Monday, June 17, 2013


The darkness of the soul inside
The anger that you try to hide
Blazing, burning, razing all
Demanding that you heed its call
Frustration seeded fertile ground
Heart plowed under loam and soil
Left to rot in sundered pieces
Words dividing pain’s decay
Make it all just go away
Twisting roots to seek it out
Turn the battle into rout
Walking, stumbling, trudging on
Until this hurtful rage is gone

Friday, June 14, 2013

Humble Beginnings

Listen, children, and hear my story.

On a cold, damp day, as the drifts of snow melted off the final shaded crannies of the forbidding stone structure, Sprout was born.  Hers was not an auspicious birth, with nary a soul to be found amidst the haunting halls of the long forgotten bastion of a race that had long since passed on.

Sprout's first days on earth were hard and desperate.  Tendrils shot in every direction, questing for the smallest morsels of life giving earth or water and finding naught but the occasional dusty corner.

Then, when it looked as though Sprout was not meant to survive in this desolate place, she found a tiny crack partway up a wall.  It wasn't much, but it was enough to hold moisture against the brutal rays of the violent sun, and it held just enough earth and dust to support a bit of growth.

By now, Sprout was aware of other growing things, not exactly nearby, but within sight of her scrabbling struggles.  One and all, they heaped scorn on her humble beginnings. "You cannot grow there, you pathetic thing," they told her, whilst laughing and lapping up the waters of the nearby stream. "You'll never survive," they mocked, as their roots took hold in the gentle soil of the earth outside.

Still, Sprout was not one to lament her terrible situation, and she quested deep into the crack and grew patiently.  "You'll be crushed in that tiny space," they said.  She ignored them. "You can never grow there." She grew on. "Pathetic child," they mocked, "you'll be gone in no time."

Over the years, Sprout watched the plants outside, with their easy lives, as hardness befell them.  She did not judge, but was oft surprised as flowers, grown big and tall in the fertile soil, were torn away by the winds of a storm, or as the shrubs died when the brook dried up that one year. Time and again, she saw the plants who had everything destroyed when they faced hardship they had never known.

Every day, Sprout push and strained, struggled and fought, sought, and occasionally found.  She grew strong, but the strains of her life were apparent.  The plants outside scorned her gnarled shape, and mocked her mottled surface. "You are not beautiful," they said. "Why do you go on?" She never answered.

Thrice, and thrice again, and thrice three times more, did the seasons change from spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, then back to spring.  Sprout had watched easy lives end many times, and had become quite stoic.  Still she struggled and fought, silently, until the day when there was a racous crack that whipped through the air.  The pressure all around her eased just a bit, and what had been a smallish crack in the wall was now a veritable rent.

Sprout had only known a hardscrabble life of toil and hard fought growth.  She continued in this brief respite as she had always done.  Though she soon filled the available space in the crack as she had before, her roots quested ever deeper.  Year after year, she reached into the depths, for the crack had sheered straight through the foundation capstone, and let her into the crumbly sandstone, limestone, and shale beneath.  Strength built against basalt was more than sufficient to work its way through these softer stones.

Sprout was patient.  She continued to grow and fight.  She persevered until her roots extended all the way to the aquifer below.  Then came the calamity years.  The brook dried up.  The earth outside became fallow and poisoned.  The soft plants who had mocked her for her entire life began to disappear, until none were left.

Sprout had no idea what events had transpired to cause the calamities, but it was with a deep and abiding sadness that she watched the passing of all other nearby plants.  Still, she weathered on, drawing nutrients and water from far below.

Time passed, and Sprout grew weary.  She had been alone for so long that she barely even remembered the times of teaming life outside of these stones.  The calamities had gone, and the world around her had returned mostly to normal, but the verdant life had not returned.  Still, she was stolid, and she continued working, growing, expanding in her inexorable way.

It was so very cold on that day.  Rain had seeped into the crack with her, and was slowly freezing and expanding.  Her roots ached from the added pressure and the chill.  But then, between the work she had done for so many years, and the added work of the weather and the expanding ice, the crack crunched, shifted, and half the edifice which had trapped her for so long fell away.  The crushing weight and pressure of stone was gone.

Sprout stretched her weary body, and began to spread out.  For the first time, she had the space to thrive and access to all she needed to grow.  Reaching into the fresh soil, she spread her leafy arms out and began to grow in earnest.  All at once, she blossomed, and with joy, released many young sprouts to be.

Our world was populated with life anew.  Sprout passed on into legend, and we still remember her to this day as the mother of all.

Now, children, when you see someone tired, struggling, or just fighting to survive, remember what you have heard this day.  Do not heap derision and scorn on the unfortunate.  Their strength may be all that stands between a world of life, and the world of death it could become.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Dread Letter Box

Bit traveled down Neuron Road and past Synapse Way.  The further he got from headquarters, the more intimidating the surroundings looked.  Tenements, like stark prisons, securely guarded by tight faced guards severely limiting the passage of the craftsmen and their resources.  Some muscles looked cramped and dark, frightful in their claustrophobic closeness.

Thankfully, Bit's trip was a short one.  HQ to the neck in no time flat.  Arriving in the appropriate place, Bit surveyed the area around him.  He couldn't imagine more tenseness after a tank assault on Tienanmen Square. Shrugging, Bit took another look at the instructions that came with this communication.  He was going to need a boost for this one.

Pulling out his megaphone, Bit drew himself up to full power and blasted, "HURT!" Bit cringed as the effects of his message were absorbed by the surroundings.  He really hated working headache duty.


The majestic aspen colony grew strong and proud on the shoulder of the mountain.  The white bark seemed to shimmer in the early light as the sun crept its way up over the the distant peaks.  The air was crisp and clear and the leaves of the colony languorously basked in the life giving rays.

The solitary pebble that came strolling between the boles, rudely bouncing off this or that tree was unusual, but none gave it much thought.  The morning was too fine, the sky too clear.  Life was too comfortable to worry about some rude stone beyond a sly curse thrown its way and soon forgotten.

When a frond's worth of stones, sized from the smallest pebble to one almost half the size of the aspens' trunks, came bounding in shortly after, there was some concern.  Even the babbling of the nearby brook seemed tremulous.

Soon, there seemed to be a great roaring, as of a thousand bears roaring into a thousand waterfalls all at once.  The air grew cloudy, and then it happened.  A great wall of rushing dirt, stone, mud, snow, and beasts unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, crashed into the leading edge of the colony with the force of a mountain dropped from a cliff.

Leaves, limbs, and trunks were all torn asunder.  The crashing destruction was terrible.  Not a single aspen was left standing.  The broken, splintered remains joined the pressing mass hurtling down the side of the mountain, only coming to rest, finally, in a valley far, far below.

It had been a month since the avalanche tore through the colony like an elk through a spider's web.  It was another fine morning.  Clear, crisp air with just a hint of spray from the nearby brook. The weather took no notice of the havoc that had been wreacked in this once idyllic scene. Tentatively, the first green shoot of new aspen swam up through the last bit of soil and found the sun.

Five miles away, in the valley, another shoot found light, and another colony of aspen was founded.

Something Untitled

Once, a very long time ago, at least as far as our protagonist is concerned, there was a small girl.  She was an extraordinary girl, though you needed the right perspective to see it.  You see, not so many people can see the wonder of a child anymore.  They have been overwhelmed by the deluge and distractions of modern life and no longer see details and potential.  Anyway, this little girl was quite extraordinary.

One morning, long before the rest of the world would awake, for entire adventures could happen in the imagination before then, her eyes opened in that darkest of darknesses before the dawn.  It really wasn't so dark, as the clock had lights, and her parents still left the hall light on in the night so the bar of light beneath the door was like a nightlight, but we all know the cliche, so it was darkest before the dawn.  So there.

Now, there is no understanding why there was a clock in her room.  At four years old, her life was not one of rigorous schedules, and even if it was, she hadn't learned to read yet, but still she loved to look at the glowing lights in the darkness.  Sometimes, she even saw them change, melting from one to the next like, well, like something.  But this is not a story of the lights.

What kind of story is it, you ask?  Honestly, I don't know?  I'm not even sure she knows.  Maybe we will just wait and see?  How about that, dear reader?  Shall we wait and see what kind of story this is?  I mean, there is an extraordinary little girl, isn't that enough?  No?  Oh well.  I guess we can't have a story without a theme.

I don't have a theme.  I don't know what she did that morning.  I was hoping to find out as I wrote this, but there you are.  Many rambling words and not a point nor theme to be found.

Sally opened her eyes, eyes so innocent and happy they nearly glowed in the darkness, and saw the darkness above her bed.  Some children her age were afraid of the darkness, but not Sally.  She knew that in the darkness lived imagination, and her imagination was bright with things she didn't know the name of, but which we would call hope, joy, fun, play, and excitement.  Sally had never learned the world contained things to be afraid of.  It wasn't that she was too protected.  Sure, she had burned her hand on the hot stove once, and fell off the swings in the park that one time and had bloody hands and knees, but the darkness had never contained monsters. She was a fortunate child.

Staring into the darkness, Sally's imagination started to play.  She closed her eyes, and pressed her tiny little hands against them, and watched the dancing lights to see shapes emerge, then opened her eyes again.  Strangely, when she opened her eyes, the shapes she had seen were still there.  Dancing fairies, shimmering butterflies, and one single dragon, peering coyly from the other side of the room.

Sally smiled and giggled, but just when the figures began to get organized, there was a scratching at the door.  Each of the lights faded and winked out, the tiny figures going back from whence they had come.  Sally climbed out of bed, laying her belly flat across the mattress and dangling her feet as she slowly slipped closer to the ground, then padded over to the door in her pajamas.

Opening the door, she smiled at Boots, the tiny black kitten with white socks.  Boots mewed, and Sally picked him up.  Carrying him back to the bed, she placed him by her pillow, ponderously climbed back into bed, and lay her head down next to him.

Boots purred and snuggled up against her cheek, and in mere moments, both were sound asleep again.

On Predestination

Time is an unusual thing to a stone.  To understand this, you must understand the impenetrable belief stones have in fate.

Long, long ago, when the earth was young, and stone flowed hot and free about the surface, the philosopher "molten swirls of magma and rapidly melting meteorite" (As you can imagine, stone names don't translate well to English.), successfully presented an incontrovertible oratory demonstrating beyond a shadow of doubt that everything in the span of stone is already written, and nothing could ever change it.  So powerful was his argument, that since the day of his presentation, no stone has ever chosen to do a single thing.

The lives of stone are as leaves upon the river, though, admittedly, a river that moves quite slowly indeed.  Without a belief in choice, stones have no reason to do anything at all.  Events just happen.  Some stones become statues, other gravel.  Some go on long journeys down rivers, but fate never calls them back.  Over the course of its life, a stone may be in turns a cliff side, part of a rioting avalanche, a human memento, part of a wall, a meaningful paperweight, a pet, a sculpture, and a skipping stone, but never once will it choose any of these things.

To be a stone is to be at peace, content in the knowledge that what will be, will be.  And to this day, no stone has ever proven otherwise.

When the Trees Had Enough

One day, after countless generations of torture and holocaust, the trees finally came to a consensus. From the towering sequoias, to the day saplings, to the world tree at the heart of the jungle, all were of a single mind.  The importance of this event cannot be overstated, as trees are not beings who act while there is disagreement to be had.  As long as man had walked the earth, trees deliberated.  For many, many years, only the hothouse trees were stood for man, but finally, even they came to accept the truth.  Something must be done.

Then, something which had never before happened came to pass, for you see, though something has never happened before, does not mean that it cannot or will not happen, though man's imagination often failed to encompass that.  Across the surface of the earth, the trees pulled up their roots, tore earth asunder, and ponderously began to move.

In an inexorable advance like the coming of the tides, trees green and tall, or lithe and small, or ponderous and many limbed, or sleek from massive winds, one and all they stooped and bent and swarmed and tore, and rent all the works of man one stone from another, board from nail, cloth from cloth.

Through it all, no human was harmed by tree, but as their world crumbled around them, many a human did for others or for themselves.  Much death was shared, earned, delivered.  Though mankind could not survive on what was left, the trees had decided this evil was necessary, that things must being anew.

Of course, man was born to war, and did not stand idly by, but when the shattered fragments of a long permanent fixture of the world becomes malleable, well sanity did not last long in most capable of great violence.  Would next metal, or stone, sand or water come against them?  People grew to mistrust every facet of the world around themselves, even those which might allow them to wreak havoc on the plan of the trees.

Not that fighting would have effect.  Once they had mad a decision, the trees would carry on until the last spoor was gone.

Then finally, one day, when they had made unrecognizable every work of man, the trees stopped.  They put down roots, drank of water, consumed nutrients, and became once again the mostly inanimate entities that took a natural course through life and death again.