Archive for ‘cities’

July 25, 2007


(This is a sketch of a city that no longer is. It’s for a longer piece I’m writing. Enjoy.)


            Daruhn is because it was not. When it is not again, Daruhn will be again. We will forget when the walls were built, when we came to Another Desert. We cannot know that we will have to find Another Desert again. For now, Daruhn is.

            Daruhn is peace between sun and desert. Before dawn, the gardeners find their way to the commons. They nurse the bushes and pick the Berries, filling baskets enough to circle the gardens. You may take as many as you can carry, but drop nothing. Waste is high sin in the desert. The glassblowers rise as early as the gardeners in the commons. The rich, thick sand beneath the white walking sand bubbles and liquefies on the vents reaching deep into the ground. Dark glass becomes the blood of Daruhn. It carries the water and cuts the meat; it shields homes and eyes. It flies to the jackal’s heart—and the Clay-People’s skittering feet. With Berries and glass, Daruhn has nothing to ask of the moon. Daruhn is peace between sun and desert.

            Daruhn is music. By the bushes in the commons, singers throw endless music to the sun. Only moonrise brings silence, silence and fear. The melodies waver through majestic scales. Words matter less than sound, but song-words are sung. They sing Amun, vaijah voro voruhn with grateful hearts. Children sit about the platforms and learn the song-words—if not the meanings, then the ages of feeling behind them. Nobody forgets these songs, so that when Daruhn will be, Daruhn will be music.

            Daruhn is strength. The Hunters armed with heavy obsidian kukris and bolas search beyond the walls for jackals and Clay-People. The gray-skinned phantoms who live in caves and mountains. Hunters cannot trust these silent watchers. Their only sound is singing for the moon. But moon is inconstant, wavering, weak. Daruhn is strength, and has no love for moon, or its friends.

            The Hunters say on the highest mountains you can see Storm coming. Who can say what brings Storm? The brave say Daruhn’s walls have weathered wind before; the humble have packed some things. Everyone blames the Clay-People, but they remain silent and watch. Will they watch Storm blow over us all, or will they remain safe in their caves?

            I suppose ultimately it doesn’t matter. Another Desert is big enough for a city ruined and a city restored. If tomorrow Daruhn is not, Daruhn will be.

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