Sunday, October 21, 2012

Little Earth

My gracious host confides that he too is searching
for Mother Earth's last angel. Father Time had given
his daughter rattles and spinning tops to play with.
Mother Earth painted stars and planets in her nursery,
but Little Earth could not speak. When she was very young,
birds would alight on the small shrubs of her nursery.
She chirped herself to sleep while the other children
were learning their first words. Little Earth sang sweet
to herself in the language of peaceful, daytime doves.
It was like she cast a spell over the nursery. The more she sang,
her singing encouraged her playmates to put words together
into sentences of all kinds.

When she got a little older, she would see herself in flocks
of blackbirds and in squirrels chasing each other.
When she got a little older still, birds would land on her
bare shoulders. Her knees would tremble with slight
changes in the breeze. Then she stood straight with young
pines. Next, she drooped lazily with windswept willows.
Finally, she sat with old oaks and learned their gnarled
intuition of an acorn. She swayed with river reeds, singing
as softly as they. She hummed with dragonflies, learning
their skittish ways.

The Earth Mother knew her child was both playful and serious.
Father Time knew his darling was both sad and sweet.
All the while, Clouds and Toys was as numerous as insects,
giving a presence to a still hushed world.

Butterfly Chaser grew jealous. She saw that Little Earth
had power over birds, trees, and insects. All she could do
was cause butterflies to land. So she stole her rattle
and her spinning top. She traded the spinning top to her friend
Clouds and Toys for a beautiful pair of butterfly wings
with which she could float through the air, but she kept the rattle,
carrying it with her through her breeze bound days.

The witch liked to sleep for a long time. It was the sound
of the rattle that woke her up. The witch knew that without
the rattle Little Earth would never learn to speak.
She would always be able to sleep in the silent meadows
and forests which was what she liked to do best. So she tricked
Butterfly Chaser. "You will catch more butterflies without
the rattle. Let me have it so I can take it where the butterflies
won't be able to hear it anymore."

Clouds and Toys decided she would teach Little Earth to talk.
She said to her friend, "Come with me. I want you to see something."
They skipped over to the apple orchard. Little Earth had never seen
a basket before. She had never seen a basket or a wheelbarrow
that humans use for their labor. Little Earth knew the language
of nature. She didn't need names for the birds and the trees
and insects that were her friends. But this object with the apples in it,
she wanted to call it something.
"It's a basket," said Clouds and Toys, and that was her first word.
She skipped all over the orchard saying, "Basket, Basket" each time
she passed the places where the apples were stored. Clouds and Toys
knew her friend needed to speak, but first she had to eat to get
the strength with which to speak. She didn't want to be obvious
about it.
So she said, "Let's see what the inside of an apple looks like."
"How do we do that?" asked Little Earth.
"Take a bite," and Little Earth took a bite.
Suddenly Clouds and Toys said, "I know, let's see what the apple
tastes like."
"How do we do that?" asked Little Earth, but as her teeth were
moving up and down she was already chewing the apple.
"It's juicy," she said. Little Earth went on learning words in the apple
orchard. One day, she saw a man climb down from a ladder and put
some apples in one of the baskets.
"Are these your trees?" she asked the man.
"No, the first people planted these trees."
"Are you one of the first people?"
"No, I am Father Time," the man said. "The first people were
my children, but I outlived them."
Father Time didn't recognize his daughter because she didn't have
her rattle and her spinning top. "What is your name, child?" he asked.
"I am the sister of Clouds and Toys," she said.
"Her name is Little Earth," said Clouds and Toys who suddenly came
running up.
"Here, I found these for you." She handed Little Earth her rattle
and her spinning top.
Then Father Time recognized his daughter. "Ah, I have finally found
Mother Earth's last angel."
He looked relieved. He went on to explain, "Shake this rattle
whenever you're in trouble. The witch hates the sound of this rattle.
I have to let her take you away because she does not want the planet
to learn how to speak. She will bring storms and warnings upon you,
Little Earth. She will tell you that the Earth Mother wishes this
to happen. Don't believe her. Shake the rattle. Always remember
Clouds and Toys. She is the second people. Spin the top,
and the second people will multiply. They will be safe in my orchard.
When I am done picking all these apples, I will come and find you.
I will get my staff back that the witch stole from me.
She will be powerless. You will be grown up then, Little Earth.
The second people will swim in your rivers and skip in your fields.
You will once again be bountiful, and you will speak instructions
to the second people. They will listen to you, and care for you,
and Clouds and Toys will always be with you."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Moshen

He had gone back to the uncharted forest,
traveled into the land of the Elves, watched an Elfin sunset,
and become an insect. A young Elf set the fourth brother
at the base of an elder growth tree. The insect climbed high
into the branches. The young Elf then took the insect
and threw him to the winds. As he fell to the ground
he became a robin. The fourth brother flew back to the land
of men. He crisscrossed the wide plains many times.
They were not peopled except for two huts east of the river
and of course the hall of the brothers in the very center
of the wide plains which were shaped like an octagon
bordered on three sides by the uncharted forest.
In his fifth year of flying, the robin noticed a red structure
two days journey from the huts of Brizzly and Nezzurd.
He landed on the peak of the red place and had a dream.
He dreamed he was an insect again, and it took him
a hundred years to crawl down the red structure.
Once he reached the ground, he became a robin again.
There was a clay jar at the foot of the red place,
and next to it an old crow was drinking from a dish of water.
"I am the fourth brother," the robin addressed the crow.
"Who are you?"
"I am Geometric George," said the crow. ""Your name
is Benjamin."
"Yes, my name is Benjamin," said the robin
who was the fourth brother.
"What is this red place called?" asked Benjamin.
"Geometric George says this is a pyramid."
"What is at the top of the pyramid?" asked Benjamin.
"A piss," said Geometric George.
"Have you ever been to the top of the piss?" asked Benjamin.
"Yes, three other crows and I flew to the top of the piss
in the first age," said Geometric George. "There is dotsy
in the clay jar."
"What is dotsy?" asked Benjamin who was a robin.
"I will pour it over you and onto your wings
and you will know," said the crow.
Then the crow, who was a descendant of the crows
of the uncharted forest, picked up the clay jar,
flapped with it to over above the robin, and dumped the dotsy
onto Benjamin. At once the robin turned into the fourth brother,
a man in the land of men.
"Who are you?" he asked the crow.
"Geometric George says I am a crow," said the crow.
"What is this place?" he asked the crow.
"Geometric George says this is a moshen," replied the crow.
"Do you know where the dotsy river is?" asked the man.
"I will take you there," said the crow.
The crow fluttered a few feet above the ground.
He wandered aimlessly like a butterfly.
"Follow me. My name is George," he said.
That is the end of the adventures of the fourth brother
whose name is now Benjamin.

Benjamin climbed down from the branches of the oak tree.
Brue also climbed down, and they went into the hall
of the family of the crow. The next night Brue dreamed
that the sixth brother, who had interpreted the six spears
standing in a circle dream as pointing to Brue remaining
in the hall, it was this brother who appeared in the branches
of the oak tree. Brue awoke, went outside to the old firepit
where the oak tree was, and it was true. He climbed up
into the oak tree and sat with the sixth brother.
These are the adventures of the sixth brother.
I followed the path Joseph described from the footprints
by the river to the land of the men with beards.
I came to their huts where they were busy eating rice.
However, the men were clean-shaven now.
"Greetings Brizzly and Nezzurd. I am the brother of Joseph
who came to you when you lived in the land of the men
with beards."
Nezzurd went into his hut and returned with a dish.
"You will eat rice with us," he said.
Later Brizzly said, "Let us watch the red smoke, for we
are done eating."
Nezzurd went to his hut and returned with three chairs.
"Sit down with us brother of Joseph. Your name is Trazz."
"Why should that be my name?" asked the sixth brother.
"Because Trazz rhymes with add," said Nezzurd.
"OK fine," said Trazz. "But what of this red smoke
we are going to watch?"
The three of them were sitting by the huts which are two
days journey from the river.
"Look in the direction where the river turns to dropsy,"
said Brizzly.
"What is dropsy?" asked the sixth brother
"It is an unstable form of water," said Nezzurd.
Trazz looked where the men pointed. He saw the red smoke.
"That is beautiful," said Trazz.
"Eh, what is this beautiful?" asked Nezzurd.
"Beautiful is pleasing to the eye," answered Trazz.
Brizzly and Nezzurd considered this.
"Eh, let us walk to this beautiful," said Brizzly.
"But it is more than three days journey," said Trazz.
"We will take our donkey. You can ride on him if you get
footsore," said Brizzly.
Trazz decided this was OK. They loaded the donkey with rice
and departed.

On the third day they noticed the sloping sides of the red smoke.
"That is beautiful," said Brizzly.
"Yes," Trazz agreed.
As they got closer the smoke disappeared. At the base
of the red place was a clay jar. Next to it stood a crow.
"What is this place?" asked Nezzurd.
"This is a moshen," said the crow.
"What is the purpose of a moshen?" asked Brizzly.
"One climbs up to the piss of the moshen," said the crow.
"What is in the clay jar?" asked Trazz.
"It is full of dotsy," said the crow.
"No it isn't," said Trazz. "Dotsy is in the river."
"I will prove it to you," said the crow. He picked up the clay jar
with his claws and flapped with it to the top of the moshen.
From the bottom of the moshen, the three men could see the crow
transformed into a great, green breasted crow with a clay jar
held in his claws. The crow poured the dotsy down all the sides
of the moshen. The moshen became irregular, rounded, sloped
and green. A few trees grew on its sides.
"That is beautiful," said Nezzurd.
The men all agreed. The crow stood besides them.
He had a green breast.
"Brizzly, Nezzurd, and Trazz," spoke the green breasted crow.
"The three of you will climb to the peak of the moshen."
"Yes, that is what we will do," the men agreed.
The three men and one donkey climbed upward stopping
at the few trees on the slopes. Brizzly and Nezzurd counted
the leaves on the trees. The two men determined there were
508 leaves on the trees of the moshen by the time they reached
the peak. The green breasted crow joined them at the top.
"Brizzly, Nezzurd, and Trazz, you will build a fire on the peak
of this moshen," said the green breasted crow.
"Yes," agreed the men. "That is what we will do."
They built a fire and sat down next to its warmth.
Trazz reached under his tunic where he had a package wrapped
in a wool blanket tied to his waist. He untied the package
and opened the wool blanket to produce a fragment of clay
in glazed colors of green and blue like the earth and sky.
"That is beautiful," said Brizzly.
Trazz took the beautiful clay fragment and cast it into the fire.
"Men from the land of men with beards who are now clean-shaven,"
spoke Trazz. "Behold. A Movie!"
The flames began to dance with the green boughs and meadows
of the elder growth forest. Several sparrows appeared in the midst
of a meadow.
"What are those?" Brizzly asked.
"Those are sparrows," the green breasted crow answered.
"What is this place?" asked Nezzurd.
"This is the enchanted woods, home of the Elves," answered Trazz.
"Does this have something to do with the Druid?" asked Brizzly.
"Yes!" answered Trazz, and the three men and one green breasted
crow talked long into the night.
This is the end of the adventures of Trazz. He climbed down
from the oak tree. Brue also climbed down. They went into the hall
of The Family of the Crow to join Joseph and Benjamin.
There they lived. One by one the twelve brothers came back
from their journeys into the far reaches of the wide plains of men.
Many crows spoke. A few robins crisscrossed the sky,
but there were no other inhabitants in the wide plains other than
the twelve brothers and Brizzly and Nezzurd, but a great
improvement had been made. There was now a moshen
in the land of men. This is also chiefly the story of how Brizzly
and Nezzurd came to experience the beauty of the Elves through
the movies of the twelve dreaming brothers.

     The End   

Friday, October 19, 2012

Geometric George

Joseph went back to the river that has its source
in the land of the Elves, flows timelessly through the Druid's
uncharted forest, and makes its way movie-like
into the wide plains. He walked to the place where the footprints
led away from the river, the place where he met Brizzly
and Nezzurd, and he kept following the river. As he walked
he noticed there were some empty spaces in the river.
The water was getting broken up. Pockets of air were reducing
the water. Finally, there was no water at all. The riverbed
was still cut into the land. He walked a little farther until
the wash basin abruptly stopped at a clay jar. 
A crow was drinking from a small dish of water next to
the clay jar.
"Crow, how is it that you have water when the river has vanished?"
asked Joseph.
"Ah, this water is good," said the crow. 
"Where will you get more water, though," asked Joseph.
"Oh, I fly back to the river and get some morsels of water
in my beak," said the crow.
"Why does the water disappear?" asked Joseph.
"It is not really water," said the crow. "It is dotsy. It used to be
that the river didn't flow even this far. Then your brother George
took water from the timeless flow of the uncharted forest,
carried it in a bowl to the near river of the wide plains
where he joined the waters, and the spoon screened on."
"That is not how it happened," said Joseph. "First of all,
my brother's name is Brill."
"Oh forgive me," said the crow. "I am not as smart as the crows
of the uncharted forest. They are not as smart as the crows precious
to the felps. None of them are as smart as K., the crow who crossed
the oceans."
"That is interesting," said Joseph. "I will tell you what I know though
so you will not be passing on this false knowledge.
You are of the lineage of crows precious to the Elves, not the felps.
But tell me about this K. you speak of."
"K. is the grandfather of the cruks," said the crow.
"You mean the crows," corrected Joseph.
"Excuse me," said the crow. "I get a little dotsy."
"Yes, I might get a little dotsy around here myself," said Joseph.
"But back to the story. My brother Brill carried water in a clay jar
from the uncharted forest to the river of men. He poured the water
into the river of our land, and a great famine was alleviated."
"I didn't see that movie," said the crow.
"Then what movies have you seen?" asked Joseph.
"Every night it's the same one," said the crow. "I am at the corner
of a large square. Then three crows with red breasts fly down
and occupy the other three corners. I look down and see my breast
is red too. Then we all fly up and become one crow at the top
of a large pirimily."
"Yes, a pirimily, that is interesting," said Joseph. "Can you take me
to this place?"
"I have never gone anywhere before," said the crow.
"Well it's easy," said Joseph. "That's what the clay jar is for."
"What's in the clay jar?" asked the crow.
"Water," said Joseph.
"No, there's not," disagreed the crow.
"I will prove it to you," said Joseph. "I am going to pour the water
out of the jar over you and your wings. Then you will be able
to go places."
"Very well, Joseph from the family of the Cruks," said the crow.
Joseph poured the water, the crow flapped his wings, and he fluttered
up in the air a few feet.
"My name is George," said the crow.
"Yes, that is your name," said Joseph. "Will you please take me
to the pirimily."
"George will take you to the pirimily," said the crow.
So the crow fluttered a few feet above the ground like a butterfly,
and Joseph followed him.
Joseph asked on the way, "What is a square?"
"George says a square is a geometric flop," said the crow.
"What is a thing geometric?" asked Joseph.
"George says a thing is geometric in its parry-meter."
"Ah, how many meters around is this square?" asked Joseph.
"George says the square is twice as wide as it is tall."
"I am going to call you Geometric George," said Joseph.
"Yes, that is my name. Here we are," said George.
"Where are the other crows?" asked Joseph.
"They will come," said Geometric George.
Soon a great cawing filled the sky, and three large crows descended
onto the corners of the square. George, himself, became one
of the great crows each with a red breast. Then all the crows flew
to a point half as high as the square was wide which happened
to be in the center of the square. Great sheets of red flowed down
from the high point.
"It's a pyramid," said Joseph.
"Yes a pirimily," said George who once again fluttered aimlessly
at Joseph's side.
"You are indeed a descendant of the crows of the uncharted forest,"
Joseph complemented him.
"Geometric George says this is a pyramid."
"Yes, a pyramid," said Joseph.
This ends this journey of Joseph. He came down from the branches
of the oak tree where Brue had climbed up to talk to him.
They stayed on at the hall of the family of Brue, Brill, Joseph,
and the brothers. The next night Brue dreamed the fourth brother,
who was without a spear, sat in the branches of the oak tree.
Brue woke up, went out to the old firepit where the oak grew,
and it was true. He climbed into the branches to sit next to
the fourth brother, and they talked. These are the adventures
of the fourth brother.


Rich, Black Soil

Over the course of the next year, one by one
the brothers left. Joseph's vision was that he had grown
a long beard. So perhaps he went back to the land of the men
with beards. It is difficult to say. From this point the story
will concentrate on Brue who, if it bears any importance,
was the only one to see an Elfin sunset, and he was the only one
to have been both an insect and a robin. After his brothers left,
Brue spent five more years in their hall. He did not use the fire,
for his dreams were rich, and they were enough. In the sixth year,
a visitor knocked at his door. The visitor was a clean-shaven man
holding a tree branch. He introduced himself as Nezzurd.
"I bring you news of one of your brothers," began Nezzurd.
Then he looked pained.
"Come in, sit down, tell your story," invited Brue
Nezzurd continued once he was seated in Brue's hall.
"I turned your brother into a tree branch," Nezzurd continued.
Brue did not find this odd. "Continue," he urged.
"Your brother came running, brandishing a spear at me.
I was afraid. I said, 'Stop' in a loud voice. Your brother stopped.
'How many spears are you holding,' I asked him. 'I'm holding
one spear,' replied your brother. Suddenly it was as if the Druid..."
Again, Nezzurd paused, looking agitated.
Brue was encouraging. "Continue your story, dear man," he said.
"Well anyway, it was as if the Druid taught me how to add
the way he once taught Joseph to add. After the great awakening
hit me, I regained my sight, and I saw your brother, the one who
had come running at me with his spear, was turned into a tree branch."
"I've got a little story about the Druid that I need to tell you,"
said Brue.
Brue talked long into the night. Nezzurd finally interrupted when
he came to the part about the Elves.
"This isn't going to be about addition, is it?" queried Nezzurd.
"No, not completely, dear Nezzurd," Brue responded.
Much of what he had to say was about the beauty of an Elfin sunset
which he remembered streak for streak.
At daybreak Nezzurd said, "Wait until I tell my brother Brizzly about
all of this."
Suddenly Brue had an idea. What if he simply stayed in his hall.
Surely, news of the brothers was reaching the far reaches
of the wide plains. He might expect other visitors.
Then Nezzurd said, "It sure would be fun to see some trees again."
At first, Brue thought nothing of it, but later, after Nezzurd had left,
Brue was sitting again at the old fire ring. He could still remember
vivid details about each one of his brothers. He fell to daydreaming.
He dreamed rich, black soil filled the fire ring, and a little sprout
poked out of the soil. He awoke and found it to be true.
Nezzurd had left his branch, the one who had once been the fifth brother.
Although neither Brue nor Nezzurd had mentioned it, they were both
aware that it was an old growth forest branch. Brue eased the branch
down into the soil so it stood to the height of about three feet.
Then Brue went into his hall and dreamed. He dreamed the branch
grew into a great oak tree. Then he awoke and found it to be true.
This finalized Brue's decision about staying at the family hall.
After all, the only tree in the land of the wide plains needed
a caretaker. Sometimes he dreamed that he saw an elf in one
of the branches though these dreams turned out not to be true.
Once he dreamed that Joseph was sitting in one of the branches.
The dream turned out to be true. Now we will turn our attention
to the journeys of Joseph in the far reaches of the wide plains.   

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Fire Ring

He told his brothers everything that had happened
when he got back home. "Perhaps the people of the land
aren't ready for the appearance of the elves," he concluded.
"Yes, perhaps our decision was hasty," said Brue.
"Yes, perhaps we need to be wise first before we enlighten
the people," said Brill.
"Explain," said the third brother.
"We must spend more time with the clay shards.
You did bring them back, didn't you Joseph?"
Joseph patted the package of the wool blanket tied around
his waist under his tunic that he had not taken off during
the entire journey.
"Excellent," said Brue. "We will spend every other night
with the fire as it was before so we have time to sleep
and process our dreams."
"But let us first celebrate your homecoming," said Brill,
and the brothers ate of the surplus of food they had
from the land because the land was fertile.
The next week Brill said, "Come let us build a fire."
Joseph untied the package of the wool blanket from his body.
He cast the clay pieces into the fire. Again, the brothers
had a movie. This time a circular wall of fire arose
out of the flames. Again, the boughs and meadows
of the Elfin home were revealed though each brother
saw a little different version depending on where he was sitting
in the campfire ring. However, the chant of the Elves
was the same all the way around the cylindrical ring of fire.
Brue dreamed first, for he had been a robin, and he was a great
dreamer. "I dreamed that we placed the clay fragments
in a circular ring concentric to the fire ring, and each piece was hot
though it had not been in the fire."
The third brother said, "Yes, I dreamed that the clay pieces
were in a line, and I took the third piece."
"Yes," said Brill. "Let us count the clay pieces."
Joseph counted them, and there were twelve. The next week,
the brothers built another fire. Again, Joseph cast the broken clay
pieces into the fire. This time twelve crows appeared flying
through the flames. Midway through the watch, the crows appeared
as real birds in a circle around the fire ring. The flames died away,
and the crows flew away. The third brother dreamed first,
for he had been in Brue's dream, and Brue had once held one
of his brothers in his robin body as an insect.
"I dreamed that a crow alighted on Nezzurd's hut although
I have never been to the land of the men with beards,
and I do not know what their huts look like."
"Yes, that is a strange dream," said Joseph.
"I know what the dream means," said the fourth brother,
for he was without a spear, and he was watching all kinds of birds
as Joseph had when he yearned for his oldest brother.
"Another brother, not Joseph, must go to the land of the men
with beards and speak with Brizzly and Nezzurd,"
said the fourth brother.
"No," said the fifth brother, for he was still with spear and warlike.
"What I mean to say is we should seek out other people in the land
of the wide plains, people other than Brizzly and Nezzurd."
The brothers held a council. They decided that each brother
would pick one of the twelve clay pieces. They would see if only
one clay piece caused the movies to come, and they would do it alone.
Joseph took the first watch. The brothers all helped build the fire,
but when it came time for Joseph to cast in his clay piece,
the rest of the brothers retreated to their hall. That night Joseph
saw nothing. Then it was Brue's turn. He reported seeing
a great Elf lord half consumed by flames for the briefest of moments.
The brothers were encouraged. It was the first time an Elf
had appeared in the movies.
"Perhaps Joseph took the wrong clay fragment. I mean maybe
each one of us is destined to use a certain piece,"
spoke the sixth brother.
So for the next year the brothers by trial and error matched each
one of themselves up with the corresponding clay piece.
The sixth brother had been right. Again, they held council.
Brue spoke first because he had been without dreams this entire year,
and he was getting nervous. "Our hall has become stale," he said.
"I cannot dream. It is time for each of us to go out into the land
of the wide plains and meet people. So far, Joseph was the only one
to talk to the two known inhabitants of the wide plains."
The rest of the brothers grumbled, but eventually they agreed
that Brue was right.
"There is no rush," they agreed. "We will each take turns sitting
with our respective clay piece in the flames of the fire until
the fire movies have revealed a vision suitable for sending
the respective brother out into the far reaches of the great plains.
And let us be open about discussing our visions until the time
comes for us to part ways."
The fifth brother, the warlike one, was the first to report feeling
ready to leave. "I have seen a man with the trunk of a crow
and the legs of a man. My spear pierced the crow's chest,
and then he disappeared, and the flames turned to green."
"That is a great vision," agreed the brothers. "Be on your way."
The next to leave was the fourth brother, the one who watched birds
as Joseph had. "I have seen a sparrow rooting for seed
alone in a meadow."
The brothers agreed that it was a great vision. The next to leave
was the third brother, the one who had been inside Brue's dream.
"I have seen an insect crawling up an old growth tree."
The brothers agreed that it was a great vision. Finally, it was Brill's
turn to leave. "I have seen six spears standing in a circle.
They turned into six of our brothers."
The last of the six brothers, who were still with spear, interpreted
this dream. "Brue as the oldest and wisest of our clan, you will stay
until all of us have been sent on our way."
They all agreed it was to be this way.                        

The Famine

Joseph feared for his life. Then a black robin landed
on Nezzurd's hut. Joseph was filled with inspiration.
"My dear Brizzly and Nezzurd from the land of men
with beards who like to count, I have tarried with the Druid
in the uncharted forest, and it was he who taught me how to add."
"How do you know about the Druid?" Brizzly asked
after a minute.
"Better you tell me how you know about him," Joseph replied.
"OK fine," said Brizzly. "We were sorely hungry in the famine
in the land of the men with beards. We walked to the general store,
but their shelves were empty. We were so delirious with hunger
that we got lost on our way home. We ended up in the uncharted
forest. We collapsed in that wild place when after a while
the Druid appeared, and said 'Get up men who have beards
and listen to me.' We felt a little better and both got up.
The Druid carried a tree branch in both of his hands.
'Brizzly, take this tree branch. You Nezzurd, take this branch.'
He knew our names so we were both afraid and did as he said
though we felt a little better. 'Men from the land of beards
which is in famine,' he commanded. 'Take these branches
back to your huts and count the leaves on them. You must trust me
and not even eat a grain of dirt until this task is finished.'
We both felt a little better even though no food had passed through
our lips. We finished the task, and the land was fertile again."
"So Joseph who knows the Druid, tell us what has passed
betwixt you," Nezzurd said.
"I too like to count things," Joseph began. "My brothers and I
were counting the rocks in the land when I got separated from them
and came on my own into the uncharted forest. After a while,
all the trees began to look like rocks. I had counted to a thousand
when suddenly the Druid appeared. 'Joseph from the family
of the Crow tell me how many rocks you have counted today,
and I will restore you to your brothers.' It seemed like an impossible
question because I would have to go back and recount all the rocks
in the land of the wide plains and then keep counting the rocks
in the uncharted forest. At that moment all the rocks turned
to old growth trees, and I knew the answer. 'Two thousand,'
I told the Druid. 'Now you can go back to your brothers,' he said.
I can't tell you how I learned to add. I just suddenly knew
once the rocks turned back to trees."
After a while Brizzly said, "Indeed brother, strange things are afoot
in the land. This adding that Joseph talks about is very strange."
At this moment Joseph took his leave. "I must journey back
to my family so we can finish counting the rocks where we live
in the wide plains."
"You are truly a wise man," said Nezzurd.
But Joseph didn't feel that wise. He had many thoughts in his mind
as he walked back along the river. Brill had told them it was his doing
that alleviated the famine. He poured the water from the clay vessel
into the river, and the land was fertile again. Wasn't that correct?
Now this story of Brizzly and Nezzurd counting leaves on the old
growth tree branches made him wonder.    

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grains of Rice

Joseph found the river and walked a few days until he saw
a robin fly across the river. He knew this was the place
where his brother Brill had poured the water from the clay
vessel into the river to make the land fertile again.
Many footprints led away from the river, and Joseph
followed them. Soon he encountered a man riding a donkey
and a man on foot.  Both men had beards.
The man on foot spoke first. "What is it you want
oh beardless one in the Land of Men with Beards?"
"I have not heard the story of your beards, and I would
like to sit around your campfire tonight to hear you tell the tale,"
spoke Joseph.
"And who are you that we might know to whom we tell our tale?"
the man said.
"I am Joseph from the family of  the Crow," he replied.
"Very well young man. Walk with us a stretch, and we will get
to know each other. I am Brizzly, and this is my brother Nezzurd.
The donkey is laden with sacks of rice we are bringing home
from the general store to feed our village."
After a few hours they came to two huts.
"Welcome to our village. This is my hut, and that is Nezzurd's hut.
You will stay in my hut tonight oh Joseph from the family
of the Crow. In return, we will ask one small favor. You must help
us count the grains of rice."
At that moment a robin landed on the roof of Brizzly's hut.
"Very well, I will count one scoop of them, and you and Nezzurd
will each count one scoop of rice."
They counted until dark. Nezzurd produced a piece of paper on which
he wrote down each of their totals.
"Come with me to my hut, young Joseph," invited Nezzurd. 
In his hut were several branches that Joseph recognized from
the old growth forest.
"How many leaves do you think are on this branch if I may ask?"
said Nezzurd.
Joseph studied the branch for a few minutes.
"I'd say 52," he replied.
Nezzurd laughed long and hard. "No dear boy, there are 141,"
he exclaimed. "Come, let us have a campfire."
"My brother and I like to count things," explained Brizzly
once the fire was underway. "Come, let us hear your story."
At that moment a crow appeared in the fire.  Joseph sensed
that only he had seen the crow.
"Yes in due time I will tell you my story," replied Joseph.
"First we will finish counting the grains of rice."
They sat in silence for a long while, for Joseph knew he would
have more credibility with the Men who have Beards who like
to count things if first he finished the counting task.
Two days later, each man had counted his scoop of rice.
"I have 50,000 grains," said Brizzly, but he looked troubled.
"I have 40,000 grains," said Nezzurd, but he also looked troubled.
"I have 30,000 grains," said Joseph, hoping this would relieve them.
It didn't. "You have tricked us Joseph from the family of the Crow,"
they both exclaimed. "How will we every know how much rice
we bought at the general store?"
"You bought 120,000 grains," Joseph responded, hoping this would
calm them.
It did not. "That is a lie," Brizzly and Nezzurd shouted.             

Pieces of a Clay Jar

The robin did as he was told. A week later
the brothers made a fire, and the robin flew above it.
The fire grew very large, and then it was nothing at all.
Out of the darkness walked Brue and Joseph.
The two brothers were delighted to see each other.
The rest of the brothers were afraid though.
Only Brill was not afraid.
"Go back to the uncharted forest and seek
an explanation for this strange event," they begged Brill.
Brill took the third brother's spear and did as they asked.
Brill followed the river back to the place where he
had taken leave of the crow. At the river's edge he noticed
a shattered clay jar. A crow with a red breast was picking
at seeds among the scattered pieces. Brill was not afraid.
"Oh red breasted crow tell me what I must do,"
Brill demanded.
"Oh Brill, brother of Brue, take the pieces of this broken
clay jar that your brother Joseph drank out of to become
an insect before he was eaten by your brother the robin,
take these pieces, return to your brothers and make a fire.
Throw the pieces of the broken clay jar into the fire,
and behold."
A week later the brothers made a fire. Brill threw the clay
pieces into the fire as the crow had instructed him. Behold,
the movies of the enchanted woods came to life in the flames.
The boughs and meadows of the Elfin home waxed green
before the enchanted band of brothers. A giant crow
with a red beak appeared out of the smoke and pierced
the Elfin land so that the flames became flames of red blood.
All the brothers but Brue were afraid.
"What is the explanation of this crow?" the brothers demanded.
"The crow is a holy animal to the Elves," Brue told them.
As he spoke the flames turned from red back to the greenery
of the enchanted woods. The brothers had no reason to be afraid
now. The next day Joseph collected the clay pieces from
the ashes. The next night the brothers made a fire again.
"Cast the clay pieces into the fire," they told Joseph.
Again, the soft song of the Elves danced around the flames
until daybreak. This time no crow came. The brothers held
a council. They decided Joseph must travel with the clay pieces
to the far reaches of the wide plains. He must build fires
for the people, casting the clay pieces into the fire,
and stay with them throughout the night until the enchanted
green pictures stopped.
"Tell them about the crow, but under no circumstances
tell them about your life as an insect," the brothers instructed him.
"Comfort them if they are afraid. It is important that the people
stand brave in front of these wonders."
The next morning Joseph wrapped the clay pieces in a wool blanket
and took food for three days journey.
"Follow the river, and pay attention to what the birds are telling you,"
the brothers instructed. "The people will be glad to give you food
and shelter when they see these wonders."


Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Robin Song

"You are our leader," the other brothers told Brue.
"Do something to help us."
Brill took the second brother's spear and walked back
to the uncharted forest. He was soon lost again.
A crow 'cawed' at him from an old growth tree.
The crow had an orange chest like a robin.
Brill was afraid and threw his spear at the crow,
but as he threw it the spear turned into a clay jar.
Miraculously, it didn't break as it landed below
the great tree.
"Brill, pick up the clay jar and follow me to the river,"
the crow spoke in plain words.
"How do you know my name?" Brill stammered.
"Have you been watching the Elven movies too?"
"Do not doubt the movies," the crow said on the way
to the river. Soon they could hear the sound of water.
"Brill, fill your far with water and follow the river
back to the plains of men. Pour the water in the jar
into the river in the land of your kind. Then your land
will be fertile again."
Brill did as he was told. It rained, and the land
was fertile again. He told his brothers what had happened,
and they were no longer afraid. Now the youngest brother,
Joseph, sorely missed Brue. He had taken to watching
birds of all kinds in hopes that one of them might be
his lost brother. The clay jar sat in the corner of the house.
Joseph took the jar and ran away in hopes of finding
the uncharted forest. He followed a crow the rest of the way.
Joseph was walking through the old growth trees
when he noticed the clay jar was full of water.
He was afraid. Suddenly, the Druid appeared.
"Joseph, do not be afraid."
"How do you know my name. Am I in the Elven movies too?"
"Many creatures are in the Elven movies," spoke the Druid.
"Drink of the water in the jar, and you will become an insect."
Again, Joseph was afraid. "What if my brother who is a robin
eats me?" he asked.
"This is a risk you will have to take," spoke the Druid.
Peradventure, Joseph drank of the water in the jar.
Immediately, a robin appeared and ate him. The Druid laughed.
He called to the robin, "Why have you eaten your own brother,
oh foolish robin."
The robin could not speak. The Druid chanted to the bird
in robin songs, "Follow the river back to the land
of your brothers. Wait until they make a fire at night
and then fly yourself over the fire."    

An Elfin Sunset

Kabir sometimes appeared to these men as a crow at sunset.
"You will become as insects in the forest if you linger
the full day and a half of an Elven sunset,"
he warned them in plain words.
"Tell me crow, does the afterlife of man ring
in an Elven sunset?" asked a man named Brue.
"I have crossed the far oceans, and I know of no afterlife
of man," Kabir spoke. "It is your only chance to live
many more years than you ordinarily would, although
you will be in the form of an insect."
So Brue lingered, and before the two days were up,
he was in the form of an insect. Later, the brother of Brue
found his way into the enchanted woods. Brue, the insect,
recognized his brother. He tried to catch his attention
by crawling onto the arm of Brill his brother.
At that moment, the Elven movie changed Brue into a robin.
Brill stayed until sunset time, but he became afraid
when the sun would not completely set.
Holding tightly to his spear, he left the woods.

Brill knew not where he was. He entered the uncharted forest
beyond the enchanted woods. A Druid crossed his path.
Again, he was afraid. Brill readied his spear,
but as he threw it the spear turned into a robin.
"Brill, behold. The robin is your brother," spoke the Druid.
"How do you know my name?" Brill whispered.
"I know many names of the creatures in the Elven movies,"
the Druid responded.
"Movies... what are movies," stammered Brill.
"Movies are the gifts of the Elves. Behold, the robin alights
on your shoulder. Follow him back to the wide plains of men."

Brill did as he was told, and once he reached the wide plains
he was no longer afraid. He got back home to the hall
of his family. He told his brothers what had happened.
Brue, the oldest, had been gone a full moon, and his brothers
were afraid. Brill became the leader of his brothers.
Soon there was a famine in the land.  


Kabir put a thorn in my heaven, and now the elves will remove it.
The grief of living has drenched our conversation.
The laziness of language beats in my breast. I am troubled
like inventors at rest. I see the dots on the other side of the dark
movie screen of our lives. Only part of the movie screen is bright
like a robin. I am already good at endings like sunsets.
My presence behind the screen lightens the acres of dots.
In their gloominess is their fertility.
I have inherited some of the gloom of the elves.
The stronger grief of the elves has drenched the movie
of my character. I close my eyes and make him dark like a crow.
Of course, the elves are older than the dots,
and they are skilled at working with the dots.
Kabir the Crow used to fly about the forgotten neighborhood
where the elves originated. Elven sunsets lasted the equivalent
of two days. The blood of the first age was thick.
The elves made many movies in the greenness of their thorns.
They created characters that were drenched with the grief
and happiness of the first age. The old movie screens
were in the boughs and meadows of the forest domain.
They floated just out of reach of reality's pages.
The screen was visible to men who temporarily forgot
their mortality.
Men were sometimes seen in the field of the Elves.
The race of man wandered with their weapons until they heard
danger was no more in the soft song of the land.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Grape Harvest

Nietzsche is good with aphorisms, but he's better with thought.
I'm through alluding to something I'd rather not talk about.
Healthy overcoming drives the religion out of fear.
Apollo is cool and calm, but he is too easily satisfied.
He is clumsy in the subtle, grape harvest.
The ankles, tremulous feet pronged with fantasy,
advance the whole attribute of the truth.
The overman has become the mutable line and its eighths,
a figure in a triangle,
and the gesture of completion in a circle.
     I will briefly be fire
if he feels he can balance on such a thing.

It was some mixture of Thor and a raven that caused me to hit
those little brass keys. I knocked at my brother's door,
sat down at the typewriter, and have not gotten up since.
My chair is spinning like a clerk chasing down a dream.
The body of this narrative is indebted
to all the baggage handlers
who keep my anecdotes on the right flight.
Lost luggage is traveling close to two destinations.
This latest endeavor is by far my best yet.
Resilience to the emotions that form in congruence to their situation.
Mystery to the yen for life that always returns.

I have seen what anger can do at a low volume
turned onto the radio for years. 
Mountains have been moved, but it is always indirectly
when working with anger. We lay down our arms again and again
when we see its power.
I hesitate to lay down my arms, but so must you.
     Reasonableness will get one this far.
The robin is one of the custodians of nature
that belong neither to storage lockers nor staged rooms.
Nature has always been directed by the robin and his like.

We were blind, or rather it was incomprehensible to us
that beauty existed. Your clean floor is eternal.
We are janitors on the bum, dusting a footprint
that welcomes all thoughts.