Poem: Samhain Night

Together we gather in circle cast,

With fire and air, stone and rain –

To honor our dead long since past.

And bring them forth to dance again.

Those who guard over death,

We pay our respects to you all.

Tears and sand, flame and breath.

Let the spirits hear our calls.

It’s time to stir the shadows,

And time to wake those past.

It’s time to summon ancestors

With the magick we have cast.

So come all ye spirits,

While the veil is thin.

Come in peace and healing,

It’s we who invite you in.

Tonight is for you, our honored dead,

Until the night comes to its end.

Then we’ll bid you all farewell.

With peace till we meet again.

Celebrate the time we’ve shared,

But don’t mourn their passage on,

They wait for us in Summerland,

For us to carry on.

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The Proper Etiquette of Knights and Dragons

[A light-hearted and humorous take on the old knights tale…]

The dragon smelled as dragons do. Something similar to a blacksmith’s furnace I would imagine, then again I’ve smelled similar things coming from certain kitchens I’ve dined in. The food probably as foul as its breath.

It came to be that I was there for a reason so predictable that I bet it goes down in legend. I was there to rescue a princess caught up and taken captive by this beastly dragon. I should say it has been done so often now that they should not be allowed to roam free. Princess’s I mean, since they always seem to blunder into the worst of messes.

“Hold there I say! I’ve come to rescue that lass!” I had long come to the conclusions that these dragons were smarter then they appeared. Indeed capable of thought as great as a human’s. Not just these beasts that most assume.

Sure most had mocked my ideas and even claimed me half-mad at them but as the dragon turned, sitting on its overgrown haunches and eyeing me like a curious thing I still assumed I was right. It snorted as its response.

“Very well then, if you will not take to diplomacy then you shall taste my blade!” And doing as all knights must, I moved my hand to my hilt and with a great hoist I proceeded to unsheathe my blade… which to my slight embarrassment didn’t move from its sheath.

A lesson to those younger knights out there, this is why cleaning ones blade is very important. It seems the blood from my last kill, a hydra it was, had dried my sword straight to the metal of my sheath.

Now I admit I was looking rather perplexed as the dragon regarded me closer. I strained to pull my blade out once more and in becoming so intent at trying to remove the blasted thing I slipped in my saddle. With a loud thud, armor and all I happened upon being face to face with the belly of my steed.

Now being in a real pickle, I decided that I really did need to shape up, as the dragon’s large eyes gained an odd look in them. I figured it was hunger as it moved a bit closer. My steed is a strong war-horse, but not all too bright. When it saw the lumbering creature come closer it realized it needed to retreat and I was left standing alone with no sword while my horse watched from the road at least 6 yards away.

“You incompetent idiot!” caught me by surprise as I looked past the dragon to notice the tied princess seeming somewhat annoyed.

“I don’t see what your problem is, I’m doing all the work!” I corrected her quickly as my eyes turned to my current situation. I tried to recall my heroic training. Big dragon, no sword, no horse… it seemed a bit tricky. Gauntlets being the easiest to remove were the first things I thought of. Quickly I had removed my right one and brandished it like a weapon.

“A hah! Now again I ask you to hand over the princess and leave the area!” I shouted loudly, gaining back my knightly flare.

“It’s a Dragon! It can’t understand you!” Again came the criticism from the princess. I started to wish this one had been gagged as some I know had. Now gaining a slight understanding for why some of them were…

“If you will mi’lady I am not talking to you!” I shouted past the dragon, as it again grew closer. If I were not as noble as I am I might have added in a few other comments not suitable for this tale.

Now where was I. Oh yes, the beast and I were on equal ground. It with its massive teeth and claws and I with my gauntlet. I know it seems a bit uneven, but you must remember I am a highly trained knight.

It opened its loud jaws and let out a roar I haven’t heard in months. It left a slight ringing in my ears and a vibration through the metal of my armor. I realized that was only a warning roar before it would open its bellows and shoot out a stream of burning fire.

That was the moment I knew I had to act. Now it might have looked like I flung the gauntlet out of pure panic, but I assure you I had aimed. And the only reason I had ducked and shielded myself was to keep any fire from my face if it had happened to let out its fire first.

So with my well-aimed shot with the gauntlet it seemed the beast had swallowed it

whole. The piece of metal piercing its jugular enough so the fire burned his insides… or some other nonsense. I kill dragons not explain them.

Either way the beast hit the ground with a rather loud thud, enough to make my balance waver a moment. I stood over my foe with fierce pride as it let out a last gurgle of breath; that sent a wave of heat at me. I would have waited the standard five minutes to relish in the battle, but there came an annoying voice pulling my attention somewhere else.

“What are you doing?! Get over here an untie me!” Ah yes.

The princess.

Well it was the next thing on my list, so I promptly left my place and wandered to where she stood tied to a rather large bolder.

“Ah yes mi’lady I have come to save you! Now if you will just hold still.” As if she could do anything else at the moment. Still courtesy is courtesy.

I slipped around behind her and began untying the knots before something curious struck me. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to ask any of the others I had rescued, but I felt the urge to ask it now.

“Just how does a dragon so big like that ever tie a princess with knots like these anyway? I mean these knots are so small and well tied you would think he couldn’t manage things like that with claws so large.” I would have thought more about this but her sudden outburst caused me to leave my train of thought.

“What the hell is your problem?! I have never seen a man so dimwitted in all my life!” and then she let out a scream almost as piercing as the dragons had been.

I looked down to notice I did have another gauntlet. I mean if she was about to spew fire out her mouth like her eyes were doing at that moment it might just come in handy. Either way I managed to free her from those pesky knots.

“There you go, free at last!” I moved in front of her as she rubbed the red marks across her wrists. I leaned forward a bit, expecting the usual kiss as all knights are suppose to receive after such a daring feat. It’s almost an unsaid agreement.

One that this princess broke as instead of a small kiss against my lips, I felt her fist collide there instead knocking me back a bit in surprise. Merely surprise of course as everyone knows girls hit much weaker then men. The whole fact my lip was bleeding was only coincidental.

“What on earth was that for?” My pride was genuinely hurt.

“You actually thought I was going to kiss you? You stupid knight! I… I should have your head for this! You just wait till my father hears of this!”

“Excuse me, but if it wasn’t for me you would be dragon food mi’lady! A kiss is standard fees for such heroics.” I brushed myself off and grunted. “If you didn’t want to be rescued you should have told me!”

For some reason this seemed to provoke her more as she suddenly made noises as if she were having a hard time breathing. Grunting and growling and carrying on in such an unladylike manner.

I shook my head, about to give up on the whole affair as I walked towards my steed, which had come closer from his hiding place at the main rode. Loyal bugger, if not a bit dull as I said but at least he hadn’t left me trapped with the beast. The princess I mean, not the dragon- though the smell from charred dragon carcass was just as fowl a fate.

I offered the disheveled maiden a ride into town and bent low to hoist her up behind me, but again only received an indignant look for my efforts. To think, I Sir Fredrick of the gallant knights being treated in such a manner. This woman was all but impossible! I had rescued her from a dragon, been denied payment, and now was being treated like a common scoundrel!

“Mi’lady…” I grit my teeth and tried to keep my noble composure. “Do you intend to sleep on the ground, in the rain tonight? Or would you please allow me to accompany you into town?” Maybe she suffered some sort of madness? A poor shame. Maybe her parents had paid the dragon to steal her away.

She seemed to finally listen to logic as she grabbed my hand and I had prepared to hoist her up… that was until she yanked hard and I found myself slipping from the saddle. I swore I needed to fix that blasted thing. The saddle had to be broken for me to fall from it so many times.

Before I had a chance to pick my heavy armored body from the floor, I felt her foot on my backside as she mounted my horse.

The nerve!

“What are you doing?” I turned to find her fairly well adjusted in my place, already rearing my horse back and away from me. Maybe she didn’t understand what with that hysteria and all that. “I know you’re confused, let me lead you back to town Mi’lady before you hurt yourself. I’m sure there’s some medication or that you can get to make you feel all better again.” I was only looking out for her after all.

“You’re the only confused one here! You blithering idiot!” She snorted.

That was even less lady-like of her.

“You call yourself a knight? You’re clumsy, rude, stupid and weak! Why you’re just lucky that dragon was just as stupid as you!” With that she turned my warhorse around and plotted off quickly towards town.

I was left abandoned. I tried calling for my horse, but he didn’t turn. I suspect her mad yelling must have deafened him. What a world this was becoming! Well, I was a royal knight. I suppose I could enjoy the brisk walk back to town. Though I couldn’t help wondering if any other knights had such trying ordeals as I, the great knight Fredrick had dealt with today.

Ah well. I suspect it’s all well and good.

After all, it was part of being a knight I suppose.

Drawing Down the Moon…

[ An atmospheric short piece about the somewhat turbulent relationship with a werewolf and the moon.. some slightly suggestive content – so you have been warned. ]

He breathed in and relaxed.
Once again he tried to settle his mind.

The smoke from the dragonsblood incense was spicy, thick, and trailed around him in playful curls in the flickering lights of the candles at his altar. It reflected off the crystals, dancing in the dark making the shadows parade around him like silent watchers.

And yet as familiar, calm, and serene the altar was before him – he still found himself unsettled and unable to take pleasure in the ritual. In fact, he felt like he couldn’t even feel comfortable in his own skin anymore.

He tried to push the frustration down. His hand jingled one of the cool metal meditation balls. Slowly he circled them in his palm listening to the chiming noise as each ball gently rubbed against the other. For a moment he thought he was finally unwinding until a small jolt and twitch from a nerve made the balls tumble out of his grip.

He cursed loudly, frustration bubbling to the surface and cracking the false look of contentment off of his face.

He used to find such comfort in these small things.

He used to think he could hear the universe whisper in his mind.

Maybe that was all a lie and the devastating truth remained that all he had believed and perhaps all he was himself was just a bitter lie as well.

It had now been four hours of trying desperately to meditate in his dark ritual chamber while the full moon had reached it’s peak somewhere far above him. Four hours spent in vain trying to get his body settled. His mind was fleeting with careless inane thoughts that he simply couldn’t let go of. He felt like a prisoner of his own flesh.

He got up with a groan, his bare chest reflecting in the shafts of light trailing in the window. It accented off the tattoos staining his skin. His fists clenched repeatedly as peered out the window into the silent streets below.

Somewhere in the distance he saw the occasional youth slip in and out of local all night taverns and clubs. He longed for those days. He wished nothing else then to be out in this type of twilight, dancing among the ruckus of the streets. To be running the streets wild and uncaring. He longed to be free again.

“Damnit, this used to be easy.” A deep grumble relented into a sigh. Long hair was pushed behind his shoulder again.

His bloodshot eyes seemed to ache so much more lately. He seemed so much weaker then he used to in his prime. He knew what it was. He was dying. His mortality was evident.

He had hoped this ritual would bring him some sort of inner peace or reconnection with aspects of his life before. But it did nothing but antagonize old wounds. He felt pathetic for even trying. His eyes grazed across the altar before he turned his eyes away. Growling low in his throat he cursed himself for not letting the past go. For not just leaving all of this tucked away in storage like he had been told to.

Pleading eyes rose to the silver orb of the moon tracing by a few wispy dark clouds.

He couldn’t bear to keep its gaze long. It hurt too much, so he looked down from the brilliant moon and the failure it represented and instead pressed a hand against the cool glass of the window pane. His arm rested against the oaken frame and he relaxed his weight against it.

He never realized just how hollow his chest would be; how desperate he would feel. No one told him that he couldn’t just leave it all behind completely. He still felt it and knew it. Longed to dive head first into it.

They lied, they never said he would feel this way. They never said that in removing the curse from his soul, it would feel like they simply ripped it out completely.

There was never any going back. Not completely. There was no ‘cure’ for that.

“Lawrence?”

He turned suddenly, so quick that he felt dizzy. He faltered a moment while his head spun and his eyes adjusted.

“Whose there?” His voice was a growl, a snarl.

“Lawrence. You go by Moonshadow.” It was no longer a question but a statement. A voice so serpentine and sensual. Soft and feminine. It managed to ease his temper, but not his wariness. He felt his ears physically come to attention, as if trying to train in on her voice and it alone.

“That is me.”

There was enough silence in that pause that he could take a moment and think. His mind kept trailing to the many enemies a person could have in a large city and never know. How many locks had he installed on the main door to his apartment? Were they enough? Paranoia was one thing – but to someone like him it was an unfortunate necessity.

“I think you need to leave…” He replied with a voice like gravel as he scanned every shadow. A few years ago he would have been able to spot them, even in the darkness of his chambers. His eyes would have had the instinct to know where to look. Yet he was weaker now, vulnerable and much easier to kill.

Every flicker of light from the candles revealed nothing to him now. His eyes then went to the doorway. It had appeared shut still, but he knew better. She must have slipped in while he was distracted. He must have forgotten to flip the deadbolts. Maybe he was just too careless… maybe it was time for him to die.

“I did not break in.” She said firmly and with a calm cool tone that startled him.

“How did you…”

“…know what you were thinking?” Suddenly the lights from the candles seemed to flare up and her form was suddenly illuminated. She was beautiful, serene, dressed in white sheer material that did nothing to hide such amazing curves and form underneath. Instead it simply accented it with an opalescent shimmer. Hanging at either side of ethereal face was long silken hair of pure white which traced down nearly to her ankles.

There was something unsettling and familiar about her that he couldn’t place. Something which made him quiver inside. He knew her, even if he had never seen her before in his life he had known her. So deeply and intimately that his breath was taken away.

Catching his eyes; cradled in the center of her forehead was a brilliantly glimmering opal. Seemingly to be facetted in a hundred different ways to catch every glimmer of light in the room and reflect it back exactly in the most precious way.

Words escaped him. His knees felt weak. She was glorious.

“Moonshadow.” She whispered his name which made his chest quiver. “I have watched you tonight. I have seen your frustration grow as you have tried, over and over to feel the connections you used to. You did not realize that was part of the price did you? Did they fail to tell you that part?”

His grip faltered, he lowered to his knees as if every ounce of his strength had pulled from him. His eyes sought freedom from the brilliant light which she provided. He felt now ashamed and terrified.

If this mortality was going to kill him, he wished it would hurry up and do so. Anything then to face this guilt and shame. He imagined himself crumbling inward and swallowing himself up to avoid her questioning gaze.

Lawrence used to pride himself on never cowering to anyone. Pride in being strong and secure in his dominant position. There was a time he felt untouchable. But in the presence of her, he was powerless. A submissive to any aching desire she made.

His body shivered and he lowered his head even further – desperate to get some control on what was happening in this room. He stared instead at the utter perfection of her feet. He watched as they grew closer. Each delicate beautiful step.

He stumbled over his thoughts, trying to find something coherent to say. Trying to form some sort of explanation as to what he did. Why he thought he needed to throw this part of his life away. But he could find nothing. Nothing but fear, manipulation, and lies. How had he allowed himself to become this weak? This… pathetic.

“Look at me.” It was no request. His eyes snapped to hers as if he had no more control of his own sensibilities.

She lowered while watching him with the barest of smiles. She smelled of rain.

“You are Moonshadow. You are blessed. And cursed. It is what you are – and will always be. For a while, you hid it yes. You wished it all away… and this didn’t make you happy. You still crave, desire, and want. Only now they have stolen your power in order to break you. They did not cure you. They simply caged you.”

And she leaned in, she kissed his lips with such blinding passion that he thought he would go mad. And yet he found himself completely still and bound. As if his hands were tied behind his back and his knees were glued to the floor.

All he wanted was to press up and deepen the kiss, to take her, to hold her. To do anything but let her leave him. It was as if the kiss lingered just on the edges of his senses as her words still echoed in his mind. He struggled to free his arms and pull her down to him.

Passion was growing in him indeed. He had never felt so aroused and wanting. So punished with craving for her. His voice let out a pained whine as he fought against the invisible bindings. She stroked his cheek and his straining throat. Her kiss was like ambrosia, her touch like wild fire.

And then she torturously pulled away.

“You will always be connected with me. You will always love me, hate me, desire me and wish to destroy me at the same time. You have been free of me and still have not found peace, so you called to me. You can never have one without the other, for you have beckoned to the moon and I have heard you. You have called me down and I have come. You have knelt before me – and you are mine.”

He shuddered and growled while the invisible bindings seemed to release him. He tried to grasp her and pull her obsessively into his arms, but she was gone.

The shadows seemed clearer now while he glanced around the darkened room. There were no signs of her except for delicate footprints on the floor that glistened with midnight dew.
By all appearances he had never left his place from where he sat. In his hand he still clutched the meditation balls.

He let them tumble from his fingers to save him from the silence from the room. They chimed in mocking jingles on the floor.

Moonshadow. He was Moonshadow. Lawrence was a human name, a word he used in the world of man and not the wild magick of who he was. His heart pounded as if ready to tear from his chest. His eyes were wet. His hungers woken, ebbing at him. He felt free, and he had not felt like this since they had strapped him to the table and did the ‘procedure’ to remove the lycanthropy from his very soul.

Now he knew why they were so willing to help him. He understood why they were doing him such a favour. They were merely domesticating him.

This new procedure offered by the human occultists had promised results. It had promised him a normal life where he could blend in and be hidden. An answer for the monstrous curse that he carried as a burden.

Curse. It was no curse… it made him alive. It was who he was, who he always was. And she was his goddess. She was the moon.

Moonshadow shuddered in his cold sweat while he slowly urged his muscles to work again. He stumbled to the window. He gazed out and he saw her… full and bright glowing and beckoning him. Always out of his reach. His eyes closed and the image of her caressed him.

He wanted her. He always wanted her.

He shook, pulled his head back, and howled. All the connections and power of ritual flowed into his blood again. For the first time in many nights he felt the curse – and blessing a part of him again just as his skin started to turn. His muscles grew, and loosened while his joints and bones extended. His face contorted while his features grew and his teeth lengthened.

It was a pleasurable pain while his skin stretched around the morphing bones along his chest and ribs. He could hear them moving, adjusting, cracking into place.

As if welcoming in an old friend he howled even louder then before. One can try to escape who they are, but it’s only ever lying to themselves. Eventually, no matter where you hide or how much you lie to yourself – it will always come rushing back in.

He was hers and would always be hers. He was her priest, her slave, her lover. From somewhere far beyond sanity and senses, a hand stroked the side of his thick furred cheek and he felt at peace.

 

Poem: Kryptonite

I have a heart of kryptonite.
And it’s reacting to your pain-
Oh no.. Here we go again.
You the spider, and I the fly.
One of us has got to die –
Damn you, heart of Kryptonite.

Why can’t I just let you go?
It kills me; Although I remain.
Endlessly fighting to restrain –
the demons caught in the afterglow.
The secret scars we’re afraid to show.
Only me and my heart know.

 

I’d rip you out – if I knew how.
Disconect you and burn it down.
Who needs your endless beating..
Crack me open and leave it bleeding.
It’s just a stupid little heart.
Would we care if we’re apart?

Thump thump.
Thump thump.

Oh my Kryptonite, sweet kryptonite.
With a taste as sharp as poison-
Just when I’m about to give in,
You give me some redemption?
Is that your motivation?
I think I’m going crazy.

I have a heart of kryptonite,
And it’s driving me insane.
It’s the spider, and I’m the fly –
But it seems now that I refuse to die.
Another round of poison please –
While I wait here for my release.