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Showing posts from April, 2011

Zippy, Zany Zombies Zing Zydeco with Zeal and Zest.....

Z is for Zed and Zenith.....

The end and the highest point in the heavens....one ending, and one continuance.

It's actually hard to believe the A-Z challenge has come to an end. It's even harder to believe that I actually made it all the way to the end. Blogging on a regular basis has never been something I was disciplined enough to make happen. It's one thing to write a short poem or a character sketch or even a story scene everyday. But, to come up with something interesting for every letter of the alphabet with no other limitations, it can be mind-boggling.

I'm grateful to have participated this year and excited for next year-- now that I kinda know what I'm doing. I'm also extremely grateful for my new little minions that have followed me along this treacherous alphabetic journey. Thank you so much for your time and your thoughtful comments, each one has meant so much!

So, we have finally come to Zed, to the end of the run. But, because coming to the end do…

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you....

Y is for Yawp.....

The first movie from my childhood I can remember leaving an imprint was, Dead Poet's Society. I can't tell you how many times I watched it after I first discovered it, but from the first moment I was enamored.

This singular movie brought so many new loves into my life and for its production, I will always be grateful. For me, it cemented my love of writing, my love of poetry, my love of Robin Williams and my love of Walt Whitman.

Ah, The Good Gray Poet.....Uncle Walt,

"I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world!"




I'd like to think we all have barbarians inside of us. Though, perhaps Walt Whitman is the only sweaty-toothed-madman-barbarian. We all have a barbaric yawp hidden within our timid frames, shielded from public gaze for fear of ridicule, disappointment... fear of whatever might keep a person from expressing such a primitive emotion. But, we should not be afraid of sounding our…

Xenophobic Xylophones in eXistential splendor....

X is for Xanadu.....

Let's face it, there aren't that many 'X' words that would make for an interesting post.

I could talk about xenophobes and their reluctance to associate or trust people they don't know...

I could talk about wooden Xylophones and their differences/similarities to their cousins the metal 'bell-play' Glockenspiels...

But, why not talk about a place whose name is synonymous with beauty, luxury and opulence. Besides, Xanadu is a cool word to say--- almost sounds magical and definitely sounds mysterious.

Coleridge's poem, Kubla Khan, speaks of the savage conqueror's desire to build an earthly paradise, his Xanadu, in ten miles of the most fertile land in what is now the Inner Mongolian region of China. The poem also describes the pleasure dome's majesty....but, still, Xanadu was a man-made Utopia.

And, like all other 'unnatural' things, the world has a way of taking them back. In Coleridge's poem, the sea rises up and c…

W.B. and The Waterboys, from the Weeping World, with fairies....

W is for Will-o'-the-Wisp.....

Also known as corpse candles, jack o' lanterns, or friar's lantern. It's a term given to the ghostly light phenomena sometimes seen at night over bogs, marshes. The ghostly light is said to resemble a flickering lamp that appears to withdraw as a person moves toward it. In other words, it appears to be leading curious travelers away from the safety of solid ground and out into the treacherous trap of the mire.

A wisp is a bundle of sticks or paper used as torches, thus we get Will of the wisp (or torches).

I did a short post on marshes, here, for the letter M and gathered a few artist-rendered images of what the lights look like over water.

There are a couple of folklore tales that try to explain the existence of these mysterious lights. The parallel that two of the most well known stories share is that of an evil, wicked man who is forced to wander the earth with a single coal.

---Will, a blacksmith, in one tale, is given a second chance…

Voluptuous Valkyries Vex Victorious-dead

V is for Valhalla......

I won't pretend to be surprised that dreams are powerful and when used correctly, can give you the answers to many of the questions you might have. After my first NaNoWriMo experience, when one night's dreaming gave me, not only the title to my story, but the entire plot... as well as my pen-name for the event, I have never doubted that dreams help align our otherwise chaotic sub-conscious.

Today was no different...

As I posted to many of my friends the need for an appropriate 'V' word for today's blog, it suddenly dawned on me that I woke with the word on my lips--- or rather, I woke with the scene in my head.

I have never dreamed in Norse. At least, I have never been known to dream in Norse. Last night's dream, however, was set in a battlefield--- at the end of the battle (fortunately there were no gory war scenes in my dream or it may have mutated into a nightmare). At the time of the dream, I had no conscious awareness that the scene…

Mare's tails and mackerel scales make tall ships take in their sails.....

U is for Under.....

As in Under the weather, though not the 'under the weather' that most people associate with being sick---

Tonight, we were literally under the weather, under the attack, assault and destructive force of nature's pressure valve, weather.

I hadn't intended to write a post on 'Under', and most assuredly hadn't intended to write a post on weather, but, after the events of the evening, today's post practically wrote itself.

Tonight we were--

Under a severe thunderstorm warning
Under a flash flood warning
Under a tornado warning

Not sure who was more inconvenienced tonight by this dreadful weather, my associates and I because of the threat of working without power, or our customers who didn't like their shopping cut short by my insistence that they either leave or take shelter with us--- as in, they were no longer allowed to browse at their leisure, regardless of the approaching twisters.

I think we've been 'Under the weather…

Three turns should do it, I think.....

T is for Time-Turner.....





"My use and value unto you are gauged by what you have to do. I mark the hours every one nor have I yet outrun the sun."


Hermione was certainly a lucky girl when she was entrusted with so sensitive an object. Being able to travel back in time to complete all the tasks/projects/events that you would normally have to choose between, as it is impossible to be in two places at once, would certainly eliminate the guilt-ridden discouragement that so often comes when we aren't able to fulfill all the demands placed on our time. 


Case in point, as I type this-- a day late and within an hour of running into the day for the 'U' post-- I could definitely have made good use of a Time-Turner this weekend....


How many turns would it take for you to go back and do all the things left undone? 


Wonder if Hermione would let me borrow hers? Though I doubt only three turns would suffice....

Above and beyond is not always better or best.....

S is for Super.....

Super(exceeding the norm)-----

Superheroes, Supervillains, Supernatural, Superfluous.... not a definitive list, just a select set


Superheroes


Superman             Spiderman
Sherlock Holmes

Supervillains
Sauron                                                          Saruman Supernatural

 Sprite


           Sasquatch




                                                             Selkie




 Strigoi                                            Succubus        


Superfluous
Snooki                                                                                                                Sheen

As you pass my grave, with all your thoughts on me...Do not forget, dear friend, there's room enough for thee.....

R is for Requiescat in Pace.....


 Rest, dear friend, I give to you, this simple epitaph. Rest, dear friend, I sing to you, your harried days are past.
The gentle sound of angels' wings, hold tight the grace of final breath, one last solemn requiem, Fear not, the sting of death.






Death, the ever-present,  from the moment that we wake, marks slabs of weathered granite, our final resting place.








Gold knows not our warm compassion, nor wealth our open heart, To not be lost in memory,  each must play his earnest part.

Our worth in life is measured, when at last we find our end, Not by jewels and wealth uncounted, but our merits as a friend.

Would that I were made of stone as thee.....

Q is for Quasi Modo.....

Quasimodo Sunday-- the Sunday following Easter. The name derives from the Introit of that day: Quasi modo geniti infantes.... As in, or in the manner of newborn babes....

As Victor Hugo's unfortunate hunchback was discovered on the steps of Notre Dame by Claude Frollo on the Sunday following Easter, the infant was christened with the name of the day he was found.

The disfigured child was forced to endure the snide of the archdeacon who rescues and raises him. Not only is Quasimodo the name of the day on which the child was discovered, but in its literal definition-- quasi (almost)... modo (the standard measure)--- as in, the child is 'almost the standard' human....

Quasimodo was feared by all who came near him. He was every inch a monster on the outside, but inside...the fragile heart of a child--- trusting of his torturous benefactor,  loving of the gypsy Esmeralda who is repulsed by him.

I take comfort in the idea of Quasimodo's name being a p…

Our cradle stands in the grave....

P is for Plague.....


 "Ring around the rosy, Pocket full of posies, Ashes, ashes, We all fall down."

Whether this rhyme is a direct result of the black plague or not, one can't help but note the extremely close parallels.

The rosy rings which often developed at the onset of the infection.

The pocket full of posies, probably very similar to the collection of herbs and fragrant blossoms that plague doctors often stuffed in the end of their 'bird-like' masks which was thought to filter the disease from the air they inhaled.

Ashes, Ashes--- At least two separate explanations have been proposed. The first that the original wording was actually A'choo, A'choo, where fits of sneezing marked the final stages of the disease. And the second, that Ashes was not a mutilation of the word A'choo, but the intended word all along, as in the burning of the plague victims' bodies.


And, of course, We all fall down, speaks of the falling down of the dead.

Strange, the omin…

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.....

O is for Osculation....

As an old song says.... "osculation is a sensation that is nice..."

Kissing, a pleasurable activity, stimulates receptors in the brain to produce elation and euphoria.

The mouth is a most singular part of the human body. It can stimulate, through a kiss or a kind word. It can destroy, with a bite or a harsh word. It is the place where we take the sustenance for our life, and can at once, be used to end our life.

And, amazingly, it can be used to provide life for another.

The mouth can lead into the body from the outside, taking food, love, life--- and the mouth can lead from the inside of the body out, in the form of spoken words, song, breath. A smile can speak volumes, a sneer can break hearts. 
Whether it be, the kiss of life, the kiss of death, a lover's kiss ... or even a Dementor's kiss--- the mouth can offer either a beginning or an end, and should be used wisely. As, one who seeks to destroy with their mouth may find the same plan on the li…

Golden lads and girls all must, as chimney sweepers come to dust.....

N is for Necropolis.....



City of the dead. House for the dearly departed.A place for souls to gather once mortal breath no longer fills the lungs of the living. 

There has always been a fascination with death that offers both fear and hope. Man has longed to know what lies for them after the end of life. And, not being able to 'know', man has turned to hoping for what lies for them after death.

So much attention has been paid to what might be after life that great houses and cities of the dead have been created. If we are to live after death in the manner to which we lived while still alive, then great care and attention must be paid... or, perhaps, better attention must be paid. At least, that was the method used by the Ancient Egyptians, who took such great pains to ensure their after-life selves would be well provided for.

 The Ancient Egyptians viewed their life after death as the ultimate paradise to strive for. So much was their belief in a virtuous life leading to a wonde…

Come away, oh human child! To the water and the wild.....

M is for Marshes.....

Dark, murky mires.

What at once appears as solid land, one step and you find yourself waist-deep in the swallowing ground.



What little fairy lights at night do draw a traveler near, one who is lost to the mire before he realizes he has misstepped. 
Wise words to any who travel where the fairies play at night.... Do not, dear sir, do not dare to follow the lights.....

Or you may be forced to light your own corpse candle in the night....



Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile....

"...So ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes."


For in seeking truth, are we not, so many times, blinded by the light of it?
L is for Luminous.....


---Bright, intelligent, lucid

"It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it."





---Radiating light, glowing


"They all agreed that it was a huge creature, luminous, ghastly, and spectral. I have cross-examined these men, one of them a hard-headed countryman, one a farrier, and one a moorland farmer, who all tell the same story of this dreadful apparition, exactly corresponding to the hell-hound of the legend. I assure you that there is a reign of terror in the district, and that it is a hardy man who will cross the moor at night."



---Light-bearing
"This luminous falling star."




Some locks may needs be picked, for not all keys shall fit...

K is for Key.....


Shall I give you the key to my heart? Would you know what to do with it if it came to your possession? Would you keep it safe?

Shall I play you a melody in the noblest key? Would you know where to keep the tune if I graced your ear with it? Would you lose it?



"On a snug evening I shall watch her fingers, cleverly ringed, declining to clever pink, beg glory from the willing keys. Old hungers will break their coffin, rise to eat and thank."-- Gwendolyn Brooks


"Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate: His keys were rusty and the lock was dull."-- George Byron



Jack be nimble, Jack be quick....

J is for Jack the Ripper.....

"Jack" as he came to be called--- also known as "The Whitechapel Murderer" and "Leather Apron". The sensationalized, unidentified serial killer that brought Victorian London to its knees.


It was not safe to be a woman in the East End during the 1880s, especially a woman of the night.

Whitechapel became a place of dread and a feeding ground for macabre sensationalists. Public confidence in local authorities was shaken as one-by-one, "Jack" added another tragic soul to his list of conquests. His manner of execution was such that many remarked he must have had some medical training. Was he using these unfortunate women as a means of furthering some surgical 'fantasy'? Or, as a means of experimenting where he would have otherwise been shunned by other respected colleagues?

Whatever the reason for his dark and sadistic treatment of women, because he remained unnamed and free, "Jack" provided the imaginati…