Valkyrie Screech

As a general rule, the heart may reveal freedom and independence. The rivers flow down their gradient, heat always rises, and the dead veins of flowers can again animate their luminous petals if inverted from a cool rafter. Set as a grave marker in a vase parched as bone, hanging in there, favored inflorescences color a room where the grey of grief collects on every surface of its walls.

Let me go to find a way toward the sea of emotion turns black under the grinning moon. Circumnavigating reminders, fledging young bruises erupt where a pavement kisses the gravel spitting up, fringing the seams of Carhartts, faded like the feelings I want to have, holey like the canonized loved ones now far out of focus. Let me go to the mines where time, like any resource, springs forth in unbound potential and, like any resource, runs dry without apparent warning. Memories like leaves shake themselves loose sending debris from above, scenting mouthfuls of air to the mercurial forest accents of the season. The final fruits of a tree gone dormant fermenting in their still-hanging carcasses, half masticated by busy birds and squirrels chasing the last lisping whispers of fall as the earth turns again over into winter.

Let me go along this path, shaking so like these leaves, giving chase to the dead and dried ones scattered about my treads, laughing in bouts at the most serious of moments. Moments frozen, engraved along nerves lining our hearts winding upwards to minds that can naught but dream of days past. Arctic moments toured to exhaustion as the sky falls darker into a star-starved night. Let me go to find where the sky is splattered with light, where the taste of old recipes goes down sweetly and the hand-stitched comforters are given as the holiday gifts they were sewn to become. Not these puddles of frigid, sole-soaking confusion when the phone rings too early to be good news and the wretched scream of a world suddenly shattered claws at my ears, unavoidable and keenly witnessed.

Let me go to ride these two feet to thoughts I want to have. Resume the tempo of a metered life, allow its melody to replace these senses gone inutile when a hobby must be surrendered to the fragility of a broken spine, a career abandoned to the immediate needs of home and health. Anger like bed coals warming my coat inside, underfoot gravel gradually growing courser, the black basaltic stones pocked with memories of a violent, volcanic birth. Getting closer now, so the trail signs read. History will read our time as necessary. Sweating bullets whizzing by cairns piled in all directions, through them and over boulders long-abandoned by Sisyphus do I gnashing teeth and talons, grinding my edges down to smooth futility. Through the chill of slush to the glittering froth of a mid-winter shoreline, blind as love to where the path picks up beyond the maddened waves scouring stones into finer and finer grit. A path run down ends starkly at a dead drop after I emerge completely from where gnarled branches part their arthritic giant's hands unveiling an open stillness. And the ringing call of a wilderness traversed succumbs as prey; pray to the screech of the Valkyries.


I will often follow a resolute plan to accomplish something with *VALKYRIE SCREECH* to convey my enthusiasm. Recently, this successfully concluded a discussion with one of my partner's longest friends, currently in Minneapolis, where she sent me this link ( assuring me that the only thing I must do to support Megan and her family was be OK enough to help my new family be as OK as they can. To digest my own grief at the loss of Clair Ann Schindler, who passed suddenly last Friday morning and for whom we have been sitting shiva for this week, I have bled ink onto the pages of one of my hand-made notebooks while force-feeding Denny and Megan with anything in arm's reach. Today concludes the end of our shiva vigilance. My favorite line added to the obituary Megan and I crafted for the St. Cloud paper, which ran on Sunday, reads, "Our collective light shines altogether dimmer with the startling loss of Clair Schindler." And so it does.


With love & nothing else,

Rock Rat


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