Poem: The Romantic

This is a free-verse poem I wrote a while back (8-14-2014, to be exact). I was going to read it at an open mic event but the event was cancelled, so instead I share it here and now! The tone is happy and optimistic, by the way. It’s about how our dreams support us and keep us going. Never, never, never give up on them!

I tie myself down to my dreams
so that I can relieve the burden of reality
to stay afloat
above the restless seas of everyday life.

I wander through the forests of my imagination
so that I may find meaning and fulfillment
to be free
of the entangling tedium and check-marks.

I crawl through the burning desert
so that my thirst for excitement might be quenched
to discover water
that will keep me alive through the sweltering mundane.

I escape within and throughout my mind.

I am alive because of these yearnings.

And I rejoice at my fellow travelers.

( ©2016 Sean Dorsey )


Howahkan (Part 3.15)

Atlat screams and dashes forward, slashing a diagonal from Ántimán’s left shoulder down, but he has already taken flight, instantaneous downdraft from the flapping flowing down upon Atlat’s shoulders. The hovering figure blots out the sun and kicks out a taloned leg at Atlat’s face, who raises his word and parries, the claw leaving thin white scratches along the stone. Atlat places his hand up against the flat of the blade and, gritting his teeth and stumbling back a few steps, pushes away the still midair Ántimán. Another flap and Atlat is pushed backwards onto his back. Ántimán walks forward in three quick steps and leans down, mouth going to bite Atlat’s face, when Kaga springs up and yells.

“Hey! This is for Awan!” He swings the sling around in a circle and hurls the white ball at Ántimán, who turns to look at the approaching missile. It smokes and catches fire as it hurtles through the air. Just as it reaches Ántimán’s face, he opens his mouth wide and in it goes, one swallow later and Tumseneho’s eye-orb visibly passes through the bird man’s gullet. He freezes, and his eyes widen as he coughs and retches. Steam flows from his mouth and he falls forward, arms snapping out to support him from below the wings. His eyes bulge and tendrils of flame appear on his torso, spreading by the moment. Atlat scrambles backwards across the ground to get away from the hacking creature as it claws at its neck and stomach.

( ©2015 Sean Dorsey )

Ohanzee (Part 1)

The sun is rising over the mountains, and the shadows of the desert are vanquished by it’s onset. A few shooting stars can be seen streaming across the sky in the last bit of dusk before daylight. Miakoda is watching the sky, her face turned to the side, her long black hair covering the left side of her face. The light approaches across the ground, then on to her legs as she kneels in a patch of dry, faded green grass on top of a sandstone hill. Just as it reaches her cheek, she opens her eyes and smiles, and the sun catches and reflects in the green-flecked iris.


The sun is now a bit higher in the sky, and the village below is showing signs of activity. A young girl in a plain brown shirt and shorts is running up the path that leads to the spot where Miakoda is seated.

“Miakoda! Miakoda! Come quick, something terrible has happened!”

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Windigo (Part 3)

Pimne finds himself standing in the center of the camp, a few snowflakes drifting past his face. Color has returned to the world, and the rays of the sun radiate from behind the peaks. He is still looking over his should and as he turns to face forward again he sees a group of people approaching him. They wear very wide smiles upon their faces, and their skin is painted red. They are wearing little clothing, simple loincloths, and their feet are bare. Pimne takes a step back as they walk nearer. The Comanche? he thinks, but the four figures hold no weapons. And as they enter the camp’s clearing, he sees that not only are they unclothed, they are also skinned, the blood-wet muscles sliding and flexing as they move. Their smiles are forced in the most literal sense, the exposed gums glistening and the teeth revealed in their full length. The figure closest to him speaks, and with each word uttered follows a hollow, sucking noise, like a foot being pulled out of muck.

“Ohwoh, it is Pimne!” Pthuck, pthuck. “How are you, you scoundrel?” Pthuck, pthuck. “Grown fat on our cooking I hope.” The others laugh, a wet noise, and from their mouths blood spatters and steams upon the snow. “Do you, haha, do you recognize me – ch’iidii! – little thief?” Its lidless eyes are bulging out of its head, and it leers at Pimne, who takes a few steps away from him. “I am Qaletaqa, though now I am naked of my skin, hahaha!” Its laughter is more like shrieking and its teeth click together with each bout.

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Windigo (Part 2)

Pimne looks at the breeches, then at the sky, then back. He pulls them on over his thin, ragged pair and stands up. He walks around a bit, staring at the way the colors blend and change in different light, but does not say anything. He looks back up at the sky, scanning the air. Turning in a circle, glancing left and right, he then lets out a breath.

“I just saw a man turn into a bird, why am I even doubting this.” He hesitates though, and looks at his hand where the skin is still a little red where he held the apparently flammable fabric.

“Won’t burn the wearer, huh…” He shifts from one leg to the other. “All right, here goes,” and he takes a deep breath, “Holos!” The breeches feel warm, even through the pants he wears beneath them, and as he watches, fire gathers around them, wrapping around his legs from the bottom up.

“Ahhh!” And he jumps about, then falls upon the snow, rolling around. He stops flailing about on the ground, sits up, and looks at his legs, which are still surrounded by flames.

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Windigo (Part 1)

A shivering youth walks through the crunching snow, his leather moccasins protecting his feet from the damp. The moccasins are the only clothing he has that is not ragged and worn, and holes throughout let in even more cold air. He can see smoke coming from the other side of the snow-laden hill in front of him, and continues in that direction.

The people in the village, wandering from duty to duty, see a youth of about seventeen or eighteen in tattered clothes walking into the clearing at the center of the tents, spikes protruding from a landscape of white in the midst of the mountains. The source of the smoke is surrounded by people, using the fire for cooking or cleaning or simply for warmth in the case of several of the elderly. Several men rise from their posts, spears at hand, and Pimne’s stride slows.

“What business have you here, tattered one?”

“Please, do not point your spears at me. My village was destroyed by a monster with flaming eyes. I have nowhere else to go.”

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Tohopka (Part 2)

“Was it you, Kaga? Are you going to save Mosi?”

“As you’ve seen, little one, I can’t jump very far – though as chance would have it, I was hiding in those trees. Imagine my surprise when I found I was sharing my perch with five cuguacara!”

“Cuguawhat? More monsters?”

“Did you think she survived in the wild all those years on her own? You are probably more familiar with the name ‘cougar,’ the big cats which roam the forests and mountains of our lands and whose scream, if heard, tells that you will soon die. As I’ve said, there were five of them, all different in appearance – at least, different to one who has an eye for details. One was clearly the oldest, with flecks of white around its face and cheeks, and long white whiskers. The other three were about the same size as this one, with varying patches of fur the sandy color of birches and the occasional orange and reddish brown. The fifth cougar was quite a bit larger, and this was the one that had leaped into the fray first, for an older brother must protect his sibling, no?”

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