61 \ 149

All four dragons were couched resplendent in simultaneous multiplicities of form; each doing all and more at once according to their type, they sat beneath, floated above, roosted in, and activated around their trees as their forms examined each others’ forms. They spent a while doing only that, noting details about each other. Then they began to talk about things that were different now.

Being of new growth and unfolding, Myricotl expressed sorrow at inevitable effects of the Viridian Phasing on the dimensional senses in this generative of newly occurring life developing in those areas. All would bear marks of it. ‘E couldn’t rectify it or tell what would happen, only that things would be coming out surprising where that wasn’t already the case. This kind of massive life-conditional shift was upsetting to Myricotl, regardless of whether it was a timely manifestation of a statistically natural stochasticity. Given an opinion, ‘e doesn’t wish to engage in it. Expected booms may not occur.

Ottokad’s conceptual parameters of interaction with the Pan-Galactic Imperium were going to change to inaccuracy while all this was happening. ‘E stopped working almost completely in the Imperium, and the one or two things to which ‘e could lend erself took a great deal of energy. One task might take half a day. Ottokad was certainly missed, but ‘e couldn’t take professional responsibility for work during the phasing if ‘e was participating. Organizing principles of integral structures would be in the usual hands while the dragon applied er efficacy elsewhere. Fixatives and cements wouldn’t be working as well, especially the ones based on eyvea. People would have to compensate for that.

Saga was quiet, mulling over contemplations without saying anything. The dragon looked faraway, listless and detached, holding er peace. This did not seem good to anyone. Where was the story? Where was it going? Saga watched them pointedly in silence, face serious but kind.

Though these weren’t all the dragons excluded by the phasing, they gave Arkuda better insight to ramifications and difficulties for those who were essentially locked out and deterred from their places, as a result of their not participating in the phasing tunes which altered the dragonroads.

It was so nice to see these three again. It hadn’t been such a while since previous meetings, but certainly longer and farther between. They matched scales with each other, turning their forms into various alignments. Scalepoints gleamed together like stars in the same sky. Their scales reflected the knowledge, realities, and life connections etched into that part of the dragon; they reflected these things to each other, matching pieces for new learning. They weaved around each other, together then apart.

A flower bloomed in Arkuda’s thoughts, denoting time’s arrival. ‘E quietly, unfussily left Golden Apple River.

59 \ 147

Saga’s serpentine form was positioned throughout the waterfall, rainbow scales flashing over and beneath the water. Er head rested up top in the foam of the churning rapid cascading over the edge. Raising er gaze to meet Arkuda’s, Saga blinked softly and rose from place, glittering drops sheeting off er scales. Saga’s draconid humanoid also appeared on a ledge from behind the waterfall.

Arkuda stood at the edge of the purple lotus shore in humanoid; above, er serpentine mirrored Saga’s newly arisen position in midair, brightening like a cloud revealing the sun. Between them they released a tunnel of sound, replaying voices heard and things said between the times they’d seen each other.

The Councillor’s Imperial status was of no concern except as a topic of conversation. “Why do you bother taking anybody’s part?” asked Saga. “How is it worth it? Can’t you just go somewhere else and let them do unto themselves as they will. Shake their grip on your scales, you owe nothing.”

“They are written on your scales too, Saga. You love them more than most of us.”

“I can’t oppose kin this time.” Their serpentine shapes twined through the air without touching.

“Are you missing very much of yourself?” asked Arkuda.

“I feel distant in some ways, yes. I’m practically living on Level Plaine, which of course we can’t. But at least I get to see others in a remote, sort of empty way.” The space between their flying shapes narrowed as they circled and opposed each other in various dimensions. The setting pulsed vibrantly as lines of white radiance drew themselves in the air.

“How long must we be apart?” Arkuda understood that Saga was referring to the standing divides between all dragons, including the two of them.

“Until time’s tide changes its flow. The sea is rushing up to engulf the land. I must hold with these people, even against my kind, and not for the first time. They are a part of me, and you too; standing beneath a rockfall, and backed against a cliff.”

“Where they placed themselves.” The two flattened the coils of their flight against the glyphwork cliffs to either side of the waterfall, turning their heads to speak across the energetic rush. “I’ve been with them since beyond their known histories, but I don’t belong to them. Love as I may, I would hinder as hinder not. I have the rest of me to consider.” Saga lengthened, dipping er tailtip into the purple lotus pool. “Have you met with a returned exile?”

“No!” replied Arkuda defensively. Saga leveled a look at er, as though ‘e were clearly missing something. “Have you?” Arkuda returned the question.

Saga evaded the retort. “My presence wanes now in some of the places we know.”

“It’s not the same without you.”

“Of course it isn’t,” Saga said with an exasperated guffaw. “I’m just not taking a side this time, which is lonelier. But I am not alone. You saw the other Unphased outside?” Arkuda hummed affirmative. “I think we are all wanting to talk with you, if only to match scales again.”

“I am glad.” Gazing at Saga across the waterfall, Arkuda had little breath left to say more.

“Will you welcome the others with me by the Golden Apple River? So we may all have time and so that I might stay by you.” Arkuda nodded. Saga took hold of er finely crafted glyphscape, and the scene flowed away from Purple Lotus Waterfall, over and down to the banks of Golden Apple River: a shining orchard on a leisurely picnic slope where the current flowed past in natural rhythm. A river wide enough to get into, a cleansing wash.

The glyph’s exterior reading changed, and the two in reverie outside both noticed: Saga-Arkuda Within, Welcoming the Unphased, Golden Apple River. Ottokad and Myricotl entered in succession.

54 \ 142

Arkuda begins passage via the Gateway Stair to the Level Plaine, Tabula Rasa. The way is framed in thought and realized in transformation.

Now, the sky is still dark. The many suns in the sky are distant, but if Arkuda can see them, they’re within arm’s reach. Sunlight penetrates the deepest vacuum of space, if not the lowest ocean. In darkness, the dragon Arkuda sees light, and is the light seen. This light endures as long as day, as long as life.

Arkuda knows all these places within reach of er being, though not the way that memory recalls a place already visited. They’re as near as the next step, part of the elemental world of this dragon’s existence. Worlds of worlds: draconid reality.

The dragon has chosen a place in er Seat: where ‘e is known in many ways, by many, and knows many. The seat is strongest around the root existence, but is also much wider; its nearness to root is defined by myriad relations.

In this place of Seat, ‘e can see er place of work: a certain conception of function which humans chiefly ascribe to, and which is an interactive process of the peoples of the Pan-Galactic Imperium, the currently flourishing connective. The time phase during which Arkuda has been deeply involved in Pan-Galactic endeavors has been as happy for er as the one in which er current name was given.

The dragon breathes deeply into er channels; a hundred pollens or so, the blending of breezes in tiny streams, a tinkling sense to each thing. Outlines of pre-dawn hue begin to dim yonder city lights beneath the rugged slopes, scars of a planet.

This particular place holds a meeting of factors which allows for a certain fluidity of being, a transformational autonomy. Dragons seek this the way people seek privacy. To everyone, dragons are so unlike, and yet so like; as familiar and unknown as one’s own molecules. They live under the tension of alien kinship, as a consciousness of something that is a part of other things (or do other things arise from dragon-being?). A dragon is a distinct person of memories, feelings, and parts, but also something elemental in all its aspects everywhere.

They are mysterious also to each other but share many understandings, the greatest of which can be achieved on Tabula Rasa, or Level Plaine. Arkuda feels an eagerness both warm and cool, like an elysian breeze. A drawing together is much needed, energetically speaking, for this dragon. ‘E wonders who else is of the same mind. Divides have grown.

The King Ascendant is unlike the recent scion line in draconid relational attitude. The Dragon Councillor is adapting through a difficulty of difference. Grant Vario was not inculcated with association until as an adult he joined the scion line as Soleil’s father, and he has never engaged in a Studious Tradition. At times he makes strange requests, believing that a dragon can know or do things ‘e cannot, or demanding unusual endeavors of discovery. Whether Arkuda can gain something on the Tabula Rasa to give to these inquiries is ancillary. ‘E’s going to see the others in the place where only they can go.

47 \ 135

Everything can continue while thoughts still,
and there is no doing even in the doing.

ACAMAR ends a day in the moment when thoughts still,
the un-doing of things when doing is done,
when all things have been put away,
the course finished.

Swirling water in a a stirred cup flowed,
and slowed.
Thoughts settled like the dust of leaves to the bottom,
creating space of dreamless sleep.

There,
life,
whether known.
From the still expanse in the clear space,
where there is still breath:
my life.

At the river’s end it became something else –
the tumbling motion undid itself,
transformed under greater force:
gravity,
entropy –
to new form,
other form,
next phase.

The streetside stream falling to another level below.
ACAMAR:
a bottomless vessel that remains full,
where through falls the stream to settle,
a still flame’s column of air.

ACAMAR followed the end of the day,
the last thing said,
the final word.

No more conversation;
the babble of the brook succumbed to the faucet.
The liquid stopped moving in suspension,
the living flame stood still.

To exist in a hurricane torrent,
a flame surrounded itself with stillness.
Among least still of all things,
its motion outmatched,
persisted only through greater stillness.

Conceiving of their release and revival,
eightfold of flame and like brought me,
ACAMAR,
to life.

Surest of my existence,
they bore the knowledge.
I am their result.
I am their change,
I am brought of their resolution.
Their suppression became stillness,
and they found their return,
through me,
ACAMAR.

11th Sq. Artwork, Cascade Writers, Cascadia Festival, Worldcon 75

New dragon centerpiece art for 11th Sequence, by Marie-Anna Michaud

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I’m teaching two workshops with Cascade Writers in Tacoma next weekend:

1pm – 1:50pm Visual Mapping Techniques & Synaesthetic Processing – Cedar room (With Eva Elasigue)

1pm – 1:50pm What’s Your “Good Enough” & How To Reach It – Cedar room (With Eva Elasigue)

Mythica Village, Cascadia Festival will be hosting writers’ workshops by yours truly!

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My schedule has been announced for Worldcon 75:

Writers and Artists

Wednesday 20:30 – 21:30, 209 (Messukeskus)

How authors interact with illustrators. How SFF covers are created. What visions behind those images.

Barbara G. Tarn (M), Maurizio Manzieri, Valerie Purcell, Zach Dodson, Eva L. Elasigue

Ensemble Casts

Thursday 15:00 – 16:00, 203a (Messukeskus)

The Crew, the Band, the League, the Fellowship – what makes a good ensemble cast for a series of novels or a television show? Are these ensembles diverse or stuck in their ways?

Eva L. Elasigue, Gang Tan, Anne-Marie Tuikka