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“The Rebirth,” #Tanka

The Tanka Tuesday #PhotoPrompt challenge for this week explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Diana Peach from last month’s challenge has provided the photo for this month’s challenge, seen above.

“The Rebirth,” #Tanka

the forest's womb holds
my reflection in limbo—
grief cleanses my soul
saying goodbye, my tears fall
another rebirth awaits

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Life is often a series of starts and stops, followed by many new beginnings. I’ve embraced the change. ❤

An Update…

I wanted to bring you all up to speed on my disappearance lately…

The last three weeks have been some of the most intense and stressful of my life. Selling our house in Arizona and buying a new house in Michigan during this buying and selling frenzy in the U. S. has been interesting. I’m exhausted!

I always thought I could write through stressful periods but have found that not to be true. I know I haven’t been around lately. Hopefully, this will change now that some things have settled.

We sold our house in Arizona—it is under contract. That part is at least dealt with. Now, all I have left to do is finish packing, set up a pod’s move, and have Ron drive cross-country. We will leave Arizona the first week in January.

Buying a house in Michigan has been the most frustrating and unusual experience we’ve ever had. Currently, the U. S. has some of the lowest mortgage interest rates ever, and that has spawned a flurry of buying and selling (us included). People are listing their homes for $25,000+ below market value, hoping to create a bidding war to drive up the sale of the home. Of course, the RE agents love their commissions increasing, as well!

In the last two weeks, we’ve found and bid on five or six move-in ready homes, fixer-uppers, and homes that are somewhere in-between. Every house has been the same… multiple bids.

This bidding process is really stressful. Once you place your bid, you wait until the owner decides which bid they will accept. I’m sure the highest bid wins out. That’s logical. It usually takes a day or two to find out they rejected your bid. Then, the house hunt starts all over again.

Yesterday, we found out that our bid was accepted on a move-in ready home in Michigan. The owner works at GM, and they are paying for their relocation move. That adds a bit of extra paperwork (60 pages, our RE Agent told us) so the final approval on the sale has a NLT date of acceptance on Wednesday, this week.

We have two good friends, Dustin and Molly, who have gone on these showings with the RE agent in Michigan. We couldn’t have done this without them.

There’s another aspect to this move. On Monday, our seven-month-old kitten, Freyja, will move to a wonderful new home with a family in our present neighborhood. The mom and her two kids came over Friday evening and played with Freyja for a few hours. For this visit, we all wore masks and had a great time. Freyja played with the kids and loved all the attention. This is the best for Freyja and for us. Moving a cat cross-country would be difficult. Five days in a car is hard for us, let alone a kitten.

So things are moving along. I have plenty of time to pack and get ourselves situated. This move will set us up financially for retirement. We will be in a much better place near some of my dearest blog friends: Debby Gies, Charli Mills, and Annette Rochelle Aben.

Thanks for reading.

I’m grateful for your friendship!

The 2020 Rodeo Contest #1: Folk Tales and Fables Winners are in…

2020 Rodeo

The results of the 2020 Flash Fiction Rodeo are riding in week by week in the order of each contest. We hope writers had as much fun as the Rodeo Leaders and Judges. We got to play within the western theme this year and had plenty of challenges!

In Rodeo Contest #1: Folk Tales and Fables, Kerry E.B. Black asked participants to spin a yarn as long as the Rio Grande in 99 words.

This year’s winner is Colleen Chesebro!

Honorable Mention goes to Norah Colvin, Liz Husebye Hartmann, and Mike Vreeland. Congratulations!

Each Rodeo has different independent judges. Judging is done blind. Thank you to Kerry E.B. Black for managing this contest and to her judges, Debra R. Sanchez and Beverly V. Blickenderfer!

WINNING ENTRY: FOLK TALES & FABLES

Why Wolf Howls at the Moon by Colleen Chesebro

Long ago, the Moon Spirit danced upon the waters of the lake. When she met the spirit of the Wolf, they danced together on the shoreline.

One night, Moon Spirit said, “I must return to the ebony sky and take my place alongside the stars.”

Bereft, Wolf gobbled up Moon Spirit’s reflection as it floated on the waves. “I wish I could keep Moon Spirit’s magic with me forever,” he cried.

To this day, whenever wolf drinks from the lake, he cries to the Moon Spirit, hoping she will return so they can dance upon the shore once more.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Snow White and the Seven Gunslingers by Norah Colvin

The huntsman made the all-too-common mistake of revealing everything before enacting the deed. Snow White kicked him in the shins and escaped into the forest.

Exhausted, she chanced upon a cottage. It appeared abandoned, so she went inside and soon fell asleep on one of the seven beds. She was startled awake by a septet of menacing, heavily-armed gunslingers.

When she explained her predicament, the gunslingers were outraged. “He’s a bad one, and she’s the worst. Stay here. We’re onto it.”

She heard them say as they rode out of sight, “Hi ho! We’ve got a job to do.”

Sky Rider’s Happily Ever After by Liz Husebye Hartman

Rapunzel was a rodeo champ by day, a sky watcher by night. Nobody could beat her barrel riding and calf roping. Stormy nights, she’d climb the Tower Mesa, hear thunder roll, knowing someday she’d join that rodeo.

It got so she spent both nights and days on the Mesa, losing interest in regular rodeos. Family couldn’t call her home, but took comfort, watching her lengthening golden hair glinting in the sunlight.

Along came Pepe LeGume, with his offer of magic beans for her golden tresses. She took the offer, cut her braid, and rosed her lasso to that magic vine.

Flem and the Rattlesnake by Mike Vreeland

Flem, Unlike most cowhands, was toothpick thin, bow-legged, and always smiling. Never once did he lose his cool, even when he found a large rattler in his bedroll. Instead, he cajoled the snake, letting it sleep next to him for warmth. 

Their bond grew.

One day, cutthroat robbers were after Flem. With nowhere to hide, the snake swallowed Flem whole, shook its rattles, and frightened off the thieves. 

After a bit, Flem crawled back out.

“Thank you immensely, Snake,” he said, sharing his hearty meal.

The moral of the story: Sometimes it’s okay to have Flem in your throat.

***

Please join me in wishing congratulations to all of us! Please visit the post below:

Source: https://carrotranch.com/rodeo-contests/2020-rodeo/

“The Blessings of Ziva,” #FlashFiction

October 30, 2020, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life savers on any body of water. It can be a formal Coast Guard, historical or contemporary. It could be an individual who unexpectedly takes on the role. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by November 3, 2020.

The Blessings of Ziva

“Hurry or we’ll be late, Bisera. We have to be there before sunrise,” called Emika.

Bisera balanced the jug on her hip without spilling a drop. “I’m right behind you, Emika. Did you remember to bring the apple?”

“I found the last red apple in the bin. The apple and the water are our offerings to Ziva, the ancient goddess of water.”

Bisera reached the river and tumbled toward the icy depths. “Help me.”

Emika grabbed the girl’s scarf and saved her from harm.

“Thank you, Emika. The goddess put you in the right place at the right time.”

On the eve of the New Year, in ancient Slavic countries, the young maidens took offerings of water and apples to the local river to honor the goddess Ziva. Read more about Ziva, the Slavic Goddess of Water, whose name itself means life.

#Fairy #Tarot #Friday ~ October 30, 2020

Welcome to Fairy Tarot Friday. Each Friday I’ll share a card from the Fairy Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue & Radleigh Valentine, featuring an uplifting message from the fey. I’ll also include a bit of syllabic poetry inspired by the card reading.

The Major Arcana contains 22 cards that describe major events and turning points in our lives (marriage, pregnancy, relationship and career changes, and overcoming personal challenges). The Major Arcana cards also represent the different phases from childhood to old age.

Doreen Virtue numbered the Minor Arcana cards to comprise four suits representing different aspects of human life. They number the Minor Arcana cards 1 (Ace) through 10, plus the four court cards (Princess, Prince, Queen, and King). The Minor Arcana reflects the day-to-day aspects of our lives and the people in them. Court cards represent either a situation or a person during a reading.

The Minor Arcana comprises four suits. In traditional Tarot they are; wands, cups, swords, and coins. In Fairy Tarot, the four suits reflect the seasons: Spring for wands, Summer for cups, Winter for swords, and Autumn for coins. In Angel Tarot, the seasons represent the four elements: fire = spring, water = summer, air = winter, and earth = autumn. Consider these elements in relation to the Fairy Tarot, as well.

The divinatory meanings are given for upright cards only—this tarot is not intended for reversed readings.

Once you get to know the fairies, you’ll see they are strong-willed environmentalists. They get perturbed at people who mistrust animals or the earth. Never lie to a fairy. Instead, help them take care of the planet and other living beings. Do your part. Your actions will richly reward you, and the fairies will encourage you in amazing ways.

Today’s Card: Ace of Winter

Don’t be deterred by challenges along the way. It’s important to communicate clearly and accurately. Amazing new ideas that should be implemented.

The Ace of Winter is the first card in the Winter suit. The message from the card is simple. Don’t be deterred by challenges along the way. You’re on the right path, and your plans are protected and safe. Any difficulties you experience are intended to make you stronger—they aren’t blocks at all.

Trust that the new ideas you have are inspired and worthy of your time and energy. You’re crystal clear on what to do, even if you’re doubting yourself. I know many of us need to hear this message!

Have confidence in your own insights. Communicate in a clear and concise fashion in order to avoid confusion, but be careful not to seem cold in the way you speak your truth!

Look at this fairy… She holds great magic in her hands, but also that of pure crystalline thought floating above her head. Her companion represents the potential strength and courage she will grow into.

Additional meanings of this card: Brilliant new concepts. Overcoming obstacles. Remaining optimistic. Being objective. Noticing and trusting the signs of a positive outcome.

With the election looming and the full blue moon on Samhain, the energy in the cosmos is swirling. Focus your energies on a positive outcome and believe it will happen. Magic is everywhere.

“Look for Magic to Happen,” #Senryu

stay on your right path
focus on the positive—
believe in yourself

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

“The Illusion of Power,” tanka prose/haiku

Twirl your wands and cast your spells, for power exerted over others leads them to behave in ways they would not otherwise behave. The veil is thinning as the energy shifts. Be careful what you wish for…

“The Illusion of Power Spell”

On this Samhain eve of the full blue moon, I wait until midnight darkens the shadowy edges of the glen. I dip the tip of my right index finger into moon oil as I trace the shape of the orb on the flat surface of a nearby stump. Within the circle, I place four white candles around the edge, adding the fifth one in the middle. With a snap of my fingers, the candles are lit.

I call to the moon
 to receive her powers cast
 tonight, caught and kept
 used for good intent only
 that no evil shall arise.

Brilliant moon, may your 
 blessings and vitality
 live within my heart.

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Happy Halloween!

Marsha picked the theme for this week’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. I broke my own poetry rules this week… and it was so fun! I started out with a bit of tanka prose, including the accompanying tanka. Next, I added the haiku at the end to round out this poem.

Want to write syllabic poetry? Join me every Tuesday at Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry.

The Veil is Thinning…

Samhain is only two weeks away. The days are shortening and the nights becoming longer…

Fairy Witchcraft honors deities connected to the good neighbors. This includes the liminal Gods, the Lady of the Greenwood, the Lord of the Wildwood, The Hunter, and the Queen of Wind.

My faery craft authority, Morgan Daimler, explains:

“The Lady of the Greenwood and the Lord of the Wildwood rule during the light half of the year, from Beltane until Samhain, and are also honored on the full moon. The Hunter and the Queen of the Wind rule the dark half of the year, from Samhain until Beltane, and are honored on the dark moon.”

Fairy Witchcraft: Old Ways for a New Day – Morgan Daimler

October 31st begins the dark half of the year. This is when The Hunter and the Queen of the Wind begin their reign. The liminal deities live between our world and what we call “Fairy.”

I will honor their reign by acknowledging their presence in the natural world. I know many of us are feeling the veil thin.

The Faery Star

The synchronicity of the number three is everywhere, lately. The number three has always been important in my life journey. The number three signifies good fortune. Each of my children was born with a three in the date, or a number that added up to the number three. In Buddhism, we have the three jewels: Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

The number three signifies the passage of time:

Past, Present, Future

Birth, Life, Death

Beginning, Middle, End

Three is the number of the Divine

Three is the number of Magic

So, as the days shorten and the nights lengthen until we reach Samhain, I will listen for the voices of the Hunter and the Queen of the Wind in my dreams. I’ll look for meaning in the synchronicities and search for omens. On Samhain, I’ll leave an offering to these liminal gods, pray to them, and be open to their blessings and guidance.

Learn more about the Liminal Gods HERE

AUTUMN DAYDREAMS, #HAIKU

Frank’s Haikai challenge asks us to write the haikai poem of our choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that states or alludes to either Fall foliage or goose (kari)–or both, if you feel so inclined!

As always: Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Autumn Daydreams

orange and gold leaves
memories of past autumns
the desert heat boils

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

The unrelenting heat continues here in Buckeye, Arizona. We’re hovering right around 100 F. this afternoon. If I close my eyes and ignore the dull drone of the air conditioning, I can picture the gold and orange leaves of a Montana autumn. I’m homesick for the cooler temperatures and the feel of Autumn… a girl can dream.

Want to write syllabic poetry? Join me every Tuesday at Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry.

#FAIRY #TAROT #FRIDAY ~ October 9, 2020

Welcome to Fairy Tarot Friday. Each Friday I’ll share a card from the Fairy Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue & Radleigh Valentine, featuring an uplifting message from the fey. I’ll also include a bit of syllabic poetry inspired by the card reading.

The Major Arcana contains 22 cards that describe major events and turning points in our lives (marriage, pregnancy, relationship and career changes, and overcoming personal challenges). The Major Arcana cards also represent the different phases from childhood to old age.

Doreen Virtue numbered the Minor Arcana cards to comprise four suits representing different aspects of human life. They number the Minor Arcana cards 1 (Ace) through 10, plus the four court cards (Princess, Prince, Queen, and King). The Minor Arcana reflects the day-to-day aspects of our lives and the people in them. Court cards represent either a situation or a person during a reading.

The Minor Arcana comprises four suits. In traditional Tarot they are; wands, cups, swords, and coins. In Fairy Tarot, the four suits reflect the seasons: Spring for wands, Summer for cups, Winter for swords, and Autumn for coins. In Angel Tarot, the seasons represent the four elements: fire = spring, water = summer, air = winter, and earth = autumn. Consider these elements in relation to the Fairy Tarot, as well.

The divinatory meanings are given for upright cards only—this tarot is not intended for reversed readings.

Once you get to know the fairies, you’ll see they are strong-willed environmentalists. They get perturbed at people who mistrust animals or the earth. Never lie to a fairy. Instead, help them take care of the planet and other living beings. Do your part. Your actions will richly reward you, and the fairies will encourage you in amazing ways.

Today’s Card: Seven of Summer

No more procrastinating! Your power comes from making a decision. Confusion that arises from over-analyzing the options.

I’ve not picked up the fairy tarot cards for a few weeks. I felt like so much was out of my control, lately. Sometimes the way to clarity is to just let it all happen, especially when things are out of our control. So, I waited to see what happened next.

Today, I felt the call. I shuffled the cards and asked the universe for the message to share. Someone needs this message…

There are always pros and cons to every decision. The situation you’re in is demanding a choice from you, and procrastination is no longer an option. What you decide involves actions that may benefit you physically, emotionally, financially, intellectually, or spiritually. Recognizing that you always have a choice is a great realization about your personal power.

Now, realize that this also means that you are responsible for the outcome of your choices. The moment to choose has arrived!

You could make a list of every alternative and test it, or you could seek the answer through prayer, or by speaking to your god, (or gods, or goddesses). The message is: The time to choose is now! Just do it!

Daydreaming or meditation is a great way to get an insight into a challenging situation—or it can be a way to avoid taking action. Make sure your imaginings serve a productive and positive purpose. Make a plan to put your dreams into action, one step at a time, and follow through.

The Seven of Summer shows a fairy who allows the sunlight to shine through a prism, onto a bed of white roses. White roses signify that his intentions are pure, but the prism (rainbow) shows there are many possibilities.

Significance of rainbow imagery

Additional meanings of this card: wishful thinking, needing to regain focus. Over analyzing, too many choices. Receiving guidance to detox.

Just Breathe, #Senryu

rainbow prisms sparkle
embrace your secret power
always choose wisely

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro