Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Seeding My Own Dreams

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I took this little seed.  Well, maybe ‘little’ is a misnomer, compared to other seeds.  Comparatively, I am sure this would be considered a large seed.  In my hand, however, it seems so small, much smaller than I am.

I held the seed in my hand and whispered my secrets against its skin.  I told it my dreams, my wishes.  I spoke of my failures, my set-backs.  I told him of my pride and joy, my family.  I whispered tales of forest trails and river treks, of hopeful future plans.

I went out; I bought a special pot for my very special seed.  I painted little designs along the sides of the planter.  I filled it up with premium dirt, taken from my compost bin, ripe with rabbit leavings and trash decomposed into the most fertile earth I could find.  With care, with murmured prayers, I slid the seed in, wrapped it up tight beneath a blanket of dirt.  I added a bit of water, enough to get things incubating.  I left it to its birth.

I didn’t really think all that much about it for a week or two after that.  Of course, I made sure to add water to the mix, once a week, when I watered every other plant in the house, but I didn’t really pay it all that much attention.

Now and then I would catch myself, staring in its direction, my mind racing a million miles away, speeding off on horseback, while in reality I was stuck in my dray city life.  About the tenth or twentieth time I caught myself drifting away, enjoying life in my mind more than in my own body, I started to talk to the seed again.

Once or twice a day, I would sit down, my lips close to the side of the pot, and I would speak from my heart.  Often I would sit there for fifteen or twenty minutes, wishing away, hoping with all my heart, dreaming and praying, knowing there was nothing the little seed could do.  Yet, it made me feel better to speak, to get all my feelings out.

I never thought of what that seed might be enduring, listening to all my endless talk, my vapid chatter.

The seed sprouted overnight, while I was asleep, while I was far from watching.  When I awoke in the morning, it was not a tentative little stalk peeking out of the soil that I saw.  She was a proud tall finger of a plant, reaching up high into the sunlight.  She had six inches of stem and you could see she was still growing.  Her color twisted from an almost white green into a darker yellowy green as she reached up taller.  Indeed, I had to sit and visit with her, to congratulate her, to shower her with love and attention.  This time I spoke of her future, of my dreams for her, of where one day I hoped to plant her, so she could sink her roots into Mother Earth and shoot up into the sky, straight and angular and happy, producing fruits to feed our family, as well as many animal families that there may wander.

Hours later, the first leaf showed, tiny but strong; it slowly unfurled.  By evening, there were three leaves, one larger than the others.  I could see buds forming where new leaves would soon sprout forth.

It was later that night, after I had bid her good night, after I had slid under my own comfortable blankets, as I slipped off out of sight, that I first heard her voice, humming against my ear drums, telling me of her dreams for me, her visions for me.  I smiled, feeling safe, listening to the sage advice of the one who offered my guidance.

I had planted my own prayer tree.  Now it was answering my prayers.  How lucky can this woman be?

Prompt from the SoulFood Alphabet, brought to you by the letter B

Find me at:

http://onthewrongsideofthemirror.wordpress.com/

Written by Tabitha Low

September 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm

which character would you be in a painting

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Inspired by the delightfully irreverent description of a painting in Sheila Hancock’s book “Just me” I “googled” the painting. It is called “St Mark preaching in Alexandria” and was painted by Gentile and Giovanni Bellini. Hancock describes the painting thus:

“… is an extraordinary hotchpotch. It seems to be set in St Mark’s Square, with a version of the Basilica sitting amongst various mosques and obelisks and towers, as well as the odd camel and giraffe. St Mark is standing on a rostrum that looks like a portable canal bridge. And he is, for some reason, wearing a pink frock and a blue stole borrowed from the Virgin Mary. There are some ladies with flowerpots on their heads, completely covered with white sheets, and some men in huge turbans made from the same material. Standing in rows are the mystified members of the scuola that commissioned the picture, one of whom is turning his head to whisper to the man next to him, ‘who are all these weirdos?’”

Some years ago, on a long car journey, I came up with a writing prompt for myself:

If you were a character in a painting, which painting would it be, who would you be and why? You could extend this perhaps by writing something of a back story for your chosen character.

I made a note of my prompt and put it away for future use. It is only now that I have decided to do something with it.

Alexandria, March 15, 1507

For the last few days Alexandria has been a hive of activity. Easter has come and gone, hardly noticed by anyone except the small Christian community living here, to which I belong. However, today is the big day everyone else has been waiting for: St Mark is due to preach in the main square. Notices informing us of this unexpected event were posted throughout the city a few days ago and the possible subject of his sermon has been the main topic of conversation. I don’t know anyone who has heard him speak personally but by all accounts he is a charismatic speaker.

He was due to speak mid morning so I made my way to the square with plenty of time to spare to ensure that I got a good vantage point from which I would be able to see and hear him. I took the precaution of taking something to sit on as I feared I might be there for quite a long time. These traveling preachers are not known for their brevity! Sure enough the square was packed and, in the end, it was standing room only. Everyone had put on their best clothes. I didn’t have any choice in the matter for the members of our community all wear the same flowing white robes. The tall hats we wear under our veils keep the worst of the heat off our heads and the veils of course protect our faces from the gazes of the curious. It has to be said that we can’t actually see very much through the veils, really just enough to see where we are going. Most of us chose to sit as it would be uncomfortable standing later on when the day warmed up. The city dignitaries were all out in force wearing their huge turbans. I often wonder why the turbans need to be so big. I imagine the skull caps worn by the clerics would be much more comfortable. And their ceremonial robes, consisting of several layers of fabric, with the outermost layer being heavily brocaded, must make them unbearably hot. Fortunately the sun didn’t come out until much later in the day, for which I was profoundly grateful.

Everyone was chattering away until St Mark appeared on the rostrum. He was introduced to the crowd which gradually hushed itself into a rapt audience and he began to speak. I have to admit I couldn’t follow most of what he said as he had a strong accent and very soon my attention began to wander. Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a strange animal. Camels are a common sight in Alexandria but I could see a man leading an animal on a piece of rope. It was very tall and had a very long neck. I later discovered that it is called a giraffe and had been captured in a far away part of our land. Other people must have traveled quite long distances to come here too as they had brought their horses into the square. Positioned at many windows and on every balcony were more people watching the spectacle.

Eventually St Mark finished his sermon and the crowd dispersed. I got up with difficulty after sitting on the ground for so long. I picked up my cushion and made my way back to the coolness of our sisterhood’s dwelling, down one of the side streets leading off the square. Tomorrow we will return to our ordered routines but today was something special and I’m sure I’ll never forget the sight of that giraffe.

Who am I? the woman seated at the far right of the group with my hands clasped round my knees.

I had been wanting to write from this prompt for some time but have not been able to find on the internet the painting I had in mind. In my mind’s eye I can see the painting in the Hospitaal museum in Bruges which we visited some years ago. It was on one single panel and depicted the story of Patient Griselda. Patient Griselda has become synonymous with the long-suffering heroine of medieval story, whose husband subjects her to numerous trials in order to test her obedience/devotion I was struck by the fact that this painting told a complete story starting at the left side of the painting and working across to the right. I could remember that the two main characters were called Nicholas and Griselda. After “googling” for hours I found the story of patient Griselda but not the painting I had in mind. A painting, or rather three separate paintings, dated circa 1494, depicting the story, is to be found in Britain’s National Gallery.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/master-of-the-story-of-griselda-the-story-of-patient-griselda-part-i

you can zoom in on the paintings to see them in greater detail. For the purpose of this writing prompt I would have chosen to be one of the family retainers in the third panel. Perhaps I will get round to writing this up one day …..

Written by traveller2006

February 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Cravings of a Kraken

with 2 comments

This is a flash fiction piece that I wrote. Every Friday is #flashfriday on twitter & I started participating to force myself  into the habit of  writing every week. It’s challenging to write a story of 1000 words or less but also fun. It forces you to pick words carefully & throw out junk. I thought I would post it here as well:

With a growl of frustration Cupid paced the room. Bored out of his mind & it wasn’t for the lack of trying. He’d even implied to his mother that Hera had called her plump; she’d merely laughed & continued to flirt with her newest conquest.

“Bored, bored, bored!” he stomped about the room in a tizzy; he threw a stack of papers from his desk & watched them flutter to ground. Flopping into the chaise, he sighed dramatically.  From the corner his eye, he spotted what looked like a fish.  “Hello, what’s this?” as he walked across the room. Indeed it was a fish, a trout more specifically, with a scrawled note pinned to the head.

He prodded & sniffed the fish, it seemed fresh. “Let me see about this note,” ripping it off.  Scanning the first few lines, he danced in the air while laughing.

***

The note sent was by a kraken, not just any kraken but Poseidon’s.  When the sea-god grew bored or desired a new female conquest, he’d send word to the oracle that a “sacrifice” was required or impending doom would be implied.

Hence, a nubile maiden would be tied, left upon the shore; Damon, the kraken, would swim up, squawk, splash around and “eat” her. In reality, he carted her off safely to Poseidon. This racket had been going on for years without a hitch.

Damon hadn’t asked for anything in return, it never occurred to him. Until one day, he desired to settle down, woo a female and have wee krakens. This was when he’d made a terrible discovery- he wasn’t considered a desirable mate. Too small- that was what they’d all said.

When the last female had wriggled her tentacles in laughter and swam off, he hunted down the best catch he could find and attached the note.  Summing it up, it read something like this;

Cupid,

I’m lonely. I need a mate but I’m too small. I’d like a maiden. Not to eat. For love. Please help me.

Sincerely,

Damon (A kraken)

(I found a fish, the best one. Please accept, thank you. Oh, please don’t tell my master, he’d be mad.)

***

Kore couldn’t believe her luck. “Why me?” she wondered. She was a good citizen, obeyed her father and even had agreed to marry Midas, in spite of his old age, happy hands and obsession with gold.

As the tide moved in, she imagined throttling the oracle. “Stupid oracle, stupid curse, stupid monster!”  Trying to loosen the bonds, without luck, she kicked the sand and screamed.

Swimming closer, Damon could see and hear her. “Oh my, where did she learn those words?” he wondered.  She was, pretty, for a human he supposed. Something was different about her, he pondered and continued closer.

With the kraken approaching, Kore racked her brain for a plan. Nothing. Well, if she was on the menu, she’d at least put up a fight. “Bring it on,” she thought.

As he was wrapping his tentacles around her, she bit him. Damon screeched in pain. No one had fought back before and in surprise, released her.

The two, woman and beast, looked intently at each other. Kore didn’t want eaten and Damon couldn’t return to his master without her. An old woman hobbled towards them, cackling.

“Greetings, from Cupid,” she rasped and remembering the past week, smiled a toothy leer. From his perch in Mt. Olympus, Cupid shuddered; he remembered the week all too well.  Who knew the old woman would have such stamina?

Reaching into her robes, she proffered a vile of bubbling liquid.  Handing it to Kore, she shuffled away before any questions could be asked. Free from her bonds, Kore tossed the bubbling liquid at Damon. Writhing, he began to transform.

***

Standing before her, Damon.  Although considered small as a kraken, as a man he was a giant.  Curious tattoos covered his body, where tentacles had previously been. Suddenly shy, Kore approached, poked him and stepped back.

Damon was still figuring out the new sensations of being human. He wiggled his toes; fingers and when the female touched him, a strange emotion stirred him.  Uncertain, he reached forward and touched her hair.

Kore shivered when his fingers brushed against her face. Wanting to feel repulsed, instead she blushed at the thoughts that formed in her mind. It didn’t help that his nude form illuminated in the moonlight.  As she tried to cast these thoughts aside, Cupid decided this was an opportune moment to launch an arrow. Not of love, rather a suggestion.

“Oh,” she exclaimed as the arrow struck her. Just at that moment, Damon fell forward on awkward legs and they both tumbled to the ground. Bosom heaving, Kore pulled Damon closer for a kiss.

***

Cupid fell out of his chair laughing as he heard Poseidon storm the halls. “Zeus!” the sea-god bellowed.  Pandemonium swept throughout Mt. Olympus as the brothers began to shout. “At last,” thought Cupid, ‘some excitement.”

Written by katirra

January 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

I’ll miss Peter Pan

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Mr. Philip David Palmer. Navigator. Beach Trader.  Marine Engineer. Storyteller extraordinaire. 3rd generation immigrant. Friend. Father. Husband. Grandfather…

I heard on SIBC at 145pm, Phil has passed away.

I am uncharacteristically at a loss for words. We have all known that Phil was very ill. A combination of emphysema, numerous cancers, a lifetime of hard living is to blame. I am guessing Phil’s age to about 67 or 68.  I will find out in due course.

For us mortals, the death of a close friend and compatriot is hard. It is even harder when it’s a bloke like Phil…

I have referred to Phil as “Peter Pan” more than once. The entire line is… The Solomon Islands is Never Never Land. You go there and you never grow up. And, of course, Phil Palmer was and remains Peter Pan.

I think of Phil at his funniest… a Cmas party we had on the Gizo depot wharf in about 1998. We had roasted a pig and set up a diving board on the wharf. We had presents for the kids, food for the masses and grog for the likes of Phil and I.

As happens we ended up in a frenzy of everyone throwing everyone in the water. At one point I recall my wife Grace, her sister, Maisy, and a friend, Rachel, getting a hold on Phil and carrying him to the edge and tossing him in. All the while the three women had Phil wrapped up he had a cigarette in his mouth. He playfully puffed away as they tossed him in. He went under the water and, when he surfaced, he still had a dry cigarette burning away.

Of course Phil had done the old “turn the cig around with your tongue” trick. He was an adept at this.

The result was hilarious at the time. Everyone was either impressed, confused or simply frightened (magic blo white man, ia).

Never Never Land will never never be the same without Phil.

http://nativeiowan.wordpress.com/

Written by nativeiowan

January 29, 2010 at 8:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Nubian Song

with 3 comments

Ancient voices in the silent night.
A desert wind.
The rocks are singing
of a people gone.
Mild-eyed cattle wander on
by a quiet waterway.
Faded gods,
eyes that saw a snake within a mountain.
A flash of crimson in an oasis of green.
Ancient voices in the silent night.
A desert wind.
The rocks are singing in the wilderness.

Written by R Harris

January 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tire Swing

with 5 comments

Thickest rope,

perfectly knotted,

strategically postioned,

just right. Swoosh!

Spalsh! Warm

creek water ripples.

Written by katirra

November 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Alyce’s Journey Out of the Grove

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DSCF4460started at:

http://www.dailywriting.net/SpottedDogSundae.htm

ended up at:

http://www.dailywriting.net/MadPartyRoom.htm

I am not following any old squirrel.  I don’t care what it does.  I am tired of chasing after animals that talk and walk and carry watches and all sorts of other nonsense.  Oh, I am not saying, oh Alyce dear, keep your feet on the ground, dear.  NO!  Oh no!  I mean to run and fly and dream and swim and do all sorts of things.  I am merely stating the bold, probably brainless fact that say unabashedly—I am not following someone else around on his dreams and journeys any longer.  I am not ignoring my own dreams any longer.  I am not subjugating my self or my desires any more.  I have had more than enough of that.  I am thirty-seven years old.  Yes, thirty-seven.  It is about bloody time I picked my own self up and asked her, what is it that you desire, Alyce dear?  So that is what I am going to do.  Pooh on that silly old squirrel!  we can spike that thing on a stick and set it over the fire to roast and cook!

First things first, I may have been the one to plant this grove, but I did not plant it to contain me.  I built it to give honor to the Goddess.  I designed it to give succor to my bleeding heart in time of need.  To honor the child that moved on without me.  To give myself a place to go, a sanctuary, where I could do nothing at all but sob or dance or scream or sing or any combination thereof, unaffecting and undisturbed by any other outside influence.  This grove indeed is a thing of wild beauty, grown strong, though a might twisted, watered as it has been by the tears of my fears and pains and angers and torments and pleasures and joys. Yet, it has grown, under the light of the moon, and the light of the sun.  This is a place of peace.  I have succeeded there.  Yes.

Though, now, we come to this second thing.  It is a circle, this grove.  There is no beginning and no end.  I created it this way.  Quite specifically.  It is made so that I may fly in or out as I chose.  Yet, here I stand, without my wings.  Somewhere along the line of living other people’s dreams, my wings were clipped and they’ve never grown back in and I just hadn’t taken the time to actually notice until now that maybe that isn’t such a good thing.  The trunks of my blessed trees have grown thick, crowding close to one another.  I am no longer the thin wiry beanpole I was as a child either.  I have curves and lumps and hairs growing where they ought not to be.  I have not kept up with my calling, with my Yoga, so my flexibility may be better than most, but it is nowhere near where it should be.  I think I can wend my way in between this branch and that, climb over here, slink under that.  I think I can make my way into the wood behind and beyond the grove.  Surely, it awaits my travails.

So, yes, it would have been easier to follow that simpering squirrel.  It is always so much easier to follow someone else as he goes about obtaining his desires, rather than fighting and standing strong to attain your own.  I am nothing if not determined.  The fire and flame of a hundred hundred red-heads flows through these veins, even if I show up as a blonde without the latest dye with which I’ve tried to pollute the coloration of my lovely locks.  I do not take no for an answer and I can be both bitter and brutal once I set my mind to things.  I am hard to dissuade.

Sigh.  Why are these things always so hard?  Why can’t I be the princess locked in the tower?  I could grow my hair long enough to use it as a rope to climb down all by myself.  No.  I plant a freaking jungle that I have to crawl through on my belly, with sweat clotting in my eyes and stinging its way down my sides.  Yes, that’s me.  Never the one to take the easy road.  Give me the long dark and scary ride, every time.

Ok.  Now, I am out of my grove.  And, uhm, it’s dark out here.  So, three, where did all that sunlight go?  Hey, where’s my Mother Moon?  Round and glowing in her silver fullness?  I will gladly take the shadows, if only I may catch a glimpse of the returning light to guide me and let me know I am on the right track.  I can’t even see the stars for all the veg clouding and covering things.  It is rather disenchanting.  I can smell the ripe scent of loam and things that grow.  It is not always a pretty smell.  No little twinkle for Alyce here, hey?  Not even the smallest of glows?

Oh, look.  Lightning bugs.  All over the place.  Lying across leaves, piled two and three high in places.  I guess for them I shall look away, out of decency’s sake there.  Nevertheless, they are lights, tiny little butt-shaking lights, but there you go.  Ask and ye shall receive, right?  I shall not look a gift horse in the mouth.  I feel safer now, with this tiny bit of something, strange as that may sound.

Now, to clomp and tromp my way through these woods, right?  Do I make a great deal of noise?  Hoping to frighten predators and prey alike?  Or do I go quiet and meek through the underbrush, praying nothing catches even a mere hint of me?  No.  I am not longer the meek and small.  Humble, I may be.  But tiny and voiceless?  Screw that.  That party left the building eons ago.  Boom, boom, boom, here I come.  Fe fi fo fum, I’m coming to drink you dry, Englishman.  You had better have something more than ale, although water alone would be so fine right now.

As I stalk these woods, meaner than any mountain lion, screeching out my own warrior song as I go, hoping to turn away bears and beasts galore with my raucous song, where should my mind be?  Do I contemplate each vital leaf upon each hungry branch?  Do I reach out, plum my own depths, forcing my way into my darker crevices to pry out the loose bits that have long caused me dread?  Do I dig even deeper to excavate those long forgotten and now forlorn things I once called dreams?  Do I let go of the past, allow it to remain buried, and in many instances allow the wind to carry the ashy remnants far from me in every direction?  Or do I stop and cry to the wind to teach me?  To bring me new things, things I have not thought of, things I had not dreamed possible?  Am I stopping my own progress by wanting the things I want to want…or am I driving myself onward to attain these blessed goals?  Do I avoid the forest for the trees…or are the trees avoiding me in their own lost pursuits?  What does it take to be able to really see around here?  Where do I go to obtain some semblance of clarity?

I decide, as I push and shove and snarl my way through vine and leaf, that I shall think of not even one thing, and see what my monkey mind throws at me.  If the monkey mind throws enough…stuff…my way, surely some of it will stick, right?  If I can get past the smell, to see the diamond buried in the stink, so to speak, then, certainly, I shall have a winner on my hands, won’t I?

Here we are, now.  Where are we?  Four?  Five?  I’ve lost count, what with all this singing and the monkey slinging.  What is it here, the cream rising to the top….

I never really want the Barbie lifestyle.  The husband, the kids, the dog, the white picket fence.  I wanted all those things, yes, except maybe for that white picket fence thing, but not in the way everyone else does.  I never expected to genuinely settle down, to have that sort of peace that having a real family brings.  I also thought the children at my hearth would be brought to me, not had by me.  The man I never expected to stay that long.  Long enough maybe to create a child before moving on.  I have always anticipated and planned to be a single mom.  I don’t think til now I actually realized that.  I meant to have my farm, to have to fight to keep things together, to grow things to survive more than to be ecologically sound, to take in all manner of strays and heal them up and get them ready to live again.

That’s not all together what I want any more.  I still want the children.  I want children of my own.  If others come to me through whatever means, then so be it and blessings come.  If we have the farm, terrific.  If we plant the garden in our backyard in the middle of the city, so long as we can have some chickens and a goat or two, I would be happy and proud.  Well, fine, even without the chickens or goats, I’d be happy and proud.  I want that husband now, the good one, the one that stays and works through things, the one who does not lie or cheat or steal or any of those other things I am so used to when it comes to men.  I want that disconnect from humanity, while still maintaining the vital vibrant edge of things, so that I may share my journey with others, to drag them along and show them the way to set down their chains and let go of all the things they allow to hold them down.  I want to show them how they can stop following every rabbit, squirrel and corn nut that comes their way with a brilliant idea that is nothing like what they honestly want out of things.

Hey, look, isn’t that the sun?  Is it dawn already?  Here I stand now, at the edge of a great cliff, looking down into the depths of a roiling river.  I can’t swim, but, you know what?  I don’t care right now.  I shall launch my frail frame into the air and dive into that swirling massive pool.  I shall learn to shift myself into the ever-regenerating salmon, the one who does not wither and die upon spawning, but the one who continues to swim back year after year after year.  I shall dive down deep, cleanse myself from the sweat and grit and grime of my overland journey, before bursting back to the surface with a renewed sense of…everything.

I look forward now, planning out, with very little detail and only bunches and bunches of hope and desire, the path I shall take from here on out…..look out, Universe, here I come.  I’m playing by my rules now.

written, drawn and painted by Tabitha Kietero

Written by Tabitha Low

August 31, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Restoring The Dig Tree

with 4 comments

digtree1

prompt found at the Dig Tree

I find myself standing amid the debris and destruction that was my dig tree.  I am not disenchanted or downtrodden or sad.  I find that I am feeling strong, happy, hopeful.  I search through the shards and shrapnel of exploded wood with care.  I do not know for certain what it is for which I search, but I am sure I will know it when I see it.  I stand there astounded by how far out the blast area reaches.  Even though the lightning strike had caused a huge contusion, it hadn’t occurred to me that some much could have been thrown so far.  And yet, it obviously had been.  I walk slowly, circling, from left to right, in ever-widening circles, then ever-shrinking circles, over and over again, losing all sense of time and space, going in and going out, as my brain ceases to ponder the whys and wherefores of what happened last time I stood with this tree.   I merely observe and attest to the reality of nothinglessness.

The remainder of the trunk remains attached to the roots seems to be stuck canted half in and half out of the dirt.  I see shriveled blackened roots.  So much of the wood appears to have died long ago, densely choked with noxious black goo, as well as plenty having withered away to tendrils of ash and dust.  However, there is also a lot of healthy growth showing, where there were good times, places where healing continued as best it could under the circumstances.  Even amidst this chaos of death, I can see the tiny fragments of life beading up, demanding their own fighting chance to survive.  I cannot and will not take that from any of them.

I start to think I have spent enough time here, commiserating with the left-overs of the tree.  Apparently, whatever it is I came to find is no longer here.  Or maybe it was the memory alone that I was to gather and hold tight as my own.  I walk away, back towards where I had come from, when I see it, about twelve feet away from the main core of the trunk.  A tiny seedling, gasping with hope and vitality.  My tree does not grow from seed, but from seedling, from an outgrowth from the roots that sends up new shoots at random periodic intervals.  Here I am.  Here is the spark I have been looking for, waiting for, needing to gather up with gracious arms and loving tears, to transplant to another , much safer ground.

With the utmost care and lightest of touches, I clear away the ground, digging around to ensure the safety of the root ball.  The ball of craggly earth that I prise up is nearly three times larger than the sapling itself, but I don’t care.  All I know is I must protect this baby.    I carry it in my arms until I return to my abode, not quite a home, now less than a house since my heart has left it.  I fill a deep wide pot full of the richest soil and plant my tiny tree in the pot, covering it with more fresh dirt and mulch.  I will give it three days to adjust to the changes before I water it, in order to protect the roots that much more, according to the way I was taught by an ancient gardener long ago.

I offer it prayers, send energizing love and sweetest healing powers deep into its roots and its core.  I set crystals around its edges to catch the sun and add that much more healing power and energy to the soil.  I pray over it, weaving ribbons of light around the pot, the trunk and the tiny little leaves that bravely spurn the arena of death we so recently departed.  I know that once I find my Home, I shall dig a wide deep hole and burrow the roots of this tree into the earth there, where I shall nurture and attend to this tree constantly, with all my love and ability.  Where this tree grows shall be my everlasting Home.  Now, in order to protect both this tree and my family, I must look even harder for that home that is meant for us.

drawn and written by Tabitha Kietero

http://knittingjourneymanredux.blogspot.com/
http://onthewrongsideofthemirror.wordpress.com/
http://sapphyresinthesky.wordpress.com

Written by Tabitha Low

August 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

a minimalist’s pallet

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The sky is awash. Streaks of gray and blue. The world. As far as the eye can see. Muted tones. No bright pastels. Glowing cobalts. Streaks of brilliant light. Not tonight. This eve’s artist is in a gray mood. This eve’s artist is using a minimalist’s pallet. Is using a wide brush. With little color.

The sea is flat. Hardly a ripple on the surface. A mirror. Reflecting the gray sky. A squall hides Simbo. Thick and black. No visible movement. No sound. Just a curtain of a darker shade. Hanging. From sea to sky. Drawn across the view. Hiding something? Protecting what? An evil deed? An act in progress?

The breeze is light. Palms moving leisurely. Lazily. Mountains of clouds build the horizon. Stationary. As though guarding. Protecting. Adding to. Accentuating the over all theme. The preponderance of the vague. A minor statement on a grand scale. A statement of majesty and beauty. Understating the power. Building up. Held. Possessed by. The gray clouds.

The darkness is thick. The gray of the eve has led to impenetrable blackness. Frogs sing. Wind has died down. It started raining. Much needed. Came down pretty good. A nice change from the blistering hot day. Looks like it’s here for the night. A welcome guest. Come, clear the air. Tap-dance me to sleep.

Written by nativeiowan

August 27, 2009 at 8:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Sole Print

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Written by Tabitha Low

August 23, 2009 at 12:27 am

Return To The Dig Tree

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Barn Doorprompt found at:

The Dig Tree

You would think, as whiney as I was last time I stood before this tree, with my pick in my hand, deciding I was too tired and too whatever to actually just dig in, that I would have gotten over myself and my little childish whims before I came back again.  Ah, but that simply is not so, because here I am, glaring at this crummy twisted tree, yet again, scowling and angry and more than a little irritated with everything, blaming the tree for my own vapid indecision.  Fine.  Here I am.  I shall be here now and plain old get over myself.

I did not really come prepared this time.  I have no shovel.  I have no pick.  I have my hands, with no gloves to clothe and shelter them from the rocky ground that surrounds and protects this old dig tree.  At least this time, I can say with the utmost certainty, I know why I am here; I know what I am looking for….I have achieved all my major dreams…only to find out…I need to dream bigger…but…what do I have left to dream about, when all is said and done?  Do I even know how?  Are the dreams already there, as I suspect, locked inside of me, locked down and afraid to come out, lest they actually be seen and brought to fruition?  If I dig deep enough, will I be able to find them?  Unearth them?  Bring them to the surface?  Shine the light of day upon them and breathe true life into them?  Will I be able to find Me in there?

Lucky me, I am so focused on dirt and rock and the need to claw my way down below, to strip forth the roots of this tree, to expose the me I know is in there somewhere that I cannot yet find, I fail to look up, fail to notice the sky growing solemn and menacing at the same time.  I fail to notice black and green roiling clouds.  I do not hear, do not feel, the rumbling growl of approaching thunder.  I do not feel the shift in the air, the ozone sizzle that stings my eyes and makes me sniffle.  I do hear the whip crack trill of the lightning striking; I am thrown back by the blast as it strikes the heartwood of my tree, not merely breaking it open, but exploding the inner recesses outward, revealing dark swirls amidst the pale yellowed core of the tree.

I can no longer deny it; the tree is me, in effigy.  Here I stand, sundered by the will of the Universe, spread out, spread open, splattered into so much shrapnel and splintered slivers.  Here are all my dark shadows, all the scar tissue, all the broken pieces that when assembled transmit me to the masses.  Here I am, struck dumb and silent, smoke burning my throat, tearing my eyes, peeling away the somber matter that hangs over me like veils from a past I no longer sustain.

I pick myself up, dust away the ash and dust and little bits of nefarious ephemera that persist in clinging to me.  I might as well get this over with now.  As clear as this celestial push is, as pure as the motives here are, I cannot deny that this is the best and most perfect time to delve in with both hands, mindless of  scrapes and bruises, to rip away the unnecessary bondage I have spent so many years wrapping around myself.  To pry loose that which I need most to bring about my own clarity and release my vision, loose my spirit upon my own stead.

I step into the debris, mindless of the poking and prodding, the sharp gouges, the biting fingers, trying to hold me back, pressing to tie me back down.  I start to grab whatever I can find and fling it away.  I am not even stopping to see what I pick up and throw over my shoulder.

There is the house.  I wasn’t too picky when I bought the first one.  All I wanted was three bedrooms and to be close to my son and his father’s house.

There is the tie to my son.  Wanting to be physically closer.  Emotionally closer again.  There is a lot of fine detail that must be worked on there.

There swings my job, working for myself, but without the much finer detail.  All that much needed detail, to expand and expound upon all things there.

There goes my writing.  Not enough clarity there either.  Too little sketched out to be useful.  Barely enough to keep things flowing along.

So much for my drawing and painting; somehow it was set alongside the road and abandoned when a frailer time hit.  I need to flesh out those bones so much more.

There stands that good man, tall and slender, with the glint in his eye from staring into the sun, just as I requested.  You know, there is not so  much I’d change about him.  I do need to change the way I deal with him, so unused to being happy or content am I.

Where is the car?  The one I can’t even drive due to fear and insecurity all over again?  Put that one on the list of things to do.  Must find said car.  Get into it.  Ride that pony one more time.  Until I am ok doing it once more.

Here is the income to support the family, the children, to get them into different programs and much more.  Here is the safety net I have needed.  Nevertheless, there is so much more.  So much more out there to be sought, if only I can pry deeper down and chuck things out and keep them straight.  If I can set my path, I can find a way to navigate.  If I can just figure out where I want to go, the how I want to get there will fall into place.

I come down to the very core, the exact center, of all that I am, all that was this tree.  I stand up, stretching out my stiff back, surveying the damage I have caused in my inquiries and harried reachings and gropings.

I can see there shining like a star above all, the Rescue Ranch, that has for so long meant the world to me.  Even as I see the promise that I made to that wonderful man, that I would not separate him from his family, would never come between him and them.  I stand by that.  I am not one who would force such an inhumane choice upon anyone.  I see that there must be changes made in the application of achieving this goal, but as yet, I am not certain which way to go, or how to go about doing it.  Although I am certain I am not giving either the Ranch or the man up for anything.

There is working for myself, and so many details to pick up and poke around and set into an order that makes some sort of sense for me.  There is the phone work, which is going so tremendously well I almost cannot believe it.  Though I know that I want more.  I want to step out more into the Healer role.  I want to step more into the Teacher role, outside of home-schooling of my daughter, and of myself.  I also know that my writing needs to take more precedence.  I know my artwork needs to take more precedence.  There are dolls dancing in my dreams, talking to me about the way my hands move across the substrate of their flesh and bring forth the living beauty of them.  There is poetry to write and to recite.  There are fibers to be woven and knitted together.  There are teatimes to be taken, one sip at a time.  So many things, each in its own time, must be separated from the herd, taken down to brass tacks, evaluated, determined, investigated and set out into the world on two steady feet to take growth and boom forward.  To blossom and create and procreate.

There is my family.  The children of my hearth currently among us.  The children of my hearth that will be joining us soon enough.  From old sources, as well as from new sources.  There is a great deal of detail needed to clarify things with family, from handling former fathers, to incorporating current households, to moving on and expanding things in all directions.  Here lives too much fear and shyness and inability to reach for what I want and for what I hope and desire for fear of all that I want being taken away by cold uncaring hands.  This place requires patience and compromise by one and all.

Speaking of households, there comes the need of a new house.  A new dwelling, with new specifications, new ways of filling things, new ways of letting go of things, new ways of interpreting the way things come together and what it all means to me, and to us as a family, to everyone involved.

There is the business of education, of my own, that of my children, and we as a family together at large.  There are rules and expectations and evaluations and so much more.  Details.  Details.  The devil is in the details and we need to make that devil earn his meals here if he is to remain and to prosper along with us, as we plan to do.

There is training the dog.  Deciding what to do about the bird.  Figuring out who I am and who I want to be.  Dealing with all the detritus from my past.  As well as that from the boyfriend’s past as well.  So many places to touch, so many scars to break open and scrape away the old and the dead.  So much new wood now bursting to shove out shoots and to begin new growth.  I simply need to go in, decide what I want to grow and in which direction it should go, and set things into the ground so that I may nurture and encourage them.  Feed them well.  Water them plentifully without over-watering.  Prune them back as situations adjust and grow.

At least now, I can take that step back, free from my ire and my angst, and look more clearly upon these little seedlings straggling before me.  Now, I can release all of this garbage I have been carrying around on my back and continue the process I have only started here with this clearing away of so much deadwood.  First a shower, and a meal, and then I shall come back, take each little wisp of new life, and delve into its mysteries and where we want it all to go this time.

This time I will seek out the heavens and beyond before I entertain any sort of limit to my goals and desires.  I shall fly on gryffin wings and soar, breathing dragon’s flame and dragon’s desire all over everything, purifying my way, burning away my fears.  I do not expect an easy path.  I do not expect instant perfection.  I do however believe I shall achieve and over-achieve all my goals.  I shall surpass all my very own dreams.

Surely, above all else, I shall prove once again that I am blessed and ever shall be.

Tabitha Kietero

http://knittingjourneymanredux.blogspot.com/
http://onthewrongsideofthemirror.wordpress.com/
http://thesilkenthread.wordpress.com/

Written by Tabitha Low

August 20, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Leaf for the Past

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leaf girl

Leaf for the past

Leaf for the future

Delicate

Living on the branch

Falling to the ground

Learning and growing

From seed to sapling

Leaf girl

Girl of leaves

Grow strong.



(c)  June Perkins, images and words all rights reserved

More work on   World Citizen Dreaming

Written by June

August 16, 2009 at 10:19 am

Posted in A Poem a Day, Gumbootspearlz

Tagged with

The Map of my heart – version 2

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I knew I would have to re-visit this exercise

http://www.dailywriting.net/MichaelianWeb.htm

A Journey across the Map of my Heart – or – My Life as Metaphor.

At dawn I broke camp on the shores of the Sea of Dreams.  The night birds whose beguiling siren songs had echoed through my sleeping had gone to roost and the day promised to be warm and sunny.  Kicking dirt over the ashes of my fire I shouldered my pack and left.  I had been told the city of Hope lay to the north so I set off in that direction.

‘Its four day hard trek,’ said an old timer I met in the bar at Sea Haven.  ‘That’s if you don’t get delayed on the way,’ he’d added with a sly grin.

Sea Haven was my home town.  I loved her crooked streets and the old weathered houses that tumbled down the hillside to the bay but I was young and had stars in eyes.  I wanted more than the murmur of the sea on the shore and sweet, known faces that whispered comforting lullabies.

The road to Hope was crowded with distracting diversions and I dallied a while savouring the exotic fare and tasting dangerous treats. Eventually the attractions paled and I continued on to the city of Hope.  At first I was daunted by the size of the place.  For many months I lived in the shanty town outside the city walls desperately seeking a way into the upper echelons.  Then, after years of striving, I carved out a niche for myself on the thirteenth floor of a gleaming tower block.

The citizens of Hope, it transpired, were hungry for dreams.  I gathered together all those I had garnered at the sea shores of my youth, added an alluring sheen with a lick of polish and sold them off.  I met a man who wrote love songs that sold as quickly as he wrote them and I fell under his spell.  We married, amalgamated our careers and worked together in our thirteenth floor offices selling our dreams and love.  It wasn’t long before we made enough money to buy ourselves a house in the suburb of Aspiration.  After a few years we had a brood of children and had purchased everything that opened and shut.

What we didn’t do was re-locate our business. One day those thirteenth floor bad luck stories caught up with us.  There was a price to pay for selling off our dreams and love it seemed.  The storehouses were running dry.  Sometimes we woke to stare into each other’s eyes not knowing who the stranger beside us was.  To salvage what few dreams we had left we sold up and left Hope for good.

‘We want to be part of the greening not the despoiling,’ we told each other.  We found a fine farm in the wooded hills that lay to the east of the city.  The Meandering Mountains they were called on the map but it wasn’t long before we learned the local name, The Heartbreak Hills.  The name had been coined in the early days of white settlement.  Clearing the steep slopes had been back breaking toil and bushfires, flooding rains and infestations of caterpillars added to the misery.  People walked off farms in their droves.  All that was past history by the time we arrived.  The name lingered on only in folklore as a quaint memory of times past.  Bush fires still raged in the upper reaches but down in the foothills the land had been cleared so much there was nothing left to burn.  Our own farm was flood prone but we put in a place a permaculture system to harvest the water.  The caterpillars we dealt with by using organic sprays.

At first all went well.  The children flourished in the clean air.  The gardens grew and my songwriter husband found new songs in the rush of wind in the tree tops.  As for myself, I was content in the idyllic world of organic gardens, healthy children and a loving husband. I felt I could meander in those hills forever.  Our winters were warm and cosy in the glow of love and our summers slow and joyous as we holidayed at Lake Tranquillity.  Always though the Heartbreak Hills were at our back waiting.  Death lurked in the twisted, narrow hill roads and claimed my husband one fine morning.

I struggled on alone for a while but The Heartbreak Hills had more to throw at me. The gardens wilted in years of drought and the money started to run out. The children threatened to grow as twisted as the roads as isolation and hardship gnawed at their minds.  I sold the farm and moved us all down to large regional centre named Reliable.  The solid buildings of the town protected us and I got a mundane job working for someone else.  I had no dreams left to sell.  The children straightened out in the paved, grid like streets and I no longer lay awake at night worrying.  Instead my feet walked the same streets every day, I shopped for the same things in the same stores every week and did the same job week in, week out.  When a man  with a storm on his back came riding into town on a Harley I was intrigued.  He wooed me with his sweet talking words that echoed  the dreams that had once sung in my head.  The storm brewing behind him was dark and fierce but I turned my back on it and listened as he crooned, ‘Come with me away from all of this drudgery to a place where romance and adventure will lighten your step.’

Pretty soon the children and I were all swept up in the storm and carried off by the man to a little cottage nestled at the foot of Mt. Disappointment.  ‘What’s in a name?’ I said to the children.  ‘It’s just a title some explorer gave it when he didn’t find the gold he was looking for.  It’s nothing to do with us.’  Another child was born as the man tuned the Harley’s engine until it hummed and the storm gathered force behind him.  ‘I’ll be off now,’ he said as the autumn mists closed in and reduced the world to a grinding round of wet baby clothes and sullen teenagers.  ‘I’ll earn us some money back in Hope and come  for you all in spring.’

Winter came and the winds blew cold off the snows atop Mt. Disappointment.  The baby was colicky and the teenagers sulked.  Spring came but the man did not return.  My mother called.  ‘Come home to Sea Haven,’ she said.  ‘The children need family’.  We went, glad to put distance between us and the disapproving stares of the burghers of Reliable and biting cold of the mountains.

Back in Sea Haven the teenage children grew up fine and strong in the embrace of family.  They scattered to the corners of the globe chasing dreams.  I wiled away the years working non demanding jobs, beach combing and catching dreams as the tides swung in and out.  My parents aged and withered away.  My youngest child grew withdrawn and silent in our now empty house.  He needed more than salt air and the lonely cry of the gulls over the headland.  I was restless with mid life energy and I wanted out myself.  We packed the car and headed off across the country to the far away town of Ambience, the place everyone wanted to live in.  The stuff of dreams itself.

‘Maybe,’ I reasoned, ‘I can resurrect some of my old entrepreneurial skills and sell my dreams again.’  When we got to Ambience it turned out the stories about the place were old news.  The place had gone up market and become an international tourist Mecca.  There was no way I could afford to buy a place there and the rents were astronomical.  The dreams I had for sale all reeked of yesterday.  They didn’t have the glitz the international tourists demanded.  We lived in dingy flat above the shop I managed selling very little.  The alley behind the shop was littered with used needles, ferals roamed the streets at night and I felt like howling at the moon.  The climate didn’t agree with my southern reared son and the rent was overdue.  We packed the car again and fled.

Life got serious after that.  We settled in the industrial city of Ambition.  I worked hard trying to tailor my dreams into something marketable in the gloom and doom of the post millennia world. Once again, nothing much sold. My son grew and avoided reality by taking endless tertiary courses that all seemed to feed into one another but never into the work force. The years rolled by. The map of my heart broadened to include secret destinations in my mind called names like the River of Solace, the Island of Resolution, the refined and cultured town of Ponder and the awful Lake Desultory where I sometimes drifted for long hours as I waited for the sound of my son’s car in the driveway at night. Worst of all is the Swamp of Despair where I have occasionally lingered for days.

Now I look out through the driving rain that so often sweeps through this city to the steel grey hills beyond and wonder ‘What next?  Where to now?’  The Sea of Dreams lies in my past and I am not called to return there but I can still hear the murmur of the waves and catch a suggestion of dreams yet to be explored.  I lived in the city of Hope long enough to know that one day a chink of light will shine through all this rain and I’ll find a way out.  I’ll strike out to new horizons and the map of my heart will expand yet again.

map 2

Written by Suzanne

August 12, 2009 at 8:06 am

Posted in Pythian Challenges

Ocean

with 4 comments

water studies 1

Ocean

We dive deep into the

Blue swirl

Looking for a dew drop

Our hands

Swirl through the salt

Renunciation at our finger tips

Blue Swirl

Blue dew drop

To sprinkle like

Soul fragments becoming

Like glitters from glow worms

We light

Up the dark

With the

Blue swirl

End up seeking more pearls

Our hands

Reach out to turn the page

Swirl through the power of words

That come from some

Other world

We light up the dark

With the pearls

Hung around the borders

Of our soul

Renunciation not just on our lips

But deep in the soul swirl.

Inspired by 2 Ruhi section 1.

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved on images and words

umbrella girl walks 2

For more poetry Unity’s Garden

Written by June

August 12, 2009 at 3:53 am

Posted in Gumbootspearlz

Tagged with

Glass Prayer

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fused glass dish by Kerry Ellen
fused glass dish by Kerry Ellen

In glass I see wonder and light
Miracle of sand and ashes fired together
Silent serene self-contained
here and now
glass is what it is
and it is beautiful –
it’s been through the fire
it shows its true colors
only its essence is left
what you see is what you get
but keep looking through the layers
and see your soul wrapped in its shroud
the shy mystery and magic within
recycling connections forevermore
to all that was, and is, and someday shall be…
world without end, amen.

by Kerry Vincent (c) 2009

Written by kvwordsmith

August 10, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,