Wordleing – Malengine Malediction – November 4, 2014

Malengine Malediction

Now, curtsey when you meet the master –
Follow the game rules and don’t despair,
The aftermath will bring you the answer
To the question you ne’er asked.

“Malengine malediction” (you’ll hear the master wail)
“Swear ne’er go near the zombie mash!
And when stalking the castle keep –
The ghoul must walk next to the old bat …”

“The most important rule to know,
Which you must always remember,
Don’t debase the scrawny black cat,
For she’s your magic succubus!”

“When the werewolf and the ogre wail …
Throw your shoe at them … but I swear,
T’is better to honor, the gargoyle in his lair
And the Jabberwocky’s sacred tree.”

Once the game is over my dear,
Curtsey once again and then,
We’ll eat hot flambéed plum pudding
And open all our gifts …

We’ll have such lovely holiday fun!
A right rum scary Halloween …
uhm … I mean …
We’ll have a merry Christmas day!

Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie’s Weekly wordle:

1. Curtsey 2. Debase 3. Game 4. Answer 5. Plum 6. Real 7. Swear 8. Shoe 9. Aftermath 10. Malengine (evil machination, deceit) 11. Stalk 12. Master

Weekly lqw wordle

ghoul, bat, wail, ogre, succubus, zombie, werewolf

In the Cemetery at Midnight – Free Verse – November 2, 2014

At the party 3 strange men romped –
Holding an unlit lantern … doing hocus-pocus
They suggested we take a walk …
To test our courage and our fear –
Thus challenged off we went
For a moonlit walk on Halloween night.
At midnight into the cemetery we strode …
Eerie sounds seemed to follow us
Could this be the specter from the crypt,
We all heard so much about?
Asked Muriel in a trembling voice.
I just shook my head haughtily
For I’m no believer in ghosts or ghouls ..
The owl hooted in glee as we passed near –
Then a smoky form seem to  take shape,
With oozing blood dripping reality!
I gave a howl and began to run …
Macabre shadows seemed to follow close ..
My heart beat like an African drum …
Until I heard the giggles from the trees
Looking closer I had the treat ..
Of seeing the tree aforementioned men …
There they were with an odd projector …
Creating the illusion of the awful specter
Making a fool of us all … but most of all me!

(C) G.s.k. ’14

The Words: party,strange, lantern, treats, hocus-pocus, crypt, specter, eerie,  howl, midnight, shadows, owl, moonlit, macabre ,smoky

Linked to Pink. Girl, Ink. Blog for Wordle for Halloween which I found through Jules Longer Strands of Gems Follow the link to her great Kyrielle Sonnet and Shadorma which she wrote using the Wordle!

Soulers of Hallow-e’en – Free Verse – October 31, 2014

“St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine for Young Folks”, Scribner & Company, December 1882, p. 93

Soulers of Hallow-e’en

Today is Hallow-e’en and
As the Veil is rendered thin,
We walk near to them who once lived
– Who walked the Earth as we walk now –
Until the moment when came the call
Irresistible not to heed:
… Come hither, tis time.

Tomorrow is Hallow-mas
– Hallowed be their names –
And so on this eve of their holy day
We come to sing and rhyme for you.
Asking no more than a soul cake,
We’ll pray the Holy Ones –
For those who’ve gone before you –
Yes, prayers for your loved ones souls,
That they may walk in the Spirit’s light!

Soul cakes tis all that we crave …
For our prayers and our hymns
To be recited upon their graves.
We’ll pass these days upon our knees
On Hallowmas and All Souls’ Day –
For the cakes you give to us this night.
We are the soulers of Hallow-e’en.

(c) G.s.k. ’14

A soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day to commemorate the dead in the Christian tradition. The cakes, often simply referred to as souls, are given out to soulers (mainly consisting of children and the poor) who go from door to door during the days of Allhallowtide singing and saying prayers for the dead. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes continues in some countries today, such as Portugal (where it is known as Pão-por-Deus), and in other countries, it is seen as the origin of the practice of trick-or-treating. In Lancashire and in the North-east of England they were also known as Harcakes.   Wikipedia

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The Veil – Flash Fiction – October 30 2014

three_chairsThe Veil

Sitting on the bright sunny patio, she looked down at her notepad pondering.  How can you write Halloween poetry on such a bright sunny day?

The veil rends
At Halloween
Between worlds

No, she didn’t feel at all inspired.

A rumble seemed to shake the world, she looked up at the cloudless blue sky, “What the …” the thought remained hanging in the air as she heard another, even louder crash.

A feeling of foreboding percolated into her mind. With a third crash the patio began to tremble and disappear.

She sat upright in bed, a storm was brewing.

 

Linked to Friday  Fictioneers – PHOTO PROMPT-Copyright-Melanie Greenwood

 

T’is the Night (Samhain) – kyrielle – October 29, 2014

T’is the Night (Samhain)

T’is the night when spirits visit
The djinn and afrits join the fun
We’ll built our bonfires high and dance
Then will come cold Calan Gaeaf

 

 

The harvest’s over – the grain’s stored
Now days grow shorter – cold winds blow
For a day spirits walk the earth
Then will come cold  Calan Gaeaf

We’ll go a guising Samhain night
Mix with the spirits with delight
Won’t think of winter’s long cold blight
Then will come cold Calan Gaeaf

T’is the night when spirits visit
The Djinn and afrits join the fun

(c) G.s.k. ’14

 

Once upon a time, I wrote a poem for a friend’s challenge, it was supposed to be a Kyrielle Sonnet, but though I wrote with the prescribed stanza and syllables (meter) and repeated the first two lines to create the refrain –  I forgot to rhyme the poem.  She kindly suggested we call it a Bastet Kyrielle … so here’s a Bastet Kyrielle with a twist, the last line of the first three stanzas are repeated. This is to honor Samhain  (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ SAH-win or /ˈs.ɪn/ SOW-in[1] Irish pronunciation: [sˠaunʲ]) and the Welsh first day of winter Calan Gaeaf (pronunciation: sound link, which was this week’s Tale Weaver’s Prompt at Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie

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Halloween: reflections for an English lesson

We live in a time deprived of its magic and wonder, as we’ve substituted our knowledge and observation of the passing seasons with our technological “improvements” on nature.  Something as banal as eating strawberries in winter is already a sign that we’re out of contact.

The ancient arts and festivities, born from the observation of life and nature, have become just another product to be consumed making the market richer, but our lives poorer.

Studying Shiatsu, I became aware of the theory of the 5 Chinese elements known as Wu Xing which has its roots in Taoism and is the basis of Chinese medicine.  We usually see the 5 elements placed in a pentagonal diagram which describes how each element feeds or suppresses another: Fire – Earth – Metal – Water – Wood. Here’s a diagram I’ve borrowed from Wikipedia to show how on the one had each element feeds the one that follows it and on the other how the elements also destroy or suppress one another.

Wu_XingThis theory was born from the years of studying the passage of the seasons, how they influenced our lives and health, what characteristics are more dominant in one period and less in another, they even go so far as to attribute the power of a sound and a color to our health!

From this passage I began to realize how much understanding has been lost.  Yes, its empirical knowledge, which we’ve blithely thrown out the window as too relative and irrational.  However, luckily for the moment it’s still knowledge which has not been lost, you can study it and observe how brilliant these ancient observers were!

How does this tie in with Halloween?  It’s all about the seasons and their passage, and the knowledge which we have lost over the centuries.

Over the centuries as Christianity and the dark ages walked hand in hand throughout the European continent, many of the older practices, faiths, rites and observations were either suppressed or when that wasn’t possible integrated into the new religion in its quest to conquer men’s minds.

Halloween, which means All Hallows Evening, or the Evening before the Catholic festivity of All Hallows Day, or All Saint’s Day (the first of November), which in Catholic countries is still celebrated followed by All Souls Day (the 2nd of November) the remembrance of the dead,  is one of these festivities.

Halloween was a harvest festival, probably Samhain in the Gaelic Celtic traditions.  It is the passage from a time of abundance and life-giving warmth to the dark dead period of winter.  Observing the seasons we realize that with the Harvest, the world has given up its fruits and figuratively speaking is dying.

Samhain was celebrated around the 31st of October or 1st of November right in the middle of the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.  In this period, the cattle or sheep were brought home from their summer pastures, the crops had been gathered and stored, special bond fires were lit, as this was also a period when it was believe that the faeries could come into the world more easily and it was a time of purification.

Just allow me to quote the Wikipedea about Samhain:

“Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) could more easily come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left for them. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, and involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, or disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination rituals were also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples. In the late 19th century, Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer suggested that it was the “Celtic New Year”, and this view has been repeated by some other scholars.”

Of course, this is just a little of what remains of that ancient culture.  Unlike the Chinese, we prefer to destroy and obliterate what we think is useless superstition (well Mao did his best in this sense too). It suspect it was a lot more complicated than just mumming and guising.  During the dark ages, many of the medical practices were lost, because herb lore for example which was a woman’s domain, was considered witchcraft.  And witchcraft as we all know, is satanic…or is it?

I’ll conclude my reflection this morning with just this thought.  Death is part of Life.  We do our best to forget that Death walks hand in hand with life but trying to exorcise the thought of Death, we’ve given it more power than it ever had in the past.  We’ve become a phobic society, seeking immortality through our technology and often feel offended and cheated when Death in the end knocks on our door.  Halloween, the ancient passage from life to death, as observed just by watching the seasons passing, the honoring of our dead and who’s passed before us is reduced to a commercial extravaganza which exoricises death with a cult for horror.  It’s really sad if you think about it.

Choka

Faithful Lovers

The seasons passing
in endless singing cycles
speak of death and life.
Both still walking hand in hand
though our fearful age
would sunder their tie,
life, refuses the divorce!
Oh, faithful lovers
your eternal embracing
creates samara’s turning.

For more information about Halloween read HERE!

Have a great day!  Ciao Bastet!

Ghost Town

The October 27th prompt at the Community Storyboard this week is  ghosts!  I love ghosts…so here we go!

ghost-houjse

Courtesy of The Community Storyboard

James parked his car near the old hotel at the center of the ghost town.  The place felt the years of abandonment, the buildings were as grey as the day.

He’d heard about the town from an old friend, who knowing his passion for photographing old buildings, had given him a map so he could to find it.

“You won’t find this place on your navigator.  No one goes there anymore. It’s out in the middle of a wooded area, up the mountain road off from Gainesville.”

“And how did you come to know about it?” James asked.

“My great-grandparents used to live there back at the beginning of the last century.”

‘The place certainly looks spooky enough!’ James thought as he pulled out his camera and took his first shots.

He walked up the hotel’s steps, they creaked properly.  He tried the door and found that it was open so went in.  Cobwebs and dust were everywhere, but strangely enough, the place was still fully furnished and had a lived in air about it.   Funny it hadn’t occurred to him to ask his friend about a little history of the place. He made a mental note to do so once home.

The staircase seemed to rise up forever, but then he realized that at the top of the stairs, there was a full length mirror.  After taking more shots of the entrance way, then the dining-room and library, he decided to go up the stairs.  As he approached them, a girl came through the door.

“Oh hi!” he said surprised.

“Hi, when did you pull in?” she asked.

“Just a couple of hours ago.”

“And will you be staying long?”

“Uhm, I don’t think so, but who are you, they told me no one lives here.”

“Oh,  there are quite a few of us.” she’d answered without giving any information about herself he noticed.  “By the way, I wouldn’t go up those stairs if I were you.  Dangerous you know.  Anyway, I just saw your car and thought I’d see who you were.  I’ve got to go now though.”  Before he could say anything more, she walked out the door.

He pondered for a couple of minutes about the girl’s warning and then decided that, if he walked carefully he’d probably avoid any weak boards or falling planks; the stairs probably weren’t that dangerous.

He walked up the stairs backwards, wanting to get a few shots of the entrance way at different heights as he went up the stairs…and went up the stairs some more.

Suddenly, he realized that there were just too many stairs.  He’d been dstracted and had just kept climbing and climbing.  He turned around and saw that there were still more stairs.  Looking down he saw that they weren’t more than 20 or so steps.  He should have been on the landing and have come up against the mirror by now but there was still a whole flight of stairs to climb!

A chill ran down his spine.  He decided to retreat but found that he couldn’t, there was an invisible barrier that blocked him, he could only go up…so, he went up the stairs…

The girl sat on the porch steps, a young boy came up to her.

“Did you warn him?”

“Yep. But he went up the stairs anyway.”

They both shimmered as they became part of the air.

Trifecta Writing Challenge: Boo!

The Trifecta prompt is the third definition of the word – Boo:

3 (verb) to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting “Boo” slowly.  (from The Merriam-Webster online dictionary).

The piece is to be written in between 33 and 333 words, using the word precisely as stated.

Boo!

The day had been long in coming, many had bought their tickets months before, now here it was opening night!

Halloween had been a considered perfect night to open the season with this particular piece: “The Phantom of the Opera“.  The audience as requested appeared in costume. A general air of festive good humor had been building up over the week due to the publicity campaign that had invaded the newspapers and the local television networks.

Unfortunately, the main protagonist, soprano Julia Marconi had a cold. Her understudy accepting a gig as lead singer in another part of town and had pulled out at the last-minute.  Julia had no choice but to try to do her best…the show must go on!

As she began to sing a chill began to build up over the theater.  She just couldn’t reach the high notes.

Half way through the first song, it began, someone in the audience decided to express his disapproval:

“Boo!” long, low and insistent,  followed by a chorus of boos throughout the theater.

It was interesting to note that the gentleman who’d set off the chorus wore  a Phantom of the Opera costume.  He mysteriously disappeared into thin air once the chorus of boos began, creating consternation in those who’d been sitting near him.

(Word Count: 214)