Owens Junk
if you have found this page be reminded that everything here is intellectual property of mine. The ideas on it are mine, the stories are mine.
And please please dont tell My great Aunt Shirley Visser she has been hounding me to write and publish something
He sat on his haunches stirring the coals to his fire.  The sun had been up for a few hours, its beams peaked through the limbs of the pines he sat among.  He could feel the rays when they touched his shoulders, warming, but being of  little comfort to his inside cold. He added a few sticks to the coals, they danced into flame, a little more heat for the front.  He gazed at the eagle as it soared in the morning breeze.  The princess’s family crest, it was apparent why, she was like this one gliding, along powerful, majestic, noble. Able to fend for her family, protect them.  It made him think of the last few days.  His need to  see her even from a distance drove him to the castle.  His ex brother in law had found him skulking around the town.  Yorden  had been his best friend for many years, had been probably his own friend, so many years ago more like family. He missed seeing him, and when Yorden snuck up behind, grabbed him up, squoze him in a big bear hug  and belched out his name. Talon had almost gone for his sword.   Seeing this one  brought the feelings up into his throat, it was as if the years hadn’t passed by Yorden had always been like that.  For close to an hour they spoke and laughed about just day to day things.    Talon had almost refused to go to the gathering when Yorden asked. They both knew that she would be there.  Did Yorden know that Talon had secretly seen his sister inlaw, did he realize the hole that he carried in his heart for her.  He must. Talon was about to refuse make some excuse about business this or had to see a fellow that, when the two sisters came around the corner. Tralyn’s eyes widened and her mouth opened, Talon hoped it was because she was glad to see him. She composed herself faster than he could. Even as they got close Talon could feel the need to breathe, that feeling of being under water, without breath, staining to hold it needing to bring oxygen into his lungs. Her radiant skin the flow of her hair and her eyes, yes it was her eyes, shy, demanding, coy , demure. Talon sputtered a hello. Of course Yorden took over telling how he had caught the swordsman, at the door of the tavern, about ready to retreat into its darkness. The conversation didn’t penetrate into his skull. He could only hear his heart pounding, blood rushing through his ears. Only when the younger princess would talk could he hear.  Her voice was the sound of calming water,
“ Of course he should come” Tralyn said “ he is more than welcome you know”
did he hear any more should he listen to words not spoken.
“ we will just dust of his cloak” Tralyn added” in fact from the looks of it he is cleaner than you are Yorden”
 The laughter from the three like far away rumbling, was he laughing along he had hoped he had.
Then he reralized the two youngest princesses were there. Tralyn’s Daughter  and the niece.
He wasn’t sure which spoke first but he did hear “Bon Jour Talon”

  The gathering 

It held him, the warmth of her smile, sparkling, making the corner of her eyes smile too, he tried to see their color, masked behind her hair, the darkness of the room kept that from him. His hand reached to touch her fair skin smooth and satin, the sensation sparked at his  insides as his fingers glided along her arm, how he’d  longed for that touch, the whisper of her voice tingled his spine, again the darkness of the room held the words. He could smell the fragrance of her, the essence of her hair and skin, he leaned to kiss....... 
The hiss, the clunk woke him, he could see the coal as it glowed laying away from the fire where it had rolled., with out the fire it would not last long. He thought it just like him, barely alive losing its battle, away from the warmth and at the edge of the fire. He strained his eyes to watch as its glow waned, his lids heavy, yes sleep, where he could hide from the loneliness,  yet  to wake again and taste reality.  What it was about she, he could not understand, like  magnetic north draws the needle a power against which he had no control.  Sleep would not come, nor would rest. Even against the blackness behind the lids of his eyes he could see her. The red of her hair the curve of her neck, and yes he did remember all too well their last kiss, did the blackness of that night hold her whispered words, those words, did he imagine them, did he make them come alive in his mind alone,.... he thinks now yes. The tempest of that kiss welled and flowed through his veins, was it too, an imagination conjured in his feeble mind. He longed for simpler days, but the memories of his lack of control haunt him, he thinks of the words he should have said, and now the opportunity lost, forever, locked in maybe’s, might haves, and would have been’s.  The ponies outside whinnied dawns arrival, gladly a day of hard work, would keep his mind at ease. The thought of a ride warmed his heart, quickly  pants and boots on, he walked to the fire and stirred the bed to life, the lost char he kicked toward the hearth it had no life. Dark and black like his inside, he reached for it plucked it up cold. Tossed it into the pit, against the heat of the fire, against its passion it would as he would disappear into nothingness, as it should be he thought.  He though again how like he this was too, against her passion he had been lost and disappeared the fire her fire blazed continued and it seemed to eat up and consume him...
Yes the ride maybe later, the thought did cheer him, even though he knew the ride would end at the castles door.
His steed hesitated never had they ventured this close to the castle, The pony always willing to take the journey, who these many times had  carried him happy toward her and sad away, seemed to mimic his masters mood. This new step confused the stallion  it had been a wonderful ride the man had seen her in every thing the color of her hair in the autumn leaves the grey of her eyes in the silver pools, her heart in the playful animals of the forest, it was always the same either real or in his mind the ride bent his reality, brought deep emotions to the fore, he cherished the ability to feel so intensely thanked his god for the ability to feel not only the angst but also the bliss. There the huge gate to the castle, but  no-one watching from the parapet, the wall. 
  Had he ever seen any other than she, he wondered, had he been her only guardian it could not be. The man thought hard to remember........ she was his light, his beacon, his need, had he just not noticed others, there had to have been. Yes her daughter, so another at least had been at her side. Did that one cherish, as he, watch as he. The thought made him start was there a bow trained upon him from hiding. Another who had her heart, another who kept her bound, of course,....there must be as there always had been...... another.... his mind reeled the pain returned the terror memory past that loss, grabbed his heart strangled it He eased back peered into the wood, his horse shuffled, tense now but willing, he could feel his masters strength in time of trouble, in time of fight. No one left no one right. The mans gaze returned to the walls they just as the gate weathered and charred beaten by heavy blows stood firm. Would she come to the edge and peer down call out to him, remember him, he tensed again and tugged the reins to back the pony, back  back across the bridge back toward the wood, this thought brought the anxiety, nothing frightened him more not war nor battle nor hunger or pain, nor another at her side, the fear that she would catch site, call out, then spurn again, fear of death was less than this fear. He continued to watch as the horse backed into cover. They stopped, the thunder of his heart clouded his ears he strained to here any noise of detection the ponies nostrils flared as he tested for the danger the man sensed, confused there was none..
   Again the gate he thought it strange, was it a gate to keep the hard world out, or one to keep him out, yes, but why a gate never opened, had the princess placed it there to protect herself, or to protect others from her, he wondered. Her beauty, her smile her strength, attracted him, did it also not attract others, why had she picked the lonely solitude of walls and gate over the babbling brook, the smell of heated pines, the odor of rich earth. To protect others, her daughter? Was it a safe haven or a self  exile. Was this the strength of her heart for others,  were these walls this gate built from pain, or concern. If these were walls she created,,, now he longed to see her, to comfort her to speak and console her, to tell her of her beauty to tell her the walls are O.K. but the gate must be loosed from time to time, had the pain she suffered caused them to built? His anger swelled his pride in her swelled his chest, this maiden was a true princess. Pure and good blood coursed through her veins.  He could see her bravery her determination to do what was just and true reflected in her walls. These things these thoughts rumbled in his head Imagined or true these things emboldened him, his heart yearned to speak  to he,r to scream at the wall, to see her to shout his devotion to her. He jerked the reins he would find a way in through the gate the wall to tell her, the stallion tensed and quivered spun and bolted toward the bridge, trees rushed by the open ground flew towards them the noise of the mighty horses hoofs throbbed the bridge, out his sword..................he woke......... sat up in bed ready tense sweating ..........the hiss of steam from the fire........all a dream, again his heart ached...... why did his love keep him imprisoned in dreams fleeting dreams, I love you he whispered the words almost lost in the darkness of his room
He sat,  listened, the saddle creaked as the horse shifted its weight he could smell the mist of the morning,  the dew cold inside his nostrils his horse snorted as Talon lowered himself to the muddy ground walked toward the stream it sang and bubbled in front of him, he led the horse knelt next to his steeds large head as they took a drink, the water crystal clear,  tasteless cold and, pure. Talon thought back, twice he could remember times just like this, recalled the trip to those mountains in the north, a wasted one. He had searched for her, as always, and now he knew why he could not find her, she had been wed to the Crazy one, another prince. He asked himself out loud, how was it, why was it  he looked and searched, and she continued to lose him, his head told him why, she did despise him , hate him, held some form of punishment for him, for past deeds, his heart though, drug him back to the day they had met.  That day the brook chattered, murmured, its hidden secrets. He had returned to his families country to see, to live, but not to help, he loathed the small village, he’d been coerced to return, in the guise of his grand fathers need. How he had longed to keep up the life he had come to love, from village to village, selling his sword, a ronin a rogue, the small village of course had its castle and its King, and all the waste, the riff raff, the low ones and the high ones. Oh yes he had tried to become employed by the king , but the corp was full, and of course his families low status had been well known, yes even his talent had been wasted by his families name. The day so long ago started beautifully, he had slept by the creek, lulled by its talk, soothed by its tattle. He had risen and washed the grime and the night from his hair and clothing in its coldness. He recalled how the sun had shone on the large stone where he’d chosen to dry off, there it was as he thought about distant places, remembered long ago friends and watched as the world turned beneath the blue sky. The beautiful song of the brook, had been lightly interrupted, a song unmatched is what he remembered and yet  just words, words coming toward him through the forest, her words, words she  shared with her sister. He couldn’t remember the exact words but it hadn’t mattered, her voice and her laughter lifted his soul from the stone. They were coming closer, the quaking in his chest to be found naked, jostled him off the rock quick jagged tip toes to retrieve his shirt and pants, fished them from the branches, the melody of her voice getting closer, and closer Pants on, boots on, he could almost see them as they approached, and then at the stone she stood. The symphony of her words stopped as she looked at him, he could remember little of what she said then, after seeing this one, after beholding her elegance this maiden, this princess as he would find out later. 
  A Jay twittered at him to remind him to wake up the woods were alive, but the memory stayed in his mind.  He knew her sister was there, and even many years later, hearing knowing that this older sister had been known through out this kingdom as the pretty one. The younger one beguiled him. He could remember the look on her face, a little dumbstruck, and then the look, the look that said how dare you be half dressed and standing in my forest at my favorite spot drying and sitting upon my rock.  The thought made him laugh out loud. The steed started at the sudden noise, and again he returned to this day to check the woods, He wondered if any had heard him, the jays definitely had ,as they swooped and flew past through the beams of sun light. The image lingered he recalled how she continued to gasp as her sister always the brave one offered an explanation of who they were, yes daughters of the King, Tralyn even her name was music, and yes the game in the woods was of course the kings, he heard that but saw only the young princesses smile, Yes he knew he was standing on private land oh and yes it was “Ok” the older one said he could say it was by her permission, he thought he heard, he could not leave looking into her face the shape of it roundness, her eyes of liquid silver, the color of her skin the smoothness  of it, her lips it seemed so enchanting, he  had wanted only  to hear her voice and not the sisters. Oh and Yes  yes he had looked for a bit of work at the castle. He remembered then how shy she really was, oh yes stunning in the light of that day, always to him, ever since exquisite.  She had stood quietly and let her sister fill the air with words, had he known what to say except stammer, an occasional yes and uh huh. Oh yes he had to tell them his name. Yes just a common man, not the prince that he looked like with his sword and stallion. The older sister let the conversation dwindle comfortably down as the young one stood arms crossed for those few moments and then off to another spot by the brook. From that day on he had made it his point to find her there every day, soon as they got used to each other, they found that they had many things and  a few things, in common. The rock would come to be their favorite spot. He would share stories of planets and stars and the outer limits and she would tell him of her god and the way things had been created. Where she was from a royal place by the great sea. He remembered telling her that it must be a city of angels, at first she didn’t understand. Even her naiveness drew him to her. He explained that  one so beautiful as she could only have come from a city of angels, how they must miss her there, because of what they had lost, and how  now she charmed others elsewhere. And the first kiss and the second there at that spot yes so many years ago.
  He could still see her eyes, smell her skin, the kiss, melted his insides, she had been asked before, did she remember, he wondered. Her lips so tender. He had kissed many before her but this was more. In his heart he had felt the warmth, he wanted it to say more, had it. As he thought back he wondered how she could not know that when he said he loved her, he meant it, that kiss had sealed his mind and heart to her, had fastened it to her. He thought that it was a kiss that would bind them, did he come across as just another boy, did she see it as just another false attempt at getting from her what all men wanted, that memory scorched his mind, his thoughts clouded, this one seared his brain, of course that’s what she had thought, he knew it was, how she felt it was just a few weeks later, she was gone, no goodbyes, no farewells, he fought back the tears . Yes this memory crushed him each time. Even worse than the later memories of her leaving with no goodbye.
  She of course had many other plans, a royal life, a prince to marry. Had she realized what that first kiss meant to him, he knew now that it had meant nothing.
His reverie stopped, those memories burnt into his brain, they  always started well, he felt his love well up, his pride  spring from his heart for her and then the other memories would crowd, crawl in like snakes sent to bite him, how he had hurt her, how she had hurt him left him.  He stopped. It should be left in the past, if he could only break free from the spell she cast. The jays continued to swoop and call at him, his steed stood, ears twitching, “yes” Talon said “time to go”. He reached for the cinch the horses flesh quivered, and the big animal switched his tail. Talon peered over the horn and into the woods, glanced at the sky, and thanked his god that this and all he saw were beautifully made, and he thanked him too again that for at least that instant in time, when he had allowed such a man as he to be graced by the presence of a princess. The reins jingled as the horse shook his great head back and forth saying no to the next step, as Talon grabbed the ring pulled the rig tight, tested the saddle, maybe he would just walk, the memories flooded into his mind as he stepped through the icy brook, his steed followed diligently, chortled and whinnied a small whinny in celebration of a walk and not a ride.
The warmth of the water melted her mind, she floated almost dreamed in it , in between now and then.
 The words brought her back close to now “more water Mlady”
“mmm” she replied.  The maid poured with a pitcher from the huge pot over the fire, Tralyn opened only one eye, pitcher wrapped in linen let its contents out silver and gold reflecting the flame of the rooms fire,  steaming it slid from the pitcher into the tub by her feet, the heat quickly mixing around her toes it sent a shiver up her spine. She could hear her daughter rummaging on the table by the big bed.  There she was Sprawled over it  one leg off, and one leg on, arm stretched, Tralyn smiled inside, only as much effort as it took, and yet the effort expended would be less if the girl would just sit up or even stand up to look.  The young one  found whatever it was and rolled over rustling paper and books onto her back.
 “How were your studies today” Tralyn Asked
“um you know” the girl muttered “I just love the history part the Kings the queens” ugh Tralyn thought “and the Mathematics are good”the young one continued “but I am having trouble with my french” and the old witch you’ve found to teach me isnt French”
Tralyn wasn’t sure what that meant “But Bryanne does it matter” she entreated? 
“No” the girl answered “I suppose not”Tralyn waited for more words, none came, she watched again as the maid brought more water she closed her eyes waited it glided the tub and again it warmed her toes, she drifted and waited for more,  thought how it was she came to be here , yes content, today, now.. the bubbles in the water drifted past her skin like feathers almost unfelt she caressed her legs, arms, neck with the cloth leaned back. The girl again ruffled  the bed, she didn’t look, the fire crackled, it lulled her  she went back to her thoughts again memories of that night, it took her by surprise, it had been such a long time since she had seen him, he looked strong, even stronger. Skin tanned by the sun, and his smile, oh that smile and his eyes always brightened when he saw her. Would they brighten this time she had wondered? She had seen him again this time in the small town a group of men gathered around. This memory made her smile he had always been one to keep a crowd, such a hidden and lone existence but he had the tongue of some one well versed, could and would speak on any subject.
She had try to walk by not being seen, but also wanting to. When he saw her, she could tell, she affected him. A bit of guilt tinged her as she thought how  it made her glad, her power over him, he could do nothing except love her, and she well... the memory came of him walking toward her his his cape had blown back a bit she could see his sword just clipping his boot tops the cut of his coat, and then just the warmth and calm of his eyes the sheer love for her in them over took her. She let her mind drift the warmth of more water reached her the wave touched between her thighs, she gasped, again the bubbles rose past her body and she imagined his hands on that evening caressing her, she had longed for someone’s touch had she known it would be him, she had told herself, made herself believe that this man this nasty beast, one who had had the chance to keep her, Would never be that one again not be in her heart. She slowly moved her hand across her breasts, onto her stomach. The soapy water slick against her skin, she marveled at the intensity of the memory. His eyes, his touch his words, “I miss you desperately” “I think of you constantly” And then the kiss tender at first,
 she had let him. And the next was a kiss of deep love, she recalled how he had stumbled a little, again the power she had over him, it didn’t matter, her heart swelled and beat, did she still love him. He caressed her palm her face, he peered into her eyes as they Kissed again the passion grew. He drew her close.  More liquid heat surged past her from the pot she pressed her hand against the mound, remembered the pressure of him  against her. She had pulled him close, arms around his neck, hand stroking his hair. Their kiss broke off, She could feel him hard, he lifted her. She remembered and the thrill of flying, his strength she had forgotten how he used to pick her into the air. She melted onto his shoulder, his breath warm against her, he smelled her hair, her neck her very skin, he breathed in deeply behind her ear, as if to smell her heart, to inhale her very soul, the tingle of want raced through her loins. He carried and sat her on the rail of the cottage, the moon shone the stars twinkled, her skirt parted and the roughness of his pants came close. The heat of his body through the clothes. The thrill of the nearness, was it just her own loneliness, or was it still love, she fanned the water of the tub against the spot, heat raced toward her neck, head, the warmth of the bath didn’t keep the goose bumps from rising  on the back of her legs. He had stopped the kiss and smoothed her thighs with his strong hands, so gentle, her mind brought back how he had always tried to show her, let her be first,  how he was able to bring that elegant ecstasy upon her  with just a kiss or a caress.   The breeze carried his words gently into her breast, words of undying love for her, peered into her eyes, how could he still was he using this moment to break her spirit to take her again. No, she knew he meant them. His kiss told her. Their heads close ,eyes close, she could feel him in her heart, inside her very being. The kiss again and the unquenchable fire he pressed himself between her legs, again his hardness touched her through the clothing, at that very moment she had wanted him, she whispered “Inside” 
again.  “inside” .
She felt him shudder lose his strength for a moment,
“I love you Tralyn” his words bore into her. 
 She Echoed them  “ I love you” the sadness reached her  she knew those words would break his heart, she knew that they should not have been uttered, three words that would start the fire,  stop it. He sobbed against her neck and held her so close so tightly as if he were trying to join their two bodies into one. The love of this man for her awed her, guilt pulled her back.
“More water Mlady”
“mm no thank you Gladys” it startled the maid hearing her name spoken”I’m Fine”.
 The baths warmth  now irritated her skin the snapping noises of the froth on top of the water,  of  the bubbles losing there lives, giving their life for her, giving themselves to comfort, giving for her pleasure, the spell of this memory now broken she wondered if she did truly love this man
“Je scie il aujourd'hui” Brianne said in French
it took her a moment to clear her mind to offer a word back
“Whom did you see today” Tralyn puzzled back in English
“Him, you know “him””Brianne replied “The one from before, I’ve heard he watches so I’ve been looking. Is he dangerous”? She asked
Tralyn waited thought hard oh yes he was dangerous, but was he something to be feared she was saved the truth before she could answer yes.
Brianne started “ I understand he is very good with a sword, does he protect us?”
“I think Yes” Tralyn added “he has always felt he needed to, the poor man needs something to protect” Her words the cynicism in them, the loathing in them clutched her throat, those words were turning out to be untrue in her mind, she wanted his protection. 
 As she said “Brianne don’t worry he is not dangerous” She wondered if she also wanted his love
 Je t'aime the word rattled in her head around and around, along with his face  Je t'aime  Je t'aime
He did love her, but she couldn’t love him back. They both knew. Was love to be this powerful, to break hearts, to gain it, to break lives to grasp it, to lose all to attain it “ non” she said “ oui” outloud.
“huh” Brianne said
“Nothing” Tralyn replied “nothing...... Je t'aime Brianne”
“Je t'aime Mother”hummed Brianne
 Under her breath Tralyn whispered “Je t'aime Talon” 

The Matriarch
He heard the words were they for him yes and then the tug
“up and at em Talon” echoed through his pounding head “come on up you go”. Ignacio prodded.
Yes it was the taste of mud, and his head felt like someone had hit him with tree limb. The other voices chimed together “Get him up Ignacio so we can cure him of this woman” He could see the two brothers Ignacio the older and Torturo the younger mocking a fist fight in his direction
Talon spat the dirt out  and knelt back, cloak  sticking to his body. He was still fighting mad, he patted himself. Yes all his parts were still there.  No sword he could barely lift his head to search for it. He looked at the group, standing around him, even his so called friends could attack him. He shook the red from his eyes and wobbled to his feet. He felt them grab him before he tilted over again. Many hands. Ignacio, Torturo, Nojathan.. 
“Is the fight out of him” the Tavern Keeper asked Talon could see the billy in his hand and the fight welled up again. “go get him to bed” the drinkmaster laughed “I would say a whole day and night of grog would do the same to me” he added.
“ urr” he groaned he remembered now.  He looked directly into Nojathan’s face saw the concern but also the mirth. This one had always stood by him, through battle, feud and  women rather this woman in particular. He could see the hilt of his sword in his best friends hand. His head rang again and the stars returned for a second. And the light clouds at the edge of his vision, he could taste the iron of the blood from a split lip through the mud. 
 Without wanting to he growled  out loud “Its that woman”   he could here the ughs and groans of  contempt came from his companions.  What compelled him to love this one, he asked himself. They helped him to the stoop, and sat him down. 
Torturo commanded “sit still Talon” and then “go get that bucket Ignacio” Talon grimaced but knew it was needed. He saw the man  search the doorway then with a bucket in each hand  walk to the trough and fill them. He started back.
“Talon you have to get a grip on this” Nojathan was talking. “she is not interested in you” he continued without watching Ignacio. “you are from different stock, remember what she did” unlike these other two Nojathan knew all about the past.  Talon could hear the words but watched and steeled himself for the cleansing. 
“You have a new life” Nojathan started again then 
“ hang on HANG ON” the words cut into his brain through the pain, and the woosh of water, cool and pure, talon caught some in his mouth and waited the next woosh, he swished his mouth out. Nojathan cursed something about his new boots. 
“Two more buckets” Torturo ordered 
“Two more buckets” Ignacio  echoed in opera voice.
Talon didn’t care in fact he wished they would drag him to the trough and hold him under until her memory went away. He watched as the two grabbed a bucket each and race for the water.  He could hear the tavern master straightening inside. He had made quite a mess, chased every one out yesterday, then swished his sword at any who entered. Little did the keeper understand yesterday that the sack of gold  Talon had thrown at him, would barely make due, for the damages. He had sunk deeper and deeper, drink after drink, it had started simply enough.
  The Matriarch had been very ill for many months. Word had spread even to the north.  She had been well liked, even had been, one who had watched after the two sisters many years ago, so it would be expected that they would arrive. The tables had been turned, it was usually Talon who made the trip. The journeys to make sure she was ok, the treks to just peer at her from a far, to catch just a glimpse of her.  Unbeknownst to her  he had more than once traveled, sleepless nights in time of trouble to protect her. As the matriarchs loved ones gathered to pay respect to her, word came that the two princesses were on their way. The day of the memorial was in sharp contrast to the somber occasion, warm, and sunny, full of promise. Talon made his way to the glen stood at the edge of the clearing, it was beautiful and bespoke of that future time of reuniting. Ones started to come and sit to wait for the ceremony to begin the gatherers spoke, laughed cried. Then they were there as if on cue he seemed to feel her before she came into view. His heart began to race, he gripped the hilt of his sword anticipating trouble, so much his anticipation his palm was sweaty, he wiped it on his pantaloons.  In a blink She was there standing among the crowd, she was radiant, her pure white gown, glowed, reflected the sunlight.  She would bend to say hello, would stretch her hand out to touch family and friends, would stoop and then kneel with some one and hug, each time he would see  her shoulders rise as she wept, it ripped his heart.  She stood again and turned toward him, he held his breath would she see him, he waited, longed for her gaze, she seemed to avoid his eyes. He wanted so to walk to her hold her wipe the glisten from her smooth cheek  the entourage split up each one went to sit with friends or family the sisters individual guards stood at the edges of the wood looking outward, he mingled with Tralyn’s men but did not take his eyes off her. The sisters did not make a big show and sat each at different spots among the crowd. The family head presented the eulogy adding the future they all held in common to share again life with the matriarch.
  Talon lost sight of the princess as the group had risen at the end, he waited to catch a glimpse of her stayed close to the soldiers, but not to close. He saw her walking along away toward the feast that had been prepared.
“Glad you could make it Talon” the words shocked him Darden and his new wife had come up beside him as he walked. He hadn’t known Darden for long a few years. But had come to be fast friends. He was  much younger but was one well liked by every one.
Nojathan had introduced them. His young wife Chell was very pretty, and as they walked each of them would take turns to interject on the memorial, and life.. Thinking of those things took her out of Talons mind at least for now. 
 The banquet was superb no doubt helped with by the princesses tables were piled high with almost every thing imaginable. Servants stood by to dish the foods Long tables for informal sitting lined the floor in the town hall. The three found seats at a table in the corner. 
Many would stop by to talk, but again talon only saw the princess.
“Talon nice to see you” any work one would ask.
“I saw your Brother about a year ago how is he” another intoned.
He would have to explain away the absence of his wife.  Not feeling well he would lie.
He saw Chell watching him from time to time.  The group had gained some size and although he couldn’t see them when they came in but  he could see the surge coming through the doorway. They moved effortlessly, he knew that the younger princess had always felt she was less  pretty, or less liked than her older sister, but as he watched her he could see no one more beautiful, he closed his eyes and began to remember looking  her eyes the color of her skin, the memory of the last kiss haunted him pricked his conscience. They meandered through the crowd greeting those they hadn’t, Talon noted the small gaggle of single men young and old puppy dogging her around, she seemed oblivious, but it conjured up a little rage in his heart. Was it jealousy, yes, it was his dragon to contend with. He knew as well as any he had no hold upon this princess, the sadness crept into his soul, although he had at one time held her given her his oath of love, he began to realize nothing had changed he  started to feel he had never had any place in her heart.The family had a moment of thanks and then the line through the banquet started.  The princesses gave no sign of taking advantage and started into the line where it ended .He watched and waited.  He hoped that the ladies would stop at his table.
“Your wife Talon” Chells words snapped him out of the pit. He looked at this young lady, she was asking more than her words implied. He realized right away again he could not hide his pain.
“Darden tells me you have been a little under the weather” she started before he had to lie. Again the look in her eyes told him she really did know. He thought how could ones in this small town not know.
“the wife doesn’t like this kind of thing” He blurted 
“This… “ words escaped him so he told the truth “ she isn’t much of a people person”
Chell just shook her head. She did know most every one knew. As she started again Talon could see the empathy wash over her face.  Heartfelt words followed
“Darden just thinks the world of you” she started “ in fact there are very few of your friends that wouldn’t give you what ever you needed. You have been a true friend to so many even strangers speak well of you.”  She hesitated for a second, when Darden came back she thanked him for the plate of food, a little of this and a little of that, he heard a little “tsk” from her as she looked at Dardens plate a little of this cake, a little of this sweet pie, and a little desert to top it off. Darden could see the conversation was  a bit more serious than when he left but just started on the main course of cake. Chell picked at the beef a small taste then started again.
“ Nojathan” she stopped he had started shaking his head and thinking that kid talks way to much, he didn’t blame him, he actually felt a little relieved that some one else knew.
“I can see it” Chell began she looked  directly into his eyes.
Talon wanted to start speaking, his throat started to tense, and he started to fight back the emotion. He had loved the princess Tralyn for so long that it was second nature to him, he had never not loved her,  he also had seldom spoken out loud about his true feelings for  her to any one. It was his personal secret, she was his trial, his test. Every fiber in his being held him from speaking, there was no room for kiss and tell. The impropriety, the code of ethics as a protector, his families code of honor didn’t allow it.  He could feel the tension. 
“She is right you know” Darden began “you don’t hide it very well”
“its like you become ten years younger when you see her” Chell chimed in “I even feel it.” Again she paused.
“Talon I can even feel it” she said again Talon looked at her, not sure what she was saying she could feel it? 
“its true you wear your love for her like armor” Darden added
They both began back and forth with what they could see what others could see.
“It makes me feel warm when I look at you look at her” Chell spoke “I cant believe any one can love another like you love her” she glanced at Darden to make sure he missed what she said he just shook his head and took a bite of pie
“Your eyes just shine almost the purest  green when she is close by” she continued
“and they turn to the color of cold winter water when you think she needs protection” Darden helped
“You have walked through winter weather, ridden your horse through ice and snow, you even traveled once on a ship across the sea” it was the older brother Ignacio from somewhere behind him behind him and then also from behind
“ you would barely find me walking across the street to help any woman. And yet you chase this one around the world and for what” the younger brother Torturo had to add
 It started to play on his nerves a little how much they all knew or seemed to know. The last words cut, he peeked around to see if he could see her, it now had been several hours surely she had seen him, she was talking to an incredibly tall man, he had the look of a wolf on the hunt, she though continued on with conversation, he could see big sister Antonia behind her tugging on her skirt to get her to move to the next unwitting dolt.
Antonia caught him looking, she looked away started another conversation, tilted her head to look again and then gave the hint tug again.
He hadn’t heard any thing more that the crew had been spewing, then it was.
“ugh” Nojathan’s grunt “ oh for the love of “ he stopped
“ you are not talking about her are you” Talon could see the sheepish grin on his face, Nojathan shrugged his shoulders in apology and began gnawing on a huge drumstick. Talon could not help but smile at his best friend he reached across the table and gave him a little push
“this is the only one I love” Talon said so every one could hear it He saw Nojathan stop chewing even though he had his mouth wrapped around the bird leg, no one else was talking. The young man had  astrange look on his face half smiling half awe Nojathan raised his eyebrows in that youd better look behind you cue as he set the leg down and wiped his mouth on his shirt sleeve. As Talon turned he could see Nojathan stand and then give a formal bow. He turned to see the princess. Her auburn hair framing her face, the intense smile that melted his fear. She was so close he could smell her, the wonderful smell he kept with him, the aroma, tickled him between his legs. He had to stand he gained  quickly his composure.
“Princess Tralyn an honor” he began and then started to introduce the others. He noticed the look it was familiar one that he knew well from his past he stopped talking. Blast it he thought why does she still have that gift of power over me.
“Talon it is always a keen pleasure to see you” her voice was music he watched it leave her tender lips more than he heard it. 
“I actually wanted to meet the young lady you are talking to”  she gave him a wry grin, every one of her movements was a melody to him.
“Princess its nice to see you” Darden started etiquette now kicking in over awe “this is my lovely wife Chell” Talon thought he noticed a change in the princesses demeanor calmer less protective.
“So very nice to meet you” Tralyn offered “you must come sit with me, I try to get all the prettiest girls in a group with my sister, just to get under her skin” both giggled a little
“Darden please do come to see us this evening” it would be nice to talk about little things.
She winked at Chell The words sent a tremor through his body he only hoped that the gossip would not be to harsh. Tralyn spent the next few minutes chatting with every one in the group. Nojathan would look past her as she spoke and wobble his eye brows at Talon.
  Talon didn’t see her after that, her trip was cut short by Antonia they traveled back that same day sending gifts of apology back to Darden and Chell.   It was later that the whole tavern incident had come about, cup after cup of grog in high spirits, having seen her spoken to her, and soon remorse set in as it often did. The difference Talon did not drink when He thought of her, of the past, of what could have been, what should have been. The fear and hating of himself, how he had given his heart wholly and now he was trapped. Yet as he sat on the step to the tavern now clean a little worse for wear, a knot on one side of his head that he had to repay to one of these singing brothers. He wondered why she had come to speak just to Chell, was there more to it.  The singing  snapped him out of his reverie “two more buckets” in unison  and the woosh of pure cool water brought him back. Time to trade knots for knots he thought.

It had been a very nice visit, he always felt so comfortable when he was close by, even if he couldn’t spend much time with the princess.  The girls were just a joy, riding horseback up and around the great fields past the small castle.  His dad had even remarked at how it seemed Talon was at his best when Home.
  He looked around the room checking for things left here or there, he hated the goodbyes.  He started the knot on the bag turning it over wrapping the leather then tying the small leather straps over the bags flap.  He heard her before he felt her. Supple arms around his waist, hands fumbling with his belt, He turned to see her. Her  left hand at his waist fingers inside his waist band, she  pulled him to her. Presented her mouth to his. The passion startled him. Her lips soft and inviting, her fingers at his belt wiggled, he couldn’t stop the sensation in his loins, didn’t want to stop it. Their lips parted slightly, she pulled again, Kissed, she tugging at his trousers, then the pinch at his chest, she stepped back. He looked down to see her delicate hand holding gently the very end of the dagger hilt. His eyes fluttered as he muttered her Name.  His mind raced as the scene began again as if in slow motion, the kiss, the passion, the silver hilt of her dagger emerging from his tunic. His eyes questioned hers, why. 
Again he  muttered her name “Tralyn?” 
 His mind gathered the scene, her delicate hands balanced one on hilt one on hip, his breath halted as he searched her face, he saw no pain, no anguish, no emotion. No love.
His breath faltered as he began again. “Tralyn, my life is your life, my breath, my soul, my heart” 
A tear drifted down his cheek, another came to rest at his lip. He tasted the salt of it, peered at her face for help.
“Tralyn” he whispered “I will die for you”
  His sob woke him. He bolted to his feet. Knocking the chair by his bed  over. Caught himself, stood silently, looking past the bottom of the curtain in the rooms door. The flicker of firelight weaved the air. He waited, listened for rustling from the other room where she slept. Nothing, he sat back down, sighed and wiped his face, forcing himself to drag slow deep breaths into his aching chest. The dream had haunted his nights for weeks, as he lay back, he reached up under his shirt to make sure there was no wound, he knew it was deeper than that.  He caught the ache before it reached his throat, cupped his hands over his face, petitioned his god, but stopped. He knew he was alone in this matter. He whispered to himself, wondering why he was here, in this self imposed prison, alone, sleeping alone eating alone, living alone. Was it greed, selfishness, a hope for wealth later.  No, he told himself, it was because he swore the oath, but had he not done that before, should not the first be as binding if not more.
  The only true part of the dream of course the  kiss. Her passion had taken him by surprise, it was more than he could have asked for.  It was what he had hoped for.  It was he who stopped it short. Fear made him stop.  Was he not her guardian, her defender, her protector.  He had always been that. But should he  guard just her being and not also her heart and her mind. Fear of what would be if he  followed through on his need. Fear that if he had the princess  would hate him again. That fear haunted him now, with this dream.
  The patter of footsteps beyond the curtain made him pause.  Had he been speaking out loud.
“Talon” she whispered “Talon” a bit louder “get up te fire needs more wood, before I can get my bath”
He lay silently, tried to doze, maybe the next dream would truly release him from this.  
The fires crackle, and pop sang in his ears, he watched as embers escaped the fires embrace to dance just above the golden flames, circle in around each other, float and dart, and some evade earths gravity to soar toward the stars. Its beauty though was marred, by the memory of the pyre.  He knew some day he would be able to gaze into the coals and not think of his mother.
  He tipped his head, gulped the liquid fire from its crock, held it in his mouth, and trickled it down.  Eyes closed, he imagined the consuming fire of the funeral, he peaked through the slits, let his vision blur. She came though,  dancing,  he shook his head to clear her face from it, another quaff, some down his throat some down his chin, he squinted at the fire and the memories came, pierced him.  He recalled one sunny day she standing in the doorway of another house in another village, how had she done it, how had she, how could she want to  continue to be with his father as he moved them from this spot to that.  Pure love he thought, she smiled at him across the yard, watched as his brother and he carried something, what was it water, wood, he couldn’t focus, her face blurred, her smile vanished, and then  she came to dance in his head,  the dance of sorrow, her beauty flowed with her, arms waving, caressing the air, white gown flashing reflecting the pyre’s colors, his heart sank as she looked toward him cheeks glistening with tears, oh how he loved her. The ache began, another raven from the jug, how she must have loved his mother, just one more reminder of his loss, oh how he prayed that he could make it right. 
He had come full circle now, knew it felt it. The waters edge beckoned him lured him. The cold slashed through his pant leg touching his calf another step it crept to his knee, the water now spilling into his boots stinging his soles, cramping his toes, the bumps came to the back of his neck made him cringe. He paused, let the chill take over, his breath racing, shivers down his arms. another step, another the waters greyness to his waist them his chest. He shook with the cold, uncontrollable trembling. He blew air. In and out of his lungs quick short breaths getting ready.  He purged the thought of stopping out of his mind, quick words of forgiveness and exhaled, pushed the air out of his lungs, plunged backward under the water. The water began to take over.......


  Along with the heated afternoon air came those old familiar smells, deep rich earth, tilled and turned, the dampness held by last years wheat, row upon row of the remnant, small golden lines.   A slight breeze brought the car door closed against my thigh. The hoppers buzzed and cracked, yes even these beasts were  part of the memories. I kicked dirt over the my puddle to keep my moisture there. Another strange and lost habit, in the city there is nowhere to make a puddle.
  I pulled the car door shut, checked my mirrors, of course out here in the 4th largest state between two of the smallest towns in the world, along the top of the U.S. there’s no traffic. Again the monotony of the road. Still a hundred plus miles from home. Was it home? I had been gone a long time. To long, new family, new friends, new rules, had held me back. I checked the cell phone and pressed the radio search button. Nothing modern works out here I thought. I ticked the tuner button one notch at a time.  Turned the volume to max, just in case a stray signal fell from outer space.. The hum of the road held me,  thoughts of Uncle held me for a few moments, such sudden news.  When I got the call it had already passed through several operators, and office staff, to come out that it was my Dad who had died. The mental video of Bill coming down the stampede sidewalk emerged in my head , yes he did look like my Dad very much so, almost to the point that I thought it was. If I had ever doubted that family tie, it was now gone.
  The music thumped me back to reality, Strange and familiar music. 88.1 on the dial, the thumpo thump thump of ceremonial drums and the high voice of an Indian singer. How appropriate I thought, traveling along at break neck speed, through land that had belonged to proud people. Now the only vestige of them is a silent unseen voices, voices that can only be tuned into here, voices and song that can only be heard here. Inside the heart of my automobile. I could almost see ponies and Indian braves riding along side, racing my wheels, smiling, screaming faster, faster, go faster. That life so intrinsically bound to mine, because of Bill, his real love of this country and these, showed through. Lives of two races bound in the same struggle on a barren and restless reservation, had molded him and partly me. The life or lively hood with a strangle hold on most had not squashed Uncles love of this place. I wondered about myself.
Sad and glad pinched my heart. Now the slide show of many years past.  We lived at the Stampede grounds then, the vista of beer and old roping steer steaks on the grill. Mom and dad, Gramma, Bill was there  The radio on the picnic table, warring with the drums, just a half mile away, country songs belting guitar chords against the skin tops. Uncle’s crooked smile, and laugh from under that cowboy hat. The family banter, and laughter. What did I know about him.
  We had moved from Wolf Point when I was only a child. As many families had too, the last corner of Montana was a hard place to live, the family farm, could barely support one family, even with help from town jobs. Bill would show up from time to time, where ever we lived. Usually in some big rig, hauling cows or pigs, he even showed up to visit my second wife and I in Livingston, (of course that’s another story) hauling gummy bears, yes that’s what he said.   He called me one time from California.
“Owen” He said “ I need a second driver real bad! Ya honna come with?” 
“Well” I pondered “ I know I can drive but its kinda hard for me to get out of here” whatcha haulin”
“Dynomite” he boomed with a chuckle
I laughed too. I could see him giggling on the other end of the phone Yeah sure. I asked him what else I needed, 
“a fire arm of some sort hand gun and a gun license”. He said.,
  I then realized he really was hauling Dynamite. 
Uncle had always been one who seemed to not sit still. A rodeo rider, a truck driver, an auctioneer. The highway wind blew in more mental pictures.  The old barrel stove stuffed into the kill chute of the old meat plant, doors wide open, benches full of the same faces week after week. Box upon box of one mans treasure, and Bill. The melody of his voice. National small goods auctioneer, is what he had become. The rest  of my family helping, trying to get him, no keep him going. Farm auctions, estate auctions, town auctions, funny thing, as I think back I got payed in fun. Yes uncle had taught me the value of the dollar, most of the time it was the value of my dollar, but you know what that was Ok. He talked me out of a very well paying job at a refinery to buy him out of the bar business, it’s a sweet deal he said, an adventure. Most definitely an adventure. To see my father and his brother leaping over the bar to stop a bar brawl, or start one, is still an indelible memory. Whist tournaments, and poker in the back, yes  real cards, Taylor’s I had  found always have burdened with a love of blue and red diamond back cards. You could find Gramps, Bill, My dad, even Zane sitting at the Pan table, me dealing the cards. Day and night. Cousin Doug sitting with his V.O. and water mucking hold em cards  next to Bill and a soda pop. Yes they say the Taylor’s have a love of good Irish whiskey, no its really just a love of whiskey, as I grew to know Uncle, I had heard he was burdened with a thirst, I have come to know this, many times because of sheer force from outside we can be convinced of one thing or another, convinced we need this or that, convinced we are incurable, convinced we have the thirst that kills mind, and soul, but I am convinced that above and beyond all this, Uncle was a man who knew who he was, and that was enough. Bill taught me so many things with out word. I had never been a person of hatred or prejudice. Uncle was one who showed me that its not what is on the outside of a person, the color or clothes. He would often tell me how proud he was of me, I’m not sure why, but I know he meant it.  He lived what he spoke.  I found that we, Bill and I are much the same. It seems there is some genetic curse among the Taylor clan an insatiable thirst for knowledge, read this, know that, teach this. We sometimes reach for knowledge within the circle of argument for arguments sake, be the devils advocate, not to make a point to ourselves ( you see we already know the answer) but to force reason upon the other. I can say this analytical mind is at times, a boon, and at times a bust. Yes uncle and I came to be on parallel paths for the same reasons. I cannot tell you how it feels to be a child without a father, but I can tell you what its like to be a father without his children.  Its was not a selfish thing, we feel it to be sound reasoning, there was no way we could give our children what they really needed.  Or the only way was to do this thing or that thing. There was no way we could do the best job, there was no way we/I could be or give the best life. Did Bill want to? YES. To feel that nothing you can do will be right. Waking up and telling yourself I am going to start over, then feeling the weight of days. Too many days, weeks, months, years. The worry that now its to late and the vicious circle we put ourselves in. I hope I can be a strong as Bill when it comes to making things right. Instead of looking back on the mistakes, I hope I can look forward as Bill did.
  The Music faded in and out, modern Indian warfare across the airwaves, Indian rap, Jamaican Indian music. I pressed the seek and  Glasgow’s radio station hummed in. Highway speed came to an abrupt halt, the infuriating two lane divided turned into the four lanes cutting through another town with only two stop lights.  Down right and under the underpass. More memories. One hundred degrees Fahrenheit on the bank, and something degrees Canadian. One of the little perks of living in a small hi-line town two flavors of temperature, and one flavor of radio music, 70s disco. The second stop light started my mental cinema, rodeo was one of Uncles loves, it had filtered down through most of the Taylor’s. Its hard not to have a love of horses and horse stuff when you can drive the chevy through a herd of your own. Gramps had met Grams at the Chicago world fair or something like that, I heard  he was Rodeoin. More mental paintings, Dad skidding to a halt with arms wrapped around a steers head, Zane nodding his head with a ton or so beef muscle under him, Bill too, the smell of chicken and wondering why Uncle always was fallin of that perfectly good horse Bareback or Saddle Bronc, I couldn’t remember, saddened me. I know Neil had tried some when he was very little. I can hear Bill say “I am so proud of you” College educated trying to make a difference.  Yes the Wild horse stampede the “Oldest Rodeo In the Nation” or something like that. The biggest once a year party in Wolf Point. 
  Hay fields and pasture took up my windshield view, almost there, was it really home, all the windows down KGLT radio pumping  out “You’re a rhinestone Cowboy” above the road noise, my inner voice reminding me  where I am in the stream of cowboy-in up. I wondered who would be there, family I hadn’t seen in a long time friends. I wondered if they would think I was Jack or Zane. I hoped my kids would want to see me when I got there. Twisters in Missouri were keeping Dad from making it. Thoughts of moving back flooded in. What would I do to make a living. Could I. Bill had tried many things, hay chopping business, wood cutting business, professional card player of course truck driving was his mainstay. Again he and I jacks of all trades and masters of none.  
  My heart started to race as I passed Oswego, excitement, or fear. The rolling hills, the Missouri   its magnificent cottonwoods, the crescent of its flood plain, the straight as an arrow railroad . Then suddenly the top of the granary and town.  Yes it was home, why had I waited so long to come back. The faces of my family careened through my skull, JD, Cindy, Karin, Neil, and Eric. Gramps cigar hangin down, and Grams, I did miss her. I knew Vernie was here and my Auntie T. I wondered about Melodee and Dawn and Aunt Terry, of course Vermae. Would Burk and Scott be there, so many others and maybe great aunts.  Second cousins, nephews and nieces.
Would I have an impact on them as Bill had on me? 
Could I have? 
My car rolled up to that first stop light, and 
                     I wondered what I would say to them
Vignette to Mom

Oh What I might say to you.  And to you who may think and dream the dreams of hope.
Oh What I might say to you.  And to you who may dream the dreams of judges.

I would tell you of the Queen of my Kingdom, the lady of the Castle. The one who through  the almighty god of the universe gave me  BREATH

I would tell you of the Lady of the court, the lady of  my kingdom. The one who through the almighty god of the universe gave me LIFE

Oh What I might say to you.  And to you who pour your breath your soul and your heart.
Oh What I might say to you.  And to you who would hope but NOT dream.

I would tell you of the Princess who traveled as she would with out boundary. The one who showed me how to live life, to its full.  Not to just live  but to FEEL.  Who took each day as a challenge and saw the journey ahead as an adventure, to be enjoyed and cherished.

I would tell you of the Queen of my Kingdom, the lady of my castle.  Who ate the delicacies on the sands of the gulf coast. Spicy and hot and not enough.

Oh What I might say to you.  And to you who would mourn without faith
Oh What I might say to you.  And to you without faith to see the journey

I would tell you of my Queen who played beautiful music two handed, and sang her song.
I would tell you of the princess who drove her own chariot of yellow with the tow head boys in the back 

Oh what I might say to you. And to you who weep at the loss, to wail at the night.
Oh what I might say to you. And to you who laugh with joy at the release.

I would tell you of the mother of my brother, the wife to my father, a daughter, the sister, the aunt, who braved the cold of the desert night, to see the stars without shining city lights.

I would tell you of the tireless one who pressed against life, found her own way.

Oh what I might say to you.  And to you who curse at deaths door.
Oh what I might say to you.  And to you who brace for the journey ahead.

I would tell you of the Mother who was right, who would sit with my friends and I to  just chat
I would tell you of the Maiden who sat at my bedside, who darned my socks and damned my shoes.
I would tell you of the one who showed me how to walk, to speak with dignity, to play, to work, to love.

Oh what I might say to you. And to you who ask
I would tell you about my dearest one,  my mom

Oh what I might say to you, mom I yearn to see you again, in that new world, when we can speak again, laugh again, and journey together, to walk, to hike, and really live again. 
tarten=or Talon
father Jaydwin
talons crest with strength of heart and steadiness of hand I shall guide and protect you
Tralyns crest
beneath wings of strength and peering eye I will come to your aid
 The Journey Home
The sensation of cold nagged  him, he pulled the wool closer, the chair creeked, in a better time he might have commented on the mornings beauty, the sun shone so brightly, beams twinkled off the hoar as it swirled from the trees from the roof and then past. He felt nothing.  Fingers cold, legs cold, the snow had drifted up onto the porch toward his feet, had actually covered the woolen wrap. Memories pushed the thought of brushing it from his lap away. Visions fluttered back and forth behind his eye lids.  Eyes open winter morning soft breeze, eyes closed, his father.  Eyes open hoar frost in the pines, eyes closed the sword maker and his younger brother.  Eyes open snow in his lap, eyes closed smiles and laughs, his fathers deep blue eyes. Talon had no clue how long he had lingered in the chair, it didnt matter, he wondered might the ache go away if he sat and froze.  These few days had been precious and needed. The frantic ride through frozen forests, over icy rivers to be with him, the fear of not being on time, the dread of not saying just a few of the right words to the man who meant so much. What torment it was to dredge up long ago memories, the smell of the forge, the strength of his arms, his quick smile , that horrid jig, the dance he would dance after to much grog, and how he would wrestle with them, taught them right from wrong, and duty, and what good steel sounded like when it met other steel, how to fight, how to love.  Had it been just days ago, that he had arrived, just days ago as Rabara his wife met him at the door on this very porch, warned him.  “He has grown thin Talon” she said.  Her hands upon his chest holding him lightly from the door “ He has been sleeping more each day” her words just a whisper, “his beard is very long” these trailed off, had he heard them.

  “My Lady...MY LADY’ Louder..lost in futile memories it started her,. “Yes” her voice trapped in her throat came as just a whisper. “You should ride” the maiden said “you have walked some five miles mlady” the woman continued.  Tralyn thought to herself it shant have been that far. She admitted to herself the  thoughts and sadness kept her lost. She had lost the feelings in her gloved hand, her horse gladly plodding along behind her,she could not feel the reins in her grip,. She thought back had it been just three short days ago there among friends, fire crackling inside the small manse, winter hanging on outside, when  word of his illness came. All that needed to be said “Jaydwin is very sick the knight travels to see him”  Had the staff truly known why she must travel, they would not have bid her stay, would not have meandered about in preparation thinking she would change her mind.  “Who was this man anyway” one would whisper and she would think he was his father. “Wasnt he just a commoner,” another related.  The memory of his sons first kiss, the warmth of the day at the rock by the stream, blushed her cheeks.“I believe a blacksmith, no a swordmaker, a famous one” another rightly reminded all.  More memories, glimpses in her minds eye of the mans son as he rode to and fro past her fathers castle, his brother, and his mothers faces came to her. Oh and his laugh was so contagious.  “He made the Kings swords” from another room. “Oh” in unison and understanding came from all, “that’s who he was”.  “Yes a very famous and generous man” Tralyn chimed in “un homme cher à mon coeur pères” she kept up the ruse.  The hrrmm sound from the amahs throat made Tralyn look up and about the room, had any one heard the subtle noise, and in just a whisper the handmaiden almost to herself “un homme, un autre à proximité de votre cœur”

 The nose of her pony nudged her back into the forest cold. The knave stood hand out gesturing for the reins. He would say nothing about the pools at the corner of  her eyes. Tralyn’s amah held her chin in her hand the old woman knew all. “ What shall I say to him when I see him” Tralyn asked the woman. The Amah smiled a knowing smile  small tears came to her eyes as she wiped Tralyns cheek with a kerchief. “What shall you say to him” the amah started
“well you could say how much your father loved the swords he made” she joked.  Tralyn’s head tilted to one side resting in the cup of the maidens hand and the tears came.  “Now now My lady” the amah said, the kerchief daubing the princesses cheeks, leaning in and cupping both Tralyn’s cheeks “What shall you have to say to him” the maiden whispered “No man of any men or of any through out history have loved you more than the swordmakers son”

 The cold came first, in that deep blue lightless sky of first morning, she wasnt sure she even slept, it was a bit warm in the tent, under the covers, with her clothes on. She wasnt sure if it was  the sounds, the guards chopping wood during the night, or men rustling the fire, or the line of horses and the noises they made, that kept her awake.  Yes these things along with the dreams, some good and some sad.  She strained to hear what time it was, to glean if it was the opportune time to rise, yes, a bit of  noise, someone outside the tent clanking pots together and inaudible voices in the tent off to the left, Way to early to be up, she reached an arm out and waved it above the covers to test the air, “urrrrrg” from under her breath then slinking arm back to the cocoon of the bed it reminded her what he used to say when she would asked if it was cold outside.  From under the covers so many years ago would be “ I don’t Know I havent had “IT” out yet” she smiled at the memory, he was such a good man, and his father too. She stretched and imagined where they would be now, of course Bryanne wouldn’t have been born, but what would their children have been like, with his nature, and her savvy, would have her father let her stay with him.  The twinge of sadness stabbed her, her duty, her fathers honor, her fathers words always came to her when she thought of the would of could of “Your sacrifice will keep men alive” had her sacrifice not staved off wars, she tried to convince herself. Both she and her sister had sacrificed to keep family and friends safe under the crest of the eagle, but there had still been war. How was it then that her sisters prince became a king and remained at her side, and her suitors had been nothing but scoundrels, save the one. She stretched under the covers, slid left and right to get her bed clothes straightened and pulled the coverlette up past her nose, laying perfectly still on her back without notice sleep returned and she dreamed .   A Young Antonia ran along in front of her towards the stream, they were on their way to her special place, her secret place the rock, sun dappled the path, it seemed though, she was in slow motion, at first all seemed good, off to swim, in the back of her mind she knew he would be there, but she was uneasy. Then a clap of thunder, another, another. No, now hoof beats, she could see up the path, the  light, wavering and golden, along she ran toward the rock, toward his hiding place, excited.  The path wavered and tilted under her feet, the foliage in front of her and along the sides shimmered, as if she was seeing the heat waves come off a field. Clap more thunder, Clap hoofbeats,   now fire leapt all about her she sprinted along, came to the edge of the stream, just on the other side stood Talon back to her, not thunder not hoof beats, but the drums of mourning, A huge Pyre burning his silhouette outlined by it. He turned, she leapt toward the opposite bank yearning to embrace him feeling his sorrow, her arms stretched out, and he drew his sword. She slowed her feet and ankles now embraced by the streams bank, immovable,  a stones throw away, she could see his face glistened with tears, the tip of his sword straight at her chest. Why, she thought, as he screamed in pain, her brain frozen her body frozen in time, again an anguished scream. She cried “why” as he peered at her, flames growing about him, the pyre so large its fingers licked about his shoulders lifted his cloak with its wind, another anguished scream, and their voices together cried “why”.Then hoof-beats, no thunder, no wood choppers, she started awake. Amah was by her side, “My sister “she whispered  “My lady are you allright, its time to rise” she said.. The tears could not be hidden her sobbing was quieted here in the solitude of the tent. Amah caressed her figure through the covers. “It will be ok  my dear one” she consoled. “Amah” a question through the tears. “Yes” sweet one”. The questioned why was much more than she could bear “What shall I say to him”.

  He sent Rabara to town to visit her sister, she needed some time too.  Then each day up to wash or carry wood, do the dishes,. Rabara had had her hands full and he was not going to burden her with another man to keep up after. Then each day the same along with trying to get his father to eat a little, even some broth would suffice, some chatting, stories, and the inevitable questions about her, which Talon would avoid, or skirt, they would conger up such emotion, he couldn’t speak. Jaydwin would change the story or the subject, seeing his sons anguish, then sleep, and wait at the  bedside.. Rabara returned the third day  to find Talon on the porch just sitting daydreaming “Anything” she questioned. “Asleep” he answered. “Have you slept” she asked “Nay” and then “not much.” He had dozed but the dreams he thought he would dream didnt come, just dreams of where he had gone wrong, is fathers questions about the princess, puzzled  him yes he knew his father had cared very much for her, like a daughter, but the relationship was so short, and in his own dreams day and night dreams Talon would ask “why”. He would just have to close his eyes to see her, her eyes, her smile. Would she travel, had she heard, would she care. A messenger, a condolence perhaps.  He hoped for more but asked little.  He was pulled from the reverie by the sob of Rabara from the house,  it krept into his heart all the strength drained from his body, he knew, the saddness shook him, he broke. The days of holding in the emotion, staying strong for his father, flooded from his soul he sobbed, as he rocked back and forth in his chair to relieve the pain he wondered, had he done enough, had he said enough, uncontrollable tears poured down his cheeks, and then the loneliness struck him, yes he had been lonely for many years, but now there was no body close to hold, no body near to embrace, no body.  His head in hands he cried for forgiveness, called to her, urged  his voice out across the expanse, through the frosted forests, willed his heart along the frozen winding rivers. Rocking back and forth arms wrapped tightly about himself an uncontrollable wail, low, and deep escaped his throat, a rumble, would it reach her, could it, might it shake the castle walls.  He stood and steadied himself, strengthen yourself Talon he urged, then shuffled to the door, Rabara still  inside weeping, turned to him as he entered, kerchief against her mouth, kneeling next to the bed, it took all his strength to cross the room, he knelt, reached his hand out, stroked his fathers forehead, brushed a strand of hair from his face, he barely felt Rabara’s embrace, so overcome with love of his father, Talon gently lifted the old man’s hand clasped it in his own and straightened the coverlette with the other. Tears came again, “ mo athair,Beidh me’ fada a fheiceann tu’” he whispered and again through the tears “my fathe,r I will Long to see you”.   He never felt so alone.

The troop continued through the morning forest, it had begun to warm a bit, even the birds whistled and chirped. Five men ahead and five to the rear, just small talk among the soldiers. Drinking this, fighting that, girl this, and girl that.   The Amah trying to keep her spirits up chattered about the new dress maker in the village, then about the scoundrel of a husband she had, and sure he did provide a little.  The princess listened a bit to both conversations, but was more interested in looking up the trail for sign of the scouts. Both had left very early, hours before the camp had been broken.  News from the late last night was they would reach the swordmakers home in the afternoon, today.  She was still troubled by the dream, it shook her as she thought of the look in the knights eyes, had he raised his sword in anger, he had  lifted the blade so many times to protect her, was he now changed, he knew the why of death, she had many times explained the promises of her god to him, she whispered the why to ask him to explain, the dream ended before he could continue asking, she felt the tears welling up and steeled herself, brushed off more mental questions It was just a dream, the stress of the past four days had caused it. She let it go and searched the forest ahead.  She barely noticed the captain of her guard sidling his pony up to hers, his hurumph and “excuse me princess” pulled her into the present, she feigned wind a dust in the air, wiped the wet spot from her cheek.  “Yes please sir” the man calmed  when she spoke, her gentle, sincere attitude made men want to help and to serve. It had kept here in the line to rule for many years.  “I know you wish to continue muh Lady” he hesitated, “The horses and the men need a bit of a break”. A little hesitation and “We should resaddle and distribute the camp set, and get, ah get you something to eat”. The mans portly appearance gave her a warm feeling, and she appreciated the innuendo of feeding her.  “Yes my captain, youre right” she added hoping her anxiety didnt show in her eyes. The troop rode a bit farther to find a comfortable spot, she dismounted ,cuddled her pony’s neck he seemed  as anxious as she was, she spoke softly to him “not long” again “ not long” the master seargent chugged his orders to the ten, she looked on as her handmaiden busied herself with her own steed.  Tralyn  checked her ponies legs and his saddle grabbed his ears and tugged the rein he pushed her with his nose, snuffed a huge breath at her face, they tugged each other as she led him over to the trail horses she looked for the feed bag and oats. She found a brush.  Still anxious to continue she didnt unsaddle him,  one young soldier noticed her as she looked about, he gathered up a feed bag, scooped some oats and walked toward her.  She cooed the horse as she brushed him, down his breast and forelegs. His neck and shoulder in front of her saddle, but she paused a she stood at his croup. The spots dribbling out from under his blanket, caught her breath and the memory came.  
  She leaned out, off the parapet of the guard tower to watch him, just at the edge of the parade ground, he and his brother racing their ponies, his deep black, black as coal and the white mottle flowing down the croup and hind quarters, both not, galloping more gliding. That very horse the talk of the town, a horse of a very different color, no one had seen one like it and no one was immune to its allure that horse a gift to the young knight from his grandfather  and later she would watch him, do just as she did, coo and chortle the horse, lean into him speak to him brush him and then lead him, no rather walk with him horse at one side like two friends, saddle and blanket  in one hand shirt off and reins in the other, back from the far end of the field.  Years later he would give her a foal, it angered her as  it had no spots.  “You would not love a knight who could not surprise you” it made her heart warm to remember those words, and then to remember how anxious he was each day making sure she walked and talked to the little chocolate foal, bidding her not to name it its color, week after week making sure she became its friend before she became its rider then the surprise in an instant it seemed the chocolate colored foal, was soon a  roan filly, then a dappled mare.
  She smiled and continued to brush her spotted pony.  The troop had in the mean time rearranged the baggage, a bowl of something steamy was offered, she didnt feel like eating, but cupped the bowl and stirred it at least it warmed her hands, the amah sat next to her, silent just waiting, it was ok. As they sat a slight change in the forest, yes  they  had heard it at the same time, no more birds, then the horses trotting through the trees, her heart jumped.  Two men and the captain ran out to meet them, both scouts dismounted simultaneously the soldiers grabbed the reins. Tralyn could see them talking and gesturing,  As the five men came into the circle four she watched their eyes the guard stopped a few paces away the scouts  came up close, it seems the junior of the two stood just behind and to the left of the other.  “Dear and beloved lady” the messenger started as he bowed, one knee bent.  He hesitated appropriately and began gain “We were surprised at how close you were” her heart leapt in her chest at the words.  How close we were, I am,  to what, her mind reeled, words jumbled up, she didn’t know what to say first, the Knight, the Swordmakers home, a village, the knight, am I, no are we to late, has he gone, is he well. The messenger continued before she stumbled, “We passed a very large Pyre already burnt a least a day old” could they hear her heart, rather ,could they see her heart. “We saw no one, but there is a small chalet close by”. Tralyn’s heart sank “Is there no one” she muttered .  “It is lived in my lady” the scout added “wood and pasture and corral all well kept” She felt very alone, yes she had been lonely before,  alone here among thirteen others, alone. “Shall we go see, please kind sir” she asked. Her humble request caused the scout to bow to the earth on one knee, , then each of the Guard knelt heads bowed, her handmaiden stood just beside her. She had not to worry, these few men had not heard her heat beat, they had seen her heart beat.  “With strength of heart and steadiness of hand I shall guide and protect you” the captain quoted Talon’s family crest her heart pounded as the scouts and soldiers then added her family crest in unison “beneath wings of strength and peering eye  I will come to your aid”

Talon stood, the snow slid from the blanket onto the porch, he shook it to loosen the ice, the hearth needed to be stoked, he needed to check on the swordmakers wife and maybe start some breakfast.  He pressed the door open, the squeek, the smell of the houses inside flooded more memories, he imagined his father still in the bed as the door opened “come in to my house” he said his fathers  now weak and small voice made Talons heart ache, but there grinning from ear to ear, behind the sunken cheeks, under his tuft of combed  gray hair was his father. The look of surprise on Rabara the old mans wife’s face as the swordsman sat up swung his feet over the bed and raised his arms for an embrace. Then in his old tongue and loud he said “mo mhac agam longed a fheiceann tú”.  Talon scuffled to the bed side boots clonking the floor as they embraced the mans hearty laugh and Talon in english “My father I have longed to see you” Then the stories began,  Rabara bringing warm spiced drink and Jaydwin snorting “its supposed to be good fer you, sometimes english and then irish “a ceaptha go maith duit” so Rabara didnt understand it.  A story about Amarza and Talon when they were young, how he loved to see them practice with the steel. Amarza so quick, with acrobatics, spins and twists, Talon so quick to respond. Then “how is she” would be asked Talon would reply about the new spotted mare he had, but his father would say it again “an gcaoi a bhfuil sí”. Of course Talon couldnt say fully, he didnt know how she was, his heart  ached to even think of her. Another story about some sword and its name and the famous owner of such. As he would doze Talon sat waiting, hour upon hour.  Ponder his thoughts about her, where she was, how she was. The doors creak seemed to echo no    one there,his winter grief had caused him not to notice they had come and gone. How many hours had he sat alone. The unruly grief came to him again, a day past, the funeral and Pyre finished.  Talon looked about the chalet, checked the fire pushed the coals back into the stone banked them for when Rabara might come back,  he too had to leave.  His goodbyes said, but he would not travel to his home, this was the end of that journey, only loneliness there. He had to be sure the princess knew of his fathers passing.  With the cabin settled, off to the corral he went.

Her troop  traveled just an hour or so to find the pyre, and waited as she wept, the amah by her side holding her. Not few of the twelve could hold their own emotions. The sight of their princess, this fair one, in agony was very hard to bear. Her words “He is gone” did not confuse them they knew of whom she spoke None confounded as she spoke over and over through her tears “ he is gone”.  Each jolted forward on instinct to catch, as she dropped to her knees, head held back, her face searching the heavens, the amah bent to hold her upright, the tears came full force.  She was taken by the reason for them yes she had loved the sword maker, and now “why” of the dream racked her body, why had she not stayed with her knight, why had she not traded the stones of a castle for the love of one man.  Why? The tears and heart ache bought to her yes opened to her,  now she knew, if she were to ever see him what she would tell the knight
  Talon made his way toward the pyre, his steed plodding along, as if he could feel the heaviness of his riders heart.  Talon estimated the days to her castle, hoped the weather would stay, and thought of her, how she might have, changed, would she notice he had gotten old.  As visions of her played in his head the sorrow of his loss lessened, yes thinking of her brought some sadness with it, but more so joy, he caught himself smiling, the green of her eyes, the color of her hair, the curve of her neck below it. Yes he could not but twinge to think the power she had over him, but he had become used to it somehow.  It use to bewilder him, yes she was still his test, but now as he had gotten older acceptance of the way things were. No it did not lessen his love for her, it in some strange way made it even more special. The horses breath and snuffle alerted him before they got to close, yes, there the pyre upon the small hill, the clearing, but also soldiers. He dismounted, checked his sword, but chuckled to himself “ maybe when you were younger” then  “lets find out friend or foe first, shall we” to the horse . He tugged the reins, the pony came up along his guard, so as to be between the men and his rider.  They ambled toward the group and then, was it, yes, his eyes must be playing tricks .  There among the group the standard of the  princess. The pennant with the emblazoned eagle upon it. The sight clutched his heart. Joy,  fear, anxiety, gladness all at once.  The horses found each other first their whinny’s hello and who goes there, alerted the men, they spread a bit on the guard   The men of the group caught sight of him as he sidled up the hill out from the trees, he searched to see her, the men soon realized who he was, one of the scouts started toward the princess, hands out palms downward the captain motioned him to check.  Talons still searching came up close, came over the rise of the small knoll.  He stopped when he caught sight of her, the amah had raised her to stand, neither of them had seen him yet, the Amah gently cuppng his princesses face in her hands, he could see her nod as they spoke, and then embrace, the older woman embracing her consoling her.  He walked forward a single step, even in her sorrow she was beautiful, he lost all sensation of the earth about him, he could feel her pain as she felt it, another step forward.  He lost himself in her radiance, her fur trimmed coat outlined her face, he wished only to hold her gloved hands wiping the tears.  Another step forward, his heart ached, as she slowly turned face down, he began to feel the urge to unbutton the front of his coat, the air about him had warmed as if the summer sun stood in front of him.  With her handmaiden embracing her from, the princess looked up and saw him. He hesitated, decorum demanded he pause, but it was fear, that had stopped him, fear of what he would say to her, even though she stood here, had traveled to this spot, fear that she came only because manners obliged her, fear that his love was still lost upon her.  He knelt before she got close. Head down hand upon his cest His throat clenched as he spoke “With strength of heart and steadiness of hand I shall guide and protect you”. Not just his families crest, but also his   oath to her for many years.

Tralyn could not contain the joy she felt seeing him, before he could see her smile he knelt before her.  She glanced up to see the captain of her guard also kneeling, just behind her knight, and behind the captain the ten kneeling also, in affirmation. She hesitated a bit, would he notice she had aged, did he still.... she stopped herself mid thought not wanting to answer, a glance at her amah seeing the woman smile helped he to know she walked to him bent arm stretched hand held out reached under his arm to lift him, and spoke  “My Knight” quietly only for him. His shoulders heaved a bit, those gentle words caused his emotions to bring the tightness to his chest, the ache in his being, some tears. Her touch released the years of loneliness. It was only then as she knelt thee with him that she understood. She stopped him with a shh as he started to utter “My Lady”. She reached under him with both arms to lift him, they stood together, she  began to weep with him as he embraced her, then lift her as he so often had done. With her face buried in the crook of his neck she knew the words she needed to say. He could not control the well of tears that streamed down his face, he pulled her tighter held her, off the ground. as She whispered  “Stand with me my Knight”. 

To Dad:

The heaviest of  burdens encompasses my heart at this very moment, and mere words cannot express the great love I have for you, the distance in  miles between us magnifies not only this love but my sorrow also.  Perhaps letters to fathers penned by Keats, Thoreau, or Shakespeare might have been more eloquent, but none more sincere .  I cannot express how proud I am to be your son, had it not been for you, I would not have been me.  Your lifetime expressions of joy,  are the marrow of my bones, the quick wit and "hi-jack" the blood in my veins, your strength in manner and courage in life, my very joints. your tolerance of others the essence of my skin.   Is it generations of strong and good people. No I say. Its the balance of both good and bad you gave me, the way to walk as a boy,  and then as a man you handed to me.  Never asking back, nor expecting a return, you kept me close.  Even as the miles between us stretched you have been with me.  And yet this very distance begged my heart to yearn for you voice, to hear the  irish in it, to taste the tap with you. How can mere words convey who I am without expressing who you are. I can say I am proud because I can see you as I look in the mirror and smile, when I walk, I walk your walk, when I laugh I laugh your laugh, I cannot have been me if you had not been you.  Many may not understand how this could have been, but you are with me, at every turn, I have only to gesture to the left or to the right and you are with me, this makes me glad.  My grief overwhelms me when I think of what you gave for me, how did you know to give me freedom to choose. this very thing  carries me through life, how did  it become written in your heart to let me try, try to be this or that, try to be one thing or the other, and now I am who I am, how might I ever repay these things.  I know other sons may say these very words, but they can never say they are "Jack"s Son".  These few things also give me sorrow, had I told you all this enough? I am sure not.  My absence from your side squeezes my very heart, my only regret is that I could not have spoken these words to you, whispered them to you.  I love you Dad.  
Four Valuable Words:

My friends. There may be, in the stream of time a string of words that hold more value than others.  Yes  a sentence that has changed the course of human history. Perhaps yours is the five  word linguistic string “which tree was it from?” holds deeper meaning for some than others.  Or perhaps the very short three letter interrogative “What’s an Ark” could have been clearer.  Possibly modern day quips are closer to your heart “we have nothing to fear except fear itself” is pretty powerful.  The Four most valuable words in my short life turned out to be.  Well let me start over with the whole story
 If you have never been and are one of those folks who put in for a drawing to float the Smith river in Montana year after year after year and never get chosen, well……just keep calling every few days through May and even June,  you will find someone that has cancelled their trip and viola for a measly twenty five dollars you are in, my friend. If though it is for July do not pass go do not submit your moola. Even if as it was this year a good snow year and rainy into mid June.  
Our first day was hot and beautiful light blue skies.  We had such a short time to plan but thought we were ready to go. Clothes check, ice check, refreshments check, gear check, the extra oar per boat came in handy, we gave one away to a three boat family from Bozeman.  We even weighed it all to make sure we were floatable.  The 12 foot inflatable pontoon we estimated 512 pounds including its rider, the 9 toon foot 320 pounds including its rider. With ice loss and water use we figured we would get lighter as we went so all was good.
  We took two vehicles a second trailer, and shuttled one to Eden bridge over the 60 or so miles of dirt road.  This is rare and beautiful country. Yes you can imagine how large Montana is when you drive the highways, from Tammany to Wibaux is a slight 620 miles, even at the now popular 80 miles an hour its a leisurely 7.75 hours ( no stops and no we are not there yet).  Montanan’s get it, we  know every 30 minutes or so on a highway we will find a small town, but those not from here would gasp to find out that in many places you can drive a dirt road for hours and see no one.
Our get in was Thursday, no hassles, the ranger very nice, let us go a day early. I am not sure we ever loaded the two pontoons that fast, the water a slight bit cooler than the skin should have given us some pause but the excitement outweighed it.  In we pushed. Our first seven miles was incredibly pretty, but a struggle, float and dodge the rocks, stand up and pull the boats, then float and dodge the rocks, stand up and pull the boats and repeat. Still the excitement kept us going.  Jeff and I would holler back and forth to each other “it’s going to get better, couple more creeks are going to dump in a few miles up”
Rock Garden our first stop was magnificent, small fire rings set up at these three, well  spaced spots is nice, this is where we donated an extra oar, in return for a nice portion of very sweet, very chocolaty brownies, the three boat family from Bozeman, new friends.  We were warned we should bring fire wood, and glad we did, the steep hill behind camp kept previous gatherers close the river so just sticks and twigs was all. WE got the tents up, checked the ice, pumped drinking water from the coolers. The plan looked good, the wood would be used up, cans of refreshment would be each a pound lighter, ( yes a pint is a pound the world around), we could almost feel the boat weight going down.  We had purchased along with cubed ice block ice, (for future reference you will not run out of ice using this formula), dinner was cooked by Chef Jeff, steaks, and cowboy fries, Mmm Mmm Mmm. We  got camp cleaned up, bear proofed everything, coolers bolted, food tree hung, bear spray and air horn ready for the creatures. Bed was 10pm, man can Jeff snore.
The morning was glorious, the sun rose and pointed its beams straight along the river, the tents, warming as the rays melted the dew off the their skins. The morning mist from the smith hung a few feet off the rippling water.  Jeff had the fire going, and jetboiled some water for coffee. The second sign, which only now at this writing, that it was going to be a slow trip came as I fished, cast and moss, cast and moss. Bright green in the sunbeams, but a dull color green in my hand.  No worries, its just the first morning, cool cold water from the extra streams will clean it up and the bacon we brought to wrap brooks and browns in was still nice and chilled in 50 pounds of ice, it was still 52 miles of river.
Our second day started well, camp picked up quickly as usual, pontoons loaded the shove off and a hearty “good bye first camp” “goodbye Rock garden”.  Again the flows were tricky, dodge and weave and drag the boats. The occasional back and forth “its gonna get better, gonna be more water soon”.
Then my special four words. With 46 miles of river left, in the most beautiful part, just where the towering two and 3 hundred foot cliffs start. Yes it is true, the Smith river gurgles along in July through a 40 mile long canyon, granite cliffs mingled with limestone shelves, pine trees clinging precariously on shelves of sparse dirt, a spot of green in front of an off grey back ground one hundred feet from the river and one hundred feet from the top.  Cliffs pock marked with black caves, imagined full of rare bats and native buffalo drawings and hand prints.  This is where the stitch on the canvas cover of my pontoon gave up, a sickening “punk”, “punk”, quick rapid fire  pink, pink, pink, my words to Jeff,  “We are  in trouble man”. Just when you believe Montana is a big state, you realize there is no way you are going to walk swim, wade, and drag a 9 foot pontoon 46 miles, no one is coming to get you. 
A quick jump out, water knee deep, slosh to the bank, pocket open, tossing hat, shirt, water filter, fishing gear, to the bank, flap open twist the henries valve the bladder wooshes its air out. Jeff is there to help pick it up. Grimaces. We both look up, no way out, then scan the river twelve miles back. I unstrap the pontoon and roll it over to inspect it. The great thing about Jeff is he is a good idea guy, and out they come. “We brought duct tape” (his idea).  We pondered it, how long will it stick? Do we go all the way around?  I add “We floated a day and half with a tarp wrapped around Tony’s tube to Columbus” ( at the time also Jeff’s idea) we had a tarp.  Then as I am straightening the seam, head down looking at the bladder.
Out of the blue came, from this time forward, my four favorite words:   Jeff says, “Can we sew it”.
 We are pretty good friends, I have known him like 30 years, we are like Jonathan and David of the bible. We have traveled about, me the old guy who everyone thinks is his dad, all believing he is the good and faithful son.  I haven’t hugged this man often, and I didn’t then but I sure was ready to. 
 “I have a needle and thread in my med kit”.  Jeff looks at me and says “You do”. We try it, the eight pound fishing line like the camel is too big for the needles eye. He looks at me a bit sheepishly as I get out my tackle box, pull a dry fly out and ask him for his knife, we clean the hair off I crimp the barb, and in an hour I have stitched the canvas back together.  The boat oar and brownie family passed by during the process, they all knew what kind of a jam we were in, each boat slowing and stopping to offer some help there were a few “wow’s”, and  “great idea” given as they floated away.  With the pontoon sewed up all the gear stashed on Jeff’s boat off we went toward our second camp, It was a bit of a nerve racking full day, but inspection at the next camp showed it looked good.
We floated past the three boat oar and brownie family again on the way out. Bantered like old neighbors. They were glad to see us, I am sure we were the topic of conversation among them for a few days they offered again to haul some gear, we floated by.
 The stitching held for a long 41 miles, but gave way just five miles from the end of the trip. We let it go. I floated leaning way over sitting on the good pontoon, paddling through the cottonwood debris, all the way to Eden Bridge.  Both of us were glad to be on good ground.  Even when we found the jeep had a flat tire it didn’t slow us down we had floated the smith through its towering canyons, yes the fishing was bad, but isn’t  the definition of the word fishing a gamble anyway. With everything loaded up off we took, opting for the slower easier path down through Helena. Moving along at a good pace and reliving our four days, is when the real trouble struck, the jeep began to rattle furiously, and then with a huge bang and then quiet, a big hiss of steam it slowed and I shut it off. Being from Montana we knew it was just a few walkable miles to the next town so up the lid went, the water dripping, from somewhere, we  found the radiator had no water in it. So out the pump came as always we pumped up some water for the it from the cooler. Dumbfounded there was still ice in it.  I poured it in thinking we could find the hose that was broken, but to my dismay it had come from the engine block.  There it was a dime sized hole, I could peer right in. I pointed my finger at it and said “ We are in trouble man” he looked in at the hole and without looking up said.

“Can we sew it” 

The knight watched the valley begin to glow in the morning light, evergreens turning from night time black into limes then vibrant green as the day’s warmth lifted the fogs. The mug of hot morning teas warmed his hands. 
For several days he had had the feeling of being followed, nothing magical just the far off bird noises and commotion, the  circling and settling, circling and settling of groups of the forests winged denizens miles behind them.  He knew the followers would pass this morning so had purposefully circled back and camped high above the trail.  The princesses tent set back into the glade, his single tent in front. Her handmaiden was up busying herself with camp duty, water to wash being warmed, a bit of breakfast over a small fire.  His heart warmed thinking of the few days on the trail they had shared. Even though he felt he knew the truth, he would never be able to convince her family and friends it wasn’t a kidnapping, the old soldier wanted to believe her words of love expressed to him, but who would believe a young beautiful woman would choose an old man broken down, soft, and scarred, over the prince who now followed.  The young strong man who raced to recapture no to save the one he loved. 
He saw the slight motion from her tent flap, his heart trembled waiting for her to emerge, he imagined  she would emerge in a single white gown, alabaster feet treading across the soft pine needles toward the fire, with eyes still closed he imagined the fire in her auburn hair as the morning sun started it into its slow burn. The old knight knew where his heart was.
 The distant beating of hoofs brought him back, he opened his eyes, no princess at the tent flap. He peered down the incline toward the trail, then, through the cut, the young prince galloped, his crop urging his horse to move faster, a few seconds later the prince’s second came into view, his horse straining at its bridle. The knight strode back to his tent, splashed the extra tea to the ground as he reached his gear stacked neatly by the tent door, saddle blanket over a stump, saddle resting above the ground ,dry and secure, he put his cape on tied it about his neck, and then the sword and its scabbard,  secured about his waist. 
 Nothing good came from a sword fight, yes in a skirmish of many men a few would escape with a slice here or a stab there, but when two men fought only one came away from it alive.  Long ago the old man had learned that a sword duel was like a dance.  Each man with his boots tromping, thudding toward the other and then away, a shuffle then a tromp, shuffle and tromp almost like a waltz.  Always a lead and a follower. The music of the dance came from the swords as the clamored together. The light clicks, each together testing one another was the beginning of the music, then a swoosh clap, swoosh clap, with the boots tromping the center of the musical piece, a muted uh or huh from the dancers, then the blades would add their scream, shing.  The dancers would begin again, click click, tromp shuffle uh, shing, and again until one dancer, with a single uh, his last breath ending the music and the dance
The old knight looked at his blade pressed his three off fingers against it to test its hone, the blade skinned their edges, sharp, the tip he tapped against the toe of his boot, it bit the leather creased it with ease, yes ready.  He noticed the hand maiden go to the tent door whisper then sweep in, she had seen the urgency knew it was time to awake and be ready for fight, fight even yes surrender. 
The old man trudged to the clearing in front of the tents into the sunlight. Its warmth seemed to sap his energy.  He knelt, one leg down the other up with his sword resting across his knee.  He waited. The past few weeks in the presence of the young princess had been invigorating, the warm nights talking, the small banter, the occasional warm touch, made him feel at least for a time young.  He so so wanted to believe, but he knew in a few minutes a young man who truly believed he was loved, who truly believed in love, would be standing in front of him sword drawn, ready to take what he believed was his. Who, who, yes who could tell the young prince this maiden the princess wasn’t his.  The old knight had been the girls personal guard for many years, he had watched over her, watched  as she and the you prince, shared time together, the old one had been at every small lunch the two had shared together, laughing and giggling over wine in many forest glade, had watched from afar as the princess cradled the young man’s head against her shoulder. The old man couldn’t count the times of  late night fires with star filled nights he had seen the princess lean in against the young man’s breast.  Who would tell the young man he was wrong to believe the princess loved him. It would now only be the sword
The whinnies of his horse told him the young prince was close, then the thudding of hooves up the hill and over the top the prince broke, galloping directly at the knight.  He stayed knelt.  The lad came off his steed at full gallop sword in hand right leg over the saddle horn, his booted feet hitting the ground.  The young man’s mare broke speed as she neared the knight, her hocks lathered, her breath steaming even in the warm air. The knight stood and grabbed her reins as she came by, let them slide to the end knots through his hands, burning his flesh, she finally skidding  to a halt feeling the tension in her bridle.  Her knees trembled as the old man turned toward her, he whispered gentle shushes to her.  The night sheathed his blade. He palmed his hand toward her, let her smell his calmness, he could smell her stress. She worked her jaws back and forth around the steel of the bridle, the knight sighed and wondered to himself would this young man treat a prized possession the same way he treated this trusting companion.  The mare shuddered as the knight came to her side and loosened her saddle.  
The young man bellowed his challenge a long drawn out “OLD Man I AM HERE FOR THE GIRL”  as the saddle and blanket came off.
The knight disregarded it, saddle and blanket in hand he slid his other hand along the mares wet back, swooshed the sweat from her, looked at the young man and massaged more wet off the mares front legs. 
The lad stood sword in hand, again “OLD MAN I AM HERE FOR MY BRIDE”
These words cut to the deepest part of his soul, the knight turned and looked toward the maidens tent, as soon as his eyes came around she bowed her head.  Had he been duped, were her words of love for him façade, had she used him for an escape.  The knight steadied himself led the mare over to the young princess and held the reins out to her.  He looked intently at her, waited for her to look up to meet his gaze, he measured her reaction when he spoke to her.
“ I told you, you had great power” he let the words sink in, 
“all men are just men” he continued “ you my beloved will now see the power you wield, whether you wish to believe in this power is your choice,  but my fair princess, after today whether you wish to use your power in a right way  or the wrong way is up to you”
He wasn’t sure but could believe she could hear his heart break.
The knight looked at the handmaiden, her eyes were beginning to well up with tears. “  after today all of my gear goes to the young lad” he looked at her not thinking she heard him 
he said it again “ did you hear me M-Lady all my gear goes to him” she blinked at him and shook her head yes.
Then to both of them “my horse is yours” he pointed at the handmaiden, she blinked again and looked sideways at the princess. She kept her head down, he couldn’t tell if she was crying or not.
The old knight turned to start the dance, wiped his hands, looked at the rope burned hand then with head down.
“You my darling, My light at night, my warmth on cold days, the healer of my cracked and broken heart, you my princess now you will behold what true love is.
The old man turned into the glen toward the young man. Of course she could love this one, the man’s open tunic showed the strength of his chest, no scars there, his sword arm strong and sinewy, his other showed the strength of hard work and youth.  His legs below his kilt thighs strong, calves bulging at his boot tops.  Yes of course she could love this one, his face below his golden locks though was contorted with grief, anguish, the pain of heart showed upon his brow.  The old man made an effort not to show this same pain, smiled……….then knelt both knees on the ground, he pulled his sword from its sheath placed it on the ground in front of him leaned back against his calves and across the short distance with his head down spoke past his broken heart.
“young prince you know I have affection for you, I have no fight with you my friend, I have spent many long nights watching over your safety” 
 The memories of the princess leaning hear head upon his shoulders her arm about his neck made him cringe, a tear came.
“You my prince” he started “ are as dear to me as the princess”
‘YOU STOLE HER OLD MAN’ the prince blurted his pain apparent “ KIDNAPPED her” he softened.
 the old knight calmed his racing heart before he spoke, he knew no one would believe. “She comes and goes where she wishes, I am here to guard not only her being but also her heart”
the next words true or not made the knight’s head reel.  
“She has vowed her heart to me old man” the lad hissed them 
He ached to turn to see her expression, his ears strained to her a sob or gasp from her. Nothing. He could barely utter the same words again. They came out jumbled.
“she goes where she wishes” he stammered 
His next words came with tears “my sword is yours my prince” 
The old Knight  desperately wished to believe.  It had been just a few minutes ago he had in fact believed in her love for him. And now all he felt was alone.  His mind cleared at the feeling.  Alone, he had always been alone, He slept alone, ate alone, rode alone, he guarded his heart alone, and at this point also it seemed alone. 
“My prince” the knight grabbed his sword, stood and turned to look at the princess, walked toward her, he could tell she was sobbing, but for who or what he could not tell.  He continued “ what you do from this moment on, will show what kind of man you will be tomorrow, what kind of man you will be for the rest of your life”
The knight came to the princess he held out his hand lifted her to his feet. He looked into her eyes and continued. The words more directed toward the princess than to him
“You may believe what true love is, and today you may have even see true love, but until you have truly been alone you will never know true love”
The music of the dance came into the old knights head click click, tromp shuffle uh, shing.  Before he turned to dance he whispered 

He stood in the cabin door, letting his eyes adjust to the light inside, finally finished it still smelled of fresh hewn pine. Three years building it. A surprise for her.  In to the left the kitchen area, table and chairs built, shelves full of  plates and bowls. His heart ached in pain pierced as he imagined her there biting her lip testing some recipe, when she knew he would accept any small thing.  Ahead a hearth of river stone, its pit full of a bit of the ash from checking its draft. He imagined through his tears how she would look standing in front of it telling sweeping stories with her hands gesturing to the right and left, about conquests or stories she had heard. To his right a large sitting room, he closed his eyes and could see her there laughing, he popped them open when the hurt began. He stepped in, the weight, anxiety shook him, another step in, the floor was solid, he realized the tears had restarted. 
  As he built the home each piece had some special moment in it, his hand on the window by the door flooded his memory of her by the creek, and then a moving image of her walking in a field of flowers with her mare trailing behind her. It crumpled him to the floor, sobbing took over, his many year effort, his dream of a home with her, his need for her presence, a sham, a false dream?  Not to him he begged "not to me it wasnt" he whispered.
 Gaining strength he stood, again imagining her sitting right there with him knitting or reading talking about this and that. Her smile was his sunlight. Her laugh the clear needed water of his life. In farther the bedroom, its bed all ready made never touched, the ache was to much he turned and fled the space.
  He had asked when I move in will you move with me. The memory of her answer grabbed his heart, "even if you build it I will not move with you dear knight it is to selfish". He groaned out loud stepped off the porch, another groan, each step added words. 
"even if you build" a wail escaped his throat
"dear Knight" it wasn't just a dream for me he yelled.
"I will not move with you" another scream as his heart broke again.
"it would be to selfish" drove him onto the forest floor
  He used to be so strong, led men into battle, fought for fun in drunken brawls, had felt the heat of burning castles, the cold hand of death had not affected him, and yet a handful of broken dreams made him old and feeble. Turned him into a shell, empty. It had not been was not a false dream for him.  He knew why she could not move, yes all valid reasons, and he was a fool to have made such plans, put so much effort into finding  happiness, an effort that may have killed him. Had she ever truly been ready to follow him?   He lifted himself to his kneels, the tears streamed to the back of his neck as he looked into the blueness above, he prayed to no one, he knew it wouldn't be heard. He struggled to his feet and toward the fire, He tugged the bow off his back and reached for one of the arrows ready with their wrap to set the false dream ablaze. He pulled the bow tight "it was not a false dream to me"  he whispered.

A breast of constant pain, lost like a ship rudderless all sails torn. 
Cabin strewn with letters unsent, empty shelves, all maps worn

Below its decks hollow, salty water tears through the cracks of creaking beams.
The princess on its bow no longer leading but fleeing unwanted dreams.

From hand to hand he spins the wheel above the deck awash with ropes and gear
Like the rumbling waves, with foamy tops, dark his heart alike topped with salty tears

Flotsam and jetsam his only companion if ought his heart belong alas it is now a trespass
No port in sight through rumbling waves, expanse of hopeful stars above sorrow below amass

At first a course was set sunny climes, beaches clean, drawings, painting, writing desks and tea
Its course now bleak a darkened soul, candle wicks blackened, a single man lost at sea

Through gray massed clouds upon the single star of guidance he peers
An end to this lonely journey will nought be near 

Given a heart of hopes, and plans once delighted
He travels a journey now unknighted
He begs the waves his call to her be sent undying love

Where did I go?

Do you know 

The I who loved life and friends
The I who marveled at the stars on a clear night
The I who laughed at stupid things
The I who loved beer in front of the fire
The I who felt something inside 
The I who smiled
The I who wanted to live
The I who sang out loud

Where did I go

Do you remember

The I who was happy
The I who knew the path
The I who grew each day
The I who joked a joke
The I who wasnt empty
The I whos eyes sparkled
The I whos heart leaped 
The I who didnt fear death

Where did I go

Today I pictured you and I together in a future life both young and strong and happy, going about our day in the house you built, drawings about that we both drew, a few books full of your poetry, a big wooden rocking chair you made for me that I often sat in to read, study, or knit, a vase of wildflowers you'd picked for me from the surrounding hillsides beside it, through the open window chickadees sang their summer song. You would be wearing a soft wool shirt I sewed up for you, green, bringing the warmer yellows out of your sea-colored eyes. Good wool pants too with strong, veiny bare feet sticking out, a handsome brown leather belt around your lovely waist, heavy gold ring on your finger that I'd given you because although i don't particularly like men to wear rings, this one had special meaning.  Your eyes were smiling, twinkling, in fact they never really stopped, and the downward corner of your mustache told of a smile underneath. You had a beard a couple days old, coarse and handsome. In this  future timeline we woke up together, felt happy and energetic right from the first breath in the day, worked hard almost everyday and loved it, generously gave to others, learned something appreciated something new each day, went to sleep at night in peace. I see myself plunking down on your lap, taking you in a great big hug, resting my forehead against yours, and feel you smiling and taking in a deep breath of contentment. I think then you'd lay a gentle kiss on my head and whisper, "This was the perfect day. I love you Kitten." 

March 18th she told me goodbye

March 20th 2018 I lost everything

March 22nd 2018 my everlasting life was threatened by R I would be Df for as long as she feels I need to pay.

March 24th R tore up my life in pictures

March 25th ached to find you
My prayer this day the 15 th hour of nisan 13 (2018) 3-31-18

Father, Jehovah the supreme of the universe, please I beg you hear my prayer,  what have I done, where have I fallen, you yourself well know.
My heart is an open book to you, into it you peer, in me you see a sinful sinful man, I beg you not hold your anger toward me for long,

But how could you ever forgive me, my actions have killed a young lamb of your flock, a beautiful dewdrop, an innocent one. Her death weighs heavily on my heart, her soul I beg you protect, her heart do please calm, erase me from the earth please to keep her in your arms
I have brought to ruin a family, my family, have lost precious things, mothers and fathers you provided me the orphaned boy, a brother I have harmed, a life that will never be the same.
You know I am torn in heart, I cannot love the one under my roof, the pain she inflicted I cannot forget, her mouth is like the serpent’s bite, in her hand in her touch upon my skin the scorpions tail. As a grown man I cringe at her, and weep knowing your requirements for me.
I moan, and fill my night rest, with tears, knowing I cannot return if I do not take her back, my pillow each morning wet from the tears of my eyes.
How I have truly come to know how treacherous the heart is, mine like stone weighs me down.  I am in constant turmoil over the tender one of my heart, my mind begs please solace send to her, my heart rips in many pieces as I think how much harm I have caused her, because of my weakness, my greedy heart. Please do not forget her.
Please father as this day closes and the special day begins, I beg you send your spirit to me to calm my heart to fix this one broken, in so many ways, and compassion to those I have harmed.
In my kings name I beg Christ Jesus amen

My prayer today 4-7-18
Father I recalled the son of Judah, Er, who displeased you, my heart reaches out to beg forgiveness, I craved that which was not mine to have, my heart pulled me along without restraint, I beg you see me again to let me return as a lowly one in the throngs of your house, and if I perish before you and do not receive life I beg and implore you stay with the one I left, give her peace of mind, strengthen her. Into the throngs of your fold I long to be, my heart aches at my error my heart is torn in two because of love. Please your spirit a beg to strengthen me to make me do what is right to remain humble and accept your discipline. I beg these things in the name of your king. Christ jesus amen

I saw you today, your hair has gotten so long It was your day back, wednesday. You were walking with your mom toward town, I knew it was you right away, I felt happy that you were back home safe. I am so much in love with you, I am lost, and am never going to get back, I cant seem to not be intensley sad, pray through my tears to Jah for his help to make me not feel any thing, .  Started my journal again, I have no one to talk to at all.  Missing you so much
before today the hardest thing for me was
to know I could never feel your hand in my hand again.

before today the hardest thing for me was
to know I could never cup your face in my palms and peer into your eyes

before today the hardest thing for me was
to know id never hear your voice, your laugh

before today the hardest thing for me was
to know I would never again put my head in the crook of your neck and know I was safe

before today the hardest thing for me was
I would only see your smile from far away

before today the hardest thing for me was 
that i would never smell the scent of your hair again.

After today the hardest thing for me will be.
I may never feel your hand in my hand again.

After today the hardest thing for me will be.
i may  never cup your face in my palms and peer into your eyes
After today the hardest thing for me will be.
i may never hear your voice, your laugh
After today the hardest thing for me will be.
I may never again put my head in the crook of your neck and know I was safe
After today the hardest thing for me will be.
I may never see your smile again

After today the hardest thing for me will be.
that i would never smell the scent of your hair again.

they want me to do something I can't do  I need you to know my heart will always be yours

I told you once that if I loved you I would always love you, I don’t know why I am that way, but its true I can not stop loving you

please dont forget me 

The only two people that kept me sane was 

J. who did the right thing 
 if I havent told you today
You who did the right thing,  
 if I havent told you today
I was so used to at least seeing you in the chat bar, 
I drove  around searching in my car
 if I havent told you today

when you disappeared i lost more strength, 
My heart is still yours height, breadth, length
may 6 2018
How can I miss someone so much?  Not just their smile, or the glint in their eye, but how their voice sounds, 
How can I miss somenoe so much, not just the color of their eyes, but the shape of their nose.
How can I miss someone so much, not just their giggle or how the corners of their mouth turns up when they smile.
How can I miss someone so much, not just the color of their hair, but their toes hidden in theor socks
How can I miss someone so much, not just the shape of their fingers, but the way their ears dont have lobes.
How can I miss someone so much
Because they saw something in me of value
Because they didnt judge me for my size
Because they saw my heart before they saw me
Because they listened when I spoke
Because they let me in their heart.
Because she is my very best friend.

I miss you so much

How does one mend a heart crushed, 
When one tires of another its just pure time.
How does one mend a heart crushed
When like Romeo and Juliet 
Montague and Capuletet its others who chime.
How does one mend a heart crushed
as others rend and others tear
when those outside pressure bear
How does one mend a heart crushed
when older men so wise and true pull and war
when friends and family upon your mind pour
How does one mend a heart crushed
does the crack get slighter, no
when down the chasm many prayers flow.
How does one mend a heart crushed
you beg him for solace through many tears
to chase the ache and the fears.
How does one mend a heart crushed
when two as friends begin
how does that love end
How does one mend a heart crushed 
down the hearts gaping hole
begging and pleading go.
How does one mend a heart crushed
along with solace questions ask
have I lost a future embrace in which to bask



Ive come to realize

 I will always love you
 I WILL always love you
 I will ALWAYS love you
 I will always LOVE you
 I will always love YOU

im like dust on the window sill, or chalk on the board
at one time I was solid and full but now as if im something that can be blown away with a breath
friends I had who cherished my laugh, wondered at my voice, now slowly erase the memories, of us, like the teacher erases the lessons of love and life from the board, 
I have become barely an imprint yes I understand why but im a shadow unseen behind them.

memories of me deleted like old files
or special pictures tossed aside or even torn and shed, blue clad fingers now gone. 
like a man of sand who vanishes with each minute each  day pouring through the hole of the hour glass, into an intistinguishable pile. 
And what I have is bitterness, a false companion full of lies, egotistical and greedy, my voice is dry soon to vanish like weathered grass.
an unheard whisper.
my solace in prayer even seems futile, a sinful insolent man destined to vanish,.

oh had love saved me, watered me, molded me from dust and dirt into some form
now I find each place I held is now replaced, or gone things I cherished vanished from screen and heart.
for the best they say but alas, a lonely existance is what i bear.
Are you still here?  do you come to visit?  Ive become like a patient in a hospital bed, a man with no friends, watching the door, and finding only white gowned nameless nurses, begging for lost family to poke their heads around the corner, wishing familiar smiles might grace my bedside, only to find sterile smiles of unknown men. praying the steady beat of the monitor to squelch to a single line, wishing to not wake. can I ever say Im sorry enough, can I ever give voice to my hearts one love, will I ever know peace or tranquility again?
I can see the folly, buiding an escape of sail boats and crisp clean sheets under canopies of silk, corners of water colors and a table of prose within sweet abode filled with tue love, simple sweet kisses, gentle cheek caresses, my head says you can not but my heart my poor anguished heart battles me.  please believe my heart is yours,yes to do whats right is a burden, I tell myself over and over its ok for now...I can love you but not have you..if I havent told you today, if I havent told you enough, reminded you....
all my heart

we are

grown upon flowing prairies
after dark Irish fairies
JD's hider behinds
in our childood minds
spotted ponies 
old time cronies
benruds bench, buzzards glory
hay to morning poniies with muzzles hoary
from europes mountains Jura
english colonies, Illinois and Missoura
poker, wist pan lets begin
you bet deal me in
Irish, English rum and gin
beautiful native blood sprinkled in
taylor generations
with many iterations
to family east and west
to cherish family love our only bequest
The start was simple so so sweet
Of country, and arias, and rock and roll beat
Lennons love me do, croces time in a bottle
A hearts love grew full throttle
When shes gone and gone so long
sunshine in my heart cant belong
o mio babbino caro spoke to my core
Lumineers promised sweet sleep on the floor
Singing sheerans perfect in my own voice
Losing my mind wasn’t my choice.
Baby elephants walk
A treasured kittens talk
a volcano sang a lovable ditty
and over the rainbow a uke was witty.
Paul, George, Ringo, words careened
If only escape we could in a yellow submarine.
Both low and high each song my heart from happy to blue
I beg your love someday I might renew
I hope I am not being coy
Believing the post was for my joy
A new rhyme for my heart
A set of old chords you did impart
If I haven’t said today
Again my princess you given me reason to pray
To live again my only job
Three birds sang marley bob

I drive by
To make sure your safe
I drive by
To make sure you’re here
I drive by
In case you need help
I drive by
Because I need 
I drive by
For solace
I drive by
To say Im sorry
I drive by 
Hoping your happy
I drive by
For me
I drive by

I am so so sorry,

Seeing you shake your head no

the look on your face

I never knew that would hurt so much

Im sorry I made life so painful for you

thank you for letting me be a small part of your life

 at least for a little while

I told you once that I am one who never forgets

I will always love you Kitten always
I know I must but I can't, I am forever stuck to you, my heart, cant seem to let go, I know whats right, but each moment of the day if I let my sheild down I can, I will begin to ache, I wonder what it was that Ive done, Painted some story in my mind that now wont be erased, I see you in every avenue, I believe its you in the store, and on the side walk, or in a hallway, I beg for some solace, pray for release, your in every nights dream. Did you cast a spell on me, my best friend, years of companionship ripped from my life, I ache knowing you will never speak to me again, I beg Jehovah give me strength, and each time she slaps me or wakes me to argue, I weep for comfort. pray for strength. I wail constantly knowing I will die and never see you in perfection, I plee that you know I didnt lead you on, I beg Jah to keep you safe, to hide you from me, beg that he give you strength to do what is right, a knight will always be loyal, he will serve  his princess at all cost even death will not stop him.  I promise myself not to write, I urge my heart to speak of good things.
I want to write of nights full of stars, and warm sunny days, cool mountain breezes, spotted ponies and fillies with colts trailing behind them, but each story for me has a hole in it where you belong,

Im so so sorry I hurt you


it started earlier last night had gone to bed at 8pm, I knew it was going to when the hall light went on at 9, pretended to be asleep, and it began, I put my fingers in my ears so i couldnt hear it, just kept saying over and over I'm not going fight with you Im not going to fight with you and begged Jah to help me stay calm, on and on it went then beating and pushing, the hitting I can smell the alcohol on her breath, no one will believe me, I can hear her scream you will never be reinstated as long as I can help it, my ears still plugged, got out of bed to get my phone, I have been recording it to share with the brothers, I never keep the recordings it seems so childish and petty, I lay back down and keep repeating to her Im not fighting with you Im not, and as soon as I break down and start praying outloud and crying she leaves for downstairs.  It didnt last at 11 shes back screaming such horible things I start praying right away, for Jah to not forget me more reminders of whos in charge, I finally cant take it so I go downstairs to escape she follows me, screaming about getting out of her bed, I plug my ears again, begging jehovah for peace, she hits and scratches and pulls at my arms all along scream such nasty things, again promising me she will make sure I will never be reinstated, I beg Jehovah to listen, but I know she is right the body will never believe me, actually have never believed me, and I now have no one to tell, no one to speak to no one to call out to for help,I get up to escape back to my room she strikes me hard in the back of my head, and then again as I stand there, I look right at her and say so I was in your face that time? please stop hitting me, I go back upstairs I just hear her slamming the basement doors,. I'm not sure if I slept at all just prayed to be calm, to have peace and begged that he remember at least who I want to be. Woke up late, just like every next morning I hear her say through her basement door "Have a nice daaay" like the thousands of times before like nothing  happened. did get to work but all day but am realizing its hopless for me, she has been this way for so so long,  
I dreamed a dream a fanciful one of blue seas and oceans breeze, of a maiden whos hair shown red in the summers suns rays,, a story of drawings in the corner  of horses and flowers and birds and words put down on paper, the story I wanted in my head became embedded in my chest, and when it was torn from me by reality, I couldn’t restrain my heart, 
I now meander muted voice and silenced from person to person unable to speak the words I need to say. Ive served a god no one has seen and king who is hidden from my view and by faith im assured of expectations unseen, but this the hardest thing Ive know to never speak to that one so special may never be ore all time.
 If ive served those hidden surely I tell my self can love this one with a heart of constancy from afar 
email me
A few short months ago I was a pillar, a crag against the storm, a place of concealment from the wind, a humble, empathetic man, full of love and grace, trusted as a soothing balm, a comforter, a peace giver, qualified to teach, loved by many

today I am
a pervert, a loathsome predator, a pedophile, a seducer of innocent ones an apostate of the truth, one who would subvert the congregation, one who will be abandonded forever...

because I needed to be loved, longed to be loved ached to be loved fell in love
130 am friday  cant sleep I have this huge hole in my heart
all I can think of is you
 A work in progress.
Where to tears come from

In the very center of your heart there are two buckets, one is for sad tears the other is for happy


What make sad tears?

When you close your eyes and see:

Her smile, and the lines around her eyes.

When you close your eyes and you can see her eyes and their color and the little dark drop in one of the corners

When you have to use a drop of special oil to imagine her smell.

When you can almost taste her kiss.

When you can imagine her giggle and her laugh

When you can no longer remember her hand in yours

When you remember how she sniffs her food before tasting it

When you can barely hear her voice when she sang


What makes happy tears?

When you close your eyes and see:

Her smile, and the lines around her eyes.

When you close your eyes and you can see her eyes and their color and the little dark drop in one of the corners

When you have to use a drop of special oil to imagine her smell.

When you can almost taste her kiss.

When you can imagine her giggle and her laugh

When you remember her hand in yours

When you remember how she sniffs her food before tasting it

When you can hear her voice when she sang
I cant do it how do you try to not love someone
At each corner there a memory does lie
upon each street a thought
down each grocery store aile
a hearts ache bought
at the rivers edge lost love flows
at forest crossings tears do drop
on every parks bench my hearts throes
does one make pure true love stop
on the point above the rivers crest
missing from my hearts depth
sweet smiles and giggles crush my breast
off the crag all life lept
On this day (5/19/2018)  just two months ago Randi said goodbye on her way to Butte, the next day tomorrow on the 20th I was removed from the christian congregation.

strange how a bit of writing has always cleared my head, just realized Ive been writing so much poetry lately, even my regular writing has started to rhyme, 

My prayer today:

Father I know you are the hearer of all prayers, and you listen to the ones calling your name, please remember me, that I am dust, a pitiful, insolent, sinful man, unworthy of your trust. I beg today that you please offer your spirit to me to give me strength to do whats right, to be gentle and kind to all, help me remember every one has some struggle, I beg you not let me slip into the abyss, to remain peaceful within my heart, to not stike back when im struck, also father I wnat to thank you for the knowledge you gave me, I know you know me inside and out, Im sorry I cannot seem to walk correctly, please be with Randi as she struggles to maintain the truth, also please hear my prayers to keep Jeff and Vickie safe, Mom and Dad, I hope I can be strong enough to make them love and trust me again, protect Mike and Tera as they travel, please help Tony and Tracy with the trials they have, and Raded and Rachel my life seems to mirror theirs, The lemons and the Viers keep them safe and  especcially Russ he has been so kind, and I have been a horrible servant, I know I should pray for Ronda, I ask you to help her not be so violent, to calm her heart somehow, I know you are with the congregation and now that Im gone from it Im sure it will flourish even more, Im so sorry I let you down, it was is my heart, I know I should ask for forgiveness for falling in love, Im sorry I cant do that yet, please help me resolve that somehow for today I beg that you hear my plee in your kings name Jesus christ I pray amen
Uggh on my way to blackfoot Idaho, taking Andrew to get Ashton they are going to Washington Dc. For  a missing persons seminar.....need to get back for the meeting tommorrow, have to wrok even harder, now, that the body is so close to branding me an apostate, for contacting Randi after being disfellowshipped, have many times wanted to text Jeff for help, ond to say Im sorry, I guess too my texts to Russ for help probably fall into that catagory,  I know now why so many just dont come back, or cant come back, I guess its good insight.  LOL Ive now done  al,most everything, Ministerial servant, Accounts servant, literature servant, territory assistant, Secretary :( Elder:( maintenance servant, sound guy, stage, and mike runner, public talk coordinator, watchtower conducter, public speaker, watchtower reader:(, camera man, RBC LDC.......disfellowshipped :( :( :( :(
is it supposed to hurt this much
she was out of control last night when I got home . over and over and over the same, kicked me in my crotch started tossing things , broke a picture ad the door prayed out loud for her to stop talks like jah is speaking right to her giving her signs
Have you forgotten me
are your dreams now me free
has my image clouded in your eye
has your heart said goodbye
now that your escape has been made
do thoughts of us fade
as my face and eyes and smile go
The pain I brought does too

I have a Kitten who visits me in my night dreams, she pads up on my bed with soft paws, and touches nose to nose to check on me, I feel her breath as she sniffs each cheek to check to see if my tears have dried, then a sniff at each closed eye, and at each brow, then she plops down in the crook of my arm, I wrap my other arm about her and place my fingers under her chin, and she kneads the skin of my arm and purrs sweet words to me to sooth my aching heart
I should not think but get to, and now and then amuse myself with the small things she places on the web, and believe they are for me, then my dread comes, My soul aches to not know if
she is well
she is ok
she is in pain
she is tormented
she is hurt 
she is stranded
she is lost
she is crying
Is it supposed to be this painful
I got to see you tonight,In my pitiful  imagination I hoped  you were brave and went to the lit counter,  for me, hearing your voice , your laugh was so nice, it makes me glad to see you chatting with the friends.  I love your hair too...I can hardly wait to be able to look up at the hall, every song about loyalty or integrity makes me sob, and the witch jabs me her elbow and sneers at me to stop it, every scripture gets me in my heart and R thinks im crying to get attention, or for some other reason.
I miss you so much

are you out there somewhere, have I become a lost memory, now faded, unimportant, have you made it past the heart ache, the ache remains for me, still driven by my heart,  I have always been one to keep love longer than most, I pray for calmness of heart, but it only stays a few hours at a time. It seems you meander about in every thought. 

Still not feeling well after the last trip to Blackfoot Id, like im moving. a constant drift I get the same feeling after being on the river a efew days floating.  Ugh that made me miss Jeff, you two my only close friends...........crying still doesnt help, just churns up the ache.  I play the phone recordings I have on my work phone to hear your voice, still hurts me very much when I listen to your calls from the hospital. But at least I can hear you.  I wish I could tell you again how much I love you
I cant do this without you, I have to be able at least to speak to you, Are you ok, are you well, are you hurt, all the things that go with being in love with someone, I pray and pray and pray, to do good but you are in every, cloud in the sky, every turn in the river, every aisle in the store, every, spot on the river, uggh
drove about a wee bit yesterday, saw a lot of the friends in their car groups.  Saturdays are the worst days, I think I might have subconsciouly needed to be in the car on saturday morning, of course was hoping and fearing  a perchance  glimpse, of you. I cant make myself not be in love.  Not feeling to well this morning, it was supposed to be cold and rainy but it was really sunny yesterday, so maybe to much sun and not enough hydration.... love you kitten where ever you are.
to pass you have to know the Princesses  name