A world that matches the soul

Some say I am lost in a dream,

in a world that does not exist.

But they are wrong. It does exist.

In the deep forests, the vast lakes,

the sparkle of the sea,

the blossoming of a wildflower.

They sit in their glass and steel offices

and laugh at me, calling me a child.

But one day, when life forces them to see,

really see through their eternal eyes

and not the cultured mind,

they will not laugh any longer.

For I believe that a world that matches the soul

is not a dream, but the real world.

The world that was always meant to thrive

before humanity learned to close their eyes

and call reality a dream.

The smile that never runs dry

There are so many ghosts here. Behind closed eyes they are brought from elsewhere. They sink their claws into the web, sending out images and stories where the fancy will take them. Such a ghost is “the boy next door”. From the hood of children in the far provinces, he blooms like a dusty river. His source, the street without trees; cold and shingled with litter of dead weeds along the sides. Unlike the other ghosts his smile never runs dry. Nor does his burden of embraces and their stories. My current encounter begins here outside the house with a white picket fence.

It all depends on the way he smiles. Often, dreamers walk up to him and sit and watch and wait by the side of the road for whatever his smile may bring: that night it brought me.

His voice beckoned, like a distant hiss composed like a hymn. It was more than just a call; it unwinded roads before me. And in the morning at five o’clock when I got up the memory was already waiting for me; humming faintly at the back of my head. Sanity had dropped its guard, and rivers, wild and barefoot, slipped unseen between the cracks, across the heart. I listened for his smile as the dust rose with the sun. But the roads were silent, only lies rattled through the undergrowth. If they were true, he would have hunted them down and set fire to the wind to make them come running out of the burning air. But the promises are long gone, stretched and gutted and pierced on sticks as a reminder and a warning to folk on their way out of the dark.

That is the only song the dreamers hear: lullabies from golden smiles bringing home what was sent away. But sacrifices must be made. And those sacrifices will be cared for very well. He will see to it. His claws invisibly sunk into hearts of gold swelling painfully into river rafts woven by a smile that never runs dry.

I wake in the morning with a plentiful catch of lies cleverly woven into memories still waiting, after all this time. In the mirror I don’t see the claws scarping along the delicate skin under my morning gloried eyes. I only see a smile that never runs dry.

*This short story/narrative poem is inspired by a dream I had.

Angels can’t love

I walk into the shop I’ve been to many times before.

But now I am someone else.

I see them in there.

Those who come from the past.

They look different.

They see me.

Eyes opening wide.

They see me.

They see that I am beautiful.

More beautiful than before.

They walk over to me.

They want to be close to me.

Arms reaching for me.

That is when I see him.

Something passes between us.

A movement.

But he is not the one to protect me

when the war comes.

When the machine guns come.

Someone else steps in front of me.

I wait for death.

But it doesn’t come.

I see him again.

He is kneeling down.

Someone points a gun at me.

I start crying.

Wings slowly grow

from his shoulder blades.

The soldiers smile and nod their heads.

“Finally,” they say.

“That is what it took.”

They lay down their guns.

I am still crying.

I am safe.

But I am not loved.

Angels can’t love humans.

Not the way we need to be loved.

Exclusively. Exceptionally.

As though we were the only one

needing to be loved

by them.

*This is actually a dream I had while sleeping.

I have a dream…

I have a dream of a world without boundaries, without money, without leaders… I have a dream of a world where we are all allowed to pursue our talents, our passions, cultivate what we are truly good at and where every talent receives its due respect. Where someone who is good at building houses is treated with reverence because without them we would have no roof over our heads, where someone who is good at making clothes is held in highest regard because without them we would all freeze to death, where someone who is empathic and insightful is treated with admiration because without them we would have no one to help us solve crisis and sort out problems, where someone who farms the land is considered to be the most important person of all because they feed us.

I have a dream of a world where you grow, not where you are planted, but where you choose to grow based on your own needs. Where you can settle down, build a home where you know you will truly bloom. Where a farmer is understood to have a bigger piece of land to farm our food, where a doctor is welcomed to a plot in the town because we all know they need to be close to their patients, where an artist is encouraged to build a house on a cliff overlooking the sea to soak up the inspiration pouring in from the ocean. Where we take no more than we need. And happily let other people do the same.

I have a dream of a world where pursuing your talent is considered to be a gift and practicing it a chance to hone in on your skill and evolve your craft, where making a garment, treating a patient, building a house for someone, giving someone council, telling a story, playing music, fixing a tool, planting a tree, is a way to do what you love the most, a gift to yourself, not something you do to make money and accumulate wealth and building status.

I have a dream of a world where kindness, empathy, creativity, exploration, generosity and spirit are the only leaders we need to guide us, and finding a way to discover this leadership within ourselves the only road to morality we need to walk.

Am I dreamer? Yes. Do people laugh and me and call me naïve when I talk like this. Yes. Do I believe it is one day possible? Absolutely! And today, tomorrow and the day after that I am going to do my best to live as though this dream was already reality. Believing in it bravely and audaciously.

The birds tamed our thoughts

The birds tamed our thoughts

that night.

The sound of wings asleep

made us hold hands.

It was like curtains swaying

in the night air.

There was a gentleness in the absence

of crowds like clouds

clotting the sky to keep out

the light.

We had to put our shoes away to feel

the dark between our toes

like rainless black sea swirling

ghost-like through narrow alleys.

And a wilderness of crayfish running

up our thighs pinching

our dreams to see whether or not

they were still real.

Let there be no limits to the sky

I got the idea for this story one day in Hajii Lane looking at a caged bird staring at the sky…

Those tall lean San Francisco houses look like rows of multicolored piano keys left unplayed, except for by an occasional shower or a gust of wind. The balconies are French with curled iron and picked tops. If somebody ever used them they would be able to hold hands from one end to the other. But this neighborhood is past its best. The only living things you see here are birds bickering on rooftops. I should know, I’m one myself. I live on second floor of a big white and olive back-to-back house. You may assume I’m a nuisance, you’re wrong, I’m just an outsider. That’s the odd thing about Julius Lawrence Street, it never became what it intended to be: cheap lodgings and noisy pubs. Instead it offers privacy and silence, solitary rooms and cold nights. It suits me. I rest my mind on flights of fancy. I can’t stay in those cages with iron bars. I enjoy my seclusion, and I only work on evenings. The others leave me in peace.

But then someone moved into the flat above me. At first I thought it was a ghost, but we met on the chimney landing one day, and I learned that his name was Harris. He told me that he was bred in captivity, which was odd because he was rather common looking. The others were curious about Harris of course, but he was like me: no audible comings and goings. He asked me a couple of times to borrow my bathroom, apparently his water was jammed or something. But mostly we met on the landing. He came back when I left. He never really spoke to me, just registered my presence with a nod of the head. On rainy days when I didn’t go to work, I heard him unlocking his door. Then there was a thump and raised voices. No one else seemed to care. But I had come here for the vacuum of silence, for the vacancy, the emptiness. At first I decided to talk to Harris about it, but then I thought better of it.

That morning was sweltering. It was summer, and the sun boiled the concrete from dawn to dusk. My flat was unusually stuffy, and I was relieved when I heard Harris leaving his flat, heading for the stairs. I waited until he was gone before I followed him. The wind was cool and refreshing, and I could move easily despite the caging heat.
Bare streets fuming with sultry cries tried to leap at me, but I was too fast. That’s the thing about piano keys, they provide excellent patches of shadows. I could almost hear the dark tone of the black shorter keys quivering melodically. Then Harris disappeared behind an abandoned flower shop and I quickened my pace. I rounded the corner and was taken aback by what I saw.

There he was, like a common thief broken into a house filled with withered roses and beheaded garden gnomes. He was standing on a carpet of black metallic dust, but he wasn’t alone. A crowd of about ten to fifteen cats stood about him tinkering with something laid on gray tables. You can imagine my shock, cats! Those selfish, lazy loners crowding my backyard! Harris was holding an iron rod that looked like something from his balcony. I leaned in for a better look. The buggers were making banners with slogans such as: ” Death to the feather-clippers” and ” Let there be no limits to the sky.” In a terracotta pot by the blackened window I could see several discarded collars, some with name tags and magnets on them. A steel bowl of water stood close by. Harris had a determined look in his eyes as he stood in the gloomed yellow sunlight thumping his iron rod rhythmically on the blinking floor.

I stepped out of my hiding place and moved back unto the deserted street. Unlit lamp posts and disengaged traffic lights were leaning conspicuously in on me. The tall San Fransisco houses seemed uncomfortable, abandoned without being remote. I felt diminished by them. My eyes fell on the rooftops, they were crowded, but not friendly. Like cakes frosted with flies. I let my eyes travel higher, and there it was. The sky. The blue was so inviting. It had no currency, no gossip. The sun cast silvery shadows on the clouds. The thin layer of city dust was carefully wiped away by yesterday’s rain. I recognized the night hiding in the future. It shed crumbled stars between my overweight stiff wings. I tried to recall exactly how Harris had done it, spreading them like fans. I felt as if I would release, open, startlingly fast, perhaps better than I had ever done before. The rising of me looked exactly like a flutter, and I kicked off and flew, into that faraway blue that had no limits.