Sunday, September 11, 2005

Roads, Stairways and Wings

I wake sluggish
Finding a velvet bag at the foot of the bed
Its contents are light

The dim morning
Is full of honking donkeys
It’s chaos and they are all talking at once
Trying to get the attention of their chosen rider.

A yellowish donkey
calls my name in a sing song voice
Her name is Dorothy
and she wears a funny bonnet

After much fuss and confusion
We lurch forward into a single line
Dorothy starts to interview me
She wants to know everything
I try to tell her the minimum

A cool shivers passes over me
As we enter an oddly quiet forest
No birds call or breeze stirs
It’s still as death
Dorothy stops and hesitates

Everyone seems on edge
Strange whispering
The whispers become faster
then louder

A group of bandits
Surround us
Mayhem erupts
We run in all directions

Finding my feet
I crouch low near a tree

Voices trail off
I am alone
I wait

Clutching my bag
I seek something useful
Finding the spectacles
I put them on
As if I had stepped into another world
I am surrounded
By little people who blink
On and off like fireflies
They wave at me
and start to push and pull me
onto a trail I could not see before

The trail slopes downward
And I am overlooking
A beautiful lake with a waterfall
It’s enchanting
I tip my spectacles down
And without them
The beautiful scene looks like a muddy bog
What is real here?

The velvet sack has disappeared
The little folk giggle and laugh
at the little wings
A floating candlestick lights my way
I put the little anchor in my pocket
Faeries hate iron
The medallion floats in the air
They seems to like the way it sparkles

Soon we are at a spring
And I am suddenly sleepy
There waiting for me is a bed of soft leaves
I sleep

Singing birds
Slowly waking
in a comfortable bed.

The fey must have done this
Where am I?
In a cave
I hear dripping water

The sky is soft pink
The fey motion me to go
I nod my head to them in farewell
And they happily wave back
The dear, silly, helpful wee ones

I journey up, over a small hill.
There I see a long winding staircase
to a brilliant marble building.
A carved serpents head
Spirals on the handrail

The stairs are murderous on the legs
After many stops and starts
I remember
I have tiny wings
I place them on my back
they flutter to life and lift me
to a grand entrance

White marble columns tower beautifully
A dark mahogany reception desk shines
A huge griffin waits

I register
The Griffin asks me with an elegant voice
to prove who I am
I have no Identification cards
I think she means something deeper, I am sure
I try to keep calm

I proclaim:
I am the daughter of Haruko
Who is daughter of Kana
I carry the bloodline of Shinjo
They who went before me
Bring me guidance in all things.
And I honor them.

A long silence
Then she slowly nods
And looks to her left
There a young woman smiles
I follow her to a room
And she quietly says

“Welcome to the House of Serpents
Rest and freshen up here.
A banquet will be waiting
to welcome all the travelers.”

Monday, September 05, 2005

The donkeys are kind executives

The secretary rides
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
After a sad farewell to the dear one the Donkey Union decided that their secretary was not fit for a long ride so they found a cart and Mehitabel volunteered to pull it on way to Baba's place. Fortunately the wise donkeys had saved their wings and hoped thereby to make the long trip somewhat less onerous especially the elders among them, Augustus may need help. Moonbeam and the beautiful unicorn will join them along the way.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Gillian's notice

Gillian's notice
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
It is with deep sense of loss that the Donkey's Union sends word that our beloved member, Gillian, has gone into the sunset to meet her late husband and all others who have passed beyond our seeing. We will miss her and hope that all of those who were her riders will remember her. Funeral Monday in the Hermitage chapel
The Secretary

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

~House of Serpents~ - (Almost) Part Two

With each step the cave becomes filled with light. This path surely leads to the outside.

The sound of water running becomes louder as I feel a soft mist on my body. The air is fresh, breathable. I see another entrance in the distance - two petrified trees, east and west compose this opening. The tree's yellow colored branches connect at the top. I find beauty and mystery in the mingling branches that linger high above my head. Mystery in the fact the trees are barren, not one green leaf exists.

I notice a pattern of holes in the middle of each huge trunk. Honey bees must have made it their residence. The continuous pattern is filled with texture. I run my hand over and over the holes.

I see it now beyond the trees, waterfalls also are placed east and west, further back on each side than the trees. They empty into a vast steaming pool, almost the size of a lake. There it is, across the pool the world as I know it, once more! The sun, green trees and the dirt road Gillian and I were traveling before we were accosted.

Swimming across seems my only option. As I approach the water I hear croaking. Hundreds of skinny , tall frogs inhabit the pool. Much taller than myself, the neon frogs jump at me, mouths open. I appear to them in khaki clothes as a cricket with hiking boots on. A most tasty meal, quickly lapped up by their long, dry tongues. I back up slightly and cover my ears as the croaking is piercing my ears.

Tears sting my eyes, crossing that pool is my savior. I feel once again the security of my pouch. It dawns on me the pouch contains a set of wings. I take them out. How could these possible help?
As I examine them I find a small tube and plug. Perhaps if I try blowing them up - it takes one deep breath of air. I now have wings as wide as two yard sticks. A sticky substance covers the wings and I attach them with a slap to each of my shoulders. Immediately I am suspended and lifted into the air.

At first I am off balance and sway side to side, much too close to the frogs. Their leaps are higher - how hungry they must be. My arms reach up and I am high over there heads. I straighten my legs and point my toes as if I had ballet slippers on. I am flying, if I bend slightly right of left I can turn. What a wondrous feeling. Flying is an emotional experience, much like presents under the tree, early Christmas morning and you are the only one awake, the gold lights on the tree welcome you into the room.

Diving down somewhat I fly out of the exit. I am past the pool of woman eating frogs and out of the cave. I drop my arms to my sides and hit the ground with both feet. My glasses fly off. I hunt for them and realize I am no longer in darkness. When I find them I quickly fold them up and place them in the pouch.

As I collect my bearings, I hear the cries of Gillian. I find her entwined in vine and laying on the ground. I rush to her side - the vines have cut her neck. If I just had a knife! Perhaps the Unicorn in my pouch is sharp. I quickly take it out. The medallion is razor sharp and I slice the twisted vine. I hold her head in my lap. I stroke her wounds. She is barely breathing. She musters up her last bit of strength. I try to calm her. She continues to speak.

I am leaving this world to join my husband in a better place. I have lived my life as I should. I have been a part of good times as well as the bad. I have traveled many worlds. I have given birth to many donkeys girls and boys. Now I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I want to go and prepare a place for them when they to will depart this world. My time has come and I except it willingly.

She gasps for air and is totally still. Tears stream down my cheeks. I cradle her neck. I knew her for such a short time and yet her stories sounded familiar and she felt like an old friend. Her haggard body is full of light and before my eyes she is new again. A young donkey - strong, stubborn and with great virture. She is up and running, kicking her back legs without a care. She runs down the path, never looking back and quickly disappears before my eyes. I am alone, once again. How will I ever get to the ~House of Serpent~, now?

I can't believe my ears! Once again I hear the pounding of hoofs - I see the hooded riders. From behind me I hear a rattling old car motor. It is the same vintage car that I keep seeing since my journey began. It travels right up to me. It is the elderly gentleman. He barely stops and hollers, 'Jump In'!

I hesitate for a moment. The rider is fast approaching. I jump in the front seat, I don't bother to shut the door. I ask the gentleman if he knows the way to the ~House of Serpent~. His reply, 'Yes, with the map in your purple pouch'.

Ms. Lovelace (Patricia)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Secretary of the Donkey's Union to Bobbi:
Dirk is very elderly and seldom is called upon for long-distance hauls. He has the bag with your necessities with him. I trust you will make use
of the wings provided.(they fasten to any part
of the steed.) I hope the remainder of your
trip is swift and the service satisfactory.

~Journey to the Cave~ Part One

The journey has become long, odious. I feel at a loss for words, and for the first time I am overwhelmed with loneliness. It seems I must depart from Heathcliff. We have become reliable comrades. I lean my head between his vast face. His smell is comforting where once it had been repelling. I kiss the warmness of his skin.

In exchange for Heathcliff I am given a donkey named Gillian Pontine. She nudges me and finally speaks in a shrill voice. She convinces me to join the others and we depart. My long legs drag the ground as I begin begin to feel sorry for Gillian. It occurs to me I have somehow become her burden.

Gillian starts to speak in a calmer voice. She begins the story of her long and laborious life. I say nothing and just listen, as it seems to lighten her burden. The night wind shifts, the path becomes less in width and low lying vines begin to snap at my legs. My hair is ruffled as a thin vine whips across my face. I feel the sting and realize I am bleeding. My legs are burning as the thicker vines tear at my trousers.

Gillian and I decide it might be easier if I walk on the ever shrinking path. We are both shaken as the branches reach out for us, they laugh out loud in an array of tones, mocking our attempts to continue. As far as one can view down the path other members of the party are having similar difficulties.

The velvet pouch I was given still hangs safely from my belt. It seems intact and still full.

The vines hold my feet and I am unable to move. The laughter becomes louder, almost unbearable. I hear the sound of pounding hoofs, and my heat beat is heard in my head.
Could it be Heathcliff? - perhaps he senses the danger and returns with the other horses.

Large black horses approach with great speed - damp clouds of dust travel with hooded giants upon their backs. I want to run, but the vines hold my feet - all I can do is hold the velvet pouch.

I am suddenly scooped up. I am lifted off the ground and find myself on top of a black horse. I feel the hot breathing down my neck, a clammy chill takes over my body. A manly smell penetrates my nose. The horse continues on - he seems to know exactly where he is going. His gallop is thunderous - the dust is thick. Every so often I hear screams and crying. I believe if I am still and quiet I can collect my bearings. I must find my way to ~The House of Serpent~. I cannot miss this celebration and dinner.

We suddenly stop - there are a number of warehouse doors and each has a grunge appearance. The double doors open I am abruptly put inside - the hooded man towers above me. I cannot see his face. He lingers over me, heavy breathing is all I hear. I cannot hide my fear and I begin to tremble. I am angry that my fear is exposed.

Suddenly, he turns, steps outside the doors and closes them quickly. I am in complete darkness. I run in the direction of the doors, closing. My body falls into them and I beat them with my fists. I begin to cry and slide down to the hard cold floor. I can smell damp earth and feel a certain chill in the air.

I remember the pouch and remove it carefully from my belt. I feel the contents. Fearing I will drop the pouch, I pull out the first item my trembling hands touch. They are a pair of eye glasses. A sort of half mask large to the touch. I feel texture of some sort over the hard frames. The glass is thick and heavy. I find I must trust that they will not hurt my eyes, and so I put them on with closed eyes. I take deep breaths and open my eyes.

To my shear delight and amazement the entire dwelling I am in is with light. I am no longer in darkness. I adjust the glasses with my finger. Being in the dark for so long my eyes take time to adjust and burn slightly. As my vision clears I realize I am in some sort of cave. I hear running water. I collect my strength and stand up slowly. I begin to walk towards the sound of the water.

The cave is painted with mysterious hand prints, going in different directions. Each has a unique symbol carved on it. The prints almost seem coded. I am in awe of the beauty on display. I feel humbled and yet intrusive. It occurs to me I have been thrown into a sacred dwelling. What does it all mean?

I remember the pouch and look once again to it's contents. I find a small book, no larger than the fountain pen attached to the spine. I begin to draw the hands and each symbol in the book. I make notes. When I have finished there are 365 hands, each unique and yet containing some sort of order. There is a message here which I know will be revealed if I can decipher the code.

Time is not on my side. I am still due at ~House of Serpent~. I must find the way out of the cave. Going back, towards the doors is out of the question. I choose to follow the sound of water. With the pouch safely on my side once again and glasses still on I begin my walk to find the waters.

Ms. Lovelace ( Patricia )

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Dearest Mother, Part I

Dearest Mother,

How are you? Well enough about you, on to me. You wouldn't believe the night I have had! There I was minding my own business (ok, so I had found a box of chocolates and was making a pig of myself) when I was approached by a small, deshevilled man holding the keys (I think they are called reins) to a rather scruffy and furry a** (ok mother, a donkey). It seems I was to take this animal and follow this self-titled "guide" and a few other travellers towards the cave. The Ferry Woman were on strike, I had no choice. As I considered the best approach to get myself up in the saddle I was handed a brown cloth satchel and was told it contained specktacles and other articles that would assist me on my trip.

I stalled as long as I could, then I swallowed my pride and boarded the hairy creature and we set off on our journey. I spent the next half hour trying to get my bottom to adjust to the unrhythimic motion of the aforementioned herbavour when suddenly a wild band of hoodlums swooped down on our party sending us flying in all directions (yes mother, donkeys can run with sufficient motivation).

I spent the better part of the next two hours searching for my travelling companions to no avail. At last I was forced to give up when my hairy companion "Dirk" (oh sure, in his dreams "Dirk" -- he looked more like a"Dork") wailed and promptly sat down in a stream we just happened to be crossing at the time.

While I sat on the bank, wringing out my soaking wet footware and cussing at my misfortunate circumstances, I spied the brown cloth satchel given to me by my missing guide. As I poured out the contents of the satchel onto the ground I realized I couldn't see a blasted thing. I remembered the specktacles and tried them on in hope they would help me see the rest of the items. The candlestick looked useful (it was getting dark) and of course the map would come in handy, but what in blazes was I suppose to do with with a tiny anchor (well, ok, I knew what I would have done with the anchor if it had been larger... but I digress) a medallion, a set of wing, and another item I couldn't quite make out at the time.........

tomorrow....dear mother, part II


Monday, August 29, 2005

Humblest apologies to Fallada

The Union has sent me a serious warning: As their secretary I have made an error that is giving them a great deal of trouble. I have quite mistakenly listed Fallada, a most noble horse, among the membership. Fallada has threatened to sue and the donkeys demand that I apologize. Please forgive my error O Fallada.

PS: Do I really need this job?


Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Maya the sacred donkey takes her noble rider
back into the dreaming where he receives the
blessing of the desert and the song of the desert people. His gift is the music and the light
forever as his steed becomes Alexandria-the-
servant-of-time. The Secretary

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Lisa and Annabel

Lisa and Annabel
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Annabel says that she was ever so pleased to be able to help Lisa carry her burden. She says that
she was glad enough to reach the Inn before the evening light faded as they were both tired. The welcome at the Inn was warm inspite of all the ads.
Mother's ashes received proper treatment as a good donkey knows proper procedures. The Secretary