Songbird (OCD)

“My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened” – Michel de Montaigne

I tell him he’s a songbird when he’s terrified, not a simple canary, no not that. Rather he’s a Hawk, a screaming raptor, that hunts symphony, that looks through the patterns of confused stanzas, and bad timing, and finds perfection. For he, this son of mine is perfection. He has flown to great heights, and yes, he has skimmed the valley floors. Tasted clay, envisioned horror. It is there we begin.

First it comes when he’s dreaming, and it takes the dream away. In its moves insidious it turns water into clay. It wraps the things up he loves to do and binds them first with string. Layer upon layer it then becomes rope and finally barb wire that stings. It tests the singing of his angels, until their sound becomes such pain. Night after night they come until, he holds his head screaming as if he’s insane. It blocks off every open space to make a puzzle of dark disdain. “For everything there is an answer”, It whispers, “it’s a fire to a flame”. “Turn the lock just one more time to drive that itch away”. He has heard there are many troubles and diagnosis of mental ache, but nothing beats the worn-out torture of neon thoughts of personal pain.

Sometimes he mourns the private artist that person who rode his silent range. A wild boy inside chasing rainbows so playful in his games. Then it came and brought its people, the nightmares of made up shame. Twisted turned, and bound his anger made his pathway narrow and strained.

I tell him he’s a songbird, in a deep, dark mine, finding the right, tracing invisible paths of oxygen until he breaks into the light of day. Then he’s a raptor, a bird who seeks prey, and he rescues that which was long ago taken away.

I know for now he looks at trouble, at daemons night and day, those thoughts of dripping blood and agony, he wishes would just go away. I wish it too as his Dad, I wish I could take them away, but damn it G_D expects him to fly and challenge what’s in his way. For there is no amount of medicine or therapy that can heal what is a shade. That, is the road of what was chosen by another lord of judgement gray.

For now, I tell him he’s a songbird, that sings a note that’s unheard in the fray, a melody that will soon turn into lightning, and strike the fright to day. When all the world has stopped to listen, his mind storms arranged and stayed.  This thing that takes his pleasure will  bend to his vision, and he will be okay.  My songbird will be okay . – 04.02.2019 – דָּנִיֵּאל


Occultavia (1988)

“Because no retreat from the world can mask what is in your face.” – Gregory Maguire

“What is strange, when the strangest things are born from G_D.” – DS

I thought for a moment that it could be the late hour, the tricks of the night on the eye, the curves of the highway. I thought too much on it at first, and then I thought not on it at all, as the hillside parted, and that which was movement moved.

The space around her appeared barren, the frozen fog closing gaps around her lithe figure, changing not it’s form, yet somehow it changed. That she was the first witch, that I knew, and although there is reason that I should have known it not, yet in that late hour it became a part of me, something in reflection, I would rather it be not.

The years since then, that is something most would address, those many years since I saw, that cold dark spirit. She there in the wood. Still, so still near the highway. She in shadow, not a tale. Not a figment of thought to frighten young children on eves of reckoning. Rather she a witch, a true shadow in the leaves on that winter night. Standing with arms unfolded, inviting. Her song in alien syllables not of this world, but of that which we do not see until we die. But yes, it is the years since then I now address, and I do so carefully, for I think I have seen her once again in the corners of my dreams, and in that I think there is something I should see not.

I could describe that night, in detail, the Ozark mountain highway, the very monochrome world that I drove through. The cold, the moment KFAQ out of Tulsa, went silent, that bend in the road. That place where giants were born from falling angels, after the flood, after Ha Adam. The sifting of red clay and rich dark sediment, where the flood began, and ended. I could tell you all. Still, all would not describe her, standing there at 3:04 A.M. The first witch in darkness. The first witch I have ever seen.

It is written for I cannot say it aloud, that, my darkest thoughts contain G_D. It is in those thoughts that I am judged, for as my name beholds, G_D is my judge. Also, in my thoughts, those darkest thoughts, stands a witch, the first witch. She too implores and judges, and often, as my life moves, I do as I should not, and I look if only briefly into my mirror.

She runs, with her billowing swaths of black cloth moving all around her, she follows chasing, frost and cold about her. and her face I pray, oh her face I pray, I never ever see. – 02.25.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

The Blue Forest (Two)

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” – John Muir

And so, with this broken and most terrible day at an end, I retreat to my pillow, with only sleep on my mind, thinking not that the night before me offers a path of redemption for myself and a long forgotten youthful twin!

It comes like softness unspoken, an undertone across bare skin. “The late hour it whispers, is over, the morning is never to have been, and nightfall has come forth to show you a strange forest”. “Rise in your place let’s begin.” I wondered at this kind of slumber, awake or a dream held within. For surely it was as a time I remembered that happens over and over again. For just a second, I thought it illusion, a discording thought of dissonance within. But then the sweet kisses touched all my body. What inner wounds inside sewn, a healing began? As soft sounds sang, I traveled millennium, both forwards and backwards, my spirit extends. To see that place a child called a forest, blue with light, a place I had been. The two of us stand in our glory; mist about the mystic begins. A thousand lights the magic starts again.

Day upon day, my life seems to tremble, so shy in its way, so much trouble it seems. An opera plays Faust with marching daemons, sticking their bloodthirsty knifes in me deep. Suffering thoughts of infinite worry, anxiety, fears there seems no relief. Still, still a thought pervades all this darkness, making its way to the core of my belief. Two is you, tied to survival; night has come, now learn to believe. Night has come, fly forth to receive.

So easily thought of in childhood survival, the blue forest hides as each year passes by, but somewhere in mercy, there sits a kind angel. At night she arrives in my memory she fly’s. Goodbye, I go, the journey enabled, to the blue forest, a memory of trees. Open clock doorways to worlds and their fables, journey I journey with the boy, I know just beside me. Ever this land has brought my heart nearer to something or someone G_D means me to be.

It comes like softness unspoken, an undertone across bare skin, that sleeps next to me. It is so cold outside but here it is like April, teasing and pulling me saying come please. Arrayed by sight, led until I am able to know what is right, in front of me. Paths that gleam white in the blue forest. So many trails, which one shall it, be. A moment a knight, a sword on a quartz table. A sign that says pull forth and be free. Be stronger now and let the child see. What’s two in one G_D has set free.

And so, with this broken and most terrible day at an end, I retreat to my pillow, with only sleep on my mind, thinking not that the night before me offers a path of redemption for I and a long forgotten youthful mind! – 01.18.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל



“I am the mother and the daughter. I am the bride and the bridegroom, and it is my husband who begot me. I am the silence that is incomprehensible and the idea whose remembrance is frequent. I am the voice whose sound is manifold and the word whose appearance is multiple. I am the utterance of my name.” – Sorita d’Este

“I am beautiful with you” – Lizzy Mae Hale

She said would you try something with me, a favor of a curiosity of mine. A wager between a man and something, I think I read about this in one of your rhymes. Would you come in ecstasy with me, and ride your way across the great divide? All I need is for you to lay your soul down beside me, and sleep with me through your night. She said my needs have built up like your phantoms, those daemons that stroke what they find. Nothing can be built on indecision, and to be without you I would lose my mind. She said, I know the door is open and its January outside, but between us there is something warmer, and it feels like summer, please room temperature with that wine.

And I looked to see the falling mountains, the ones that had been inside my mind. In front of me, there stood no dark valley, just a land of milk and honey and sunshine. Then she came out glorified in me, like a gift of pleasure given in kind. There were spells, sounds, and the feeling of her breath, carving hallelujah on my spine. The chills of a mystical lettering branded from past times. Something that dwelled deep within me beyond the X’s and the O’s. Moving so far beyond my boundaries, a warmth in passion and grace undefined. She said, I know the door is open and its January outside, but between us there is something warmer, and it feels like summer, please room temperature with that wine.

She said would you marry Shekinah under moonlight; know the light of my body, it’s by design. Take a branch out of David and fill me up, know I am beautiful when you are inside. For my ways are in love with your shadows, your hurts are scars, that I heal in your mind. Come bath with me, do not wait until tomorrow, make one out of two, it is more than a rhyme. For we are much more than lovers, we are greater than lust of the world that binds. From left to right, I am a source inside you, make me beautiful, and now is the time. She said, I know the door is open and its January outside, but between us there is something warmer, and it feels like summer, please room temperature with that wine. – 01.11.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

Zuzan (Banrigh nan Witches)

“I myself have seen this woman draw the stars from the sky; she diverts the course of a fast-flowing river with her incantations; her voice makes the earth gape, it lures the spirits from the tombs, send the bones tumbling from the dying pyre. At her behest, the sad clouds scatter; at her behest, snow falls from a summer’s sky.” – Tibullus

In the act of prelude…

They burn her in the evening near the loch, an inward sea, hairless pilgrims from the Romans, who cannot abide what they cannot see. For they know not love of difference, nor the signs of transformation, so they burn her near the sunset, to set their superstitions free. Maple red it lights the skyway, like her skin in faire degrees, with the screams of a thousand angels as above and below deceived. For she is the heir of hierarchy, the share of all unseen. The voices of her sirens cry come forth thou, my craft it is aggrieved.

First act of the evening…

First I saw her in Lucy’s garden on a snowy Solstice Eve, with the air filled full of wonder, lights around her face and feet. She made me think of some wickedness the kind that is so grand, where you watch the pleasure of a lady, delivered by a softened hand. It seemed she did not notice me, where I was or what I am and it led me to a reason, that I was dreaming or a familiar, from an ancient tribe or clan. In the garden there were statues both alive and some were dead, and not alone some were speaking, and from those her mind seemed fed. And, she laughed in grand gaiety, and smiled her lips so bloody red, and she brought forth life from a cold stone woman, with a kiss upon her hand. Above the snow had stopped falling and shown bright north stars in those snowflakes stead. Not a sound from this garden except the laughter from her mouth, forming spells in passion noises, eagerness building all about.

I saw her look back shyly, her hand it waved my way, the brown ringlets from her brown hair fine, glistened as she swayed. Come with me sweet surveyor within my mind a voice. She led me to a crypt nearby from in it came a noise. She bent the handle without effort and with her hand, she waved, back through time, we entered through a doorway once her grave. The night sky seemed to follow, well before the dawn, down through magic passageways, from whence ghost travel from whence they come. Her body moved so lightly, as so as if to say, nothing has ever owned me, not ever without my say. For with this in mind I traveled from a present course, and arrived back in time so ancient she led me without force.

I came upon an altar in a sudden winters gloom, with ashes it still smoldered by a loch under a winters moon. The queen of all the witches turned to tell me of the ruins. Of all my crazed filled travels in dreams of rare displays. No nothing not of something had ever taken me this way. For it was her in this travel, that I learned of simple things, how the body burned for living, can never be decayed. In the simple act of hatred, in one act of just one play. The building of the sovereign spirit by craft can find its own way. For her story is the cosmos, her travel by air woven sleighs, and she has made her world in forest cathedrals, and there her book of shadows stays.

First, I saw her in Lucy’s garden on a snowy Solstice Eve.

For my Whitby Lady my very own, she who I followed through a garden – 12.23.2018 – דָנִיֵּאל

The Twisted Trail below Harmony Hill

“There is not a fragment in all nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself.” – John Muir

“I play until my fingers are blue and stiff from the cold, and then I keep on playing. Until I’m lost in the music. Until I am the music–notes and chords, the melody and harmony. It hurts, but it’s okay because when I’m the music, I’m not me. Not sad. Not afraid. Not desperate. Not guilty.” – Jennifer Donnelly

“Harmony, gee I really love you and I want to love you forever, and dream of the never, never, never leaving harmony.” – Bernie Taupin/Elton John

For clear eyed I will rise on the season with this night past dead.

The pathway seems as I remember it, just colder with ghost of the path, a shame it is under the hillside, hidden so well in the past. The Alder it stands in a thicket, begging for a witch’s command, saying in spirits communion, let go of something you can. Dysphoria enters my neurons, shaking as old men or young men can do, when they ready their soul, to enter the darkness and fight the terror they knew. The twisted trail below Harmony bears thorns as depravity can. It matters not the story, the season that made life stall. The cold, cold touch of the daemon, his shadow that started it all. “Remand”, I say to the forest, “here where rotting leaves lay”. “Remand, the innocent childhood” from that flat stone where my young body lay”.

The Callaway plant lights the horizon, in the cold Missouri night. It sends its radioactive burdens to light my past burdens flight. The signs on the trail say “Jesus”, he makes your sins not right, and I wonder where was “Jesus”, when the boy on the flat rock cried. For there I hid in my secrets, the shadows they ran away. Daemon, I called you in thunder, you could not look at me the next day. However, I hid you in secret, those many years ago. Now I come upon this bare night, and strike the flat rock to let you go. Without malice you must go. You must go. For in the pools of frozen water, reflects a sight. Some do their deeds in darkness. Still, natures mirror is a light that holds keys. What dies here awaiting winter will seek the spring and rise to fly the wind, so free.

The pathway seems as I remember it, with Harmony up ahead, twisting turning, leafless branches tie and untie again. The Barred Owl cries in abandon, the sky grows rosy red, ashes to ashes, from my lost boyhood, something fills my head. No matter of all my transgressions, those omissions I might have stead. Adonai, the one who finds me, has led my soul until fed. This flat rock in this forest, beneath my minor head, provided me with strength of a union that spirit, never dead. There is no surviving in union, no victimization, to shed, for clear eyed I will rise on the season with this night past dead. “Remand”, I say to the hillside, “give harmony in all I wed”. “Let this trail go its way of sorrow, behold the blessings instead”. “Behold the blessings instead”.

For clear eyed I will rise on the season with this night past dead. – 10.23.2018 – דָנִיֵּאל


Vicksburg (Seconds Inside my Head)

If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all his thinking, damages his personality, makes him landlord to a ghost”. – Lloyd Douglas

I had crossed on over, with the darkness rolling in, and the Stateline of Mississippi, made me pause to think of him, maybe it was thirty years ago, but it seems like yesterday, just seconds really to watch a story in display.

He says the sun it sets in ragged pieces floating humid from the sky, tearing soft red hazy parts of heaven hanging them low above Vicksburg to dry. He says you might not really know me, and I would not look too far back into my eyes. You might see a little more than Mississippi lightning, in the places my tears have gone to dry. The dark birds seem to float down by the river, guarding old men fishing last meals and telling tall lies; a young man stands and sticks a needle in his arm, and curses the flies who are passing by.

He says the night it falls upon the water, I hear her begging to be fed. He turns and motions to the Yazoo, to fill the river brown than red. He says the soil above us holds a dead nation of those dumb farm boys how they bled. One hundred years and fifty-five more, all those ghosts are crazy. A million carrion in my head. The old man sniffs and looks on over at the young man lying dead. The needle sticks up like a steeple, sending signals that no one read.

The low clouds light up a candle, a low light that bask in need. Curtains of mist hang over Vicksburg, magnolias bend to receive. The old man haunts the shadows, the grave markers sink beyond retrieve. Antebellum meets the future, of deluded thought and greed. For one old man walks past burial, one young man dies in need. The past is like the present, for the hungry no food is received. The old and new look to the low hung sky, and wonder of their deeds, their many hidden deeds.

He says the seconds slow in Vicksburg, like the cliffs overhead, their lives a hundred different caverns holding the past and present dead. He says each it has it’s story, an unspoken bit of cred, that, that makes its footprint in the lineage of coming heads. A bit of South filled Gothic that’s often read but never said. He turns as if he’s ninety, no doubt he’s already dead, and he motions up from the river, to the lights dim overhead. He says the witches they are coming, in the dimness up ahead. And I know he’s kind of crazy, with the liquor that he’s had, but I can’t help but think he comes from somewhere in the seconds inside my head.

He says the sun it sets in ragged pieces floating humid from the sky, tearing soft red hazy parts of heaven hanging them low above Vicksburg to dry. – 08.28.2018 – דָנִיֵּאל