For Robin Williams – a little late (Free Verse)

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For Robin Williams – a little late

hidden
behind his happy mask
a loner
posing
as an extrovert
lost
in a superficial world
that prizes aggressiveness
out-going panache
efficiency
conformity
did he look in the mirror
of lying reflections
and listen to the music
of the clown
who laughs – through his tears,
so the whole world
could laugh at him
feeling uplifted …
yet his soul
tattered and shredded
drowned in depression
and alone he left
this world
in tears.

© G.s.k. ‘15

 Tale Weaver #41 – Masks

The Kitty Loves Kibbles – Fairy Tale – November 19, 2015

Brynn with a Lizard

Everyone has heard of Puss and Boots, no doubt because being a male chauvinistic world no one looks further than a pair of scruffy boots.  My name is Brynhildr but I allow my human to call me Brynn.  We met one spring evening while I was out with my brother and sister and I decided to adopt the poor boy, he really needed someone to straighten out his life.  By the way, Puss was my great-great uncle on my mother’s side.  Here’s the story I want to tell you  …

Our life together was rather nice right from the start.  He knew just the right games to play and oh how I loved the kibbles he offered me – really scrumptious. So I thought it might be a good idea to help him make his way in the wide world.  No one could have done it better than I, of course.

One morning, as he was snoring on the bed, I bopped him on the nose to get his attention and then once he was awake, flew out the window.  He jumped up instantly and ran to the door to follow me.  We live near an old castle in Northern Italy.  I remembered from listening to Mum that old uncle Boots had put aside a bit of treasure, just in case, in the castle.

Once I reached the door of the  castle, I discovered that the place had been over-run by mice.  These weren’t just ordinary mice of course, they were enchanted and right arrogant too.  They sat around in a circle not far from where Puss’ treasure was hidden singing a silly mouse song:

scrape, scramble, peck and laugh
looks like the dish is frozen fast
silent seven in a nameless land
look over the brim of a speckled band ….

My human came clumsily at a run and grabbed at me where I stood near the door watching the mice.  The mice of course heard him long before he actually got to the door and so had plenty of time to run to their refuge just under an old plank.  They hadn’t seen me though so I was one up on them.

We went home and I had my breakfast then sat down at the window to watch the birds in my persimmon tree.  After a while, White-face, one of my neighbours came sauntering as proud as you please into my garden.

“Psst, White-face!  I’d like to ask you a question or two about the castle.”

“What do you want to know about it?”

“Well, I was up there today and I saw seven mice sitting in a circle reciting poetry …”

“Poetry?  Is that what they call it now? Anyway … that doesn’t sound like a question to me!”

“It wasn’t because you interrupted me you gormy cat.  But you answered my first question anyway … so you know who they are.  Tell me about them.”

“Not much to tell.  They’re enchanted … they were set up here, so I’ve heard, some centuries ago by an ogre who’d lost all his belongings to one of Us.  They’re the seventh generation of the Silent Seven to live in the castle and they’re there to take revenge on any cat that gets near a treasure which was hidden there by Master Puss.  Or so goes the legend.  Fact is, they’re a bad lot, even the local count is afraid of them.  The humans have been trying to get rid of them for years!”

“Ah … interesting!”

I sat for awhile taking in the news.  I thought and I thought until I came up with an idea.  But first of all, I’d have to talk to my human.

“Meowr … chit chit … brrr-rup”  I said as I jumped onto his lap.

“What a chatter box you are dear Brynn!” he said.

“A lot more than you might expect!”

He nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard me address him.

“Don’t go quirky on me old boy!  I’ve got something to say which you need to hear, so listen.”  I told him the Uncle’s story(which he seemed to have already known)  and then info that White-face had just given me.

“By rights … I figure that treasure is mine to dispose of as I see fit.  So, I’ve decided that it should go to you so that you can make us comfortable.”

“Uh … sure, uh … “

“Don’t stutter.  What I need is some of my kibble … the special Sunday treat and one of those mice prisons.  I’ve got a feeling that I should be able to get them away from the treasure with the kibble … I’m not sure they’ll fall for the prison though.  What you have to do is slip in QUIETLY once they start following the kibble trail and then just under a broken plank in the floor not far from the door, you’ll find a strong box.  Grab it and come out to where I’ll be waiting for you.”

The plan worked a charm, the mice followed the kibble trail and all but one walked right into the mouse prison.

My human came out holding a strong box … he then looked at the mouse prison a little worried.

“Well, now we curry favour from the local gov.  Take this prison to the constabulary.  The count has put a reward up for their capture!”

“Hey, if you do that, the coppers will kill all my mates!  We’ve done nothing to deserve such treatment … but you know how humans are.”

I looked at my human … and he looked at me.  It’s was one thing to capture enchanted mice but after all but to kill them –  it was not their fault they’d been born into a weird family. It just didn’t seem right that they should be killed just because they sat around singing in an old abandoned castle.  On the other hand, I did want my human to have all the benefits of wealth and fame.

“Listen Kitty Brynn,”  my human said.  “I can’t profit from another creature’s death.  That just isn’t who I am.  We’ll take the mice out to the woods and let them go, once they’ve promised never to return.  We do have the treasure … “

“That’s a great idea young human … once the treasure is gone we don’t have to stay here anyway … and once you’ve taken us away from here, the enchantment is ended!  We sure would prefer to live in the woods!”

So that’s what we did.  When we got back home my human opened the strong-box and we found 20 solid gold, mint condition, sovereigns … they were worth millions.  So we were well covered wealth wise.  As for fame … well you have to know my human’s a writer and I’ve told him quite a few tales he’s published, you know his name of course it’s …  but I can’t tell you that now can I … it would ruin his reputation!

© G.s.k. ‘15

 

Tale Weaver #40: Snow White Stop Kissing that Frog!*

 

225

Sunday Whirl – Wordle 225

Lost Shadows – Fantasy – November 19, 2015

Haiga 20

Not all days are the same … some are brighter some less … and that seems to make a big difference in how one feels.

Maryanne walked down the trail leading to the railway tracks just out back of town.  The path ran past the paper mill, now long abandoned.  The train still passed through town from time to time, but the tracks she would soon be crossing were now abandoned.  The wooden ties choked with weeds had long splinters sticking out like ancient miniature spears from the decayed wood. They ran into the factory itself … then she supposed they had got caught inside never to be able to get out again.

Maryanne was a loner.  She rarely went on her hikes with anyone except her shadow.  She whistled, Me and My Shadow as she walked down the trail and crossed the old tracks then turned towards the woods she’d yet to explore a little further on.  She liked the idea that her shadow was alive; ‘like Peter Pan’s shadow’ she thought.  She enjoyed watching it grow and shrink and wondered where it went when the light was gone.  She felt pretty certain that her shadow was an inhabitant of another dimension.

“Hey Shadow, where do you go when the lights go out?”

Her shadow didn’t answer …  it just grew longer and longer growing towards the woods as she got nearer to her destination.  She knew she’d lose her shadow for a little while once she began walking in the gloom of the trees.

“Hey Shadow, why’re you stretching out towards the path … want to play hide and seek?  Guess we will in a few minutes anyway!”

She topped a small hill and then ran precipitously towards the woods.

Once there, she entered the woods and she was really alone. Or so she thought. Shadows seemed to be everywhere … lots and lots of shadows.  She thought it strange that there should be so many shadows but not her own.  And these shadows didn’t feel like they were friendly shadows at all.  An unease crept over her and she felt a chill.  The shadows seemed to come closer and closer.

Suddenly she stepped into a small clearing and the sun projected her shadow.  She looked curiously at it, there was something wrong … her shadow seemed to have a sword!

“Get back you gormless fiends!  You are attacking my friend whom I will protect to the end!” said a reedy willowy voice.  Her shadow swished its sword back and forth.

She heard a crashing sound coming from the woods and soon into the clearing ran her school mate, Michael carrying a sword.  He was one of the odd boys out … a nerd they called him.  He was always talking about dwarfs, dragons, magic and elves.  Most of the kids just ignored him, but sometimes she’d sit with him at lunch and listen to his stories, which she found really interesting.

“Whatever are you doing here Maryanne? Don’t you know these woods are haunted by the lost shadows?” he exclaimed.

“Uh, lost shadows?  I didn’t know shadows could get lost!” she said as she caught sight of her own shadow, now sword-less. “How come you’re here anyway?”

“I heard you yelling.  This is where the shadows go when their humans abandon the earth. You do know that shadows are alive, right?”

Looking at her own shadow once again she nodded.  “Yes, I think I’ve always known that shadows have a life of their own .. I learnt that from Peter Pan…”

Taking her hand, sword raised, Michael led her out of the woods.  As soon as they found the sun again both their shadows stretched far from the evening light, they were so close they seemed to be holding hands her head on his shoulder … though the two had separated as soon as they’d left the woods.

© G.s.k. ‘15

Tale Weaver #39 – Shadows

 

Tatterdemalion – Fairy Tale – September 14, 2015

Brindle Cat HaikuOnce upon a time when the world was new … on the edge of a gloomy wood lived a handsome man whom everyone called, Tatterdemalion.  He was tall and as lithe as a willow with fair skin, dark hair and hazel eyes.  Some thought he was a hermit, some a luminary others still thought he was just lazy and a ne’er-do-well.

In point of fact, he was the descendant of a great king, but couldn’t ascend to the throne until he’d killed the leopardess Bryndle. Tatterdemalion wasn’t the sort of person who liked to grope in mortal combat with leopards, in fact, he’d rather have made friends with the beast.  So, he’d left his father’s kingdom and found this tiny cottage on the edge of the gloomy wood and draped himself in rags to hide his origins.

One day while out walking in the woods gathering mushrooms to make his dinner, he came upon that very leopard he’d been pledged to kill the day he was born.

The leopardess sidled up to the tree he’d scrambled up when he spotted her and said, “I’ve been informed that you are no common woodsman draped in rags, but a prince.”

“And who told you this?” Tatterdemalion asked warily.

“I’ve my informants.  They also say that you are supposed to kill me.”

“Yes, I’m a prince and I’m supposed to kill you but as you can see, I prefer a woodman’s life to a king’s life.”

The leopard looked at the prince and said: “You wouldn’t be a very good hunter, don’t you know that leopards can climb trees?”

“No I didn’t, nor did I know that leopards could speak with a human voice.”

“And do you know why you’re supposed to kill me?”

“No.”

“Well then let me tell you the tale.”

And here is her story:

When you were being born, your father went out hunting to calm his nerves.  He came upon my father, the great leopard king Mauer who was out hunting as I was being born.  Your father and mine had come upon a herd of gazelle and chose the same male to hunt down.  They mutually agreed that whoever caught the gazelle would take it home and keep it’s skull as a trophy but also as a reminder that one day their heir would be required to hunt and kill the heir of the other in order to reign.

They made their vow before the fairy king Simerson who placed the pledge in a potent magic prism with this apothegm : “An heir is only an heir by keeping birth rite pledges.”

“And so, Bryndle you’ve come to kill me today?”

“No, I went to my fairy god-mother Bast, who is the mother of Simerson and asked for her to find a way to break the prism and free us from that stupid pledge!  There is only one way.  We should marry! So, she gave me a potion and upon drinking it, we will be of the same species and thus we can break the pledge … so neither of us will be required to kill the other.”

Tatterdemalion thought and thought … “And what species will we be?”

“I’m not sure … I think it will be a new one which will be able to live with both humans and leopards.”

And so, Tatterdemalion and Bryndle drank the potion and married living happily ever after.  The results can still be seen today we call their children, brindled cats.

© G.s.k. ‘15

Tale Weaver 30: once upon a time . . .

1. Grope 2. Hazel 3. Skull 4. Mutual 5. Luminary (A celestial body, as the sun or moon. A person who has attained eminence in his or her field or is an inspiration to others.) 6. Leopard 7. Potency 8. Tatterdemalion (A person in tattered clothing; a shabby person.) 9. Sidle (to move sideways or obliquely.) 10. Prism 11. Apothegm (a short, pithy, instructive saying; a terse remark or aphorism.) 12. Drape

Wordle #77 “September 7, 2015”

“My Hero’s – Olde Foole” – Shadorma and Double Tetractys – May17, 2015

My hero’s
not a superman
a wizard
or a mage
he says he’s just an olde foole …
like a sphinx I think!

bard
poet
song writer
a sweet sweet voice
and with a heart as big as Alaska
he was born an Air Force brat just like me
so I tell you
my hero’s
Olde Foole –
friend!

I’ve never been a hero worshipper – and I’m not now, but if I had to choose a hero, and it seems I do for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Tale Weaver prompt I could do worse than choosing my dear friend, Ye Olde Foole.

Also written for B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond – shadorma (a non-rhyming six-line poem in 3/5/3/3/7/5) – Tetractys 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20)

The Cuckoo – Adult Fairy Tale/Haibun – April 30, 2015

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Up in the woods behind the village there’s a place where lover’s sometimes go.  Private, mossy and cool when the summer haze sets in this place is as inviting as any four star hotel. The smell of wild thyme and pine fills the air and a cuckoo’s serenade often echoes through the trees.

One day, a young couple came upon this happy corner of the woods and decided to have a picnic.  They put down their nap sack and laid out a blanket.  Before eating their lunch though, they started kissing and well … you know, one thing leads to another.  Their love song wove its way from tree to tree; then came his mighty climax – it sounded like the roar of a lion and  her return call sounded like the cry of a hawk.

A woodsman was walking along the path that would have led him to their refuge but he stopped short when he heard their love song.  He must have been at least seventy years old.  He stopped, for a second clearly remembering another summer day so many years ago.  He thought of his wife, now a little bent and yes a bit fat. What a lovely girl she’d been. Then he caught sight of his veined-knobbed wrinkled hands. He smiled and with a chuckle thought that he too had been quite a good-looking lad.  Whistling an aimless tune, he took another path that would lead him home.  He figured he could be there in just over twenty minutes and as he thought this, a vision of his lovely girl came to mind.

in a summer haze
a cuckoo’s call in the woods
inviting love

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for Tale Weaver: Bedtime Story featured on Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Sleeping Beauty – A Fractured Fairy-Tale – April 23, 2015

THE WHITE FAWN

Painted by Jennie Harbour

In a dark and grim forest, where wolves howled and the wind blew, I saw a flickering light and so I bounced down the path seeking out that light and after a time I came upon a crystal coffin; within the crystal coffin surrounded by perpetual candles slept a very handsome princely man with a magnificent beard. His head lay upon a silk pillow, his pelvis was bound in a gorgeous red damask codpiece. (I just mention this in passing.)

I thought I’d smother from the internal flame that flowed instantly into my … uhm … heart. Sublimating my thoughts of love by thinking about this month’s syzgy of the moon, sun and earth, I emitted a sigh.
“Never-mind the codpiece!” I said to myself, as a heroine one really must overcome this incessant inner chaos. Anyway, at this point I noticed a note attached to the clasp that held the coffin closed it read:

Open carefully and if you kiss the prince upon his lips he will awaken.

“Ah,” I thought, “a male sleeping beauty! Now this could get interesting”
In wonderment I carefully opened the lid of the coffin and caressed his soft uhm … beard with reverence then kissed his ripe lips.
His eyes flew open and he gasped:
“My lands woman! Just how old are you?”

© G.s.k. ‘15

This post was written for Mindlovemisery’s Mengerie’s Monday Wordle and Thursday Tale Weaver Post – Be a Bad Writer (I did my best) where we were to pick a genre and open our story with the worst possible beginning sentence, possibly with not more than 58 words. … I went way over the 150 word limit and before submitting this to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.  

  1. Emit
  2. Pillow
  3. Pelvis
  4. Bounce
  5. Heroine
  6. Intern
  7. Incessant
  8. Smother
  9. Sublimation  (Psychology. the diversion of the energy of a sexual or other biological impulsefrom its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable social,moral, or aesthetic nature oruse.)
  10. Gorgeous
  11. Nevermind
  12. Syzygy (any two related things, either alike or opposite. Astronomy. an alignment of threecelestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet: Syzygy in the sun-earth-moon system occurs at the time of full moon and new moon.)

Minx – His early years – Fantasy – March 31,2015

 

Nellie Moore (photo 1860 circa)

Nellie Moore (photo 1860 circa)

Minx thinks he must have been born in the mid 1860s, he wasn’t the pick of the litter, in fact he was the runt but Nellie Moore, his human was very proud of him.  His mother was a tabby his father, one could only guess, Minx never got to meet him he told me as he showed me the photo of himself and Nellie Moore. Minx himself had all the particular markings of an Egyptian brindled cat.

Though the smallest of his mother’s large litter he grew into a sturdy frisky chap.  He loved to chase rats and he never stood down if there was some other who wished to invade his territory.  He met his human one afternoon as he was exploring what turned out to be Nellie’s garden.  She used to read to him by the hour and when she wrote her poems, he would lay across her desk.  He’s convinced that this is how he learnt to read and eventually to write.

“I knew she was mine the moment I saw her!” he sighed.

He remained a rather smallish cat for all the years of Nellie’s life and just as frisky as though he were still a kitten, though when Nellie passed away some 30 years or so later (he wasn’t very precise about dates I’m afraid to say) one would have thought he’d have slowed down a bit himself.

When she passed away, he began his globe-trotting, as he didn’t feel inclined to attach himself to Nellie’s children or grandchildren.  He never knew it, but Nellie’s youngest grand-son a toddler by the name of Michael searched for him for days and was disconsolate when he couldn’t be found … it was only years later that they would meet up again.

Minx rode the rails for a few years, visited New York and New Orleans and had a rather rowdy life never backing down from a fight and where the ladies were concerned, well let’s say he was the king of any quarter he happened to find himself.  At one point he even took passage as the ship’s cat on the Lusitania the year before it was sunk. He said he would have enjoyed Europe probably much more if there hadn’t been a war on. He complained to me bitterly about “certain persons who think that cat is an interesting nutritious addition to their diets”.

He began to grow.  He himself didn’t really realize how much.  One morning, it must have been in the mid 1920s, he woke up with terrible cramps in his legs and his back.  He was by now, back in the United States, in fact not far from Nellie Moore’s home.  He caterwauled his pain and cursed his sort, then realizing that he’d spoken human stopped in surprise.

Micheal, now a man in his thirties heard the terrible sound of someone or something in pain and ran to see what was the matter.  There, much to his shock and surprise, stood a cat.  Not on all fours like a normal cat, but it stood like a human and a tall one at that.  Micheal looked closely at the face of the cat.

“Minx?” he cried.

“Yes. And who are you if I may ask.” replied Minx in his meowing voice (which I’ve translated into straight human for my and your convenience).

Michael informed him and from that day forward, Michael was Minx’s butler, caretaker, valet and close friend.  Michael left his family home and they travelled far and wide, finally settling on the small piece of land where I’d encountered the strange ghost like house in the woods. Minx informed me it was a gift from his ancestress, the great cat Sekhmet.  You of course realize by now, that there was something rather magical about Minx.  In fact, after much study and a few particularly lucid dreams, he became convinced that he was in fact a descendent of the great Egyptian Goddess.

 

Linked to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Tale Weaver’s Prompt (though I might be a little off theme 😉 ) (The introduction can be found HERE)

The Lady’s Draught – A Love Tale – March 5, 2015

 At the lost
summer palace a dinner was held –
invited lost lovers from heaven and hell
with trembling tears and roses of obsession
the procession began
weaving loose threads into silken tales
captured in threads of whispering tears.

The lovers looked upon the flames of waves
and the splintered thorn – all that was left
after the lost petals of the rose
with the last frozen kiss
were laid down in red silence –
just embers of the once devoted hearts.

At first the trembling tears shed,
gave no promise for a lively evening –
but the Lady of Shalott
set before each place a magic draught
soon tears were forgotten and love born again
were captured in threads of lost memory.

Only the good remained, lost were the wounds –
ill spoken words and untimely deeds faded –
left only were the sweet sentiments of love —
at the lost summer palace
merriment reigned and sweet kisses flowed
’til today that dinner is still being served.

© G.s.k. ‘15

 divider_2This poem is written using this list that Dolores of Ada’s Poetry Alcove found in her archives.  The task she set was to try to create a poem or story and then post it then link it to her original post (for details click the link below).  I decided to weave the story around the prompt set by our Phylor of Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s prompt “Guess who’s coming to dinner”. I’ve never liked what Lord Tennyson did to the Lady of Shalott, so I’ve changed her fate, she’s now a saviour of lost love … I hope you enjoy it 🙂

I’d like to remind everyone that if you’re interested in participating for Ada’s Poetry Alcoves Just for Fun competition, you must hurry … the Mr. Linky closes tomorrow! Bastet.

Trembling tears
captured in threads
Devoted kiss
weeping death
the red silence
silken tales
Roses of obsession
whispering tears
flames of waves
splintered thorn
lost petals
frozen kiss
weeping in the sky
loose threads

Ada’s Poetry Alcove – Just for Fun

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Tale Weaver Prompt

For Tale Weavers – August 11, 2014

Foro RomanoThe Forum Cat

There it is … the sparrow.  It’s landed not far from where I am, the silly creature.  Slowly I get into position. Each paw moving ever so cautiously. I’ve got my eye fixed on the bird and my breath is silent.  I pounce … darn it got away.

To catch a bird, of course, means you must be particularly cautious when you move.  My mother was always a great huntress.  I remember when we were little, she’d leave us with Aunt Selma and go off for a few hours.  When she came back we always feasted on her prey.  Sometimes it might have been a rat at others a bird.  She and Aunt Selma took turns hunting and when we were old enough they taught us all we know.

Of course, we don’t always have to hunt. Here in our colony, in a place I’ve heard humans call the Roman Forum, there are the lovely ladies that bring us food and sometimes milk.  They’re called “cat women” though of course they have nothing of us in their veins.

I spy a rat lurking among the stones.  I crouch in position.  Moving very slowly keeping my eye on the creature, my tail shivers of its own accord, then I pounce.  Got it!  I’m finished hunting for the day, it’s time I return to our lair where the little ones are awaiting their dinner.

 

To find the prompt go to Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie