The Current

I watched the sunlight ripple across the waters of the eddy pool. Off to my left the ocean roared with the intensity of an untamed lion, but beneath my gaze the trapped saltwater  was gentle and clear. I had tied a piece of fish  to a string hoping to catch the blue crab I’d seen scuttling along the smooth sandy bottom. I tossed my bait watching it rise, arc and then fall into the waters . It sank gently and came to rest on one of the miniature dunes that had formed upon the eddy pools floor. I settled in to rest upon the waters edge gripping my bait attached string and watching  the many schools of minnows hurry by . Quick shadows racing to the shallows and then just as rapidly fleeing to the depths. I let the suns rays warm my face and the steady breeze toss my hair . There I drifted for a bit , allowing my existence here to be nothing more and nothing less.

I was not conciously aware of how long a time passed, maybe a few minutes maybe more. But I had become gentle in the moment, just myself , the cawing of the seabirds whirling above my head and the oceans many vacillating moods . I felt the smallest tug at my string, faint ,yet discernible and I looked towards my bait. The blue crab had found the tasty delight of rotting fish and gripped it with one of its handy claws. It was a lovely crab I noticed. The ivory whiteness of its shell outlined with rich vermillion around the black edges on its claws , the vibrant red slowly fading to gentle pink. Ivory then took over and mingled with many hues of blue. Becoming those of the skies  and then the color of the seas the colors darkened across its back. I watched the crab hold the treasured piece of fish with the largest of its claws and reach with the smaller to pick off a parcel of the flesh which it promptly gobbled up.

The current world faded away from me and disappeared into the background. This moment was just myself,  the sun, the surf and the crab beneath the waters . It picked another sliver of meat off the bait I had deftly secured to the string, held it in its smaller claw and turned. It turned not away from my gaze , but towards it. With that gentle move our eyes met. Mine, the human’s , the predator , the one supposedly at the top of the food chain. It’s, the crab’s , a creeper of the oceans floor , one who could exist above and below the waters, supposedly a mere crustacean , non-sentient. Time slowed between us and I saw the lesser claw extend the prized sliver of fish towards me. An offering perhaps . I had brought the bait , yet we must share. The world beyond our slowed moment in time would say this was crazy . The world beyond our moment would explain this was just a movement against the current. I would now agree with the world. In their perception, I was crazy and this most certainly was a movement against the current.

The blue crab moved towards me not away as it ate my declined offer of  fish. I released the string and let the binding strand float away across the breeze rippling surface of the eddy pool. My eyes stayed locked with gentle being beneath the waters. The crab seemed to sit back as if waiting. I sighed to myself and released all the strings. Cut loose all the bait. Became closer to being my truest essence of self. I let many strings float away that day, under the watchful eyes of the crab as it feasted  upon the decaying fish. I had been attached to the decay to long and now was the time unmake all the unnatural that had been instilled in me. Yes, the world beyond this moment would say I was crazy, but I simply decided to move against the current .

Off to my left the ocean rumbled with a tumultuous crash as the incoming tide breached the edge of the glassy pool opening it up to the wide endless seas beyond . The inflow lifted the crab and it floated. Our eyes stayed locked for one more moment and then it turned to swim the current outwards  towards the freedom of the  seas.  I sighed to myself, arose to my feet, gave a symbolic wave to my departing crab and turned to do the same. To move against the current  and to finally be free.

Voices

I watched the cream melt away into the darkness of my coffee cup. The thick light swirl took the darkness of the potent brew away and turned it into a lighter shade, a sort of dawn. I drank it down, hot and rich, with any bite that was the darkness now assailed by the light that was the thick rich cream. Just another Monday when we rolled into another week, another month and another year. A cavalcade of many which all seemed to move by so rapidly they were akin to the blurred advertisements on the side of a passing city train. In any case I was thankful for the sheer joy of  just being outside, the air didn’t hurt my skin like it seemed to in the  ever so efficient climate controlled offices  where I often spent my Mondays. There was no honking of horns here in the country, no mad rush up to the lunch hour. It was simply sweet bird song and the rustle of a morning breeze in the Magnolias near the tables by which we were seated. My dreams of mental escape seemed instantly destroyed when my compatriots all picked up their cell phones with which  to begin their exchanges, receiving the guidance and data that would begin our day. I just stared at my coffee. No manila envelopes full of papers handed out this time round, no making of notes or in my case, no sheets of white paper upon which to doodle Lilly pads, frogs and shooting stars. Yet the loss of the simple folders was barely noted by the rest . There would be nothing to hold, no paper to rustle as decisions were made and ideas collaborated upon.  I found this sacrilege distasteful at best. The cicadas started their song to herald in the heat of the day as I  simply excused myself from the table, took a last gulp of coffee, and dropped my phone in my purse as I rose to depart. Oh yes, I could sense the amazement felt by some at the sheer fact that I had done such a thing. Surely if I was going to the ladies room I could continue from there via text, never missing a beat in what they all felt was to be an exciting interaction, me not so much.

I wandered away from the place that had once been a peaceful veranda, where farmers and traders had ensconced themselves over an early morning repast, speaking of weather and tides, fast horses and strong mules. Today it was a world I cared not to recognize, inhabited by those who would never notice or even acknowledge the pair of Towhees busily foraging beneath the fragrant gardenias next to the rail. Yet they were very comfortable texting with the girl on the other end of the phone complaining about the trials of   her commute into LA. I think I was at that point done. I wondered  away down the hall of the historic old Inn where they’d housed us, the worn boards of the  floor visible, yet the with the voices of  old  sealed forever in  a heavy gloss of plastic and wax, not creak nor a breath, just frozen in time. By the time I made the back door and headed down the path away from them all the vibration of the phone in my purse was simply as much of an after thought as the deerfly buzzing around my head. A blood sucking thing, which needed to be swatted and banished into the eons of eternity.

The black and grey low country dirt beneath my feet looked cool and inviting. I made a brief stop to dislodge my tennis shoes allowing myself to feel it’s cool reassurance under my bare feet and between my toes. Rich dark soil from the inlands and sandy patches from the coast, soft yet gritty. I became a little more alive at this point. My path was a sweet one with giant ancient oaks on either side whose branches reached upwards towards the glorious life giving sun, each out reaching limb adorned with heavy swaths of Spanish moss. These magnificent ancient sentinels gave my escape route a cheering audience of birds and tossing leaves encouraging me on as I ambled. In the distance I heard the leader of our little pack on the verandah utter a few choice swear words and then I was too far gone to hear nor care.  Cropland in full summer growth spread out around me on past the oaks who had become my guardians as I continued my flight. I came upon a moss laden water trough, one of the old stone and cement kind, full of crisp clear water with the mud at its base churned up by many years of stock coming for refreshment from an oppressive summer’s heat. You could see the hoof prints from the most recent visitors and if you were one who knew this place, had it beaten into your soul with everyday living, you would know who had come by the simple shape of the print.  The base of the stones was surrounded by thick fragrant mint which melded with the scent of the sea in the heavy coastal air and the odors of verdant growing crops giving each breath I took a cleansing effect. I felt my senses become sharper and the long lost electronics drowned reality of simply being, living in the moment, actually feeling part and parcel of what counted becoming stronger and more clear.

As this occurred I stared into the waters of history there at the trough, that watering hole of old, no creatures  around to take on replenishment at this moment, they were all back off across the  pasture in the woods where they would sleep out the mornings heat in hopes of a cooling early noon thunder shower . I knew this to be fact and I knew it more than I knew the lady who had slipped off her shoes to go through check in for her flight to this place the night before. The lady who moved through a life dictated by clocks and commerce, a life that was a vague reality to her core, yet did so because it was what was to be done.  But the ghosts of history often screamed at her in the darkness of night, in those hours when one’s sleep is the deepest and the mind is allowed to drift  down the immortal path ways that  our world has so often forgotten. A dragon fly circled the waters finally landing on one of the delicate branches of mint, its iridescent green the most vibrant of colors, shiny and slick. The voices were strong here on the edge of the meadow. “The muscadine wine is next to the sweet butter in the spring house, but watch out for the bees in arbor as you go ”. Yet the spring house had long fallen to rubble , this was a mere whisper from the past echoing through the voices of history. Then the one thing I knew, more than the fact that my steadily buzzing phone needed me to state my stance on this or that, was that these voices needed to heard, that they counted and their songs were true and their history was a sweet prism of million different lights.

Off towards the coast storm clouds were building and lightning cracked across the sky. Yes the storm was coming, but not until this singer sang her song. I reached my hand into the soft leather of my rather expensive purse. The type with someone’s initials on it, someone I had never met but felt it of grave importance to have their initials upon my purse . I caressed the cool slick case of my cell phone, it enticed my fingers to slide across the glass and check the world inside it. Yet the caw of a large black crow out across the corn field announcing the arrival of a hunting hawk warned me off. I simply grasped it, pulled it from its resting place and dropped it gently into the waters of the trough. Let the nymphs and sprites have at it, possibly the iridescent dragon fly could deal with the frustrated lady in LA. I watched the bubbles as it sank, the brilliant colors of screen become confused and that strange electronic world fade into black.

Roses to run for….

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What the heck has happened to the Kentucky Derby? The Run for the Roses? My Old Kentucky Home? Where are those folks that prayed over a blue grass field on a cold January day as a new foal tested its legs on the winter hard ground? A smile of understanding on their faces as legs new to this world found their strength and gave flight to the babe across grasses green. Where are those who live and breathe the scent of fresh pine shavings and horse sweat as the summer heat swelters in across the pastures? They struggle, they budget and they do without, yet they embrace the passion of something deeply encoded in their DNA and keep going even though the odds are long. All I’ve seen today is some sort of detached Red Carpet Gala. Who’s wearing who’s what and who’s with who. Where are those who mucked the stalls and mowed the fields, cutting back here and there in hopes that young colt they’d been raising could run for greatness? But Oh look Boink Boink has on Givenchy!

Well to be honest I’ll tell you where they are, or to be more correct where we are. We’ll be the tired lady who’s pulled a 60 hour week in a world we detest, but the one who does it with a smile because it allows us to be here. No not sipping champagne and hoping to be the next viral hashtag of the moment. But here, here in the seedy sale barns and desolate kill pens that are located all over this land. We won’t be dining on Lobster or winking at Billionaires. We will be cracking that ninety nine cent can of Vienna Sausages and watching the kill buyer. Yes, if we’ve got to wink, we might and yes, if we’ve got to do more, well, we may. But somewhere this side of a Lady on TV with more names than a Hanoverian Warmblood Stud who’s telling us the pedigree of her billion dollar bet. We will be the ones with our hearts caught in our throats as a beat up, half-starved relative of Hanoverian ladies billion dollar bet stumbles into the auction lot. We will hope and pray. Sometimes we’ll remember the payday loan place we passed a while back, add, subtract and calculate that we’ll have the money the pull the beaten soul from this hell. Somewhere in the back ground we’ll hear the semis rumble as they fire their engines and get ready for long, cold, waterless, hungry, journey to the north. We will smell the diesel, our blood will run cold. A journey that will carry the beat up, half-starved gray filly a relative of the fancy ladies bet, north to have a bolt shot through her head. Dead or not even quite, she’ll be chopped, minced and packed. Brilliant eyes will shine no longer, a gallant heart will beat no more and hooves will never again find their flight across the grassy green earth. But oh look, Edna Farquar Mills Helms Rosenburg Jones is wearing a daringly short skirt at age 78. Who’s it by?

The winds will blow, the kill buyers will shout and the scared filly will run up and down a 20 ft lot. Miles away surrounded in glory and grandeur a well attired man will smile to himself as he places his money on a colt. More money than the lady in sale barn has ever known. He does it simply because he likes the dam’s name. The same dam that gave life and nurture to the terrified filly now shuddering under the vicious crack of the sellers whip as she runs back and forth with nowhere to go. The well attired man sends a text to his well-heeled buddies to take the gamble on the colt upon which he’s laid his thousands. At the same moment the tired lady places a post on Facebook to her friends begging for money, if she just had enough she can save the gallant gray filly. The filly, it’s in her eyes, she has fire, and she deserves a chance. The whip cracks again and the scared filly runs.

A busy café in downtown Manhattan. The place to see and be seen. Two wealthy businessmen dine on filet mignon, sucking down gin and tonics. They both grasp their phones as the incoming texts vibrate the table. Their well attired boss at the Derby just gave them a line on a horse encouraging them to place a wager. The waitress at the bar, waiting on another round of gin & tonics, cringes at their stares and checks her phone. She sees the post, a wild eyed gray filly scared to death, in a kill pen in Montana, a lady she’s never met, but has followed her threads needs money. She’s trying to save the starved terrified filly. She loads the drinks on the tray and heads back to the businessmen. They are not so busy texting that they forget to ogle her. She smiles to herself, here you go girl, maybe I won’t ever run free, but by God in Heaven, you will. She smiles at them and leans in close as she serves their libations. She cannot stand their eyes upon her, nothing more than an item for their play, but she sees the filly spinning in the kill lot, hears the crack of the whip and decides her path. The men smile as their phones go off once again, the well attired man informs them of the windfall. The bet he made on the horse by simply the name of the dam had paid off. They smiled, polished off their drinks, asked for her number which she gave and left her a more than generous tip. In busy café in downtown Manhattan a waitress makes a call.

The lady at the sale barn cold and exhausted raises her hand, offering her last dollars in a final plea to save gray filly terrified for her life. It’s not enough, her world spins. Her phone vibrates, a girl in New York who she’s never met has the balance, and she’s sending it now. She places the bid, the filly turns sharp in the far corner of the pen and crumples to her knees as the whip licks her sweat tendered flesh. Time stands still as the words “Sold” echo across the pen. They did it, one tired lady, one fed up waitress and somewhere unbeknownst to him, a well attired man, saved a filly to run free another day. Oh but did you hear? Instagram sensation Lula broke a seventeen thousand dollar heel coming back from the paddocks and had a wardrobe malfunction.

So what have they done to our Derby? But more than that, what have they done to our horses and to us? In any case a well-dressed Billionaire has just decided to go into the horse business deciding to follow a certain mare’s bloodline. A waitress in Manhattan has just packed her car, picked up her last check and is rolling for Montana. One exhausted lady is kicked back in her pick up eating the last can of Vienna Sausages with a tired gray filly munching hay happily in her two horse trailer and damn they taste good. The woman with more names than a Hanoverian stud? She doesn’t give a crap, but hey neither do we.

Fate

The winter storms came blowing in down the mountains and in to craggy little Montana valley. All was good in so many ways. But it was also unsettling in so many others. I took a long drought from the cold draft my favorite bartender had pulled for me in the local dive. Yes, I could have called it a pub, I could have called it bar, but it was simply a cowboy dive. Dim lights, a couple of pool tables and not the most appetizing bar food. We knew each other there, no putting on of airs. Our hope, dreams struggles and heartbreaks had been shared in this little building at the base of the wild untamable Rockies. It was simple , a highway ran through , accompanied by railroad tracks and a sometimes gentle ,sometimes roiling river which had been the creator of this s valley ran through this place we all called home.

Yeah, no glamour here, but a cold beer after a hard day’s work , the sparkle and laughter in the eyes of friends. It made it a reality that gripped my core and bound me to this wild land. I finished my first beer and the second was already waiting .Oh my friend Snow Eyes Crystal, how different our lives had been, but you pour the libations that send my mind off into the thoughts pertaining to the amazingness of destiny. Myself, a southern gal who spent her younger years on the manicured equine jump courses of the South. A fine thoroughbred between my legs, the passion I felt for all things equine deftly encouraged. Such a pastime would allow a girl of breeding to find the perfect match. I guess my sear suckered, cigar smoking, banker daddy never guessed that his blonde beauty would go rogue. But yes, it happened. That first week of sorority rush when the skies glowed Carolina blue. I sold the entire contents of daddy’s well-furnished condo to a guy named Mike Levy from New York. Took the money and headed west. That boy from New York probably knew me better than I knew myself due to the fact that he left an eagle feather in the envelope that held the cash when enabled my flight. So much for freshman passion under the Carolina skies.

Now Snow Eyes never gave up much, a Blackfoot, born and bred in the wild country we now called home. The “we” are wild girls and quite a bunch we are. Ranching is tough and you either have it in your blood or you just need walk away for you won’t make it. So as snow kicked off western boots dried in the hallway, I waited on my roommate, my buddy and my truest friend. My cold compadre finally wandered in, one Saanvi Patel. Herein lies the rub of risky horses and wild skies. It attracts a myriad of spirits and unbridled souls. Maybe it was the trip to Yellowstone in her youth, but Saanvi saw the wild ones running free across the open range, a storm rolling in across the mesa and the best directions of family simply fell on deaf ears. Two years into college Saanvi loaded her barrel racer “Sam” in his trailer and headed west. Oh and yes, the whole equestrian thing had been great with her family until she choose barrel racing and penning calves. But to be honest rodeo pictures of Saavni decorate Patel businesses all over the east coast. A photo of a long dark haired beauty in a Stetson cutting cans in a wall of horse and rider kicked up dirt. Large brown eyes, dark hair blowing behind the mistress of the powerful, nostril flared steed she rode, both united and running against the clock. Not something one expects to see beneath a picture of Ganesh and a peacock unfurled. My girl Saavni, colt breaker extraordinaire. I laughed and offered up a toast as she walked in. Snow Eyes smiled behind the bar and pulled Saavni a cold draft.

Now these wild lands of Montana are big skies, tumultuous weather and nothing about life out in this big old bad country is easy. So I guess the question that needs to answered is how did three girls, wild free spirits find each other? The stockyards. Yep, Billings, Wyoming. Just like those fashionistas stalking the garment districts of New York hoping to be discovered. The runways of the sale barn were our catwalk. Truth be told, two of us could have done the NYC catwalk thing. Myself and Saavni, Snow Eyes not so much. For myself and Saavni came from families with dreams of MRS degrees, well made matches and futures defined by family connections. Snow Eyes on the other hand was reservation bred. Many stormy nights huddled by the toilet in a decrepit mobile home, tears flowing freely as her father disagreed with her mother, drunken battles brought about by no hope for the future. Just a government check that changed little from time to time. Her cousins had a barn full of Appaloosa horses and she found her soul bareback out beneath the Creators skies. To be honest there was not a horse gone rogue she could not bring to heel, but odd girl she was, she only picked some and let the others fly free. She said she felt their spirits were more of the big lands and maybe they should be allowed to perish at the hands of the killers than live a life of slavery. But I digress, it was a stormy night across the big sky when the three became one. You see the talent to run an unbroken steed through the sale, up and down the ally comes at a price and for those looking to get rid of unwanted stock, putting a pretty girl on the back of a wild horse ups the price. So we hung out at the chute picking up rides at twenty bucks a shot. Yeah, it’s odd three girls, backgrounds diverse, hanging at the gates, trying to pick up rides. But Snow Eyes talked to Saavni and they both talked to me. We pooled our money and got a place on a ranch running Angus and quarter horses. So this Friday night as the snows blow in around our world, we embraced each other’s spirits and celebrated the weeks end with warm embraces our valley bar with the winds whistling through the pass, the days of the cowgirls of the big sky were good.

The Emirates airliner banked right over the Pacific, a runway illuminated with brilliant lights, Aakar , stared out at the runway , so many miles, so many long nights of study. Yet here he was in Montana, the USA, he knew little of this place. Maybe stories of cowboys and the wild, the rugged lands haunted his mind, but this night, exhausted after miles of travel all he could do was focus on the job ahead. ….More to come

 

The Machinations of Men

I never understood the machinations of men. The mountains to be climbed, the conquests to be made, nor the empires to be cherished. As a woman of many passages I have seen empires rise and fled the bloodshed, smoke and fires as they fell. There will be no wounds to be healed by mystical skills in this present. No herb infused fires to burn upon the crackling hearth and no gentle rubs of healing oils to remove the pain of loss this time around. I myself am a soul of many victories and equal defeats. A walker of times and viewer of worlds. Yet in the great unwinding I am woman complete. Let it not be said that I miss my kindred. Oh how I long for the gentle evenings with fragrant candles, the multicolored rippling’s of brilliant fish as they dart about the waters surrounding our candlelit terrace. The stories of the ancient houses whose fame includes the provenance of a certain honey that adorns our bread or textures of the water like flowing silk of a soft shift or trouser. Why I walk this world is still the most subtle mystery to me. Birth to life, life to death.

Love, I assume, is the passion that endures a million lifetimes. Something ones soul follows from the cracking reverberation of a sinking Atlantis, through the burning salt of the sea waters in which we held each other as the waves roiled about us when a continent sank forever in to the history of mankind on this swirling blue orb . To our newfound home of Ern, the emerald isles where a brilliant mind guided a magical and noble leader to place his foot upon a Kingstone which cried out with the magic so accessible at that time and assumed the leadership of a mysterious land. Arthur we salute you. You were a golden leader in a turbulent time. I can still taste my lovers kiss as I sailed off for Avelon, I can feel the waters around my ankles as I boarded the boat from the mists and I can see his stalwart gaze and the sparkle in his eyes as we knew what must be. My spirit was his spirit, news from Arthur’s realm showed my loves hand as easily as the handiwork of the Creator across the nighttime sky. We went out gallantly, he and I, swords drawn and magic lit the night. We fell together. May the legacy be blessed for Arthur was a noble man. Birth to life, Life to death.

Rome, she was a magnificent place. Those nights on the roof top gardens where there was no mankind, no earthly world and no Creator. Just you and I locked in the dance of love uninhibited , a million stars in skies, the sweet smell of beeswax candles, the musky scent of your pure maleness, and the coarseness of your unshaven cheek on mine as we gripped each other with a passion that had been proven for eternity. I think those nights were the sealing of our fate together. A coupling proposed on far away stars that united itself once again in the realm of magic. The spinner of history, the creator of destinies viewed us together once again and saw that it was good. So with the magic of our history my love once again guided a nation and in this sweet, sweet time I had nothing to do but love fiercely. And there we bode together breathless and one, glorious nighttime unification in each others arms. Birth to life, life to death.

The years between become as dense this night as the mists to Avelon. I could go there and in time I may, but man’s inhumanity to man is a perilous path to take. Tonight I reside in a different realm. I never understood the machinations of men. The mountains to be climbed, the conquests to be made, the empires to be cherished. But I will give you this. I saw the serpents at the gate. As I tossed in my slumber between darkness and dawn I choose to battle. Yes, we held them back. The girls of old, Morgaine, Myself, and the ancient of healers met them, in the end we had had to invoke the name of the Creator. The battle was ugly, brutal and for the first time in many passages on this beautiful blue planet I fought without you by my side. Yet in those pre-dawn hours we brought magic back to this world.

Love I assume, is the passion that endures of a million lifetimes. Just remember as the moon waxed full and the months of darkness fell upon this world magic returned and it is a sacred gift. So if I don’t hold you in this time, know the battle is yours and victory inevitable. Be it your choice darkness or light. Birth to life, life to death.

For now this country girl is going to enjoy the rising sun, the returning fowl, and the changing of days. My sword is for now sheathed, my cauldron cold, and for those on the blue orb, you have one more chance.

Andreas

The tapers in the vestibule must have been beeswax this morning for Alexandra’s eyes did not burn after Midday Mass as they did when the simpler ones created from fat renderings were used. This was a good thing all in all, for she bathed this morning and wanted the scent to linger. The copper basin had been filled in the pre-dawn hours with water hot from the kitchens below. The boiling liquid had been infused with oils of rosemary and lavender. She had luxuriated in it as the fragrant warmth had brought her to the world after the night’s gentle sleep. She was not afraid to say she had admired herself although vanity was a sin Brother Barnababus has lectured her on from the very first days he noticed her budding beauty. Yes, she had raised each of her slender creamy legs to the sides of the basin propping them one at a time upon the soft rolled copper edges and admired their toned perfection. She had also taking the blade Mira the girl from the spice road had given her and shaved them slick. It had been weeks since they’d received the missive, a simple statement from her Father in Outremer and she had allowed a time to pass before beginning her preparations and questioning its content. Yes she had even taken the blade and sculpted the growth in her nether regions into a perfect triangle. Dear Brother Barnanabus would have been apoplectic if he knew she had admired herself in the long piece of polished silver she had in her room. If he knew she had smiled when she noticed the delicacy of her waist, the full ripeness of her creamy bosom and how her long legs flowed down from the now perfectly sculpted golden V of soft blonde hair the held her innermost secrets. Brother Andreas on the other hand would have lauded her embracing of her womanhood in all is raw uncovered glory. He would have approved of her taking what the hand of God had so perfected and making it better with the hands of man, or in this case woman.

Dear Brother Andreas, Alexis smiled to herself as she climbed the chiseled stone steps to Parapet high above the city. He may never have danced to the music of passion but she was certain in the dark hours after Vespers he choreographed many a play. Even today as they recited the long remembered prayers she had seen his dark eyes sparkling as he noted how her dress, how her very presence electrified what should have been a dark and Holy room. Alexandra had been tightly laced into her finest frock of emerald green. Created from a soft delicate fabric found only the spice lands. A weave so fine it shimmered with every breath in the very the faintest of light. The low cut bodice trimmed with black lace at her décolletage allowed the snow like whiteness of her plump firm breasts to glow magnificently in all their splendor against the darker fabric. An eye drawing outline if she must say so herself. Brother Andreas had not missed it either. She had passed close to him as she left the vestibule where the simple daily prayers were recited. She had noted the beads of sweat upon the darkening growth of a midday beard across his upper lip. His dark eyes may have held firm in the solemnity of the moment but deep inside them she could see the flicker of a flame, the caged passion of a lion roaring to be free. Alexandra always wondered what tortured demons lay so deep in the soul of such man that he had pursued the way of the cloth. Too many times she had found herself adrift in his smoldering black eyes, felt her blood run hot when she passed close to him and smelled his musky male scent, he was coarse and vital is so many hidden ways. She paused a moment on her climb to lift her thick honey covered locks off her back and allow the sweet air drifting down the stairwell to cool her. It was brisk and refreshing allowing her once again to feel the full vigor of her womanhood, the subtle yet all-encompassing power of a life giver in her most powerful time.

A few more minutes of climbing the spiraled steps and she would be almost to the Tower’s top which hosted her secret room, her look out and her shrine. Oh the rotund and fretful Brother Barnanbus had riled against it, such isolation was not proper for a lady of breeding and shouldn’t she be in the nursery learning the ways of her kind. But her Father had overruled him and allowed her this concession knowing in cases of the spirit they were much more alike than further apart, and he himself was a thinker a brooder, a solace seeker. So thus Alexandria had her sanctuary.

Suddenly she was upon it, her priceless perch from high above the castle walls where one could look out at the mountain valleys, weave her fantasies and craft her dreams Oh the room, round with a large window overlooking all that she could not touch and lands where she could only dwell in the wild regions of her mind. It seemed lighter this time than upon her normal entry and she noted that the thick candle was already lit in its cradle upon the wall. Had she left it glowing the previous day? Surely not for it would have long since melted away. Quite possibly a member of the garrison had come to the Armory next door and entered her abode instead. She thought of the missive from Outremer. Although she knew not what it had said, she was truly hopeful her father would be returning from his service to the lands of his rule.

She fluffed the overstuffed goose down pillows as she positioned them next to the window. A steady rain was cascading down from skies and glazing the expertly set stones that formed her immediate world. It was a candle glow day she thought as the mists crept down from the mountain peaks and settled in around her tower top obscuring her view but the burning candle flames gave the room a dim golden quality with only light issuing from the burning candle on the wall. She lit a taper and gently moved around lighting her myriad of assorted candlesticks adding more of a golden glow to her eyrie. The brillaint jewel toned pillows she had fluffed combined with the earthy scent of rosemary branches and pines boughs gave an exotic quality to her surroundings. If Brother Barnabus were to see her now stretched out languorously on her pillows amongst her softly glowing candles he might have felt cause to burn her as witch. She smiled at the thought as she kicked off her slippers letting her feet be bare and removed the cumbersome petticoat to allow the silken emerald material of her dress to caress her now slick shaved legs. She untied her long hair letting it cascade around her head and loosened her restrictive bodice so her tightly bound breasts had some freedom of movement. She was catlike, she was raw. She radiated the unbridled femininity of a girl rising to the precipice her power and she was certain that mages throughout the land could feel her vibrant glow emanating from her tower to theirs. Alexandria settled back to dream.

She was not long on the pillows in the lands of her imagination when the door to her sanctuary opened, a figure entered turning to face the door as he pressed it shut, and yes it was a male. The identity of the being was less than discernable as he simply leaned face forward, back to her upon the large oaken door and stilled. Hands above his head, a simple piece of paper in his right as he took breaths of such depth she dared not announce her presence. She simply watched, feeling no danger and waited for him to turn. Oh but when he did. Alexandria felt her heart leap, Brother Andreas. But not as she had known him. The restrictive collared garments of the priesthood gone. Tight chamois leggings defined his thighs, a sweat stained linen shirt cut low at the neck showed a swath of dark curly hair that adorned his chest. Although sometimes given to heft, too many cakes she thought, and the animal power of his being pulsed from his very skin. Dark eyes appraised her, they were not solemn, and they were all at once those of a predator and then again those deep dark eyes that sparkled as a lover. Aware that her bodice was open at the top and her breasts all but visible, Alexandria shifted on her cushions in a fashion so her long golden hair would at least cover her somewhat. Her brilliant blues eyes locked with his dark ones as she did, but he was not man who needed glimpses. He was man that could take in the whole picture, at this very moment still waters rose as they drowned in each other’s gaze. Time ceased to exist between the two, a million thoughts one or the other had in the deep hours of the night passed through their minds  In the end Brother Andreas broke the silence. He simply raised the parchment in his hand and said “Outremer, your father has requested a Knight, a Templar. I am to serve”

The rains on the castle walls could surely have reversed themselves and poured through her window overlook upon her for the icy chill that ran down her spine. The large dark eyes of Andreas besieged her, and brought to light a fact she had denied for many months. Albeit untouchable, a Priest, one committed body and soul to their God, she loved him. She took in his visage, tawny skin, night black hair, a boyish charm when he laughed and a dark brooding look when he was lost deep in thought. Templar she thought? For a man such as this given to overindulgence of cakes and hours of study this was a death sentence. But she also knew quite possibly she was missing her mark in her assessment. The man held the fire of genius in his eyes and an indomitable spirit. She felt herself go slack, “Andreas” was all she could say as she stared into the mesmerizing darkness of his eyes.

The man she’d loved through times turbulent and testing stood at the door to her eyrie. The reality of the missive hung between them and was cast away. Brother Andreas was no more, he was simply Andreas as he moved across the room, grasped her close and buried his face in her golden mane. It was the power she felt within him as he was upon her, a masculine heat long held at bay, the rippling muscles of his arms as she ran her fingers down them, curious inquisitors, yet finding their grasp and holding on he was all and then he was not. She had never known the male body, only renderings, depictions, and stories passed by scullery maids in the night. Yet his lips found hers, both salty and sweet. The course hairs of his cheek caused a bit of discomfort, yet she felt her body submit as he arched above her, the weight of his loins upon hers, the scent of man and the power of desire. The mists rolled and the sweat poured, the hardness of his manhood pushed against the untried regions of her womanhood, and she succumbed to the weakness of submission, the two became one. So they united there overlooking the valley deep. A woman bred to the Throne and a Priest resonating with all the power of the dark lands. She tasted the salt of his sweat as he arched above her and he felt the sweet succulence of her surrender as she took his member time and time again as the sun sank over the valley. They were what they were meant to be, neither Princess nor Priest just lovers embraced in the ecstasy of what had been preordained for a millennia and they had no clue, just joy and a love that would outlive the world.

Ash Denton sat on his Jet, the results were back. Darn he open the folder? He had come miles, made millions and yet his true birth right remained a mystery. So now the Church had released the age old documents. Ash Denton the mogul, the billionaire was about to know exactly who “HE” was…

Maria of Amatrice

I guess I would remiss in saying that sleep did not come easy in the night. It was so very clear. A beam of light trickling in from either a crack in wall or a distant window, from my point this was not be discerned. Yet the beam was of golden rays, dust motes like gilded fairies danced and shimmered in the light. This was her view, interpreted as a simple “I have not forgotten you” as night closed in again on the stillness. What caught my attention first, to my drifting soul as wanderer, a practice I had honed throughout my years. Was the table top. A simple wooden desk, more of a catch all as one entered the home, steps right past it in the the entry way, now crumbled and inaccessible with rubble. It was there on the wall her to where her eyes guided me , the old lady crumpled on the floor. A simple ancient tile, the frame a turquoise plaster with chipped edges. A rendering of a lovely woman hair piled high upon her head in the fashion of her time. On the table a simple tray, brass? In the tray a Rosary of dark cut glass. Yes, she wanted it, she needed it for solace. Yet again our focus went to the framed ancient tile upon the wall. A cock crowed in the background, an evening cry by a distressed creature who had felt the earth shake, seen his world crumble. The lady so skillfully painted long, long ago on the tile seemed to be watching as well. She was thirsty, the one on the floor. While the tiles were cool, she could not rise, nor would water be the first on her mind, the old Rosary would be the item of her most immediate need. Let it be said, I can influence neither I am simply a guide. A traveler in the night. But I can relate the tale.

There was not a breeze,only the sound of the crowing cock and muted sirens in the distance. But a still silence of stopped humanity and a cloying darkness as if the world had been put to sleep encompassed all. She had awakened in the wee dawn hours by the ever restless housecat. Incessant cries and scratching to be let out had brought her from her bed to the entryway, no sooner was the cat released and the door closed then it happened. A roar, a rumble and a swaying from the bottom up as though the once solid earth was rolling like waves on the sea. She slipped. Grabbed for the desk, the Rosary, felt the cool glass beads touch her fingers,a reassuring surge of energy before she fell. As she went down she locked eyes with the oft ignored decorative tile above the desk, it did not move upon its hook, hung fast to the rocking wall. A family heirloom, an ancestor, yet it also gave instant solace for those eyes depicted in such detail centuries ago, were her eyes. They were the eyes of her parents and the eyes of her children. Old bones and tired muscles gave way to the lurching of the floor. Her hip gave with a crunching sound, her eyes locked on the ancient ones of the rendering, she a saw a resignation, a strength ,a fire, and an acceptance in those eyes of the woman on the tile coming at her like a  lightening flash across the years, it simply was.

She was a young woman alive under a glorious sun. The warm sand was soft beneath her bare feet and the water had been warm in the stream where she had washed off the dust of the day, unnaturally warm. She did not consider that, a young mother in a hurry to cleanse herself and return to her babe. She had tossed back her long dark hair luxuriating in its thickness, feeling refreshed from the water and high spirited for the night ahead. She felt her breasts pulse full at the sound of her child on the bank calling for sustenance. She was so vibrantly alive with every sinew tingling with hope, every breath was an elixir of pure energy. The bath, the sun, the babe, the world was truly glorious and she drank in this moment. Her eyes on the skies, her heart full and the future oh so very bright. She happily admired the painting a wandering Shepard had done of her earlier in the day, her husband would be joyous to receive the gift for his travels took him away for long periods of time. She tucked  the simple tile tightly next to the babe for the journey home.  It all came  about with a crack, a thunderous roar, like the very sky split apart. A deafening guttural scream from the very core of the earth. Surly the Gods guided her feet as she removed herself from the present world and ran to the child. She grabbed the soft blanketed babe and ran. She ran with all the strength she could find and years of chasing stray sheep in her father’s fields, gave her speed. The babe screamed only when she had snatched him from beneath the tree, and had become knowingly silent as the two raced across the rocky field towards home. Razor sharp rocks tore her feet as she ran, but the great female spirit that was mother, that was Lioness in human form, pushed her on. She could hear the roaring sky, feel the quaking earth, sense the darkness growing behind her as ran. It was Sulphur and it was ash. Her breath became short as she reached the road, her heart broke as she realized she did not have the speed to outrun the darkness billowing up and deepening behind her. He appeared through the yellow haze of ash and smoke, whipping his horse to a high rate of speed. Yet he must have seen her in the ever fading light. He reined up fast, reaching down to get her. But upon reaching a complete halt saw the babe. The horse already lathered, had what looked to be miles to go to escape the death rolling across the landscape. They could not do it. He saw a resignation, a strength, a fire, and an acceptance in her eyes. She simply handed the blanket wrapped babe to him, turned and faced Vesuvius for Pompeii was dying. He did as any noble man would, took the babe in front of him, challenged not her decision and allowed her progeny to live, her line to go on.

I guess he kept it for the babe, a noble man who knew the importance of history to the soul. But in any case, line after line, the simple girl so brilliantly captured upon a simple tile had been kept. Now my eyes, my wandering spirit did what I do. I breached the realm. The dark girl haired girl from Pompeii was with me. I could feel her essence, the older one on the cool tiled floor was scared, but watching us both. I guess we were spirits in the darkness as we came through, vague outlines or shapes. I have no idea how one appears when they come over from the other side. I could feel the deep ache in the hip of the one on the floor, hunger long gone now simply overcome with fear and indescribable thirst. But I could also feel a deep abiding peace as like met like and gentle eyes of the same locked gazes.

Yes, my dear, I can smell the bread you baked the night before, even through the musty smell of the rubble. But I have brought your people through. Your ancient one is now here to escort you back to the bosom of what was and what is to be, a Grandmother so great only the ancient codes can tell the story. There  was a moment of nothing, like all the energy is sucked out of a room, the tingling, and then the music. And yes, it is music. Joy is not even word enough to describe the unification of souls. I still could feel her trepidation as my gentle connection from her past ran a calming hand across her brow. I was of her time and I guess easier. “Gentle one, we are done here it is time to go.” I imparted. The music increased in its intensity. I can only say that it is the sound of every molecule of everything that is on this earth,every being, sun, wind and sky singing Hallelujah. Everything. And it is glorious. The earth rumbled and shook once again, the table rocked and fell this time, the Rosary slipping to the floor into the weak, yet outstretched   work calloused  hand, which closed  gently around its care worn beads. At that moment the tile on the wall swayed on its hook and then fell to the floor shattering into a million shards. I saw a resignation, a strength, a fire, and an acceptance in both the eyes of the woman  from the rendering and the woman on the floor. So Lyrica of Pompeii took Maria of Amatrice home that night. Oh the vistas, the cathedral glinting in the valley below as the land rolls out to the sparkling ocean, I can see it now in mind’s eye, yet so far outside of my grasp. Go home Maria. You called me and I found you. I have served my calling.

 

 

Bad Things

bad1  I guess when it’s all said and done, truth be told, I like bad things. It dawned on me this morning as I stood in line at the local 7-11 with my breakfast of choice, two Slim Jims and a diet coke. Nothing better in my book than the oily texture of a Slim Jim mingling with that peppery saltiness and then washing down each bite with the crisp carbonated tingle of an ice cold diet Coke. Oh and it’s got to be a Coke, no Pepsi or anything like that. I guess I knew I was totally evil when the girl in front of me grimaced at my choices. She was one of those earth friendly ones, Birkenstock sandals, a bottle of Norwegian spring water gripped tightly in one hand, an apple and granola bar in the other, smelling lightly of patchouli. Now I try not to judge, but if daggers could be shot from someone’s eyes I would surly have bled to death right there on gray industrial tile floor  much to the horror of what looked to be the entire Patel family working behind the counter.

bad4  Now Birkenstock girl was one of those with the fade washed organic clothing, tangled curls (rather unkempt) unknown label fabric purse still bearing a  huge BERNIE badge from some now past history rally. (Wonder how she likes his 600 K beach house?) She was pale, obviously a cave dweller and a lover of sunscreen, because  that horrendous global warming was going to fry us all. She gave my Slim Jims an apprising look of utter disgust. Now me, I was born and raised down here in the South, I like big hair, flashy earrings, I am no stranger to the Estee Lauder counter at Belk and it shows. So my Tumultuous Pink Lipstick (freshly applied) and Love Bites nail color (fingers and toes) was blazing brilliantly beneath the fluorescent lighting of 7-11. I had also possibly over sprayed myself this morning with White Linen perfume. All this makes me think she considered that I moved in cloud which was pure and total biohazard. Plus, there was sunscreen factor. I’m guessing it was pretty obvious I abhorred that, since I had spent previous afternoon at the pool slathered in Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil and was that dark golden color one who “Pools It” a lot gets late in the season. So yeah I’m bad.

bad7  I could see her mind working as she quickly made a judgement of my immortal soul, that it would surely burn in hell (if she believed in such) or at least never approach Nirvana. I held up my fancy repast, and said “Gotta tide myself over until Smashburger opens” as cheerily as I could. A look of true horror  passed across her face “I wouldn’t know, I’m a vegan” She replied. Of course I knew that and probably a gluten free, organic free range vegan too. The BERNIE badge flashed in the light. But so did the little pentagram she wore around her neck. Ah, I smiled to myself, presumably a Wiccan to boot. I mean anything to show one she was totally against the Status Quo. What she failed to guess was that the flashy blonde in Tumultuous Pink lipstick smelling of White Linen had just returned from the Carolina bottom land, where she had acknowledged the tree Dryads, said hello to the Water sprites, and even given the Gnome under the water oak a wink.

bad3

I must have made her nervous, myself so obviously a Trump supporter and a flaming ambassador to all things Capitalism. So she opened her oversize bottle of water (probably bottled just outside Waycross,Georgia from a spigot someone named “Norwegian”, you know  advertising and all that) and took a drink before turning to set it uncapped upon the counter. The youngest Patel looked a tad nervous at this, what if she did not have the money? Would they suffer the loss of an entire bottle of water? What were the ramifications? In my mind’s eye I could see my Dryad friends dancing from leaf to leaf and the water sprites splashing amongst the river rocks.

The odor of patchouli drifted towards me as she had noticed the arrival in line of three Hispanic fellows and threw them a welcoming nod, flipping dull, tangled curls over her shoulder. Oppressed, downtrodden immigrants. I could see as much compassion on her face for them as there was disdain for me. The BERNIE badge glinted again in the lights. I turned to meet the eyes of Juan, Pedro and their brother who’s name I did not recall. They were hot and sweaty after a long morning in the heat and I could see her very liberal vegan gluten free organic heart breaking at that sight. Now me, I like bad things. So I asked the three amigos “How did it go this morning?” Juan shook his head and said “Not as good as last time, but we all played under par, the course was rough, anyhow we’re headed up the lake, going to take the boat out” The BERNIE badge flashed in the light. She looked stricken, like the deer in headlights of a logging truck I had seen down on 521.bad2    Now I like bad things. I truly do. My guess was my friends the Water Sprites did as well.. I’m also inclined to do this from time to time, stay in practice and all that. As if by magic, (IT WAS) the still uncapped bottle of Norwegian spring water fell onto its side gushing water out onto the counter in front of Immigrants (Golfing Pediatricians), Trump supporter /Probably fundamentalist right wing Christian (Me , an adept at all things mystical with a penchant for freedom) and the anguished face of the youngest Patel (Who was ready to go back to school and rejoin his soccer team, but was helping Daddy to pay off his Beemer).  A deafening silence, no apology a simple swipe of her card and she fled. I watched her drive away in her Prius with New York plates BERNIE sticker fading out of sight. Magic, it’s not a bad thing.

I am

 

 

am5   I want storms all about me, I want the lightening  to crash around me in a million spiked claws of light. For in the names of the Gods , I cannot hold. This is too much, this time this place, was it not my destiny?  I cry to you now, why me? I saw the fall of my empire. I still remember the scent as the papyrus burned at Alexandria. I was there to feel the rendering of knowledge  held for the ages extinguished upon the breezes of the seas  ever restless for the hearts of man. Oh for the cool mornings I spent with the scrolls, now I feel I have fallen into a hellish descent. My question is? When my lover  led me to the path out of  the city. Kissed my lips and told me to flee, gave up his mount so that I could race to the olive groves on hill sides and beyond, did you not, the all knowing ones that guide fate upon the mountains high, not know our love would transcend your machinations? Have you never as Gods on high, felt the broad back of a winded sweating horse between your legs as you eclipsed the nearest mountain top, only to look back upon the city  of your birth? Watching the flames cresting high into the night, sparks upon the wind , ashes into the skies, alone ,a girl on a hillside who just left the love of her life die in the fight  of the flames  trying to save all we held dear. The knowledge, the fate of us all was written, the girl on the hill that never saw her love again  in that time, but she absorbed that which was written and yes my Gods that which was lost.

am3  My dears she danced, she watched the mists roll in across the Alps as she held a demon at bay.  She saw snow covered mountains, she felt the death and destruction as trains  of death like snakes rolled across the icy plain. She heard their cries, felt their spirits dispatched with clinical efficiency. I watched nails break against metal walls as they clawed to stay alive, yet the toxins were far to much, Dearest Gods I was there. I’m the bright eyed girl that caught the eye of the monster for the songs of so many. Doubt me not. I tried to save you. I remember those days so well, yet the putrid stink of death hangs over them like a haze. If we only had not lost the scrolls. When he held me in the night, I knew he searched for my words, yet  what I knew, held no consequence.  How many hikes to the tea house did I take? Yet I did my very best to hold the demon at bay. Dear Gods I endured his advances in the night and  I cried as the  Arora borealis lit up the mountains resonating with the spirits of you, the Gods. But you were silent watchers as humanity destroyed itself.

But tonight, as the blonde girl  sits on her deck she smiles to herself, as she is here and you are there. She also knows that if she were not of you she would not know you. My Dearest Gods, I have swum the ocean when my world sunk to the sea, I have run through the jungles when you ended a people with pestilence, yet again I danced.  So tonight a simple girl in Carolina  says  “Dearest gods  you’re daughter has got this.” but growing up was a bitch.