Beyond The Forbidden

Photo by Todd McKinley

“Quickly now!” hissed Temporus, his voice clicking with impatience, “you see, there, the Bridge of Agrust!”

Below them, the sea crashed upon jagged rocks, seething white and dark azure foam. Mareth pause for an instant, following two of the Calvarig’s slender arms. Around her, Icarus Worn, and the others stood at the edge of broken coastline. Beyond them, across the swirling bay,  foreign stones bespoke safety.

A scattering of islands spanned the divide. Between each a graceful bridge arches from one island to the next.

“The Emperor’s Road,” stated Worn, a note of relief coloring his usually stoic tone.

“We’re close!” said Icarus with a smile. Mud covered his sweaty face, and the dark circles under his eyes showed only a hint of the exhausted they all felt, but they had made it.

“Father should be waiting at the end of that road!” Icarus cheered, starting forward after Temporus. Other beleaguered crewmen took heart at Icarus’s youthful excitement. She watched as bowed heads and wear limbs livened up, and even join in a quiet cheer.

Mareth wanted to share in her companions excitement, but unease rippled within her mind.

Something’s not right, she thought, looking back at the sea, there’s something . . . wrong.

Beyond her then sea moved, roaring in tandem with her deepening fear.

A shadow moved across the noonday sun, and for a moment the feeling left Mareth, that was until she heard the screams.

-M.E. InkOwl

Of Ink and Ice

What fell designs have besieged my mortal mind?

For winter has come calling, bring ice and snow upon the revery of autumn.

I am craven, stark-raving by a change of scene.

Spring fork the hounds of my imagination to roll and bark in banks of white.

Inspiration falls as soft as icy down, crystallizing around my ears.

Now is the time to feverishly place pen to paper.

Stories come now unbidden in the darkest hours of an arctic winter.

I can not contain them, my head spills forth with their songs.

Winter’s inspiration has struck me to my core.

And I must write.

-M.E.

Through a Haunted Glass

Photo by Todd McKinley

What secret lies beneath the sleeping wood?

Where mists of doubt and lies cling to root and stone.

With much stillness, does darkness wait below the silvered surface.

For with the steps of mortal man wake ripples of forgiveness.

Why would the child wake the sleeping giant, to heal it’s mortal wounds,

When would creation fall before the blackness of oblivion?

Which path will you take now? The road lies shatter between each trunk.

From here the Deepening lies Unending.

-M.E. InkOwl

January On The InkOwl

Welcome to January on The Ink Owl! This month will continue to have selections from my story, The Darkwell Chronicles. I’ve loved hearing feedback on such a personal story that I want to share more.

Between these excerpts I have decided to feature a series of winter poems. I think the mix of these two will provide an interesting read for all of you. Thank you for your views, likes and, thoughts on my writing, it is greatly appreciated! Happy reading to you all.

-M.E. InkOwl

Through A Ruin Darkly

“The wind speaks hidden words, Cereph,” whispered Worn as the two creatures watched the darkening sea.

They stood beneath a broken awning, a golden Sphinx and chestnut centaur.

Cereph continued to stare at the rolling bay, emerald green eyes taking in the world. A glossy coat of golden fur ended at her shoulders and arms were soft human skin began. But her head held a mane of tawny hair that had been drawn up under a circlet of silver.

“I know, friend,” she said, her voice filled with sorrow. Cereph turned to her oldest companion, the centaur’s glossy coat held streaks of grey. How many ages had passed that he had been by her side.

“They will come, I feel it,” she murmured, “I’ve felt it in the ground beneath us and tasted it upon the winds of the sea.”

“Darkwell is coming,” Worn breathed, finishing her though, “but there is something upon the air that you do not speak of, something written above us, in the stars beyond.”

Cereph shifted her gaze to the growing storm and said with a long sigh, “that dream died too long ago, old friend, when Hope was an everlasting river in my heart.”

“Is there no hope?” asked Worn as he laid a hand upon her shoulder. His hooves clicked upon cracked stone floors.

A sing tear fell from Cereph’s glowing eyes, she knew her deepest fears to be true, yet she couldn’t speak them.

After a moment’s pause Cereph responded.

“We are all that’s left Worn, and it is not enough. We stand alone between an Empire and the Sea, a rabble of embattled souls.”

The centaur pawed at the ground, impatience getting the better of him.

“We are the beginning Cereph,” Worn chastised, “the Elemental will come-”

Cereph held back a roar, feeling her hackles rise with her anger.

“There is no Elemental, Worn, look around you, look at our Kingdom,” she gestured to the crumbling edifice all around them, “this place will not hold, and we will fail.”

Worn stamped a hoof and was about to counter, but Cereph raised a hand, turning her face away from Worn, and beyond the sea.

“No friend, it is over. We must ready the city to fight and flee,” she said, pausing before a dark stair. “This is the end.”

With a swish of her golden tail she was gone.

Worn stood in the ruin of Parmara, and breathed in the world around him. He turned back to the sea, nostrils flaring.

“You are wrong, Cereph,” he said to the empty courtyard, eyes full of hope, “the Elemental will come. We must have . . . Faith.”

-M.E. InkOwl

Hope

Photo by Todd McKinley

Though darkness walks upon this land, breaking it asunder.

And mountains tremble beneath snowy peaks, whispering of their folly.

The free folk flee before a host, domineering and proud.

And countries quake beneath a load of slavery and compliance.

Hope is not lost, as the sun blots out, from fiery death and destruction.

For a day will come, when the elements will rise, freed from their prisons tethered.

And light will walk upon the ground, combined with powers of each.

For the Elemental will grow, from wind and water, tempered by earth and fire.

-M.E. InkOwl

Parmara, Shield of the Sea

 

Photo by Todd McKinley

 

Between sea and land,

Upon white teeth of a winding shore.

There lays a city of ruin and growth,

Continually beings swallowed by the sea, and rising from fields of green.

It is where Chimerans reside.

Creatures of myth and strangeness beyond imagining.

Continuously caught between an Empire and it’s rebellions,

Parmara continues to shine, a hardy jewel among tumbling stone.

Shield of the Sea, it means.

For once the crumbling towers and city walls were young and strong.

On one side the sea raged, desperate to destroy the foundation of stone.

Yet as wars clashed from all sides, the city remained, forever between the sea and land.

For hundreds of years, thousands of people come and gone,

Parmarian towers still stand, shielding the land from its eternal nemesis.

Forever caught between.

-M.E. InkOwl

 

 

The North

Oh to the North I am called,

Upon a voice full of ice and snow.

Between the mountains Atrox I am drawn to begin.

Foot upon foot, step upon wintery step.

Where creatures of ice and starvation thrive, and the green world shrinks from view.

Home.

I am called home, upon a voice of ice and snow.

To the North.

Beings that dwell within caves of heat and labyrinths so deep they find the very roots of the earth.

Tall men with eyes of white commune with spirits of light.

Upon voices of ice and snow.

They beckon me to go,

North.

Home.

I will be one burdened with a secret dripping of lies,

Whispered to by ghosts of old.

A secret that will bring down the world, and raise the very mountains to the ground.

Some call me Truth-sayer, some liar.

But I have touched the light of eternity.

Infinity has swallowed my eyes, blurring my vision and bestowing Their own.

My tongue is set upon Their breath, a burning sheet of ice.

And now I see and speak as the gods do

Here in the North.

Where I am called.

For I am a Seer.

-M.E. InkOwl

The Lament of Argeatum

It is said that cities of old were once the size of a cluster of farms.

Their people were one with the earth and growing things thereupon.

Within the nourishing arms of Solumra did the first peoples of the world gain succor.

And for a time the world knew peace and prosperity.

But then the crown of Solumra slipped from her fingers, spilling precious jewels upon mortal grounds.

A mistake, a blessing, but no one will acknowledge that it was a curse.

That of Solumra and Her unsatiable greed.

Now the green farms are gone, the forests laid bare.

And between petrified trees of Lacer and the Grumul peaks lay vast walls.

Walls set to divide.

Walls placed to remind.

Walls to inspire fear.

For the Empire has conquered even here.

-M.E. InkOwl

Connections

Photo by Todd McKinley

Breath deep the air of this world.

Your body moves with and through each element.

Earth beneath your feet.

Fire within your blood.

Air hissing from your chest.

Water upon your flesh.

All surrounded by the dark,

And your mind illuminated by the light.

Each speaks from the spirit of our world, Iama.

And in those words are power.

Balance, movement, wield, and control.

There you will find your center, within the Mother Iama.

And in return she gifts you with the Elementum.

-M. E. InkOwl