MEMORY LANE

Let’s go for a walk down Memory Lane,

the cobblestone streets that I always pass by

where you can catch my grandparents

hobbling by on canes made of willow trees.

 

Toddling around are the friendships

that sailed away before my mind molded

and got lost at sea with my consciousness,

unable to the map to find a way home.

 

Out beyond the horizon, after the sunset

are the fuzzy images of my pets

who drowned at the farm

and found themselves up in the stars.

——

 

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DEPARTURE

I was out on a walk through the city when my mind shifted between the membranes of existence. I had been looking at the crowds, breathing the air—both the fresh and the foul—and letting the tail ends of the trees brush through my fingers, just like any other person. Then, I was outside myself, looking down on everything else. Not as a god, but a hopeless observer. My body was still moving below; still enjoying the views and smiling at passers by, and I could feel it’s every movement and ache within myself. But my eyes had left this world. I was out over the clouds, looking down at my own personal globe of reality.

I turned the vision, and saw the whole mass of people on earth. For months, I followed them around, growing further and further from my body each day. It wasn’t long before I lost connection to it altogether, and had to track it down myself, instead of just feeling its movements. By that time, I was beginning to grow bored with my new world. Being an observer is hard.

The people below don’t even think about what they are doing. They go about their days, listening to iPods, working mindlessly, and ignoring nearly everyone else. Many of these people go home, look up to the sky, and hope for something to change, but never take the first step to do so. The more they talked, the less I listened. They weren’t all like this, some brave souls tried to explain the problems to the youth, but too often it was too late for them too. Eventually, I found myself more interested in the flowers and the trees than people.

I could follow the roots, below the ground, and watch as they sucked the water from the dirt. I could track the petals as the fluttered through the sky. I would try to console the wilting plants, neglected by their owners, before they washed away into the earth and became part of the collective again, but the truth is they never heard me. I could dive down with the fishes, and see in the dark. The bottom of the ocean is more quiet than the biggest caves. The creatures down there don’t move so fast. They drift, like wood on the surface, wherever the unseen current would take them.

I could even slip between the rocks, and watch the long conversations they had. One day, while I was listening to them, I felt a tug at my soul. First it was light, like a child pulling blankets in the night, but then it began to pull harder, and I felt myself flying through the world. Faster and faster, until I couldn’t even see where we were going. I tried to dig in, to grasp at my globe, but the force pulled me along. Then, as quickly as it started, it all stopped again. I awoke with a start, in my bed, as if from a nightmare. It was dark in my room. I moved to the doorway without even thinking, and flicked the light switch. I was home again. I was back in my body. My heart began to race. I didn’t want to go back. It was so boring here. I climbed back into bed, hoping to escape in the sanctuary of dreams, and fell asleep.

——

 

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DREAMS OF VISIONS IN FIRE

Recently, I had a dream about fire. It was well past midnight, but I had grown cold beneath my cloak in the woods, so I decided to build up the fire again. The cinders in the fire pit were nearly out, but because I was quick about getting the kindling I managed to relight it before it went out entirely. I sat there, waiting for the flames to grow as they gnawed hungrily at the wood. When they were finally big enough, I pulled back my gloves and bared my fingers against the heat. It was soothing, like closing the door inside a toasty home on the night with heavy rains.

The longer I sat by the fire, the longer I stared into it. It was beautiful. It snapped back and forth to an unheard tune, like a lost dancer looking for its partner. Eventually, the body of heat morphed into a vision of a reality far, far away. It was a ballroom, with its own massive hearth, filled with elegant dancers, all dressed in matching red outfits. The fire snapped again, and suddenly I was looking at the cosmos, full of dancing red stars—each moving in a disjointed pattern. There was no rhythm to it, yet it somehow look completely expectable.

The fire snapped again and I was back home. Not the house I lived in, back in the village ten miles east, but home. The long expanse, across a thousand miles, through rivers and over mountains. A home I had never seen, yet had always known was mine. And looking back out at me, from inside my home, was a beautiful woman. I somehow knew she was my wife, though I had never been married, and in her arms was a small baby crying with a voice that I couldn’t hear. She looked at me, and smiled. I put my arm out to reach for her, but as I did the fire snapped at my wrist, and the images burned away.

 

That’s where the dream stopped. I can’t really explain it. The red outfits I think pretty clearly mean passion in some form or another. The cosmos make little sense to me, but the rhythm between them seems to me to mean possibly something like “the universe is exactly where it means to be right now.” The woman could mean my own desires, though I don’t know who she is. In my dream, my being seemed to have an idea of who she was—like we had met previously, or would know each other when we met.

Or, it is equally possible that, after watching Howl’s Moving Castle and finishing the third Game of Thrones book, where visions in fire are a prevalent aspect, my subconscious simply had the mystical properties of fire in mind, and felt like playing out its own vision therein. I don’t know. What do you think? Do you have any cool/strange/incredible dreams like this that you can remember? Let me know!

Oh! And make sure you have a safe Halloween! 😉

 

 

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VISIONS IN THE DESERT

I felt like an ant, crossing that wasteland of a desert. There was nothing in site as far as the eye could see, and the sun was beating down on me, heavy, as though Apollo had set his chariot of fire on my shoulders. In my mind, the pulsing of my headache felt like the hooves of his mighty horses pounding me to death. My shirt had been soaked through with sweat hours before, and I could feel the sun burn taking shape on the uncovered parts of my body.

The desert air filled my lungs—drying my mouth and leaving my throat ragged and parched. Each breath felt like a cement block was being dragged across my insides. My legs had grown wobbly as I ascended the dune. As I neared the top, my vision began to grow blurry, and my legs buckled for a moment. I came down hard on the sand; my knees crashed, followed swiftly by my outstretched arms. I sucked a deep breath of air, attempting to gather the strength to get back up again, then coughed and spit as sand slid in between my teeth. My forehead rested on my arm, as I enjoyed the blackness behind my shut eyes. My arm was sticky when I finally pulled it away and, shaking, clambered to my feet again. I looked out across the mass of emptiness before me.

I was struck by the beauty of it. It was so empty, even time seemed to have melted away. Each moment seemed to take hours, and suddenly I felt like many decades of time had passed me by. And, as I looked down at myself, I realized they had. I watched as my deep black beard faded to peppered gray, and then finally to white. The skin in my hands wrinkled, and the whites of my knuckles pressed for freedom. I felt my body grown weaker; drier; sicker—as though I had been possessed. My legs began to shake, no longer in fatigue, but with the brittleness of an old man, too long for this world.

My mind flooded with visions of my youth: An awkward game of catch with my father, my first dance with a girl, the late night writings of a dedicated lover, the early morning rises of budding father; and then soon came the memories that I had never known. Seeing my son become a father, and holding my granddaughter for the first time, watching from the sun-chairs as they played in the waves, holding my wife’s hand as she passed away—that same shy smile she had given me when I had asked her to the dance. All these memories I had never known flooded through my mind, as though the floodgates of “could have been” had been thrust open by some unnatural force.

Then shut, once again, as I saw the last vision of myself, from outside my body. I was there, eyes shut lightly, with my mouth hung slightly open. My beard looked scraggly and short. My skin was pale—so pale I nearly missed it flaking away. Bit by bit, the wind pulled fragments of me away with it. It looked like I was peeling. Then, as the gusts grew stronger, I watched myself crumble away into dust and float away, with the desert, forever.

——

 

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BOREAS (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Aeolus

When he bagged the winds

the whole world grew silent

and it was quite dull.

 

Eurus

The wet summer wind

arriving here this early

is unexpected.

 

Boreas

The shutters slam closed

while the low howl of winter

demands he come in.

 

Notus

Zucchinis shriveled

as the bountiful gardens

became a desert.

 

Zephyrus

He greeted their cries

with the tender compassion

of a humble man.

——

 

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SPRINT

Sprint,

Don’t run.

For life is short,

And so is the race.

 

Sprint,

Because

The best meals are taken

By those first place.

 

Sprint,

Because

Death catches those

Who linger behind.

 

Sprint,

Because

Love finds those

Who are the most defined.

 

Sprint,

Because

You can rest

At the end of the day.

 

Sprint,

And you

Can escape

What the haters say.

 

Sprint,

For the thrill

Of the hunt

In your heart.

 

Sprint,

Before age

Saps your hands

Of their art.

 

Sprint,

Until

Once strong bones

Start to ache.

 

And sprint,

Until

Your body

Finally breaks.

——

 

Hello there!

 

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