Enchanting Romance, EV8 June 2007
The Rose of Silver Mist Alley had a smile for every beggar and a thorn for every tax-collector.
Moon-frosted pollen dusted her wings, a slender green blade hung on her hip; her soul was tied about her waist on a delicate gold chain entwined with tiny dragons and salamanders, the cantrips of owls came easily to her lips.
The Rose fell in love with a dewdrop so bright the stars shrunk to pinpricks in the cloak of the night. Picking it gently from the face of early morning she clasped it to her perfumed breast; she wore it on a silver thread about her neck; she imprisoned it in a ring upon her finger; she harnessed it to two moths and commanded it to fly before her.
But the dewdrop was not happy. It wanted to dissolve and melt away into the earth.
It begged and pleaded with the Rose to be released but she only laughed and swore to love it all the more.
She placed it in a locket of frozen dreams and diamonds; she decorated it with tiny flowers, autumn leaves and the teeth of baby crocodiles; she carried it to strange places hidden under her tongue or in the secret folds of her navel.
At night she slept with it under her pillow or clutched tightly in the clustered buds of her hands.
Slowly, as the years went by the tiny dewdrop began to lose its shiny internal patina of rainbow iridescence, becoming duller and duller - and as it did so the Rose also became a little duller, a little less marvelously perfumed, a little less magnificently coloured.
Eventually, one morning she woke up and all her petals were old and brown and tired and her supple stem felt sad and wilted. Her precious dewdrop had lost all appearence of magic and looked like any common raindrop, grey and listless. She passed dejectedly down Silver Mist Alley without smiling at a single beggar or shedding the least ray or emanation of her customary good cheer and charm.
Tax-collectors smiled behind her back and glowered contemptuously at the unhappy beggars and wistful street urchins.
A solitary owl detached itself from the Moon and floated down to Earth on its great albino wings, a golden worm in its beak. As its shadow passed over the Rose she glanced up and saw the golden worm tumbling from the owl's beak as it called to her in greeting.
"Too-whit, too-whoo, how do you do, how do you do?"
The golden worm fell at her feet.
She took the locket from around her neck and, placing it upon the ground next to the worm, crushed it beneath her heel. The imprisoned dewdrop, released at last, sighed and melted into the earth.
It was joined by two silver tears that fell from each of the Rose's eyes. She was sorry to lose her friend but glad that finally she had listened to its sad and constant plea for freedom.
The golden worm drank the silver tears thirstily in a matter of seconds and grew into a vast magnificent Dragon. It turned its jewelled eyes upon the downcast Rose and, opening its mouth, incinerated her completely in a single gust of its flaming breath.
Spreading its fabulous wings it leapt into the air and flew to Silver Mist Alley where, landing in a shower of sparks, it proceeded to devour all the beggars, street urchins, tax-collectors, merchants, harlots, soldiers, poets, gamblers and other worthy citizens. When it had devoured the whole town it belched fastidiously, stretched its wonderful wings and leapt into the sky again.
In time, it proceeded to devour the Moon, the Sun, the stars and the dark spaces between the stars.
In short, it devoured all of Creation.
When there was nothing left it twisted adroitly about and began devouring its own glittering tail.
There was Nothingness.
The Nothingness lasted for a very long time.
Then, slowly, very slowly Darkness began to extrude itself out of the Nothingness until dark and empty space covered the surface of the Nothingness in all directions.
Thousands of millennia passed.
Then, slowly, very slowly, a tiny dewdrop formed upon the face of the Darkness - a tiny, perfect dewdrop.
Inside the perfect dewdrop oceans and forests, mountains and entire continents fashioned themselves out of even tinier atoms and galaxies and stars. Tiny fish and animals moved in and upon the oceans and continents and in a quiet valley a little village grew up and soon became a town.
In a garden, just off Silver Mist Alley, a tiny rose-bud opened its eyes and looked up at the silvery Moon.
A wise albino owl hooted.
"Too-whit, too-whoo," it said, "how do you do, how do you do?"
With silver dusk she comes with song
and stars like fragrant blossom strewn
across high heaven's deepening fields
from amethyst and cobalt hewn.
O Lady I have waited long
to see your smile and hear your tune
and I would walk beside the sea
with thee beneath the rising Moon.
Full the day but weary at last
your gentle conversation fills me up.
Great splendour has come
and great splendour has passed
- now I would sit with thee and sup
nectar sweet distilled from light
the gentle wisdom of the night.
The sun has set, day's colour fled
but you remain to fill my sight.
Tender ghost of the heart's sorrow
will you put on flesh tomorrow?
... but sunrise comes and you fade away
too beautiful for the light of day.
by the fountain.
Restless, I sit
within the garden
row on row
surround me as I wait
to hear her fragrant voice
her gentle, quiet spirit
quells the stormy striving
with her mother's touch.
Invites my soul to spacious places
finds my breath
and gives it back to me.
With open hands
splashes life across my pallid spirit.
Her peaceful smile resonates
in chambers of the heart itself.
whispers to me
rest your head
here at my breast"
whispers to me
"Soul enough! Enough! You are enough!
You are more than enough!
Not too much.
Not too small.
The universe is as it should be.
You are beauty.
Soul, rest your head"
Andromeda ©2007 T.Anderson
(c) Terra Wolfe
When she is the one true princess
Who aches all day after sleeping on a pea,
no matter how many mattresses.
When she, all fragile, feels every feather in her pillow
as though it were plucked from her own skin.
For this lady,
there are abundant princes.
They ride noble chargers
in search of only her heart,
which they hunt as though it were a quail.
Oh, to be the quest of such men,
such tall and shining promise.
It is her due
To be their prize.
It is the just reward of beauty
to be sought
to be conquered
to quiver gracefully
at the approaching sound
of their hooves.
bathed in sunlight
The largest man
who ever knew a saddle.
Through the shadowed forest
on his face.
This is the moment
adding one more daisy
to her armful of flowers
An obvious princess and waiting for him.
takes the expected turns,
until, with tearful eyes they part.
He rides away
on to another tale.
returns to her wildflowers
only a little bit
How do they get through the gates?
I thought I sealed them.
more barbs along the fence,
in my moat.
How can he glow like that
after fighting through the thorns?
I am scarred still,
from chain mail.
But beauty has grown back,
over the torn tissue.
It grows back,
no matter what they do.
It covers me
For I am a true princess.
See how gently he approaches
a little blood on his sleeve,
a tear brushed
from his cheek.
knows his prey.
What will be left of me?
(I was taught to love)
When he rides away?
(He was taught to conquer.)
Perseus ©2007 T.Anderson
Standing outside your circle, I imagine you
All eyes. Inside unfathomable textures of, is it, light ?
Teasing. No, inflaming, all the dreams of what can be
I step inside your temple and nothing happens
And then, I collapse. Crushed, slamdunked by a hairy chimera
My images. My expectations, my burning house
Where am I now ? Inside these flames, I am laughing.
While my house burns down, the fences pick up their stakes
And a mindless infinity blows everything to bits and pieces.
I stand alone. Like some charred crucifix, a shadow
Of past sacrifices. You demanded this and I gave you that.
And now, midnight visions!? Beached crabs, mouthes foaming
Crabwalking. Over fields of broken shells, clamoring up & down
There are tunnels here and tombs, too. Do they die also?
Or is this some kind of sleep that grows its own shelter over time ?
There are no metaphors for this love of yours, only death and surrender.
This love of yours. It has destroyed everything familiar to me.
Have I passed the test ? Am I still attractive ? Do you still want me ?
My sudden shyness ? An attempt to diminish your magnificence
In the face of the only thing I can call my own, this mask
Is the only thing I can call my own.
But truth is...it looks better on you.
© 2007 Antero Alli
Cosmic Tree (c) Stevon Lucero
For my Muse…
On the end of her tongue is a flame like that of a votive candle…this she sticks into my ear and sets my brain on fire…a thousand one inch electric cables cannot carry the current between her heart and mine and so we have to set up a fiber optics network just to handle the flow of love…I believe she is sleeping but my muse is riding me now like she does in the midst of throes of ecstasy and lust…she is biting my ear and sending sparks throughout my body and so I am up now writing something to honor her in my life…the bed is wet with sex and the shower is dry because we like the funk of ourselves…it goes well with coffee and ciggies and other vices that I cannot mention here because they are secret…and my muse doesn’t like her secrets shown to the harsh light of others' criticism or jealousy…she chases me around the house with a riding crop made of rose petals and barbed wire and the marks it leaves on me are like the most intricate henna done in india…she corners me and envelops me in her yoni and inside it glistens like a replica of the taj mahal with all the intricate architecture…I wander through the place and each room is inhabited with a different version of her…she always invites me to lie with her on a golden couch trimmed with black velvet and when I start to I hear a noise from the other room…I look and there she is again in a different form and my heart is lit with lust again so that I never get to have her but am always wanting her…she kissed me once and now I cannot eat food because the inside of my mouth can stand nothing else and I am still hungry for the taste of her because it is all that my tongue can remember…one day we went outside and the sun ran away because he had no way to illuminate her…the moon also is no match for her mystery and so hides away out of sight…when I look into the bathroom mirror I can see one of her eyes in the middle of my head and she winks at me as if to say that she is always with me…always has been and always will be…there is no music like the sound of her voice which is always playing in my head…even when I am sleeping…money does not satisfy her and she uses it to light her ciggies and tosses gold coins into the warm waters that she walks on just to see the dolphins catch them in their mouths…she has the eyes of a million year old witch and the body of a 18 year old virgin…her nipples drip golden milk like raindrops from the sky and I am all wet with her…I have nothing worthy of her and so I offer her my self lying at her feet in a sea of tears of gratitude…she wears nothing and her nakedness is the perfect dress because there is no cloth worthy of her body…she gives herself to me and when I touch her…everything that exists is moot…
copyright David Lee Jones
She slants her shining, golden glance
Across desert, mountains, rivers, plants
Greets her rising, true romance
In the purpling, opposite skies
Her lunar love, her heart’s delight
Soars to ever darker height
For each, the other’s perfect, right
It’s on their wings time flies
She seems asleep within the night
Yet always, somewhere, she’s brilliant, bright
Motionless in constant flight
Each day its own surprise
They’ll never meet – there’s not a chance
These partners in eternal dance
Of darkness, light – they both enhance
The world with their long goodbyes
Their crescent waltz achieves crescendo
Sans artifice or innuendo --
Young children start to play Nintendo
As adults stir and rise
(c) 2007 Rev. Rebecca Guile Hudson
WALKING WITH POETRY
The train to Halma was slow. As slow as it had always been for the past seventy years.
Narrow gauge mountain tracks with hundreds of hairpin bends, spectacularly high bridges and long dark tunnels, breathtaking down hills and groaning up hills were decidedly not suitable for record breaking.
At most of the lower levels, workers in colourful clothing could be seen working in the wheat fields. When one opened the windows and leant out one could hear them singing.
I've often wondered whether there was a more beautiful sound this side of heaven than the singing of these field workers.
It was after passing through one of the longer tunnels that I spoke to her. She was about twenty-five I thought. Good looking but just not a Miss Universe. Perhaps it was a slight almost imperceptible downturn of the edges of her lips that would make her lose points. I found it very attractive.
She was wearing blue jeans, a blue T-shirt and an elaborately embroidered red waist coat. I leant forward.
"Hi. I couldn't help noticing. You seemed to be a little concerned. Please don't worry about those tunnels. They're very safe you know. There hasn't been an accident in all of their seventy-five years."
She looked at me warily. Then, accepting my reassurance, nodded her head a few times. As she turned her head away I began to speak about my journey.
"I'm on my way to be with my mother. It's this Mother's Day thing and it's her 48th birthday."
When she looked at me again, her initial disdain had somehow faded and she began to kind of acknowledge my presence. It seemed that if I had a mother I could not be that bad. I felt that a barrier had been removed.
"What's your name? Mine's Dinel."
"Oh that's such a poetic name. Where are you going to?"
"Where's this train going? To Halma, of course."
"Well that's where my mother lives. Well, nearby."
I smiled. As time went by, her defensiveness diminished a little. Not much. Just a little.
"Are you going to the Mountain Mist New Age Poetry School?"
She looked startled but somehow more interested.
"Yes. How come you know about it?"
"So you're going to do modern poetry?"
"Yes, I am. Why are you asking me this?"
"Hmmm. Well it's this, I teach poetry."
Her eyes had begun to sparkle.
"You...you...teach? Do you? Where? At the school?"
"No no. Not at the school. I teach a different kind of poetry. Not at a school."
"What kind of..."
At that moment, the train began to slow down. It was a watering station for the locomotive and passengers were allowed to disembark for about 15 minutes.
I looked outside, then at her, and then rose grabbing our backpacks.
"Come let's go outside. I'll take these to make sure that no one steals them. Ok?"
She gave me a quick look. "Are you sure?"
When I nodded, she shook her shoulders and led the way out.
We climbed down the carriage steps and then walked over to the side of the track to look at what appeared to be the most beautiful forest on earth. In fact, I had always thought of this place as being the nearest that one could get to paradise on earth.
I had always felt an almost irresistible pull to enter that forest and suddenly I knew that she felt that force too.
"Dinel...do you think that we could just take a short walk down this path?"
"Yes Alisha. We could. There's time enough. Come then."
"Please Dinel. Keep your eye on the time."
"Don't worry about that."
Near the edge of a small cliff, I feigned a stumble and during a wild imaginative show of waving hands and shuffling feet, I dropped our two back packs down the slope.
She looked at me aghast.
"You bloody idiotic fool. Look at that. What have you done? Are you crazy?"
I looked at her, adopting what I imagined to be my most apologetic look.
"Oh Alisha. What a fool I am. I stumbled. I'm so sorry."
"So what are you going to do?"
"Wait here. I'm going down. I'll get them. Just don't get upset. Please I beg you."
I slid, jumped, hopped and even rolled down the hillside and then with a shout of triumph held up the two back packs.
"Come on come on. Don't just stand there."
Shouting "Yes, I'm coming" I scrambled valiantly up the steep slope.
Near the top I did a double step and shouted while I gave a dramatic show of pain.
As I heard her scream "for Pete's sake hurry, damn you" I heard the locomotive give its warning toot and a few minutes later heard the initial puffs as the train began moving out.
I implored Alisha to give me her hand. She found herself in a dilemma. She looked at the departing train and then at me and then back at the train. Finally, with a look that could kill, she went down on one knee, reached out towards me and grabbed my hand.
With great agility and without any sign of discomfort I bounded up the remaining few steps and went to stand next to her. We were both looking at the last signs of chimney smoke disappearing around the first bend.
She stood staring for what seemed an age before she turned to me with her fists tightly clenched. She had only one word for me.
I really had no reply. I mean not one that would have satisfied her. So I shrugged my shoulders. A French phrase came to mind.
"Cest la vie?"
Of course that was completely the wrong thing to say. She stepped towards me with both of her fists clenched.
"You damn bastard. You dog. What the hell have you done? Why why why???"
She looked as if she would rain blows down on me. Perhaps it was something else. Maybe it was to be a flood of tears.
I held up my hands. My heart was going out to her. I knew that I wouldn't be able to pacify her but I did manage a faint smile.
"Please Alisha. There's a simple explanation. Just give me a moment. I'll tell you the whole story."
She looked at me as if she had turned into a mamba.
"Shove your explanation. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear anything that you want to say. Give me my back pack. I'm going to wait for the next train."
I looked at her. There was a genuine sadness in my voice.
"I'm sorry Alisha. The next train is only due in three day's time".
Dancing Lotus (c) Andrew Thomas Bearce
"Look, if you're a poetry teacher then you should be able to recite a poem to me right now. Not just any poem. No no. A poem that will tell me what all poetry is about."
I looked at her through squinting eyes. It dawned on me that she had just asked a most astute question.
"Do you mean that you want me to reveal to you the holy grail of all poems?"
"Yes...that's just about it. Come on Mr. Teacher."
Acting on an impulse I walked over to her and went down on one knee. As I looked up into her eyes I saw for the first time how dark brown they were. I had to however close my own eyes for a moment as I tried to imagine what Sir Laurence Olivier would've done at such a moment. I cleared my throat a little theatrically.
"How can you write
When you haven't lived?
How can you live
If you haven't seen a dancing trout?
How can you dance
If you haven't seen a deer at play?
How can you sing
If you haven't seen where music was born?"
Her eyes had grown larger. It was as if she had suddenly seen me for the first time.
"Don't be a fool. Dinel. Don't kneel in front of me. Go and sit on your rock."
Her words pleased me. I don't think that I could've kept my knee on that sharp rock for much longer.
"Go on, Dinel, Finish your poem. You have my interest."
With a polite nod I acknowledged her faint praise.
"These hands can write
Because I've held a wriggling fish.
My eyes can see
Because I‘ve seen eagles mate.
My ears can hear
Because I've heard a tiger purr."
"Aha. You're saying here that I can't write poetry because I haven't held a wriggling fish in my hands? When will I ever do that? You silly man."
Come with me Alisha. Let's walk through that wood. OK it's a 25 km walk but we'll get to your college by tomorrow afternoon. The train will only get there by late tomorrow night. It's all those winding curves and then that long wait for the connection."
"What? You want me to walk through that jungle with you. For 25 km? Just you and me and a thousand wild animals?"
"No no. It's not a jungle. It's a poetry school."
For the first time I heard her laughter. It was a happy sound. In fact, the whole countryside seemed to light up.
She looked at me with a look as resolute as if she was a pioneer walking into the unknown. She nodded her head sagely.
"Then let's go. Lead the way Mr Teacher."
I walked ahead and maintained quite a fast pace but I could hear that she stayed close behind me.
Now this jungle was not a dense forest filled with thorny bushes and piles of deadwood. There were many open spaces where bright sun rays lit up the patches of lush green grass.
Every now and then I would turn to her with a finger on my lips signalling a need for silence. I would then always point to a spot. I had begun to point out birds to her. I told her that birds fed on nectar or fruit or seeds.
I showed her nests built in drooping branches or in holes in trees or in nests between waterside shrubs or reeds.
Once I softly said "Shhh. There's a Fiscal Shrike. Do you know that it creates a larder? It impales insects on long thorns. Amazing isn't it?"
The inevitable moment arrived when she "had to go somewhere" I casually waved towards a bush next to a large tree. She was immediately totally aggrieved.
"I'll tell you what. You go there first. I want you to shoo away all snakes and furry creatures. GO. I can't wait for ever."
At about 3 in the afternoon, I turned to look at her. I could see that she was very upset.
I raised my eyebrows and asked "and so?"
"Look I'm hungry. I need a break. I'm thirsty. So what are you going to do about it?"
"Relax Alisha. There's a log. I'll fix you something."
I gave her an energy bar and then boiled some water on a small back packer's stove.
I made some tea and gave her a large mug full.
We walked about 15 km that day and as the sun began to dip and the shadows lengthened I held up my hand and called a halt. This action seemed to annoy her.
"Why are you stopping?"
"Alisha, this is where we stop. Unless you want to walk on in total darkness?"
"Here. You and me? "
"Yes. And the stars and the creatures of the night."
As I said that she began to look around nervously. "What do you mean?"
"Oh Alisha. Don't worry your pretty little head. I've a fold up tent here in my pack. You can use it. I don't mind. I've slept in the open often enough."
"OK. Then we stay here. But I promise you this: If you come near me, I'll kill you."
I kind of liked that fire in her eyes. They looked like laser beams.
"OK Alisha, you may kill me. Here take one of these knives. Careful, they're quite sharp."
As she looked at me I began to feel sorry for her. I could sense her confusion. This was all so new. I decided to come to her rescue.
"Hey. Don't stand around like that. Go and collect some firewood. Get a whole armful, will you? In the meantime I'll pitch your tent. OK?"
As the fire began to blaze, she looked at me. It was a very forlorn look.
"So what do we eat? Big shot. Where's our food?"
I took out a sealed tin and opened the lid. I held it towards her. "Here. Take a look."
She peered inside and then pulled up her nose as she drew back her head.
"Hell. What's that? Dried sticks and tobacco? Is this another one of your jokes?"
I didn't speak. I soaked "the stuff" in a plate of water and slowly by magic the shrivelled objects took on the shapes of carrots, beans and several other vegetables.
I winked at her.
"Alisha. This is part of the Poetry School. Always remember the magic of this moment."
After dinner we spoke for a while and then I bid her goodnight. When she looked a little nervous I gave her a torch that I always kept in my pack. She looked grateful but a trace of the nervousness remained.
I fell asleep immediately. It's the oxygen you know. Perhaps the absence of diesel fumes. I was deep in the arms of Morpheus when I felt someone pounding my shoulder.
I saw that it was Alisha and I also saw the terror in her eyes.
"Wake up! Wake up! There are animals all around here. Come. Get up. Do something!"
"What should I do, Alisha? I'm not afraid of animals."
"Never mind you. I am. Do something."
"OK I'll do anything. Tell me what."
She was quiet for a very long time. So long that I thought that she had fainted.
"What's up. Alisha?"
At last she spoke. "I want you to come and lie in the tent."
"In the tent with you? With you and that knife?"
"Yes. I'll trust you this once. I'm terrified. I'm in a state of panic. Can't you see that?"
As I lay next to her and as I noticed that she was not ready to sleep yet I turned on my back and called her name.
"Alisha. I know that you can't sleep. Now as this is a Poetry School I'll recite some poems to you. Poems that you will remember one day when you are a famous poet."
She whispered almost inaudibly.
"Jungle poems. The holy grail of all poetry?”
She turned on her side, looking away from me. I lay on my back thinking of the stars high above our tent.
"Are you awake Alisha?"
I heard her mumbled "yes."
"Then listen to my words. Dream about them. We can talk about them tomorrow."
"uhu. Go on."
"Yeea OK. Here goes.
"Why did all the old poets,
Rumi, Mirabai and Gibran
Sit on sand all alone?
Alone with just their pipe.
Why did they not consult
All the village elders
The pandits down the road
Or poetry for Dummies?
No, they wrote because they loved
They loved what they embraced
And what they longed to touch
A stone, a table or a woman's cheek.
Only love can make you write
Not flashing quasars and space-time theories
No Latin words with multi-syllables
No only themes about which you can dream."
I faintly heard her sleepy voice. "Well you can't write about me."
"Oh. Why not?"
"Because you can't embrace me."
I burst out laughing."Oh I know about your knife. The good news is I gave you something to ponder over."
Her voice was very soft by now. "Good night, teacher."
I drew myself up on my elbows and bent over to look at her. I thought that she looked kind of cute lying there so vulnerable yet trusting.Then I lay down and was soon asleep.
When she eventually poked her head out of the tent the next morning I was already making coffee.Her look was one of mixed anger and panic. I tried to be sympathetic.
"Oh I see that you're not a morning person."
She grabbed my shirt rather forcefully. "Did you touch me last night? Did you?"
"Wow. Why do you ask? Don't you know?"
"Did you or didn't you? I want to know what happened."
"Nothing happened, my dear. But you look terrible. Here, better have some coffee."
"Where can I wash?"
"First we'll have to find a river. But here. Take the last water and wash your face."
"So, what's for breakfast. I'm really starving."
"Oh yes. Here it is. Energy bar au natura. Have one. Enjoy it. There's no more."
"You didn't bring more? There's no food?"
"So what kind of cross country hiker are you?"
"I didn't plan this adventure. It just happened. Look Alisha. Go and eat your much maligned bar over their on that log and I'll bring you some more coffee."
"Listen to me carefully Alisha. Drink in my words." I smiled as I said that. "To be a poet you must believe in yourself. But totally. No half believing, you hear.You don't believe in me...or any other teacher. Only in yourself."
"OK OK but what are we going to eat later on? Tell me that Mr. Teacher."
"Just keep quiet for a moment. Close your eyes and concentrate. Try to believe. Know that you will eat. Visualise a plate of hot food right in front of you. Learn to do this because one day you'll sit in front of a table and you'll know for sure that you'll write a wonderful poem."
"I'm sorry but that sounds totally weird to me."
"Wait. Do you remember Peter? Do you remember that magnificent moment when he walked on water? Then when the first doubts entered his mind he immediately sank down to his ears in the sea. Remember?"
I folded up the tent into a very small parcel and packed everything away in my pack. Then I looked at her and smiled. "Come let's find some water and wash ourselves. Let's go and swim somewhere."
I began to walk away between the trees. I could sense that she was close behind me. When we heard the river we both gave a shout of joy and began running.It was a beautiful sight. A large pool, a small waterfall and some picturesque rocks. It was a stunning sight for two tired and unwashed hikers.I looked around and saw a suitable bank on the other side of the river. I saw that the river was knee deep and there were many treacherous looking rocks in the water. Alisha was watching me anxiously."What?"
"We have to go to the other side."
"What? That's dangerous. One can fall there and break a leg." I nodded my head in total agreement. "Come give me your shoes and that pretty little waistcoat." She saw the look in my eyes and didn't protest. I shoved them deep into her pack. Then I put both her pack and mine on my back. Then with one sudden swoop I picked her up and stepped into the river. We were near the other side when I saw it. It was awe inspiring. It was unique. A King Trout. Few people on earth had ever seen sight like that. I saw that it was trapped. I was standing in the opening in a ring of rocks. I knew then that I could catch it.
My next action was absolutely unforgivable but what does one do in a dire emergency? Well I dropped her in the water and made a grab for the catch of the season. I felt my fingers closing around his heaving body and I felt his powerful struggling. At last, it was firmly in my grip and I turned triumphantly towards Alisha. As I looked at her I saw her expression change from total shock to furious indignation. I looked at her, back to the fish, and back to her again. Then I knelt down in the water next to her and extended the trout towards her. I did it as a nurse would hold out a new born baby to the mother. "Hold it Alisha. Don't be afraid. It's your wriggling fish. Hold it and you'll become a poet. I told you that and now you have your chance. Isn't life wonderful?" It must have been the look on my face but she burst out laughing. She sounded like the carillon bells in a medieval city. She reached out and tentatively touched the scaly skin. "Come. Put your hands around it. Hold it. Hold it tight. Don't be afraid. I'll help you. Hold it and become a poet." With a feeling of deep regret I killed the fish. Then I packed clay around it and dug a shallow hole. I put the clay form in the hollow. I packed wood in an open space next to it and made a fire. Once I had scraped the glowing coals over the clay ball I winked at Alisha. "Now we're going to swim. This baking will take a half hour."
I had trunks in my pack and she had spare underwear.After the refreshing swim, fresh, clean and starving we broke open the clay shape.It was a meal to savour and never to be forgotten.
While we tasted each morsel with pure delight I began to speak to her. "There's another thing that a poet must know. It's the devastating power of the misunderstood word." In between chewing and swallowing she managed to say a few words. "What's that. What's a misunderstood word. Doesn't it happen all the time?"
"When you read prose or poetry and you come across a word that you don't understand.
That's a misunderstood."
"Give me an example."
"Hmmm...let's take some crazy word...like sanctofilomancy."
"Oh hell. You got me there. What kind of word is that? I'll have to look it up."
"Aha. There's the rub. Must you read with a dictionary permanently at your side? What about if you're in a park without a reference book in sight."
"Oh I'd just skip that word and go on."
"And that's just where the trouble would begin. Only your eyes would be moving on. Your brain, your intellect, would be in a feverish turmoil. All your neuro-transmitters and your synapses would be milling around trying to identify that word. They want it to be understood and filed somewhere. That's how the brain works."
"So how do these neuro things work?"
"Well, first they'll look at sancto. They'll try and connect it with sanctity or sanctimonious. Then in a panic the brain will try and identify filomancy. It'll say what the hell is this? Is it something to do with sons and daughters?"
"So the mind goes into a stare of frantic activity?"
"Yes, you've got that right. At this time your eyes will be on Page 2 already but your mind is still obsessing with that one word."
"Don't you see. You're reading on and on but you're not understanding anything. You're going to get bored. In a minute you're going to feel sleepy."
"OK. I think this is what you're saying. Use simple words. Fairly well known words. Perhaps a challenging word here and there but not every two lines or so. Am I right? You must do KISS. Keep it simple stupid."
I burst out laughing. She's quite funny sometimes, I thought.
"Remember what that great poet Wordsworth said. Be simple and sincere."
"Gotcha Dinel. You've made your point."
As we walked between the trees, I saw a Wild Apple tree. I immediately took her hand and gently pulled her towards it. Then I looked at her.
"Do you want to write great poetry? Yes?'
"Yes, of course. That's the general idea."
I took her two hands and rubbed them over the rough bark.
"Feel that Alisha. That's real. That's not an abstract fantasy. That's not a pseudo-intellectual vagueness. It's real. It's life. It's God's gift."
She moved her hands over the surface and almost hugged the tree. As she did so I bent forward and whispered into her ear.
"Now Alisha. Now you could write a poem. A real singing soaring poem. Remember this when you're in that college, will you?"
She nodded her head as she kept looking at the tree.
I could see the road in the distance, about three km away.
"We're nearly there Alisha. Let's rest for a while. Go and sit here on that rock.. There's something that I want to emphasize before we go on."
She looked at him with a curiosity in her eyes,
"Do you remember this morning when you were so hungry? What did I say to you?"
She looked up at the sky and stretched her arms heavenwards. Then she sighed.
"You said that I must close my eyes and that I must believe. I had to clearly visualise what ever it was that I wanted."
"So did you?"
"Oh yes. I did. I visualised food and food and more food."
I found myself laughing. I knew that she was playing the fool but I also knew that she was beginning to understand something.
"And did you get your wish?"
She cocked her head and looked sideways at me.
"How come that you know all this?"
I looked down at my fingers and then at her.
"Do you remember when you were eight? How bright and spiritual you were? When you could so easily paint and dance and even tell your father all about the stars. When you knew that the story of Ali Baba was true and when you knew exactly what Camelot looked like?"
She laughed and nodded her head eagerly.
"Yes, I remember that. Everything was possible. I could walk along the top of a high brick wall without any fear."
"Yes, that's it. You know exactly what I mean. Well, I stayed that way. I grew up but I kept all that self belief right here."
As I spoke I pointed to my heart. She stared at me but I knew that she wasn't seeing me.
She was seeing something else. Something deep down inside of her. I walked up to her and pulled her up by her hands.
"Come. I've seen the road. We're nearly there. It's time to move on."
She looked at me a little strangely, shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly and then began to walk.
When we got to the dirt road, we stood next to it for a while. We looked at the road. we looked at each other and we looked at the road again.
"Alisha, this is where we part company. Your college is just around that bend over there. You're 10 minutes from your destination."
I noticed how large her eyes had become.
"And you? Where are you going?"
"I'm going the other way. There's a small village 3 km down the road. My mother lives there. It's her birthday tomorrow. I have to be with her."
While keeping her eyes fixed on me, she waved her hand towards the forest that we had just passed through.
"And all that?"
"That was a magical event. Unplanned. A happening. A moment to treasure. A bond."
She nodded her head slowly.
"Well there's one thing. When I'm in the college, I won't have to visualise my food every morning."
That observation was really amusing. We both laughed...but just as suddenly stopped.
"Dinel, please tell me. What do we do now?"
"Turn around Alisha and start walking. Don't look back. Walk into your new life. Learn about esoterics. About life in the Elysian Fields. Practise your alliterations and your metaphors. Become what you wish. The world is now yours."
"And you? What about you?"
"I'll stand here and watch you until you disappear. Then I'll go to the village."
When I returned to my apartment in the city life had changed.
My mother had begun to phone me every evening and sometimes during the day. The mobile that I'd given her on her birthday had become her most treasured and most used possession.
One evening, as we chatted about what I had eaten, whether I was dressing warmly and about an aunt that lived in Poland, she casually mentioned that she had a new friend. Someone that spent weekends with her. I said something like "that's nice."
"My son, something puzzles me. Did you tell her that a wriggling fish would teach her to write poetry?"
My heart skipped a beat or two and I kind of blurted out "Yes Mama. I told Alisha that."
"Oh yes. That's her name. I've become so forgetful, you know."
"That's OK Mama."
"Did you also tell her that she must hug a Wild Apple tree?"
"Yes Mama, I did. But it doesn't have to be a Wild Apple. Any tree will do."
"Hmmm I see. You know that she told me something else that was very strange."
"And what was that?"
"She said that she had visualised that you would come to visit me next week. I thought that it was a very strange thing to say. What did she mean by that, my son?"
I was silent for what seemed like an eternity.
"Mama, it means that I will come to visit you next week."
- copyright Fred Hose
'Earth and Mars every 60,000 years' - acrylic,tempera,oil on canvas
2003 (c) Amanda Sage
If the dream persists, the one
where you are standing
uttering nothing and
I am trying to take your photo,
we might stand like that
for all eternity,
me praising your corn-colored hair
the straightness of your spine
your eyes quivering in the light.
Where is God
but in a dream where
the light between us, always yellow,
yields like sunlight
never fading into oblivion,
even after you open your mouth,
I am done with the photograph and
copyright Linda Benninghoff
(for Kala Snowflower)
Magical child, the world awaits you
Not just this place,
any world you care to grace,
relate to, turn your lovely face to.
"We love you"
sing the winds, the seas,
the creatures large and small
"We love you always"
Singing and dancing long into the night,
you turn it into day.
Play that haunting melody.
It moves you into dance,
into a chance to name your trance,
to name us all
as we dance before your eyes.
The skies will dance for you,
will open wide their hearts of stars.
Sparkling through the night,
Shining into day.
All of creation dances to your song.
We dance with you,
creating worlds of joy.
(c) Laurie Corzett/libramoon
Moving into your music
Imagined emotion lilting, lifting, aligning.
Two children sharing secrets,
shifting about in our starched clothing,
hard, separating seats.
In our secret language
buzzing bees are harnessing wildflowers
dragonflies suit up blades shining
roaring into magnificent heroics.
A gentle stream, caressing
slick marbled stone
and faery moss
catches up glints of
pirated treasures, ice sculptures,
Our tongues lap easily
over silly syllables,
clicking, tickling our teeth.
Inside our innocent eyes
laughter ignites memories
unembraced by words.
(c) March 20, 2006 Laurie Corzett
Contributors to Enchanting Romance
All of the work (and believe me, it is work) presented here is the property of the individual artists. All of their rights are reserved. So, no lifting without permission. Contact information can probably be found on the contributors' pages. If not, check with me to contact anyone whose work you wish to use: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Dancing Lotus" is a painting inspired by nature's beauty with a spiritual context on the 'romance' of vibrant life and energy found in nature herself, and communicated through nature's symbols: the lotus as a symbol for spiritual growth and evolution, the spirit of the elements of water, fire and air, the spirit of dance and movement. If you look closely you may begin to see fairies, pixies, devas and devis, all "dancing" and nurturing the life of the lotuses.
5'X6' / oil and pastel on canvas/ by Andrew Thomas Bearce
Andrew is a multi-talented artist who continues to pursue a career in the three main disciplines of visual art, music, and drama. His extensive and well rounded experience includes a degree in fine arts from Pratt Institute School of Art and Design, gallery shows and exhibitions in New York, South Florida, Phoenix and Sedona, theatrical performances and acting for stage and screen, progressive rock performances and recordings as vocalist, saxophonist and keyboardist, and arts instruction and workshops for all ages. He owns the multi-production company ATB Productions, operating in the artistic and culturally rich community of Sedona, Arizona. ATB Productions provides fine art, illustrations, murals, graphics and cartooning, as well as recording, music production and performances from the "Purple Cave" recording studio, currently producing Andrew's solo act "Emotive." The latest CD and sample songs are available at www.emotivethemusic.com
Andrew has also enjoyed a modest career as an actor and performer. Recently he performed important roles in the independent films "Thor's Hammer" by Eric Sundt, and "Locker Room" by Ace Rodriguez. Andrew provides instructional workshops for painting and drawing, performing and recording. The combined talents of this artist influence one another. In a painting you can find drama, in a performance you will find visual art, and in the music of "Emotive" you will find all artistic influences. Art is life in expression.
To experience more from this multi-talented artist, please visit www.atbproductions.com and www.emotivethemusic.com
All inquiries may be sent to email@example.com
The artist enjoys hearing from fans, fellow artists and patrons of the arts. Drop a line, and visit the websites!
Check out my new "artist showcase" http://www.ShowcaseYourMusic.com/emotive
Philip Rubinov Jacobson
is an artist, writer, teacher, philosopher and traveler. An international and central figure in both the Fantastic and Visionary genres of art, he holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Painting, Printmaking and Sculpture, with studies in Psychology, Philosophy and Comparative Religion. His paintings have been exhibited internationally in more than 90 exhibitions and his writings have been read worldwide. He is the author of "DRINKING LIGHTNING - Art, Creativity and Transformation" and the forthcoming "PROMETHEAN FLAMES - Rekindling and Re-visioning the Creative Fire" and "EYES OF THE SOUL - Exploring Inspiration in Art". This trilogy of art and spirit represents a deep exploration and survey by the professor on integral consciousness and art. Rubinov's travels have been extensive, including India, where he studied meditation, Eastern philosophy and wandered naked with a band of sadhus in 1978. He has studied the world wisdom traditions and the Martial Arts of Kodakan Judo and Aikido Sword. Philip has been a strong voice and active proponent for the power inherent in the creative process and in 1981 he co- founded and directed what was the first Institute for Contemplative Education and Visionary Art in the United States, located in upstate New York. In 1995, the professor founded and directed the School of Extended Studies at Naropa University where he served as the Dean of Extended Studies from 1991-1997. He has been holding his renowned international summer painting seminars: "Old Masters - New Visions" since 1997. He is represented by Galerie 10 in Vienna, by agent, Gerda Schreiner, in Austria and by The Dream Masters in the USA. He continues to paint, write and teach while his long-range vision includes establishing what would be the first Academy of the Integral Arts at Villa Visionaria, a cooperative community sited in Italy for inspired creative workers. In addition, he is working on the founding of the first international Integral Center for Arts and Culture. He is currently featured as one of 50 artists in the new book publication from Jon Beinart: "Metamorphosis", a collection of visionary, surreal and fantastic art.
The painting we are privileged to view here is:
The Malachite Muse, c. 2006
Egg tempera and oil on panel
Approx. 11 x 14 in.
GIFT SHOP: http://www.cafepress.com/rubinovj
Email the professor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In human psychology and in contemporary art, there is an area between the purely abstract and the purely realistic. This is the area in which Denver artist Stevon Lucero maneuvers, exploring the edges of his subconscious mind where thought begins to intrude on the real world. Out of images seen in dreams, visions and separate reality experiences, Lucero creates powerful painted metaphors. His paintings are neither reflections of the visible world as in realism, nor depictions of the subconscious as in surrealism. Lucero's unique visualizations are somewhere in between – so he calls his work Metarealism. The psychological border area is the source of his creativity. The reality within is more intriguing than the external reality. Internal images become paintings when they have a powerful effect on Lucero. They also become messages that have something to say to all audiences. In his paintings, Lucero is always synthesizing what his introspective vision produces, gleaning forms, themes, and ideas that portray the similarities that unite humanity psychologically, not the differences that divide it perceptually.
Stevon Lucero can be contacted at: www.stevonlucero.com
or email: email@example.com
Born 1953, Liverpool. Have worked as a librarian, peanut butter processor, dishwasher and dogsbody in too many hotels to mention. Also an artist - have contributed many black and white third world studies to numerous journals globally, often affiliated with Ananda Marga Yoga society for whom I've done voluntary work in S.E. Asia, including mural painting and work in various social projects. Also worked as a volunteer at a large orphanage in Thailand. Currently making and hand-painting jewelry/ craft boxes displaying fairies, dragons, Winnie the Pooh. Working off and on at a few appalling fantasy novels. Occasionally make dolls houses, castles and rocking horses... A regular contributor to a number of poetry websites.
Rev. Rebecca Guile Hudson
Who I am is the possibility of Love, Light & Joy being fully alive, fully expressed & fully manifested. I believe in miracles & limitless possibilities, and have every intention of helping bring real peace to all mankind. My poetry's purpose is to contribute a new perspective to help change/heal the mind of the world, such that we "change our minds & keep the change".
I am a certified Peer Counselor for the Mentally Ill, trained paraprofessional crisis/suicide line volunteer, Hypnotherapist, and ordained minister. I sing bass with the Symphony Orchestra of Albuquerque's Adult Choir, and with the University of New Mexico, Valencia Campus choir. I live with my beloved husband, John, in Los Lunas, NM -- we have 3 sons, 4 grandchildren, 4 cats and 2 dogs and 1 very large puppy.
Here's the link to my book, "Out of Cullen Street (A House of Madness)" available on-line: http://store.domesticsale.com/items/54931.html
I am always contactable via my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
is seeking collaboration for her Flash Utopian Fiction Project: series of flash fiction pieces around a federation of diverse villages each working out their methods of community life -- little dramatic impacts illustrating creative solutions to social problems. Got ideas?
check out my book: Words from the Sky http://www.lulu.com/libramoon
where you can also find
libramoon's observatory (blog)
Frozen in timeless beauty, Auslender’s Celestial Images reflect transcendental or “peak” experiences of our oneness with the mystical universe as we open ourselves to receive whatever it might offer…
visits by the mysterious Muse,
the cosmos as a cathedral,
What I love about poetry is that it lets you step outside of the situation and see what is happening in a whole new way. It lets you involve the senses and the emotions and use them as a painter would color and light and shadow. It's the words that do this and they do it by bringing along all of the reader's connotations. So it would be different for every reader to see the same words.
I spent quite awhile studying this; I had some wonderful teachers who showed me new things about words. My background in graphic design helped a lot visually. But like all art, poetry gives one that new perspective.
More recently, my journey into the spiritual and the pagan ceremonies has led me to see how life can be a sacred ceremony.
And then there are the words. Like paint to an artist. You can really mess with them. Messing with the media can give us lovely results.
Anna is a freelance writer, poet and musician who lives on Auckland's idyllic North Shore. She has self-confessed obsession with water in all its forms and is currently working on a chapbook of poetry, entitled "Wonderment" to be released at Poetry Live in Auckland. Her poems are a juxtaposition of philosophical musings and nostalgic ramblings with a few odd scratchings thrown in for good measure.
Poetry redeemed me after a near-death experience of the Imagination.
I make films that adults, who are called Critics, say are visionary and poetic. To me my films are as wicked children full of innocence and arrogance impatiently awaiting their hour of play, when the adults go to sleep and dream of better days.
Word is out. I am now selling my children as dvds at:
I'm a qualified MSc graduate engineer and worked in a steelworks, on two mines and in a project office for many years. I was regarded as very successful engineer and because of this was sent to many parts of the world as a troubleshooter and dealmaker.
I was also an exchange student and as such spent several years in Germany. While there, I was placed in a hostel with 40 Indians. Because of other events before and staying in this hostel, I became deeply involved in things Indian including learning about their ancient culture, their traditions. At one stage we formed a cricket team and did a tour of six English villages.
I was married, but after 6 months of marriage, my wife collapsed with a brain tumour. The operation failed and she lay in bed, a virtual vegetable. In this period I learned how to pray and come into close contact with God. She died, mercifully, after a year.
Then during an anaesthesia for an operation, I felt that I recieved a command to write. I was told to write and have compassion as my theme. As a result of this event, on leaving hospital, I resigned from my work and began writing. This happened about three years ago.
Since then I've written 5 unpublished novels and many stories and poems which I've sent to three writers' organisations. One of these novels is being considered by a Bollywood producer for the making of a full feature movie.
Tim Anderson is an avid explorer of the mysterious dimensions of the imagination.
More of his work can be seen at http://www.timzart.com/
I'm a woman, been born several times, and celebrate Summer while others enjoy Winter.
was born in Wheatcroft, KY, in 1955. He is a product of the turbulent 50’s and 60’s in the rural southern United States. After the death of his parents he relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana where he lived with his sister and was introduced to poetry during his high school years. Also at this time, he began the first of many sexual and interpersonal relationships with white women. In that regard, he believes that everyone wants what they are not supposed to have. His work is sometimes angry, sad and poignant, but always true to his life experiences. He has been featured at many open mics and has competed in regional and national poetry slams. He has been a featured reader at the Seattle erotic art festival for the last 3 years. He is a single father of a 20 year old son and a 14 year old daughter. He has worked many different jobs in the manufacturing sector. He currently works as an electroplater in the defense and aerospace industry. His poetry is an attempt to chronicle the life of a working black man in modern day America. It explores the darker side of life, sex, interpersonal relationships and race. It is reminiscent of writers like Mumia Abu Jamal and Bell Hooks. He performs regularly with a dinner theater troupe called Little Red Studio here in Seattle, WA (www.littleredstudioseattle.com ) where he reads poetry and writes pieces for other performers and skits. He is a generative artist, that is to say, all of his works are original. He now lives in Covington, WA with his girlfriend, her son, his son, two dogs and a cat.
David Lee Jones
16214 S.E. 256th Pl.
Covington, WA. 98042
and if people want to see my work, they could come see me perform at the little red studio (www.littleredstudioseattle.com)
Kathryn Silva Cravalho
Carolion is a multitalented artist and a peace teacher. She co-founded the Peace Guild for Staff at Omega Institute, as well as the Devic Garden, and the All-Cultures Powwow. She carries a set of visions for Dynamic Peace (a system of self-governance by means of bioregional peace councils) and the empowerments for founding several other festivals to fuel them energetically, worldwide. Some of her artwork and current writing is available at
I am a self-taught, visionary surrealist painter (for lack of a better definition). I believe that reality is a cultural consensus, that people perceive the world through the "filter" of their society. This conditioned perception of reality, along with the tendency to grow less observant of the world around us as we become adults, dulls our awareness. Our concept of an object profoundly affects the way we see it. Often, we are seeing our concept of the object more than we are actually looking at the object itself. When someone is unfamiliar wih something, they examine it more carefully than they do when they have a preconceived notion of what it is. I like to take images that seem familiar and render them unfamiliar, allowing the viewer to see them as if for the first time. I agree with Magritte that an artist's work should "evoke a sense of mystery" and feel that the best advice ever given to an artist was director Sergei Diaghilev's command to Jean Cocteau "Astonish Me."
I was born in a small town in Oklahoma. I began painting in oils around the age of twelve and produced a considerable body of work before graduating from high school in 1968. Although I attended O.S.U. as an art major for several years, I never enrolled in painting classes so I don't consider myself to be formally trained as a painter. I have continued to paint throughout my life and have had work in juried shows in various cities over the years, including Los Angeles, New York and a museum show in Brooklyn.
I am currently in the process of making my paintings available as Giclee prints on paper and on canvas, mounted on a wooden stretcher. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions about my work or about availability of paintings and prints.
My pieces here: “The Mask of Revelation” and “Slumber of the Soul”
The Mystical Art of Rachel K. Cox
My Art is a language, in which I converse with spirit, the world, myself and the people around me. Subliminal, whispering or screaming it is a guide if I allow it to be. It is my teacher as it patiently waits for me to listen… it is a journey that is endless, one that will help lead me to the awakening of my full potential.
I was born April 19, 1978 in Colorado to my fabulous parents You & Jackson. I have been blessed with the support of my family and extended family to pursue that which I felt was most important. Starting in 1996 my travels & projects bounced me between Bali, Indonesia and Vienna, Austria. I studied for 1,5yrs with Michael Fuchs, and was a painting assistant to Ernst Fuchs for 6 yrs. Michael taught me to ‘see’ the world around me thru the brush and Old Master techniques in painting. Ernst Fuchs helped guide me to ‘listen’, which opened up other ways of ‘seeing’ as well. I have been blessed with a beautiful Studio in Vienna’s Culture House ‘WUK’, this has provided me with community, space and time to discover my own visions, share questions and absorb information.
My dreams are vast and grand, reaching around the globe, and further, to touch, share and inspire as many creatures as possible to awaken to their inherent right to be creators of their lives and the world around them/us.
That we become aware of the necessity of community, of our connectedness, that we globalize thru the appreciation of our differences and the sharing of our personal expressions.
By following the line of the brush, I am dedicated to the vastness of the Imagination – on a Quest to discover new and grand territories, with the path ahead full of wonderful & amazing surprises!
More of Amanda's images can be found:
DEVIANT ART http://asage.deviantart.com/
I translated The Seafarer from Anglo-Saxon; the translation appears at www.electrato.com. I have published 2 chapbooks The Street Where I was a Child and Departures. You can email me at: email@example.com