Folio Four/Edition Two

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The Coal Black Sea

The coal black sea waits for me. As I stand on the sea wall defiant I am master of my feet and it will not claim me today, but it waits. The coal black void meets the velvet of the sky somewhere on a horizon I can't see and the deranged emptiness of it all calls, inviting me to find that curious mist-line. Where does the sea meet the sky? Where does the ocean bridge to heaven? Well, I am not fooled after all; the riddles are alluring, but the sea is the sea. I am no god, the water will not congeal for me and I would never make that far shore of heaven. Not like this. Not warm, not red with blood, not flushed with the chill of night. Not now, it's still my own decision, so I stand defiant.

But the coal black sea waits forever. Sure, it changes, night to day, cold to warm, black to blue, ad infinitum. Everything changes. I myself will step down from this wall in a matter of minutes, choosing the land for now and returning to life. Time will pass. I will change. Life will change. Perhaps even death will change, retreat a little from science, but I doubt it&emdash; the coal black sea waits forever. Tornadoes may run up and down the coast, hurricanes may rip the sky, but the sea remains the same and it waits.

For you the coal black sea holds no terror. Ashes to ashes, I saw you today set forth across the sea. It was a solemn ceremony, a good ceremony. You'd have liked it, despite the jokes I could nearly hear you telling&emdash;"You said smoke would be the end of me." Then they scattered you across the waves, and you left for the horizon on the waves' good time. Where are they now? Did the ashes make it with you to the stars? No, as ashes they must have sunk.

I watched you as far as I could. I take solace in knowing that it is not a violent route. I am glad I came tonight to see you off and saw the sea as it must have been for you in your night. As threatening as it is to me now, I steel myself and look beyond the perversion of time the void offers and it is beautiful. I am glad knowing you had a serene end, and a clear view of the stars.

In some future day I too will die. For you, the threat is gone, the toll exacted. But I have yet to say goodbye; I must endure the sea's siren song for a while yet and wait. It calls so strongly now,

in your voice, in the emptiness you've left, in the waves' promise of eternity. I will be back, and I will meet you in the stars. The final change will come over me and I will wake up, as you must have, knowing nothing more can change me, and nothing more can hurt. Knowing that nothing more, no one more, can be lost. I'll walk out of the house and come here. It's five miles and a little more, but I've got time&emdash;nothing more can change. I'll stand here on the wall, right here, and cross it. Briefly, I'll glance at the stars, then I will drop down to the strand and keep walking. On that night I'll walk upon the waves and bridge the mist-line to heaven. It's a lot more than five miles to the stars, but I'll have the time.

--Hunter Rose




she wishes she could fly
away from all of this
in her dreams she flies
but she never goes anywhere
she wants to fly towards
the setting sun
"it must be an east coast thing"
he says.

she wishes she could fly
because they wouldn't tell her not to
she'd fly a hundred million miles away
or until someone stopped her
and that someone would be perfect
or so she hopes

she wishes she could fly
and take everything with her
that she'd ever wanted
she wishes she could stop crying
and he could help
by just saying something
but he never will

she wishes she could fly
and really believe
she lives on blind faith
and breaks her own rules
the taste kept her going
and it always will.

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she wishes she could fly
above the clouds
and be there all alone
far from the ground
she knows that she will die someday
but at least she's flown.

--The Invisible Man


Children dance
in the light of the moon.
Would you mind if my best friend
screamed beyond extent?
Don't be frightened, just join her.
Together we scream.
Not daring to stop,
Because then we would have to face
the very silence we were running from.

Dancing in the moonlite,
I can find myself.
But the screaming still rings through my ears.
How could I forget?
What it was like,
to truly be me?
Listen to me.
How could anyone love me,
When I have no love to return?
I will continue to scream for eternity.
I'm sorry,
But it's the only time I'm in ecstasy.
Truly trying to be myself.




The Real Me

The real me
Isn't anything like what you see here
She is not the boisterous, bubbling girl
who seems ever present
She is quiet, resigned, an observer
She tests the water before she jumps in
And stands on her own two feet
Her interior and exterior beauty are in
an uncompromising balance

If I could show her for hours at a time
Instead of brief fleeting glimpses
Then all my worries and all my fears
Would pass beyond the walls of existence




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sitting by the fire
i lose my perspective
i forget the times
when i sat in my room
crying about him
i forget how much it hurt
to spend my time alone
i suddenly can't remember
how often i waited
how long i waited
how faithfully i waited
words of the past
melt in the flames
and fly to the stars
with the sparks and the smoke
they make me lose track
of those months in-between
when we called each other names
and tried to forget
tonight is the same
as it was before
sitting by the fire
he takes my hand
touches my hair
turns toward me
light from the blaze
plays on his face
i can't remember
it's been like this before
his lips are gentle
and warm like the flame
as we lean toward each other
the flames leap upward
the fire reaches skyward
and engulfs us




Too much. Too much work, too much pressure, too many problems. The hard yellow light from my study lamp casts harsh shadows among my books and papers, causing them to reflect the sickly radiance as a pale, jaundiced white. I long for freedom, escape. Leaving my studies, I quickly exit the constricted, stuffy, old building, walking out into a tableau of moonlight. Even the ugly, hulking mass of my dormitory is altered in the moonlight, the stones of the foundation cut by man and nature into a spiderweb of raised, weathered ridges. Running lightly along the pavement, my bare feet flighty even among the stones and fallen leaves of the road, I run until I find an open, unaltered field.

Silence. Absolute, total, fragile silence. The crystal air revives and refreshes, the cool clarity refreshing after a difficult day. Overhead, the moon smiles benevolently down upon the fields, silvering the grass with its distant gaze. The icy cold of the dew in the soft, uncut grass excites my feet, driving them to feats of tremendous endurance, lifting high over the calm sea of grass lying so far beneath my rejoicing feet.

The tremendous leaps carry me across the field swiftly, floating on the cool night breeze. Bounding eagerly forward, the crispness of the night fills me; the first icy hints of the winter hanging tantalizingly on the air, sweetly dry after the oppressive, stifling humidity of the summer past. Above, the stars shift slowly in their eternal dance, floating, flowing over the rivers of time, eternal and unchanging. The world is a wonder in silver and black, all color gone, only the tracing of the gentle moonlight to guide the eye to newer and more fantastic forms and designs.

Ahead, the soft forms of the trees that bound this clearing seem strangely shrunken and silent, my height seeming to rival even that of the tallest trees. I spy upon this enclave of a strange species, foreign to these grassy fields, admiring its symmetry, and seeking asylum from the world within its tangled branches. Even as I watch, this seemingly tiny glade rises into a minor conclave of straight, newly planted pines amid their older and taller forefathers, little scarred by the passage of time.

Ahead, the small stand of trees, each bedecked in a thousand glistening points of dew, welcomes me to it icy confines, the coolly wet branches parting before my insistent approach, diving towards the center of this miniature forest. Quietly, I slip between the moisture-laden branches, the dew trickling slowly down my arm to the elbow, where, pooling, it drips silently


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onto the forest floor. Standing tall, the tops of the trees stretch above my head, their initial Lilliputian appearance forgotten as I sit in the shade of an elder tree, its bark-scaled trunk supporting the weight of my torso as I lean tiredly into it, trying to meld with nature through this connection between myself and this ancient giant among these newer, younger trees.

In years before, I had climbed this tree's virgin boughs, spending hours balanced finely on a branch, reading or listening, or merely drinking in the view and listening to the voice of nature. In times past, I had even slept up here on warm summer nights, finding solace in the living bark beneath me, the murmuring branches around me, and the fantastic vault of the heavens above me. Many of my happiest nights were spent in careless lassitude between two of these sturdy branches, the solidity of the trunk buffering my position, with the wind to rock me to sleep.

I have not traveled this tree in many years, but tonight I feel the old hunger inside of me, and slowly, unsure of the old paths which I used to follow so surely, I struggle up the tree, each familiar discovery reminding me of these old ways, the ways I used to practice so well. The sky spins above me as I settle into my favorite nook, a forking of the main trunk where one strong branch steals near half the trunk's diameter from its upward reaching, and here I settle to reestablish my bond with nature. Slowly, tentatively, I settle into my old patterns, the cool crispness of the night waken my senses, and, slowly, intoxicated by the beauty and power of the scene before me, I drift into sleep, grateful for the lethe offered me at last.




When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And feel that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

--John Keats

"Eyes in the Dark" is published occasionally by:

The Editor

Writers --Hunter Rose, The Invisible Man, Shadow, Sparrow, Chris Roach, Ava, Vega, Darkstar, Kuroi Ayame, Quinn

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