Nurture dear, these half-closed eyes
Take to where the Sleeper lies
Deep into the plain of dreaming men
So that tomorrow, I could wake again
Cautiously, I repositioned my feet and braced myself against the playful gusts. My eyes peered over the edge, following the gravel as it descended from cliff to water.
The ocean roared at the preemptive sacrifice, waves foaming with bloodlust.
In another step – the brink. But I could go no further.
As I began to turn, a child appeared beside me on the cliff: a son I would have in thirty years’ time. My own disappointed eyes looked back at me: Had I not followed through? Had my stories of peril and grandeur been mere myth?
I grinned at the kid.
And we jumped together.
A clack of metal!
A grunt of pain!
A three-legged hobbling monstrosity!
Swinging closer at such velocity!
He’s half man, he’s half machine-
a swinging ape in the jungle green!
He awoke one day with great alarm,
his size of leg was half an arm!
Locked away to hide his curse,
his broken limbs he’d been told to nurse.
Just two bars make up his cage -
so well his prison is constructed.
But there’s no need to feel enraged,
into a lifestyle he’s been inducted.
When you’ve finished with the bath -
releasing the cool water
to dance around the drain,
and you feel the liquid bindings
pulling you with the current…
If the force doesn’t wrench apart your body,
If your molecules aren’t sent spinning to the oceans…
you’re going to be fine.
When you find your legs,
sore after a day’s walk in the scorching sun,
but your skin hasn’t been burned alive,
your flesh not cremated, or peeling to
reveal the disintegrating bone…
then you’re going to be fine.
When you find a throne up in the canopy,
and decide to rest
as long as you don’t wake up
with dew sapphires in your hair,
or shuddering under a coat of moss
And as long you can still break
the roots your toes have grown…
then you’re going to be fine.
If after a day in the fields,
with the wind above
a vulture waiting for its prey
your bones don’t crack,
when you bend with the grass
and your hair doesn’t decide
to join the dandelions…
Then little else can slow you down;
You’re going to be fine.
It is common place now in the residence.
the creak of the third floorboard.
the resistant door.
the rattling toilet.
the shuddering table.
So she decided to pay it no mind.
Despite the signs from upstairs.
the howl in the night.
the click-clack of claws.
the wail of a cat.
the footsteps of a man.
She thinks she’s alone.
She tries to keep it out of her mind.
as she takes her eyes off the doors.
as she double checks the locks.
as she hums prayers over the beads.
as he prowls upstairs in circles.
And lies down to get some sleep.
She tries to be calm.
but the hinges have cracks on them.
and the boards have marks.
she can hear his claws scratching at the floor.
his fangs gnawing at the supports.
Her heart constricts with any noise.
She hopes she can survive another night.
She stood atop the hill
a firm hand on the hilt
her breath withheld.
Their feet – echoes of distant thunder.
Their march – the beat of the Earth.
As they approached, she unsheathed her blade.
It was a weapon unlike anything he’d seen before.
As the setting sun caught the glitter of the hairs,
he realized it was no sword at all,
but the bow of a golden violin.
And in front of all his army,
she began to play.