From Beth Ann Fennelly’s The Welcoming
“Distance was the house from which I welcomed you,”
…lacing the rosemary cream corset, humming underneath my breath
Church hymns, awaiting your arrival.
On the subway, I extended my jeweled hand to you
“Mein held,” and I welcomed you-
From that space between where delicate feet hit stomach sky and sea floor.
Feel the lush green grass
seperate your toes
cushioning your soles.
The scent of spring blossoming,
wafting around you
the sweet scent of
yellows, purples, oranges and pinks.
Invited by birdsong and butterflies,
get lost in paradise,
warm sun on your face
painting the dawn in hues
of blues and golds.
Sometimes I wish I could hear voices
Maybe then I wouldn't feel so lonely
My inability could be written off
I'd be a pathetic mess, as I am now
Only, then I'd have an excuse
I could live my life blissfully unaware
Of the outside world
All demands upon me would be erased
I'd die haunted and controlled
But happily submissive
Too lost, too dumb
To know anything better
Reside in me.
There is a void here.
There is no life here.
The doors are completely open.
But I don't remember keeping them open for you..
With your face covered in darkness
It is unforeseeable to look at my future
You stand tall with your sword
On your left side.
You are not welcome here.
I never said I desire death.
Though I do, inside my head.
It's nice to wake up next to you
A comfortable feeling
That I could get used to.
Rising whenever we please
Taking our time to get out of bed
A homey feeling, it puts me at ease.
Just as I am waking
I know you're next to me
And a smile is immediately forming.
I really could get used to this
Sleeping next to you
And receiving a good morning kiss.
I want it to last
But you cant stay in bed forever
I am hoping tonight comes fast.
So I can get close to you again
Hold you in my arms
And maybe the night wont end.
I love the scent of September,
The aroma of browning leaves in the air,
The soft crunch of them beneath my feet,
The sweet sun warming my skin to the perfect degree,
Combined with cool air surrounding.
I love the sight of the sunrise
As I trot the road at the break of the day,
Its rays dancing across the rainbow sky,
Its light dancing along unending hillsides
To the budding music of morning creatures.
And in this moment,
A moment filled with the serene unity of nature,
All I want is to venture into the middle of nowhere,
Scream at the top of my lungs,
And soak in the peace around me.
‘Tis the season for change.
“But what are these bugs doing crawling on me?”
As I looked around, the entire room became a profusion of swirling vibrant colors. The walls continued breathing, while also now emitting howling sounds. Shifting my head back and forth, I slowly observed a room where snakes lurked in every corner, each one hissing in rhythm. I could see the rhythm, it was a cacophony of crimson, the color of blood. My subconscious became my foreground. All internal conflicts were unmercifully haunting me, one hundred fold. I had no idea who, or what I was. I could not feel my body. What was my body? Upon the benches the skeletons returned, this time holding hands. They stood up and walked towards me, their bones rattling, their teeth chattering, their eyes spinning until turning into mirrors. I could see myself in their eyes. I looked scared, I was scared, I was horrified – uncontrollably shivering, devoid of reality. I ran into the gooey melting cell door screaming:
“Jesus, Jesus! – Help me! – They’re attacking me!”
Now at a phenomenal speed the room was pervasively spinning, around and around, faster and faster. I was standing dead center inside a kaleidoscopic tornado. I felt ill, squeamish, holding back my vomit. Cold chills synchronized while dancing up and down my arms until turning into giggling maggots. The kaleidoscopic tornado’s interior appeared as a multitude of stacked, giant, whirling, musical truck tires – colorfully spinning, while also gradually contracting – shrinking tighter and tighter, smaller and smaller, closer and closer. Had I entered Hell through a wormhole? Dark dimension, the black universe, perhaps I wasn’t coming back? An alluring apathetic face suddenly appeared stationed out in front of me. Instinctively I knew whose face it was. I screamed out his name:
“Death…!!! – No! No! – Dear God please help me! – Jesus! Jesus!”
The last thing I remember was my thinking – “Don’t pass out!”
ONE HOUR LATER
“Doctor Stoker, the patient appears to be waking up. Shall I administer more sedative?”
“No, Nurse Talbot, I believe more than a sufficient amount has already been administered. Any additional diazepam could promote adversity. The excessive amount of lysergic acid diethylamide found in his system would only continue counteracting, in alternating recessive increments, the sedative’s affect. We can expect the patient to slip in and out of consciousness. On the other hand, if we administer more diazepam, then once the LSD wears off, the effect of the diazepam, in the worst-case scenario, could induce coma, cerebral paralysis, or possibly death. Diazepam is much more long acting than LSD.”
“To what degree of an overdose did the patient incur?”
“He tested positive for approximately six thousand micrograms of LSD-25, whereas two hundred micrograms of LSD-25 is considered a very strong dose. The patient had at least thirty times this amount in his system. The threshold for a psychotropic effect in humans is considered to be anywhere from twenty to thirty micrograms.”
“Should I transfer him to a room?”
“No, for now he’ll be committed into the psychiatric ward, at least for overnight. We should know by either tomorrow or Sunday whether the chemicals have worn off. When he awakens, at first he’ll be lethargic. He’ll probably experience incremental bouts, teetering between lethargical and maniacal peaks and valleys. The sedative can be expected to decrease his fears and anxieties, but it will not subdue his hallucinations. Therefore, have him confined to a padded isolation chamber.”
“I’ll see to it immediately. Presently orderlies Hanson and Stadler are at hand. I’ll have them transport the patient into psychiatrics. Oh, here they are now.” “Gentlemen, this patient is to be transported into psychiatrics and placed in padded isolation.” “Is there anything else, Doctor Stoker?”
“Yes, make sure he’s delivered specifically to Doctor Clive, this is important; and Nurse Talbot, notify Doctor Clive of all pertinent information prior to the patient’s arrival, including all details regarding the car accident involving him and his girlfriend.”
“I’m dialing his extension as we speak.”
Down the hall we went, my body stretched out aloft a long gurney, pushed and pulled into an elevator, until ultimately arriving on the fourth floor. Once inside the psychiatric ward, I was placed inside a padded isolation chamber.
I awoke with absolutely no recollection of ever being in a hospital. I was not sure who, or what I was. Many rudimentary ideas, such as days and hours, seemed foreign to me. I was far beyond lost and completely oblivious to location, with little conception of space, time, and person.
Hovering above, beckoning me, a bright light shone. Was this the sun? Had the very universe itself collapsed, or had I become the universe? Was I presently embarking on a spiritual inner world experience, and from where did I hear this term? Or perhaps I entered another dimension, one of those widely theorized alternant universes?
My mind raced, possessing fragmented thoughts cluttered within fragmented thoughts. In defense of my knowledge of our universe expanding – “I won’t move.” I’ll let the universe, or should I say, I’ll let this alternant universe, move without me? – releasing me from its abduction, thus methodically reinserting me back into my universe.
Maybe I’m destined to wander aimlessly throughout eternity, lost inside this contorted realm, seemingly as contradicting as a colorful black hole? Now if I could only activate my dormant hibernation genes, remaining idle throughout the infinite, vast light-years yet to come. I believe, then, even fate would stand to reason with the inevitable. I also believe that somewhere it must be written – I am destined to cheat eternity!
My awakening! My epiphany! I am the universe! Omnipotent! Omnipresent! Transcending time! Transcending space, matter, dimension! Dimension? Hibernation! Hibernation? Shifting consciousness! Transcending time! I am time! Shifting consciousness? I am dimension! Shifting as I choose! What I choose! What I choose? I am space! Where I choose! Where I choose? I choose! I choose? I choose:
Sarah’s apartment? I choose Sarah’s apartment. Remote viewing! Consciousness shifting! Inner projecting! Sarah’s bedroom! Heaven, Hell! Holistic body! Universal body! Sarah’s bedroom! Sarah’s bedroom? This is Sarah’s bedroom! I’m in Sarah’s bedroom? I am Sarah’s bedroom! The wall! I recognize the wall! I feel the wall, it’s solid! It’s soft! Sponge-like! Sponge-like? Think, think, think! What am I forgetting? Why can’t I remember? My memory is virtually powerless! I’ll lie down. Lying down helps one remember? The bed is soft, is this good? I can’t remember! I’m presently lying down, yet why do I suddenly recall the magnetic north? When my girlfriend Sarah returns home from work, she’ll remember. Yes, that’s it! In anticipation of sharing my inner body experience, I’m awaiting Sarah’s return. The alternant universe! Highly advanced mystics! I’m a highly advanced mystic? Where has my memory gone? Think, think! I can see myself, that’s Sarah’s bedroom mirror. Yes, her bedroom mirror lies ample feet before her bed, I remember. I’m so very drowsy, I’ll nap, sleep, sweet sleep. Is this a dream? Perhaps, it’s someone else’s dream?
Where am I? Did I awaken? There’s a pinhead size beam of light coming from the center of Sarah’s bedroom mirror. I approach the beam of light, covering it with my finger. When I remove my finger, the light returns. I’m scratching at the pinhole, progressively scraping away the mirror’s surface. The hole widens, so does the beam of light. My finger slips right through the hole. Is there a hole in the wall on the opposite side of the mirror? I now dismantle the mirror, removing it completely from the wall. Looking at the wall where the mirror had been, there is no hole. Looking behind the mirror, again there is no hole, only solid wood. How can this be? I begin frantically scraping away at the continually widening hole until no portion of any mirror surface remains. This once mirror is now a hole in a wooded frame, with a solid wooden back. Holding the frame out before me, peering inside, I see only darkness. Lifting the frame above my head, lowering it until reaching my mid-thighs, dropping the frame upon the floor, my entire body slips on through – strange feelings of entering yet another dimension. In my passing beyond the mirror, could I have entered our world’s parallel universe?
Dwelling inside the looking glass, I lurk amongst a universal counter-realm of mirrored images – opposite polarity, reflecting, countering our very existence. A parallel sun brightly shines above me, thawing mountainous glaciers. Waterfalls flow into the sea, the deep purple sea. Melted oceans meet the shore. I wade upon the beach, the purple ocean waves crashing at my feet. I hear the seagulls, I smell the salt air, I walk with sinking footsteps as the pink sand swivels beneath. How large is the universe? – the universe of all universes? What is God? Is God the universal universe? Walking, endlessly walking, my eyelids weighing heavily, I believe I need to sleep, sleep, deep sleep. I can sleep upon the infinite pink and purple beach.
Sinking into the abyss – slumbering deeply. Sporadically wavering – drifting in and out between light and solid sleep. Dreaming of flying, the vibrations come – very fast and very coarse. I’m standing in a hallway, with a nurses’ station to my left. To my right, behind a steel gate, lie many occupied rooms of patients, fully spanning the entire length of the hallway. There’s a blind man on this side of the gate seated alongside his Seeing Eye dog, a German Shepherd.
I feel as if I’ve experienced a time lapse. I can’t recall who, what, or where I’ve been between my flying dream and my cognizance within this hallway. Nobody sees me. When I shout, no one hears me. Am I having another out of body experience, or am I merely dead? Canine senses are far more acute than that of humans. I'll yell into the dog's ear:
He hears me. He turns his head, he raises his ears, he sniffs the air and he looks at me. I’ve been acknowledged by a dog!
“Have you recently checked the status on Mr. Bower?” asked Nurse Chaney.
“Yes, I’ve just looked in on him,” replied Nurse Lanchester. “He appeared disoriented, completely oblivious to his surroundings. As I peered through the observation window he disassociatedly stared in my direction. After walking towards me, he tore the trim off the window. He then lifted the thin small frame up over his head, dropping it around his circumference. Following this, he walked around in circles until lying down. Presently he appears to be sound asleep.”
“Good Lord, he’s way ‘out there,’ isn’t he?” Nurse Chaney remarked. “Let’s just hope he didn’t incur any permanent brain damage. If all goes well, he may still come around.”
I’m in a hospital. Or am I only dreaming I’m in a hospital? – but if I’m having another out of body experience, then where is my body? In and out of focus, visually everything intermittently flickers, back and forth, between an intense clarity and a complete blur. Why am I in a hospital? Such vivid colors, it’s all so surreal. The nurses’ faces are pale red and green. How long have I been here? At the opposite end of the hallway, two people begin inching their way toward me. Slipping in and out of focus, they continue heading in my direction. I believe one person’s pushing the other person in a wheelchair. It appears to be a man pushing a woman, yet I can’t quite make them out. The woman must be a patient. Her head is bandaged, her leg is in a cast. Everything is coming through in waves. I sense, no I feel strong overwhelming emotions of empathy, concern, and allegiance. I must know these people.
Gradually their images sharpen, slowly taking form, but still, I can’t quite make out their facial features. They’re getting closer, continuously forging ahead. I wonder, why can’t I hear the man’s footsteps? Their features begin solidifying, they approach in vivid clarity. Is that who I think it is? Yes.
She doesn’t hear me. I really hope I’m not dead. This man who’s with her pushing the wheelchair, I know him, but why do I see right through him? He’s transparent, yet Sarah is not? I now see that he does not push her, he only lurks behind her, stalking her! Upon acknowledging his true identity, this once apathetic face now warmly greets me. What I had initially envisioned as bone-chilling hands, quite the contrary are nothing of the sort!
“Death, I fear thee not!!!”
THE day had set as I traveled down a road,
Intimate in its design, ‘twas narrow,
directed toward the setting, golden Sun,
which, softly glowing, slowly came to rest
upon the darkening valleys of this world.
The road was long yet well supplied with fuel,
or, signs were scattered pointing towards the fuel,
‘twas the duty of the rider on the road
to refuel lest he be lost in the world.
Yet as I rode my eyes began to narrow,
losing sight of signs 'til my coach did rest,
still, as I lost my pace set with the sun.
There, still, I sat and lost sight of the Sun.
Alone, I did not think to seek out fuel,
but I looked elsewhere for a place to rest.
In utter darkness I wandered from the road
into a wood, welcoming, less narrow
and filled with mysteries of a whole new world.
My heart pounded as I entered this world.
By now my mind, had but slipped from the Sun,
and it's warm glow on the road, (too narrow).
I was not limited by need of fuel,
like I had to work for on the narrow road,
But vices here offered me so much rest.
So deeper I wandered to seek out rest.
Rest, that would fit me best within this world.
In darkness there, out of view of the road
in dark, I felt the cold absence of Sun,
and there... I ached. My body called for fuel.
I looked around...my options not so narrow
as they were upon the road, (so narrow).
But, as I took my fuel and found my rest
in the wood... I ached as I ate the fuel.
Still I craved more, it hurt. Trapped now in this world
that seemed more like a cage. And for the Sun
I longed, as I remembered its warmth on the road.
So there I sit entrapped within this world.
I have the key and I can sense the Sun,
But..could I, now, return to that narrow road?