The Sunday Whirl – Quatrain – January 31, 2016


Walk alone with no following
Along the thin red line of life
Seek ancient rites of hallowing
Relieve this universal strife.

Cross the tight rope before it falls,
With a flair (look you to the right) –
Seek the signs hear the mighty calls
On the bridge which rose in the night.

And when the moment is mature,
Recite the spells and drink the brew
(Though the rites seem to you obscure)
Don’t hesitate – and now adieu!

© G.s.k. ‘16




The Rabbit on her Path – May 25, 2013

216810_10150337265613828_8299179_n-3Through the wispering trees she ran
Seeking the land of fairy tales
She heard no wails or sighs as she sought
The rabbit on her path …

Bunny ran but not far ahead
She said she’d like to go to Wonderland,
Imagining his game might be magic, she followed,
The rabbit on her path …

Into a land of bright moonlight
She entered the night without a qualm
It was a balm to hear birdsong, then she saw
The rabbit on her path …

No white rabbit was he at all!
He was small and brown and ordinary …
Not at all extraordinary, surprised yet she followed,
The rabbit on her path

His enchantment was in his natural beauty,
He had no royal duty to a queen.
She serene thought yet to follow,
The rabbit on her path

Her mother called and so she’d stopped
The rabbit hopped on without a care
T’was again a fair day but she couldn’t find,The rabbit on her path

Magic fills the woods when rabbits cross your path …

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Fairytale Prompt #9

The Painted Lady – Fairy Tale

Chiara Fersinis

Chiara Fersinis

Painted lady in the mirror
Creating worlds in crimson tones
Her brush strokes, soft and tender
Like a feather down your back.

Claire’s red flowing hair complimented her pale skin and emerald-green eyes.  Some had called her a witch, usually behind her back.  She was also called the painted lady by the less charitable members of the village she lived in.

Claire had come to the village only a little over 3 years before, which was the principal reason she was under scrutiny.  As usually happens in these small communities, the outsider is the object of gossip.  However, she also lived alone and in the darkest nights, it was said, a man on a white horse come visiting, though no one had ever seen the mysterious man.  Fact is, she was out of the ordinary and there probably would have been talk even in larger communities.

One rumor that went around the village was that she had  red roses tattooed on her back, which was why some called her the painted lady. That was something that no proper lady would have done to herself.  This information had been furnished by Becky, her chambermaid.  Another bit of news was that she painted and that her paintings were used to decorate the more elegant brothels of Reems, the capital city of Chiang. Though no one knew where this rumor had come from.

She was an artist with a particular talent.  Her talent was discovered by the Madame of the ‘Woe My Love’, the most famous (or infamous) brothel of Reems.

Claire was born in the brothel.  Her mother, who’d died shortly after giving birth, was a woman who’d taken refuge in the house but was not one of the Madame’s protégé.  The Madame raised her as though she were her own daughter, she’d never been able to conceive, and loved her dearly.

When Claire was only 3 years old, she began to paint.  The scenes she painted seemed to come alive.  One could almost hear the wind in the willows and the birds chittering in the morning.  The roses she painted seemed to perfume the room where they were hung.  But most marvelous of all were her portraits.

The portraits weren’t just physical likenesses of people.  She seemed to capture the essence of the person in her paintings.  The eyes would follow you around the room and it seemed that the expression would change, some said reflecting how the person felt, from time to time.  The Madame made sure that only those whom she trusted knew who’d painted the pictures she hung in her house.

When Claire was 10, a gentleman came to the ‘Woe My Love’ and asked to speak with the Madame.  The gentleman had never been seen in the house before.

“I am  Manchers of  Marks, Crown Prince of the land.  As you know, my father sent me on a special mission to The United Realms of Worst.  My true love whilst I was away, was found to be with child and thrown out of her home by her father.  I’ve only now been able to trace where she’d gone.  My child, whom you call Claire is our daughter.  I want to see her.”

“My Lord!” she said as she bowed low, “What would you do with the child?  You didn’t marry her mother and she’s been raised in a brothel.  Would your family allow her to be recognized?”

“Alas, no.  I’m afraid not.  But I want to see her anyway and do what’s right by her.  She has pure blood flowing in her veins and faery blood from her mother’s side too.  She cannot become a courtesan!”

“That would never happen in any case.  I’ve raised her as my daughter.  I’m not ashamed of what I am, don’t get me wrong and if she didn’t have the special talent that she owns, she could have been one of the most requested courtesans of my house.  Her manner is regal yet soothing, her voice as sweet as mead. But her talent lies in her painting. There’s something magic about my Claire!”

“Her mother too was a painter!  If she is even half as good as she, then Claire’s talent will prove she’s her mother’s daughter, even if not mine.  Her mother painted living pictures …”

“As does Claire. She also has a very particular birthmark … roses on her back,  just as though she’d been tattooed.” and the Madame showed him a painting of his daughter’s back.

“The Roses of Mark, my house symbol!  So there is proof that she is mine as well!”

This conversation had taken place almost 10 years before.   When she was 16, a carriage came for her and took her to the village near the boarder of her father’s lands, where he came to visit her when the moon was new.

 And she painted …

Inspired by Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #8

Quatern: Four Seasons


Four Seasons

Riding the wind up to the stars,
Magical horses with gold manes,
Carry the faeries to spring fairs
Lightly they will play their bodhráns.

Season feasting comes once again.
Riding the wind up to the stars.
Of magic and bright summer days
I and my true love now will sing,

No man knows from whither we come
Nor whither we shall someday go.
Riding the wind up to the stars,
Now hark, bodhráns will play in fall.

I lay me down weary of life,
For no faeries nor magic lives.
I’ll dream winter dreams then I’ll go,
Riding the wind up to the stars.

bodhrán pronounced bowdrawn

Quatern for Cubby

Power Short: The Gnome

Bastet’s Power Short Prompt!  Genre:  Fairy Tale (or Fantasy)…and it’s not necessary to write it for children.

olive-treeThe Gnome

The gnome lived in an old olive tree.  He’d watched as over the years the land had been changed.  The dryads, fairies and pixies had all taken to the mountains long ago.  No place for them to live now.

It looked like he too would move.  Men had  built their houses and building all around him.  Recently, the fields that he used to hunt in, had become a parking-lot. The river was still near, but  no cover to hide in as he ventured forth to fish.

His tree had been saved, but not his home.

The last of the old Magic was leaving the land.

Power Shorts: Natural Magic

Write a magical Power Short!  Genre then is Fairy Tale (or Fantasy)…and it’s not necessary to write it for children.


Natural Magic

Austere, looking out from her point of observation, the cat, Misty contemplated the world.

The noisy dog pulling on its lease began to bark at her.  She looked at him, closing one eye at a time.

“I know you, you wicked creature!  You take advantage of man’s good heart!” the dog said in animal language.

“And I know you…man’s slave!”

The dog barked even more fiercely, but the man pulled him up short before he could attack the cat.

She meowed, the man smiled and then pulled the poor furious dog down the path.

“A cat’s magic is independence” she’d meowed to the man.



Fairy Tale: Old Carp and the Mermaid

steps into waterMermaid’s stairs

marble stairs and leaves
leading into the canal
once boats rowed along
today the steps look so odd
perhaps a mermaid’s escape

Fairy Tale

Old Carp and the Mermaid

Many long years ago, ours was a fishing village.  The men and boys would pull their boats out in the evening and with lamps tied to a pole sail into the middle of the lake and throw their nets, over and over again until they had a full haul, or dawn appeared.  The mermaids would look after them, warning them if a storm was near.

Everyone has heard that mermaids are cruel selfish creatures, and that may be true of the sea creatures, I can’t say.  However, lake mermaids are completely different.  Our village used to celebrate the mermaids in September in honor of Jade.  Jade, was the King of the merfolks own daughter.  She was as lovely as a moon beam, had a voice as subtle as the wind and as sweet as a clear true bell.  This is the story of how Jade saved her love from Old Carp, but don’t let me get ahead of myself!

Jameson, the old Count’s son, had decided that he too would be a fisherman.  He was a sensitive lad, with dark somber eyes and blonde hair.  His father was very upset that his son wished to renounce his inheritance to become a lowly fisherman, but Jameson just quietly insisted.  He sailed each evening with a group of fishermen, the boat belonged to his best friend Giorgio.  The fishermen sang as they threw out their nets.  Jameson had the truest voice among them.

Jade with the other mermaids often rose to hear the fishermen sing and when Jameson sang, they would add their voices.  The women and children at home in the village would sleep peacefully when the men and mermaids sang at night, because they knew the fishermen were safe.

Jade after a time grew to love Jameson and he her, though they knew their love was impossible.  She’d look for him each night among the fishermen and when he sang she’d harmonize her voice to his.  Both the fishermen and mermaids would stop singing and listen in delight.

On the deepest part of the lake, the fishermen refused to sail and the merfolk refused to swim.  That was because a terrible creature lived there.  Some said it was a dragon, others a huge serpent, but what really lived there was an ancient carp who’d grown larger than either a dragon or a serpent!  He was a rancorous old fish and hated fishermen among all humans.  He also hated the merfolk for having befriended the fishermen, he felt they were traitors.  If I think about it, I suppose he had his good reasons, what do you think?

In any case, he never the really deep waters and the fishermen stayed away from his home, until one night in September.  Enchanted by Jade’s and Jameson’s singing, Giorgio and his crew drifted onto the deepest part of the lake, the mermaids drifting with them.  Old Carp, found the sound of those two voices to be terribly irritating.  Slowly he rose to find out what all the ruckus was about.  He couldn’t believe his eyes!  Mermaids and fishermen right there in his home!

One of the mermaids saw him coming and gave the alarm!  But it was far too late.  Old Carp went right up against the bottom of the fishermen’s boat capsizing it throwing everyone into the water.  Each mermaid grabbed a fisherman and Jade searched for her Jameson.

Old Carp was an angry sort, but he didn’t eat men, however he did like to drown them if he could.  The mermaids were really too quick for him, but Jade had had problems getting to Jameson who’d drunk a lot of lake before she got to him and unlike the other fishermen was dead weight in his faint.  Still, she was in shallower water and thought she was safe.

Old Carp, he’d come out of his depth and was near the shore where Jade was swimming and grabbed the end of her tail with every intension of pulling them back to the bottom of the lake with him.  She of course would not drown, but Jameson surely would!  She cried for help and battled fiercely to free her tail.

The mermaids’ cries of alarm had reached the King’s palace below the lake and his soldiers were swimming to help the maids and the men.  Hearing Jade’s call, 5 of the king’s mermen swam to her aid.  She had been able to keep Jameson’s head above water, but the damage to her tail and the pain were making her faint.  With a fierce pull, she was able to break Old Carp’s hold, just as the soldiers arrived to assist her. Old Carp swam rapidly back to his home, pretty pleased with himself.

With the last of her strength, she swam into the moat canal of the Fortress. There were some stairs that led from the water to the center of the village.  She pulled herself and Jameson up the stairs and laid beside him on the land.  With her last strength she rubbed his breast, he vomited up the water he’d swallowed and began to breathe again though he was blue. The end of Jade’s beautiful tail was nearly gone. Villagers, soldiers, merfolk and fishermen surrounded them looking on with horror and curiosity.

The doctor soon came with the Count right behind him.  The King with his healer also soon arrived.   Sadly, the doctor and the healer shook their heads; their art could not save the two young lovers. A cry of painful mourning went up among the people of the lake and the village.  The old women pulled at their hair and the mermaids keened in their pain.

Down from the mount the good lake witch flew to see what had happened.  Her heart went out to the people and the young lovers and so she began to wave her arms and sing.  The people stopped their wailing as the sound of her imperious voice rose as loud as a summer thunder-storm.  Lightening flew from the sky and waves rocked the lake as though it were the sea.  Then she went to Jade and pulled her tail.  And lo!  She had two legs like a human.  The scaly tail she placed around Jameson’s chest and head.  And lo! He began to breathe, his color again true and he opened his eyes.  The merfolk and the villagers were so happy that they decided to feast and although the King was sad that his daughter could no longer live in his palace, he was thankful she was alive.

Jade and Jameson married and the mountain witch looked on from her high home sending them good fortune.  Their children, which were half merfolk and half human could breathe underwater and visited with their grandfather often which made him very happy.

Jameson became Count when his father passed on to the next realm and was always a very good, wise and sensitive ruler.  He was particularly sensitive to the problems of the fishermen as you can imagine and from time to time he would still go out fishing and singing with his Jade by his side.