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a portrait: june

a portrait: june

A Chapter by An owl on the moon

Chapter 6 of my book "An owl on the moon..."


     Wild roses and olive brush hide the soft gray sea as burning wind scrapes the barred windows, and musty salt-flavored air wrestles with dust and leaves in the lobby. Empty faces line the walls. I step outside to feel the freshness of the air.

     Sarah approaches.  Her eyes swallow the sun and sea.

     “I’ve been dreaming again,” I say.

     “And are your dreams of substance?”  This she sings with symmetry.

     “They seem more substantial than my waking times.” I turn to grasp her key.

     “I compare your dreams to a sick lady:


She glides on wings in the night,

Living fantasies of faithless might.

When the light of truth floods her eyes,

Her fragile body faints and dies.”


     At her words I stand silent.

     “For once in your life,” she says, “your mouth is stone.”

     “And is your heart,” I whisper, “surrounded by sarcasm’s shield.”

     “What was that?  Did the statue speak?  Could the stone have a tongue?  You truly are marooned at this obscure place.”

     “And, you,”  I whisper.  “Will you go on painting your face while your heart wastes?  You journeyed from here to be educated and have returned with a greater emptiness.”

     “For whatever reason, I do not know, my education gave birth to my cynicism.”  With this, we enter the lobby and she takes the key to her upper chamber overlooking the sea.  My emotions are words, with no feeling or substance.


Created on paper with pencil and paint,

an image that looks like a man.

Brushed strokes of antiquity lay ‘cross the mat

and blend in the ultimate plan.

But all is of oil and lead on the page;

no breath in the dust of this heart.

No voice to sing or hands to hold;

this man is a pure work of art.


     The torch beacon begins to fire the night sky with its piercing flame.  It rises above the thundering flow and ancient stone cliffs, silently stirring the darkness.

     Beneath the song of the dark sky, I sit in stillness listening to the drummer.  Her ancient waters endlessly sweep the shore while lily and sapphire pearls bead the tapestry of ebony night.

     Iced fingers pierce my skin through my sweater, as a cold blanket drapes the earth and sea.  This fog brushes my face and halts my heart.  I wander weakly to my room and rest on the floor.

     In tranquil serenity I cease to stir. I close my eyes...


Placid visions etched on canvas:

winded fire;

perpetual disarray.

The sky; a stroke of amber and turquoise.

The sea; pools of jade and jasper.

The sweet smell of rose and summer.


     Light brushed alabaster-feather clouds seem to dance in the tranquil sky. Against the backdrop of earth and heaven her figure rests.  All sound becomes silence.

     Her hair, with strokes of ebony and auburn, cascades down her neck and across her soft shoulders. Her eyes are shaded olive with a single tear, and on her cheeks, lightly brushed ruddy tones.

     I see her here in eternal serenity; at distance from fear or pain.  At a distance, it seems, from life.

     Her crimson lips rise in delight at the vision her eyes behold; a golden glow of shifting stillness. The sun’s brilliance seems immortal, but beyond her vision a darkness comes.


Dark streaks of ink rape the sky of light.

Her yet smiling eyes cannot behold the sudden sight.

It becomes a challenge, a test of the will;

can you be content just standing still?


     In the darkness there seems to stand a scarlet shadow; the wandering specter of the sea.  At this a crack of thunder peals, and the sea swallows the night. 


     I open my eyes...

     A figure shadows my doorway, as the gray dawn light crawls through my open window.

     “I was watching your restless sleep,” a soft voice speaks.  “The door was unlocked.”  The sun reaches the crest of the horizon and illuminates the shadowed one.  There Sarah stands silent as the light caresses her ebony hair.

     She speaks again.  “I am sorry I was cruel to you yesterday afternoon. Did your dreams disturb your rest?”

     “My dreams are my only rest, and only ruin, for even my imagination manipulates my mind.  But even in my dreams you own my peace.  Why do you haunt me?” I ask, as my hands tremble and twitch.

      Sarah moves toward me in a white gown now engulfed by the rising sun’s flames.  She kneels before me and reaches for my hand.  I turn my head before her eyes can snatch my soul.

      “Only spirits haunt, but you can feel my bloody pulse.  A spirit is cold, but my hands have warmth.  You are right though, in this;


I wander as a spirit does,

looking for a home.

In all the multitudes of earth

my spirit walks alone.

We both lust after the idols of our imagination.”


      Her canvass portrait is enfleshed, and she lays her head across my legs.  Her dark hair reaches for the wooden beams that form my floor.  I cannot speak.  She can but tremble and sob.

      In an hour’s moment I stand to scan the sea.  I turn toward her huddled frame to speak.

      “You look for a friend who will paint your portrait in warm colors and soft strokes, but I am no such artist.  Illuminating light may reflect an empty chamber or a hollow haven. Sarah... Please find a friend with hope.  One who gives encouragement without coercion.  My love is far too slight to save you, and far too great to hold you here.”  I gaze back at the sea and she turns to me.  Her olive eyes reflect in my window as she stands to approach.

      “Not a friend,” she pauses.  “Not a friend on earth but you.  Will you also abandon me?  It was my father first, trying to buy my affections, and mother soon after with her fondness for friends.”  I cling desperately to the curtain as she continues.

      “Heaven only...Can even heaven cherish my tears?  Does heaven hear my heartbeat or taste my screaming sorrow?  Is it God’s back I see staring out this window at the waves?”  With her words spoken she runs through my doorway into daylight, and I turn to watch her flee.

      I step outside.  The sky is lightly brushed in blue with thin strands of gray and white stroked on the horizon.

      As I enter the lobby I view a scene of scurrying still-life.  Poignant stares and placid smiles are fixed on the faces of mute patrons.  Etched in the corner with a charcoal shadow sits Sarah, with tears streaming down her ashen cheeks.  I kneel beside her and speak.

      “Even the sun is but a shadow in comparison to you.  Its’ life is abstract, but you have a will.  Though your freedom is finite, grasp the paradise on this Midsummer Day.”

      She leans forward and raises her eyes toward mine.  Wiping her tears, she speaks.  “As Poussin has painted, even in paradise, death is king.  My story haunts the graveyard of my conscience, and I’m now too weak to have a will.


To weep in inner chambers,

and mourn the loss of dawn,

is finding shifting strangers,

to fix your hope upon.”


      A shadow nearby speaks.  “Hope within is hope amiss.  I didn’t mean to overhear your plea.”  Daniel Wirth approaches in his dark cloak and lily collar.


“The son of man all dressed in blood;

the Son of God, our brotherhood.

With what are we to fully pay,

the price of blood on Judgement day?

Our hope stands dressed in dripping white;

stained with our crimson life and light.”


     Sarah lifts her head to gaze at Daniel. Her eyes then wander to the sea, and she speaks.


“What violet visions from fragrant perfume,

When sapphire simplicity caresses the moon.

Where is the emerald essence of life?

Why is the sallow peace silenced by strife.

How is a scarlet stain able to heal,

the ravenly weakness your word can reveal?”


     “Sarah, if dust is your drink, how will your thirst be quenched?”

      “Daniel, if your dreams were desperation, how would you find release? My memory is a mocker that parades my path.” Daniel moves toward her though her eyes stay steady on the sea.

      “Sense the summer solstice in the winter of your soul-


The chill of darkened dreamish places,

with emberish glowing light erases.

The desperate demon hoarde defaces

the shadowed light around you still.


      Dear child, you’re carrying the weight of the moon on your soul. No one dare lift it, but One.”

      Sarah’s eyes turn from the crushing waves as she looks at Daniel.

      “Your words intrigue me, but darkness has devoured my day. Have you the light?”

     Daniel takes a breath and speaks.


“In the hollow of my haven

where the moonlight flees the shadow,

a place of darkness once embraced me

and my dreams were of no comfort.


In a crowd I stood alone,

shifting silently for shelter,

and in hunger for affection

clung to glances of false pity.


Cryptic cries and aberrations,

swifted past my vision’s window.

Then my hungry hand reached out

and I grasped for life incarnate.


Quiet beauty now surrounds me

with the color of life’s hope.

And the hovering hordes are fled

past Hades’ deepest ridges.


With the unexpectedness

of dancing summer snow,

I glance beside my path...

I am no longer alone.”


     Sarah weeps, and I wander with her toward the shore. What little comfort is my presence?


© 2008 An owl on the moon

My Review

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Another breath-taking journey of wisdom, soulful connection & healing, mesmerizing imagery, and deeply poignant leaving the reader breathless and grasping for dictionary(just added fun on the review though there is truth on it, I did seek for for I see you have a vast vocabulary in mind.. :D

Back to the review:
This is an awesome chapter: filled with emotions on both characters darkness and the only light I see(Daniel)… I guess his the light of both… his cool and relax, really full of wisdom in hand…
I really like the opening scene for it paint a fun moments :
“What is that? DID the statue speak? Could stone have a tongue?”~ lol

I need to quote some favorites:

“My emotions are words, with no feelings or substance.”
~ simply stunning wisdom… for I say some emotions are just empty in substance though we know it’s there…it’s the feeling of emptiness…

“I turn my head before her eyes can snatch my soul”
~ oh… that’s getting intimate(romantic perhaps) or just my imagination.. :D ~ beauty can snatch our vision but if the beauty holds your love its snatches your soul and heart as well…

“My love is far too slight to save you and far too great to hold you here.”
~ OMG, I’m speechless as I was breathless… quite romantic in a way of confession… deeply poignant sad…

“Hope within is hope amiss.”
~ oh, a surprising entrance by Daniel bringing along wisdom as tools of light.

“Sarah, If dust is your drink, how will your thirst be quenched?”
“Daniel, If your dreams were desperation, how would you find release?”
~ what an exchange of profound questions, both seeking answers for what life should be in darkness…

Daniels last words are light… and I’m right… his the light for them to realized that hope is just doorstep ahead of you… that giving up to darkness is a challenge can overcome…

Sarah said:
Where is the emerald essence of life?
~ I say: I think she already did find it, she didn’t quite see it yet.

Oh what a shinning blue emerald gem this chapter is…
Simply Marvelous…
I idolized your style… Brilliant…

Posted 7 Years Ago

"My love is far too slight to save you, and far too great to hold you here.”

If only most people were that honest... or willing to accept that fact. Such a lonely and forelorn chapter. Still beautiful and intriguing.

Posted 10 Years Ago

while lily and sapphire pearls bead the tapestry of ebony night.---absolutely love this line. I am in awe of your writing capabilites. You bring such beauty and brilliance with each word. I am there with them listening to each word...excellent music.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on February 26, 2008


An owl on the moon
An owl on the moon

2018 was a journey through my poetic novel, An Owl on the Moon. 2019 found me goinging back to a deep inspiration for me... Wonderland...2020 will whisper itself over the seasons... Come walk the worl.. more..


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