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If I were to fall my fate would be assured, it would be pointless to even struggle to save myself



from a previous life



wild things, molting season
each year molting season for wild things in a hostile climate can be difficult

another bedtime story
by Hugo Baltzer

The clarity of the event comes to me at odd times. I can never quite get the
place fixed, but the memory — at times it comes with such clarity, then
when I move my mind closer to see more it slips into just a mood that has no
fixed place in time. I know this feeling has some root and must be attached
to me through deep metaphysical couplings. These visions arrive in a welling
of mood and color. It is that time of year again; the feeling arrives with
little warning. It just approaches; Pressed to survive with handicaps that no
creature should have to endure. My self-esteem, my very being must
survive the loss of that which distinguishes me from all others.

It began without warning, quite by accident as I was preening before my large full
length mirror, I saw the unmistakable signs. It's never easy to see part of
you fall away, seeing bits removing themselves from your body; leaving the
whole less than before. Two days later I was in total shock when I attempted
flight, the result an embarrassment to pride and near life terminating, a
shock for which no one is prepared. The spectacle was to my
admirers/detractors a source of amusement and, I am certain, much
gossip. My flight was cut short and if not but for quick thinking I might have
fallen to the forest floor or the swamp where my fate would have been
determined by creatures unaccustomed to the appreciation of beauty. I
recovered barely catching a limb on the shag and twirling about I secured a
safe spot tearing a claw-tip and loosing more plumage — a puff of feathers.

It is here that I still remain, hungry and flightless. Its been a week now, and I
have traveled in hops and frenzied flappings aloft to the forest canopy but in
undesirable trees for food and friendship. The fruit bats use these trees for
their rookery and are up to no good, all day fucking, licking and shitting; they
swarm over one another in their blind search for opportunity. their
shrieks are an affront to my hearing and their habits, crass and mammal-like,
are unbecoming of my association. I have no companions and no possible
means to traverse to my favorite avocado forest. It's hopeless at night with
the gecko lizards and the sloths working the limbs like grazing livestock — I
have to continually hop about just to stay alive. and in the morning the
fruitbats are back shitting and fucking in the jungle heat. I'm nearly naked
now and there are a few pinfeathers coming in on my breast but it's seems
too little too late.

By the middle of the second week the Rains were upon the forest and the
gloom – damp - cold was causing maladies. My feet won't grip and a stuffy
head is not helping my ability to balance. I have retreated lower in the
canopy to a limb confluence which affords some shield from the incessant
drizzle. I shiver with my few new plumes; scruff which neither affords flight,
warmth nor beauty. At this elevation I must guard for snakes day and night
and the bat shit raining from above is relentless. It, at times gives pause to
wonder if I really am the chosen one of the skies. From afar I see others,
much less able, fliting about in the sunlight frolicking in aerobatic jubilance;
their freedom and joy seems to eclipse their desire for beauty, they are
absorbed with frolic and feasting while I on the cusp of flight watch in the
dark shadowed recesses of shit littered limbs. From my vantage the swamp
is visible with its creatures and things. They lull about floating on the warm
surface of the brackish, limb-strewn, shallows. Occasional splashes
punctuate the the flat water with the lunge of some great creature feeding
its appetite. The filmy surface, almost metallic, wriggles in the glint of the
sun as primitive ancestors wrangle a living from this forgotten portion of a
much larger backwater.

If I were to fall my fate would be assured, it would be pointless to even struggle
to save myself with the festoons of predators lurking under the sunken logs. I would be merely a morsel, meek fare for this prospective tar pit — nothing but droppings in the mud of a passion play that will take millennia to gestate — a stomach that digests but never excretes.

In the dark forest canopy, I have spent much time entranced by the prospect
of this mire, its reflections of sunlight are my only hopeful contact with the
skies above. The glistening iridescent surface is nostalgic to me, the
radiance reminds me of my lost lusters. My tail is filling out and the extended
plumage is cause for much hope, however my wings are developing with much
less vigor; their growth and color seem retarded — I am certain its the
acidic bat shit oozing and dripping from the limbs above. I preen and preen
with neurotic repitition to protect my potential for escape.
This molt has been the most horrific of experiences. In my many seasons in
this eden I can not recall such questioning as to the source of what
drives this place, why is it here and who owns the development rights. I
perch and wait for that day when my dream will be realized. I see so clearly
but then the view is lost, the mood changed, the moment broken into who it
is that recalls this fragment of felt experience. Perhaps I will never know
but there are those flashes when I am convinced that I am the Bird of

The end

ex libris literary guild ©06

If all of us knew we were really the birds of paradise?

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rapture dervish
rapture dervish