Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Brothers and Sisters

Crossing streets is dangerous business

A little brother, minding his business
Crossing quickly quietly in the 'walk
Inviolet safety of two white lines
Violated

Passing car paying no mind
To little brother's right
He stops, tries to flee

Wheels too fast uncaring unvarying
A bump in the night
A life lost in my sight

A cop distracted driving

Sunday, June 12, 2016

JW: Body, Mind, and Soul (Cecil, 5)

Previous chapter

As the sun dipped lower to the horizon and started started growing into night, Cecil's mind revisited his lessons with Leans-Into-The-Wind. His teacher did more than lecture the old ways of coexistence, Johnson lived it, and taught Cecil the names and ways of The People. They'd argued on his birthday, about the drugs, about Charlie and true animal bonding. Johnson called it cutting corners, Cecil called it lubricating the process, and his mother tried to intervene. It was too much, and he took off, using the lessons in tracking and finding trails to hide his own, though he always suspected Johnson could have found him if he tried. Cecil disappeared himself into the reclaimed wilderness to let him find opportunity and freedom where he'd be less likely to be interrupted.

And now this call. It wasn't the first call in the two years he'd been on his own, but it was the first time his teacher had been mentioned.

In a moment of conflict and desperation, Cecil clambered up upon his cabin roof, unslung the clay flute, closed his eyes, and started playing. It was no tune, no melody that descended from the pipe, but a spontaneous merging of all the calls he used for his pack. It was no summons, merely a question: Will you come?

This was only the second time he'd done this. The notes lingered over his home--the cabin, the woods--and all the animals that resided in the area that claimed membership knew that it was as much an invitation as it was a white flag.

Come in peace, my brothers and sister. Come and join this peace, it said. And if you cannot keep the peace, no punishment will follow.

That was how Cecil ruled: not with an iron fist, but with an open heart.

When he lowered the flute, letting the notes drift off into silence, and opened his eyes, he found himself surrounded. Those that could reach the roof laid at his feet, and those that could not arrayed themself in the grasses around the cabin.

Two asps borrowed warmth in the fading day from Zal and Rudabeh. Two fieldmice cuddled close to two 'chucks, two flying squirrels, and two hares. A pair or each white-tails, elk, coyot' and horse knelt with Rama and Sita. Huginn and Muninn were joined by falcons, robins, finches, eagles, egrets, and jays.

Cecil looked around at all the faces looking back at him, and wondered aloud, "Is this what they fear? Peace? Harmony?"

A bullfrog burped in response, as he and his mate hopped belatedly into the gathering.

Cecil laughed. "Sorry Knemu, sorry Heqet. Didn't mean to start without you. Settle in, no rush, and make yourself comfortable."

Knemu burped again, and they eased their way forward to the front, settling down between the forelegs of Ammit, jaguar. Her brother, Anub, sneezed a laugh at the sight, before the four turned their attention back to Cecil.

"Something is coming. Through you, I've felt it. I can't tell what it is, or where it is, or how far of it is, but it's not good news. We staved off the last mass-migration by holding strong together, but this... feels bigger... feels worse. I don't know if we can weather it alone.

"If you haven't heard, I've received a call from my folks. Leans-Into-The-Wind will be there in a few days, and--"

Yips and shouts erupt from the crowd. Tails start waving and smacking noses.

Cecil holds out his hands and tries to call for silence, but none comes until Knemu rips a loud burp. "Thanks, Knemu. I can see those of you who have met Charlie, miss him greatly, and those who haven't wish to meet him. Since you all seem to want to go so badly, I guess I shouldn't argue. That said, I'll need somebody to watch the cabin while we're gone. Any volunteers?"

Silence falls over the pack faster than ever.

"Knemu? I know you've probably got little ones to look after, but if you could pay some extra attention to local vibrartions, I'd appreciate it. I'll bring you back something special."

The bullfrog hummed in response, and started hopping back to his pond.

"Well then. It looks like we're all settled. We leave in the morning."