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.

Sunday

This day more than that, or more than those which had come before. I  loathed the thought of leaving. I preferred it back here in my realm of giant oaks and slowly moving waters. The trill of the crow in a far off treetop, the song of the cicada heralding in another day and the  softness of the moist sea air as it caressed my skin are the music to which I dance. The partitions between the times are thin here on the creek. One can hear the jingling of the coach horses harness of many moon times ago as easily as the croaks of the bullfrog on the waters edge today. It’s that proclivity I have to drift between the worlds past and those of now that is and always has been my fiercest addiction.

Nature with all her free wheeling souls has put no boundaries upon time and each of her loyal subjects lives with out fear of  a certain hour of the day. This is far more than I can attest to my fellow beings in the human world. That would be , according to a certain blue jay, why their ability to swing between realms is nominal or non existent. Now on this thick Sunday morning one must take the rantings of such a vivacious bird into hard account. Nature holds tight to her own and allows them gifts that humankind has long since left behind, yet covets with all their being. I tossed a large hunk of heavily buttered , strawberry jam laden bread his way, a reward for his insight and also his compassion for he knew I was one of the few that prowled the corridors of time and that I hated the return to the clocks. Those devices humanity had engineered to propel them ahead in hopes of attaining more power and control. Yet, they had lost the magic of history  along with the songs of the past , not the chorus mind you, but the gentle whispers of life. My Jay floated down from the moss laden branch upon which he held court and proceeded to pick apart his tasty offering.

The black brackish waters of the creek off to the side of  my porch, the place that was my haven, where I allowed myself the treat of drifting, had started to ripple. A signal that what had been a thick fat vein of water was starting a return to the sea. The Jay finished his morsel giving me the head tilted, bright eyed glance that I expected from such a delightful fellow. We both knew well the mothers heartbeat and that not far from our lush forest eyrie the tide was receding from the lands. Out on the beaches  waves would be starting to crash and roil as the sea pulled back . A lover slowly withdrawing what had been a long life giving kiss to the coasts of this rich landscape. There would be a scurry in the depths as the fishes raced back towards the big waters so as not to be trapped and vulnerable in the deceiving eddy pools left behind as the waters retreated. The deep creek dwellers would be awakening to begin their  search for the mornings repast on the soon to be exposed banks of thick black plough mud. I  shivered to my core as my modern humanity induced nature reminded me that it would soon be time to leave my idle for that restraining world of walls I so resented. Yet I so needed for the laws of this time said I must if I cared continue my existence. s1

My Jay gave a leap catching the air with one flap of his wings and returned to the branch where a free Blue Jay could look down upon an enslaved human. The glisten in his eyes intimated to me his amusement for it seemed  so many humans thought they were so smart . As  I met his eyes the harness of the coach horses jungled with the restless stamping of their feet and then faded into the heavy thud of the car trunk being closed. It was time, the snake that was the highway would soon embrace me in its venomous grip and the poison of the walled times would begin it steady debilitating drip into my veins. The bullfrog on the bank silenced what had been his steady croak, the crow’s trilling had subsided when the waters of the creek had begun their outflow to the sea and there on a gentle Sunday morning , myself and the Blue Jay locked eyes for not a moment in time, but for a moment in many.  You’re right I said to him as I rose to leave. Its time to flee the walls of steel, cement and millisecond’s. Its time to drift through the many prisms that are the realms and dance with the worlds within, take succor from the magic lost in history and engineer the catapult that breaks through the prison walls.   Yes, the highway is today, but tomorrow with be a soft dirt path. s3

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.

Sunday

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It was one of the last of the days of the shortening light. A grey misty December afternoon where the light was fading all too soon and the blustery winds of winter swept in across the valley. A lone Hawk perched high in the naked limbs of a weather stripped tree calls out to his kindred across the expanse of openness that is the fields. Fields that will glow emerald when the sun returns to the land and the hours of light overflow the hours of dark. For now I am content to sit on the back of my winter coated horse and watch the meanderings of the foraging birds. Allowing the last of the darkening days to feed my soul, to allow me to gain peace, for one must embrace the darkness to savor the light.   A scent of wood smoke from a distant hearth drifts on the breeze, in my mind’s eye I can visualize the glowing embers and the warmth of a family gathered round. A peace that is the cawing of the crow, the rustling of the birds and whisper of winds through the pines provides solace to my ever turbulent thoughts. This could be a vision from a medieval time hundreds of years ago, or the view from the first farmers of these gentle fields, but today it was simply those of a woman escaping the hectic pace of her century. This is my time, my space. Wicked, wild and untamable. Nature’s realm.  Here I draw my strength. An immortal reckoning that has sustained those of my kindred for more than a millennia, longer than time has been tracked by the fastidious records of man.

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The raw power of the beast between my legs gives me wings to fly. An animal so strong he could kill me without a second thought. Yet a creature of the wilds as well, who chooses to be my accomplice as opposed to my opponent. For it seems, when we choose run the grasslands and hillsides, our beings feed on each other’s joy and reckless abandon. We tempt the fates over the fences that block our paths and hinder our flight. We dance through the mists all powerful and in an ecstasy of unity that few can comprehend. I am his sustenance and he is my light. Woman and equine, the rawness of the life giver who must abandon fear of pain to do her duty and the nobility of the steed that carries her so gallantly in a unity of power and mind. Yes tomorrow the world awaits. But the time is now to savor that from which I will draw my solace when the days in the pulsating chaos of the city become tenuous. When the noise of the dissatisfied masses reaches a crescendo, I will allow myself to detach and revisit that oxer that seemed so incredibly high, yet my companion and I cleared  with such ease. Take my mind to that moment midflight when we both cared not if we if landed at all, the freedom of being untied to earth an elixir we drank uncaring if it destroyed us in the end. Such experiences allow one to defy fear and silence the sounds of things we care not to have visited upon on our being. The ability to simply leap and fly to the other side of the miasma and move on.

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Oh yes, in few hours I’ll be back in my car in the endless blood red river of taillights that takes me in to the city. I’ll turn on my computer and see the ruminations of my likeminded sisters all over this great land who’ve done the same as myself. Photos of rocky ravines negotiated, snowy fields raced across and mountain vistas viewed. Fences that were too high, yet sailed anyway. Streams too flood swollen, but swum anyway. Speeds far too fast, yet galloped anyway. Horses still green to the rider, ridden anyway. Oh yes, the glove snug jeans will be shed, boots will be left in the entry way, and tomorrows business outfit of choice will be assembled. But when morning breaks and  we amble out the door into the world of commerce, I’m quite certain we will all give a wistful gaze to the crumpled jeans and the barn muddied boots. This weekend in the pastures was sweet fiery mead to our wild essence, but Monday morning will be strong black coffee to our fiery spirits. So we will jump the worlds fences far too high, swim the world’s streams far too swollen and run through the week way too fast. But come dawn Saturday that Hawk is going to call, those winds are going to whip and I like many are going to once again eschew the cement world and ride the open expanse that is the breath to our once again pounding heart.

 

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.

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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.

Larkspur -Prelude to a dance

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Sunday mornings are the best time for reflection. The world seems gentler, almost passive as we take solace in the gentle dawn hours and catch our breath for the week ahead. I guess the ghosts of my history are calling to me at this point. Wanting to be heard, to have their stories saved. Maybe they have a valid justification for that, because such history seems so very sweet as I look back this soft Sunday morning. Maybe my fear is that I will not do them justice, the sagas of the lives we lived not all that long ago. But as I’ve told myself through the years, if not you? Who? So I shall refill my coffee, let my mind roam free through the rolling fields of times past and prepare to save the spirits of the life we lived long gone, but which never should be forgotten. Taking the good with the bad, excoriating my soul and weaving tales of a time that so many hold so very dear.

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Horse traders and car dealers it was simple as that. Or was that simple at all? I remember coffee was on the sun porch every morning at 7am, good, strong ,hot coffee, made in a percolator, an item I’m sure has long since been forgotten. The sun porch looked out over the upper pastures as they rolled down to the creek, the landscape always changing colors and appearances with the seasons. We discussed the weather, the horses, and who did what when. It was South Carolina in the early 90s, situated close to the North Carolina line and the rapidly growing city of Charlotte. I was young then, as I look back on it all today. Half of me wanted the city life with the bright lights and fast pace. The other half wanted what was simply written into my DNA. A love for farms, fields and horses glistening in the sun. The latter overcame the former in the years to follow and I survived that dissection of my soul. Or as I was told one sweltering July day as I slaked my thirst with a long draught of well water from the hose at the end of the barn, “You’ve done drunk the water now this will always be home” .

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I traveled a lot of miles from that day to this. In my darkest times I found succor in the memories I built on that big patch of red Carolina earth that holds swamps, ponds, dark forests and wide open pastures. The people, the horses, the journeys and the history need not lie fallow awaiting a wordsmiths till. For we lived, we laughed, we rode and we cried. So to all that lived that history with me then and still do today for that Carolina ranch still stands. I will try and do man, earth, and beast justice for we all made these stories together. A myriad of intertwining moments. My only hope is that sometime off far in the  future, be it our progeny or simply a seeker’s curious soul, one can look back and say, “ That’s what it was like then” and see that it was good.

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This Sunday Carolina morning I’ll finish my coffee as we always did on the by 8am. Wonder what the view is like from the sun porch, think about the weather, the horses and who did what when. I will ask the memories to come strong and clear, savor every detail and begin a journey not truly forward, but a meandering back in time. May the voices of our history ring out strong and clear like the church bells we’d hear from the hillside on a crystal, clear fall morning’s ride. Simply put “what was lost, must be found”and the restless ghosts of my history are taking me there.

The Songbird Flies

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So the songbird flies, she hears the call in the winds ,the rustle in leaves of the trees, the deep rhythm as the earth surrenders to the ancient forces of time and prepares for her rest . I too feel the  shift  as the seasons  begin their dance from one to the other.  Yet I hold my flight for as long as I can. I want to feel the gentle earnestness of your kiss for a while longer. Run my tongue across your skin to taste the salty tang of  your essence  and to inhale the musky scent of your male being  just a while longer. This is the soliloquy, the finale of us before we part for a time .  I hunger for your embrace , for it to last an eternity, to go past seasons into years , years into decades on through the course of the millennia.

The you and I that once were for so long. I will always hold the memory of you in my heart, back when things were simple, back when loving you was easy as the breath which powers the heartbeat in my chest. Tonight we’re so far from that sweet place of what was, yet let us  take this time to forget the spinning, maddening world around us, to meet each other on our terms. A glance leads to a gaze, a gaze leads to an embrace  and an embrace leads to forces untamable and beyond our wildest fantasies. I can feel your want, your pulsating reverberating  need. Sometimes just falling into your arms is all I need to dust off the tomes of our history and rewrite the legend. To see the sparkle of sweat glistening  upon your chest . To see the burning embers of passion in your eyes during those unbridled  moments when nothing exists but the love slick  heat of feeling of flesh upon flesh, passion upon passion, the cresting and the rising. The moment when the world falls away and we are one in the night. Those times when one wants to hold back, to extend the burn of the deep aching fire and in the same moment to let go completely in to the total oblivion of which  pure ecstasy  avails. To become one together in the moment, the shuddering spark into a white hot roaring flame crackling  and sparking against a world gone mad.  I feel your breath upon my neck, I see the heat emanating  in your eyes from your deepest longing, I feel your kiss on my lips, the scruff of your cheek, there is no yesterday or tomorrow  and we fall with a lovers embrace into each other once again. The world melts around us and drips away.

The crescendo has been reached and like a river running to sea we roll on towards our destination.  One tide rolling in, one tide rolling out, white capping and churning we break apart. We’ll taste each other on the gentle breezes, feel each other on the gusting winds. The leaves will fall from the branches they adorned for a season and the winds will become chill as  the darkness becomes longer than the light . Yet when I gaze into the gentle glowing fire I will see your spark, feel your heat and  acknowledge the abstract power that was you. So the songbird flies.