Highway 491 (Were Still Here)


“No one is actually dead, until the ripples they cause in the world die away.” – Terry Pratchett

“We’re still here We’re shadows fallin’ the night is callin’ again We’re still here Where love is runnin’ the night is calling, again (Brother to brother)” – Steve Perry

Steve Perry is singing “Were Still Here” The words move through my thoughts, taking up association with the visuals from a troubling dream of the previous night. There have been many dreams lately. Too many. Visitations from unknown parts. Voices and faces from different times, different places, gathering it seems still here it seems on Highway 491, that highway in my head.

I watched them turn in a distant memory, a friend or two within my head; they stood upon the precipice of my thoughts shimmering and looked straight ahead. The night closed in with all its mystery, the stars moved circles around their heads. For I probed the devil’s triangle in my soul for they were no longer dead. “Still” I ask, “oh why the stillness?” “Is this the answer that you had?” “When you drove the sprite’s highway, with a holster packing lead.” A way fare that you both paid duly, not aware of interest due. A lost account when the sun rose ruefully, there you lay, life shed. There you lay, life shed.

Be gone, I sometimes ask the nighttime, when such scenes are played. Dreams they shouldn’t be of lesson, that of fright or dismay. I do not want to ask or wonder why such friends would leave such way. It seems a crime they stray on highways. Lost alone in May. Faces white with questionable worry, lost alone, where daemons roam. Hardly seen by modern travel, my friends, my friends you are still alone. “Still” I ask, “oh why the stillness?” Bone to dust your bodies gone, yet you distress me, for somethings wrong. In hours of morning, with springtime here, I see you driving your eyes bright and clear. On down a highway named 491, those numbers cover the shadow of the beast; those numbers cover the shadow of the beast.

Oh, mortal frames that break in two, unwitting minds of careless youth. That star you followed with its red face, led you forward on too fast a pace. It is some mystery, my dreams that see, you are waiting, waiting so patiently. Yet your mouths, cannot speak. “Oh G_D”, I ask, with weakened thought, brought on by darkness and turmoil wrought. “What is their place within my life, what is the meaning for which I now write”? “What is the meaning for which I now write”?

For there they stand by the highway, that eternal highway that runs at nighttime through my head. That eternal highway that runs at nighttime through my head.

For Jason & Tom and so many others, in my dreams on Highway 491, how I miss each one of you . – 05.07.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

Advertisements

Lonnie & Truman

Sometimes when you have no better sense, and you are seeking a lonely place, you can drive out past Akron, where Highway U crosses the strait. A place that has not changed much since 1948. A murmuring of spirits, a train that digs for bones. What you hear when you listen closely is a couple driving home, and a voice that is heard from darkness. A voice that carries no gray. “Come for love has earned you, a leaning to my arms, for here you’ll be together, no worlds can do you harm”.

“Lonnie” say’s Truman, “there’s a full moon tonight, hanging upside down against this steel bound track.” “The world is shimmering yellow and it brings a truth to the facts, of where we are tonight.” “The devil’s in the details but the moon paints your eyes.” “Oh Lonnie it is such a lovely light. Well Lonnie just smiles and points her tongue at the sky, and with the light wind blowing, it makes her dress blow tight. In truth, she looks just like the fair girl that he kissed one April night, long ago, when the full moon bathed the night. In the distance leaves a thudding sound of a workhorse pounding might, over Eastern Colorado, moving grain throughout the night.  Its lone light sweeps the scrub-land, painting a long row of cross ties, twenty miles on to Brush and then turn right.

“Truman” says Lonnie, “it seems so cold out here, and I know we are feeling April, but it’s January in here”. Truman watches Lonnie draw with fingers around her heart, and he says, “Now there, now there, my Lonnie don’t you fear”. The scene it plays beneath the heavens on a lonely stage, of dark, where Lords and Daemons come to judge and swirl under stars as they spark. Destiny and choice, they barely talk from the start, as they watch the couple where they lay. Decorum holds its head above all that is displayed, and watches a single second hand upon a universal clock in play. For nothing holds to purpose until the day breaks, and this single hour is weighed.

“Lonnie” say’s Truman, “I thought I heard a train, it seems even now the whistle carries through my brain.” I know it probably not the time to tell this or explain.” “I love you with all my heart”. “Truman, oh my Truman”, says Lonnie with her soft smile, “I feel my cold leaving with your words, oh so worthwhile”. “I think that angels might carry me right up from off this track.” “Forget all explanations till our Lord brings us on back.” For it is with these last words and smiles, that rise from a human dismay, that a voice is heard from darkness, with words that carry no gray. “Come for love has earned you, a leaning to my arms, for here you’ll be together, no worlds can do you harm”. – 04.26.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

The Ghost in the Cathedral


“Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is One.”

A dream on April 15th………

“It is well” my dad whispers as he sketches the Cathedral, the details designed from the nape to the great stone that shelters the moving shadows in the Roman portico. “Are there ghost here”, I whisper, thinking the answer I might receive might not be kind. “They are here” he whispers back, continuing to manipulate the pencil on his long white draught tablet, his face the color of angels, that of peace, that moves rough rivers to find a better course. My dad, the dad I know no more, a spirit, a moving light in darkness, moves his right hand with flourish finishing the left arch that covers the holy of holies.

“I will put daemons on the outside of this sanctuary,” he says, his now inhuman glowing blue eyes giving the appearance of a shelter, he was unable to offer while yet he was breathing. “Why”, I ask, the question knowing the answer to come. Still, the inquiry helps me hear my own voice. It sounds passive, and echoing, as if in a great hall. “They help us to know possibilities”, my dad mutters, turning drawing rapidly something that stands still, noticeable only to his eyes. His immortal eyes.

“It is well”, my dad whispers, baring the image of something alien upon his arms. They are moving images of creatures, alien beast that move to guard a sanctuary. Perhaps it is they guard a throne, a host, or a plan sketched of what is to come. “What of the ghost” I ask the spirit that speaks as my father. “They are here”, my dad laughs suddenly, as his eyes turn a cobalt cold, color of ethereal energy that moves between worlds.

He draws them then, with quickness, a suddenness that interrupts the troubled thoughts I have. They sit in silence, in quiet death, their bodies in sanctuary, their souls’ deep wells, not troubled by belief or ideology. “They rest”, my dad says, his voice moving to other places. Perhaps mysterious places where bleeding stops. Perchance that place “John Lennon” imagined, with no religion too.

“I would go there, also” I whisper to my dad, this dad who roughs great divine basilicas. “I would climb past these ghosts, I would Passover“, I say, as the night moves in and out of that consciousness that is my soul. “I cannot make it so”, my dad smiles, the same unavailability suddenly present within him, as it was in life. He moves then his pencil moving furiously over the pad he carries with him, and I understand. I know without worry, and I am concerned no more. My life passes beyond cathedrals, celestial and even divinity. It spins so often out of control. Nevertheless, they are there, ghost sketched in great cathedrals, daemons of awe sculpted by my dad’s awl, that help me know deep possibilities. Thoughts that are not bound to past or future. Still it is well, oh Hashem it is well with my soul.

“It is well”, my dad whispers.

For Notre Dame That still smolders this night.
– 04.18.2019 – 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

 

The Ruins by the River

“Where were you and where are you going? Here I built the ruin in the stone-crushed. Sage leaves my hands scented as long ago. When I liked to press the desert against my head to think”. – Dan Beachy-Quick

“Testimony – Evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something”.

When we were boys of youth, we found a secret, a rock filled wall, and tunnel that led away and yes, I know it is time to tell a secret; the moonlit ruins are calling me back today.

They came to be under moonlight, a ray a world time away, with hallow calling to hallow, what is lost can always be retained. White air it moved between kivas, lovers of smooth rock and clay. A rattle with chips of dried bone broke the silence, in a world lost to time and date. The river ran without speaking, low water a drought of malaise. The tall cottonwood bending toward; looking to cast doubt at its own shade. The tall bluff across the shallow water births the large shadow of gray. The night it could lead to delusions, or render a story or two, there could be a death by the ruins of forever, or a life born in imagination new.

They came to be under moonlight, near a tunnel, a time warp of old worlds and new. One boy could say to another, lets cross the electron tide to take a view. The tunnel it went into a new space, a fourth of dimensional view, a round room centered by an altar, with a well of water beneath its purview. The spirits of the ancient’s cried endeavor. Bring your eyes so wide into the center of our view. By the ruins beneath this center, know what every pure mind would do. It seemed as if the round room grew closer. The fortune of the night at once renewed, for the moon shifted to a small peephole, and displayed all the colors and all the hues.

They came to be under moonlight, the last of testimony, the chosen few. The ruins of old cried out for an attention, one boy looked to the other and made it true. They came forth from the tunnel into the open; they came into the light under the moon. There it was they swore an oath blood given. The ruins would be the secret they knew.

The ruins are a true story, found sometime late in the spring of 1972, by the San Juan River, by my pal Jason and I. Others probably knew of them, but we found no evidence that they did. One summer night in July of 1972, we followed a spot of moonlight there. This is a fragment of our testimony. – 04.17.2018 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Roadside Souls


“The praises of a man are that he did not follow the counsel of the wicked, neither did he stand in the way of sinners nor sit in the way of sinners nor sit in the company of scorners. But his desire is in the law of the Lord, and in his law, he meditates day and night. He shall be as a tree planted beside rivulets of water, which brings forth its fruit in its season, and its leaves do not wilt; and whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked, but they are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore, the wicked shall not stand up in judgment, nor shall the sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish”.
Psalm I

Somewhere in Colorado on U.S. 50

Fall this prodigious open night; keep dropping, thy great dark curtains wide. Inclosing this abandoned road, this lane of loneliness, fall now shy daemons, left and right, darkened with your errant light. What lies so barren, between my eyes, what doors are open, what lies so quiet, here by this corridor under moonlight? The patched top pavement where patterns glare, pointing to roadside, the dark tree is there, as if a corpse upon this plain, without a leaf its sap decayed its limbs in grief. Bob Segers notes and raspy odes would not begin to set the scene of what arrives here near this tree, this light of Babylon this unholy see. It is a highway in the dark, a sliver of moon that dices my heart. I stop when nothing is around, to go and turn off my headlights, they die without a sound.

Oh grant me composure on this I pray, as the circles of hot wind comes near my face, the tree so near me it takes some shape, that of giants from hells own gate. There seems a question, that I should ask, or some password, that would let me pass. May be a doorway into its way, and further on maybe a cave. For sure, I read upon a time, that Luz is waiting on the other side. Or, it could be a desert opened wide. What do you want I say inside looking around for a sign of life, but nothing happens, at least from sight of common origin, that will not fright.

Instead, a voice, inside my head, it could have been thought, of things I dread, it opened dialogue from by the tree, upon this night by U.S. 50.

“Tell me contrary to all I ask”, said something withering from life gone past. “Give me the opposite of all I say, this is your challenge to pass by this way”. I tried to reason within myself could this be Lucifer, or my own self. Had I gone mad out here away, without the confines of rules to obey? I had no time, as the night closed in, and the roadside went out within, the voice it intoned a game to play, and it was too late then to drive away.

The words flew fast then as words do, with syllables clashing, in darkened hue. It said,

“What of your origin”, I said, “your past”. It said “your future”, I said G_Ds plans. It spoke of opera, I spoke of blues, it mentioned Bocelli, and I hummed “Howlin Wolf“. It said, “Your soul”, I said, “depends”, its shape was shivering, so I said, “Psalms one, all verses are within”. The conversation lasted past a quarter of three, no lights on the highway, no birds in the tree, and the ground was still but not so the sky, for it seems my answers had pleased something high.

For just a moment, there was a split in the night sky, a moonbeam shot downward, and illuminated my eye, and I saw before me the tree now a stump. The souls of the roadside flying up. A release had occurred, for why I know not, could be an illusion, you decide if it happened or not. Yes, you decide if it happened or not. 03.10.2018 – דניאל

Veni in fletu


Do you judge my curiosity or my questions, do you pronounce sentence upon my lack of faith or civility, and when I rise at night, do you watch me with compassion, or cold insensitivity? And when I ran away to you, why did you run from me? Why did you run from me? For I have come to tears in my grave you made for me, and I watch you, as you stare back at me, yes, I watch you, as you stare back at me.

There’s a tomb now, dug beneath the dreams inside of me, where there’s castles built on songs of what used to be, and still the darkness, it’s quieter than I need, such stilled darkness, much quieter than I need. Layered stories of what’s supposed to be, good and bad taught by teachers who can’t teach. Still I lay here gritting my teeth, in the mercy of something I can’t reach. In the mercy of something I can’t reach.

I marched armies over reason, in the conscious part of me. Made decisions that were never done complete. Ran thorns through light, that showed callous indifference to the spells that would make me free. Shook my fist at the night sky, drunk on the spirit of your mystery, and you laughed then, smiling coldly down at me, oh how you laughed then, smiling coldly down at me. There’s a shadow, that moves from left to right, in me, when I’m sleeping, and again when I’m in flight, like a bat that cannot see. Is it G_D now, or just humanity, life or after, that haunts me when I sleep. Let me go now, go where I can feed, feed on you now, and make you part of me.

Its adventure, to live what most don’t conceive, in a valley, of an opposing apostasy. To rise each evening, and pronounce what you believe, to live forever, in the sight of what you can’t see. Still I wonder, what would happen to me, if I rose once, in his sunlight crystal sea, dared his judgment to take my pain from me. Rising screaming, with my darkness before me, burdened cost of a ransom lost believed, what’s not given, was never received, what’s not given, was never received.

It is winter, in a grave beneath G_D’s sun, and there’s bones there, white unbroken by no one, still in dimness, they form a puzzled dream. What’s forgiveness, if your sins lay, in wrongs that you can’t see. The same as love given, if you can’t love in your need. Under heaven in the darkness of a spell, I lie waiting, for the sound of a final bell, that towards evening, when the moon brings light to me, waiting mercy of something I can’t reach. In the mercy of something I can’t reach. – 01.22.2018 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Many thanks to JR Richards for another fine tune leading me to what I should write.