Birthday Month -What She Would Wear

redriding-hood…if Little Red Riding Hood grew up to be a spy.  That is me, walking fast away from the photographer-husband, wearing my birthday present – a bright red trench coat with a voluminous hood.

In some ways, I was like Little Red Riding Hood.  I was always slipping off into the woods whenever I could and I was never afraid of meeting big bad wolves there.  I knew where they lived and it wasn’t the woods.  I always wondered why lecherous men got called “wolves” — they act far worse than any canine predator!

I did grow up to be a kind of spy.  I joined the Army and served behind the Berlin Wall using my hard-won Russian to delineate the threat from the Russians poised all around the city of West Berlin.  My military rain coat was a style of trench coat, too; but certainly not red.

This concludes my birthday month musings.  I’ve even bored myself!

Poetry Month – Fifteen – Steeplechase, Conclusion

(This finish feels weak to me, somehow — but then, the ineffable wouldn’t be called that if it was easy, would it?)

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Steeplechase – Part Three

Sitting in tears and darkness alone,

Stilling first the bells on high with alleluias,

Hushing next the flutes and cymbals of myths so sweet,

Covering ears from history’s shrieks and paeans of wrath,

One voice remains to me – my own!

As children we could not truly speak to our parents?

Not fully until fully grown and toe to toe equal brought meaning?

Too many presume to speak for and allegedly to gods?


So then, even if gods and goddesses there be,

How could we speak to them other than to plead?

“Save us, help us, victory give us, enrich us, love us, hate them!”

Did we never learn to shoulder our own loads?

Yet, we drop it to cry like children to purported gods?

Are we children then, yet, Mr. Freud?

I hate to give Freud the point–

But has our childhood no appointed or chosen end?


Disavowing power, fearfully seeking a powerful Shadow,

In which to hide our tiny selves disclaiming responsibility,

But is that Shadow not dark with threat obvious?

If it is real, could it not “step away” abandoning?

Exposure requires the hero and the stoic!

No security is certain if not from within —

I hold all the stories within myself?

Every god, goddess, or goblin at my beck and call!


I see Athena in my sleep – her kiss upon my mouth,

Hekate walks the roads of worry hand in hand,

Thor loves mankind and is in my mind strong and steady,

Like “cunning man” Mannawyddan or Blessed Bran,

I can bend in Marian mercy like Kwan Yin,

Or wreak destruction like dancing Kali-Ma,

I could be Grendel ripping, tearing….

Humans make choices – human and divine!




Lights, Intention, Action: The Limits of Metaphor – in Magic, as in Gardening

I am in that “zone” for two hours, until my phone shakes me out of it. That place where the rain gently pattering sounds like every drop hits a tin roof.  My husband made me promise to take breaks, thus my phone’s alarm blaring in upon me.  “How,” a friend once said with a very dubious look on her face, “Do you ever maintain a magical focus for those long days of magic/garden war-making; it is impossible!?

waxingNo, not really.  It becomes quite simple.  I set a mood to prepare myself, I tell myself my goals, both pragmatic (getting rid of that one little bastard weed) and magical (setting the magical hounds of death upon Boko Haram) .  My little fire survivor candle-woman, who inexplicably makes me think of the goddess Freyja, holds aloft her candles while showing me her “waxing moon” face.

Later, outside, as the chill of February (which doesn’t kill the weeds I am after!) makes my ankle ache and my titanium-clipped neck throb?  I will call that face, those lights back to mind.  I will hold the warm glow in my mind for 30 seconds and continue.  And if that is not enough?  I will recall another deep cobalt glow beside the Lady Lamp on my desk, she who never removes her regard from a blue marble looking globe beside her.

Watch-lightIt always makes me wistful, this lamp – and I completely understand theism of various sorts as I see it.   How comforting to think some might Being watches and sees and cares!  But of course, I do not believe that — I tried for years and always failed in some manner.  I think “that” which answers prayers, those that do seem answered, is US.  People, our Will and determination — which, obviously, is not usually focused enough to do any good at all.  But I do think, now and again, there is a laser-like beam of determination possible.  Therein lies magic!

TargetThat is what my day in the gardens of the house are about: a laser, a focus, a constant considering of my goal.  I had one weed in mind when I had the failing rain “name” them all Boko Haram in the confines of my gardens.  It is a pretty little thing.  It puts up a spike that blossoms sweet smelling white flowers.  The seeds form long and slender, and when they dry they fly off the stalk like a botanical ‘bouncing betty’ mine effect.  They are nigh indestructible by easy means for a mostly organic gardener.  If I hoe them up and leave them on the ground, they re-root by the next day.  Even in frosting nights, they survive unrooted and the flower spike grows on out of the withering body of the plant, and makes the seeds all the same!  Thus, every bit of the plant must be put in a bin; my composting is not hot enough to stop the process or kill the seeds.  They will go off to the county composting unit!  So how like Boko Haram — wildly producing, hard to stop by anything short of absolutely lethal means.

So it is easy, on my hands and knees, pulling these out of the ground — sometimes so thickly grown that the roots remind me of mushroom mycelium — less than an inch across, barely out of the cold soil and there will be a white flower bud at heart, already ready to blossom into death for the garden plants around it! How like Boko Haram!  Other weeds are safe this day for the most part; a Zen like focus on this one plant makes me see them and little else.

I get ready to sink my sharp garden tool to sweep loose soil so I can finger rake out a patch almost a foot square.  I stop just in time, so focused on killing my little green target I almost missed that they were atop a slab of iris rhizomes.  I would have sunk my tool into them and killed or damaged them.  Oooooh — collateral damage!?  And here I kept hoping my magical strike was “surgical”!  Oh, so wrong, I was.

When I choose to pull out a bunch of these intermixed with seedlings of Nigella (“Persian Gems”), am  I destroying something in Iran?  No, of course not.  Or is it?  If I am doing  sympathetic magic where one thing equals something else — do I have to name other things specifically, or is the damage a carry over as soon as my monkey mind makes that leap of connection?  I am experimenting with hope of sending that laser will of connection to smash murderous men.  Even I must beware of collateral damage, perhaps?

But I won’t get them all, will I?  Not every weed.  I won’t kill something else to get those little green bastards.  Not intentionally.  So, later with the next sunny day there will be chemical war — high acid vinegar shot onto leaves whose roots I could not pull!  So the metaphors that focus me and keep me on task as my body accrues pain that will keep me wakeful after darkness brings me inside?  They hobble me as well.

What would political entities do then?  Ted Cruz would bomb it till it glows as he said – he gives not one damn about collateral damage.  I, on the other hand, am a “why” person.  I ask “Why?” all the time.  Why is Boko Haram so murderous; is it really religion?  Or is it power and money named as religion?  More than sorcerers, witches, and magicians use proxies, eh?  Finding the why can sometimes stop something dire in its tracks.

Somalian pirates are pirates because their economy based on fishing was derailed by no way to keep other people from fishing out their coastlines, for instance.  Caring enough to prevent that could have helped keep the Somalian people from resorting to ransoms for richer countries citizens?  Is there something like that for the Boko Haram killers?  Or are they as I suspect the ISIL murderers are — a few religious fanatics who love power over other people, and a lot of pure sociopaths and psychopaths who want to be loosed upon a human fold like rabid wolves?

For the people they victimize, there is little time to consider those philosophical, socio-political niceties.  The “wolves” of either group simply need to be gone, dead, or too afraid to show their craven cruel faces.  So, my break is over.  The croissants that were rising as I worked are baked now.  I will eat one and return to the misting rain, the cold earth ‘neath my knees, and wreaking havoc near, and of course in theory – afar.