irst glance at humanity

My Lady, whilst my fondest wishes dwell upon these pages, it is my thought that 'tis only by the eldest magicks of the Moors thine eyes will caress them. Such sorcery is beyond me but in faith and fealty I will share my experiences in this strange realm.

The Lord has answered my prayers as my courage has returned and with it my feet have found their way past the shelter of thy glade. Since the quarter moon of midsummer night I have wandered, lurking at the fringes of their society like a leprous begger for fear that my speech and countenance would cause fright to them. But the people are so engrossed in their own affairs that a man out of time such as myself could wander verily unnoticed in their midst. They scurry about like so many ants, forever in pursuit of some nameless goal. This is oft curious to behold but twinged with sadness as you watch them dance around one another without even the basest touch of compassion or humanity in their eyes. Yet their speech is much as I remembered but wrought with haste and bereft of courtesy. From what little I have learned it would seem that Christendom wars yet on the infidel and their numbers - milady - they are a veritable tide of humanity breaking upon the world's shores. T'would seem that the war will continue till the ends of time.

My days are spent learning, milady. Knowledge is easily come by but I fear comprehension is another matter entirely. Their peasantry is literate and can read and write in ways that would engender envy in the humblest scribe. But the written word is not their only marvel - they have curious boxes, windows into another place and time, and from these one can glean fragments of the world as it is now - oh, there is so much to pen that I fear my fingers will be worn to stubs 'fore I've touched upon a tenth of what is now the world. It is a marvel that would've astounded even Merlin as within their depths people move and speak and seem to live normal lives - players upon the stage.

This very night I'd been peering through a window into a domicile. It evoked memories of Sir Thomas, the young nobleman of Gaul whose paramour felt the touch of his eyes most intimitately. And much like Sir Thomas my own curiosity was ended abruptly by the master's dogs. Though this mutt was but the size of a mouse, fear of discovery bade me bid a hasty retreat. Even now the image of your brave knight, clanking away into the dark night from a mere pup brings tears of mirth to my eyes as I am sure they would to thine.

Ah my lady, tis as if everything reminds me of you and even now those selfsame tears well with sorrow. It has been too many years since I've felt thy presence and my heart yearns for a time when we will, once more, be reunited. Before sorrow swamps me, I will beg thy forgiveness and leave thee with my love - now, as always, your humble servant.

disturbance

My fey Lady - who would have thought that when thy lips kissed me into this prolonged slumber I would awake in a time such as this. Noble Arthur has fallen into myth and the tales of my companions are all couched in glorified prose; legends told as bed time stories to the innocent babe. We have fallen from remembrance as our time has drifted into the past and I am feeling much like a ship cast adrift. If I had to guess at thy purpose for me I would imagine the return of the round table; or to perchance to evoke some memory of honour in humanity. Tis a confusing puzzle thee have laid before me; one I must unravel. But even now I can hear thy voice counseling patience; one of the few virtues my tempestuous heart has yet to master. As always though, even the memory of thy dulcet tones will calm the savage beating of my heart. And how it has beaten! How it has beaten. Today is truely a tale that must be told.

T'was early eve and I found myself feeling the first pangs of night-time hunger. Thy gift of sustenance and water has proved a boon despite the peculiarity of the fruit. Though the apple carries a thousand years without a wrinkle it stilled the rumbling from my belly in an admirable way and the water was as fresh as when it had first been poured. With the memory of thy gift still fresh upon my lips I was resting and enjoying the early evening birdsong amongst the trees. My repose and their natural music was disturbed by a maniacal song. Through the trees I could hear a lumbering step that felt foul of leaf and bough. But there was no thought of ill intent as it seemed that whomever was making this raucous noise was also singing in a slurred tone that had simply frightened our feathered friends into their nests. Twas a hurried scramble as I hid my belongings and found a sheltered vantage from which to observe. Shortly a figure staggered into the glade, clutching at the trees for support. Even with distance between us there was the undisputed sour taste of wine upon his breath and his general appearance was of a ne'er do well; wrapped in tattered rags with creases of dirt lining his craggy face. And lo, the figure swigged thirstily from a bottle before wiping a strand of spittle from his lips and carrying on with his bawdy song. With shaky steps he stumbled against the sleeping stone and there collapsed into a legless puddle. There he rapidly quaffed the remaining liquor; his song losing it's volume and comprehension of word and rhyme with each draught 'til the only noise in the clearing was his rather raspy snore. Twas only when he'd been asleep in a sprawl of limbs for an hour or more that I unentangled myself to investigate.

Thus is is that I find myself perched on the stone looking down upon this odious figure with no whit as to what to do. He seems content to sleep and methinks he would need some time to restore himself to consciousness. But then? My thoughts are that I must bend myself to the unpleasant task of carrying him far beyond the glade; but I suspect he was drawn to it's warmth and I am loathe to leave a fellow man asleep in the cold woods. And perhaps with a selfish interest at heart I long to hear a voice other than my own adressed towards me. He has the look of a stick figure of angles and bitterly thin limbs like a tree that has shed it's summer rainment. My thought is that he poses little threat so - for now - I will be content to simply watch him sleep and perchance, when he awakens, reason with his fuddled mind. In the meantime I will bend my mind and prayers to this task as I'm sure the Lord will show me the correct path.

Now, as always, your thoughtful servant

rom foul to fair

Milady, tis early morn and all around the world art awakening. Its predawn glory does little to assauge the crusty mood I find myself in though as I stood guard this night, enshrined in a moonlit chil, whilst this discarded rag of humanity slept at my feet. T'was a night of thoughtful reflection as I watched this wretch struggle for his very breath. T'would have been better to drag him from the glade, to distance myself from this worldly intrusion. But as I bent towards him his face was touched by moonlight and for the briefest moment I was riding a swell of remembrance.

There was the faintest glimmer of peace as he slept; as if all worldy cares had been brushed from his brow and whilst he was swaddled in this infantile innocence 'twas akin to standing guard over another bonnie, blue eyed boy. And whilst my younger brother's golden curls could ne'er be mistaken for this lanky, unwashed tangle of dark hair the words Asaph penned in the eighty second Psalm came once more to me:

    "Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness".

Mayhap, the Lord will do likewise to this undeserving servant. Or, perchance, He has. For in that moment Milady the wretch was transformed unto my mind - halting me in mid tilt. For when the High King touched his sword to my shoulder I became a defender of men such as this - the foul turned fair. Perhaps this has been a sign from God to remind me of where my duty lies. Thus I've stood a quiet vigil over him; to protect the innocent and the weak as my King hath commanded and as I am oathbound to do. But Milady now I am a-brim with concern for this poor soul. His sleep is scarred by nightmares; the taint of daemons haunt his nights as he whimpers the darkness away. It defies comprehension that our world could have fallen this far so as to wrack ones sleep so. My prayers and comforting touch have done aught to assuage this tormented slumber and ... ah. Milady, he stirs awake thus I must hurriedly doff this quill to tend his needs.

Until my words can grace these pages again I remain, as always, your unworthy servant.

nightly mission

A night and day have passed withall a solitary moment to write thee, alas events have unfolded in ways unforeseen. As thee will remember - the drunken beggar staggered into the glade when the sky had just shed it's sunlit rayment and donned night's mantle. For the span of darkness we were inexhorably entwined; but dawn brought him to a dreadful wakening and, as honourless and shameful an it may be my heart felt fear. Perchance the separation from humanity and all their follies - loves and laughter - has made me into a long haired hermit; skulking deep within the forest far from the courtesies of civilisation. But face him I could not. Thus I hid on the fringe of the grove with my craven heart athump in my chest to watch him rise.

Much akin to a fleabitten cur he scratched in unseemly places and with much muttering rose to an ungainly height. Tis my thought, as I shifted for view from amongst the leafy fronds, that his head felt the pounding of liquors' hammer as he clutched his head and moaned and cussed something fierce. But as with such pangs it passed and he steadied himself. Twould seem that he carried some manner of pack about his person, or mayhap many, as from one he pulled a most tarnished bowl which he filled from the pond and thirstily drank down; as if to quench a terrible drought within. The glimmering waters filt him with vigour for after a second bowl he stripped down and armed with a cake of softly fragrant soap sat down squarely within the pond. With barely restrained indignation I was forced to watch him dirty the water, humming a bawdy tune in a rough voice as he scrubbed layers of grime from his person and from his clothes. Once he had finished his ablutions and his clothes adorned the branches surrounding the glade akin to an audience of tattered scarecrows; he pulled one pack to himself and from within retrieved a few curious objects. Milady, with a speed which would have shamed Merlin he had gathered a handful of dry twigs and built a small, well sheltered fire. Abubble on top was a most curious pot - magically filled with beans that soon sent a most delectable scent wafting amongst the trees. Thus, huddled in sticklike nudity over a the ruddy warmth he consumed the beans and scraped the pot clean before returning it to his pack. With his hunger sated he sat back and fell into another comfortable slumber, perchance to dispell the remaining vestiges of his nightly embrace of the bottle.

Still, I hid myself in the thicket and watched, waited, till he awoke. The sun had risen to noon and sunlight was now falling through a darker circle of clouds to fill the glade with a light that glimmered across the water and on the leaves like fairies wings. And as the sunlight played upon his face and brought a warmth to his awakening he was once more caught within a light. A vision that seemed to transcend the mortal thew of flesh and bone and glorified him with a halo of irridiscent glory that seemed a portent - a voice from the heavens. Milady, as this thought revealed itself I nearly missed his departure. He had wrapped himself oncemore in the humble rags of his station and buried the coals. T'was then I caught a glimpse of the bottle and my heart wept for him; for even in this most blessed of places the world's pain so filled his heart he sought this foul reprieve. T'was with tears in my eyes I watched him wander from the glade. Once more, bent and as ragged as he had entered but perchance with a smattering of regathered fortitude. Thusly I pray at least.

But thus the adventure does not end, milady. Once he hath passed from eye, if not mind, I scrambled down into the glade. And lo, the waters of the pool was once more crystal clear. And there beside it, half hidden by the leaves and branches where it fell, was the pack. T'was made of a curious fabric in faded blue, tough as leather but supple and where the edges had scuffed through one could see the very fibres. Inside he had left his pot, a small receptacle that bore an artful image of saucy beans all round its side. The others inhabitants of the pack are no less. Some are beyond my comprehension, objects that are foreign beyond my comprehension and would surely be as wonderful as the treasures of Araby. One pocket held pages of torn parchment, thin as if scraped with a knife, and each piece is covered on each side in tales of the world. Milady, stories of Jerusalem and wars beyond our comprehension. Tales of a myriad of Kings and Queens, nobles. Milady, as a chicken scratching for a grub will ne'er peck a ruby, so I am a fowl scratching the dirt sheltering this precious knowledge. Whilst I've read every word I fear it is beyond my ken, tis simply too complicated for me to understand without a broader understanding of their world. As Solomon wrote in Proverbs,

    A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Thus I think the Lord hath guided me to the path He wishes me to tread and thus I must walk this way in faith for I comprehend it not. Verily, this resolution frightens me milady. It truely frightens me to the blackest bottoms of my soul. But amongst his few posessions there are dirty and tattered clothing, sufficient in size and shape to cover my lanky frame and a single letter, penned on a dirty and much folded parchment. What is writ there, milady is this - "St. John's Holy Mission - Hot meals and Shelter - Free to those in need. 8th Street and " the rest rendered illegible. T'would seem that the beggar was a herald sent to provide the means if not the very reason; or so I hath reasoned after a night in contemplation. For if he can face this world then so should I and thus I have gathered my quills and inks and what few posessions would be fit for this strange time and with this unfragrant gift am about to leave the shelter of this comfortable glade. Mine arms and armour hath been carefully hidden and as I am writing this letter in the early morning sunlight my heart is filled with a curious buyoancy, a happiness that heralds a change of direction with a renewed sense of purpose.

I wilt be far from our tree's bole and thus my humble letters to thee might be perforce delayed in their delivery; but be assured my feet will find their way to this glade anon and thy magick can once more bring my words to thee. Milady, my love, I cannot tell thee how much my heart longs for thee. Just the blessed assurance of thy tone or the soft fragrance of thy presence would surely strengthen me beyond measure; even as the memory can now succour me. My heart will always belong to thee and I, in hopeful trepidation, will remain thine.