Sips a grenadine dream
Floating on still waters
Of a pumpkin-orange stream
Bare shoulder trellis
Tress of blackberry wine
Purple locks, her heart
Sealed under violet vines
There's a girl who lived on the edge of town
Face caught in a permanent frown
Eyes seldom closed
Features remain composed
There's a girl with a light in her eyes
There are people who tell her lies
There's a boy who couldn't have her
Oh, what a strange pair they were
He rode his bike to the edge of town
To see the girl who only let him down
He planted daisys in her pores
And rode his bike to the shores
He brought back pearls and clams
To bestow into her waiting hands
Soon, the boy slowed
His affection for her began to erode
The girl sprouted vines from her fingertips
And daffodils grew from her lips
The boy's hair turned grey
His dreams floated away
The Hidden Serpent
Here I hide
My whole being is a disguise
Tubers are where I commence
Flowers false and blue
I sit here
My body green from tip to toe
Twisted in my stipule
Not a straight stem can be seen
Blue spots match my eyes
I sit here still and silent
Waiting to pounce
Upon my prey
Venom drips from my mouth
I sit here waiting
For my victim
To be near
Celia Poppinjay - 7/8/2020
if medusa had been forgiven
if medusa had been forgiven
would her snakes have turned to vines
and their venomous teeth
transformed into redemptive flowers
for the pardon of her crime
would she still shut her eyes
for fear of turning people to stone
suffering isolated in a world
that is completely her own
if medusa had been forgiven
would people still look upon her with horror
and running when she crossed the street
to only cause her innumerable tortures
would she never fall in love again
for fear of turning into a monster
becoming once again the creature
that told her nobody loved her
if medusa had been forgiven
what would have changed
for even forgiven,
their fear would still remain
there’s a girl-
her eyes are
in the ocean.
so she sleeps.
in upon itself
of the green
its face while
What do you think?
I think I shall
but for now
curry has me
in its grippe
and I will not
rouge my palor
I must have
for all my
Write a story or poem based on this painting (it will appear as the first entry to this challenge) Please no criticism of the painting itself. Enjoy! @Pithypoetry
This is the painting that the challenge is based on( if on the phone you will have to look at it sideways). Please be polite and do not criticize the painting in your response. ￼
The girl sat quietly. She could be quiet now. Quiet in the green and the growing, quiet in the rhythm of leaves and wind and sky.
Fire and anger and pain and blood and hurt.
But now, quiet. Out there, maybe, there were still things that hurt, but here there was rest, and here she could be still. Still in the green and the growing, still in the song of water and flowers and rain.
Thorns and tears and curses and betrayal and rage.
But here, stillness. Here was peace, different from before, when people told her things were peaceful, but yet, inside, there was still hurt. Here she was peace, in her and through her and around her, peace in the green and the growing, peace in the dance of vines and sunlight and grass.
Sorrow and longing and strife and destruction and death.
But look, life. Life springing up in the quiet places, in the still places, in the peaceful places, in the unexpected places. Here there is life, life in the green and the growing, life in the light and the joy and the goodness.
The girl sat quietly.
My mother said roses have thorns because everyone thinks they're pretty, but if they let everyonr touch them, they'd die. She'd repeat it and the story of the rose that wanted to be useful so it turned itself into cabbage as she retwisted my hair. Her fingers gingerly pulling my hair, twisting it tightly, and clipping it are among some of my earliest memories. My parents weren't Rastafarians and didn't really listen to reggae music, but they both had dreadlocks for as long as I could remember. There are pictures around my house of my dad with a fade or an afro and my mom with a perm or box braids, but they seem so foreign. From about three years old, my mother and father would twist me and my sister's hair into locks. They'd be dyed, trimmed, curled, whatever we wanted. I was proud of them. In school, I'd play with my hair while we were reading and tie it into a ponytail when we had to run for gym class. Few people said anything about it. What could they say about my head? It's not theirs, so their opinions don't matter.
But, that was the 90s. Things have changed. The school I went to is part of a ridiculous law that says my kids can't have their dreadlocks. They have to make their hair "neat". The people who passed this law have obviously never gardened. They don't know that when the leaves of the shrub grow into some of the moat beautiful flowers. They are too obsessed with the control they think they have to even think about it. I think of this when I twist my oldest daughter's hair as my mother did mine. She's four now, soon to be five. I moved away long ago, so I don't need to choose between education and tradition. The little girls at my daughter's school compliment her hair, and she teaches them to love them from afar. Yet, my mind still wanders to why anyone would care what a kid's hair looks like, especially knowing that they wouldn't snip off roses and throw them away.
The Story of Alliyana
Elder Ilthiad had been telling the same story for as long as anyone in the village could remember. Some of my fondest memories are being a youngin, sitting around the evening fire and listening to her spin her yarns. It had been my favorite story growing up, I suppose it still kind of is, except its not a story anymore.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. As the Elders would tell it, the story of Alliyana goes like this;
Before the Yarkin had taken Elthior, before the Dragons Fire had scourged the West, there had been a city called Zio and this city had been ruled by a just and noble king who was getting on in years. This king had a son, Prince Torion, who was the opposite of his father. He was cruel, and greedy and prone to boughts of intense violence. The king hoped to find his son a partner, who he hoped would change the lad and show him a better way in life. So the king searched far and wide for someone pure of heart who could marry his son and teach him patience, and kindness.
After a year of searching, the king found who he was looking for. A girl who lived by the Emerald Sea with a light step and an even lighter heart. Her name was Alliyana. Once the king had explained his situation, she agreed to meet his son but made it clear that if he would not take her friendship first, she would refuse to give him her heart. The moment Torion set his eyes upon her, however, he built a cage for her in his heart. She would be his, and no one elses. Before the king could stop his son and ensure Alliyana's safety, he was murdered. Many blamed Torion, but never to his face. Within the week they were wed and she was locked away in a tower, the only key never leaving Torion's possession.
Alliyana cried and cried and cried from her tower. She yelled for help, for someone to save her, but those in the town only closed their windows tighter and stuffed cotton in the ears, for they feared the new king and his violent outbursts.
So, eventually, Alliyana stopped crying.
She stopped yelling.
Every day she became weaker and weaker as the only thing she could do was stare into the world beyond her window. It was as poor, sweet Alliyana drew her last breath that her sister appeared in her room and saved her from the brink of death.
You see, Alliyana's sister was a powerful sorceress who lived several kingdoms over and had heard nothing of her beloved sisters marriage until it was almost too late. She took Alliyana from the tower and ran. For seven days they ran with the kings men at their heels, but sweet, tired Alliyana could run no more, still weak and weary from her life in the tower. Knowing this, and that Torion would not rest while she was alive, Alliyana's sister sealed her away in stone and spoke a seal over her.
"In stone you'll stay until true love hands upon you lay"
And thats where the Elders usually finished the story. Sometimes they'd speak of Torions rage when he found out, and his many attempts to break the stone that held his wife. But I always liked thinking he never found her. As children, my friends and I would wander the forests around the village trying to find Alliyana to set her free. But, as all children do, we grew up. I followed in my da's footsteps as the villages healer and spent long hours scouring the forest for ingredients.
I had honestly thought I'd seen it all. The whole forest. I knew most of it like the back of my hand. To say I wasn't surprised that luscious summer day would be an crime. It was warm, the sun was shining through the canopy and throwing beautiful golden light across the forest floor in a dappled dance. I was suppose to be gathering ingredients for healing salves, but I'd decided to take a break, take a walk, enjoy the sights and scents and sounds of a new summer.
Thats when I fell. I didn't remember there being an edge to that path, nor the considerable drop that followed. I was saved from breaking anything by the thick bed of moss at the bottom of the fall. Turns out I'd stumbled into a ravine, full of thick green foliage and vines which had disguised; light streamed in from above and reflected off a small brook that bubbled through the ravine, casting a glow upon everything else. It was breathtaking.
It took me awhile to get my nerves back from the fall, but when I did I brushed myself off and started looking for a way out. The closest vines looked sturdy enough to try and climb, they were thick and sported beautiful purple flowers. As I got closer and began to grab a few, I realized that there was something beneath, something carved into the stone. Now, I know I made the story of Alliyana a big thing in the beginning, but I'm going to be honest, the idea that the statue could have been her didn't even come to mind. All I could think about as I cleared more and more of the vines away was the curve of the statues cheekbones, the lines of her face, the peaceful expression she wore. How beautiful she was, and how skilled the statues craftsman must have been.
Before I knew what I was doing my fingers touched the statues cheek and I got the third shock of that day. The rock was warm and not from the sunlight, more like it was coming from within. As I pulled my hand away, I watched in awe as the stone began to melt away, and the statue began to breath. Her eyes fluttered open and immediately found mine. The depth and weight they carried caught me off balance, but less so than how much brighter the world seemed to get when she smiled at me. Thats when it finally clicked.
And well, that was that really. I took her back to the village, the Elder almost had a heart attack when she found out who this wonderful, beautiful stranger was, and we took it slow. The world was very different than how Alliyana remembered it, but she handled it all with ease. She never ceases to amaze me in all the years we've been together, my greatest joy in life comes from watching her in the quiet moments of our lives. The skill of her fingers as she weaves or prepares medicines, the lightness of her steps, the peace she carries with her like a crown.
I am very glad I decided to take that walk so many years ago.