A World Away

Phase shifts, for a moment,
A phenomenon of quantum realities
Following its own logic,
Defying at the same time
All that we know by that name: Logic.

Mist lifts, reveals a shoreline,
Avalon’s fabled tor rising to the sun,
Stark rocks marking the place
Where a moment before had been
The monastery of Glastonbury.

Strange force, finally stable,
Allows existence of coincident, rarely congruent spaces.
I look across the inexplicable glade
Where you, looking back,
Seem unafraid of my appearance.

Goddess source, ever changing,
Its study having been my life’s work,
Nevertheless did not prepare me,
For your appearance in Her glade,
A sign I could only read as change.

Visor lifted, I meet your eyes,
Something in them alarms and attracts me.
My tactical display tells me
What I already know:
There is no protocol for this engagement.

Sight gifted, I see far more
Than just the gray trouble in your eyes,
And sense the power that brought you here.
But the Goddess is silent,
Though Her presence fills me.

Alarm squeak, weapons offline.
I look away to read the diagnostic message,
And jump to find you near me
A moment later, when I look up.
I have no defense. My training fails me.

I speak, and ask your name,
For I see you wear armor unlike any other,
And I fear the answer I now expect.
I do not fear your hand,
Not in this place the Goddess made.

Question asked, her voice, recorded.
Translator pauses. Latin and Welsh, it indicates.
But it works; I understand.
Though it cannot matter, I say:
“Arthur. I am Arthur Regis.”

I am aghast. Two voices speak,
The second not from his mouth, but similar enough;
I hear the same name in both.
I see his brow wrinkle with worry.
I know both voices speak true.

She fades. For just an instant,
As if a cloud’s shadow had passed over us.
The cerulean sky is clear.
There is only a moment remaining.
I reach into my sample pouch.

Demon shades! They mask the light,
And suddenly I know that, again, you will not remain.
The mist takes you back to your repose,
Leaving only a strange flower,
Which I carefully tuck into my sleeve.

7 February 2011, Los Angeles

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