What a cool link!!

26 08 2006

My dears,
There is a link below, and I know the title sounds rather Cheesy, but, this person does some amazing things with a cup o’ Joe.  I sat here for almost 15 minutes watching how this is done.  Even being behind the times (I’m still on dial-up) I still was impressed by their work.

Give this a chance and I believe you’ll be as much into it as I am.  It also proves that it is not the canvas that makes the artist, it is the artist who makes the canvas!!!

Pretty Cool Coffee Artist – BREAK.com



26 08 2006

By Anita Marie Moscoso

 From The Soul Food Alphabet Project

“F” is for Fire Filled Forge


When Morgan Gamble was 12 he pushed a classmate over a railing when she was trying to collect leaves on a class field trip for a project. The Project was a little booklet of local native plants and the little girl- Ona  Crocata, fell to her death to the rocks below the bluffs.

In the spirit of true American Justice the police talked to Darren Marks, the bad kid who lit fire crackers in the bathrooms and smoked his dad’s cigarettes during recess behind the gym, they talked to Crystal Barker who’s Father was in jail and they talked to the Simon Ledbetter, one of the Park Maintenance staff who spent his weekends at Peace Rallies at the University in Feverfew.

The Police were about to resort to using a Ouija Board if need be to talk to a few of the executed criminals who took their last breath up at the Prison in Fallen (the next town over) because that made more sense then to even think about questioning Morgan Gamble, who was not only seen walking up the path to the cliff tops with Ona, people actually saw him running down the path after Ona hit the rocks below.

Morgan Gamble played baseball and was a Boy Scout and his older brother was a first year Med Student and his high school age sister a cheerleader. His Mom’s name was Betsy and his Dad was named Skip and they had two cars and one of the biggest, newest houses built in the newest and best new town of Ransomville.

Why on Earth would you spend time talking to a boy like Morgan who came from a family like the Gambles about the Murder of a little girl with perpetually tangled hair and socks that didn’t match and clothes that her Mother bought at the Neighbors In Need Charity Shops?

In the end a lot of people thought that, so Ona Crocata’s death was ruled a suicide.

After all, it was decided what else could it have been?

The stars that filled the sky lined up for Morgan Gamble: he got to grow up and get married and have a wife and a home of his own while Ona Crocata, wrapped in a simple white sheet and dressed (the dress had actually been carefully draped and pinned around the little girls smashed and ruined body) in her Mother’s best Easter dress turned to dust and bone in her simple pine casket at the Leaning Birches Cemetery in Larkspear.

Despite the fact the Sun and the Heavens smiled down on Morgan his eyes were closed to all of it. He didn’t see it; you don’t need to have open eyes to look into yourself 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Ona Crocata eyes were always opened.

And they were always looking out.

Morgan’s wife was named Ginny and the only difference between Ginny and his Mother were their voices. Betsy Gamble talked high and fast and Ginny Leonard-Gamble talked high and ultra fast so listening to the two of them at the same time was sort of like listening to a table saw running none stop for hours on end.

Morgan didn’t care as long as that high pitched whine wasn’t heading in his direction.

Only last Monday not only did that high pitched intolerable whine head his way it ran down his throat and he almost choked on it. The Whine was magnified a hundred times over and the sound levels could only be compared to standing next to a jet when it takes off.

God, what was that noise?

Then he remembered- Monday night was The Book of The Month Club night.

On book club night Ginny and her friends sat around in their living room and talked about plot lines and drank some wine, they talked about character motivation and then they drank more wine by the time they got around to talking about what the book meant they were all blasted which was good because the only thing worse then listening his wife’s book club talk was listening to them talk sober.

At least this way they were sort of amusing.

It made up for the screaming headache Morgan got when they were around.

Morgan managed to make it from their indoor garage with minimum pain when two little words drifted up from the living room to the entrance way as he closed the living room door.

“Dog Girl”

His face turned red and he looked up and around to make sure he wasn’t the one who had said those words out loud.

Then he heard it again only much louder this time, “Dog Girl”

He followed those two words into his living room and smiled his best toothpaste ad type smile to his wife and her friends and said, “You all sound like Junior High school girls…what’s this Dog Girl talk?”

“It’s our book of the month “Ginny tried to say “it’s a ghost story.”

“About a Dog Girl? What is that some kind of New Age Hippy Chick in search of her inner animal or something?”

They all laughed like they were suppose to and Morgan preened like he was suppose to and then Mr. Good Humor Man left the room, “No really, what kind of story is it?”

Ginny saw her husband’s face turn to a cold hard mask right in front of  her friends for Pete’s Sake, how could he? So she tried to focus her eyes and get serious so she could get him out of the room.

“ It’s about this little girl who was murdered, when she comes back as a ghost she doesn’t know she’s dead and when she figures it out she kills her murderer.”

“Really.” Morgan held his hand out for the book. “Why is it called Dog Girl” was she ugly or something?

Ginny shook her head and the motion almost made her get sick. “No, that’s what he called her before he shoved her over the railing…Dog Girl.”

Morgan looked at the book and on the cover was a Walnut Tree growing over the edge of a cliff. “ No one could’ve known that, what it felt like to put his hand against the small of her back and feel that little push… no one except for Dog Girl and …”

“Morgan!” Ginny shirked as Morgan quoted the book “you’ve done it, you actually read a book!”

“How does she kill him?”

“He starts to see her everywhere, at the Park, playing with his children, in the Mall. She becomes as real to him as anybody and it makes him crazy.”

“Sees her?” he asked

One of Ginny’s friends chimed in, “He sees her everywhere. So he goes out to the Cemetery to find her grave and dig her up and it’s gone. Dog Girl is gone and so are her grave and tombstone and all.”

“ So, “ a high pitched voice grated against Morgan’s brittle nerves “ he goes out to his garage closes the windows and puts rags under the doors and such and starts his car and dies from carbon monoxide poisoning.”

“And just when he thinks he’s finally free of Dog Girl he sees her through the exhaust just outside of the driver’s window and he knows just as he dies it’s only the beginning. Dog Girl is never going to leave him…ever.”

Morgan nodded and for the first time in years, maybe for the first time in his life he looked outside of himself and all he saw was Ona “Dog Girl “Crocata.

He decided  it would be best if  he got use to it now because he had the feeling that was all he would be looking at for a very long time.

Sixth day past first half of Goose Moon, the Land of Standing Stones

25 08 2006

I am flesh again.  I rejoice that I am restored, but Oh! let me never forget what I learned while I was stone!

Yesterday, I believe, I am not entirely sure of time, the Gorgon visited me. She said nothing, and as I could not speak, neither did I. Evenso, there was communication. She prepared me a tea, and I knew as she brewed it, its purpose was healing.

The tea tasted of earth and left my mouth dry. I could feel myself growing sleepy. The Gorgon held my hand as I drifted asleep. My last awareness was of my little serpent coiling itself around my arm.

I knew I was asleep, but I was also aware I was not dreaming. I watched my serpent slough off its skin. It looked at me. Without words it was telling me to put on the skin it had shed. Perplexed, I picked up the brittle sheath, thin as grass, as long as my hand. Each tiny scale was depicted perfectly, even to the scale coating the eyes, the openings for the nostrils, transparent as mica. My serpent lay coiled beside me, luminous in its new skin. It nodded its head in encouragement.

Gingerly I wriggled my little finger into it. The snakeskin stretched to fit, enveloping my hand, then arm, over my head like a tight sweater, down my body to my feet. It felt comfortable.

Then I realized I was eye to eye with the little grass snake that had been my companion since the Day of Serpents. Looking up I saw the Gorgon, shooing my hissing cats from the bed. She reached down her hands, and I slithered into one.

Slithered is too ugly a word for the beautiful feeling of the movement- sinuous undulations. My snake body moved sensuously in one smooth, gliding movement.

The words of Solomon came to me, “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.”

The Serpent Queen set us gently down on the ground. My body thrilled to the feel of the earth under it. Humus is alive. The ground thrummed with movement, bunching of earthworms, scurrying ants and beetles, the mewling of larvae

Snake senses are very different from my familiar human ones. Foremost, I could not hear. Sound vibrated through my body resonating in feeling. I knew which vibrations were the jumps of crickets and which the danger of human beings. My ability to taste the air was heightened beyond imagination. The flavor was complex and rich, yet I could discern each individual element: water, bark, leaf mold, stone, mouse, owl, human, fellow snake. My awareness of temperature was different as well. I could feel the proximity of creatures by the heat they exuded. I could tell when I crossed the bedding place of a deer in the grass, how long the sun had set by the temperature of the stones, where baby rabbits lay still in their nest, still but for the beating of their hearts, which I could also feel. Sight was very different too. Besides the perspective of ground level looking up, eyes set on each side of my head gave me expanded peripheral vision, though everything was colorless. My sight was alert for movement, stirrings of the shadows. My body responded instantly to my senses. I nabbed a cricket before I was aware it was near.

I followed my mentor serpent like a shadow.

By dawn we had reached a river. Fearlessly my companion approached the human sitting on a wooden pier. Fearfully I followed, disliking the feel of lumber on my scales.

The human was a woman. She was clad in tall black leather boots and supple deerskin breeches. Her shirt was inky silk, flowing from her shoulders and arms like water. Her long grey hair was bound by a magenta scarf. Something about her scent reminded me of Sybilla…

“Ah, Verdia,” she was saying to my serpent, “you have brought a friend. You want to cross I take it?

Did I understand her because I was a human or because she could speak the snake language Naga-Krita? I did not hear a reply from Verdia, my serpent. But the woman understood.

“Of course I will take you. It is no trouble at all, you are a friend. You have helped me out of many a scrap, taking you across is the least I can do.”

The woman reached down her hands and we coiled ourselves into her calloused palms. As gently as the Gorgon, she set us down in the bottom of a shallow boat. She pulled us across the water by means of a thick rope and pulleys strung between the two piers. I wondered why Verdia chose to take a ferry when we could swim across the water easily ourselves. Instantly the answer flashed in my brain – predators.

Once across the woman again lifted us gently from the boat. Both Verdia and I nodded our thanks.

“Blessings be to ye!” she called as she pulled away from shore to return. Verdia led me up a steep hill parallel a stair of stones built into the hillside. We wended our way on the soft turf between stones until we came to a small hole at the base of a wall. In we went, down into the dark highway of snakes.

We emerged into a subterranean cavern, lit by a few candles in mirrored alcoves. Across the cavern was a stairs ending in a pool where we now rested. A woman bearing a small lamp glided down the stairs as smoothly as if she were a serpent herself. She set her lamp on a shelf and beckoned us.

“Verdia? Is that you?”

Verdia flowed into the pool, shimmying across. I followed, gliding in Verdia’s wake.

“Oh, it is you!” exclaimed the woman. “And you have brought another.”

This woman is older than the ferry keeper, but looks younger. Her white hair falls past her ankles in a shimmering braid. Her face is wrinkled, but rosy. Her hands are knotted and veined, but move easily as she reaches her hand affectionately to Verdia. She seems as perennially young as spring, but as old as the rocks of this cavern.

“No one will disturb you, I promise. Stay as long as you like, as long as you need. I will be close if you need me.”

Turning to me she said, “Verdia is a worthy guide to these Springs of Castalia. The waters are ancient, springing from the very heart of the earth. Many things in the water are terrifying, but none can harm you, though they may hurt you. Blessings be to thee.”

She laid out her palm to me, and I laid my head in it, absorbing her warmth, her scent like apples. When I lifted my head she turned to leave, taking her little lamp with her.

Verdia was lapping the water, and I did the same. It tasted unpleasant, like sulfur, and was warm. Verdia glided back into the pool, diving into the black depths. I followed.

We dove until I thought I would die. But at the last moment, Verdia led me into a small crack between the stones emitting bubbles and steam. This tunnel was illuminated by fire, the rock baked hot. We side-wound like desert snakes, barely touching the burning surface. We reached the lip of a pit. Blades of blackened grass cropped up between pits of rock. It looked dead, but following Verdia’s example, I ate some. It was a living plant, though tough and dry. It scratched my throat going down, but I felt immediately cooler.

Verdia began a careful descent into the pit. We made our way over cinders and pools of bubbling, molten rock. We traveled for a very long time, hours or days, I am not sure, until at last we reached a wall of glowing coals.

I drew back in alarm as the wall shifted, imagining it falling down on us in a shower of burning embers. What I took to be a wall was not, it was the mammoth coils of a colossal serpent. Verdia led me around it until we were looking into an enormous eye.

Like I could feel the beating of a rabbit’s heart, I could feel the sound of the serpent’s thoughts.

“I am Ouroboros, the Great World Serpent. The Egyptians call me Nehebu-Kau. The Norse, the Comanches know me by other names. The world rests upon my coils. When I breathe the mountains shake and land trembles. When I exhale, smoke and fire pour from my nostrils. I am the churning rope of Vishnu and Shiva, that churned the primordial milk sea into the Butter of Immortality.

“The Greeks called me Python. Apollo thought he killed me, but I cannot die. I am born of Gaia, the very source of life.

“Learn from me.”

Verdia led me away, over Ouroboros, upwards into dark caverns. Here I met Jormungand, son of Loki, foster brother of Odin. Jormungand will help destroy the world at the last battle between the gods and giants. Here too was Nidhogg, who devours the souls of evil men. Near by was Am-Mut-Set, also an eater of souls. In still another the cockatrice or Basilisk. We visited the underground city Bhogavati, where the naga have their treasure houses.

“Learn from me.” “Learn from me.” “Learn from me.” “Learn from us.”

Further on through the labyrinthian tunnels under the earth we came to the fantastic palaces of the Dragon King. From there we emerged onto the earth’s surface. Cien Tang, the Great River Dragon greeted us. His yin scales were blood red, his yang scales purest gold, his mane was fire. He can make himself as large as the universe, as small as a flea. For us he made himself as small as ourselves, and bade his servants to bring us rice wine.

Cien Tang told us this tale:

“The King of Heaven, Yu Huang Shang Ti, The Jade Emperor, was troubled by mankind. Thus he neglected to send rain to the earth. The people suffered terribly, so the dragons appealed to Yu Huang Shang Ti to send water. Still troubled the Jade Emperor disregarded their request. The dragons took it upon themselves to carry water to the people in their mouths. Furious at their presumption, the Jade Emperor imprisoned the dragons under four mountains. Still the people perished. The dragons broke free of the mountains becoming rivers. They flowed across the land into the sea. And so they remain until this day, the Heilongijan or Black Dragon River, the Huanghe or Yellow River, the Yangntze or Long River, the Zhujiang or Pearl River.”

Cien Tang taught me about the cycle of the zodiac. “There are both dragon years and snake years. Dragon years are the time to start a new venture, to marry, to have children. The dragon represents daring, ambition, power. There are five dragon colors, green, red, blue, black and white. Snake years are years of introspection, planning, seeking. These are not the years to act, but to consider future actions. Snakes symbolize the search for wisdom, for truth, for inner growth. The five colors of snakes are blue, purple, gold, silver and gray.”

We left Cien Tang to follow the sinuous body of a river. Sitting on the bank was a beautiful woman making figures of river clay, When we came closer I saw the woman was a serpent from the waist down.

“Ah, Little Jade Snake, how long it has been! Have you eaten?” I could understand her speech, but not the speech of Verdia.

The woman turned to me. “Ni hao, little jade one. I am Nu Kua, creatrix of the Chinese people.” She breathed into the face of one of her clay figures. It slowly began to wake.

She smiled at me. “Learn from me, little jade one.” Then she slid into the river and was gone.

Verdia led me into a garden. There were many fountains, each attended by a goddess. We wound our way to each.

“I am Birgit Anu. Learn from me.”

“I am Wadjet.” “I am Acpaxapo.” “I am Tiamat.”

“Learn from me.” “Learn from me.” “Learn from me.”

“I am Ariadne.” “I am Chalchiuhtlicue.” “I am Coatlique.”

“Learn from me.” “Learn from me.” “Learn from me.”

“I am Erzulie.” “I am Kundalini.” “I am Manasa”

“Learn from me.” “Learn from me.” “Learn from me.”

“I am Nilawati. “ “I am Renenutet.” “I am Cihyuacoatl.”

“Learn from me.” “Learn from me.” “Learn from me.”

“I am Rhea.” “Learn from me.”

“I am Astarte.” “Learn from me.”

“Learn from us.”

We were sprinkled with water by each deity. With each drop I felt more of everything – more vital, alive, emotional. My serpent undulations became a dance, an offering of gratitude for the life giving water.

The garden ended at the edge of a sea. Verdia led me into the water. We slipped easily through coral gardens blossoming with living colors, fish flashing fearlessly around us. Verdia stopped before an oyster. The oyster slowly raised open its shell, revealing many pearls. Verdia ate one, and I followed suit. I found I could breathe and move easier in the water.

We traveled deeper, following the ocean floor until all was darkness and I could not see. But I could feel Verdia gliding before me, and felt safe.

Suddenly the mud exploded open before us. A horrible head, red eyes blazing, its scales glowing eerily with phosphorescent slime, reared itself out of the seabed. It lashed with its tail, tossing us through the water in a maelstrom of mud and steaming bubbles. I lost Verdia in the swirling waters.

I landed on the ocean floor, facing another gleaming, gold eye. I squirmed away from it, only to find myself face to face with another, this one black as the ocean depths. Frenzied I fled, trapped in a maze made by the sinuous bodies of many huge serpents. Desperate, I struggled to follow the coils of one, just one, to find an end. The end was a serpent mouth. The serpents began to heave themselves about in a circular dance, like I had danced in the garden. I found myself spinning. I tried to keep looking into the eye of a monster, but it closed its glowing eyes. I became dizzy.

I felt myself buffeted upward, spiraling in the arms of the whirlpool created by the serpents gyrations. I was pushed away on the waves to the surface, helpless, lost, afraid.

After a bit, the sea became calmer, until it was still. I calmed with it, floating on the surface. I could see a smudge on the distant horizon. I began to swim toward it, thinking it to be land. Although I swam languidly, almost lazily, the smudge came quickly closer. As I neared to it I could see it was not land, but misty cloud. I continued toward it. If I stopped it continued steadily toward me. Soon I was lost in a white world of water and mist, alone. So terribly alone.

There was nothing to do but go on so I did. Eventually the mist thinned. To my horror I found myself swimming in the sky! Below me was the coast of the sea, waves foaming around toothy rocks. I froze, and felt myself begin to fall.

Out of nowhere flaming snakes swarmed around me, bearing me upward. They licked me with fiery tongues, a warm tingling on my skin. I found I could fly like they were flying, I only had to keep moving. We went higher and higher. I could see the entire hemisphere below me. A serpent like a rainbow coiled about the earth, embracing it. Snakes like clouds chased each other across the sky. I saw that the corona of the sun was a brilliant serpent.

The flaming serpents led me higher, until earth was but a glowing blue gem in a dark night. Comets whooshed past, radiant cobras with flaming tails. I twined around the silver coils of Draco and Hydra. At last I found my self between the eyes of the Serpent winding through the universe, what I had called the Milky Way when I was human.

“I am Anata. I am Ayida -Weddo. I am Azhi Dahaka. I am Da. I am Atum. I am Julungul, Galeru, Ungur, Wonungur, Worombi, Yurlungeur, Kalseru, Langal, Ungud, Wullunqua, Goorialla, Dhakhan, Ungud, Bobbi-Bobbi, Ulanji, Muit. Learn from me, dust of earth, flicker of starlight.”

The Serpent breathed on me and I found myself back again at the Springs of Castalia, coiled safely and comfortably in a crevice in the rock, entwined with Verdia. I writhed in happiness to be back with Verdia. Verdia writhed with me.

“Welcome home,” said a voice outside our shelter.

We emerged from our hole to find the Gorgon. She held out her hands and we flowed into them. The taste of her skin was like honey. She sat on the stone steps and laid us tenderly in her lap. We were home.

My skin began to itch. The Serpent Queen held out her hand, the forefinger and thumb in a circle. I pulled through it, slipping out of my snakeskin into my human self.

The Gorgon held me in her lap like a child. “Tell me what you saw when you looked at my face.”

My words trembled on my lips. “I saw myself.”

“That frightened you.” A statement, not a question.

I nodded.


That was the question I had been pondering incessantly since I saw myself. Still I had no answers.

“I don’t know.”

The Serpent Queen was silent. Fear had nearly turned me to stone it had so paralyzed me. If I said nothing I knew i would calcify again, I could feel rigidity returning to me as I sat. The longer I was silent the harder I would become, and the harder it would be to face my fears. I breathed deeply.

“Serpents are evil,” my words were barely spoken. I knew the Serpent Queen heard, but she did not recoil from me. “They are demonic. They are sexual license. They strike. They bite and kill. They live alone. They eat their children. They are reptile. They are phallic. If I am serpent then I am these things too.”

“Are you?”

“No! yes, I mean, I could be, if I wanted to be. I don’t want to be, but then I do, sometimes. I wish I could be. Sometimes. Only sometimes…” I jumped up and began to pace the stones of the Springs.

The Gorgon remained silent. I continued on. “The serpent tempted Eve to sin.” There. Inarguable Biblical history. Or so I supposed.

“Is it the fault of the serpent Eve sinned?”

“If it had not tempted her, she would not have sinned and everything would be different.”

“Is it the fault of the serpent Eve sinned? The serpent offered a choice, a choice she always had, the forbidden fruit was already there. The serpent only said aloud what she already knew. Temptation is not sin, though you believe it is, don’t you?”

I nodded.

“You believe because you are tempted to do wrong, want to do wrong, you are as culpable as if you actually did it. Your heart is raw with guilt for things you wanted to do, but did not do, as raw as with the guilt for the times you did strike and bite and harm.”

The Serpent Queen raised her veil again. I looked at my own face, eyes conflagrant with anger. She continued.

“Embedded in the word ‘believe’ is the word ‘lie’. Be very careful of what you believe, that you do not believe lies. They turn you to stone.

“Temptation is not sin. Sin is the choice you make. Temptation is refining fire, it reveals who you truly are. When you choose to yield to temptation you show your quality. When you resist temptation you show your quality. You are correct, the choice one makes changes everything, makes things ‘different’.

“You have yielded to temptation and felt the bite of remorse, seen the harm your choice caused. You have felt the bite of evil, suffering the pain of another’s submission to temptation, destroying your hopes and dreams. You have also chosen to resist. You have chosen to protect others from the pain you have suffered. Those choices have made a difference too.”

I sank down on my knees next to her. She touched me gently on the cheek, her blazing eyes softening. “Forgive yourself for the things you didn’t do.”

“Are serpents evil?” she asked me, her voice like sun on my face.

“No,” I answered, “They are not evil of themselves, but are chosen to be symbols of evil. Not to everyone, but to some. I believed them to be evil.” I thought of Cien Tang and his story of the rebellious dragons. “I don’t any more.”

I sat next to her in silence, lying my head on her lap. The images of my journey with Verdia played themselves through my mind. “Learn from me,” the deities and serpents had said.

“There is more isn’t here?” I asked.

“Yes. There is more. But you will be able to bear it. Remember, you have already survived the things you will remember.”

We rose to leave. As we rose, I reached out for Verdia. She twined herself about my neck. The flicker of her tongue in my ear tickled, and I laughed.

I am flesh again. And I have much to learn.

Project – visions of Venus

24 08 2006

I inherited some blocks of wood 20×20″x1.5″ and am thinking of doing a combination of woodwork and painting, meaning the frame is an integral part of the work itself. Last night I got started painting in watercolour as a base to work from. I thought the dyes would penetrate a few layers of the wood, so when shaping it is still visible enough to work as a guide. I have always had a fascination for women “floating”, probably left over from the feelings of achieving flight when I was in the ballet. Carefree, joyful. If anyone else has done work throwing an extra half dimension into a painting and has some tips? My rotary tool sits poised.


I have ten of these block, enough to put together an entire exhibit on floating women or round happy womenfolk, or whatever direction unfolds to me.

Look What I Found….

24 08 2006

Based on the Soul Food Cafe Exercise:

Muse Hymn Box


I liked this exercise because in the past I never really thought about my “ Muse” or where that sense of joy comes from when I finish a story.

It felt good, that’s all I cared about.

How shallow is that?

After I completed this exercise I re-discovered and remembered my Grandfather’s wonderful way of explaining the world to us.

His stories convinced me the ‘other world’ was as real as this one…and in the end, despite the fact that world was full of ghosts and demons and witches and spirits and cannibals I wasn’t afraid of it

Which is a good deal considering what I write about now


I wanted to write a story about a Witch- a no holds barred story about a Witch that plagues a town and drives it’s citizens to mind numbing distraction (which takes some doing because it turns out the residents of this town are Werewolves). https://anita64.wordpress.com/2006/06/18/the-witch-of-white-ash-mountain/

Where oh where to start looking…

I needed inspiration, I needed a face and in the end I found her and named her Calisaya Stoneroot. If you want to know the truth, even though I put Calisaya in a weird little town that’s suppose to exist here in Washington State she was actually born in the Sugar Cane Fields on the Big Island of Hawaii.

When I was a kid my Grandfather, Cypriano use to tell me about a demon-lady that hid in water and made a sound like a crying baby and when you leaned over the water or got close to help the baby she would reach up and snatch you down and drown you.

I could never really recall the entire story and when I checked into folklore discovered that my Grandfather (who was a storyteller himself) had probably combined two legends and created his own tale.

In part I discovered he had based his demon-lady on   La Llorona    “ The Crying Woman” According to legend The Crying Woman drowns her children after she is spurned by her children’s father.

If you see or hear the Crying Woman you are cursed and you will die.

I’m not sure how my Grandfather heard of the Crying Woman or why he changed her story. He kept certain elements intact, the children, the water, and the woman who is waiting to take you to your death.

However, the feeling I got when I heard the story was that he was warning us about something…or someone and to this day I don’t go near the water at night.

Even though how the Crying Woman came into my Grandfather’s life is still a mystery to me the theme of angry spirits living in the water is not.

These spirits that wait in the water so that they can hurt you may have worked their way into my Grandfather’s tales because in 1946 the worst Tsunami in Hawaii’s history struck the Waipio Valley and my Mother’s Family was living on the bluffs above the “ Valley of the Kings” when this happened.

Since then the locals shunned the valley as being cursed and no one except for maybe a few dozen families live down there now.

I have the impression that tourists and the outside world thought that the ‘simple field workers ‘ that settled above the valley in Honokaa had no idea that they were sitting on top of a potential money maker.

Actually we knew full well what was down there…and we still do.


So there it is, my Muse…it turned out to be my Grandfather Cypriano Guzman. The funny thing is no matter how dark or morbid or down right odd my stories are, when I write I can see him smiling and I can hear him laughing.

And I know he’s proud.


That’s Where She Got It From!

24 08 2006

scheherazade.jpgFrom The following exercise at the Soul Food Cafe

‘Lessons and Philosophy from the Bear of Very Little Brain’


Fe, fa, fi-fo-fum

I smell the breath of an Englishman

Let him be alive

or let him be dead

I’ll grind his bones to make my bread

And wrapped around these Merry Little Lines was a tale about Cannibalism, Breaking and Entering (or as they refer to it on the Cop shows “ B & E”) and cold blooded murder (okay, I’d settle for Manslaughter. Or would it be Giant Slaughter?) Regardless, that Giant wouldn’t have ended up dead at the foot of the beanstalk had a certain little Englishman not been snooping around places he didn’t belong!

Back to the story…before I learned to read my Mom use to buy me these children’s books called  “ Golden Readers”. They were easy to read (and by that I mean easy for the Parents to read.) The Fairy Tales were written at about an eight year olds reading level.Back in the day they were nice little books- I still have a few of them on my bookshelf. They were bound with string, not glue or paste and the pictures were wonderful.

Lots of detail, no pastels and they didn’t use block type. So no matter how little you were you felt like you were reading a ‘big kid’s book’.

And if you couldn’t read you may have done what I did: I use take the books and make my own story up to fit the pictures.

The thing is I ALWAYS saw more then what was actually there and by the ripe old age of five I was already addicted to a TV show called Nightmare Theatre. They played old horror and ghosts films every Friday and on Saturday afternoon they had a matinee.

I guess you can see where this is going…

Jack and the Beanstalk? Ha, How’s about Jack the Little Ripper?

I hated Jack.

He was mean and sneaky and remember the Harp calling out for the Giant? I thought she wanted to stay and I just knew that little Jerk Jack was going to take her down the Beanstalk and she would never see her castle again (well, that’s how I told it.)

I would read about Jack throwing all the stuff he stole from the castle down the beanstalk and just before he gets caught the last time he slides down the beanstalk, grabs an axe and he starts chopping and hacking until down comes the beanstalk and before you can say ‘busted’ the Giant crashes after it and dies.

So in the end Jack is sitting at this table and the harp is crying and Jack’s Mom is serving him stew (which I was convinced contained some Giant along with the chickens he stole…why NOT eat the Giant? He ate everything else he lifted from the Castle!)

Remember Jack swinging the axe? I do, I can still see it. So how does it end?

The last picture  in the book is of Jack at the table with the stolen harp and the chunky stew.

That picture  finally got to me in a big way.

I remember taking my little copy of Jack and The Beanstalk and tossing it under my bed where it STAYED.

That’s right…everytime I found it on my bookshelf or in my toy box I’d take that sucker and throw it under my bed because everytime I saw it I could hear that line over and over…the only one I remembered after my Mom read me the book ( I didn’t buy for a minute that malarkey she read was true)

Fe, fa, fi-fo-fumI smell the breath of an Englishman

Let  him be alive

or let him be dead

I’ll grind his bones to make my bread

It was never a Giant’s Voice I heard when I ‘read’ my little Golden Book. It was always a kid’s voice, a little boy’s voice. It was laughing the entire time and it wasn’t a happy laugh.

Fe, fa, fi-fo-fum

Ancient Style – (an attempt)

22 08 2006

This is written in a medieval split form, meant to be read out loud. The break in the middle of the lines is an exagerated pause (1,2,3) to allow those with limited language skills to keep pace with the ballad. The center column is supposed to be centered and uniform, but … so I have substituted “======”


The crone was not evil ====== Nor privy to sin of any kind,
And thus not thought human ====== But feared for no reason save one;
A knowing that she heard ======= And in doing was alone and shunned.

She perceived what was not ====== At least by claim of toil and folly.
She danced when other’s wept ====== And often cried when others did laugh;
But all knew she was fey ====== And left her to weave her shadow cloak.

Yet many came to chide her ====== Pester anew the differences and all
For no other reason, Given .====== if any cared to ask or ponder,
“Look there now for yourself. ====== See one who ne’er should’ve been born.”

‘cept there was tale and myth ====== That she had never known a mother’s soul
Nor gifted father seed, ====== But just was and nothing more be said,
Save that she was now ====== And would always be found sitting there.

She ne’er gave an answer ====== Nor querried after folks and weather,
Nor swapped old recipes, ====== Or gossiped about the preacher’s wife,
Nor walked far the woods,====== Or even hid from the rain or sun.

So why would anyone care ====== To scale up the slope and jump the thorns
To a dark musty cave ====== While lightning flashes without a cloud,
To find a withered crone, ====== Toothless — one eye lost to tangled hair?
Because you can, that’s why, ====== And answer a calling eternal;
For she knows the answer ====== And you are jealous through and beyond,
And hope to hear her sing .====== And smile with the golden eyes of God.