Our young people have more common sense & courage then 40% of adults in America.
Politicians that are bought and paid for, are Puppets of the Greedy!
We can’t pray away gun massacres, but we can change our laws to stop them.
This story is a heartfelt journey of the present and past world of wise women, often referred to is Wicca Healers that were mercilessly hunted, tortured and executed for witchcraft. Califia Montalvo, the author, weaves a story rich with complex characters, mystery and suspense. The protagonist is Simi, a young girl who is mystified at the supernatural events that occur and appear to be connected to her. As she matures into womanhood she learns to harness this ability to create forces that can change people’s lives. She eventually learns of a surprising explanation of why hers is a life always at the forefront of what appears to be mysterious paranormal events.
There are journeys in this engaging story that relate to the present, in times past, throughout history, that enfold into the story regarding the treatment of women healers during the time of the witch trial executions that lasted over a hundred years, where tens of thousands of women healers were burned at the stake. This historical matter adds to the complexity of the story in a well-thought out manner.
Montalvo’s story is a plethora of fascinating details regarding the women that were persecuted for their intelligence, their communion with nature, and what others saw as inexplicable knowledge deemed mysterious, even evil, as they used their ability heal others. I found this novel to be well-written with interesting details that made me glad I did not live in an early time when any woman could be charged with witchcraft. I highly recommend The Wicca Girl, the Flowering.
It happened in a small farming community in the northwestern part of Connecticut that also included a large forest preserve, a once glacial river, now a bubbling brook, a lake, and a spring-fed pond. The community’s roots began in 1680, as The Salmon Brook Settlement that was also home to Native Americans like the Tunix, the Massaco, and the Mohegan.
It was a perfect summer day. The morning was cool and the sky was a brilliant Periwinkle blue. The deep, dense forest was a monolith of wonder for elementary school age kids. The ancient woods that the Salmon Brook flowed through provided the Native Americans with all kinds of fish, fowl, and river animals, like beavers.
Evidence of their inhabitation lingers still in the form of arrowheads, pathways, in meadows that were once crop producing fields, where they once grew tobacco, beans, squash, and corn, as well as middens of shells like clams, mussels and turtles were eagerly searched for in the forest. There were plenty of bones to find too, mostly animal, but sometimes, human bones that would be exposed as they washed up on the rocky river banks.
On this beautiful summer morning, a small band of kids, having traversed deeply into the forest, smelled smoke and considered it to be a fisherman on the river or the nearby lake. At first, nothing much was thought about it. The smoke seemed to be coming from some distance away.
Taken aback by what she was seeing, one of the older members of the group of five children, yelled out, “FIRE!” All heads turned to the leader of the group, who stood mesmerized by the yellow-orange fingers of flame surrounding a giant oak tree, that appeared to touch the sky it was so tall. The forest fire was closing in around them, silently sneaking up on them, until it roared like a lion. The fire then leapt among the tree tops, high into the sky, turning the blue sky into a purple twilight, billowing with fire.
Like deer, caught in the headlights of an on-coming car, they froze in fear. Suddenly, they ran, following their leader to an old wagon wheel road where giant, thick oaks lined the road, that was little more, now, than a pathway. They ran and out of the corner of their eyes the watched the fire explode into the giant oaks behind them. As they ran, animals of all kinds joined in their fierce desire to escape the flames that were now, 40, 50, 60, 100 feet high in the air, and animals ran alongside the five children. The leader was shocked to find a black bear keeping pace at her side and deer leaping everywhere. Wild Turkeys, Foxes, Porcupines, Skunks, Woodchucks, all, ran with the humans, side by side on the narrow path, until the path widened as they reached an open field. Ahead of them was Canton road and fire trucks with long hoses and a helicopter overhead. The parents of the children were kept back by officers and firemen.
The children emerged, blackened with smoke, wild-eyed with fear, and the animals took off in different directions, some crossing the road to the other side where safety could be found, unmindful of the crowd gathered on Canton Road. The children, now at the point of exhaustion, collapsed into their parent’s arms as the firefighters dosed them with cool, clear water.
This was a day the five children would never forget. I will always remember the black bear running by my side. I remember how we looked at each other, the black bear and I—with a look that was “will we get out of this alive?” It was as if we saved each other and we were a team. It was amazing. I will always remember the look he gave me as he turned to run into the safety of the tall bushes and another part of the forest, he turned and stopped for a moment, like he was saying, thank you and nodded his head.
By K. D. Dowdall
***I wrote this sometime ago and I had not proofread it before publishing. I have now made grammatical changes. A mistake, hopefully, I will not make again.
What is poetry and its place in the human psyche? Poetry and prose, I believe, magically transports the reader to visualize vividly a very personal place in time, bringing to life every possible emotion seared into the psyche that the reader may have experienced in real life, wished for, dreamed of, or feared.
This is what makes poetry so emotionally beautiful and painfully true. We get it and it can be transforming. But, where does poetry fit in, in the whole scheme of our human experience. Poetry reflects our romantic inclinations, our troubled history, our social truths, politics, and the most beautiful of all philosophies – who and what are we anyway, in the scope of all there is under Heaven and Earth.
Poetry is romantic. The great writer and poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley said, “Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.” It is, also, I believe, as Robert Frost wrote, “when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
Poetry is more than a history of human desires. “Hence poetry”, wrote Aristotle, “is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are rather of the nature of universals, whereas those of history are singulars.”
Poetry is often compared to the ultimate in what is truth. “Poetry”, wrote Joseph Roux, “is truth in its Sunday clothes.” Leonardo da Vinci, believed that, “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” John Ciardi wrote, “Poetry lies its way to the truth.”
Poetry is political. “All poets, all writers are political”, writes Sonia Sanchez, “they either maintain the status quo, or they say, ’Something’s wrong, let’s change it for the better.”
Poetry is also philosophical. John Lennon believed that, “my role in society, or any artist or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
However, even though all the above quotes bare witness to the impact of poetry and prose on the human psyche, yet, no one has described and defined poetry and prose as beautifully as William Shakespeare, who wrote that poetry is, “The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to heaven; and as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name; such tricks hath strong imagination.”
Poetry and prose, I believe, represent the wonder of human imagination and all that lies between heaven and earth as we struggle to understand what it means to be human in a world that is constantly changing the definition of what is humanity and what it is not.
by K. D. Dowdall
January 28th, 2018
I always love to read quotes from William Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night’s Dream has some of the most notable, among so many extraordinary quotes in Shakespeare’s body of work, and his work is beyond description. Thank you Prof. Charles
French for sharing.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare is one of my favorite plays, and I have had a life long connection with this work. I have read it, seen numerous productions, acted in it, directed it, studied it in college and graduate school, written about it, delivered a conference paper on it, and taught the play in college at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. So, you can see that I have had quite a relationship with this wonderful play.
As a simple tribute to Shakespeare and this play, I offer a few quotations from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
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What a lovely winter poem/prose by Aurora Jean Alexander! http://www.aurorajeanalexander.com
See this now on
It is actually nearly four weeks since Christmas but this poem from Aurora Jean Alexander from this time last year is very topical for many of you.
Picture courtesy of: http://www.christmas-wallpapers.co.uk/winter-wonderland/fantasy-winter-wonderland
Winter Wonderland Finally by Aurora Jean Alexander
It was Christmas, three weeks ago,
the grass was green, there was no snow.
The skies were blue, it was too warm
Green Christmas? Here? This needs alarm.
New Year came -no flakes in sight
The sun had fun, the sky was bright.
But unexpected, it took us off guard
we woke up to a white yard.
Even though it’s freezing cold
I still will say – and I am bold
Sometimes I like the soft white mass
It can be fun – and it’s got class.
Snowy bushes and white trees
are surrounding the lake that will go freeze.
In such a time I love a forest walk
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