This is the waning day’s legend as we approach the cold solstice which begins in a land of dark skinned men with musky odors wafting about and the familiar burden of female progeny weighing on the formal bondage of scarcity. Every man works hard and clings to the earth. Many men are mighty and work the strong sons of prosperity while every woman passes the day in duty until a fresh toxin of manly musk cowls their bodies.
There were in those times caravans of men traveling south for trade. This is the time when the costly mouths of young turned to profit for the old kinsmen and a relief settled over the herds and grains. There was a female child of about twelve years who was now ripe for the gifts of man. She kept her home among her younger sister and mother who was soon to bear another child. The men of her hovel eyed her as she worked and kept details on the mother whether she was to have a man or a woman come from her parts. The twelve year old settled into work without fine clothes and with little to eat.
(Soundtrack Credit: begin Your Lips Are Red by St. Vincent)
On a cool day the caravans began to arrive and the foreign men traded for boys for work and battle and girls for their in between parts and labor. Little was paid for a female due to their problems of bleeding and making new mouths to feed. At the hovel of the twelve year old, who was out still at work, a wealthy man laid out fine coverings and tools and meats from the north. The impatient man grew distasteful while waiting, eyeing the younger girl. One elder sat staring without words as the foreigner took the child on the ground. It was now that the older girl walked in and erupted in rage at the sight of this atrocity. She took a shiv and pierced open the foreign man’s neck below the protrusion and continued the onslaught until he was dead.
This was a problem. The men of the hovel hatched a plan for the twelve year old to take the foreigner’s horse and ride in the night north, far and fast. The men would have to cover up the murder, as not to lose their heads and exchange, and set about chopping up the body and stewing it in the hut. As the caravan men were waking to the smell of morning meat, the men of the hut passed the message from their visitor that he had taken their girl and set out ahead to pilfer at the nearby wells. The guests sat and enjoyed the meat and dark thick red drink of what they believed to be a mix of cow blood and bitter spirits.
The girl, at daybreak, was on a horse traveling north and stained.
The burgeoning mountains were reliefed in the remains of beasts. Before traveling too high into the hanging cliffs, the girl snuggled into a form which would be named and catalogued at a later date. The form was a beast with a large rib and a tail which trailed off up the path. She curled in and cozied herself with coverings that had darkened to a brown red. She napped.
The impression of the previous day’s events unfolded as she slept. The day had arrived too soon. She believed she was three years from murder and she took no comfort in the swiftness of her act. She reached her hands out as she played through the moments she had tried to pull her sister with her. All the struggle was a rustling silence and the men of the hut had her on that horse before she could wipe the tears from the little girl’s face.
She woke to the sight of a leopard who called her Po.
“You do not sleep here.” spoke the bloody faced leopard. “You curl inside the long beast and distinguish no shame for the danger you have left this one.” The leopard flung the remains of a carcass toward Po. “That horse is not mine.” she said. She pushed herself with her legs deeper into the rocks. “Still,”spoke the cat, “we only speak of this because you were the smaller less significant of the pair and though he quick and you sleeping there, the meat of this is better for me to bear the cold air settling over this place and so now I have the chance to pace and wonder, why is a child curled deep in the belly of a rocky fish and sleeps in bloody coverings and flails like this.” The leopard paused in step.
Po read the calm satiated face of her confronter and inched out of the fossil belly. (Soundtrack Credit: begin The Archer by In Cadeo)
The two gnawed on flesh to the bone and spoke together of climate, geography and the little quirks of life. The leopard would be free of ravenous murder for days now. From the expression Po carried, there was no telling when she would do it again.
She had seen armor before and had taken part in masquerades for the dead, from time to time. Po looked over the boney leftovers and horse skin scraps. All around, scavenger birds were flocked and Po aimed a rock at the loneliest one. She gutted and used the large bird as a sack to carry off a few choice pickings. She rolled the skin to haul on her shoulders. The leopard was agile through the heights and shadows.
Po had followed a path so worn and beaten that tracking by sight of soil would aggravate her sense of direction. She followed the cat off the path and wolves followed her stench and sang songs in the night. This went on for several days as she continued her slow murderous collection of small animals like goats and rabbits as well as larger ones like the bear she found tuckered in a cave. Its fur was warm and the little girl was amassing a fine wardrobe of powerful suits.
This is in the forest. Po was a magnificent beast with a horse skull head and feathered blades winged from her long haired vest. Her leopard and wolves and thousands of fowl marched in the dense brush. When they slept, the sounds of growling snores announced her dominance beyond the human range. Rhinoceros and elephant where stopped in their tracks very far away.
This is at the Black Sea. She came to the shore like the morning star and the fishermen became excited and dumb for her in between parts. Her beasts were nonchalant as she dipped in the water while the men called to her. They begged for her. The fishing men steered to her. Their desires were waking toward death as easy as sipping wine at a wedding and they were just as intoxicated. When they met, Po climbed aboard tying them in a game and dropped them overboard to drown.
Having managed the ship close enough to shore, all her menagerie loaded on and they feasted on fish of different sorts and laid under the bright milky way. She read the sky as a civil plot, marking architecture and long avenues and the meanderings of folks and commerce. She read the sea and saw its beasts but it was all trivial without her sister who played in mud and tipped melted wax from burned out candles.
Chapter Two: Day of the Dead
On the northern shore, a day long drizzle left the once burning pile smoldering in white muddy ash. It had taken many days to burn the ship. Po was now familiar with the difficulty of starting a fire and the work required to control it. So much work had brought her this far and she was about faced toward the south. The day’s burn hung in strands along the sky and she figured to now go back. Perhaps there were compounds in the planks which entered her blood stream through the air she breathed as it burned and escaped in ringlets from her rounded mouth; wide open taking in rain and exhaling smoke and steam, or perhaps it was the cache of found delicacies but over by the far away tree, she spotted the form of an angry bear much like the skin beside her.
(Soundtrack Credit: begin Absinthe Party At the Fly Honey Warehouse by Minus The Bear)
It was not the actual specter of the bear but a real man, fat, disgusting and hairy, stomping on the ground and tearing out clumps of grass. Po giggled and made his growls into a song. She stomped around dancing with a smile. The big hairy guy made his way over, dragging his knuckles on the ground. He did not say hi. He just threw a stone at the kid. Po slipped into her bear skin and feeling protected, decided not to kill today. She continued to giggle and put off traveling for another day.
The whole lot of Po’s pack paced in the grassiness chewing berries the fat monster man kept. He was a homeless bastard from further north and shared all the things he had once kept as possession. Most of the animals fell asleep while Po experienced what the drooling elders of her hut must have known when they, after ingesting some stuff, would drop their shoulders, alter their breathing patterns and frighten the children. She kept an eye out for the grizzly man.
Po was in a deep inner dialogue questioning the exchange of pleasantries amongst men, pain and the suspicion that danger was near the milk goat. Fearing the first man she killed, Po backed into the fat loaf man and he looked at her until she became uncomfortable. His breathing made steam and low vibrations. He reached out, taking the milk goat by the throat and bit into a chunk of flesh. Then he picked up a large rock. The fat beast walked off toward the water carting the rock so he could sink himself.
Po laid paralyzed staring at the loneliest beast trailing away. When she eventually woke, her instincts led her to the water. She found the lifeless bloated mess of the fat wasted man and pulled the body to shore. This is the moment the true gift of heart was invented.
His dead face was rosy and jolly and all the animals either stuck their noses near or rolled their eyes about waking to the smell and sight of him. Po was already composing hymns in her thoughts. She pried his mouth a little more open and called the leopard closer. She harvested the tongue and gave it as an appropriate gift for what the cat meant to her. She pulled out the jaw and fashioned a collar for one canine friend. She reached in further and pulled the tough chords from the neck of the deaf bastard beast. Po cleaned the organ and blew air through it and the rabbits and rodents began to dance. The others of the howling pack received the lungs and diaphragm as their token piece. Po ran her fingers inside the body along the ribs to make a dull plinking tune. As the light of day faded away, she pulled a rib still layered in fat and lit the bone to torch the night. She took the heart still dripping blood and water, she placed it in the skin of bear and conjured a spell, the first of its sort, to bring back to life resurrecting the sleeping bear. She laid her body on the skin until the bear could talk to her. She laid there and slept one night more with this lot of gifts before she would make her way north, not south, to collect a dead bastard baggie full of poison berries to take back to her hovel, for the men, for her mother to get her sister
Po took cue from the jewel box rise (the Pleiades). The group of lights in veil soon chased by the red bastard confronting the hunter. The dead bastard, her light dressed in blood skins chasing the jewel gift. Sister. Po was in the architecture of the sky. She dragged the skin bag because it was bigger than her like the fields the herds and grass. The riled wrangly child stepped as long as her legs might hold. She, persistent as the procession of unknown suns but as any saw the small diminutive lights to be she sure could be as powerful as a sun might be had any person the inclination to conceive of how important she is; more than murderous, more than laborious and especially more than the space below her clitoris. She with consistency is going to set her sister free.
She found herself among the arctic herds. She and her bear had made the trek together. Her bag unsalted still intact laid at the train of blood red coverings as she looked over fields of windblown berries blown in from the warmer months and collected there. She and the bear found a hill to sit and watch the design on the frozen field and talked of life and death in familiar ways. Curtains of color spun and grazed the dry air brushing the parts where light and sound mix sweeping soft white noise like a silent rustling.
Fresh kill. The rapist. The sweat and blood. Would they after long harden in the rock? A man appeared, pulling a sled of belongings and sat by the girl and bear. He was old and spoke a different language but he used his hands a lot while he talked so it seemed he made sense. A campfire of burning fatty ribs glowed as he told a story. The man spoke long, sometimes taking clean snow in his palms and sprinkling the melt. He had a cup and turned some snow to water. He gestured south toward the evergreens and at all the poisonous berries and made made several more at his male parts and her female parts. His words were swirls but Po was making sense of them. She was understanding the reproductive nature of life.
The next day was collecting day. Her bear and new friend gathered in all the berries into the fat man bag. When all was said and done, Po embraced her bear and asked that she stay and prepare for her return. The old man with the sled hobbled off before she could say goodbye but Po felt content to wave from her distance. She dragged her bag making a path and sucked in the cold dry air freezing her nostrils stepping her knees high headed home
Quadrantid, Lyrid, Eta Delta Aquariid, Alpha Capricornid, Perseid, Orionid, Taurid, Leonid, Geminid.
Ursid! (Soundtrack Credit: begin Your Lips Are Red by St. Vincent)
Po was back among all her collected animals on the north shore of the Black Sea. She was quick to find some ugly fishermen who spoke demeaning words acting inappropriately. She unleashed a terror on them, seized their boat and the menagerie boarded to go across water again. The ark was heading south with all of them. The girl and the animals tore the men to shreds fashioning weapons and armor from the bodies and belongings.
Now on the verge of being obvious, the crew navigated the water then traversed the land. A bright burning streak came from the stars and blasted the old long fossil free from the mountains. The thing of rock resembled the sled of the arctic man. The streak of burning gas left a lasting mark in the sky as if a serpent feathered in red and green. The sled now slid and the group hopped in, down the mountain, back to the land of dark skinned men.
Po could see her hovel and a large group of angry caravan men. Her sister was tied and the old men stared again. Hostages for the thing she had done. Po led the onslaught and piled dead bodied high. The children of the village were quick to follow her. They laid out the caravan and castrated them. As the battle slowed and her sister let loose from the burning post, Po was becoming whole.
In the aftermath, there was prepared a hearty meal and all the men and women of her hut pulled together to give thanks. As the day wore on Po presented the cold arctic delicacy and with a gesture, she sent word for all the young ones to abstain. The elder men and women succumbed to the toxin growing tipsy, less coherent and slept for many hours.
During the long evening Po confided in all the young the things she had seen and done. She spoke with them as the leopard had and there was the beginning of learning things about the self and nurturing. She made another thing clear as well, a parable about water and poison and the evergreen and how each would determine their fate through parenting.
Now all the children took a blade and without killing, castrated and closed the wombs of the sleeping people, damning them.
There was a boy who would not follow through though perhaps due to training or just his tendencies. He hurled a rock and struck Po between the eyes. In a bit of slo mo’ drama the girl collapsed near death. Her sister caught her and felt emptiness inside. The other kids made quick their grips around the boy’s neck and Po, sinking into death, reached her hand toward the northern star. Her tiny little sister pulled her and several children helped as well. Po’s body was beginning to lighten and ascend. The children held on, making it to the sled nearby. (Soundtrack Credit: begin Great DJ by The Ting Tings) Po’s body lifted into the air the sled with the children and empty bag inside. A comet of a sort streaked by pulling the sled off in a wink of an eye and the children left behind swore to never let her legend die.