Pythian Games

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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 …..

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Written by traveller2006

February 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm

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

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

Drawing Out The Muse

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october_26a_017b

I find myself in the uncanny position of not only attempting to contact a Muse—but of trying to entice said Muse to my side.  I find myself seeking the Muse, begging for inspiration and freedom from my fears.  I am not all together certain how to go about doing this.  Usually, my Muses come to me.  Usually, they are angry, agitated, roaring, ready to thump my backside in order to get me motivated and moving and to keep me steady on my path.

Not this one.  Not the one I seek this day.  My Muses of Writing are always there for me.  Always steady.  Always threatening to give me another good whack should I fail to show up at the page.  They truly do not ask for much.  I must simply show up—and allow my pen to move across the paper.  Even if only for the allotted time.  Even if I write the purest drivel imaginable.  My job is to show up.  So, that’s what I do.  Most of the time.

Not this Muse.  This Muse is different.  Maybe it’s my attitude towards my art.  I need more assistance here, more subtle persuasion, more gentle pressure and loving grace when it comes time for me to pick up colored pencil and draw something—even something as simple as a blade of grass.  I fret so here—whereas with my writing I just do it.  With this, once upon a time when I was young I threw caution to the wind and never minded how silly my scribbles and scrawls would appear to any other.  I drew for me.  For the pure pleasure of it.  I drew horses.  Wild horses.  Tame horses.  Mythical horses of rainbow colors.  Endless horses, bounding all across my pages, my books.  These horses always had such amazing adventures—while I stayed trapped inside and all alone, drawing and imagining.

I never worried about my writing this way.  I never cared what people thought.  I write for me.  I still do.  Stubborn in my surety about my writing.  Some will always scoff, yet, I’ve always blown them off.  I have an innate knowledge and faith in my talent as a writer—no matter how much room I need to grow in my craft yet.  But as an artist?  One slight insignificant gaze cast wrongly or hesitating word, even a bit of over-enthusiasm, I am all aquiver and pained.  Unsure all over again.  I become unable to decide if I should begin anew, continue as I am or just give up and let it all go.  I set myself up, loving great art and studying it as much as I have, as much as I do.  So many talented people, so many amazingly great gods of art, for me to compare my own meager lines to and show where I lack the most.  I seem doomed from the start in this way.  And yet…

And yet—I know.  I know better here.  I know I have to start somewhere.  So, I know I am able.  I know I am capable.  I know I need to work at it.  I know I need to practice.  Where is my Helper then?  Where is my Guide?  Where is my Muse to assist me with this?  Where is the one who can help me navigate this tide?

How do I draw her out?  Is she even a her?  What if it’s a him?  Will he be crass?  Too demanding?  A sexist pig?  She could be too, just as much as he.  What then?  What if we clash?  What if he makes me feel bad?  What if I turn away. put down my pencils, and turn away to hide, forever more, this side of my inner artist, the one crying now, begging to be let out, set free….Would a Muse really do that?  Would a Muse really do that to me?

Some days, I wonder.  After all my other Muses have done to me.

Muse of Art.  Muse of pencil and pen and dart.  Muse of paint and brush and glue.  Muse of glitter and sparkle and haze.  Muse of vision and clarity and expression.  I beg of you.  Please come to me.  Heed my cries, my pleas.  My vision has gone grey and muted.  I am far too much alone, cowering and afraid of taking even one step by myself.  Lend me your hand.  Lend me your knee.  Whatever it takes to set me free.  Dearest Muse, please, I beseech thee.  Come and inspire me.

prompt from: the House of Muse

written by Tabitha K

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

Written by Tabitha Low

July 30, 2009 at 2:41 pm

memories

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musing on the myriad ways memories affect us and how elusive memories can be, i have started a number of poems to capture different memories and how memories change through time and space.

For Cyan

i always thought her pale face beautiful ethereal but
it marked her heart as it had been since birth
unable to keep up unable to match a girl much less an infant
and so the surgeries marred her
we never saw physical scars no
she was our fairy child
we saw the scars in her eyes and her writing and the pain reflected

her dark hair grew she dyed it varying colors hid behind it when
drugs smoothed the lines of her face and created a body that a 16
year old teenager could not have cared for
i created a costume to hide it all but in the end
her friends pulled her free
and she danced for the camera as they did

and then
she was gone
closeted in the hospital behind white doors waiting for a new heart
a panacea a perfect solution
we waited breath held
for one heart
first a bad heart—who sends a bad heart to a dying girl?
to be removed again from our fairy girl
and lo
another match a new heart the solution
we talked that night so optimistic in medical terms and emotional
unknowing
as she lay struggling for breath

and so that next morning that the ethereal body that pale face
could not handle the trauma once more
the scars in her eyes were gone
her breathing stilled

she watches me sitting on stone walls with a solemn face or shy smile
and sometimes i catch sight of her dancing in the rain
she is freer now with her laughter and her eyes lighter in spirit
she feels no pain

in this place called his soul

in this place called his soul
her pain matched his for too long
her confusion followed his down the dark hallways’
twists and turns
her love tried to keep up
as his leapt and ran through tortured tunnels

she stands no longer in that place called his soul
she hears his voice faintly
but the pain is not hers
the hallways no longer hers to follow
the love belongs elsewhere

and although for a time they were lost in the tunnels
she will walk away
she has meadows to run in flowers to find
she has clarity of purpose and mind
and the pain is gone
the sunlight hers at last

a painting

a memory
a painting of great detail and minute accuracy
step closer
peer at the brushwork the intense color
what is this
small flakes of paint have begun to fall
the artist must have used inferior paint

this memory
of great detail and minute accuracy
goes like this
(the bits of paint that have fallen cannot be replaced
the girl has not been 6 for 40 years and the grandfather
is happily
dead):
a grandfather and his granddaughter sit on the couch
she 6 years of age in shorts of blue shirt of ……….
his pants ……. shirt plaid his cane leaned beside him
such a nice portrayal
he speaks to her, “…….. ,”
and she allows him to reach inside her shirt
and ……………….. then pulls his hand away
he reaches for the zipper of her shorts but fumbles
she begins to help but ………………………..
he says, “ ……… ,”
she leaves the living room and runs towards safety
her brothers’ room but they yell at her to leave
so she goes ……………… to hide until her mother returns

the grandfather?
we do not know
this is the girl’s memory
his memory died with him
or flaked away before him
so that he died with an empty canvas

not what i wish to give

even though you have exhausted all human constraints on what should and
should not be a trial on the spirit of any one person
i place my hand where your heart should be to still it from its frantic beat

even though you are a ghost
in the true sense of the word a spirit that wanders the world
though your corporeal self still remains (that is a mystery of course)
i smile at your ghost to encourage its return—you should not be without it

even though that ghost is malignant malign: baneful, malicious, misogynist
just the leftovers of your desperate work on a life full of flaws and human-ness

i read a paragraph and think that you would enjoy the play of words across the page
the interwoven message
i hear a word a story a message from the world and know that this is something you should know

the ghost hovers listening wanting
what?
not what i am wishing to give
i wave a hand to send it on its way home
and hope that some of the warmth the calm are carried with it on the wind

Written by senua

July 18, 2009 at 5:07 am

tomato haiku

with 10 comments

a local contest:  tomato haiku.  and i thought, why not?  a perfect writing prompt. unfortunately, my ability to even count accurately to 5 and 7 has been frustratingly difficult. so if there are one too few or too many syllables, blame the chemo.

tumbles of heavy juice fat
fruit in red and orange
mute tomato love untouched

cherry in size the number
uncounted weapons
fruit paint balls for little boys

so lovely in shape and curve
the color unmarred
but wait! a bite! which small child?

love apple streaks of green, red
sweet slices laid out
for a lover to enjoy

at 2 she wanders the rows
eating beans peppers
tomatoes drip from hand, mouth

white tomatoes ghostly fruit
are you meant to be
eaten or just exalted

the plants died tomatoes left
half-grown not yet red
the culprit? a black walnut

Written by senua

July 17, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Posted in Creative prompts

Tagged with , ,