Purple Mark… The Gathering

 

The Gathering

In lavish circles whirling, they skittered over the water top
weird women flying, their snarls and tatters streaming,
laughing profanely like bawds.
 
It wasn’t All Hallows Eve or any occasion that those
who weren’t these Witches would know. Yet it was an occasion
for them as their little ones were beginning their way in the Craft.
 
Seven of them stood wide-eyed as the Circle was cast.
They were smudged and invited within the muddy Sacred space
as the Spring rains continued to come down to soak the Earth.
 
The Quarters were called and they each in turn faced
the High Priestess’s Athamé and intoned the words they had
long rehearsed to be perfect on this most important occasion.
 
Despite the rain’s fall they were glad that they were now a part
of the Sacred Sisterhood. The cakes and ale which followed
made them feel that they were indeed growing up
 
and on the way to attaining the wisdom which had passed
from Mother to Daughter for so many generations that
their lines were lost in the mists of memory.
 
As soon as the last cake was eaten and the last of the ale sipped,
the Quarters were thanked and the Circle opened and the Witches
old and new dispersed to the four corners of their town.
 
Rain fell softly on the town cupolas, chuckled from rain-spouts
and spoke in strange subterranean tongues beneath the windows
of the town which had no idea of the importance of the evening.
 

Purple Mark aka Mark Wirth courts way too many Muses: Chocolate-Making, Costuming, Millinery, Photography, Painting, Drawing, Novel-Writing and Poetry. In College, he was the Art Director for the MSU Literary Annual for 2 years and an issue of Scimitar: Illustrations, Layout and some Poetry. In the Seattle area, he worked on Mythos in a like manner and provided additional photography as well as short stories.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Purple Mark

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Carla Blaschka… Washed Away

 
 

Washed Away

We buried Mom. Dead. Finally. Pancreatic cancer is a fast, vicious way to go. It is fast, cancer-wise, but not fast enough. For the last two months Mama could barely hear me. She always had that faraway glazed look as she tried to deal with the pain, every moment, every day.

I went home and washed my car. Papa used to joke about it.

“How is it that scrubbing cars can make a child of mine look so ecstatic? He used to say to Mom and all his friends. It was the best washed car in town, then it would be. If I stop, I’m back at the same old monster movie. I get in free.

I remembered the weekend it started. Mom had found Papa’s journal. The first he knew about it was when it hit him on the head and she howled, “How could you?”

She clipped him on the ear to make sure he was listening and then sent our scrabble board scrittering across the floor. She pointed to the door and I ran, but not to far.

“How could you write with…venom of one who died in such pain?” she cried. The only person I knew who had died was my Uncle Joe. Dead before I was born, the story I heard was that he had fallen on a piece of rebar at a construction site. It pierced his stomach and he died a couple of weeks later after infection set in. They say my grandparents really never got over it.

“Why shouldn’t I?” roared Papa, right back.

“Why shouldn’t I write bad things about that bastard. I’ve been a good father to yours, haven’t I?”

She slapped him. I heard it. I was still trying to understand – did Mom have another kid I didn’t know about? My world was starting to rock.

“I loved him, you have no right. I thought you were a good man,” she added bitterly.

What a weekend it was, with the confusion and pain between Mama & Papa virtually tangible. If it had had a physical substance their antipathy would have filled our house with mud.

Things cooled down but they were never the same after that and ever since…our family had the cleanest cars in town.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Carla Blaschka

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Carla Blaschka… Robbing Love

 
 
 

Robbing Love

 
       “He’s a racist.”
       “No, he’s not.”
       “Yes, he is. You told me he has White Pride tattooed on his chest. His very nickname means “Hi, I’m a racist.”
       “Look, he no longer goes by Bubba. His name meant White Obscurity. His name meant he who lived in the hills back of Northern-White-Water where I’m gonna go hiking. Now his name is Daniel, which means my friend.”
      Justin laughed and wrapped his arms around her neck, mashing her face against his chest. “Alright, but you need to be careful. I don’t want you to come back and vote Republican.”
      She gave him a nip and pushed away. “God forbid.”
      He gave her an affectionate slap on her ass as they parted.
      Before she left she called the newspaper office and got the weekend service. It gave her the info she hoped for. Throughout that day, Standard Island kept traveling between Kahoolawe and Maui, but that night it would be at anchor. Her rubber dinghy knocked against the island’s bumper and she was helped on board by security. Tonight it was Robbie. She said Hi! and asked to see her mother.
      She hadn’t visited in quite a while. Her mother’s short brown hair had more streaks of gray than Val remembered, but otherwise she looked the same. Her mother offered her some peach ginger hot chocolate.
      She wrapped her fingers around the cup and inhaled the steam. “How are you?” she asked after the initial pause to catch up and test the emotional waters.
       “I’m fine. John’s fine. We’re doing well,” her mother said. “Our harvests are doing well.”
      Val nodded in acknowledgement of the message that her mother was happy with her new friend.
       “How about you? Still seeing Bubba?”
       “Daniel, Mom, his name is Daniel, and he is working as a mechanic.”
       “Of course,” her mother murmured.
      Val frowned at her.
       “We’re O.K., we see each other a lot but, I don’t know, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
      She got an eyebrow raise.
       “I’m pregnant. Twins.”
       “Daniel’s?”
       “No.”
      Mom fired both eyebrows at her. “Who then?”
       “I don’t know.” She paused to get her voice under control.
      Her mother waited.
       “I went to a bar, woke up in the back seat of my car. I knew something had happened, but I didn’t…”, another pause. “I just let it go. I wasn’t hurt. It seems foolish now but I didn’t know what happened, so I didn’t say anything and now, well, here I am.”
       “Are you going to…?”
       “No, but I don’t know…I just wanted to…”
       “See how badly I wanted to be a grandmother?”
      She nodded.
      Her mother came over to sit beside her and put her arms around her. “I’m so sorry this happened. It’s going to be all right, we’ll see to that.” Her voice was low, the kind you use to soothe a baby. They rested like that for a bit.
       “Any child…” her mom said then corrected herself, “any children of yours are welcome in my life, in our life. But I think not knowing who the father is is going to eat at you, and probably the kids too. We’ll figure out a plan, do you mind if I tell the people on the island?”
      Val shook her head. Val considered them all her family.
       “One thing,” her mom went on, “do you agree the person did a bad thing and shouldn’t do it again?”
      Val nodded.
       “Then I think we need to file a report. When the babies are born, maybe we can get them to run a DNA check against their database. Honey,” and here her mother went all delicate, “how sure are you that you are pregnant because of this? Could it be someone else…?”
      Val shook her head again. “I was at that bar because Bubba…Daniel and I had broken up a month before and I wanted to get out of the house.”
       “O.K., I see. Well, finding out wouldn’t hurt, no matter what happens after that.”
      Two beautiful babies were born, a boy and a girl. Daniel stepped up and asked Val to marry him. Tests were done. Val wished she hadn’t. She didn’t want to know this, ever, but she went to the jail to confront Justin, her friend.
       “Why?”
      His face turned into a mask of frustration and hate. “You were willing to fuck that racist but not me? What the hell is wrong with you?”
      Tears streaked Val’s face as she leaned forward and whispered, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
 

Copyright © 2017 by Carla Blaschka

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Carla Blaschka… Time for the Trump Talk

 
 
 

Time for the Trump Talk

 
      It was officially Rainier Beer’s R Day and they were within sight of the village before the thought of Pelham Ravenshaw occurred to shatter my peace of mind, again.
      I had talked the pub’s owner into stocking some of this exotic American beer, so beloved of Seattleites. I promised I’d buy everyone a round in return to make it profitable.
      We had gotten an early start; we wanted good seats to watch the soccer game later and the conversation had gotten around to movies we had seen.
      Eli, 3:22 p.m. “I am completely lost. Why are we talking about banning movies?”
      Me, 3:23 p.m. “To avoid molestation.”
      3:24 p.m. Evelyn choked on her tea and hastily set the cup down. Not a big beer drinker, Evelyn, but a huge soccer fan. “What?”
      Me. 3:25 p.m. “You heard me. I was groped at a movie once when I was 13 and I don’t want it to happen to Angie. She’s going out with the horny Pelham and I don’t know if I should have the Trump Talk now or later.”
      Evelyn, 3:27 p.m. “How do you know he’s horny?”
      Me, 3:28 p.m. “He’s 16,” I said.
      Both Eli and Evelyn gave me a ‘Oh, of course’ look – a raised brow and a tilt sideways tilt of the head in agreement.
      “Dealing with that crap is something all girls have to learn.” Eli said soberly.
      I nodded but held my glass with fingers locked tight. I didn’t want Angie to have to learn it but I had a hard secret myself. As much as I didn’t want a stranger to grope my daughter against her will. That was exactly the kind of behavior I had given my boyfriend permission to do. I liked him grabbing my tits, making them his. He had a pass at all hours to do so. It excited me, not knowing when it was coming and he seemed to like it. It was a double standard, I knew. No wonder we still struggled with it. The lines between for ‘real’ and for ‘play’ can get very blurred, easily confused. Do I give up my sexual fantasies or trust my guy can figure out the difference?
      3:40 p.m. Angie came in. It was time.
 

Copyright © 2017 by Carla Blaschka

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Carrie Albert… Frog Artifact, named “Beatrice”

 

beatrice_amphivbiaremnantslab

 
 
Frog Artifact, named “Beatrice”
(3016 Analysis)
 
Mass and Materials:
Of blue petrochemicals, spots intact.
Palm size with “China 1” underbelly
found on earth under far-Eastern
impact of Asteroid Zabo
 
Dated:
Early Plastic Age, before World War 3
on the eve of Meltdown Z when
memories were buried
all religious faiths annihilated
100 years prior to extinction
of living amphibians
 
Explanation:
Goddess Anura, likely a fertility charm used
in Laboratory Zigmar’s early attempts
to procreate human/frog beings
 
Stunning survival, but needs bath and shining
 
Hold in Goddess Vaults 100z456890000//
 

Carrie Albert is poet and visual artist and sometimes the two merge. Her poetry has appeared in diverse journals and anthologies – recently – the Bullies and Bystanders Project: “Changing Harm to Harmony”, HEArt online and upcoming (with photo) in Gray Sparrow, both print and online. Collage, photo and poem pairings have been featured in a number of publications. Here are a few links: Carrie Albert | The Far Field, Carrie Albert — The Monarch Review, Spiritual & Healing Practices – all things healing, qarrtsiluni.com/tag/c-albert. She is also Artist in Residence at inksweatandtears.co.uk. online.

Copyright © 2016 by Carrie Albert