Silent Passage To Stadial 

A vivid offering of poetic prose that explores the speculative tenor of humanity, delving into the esoteric realms of human origin through vivid evocations of myth and the metaphysical…

by: Vikki C.

On this particular morning, late in my life, I am awoken inside a saga not quite my own. My bearings wander the left-fields of things I both covet and fear — an ambience distilled by an energy beyond any known spectrum. There is a summoning and with that, an affirmation that I am not lost in the rigmarole of being an understudy for every absentee. 

As I shift my weight and thoughts across this perilous terrain, I feel the quest take hold. Blood ties to an obsession sculpted of molten grief, ancient light pulling me to the origins of our undoing. A war drum in the valley of chimeras, a cast iron bell ghosting the mountain pass where death lies, trapped in its last gasp, nourishing colored fish and complex fauna systems. Deep in the seeping basin of this scarred earth, the elements have ravaged longer than predicted — a beast devouring its own heart. But this is not a pariah event here, in the surrogate worlds that lie beneath the one we’ve grown too familiar with.

In the dendritic grain of a fallen redwood, I trace our ancestry back to the wellspring. Though faint, its language speaks into the well of a human’s hollow chest. There are avian species we have not discovered, only heard their songs in the violet horizons of our sleeplessness. We understand the dulcet notes as something close to love or just a slow act of recovery. The same way tiny classless creatures shimmer in quarries long abandoned — their blue-green armor the perfect carapace of passive revenge. An exquisite continuum to parry the uncountable losses to come: that of an epoch mistakenly delivered under a cruel blackout of stars.

Rehabilitation is not a taboo here where ancient ferns have softened my own footfalls along the warring path. Lightning has struck the twisted elms but their stark dystopian limbs empathize my own failing body, as if our spirits had exchanged monologues on futility, the surrounding mist and miasma obscuring the portals to free will.

We concur that what cannot be salvaged, will always bear the weft of a blood-borne desire. The eerie cry of my unborn daughter reverbs through the rock strata — a premonition of the pain and dangers of her birth, thousands of years later. As I descend through the precarious years preceding these bereft chambers, my faltering limbs assume the fear and debts of my forefathers who remain, to this day archived in solemn prayer — anonymous. 

Something liminal persists through these rites of passage. It is clear that here, the paradox is not to be solved but placed against your pulse in an elusive moment. To hear what is returned through the universe’s cipher. It is not something to be taught or assimilated in myth. In the decaying matter of an aftermath comes a cause to ruminate, free of possessions and theories. A hypnagogic state that has held my four decades of existence to account. 

And now, I delve back into this undocumented reverie hoping it recognizes my ghastly form as one of its orphaned wildlings. Climbing through history and its antiquated ocean beds, I had pulled my body ashore in another lifetime, retracing the codex of Polzeath’s young cliff face. Fossils of ammonites instinctively found my fingertips aeons before Fibonacci ascribed a formula to their exquisite patterns. I have moved through asphalt the way industrialism has crumbled ever since we parted. Egotism — the ironic devolution of man that has severed us from truth and the warm-blooded comfort of unguarded territories.

But it is here, amid the cold extant realms, a revelation appears: there was a garden, coveted more than any Eden or gated sanctum. Its seasons have burrowed in our agate bones, marked our days with fallen things — petals, snow, aspirations. Now it calls us out as imposters. A kingdom infiltrated by rogue agendas. I do not disagree, yet, here in the hypnotism of glassy pools, another voice speaks on my behalf. 

As I rest on the plateaus of evening, the solstice’s champagne fractals blinding out the damage on the northern boundaries, I am remade: less woman, more inquisition. But my questions are immovable — boulders foreshadowing the ingress to a story I know little about. I am forced to search deeper, for every lost lover, child and brethren. 

Through heather and hymn, I will lower my burdens into this temple. Find the faith which unwinds the heavy hand of the Anthropocene. Bring small fragments of those days back with me in specimen jars as something to be ritualized in place of our mourning. Dynastic garnet served on postmodern lackluster platters. Somehow, it will come to pass in the world above, in spite of its depression and plague — a tribute to all the spirits we never fully understood. Overland, the sundial glistening in quiet triumph. The small uncharted boats of our voyage, conveying their cargo of philosophies between eras.

But as an ordinary woman on her way, there is no egress. My route eventually vanishes, as it must, blurring into the unexplored scapes of esoterica that will keep secrets from even my successors. I turn my gaze against the darkening gloaming, noticing the flaws of my own hideous out-breath. And it becomes apparent: between two great unknowns, I am both more and less. Mother, daughter, sister, lover…I am that long exquisite pause before death.

The earth song manifests regardless, the absent one goes on to love their lonely alter ego. The labored silhouettes of Earth’s tableau vivant freeze upon the great stades. There is a reckoning, without measure. I wait my turn, for the one scene prewritten in surreal tantras.

Where the idle bough sways against the moon’s apparition, fists of trembling blossoms are opening with grace. I will ready my flesh for reclamation. Surrender, the way fine silk is patiently threaded through shrapnel and ruin — an attempt to suture the wounds of an impossible age.


Vikki C., author of The Art of Glass Houses (Alien Buddha Press), is a British-born writer and musician from London, whose surrealist works are informed by existentialism, science, and nature. Her poetry and prose appear or are forthcoming in Black Bough Poetry, Acropolis Journal, Loft Books, Literary Revelations, DarkWinter Literary Magazine, Kobayaashi Studios and Ice Floe Press. Vikki is an avid pianist and spoken word artist whose compositions, voice, and written works have been featured in various audio collaborations.
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