Love Eternal: Flash Fiction

I sat on the hill and watched the interplay. Young lovers thought the priests couldn’t see them, whispered sweet nothings that followed them into the ground. Hands clasped them together and all the rest fell away. Love was a gesture, no different from the motions I made to keep back the crowd as the others picked through their bones and pieced their story back together.

(Care of New York Daily News)

(Inspired by news of the 14th century skeletons uncovered in England this week by University archaeologists, their hands still clasped across 700+ years. It will be fascinating to see what people can find of the pair, the stories they’ll come up with, even if some will find it a bit morbid.)

 

In the Garden

In the journey of you

the suckled grape, the coaxing strum

where the god that breeds knelt

and offered fruit from the failing limbs

of moist magnitudes—

from the yoke of breaths

every clutch of earth inhales.

Even in the garden you would not bow

to time’s stumbling trance,

not for the taste of blood

nor temptation of design:

and it was on you the temples rose

liberated with a grasp

of the hair beneath the sky.

Live, Love – A Letter

In the words of sillier people than I: “Not my usual, but nice.”

I’ve been writing a lot, lately – and while that may be nothing extraordinary in and of itself, the nature of that writing has been beyond its usual course. For those waiting on the third (and final) book in my fantasy series, The Haunted Shadows, this will undoubtedly come as something of an annoyance (sorry, friends!), but sometimes the mind wanders, and something of the unexpected demands to be let out.

So what IS this? A letter. To friends. To family. To people I’ve never met. A letter to the world, as it were, for any that would listen. Spread it around if you like the message contained within – and don’t be afraid to hit that little like button therein. A transcription follows below that would prefer the read…

“If I have never told you these things when you looked me in the eye, know that it is not because I have not loved you. Whether I have met you or know you or ever for a fleeting instant passed you on the street, for all that I put forth to the world, I have loved you. There is no shame in saying it. There should be no fear. Life is too brief a thing upon this earth to be dragged down by the bitterness of blindness. I should know; I have admittedly at times been its greatest connoisseur.

But it is from experience that I tell you: sweet star child, do not let age descend upon you. It is a foolish path. There is much in this world that will grey you if you let it, leeching all of its lessons from the marrow of your bones. You have the power to resist. Too many say we are marching toward death; what they fail to realize is all too often we are marching away from life. Death is inevitable. Do not fear it. Life is, in every moment, a chance to smile, to positively impact another life, to together laugh in the face of the Devil and love, love, love with the light of the sun.

Keep that light, child. Let it flush beneath your skin, let it swell the tenor of your voice, and let it be a beacon for you even in darkest night, that you might always remember: you and you alone are your own true north. You know what needs to be done; the world is just the trail on which you wander to achieve it. What made possible the fires of this universe so also made you, and if they created starlight and planets and life as rich and vibrant as our own, think what just a fraction of their heat could achieve.

I am not blind. I could never tell you your journeys won’t hurt. Life is painful. It will break you, it will tear you open and beat you down. Do you remember the first time you fell? The first time you skinned your knee? Childhood made everything more acute; the tears, they fell like rain. You walked away with a scar, but the pain, for all that you dreaded it, faded with time. Everything heals. There will always be scars to remind us, but people will come to you and take your hand and offer to patch you up again with the fervor of their love and their devotion; never shut them out. You may wish to hide. You may wish to tough it out. But people are the salve as often as they are the poison; never let the one blind you to the other. Your flame will burn brighter with their fuel.

Oh, child, if only you could know what it is you are. Zeus, they said, had his thunderbolts, and Poseidon had his waves. Stories. We are the gods of this world, and I tell it true, when you were born there were waves that would drown us all in the moments of your tears, and the crackle of summer’s storms in every quiver and quake of your laughter.

You are a gift of creation. You are creation and destruction, and the marvelous structure of the universe: we may be motes, but we are motes of the infinite, and no one should ever make you feel small.

Hate will ever be in your sight; the road will grow muddy. If ever you doubt, just look to the sky and the myriad other stars still twinkling in that long night, and remember what it is to love. That the first people to ever hold you are in that sky, still watching, and waiting, and growing with the journey of the one they made. That friends, lovers, enemies, all revolve across the same sky, following their trails to the lightening of all others—wobbling, stumbling, falling the same as you.

Never forget them. Not once. For your heart will not. Your first love will be there beside you to your dying day. Your feet will still remember the contours of their first dance. These things do not die. For this form of living, and love, is unconditional—we are what we are, and may you never be ashamed of it.

Laugh. Love. Cry. Hate. Fall. Rise. Run. Learn.

Smile. All of existence is in your sight.”

To the Budding Flower

(Prefer to hear it read aloud? Click here!)

Just a little taste of spring:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hands jerking over rosebuds

Wheeling inside a weightless wind

The slender self would flood

 

Numbers, sunlit fall

Without winding, nor binding no

Not this kiss, for that’s all it is

A kiss and a thunder so

 

The flower smiles today

Before the morrow’s sunless yoke:

The higher they be howling

The sooner sets the stroke

 

And age, it cries out for the coy

For youth knows yet the blood,

and time the wisdom of the sleepless

knows the quiet of life caught in the bud.

Road under Broken Wings

John Everett Millais, "Autumn Leaves".

John Everett Millais, “Autumn Leaves”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We met in days of graying gold

When dust should rise and dust should fall

And some fair mortal hope scampered bird-like along a road,

Borne on weighted winds no one could hold.

 

Years later we would find

At every twisting of the path

A certain comradery in the faded kind

Of broken wings too proud for wrath.

 

And though we had no coin to share

And too long, each, in winter fear expend

With horizon clear and air set upon a prayer

We shall yet know ourselves to be worthy of a friend.

* Footnote: The words are there, the path is set before me–I would not say this is a final piece as yet, but a work in the right direction. I welcome any commentary you may have upon it, for it came plucked unbidden from my thoughts just this morning, and shall yet by evening’s light be honed, I think.