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.
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
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.
I remember days that lasted weeks. Left alone to many nights at port, to many times on dusty roads. Mirages appear and disappear like the voices in my brain. Slowly becoming landmarks burned deep into my soul. Out there somewhere I’m looking for something lost or maybe it’s just something I’ve never seen. You never know what’s waiting there just beyond what you know. Crazy ad it is, that’s exactly where I want to go…
The cold winter night A cloudless star filled sky Only naked branches on the trees No wind to rub limbs into a screeching creak or rustle dried leaves under foot The coyote bark and howl from one hidden den Over the hill another begins their baying A chorus takes up position Navigating the dry rills, bramble filled trenches, and deer worn paths I can feel them closing the distance Each twisted trunk Every darkened hole The night comes to life with slender shadows Backlit by the northern constellations Crescent moon trailed close by Venus The haunting calls of a predator coming closer in the night But they know to tread softly across my path I too have a yearning hunger that calls, and a inner desire to be unleashed