The soft muzzled cough brought Alice back from being lost in her usual daydreams.
It had been months since she had walked freely about the streets. Even longer since the blind run through the dark forests of another world.
If this insane self-imposed quarantine had to continue for very much longer, Alice was going to leap back through into the brightly lit hall beyond. Once there she was more than willing to try her luck at some other random doorway.
“What then?” muttered the low voice of the sage.
Alice could tell he was talking more to himself than to her.
Alice replied anyway, “Anywhere but here.”
The look of the old mages floor length beard partially muzzled by a soft swath of mask looked ridiculous. The rope ties for the ears could not reach so Alice had helped him braid the ends into the facial hair just beneath the cheeks.
The effect gave the ancient librarian a hipster grunge look.
The ink stained hands of the sage had been hard at work rubbing his face again. Either an allergy from the ink that now tinted his nose or from the dreaded Covid virus had been making the elderly gentleman wheeze and cough. He had coughed enough times that Alice had demanded the face covering.
The sage grumpily complied just to silence her complaining.
The whole request struck him funny since it came from a woman wearing no clothes at all…
The doorman had been busy hanging invisible signs about the hall. Each had been hung so that an individual entering could see them with little effort. He was certain when the complaint department was called he would be found blameless in the spread of such ignorance. Each entry had been clearly marked with a request for a mandatory fourteen day quarantine, and each infectious destination properly marked.
The Gatekeeper had even replaced his usual Welcome mat with one that read, “Masks Required”.
“Yes”, he thought, “in a reality of inexistence the flattened curve wasn’t going to catch him in another surge, hoax or not.”
Pat sat watching the falling leaves. The peace autumn brought was a welcome change from the dry hot days of summer. Still the thought to lay naked in those golden rays made his pulse quicken with youthful memories.
“The seasons change with the turn of a word,” he whispered to the quiet room. Though there was a large crowd, no one heard him.
Pat was aware that the sentence could be thought of as political, as well as environmental.
Opinions were changing. Impatient populations desperate for a miracle.
Come November another four years of greatness would be chosen. Hopefully one that meant the destruction of a party founded in racism. If not then things weren’t going to look too good for the home front.
It had been bad enough that this man-made virus was unleashed by corrupt policies of the criminal elite in the attempt of a one-world-order coup.
To have to suffer under the heavy-handed tactics of the cosmopolitan could lead to an actual armageddon between good and evil…
Pat watched the falling leaves. The beauty was not wasted on him. The mix of yellows and reds drifting down. Sometimes in soft spirals, sometimes in a direct glide. Individual leaves and groups all randomly blowing about with a kaleidoscope of color.
None of the meaning was missed.
Everything had a purpose;
Pat just had his own preference in how things should end.
All this change from the green leaves of one tree. Nothing was ever missed…
To what value do I set the scale
With incremental movement a clock measures out moment by moment
But that has no existence
The vapor and steam of things unseen
Passively touch then dissolve
And yet you and I watch it’s coming pass us by
Left in the wake that follows
We reach out as if to hold invisible threads of thought
Something unattained in the passage of life
And burdened by our own purpose
Feel fulfilled or utterly emptied by the experience
In the shadows lay a daemon
Lurking quiet beneath the trees
Stalking silent amongst the leaves
Until opportunity came to be
Then the devil stole from me
Stole in a whisper a love so dear
Left of her no trace to see
None would ever hold again
The soft shape and elegant line
Of her beauty so devine
Lost to the living
For all time
Except in memory
Shared in rhyme
She said she hears the night birds call
But when I listened I could not hear them
It was during the last breath of summer
Blowing the first leaves of fall
Tired eyes were looking to the west
Into the setting of the sun
Where withered limbs bare of fruit
Sway in a dry September wind
Forgetful of the spring
Naked she sings in the moonlight
She dances beneath the stars
Even as my heart yearns
Desperate to hear her song
The echo of the night birds
Calling from afar
The sun is setting
Life flows on
The mind wanders the seven seas
Counts the seasons by the leaves
Lost between the sun and moon
It drifts along
amongst unsounded shores
Time but ripples between the waves
There in a blue room
Yellow light flows across the firmament
A silver glimmer promises hope just outside the door
Desperation transitions between salvation and escape
A butterfly flutters with each breath the body dies
But the mind lives on
Tethered to a waning moon
My flesh is burning
The skin just falling away
White fire blisters
Boiling blood to steam
Just need a little help now
All attempts to extinguish the flame
Ends up just spreading pain
The wet air swirls
Between warm rays of sun
Lines of rain begin to fall
Clouded thoughts change
I sit half submersed
Thin sheets of water form
Running rivulets combine
And beneath a translucent cloak
The sound of the downpour
Drumming across the hollows of my mind
Singular drops form upon chilled flesh
Glitter faintly in the failing light
Have you ever watched the world from behind locked doors? Spent the days and nights lost in a drug filled haze? In a murky quiet found absolution from the confession of the soul?
He was a tall man. From the discolored yellow socks to the last wisp of grayed hair he would have stood an impressive seventy five inches if not for a stoop. Years of emotional withdrawal from the world around him had manifested into a passive slumping of the neck and shoulders. The effect gave the watcher the impression of a passive mouse. Nonthreatening in appearance the observer could easily dismiss what they saw as a harmless old man. Someone easily taken as feeble in mind and spirit.
They’d be greatly mistaken.
Only after making contact with his darting green eyes would you truly see the man before you. A spark of other worldly power flowed in them. Dark emerald mixed deeply with a hazelnut burst from some alien nebula. Somehow they expressed both an anger and peace at the same moment.
With a furrowed unkept tangle of eyebrow overshadowing the slumping gaze it was not often an individual could intercept his gaze.
No, the only thing most people would see of the face was an insane grin. A grin that was stretched taught across yellowed teeth, and highlighted by dry cracked lips and the drip of a thick viscous drool.
Even the aperture of the mouth was overhung like the eyes by a disgusting growth of long unruly hair. These though grew out vulgarly from the nostrils, and to the disgust of any curious spectator often dripped with a condensed collection of snot or mucus.
His name was Vincent, and he was insane.
I sat and watched a red faint wisp darting amongst the garden rose
I had never seen here before such a gallant dragonfly dressed so well in scarlet robes
I wonder what ill omen does he bring
Complacent in my thoughts to leave the decision to chance and eternal spring
For neither death or sickness care
From whence such beauty may have flown
I shall in my innocence not despair
And wait to see what more I may find Here along this gardens path
Separated hearts by time and distance haunt
A radiant solitaire set in gold
Yet in precious metal imprisoned still be held
By as pure a word so bold
Love binds such taut a cord between the two
My thoughts become simple in the disparity
A measure betwixt paradise and the basest hell
Errant in life’s long trials
Even as spring the winter follows
Passion warms the coming summer
Then in turn sours with the fall
Yet the spirit of the season playful calls
For every ear in turn to hear