Self; Friend – A Tanka February Poetry Challenge

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Being one with self

Counting soul burdens kin to

hummingbird flutters.

Honoring past victories,

foibles, loss, as sacrament.


In response to February Poetry #WritingChallengeRebecca Cuningham – This month’s challenge is to write a tanka on friendship, a dear person or, a companion.

Navigator Chapter 21, A Sunday Story

Image credit: © LovePik

Chapter 21

While Isabella counted…suddenly…the boardroom in Shangri-la began to heave violently…

It was alive…!

Baphomet, the embodiment of all evil, had somehow enchanted his consciousness into the boardroom space.

Suddenly the bits and bobs, splinter and bric-à-brac once a lavish and massive acacia boardroom table; now dismembered asunder, erupted off the floor…like a shot…


Each of the broken pieces of the boardroom table came to life as an individual gargoyle. Then, in what seemed like an instant, the formed gruesome gargoyle horde spewing dragon’s breath fire from their bellies encircled Baphomet and worshipped him…thanking him for life.

Metty, Isabella’s guardian angel witnessing the macabre spectacle remarked in blasé fashion:

“Huh, His Evilness (Baphomet) is up to his old tricks, bamboozling the elements into thinking he is a god! How un-original!”

Isabella whispered to Metty:

“His theatrics are just an illusion, never mind the “gargoyles.” But, this is the perfect setup under which to appear to run away, (aka time travel to Stonehenge to lure into the ancient prison and lock him away for good).

Hopefully, our escape is enough enticement for Baphomet to follow. Let’s go. Ready? 1..2..3.”

With only her thought as her rudder, Isabella slipped inside her shadow, which to the untrained eye appeared as angel wings. Isabella traveled swiftly inside time and space accompanied by Metty. His wings’ feathers curled and crumpled from the speed of their inter-dimension trip.

In no time, the two souls arrived at the outer edge of Stonehenge…It was a sunny crisply fresh January day in the plains of South West England—in a land famous for its stone monuments and for its white horses.

Throngs of the almost eight thousand daily visitors to Stonehenge mingled —some in groups about the sacred monument basked in the warming midday sun.

There was a still quiet about the energy-charged atmosphere as if…

…as if the legendary spirits (if one believed in such things) of this place were waiting for something to happen…today!


“What, I am starved,” said Isabella, (ignoring Metty’s disapproving frown) as she resumed taking large bites out of a crisp juicy golden delicious apple she had helped herself to without permission from a vendor close by.

Isabella also helped herself to a banana and a large glass of lemonade from the same makeshift vendor stall run by a little girl just outside the entrance to Stonehenge.

“Your feathers are crooked!” said the plucky nine-year-old at the makeshift fruit and lemonade stand, pointing at Metty.

Metty although cloaked from human eyes: he was well aware that children and those with “sight” could see him as he truly was. Pretending to be startled, Metty glanced at Isabella:

“She can see me!!”

Isabella burst out laughing:

“Ahahaha, as they say in the spy business “you’ve been made” Metty, so much for your divine cloak of invisibility.”

The young girl, dressed in a Druid costume, giggled and replied, “Homey, you angels should do a better job on your “disguises,” fuh real dudes!”

Metty mumbled as he shook his body to resettle his wing feathers from his time-travel encounter, “Gad dong it, everyone in this century seems to be a fashion critic!”

While Metty was speaking, the young girl extended her right hand for payment.

Metty reached into his breast pocket and handed her one of his ancient gold coins.

“This should take care of you and your family for generations, young lady.”

Gobsmacked at the coin, the young girl replied to Metty: “I don’t think I have change for this Mr. “Secret” Angel.”

“None required young lady.” Said Metty as Isabella grabbed another apple, eating voraciously as the two left the young girl’s makeshift vendor stall and entered Stonehenge’s formal grounds.

Out of nowhere on an otherwise clear day…A great mist appeared. It was Isabella’s ancestors.

They encircled Isabella and Metty well aware of what she was about to do, namely ensnare Baphomet for good in the hidden prison.

Suddenly Isabella felt strange. She felt as if, she had something to say… it was on the tip of her tongue but her mind was taking its time in the recall.

Much to her dismay, Isabella uttered words she did not know she knew. She had never learned the extinct language of ancient Sumer. Yet she began to speak in that tongue. She said:

Enem inim ginanita eve’s calendar adama ki enesur [Unfasten the fixed door between all dust* and Eve’s Calendar (Stonehenge)]”

[*The expression “all dust” means the dust of all who have ever walked the earth…as in “dust to dust…ashes to ashes.”]

In a split second, all hell broke loose…

A host of dark angels appeared in the thickening fog. Each dark angel rode on one of the gargoyles Baphomet had conjured up in the Shangri La boardroom.

As if in response to some silent curtail call…

And making his grand entrance…

…as a beacon of “light” (aka “The Bright Morning Star”) was Baphomet.

He appeared taller than she remembered. He hovered in the sky seemingly on a cloud and levitated among his followers (the dark angels and gargoyles).

The truth was that Baphomet had employed supra-advanced technology for inter-dimensional travel for millenia. His flying “ability” is a hoax. The “cloud” covered his bio-engineered chariot from view.

Baphomet and his inglorious hoodlum horde were about one hundred strong and armed with poisoned firey darts, which they could levitate by the hundreds and pelt at will.

With a flick of his wrist, the unspeakable happened. Baphomet ordered his followers to open fire on the unsuspecting innocents (humans) visiting the sacred monument!

Isabella’s ancestors rushed about the battlefield (Stonehenge), engaging the dark angels with their iridium swords. Her ancestors’ iridium sword flashed amber whenever they destroyed a fiery dart. But there were too many darts, and they were coming in fast and hot…

The hundreds of darts looked like a plague of locusts descending in wave after wave from the sky…silent, ominous, relentless…


Suddenly Baphomet took off his goat mask and laughed. His voice boomed and vibrated 360 degrees, giving the hearer the impression that the sound originated inside the hearer’s mind.

Baphomet holding his goat mask in his hand uttered words no one present understood. It was a primordial incantation to shape-shift himself into another persona…

His peculiar transformation was mind-bending. It was as if he took off his physical body like a garment and put on another in the blink of an eye.

Isabella could not contain her shock at the sight of who Baphomet changed his appearance to become…

Isabella’s gut was wrenched with the pained recognition that, for the last three-plus days, she had been “played.” The person into whom Baphomet now shape-shifted or whatever necromancy he used to pull off his seemingly epic transfiguration was…

…the headless foe with his severed head in his hand calling himself Legion that Isabella had encountered days ago in Dubai!

Thus, it was Baphomet/Legion who rose out of a Persian area rug in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel room occupied by Isabella a few days ago.

Legion’s (Baphomet) words now stung Isabella’s soul as they replayed in her mind like a scene from a Hitchcock episode:

“I am Legion, for we are many. You don’t know me, but you know what I want!”

Now Isabella understood that…

…from the moment she jumped off the Burj Al Arab three-plus days ago, Baphomet had been orchestrating behind the scenes to get her here to reveal the prison…the prison intended for him and his inter-dimensional hoodlum hordes. A place that has been hidden from his immortal “sight” by magic for millennia.

Isabella said:

“I get it… it has never been about the flaming sword carried about in my half-angel, half-human bloodstream, that was a smoke screen.”

Isabella looked at Metty, her pained expression revealed her sudden awareness of the gravity of their present situation.

Isabella continued:

“THIS, all of it —has been Baphoment’s doing somehow: my fall off the roof at the Burj Al Arab, my choice to open The Door to save my life, my travel to Shangri-La, where my fake death was orchestrated!

…It has all been to awaken from my subconscious that ancient incantation that I just spoke to unlock Eve Calendar’s (Stonehenge) prison. Dear God… what have I done!”

****To Be Continued Next Sunday****


Previous Chapters:

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapters 15 & 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19

Embers – Haiku 2023 #ThursdayDoors

Main Entrance, St. Paul’s Outside The Walls Basilica, Rome – Image credit: ©  Stefano Valeri | Alamy

out of the embers

a strong wind crosses, two doors brooch

The Tree Of Life


Built atop the site of St. Paul’s grave/martyrdom during the reign of Emporer Constantine, and once the largest church in the world (until St. Peter’s Basilica was built) stands St. Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica, Rome.

Fire devasted the original Basilica in 1832. The current neo-classic style building was consecrated in 1854.

The main door (featured above) was gifted to the church in 1931. It is 7.48 meters x 3.35 meters (24.5 feet by 10.9 feet) and made of bronze with silver inlays.

The cross is actually “The Tree of Life” carved into the bronze door in solid silver damascene (Damascus silver) and bedecked with lapis lazuli.

On either side of The Tree of Life are sculpted scenes from the life of St. Peter on the left and St. Paul on the right.

The older main doors made in 1070 AD have been restored and put back in service as the “seal” doors to the Basilica’s Holy Doors’ entrance (see older doors below).

Older Main Doors (circa 1070 AD), St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica. Now used as the seal doors to the Basilica’s Holy Door. Image credit: Lawrence Op | Flickr

Trivia: The fire of 1832 was started apparently by two tin workers (some accounts state that it was one worker) attempting to repair the copper channels in the Basilica’s roof gutters.

Reportedly, one or, the two tin workers, having finished their labors for the night, left the heating pan for the copperwork atop the roof, confident that the embers in the pan had been extinguished.

Subsequently, a strong wind fanned the embers into a flame, and the resulting fire unfortunately decimated The Basilica.

Wider angle, Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica, Rome below:

St. Pauls Outside The Walls Basilica, Rome. Image credit: © silviacrisman | istockphoto

For more #ThursdayDoors visit, host Dan Antion – No Facilities

Teresa My Camera and I

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