at the edge of the earth's cold crust
one hundred cinnamon crows
fell from their copper cages
settling around the crumbling calm
their feathers started to cascade carelessly
slowly mutating into tiny cambric cherubs
that flew into the cyan clouds
their wings flapping in citrus chills
sweeping everything into their crustal circle
assimilating everything in cardiac cuttings
until we are all mere shimmers in their celestial constellation
Others in the series that I have written:
A is for...Alone
B is for...Ballad
Visit Karina's Alphabet Soup
Weekend Wordsmith: Chimera
Please enjoy her first ever post, then head over to the site for recent updates & lots of great goat info.
Oh, and go here to find out the definition of goat berries.
On my nightly after-dinner walk with the dogs, I stopped in at the goat pen to say hello. Margherita and Carmelina came to the gate immediately, but I couldn’t see Pasqualina.
So I went inside and there she was, kind of off in the corner, laying down. She bleated to me twice–totally normal-sounding calls. For those who have never owned goats, yes, you do know what’s normal and not normal in their cries…and you can even tell them apart. She usually gets up to greet me.
I petted her a bit, felt around her tail for the tell-tale ligament loosening that happens when a doe is preparing to give birth, and I will say, they do feel looser than normal. But it’s my first time! What do I know?
Anyway, things *do* seem to be proceeding as they should, except I can’t help being a worry wart, thinking “What if she’s laying down because she’s not feeling well…you know, other than having a kid or more inside of her wanting to get out?!”
I was the same way when Stella was having puppies a few years ago, by the way, always thinking of worst case scenarios. I like to think it helps me be prepared in case I’m called into action (animals generally can take care of this stuff on their own, right?), but I think all it really does is give me insomnia.
P.S. A *huge* thank you to the wonderful Naimhe Jeanne and Martha Ann of All Things Goat who are helping to calm my nerves!
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert – Isaiah 43:19
I am so excited about my “new” look! Isn’t it fantabulous?! I have not been blogging (regularly) for some time now…and decided it was time to get serious about it again. I am getting ready to begin writing my book! Yes, I am embarking down that road! My head is about to explode with stuff that needs to be written down!
So, I am back, and am going to give it my best effort to pick my blogging back up! I am so excited, because from the beginning when I was looking for “fresh and funky” templates…I could never find any that reflected who I am…an african american spunky pastor, with dreadlocks! I am in love with my new look! And excited about new directions my life is about to take.
Kudos go to Nile Flores, whom I have known from back in the late 90’s…before I was even thinking about becoming a pastor. We connected again after many years, and I knew she would be able to do the “pastor” character. She is very reasonable…so here’s a shout out to you Nile….YOU ROCK!
So, I will be dropping in on the ladies from SheWhoBlogs to re-connect…and hope that you will welcome me back into open arms!
blushes of love vanished in split exiles...blatantly
standing there with a busted heart...brutal
aches stinging your insides...burning
piercing every rusted part of you...bleeding
ever so slowly with dire promises...barren
teardrops falling from the sky...burying
your burgundy heart...battling
to breathe again...breathe again
Two of our members reviewed Avatar.
First we have Candid Karina:
Next up is Sarah over at Puss Reboots:
Ian and I went to see Avatar, a film I was not expecting to see in the theaters. I love science fiction but the big block busters usually rub me the wrong way. But the tickets were a gift so there we were this morning drinking coffee and eating popcorn and listening to piped in Michael Jackson music before the previews. Let's just say I went in there feeling more than skeptical. I was expecting to hate it and be stuck sitting through a three hour film wearing uncomfortable 3D glasses.
The gist of the film is that a paralyzed ex-Marine is recruited to take his twin's place when he is killed in a robbery. The avatars are grown from a mixture of na'vi and human DNA to allow the humans to interact with the natives of Pandora. Unfortunately the scientific and diplomatic aspects of human and na'vi interactions is being pushed to the wayside by the mining company's need to make expected quarterly profits. So think Monsters' Inc. (who also has a Sully as the main character) except that James Sullivan didn't put on a human body to harvest the scream from the kids.
Jake Sully comes on board as a mixture of the reluctant hero and the shit for brains jarhead. Throughout the film we get his voice over explaining what's going on and his thoughts on them but obviously told from some time in the future. Sully's cluelessness is our ticket to ride along. As he learns; we learn. Seeing how his life on the base is mitigated by being wheelchair bound added for me an extra and unexpected depth to the film.
In terms of storytelling, Avatar isn't breaking any ground. If you've read any James Fenimore Cooper novels, you've read the same story used in Avatar. There's of course a heavy homage to Heart of Darkness and it's cinematic adaptation Apocalypse Now except that Kurtz has opted to stay on the base to call the shots. It's not Kurtz who goes native in this one.
What sets Cameron's film apart from the novels by Cooper and Conrad is the world building. I especially loved the scientific team headed by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver). Grace has some of the best lines while teaching the rest of us about the na'vi language (she "wrote the book") and biology of the planet.
Points too for bothering to create a language that has a recognizable grammar. Once you hear enough of it and read along with the subtitles you can start to get the gist of what they're saying. I also think some of the big choral music is actually sung in the language. I also like that the natives' ability to speak English is explained instead of just having it done that way for convenience. Having them speak with a Jamaican accent though was a bit weird.
To make Pandora seem alien the set design makes use of a lot of black light and glow in the dark features. All the plants glow at night in either green, violet or pink. To show how connected the Na'vi are to nature their footsteps literally light up the pathways that they walk. It's pretty to look at but hokey.
We saw the film in 3D. The glasses use linear polarized lenses. Think Captain E.O. When we saw Up over the summer that film used circular polarization which is more forgiving with the 3D effect. When we were watching Up it didn't matter if we lounged in our seats; we could still see the 3D images perfectly focused. With Avatar we had to sit bolt upright with our heads perfectly forward facing. A slight deviation in any direction and the images would start to separate.
Frankly though there's nothing in the film that needs the 3D. It's just there to make it seem "cool" and to drive up the ticket price. Sure, there are the typical chase and fight scenes where everything comes at the screen. It's been done to death and serves no purpose. The 3D isn't integrated into the story. I am looking forward to re-seeing the film without the 3D so I can concentrate on the artwork.
What I want to see next:
Although the film is long (and it does begin to feel long near the finally confrontation) there's enough detail and back story left to Pandora left unexplored. What I'd love to see (and I doubt they'll do because Cameron isn't Lucas) is a collection of short stories by current science fiction and fantasy authors to see how they can expand on what's presented in the film. There is however a book about the biological and social history of Pandora by Maria Wilhelm. That's a good start but I want more.
Just before she fell asleep, she realized that those were the words she had been searching for. She was filled with joy . . . pure, undiluted, uninhibited, unspoiled joy. There was simply no better word to describe the culmination of the past few days. Now, lying here in the dark, in the loving arms of her husband, she felt her unborn child kick inside her as the man she loved breathed softly on her neck while he slept quietly, the three of them entwined. And she knew that she would always remember this as the sweetest, most joyful day of her life.
The past five days were just a bad nightmare now.
When she responded to the doorbell and saw the two men standing on the front step, she instantly knew that they did not belong there. It was a mistake. A terrible mistake. If Jeff had been killed, she would have known. Because of the strong connection they shared, she would have sensed the moment that his spirit left his body. She tried to explain that to the officer and chaplain who came to her house that Sunday morning to deliver the news. When she refused to believe them, they asked who they could call to come and be with her. So she gave them her parents’ telephone number, and they arrived at the house just a few minutes later.
For the next five days, she went through the motions, doing what was expected of her. She finally gave up trying to tell her parents, Jeff’s parents, who had arrived from their home in New Hampshire, her friends . . . no one would listen to her. They just put their arms around her, tried to convince her that she was in shock, and suggested that she rest. “Honey, you have to focus on the baby now,” her mother told her gently.
The kitchen was full of food, but she couldn’t bring herself to eat any of it. When other wives from the base stopped by to express their condolences, she saw the mixture of fear and relief in their eyes. She understood exactly how they felt, and why. But she did not need their pity. Jeff was not dead. She knew that. And soon enough, so would everyone else.
She had not cried. She would not cry. She would simply wait until the Army discovered its mistake, and sent the polite officer and chaplain back to the house to offer sheepish apologies. Jeff wasn’t answering emails or his cell phone because he was dispatched to a remote area of Afghanistan where there was no connection or reception, she told herself. When he returned to his base camp, he would find all the frantic emails and voice mail messages, and call to assure her and the rest of his family that he was indeed fine.
So when her parents and Jeff’s urged her to plan a memorial service, she complied, but the effort was only half-hearted because she, unlike them, knew the truth.
Which made this day — this glorious, joyous day — even sweeter and more satisfying. When the doorbell rang, she assumed it was simply another delivery person bringing more flowers or food. Too weary from it all, she allowed Jeff’s mother to answer the door, but was not prepared for her mother-in-law’s screams. When she ran to the living room and saw Jeff standing there hugging his incredulous mother, she was overcome by feelings of relief, vindication, and the joy she now found herself attempting to put into words. The tears came, but they were not the tears of grief and loss her family and Jeff’s had been watching for.
Realizing its mistake, the Army had immediately terminated Jeff’s deployment and sent him back to the States to spend time with his family. His commanding officer informed him that his family would be notified of the error, apologize for the agonizing pain they had needlessly suffered, and apprise them of his scheduled arrival time. But Jeff begged his commander to allow him to arrive unannounced, arguing that the magnitude of the Army’s mistake must surely entitle him — and his family — to handle the situation in the manner he requested. After several torturous hours, his commander finally reported that his superiors had reluctantly agreed.
And now, after the day-long celebration, they were finally alone. Exhausted, Jeff slept peacefully, but for her, sleep would not yet come. She was thinking about their child and how she would describe this incredible day for him or her when she relayed the story. She determined to write in her pregnancy journal first thing in the morning, tears of happiness softly running down her cheeks and onto her pillow as she snuggled even closer to Jeff and softly whispered the words “pure joy, baby. That’s what you give me. Pure joy,” as she finally dozed off.
The sun was just beginning to creep into her bedroom when she awoke. She had slept soundly and peacefully. So still, in fact, that she had barely moved all night and was still lying on her left side, as she had been when she finally drifted off. She lay there for a few moments, her eyes closed before rolling over onto her back and instinctively reaching out with her right hand for Jeff. He wasn’t there, but it was no cause for alarm. Even having just returned from overseas, Jeff would be up at or before dawn for his morning run. Jogging was like a religion for him and he ran first thing every morning, rain or shine.
She continued relaxing there for a few more minutes, enjoying the quiet and feeling the baby begin stirring within her. A few moments passed before she realized that something was not quite right. She turned her head to the right and finally looked at the other side of the bed. The blankets and sheet were pulled up over the pillow. It appeared that only one side of the bed had been turned down the night before. Jeff had obviously tidied up his side of the bed before going out.
And then she saw it. The black dress was hanging on the door frame of the closet, just where her mother had put it the day before.
Panicked, she sat up suddenly, rubbed her eyes, and put her head in her hands, elbows on her knees, trying to remember why there was a dress she had never worn hanging on her closet.
She turned back to her left then, toward her nightstand. There, right where she had placed them yesterday, was the small black volume — the New Testament — the Army chaplain had left with her when he came with the other officer to notify her of Jeff’s fate. And on top of it lay the gold chain onto which she had slipped Jeff’s wedding band when the funeral home director gave it, along with a small bag of his other belongings, to her during her meeting with him in his office. She had demanded to see Jeff, but the funeral director assured her that would be a mistake, nodding his head “no” at her parents and in-laws in search of support for his refusal.
And then she heard the scream. It sounded as though it came from far, far away and was a mournful, plaintive cry born of previously unreleased pain. It startled her, but she was unable to react because, before she knew it, her mother and mother-in-law were both in the room with her, one on each side of the bed wrapping her in their arms and softly repeating, “O.k., baby, let it out . . . let it go . . . ”
At that moment, she remembered it all in painstaking detail. And began the long, agonizing journey of acceptance and mourning. The pure joy she had wanted to memorialize in her pregnancy journal for Jeff’s unborn son or daughter was but a dream.
a lonely heart lies alone
azure sky falling from the clouds
a stir in her gloomy interior
arise as an acoustic melody
andante and lavishly smooth
all around her it echoes
attacking her mortal dread
awaking the dullness of the ordinary
an aria begins to pound in her heart
amplifying into a million chords
ammunition puncturing her alabaster skin
absorbing every indefinite bits
allowing old woes to drift
abnegating her emotions
along the sidewalk
aberration surrounding her
absent strangers departing
accelerating with each minute
aurora shifting in the sky
an au revoir to her amour
Karina's Alphabet Soup Photo/Writing Challenge: A is for...
Read the rules here.