Convergence

We drove fourteen hours that day.

All the signs for “World’s Largest Unusable Wood Sculpture of a Common Object” passed in a blur.

The towns slowly becoming indistinguishable, except for the name of the object.

We had family there, roots in grain and soil and cow muck,

But the horizon left the back of my neck prickling-

It was far too empty, too obvious.

Not flat the earth, but a swiftly rotating disk that we clung to by the edges of our tires.

It’s hard to explain mountains and forests to those without them.

To explain that it makes someone a smaller piece of something larger that is in turn

A piece of something larger still.

It is hard to describe that looking out at the horizon is not an endpoint-

But a convergence.

All things, all sizes blended together in a never ending ring of life.

IMG_6771A joining, not an ending

There is beauty in both the stark and the populated.


For more horizons of various kinds, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Of Sand and Snow

I got lost in a desert once.

We’d not brought a compass and the shifting dunes were indistinct, impossible to memorize or understand.

We found an edge, a pattern of cacti and succulents, and traced our way back to somewhere stable.

As I reached the bus, I thought of snow.

They don’t find all the bodies up North.

With the shifting snow blinding vision and sense

You can go in circles, never more than a half-mile from the road,

Or you can veer into impossible distance.

Both are effective burials.

When the landscape changes beneath your feet,

Before your limited vision,

Direction and time become meaningless distractions.

It is the stories we tell ourselves that save us-

Silly songs about the trees we pass, the water we cross-

The pattern of dying plants at the edge of infinity.

IMG_1500The ghosts at the edges of death make great stories and memories

Memories and stories make interesting and useful companions.


For more intertwining moments of memory and story, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Pig Skin

There are old stories

About creatures and people who take on fur

And take it off

Skins slick and dense,

Easily worn,

Easily shed.

There’s something uncomfortable about a pig

In the way that its skin is fully displayed

Impossible to hide with fine thin hairs

The birthmarks and blemishes and signs of scars

Or age.

Skin is a map we try to cover

And pigs lay out their routes boldly

Lives too unobscured for fairytales.

IMG_0063A story is as much what isn’t said as what is

What tales hide and what they reveal is always a point of fascination.


For more skins, obscured and unobscured, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

 

Drainage

The mountains empty in the fall, in the spring.

Snow melt and fall rains swell the creeks that feed the rivers that rise the water

Up over the landscape.

You can see the flood marks on the trees,

Carved into the gravel and banks.

When the water recedes,

The sculptures are left in its wake.

Savaged and sculpted branches melded with rocks and uprooted trees-

Contortions never possible while living.

(A dead moose trapped under the bridge, its bones full of hiding fish.)

On higher land,

The scale is smaller,

But the effect is similar.

Those unmaintained marks of humanity and drainage,

Grow over in thick moss and mushrooms,

Soon to be battered once again,

By the passage of indifferent storms.

IMG_0233The only constant is destruction… and regrowth.

Water is a powerful force both in its presence and in its absence.


For more cyclical forces, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

 

In Pursuit of Light

People get strange in the dark.

As the night lengthens and the day shortens,

We adjust to the absence of light.

Some curl up under artificial fluorescence,

Bathed in sickly, not-light until they can ignore

The darkness outside.

Others,

Leave.

(South gets darker faster than we remember, but it is warmer and easier to find other compensations.)

Still others are fascinated by the half-light,

Sit out in the cold and dark to play and live

And wait, breathless, for

The pale and distant sun.

IMG_0257We are ever more aware of the sun as it vanishes

Light is so important to our relationship with the world, something that is always made clear in its absence.


For more tales of light and its absence, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.