Missing Shakespeare

He loved her and deep down he still loved her.


“Let slip the dogs of war.”

He heard it first in a Star Trek movie years ago – he couldn’t remember which one.  He stirred his coffee and decided he couldn’t remember which Shakespeare play the quote was from either.  He just knew that whenever he thought of that quote now, he thought of his ex-wife.

He loved her and deep down he still loved her.

He didn’t take that fact out and play with it very often.  When that wriggling little black mass of goo started forward he took the dog out and tossed the ball until they were both exhausted.  He worried because old Fido (his actual name by the way) didn’t want to run and play fetch as often or as long as they used to.  That was a problem because lately that mentioned black, mass of destruction was surfacing more often.

He knew why, his second marriage was failing.  He married her on a whim.  She was there, he was there, a need was met and he thought he might as well continue meeting that need.  It was fine for the first six or seven months until she decided she was in love.

He dress appropriately, was even happy on the day but now…

Now his coffee was stale and over cooked and the nice neat-as-a-pin house he lived in seemed to be layered in a very thin coating of dust.

She wasn’t lazy, she worked.  She couldn’t cook and that was fine, it was just the two of them and he enjoyed cooking.  She enjoyed reading and at first that was fine.  They enjoyed walking down town to the used bookstore, he would walk away with an edition of Scott he couldn’t believe he had the good luck to find and she would walk away with a bag of paperbacks.

At first it was fun.  She tried everything on him – everything.  He even flipped through the books but when he came across some of the descriptive parts of the male anatomy he thought he’d leave it up to her.

They had been married about a year when he found himself wide-awake beside her.  She was softly sleeping and he was puzzled.  What scene had they just played out, what plagiarism in bed did they just perpetrate?

That’s when the face of his first wife drifted in front of him and he sat bolt upright.  What if he slipped, what if he got so caught up in the current rush of love making but uttered in ecstasy his first wife’s name?

His first wife read Shakespeare.  Loved it.  She read and re read the plays.  She looked so lovely during the festivals they attended.  They were young, inexperienced and let slip away the teachings of commitment.

Where was she, what was she doing?  Did she garden?  Did she teach?  Did she read and study and whisper to her husband what she had learned that day, her new insights and word play?

He stirred his coffee and watched the dust motes on the windowpane.


Trip Her

Why not trip him? Because the world doesn’t persecute intelligent men. Intelligent men are simply persecuted in a family setting, not on a societal scale.

I have learned, from dubious experience, (dubious being a universal description or rather an attitude toward the experience of..well, experience) that to avoid extreme mental fatigue and emotional pain avoid intelligence.  There is not much hope for you if you are intelligent already.  I’m afraid you must simply live your life out and take the mistake up with God when you meet Him.  But if someone you know is near the brink, the precipice, the mountain top of intelligence, trip her.

Why not trip him?  Because the world doesn’t persecute intelligent men.  Intelligent men are simply persecuted in a family setting, not on a societal scale.

Shut up.

Once a woman is tripped and looking confused and perhaps a little bloodied try and reason with her.  Maybe she is not physically attractive in the modern sense.  Perhaps she is older and has decided to be a “late bloomer.”  Stop her.

Explain to her that intelligence will only bring her grief.  You need not explain to her how if she has not actually accrued intelligence or if she is at the cusp of understanding, there is time to push her back into the womb of self-absorption.  Tell her to take a long hard look at her constituents in the pursuit of marriage, relationship and exquisite mind melding sex.  Don’t tell her those goals will never happen just tell her the pursuit of romantic love will be less harrowing than the pursuit of intelligence.

Are these lies?

Shut up.

Tell the woman you are trying to save, that she must trust someone and to trust you.  Intelligence is a never-ending pursuit and it will only, in the end, frustrate and demoralize.  Whereas on the other hand, the pursuit of relationship will frustrate and demoralize but she will have a better body (due to her pursuit of just the right partner) and she will have the indulgence of self-deception when explaining to a bleary-eyed intelligent woman how happy and content she herself is in her safe and happy relationship.  Will it be a lie?

Yes, but the bottom line is not to have love or even have intelligence but to outdo the other woman.  That’s what women want.  Not to be happy, content or intelligent but to be better than the next woman.

Think about it.  A group of women around some table in a restaurant, complaining about the job, the husband the kids and trying to outdo each other.  Then in walks a 20 something knock-out that they wouldn’t notice if the men in the room didn’t stop and gaze with wonder and awe.  Nothing, and I mean nothing unites women faster than an outsider beauty.  The only one who would throw this unity out the window is the intelligent woman.  The woman who would calmly state that the beauty can’t help she’s beautiful, that each one of them had their opportunity, and that they are all in different stages in their lives – give the girl a break.

See?  Intelligent.

And lonely.


He Waits For Me There

I walk the stone steps alone. The pillars attend me,

the stars my veil,

I walk the stone steps alone.  The pillars attend me,

the stars my veil,

the blackened night sky domes the ancient stone cathedral.

He waits for me there, I feel his presence upon the dais of the altar.

The dress I made myself, feels as if it will lift from my body.

He said, make the dress white with gold cuffs and hem a jewel of red at the neck.

I stand upon the old cathedral patio,

stones tumbled down ages ago

but no matter,

the opening is vast and the stone pews though all askew still leaves a path.

I feel him before me.

The debris of leaves and growing weeds between the flagstones,

the moon shines my direction pointing to the alter

a single candle there and the presence of another.

I pause and spread my hands against my midriff

feeling myself breathe; ragged, frightened, unready.

I step across the threshold and hear the murmur of a crowd long dead

a hushed whisper of those who see me and wonder at the centuries it takes to fulfill a promise.

A step further in and the stars seem to lower and the darkness heightens outside upon freedom.

The silver light fills the windows with the night’s own silver and opaque mullioned windows.

The ruin illuminates the long ago history and my escape and recapture.

One step up to the alter,

I lift the hem of my dress, heavy now in my weakened hands

I place my foot on the altar step,

his hand, his hand alone, from the darkness, appears.

My throat constricts.

to take the hand from the darkness just emerged; fills me with dread.

The audience long dead and long waiting pauses in a useless breath,

they wait for me to reach my hand to him.

My skin upon his gray pallor.

His dark visage emerges from the gloom,

a smile triumphant and the light from the one candle fills the cathedral room.

And I am there his triumph, my life.

And gone from the world of freedom.

– See more at: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Poetry/53367#sthash.eUwWWvqB.dpuf

Black and Thin

Swift it flows, black and thin

Sharp the glint.

The moon hangs low and brilliant,


silhouettes — brightening the night.

I’ll see her shadow dance

I’ll narrow in upon

the heart he loves.

She dances in love, she raises her arms

to the Above.

I’ll pierce her shadow

and so pierce him.

I’ll salt-tear my face, bite my lip, taste

the blood at the anguish of this night

So pierced, my friends.

Deep in my throat, I taste the iron of hate.

Deep in my heart I know the waste.

And yet swift it flows, black and thin

This river within, this torrent of hate

for both of them.

And when the deed is done, the small kingdom

Of two taken to one

I’ll return to my white and silver throne

I’ll return to praises and music,

no one knows

the black and thin deeds I’ve done.



She didn’t realize until she was older that she was mistaken. I’ll cut to the chase, I won’t beat around the bush here but in the summation of her misconception is the story. She realized that the all-encompassing way of life her parents taught her to embrace; the idea of being a decent human being, to accept people and circumstances the way they are, to not pass judgment unless it was a civic duty and to never swerve the car she was driving to deliberately hit a ground hog were, in short, diabolical.

She didn’t realize until she was older that she was mistaken.  I’ll cut to the chase, I won’t beat around the bush here but in the summation of her misconception is the story.  She realized that the all-encompassing way of life her parents taught her to embrace; the idea of being a decent human being, to accept people and circumstances the way they are, to not pass judgment unless it was a civic duty and to never swerve the car she was driving to deliberately hit a ground hog were, in short, diabolical.  The ideas mentioned were diabolical because on the surface they can be summed up as “good,” but to accomplish them left life just that thin as finding a surface with nothing beneath it.

Her soul, her psyche, her intuition screamed out against her very strong mind.  Her soul, her psyche her intuition were parts of her that knew better but were refused voice by her mind.  Her mind was so sharpened by her parents as to be on guard against insidious attacks made by those parts of her she was told to distrust.

Are there those who grow old and die and say during that process that their parents may be wrong but never waver from the path they were set upon?

Well, she was that close.  No, she had no experience other than reading in which to understand that the narrowing down of the flat surface of “good,” or “goodness,” or even that dreaded apparition, “being good,” meant, in reality, a deep pool of cool gloom.  Good alone was simply drowning.

She had read a passage from an author (an old dusty prophet long dead) whom her parents would certainly have thought from the pedantic, judgmental and self-righteous camp and got the idea that if she stopped the flattening out of “good,” she may find something interesting.

But alas where to start?  How could she focus on a point of interest when from her lofty place in life all seemed flat.  Please do not come under the impression that flat is in anyway synonymous to boring.  Her life was not boring.  She was actually quite busy in flattening out the rest of the world and smiling blithely over the serene faces that she left in her wake. Can’t you see them, those relieved of their beliefs, those no longer worried about their convictions because from a distance the bumps, cliffs, peaks, and the deep look flat.

Live and let live.  Wrong could be right for your neighbor.  What harm is there?

There is a power skimming over the water.  Imagine the leathery wings of a dragon or the feathers of a great eagle, extended as far as possible and just inches from the water.  The power of the glide, the mist of cool water and the idea that nothing, absolutely nothing is beneath that inch of calm water.  Where does the eagle grab his prey and where does the dragon plunge to explore the depths of ancient cities and creatures?

Yes, of course, metaphors to her because this world is worth preserving.


Cnaejna’s Song

Come with me to the skylines of Chicago, New York, London.

I am rejected by God for good reason but come with me.


See the steeple, pierced deep and dimpled down between the

Steel and glass scrapers of the sky that are dark now like me.


Take my hand and feel the ice cold sorrow of what life is for me

I’ll allow you to think that you can save me.


I’ve seen so many years, so many attempts at power and vindictiveness.

I didn’t relinquish my hope of heaven for any of these.


Violence and its shock do not soften by its frequency -not for me.

Is that why you can pity me?


My motive was to live.  My motive is to feel.  My desire is now.

Listen to my siren voice if reason cannot defeat fear.


She did shine like a star even as a child.  Her green eyes glowed and her

Red hair was brilliant like the sun and the mist could not defeat her.


I summoned her like all young girls that had potential to survive the

Long years of life and the idea of hell in the end.


But she loved. She loved impossibly and I knew but he did not until

The end.


Such girls are wasted on men, wasted on love.  I was her escape to leave

Pain, gain knowledge and learn a wandering, wailing peace.


Come with me to the skyline of London, the dark murky shadows and

Man’s pitiful attempts at lighted darkness.


Come with me to set her free or to end me.  For she has chosen

Her enemy in me; neither of us beautiful, neither seeking peace.


Come with me to feel the vibrations of life’s power on which I feed.


The Scariest Time of Day

There’s a kid I know that can’t be insulted and I envy him. No one will play with him so he played by himself until he saw me. I watch for him near the swing set when his mother drops him off in the morning. He talks and plays with me now.

The scariest time of day is just after lunch and on the playground.  It’s better if the clouds are low but when the sun is out, yes that’s the scariest time of day.

There’s a kid I know that can’t be insulted and I envy him.  No one will play with him so he played by himself until he saw me.  I watch for him near the swing set when his mother drops him off in the morning.  He talks and plays with me now.

We met just as the new school year was starting he seemed a little lost, not his jovial self.  He didn’t run about the playground trying to fit into games.  He looked around, his bright blue eyes scanning all the children, laughing, fighting, crying or hiding.  The sun was high and I was nervous for I felt exposed.

He was cautious in his approach and spoke to me.

“Hello,” he said

I said nothing.

He told me his name but I won’t tell you.  He’s my friend now, none of you wanted him.

“Why are you always at this swing set, there are lots of places to play?”

He reached out his hand and I shied away.  It was broad daylight and I needed to stay in the shadows so he sat down and played in the grass next to me.

Once a playground assistant came to him and asked what he was doing.

“Looking for a four leaf clover for the girl who won’t tell me her name.”

“What girl?”

“The girl who can’t come out into the sun because she’s afraid.”

The playground assistant peered into the shadows where I stood and narrowed her eyes as if she could just see me.

I became suddenly angry at the intrusion.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because he wasn’t doing anything but being kind to me and nobody cared before now.  The playground assistant shied away.

“You shouldn’t do that,” said my friend.  “People don’t understand.”

“What does that mean, ‘people don’t understand,’?” I asked.

My friend shrugged. “I don’t know, it’s what my mother says when I’m sad that nobody likes me.”

“I never told my mother nobody liked me,” I said

“Where is your mother now?” he asked.

“Long dead,” I said.

I liked my little friend all the more because he didn’t try to sympathize.  He simply gave a little shudder, looked about the loud, clamorous playground with one worried playground assistant always glancing our way.

“Would you like to come home with me?  You can stay in my room, out of the sun and play with the toys I have in the closet,” he said.

“Who would take care of you on the playground if I’m in your room?” I asked.

“I’m sorry your dead,” he said suddenly.  I felt he meant it.

“I’m sorry too and more so that you find me less frightening than the living around you,” I said.