YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

February 2000

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken
Production Editor: Pedro Sena
European Editor: Moshe Benarroch
Contributing Editors: Martin Zurla; Rita Stilli; Milan Georges Djordjevitch; Michael Collings

ISSN 1480-6401





         Crayons Of The Flesh
         A Long Time Ago
         Faith, 2
         Her Garden
         Last Suppers
         Love And Work
         Old Mother
         Noah's Egg

         A View of Bridges, Forest Park, St. Louis
         Trip to the ATM

         In Arms We Trust

         The Stars At Night
         The Spider
         the Gold Medal performance of the U.S.  
            4X400 meter freestyle relay team
         Second Home
         The Sated Widow or Preying Mantis
         Old Man's Stories...


         A Sole Voice


   Shostokovitch never said 'acorns',
   being Russian; I do, though
   words are not music, except, maybe,
   the music of long, long ago
   Haiku, they say, minimalist,
   they whisper, post-modern,
   they infer..it's..well I'd rather be in an aol
   chatroom..than confer with these..critics
   When I was young (as Jack London may have said)
   I'd rather be rich than dead..but now, having studied
   statistics that say..the richer you are
   the more likely it is you'll blow yourself away..
   well I dunno, anymore,
   'cept in the morning-time, I do, when Geraldine, glorious
   8-year old kid, as she is, a non-conscpicous consumer,
   shakes her weary eye-lids at me (ME?) and says (in so-many words) 'why 
   you ALWAYS overdrawn?' well, it's just the weakness of man, the stength 
   of booze, and just, just, that I'm always so-confused, I don't say
   recognising the stength of childhood desire
   yet, wanting, always, to climb higher
   and higher, as we do, it's a bitter of
   Icarus, I guess, but can't tell her that
   (love provokes fear
   of the sun, I'd say)
   I'll never run away from her, or her three live sisters,
   her dead brother, or Patrick, who's four, and has just chucked himself, 
   flat-bang,on the living-room floor, as I write this..O! domestic bliss.

   Crayons Of The Flesh
   Children of the sixties,
   resurrect your deluxe Crayolas.
   The sacred box of sixty-four has expanded
   like the quantum universe,
   but one color is missing, extinct, in fact -
   remember the crayon named Flesh
   a beige so Caucasian, it shamelessly cried,
   "Crown me Miss America."
   No kin of tan, copper, mahogany,
   or a thousand other earth goddess browns-
   A color to die for,
   eugenically correct, pilgrim-engineered,
   a color to kill for,
   that Barbie-babe-beautiful flesh,
   impossible caf‚ au lait
   of Ivory Soap suburbs
   where war could never happen,
   a color I could never have either,
   no matter how hard I wished for it.
   What then is a child who cannot find
   the color of her skin? Invisible.
   Uncolored. A prism without light.
   But at last the Olive crayon
   whispered to me the secrets of my flesh,
   my foreignness,
   oil of green mixed with gold,
   the deep Mediterranean,
   so much closer to Africa.

MARIA JACKETTI A Long Time Ago ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mon FrŠre, Maybe you voiced a silent prayer for me, something like "Amen" or "No way, God," a certain exorcism of my reality - but I didn't hear a shred of it, no matter my ears cupped against the stars, like some foolish astronomer, giving up sleep in search of a reply, a note to prove I was not solitary, as I held her broken body in my arms. Peanut butter of my heart, after Christmas break in '82, when I told you that during our vacation, my mother lost her breast to cancer, exposing the raw meat of her heart, when I told you that the disease had gone to seed you said nothing. In college radio, my midnight haven, we used to call what you became Dead air. As we sat across from each other in French class, conjugating verbs in historic tenses, I wondered about the tapes playing in that brain bound for Harvard Law , the Supreme Court, Cabinet, Not unlike your Grand-pa, you would end up dead and lusciously preserved for scholars in the footnotes in history books, somehow, no matter what. Just listening to the Susquehanna wind blow through your family tree made me drunk. How fascinating it would have been to catch a syllable of those mysteries. One day, you finally advised me, 'Why don't you take a semester off?" You said that you had become poor, living in the Margaritaville apartments, questing a Fullbright, and a nourishing diet. "Eat potatoes, " I replied. "They're cheap." Somewhere, outside of time, I'm sure you're still marching around the field with your gun, at the Naval Academy, doing penance for all the bad boy pranks that finally sent you to the brig of my gray Wilkes-Barre campus. Somewhere, outside of time, I am still changing the dressing on my mother's wound, flushing the Hickman catheter, remaking the soiled bed, filling spoons of sky blue morphine elixir, listening to her bones break, hearing her whisper in her sleep, "Please don't send me away to a home." A long time ago. And so we've ended up where we were supposed to be. Wherever. Just soldiers on the map. But I am still young. Are you? Last I heard, the alumni scouts couldn't find you. They listed you in their magazine as "missing in action." 1998
MARIA JACKETTI Faith, 2 ~~~~~~~~ I strain to picture faith, this priceless real estate. If my mind would believe its power, I might cure this crumbling house.
MARIA JACKETTI Her Garden ~~~~~~~~~~ Untouched is how I see her now retouched, always focusing until the picture blooms in hymns and sighs, when this heirloom ripens to blush, never the same molecules of need, oh Lady Moon, I wear this big dress to hide the wild fields. 1998
MARIA JACKETTI Grandmother ~~~~~~~~~~~ Mother of Pearl My mother was Pearl But you named her after stone: Pierina Perhaps for endurance Until the teachers made Her shine An Anglo gem, a name for Halloween With Florentine eyes: They called her "Pearl." You sent her away For familial adoption When there were too Many babies to bathe - And the Florentines Were childless, after all, And how they could love Her almost auburn curls Or tantrums.. To New York And then to gentrified Italy Maybe but she cried Take me home to my Mother of Pearl Take me home I must be American, I am Pearl now And she wanted to be your Only One For some day --- Your unique jewel of a child Better off in the sibling mix And Chaos And then The Great Depression - I know there was no birth control- No daycare - Only your tired breasts - Do you think I am being critical? And she knew too that When war would come And Fascism would rise And bullets would fly It would be the Better thing, running home To the fairy-tale mother In a coal foreman's shoe. Children know such things, And how she loved you.
MARIA JACKETTI Incommunicado ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Old friend, we are busy, we are prodigal. You think of me, but can't remember a face. But I am here - a ghost of old geographies. Now your word comes with wings and guns, a postcard of the desert blooming, places I might never smell, taste, caress.. But your message is received without pilgrims in straightjackets, I am happy that your body "has never been happier." I am happy we still exchange sparks and thorns, like ages past, I trust in something vanished, perhaps a vow. So, I've memorized where you live, no matter where the postmark touches down.
MARIA JACKETTI Illumination ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Friend, when I had nowhere that was when I knew that we had something less after all the test is trite try desperation I would have slept on your floor except you didn't have one funny how the house stayed erect I guess we were always on quicksand
MARIA JACKETTI Last Suppers ~~~~~~~~~~~~ A fruitwood table, once beautiful, now brittle peach or pear - no dinner keeps upon this altar, you see, she can't chew or swallow or sit up now, but life still insists, as if trying to conclude with something redemptive, something that would this disease somehow worth the crime. I must prop her up like one of my old dolls, and try to nourish my mother, her diminishing sixty pound labor, with only the ashes of my eyes.
MARIA JACKETTI Love And Work ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Work on your relationship. Marriage is very hard work Like going down into the mines - Every day Etched on eternity - Would you lose it all? Do the work Find a beat Make it over Go to sleep Sleep like Sleeping Beauty On the verge crone-life Because the spell is not hermetically sealed- No one stays in love - The best to hope for is to simply love Like a soldier or a saint But I want to sleep now - freeze me -- Wake me up when this is over In my next life But get me up in time to prove she is Not a lazy cow, crazed bitch, Menopausal psycho The things that are said when A man has had his way with the holy rhetoric Old King Henry knew so well But these are more civilized times They want us and then they don't They send us to the YWCA- Not the Tower I love it now But not enough To find the song That sweeps up time I lost in hoping things could change Do the work And play with chocolate kisses Better than nothing Until the heart gets sticky The great substitute For honey's play Or honeymoons never taken, sugar not given Or wanted because diabetes and cold shoulders Run in the family With sugar charged on credit cards Or flushed down the John Sugared silence And sugared lies, And the sugar puked up in ultimate regurgitation, The disbelief I cradle here like an abortion You tied the knot - Around my neck Thank you What I always needed Was to prance with your Gestapo on a Gun quest in my Erstwhile living room What I always needed was to be locked Out of my own home And sent begging with women in luckless rooms Thank you What I always needed was to have your SS Make me petition for my clothes, and A word with my child If this is love I may try hate If this is love I may try feeling simply nothing Like the nothing you said And gave Between the first act and actions Since nothing feels better It is good you love your progenitors, But I cannot be held accountable for their crimes I am not your father in a dress Shaking the rafters With his rage of peace That gave him less than the last great war That did not pay the bills well enough Or change the old records Or spare the godly rod I have my own rage, thank you, It has a different smell, tone, and taste And still you want me to swallow it all Like a good girl-Forget it -- But I would rather cry "Rape" For my heart You can take it now -- it looks like ground Hamburger on sale Enjoy I will grow a new one God I need a vacation God I need a garden where I can grow The thorniest bloody roses God I need A man who appreciates me Day over night A man who knows my thorns and their language A man who would die to bleed over them Because his family was the holiest of all relics Pray to what we were And what we never became And maybe gods will grow out of the worms Left behind to feast on the errors That have become our destiny I could use a man now, A pleasant rental -- Who calls me "Princess"- No, make that "Your Majesty" A man who worships the dross Of my toenails, leg hair, Premenstrual tears and bloat- In the end, there is no such animal.
MARIA JACKETTI Old Mother ~~~~~~~~~~ Some place on the map she shines where ripe words emerge & there really is no easy way to navigate her wrinkles. Hidden like a jewel in junk, we must dig softly for her love.
MARIA JACKETTI Noah's Egg ~~~~~~~~~~ In the water she is almost forgotten, so full of babies, she knows she'll survive because she is fertile, well, in fact, the most fertile of them all, and because her cargo is prized by gods and men and courtesans and wives lucky enough to hitch their chromosomes to this dingy. There are younger women, sure, on this old tub, threadbare beauties, sudden athletes waiting to rise and feed the new world like worthy loaves of bread. Why must she spread her body on the water and remake the land? So many, all sailors now, grope her scraps of paradise and she already plumped, a cherry womb mission in the making dreams only of landlubbers, the great cookie earth, oasis, and a tame fountain dancing like the virgin she will someday make flesh again. And tonight As the old world is ending, Where is this storm not touching? Where it will never touch - her star. Queasy Noah was not made for water. Help me, he whispers, but even he's already lost in the aftertime, just like his old lover, beyond the loneliness of the sea.
ROYCE SYKES A View of Bridges, Forest Park, St. Louis ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Warm's the sun upon my skin aglisten from a walk along the three bridges trail into the park... Spidery steel, an old foot bridge gleams of zealously applied black paint; monument to Victorian memories or maybe just the historical society Concrete ramp worms across the highway faint cracks as if it might at anytime break out of a chyrsalis or else just die Rusted web of metal quivers when below trains in zephyr rush blow by, its strength not apparent to the eye, but none the less its promise is endurance Chilled am I, and of a sudden regarding the present caught 'twixt past and future
ROYCE SYKES Trip to the ATM ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Across the street, a wealth sucking mansion lurks, camouflaged by vine wound fences of ornate yet hard sensibility; on the sidewalk paces a refugee in Goodwill surplus, muttering as he repacks his less than legally acquired grocery cart stuffed with his worldly possessions, dreams or nightmares--who can say--as I sidle by on my way to the ATM. His odor is ranker than the rancor of his hoarse whispered, incoherent babblings, yet I have to wonder how I can tell, for there is a stench more pervasive wafting from the house behind the fence, faintly reminiscent of me, an odor of greed rot far easier to ignore than guilt.
VASILIS AFXENTIOU In Arms We Trust ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy." --William Golding, 'Lord of The Flies' It is infinitely easier to suffer in obedience to human command than to accept suffering as free, responsible men. --Dietrich Banhoeffer 24 March 1999: the invasion of the Balkans by The NATO Axis. In memory to the human beings slaughtered in the seventy-eight-day holocaust. I, one Hellene among the majority of 90% of the Hellenic populace, contest and indict this illegal assault. I lodge unreservedly a formal protest and complaint opposing this unprovoked rash act of indiscretion, reprisal and thoughtlessness against humanity and against our friend and neighbor Yugoslavia. This petition is directed to The Tribunal of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, The War Crime Court at The Hague and The Swedish Commission Inquest on The Kosovo War. This uncalled for, shameful and savage attack of carnage and butchery, one with an all-encompassing and especially barbarous and grotesque turn after the first few days will be the cause, in the author's opinion, for the spawning of such asymmetrical alliances as the Western world cannot even begin to imagine. Praises and compliments for ushering in the new millennium with this first exemplary step for our children to follow, one surely deserving the Nobel Prize. Congratulations for setting up the stage of the onset of what may probably well be the most xenophobic century in human history: The Twenty First Century AD. May God and mortal forgive you, nineteen. --A citizen of the world Part 1 The Marathon Gene It is not because other people are dead that our affection for them grows faint, it is because we ourself are dying. --Marcel Proust Chapter 1 [Partial information was given to me by the people themselves. The rest was acquired from the archives of the hedron, the damaged facet of what remains of the second Hexahedron, of Starseed, as it calls itself. The montage of what follows is mine. Pericles Philippou] A cozy new world. Unite to obliterate identity. The irony made Chickbrow quiver in his e-car seat. The mockery chipped away at his innermost tenets. But the promoters of all that went wrong with the world had not the vision. They had not the heart and virtue freedom needs to breathe and be. So, they choked freedom. Smothered it under the guise of 'planetary civism'. Their brave new children attempted what wise men dread: Utopia through unilateral information dominance promoted by dogma and arms, drugs and computer bondage. The new order of things to come was to be a supranational, an incorporate Earth, run not by communism or capitalism, but by the I-Soldier. The by-product? A form of totalitarianism that would have stunned Orwell. Chickbrow had mastered well the crumbling volume on his shelves. Given to him by his grandfather Cleon. Chickbrow had not neglected any of the other's words. "There must be an antipode..." the old man had told him, back then in the thirties. Chickbrow was still in his teens then. "It's the pivotal point of any kind of Democracy. There have to be either bona fide opposing political parties, or nations--at least a bilateral model. Communism may have posed a threat to us after the second great war, but it had been a check and balance on our Democratic system: what Democracy needs in order to be healthy and workable. "When the Soviet Union collapsed, and China adopted the Charter of Provisional Free Enterprise, the West fell in the very selfsame rut a score of others had fallen throughout history. "No threat. "No contention. "No controversy or opposition. "Presumption. "Smugness, conceit, coquetry and self adoration. "I just call it being spoiled stupid. Democracy, Patrick Chickbrow, has to have a tough and durable debate to survive. None of that patronizing and humoring, superciliously cute and 'darling' stuff between Republicans and Democrats--two sides of the same dollar. "No variance. "No ability, or margin, breathing space, to adapt to. "Zero evolution. "Extinction. "A lot of agreeing and splendoring in profusions of endearments may be fine for erotic escapades, sweethearts, heartthrobs and sweet old ladies--but for Democracy...they spoil it. "It happens to countries just as easily as it does to people. To young or old nations. Particularly to ones that have never felt the stomp of a conqueror's boot on their native soil. Have not endured defeat. Not suffered humility in a long, long time. Forgot what it's like. Vanity, like that in a Congress of aristocracy and a Senate of gentry, or an Executive branch of an unchecked and self-appointed oligarchy, is a flaw easy to detect, but ornery as hell to rectify. Because it suits the handful who govern. Sweetens their palate. And they'll fight with rabid fury any and all change threatening their post. "Power is never easy to step down from, Patrick. But in the history of mankind there has never, never, been enlightenment in power. Never has--a smidgen even of--good come out of it. Except a dominion's own degeneration. It falls from within itself--like the dominion of dinosaurs." The Sachem, what they used to call grandpa--a Ph.D. in Social Science and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Government School seemed as good a testimonial as any--taught one thing and lived another. He had done this to survive the anachronistic despotism that somehow crept in and managed to rule unchallenged over half of the world for nearly half a century. The wealthy half. "Before it had become through-and-through ripe," the old man had told him, "and impose itself by force in 2020, tyranny had been noiselessly but resolutely slithering like a pit viper closing in. Oppression had been smoldering like smokeless coal before the flash of kindling for more than twenty years. "And when the tinder burst to flame, the utopia of a 'new world order of things' turned into a world incubus. Abreast of the rise of the three camps: internationalism, nationalism and fundamentalism came the threat of international gray zones where law had no effect, nationally or otherwise. Here, Patrick, globalized organized crime burgeoned in the form of economical, defense-hysteria, mass-media, Mafia, drug-digital, nuclear, biochemical terrorism." Chickbrow's grandfather in all modesty was set on besetting his damage over the greatest number of top honchos over the longest period. He was part Hammurabi, part Confucius and Alexander, a Che and a Nathan Hale. But most of all he was true American. To the marrow, a Brave. "Babylon, Persia, Rome were not brought to their knees by conquerors from outside. They were vanquished, devastated, from within. First by narcissism and self-induced conspiracy, then by biting off more than they could chew. By sheer snow-balling. Through an avalanche of their own over-confidence. Soviet communism lasted a little over seventy years, Yankee capitalism almost two-hundred-and-fifty..." The third millennium, Chickbrow reflected, was going to be full of surprises. His own removal from the space team had been one. And racism had everything to do with it. Contempt for minorities had been another. It seemed there are cycles in history in which some form of intolerance prevails speechlessly under a benign guise. The circumstances, in this century as well as the previous one, were favoring the stooped-head, the Hi-Tech informer, the corporate yes-man, the company infiltrator. Definitely not the redman. The few of his kind that were left. * * * [As recorded from the opening of the archives of Starseed. P.P.] The Book of Peace Pandect of Concord, Proviso of Intendments. Intendment 1: Faith, Love and Virtue are chaotic pockets. They pose paradoxes, of counter- or non-entropic, direction-giving configurations common to civilization-forming processes as are Dreams, Hopes, and Visions. Whosoever directly or indirectly conduces, or in any mode, plan, or method, endorses the uninstituted and impending encroachment upon these six pinnacles, as well as the eminence of Grace, shall be expelled and ostracized, in the isolation rendered by temporal tributaries, for the period commensurate to the degree of the abuse. Furthermore, the above Distinctions of Trust shall be shielded by the prudent Ward of Reason we call Olympion [The Head Chair on the Primary Planet, Olympus, in the Sirius group colonized by Orion migrants. P.P.], and not be ranked second in priority to that of opportunism or any aspect thereof--no matter the encumbrance. Intendment 2: It is further intended, to encourage peace in our galaxy, that we now acknowledge the existence, but control as well, of the Intrinsic Power-Calling from within us for actions of armed antagonism, behavior of lethal aggression, and other varied manner of injurious and harmful hostility. These wanton but inevasible and primordial reserves of entropic assertion shall not be allowed to trample on our or on others' rights and liberties, but be given vent by the re-establishment of the archaic, but noble and incorrupt, competitions of the Olympus planetary system: The source-cell of enlightenment throughout our galaxy, and further. This Calling of Primitive Ambition and Dare shall be thus re-directed and shall abide by the Regulations of The Games, leading to zero-claim and non-destruction of opponent's/ competitor's persona, world, or planetary system. It shall be conducted in such a way as to honor, above all, the value, dignity and the inalienable benefits of peace for all of Life. The Games of The Power Triad, Business-Politics-Religion, referred to simply as The Civil Games, in contrast to The Athletic Games, shall be molded and modeled after the contests of the Archaic Olympiads, the original twelve civilization-bearing, civilization-casting worlds (Zeus, Athena, Hera, Aphrodite, Apollo...) had attained to consummate under the fountainhead guidance of the Olympion of Olympus. These Games shall have the Golden Spiral of The Galaxy, in contrast to The Golden Laurel for sports events, as the highest distinction of honor. Fair play shall prevail--as all two hundred million worlds have partaken to uphold and respect--and this shall be regarded as the summit for, and of: survival through variance, cooperation through growth, and coexistence through dialogue, all instituted peaceably in good will and faith and in efforts to encompass all galactic civilizations. * * * He raised the Vessel over his head, whispering prayers. When he opened his eyes he saw the ball of brightness. A fist of radiance that seeped through the domed ceiling of his church as though it were absent and streamed down to the gold Hallow Chalice he held. His hands trembled as the Vessel commenced to glow from within. It flooded his church with thick silver light. "My Lord--" He shuddered, let go, and recoiled. The Chalice remained. The light changed to molten gold, welled over the Vessel's lip, and trickled onto the Altar below, to the floor. And the light rose from its knees. "A message," it said. "Come. The Bond of the Covenant is Opened!" Then in a more distant but clear voice, "'For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under Grace.'" The Vessel hovered in clear, empty air. "Miracle! A miracle!" the congregation echoed and... ...awoke Lukas with a start. The sheets were wet and salty from his sweat. In retrospect to Father Lukas Mettropoulos's dream that night, more than a quarter of a century before--and a quarter of the way around the world--a similar Holy Mass and thrum of chanting were just reaching an apotheosis. * * * [Thirty years before, 2022. P.P.] ...Steamy incense, burning candles, and the scent of olive oil wafted viscously in the chapel's atmosphere, billowing like blue gossamer over bowed heads. The baritone voice of the leading chanter attained a crescendo. Three measures later the bowed heads cut into the somber solo in resonance and the twilight of dusk trembled on the stained window panes. Through an old, rusty grate under the chapel's Altar, the subsonics of the hymn spilled into the hollow earth. Several among the innumerable cavitous spaces below and nearest the reciting source acted as resound chambers to effectively amplify the flurry of the voices into a swelling booming tumult. Like thunder, it roared, racing at the speed of sound through kilometer upon kilometer of passages within the bowels of empty mountain-core... Above, the thick smells hung vaporously in the air and permeated throughout. The solemn counterpoint rose from antiquity's end to console, like a clement blanket of faith, the Mount of Holiness: A grand city of twenty monasteries spread upon a peninsula all of its own. Compliant to time, it propagated life and faith of a thousand years tranquilly and traditionally into the twenty-first century. The Holy Mountain ran its length amidst the most fertile and green of the three Hellenic peninsulas of Macedonia like the backbone of a supplicating Titan. As the chorus of celibates to the right of the iconostasis faded, that to the left strengthened. A somber and imposing requiem reverberated throughout this Fidei Defensor of Orthodoxy. Hallelujahs thundered amidst isolated, towering monasteries echoing over and covering this untresspassed, autonomous territory of northern Hellas. Thirty square miles of holy land resounded in psalms. No human or domestic animal of feminine gender had stepped upon the sacred soil. Here, the Holy Mary and a handful of saints were the only depictions of, and references to, the female sex. On these premises male monks did all chores, from mending to cooking, cobbling and cleaning house to washing clothes and conveying to new generations the Divine Ceremonials and Arts of the Church. No one was simply a monk; everyone contributed. And when the daily tasks and jobs were complete, praying and services commenced. Hard, rigorous, exhausting dedication. Enough to suffice and atone for the sins of man. The treasures of this Holiest of Mountains came in many forms: wood-carvings of intricate and delicate designs, ornate prayer stands, crosses, thrones, lecterns and chests. Along with the paintings, carvings and the libraries of parchment, silk and paper manuscripts of the Holy City, precious reliquaries were kept in the sanctuaries. Also, numerous vestments of exquisite hand-woven and gold-embroidered craftsmanship were preserved. Amidst this wealth of arts and sanctity one could not help but wonder what more had been watched over? The oldest among the monasteries, Xenophontos and Lavra, over a millennium in age, were ones embued with gravest respect. They were the heart of the Faith. Beneath their grandeur of buildings and halls existed a maze of catacombs and vaults. They hid and protected the fortunes of the vanquished Byzantium. Within the Earth's crust lived still the legacy and mythical treasures of an empire, maintained by secrecy and observance. Only a few knew of its whereabouts, of its incredible presence. Fewer still experienced its revelation. Yet, while the Services carried on above, treachery bloomed below. The confidant of the bishop's council froze in his tracks at the din. Then dismissed it witha wave of a hand. The maverick look in the red-rimmed, brown eyes now shifted into a waxing skittishness. His gait quickened while the storm-lamp in his right hand threw a tottering giant's shadow on the dank dirt walls after him. "Down there. Go!" he urged himself. He held a frayed piece of marked cloth in his left hand. His eyes darted back and forth from it to the forking of the tunnel not far ahead. "To the right, monk--the Lord is always to the right," he hissed, and broke out into a braying laughter. The renegade wanted to abscond with a mere speck of the subterranean acres of gold, silver, precious stones, icons; a mere drop from a venerated sea. But when he confronted cavern upon cavern of kingly ransoms of the purest, biggest, rarest jewels; a legacy of the finest etched and embellished cutlery and crockery, artifacts and weaponry; the regal treasure troves of forty-five generations of emperors, royal courts and their heirlooms--the covetous monk was simply overwhelmed. As madness saturated him the raw-boned driven man now ventured into a far cavern, uncharted as many were not, and seeking refuge within its bowels, confronted a vista no man ever beheld. A thicket of monumental abnormalities and agonizing irregularities. In a frenzy to escape Nemesis he had encroached upon what seemed to him to be the very kingdom of Heaven. Or Hell. Tears of terror and anguish now swelled in his eyes, mouth drooled and nostrils flared, and his throat felt seared by excruciating efforts to let out a scream. When his sight grew fully accustomed to the thin pink light that dimly emanated from everywhere and nowhere--augmented by giant fountains and geysers of pulsing violet--the deep yellow glows and intermittent flashes of diamond-burst brilliance before him, he finally reckoned that he no longer stood in man-made tunnels. About him spanned a space not unlike the outside. And this vastness had above it a sky--studded with the heavenly bodies of night. But alive and stirring. Flecks and speckles that left in their course rainbows and motion. Left soft, scintillating, tinkling sing-song echoes. He looked upon this expanse. And before his mind went into utter shock, he glimpsed towering solid contours: of pyramids and spheres, an inner city of polygons and polyhedrons--and in front of him a glow that was a woman. A distant, almost familiar drone thrummed on, as he lingered there, dazed. Catatonic, the intruder, lumberingly, turned about and exited. As he did, behind him materialized a solid rock wall, eradicating any indication of an entry way. * * * [Penelope Lovesigh's testimony of her death. P.P.] "Where am I?" I asked. I could not suppress a shiver. My heart fluttered wildly. I was not present, yet I was not elsewhere or totally unaware. Reaching out with a tendril of thought I merely perceived eruptions and flashes of what seemed to be a tunnel of beaten gold. It shone intermittently in alternation with deep expulsions. Prismatic needles of tincture emanated from the labyrinthine cavern and from a carved, melanite-embroidered, crystalline fissure up ahead. An enormity of space was ahead and beyond. It swirled in buffed sable and russet-scarlet. A vortex generated of dancing lusters...of wizardry, was swallowing me. My stomach lurched. I took a quick glimpse behind me, down the tunnel. I felt my chest constrict. I must survive, I thought. I had to learn a great deal about light, strength and wisdom. About Godly things, too. I purled along. I surveyed for the mode of My displacement. The principle behind it. No bearing. No point of reference. No air stirred by. No resistance or drift, only a silent disengagement, then a discharge, a release through a milieu I could not relate to or identify. The tunnel was uninterrupted and invariant, slanting every which way...and there was this smell. I sniffed, acrid and sweet, stale too...the smell of old suns and mutated nebulas, all in vast, spanning reaches. My nostrils felt dry, my muscles taut; I thought my forehead burned with hot sweat, and my brain cringed in strokes of insane conjectures. Although my senses worked, my being did not possess form, but was part of one--no, two, and more--of many, many tinklings drifting towards and encircling me, hues wandering and opening like blooming buds, scintillating softly-singing glimmers right at the edge of this fracturing night. They were as one and difficult to separate. One of my eyebrows I imagined rose as if in response, a queer gesture in a study of rapture and despair. Among the bursts of movement, of star-glow, I glimpsed something enormous and motionless. A deep stupendousness of no edges. A volume. Glowing patterns circuited to and from it. I drew myself together obediently and became still. I then shrunk into a distilled point. "Who am I?" I asked. And knew that instant. * * * [The information below was taken by me from the archives of Starseed, the damaged facet of what remains of the second Hexahedron, supported now by the facts gathered from the decoding and analysis of Linear A, the Disk of Phaestos and the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. P.P.] ...On a bizarre vast edge between two voids, one of the universe, the other of the indefinable Erebus beyond, Residua of Essence spin in felicity, counter-spin in enchantment and unfold progressively more pronounced. They intently and enthusiastically shift back and forth--among their supplementary domiciles and rivulets of edifice-plasma--uniquanta of knowledge, insight and lore. It took them only a small fraction of a hyposec to assimilate the new and utterly unexpected bit of data inflowing through the elliptical space-time curvatures that furrow the vacuum of the eleven dimensions available. But they greet and accept with loving eagerness the embrace of the extraordinary and magnificent experience of the joining of life--a new and most integral 'being'--to them once more. They and the flowing edge complete the vortex, the revolving sphere-shell, Front of Creation which, along with its angular motion, has been traveling radially outward at the speed of light since its inception. It would have taken the Front of Creation, at its current curvature of largeness and speed of rotation, thirty-seven billion years to achieve a single circuit about the blue glowing hub, the core that is the sweeping blister of the universe. The many Residua of Essence would have been termed souls, till of this late happening, this instillment of joyous discovery, when a passage of a ripple of force imbued itself within them, bridging the domain of spirit- and faith-essence to that of energy, form and matter of the universe Proper, entelecheia your Aristotle calls it. And that which had once been invisible and immaterial, but aware, began slowly to acquire its former nature... ...In the very start, the first color shifts had been detected by our equatorial astronomers at a distance a hundred-fold beyond that of your Virgo constellation and that of Vereniki. They were in the form of a traveling peripheral ripple heading toward neighboring galaxies omni-directionally--a vast sphere shrinking back onto its source. Back to the very source of Creation. The color of the stars this ruffling undulation had been leaving in its wake was an almost stand-still pinkish-white brilliance. It not only showed that the universe had completely and unexpectedly begun to slow its expanding, but, by further observation and straight forward calculation, it was discovered that it had begun doing so for an extensive time. The steady rate of expansion, which for thousands of millennia had served as a heat sink, had ceased long-long ago... [What analysis did not show, however, until later, was that the edge of the universe, the Front of Creation, had initiated the awesome operation of braking almost a billion years back. P.P.] ...Unthinkable quantities of trapped force [Starseed goes on] were introverted; reconciled and re-conducted in a spontaneous manner counter to the original path of their impetus. Against the grain of their nascent momentum. Instead of turning order into less order, the internal pressures had reversed, releasing free magnetic monopoles. The preserving mechanisms innate to the Front of Creation had at this point collapsed; already several rents in the fabric of the void were now made accessible to Residua of Essence. Elsewhere, within this fringe, the Vanguard of Creation, point-pockets of internal pressures were mounting to those experienced in the Boundary, turning upon their fountainhead to cause a rip in the Plank wall. They induced a laceration into chaos...and spawned small split cells, bifurcations, of fractalian repercussions in place of anomalies, but with asymmetries: ports of forthwith temporal bonds for the reconstituting Residua of Essence. Beyond this point, our space, time and matter fundamentally broke down. What the Residua of Essence peeked into, over this limit, on the outlying extreme side of Creation, was the birthing of a new universe... ...Meanwhile, the wealth of might, at once loosened in the braking universe proper, sought instantaneous and new direction. And not only by revivifying the Residua or violating accessibility across Plank time. Sentient life scattered all over the Cosmos, along with being sapient entities of identity, of thinking, feeling and ken, were, as well, entities of direction. Entities that could use up further this excess energy. Coolly fuse it into action, assimilate it into motion and mold it into fractals of organized and functioning matter. These organic assemblages, sapient transducers, manipulated raw force--even of unrestrained pressures--to give it vector of focus, adjustment and design. Once, the Residua of Essence too had been such. Corporeal beings that could forge from concepts by their acumen, spirit and will-strength alone; could steer their realizations and translate them into palpable action through their physical bodies and could aim their course tangibly as well as immaterially. This initiating of the direction-giving process was referred to by them as reflection and insight, expectation and sagacity, prudence and wisdom, verity and belief. And now, they jubilated in its reacquirement, rejoiced in the regeneration of their corporeality in the tenfold. But often, as well, the outcome of this pent-up and undirected loose energy, had invariably been the fury of malcontents, the insobriety and overindulgence the sweet brew of power excites and then goads within us, the surge and rage of raw violence, the vehemence of dissension, and the hand-released arrow that swiftly and pointedly darts for the unsuspecting heart of peace.... * * * [The teacher's obituary for his older son, Kyrillos, killed during the last invasion attempt against his homeland in 2002 by starving and banded Caucasus tribes, Turanian hordes and Tartar-Mongol legions armed by Glixxon's rising World Confederation. Arms in exchange for Black and Caspian Sea oil. From my journal, 15 August 2052. P.P.] "'These were our children who died for our/lands.../ But who shall return us the children?--Rudyard Kipling, THE CHILDREN.' "This is my promise and pledge," the teacher writes, "my covenant of testimony and grief for my own lost and unreturned child, Mr. Kipling. To the bringer of holocausts, to the shamer and exterminator of dignity and kindness in man and upon planet Earth, to the trespasser of the limits, to the non-citizen of humanity I vow my non-alliance and my non-affiliation. I commit my disunion with and divorce from him. More. I firmly establish my dissension with and division from him. This, I promise to the breaker of the covenant between man and peace. Further... "...Past oppression and ignorance sired violence, passed it down to the present and strive to keep it bustling into the far-deep future. "Violence begets anarchy. Or dictators," the text I have unearthed goes on to say. "The stipend of either is misery, the rack of the mind and soul, isolation, exile and death to those who side with enlightenment and freedom, roots and balance..." I read these pages the teacher had written one half century before, again and again, and in my search I see yesterday's questions become today's, today's questions the future's, and the future's become a distressing way of life. More questions come: "...On one hand there is this suffusion of talk on amity and labels about peace, accord upon all Earth. On the other, all this High Definition and Dolby Surround Sound of blood-surfing. "Why this worship of weaponry? "Why this eliciting of respect by instilling fear, by ingraining death-and-rage? Why this flair for mass expiration in 'best sellers', this propaganda in praise of a state of perpetual war and siege--in the warring hero--capitalized in animations on the monitor, motion pictures on the big screen? "Why this thirst for Inquisition- and Nazi-like tortures that daunt, instruct and institute terror and minister mistrust, paranoia, neurosis and murder into the innocent, sensitive and impressionable souls of our children today with each such book read and each such film seen around the world, children that are brainwashed and are destined to grow up to become the hard-hearted, senseless barbarians of a boot camp world tomorrow? "Why this paean to hate? "Where is the source of this child molester? "Who and what generates the oxymoron? "How is this condition licensed to propagate and reach our children--throughout the globe? "When did it begin to perforate their reality? "Why children? "In place of marbles and dolls, Erector sets and chemistry sets, microscopes and telescopes--an endless variety of new and civil toys--we give them Winchesters and Star Wars, Colt 45s, Desert Storms, Desert Foxes and Balkan Storms to play with. In place of books and tutoring, art and music--boundless new horizons of worthy literature, creative and humanizing recreation, means of scholarship, harmony and philanthropy--we give our children Magnums, tanks, Stealth fighters, Harriers, Eurofighters, a licensed NATO on the stand-by to indiscriminately incinerate, butcher and mangle infants, the old, the helpless (not to mention innocent animals and plants. Don't these as well have the right to life? Don't these give sustenance to all of the biosphere, Homo Sapiens included?). "Why do we hustle into our children's hands raw fury and spite to build upon; rush into our flesh and blood's lives animosity and malice--these cruel tools of war and slaughter--to settle differences with?.." The text proceeds to ask more: "...What manner--brand--of peoples have the propensity to lavish in, to glory in, crime of wrath, molestation, mistreatment, to splendor in intimidation and harassment, bigotry, in the harnessing of revenge and rancor having as prime premise difference? Difference, as that of the privilege and right to come from another source of parameters, to come from, believe in, stand by, a different process and system of values, concepts and interpretations of Life, Love and Liberty?.." Next to this outraged man and educator, I too dare pluck up my courage. I stand by this bereaved father's loss of his boy to those reverent and worshipful in the implements of war and wars themselves and I boldly ask: Who are, on our globe today, the modern Hannibals, the new Genghis Khans and Tamerlanes that triumph and tradition in arms and armament? Who today thrive on a way of life based on that of the invading Goths and the raiding Vikings, the plundering Visigoths and the butchering Huns, on retribution and raw conflict, on the proliferation of provisions for bloodbaths, hatred and for wholesale killing? Who preys on the incitement of doubt and insecurity? Who mocks precepts that have passed unscathed the test of time as that of human reason and moderation, the wisdom found in tolerance and restraint--simple and plain horse sense in a nut shell? Who privileges only those who unquestioningly put in with them, but spur their SIA, intelli-bombs, seek-and-sack missiles, spy and laser-bearing satellites and Citizen Protectors in cold candor to devastate and pilferage, pillage and terminate all who do not? From the text: "...What nations live by the firearm? The sword and the carbine? Bolster and brace soldiering from cradle to coffin? Have to dodge bullets in their own city streets, hospitals and schools? What peoples subsist by--get their kicks from--the drawing of blood? "What peoples browbeat and mute those opposed to their 'custodian-like' arrangement of things? Hush those who are of a different history or stock, of contrary values, and those who believe in an alternate form of Democracy? "What manner of peoples thrive on war and sub-war, insurgence, coercion and scuffle--on the code of the Universal Barbarian? And let the rest cry their beloved country? "What manner peoples foment internally and internationally the strife of greed as a National Product--as a way of life--and with a straight face proclaim this attitude to be 'a marshaling of the competitive spirit'?.." I gnaw and pick at parched lips at this man's dare, his pain of loss as these numbing questions of his--this bizarre manifesto I stoop over--reel into and through my amazed mind to ask in writing that which most of our world citizens cannot utter in resounding protest or even whisper, in principle or document, or indeed in loud thought in 2052, for fear of brutal reprisals upon their lives and the lives of the ones they love. "...Who do away with esteem and self-respect and instead bring discredit to non-war, and cynicism to peace-first, and proscription to entente for peace, at the peace table, prosecuting and abolishing by this attitude and these actions world-wide fidelity, world-wide union? "Who persist in their own opinion of deontology? Are almost convincingly engrossed in their own efforts at rediscovering and resurrecting 'what a comprehensive yet practical interpretation of ethics is', that is, at rediscovering the wheel of virtue; while these same peoples are shystering, trickstering and hoodwinking world economies? "Who are immune to pangs of conscience? Self-righteously consider themselves the new Rome Imperium? "Who reckon themselves absolved from pretentiousness and presumptuousness in their usage of words like globalization, democracy and communism, coherence, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amnesty International and egalitarianism, partnership for peace, socialism and suchlike fiats and caveats as if the globe were a game board of Scrabble and chess to have fun with and get rich from; to ridicule the torture and anguish of wearied refugees, the 40,000 children who die daily from poor peoples' disease; sport with toppled economies and indebtedness, famine, with ruthless and unchecked bombings so their brood of Colonels and Generals, Commandants and Marshals of this and that Panzer Division can try out their new arms on living flesh, on the afflictions and fears of the powerless, on the helpless?.." The manuscript then alludes to the 1946 writings of George Orwell. Apparently 106 years later nothing improves...nothing encourages: "In our time, political speech and writings are largely the defense of the indefensible. Political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, 'I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so.' Probably, therefore, he will say something like this: 'While freely conceding that such regimes exhibit certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which certain people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement...'" The text of the manuscript goes on: "...I now think of the tragedy of my beloved son and land, my beautiful brilliant isle torn in two, and of that other fair and green island, Ireland, and its many sons, the same of fate; and of the sons of the Scots and Welsh, the same of fate; the fate all weakened minorities evidently must face and endure; of the sons of the trampled and smothered Balkans, of the sons of a starved Sudan, an emaciated Africa, the un-unified Koreas, the sons of the calamities of a Vietnam, a Laos, a Thailand and a Cambodia, the toll of sons of an Afghanistan and a Chechenia, the genocide of a Kurdistan and the million-and-a-half dead sons of an Armenia, the twenty million Russian sons and daughters a political experiment murdered, of an Iran, of a Lebanon and a smashed and famished Iraq, the sons lost in the fifty-year strife of an Israel and a Palestine, the sons of the world's downtrodden...and I wonder when will this sacrifice of our children suffice? When will it all end...as Popes and Presidents, Muftis and Sultans, Patriarchs and Planetarchs, Rabbis and Prime Ministers promise us it will before, or in, their term of office? As universal treaties and alliances, as Human Rights and International Criminal Courts are there--are paid billions by us, the World Citizens, each year--to arrest, deactivate and abrogate...since 1946? "When is that 'Universal Soldier of Mercy' sung so much by us--that long-awaited neutral but civilized NATO and that long-anticipated impartial but humane UN, that modern but just 'Nuremberg Trial'-- spoken of so often by so many coming to judge the handful of overly zealous, dallying, arrogant politicians and gung ho soldiers, the war-gaming power-anxious oligarchy, responsible for the consequences of a Pearl Harbor, a Hiroshima and a Nagasaki and their 210,000 innocent sons and daughters dead, the ten million killed in a First World War that man should have had the manly decency and sense to avoid, a Second World War that extracted fifty million more mostly young, helpless and innocent lives, the slaying of two to three million innocent Vietnamese and fifty-three thousand innocent Americans, the carnage of a Mai Lai and a Kent State and a Tiananmen Square, a Baghdad, and a Kosovo, and the bestiality upon innocence as that scarring the naked napalm-burned tiny torso of a Kim Fok; and wipe out soldiering and bullying once and for all! "Then this is the violator. "...I bring visions of Rwandan, Somali, Sudanese, Bosnian, Serbian, Albanian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Armenian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Iraqi, Central and South American, Cuban war- famine- and drought- and disease-vanquished victims to my mind," the teacher says, "and ask how many children's and infants' swelled, empty bellies, napalm-scarred bodies, sexually-exploited lives, AIDS-ridden days have these Christian, Moslem, Hebrew, Hindu, Buddhist...promises filled or comforted! "Then this is the coveror of Truth. "...Whose history and philosophy of living is based on the business of death-dealing? On the industriousness of warring and fortification? Proliferation of a way of life founded and based on armament and expansion, hypocrisy and double standards? On an illegal leveling machine of intervention upon, and occupation of, sovereign lands? The hammers and the sickles? The Apocalypse of the thunderbolts, the pretext of the NATOs, the pretense of the UNs, on a defunct Security Council and the Armageddon of the blazing mushrooms? Whose ambition and 'Manifest Destiny' is rooted in the use of the scimitar and embedded in the horror of the swastikas--in genocide? The unjustness of, and wastes in, terrorism and murder? In the symbol of the phoenix bird afire? In the cross aflame? On the word not kept! "Then this is the breaker of the covenant between Peace and Man, Harmony and Grace, the usurper of our kin and children, Mr. Kipling, the children that will be returned to us when hell freezes over and thaws back out again," the teacher writes.
JOHN B. MULLIGAN The Stars At Night ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hard to imagine the smiling, godstruck face (innocent, curly hair, pale hand outreaching) with the brute and ancient deed (is it a glove of vanished blood pressed against the prison window?). We cannot see the ecstatic ax stuck and tugging, perverted Excaliber in each survivor's heart. Including ours. What exact and perfect blow can justice, hammer, ax-like, strike? to cleanse and heal the wound in the frail and holy side of time. The faces, taut with terror's rictus as the ax fell and rose and fell, trailing a tattering scarf of blood, will not return to smile, to weep, to wonder. Deep in the heart of Texas, boxes hold the crumbling, moldy seeds of unknown worlds; the eyes, that would have made so many suns and moons by seeing them, are gone. Liquid, mist, then nothing. To kill another world is no god's answer. Or we pray that it is. Or we pray that it is not. Candles, vigilant, flicker at the wall. Above the candle of the watching heart, a flame of memory floats, blows out, rekindles. Sometimes we remember what would have happened clearly. A face at the window vanishes: whose it was, we do not know. The name,s on someone else's lips.
JOHN B. MULLIGAN The Spider ~~~~~~~~~~ In a web spun between a wine glass and a window sill, a mosquito struggles. A quarter of an inch above, a dark spot of spider waits, small filament legs busying the strands. What to do, faced with this real-life TV special? Free the mosquito? Crush them both in a paper towel and wash the wine glass? Or just watch? Sympathy and hunger work at the strings in a silent room. The spider moves closer.
JOHN B. MULLIGAN the Gold Medal performance of the U.S. 4X400 meter freestyle relay team ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (July 30, 1984) Of no historic importance - except it is history, brute in a purifying water rushing to its arbitrary end, like any government or species, purposed in the spray of blue resistance. The channelling of wings to an air of devised distance, the callibrated lust for a swollen, nectared name, to define an altered world - nothing meat is about is about more than this.
JOHN B. MULLIGAN Second Home ~~~~~~~~~~~ Back, on the boat of memory - not the remembrance of sailing, but a similar voyage: religious and racial mementos and attitudes piled in the hold of the heart, like anecdotes from childhood or like bartered goods, the stunned, packed bodies surging and dying into hope of the new gilded land - back to the home soil, origin of seeds I've cast into the present, blustery wind; an emigrant to my beginnings, a foreigner to the heat of a hundred wars, bonfires of incidents,of toppled tenant homes and pubs, hotels and houses bursting with long-fused hatred - back to the second home. And at the customs house, before an imaginary desk and a vivid, skeptical clerk waiting to go to lunch - what do I have to declare? My genus, same as yours. Birthright to the stolen joys of the staggering race. A breath-heaving weariness of the sibling insanities, the famined dove in the jaws of raging dogs, ribs cracking like sparks, wings torn apart, spat out and pawed, thin blood nosed and lapped from the battered grass. The well is poisoned, read the sign. There is digging and pumping to do and it must be started. Throw down your swords: eye after eye you are blinding each other. I can go no further. I do not have your pain. But the truth is atomic, everywhere. A stone is a stone at the top of the hill or the bottom of the lake. I cannot work your soil, nor you mine, but the blood that stains the lit, remembered green is all of ours. Blow up the vengeance! The black and reeking, venomed apple of the heart is ticking under the hood of a car outside a common house. The address doesn't matter. There is no second home.
JOHN B. MULLIGAN Sisyphi ~~~~~~~ They drag their billstones up the monthly hill to dream houses of new curtains and torn screens... a rat race? If headstones in a graveyard gallop into the trees.
GERI TARAN The Sated Widow or Preying Mantis ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Blessed solitude. She sits in the sun, her fullness a comfort. New life is on the way. She does not miss her mate He is with her always, now.
GERI TARAN 'BO ~~~ This is a biographical poem about a friend, an old gentleman now deceased. A number of years ago he taught me to fly fish and this poem came from that day. "I can still see him," he said. "He was a professional. His bedroll was neat and tight across his back. He wore a cap." "He showed me how to hop a freight. 'Catch it at the front of a car, If you get thrown back against the train you can push away from the side and jump off the tracks. Catch it from the back of a car, you get thrown back between the cars.' Good things to know if you're hopping freights." "I was just eighteen, out to see the world, I left home. A moment comes and you know it's time to call. She just wanted to know I was all right. She made it easy to look ahead. She'd keep my mail. She wouldn't let my room just yet. I promised to keep in touch. I always did." "I never got to South America. I almost did, once. Had a job offer there, but the answer came late, by wire, I had gone to Mexico and she didn't know where I was." "That was long ago now. I've come far from those times. Newspapering, the military, freelancing... and trout fishing... always trout fishing in Georgia's streams out where a man can breathe and watch the sleepy, graceful arc the line makes as you play it, aim it into a pool, drop it by the copse at the water's edge or beside a downed log hoping for the strike."
GERI TARAN Geese ~~~~~ Geese attract my attention no matter what I am doing. They have come to mean things I am pulled by, changing seasons, vitality and blood, new mornings and new moons. No matter what I am doing I will come, when I hear them, to the window or the door and watch them wing powerfully overhead, obedient behind the leader, against sky and wind, to water.
GERI TARAN Old Man's Stories... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And when he no longer had a future where he could make of the stuff of his life new stories to tell He began to repeat the same stories over and over. Wanting to guide, to share himself, to be remembered by someone... He told them again and again. Because he no longer had a future, eventually there was no one left who wanted to listen.


   A Sole Voice
   A sole voice in the void
   moving through the fogs
   crying, is there anything here
   worth living for?
   any supreme cause
   or even a small hope
   or a change to be done?
   Is there anybody else in here,
   moving through these spaces?
   Does anybody know how it feels
   in the space in between
   the castles and the skies
   when you don't know where you're at
   and where you're going
   or even who you are
   and where you belong
   The castle people did not see my wings
   they were not aware
   of the winged kingdom out there,
   in there
   Yet I still feel the wing'd people whispering
   behind my ears
   "you're one of us,
   "you're here with us,
   "if you just listen..."
   "Just be aware of us
   "We are your inner voice
   "It is us you speak out anyway.
   "Trust, you don't need much more than that
   "just patience
   "untill they aknowledge,
   "within your eyes...
   I have wings...!
   We all have wings!!
   What you see is your true reflection
   Just be aware of the inner kingdom



A New Age: The Centipede Network Of Artists, Poets, & Writers
An Informational Journey Into A Creative Echonet [9310]
(C) CopyRight "I Write, Therefore, I Develop" By Paul Lauda

       Come one, come all! Welcome to Newsgroup alt.centipede. Established 
       just for writers, poets, artists, and anyone who is creative. A 
       place for anyone to participate in, to share their poems, and 
       learn from all.  A place to share *your* dreams, and philosophies. 
       Even a chance to be published in a magazine.

       The original Centipede Network was created on May 16, 1993. 
       Created because there were no other networks dedicated to such 
       an audience, and with the help of Klaus Gerken, Centipede soon 
       started to grow, and become active on many world-wide Bulletin 
       Board Systems.

       We consider Centipede to be a Public Network; however, its a
       specialized network, dealing with any type of creative thinking.
       Therefore, that makes us something quite exotic, since most nets
       are very general and have various topics, not of interest to a
       writer--which is where Centipede steps in! No more fuss. A writer
       can now access, without phasing out any more conferences, since 
       the whole net pertains to the writer's interests. This means 
       that Centipede has all the active topics that any creative 
       user seeks. And if we don't, then one shall be created.

       Feel free to drop by and take a look at newsgroup alt.centipede

  Ygdrasil is committed to making literature available, and uses the
  Internet as the main distribution channel. On the Net you can find all
  of Ygdrasil including the magazines and collections. You can find
  Ygdrasil on the Internet at: 

    * WEB: http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken/ 

    * FTP: ftp://ftp.synapse.net/~kgerken/

    * USENET: releases announced in rec.arts.poems, alt.zines and

    * EMAIL: send email to kgerken@synapse.net and tell us what version 
         and method you'd like. We have two versions, an uncompressed 
         7-bit universal ASCII and an 8-bit MS-DOS lineart-enchanced 
         version.  These can be sent plaintext, uuencoded, or as a 


  . REMEMBERY: EPYLLION IN ANAMNESIS (1996), poems by Michael R. Collings

  . DYNASTY (1968), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE WIZARD EXPLODED SONGBOOK (1969), songs by KJ Gerken
  . STREETS (1971), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . BLOODLETTING (1972) poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . ACTS (1972) a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . RITES (1974), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FULL BLACK Q (1975), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . ONE NEW FLASH OF LIGHT (1976), a play by KJ Gerken
  . THE BLACKED-OUT MIRROR (1979), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . JOURNEY (1981), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . LADIES (1983), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FRAGMENTS OF A BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1984), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE BREAKING OF DESIRE (1986), poems by KJ Gerken
  . FURTHER SONGS (1986), songs by KJ Gerken
  . POEMS OF DESTRUCTION (1988), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE AFFLICTED (1991), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . DIAMOND DOGS (1992), poems by KJ Gerken
  . KILLING FIELD (1992), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . BARDO (1994-1995), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FURTHER EVIDENCES (1995-1996) Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . CALIBAN'S ESCAPE AND OTHER POEMS (1996), by Klaus J. Gerken 
  . CALIBAN'S DREAM (1996-1997), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE LAST OLD MAN (1997), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . WILL I EVER REMEMBER YOU? (1997), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . SONGS FOR THE LEGION (1998), song-poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . REALITY OR DREAM? (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . APRIL VIOLATIONS (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE VOICE OF HUNGER (1998), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken

  . SHACKLED TO THE STONE, by Albrecht Haushofer - translated by JR Wesdorp

  . MZ-DMZ (1988), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . DARK SIDE (1991), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . STEEL REIGNS & STILL RAINS (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . BLATANT VANITY (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ALIENATION OF AFFECTION (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . LIVING LIFE AT FACE VALUE (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HATRED BLURRED (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . CHOKING ON THE ASHES OF A RUNAWAY (1993), ramblings by I. Koshevoy
  . BORROWED FEELINGS BUYING TIME (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HARD ACT TO SWALLOW (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HALL OF MIRRORS (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ARTIFICIAL BUOYANCY (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy

  . THE POETRY OF PEDRO SENA, poems by Pedro Sena
  . THE FILM REVIEWS, by Pedro Sena
  . THE SHORT STORIES, by Pedro Sena
  . INCANTATIONS, by Pedro Sena

  . POEMS (1970), poems by Franz Zorn

  All books are on disk and cost $10.00 each. Checks should be made out to
  the respective authors and orders will be forwarded by Ygdrasil Press.
  YGDRASIL MAGAZINE may also be ordered from the same address: $5.00 an
  issue to cover disk and mailing costs, also specify computer type (IBM
  or Mac), as well as disk size and density. Allow 2 weeks for delivery.
  Note that YGDRASIL MAGAZINE is free when downloaded from Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site at http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.


  All poems copyrighted by their respective authors. Any reproduction of
  these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is

  YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993, 1994, 1995,
  1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2000 by Klaus J. Gerken.

  The official version of this magazine is available on Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.  No other 
  version shall be deemed "authorized" unless downloaded from there. 
  Distribution is allowed and encouraged as long as the issue is unchanged.

  All checks should be made out to: YGDRASIL PRESS


    * Klaus Gerken, Chief Editor - for general messages and ASCII text
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    * Pedro Sena, Production Editor - for submissions of anything
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