Crimson River Between

August 6, 2007 at 4:28 pm (original poetry/prose, the Muse sings)

It is dark, the sky overhead heavy and soft like a thick cloak. I am alone, as I almost always am, in the company only of my trees and my thoughts.

I stand on the bridge over the water, watching it slide and flow beneath me. The sun is on the horizon, the moon too, on the opposite horizon, both full and crimson red. I do not know if it is sunset or sunrise. I don’t suppose it matters, here.

I was sleeping just moments ago, and I feel those tendrils of dream still clinging to me like smoke. I was not alone in my dream, as I almost never am. It is always people I dream of. There were no words, however, no images, only the feeling of sharing a safe, sighing sanctuary.

The great fey blooms of the bridge glow softly by my head, softly because I have asked them not to rival the sun and the moon. They shiver and sigh in the breeze sliding off the placid ocean, and I realize it is cold. But the warmth of my dream, of my bed, still sustains me, my core still warm as if wrapped up in that softest flannel. I can feel the cold on my skin as only a sensation, another thing to note and enjoy.

The silent fire of the sky deepens a note, as the sun sinks by imperceptible degrees. Ah. Sunset, then. The light from it is like the red smoulder of a fire that will never go out but is only resting in coals. The light as it reflects off the moon is like bright blood; the river turgid and slow like heavy crimson-black blood. It fascinates me, this quiet cool river of blood flowing out to sea. I watch it and wonder at the wound from which it flows. I wonder if anyone but you would understand my enchantment with it, would care to read my thoughts now.

The pain in me shifts, an ache, sometimes sharp. Possibly I am wounded too. But I do nothing to soothe it, hoping, perhaps irrationally, that I am taking someone else’s pain, easing it from one who has too long been wearied by it. Is it yours? It is like the cold; my core is too safe to be harmed by it. More precious even than the cold, in that I pray that it comforts someone else for me to hold it for awhile.

I look out over the still sea, that placid sea that never rages, even if I demand, cajole, beg it to. Always so still. That sea that took my husband long ago, that sea that I know, no matter how hard I push the knowledge away, that I know will never give him back. Great blue mountains have since risen quietly out of it, surrounding this water, this bridge, on two sides now. Soon I know it will be on all sides and there will only be this river, this same river, flowing out to an inland sea protected by these noble mountains of blue marble. On this side of the river, a corner of the deep wood, of Faerie. On that side, the lines run straight and the light falls simply. The pixie of the grove next to mine has put up a sign in the middle of the river, warning against crossing.

When I first felt these mountains coming, I feared they would loom over my home here, blot out the sky and stars like stern giants. But they are softer than I had imagined, soft sloping sides in green, in bloom. They are sheltering mountains, and the more they grow, the more I feel embraced into safety here. They do not look down on me as if I am small; they wrap me up as if in a mother’s or a lover’s arms. They protect, and yet respect me with distance, knowing that they are on the other side of this river, on the other side of reality.

At this moment, the river shining like blood, there are few that would cross from that light into this darkness. That is how I like it best; this is no place for those in unsullied white. And yet…

I can see it, see it clearly now, how the river does not flow into the sea, or the sea into the river. There is a barrier I placed there that I have almost forgot. I had feared to mix them… whether fearing to pollute the sea, or lessen the river’s power…

Well. Let us see if I have underestimated them both.

The Lady waves her hands towards the river’s mouth, and the barrier between the waters dissolves. The waters swirl together, though in the darkness of night finally falling, none can see yet what it is they create together.


1 Comment

  1. Cire Writer said,

    [a rather wet, bedraggled owl flutters in, collapsing in a roost rather clumsily. It has a paper note clipped to the leg. The note itself has been soaked – and previous to the soaking it appears to have been singed.]

    Dearest Darkling –

    First, my darling, I must apologize. I had not intended to go away so long, but my journey away from Caledon has occupied much more of my time and energies than I had first expected.

    You would enjoy being here with me, perhaps. Giant pterodactyls float over hot, humid cities, filled with odd smells and people with peculiar customs. In one day I encounter creatures ranging from crusty old steam-powered warriors, repaired a thousand times, to delicate elven creatures, filled with bluster yet as fragile as a catnip bubble.

    The heart, the spirit of the age is exploration, and I must do my bit. At times I feel as though I have been shot off alone by Mr. Vernes’ rocket, but the wonders and the stories!

    Never enough time, though. Never enough time.

    Of late, there is a particular small village I have been aiding. They are quite interesting – they believe that life is nothing but a game, that while you can fight and rage and build and explore, you must never forget that you play this game by your choice. They spend most of their time not playing telling stories of great games – one person (and I use person lightly here, they resemble nothing more than short cave trolls) loves to tell a story of a thousand games all played at the same time, with different goals and sometimes competing gameplay. She/he (I cannot tell and am too polite to ask) seems convinced that the answers are not just the game, but deciding which game IS the game.

    You would love it, my darling. They spend too much time worrying about the rules and not enough time worrying about the poetry. They need to hear more songs…

    Oddly enough, there is a booming noise on the horizon that has been approaching for some time. I think it will perhaps arrive in the next day or so. I am off to investigate in the morning.

    Love always my darling,

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