Friday, June 25, 2010

My Pantry . . .

Three things you'll always find in my pantry are garlic salt, rubber knuckles, and granddad's hand gun loaded with silver bullets. This is because I don't trust the garlic salt by itself, and garlic bulbs are too cumbersome to wear by themselves. I don't see them hanging around my neck. So, I just keep my garlic salt handy, right behind my old-fashioned breadbox, the one that Clem threw at me before he left. He didn't listen. He made it all the way out past the front picket fence before they got him. And they didn't leave anything behind to bury. Well, nobody's perfect.

I mostly stay inside now. Neither the TV nor the radio works. I'm thinking I may have to make a run to the city. Not sure how I'll make it past the front yard unless I wire the car up with garlic. I'm worried about my sister. She lives in a high rise with three cats. Clem never cared for her that much, so I haven't seen Sissy for three years. Last time I saw her, she was telling me to remember granddad's stories about when the moon turned red. That's when I started cooking with garlic salt.

Have you ever had oatmeal with garlic salt? It's not so bad if you mix it with raisins and peanuts. Clem didn't like my cooking after I saw my sister. He said I should watch the cooking channel and make some changes. I just kept my head down and kept on with what I wanted. We didn't ever fight exactly. He just threw things around, and I kept cooking with garlic salt. And, of course, the entire front yard and back yard is planted in garlic. Nothing bad is coming in here.

Did I say this just started the week before Halloween? I attribute it to the blood moon we saw all through September. Can't say I'm going to have much for the trick and treaters this year. Not even candy corn, my favorite. I'm keeping it for myself. Though this year, it tastes a bit salty. You know, like garlic.

I'm working on something a little different just now to open up some ideas along the theory that any writing takes me somewhere, as most of my attention is still focused on 19th Century research. So today's short story was inspired by a prompt from Jennifer's neat site Procrastinating Writers ("What three things are in your pantry . . . "), as well as Keith's Carry On Tuesdays (prompt: "Well, nobody's perfect").

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Valparaiso graffiti . . .

Down any cobbled street
in hilly Valparaiso, we see
butterflies, a prism
of light, a hand uplifted:
white doves take flight,
scrambled letters shape a poem,
a street musician plays sweet horn
for veiled women on a wall,
behind the garden
giant salamanders play.
Blue sea, blue sky,
my heart is far from home.

This poem comes from a melange of photos taken on a walk around Valparaiso (in Spanish, Valley of Paradise), in Chile, last year.

Valparaiso Chile

Sunday, June 06, 2010

#217: Mantra . . .

I have no mantra. I resonate instead
with the four sacred directions and
feel nature to my bones,
the rise of sun,
the floating moon,
the moment I know that life begins
or that I die.

I walk in any forest attuned to bird cries,
sacred scrit written on air.
A cloud of yellow butterflies
crosses my path and I am at home.

If a poem appears,
I hold it in my hands,
so briefly,
as brief as my breath,
and let it go.

This week's poetry prompt from Sunday Scribblings is simply mantra. Read more of what others have written by linking to Sunday Scribblings. I read a definition of "mantra" to find that in the Upanishand belief system, each letter of a word is given spiritual meaning (that should be of interest to writers). Here's the quote from Wikipedia: "The mute consonants represent the earth, the sibilants the sky, the vowels heaven. The mute consonants represent fire, the sibilants air, the vowels the sun. The mute consonants represent the eye, the sibilants the ear, the vowels the mind"

Personally, I'm drawn to the moon and water, so I begin to think this system leaves out much -- the mute consonants representing earth (think mud as well as mountains), but no moon. The second level lists fire, air and sun, but no earth or water. The third level -- the body -- the eye, the ear, the mind, but where is the gut, the heart, the belly of life?