Asked why I've been away from music I replied, “I live in Hawaii, I've been at the beach.” - Walter Becker



SPINNING THRU the firmament. Our best faces pressed out on the glass watching the circling of the pole star. We create our own gravity. And like gravity, the tides of emotion are delayed like the ocean's pull that rises to the empty zenith in the sky while the moon she sets trailing its tow a quarter revolution behind. We keep ourselves bottled up in our own safe harbor, until a storm appears on the horizon and forces us out into the open bay where no damage may be done. The anchor holds, barely, until swells drag it, and unsnagging, draws us to the deeper more threatening sea. We are at the mercy of the swells and the fates. As was foretold the pull of the whirlpool will someday take us under, but not tonight. Tonight, although we are in the whirlpool's grip around and around opposing each other; the only way to save ourselves from gravity and drenching spray is to let go flying. To be at the mercy of the winds. Our heavy robes flying out around us as we forever spin, spinning, spin.

The dead of midnight is the noon of thought. – Anna Laetitia Barbauld, 1773


I FELT a burgundy beret on my head so I made sure it was properly askew. A cord hanging down found its way into the corner of my mouth. While contemplating my navel, the cord turned to a tube so I took a deep breath and blew into it. It started to inflate into a hazmat suit! Then, it continued to inflate; in seconds it was so big I knew it would soon burst. From my left hand I produced a large needle (I didn't knit, or did I?). I pierced the glove of my right hand and proceeded to direct the orchestra that consisted of my fellow nurses and doctors. As I began to shrink I noticed the sounds of the beeping and bopping of apparatuses faded into a far away place. That's when my body began to rock, twirl and finally erratically fly around, eventually slamming into a large white 8 ½ by 11 blank white sheet of paper. It crinkled and enfolded me and pressed sufficiently around me to reassure me that the laws of physics still held here. Small recompense, but at this point I'll take what I can get. I proceed to shrink further in this world of solid white. They say go towards the light, but the light surrounded me not the other way round. Now I found myself in a droplet of water and the pressure of the viscosity equalized the air leaking from my glove at least to a point where I was in control of the rate of dwindling. I found myself in a petri dish of microscopic proportions with paramecium and creatures I know not of swimming gracefully with cilia undulating rhythmically. There, finally, were the objects that my superpower was sent here to vanquish. They were small, about the size of a tennis ball and just as brainless. Brainless as a concept is brainless – like hoarding or social media. Their strategy, if it were possible to have a strategy, was to cling on, all the tighter the more you tried to pull them loose. I reached over my back and like Deadpool pulled a tennis racket from my back. Instead of trying to pry them, I simply squashed them where they lay, showering the surrounding water with bits of spongy prongs and clouds of mush. The drop became thick with remains so much so that I had to wait for the murk to settle before taking a tour of my world and cleaning up the few remaining viruses. And like so many worlds throughout the land, the victory parade would have to wait for another thousand victories as I wash my hands and urge you to shelter in place. --SHAY

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to. – Carl Sandburg, 1934


THEN everywhere must also be down. You are an astronaut leaving the Earth. On liftoff, one always faces toward one's ultimate destination. But once you arrive, going from pressed hard against your seat to the shift of feeling like you are flying over a bump sends your stomach into your throat, you face back down watching all you have ever known speed by below. You are not in weightless space, you're just falling incredibly fast around your departure in an upside down discombobulation. Everywhere you go there is a pull from every other place you've been. One leaves tracers attached to every place one's ever been. Memory is indistinguishable from gravity. Every place you live you leave a part of oneself behind like a horcrux. But instead of leaving you weaker, that part of you regrows back stronger – like a broken bone. Souls mend over time and distance, circling, occasionally looking down and back, while our physical bodies look forward and out to the future. --SHAY

Noche tinta, bianco el dia – the night is colored the day is white. – Spanish proverb


PERHAPS you've heard of Furries. They cosplay animals in an anime-cartoon way. We're Feelers. Insect inspired introverts with extroverted exoskeletons. The costumes are usually bright metallic looking but very soft and huggable. I'll get back to that in a second. You can tell us by marks left on our foreheads and temples that show where our antenna have been glued on. Our antenna aren't just pieces of plastic, they're linked to chips embedded deep in our skulls that amplify our emotions. You know they aren't simplistic like a praying mantis; our name Feelers is a double entendre. Outsiders have said we have the empathy of a dozen Ecstasy users. HA. Drug use of course is frowned upon, not only for our group's reputation but for the mental health of our members. We feel the same things in real time. Maybe not the memories, but Lord knows the emotional highs and lows. Don't get me wrong, plenty of memories arise; like a souffle it is said, until POP it all comes crashing down. Heh heh heh. One night in Paris is like a year in any other place. Well, one night in the hive will give you a year's worth of well-being; the emotional warmth bankroll of a guru; a change in sensory perception that has set many of us on a new path for peace, joy and surprisingly, impulsivity. You know a true insight into another's mind allows us to perceive the humbleness of empathy, but it also opens the door to the confidence of impropriety. You see, we know exactly what you're thinking. – SHAY

“I don't understand that,” replied Sancho, “I only understand that while I'm sleeping I have no fear, or hope, or trouble, or glory.” – Miguel de Cervantes from Don Quixote


ARE NOT ETHEREAL. They give form and function to the vagaries of the psyche. Like their counterparts they can be used to recreate the flesh and beauty they once held. But first they must be carefully dug up, scraped, sifted, picked apart, organized, weighed and bagged. Then bones examined and pieced back together. The dream face can be recreated, its basic guise, especially those that come to us over and over again gauntleting our waking mind until we act. Like a jigsaw puzzle piece we know the shape and color, but always miss the details that complete us and the community we perfect. Bones pieced back together arise and shake off the Sandman's glitter reforming into the creature that occupies our dreams. Awake we add detail and change them to our waking whims. Upside down frowns become smiles that invite. Inside out messages float with a thud that echos past the metamorphos embedded with yesterdays concerns, now laughable. Do we ever get ahead? Are we always condemned to search like Veritas for the truth lying hidden in the sacred spring guarded by spirit? The more we reach for the missing pieces the more wave interference we cause to the dream's reflection. --SHAY

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you would live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi (Oct 2 International Day of Non-Violence)


WE PURCHASE SLEEP. We trade our time for one step back before waking to take the two forward each day. Renewal. Refreshment. Reinvigoration. It's not drunk from a bottle, past out on a platter or whispered by a loved one, though the renewal can be punctuated with huge psychological advances-- one small step or one giant leap. Then again, sometimes there is no sense whatsoever. Sometimes we are but Dorothys spinning through the firmament as farm implements and Auntie Ems cycle by. The aftermath of the tornado was a horrible expanse of twisted metal, splintered telephone poles and scattered cars. The first to the scene were drones that were looking for thermal registers of people. There had been a blues festival and the drones sent back hundreds of contacts. One such captured a port-a-potty with the roof torn off. Inside was a half-naked man looking up wide-eyed and giving a thumbs-up. It went viral, bringing more funds to the Red Cross than all the other videos of decimation combined. Interviewed later, he admitted he was so scared he had imagined himself in a nail salon and looking closer at the video, yes indeed he did have his fingers soaking in the urinal. Being from a medium-sized Midwest town, his biggest complaint after the video went viral for the second time, was that no one would shake his hand. The Red Cross again raked in the donations, and it was a good thing too, because the funds were needed for yet another devastating hurricane in the Caribbean. So tomorrow, as you buy chewing gum and interact with the clerk, remember they may not have had their daily step back, instead they may have spent the night spinning through the firmament. –SHAY

Life is a joyful celebration in a world of sorrow-- Japanese Proverb


RISING FROM MY PORCELAIN tea cup, I hold it tight with both hands to extract as much warmth as possible. The snow has fallen early this year; now a few days later it's just hanging on in the shade. The horses in the barn behind me are shuffling in their stalls for warmth. I really should close the dutch door, but something has drawn me to watch Jedediah, hired to split enough wood to keep us cozy for the next few weeks, anyway. It's midmorning, the frost has only started to thaw on the steaming roofs and fences, the day is clear and perfect. If Ma wanted, she could see me from the kitchen window. I didn't care, this was much more interesting than a talking to. I take a sip and the moisture refreshes the smells from the barn. I should be disgusted, but this morning I find it reassuring. Sugar and Sadie stomp in anticipation of their morning oats, but again I ignore them. It may be a month or more before I take them out for a real ride. The tap of the wedge then rapid crack/thud of Jed striking twice to split another log into quarters came in a regular rhythm delayed by setting up the next log. Jed hadn't looked over at me although we were only 40 feet apart. I hadn't taken my eyes off him; I guess I hadn't given him the room of even a glance. He had to be aware of my presence. Was I only waiting for him to show some interest? The axe fell, but not hard this time, stuck in the log balanced on the stump. Jed walked over to the peg where his scarf, jacket and hat already hung. Then it came. Off. Two layers. One sweater pulled over his head without mussing his full black hair. And one flannel shirt, leaving only his union suit. I ducked quickly back behind the entry way suddenly ashamed and surprisingly satisfied. – SHAY

You know you're at the end when you're back at the beginning. -- John Mayer


IN QUIETUDE. Silence is the currency of the realm as twilight turns dark with cloud cover. The drip drip drip of the rain gutter gives way to icicles masquerading as daggers clear. A miniature St. George uses them to charge at dragons which melt them with single long winded breaths. So easily vanquished. Trapped in our inside-out snow globe, the Christmas lights in the yard illuminate gently falling snowflakes so light and feathery. The snow covers all then builds up, pushing all to their bending limit. Further out, the forest and blackness swallows the world. Inside, under the rustle of a comforter, we touch cold noses sticking out of our toasty fortress of down. -SHAY

The mind is everything. What we think we become. -- Buddha


No. 5. Rhythm and timing are everything. Literally. Evening sunset is the best time to catch the essence, all else is merely window dressing. At sunset all settles down, birds having gone to roost so distractions are few. Waves of ocean or waves of traffic, all are continuous background noise to lull your love into inner calm so that their outer senses become aroused. Then it is up to you to step into that void. As for the potion, all you need is a small empty perfume bottle and the courage of your convictions. It takes four parts sunset, the first captured as the sun breaks from the cloud layer casting yellow streaks through the wisps. Grab the cold out of the air and press it into the bottle. Second, as the sun tips its orange globe on the ocean's vast gray curve reflected in broad orange strokes across the entire watery expanse, bottle some of the orange water. Third, as the rays flatten out in red embers, blow on them, the flames burst forth for only a second or two before smoldering once more. And lastly, (the hardest to catch but the most important) the elusive green flash. Add threads from a blanket produced out of nowhere. Open a wine that is blood red and delicious as life. Drink heartily. --SHAY

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. -- Walt Disney


A GIGGLING child pushed past, her face painted like a large blue butterfly, the spots her own eyes. Behind her a class full of similarly painted faces hurry by, spinning you 'round. You orient yourself, having just stepped outside from the visitor's center and take a deep breath of clean air along the New Danube, a river with gleaming clear waters glittering cobalt blue from the rocks in the streambed. You look up to find the giant redwoods in the medium distance, the only grove east of the continental divide. The walk is quick getting there and now, covering every inch of the tree all the way up to the top are blue iridescent butterflies. Each is closed and hanging on for dear life despite a steady breeze of fog ruffling them. They hibernate in an ancient ecology of giant ferns, palm-like plants called Gilboa trees and berry vines which provide food in this butterfly paradise. The grove is only a few hundred yards deep, surrounded by thermal vents that instead of spewing geysers, send aloft a steady flow of fog. Shaman long ago declared the grove a mystical place; today scientists and new-age types restate the obvious. The boardwalks clatter as another wave of school kids passes headed for the docent that is standing on a box, despite being two heads taller than the children that crowd around her. You listen in as she says, “Blue is the hardest color for nature to derive. Butterflies use microstructures rather than pigments to reflect light back while absorbing all the other spectrum. They do it for camouflage in the cliffs where milkweed plants grow in the spring among the blue metamorphosed basalts that the mountain is made of and gives the whole area a deep purple glow at sunset. We'll see it if we wait just ten more minutes." Already the shadows were moving up the opposite valley wall, and the purple mountains majesty reflected down upon us. --SHAY


Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. – James Allen



WAS THE LEAST of your concerns. Fire hazard topped the list, followed by playful scratching and spikes on its tail that at this young dragon's age could get caught and entangled in its bedclothes enraging itself and setting all around on fire. But the pet store has fireproof gloves, mittens to control the claws and grooming to keep the spikes dull. So why do you go to all the trouble of fostering these Drooks? First, they are the only true-blood dragons (from the Changtang region of Tibet known as the 'Roof of the World' which hasn't essentially changed since we all were part of Pangea). Secondly, their line goes back to the original synapsids, from 300 million years ago, that later evolved into mammals and in another branch --reptiles. And we know how that relationship went for the following 240 million years! That gave these dragons a prehistoric directness that made them both instinctual and yet spiritual. Their purr as they sleep 20 hours a days lull you into the most peaceful sleep you can imagine. Oh, and the dreams! Vivid colors awash in forms that remind you of, but don't match anything you've known. The raw emotions that arise from your core self, leaving you satisfied using all your senses and being really really alive. --SHAY

I love the nights when I dream alternate story arcs for my stories! -- J.M.I. Gallagher


A JAGUAR roars in the distance, but you remain quiet. The sounds of the jungle hushes for only a moment, each creature evaluating the distance and threat. None are concerned with you. You've hidden your smell, rubbing joyfully in a dead capybara. You've gotten used to the smell, others – armadillo to wombat turn away at the whiff. They'll still run from the sound of your footsteps, so you slink through the underbrush, moving like your father taught you those many years ago. Using all your senses, you are aware of all the creatures from their calls, their rustles, their displays of threats and luring the opposite sex. The distance above in the canopy plays most into your 'is it a threat?' calculations. Those at the top, no problem. Those on the floor, as you are, must be reckoned with, how close? And are they moving toward or away? You decide you won't be able to get back to your people before the sun sets. It is already on the darker side, and light goes fast here in the first-tier tangle. You look for a medium size tree, one that will hold your weight and one that is not attached to the larger third-tier canopy. You spot one and as you've done dozens of time before you gather as much brush as you hurry over to climb up to the crotch of the tree and pad you hips, shoulders and head for the long night. You say your prayers and think of your people watching the same full moon that you see dappling through the sparse canopy. --SHAY

#Sleepwriting: When your characters wake you up in the middle of the night and refuse to be silenced. @QntanaTrilogy


THE ARTIST worked quickly with sure hands. Hands that had brushed these exact strokes not hundreds, not thousands, but tens of thousands of times. But each time the paints had been loaded differently, carefully. The thinnest lines were measured in bristles you could count. Even the single bristle brush was filled with exacting detail to the light, color and texture of the scene that changed every 5 minutes. She had to work quickly, the light was everything and in another minute it would fade. She frowned. She had squeezed all the paint from the tube and even cut and scrapped the inside of the tube. The 'If onlys' began in her mind but she shooed them away with the thought of substituting different mixes. What hadn't she tried before? The existing colors required more rose, copper and cream. She worked faster than she ever had before and found that the speed increased her accuracy and her emotional intensity that went directly from her hand to her brush into the painting. There the brush strokes continued to paint within the painting, as other brush strokes joined atop, the first contrasted with the last and each contested for brightness within the small canvas. Then, before she knew it, the light was gone. The brilliance in the painting too started to fade to gray. Time hadn't cooperated for her to complete the goal of capturing the alpine glow. But still a very productive day. Nothing left but to sleep. Perchance. And assemble the paints to attack the problem again at tomorrow's eventide. --SHAY

Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.-- @SarahMCurnow


THEY sing and shout and whisper in my ear. I try my darndest to ignore them. They just try harder to distract me. There's: Saoirse the muse, who is amused at my attempts to do the most normal of things (she represents joy, but I'm afraid it's at my own expense); Losif, the mime that is aghast at almost everything I do (I have no idea why his name isn't Mom); Bohemio, the witty one who must be drunk to function (and is surprised by most things I do and everything that comes out of his mouth); Kalidasoapa, reminds me of the potential opposite result of each consequential action I take (results of what I've done and anticipation about what I'm about to do); Memos, makes memories pop into my head at all the inappropriate times and Finally Serenity that thinks I must be exhausted to reach her level of happiness, so she pushes me to walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, etc. Yes, it's Finally Serenity that always has the lullaby in this musical of my life. She calms the other muses so that they sing in harmony and has the solo that conclusively turns off all my senses, one by one and two by two. They all lay down to sleep with me, this hushed chorus of percolating thoughts. --SHAY

If you could choose an hour of wakefulness out of the whole night, it would be this…You have found an intermediate space, where the business of life does not intrude; where the passing moment lingers, and becomes truly the present; a spot where Father Time, when he thinks nobody is watching him, sits down by the wayside to take breath. – Nathaniel Hawthorne


STARRED capes, striped capes, spanks with an attitude or furry suits, those you've designed a dime a dozen. But when you were called up by The Superpower League to be their head costume designer, you took pause 1) because it is a high honor that comes but once in a thousand lifetimes, and 2) because the previous designer died in a horrible accident testing out Flameboy's welder's mask/sippy cup. Now you will be responsible for not just the look (satisfying fans that think nothing of showing their dissatisfaction in flowers laced with poison) but also for the safety of superheroes the world, nay, galaxy wide. It's your job now to design costumes that keep the owner from: (the normal) fire, water, bullets, space, but also the surreal and magical – locked into stained glass, hit with Thor's hammer, torn apart by three-headed snarling dogs of hell, or getting caught in the clothes washer door and spun to a twisted 2mm thread. Then there is everything that superheroes demand of their costumes. They demand technological abilities such as communicating in the entire elecromagnetic spectrum and even in shadow communication. Yes, actually communicating using shadows – it's faster than light (look it up). G8 internet compatible (superheroes are way ahead of the rest of us at sooo many levels). And, of course, it has to be Artificial Intelligence compatible. AI comes in many flavors and applications such as real time translation into any language that simultaneously alters the look of your mouth, too. Superhero AI must interface at many levels – nanotechnologically, nuerally and even galaxy wide. As you sit down to your new desk, you open a drawer and spot a letter titled “To the new Head Designer.” You open it and read these few lines: “You're worse headaches will come from superheroes who demand alterations after gaining a few pounds. Plan ahead.” --SHAY

I had a dream I was awake and I woke up to find myself asleep.” ― Stan Laurel


WHAT stood out most was the taunting by our own, just on the other side of the chicken wire fence. “Give us your – lebensmittel, haarbürste, schmuckstück – food, brushes, jewels – you name it. But we had already parted with most of our worldly goods: our house, our car, our furniture, our father. We knew where we were being sent, it had been operating for a year. The long line was held up by inspection, or as we saw it just another excuse to steal by men in sharp uniforms and guns, always guns. I held tightly to my mother's skirt with one hand and my imaginary balloon with the other. I held my bright red balloon's string down next to my own pleated skirt so people wouldn't stare, I knew they didn't see it so holding my arm out would bring attention. They didn't see anything but the greys of coarse wool. I didn't like that it bopped against my mother's shoulder but she didn't mind, her concerns were starting to deepen like the looks of those behind the fence topped with barbed wire. “Don't pay attention to those behind the wire,” she scolded. At the entrance a guard smiled at me, and dutifully, I smiled back. I was to find out what was behind these people begging, despite the odds. We were soon enough one with them. Those in line had nothing to give, or did they? On this side it wasn't just the fear from our empty mouths, it was that we couldn't in our wildest dreams imagine a simple red balloon. --SHAY

Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams? – Alfred Lord Tennyson


GREAT weather, preparations made, gathered at the dock. Checklists and equipment checked. Safety first. Gear stowed. Cast off. The blue waters reflect the cumulus buildup miles away and above and beyond the long, tree-lined lake. Roller Skating Heart has found her sea legs. Once around the deck and cheers from fellow passengers. The twelfth time around the deck and jeers from the fellow passengers. Soon the boat is out into the middle of the lake. Up in the sky is where the action is. Hot air balloons float so close you feel like you can almost reach out and touch them. You hear the power of the bursts of propane that keep them aloft, and the cheers of voices from the basket, so clear and angelic from the water's surface. The gondola nearly drops to the water just as a large blast of propane sends ripples across the water and the balloon slowly rises and your boat cruises by. Suddenly other boats appear, heading in all directions at once and behind a large racing sail appears a huge motor boat. Little time to act, Roller Skating Heart races up the mast (straight up the mast!), wraps her legs and arms around the mast and billows herself out to catch that extra wind just in time to squeak by and avoid a collision.

You can’t use up #creativity The more you use, the more you have. - MAYA ANGELOU


GENTLY winding path and hills tall enough to block the view of a seven-year-old girl on brand new Candi Girl Carlin skates. Joy, love and happiness reside in the heart. You are joy, love and happiness, literally – a heart. You know every dip and uneven tripmeup and THIS time, Crystal, you're gonna make it thru faster than your old record – set just this morning! The park is getting busier, so the challenges will be even moreso. Passing the lump on the log, so sad, doesn't even look up before you're past. If you speed up just a bit more, you can careen by the mother with her carriage and around ol' floppy ears and her master, err, mastriss(?) blue haired grandma whose smile is the same as her dog's. Hi, red robin! Oh, look empty sidewalks, smooth sailing and fast rolling. At least til the next hill. So fast you're losing control – almost. This is the highest hill in the run, so you'll see what's up ahead, the intersection, the ice cream guy, the river. And lift off, the hill got you a whole three feet off the ground (at least that's what it feels like). Uh oh, two bicyclist side-by-side. Single skate sideways right between. Good thing you're a flat paper heart and the wind is at your back pushing you to a new world record!

He said, “You have pigs in this poem; pigs are not poetic.” I got up and walked out of that class and never went back. – CAROLYN KIZER


EVERY tenth cotton boll cut deeper. I could compensate only so long keeping it out of harms way. And, lordy, it hurt today. Oh, the elders will laugh 'cause I didn't make my quota and say “What? Not callused yet?” knowing full well I'd just got back from the big house. Soft living? There's a boss around every corner. On every floor. And the biggest boss of all – not the owner, no sir, but the man in the button down suit as black as I am. Too good for the fields, not good enough for the big house. Just don't belong anywheres. Run away, that's what I'll do. Run north. Run and keep on running. I'm fast. None of this slow motion rebellion for me. Showing our contempt for them only secretly among ourselves while we fall further and further behind. Quicksand that's not quick at all. Slowsand. But will Lucy come too? Should I run first and save to buy her? But would she, could she, wait for me? Every tenth cotton boll cut deeper. And, lordy, it hurt today.


Sleep 'til you dream in color, paint 'til your dreams come alive.  - Shay


THE top origami paper of the pad is folding itself. It creases and uncreases with rapidly forming mountain and valley folds in pleats and crimps and sinks as more and more intricate patterns arise and are tucked under only to appear again with a different gold pattern on the bottom side than the white top side of the wing with patterns in shimmering blue. As one completes, it lifts off the pad leaving cut outs (gills?) fluttering back down. With a tentative flap and an adjustment or two to catch its stability, arising to join a hundred others. The colors are magnificent. They flutter and shine with a debris shower of chaff as legs, body and head continue to form. The next one is almost done, wanting to lift off early before it's forewings are completed. Unfolded and uncut, it is anxious to join the others in the air. This one is you. Patience my friend, patience.

To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid. - Unknown


TENDRILS of vines gently sway, reaching out with the pulse of the wind. They touch, and upon opening, tickle the solidly grounded – the trees, fences and walls. Their curve within curves catch anything slender. Then around and around they grow making what was once two, one. Tis a gentle embrace, a hug that holds and stretches as the tree they bind to grows skyward. Now they both are mature, sturdy enough to hold the weight of a chimp. At first it climbs slowly, stopping to look around then climbs faster as the branches narrow. Having fed, it exits quickly down the vine with a clear view of the forest floor. The stretchy vine has enough give to land the chimp safely in a clear patch. But it does not stay down long, orienting itself, it lopes off in the direction of a fruit tree full of ripe figs. The fig tree has prickles, so the chimp climbs up a vine here into the thick canopy. Parting the leaves, he finds there is already a chimp picking over the branches for the ripest one. He smiles. She smiles back and motions that there is plenty for them both.

“Never waste any time you can spend sleeping.” - Frank H. Knight


THE sun has set. The three-dimensional trees are flattening, as multiple shades collapse into one, black shape. The deep blue of twilight gives the edges more clarity than before, and the movement makes the trees appear to dance as though around a far off bonfire. The familiarities fade as new shapes appear and jump haphazardly into view making the forest less appealing. You step out into the clearing and look back to see the wall of trees is staying exactly where it should be. From here you can see clearly the line of people climbing the ridge, holding hands and seeming to sing. You find a path that will take you there. You catch hold and like children being led by a teacher you too begin to sing along, a simple ditty that brings a smile to you face.

"Don't you know that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?"—Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers


YOU see it coming from a distance, firecrackers meant to keep evil intent at bay going off all around. Its fire breathing is the first thing you notice as it nears (the firecracker smell covers its breath, thank God). Red and gold reptilian tassles flutter along its back, writhing claws tearing into the asphalt, powerful haunches ready to launch it into flight, if only its wings were not tied at its side. It holds its tail high and ready to strike, swinging hypnotically back and forth head moving opposite, a long forked tongue tasting the air, soothes it – the firecracker residue of burnt salt-peter and charcoal make it docile like bees swarming a beehive while the beekeeper steals their honey. Color is blurred as it passes in a flow of brilliant light. Contrast also is lost. All are under its spell and as it passes we fall silent for it is surely the one and only in charge. The sounds of firecrackers are now sounding as though a thousand miles away, as is the whistling and shouting, the head swings back and the eye looks directly at you and into your soul. And you become one with the dragon, knowing what it knows: animal instinct, how it was captured, how it's been treated. And it knows you and knows that now it has a friend who will help it when the time comes.

Nightmares come upon us quickly and just as quickly gone. Dreams are slow to arrive and linger at their leisure. – Shay


THE pavement is sooo hot. Blistering. Far off the pavement rises. The vanishing point dissolves in a swirl. The roiling mirage percolates and moves ever closer; half mile, quarter mile, 500 feet, 100 then it is apon us. The point of oneness, instead of planting us face down into the pavement (a possibility) it swoops us up in an invisible wave. Air waves, just like their water namesakes, start at the base. Like a Ferris wheel we are taken higher, higher and higher still. There is a feeling of reaching the middle of the wave – just before it starts to take you jutting out over the base and any higher we will turn upside down at the crest and wipeout. Just at this middle sweet spot we turn and head on down pipe, with the power of the wind at our backs and the promise of spray if we only reached out to touch it. We continue down the lonesome highway refreshed without a drop of whiskey or ice cube tucked into our shirt collar.

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ADreamANight thanks you for sharing this dream with someone you know who needs their world upended. May they dream deeply and wake in joy.