting a lulling glow, ever fainter.

Horns fought feverishly and the hum was like automatic feedback, the soft pitch that resonates the morning after an eardrum challenging concert. Grass crunches like muted paper under their shoes. Another stream concealed by drooping willows beyond a house. Harvested land and young apple trees. Kyle looks down, sighting distant highways. Lights blip by fast as blinking: orange, red, amber, white. Apartments loom, pale glows from eternal eyes watching always, ceaselessly observing the subjugated reaches.

Steve smashes a stick against a metal sign post. It splinters into thousands of fragments and one half is sent flying. Steve holds the other half in amazement. It is wet to the marrow, and smells of rot. Picture of a snow machine and a dirt bike in a column, a glaring yellow background capturing starlight, wobbling down to a fine vibration.

A satellite tower blinks a red light-on and off-its alternating red-and-white body puncturing the soil beneath it. They reach a dull hum of cables. Steel girded towers scream DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE surrounded by the additional-absolutely necessary-barbed wire chain fence. Towers stare each other down in their timeless deadlock, bound with thongs of violent energy. Little bush patterns where boxes are crumbled; sleeping bags accompany backpacks and brown LCBO bags, flat and thin. Large, open houses, two door garages. Swerving grids of houses arbitrarily placed in cul-de-sacs and crescents. Wealthy people live on crescents, where they drive pricier cars and shop at Wal-Mart.

Their feet express disease in rapid unison; eyes float to arrays of leaves. Lights and wrapped black cable are revealed in the mosaic. Wooden poles like crucifixes stand parallel, holding hands to their brothers', Hallelujah. Kids skateboarding in offensive shirts, because defiance is okay. Your seed can oppose you, don't worry about it. It's in the rules, see? Now have a beer and let's watch football. Hey, it's just teen angst, they'll get over it.

Blue chemiluminescence flickers against curtains projecting through picture windows. Street lights illuminate spheres in yellowish tint. The chill deepens as the sky yields to blackness. They disappear into the indistinguishable yonder. Better suit up, it's a long and lonely journey ahead. - Risc


Tears of Winter

Glimmering beads
Tears of a past Season
Once they covered the heads,
Needles and trunks
Of trees of all shapes,
Their faces of bark, rough and smooth
From the womanly features
Of a birch sprouting
New, kindling life,
To the grand cloaks
Of fir trees' eternal might
And also the empty and plain,
Yet quietly pulsing,
Staring gray of stones
In solemn, silent white
They gently draped
In silence, buried

Now, as green hearts
Reach and open their depths
Towards the skies, for the sun
Sacred silence of Wintry temples
Lays long shattered
On laughing rivulets
In rustling branches
As the first messenger,
A joyful bird gliding on
Winds of a long-awaited laughter
Shattered the fine wisps
Of the Wintry spirit, a solemn lord!
Webs woven of still air
And snowfall, calm
Broken they hang now
Fluttering far away
As pale, fading memories
A lone gull at the shore
Of my inner sea

Memories They now gleam within
The untold tears of Winter
Driven away, forced steps
No farewells before the blasting
Of Spring's fiery horns
Sounding light and life
Into thickets mute and dark,
Ponds still asleep
In their frozen dream
Sighs and whispers
Of sprigs rising
Lace the freshness abound
Drowsy creatures' eyes opening
Towards the smiling sun
Relieved, they let go
Of those gloomy, heavy drops
Oh, such grievous departure
But what bliss it is
To not be encumbered!

As they fall and descend
Straight and fast,
Until reaching the still depths
Of earth's gentle clasp
Sun offers solace for these
Torn, wistful hearts
A faint sparkle he sets
Hope within the Seasons
Telling them
There'll be a moon
When they shall lead the lands
Under covers of sleeping cold
Once again, to bless these
Tired woods with a slumber soft

Until then, as memories
They shall remain
Winter spirits under the earth
Wail and wane
Sleeping through times,
Cycling Seasons
Longing for the moment
To finally ascend
But not now...
This time's not for them - Frostwood


The Void

In enfolding blackness, what nightmares await?
Draped melancholy blankets overwhelm the senses.

What nightmares we mortals explore!
we mortals create!
Sweet misery nips at our souls.
What horrors unfathomable,
forged in our distortions
that eyes cannot see
shrouded in nether, in blanketing ether.

Withered stocks of blind decay
in a torrential world so wild and senseless.
A fury, a storm of nothing
a storm of blackness.

What beauty awaits in dreaded nightmares!
How the black fires of night scorch our sight!
Our senses, muffled and muted to blind chaos,
by blind chaos!

What arises beyond the eyes in hellish night?
A veil pierced by the sky's fiery lights,
a veil of eternity and chaos abound!
of screaming nothings, of gnarling non-sound!

Sick muteness and blindness to all that is dark,
to all that is light!

Speak not in this beauty beyond your eyes,
in the dark shroud you cannot penetrate;
you know nothing of what the void entails. - Risc

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