CHAMBER 21

CHAMBER 21

Dream Wanderer

Intoxicated with children’s thoughts
I wonder,
why are souls so deep and men so blind?
How can souls be eclipsed
by such tiny minds?
Do we love the damp passageways of Hell?
Where every drop of pale water
that falls from the cavern walls
is unwashed music etched in silence…

My favored dreams have disappeared
astride the backs of eagles.
With wings sweeping downward, lifting upward,
they are carried away like finespun,
elegant seeds
on a crystalline wind.
Without them
I am divinely barren
like an empty vessel denied its purpose.
I can only stare into the silence
ever listening for heaven’s murmur.
Knowing that behind the darkening mist
angels are building shelters for human innocence.
Shelters torn from something dark
and gravely wounded.
Havens resistant to all disease.

I thought I was endowed
with a promised beauty
that would free the neglected dreams of a demigod.
That would untie their feeble knots
and release them into light’s caress.
But the glorious reins
that had once been mine,
tattered and stained with blood,
have slipped from my hands in disuse
as a web abandoned to a ghostly wind.
I can still reach them.
I can feel their shadow across my hands.
Their power, like an electric storm
wandering aimlessly without fuel,
soon to be exhausted.

This piece of paper
is torn from something dark
and gravely wounded.
It is the mirror I hold up to the blackened sky.
A devious sacrifice.

Leaping from star to star
my eyes weave a constellation.
My thoughts in search of the endless motherload.
My heart listening for the sound
of unstained children dreaming.

The dream wanderer looks back at me.
Calls my name in a whispered voice.
Beckons me with an outstretched wing.

“Fly! Your favored dreams await you!”

The voice boomed like thunder swearing.
My wings trembled with forbidden power
as they searched the wind’s current
for signs of release.
Currents that would carry me
to the high branches of trees
suckling the sun in fields beyond my kingdom.

In a moment’s interlude
I unfolded my wings and vaulted skyward,
into the blue vestibule.
Sheer speed.
Rivers beneath were brown veins
swollen on earth’s legs,
or savage cuts that bled green.
The sun sliced holes in the clouds
with tender spears of crimson light.
The moon was rising in the eastern sky —
an oyster shell
pitted by time.
Lonely winds would rush by
searching for an outpost of stillness.
The earthen dungeon
peered up at me with contempt
like a nursemaid relieved of her duty.

I forgot the ground.
I canceled gravity.
Balanced against aboriginal hopes and fears
I became the shaman who dances
in the spirit waters of ancestors
plucking words and meanings from the cumbrous air.

I thought only of the dream wanderer…
the holy wind that rekindles
my exquisite longing for raw truth.
To seize it like medicine
in a sleepless fever hoping to be healed.
The halcyon spire!
The dusty places of purity.

These wings are torn
from something dark and gravely wounded.
They carry me to my favored dreams
and choke the inertia of indifference dead.
Their strength is perfectly matched
to my destination.
One more mile beyond these trees,
I would fall like a fumbled star
into the moat of a starving world.

My favored dreams will wander again.
In time they will soar to trees of a richer kingdom.
My wings will again follow their flight,
track their heartbeat
and build a quilt of a thousand dreams intermingled.
One more turn of the infinite circle.
The dream slate revivified.
Navigable–
even in the murky waters
and cloudy skies of the itinerant traveler.
The dream wanderer reveals
(with a flip of the hourglass of heaven),
as above
so below.
Create your world and let it go forward
entrusted to the one that is all.
The leavening will prevail.
It is the lesson I learned
with my wings outstretched beneath
the glaring sky.
It is the rawness I seek
untouched by another’s polish.

Forgiver

Last night we talked for hours.
You cried in unstoppable sorrow,
while I felt a presence carve itself into me
source and savior of your dragging earth.
You feel so deeply,
your mind barely visible
staring ahead to what the heart already knows.
I see the distance you must heal.
I know your pacing heart bounded by corners
that have been rounded and smoothed
like a polished stone from endless waves.
For all I know you are me
in another body,
slots where spirits reach in
to throw the light
interpreting dreams.
Prowling for crowns.

Are there ways to find your heart
I haven’t found?
You, I will swallow without tasting first.
I don’t care the color.
Nothing could warn me away.
Nothing could diminish my love.
And only if I utterly failed
in kinship would you banish me.

Last night, I know I was forgiven.
You gave me that gift unknowing.
I asked for forgiveness
and you said it was unneeded;
time shuffled everything anew
and it was its own
forgiver.

But I know everything not there
was felt by you and transformed.
It was given a new life, though inconspicuous,
it wove us together to a simple, white stone
lying on the ground that marks a spot of sorrow.
Beneath, our union, hallowed of tiny bones
beseech us to forgive ourselves
and lean upon our shoulders
in memory of love, not loss.

Blame settles on no one;
mysterious, it moves in the calculus
of God’s plan as though no one thought
to refigure the numbers three to two to one.
The shape stays below the stone.
We walk away,
knowing it will resettle
in our limbs
in our bones
in our hearts
in our minds
in our soul.

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