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 grey 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. Where pavement becomes gravel, spitting up and fringing the seams of Carhartts, faded like the feelings I want to have, holey like the canonized loved ones, whose pleasant sighs fade into inaudibility.

Let me go to the mines where time, like any resource, springs forth in unbound potential and, like any resource, runs dry just the same. Where memories like leaves shake themselves loose sending debris from above, scenting mouthfuls of air with mercurial forest accents of shifting seasons.

Let me go along this path, shaking so like these leaves, giving chase to those dead and scattered about my treads. Laughing in bouts in the most serious of moments. Where moments are engraved along nerves lining and well-muscled heart, tendrils of kissing axons winding upwards to the animal base of a brain that can naught but dream of days past.

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-soaked confusion when the phone rings too early to be good news and the wretched scream of a woman's world shattering, all at once, singes into a sickening, unavoidable, and keenly witnessed scar.

Let me go to ride these two feet to thoughts I want to have. Where we may resume the tempo of a metered life, allowing its melody to replace these senses gone inutile in the seductive glow of anger like bed coals warming the ice first layers of traumatic denial; a place where underfoot gravel gradually growing courser, the black basaltic stones pocked with memories of a violent, volcanic birth.

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 gnash against these teeth and talons, grinding my splintering edges down to smooth, exhausted futility. Through the chill of slushing snow, to the glittering froth of a mid-winter shoreline, the trek ends abruptly. A sheer-faced cliff beckons for company, the wallow in the sorrow of that tender self-pity. Emerging completely from where gnarled branches part their arthritic giant's hands unveiling an open stillness; having cleared the tree line, blind as love to where this path recovers, beyond the maddened waves scouring stones into finer and finer grit.

The ringing call of a wilderness traversed, so far, falls silent, prey 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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