Sunday 27 September 2020

Another Love

Things have changed, my cherished one, and I won't try to make it like it was before.  But I do still recall the unimaginable power of a dream.  Enough to reshape causation itself.  Spilling secrets like sea-salt through the gate of evening.  Holding open the iris; a dusk deeper than ocean rose.  Far, far below. In the church of thorn.  Drowning lowlands and remains of the day, just to shatter my palms on the curve of your shoulder.  Stitching letters there, my darling. Waiting for almost forty years to see you truly taken with love again. The way you run toward it now, unafraid.  Like those earliest visions that first broke and blessed my heart. 

   It's so beautiful. 

   I'll stand for love, till the end.  I'll exist this way even if it hurts.  I'll steal each cut if I can. Every agony, that my beloved ones might finally breathe and rest undisturbed.  I know I sometimes fail in that, and I'm sorry.  I'll keep trying until I am salt and sea myself.  Living far from my family, if that's what it takes to keep them safe from these hideous wraiths.  Yet, as near their hearts as possible.  Three kings, for sisters and brother, still following star and song.  From world to world, edge to edge of everything.  And I found you, at last.  Here in this fallen royal court beneath the twinning river.  This frightening place where they think we no longer exist.  Mirage.  Fata Morgana.  

   But I didn’t come all this way to reclaim you, or to demand a single thing from any of you.  I came to see the lives you should have lived.  Your own chosen paths fulfilled.  You're as safe as I can possibly keep you in this unsettling place, my darlings.  Running, truly running.  With new love.  I am far below, even now. Like my Mother.  Living drowned in bluest dusk.  Laken hilt.  Guardian of the Well, still tending the innermost of every holy place.  Till the day of our waking. It’s the price I pay.  You never knew me, and I never was, except in dreams.  Thankfully, my Father doesn't believe you can ever truly erase something from a dream.

Monday 14 September 2020

Tempest Fugit

It’s not a lie when I say I've known such tears before.  Yours, mine and theirs. Those tears know me too.  I wear one hollowed on my finger.  A circle of salt screaming of betrothed.  The sun’s hidden midnight, living below horizon and sea.  A church of thorn and mirror beneath the blue.  Mira, you gave me your name.  So that you would look back at me every time I face myself.  Too much, and not enough.  Fairest and true.  I've known sorrow, my darling.  Ways and ladies of sorrow.  Every binding.  Every bitter wraith.  
  Apprentice, I beg you.  Pretty my devastation with all the glamour of peace.  That one day you might know me once more through softest eyes.  I've lost so many lovers in this river of the thousand stars. Make a Father of me again. This wounded ray of sunlight dipped in ink.  Forever falling into an angel's longest nights.
  Teach me sweeter secrets, Mira.  An endless hunger for honour.  A hidden tongue of birds. Gift me with flight and I shall bring the skies with me.  And the grey, and the rain.  To the door of any who dare defile my beloved ones.
   Love is worth my drowning and the agony of this open eye.
  If character is fate then hammer me upon the anvil of life itself, until this fury of mine is fit for daughters and dreaming.  It isn't enough to rage, righteous or not. Torment must be tempered with a certain sweetness.  I have borrowed enough of it from my girls.  Time now to repay.  A place to believe, for guardian eternal.  Of poetry and prosper.  Descending, still, into those longest nights of the year.  And you’re with me, Mira.  No man is an island.  Not even the blackened sun.  I didn't forget you, teacher.  I gave you my name.

Thursday 3 September 2020

Like Breath

I want you to know that I'm still listening, my friend.  To the rivers, the breeze. Trying to stay attuned and of service.  Just as you taught your students.  Now the world is harder, darker, and demands so much more from all of us.  But there is still unimaginable wonder hidden everywhere.  The book, the hand, the song.  What it means to travel.  To honour and to dream.  Wolves.  Angels.  The way we circle back.  This kind of dreaming can happen anywhere.  This shining reciprocity.  In the forests of dusk and dawn.  At the city's edge where lost things dwell. Or upon the bridge, the refrain or verse.  These are questions of faith in the end, aren't they? Ritual writ large, and blind.  The oldest songs are always songs of place, of love and the unseen. We need to believe that something cares, that something underpins and reveals.  We craft hymns of creation and experience, that we might know ourselves and each other.  That we might order the maelstrom with such holy writ, and soothe our fear of wraith and shadow.
   As it was on that fragile edge.
   I remember how the emissaries all continued to build stunning halls and schools in Ethri-sol, even as mirrors bled and stars began to fall.  We weren't ready to simply abandon everything we knew in fear of those terrifying shades.  Instead we held steadfast to our principles and our hopes.  Churches of higher thought.  Libraries, archives.  Places of learning and rest.  We cherished them even as they slowly darkened.  
   Even as the sky itself began to fracture.
   But I still recall meeting a girl in one of those schools.  A beautiful musician.  She could write songs with only a glance, just as Yash’a did.  A gesture.  A palm against the heart or a hand placed gently across the eyes, to invoke such melody.  Summoning even the subtlest harmonies. We became great friends eventually, despite our world beginning to darken all around us. Slowly at first, then with increasing rapidity.  A thousand years was nothing to the teachers and students of Eth'iri.  This girl was a true visionary.  She taught me many things about music, but never how to play.  We would joke about it now and then.  I still haven't learned an instrument beyond word or sky.  But I often sat listening as she taught the others, enjoying the sweet poignancy of her wisdom.  She spoke of how she could hear music in the rivers and the breeze.  In birdsong and forest murmur.  We carry that music with us, she said.  And we shape it.  A continual, constant exchange.  
   Like breath.  
  More than simple conceit or metaphor.  A literal music of the spheres that could be heard by an attuned soul or ear.  In our depths, our graces.  The joy of our fingers on strings and keys, the dexterity of the hand that moves a pen.  The promise of a kiss, or the sculpting of a star.  Wherever we go, there the music is.  It's something I've never really forgotten.  Flowers planted on the banks of the river.  Prayers sung on the sands of the shore.  The way spirits breathe and mortals imagine.  My friend described this hidden music as a powerful secret, in that enigmatic way of many teachers and poets.  A traveller's secret, she said.  She wasn't wrong.  I still remember.  "With love nothing is impossible.  Can you hear?"