The Dead Sea Lion
There lay at my feet a dead Sea Lion, bloated and burst. Putrid beyond even the taste of a scavenger, gathered to only by flies and sand flees. Either gases or barnacled stone had torn out its chest, ribs exposed and behind them the cavity of its once being. All through the day I heard its kind bellowing their will out on the reefs and isles I was forbidden to approach. Far out of sight their roars carried yet all that we saw of them was this stinking carcass. Approaching upwind I hardly noticed it, lying like another rotting and infested log, dark and worn by the sea, yet to be bleached sol’s whiteness. The sea threw this one back, this and no other. These lustrous beasts make their home in the waves but the sea remembers its betrayers. Those foolish souls that wandered ashore. This lion but died, it is on us that Poseidon exacts his vengeance, upon out paltry flounderings and thrashing about that the might of the ocean is known.
A white, glimmering cloudscape for which we have not words, plains and mountains and canyons of vaporous solidity.
I marvel that no poet has put this spectacle to lines, to decry this fleeting wonder I am the first. This then is perhaps the last unfixable beauty, ever-shifting storms forever re-forming this panorama.
It is a thing unbound and eternally becoming, no men can ever inhabit this airy paradise. These bodiless lands will never fall into the machinations of realm and fief.
Beneath it and through it the vast ocean shines, ripples blue and capped with white until they crash unto the icebound cliffs of nordic legend. Dark and glaciated mountains chiseled by rime and gail descending into a frigid desert, cracked where wind has worn to the ice the fields and hills of snow.
High above sea and cloud we fly, spanning seas that once seemed to border the very earth. They once said that at the edge of this ocean was a mighty precipice, waters churning into the void. And now we soar over it without a thought to its power, these swells and currents that once girded the lives of men.
No Such Compass
I heard once in a bawdy tale of a compass that points to whatever one wants most. And into my mind came crowding issues of the nature of possession and objective states and the desires of dead wood and the composition of objects but all of this was soon realized to be void for there was no such device, and so its depths cannot be queried. And then from the hours spent in knowing futility, in restless laxity, came another thought. In my core there must be a deepest desire, though I cannot seem to know it. If any such compass came into my hands I would follow it, fix its course by map and divine what I could be seeking and pursue it with all vigor. Neither mountain nor man nor even the chasmic seas would halt me.
But I know not this course for I have not that compass for there is no such earthly field to guide it. Were this even not true I somehow doubt such a device’s analytic powers, if I am so unearthly blank how could iron delineate my being? And thus I am lost. Adrift. Plying my fears and my wares until Ragnarök unbinds the world.