I’m from The Midwest; Let’s talk about the Weather

“I’m feeling this Toledo scene,” said Cle. “It’s quaint. I often wondered what it would be like to live on a planet with natural light and organic atmosphere. It’s probably a lot to deal with—all the seasonal transitions. I’ve noticed that people that live on organic planets seem overly concerned about their weather. Even when the weather is mild, the topic of weather is so pervasive that when I talk to friends on Delphi, Delta Urbana, and Urania, they give me weather reports right after saying hello. They seem to use weather as seques to getting around to saying what they want to say. They always keep me guessing. If the weather is stormy on Urania—does that mean my friend Roget is about to tell me bad news? Are you a weather aficionado, Hi?”img461

Except from, Together: Book II of the Janaforma Trilogy.




Shardasko wisdom

Death wears many masks but a warrior
sees through the mask, to his own face below.
At the moment of ultimate confrontation,
a Shardasko warrior acknowledges death with the words,
I will hold nothing back. I will not lose unless I lose completely.
Once a warrior speaks these words,
his existence will never be the same.

from, The Key by Master Kyron, Shardasko Warrior

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

The Roswell Incident: How the Future Impacts the Past by Martha Fawcett

hs-2009-17-a-large_webAn Interview with Miro Rugen

Miro Rugen is a twenty-seven bio-year Janaforma consort, a descendant of the twenty-two original Janaforma created by the geneticist Simon Forma in the Hattonian year 2603. Doctor Miro received cis (his/her) undergraduate degree at Aeternus University in Space Ethics and Engineering. Cis (his/her) doctorate is from the Cerribeame Academy on Calypso where ce (he/she) focused on Advanced Vitasphere Technology and Gravity Field Manipulation. Miro now serves as CEO of Trans-Orion Technologies.

The Janaforma have a reputation for being elusive and Miro Rugen is no exception. For the last three years, every freelance journalist in the Hattonian Hub had been vying to snag an interview with Dr. Miro. When a troller contacted me with a lead, the message was typically cryptic. “Solid lead, Miro, 2 shs,” it read, which meant the troller was giving me two space hours to decide, before offering the lead to the next hungry journalist. I was on the planet Teras, in the Trujillo System, where I was covering a boring story for Off-World News on the annual Ice Sculpture Festival. This was my first assignment in three months and I needed work. If I ditched the festival, Off-World News would cut me from their list of freelancers. For an hour, I paced around my hotel room trying to decide between paying my rent and paying the troller. Then I did what I knew I was going to do all along. I called the troller. She said, “One thousand Delta Urbanaian chedars. I’ll wait.”

I made the credit transfer and attached the message, “This BBG. I’ll be eating ramen noodles for the next two months.”

Two minutes later, my skimpy lead arrived. “Bougon Ture, Trinity Hotel.”

It was pitch black when my shuttle landed on Bourgon Ture. Later when Stella Campus rose above the horizon, the burnt umber landscape would warm to a toffee brown. At midday, blinding light would glare off the few, slick nobs still left on the surface, while the stark shadows would conceal the depth of the impact craters below. On Bougon Ture, craters were deep, some going down thousands of meters into rock. At the crater bottoms is where most of the sentient action was happening. My shuttle made a sharp arc to the left before landing on one of the higher crater shelves. Below, the milky lights of Bougonree Complex were barely visible through the inner polluted layers of the forcefield.

Bougonree Complex was virgin territory for me, but it made little difference. The more I commuted around the Orion Spur, the more these corporate-created complexes numbed my senses. Most were aggregate structures held together with spit and string. Bougonree Complex was without a spark of whimsy. It was a world where commerce and speed-to-market convenience, took easy precedent over esthetics. A few potted plants stood here and there, condemned martyrs from another world.

Moving walkways skirted both sides of the main promenade and funneled arrivals toward the exits. I spied a bank of elevators that took passengers to the various connecting hotels. While I waited for my elevator to arrive, I used my spot speaker to call the desk clerk at the Trinity Hotel. “I have an appointment with Miro Rugen in twenty minutes and I’m running late,” I said. “Would you please call cis (his/her) room and tell cim (him/her) Sophia Ferguson will be a little late and—oh, just connect me and I’ll tell cim myself.” My ruse worked and a few seconds later, I was speaking to Miro Rugen, explaining I was a journalist, and working on a story concerning dimensional breaches.

To myl surprise, Miro said, “Would love to discuss dimensional breaches with you. Give me an hour and I’ll give you two. But please don’t be late, because I’m pressed for time.” An hour later, I stood outside room 2211, took a deep breath, and congratulated myself on my journalistic prowess at landing the interview.

Miro Rugen opened the door and I was standing before a tall, lean Janaforma consort in cis mid-twenties. “Come in,” ce offered with a simple nod. “If you’re hungry, room service just brought sandwiches and tea.” While I helped myself to a sandwich wedge and set up my microdex, Miro Rugen demonstrated the ability to rearrange our chairs like a man and pour tea like a woman. The fascinating seesaw between the masculine and feminine was seamless, yet noticeable. This sexual balancing act in a consort is what the Janaforma refer to as “enewetak,” which means to the Janaforma, “appealingly balanced between beautiful/handsome.” Whatever Miro was beyond enewetak, it was clear that ce was a genetic thoroughbred.

“Before we get started, I want to know how you knew I would be on Bourgon Ture at this exact time?” ce asked.

“I’ve wanted an interview with you for the last three years. A troller called me a few hours ago with a lead. I paid her one thousand Delta Urbanaian chedars and she sent me the information that you were on Bougon Ture at the Trinity Hotel.”

“I see; in the future I’ll need to be more careful.”

“I’m not here to cause you trouble nor do I harbor political agendas. I paid a thousand chedars and would even pay it again.”


“I have questions I believe only you can answer. Three years ago, I began working on a series of articles concerning dimensional breaches. Since then, I’ve had some fascinating conversations with several knowledgeable people on the subject. Curiously, your name continually keeps surfacing. One person in particular told me, ‘Talk to Miro Rugen. Ce knows more about dimensional breaches than anyone alive.’”

“Who is this particular person?”

“Does the name Spekgodski ring a bell?”

Irony tinged Miro’s smile. “Yes, but the bell is more like a dull thud than a ringing tone. He calls himself Stealth Spekgodski. He used to be part of an elite regiment of 2,000 Damarian mercenaries. Told me he once worked for the Orion Spur Alliance as a spy. He still had his Doberman ear implant, but said it didn’t work anymore and made terrible buzzing sounds in his head. Maybe that’s why he was so jumpy.”

“Did he show you the holographic video in his possession?”

“He did; in fact, we walked through the video together. He claimed the video was shot in the environs of Roswell, New Mexico, a few hours after a spaceship crash-landed there in the Earth year 1947.” A bemused expression slowly came to dominate Miro’s face. “Spekgodski said he wanted verification from an expert on the type of ship it might be and about markings on the superstructure found among the debris. He was so secretive, I thought the video contained classified information on some new spacecraft technology, but the video was nothing special. The ship was a generic Cerribeame rifter and the crash site was without distinction.”

“What about the markings on the superstructure?”

“The markings were Cuneate rilets. The words merely bits of instructions for task-specific androids that assemble those types of ships.”

“Do you think Spekgodski was on the level?”

“Let’s put it this way. While the video appeared to be an authentic crash site, Spekgodski offered me no hard evidence that the video came from Earth in 1947.” Miro hesitated before asking, “What’s your involvement is in this matter, other than a good story?”

“It’s personal.”

“That’s obvious. The fact that you paid a troller a thousand chedars suggests your involvement is very personal.”

It was clear Miro expected me to reveal some of my backstory, so I gave him the short, short, version. “When I was fifteen bio-years old, my mother and I were aboard the starship Omael. We were on our way to Earth to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday when the ship hit a dimensional rupture and was torn to smithereens.”

“I heard there were no survivors aboard the Omael.”

“You heard wrong; there were two. My mother and I were standing in a hallway when the Omael exploded. A Janaforma lifebearer was standing nearby and when she activated her vitarattha, she caught me inside the vitarattha’s forcefield and saved my life.”

“I’m sorry you lost your mother. Was the lifebearer a Vanguard Scout?”

“No, but it was obvious she had extensive space training. She was a student at Oxford University and returning to school from spring break. We were stranded inside her vitarattha for several hours before we were rescued. During that time, we saw fourth-dimensional creatures pouring through a rupture in space. She had enough sense to hide us. The Tyrowsian biodroid that finally rescued us, called the creatures. ‘Veda kec Drone.’ Are you familiar with the term? In Cuneate, it means, ‘flesh eater.’ Mescale translates the expression merely as ‘predator’ while Universal translates Veda kec Drone as ‘carnivore.’ Which of these three definitions, do you think, comes closest to the truth?”

“The cascade of interpretations flowing out of Veda kec drone reveal more about our endemic fears than the actual creatures you observed coming through the rupture. Tell me, Miss Gifford, is it intentional that you’ve not mentioned the name of the Janaforma lifebearer or the Tyrowsian biodroid who rescued you?”

“It’s necessary. All three of us wear the stigma of fourth dimensional contaminants.”

“It’s not a stigma; it’s a badge of honor. I, myself, am a fourth dimensional contaminant and proud of it.”

“That’s because you’re rich and famous. You tell people you’re a contaminant and everyone laughs. Maybe you haven’t noticed yet, but that’s not how it works for us common folk. We have to hide. I had to change my name and undergo eye-pattern surgery just to elude security scanners.”

Miro Rugen leaned forward and patted my knee just as my grandfather used to do. “You’re a survivor. You took a bad situation and turned it to your advantage. I have a small confession to make. After you called me, I did a background check on you. You see, I’ve been burned in the past; trusted people that turned around and stung me.” Miro shrugged. “When I scanned your records, I couldn’t help noticing that you have degrees in political science and journalism. It obvious, at least to me, that you wanted to become a journalist because you believe in the power of truth.”

Miro seemed to have the ability to take the disparate events of my confusing life and reframe them in such a way that I actually made sense. On the verge of embracing this new inflated definition of me as a purveyor of truth, Miro popped my pretty balloon. “Despite your idealism, some of the statements you’ve made in your published articles are inaccurate.”

“What? I research and document everything I write.”

“Don’t try to defend yourself because you’ll twist yourself into a ridiculous knot. Your problem is, too much research on the multidex, which leads to you repeating theories from the stagnant reservoir of the status quo. In an article you published just six months ago that you entitled, “Trade Routes & The Fabric of Space,” you wrote, ‘Humanity and Tyrowsians flew sorties along the Daleth/Tzaddic border for thirteen years. Both sides had profitable military/industrial complexes. Humanity manufactured biodroid thugs and Tyrowsians had “training schools” where they taught Cerribeame clones the art of ruthlessness. Millions died over the fight for space routes, yet the stalemate dragged on for thirteen years because no one had any incentive to stop the insanity.’”

“What’s wrong with that statement? It’s true! Fact checked and cross-referenced.”

“Sorry, but you don’t even know the real reason for the conflict. The war was never over space routes. The battle was for the minds and souls of third-dimensional beings. The question was—would the Orion Spur Alliance sanction Regression, the drug of memory and community or somatime, the drug of forgetfulness and disconnection. The destruction of space routes was merely a way for both sides to destroy opposing markets. In another article entitled, “The First Rupture,” you wrote, ‘An unprecedented incident occurred when five Cerribeame rifters approached a thin membrane in third-dimensional space with their energy hooks fully extended. The membrane tore and the Cerribeame went through, making them the first to breach the timeline into the fourth dimension. Soon afterward, they used their newly discovered time-jumping advantage to initiate surprise raids on victims in this dimension.’”

“How can you quote, verbatim, large swaths of my published articles? Are you one of those Janaforma with a photographic memory?”

“My mind is not a camera, if that’s what you’re asking, but I do have an excellent memory. Anyway, my point is time jumping was not discovered by the Cerribeame. For the last sixty thousand years, Shardasko Warriors and Trinity Witches, from the Island Worlds of Gathos, have used the permeable membranes between dimensions to jump time. While it’s true that the Cerribeame used their newfound ability to initiate surprise raids on victims in this dimension, your suggestion that the Cerribeame penetrated the fourth dimension is blatantly false. Dimensional borders consist of energy threads that appear as wave-like strands. These strands trail outward on both sides of the border. We generally credit rifters for being the first ships to breach hyperspace, but hyperspace is nothing more than being within the flow of these time threads. It would be more accurate if you reported that Tyrowsian scientists discovered that accellarons are the lifeforce in the quanta of the time threads and they created a ship capable of exploiting those accellarons.”

“I’m not a scientist, so some of the technical details I quote, I don’t completely understand.”

“The truth hides in the details, Miss Ferguson.” Miro made a sweeping gesture with one hand. “I’m sorry; I don’t mean to be so starkly critical of your work. I do believe you have the potential to be a good reporter, but what you need is direct contact with those who know the truth. In fact, I’ve decided to help you. I have, what I consider, an excellent idea and hope you agree. You need access to knowledgeable people on these matters and I need help disseminating truth. You interested in tackling such an assignment?”

“I have no technical training. What could I do at Trans-Miro Technologies?”

“You would not be working for Trans-Miro Technologies, but another Janaforma organization. Don’t worry though, I carry some weight within this organization and with me as your mentor, you’re as good as in.”

“What’s the name of this Janaforma organization?”

“The Clearinghouse Project.”

I was already prepared to say yes, but managed to ask, “Would I get paid?”

“Of course you will be paid. I will need to make a few calls and get a contract out to you. Read the contract carefully, sign it, and we’ll take it from there. Meantime, let’s put our minds together and see if we can unravel the mystery surrounding Spekgodski and his holographic video. I have a few ideas I’d like to run past you too. To start with, have you ever heard of a creature called a graeymlin?”

“Can’t say I have.”

“Life exists everywhere. Some life is so small we cannot see it, while other life is so large, it doesn’t see us. Even as we sit here, life moves through this underground hotel room, flitting in and out of existence while we remain unaware. The time threads between dimensions are alive with life too. In fact, it is native graeymlin territory—graeymlins fall into the so-large category—think whales, times ten. These massive creatures know how to negotiate dimensional time threads and they function as guardians between dimensions. They are highly regarded in other dimensions because they are the only creatures capable of entering places we call ‘chaos’ and rescuing trapped souls. Without graeymlins, no soul fragment retrieval would be possible.”

“Who is your source for all this information?”

“I am the source; and you may quote me on that.”

“But how—”

“It would take me hours to explain how and right now I don’t have hours. Besides, you came here to probe my thinking concerning dimensional ruptures and ask my opinion on a video Stealth Spekgodski claims comes from Earth in 1947. Since your technical knowledge is spotty, allow me to give you some additional background on rifters and their involvement in this mystery. The energy hooks on rifters not only damage time threads, but the hooks are equipped with powerful parabolic reflectors that cause excruciating pain to graeymlins. When a graeymlin becomes agitated, believe me, mountains move. While Tyrowsians were using Cerribeame clones to fight for minds and souls in this dimension, they also were using Cerribeame clones to slaughter graeymlins. Tyrowsians consistently maintained that graeymlins were fourth dimensional illusions. The Cerribeame clones did not matter either, because Tyrowsians bred them by the millions, gestating them in communal nativity vats. It was such a strange war. The graeymlins were brought to near extinction along this portion of the timeline and ten million Cerribeame clones died, yet it was a war without one official casualty on either side.

“This is big news—”

“It wasn’t even big news when it mattered. Now it’s too late. When I scanned your published articles, I saw that you quoted Spekgodski in one and my curiosity was aroused. I decided to call a dear friend and get her opinion on the situation. Her name is Ananel XX. She is one of the Cerribeame clones created in the Big Sky cloning facility on Earth.

“You actually know a Cerribeame clone and are friends with her?”

“She is more than a friend. I consider Ananel part of my family. Ananel told me that about sixty years ago, five Cerribeame rifters punctured the timeline and encountered three infant graeymlins, which they promptly murdered. A nearby graeymlin female went into a rage and began swatting her tail. Two rifters were destroyed, one was expelled back into this universe, and two held together and began ricocheting back and forth along the timeline. Following the path of least resistance, they emerged in the environs of Roswell, New Mexico on July 3, 1947. Why was Roswell, New Mexico the path of least resistance? Two years earlier, on July 6, 1945, Earthlings detonated a nuclear device near Alamogordo, New Mexico that damaged the time threads in that area. A month later, on August 6 and August 9, 1945, Earthlings detonated two more nuclear devices in Japan where greater damage to the time threads occurred. Ananel believes that when the two righters approached the time-thread damage in 1945, the ships slowed enough that they were able to get a bead on their physical location. From my own experience, I know this is exactly how it works. It’s easy to tell where you’re at by the stars, but exactly when you’re at, takes deliberate calculations.

“So you’re saying the two rifters saw they were near Earth, but didn’t know they were in the past?”

“Exactly. Spekgodski’s video contains some convincing evidence that the ship that crashed was attempting to regain control. The ship didn’t go down in one spot and it didn’t explode; it skipped over an area of almost a hundred kilometers leaving bits of its stealth hide behind.”

“What happened to the second rifter?”

“It held together and began searching for the cloning facility in Big Sky that they believed existed. They never found the facility because Tyrowsians had not yet built it. Fast forward from the Earth year 1947 three thousand years, and Ananel tells me that when the Big Sky land first came on the market, Tyrowsians were ambivalent about building a cloning facility there. Then they found the rifter. It was partially covered with dirt, but still intact. Nobody knew how it got there, until they broke into it and listened to the oral logs. The surviving Cerribeame clones spent months in total confusion looking for a way to return to the future, flying back and forth between Big Sky and New Mexico attempting to find a permeable breach they might exploit. They never found one. When the Tyrowsians discovered the ship, they considered it a sign that they should build a facility there. As we all know now, big Sky played a major role in defeating Tyrowsians. It’s an example of how the future can impact the past and how the karmic backwash from both times collides and causes unprecedented outcomes. Ananel believes the video was made by the crew of the rifter that held together. They were the only ones that possessed the technology to create such a video because it was not available on Earth in 1947. How many hands the video passed through, before it got to Spekgodski is anyone’s guess.” Miro glanced at the watch attached to cis thumbnail.

“That’s a great story, but I’m not sure anyone is going to believe it.”

“Write it; put it out there and we’ll see.” Miro glanced at cis watch again. “Our two hours is nearly up and I did warn you that I’m on a tight schedule.”

“Of course, but I have so many more questions.”

“You will need to save them until the next time we meet. I haven’t yet told you about the variety of fourth-dimensional being who are coming through the dimensional ruptures.” Miro stood up and told me, “I’ll be in touch in a few cycles with the contract. Don’t try to contact me because it might be dangerous—for you, that is. I know how to reach you and I will. One last thing, take some of these sandwiches. They will only go to waste because I have to be out of here in the next half hour.” Miro escorted me to the door and a moment later, I was standing in the hallway with a bag of sandwiches wedges in one hand. If it wasn’t for the sandwiches, I might have thought I just awoke from a dream.”

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett




Fireworks Fantasy

Angry Porcupine

Angry Porcupine: Taken in the laboratory on Dr. Pussy Moreau's secret Island somewhere on the planet Herzeyzen

Angry Porcupine: Taken in the laboratory on Dr. Pussy Moreau’s secret Island somewhere on the planet Herzeyzen

Strawberry in The Sky

Aurora display over the New Delphi Crystal

Aurora display over the New Delphi Crystal

Sea life on the Damarian world of Iumman

Sea life on the Damarian world of Iumman

 Dimensional Breach

A picture of the cargo ship, Gemstone, an instant before it was destroyed. No one wasy aboard. The ship was on autopilot.

A picture of the cargo ship, Gemstone, an instant before it was destroyed. No one was aboard. The ship was on autopilot.

Mischief Maker: Creator of Bad Decisions

This is a free radical aggregate consciousness that drift around throughout the fourth dimension looking for soul that it can adhere to.

This is a free radical aggregate consciousness that drift around throughout the fourth dimension looking for soul that it can adhere to.

The free radical "Denial" turns and leaves a wake of anger behind.

The free radical “Denial” turns and leaves a wake of anger behind.

 Human Boy

A Human boy from the planet Earth celebrates their sacred day of freedom and liberty.

A Human boy of the late Twentieth Century celebrates the sacred day of freedom and liberty on the planet Earth.

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

Awakening in Someone Else’s Dream


A Japanese legend says, if you are unable to sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream.


 I’m in an Athens bathhouse where Candidus and I are about to take a dip in a pool. Candidus looks up at me from the edge of the pool and says, “We are dreaming Sante and we are inside the same dream.”

Socrates wades into the water with his hand bracing the small of his back. He is nude and I can see his body is hard and sense his mind is erudite. When he speaks, his assertions cut like knife blades. “I have declared creations dead with mere diversions inside my mind,” he booms. “You are no accident! No musing! No dream! You are not a flash of light across a warm afternoon stream or something I can forget, like a dream. I have collected volumes on you inside The Library of the Black Language. The consideration I put into you is of a craftsman who takes ten years to carve one sandalwood box. Incarnations of my own thought went into making you. I am not ashamed that I care.”

Candidus paces up and down along the pool edge. His voice is higher, befitting his youth. “Try to understand,” he begs. “This time, I was supposed to be wild. Being wild, I would know a freedom from you, a relief from your tidy perfectionism. That’s why I created denial. Denial is my instrument, my device and dispassionate tool. Lamentably, my denial began eroding like beach sand right after my first sentimental desire for you lodged in my heart.” His face turns strained with a new and incredulous thought. “What happened between us? Why do I yearn for you so? Why do I erect monuments to you in honor of my love?”

Socrates is confident with a ready rebuttal. “I always search for patterns of progress within you, my child. If that is my ‘tidy perfectionism’—as you want to ridicule it—then you have no concept of the transcendent thrills still waiting for you. You are as headstrong now as you were then. This time I attempted to fulfill your every wish, although I warned you beforehand that your forgetfulness was a foolish choice. If that makes me a sentimental old fool for indulging you, then I will wear that witless cap.” Socrates smiles with an expression of secure knowing. “Besides, who are we fooling here? Let’s be honest with each other for once. You know who I am and you have always known. Will you at least admit that I allowed you to tinker with yourself for eons?”

Candidus hesitates searching for hidden traps in Socrates’ statement. “I will concede that point,” he agrees.

“And will you concede that I made every attempt to camouflage your divinity, that thing you claimed prevented the wildness, to make the experiment unbiased?”

“I will not concede that point,” declares Candidus. “I will not concede that point until you tell me what the experiment was supposed to be.”

Socrates is generous, like a good father. “Is that all you want to know? Damn child! I would have asked for the keys to The Library if I were in your shoes. You might have gotten them too!” Socrates wades out of the water and walks up some steps as he wraps a wide girdle around his waist. He begins to leave and then turns back, his bare chest still pink and plump from the hot water. He stands with arms akimbo. He is a man put together from odd pieces that do not match—arms too long and legs too short on that square Mediterranean frame. In the comfort of his oddness, he manages to appear graceful. “Long ago, there was a debate between us. You took the side that one needed to be wild in order to create and I took the side that one needed to be completely conscious to do it well.”

Candidus looks as if a multidex is computing inside his head. “So my wildness is an illusion because I am forever a conscious part of you?”

Socrates bows with exaggerated courtesy. “It has taken us six thousand years to resolve this particular debate. The solution is easy when you truly remember. Do not forget! You remembered inside this dream.”

Excerpt from, The Permeable Web of Time by Martha Fawcett

copyright © 2014 Martha Fawcett

The Dancer


Faith dies with illusion as
vision yields pointblank to Eros.
Each cup rises filled with lust—
beyond reason, for love.

Jana Sante of The Mother

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

Lullaby to Freedom

ChinaValley ponies

Who am I?

I am you looking back at me.

We-loo, we-loo yu-a.

Who are you?

You are me

 looking back at you.

We-loo, we-loo, yu-a

Who are we?

We are a mirror.

We-loo, we-loo, yu-a

Who is the mirror?

The mirror is illusion.

We-loo, we-loo, yu-a.

Who is the illusion?

The illusion is nothing.

We-loo, we-loo, yu-a.


copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

Crossing Borders: Fear Verses Community

Our world has changed since 1968. In the mad rush of technical advancements we easily forget that freedom once was a state of mind, the ability to move from place to place without suspicion in our hearts. Freedom is confidence in our innate right to explore and communicate with others. If we listen to those who profit from the dissemination of fear, we will become fear itself. Freedom cannot exist within the armor of fear. 

In 1968, crossing into Mexico through Big Bend National Park in Texas was a simple affair. Visitors to the park drove down a hard-packed dirt road where a man awaited with his rowboat. On the side of the boat were painted the words, “La Poderosa,Turistas Bien Vendidoes a Mexico.” For a few coins the man would row the visitor across the Rio Grande. On the Mexican side was a small village called Santa Elena where visitors could walk around and visit a tiny Mexican general store. When finished, the man would row visitors back across the river.


Hands like oarlocks, arms cables of steel...

Hands like oarlocks, arms cables of steel…


On the side of the boat it said, "La Poderosa, turistas bien vendidoes a Mexico."

On the side of the boat it said, “La Poderosa, turistas bien vendidoes a Mexico.”

This is what a visit to Big Bend National Park entail in 2013:

This following message is on the website of the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, regarding Big Bend National Park.

Big Bend National Park shares the border with Mexico for 118 miles, and therefore can be a chance to learn about our neighbors to the south, and preserve the larger Big Bend ecosystem together. Being on the border, however, does come with its own challenges and concerns.

Occasional drug smuggling and border crossings occur within the park. If you see anything that looks illegal, suspicious, or out of place, please do not stop or intervene, but note the location, and call 911 or report it to a ranger as quickly as possible.

Be Aware, Be Safe

  • Remember that cell phone service is very limited.
  • Do not pick up hitch-hikers.
  • Keep valuables (including spare change) out of sight, and lock your vehicle.
  • Use common sense, especially in remote areas.
  • People in distress may ask for food, water, or other assistance. It is recommended that you do not make contact with them, but note the location, and immediately notify Park Rangers. Lack of water is a life-threatening emergency in the desert.
  • Report any suspicious behavior to park staff or Border Patrol.

Border Merchants

Mexican Nationals have approached visitors to sell souvenir items such as walking sticks, bracelets, and Mexican crafts. If you purchase their items or make a donation, you are encouraging them to cross the river, which may result in their arrest and deportation through Presidio (100 miles away). Additionally, they may be fined or incarcerated.

Items purchased are considered contraband and can be seized by officers. Rocks, minerals, archaeological items, etc. cannot be purchased, imported, or possessed in the national park.

In addition, illegal trade damages natural resources, including the creation of social trails, cutting of river cane, erosion of river banks, and an increased amount of garbage along the Rio Grande. Supporting this illegal activity contributes to continued damage.

You may legally purchase crafts made in Boquillas, Mexico, at camp stores in the park. These items are purchased directly from Mexican artisans and are processed through a legal Port of Entry before being brought to the park. All wholesale proceeds go to the artisans.

Border Patrol Checkpoints

Checkpoints operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection are located on all north/south highways leading from the Big Bend area, and are staffed at all times. Each vehicle traveling north is stopped at one of these checkpoints for a visual inspection and brief questions by a Border Patrol agent. This process is routine.

Foreign nationals planning to visit Big Bend should carry the appropriate documentation to avoid unnecessary delays, as Border Patrol agents are required to determine the immigration status of every traveler.


Any questions?

Leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.


copyright © 2014 Martha Fawcett


Winged Victory: Paris

Winged Victory, Louvre, Paris3I did not seek out Winged Victory,
she reached out and took me in me.
Waiting for me in that stone room
at the top of the stairs,
her envoy and I became one.

Only after that December night did she reveal her true glory.
I saw her as needles of light, peeking out between two sharp mountain-peaks.
In one hand she held a green-speckled apple and in the other a radiant star.
Mornings, she would drop yellow sunlight upon my tabletops.
Afternoons, I held her cup of rose-infused tea.
Toward evening, I’d glimpse her skirting the kitchen floor with a breadcrumb in her mouth (food for the hive).
One apocalyptic midnight, she draped along a dank gutter
showing me that she was pregnant in those who turned away.

For years, she flirted with me behind this self-embroidered veil
Flowing and ebbing into the quiet sanctuaries of my mind.
Now, through nights as thick and dark as heartwood
I see her cushioned upon an ocean of her own tears.
Ancient hair, like wisdom, is a steady flame around her face.
Last night, I saw her clearly again when her doves flushed and scattered.
White wings opened as she rose from her pedestal and took flight around the world in humble prayer.

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

The Psychic Mirrors of Sheesh Mahal

Amber, Rajastan, India: The Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Glass), considered to be one of the world’s best Chambers of Mirrors. Built by King Man Singh Ji in the 16th Century for his queen.

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The queen loved the stars by was not allowed to sleep outside at night, so the king directed his architects to create a chamber for her that would mimic the nighttime sky. They say that the light of only two candles will reflect and magnify in this chamber until it is drowning in the light of a thousands stars.

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 I marvel over the millions of people who must have gazed into those thousands of tiny mirrors since the 16th Century. The mirrors seemed like sirens, peddling their visions to any random passerby. “Come see!” they each beckoned. “Tell us what you see of yourself in me.”

That night, I experienced a vivid dream. The dream spirits exercised their sense of humor with me, in more ways than one. They toyed with my silly vanity. They mocked me and remind me that I still am The Fool who enjoyed the easy path.

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The dream opens and I’m standing on a balcony at the Sheesh Mahal. I look through the viewfinder of my camera, trying to focus the lens on the monkeys swinging from tree limb to tree limb. I hear music drifting out of the jungle and stop what I’m doing and look at the scene directly for the first time. It’s organic and now I smell the earth and vegetation. The scene is a breathtaking sight of vivid jungle greens, scarlet flowers, and happy creatures. I never question the incongruity that the Steve Miller Band is singing, The Window, somewhere out there in the jungle among the frolicking animals.


Ask my baby what she wants to be.
She’ll say a monkey swinging in a tree.
Ask my baby what she thinking of,
She’ll say there’s nothing greater than love.

Look through the window.
Tell me what do you see?
A beautiful planet, peace and harmony . . ..

Another person stops for a moment and tells me that it is time to move on. I’m not ready, I think. I remember that I left some personal belongings behind in the hotel room but now it’s too late to retrieve them.

I now go inside to the Chamber of Mirrors for the express purpose to have a look at my face.  I feel tired and think, I probably look terrible. However, when I look in the mirror, I see that I look better than I’ve ever looked before. Then something starts happening to me as  I gaze in the mirror. In the mirror,  I see a tiny white light in the center of my forehead.  As I watch the light, it grows brighter until it obliterates my physical face, but I can still see the light is starting to extend down my body, like a sword. When it reaches my feet, it flashes outward until it consumes me.

The following day I leave for Jaipur and discover I have forgotten my magnifying mirror in the hotel in Amber. Now I can no longer look at myself closely or put on my eye makeup. Instead, my attention goes outward where my empathy is put to the test.

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copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett