there is always a war waging within the one who wavers on a whim. between one choice and another or even of one and the many, of the line walking that falls onto either side at either time and sees back the line but cannot always find the footing toward it.


perhaps it was the feeling of fancy, that there would be something more when arrived at or that the getting there was so much of a fantasy that nothing when found would ever amount to the imagination of a far away mind. 


war is not always meant in walking, in holding shields or the unveiled sword but rather looking one way and then another and having the mind to see that feet don’t always walk along of their own accord. so as to return to human and choice, human and hand, the mold and holding its shape, shaping. 


perhaps there is not one and in the many the one can be found .. so that a silent answer there may be all we can see, that of cerebrum and cerebellum it is both not enough and enough of a marvel to mystify the meaning that would allow one to exist on in it forever. 

white rain

stood water’s edge, 

the only, a crane not near in sight  

rustled weather of a cloud and the loom of a horizon’s white rain  

where for shadow’s fin, the ring’s climb  

stilled in mask waiting

of dreams do wear the mallow of its night


stood only three by its edge, 

grandfather, the small child, grandmother  

she quiet, speaking in her stance, and him a whisper to the little one

”watch as it blows, for as it shifts you might find, wait where it stills, for there you will see it again changed, and in seeing it, so you become” 


little one skipped a rock. and counted, six

canyon's crevice

bodies breathe alive in ways made of the sand and its silt,

moving under soil and walking feet toward the void, or a crevice,

through which we find our ways down into

as animals around fires, we speak and laugh of things past,

as humor’s living finds the meaning in what makes up the mundane and of what the buzz of a beer may bring into light, the sometimes heavy intake to then

let it go again

at first, to walk into the group and see through eyes not yet open,

of question of coming together,

who we are and who we find ourselves to be as we cross ways,

where some strings may have been anchored for a length when others may still be finding their lateral stretch

and yet, in a dire time where as one again with what we came from,

the exhaust of moving limbs,

carrying again the gear of ages that we once crossed countries with, and chasing the sun in and out of canyon’s shadow, we find again the stream that even in running will sometimes dry but that in such a place,

people may know nothing of another and yet know all they need to so that something may tie them together such as the webbing, bound to rock or tree,

sending down the cascade of humans back into her crack,

held and yet falling

to then return back to,

to a routine of living that spins the world around,

to remember again our dreams of waking, and the gears that make it turn,

to think,

to feel all the rubbings and scratches of life’s itch,

and to grow lazy in laying through it or chasing the thing that’s too far ahead,

we blink our eyes and the canyon’s crevice leaves us, becomes us, but bestills us so that another time we might come back and feel only the silence of her ways, the slots of stillness and stopped thought of an animal’s body moving through space in exertion with the pack, that it may be there, in living more together, in living around, we sleep less as we return

notes from utah’s poison spring canyon, where the animal awakens and the human stills, where our packs come back together & renew once again the well once depleting, as we chase her cracks and sit in the void of canyon’s crevice

words to live

for it’s worth or planting .. as in growing older, learning with awareness, and having the conversations that are both hard to have or hard to hear, close and afar .. we see .. that there are threads that weave and when we forget to look at their pattern fabricating, we may fail to see that an intention of needle and thread is not always enough to direct the two together  


discernment is a word. 


and of it, i find these considerations as self notes and reminders that maybe others too share.


when in casting eyes upon, in and outward .. to consider ~ 

(as a first acknowledgment, we are all human, who have all done both good and bad things, things we are proud of and those we would rather forget)  


in so, i find these questions .. 

how do words meet actions (what do i say and what do i do)


is one (am i) learning and changing

how do i treat others  

what am i perpetuating (negativity, bad mouthing, assumptions, the divide)



thoughts are sometimes the seeds of a chaos uninterrupted, who cannot always be torn though they can be watched, and while the seed may rest there, it may lay dormant and distant from our fertile hands 


in our minds, we are all crazy and malicious and self demeaning and ambitious .. and yet, we become who we are in what we do and what we say with the waves of a tsunamatic thought that we may either ride or run from



in it’s final question, can i be okay with the faults of the many and the few, of those i love and the one i am .. in turn with the word ~ discernment .. are we growing?  

mental fortitude

an inclination toward thought

question of a purposeful position

the mental fortitude of the world

an insanity of big things that break down into a small action


and lapses .. lots of spaced time, between and in


\ could be found in the realms there

not in hands & or eyes flickered in blinking light,

in mind’s thought freedom, the freedom of thought, and its freedom from thought



the ages of learning and growing

the ages of questions .. still the answers end in unsatisfying ways

why is this .. the parent will answer, the child will ask again,  why is this .. the parent will answer .. until both do not know the answer any further, and it’s there that we reach for the thread tangible and yet slipping



hands and feet

long toes

mental fortitude

the ways of the radiance,

in getting there


flickered feelings


a small moment of breathing in it 

the collapsed image replayed



being young & figuring out .. the orientation isn’t as solid as “word”, it’s not always “image” sometimes “sound” and most of the time “passage”


the passage is still and yet it moves


the mind




passage is moving through its still filter patterned light

part v; claiming mystery

there comes a point in one’s life where the questions seem greater than the answers. it’s as if in knowing more, one knows less. that somehow the answer to one thing becomes a question to another, and not just another but another and yet another after another and so it goes on until one is feeling rather uncertain about everything.

laney left jim feeling in such a way .. 

they had met five years ago now. both out on a case, working for different people from different sides, but with similar intentions and similar styles. it was a cliche occurrence .. jim was always confident, and laney was always turned off by this, uncaring of it. but he was persistent and charming, though laney would never admit to it, and as in all things love, something unexplainable just clicked, so one day after their third date, laney realized it .. she was in love.

the next four years together started with the first of flying. it followed the usual trend of setting some high unreachable standard only maintained by chemicals stroking and the blinders of infatuation that grow weary with time and fall away too quickly in their rationale.

they started fighting regularly into the third year. laney often wondered why it was she stayed .. love didn't always make sense. it wasn't a checklist of qualities and yet it also wasn't going to sleep turned separate ways and waking up to an empty bed.

in the end, they both called it. quite begrudgingly. it's not easy to end something like that, let alone step away from most things. she carried her misrepresented romanticism of the relationship coupled with her frustration for staying in something too long with someone that was never going to be what she thought she wanted. he was more smug, only in an attempt to hide his deep set pain. he had loved her unlike any of the ones before, but he wasn't quite developed enough yet to really know what to do with the feelings in his hands. most of us don't.

laney and jim now sat across from each other drinking coffee, looking over their facts and attempting their combined brainstorm so as to discover a next move.

there were fundamental issues to tackle in order to really solve the mystery at hand, and yet it was unlikely they would do so, so they searched for a way in, a way to uncover just enough to get some kind of justice and exposure and not too much that they would be opening doors to worlds they really didn't know how to play in.

a list of names stared back at them on a piece of paper, some photographs, and a timeline that laney had, to her best knowledge, come up with almost to a t.

the first murder had happened three months ago. brutal but covered up well. unfortunate but clearly very calculated. after it, there had been some slight of hand, and the subtle power shift that occurred was now unseating most of the work that people like laney and jim had been doing for the past few years.

the second murder happened three weeks ago. and the third, two days ago. the third was reckless and almost too careless. they were growing more powerful and in their power, they were growing sloppy, thought laney. though an innocent man had been circumstantially tied to the third murder, it was obvious to most with a brain that he was just that, a misfortunate bystander, but if the ones behind it could find any way to hold him responsible, it would dissolve the trail that tied the three together, and they would have just bought themselves enough time to cover it up and file it away so that no one could touch it for a long time coming.

it was uncertain who could be trusted at this point, but laney figured that if she couldn't trust the man she had shared a bed with for four years, then they had already won. and she wasn't about to face that reality any time soon.

"fuck." laney said.

jim looked up and smirked, his eyes tired and his hair now wiry from the way he twirled it when he was thinking too hard.

"we know who it is. but i just don't understand why now and why those victims. they can't be the ones calling the shots. but i just don't know how we get to the ones that are. and how we clean up the trail that has become tainted with more than just the blood of three dead men."

"we're going to have to get in with a different crew if we want some different information."

laney looked up, curious.

"do you still have that gown you wore to that new year's eve ball we went to three years ago? the one for james and his kid, the benefit. and it was black, tight, low back, some sparkling silver things on it."

"i know which one."

"and yes, i still have it."

jim looked at his watch.

"meet me at grand and central in two hours. with that dress on."

he got up and left, the notes and photographs still on the table. and laney there, going over a million things in her head, until one thought became clear: you are not to go there again.

she tipped off the waiter and left, back to her apartment to shower and become someone else for the next few hours, someone that would attract the attention of those who might take a second glance at a pretty innocent woman, simply wanting to ask big successful men about their conquests and perhaps become one of them, or so she would have them believe.

the games weren't always fun to play. in fact, they hardly ever were. but if you knew the game well enough, you at least had a chance of winning. 

the claim of mystery

part I

laney tailed the car for 20 minutes before making a wrong turn and losing it. she pulled over swiftly, pulled out her flip, and dialed .. c’mon, she thought, we’re losing him .. but nothing. she flipped her phone shut and thought up some alternative routes that could get her there faster, but at this point, there was no telling if plans had been changed. she got out of the car and walked into a nearby cafe. the rain had started again and a warm cup of coffee seemed like the only next reasonable move. she grabbed the dailies and turned to the international film section. her last boyfriend had turned her on to it. at the thought, she crumbled up the section and left it there on the table, her half empty coffee mug sitting on top of it.

she walked out back to her car to find a lovely surprise .. a brand new boot and a tow truck already hitched up for the ride to county. she stood there at first not moving. “this ol’ here yours?” the tow truck driver asked her. “oh god.” “well, if you wanna pay it outright now, it’ll save ya a trip.” “how much?” she got out her wallet and handed the man a check. he took the boot, left her with the ticket, and was gone. 

then her phone rang in her pocket. “laney here. what is it?” pause .. “where? i’m right here, there are no signs of ..” laney checked her other pocket for the .. it was gone. “shit! right. i’m on it. gonna need some more eyes and ears down here.”

part II

laney sat across from her superior in his musty apartment on south 5th. “laney, this has gotten out of hand.” 

”i know.” 

”now, we’re gonna be dealing with press. not to mention the misfortunate bystander now being accused of the murder. right place, wrong time.”

it was still on again off again raining outside. a blurred scene from the 14th floor. 

”did you at least recover the amulet?” 

”well, i did. but it’s a fake.” 

his fist slammed down on the desk. 

“good god woman. any leads?”

“i have a few. just give me one more day.” 

the door closed, the elevator descended, and laney found herself standing in front of her car for the second time that day with a parking violation.  

she pulled the ticket out from behind her windshield wiper and went to crumble it up in anger when she noticed something written on it. “if you’re looking, you’ll find. follow the ticket trail to its end, and there, you’ll find the beast its attached to.”

didn’t make sense. this trail led her straight to county and the guys over there were only good at watching cartoons and chugging milk cartons. none of them had a spine enough for this kind of work, and surely not the belly for it. 

she reviewed the day. inconspicuous moments that pieced together something rather shitty. she was only farther away from finding the real amulet and connecting it to the murder on melbourne, and life had only thrown her other irrelevant disturbances, not to mention the misfortunate bystander from the morning. there was only one thing she could do now. she’d have to call him.

part III

”hi jim. great, yes.” sarcastically. “right. cool.” again. “jim, look, you know i wouldn’t be calling if i didn’t ..” he cut her off, sexual slights, his wry humor. she was now holding her flip a few inches away from her face. “meet me at the cafe on first and cherry. i’m hanging up now.”

part IV

first and cherry.

jim stood there all handsome looking, leaning against the brick wall and peering out from underneath his cap. laney walked past him, grabbed his jacket and pulled him into the alley without making eye contact.

she pulled out the note. "what do you know about this?" she slammed it into his chest.

"long time no see to you too." he looked at the note. "i recognize the writing. a visiting agent called in from the big guns. but there's no way he wrote this willingly."

laney sighed and started to think, pacing in front of him. 

"it doesn't make sense. we all know there's corruption but it's happening in the hands of the ones who call the shots and the rest of them are too small minded to notice anything outside of deviations from their snack routines. but the murder? that's almost too sloppy to be their work."

"do you still have the amulet?"

"how do you know about that?" she snapped.

"we at county know a little more than you'd like us to."

"we're no longer in possession of it. anyways, the one we did have was a fake, so it was all a ploy to get us looking in the wrong direction."

"right, well kid. looks like you got what you need from me unless.."

"shut it, jim. and we're not done yet. i need you to help me with some background checks. plus no one knows the streets like you do. one more time. for old time's sake."

he smiled wryly, nodded to her and winked. 

"your car or mine?"


to be continued ...

copyright 2018 ⓒ / forrest gallagher