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Witchified – Cesily’s Grand Opening (Excerpt)

“Are you the, uhm, witch who has placed the, er, the advertisement up in the clouds this morning?”

“Yes!

“I’d never done one before. Do you think it came out all right?” I asked picking up my coffee and books off of the low table in front of the couch. I began to move behind the counter, and he took a few more steps towards me as I moved away from both the door and the seating.

“It’s just that…” he looked at me then at his shoes, beautiful black boots of scrolled leather and pointy toes, then back up at me.

I shrugged a shoulder and raised an eyebrow.

“It’s just that what?”

“Well, madam witch,” he paused briefly as if he wanted my name. Then, as if he changed his mind, the rest of his words rushed out in a flood, “todoapublicworkinglikethatyouneedacitypermit. Do you have a copy of your permit nearby?”

My eyes had squinted trying to follow what he was saying than went wide as I shook my head and leaned back.

“How much for a permit?” I asked.

“Well, madam, the permit is 200 lukas, and the fine will be another 80 lukas.” By now the madam this and madam that had started to annoy me, and the amount of the cost of the permit distressed me.

Right away the cheap and frugal part of me went to battle with the obey-the-rules part of me. That conflict was quickly followed by the anti-authoritarian part of me jumping into the fray which woke up survival me, and I’m afraid I stood there scowling at him while this raging argument tumbled furniture and broke things in my mind.

“What if I took it down right now? Would I still owe anything? I didn’t know about needing a permit.” Find-the-loophole-me saunter into the situation carelessly throwing down the obvious easiest possible solution, while dodging the metaphorical plates and chairs the others were still slinging around in my mind. Find-the-loophole-me tried to come up with other exits against the background tussle while I blinked, somewhat fetchingly I thought, at the government man.

He came over to the counter where I had set down my coffee. I piled my books onto a shelf under the counter and straightened back up to see him pulling on his beard. There were crinkles around his eyes which seemed to dance merrily in his face, and he had a crooked bit of a smile which made me feel awfully strange in a nice way when he turned it my direction, like he was doing while I stood there fiddling with my coffee and waiting for his answer.

I smiled back at him. He shook his head and his smile dropped away, which was disappointing. He cleared his throat again and shook his head some more.

“I’m afraid not, there’s already been a complaint, and I’m afraid you’ll have to settle up with me or come down to the office.”

My eyes lit up and I smiled again leaning forward over the counter towards him, glancing swiftly left and right, and whispering loudly, “What happens if I go down to the office with you?”

He took a step back and cocked his head to one side. His eyes glanced at the ceiling, and he stroked his beard, and he said, “Uhm, honestly, this is my second week on the job since my training ended, and I have no idea. Hold on up while I find out.”

Patreon Link to Full Story Subscription tier Curious Cats and up.

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Freshly Brewed (Poetry Book Excerpt)

I was loved once

Not by the woman who bore me

Nor by the one who raised me

Not by the man who acquired me

Nor by the one who may not know I exist

I was loved by ghosts

Goddesses and gods

Spiders and birds

Trees and flowers

I was loved once by a dream

And once again by a song

Though I learned to love people

I did not know

I might still not know

How to be loved

It is a skill taught so young that those who learn

Forget it was ever a lesson

***

J’ai été aimée une fois

Pas par la femme qui m’a porté

Ni par celle qui m’élevé

Pas par l’homme qui m’atenue

Ni par lui qui me sait pas si j’existe

J’ai été aimée par les fantômes

Déesses et dieux

Les araignées et les oiseaux

Des arbres et des fleures

J’ai été aimée une fois par un rêve

Et une fois par une chanson

Même si j’ai appris a aimer les personnes

Je ne savais pas

Je ne sais peut-être tourjours pas

Comment être aimée

C’est une competence à prendue quand on est si jeune que ceux qui l’apprendre

Oblient que c’etait une fois une leçon

***

Excited to be working with a translator for this introduction, and the section introductions to my poetry book Freshly Brewed, a coffee table poetry book about objectification, trauma recovery, learning to relate to other people, relationships, and coffee. Point of view is often from the coffee.

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Tail Ends

There were stories told about her hair

How dangling out the window curved

A brave lover dared to climb

Who woo’d her time and time again

Until she fled captivity

Did she bundle up her locks to flee

Did she sheer them off and hide the key

Did she stay the course with lover dear

Or did she veer away when the path was clear

Around the campfires late at night

They sing the tale of tail’s poor plight

How clumps and strands of golden locks

Were found within the Bear’s porridge

Wrapped around the table and every chair

Mounded on each size of cot

No footprints leaving through the mud

The theory is she’d had enough

Grew wings and to the skies she took

This is how the golden eagle came to be

When we reach the end of gilded tails

Look up and tell me what you see

golden eagle
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Boats On The Water

The harbor is spiked with masts of the vessels which have gathered under the low grey clouds. I am out on the edge in my small boat pulled up next to another. We are talking about where to tether our boats deeper into the bay, closer to shore. He says he will meet me there at the red boat. Do I see it?

In the gap between a large white boat, and a smaller grey boat, I can see almost to the shore. There is a mysterious natural wood boat, darkened with age and layers of pitch which catches my eye before the sleek, sharply rising hull of the red boat swings into view. The smooth water is lapping quietly between us as conversations and the occasional shout drift out over the water.

Go there he says, and I take up my paddle to thread through the anchor ropes and towering sides.

The red boat with the white surface has people sitting on the top when I pull up alongside. Three people are sitting out on top, and I greet them. May I tie up here? I ask them. The red haired man doesn’t turn his head my way, and the brunette woman is gazing off the other side of the boat. A younger man in shorts hops up and takes my rope. Come aboard, he said. There’s food in the galley.

Down in the galley, a dark haired woman with straight shoulder length hair which swings as she moves, is sweeping the floor. The broom and her hair seem to be dancing to the music playing. I don’t see the source of the sweet sounds, and thumping drums, and she’s talking as she moves in and around the others.

“The thing is he’s said the same things to me as he says to all the women. So, each one believes they are the only one he’s interested in, even though he tells us he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. We don’t believe him. We fill in the blank spaces with our stories. He seems so interested, attentive, and focused on us, and we want so desperately to believe that our devotion will bring him around…”

The man in shorts hands me a plate of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. His bright eyes crinkle when he smiles and points out a spot at the table for me. I thank him, and sit next to a woman overflowing her brightly colored sundress. Her hair is pulled back, and from her ears dangle circles within circles of shaped wooden earrings. She has tossed her head back and is laughing loudly before leaning forward on an elbow, and pointing her toast at the sweeper.

“Aye, he told me the same just yesterday. And you’re the fool as much as me, and that cantina woman too. But none of us will give him up, either.”

The eggs are almost well cooked, a little soft for my liking, but the flavor is good, and the toast buttered.

I am listening and waiting, and wondering when he will get here. Is their him, my him? Am I a fool as well, I wonder as I swallow the last bite of bacon.

A mug of coffee is set down by my empty plate, and then the plate is taken away. I turn to see who took my plate, but all I see is the back of a green dress with curls cascading down it.

The hustle and the bustle of the kitchen had been soothing. Clatter of plates and forks, and laughter to music, and conversation of people well acquainted, but I feel the shift as well as hear it when every sound becomes sharper, and the colors brighten and the light dims. I drink a sip of my coffee, and then take the mug and stand up, a stranger looming in the center of this space. No one glances at me now.

I go back out onto the deck. Already the dark has crept in across the water. I stand at the railing, and listen to the harbor. I listen to the sounds of the bay as they soften. I see a lantern lit, and shadows set about on distant decks as they prepare for night. Someone off to the shoreside begins to play a flute.

I wake up in comfort, surrounded by white sheets, blankets, walls. The wood trim around doors and windows have been white washed. The bed is soft and firm, and the pillow thin the way I prefer. I stretch and wonder where I am, and how I got here. I note the lack of anxiety, and think maybe I should feel more concerned, but the door opens, and a woman in a white dress, blonde hair upswept enters with a dark wooden tray which she sets bedside.

She sits on the edge of the bed and pulls down my covers. I watch to see what she will do, and she says, “I would encapsulate your capillaries.”

Now, I feel concerned and sit up asking her, “What does that even mean?”

She is pouting, and beginning to melt. I hear car doors, and the walls of the room fall away into blackness.

The comforting slats of this futon beneath me, I awaken more fully. Thinking of boats on the water, and wondering about the hearts gathered in the harbor ready to sail, I rise to make the coffee.

pexels-photo-89095.jpeg
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Seeing Angels

They love the bustling crowds

Of New York City

Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angelas

Blending in

Elbow to elbow with humankind

There is a cast to their outline

A little brighter

A lack of shadow

They feel your glance like a touch

When your eyes dart back to look again

They have already disappeared

Did they shapeshift

Downshift

Become invisible

Were they to task

Or on shore leave for a moment

Oh, mysterious world!

Full of wonders and secrets

Unfold miracles in these troubled times

And let the winged ones

Have their moments

In the sun

man with wings standing on brown mountain peak
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Behind the Song: 10 Cent Angel

Patchwork Blue Album

You don’t look back. You fly.

Leaving
Being Uncomfortable
Meeting Angels
Turning it around

10 Cent Angel is about leaving – not the nostalgic adventure, but the one where staying would mean the death of spirit, destruction. This is the song for those who walked, or ran away, and who maybe looked back once or twice and kept going.

This is for those who want to go, who need to go, or who have considered it. If you understood the fuel behind the leaving, you might understand how it wouldn’t be as true if it had been done differently.

This song is also for those met along the path, who shared a part of the journey. Good company. Angels taking care of angels. Shelters in the storm. Those kind words, and unexpected generosity. Thank you.

And this is for the gossips left behind – the petty speculation  and mean-spirited focus are part of the whole problem with humanity. Turn your mind to helping yourself and others.

And lastly this song for those who take advantage  of others’ youth, innocence, and naivete – you never win, nor will you ever win.

Wendy Kheiry
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Kicked to the Curb (with Audio)

On a dingy curb they sat

She in a dress once white

Grubby ruffles sliding down

From scabbed knees

Bare feet in the gutter

A thin arm wrapped around

His shoulders boney under

A faded blue shirt

His grim shorts matched

The grey cement

She called his name as she

Held him

Grabbed his elbows then

Wove her arms into his

The traffic in front of them

Pulsed in fumes and beats

Music poured out from cracked

Windows

Behind them legs took people

Quickly to their next appointment

She called his name

She called his name

I need you, she said

She called his name

I’m sorry, so sorry, so sorry

She called his name

Please survive

I will find you

In this bubble outside of time

Pact struck

Within the swirling city

That never was

Children who never were young

Spit on palms and clasped hands

Making promises

For the future

Writing hope into the lamplight

Singing dirges to the past

Drawing stick figures in grime

A couple kissing

Two in love

Encircled by an asymmetric heart

And when they woke

To another day in hell

Apart and never parted

Hanging on by a thin thread

Woven from a fragment of a

Dream half remembered

Until the day it was needed

“I’m glad you made it,” she said

“I feel selfish for needing you to survive that.”

“I hope you found some joy in the sunlight,

And laughter in the wind,

And peace in the water,

And love growing up from the soil.”

Possibilities swirled around them

Standing there between the light

And the Abyss

A single path began to coalesce

As he slid his hand into hers

“I said I would find you,” he told her

Every star in the sky became a blossom

Every flower in the meadow burst into flames

Birds became dragons

Whales flew through purple skies

Smoke curled up from stone chimney

A cat slept next to a dog in front of the hearth

They curled together under a blanket on the couch

She began to read to him from an unfinished book

When he closed his eyes for a moment

Under the words she spoke, he heard her call his name

And his name meant home to her

And so he stayed

monochrome photo of person sitting on curb
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