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All quiet in our Phoenix retreat. Full moon aglow. Ol August moon. That harvest moon that hovers low in the night sky while rising warm rays from Mother Earth make its face close, golden, and so bright you could read the fine print on a used car sales contract. Those were the days when pollutant-free skies allowed my friend the moon to drape its warm blush over all that exists.

A hot night. No different from any other Arizona August evening. Naked lovers slipped quietly into the tepid water of our backyard retreat swirling around in liquid weightlessness. Silence everywhere except for wavelets cracking on tense water while the monsoon heat sucked up all that was left of ambient noise. Water and air became one to our skin. Welcome, new world. She floated above my fingertips as I sang my quiet song. My brides breasts lay bare, excited by the soothing freedom, begging for an intoxicating caress. We knew trust the good stuff on the top shelf that makes love strong. And lasting. Gentle love. Deep gentle love that awakens the senses and casts the toils of the earth far, far away.

We sat motionless. And wordless. And thoughtless. Our moon watched as the water glowed, singing a sirens song. I took a breath, sank into the world below, and pushed myself deeper suspended without limit - feeling it soothe and setting me free. Holding my breath was effortless. The calming effect of love made air neither wanted nor needed.

I want to stay here, but the arms of Mother Earth reached for me. Upon my return, I sensed something different. The silence of the world became spoiled by noise not there moments ago. Where had I gone? How long was I there? Nothing would ever be the same again. Nothing.

My love, my mate on this great voyage where is she? She vanished without a word. Taken by the demons. But soon to swim forever at peace in Tilloo. I find myself on a path not of my choosing. How did I get here?

* * * * * *

When I grow old my world will shrink as time races ever faster. The museum of my life will no longer be mine, but leftovers found in our nations thrift shops. They may send me to a room cast far out of the way where the reflection from the window obscures my face as I stare vacantly at my purposelessness. I fear dying knowing my life had no value and I made little difference. The adventures of my yesterdays will have become a faded memory. Who would believe the tangled tales in my wild gray hair and tired eyes? Who cares who I was? Without a yesterday, can who I am ever be known?

Rogue Wave in the Sea

When Mother Nature exercises her muscle, she sometimes gives no advance warning. Ive seen pictures of this phenomenon. Rogue waves, they call them. Theyre the sea scoundrels that come out of nowhere as they defy wind, current, or any predictable weather pattern. They move quickly with the stealth of a ruthless predator. They are a lone large wave hiding behind the darkness of night or at the backs of unsuspecting sea captains. They ambush from whichever direction eyes are not turned. They are the sea monsters on the surface that mercilessly wash astern and devour boats with the speed of moments. Their name almost implies cunning intelligence. I saw pictures of them and shivered at the thought of one coming at me. Now I was looking at one square in the face.

We scurried to the top deck to study our predicament. We could see the ends of the wave. How odd it seemed it was heading straight for us. It was an angry wave. It seemed to be anxious to eat greedily. It was a fully flowing cresting wave. White caps leaping behind the wave would be the first to slam us under.

The captain bellowed orders to shut all hatches and prepare ourselves for the plunge. If we kept a bow into it, the wave would pass quickly without harm. But the edges seem to curl around us with a flanking motion. It was assaulting

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