On Alternate Realities

There are alternate realities despite what some may say

There’s more mystery than just the passing of each day

seers, wizards, prophets, fortune-tellers, are visionaries

who explore hidden realms with their own itineraries

using portals as entries

portals can be found in mirrors

forests and mountains

their everywhere

secrets to dimensions to nowhere

or in your nightmares

and your fantastical dreams

nothing is as it seems

-30-

Dances with Demons

At first glance the cavernous hall looks empty. But if you keep looking, you’ll see souls emanating from the stone walls, dancing with the sunbeams streaming down from holes in the cathedral-like roof. Ancient ghosts linger in the shadows silently weeping about their cruel deaths.

If you look closely at the rafters, you’ll see sleeping bats storing up their energy to hunt in the night. Their droppings foul the granite floor, creating a stench that wafts through the hall with every breeze that filters through the shattered front door and the gaping holes in the wall. If you have the time and the will, I will tell you a story about this accursed building.

Historians date this ruin back to the 13th century. But the building’s history is still a mystery. You probably noticed that this building is almost entirely overgrown with blackberry vines and dense foliage that disguises its outward profile. Local families have been passing down dark stories about the decrepit ruins for centuries. I’m going to share with you the most enduring tale among them.

DANCING WITH DEMONS

Once upon a time the building was the home of a pagan cult that practiced black magic. The priests, as they styled themselves, lived in the nearby villages and congregated there to perform dark rituals and human sacrifices. I suspect they were Druids, but I have no way to prove that despite the whispers we heard at the Inn.

The priests always gathered on full moons. There were exceptions, but I’ll get back to them later. On those nights people were tortured and killed during a mass celebration that lasted until the early morning hours. Screams of pain and horror mingled with raucous laughter and heathen drums throughout the little valley on those terrible nights.

What made this cult so special was its initiation ceremonies for new converts. The applicant had to dance with demons throughout the night. If they survived, they became members proudly describing the demons as their gods. Most of the time the supplicants didn’t make it through the test with the hell spawn and their bodies were rent into little pieces that the members quickly ate in a gruesome feast before the sun rose.

I hope I wasn’t boring you. You look tired. Was it the walk over here from the Inn? No. You’re sure you’re, okay? Did the well-trod trail here give you pause? I only say this because I see a glimmer of fear in your eyes. You seem uncomfortable.

For good reason.

To resume the story… the cult never died out. I’m brother Judas and it’s my pleasure to invite you to dance with demons this very night. We’ve had a hard time attracting converts in these modern times, so we had to adjust. Now we take whoever visits our valley to dance with the demons (who must be satisfied after all) and if they survive, we increase our ranks. If they don’t our secret lives on. By the way your tiredness isn’t from walking. Remember the beers we had at the Inn? I gave you something to relax. You have a big night ahead.

-30-

The Search For Knowledge

layered in luminescent luxury

rests

a library

inside the Tree of Knowledge

sheltering history

and many a mystery

going back to the dawn of time

when human’s searched for the sublime

but mistakenly equating brute

force to an education

seeking wisdom

in a politically divided nation

where ignorance

is as pervasive as cockroaches in cheap motels

while truth seekers

live through myriad hells

****

The Colors of Curiosity

A kitten’s proclivity

to curiosity

comes in shades of tabby

black, brown, gray, white

some tall and some small

all hunters at night

curiosity

gleams in their agate eyes

multi-colored felines

who like to fraternize

curiosity

in every slinky movement

nothing is left unexplored

or spared their amusement

***

Love in the Air

He looked across the classroom at her luxurious golden hair

lost in daydreams that come to young men

all he could do was stare

he wasn’t sure what it was that held him so

what marvel moved him to sweat

even though a breeze through an open window did blow

his heart felt light

she was a pretty mystery

and a beautiful sight

he told himself a day would come soon

when he’d be brave enough to say hi!

and not appear to be a buffoon

love was in the air

but it wasn’t sticking soon

***

Emerald Dreams

in the dream there was an emerald glow

that enveloped me

as I walked

through the snow

seeking the mystery

that led me

into an unknown land

guided by the emerald glow

I sought answers from the gods

and wizards I didn’t know

my dream guiding me

into unknown country

where I walked on clouds

to see what I could see

it’s always exciting to me

when my emerald dreams

take me to new places to see

and I begrudge the long days

that are reality

waiting

patiently

for sleep

to envelope me

A Small Town’s Pride

the residents of Rogueville loved listening to their bell ring out from the town’s highest tower, the church spire

but the bell had a history

it was a thing of mystery

it’s origin hotly debated

the bell was silver plated

over brass and steel

that mighty bell did peal

three times a day

calling people to pray

until the word got out

what the bell was about

a souvenir from a war

a symbol of the horror

so the town took down

their symbol of pride

sadly setting it aside

There’s Got To Be More

chocolate ice cream and fudge sprinkled with a strawberry glaze, reading books, watching movies, playing board games on boring days,

dancing under the light of the moon, swimming naked in a hidden lagoon, wearing a funny costume

becoming a parent, politician, or playwright, creating a website, swimming in eternity pools all night,

prizes for running, jumping, and winning at Jeopardy, traveling to memorable places like France and Normandy, flying in planes that only hold three,

riding camels and horses in an exotic land, witnessing Yellowstone National Park’s geysers firsthand, walking on Mali’s white sand

hiking through the jungles of Peru, riding in a canoe, and learning Spanish too,

going to sports events, eating cabbage after it ferments, and living in tents,

but there’s got to be more

on some distant shore

my soul cries out

forevermore

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