Forbidden Love: A Fetch Flash Fiction Haibun

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Princess Ondina walked along Rsevfha Beach as the larger of Zecor’s twin suns followed its small companion below the horizon. Three of the planet’s seven moons had risen, but they were outshone by the presence of the little man who stood at the monarch’s side.

“Serab, I am selfish,” the Princess confessed. “I am sorry my brother took you prisoner but pleased that he made you my bodyguard. His joke backfired on him. I never felt like this before. You are the best friend I could imagine and more.”

impossible dream
small, strong hands and stalwart heart
my forbidden love


This Flash Fiction Haibun features the Princess Ondina, reluctant captive monarch of the fascist regime of East Zecor and her bodyguard and secret love, Serab, a common thief captured by Ondina's cruel brother King Qweh and presented to Ondina as a jest. The joke backfired when Ondina not only accepted Serab as her bodyguard but fell in love with him.

The image I chose to illustrate this piece is nearly perfect except for the size of the people shown in the silhouette. Ondina was six feet tall and Serab stood around five foot four.

The people of Zecor have an elflike appearance. Qweh and Ondina are half-siblings. As Ketil Nagel explains to his friends in Team Netherworld's first published novella, Ketil and Yitzy's Adventures in the Xura Dream House, the dark-complexioned Qweh's mother was of the Wxzca line and the fair Ondina's mother was from the Welryv line. The pair's father is from the Welryv line.

The ruling race of Zecor, regardless of subtype, is tall. King Qweh was seven foot seven while Ondina was six feet tall. Serab, on the other hand, was an Ahprizite hybrid. The Ahprizites were a small, elflike race. At five foot four, Serab would have been very tall for an Ahprizite.

For the sort who would quibble that a Haibun can only be non-fiction:

1. I don't care.

2. Not according to Poetry Soup.

3. See 1.

If you enjoyed this little WIP excerpt and liked reading the background of the people of Zecor, please consider picking up a copy of Team Netherworld's Fetching first novella.

I hope to be back to sharing excerpts from Ketil and Yitzy's adventure next week. I am continuing to make headway on The Ballad of Gerry Clifford despite personal setbacks.

Senryu: The Color Of...

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

something unwanted
the color of blood on cloth
in the dark of night


I recently wrote about an event that happened closing in on 40 years ago that was more of a turning point than even I realized until I started writing about it. You can read the piece here.

Tan Renga Wednesday on Saturday: Cherry Trees in Full Bloom

springtime is coming
hope to put the longer days
to practical use
shadows become longer
cherry tree in full bloom grows

~Chèvrefeuille & cie~

Once my son and I are done clearing out that blasted mobile home (the one where I lived for 18 years and he lived for close to ten) we will finally be able to concentrate on what we want to do with our new home. I would like to plant a few dwarf fruit trees. I've always loved cherries, both as a fruit and a plant. I try to keep looking to the future, to have aspirations but also keep in mind the need for practicality due to my health issues.

The Ageku of this Renga is © Chèvrefeuille. The Hokku was written by me.

Carpe Diem Love Month: Moonlight Moving: A Fetch Story Poem

Image by Syaibatul Hamdi from Pixabay

the moonlight moving
across a traumatized sky
above a dead world


I have not been well. My diabetes has decided to behave in a more completely shitty fashion than it had previously done, so not only do I find myself dealing with the frustration of contending with this garbage condition, I find myself mired in self-loathing because I learned at a young age that anything shy of physical perfection was a personal failure. I will say with unflinching honesty that if it weren't for the fact that I still serve a purpose in assisting my son, I would punch my own ticket. I realize that suicide ideation is an uncomfortable subject, but please refrain from the blah blah counseling blah and blah blah medications blah rhetoric. Counseling doesn't help, and psych meds cause me to become manic and psychotic, two things that I, shockingly, don't enjoy being.

This poem describes the dead world of Zetar 6 (Zecor), a key player in the Fetch Universe. Fetch is Team Netherworld's flagship story, which was born in early November of 2014 when I was working at the retirement community where I would work for close to 11 years. The idea was born when I learned that someone who had meant a great deal to me for many years had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. This person was only 55 years old at the time of diagnosis--the same age that I am now. 

In my shock and grief, I walked through the vast retirement community and was prompted with the idea of finally starting a project that I had envisioned taking on for close to forty years. I had always wanted to write a backstory for the Lights of Zetar, a Star Trek episode which has been universally panned by critics and which has its problems, but has, nonetheless, always fascinated (and scared the bejeezus out of ) me.

The inspiration to finally begin this project and to incorporate it with my beloved Cthulhu Mythos came from a mind other than my own. I will not go into detail except to say that this inspirational individual was noncorporeal, and you can think whatever the hell you want about that, I'm not going to argue with you. I refer to this presence as Gem, and I am deeply grateful to him for the gift he gave me. I am saddened by the fact that when I am gone, the door to this world will close. No-one enjoys my work, and I am well aware of that. My writing style is entirely unappealing to most people, and my personality even more so.

I love you, Gem, but sometimes I am not sure if you possess much in the way of good sense. If you did, you surely would have chosen a scribe who was less of a complete and utter train wreck of a human being to be your co-conspirator.


Wordy Thursday: Opaque

Young Adult/Paranormal Romance/Sci-Fi

Three out of Four stars for Online Book Club, 
Three out of Five stars for Amazon

If readers purchase a copy of this book through the above link, I will earn a small commission from Amazon.
This review is a duplicate of my Amazon review for this book.
I received an advance copy of this book for review purposes.

Read my exclusive Online Book Club review for this book here.

This story has a fascinating premise and compelling characters. Adam is a young man who is unaware that he has superhuman abilities until Carly comes to his school and teaches him the truth about himself. Adam initially presents as potentially being a sociopath and certain of his actions and their consequences (or lack thereof) are the reasons why I question whether this book should be categorized as a young adult novel although the protagonists are teenagers.

Adam experiences romantic attraction to his mother. Although the author avoids graphic detail, incestuous fantasies are a rather taboo subject, perhaps best left in adult fiction. At one point, Adam's disturbing behavior leads to the death of a young woman and he suffers no real consequences for his actions. I found this plot device unsettling.

The book suffers to a degree from The Twilight Problem. "You can redeem the bad boy" is a terrible message to be imparting to young girls. Carly, Adam's love interest, is so concerned with saving Adam that she ignores his abusive and violent actions. For a female character to be completely wrapped up in saving a significant other who presents a danger to her sends a dangerous and frankly sexist message. I am frustrated by stories which present female characters only as foils and helpmates to badly behaved males.

Further, I was appalled by the frequent references to Carly's apparently ample yet shapely buttocks and to the scene describing her stripping down to her underclothes. I found it unsettling to be reading a voyeuristic description of a teenage girl undressing.

I nearly stopped reading this book when the author made the unfortunate decision to use a psychological condition as an adjective to describe certain of Adam's behaviors that Carly found irritating.

"She sighs at his bipolar actions.”

The author is using the term "bipolar" to mean mercurial or changeable, and this is an utterly offensive thing to do. Individuals who live with bipolar disorder are as varied in their behaviors as those who do not have this condition. I am 55 years old and have type 2 bipolar disorder. I do not tend to present as mercurial or changeable and, in fact, I tend to present as staid and sedate. What people do not see below the surface is the fact that I am constantly fighting against low self-esteem and suicide ideation. The battles of me and others with this serious psychiatric condition should not be reduced to an adjective describing undesirable behavior on the part of a character in a novel. To do so is extremely dismissive and insulting. I would hope that no-one would ever say something like "she sighs at his cancer actions" to describe the behaviors of a person who is weak and tired. Why in the world would anyone think it's okay to do this sort of thing regarding psychiatric conditions?

Although I found the characters compelling, to a degree I also found them two-dimensional. Adam's father was the only character who wasn't Hollywood-pretty.

If the reader can overlook these faults, they will likely be drawn into the story. It is probably okay for older teens to read this book, but I would advise against giving it to anyone under sixteen.

Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors

Suspending Literary Services

Howdy Solks...I mean Folks.

Due to recent changes in my health, including my cognition, I have opted to suspend my literary services except for those I do for Online Book Club. I make a small amount of money working with them. It was a grand total of about $5000 last year, but it's better than nothing.

Diabetes is a garbage disease. Just when you think it's done fucking you up, it will fuck you up some more. 

My guess would be that my time on this scuzzy ball of dirt will be terminated by something relating to diabetes unless I decide it isn't worth it to keep fighting the tide and decide to punch my own ticket.

That being said, I want to spend the remaining time I may have to work on my own writing and helping my son prepare for the time when I won't be around to assist him anymore, which may be sooner than I have anticipated. I worry about this because although there are some things he does very well, he will not do well being completely on his own.

If I still believed in God, I would bargain with the fucker. But from what I have seen, if he exists, he enjoys being a dick. So I'm not even going to include him in the loop.

I am not in a great place psychologically and haven't been for a while. 

No unsolicited advice, please. Like the kid in the picture above says, I really don't believe that chewing seaweed covered in whale urine while standing on my head and reciting ancient mantras backward is going to lead to my diabetes going into remission, my thyroid healing itself, my hair reversing its grayness, and me suddenly being converted from a hideous old fat hag with a face that could destroy worlds to a Conventionally Attractive Hot Supermodel of a Socially Acceptable Size as drooling dudebros literally beat down my door to get a piece of this. I fucking wouldn't want that shit even if I could have it for the asking.

Okay, I would take the diabetes reversal and the thyroid healing. As for the appearance stuff, fuck you if you really think I'm less worthy of being treated with common courtesy because I'm not young, thin, and pretty, and the dudebros banging on my door sounds like something out of one of my nightmares.

I'm kind of thinking it would be better if I put the kibosh on comments for this post because I really don't have it in me to deal with that shit. If I want to interact with you regarding these thoughts, you already have my email address.

So...yeah. Now you know what's going on with me, for what it's worth.

Money Monday + About Me Monday: WTF is an Influencer?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In my quest to try and return to blogging about ways to make and save money, I headed to the Rakuten website to copy my referral code. For those who aren't aware, Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is a site where you can save money when you shop through their links. You can also get an extension for Chrome which will cue you if there is a potential to save money through Rakuten at a site where you are shopping.

There was also an invitation at Rakuten's site to apply to become an influencer.

At this point, most of us have probably heard the term "influencer." But like me, many of you may be saying "that's nice and all, but WTF is an influencer, really?"

According to this Quora site, an influencer is "a person who has the ability to make a group of people follow him and take him as an example due to his personality, authority, success, goals, values, abilities etc. He inspires people and becomes an anchor that keeps people together in other words he builds a community around him."

So, you know, probably not me.

According to YouTuber Critical, as seen in the video at the end of this post, an influencer is generally an egotistical douchebag who will go to extremes to feed their own narcissistic need for adulation. Hopefully, that isn't what people think of me.

Generally, I tend to see "influencers" as being fake. I don't do well with fake. I have no desire to be seen as a trend-setter. I don't care whether or not people think I'm attractive, and I am certainly not the height of fashion. I'm more like the anti-fashion broad.

I have something to say, but if I have to pretend to be something I'm not to get followers, then those are not the followers for me. I don't necessarily even want to be seen as a "leader." I make plenty of mistakes and if I decide to jump off a cliff, I don't want people jumping off after me just because I thought it was a good idea at the time. If I had my druthers, I'd like to be seen as a teacher who had the capacity to entertain.

I'm not an expert on...well, anything, really. I do know a little about blogging but I have a bit of a prickly personality and I don't play by the rules. I've been following a blogger named Janice Wald for several years now and I would recommend her to bloggers wanting to learn how to build a social media presence and monetize their online efforts.

There is a link to one of Janice's books at the end of the post. If you purchase the book through the link, I will receive a small commission from Amazon.

Janice has a weekly blog hop called Inspire Me Monday. I won't be linking there this week because this post isn't entirely family-friendly. My language didn't get too spicy, but my pal Critical definitely turns the profane heat up to Habanero!

Your Ornery Hostess with the Mostest,
Aunt Cie

The Night is Not Black #WEP

The Night is Not Black #WEP

There is great beauty in the most troubled of people if one dares to look. 

I agree with Pat Garcia's comment that when the world refuses to recognize the gift that has been planted within us, it takes a toll on our psyche. 

This is a pain that I know personally. I put a lot of effort into my own work only to receive little or no response, primarily because I am not a sunny, social butterfly of a person and my brain works in mysterious ways. 

Thank you to the author for sharing this powerful piece.

~cie from team netherworld~

Carpe Diem Love Month: Animal Friends: Senryu

all my little friends
there have been far too many
can't do it again


There are people who have said to me when I say that I won't get any more cats because I can't bear to lose any more cats that I'm being selfish.

I lost five cats in the space of five years, and I've lost many more before them. There are many that I can't think of without it bringing tears to my eyes. I've also lost quite a few people. I am pretty well numb with grief. I think that it's cruel to tell someone in my position that they are being "selfish" for wanting to avoid further pain. 

Inflicting guilt on someone who is already suffering is the ultimate in thoughtlessness.

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation: The Cold Night

Image by aalmeidah from Pixabay

spring snow
purifies earth and heaven
the cold night

spring snow
covering flowers and trees
a threatening frost

covering flowers and trees
a spring freeze will destroy buds
a hard summer comes

the cold night
emerging from the dream world
the people awake


We were charged with creating a fusion-ku from the following two Haiku and a Troiku from the fusion-ku.

spring snow
purifies earth and heaven
our enemies perish

© Mizuhara Shûôshi

the cold night
comes out of the stones
all morning

© Jim Kacian

Come As You Are Party: Wired Differently or Just a Flake?

Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay

It is my hope to back away from apologizing for who I am and instead explain about myself so that those I interact with might develop an understanding of those of us who are wired differently.

I have type 2 bipolar disorder and ADD as well as complex PTSD and OCD. I wasn't properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder or OCD until I was almost 40. I didn't know I had ADD until I was in my 50s. I was just always scolded for being forgetful and distracted. I have always vacillated between being Ms. Wonderful and being that flakey a-hole that everyone hates. I understand why it happens now, but I can't change the past. I wish people would try to understand me a little better, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

My son will be 30 this year. He is high-functioning autistic and has ADHD as well as anxiety issues and major depression. He is very intelligent and has read the entire Amber series (Roger Zelazny), much of Tolkien's writing, The Count of Monte Cristo, the works of C.S. Lewis, and the list goes on, but he can't learn from a textbook to save his life. I think the current educational system does a very poor job of addressing the needs of those who are not neurotypical. 

I technically also have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, but it is my opinion that borderline personality disorder is actually a form of complex PTSD and is an outdated and sexist diagnosis. It is almost exclusively applied to girls and women. Everyone who has it has endured some form of trauma, whether physical, psychological, sexual or a combination thereof. 

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors

Carpe Diem Love Month + Haiku My Heart: Butterflies, my First Love (Senryu)

Image by Schwoaze from Pixabay

lovely butterfly
small girl cries with all her heart
you lie motionless


I didn't want to write about romantic love. (Blech.) So I decided to write about one of the two things I loved very much as a child. My first experience with death involved finding a butterfly still on the sidewalk on a cold, rainy day while walking with my father at three years old. I was devastated. 

Fifty-two years have gone by since then. My father is now gone too.

Carpe Diem Love Month: Lost Love Senryu

Image by Goran Horvat from Pixabay

I know all too well
the feelings of hopelessness
many useless tears


Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday: Wisteria Beans

Image by M W from Pixabay

wisteria beans
let's make that a theme for haikai
a flower fruit 
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

the pods hang down like earrings
admire, but don't ever eat


Carpe Diem Love Month: Senryu: Love at First Sight

Image by Thomas B. from Pixabay

it's love at first sight
losing my heart and my mind
damn fool idea


WEP February 2020 Challenge: Cafe Terrace

Genre: General Fiction
(The work that this will become part of is paranormal/sci-fi)

Word Count: 1000

Rating: PG-13 (profanity, discussion of adult situations)

Full critique accepted providing you agree to use the Hamburger Method.

Here is the kind of critique that is acceptable:
"I liked it when Paul told the roaming fishmonger that he wasn't interested in buying week-old fish. I am a bit confused as to why you are mentioning the fishmonger since he doesn't appear in the story. The fishmonger seems like an interesting character."

This is the kind of critique that is not acceptable:
"I don't usually read about farty old bastards reminiscing about their bygone youth, and I really don't care that Paul is sad about Gerry losing his memory. Paul seems really immature for a guy in his fifties, and I don't care about his wife either."

Further notes follow the story.

As Paul Clifford drifted off to sleep in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2015, he dreamed of the unseasonably warm Valentine’s day in 1981. The then 27-year-old guitarist had been booted from the house by his wife with a kiss on the cheek and a swat on the backside as she told him to go walk off his nervous energy before it rubbed off on their five-and-a-half-week-old daughter. Paul promised Sophia that he would be back in time for their date that night. He jumped on his bad motor scooter and rode from the couple’s home in North Wembley to the Crouch End suburb where he had lived from 1963 to adulthood.

“Bloody place has changed so much,” Paul mused as he parked his scooter in front of La Parisienne Café on Wisteria Avenue. Paul entered the café and asked if he could use their telephone. After ringing up his brother, he asked if he could take tea on the terrace. The proprietor, a doughy, middle-aged, olive-skinned man with wild waves of black hair, a welcoming smile, and a warm Greek accent invited Young Sir to have a seat wherever he chose.

When Gerry stepped out of a cab an hour later, he looked rather the worse for wear. Paul hailed from the terrace with a sunny grin.

The proprietor led the bedraggled Gerry to the table and procured a teacup.

“Could I have coffee instead, Mate?” Gerry inquired. “Black, very strong.”

The affable gentleman returned to the interior of the shop.

“Funny pair, them,” he remarked to his brother. “Same size, similar faces, I am thinking them to be brothers or half-brothers. But the one is so sunny with his shining golden curls, and the other looks like he just crawled out of a tomb.”

“I think the dark-haired one is nursing a hangover,” the tall, slender brother observed. “You and I are a funny pair when you think about it. We are the Laurel and Hardy of pastries, the fat and the thin.”

Both brothers laughed, and the plump brother brought Gerry his coffee, walking in on the middle of a mild dispute.

“Why the bloody hell are you sitting on the terrace in the middle of feckin’ February?” Gerry demanded, shivering as he pulled his jacket around himself.

 “Ain’t my fault yer a feckin’ vampire what can’t tolerate the sun. Don’t be a cunt.”

“And don’t you be a right boor in front of this chap,” Gerry admonished, lighting a cigarette.

“Pardon my language,” Paul said, turning to the proprietor. “We’re brothers, and sometimes…”

“Yes, yes, this I know,” the proprietor laughed. “I work with my brother, the skinny broomstick behind the counter. It is funny you mention you sit on terrace. My name, you see, is Taras Tarasios. My brother is Xavier. We welcome you into our shop anytime. Will you young gentlemen be taking lunch today?”

“Yeah, Mate, that would be good,” Gerry agreed. “Bit of a bender last night, I’m afraid. Probably ought to get something other than coffee in me. Nothing too heavy, though. Annie would have my head if I slagged off dinner tonight ‘cause I ate too much lunch.”

“Maybe we could split something,” Paul suggested. “Bowl of soup apiece, then a sandwich to share. Whatever you’ve got on special, Mr. Taras.”

 “So, how’s Danny doing?” Paul asked, referencing Gerry’s son, born five days before Paul’s daughter.

“Well, he ain’t had a seizure in twenty hours, so I guess he’s arite,” Gerry said. “Are you sure this bird you’ve hired to watch the kiddas tonight is up to the task of caring for a wee chap with seizures?”

“Well, she ain’t just any bird, she’s a nurse,” Paul replied, looking on with concern as Gerry procured a flask from his coat pocket and poured some of the contents into his coffee.

“Hair of the dog that bit me,” Gerry explained. “You needn’t say anything, Paulie. I’ve got to get this trouble of mine under wraps. I don’t want me son growing up with a drunkard for a father.”

“Gerry, if I was speaking with anyone else, I’d say this wasn’t my business, but you’re the closest person in the world to me, so I’ve gotta ask. Are you happy being married to Anne?”

“Well, who the hell else was I going to marry?” Gerry quipped. “Seeing as I put her in a family way, it only seemed the right thing to do. Don’t start with me, Paulie. Not everyone is so fortunate as you and Sophia, who have a love affair so sickeningly sweet it could rot the teeth right out of your head. Not sure I’d want one, really. Wouldn’t be able to concentrate on business if all I could think of was the love of me life. I’d always be dropping clinkers from me guitar like you do these days.”

“Aw, go fuck yourself,” Paul chuckled, lighting a cigarette. “Yeah, I got lucky when I landed Sophia. Never thought a beautiful bird like her would take to a feckin’ ugly blighter like me.”


Paul turned to look at the person shaking his shoulder. He woke to see Sophia’s worried eyes and realized that there were tears on his face.

“You said you wanted me to wake you so you could have lunch with Gerry at the care center,” Sophia said.

Paul sniffled and dried his eyes. Sophia procured a comb and ordered Paul to sit while she combed his thinning hair.

“What were you dreaming about, Love?” Sophia inquired.

“A Valentine’s day years ago when I met Gerry at that café in Crouch End,” Paul said. “Alice and Danny were barely more than a month old, and me and Gerry…well, I was twenty-seven and he was twenty-nine, but we hardly seemed more than kids ourselves. Now he’s forgetting more and more as the days pass. Every day I lose a bit more of me brother.”

Sophia put down the comb and embraced her husband as he wept.

~Cie for Team Netherworld~

Further Notes:
This piece will become a chapter in the current WIP from this universe, tentatively titled The Ballad of Gerry Clifford.

Digital art by me. You are welcome to use it, but please credit me. (Cara Hartley, The Real Cie, The Ornery Old Lady, or even Cie Cheesemeister will do.)

I worked with the geriatric population including many people with dementia for a cumulative of around 25 years. I had to get out of the field when it started to become personal. It's one thing to be a caregiver whose patient has dementia. It's quite another when it's someone you know.

Carpe Diem Love Month: The Day After Valentine's Day: Aftermath Most Despised

copyright Viktor Forbacs

on the day after
a terrible thing was born
broken from the start
it should have been tossed away
why was it allowed to stay


I was born the day after Valentine's Day 1965 at 6 of the morning in the middle of a raging blizzard. My life has never been easy and I can't ever remember a time when I didn't think I was bad or wrong. That is what this depressing Tanka is about.

It's kind of sad that I have to say this, but here are the kinds of comments that I don't want to receive for this poem.

"You should consider counseling."

Been there, done that. Some of them were kind of helpful, others were just pill-pushers. It took nearly 40 years for any of them to correctly diagnose my type 2 bipolar disorder. In fairness, type 2 bipolar disorder is a sneaky bitch because it presents with hypomania rather than full mania, so it can be difficult to spot. It's rather like a black and white horse hiding in a herd of zebras.

Also, back in the 1970s and 1980s when I was a troubled teenager, bipolar disorder was called manic depression, and it was considered a psychosis. As my high school psychology teacher said to me when I told her that I saw a lot of aspects of manic depression in myself:

"Honey, manic depression is a psychosis. You're not psychotic. You're just depressed and having a hard time being a teenager."

This well-meaning but ultimately incorrect lady probably just thought I was an angsty Goth girl who read too much Sylvia Plath and melodramatically attributed Sylvia's melancholy poetry to her own overdramatic teenage struggles. In fact, I did see a lot of myself in Sylvia Plath's poetry and I tend to get pissed off at people who chortle knowingly about silly drama queen girls relating to her poetry.

Sylvia Plath and I both had bipolar disorder, and perhaps if a teenage girl is relating to Sylvia Plath's poetry, maybe she's not just a wannabe Goth drama queen, maybe her life sucks and she's depressed or possibly has bipolar disorder. I would love it if society would stop writing off teenage girls' feelings as so much overdramatic frippery.

Also, disabled, on Medicaid, and live an average of 50 miles from the nearest city. I already have to go get P.T. once a week. Not interested in another weekly appointment.

"You should consider medications/get your medications adjusted."

I've been on this planet for 55 years. I've been dealing with mental (and physical) illness for most if not all of them. Do you really think I've never heard this before? Also, for some of us, the "cure" is worse than the problem. I can't tolerate most psych meds.

Further, I have complex PTSD from years of psychological (and sometimes physical and/or sexual) abuse by my peers and "well-meaning" people who wanted to "fix" me. Don't try to "fix" me. 

I already have a chemical cocktail that I have to down every day for all my physical problems, plus I have to poke myself with needles multiple times a day. For those who are wincing about the thought of poking themselves with needles, well, you're lucky if you don't have to, but this aspect of my disease is the least of my problems. I usually don't even feel the needle unless I come at myself from a bad angle. Even when that happens, it's a very minor pain. The needles aren't a big deal. The things the disease can do to my body if I don't use the needles are.

So, yeah. Don't talk to me about meds.

"Wow, this is really depressing. You should try to write about happier stuff."

I write three kinds of poetry: dark, silly, and snarky. Poetry is a way for me to express the deep, inner pain. I am under no obligation to pretty up my poetry because it might make some people uncomfortable.

"Trust that God has a plan for you."

I'm an agnostic. I respect your beliefs. Please respect my lack thereof.

I was a devout Catholic in my youth. However, because I was somewhat unorthodox in my beliefs and was tolerant of those who didn't believe and of homosexuals, I was ostracized and threatened with hell. Even at that, my fellow Catholics were nowhere near as dreadful as the town Fundies. Also, they weren't stupid enough to burn heavy metal records. When that just created a cloud of toxic smoke, I had to laugh. These idiots weren't being countered by any demon, they were just being confronted by their own stupidity.

I'm one of those people who believes that there is a higher power and maybe even personified higher powers. In the interest of brevity, I'll let someone far wiser say it for me.

"Life's hard for everyone. Quit whining about your problems and do something about it."

I do as much as I can every day that I can. I know that life is hard for other people. I'm not talking about other people. I'm only talking about me.

All in all, there is really just one thing to remember.

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation: Renga With: Waiting for the Full Moon

Image by Chikai Du from Pixabay

the autumn wind:
thickets and fields also,
Fuha Barrier

© Basho

I look at the turning leaves
see future snow in the clouds

a dandelion
now and then interrupting
the butterfly's dream

© Chiyo-Ni

when I am a butterfly
will I ever dream of you

the thunderstorm having cleared up
the evening sun shines on a tree
where a cicada is chirping 

© Shiki

is there a cool night ahead
or restless humidity

simply trust:
do not also the petals flutter down,
just like that?

© Issa

I have never been the kind
to simply go with the flow

in nooks and corners
cold remains:
flowers of the plum

© Buson

promise of warmer weather
pleasant till scorching heat comes

ancient warriors ghosts
mists over the foreign highlands -
waiting for the full moon

© Chèvrefeuille

will your troubled soul drift in
for another lifelong fight


All the Ageku are belong to me.

Everything else has been credited.

Carpe Diem Love Month: A Snarky Valentine

arrived in a storm
one day after Valentine's
nobody's sweetheart


Don't tell me y'all didn't know it was gonna be snarky.

Trivia for my -666 fans:

I was born in a blizzard at 6 AM the day after Valentine's day 55 years ago. 

A very merry un-birthday to me today.

Carpe Diem Love Month: Rainbow Bridge to the Dreamlands

Image by navallo from Pixabay

in a place beyond
over the storied rainbow
you and I will meet
perhaps in the land of dream
imagined by Lovecraft


I will never get over this
I wish he was here with me

I know nobody gives a flying toss about my notes, but since I'm pretty sure no-one will read this post anyway, what do I care?

I am recovering from a mental breakdown and from a TIA. I am trying to move back in the direction of writing what I want to write rather than what I think will make money. My health is precarious and I don't really know how long I have left on this planet. I worry like hell about developing vascular dementia. I'm not too worried about Alzheimer's because there isn't a history of that on either side of my family. My father had vascular dementia. My aunt on my mother's side probably had Lewy body dementia, although nothing was ever really confirmed. Hers seemed to onset more quickly than Alzheimer's tends to, although I have a feeling she was hiding her memory lapses until she couldn't anymore.

The TIAs I have had exacerbate my ADD. I don't have any short-term memory loss, but there is a change in my cognition. I blame this most recent episode on not having adequate insulin (thanks, Medicaid). My P.A. changed up my prescription so hopefully, this won't happen again. It probably could have been changed sooner but she was on maternity leave, and I am reluctant to see another provider. It is critical that I have a provider who treats me with respect and looks at numbers such as A1C, blood glucose, blood pressure and triglycerides (all things I'm taking medications for) as opposed to focusing on the damn number on the scale, which only triggers episodes of self-loathing and restrictive eating. Anyone who thinks that shaming large people (or anyone else) reinforces positive behavior is dead wrong. All that sort of behavior does is makes people avoid seeking medical care for fear of being shamed.

I write a segment called Henry and Henry for the Fetch universe. Henry is my female protagonist Pepper's beloved cat, who passes away suddenly. He is modeled after my Lafayette.

Henry Kalmar is the spirit of a flamboyant, openly gay New Orleans blues musician who commits suicide on the tenth anniversary of his beloved half-sister's death. Henry is modeled after Lafayette Reynolds, my favorite character in the show True Blood. Lafayette was the namesake for my Lafayette. He was played by the very talented Nelsan Ellis, who died on 8 July 2017 at the age of 39 from complications of alcohol withdrawal. Nelsan's sister Alice was murdered by her husband in 2002. This was something that Nelsan never got over.

Nelsan attempted to stop using alcohol on his own because he was ashamed to seek help for his addiction. This, unfortunately, created deadly complications. Here we have an example of how shaming people for addiction doesn't work. If shame worked, there would be no addicts, no fat people, and no smokers. I repeat that shaming doesn't work, it only makes people reluctant to seek medical care for fear of being shamed by ignorant health "care" providers.

I adopted my Lafayette's half-sister or cousin Tara at the same time that I adopted Lafayette. I suspect that both of them were very inbred. They came from the same feral colony. Both of them had to have most of their teeth removed because of feline stomatitis. Lafayette had problems with his fur falling out and scabby skin which I attributed to a grain allergy and began feeding him grain-free food which seemed to help somewhat. I later misattributed some of the signs of system failure to a return of the feline stomatitis and assumed that he would need the rest of his teeth removed. I had no idea, and I will go to my grave blaming myself for being so wrapped up in working that I missed critical signs. I will never forgive myself.

Henry the Cat meets Henry Kalmar in the Dreamlands, and together they become part of the team trying to save the Cosmos from an ultimate threat headed by Nyarlathotep, the smartest and trickiest of the Outer Gods. This ragtag group of reluctant heroes also includes a snarky Swedish spectre, a benevolent Yithian, a sweet-natured but foul-mouthed Scotsman who departs his cognitively impaired body at night to join the fight, a terminally ill British prog-rock icon, and a couple of good-natured ghouls. 

I let the story languish for five years in favor of attempting to write stuff that I believed would sell. It didn't, and I'm not going to back-burner my beloved project any longer. Would I like for it to have an audience? Sure, I suppose, but sometimes knowing that other people are watching prevents me from unleashing my creativity. So, whatever. 

Generally speaking, I am not the kind of person that other people gravitate to. I have kind of a prickly, defensive personality from years of having to defend myself, what do you know? I can count on one hand the people who will respond to this post, and I thank you in advance.

Closing Comments on This Blog

At this point, this blog is only a place for sharing links, and the only comments I've been getting are comments like the following fro...