We bend our backs to the silver tide,
to the tide that turns the years —
the tide for which the old gods died
and wrung war out of tears.
We turn our eyes to the roiling night,
to the night that never ends —
the night in which we taste the blight
that in our dreams transcend.
We hone our ears to the coming song,
to the song that spans the land —
the song for which we must be strong,
for the prophecy so planned.
There’s anger in red, at least, that’s what most will say.
Red is anger, fury, fire and brimstone.
It’s lust and violence.
Red is raw and reaping energy, the solid and the faint, the systematic and the chaotic.
But red, this red —
this complete and utter embodiment into red,
drowning, choking, becoming.
This red is not angry.
Acceptance of our mortality, acceptance of the inevitability of drowning.
It’s warm but not blazing, unhinged but not fury.
This red is becoming. It’s hard and soft and loud and quiet —
but not angry.
I could poke my metaphor stick at red for hours.
I could un-turn it and repaint it and evolve it into some great symbol of
the telling faults of humanity’s ignorance to becoming.
But it’s red. And it’s not angry. And that’s
really all I have to say.
He’s a boy with a ball and a compliance in his eyes.
Youth, it seems, is wasted on the young.
Here we have a boy with a ball, and a plaid sweater, and a compliance in his eyes.
He is young, his face round and doughy, his hair curly, his fingers sausagey.
But he is not young.
There is a compliance in his eyes.
Youth, it seems, is not wasted on the young but stolen by the old.
Here we have a boy in mourning and he doesn’t know it.
His elders do not know it.
For they are the ones who dressed him in that plaid sweater and placed a ball in his arms and told him to stand.
He is staring at them with a compliance in his eyes, and a passiveness on his lips, and a naivety under his chin.
He is not playing, he is posing, with a ball in his hands and a plaid sweater on his arms and a compliance in his eyes.
He is a boy in mourning, and I mourn for him.
not constricting, but inhabiting, assuming
a serpent, orange as the early sun
a woman, pale as the withered toes of a corpse
her face, her expression
poised and pursed
with eyes that see everything and nothing
hair stricken by electricity, turned to straw
sprouting from her scalp
she seems vaguely disappointed with the serpent
that coils her neck, her wrists, her waist
tribal, territorial, dominant
it does not faze her
she is performing a ritual, one that she’s acted out
a hundred times now, and it’s dragging custom to her
her brow, arched on stilts, thin and fast as a
runner, a dark, demanding frame to her eyes, her
eyes that see everything and nothing
I feel upset, angry, confused at the woman
why must she go on not caring?
she is the most powerful, steely-faced woman in the
room, she adorns a snake, she commands her art,
and she doesn’t care
© 2015 Stellular Scribe
More than a lot had changed, I guess. As kids, the two of us used to climb up to the Roost and play with her dolls and stare out on the Cove, making up wild tales about what foul beasties lived beyond the sea. She always swore that there were others like us, other lost children looking for a way across that dark, watery infinity. I always swore that there were sea dragons and ghost pirates and slinky mermaids, but I guess that just went to show the difference between her and me. Her and her hopes and me and my magic. Back then, we could walk around in the Roost without risk of denting our heads on the ceiling. I guess you could say it was a short time, in more ways than one.
My earliest memory of her, actually, was when she yanked me aside after dinner one night and hissed through her teeth that she wanted to show me her “secret room.” A place no one knew of but her. A place where she could spy down on the courtyard and laugh at the smith when he dropped the ingots on his toes and dream of fantastical lands beyond the gray skies of this boulder . “But you can come up, if you want,” she had said to me. “You just have to promise not to tell my brother or any of his brutish friends. They’d just spoil it.” I promised. Of course the others would find a way to ruin the room, to make it not ours. I promised and it became ours. She called it “the Roost” because up there, she said, “I’m an eagle who flies above everyone, and if any one bothers me, I can swoop down and carry them off over the sea, where the serpents will gobble them up!” And I guess she was an eagle, and I was a hawk, and there was something simultaneously freeing and confining about looking out of a window onto the world that no one else could see. And she knew that. And I knew that. But she insisted that there were others like us out there, and I only talked of monsters.
I guess that said something about us.
I guess I should’ve known.
Just a quick writing exercise to motivate inspiration for my novel. I tried to reach into a character’s mind for a memory and then tell it from their point of view. Which was both a challenge and interesting insight to the character’s motivations, considering that I usually write in third person limited.
Oh Rose, will you wake from your slumber?
Oh Rose, will you climb from the dirt?
There are shadows approaching;
they darken the sun —
Oh Rose, find your root, take the world.
Oh Rose, do you know they are praying?
Oh Rose, they are crying for you!
Their hearts, how they’ve blackened,
so they tend your soil —
Oh Rose, spread your petals, pursue.
Oh Rose, what is it that you’ve done?
Oh Rose, there is blood on your hands!
You choked from the earth
the spirits sheltered —
Oh Rose, steel your stem and withstand.
Oh Rose, have you heard the people talking?
Oh Rose, they condemn you for dead!
Your thorns have grown long
and strangled the land —
Oh Rose, they’re coming, duck your head.
Oh Rose, you must go into hiding.
Oh Rose, you must strike from the dark.
The shadows are creeping,
their souls restless now.
Oh Rose, you must free them, embark!
Ripe the fruit of time they took,
plucked clean from dripping branch.
Then by their theft the old tree shook
and bent like curling ash.
Unknown to night, the children cry;
they weep for what they wrought.
They should never have climbed so high
and stolen what’s been lost.
(to be continued…)