alouette, Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Food/Recipes, Health, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Poem – Alouette –  “Papa’s Hands” #amwriting #poetry 


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Photo Challenge prompt. 

——–

Credit: NEKNEERAJ- MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

——–We sit at home eat,

Soft pasta with meat. 

Mama taught me to make food. 

I was a child small,

She yelled and she called —

Me  — incapable and rude.

——

They weren’t angry words. 

But words of fear learned. 

Didn’t want to test Papa, 

She wanted perfect, 

He wanted perfect.

None desired his open hand. 

—–

At such a thing as,

Messed up pasta.

A girl couldn’t help, she learned — 

To make it right or —

Face rage for bad food. 

Mistakes, not to make, she yearned. 

——

But no one’s perfect,

And she preferred.

To leave home with her husband.

With two small children,

Became immigrants. 

Living with hope in new land. 

—–

Shops in a district,

Cultural foods listed. 

Buys groceries for family. 

As do her neighbours.

Here are diverse words.

By leaps she sees life expands. 

——-

The whole family’s glad,

No one’s smacked or mad. 

Homeland missed but no regrets. 

She holds her baby, 

Of two, to her face.

Smiles and says, “I’ve no regrets.”

—–

Her child won’t have to —

Cook or be perfect. 

Or be slapped to the floor, 

 By Grandpa who thought, 

It’s how girl’s learned; not

That his hands bruised and abused. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

History, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Writing Prompt: Poem – Villanelle – “Becoming ‘The Angel In The House’.” #amwriting #poetry #victorianera 


Thank you to Oloriel of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Villanelle writing prompt this week.

—–

Credit: http://www.webexhibits.org – Italian School, The Rustic Concert, The Song

——-

Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn,

We’re here to fill our minds, wonder blooming. 

For learning’s life’s opportunities earned.

Oh what problems will we learn to discern? 

Reading, poise, religion; house ‘angels’ singing, 

Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn. 

How should we serve tea? Keep house, give birth, turn —

On those not good enough? Not with us ranking. 

For learning’s life’s opportunities earned. 

Should our daughters be haughty and learn —

Their goal (as ours), to marry well praying, 

Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn.

Are we moral centers? Ignoring sperns, 

Spouse with many beds, mistresses stringing. 

For learning’s life’s opportunities earned. 

Our value, our husband, children, in turn —

Their children, their marriages bliss bringing? 

Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn, 

For learning’s life’s opportunities earned.

—–

Credit: Crosscurrents Writing Gender – Quote from Virginia Woolf
 

—–

Villanelle

A Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme: aba aba aba aba aba abaa.
The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem, and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).”

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Saturday Mix Flash Fiction: A Discount #amwriting #flashfiction #Saturdaymix 


Thanks to Bastet from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix. Today’s prompt is a story of the mystery genre using A BROKEN VASE, THREE DAISIES, A KNIFE, A MUSSED UP RUG, and A SHOPPING BAG. Sorry, couldn’t quite get this down to 150 words today. 

——

Credit: GSK ’17

——-

A woman lay on the floor holding a shopping bag from Lululemon. Nearby her was what the detective assumed was the murder weapon, a broken vase which had held three Gerber daisies. 

The detective was confused inspecting the victim. It appeared the vase had finally killed her, but he discovered, she also had two stab wounds —older wounds. Beneath the woman was a mussed up rug and her head still bled. The two stab wounds, however, never bled enough to stain the rug. 

The detective discovered the woman’s husband in the den, his hands covered in blood. He didn’t even try to deny killing his wife saying he attempted three times to kill her; a knife stained in blood was found in the den. 

The husband explained, his wife had been sleeping with the neighbours son who attended university. Parker was a manager at a Lululemon store and sleeping with him, the bored housewife ensured herself a fifty-percent discount. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Children/YA/Family, Interviews, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

Interview With Michele Vecchitto


Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview with Michele Vecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.


miichelle-interview-4
Credit: Michele Vicchetto

1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?

I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.

One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore called The Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.


2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?

I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.

My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.

I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.

Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.

On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.

Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.


“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto


3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging? 

I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.

My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.

When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.


4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.

I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.

Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).


“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto


michele-interview-1
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

5.  Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.

Inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.

As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.


6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?

I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.


“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-3
Credit: Michele Vecchtto

7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.

My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!


8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?

I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.

Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.

I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.


“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto


9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?

My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.

The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me. If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.

If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.

If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.

I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?

 I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m  a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.

My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.

I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy  inspirational pieces as well. Both of these kinds of writing have their place.


“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-5
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?

I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.

I’ve also started a Facebook page and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitter has been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.


13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?

I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running called Belle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.


14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:

“Deerfield’s Ghosts”

By Michele Vecchitto

deerfield
photo: Atlas Obscura

Wandered into a cemetery

surrounded by a stone wall

hidden in the deep wood

The cold winter’s wind

calling the shadows and

whispering my name

Air weighted with sadness

as tombs of sorrow beckoned

like a house so empty

I stood alone, waiting

as voices of the lost

washed me in time’s tempest

My hands embraced each soul

as I traced those crumbling stones

placed long ago with care

Overcome with tears

as I read of Martha. loving daughter

a life lived five short years

And her mother, wife of John

who shared the same last day

in another time, another place

Night fell and mockingbirds

resumed their evening song, playing chords

that matched a funeral march

Chilled to the bone and wearied

I sank to my knees beside a family plot, crying

Tell me where hope lives

Awareness that each stone was marked

with that date, February 29, 1704,

came slowly, deliberately

Echoes of war drums rang

through the silence as fear

electrified the hallowed space

The massacre of yesterday

forgotten as time moved on

still hosts ghosts of the innocent

Every once and awhile

the lost invite someone back

to share their story

And so I did


Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”


More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:

  • Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
  • Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
  •  Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
  •  The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times.  I try to live my life as described in “The Choice” and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.

Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Steps Times Two.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Fiction, Health, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Synchronicity Poetry - 8,8,2, -- surprise ending last 2 stanzas, Writing

Photo Challenge: Poem – Synchronicity – “The Thief” #amwriting #poetry #fiction


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting. 

—–

Credit: Anja Buhrer

——

“But how can one regret what, to the mind, has never existed? Even loss is an inaccurate description, for what loss is without the awareness of losing?” – Nicole Krauss 

——

Reflections or shadows briefly stand,

Together as soulmates, us two

Lovers.

——

Your illusion captivates,

Your splendour resilient,

Eyes bright.

——

Even mirror images,

Destain to show your glory told, 

Goddess.

——

Knew you once as a child laughing bold,

Called you names and pulled your hair,

Cute girl.

——-

You’ve grown and you’ve changed,

Hair black and sweeping, shoulder length,

Glossy.

—–

Green eyes telling a story of —

Smiling lips, straightened teeth gleaming

Perfect.

—–

Stubborn chin, lovely breasts rising,

Fluted waist, lush body, legs —

Stellar.

—-

Curves run imagination wild and I, 

Stare, hopeful to hear your lilting voice —

Whisper. 

*****

I examine our reflections,

How strange you hate your beloved —

Husband.

—–

Caring for you as Alzheimers, 

Steals your lifememories; you’re —

Forty-nine.

——-

Synchronicity Poetry — A type of poem with events simultaneously related. The last two stanzas reveal a twist and the syllable count for each stanza is 8, 8, 2. 

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, History, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: The Burlesque Dancer #3LineTales #fiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales:

——

Credit: Grant McCurdy via Upsplash

——–

1. When photographs became possible, Aunt Judith said they were the devil’s tool, they would steal a person’s soul. 

2. Three-months later, I buy one particular photograph of me I adore and see my pretty face and curvaceous body in sepia; Aunt Judith wouldn’t have been angry if I’d only had a stern portrait taken, having finally had her own picture done. 

3. She would be appalled, however, since I have my photograph taken all the time for many men in my costumes; Aunt Judith would disavow her niece, a burlesque dancer at The Gentlemen’s Tavern and Casino; but a girls got to make a living and so far being a nice girl depependant on a husband who ran out her, hasn’t been the best method of survival. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Free Verse, Health, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, OctPoWriMo, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

#OctPoWriMo – Day 18 – Free Verse – “Don’t Take Her I Pray” #amwriting #poetry


Day 18 Prompt: Senseless

“There’s so much going on the the world today where the word “senseless” would apply. Take a few minutes to free write about things you find to be senseless.” 
——–

http://www.vividscreen.info

——

Don’t take her I pray, 

Are the words prayed in vain?

Don’t take her I say, 

We’re still young, not grey. 

Don’t take her I said, 

She’s such a light to her friends.

Don’t take her I beg;

She’s a star growing dim. 

Don’t take her I ask, 

Her absence would be a hole, pitch black. 

Don’t let her leave us, 

Tears stream and stream.

Don’t take her away, 

She has a little guy, just two. 

Don’t take her I pray, 

She’s beautiful and frail. 

Don’t take her I ask, 

Little bird, fading away. 

Don’t take her I pray, 

There is no one like her.

——

Don’t take her I cry, 

You’ll make her mom grey. 

Don’t take her I pray, 

Yet, I don’t want her in more pain. 

Please help her I pray, 

She needs a miracle. 

Don’t leave her I pray,

She needs you Lord–carry her.

Don’t take her I pray, 

Give  her your strength. 

Hold her so tight in your loving arms, 

Don’t let her fade, 

My cherished friend. 

Don’t take her I pray, 

She’s tired and hurting. 

Don’t take her away, 

She has a future of potential. 

Don’t take her I pray, 

Her husband loves her too much. 

Don’t take her I beg, 

Don’t let her light flicker out, 

Into the darkness –out of life. 

Don’t let go of her hand,

Don’t take her from us;

Time in life is too short. 

Don’t take her away,

Our inspiring fighter. 

Don’t take her please, Lord, 

She’s so tired of being ill.  

——

Don’t let her hurt Lord, 

There is too much pain in life. 

Save her from such fiery claws, I beg, 

There is too much pain within —

Cancer’s horrid grip. 

Don’t take her away, 

Don’t let her struggle be for not.

Don’t let her sparkle dim. 

Don’t take her God please, 

She’s such a beautiful soul;

Oh God keep her close. 

Let her heal and be whole, 

She prays and she reads your words, 

You’re her fervent hope. 

Don’t take her away, 

Good Lord, let her be free;

Don’t take her from life yet, 

Though she’d be at your side, 

Down here, we’ll miss her terribly. 

Only if there is no other way, 

Do I pray you for your will to take. 

Please, don’t take her away —

Leave her be well;

Healthy and free of all sickness. 

Fill our dolly with healing, 

Lord our hope, Lord our light, 

Bring her hope on wings of life. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing

Tale Weaver Fairy Tales: Berjlot the Wolf #fairytales #fiction #taleweaver


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this month’s fairy Tale prompt. The prompt is: “imagine an evil force be it witch or some other dark force has cast a spell on you. What form does the spell take, are you frozen in time as in the above image? Are you cursed in a different way?”


frog-taleweavers
Michael – Tale Weavers Fairy Tale

http://www.photobucket.com
Berjlot was a pretty girl with her father’s white-blond hair and her mother’s curls. She also had her mother’s mysterious green-eyes and delighted the entire viking village with her presence.

Asta, Berljot’s mother, had been in labour for hours the night Berjlot was born. The baby wouldn’t come out so Astab finally told her husband Bjarke that he must allow the midwife to cut her belly open and save their babe.

Bjarke felt great pain in his heart when his wife asked him to do allow the midwife to cut the baby out. But he knew he could not lose both Asta and the baby and survive himself.

Cutting the baby out (a much worse version of a c-section) was newer concept which the village midwife had suggested hesitantly. There wasn’t anything to help Asta from the pain but some whiskey. She drank all she could and screamed in pain as her baby Berjlot was born.

Asta named her child Berjlot or “Light will save,” and soft light was exactly what Asta saw as she entered Valhalla. She bled out before the midwife could attempt to stitch her up. Chances were Asta would have died from infection anyways. 

Bjarke held his little girl Berjlot proudly. She was his and Asta’s last child, her four-older brother’s were nearly men. But the baby girl was a light to her father and helped him survive the loss of his wife Asta (“divine beauty”).


Bjarke whose name meant “bear” was indeed, built like a bear and so were his four sons. They helped their father fell logs. Bjarke was now considered an older man and he would need the help of his son’s to survive. 

He had a been a great ship builder but was now arthritic and in pain. He spent most of his time keeping his eye on little Berjlot who spent her days enchanting those around her, a light to the entire community. 

Some of the other women taught Berjlot the necessities of life as a viking woman. Berljot seemed to easily learn how to sew and cooked delicious meals. She also helped with the shearing of sheep and weaving clothe. 

Berjlot’s mother Asta, had also been an accomplished artisan so Berjlot learned the craft of jewelry making from an old women in the village named Ragna (“giving advice”).

As well as crafting fine jewelry, Ragna was a medicine women and a pagan witch. Most people were afraid to be near her but Berjlot had no choice as she was the only other women who knew her mother Asta’s craft of jewelry making.

She was a talented girl and Ragna, seeing her youth, beauty, and the skill with which Berjlot seemed to accomplish every task, became seethingly jealous of the girl. Even at her young age and artisan skill level, Berljot’s jewelry was sought after. 

She was only ten-summers but Ragna was envious of the girl she knew would grow up to be a beautiful woman and likely out rank her being from a powerful family. 

The witch had always despised the girl’s mother Asta for her goddess-like beauty and her gift of creating beautiful jewelry of better quality than Ragna’s designs. 

One day when Berjlot had a cough, Ragna,  playing the kindly old woman she always played around Berjlot said to her:

“Poor dear, I will make you a potion which will rid of you of your awful cough. We can’t have it get into your lungs. Bjarke would be devastated if he lost his only daughter.”

Berjlot accepted the purplish potion Ragna wanted her to drink. It smelled awful and smoke whirled from the earthen cup but the girl drank the potion trusting Ragna as her Oma. 

Suddenly, Berjlot hiccuped. She felt a strange sensation as her body changed from that of girl into a stunning light-haired wolf. She knew her father and brothers would never recognize her in this form and so did Ragna.

Berjlot cried the tears of a wolf and old Ragna laughed at her. She made it appear as if a  wolf had eaten Berjlot.

“Bjarke,” Ragna cried. “A light-haired wolf ate your daughter. See? I have her bloodied and torn dress here. There was nothing I could do.” Ragna wept and made it appear as if she was broken-hearted at losing Berjlot.

Bjarke was devastated. Berjlot was the light of his life and his health failed rapidly after losing his daughter. He was soon set out down the nearby river in his funeral pier set aflame to join his wife Asta. 

Bjarke’s oldest son Dag took over the boat building business with his three brothers and his best friend Asmund (“Divine Protection”). After they had spent time in mourning for their father they and the other men from their settlement,  went into the woods and destroyed all the wolves they could find –even the pups. They never forgot about their little sister Berjlot who had brought such joy wherever she went.


Eight-years passed.  Dag, his three brothers, and Asmund were prosperous men in their viking community building ships and amassing a great amount of land and wealth. Asmund, in particular, was considered a fine catch for marriage but had not found a wife to his liking; Dag and his brothers had already married well.

Asmund was out walking in the forest one night when he saw the most striking female wolf beneath a tree in the moonlight. She had mossy green-eyes which were extremely unusual for a wild animal such as a wolf.

He was surprised when the wolf jumped on him when he wasn’t paying attention. He was set to bring his small ax down on the wolf when she lay down on top of him gently and peered at him with sad eyes. She talked as wolves did, pawing at him, trying to get Asmund to understand something through her barks. He laughed and petted the beautiful wolf as she slept on him. 

The next morning Asmund awoke and the wolf was gone. He thought he’d only dreamed of her. When he went for a walk in the forest several nights later, he again saw the same beautiful wolf.

She playfully tackled him to the ground and barked at him, trying to make him understand her wolf song. When that failed, she lay her head beneath his chin, and slept on top of him as before.

The light-haired and green-eyed wolf barked and slept with Asmund every night he came out into the woods, always burying her nose under his chin.

One night, Ragna the old witch noticed Asmund asleep with the wolf she knew was Berjlot, snuggled half on top of him. The witch plotted to kill Berjlot once and for all and told Berjlot’s oldest brother Dag about the strange looking wolf she’d seen around the forest. 

Dag and his younger brothers went to find and kill Berjlot the following night with Asmund. But when they found the wolf with the light-fur and moss green- eyes,  Asmund begged them not to kill her.

He told Dag the light-haired wolf had become his pet and was docile. Berjlot approached her brother Dag and bowed, she did any trick her brother or his bestfriend Asmund told her to do.

When wicked Ragna saw the brothers had not killed Berjlot in wolf form (and instead, were going to adopt her as a kind of pet) she ran out to kill Berjlot with her sharpest knife. Ragna poisoned the tip of the knife so even if it nicked Berjlot the wolf, it would kill her.

Dag, his three brothers, and Asmund were shocked to see the old witch after the wolf they had befriended. They caught and disarmed Ragna before she harmed the wolf. When Ragna was disarmed she turned to run back to her cottage but Berjlot jumped on her, tearing out the witches throat.

 Immediately,  the light-haired green-eyed wolf turned into a young woman of about eighteen. She was beautiful with her long wavy-blond hair, exotic green eyes, and white skin. Dag’s three younger brothers immediately recognized their sister from her moss green-eyes.

 “Berjlot is that you?” They asked, overjoyed to see their sister alive.

“Yes it’s me,”Berjlot said crying. She hugged her brothers, including Dag. They were a bit sensitive about her being naked with Asmund around. He generously gave Berjlot his cloak to cover herself with. 

“The witch Ragna pretended to be my Oma,” she told the men gathered. “Ragna was jealous that I was prettier than her, and that our mother Asta was prettier than her too. She hated that I did all my tasks well, especially jewelry making. When I had a cough, she gave me a steaming purple potion. I trusted her and drank the potion and she turned me into a wolf.” 

“That’s terrible,” Dag shouted, angry for his sister. “Your death is the reason our father became ill and died. I’m sure the gods are pleased you ripped out the witch’s throat.”

Berjlot sobbed upon hearing about her father’s death. When Asmund comforted her with a hand on her shoulder, she looked up at him with adoration in her eyes.

“I was almost killed when the men from the village wiped out all the wolves but somehow I thrived, even as a wolf. I thought I would always be a wolf until I saw Asmund one night.” Berjlot blushed when she said Asmund’s name.

“Each night Asmund came out to the forest, I pounced on him and tried to tell him what happened to me, but my words only came out as barks or noises as a dog would make. But he kept coming back almost every night and I slept with my nose snuggled beneath his chin.”

“Is this true?” Dag asked his best friend whose face reddened when he gazed at Berjlot in his cloak.

“Yes, it’s true,” Asmund admitted. “I fell for Berjlot. Somehow the gods made me see how noble and beautiful she was even as a wolf. She’s an even more beautiful woman then she was a wolf.” 

“I would be honored if you would allow your best friend and partner in business, to be a husband to your beloved sister,” Asmund asked. To him Berjlot was a light he could not live without in his life. He loved her as a wolf and more so as a woman. 

Dag and his brother’s huddled together talking while Berjlot stared anxiously at Asmund. She came up to him and snuggled her head beneath his chin, showing her affection and gaining Asmund’s comfort. 

“At last, I get to see you in my human form,” Berjlot told Asmund. Both lovers were overcome and wanted to do much more than stand not touching but for Berjlot’s hair cushioning Asmund’s chin.

Dag and his three other brother’s broke from their meeting with happiness. They agreed Asmund would be the perfect husband for their sister because he loved her and watched out for her, even when she was only a beautiful wolf. Thus, they set the betrothal date to that moment and day.

Asmund offered up sheep for wool and jewels as a dowry for Berjlot and they married in a magnificent ceremony in the village. The gods had allowed Berjlot to return from the dead and for two powerful families to be joined in marriage with days of feasting and celebration for the whole community.

Both Asmund and Berjlot lived happily ever after (as best as you could in that time and place). 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Free Verse, May Day Prompts, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Maydays: Poem – Free Verse – “Left Out.” #Maydays #amwriting



——

Thanks to K.L. Caley from new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. I skipped the prompt about geeking out for now. But am going to write about today’s prompt on friendship. My view in my poem today is that even though friendship is excellent, there are times it is frustrating. 

——-

http://www.pinterest.com

——-

I know all my friends are out, 

And I’m stuck inside.

I know we’re true adults now, 

I still feel left out.

As if I wasn’t living life, 

As if I’ve missed so much to time.

Conversations and memories, 

I was never privy too.

——-

Maybe I’ll never grow up,

Maybe a job high up isn’t so vital.

I’m making life up as I go, 

It’s the best I can do, 

I wish sometimes you understood, 

It’s extremely difficult for me sometimes, 

Not only dealing with what life throws at you,

But trying to work through problems, 

Going through a veil, more like a brick wall —

Somedays.

——-

Cancer is killing my friend, 

I don’t know if she knows, 

How wonderful a friend she is to me,

And I don’t know why but she always, 

Floods the room with her beautiful light.

She has cancer and yet, 

Her energy level is much better than mine.

I don’t know how to make my best friends understand, 

They do, but sometimes, 

They don’t see anything at all.

——

Two hours in, needing to sit down and not move, 

Having eaten two pieces of cake, 

One I shouldn’t have eaten. 

Brought the hostess wine, 

Do all the right things to be a gracious guest.

But rarely, do I feel ‘in’ on all the things going on.

I don’t know that feeling anymore, 

I’m used to friends talking around me, 

My mind fading in and out.

I try to pay attention, all the hours I’m out, 

Don’t treat me as a child, like I can’t handle life.

Like I can’t handle honest words and your normal lives, 

Mental illness is a bitch and people have little thought, 

Of what you’re working past.

People may think things, 

At this point I assume my besties understand my battle, 

But maybe they don’t understand?

——

Maybe it’s still a disease people feel uncomfortable about, 

Because they’re grown up into adults with jobs.

They have kids and careers, 

They’ve the normal life.

I’m at home after years, fighting to have energy, 

Writing writing, who picks that as a career? 

But my dreams live and drive me forward.

No matter if my story is polished and presentable, 

I make myself impeccable.

Nice hair and makeup, 

Cute clothes for my size, 

Trying to be thin, like most of them, 

Pretty as them, but more width to my hips.

——

Striving for someone to take interest in me, 

Not feel I’m doing nothing with my life, 

Ask questions about me and be curious, 

Just as I am curious about your life.

Don’t talk over me, 

I know you all have your own fights, 

Cancer the biggest I believe right now.

I wish because of it, you’d understand me more too.

I’m launching myself forward, 

But I must move to a slower pace.

I don’t want to lose my best friends, 

I don’t want to be the only one who feels, 

We need to stay in touch.

——–

An attractive guy would be nice,

A listener, a toucher, a hockey game lover.

I’d love a dog and our own condo, 

No debt, and the ability to exercise well.

All these things I want, 

With boundless energy, 

No more worry about what my friends think of my illness.

Just like them, normal.

——

I want safety in his touch,

Seeking closeness with him and equality.

Connected to me, he’s not half-treating me, 

As of I’m forever a spoiled kid, 

Just because I need a ride.

Because I’m not well enough to drive.

Themes that under lie my life at times, 

Girls looking above me, raising their noses, 

Not knowing I fly in stars and midnight showers of rain.

Soaked to the bone in my imagination, 

Dipping my toes in the rain as I write, 

Sharing my gift and my faith, 

Wisdom of magic and belief.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Beauty, Free Verse, Health, May Day Prompts, My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

Maydays: Poem – Free Verse – “Delicate and Strong” #Maydays



———-

Thanks to K.L. Caley of net2writing for hosting #Maydays Prompts. Today’s prompt is girl power.

———–

http://www.nataliecass.com

——–

She flicks her hair back, examining her face. 

Makeup perfect, eyes smoked with cat flicks.

Blue eyes, peering back at her, clear and focused —

About to work-out in a gym full of men, 

She rolls her shoulders, bare but built.

Self-defence requires strong muscles, 

Carrying kids, moving furniture around;

Working out in a gym surrounded by men can be hard.

—–

Males eat her with their eyes, staring at her rounded curves.

Examining her from her blond ponytail, 

To her hands plane of nail polish, picking up weights.

Her makeup is smearing, 

Her tattoo visible on her upper back, 

A poppy for peace, and the names of her children.

——

They’re eyeing her up, like a piece of steak.

Rare and beautiful, she doesn’t return their gaze.

She’s got a man, and he values her love.

She gave him her heart, so she’s not going to —

Squander his love, on an ogling gym rat.

Making a meal of her, when she was fatter;

And now that she’s thinner, doesn’t matter her size —

Putting up with catcalling, men brushing too closely.

Sexually explicit conversations about her, 

Loud through her head phones playing:

Beyoncé, Carry Underwood, and Alicia Keys.
——–

Finishing working on her back and onto her arms, 

She stands up and walks, for cleaner to wipe the weights off.

A cavalier man gives her yoga pant wearing butt a slap,

Self-defence in motion, with an elbow to the nose, 

A knee to the crotch, shoving man to the floor.

Tears in her eyes, she’s been here to often. 

But she’s built up walls and she’s made herself strong, 

Wishing men wouldn’t value her for her tank top and yoga pants, 

Her body showing skin, doesn’t give men the right to objectify her.

——

But she has power behind her body; a strong mind and integrity, 

A God who builds her up, when she is stark afraid,

Staring at the man on the floor groaning, she offers her hand.

She’s sweating, fighting tears; as strong as she is delicate,

It’s hard for a woman to keep the balance of life, in her life, 

And if you really love a woman, you know her strength lies, 

In the moments of life, that haunt her the most.

In the strength she draws from experience, 

And in those she loves the most. 

——

Alicia Keys – ” Girl On Fire “

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.