Child of the Maelstrom

Child of the Maelstrom.
She was a child of the Maelstrom
Born far away from the center of it all
In the outskirts of the Halo
The chill of the absolute in her heart
Her thoughts soft and slow
Intoxicating her intellect
And numbing all unpleasant thoughts
She had formed from the debris
That was left over from Creation
The quiet calm pervaded all
And in contentment and peace --
And thankful ignorance --
She slept

In her delirium She dreamed a dream Through the silence and darkness In the Halo Her thoughts reached out Across unmeasurable distances But could not touch her neighbors That were so far away Her aloneness was all-encompassing And yet she revelled in it To be free of worries and charges -- And responsibilities -- And in her slumber She smiled

But in her dream Suddenly there was Another Somewhere -- Somehow -- It would not be seen -- Until it was upon you It would not be felt -- Until its teeth pierced you And sapped your strength It scarred and burned and hurt For pleasure alone She saw her brothers and sisters Destroyed and maimed and left reeling She awoke from her dream With a start But her thoughts still muddled In the mindless dark And she thought she heard laughter As she drifted back to sleep

And then it happened -- In one moment the center collapsed Things would never be the same A wave of pain and blindness Surged forth from the Maelstrom Killing countless numbers Of her brothers and sisters Even from the unbelievable distances In the vastness of the Halo She felt them cry out in pain Just before their strength was sapped And their lives slipped away The Anger was born The heat seeped into her body And reflected off her frozen heart But it was so far away Anger fades to mere Discontentment Light fades to dim -- Heat fades to cool -- Out here in the Halo And so -- with a sad thought or two -- She returned to the safety of sleep

And her cousins and relatives Down in the Maelstrom -- What of their madness? A certain once-removed cousin Spinning madly in the Anger's grip Covered in green scum Crawling over his tortured skin Like a nightmare come true Choking on noxious gases -- Who could envy that? An insignificant dip in the entropic field And nothing more But out here in the Halo -- The luxurious silence The wide-open spaces With not a neighbor in sight The cold That keeps unhappiness frozen in its place This is her majesty And so back to sleep

She dreamed another dream This time the Other was back Staring at her sleeping It was a grim sight -- Frozen black face A misty and undefinable surface Surrounded by a cold ring Of her dead brothers and sisters Worn like trophies It smiled a toothless grin And burned furiously with heat Left over from its birth It came close -- so close -- Its mouth grew wider -- and wider -- She snapped her eyes shut Screamed out -- and woke up To find Something moving quickly away Laughing But to her dismay She found herself -- Slowly but surely -- Falling into the Maelstrom

That furious Maelstrom -- The Anger spied her Light shone on her And heat melted into her And as she thawed out Her thoughts became clearer The pain of existence became stronger The Halo -- The pervasive calm -- The pleasure of leisure -- To be there again! But she knew that she could never return Her skin began to smolder and char And then boil She felt her bones shatter and fragment She suffocated in her own former self But then Her hair began to unfurl Blazing forth beautifully In the light of the Anger A tribute to her existence -- And her torture -- And she sighed

And as if in retribution For the beautiful sight The Anger pulled her closer And swung her round And as she fell deeper Into the Maelstrom She begged the Anger stop She begged to return To the safety of the Halo But the Anger only pulled harder That certain cousin loomed close And as he did he met her eyes sadly That green scum had changed And it had learned to walk And talk and scratch and kill And now they craned their furry heads upward To see a new fuzzy light in the sky Their artificial glass eyes Ran virtual fingers through her hair They sent insects to swarm around her And some to sting her And did their other trivial things And they realized that she spelled their doom

And as that cousin loomed closer . . . She cried

1993 December 24

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