Tag Archives: showcasing

‘Invocation’ and ‘Forward to the Americas’ by Carol Whittam (FreeSpace #3)

14 Oct

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I hope very much that readers liked my first 2 poetry slots. I have chosen a consistent theme to conclude my showcase: super-human bravery, endeavour in potentially life-threatening conditions, work from May 2014 which was inspired by a modern day ‘Viking’ ie an ex-pupil of mine (Matthew Mason) who, as part of an 8 man team, rowed the Atlantic from West Africa to Barbados. Each shift over 24 hours involved 2 men rowing for 2 hours (for a gruelling 30 days in 40+ heat) They rowed for personal challenge and charitable causes, missing the world record for such a team by a mere 7 hours. Messages and 4 poems were written as encouragement and sent by magic!

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‘Invocation’ was inspired by the name of the boat ‘Titan’ so I imagined how sailors of old would appeal to ancient gods, such as Oceanus, to assist their passage. The second poem: ‘Forward to the Americas!’ is self-explanatory and references ‘as did sailors of old’ hence the link with the Norsemen! 

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Invocation

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“Oceanus!
O son of the sky,
We call to you ….
Oceanus,
Blessed ruler of waters and seas.
With Earth as our mother
We heed you,
We men
Are a different breed.
But accepting our challenge
As Titans,
We set out
On primordial seas.

Oceanus!
Arise with a new dawn,
Re- light the bold fire
In our eyes
And blow with your breath
To inspire us …
And grant us a following wind!”

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Forward To The Americas

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As bare-skinned boys
With a fire in your eyes
You set out
With the heat of Africa
Across your shoulders :
“Forward to the Americas!”
To ‘Ichirouganaim’
(Called by the Ancient Ones)
-Red land with white teeth-
Your ‘Barbados’, tiny bearded gem
Set amongst coral reefs.

Far, far , and fathoms deep
Across an Ocean ridge,
Rowing with the heave
Of your heartbeats.
What do you see and hear
In the Silence?
Earth, Sky, Sea,
Stars, Moon, Sun.
And the sea,
Always, the Atlantic Sea.

You bare-skinned boys,
Armoured now,
With fire in your heads,
Hauling oars,
Against the law & the lure
Of the sea;
Skimming shoals, sharks & turtles,
Time-travelling
Across 200 million years
Of a spreading ocean floor
In the wake of Conquistadores.
Like them, carrying personal faiths
As your talisman.
But your family bonds
Are Your Gold!
As did sea-farers of old ,
You go forward
With navigational magic —
And now satellites — message
Heaven-sent words.

You have marked your place
In this vast Universe.
“Now go on!
Forward, t’ward the Americas!”

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Carol is a retired 3/4 Irish teacher of English, from Accrington, Lancashire, aged 62. Her love of drawing and painting … was overtaken by writing in the hectic course of her career. For 34 years she had the fun filled privilege of creating and selecting pieces to stimulate and facilitate children’s writing. Particularly fond memories remain of collaborative workshops ending in much appreciated performances….so, although she is not actively involved in social media …she was inspired to collaborate off the scene, becoming a ‘pupil’ by responding to the info posted by ArtiPeeps ( last year on Transformations) and for this year’s much bigger extravaganza on the Vikings. She found that following the crescendo of progress by tuning in, tends to promote infectious enthusiasm and the question: What would I make of that? (Who knows …but it is likely that there are others out there who had the same reaction!) In this situation, she says, “I find myself still thinking like a teacher considering a narrative style, offering a way in for the uninitiated by choosing a suitable voice which will address the reader directly whilst paying homage to the factual and emotional aspects of the subject. 

You can find Carol’s previous two FreeSpaces here and here

 

The Northlands by Carol Whittam (FreeSpace #2)

30 Sep

Vikings

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The Northlands

by Carol Whittam

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Out of the Northlands,
From that – huge before time
Before? When the world was new.
From that – ‘Once upon a time…
A deeply woven mythology grew –
When a man’s world was small.

Norsemen created their cosmos
…. As a world tree ….
Yggdrasil

To try to make sense of it all!

Heavens of stars,
Misty clouds and ice,
Dark chasms and wells below,
Whilst in the primordial centre,
A giant Ash tree started to grow!
Betwixt the Heavens & Hell,
Stretching and branching,
– Evergreen –
From gnarled roots
Deeply growing
Yggdrasil
Nine realms find!
Above, around and beneath
The tree’s gigantic girth,
One home in Midgard
For humankind,
The Viking farmers
Of
Middle Earth.

From thence sailed the brave,
– Leaving warm home fires –
Not knowing where they’d go!
Hauling wooden longships
Away from fire-stone, ice and snow;
Across serpent-ridden seas,
Steel-eyed, warrior minds,
Searching horizons, learning tides,
Battling storms, risking lives!
Crossing Utangard
Never knowing what they’d find!
Not knowing where they were going,
But knowing from whence they came:
Created from giant Ymir
Whom Odin ripped apart!
In sacrifice and renewal
He became their ancient sire.
In homelands formed of volcanic stone
Such folk were born with hearts of fire!
Their land was of his flesh,
Sacrificed to make their home.
Blood of blood and bone of bone.
O how his eyes made the sun glow!
O how his mind made the moon!
Powerful blood became water,
Breath of life the airy wind!
In this elemental world
Such Norsemen were born:
Born to be farming the land,
Born to be tested by waves,
Born with fire in their hearts,
They who were valiant and brave!

And Ymir, the life-bringer,
Sacrificial source of Earth,
The Heavens, the pounding waves of the sea!
And at the World’s centre, Firm and strong,
The mighty Ash: The Yggdrasil tree!
From this elemental world
Of the Northlands
These Vikings came!

 

 

Carol is a retired 3/4 Irish teacher of English, from Accrington, Lancashire, aged 62. Her love of drawing and painting … was overtaken by writing in the hectic course of her career. For 34 years she had the fun filled privilege of creating and selecting pieces to stimulate and facilitate children’s writing. Particularly fond memories remain of collaborative workshops ending in much appreciated performances….so, although she is not actively involved in social media …she was inspired to collaborate off the scene, becoming a ‘pupil’ by responding to the info posted by ArtiPeeps ( last year on Transformations) and for this year’s much bigger extravaganza on the Vikings. She found that following the crescendo of progress by tuning in, tends to promote infectious enthusiasm and the question: What would I make of that? (Who knows …but it is likely that there are others out there who had the same reaction!) In this situation, she says, “I find myself still thinking like a teacher considering a narrative style, offering a way in for the uninitiated by choosing a suitable voice which will address the reader directly whilst paying homage to the factual and emotional aspects of the subject. 

The poem above evolved from taking that approach and looking at some of the lovely Viking imagery and visualisations of the Yggdrassil tree on line. I had fun writing them and offer them retrospectively!

 

Watch out for a third piece from Carol in the near future….

‘Mixed Episode’; ‘Care in the Community’ by Louise M. Hart (Poet) FreeSpace #3

28 May

Brain

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Mixed Episode

by Louise M. Hart

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Through the eons of my suffering
And the perpetuity of my pain
Dissociated from the familiarity
Of shared meaning and consensual reality
The spectres of madness
Misery and mislead mentality
Fuelled my moral shame

Lost in the wilderness of unceasing mental flight
And the fight to still the rapid thoughts
That summoned my ecstatic anguish
And melancholic blue delight
Like a whore I surrendered to the tremors
Of the merciless and entrapping night

I dismantled my pedestal
Only to be captured by the arms of jailers
Paid to seal my fate
To be the accused in a never ending trial
Governed by the hegemony of The State

Whilst my body became secured
Within a hospital ward
Policed by nurses and hate
My mind
Formerly determinate and solid
Fragmented into a thousand fragile parts
Each with no knowledge
Of the others
And belying my flailing sick and tired heart

My inner voice externalised into a universal yell
That began
“Help me nurse, I don’t feel well”
And culminated in a needle
In the arse of the hell
Of my enforced unreason
And silence

Thus I was baptised for the second time
Not in water
But in the shrine of my mutilated throat
The shuttered eyeballs of the socially excluded
The flesh of my sacrificial duffel coat

Even my doting Mother could not perceive
The blood and bones
I saw beyond human flesh
The words only I could hear
That inflamed my agitation
And saturated my soul with fear
And ontological distress

I challenged all perception
And claimed that reality was a scam
A grand hallucination
In which existence was woman
And matter did not matter
For I was the only one and true
Living Mad Hatter

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Care in the Community?

by Louise M. Hart

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At any time I could freak
Or stay in bed for at least a week
And they would say
“I bet she hasn’t taken her tablets today”

I could shout or cry
Scream that I wanted to die
And they would say
“I bet she hasn’t taken her tablets today”

But, what will they say
When I take my tablets every day?

Release her like a rehabilitated criminal
From the padded cell of care in the community
Where she will lobotomise every opportunity
That comes her way

And refuse to take her tablets any day
*I dedicate these poems to any readers who feel alone in their suffering. YOU are not alone.

Writing is the scream that cannot be silenced.

You can find more about Louise and her poetry here:
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You can get Louise’s latest book The General Paralysis of Sanity here

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*’FreeSpace’ offers creatives or groups 3 slots on ArtiPeeps which can be taken up in a cluster or in a sequence over a period of months. They can be used for further showcasing, self-expression or for projects.

If you are interested in FreeSpace, don’t hesitate to get in contact via a reply box, or the form on our What’s On’ Page or via @ArtiPeeps

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‘Dear’ & ‘Tread Softly’ by Louise M. Hart (Poet) FreeSpace #2

22 Apr

Maternity by Picasso

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Dear

by
Louise M. Hart

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Mother…
You personify the best and worst of the universe

You bore me naked
Then you covered me up
You believed my existence serendipitous

But I ran out of luck

You nurtured a seed
That bloomed into a weed
Refusing to grow up

For I disavowed a blossoming exterior
In order to feel nearer to you
Than to myself

Mother…
You filled my tears with laughter

My smiles belied a must
To master the unacceptable disaster
Of my uninvited, hidden desires

Thus, I inhaled the air like a choking mist
My life shortened by each deadly hiss
Of lung penetration

Mother…
I like your soul, but not your hair

I eat Mum’s, because I know you care

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Tread Softly

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Invention of my Mother
Who lifts me up
I am nearer to death
Than to love

She will always be more than a memory
Who beckons my mind to follow
Its creative streams
Of metaphorical rivers and symbolic seas

Oceanic under mental foot
Spread beneath passing readers’
Psychical feet
Like Yeats’ immersive, but desiccated dreams

Another day over
A milestone nearer
I cry myself younger

You can find more about Louise and her poetry here:
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Watch out for Louise’s 3rd FreeSpace.  Coming Soon!

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*’FreeSpace’ offers creatives or groups 3 slots on ArtiPeeps which can be taken up in a cluster or in a sequence over a period of months. They can be used for further showcasing, self-expression or for projects.

If you are interested in FreeSpace, don’t hesitate to get in contact via a reply box, or the form on our What’s On’ Page or via @ArtiPeeps

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Do take a look at our ‘The Nine Realms’ Indiegogo Campaign

19 poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat!

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

 

nine realms8

‘North by West Midlands’ Part 2 by Louise M. Hart (Poet) FreeSpace #1

3 Mar

Angel of the North

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North by West Midlands, Part 2

Except Yourself

by

Louise M. Hart

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I travelled north to learn how to be free
But the shrieking gulls delivered my spirit
To Nemo’s tomb
Buried beneath 20,000 leagues of despair
Under a doom sated sea
A fisher of souls, swept to her watery demise
By waves that tempted my mind
And stung my watery eyes

Lapping the frail shore of my bored
Consciousness
I roared from the depths
Of my soul’s new found distress
And swallowed the sea water’s acrid foam
Like a fleet of melting acid ice cream cones
My thoughts nourished by the taste of its cool duplicity

Being caught between the to and fro
Of my unique soul’s existence and human homogeneity
I had become invisible, both on land and sea
Like a single splash of water on a pier-less shore
Depositing no residue of my life or piteous form

One day, I stepped into troubled waters
Where I witnessed rising from his/her liquid bed
Like Poseidon’s changeling son/daughter
The angel of the north
Who spoke to me, “It’s not so bad, up here, with the haggis
And the local beer
Better rain upon a sunny head
Than sun shining beyond a mind
That is dull as lead”
“Like mine,” I screamed
“It is not your home location,” S/he equivocated
“Inducing your mental rot
Your soul is sick
For existence has failed to offer you a role
In this season’s production
Of the dominant model
Of the anti-social whole
This is not how life should be…
This is not how life should be”

Angel of truth
Lancelot, inhabiting a nautical incarnation
Of Avalon, for the guiltless generation
Riding against the tide, with limbs of lace and leather
Your presence warmed my heart
Like rays of sun in wintry weather
Words slid from your tongue
Like a gentle elixir
I drank them slowly
And let them fix me

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Part 1 is here

 

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You can find more about Louise and her poetry here:
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Louise will be returning for her second FreeSpace on Wednesday 22nd April.

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*’FreeSpace’ offers creatives or groups 3 slots on ArtiPeeps which can be taken up in a cluster or in a sequence over a period of months. They can be used for further showcasing, self-expression or for projects.

If you are interested in FreeSpace, don’t hesitate to get in contact via a reply box, or the form on our What’s On’ Page or via @ArtiPeeps

Weekend Showcase : Chris Nugent (Artist)

28 Nov

Spotlight

Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.

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Chris Nugent

 

Piece 1 Chris Nugent

Neuropia

 

The white picture [above] with the colourful pattern i call Neuropia. It was created to give of happy vibes and energy. The patterning representing thought processes and the endless possibilities of the mind.

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Piece 2 Chris Nugent

Biophot

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The even more colourful picture I call Biopoht [above]. Quite simply a fantasy dreamland and colourful feast for the eyes. As with all my work i like to feel uplifted when i look at it and also hope it has the same effect on other people.

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Biography

I have always had a creative side to me, but never known how to express it. Often picking up a pencil to sketch something, only to face a mind blank and a complete lack of idea. I left the Royal Navy earlier this year and found i had a little more time on my hands to express some creativity, so i got that pen and paper out and just let my mind wander. What came out of this i thought to myself is pretty good. So there it started, about six months ago, and hopefully i can now start to get my work out there, try bigger pieces and new things. My pictures are my escapism and i now feel i wouldn’t be me without doing them. So here’s to the future, and what creativity it may bring with it.

https://twitter.com/doodleartz

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* Weekend Showcase is a simple showcasing opportunity for creatives from any discipline. The opportunity features a creative and the piece they feel best represents them at the moment. If you would like to be showcased do get in  touch via the contact form on the What’s On page or via the comments or reply tab at the bottom of posts. 

 

Thank you for your interest.

Seasons Collection by artist Tracey Jane Cooper (FreeSpace #3)

25 Nov

Welcome to the final FreeSpace post from artist Tracey Jane Cooper showcasing 3 paintings  which are part of her….

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 Seasons Collection

– Scottish Meadow, Autumn Fire, Warmth-

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Scottish Meadow

30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas

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Scottish Heather

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I painted this piece after a recent visit to Scotland. The colours reflect those found in my newly discovered Cooper family tartan. It is based on one of my very first paintings which proudly lives in my home.


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Autumn Fire

15 x 15cm acrylic on canvas

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Autumn Fire

 

This painting reflects a blazing Autumn sunset, the flowers and plants now seedheads, some reflecting in the glory of the sun before they die off in the cold Winter.

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Warmth

30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas

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Warmth.

Imagine the sky is still blue from a crisp Autumn day, the flora is turning to deeper shades and the sharp breeze is whipping through the air.

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 Biography

Tracey recently began painting again after many years dreaming about it.

I’m inspired by nature, particularly the sky. The sun and it’s warmth or coolness always feature, sometimes you can feel the heat of the sun in them, often the flowers are blistering in the intensity of it and that’s what I like to portray.
 
I paint mainly with acrylic, sometimes with watercolour for more fluidity, depending on the piece.
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https://twitter.com/traceyjanesart

 

If you missed Tracey’s previous two FreeSpaces you can find them here and here.

 

 

FreeSpace is a creative opportunity that offers 3 posts on ArtiPeeps to an individual or group for showcasing or a project. The slots can be taken in a cluster or spread over a period of months. Do get in touch via the contact form on the What’s On page or via comments if you’d like to take up this opportunity.

Weekend Showcase : Tracey Jane Cooper (Artist)

10 Oct

Spotlight

Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.

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Tracey Jane Cooper

 

Summer Infusion by Tracey Cooper

 Summer Infusion


Biography

Tracey recently began painting again after many years dreaming about it.

I’m inspired by nature, particularly the sky. The sun and it’s warmth or coolness always feature, sometimes you can feel the heat of the sun in them, often the flowers are blistering in the intensity of it and that’s what I like to portray.
 
I paint mainly with acrylic, sometimes with watercolour for more fluidity, depending on the piece.
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https://twitter.com/traceyjanesart

 

 

Weekend Showcase : Brenna Layne (Writer)

19 Sep

Spotlight

Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.

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Brenna Layne

 

The Glass Box

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Love is the crooked thing.
—William Butler Yeats

 

Prologue

Imagine a village.

Imagine it perching high on a steep slope just above the treeline, clinging to the mountainside like a bird to a branch in the instant before it takes flight.

You have seen such villages before, and you know how the winter wind laces its fingers through the cracks under doors and around windows, crying to be let in. You know that scrabbling a scant living from rocky soil has carved deep lines around the mouths and eyes of the men and women. You know that their children run wild over rock and alpine meadow, driving the goats home just before twilight falls.

You have seen such villages before, and you know their inhabitants. There is always a mayor. He always has a wife who died in childbirth, and an ample waistcoat, and some number of lovely daughters, and the sharpness of his vision always extends just to the borders of his own town.

There is always a healer, an old man or woman whose cottage smells of pungent herbs. The healer always sees a little farther than the mayor, just far enough to see his or her own death as it approaches, padding on soft paws up from the foothills.

There is always a holy man, too, though he goes by different names—prophet, seer, madman, poet, fool. He stands with one foot in this world, and one in another. He sees things that do not exist, and hears voices on the wind.

There are always craftspeople, filling the streets (which are always winding) with the music of their industry, and their forges and kilns and looms and ovens are always attended by wide-eyed and slightly underfed apprentices. The craftspeople and their apprentices squint inward, into the mysteries of fire and clay, the warp and weft of fabric, and the alchemy of rising dough.

There is always a beautiful young woman, and a minimum of two strapping young lads are always in love with her at any given time. Whether one rival kills the other will determine many of the events which will follow.

And there is always another, a stranger blown in by the mountain storms that rage about the peak.

You have seen such villages before, but not this one.

This village backs up like a cornered animal against an impassable mountain peak, which is not unexpected. A thick forest covers the slopes below the village, hemming it in, which is also not surprising. If this were any other village, a path would run through the forest. Few of the villagers would venture down it, of course, but occasionally a small caravan would make its way up the mountain to trade. Perhaps once or twice in a generation, a young woman or man, weary of smoky fires fueled by goat dung and houses huddled together against the wind like old gossips, would venture down the path that wound through the towering firs and aspens, and would embark on a quest for True Love or Adventure.

But there is no path through this forest. There may have been, once, but the trees have grown close together. The forest is expanding, inching slow fingers up the slopes. Every year, the grazing lands grow a little smaller. Every year, the village boundary contracts just a little, almost too little to be worth noticing. The villagers have built a low boundary wall of the grey stone that is their chief natural resource. The wall keeps nothing out or in. A child can step over it. The wall is a reminder only, a way of marking time. Each year, the forest creeps a little closer.

Nothing in the village is wooden, unless it is a hundred years old. The sounds of axes never echo off the mountainside, and there has not been a carpenter in the village for a hundred years. If there were Woodsmen here once, no one now living remembers them. And no one ever, ever ventures beneath the shadow of the trees.

There is something moving in the forest. What it may be, no one can say. The villagers understand one thing about the forest—whoever enters it will die. Because there is always an exception to prove the rule, a boy wandered into the trees once, seven years ago, and sprinted out again with only emptiness behind his eyes. Now he speaks in riddles by day, and screams at night. Now, if a child dares another child to dart between the trunks and back again, both children’s fathers set the rope to their backs, for love of them.

No one comes to the village through the forest. From time to time during the brief summers, when the slopes burst into a patchwork of color, a traveler-mage materializes without warning in the village square. No one else has business with the village. The only enticements it has to offer are copious amounts of goat cheese and the beautiful young woman, and both these things can be found in any other town of its size.

Once upon a time—or somewhere in its general vicinity—a man came to the village. If this was a different story, such an occurrence would hardly be worth mentioning. To this village, however, no one ever came, and so the event proved to be not only noteworthy but very nearly cataclysmic.

The villagers feared the stranger when he first arrived, because he had emerged alive and whole from the forest, and the light of reason still shone in his eyes. They watched him as he set up camp on the slope just above the village, wondering how long he would stay, and if he had brought anything to bargain over. One or two wondered if he had anything worth taking, and calculated whether anyone would notice if he went missing. Then they watched him as he built a house after the manner of their own, lifting and stacking stones and roofing it with sod, and wondered what he could possibly be thinking, to settle there.

This man’s name was not Frost, but he called himself that anyway, and so that was how the villagers came to know him. When he arrived, more than a few of the village maidens sighed and pined and batted their eyelashes, until their fathers asked them if they had something in their eyes, while their mothers wisely asked nothing and silently wondered if they, too, were not too old to be sighing and pining and batting. If this were another story, this would have been due to devastating personal beauty or at least a seductive aura of danger on Frost’s part. However, it was due mainly to the fact that Frost paid no attention to anyone, and did not smell like goats.

At first, he threatened to live up to his name. On closer inspection, everyone found that their first impressions had been correct. Frost was, in fact, as cold as the winter winds that swept down from the peak, freezing the goats’ milk in the pail in the time it took to move between the shed and the kitchen.

The next time the traveller-mage arrived in town, he brought, for some inscrutable reason, a great quantity of window-glass. Frost bought most of it, and fitted his stone cottage with windows looking up toward the peak and out over the treetops below. The villagers shook their heads, but a few of them bought glass, too, when the others weren’t looking, and replaced the goatskin-covered windows in their own houses. The traveller-image returned the next spring with more glass, and by the time he left, most of the windows in the village glinted in the sunlight, though all but the stranger’s looked back toward each other, away from the storm-wreathed mountain and the shadows of the trees.

Time passed. People got married, had children, grew old, and died, hemmed in by the trees that pressed closer each year. Many things happened, but three in particular are worth noting. In order, they are these:

1) The village matchmaker died.

2) The mayor, improvising as mayors must, broke with hundreds of years of tradition that dictated that the matchmaker be an eccentric old woman, and foisted the job off on Frost.

3) The beautiful young woman vanished without a trace.

Because you have known villages like this one, you know that a village has a long memory, but also a prodigious capacity for forgetfulness. By the time three more winters had come and gone, the first and third things had become irrelevant, and only the second mattered. It mattered because of a glass box. Because you have known stories like this one, you have heard about a princess in a glass box, who is awakened by True Love’s Kiss.

This is not that story.

 

nb. the above is the beginning of a larger meta-fairytale which Brenna is currently developing. 

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Biography

I am a writer, wife, mother, beekeeper, and chicken-wrangler living in rural Virginia. I write YA fantasy, and am currently seeking an agent.

http://brennalayne.com/

https://twitter.com/writerdotmom

Weekend Showcase : Hank Archer (Poet)

23 May

Spotlight

Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.

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Hank Archer

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Kandinsky

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SUNSET SOUNDS

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Christ! Kandinsky
could hear colors –
the hum of grey
a pin’s drop
or lipsmack
during yellow –
I wonder what it felt like then
to stroll past corner grocers
or girls in dresses walking dogs
more sonorous
I would imagine
than all the words I know
or any song I’ve
learned to copy
off the radio

 

Bio:

Hank Archer is a journalist and poet. He plays in a rockabilly band, drinks coffee, and lives in Canada. Follow him on Twitter: @HANKarcher.

 You can find more about Hank’s work here too:

http://hankarcher.wordpress.com/

 

See here for more about Kandinsky.

 

Thank you, as ever, for your interest. If you would be interested in being showcased do get in touch via the contact form on the What’s On page or via @ArtiPeeps

 

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