The Truth Behind the Eyes

He marched into the cave, full of muscle and sweat. The last tendrils of light glinted off his biceps and chest. He tightened his grip on his broadswords and walked farther in.

The cave was hot and damp, heated by the fetid breath of the beast. The lichen-slickened ground made for a hard journey. The sides of the cave were jagged and warped from the beast’s thick hide and claws.

The first thing he heard was silence. He strengthened his resolve. The silence was always the worst, but he had come this far. He would have his trophies. For the villagers. For himself. To prove that he was a man. His member surged beneath the loincloth as he thought of it.

Deeper, ever deeper. Sensing nothing until finally he heard it: the beast’s strained-raspy and hissing breath. He strengthened his back and stood erect. He waved his sword into the void.

“I am Bukanin son of Orinshield. I command you to come out beast,” he said.

Nothing. Breath.

“I command you to come out.”

The breathing stopped. A growl replaced. Bukanin gripped his sword.

The beast roared. Stomp-stomp-stomp-stump. Rrrrrrrrrrumble. The Beast charged. Bukanin charged.

He met the beast, with all its talons and fury. Roaring. Ranging.

Its hideous eyes. Thousands of them. Its hunched back. Its tiled and armor-like hide. It teeth and talons. Its rage and fury and hate. Bukanin challenged them all.

They fought there in the dark. The creature was used it, feeding off the energy supplied by bioluminescent mushrooms growing on its skin and in the cave around. But the warrior held his own. This would be his first beast, but it would not be his last. The village was full of dead animal trophies. He would not let them down.

They stabbed and slashed at one another. The blood! The blood! Green, animal blood blending with red human blood. Spraying against the walls. Drenching each other’s forms. They were both mad, crazed. Their draining fluids only made them halluncinate victory.

They sparred for ours until finally Bukanin gained the upper hand, hamstringing the foul creature, bringing it down to its side. He stood over it. Weak due to lack of blood. Weak from the dying adrenaline rush. All he had to do was finish it and it could all be over.

He towered over the creature.

“Finally beast you are slain!” he said, waving his broadswoard high.

He climbed atop it and flipped his weapon about, pointing fearsome blade at his opponent to end it.

He stared into its many eyes. A long time. It was so near death, it had scarcely the energy to keep them open. He could relate, having scarcely the energy to stand, let alone kill the thing.

He stood there, in the death position, breathing; then, he flung the sword aside.

He collapsed atop the beast and slept.


He did not return to his village for a long time. Rumor spread that he had been eaten. Rumor spread that he had been overcome. Never did they fancy the truth: that he and the beast spent many of their days hobbling the hills together. Many years later, a young man, out to prove himself found them, offering to end the beast’s life.

When Bukanin decline, the young man branded him a traitor. Bukanin accepted this word.

He was who he was, and if that was who he was, then so be it.

Later down the road, the villagers came and hunted them down. They slew them, for a hunter to befriend his prey was too much for them. They laughed and cheered and drank over the bodies of the dead. They had righted the Universe.

But the last thing Bukanin ever saw was the beast looking back at him with all those many eyes. That was enough for him. That had always been enough. So he peacefully surrendered himself to his fate.

Peace, Brother!

People fight, they do

it’s part of life

but it doesn’t have to define us

We fight today, we make up tomorrow

We fight not to divide but to wake up the senses,

we want peace to win


There’s a time to clench fists

and a time to let go

Me? I’ve lost all the sensation down there

The blood vessels are too restricted


So, I’m letting go

Let’s shake hands

Peace brother,

God be with you!

Just Another Day

“Play me a song,” he said, seeing us leave the restaurant with our guitars.

“We don’t have the chords,” M said.

“Play it anyway,” he replied.

And so we started, roughly. The chords came, but the words didn’t. The words came, but the chords didn’t. Eventually, both aligned. Then, we sang together the songs that stuck with us, the ones deep down. Always a surprise to see what sticks.

“Play ‘Jesus Loves Me,'” he said.

And we did. The simple, fleeting words resounded through the parking lot and into the night sky.

Soon, we were all out of songs. They thanked us. His buddy, he told me stories about Vietnam while the others mused over M’s dreadlocks.

“My leg’s all tore up. Not a leg no more,” the veteran said, “Got two purple hearts out of it, though. I have trouble sleeping sometimes. All times. God forgive me.”

And he wiped his face with a dirty napkin.

I ran into the car and pulled out the McDonalds napkins I had stored there, you know, for emergencies.

“Here,” I said.

“Thanks,” he said while using the napkin, “for listening.”

M nodded me forward and we walked together to the nearest convenience store, picking up hot dogs and beer for the guys.

“Do you have a Bible?” said the first guy. I handed him mine, “what’s the shortest verse in the Bible?”

“‘Jesus wept,'” I said.

“And where is it?” he said, “What verse?”

I told him I didn’t know. he flipped right to it.

“Saint John eleven thirty-five,” he said.


I nodded in amazement.

We all hugged. M and I went to our respective way.

“I’m glad you didn’t die,” M’s girlfriend told her, later.

For us, it’s just another day.

Forever and Always

The drums of war are beating fast.

You say, fight,” but I say, “dance.”

Won’t you put your weapons down,

beat your spears back into plowshares,

and embrace me

as we did back in the garden.


Let us be one, united,

let us hold hands and sing,

to the stars, the heavenly lighthouse

leading us back to where we were,

where we belong.

we are both tired and in need of rest,

peace, and assurance.


Let our war be over,

you are my friend and my companion.

Forever and always