I Come and Go

By Walter Weinschenk

No. 75 by K.G Ricci

in a dream

she summoned me,

death shroud night gown

kept her warm;

sunken shoulders,

light beige cloth.

I saw her march

through desert night,

carbon black

like Rembrandt’s hat,

darker than the ceiling

you know is there

but cannot find

when roused from sleep

by troubled thoughts

disguised as dreams.

she stepped upon the sand

as if it were a street;

no mission, no considered route;

she meandered, yes, she wandered,

among the dunes, she wore no shoes,

those tiny grains of sand were sharp,

they cut her tired feet.

I heard her call

from the edge of a dream;

I turned my gaze

to the blood-soaked sand;

she wasn’t alone:

a parade of mourners

followed her,

legions dressed

in tattered rags,

consumed with grief;

footsteps sinking into sand,

they stepped

and then they stepped again,

relentless, undeterred,

headlong into frigid air.

(I was among them

long ago

but took my leave

in deference

to that trifling embryo

of hope that twisted

in its sleep,

hidden in some

part of me.)

that night

so dark,

that night

grew darker,

it fell upon the ground;

I heard the sum

of suffering,

the long eternal groan;

I heard the night


and blackness

seeped into the sand

like rain, and overflowed,

concealed the earth,

diffused the air,

obscured my view

of the long parade

that staggered toward oblivion;

I looked out but could only see

an outline of the up and down

of arms and legs

and curvature of bodies

moving back and forth,

vague and imprecise,

all but lost to me

in the catacomb that was

the darkest of all nights

and though I could barely see

those pilgrims pass in front of me,

I could hear them perfectly;

I heard them chant

in the ancient way,

a messianic song,

modal formulation,

chimes like holy carillons:

their voices rose in air,

fell like tears upon the dunes

and drained within the fabric

of the dream I had that night.

in time, they were gone

and when the last

had disappeared,

I woke up, I lay awake,

safe within the ancient woods,

unbound and unconstrained

for no apparent reason,

and at that moment

I understood that I was free;

I reveled in my sense of self,

alive and unafraid

and peace flowed into me;

I rested on the forest floor;

I didn’t want a thing

and nothing wanted me;

I released the dream I had

and it abandoned me.

I saw the dawn descend,

it looked for me,

it came to me,

it sifted


came to rest

upon the grass

like a sheet unfurled

that slowly floats

and falls upon a bed

and in the light of that one day,

the world revealed itself to me:

yellow petaled flowers

shrugged lazy in the air,

squirrels engaged

in stutter race

between the roots of trees;

a soft breeze lifted leaves

and let them fall again

and I stood up

and breathed the air.

that human chain

was forever gone;

only I remained

and I was free:

one person,

a singularity

of my own design,

my soul a monument

to that part of me

that wouldn’t die

but resolved to wait

for the advent of day

which did, in fact, arrive

and on that day, I was released,

salvaged from a dream I had,

perfectly alive in the world

on the first of mornings yet to come:

the light was crystalline,

I danced upon the earth;

I jumped and ran;

I shook my arms and hands;

I leaped in directions

that I never knew were there;

I stamped my feet upon the ground;

I lifted my eyes to see beyond

the acquiescent sky;

I saw an iridescent light

and felt its warm embrace.

the world was awake

and, in that waking hour,

the earth was resonant

with tympanic pulse

of beating hearts,

and all those living things

conspired in collective riot:

trees threw back their branches,

wriggled out from stations

in which they had been planted

so very long ago,

frozen in earth

since time began,

now were free;

liberated, they ran rampant,

they danced in front of me;

I heard them sing

and I began to sing as well,

a song the ancients

dared not sing:

a song of death’s demise

leaped from my lungs

and out my mouth,

loud and clear,

in perfect pitch and tone,

a song as buoyant

as life itself;

it shook the leaves,

echoed in the ground,

resounded in the dirt and rock

and rang within the depths

in which the polities

of space and time

had been interred

so long ago.

I sang for myself

and whoever else

could hear my voice:

I sang for those who cannot sing

for those who cannot see,            

for those who walk forever

in circles that don’t close,

for those who stand

in long, suffering line,

for those who die alone,

and for the diaspora

of lost and scattered souls

who wander through the night.

I sang and I shall sing again,

to the ends of the universe

until those ends are one, once more

and are bound in time,

in a place beyond

the singed night’s edge,

deep within the dawn

that stretches young arms,

smooth and strong, and yawns,

and lifts its head and opens eyes

as wide and open as the sky:

they are the doors

through which I wander, walk, I run,

I come and go . . .

Walter Weinschenk is an attorney, writer and musician. Until a few years ago, he wrote short stories exclusively but now divides his time equally between poetry and prose. Walter’s writing has appeared in the
Carolina Quarterly, Sunspot Literary Journal, The Esthetic Apostle, The Gateway Review and A Rose for Lana. Walter lives in a suburb just outside Washington, D. C.

 K.G. Ricci has spent most of his seventy years in New York City where he currently lives and works. It has only been the last five years that he has devoted himself to the creation of his collage panels.  Though not formally trained, Ken worked in the art department at the Strand Bookstore during his student years and it was there that he familiarized himself with the works of his favorite artists, including Bearden, di Chirico and Tooker. After a career in the music business and a decade of teaching in NYC schools, Ken began creating his own original artwork in earnest.

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