Thursday, July 23, 2015


Despite being ignored, passed over, and generally discounted as a mother for several years now, I've thought long and hard about this day. You see, I've been cut out of my eldest two girls' lives in various ways for going on six years now, mostly due to the fact that we can barely afford to feed the youngest and ourselves, the gas money to get to the grocery store and back... much less a place to live, a place for them to live where they want to be. That is on its way to changing, but I'm sure that won't make much difference to minds that are made up. I am given no acknowledgement as their mother, whatsoever. I'm pretty sure very few people will read this, much less comment. After all, I'm just the "other" parent. They don't live with me, so I don't matter.

But I remember. I carried her, birthed her. She was two weeks late, and they had to induce labor. Emergency C-section after 14 hours of labor and anguish, blood and pain... and terror as her first cry was delayed almost a full minute. Weary pride. Fear, and love... two edges of the sharpest knife a mother will ever throw herself on. I raised her, not alone but lonely. I fought for what was best for her, and her sister... I lost, but I fought. I still fight. Very few can say the same.

Caroline turns 13 today. Her grandparents are taking her and the middle sister on a Disney cruise, and I hope it's the best time she's ever had. Her first day as a teenager, she's spending without me, without her Papa Dragon, and without her baby sister. We were not even invited to her birthday celebration.  This is a miserable, joyful day for me. It's agony. But I'm proud of her. She has blossomed and flourished in spite of those who would suppress her, In spite of being denied opportunities and support to grow and explore herself, she's found ways to be uniquely and beautifully herself. She is big-hearted, smart, creative, self-determined, struggling to overcome herself as she grows up, as she's going through changes. She is ridiculously clumsy, but she's got long, strong legs and a torso frame that shows promise of outright knockout proportions. She's a beautiful girl, who's going to be a gorgeous lady... an amazing wrapper for the wonder that she is as a person.

Artist. Writer. Reader. Photographer. Girl Scout. Sometime Tae Kwon Do practitioner. Singer. Violinist. Tomboy. Fangirl. Nerd of many colors. Budding gamer. Trekkie. Jedi-in-training. Whovian. Digidestined. Zoid Pilot. Dragon trainer. Philanthropist in the making. Budding chef & baker. Gardener. Backyard scientist. Adventurer. Big(est) sister. Wonderful daughter. Today you are celebrated, with flame and joy. Today you are lifted high. Today you pass from child to something more. Today is your birthday, and you are adored, supported, wanted, and loved.

With all our hearts
We are proud of you.
-Mama (and Papa) Dragon, and the Wyrmling.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

NaPoWriMo 2015 with Magaly Guerrero, Day 8: It Hurts, but It Doesn’t Harm

Today, Magaly says to: "weave a poem that explores the difference between hurt and harm."

For simplification's sake, she narrowed it down to the difference between physical pain and physical harm. I think I know exactly what she means...

Leather loves the taste of sweat and skin
Whip thrills to the swift lash
Knife... well, everyone knows what Knife thirsts for.
Leather was the first; she knows the fleshlings best
She knows their play and she smiles
with an amusement bordering indulgence.
There was always joy in their noises
of mutual appreciation.
Whip came later, and got along with Leather pretty well
Knife was new, though... 
And Leather didn't know how to feel about that.
She wasn't particularly fond of the taste of blood.

"Ouch," said Knife, as something soft went past his edges.
Whip winced in sympathy; the fleshling's cries were far too loud.
Leather, restraining flesh bared for Whip and Knife, rolled her eyes.
Knife was new to the game; he didn't know what to expect.
Whip was a wimp, even though she liked to bite.
Leather knew the fleshling's cries well;
they were rather incoherent most of the time.
 The second fleshling, always unbound, always talked softly
but tonight something was wrong.
Tonight, his voice was loud.

Knife bit fleshling far too deeply, and Whip tasted the wound.
Fleshing cried out again, this time in terror.
The unbound one's eyes glittered
with an expression that Leather didn't like.
If Whip wasn't flying, she'd be covering her eyes.
Knife, again. Whip, again.
Until Leather gagged on blood
and choked on the stench of fear.
The unbound was snarling, rage and madness in its hands...
Until the only sound was the drip, drip, drip
of the blood's flow slowing
but Leather still couldn't see.

Leather felt hands; felt Knife and Whip bundled up next to her
They whispered in the dark to one another;
"What's happened?"
"I don't know!"
"Something bad," said Knife, and they all fell silent.
There was noise again, and then... dirt.
And then Leather could see, just a little.
Something orange and yellow flickered too brightly
And she knew fear.
Leather screamed as the heat began to touch her.
Whip wept and whimpered inconsolably
but neither understood
what Knife knew, all too well:
that there are some things
even Fire cannot burn away.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero, day 4: Feeling so Deeply it Hurts

(Yes, I skipped day 3. This is my attempt to catch up. I may yet go back to day 3. Yes, I am a time traveler. No, you may not hop a ride in my TARDIS.)

From Magaly: "On day 4 of NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero 2015, I wish you to write a poem that shows how an emotion might increase physical pain, and vice versa."


Shake your head and turn away.
Close your ears to what I could not say.
Blind your eyes to what was right in front of you.
Blame me
Deride me
Pity me

Go on, it's only words
flung blindly from your hearts
oozing with ill-conceived emotions
and birthed from misbegotten loins.
Still, they slice like the knife
and burn like poison
and sear like fire.

I never lied, not once,
except to tell you I was just fine,
except when I told you
nothing was wrong.
Let's be honest now
you didn't want to hear it.
My truth
would have cut you deeper
than your words behind my back 
will ever scar my flesh
(and you should know, it will scar).

I embrace the torment
of your misunderstandings, 
flung like bullets through my unprotected Self.
I take it in and place it
alongside my own
so they won't be lonely.
I wrap myself around the pain
and keep going,
just as I've always done.
Because it's the only thing
I know how to do. 
Because it's the only thing
you've ever known how to let me do.

Until now.
I stand, I burn, I breathe
Take it in, transmute it, make it mine.
By Fire and Earth and Air
Transform woe into weal,
Forged, grounded, carried aloft.
By Sword, Stone, and Feather
I stand here as I am, to offer it up
-my own shed skin, rent asunder-
a sacrifice to show the world
(should it care to see)
that things would have been so much better
had only "I" become "we."

Friday, April 3, 2015

NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero, day 3: Indulgences

From Magaly: "Craft a poem about spoiling your Self or the Self of another. Let decadence run wild."

To honor my Dragon.

Dragon's Hoard

Our hearts
flowing with love like rivers of gold
keep you close and and dear.
Our eyes, bright as gems,
sparkling in delight, excitement, joy
gaze upward to your face, well loved.

Our arms draped about your neck
like strings of pearls
to hold and be held.

Our minds as one
in knowing you;
with our lips we bless you
with words:
Guardian, Comfort, Friend
Teacher, Playmate, Protector
Father, Lover
We, your treasure hoard, name you

Dragons' Treasure by Skye-Fyre on deviantART

NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero, day 2: Creativity and Pain

"How do you use (or imagine others can use): Creativity to make Pain bearable? Today’s 'poem should explore creativity as a healing salve, as a shield, as a weapon, or as a negotiation method to use when dealing with physical and/or psychological pain.'"

I don't live with physical pain like many I know. Magaly, my Dragon, his father, my grandmother, my dad.... and others. I have had pain: migraines, birthing pains, surgery recoveries. I cannot begin to imagine the insanity of living with pains like those every day.

There are pains I know well, however; pains of the heart and mind. I'm a mother, I'm an artist, I am a woman... who was it that once said something along the lines of "women bear the pains of the world" or suchlike? Women know pain... wise women embrace it and turn it to their purpose, to make something beautiful out of something horrific. The Japanese know the concept. I'm sure you've seen this meme floating around the Internet, or one similar:

To be a woman, an artist, a mother, is to live this idea, every day. We have three daughters. The first I gave birth to at seventeen - both joyous and terrible an occasion. The second was years later, and a happier occasion, as was the third... though all three were unplanned, they were gifts. The elder two live with my ex-husband, the youngest with us. Long story short, I didn't have the money or means to make life turn out the way I wanted it to, the way I believe would be best for my children. The ex had the money to make his ideas happen instead, so here we are.

This is about that first child, and the others - they were all C-section:

Don't push, not yet  
Breathe again
Don't cry 
Fear... don't fear
Don't think
Just breathe
Fourteen hours
Living cry
Small cry
Sweet cry
She lives
She breathes

Thursday, April 2, 2015

NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero, Day 1: The Birth of Your Art

(and introducing my Inner Snarky Writer)

Hello, your beloved (I hope! :D) Artful White Fox here under a pen name; you can call me Minerva, Min, or just Fox. Or Ms. Pendragon, if you'd prefer something a little more formal. But really, we're all friends here, aren't we? 

What brings me out of my den today? Why, April is National Poetry Writing Month, of course. And Magaly dearest  has decided to take the pointy end of her broom and poke all of her delightfully creative friends and followers (really, Magaly dear, we might as well start calling it your Collective!) until something artsy and interesting leaks out of various appendages... mouth, hands, what-have-you. No, wait, strike that... it sounded dreadful. What's the polite and proper word? Oh, yes, she's decided to "inspire" us all... and we all know what that means. We're all going to end up digging deep and pouring forth who-knows-what to further our own artistic ends, means, and egos (in that order, of course). 

Challenges like this are wonderful, especially when we get to stroke each others' artistic egos. Now, I've missed the first couple of days, but I can catch up quick as a cat, just you watch me. 

A bit of dreamy whimsy : The Birth of My Art

I started with a pen in 1993
Or did it start with me?
Inspired by a small robot named Norby
pen and paper
A doodle here
a small phrase there
and grew and grew in my garden grey(matter)
Sprung, I hoped, from Mr. Asimov's creative loins
Suckled at the breast of Ms. Norton's enfolding vision
And nursemaided by Mr. Roddenberry's dreams
Robots, starships, psychohistory, Forerunners, and far-flung stars
My heroes, I held firm in my thoughts
my Muse, like the whip's cruel caress, whispered through her sharpened teeth
I envisioned
and my fingers moved
and words flowed
and flow still. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Instant Karma: You're Doing it Wrong

Karma, karma, karma. I see this bandied about every day, everywhere. Karma's a bitch. Karma's gonna get you for being a jerk! I got good karma today for not telling you what a jackass you are.

I'm guilty of it. I bet even the most hardcore Catholic has had that moment of "Karma's gonna get you!" Seriously, do a Google image search. You'll find goodies like these:

...and there are SO many more.

Karma is not "what goes around comes around." IS. NOT.


noun: karma 

(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

from Sanskrit karman ‘action, effect, fate.’

Not once do I see anyone with the knowledge of what Karma actually is. Not once do I see anyone saying, "wait, no, that's not how Karma works." See, the concept of Karma is an ancient Indian (Asian Indian, not Native American) one, having to do with reincarnation, past lives, and future lives. Good Karma is not about being good in this life... it's about fulfilling your true purpose in this life.

So basically, if your life's purpose (according to whoever or whatever in the Hindu/Buddhist mythos is supposed to be running these things) is to be an evil person and you choose to be a good person, then that's BAD Karma. If you're supposed to be an evil person and you choose to be an evil person, then you get GOOD Karma and your next life will be a notch upward on their scale of bad-to-good until you reach enlightenment and get free of the cycle. And none of us know what the purpose was until we get between lives and find out what our next incarnation is going to be.

I twitch whenever I see someone talking about Karma and how she's gonna get you for being a bad person. No, Karma is not some universal law saying "bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people." The universe doesn't work that way. Look around you, look at the world, and tell me truly that you really believe it works like that. Life is chaos and hard work, not "karmic" laws and quick fixes.

Using the word Karma like that perpetuates a concept that is not only entirely false on its own, but is also stolen and twisted from its original state. "Instant Karma" isn't a quick fix. It's not even a thing.

Karma... you're doing it wrong.


-your Artful White Fox
(who has created a personal g+ account in order to separate Twinflame Studios business from personal activity; you can find me under the alias Minerva Pendragon if you're looking.)