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Excerpt for Waiting by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Waiting


Copyright 2018 Frank Hubeny

Published by Frank Hubeny at Smashwords


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Dedication

For Xiaoyan, Sophia and Isabel

Table of Contents

Part 1: Dreams

Becoming the Wizard

Shanti, the Dragon

One Rose

Markets Moving Up and Down

Wild

The Holy Is What’s Really Real

Waiting For The Full Moonrise

Dance

Midsummer Daydream

Cornered Again In My Dreams

Donuts with My Coffee

Mountain Castle

Keeping My Imaginary Friend Happy

Meaning

Moon

Is the Sun Conscious?

The Porch As Chair

Ode to My Imaginary Friend

Raiding the Castle on the Rocky Coast

The Bed in the Forest

Walking to the Botanic Garden

Deeper Magic

Aiming for that Rainbow

Nymphs At Play

Air and Land Show

Writing on the Trolley

At the End of the Day

Grounding

Visit

Textures

Crunch

Earth, Fire, Air, Water

Wheel of Fortune

Hope

Inside the Refrigerator

Kindness Beyond Altruism

Part 2: Morning

Ogres Are Awful

Cultural Shadows

A Man in the Park

Noisy Halloween

Unexpected Beauty

The Costs of Love

Autumn Prairie

Mask over Mask

Lake Michigan

Questions that Won’t Tolerate Any Old Answers

Grooves

Seagulls in the Sun

Pleasantly Surprised

Reflections on the Deep End

Walking with the Aid of Shoes and Fairy Tales

My Imaginary Friend’s Three Imaginary Fears

Love

The Opening

Bucket List

Fish Tale

Happy With What One Has

Park Shade

First Frost’s Voice

Pink?

Living in the Light

Yellow Blooms

Peaceful Soil

Harvest Moon by Day

I’m Rooting for the Ghost

Broken Pots Are Also Good

The Wind

Kindness and Coffee

Heart Off-Centered Beating

Thinking

Rain

Patience

Almost Friends

Part 3: Really Real

The City at Night

Stones

Home Tour

The Message

Last Draft

At Rest

Cracks and Wrinkles

Pink Guardians of the Entrance

Expressionism

Dogs

The Fool Card

The End

Beyond

Right Sized for Just Enough

Beyond the Objective Surface

Blooms Against the Darkness

Man Made Meets Mother Nature

Blaming the Moon

Sun Salutation

In the Country

Copper, Silver and Gold

The Muse at Dawn

White Snow Last Night

While Driving Home

What Flowing Water Makes Possible

Living in Your Best Light

Rest and Motion

Forest Bath

Recognizing Reality

Lost Wings

Cycle

Walking in Circles

The Monster’s Return

Homemade Apple Strudel

Advent Darkness

Acknowledgements

About Frank Hubeny

Part 1: Dreams

This darkness isn’t such that I

Can brighten it by light I bring.

Becoming the Wizard

There was a wizard once who knew

The way to let what's timeless through,

Transforming what we thought was true

Into a lovely show.


He hinted there's something to do

Then we could be like wizards, too,

But now I'm old, I hope what's new

Just lets the warm love flow.

Shanti, the Dragon

The dragon watched the diminishing twilight darken the valley. He was well-known but the only one who ever saw him was a monk who thought his cave would make an ideal retreat from the banalities of civilization--until he saw the dragon. Cautiously the monk backed away mumbling, “Shanti, shanti, shanti.” The dragon thought that was his name and for the purpose of describing his encounter with the damsel that is what I will call him.

The villagers in the valley knew all about Shanti’s treasure. It was worth more than any wealth on earth because it also contained, besides the mounds of gold, the Master Gem. This gem gave anyone who saw it twinkle in the cave’s dim light eternal youth--and all that dragon did was sit on it.

However, to get one’s hands on this treasure one needed, according to legend, a pure damsel whom the hideous beast had to capture. One also needed a brave knight who, shielded by twilight, would lure the fiendish beast out of his cave and save the damsel. These two, damsel and knight, would be entitled to take as much of the hoard as they could carry away before the cave closed forever.

The part about the damsel raised concerns. Youthful females, whose purity was not in doubt, did not want to have such a dangerous part to play in getting the gold. Furthermore many a brave knight wondered, “Why not kill the stupid dragon and keep the gold for myself?” Every now and then some fool would remind everyone else that no one had ever seen this dragon. No one had ever seen his gold, nor this magical “Master Gem”, except for a mythical monk who probably made up this ridiculous tale of how to get the treasure. Most of the townsfolk felt such people could be ignored.

Given such legends, one would think many brave knights and pure damsels would have visited Shanti, but until this evening he had not seen any. That’s why he found it odd when she poked her head into the dimness of the cave and asked, “Hey! Are you the dragon?”

“I’m a dragon,” said Shanti.

“Do you mind if I stay?”

“There’s room for both of us.”

The damsel waited for Shanti to do something distressful to her but when nothing happened, she asked. “Are you a real dragon or not? Can you even breathe fire?”

“You mean like this?” Shanti took a deep breath and exhaled a flame that lit up the cave. As he did so the damsel screamed and Shanti jumped.

“Help! Help! I’m being held by a fire-breathing dragon!”

At the entrance of the cave Shanti saw seven knights with drawn swords. “Prepare to die, dragon!” said one who, unlike the others, couldn’t see very well what was in the shadows. When Shanti stood up he was over ten times their height and his scales looked harder than their swords.

The smartest of the knights countered, “We mean you no harm, dragon. Move outside the cave so we may tend to the damsel and we will depart in peace.” Shanti felt this was reasonable. Maybe they could convince the damsel to leave? He moved to the cave’s opening.

“Watch where you sling that thing.” The damsel stepped back as Shanti’s tail moved by her.

Shanti looked on as they picked through his treasure. Some knights found pieces of rusted iron and dropped them. Others found broken pottery. The hoard looked like garbage left by long forgotten peasants. The damsel noticed something sparkle, but raised it to her eyes in disappointment. She tossed it. As they left she gave Shanti her assessment of his living arrangements, “Your treasure is a pile of junk. Loser.”

Shanti went back into the cave to sit upon what he now knew was junk. He looked around for Sparkie, that stone the damsel discarded, and found him on the ground. Shanti held him near his face and smiled. The thought never occurred to him that someone might want to take Sparkie away. Why would anyone want to do that?

Sparkie scattered the twilight through the cave. Those watching this scene, if any damsel, knight or dragon-fearing peasant ever had the opportunity of doing so, would have seen the twinkle in the dragon’s eye.

One Rose

This simple story that is theirs to tell

Is older than the darkness of the night

And truer than the Sun’s new morning light

And deeper than the deepest magic spell.


Between them stood tall mountains none would cross,

A river that ran rapids through their dreams,

A forest that lay dense where one rose beamed

And warned them they could suffer every loss.


They followed Love no matter how they’d fall.

Then mountains bowed to open up the sky.

The river calmed. The forest lifted high.

What fear they felt they now could not recall.


Their tears took root, went deep. They understood

That darkness charmed by light transforms to good.

Markets Moving Up and Down

It’s maddening to hear someone

So wrong who thinks he’s right,

Who says the market’s going down,

Who gives my bullish hopes a frown,

Who paints bright day as night.


It’s true: I do not have a clue.

There might be danger there.

The herd I follow faithfully

Has got its mind made up for me.

Why fight it? I don’t care.


And when we can’t avoid the cliff

Stampeding to the fall,

I will rethink what he had said

At least before I’ve landed dead:

He’s wrong still after all.

Wild

What’s wild is very peaceful-

Silent flowing grace.

It isn’t all that civilized,

But with sure eyes we’d be surprised

To see a loving face.

The Holy Is What’s Really Real

They’re commonplace, lovers’ eyes,

And take us deep where rhythms rise

To sanity, a holy place,

Re-syncing hearts to true surprise.


Odd theories claim the human race

Has selfish eyes and lacks all grace.

Such idols have no depth to see

Beyond the surface of a face.


But everywhere there’s mystery

Much deeper than it needs to be

And deeper than a smallish brain

Since love does not move mindlessly.


Those in love should not complain.

The Lover’s backing all love’s pain

And joy as every lover tries

To hold what’s real without the lies.

Waiting For The Full Moonrise

Before this moon will rise the sun must set. I wait alone upon the beach except for strangers waiting for it, too.

And then we see its fresh, faint light. It lifts above the ocean’s noisy waves. I watch until I’m sure it’s safely high enough to journey on alone.


SAND DUNES SHELTER LIFE

LIFE HOLDS DOWN THE DRIFTING SAND

TURTLES WATCH THE MOON

Dance

While algae's greening in the swamp

And ogres in the forest romp,

The villagers would have a dance,

A masquerade, and take a chance

Some ogre with a fairy might

Pretend to waltz then start a fight.


They've never liked each other much

Although I’ve heard they sometimes touch.

I’ve even heard they sometimes kiss,

But I'd doubt all reports of this.

There’s rumors, too, they even love--

What can these fools be thinking of?


Our dance may tease some fears away

And help some find kind words to say.

It's safer meeting through disguise

When gazing in each other's eyes.

They won’t forget what each has done,

But from the present, who can run?


We'll have that dance, no matter what.

True, worried folks must worry, but

Tonight we'll take a chance on change.

Let something, somewhere rearrange,

Then, whether they like it or not,

They'll get the love they've always got.

Midsummer Daydream

I walk toward Sunset Ridge Woods busy dreaming while this summer day is busy being beautiful. Last night I read a fable telling about fairies guarding a forest glen. They punished cutting trees in their creative ways using the imaginations of the trespasser. They were more effective than fines--and swifter. Natural retribution could take years or generations. Those fairies kept the riff-raff in line--if you believed in them.

Today governments take over guarding forest preserves. Perhaps they do permit what some might call over-harvesting where it’s out-of-sight and wild. Like beauty, one guy’s rightful use is another guy’s misuse. Governments keep the opportunists in line--if you believe they can. I wonder how my mind would survive a trespass on a fairy glen? Maybe they still rule in these subtle ways even without my acknowledgment of their existence. If so, who could stop them?


SOUNDS OF SHRILL TRAFFIC

SUMMER WARMS THIS SUNSET TRAIL

SHELTERED BY STILL TREES

Cornered Again In My Dreams

My monsters have me cornered.

There’s nothing I can do,

But they’re so jumbly juicy

My teeth would gnaw them, too.


I’d like one buttered up to bite

While thinking thoughts real deep

So people think the stuff I write

Need not put them to sleep.


Oh, sure, I do get sleepy,

But they are getting near.

Monsters, monsters everywhere!

I’m cornered. They are here.

Donuts with My Coffee

One is coated fresh with fame.

One is dumpier with dough.

One has frosting smoothed with shame.

One trades sugar for its soul.


Some are tasty. Others not.

All are gone before too long.

Sipping cappuccino hot,

Foamy calmness, sounds of song.

Mountain Castle

In my mountainous castle well hidden away

There’s my beast getting restless for lightness of day

And the blood that I seek must be innocent, sweet,

So delight feeds the brain and my rapture’s complete.


How I long that the travelers wandering by

Be so true that they capture my sensitive eye.

How I long that they tarry so I’ll have a bite

Of the glory of goodness lost deep in the night.


Ah, look! There’s a traveler coming toward me,

To my mountainous castle all lost by the sea,

To the doom that awaits him. His way seems so sure

With a heart pumping love and deliciously pure.


He is knocking. I’ll open the door to his death.

He is breathing but soon he will not take a breath.

Then at the table aged wine I may taste

With his flesh, raw and bloody--there’s no time to waste.


But wait! My hand moves but it can’t free the door.

The traveler turns. He won’t knock anymore.

Have I grown out so ghostly my body has gone?

Have I nothing but fantasies I can put on?

Keeping My Imaginary Friend Happy

What a sky-is-blue-grass-is-green day. I love sitting on this park bench with my imaginary friend, Alice. While I’m enjoying reality she’s telling me that if she ever hears another rhyme between "night" and "light" or "death" and "breath" she’s going to do something I’ll regret. Furthermore she insists I stop writing those happy-happy poems because as a fully beyond-whatever adult she would rather have angst, dread and drivel smothering her than sentimentality. I tell her that I kind of like those rhymes. She pulls out some pills, "Here. Take these." As I swallow sending them down, down into the depths of deconstruction she jumps up from her existential happy place and proclaims, "Haha. That's arsenic. You're dead."

Then Alice cries, “I’m sorry I gave you that arsenic even if it was only imaginary arsenic.” “That’s OK.” What else am I going to say? She explains that it is all because she’s not real. That’s why she acts the way she does. I tell her, “Look at those atoms. They’re just empty space. They aren’t any more real than you are.” She stops crying and asks, “Really?” I say, “Sure.” Then she wants to know about that tiny stuff in the middle of the atoms. She starts crying again. I tell her that tiny stuff isn’t real either. “Really?” At this point I have to think. I don’t want to lie to her, but I don’t want her to start crying again and for all I know she’s as real as anything else I can imagine out there and so I say, “Sure.”

Meaning

If my imaginary friend had more brains I’d trust her advice, but when Alice tells me something I have to examine it from all angles, especially those angles I forget to check. It might be the best advice I’ll get today, but I really should be getting it tomorrow--or yesterday.

I once told her that a neuroscientist would likely think she was some configuration of neurons acting up in my head. She observed, “They don’t know jack. Do you really think I’m a figment of your imagination?” She expected an answer, and silence wouldn’t do, so I tried dodging the question by saying, “I don’t even know what my imagination is!” She didn’t think I had one either.

“What do you think that crow means in the sky?” Alice gazed at some bird.

“What crow?”

“The one in front of your face. And you think I’m in your imagination? You’re too dumb for me to fit in there.”

Then I think I saw what she was referring to: “That bird?”

“You better get your phone out before it’s too late. Ah!! Too bad. It’s too late. It’s gone.”

That saved me from getting out my phone.

“So what do you think it meant?” Her questions are not speculations for someone sitting in a parallel universe or falling through a black hole or bobbing back and forth in some time wormhole to contemplate. She demands real answers in the real world.

“Well, you know, it could mean anything.”

“Come on, brainless! Black crow, blue sky, flying by. What’s the message?”

“Do you know?” I might as well ask the one with brains.

“Nope.”

Moon

Some would say they know the Moon.

They’ve data they can show,

But when they look

And close the book,

What is it that they know?

Is the Sun Conscious?

What we believe about someone

May not be wholly true.

We calculate the outside stuff

And measure till we’re sure enough,

But when we think we’re finally done,

Our doubts then surface, too.

The Porch As Chair

He used the floor of the cabin’s open porch as a chair dangling his legs. The chickens were safe. The dog was safe.

He figured if he couldn’t see it, it wasn’t there. No fairies. No unicorns. The trees weren’t watching. The sun didn’t care. He was safe.

Then he saw her walk up his long path. She was watching him for some time and decided to make her move. She needed a place to stay. After they spoke his understanding of safety expanded to include her.

Now they both sit on the porch. He promised to make chairs.

Ode to My Imaginary Friend

Her hair is iridescent blue.

Her mind is God-knows-where.

The air she breathes is truly true

As if she wasn’t there.


We talk about philosophy.

She won’t admit she’s wrong.

So long with rationality.

Be obstinately strong.


The monsters deep beneath my bed

Are fearful of her sight

As might the monsters overhead

When she turns out their light.


I trust she’ll always have my back.

She won’t lead me astray.

She stays my mind when doubts attack

And shadows come to play.

Raiding the Castle on the Rocky Coast

Why would someone build a castle there

Where soil is scarce and little wants to grow

Except for moss and plants who only care

I do not trample on them as I go?

Why do I bother making secrets show,

Break down their walls, expose some inner thing,

Pretend this makes me worthy to be king?

The Bed in the Forest

Two lovers lie upon their bed

Made from a tree. They rest their heads

While in the distance there is strife.

They safely rest, imagine life

Without those worries and it’s then

They find their love alive again.


But when to them the fighting nears

They arm themselves in spite of fears

And fight defending what they know

Of good, of truth to help them grow.

Whatever happens that is when

They find their love alive again.

Walking to the Botanic Garden

We live close enough to the botanic garden that I can easily walk there. It is even easier to bicycle there, but usually the bicycle comes along for deeper rides on forest preserve trails. The problem with a bike is where to park it when I am tired biking and want to walk.

Finding where to park my mind is difficult, too, even when walking. I wonder, why park it at all? Just let it enjoy itself, as long as it is really enjoying itself and not making me anxious. Should I meditate? Do I walk straight enough? Are there any good movies to watch? Should I be on a keto diet? My mind has plenty to keep it busy dedicated to saving me from fanciful stuff.

That’s why I carry a phone. Rarely does anyone need to call me although an app helps my family locate me. The phone has a camera. When I see something unusual my eyes take me out of my head and I take a picture. Not all of the pictures I take are good. Some have too much light. Some don’t feel interesting. Some make me wonder, did I really see it that way? Some I’m glad I took.


FOLLOW THE BLUE BLOOMS

PROOF THAT SPRING WOKE UP TODAY

TURNING SUMMER ON

Deeper Magic


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