Archives for the month of: July, 2015

Now they entered a different kind of world. And the ride entered a new phase. For so long, they had struggled to complete their journey, and their world had shrunk, more or less, to the size of a journey. The places they passed through were just places they left behind. Akzasosan had once quoted a philosopher to Zy: The journey forgets its maker, that old Master had said. The journey forgets its maker. Yet, to Zy, it seemed for a long time the complete opposite: the makers forgot the journey. That was how it was, wasn’t it?

How many villages had they passed through or passed by now? A hundred? Yes, easily. How many of them lingered in his mind? Only a handful. Which was the most important one? Well, not any of those Zy had already seen – no. The most important village was the next one – the village Zy hadn’t seen. Why? Because that was the next step on the way.


Excerpt from Dustless, Volume 14 | The Governor of the
Desolate Cantons

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I walked through the fields of rye,
down by the river where the willows and the clouds
move and are still in the flowing waters – move and are still.
I think you know the place I mean.
And there I first heard my lover’s voice
as he strolled through the daylight as if he owned it.
You know, the land is very flat on RezIsimgria,
and the fields are wide.
And there, by the river, I first heard my lover’s voice,
singing under the empty skies
which burn above the fields of rye.

Rye, rye – the fields of rye.

He saw me and he came over to me – to me! –
who have nothing, and am no one.
He smiled as he spoke to me, there by the river’s side
where the willows and the clouds and the watermint
gather the sunlight when it is day, and when it is night
gather the moonlight.
I think you know the place I mean.
And I, a foolish one, smiled back at him, and he took my smile
as if he owned it.
I lost my smile to him on that first day
as I walked with him under the empty skies
which burn above the fields of rye.

Rye, rye – the fields of rye.

On that first day I lost my smile,
when first I heard my lover speak
on the lonely path through the fields
in summer, when the rye was tall.
And I was frightened there may be no other days
when I would hear him speak or sing.
But he said, if I would kiss him there, upon his lips –
I think you know the place I mean –
then he would meet me another day,
there where the river moves and is still,
and we would kiss again beneath the empty skies
which burnish the fields of rye

Rye, rye – the fields of rye.

On that first day, I lost my smile,
and my first kiss, too, he took
as if he owned it.
It was late summer, and the rye was tall
and hid us like a golden wall where we lay down
among the old willows, on the field’s edge.
He said if I would give him my soul
there upon the hardened soil –
I think you know the place I mean –
then he would meet with me on other days
and he would be the empty skies
and I would be the fields of rye.

Rye, rye – the fields of rye

On that first day, I lost my smile;
I lost my kiss, and my soul, too.
I don’t regret it, none of this: smile, kiss and soul were his,
he owned them, I only gave them back to him.
And when he sang as he walked away,
leaving me beside the river, and the river changed,
though the river was still –
I think you know the place I mean –
I knew there would be no other days
when we would meet, and that my soul
was lost on a smile and on a kiss, forever,
because I was his.
Now I am alone, but not alone, and I
am left tearless among the fields of rye

Rye, rye – the fields of rye

And autumn came, he did not return.
He was a grey-eyed one, and they do not return.
And autumn came, and the scythes began to make a fall
of the golden walls of the fields of rye.
Still I walked there, where the river bends away,
like a sickle moon, westwards towards SanShoNar –
perhaps you know the place I mean? –
under the willows where the earth was burnt
to make ready for the cruel plough
under the empty, endless skies
where I lay down among the fields of rye.

Rye, rye – the fields of rye
I lie down among the rye

*     *     *     *     *

N  O  T  E  S

RezIsimgria | The LateAncient term (see Language) for the vast plains to the east and north of the Land of O (see Geography | and Maps). “Rez” = plains; “Isimgria” = without limit, or without end. In the modern tongue, the region of RezIsimgria is known as “the Endless Plains”


Re-post | Originally posted December 2013

What does it mean to be “OnDomin“?

The OnDomin were the people who first watched, who were first vigilant. While other people of the era attended only to their own immediate circumstances, which formed a kind of corridor along which they were driven, each to one corridor in a maze of similar corridors, the OnDomin looked up, looked out, looked beyond, looked within, looked from above, and saw.

The maze fell away. The walls melted. Their vision was intense. Their gaze was calm, patient, impersonal.

It can be said that they were the first to see the world at all. They looked beyond themselves, and they went a new way to the crowd: they were no longer simply driven along by the winds of other people’s voices, they were no longer lost in the forest of noise and opinion, but they rose: they looked from above. They looked down on the forest, in the light above the tops of the trees, and flew higher than the currents of the wind, so the distracting voices fell silent.

They were alone. They could hear. They could see. They had achieved purity.

The OnDomin vanished, and their vigilance ended. The life of their vision fell away. The world retreated, back into the noise of crowds, into the racket of war and money, the hiss of desire, the nag of habit, the addiction to the nearest point of escape from true thought. If a person doesn’t stand apart, and look carefully, what will they be? The beautiful world of the OnDomin can’t be seen by those fighting for their moment on the stage, jostling for the brightest place in the mirror.

A new gaze is required, a new people, capable of sacrifice and serious endeavour. To be OnDomin, to see the world again, for the first time, as an explorer might cross an empty desert or a sea, and find themselves, at last, after much struggle, arriving at a land without footsteps.

They will see plants and animals never seen before. Rivers, skies, mountains, plains. They will see the world as the OnDomin see it: that is, for the first time, as it is perfect, just at the very moment it comes into life, and the very moment it dies. They will see the whole, while others only see the parts. By seeing in a new way, they will build in a new way. They will begin, and not end.

Where are they, the OnDomin? Who among us will take these first steps, away from the centre, towards the edge of things, the limit of the old ideas? Turn their backs on decaying regimes, on corrupt dynasties, and relinquish stale power. Enter the more derelict parts of the city, see the poor struggling, penned in by the wealthy, their drugs tossed to them, their narcotics and spirits and toxins to stupefy and blinker, their bodies ground down by labour and by blight, by deprived sleep and by the repeated frustration of small, unrealised dreams. Perhaps it will be someone from among the poor who will rise, leave off the game of worn-out life, and walk away? Or it might be one of the wealthy, the indolent, fretful among their furnishings and perfumes and jewels, perhaps one of these people will sicken of the endless routine of sweetness, and decide upon a fresh venture, seek a new vision, above the silks and the ivory and the drowsy sound of delicious lutes? Or a person from the mercantile faction, perhaps they will lift their heads one day, and look for the first time, and listen, among the chatter of barter and the propositions, the accumulation of possessions and the calculations of loans, the persistent little snarl of profit, and find that they do not want to be here, that these things and this way of getting through have become drained of reality, and are no longer worth the waste of life?

Will anyone become OnDomin? Or will the world of the OnDomin remain undiscovered, lost, as the cities of great civilisations are overwhelmed, abandoned to jungle and the tides?

Where are they?

Where are you?

Who is the young one there?
A figure in silks hooded, veiled
beside her house?

I love the world in winter:
the land frozen, and the steadfast ice.
But who is the young one there,
shaking loose snowflakes from his parasol?

Of the two of us, who is the true lover? The one
who yearns for the white stillness
of pure winter?
Or the one who,
green and quickening,
is faithless with a growing change?

Who is the lover in the snow?


Re-post | Originally posted December 2013

[from Dustless | Volume 16 / The Lover in the Snow [i]

I am just a jahzig girl.
My village is called Alone.
Drummers drumming, flags unfurled
they came from the Forbidden Zone.
And he was a pretty soldier boy,
made for kisses and for joy,
and he said, Now come with me
to the Heart of Eternity –
the Heart of Eternity.

I followed them, the column long,
in summer on the dusty roads.
We walked in a trail of wheels and songs
carrying our loads.
For he was a pretty soldier boy
made for kisses and for joy,
and he said, Soon you will see
the Heart of Eternity –
the Heart of Eternity.

LuinShar, oh LuinShar
the city of a thousand towers
and of imperial powers
where moonlight on the Sacred Tower
burns down all our human hours
to the sudden moment of a falling star
gliding over LuinShar.

For weeks we marched over the plains,
at night upon the endless roads
he bound me up with such soft chains
I carried a precious load.
He was such a pretty soldier boy
made for kisses, made for joy,
and so we laid beneath a dusty tree
in the Heart of Eternity –
the Heart of Eternity.

I grew sad in LuinShar
for the world of orphans we made there.
But he would never make a father
or care about another’s care.
For he was a pretty soldier boy
made for kisses and for joy,
and left us under autumn trees
at the Heart of Eternity –
the Heart of Eternity.

LuinShar, oh LuinShar
the city of a thousand towers
and of imperial powers
where moonlight on the Sacred Tower
burns down all our human hours
to the sudden moment of a falling star
gliding over LuinShar.

*     *     *     *     *

N  O  T  E  S

jahzig |  Meaning, roughly, “peasant”

Forbidden Zone | Buffer zone, created to protect the Western from the Eastern Lands

Heart of Eternity / LuinShar | LuinShar is the great central capital city of the Empire of the Western Lands. (Luin means “city”, and Shar means “tower”: LuinShar is thus also known as “the City of Towers”. Another name for Shar is “the Heart of Eternity”.


RE-POST | Originally posted November 2013