This is where I buried my heart,
no, I mean
this is where I planted my heart,
like a seed, like a treasure,
here in the middle of a dense dream forest,
wild and wanting and fierce,
dangerous and deadly.
There are many maps but
none of them are as true as
the one that has been written between
the lines of a crossroads contract,
although the bargain of souls always
has loose ends and loopholes
if one knows where to look,
which is not with the eyes but
with memories, regrets, and blind hope.
My armour is the earth, soaked with rain,
and other fallen things, there was
an angel once who crushed my heart
unknowingly beneath his feet as he
tried to balance himself unwinged,
cursing, plotting cold revenge.
I have made a marker of fairy rings,
so I would not forget where I was supposed to be,
and have found my sleep disturbed by
the lost and the curious, and by
beautiful dreaming kings
disappointed to find I was merely a dead end,
a false start, and that there was no queen
worth kissing to save at all.
Lately there have been murmurings
among the trees, of borders breached,
of strange blooms arising from the depths
of earth and water, sand and rock,
of messengers with impossible forms.
The dream forest is hushed as it waits.
Tell me about the monsters, I said.
Everyone is a monster. It's just a matter of form and purpose. Even the queen is a monster.
The monster is not always visible. The deadliest ones are often invisible.
The monster form is a true form, or it can be a disguise. But at all times the monster is like the soul manifest, the form always carries a truth about the person.
As monsters their magic is stronger, for in such a form they are able to tap more fully into the raw power that feeds them.
We only call them monster because they are strange and unfamiliar. Also terrifying. They disturb, they question, they challenge. They test the limits of what we can accept, of what we can love.
In the end it is really all about the love. What we give, what we receive. Whether we do give or receive at all in the first place.
Dreaming and daring
and experimenting are more fun
when you are much younger
because you have all those years ahead
when you can maneuver or change course.
When you are older the six-lane highway
narrows into a single-lane country road,
with no sure promise of a gas station ahead,
and the maps won't help you.
Here there be dragons.
But now even the dragons don’t care.
Not for you anyway.
Dead-ends come up more frequently
than you think they ought.
Footpaths abound and they promise
slow-going and possible loops
and various levels of getting lost.
Witches in baked houses wave you away.
They think they have nothing to gain from you.
Your blood is bitter, they say, your skin is tough.
Your eyes are murky
and your heart has been broken too many times.
You have bled in more ways than one,
you are tainted and damaged.
You are no prize.
Even if you give yourself away
there will be no takers.
Animals won't speak to you,
won't waste a word or a breath.
You reek of too much reality, they say.
Your logic is terrifying, they say,
your practicality can kill us.
Hence you are met with silence.
You are not harmed, but you are not helped.
You are alone. Who will want you?
Maybe the earth is hungry
and will take your flesh and your bones.
Find a quiet space and lie down.
Or find the sea and be swallowed by the waves.
Are you looking for adventure?
A fairy tale?
Aren't you a couple decades too late?
There was a trail that was a rabbit hole and I am not Alice but the Queen of Hearts yet I am the one running late for tea and the cards refuse to say my fortune.
There was a trail that was made of bread crumbs and I followed the crows who gobbled them up instead, who led me to a house made of stitched-up noodles and inside was an empty begging bowl. I took the bowl.
There was a trail that led to an ocean at the end of a lane. And the ocean flowed into the country that grew boys out of flowers. But my feet are fins and my voice not worth a trade, so I watch from a distance while I drowned in my own despair.
A person is a country. Though not even its owner has fully mapped itself out. Many shadowed forests and too deep seas remain off limits. Boundaries are oftentimes arbitrary depending on a thousand variables like the weather, for instance, or whether the angle of sun rendered a face too beautiful for mere words.
How does one fall in love with a person? How does one seduce a country of multitude moods and tempers and wants? How does one break through the borders of a heart without a declaration of war?
How come it feels like I am the one that has been occupied? When did that cavalry of wooden winged horses come?
Sometimes the heart itself is a wild thing. Gone feral and hungry. Hunter and hunted. Sometimes it is necessary to drop on all fours and run beneath the night sky, between the towering whispering trees. Go on, love anyway.