dream interpreter – Part 1: 87-88

87.

In these tunnels I have found nothing
But the same siren-songs sluicing softly,
Oozing out of my ears, my own adventures
A curse impossible to live up to, a chain.

I am Marco Querini: a liar. A prescriber of
intoxicants, a smuggler of broken dreams.
I have travelled far and wide to escape
The shadow of my father, his judgement.

88.

My boast is that I have killed my best friend,
I have feasted in his blood, triumphed over
His clay’d over body, mastering its poison,
Surrounded by powerful allies, now exiled.

I claim my vengeance in these dungeons,
I can see it as clear as day, looking down
The parapet of my Venetian high mansion,
In the alley below, the corpse of my enemy.

Sometimes

Some time I am in the place,
But not with the person.
Sometimes, I am with a person,
But not in the place, and not with the people.

Some times, the people I love are far away,
And some are dead, and some will die,
And I will die.

And some times, just sometimes
I am in the place, with polyamorphous spirit,
Unable to change the course of time,
And my love is like a ripple in the water,
And no one can hear its echos in eternity.

dream interpreter – Part 1: 86

86.

On the slopes of the sour-city, along the red-lined skies,
Toward the ancient depth of mountains, the rumble
of a broad earthwake is heard. The echoes of wind
sweep overhead, and in the tunnels all imagination

is a-loose. The four veterans of fear, guilt and shame
are taking their mind to new places; in spite of each,
the beggar witch’s curse is here. So, we buried the ashes
of some dream, we found new images in the dark halls.

dream interpreter – Part 1: 82-85

82.

“Who are you?” “I am Dream-eater.”
“What is your fantasy?” “Finding myself”
What is your boast? “Growing in spirit”
“How will you see it come to pass?”

“Have a rotten fruit. Eat these perfumed
lies you have spouted. In this labyrinth
you will see illusions. Perhaps you will
live to see another maze, foolish daughter.”

83.

“Who are you?” “I am Bee-stinger.”
“What is your fantasy?” “Finding a clover”
What is your boast? “To be enlightened”
“How will you see it come to pass?”

“Have a rotten fruit. Eat these perfumed
lies you have spouted. In this labyrinth
you will see illusions. Perhaps you will
live to see another maze, foolish sister.”

84.

“Who are you?” “I am Key-holder.”
“What is your fantasy?” “Finding a lover”
What is your boast? “Rescuing a damsel”
“How will you see it come to pass?”

“Have a rotten fruit. Eat these perfumed
lies you have spouted. In this labyrinth
you will see illusions. Perhaps you will
live to see another maze, foolish brother.”

85.

“Who are you?” “I am Marco Querini.”
“What is your fantasy?” “Getting rich”
What is your boast? “Confronting my father”
“How will you see it come to pass?”

“Have a rotten fruit. Eat these perfumed
lies you have spouted. In this labyrinth
you will see illusions. Perhaps you will
live to see another maze, foolish son.”

dream interpreter – Part 1: 80-81

80.

“In these tunnels, each one of you
Has told a fine lie. In this underworld,
Each of you boasted a fantasy feat.
But I am a prophet, I am an oracle.”

“These wilted flowers are for you,
Sister, brother, daughter, son. You
carry the weight of that malicious lie.
I offer you these twice-rotten fruits.”

81.

“I have tagged every wall of this city
with my broken poetry. From alley to
mountain, my words have danced
with half-rhyme and inane reason.”

“Time must be held back. Each one of
you will turn the wheel and reel in
these worst instincts. I give you this
chance to make amends with God.”

humming spheres

one: ‘old on.

too: Let me speak.

one: carry on, then.

too: Let me first begin with a list of things that you ought to consider.

one: ‘ang on. why should you speak first? […] are you some sort of wizard?

too: This is how it begins. You’re alone by the brook listening to a skylark.

one: a wo’…?

too: A sky-lark.

one: you’re balmy. goin’ on about a wo’…?

too: I am not a wizard. But I want you […] to listen carefully. See it – in your inner mind – you’re not listening.

one: i’m cross, that’s what i am. I — am annoyed. I’m furious. And you’re going on […]

too: That is forbidden. You can be cross, but no ennui, s’il te plait.

one: what’s that thing you said about a skylark? What’s a skylark?

too: That’s a bird. Singing soothing tunes into your seeping brains. Now.

one: I honestly think you should stop talking. My head ‘urts. And the frog-speak??

too: Hello? Are you there at all? If you’re hurting, look up at the skies.

one: I am hurting. Hang on, are you really a wizard? Can you help me? Why didn’t you let me speak?

too: Too late now, your time is up.

one: I’m cold. I thought you’d help me.

too: Then again, you are not cold anymore, are you?

one: Yes, I bloody am.

too: Always quibbling, always were, always will.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 78-79

78.

They all followed her, mesmerised,
to the sooty innards of the kasbah
slanting up the side of the hill
as if fleeing an ancestral tsunami.

Confronting the steppe, its echo,
towering above it, the city was
doubly castled, with slit avenues
breaking free of the older town.

79.

Apple-tree covers along the walls,
mountains holding on the roots
of the seemingly endless steppe,
it was a shape-shifting, eerie place.

Then the voice of the beggar called.
Now soft, now commandeering, with
chanted words and many tones, it
drew them underground to a catacomb.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 75-77

75.

The city of snow leopards welcomed them,
its huge door grinning wide as they were
robbed at the gates by friendly guards
who were quick to recognize foreigners

and suggest that there might be a way
to skip ahead of the queue. Marco’s
small jewels were taken, and so their
weapons, as well as their good humour.

76.

At night, thanks to the charity of a
clear sky, they found refuge in a moon
illuminated cemetery. Setting their
fears aside, they slept on hard stone.

Twice robbed, they lost clarity at dawn,
once finding out that all that they had owned
had been taken from them while they rested.
Looking at the mountains, they stood alone.

77.

As they felt a great sadness, they were
approached by a street beggar. Her eyes
were sharp with lunacy, a mirror where
one might find measure to one’s misery.

She spoke with guttural tones, a series of
half-digested words, in a strange idiom.
Even if they could not always tell if she
was talking to them, they froze gorgonized.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 71-74

71.

On the darkening forest floor, rising,
falling, a path emerged from lichen,
rock and moss. Dusk caught them by
surprise, as the tree canopy shielded

them from the hard rain coming down
on the forest trench. Mountains were
straight ahead, a sheer wall bringing
the run of the steppe to a sudden halt.

72.

Their forest fears projected ill feeling
onto the gaps in light and shade among
the trees. Bright rapid-fire lightning
clawed its way through the foliage.

In the empty space, each of the four seekers
found known patterns, a shape of shadows,
voices rising from their forgotten traumas;
the adventures of the mind are never still.

73.

The sky was low, thundering with gloom.
In their desperation, they all started to
talk loudly about every sort of nonsense,
they forged a lasting bond on shared fears.

The sister pronounced herself an artist,
the warrior told his companions about his
father’s sexual exploits. Dream-eater told a
dull joke, Marco remembered his best friend.

74.

The next day, a vast sea of poppies and tulips
greeted them ahead of the city. Apple-tree orchards
lay in neat array before the huge gates. As they
approached, Marco marvelled at the beauty

of a city with snow-capped mountains as
back-drop, with apple-tree orchards slanting
down the side of tame hills, an ocean of
scarlet flower waves lapping at their feet.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 65-70

65.

Suddenly a small white leopard appeared
looking directly at them with curiousity.
Dream-eater took her sister’s hand;
they all just stood there for a while.

Marco resolved to do the right thing,
and his response to the stand-off was
to walk directly towards the creature
shouting and screaming, waving his arms.

66.

Then a second leopard joined in on the
right, a fierce roar came from behind.
They were almost surrounded. Marco
continued to intimidate the small white

big cat, and the second leopard moved in
with circumspection, yet his eyes were
hunters, and his paws had claws as ends.
A third large leopard rose up behind them.

67.

She was white as snow, furious at the threat
levelled at her younglings, hissing, roaring,
circling the four adventurers in the forest.
Marco was frightened, what else was in store?

What monsters did the night hold for them?
Dream-eater was not afraid, and she spoke up.
With level voice she let Marco know he was
overstepping, and she would take care of it.

68.

And she did. She struck the leopard-mother
with a retracting blow; then wounded her
with her dagger. A small trickle of blood
stained her snowy fur, and she withdrew.

The young warrior just stood there in awe.
That was her leader, and she was amazing.
The sister was looking elsewhere, up above
toward the woodland canopy, seeking light.

69.

It was getting dark in the forest, as a storm
was approaching. The leopards were still about,
around them, yet slowly moving off. A yellow light
was bathing them with fear, a sunset gone wrong.

Dream-eater stood there staring at the leopards,
angry with herself about her failings as a leader.
She was reminded of the people she had abandoned.
A whole tribe was now under the command of fools.

70.

She was furious at her dead father, furious at
Marco, furious at her sister, angry with the
foolish young man following her… why so much
anger? Why the sudden burst of feeling? Stop.

Her heart was racing, and her mind was gone,
the whole world was spinning, and yet every
other muscle in her body was completely still.
Had it been a mistake to leave? Was she doomed?