Hey. Know what happened to me today?" He sits back and crosses his arms, smiles. "No. What happened to you today?" "Well, I decided to take the bus to work instead of driving? And I got on and I sat behind this woman who started crying. She was very quiet about it, just every now and then she would reach up and wipe away a tear. She had this kerchief on her head, this ratty old flowered kerchief, but it was clean and it was tied very neatly, you know. And she had her purse on her lap and she was holding on to it like it was hands. At first nobody else seemed to notice she was crying, but then everybody around her did. And it got very quiet. And then finally this man got up from the back of the bus, and he came up and sat next to her and put his arm around her, and he didn't say a word, but just stared straight ahead with his arm around her and she kept crying, but it was better now, you could tell, she kind of had a little smile even though she was still crying. And I don't know if he even knew her! I think everybody was wondering the same thing: Does he even know her? I guess he must have known her; otherwise she probably would have leaped up and started screaming or something, but you never know! You just never know, it might have been someone whose heart went out to her because she was crying. And he decided he would comfort her. And she let him. And I think it was a kind of miracle. A living parable or something.
We are the nation of dreams. We are seers. We are wizards. We speak in visions. Our letters are like flocks of doves, released from under our hats. We have only to stretch out our hand and desire, and what we wish for settles like a kerchief in our palm. We are a race of sorcerers, enchanters. We are Atlantis. We are the wizard-isle of Mu.
Matthew Tobin Anderson
For the ethical, political activism was seductive because it seemed to offer the possibility that one could improve society, make things better, without going through the personal ordeal of rearranging one's perceptions and transforming one's self. For the unconscionable, political reactivism was seductive because it seemed to protect one's holdings and legitimize one's greed. But both sides were gazing through a kerchief of illusion.
Let me cradle myself back Into the darkness Of the half shapes ... Of the cauled beginnings ... Let me stir the attar of unused air, Elusive ... ironically fragrant As a dead queen's kerchief ... Let me blow the dust from off you ... Resurrect your breath Lying limp as a fan In a dead queen's hand.
Or again, take your red banner. You think it's a flag, isn't that what you think? Well, it isn't a flag. It's the purple kerchief of the death woman, she uses it for luring. And why for luring? She waves it and she nods and winks and lures young men to come and be killed, then she sends famine and plague. That's what it is. And you went and believed her. You thought it was a flag. You thought it was: "Come to me, all ye poor and proletarians of the world.
Sun and moon have no light left, earth is dark; Our women's world is sunk so deep, who can help us? Jewelry sold to pay this trip across the seas, Cut off from my family I leave my native land. Unbinding my feet I clean out a thousand years of poison, With heated heart arouse all women's spirits. Alas, this delicate kerchief here Is half stained with blood, and half with tears.
Sitting in the flickering light of the candles on this kerchief of sand, on this village square, we waited in the night. We were waiting for the rescuing dawn - or for the Moors. Something, I know not what, lent this night a savor of Christmas. We told stories, we joked, we sang songs. In the air there was that slight fever that reigns over a gaily prepared feast. And yet we were infinitely poor. Wind, sand, and stars. The austerity of Trappists. But on this badly lighted cloth, a handful of men who possessed nothing in the world but their memories were sharing invisible riches.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Kotov looked like an abandoned statue on the beach in the Plaza de Cataluna. The spring was at is height and the warm un bathed the city. The adviser, with his face slightly raised, was receiving the heat like a lizard slothful from the rays that were injecting him with life. He had even taken off his jacket and the printed kerchief he regularly wore after Ramon sat down at his side. 'What a marvelous country!' he said at last, and smiled. 'I could live here for the rest of my life.' 'Despite the Spaniards?' 'Precisely because of you. Where I come from, the people are like stones. You are all flowers. My country smells like smoked herring and hops; here it smells of olive oil and wine.' 'Your pals say we're primitive and practically dumb.' 'Don't pay too much attention to those lunatics. They confuse ideology with mysticism, and they are no more than walking machines - worse still, they're fanatics. Here they make themselves look tough, but you should see them when Moscow calls for them... Na khuy. They shit themselves. Don't look to them as an example; you don't want to be like them. You can be so much more.' p. 162
Couldn't we camp down by the lakes?' Nynaeve asked, patting her face with her kerchief. 'It must be cooler down by the water.' 'Light, ' Mat said, 'I'd just like to stick my head in one of them. I might never take it out.' Just then something roiled the waters of the nearest lake, the dark water phosphorescing as a huge body rolled beneath the surface. Length on man-thick length sent ripples spreading, rolling on and on until at last a tail rose, waving a point like a wasp's stinger for an instant in the twilight, at least five spans into the air. All along that length fat tentacles writhed like monstrous worms, as many as a centipede's legs. It slid slowly beneath the surface and was gone, only the fading ripples to say it had ever been. Rand closed his mouth and exchanged a look with Perrin. Perrin's yellow eyes were as disbelieving as he knew his own must be. Nothing that big could live in a lake that size. Those couldn't have been hands on those tentacles. They couldn't have been. 'On second thought, ' Mat said faintly, 'I like it right here just fine.
The Devil's Rose You would never take a rose from a beast. If his callous hand were to hold out a scarlet flower, his grip unaffected by pricking thorns, you would shrink from the gift and refuse it. I know that is what you would do. But the cunning beast will have his beauty. He hunts not in hopeless pursuit, for fear would have you sprint all the day long. Thus, he turns toward the shadows and clutches the rosebud, crunching and twisting until every delicate petal is detached. One falls not far from your feet, and you notice the red spot in the snow. The color sparkles in the sunlight, catching your curious eye. No beast stands in sight; there is nothing to fear, so you dare retrieve the lone petal. The touch of temptation is velvet against your thumb. It carries a scent you bring to your nose, and both eyes close to float on a cloud of perfume. As your lashes lift, another scarlet drop stains the snow at a near distance. A glance around perceives no danger, and so your footprints scar the snowflakes to retrieve another rosy leaflet as soft and sweet as the first. Your eyes shine with flecks of golden greed at the discovery of more discarded petals, and you blame the wind for scattering them mere footprints apart. All you want is a few, so you step and snatch, step and snatch, step and snatch. Soon, there is enough velvet to rub against your cheek like a silken kerchief. Your collection of one-plus-one-more reeks of floral essence. Distracted, you jump at the sight of the beast in your path. He stands before his lair, grinning without love. His callous hands grip at thorns on a single naked stem, and you look down at your own hands that now cup his rose. But how can it be? You would never take a rose from a beast. You would shrink from the gift and refuse it. He knows that is what you would do.
Richelle E. Goodrich
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the housetop the coursers they flew With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too- And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight- 'Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Clement C. Moore