The Invitation

Manjag the Metamystic Metaphysician
Decides to attend the Cocktail Party for the Furies

He fingers
The ivory inlayed invitation
Properly appointed in silver trim
And sealed with the most exotic sealing wax
It must have materialized in the earthen tureen
in the surge of the Night
Now no one knows just exactly how such invitations are wont to appear
unexpected and unheralded
But everyone knows
That only those invited
May attend the Cocktail Party for the Furies

Manjag never attends such parties
Often finding himself instead
In distant and curious places
walking beneath the cathedrals of scarlet and amber in the woods
or sailing the unseen currents in the skies
But he has heard the tales
We’ve all heard the tales . . .
And it can only be guessed why he decided to go

But what to wear . . .
What to say
What to carry in the pockets
or leave in the Chest of Many Wonders
Whether to go hungry or satisfied
Should one conform to the customs
Or try new ways . . .

We’ve all heard the tales . . .

Few have ever survived such parties
And those who have
Are never quite returned the same
And you just have to wonder why
Only those invited
May attend the Cocktail Party for the Furies

The Dragon Warrior and the Priestess of the Moon

She walks within the Temple
in the cool of the Evening
Shadow and Light play across her
fluid movement

Beside the koi pond
she lingers for a moment . . .
for an eternity
And what would any man give
to know her thoughts
To know such a heart as hers
at peace . . .

She approaches
name in the Elder Tongue . . .
Meaning Keeper of the Secret’

I stand silent
for there are no words worthy
of such a Lady

She says
‘Surely a Dragon Warrior
is not afraid of one such as me . . .’

I fidget . . .

“Speak to me Cyfrin
Speak of this secret’

My voice is lead
in my throat
‘I would never affront the ear
of one so fair . . .’

She is waiting patiently

I move to the pond
the variegated ornamental pond fish
glide in a world . . .
A liquid world untroubled by . . .

‘Fair Lady
How can I bear to touch
this flaming snail trail of pain
this testament to lost moments
that have died . . .
and while they are not resurrected
they remain ever-dying shells of memory
in the sarcophagus of my heart . . .’

She moves beside me
and appears to watch the dappled waters
where the fish gape air

The lingering burnished sun reflects
on ten thousand polished surfaces
of marble and alabaster
Setting the sparkling clear waters agleam

A gentle breeze teases the reeds
and everything is undulating . . .

‘I have failed . . .’

‘Dragon Warrior
How is it that you have failed . . .?’

‘I was not . . .’

She laughs
and it is the sound of a child’s heart
Delicate in my ear

‘Dragon Warrior . .. .
I mean to say
That you have not failed . . .’

‘She does not love me’

‘Is it not written Chyfrin
that even the gods
can not make a woman love?

You have charted the Far Seas
and opened New Lands for the benefit of all
Yet in this you have never asked reward
for yourself

You have fought and bloodied
Those Who Wish Harm
In this land and far afield
Yet you have not sought accolades
in the Hall of the Memorally

You have done as the best Warriors do
You have protected and held firm
While seeking no reward

And then it comes to this
You have sought this woman’s heart
as your only reward . . .

This one woman in particular
Tough others would honor such an offer
The one you chose does not wish it so
She refuses your hand . . .

I would that this was otherwise
but I must abide by the Truth
It is not through any failing of yours
That she does not love you . . .’

My heart is bursting
Death seems so much easier than this . . .

‘Warrior . . .?
Chayfrin . . .?’

‘Yes Lady’

‘I would ask this one thing of you
Are you open to my request?’

My face betrays me to her
in ways that it has never betrayed me
to any other
I would give her anything . . .

‘Brave Warrior
I was ask as your highest favor
That you release this one to her fate . .
And please . . .
Before my heart breaks . . .
please give me your hand . . .’

Whisper Touch

I read your words
and whisper your incantations under my breath
Atoms of your essence ionize
and your image flickers at arm’s length

I conjure the spheres of yesterday
and with trembling hands
I whisper touch your face
your shoulder

The smell of you
still clings to my fiber
Your presence
still sends shivers down my spine

The embers of memory still smolder here
in this inner room
where I keep the shred of your shadow

Could I bear exorcising your echoes
from my hallways
Can I ever be free of you
with all these fragments of you
tucked away in every corner

I wonder if I saw you again
If my heart would burst


I extend my hand to dance
The Lady poet says
“I’d love to . . .”

She remains seated
Says . . .
“I’d love to, but . . .”

I examine my shoes
check my breath
flex my right knee to see
if it still works right . .

She says
“I’d love to, but not right now . . .”
I check the time
look at the band . . .
consider my drink

“I’d love to, but not right now . . .
I have a headache”
I fold the sky
and put the band away
pull the bus schedule out of my other pocket . . .

You in the Summer Afternoon

Leaning toward the afternoons
in Summer

Afternoons that know
no need for umbrellas
no need of fire to warm us
no need for anything but lemonade
and your oceanic eyes.

The blaze my self imposed solitude
a forgotten fire
a casing of empty armor
now . . .
somehow hollow

I smell like the sea
I search the beach and dunes
for a former thing
a thing I used to know
a thing I used to be

You keep only the moment
discard my darkness
cast away my distance

Your regard sometimes exposes fossilized bones
of ancient sea creatures
that lived on the coast of dread
Now extinct

Leaning toward the afternoons
in Summer
this Summer
I re-learn your oceanic eyes
Relearn the first stars
that flash like your soul when you love me
Tiny points of light in your eyes
speaking the tiny baby stars
fading into the world
when this afternoon is done . . .