Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I've been Tagged!

Yeah yeah, I hate memes. But I do them every once in a while. :) I was tagged for this one by the Velveteen Rabbi, and so here are my responses. I'm supposed to share seven things you may not know about me.

1. I am an NCIS fan, and I want to be Abby when I grow up. I did not think I'd like the show, avoided it forever, and now find myself secretly watching it late at night after everyone has gone to bed.

2. I have seriously considered joining the military in my past.

3. I enjoy hunting.

4. I love churches. For a very pagany person, I have a love of church architecture, inside and out. I love to look at them, photograph them, and spend time in them. I feel closer to my own gods when I am in them, strange as that may sound.

5. I've been published several times in magazines and devotional books, and have written and published my own book.

6. I never did like Kirk, even though all my girlfriends were gaga over him. Spock was always my secret love and lust.

7. I'm going into early menopause. Hot flashes in the winter are really awesome!

And now, the rules of the meme say I'm supposed to tag seven others. And so... I tag: Sannion, Suz, Erl-Queen, Nurse Mummy, Kallistos, Grail 76, and Magnoliamoon. Of course, the usual caveat that you can feel free to ignore this if you wish. ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Something for Ares

I'm not a big worshipper of Ares, although I pay honors to him at appropriate times. Over at Neos Alexandria we participate in this "God of the Month" club, where we learn about three gods within the Greek and Egyptian pantheons, and this month, Ares was one of the three pulled up. I got to thinking about it, and inspiration hit. Here is what I wrote.

Lone, Weary Warrior

He stands alone, above the blood-soaked fields,
Dark eyes narrowed and smoldering.
His solitary form seems to fill the sky,
Yet is invisible to the weary wounded there.
He watches, silent and brooding,
As the dead are piled on the pyres
And the living are evaluated.
Black, cracked lips part, breath blowing out hard;
There are moments that even he doubts.
A child clings to its mother,
A mother long dead and mouldering.
He stares, examining his handiwork without comment.
Seeing him, one might think him soulless, heartless.
Sometimes, he wonders, too.
How can he continue, day by day,
Inflicting such horrors upon the world?
Because it is necessary, in the Grand Scheme.
But no one understands, even the other gods.
And they wonder, yes they do,
Why he goes to her perfumed bower
Where the iron stench of blood disappears.
They chuckle behind pale, unstained hands
As he sheds his crimson armor,
And bares his pale, untouched flesh to her.
Even she doesn't understand,
But at least she sympathizes.
Her swan-soft skin, glowing like apples in the sun,
Trembles beneath his calloused fingers,
And he knows peace.
Briefly.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tiny Signs of Life

I went into the woods today with Amo, to help him with cutting down a dead tree that was threatening to fall and crush the gravestones on our property. Mostly I was there to scream for help if he accidentally cut his leg off with the chain saw, but I did do some work as well. The snow was coming down, first lightly and then heavier, in waves. Everything around us felt so pristine and beautiful. The air was crisp. The only scent was the far-off smell of fires, as that's what most people in our area use to heat their homes.

We really do live in a picturesque area. Standing there, looking up our mountain at the trees all touched with snow, it was as if I were staring at a post card or a website image. It was almost too pretty to be real. I still find myself in awe of the idea that we own this. It seems almost immoral to own it - it has its own personality, its own sentience.

While I was waiting for Amo to finish his chain saw work, I wandered around the area of the woods we were in. We were very close to the corn field, but it still felt very removed from the rest of the world. I kept half an eye on Amo, just in case, but I truly enjoyed walking around and looking at the splendor of our forest. I found the most beautiful little connifers, tiny pine trees just beginning to grow. I'm going to go back next week and try to get some photos, because they're simply adorable, poking up all green and perky out of the snow.

I felt as if I were looking at the Nymphae themselves. Perhaps these miniature trees will one day house a dryad or nymph of some kind. I do know that their little bit of green seemed so tenuous in a way, and yet also so strong a symbol of the springtime that will eventually come.

I wasn't really looking forward to going up into the cold, snowy forest when Amo first asked me. I'm very glad I went, though. It was special, and lovely.

Photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com. Thank you!

Musish inspiration

I've been thinking about a stray comment I made a week or so ago. I told the people at Neos Alexandria that the Muses had come minus the lyre and harp, and instead were packing amphetamines and guns. In other words, there was no denying them entrance that night. The line inspired a few people to chuckle, and I filed it for later work. Here is the result:

The Modern Nine

The muses nine, they call to me
Their voices rise in melody
Enticing song and dance entwined
Their sweet caress brings words to mind.

But this is now, and that was then.
The muses range outside their glen.
To human beings they now bring
Attitude and waspish sting.

Amphetamines are standard fare
They pack guns, intend to scare
Young poets into writing more
And seriously they take this chore.

The world moves fast in modern times;
The muses, too, must learn the rhymes
And rhythms of this new world's mire
Before they can hope to inspire.

(c) Allyson Szabo Jan 7th, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And, the specter returns.

You know, you'd think after the debacle in Texas, people might have learned. *sigh*

http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705275844,00.html - read it and weep. They at LEAST took only the men they were interested in, though, and left the women and children in intact family units. I'm grateful that Canada could do at least THAT much. Little enough it was.

I cringe at some of the quotes. Let me elucidate:

"Two leaders of polygamous groups with ties to Utah have been arrested in Canada, charged with practicing polygamy." -- Well, yes, what else would they be charged with? Doh. I'm sorry, that line should never have made it into a reputable newspaper.

"The law is quite clear. It prohibits polygamous practices from taking place," Oppal said. "This section of the criminal code was enacted prohibiting this type of conduct in order to prevent the exploitation of women."" -- And has anyone checked to see if the women are being exploited? No offense, but they can talk, walk, and use cell phones. This is not Utah in the early 20th century. If the men are being abusive, then charge them with that abuse. If they are NOT being abusive, then what right have you to interrupt their families and their lives?

And the top "I'm an idiot" commentary quoted: ""Polygamy is not a 'religious belief.' It is a crime," said the group's Nancy Mereska. "It denigrates the rights of women and children denying them their inalienable rights to equality and the right to choose."" -- Good freaking grief. Obviously this Mereska person is clueless. First, who died and made her the labeller of religious beliefs? Second, how does living in a poly family (of any type: polygynous, polygamous, polyandrous, whatever) stop you from being equal or from making choices? I live in a poly relationship with five other adults and two toddlers, and you know what? We all make important decisions every day. We share burdens and responsibilities. I would not go back to being "one woman, one man" even if forced. I could not live that way. So what this woman is saying is that her right to be offended by and deny my beliefs is more important than my right to choose. Except that's what she claims to be defending. Uh, yeah, right.

"Shields said several RCMP officers stayed behind after the arrests to meet with community members. "To assure them that we weren't interested in causing damage to the community, we weren't attempting to have children apprehended," he said." -- So what he's saying, in his round about way, is that it's okay for the women to be poly, but not for the men. Can you say double entendre, people?

I'm disappointed. I cut my ties with Canada years ago, and I've never been upset that I did. It's moments like these when I become embarassed that I was EVER Canadian.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Moon poetry

I have been keeping up on my "poem a day" writing, though I'm posting most of it in my other (locked to friends) blog. It isn't so much that it's particularliy personal or anything. It's just not that great. The idea is to spend only a few minutes to a half hour writing the poem, and not to edit at this point. Editing comes later. So I'm doing something painful to me - posting up poetry that isn't Finished. Heh... but I am getting better at getting the ideas out of the head and onto paper. I hope I learn to do better at editing, too.

Anyhow, the poem I wrote today was not too bad. I thought I'd share it here, since it has a bit of spiritual significance, sort of.

Naught But The Dark

She hangs, pregnant and white,
In the dark, milk-stained sky.
The marks of past abuse
Scar her surface so all can see.
Once a month her splendor shines
Like silvered beauty personified;
Yet it never lasts
And her whiteness ebbs,
Shrinking with time
Until nothing is left but the dark.

(c) Allyson Szabo, January 6th, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More poetry

Well, today's prompt wasn't really a prompt but an assignment, so instead of following it (hard to do at 10:00pm) I decided to write my own. I wrote about my day. I thought I'd share it.

A Day Goes By

Up, get coffee, drink coffee.
Make breakfast, clean table.
Tidy toddlers, get toddlers dressed.
Get self dressed, do outside chores.
Come in, clean up toddlers, make lunch.
Clean up table, send toddlers to bed.
Rush to do laundry, writing, email,
Whatever can't be done when toddlers are up.
Get toddlers up, serve snack.
Tidy toddlers (boy they get messy a lot!).
Clean living room, cook dinner, get ready.
Smile on, look composed, don't let the rush show.
Eat like nothing else has to happen,
Then up again to clean the table,
Wash the dishes, switch the laundry.
Did I shower? Not sure...
Get toddlers ready for bed, read stories.
Tuck in. Un-tuck and do potty breaks.
Clean toddlers (there it is again) and re-tuck.
Tidy downstairs, tidy upstairs.
Do last minute chores (switch laundry?).
Take pills and drink a full glass of water.
Fall exhausted into bed. Sleep.
Rinse. Repeat.


(c) Allyson Szabo, January 4th, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Winter's Legacy

I spent today doing a number of rather fun things, including putting away all the Christmas decorations. I like Christmas, and all that goes along with it, but I get tired of it after a whole month of plodding around a huge tree that takes up space we need for other things. So today, we packed up all the ornaments, lights, garlands, and other stuff, and put it away in the barn where it belongs. Now we have our dining room back!

I also split wood, until I caught my thumb in the crack of a piece of wood, and squished it. Nothing is broken, but it's a bit sore, and I wasn't able to finish up the splitting. Still, there's enough in the basement for a couple of days now, and tomorrow we'll not only have the splitter, but the new box Amo made for us to use with the tractor. So we can carry split wood to the basement doors and toss it down more easily. Hooray! We were worried, because we used the truck before but it can't make it through the deep snow.

Anyhow, it's a new year, and I picked up a poetry book (well, a couple of them actually). I have lots of prompts and exercises and suggestions to work with, and so I will post some of the poetry here. This is one of the pieces I wrote today.

Winter's Legacy

It makes you wince just to think of
The way the wind cuts at face and hands
Leaving you red cheeked and gasping for breath.
Winter cold is icy and sharp toothed,
Raising goose flesh and dampening the soul,
Causing even the least bearish of us
To curl beneath warm quilts and crocheted throws.
Beds once smoothed with matching colors
Become riots of reds and purples
When random blankets are tossed on the pile,
And no one cares because of the cozy feel,
The comforting weight of them on your shivering body.
If the storm howls outside, no one cares
Because inside there is love and hot chocolate for all,
And the wood stove kicks out its dry crackling heat.
The piles of crusty mittens slowly melt by the door,
Leaving puddles of muddy wetness to avoid.
Popcorn balls and rice crispy snacks beckon
While leftover bits of Christmas Stilton are munched with crackers.
The last of the decorations is put away for the year,
Yet the smiles and memories will last a lifetime.