Evergreen

The air hung about us fresh and heavy, burdened with the weight of a billion falling tears. The very heart that pulsated beneath us in the soil opened up and sang a song of warm welcome to the soothing rain. Hills rose and fell before us like great waves frozen at their crests before crashing down into yielding valleys of green and virgin earth. We race off the beaten path and make our own way up the steep face of an unspoiled hill. Reverting back to childish innocence as we battle imaginary foes! Swinging makeshift swords, screaming into the wind. Our bodies wet, trembling and indifferent.

Ian

And there at the crest, among the rain and gentle foliage and in the companionship of faithful brotherhood; a universal language of leaves and wild things reaches out to communicate with us. An anthem of life echoes across the vast valleys ringing in the ears of adventurous  souls. The tall and untouched grass sways and gestures with invisible hands as silver clouds caress the bosoms of hilltops like gentle lovers. Rivers rush down with force of grace, inviting us to follow it’s trajectory into unknown territories longing to be explored. The rampancy of turning gears ceases their manufacturing of endless thoughts and deplorable doubts as a natural intoxication envelops me in silence. Lost in ecstatic euphoria and vivid imagination, I am as far away from everything than I have ever been. And yet, I have never felt so close.

Close to the secret that alludes me. The great lesson to be learned in the language of the wilds that is no secret. A timeless wisdom that would make sages of young and willing minds. But I am lost in the translation for I do not know the native tongue. The winds and fertile lands tell me I’d learn, if only I’d stay. But the clouds are darkening with the setting sun and I damn the the brevity of winter days.

We turn back. Back towards home and the modern melodrama of our lives that loses it’s attraction when reflected in the unbiased mirrors of still waters. Back to fluorescent horizons, neon signs and the angry reds of tail lights. Nine to fives and traffic fines. Forty hour work weeks and 401k. Sitcoms that tell us when to laugh. Game shows and the evening news. Reality television, commercial advertising and radio broadcasting. Empty wallets and empty beds. Back to the freeways and super highways whose lanes become impacted and congested. Reminiscent of great migratory herds of cattle, consuming all in their wake. Trampling the old and and the weak for Weekend sales. Buyers looking to buy, never thinking they are the ones being bought. Back to the security of suburbia and it’s gated communities. The endless race for paper and property. Lost in the currents of waning humanity. Losing their minds in a country that is losing it’s soul.

Back to the manic parade. The carousel. People spinning inside of themselves. The fluctuating condition of the human animal, condensing and compressing together in great sky scrapers till the imminent moment of implosion!

And they call this a dream. Oh! What a dream.

But my eyes are open. For I have seen the evergreen.

-HOWl

Goodnight

Goodnight, sweet angels.

Winged seraphs with halos bright as starlight.  Your innocence now immortalized at the cost of mine.

Goodnight, sweet princesses. Go now to your golden castles in  the sky and claim your thrones among the clouds. Go now to your White Knights, Good Knights, who will shield from you all the evils of this world. Evils whose tide now washes away the sand we have hidden our heads under for far too long.

Goodnight, ye sons and daughters of Connecticut. You heirs of Yemen and crowned jewels of China. Your states and skin that hold no claim, for you were all children of men, one in the same.

May all your loved ones find you laughing in their sleep.

May you knock loudly on the doors of their dreams.

May you soften the hardened hearts of Brothers and Fathers. Men whose pain delves deep into cavernous silence. May the soothing hymn of your memory echo in the void till it finds the ears of guilt free souls.

May you wipe away those salty tears of your Sisters and Mothers. Tears that flow like great rivers cutting chasms deep as canyons. Fill them now with gracious warmth. Set a fire to their hearts as your own beds grow cold. Sing to them the lullabies sang to you. Cradle them as they weep. Tell them now, you dance in starry fields of infinity.

Tell them you will wait  in that place we can only dream of, as they go on. Living life, their lives, for you.

May your warm and loving souls paint beautiful constellations across darkening horizons. Whose resplendent masterpieces will remind us to celebrate  the fragility of life. Whose brilliant spirits of light will become as beacons guiding the trajectory of vessels lost to time and tide, illuminating the way home to our cherished ones.

Remind us to grab hold of them.

Remind us to hold on tight.

Goodnight.

Goodnight.

Goodnight.

Carousel

I

My life has become a carousel.

A beautiful ride. A brightly lit amusement teetering along a set axis of imaginary lines.

Thoughts turn to memories and memories to translucent dreams as a familiar tune I know now all too well sings just for me. Under the alluring spell of nostalgia, soothed by the smooth porcelain hands of familiarity, I am anchored in the deceit I sell myself that this is what it means to be free.

The comforting weight of knowing that today will spin on forever, keeps me in place.

Tomorrow becomes a forgotten friend I told secrets to in the spring of my youth. Under canopies where we carved our names into towering titans whose changing foliage was our only sense of time. When we ran naked and wild in limitless fields of our imaginations and flew about with invisible wings.

And now, we dream digital dreams birthed from the wombs of screens. Our minds pregnant with distraction, heavy with thoughts of self doubt and callous indulgence; tomorrow seems a happily never after just beyond my reach. Like the limbs of impossible trees that taunted me in that childhood of virgin spring.

I am lost in the crowd of a parade called “Someday”.

These painted horses and magical seats find me and carry me aloft. Destination: unknown, yet certain. And the everyday happens every day. Again and again and again. Seasons merge into seasons at an accelerating pace. Years skip along the rippling surface of time like weeks, still finding me in the same place.

And when I lay my heavy head down again, that song becomes a lullaby and on whatever surface my body finds tonight, I will dream the same thing; of a life I don’t constantly feel the need to escape from,

but one that finds me free.

II

Then, dawn finds me again.

The dream fades and recedes like the black curtain of night, as I get back on the stage that is my carousel.

Allured by it’s siren song and captivating lights, blinded to all else that would enter my sight, the ride will cough and sputter to life.

The circular motion provides an illusion of progression. You are moving, if only further from the point of origin that was yourself.

The winds in your hair and the lights dance about like fire flies in a Southern night. Artificial stars guiding you to a desirous destination you’ll never find.

Your reflection in the glass finds you smiling and you smile back. You wave a silent goodbye as you pass people by. But another illusion has played your mind and your will.

You are not racing past anyone,

you are just standing still.

To spite time, to spite life?

Be still, my rampant mind.

For it’s all…

just a ride.

III

And this,

this is goodbye.

For I am that which must collide to break the constant spinning of cycles.

Farewell, well oiled machines, whose machinations are beyond me. Whose design produces assembly line drones and counter part white collar clones existing in living limbo to sell life away, to buy and be bought, who flock and nest in the subtle comforts of manufactured homes.  Who sour the Earth with pollutions that poison the imaginations of minds and darken the native born holy exuberance of men’s souls.

They sold a Nightmare donning the mask of a Dream with tickets bought by those lost in perpetual sleep.

I cradle my adopted son of insomnia.

Farewell to the painted horses whose instinctual trajectory brought me to memorable places I have since forgotten. The people I passed by passing through. Out of focus, brightly colored silhouettes who painted a picture a thousand others could paint rather than signing their masterpieces with scar or stain. Momentary loss for temporary gain.

The innumerable static distractions and few starving affections. The angel choir chorus of slapping skin and creaking mattress. I have won at a game I never thought I’d play. Spun round willing impostors to an endless waltz and grand skeletal ballet. Spinning in pretty circles until the scenery recycles.

Allow me to forget the steps. The modern dance of romance that leaves me dizzy for the band is always off time and off key.

Rapturous melody! Harmonious discord! Fill my lungs and teach me a new song! To break the culling spell of the carousel!

Or, let the music stop.

Turn the fire flies off.

Enrapture me in silence and cloak me in darkness.

Leave me deaf and leave me blind.

So that among the muted progression of seven billion songs screaming towards heaven I can find myself in this passage of time.

– HOWl

c

Photograph by Vincenzo Pioggia