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From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: 10/16/2010

The air is crisp and all things shifting like sweet wax.

Not a year for epic poetry...instead I send a couple of shorter efforts your way.

A Happy Sigh-Fie Autumn to all!


(inspired by Greg Bear's City at the End of Time)

Might not a skygirl so subtle she
Reconciles timeline insanity,
If I denied my world utterly,
Smile and extend my humanity?

Beleaguered by my degradation,
"Ishanaxade, hear me," I pined,
"Reweaver of tangled causation,
Flesh abandons me! Fear fills my mind!

"Mystical oracle, I implore,
Wend my way in your sun-travelling!
Crypto-historical Lost Lenore,
Mend my gray tenure's unravelling!"

Laughter, the least ill she gave me back,
Thanatos gloated, time grew,
Habit had creased will a deeper track
Than an old poet's rhyme knew

Sly Ishanaxade, take me!
I fade in your particle dance,
Time and anatomy break me,
Unmake our sardonic romance!

The Abandoned One

Deep within a silent wood,
beneath the curving flanks and
woven arches of enormous roots
all cold and smooth with slime

Deep where blacker than mere
mortal night lie velvet shadow-
webs and lichen-lacquered boulders
older far than any rhyme

Deep where pallid fungi sleep
and muted waters wind and seep,
unthinking, into crevices
and bedrock way below

Deeper yet than life on land
--than anything men understand--
under fossil-bearing shales,
past stony squids and bony whales,
beyond the voids of solid rock
where frozen creatures gape in shock
at limestone currents brushing fans
of polyp-growths like reaching hands

Deep the eager moisture crawls
to wet the black and waxen walls
of cavities whose atmosphere no
lung has ever known

Cavities? Nay, excavations!
of a race whose earthly stations
(left behind or plague-infected,
either way now long-neglected)
hide a brooding thing rejected
by both death and hell

Left behind when starfolk went
back to their native firmament,
left in deeps now cluttered by
the fragments of each smaller
outgrown shell

Jagged hemispheres of lime,
the litter larger over time,
first like nuts with little holes
whence tiny eyes as blind as moles'
once peeked, or wormlike stems unfurled
their poison tips, like flowers from some
nightmare-haunted world

So small, the older crusts,
the smallest now dissolved in dusts,
so easy once to overlook,
when twisting madness-shadows took
their leave and hastened
back above the clouds

A pet, perhaps, or living toy,
too trivial to be destroyed,
which over empty aeons grew
into a mammoth vessel-thing
of idiotic hate!

Stems thick as refrigerators,
thrust from rigid, bony craters
flex and strain in tunnels now
too small for them to move!

Hairy over every part
with rooty fibers from its heart
that ever creep and crack their way
in search of open air!

For as our Milky Way revolved
ten thousand times, the thing evolved,
a billion years all blindly spent
at hoarding each rare element,
no plan but only sluggish hunger,
habit writ in flesh when younger
laws of nature bubbled forth from
time's chaotic froth

An age between each peeling,
every carapace revealing
some new horror as the sleeping germ
sucked wet, unworthy grit

Sucked until a mind was lit which,
flick'ring still, will soon blaze bright,
which gropes already up toward light
in sudden, rushing, conscious integration!

Fibers rising into wood of
mighty trunks that long have stood
all shaggy-black and gallant 'gainst
a sky so seldom watched!

Fibers from another star
yet older on this Earth by far
than anything biology has shown!
From a world where nothing dies,
where any worm may mount the skies,
all scuttling things like gods, become,
if only they avoid the belly
of some more ambitious jelly

A nugget from beyond the void,
that might as soon have been destroyed,
a pet perhaps, but never dead,
immortal in its rocky bed,
but breaking, now, into the dawn,
a bright encircling faerie lawn,
pink-and-petaled points atipping
slender stems soon to be gripping,
feeding on, all flesh--the greedy
tentacles of Earth!

Ever eating and absorbing!
Ever changing, rearranging!
Evermore the globe become
its flesh and burning brain!
Eyes as large as cities!
Open mouths like hungry canyons!
All that lives today tormented
underneath its heaving skin!
Seized and fed into red chasms!
Shredded in hot, bloody spasms!
Tentacles like dancing mountains!
Oceans gone in acid fountains!
Telepathic emanations
Searching scattered stellar nations!
Wings of darkness beating!
Leaving sun and moon behind!
Screaming solid mind!
Archon Host!
Black Lies!
Must Find!
Blood and Pain!

Gail's hair and long dress rode the air like veils of
mist as she ran in the early light. "What unusual
flowers!" she called to the young man behind, who
trudged through the weird, wet grass with a heavy
wicker basket. "Forget the forest," she laughed, "we'll
picnic here, in this meadow..."


From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/30/2010

Again, Wow, Bill! I'll pass these gems along to Mr. Lovecraft at our next meeting of the Nameless Ones. Happy Halloween!


From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: 10/30/2010

Aha! I always suspected that you hailed from dark and charnel cosmic spaces beyond all ken. Sup well at Samhain's feast!


From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/02/2010

Actually, Halloween comes on November 2 this year...

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