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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.
Tommy Randell Dec 2014
To loosen with my bare hands
the wide air between us
in explaining something of meaning
I almost feel
I am pulling flesh
from the living and moving moments
possible here.

It is somehow breaking
the natural order of things
to use words alone
of all viable means
in setting out the wind-waves and rivulets
of ideas internally flowing -
but I must try and get something out for once.

I circle in bad phrases
prickling with the itchiness of sharing,
I send out a few vague words
horrified and perplexed
at their translation now they are naked
knowing you too listen
and they are at last unalterable.

Deep in the brain, far back
this is my bad time
but I know where the roots go
down into me
and from the storm’s heart
perpetual agitation pumps hand in hand
with calm acceptance.
The self *****, alternately
to fan and to freeze
whatever doubts or unease are burning.
Talk travels the spaces between us
through the clear air
in the kind of silence
surviving bones may know swinging in a wind.

But I know stillness can become alive
when living mouths bring their hearts to bear -
ears can well hear
what the breath has to say,
as the eye sees
the body’s smallest noises -
face to face we are a field of listening.

The warm comes without sound.
This is only the edge of a becoming.
We are not trapped in the lips -
already we lean inward
to know of each other and to give
not words for the wind
but a dance at ease with all that flows.
Gary L May 2016
So many are filled with hostility
hostile world, we're living in
in a place of constant volatility
volatile minds, never giving in

this world needs new possibilities
possibly, we can fix this place
place me in a world of viability
viable living for the human race

will we ever sow the seeds of fertility?
fertile growth for all of mankind
mankind needs a brand new civility
civil ways should be re-defined
this style has different rules than my usual quantum loops. Viable - capable of working successfully; feasible.
BOTANY
(of a seed or spore) able to germinate.
BIOLOGY
(of a plant, animal, or cell) capable of surviving or living successfully, especially under particular environmental conditions.
entablature archetypal wrangle arguable arraign arrest ascribe arsenal article artificial artisan ascension austere askance obliquely aspire assail assault assay assert diligence obsequious assimilate stigma perspicacious astute asunder atman atrium attrition intrepid autonomous avarice avert avocation azimuth azure abbreviate aberrant abhorrent relinquish loathe abstinence abstention  abysmal accelerate accordance accoutrement accrue exasperate acquaintance baccalaureate bacillus backbite baggage ballistic baluster bandolier banister barrage barranca barrier bartizan basilica bastion batholiths bathyscaphe battalion batten battle bauble ***** beastly ******* beckon beacon bazaar bizarre Bedouin beguile behavior beleaguer belligerent belvedere berserk beseech bewilder bezant bicker bigamy bight bilk billet billiard billow biogenic biscuit bivouac blatancy blizzard bodacious boggle bollix bombardier boudoir bouquet butte boutique bower brassier mesa breach breech brochure brogue brooch broach bruise brusque buccaneer buffoon bureau buttress buxom caffeine cauldron calisthenics calligraphy callous camouflage campaign campanile cannery cannibal canny cantaloupe cantankerous cantilever capacity capillary capricious carbohydrate caricature carnivorous carouse carriage cartography casserole cassette cataclysm catastrophe cache categorical caterwaul cavalier cauliflower celerity alacrity cellophane cellulose cemetery centennial cereal cerebellum ceremonial cesarean cessation chaff challenge champagne chandelier changeable chaparral charade chargeable chassis chateau chauffer chauvinism Cheshire chiaroscuro chicanery chiffon chigger chrysanthemum cipher circuit citadel clairvoyant clastic clique coalesce coercible coincidental colloquial colossal column combustible communicable community commute complacency compulsory comradery conceit conceal concession confetti conglomerate conjugal connive connoisseur consensus constellation consummate continuity contrivance convalesce convenient convertible convolution copasetic copious corduroy coriolis cornucopia corollary corpse corpuscle correlate correspondent corridor corroborate corrosion corrugate corrupt costume counselor countenance counterfeit courageous courier courtesy covert covetous cranny crease credenza credulity crescent ******* criterion crochet crocodile croissant crotchety crucial cruel cryptic cuddle cuisine cul-de-sac culinary culpable culvert cumbrous cummerbund ******* cunning curare curiosity curtilage curtsy curvaceous custody cylindrical cymbal cynicism cyst dabble daffodil daiquiri damsel dastardly dazzle deceit debilitate debonair debris debutant decency decipher decimate deconcentrate decorum decrepit dedicate defamation defendable defensible deference deficient deficit definitive defoliate delectable deliberate delicatessen delinquent delirious demarcate dementia demolish demure denigrate dentil denunciation deplorable depreciate dereliction derisory derrick descent desirable despair desperate despicable despondent destine deterrent detonate deviance devisal devisor devour dexterous diabolicalness diagnosis dialogue diamond diaphragm diarrhea dichondra dawdle differentia difficulty diffuse dilapidate dilate dilemma diligent dilute diminutive dinghy dinosaur director  dirigible disadvantageous disastrous disperse disciplinary discomfiture discordant discotheque discreet discrete discrepancy disgust disguise dishevel dispersal dissect dissention dissertation dissident dissipate dissolve dissonant distillate distortion distraught disturbance divvy docile docket doctrinal dodder ***** eccentric linguistics domical dominate domineer dominion dossier doubloon douse drawl dreary dubious dulcet dungeon duodenum duress dwindle dynamism dynasty ebullition echinoderm eclectic ecliptic economist ecumenism edifice editor educe effervesce efficacious egalitarian elaborate elapsed eerie elegy eligible eliminate elite elixir elongate elucidate elusion eluviation emaciate embarrass embassy embellish embezzle embroidery embryo emissary emollient emphatic enchilada encore encumbrance endeavor endogenous endure engender ensemble enthusiast entourage entrepreneur epaulet epitome erratic erroneous escapade esophagus espionage esplanade etcetera ethereal etiquette eucalyptus eulogy exaggerate exacerbate excellency exhilarate expectant exquisite facetious Fahrenheit fallacy fanion fealty feisty frisky felicitous fenestration ferocious fertile fervent fickle fictitious fiery finesse finial fjord flaccid fledge flippant flirtatious flivver fluctuate follicle forbearance forbiddance forehand forebode forceps forfeit
forgo forlorn formidable foundry foyer fracas fraught frivolous frolic frontier funnel copious furrow fuselage fusillade futile forgone frivolity frolic galaxy galleon galoot galore galoshes gambit gangrene ganglion gargantuan gargoyle gardenia garret garrote gasolier gatling gawky gazebo gazelle gazette geezer geisha gendarme generosity genre genteel gentry genuine geodesic geranium gesticulate ghastly giggle ****** gimmick giraffe gizzard glacier glamour glimmer glimpse glisten glottis gluteus gluttony glyph gnarly gnaw goddess godling gorgeous gorilla gory gossamer gourd gouts gracious gradient granary grandeur granulation grapple gratify gratuitous gregarious grenade committee grievance griffin gristle grotesque gristly grotto grouch groupie grisly grovel grudge gruel gruesome gubernatorial guerrilla guffaw guidable guidon guile guillotine gullet gymnasium gyrate habitable hacienda haggard halibut halitosis hallelujah hallow halyard hammock harangue harass harried hasp hatred haughty hearth hedonism hegira heinous hegemony hemisphere hemophilia hemorrhage herbivorous hereditary heresy heritage heroine hesitate hibiscus hidden hideous hieroglyphic highfalutin high-rise hilarity hippopotamus hoarse holler holocaust holster homicidal horror hosiery hurricane hydrant hydraulic hydronic hyena hygiene hyphen hypnotize hypochondria hypocrisy hypocrite hypotenuse hysteria idiocy igloo ignoramus ignore illicit illiterate illustrate imbecile immaculate immaterial immature immersible immigrant immune impasse impeccable impedance impenetrable impervious imperfect implement implicate implicit important impressible innately inert impression impugn inadequate inanimate inauspicious incandescent incantation incarcerate incentive incinerator inclusion incoercible incompressible incontrovertible controversy indefatigable inconvertible inconvincible incorruptible indices indictment indigent indigestion digestible indignant indiscretion indiscreet indisiplined indiscernible inducible inebriate ineffable inefficacy ineludible inexorable inexpiable inextricable infallible infatuation inferior inflammatory inflexible infuriate inimitable iniquitous infuse infusion ingenuity ingratiate inimical innards innocence innovate innumerable inoculation insatiable insectivorous insincerity insinuation inspection inspirator instability installation insurance insufferable insufficiency insurrection insupportable integrity intellect intelligence intemperance intension interaction interception intercession interdiction interface interference interpolate interrogate interrupt intersperse intervene interstice intractable intergalactic intransigent intravenous intrepid intricate intrigue introductory introject intrude inundate invective invariable invertebrate investigate intuitive invertible investiture inveterate inviable invidious inviolate invigorate invincible invoke invocation invalidate involute invulnerable impregnable ionosphere ipso-facto irascible iridescent eradicable irrational irredeemable irrefragable irrefutable irregular anomalous irrelevant irreproachable irrepressible irresistible irrevocable irreverent irresponsible irritative irrigate irritability isolable isosceles isostasy  issuance isthmus italicize iterative itinerary interjection ******* jackhammer jackknife jackpot jackrabbit jaguar jai alai jalopy jalousie jamboree Japanese jacquerie Jacobin jargonize jaunt javelin jealous jehoshaphat jeopardy jocular jouncy journal jubilant jubilee judgment judicature judicious juggernaut jugular juke julep juncture junta jurisprudence juvenilia juxtaposition kahuna kalpa kamikaze kerf kangaroo karat ken katzenjammer katydid kempt kerosene kewpie khaki kibitz kibosh kilter kimono kinesiology kleptomaniac knell knowledge knuckle kook kowtow kulak kyrie labyrinth laccolith laceration lackadaisical laconic lacunar lacquer lagging laissez-faire lamprey languish lanyard lapidary laputan larceny lariat laryngeal larynx lascivious latent latter lattice latrine launderette lavatory laxity lechery legacy bequeath legend leister lei leisure lemming leniency lentic leopard lethal lethargy lettuce leviathan levitate lexical liable levity liaison libation liberate licentious lieutenant ligament lilac limnetic limousine limpid lineage lynchpin lineolate lingerie lingual liniment linoleum liquefy litany literacy lithesome littoral lizard loath local loiter longevous loquacity lottery louver lucidity lucrative ludicrous luminary lummox lurid luscious lyricism machinator machinelike machismo macrocosm besmirched machiavellian mackerel mademoiselle maelstrom maggoty magisterial magnanimous magnifico maintenance malaprop malarkey malediction malamute malicious malign malinger malleable mandarin maneuver mange maniacal mannequin manure manzanita maquette maraca maraschino marauder marbleize marbly marionette marmalade marquee marquetry marrow marshal marshmallow martyr mascara masochism massacre matriarchy maudlin mausoleum maxillary mayonnaise meager meandrous medial medieval megalith mediocre Mediterranean megalomania melancholy melee membrane memorabilia menagerie mercenary mendacity meritorious mesmeric mesquite metallurgy metaphor meticulous metronome metropolitan mezzanine micrometer midriff mien demeanor millennium minarets minion minuscule minutia misanthropic miscellaneous mistletoe moccasin modus operandi monaural mongrel monotony morgue morose morsel moribund mortgage mosaic mosque mosquito motley mottle mucous membrane mucus mullion multifarious munificent museum musketeer mutable mustache mutineer myopic myrmidon mystique naïve narcissism narcosis narrate nausea navigable Neanderthal necklace needle nefarious negligible nemesis neophyte nertsy  nerve-racking nestle nether newfangled nocturnal nonchalant non sequitur normative Norwegian nostalgic nuisance nullify obedient obeisance obelisk obese objectify oblate oblique obliterate oblivious obsess obsolete obsolescence obstacle obstinate occupy occurrence ocelot odious oedipal officiate ogle ogre oligarchy omelet omnificent omniscient ontological argument oodles oomph opaque operable operative opossum optimal orangutan orchard orchestra ordinance oregano orgiastic oriel oriole ornery orphan osculate ostensive ostrich osteology oust overwhelm overwrought oyster pachyderm pacific pageant painstaking palate palaver libel palette pallet palomino pamphleteer panorama pantheism parapet paradigm papier-mâché paraffin paralyze parishioner parliament parody parquetry parsimonious pasteurize pathogenic payola ******* pediment pendant pendentives penicillin pennant pentathlon perception percussion perennial parameter perimeter peripheral peristalsis permissible pernicious perron perseverance persistent persona persnickety personnel persuasion petite pertinacious pessimistic pestilent pestle petticoat petulant phallus phantasmagoria pharaoh pharmaceutical peasant philander phenomenal philosopher phlegm phoenix phooey phosphoresce physique picayune picturesque piety pilfer finagle pilaster pillage pineapple pinnacle piquant pique piteous pitiful pittance pizzazz placate placenta plagiarism plaintiff plateau platypus plausible plinth plunderous pluvial poinsettia pollutant polygamy pommel ponderous portico portiere portentous prairie precipitous predecessor predicate predilection preeminent preempt preferential premier preparation preposition prerogative presumption pretentious preternatural privilege proclivity prodigious proffer progenitor progeny promissory promontory propellant propensity propound proselyte prospectus protégé protocol protuberant pseudonym  ptomaine pulchritudinous pursuant pygmy pylon python qualm quarrel quarry quash queer quell querulous quibble quitter quixotic rabbet rabbit rabbi radiant rambunctious rancor rankle raspberry rethink rebellion recant recital reconcile redundant referral reglet relevant reluctant remiss reminiscent remnant rendezvous renegade repartee reprieve repertoire repetitious reprehensive reprisal repugnant rescind reservoir resistant resurgence resurrect revelry reverie retaliate reticent retrieve retrograde reveille reverberation reversible reversion rhapsody rhetoric rheumatism rhinoceros rhinoceri rhubarb ribaldry ricochet riddance rigmarole risqué rive rollick Romanesque Rosicrucian rotisserie rotunda rogue roulette rubato ruminate rusticate sabotage sabbat saboteur sacrilege sadomasochist salacious salmon salutatory samurai sapphire sarcasm sarcophagus sardonic sarsaparilla sassafras sassy satiate satirical saturate saunter savoir-faire savvy scabbard scaffold scalawag scarcity scathe scenario scenic schism sciatic nerve ******* scintillate scissor scourge scrawny scrimmage scribble scruffy scrounge scrumptious scrunch scrupulous scrutiny scurry scythe sedition seethe seismic self-applause seltzer semiporcelain seniority sensible sensual separate sepulcher sequel sequin sequoia serape serenade sheaves serendipity  servant settee shabby shackle shanghai shanty shellac shenanigan Sherlock shirk shish kebob shoulder shrapnel shriek shrubbery shtick shush shyster Siamese sibyl significant simile simplicity simultaneous sinewy siphon skeptic skiff skillet skirmish skullduggery slaughter ****** sleeve sleuth slither slough sluice smart aleck  smidgen  smithereens  smolder  smorgasbord snazzy sneer snide snivel snorkel sobriety socioeconomic sojourn solder soldier solemn solicit soluble solvent sombrero somersault soothe soprano sophisticate sophomore sortie soufflé sousaphone ***** spiel souvenir sovereign spaghetti spandrel sparrow spatter sphinx spatula species specific spectacle spectral spelt sphincter spinach spinneret spiritual splatter splitting splurge spry  splutter sporadic sprawl sprinkler spree sprightly squawk spurious sputter  squabble squalor squander squeak squeal squeamish squeeze squiggle squinch squirrel stable squoosh stabilizer stagnant stagnate stalactite stalagmite stammer stampede stationary stationery statue statuesque statute staunch stealthy stein stellar stench stencil stoic steppe sterile stickler stifle stimulant stingy stirrup stolid strafe straggle strangulate stratagem strategy strenuous stretch strident stringent strudel streusel strychnine studious stultify stupe stupefy stupendous special stylus stymie styptic sublimate subliminal submergible substitute submersible subpoena subsequent subsidiary substantiate suburb subversion success succession succinct succor succulent succumb sufferance suffocate suggest suicidal sully sultry sumptuous sundae sundry superfluous superior supersede superstitious surreal supplicate surrender surrogate survey surveillance suspension suspicion sustenance swarthy ******* swath swear sweaty swelter swerve swindle swivel swizzle sycamore syllable symphony symposium symptom syndicate syndrome synonym synonymous synopsis synthetic syphilis syringe syrup suffrage tableau tabloid tacit tambourine tandem tangible tarantula tarot taunt technique telekinesis temperamental temperance thence temporal temporary tenuous tequila terrace terrain terrific terrify tetanus tether thatch thistle thither through though throat throttle thwack thwart ticklish tiffany timbre tirade titillate toboggan tolerant tongue top-notch topography  tortoise trauma tortuous torturous tourist tracery tournament tourniquet trachea traffic tragedy tragic traipse traitor tranquility transcend travesty transcribe treachery treatise trellis trepidation trestle trinket triplicate triumphant trivial troglodyte troubadour  trousers truncate tumultuous tundra turbid turpitude turquoise tutelage twixt twiddle twitter tycoon tyke typhoon tyrannical tyrannize tyranny umbrella unfulfilled unanimous usury undulate unequivocally unguent urethra unprecedented unscrupulous untenable unwieldy utterance vaccinate vagary valance valiant vandal variety vehement veldt veneer vendetta venetian vengeance vernacular versatile version vertebra vicinity victual vigilante villain vincible vinyl violate vitality vivacious volition voluminous voluptuous ****** vulnerable wahine waiver wallaby warble warrant wayfarer weasel wheedle wheezy weird whilst whistle whither whittle whoopee whoopla wistful whither wizen wont worse worst xanadu yowl yucca zephyr zeppelin zucchini extraversion embezzlement euthanasia extortion obscure carousing marauder aptitude ribaldry rigmarole chicanery shenanigans capers antics escapade crafty cunning cleaver connive furtive sneaky stealthy plunderous pillaging usurper pilferous wheedling finagler longevous loquacity derisory deplorable critical decimations tithe cynic frivolity frolic derriere easel emasculate emaciate linguistic depravity berate scold scorn scoff rail rebukeness  brawl vapid hamster spleen sequiter sequacious sequesterous flatulence impressible herbaceous impropriety veneration ignoble fatuous phatic journey acrid pungent fetid fiendness gamut ire irascible graffiti irk tedium diminutive minutia iota iterative reiteration self inductive interpolations objectified interstitial extrapolation trepidation tumultuous tortuous adjunct turpitude salient viable seethe conflagration lexical etymology idolatrous affectionate ****** caress craw swell surge flow flux amorous enamor endear ardent ardor cajole piquant poignant prescient puissant presage apex crux citadel pinnacle vertex vortex matrix ****** peak languishing lurid larcenous licentious lascivious squanderous squaloring wallow in the furrow confluence wretched infelicitous trajectory sordid warp strong raw war resume quirkness ***** tinker **** fink stink ******* eccentric pinky suit idiomatic cognate somatalogy virtuoso concurrent intemperance obsessive habitual addicts psychosomatic pathological psychopaths diabolically maniacal dementia panoramic tableau tediously meticulous laboriously beleaguering excruciating exacerbation autonomous avarice oscillating ostracism adrenergic analeptic adumbrate obdurate aberrance genocidal xenophobic prospectus personification of sartorial perfection visage picturesque vision of spectral grace picture of positive prosthesis protractive analysis cyborg ebullition ne plus ultra monad cybernetics prognosis prognostication clambering clamorous clangor hectic mayhem pulverize annihilate pompous bombastic query squash squawk squish squirm sprocket squeal squelch staunch statuesque steadfast steep stench stint strategic logistical tactician stratum stolid stoic stodgy viscid tumult stray streaky stretch strenuous striated strident stringent strive structural strut subjugate subjective substratum substantiate subterfuge subvert sultry sulk sundry superlative superfluous superficial syllogism soliloquy superovulation superfluity superfetation superfecundation suspicion swig superstratum sycophant ingratiating surrogate suspension swindle swallow swanky swath swill sympathetic symbolic synapse synchronous syncopate synoptic synectics syndrome synonym syntax systematic larceny lecher oligarchy ribaldry rigmarole intoxicate tangential tectonics tantamount telepathy tantalize throng tactile taint talisman talesman squabble brash torment temerarious terminus thrall torpid torpor torque tousle  traduce transform transubstantiate transpire transmute transmogrify transport trapezium traverse treason tremulous trendy trivia trifles trounce turgor truculent tuft turf turbid turgid tussle twain twang twinge twerp twit twitch tweak **** procedure vernacular posthumous spasmolytic propagate prolific proliferative profusion profundity proliferate profligate cogent fecund secund secular thick trick quick mystical silhouette sojourn excursion genre engender jaunt pilgrimage prophet trek waver wrought waxy waylay weave weary web wedge ***** wend whang whet whimsical whir whinny whereupon whish whisk whoosh whizbang whoop whorl wield wile wilco wild whence wingspread wiry wiseacre wherewithal rapacity wolf whistle wrath wraith wrack worship wrest wretch wring wriggle wry shyster shylock phone roan tone zone bone hone loan drone known own moan cone done groan koan gnome dream gleam cream seam beam          team serene ravine green gene careen tellurian terrene quaff query quiescent radishes reciprocate raunchy raspy rascal rampant rampage ravage ****** ravish rebuke rebuff rend reave recourse reconnaissance reconnoiter rectify recompense rectitude reconcile regime reintegrate relegate rejuvenate remission remonstrance reparation replication reprieve reprisal nocturnal emission repose remunerate resonant retort revelation revision grandiloquence cleft fissure crevasse rift rill robust rouge niche
crack tromp stomp chasm crevice trudge rostrum rout roust row ruckus sagacious salacious sapient satiric sarcastic sartorial sartorius scalawag screed scrutable contemptible scurvy scuttlebutt seditious seduction sect segregant sequacious psychic reverie subterfuge serenade sequiter serendipity shuck shylock sibilant shush signet simulation siren skeptic sleek slick slinky snare ****** sneeze sneer snide smug intrados loquacity spandrel iambic sonorous spatial spatiotemporal telemetry spectral spry spectrum speculate solicitor sprout spoof specular splendiferous sporadic spurt binge spree ***** squalid forte fortitude Gumby emit war  time raw umbrage ultraism ultimatum unary unbridled uncanny unanimous ambiguous biased unabated uncharted articulate deviating undertow congenial feint feign unity predicate unprecedented paradigm unscrupulous brash dire unfathomable unlimited urchin usurp utmost utilize fluctuate vague vacuous vanity vanquish vantage veer vast advent veracity verbatim vertex vortex vertigo vestige vex vigor vitalize virile vicissitude viscous visceral virtuous virulence vital virago vivacious vivid livid splurgeness stag vituperatively vociferous volition void voracity waft vulturine wacky waifs wainscot waive wallah itinerant wand wane lavish wanton wonderlust warrantee warn warp warlock warren wastrel wastage warranty dicker insidiously sinister flagrant verity maniac pack mendacity abscissa ordinate yacht yearn yaw yare yen yelp yin yonder yoni yore yours yolk zany zest zeal  zenith zingy zooid treatise hyperbolic lingam blasphemous farcical fugueness and estranged ensemble orchestration rendition various assorted forms of related stranger weirdness traveling down this obtusely overt contusion in my vehicular contrivance convection convolution abalone absolute acceptance accurately acquiesce acquire actually adamant additional adequately adherence affiliation affinity against aggressive allegiance although allusions amendable analogous analysis anchor ancient animation annihilation appeared approach appropriately archaic assembler assimilation assuage attain attempts attendant attribute audience aura auspicious authoritarian authoritative barbeque before belligerent binary blazing Buddha bulwark carousel ceaselessly ceremony chaos character charisma Christmas chronological cite classification classify clutter cocoon cognation cognizant comment communal complete conceive conceptual conclusion conducive conquered consciousness constituent construction continuum contrarily convenient corporeal collage creates credibility crystalline culture curious curriculum decadent decide deferred deified deity deliberately delineate deluded delusion demagoguery democratically descriptions desire destroy destructively develop dialectic dictates difficult diffuse disappeared ecstasy ecstatic efficiency elaborate elliptical empathy endeavor engaging equipment escape especially essence eventually evolutionally excellence excitement expectorant expedience experience extraneous extremity façade facet fashions fever flatten forgotten frailty framework gapping glimpse grandiose graphically groan growing hedonistically hierarchy hobby holocaust homogenous hovering ideology imagination immaturity immediate imperative impertinence important inadvertency inapplicable indispensable individually infancy initiate innate interpreters intervene intricacy intrinsic irrelevance jagged kaleidoscope lit literally lose ludicrous macabre minstrel meld mischievous model monstrous mores myriad mystic necessity negativity Newtonian normalcy nuance nullify obnoxious obscure obvious occasional officiate ominous omnipotent oppose optimizes oscillating ostracism paradoxically partially participants pebbles perceive pervasive phenomena portrayal posses preceding pretty prevalent pregnant primitive prism processional progress prominent proprietor psychic psychological purpose pyramid quandary rational receptacle recumbent redemption refused reiterate relatively relativity relevant reminiscent renaissance revere schemes schizophrenia separately sequence serious severe socially spontaneous stalwart stimulus stomach struggle stunned succession superimpose supplement suppose surround swimming switch symmetry sync taubla tapestry tenacious tendency tyrant terrestrial torrential totally tomorrow transient turbulence tyrannical ulterior ultimate universally unwarranted vicious weather yankee whether soliloquy amenity ambivalence ameliorate aggrandize aghast agrapha barnacle gerrymander jasper jasmine obfuscate obdurate castigate metaphysique cyborg appliance intrepid intrigue mystique impetus volition gumption motivation inspiration metaphor parable leprechaun leniency secund hefty endogenous exogenous lozenge irrefragable recalcitrance fecund jaded seal ordinand obdurate aberrance ignominious interface consent imbroglio embroilment lethargy impressionism agitator treacherous lurid allure obstreperously abstruse subconscious squanderous squalid anomalous punitive incendiary infrangible extemporaneous incognito (succubus , incubus) incongruous incredulous indemnify indigenous infernal infidel iniquitous secular funky spunky Rosicrucian epicurean phlegm levity levee lubricious loath loathe frigid **** ******* lick fenestration dire ****** brash crass rash aggrandize tactile acuity bridge rude crude bandy randy monad positive indenture obnoxious obtrusive obtusely overt indemnities annuities cavalier dawdling gallivant bought naught fought caught ought dribble rip zip gig blond entropy catalyst cohort cavort chronological sublime purvey pander meandrous extravagant exorbitance ***** vicarious endear eccentric cognate frolic frivolity fawn agnate aggregate junction function conjunction conjecture conjugation adjunct contiguous constituency cohesive coercion covert maestro maitre d mastoid newel minx murk monad muss muggy mull mirador bartizan musky meager demonstrative anarchy iconoclasm misnomer mimicry minaret mimetic monocracy pungent mordant mnemonics mangle maim mutilate mesomerism morpheme nepotism nurture vexation anxiety vindictiveness vendetta moot void null meringue laconic obliterate papaya proboscis podiatry polemist porcupine palindrome pandemonium presumptive procureness ploy **** paltry pander paphian pummel puny presage felicity parley parturient potpourri partisan peccavi verity goad penumbral platitude platonic proxy photic pharos perdurable preemptory posh perfunctory perilymph phoneme phenetic phantom permeate proximity phantasm phalanstry delusory apparition pietism oviparous expiate vindicate extricate  exonerate absolve posthumous prehensile prerogative presumptive prestissimo preterite retroactive primacy prevaricate equivocate primordium primeval puissance  pristine prescience prompt prodigious protagonist prurient pyre lurid pshaw guffaw purlin purloin quirk pith quark ***** tip put temerarious userp asymptote pirate tiny hat  thief tine slow slide slim hide me effigy infinitesimal slink slick paw
flaw craw claw heuristic swum cuckold climb locuna live **** sly **** sequacious expeditious sequesterous glove glaive glade
don’t dale  otter glue equestrian gog rift cog gone lean had good gold ride ode *** house pine low law earth *** guilty slime negligent torrentially torrid tortuously tempestuous einzeln function truckness presumptive procureness ploy **** off the line cyborg cylon live antonym exogamous dimorphism pry rap gape homogeny gap dudely cruel incredulity ergo apropos ipso-facto pith tip push where keeky geek peek peep glib jive gawk talk dudely cruel off the line but off it !  pit ego colossal incredible fantastic great outrageous amazing fabulous terrific stupendous splendiferous glorious God grandiose orgiastic magnificent ne plus ultra astounding astonishing bodacious marvelous exuberantly ecstatic subliminal nostalgic allusions subordinate ancillary conjectures similar analogous configurations exotically ****** quixotic render proof orchestration rendition unicorn railway mainsail ebullition monad girdle thigh spasmolytic heuristic sartorious sartorial discrepancy amendment rip reave rive tear rend esoteric erudite beleaguer hype synch torque your ringer occipital sync ubiquitous eucharistic oblation obeisance oblate obelisk ubiquitous edifice ******* efficacious salacious lubricious sagacious expeditious grief  orgiastic paroxysmal orthogenesis overture repertoire quagmire quandary poshly plush lushly lustful longevous loquacity hunky-dory harbinger guzzle gyro gyre exult heuristic awkward humph haberdashery hauberk huarache bourgeoisie dichotomy greave zealot goatee cavalier humerus gumption hors d’oeuvres coalescent hysterically delirious coercion nullify correspondence corral coral architrave archaeology ardent ardor arduous awry askew asinine altruistic allure allude alluvium aloof egress effulgence ephemeral apathetic anxiety antonym existential exigency exodus expiate esoteric exacerbate evoke exact exult excerpt exorbitance cajole argent apriori arbitrate appliqué aqueduct presumptuous prestige precocious precursor preempt predilection premises premonition preoccupy preponderance prescient pretentious perineum peristyle perpetuity pervade pertinent portent elicit pursuance putrid quasi queasy quaver quarrel rampart ransack voracious rapport ratchet raucous ravenous reciprocal rectitude emanate imminent perdition erudite erogenous scarp lambent reticent vehement auspicious austere consternation construe contingent convection convolution convenient cocoon coerce collaboration collude vacuum vacillate vestibule vicarious recalcitrant repudiate resend resilient resonance purvey wreak writhe wreath fortuitous fulminate fuscous cudgel futurity gable gallivant gallant embellish gauntlet scavenge scandalous scarify scatter schlieren scholarly scoundrel scowl unmelodious scramble scrabble scraggly craggy cephalic fallacious fallible absurd cutaneous synthesis commission extreme  conscientious adherent proponent subtlety diligent receive interesting abhorred exorbitant arrangement intelligence surprisingly important encompass contributes asymmetrical excellent elliptical collaboration straddled collapsible spanned feasible oriented pervasive artistry instructor precursor innovate adrenergic adumbrate queasy acclimatize accommodate acceptive accordant accrue accusation acrimony actuarial acuity adduce adjective adjunct admonish adroit aerobic aesthetic prosaic affiliate affluence aggravate aggregate agnate agonize airy albeit alchemy allege allegiance allegorical alleviate allocution ambience ambivalence amenity amenable anaclitic analgesia anacrusis analeptic anathema subordinate ancillary anecdotist animism animosity annulet announce anomaly anonymity antagonize antecedent subsequent antefix antenna anterior pathos antipathy antithesis aperture appall adorn pertain appreciate aquifer arbiter arbitrage arboreal frantic pedantic febrile fanatic quixotic hegira to xanadu frenetic zealot zeal eucharistic oblation occipital ubiquitous omnipresence opulent effluent affluence larcenous overture orgiastic paroxysmal ornithology orthogenisis gleam sheen English bird treacherous lecherous asinine dumb foolish stupid inane ignoramus absurd idiotically imbecilic silly unintelligent dense dingy crazy insane quasi slow epos epitomize epochal era gemma schema lemma jargon idiom colloquialism vernaculars peer quay pier pair appearance insipid vapid insidiously insolent pompously bombastic blatant flagrant chaparral epopee pseudopodia actuator militantly mercenary covert adumbrate intimate obfuscate abet abeyance proxy fugue edict advocate détente anticipate angary amentia terse inabsentia expurgation imputation impugn exculpate eugenic euphenics incumbent incipient accidence acoustics acquittance amore malign asperse amok amuck allegorist pervert aspect aorist wrist expiate asylum epigynous anovulant antenatal antidote antiquity antitrust antithetical argufy apartheid apocalyptic apologist apothecary apomixis appreciate aposteriori apostrophe protractive analysis parabola avidity liberty concise tine albeit life still arrogance coherent abandon abate abash abase abdicate abduction abject abominable abominate abomination abound abrogation absolution absorption accentual accession accede accessible accommodate accomplice accomplish accrual accursed acerbity acrimony accredit accustomed actuality actuate addle adamant adjutant adventive adultery adulterate adventure adversity advertent adulteration venturesome advocacy eyrie aerie aerial affix affront aggressive agile acuity tactile nimble agnostic agog agonist aghast avid avarice agrarian curtilage Arian airhead peterbrain alacrity alchemize alibi allegation allegory gorge ally allocate aloof altercation ambition amatory prelude amaze amateur  ambidextrous ambient amble amiable amicable amorist amulet analeptic analgesia analytics anathema android amalgamated anemometry animism annals chronicles annex annul annoy anonymity antecedent arcade armature arson articulate ascension assiduity asperity asynchrony augmentation audible auger aural areola auspice austerity authenticate autonomic astronomical enumeration auxiliary avenge avert economist autonomist autonomy aviatrix axiom avow avouch bifurcate bigamy bend bind bent bisexual berate bereft hype due behave behaviorism ******* behest bereave beholden biologism bureaucratize circumvent conscribe bacchae backslide backswept badland baddy bagnio baize balky ball hawk balmy bambino bamboozle banal bandwagon baneful banishment bankruptcy banter bandy barbarism barbarous barratry base pay bang bash bastardy bawdry lewd obscene ***** bawl beamish beatitude ****** beat beautiful bedlam beggary begrudge befuddle perplex behalf beleaguer beneficiary benevolence benighted bequeath bequest berth betroth bevy birth bitchery bivouac blabber blandish coax blah blither blare blazon bleak blear blighter bliss bloomy blot blunder blotch blooper bludgeon gag blurt blush bluster bonkers bosh boulevard bout brat browse brunt brute buck passer buffet bungle bungalow bunk bunt buoyancy burglarize burnish burp belch burlesque bureaucratize sorrowful lamentation baleful caterwaul
true clench closet queen constitution provocative soap menagerie melee cirrus camorra caboodle cabotage cabriole cacophony
cadge cahoots cagey cairn calamitous calculate calibrate  caliginous caliper calyx callet cameo campestral canard candid candidacy candelabra candor canker can’t canter canteen canoe capitation captivate capture carapace caribous carnal carnival carny cartomancy casque castellated caste castle catacomb catatonic phonics caustic cavernous celibate censor centric centrifugal centripetal certify cervixes cestus chalet chalice chameleon changling chaperone charlatan chary chaste chastise chastity cheeky cherish chesty chide ***** chintzy chivalrous chinch chomp choose chortle chromatic chronic intrinsic chroma chump chutzpa chute cinch conciliatory ciliary ciliate citadel citation civility clank clammy clang clairaudience taciturn reticent classify inveterate claudication cloven cleft cliché click clinch clement clip clique ******* cloak & dagger clobber clog clone clonk cloth clothe clothier cloture redolent clout cluck clump clumsy clunk coadunate coalition coadjutor coaster brake coax cochlea chronology inundate **** coexist anachronism coercive coitus coincide collinear collateral collegiate collision collusion coma combinatorics comfy  commandeer  commensurate comensal commend commerce commence commodious commotion compatible compensatory competitive compile complexional complicity comply connotation compost composure compunction compulsory concatenate concoct catenary concubinage condolence condemn condescending conducive cavalcade confidant confession confirmatory confiscate conformity confrontation congruence congeal congenial conjure connection connivance connote conquest conscript consequence conservatism consistent console consolidate consort conspire contagium contention continuity controvert conveyor copulative cordial cordon cornucopia coup couth coy crag cranky craven cringe crud culminate cumulate cursive credulity credulous infidel gullible diatonic perturbed derogate edict delict rage tirade irate vehemence denouement denounce tire dervish dictatorial diction proof desolate deontology Kant indenture defray detinue douceur amuse disseminate eustachian daft dainty damnify dapper dastardly dauntless daymare dead heat dead horse debauch debacle decadent debauchee decamp declamatory declension decorticate deductive default defeasance defenestration defunct defrock deformacy degeneracy deft deforce hipster mesmeric deification deist deleterious delimit deltoid delve deluge delusion delirious demimonde demesne demiurge demoniac demonetize demonstrable denizen denegation denigration demur demure despot desperation destine despise detect determinative determinism detersive deterrent detest determinacy detectaphone devout devoid detract desultory detrimental detour deviate deviant devastate devotion devious devisee devolution devolve developer dialectic dharma diagnosis prognosis matriculate diacritical differentia diffraction digenesis dignitize dignitary dilly diligence ***** dilemma dilapidate diminution **** ding diphtheria diphthong dent dirge dirk disaffirm discontinuity disclaim discern discord disconsolate discourteous discredit discontinuance discretion discriminate distain disenfranchise disenchant disencumber disenthrall disembody disgorge disgrace dishonest disguise disengage disinfestant disjunct disillusion disinfectant dislodge dismal disloyal disoblige disobey disparity disparage dismantle dismay dispatch dispel dispersive disproof dispute disrupt dissertation disrepair dissipate distillate distort distract ditto ditty diverge divaricate divert divest divulge dominion doohickey dormer doss dowdy doughty dowry drastic douse drat dray dread drawl dreary drippy drifty drivel droll drown drowsy drudge plan dubious dude dudgeon dulcify duct ductile drakeness ducky duel dull dusky tawny dynamic dwelling dwindle derisive bombastic primordial integumence parenthetically pragmatically prosaically practically protractively portion premise portent pervasive perpitude phenomena hierarchy predicate metaphysique endoskeleton ectomorphic dour droll dismal dank dreary bleak stark Electra complex lore epigone epigraph epsilon epistaxis epilation earnest earthshaker earthward earwitness eclectic ebonize electroacoustics ciphony ebullience eccentricity echelon echoic eddy edgy edify edit educe edition eerie edacious effectuate effeminate effete efficient efflux effrontery effluent effusion ego defense eidetic ejecta elaborate elapse electioneer curtail elocution elucidate elegant eloquence Elysium emancipation manumission detinue osteopathy elucubrate emasculate emaciate embark embargo emanate emblazon emote embellish elusive enhance embracive embouchure emergent emendator embryology emit emissary emitine jacquerie empathy empennage emphasis emphatic emigrant empirical emulate emunctory encephalic enclitic yuck junk funky junkies enchant enchain enclosure encroach encrustation encumber endergonic endorse endowment enduro enfetter enforce energetic enemy enema enervate engender engage propensity preternatural proclivity prestidigitation gesticulation equilibrate equilibrium equilibrist preterite rendition retroactive engross engulf enhance enjoin enlightenment enlist impressed enormous ennoble enrich  ensheathe enshroud ensnare ensnarl entanglement enthrall enthusiasm entice entity enthuse entrap entreat entrance enunciate envoy envy envisage epigynous epigraphy cipher epilogue episodic epitaph epistolary epithet equate equestrian equity equivocal equivocate eradicate erosion eroticism errancy erratic erroneous ersatz erumpent erudition erythron epistemology espalier essentialism progressivism esprit espy estimator estrus estuary etcetera ethnic ethos ethic eternal ethereal eugenic euphenics eustachian tube salpinx euthenics euthanasia evacuate evaluate evasive eventuate evaporate evict evident evil evert evolve exact exaction exult exaggerate exasperate excel excerpt exception exclaim exclude exculpate excursion excuse execration execution exempt exhume exile exhaustive exhibitionism exhilarate exegesis exert exonerate expense expletive explicit exploitation exponent export exposition exserted exposure expound expurgate ubiquitous extemporize extenuate exterminate extensive externalize extinct extort extradition extrasensory extraordinary extol extract exuberate extrude foible fasciculation twitch flinch fenestra Fabian falchion falangist Phillip felly ferro falsie **** fess fink out festinate ***** bustle fourragrere fimbria feduciary fabricant fable fabulist façade facile facilitate facsimile facture faena fain fairing fallopian fallow fascinator fash fatalism fastidious fastuous fatidic fatigue Faustian fatuity faux pas feasible faze ******* facilitate feline feeler ferocity fertile fervid fervor fetor fetus fetology fetish feverish fester fetation fetch fiat fief fiasco feticide obnoxious fiacre figment fickle fictitious fiddling fidelity fidgety fierce fiesta  filch filly filthy finale finesse fingertip finicky fang finite firmament flabbergast fixation flak flashy flagitious ******
flashpoint paroxysmal retrograde flaunt flasher flask flat flap flaw fledge flee fleece fleet fleshy flighty flick flexible flimsy  
flimflam fling flinty florid flora ****** flourish flotsam  flub fluke flurry flush focalize foist footing foray forfeiture forgery foreign
forensic formalize format formica formulate fornication forsooth forswear perjurious fortify forte fortissimo fortuity forum abjure
abnegation fossil fosterling four flush frame up freaky frazzle frenulum fret frigidity frigate frill fringe fritter frontal fructify fruition frump frugal fuel fulcrum fulgurous fulham sable furor furring brazen furtive fustigate future perfect fuchsia find roan gauntlet gamut gatecrasher havoc glass jaw glare glass eye gabber gadzooks gaff gaga gage gaggle gag rule gainful gainsay gait gala gale gall gallery gallivant gallop galvanic gambrel roof gander gammon garb garish garble garnishment garrulous garter gasp **** gaudy gauge gaunt gavel gear fad gee haw gemma gender genealogist geotropism germinate gestation ghost writer ghoul gig gigantic gill gimmick gimp girlish gist gizzard glaive glamorize glance glaze glean glint glitch gloat globe gloomy glitter glom glob glop glorify gloss glower glutton glum slum glue hue gluteal gnash aphorism adage gnosticism gnome goggle gnomic gold digger psychic golem gore gorge gown gossipy gouge grasp greedy frigid gremlin greave grieve grin grime grim grind gripe ***** groom gross grit groin grove grout growl grumpy grunt guck gruntle guide guile guild guilty guise gull gulch gully gunk gushy gust gussy up gulp gusset gush gustatory gung ** gusto gutsy gyne gyre gynecocracy gyve guy  aceimnorsuvwx  bdfhklt  fgjpqyz atheist goblin Godiva grog hang up disinter gamet zygote hunks hunkers haunches black white life death lithe heart rending miserly greedy stingy frugal habitation propinquity habituate hackamore hagride hairbreadth halftrack hallucinosis hamstring handicapper handless hangin hand woven hanker hanky panky haphazardry hari kiri **** harangue harass harbinger harem oviparous residual harmonic harpy harsh hast hassle haggle hasty pudding haugh haunt haversack haversian canal hawk hazard heady heal headway heap hearing hearty heave heathen heavenly heavy duty heft heir heinous heifer heist helix enliven glue hellion helm hemlock hence heredity primitive anachronistic hangover heretical heritage hermit recluse heresy primordial integumence skull hernia hue hex heuristic hirsute hireling ally hint **** hoard hoax hitch hoist hokey hoot horizon hornswoggle horologist hostile hostage housebreak huckster hovel huff humeral hurtle hustle hutz pah homage homogeny exogamy hone honesty honkies hooky hutch hypercritical hypotaxis hysterics incoercible idiosyncrasy impugn idolatry ileum imagism idempotent ides ichor icky icon ics ictus ideational identity crisis matrix idea iffy ignescent illustrious immaterialize imitation inextremis immanentism immolation mollify impeach impedance impecunious impassion immutable retrograde recumbence inabsentia impious impenitence impinge implore impotent paroxysm impressment impute impromptu impoverish improvident imprudent improvise imputation inanely inanimate inauguration incorrigible inappreciative inconsequential irreverence inconsolably disconsolate irreparably irreconcilable incorporeity ideally ideogram inferential illicit incarnate incestuous inch incident converse incipient incite incognita incommodious incompliant incommunicado indagate incursion incus incumbent indecorous indecent exposure indecipherable indefeasible indenture indictable  indicative indignant indiscrete indite indolence indubitable induce indulgent industrious ineffectual inane inert inertia infamy infanticide infest infinitesimal inflect inflict infringe encroach infrastructure inflation influential informant inimical iniquitous innumerable innuendo inquisitor injunction injudicious inkling innocuous insolent insidious insipid inept phatic volatile instigate insinuate instinct intangible interdict intentional interject intimate intimidate intricacy intrigue intrinsic intrepid introspection introvert intrusive intuitive inviolate invade inundate invalid inventive inveigh inure defeasance foist isomorphic isthmus fistula jabber jackal jackleg jag jaunt jeer jerkin jest jetty jettison jiffy jig jilt jive job jack jolt josh jostle joust jovial judicious juggernaut jugglery jumble jumpy junctural jungle junk ****** jurisdiction justice justification jute jutty juvenile delinquency juxtaposition kale kalimba kangaroo court kaput karate karst kayo keel keep kempt kept keynesianism kick in **** kindle kinetic kink kist **** kleenex kismet kirtle kith kithe kitsch klaxon knack knavery **** knout kobold koan kneed king cogent adroit lollygag lummox languorous lanyard limbus lotic loquacious lesbian lam labial lambaste lampoon landmark bilk lang syne languish languid languor larder larky larvicide larynx lascivious lateral latent recumbent lapel laud lavish layette lecher leeward leer leech legacy legate lefty lest lewd avant-garde levant avaricious liaison libido libertarian lien ligature lilt list lisp liturgy livid loiter loom loophole lubricity lubric lucent lugubrious yuck lunkhead dolt lurk luscious luster luxury lynch lysis legerity lemma lickspittle limnetic ankh maverick mare liberum marabou machete machinate machiavelianism magniloquent macroevolution macrogamete Magdalene mantis mantra maniacal manubrium mare’s nest maenad majuscule maladjustive malfeasance maleficent malefactor malevolence mash malm malocclusion manipular manifesto mastectomy maw manacle manifest Manitou mana marrow pith manumission constitution marsupial mare nostrum masseur pervade perpitude quark master plan master race mastoid glitch exiguous skimpy scanty sparse masticate matriarchy matriculate escutcheon nombril mere mathematics matrix matinee impetus maxim axiom meatus minimax mediation mediocre medley metabolic meddle ménage a trios menagerie mendacity meroblastic menial meiosis meliorate memorandum memoir memento mori menace mesne menarche menorrhagia meninx mesh mesomerism mesne lord metal methodical meticulous mettle miasma microcosm militia mingy minion koan mirage mire misnomer modality mockery ****** mongrel monstrance morbid morose mortify mortise martingale motivity musky mushy murky muse mutuality muzzle myopia mystique mesomorphic nabob nadir narcosis nark native natty navaid necking pilaster neigh neuter neutrino nexus ****** nihilism nimbus nimiety nitty gritty noisome nominalism nonconformity non sequiter nooky noose nostalgia nostrum notch notion notorious noumenon nous nuance nubile nymph nympholepsy numinous ***** obliquity oblivion ubiquity eucharistic oblation obligee oasis oath obbligato obligatory obliterate obnoxious obscene obstreperously abstruse exude obviate ochlocracy odium odalisque ominous awesome omnivorous onerous onus opprobrium opprobrious optimal opulence orifice ornate orotund ostensible osteopathy oust outlier overawe overt **** ozone procurator pagan palingenetic pallid pallor paragon pagoda palpitate pander pandemic panhandling paraphrase paternoster pathetic paunch pavilion pawky peachy peculiar pedagog pedal pedantic peart peccant peeve perception intuition peremptory perdition perdurable detinue perfective
perfidy perforce periphery perjure perk permeate permute perorate perpetual perpetrate perpetuity perplexity persecute
perspicacious perspiration pertinent perturb ******* pesky perky pester pestilence petrify petrous phalanges juggernaut              
phenomenal phylogeny phobic phony photosensitize phrenic physicality ***** physicalism pick pictorial pious piety piffle pilgrimage pinion pithy placate placid plaint planetoid plasma platitude platonic plenipotentiary plucky plunderous poach plenary plummet polemic polyphonic postulate pouch polyandry polygamy populist pounce popsicle potentate pout practicable chatter prattle precarious precedence precess precious predetermined predicament preen prelusive premonition prefix preposterous prevail prevalent presumptuous **** prim priority depravation probity prodigious profane promulgate proffered prohibitive projective promiscuity propagandize propagate prophetic prosthetic propinquity prophylaxis protocol proprietous propitious haggard proxemics prosecutor prospectus protensive proximity pummel pundit prejudice piranha punitive purgatorial purificatory putschist kitsch quag quantum jump quarrelsome quarterstaff Quetzalcoatl quickie quirt quoit rescind reverb revile mnemonics retuse rabble rachis raconteur ratification radial radix raffish raft ragamuffin railroad raiment rake ramify ramet ramus rank rancid **** rapper rapt rapture rarefy rarified rave ravel raw raze razzle-dazzle razzmatazz realm ream reap rebuttal rebuff rebuke receptaculum recital recess reconcile recondite recourse recriminate rectilinear rectify rectitude recumbent recuperate recursive redeem redolent refer reek reeve reflective reflex refraction refulgence refuge refuse relativistic reliquiae remedy remorseless remnant repertory replicate reproach reptilian repugnant repulse repulsion rescissory residue resignation resolute restitution retraction restriction restraint resuscitate reticent retentive retinue retreat retribution revel reverberation reversal revert revulsion rhapsodic rhombus rhomboid rictus ridgy rifle riff rigorous ritzy rival roan roam roar rive robust rodent rodeo roguery rollick frolic romp rote rouge rout ******* rubble rubric rumpus rumor rural ruse rustle Ruth sitzkrieg superciliary supercilious surfeit suture bravo bravado seminal vesicle sacerdotalism sacroiliac sagacious saga safari saguaro salpinx salubrious salvo salve sanction sanctify sanguine sashay satchel satiate saucy savory scads scalpel scandalize scapula **** schmaltz schlep schnook scorn scour scoff scowl scow scram scrounge screak scud **** scuz seclude ****** seer selfish seminiferous senility sedition smear sycophant sensitize sensorium sentiment sequester sequential servile sham shindig shoddy singular screech situate skedaddle skew sketchy skittish skivvies slang slight slogan slovenly slouch sneaky snub soffit solvency sophistic spangle spar spawn spew squall squamous steeple logistical tactician strategy stupor subjunctive suborn subvert the clarity of criticism can create credibility comprehension can cause conducive consciousness supremacy surly burly squirrelly schema temporize tai pan tup trochlea ulna taboo taciturn tacit tacky tact talus tamper tang tamp tangible tangential tank tankard tassel tawny ****** telepathic temerity telos tenable tenet ternary terra-cotta testy topos tiercel theocracy tempting thew tizzy trite thirl throng thundering tantrum tonic torso topsy-turvy torus tour de force touristic **** tout tragus tractive trance tranquil traject transcend trample transducer transfix transgress transition transposition transude transpire treasure treason trek trenchant tremendous tributary trigeminal  trollop triumph tropic tropism troth trough tractable tract strumpet trove trump trustless tribunal twang tweeze twinge twirl twaddle tunic typecast tyrannical tyrannosaur traction padness tyrant tympanum twist ukase ultraism ultima ratio ultrastructure uglify umbilicus umbra umbrage unabridged unconditional unambiguous unanimity uncanny unceremonious uninucleat union unique unison unity farce sham unmannered unremitting unspeakable upsurge upstage urchin urbanist usherette usufruct travesty usury utensil ****** utmost ut uvea utter uvula utility uxorious usurp surreptitious vagabond vagarious vagile vagrant vagrancy vale valor validate vampire vanguard vas deferens vast vaunt vector venery venial veranda venture verbalist verboten verdant verdict verge vertebration verve vexatious fierce vigil vigorous vile vilify villainous vindicate violent virtue vitalist ***** vituperative vogue vomitus volunteer vouch vulcanization vulturous vulgarism weld **** volume decimate wahoo waive wangle wee weepy welch whammy war wharfage whereof whereupon wherein wherefore whereon wherewithal whine whopper wild goose chase wishy washy wisp woeful wrathy wrought wrong xenophile ******* fornication phantasmagoria fluent voluble yammer yelp yes man yummy zany zealotry zilch zing zombie zooidal zoom zounds zygomatic contiguous constituency confluence contiguity continuum concurrence conjunction conjugation métier quintessential
There was a motion on the floor for the nomination of a proxy to be my epigone.  I feared I didn't have enough votes to challenge so I filibustered.
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
. 'as for those poets, only the perverse follow them. do you not see that they go too far in every direction and say things, which they cannot do?' (ash-shu'ara / the poets 26:224-226).

call them what you like,
the Huguenots,
for all i care...

   you always side with
the "heretics"...
  
   given that, "said" heretics
retain some cultural value
relativism of other cultures,
namely in the form of
depiction -

    since why would, "the word"
be deemed holy,
    ****-naked,
                rather than donning
a bikini of "iconoclasm"...
         when words... are at
the meat-market of copyright -
what with © coca cola?

                 sunni islam would have
never allowed sufism...
  but Farsi does...
  and will continue...
since no Iranian will bow
before an Arab within the schematics
of history...

          Sunni Islam, it's Wahhabi sentimentality...
so why persist in signing
the Adhan?
   why not speak in a honing like
drone sentiment of plain speech?
i thought all music was banned?
the current Adhan is a form
of music... isn't it? BAN IT!

    you never side with these Sunni
muslims, exploiting Bangladeshi labor,
you side with the heretics of Iran...
these *******, i can at least respect...
  
      no fast cars, convenient ongoing
cultural insurrections -
   Sufism...
       Afghan women's poetry,
and all that much closer to Hindu mysticism...
    
yeah... "islamophobia":
but only against Sunni Islam...
   but Shia Islam?
   no problem...
   i could stomach these peoples
like i could stomach the in-between
of the Turkish variant -
no ideology - simply, pure, power throttle...

i could make a great Janissary -
with a Turkish barber...
         for a great trim of hair and beard...
i'd cast a shadow on some
obscure chocolatier of Brussels
who thinks himself a politician...

     but there are certain aspect of Islam
i am willing to tolerate...
   what happened to the son in law
of Muhammad, namely, Ali...
was raw ******* kicking...

               promises, promises...
no promises...
           Shia Islam, as an European,
i can tolerate, Turkish Islam, i can tolerate...
Turkey is incrementally shy
of being treated at the 2nd variant of Iran...
at least with Iran, we share a history
via the insurrection into the ancient
texts through Greece...

  come to think of it...
whenever i listen to
matta's song echo babylon...
i start feeding myself goosebumps,
reminding myself
of Cyrus... Nebuchadnezzar...
and the dim-wit that was
   Belshazzar...

always siding with the heretics...
if not on economic groundwork,
then at least motivating,
rather than monetizing an idea...

and the Shia muslims are...
    one way or another...
   unlike the gluttons of Dubai...
the barbie dolls of postage stamp
"proof" of progress,
in size, and worth...

   Sunni Islam would have
never allowed poetics to remain
a viable form of expression -
the Persian tradition that is,
far beyond the western concern
for a comment section...

         Shia Islam allows patronage
of the arts, notably poetry,
without concern for monetary
funding, it, at least, doesn't prohibit it...
given the pride of the Persians...
Sunnis and their continual quest
for finding water...
    sure... poetry is pointless within
such restrictions of
existential concerns...
    but... given the current, civilized
establishment?
   sky-scrapers in *******
sand dunes?

         the qu'ran should have
forbidden the architectural ambitions
equivalent to the tower of babel
being erected, in environments,
that could never sustain said projects...

    and who originally spewed the term
islamophobia?
Sunni Islam...
        i never liked this strand of belief...
i hate the Sunnis like
a Shia partisan...

p.s. it's called patriotism is America...
but nationalism in Europe...
    you sure that's not a synonym?
Europeans can't be patriotic,
and Americans are never nationalistic?

...

   well: how could i ever convert to islam,
i do enjoy the adhan from time to time,
"sorry", but i do...
  i can't help it:
if i'm a sucker for pop songs,
i'm also a sucker for the adhan...
   crusader songs, templar songs become
stuffy after a while...
and last time i checked:
     there were the northern crusades
against the baltic people:
notably prussians, lithuanians...
with that cushion of: mediating the
escalation of war by the polacks...
coming from the east:
  last time i checked the mongols
didn't reach leipzig...
               buffer zone people...
and what of the ottoman onsalught
of vienna 1529: the ****** winged hussars
won the charge...

so, coming back to heidegger... aphorism 26
ponderings IX... how am i to not be
the historical animal?
         perhaps in german, in germany
i might become a non-historical animal,
to begin: anew, but with a terrible
past to hide, to negate...
   i could do that: if i were a german,
speaking german, in germany...
but i'm in england:
            i might have some roots in
Silesia, but it's "hard" to not be a historical
animal, an "animal" with a sense of time,
i.e. a future a past a present...
esp. under the english conditions
of: the biological animal momentum narrative,
like a tsunami, like an earthquake...
ripples throughout...
              i can't move forward with
the english championing darwinism every
single ******* step of the way...
why can't they hide darwin like the polacks
hid copernicus...
given the motto: copernicus -
who moved the earth, and stopped the sun...
why wouldn't i escape into history
if the current biological reality is:
(a) a yawn... the cruel nature of per se?
   the courting of pigeons on a t.v. antenna...
pigeons get rejected all the time,
lesson learned, he bows and bows,
coos... expands his tail feathers upon
the bow then folds them... she flies away...
repeat...
    (b) i can't escape being a historical
animal in the way that what the current
facts are being repeated have encountered
a whiff of Chernobyll...
              history is inclided to answer reality...
biology? not so much... not from what i've
seen and heard...
             truly a schizophrenics disney dream:
to walk among the newly insane feeling
like the only sane among them...
beau-ti-ful!
                   well... given the current criteria
of being bilingual as being synonymous
with being a schizophrenic...
           magic!
                    
   now the crescendo...aphorism 24
ponderings X:

              the word designates, the word signifies,
the word says, the word is (heidegger)...

i found that you can only write
"philosophy" with a neat, fixed vocab. regime,
clarity of boundaries...
    quadratic events in vocab.:

i.e. the reflexive: yourself, himself, itself etc.
and the reflective: your, self....
                       his, self...
                                  it, and the self...
                    ergo? atheistic scissors,
  the two articles, indefinite and definite
                                 a / the "self"...

i'm not playing "identity politics",
when i say that only two peoples ever managed
to sack Moscau... the mongols and the polacks
with the help of lithuanians,
"identity politics" only happens in
post-colonial society, akin to the english,
i'll speak the english,
but i will not be a cucked indian of
the former raj: i will eat the fish & chips,
i will eat the sunday roast,
   i will eat the english breakfast with great
delight...
            but i will not do what these former
colonial masters expect of me:
integrate at the expense of making my
mutterzunge into hubris!
stubborness contra pride...
                hard to tell the difference...

and why do i like heidegger so much?
i'm not into the ad homine arguments...
my grandfather, was, a communist party member...
so?
       i like heidegger... because he appreciates
poetics, i like that poets can share the same
values as philosophers,
thanks to heidegger: we have been requested
back into the republic...
if plato and islam didn't like us, hanging around,
some offshoot german thinker / promenade
enthusiast like used enough to,
i suppose: ban the theatre puppeteers...

i am not playing identity politics...
biological reality is not enough...
but archeological reality?
       can you really advance to counter?
i was born near:
Krzemionki Opatowskie, a Neolithic and
early Bronze Age complex of flint mines
for the extraction of Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian)
banded flints...
  personally? i don't believe in
the African genesis conundrum...
i believe "my" people originated from
the Indian sub-continent,
as, associated with the complex:
Indo-European categorization of language;
i'm still to see an African phonetic
encoding system, beside the hieroglyphics...

i, was, born, there! i'm not a displaced
post-colonial debacle between former master
and former slave...
i have: roots... i'm not ******* up to the fish & chips
brigade with a friday night's worth of curry...
i cook my own curry,
and by god: it is the food of the gods...
i'll give the blue indians that counter...
but sure as **** not the worth of mead
or whiskey...

if they only tolerated themselves,
sure, learn the english language,
but know this much:
           english is the modern lingua franca...
it's the language of economics,
forget the natives, too ignorant to learn
either deutsche or française:
island-folk...
                what else, what other attitude?
even the russians are like:
that land of the weirdos? the idiosyncratics?
yes, we know that land...
the only "thing" that shelters the english
are the h'americans, the south africans,
the australians etc.,
  sure as **** the scots aren't sheltering them...
and, mind you?
   if the i.r.a. really wanted to plant
a bomb?
   a real bomb? they'd revert from speaking
any english to begin with... resorting
to revising their usage of gàidhlig:
ga-id-hlig... gaelic...
   like the welsh, stubborn people, proud people,
retaining their Çymraeg...
celt: said kelt...
the glaswegian football team?
       Çeltic... not: keltic...
  borrowed from the greek: sigma (ς: cedilla to ****)...
   wow! all the particulars in the english tongue!
guess it would take an ausländer to spot them!

U-21 european championships,
england versus romania:
                           a magnificent match...
the youngsters playing better football
than the oldies in their mid to late / early 30s...

i'm trying to tolerate Islam,
               it's not in my nature...
            hell... i enjoyed visiting a turkish barber
shop, i still have an unflinching opinion that,
the turks are the best barbers in the world...
but...

              this quote, is going to **** you:
same aphorism / pondering (24 / X) -


*** fight videos - count dankula...
you know what i'd love to do to these little
snarky *****?
the french revolution isn't enough...
n'ah, them hanging, is not enough....
ever heard of the butchers' hook?
                 it's also callled close-up fishing...
imitation hang-man...
   you insert a fishing hook...
and you let the sweeney todd ****** dangle...
on a hook, rather than a noose...
lords of salem come your way?
i'd rather the snarky teen hanging off
a fisherman's hook than dangle
like some lynched ******...
beside the suffocation,
i'd like them with a fisherman's hook entombed
in their hard palette...
         i don't want them hanging...
what am i? a sadist?
  i want them on the fisherman's hook!
when suffocating without a broken spine absorbed
by the neck isn't enough!
  fisherman's hook gallows is a
masterpiece... of suffering...
  most certain...
  when cheap comedy is being towed...
making fun of bums, or homeless people...
the current society is so welcome
to bypass all the "adventures" of Loki...
but akin to the lords of Salem...
burn!? such a limitated imagination!

ah... right... digressing...
        the reflexive / reflective quadratic...
language - only if speech  has acquired
the highest univocity of the word does it
become strong (enough) for the hidden
              play of its essential multivocity
(as withdrawn from all "logic"),
             of which poets and thinkers alone
are capable, in their own respective modes
and their own directions of sovreignty.

we do live in a time of a lost sense
of dialectic, since we do not live in a time
of etertaining dialogue,
perfectly sensible opinions,
that's all we have...

                       if one of these snarky *******
came up to me...
they'd get a chance to experience a rubric
of 4, knuckles...
what's 189 centimeters in empirical?
6ft2...      oh!
                   see where imagination takes you?
and here i was: thinking i was without it!
butcher's hangman...
oh, not so easy...
                  
                fame by no association to fame...
just the tears of parents who raised their children
to be nothing more than rugrats...
annoying gnat like bothersomes;
and nothing quiet special to be associated
with weimar berlin...
     just, these,
   h'american mall onlookers
with pwetty-guy-for-a-white-fly-mentality,
as borrowed from californian
1990s punk;

re-used ****** losers.

mad-hatter's fraction: 10/6....
      0.666...
      well: to the given extent:
1.666666(7)....
     1, 0, /6,
no number is divisible by 0,
every number, divisible by 1:
is the same number...
    mad hatter's 10/6...

   re-used ****** losers...
i like that phrase...
        7 for every 6, 7 for every 6...
until the 0. fraction comes
a 1.: exponential serf of 0...
0 being the multiplier...
          
         i really am growing a beard to less
don it, but rather to experience
a relief from patience...
war robots?
the first non n.p.c. game...
i like that, very much...
      and when i did:

you know my first experience of
love at first sight?
the younger sister of my then girlfriend...
****** up ****...

love at first sight is a terrible phenomenon...
i was nearing 18, she was barely 13...
i was dating her older sister...
but it was love at first sight,
the trouble with: love at first sight:
it doesn't lie...
it tries to lie...
          but it can't lie...

   paedophilia? a bit... untouched bodies
though... bodies of people who were
never supposed to touch...
i once said to a fwend:
well wouldn't it be ****** up if i touched
her?
   she's a muse, which doesn't translate
into vacating her as a busy body
worth of a touch, does it?
     if only my old friend samuel said
otherwise:
sylvester "contra" tweety:
my first girlfriend...
but her sister?
         i was nearing 18, she was about 13...
love at first sight...
untouched, cradled, unscathed...
and so she remained...
   until she did what every girl would
have done...thank god she remained
a figment of my imagination...
   rammstein: rosernrot...
    
           i have seen love at first...
such a load of ******* that it had to be
the younger sister of a girl i was dating...
and the **** that i had to be 18 and see
was just beginning her teenage transition...
the world unfair i grant
the most justifications... as being
the (just - unnecessary adjective) arbiter...

love at first sight becomes a forbidden love...
love at first sight was always a forbidden
love...
           and the sort of "love" that achieves
a perspctive of change that doesn't
translate into old age...
love at first sight is soon translated
into a love of affairs closely associated
with middle-age disenfranchised
state of affairs...
i.e. to love again...
            how else to feel relief from
having lost both one's inhibitions
               as well as one's ambitions?!
in the conundrum of the mortal
"question" of the continuum being
preserved?
Cné Mar 2017
i must give you a full physical exam
to fully grasp my prognosis and plan
of treatment for you... dont be afraid
i feel confident, no need to debate
i can satisfy
and gratify
your pre-dic-ament
in the richest succulent

as a specialist, to some degree
my healing hands work expertly
but to receive full and complete treatment
you must partake my honey rather frequent
for a better plan of action
i require a full body transfusion
a chemical mixture of center fuses
a delicate blending of our juices
this may require several procedures
over time it provides many features
healing properties of your most vital *****
however worth it, even if, it cost a fortune
to this a can guarantee success
but first you must fully undress

i work with energy transference
your help required for successful convergence
of the best possible results
between two consenting adults

bartering is certainly a viable option
for your long term medical condition
providing equal services for each other
helps maintain balance to one another
Hehehe. For my muse, I bit of fun playing doctor after a rough Monday, possibly a treat Tuesday morning for those halfway around the world.  
So many patients, so little time
Oh good gracious, it's only a rhyme
https://youtu.be/NQ7WyP_qCZk
KKM May 2015
Smiles that drip with gold sadness and
Run from estranged places go hand in hand with
Blue perspectives and unheard words,
But I’d escape to anywhere with you
By my side if it meant
Danger and orange sunsets
Stale coated eyes and huge skies
Because you taught me that happiness
Is not viable if its not laconic
And the fewest of beating clocks were
Enough to last both a night and 7
Dollars in mere coins
Gary L Aug 2013
So many are filled with hostility
hostile world, we're living in
in a place of constant volatility
volatile minds, never giving in

this world needs a new possibility
possibly, we can fix this place
place me in a world of viability
viable living for the human race

will we sew the seeds of fertility
fertile growth for all of mankind
mankind needs a brand new civility
civil ways need to be re-defined

(wrote this under my new loop rules)
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
Should we invite the neighbors over for dinner?
Their politics so different from ours.
All the more reason. Combat anomie!
He's worried the town's losing population
but opposes immigration. I like immigrants
but hate passing people on my morning walk.

The whole mountainous western region of the state
is losing population at a rate of 1% per annum.
The young move out, the old stay put but
young artists priced out of big cities move in
looking for affordable studio space. How low
can the population go as long as rents stay low?

We did agree about the fire department expansion
being premature (him) or unnecessary (me).
He argued we should renovate the high school first
the roof is caving in and walls crumbling.
But you can teach under a spreading chestnut tree
or baobab and science needs the world for a laboratory.

I teach at the old 2nd St. jail in Pittsfield
a town that doesn't know if it's coming up or going down.
A few shootings last month, no deaths.
They're holding their breath but also trying to attract life
science businesses to the industrial park. The local bank's
expanding, buying smaller banks in neighboring civilizations.

Eventually our fire department got the vote they wanted,
just called another meeting and packed the auditorium.
The final winning argument was we can do the school,
the fire house and the police station all at once.
Don't accept defeat, limitations. Defeat anomie!
Anomie means lawlessness and purposeless in Greek

so that's not exactly what we're trying to defeat.
It's the mismatch between our aspirations and resources,
no, the dissonance between our tribe and nation,
no, the individual as ****** animal and intellectual,
no, the farmer and the banker, the loved one and the litter,
no, whatever happens to you after you die and belief in reincarnation.

For me, it always boils down to mortality
every conversation, which is why no one comes to dinner.
Whether the fire department buys an exorbitant parcel
at the expense of a future school renovation
in a town slightly losing population but still viable
with a college, bank, artists and a few working farms

is everything and nothing, as Borges says.
Deutsch says death ought to be curable.
The new high school or fire station, conditions like anomie
v. democracy, new life forms, self-conscious species
from the laboratory or the biome. How de body?
Today ok. Tomorrow I don't know. Potential

energy, lover, killer, anomie. Karl Popper
had such faith in the rational whereas Niebuhr
acknowledged man's ego is uncontrollable except
by force. Conflict is inevitable. But at dinner
we agree it doesn't always have to be violent or terminal.
We can do the fire department, police station, the school and anomie.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
Aa Harvey Jul 2018
Suicide is not an option.


There are times in your life, when time is not on your side,
But please do not rush to your death,
I have no wish to see you die.
I intend to lay here, by your side
And awaken you with a kiss, in the morning light.


For suicide is not an option, I shall let you choose,
Suicide is not an option, I shall let you take.
I wouldn’t want to grieve the loss of such beauty,
So please don’t go away.


For you are everything this poor boy needs,
To sleep at ease each night.
You give me my reason to struggle on, try as life might,
To take me out, I’m going to stand solidly at your side,
For your love gives me strength
And holding your hand gives me such pride.


You are my reason for continuing to live,
No matter what this life may throw at me.
I wish I could mean as much to you,
So if you love me, then suicide you cannot think,
Is a viable option you can seriously take.
Please my love, don’t let me awaken to your corpse today.
Please my love I would do anything,
Whatever it takes, to give you a reason to live.


But suicide is not an option, I shall let you choose;
Suicide is not an option, I shall let you take.
I wouldn’t want to grieve the loss of such beauty,
So please don’t go away.


Have you really given up on us?
Have you had enough of me?
Do you mean it when you say I have your love?
Or are you simply saying that to get what you need?
Because I want you to know I love you so,
This is why I can’t let you just go.


So suicide is not an option, I can let you choose,
Suicide is not an option, I can let you take.
I could not grieve the loss of such beauty,
So please don’t leave me today.


(C)2011 Aa Harvey. All Rights Reserved.
Jorge Echevarria Jul 2014
As you enter the realm of boredom a trigger is pulled
The hammer falls and you scurry in it's silence
Everything viable to suffice your wants that we always think are needs
Watch how quickly and how desperate your trials to appease this figment becomes
Pointless rage while you shut others out
Yet invite strangers to suggest a way to cure the symptoms
You become detached as a person with less than any friends
Because you choose to follow these stupid trends
Tatiana Feb 2019
Every possibility must be explored
to its fullest extent
in order to come up with the best solution
in any situation.
Does the concept of a disaster-like situation seem impossible?
It isn't.
Think it through completely.
Does the concept of a perfect day seem impossible?
It isn't.
Think it through completely.
What will you say, do, see, think?
All must be thought out ahead of time.
Who will you see? What will they say? What will they do?
Know this ahead of time.
Never be caught off guard
Never be surprised
Never be at ease
All options are viable
All options are viable
All options are viable
Give me another 20 years and I'll be predicting the future accurately through my crystal ball filled with anxiety
lowercasemmmmmm Aug 2014
I crossed the bridge to a viable destruction
I'm not sure that the birds here truly sing
pondering hard while I devoured my luncheon
they clutch as thoughts that itch and lose everything

and when I'm dead and gone
when my battle ground of words has forever fallen silent
will I remain a lonely footnote of a recalled memory
just a passing thought of a man who loved without passion or hate

I choose to be terse in feelings
electing to be loud and brash under blankets of secrecy
when I'm dead and gone and you take the time to read my words
you'll be aware of the viable destruction that claimed soft clemency
jeffrey robin Jul 2010
i sit at the library computer.

across the room TUTOR JOHN prepares
his lessons for the free CITIZENSHIP CLASSES he conducts
for the punjabis, mexicans hmungs and others seeking
to pass the immigration service citizenship test.

he is a great man.

it  is not surprising to say that he likes me and is my friend
as i am his friend

why is that?

in the simplicity the seed forms itself into
viable human forms and human beings

this we all know
yes we do
Saumya Aug 2018
It is often when I tend to pause and introspect  on life, my experiences with in in general. It is in such moments, I feel  myself imbibed, yet  so stunned  at the realisation of the fact, that it is so knowingly, yet often most unknowingly that we affect everyone whose life's paths we cross through! It may sure be the case that  we don't mean too much to a person as the other person already does, but then, what we still are mostly unaware of at that moment, is how beautifully, intensely or pathetically does our little acts and attitudes may be already affecting others, and theirs to us. Would our  lives be okay as it is currently, when the same situation is just altered a little by deducting air from it? Would we still be sitting so patiently as we are now, even if everything was same, except the mere deduction of water from our life? The mere absence of shelter and food yet again are the elements, whose mere mention of absolute deductance would be good and great enough to stop the mere throbbing of our heartbeats which might already have slowed or rather started being too swift by now!
It is interesting, how some elements are just a trifle to be valued, before we realise how worse our lives could be
only by their absence, or well departure! Doesn't that same rule applies for us people too? Most don't value  the hardworking yet lowly paid people like a builder or the labourer who builds their House, or mansion, as much as they value their guests and inhabitants that get into it after it's finally finalized. The guest obviously are worth the praise but aren't those
labours?  ask this to yourself for a moment, that what would your house be like if there were no labourers to make that happen! The house that keeps us safe and cosy now, is but many  day and night's struggles of someone who worked hard to make it happen in reality. He, his soul deserves to be praised for making your dream, your dream home come alive! It often makes me smile at some kindered souls whose ultimate profession is working for humanity, it's wellness, It's enrichment, It's improvement, and it's best progress, therefore I can't help but smile wide, when I come across a truly  honest teacher, doctor, mentor, poets or writers ever. They have a spark that's so  refreshing, inspiring and contagioud! They indeed are those eminent souls who nurture and enrich the souls of others so piously and profoundly, and it is often that they are just  so unaware of this preciousness and the greatness they so majestically possess!They pour in us, the true essence of the goodness our world is made up of, and make us feel a like a viable part of it. They brighten our days. it's a blessed blessing to be in the company of such gems, truly!

Afterall, us humans are so alike the state of matter called 'liquid', that is known for its 'adaptability' .It hardens and softens with  the change in temperature. sometimes hardened by our outer world's that haunts us often, yet are very eagerly  inter-convertible. And it is hence, when  the truest, and enlightening essence of  eminent souls touch us, embrace us, we transform in their moulds, sometimes and little and sometimes a lot. Sometimes very finely, and sometimes too coarsely, built in a confined type with the advent of time, and it is then, years after years, we become a person and then a personality that we let time , and the people that tread through it, in our lives transform us into. Every little to large element affects us, in ways we often don't know of. Everything teaches and tells us of life it's stories, it comes with lessons, and our hearts, out consciousness perceives them too, from time to time. We  shape mysteriously, yet so mysteriously   in and into the vessel of life eventually, that we interestingly don't realise the intensity of the change until someone else remarks us of it, and makes us realise it. These changes are just this mystical and inevitable! And change is the law of time.
From my ongoing book, "The Philosophical Lessons Life Taught".(The other chapters have been posted on page too .
Check them out if you wish to)
All your comments, feedbacks, suggestions etc. Are most welcome :)

Thank-you so much for stopping by, and going through the chapter (s) :)

Sincerely,
Saumya.
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
It was a cold night for a concert. There was frost on the windscreen as we got into the car for the short drive to this city church. We drove because we were going to be late, and it was cold, and would be likely to be colder still when the concert was over. I had wondered if part one would be enough. Could Bach and Rameau be enough? Might the musical appetite cope with Mozart and Beethoven too? Were we about to sit down to a large meal, possibly in the wrong order. Can the cheese course be a transcendental experience I wondered? Bach to begin certainly, a substantial starter with one of the mid period keyboard toccatas and two ‘distant’ preludes and fugues, but then a keyboard suite by Rameau?
 
When I listen to Beethoven though I want to hear a work on its own, unencumbered round about with other musics.  A recent experience of several hours driving to hear a single Beethoven symphony has remained close and vivid, and an experience that brought me close to tears. So I imagine that I might only hear Op.110 to make that opening sequence of chords so ominously special. The introduction seems to come from nowhere and does not connect with musical past, except perhaps the composer’s own past. It is as though the pianist puts on a pair of gloves imbued with the spirit of the composer, and these chords appear . . . and what is there that might possibly prepare the listener for the journey that pianist and listener embark upon?  Certainly not the soufflé of Mozart’s K.332.
 
The audience is hardly a smattering of coats, hats and grey hair. There is another piano recital in town tonight and this is but the artist’s preview of a forthcoming concert at a major venue. Our pianist is equipping herself for a prestigious engagement and sensibly recognizes the need to test out the way the programme flows in front of an audience, and in a provincial church where she is not entirely unknown. I admire this resolve and wonder a little at the long-term planning which makes this possible and viable.
 
Now a figure in black walks out from the shadows to stand by her piano. Coming from stage right she places left her hand firmly on the mirror-black case above the keyboard. She looks at her audience briefly, and makes a bow, almost a curtsey, an obeisance to her audience and possibly to those distant spirits who guard the music she is to play. We will not see her face again until the next time she will stand at the piano to acknowledge our applause after the Bach she is about to play. Her slightly more than shoulder-length hair is cut to flow forward as she holds herself to play; her face is often hidden from us, her expression curiously blank. Perhaps she has prepared herself to enter a deep state of concentration that admits no recognition of those sitting just in front of her. Her dress is long and black with a few sparking threads to catch the careful lighting. Without these occasional glimmers her ****** movement would be unnoticeable. As it is the way the light is caught is subtle and quietly playful, though not enough to distract, only remind us that though in black she is wearing the kind of starry sky such as you might perceive in crepuscular time.
 
Thus, we already sense so much before she has played a note there is a firm slightly dogged confidence and reverence here in her approach to instrument and audience. And in the opening bars of the Bach toccata that is manifest; and not just a confidence born out of some strategy against nervousness, but a ritual of welcoming to this music that now spills out into the partially darkened church. The sonorousness and balance of the piano’s tone surprises. It is not a fine piano, but it has qualities that she seems to understand. There is a degree of attentive listening to herself that enables her to control dynamics and act resolutely on the structure of the music. When the slow section of this four-part toccata appears there is a studied gentleness and restraint that belies any ****** led gesture or manner. Her stance and deliberation at the keyboard remain determined and in control, unaltered by the music’s message. She does not pull her body backwards as seems the custom with so many who feel they have to show us they are stroking and coaxing such gentleness and restraint out of the keyboard.
 
As the final fugato of the toccata flows at almost twice the speed I’ve ever heard it, my concentration begins to disengage. It is too fast for me to follow the voices, I miss the entries, and the smudged resonance of the texture hides those details I have grown over so many years to know and love. This is Glen Gould on speed, not the toccata that resides in my musical memory. I am aware of missing so much and my attention floats away into the sound of it all. It seems to be all sound and not the play of music.
 
In this stage of disengagement I sense the tense quality of her right leg pedalling with the tip of a reddish shoe just visible, deft, tiny flicks of movement. She turns her face away from the keyboard frequently, looking away from the keyboard through the choir to the high altar; and for a moment we see her upturned face, a blank face, possibly with little or no make up, no jewellery. A plain young woman, mid to late thirties perhaps, and not a face marked by children or a busy teaching life, but a face focused on knowing this music to a point at which there is almost a detachment, where it becomes independent of her control, flowing momentarily beyond herself.
 
Then she reins the toccata in, reoccupies it; she is seeking closure for herself and for her audience whose attention for a short while has been, as the Quakers say, gathered. Gathered into a degree of silence, when breathing and the body’s sense and presence of itself disappear, momentarily, and musical listening moves from a clock time to a virtual time. There is a slowing down, an opening out, even though in reality’s metronomic time-field there is none.
 
There is a hesitation. With more Bach to follow, should we applaud? With relief after holding the flight of time’s arrow in our consciousness, just for those concluding minutes and seconds we acknowledge and applaud - the beginning of the concert.
RAJ NANDY Jun 2015
AN EXOTIC JOURNEY TO THE
               KHYBER PASS!
              By Raj Nandy

“When spring-time flushes the desert grass,
Our caravan wind through the Khyber Pass.
Lean are the camels but fat the frails,
Lighter the purses but heavy the bales!
As the snowbound trade of the North comes down,
To the market square of Peshawar town.”
- Rudyard Kipling (Dec1865- Jan 1936).

Those immortal lines of Kipling had enticed me,
To delve into famous Khyber’s exotic History ;
And today I narrate its wondrous story!

THE KHYBER PASS:
Steeped in adventure, bloodshed and mystery,
The Khyber remains the doorway of History!
Winston Churchill, then a young newspaper
correspondent in 18 97 had said, -
‘Each rock and hill along the pass had a story
to tell! ’
Cutting across the limestone cliffs more than
thousand feet high,
This narrow winding path of 45 km’s stretch,
Cuts through the Hindu Kush mountain range!
Forming a part of the ancient Silk Route between
Central and South Asia;
Linking Kabul with Peshawar town during those
early days of Pre-Independent India!
The area is inhabited by fierce Pashtun tribesmen,
who live by their ancient Honor Code;
They value their land and liberty, and their winding
mountain roads !
They can be the greatest of friends and deadliest
of foes;
And as the saying goes, for a friend a Pashtun
can even give up his life;
But he never forgets a wrong or when rubbed on
the wrong side !
He always avenges a wrong deed done, -
Even after decades, through his sons!
The indigenous tribes living along the pass,
Regard this area as their sole preserve!
They have levied a toll on all travelers from
the earliest days,
For their safe conduct and passage through the
Khyber, - as Historians say!

HISTORIC INVASIONS THROUGH KHYBER:
At its highest point the Khyber is 3500 ft in height,
But its strategic importance can never be denied!
Around 2000 BC came the Indo-Aryan tribes
from Central Asia,
Migrating to the rich fertile plains of Ancient India!
In 326 BC, the great Alexander came through,
By bribing the local tribes to gain their favour,
To defeat King Porus on the banks of Jhelum River;
And set up his short-lived Bactrian Empire!
In 1192 AD Afghan warlord Mohammad Ghori, -
Invaded India to set up The Sultanate at Delhi!
In 1220 Genghis Khan with his Mongol hordes
came through the Khyber;
With the help of local tribesmen to plunder the
ruling Arab Empire!
In 1380 through this pass came Timur Lane,
To wreck and destroy the Delhi Sultanate!
And finally from Kabul through the Khyber path,
Came Babur to establish the Mogul Empire with
his victory at Panipath!
From 1839 till 1919, here the British had fought,
- three ****** Anglo-Afghan Wars!
And before retreating, drew the famous Durand
Line to ally fears;
But this Line is now the cause of bickering and
tribal tears!

THE BRITISH KHYBER RAILWAY:
At Jamrud Cantonment town 17 km west of
Peshawar,
Lies the doorway to the historic Khyber!
The track passes through a breath-taking rugged
mountainous terrain, -
Through 34 tunnels, over 92 bridges, a 42 kilometer’s
of winding stretch!
A five hour’s journey at Laudi Kotal gets complete;
The line stands as a tribute to British Engineering
feat!
The legendary Khyber Rifles had guarded the
western flanks of the British Empire,
With garrisoned troops guarding this route entire! @
Since 1990 this train is run by a private enterprise, #
With local tribesmen always taking a free joy ride!
Recent Taliban attacks made Pakistan to close
the Khyber Pass,
An uneasy truce prevails, only God knows how
long it will last ?!
But with that Durand Line of 1893 demarcated,
Forty million Pashtuns today stand divided, -
Between Pakistan and Afghanistan!
With hopes, aspirations and dreams of becoming
United!
- Raj Nandy
New Delhi .

NOTES:-
Battle Of Panipath, April 1526, where Babur defeated numerically
superior forces of Ibrahim Lodhi; thereby establishing the Moghul
Empire in India!
On 04Nov1925, the British inaugurated the Khyber Railway to carry
troops up to Laudi Kotal on the other end, short of the Afghan border
to guard the western flanks of the British Empire!
@KHYBER RIFLES: - Raised in early1880s with HQs at Laudi Kotal,
& garrison troops manning the Forts at Ali Masjid near the
mid-way point of the Pass, and also at Fort Maud to the east of the
Khyber Pass.
KHYBER RAILWAYS: With 75 seats, a kitchenette, and two toilets;
pulled by two old Lancashire engines of 1920 vintage! It cuts across
Peshwar Airport under Air Traffic Control! It was stopped in 1982, as
economically not viable! Started again by a Private Enterprise
in 1990, in collaboration with the Pak Railway! After the Partition of
India in 1947, the Khyber is under the Federal Administered Tribal
Area of Pakistan! A difficult and a volatile region to govern! The
Khyber now remains closed due political reasons! Thanks for
reading.
* ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH RAJ NANDY
Even if I loved thee a thousand times, still thou'd never be real.
But still, in t'ese dark miseries and dreams of th' night-
ah, just like t'is silent night of ours
And t'ose fierce fairy tales of young hours
Thou'd still be shaken off my realms
As soon as morn comes-and unveils anew, my charms.
O, death, how lush and inviting thou art,
even though at t'is early age thou might
still be asleep and thus soundeth really far.
Thou art but as naughty as t'ose abundant peeping stars,
brimming with locks of divine warmth and wealth
T'ey shalt again, tease up my mind
Whilst capture my rude, hating heart;
and once more shall t'is gruesome life turn into a solitude
Beside promises t'at canst harm souls' benign attitude.
But as soon as thou art gone; thou might just be no longer safe
And to my conscience thy threat is no more than a slave
Thy delicacy is but servile and uninviting
In t'ose choruses of blood and suffering
For which our senses should nay be proud;
but only of our genuine voices and gravity
T'at though sometimes seem virtual,
but still, are crafted within reality.

And yes, my painting, behind thy soul was ever born thy art,
Locked safely within thy summer foliage and forests
But shall I, for your goodwill ever be sketched?
Ah, one swiftly done, and miraculously correct-
yes, one only, my love, for th' very sake of single jests!
For in thy eyes hovers my triumph,
and in t'ose bogs beneath-
yes, th' ones idling about thy feet,
are cuddled-just here like my little heart, my love.
A sacred love t'at is thrown about
But to which my thirst canst never shout.
Ah, as if my voice is hoarse, and not loud-
and soon I step into whose soils, shall be sanely caught.
Caught and swung around thy idyll-though against my will;
amongst heaven's sandy shoals, and t'eir creepy windowsill.
Oh, and be defected with t'ose blades of thy swords, how evil!
Bereft of my sanity, prudence and sometimes too-bitter delicacy
As I dance around to those lands of hurtful mockery.
Be my soul's delighted worry, and mouth-oh, but mouth of blasphemy!
Ah, how of which I'm now devilishly tired!
Though you might be my eternal sire,
and beside whom my virginal soul shall forever feel so sure
As if my pride shall never ever retire,
everything shall altogether be wounded and obscure
But comely and true, just like t'at shimmering white-lipped dew
With breaths so smooth, like one from my feelings for you.

Ah, my prince! T'is craze for thee is an arrogant little devil;
and its longing for thee which gradually eats away my soul
and at times ****** and tells me harshly what to feel.
Just like t'ose ill-hearted fruits of people's minds
For which t'eir villains wouldst even in death bleakly whine
I am but forever bound to thee;
just like thou art already inside of me;
For in majestic times of our days
Thou shall hungrily partake
my fruity; but eager soul, soul away
and marvel about th' visages of my purity
I shall always but love thee once more;
no matter how boastful thou art,
and detestable virginal pain might be!
For thou art always to me as pure,
though unconvincingly art forever in vain-
For t'ose loveless satisfactions thou hath procured-
and premature pain thou hath delightfully endured.
But healthily t'ese senses shall always love thee
And with such tragedies and tears
canst t'ey but forgive thee only
Because, regardless of how untrue thou art;
You lifted my soul when I was down
And cheered me up 'twixt yon last wound
Dark was th' night t'at day, ye' tender was the moon
As both would pass and dusk would fade away soon
And into my blood thou injected th' real meaning of virtue
Whenst I was all wasted and coldly blue
Whilst my thoughts had not even a clue.

Ah, painting, but still, our love is incorrect as a tragedy-
for t'is world is too exhaustive and greedy
And at times elusive whenst but not necessary-
to grant our love th' chance we needst best!
Oh, but hark; hark once more, my love!
Over t'ere are bursts and chants of a heartbroken violin,
Though spurned by heretic hanging clouds,
slandered by boastful chirping winds.
But, no matter; no matter how hard it might seem
Thou art still to me an indescribable story;
and in thy red cheeks lies my stranded vitality
Signs of virtuous tenderness and curtained loyalty
As though thou art but still with no sin;
No sin; and ah! No stain, no stain at all-of
neither viable crossness nor madness
Though thy cleverness is at times no more to be seen
As once thou said, t'at for thee t'ere might just be
no any further happiness.

Ah! And trapped shall I be, within poisonous vileness
Should I not be granted thee
For thou art th' only soul I love, and idolise
Through whom my life was once formed, and characterised.
For love, to me is like a whole pattern;
and thus needst to be complete;
Thereby in t'is sense-loving him is but like denying
my own merit-merit t'at I am part of, and sure of-
for it is not love, though he might; as fate might say;
just as reliable and handsome and sweet.
But still, he is not thee!
And by no chance, is being not thee is but the same,
as being thee!
How fraudulent, and gross-t'is comparison all be!
Ah! And so thou knoweth, t'at he is, too me-
more even not than a stunning evening doll
Like those ones I hath seen so often
strutting about posh malls
Whilst with heartlessness welcoming
and sneering at innocent cold falls
With faces too stern, yellow, and sometimes bold;
Too bold to be true, much less sincere
And wholly unlike thine-amongst those sins;
t'at for thou honestly admit; look still sparkling and keen;
thus so astoundingly charming my veins and curdling my blood
Until thy unread shadows but reach my heart;
With such braveness and th' frankness of a gentleman
Like at that moment-whenst we told each other's life stories, back then.

Ah, and lure, lure my heart, my love!
And play with it soon as we sit 'mongst th' groves;
I would like to lay again about thy breast,
as I whisper once more to thy chest;
t'at it is truly thee that my soul loves;
and invites to love from t'is moment to end.
Ah, but t'is love started I knew not when,
though never have I thought thou art just my friend.
And lie, just lie to me no more,
t'at thou, just like me-but needst me to thy very core,
with a love t'at seems impatient,
but is born still, from pure virtue and resilience.
Oh! How valuable thou art to me, darling!
Thou who art to me such a mindful; soulful treasure,
and betwixt thy impurity thou remaineth but pure;
Thou are a smiling cloud to my blinding sun;
but sunlight to my rain as soon as it is done.

And thick and tough just as yon bough may seem,
thou shall forever be to me more t'an him!
I shall do and always want thee,
it is thy picture t'at I keepest within and about me.
Ah! And to t'is world, I promise, I shall not bluntly surrender
as how my wailing heart it shall never disrupt!
For thee I shall swear with a thousand loves greater,
t'at from actualising thee, I shall never be stopped!

Then please, please me, o my love-once more,
and talk to me and look at me sweetly as just never before.
For I love thee brightly and gently, as how air loves breath;
and so shall I love thee purely and greatly, as how life loves death.
Tyler G Dec 2012
I am the shattered glass on your speckled floor. I am your blatant disregard; I am your car’s speedometer: the needle is well into the triple digits. I am the fresh rain on the old asphalt, the slick, frictionless surface between rubber and wet asphalt.
I am disease, destruction.
I am the spirit that breaks up families; I am a home wrecker. I am six years of marriage, a strong bond, destroyed. I am seventeen years, two houses, two marriages, two divorces. I destroy, I break, I mistreat, I use. I disobey.
I am apathy; “Who cares?” I am natural disasters, I plague your towns and ruin your ecosystems. I am global warming, holes in the Ozone; holes in your brain. I am ecstasy, euphoria, nostalgia; I am illicit substances. I am good, I am bad, right, wrong. I am “three lefts make a right”.
I am your daily struggle; your endeavors to abscond from conformity, from similarity, one-mindedness. Social destruction internally, from the people within. We eat away at our own regime, scouring for anyone different to spite them while we chew away and succumb to our own insanities while the nonconformists, the infidels, the rebels, the heretics, they stand by and watch you. We are different, but join together as one physically, and watch you, you mentally attached beings, destroy yourselves with your pretty clothes, expensive makeup and two door cars.
I resist, I defy, I am a renegade from the mental oneness. I have my personal oneness, and that’s what I am. I am one being, one soul, one complete set of organs, bones, tissues and veins, one sentient form. I am the laughter in your ears, the heckles from your classmates. You are your insecurity, I am your apathy.
This is my harangue, my lecture to society, my discourse of great unconcern. You all, you all one mental being whom cannot think for themselves until conjoined with someone as the same likeness. You cannot understand these words I repress your likeness mindfuck with. My apathy is wasted on the ignorant, the solitary conformation, the greedy mind ***** of this world; you longing to be like someone else. You want to fit in, and henceforth, my words have been squandered, left here on this domain to take up space, this viable invention carrying one more nonsensical harassment of the conformers. I am the freckles on your face, I am the birthmarks on your skin. I am the dandruff in your hair, the pimples on your face, the purity of your skin sans daily application of makeup to hide the imperfections that everyone has, that everyone knows about, the imperfections that you don’t want people to think you have. You wish to be a divine being, one without mistakes, from birth to death, your celestial life will be filled with lies that the conformers are force fed. They crave that. You all crave ***** lies, filthy gossip.
I am a loaded gun; I am the second amendment of this worthless country’s constitution. I am the Hemp paper it’s written on; the implausibilities of this country, this state of oneness, conforming. I am the embarrassment you seek to shun from your life. “Oh my God, dad, stop embarrassing me!” You are your phone bills, you are lethargy with regards to other humans’ emotions.
You lead the conformers; they aspire to be you. You shoot down the differences of the nonconformists. You dash individuality and support pop culture, a culture of mental oneness. You are your disgust and I am rewarded. You hate me because I’m not you, we are not connected through the same telepathic, social, daily mindfuck. We love that; I want you to hate me, because I am winning. I am winning your war against yourself. By being different, I have, unbeknownst to you, pitted that piece of your brain that has been unaffected by your grand scheme of oneness against yourself.
You are bemused, destroyed from within, yet you fight it, because you are connected with millions of others through one enormous mindfuck, like aliens. You all dress the same and have the same values. I am different. I am fine with walking alone, I know how to handle myself alone and I am not afraid to be alone. Point your pristine fingers at me, cover your mouths and giggle when I walk passed; those pristine fingertips will only seek to find the comfort of a cellphone or a keyboard - a reliable second option to your oneness. So go ahead, be the same children, live a robotic life of ignorance and wealth, go, live like kings and queens.
I am happy for who I am and where I’ve gotten because I am different, and you have yet to realize each time you ridicule me, shun me, disregard my absurd practices, you are defeating yourself; it makes me better. I am detached from you, from your continental mindfuck, your baiting fear of singularity, uniqueness. I am unique, different, single; I am also joined together of my own oneness, a oneness of will, of physical bonds between different people. I learn to adapt, to accept; you will botch the young, restless years of your life becoming one with everyone through mental bonds of instability, ignorance, of togetherness.
I am the strength which you lack and cannot learn. I am what I want and there is no feasible way for me to lose faith, my individuality. Point your fingers at me; you are defeating yourself.
Quixotically frenetic hegira to xanadu                    
Frantic pedantic febrile fanatic
Stalwart bulwark ubiquitous tableau
Diabolically maniacal dementia emphatic


Proximity prophylaxis ; perimeter parameter peripheral
Idiomatic virtuoso ; cognate somatalogy habitual

Objectified interstitial ; extrapolation rendition irascible
Puissant presage (apex) ; vortex crux discernible

Diminutive minutia ; iota inductive interpolations
Adjunct turpitude ; impropriety veneration conflagrations

Squanderous squalor ; scavenge scandalous inveterate
Irrefragable reiteration ; felicitous acuity recapitulate

Aptitude ribaldry ; rigmarole extraversion embezzlement
Autonomous avarice ; oscillating ostracism impediment

Irkness ire ; graffiti mantra reiteration
Inductive interpolations ; confluent catalyst trepidation

Allegorical alacrity ; pervasion inductions introspection
Egalitarian existentialism ; eyrie altruism exculpation

Analogous collusions ; adumbrate intimate obfuscate
Aorist actuator ; preterite rendition intimidate

Transient turbulence ; totally tomorrow tyrannical
Tactile acuity ; lucid lurid eidetical

Ancillary conjectures ; conjure connivance integumence
Impetus volition ; analogous confluence adamance

Palindrome pandemonium ; prestissimo rendition obdurate
Myopic Mermidon ; anathema android amalgamate

Subliminal nostalgic ; mnemonics nepotism subordinate
Cavalier humeral ; superficial syllogism conglomerate

Pilferous wheedling ; finagler longevous loquacity
Ramification decorticate ; declension suborn temerity

Mangle maim ; hectic mayhem mutilate
Relative rationality ; rational relativity confiscate

Hypothesis propound ; theoretical incursion grandiloquence
Dynamic progressive ; Endergonicaly protensive magniloquence
                                                   ­                                                                 ­        
Heuristic psychokinesis ; psychosomatic misanthropies equilibrist Haberdashery hauberk ; greaveness gauntlets catalyst

Soliloquious reverie ; phantasmagoria phalaxy enclitic
Prestidigitation gesticulation ; guidon gyration xenophobic

Demagoguery demonstrative ; precocious precursor impunity
Monad ebullition ; mirador bartizan recumbency

Ebullition mesomerism ; redolence proxy platonic
Obstreperous conflagration ; pilgrimage prophet atomic

Impending preponderance ; vituperative allusion stark
Bleakness blear ; photic ion quark

Surrogate onerous ; doughty statute numinous
Plunderous pillaging ; usurper squanderous nous

Quintessential frolic ; amorous enamor sequatious
Segregant sequesterous ; confiscate conformity edacious

Objectified collusions ; surrogate whirlpool vertex
Cohesive coercion ; pragmatic adhesive matrix

Pandemic plenipotentiary ; salient viable seethe                             
Tortuous prosthesis ; telekinesis taunt teethe

Pander paphian ; paltry ******* ramificate
Plenery putschist ; quintessential kitsch procrastinate

Telepathy tantalize ; talisman futurity copacetic
Aura auspicious ; clairaudience volatile phatic

Lexical etymology ; illiteracy idolatrous littoral
Panoramic tableau ; tabula intransigence clitoral

Logistical tactician ; mystical mores platitude
Archaic anachronism ; futurity pervasion perpetude

Obsequious diligence ; extrapolation iterative cohort
Extravagant exorbitance ; agnate aggregate cavort

Anaclitic  analgesia ; anacrusis excursion sojourn
Pilgrimage prophet ; silhouette journey taciturn

Ethereal eugenics ; euphenics constituency malfeasance
Trapesium traverse ; grandiose trivia munificence

Revelation revision ; cosmic enigma anomalous
Euthenics ingratiation ; sycophant philanderous exogamous

Renaissance raunchy ; ephemeral effulgence antonym
Effluent effusion ; Cornucopia coup synonym

Metaphysique cyborg ; cybernetics appliance prognostication
Splendiferous autonomous ; elliptical empathy retrospection

Vaunt ness verve ; multifarious nefarious concatenate
Concoct catenary ; bilkness bightness syncopate

Collusion recalcitrance ; exude emote id
Imbue adept ; except inept did

Psychic regalia ; cephalic fallacious adult raw
Concubinage condolence ; preternatural propensity ne plus ultra
BDFHKLT  ACEIMNORSUVWX
How many chocolates did this person eat?
If the chocolate was made before the chocolate was eaten.
It melted away through the process of heating.
But, how could the chocolate melt if the chocolate was almost freezing?

Its exposure to the sunrise was apparent,
But, at what time did it leave before becoming disparate?
The time difference was dwelled in effect,
before the chocolate was seen in such repent.
  
Therefore, the state of the chocolate has been pronounced viable.
In the mouth of the person of which this question ultimately relies upon.
In the sense of being eaten once it was made,
while maintaining its sweet composure without heating or freezing away.
  
How many chocolates did this person indulge?
If in reality it was only made an hour before it was divulged!
Only this person could really say,
to relive this encounter one must divulge away.
  
While the mystery revolves around the chocolates dense state,
We must indulge in a chocolate now and allow this question to dissipate.
  
By: Michael M. De La Fuente
This poem was written as a response to a mindful observation of a chocolate covered strawberry.
aniket nikhade Oct 2016
Over a period of time difference of opinion leads to debate following which mutual understanding might take place.
Somewhere down the line,
something might click,
then signs of mutual understanding will be there in offing.

Mutual understanding will bring the much needed change,
a change that's desired,
since it also fulfills the need of hour.

If mutual understanding takes place, then nothing like that since it moves in the direction of drawing a line of conclusion, which is the only reason because of which the debate commenced.
If mutual understanding is still a viable option,
yet far away,
then it’s time to keep negotiation apart and away from been a part of the debate.

Finally difference of opinion can lead to something positive and healthy, if the debate that is ensued following a difference of opinion is in the right direction,
in right spirit,
focus remaining on point of concern,
substance with regards to what’s going on in mind is not disturbed in anyway,
most importantly the debate is held on proper grounds.

Difference of opinion is also a sign for something constructive, if the mind is determined to make sure that the odds which are going to come along the way will not only be handled and tackled, but also taken out and taken away from the way of getting things done.

Finally it’s difference of opinion that makes team work interesting, if it is taken in the right spirit at the given moment in time.
brandon nagley Mar 2016
Note; this is for all to read everyone .... Everyone involved in HP war of words with another, , everyone on this site... This isn't singling out anyone, this is truth, that no one will say. Though I choose no sides, I stand for god, and god told us to love one another.... So here's a message for all to read. Note; this message isn't to boost wolf by any means, this message isn't to boost me. This message isn't to cut down anyone, or hurt anyone. I support all of you equally. And love wolf just as much as all involved in war with wolf,as wolf wars with you!!!...,read first, and see truth. As there's a war here over words between all. So this goes for all... I'll tell you before you read this, after I found out Gary originally unblocked wolf first. Mine heart spoke to me to unblock wolf and write him. And wolf was humble enough to write me kind message, and the message is from a hurting but real and open heart... As everyone knows me and wolf had throughout the time I've been here been dealing with our own conflict. Though who am I to scorn this man? And judge him? Being a sinner mine self, and a man whose done wrong a lot in life... Please read, if I loose support from even those I support, so be it, but truth is, I stand with god, and the reason why were here is to love one another, and forgive. No matter what the actions or words said. Please read,this goes for wolf,and all in a battle with wolf, and wolf in battle with these others who I love just the same as wolf, no partisan ways meaning not choosing sides, just speaking truth to each of you so please listen and read.

(Wolf Spirit  5 days ago)
thanks for the unblock and friendliness, B..i know you have seen some viscera from me....i apologize for that...seems some folks have ways of making all look bad in the wrong light. i wont use names...please accept my whole hearted apologies for any misdirections.....and indiscretions....if you prefer, i will post a public apology. HP is no longer a viable option for my poetry, and i am sorry that this came at this time......you really are, and have turned out to be, a stand up guy. may your travels be fruitful and your days be many and most jubilant. bless you, good sir poet.

(brandon cory nagley  4 days ago)
Hey thank you friend wolf!!! Glad you wrote friend , I wanted to yet didn't feel the time was yet right , not knowing all to say right asap, lol. Glad to see you hanging in their Wolfie. As you see I try to stay away from others who still cut you down so on and don't like poems that cut you down.. I have no hard feelings against you like so many others do, though I respect the ones who don't like you much , though I respect you a lot to, and stand like you just to write poetry. Not here to hate or **** with words another,.. But to learn from each other, show love to another, as I have seen you do give love to so many despite many fights on here with others.,,I've seen and see your beautiful soul wolf... You are a man whose humble, and has much influence!!! Use thy influence to the good brother, when others attack you like I've been attacked.. forgive them no matter if they keep attacking, forgive them. When one cheeks slapped, let them slap the other,,, the fact is you win with love wolf..hatred and anger as you well know, as any human knows burdens our souls, not just in this living physical world. But the next spiritual world. The next reality that's more real as you know then this one. So while here we need most to love another... Forgive always! Even when people keep attacking you and backstabbing you and all other hating speeches, or defaming, and ones murdering us with words, or physically, however the case, yes as you know we must stand up against it. Though while doing it, showing the one killing us love, forgiveness, maybe just maybe to change their hearts in the process of that love, friend wolf I don't expect no apology to the public lol you are a good soul, yet with burdens like me and everyone else...I've seen you wrote you had a stroke? Many say that's quote ( a lie) though I don't know whether you have had stroke or not? I can't judge you and I also can't assume you didn't... If you did friend I pray you will heal wolf... You want to know something? Since I first joined hp I've always respected you as a soul... The one behind the flesh and bones....... I've always respected your soul is bright, many as you know hate bright lights.,. And like me friend. You have many spiritual demons you are battiling as I have ( literally) battled them with proof, not just in the head lol... As I see you battle very real ones, though wolf you can and we can overcome them, and part of that is trading love from your heart, to those of hatred, and when darkness comes... Light it up with light... Your a true light wolf not just a poetic one, but a true spirit of light and yes everyone deals with struggles, depression at times! And literally demons that attack us on a regular basis, attacking both me and you, not speaking of people actually speaking ( demons forces) and real demons, we can overcome them. Though you must have faith to do so, it took a lot for you to write me I know, and its taking me some courage,,, I have no hard feelings for you friend!!! As I said, I respect your real soul wolf. I take no sides with no one.., as I friend I tell you this, I love all people, you, everyone including others who have all written bad about one another,,, I love each and every one of you equally, not just because your all flesh blood and bone like me. But because god put us here to love another, not judge another's skin. Or look, or life... But to help one another... And as you know in poetry especially a site like this, we can learn from another, if we choose not to learn from another and hate another, what help does that give another soul? And our soul? NONE help... So friend, I take no sides,., I stand for gods love to others, what we were sent here to do, love another.., and wolf I see you have love in you. I don't hate you nor any others, the fact is I'll say this as a friend ( I've seen you attack others, though the other truth, I've seen others attack you) and a person who wants to show love, and not give into hatred I step out of the bounds beyond the hatred that was spewed out on this site..,, but I love each and every one of you all equally... Now you all must do the same.., mine Christ I believe in spoke this... As a christian this is what I do, even if I didn't believe in jesus I'd still do it,,,
John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 john chapter 3-
13Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

One who hates another god considers same as being a murderer, and no life will abide in him, and he won't have life, our goal here is to love and forgive always friend..
Verse 23-same chapter and john...
23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.



Just as peter the disciple of christ spoke and asked jesus he said ( lord how many times shall I forgive a man? 7 times lord,).....
Jesus replied to him( I tell you forgive him 77 times) he was trying to teach peter,, there is no limit on how many times you forgive, you always
ALWAYS forgive, no matter what friend wolf. always,
As I forgive you Wolfie... As I hope as well if there was anything in the past I don't remember saying if maybe I did wrong to, you may forgive me.,, thank you for your letter wolf, you ever need a friend... Please write ok(:: anytime wolf...

Your friend, Brandon Cory Nagley

(Wolf Spirit  4 days ago)
thank you for that....hang in there

brandon cory nagley  4 days ago
No thank you friend wolf like I said friend write anytime you want, and you ever need anything just write (:::

Wolf Spirit  4 days ago
thanks, B
I wrote as you noticed, I stay away from any writing cutting another down, defaming another, and hateful angry words, whether they be from wolf, others, all involved with war!!!!so on. YES wolf has attacked many, though fact is how is this war on HP ( poetic site) going to end. If no one ends it? The fact is wolf will keep attacking back if being attacked, even his name, wolf you know what a wolf does? They will keep fighting when you attack them. Christ spoke to you when someone smacks your cheek, you turn the other and let them smack that also, This goes for wolf and everyone involved in this nonending war!!!! Peace doesn't come by continuing in attacking... This goes for each of you involved... Peace comes from being humble, forgiving another ( as Christ also forgave you by suffering on a cross,) the Christ you deny by actions and words,.,, as Christians there is a verse we go by. ( love god, because he FIRST LOVED US) yet I love you wolf, though friend if you keep attacking Vicki Gary, r, James, woody, so so. Whoever. Wolf this is for you, if you keep attacking. You will be attacked back. Though fact is, same goes the other way around. If others keep attacking wolf. The WAR WONT END!!! Why? Because neither of you are doing the simple task of just stopping the warring words... Instead every one of you! Everyone!!! Continue to attack another, cussing at one another.... Though in reality, you could all ALL stop the hateful things toward another, and instead attacking another, learning from each other... Sharing a poem that's beautiful as all of you I look up to as some of the most amazing poets I've ever met!!! And most amazing poets in today's era!!! Though you know what saddens me? Not just seeing poets attack poets, but you not realizing there are real demons tempting each and every one of you... The ones others deny that I deal with spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally. Real ones !!! With real proof as I said already. Not ( ones in head for you skeptics..) Real demons that scratch me leaving physical marks. As old testament spoke of the fallen angels ( demons) and Satan being kicked out of heaven. By god, because they followed Satan, and turned from god. And those fallen angels run the first and second heavens. Air we breathe and sky are first heaven. Second heaven universe planets, stars moon sun, third heaven Paul spoke of where Christians will be raptured ( or caught up, taken away) as spoken in new testament, where real heaven is ( gods throne)... These demons are swaying you all, because Satan's goal to humanity, is to ruin them. Why? Because it goes against god. To pin another against his own flesh. To have one **** another ( mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically) this is reality happening before thy own eyes. And no ones paying ATTN!!!!! This is reality, what's happening on your planet... Take a look around you can see there's not just a warring already between humanity, but between good angels and bad. Gods angels and the fallen ones... Yet the world isn't waking only few are compared to over 6 billion plus people on the planet...so I ask each and every one of you a personal ? This goes for wolf, and all involved with wolf... And war... everyone of you plus more names I can't think of. I ask you this. Do you think a continuance of hateful words toward another will make peace? Or continue to hurt another? I ask you this? Do you forgive? Can you? Is it in you heart if ones hates you and continues to do so, can't you forgive them as Christ said to peter do 77 times? ( meaning no end to forgiving) or continue to be hurt and respond back to another in verbal violence,.. Not helping any one of your souls...I also ask you this? You realize one day, every one of you shall pass away. When you pass away ( die) give last breathe, what you did in this life, you get to see played back for you, told by thousands in near death accounts ( real dying experience) people brain heart dead... You will see all you've done whether good or bad by god, or Christ (gods son) showing you as they'll all tell you. And I ask you this? When god shows you your life before your eyes. What will each and every one of you see? How you didint do as god wanted? ( love another, forgive another if even others mock hurt you **** you) what would you see in your life being played out before you? Hating others? Continuing to write hatred? Or will he show you your self forgiving and loving another as he asked? And will you see yourself giving unconditional love, as christ gave you on that cross, I ask you that ? And I will leave it at all....
Thanks
Your friend Brandon Cory Nagley... With this I'll leave you from Luke 6;27-49 king James bible.
(Jesus speaking)
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your *****. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Also good one for all
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant-
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
ConnectHook Sep 2015
A hymn to paired planethood: Venus hits Pluto
as death, in cold orbit, collides with biology
smashing to fragments: demonic astrology
(more a black hole than a love-star, it’s true though).
Cynical cure for Eve’s womanly grievance
Concupiscent consequence: lust’s bitter fruit –
ah the thought… changing Sin into mere inconvenience.

Margaret sang her seductive refrain
about weeding the garden and progress and light.
Her sisters should view her with scornful disdain
but instead have adopted her murderous rite.
With sang-froid she promoted her racist eugenics
(as if she had never herself been a fetus),
condemning her heirs to postmodern polemics
while nurturing ardent desires to defeat us.

Suppressing the lives that she flushed down the drain
she would liberate Death – and resistance was vain.
As a midwife to modern life (though on the “anti” side)
Old Matron Margie racked up quite a legacy
singing the praises of sanctioned infanticide
calling the shots for the coming sick century.
Planning, quite calmly, to “cleanse” certain races
her zeal was empowered by murderous graces.
She labored to bring us such pearls of subduction:
“dilation and curettage”, “women’s autonomy”
“viable fetus”, “procedure”, a “suction”
Hippocrates retches to hear the taxonomy;
words that turn Life into mere reproduction.

She enters the realms of the ****** and the motherless
roundly condemned by her feminine otherness.
Man’s first protection: the God-given womb
which no infant should have to regard as their tomb.

Dismembered dark cherubs, assembling, greet her
as demons (in scrubs) holding baby-parts meet her.
Long may she burn with the medical cynics
this mother of Moloch, this founder of clinics.
Convenience is king when abortion’s the Queen
and the profits swell big with each nubile teen…
yet the fruit of such carnage remains to be seen.

I send her this song as a funeral wreath
and a card inked in blood. You may read what is there:
“To the Matrix Supreme of our culture of death
from the souls of the infants you slew on the earth.
May your torment increase with the children you bear.”
http://tinyurl.com/ortqfvp

EC Pollick Aug 2014
He builds robots
with his bare hands.
He takes the wrenches
and the electronics
and the nuts and bolts
and makes out of nothing
Something.

And even though I don’t even know him.
I think I may love him a bit.

I think about
How he puts things together that weren’t connected ever before.
Fixing that which is broken
Or unmade
Or seemingly unfixable.
And proving the world wrong when this man-made machine
is just as alive as the rest of us.

The discarded
are made
into something with a renewed sense of purpose.
Proving recycling as a totally viable concept
[and not just a fad hippies whine about]
Right before your very eyes.

And as I watch him explain
High level mechanics
to the English majors like me,
I think about my broken heart
and the inability to truly love anyone in the last five years of my life
And I think

Maybe
There’s someone out there
Who can finally fix that.
Seriously, Robotics are ****.
Eryri Aug 2018
Struggling for a gift again,
Every year a new idea needed.
What can I get an agnostic who has everything?

Another Tiffany charm
Won't do any harm.

A clay pigeon shooting experience couldn't possibly miss

How about Afternoon Tea...
With me?

Wait, an idea that's viable,
A personalised Bible
Where, rather than 'God',
Her name instead:
"In the beginning Doris-Ann created the Heavens and the Earth"
Right through to:
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord Doris-Ann"

What a revelation,
A new gift to sweep the nation!
A personalised Bible
Whose sales will rival
The good book itself.

Such a gift might be great,
Until, at St Peter's gate,
Doris-Ann might have to explain
That she was once God on Earth
And that should be good enough
For an agnostic not to be rebuffed.
Odeleye Emmanuel Jun 2015
In a world where myths were made real, there lived a king who had the terific ability to turn any thing he made contact with into pure gold. First this strange abilty often called the midals touch made the king so rich, so that he became the richest in the entire realm. But there was something missing, it was the ability to feel and touch affectionately. Soon this young king's eyes fell on Shauna; who was the daughter of a commoner in a near by town. She was the prettiest thing he had seen in the whole world, when she smiled it shined like the sun and even when she frowned, it was like the splendor of the full moon garnished with the stars. What such raw beauty.
The king Mica soon couldn't sleep; he had laid his eyes on his dream queen.  But there was a problem, a sweet bitter problem, a problem that first was a blessing, a problem that had given him all the riches he couldn't have acquired normally.  He then realized that not all blessings were not totally blessings but they were like a sweet bitter candy. Which when tasted has a sweet taste but before long turns bitter. But all the same he couldn't sleep and when the king can't sleep all those in the palace would not sleep.
before long he called for his Wisemen, three of them showned up in a flash bowing on their kneels.
'' what is it that disturbs your majesty'' , the Wiseman in the centre said avoiding eye contact.
King Mica signed and silence lingered.
'' we are the most Wisemen in the entire realm nothing is beyond our wealth of knowledge'' another proclaimed.
The king then turned to the one that hadn't altered a word as if waiting for his own speech. '' our ears are open to listen your majesty'', the last one said.
  "which one of you has the power to left this cause off my neck", the king said.
" my lord which cause do you speak of " one of the Wisemen replied.
"None sence!" the king shouted in anger as he rose from his royal throne.
The whole palace trembled at the sound of the king's thunderous voice. The Wisemen fell back at the rage of the king.
"All my life I thought that this was a blessing from the gods little did I know that it would soon turn soar." king mica said letting his emotions in.
The men was stunned with fear, they had not seen the king in this light before. There was really a matter that must have lead to this.
"but your majesty is the wealthest in the entire realm what does thou seekest which had not in thy possession already" the man to the extreme right gently said.
The king's rage surged as though the Wisemen words were anger catalyst. " you ( he pointed in the direction of the one that spoke last) dare say that I have all I have ever desired?  Look at the palace all gold, look at my throne, GOLD!, my vessels made of gold, no doubt I am the wealthest but take a long hard look at me, look at my hands convered with gloves." he walked forward towards the Wiseman that spoke last.  The man trembled at the manner of approach of the king. He took a step backwards.
" anything that I touch suddenly turns into gold and am very sure that you should know what that means." king Mica said as he slowly removed the hand gloves on his right arm.
"I need the ability to touch, the ability to feel like any one else." now the king was right in front of the frightened man. " I am very certain you understand what I mean."he lifted his bare hand to the face of the short man in front of him.  The Wiseman knew what was about to occured but there was nothing he could do. He knew that every time the king gets angry, a new possession is added to his libary of great golden artifacts and right now he would become the new arrival to the king's collection.  But he had to try to stay alive.
" but oh king we are here to hel....." the king interrupted him by lifting his bare finger to the Wiseman's foreman about a centimeter away.
" m.....y lord..... " the man altered in fright.but he slowly noticed that he was freezing, he was  turning into gold. The king's finger had made contact with the man's forehead.
" Ahhhhhrgggg........."   he shouted in vain it was already too late. The others immediately fell with their faces towards the ground and worshipped the king in sore fear.
The king turned towards his throne leaving a new golden possession behind.  
" I have falling in love with someone but with this cause that would not be possible unless both of you come up with a way to lift this from me"
Silence filled the golden chamber where they were.
"ANSWER ME!!!", the king rised his voice.
Then one answered," we will definitely come up with something but your majesty must give some time"
" what time! Allow me to make my self clear enough,I need a reply and I need it in the next twenty four hours from now." he said politely
" and if you can't provide me a viable solution to this, both of you will no doubt meet your colleague in hades."
The king sat and dismissed the men kneeling in his presence.they hastily fled from his presence like shafts in the wind. He very well knew that the chances of being normal again was very slim. But what had to done had to be done. He would try all that was in his reach to attain his goals which was to marry Shauna, his dream queen. In few hours he would know his fate and he knew this.
This is a work in progress. Please let me know what you think about it.
softcomponent May 2014
Betwixt of any sense beyond experiment, I sat on the bed between shifts and out-whipped the bag of Concerta given to me by Matt, o'timey hard-worker-soft-souled Matt, who felt, perhaps, that I had a legitimate reason to explore this legal avenue of pharmaceutical mind-manipulation for reasons he would rather fathom in retrospect. I popped a single pill, and voilà, the legal-cocainnabinoid began to flow between my red and white blood-cells playing cops and robbers.

It is when I feel nostalgic that I feel the need to write. I remembered, at work, with all those strange everyone-elses faces gliding past (and myself annoyed at the general lack of positive reception "Hello there!" "h .. i ." is one sour-looking businessmans sultry whispered reply.. once, a woman told me 'look, I know that you are told to say hello at the door to everyone who enters, but I don't like it. I just want to shop in peace, and no, I don't need any help' and without case to what my managers could say, I somewhat-hissed-back, "if you don't want to be greeted, then perhaps you shouldn't walk into big private corporate establishments to find the books you're looking for," and she shrugged and muttered some ****-talk under her breath and glided upstairs to find a copy of Ayn Rand's Fountainhead or Machiavelli's The Prince to validate her bitter attitude, I bet, the sour witch), my time spent living in that backwater Esso suburb of Port Coquitlam back in 2011 when Occupy Wall Street was still a hungry potential, not yet bogged down in procrastinates over herbal teas and talk of chakras and enlightenment and how the typical Wall Street businessman probably never had a real ****** and hence had never truly satisfied the energies now burnt-to-crisps inside his Root Chakra or whathaveyou, where I believed I would find a better, more interesting world further from the musty-smallness of forest-drenched rain-drenched Powell River, only to discover I may be right outside my front door, but that's EXACTLY where I was, no further than right outside my front door.. I mean, for Goddaskes, I was born in Vancouver, this isn't a culturally-shocking move to New Delhi or Kathmandu--- and so on and so forth is how I once berated myself thru constant cycling thoughts of no-escape, I, a little walking hell of devils-advice and panic disorder-- the Great Big Port City of George Vancouver only succeeding in further overwhelming my already delicate attempt at false optimism thru self-voided Buddhist smalltalk as I travelled from bookstore to bookstore reading Alan Watts in shady attempts to save-myself but only digging my walking grave even deeper into the soil of feared-insanity.

Port Coquitlam itself was a small-town wearing a business suit and holding hands with an angry father forcing him to college for computer networking as it's the most economically viable market at hand.. at first, I did not see this. I saw my idolized imaginings of Vancouver (never Port Coquitlam), the shining water-reflected skyline of my past and present legacies, where my father once snorted ******* with a bohemian group of someones, and my mother tried LSD just to prove to her friends how bad it was (and lo and behold, what a terrible time she had!), all this Otherness, Strangeness, yet still Connected-- an Otherness with which I was taken, left to whisper into empty Campbell's cans so-as to speak with the city from a distance, two children growing older together 'til my inevitable return and our agreement to share costs on rent.

I returned, as planned. I returned, and found that old-best-friend hating the Homeless and loving the Rich-- spending time with the Peppy Plutocracy whilst enslaving the Middle Classes (first Letter Capitals to Assist YOU in Grasping my Anger with All Five Thumbs) and the horrors I saw in my already delicate state, all the starving addictives slouching-inching down the sides of ***** old walls, the only thing missing a smear of blood to follow their corpseish collapse, all just footnotes to history, footnotes to wealth and progress-reality, all footnotes with no shoes O my God O my Goodness and O Canada, Our Home and Native Land!

It hurt like it did, but I felt powerless and gaited. Felt like it were just as well me (*** it just as well is), I, in Vancouver.. *Great Big Port City of George Vancouver
.. saw the end-stretching-cold-legs of Nietzsche's Dead God.. those in cutthroat-black-suits armed with calculators and wives could afford private jets and yearly trips 'round our globular strangeness whilst others had to beg and berate and debate and break-down to get a crummy old bagel and a past-due mostly-empty jug of old milk and perhaps a 'side of fries with that order.'

What crushed me so much about this playing a Witness to God's Death (or, not so much a 'witness' as a relative asked to the morgue to identify the body) was my intuitive grasp that this is the poverty of the First World.. this is not as bad as it gets and on a scale of 1 to 10 this would only be a 3.. all the poor and displaced of Eastern Europe.. Moldovan families indifferent to the whims and what's taken.. someone called me a Socialist and said I would later grow out of it as 'reality' angled its rearing-ugly head to chop me smithereens like it did so mercilessly to the Poor and Irrelevant.. I looked at them and still look at people like them and think 'that is evil unsure of itself.. that is evil unaware... that is evil and evil is  evil to watch..' the Evil Act being the use of Money to purchase the world, demanding us all to pay royalties (mass royalties) for the privilege of life so afforded by them.. (the Sons and Daughters of God first stabbing their father then stabbing themselves then locking away and ignoring their young brother with cerebral palsy '*** he could never be armed with a calculator, nor wife)..

I learned, thru practice, to cope with these evils as laws-for-now. Coping did not mean tolerance, nor did coping mean agreement.. I had charged at life expecting hugs and bottles.. what I got was hugs and bottles.. all while I watched over the shoulder of whoever embraced me and saw young-others doing the same, where are the hugs and bottles..? they sank into the nether as the crowd ebbed past, ignoring the cries of pleading love, pleading love over time so traumatised as to distort this love (so inherent and implied in the Heart) into confusion, confusion into loss, and loss into hatred.. as the crowd ebbed past, the crowd ebbed past..

After 3 and a half months, I moved back home to Powell River.. the soggy ol' calm of what I already knew.. the warm arms of the rest, the warm arms of water-reflected sunsets.. and I got my hugs and bottles.

but was this really a happy ending?
Gavin silverman May 2019
Logically, if a tour guide tells you what to expect when walking through a haunted house, he first must tell the tour group when the monsters will jump out and how to handle situations like these. The guide must give strategies to the group to help people deal with what is ahead, and by doing so, he can prepare his group to see the haunted house in an uncommon way. This is an insightful way of giving people a different perspective about the experience of a haunted house. This way of experiencing a Halloween thrill allows people to be comfortable with what is being shown and can offer them to analyze it much deeper than just the mere experience. This is how a guide brings people to another dimension of understanding.
For centuries, philosophers and other logical master minds have been formulating models about what logic is. Defining terms to understand logic, philosophy, religion, and contradictions will provide people with the tools to grasp their own beliefs. This will show individuals what is clearly going on with people in Western Society. There are many things to address in people’s beliefs systems and the models that they use to understand logic. For example, a phone call and a further in-depth Interview resulted in a chance to ask questions from a professor at a well-known
college in Florida. This Professor specializes teaching philosophy and defining terms. This is what Professor Luke C. Rogers insisted:
“Things work, that's logic. If there's a mechanic that we figure out behind things whether it be math, science, the fundamental mechanics belong to logic. Logic is split into deductive and inductive branches” (Rogers).
I compared the definitions of deductive reasoning to a Philosophy professor and a Philosophy website that had multiple terms. This is a simpler definition of what Deductive reasoning means:
“Deductive reasoning, or deduction, is one of the two basic types of logical inference. A logical inference is a connection from a first statement (a “premise”) to a second statement (“the conclusion”) for which the rules of logic show that if the first statement is true, the second statement should be true” (“Deductive Reasoning”).
In other words, deductive reasoning goes from a general statement to a specific statement. Inductive reasoning is the opposite. Logic is reasoning. If one defines it based on common models from math, science, etc. They will accept established theoretical concepts. Math, science, and philosophy are forms of logic to classify and formulate opinions. If someone stated that math is merely a model of reality, would it be something temporary? The answer is controversial and can be understood in various ways. When formulating logic, one must first acknowledge what logic means. Some people need common models to understand what is called physical and non-physical reality. These are philosophies intended on explaining these forms:
“Philosophy is defined as the love of wisdom. Wisdom comes in two forms: truth and value/meaning.  The ways in which we get at truth and value/meaning constitute philosophy. Logic, for instance, is the direct study of truth and all the methods that human beings attain it” (Rogers).
Many times, common logical contradictions about beliefs will spread throughout the world. Contradictions can be common which is why a definition of what it means is vital for understanding if common beliefs are logically consistent. This was what Rogers has to say about the meaning of logical contradictions:  
“A logical contradiction would be a pair of statements where in both cannot be deductively true. That is, if one is known for certain to be true, the other can be known for certain to be false. A belief system that contains both such statements is shown inconsistent due to this contradiction” (Rogers).
By creating clear definitions in any theoretical discussion, one will be led logically to explore reasoning, either deductive or inductive. This will guide people to see how beliefs and reality can coexist. An example of this dichotomy lies in any discussion of religion.
Christianity is an example of how a belief system within which logic is only applied sometimes; many events that were believed to occur can lack logical proof. This shows how people can overlook logic when faith is involved in someone’s belief. Another example might be when someone definitively defines something to be healthy because it was tested and proved in a controlled study. Common belief systems and logical models like these are inherently flawed because change is consistent and must be inclusive in beliefs. Contradiction of beliefs are common in Western society and must be acknowledged to notice logical flaws. Throughout history, this has occurred multiple times. The founding fathers of our country owned slaves during the time they were enforcing equality. In the 12th hundreds, the series of holy wars took place to purify what was done by Christians.
Why would a group of people believe in Biblical stories that aren’t scientifically proven, and still believe in science? Many stories in the Christian Bible express what is called the “Word of God”. Contradictory beliefs are a phenomenon in Western society based on facts from the CIA. About “46.5% are Protestant in the United States” (“The World Factbook”). The majority believe in something that isn’t factual, yet people still believe in it anyway. Sometimes, people overlook what appears to be logical to worship a different belief. A portion of text from the Christian bible says:
“Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided…” (Exodus 14:21-31).
If people have enough faith in a story, then they will believe it under any factual, science-based understanding. However, this is contradictory to what some people believe because in this case, some people believe in science but only sometimes. To believe in science sometimes, is merely taking a logical model of reality and then making it convenient to what you believe in. It is also an example of how faith, logic, and beliefs can all be manipulated. By observing beliefs systems like these, one can show how contradictory our beliefs are to maintain our precious belief systems.
The effects of possessing blind faith can be both rational and irrational. Faith without proof is an indication of trust in the unknown. Some might say that faith can be proven through biblical scriptures. However, that perspective in based simply on interpretations of translations.
Is this sentence “This statement is false” true or false? This has been an ancient puzzle that hasn’t been rationally solved. Famous Greek philosophers have died, without solving this disturbing statement. An article from the “Curiosity” website explained further: “If the sentence is false, then it must be true. That's what makes it a paradox. It's an argument that leads to a self-contradictory conclusion.” (Hamer 1). The paradox that is from the sentence “This statement is false” has many answers and continues to be open for a rational answer. This is to show how contradictions have existed in history for decades. The issue it has on how we handle contradictions affects how we handle dilemmas throughout life.
How does one know which foods, liquids, and supplements are healthy when different studies contradict each other? It is important to realize that in Western society, the internet with many online sources and accessibility to them are being exposed to more people who are interested in being aware of what is good and bad for you. An online video that was hosted by Olivia Gordon, a member of a YouTube channel with 5.6 Million viewers titled “Why Nutrition Studies Keep Contradicting Each Other”, addressed studies that were proven wrong. She then further explained how randomized controlled trials take place. In the video, a study was cited about the health benefits of wine:
“In 2012, a randomized controlled trial by Hungarian researchers found that adults who received resveratrol supplements showed an improvement in a bunch of signs of cardiovascular disease” (Saleh).
This correlates with wine because it contains a compound known as resveratrol which can lower cardiovascular disease, according to this study. By this time, it was a fact according to many people, and created an epidemic about wine being good for your cardiovascular system. Gordon explained how both science-based test groups and some people’s belief systems were proven to be wrong, according to a study calculated in 2014. Gordon then replied with: “In 2014, an observational study of adults in Italy didn’t find any effect of resveratrol on signs of cardiovascular disease of mortality” (Saleh). This shows that studies can be contradictory, whether someone wants to believe in it or not. It is important for people to see what appears to be fact as an unrestricted model of what was found. When scientists discover something new, it doesn’t mean that it’s conclusive. People who finalize their beliefs from a new conclusion in science aren’t open minded to what can happen in the future. Logically, this is key for understanding beliefs about nutrition and health because thinking that one study is definitive, eliminates any other viable possibility. History proves that change is consistent. Acknowledging how some people create their belief systems, can help people who are aware of this have a deeper and meaningful life. Most importantly, believing in something doesn’t have to be definite because evidence can change the outcome of a study.
The understandings of philosophy and logic helps people question facts. Logic is understood by following models that are based on reality from facts, studies, and sources previously mentioned. We use models that leads to our understanding of our physical and non- physical reality. However, change is constant and can alter many things that are perceived to be fact. This is important to discuss because including this factor in one’s belief system may guide them to explore their own and analyze the system that creates it. Being aware of how people in Western society maintain their beliefs takes it to another dimension. Flexible thinking is an efficient way to adapt to the change of new facts and studies. Belief systems are very diverse throughout the Western society. There are serious flaws in belief systems which can lead to a commonality of irrational thinking. The primary topic mentioned in this paper revolves around the contradiction of beliefs. When we cling to our beliefs, logical consistency becomes nebulous. We prefer illusions to retain our beliefs. Even if you wear a mask, is the truth still there? Or, is it okay to believe in an illusion?

Works Cited
“The World Factbook: United States.” Central Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, 1 Feb. 2018, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html.
Saleh, Nesreen Abu. “Why Nutrition Studies Keep Contradicting Each Other.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 Apr. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPIQ7YhE4cE.
“Deductive Reasoning.” Philosophy Terms, 25 Oct. 2018, philosophyterms.com/deductive-reasoning/.
Rogers, Luke C. Personal Interview. 28 Apr. 2019.
Hamer, Ashley. “The Liar Paradox Is a Self-Referential Conundrum.” Curiosity.com, 19 Nov. 2016, curiosity.com/topics/the-liar-paradox-is-a-self-referential-conundrum-curiosity/.
“BibleGateway.” Exodus 14:21-31 NIV - - Bible Gateway, Biblica Inc, 2011, www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus 14:21-31&version=NIV.
A final paper for a college English class :)
Justin G Feb 2016
Most people live for love
But some of us live because of it

*Such unforgivable forgetfulness
Lost within potential photos
Preoccupied and overly abrasive
Harmless yet persuasively implicit
These eyes are speechless
But explicitly dying to speak
A picture so perfect for lust
A thousand words
Just isn't enough
Deeply indebted
With every glance
  Too perplexed by color  
  How none of it belongs  
  Another illustrated nightmare   
Where sleep is prolonged
Where the sick plans
To escape with the thought
Trapped inside the mind
So adolescent
Oh picture the heartache
Rejoicing over a carcass
Still standing
And rapturing moments
We all long to feel
This winter shiver
So sicken from cold feet
An undying hunger
For butterfly soup
Proof*
What worthy time to be alive
Clearly sold on the vision
Never too hasty to cover
This lover isn't blind  
But envisioned
May we all fall victim
To the photos
We aren't viable to find
*edited*
Just about anyone can follow a path,
but they who always tread upon someone else's path
seldom leave footprints,
for footprints are evidence of walking off the pre-existing paths
and into the unknown or unexplored
and then returning
to some communal, common path
to share what was found.

We musn't assume that the paths
are the only viable thoroughfares,
literally as well as figuratively:

The
path that's
suggested
is not the only
path that one can take:
one must find
one's own
path.
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2013
I lay with two women.

In an Economy seat,
emblematic nowadays of
the global economy,
"value" disguised as
a shrunken package size,
for which the cost thereof
can hardly be described as
economical.

my extremities are engaged in
extreme sport,
my competition,
my aisle mates,
young ladies both.

In recognition of the
early hour of our departure,
I have been awarded by them,
a singular honor,
a distinguished cross, of sorts,
pinned with a medal,
for gallantry under siege,
the medal is not of
two crisscrossed rifles,
but crisscrossed elbows,
for gallantry
upon the cross
of the middle seat.

Blanketed and hooded,
or should I say "hoodied,"
slumber comes too easily to
my young traveling cellmates,
as does the
flexibility of the body.

They seem to revel in the words,
akimbo and limbo,
upon my adjacent
body parts.

My sides, my shoulders,
my haunches and paunches,
punched, pillowed and pilloried,
summarily donated
(with a consent slip
called an airline ticket),
to scientific research:
"In Furtherance of the Study of
Sleeping on Airplanes."

My lap, however, sacrosanct,
how else could I type,
of heartfelt matters,
read on,
for you have been both
punked and pranked!

My mind freely wanders
while body is
captive and captivated,
(did I mention they were
young and attractive?)
to the manner
in which we
juggle proximity.

My darling:
You lie beside me,
a distance of
but a few inches,
but closer still,
for I am inside you,
I am yours
for your flesh,
I take,
a blood vow,
sealed with divine blessings
of mine own composition.

For the children of my children:
You are crosstown,
but I hardly know ya,
I am of your flesh, your blood,
eternal and immutable,
no poem can be allowed
to reveal what I owe you,
secret debts unpayable
till and after
death us do part.

Proximity in my tears,
proximity in my fears
for all of us,
for thoughts of you,
come regular,
with every breath.

Proximity at the cellular level,
until that day your
words first emerge,
your are of me and my issue,
mine to behold,
mine with which to dream,
mind to mind and mine.

So now there are two,
where speech is not
a viable tool.
Know that when
I no longer compose,
I will still eternal communicate
in ways, beyond belief.

You:
So many we touch, so briefly,
lose and fade from daily sight,
yet, forever, treasured,
measure for measured,
each one of you,
parcel posted upon who I am,
the tick in the tock
of my beating heart's
final prayer,
Grace after the Meal of Life.

At my funeral
please inform the rent-a-rabbi,
that I was this and that,
labels to write on post-its,
to be stuck on my gravestone
that no one will come visit,
but please someone,
tell him to say these words:

Between,
there was no between,
there was
no approximation,
no proximity,
there was no scientific instrument extant,
that could measure
the close love,
the heart and home
in which his faith resided,
for those who touched his life.
Jacob Oates Oct 2013
Confide in me

the irony

of laughter as a crutch to keep

with self descriptive Bildungsroman

in view of Schadenfreude's Ad hominem

Mask the image, compensate, compensate

Power struggle, shift division, relegate, relegate

Egocentric discharges inhabited by identity crisis

Circumstantial Deus ex machina, plastered on by streams of vices

No wreck, no head on, but a path beset by tolls and diversions

Somehow I must find a way to make these scattered routes converge

Dead and othered language roams the fields of pomposity

More ironic self aggrandizement, an appropriation of ferocity

Paint them a picture in the mind's eye of your blurred forward vision

I want to see the target marked, but attention is a competition

I'm Viable, I'm Jovial, I have the means to take these chances

I'm lying now, it's one or the other, let's hope I make the right advances
Hal Loyd Denton Dec 2013
Best known for writing such words it scrawled in many languages inked out of hearts of
Poet’s politician’s clergy investment of mind and soul glided over parchment it would open
Doors of wood hinges were heard to creak when wise words were spoken and angry kings could
No longer hold freedom back after words of truth shined forth with wisdom and would not
Be denied by personnel greed and cruelty the very breath of man was infused in such
Documents that had veracity that was uncommon in nature the heights were noted the
Indignity and stupidity and rigidness that would in slave people was forever snapped no bonds
Could hold after the quill responded to such ignorance pleasantries were subscribed to by
Mortal hand that reached beyond uncertainty and touched divine sensibility it wrote on
Personnel levels in the case of widowhood when the dark curtains of loss were drawn and no
Light shined into the soul of the bereaved in the darkness a sister friend’s face slowly emerged
From the murky dark waters that sorrows flood brought in her embrace and understanding the
Quill wrote of a slow growing power a bridge was constructed over the river of nerve and
Exhausting pangs longing for the beloved that was departed but through this single individual
The stitching of healing began its most needed work through another the sharing of faith and
Trust would create a heart that no longer was held in gloom but pierced the heavenly blue
Where the fair one stood in garments of gleaming white of mist and tranquil portions no longer
Was fate alone in play but joyous music the flute the horn the violin drew a picture of a country
Lane there love was once again completed harmony over arched death itself and it was all
Viewed under the greatest banner men ever knew and it is friendship the telling and knowing of
Tears and a shoulder to cry on it gives way to building blocks that create a different life
Widowhood made agreeable while the wound still remains it is a course changer the injured
Now arises a heroine of quiet silent grace a source of strength a viable counter weight to grief’s
Unbearable character the quill surmounts the littleness in people stories are in abundance that
Show both sides of the issue the abyss that selfishness brings but what heights can be reached
By serving others instead of self weights the quill lifts effortlessly weighty matters the line we
Have come through many slings and arrows fits twists and turns the quill runs before as a lion
Tamer it cracks a whip trouble is quickly vanquished there is writing everywhere the quill will
Guide to so many existing ideas that create formidable answers but with this in play the
Intangible restless pull of something beyond reason that must be recognized and dealt with all
Success and pleasure will melt away as the pull of importance that will not give way most of us
Know the undeniable truth that over all that is said above a greater quill writes in perfect
Accord without error not of fleshly hand but spirit that moved on men to state His wishes and
Commands without this writing no one can know true happiness or fulfillment outside of this
Most extraordinary compelling truth but what record there is of such sadness because of failure
To listen to a love story of tremendous drama all pertaining to the highest highs and the lowest
Lows and of one by love just won’t give up on the ones He holds so dear it comes down to this
Reality it still stands true there is a Hell to shun and a heaven to win through all the swirling
Down through time this great weight rests on us all what we decide will be flames or bliss abide
With him who hates you completely or the one who loved you to the point of dying in agony
You are the only one who can complete the story the quill writes love and mercy sadly so many
Show it has little effect the quill writes on sin is death those who practice it will surely die this is
The second death the lake of fire
Dolly Partings Sep 2013
She blew smoke rings like halos from her lips, she tried to teach me, to teach me how to make death look beautiful, like she did.
If angels had mirrors, they'd be as vain as she was.
I got sick of being the cotton wool kid; they never heard me say the word '****' but they all knew I did. They all knew I forgot to wear knickers that one day in school. They all knew I placed my hands firmly by my sides at night in fear of them wandering.
Say your prayers before bed and kiss your mother goodnight. Dream about killing your father.
I thought about seeing a shrink once; but upon that thought, I remembered psychiatrists don't suffer from insanity. They enjoy every minute of it.
I read somewhere that there's a Psychiatric Hotline.
If you are obsessive compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
If you have multiple personalities, please press 1, 2, 3 and 4.
I can only imagine the awkwardness of small talk for the insane in the psychiatric waiting room; "My invisible friend is Caligula, who's yours?"
The hotline suddenly seemed viable.
I want to know your favourite serial killer, I want to know your last meal on death row, I want to know your weapon of choice, I want to know what you really ******* to. Because my crude aunt told me; "There's two kinds of people in this world, masturbators and liars."
Show me your primary colours. Truly, tell me the first thing that comes to your mind during the Rosarch test. I know you don't just see Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langford, sat on the famous red couch of 'This Morning', innocently announcing to the world, the birth of the royal baby, George Alexander Louis.
I used to wait till everyone in the house was asleep to play with my chest of toys, because it's the only acceptable time you can make two Barbies kiss without getting caught. Good girls go gay.
It's societies last chance to save traditional marriage. Homophobic columnists writing about how Lesbians will enslave men in America if all fifty states legalize gay marriage. Lesbians already enslave men. Two triangles, a summer of 69,  a Star of David, a new religion.
Tell Father at confession how you like it when she talks ***** as she falls to her knees in front of you. "****, I love it when you pray. "
But ******* when you're insecure is like trying to losing weight, you don't use the scales, you just keep going until eventually you like what you see in the mirror. Until you're satisfied with the person staring back, until you don't want to damage them any more. Then let them eat cake.
I think it's why so many "last meals" on death row, include Diet Coke.
However, Noah built his ark before the flood.
Society and politics make it difficult to afford the trimmings when it comes to 'good health.'
Get rich, or walk with a stick.
Andre Baez Oct 2013
Osiris is not a viable option,
The rays of him are toxic,
One must err on the side of caution,
One mustn't take in the toxins.

Not with a serpents gaze of night ,
I am the gleam in their very eyes,
The twilight of people's lives,
The shine dwindling with time.

Street lights conjoin with the void,  
As loss and gain meet with choice,
The old teach young about voice,
Lack thereof and unspoken poise.

Lines have gathered across the head,
Along with emotions, swirling regrets,
Primal fear creeps up ones neck,
The remainder of memories to forget.

I haven't slept for I have wept

I
Am
No
King

I haven't sang for I have pain

I
Am
No
King

I haven't laughed for I am ******

Keep
On
Looking

I haven't smiled for I am vile

You
Won't
Find
Me

For she dwells within me

A potion within a vial

Searching for answers,
Answers that have long since forgotten the questions,
As words have forgotten poems,
Poems that have forgotten books,
Books that have forgotten shelves,
And you, who has forgotten me,
Although you live here, my Isis.

You do not have the mind,
To know that I dream of you,
With me, as one in the same,
Glimmers of hope which make way,
For back breaking pain, and disdain
As you say, my name, I sob, I pray,
You encounter the soul provider,
Whom you alone, deserve.

Deciphering the hieroglyphics,
The depth of my chambers,
Such an undertaking,
Is only for those not wary,
Of rude awakenings and laws,
Forsaking the freedom of my bonds,
Which hold my place, along the gate,
Which controls my fate.

Bonds of loathing and taunting
Specters of faceless smiles
Messages of nameless moans
Titles and spiteful rivals,
Bring cries of despair and tears,
Which shatter the floor beneath,
Uncovering layers of disgust,
Skin deep, is the source of vanity.

Vanity meaning fleeting importance,
For it, death, life, joy, fear, hope,
And melancholy; know nothing,
As they are simply the effects,
But not the causes of the ruckus,
The frozen coating of ocean surface,
Ignorant to the swelling below,
Waiting for a chance to bring Diablo.

I
Am
No
King

You
Won't
Find
Me

Strip
Me
Of
My
Crown
And
Bury
Me

My
Queen
anastasiad Jan 2017
While in the line of ProBook, designed for business people, there seemed to be the uniqueness H . p . ProBook Four hundred and fifty G2. The girl, like several involving your ex sisters and brothers, is a great doing the job unit and not simply because in this article, together with built in images plus distinct offered. So besides office environment tasks will even enjoy uncomplicated online games. An awesome replacement for catch several wildlife along with one particular rock. I'm wondering what otherwise is able to you should this ProBook 350 G2?

Design and style ( blank ) Hewlett packard ProBook 450 G2
That 16.6-inch device has got dimensions 375x262x23-25 mm, and its particular body is employed matte soft-touch plastic material in addition to lightweight aluminum. Forces and hues the product, although it is kind of typical, or in other words conventional. The lid as well as the bottom on the ProBook 400 G2 black, while the important area ?silver. Alternatives back again of your pc, the idea contains the air vents, compartment, to which includes the ram segments and hard hard drive, and battery power as well as segments to help eject And sealing. As to the design, plus there is very little authentic. Include and also basic aspects slightly rounded physique truly becomes smaller, except that it is actually fuller regarding some mm.

Whenever we talk about the fat from the product which can be 3.One particular kg, it is not only smaller for such a style element, but the best, in order not to experience irritation whilst traveling as well as business trips. Also, the laptop is created perfectly, whatever the case, a distressing experience with this functioning, he does not go away.

Present, sound, net camera - Horsepower ProBook 400 G2
A monitor with the laptop includes a 16.6-inch straight as well as a quite minimal decision with 1366?Sixty eight pixels. Naturally, correctly could be plenty of, these days this determine will not be specially beautiful from the little brown eyes of end users. Incidentally, your settings and also distinction is too higher, in case you utilize a laptop at work, although not since crucial for the duties to generally be carried out about the ProBook 400 G2. As well as the matte present surface area is a lot more secure versus the lustrous, not only for motion pictures also for office work. In terms of taking a look at sides, they are not hence vast in which, without decrease of image quality watch training video or even photograph from your facet, as opposed to just staying straight while watching computer screen. In addition suggested choice: show by using Entire HD-resolution, effect regulates, in addition to aid pertaining to 10-finger multitouch.

The notebook can be a A single.Three mp web cam. It is actually sufficient regarding movie telephone calls in Skype, to maintain in contact with friends and colleagues. In beneficial gentle snapshot from the camera, will probably be far better.

Intended for sound recording production suffices two music audio speakers based over the keyboard set, along with the adjustments DTS Sound +. The seem is definitely sent with out deformation, with the exception that in addition to high frequencies would choose to find out a little bit of striper. Sadly, a laptop isn't adequate quantity so that you are probably certainly not well worth parting together with earbuds. As well, the product is usually a business-class, therefore the acoustics in the primary premiums and are not made.

Keyboard set along with Touchpad ( blank ) Hewlett packard ProBook Four hindred and fifty G2
In the key-board, waiting in this laptop computer, there are plenty of benefits. This can be mostly a waterproof surface that won't complete towards interior pieces poured the liquid. It is usually a tropical, full-size, incorporates nampad.

The particular control buttons employ a centre system, forced without having a lot attempt but not also noisy. Recommendations and it's away from the key board, they are accountable for this introduction of the laptop computer, the initial involving cellular quests along with mime.

A touch pad includes a beneficial receptiveness, completed through the help of two-finger scrolling, along with both horizontal and vertical. Moreover, you may move as well as focus, make use of. Manipulator doesn't besknopochny, listed here there's two actual personal computer mouse.

On the right on the known as is actually a finger marks scanner, it has the reputation is quite easy regarding business enterprise vacationers and everything those who used to safeguard computer data out of prying.

Efficiency ( blank ) Hp . p . ProBook 400 G2
Brand-new makes 64-bit main system Microsoft windows 7.One. Just in case Hewlett packard ProBook 450 G2 (J4S24EA) covering the low-voltage dual-core Apple company Central i5-4210U , which has a time clock volume of one.7 Ghz as well as a storage cache inside third volume of Several Megabytes. The following chip is made in Haswell 25 nm technological know-how, how many its features consist of service regarding Turbo Raise, which allows to boost the frequency to two.Several Ghz with a one lively nucleus, together with Hyper-Threading, through which the two cores is actually refined approximately three facts water ways in unison. As you can tell, compared to the forerunner Center i5-4200U the following a bit improved time clock pace since the bottom, and something by which the actual brand operates in any style Turbocompresseur. I must say which Center i5-4210U handle business office chores and also media, however if you have to have a stronger notebook, then otherwise you can pick an extensive fixed with primary Central i7.

Graphics Credit card Apple company Hi-def Graphics 4400 incorporated while in the nick, is a wonderful selection for easy artwork chores. Such as, looking at videos, modifying shots. Although with more intricate operations better equipped reduce let loose AMD Radeon R5 M255. Its rate of recurrence is definitely fewer than 940 Megahertz, he supports DirectX 11.A couple of and has now Only two Gigabyte involving of memory space standard, DDR3. Performance of this credit card wool, to ensure superior image quality, particularly, is certainly a great way pertaining to games. In between incorporated as well as let loose visuals can be turned.

As to Cram, it offers a couple of video poker machines, one of which is well worth menu 8 GB DDR3L-1600MHz. Certainly, this could be adequate ability to arduous uses in addition to rapidly do the job, especially since book is possible to set up the maximum amount of Memory ?04 Gigabytes.

You are able to retail outlet data on the hard disk ability associated with 650 Gigabytes and a quickness with 5400 innovations every minute. So as well as office docs a person undoubtedly fill out "piggy bank" the laptop computer multimedia data files as well as game titles. With regards to the settings as a drive generate may be mounted Hard disk drive smaller sized quantity or perhaps 128 Gigabyte SSD.

Locations as well as Marketing communications * Hp . p . ProBook 400 G2
Only be aware that on the appropriate side from the journal is really a more compact volume of slots compared to a eventually left. So, for the proper you can view this built-in visual push Disc +/- RW SuperMulti Defensive line, adjacent to which are a couple Universal serial bus Two.0 ports and a put together microphone connector and also a headset connector. Towards the end faces visible position with regard to Kensington lock.

For the complete opposite aspect can be a choice of distinctive user interfaces. That VGA, High definition multimedia interface, plug for your wall charger, a couple Browse 3.2, along with network RJ-45 dock. As well as the plug-ins within the kept area from the HP ProBook 450 G2 increases the in-take to take out heat.

Indications within the pc enough, but they're never situated in a single location. Several is seen higher than the key-board. Inside remaining corner is actually a lighting switch on, for the right ?a couple of Led lights (do the job instant multilevel, silence). Additionally, you will find a screen within the keyboard set ?Num Shut as well as Hats Locking mechanism. Although within the nose is simply the LED in the hard drive, which is given near the greeting card reader, reading formats SD, SDHC, SDXC.

Cellular connection in a very pc through Wi-Fi 802.11b Versus grams / d along with Wireless bluetooth 4.1.

Battery power -- Horsepower ProBook 400 G2
Horsepower ProBook Four hindred and fifty G2 Battery Package with 5 parts. Lithium-ion battery power features a volume with 30 Wh in addition to asking for 65-watt power. On the independence in the notebook is not a great deal hard work Data, doing the job devoid of re charging mode internet surfing two to three hours, plus within a weight connected with at most A person.Several hours.

Realization -- Horsepower ProBook 450 G2
Hence, this particular novelty, portion of a series ProBook, will appeal to those people who get the job done each day with a notebook computer, but he was no unknown person for you to leisure. Which H . p . ProBook 400 G2 will assist keep, making it possible for to try out, focus on new music or check out video clips. Is the fact a visit to this kind of hobby will not likely continue to be very long, because the small operating duration of the battery pack. Of course, too high-quality illustrations or photos through the present, you cannot put it off, since settings and contrast are small, as well as timetable is certainly not the main stage. But that notebook computer ?it is just a viable option intended for everyday projects.

The price tag on this gadget is concerning $ 800, which could in part end up being revealed by way of current fruitful satisfying, the presence of a finger print scanning device and also a water-resistant keyboard set. However with the price tag, search along with similarly functional in addition to profitable type. Generally speaking, should you prefer a notebook typically for function for pleasurable will be 2nd, for the ProBook Four hindred and fifty G2 will not seriously imagining to pick out.

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The backspace on my keyboard has been broken
for well over a year.
I drank beer, *** and orange.
Smoked hash spliff. Felt better about this wrongness

that surrounds my view of the world.
Desperately in need of some chemical respite,
Serious consideration given to antidepressants as
a way out of this and into fitness, all the viable options.

Ah, perhaps some poems should leave well alone, but
this is the truth
so bear with it. I don't feel like I choose to see what I see,
Nor think these gossamer thoughts.
Bless those who bear with you
in your hour of need.

— The End —