The Knight – Prose – May 16, 2015

Guard dutyThe King and his court were travelling through the countryside, those last days of spring and the sweet perfume of flowers filled the air, the bees happily hummed among the fruit trees and all seemed well with the world.

The young page would soon become a knight.  He’d started at the very bottom as Ser Keith’s boy and had become expert in armoury.  His Master was a good soul and taught young William all he knew even insisting that he sit in on the mage’s and the priest’s lessons as well so that he might know the ways of the sainted and profane.  Now at 24, and 12 year’s of apprenticeship, the day of his investiture was near.

Standing under the moonlight he looked at his armour, given to him by his now dead Grandfather.  A light began to shimmer and blaze into the evening coolness.  At first William thought that he was being tricked by the Lady Moon reflecting off his armour but then he heard a voice like a deep echo in the wind:

“Walk bravely dear William, it is now your duty to do great deeds!”

Thus a new hero was born.

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie’s Fairy Tale Prompt

Ghost Cat – Haibun – April 15, 2015

Cat on the Wall

The house had been abandoned for years.  The old lady who’d lived there, having passed away, could no longer feed the dozens of cats which used to visit her daily. She’d fed them all indiscriminately, her only exception being cats who fought.  She really detested those battles and would chase the contenders away with a hose she kept for this purpose!

I’d never noticed the white cat that sat on her wall until one early morning around dawn. I was sitting on my loggia and saw it poised there like a statue.  I figured it must have been one of the many who roam around the town at night, the Italians believe that cats should roam freely.  But somehow, this cat was different.  It glowed slightly.

One early morning it and I saw two of my neighbour’s cats readying for a territorial fight.  They spat and caterwauled, making a dickens of a racket.  The silent spectator just seemed to look on indifferently.  Finally the encounter seemed to go beyond the initial vocal stages and with their bodies puffed up twice their size, the males moved cautiously towards one another.  At that point, the strange white cat literally drifted down from its perch landing between the two contenders!  I thought they’d looked puffed up until that moment – they seemed like two fur balls then and with a loud meow they took off into different directions.

The white cat returned to her perch.

in the dawn
the white cat or its master
keep the peace

© G.s.k. ‘15

Divided Path

Written and linked to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Fairy Tale Prompt

Seeking the Nazar – Fairy Tale – March 14, 2015

superstition

 My voyage began years ago
Seeking the Nazar of ancient lore
I walked the deserts
I walked the plains
Always seeking what I’d never found.

“Is this land a dream or reality?”
An old woman beckoning says:
“Come to me …
Come to me!”
I was seeking what I’d never found.

She held the Nazar in her hand
This is yours if you pass the test
“Could this be the moment
When I end my quest?”
Always seeking what I never found.

I wandered in someone else’s soul
The world around me a different light and hue
A nightmare grappled me for my soul
I awoke with a mighty sigh
Always seeking what I never find.

I tossed and turned upon my mat
Composing words to free my mind
Then I must have dozed away
I walked in the wind of a storm …
Always seeking what I never found.

The song of the angels in harmony
Rivalled the concert of the masts
And a flock of gulls let out their cry
We’ll take you to the great Nazar!
I sought what I’d never found.

In the darkness an eye appeared
A guide to wanderers in search of luck
Electric blue a centre of white
Larger than ever I’d seen before!
Always seeking what I never found.

An ominous sorcerer raised his head
All covered in scaly emerald-green skin
Not a dragon but not a man
He held the Nazar in his hand …
He sought what he’d never found.

“You want this thing I’m holding here?”
Croaked the mage in his cold voice
“I captured it many years ago
And have become what you now see …
I’m still seeking what I never found.”

The sacred Nazar glowed in blue
As he held the pendant out to me
I hesitated quite filled with fear
Knowing my heart was impure …
Always seeking what I never found.

I reached out my hand to grasp the charm
When something pulled upon my arm
“Touch not the Nazar lest you perish
And be reduced to ashes friend …
What you’re seeking will never be found.”

 The sorcerer howled like the wind
In anger his green light filled the world
“Take this thing away from me!
Become the guardian of the eye!
Always seeking what you’ll never find.”

I awoke drenched in a cold sweat …
My heart pounding within my breast
My vision clouded but I could see
A large blue eye calling me …
“Always seek what you’ll never find!”

Oh Nazar of ancient lore
I’ll not seek your luck anymore
I’ll walk the Earth and I’ll recall
This vision planted in my mind …
Of the cost of magic
And the cost of power
Which few know in their mindless search –
Power, wealth and fortune
Seem a wondrous goal
Until you’ve found them and then they grow
Within your soul like a gnawing foreign plant
For you’ll want more and ever more
Always seeking what you’ll never find.

© G.s.k. ‘15

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This post is linked to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Fairy Tale Prompt

Credits:  Photograph – Matej Hudovernik

Videos – Wings of Desire (The Concert of Thoughts) by Wim Wenders
Sounds of Sailboats Singing in the Wind...Sounds by Knight

Trip to Atlantis – Fairy Tale – February 5, 2015

 

The reason we were commissioned was because the gauntlet had been thrown by the proud green-eyed Empress, so we set off to find Atlantis the fair and proud. Some say it had been lost because the Gods despised the arrogance and haughtiness of its people. Atlantis, was said to be the homeland of the nobility of our beloved land.  Some whispered that Atlantis was just an excuse used by our nobility to reign our beloved land.

The Empress gave us a map and then after heart-felt prayer to her family ancestors, our Kami allies appeared and now walk the dark roads with us.  Some say that the land of Atlantis is in the sea – some say only in man’s mind but as we looked upon the map we were surprised to see that  Atlantis was to be found under the great Himalayan mountains.

We followed the highways and byways and goat paths and then no paths which lead into those majestic mountains.  The nights were dark and fraught with fear and we noticed we were being spied on by foul demons of ancient lore.  However, we’d been chosen not because of our prowess with sword or spear – we were armed in fact with only our bravery and pure hearts.

We came at last to a small pass between two towering mountains.  In this pass and the valley into which it lead, the sun hadn’t shone since the memory of man.  It was shunned by all living things. Into this eternal darkness, cold and forlorn we walked … the Kami glowed with an ethereal shimmer, they seemed to know the place well.

We came upon a tower among broken crumbled rubble that lay every which way.  Streets there must have been – everywhere there were signs of a powerful civilization. We made for the tower and once we there we found an open metal door.  Passing through the door, we looked upon a great hall.  There were no spider webs or dust.  Everything was in perfect order.  Along the wall we saw stairs leading to the belfry.  In front of us we could saw a throne and an altar. Going further into the great hall a music mysteriously began to play and lights shone everywhere. A figure appeared upon the throne and upon the altar a book.

“My children you’ve come at last for knowledge and wisdom.  We lived our lives long and though we acquired knowledge we lost wisdom. Today, you see the results and today with you begins our new era. For it has been foretold that three humans and three Kami with come and acquire from me both knowledge and wisdom.  You will bring new life to the world and a new age of serenity.”

The tower door clanged shut, the building began to tremble. We felt a movement as though we were moving downwards into the Earth herself!  After a while, the movement stopped and the door opened.  We looked upon a world that resembled a soft moonlit garden and were greeted by a tall graceful woman.  She said: ” Welcome to Atlantis.”

 

 

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Fairy Tale Prompt

Kitsune and the Water Fall – Fairy Tale Choka – February 20, 2015

From Oku no Hosomichi

Urami no Taki (The Waterfall Seen From Behind)

Behind the waterfall,
Kitsune bathed each morning
singing witching songs
in clear bright lilting tones.
When young men passed,
If their hearts were impure,
they’d languish with love.

Urami no Taki
offered Kitsune its waters,
her sweet forms hidden
in the white curtain of water.
There passed one day
a handsome Buddhist monk
who ignored her songs.

Kitsune surprised
spied the young Buddhist monk
so fine was his body
his eyes like bright clear stars.
She sang to him then
in her most seductive voice
he ignored her song.

Love swelled in her heart
for he was lovely to see!
She saw that his heart
was as pure as bright new snow,
she called out to him
and he stopped and he smiled
yet without desire.

She sent her image
inside of his pure soul,
she wished to own him
to make him her true lover,
but his heart was full
she could not plant her seed
he sang his own song.

“Oh Fox, Namaste!
I see your bushy red tail
though you seem a maid.
I walk the Pure Earth’s path
compassion’s my song
and I love you sweet and true
but I love the way more!”

So she shaved her head
for the love of the pure monk,
renounced her tricks
her magic and her strange songs
and was known as Inari.

© G.s.k. ‘15

This choka was written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Fairy Tale Prompt and it has absolutely nothing to do with Inari Okami or the real stories about Kitsune .. these are just flights of my imagination.

Morning Haiku and Waka- Choka – December 14, 2014

in the land of light
fairies, jinn and kami
love to give gifts
they know no special days
always generous
they give all throughout the year
harmony and peace
and laughter are their songs

winter wonderlands –
in deserts, woods and parks
the wee folk teach us
how to live in peace and light
just by living life

© G.s.k. ‘14

 

Today’s there is a special photo edition of the Morning Haiku and Waka over at  Through the Eye of Bastet please click the link to see it!

Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie – Fairy Tale Prompt and BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond

The Story of the Forest – Fairy Tale – September 7, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.02.27 PM

“Worlds come and worlds go, just like everything in this ephemeral world of matter.  However, even if things go from the world as we know it … nothing truly ever disappears!”

“Ah .. Gramma, you’re doing it again!  If things go out of the world then they disappear.” Maryam said with a huff.

“Well then, let me tell you a story.”

A long long time ago, before Man lived in this valley, there was a beautiful maiden.  She was the guardian of the forests and she made the flowers to bloom and the rivers to flow.  Sometimes she would become a butterfly and she would fly among the small flowers at other times she would fly high in the sky in the form of a peregrine hawk.

That was in the days when the Moon was a goddess and the Earth was venerated as the giver of life.  She had no special name, as Man hadn’t begun to put names to things yet, so we’ll call her the Forest.

“Gramma weren’t there any people yet?”

“Well yes, there were, but they were like all the other creatures and they hadn’t become proud yet.”

This is how Man became proud … One day one of the people went to the high mountain.  There among the cold clouds lived the Hunter.  He had been shunned by the Goddess Earth and exiled to the high mountain because he loved to kill, so she thought there was no place for him in the world among all her peace loving creatures.

“But how could people live Gramma, if they didn’t hunt?”

“The people gathered nuts and berries, grains and beans as well as sweet fruit and roots and the bees gave them their honey, if they asked for it with kindness.  They didn’t know the taste of meat.”

The Hunter looked upon the person who’d come up to his mountain and he smiled.

“Ah … What brings you to my abode?”

“Actually, the mountain looked so inviting I couldn’t resist it!  Who are you?”

“I am Hunter and I can teach you very much of which you don’t know. You can become free from the Earth and eat of all the good things of the land.”

He, for the person was a he, thought about this and thought it was a wonderful opportunity.

“Please teach me and I will worship you!” said the man.

Hunter taught the little man how to make traps and how to make a spear and then he taught him how to make a bow and arrows.

“These are all very interesting things to know.  But what do I do with them?” asked the man.

“These are for killing the beasts which are very good to eat, like the hare, the ducks and the deer.”

At first the man thought this was a silly thing to do.  But then, the hunter taught him to make fire and roasted a duck for him.

“Oh!  This is very good!  And so much nicer than water sogged grains and nuts!”

So, he began to learn all he could from the Hunter and he became proud with his new knowledge for no one in the world knew how to make weapons or fire but him.

He returned to the people in the valley below and he tried to teach the people how to hunt and kill.  The women were happy with the fire he brought.  It helped soften the grains and kept the children warm at night.  But they refused to use the meat and the pelts he brought to their dwellings.  The men though were happy with this new pass time.  They found it easier to hunt than bend their backs gathering roots, grains, nuts and berries.

Soon Man … for now he called himself Man as he no longer felt he was one of the people but a great leader and one who was full of wisdom … said to his followers:  “All that is here upon the land and in the forest is ours.  We will name the names of all things and everyone will bow to our wisdom!”

Everyone did not bow to their wisdom though and many men and women refused to follow them.  So Man and his followers turned their weapons against those who refused and soon they were conquered.

The Forest was shocked that her little ones were being slaughtered by the men with weapons, so she taught them how to defend themselves, how to hide and yes, how to kill.  In the end though as the men became more numerous, they began to cut down the trees to make themselves cities and soon the Forest began to dwindle and die.  Earth was powerless to stop the killing as men could no longer hear her voice, or if they did they ignored it.  Women became the property of the men and continued to gather the nuts and the fruits of the land.  Then men began to plant their own food and to enslave other animals.  All that has brought about the world we know today.

“But Gramma … I thought you said nothing ever dissapears.  I don’t see where your story is going to.  Certainly that world is no more (if it ever existed).”

That world lives still my little one.  The Forest sleeps deep in the wooded places and she still makes the flowers bloom and the rivers flow.  All the wild things still hear her voice and even some people still hear her voice when they walk through the empty woods.  The birds know her name and she guides them south when the winter comes to the north.  Men can only transform what is hers but they cannot give life and they create nothing. All things live but nothing really dies … it is only changed.  And one day soon, I can see that men too will change becoming dust and the world will begin again.

Written for Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie – Fairy Tale Prompt