Reincarnation (Though I can’t Recall Your Name)

In the day that was a night, I had a dream that was no dream.

And through a child’s heart, into my own, came the stinging blade of a memory I was never supposed to recall.

But I’d chosen to break the barriers of the mortal mind – my soul had screamed for truth above all else, and now would bear its burden.

The pain which had long resided in my chest absent explanation was at once understood, and even cherished. I saw a past life – a failed attempt to save an innocent.

…from the hands of a man “guided by God” came the boy’s death, and my own.

Dreams were not enough – I sought understanding. For how many lifetimes have I mourned your death? How many centuries have I held fast to my vengeance? How much resentment can yet remain in my hardened heart?

More than words can ever express.

You, who kill for Gods you don’t understand. You, who send young men to their deaths over words and names which mean nothing.

Blinded, retched, vile, decrepit, poisonous men who serve only your own hearts.

All motivated by greed, lust, and power. Yet it is not the scapegoat of original sin, but your own sin! Your own choice!

And so I live the same life – the same struggle – for the thousandth time. Aware, but unwilling to accept the Master’s lesson.

A solemn sage, ready but unable to rest, though the child in my mind long ago found his place in the warming light.

Still, I see hatred in the eyes of the pale horse’s rider.

And I hear the voices of his masters crying “He needs but time!”

My conscious cries out contrarily – “He needs but time in cleansing flame.”

Each night I tame my thoughts, and awaken once more in the day for those in need of comfort or friend.

My only purpose – to help another.

My only happiness – to help another. And to slay the man who slew the child, for fear that I may yet become him!

For even as human nature is so depraved, do I not stand a human?

The one lesson so long refused – to forgive the hearts of lesser men: those who rape, murder, thieve, and lie for naught but their own amusement. A lesson I refuse even still, needing no master to guide my heart. And in each life, there is more pain – and in each pain, a greater resolution – a solemn vow – to endure, but never forget.

Mistress Tarantella: A Dance with Fate

The first demand she made of me

was to be awakened by fire and pain;

Speaking only in her whispered tones,

Fate seduced me.

She spoke to me of honor then,

and of finding my own way;

Of all the paths less traveled by

which lead into the fray.

Her eyes were fired by my own passions –

my own thoughts fell from her tongue;

On her pale skin I tasted then

the man I had become.

She spoke to me of redemption then,

and finally, of regret…

And with her kiss a brokenness

fell like hair upon my chest.

In a dark room lit by candle light

her silken dress fell to the floor;

Her veil of lies no more disguised

that Fate wanted more.

The last demand she made of me

was my death by my own hand;

Still in that room, her sweet perfume

is almost more than I can stand.

And so, we dance the Tarantella

She beckons, and I refrain…

Only able to deny her charms

because she taught me first to love the pain.

Cancer Makes Us Whole

Cancer brings people together.

Support networks seem to materialize from nothing for the sake of patients who are poked, prodded, and otherwise violated by medical equipment.

Diagnosis is the start of a noble journey to find peace with one’s mortality. With luck, it is a great obstacle overcome.

Without it, a death which should be saved for only the vilest of creatures. Often, I wonder if that’s how I’ll go.

It’s taken so many of the ones I’ve loved – it’s challenged people who deserve only happiness.

Sometimes, I imagine an acidic tumor burning its way into my lungs, or my brain, or my heart.

I only smirk at the poetic justice and bide my time.

Cancer tears people apart.

The Good Wife

The good wife stood beside her husband, watching him battle demons that no one else could see.

She watched him yell at invisible men, and finally subdue them. Each day, she watched him DECIDE to be okay, and sometimes, she watched him lose himself. But still, the good wife loved him.

She watched him hate, and crave to kill.

She watched him force back his demented nature as if trying not to retch.

She watched him tempt himself at times, with the quiet of death, but still the good wife loved him.

The good wife watched blood and tears drip from his eyes, as his thoughts overcame him. She saw his spirit rip in two, one half struggling to overtake the other. She saw her husband tear out his own still beating heart, blackened and rotting and putrid, but still the good wife loved him.

She watched her husband battle humanity, authority, and even God…she watched him convulse and sweat in the night. Sometimes, she watched him look at her as if she was a maze that he was lost inside. Other times, as if she were a lamb and he a lion. Other times still, as if she was his only source of comfort – his only hope for peace. And still, the good wife loved her husband.

She saw him speak to himself in foreign tongues, retreat to places that were on no map, and roll his eyes backward into his head completely.

She watched his mouth foam as he contorted and growled as no man should. She watched him stand completely still, gazing into the night as if terrors would soon approach. She watched him drink, lose himself to music, and write poems in blood trying but failing to overcome himself. But still the good wife loved him.

She watched me trembling there, dressed in white, and watched still when I finally found my peace. A white dove descended from heaven and healed the wounds of my very soul. Excitedly, I ran toward her loving arms, keen to repay my many debts.

But it had been too long, she’d endured too much. She stood but a shadow that I could not touch. My greatest fear, I’d tainted the very spirit of my good wife.

And though this hasn’t happened yet – though it’s still just thought in wretched head – a demon that should ne’er be fed, it’s the reason for my strife.

But never fear, and always fear; for I still have comfort – she’s drawing near…a moment’s peace and silence here, in the arms of my good wife.

And for another day, she comforts me, knowing not the true extent of what I am.

Arilla the Fae

I once knew a bard who told but one tale

The first price, cheap – just a mug of good ale

The second price, silence – for a year and a day

The third price, blindness ‘til he’d gone on his way

So there I sat, blind and enthralled

My bargain struck with the traveling bard

As he told me his story, but first did pray

After praying, he drank, then did speak of the fae

A story retold, but still his voice shook

As he recounted first crossing that magical brook

Lost in the forest, his eyes deceived him

Or thus he thought when he saw what he couldn’t believe in

Skin pale like fresh snow, with eyes that could melt you

She didn’t walk, but glided, as she approached me –

Death was apparent, the closer she came

But death was no price to but ask for her name

Long black hair fell like water upon her

With a streak of grey flowing over her shoulders

Her comforting hand rose up to my cheek;

Despite my efforts, I couldn’t speak…

Her voice wasn’t spoken, but conveyed through the mind

You’re not in your place, maneling, and not in your time.

“I’m but a traveling bard, I was just passing through –

Seeking myself, I but follow the moon…

I’ve journeyed long, grown old and tired

But alas, I know now, it was all worthwhile…

For your difficult journey, I’ll grant you a wish…

“Fair spirit, I desire but a name and a kiss.” I’m Arilla of the Fae. Her lips touched my lips. Heaven’s embrace was Arilla’s kiss.

For some span of time, all my pains were gone

I wasn’t old, but a youth, head spinning with song…

I wasn’t weary or woed, only content

And in a way, it’s been such ever since

She embraced me still, then looked down upon me –

Be warned, only thrice can you say what you saw here…

“I must tell the world of the maiden fair!”

But thrice, then you’ll die – heed and beware!

After her kiss, the bard again wandered

And only twice did speak that ever he saw her

Until I paid each price the old man sought

His tale, and his life, unwittingly bought.

It’s been a year and a day since I took that vow

The bard, but bones beneath the ground…

I can’t say how he died, for I couldn’t yet see

But since I buried the bard, I’ve been traveling…

A traveling bard, just passing through –

Seeking myself, I but follow the moon… I grow old and tired with each passing day… Ever in search of Arilla the Fae.


Sometimes, a man builds a wall around his heart to conceal his true emotions.

Sometimes, he wears metals or jewels that contain his happiest memories, or the most difficult ones.

Yet sometimes, a man is just a man. He neglects his duties of stoicism, and lays bare his humanity for all to see.

He rejects the concept of “original sin” – That he was born a vile and wretched thing, which must beg his way into merciful heaven.

Each day a choice: good or evil. And for so long, he’s chosen to do right.

Some days, a man is just a man.

…Build no fort around thy heart, but extend it outward and set ablaze.

Empathy and Sympathy

My life is a series of flavors.

Something sweet and something bitter;

Death and animation.

A taste of passion, and one of apathy

The first rich and the latter acidic.

Alcoholism and depression;

Fermentation and seductive chocolate.

Innocence and guilt.

A Chrysanthemum of happiness…

My life is a series of flavors, with nothing fully consumed.

What remains is empathy and sympathy…

Appreciation for the complexity of the human experience,

And for the friendships and education found therein…

Mostly, what remains is to question.

Life and Death, the First Professors

Having tasted the bitterness of death, and the sweetness of life –

Having felt the ocean’s spray on my face, and the cool melted snow of a mountain spring –

Having falsely smiled for those I love, and openly wept for strangers, who became friends, who became strangers –

Having hurt and triumphed, loved and lost –

Having brought new life into the world –

Having stretched my mind, broken barriers…

Questioned…Doubted… Having known, loved, and (at times) hated more than one man’s God –

Having wandered the desert, sailed the open sea, and soared in the clouds –

Having guided children while yet lost –

Having read and having written

I find myself wondering what yet remains. To understand, and with favor of luck, to be understood.

For all of us, having known the many noises of our world, shall one day succumb to the quiet that awaits us.

For now, we but live and learn, one from another.