Early morning light trickles in. It’s magic how the rays of light bend around the heavy curtains. They press their way in between hard plaster wall and the softer weave of cloth.
I watch the silence. Slow lines form into faded shapes. I wait. Eventually from the broken gray and dappled shades the day outside will find your picture set upon the shelf. Then your voice will call to me.
Past and future find me here. Lost alone with you, my love. A ghost upon the shelf.
Orange and yellow mix slow on the breeze. Red dappled woods laced with the faint memories of wandering trails. Highlights of green fern tufts mark the boundaries between fairy realm and memories of childhood. Rills and folds bend the land. My mind drifts out into this world. Each crisp breath forming thought balloons without captions in the air.
War wounds open up again. Flag draped coffins carried out as gently as a baker’s dozen for display. Strong shoulders bend beneath the reality of their death. Impudent, impotent old crow in a hurry to pick clean the bones of other kills ruffles his feathers and stares at the sun checking the time. I would hurl a stone at his head in the hope to do harm but the gore crow smells a meal and wouldn’t let go no matter. People seem to take pride of their choice. They praise the theft of life as the murder flocks to the feast. I say string each croaking feather from tall white pillars and let wind and gravity bear witness to the crime.
Watching a young black snake slow gliding across leaf and rock. She stands out against the brown and yellows of coming fall. Silent and quick, and as long as a kitchen broom. Coiling up and then straightening out she threads her way along. I often loose sight of her amongst the fennel an goldenrod. It’s only after a mad dash and leap of a surprised frog that I find her again. The soft shimmer of black scale gliding along betwixt and between the plants helps idle the last of summer away…
Just a few more days. If I can hold out for just a few more days then the minutes carrying me up to that moment will be forgotten. I keep telling myself that. I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it. I’ve been here before, sat in this very same chair. I’ve watched and witnessed an eternity of failed attempt’s pass by. Nothing ever changes. Not even the name.
The Traveller sat dumbfounded. How was it he had managed to become lost in such a familiar world. The directions and landmarks had been worn like an old cow trail into his brain. Yet for some reason he had managed to make a misstep. The Traveller had become lost. Standing in one place and waiting for a rescue was not an option. Panic wasn’t an option either but it was going to be.
“What the fuck…”
Pat sat disinterested in the menu before him. The choices were many but the flavors they offered bland. The same old thing with the the same old spices. Pat was sick of the choices. Pat was ready to go somewhere new even if new was some greasy meal wagon in the slum side of town.
“Change would be worth a case of the shit’s’.
The Sage sat tensely in his seat. His body rigid, head bowed, forehead covered in sweat. On occasion the old scholar would let out a low groan, then catching himself making the noise, he would shift uneasily in his seat and clench his hands in pain. Before him sat a book opened to a grotesque drawing of the large intestine. A bookmark dutifully protecting his place.
From one of the dark and disembodied corners of the room a familiar voice was muttering.
Long before I was born Man decided what was wrong and what was right And yet they left in question their reasoning why So came lesser men writing words they called law Still they could not explain The simply stated punishment for those things their words did not like Things like love and freedom their words could not comprehend But still they tried to cage them in And still greater men try to fix what they began Adding lines to words with no end Calling it ethics or calling them morals As long as they themselves did not need to heed the very words we were forced to read So to you I have added this chore I have in good concourse added more Will you understand or will this too become banned
I have been here always. Knelt before the same wooden altar. Bathed my mind beneath the ever shifting light of stained glass. I have read and pondered the stories that remain framed within those panels of glass.
They are glittering jewels that dazzle the eyes. Drawing the mind into the inner light that radiates out filling the void of the room beyond. Marble floor with the patterned grain of darkened stone tracing out it’s ancient markings from time long lost beneath the sea. Here in quiet remembrance the candles burn, and none but I know why.
The Watcher sat just beyond the doors of the great hall. The large metal rings which had been fastened as the doorhandles and knocker lay flaccid against the ancient wood. Their immense diameter and thickness making anyone’s hand look childishly small. No one as far as the Watcher knew had ever tried the rings to gain entrance to the rooms beyond. He had though witnessed the rare occasions when those within had swung open one of the doors to come out. Usually they emerged suddenly and in silence. The great doors hinges effortlessly giving way, and then with little effort reversing back to the closed position. It was during those random moments the Watcher was able to see the doors construction. Thick as a man’s forearm, and framed with metal bracing within. Definitely stout enough to slow any intrusion of people or sound. As for the room beyond it was shrouded in an eternal darkness, but at the distant end one could just make out a sparkling of jewels upon the floor and a dazzling wall of colored light. The Watcher imagined that between the brilliant glitter of jewels and blinding light a dark figure knelt silently. Any certainty on exactly what lay at the far end was to never be known by the Watcher. Some places he knew well enough to stay clear of. It’s just the way it is.
My mind wanders back to the day I sat watching the slow drifting mirages dance across the hot valley floor. Almost as a dream a desert goat appears munching on dry twigs and leaves. I silently watch as she moves on. Just like the petroglyph that lies close beside me of a goat and the blazing sun. Time immortal, I understand what life is about.
It has been a very long time since I sat staring out the coffee shop window. The last time it had been a rainy day just like today. A full blown gully washer that causes the culverts to back up. On a day like today everything definitely floats down there…
The sky is just one solid sheet of Paynes grey. No white clouds to mark a boundary between the blue above.
Just me and the rain going about or days unchanged.
“I’ve been here before. Sitting in this same room, staring at these same four walls, relaxing into this same old chair.”
The Watcher smiled. It had been a very long time indeed.