So tell me brightly, once again, oh Bird
Why we have no Joy? A third of Life
Was buried by some self-deluded strife
And left imprisoned by an impish word.
All numb and softly supple, now so cold
No whispers emanate that pass those bars
Which steal a path that ought to have known stars
That should have shown before our growing old.
So let me hear your voice again, my friend
Whose equal sorry way, of turns I know
Whose song–your song–which I would grow
To match what Is; so let us therefore bend
New paths surrendered to our will and get
Ourselves beyond what past we each regret.
The pestering being given into, I finally conceded that a pet would be a welcome addition to the home. Unfortunately, after various options were considered, four legged and feathered, we somehow decided on both. Now, let me tell you that hippogryphs are a bit too interesting to be considered proper pets. Ours had an endearing character and would caw-neigh loudly from the roof, fly down and gently accept scraps of meat mixed with hay from my hands, then fly off in a flurry of clattering hooves and wing beats. Everything seemed fine until one day, my next door neighbor came around with a suspicious look asking if I’d seen his Labradors and “What happened to my wife’s Gardenias?” I swore to him I knew nothing of this but I had my suspicions and our relationship became strained. He finally took matters into his own hands by acquiring his own hippogryph, a mare-hen to match our cock-stallion and as soon as she came into season the pair galloped then flew off to mate (we assumed) and were neither seen nor heard from again.
The issue of pet ownership still nagging, we decided to get a manticore instead. These beasts are somewhat more manageable, being mammals, albeit the disconcerting human head. Ours always greeted me cheerfully upon arriving home from a busy day; heart wrenching tears of joy watering his face down to a neatly trimmed beard while wagging a spiked tail against, and demolishing, our furniture. He also had a habit of using the garage door as a scratching post; just as well we kept nothing of value in the garage so it was a good joke on the burglars. I loved him though as he would often rest his head on my shoulder as I would sit on the arm chair; his eyes mimicking my own rolling past each line of verse from The Inferno or The Waste Land; either of which was what our home was in danger of becoming when we discovered a second mortgage was calculated on to pay for replacing furniture more frequently than our bath towels. So we enticed our manticore into the trailer one sad morning to bring him to the zoo. The keepers were only too happy to own a mythical creature since the pandas were no longer drawing the crowds like they used to. I left him there and we kissed each other on the lips and I saw those disconcerting tears, now of sorrow, for the last time.
In desperation, we finally decided on a more manageable pet so we bought a cat. Now our problems really started…
– sebastian 2007
Watching the moon phases
I take wing, and train eyes
On each minor tragedy
That passed this story.
How many there are I cannot tell
But they cover the ground of it
Alternating with the moonlight
This story of mine.
Making myself useful to the rest
And seeing the signs
That remain the covering of pasts
“see now” sang crow pointing flowery stick
“there she lies, gaia’s wounded agony’d, you’d make
listen to that elemental magick
dispel those future courses we might take.”
then, we were sure and thought we’d known the course
built with steel and cindered in smog and smoke
made with bloody capital thrown in bourse
and the earth trembled, and in time awoke
continued he “see now how stick does grow?”
“it comes from dirt and air and sun and rain”
“these things better should place in store” said crow
“‘lest your children’s children know only pain”
— sebastian 2007