Charred Monks & Flaming Photos
In a singular beat of my heart a cacophony of monstrous nightmares scream to be heard above the drone of monotony that is my daily grind. The toothbrush looks at me; bristles dripping, disappointed to have been inside of a mouth that never speaks the truth. The bald patch upon my head begs the question of why I never stepped into the light of serenity that better men have grasped by forgoing their worldly possessions in the sanctity of monkhood. If only it was as easy as to shave my cranium clean to pursue a life of wisdom. Of peace. The tap is still running. I watch the water disappear into an unknown blackness where pipes carry the torrent onwards to a place I know not where. Rushing into oblivion? Or a place of purification, I suppose. I wash my hands in its stream and shut it off. I should talk to my sister. It was her birthday yesterday. Or possibly the day before that. Sometime this month. I'll call her.
Snap & Strum
He once dated a girl with a pink ukulele. She showed him a tattoo of a dream catcher - it was right between her shoulders and he decided then and there she was his goddess. He'd only been a vegan for all of two months, but she didn't need to know his whole truth - not yet. Besides, when he left her at a bakery as she tried to decide on sourdough or ancient grain, he was already back on the beef burgers and in love with a warrior in dungarees. Sydney would sing about the photos she found as she played her pink ukulele - the two of them, open mouths of ecstasy, naked, the man she knew, the woman she didn't, dungarees hanging from her bed post, kebab wrapper by her bedside lamp.
Old Vines and Stone Birds
"Now look here." she said, finally getting a word in, "I don't know what to tell you love, but I can't help yer. I mean he's been dead for a hundred and fifty years - at least!" She took her hands off her hips and slid one under her apron to produce a flask. By the way it creased her forehead as the liquid reached her throat it was clear to Montgomery Clarke that it was exactly the sort of drink he could use right about now. She didn't offer him any and it disappeared back behind her apron. What other secrets did she hide beneath her layers he wondered, but before he could form another question she slid the door shut. They looked at each other for a moment between the glass before she shuffled away and he was left standing in the garden with Crime.
A Solar Symphonic Fate
Music in the vacuum of space: composed in the hydrogen melody at the heart of every system. This is birth. Interstellar dust and clouds twirl together to form the first majestic chord as silent gravity demands, for its power forges this unmistakable harmony – nuclear fusion igniting the core. Yet it is gravity, this same facilitator that will close the curtains on its show. Only the searing center of creativity prevents the unrelenting pressure of gravitational force from extinguishing these legendary objects: a masterpiece of cosmic equilibrium. In wonder and in awe we listen to their lives before their eventual collapse.
What Hides within the Beast
I have been a prisoner to the promise that the truth, no matter how deeply buried, will always, eventually, be revealed. And I have waited within that childish idea. Holding it close like a pillow. Sobbing into its soft fabric as it reassuringly dried my eyes and let me look upon a new day - to sustain; to lay down roots in new ground. My garden is bountiful now. The tomatoes red and ripe, and I am no stranger to the bedfellow I call appreciation. For one who has not fostered a relationship with appreciation will find no joy in this world. Joy is the toy that was snatched from our young feeble hands and our adult lives then became a desperate search to retrieve it, and yet, it is almost always found by our feet. My garden is bountiful. The leaves on my lettuces are unharmed, uneaten, and only I shall devour them. Joy springs from the ground. The seeds that I planted held a truth within them. They had knowledge. That knowledge, buried in the darkness of dirt, found its way to the surface to reveal itself and show to the world what it truly is. We are all, each of us, seeds in this way. I appreciate seeds and I nourish them. I appreciate the birds. I appreciate the trees. I appreciate the seasons changing and I observe how time is changing me. The lion's jaws are but a distant memory, as is the bated breath, and the crowd's thunderous applause.
Hatched from a Hollow Place
He carved into the porous surface with the precision of a surgeon; cleanly the lines were made across its curves and the operation was underway. A transformation. The shell, its innocent cream against the rough hand that grasped it, allowed itself to give way to the demands of that which possessed it. Without argument, and without crumbling, the carving of its surface continued with the carver transfixed in his work. The clear control of his quick movements hid his impatience, and could have been mistaken for flourishes of showmanship or joy. There would be no way to tell that his grip on the shell was so firm that it threatened to crush the thing; that considerable focus on his part was restraining that very impulse. One would be forgiven therefore not to have considered rage as a defining characteristic of the artist, and, as he completed the carving of the beautiful turtle, one would also be forgiven for not comprehending the expression on the artist's face as he turned his work over in his palm. Admiration for his own work seemed only natural as the process was as seductive as the outcome was astounding. Yet, it was not admiration in his eyes, but memories, the scenes washing in and out as the waves slid onto the shore behind him. He thought to himself how he’d like to carve into the shell of the turtle and leave it hollow.
The Question of Signor Ciccio
They who do not know ask - 'Who is Signor Ciccio?' - and I look at them across the fire and I smile, acknowledging the education bestowed upon me and the anticipation for the journey that they will make with me at their side. You can be damn certain that I'll be at their side. I hear them ask again, and people murmur, so many of us veterans unsure how best to respond - how to answer. For how do you answer a question like that without changing their life forever?
Wings of a Static Dream.
Only remnants of the previous encounter were left to sip upon. If the last conversation was a bird, then the elegant surprise of its open wings was now merely a feather falling from the sky. She cradled this image as it landed in her mind, stroking its softness against her cheek. Looking upwards, high into the clouds, there was a place in which a dream was begging to become a storm. She uncorked the bottle hiding in her bag. The glasses tinkled as the two found themselves testing each other's contours, finally coming free from the tightly wrapped scarf that had held them apart during their long journey together. As she released them from the dark confines that they once shared and placed them on the concrete steps, she felt the smallest droplet of rain meet her face. It was almost imperceptible, but she noticed it nonetheless. She looked up into the nothingness of that foreboding sky, and beneath her mask, allowed herself a rare smile. To the legs that rushed past her on the street that hopeful expression was equally as imperceptible. She poured the wine.