Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Springtime Song for The Graces



T’was on the distant mountain
Past the gate of The Three Graces
Where the wild forsythia blooms,
An old crone sat
On a green mossy stone
Contemplating the phase of the moon.

“Tis the time”, thought the crone,
As she reached for her spade,
“I will turn the ground now to prepare.”
And she went to the field
Sprouting green with new grass
And dug three holes with great care.

“In the hole to the North,”
Said the crone with much glee,
“The seeds of Earth’s Joy I shall plant”,
And she sang and she danced
As she banged on her drum
Thus infusing the seeds with intent.

In the holes to the South
She put seedlings of Charm
And next to that Beauty, you see?
The seedlings would grow
To be great spreading trees
Guarding gates of creativity.

The Three Graces are they,
A siren’s song
Three ships on a bonnie green sea,
Dancing bare in the snow
Or on moonlit bright nights
Unbridled they swing, they are free.

I can hear the crone’s laugh
Whistling up the through the hills
By the light of the Beltane Moon,
As The Graces they dance
To the May breeze call
And the peacock's song echos the tune.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Intimate Dance Party



Mr. Aniket steps out and sizes up the ladies on the floor. He fiddles with the ring in his pocket while eyeing Ms. Jennifer's creamy white skin and shock of red hair. Ms. Jennifer gives him an icy grin while taking his hand and pulls him onto the dance floor. Mr. Aniket's hopes for the evening come alive in a swirl of passion...

A twist and a turn and a flip of the toes
A spark of her touch and my heart, it glows
Her hips took a loop
Heart jumped through a hoop
Trip...clash,heart beats...eyes flash, when you feel it... it shows.
--Aniket

But Ms. Jennifer is mad. She knows Mr. Aniket is married, and that he is on the prowl. She has had enough of that kind of thing and is no longer going to stand by and watch people get hurt! And besides, Mrs. Aniket is her hair dresser! She has a plan to trap Mr. Aniket so that he can stop wreaking havoc on the lives of so many due to his lustful, sinful habits of the flesh...

You will forgive us
for paying back one conquest
with another
and making
your men fall
at the bare feet we have
planted to support hips
and bellies and breasts
that rotate
and undulate,
mimicking the dance of birth
(and what comes before).
Women less talented than I
have stolen your men
with the flick of a hip
a stretch of the neck
a burning turn of the womb.
I quiver so fast.
He shivers as
hard.
His eyes follow
a carnal radius
and your white skin
is forgotten.
--Jennifer

Mr. Aniket swirls Ms. Jennifer away as he tires of her ranting, and grabs the hand of a new partner, the shy and startled Ms. Sarah, hoping that maybe this time, he can use romance and love to his advantage in satisfying his carnal needs...

Moonlight, fate knocks,
Shy smiles emote,
They dance lip-locked.
--Aniket

Although it never worked out between them (due to the fact that he was married and she knew she could never be his for longer than a short tryst which was something that was strongly against her beliefs), Sarah thought about that dance with Mr. Aniket from time to time. One rainy day in March, just as Spring was about to burst into bloom, she pulled out the journal where she had poured out her heart that night 50 years ago, and laughed as she read aloud, the hairs raising on her forearms and stars twinkling in her eyes as if she were spinning madly once again, held safe in the arms of handsome Mr. Aniket.

Of our many pieces,
the shyest and freest
shall live on
in that land
where minutes
dance like
scarves
in the wind

and all the shapes in
the clouds
we see there
are the pieces
of you
of me
still partnered
with
a spinning earth
--Sarah

And now, I leave you with this little sentiment:

In the middle of the whirling swirling twirling spinning is a tiny speck of stillness. If I do not return to that speck I will spin off into a distant moon and cause comets to fly off their course. --Crazy Cat

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Image Prompt: Dancing

Dear friends,
It seems we had so much fun last week with the image prompt that I have decided to make it a regular weekly feature on my blog. I will post the image toward the end of the week (since I am INFP I am not allowed to actually 'schedule' it, so I will just give you an approximate time), and you will submit your entries which I will post toward the end of the weekend. Once I have posted it, I will not post any latecomers, but you may still post entries in the comment section if you so desire.

Here in North Carolina everybody is always doing some kind of dancing. Down at my local community center, they have a weekly Contradance with live music and it is a very happening event. Hundreds of folks of all ages show up every single week! And this is only one of many dancing events happening all over the county every week. This very Saturday I'm going to a Zen Trance Dance.

But to the task at hand, here is the prompt, have fun, be frenzied folks, this is DANCING we're talking about!! Send to me at cat@catvibe.com to add the element of surprise. I will accept until Sunday March 29th at 12:00 noon. (See Aine, it is possible to schedule something after all!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Influences

Dear Friends, it is now time to catch up on the blogging buzzes flying by my ears of late, and which I have avoided participating in until now so that I could have time to clear the hillside of brambles and burn them in a great fire. So that I could go off and dance the kitchen dance, the garden dance, the groceries dance, and the improvisational music dance with my lovely new dance partner (aka boyfriend, yes that's right), I avoided blogging. It's not that I have abandoned all of my wonderful invisible friends, it's just that I have now added one very important friend made of flesh and blood who I am suddenly spending a great deal of time with and have decided that it is actually MORE IMPORTANT THAN BLOGGING. But I digress. I will not abandon you, but I will try to confine my blogging and schedule it in, rather than schedule life around blogging. If I visit you less, I know you will understand.

So to the task at hand, let us get to our chores. Thank you K, for tagging me for my influences. I now have to admit that I am not much of a book reader. It is not that I don't enjoy reading, or that I don't read, but I never seem to have time for reading much. Also, I read very slowly it seems. For instance, my mom and sons went with me to Hawaii a few years ago, and it rained a lot so we were forced to stay in. My mom read six books in the time it took me to read one. It is pitiful. However, I have watched a thousand movies to her every one. So movie dialogue has influenced me. And as a singer of just about every genre, I have learned a whole lot of lyrics (most of which I have now forgotten to make room for more), so lyric poetry has influenced me. And there are a few writers that I swallow whole, and they have influenced me. So here we go, I'm now going to really break the rules. Are there rules? My 25 influences.

1) ee cummings-somewhere i have never traveled.
2) Bernie Taupin-Burn Down the Mission (Elton's cohort you know?)
3) Franco Zefferelli-Movie maker, Romeo and Juliet, Brother Sun Sister Moon, Jesus of Nazereth.
4) Rumi via Coleman Barks
5) Khalil Gibran
6) Gabriel Garcia Marquez (all of his books, especially 100 Years of Solitude)
7) The King James Bible
8) Joe Frank (Work in Progress radio series)
9) David Sedaris (This American Life writer)
10) Carl Jung
11) Joseph Campbell
12) Mary Stewart (The Arthurian series)
13) Joni Mitchell (the album called Blue)
14) Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Running with Wolves)
15) L. Frank Baum
16) C. S. Lewis
18) William Shakespeare
19) Petrarch
20) Dr. Suess!!
21) Anonymous (an amazing lyricist, I highly recommend him/her)
22) D.H. Lawrence
23) Mary Oliver
24) Dorothy Parker
25) and like Sarah Hina said, YOU! I have made great improvements as a writer by watching all of you great writers and entering into this friendly circle with you. Thank you all for the dance!

And-added late, I just realized that I TOTALLY FORGOT to put down one of the most important influences and I simply can't change out any of the ones already there so:
26) Hildegard of Bingen-Her entire life and body of works both written and musical and all of her poems which were, as she said 'Music from the spheres'. I'm pretty sure she was an INFP.

I now tag these three:
Jason Evans of The Clarity of Night (I know you are resisting, but now that I've broken the rules, I suggest you give it a try, it's fun!)
Linda Socha of Psyche Connections
Deb (aka Qualcosa di Bello) of Piacere and Write Away

Saturday, March 21, 2009

All Things Being Equal, II



Thanks everyone for your wonderful creations!

Haiku

Not alone anymore,
Winter bids goodbye,
Springtime of youth.
--Aniket

Life is a secret
no longer, now that you have
found its true essence.
--Christopher

The three muses dance
when your eyes are turned away
twists and turns for you
--Sarah Hina

light passes over
cyclic slide north of center
making all things new
--Qualcosa di Bello

Lines From Underground Streams


I stood
On your decimated ground
And touched
The twisted plants
Where your rivers of lava
Cooled
--Jason

As she drew her pain
emerged in jagged lines
roughly stabbing ‘round
into the naked air
and so the ground lay bruised
and bled its deep torment
beneath a winter sky
which wailed a slow lament
a keening, barren wind
forgetful of the dawn
--RachelW

They danced in
rings of apostasy
until their breath bled
and cut through crust
and mantle and core.
The earth sponged up
a sea of crimson truth,
stain set,
and granted a
weary asylum
in a barren valley
once called Kalam.
--Jennifer

All things being equal,
I'll take the spring,
leaving you the barren branches
and the melting into mud.
I'll take the verdant mountains
and the fleece of clouds above
and leave you with a winter
for your cold and wanting love.
--Karen

Sunset falls on the last day of winter’s calling
The blue belly of the earth rumbles
Calling the blood of Spring forth
To feed the hungry roots of trees.
Naked and decimated, yes
But as surely as night becomes day
They will feed again,
They will breathe with their lungs
And they will dance with their verdant tresses flowing.
Like a whirling dervish twirls,
They will dance again and again
In the circle of life's turning.
--Moi, your host.

And one final entry from my very own mother. It gave me a hearty laugh and she has allowed me to post it:

To the right the creeping, insidious, vegetative attack.
Beware oh leafless ones.
Our time has returned. If you don't re-leaf we will cut you down and burn you in a great May Day celebration! --Ruth Sander

Thanks Mom! You know I love you much much much.



Friday, March 20, 2009

All Things Being Equal



Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that sometimes I just have to stop everything and paint. Last week my body was hurting so bad that I started thinking of my computing habits as akin to a heroin addiction. My therapy is painting. Today, in honor of the vernal equinox, I offer you this most recent painting as an image prompt, and request of you a few lines from your creative coffers. Have at it folks, and Happy Joyeous Spring Tidings!

Friday, March 13, 2009

First Flush of Spring



In the Spring when the weather warms
Kamela is wandering naked again
Amongst the tea plants
Grown on steep slopes
Under the shadow of Kanchenjuenga.
The sisters surround her
With bright red shawls
And together they inch down
The steep muddy goat trail
Past the broom reeds and cardamom shoots
Onto a small terrace
Where the rain collects
And a tethered goat
Stands guard on a rock
Bleating its hungered cry.

Kamela and the sisters
Enter a ramshackle hut
With no windows or doors
And three coughing babies
Tended by the oldest boy
Who will leave school at 10
If she can find him a job.
They look to see if Kamela
Brought a package of biscuits
To satiate the gnawing empty pit
“Not now my babies, maybe tomorrow.”
Her heart is filled with shame.

The sisters know they will be punished
And lose their daily wage
For half empty baskets
They must get back to the plants.
Quickly they help slip on
Kamela’s flower print skirt
Her apron
Her bright red sweater
They wrap the scarf around her head
Help her pull on rubber boots
Attach her basket to her back,
And together ascend the steep trail
Returning to the fields
To pick the first Darjeeling flush,
The finest cup in the world.

__


Plants groomed to perfect round,
Buds picked by crafty fingers
Thrown deftly over the shoulder
Into braided reed baskets
The throngs of giggling women
Pose in smiles for passing tourists
In Maruti vans. The smiles turn to curses
As the drive by shootings
Take the souls of the women
Leaving nothing to offer
To drip into empty coffers.
Kamela coughs and spits up blood
The fever is high today
But there will be no pay
If she goes home to rest.

Kamela is Brahmin, highest caste
Early the next morning,
She asks at the temple
What karma this?
As she takes the blessing,
At least I am not Adivasi, she thinks
Not dark skinned, like the sisters.
She smears red powder on her hair part
The sign of marriage,
Of a husband, yes, who can’t find work
He takes her meager wage
And drinks it away
Leaving bruises on her
Fair Brahmin skin
Now dark and leathered
From years in the sun.

She returns to the garden
To pick the first flush of Spring
One pound of which will bring from
Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly
Enough to pay Kamela
For the rest of her life.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Dance



Swirling, twirling
Thrumming, drumming
Thrusting, grinding
Skirts are flying
Beads of sweat
Are dripping, slipping
Down my neck
Shirt sticking, wicking
There you are across the room
Your eyes are closed,
You’re praying, swaying
Things that bind
Are fast unfurling
Opened eyes
Now calling, pulling
In my chest
Heart’s beating, heating
Singing, luring, weaving, laughing
Drawn from far across the space
We’re inching, stepping, leaping, flying
Finally we’re face to face and
Flowing, rocking, holding, falling
Trusting, catching, joy unmatching
Rolling, riding, fast unlatching
Locks that formed from rigid stance
Have found their keys inside the dance

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Maddening Hearts exposed

Dear Readers,

It seems obvious that my attempt to write this story as fiction is not going to fly with all you sharp folks. It is fiction, but based in a true story. Mine. I chose to write it on my blog because I was reading my journal and realized that it is a really interesting story, and might have broad appeal. However, I was hoping to explore it as a writing project, not as a therapy process. Now that it seems you've all figured out my master plan, I'm not going to bore you anymore with the details of one of the worst and devastating relationships I've ever known. Or to invite any therapizing on my process or choices.

Furthermore, I am frankly just not anywhere near there anymore, in my heart, and it was starting to feel like I was dredging up demons that really don't need to be aroused. What has been written already has served its purpose, and I value all of your feedback tremendously, and I thank you for it from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not a Bar Girl Anymore



This photo has nothing to do with the story. And yet, in an abstract and metaphorical way, it really does. This week a dear friend from my first days of traveling the world two years ago found me on Facebook. I met her at the hotel bar where I was staying in Bangkok, she was a bar girl. aka-Thai hooker. We became close and she confided much in me. Although this poem is partially about her, it is also about many of the girls I met there, often sent by their parents into the city to do this work in order to feed their families. Many of them have children, but not husbands. You would never know this unless you asked. Instead you will sit and feel loved and pampered and caressed and cared for. You can pretend that it is all about you when you are in Bangkok, the land of smiles, because these girls and their massage shop counterparts will make you feel amazing. And yet, they are real, with real souls, and real needs. I am happy that my friend is now working as a secretary and is no longer a bar girl. One up, thousands more to go… In the interest of protecting her identity, I am not using her real name, nor her picture.

This is for you, my MIA. Thank you for your words today. You are right, we can’t change the past, so why dwell in it?

Daw walks down Soi 18
Skirting between the changing shifts
Of food cart and hill tribe vendors
A white bag of offerings in her hand.
Arriving at The Rain Hut
She offers two rolls and a flower
Placing them lovingly
Into the birdhouse temple
She bows her head and says a prayer
Then kisses the golden Buddha
Hanging from her neck
Tomorrow, she thinks, will be better
If not this life then next.

She sits with the other girls
Combing mascara onto
Long dark lashes. An hour spent
Adept as Toulouse-Lautrec, they
Transform into their reputation
From village farm girl, to city bar girl
Ready for the long Bangkok night.

The evening shadows grow
As the city starts to cool
The sun and sweat have burned
Holes in the souls of those
Who come and fill the seats.
It’s the 50 baht per Chiang price tag
The cheapest on the Soi
That gets the crowd.

“Sohee, get me a Chiang.”
She brings him a cold beer.
Daw has another treat in store
POP. She slams her hands together
Extracting a cold wet towel
From the plastic enclosure
She dabs it lovingly over
His smelly sweating neck.

“Chokee!” He said, raising his bottle to the sky.
“Chokee!” Said the crowd in response.
They tip back their heads
Draining their bottles
“Another Chiang!” They cry in unison
Sohee doles them out and turns on the stereo
Blasting Thai rap out into the Soi
The crowd starts to dance.

A leering man twirls his fingers
In Daw’s straight black hair.
“Sohee, short time with Daw."
Sohee puts the cup on the table
The man deposits 500 baht
Taking Daw by the arm
They walk through glass doors
Up the stairs, and into a room
Filled with the scent of mold
And screaming with the songs
Of Malaria and the Dengue Fever
He pushes her onto the bed
And lives his fantasies
For half an hour,
Pretending she is there.

Grasping the Buddha between
Long painted nails
Daw closes her eyes
And thinks about the future.

Hours away in a small village
A little girl looks into her
Grandmother’s eyes
And doesn’t question
Why she gets to eat tonight.