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July 16, 2011 / Samuel DiPaola

The Sundial

If I am the sun then you are my earth
and your movement is illuminated when we are near.
I watch you dance
your hands spread across the sky
gathering up the constellations
to be worn as jewelry on a warm summer night.
The radiant strands of your hair flow about
essence of peach blossom
and I am drawn near in a captured rhapsody.
I fall to my knees
you whisper your name and laugh.
It is the sound of playfulness
and innocence.
Time is an illusion.
For we have always been.
I simply forgot.
My love for you is bound only by my dreams.
As the sundial does not move, I too stand still
and gaze perpetually on your elegance.

July 10, 2011 / Samuel DiPaola

The Train

I waited for the moment which never came,
expected more.
But they lied!
Oh, how gullible.
Why did I not see?
Because I was blinded by my hope.
Even as the train was carting me off
to the final destination,
I smiled,
and thought the morning sun was pleasant enough.
The passengers all held hands,
and sang Amazing Grace.

July 10, 2011 / Samuel DiPaola

Characters in a Play

Why do you continue to dream?
Have you not tortured yourself enough?
We are not characters in a play.
Let go of the past,
and bury us.

July 3, 2011 / Samuel DiPaola

The Return

The door opens after years of darkness, and light shines through, illuminating a hidden wasteland.  In the corner of the room, an old man huddles, cold and shivering, scantily clad in tattered rags.  He raises his hands to shade the light from his eyes.  The light burns, and his eyes water.  There is nothing to see but a blinding white light.

     A voice echoes through the chamber, “Get up! You have been here long enough, and your exile is over.  Rise, and stand before me.”

     The old man struggles to stand; his back stiff and weak from lack of exercise.  Slowly, he rises, and straightens, while leaning on a walking stick he pulls up from the floor to support his weight.  Dust particles fill the air, suspended in the shaft of light beaming through the open doorway.

     The voice continues, “Your exile has been indefinitely suspended.  Do you remember your name?”

     The old man thinks for a response as his hand continues to shield the light from his eyes.  He turns away and responds, “No, I have no recollection.”

     “You are Merlin, and Arthur is once again in need.”

     “May I ask how long I have been here?”

     “Twelve hundred and three score years.”

     The old man looks toward the light in disbelief.  Against the tips of his fingers he can feel the warmth of the light. The sensation spreads throughout his body, and a brain long dormant begins to awaken.  The image of a woman’s face, the sounds of battle, and the cries of men dying.  Dust particles within the chamber trigger memories of smoke, and fire.  The woman! Yes, the woman.  The old man removes his hand from his eyes, and stands tall. 

     “I remember!  The witch – Morgaine!  She put me here.  But where is Arthur?”

     The voice responds, “He is waiting for you to revive him.  Come, move out from this place and join the living.”

March 1, 2011 / Samuel DiPaola

The Cage – A Daily Serial Adventure –

I knew my plans had gone a bit off track when I woke up the next morning, naked in the lion cage.  I could still see the imprint of her form on the straw bed to my right, but she was gone, and I was to blame.  A chain was connected to a collar around my neck which extended to the central bars above.  I was hungry and it looked like rain.  I sat and ate from the dried carcass in the corner; it was all I had for sustenance. I was thirsty and my muscles were already weak.  I had no idea what I was eating, probably some indigenous beast from the northern jungle. 

My story begins in the late fall of 2015.  I was sitting at my desk, trying to work out the weekly rations report when the phone rang.  It was Lola and she was inviting me to a party in Soho.  I told her that I was growing tired of the revivalist art scene and would rather just go to dinner.  She said we already had tickets and was going to pick me up in an hour.  I hung up the phone and realized that my report was due within the next 30 minutes. 

The streets were crowded with self proclaimed merchants, the buyers and sellers of raw materials scavenged from abandoned homes in the forgotten suburbs.  Lola and I pushed our way up the street past crowds of eager customers, all hoping to trade their wares for something more precious or desired.  

Lola whispered to me, “Why don’t the authorities do something about this?” 

“There’s no way to stop it.” I said.  “Let’s just be glad they’re not ripping the shirt off your back as you walk down the street.”   

The sky was hazy as the setting sun burned through the multicolored smog, and the streets smelled like sulfur and vomit.  Without warning, a police siren cut through the ambient noise of the street, and a man rushing past us nearly knocked Lola to the pavement.  I grabbed hold of her and pulled her close.  The police, in pursuit, fired a volley of bullets causing the crowd to scatter.  I rushed Lola across the street and we entered the seclusion of an alley for safe cover.  The man they were pursuing was not so lucky.  He fell to the ground and was swarmed in a matter of moments.  

I said to Lola, “Let’s get the hell out of here.”  We escaped up the alley and cut back along the side street. 

By the time we arrived at the party, I was very much in need of a drink.  I ordered us two vodka martinis and looked for a place to sit down.  The evening theme was urban vampire.  Women walked around the event, barely clothed in shear white, medical exam gowns, and painted, blood stained mouths.  The host was a man named Justin, a local art dealer who believed himself to be the reincarnation of Emperor Justinian.  To complete the effect, he wore a purple robe, a crowned halo and carried a scepter.  The scepter had a secret compartment which held an ample supply of cocaine. 

Justin walked up to me and waving his scepter in my direction said, “Are you in need of a pickmeup?” 

I said, with a half-twisted grin, “That’s why I’m here” 

He smiled brightly, turned his head in the direction one of the female attendants to his left and said, “Bring them whatever they want.  I don’t want them to go home disappointed.”  Before turning to leave, he addressed his next comment towards Lola, “Be sure to visit the penthouse, it’s the main attraction.” The flash of his teeth was momentarily carnivorous.

                                                    Stay Tuned . . . To Be Continued 

December 31, 2010 / Samuel DiPaola

Inside the Glass

I awoke looking out from inside a glass of red wine.
The view was spectacularly distorted from the bend of the lead crystal walls that contained me.
Friends and family appeared concerned.
Pressing their faces against the barrier, they shouted infinite warnings for me to get out.
I thought it quite amusing to see their red, bloated faces, as arms swung wildly in hair-pulling frenzy. 
The density of the interior was surprisingly buoyant.
I sat not at the bottom of the glass, but floated, suspended within the central portion.
The exterior sound was muffled yet the beating of my own heart appeared amplified by the liquid.
There was no way of knowing how long I had been there, and getting out did not appear to be an option.
I looked down to see my boots and shed clothing lying at the bottom of the glass.
Above, I saw a bright light and what appeared to be millions of fireflies circling as a cloud.
And I waited.

December 29, 2010 / Samuel DiPaola

Baby Doll

I was traumatized by her baby doll face,
but she never knew.
The light from her eyes illuminated my world,
and her laugh was pure joy.
Exhibitions of art were a trivial bore when she was in the room.
If Michael Angelo only knew,
he would have put down his hammer and chisel
and realized no greater perfection.

December 17, 2010 / Samuel DiPaola

The Messenger

The air is polluted with the stench of insincere repent
And the prophets are reeling
A voice once crying in the wilderness has been silenced
Gone are the days of warning
Bundle your children and hold them close to the burning hearth
But not as a sacrifice
The smoke-filled air is worn as a cloak by the messenger
Who stands eagerly in wait
A chain of iron worn round his waist circumvents the globe
To a lock without a key
At the appointed time, a stomp of the messenger’s foot
Shakes the mountains to the sea
And the children still ask in wonderment, what have they done?
As if they are not to blame

December 11, 2010 / Samuel DiPaola

I Read in the News

I read in the news that I was missing.
A photo was posted and a promised reward.
But they had misspelled my name.
I decided to call and have it corrected.
The assistant to the editor was very appreciative.
“We strive for accuracy.” She said.
I told her that I was only too glad to help, and hung up the phone.

December 10, 2010 / Samuel DiPaola

The Bridge

I walked over a bridge one day
and stopped half-way.
Such promise did the other side hold. . .
retreat was not an option
as I longed for something new.
If I stand forever still
in the median of my desire
will time wait as I?
Or do I run,
recklessly forward
and wonder someday where it all has gone?
Below the bridge,
an endless abyss,
where folly abounds
and better men than I
have fallen.