A POEM NOT ABOUT OWLS OR GOATS

May 23, 2016

this is a poem not about owls

it’s also not about goats

it’s mostly about the way cheese is made

with a small offhand mention of boats

oh milk

oh rennin

(boat)

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THE LITTLE SHAPESHIFTER

May 6, 2016

shapeshifter

‘I’m bored,’ said Wisp, the little shapeshifter.

‘Why don’t you be a horse? You had fun being a horse this morning,’ said Wisp’s mother, Vaporilla.

‘I’m bored with being a horse,’ said Wisp.

‘Well, what about a butterfly or a stork?’ suggested Wisp’s mother.

‘Or a liquid paste,’ added Wisp’s brother, Smokey.

‘Shut up, Smokey’ said Wisp.

While Smokey and Wisp argued, Vaporilla drifted outside and transformed, becoming a tranquil pool in a peaceful glade.

Smokey and Wisp soon grew bored with arguing and sailed off in opposite directions. Smokey became a canoe and flung himself down a nearby river’s rapids. Wisp wavered undecided above a field of grain.

‘I’m bored,’ she said.

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THE SUN CHASER

April 18, 2016

sulphira

One day a long time ago Simple Septimus, the stable boy, asked his master, ‘What is the sun?’

‘A great ball of fire,’ replied the master.

‘Where does it go at night?’ said Septimus.

‘Underneath to its golden palace where it rests and takes refreshment. Now get back to work,’ said the master.

I would like to see that palace, thought Septimus. The door to Underneath must be over the mountain there where the sun goes down.

Without another thought, for more than a single thought was rarely entertained by Septimus, he marched from the stables to the manor gate and out across the valley toward the mountain. When the sun dove behind the peak, Septimus had merely reached the foothills. He dug a trench and slept in it. He sat up puzzled in the morning, for there was the sun climbing up the sky way over there on the other side of the world from the mountain.

Ah, he thought, the sun leaves its palace to start the day over there, but enters the palace over here at the end of the day. I’ll get to the door over the peak before the sun does. I’ve got a good head start.

Pleased, he rushed up the mountain, resting only occasionally when he fell exhausted. At the top of the mountain, he paused and rubbed his chin.

I’ll need a boat, he thought, watching the sun sink at the far edge of a vast ocean he had never dreamed possible.

By the time 60 years had passed, Simple Septimus had become Septimus, the Sun Chaser. His long tangled white beard he wore in a braid thrown over his shoulder. His clothes were tattered, his feet bare. His eyes glittered strangely. Wolves brought him food, as did bears and villagers. Sometimes villagers asked him questions or made requests, for they believed him to be touched with magic.

Made bold by curiosity, one day a young girl seated on a gate by a meadow as Septimus passed by asked, ‘Sun Chaser, have you really visited the sun’s golden palace Underneath?’

Septimus paused, leaned on his staff, regarded the young girl with his glittering eyes. He smiled a strange smile, a smile of bliss, and said, ‘I have been there. It is wonderful. Wonderful.’

Then he walked on.

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TINDERELLA

March 30, 2016

flames

One day long ago in the cold north a farmer awoke when he heard mewing outside.

‘What’s that?’ he said.

‘Go to sleep. It’s the storm singing is all it is,’ said his wife.

Nevertheless, the farmer arose, pulled on his boots, shrugged into his heavy hooded coat, and staggered out into the storm. His ears led him to the stable, where on top of the woodpile he found a basket. In the basket was a mewing baby smiling up at him.

‘The storm singing, is it?’ he said to his wife after he brought the babe inside.

‘Oh, prayers answered then,’ she cried, springing from the bed.

They named the baby Tinderella, and the baby lit up their lives.

For eight years, a more loving, helpful daughter was not to be found anywhere from the village to the mountains to the sea. True, Tinderella never spoke, but her laughter brought joy to everyone she met.

Now it happened that when Tinderella had been comfort and joy to her parents for nine years, a ragged peddler came knocking at their door. When the farmer’s wife opened the door, the peddler said, ‘I’ve come for the basket I left here nine years ago.’

The farmer’s wife staggered at the peddler’s announcement, but fought to keep her wits about her, for she had ever known a day such as this would arrive, and she was prepared.

‘I’ve been expecting you,’ she said. ‘I’ll fetch the basket right away.’

‘Don’t forget I’ll need what was in the basket, too,’ said the peddler.

The farmer’s wife paled. She held the basket, which she had filled with her finest stitchery. Her stitchery was known to be the best in all the land, and she rushed to show it to the peddler.

‘Very fine,’ said the peddler, ‘but not fine enough. I need the child. She’s grown sufficiently to act as my servant. Her powers are ripe. Bring her. I will give you three gold coins for your trouble.’

Tinderella had heard everything from where she hid in the kitchen. She stepped into the front room and spoke for the first time in her life, ‘I am Tinderella. My powers are ripe. Go. Take the basket and my mother’s fine stitchery with you and keep the three gold coins. They are more than you deserve.’

Flames danced from Tinderella’s fingers and swirled at the peddler. He turned and ran, chased by fire until he was out of sight.

And so the farmer and his wife thrived, and because of their loving daughter, they never lacked for warmth in the coldest winters.

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PLUMLY

March 16, 2016

Meet Plumly, a ten year old Earth girl from the mountains of California. She is now dyed blue and wandering the wilds of a world in another dimension.

amazon link for purchase: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CFD3GXM

plumly cover

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THE SASH – A NONSENSE POEM

March 8, 2016

He wove a sash of chocolate

He wove a sash of ice

When asked to choose which one to wear

He said, ‘They’re both so nice.

I’ll wear them stuck together

with a paste made out of rice.’

And off he went down the lane trotting like a collie

He paused beside a prickly bush and trimmed his sash with holly

When he was gone for good and all, relieved was his wife Molly

Now she was free to spend all day not being sad, but jolly

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THE WISH KING’S DAUGHTER

February 25, 2016

2016-02-24 13.22.51

The Wish King’s daughter watched her father cross the Great Hall to select a wish from the wish bowl. Eyes narrowed, she studied his kind face. He reached into the bowl and plucked up a single scrap. He read the scrap and turned to the assembled villagers.

‘Damon, the harp maker,’ announced the Wish King.

‘Here! Here, Your Honor, Sire, Sir!’ piped up a little fellow, leaping forward, tripping, scrambling, grinning in his haste to crawl before the Wish King.

‘What is your wish, harp maker?’ asked the Wish King.

‘I would gaze on The Great Tree of The Snow Mound in Dazzle Pool and secure happiness everlasting,’ said the harp maker.

‘Ah, you have thought this through most thoroughly well, harp maker,’ said the Wish King. ‘Amelina, take this harp maker where he would go.’

The eyes of the Wish King’s daughter widened. Her name was Amelina. She had not the slightest idea where The Great Tree of The Snow Mound in Dazzle Pool could possibly be. However, the last thing in the world she would ever do was admit her ignorance.

‘Follow me, harp maker,’ she said.

When the pair had passed over the drawbridge, Amelina said, ‘You have a name, I suppose.’

‘Yes,’ said the harp maker.

‘Good. Keep it to yourself,’ said Amelina.

It took weeks for them to reach the Mountain of Ever Snow. Amelina had cleverly decided that a Snow Mound might likely be found on Ever Snow Mountain. They were fed and pampered all along the way. After all, Amelina was the Wish King’s daughter. She never asked anybody anything, but led on as if she knew exactly what she was doing. Up the snow slopes they went, through forests, by pools, along mounds. But not once did a great tree, a mound, and a pool gather together in harmony.

‘Are we almost there?’ asked the harp maker. ‘You know. I don’t really have to see it. Let’s go back.’

Amelina was about to shrug and say ‘Suit yourself’ when the harp maker fell to his knees and shouted, ‘Look!’

There through a row of spider leg trees was a mound of snow in the center of a round pool of dazzle. On the mound a single great pine tree reached high.

The harp maker danced around shouting, ‘Happy! Happy! Happy!’

Amelina’s face displayed a look of serenity. She thought, After all, I am the Wish King’s daughter.

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PLUMLY COVER

February 4, 2016

My new story will be coming soon. The cover will look like this.

plumly cover

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THE OLD FENCE POST

February 2, 2016

fence post

Two little men, neither the one nor the other of ’em taller than a jar of jam, came out from the hollow under the tree where they lived and started off walking along the road, arguing furiously all the while.

‘You can’t, I tell you. You can’t, and that’s the end of the bargain,’ said Red Cap, chopping the air with a hand for emphasis.

‘I can, and I will,’ was the stubborn retort of Shaggy Boot.

And so, red of hat and shaggy of boot, they continued on with many a gesture and contortion until they arrived at their destination, an old fence post all by itself by the side of a good sized pasture.

‘There it is, then,’ said Red Cap. ‘Go on and make your puny effort. I’ll wait in that length of grass yonder.’

So saying, Red Cap marched off into the tall patch of grass, leaving Shaggy Boot standing defiantly in a stiff straight up pose by the old fence post.

‘All right, here it happens now,’ muttered Shaggy Boot, and he untethered a plump brown pouchbag from his tunic belt. He shook its contents over the post, and a cloud of sparkles shimmered.

He hurried to the stand of grass and joined Red Cap, saying, ‘Now we wait. You’ll see.’

Red cap snorted and folded his arms.

It was dusk before a cart pulled by a pony rolled slowly down the road. Its driver, half asleep, chewed idly on a long straw.

‘Halt! Pay the tariff!’

‘Huh?’ said the cart driver, looking around and seeing nobody anywhere.

‘Me! Here! The fence post! Pay the tariff! It’s 4 pennies to pass!’ said the fence post.

‘4 pennies?’ repeated the confused simpleton. ‘All right, I guess. Where do I put ’em?’

‘On top of my head! And hurry up!’ snapped the fence post.

The cart driver dug into his pocket, found four pennies, climbed down, placed the four in a neat row on top of the fence post, resumed his perch on the cart, and drove off.

‘Well, knock my head with a thimble. You did it. We split the money, right?’ said Red Cap, removing his red cap and scratching his bald head.

‘Maybe, maybe not,’ said Shaggy Boot with a toss of his triumphant head and a wave of his triumphant hand.

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THE THREE WANDERING TREES

January 16, 2016

2016-01-15 10.21.02

High on a snowy mountain, three trees, neighbors for hundreds of years, exchanged complaints.

‘All we ever talk about is eagle this, hawk that, or oh the bear has twins this year. I, for one, would like to go over to the other side of the valley and see what’s beyond the glacier,’ said the tallest, bushiest tree.

‘You and me both. I think I’ll scream the next time an arrow of geese passes by overhead. Just exactly how are we to go about seeing beyond the glacier, being rooted and all? Tell me that, oh tall and bushy,’ said the thinner of the short twins.

The chubbier twin chuckled.

‘What if a sorceress spells us with the ability to walk?’ said the tall tree, not really believing anything like that could happen, but saying it just to have something to say.

Right then is when a strange thing occurred. A sorceress in a sky sleigh pulled by eight pelicans and four swans sailed to a landing in front of the three trees. Her long purple silk scarf lifted in the breeze, and she regarded the trees with her flash golden eyes.

‘You spoke. I heard. I grant your wish,’ she said, and without another word, she was swept off into the sky and away by the eight pelicans and four swans.

‘Uh, did that just happen?’ said the thin twin after several moments of silence had passed.

‘I don’t know,’ said tall and bushy.

The chubbier twin chuckled.

Hardly daring to dare, the tallest tree strained to tug and take a root step.

‘I did it! I can do it!’ said the tree, staggering in circles.

The twins followed the tall tree’s example, and soon the three of them were dashing about, giggling madly.

‘Wait!’ cried the tall tree, suddenly slamming to a halt of stillness. ‘The glacier. Let’s go see what’s beyond the glacier!’

And they did.

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