No Longer Afraid


Having spent a very long and stormy night
losing the ‘what if?’ game
For no reason at all
I decide to play the ‘mindfulness’ game

in the trailing days of a lingering summer swelter
I become – unstuck
Somehow this moment falls away
swirling like that leaf

I reflect on the refractions of Autumn
Autumns past
Autumns to come

Yellow poplar
Scarlet maple
Rust red oak

And look
Pathways in the dancing leaf shadows
Pathways beyond number. . .

Chapter 5 ~ Dropping the 1st mask

The Pretender decided that she would Like the Magician, which was not so unusual in as much as she often made such decisions on the spur of the moment. It was her custom.
She took off her first mask saying:
“I will become you
I will become your creation
I will change my self into something else so that you will never ever want for anything else
I will be everything you need so that you will never leave me.”
The Pretender opened her hand opened everything but her eyes saying:
“Let me buy you with my sex
Let me open my body, but not my heart
You may not touch me there
Never, ever there . . .
I will show you everything but my soul.”

Chapter 4 ~ Departures and Sojourns

They left in clear sight but no one saw them leave.
They walked across the fields, walked across flower dappled meadows, through oceans of golden wheat. And when they had walked a day and a half they came to the coast.
As her foot hit the sand of the beach the Pretender turned and regarded the Magician. His eyes have taken the hue of the Sea and his beard has become the grey of winter skies.
She turns to face him, “Which way is your ship?”
He looks out to sea, “My ship has a mind of its own and there is really no way to know.”
“Oh what a lazy captain, that you let your ship steer itself. . .”
“It is not a life-style I would suggest for everyone but it has worked reasonably well for me.”
“How shall we call this ship of yours?”
“It comes when it comes, perhaps patience is . . . “
She says, “Where’s the damn boat?”
He points. “There.”
And sure enough, just cresting the horizon, a tiny cyan ship coursed toward them against the tide.
“Does it have a name?” she asked
“It is called the Heart.”
The ship was such that it was sometimes difficult to make out at a distance. It could easily be mistaken for a graceful sea bird, it’s billowing sails could be clouds . . .
It moved onto the beach and sailed the sand to their feet. The Magician offered his hand and the Pretender boarded the Heart of the Magician.

Sub Chapter 3.2 ~ Masks within Masks, Alpha Contact

The Cocktail Parties of the Furies always have the most interesting music and the décor . . .
On this particular evening the invited guests sashay through fantastic landscapes, different in every room. They glide, awash in the brilliant colors of Midnight, the low dull thudding of the Infrareds, the shark toothed Ultra Violets. They eat the most peculiar things and are encouraged to wear very strange hats.
The Magician is holding an azure drink filled with twinkling stars.
Off to his right the Pretender glides through shadow and shade. Her gown, a whisp of gossamer, a hint of feather and down.
She seldom turns to look face on, but sees everything in the room. She seldom stops to talk at length, but speaks to each and every one in the room. If you’re lucky you might glimpse the grace of a hand involved in a perfect gesture, the hint of a smile, the lilt of her voice.
She flows through the room like water and congeals where the Magician converses with a werewolf . The Magician is visibly unsettled by the beautiful woman suddenly standing beside him.

Chapter 3 ~ The Magician meets The Pretender at the Cocktail Party of the Furies

Constance meets Manjag at the door, reminding him to remove his sandals. He notices that all the guests seem to have been likewise invited to park their shoes. She takes his cloak and asks for his staff. The Magician used sleight of hand to sequester the staff into a hidden pocket, says he’d be naked without it. Constance smiles, the leaves in her hair undulating in the breeze that curls through the door.
Sabote turns to regard the new arrival and immediately slips on her “Oh, it’s only you . . .” face. The Magician pulls a rabbit out of her ear, everyone laughs.
Anxi reprimanded her sister, reminding her that they were civilized and as such Were required by code and custom to welcome all invited guests. The tentacles that covered her torso enfolded the Magician. He extracted himself by offering her a tiny ornate box of candy he has pulled out of the air.
Horrence clapped and made the most annoying noises. She tried to grab him by the nape but succeeded in only grasping his shoulder. Dangling him from her pincer she held him up for all to see. The Magician waved to them.

Chapter 2 ~ Manjag the Metamystic Metaphysician, an Introduction

Current speculation has it that Manjag Entaphulus was born in far Caleiberiera or The Eastern Land of Xundenda in the year of the Gloam. There is even some conjecture that he might have roots in the Land of Blue Ginger. All of this is hearsay and idle speculation of course because there are no records.
The records do show that he achieved high marks in Metaphysics in the ivy encrusted halls of Herseck DeKammers and while he was not first in his class he was graduated with honors in the study of Metamysticism from Tuzeca.
The title of his Thesis: “Its Not So Much About Learning the Truth, Its About Proving Yourself Right”. A Tome that caused a bit of a stir.
It is a matter of record the faculty were divided in their evaluation of his work, some claiming it was an inspired work of biting sarcasm, others cited the documented facts as irrefutable proof of their own pet theories.
Unable to resolve the issue of the document’s intent they decided to award him an advanced degree and rid the campus of him.
It is generally said by those who knew him that Manjag has always had the unnerving habit of transmuting Reality into Metaphor and Metaphor into Reality with equal ease. He was known to twist Light out of Darkness and conjure songs out of memories . . .songs filled with words dark and true. In addition the Magician has a small talent for making up the most marvelous lies. His lies, like all really good lies, has at their nucleus a kernel of profound Truth. In some ways his lies were more akin to the underlying Truth of the Universe than most of the so called facts of everyday life.
To the best of the records, he never tried to pass any of his lies off as truth, but with a man such as this one, who can ever be absolutely certain?

in matters of life


she asked
“Are the gods silent
or is it me?”

the gods are not silent
even in this moment

there is no silence

life is thick, thunderous marching boots
on crazed dictators
stamping across a tin roof

life is a wining dog at the door

life is the roar of a river eating its own banks

and yet
the gods. . .
they are quiet, but not silent

life is a whisper in a hurricane
life is a fragile bloom
even though last spring the frost killed the other bloom
life is a gentle second in a year of bedlam

in matters of life
if we are wise
we appreciate it when we have it