Monday, October 29, 2012


Magpie tale 141
He kissed me in the rain, my hair loose and wet, my face pink with the raw wind. The sky was misty and dreech, and we were all alone in the streets, grey and dark and wet. But I wasn't cold. I was warm, pressed against him, our doubled heartbeats a song that rose into the air and echoed in my ears. the rain thudded against the ground, heavy and strong, cold, and I knew- I loved him.

We were walking and laughing in the rain, dancing through puddles and moaning half heartedly about wet socks and soaked shoes, thinking of hot chocolate and warmth. He was warmth, and me as well, and we clung together as we walked, pausing to look up in to the pearled sky that let loose with rain and wind that rushed the leave to the ground in whispers.

He kissed me then, for all the world to see, though the world wasn't there to see it, and maybe it was the rain, the wet, but I swear there was something new about this kiss, something magic. I held him and he held me, my leaky umrbella forgotten, and kissed him back. The rain beat down but we, we flew.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Solitude is an Empty Porch Swing

Solitude is
An empty porch swing
Rocking back and forth
In the wind.

Tap. Tap. 
One shoe pushes the ground
Just hard enough
To go faster than
The breeze.

The girl waits
In silence
Unsure of why.

A bell tolls the noon hour
But she sits
Still as still.

the Outside is empty
Coated with snow
And dead rose bushes

She doesn’t care
Her swing
back and forth
in Rhythm with her breath.

As the wind toys 
With her hair
And the snow
And the rose petals, brown with frost.

Solitude is all she craves
for the Silence
and the Wind
and the empty porch 
Are the best of

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My very own

Magpie tales 140

I have a dollar in my pocket.
It's not crisp, not new, but old, worn, crumpled.
But it's mine, my very own, to do with as I please.
My little hand creeps down to the pocket, to squeeze my dollar with five year old fingers.
I take it out to look at it, memorize it.
There is ink, dark, dark green so it's almost black, and places worn away so it's only just the color of grass.
A man's face, not smiling but not frowning either. He looks very stern, like Daddy, only Daddy's hair is black, not white.
And on the back is a pire-uh... pire-uh...Pire-uh-mid! Only it's not done and there's a triangle of light with an Eye floating in the sky above it. God's eye? I'll ask Daddy, he knows EVERYTHING.
And the number. 1. One. Oh En Ee. One.
That's a dollar, one hundred whole pennies worth, all mine, all for me, I can buy whatever I want with it.
I could save it and buy a new doll, or maybe even a pony, but that would take lots of dollars and I only have one. It's not new and crisp, but it's mine, to do with as I please, Mommy said.
She said that means I can do whatever I want with it. I could give it away or keep it close.
I don't know what I'll do with it.
but it's a hundred whole pennies, a whole dollar, my very own.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


A Hero is... someone who does the right thing, even at the cost of his or her own life, status, wealth, and so on. A Hero is someone who sees darkness in the world and tries to change it, even if they can't do much. More importantly, though, a hero doesn't quit. Maybe they can't save the world, or fight evil... but they don't stop. They don't say, " I can't, I won't, find someone else." ( Or if they do, they change their minds and fight on anyway.) Of course, it doesn't always come to that." In the real world," to quote a favorite novel( Squire by Tamora Pierce), " there aren't many places without any light." There aren't many Evil Overlords and there aren't any magical Prophecies... but there are still heroes. Some unknown, others unsung and unremembered. Some were heroes for dying so that others might live, others for standing up for the rights of others, risking not death but beatings, jail, and public scorn. Still others are even simpler heroes- schoolyard vigilantes that guard the small from bullies, or a mother who reminds her child how special they are.


Fog creeps through my yard, my home, my fantasy land. Thick and soft, like a wool blanket, it settles, but keeps shifting, never quite at rest. Unlike that wool, though, it’s not warm, but cold. Clean. Fog is crisp, and smells of air and water and ice, magic. there is something about fog that carries with it mystery, magic, enchantments. It swallows things up, and lets things appear, wreathed in grey and mist. It grants an aura to anything in it, silver tinged light. Fog is beautiful, in its soft, quiet way, not showy like sunbursts. Gentle. It creeps along the hills, like a cat, stalking the world, holding the trees in an embrace, holding the world.

I've Learned the World

I learned a lot from fairy tales. My earliest memories are of curling up on my dad’s lap, begging for “ The Little girl Sold with the Pears” for the billionth time. And I’ve learned from them, more than just how a story sounds, or how the miller will always have three daughters- I’ve learned Truth from them. Not truth, things that seem to be and maybe are, or things we assume, but Truth,  something solid, capital letter T Truth. And while I learned a lot of it as a kid, It’s not until now that I think I understand what I learned.

I’ve learned that things work out. Not always right away, like in Italo Calvino’s “The Slave Mother”, where the farmer’s wife spends most of her life a slave and miserable, but is in her old age at last reunited with her husband and sons. Sometimes the happy ending doesn’t come like we think it should.  The little match girl of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale dies, but is warm and safe and home- in heaven. That doesn’t stop the little kids from crying or telling Daddy to “tell it right”, but when I look back, I see that it’s true. Life isn’t always easy, and sometimes things don’t work out on this planet. But they will end well, if not in this life, then in the next. I don’t think that I understood that as a child, not in so many words. Still, the idea that everything working out was comforting, and something I clung to, and probably always will.

I’ve learned how to tell a story. I know that they begin, grand as a ball, with those famous words, “once upon a time,” or else as soft as a mother’s prayer for a child. I’ve learned that everything starts, somewhere, somewhen. Fairy tales taught me that there’s a middle, a trial, a challenge, a dragon to slay and a princess- or a prince- to save. Fairy tales taught me that  everyone faces hardship, and you can’t just run away from them. I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s not a princess the hero saves. Sometimes, it’s yourself you have to rescue. Fairy tales showed me that I could be my own knight in armor, my own brave maiden chasing down the north wind to find her beloved, if only I believed in myself. I’ve learned that there are endings- endings that are beginnings, endings that hint at story left untold. Because nothing really ends in the world- things change, things transform, things even seem to end- but there is always something beyond “ happily ever after.”

I’ve learned that there is darkness. Good and evil are complex. Any five year old can tell you that Billy shoved her and made her cry, or that in church she learned that before the world, there was someone that didn’t like God, and he was evil. But darkness is a strange thing, and as we grow, we try to see people as gray, not black and white, and before long, we try to see it all as gray. Fairy tales taught me, long before I met my first bully, that there are some people that don’t care. There are wicked stepmothers and greedy coal sellers and evil princes that turn into dragons and try to eat you- adults that are cruel out of spite or anger, people who seem nice until you cross them, and then you’ve made a life long enemy. But more than that, Fairy tales taught me that there is light. That there are kind serving maids and good Faeries that will bless you for doing good- that there are people that do good for the sake of good, people that will be your friend. I’ve had trust issues since I was small, and found friends in the pages of books, but fairy tales have reminded me to take a chance.

Fairy tales have taught me about the world, about the people and the nature of people that live in it. Fairy stories have taught me about the important things in life- friendships, love, loyalty, goodness, courage. I have learned that there is darkness and wrongness in the world, but that we can fight it. I have learned about beginnings and endings. But mostly, I have learned about myself. Fairy tales hold the most complex ideas- good versus evil, the powers of love and trust, endings not being endings so much as changes- and simplify them, enough so that children can understand them, or start to. Fairy tales have taught me Truth, about the world, and about myself.

Pokemon book

Preface: This story is floating around on the Internet. I posted it. It's mine, I swear.

When I was 7 years old, I had a Pokemon themed birthday party. One of my gifts was a book, The Official Pokemon Handbook. I took it everywhere, and pretended I was a pokemon trainer. Just before my 8th birthday, I brought it with me to school for show and tell. It was stolen out of my desk at lunch. I was heartsick.

On my 18th birthday, I found 50 cents on the ground. I decided I’d take a look in the public Library’s second hand book shop to see if I could find a fun gift for myself at lunch. On the 50 cent book rack, I spotted a familiar blue spine- a paperback copy of the Official Pokemon Handbook. I bought it on the spot. What a treat! I’d loved this book as a kid. I started walking back to school, when I paused. Just the intro, i decided. I’d read the Intro, then I’d go. I sat down on the bench.

I opened it to the first page. 
a picture of a Pokedex. “ Pokemon license. This is to certify that.......has been officially recognized as a Pokemon trainer by the Pokemon League.”
I started to cry. because the line wasn’t blank. I knew it had been a used book, that it wasn’t new. But I had not expected what was there. In very familiar childish scrawl, were four letters. A name.

My name.

In her hands she holds the Sun

Hope bubbles up from dimness
Draped in loose, bright orange silk
Bursting free to dance away, singing.

Hope flies across the field
Her sunspun cotton dress twirling
As she skips across the dew drops.

Hope turns towards the forest
Amber jewelry glittering on every finger, hem, sleeve
And waves for me to follow.

Hope stops, sudden short, at the cave’s mouth
Yellow skirts dulling to grey
As she falls to her knees, silent.

Despair creeps through the void
Midnight velvet clinging to her form, tight
holds out her hand to Hope, urging.

Despair struts, taunting in her domain
Onyx gemstones flashing at her throat 
Beckoning the fallen onward.

Despair waits, circling the forest
Cloak of shadows wavering
She moves to strike.

Despair crows in the cave
Shawl of darkness wrapped ‘round her
seizing with clawed hands, dragging Hope down.

Hope weeps in the darkness
clothed in tattered rags of light
A single beacon flares.

Hope rises, facing Despair in the mists
Glowing gown, full of orange, red, yellow, radiant as flame
In her hands she holds the sun.

Rain call

I press my face to the cool glass
and watch the rain
streaking down from clouds
as grey as stone,
but lighted.
The rain is beautiful
and the wind that catches
in the chimneys and branches
a low call, so sad
I look, and see
no one
and in stockinged feet,
open the door.
It's cold out
and the damp creeps up
numbing my feet
but I smile,
shoulders back,
eyes closed,
face to the sky.
In my mind I am beautiful
as the rain, tiny droplets
pelts my skin,
I am free
like the wind that pulls
at thick hair and soul.
I am singing
like the rain and the wind
and the moving clouds
together harmonic.
I am
a girl, in stockinged feet
in the rain.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Magpie 139


There is a Light in the window
golden, it spills out into the cold, the dark.
It calls me," Come home, come home
where you are safe and loved,
where you are warm and all is kindness, all is peace."
I look to the light, yearning for it
and the little house where it gleams
but with each step through the murk
I falter, chased by shadow.
I want to come home, be warm, be safe, be loved.
Even as I stumble, the Light does not flicker.
It does not falter.
It waits for me, a beacon in my forest,
spilling from windows that I have looked out of all my life,
calling me home, until the day
When I will find myself a part of that golden glow
a part of the candle flame that beckons the weary
welcomes the worn and tattered
all those who have flickered, faltered, fallen
calling to them,"Come home, come Home."