Happy Mo(o)nday!

Moon montage by Rhonda Griscti

Cold Shoulder
By Annette Marie Hyder

The moon’s been giving me the cold shoulder
ever since you’ve been gone.
She deliberately turns her back
and pulls her shine in close
she even used the dimmer switch
to turn the stars down low
causing me to stub (painfully) my big toe
in the darkness of all things in nature
conspiring, it seems, to make me miss you.
They all try their best
to outshine each other
when you are there to impress.

Early childhood infection

Bedtime Story surreal photography by Ronen Goldman

“Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” — Jane Yolen

Vaccination is useless. Attempts at vaccination (censoring and banning) result in increased fever and acceleration of the spread of this disease. Resistance is futile. Let literature spread!

Call me Cheetah

Sketch by Afke van Herpt

When I was little I went through a phase where I wanted everyone to call me “Cheetah” and refused to answer to anything else. “Nettie, time to get ready for bed.” my mom said. “Call me Cheetah.” I bargained. “Nets! I hear the ice-cream truck — let’s go get some!” my big brother said. “Call me Cheetah.” I negotiated. In any given circumstance where my claim to this new name was not being respected, all involved were treated to my offended disdain. Sheesh! What’s a girl-child have to do to get everyone on board with her new name?

And why did I want this new name? I found out that cheetahs are the fastest animal on the planet and so of course I wanted to (in addition to wanting to be a princess-ballerina-acrobat) be a cheetah.

My daughter also went through a cat identification stage but hers lasted
much longer than mine and included an uncanny mimicry of the way a cat
moves on all fours and actually licking people. Don’t worry, She’s
outgrown that part of it.

What has me thinking of that foray into feline wanna-be-ness is this new study, reported on in an article over at io9, in which the principles behind why cheetahs often overheat when they have hunted successfully is explained: The science of hot cheetahs by Joseph Bennington-Castro

Super moon tonight!

Moonrise by Jan Betton
(This illustration always reminds me of my daughter Jazzy and her little brother Jude.)

know the old folk custom of putting out a bowl of milk for the fairies?
Well tonight there is a super moon and if you want her moonbeams to
shine your way especially beautifully then you must put something out
for her. The moon likes laughter so float some her way — like a
mellifluous ribbon in the wind, like a balloon of happiness swaying
gently, like a handful of fireworks giggles. She wont be able to stay

Good afternoon!

By Annette Marie Hyder

Words are like sunshine to the myriad of keys
on typewriters, keyboards, and smart phones. Fingers rain-tap on the
keys which are flowers that seek the light of your story, flash fiction,
and poem…

Photography by Sarolta Bán

Sunday Things: Old Sea Wall

By Annette Marie Hyder

On days like those she learned to love the cool sea breeze
that sighed across a thousand wavelets, shaking them
and trembling them just as if they were leaves
glittering beneath the heavy sun
like scales on a green snake tree
that undulated back and forth
salty and scaly and lush
in its green and its blue and its sparkle and rattle
of pearl-shell-fin bush.
Its hissing vines and creepers managed to crash so tall
that they were able to reach with curling fingers
and climb the old sea wall.

Grey Hoodie and the Predator

I’m thinking about the parallels between the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Little Red Riding Hood folk tale — only without the bowdlerized ending of the story that we are all familiar with.

A youth in a hood walks through the dangerous places in the world (for Red, the woods, for Trayvon, everywhere) carrying something desirable to eat (Red has a picnic basket with goodies for her grandmother, Trayvon has a bag of skittles) and is accosted by the predator, the big bad wolf. The wolf in our present day story wants the same thing as the wolf in the folktale — he wants to destroy the youth.

In the folktale, Red’s very act of walking through the woods becomes transgressive when she leaves the path to pick some flowers. She also talks to a stranger (the wolf) and tells him where she is going.

In the real world, Trayvon’s very act of walking through a neighborhood’s backyards — off the path — was viewed as transgressive. But really was there anywhere he could walk at night without it being viewed as transgressive? Didn’t he walk daily through his very own twisted and menacing woods — those of
a society that preyed on him whether he strayed from the path or not?

There has been a lot of talk about how Trayvon might have feared that he was being stalked for sexual purposes. Much has been made of the sexual undertones of the Red Riding Hood tale. One more correlation between Red Riding Hood and Grey Hoodie.

The thing that starkly sets the real life events apart from the gruesome events in the folktale and turns it into a horror story is first and foremost because it is real — this really happened. But if this were a story with an ending that wanted to instill hopelessness and horror into the reader — then just let the wolf win. Let the wolf kill the hooded youth and go up against the woodsman with his axe (justice) and the villagers (society and what acts it will sanction) and let the wolf win.

This wolf, Trayvon’s killer, this wolf, if his belly should be cut open, what would we find
inside? The dead grandmother, the personification of all the wolf hates and fears the most? Where is justice, where is the woodsman’s axe, in
this story? In our story the wolf is triumphant and the hooded youth is
dead. The wolf has faced the neighbors and the rescuers and he has been set free to go back out into the forest to prowl again.

I have always been drawn to the stories beneath the stories in folktales and fairy tales, lured by the siren song of deeper meaning and the microcosms of metaphor in the detritus beneath the leaves that litter any given tangled wood in fable and in lore. But here, in this true story in the real world, the leaf litter blows in a wind of politics which is generated by a giant fan  — a machine which is media manipulation — the leaf litter is blown away and the meaning is lost in what is revealed beneath. There is nothing more than bare concrete splattered with brown stains which you know intuitively are pigmented of blood and you think, you think about the scripture in which it is said that the very ground calls out for your brother’s blood. Is Trayvon not my brother? Do I hear the low chant from deep within the ground?

But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! — Genesis 4:10, New Living Translation (2007)

Hot summer, cold water

It’s hot outside but cool drinks are just a sip away from refreshing you with the hydration you crave.

I found the recipe for this “vitamin water” on Facebook. You wash and slice 1 cucumber, 1/2 a grapefruit, and 1 tangerine. Add the sliced fruit and cucumber to a pitcher, fill with water and ice and garnish with peppermint leaves. It’s supposed to be über healthy and filled with vitamins (the vitamins from the fruit disperse in the water). The colors are beautiful and appealing to the eye and the smell is fresh and lively.

Photos Copyright Annette Marie Hyder

The best part about drinking this water was the coolness I felt because of smelling the cucumber. The taste was too bitter for me to really enjoy and so I experimented and made up a pitcher with fruits and cucumber (1 cucumber, grapes to taste, blueberries to taste, 1 orange, 1/2 a lime, 1 nectarine, and peppermint leaves).

The fruit drenched water is the best tasting, most refreshing and delightful to drink! Forget about all those flavored waters they sell with artificial flavorings and/or just a touch of juice to make them “special”. This is it. I could drink my variation all day long. I don’t have a pic of the fruit water because we keep drinking it all up before I can take one.  

heavy headed

By Annette Marie Hyder

drenched in vibrant ruby
and perched on green stems
that hold the secret of lush between
the crossed thighs of their leaves
lazily swing long green stemmed boots
and sway to the music of the hot honky-tonk wind
this sultry afternoon
they’re the kind of flower that you just know
will dance on top of the world
while the lenten rose, black-eyed susans,
russian sage, and butterfly weed cling
eponymously to the wall