#1

“You know that place we were
before we were born
and where we go when we die,
what's it called again?”

“Saintwell.”

i. The Woods by the Gate


An old man wearing a school cap
hollered at the redwoods,
which proffered no response
but the aching stillness of death.
His soliloquy went unheard were it not
for Saint Margaret the Virgin-Martyr,
who happened to be in hiding
near the old man's words.

Hello.
Hello.
Hello.

The deaf ears heard
only rustling.

Saint Jerome sniffed
at the cold dark
and shuffled back towards
Saintwell.

Those redwoods, they watched him leave.
They watched his soul slowly
decay over the millennia.

Were they hollowed or hallowed?
She didn't know the answer;
truth be told,
she didn't really care.
No one cares about the redwoods any more,
not here anyways.
Not by the gate, not here.

ii. The Path to Saintwell

thewindscreamedthenamesofthedead

Soft he dead?
She puzzled over the conundrum
for quite some time;
the words, not their origin.
Saint Jerome mumbled,
stooped by numb knees.
The wind softend.

Saint Jerome stumbled,
his brown toenails
scraping the gravel.
He cursed before he could stop himself.

Her eyes grew wide.
She shivered and screamed.
Saint Margaret the Virgin-Martyr began praying,
oblivious to Saint Jerome's crying.

On the path to Saintwell,
a tempest began
to form.

iii. From the Lighthouse

“Aquilina, go home.
Run, child, run now.
Tell them fury is here.”