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Nigel Morgan May 2016
Poor stone. You’ve wrapped it, hidden its serene and uncomplicated self. I can no longer feel its smoothness, its emptiness embodied in touch. You have brought it in from the beautiful silence of its solitary state and covered it around: a net, a bag, a coverlet, a coating of thread through which we can only see something of itself.

There is a consistency here: in this doing, a reflective doing as much as conscious making. You’ve moved from the mending of damaged acorns, splintered leaves, forlorn detritus gathered off the sea strand to making tiny homes, shelters, enclosures, that sometimes have no perceivable openings; so some stones are wholly netted, completely wound and threaded around so there is no escape. But some, it needs to be said, are like the lasts of the cobbler, there to provide a form to hold the stone shoe firm, in place, and around which the woven thread in your hand can ply and knit . . . and then it is sometimes cast away, this last of stone, having only provided a stone shape; so only its shape-memory persists for the viewer. And when touched - this garment, this cloak of thread is pliable, and moves with the fingers’ touch and press.

I should like to capture this stone in the process of its enclosing; what seems to be from a viewer’s stance a not wholly planned journey with the needle - around and about, in and out and under. So I imagine a stop-motion sequence of photographs, beginning with the lonely undressed stone in your hand. As time lapses we watch the intricate play of your hand, your deft fingers, that particular pinching and holding to place the thread here and here and here, the pulling through, the special holding in place while one thread knits together with another thread by going underneath and up and along, and all the time the hand turning, the fingers dancing in the hand.

Then will come moments of rest where the stone moves from the hand to a still surface. It regains its shadow - and rests. The hand moves away and we are left with the silent stone, the journey of its dressing interrupted by life’s necessities. The maker’s hand moves to other tasks; the preparation of food, the writing of notes, the tapping of virtual symbols on the mobile phone (now there’s a surface that shares with the stone a hardness and smoothness – once we held stones for comfort in the pocket – now we stroke the mobile to remind us that we’re safe in the dark street, not ever alone, connected to our thousands of followers, admirers, friends, our loved ones, and that repository of what is and where to go, and the whole world of music and photographs - of woven stones).

Let’s go back to this stop-motion. To lift the stone from its precious private place, usually alone (no other stones around), index finger and thumb come together to lift our stone from its shadow – a shadow that disappears, magically, into the surrounding light. Oh surely no more, the stone cries in its shadowless voice. No more of this twisting turning, upside downing, the sense of the stone recalling a time beyond time when in a storm-laden sea one dark winter’s night it, and countless companions, were lifted from the sea bed and rolled round, around, round, and swept, afloat in a turmoil of waves that break and break and break until finally onto the sloping beach - where the stone is left – alone, motionless – at rest - to dry in the morning sun.

Gradually the movement in her fingers becomes slower, even sporadic. She is looking at this stone with her grey-blue eyes, intently. There are pauses; moments of reflection where our stone is set down and viewed, picked up again and moved into a different light (its shadow returns momentarily, fitfully, knowing perhaps any stasis is only temporary). The camera keeps clicking; stop, a 300th of second motion, stop for a second. Already there are thousands of images collected in the camera’s silicon memory chip.

And so movement gradually becomes stillness. The light changes. The camera’s incessant stop-motion ceases. The stone is placed on a white surface for a final photo-call – a single click. Once naked; now clothed. There is no longer the possibility of return to its original stoniness. It becomes an ‘object’ to place on a surface for wonder and admiration – not the stone of course but its clothing, its covering, its embodied shape in thread, perhaps that thread soaked in mud that in itself holds a distance memory of water, even water that has moved from sea to the coastal strip, the estuary, the river’s bank.

Later, after being wrapped in tissue paper, perhaps boxed, and moved into a total darkness, the stone is brought again into the light. It finds itself placed among other stones, stones and shells, rusty objects even, and laid out variously on a pristine white surface. Its stoniness is now shadowed with words: a description, a title, its ‘found’ location, a date of finding – a date of making. That this stone, once beached, and picked from the sand, from amongst so many other stones, and thought unique and carrying potential as a last, a shoe-maker’s frame, a steady 3-dimensional surface for wrapping, now becomes something more that a solitary stone. It has been given a new life, a life of an object imbued with the thread of a maker’s curious mind; that in so threading has come to know this stone so intimately, and with so much love and care that its clothing, whilst having no pre-formed pattern, becomes something in its maker’s eyes that seems  - meaningful, poetic, ‘right’?

Through this stone-weaving with thread, this stone-covering and describing in thread, you have made a poem of the nature of stoniness. Your fingers now know this stone, and perhaps, if we can in our imagination follow that partly accidental / partly planned journey, we can read your poem – of touch, of turning, of minute viewing, of so careful observation of every millimetre of its surface. Yes, perhaps that’s it, what this is all about . . . only our stone has had its wonderful serenity and solitariness, its smoothness and surface taken from us. It will no longer lie in the pocket to comfort the hand. It will no longer lie on the desk to be a tangible remembrance of a place and time, treasured.

                                                       ------

‘And now I remember a poem, portraying a stone, a pebble placed in a child’s hand, picked up on a pebble ridge. A pebble to place in the pocket where we finger it until it becomes warm. Its shape and certain¬ty is firm and sure. It consoles us. And, as we change and decay, it remains lodged with us: *a thing that contains nothing save the mystery of life.’
This prose poem is inspired by the stone weaving of the artist Alice Fox http://www.alicefox.co.uk
Ron Sanders Feb 15
(Glade, World, Master, Boy, Hero)

                                                 GLADE

There is a glacier.
Its blue tongue’s tip just tastes a frozen gorge.
There is a gorge, its walls shattered by cold; a once-green thing that, in dying, birthed a thousand aching fissures. It works its jagged way downhill, round ragged rifts and drifts until it comes upon a little frosted wood.
There is a wood, an island locked in ice.
Within this wood the gorge descends. It wanders and it wends; it brakes and all but ends outside a clearing wet with sun. And there, forking, its bent and broken arms embrace a strange, enchanted glade.

There is a glade.
And in this glade the black bears sleep, though salmon leap fat between falls. Here the field mouse draws no shadow, the eagle seeks no prey; they spend their while caressed by rays, and halcyon days are they. Here rabbit and fawn may linger, no longer need they flee. For in this timeless, taintless space, the Wild has ceased to be. (Outside the glade are shadow and prey, are ice and naked death. There blood may run freely. There the eagle, that thief, is a righteous savage, a noble fiend. But once in the glade he is dove, and has no taste for blood, running freely or otherwise).
And in this glade there nests a pool:  a dazzling, blue-and-silver jewel; profoundly deep, pristinely clear. All who sip find solace here, for this is the Eye of Being. They lap in peace, assuming blear, not knowing it is seeing. And ever thus this pool shall peer:  a silent seer, reflecting on—all that Is, and all Beyond.
(Outside the glade there lies a world where rivers ever run, where ghastly calves in random file revile a bitter sun. East, the day is born in mist. West she dies:  her rest, the deep. And North…North the Earth lies mute. Wind gnaws her hide, wind wracks her dreams. Wind screams like a flute in her white, white sleep).
But in the glade are tall, stately grasses, sunning raptly, spinning lore. Roots render the rhythms, blades bend without breeze, as signals ascend from the glade’s tender floor. (In this wise the glade weaves its word, airs its views. All the glade’s flora are bearers of news). They do not wither with fall, for in the glade there is no fall. They do not bind or wilt or brown—they gesture, spreading the mood, the mind; conveying, indeed, the very soul of the glade. As ever they have, as they shall evermore.
Bees do not hum here; they sing. They fatten the dream. Mellow and round are the timbres they sound, sweet is the music they bring. Birds do not sing here—they play. They carry the theme. Dulcet and warm are the strains they perform. Gifted musicians are they. (All in the glade are virtuosi. They were born to create. Melody, harmony, meter…are innate). Now the performance is lively and bright, now full, now almost still. For, though all in the glade may lean to the light, they must bend to the maestro’s feel.
And yet…there was a day, long ago in a dream, when this ongoing opus was torn. And on that day (so the lullaby goes) the wind brought a scream, and Dissonance was born.
There was a noise.
Moose tensed, their coffee eyes narrowed, their patient brows creased. Bees mauled the tempo, birds lost their place. The grass stood *****, all blades pointing east. There was a crash, and a shriek, and a naked, bleeding beast burst stinking through the fern, fell stumbling on its face.
Moose scattered:  unheard of. Sheep brawled, geese burst out of rhyme. The symphony, forever endeavored to soar sublime, fluttered, plunged, and, for all of a measure, ceased.
The pool was appalled…what manner brute—what kind of monster was this? Furless flank to forelimb, hide obscured by blood. As for its face…it had no face; only a look:  of shock frozen in time, of horror in amber. A deep welling rift ran temple to chin, halving the mask, caving it in. Such a grievous wound…the pool watched it stagger, on two legs and four, thrashing about till it came to a rise. There it labored for air, wiped the blood from its eyes, lashed at illusion, looked wildly round. Beholding the pool, the beast tumbled down.
And there this wretch plunged his thirst, drank his fill, fell back on his haunches.
The pool became still.
The two traded stares.
The glass read his features:  that durable eye pondered the wreckage and probed the debris. Revolted, the pool sought the succor of sky. But that thing remained—that face…in all creation…surely there could be…no other creature so ugly as he.
And he gazed in the glass.
Beneath the surface were…images…swimming in currents of shadow and light. He saw half-shapes and fragments…hideous men, exotic beasts…saw blue worlds of water, saw white worlds of ice…it was all so vague and unreal—yet somehow strangely familiar. Deeper he peered, but, as his mangled face neared, the sun smote the pool and the shapes disappeared. The brute pawed the ground and, dreaming he’d drowned, shook his head sharply and slowly looked round:
There were starlings at arm’s-length, transfixed with suspense, their tail feathers trembling, their dark eyes intense. Fantails and timber wolves, stepping in sync, paused for a sniff, stooped for a drink. Bees, pirouetting, threw light in his eyes. Seizing the moment, the pool pressed its hold.
And the glade revolved.
The freak watched it spin—saw the ferns’ greedy fingers reach round and close in, saw the tall grass rise high in an emerald sheen, swaying to rhythms from somewhere obscene. This place was madness; he struggled to stand, but, weak as he was, keeled over cold.
And the glade heaved a sigh, and the tall grass reclined, in curious patterns once rendered in whim. Far off in thunder the hard world replied, as iced pines exploded and screamed on the breeze. Down bore the sun, a chill just behind. The pool, grown blood-red, fended frost from its rim. Details dissolved in the oncoming tide. The pool dimmed to black. Night seeped through the trees.
Now flora found slumber while, pulsing below, the pool was infused with a soft ruby glow.
Soon birds bearing beech leaves, and needles of pine, laid down a spread and returned to the limb. But breath from the North blew their blanket aside. The wind grew in earnest, the air seemed to freeze.
And the wolf and the she-bear, of contrary mind, abhorring their task approached, looking grim. They sniffed him for measure, then, loathing his hide, growled their displeasure and dropped to their knees.
All night these glum attendants flanked his naked quaking form. The rising moon drew dreams in gray.
In time the man grew warm.

Morning swept through the glade in one broad stroke of the master’s brush, dappling the foliage with amber and rose. The pool was roused by the sweet pass of light. He opened his eye and the glade came alive:  into the whirlpool of life a thousand colors swam, chasing the scattering eddies of night. The magic of morning began.
Bluebird and goldfinch descended in rings, primaries clashing with robin and jay. Dollops of sun, repelled by their wings, spattered anew on the palette of day. Banking as one, the hues struck away.
There was a crowd.
And in this crowd that oddity sat, its chin on its chest, its rear pointing west. Its forepaws lay leaning, upturned and at rest. ***** and blood messed its muzzle and breast. Passed overnight. Or perhaps only dozed…tendril by tendril, claw by claw, the crowd decompressed:  the ring slowly closed.
And the stranger cried out and shifted his seat. His eyes sought his feet—rounding the arches, and topping the toes, the tall grass was questing. The little brute froze.
And the fauna took pause, and the flora went slack. Leaves followed talons, stems followed claws. Hooves tromped on paws as the crowd drifted back.
Not a breath taken. Not a move made. Stillness, like fog, enveloped the glade.
Now the grass tugged his feet, now the sea of jade splayed—left hand and right, the slender shafts reared. Gaining momentum, blade followed blade. The green field was torn till a deep swath appeared. The swath hurtled west, reflecting the sun. A hundred yards distant it died. Once more the grass stood, its tips spreading wide. The swath, born again, repeated its run.
Plain was the message, and clearly conveyed. The newcomer gawked. Confusion ensued.
The tall blades were swayed by the pulse of the glade.
But the swath was not renewed.
Something tiny bounced by. He ventured a peek, barely rolling an eye.
A chocolate sparrow, with pinfeathers black, popped past an ankle and paused to look back. The bird cocked its head, rocked in place, hopped ahead. It fluttered. It freaked. It glared and stopped dead. Vexed to its limit, it burst into flight.
The sitting thing watched till it passed out of sight.
Now a breeze bent his back, picked him half off his stern. The wind, done its best, grew flustered at last. It trailed to the west, thrilling lilies it passed. It wound round the willows and didn’t return.
So the fauna repaired to the live oak’s shade.
A strange kind of stupor fell over the glade.
From deep in the wood came a shape through the trees—a pronghorn, perhaps, or an elk swift and sure. But up limped a moose, a flyport with fur, low in the belly and wide at the knees. Wizened he was, scarcely able to see. Neither vision, nor vigor, nor velvet had he. He hobbled abreast, then groveled or died, his nose facing west, his tail flung aside.
The brute merely glazed.
But the glade was unfazed.
Those long shafts reshuffled. A tense moment passed.
The ominous shadows of badgers were cast. Three left their holes, as if to attack. They pedaled like moles and the stranger jumped back. He stumbled, fell flailing, and, kicking his guide, threw out his arms and tumbled astride. First he stepped on his tail, then he stepped on his pride. The moose bellowed twice and shook side to side while the little pest clung to his high, homely hide.
And the old moose unbent to his knees by degrees. He reeled like a drunk down the path of the breeze. Together they lurched through a break in the trees. And all morning long, and on through the day, both beggar and bearer would buckle and sway. The moose lost his temper, but never his way.
And the wind blew the sun to its deep ruby rest; the scrub, in obeisance, inclined to the west. Their slow taffy shadow in slinking would seem to slip round the rocks like a snake in a dream.
And the sun became a beacon, and the underbrush a stream. The wide Earth took their weight in stride, and the wind named him Hero.

                                               WORLD

When the sun was low the old moose began to stumble, at last limping to a halt beside a swift river lined with stunted pines. He’d half-expected a somewhat graceful dismount, but Hero, dug in like a tick, wasn’t about to let go. The moose knelt until his joints objected, shimmied, bucked, and with a sudden whirl sent the little bother flying.
Hero scraped himself out of the dirt and looked up forlornly. The ancient moose, his good eye gone bad, glared a long minute before hobbling away, his bony **** rocking with dignity, his scraggly tail fighting off imaginary flies.
Hero managed a few steps and dropped, staring in disbelief as the moose disappeared between half-frozen pines. He remained on his knees for the longest time, his jaw hanging, waiting for the moose—waiting for anything to show. At last a ruckus to his left snapped him out of it. His head ratcheted around.
Fifteen feet off the bank, three screaming gulls were dancing on an immense stone outcropping, fighting over a rapids-tossed sockeye. Hero was instantly famished. He wobbled to his feet and stumbled twice wading out, only regaining his balance by leaning against the current while rapidly wheeling his arms. The shrieking gulls reluctantly backed off as he stepped in slow-motion through the rushing water. Hero lunged at the slapping fish, cracked an ankle on the rock, and hopped around howling with both hands holding his shin. One foot was as good as none in the surging water. He went right under. Before he knew it he was being swept downriver.
This was glacial meltwater, so cold he quickly lost all sensation. Hero swallowed a mouthful and surfaced fighting for life; too disoriented to combat the current, too numb to realize his waving arm was striking something solid. That solid something turned out to be a swirling clump of rotted birches tangled up in scrub. He embraced one of these trunks as the mass slammed against isolated rocks, kicked his feet wildly, and somehow hauled himself aboard. The raft ricocheted rock to rock until repeated impacts sent it spinning. Giddy from the whirling and soaking, he clung freezing to the trees, retching continuously while the river roared in his ears. Through spray and tears he made out only cartwheeling fragments of the world.
But then the river was widening, its fury dissipating. The raft was approaching the sea. Hero gasped as the seemingly boundless Pacific swallowed the broad red belly of the sun. And as he spun he was treated to a panoramic, breathtaking spectacle:  the great indigo ocean with its slow traffic of driftwood and ice—voiced-over by the dismal calls of foraging gulls, and broken rhythmically by intermittent glimpses of the river’s rocky banks growing farther and farther apart. Whirling as it went, the dying man’s soul was taken by the sea.

At the 59th Parallel in winter, the Pacific coast plays host to numberless floes and minor bergs orphaned from Alaskan coastal glaciers. Hero cruised into a watery gridlock on a boat of ice-glazed birches, one bit of flotsam among the rest.
The cold wouldn’t let him move, wouldn’t let him breathe, wouldn’t let him think. He lay supine, feet crossed and hands clasped, terrified that to budge was to roll. An ice patina grew over the tangled trees like a white fungus—this growth soon webbed his fingers and toes, speckled his chest and thighs, glazed his hair and face, danced and disintegrated with his breath’s tapering plumes.
Floes and frozen-over debris tended to group with passing collisions; Hero’s married birches bit by bit accrued a mostly-submerged tangle of trunks and branches, all becoming fast in a creeping ice cement. Night came on just as resolutely, until land was only a flat black memory. The raft moved silently over the deep, still accepting the occasional gentle impact. And the floes became thicker and wider in a freezing doldrums; soon the proximate sea was all a broken field of packed ice, bobbing infinitesimally with the planet’s pulse.
Long ghostly strands of fog came striding over the torn ice field. They leaned this way and that, their mourners’ skirts tearing and patching and leaning anew. The ghosts were there to seal it:  their locked fingers and gray diaphanous wings were quickly becoming a wholly opaque descending shroud, its boundaries lost in the soughing wind.
Collisions came less and less. Darkness and silence, breaching some previously impenetrable barrier, began to take up residence in Hero’s chilling marrow. From his very center broke a weak little cry of refusal, of denial, as mind mustered frame in one desperate bid for freedom. His skin, frozen to the raft, peeled right off, and at that his inner brave succumbed. Hero’s smashed head arched back. His face contorted frightfully while the little lamp fluttered and paled within.
A raucous chorus slowly worked its way through the mist. It emerged a few hundred yards off—a tiny, terrified barking, growing in clarity as it grew in volume and urgency. It was a sound beacon. Hero strained eagerly, and when for one excruciating minute the beacon was cut off by a large passing body, was certain death had claimed him. Then it was back, and his heartbeat was quickening. He caught a heaving sound…something was moving his way down a wide tributary between floes. Hero could hear a gasping and snorting, accompanied by a hard slapping and splashing. The sounds vanished. In a moment the raft was rocked from below.
A sputtering muzzle blew salt in his eyes. A cold slimy flipper flapped across his chest and slapped about his face. The fur seal barked directly in his ear. Whiskers raked his dead cheek. The seal barked again.
Back below the surface it slipped. Hero listened anxiously as the splashing sound retreated whence it came.
The seal swam off perhaps a hundred feet and began barking hysterically.
From much farther off came a profusion of answering barks.
The seal swam back to Hero’s raft, circling and calling, circling and calling, while the responders approached en masse.
Now a sallow beam could be seen cutting through the fog. Several more showed vaguely along a plane yawing with some huge, barely discernible object.
A herd of northern fur seals burst into sight, barking madly, beating through the ice. They converged on Hero’s raft, really bellowing now.
Those odd yellow beams came in pursuit, and soon were close enough to eerily illuminate a gigantic wooden vessel parting the ice. The seals barked ferociously. Whenever the vessel leaned away, those nearest Hero’s raft would absolutely howl.
The fog deepened, condensed, crystallized, and then the collective light of a dozen lanterns was playing over a low, listing nightmare. Hero could hear the shouts of many aggressive men, but the waterborne seals, rather than scatter, boarded the ice and redoubled their din, fighting their way onto his quickly mobbed raft.
The sealers hurled serrated spears even as they clambered down rope ladders. When these men reached the ice the seals snapped and gnashed madly, refusing to be dislodged. The sealers lost all composure with the thrill of the hunt:  wielding clubs, spears, and hatchets—sometimes using iron bludgeons or any old utensil handed down—they crushed skulls, dragged carcasses, hooked animals still spurting and bleating. Clinging though he was, Hero was flabbergasted by the way the slipping and scampering men went about their butchery, hacking and smashing more with passion than with precision. But not a single seal attempted to flee—throughout the carnage they barked all the louder, egging on their slayers, carcass by carcass drawing the impassioned sealers to Hero’s ice-locked raft.
It was all so hazy and macabre. Hero’s eyes rolled back, and the next thing he knew he was sitting hunched on the vessel’s sopping deck. Two men were rubbing his limbs while another poured warm water down his back. He looked around in shock. The very notion of a boat containing more than one or two individuals—a sort of floating tribe—was way beyond his ken; so to see it, to have it come looming out of nothingness, was an experience almost supernatural.
He remembered some of those fur-covered men force-feeding him mouthfuls of halibut and seal fat, and he recalled a small group standing around him, shouting words that made no sense at all. After that he had a very vivid memory of their angry little chief repeatedly punching him while hollering one angry little word over and over and over. Hero couldn’t make out his inquisitor’s face, for the large feather-lined hood quite engulfed the man’s head, yet he could see those quick eyes flash as they caught the oil lamps’ light. Finally this man stopped boxing Hero’s ear. He stared hard. In these remaining decades of the tenth century it was fully within his power to administer as he saw fit—he could have ordered Hero’s immediate execution and not a man of his crew would have objected. He hesitated only because there wasn’t a hint of resistance in his prisoner’s pinched and frightened eyes. He leaned forward, studying the wound that all but split Hero’s face in two before grunting, raising his right arm, and yanking down its seal hide sleeve. Attached to the stump of his forearm was a primitive prosthesis consisting of a thick oak cap strapped to the arm with lengths of gut, and, hammered squarely into the center of that cap, a broad, cruelly hooked blade chiseled from a narwhal’s tusk. He held this obscenity in front of Hero’s eyes, traced the face’s deep diagonal rift, and once more demanded his captive’s identity. Hero then vaguely remembered being dragged along a tilting deck and thrown into the ship’s tiny hold. He retained a strong mental image of landing in a place of musty odors and dank projections.
There came a soft scuffling in the darkness, and presently a blind and exceedingly old woman felt her way to his side, mumbling as she approached. Her speech was comprised not of words; it was rather a running gibberish of cooing vowels and clucking consonants. The old woman was as mad as her circumstances; sick with sea and solitude, bedeviled by age and confinement. She sat cross-legged, patting her withered palms up his arm until she came to his face. Her strange mumbling soliloquy rose and fell as her bony fingers daintily explored the newly opened wound. Hero let his head fall back in her lap. A pair of hands like emaciated tarantulas scurried through the filth and tiny bodies until they came upon an old otter’s pelt bag that held her secrets. The woman loosened the bag’s cord and extracted an assortment of herbs, sniffing each in succession. She then scooped a handful of blubber from a bowl made of a previous occupant’s skull, kneaded the selected herbs into the blubber, and commenced gently massaging the wound, clucking and cooing while the black rats watched and waited.
For nine interminable days Hero remained in that cold, stinking compartment, rocking back and forth between life and death. The old woman never gave up on him. She clung to him during his seizures, rubbed his limbs vigorously when his blood pressure fell. She gathered various accumulated skins and, using woven strands of her own long hair, sewed him a multilayered, body-length wraparound with arm sleeves and very deep pockets, working by touch with a needle formed of a cod’s rib. By this same method she was able to fashion a pair of heavily lined snug-fitting moccasins. The old woman made him eat; she masticated the cod and halibut their keepers pitched into the hold, then shoved the results down his throat with a long gnarly forefinger. She called into his screaming nightmares, talking him out of sleep and back into their foul little reality. Together they lowed in the dark, while the keel groaned along and the waves beat time.
At the end of those dark nine days his strength was restored, but not his mind. Once again he was taken on deck.
The vessel had reached a chain of remote wind-swept islands, rocky and treeless, naked except for patchy carpets of hardy grass. These islands stretched far to the west, shrouded in mist. The ship was making for the smallest; just a chip on the sea. When they reached depth for anchorage Hero was hustled into a rowboat and lowered over the side. He looked up, saw two men climbing down by rope. These men positioned themselves at the oars and slowly rowed toward the islet. Seated between them, Hero felt like a man being led to his execution. He snuck a peek. The rowers’ heads were lowered, their features completely obscured by the heavy feathered hoods; they had all the somberness of pallbearers. Not a word passed between them as they rigidly worked their oars:  the only sound was the dip-and-purl of wood in water. Hero looked away. Against his will, he found his eyes drawn to that rocky islet waiting in the fog.
Not a bird, not a sea lion, not a shrub. It was lonesome beyond imagination.
Upon landfall one of the men used a spear’s point to **** Hero ashore. While his companion steadied the boat, he removed a skin sack full of half-frozen halibut, followed by a few armloads of precious tinder. These articles he tossed at Hero’s feet. He resumed his place at the oars and, without looking back, used the blunt end of his spear to shove off.
Hero watched the boat moving away, watched the men climbing their ropes, watched the boat being hauled aboard. As the mysterious vessel receded he saw a number of those silent men standing at the stern, stolidly returning his stare. Their hooded forms grew smaller and smaller, finally becoming indistinct. The vessel was swallowed up in fog.
Hero looked around, at a desolate world of rock and drifting ice. In the sunless pools at his feet a few purplish, flaccid sea anemones were waving in a sickly phosphorescence; along the rocks ran a tattered quilt of wild grass and lichen. It was the end of the world. He began to pace in his anxiety, only to crumple bit by bit inside his furs. At last he just sat with his face in his arms and wept. When he could weep no more he raised his head and opened his red, swollen eyes.
There were gulls all around him, staring like statuary in a madman’s garden. Standing in their midst were auks and puffins and murres, absolutely spellbound, unable to lean away. The silence was broken only by a wild, fitfully pursing wind—a wind that seemed, eerily, on the verge of producing syllables. And on that wind a flock of terns was rising slowly, their beady eyes fixed on the lone sitting man. The terns watched as he trembled, and banked as he swooned.
Then, beating as one, they threw back their wings and blew into the sun.

There was a blaze.
Behind that blaze a pair of black, bug-like eyes met his and immediately withdrew. A man wrapped in caribou hides stood abruptly, drawing angry swarms of sparks.
The Aleut peered queerly into the icy Pacific, his craggy profile merging seamlessly with a jumble of rocks showing just beyond his shoulder. The man was very tall, closer to seven feet than to six, and thin almost to emaciation.
He was also a mute. Soon enough he would display a talent for communication through gutturals, but now his body language spoke louder than words. It told the shivering stranger that he was not only disliked—he was feared.
The islander removed the hides he’d piled on the sleeping man. He produced a bone awl and strategically pierced a caribou hide, draped the hide over the old woman’s handiwork, and ran a cord of tightly woven tendons crosswise through his made holes, knotting it at the bottom to create a kind of cloak. He then killed the fire, heaped wood, fish, and remaining hides into Hero’s arms, and led him to a tiny cove where his long skin canoe lay in the grass. This was not the one-man kayak used by his people for centuries, but an actual canoe modeled on the graceful vessels he’d observed under the control of northern coastal tribesmen. After dragging it into the water he perched Hero in the fore, placed the cargo in the middle, and stepped into the rear like a gaunt furry spider. The Aleut dug out a paddle and began pulling with smooth strokes of surprising muscularity, his black eyes trained on his quiet companion’s back.
So began their long island-hopping journey. They stepped the chain one stone at a time, living off the sea. But much as the islander disliked Hero’s vapid company, it was not in his nature to proceed expeditiously; his people, remote as they were, had learned to count not in days but in generations. Given this, the Aleut took his time. He showed Hero how to build shelters of skin and gut; during bad weather the two would sit on an island in utter silence while rain hammered on their stretched seal-intestine window. And one very clear night he pointed out constellations while attempting to demonstrate, using broad gestures, just how the brighter heavenly bodies were in perfect alignment with the Aleutians. Hero followed his guide’s gestures as a pet follows its master’s movements and, like a pet, soon became bored. The Aleut did not grow flustered. He grew ever more wary:  behind that granite, weather-beaten exterior squirmed a very primitive imagination. Superstitious as he was, the Aleut was almost certain Hero could read his mind. So one time, and one time only, he threw a searing look at the back of Hero’s bowed and listing head. After a long minute of vigorous thought-projection he shifted his gaze aside. The brute appeared to feel this shift, and gently turned his head. And both saw the ocean break rhythm, and watched as otters and sea lions surfaced, noted their progress, and slipped without tremor beneath the waves.
In spring the fogs lifted. The grimness gave way to serenity, a generous sun buttered the dappled sea. On the islands grass grew lushly. Wildflowers leapt on the color-starved eye.
And one day the islander’s nape itched. He turned to see a flock of arctic terns casually tracking them under a gorgeous, white-plumed sky. As the day progressed the terns came drifting high overhead, slowly but surely taking the lead.
The Aleut squinted against the sun. He’d never known these birds to pursue a westerly migratory pattern—the terns were distributing themselves into a rough wedge shape, much like geese on the wing.
For a while he let the flock be his guide. Then, to test his stars, he cunningly steered his canoe north. At once the wedge disintegrated. Not until he’d lowered his eyes and pulled purposefully to the west did the disrupted pattern reassert itself. He peered up timidly. The wedge was now in the shape of a perfect arrowhead.
Just so were the fates of mariners and aviators inextricably entwined. At night, once the Aleut had landed his canoe on the nearest pearl, the terns would light in a quiet circle and remain until sunrise. As the Aleut and Hero took to sea, the flock would quickly form that same authoritative pattern.
In time the Aleut paddled his companion clear to the westernmost islands of the Aleutian chain. His people had dwelt, even here, a thousand years and more, but no contemporary islander knew for certain what lay beyond. Legend told of an enormous land mass forever gripped by cold, where a cruel people waylaid innocent seafarers for barbaric sacrificial rites.
So here the islander paused. But even as he vacillated he noticed the terns were veering south.
If the Aleut had been able to curse aloud he would have been vociferous. He was being compelled to follow an even less desirable course—that of the unknown open ocean. Now he looked upon his passenger’s hunched back not with fear but with loathing. He took a deep breath, rolled his shoulders, and defiantly continued west. The wedge broke up immediately. The terns dive-bombed the canoe, whirled around the windmilling Aleut, tore skyward and hovered determinedly. Something huge broke surface behind them, but the Aleut was way too frayed to turn. He dropped his head, a beaten man, and began paddling south. Little by little the birds returned to formation.
The tiny canoe had no business going up against the mighty Pacific. It would soon have been swallowed and smashed, had not the terns veered in close formation whenever the distant sea appeared too rough. Once he’d lost his bearings the Aleut religiously followed their serpentine course.
The days began to warm.
Now the sea’s bounty all but leapt in the canoe.
It seemed the Aleut was forever catching the finest currents, practically sliding down a corridor entirely free of peril. In this manner he was able to safely navigate waters no such craft had mastered before.
They were proceeding south by southwest, awed children of a plenteous, generous sea. The going became easier by the day, the ocean heavier with cod.
Nights the Aleut drifted comfortably, but a lifetime of wariness made him wake off and on. He’d slowly rise to find Hero sitting quietly under the stars, and soon he’d see, pallid in moonlight, a large body neatly pleating the ocean’s surface. The shape would precede them a while, only to vanish without a ripple.
All this strangeness kept the Aleut’s heart in a whirl, though he took pains to maintain his poise.
To allay his fear he kept a flat black stone planted squarely between them. It was his oldest treasure; an oddity he’d taken off the body of a mauled Tlingit woman when he was a child. Who she was, and how she’d come by the stone, were mysteries far beyond him, for no such piece had ever been known to Aleut or Inuk.
The stone was smooth and had been worked perfectly round. Bright yellow specks were scattered about its dull black face.
Long ago someone had etched a quaint and clumsy rune on that flat black surface—it was the crude, universal symbol for sun:  a broad circle surrounded by several rays. When the stone was rubbed against a pelt it possessed the curious property of growing quite warm and bright in the rune’s grooves, while the surface remained cool and dull.
This stone, both friend and overlord, had always “spoken to him”. It caused him to become restless when it was time to move on, and allowed him to relax when a destination had been reached. In this way he’d come to the familiar islet and discovered the unconscious little man. Just so:  the stone, he was sure, was responsible for making him “feel bad” as he watched the stranger shiver, and “feel better” once he’d built him a life-saving fire from the small pile of tinder he’d found nearby.
By now, however, the Aleut was wholly disenchanted with his stone, and deeply regretted having done its mysterious bidding. Never before had he been so long from sight of land, and never before had he felt so very, very small. The unimagined immensity of the Pacific was really starting to get to him when, after all their while at sea, a gray, seductive haze broke the horizon. They had reached another chain of islands, an Asian chain, the dark and smoky Kurils. Here a cold current kept the climate cool and foggy, and the chill, along with the prevalence of otter and seal, made him feel almost at home.
But this place gave him the creeps; he was a stranger, a trespasser somewhere sacred. There was a looming quality to the island mountains that made him extraordinarily aware of his transience, his pettiness, his puniness. He grew more and more cautious, sure their progress was being monitored—he could have sworn he saw wraiths in the trees, and wolves padding warily in the brush. The big islands looked on breathlessly. All along the rocky cliffs, thousands of auks and puffins followed the canoe in dead silence, their heads turning simultaneously, their countless tiny eyes peering redly through the fog. As the weeks passed, the Aleut’s anxiety was manifested in tics and sighs, and he’d cringe each time the crimson sun sank behind those black volcanic summits. In his imagination the mountains would rise right out of the sea, as though to pluck him. But the islands, in all their dignity, would always refuse to acknowledge so meek a stranger, and return their eyes to sea. The Aleut would hang his head, and timidly paddle by.
Then for days and days he pulled his weary canoe west—through a strait parting two mighty islands not part of the chain, and thence across a sea that was a warm, enticing bath. Spring had come to the East Asian coastal waters, and the Ainu, alone and in groups, were venturing deeper in search of increasing bounty. The Aleut, absorbed in his thoughts of sweet climate and bitter fate, was unaware they’d been spotted.
This first meeting between strangers of different worlds was a brief and awkward one. A lone Ainu fisherman, seeing the Aleut come paddling out of the unknown, dropped his net and turned to stone. The Aleut, for his part, instinctively froze with his body turned half-away to make the leanest target possible. Their stares locked. Never had the Aleut seen a face so heavily bearded, and never hair so fair. The Ainu began banging on his bronze catch pail. Other fishers soon appeared from the north and south, effectively cutting off the canoe. The Aleut caressed his stone and looked to the sky. The wedge had vanished. He put down his head and paddled for all he was worth.
With the word out, uncountable fishing craft appeared out of the blue and broke into hot pursuit, their pilots determined to force the canoe ashore.
Suddenly they were in sight of land, and the sea was absolutely riddled with watercraft. A train of small boats cast off from the mainland, even as a posse of two-man coracle-like tubs began to surround the battered skin canoe, their inhabitants calling back and forth in astonishment at the sight of these dark, savage newcomers. But the pursuing little coastal men, banging excitedly on the sides of their boats, were not Ainu. They had very straight black hair, prominent cheekbones, and strangely slanted eyes. And their speech, oddly marvelous as it was, was a rapid series of coos, chirps, and barks. Their boats formed a tight semi-circle around the canoe, forcing the Aleut to approach the mainland. The little men banged their boats maniacally, with more joining in as the canoe neared shore.
A bit farther south was a natural harbor swarming with fishing vessels of every description. As the canoe was forced into this harbor, people along the rocky coast began banging whatever they could get their hands on, until the air was filled with their lunatic percussion.
Tiny brown men came running along a soft yellow cliff overlooking the harbor, gesturing wildly. The canoe was squeezed between a chain of tubs and the shore, and, as it slowed, the tempo and ferocity of the banging decreased accordingly. When the canoe came to a halt the banging and shouting stopped. Hero creaked to his feet. The first North American to set foot on Asian soil stepped out shakily.
There followed the profoundest silence imaginable.
A second later it was as if a dam had burst.
Hundreds of hysterical, yammering voices erupted from hundreds of hysterical, clinging men and women. Hero was spun around, jostled about, handed along. He stared into their astounded, pinched little faces, and the sun, pulsing between their heads as he was turned, repeatedly stabbed his eyes. There came an excited outburst and frantic splashing which could only have been the Aleut’s violent demise, and then Hero was somehow limping alongside a primitive fishing village, blindly following a narrow dirt path that hugged the yellow cliff’s base. The warm spring sun caught the dust as he shambled. He rounded a bend and stopped.
Half a dozen children stood in his way, too fascinated to run. A chatter and scuffle rose behind him. He looked back to see that he was now in the midst of a small crowd of these children, and that more were running up with cries of amazement.
A stone struck his shoulder. As Hero turned another glanced off his chest.
A moment later he was being pelted from all sides, and the giggles and gasps had become something wildly unreal. He dropped to his knees in a hail of hurled rocks, covered his head with his arms, and slithered up the path on his belly.
A new voice broke in; an older, authoritative voice.
The children scampered off squealing.
Hero, shaken to his feet, found himself face to face with a diminutive, shouting, incomprehensible old man. The old man threw his arm around Hero’s waist and, jabbering all the while, led him to a secondary path cut into the cliff’s face. This path sloped gently upward over the waves. Together they picked their way to a place maybe halfway up, where the cliff’s face was honeycombed with natural alcoves and dug-out caves. Most of these spaces were used as one-man shelters; a few, cut deeper in the earth, as family hives. Strange gabbing people slid out of these holes like worms, reaching, but the little old man, who was evidently a little old man of some stature, embraced his find possessively and shouted them back inside.
The path narrowed as they climbed.
At its summit spread the upscale end of the neighborhood. Hero was led to a hovel nestled amid dozens of similar hovels, all scattered around a dainty stream wending between patches of stunted vegetation.
The old man’s place was basically a one-room hut fashioned of earth and salvaged boat hulls, with a slender side-yard surrounded by dry, dusty hedges. But inside it was clean and tidy, with rice paper partitioning and, built into the far earthen wall, a miniature stone fireplace. The old man sat his guest in the exact center of the room. There he fed him scraps from his bowl, using long sticks to pluck out bits of fish and clumps of tiny, starchy white pellets.
He studied the brute closely, watched him chew, walked round and round him. He poked here. He pinched there.
And that night he lit a fire on his crushed-shell hearth.
Hero curled up on a mat where the gossip of flames could reach him. Nearby, at his delicate wicker table, the old man sat in semi-darkness, illuminated only from the waist down.
But his eyes were alive. They spat and darted as they reflected the fire’s light, and, when at last they’d begun to sputter, his scratchy little voice came pattering out of the dark, muttering something vile and oddly modulated, sometimes in a whisper, sometimes in a gathering snarl.
Hero feigned slumber, unable to ignore those paired ominous flashes. Still, the room was cozy, and the fire warm, and the play of light and shadow kicked sleep in his eyes.

In the morning he woke in the old man’s side-yard, his head pounding, a rusty iron clamp securely fastened around his neck. This clamp was attached to the outermost link of a crude three-foot chain, and the link at the other end to a long stake driven into eight inches of solid rock. The chain and stake, like the clamp, were hammered of local iron. The clamp was too tight for comfortable swallowing, the chain too short to make standing possible. Hero could, however, spread out on his chest and stretch an arm to a low row of hedges. By parting the tangled undergrowth he had a limited view of the fishing village below, and of the harbor beyond. As the days passed he was able to tweak himself a view-space discernible only from his peculiar vantage. He accomplished this by gently breaking small branches strategically, then guiding their interrupted growth with the utmost tenderness. It was his secret garden.
He had no memory—none whatsoever—of being staked here. Obviously the old man hadn’t set this up overnight. Hero’s mind prodded timidly…how many others had been chained to this spot, and why?
But over the subsequent weeks and months he went beyond caring. Each day was the same:  just after dawn the old man would storm into the tiny side-yard swinging his reed whip wildly. The lashings were savage and unremitting. The old man, except for his eyes, would be mute. Only his whip need speak. And the snap of his reed had but one message:  when you see this whip you go down, and you go down immediately.
The naked savage, scarred head to foot, learned to go prostrate on the moment. Even so, the old man couldn’t resist the temptation to indulge in the occasional good old, all-out thrashing. And after each session he would toss the prisoner a vile mess of dead fish and rotting leftovers.
Hero lived like this for many months, lost in a confused world of pain and anticipation. Perversely, he came to look forward to the bite of that whip, for, whether he flogged him in passion or just for sport, the old man was always sure to make it personal. It seemed their relationship might go on forever.
But one day there was a great commotion in the sleepy little fishing village. Hero parted the leaves and beheld a small train of oblong coaches at rest near the harbor. Large oxen yoked in pairs lolled between the carriages, immune to the clamor around them. There were dark shaggy horses and colorfully dressed Bactrian camels. The horses and camels were tethered in the rear, but were occasionally paraded around the carriages by little men wielding long painted bamboo poles. The whole affair was exotic and mesmerizing, eccentric and profane. Hero watched all day in amazement, infected by the hubbub, though he was totally mystified by the crowd’s fascination on the carriages’ far side.
And late that afternoon he saw the old man come walking out of that crowd, talking heatedly with another man. The stranger was shorter and broader than the old man, with long stringy hair and long stringy mustaches. He saw them climbing the path, saw them crawl inside a hole lashing furiously. They were lost from view for a minute, then popped up big as life. Hero glowed and curled up eagerly as they approached.
The old man and stranger came into the narrow side-yard still arguing. The old man grabbed Hero by the hair and twisted until he was facing the newcomer.
The stranger had oily, porous skin, and a round but grave countenance. His highly slanted eyes were bright and restless. He studied Hero’s mutilated face with keen interest before borrowing the old man’s reed. When Hero scraped at his feet he grunted and returned the reed.
The stranger pulled out something shiny and hefted it in his hand. He then raised his other hand while considering Hero, as though weighing him too. The old man’s eyes glinted, and for an instant his expression became grotesquely servile. The stranger and old man, facing, nodded curtly in unison. The stranger dropped the shiny thing onto the old man’s itching palm. The old man whipped Hero frantically before taking a small ax to the chain. A few hard blows split a link, the broken link was bent back by the tool’s shaft, and the prisoner was at last released.
The old man handed the stranger a short hempen rope. The stranger bowed deeply. He then tied an end of the rope through one of the remaining links and began dragging Hero along. Hero’s hands sought the old man, who kicked and cursed him all the way to the path. The three stumbled single-file to the bottom. The old man waved his arms and shouted hysterically, trotting behind until he ran out of breath. But he got in a final kick and, before he came to a gasping halt, managed to lash Hero once for old time’s sake, and to spit on him twice for luck.

There were five carriages; a long one in the center hitched to four oxen, and two smaller coaches in the front and rear with a pair of oxen on each. The carriages were old and battered, built of splitting wood slats and rusted iron braces. Various hides, spare wheels, and a hundred odds and ends were tied to the sides and roofs. Hero’s new master, using him as a ram, shoved him through the crowd to the long carriage. He hauled him up the single wood step and watched the crowd’s reaction. Children hid behind mothers, mothers hissed and jeered, men spat in that smashed, disgusting face.
Satisfied, Hero’s master twisted the rope tighter and dragged him through the hide flap that served as the carriage’s rear wall.
A strange ruckus began at their entrance.
Inside the carriage were bulky shapes and quirky movements, yet the immediate and overwhelming impression was one of unbelievable stench. Hero, instantly covered with flies, was kicked and shoved down a foot-wide aisle. The carriage’s walls were riddled with black flecks of old dried blood, the floor coated with standing *****, a variety of small carcasses, and some clinging, indefinable slime. But the living contents of this hell were so horrifying, and so unexpected, that Hero at once dropped to his knees. Observing this, master grabbed a whip off the wall and lashed him along the floor.
A number of bamboo cages lined either side of the carriage, each four feet high, four feet wide, and three feet deep. In the first cage to their left, a quadruple amputee dangled in a leather harness in a cloud of flies, jealously gnawing a chicken carcass balanced on his belly. The second cage held a man who had been burned over ninety per cent of his body, and the third a middle-aged woman with no eyes or tongue, her head shaved. The next cage housed a fully grown black leopard, its bright eyes fixed on the horrified newcomer. Then an empty cage, and finally a cage containing a demented man whose long yellow nails were busily raking a face deeply scarred and bleeding.
The first cage against the opposite wall held two girls rolling in their own excrement. Siamese twins unable to part, they had developed a unique method of locomotion, and now executed a three-quarters cartwheel in Hero’s direction, their mangled, severely bitten hands attempting to reach him through the bars. In the cage next to theirs a naked dwarf glowered menacingly, his eyes following coldly as Hero’s master shoved him down the narrow aisle, occasionally pausing to lash a cage. The hissing and howling increased as each prisoner beheld the new neighbor.
The third cage held an intensely sick adult Bornean sun bear, so confined it was entirely unable to move. Its hide was a patchwork of scraggly fur and grayish skin, glistening with odd eruptions. It rolled its sunken eyes in Hero’s direction, its muzzle twitching feebly.
The next cage contained a man who was frightfully diseased. Broad fungal patches covered his face and limbs, terminating in waxy folds that dangled like a rooster’s wattles. Welling sores spotted his chest and back. His eyes were bugged and sallow; his lower lip drooped below his chin. He barked wetly at Hero’s passing legs.
The second-to-last cage housed a rare, completely hairless Chinese albino, and the last cage a very tall, skeletal woman. The albino snapped at Hero while repeatedly banging his head against the cage. The woman hissed and coiled like a snake, her spine arching amazingly.
Master hauled Hero to the empty cage on his left, swung its door open with his foot, and forced him to his knees by pushing down with all his weight. He kicked and punched until Hero had been squeezed inside, then shut and secured the wide bamboo door.
Master inched his way back down the carriage, hammering the **** of his whip on each cage as he passed. There was a glimpse of daylight as he lifted the flap.
Once he’d departed, the carriage grew eerily silent.
Hero cautiously turned his head. Less than a foot away, the black leopard was frozen in place, one paw waving hypnotically in his face. The beast’s fangs were bared, its ears straight back, its eyes glistening. Hero turned ever so slowly, until he was looking into the eyes of the demented man in the final cage. The man cocked his head quizzically. A second later he was screaming his lungs out in a bizarre downward spiral.
At once the carriage erupted. The freaks shrieked and scrabbled, the leopard spun in place. Directly across the aisle, the albino hurled himself against the bars of his cage. He batted his face with his fists, threw back his head, and just howled and howled and howled. The snake woman curled even tighter, her long scrawny legs entwined behind her head.
Hero sat with breath held, absolutely silent, absolutely motionless. He very, very slowly closed his eyes.

Later that night the flap was flung high. The menagerie came alive as master, weirdly illuminated by moonlight, slowly made his way down the aisle carrying a skin sack oozing blood. He stopped at each cage to toss in a dying chicken and a handful of smelt.
When he reached Hero’s cage he looked down thoughtfully.
He extracted a quivering chicken and held it above the cage so that blood dripped on the brute’s deeply pleated forehead. Hero lowered his eyes. Master’s face darkened. He smashed the bird against the cage, over and over, a vein throbbing in his temple. Finally he hissed and displayed the limp chicken high over the albino’s head. The albino yelped and kicked, thrusting his hand up between the bars and jerking it back to lick away the blood rolling down his forearm.
Master eyed Hero coldly before pointedly dropping the chicken into the albino’s searching hands.
Master hissed again. He slowly made his way out.
Soon there was a commotion outside. The carriage rocked a bit before settling. Hero, turning in his cage to peek through a rift in the wood, saw horses being urged forward. He could hear men shouting. The carriage rocked again. He looked up and saw the gibbous moon suspended in mist. For just a second something wedge-shaped cut across its soft white face.
But then the oxen were grunting, the wheels had been freed, and the horses drawn abreast. Master’s lash spat left and right, and the show proceeded…west.

                                              MA­STER

She was very round and very small, with very short, very shaggy black hair. Her arms bore the scars of numerous bites from beast and man, and around her neck ran long wheals from a particularly savage owner. Hero, having spent the better part of the morning watching master storm in and out of a strange screaming house, now watched him drag the little round woman through the dirt. For a while he listened to the song of his master’s lash, waiting for the woman to break. But there was never a whimper.
It had been a difficult transaction for master, and an altogether difficult morning. For hours he’d paced up and down the main carriage, alternately murmuring affectionately into, and lashing at, each cage he visited. The sun bear, long dead and stuffed, had been taken outside for barter. It had soon been returned.
Master had lingered over Hero’s cage for a good while, staring critically. He’d begun shouting, and three of his men had burst in through the flap, unlatched the demented man’s cage, and dragged him out by the feet for trade, master personally stomping on his torn and groping hands.
And now master was kicking and shoving the little woman down the aisle as his men restrained her by the hair and throat. Upon master’s command these men stripped her naked and commenced pinching and slapping while making threatening faces and mocking noises. The freaks sat right up in their cages.
The woman looked as though she’d fainted:  her arms were lax, her eyes rolled up. Her whole face seemed to purse, and her body, head to toe, began to run blue. Her fingers quivered, arched, and clawed—the woman was self-asphyxiating. Master fairly leaped with delight while the cages rocked around him. He had the men slap her awake. Once she was fully conscious they stuffed her into the demented man’s old cage next to Hero’s.
Master then looked in eagerly, one to the other, his hands balled into fists. The woman buried her odd round face in her forearms as she squeezed herself into her cage’s deepest corner. Hero gazed indifferently and went back to his peephole.
Master exploded. He smacked and kicked the cages over and over, swore up and down, ran the shaft of his whip back and forth against the heavy bamboo bars. Eventually he calmed somewhat. He stared coldly at Hero, made a ***** smile, and spat right in his eyes. A tense minute passed. Master slowly made his way outside.
Hero automatically relaxed. Across the aisle the albino ****** his face between his cage’s bars to sniff the newcomer. The leopard, bobbing rhythmically, emitted a high-pitched squeal that gradually descended to a steadily throbbing growl.
Hero looked the stranger over. Once she’d lowered her hands he saw that her eyes were crossed, her jaw slack, her face as round as the full moon. He looked closer. There were scars all over her throat and arms:  plainly, the small round woman had been treated very badly. Hero instinctively slid a foot between the bars; the woman cried out and scrunched even deeper. Across the aisle the albino quickly extended an arm. Without knowing why, Hero turned on him. The albino flinched, his eyes tearing into Hero’s. A second later he was stamping his feet and grinning wildly. Hero went back to his peephole.
Next morning master and two of his men dismantled the bamboo walls separating Hero’s and the woman’s cages. They bound the frames with broad leather bands, making a single cage of the two.
A common door was fashioned and secured. Master used his broad blade to shear away Hero’s rags. The men hunched around the long cage expectantly.
The naked couple backed away. Master was instantly exasperated—he shouted, lashed furiously, stamped and screamed, jabbed a broken shaft between the bars with malevolent intent, whirled and hurled the shaft at nothing. The carriage’s inmates went out of their minds. At master’s bellowed command a man scurried outside, returning with a long rope of woven leather strands. Master opened the cage and, applying all his weight, pinned Hero and his new mate in an awkward embrace while his men tied them together.
Again master and his men bent over the long cage to watch.
When Hero realized his predicament he made a desperate attempt to reach his peephole.
The men, misreading his struggles, babbled and cheered, but master threw up his hands. He then, through gesture, ordered his men to drape a number of hides over the long cage. Once these hides were in place he very quietly bent to one knee and placed an ear against the cage. After a while he cursed and rose to his feet. He shook the cage and stormed out, whipping and kicking the howling inmates.
In the semi-darkness the man and woman quit fighting their bonds.
A muffled patter began on the hide-covered roof.
Rain, as always, had a calming effect on the carriage’s occupants, causing the freaks and beasts to slip, one by one, into lethargy or slumber. Under such a spell, the attainment of master’s goal was inevitable.
It was a coupling both innocent and vile, without passion or celebration. Occasionally the freaks would surface, register their excitement by shrieking, shaking their cages, or otherwise clamoring…but very quickly the air would stifle them, weighing their heads and confusing their impulses. The atmosphere grew heavier by the minute. And, when night rolled over the carriages, the rain came down in sheets.

Leaning ******* the woman’s cage, master slipped his gnarly hand between the bars and slowly rubbed her belly in a counter-clockwise motion, his sinister features soft in the candle’s light. And he told, in nonsensical cooing whispers, of a lovingly secure and impossibly prosperous future.
How large and promising that belly had become! And how wise was he, the cunning and aggressive master, in his far-reaching business decisions. He turned his affection to the motionless gaping brute; stroked the battlefield of its face, tossed in another lizard. Master rubbed his palms together. From now on it was extra lizards daily, for both the woman and her mate. He remarked, with only passing interest, his star player’s continuing indifference. They didn’t know each other, didn’t need each other.
There’d been months of shows on the road now, broken only recently by this sensible rejoining of the mates at conception.
Hero’s horrible disfigurement was unquestionably top draw; he was a guaranteed crowd pleaser at every stop. So now master looked him straight in the eyes and smiled. He held the reeking candle high. The carriage was absolutely silent. Master smiled again, rose to his feet, tiptoed away.
Hero watched him retreat until the flap had fallen. He returned to his peephole, saw master round the rear of the carriage and slowly crunch by. For a time he could see nothing but the half-shapes of junipers bathed in starlight. There was a tentative movement to his right and a large shape came to obstruct his view.
The horse stood for a minute in profile. It slowly brought its head to rest against the carriage, applying its eye to the peephole. Hero froze. The two remained fixed, eyeball to eyeball, while a breeze played odd tunes on the outer wall’s hanging paraphernalia. The horse’s big dark eye rolled nervously. A long moment passed. Slowly the horse backed off. It stood uncertainly for a while, staring at the peephole. Then it quietly moved away.

Master kicked the cages one by one, left hand and right, as he slowly made his way down the aisle. Into each cage he delivered a personalized warning in passing—a growl, a hiss, a bark—but he was quickly losing control. Animal electricity hopscotched the carriage, cage to cage, ceiling to floor, front to rear and back again. Master froze. Much more of this excitement, he feared, could seriously agitate the woman—with grave consequences for master.
She was splayed on her back, in labor’s throes, her ankles and wrists bound to the long cage. Hero had been removed to give her room, and now sat hunched atop the snake woman’s cage, two men holding him by the throat and legs.
Master gnashed and snarled, listening to the woman scream, watching her stupid round head bounce up and down and back and forth. He knew it! He’d been suckered, hoodwinked, scammed—ripped off like a common rube. The woman was too ******* to handle even something as natural as childbirth. Still…it was too late to second-guess himself—all these months he’d been patient—he’d been supportive and vigilant and now he would not be denied. He flogged one of the men to alleviate his tension.
The blue lady was very slowly, very dramatically arching her spine. Master wiped the sweat from his eyes. When the bars were pleating her big round belly, her shoulders began drumming on the straw-strewn floor.
Master screamed one very colorful expletive.
A razor silence came over the carriage. Not a body moved or breathed.
At last two men tiptoed around their purpling master and leaned into the cage. One obediently ****** a foot between the bars. He pushed ******* her right knee while using a hand to grip the left knee, spreading her legs wide. The other man drew a broad leather strap between her teeth. After lifting the woman’s head he pulled the strap behind her neck, knotted it to make a gag, and yanked a skin sack over her face. He looked up anxiously. Master licked his lips and nodded. The man made a fist and frantically punched the woman’s face until her muffled screams ceased. She moaned gently throughout her contractions.
Master genuflected, brought a spitting candle in tight, and took a deep breath. As he raised his hand the candle’s light bounced off his knife’s chipped and scored eleven-inch blade. Master swore and reached down carefully. He flicked his wrist twice and the menagerie went mad.

The child was a tremendous disappointment.
Master had eagerly anticipated an infant ******* and deformed; something embracing the best qualities of its parents. He had even designed a special cage that could be expanded by degrees as the spawn developed. There also remained the tantalizing option of a family display, though such an undertaking would require the eventual construction of a structure even larger than the cage its parents now shared. Master anguished over the logistics, knowing it would break his heart to have to cut one of his jewels’ throats just to make room for a growing child. Nights he would slowly pace the carriage with all the possessiveness of a jealous suitor, one hand maneuvering a sputtering candle, the other tenderly rapping his whip’s **** against each visited cage.
But the boy was a flawless specimen; a beautiful, undemanding baby. From the moment master angrily tossed the placenta he felt cheated, even betrayed. He grimaced as it peaceably took to its mother’s breast, despite the surrounding horrors. Master hated it, immediately and entirely. The ****** thing was so docile it was almost charming. He drew his knife and was just reaching down, when an overwhelming sense of dread shook him like a rat in the jaws of a mastiff. Sweat poured down his squat, pig-tailed nape. He knew he would live to regret it, but decided to not cut the child’s throat right away. It was the oddest feeling. His knife hand had trembled for the first time in his life, and he had found himself momentarily contemplating right and wrong at the outset of a perfectly simple and commonplace procedure. That was it, then. His business instincts were letting him know there was a good, albeit unknowable, reason to let the sweet baby live. Master left the carriage anxiously, muttering in his ambivalence.
The boy grew to embody his worst expectations. Not only was it a poorly oriented child, clinging to its father rather than its master almost from the moment of weaning, but it soon proved a lousy draw with the patrons. Those who paid to view the child dangling in its special cage inevitably departed unsatisfied, some vocalizing, strangely, an acute sense of shame. So once again master entered the carriage with his knife hand steady, and once again he exited trembling, his heart in his throat and his soul in a whirl. He whipped the dwarf savagely before leaving. What place conscience in the mind of a businessman?
Soon as the boy could walk, master put him to work fetching and feeding. But the brat was slothful in his chores, preferring to hang around his family’s cage while staring wistfully at his father. For their part, the parents were wholly disinterested. Master would fume while Hero gazed for hours out his peephole—even as the mother lolled, perpetually ill. Sometimes that accursed woman’s condition riled poor master to no end. She could teeter at death’s door for months at a time, her body changing hues to the fascination of customers, only to bounce back with a hardiness that was of interest to no one. But at the peak of her performances the blue lady could really hold a crowd. Master produced an entire outdoors extravaganza around her:  within concentric rings of raging torches his men would slowly strip her naked before wild audiences, then allow the dwarf and albino to take her while the leopard strained against a gaily festooned chain. Master circulated his crew through the crowds to encourage his patrons’ cult-like behavior of breath-holding and fainting. No getting around it:  the customers were crazy about her—village to village, master’s Bactrian vanguard’s colorful robes shouted her approaching fame. And Hero’s popularity continued to soar. Many were the nights when master, pacing the perimeter, wondered just what devilry could have produced the lovely boy.
Overall, Hero remained his master’s favorite conceit and hottest property. Part of the little brute’s appeal was, of course, his exoticness. And certainly the ugliness arising from his deformity was compelling…but there was a detachedness about him that fascinated every soul with a fistful of copper cash coins. Whether they ****** him, cudgeled him, or spat in his face, he remained unflappable, staring only at the aching sky. Though many would leave uneasy, master noted with deep satisfaction that they almost invariably returned.
The boy soon evinced an amazing affinity for animals. No matter how agitated an ox or horse became, the child could pacify it with one hand on a lowered brow. This was a source of endless fascination for the crew. Wagers were made. The boy was pitted against oxen whipped to a frenzy. But they would not harm him; they would rather go prostrate and take the lash. Master tried to work this knack into a viable act, but his patrons just weren’t buying. They wanted freaks.
When the lad was a mere five years old, master had him trained in the peripheral art of the pickpocket. The boy worked well alone, and had all the makings of a fine little flimflam artist. Master sighed, his chronic nightmares a thing of the past. As ever, his business instincts were guiding him well.
Then late one afternoon he found the boy squatting outside his parents’ cage. The boy had done the unthinkable:  he had deposited his day’s pickings at the feet of his father instead of bringing the ***** to master. Master flew into a rage and raised his whip to give the little traitor the lashing he deserved. But before he could deliver a single stroke his other hand shot to his chest and he staggered back against the albino’s cage. He blinked down at the boy, who regarded him steadily while scooping the plunder into a little pile.
From that day on the boy placed whatever he could get his hands on at his father’s feet. As time passed he became ever more adroit at thievery, growing into a youngster both admired and despised by master and his crew; admired because theft was a cinch for him, despised because they were all that much lighter in their possessions.
Now, for eleven long years the strange little train had bounced along, sometimes camping outside villages for months, occasionally pausing on connecting roads. The show traversed the heart of Manchuria, skirted the Gobi in the north, and so eventually crossed almost the entire width of Mongolia before proceeding north to the confluence of the rivers Yenisey and Ob’. Much silver and copper had come to master’s coffer, much fame to his name, but he now sat looking over a vast, unmapped Siberian wilderness. The mostly nomadic characters they’d been encountering spoke in tongues unfamiliar even to his personal valet-translator-accountant, and the tone of these nomads had been unmistakably hostile.
Master huddled surlily under a canopy of sopping hides. Night was falling hard during a merciless rain, the wind was picking up, and his supplies coach was bogged in a growing sea of mud. At that moment he accepted the whole end-of-the-line concept, and knew he wasn’t going anywhere but back. And when he got back he was going to shine! He jumped from the coach.
The earth took his weight for a heartbeat—and he was up to his chin in muck, splashing about on his hands and knees, sliding forward on his palms and toes. He did a belly flop into a rain-filled depression and churned to his feet with the devil in his eyes. Wallowing in mud and bile, master stomped to the supplies coach and kicked wildly at the stuck rear wheels.
Somewhere between kicks he lost it completely.
Master broke for his whip. One minute he was blindly lashing his men, the next he’d succumbed to a mindless ferocity. He thrashed about like a berserker; whipping the beasts, the coach, the very night. His men were scarcely able to move in all that mud, but their dread of his savagery kept them hopping. They gathered as one and shoved the coach recklessly; slipping, splashing, shouting. A minute later, three lay splayed underfoot, but the mired wheel had been freed.
Throughout all this the oxen had swayed nervously, while the horses softly tramped their hooves in place. Master had his men turn the oxen about until the rickety train was pointing dead east. He checked the hitches and personally applied the lash. The oxen didn’t budge. Master swore and wiped the rain from his eyes. He had the horses hitched ahead of the oxen, but they were even less obliging. Master flew into a spectacular rage. His men, fearing for their lives, ran liberally with the lash.
The swaying of oxen picked up until the entire train of carriages was rocking. Yet the oxen could not, would not be compelled, under any amount of prodding, to take an eastward step. Master looked around in exasperation.
The night had gone insane.
Horses were fighting hitches, oxen walking on fire.
Master cursed the rain and mud and lashed all the harder. His men, seeking to please, whipped maniacally until the horses and both lead oxen broke their hitches and bolted west. The men immediately embraced the rear oxen, but the hitches shattered and the beasts stormed off. The remaining horses blew it, kicking at everything and nothing.
Inside the long carriage all was chaos. The albino was neighing and screaming, the aged leopard spinning in its cage. Hero stared out his peephole, amazed at the blur of figures stumbling by in the rain.
A pair of clopping blows rattled the opposite wall. Three slats cracked. A tremendous impact, and a huge section collapsed. A thrashing, hysterical mare burst through the breach in a veil of rain.
The horse went mad, killing the albino and snake woman in a flurry of hooves. She fell ******* the near wall, crushing the cages. The leopard shot into the air like a rocket, slashed at the mare’s throat and vanished in the rain. The horse reared above the family cage. She was just coming down in a wheeling storm of hooves when something made her freeze. Her stare locked with Hero’s, and a second later her eyes were rolling in their sockets. The mare kicked crazily and came down ******* her left flank, smashing the long cage’s side. She whirled upright and leaped outside.
For a tense minute the family sat in the rubble, rain bombarding their eyes. Nothing in their years of captivity had prepared them for such a situation. But by the end of that minute the son had taken full command. He rolled onto his back, braced himself, and kicked his parents across the aisle, through the remnants of the opposing cage, and out of the carriage. They all fell about in the mud and rain. To the west, the mare stared back strangely as she splashed into the night. The boy wedged himself between his parents, threw his arms around them, and pushed with all his might. Their bodies found a common center of gravity. Fumbling drunkenly, the family staggered through the rain in the wake of the mare.

The boy was the natural leader.
Master’s innocent-looking little ex-student could quickly assess and exploit almost any situation. He did the foraging and the figuring, slept with one eye open and one fist ready. He got what he wanted by charm or by stealth, slipping off at nightfall, returning at daybreak with small slaughtered animals and chunks of dark peasant bread. He also pilfered any bauble or oddity he could get his paws on, to be placed reverently at his father’s mangled feet. Breadwinner and watchdog, he faithfully held the family together; a nuclear son. He sewed hardy feather-lined cloaks of reindeer hide, and turned a cache of marmot pelts into a kind of side-slung backpack. He was doting nurse during his mother’s episodes, and unbending apportioner of calories in lean times. Dauntless when it meant crossing mighty rivers, relentless when it came to finding mountain passes. But the endless marching, the unreliable diet, and the countless predators made the three wanderers lean, haggard moving targets. There were times when the little lamp of family was all but extinguished, and long stands in places that seemed absolutely impassable. Still, the boy would work things out. He would stoop to any level to feed Hero, and for a stranger to threaten his father was to summon a psychotic, unyielding monster. He was both spear and shield.
The toughest job of all was maintaining a tight unit, meaning he was forced to become a hard-nosed ******* whenever his father was ready to wander off, which always seemed to be whenever the mother was hurting most. She’d become a tremendous impediment to Hero’s compulsion, and therefore her son’s chief nemesis. It wasn’t a big-picture concern anyway; the writing was on the wall. The blue lady’s attacks were increasing spectacularly on the steppe; her world had always been an enclosure of some kind, and the great horizon was proving just too much. Perhaps these intense affairs served as links to Hero’s suppressed memories, for at the onset of each attack he’d turn and hike, and then only exhaustion could curb him. The boy would press his mother on, dragging, shoving, and smacking—he could be mean when necessary, and though circumstances had made him the nucleus, their worlds unquestionably revolved around Hero. Where he sat, they sat. When he rose, they did the same. In this manner they marched for years across the vast steppes, single-file—father, mother, and son, respectively—unmolested, lacking possessions, always following the sun. Long before they could be measured they had drifted into obscurity.
The woman’s end came quickly and dramatically, in a rocky little depression on a half-frozen field. One moment she was responsive to her son’s prompts, the next she was flat on her back, her eyelids fluttering. That night she leapt from fever to chill, from alertness to stupor. The boy, squatting beside their campfire, watched her face and hands run cadaver-blue to fish belly-pale and back again. While he was staring her eyes popped open and her hands came scrabbling. He sweated through the clawing embrace until he could bear it no longer. He oozed out and ran down to fetch his father.
When they got back Hero watched incuriously for a while. His mate’s face was scrunched up and her skin the color of sapphires. She wasn’t breathing.
His gaze became glassy, his eyes returned to the night. As he rose the boy immediately grabbed an arm. Neither moved for minutes. When the boy at last relinquished, his father casually stumbled off.
Strange things were going on in Hero’s world. Some days he would notice how animals regarded him oddly, in a manner that seemed almost personal. He found, for instance, that particular creatures were recognizable even over great distances. A number of times he would sit with one in a stare-down, waiting patiently, until the animal’s natural disposition caused it to bolt. Though the meaning of these encounters was way over his head, he would watch, and he would listen.
In time he noticed an increasing skittishness in some of these familiar creatures. Something had them spooked. He then observed a number of lean gray wolves moving in and out of the picture with an air of complete indifference:  these wolves weren’t hunting; they were loitering—lounging in the grass, lackadaisically padding to the rear, filing by slowly in the distance. Once in a while a lounger would raise its head, yawn cavernously, and drop back out of sight. So unobtrusive was their behavior that even Hero’s ever-vigilant son began to take them for granted. They paused where the family paused, and halted whenever the woman broke down. Perfectly camouflaged by the gray boulders and dire sky, they were completely forgotten in the drama of her passing.
There were other, far subtler events existing for Hero’s senses alone. He could perceive patterns in everything around him; in the manner vegetation gave way wherever his heart was leading, in the way so many animals appeared to be not merely mirroring, but making his course. And wind, rain, running water:  these phenomena had voices. Yet not for everybody. No one—not his mate, not his son, not another soul on the planet could hear this call, for they were all of a sort. They were static, they were temporal. Hero couldn’t have cared less about the lives of his family, or about the mundane goings-on in the encampments and small tribes they skirted. Such beings lived in a world that was defined by the moment. They shouted, they banged, they clamored.
But west—west was music.
For his boy, once again watching Hero shamble off, the moment of truth had arrived. He looked back down, at his mother’s death mask being remade by the dying light of their campfire. As the flames dwindled he could have sworn he saw shadows creep into the wells of her eyes, while others, crawling up around her jawline, drew her bluing lips like purse strings. He hopped to his feet and ran for another handful of tinder. When their little fire provided enough light he dropped to his knees and looked again.
She was sinking right before his eyes, every aspect of her expression in collapse. The boy watched clinically, fascinated. As the flames began to sputter he thought he could see large purple bruises spreading across her cheeks like the seeping limbs of overflowing pools. He bent closer.
From deep in the night came the longest, the leanest, the saddest wail he’d ever heard. He turned to see the starlit ghost of his father, facing away, staring at a low barren hill. Uncountable stars embroidered the spot. The boy made out a low shape moving along the hilltop, cutting off patches of stars as it passed.
The wolf howled again; a mournful, spiraling cry to nowhere and nothing. Hero’s head notched upward. He began to hike.
Halfway to his feet the boy stopped dead.
It took a minute to sense why he’d frozen in place, and a good while longer for his heart to quit pounding. He was aware of a nervous padding, and, once his vision had adjusted, of a lazy stream of eyes gleaming in the dying campfire’s light. The eyes bobbed around him, glared momentarily, returned to the ground.
A massive gasp, and his mother was tearing at his wrist. He watched her hyperventilating, saw her bulbous yellow eyes sinking in a wide violet pool. With a sizzle and pop the last tongue of flame was taken by the night.
Then her clammy hands were all over him, pulling and demanding, caressing and beseeching. He had to pry them off like leeches, had to place them clasped on her shuddering arched belly.
A silky snarl rose almost in his ear.
With a little squeal he sprang to his feet, even as something nearby jumped back in response.
The boy stood absolutely still while the panting thing padded nearer. They stood very close, smelling each other. He instinctively extended a hand, palm forward. But it was no good; his arm was shaking out of control. The snarl rose again, not so tentatively this time. His mother’s nails tore at his ankle.
The boy gently stepped away, only to find himself surrounded by the shifting silhouettes of half a dozen gray wolves. They approached in a calculated manner:  two from the left, one from the right, another from behind. He was being goaded away from his mother; he could hear her fists beating the ground, and a few seconds later the sounds of a nauseating assault and ravaging.
He shakily raised his other hand. Now both arms were extended, and their message was clearly one of defense rather than control. Two snapping wolves stepped aside, leaving him a gateway into the night. A cold wet nose bumped his wrist.
Screaming like a woman, he took off after his father just as fast as his feet would carry him.

                                                  BOY

Alon­g the great Kazakh Steppe a man could wander a lifetime and never meet another of his kind—especially if his kind happened to be Alaskan Inuk, and if he happened to be the teenaged patriarch of a two-man family going nowhere.
Here history is mostly mute.
Upon this continent-spanning steppe, unnamed communities were scattered and rebuilt, lives blown about by the wind. The only centers of humanity a traveler might encounter, far removed from the Silk Road at the very crack of the new millennium, were temporary encampments of civilization at its rudest—shifting holes of cutthroat commerce existing solely for the barter of silk and spices and hapless souls. Life here was revered far less than merchandise, and the longest-lived men were those who kept their distance.
Hero and his boy hiked over permafrost and tundra for years; their meandering course a drunken mapmaker’s scrawl. Chronological entries along this imaginary line would reveal that they’d stopped, sometimes for months at a time, when the father had grown too weak and disoriented to continue. Hero’s internal compass was long-sprung, and his weight had fallen considerably. He’d sit on his lonesome, scarecrow-scrawny, wistfully scrolling a 360-horizon while his boy scouted and scavenged. Then, for no apparent reason, he’d just up-and hike—sometimes northwest, sometimes along a tangential plane that always threatened to spiral. It was brutal:  winters were frigid, summers, by odd contrast, running steamy to baking. Season by season these marches lost their tenaciousness, and eventually their heart. Hero’s obsession was becoming his demise.
Now, to a hypothetical observer, the ratty pair of woolly camels materializing out of the rising August heat might have been mirages.
These beasts were novelties here, and pioneers, for they were way beyond their normal stomping grounds. They’d tramped for months with a mind-numbing monotonousness, a thousand miles and more; round the Urals to the south, and through the hard territory braced by the Volga and Voronezh, avoiding anything that even smelled of men. They’d been wild camels; ugly, ill-tempered, and unpredictable, until the boy tamed them by touch…but this new pattern was a literal change of pace…for weeks the frail little man and his dark teenaged son rose and fell with the animals’ rhythm, lulled by it, sick of it, dreaming of lands far removed from hoarfrost and peat moss. In this manner they were borne clear to present-day Belarus, whereupon the camels’ stupefying march began to quicken. Mile by mile they put on steam, until one day they reached a broad area distinguishable from its bracing terrain only by its many deep surface cracks. Here the camels’ behavior became erratic; they crouched at an angle while tramping, their long necks oscillating, their noses bobbing along the ground. Eventually they came upon a dingy pool nestled in a pebbly depression. The local brush surrounding this pool was situated like iron filings about a lodestone. The boy hauled back his camel’s neck and laid a hand on its brow. The brute slowed to a halt. The other camel imitated its partner, move for move. Simultaneously the animals dropped to their knees.
The boy jumped off, catching Hero as he fell. The camels stood watching stupidly as son maneuvered father, but after a while grew nervous and began tramping their hooves in time. They slowly stepped to the pool’s rim and knelt woozily, their noses poised just above the surface. Their whiskers danced on the pool’s face, their lids became heavy, their hindquarters quivered as they drank. Their nostrils, having fluttered in unison, remained agape. They appeared to be asleep.
The boy began filling skins.
The water was quite warm; he slurped a palmful and almost immediately felt intoxicated.
He flicked it off his fingers; the water was bad.
Three heads were now mirrored in the pool; the camels’ at ten o’clock and two o’clock, the boy’s at six. He watched their reflections continue to ripple, long after the pool had become still. His face, melting and firming, rapidly fluctuated between extremes of age, and between his own recognizable features and those of some…monstrosity. The effect was hypnotic. He felt his joints stiffen; his eyes became weak, his thoughts muddled…his face was irresistibly drawn to the pool’s surface, and for a moment he was in real peril of drowning. He ****** his head aside and creaked to his feet.
Where the camels had knelt were only the prints of their bellies and knees. In the distance they could be seen galloping all-out for the horizon, right back the way they’d come. The boy watched until they were swallowed by their dust, and when he turned around his father was long gone.
Now he knew it was all just a matter of time.
And sure enough, after eleven more days of feebly staggering along, Hero completely ran out of gas. The boy bundled him up in a shawl, like an old woman.
Sitting there, cradling an unresponsive man weighing less than eighty pounds, he couldn’t help but let his morbid fantasies run wild. He was now old enough to realize his father had at some time suffered severe head trauma, and honest enough to accept that the man was rapidly approaching a vegetative state. This understanding accompanied him like a shadow, and that night he questioned, for the very first time, his own convoluted rationale.
He was just beginning to sense that his will was not his own.
He built a semi-permanent camp west of the Desna and foraged in a tight spiral, always returning in a straight line. Some days he came back feeling uneasy, sensing another presence. Then it was every other day. It bugged him to no end. At last, when it became every day, he hauled his father to his feet and began a resolute march to the west.
Again he became anxious, and after only a dozen yards.
He turned slowly while hunching, certain something bulky had just dropped out of sight. Nothing looked suspicious, everything looked suspicious. He walked Hero some more, occasionally peering back over his shoulder. There was…something.
He whirled:  only masses of rock and high brush. Yet, when he really strained his eyes, he was sure, pretty sure, that he could make out a large crouching body continuous with the rocks. Heart in his throat, he began a slow steady creep, only to pause, positive the bulge, whatever it was, had shifted in response. The boy very gradually raised his arm until it was level with his eyes, faced the palm outward, and extended the arm parallel with the ground. He could almost feel some kind of current passing between his itching palm and…nothing. He walked over to Hero, stopped again. There’d been the subtlest sense of traction. The boy propped up his father in a cloud of flies and waited.
In a minute the bulge drew *****.
Out of the brush strolled a furry gray wild ***, her back inclined from countless weary miles; stretching her neck, pausing to nibble, taking her sweet time. Grungy as she was, she fit right in.
At the boy’s first casual step she immediately hit the dirt and remained flat on her belly, one big dark eye staring between her hooves. Another step, and her **** bunched up. The closer he got, the higher her rear end rose. When he was almost at arm’s length she sprang back and danced away, seeming to bound with delight. But not to the east, as she’d come.
To the northwest.
She backpedaled while the boy came on whistling and cooing, matching him step for step. But the moment he threw up his arms in resignation she spun round as though cued, dropped on her belly, and peered over her shoulder.
The boy was first to blink. This time he approached fractionally, keeping movements to a minimum. She rose just as carefully, sauntering northwest in reverse, and at the first sign of hesitation turned, dropped, and cautiously gazed back. The boy glared at that huge mocking **** and broke into a sprint. She easily danced out of reach, plopped down, and continued to stare.
He began hurling stones, with venom and with accuracy, until she’d scurried into the brush.
But on the way back to his father he could feel her tagging along.
Twenty feet behind she halted, looking bemused.
The boy nodded ironically. He walked Hero over, murmuring baby talk all the way, and firmly placed a palm on the animal’s muzzle once her breath grazed his fingers. She stroked his hand up and down with her whiskers, gave a kind of curtsy, and waited on her knees while he helped his father mount.
At Hero’s touch a shudder ran down her body. She stood up straight. Her eyes became set, her back absolutely stiff. She put down her head and began the long trek northwest, never once breaking stride.
It was an amazing march, an impossible feat. For a little over three days and almost four hundred miles she progressed like an automaton, driving herself without rest, without food or water.
After trotting alongside for an hour the boy climbed on and force-fed his father berries and smoked meat, his dark eyes constantly searching the countryside. Occasionally he’d see a run of red foxes to their left, watching intently, padding cautiously. Sooner or later they’d vanish, only to be replaced by a train of feline or equine pursuers. Packs approached and receded while, high overhead, flocks formed triangular patterns that continually broke up and reformed. There was a peculiar rhythmic quality to this ebb and flow that lulled his senses further. The boy shook his head to clear it, but his exhaustion was deeper than he’d supposed—even the brush appeared to be leaning northwest.
That first day he grew numb with the pace, and that night the relentless pounding of her hooves drew him into a miserable slumber. He wrapped his arms around his sleeping father and lay half atop. When he couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer he tore strips from his skins, then looped his tied wrists round her neck, his ankles round her belly.
On the second day she was breathing hard, but her back was still high and she showed no signs of faltering. Her eyes remained focused on the ground dead ahead. She always sensed the best routes; finding mountain passes, fording wetlands.
But by the third day they could feel her ribs quaking against their legs. Her breath exploded as she marched, blood frothed and caked about her nostrils. Still she pushed herself on, her pace so steady it was almost metronomic.
On the fourth day her legs were gone. She veered and stumbled, shuddering every few paces. The boy hopped off for the umpteenth time and tried to bring her to graze, but she wouldn’t be turned. He ran behind her as she staggered along, unwilling, or unable, to rest.
At last a foreleg gave and she went down hard. Sobbing and snorting, she plowed her muzzle back and forth in the soil, the useless leg repeatedly pounding the ground. After a minute she raised her head and brayed at the sky, her neck muscles taut, her head slowly swinging side to side. Her cry went on and on.
With a tremendous effort she pushed herself upright and butted the boy aside. Every part of her body was shaking. From her depths a low moan grew to a steady bray, and finally to a wild, pulsing howl. She came to a rise, but was too weak to climb without sliding. Stamping in frustration, she managed a few feet, reared feebly, slid some more. The boy got behind her and applied his back; it took all he had to assist her almost to the top. With a desperate lunge she crashed on her belly.
Amazingly, she dragged herself on, her howl now a scream, her head whipping left and right. When she could pull herself no farther she ****** forth her neck to its very limit and, with a shudder that ran from the tip of her nose to the tuft on her tail, shoved her muzzle straight into the dirt and died.
The boy hauled off his father and fell back. The animal’s eyes were fixed upwards, seeming, even in death, to be straining for a glimpse of what lay just beyond the rise. The boy half-dragged Hero the last few yards. They collapsed at the top, and together looked over the cold Baltic Sea.

At water’s edge a haggard fisherman sat on his boat’s ravaged deck, blindly staring out to sea. His was a queer vessel; a family structure built more like an aft-cabined barge than like seacraft typical of that period. The fisherman’s boat, like his mind, had been abused beyond repair.
He’d lost much in his life. Time had taken his dreams, pox his face, hardship his back and shoulders. And, more recently, a brawling band of drunken Baltic pirates had ***** his wife and daughter before butchering them along with his two fine sons, while he sat helplessly bound to the mast. Finally, to further their delight, they’d set the boat aflame and sent it crackling against the sun; knowing he could hear their hoots and howls, knowing he would drift undead, accompanied only by this last unspeakable memory.
But a squall, without prelude, had doused the flames and blown his home ashore.
There he’d remained for a full long day, staring at nothing, his shattered life caught on the rocks. On the second day he’d worked himself free and commenced staggering about in his memories, gathering shards. It was a pathetic claim. He made a pile of all the old bedding and linen and usable cords, and set about sewing a sort of mementos sail. All that third day he had sewn, and on the fourth he had hoisted this sail and been moved to see it billowing in a northwest-blowing breeze. Again he just sat and gaped. And later that day he’d become aware of a commotion taking place on the long grade leading down to the water, where a writhing mass of seagulls was proceeding like a tremendous slow-motion snowball. He’d never seen anything like it. It wasn’t uncommon to find gulls in a group of many dozens or more, but there must have been two, maybe three thousand of the birds now swarming toward his boat. They were making an incredible racket. In the midst of this cloud could be seen a couple of slowly walking figures; as they neared he made out a small man accompanying a boy in his late teens, both dressed in odd skins. When they reached the rocks his eyes were drawn to the small man’s face. It was a foreign face, brutish and dark, with a deep cleft running from above the right temple to the jaw’s left side. Whatever instrument had felled this man had been devastating—everything in its path was smashed, and with permanence. The forehead was caved in. There was no bridge to the nose, the left cheek was completely collapsed, one side of the mouth was a mangled mess. The jaw itself had set improperly, so that it jutted to the side. The general impression, especially from a distance, was of some unforgettable circus freak’s countenance puckering at an angle. It was a face right out of a nightmare. But there was nothing frightening about the eyes. They were the eyes of a child.
Maybe half the gulls hopped screaming on the rocks. The rest circled overhead.
The boy considered the fisherman curiously before placing a foot on the charred deck. His gaze went around the boat, lingered on the makeshift sail, returned to the slumped figure. He passed a hand before the eyes. No response. He then leaned in close and placed his fingers on the man’s forehead. Immediately that bleak expression became fluid, brimming over with horror and heartbreak. Tears rolled down the fisherman’s cheeks as he gasped, shuddered, and backed up the scorched mast to his feet. Thus propped, he squinted at his visitors and was overcome by a wave of homesickness so strong he had to turn away. The feeling bewildered him, for this vessel, and this sea, were all the home he’d ever known. He clung to the mast while the boy helped his father board. Once he’d collected himself, the fisherman tore a heavy crossbeam from the toasted cabin. He and the boy used this as a lever, and together they shoved the boat off the rocks. The wind picked up nicely, and the little craft was swept across the water.
Exploding off the rocks, the gulls shot after the boat as if it were brimming with fish, the loudest and orneriest vying for favored positions directly overhead. The melee attracted additional gulls—they came shrieking in their hundreds from all sides, banking and calling in the oddest manner, until the mass grew so thick as to cast a permanent shadow on the boat. All day long the clamor continued, and all that night. The fisherman rolled with the rudder, listlessly, allowing the sea to control him. Eventually he let go, that the wind might bear them where it would. His sail ballooned but held firm, and the boat fairly zipped across a sea somehow smooth as glass, broken only by the vacillating ripples of bottleneck dolphins and migrating humpback whales. The three tiny sailors sat hunched together, motionless, all throughout the next day, until the black coast of Sweden loomed in the twilight.
As the boat neared land the cloud of gulls broke up, shot to shore, and landed in groups of a thousand and more; a dizzying, wildly uproarious reception committee.
The dung-covered boat slammed into the rocks, shattering the fisherman’s trance. He intuitively walked his **** up the mast and, swaying there, watched the boy draw his father over the side and lead him to a clearing at wood’s edge. There in the dusk he made out what appeared to be a hefty spotted runaway heifer hitched to a rickety wood wagon. He saw the cow gallop up to meet them, saw the boy look around warily, saw him help the little man into the wagon and climb in beside him. The animal immediately began picking through the woods, the large brass bell round her neck clanging forlornly.
The clarity of that bell made him realize just how quiet it had become. He craned his neck:  there wasn’t a gull in sight. He fell back against the shot mast and slid onto his tailbone with a clacking of teeth. His eyes were misting up. In the gathering dark a few sail fragments flew past and were ****** into the woods. The boat rocked and relaxed. After that there was only the sound of the receding bell’s sad, monotonous song being batted about by the wind.

The little cow strode through moonlit woods until she came to a path formed by the rutting of wheels over many years. She followed this broken, serpentine track throughout the night, and by morning was passing farms and, occasionally, crossing broader paths that might realistically be defined as roads. All day long she bore down that ragged track, until she came in late afternoon to a clearing near a village. Here many such tracks converged. And here the boy slipped away while she grazed.
Sometime after dark he returned with a load of straw, a couple of pilfered blankets, and a fat iron kettle. Crammed in this kettle were salt, tubers, cheese, a few loaves of rye, legumes, and a plump foot of lamb sausage. Most of this ***** he’d brought in tied to the bowed back of a huge, puffing, highly amenable black pig which, thus laden, now followed the boy’s every step like a fresh convert tracing the heels of the messiah. The boy built a fire under the stars, filled the kettle with creek water, and commenced simmering their dinner. While waiting, he couldn’t help but note an odd feature of the local flora:  plants, especially trees, all seemed inclined to a northwesterly disposition, though no amount of wind could account for it. He shooed the pig. But rather than run along, it backpedaled in a nervous circle, round and round in reverse, until it lost its balance and fell on its ****. There it remained, a yard behind the wagon. The boy fed his father and lined the wagon with straw. They settled in for the night. The boy must have nodded, might have dreamt, but while he was drifting he became aware of a stirring in the woods. He sat up, saw the pig’s eyes gleaming inches from his nose. And there were a number of animals, some wild, some strayed from farmsteads, arranged in a broad circle around the wagon, their eyes glinting with moonlight. Not a rustle, not a peep, was lifted from the woods.
In the morning he woke to find the pig still staring. The fidgeting heifer, impatient to roll, began her long day’s march while Hero and his boy were yet stretching and scratching, and the ******* pig, galloping heavily, fell in close behind. Each new day this routine was repeated. They banged past farms and small communities until the ruts intersected a broad rocky road wending halfway across the kingdom. The cow addressed this road with vigor. They picked up followers—a goat here, a couple of sheep there—which hurried after the wagon as best they could. The cow stomped on with resolve, mile after mile, day after day, her bell keeping steady time. That bell’s peal attracted foals, lambs, and kids into the wagon’s narrowing wake. Hares hopped between hooves and wheels, boars and blue foxes fell in and withdrew. White falcons, normally solo fliers, whirled into wedge shapes high overhead.
At night the entire train would camp on the road while the boy raided proximate farmsteads, always returning fully laden. And as soon as the fire died the colony grew, creature by creature, and the moment the sun broke the horizon the heifer came to life and moved on, but each day a bit more resolutely, as though straining to meet a deadline. The march took on a sense of real urgency. The cow pressed on with attitude, the clang of her bell more strident with each passing mile. Soon her followers numbered in the hundreds, as animals deserted their farms or crept out of the woods to tag along. Tillers and traders stood dumbfounded, amazed by the bizarre flow.
Once they’d crossed into Norway the frothing cow veered hard to the west. The pace really picked up; no longer were Hero and his boy afforded the luxury of a night’s sleep in one spot. Days blurred into a single variegated flow as the bashed and lopsided wagon continued building its entourage; the riders were surrounded dawn to dusk by a confused and confusing scurry. Word of the flow’s weirdness preceded it clear to the Norwegian coast, so that now plowmen and merchants, wearily gathering their goggling families, found themselves lined in anticipation along the king’s highway. Horsemen went pounding to and fro with news of the procession’s progress and particulars, children ran through the streets banging pots in imitation of the cow’s approaching bell. Livestock wheeled and stamped, fowl leaped and crashed.
The slobbering cow broke into a run.
Bystanders trotted behind, calling back and forth excitedly, while the wagon’s permanent following squealed and squawked between their heels. The cow made a hard turn onto a widening swath in the brush. This swath, seeming to strain against the soil, ran straight down to the crest of a low hill overlooking the Atlantic. On either side a crowd had been studying the phenomenon for some time, but now all eyes swung to the dark and disfigured man and his son, clinging to the disintegrating wagon behind the careening spotted cow.
The trailing people traded views as they ran. Most—at the very outset of the new millennium, with Christianity burgeoning throughout Europe—leaned to the miraculous. Others, just as superstitious but prone to a darker point of view, threw looks of horror at the deformed little man. Yet they ran no less eagerly.
The galloping crowd made for the seaside, where only one local event of any moment was brewing:  on the coast a Greenlander Viking was preparing his longship for the rough voyage home. Impetuous son of the great island’s first permanent European settler, he’d just been baptized in Olaf’s court, and was now eager to sail—but not as a warrior—as a missionary. While his spirit remained in a tug-o’-war between his father Erik’s will and that of gods old and new, his duty was clearly to his king. And Olaf had charged him with the Christianization of pagan Greenland.
Something on the wind now made this destined man turn his head. From behind the gentle hill to his rear came a kind of thunder. Heads popped up, followed by a confused explosion of voices, and seconds later a frantic bug-eyed heifer burst into view, dragging the wheel-less skeleton of a shattered wooden wagon. On the wagon’s splayed frame a man and teenaged boy clung for their lives as the spewing animal made a beeline for his ship.
The new missionary, still egocentric enough to assume his Maker might actually toss him a personal, surreptitiously rolled up his eyes. The sky yawned at his arrogance. At his side a smallish cowled man rose irritably, but the missionary sat him right back down. He then snorted, squared his shoulders, and signaled his men to halt their preparations.
Knowing it was expected, he gathered his hard Nordic pride and coolly made his way into the crowd.

The priest clung to port, gagging above the waves.
After a completely uneventful minute he leaned back and stared through tearing eyes at the distant backdrop of gathering mists. Weeks now…a man of his constitution had no business at sea.
Along, too, were a quirky little man and his fiercely devoted son.
Through his pantomime, the boy had been so persistent in begging their passage that refusal, under the circumstances, would have been unbecoming not only a man of God but a man of the world.
So there it was:  a priest who couldn’t hold his lunch, a witless eyesore who couldn’t sit still, and a surly teenaged protector who snarled at the first hard look. This crossing just had to be some kind of divine test—of mortal patience as well as moral values. Norsemen weren’t made for babysitting.
The mists condensed.
And the shifting shape became a hard familiar coast.
And the longship was mooring, and the crew were jostling and clambering, and the big missionary had booted off the haunted little freak and his hypersensitive son, and was condescendingly half-escorting, half-carrying, the green priest ashore.
And they were home.

Priest in tow, Leif quickly took up the Christianization of Greenland’s Western Settlement, as per Olaf’s command. The mangled little man and his son followed him around like dogs, slept outside his door and annoyed his visitors, ultimately proving far easier to adopt than to shake. Barely tolerable shadows…still, the lad was simply amazing with livestock…and though the youth’s useless father seemed time and again to be just begging for a whooping, his son’s presence bore some ineffable quality that always curbed the missionary’s hand. Several times he’d witnessed the father approached by settlers bent on abuse. Each time the boy had stepped in, and each time the troublemakers were mysteriously repelled. The missionary of course didn’t attribute any kind of celestial intervention to these episodes, and certainly the popular notion of devilry was a natural reaction to the pair’s outrageous exoticness, but…in the son’s company, and even under the sharp eyes of his fellow Norsemen, Leif more than once found himself oddly moved to protect the father. And so the deformed man and his boy day by day blent in—as village idiot and mystic guide. And when in time a ****** brought tales of an unvisited land to the west, it was only natural for the restless Greenlander to buy that ******’s boat and, before stalwart comrades, weary family, and whimsical God Almighty, reluctantly accept the eccentric father and son as sort of seagoing mascots.
Hero was from then on irrepressible. During preparations he would pipe and stammer in his half-mute way, brimming with a confounding anxiety that kept him underfoot and at odds with all. On frigid nights he perched on the westernmost rocks, moaning to the horizon in the strangest fashion while his son stood guard. He positively spooked the locals; they’d gossip, nervously and with bile, of an answering wind that came wailing off the sea like a banshee in labor. The whole island wanted rid of him. And when his champing beneficiary, still clinging to the notion of Christian charity, bundled him aboard with his son and a crew of thirty-five, not a single settler was sorry to see him go.
Almost from the moment they cast off everything went wrong, as all attempts to control the longship were met with some kind of unknowable countermanding force. Vikings were not renowned for passive resistance—they fought, squaresail and steering oar, leaning oarsman to oarsman, until the ship rocked on the waves like a bucking bronco. An erratic weather system pursued them, worsening dramatically at each minute variation in heading. The Norsemen doubled down, and when the clouds finally burst wide, the cowling sea went mad. Dervishes whirled about the hull, crisscrossing winds bedeviled the sail. Patches of kelp belonging to much warmer waters came heaving alongside, fouling the work of the oars, while far to the west a humongous fog bank formed, eradicating the navigable field. The lightning-streaked horizon was a throbbing gray slit.
The longship became locked in a slow westerly current.
Fatigued crewmen complained of headaches and hallucinations, and of a nasty, slightly metallic tang to the air. There were numerous walrus sightings; bobbing flippers and snouts amid drifting ice chunks that came prowling the North Sea like a circling pack of famished white wolves.
Worst of all was the boy’s father—instantly agitated by everything and nothing, prey to some primitive impulse that caused him to periodically incline his head, shudder to his feet, and loop his arms as though embracing the sky. Leif would watch him scrabbling at the prow like a cat at a tree, furs snapping in the wind. He’d watch the boy re-seat him for the hundredth time, and for the hundredth time be filled with an immense contempt. By now he’d acknowledged that it takes a special kind of strength to shoulder charity and tolerance. That brown little freak struck him as an enormous malformed barnacle, slowly working its way back up the prow. Trying so hard to go unnoticed, looking and listening so intently, though there was nothing to see other than the growing shelves of fog, and nothing to hear save the rising, almost hysterical voice of the wind.
Leif sniffed the air, his ******’s instincts nagging him. This was a foul current, and a fool's errand; he took a deep breath and tentatively ordered the longship brought about.
The ship kicked twice, as though an enormous submarine hand had seized and released the hull.
A whirl formed in the water, causing the keeling ship to sweep around like a clock’s second hand. All about them, those drift-ice ghosts cruised dangerously near.
But they’d been liberated from that accursed current. Leif fiercely urged on his rowers, and at last the ship broke free. They made a bead due north.
Night came and the temperature plummeted.
Small sheets of ice converged, drifting between the hunks. The Norsemen, instinctively huddling amidships, passed out one by one in a massive pile of fur and flesh. In the freezing silence the floes bumped and recoiled, bumped and gathered, bumped and bonded. The tiny ship, swallowed whole, was dragged along in a labyrinth of black sea and interlocking slabs of ice.

The Norsemen came to in a surly, foul-smelling heap, lost at sea. While they were still groggy a voice cried out that a darker patch was developing in the fog. The men all fell to port. Under the confusion of their voices could be heard a distant rumble.
At this Hero hauled himself up the high curved prow. A half-light began to penetrate the fog, barely illuminating the irregular faces of drifting ice. The missionary stormed forward and indicated by gestures that if the boy didn’t restrain his father he would have the man tied down.
The longship stopped dead in the water.
The men found themselves regarding a perpetually frozen coastline swathed in bluish veils of mist. Directly before them loomed an immense ice cliff hundreds of feet high. Rising beyond this cliff were endless snow fields, where lean violet shadows seemed to drag about of their own volition. And upon those bleak fields a thin howling wind prowled, kicking up brief white dervishes, leaving a strange zigzagging signature.
Even as they stared, a darker shadow high on the ice cliff’s glistening face began to widen, accompanied by a cracking sound that could be felt before it was heard. With the illusion of slow-motion, a stupendous chunk broke out of the cliff and came screaming toward the sea. It hit the water like a bomb. The thunder of its separation and the explosion of its impact took a moment to reach them. Then, out of a spewing crater of crests and spume, the new calf came lunging, tromping the sea so hard the longship, fully a mile to sea, was swept out and ****** back in like a cork. The floundering mountain of ice bobbed and lilted, generating huge waves which continued to rock the ship long after the monster had settled. In a while the roaring in their ears subsided and there remained only the swirling, nerve-wracking howl of the wind.
The missionary’s eyes swept left and right. Whatever this place was, it sure wasn’t the fair shoreline he’d been promised. Hero again scrambled up the prow, and Leif again yanked him down. This time he made good his threat; he had the little nuisance bound, though he was half-tempted to let him take his chances overboard.
From somewhere deep in the haze grew a soulful, otherworldly call. It went on and on, electrifying the air, bottoming out once the ship had merged with that previously fought westerly flow.
By now Leif’s nerves were shot. He ordered the oars raised.
The longship began to drift. Ship and ice were pulled due west.
The clouds fell far behind as the ship embarked upon an amazingly calm sea—so calm its entire visible surface was featureless except for the faint wakes provided by the ship and its hulking ice companions. To the east a huge fog bank appeared on the horizon, and a while later a smaller bank to the north. Then a very dense one to the south. In time these banks converged, imperceptibly becoming a single mass that closed about the ship, bit by bit creating a slowly heaving dome. Tiny beads of water appeared on beards and eyebrows; in a minute everything was soaked. The only sound was that of the dragging steering oar. The men were now sopping ghosts, speaking only with their eyes.
Directly ahead the fog began to dimple. The dimple became a hollow, the hollow a cave, and then ship and ice were being towed through a low, ever-extending tunnel in fog. The current increased its pull. Ship and drifting ice accelerated through the tunnel.
After a while the missionary quietly stepped forward. He stood with one hand on the prow’s neck, listening to the mist, so motionless he might have been a carved extension of the longship’s aggressive design. Not a man breathed. The tunnel’s dilating and contracting bore was producing an all but seamless series of oscillating, near-phonetic sounds. Leif almost tiptoed back. No god, pagan or Christian, could account for the strangeness of this situation.
They were borne on a course that grew more southerly, and the following day beheld an inhospitable shoreline glazed by dazzling white beaches. Their course held. Two days later they came upon a far pleasanter, thickly wooded coast. Here the current released its hold, and here the missionary untied Hero and personally placed him and his son in a tiny oak faering. He was just as sick of them as he was excited by this promising new land. Once the rowboat had been heaved over the side, he and another man stepped aboard and took up the oars. They began rowing with easy, powerful strokes.
When the boat kissed sand the missionary stood unsteadily.
The first European to set foot on North American soil now placed one hand on his crucifix, the other on his sword’s hilt, and awkwardly plunged his leg into the thigh-deep, ice-cold surf. Before he could take another step the boat lurched as Hero leapt headfirst into the water, followed an instant later by his son. The Greenlanders watched sourly as the two splashed their way into a mad dash for the waiting pines. Leif wished them both good riddance and turned to grin wryly at his fellow Norseman. He must have blacked out for a second, must have been blinded by a shaft of sun, for he found he was staring stupidly at a point midway between his companion and the longship. It felt like he’d been kicked between the eyes.
Everything was dissolving.
He studied the beach and pines closely, but saw nothing of the man or his boy. He turned back, disoriented. With what seemed a superhuman effort he took up his oars. He rowed out sluggishly, in a dream, and the fog rolled in to meet him.

The boy broke into the trees and embraced a trunk, fighting for breath. What happened next happened so fast and so unexpectedly he didn’t have a chance to react.
Three savages stepped from behind the pines and beat him to his knees. They twisted his arms behind his back and hauled him to his feet. He’d barely processed the impression of a wild painted face when something sharp struck him ******* the temple and tore down his cheek to the jaw. Two of the assailants manhandled him into an upright position and held him in place while the third brought his weapon down again and again and again.
All but dead, he watched a nightmare countenance shouting through a shot veil of blood, and behind that image a reeling crimson sun. He lay there gushing while the savages went through his rags. They propped him against a pine and shrieked with triumph, tore the hair and gory scalp from his skull, threw back their heads and screamed at the screaming sky. Tooth and nail, they ripped apart his face and throat and, certain he would die, split what bits of fur were left and let his carcass lie.

                                                HERO

The weeks stretched into months while he fought his way back into the light.
He progressed in stages; only half-conscious, stumbling along in a blood-red stupor punctuated by a slow strobe of frequent blackouts. Days loomed and decayed, nights pounced and were gone; the backlit, swirling gray cosmos collapsed and expanded on every missed beat of his pulse. A thousand times he broke down to die, and a thousand times he clawed to his feet, driven to pursue a tiny, ghost-like figure fluttering in his memory.
Everything conspired to check him.
A bay like an immense landlocked sea was skirted over months or years—it was all the same. Cold locked him in, Hunger drove him afield, that rude ***** Wind lashed him blind, wore him like a shoe, screamed for his skin while he worked his way west.
Somehow he ate, somehow he avoided being eaten; the instincts that had served him halfway around the planet were still vital beneath the abused exterior. His simple burrows became sturdy temporary shelters. He relearned the art of fire, and began to cook what he killed. He manufactured crude snares and weapons and, when his recuperation was complete, paid closer attention to the on-again, off-again trail he’d been following…forever.
Sometimes this trail would call to him like a lover. Other times he stood peering uncertainly, trying to recapture meanings and aims. Then the ground would turn spongy and the sky revolve, and once again he’d be lying all but dead in the woods, while from the face of the sun emerged a vile winged horror, its ugly pale head lashing side to side, its cruelly hooked beak dangling something that glistened in the wild pulsing light…then the fat moon, rising like gas against the icy black night…the feel of the wind:  the slashing of her nails, the chafing of her hem…the sound of things crunching and pausing and sniffing…then the sun, blazing anew. And again that thing, descending, its wide black wings beating slowly, metronomically—but none of that mattered any more. For his mind had quit him, had flown howling into ice and pine to roost with things surreal. In the day his madness might muddle and run, or spend the light stalking, cat-like, watching and waiting. But at night it came creeping from all sides. Sometimes it came in waves. It could gnaw like the devil, or wrap around him like a warm second skin. But none of that mattered either.
The only thing that mattered was the trail—whether it was lost for good, or for only a while. He’d been following it through his episodes, always north, wondering just who and where in the world he was, and trying to shake a ridiculous notion of being led on a wild goose chase.
The cold was unbelievable.
The deeper north he delved, the more confused he became. He grew starved for colors and scents, finding nonexistent patterns in the stark contrast of shadow and snow. He thought he could detect a kind of otherworldly design in the overwhelming number of dead ends he encountered, and, too, in the diabolically frustrating locations of natural obstacles. He seemed to be forever fighting the wind—a hulking, despondent snowman, he hiked face down and focused, while another aspect of his attention floated just behind, disembodied, watching his silent pursuers…leaving no tracks, blending perfectly with the environment in their clever winter coats…not predators, but creatures that normally should have been hightailing it away from him. By the time he could turn, they’d become nothing more menacing than snowdrifts. But they pursued him nevertheless.
And so his paranoia increased…had there ever really been a trail…and when did this miserably cold, miserably anemic crusade begin…his long-term memory was falling apart a chunk at a time. It just got colder and colder and colder until at last, one snippet of a day during one blur of a year, he found himself utterly lost, and clueless as to his history or objective. His mind was a blank, as colorless and featureless as the endless world of ice around him. He’d come this far solely to learn that the only trail he’d been following was his own—and now even that trail was succumbing to ice. On all sides there was nothing to see but an infinite field of glaring whiteness, and nothing to hear but the ululating wail of the tubular polar wind. It was the loneliest, the unholiest, the creepiest sound imaginable. But it wasn’t insanity that made him wheel. It was his self-preservation instinct.
And then he was somehow on his knees in the woods, facing a furious setting sun.
Whole seasons had passed from his memory like chalk from a board. His only recollections were those of a broken, haunted animal:  of being perilously sick, of fearing the unseen, of blindly struggling across a solid-white wilderness. That he’d survived such an ordeal meant nothing to him. And that he had in some indecipherable manner stumbled across the cold-as-stone trail did not fill him with amazement or with thankfulness—there simply wasn’t anything visual or emotional left to draw on. A significant part of his life had been whited out.
But now he could focus entirely on the trail. And before he knew it, the fuzzy area between fantasy and reality found a seam. He began to analyze and plan. He paid attention to hygiene, and kept a kind of running mental journal. Things were sorting out. Yet there were nights when the old sickness would resurface, reestablish its hold, and leave him sweating and uncertain under the stars. Then, paradoxically, his perception would become razor-keen. And so he would see, on a distant hilltop, a pair of scrawny silhouettes, one on four legs and one on two, slowly crossing the faintly pocked face of the setting moon. He would become strangely excited, and thereafter retain crystal-clear images of himself, as if seen from above, hurrying with adroitness through the silent, graveyard-like setting of black and blue night and white-frosted trees. Then the fuzzy area would broaden, and it would be the next morning, and he would be staring at the prints of man and elk in snow. And he would see how the elk’s prints doubled back, and how the man’s prints terminated where he had obviously mounted his guide. An unfathomable glow would bring tears to his eyes. But, even as he gathered himself, a fresh snowfall would wipe out the prints. And once again the world would plummet into white. And the wind would howl as the snow hammered his eyes. And he would ***** on.

A haggard animal sat shivering in a small grove of frozen pines, watching his campfire die. His eyes were fixed. Like the fire, he was running out of warmth, running out of fuel. There wasn’t a whole lot of tinder round his bones, and not much feeling left in his limbs. The slowly heaping downfall was burying him alive, but he was too numb to care.
It had taken him six long years to cross an entire continent, and during that time he’d known only cold and excruciating pain. The pain was leaving him now. The cold was making it right. His eyes glazed over.
Along a narrow plain to the west a herd of caribou filed dreamily through the snow, cutting across a panoramic backdrop of dazzling white mountains. The slow-motion parade was hypnotic. After a while it occurred to the drifting man, in a roundabout way, that he was dying, that he was nonchalantly freezing to death. Concurrent with this notion there rose in his chest a wonderful liquid warmth. His eyes slowly closed and, once shut, began to set fast.
He was jolted from within. It was as if he’d been kicked in the heart.
He ****** to his feet, pounded his fists on his thighs, felt nothing. The breath spurted from his mouth in small white clouds as he stumbled downhill after the slow caribou train. He swam through the snow, hallucinating, imagining that certain individuals in the herd were mocking him by slowing and accelerating, while others glanced back with expressions of contempt.
As he burst into their midst the animals stepped aside indifferently. A few galloped ahead to keep up the herd, but most simply sidestepped while he danced there, stamping his feet and smacking his hands. The herd grew thinner, until only the old and infirm were filing by. The man desperately embraced a hobbling female for warmth, but she cried out and kicked, triggering a panic reaction in the herd. Clinging for his life, the man was dragged along beside her as the herd stormed into a maze of flying ice and snow. His weight caused her to stagger sideways until they slammed against the flank of a sick male. The man instinctively threw an arm over the male and, thus draped between them, was borne across the drifted plain for upwards of a mile, his freezing feet alternately dangling above and dragging through the snow. The herd broke into a hard run, forcing him to assume a broken trot. Soon his legs were stinging. Sensation rushed through his body.
Now the herd, still picking up speed, began to contract, jamming him between his bearers. There was a quick jolt to his right and he was lifted clean off his feet, nearly straddling the bucking female. It had become an all-out stampede. Through hard-flung snow he saw the cause:  just ahead, the caribou had run head-on into a solid wall of galloping wood bison, and both frantic herds had blindly veered to the east; were in fact running side by side down a deep, ragged canyon—were pouring over the canyon’s lip like a cataract. He was approaching, at breakneck pace, that very place where the converged herds so abruptly swerved. The hanging man snarled as he was borne inevitably to the point of deflection.
There came a concussion at his left shoulder, followed by a blast of snow. In an instant the ailing male was tumbling head over heels to the east, ****** into the stampede’s plummeting mass by the fury of its descent. The man and female, rebounding from this impact, were shot to the west in a crazy jumble of flailing legs. The caribou lost her footing, flew nose-first into a snowbank, and came up running. Kicking off, the man used the last of his strength to heave himself astride. At first she fought to shake him, but the spell of the run was too strong. She and half a dozen others went pounding in the opposite direction of the stampede, quickly joined by a number of bison that had likewise splintered from their herd. The riding man could make out their huge hulking shapes thundering by in a blizzard of flying ice, could hear their heavy gasps and explosive grunts. One passed so close he felt its massive flank brush his leg. He peered to his right and saw a black, pig-like eye regarding him excitedly, moving up and down like a piston as the beast ran alongside.
The eye shifted, focusing on the gasping, completely obsessed female. The bull dropped its head and slammed into the caribou’s side, sending her and the man careening down a ***** to the west. The caribou brayed hysterically and her backside went down, but she managed, despite the weight of her rider, to return to all fours and frantically continue along the *****. Again the bull charged, crashing into her shoulder. The man and caribou were launched sideways into the white searing air.
He sat up carefully. The huffing bison was straddling him like a bully laying down the ground rules. Its big wiry beard came right up to brush his chin. The stench of its breath was stupefying.
The bull stamped and snorted, thrusting its stubby horns left and right as the man used his elbows and heels to back away. The bull followed, move for move. When the man collapsed under his own impetus the bull shoved him along with its snout, bellowing furiously. Clear down the ***** they lunged, shoving and lurching, until the man lay sprawled on his back; up to his chin in snow, completely helpless. The ton of a bull butted and kicked, but only glancingly:  those hooves could **** with a blow. At last the man, in one clean sequence, spun on his rear, dropped to his side, and went rolling down the ***** using his elbows for ******.
At the bottom ran a narrow fence of frosted saplings marking an ice cliff’s precipice. He lay face down in the snow, too done in to do anything but **** at an air pocket.
And there came a high-pitched crackling, a sound like the protracted gasp of embers in a dead fire. He turned just as those saplings began leaning to the west, their frozen skins cracking with the strain.
The bison bellowed menacingly.
The sprawled man looked back and saw it still standing with legs spread wide, silhouetted against the sky. In a moment it began huffing downhill, lurching side to side, surfing the snow between lunges.
It chased him through the genuflecting saplings straight into a frozen gully where, protected by a few feet of insurmountable verticality, he was able to slide on the ice between its stomping hooves, downhill out of reach, then downhill out of control—spinning just in time to glimpse a breathtaking vista:
Partly framed by the gully-straddling saplings was a vast crescent of jagged white mountains seemingly huddled round a small stretch of snow-draped pines. The little wood these mountains surrounded was isolated in a broad lake of solid ice. Hundreds of fissures radiated crazily throughout this packed ice field, appearing to issue from somewhere near the frozen wood’s center, which was completely obscured by a ring of rising mist. Above this thumbnail panorama the sun showered gold.
Then the gully dipped radically, and he was skidding headfirst, slamming back and forth against its slick white walls. This uncontrollable plunge had the positive effect of getting his blood flowing. Yet it tore him up. Had the gully concluded in a cul-de-sac, or had further progress required a single calorie of uphill effort, his struggle would certainly have ended here. He would have been too weak to move, and death would have been swift.
But there was a glacier—a great river of ice pouring slowly out of the clouds. The gully, terminating in a little scoop formation near the glacier’s base, spat him flailing onto its gnarly glass hide. He went head over heels, bits of skin and fur flying like chips from a band saw. Somehow he gained his footing, and then he was running against his will, tumbling and recovering and tumbling again.
He didn’t catch much of that crazy run. He half-glimpsed whirling walls of ice, felt a fickle surface underfoot, and broke through an assaultive mist that clung to his ankles and arms. He remembered having the ragged hides torn right off his body, and then being skinned alive. And he remembered reaching the glacier’s base and crawling like an animal; round its sweeping drifts, past its peaked moraines, all the way to a twisting frozen gorge.
And he followed this gorge down; ricocheting wall to wall, delirious, small plumes of thrashed snow marking his descent.
Through a freezing wood he fumbled. In a veil of mist he tumbled down a steep and verdant grade. As cold consumed his closing breath, he fell upon, near-blind, near death, a strange, enchanted glade.

There is a pool.
And in this pool a man lay purged, his broken body half-submerged.
The stumbling man stopped. He knelt to weep, but lost his thread. One hand took a bicep, the other, the head. With a twist and pull the corpse emerged.
That visage…that face—misshapen mask, contorted, bleached; of life’s deposits fully leached. Essence dispatched—a void, sodden wretch.
He let it fall and the glass was breached. All a freak, all a stretch:  upon this act his grip detached.
And the bridge collapsed…one vagabond grasp…what were these feelings; recaptured and trashed…a span elapsed…who was this puckered mass…he hauled it by the waist and thighs…slid it in, watched the pool react:  purse and recover, expand, contract. The glass reformed, now silver-backed…a sudden mirror…the man leaned nearer…saw his reflection, just smashed, remade intact.
The pool grew still.
Within its depth a shadow stirred—visions gathered, some distinct, some obscure. What they meant, and who they were, was much too much to fathom. The glass became blurred.
He closed his eyes, let his heavy head fall, fell back on his haunches, felt the sweat seep and crawl. The air was a pall—as he struggled to rise, a nib crossed his wrist.
He opened his eyes.
Between his fingers the blades poked and crept. Round his knuckles they ventured, up his forearm they stepped:  they seemed to be triggered by prompts from the ground. He shook his head slowly and dully looked round.
There were jays grouped about him, their black eyes aglow. Red hens came running, their fat chicks in tow. Gophers engaged in a weird hide-and-seek. Bluebells and buttercups craned for a peek. Sparrows hopped past and, paying no heed, burst into flight. He watched them recede.
Westward they flew.
Bewildered, he slumped.
Bumped from behind, he jumped to his feet, flabbergasted to find an ancient gray moose near-eclipsing the sky, with grit in his snarl and fire in his eye.
The old moose took aim.
The man turned to flee and stumbled, then tumbled and fell on a palm and a knee.

But there lies a world (so the lullaby goes) where rivers ever run.
Poked from behind, pushed out of his mind, he staggered into sun.







Copyright 2020 by Ron Sanders.

Contact:  ronsandersartofprose(at)yahoo(dot)com
Sorry about the ghastly copy. This system makes graceful formatting impossible.
Chapter XXVII
Mashiach of Judah V part
Miracle VI - Gethsemane / Maasefa


Preface

In this chapter in particular I want to clarify the revelation of three fundamental phases of the outcome of this chapter of Judah.

a) The subsequent phase after the Stable in Bethelem (Kafersuseh) will lead to the neurochemical conformation of the energies subtracted from the visions in the stable, exclusively from the roof before the intervention of the Cherubs with their four wings, just like the Lepidoptera ( butterflies), incurring in an original messianic nexus provided with pheromone sensitivity and chemical activation in the pollinations of bumblebees, bees, and wasps, to regenerate the species of Olivo Barnea, to consolidate the language and perpetuate it as a dialect of Messiah.

b) From this phase itself, the phylogeny is subtracted as kinship between species or taxa in general from tree species and wild plants. Although the term also appears in historical linguistics to refer to the classification of human languages according to their common origin, the term is used mainly in its biological sense. The symbiosis of both interactions will intervene in the juxtaposition of "Joshua is born and dies in the instant" when he is born in the stable "but his analogy Gethsemane and Golgotha, the two" G ", will recreate the salvific miracle and anticipation of the Scourge that it will suffer, but that the Hexagonal Progeny (Men and animal species and insects) will intervene with the salvific action from the caverns to gather the dry bones of humanity. It also makes us the exception of Shibboleth, comparative of Gaaladitas and Efraitas, to standardize the language as a probity to recompose the intra-social scale (use of the language indicative of social or regional origin, identifying the members of a group, in a kind of password), which appeals to changes in the use of phonetics in terms of difference and to aspire to reorder social disagreements, caused by major conflicts, including the loss of concomitant civilizations and their patrimonial socio-cultural niche, therefore of the Aramaic as a thread of anticipated signal of a beginning of communicative intention and preservation of messianic language)

c) Physical, mental, geophysical and spiritual elemental energies will mutate the adherence of the Aramaic dialect with the pollen duct generated in the Barnea olive species, creating a relationship of chemical change in them deified in favor of a new "Vernarth Berne" , with the interaction of the isotope that will generate the inclusion of a proton that will mutate the chemistry of divination and connectivity with the (Heavenly Father - Abba in the Garden), in such a way that the methodological lines of anticipation will prosper on the night of the rapture by the Sayones before being taken to the Lithostroto to be scourged, to interpret the power of his gospel.

d) And for the consequent emeritus synchronization of the Maasefa dry bone conjunction caves, unleashing the awareness of the awakening of protection before, during and after the events that occurred at the culmination of his death. This will delve into the three chemical sediments interacting with each other, the Aramaic language enchanting the univocal and eternal root to always have it in Gethsemane, the revelation of the phylogeny as a determining entity for the consolidation of the geophysical-animal world and the transcendent soul that intervenes among the stars.  Of the everlasting creation on the crescent Moon eleven days before, and the Sun -Shemesh astonishingly at the degradation of the human species and all its feelings of loss of unconfessed existence.

e) Experiencing and surviving the indecisions and fears of recognition of exposing and externalizing the calls of the antro caverns that have allowed us to escape the threats, but from there towards the reverberation in the same tune of a Calvary, in the basins of a skull , taking refuge to serve and look from the optics of the shining with the gold of the ears of wheat in your dreams. Gethsemane and Golgotha are the set of the "G" that generates endo-trauma in the throat and a global skeletal bone set, that wanting to relive the call of the Messiah, from the Neck of Heaven rising roughly through your throat, forever and through the Centuries of the Centuries.

f) The poetics that led me to write this poetic essay in this chapter (it is the same depressing unconsciousness of having a body already abandoned and without Soul, but in my own without understanding anything), this tends to describe how history us teaches that there are phenomena that are difficult to capture for sure, but that from the extra mediumistic sensibilities, emerge from where our consciousness does not discover what makes the divine exponential canonically intuitive spiritual power, or the external machine of multiple serial spirit systems, that they besiege and show us their Firmament, and that few times we will actually be able to enter them from deep within from the activation date our hyper consciousness, and the level of travel that leads to the abandonment of our intro meditation.


They were all stationed on the northeast *****, Eurydice arrived with her essences full of birds surrounding her, and she could not hold them due to the invasion of these surprising birds. They were all sitting on the stones of the garden; they were all resting with their heads on the Svein Tzora stones.


Vernath says: "The stone of Gethsemane", on grains and crystals are soaked with the spheres of the stone of the Mashiach. She showed them the meekness before the hardness that could be distinguished compared to limestone or clayey, full of sedimentary grains that devastate the igneous ones from where some voices of her holocaust were left over, compared to marrying her corporeal materiality with the aramic syllable embedded in a undressed and silent bustle, of everything and little petulant organic element coexisting in his morpho figure. This graphs the consonance with the demonstrations of passion by his followers embedding themselves in a stone with multiple and sharp cuts, as if taking the grains out of a pomegranate with his law of 613 grains that are enough to stipulate them and to break the lithosphere of the messianic referendum of his sacrificed law on the lithostroto. No barrier will stop us from surpassing this lithosphere, which so coldly separates us from the rebirth of a body that takes root beyond the cracks of Gethsemane, as do olive trees growing on the same stones, pretending to be in a mansard. The will of a destiny under a stone, admits arrogant concerns to startle that “He was there, and his destiny condemned him”, but “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me; but that it is not as I want, but as You want ...”, equivalent to relating stones for all the cups, as long as the will is of the Abba”, thus the stones are relieved, and our pride weighs less than the subterranean immortality.

Saint John says: “That it is agony; it is nothing more than supporting in our dreams the heavy shadow of his burden. The stone does not fit through the interstices of dreams, but its image weighing on the symbolism of being part of it, more than all hailstorms, being the scene of a sin near the disciple family and their dejection that runs where a curtain runs towards the resurrection. The thick drops are thick grains of the pomegranate in the Via Dolorosa, being thick stones falling from the universe and rubbing against the Sun and the Moon, falling on Him as well. Today on this day that the tribulation of an eternal night is confessed that never clarified, it will start to rain interrupting for days running backwards, since several syllables were left without catechizing before climbing from where the wind of Elijah called him Mashiach. Venerable Mashiach, always close to you leaping from the red sea, like a pomegranate like the food of a Father among waves of his sea! We are once again celebrating Holy Week and we have thought it appropriate to write this work on the Gethsemane stone, a gifted scene of his arrest, caused by the petty betrayal of all the Judases in the world. Mashiach, lonely in his full youth of thirty-three years in verses of his Aramaic succumbing on the arms of his Abba, He takes him and wraps him with his arms to defend him from the darkness, shedding blood and tears on a cracked stone, beyond the heavens of greater grenades in his hands revealing will that exceeds the levels of being rescued more times. There is a bitter taste of fruit, of course, but it tastes like a red planting of the rock, dry red that is not emanated from anything, but that if it brings us the generous hand that ceases pain and affliction, it produces sweet sleep even with irons. Forged entering through the middle of your carpal hands and tarsal feet. With the pantomime of our morbid, we stretch our arms on your refined cross, but without the conscience of the ******* trial of not experiencing the iron in our questioned soul, without crucified skin that in the epidemic the beast gave the punishment to its skin between screams and uncouth crying that if it occurs towards him, rather under the bitterness of a hammered heartless cup and inert stone that runs westwards seeking the voices of its pious mother. The sip of the sunset was swallowed in the sadness of my life that begins to be reborn every time it was lost and lifeless without feeling it as mine. I sleep in vigil on the flames of the stand of the stones of fire, and I fall asleep because others will not wake me on the edge of the one that cuts my game in flames. What cowardly courage accumulating in a depersonalized spilled heart ... what hours will have to pass without feeling them, to date the entry into her body of burning iron towards the sacrifice and not that of the. "Let it remain here on this stone with a fruitful shape, because it will not burst with impatience, rather with tears from grains of pomegranates." What a stronger bitterness than seven days in a row turning to my usual sweet sin, to end them abandoned without savoring it. For the first time I understand, since I have returned from exile that its Aramaic smells like grains of fruit and the syllables of the hundreds that are… are whipped like mega words that smell like its ***** trunk in solitude and abandonment. Its trunk like mine, stone of tree skin, of vile whips lost in the frieze of its temple breaking its head bark, crying its groans in full reconverted hopes of a crown into a hidden thorn. They are stuck in a grain of purple pomegranate, defeating the ailment of those who dared to martyr him in the pain that runs through his frozen veins ..., which is not sifted even by the brave poor; as it is to say by voice of the wealthy spirit helping you. "Being prepared and not, because I will not be the one who falls more times than falls from a stone rendered as stone dust where I have to go and where I have to be reborn"


Maasefa
Stone dust

"You are made of stone and you will become stone", were the words of communion in Gethsemane, from the stone of the Mashiach prayer, signaling the expression of freedom and the cessation of the oligarchy of belonging to the world doctrine of dimensional physical slavery , and its penetrating solidity of the stones that the priests made in the catacombs in times of consecration of loved ones to a centile universe of the orthodox spirituality. Here are the carved stones, such as those of the Sanhedrin that were gathered in the building known as the Hall of Carved Stones (Lishkat Ha-Gazith), which for this purpose will be the conservation of the ossuaries of the high authorities and common citizens, having the Maasefa's prerogative, which must consist in gathering the bones of all the reduced ones after a year that are completely hermetic in the assigned catacombs. Through this proximity of low spaces and recondite, the vague wandering of prescribing to approach the salvific redemption grows, awaiting the projection of the expired ancestors in the source of eternal life respected for the Mashiach (Messiah), to shelter us in their illusion in beauty brotherhood before being resurrected.

The Hexagonal Primogeniture, would go for the wading of making the nucleus of the nearby stones of the oratory of the garden towards an honorable mention of elaborating concavities in the geology of the garden, so that from the leftover dust of the carved stonemason the alliance of the Aramaic verb of cloistering is manufactured and the devotion of the members in each stone cell, and the explosion of the Aramaic verb speaking infinitely of the Father-Son analogy. In such a way that the translucent particles will be spread by the rhizomes of the Olivos Barnea species; deriving to Bern for the posthumous tribute of Vernarth, considered a Champion of the conservation and cenacle of living and extinct organic bones, such as the aforementioned case of the Apostle, before gathering as elemental dust of the Maasefa of Joshua before the completion of the retreat of the Garden of Gethsemane .

Shofar, sistrum, harp, and cymbals resound through the wise night and its star sign, before scouring the nearby veins to complete the Maasefa. They all sleep together that night touching heels in matrix phases to start a day with the force of stonework from left to right for allegory of the Menorah that never strays from the magnetized night. They get up at twenty to four at the beginning of the ritual. An hour and a half before sunrise they were in the purple sunrise stratum, on the layers of divinity tinged with the conscious subtlety of the creator in our being levitating. Its consequences rise before their bodies ..., evolving towards the hegemonic process on the layer of the nascent mineralogy that was going to intervene, which was oratory of the synchronic Mashiach or Messiah. Under it, Vernarth would begin to pierce, looking for the dimensional spaces of the search for its physiognomic extension adaptable to that of everyone and the evolving memory that separated the entrance from the Sun and the Moon on glasses waiting to be filled and drunk at noon. Eleven days before the Ekadashi (full moon) began. Thus, in this way they would sculpt the catacomb fanned into twelve simultaneous rocks that were in a perfect limbic diametrical circle, the line of the garden with its physical movements in congruence with the moon and the consciousness that matches it, like that alert of that fateful night in which he was abducted. In perfection with the oscillating vibration that is expanding in front of the cold back of the stone, analogically when the Mashiach vibrated in physical magnitude and in the absence of alert, but emotionally yes, after dialoguing with his Abba. The tremulous line that it covered was widely displaced further since it was transported towards the Edicule isotope, as an element of flight, escape, detonation and resignation, being able to find in the configured nature of fuss of a great variety of different isotopes as mass.  Which to a great extent will exceed in the cumulative gasified reaction,  and in purifying events that will occur at fifteen hours on Good Friday, when the prophetic events and the mischievous changes of evidence of the cataclysm expire on the cross and in the hands. The eclipsed sun, storm with depressed losses and cataclysm for a world that will sleep more than 1,700 years to the right, creating the consciousness of being in more than two conscious places, with the minimum and childish aspect of the remaining second that is divided between the before and after the physical and physiological abandonment, beginning in a final episode and of conclusive torment that precedes a culminating beginning. All this transformation of enclave and of energetic dimension allowed them to synchronously drill the sediment rocks that were thus sustained in the timid energy, generating electromagnetism of the field of the higher will. Thus, in the tunnels, all were drilling; they would be of the same mass category as the isotopes to manifest the energy and its dynamic charge, as a mass of occlusive energy that would explode on the martyrdom day of Golgotha.

Faced with this phenomenon of energy, it underlies the symmetry of the magnetic field created synchronously with the words emitted in the Aramaic word, comparing them with the reminiscences that must be poured in the twelve caverns of the garden, such as conversions and exchanges of the exhalations of the bees , bumblebees and wasps, in the universe of curve that transits the explosiveness of lines that approach the ratio of the dislocation of vibrations and their sound frequencies. Together with pollination as a genetic element of the fresh macerated chlorophyll and as a kinetic in the elytra of the Lepidoptera  with the indications of connecting the clan with the aforementioned electromagnetic energies. The interaction of the fields within the system will be induced between Golgotha and Gethsemane, they will establish electrical charges that will produce the gases and liquids that will intervene in the entire lithosphere, which unites both portions of soils, this created the interaction of particles, establishing the undermining of the rocks with the shapes of the Calota de Calavera basins, due to the geological conformation of the radius that surrounds both predicted areas. From this pattern, the caverns in the garden will be improvised, magnetizing the areas of vibration that depend on each other.

It seeks to interrelate a magnetic and electrical phenomenon between both areas; The impulse is derived to anticipate the forebodings of the Mashiach, and from how he was going to endure such torments towards his illustrious body in such a way as to electromagnetically retransmit it between the transmission bridge of the Garden and the admission bridge to Golgotha. This will trigger all subsequent supernatural and geological phenomena during the day of his crucifixion and the delicacy that will be glimpsed by decree of an execution against humanity and orthodox fanaticism, causing a sensitive correspondence of the transmission of faith and the dogma of attending to the physical work and mystical legacy to safeguard for successive generations in the Berna Olivar species, nodding correlation with the majestic and axiomatic cultivation of preservation under the catacombs, as the unalterable progeny of the concelebrating of the eternal relationship of lineage coalition united with the feeling and consciousness of Christian Eternity. This gravitational potential energy will attach the multi-aramic effect to all attendees, to confer dialogue, assimilate and consent to a dynamic supra-lingual, organic and historical heritage channel, on the basis of a monumental act of consanguinity before all will, "Here are all the alphas, on the Omegas." Creating complex harmonic movements between the caverns of impiety,  but with a perfect and refactioning equation with the rescued Prayer in Aramaic towards the universe in quasi-presence periods, but not verifiable until the salvific prayer ritual is concluded.

The chain reaction of this divine particle will be the opposite charge of the reaction of the active work area of tension consolidation between both columns, Golgotha and Gethsemane, both are started with "G" and if you turn it in any direction around it you make a perfect skull of no more than twelve kilometers, whose distance in direct line would certainly be crossing the eternal vision through the ocular concavities, demonstrating that at the level of analogy and esoteric analysis, the extended reciprocity of the supra value of consciousness is latent divine, from where the emission of the word and the will "the shell or head skeleton" in the sense of reduced material and the antimatter particle that would become where the universes intersect in the elite of direct mercy (one has already occurred , but the other sphere of the difficult concavity still has to go ..., only a Messiah will have to cross it when it returns to us again). This Eclipse of the Messiah of the Sun, is a dark aspect of anemic light, torment and of three maries, vindicating in this superficial love token in the Orchard of antimatter rooted in the anti particle, which evades this great event by lavishing its blessed spiritual figure, charged with ambivalent theological antimatter; of egregious trust and bipartisan univocity but failing for the dark mercy on Golgotha and luminous in the garden of Gethsemane. "His body trembled and the Earth too"

Shibboleth

Incorporating the Shibboleth for distinction of members of a group, such as the tribe of Efraim, whose dialect lacked a sound (S), unlike others, such as the Gileadites, whose dialect did include it? Shibboleth is a spike and also celebrates the fertility of wheat crops and all concomitant species of the natural and endemic species of central Judah. And the Gileadites seized the fords of the Jordan River to Ephraim, and when one of the Ephraim who had fled said, Shall I pass? Those of Gilead asked him: Are you Ephraim? If he answered no, then they said to him: Well, say "shibboleth". And he said sibboleth, because he could not pronounce that luck. Then they seized him and slaughtered him.  And so forty-two thousand of the Ephraim died.

The relevance of this event is to begin the Maasefa ritual, for the reunion of the spiritual roots, bones and genealogical of the beings close to the Messiah, they will have to infuse in these franchises, to be derived to the area of the twelve caverns that are being elaborated for the closing and closing of the ring of the passionate and energetic journey of the Word of the Messiah, its renewal and interaction with the psychic spiritual world and its consciousness, in the coexistence of animal nature, indoctrinating civilizations of coexistence in a state of cyclical normality , but renovating when released by the contending magnetic forces that made the whole ring that surrounds Gethsemane and Golgotha a magnet tunnel of great mystical conversion for the purpose of adaptability and preservation of the renewed pollinations of bumblebees, bees and wasps in view of a commonwealth molding and spreading in all spheres of faith and apotheosis of the pre act of departure of the Messiah to the judgment and punishment of its truth. After defeating their scourge in a stunned journey, they will fall with the great similarity of the verb that "Betrays and Forgives", the Universe in its creation that renews everything, because that is how it has been written since the beginning of the Universe and by the one who dictated it ". Shibboleth, will congenial differences of understanding, without prejudices and differences of vertical geographical, anthropological, cultural and divine linguistic mentions. "Our informal culture is preserved within the village houses by resisting the scourge of victorious death, within the cave that protects us in its infinite goodness and compassion"
                                      

Maasefa and the Valley of Dry Bones

At the appointed time the Svein Tzora, "flint stones", collide to ignite the fire of the Messiah. The thunder was such that it made the seas pour over the rivers and thunder over the roofs of the houses and fire over the banks of each unfulfilled prayer! They all get up, each one leaving each cave of their Calvary; they go to the meeting of the Dry Bones. The tradition of gathering the bone component that has no soul, everything deviates towards the request of the flesh for its soul. Like the account of the Prophet Ezekiel five hundred years B.C. There are many outstanding remains of skeletons, this would be resumed in Gethsemane, for the descendants of the son of the Messiah caste, the Cherubim with the lepidoptera twenty meters from the Svein Tzora will donate the light and heat to start the ritual of the dim light of the moon. It is already a crescent moon, and the dim green lights are shining through the beautiful dim green branches, lighting up the dry earth of the beloved orchard on the face of the Calvary field. The advantageous meats that began to meat the bones, raised the desire to start ultra fast in the oropharyngeal area, to provide solemnity and fulfillment of prophecy of the sacred language of the Aramaic lingual set in tune with the vibrations of waves of sounds of the wind in romance With the blasts of fire towards their faces. In this way the spirit of Jehovah adhered to bring together the primary meeting words of the Bethhelem edicts with the visions of Joshua, so that the stable in their language would issue the immortal edict from the Kafarsuseh stable to Gethsemane. Now everything was holy energy in union of the lands that made fertile compost and the word was fulfilled.

The valley of the olive trees was reconverted, and they prayed for complacency, all tried in the love of clan and shadow in the accident of the event, the new consciousness will not deprive of anointing the past-present of realization of joy of bones with bones, of laughter with laughter, of father with grandparents, of children with their children, with hands bigger than the hand covered with great spirit, over a valley where only hands with candles should fit in each of them
Chapter XXVII
Mashiach of Judah V part
Miracle VI - Gethsemane / Maasefa
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
The Tale below was carved one night
Upon the Stone, by candlelight
...most won’t believe, but some just might
.........most won’t believe, but some just might



                         Preface

Well James made Beth his lovely bride
(And angels smiled, though teary eyed)
...their bodies bound, their spirits tied
.........their bodies bound, their spirits tied

Upon her hand, a shimmer shone,
As bright as blood, a ruby Stone
...and brighter still, as love had grown
.........and brighter still, as love had grown

Soon James was sent to man a sail
So Beth removed her wedding veil
...her eyes were moist, her face was pale
.........her eyes were moist, her face was pale

“Well, I’ll be here when you return”
Said Beth to James, who kissed in turn
...a kiss that made her body burn
.........a kiss that made her body burn



                         BETH’S TALE

1.              The Dream

One night, within a dream deformed,
The cawing of a Crow informed
“...the Ship was struck where winter stormed
.........the Ship was struck where winter stormed

Midst winds and waves the thunder boomed
The Ship of Death was surely doomed
...the sea engulfed, the surf entombed
.........the sea engulfed, the surf entombed

Your James… deceived by Davy Jones!
With spirit freed, his flesh and bones
...now rest amongst the ashen Stones
.........now rest amongst the ashen Stones”



2.               The Quest

Awoken by the ebon Wight
And beckoned by the baneful bight
...I left before the morning light
.........I left before the morning light

Throughout the realm I rode a roan
Until, in time, I reached the Stone
...where shades in dreams of darkness groan
.........where shades in dreams of darkness groan

While skipping up and down the sky
A missing moonbeam mocked my eye
...enough to make a Swallow cry
.........enough to make a Swallow cry

For someone stole a star or two
And something else that fate withdrew -
...my jewel of joy, my James Bijou  
.........my jewel of joy, my James Bijou

The shadows of the evening swelled
Where demons of the dusk had dwelled
...and in the far, a vesper knelled
.........and in the far, a vesper knelled

The Stone, beneath the sky, stood cold -
Between the runes, a vapour strolled
...a cloak of fleecy fog consoled
.........a cloak of fleecy fog consoled

A Raven on a branch, enthroned,
Her wings waved once, a wail intoned
...beyond the bay, a banshee moaned
.........beyond the bay, a banshee moaned

I lay beside the Stone, his bride
I lay beside the Stone and cried
...but were it I, instead, that died
.........but were it I, instead, that died

The rainbow of the moon fell dim
A midnight Swan soon ceased to swim
...as if to hide all hint of him
.........as if to hide all hint of him

Between the willows in the swale
Bewailed a Bird, a Nightingale
...which left me faint, my body frail
.........which left me faint, my body frail



3.              Contact

I felt him breathe within a breeze  
Responding to my anguished pleas
...and leaves blew by abandoned trees
.........and leaves blew by abandoned trees

“Eternal love, my darling Beth”
Enshrined within a final breath
...re-echoed from the Ship of Death
.........re-echoed from the Ship of Death

The Stone lit up a ruby sheen
And clouds were kindled crystalline
...with consequences, unforeseen
.........with consequences, unforeseen

Above, a wretched Raven soared
To where the Ship of Death’d been moored
...below, the icy ocean roared
.........below, the icy ocean roared



4.               Release

I’m joined with James beneath the Stone,
Though to the Ship my spirit’s flown,
...for nevermore to be alone
.........for nevermore to be alone



                         Epilogue
That night the wayward winds were weird
The Ship of Death had disappeared
...coyotes called and mortals feared
.........coyotes called and mortals feared

At dusk, the craven shadows crawled
At dawn, the winds of mourning called
...upon the Stone two names were scrawled
.........upon the Stone two names were scrawled

The Raven sits, with wings outspread,
Atop the Stone which shades the dead
...it sometimes shimmers ruby red
.........it sometimes shimmers ruby red



                         Epitaph
Between the sounds, where silence seeps,
Their love lives on and never sleeps
...and yet, the weeping willow weeps
.........and yet, the weeping willow weeps
The water hollowed the stone,
the wind dispersed the water,
the stone stopped the wind.
Water and wind and stone.

The wind sculpted the stone,
the stone is a cup of water,
The water runs off and is wind.
Stone and wind and water.

The wind sings in its turnings,
the water murmurs as it goes,
the motionless stone is quiet.
Wind and water and stone.

One is the other and is neither:
among their empty names
they pass and disappear,
water and stone and wind.
They say there is a stone that tethers the heart.

A stone that calms the mind, even in the most horrendous of storms.

A serenity stone.

We have spent centuries searching for this stone.

We have written letters of hope, expecting word on its whereabouts.

We have chased after those who appeared to be the stone, but they only proved to be jagged daggers of glass, white-hot and coated in venom.

They break at the slightest touch.

Yet they say there is a stone, one that is unshakeable, immovable.

A serenity stone.

We are in dire need of this stone, but with each passing day, we believe that these tales are mere fantasy.

Where we believe there to be hope, we find only torment.

Where we believe there to be solace, we find only cold abandonment.

As time marches forth, we are surrounded by those who have found their stone, and our mind grows darker, and hope withers away.

They say there is a stone, one that will not abandon you.

A serenity stone.

But we cannot find her, and we are slipping into madness.
For those who have found their serenity stone in their partner, I applaud you. Perhaps someday I will find mine.
Aaron Duykers Apr 2014
Stone, stone, stone,
How ancient and wise you must be.
With ages and ages of knowledge and pages
of books hidden within your gray outside.

Stone, stone, stone,
What would happen if you were to be thrown?
Into a river, down a hill, past the moss-covered path to the mill.
Into the lake, dark and deep,
Where for many a year you soundly sleep.

Stone, stone, stone,
You seem to be extremely tame.
If a person trips, are you to blame?
Is your long life but a useless game?
Do you find human culture lame?
Or do you think it's all the same,
Because you are a stone?
Stone, stone, stone.
poison of a heart is,
poison of a stone
a step of poison is,
a step of a stone
a poison stone is,
a poison heart
a poison stone is,

a step of a heart
step is stepped of a heart
step is stepped of a poison
paradise is a stepping paradise
paradise is a stepping poison
a stone is a paradise of stone
a stone is a paradise of a stepping paradise

a poison of paradise is a poison of stone
paradise is paradise poison of stone
poison by heart is poison by stone
poison by heart is poison by paradise
step of a heart is step of a stone
step of a heart is step of a poison
step of a heart is step of a paradise
my writing is called philosophical writing. i only uses middle ages words,words liked gracious,extravaganza,etc… this poem is about time is a beginning of a stepping paradise. i don’t add capitalization’s on my writing.
Connor Ruther Aug 2010
Sisyphus, my brother.  This rock you push is a great weight to bear. It is too much and too little.

What is this Rock?


Sisyphus, my brother.  Who can speak to you of toil? Who can claim your lack of will to be your restraint? That same rock to be pushed and rolled for time immortal is all that you have known. The rock is all your focus, all your desire. It is the world to you, in one indifferent globe. You have no thought of food, nor drink, nor rest, or other pleasures of this life. You know only your task and your object. The hill is of no consequence. The days spin past without you taking notice. Time is of no consequence.
What is this Rock?

Sisyphus, my brother.  Who can speak to you of futility? Who can claim your time is productively spent? You, who roll to the top of that grim mountain the same heavy stone; only for it to roll from its’ perch to the stopping spot from whence you hauled it. With each day and each night you strain to force your task onward. Each drop of your sweat becomes a testament to your duty. Each drop a second. Each second soon forgotten. No matter what you could endure, the charge of yours remains the same. Your stone must rise. Your stone must fall.

What is this Rock?

Sisyphus, my brother.  Who can speak to you of Fulfillment? Who can claim you are a man whose soul is empty? You, who look each day upon that same destiny without hesitation and without grief. Never have you turned from that same monotonous fate to other horizons; but have remained bound to it. Other men seek escapes and new journeys. They seek new faces and new glories. They want for gold and flesh and praise. You, who have none, do not grieve for them. You have the stone. And the stone must be lifted. The stone must be pursued. The stone gives life meaning. The stone gives life purpose. The stone banishes all doubt, all fear. The stone alone has worth. The stone alone has truth.

What is this Rock?

Sisyphus, my brother.  The Rock is Love.
Frozen for millennium, looking eternally over its territory
Someplace it's own, hard fought and for which many fallen, his own
A man of stone, gazes, immobile
Part of the mountain, now, to those below

Play in its shadow,
Gaze at its likeness
So similar to man
Large brow, hawked nose
A common man

Moments measured in years
Too unconcerned to bother
Throned high on his mountain
Kept to himself, memories of battles
Friends, brothers for this valley

In the valley, children play
Not concerned with a likeness
Too common to stare
Leave that to tourists
Who come and they go

Eyes shift with a rumble
Grating, smell of granite on stone
He sees soft children, not of stone
Knowing life, not hard
Not like him, of stone

Parents, families tell stories
Of the creature in stone
Eons have past, myths, legends
To scare children, laugh now,
Old widows' tales, all told

Protector of the Valley, his title bestowed
Passed from crown to hand,
From times beyond old, to seek and be told
His memory is not foggy, sharp and bold
He watches for signs, of evils still known

A rumble, earthquake, they know
Not gods of fire, nor devils below
They built houses of stone, solid and uncold
Women skitter, men more bold
Children laugh, cry; depending on delight

Small creatures take wing, a flurry of flight
Soaring through the air, not for those as he
Their moment is ignored, not the threat he seeks
But from whence they come, something astir
A rift in the ground, a creature of Below?

Buildings lean, no great such thing
Prosperity is well, good neighbors to help
A man looks upon his home
His family safe, wife at his side
He is not alone; a sound takes his eyes

The creature was large, an Elder
Beyond language and time, seeking who-knows-what-this-time
They have come and he is here this time
Again, he moves, reaches for weapons
For stone, like his hide; for earth, like his mind

Some monster, some flesh of daemon
A creature, unnatural and bold,
Ripping earth and spewing foul
Springing forth, denying safety for child and wife
In an instant, the man is alone

Unmoving for years, centuries untired, readies for war
Rock flexes like muscles, stone tightens, coiled and then unfolds
From his seat, his throne
He joins battle, swings lethal, heart cold
Elemental, Warrior-King just as old

The man, stuttered by sight, then sound, both unknown
Falls to the ground, some part of him rolls
He looks up to see the mountain
Falling down, then up, and down
Time slows and it falls on down

The King sees the soft, fleshy man
Not unlike his form, but not made of stone
Shaking the Earth, the man is no concern
Only the Nemesis, the creature that came before he was old
He meets it with weapon, violence and scorn

For a moment, the man saw the face of the mountain
Above him and cold, eyes of flint
Recognizing, but disregarding his life
It met the daemon, crushing it's limbs
Epic, fury, a fight to shake bodies of men

The creature was old, even elder to old
It cast spells of fire, brought curse to the land
******* power from life, it's nature to man
The King broke weapon, chipped fist
Losing both ground and tooth

Pulled to his feet, a neighbor drags him away
Between stone foot, and slamming tentacled limb
The great creatures smash earth, livestock as well
Together they clash, first forward then back
The mountain looks down and seems to grin

The King sees the earth and inside
On a grave he does now fight
Clenched in heavy stone fist
Forged in primordial fires
A weapon, fit for a king

The mountain slammed it's fist
Down. Into. The. Ground.
Wrist, then elbow, then shoulder gone
And the other, brought itself together
For the first time since mankind hand seen it

The soft creatures stared at him
The Elder Nemesis gathered itself
Calling its volumes to one spell
The small ones stared, mouths slack
And his fingers, at last, touched it

Half in the motion, of standing
Almost although an action caught in time
Men, and women now, surrounded by children
Who wouldn't know where to flee, stared
The Stoneman rose to his feet, great axe in hand

It was lighter than he had thought
Gripped, tightly in two hands, now
He leveled his gaze, tunneling
A spell of his own, one of fight
He spoke his words of death

The world seemed crushed, smalled to a sound
When the mountain bellowed, erupting noise
A scream, mad and angry, forced, primal
Trickling blood from their eyes, ears
Children, falling and for the frail, death

The Nemesis saw his movement
Was unfinished in either word or deed
Unprepared for violence or tool
Raised suckered limb, protect!
Sheered through, it sunk deep in to its mass

Again and again, the mountain struck
Slamming ax deep, flailing deep; madness
Bone, blood and flesh, raining down like hail
Children were picked, dead and live alike
Carried off far from this site

The creature was dead, Nemesis no more
But still he struck, drunk on action, fluid of motion
Again and again, pulping it beyond
A fury, his crown for this, soon to be spent
A lesson to be made here, Others, he suspect

Hours, the ground still shook
Days, miles from their valley homes
Weeks, they could still feel the powers to the west
No one to believe their stories
Only superstition by day, fear at best

The small ones didn't return
He pondered, again on his throne
No wonder, to witness, such an Evil
Unbridled violence, not for those
His wound would fester, he would not grow old
Chris T May 2013
Stone and stone
and black street
of these concrete
paths.
a laugh
from burning man,
the bloated veined man,
that stands on his kingdom,
that stands on stone and stone.
the yellow teeth,
gold like his withered kingdom,
that both host refusal,
refusal
to shine under
sun or thunder's
roar,
for
he's a king,
the king
of stone and stone
and the needle his queen.
oh gentle queen!
caress him with a kiss,
a last cold kiss,
"goodnight
goodnight".

Alt-Title:Prince of  the Street/ Filth and his Highness
2012
maggie W Jan 2017
I wanna  be your cold stone girl,
The one you not only flirt but order a banana flavor for.

The thought of  you going to other cold stone
without me there frowning upon your choice
could **** me even in the city I love the most.

While we're both chasing our own dreams
I'll always remember you said
"Who knows what will happen,it's a small world"

I wanna be your cold stone girl,
The one that always greets you with a smile.
If you cannot find any cold stone you like
in  Nanjing, don't worry
I'm always up for ice cream in the cold

In February, you are off to my city
I secretly wish you won't for fall any cold stone girls
that giggle at your corny  jokes

I wanna be your cold stone girl,
and keep you company
While we both sail around the world.

10 months sounds like a long period of time,but
it's a small world after all.
When we fulfill that unknown dreams of our own
Meet me again in the cold stone,
for I will always be, your cold stone girl.
I wrote this in mind with the melody of "The girl" by City and Colour. Intended to be lyrics. To Michael.
Daniel Ospina Dec 2015
In a chilled morning of Christmas Eve,
Among the bells and carols there was a groan.
Disgusted by smiles, revolted by fun,
If grouchy were a person, it’d be Mr. Stone.
An accountant for three decades,
Joy was drained from his now frigid heart.
He’d take a stroll every day at sunrise,
Numbering the days until his soul departs.
Senseless ruckus, remarked Mr. Stone,
As he walked along the crowded London street,
A season without reason, only mindless
Splurging, incurring debt and wealth deplete.
Hey there sir, want some candy canes?
Asked a little boy, they’re only one crown.
Mr. Stone leaned in with pursed lips,
Too expensive, boy, you ought to settle down.
Sorry sir, it’s just I have nothing to eat.  
Would you be so kind and lend me a hand?
Hmmm… I’d rather not, I despise sweets,
I’m more in the mood for something bland.
With that Mr. Stone continued his walk,
Traversing through an abandoned back alley.
It was dark and musty, infested with rats,
The perfect place for all his woes to tally.
However, a baby’s cry caught his attention
Which was coming from a dumpster nearby.
Mr. Stone approached the source of the cry,
And behold a baby wrapped in rags there lied.
Oh my, how can this be? Who’d do such a thing?
He took the baby into his arms covered in filth,
Astounded by her mesmerizing emerald eyes
And skin with a hue like that of creamy milk.
The baby hushed the second he held her
And gazed upon the eyes of Mr. Stone.
He felt his mind invaded and thoughts probed,
An electrifying sensation bone by bone.  
Suddenly he found himself at his childhood home,
Sitting at the dinner table with his mother.
You’re going to eat your vegetables, William,
If only you’d be more like your older brother.
He was then whisked to his school yard,
Pushed around by his ruthless peers.
You’re so weird and ugly, William Stone,
You deserve a nice clout to your ears.
Boom.
Now he’s in a field of snow and naked trees.
William, come make snow angels with me,
Said a girl with mesmerizing emerald eyes.
I’m coming Eve, he answered gleefully.
They laughed and played until sunset.
William, promise me we’ll always be together.
Of course, he assured her, together forever.
He closed his eyes, and he was standing beside
A casket, Eve resting in a bed of white roses.
I thought we’d be together forever.
Her parting was unbearable and corrosive.
Mr. Stone now stood with the baby girl,
Tears rolling down his reddened cheeks.
I thought we’d be together forever.
I’ve found you, Eve. You’re mine to keep.
Sam Hawkins Mar 2016
Carefree in leisure time, one blasé tourist,
almost happy, I once had collected a complicated stone;
after the sunny hours had ended and last opportunity
for keepsakes began.

In my hand the stone had kept all of its mouths sewn shut,
holding its amalgamated story, and likewise in the car,
on the plane, through US Customs where it was not
in the least suspected.

A thumbnail identity I now should guess at, marking an old date,
and fixing it to, with reasonable estimate, a map location:
Plot No. 243, East end of the island, slave sugar plantation,
the stone from the corner of a ruined sugarmill stair—
broken free by my criminal hand.

The stone like a bleached out mini-monolith,
square rectangular, could be stood on end;
was swollen at its center like a pulled cork.

What could have moved this sequestered world to opening?
That was not for me to exactly discover,
except what came on Christmas Day,
two days after my returning.

Slave watercourses, the sight of innumerable Dutch ships,
ballasted with human flesh and hewn rock
for sugar works buildings.

The drop at-arms-swish of the Driver’s bullwhip.
Flecks of spirit splayed on vegetation.

A mongrel dog barked beyond the windless wall of sugarcane
in centipede and mosquito heat.

Seaside, beautiful seaside impressions;
distant coral light shadows, etched deep azure;
snowy colored breakers that pencil-marked the sea.
The staid, vibrant, mocking power
of visual symphony backdrop.

So little of aid for the slaves, but for those dangerous secrets,
un-housed in the fallen coolness of the night:
demonstratively crystalline heaven of stars;
a ragged moon, clouds scudding eastward toward Africa.
And there -- Orion’s Belt, mid-sky, illustrious bright,
with its three centering star points in rational line,
as if Hope could have flung its anchor onto Life
engendering sanctified resistance.

Christmas morning, 5 a.m.
I had awakened from a stuck place, shapeless and dark,
half in dreaming and half knowing I was in no dream.

I was sobbing, yet strangely, because there were no tears.
I had only put the stone inside my pajama top onto my heart.
a story of what happened...a feeling and vision I had, in 2008. written then. the stone is piece of mortar...
marriegegirl Jun 2014
<p><p>Vous ne seriez pas normalement penser à un jour du mariage de l'Alabama dans un 30 degré cadre hivernal rapide .Mais je vous assure .cette soirée douce de couleur simple est chaude comme ils viennent .Enveloppements Pashmina pour les « femmes de ménage .les liens de la laine à la main.une cérémonie et la  <p><a href="http://modedomicile.com/goods.php?id=2187" target="blank"><img width="240" height="320" src="http://188.138.88.219/imagesld/td//t35/productthumb/1/2340935353535393799.jpg"></a></p>  réception éclatante à Stone Bridge Farm鈥c'est une galerie que vous aurez envie de s'acoquiner avec n'importe quel moment de l'année !\u003cp\u003e<p>ColorsSeasonsWinterSettingsFarmStylesModern De la belle mariée .J'ai épousé mon mari douce journée d'hiver le plus parfait à Cullman .Alabama à Stone Bridge Farm .Alors qu'il était un frisquet 30 degrés le jour de notre mariage .la chaleur de nos amis et de la famille ( et beaucoup de danse ! ) Nous a empêché de congélation !Mon inspiration pour le mariage était tout confortables et élégantes .Je voulais aussi de lier des éléments de Noël sans trop le thème des vacances .Lorsqu'on pense à la demoiselle d'honneur les couleurs de robe .je voulais éviter rouge ou vert .j'ai donc choisi une palette neutre .J'ai donné mes demoiselles d'honneur des options d'habillage et leur a permis de choisir leurs propres robes .Je voulais qu'ils se sentent à l'aise et très beau!Je leur ai aussi donné pashminas et robes crème pour les aider à rester au chaud tout au long de la journée.Ma robe de la collection Anne Barge Blue Willow a été faite d'un matériau de point suisse que j'ai tout de suite tombé en amour avec .Le matériau unique.doux complété le thème du mariage .<p>La cérémonie a eu lieu à la chapelle en bois magnifique à Stone Bridge Farm .Arbres de Noël et de cyprès ornés de la chapelle .ce qui porte à juste la bonne quantité de touches de Noël .Les bancs en bois et des bougies dans les fenêtres ajoutées à l' agrément !La musique de Noël douce a été joué par le pianiste et violoniste comme invités étaient assis .Mon pasteur nous a mariés avec les douces histoires personnelles sur Tyler et moi dans le sermon .<p>La réception a eu lieu à côté.dans leur belle salle de réception.Tout <b>robe ceremonie fille</b>  sur la réception dégageait une ambiance chaleureuse et confortable .Mon mari .Tyler .était un ancien mascotte de l'Université Auburn .si naturellement .Aubie Tigre dû faire une apparition à la réception.En outre.le gâteau du marié sélectionnée Aubie assis sur le dessus de l'enseigne Auburn University .un monument bien connu dans la communauté Auburn .Nous avons tous dansé toute la nuit de la musique fantastique de Az Izz.who dansé tout autant que nous avons tous fait !<p>Mes choses préférées au sujet de notre mariage étaient les contacts personnels dispersés dans la journée.Maman super talentueux Tyler fait arc les liens des garçons d'honneur de laine gris .En outre.son cousin  <a href="http://www.modedomicile.com/robe-demoiselle-d-honneur-fille-c-2"><b>robe ceremonie fille</b></a>  en fait le gâteau génial Aubie !Mon meilleur ami .et dame d'honneur .esquissés toutes les images pour le programme de mariage .mon mari et talentueux conçu le programme lui-même.Le pianiste qui a joué lors de la cérémonie a également joué dans le mariage de mes parents .Toutes ces touches personnelles ont rendu notre journée encore plus spéciale .Au lieu de regarder en arrière et de voir un jour froid d'hiver en Alabama .nous sommes remplis de souvenirs chaleureux de notre famille et les amis qui nous entourent sur ​​le plus beau jour de notre vie Photographie <p>: Couleur Brandon Gresham - Simple | Fleurs : . Avagrâce Designs A Stone Bridge Farm | Robe de mariée : The White Room | Invitations: Frappée | demoiselles d'honneur robes : ASOS | Restauration : Stone Bridge Farm | Cheveux Et Maquillage Bretagne Benton Massey | Calligraphie : Sarah Tate Designs | Band : Az Izz | Bridegâteau : Gâteaux créatifs de Cullman | demoiselle d'honneur Robes : Cible | Cérémonie et réception Lieu: Stone Bridge Farm | marié et garçons d'honneur Tenue: M. Burch Tenue de soirée | gâteau du marié : cake Creations Hannah Whitner | Robe de Réception : BHLDN | planification de mariage et conception:Stone  <a href="http://www.modedomicile.com/robe-de-soir%C3%A9e-grande-taille-c-58"><b>robe de soirée grande taille</b></a>  Bridge FarmBHLDN est un membre de notre Look Book .Pour plus d'informations sur la façon dont les membres sont choisis .cliquez ici</p>
Corkey Hawley Jun 2010
Well they'll stone U
When U R down & out broke
Ya, they'll stone U
& take another ****
They'll stone U
When  HD is the trend
Then they'll stone U
& say plasma in the end
But I would not feel
So all alone
Everybody must get ******
They'll stone ya
& say it was deserved
Then they'll stone ya
& call out the reserve
They'll stone ya
& say it's only hemp
Then they'll stone ya
& add pariquit to it
Ya, they'll stone ya
& hike up the price
They'll stone ya
& say it was CondaLisa Rice
Well, I would not
feel so all alone
But everybody
must get ******
On Goin, Doc
Mick Gloss Oct 2013
Secret Garden...
All I could do was hold you. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew I had to hold you. I could feel your tears on my neck and chest as you buried your head into me. Like somehow pressing your body against mine was going to make it all okay. All of the pain that I knew you were feeling, all of the hurt that you had been keeping in. It would all be ****** out of you and into me. I don’t know who wished for that more, you or me. Honestly, I think in that moment I wanted it more than you did, because I don’t think you even really knew what was happening. You were letting me see the real you. The boy who lived inside the 40-foot walls. The one you keep hidden because the other kids have hurt him in the past. The boy I was given glimpses of, but could never hold onto. The intangible, ephemeral being that pulled at my heart strings in every way possible. He was in my arms, and I tried to keep him safe. I hoped that if I showed you that he was safe with me, he wouldn’t have to go away. He could stay, and I could know whom he really was, because more than protecting him, I desired to know him. Even if he hurt me, I wanted to know him. I wanted to look into his eyes, and know why he did the things he did. I wanted to know what could cause the pain that I sensed from the very beginning. That is my curse. Empathy. My entire life I could tell when something was wrong with someone. Often I knew it before they did. But with him, I didn’t even have to sense it. I could feel his pain as if it was my own. Whereas for most people I have to observe to know if something is wrong, for him I feel it as clearly as I feel the wind. I can’t see it touching me, but I can feel it down to my bones. But knowing someone’s in pain, and being able to help them are two different things, and therein lies my curse. I have been doomed to feel his pain since we met, but I have been kept away from his heart since then too. Alcohol became his gateway of letting me in, though. After just the right number of shots, the boy behind the walls would get the chance to speak. He’d tell me of the garden in which he lived, and the things that happened to him there. But when he saw me peeking over the edge, he’d disappear. Sometimes he’d come back right away, and talk to me until he felt his time was up, and then politely ask me to leave. Other times he’d stay hidden, and send guards to make sure I wasn’t allowed anywhere near the wall. Tonight, though, he built me a door. A door that only I would be allowed to see for all of eternity, while he, and everyone else, would only see the wall. A door he’d forgotten existed as soon as he closed his eyes to slumber that night. But in that moment, I was in the garden. I saw the flowers, I held him, and I left part of myself behind. I don’t think even he knows that it’s there, but there it will remain. Maybe one day it will be discovered. Maybe one day it will return to me, and leave the boy alone in the garden forever. Maybe it will remain untouched for all of eternity. The only thing I know for certain is that it is there, and for now, there is will it remain.

Outside The Garden...
The walls stood at least 40 feet tall. Cold, dark, damp, stone structures that mocked my very being. They had vines and moss covering their entire surface. They were so engrossed that I almost didn’t realize there was stone underneath the greenery. These walls were strong. It was as if some mystical force had placed them there. They seemed untouchable and eternal. Yet they were as approachable as a tree in a forest. So, I began to climb. The vines seemed strong as first. Firm and healthy in my hands. Then, suddenly, they began to peel away from the wall. The just healthy vines began to whither in my hand. The wall knew I was close to the top, and this was the only way it could keep me from my goal. Suddenly I felt myself slipping. Then it happened, I fell. I hit the ground with a thud. As I was feeling the worst of the pain, I looked back up at the wall. The vines had reattached themselves to it, and returned to their former healthy state. This was true from the bottom to the top. As I looked to the top of the wall, I saw him, and I remembered. He was the reason why I was trying to get inside the walls, but he was also the reason I couldn’t. The wall was solid, I was solid, but he was anything but. Everything about him is intangible. Yet somehow his grip on my heart is as solid as the walls he hides behind. 4 months have gone by, and his unattainable figure has my heart in an iron grip. Even as I’m realizing this, his body disappears from the wall. He is now back in the garden which I was so violently expelled from.

Key To The Garden...
The stone was cold beneath my hands. I wondered how the plants growing on the walls could survive its frigid touch. Yet, somehow, they seemed to thrive. This wall that did nothing but cause me misery was giving these vines a home. A home that they seemed extremely happy in. I, however, was not happy. I was left at the base of this wall, yet again, with no way of getting in. The boy had removed the door. I could feel where it had once been in the wall, but I could no longer see it. He took it away. At first I thought it was by magic, some glamour to make me forget about its existence, but I soon learned that it was in fact gone. The stone where the door had once been was a different color than the rest of the wall. This stone was newer, and stronger. It was meant to send me a message. Stay out. I couldn’t though. No matter how hard I’ve tried, I couldn’t just stay out of the garden. What’s more important is that the boy didn’t want me to either. As often as he would kick me out, he’d try and help me get over the wall. Something keeps us drawn to each other. Then I remembered the missing piece. The last time I was in the garden the boy took a part of me to have as his own. I remember this happening, but everything else is a blur. I can’t figure out what part of me he took, or where he put it. I know that he didn’t take it by force, though. As much as he wanted that part of me, I wanted to give it to him. I longed for a part of me to just be close to him. I just wish I could remember what part of me he took. As I was lost in thought, thumbing my fingers through the vines, I heard a rustle in the leaves behind me. I turned around slowly and was bewildered by what I saw. It was the boy. He had come down from the wall without me knowing, and was now standing face to face with me. He looked upset, and his eyes were filled with tears. This was a sadness that I had seen before. It was truly unique to him, and was my greatest enemy. The sadness was as great as the walls around this boy’s garden, and as deep as my love for him. The tears were ever fixed in the boy’s ocean blue eyes, and no amount of comforting could remove them from their perch. Though I knew this, I still reached out to him anyway. Maybe this time it would be different. Maybe my touch will finally be able to bring a smile to his face that isn’t destined to be fleeting. I clung to this hope as strongly as I clung to the boy’s gentle frame. As soon as my arms wrapped around him, he went completely limp. He fell into me with a familiar feeling that I once called home. As his face hit my chest, his tears left their perch and found their old home. He buried his face against my heart and cried for what felt like hours. As I stood there comforting him, I began to observe his entire being. As he cried his hands shook at my side, and his breath became shallow. I traced the lines of his neck with my eyes until I came upon the necklace that hung down from those very same lines. I looked to the pendant that hung against his nimble chest, and realized that it was glowing. Now only was it glowing, but it was pulsing. Instantly I recognized what it was, my heart. In that moment I remembered the last time I was in the garden. The boy reached in to kiss me goodbye, and I felt his hand against my chest. I gave him my heart with the same willingness that he used to take it. With this knowledge I soon realized what was missing all along. I couldn’t leave these walls because the most important part of me still stood behind them. The most important part of me was with him all along. Though he expelled my body from the garden, he still clung to my heart as if it were his own. After everything we had been through, there it was, around his neck. That is why I couldn’t let go, because he wouldn’t let me. If he never lets me go, how could I let him go? I never wanted to in the first place. It was he that told me to leave the garden. It was he that removed the door that once was only visible to me. It was he that tore my heart from my chest. But it was he that kept it after all this time. He could have destroyed it. He could have given it back. He could have locked it away. But he didn’t. He wore it next to his, hidden from the world, but safe all the while. Our hearts have been for months how our bodies are now. Together. Where they truly belong.

The Base Of The Garden Wall...
Together. What does that even mean? He was here now, but for how long? The boy’s presence was like a flower. When he was around it was beautiful, but it was fleeting. His season never lasted, and he was soon just a memory. Would this time be any different? Could this time be any different? This has happened before. He finds home in me as easily as I find it in him, but he is just as comfortable with leaving. Yet, I’m still holding him. As much as he’s a problem in this situation, so am I. I’m standing at the base of this wall. I’m holding him as he cries. I’m allowing my heart to remain next to his. But is that really so wrong? He’s still clinging to hope. He’s still wearing my heart as a necklace. So, why shouldn’t I hang on to the last shred of hope I have left? This time could be different. This time he could stay. So I’ll continue to hold him. Maybe his hardened nature will rub off on his ephemeral state.

Inside The Garden...
When your crying ceased your body relaxed into mine. Though my mind was racing I couldn’t help but look down at you. After everything that had happened, you were still all that mattered. So I pulled you into my chest. Maybe if I held you tight enough this moment could last a lifetime. Then I felt your body rustling against mine. Before I could even react I felt your lips on my neck. It all rushed back to me. The nights we spent alone, the mornings we hid in bed, the afternoons we spent getting lost in each other’s stories. One kiss and it was as if I was back in each of those moments all at once. Your lips were warm against my neck. They were unique to the rest of your cooled frame. I had forgotten how they felt against my skin. The soft way you followed pure instinct and learned how to press your lips against me. You kissed me like no one else ever had. It was animalistic and passionate. I could feel the desire in every inch of your being, and I always hoped you could feel it in mine. Then, just as suddenly as you had started, you stopped. My memories broke away, and all I could see was your eyes looking into mine. You leaned in and kissed my cheek softer than you ever had before. Then I felt your body pushing mine into the cold stone wall behind me. Just as I began to feel the frigid stone against my back, it seemed to just disappear. I realized that you weren’t pushing me into the wall, but you were pushing me through it. You were finally letting me back into the garden.

The Gardener...
I closed my eyes as I felt my body pass through the now viscous stone wall. Though it had always been cold before, it now felt warm in its altered state. I let myself get lost in the warmth of the now useless wall. For the first time it felt inviting, and nourishing. I now understood the safety and invulnerability you felt behind it. The wall that towered as a harsh enemy to me, stood as your greatest defender. I felt my eyes open as that realization rushed through my entire being. The wall was the last obstacle in the way of me finally knowing you. It kept not only your heart from me, but your soul as well. Yet now, for the first time, I see it as beautiful. The stones I normally saw as dank and lifeless, were now vivid and animated. It was as if standing next to them would rejuvenate even the most foregone person. I turned and looked to see the rest of the garden in which you hid, and I began to cry. The word Eden was the only thing I could say. Just then, I felt a warmth in my body that I had been missing for as long as I can remember. I looked down, and I saw my own heart glowing in my chest. The warmth of the wall couldn’t compare to the feeling that was now inside of me. I turned to look at your face again, but you were gone. I could feel you, but my eyes said you were not there. I spent hours looking through your garden. I climbed the trees, walked the paths, smelled the flowers, hopped the streams, but all the while I never stopped searching for you. It was when I came to the center of the garden that I finally found what I had been looking for. Your heart. It was there, alone, with no one  guarding it. I walked slowly at first, but soon began to run. I was afraid that if I took too long, it would disappear. It didn’t, though. It stayed exactly where it was. So I picked it up, and I held it. I held it like I held you. I pulled it to my chest, and I didn’t let it go. It was mine. You were mine. Suddenly I felt a new warmth in my chest, and I looked down to see that your heart was now entwined with my own. The two would now beat together, as they were always meant to. As I felt the warmth of your heart against mine, I realized that this garden wasn’t the place you went to hide. This garden was you. The rugged stones, the knot filled trees, the out of place flowers, and the rushing streams. They were all you. They were the parts that I longed to know, and I now had an eternity to explore them. You didn’t just let me into your garden, you let me into your soul. You gave me a gift that your frail and nimble frame was unable to give on its own. So you shed it. You exposed your flaws, your twisted branches and ripped leaves, and let me walk right through them. The mistakes you made, the triumphs you doubt happened, the experiences you spent a lifetime amassing. They’re all here. They’re all you. They’re all mine. No, they’re ours. We are now one. This garden is you, and I am now it’s sole gardener. I will tend to each flower as if it was your body, and we will always be together, as one.
Sleepz Sep 2018
Tired once again,
Bags under the eyes,
Nightmares promising that if they close it will be the last time.  

The stone presence,
A presence that's there,
Yet no longer existent.
Only in dreams,
The self provoked thoughts,
That never quit their insistence.
Ideas spread like an infection,
Blessed are those who never see the moons crescent.

The stone presence ,
Tempts a weakened voice to rise,
But what if the avalanche buries their lives?

The stone precense,
It urges the peaceful to diminish their mercy,
Who will save them from being swallowed in the chaos?

The young boy begs:
"Tell me you no longer feel,
Speak your despise against the crimes,
Express the soulish pain.
Spit out your angry sight like darts to a kite,
Explain the doubts and truths discovered,
Command to the judgment seat those to be anhilated,
Compose the reason hands shake,
Argue the reason you're gone forever,
Plead the stone presence to cease.

The war has been lost,
But suddenly the enemies are nowhere to be found,
Did they depart to another realm?
Have they joined the spirits who are unseeable?
Detection is now impossible,
To what was once ease to trace.

The young boy cries:
"I wage war! I Wage war!"

There is no longer anyone to listen,
The stone prescense is there,
Undeniably.

I need a battle,
I need a battle,
Except,
The battle has been over.
I have no longer one to raise my fists to,
My problems have evaded,
Where is change to be produced now?

Is there nothing to absorb these emotions?
The stone presence haunts me.
My anger affects no one.
Like a child I cry,
Yet there is none to feed me.
This stone presence will never leave me.
My army has lost its purpose,
There fore there's no soul in sight,
Everything around me has deserted,
Am I the stone presence?
Enjoy your hardships, once you solve them, what will be left for you to do?  Your gaining of meaningless things will only take from your satisfaction.
Captured in the psych ward part 20


You see Robert stone has been driving the whole HDU crazy with his noise, he is cursing little jingles like
Let me out now let me our now
Let me out ya fucken *****
I wanna ***** my wife and kids
You see the screws have got me hey have got me they have got me all wrong you see I am going to pretend to behave so I can do that again and
While that was going on, Ron was at home reading up all the juicy details about Robert Stone on the Internet and what he found out was not good
You see the information that Robert gave him besides his name was false
You apparently Robert Stone was a prison escapee from goulburn gaol
And he was in there for 20 years serving a 26 year sentence for killing his two sons right in the head to make his wife suffer for having an affair and for Ron? This looks very interesting he said and then Ron picked up the phone and rang goulburn gaol and then said as the prison governor answers the phone and Ron said, do you have a prison escapee by the name of Robert stone who is in there for murdeting his boys, my name is Ron cooper the psychologist of the royal Melbourne and I think I have your prisoner in our HDU, and the governor said, well yeah we did have that patient but we thought he had died, so we called off the search, and Ron said, well I am sure this is The Robert stone you are looking for
Mainly because he was threatening the kids in the children's ward and then he said he was Robert stone. I know sometimes the mentally I'll pretend to be people their not but
It's weird that that he does look like this guy, would you like to come and ID the man? Cause I have got a 16 year old here and the others might have problems with him, cause we can't keep him in solitary forever and the governor said, I will send an officer right away to bring him back, but it does sound like our man cause
He wasn't mentally ill and Ron told him he had schotzpgrenia but the officer said it is a load of crap, he is just saying that so he can be let off the hook but by law, before we get there you give him a mental health assessment but I am sure he will be
Passed as negative and then they said goodbye and Ron went for his usual at fran and dan's cafe and said, you know that man that went to the HDU yesterday well he could be a very dangerous psychopath who served a 26 year sentence at goulburn gaol and dan said well well well, aren't you the busy bee, and fran said to Ron you notice that Barry isn't here. Appsrentky he went over to New York apparently Barry Allan was a stock broker in New York
And was holidaying here in Melbourne and he gave you this card thanking you for being a terrific friend to him while he was here and Ron had his breakfast and then went to the hospital and as soon as he arrived there the nurses said you got a call from the Goilburn gaol.  Saying
They are sending a police car for Robert stone and Ron said thanks, yeah, apparently he is a prison escapee from there and no matter how much help I can give him, it still is hard to fight the law and then Ron
Went into the HDU and said to Bill, just get your things and I will be there in a minute and then went in and bought Robert his breakfast and he opened the door and Robert asked Ron Are you trying to help today, I have written down some things that I want to do and how I can rebuild my life, and Ron gave Robert his breakfast and said, no mate keep that for your probation officer in goulburn gaol, I know about you now, and it ain't pretty nice it ain't pretty at all Robert stone
Child killer and this made Robert stone yell out ****, I thought you see my way. No I don't see the way of someone who kills kids to make women suffer mate, sorry, and then Ron locked his door and then took Bill to TAFE and then went fran and dans to have a milkshake and vanilla ice and he said today I told Robert stone that he had been found out
By us and the police car is on the way and then a man named Patrick Enright is sitting in the back slurping his drink saying this drink is wonderful and then Ron said I think that so many dangerous criminals are falling through the cracks and people like is are ssving them and then we know only what fhey tell us and Patrick said, no, really we should not worry about that, in General speaking people should be given a fair go, the prison system in Australia is stupid and everyone in there is wanting to escape, yeah you saved the street from him but for how long and what about all those mentally ill people they have at the HDU, where are they going to go and dan says Ron is the doctor there
And Patrick said of sorry, and Ron said I am going and went back to the TAFE to pick up bill and take him back to the HDU and then 1 hour after they got back the police have Arrived to take Robert away back goulburn gaol and Ron brought around the nightly medications and then clocked off and then bought fish and and chips and a two litre bottle of coke and as he went into his apartment he saw Patrick and he said what are you doing here, and Patrick said I am the new maintenance guy here and I am better than bob from Becker and then Ron went inside and fell asleep in front  of the television for the next day


Sent from my iPhone
A glimmering white stone flickered
in the depths of a murky snow melt pool
tucked behind a mess of brambly bushes
and surrounded by pine.
A man stepped into the frigid water
His handsome reflection (distorted by ripples) drew closer
as he reached in and plucked the stone from the muddy floor.
By inspection he noted its apparent imperfections
that hadn’t been visible from the surface
It was wrapped in cracks that had filled with dirt and grime.
“I thought you were perfect.”
He grumbled with dismay
and began picking the dirt from the cracks with his fingernails
which themselves became ***** and ragged from the effort.
He cursed and pulled a brush from his bag
And began to incessantly scrub.
The brush made the surface of the lustrous stone shine brilliantly
Yet seemed to force the dirt deeper into the cracks
So he reached for a needle
And began sliding it through,
scraping the stubborn grime.
His face wrinkled in acrimonious disgust
when his needle broke against it.
“I cannot enjoy a stone so riddled with undesirable scars!”
He scoffed
“I will find a better stone elsewhere,
One that is clean and pure.”
And he tossed the stone back into the pool.
(  ( ( ((plop)) ) )  )

Years later, a wanderer covered in scratches and dirt
stepped softly to the pool
and bent down for a much needed drink.
The stone dimly peeked from under a layer of silt and slimy algae.
He curiously reached in
and pulled it from the mud.
Rolling it over in his hands, he smiled and sighed
“Oh, beautiful stone
Once without contusions
but now weathered by the world.
You have survived trauma and time,
Yet still shine
so magnificently.”

He brought the stone toward his heart
and continued over the mountain pass,
Smiling pleasantly at the storm ahead.
Timothy Clarke Dec 2010
After careful contemplation, the Zen Master knew the best placement for the last stone in his rock garden.

After lifting the heavy stone and walking to the point he noticed
a small turtle standing on the exact spot.

And so the Master waited patiently.

... As did the turtle.

Finally his student came into the garden to inquire of the Master
Why he had been holding such a large stone for over an hour.

"Master, are you thinking of a new place to put your stone?"

"No, I already know where the stone will go"

"Where?"

"Where this turtle now stands"

"Master, will you crush the turtle?"

"Please don't be an idiot"

"But Master, the turtle does not want to move"

"It is such a beautiful spot"

"Master, what will you do?"

"Isn't it clear what should be done? I am going to put this stone down close to where it should go, move the turtle, and then correct the stone later"

"But Master, why have you not done that?"

"I am contemplating the best placement for the turtle"
When we make a decision that is best for us, it will involve other people and may force unwanted changes to their lives.

It does not have to be a choice between inaction and disregard.
RAJ NANDY Apr 2015
Dear Poet Friends, being fond of Art, I wanted to compose on
this topic for a long time in a simplified form! Egyptian Art and
Architecture influenced the Early Greeks, who in turn influenced the Romans and other civilizations! Initially Art and architecture, religion and culture, were all closely inter-related! Real distinction emerged with the Italian Renaissance. Here I have used only a portion of my personal notes. Hope you find this interesting to read! Sorry for the length! Kindly give Comments after you have managed to read the entire portion in your spare time. Thanks, -Raj

INTRODUCTION TO THE STORY
OF WESTERN ART IN VERSE:
          PART ONE
    * BY RAJ NANDY

INTRODUCTION
Art over the centuries has been variously defined,
But an all embracing definition is rather hard to find!
Ayn Rand defined Art as a recreation of reality according to
artist’s values, his view of existence, and choice;
Who recreates by a selective rearrangement of the elements
of reality, and not simply out of a void!
Study of Art History is a study of man’s creative evolution;
A progress of his wakened consciousness, and a restless
striving towards perfection!
The progress of his mind, taste and skill, which has gradually
evolved through past traditions;
Finding ultimate expression in his multi-faceted creations!
I commence this story from its earliest days, and mention those
Ancient Civilizations which influenced Art in many ways.
Art has been greatly influenced by religion, culture and history;
Therefore, knowing these aspects becomes necessary to
fully appreciate this Art Story!

PREHISTORIC STONE AGE ART:
Let us take a ride on the magic carpet of History, down
past millenniums to begin our Art Story;
Right into the ancient Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic
Eras of the Stone Age,
When early humans left their creative imprints on rock
surfaces and on walls of caves!
Long before the evolution of any proper coherent speech
or communication,
In some 350 caves of France and Spain are seen paintings
of large wild animals like horses, antelopes and bison;
Bearing witness to the story of gradual human evolution!
The cave paintings of Chauvet, Cosquer, and Lascaux, date
between 8000 and 1700 BC,
Drawn by nameless and faceless people who emerged from
an inhospitable Ice Age;
Those nomadic tribes who were hunter-gatherers living in
pre-historic caves!
The Story of Art therefore begins before recorded History,
Pieced together by scholars with the help of science and
archeology!
During the Neolithic Period beginning around 8,000BC,
Ancient man became gradually sedentary, engaging in
agriculture and animal husbandry!
With these nomads settling down in small communities,
Art became mystical and monumental in range;
As seen in the megalithic (large stone) structures of the
famous Stonehenge!
This type of post and lintel structure is also found in ancient
Egyptian architecture, and later in Greece as its special
feature!
Art History spans the entire history of mankind,
Right from the pre-historic days, up to our modern times!
Man’s everlasting quest for immortality lies etched on
rocks and raised stone edifices, defying marauding Time!

MESOPOTAMIAN ART (3500-300BC) :
Let us now travel fast forward on our magic carpet to reach
the Fertile Crescent,
Where the Tigress and the Euphrates Rivers flow, to the
Ancient Civilization of the Sumerians! (3500-2300BC)
The birth of civilization has been traced to Southern
Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians built their first cities,
As the earliest River Valley Civilization around 3500 BC!
It was a period when writing got invented in its earliest
Cuneiform form;  (around 3400 BC)
When Patriarch Abraham established the worship of a Single
God, in a revolutionary religious reform! (Judaism)
Mesopotamian Civilization as the source of our earliest
surviving Art dates back to 3500BC;
When major civilizations like the Sumerian, Akkadian,
Babylonian, Hitties, Assyrian, and the Persians, in this
chronological sequence, contributed to Art History!
Mesopotamian Art in general glorified their powerful rulers
and their connection with divinity;
Reflected on their city gates, palace complexes and ziggurats,

are scenes of both victorious wars and their prosperity!
Art was then highly functional and repetitive; depicting
love of beauty, a sense of order, and power of hierarchy,
- in their sculptures and motifs.
However, no signatures were ever found bearing the name
of the Artist!
It is interesting to note that both the potter’s wheel and the
cart wheel, made their first appearance around 3500 BC
and 3200 BC respectively;
With the Sumerians contributing to art and culture, and the
progress of Human Civilization immensely!
(Ziggurats are semi-pyramid like structures with steps, a temple complex located in the center of all ancient Sumerian cities-states! Saragon the Great of Akkad from the North, defeated the Sumerians in the South, & united entire Mesopotamia around 2300 BC, for the first time in Mesopotamian History, & they ruled for 200 years.)

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ART :(3000 BC -500BC)
Next we travel to an isolated area of north-east Africa,
Where the White Nile flows down from Lake Victoria.
The Nile enters Upper Egypt traveling through Sudan,
Is joined by the Blue Nile at Khartoum to become one!
Continues its flow north through Egypt Lower, flowing
into the Mediterranean as the World’s longest river!
Historian Herodotus had called Egypt ‘the gift of the Nile’;
Ancient Egypt became a rich treasure trove of art and
architecture for all times!
The Nile valley area was protected by the desert on its
east and the west;
In the north by the Mediterranean, and towards the
south by a rugged mountainous terrain!
Annual flooding of the Nile along with an effective
irrigational network,
Ensured Egypt’s prosperous stability, congenial for her
many innovative architectures and art works!
Egyptian Art got shaped by her geography, mythology
and her polytheistic religion;
Also by their preoccupation with after-life and belief in  
the immortal soul’s continuation;
Thus elaborate funeral rites were performed by priests for  
the body’s preservation by mummification! *
(
’KA’= was a real astral twin or stellar double of an Individual, which continued to exist even after death, requiring the same sustenance as the humans, so food offerings were made in the coffins! ‘BA’= shaped like a human-headed bird, composed of non-physical attributes of an Individual. ‘BA’ collected the deceased’s personality after death from the mummified remains & united it with the ‘KA’, making a person complete; thereby making it possible for the person to be reborn as ‘AKH’ (Star), - in its ultimate unchanging form, to join Osiris in the ‘Happy Fields’! Since this journey to the next world was fraught with danger, magical funerary spells & rites were performed by the priests, with incantations from the ‘Book of the Dead’, inside the funeral chamber of the Pyramid!)

Art During Old, Middle, and New Kingdom Period:
Egyptian Art was concerned with ensuring continuity of the
universe, their Gods, the King and the people;
A projection into eternity a version of reality pure and free
from all earthly evil!
Therefore in ancient Egyptian society, conformity over
individuality was always encouraged;
Artists worked in groups with conservative adherence to
rules, order and form,
And all individual artistic initiatives strictly discouraged !
Their earliest pyramids the Mastaba, the Step, and the Bent
Pyramids were all prototypes;
While the Great Pyramid of Giza built for Pharaoh Kufu,
- was the first true pyramid which still survives!
Art comes down to us as ‘funerary art’ designed for the tombs,
Which was to accompany the royalty in their journey to an
afterlife, with its symbolic forms!
This symbolism is seen in their paintings, statues and architecture;
In vibrant color codes of their paintings as a special feature!
Where White was the symbol of purity, Black for death and night;
Green for vegetation or new life, Blue for water and the sky;
Red for life and victory, and Yellow like Gold as the flesh of the
Gods and also the Sun God ruling the sky!
Thanks to Jean-Francois Champollion’s translation of the Rosetta
Stone, (1822)
We are able to decipher many mysteries of the Ancient Egyptian
with the cracking of the Hieroglyphic Code!
Larger than life statues with poise and austere harmony at the
Luxor Temple complex survive;
Symbolic of the individual’s status, while creating zones of
strangeness for imagination to thrive!
(
’Matsaba’= Egyptian for ‘bench’, referred to bench shaped pyramids;
“Step Pyramids” = were like benches placed one on top of the other in
a tapering form going up vertically!)

The Old Kingdom Period covers a five hundred years span
of Ancient Egyptian History, (2686-2181BC)
Known as the ‘Age of Pyramids’, with Pharaohs from the
Third to the Sixth Dynasty!
“The World fear Time, but Time fears only the Pyramids”,
- is an Ancient Egyptian Proverb;
Whose ‘heterogeneous structure’ made it earthquake
proof, making Time to reluctantly serve! #
Here we find formalized figures with long slender bodies,
idealized proportions and large staring eyes;
Where Kufu’s Great Pyramid of Giza raises its mighty head
as the highest, on the west bank of the Nile;
And the mighty Sphinx guard the entrance to those ancient
royal tombs, though defaced, still survive!
These pyramids were like Pharaoh’s getaways to eternity,
An insurance to an afterlife of peace and prosperity!
(# Pyramids with stone blocks of different sizes & shapes made them
Earthquake resistant; & use of pink granite in the inner chambers
made them erosion resistant against Time!)

The Middle Kingdom Period (2040-1650 BC) :
Following 150 years of civil disorder Theban ruler Mentuhotep
the Second, reunified Egypt and ruled up to Nubia, (Sudan)
And began the Classical Era when Block Statues appear,
indicating political stability;
When artisans worked with bronze and copper alloys, designing
exquisite jewelry!
Kings now preferred to be buried in secret tombs, Pyramids
having lost their appeal,
And work began on the west bank of the Nile, in the Valley of
Kings!
(
Inside those rock cut ‘funerary temples’ on the East bank of the
Nile, opposite Ancient Kingdom of Thebes ; Pharaohs from the
Early and Late New Kingdom Periods were buried, including
Tutemkhamen.)

Early New Kingdom Period (1550 -1295 BC):
Between the Middle Kingdom and this Era, Art remained
static for almost a hundred years,
When the Hyksos from the Near East fought the weak Theban
Rulers!
In 1550 BC Theban Prince Ahmose reunited Egypt, and was
succeeded by able rulers, who ushered in the Golden Age!
Art works continued to maintain its basic traditional style,
With successive Kings from the 18th Dynasty consolidating
their kingdom’s wealth and power all the while!
But Egypt witnessed a change with an innovative style in Art,
When Amenhotep IV in 1353 BC became King, initiating a
fresh start!
This king changed his name to ‘Akhenaten’, the spirit of Aten,
-- ‘The disk of the Sun’;
Abandoned the pantheons of Gods with Aten as the ‘sole God’,
and a religious revolution had begun!
His new capital city of Amarna, 200 miles north of Thebes,
Got decorated with a new kind of art work to make it complete!
The statues now appear more realistic displaying emotions,
With fluidity of movement, unlike those rigid earlier creations!
The artistic talent of this Amarna Period gets best exemplified,
In the exquisite bust of Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s Great Royal Wife!
Regarded as ‘icon of international beauty’, a great archeological
find ! **
(
Discovered by a German team of Archeologists in 1912 at Amarna! This 19 inch long limestone Nefertiti statue weighs around 20 kg, now housed in Berlin Museum; comparable only to the artistic Golden Mask of Tutankhamen!)

King Tutankhamen (1336-1327 BC):
Akhenaten’s unpopular rule was short-lived, with those humiliated
Theban priests calling him the ‘Heretic King’!
A nine year old boy Tutankhamen (‘The living image of Amun’),
was next to succeed him!
King Tut restored the worship of Amun, in a back-lash against
Akhenaten;
Shifted the royal palace back to Thebes, with the religious center
at Karnak once again!
King Tut’s short ten year’s rule remained buried in 3000 year’s
of Egyptian History,
Till Howard Carter found his richly laden intact tomb, in the
Valley of the Kings! (1922)
King Tut’s priceless and exquisitely carved golden face mask,
reflected the exalted standard of art work;
Weighing ten kilos, inlaid with semi-precious stones, and eyes
made of obsidian and quarts!
With the King’s early death, the 18th Dynasty of Pharaohs came
to an abrupt end,
And the 19th and 20th Dynasties of the Late Kingdom Period
commenced!
The famous rock temple of Abu Simbel now got built, under the
warrior and builder Ramses II, one of Egypt’s greatest Kings!


Pharaoh Ramses-II of the Late Kingdom Period :
Here I sweep across centuries of Egyptian History, to mention
King Ramses-II’s contribution to our Art Story!
In Shelly’s famous poem titled “Ozymandias of Egypt” he is
immortalized; (Greeks called Ramses-II “Ozymandias”!)
And as the Pharaoh associated with Moses in the movie “The
Ten Commandments”, he is popularized!
Egyptian Art is intrinsically bound with its religion, pyramids,
hieroglyphs, and architecture;
With a concentrated focus on ‘afterlife’ as its special feature!
In 1270 BC young Ramses took over from Seti the First,
And his rule for a period of 66 long years did last!
As the third Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty, he had ruled with a
firm hand;
Recovered lost territories from the Hittites and the Nubians,
- earlier captured Egyptian lands!
He enlarged the territories of Egypt ensuring prosperity and
stability;
Became renowned as the famous Warrior and Builder King
of Ancient Egyptian History!
Ramses-II had expanded most of the temples, as recorded in
the artistic motifs and hieroglyphic symbols;
Here a special mention must be made of the Temples of Luxor,
Karnak, and Abu Simbel !

Temples of Luxor and Karnak in Ancient Thebes:
Ancient Thebes was located on the eastern bank of the Nile,
where the modern City of Luxor stands;
Thebes was once the capital of the 11th and 18th Dynasties,
And the power and religious center of all Egyptian land!
Gets mentioned in the 9th Book of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ where “heaps
of precious ingots gleam, the hundred-gated Thebes”!
Excavation work began in Thebes during the late 19th century;
And the gradual unearthing of the Temples of Luxor and
Karnak, added a new dimension to Egypt’s Art Story!
It must be remembered always, that the Ancient Egyptians in
those early days,
Structured their temple architecture to the point of ‘Sacred Art’!
With their knowledge of astronomy and geometry, they
aligned their temples so perfectly,
That the light of the rising sun fell on the temple’s innermost
sanctuary! (Temple of Abu Simbel is a great example,)
Where the Egyptian priests, who were also the artists, healers,
mathematicians, astronomers and scribes;
In dimly lit incense-filled sanctuaries performed the sacred rites!
The temples symbolized the cross roads of the cosmos, where
the divine and the mortal met in perpetual harmony!
These divine scenes were integrated into the very fabric of the
Egyptian society through chants and rituals;
With cosmological symbols of magical hieroglyphs, which
priests alone could transcribe in those days!
(
Thebes began to decline rapidly after Alexander the Great
established the port-city of Alexandria as Egypt’s new Capital
around 332 BC !)

Luxor Temple built by Amenhotep-III, was dedicated to God
Amun, his wife Mut and son Khonsu, - the Theban Triad;
Tutankhamen and Ramses-II expanding the temple during the
New Kingdom Period!
Creator God Amun became assimilated with the Sun God Re;
Was worshipped in Thebes, and in the cult centers of Luxor and
Karnak, - as Amun-Re!
The walls and columns of these cult temples were decorated
with carved and painted relief,
Depicting the interaction with Gods, and military exploits of
Egyptian Pharaohs and Kings!
The sun temple of Amenhotep-III at Luxor has many columns
resembling papyrus bundles,
Symbolic of the primeval marsh from where Creation was
believed to have unfolded !
A Sphinx Alley excavated between Luxor an
FigTree Nov 2011
Kicked a stone.
Picked up the stone.
An ageless stone...timeless stone
A stone that forgot about time.

A stone that remembered tomorrow,
awaits yesterday,
forgotten the now..

In that stone,
I saw
Your
Name.
John F McCullagh Nov 2011
When my father was a boy,
in the County of Tyrone,
His father owned a quarry
and he worked the fields of stone.

My Dad grew lean and hard
As he excavated stone
Yielding granite for stone carvers
And gravel aggregate for roads.

His hands grew strong and powerful
He had a muscular physique
He couldn’t read or write
But no one dared to call him weak.

When my Dad was in his twenties
He was working in the mines
Excavating British coal
at Newcastle on  Tynes.

Later on in life
He was living in the “States”
Working in landscaping
on large Gold Coast estates.

When my Dad was in his fifties
He was digging graves by hand.
Once again in Fields of stone
a hard working Union man.

Each morning he’d rise early
And walk two miles to work
He never had an office
And he’d never be a clerk.

He rose to be a foreman
Working in that field of stone
And when darkness overtook him
It became his earthly home.

Now when I go visit him
I kneel and pray alone
Beside his Celtic Cross
standing in the field of stones.
I. Cogida and death

At five in the afternoon.
It was exactly five in the afternoon.
A boy brought the white sheet
at five in the afternoon.
A frail of lime ready prepared
at five in the afternoon.
The rest was death, and death alone.

The wind carried away the cottonwool
at five in the afternoon.
And the oxide scattered crystal and nickel
at five in the afternoon.
Now the dove and the leopard wrestle
at five in the afternoon.
And a thigh with a desolated horn
at five in the afternoon.
The bass-string struck up
at five in the afternoon.
Arsenic bells and smoke
at five in the afternoon.
Groups of silence in the corners
at five in the afternoon.
And the bull alone with a high heart!
At five in the afternoon.
When the sweat of snow was coming
at five in the afternoon,
when the bull ring was covered with iodine
at five in the afternoon.
Death laid eggs in the wound
at five in the afternoon.
At five in the afternoon
At five o'clock in the afternoon.

A coffin on wheels is his bed
at five in the afternoon.
Bones and flutes resound in his ears
at five in the afternoon.
Now the bull was bellowing through his forehead
at five in the afternoon.
The room was iridiscent with agony
at five in the afternoon.
In the distance the gangrene now comes
at five in the afternoon.
Horn of the lily through green groins
at five in the afternoon.
The wounds were burning like suns
at five in the afternoon.
At five in the afternoon.
Ah, that fatal five in the afternoon!
It was five by all the clocks!
It was five in the shade of the afternoon!

II. The Spilled Blood

I will not see it!

Tell the moon to come,
for I do not want to see the blood
of Ignacio on the sand.

I will not see it!

The moon wide open.
Horse of still clouds,
and the grey bull ring of dreams
with willows in the barreras.

I will not see it!

Let my memory kindle!
Warm the jasmines
of such minute whiteness!

I will not see it!

The cow of the ancient world
passend har sad tongue
over a snout of blood
spilled on the sand,
and the bulls of Guisando,
partly death and partly stone,
bellowed like two centuries
sated with threading the earth.
No.
I will not see it!

Ignacio goes up the tiers
with all his death on his shoulders.
He sought for the dawn
but the dawn was no more.
He seeks for his confident profile
and the dream bewilders him.
He sought for his beautiful body
and encountered his opened blood.
Do not ask me to see it!
I do not want to hear it spurt
each time with less strength:
that spurt that illuminates
the tiers of seats, and spills
over the cordury and the leather
of a thirsty multitude.
Who shouts that I should come near!
Do not ask me to see it!

His eyes did not close
when he saw the horns near,
but the terrible mothers
lifted their heads.
And across the ranches,
an air of secret voices rose,
shouting to celestial bulls,
herdsmen of pale mist.
There was no prince in Sevilla
who could compare to him,
nor sword like his sword
nor heart so true.
Like a river of lions
was his marvellous strength,
and like a marble toroso
his firm drawn moderation.
The air of Andalusian Rome
gilded his head
where his smile was a spikenard
of wit and intelligence.
What a great torero in the ring!
What a good peasant in the sierra!
How gentle with the sheaves!
How hard with the spurs!
How tender with the dew!
How dazzling the fiesta!
How tremendous with the final
banderillas of darkness!

But now he sleeps without end.
Now the moss and the grass
open with sure fingers
the flower of his skull.
And now his blood comes out singing;
singing along marshes and meadows,
sliden on frozen horns,
faltering soulles in the mist
stoumbling over a thousand hoofs
like a long, dark, sad tongue,
to form a pool of agony
close to the starry Guadalquivir.
Oh, white wall of Spain!
Oh, black bull of sorrow!
Oh, hard blood of Ignacio!
Oh, nightingale of his veins!
No.
I will not see it!
No challice can contain it,no swallows can drink it,
no frost of light can cool it,
nor song nor deluge og white lilies,
no glass can cover mit with silver.
No.
I will not see it!

III. The Laid Out Body

Stone is a forehead where dreames grieve
without curving waters and frozen cyprseses.
Stone is a shoulder on which to bear Time
with trees formed of tears and ribbons and planets.

I have seen grey showers move towards the waves
raising their tender riddle arms,
to avoid being caught by lying stone
which loosens their limbs without soaking their blood.

For stone fathers seed and clouds,
skeleton larks and wolves of penumbra:
but yields not sounds nor crystals nor fire,
only bull rings and bull rings and more bull rings without walls.

Now, Ignacio the well born lies on the stone.
All is finished. What is happening! Contemplate his face:
death was covered him with pale sulphur
and his place on him the head of dark minotaur.

All is finshed. The rain penetrates his mouth.
The air, as if mad, leaves his sunken chest,
and Love, soaked through with tears of snow,
warms itself on the peak of the herd.

What is they saying? A stenching silence settles down.
We are here with a body laid out which fades away.
with a pure shape which had nightingales
and we see it being filled with depthless holes.

Who creases the shroud? What he says is not true!
Nobody sings here, nobody weeps in the corner,
nobody ****** the spurs, not terrifies the serpent.
Here I want nothing else but the round eyes
to see his body without a chance of rest.

Here I want to see those men of hard voice.
Those that break horses and dominate rivers;
those men of sonorous skeleton who sing
with a mouth full of sun and flint.

Here I want to see them. Before the stone.
Before this body with broken reins.
I want to know from them the way out
for this captain stripped down by death.

I want them to show me a lament like a river
which will have sweet mists and deep shores,
to take the body of Ignacio where it looses itself
without hearing the double planting of the bulls.

Loses itself in the round bull ring of the moon
which feigns in its youth a sad quiet bull,
loses itself in the night without song of fishes
and in the white thicket of frozen smoke.

I don't want to cover his face with hankerchiefs
that he may get used to the death he carries.
Go, Ignacio, feel not the hot bellowing
Sleep, fly, rest: even the sea dies!

IV:

The bull does not know you, nor the fig tree,
nor the horses, nor the ants in your own house.
The child and the afternoon do not know you
because you have died forever.

The shoulder of the stone does not know you
nor the black silk, where you are shuttered.
Your silent memory does not know you
because you have died forever.

The autumn will come with small whiet snails,
misty grapes and clustered hills,
but no one will look into your eyes
becuaase you have died forever.

Because you have died froever,
like al lthe dead of the earth,
like all the dead who are forgotten
in a heap of lifeless dogs.

Nobody knows you. No, but I sing of you.
For posterity I sing of your profile and grace.
Of the signal maturity of your understanding.
Of your appetite for death and the taste of its mouth:
of the sadness of your once valiant gaiety.

It will be a long time, if ever, before there is born
an Andalusian so true, so rich in adventure.
I sing of his elegance with words that groan,
and I remember a sad breeze through the olive trees.
He pressed a rounded stone into my hand.
He said, "Take care of this," and turned away
To tend to things we needed for our trip:
The boats, the lines, the paddles, and the rest.

The stone was not like those about my feet.
I wondered at the stone, but not for long.
I put it in my pocket and forgot.

The Huzzah winds along a valley floor
Between thick stands of trees and rocky bluffs.
Its water is a marvel to behold,
Like crystal ichor flowing in God's veins.
I thought of all these things, and not the stone,
But in my pocket it was safe and sound.

And that was well, for when we came ashore
My uncle asked me for the rounded stone.
He placed it on the bank beside its twin.

"As easy as it was for you," he said,
"To bring this back to where I picked it up,
So light you sit within your Maker's hand.
The stone was not aware you carried it,
And sometimes we are just the same. But He
Is wise, and kind, and big and strong enough
To bring you safely to your journey's end.
We're going where we came from." So he said.

I miss him, but I know we'll meet again.
Copyright 2018 Benjamin Daniel Lukey.

“A Rounded Stone” was first published on April 3, 2018 by The Society of Classical Poets.  It was subsequently re-published in their annual journal for 2019.
Jenni Mar 2015
I am not strong
But no one must know
Weakness I must never show
I must be rock
I must be stone
Any time I'm not alone

Is that emotion?
Did you just feel?
Cover up
Conceal
Conceal
Leave no signs
Leave no trace
Stony, vacant, deadpan face

Don't bring a jacket
You feel no cold
You feel nothing
You are stone

You're not afraid or insecure
Save that for when you're alone
Until you shut your bedroom door
You are stone, you are stone

Skin will tear
And hearts will break
And even human bone
I'm not allowed to be that weak
So I must become stone

Strike me
Kick me
Denigrate me
This much I will condone
Despite all your best efforts
You cannot injure stone

Strong I'm not
But I won't tell
I'll never let it show

Someone might misunderstand
And think I'm flesh and bone

They may think I'm a person
But I'm not
*I'm only stone
RAJ NANDY Aug 2016
SECRETS OF THE STONEHENGE IN VERSE
Dear Readers, I present a simplified version of the true story of the Stonehenge, on the Salisbury plains of Southern England, with over a million visitors every year. Declared as a World Heritage Site since 1986.Left out many technical details to curb the Length!
Hope you find this interesting to read.  Thanks, - Raj

SECRETS OF THE STONEHENGE IN VERSE
                     BY RAJ NANDY
                
                     INTRODUCTION
Shrouded in ancient legend, rituals and mystery,
Forming a part of ancient History, in the County of
Wiltshire on the rolling Salisbury plains,
Thirty miles north of the English Channel, stands the
megalithic structure  - The Stonehenge.
Dating back to some 3000 BC during the Neolithic Age,
Long before the Egyptian pyramids got made!
Some of its secrets have finally been unraveled by
Archeologists of our time and age.
It was a period when early humans changed over
from being nomadic hunter- gatherers,
To cultivate land and domesticate animals, to
become settled farmers.
This ushered in a new social change in the history
of Human progression,
Which got reflected in huge stone structures to
mark this advancement and occasion.
For these megalithic structures were bigger than
the tribes of men or the community;
Marked burial mounds and places for performing
sacred rites and magical healing rituals, for the
entire community.
Stonehenge was aligned to the mid-Summer and
mid-Winter Solstice, with the rising and the setting
Sun.
Served as an astronomical calendar for the turning
of Seasons, when crop cycles also begun.
Some scholars opine that it was used as a Lunar
Calendar as well,
Since Moon worship predates Sun worship by
Pre-historic men!
It was long before the invention of the wheel,
written script, and even metal implements.
This monumental structure speak of Stone Age
Briton’s greatest achievement!
(
Period covered is from Late Stone Age to the brink of
Bronze Age.)

BRIEF LAYOUT OF THE STONEHENGE
Cutting across myths and legends archeologists
and geologists have tried to piece together the
Stonehenge Story,
Which stood like an enigmatic puzzle for the
last Five Thousand Centuries!
Scholars say construction commenced around
3000 BC, but progressed only in stages spread
over the next fifteen centuries.
Initially, a large earthwork or a ‘Henge’ with a
circular ditch and a bank was made,
With 56 timber posts around the inner perimeter
on the windy Salisbury plains.
Used by primitive man as a burial place, but for
rituals later got linked to other smaller sites.
With processional avenues leading to River Avon,
to honor dead ancestors with sacred rites!
Entrance to the ‘Henge’ was marked by a pair of
upright Slaughter Stones weighing 28 tones, and
6.6 meters tall.
But only one remains today lying flat on the ground
after its fall!
Some 256 feet from center of the ‘Henge’ on the NE
Avenue once stood the Heel Stones 7.6 meters high!
As a marker for the Summer Solstice showing the
position of the rising Sun in the Midsummer sky!

          BLUE STONES FROM WALES:
Some 1000 years later, 82 Blue Stones were brought
from the Prescelli Mountains of Southern Wales;
And the earlier timber posts with these Blue stones
was replaced.
Each stone weighing around 4 tones, was brought
over a distance of some 250 miles to the plains of
Salisbury,
Loaded on hollowed out log boats fashioned like a
mini barge, to sail during high tide into the Bristol
Estuary!
Pulled over land on greased wooden rollers, and
loaded again on mini barges down the River Avon.
Since Avon flowed closer to the ‘Henge’ site in those
ancient days, which is now known!
(Some Scholars feel that the Blue Stones were swept down
closer to the Salisbury plain, during the close of the last Ice
Age! These Stones were believed to have powers of magical
cure too!)

              THE SARSAN STONES
During its final phase of development came the larger
23 ft tall Sarsan Stones, weighing some 44 tones.
From 20 miles north of the ‘Henge’ area dragged on
sledges and rollers from Marlborough Downs.
These stones now formed the outer ring capped with
stone lintels, replacing the Blue Stones;
And the Blues Stones were moved inwards and
rearranged in the horseshoe and circle shape, as
presently seen and known!
(NOTE: Sheer muscle power used to drag the stones with ropes
made from plant fiber of the indigenous lime bark soaked in
water for weeks. Stone lintels were sculpted in the shape of an
arc to cap the SARSAN Stones to form the outer circle. Wooden
scaffolding & ramps were used to hoist and position the heavy
stone lintels horizontally on top of upright stones! Sarsan Stones
were hard sandstones tougher than granite! However many of the
stones of this Ancient Ruin are missing, leaving some unanswered
questions behind.)

        CONCLUDING THIS TRUE STORY
Archeologists and scholars using radiocarbon dating
have tried to recreate the Stonehenge Story.
This ancient ruin with many unanswered questions,
now remain protected as an Iconic Monument of
British History!
It stands as an astronomical time clock and is also of
spiritual significance;
It also symbolizes the ingenuity of Human Mind, its
power, and endurance.
I conclude with a an extract from a poem by TS Salmon
about the STONEHENGE here below:-
“Warpt in veils of time’s unbroken gloom,
Obscure as death and silent as the tomb.
Where cold oblivion holds her dusky reign,
Frowns the dark pile on Sarum’s lonely plain.

Yet think not here with classic eye to trace,
Corinthian beauty or Ionian grace.
No pillored lines with sculptured foliage crowned,
No fluted remnants deck the hallowed ground.
Firm, as implanted by some Titan’s might,
Each rugged stone up rears its giant height.
Whence the poised fragment tottering seems to throw,
A trembling shadow on the plain below.”
(*Sarum = old name for Salisbury.)
Thanks dear Readers for your kind attention span ,
I have simplified by cutting short many details the
best as I can!
ALL COPYRIGHTS WITH RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
E-mail: rajnandy21@yahoo.in
CommonStory Dec 2014
I am a stone immortal

No work of erosion can seep through my cracks

Like I'm covered by the love of my mother in a Lacquer

Peep the sayings of old world negativities with a nonchalant dilemma

Riding this saddle ***** shrouded and denim and leather

You can not play the game

I will lead myself astray on a road born of dirt and blind footstep

I cannot believe or follow

I cannot fathom colors

I have a non existent black covering my gaze

Still I press

May I rest

The good die young They say

But I'm allergic to living forever

Still I am a stone immortal

Ever crack and every break you make from other stones rocks and pebbles

You will not

You can not

You couldn't even perceive to insist and persist the same or other methods to make me break

For every path that's walked I choose the one that will make me falter and dare I to attack

My stone is immortal with eyes as black as sun

Stick to me like toasted oats
I'll make it burn with poison oak

So believe me when I spit and slur my words to sound

Hear the echo less speech of kings yet to be

Then hear my roar raspy ruffled and deep

I'm a stone who can't see anyone cheap

This stone will attack the unsweeten with its iron side and pile drive

if you want the upper hand

Starve me till my saliva taste early sweet with calories all for me like the best snack or a favorite treat

I'm still the stone immortal see where I can't see the rich or cheap
© copyright Matthew Marquis Xavier Donald
Stone cold boredom
Is a cocoon that you desperately want to be set free from.

Stone cold boredom
Gets in the way too much.

Stone cold boredom
Finds way too many ways to include itself

Stone cold boredom
Gets rougher and rougher by the minute

How do we expect to get rid of it?
King Panda Mar 2016
spirit stone
the emotion caught
in your embrace
where my body
melts into yours
the perfect blend
of masculine
and feminine
bathing in a river
of marble
the waves are
disquieting
the ring is lost

spirit stone
don’t deceive me
with other women
don’t trick me with
the old man
at your feet
I do not give up
I slave away
I work morning
and night

spirit stone
everything has been
cut
hay, wheat, stone
the interlude in
the fields
the moment when
the ring is found
dawn and thought
watch me
dawn and thought
wear on my
countenance

spirit stone
the moving echo
of my own past
the waltz to come
the hidden
atelier
the moment when
the king falls in love
with his wife
with his child

spirit stone
I am muse
I am artist
I am caught like
a fly
an agnostic
queen who found
the ring
to fall in the arms
of man

spirit stone*
if you keep your
promise
we will grow
with the sky
if you keep your
promise
we will be in
paradise
briano alliano performs on venus party trap




you see welcome to the trap and i had a great night at the poetry slam

where i met this man who said m6y poem was great, well, he liked it

in fact when i didn’t win it, he wanted to heckle the organisers, well, it was

fun, but i like the organisers too, but this man realiy believed in me, ya know

especially when i told him i am putting art in an exhibition

here is my first song, the poem i read at the poetry slam ,here goes

jingle bells oh buddy jingle bells

it’s christmas in july

the party is on for young and old

and presents to make us happy

jingle bells oh buddy jingle bells

it’s christmas in july

party on till next week, man

yeah, celebrate christmas in july

dashing thru the cold canberra winters day

you see i think my reindeers are in hibernation today

because the air is very cold, and it’s a great day to say

merry christmas my good friends in the month of july

jingle bells oh buddy it’s jingle bells

it’s christmas in july

the party is on for young and old

bring out the warm eggnog

and put up the christmas tree, and have santa on a stick

then you get those lollypops, and give ‘em an almighty lick

and give ‘em an almighty lick, my mate

ya see last night at the poetry slam, this bloke said i really sang the last bit with a lot of guts

and determination, and now as i left last night i saw a fight taking place, and i knew if i don’t stare

everything will be alright, and now here is my next song

i am tired, but i can’t sleep, i need to have a siesta, yeah mate yeah

i need to relax and enjoy my life, and have a soft drink yeah mate yeah

carn the swans carn the raiders carn the packers, like that man last night spoke to me for

yeah mate yeah, and now time for, here is my next song, loving friends and loving family


You see when I was young and I always was trying to be cool
I had a family who tried to stop myself from being cool, and I was
So fristrated with that, I said, no I am cool, but I wssn't cool, I wanted
To laugh at everybody and I laughed so loud that my psrents were telling me
To quiten down and this made me angry, you see I got violent and I started to rant
And rave and it took me over a long time to understand that they were treating me
Like a cool kid, but I was young and stupid and it seems like they were teasing me
And giving me a hard time, and i also said that I wanted to be cool and always go out having a good time and getting ****** as a parrot, you see, my voices were putting those thoughts
Right in my head, giving me a lot of problems, making me very very sick of being in this crazy situation, and I am glad I have this amazing loving family and good friends, to help me through any kind of situation.
You see when I try and muck with my father like a mans kid, my brother would say, don't muck with him, he's not like us, don't much with him, no he is not a young dude. Be like us, and be a young dude and be a little shy boy, you try and be oool every day, and you try and give stay up all night while everybody else is going to bed, so you can go, hey to him, but the thing about it is, that it is the fact that he is living in the past.
So then my loving family and loving friends made me feel better about how much I wanted to
Move on and live life to the fullest, you see he will laugh like a man should and then say, heh heh heh heh , i am a cool boy, I am not a little shy boy, I sit up all night, I don't go to bed, you see I am superior, but my mates call me a complete loser.
Because this man is a total and absolute ******, and it makes me absolutely crazy, and this drives me crazy, you know very crazy, but I always call it a loving family and loving friends, I don't need these friends who only like me because I sit underneath them.



here is my next song, titled mashed potato finger nail at the skate park, here goes

You see Jacki Fred Harold Stone was a very cool young dude
You see instead of going to bed with all the other kids
He wanted to go to the skate park and ride the skateboards
With his best mates down there, and it was a very weird effect
You see his fingers smelt like mashed potato and all his mates went home
And they said he was a little shy boy, and Jacki Fred Harold Stone said
I am not a little shy boy, I am a cool boy, who loves to skate
And when I have a rest the mashed potato finger nails come again
To inspire me to keep being cool here at the skate park
You see I did some very awesome tricks, and I had so much fun
But I still smelt my mashed potato finger nails, it was driving me wild
I told all the people at the skate park and they said, your not shy
In fact your the coolest dude out of your family, and none of us want you to leave
I don't care if you used to get teased by everyone at your school
And I don't care if your family teaeed you as well
You see Jacki, I think your cool, and I will never tease you, not ever
I want to sell you drugs, but you don't have to take them
Because your the boy with the mashed potato finger nails
And we'll never ever tease you, we want to be your friend
And we want nothing more than that
So come on Jacki Fred Harold Stone, show us how to skate
You see my name is Jason Lee, and this is my mate Tristan
And we'll be your only friends you will never tease you
Cause at least you come here and ride your skateboard like a cool dude
And after your finished you stay with us and have a joke around
Despite of the times you tell us, your cool, we still have problems with this deal
You see, you are the kid who has mashed potato finger nails
And I don't care at all, your like us, Jacki, your cool, and your fingers smell like a good
Dose of mashed potato, which means your very cool
here is my next song, titled as much fun as it sounds, here at the trap

You see Jacki Fred Harold Stone was a very cool young dude
You see instead of going to bed with all the other kids
He wanted to go to the skate park and ride the skateboards
With his best mates down there, and it was a very weird effect
You see his fingers smelt like mashed potato and all his mates went home
And they said he was a little shy boy, and Jacki Fred Harold Stone said
I am not a little shy boy, I am a cool boy, who loves to skate
And when I have a rest the mashed potato finger nails come again
To inspire me to keep being cool here at the skate park
You see I did some very awesome tricks, and I had so much fun
But I still smelt my mashed potato finger nails, it was driving me wild
I told all the people at the skate park and they said, your not shy
In fact your the coolest dude out of your family, and none of us want you to leave
I don't care if you used to get teased by everyone at your school
And I don't care if your family teaeed you as well
You see Jacki, I think your cool, and I will never tease you, not ever
I want to sell you drugs, but you don't have to take them
Because your the boy with the mashed potato finger nails
And we'll never ever tease you, we want to be your friend
And we want nothing more than that
So come on Jacki Fred Harold Stone, show us how to skate
You see my name is Jason Lee, and this is my mate Tristan
And we'll be your only friends you will never tease you
Cause at least you come here and ride your skateboard like a cool dude
And after your finished you stay with us and have a joke around
Despite of the times you tell us, your cool, we still have problems with this deal
You see, you are the kid who has mashed potato finger nails
And I don't care at all, your like us, Jacki, your cool, and your fingers smell like a good
Dose of mashed potato, which means your very cool
as much fun as it sounds to heckle, i still remember the american dude, but this man last night was a cool dude, buddy, cool man sam


and have you ever been a cool kid to your dad, and had people laugh at you, i felt that last night when i didn’t join in the heckle, but that man

was nice to me, saying he admires me, but i am not gay, i am bradley simmons

Bradley lived in Cowra with his mum and dad and brother Kenneth, and Kenneth was a real mans kid who plays with his friends in the street and then he goes home to watch Disneyland with his dad, and he mainly liked to watch westerns, while Bradley was certain that there is something going on in the air, and went to church with his mum.
You see this wasn't really tbe best family unit, especially when families go out to fun family events, but Bradley and Kenneth's dad was a director at kids town, which is a Buddhist drop in centre, who looke after the daily needs of under fortunate kids, and Bradley and Kenneth were told to come into these centers, when their dad organised some games to brighten their spirits, one game was spin the Buddha, where you get a spinning buddha statue and the kids get a lolly pop if the Buddha spun towards them, and even though they thought it was lame, well you can see it in their faces, Bradley thought it was cool and then said to his dad how about I plan games for them to play, like soccer out in the paddock, or even cricket, or tennis, and one of the homeless Boyd sadism I am too poor to get into Auskick, so can we play Aussie rules, and if I whip your ***, I know I can play for Richmond, and Kenneth who tried to be the cool kid there said, well if you make Richmond, it won't mean you are good, it means you play for Richmond, and Bradley told Kenneth to be nice to him, he obviously likes Richmond, and Kenneth said to Brad, why don't you shut up you stupid old ******* ****, and Bradley said, I am cool, I can turn these kids away from you.
Then Bradley said ok it's time to play a board game and little Ryan said, well what does board games have to do with helping us get houses, and Bradley said, oh no I ain't that powerful, I am just a kid, I can't give you a home, no,,I am here to make you feel that people actually care for you, because I think it would be tough for you having no home to go to and the kids listened to Bradley like he was one of the adults and being a typical jealous little brother started to get very jealous especially when e tried to make a joke, and they told him to get lost, because your brother is boosting our self esteem.
At the end of the day, Kenneth said to Bradley, you are a stupid ******* old *******, playing board games doesn't make them really feel better, what makes them feel better is taking them for walks around, but you are too stupid for that aren't you Bradley, you are too fucken shy to be like those kids friends, you see they all like me better, they just tolerate you, so go back to your bedroom and go and do some underage *******, no you aren't one of us boys, *******.
Bradley was upset with what Kenneth said and went to his bedroom and cried for hours and since then he didn't have inspiration to go back to his dads work to help the kids there, but his dad said, your brother is just jealous, and you should do this if it makes you feel happy, and his dad said, and if you find that Kenneth is proved right, just ignore them, and you can start off by ignoring Kenneth, because really, I wish every kid could have the inspiration that you bring to kids town, don't let teasing stop you for reaching your full potential, Bradley, Bradley decided his dad was right, and he kept on going to kid's town to make a difference in these children's lives, playing games and talking to one another, this was so cool the kids thought, Bradley thought he was growing up, and Kenneth who decided to come in, because he thought kids need to be kids, yes, his dad was doing a good job, but really Kenneth had what the kids really wanted, like he bought his computer and showed him the virtual world, and Bradley said no kids playing board games are fun, and computer games can wreck your eyesight, but the kids decided that Kenneth needed to be heard too, after all he is the other son of the kid's town leader, so they listened to him for a while and instead of trying to play along, Bradley felt hurt and said, ******* all, and went to his room to cry, and all the tough boys said, 'what a cry baby' and then he said his brother isn't an monster, we still like him, but Kenneth wanted to make Bradley jitter, so he now decided to play around laughing very loudly, like he was like us, man or something and Brad was in his room, crying and their dad decided that Brad needed to share his friends and said that he prefers the way Kenneth did things, Brad got really angry and started to be totally mental, by punching Kenneth like a ******, as well as threatening to **** the father that gave him a perfect life as a kid, of course he didn't **** him, but he was an angry *******, you see he was the board games king, while his brother was a computer **** kid, and Kenneth tried to not hurt Brad's feelings, even though, being a kid, he found it hard to not teaee the ****** and Bradley was put in a special school where he made a few new friends, but they weren't into playing board games or anything else with him, they wanted to teaee him, with teachers joining in, because Bradley needed to learn about how to control is temper, and someone tried to bully him, and Bradley stood up to him, and another guy was determined to tease Bradley also, but as he tried to punch Bradley put his hands on his **** and squeezed his ***** real tight, and since then everyone liked Bradley, but not to his dads liking the little cool kid to his dad was suddenly Kenneth,,and Bradley felt he was trying to tease Kenneth the same way, and see how he likes it, but all his friends like Kenneth better, and Bradley punched Kenneth in the gut and his friends thought Bradley was a **** and left the house and another girl at school was making fun of Brads parents and Brad tried to stand up to her,but she said, they never helped me,**** kids town and ******* early to bed and early to rise baby, and Bradley got really upset and from that moment the only young ones who like him were the rougher ones, who hassled Bradley for money,and Bradey became to shy to say no. Which made him a little young dude with no friends, he had family trying to contact him, but he was determined to make their lives a misery.
Bradley was an idiot, with his drinking and teasing and punching people, yes dude, he needs anger management, and he needs it now, but you must want to go, but Bradley made a pact, that he won't get help till Kenneth found a girl and got married and has kids,,so his thought of being teased all through his adult years, wasn't going to happen, and Kenneth married Bridgett Kingsley and they had Toni and Ros, yes, Bradley's little nieces, and he loved them dearly, and the bonding of Bradley and Kenneth grew fondly, while their parents had the old Brad back, he ain't married but he's happy, and that's what Counts in life.


******* that look a lot of wind singing this to you at the venus party trap and when i got home i was told to sit there little shy boy and let your school mates play air guitar, i was happy too, because of sam

at the poetry slam, thinking i had guts tom read a poem and not win, who cares, it’s a fun night out dudes

You see, you are still a little shy boy, and we are still teasing you
So, now you are working, man, come, leave us
And let us muck around, we want to smoke our bongs
As well as drink our bourbons, and drink 100 beers
Yeah we all feel cool, and don't wake up little shy boy
We want the adults to not bother us, cause we are having so much
Fun, we don't want to be adults,and don't want you to worry about us either
You see, all the men, are sitting there, trying to muck with them
Saying tease him, if you want to tease, just teaee him
But at the end of the day, man, we aren't really teasing
We are sitting up all night, being bums and young bludgers
And it's because you are such a ******
We might be making it seemed you are getting teased
But, we really want to leave you alone,,if you leave us alone
Cause, we are drug addicts,,and we want you to respect the fact
That we don't want to work, as long as you think that you aren't a young bludger
Everything will be already, but young bludgers go to bed for work
So mate, just enjoy yourself, and smoke your bongs
And have a good time, doing it
You see, I want to enjoy ourselves doing this
You are now leaving us all on our lonesome
See ya dudes

see you soon, venus party trap, and t
jonni inferno Mar 2017
no stone so hard
as this wounded heart
no eye so blind
to her beauty
nor ear so deaf
to her sylvan voice
ice and stone
mine only choice
              
what shall i be ?

ice and stone
impassive face
indifferent tone
unfeeling heart
of ice and stone
till the day
winter comes

no night so dark
no pain so deep
no outward sign
for her to see

what shall i be ?

ice and stone
till winter comes
to take me home
no night so dark
no pain so sweet
when winter comes
to set me free...

— The End —