The creature curled around the entire perimeter of the octagonal room, nearly invisible in the dim light. Ceelken the mage tried not to look at it, but every few seconds the flicker of a candle tossed a fragment of color here or there, at the edge of sight, pulling his eye against his will. The result was his glance darted restlessly, making him look like a guilty supplicant.
“You’ve brought serious accusations, Heer Ceelken,” said Maddig Vachon. She stood erect near the center of the room,...
It was not the white fire across the pole
nor trumpets above the desert,
but a falling away—
the vast dissolution.
Like an ice flow, pieces broke off
and flowed away
Everyone knew the reasons
and there were a thousand reasons
each one reasonable
until one day,
it was we who broke off
and floated away
and now, none of it makes any sense
We are told that somewhere, over that way,
politicians still debate in the forums,
and everyone is working very hard on the problem.
Let death come to me in mid-stride, while I am occupied with other matters.
Let my obituary be read and forgotten.
Let my children tell their children about the grandfather they barely knew, spinning tales that make me wise and mysterious.
Let my great-grandchildren at least hear my name.
Then let me be forgotten for a time, little more than a tally in a demographer's chart.
Let the decades blow through, sweeping away generations, then let someone find my name in a genealogy, some...
She is deafened by the sound of her own opinions.
They echo and rattle between the walls.
She rings them like cathedral bells;
There she is in the back
red-faced as a sacristan
delirious among the bell ropes.
When I was twenty, ten years was half my whole life.
When I was forty, they were just another phase.
When I reached sixty, ten years drifted by like a sweet memory.
Now at eighty, I misplace whole decades at a time and
ten years pass
swift as a child's summer.
In the slow stride of galaxies is heard
the pulse of countless veins:
wound about the finger and beneath the foot,
you we ride and wear like diamonds
like the tiara of a distant queen.
All of evolution has led to this moment.
Our epicycle without end
is etched in the blackness
and we trace our path like Demosthenes,
intent upon the sand.
When at last, green mother,
you have withered to dust and old air
and the one eye falters and fades,
when we stand on other...