Monday, August 29, 2016

Dionysus of the Dreaming

I have seen him in my dreams
So much a normal part of my night, now.
And yet he still scares me
His eyes, green, verdant, powerful
They to me with emotions I have never felt
When I was alone.
The figure in my dreams hunts me down
Night after night, yet smiles when he captures me
As if he holds a fit of laughter
So close in check.
His long, twisted hair, fans softly across my cheek
Sighs, long, drawn out, a longing
Terrible hunger, unable to quench
This Lord of the Green, Dionysus in the flesh,
Madness, it comes for me
Through the eyes of green, staring, holding me
Bound, wrapped in His pagan arms
Am I feeling love for the first time?
Or, is this the last?
He smells of musk, freshly turned earth
Kisses made of water and magic
And Death.
Rough, calloused hands, made dark by moonlight
Touch my face, that same smile lingers
As a torment to my existence.
Still, he does not tell me of the secret,
The why of the smile, damn, forever
Like Paradise Lost, Milton’s sacrificial lamb.
Make me a Furie,” I tell him
my mouth covered by his moss-covered chest.
Truly madness is my key, my right,
my gift.”
Nothing is said- should it by him?-
As the reality pressed on me by so many
Begins to unravel and break
Creating a slip in time, lost and forgotten
Not this time or this hour
My Lord of the Wild, now flesh and grass
King of what was once, now risen again
My Heathen of right, my guide
Into a better place for us all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Wild West . . . Done Right

Ah yes, the Wild West. A time in America when men were men, whiskey knocked you on your ass, and a gunfight was the Law. Although I don't read Westerns, I do enjoy the movies - 3:10 to Yuma, Tombstone, any John Wayne movies, and the Spaghetti Westerns. Yet, like I said, I've never really read any Westerns before until today. Thanks to author and friend JC Crumpton, I am a changed woman.

Field of Strong Men, a short story by Crumpton, is that typical story of "bad guy does wrong, good guys find out, bad guy kills someone, standoff, good guy kills bad guy" Western, yet so, so much more. Crumpton makes you feel as though he actually witnessed the entire damn feud and lived to tell everyone about it. You can feel the dust swirling around you as you ride your horse into town. You want to take that shot of whiskey. The smell of gunpowder and seeping blood fills your nostrils on that night of revenge. The story is thus: Ezra Willis is dead and his wife and three sons, Zeke, Jerome, and Rondal, stand by to say good bye as he is lowered into the ground. Yet, this is not a peaceful scene, as the sons know that their Pop was the victim of foul play, as done by his former business partner, Abner and his nephew, Luke Drinkwater. No sooner as their Pop is laid to rest as the boys begin to seek justice against those who did them wrong. This short story is packed with standoffs, tears shed, lives lost, and a taste for blood. In short, this is a DAMN FINE story.

The second story in the bundle, titled Jack and Jill, is a far cry from a Western, yet Crumpton shows he's got the chops to be an excellent storyteller. The story is thus: Jack seeks out his daily tuna fish sandwich and bottle of water from Jill's deli, all the while working up the courage to ask her out on a date. When he finally does, the results are not what he expected. That's all I'm going to say on that, except that it's a great counterpart to Field of Strong Men.

The stories are available on Kindle - you owe it to yourself to purchase them. Regardless if you like Westerns or not, Field of Strong Men is a well done tale of the Wild West, one that will stay with you for quite some time. In fact, while I'm typing out this gushing review, I'm listening to music from Spaghetti Western movies (right now, it's A Fistful of Dollars - LOVE THAT MOVIE!).

Jack and Jill is also worth the purchase - just buy the stories!

Thank you, JC, for doing the Wild West right. Write more, please!


PS - the music has change to The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.  Another awesome movie if you haven't seen it. Highly recommended.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Steel Roots with TEA! and JAWS!


I'm sitting my apartment, watching the film JAWS, and making tea. A lovely way to end my Monday, I think. Two years ago, I spent time with my New England relatives and took a day at Martha's Vineyard. A good chunk of JAWS was filmed there and it was really cool to see all the JAWS memorabilia in the town of Oak Bluffs.

But, I digress. I tend to do that a lot.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the new blend of Viridian Tea Company - Steel Roots Tea!

Based on the Steel Roots series by AWESOME and AMAZING author J. L. Mulvihill, this blend of assam tea and chicory "smothered" in vanilla will make you want to board a train and seek adventure! Her newest book, Rails West, as published through Seventh Star Press, is now OUT! If you are looking for a well written young adult Steampunk book, I highly recommend this series. Also check out her fantasy book, The Lost Daughter of Easa, as published through Dark Oak Press . . . and then try the Spider Witch Tea, made by Viridian Tea Company!

Steel Roots Tea will be available through the Etsy store, ViridianTeaCompany, and other locations coming soon!

Happy Cups . . . and here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women!

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Artist's Fan in France Comes to Memphis

I have been a member of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens for several years; both the Dixon and the Brooks Museum of Art, another place to enjoy art in Memphis, have been great places to visit when one is in need of art, culture, a lesson in history, or something fun and unique. Every time I visit the Dixon, I always leave with new knowledge as well as more information to conduct further research on a later date. The new exhibit, Henri GuĂ©rard and the Phenomenon of the Artist’s Fan in France, 1875 –1900, is one that I know I'll be visiting on a regular basis.

Guerard (1846 - 1897) was a bohemian Frenchman who fell in love with all things Japanese when the East opened its doors to the West. In particular, he loved the decorative fans created by the Japanese that displayed scenes of everyday life and nature. He then used those fan making techniques to create his own fans for French society and soon, the decorative fans were all the rage. The exhibit at the Dixon provides a well presented and rich peek into a short span of French culture and history, as each of the fans tells a different story of that period.

Among the exhibit are works from Guerard, Charles Toche, Alfred Marinier, F. Denal, Jean Louis Forain, Camille Pissarro, and other well known artists. The exhibit also displays traditional Japanese fans made by Japanese artists such as Gen Ku and Watanabe Nanguku. Among the European artists, Forain was well known for creating works depicting French society, both at home and in the realms of opera and ballet. One fan in particular that caught my eye was created by Toche with verse by Victor Margueritte - if you visit the exhibit, you'll know which one I'm talking about. Also check out the fan painted by Edgar Degas - simply beautiful. There are even three fans that are of a Gothic nature - the bat fan made by Denal was right up my alley.  The fans are colourful and, like I said earlier, depict life in Paris that was filled with gaiety and much decadence. 

Not only is the Dixon known for their lovely art, but also for the gardens. No visit to the Dixon would be complete without a stroll through the areas behind the museum and house. Flowers and plants of every colour as well as statues and larger pieces of art compliment the interior of the Dixon, making the visit a full experience of an appreciation of art. I always find myself taking a long walk through the area; a great place for photographers and those who love to be outdoors.

The exhibit runs from 31 July 2016 through 9 October 2016 - highly recommended to both Memphians and visitors. If you are looking for something to do in Memphis that is not Elvis or BBQ related, check out the Dixon and then the Brooks and later the Metal Museum!

PS - all photographs taken by me at the Dixon. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

7 August 2016

Shedding dead flakes of skin
Used to conceal that which is true

Stand before the clock, ready
To die in order to be born again

Under a new sky; too bright
To behold, yet it is there.

No more under the weight
Of others; they are used as wood

For the fire to kill and destroy
Making way for the clearer path.

Flowers unfurl with heady perfume

Under a river of mud; the lotus is silent.

(Riverside Cemetery - Jackson, Tennessee - photo by Kimberly B. Richardson)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

~ doldrums ~

I never said it would be easy
Only that the pain is less.
Comforts such as tingling sensations
Are corrupted with acidic dreams.
I stand alone in this, the silent minority
Proclaiming my innocence and
Eating flesh that is not mine.
Sorrow and folly give such disastrous
Results; I no longer know what I seek.
The water rises beyond my eyelids
Calling me Ophelia, playing with my dress.
A dark wing comes forth, leading me away
From the doldrums, but I know it to be lies.
Ultimate power disguised as ennui

Gives me satisfaction in the end.

(Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee - photo by Kimberly B. Richardson)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tighten the Bonds, My Darling . . .

Writing erotica and even BDSM can be tricky; it's got to be not only entertaining but also believable. Although I have not read too many books regarding these two subjects, I will read them if they are done right and well. Such was the case when I discovered a used copy of Topping From Below by author Laura Reese; I used to have a copy of this book, yet I barely remembered any of it. I dove into the story again, expecting a lackluster erotica story. What I got instead was so much more.

The story is thus: two sisters, Franny and Nora, are complete opposite ends of the spectrum. While Nora is outgoing, sexy, and independent, Franny is shy, timid, and homely looking. However, Franny is found dead in her apartment, bound, gagged, and somewhat mutilated, sending Nora into a downward spiral that won't end until she finds her sister's killer. Then, she meets M. M is a suave and commanding man who makes women do whatever he wants them to do and Nora learns that he even had such an influence on Franny. Soon, Nora delves deep into M's life, even going so far as to confront him with the accusation that he killed her sister. Yet, M has other plans for Nora - she is "welcomed" into his world of BDSM so as to experience Franny's life and to discover why she willing became his slave. Nora wants to resist M, yet she finds herself drawn into his world of control and sex without a concern for the ramifications of her actions. M knows what Nora needs and hands it to her with a smile and much pain.

Reese handled the sex and bondage scenes rather well without going overboard to the point of not being believable, or holding back and censoring everything for the sake of being PC. No, this is a story of control and domination, of lies and secret desires. Nora finds that the further she goes down the rabbit hole, the more she likes it and craves more. I will admit that there were two scenes in the book that did make me shudder in a not good way, yet Reese's writing still handled the scenes well. Even if the sex and BDSM scenes were taken out, this would still be a damn good book. I almost felt sorry for Franny, until the reader is exposed to Franny's "real" nature and her reasons for doing what she does. I felt even less of a concern for Nora because she was one of the "reasons" in Franny's life. The sisters are two sides of the same coin, as M pointed out to Nora, yet Nora was able to handle M's world much better than Franny. While Franny did it to gain M's love, Nora did it to gain control.

Topping From Below is a well plotted and written book that will keep you guessing to the very very end.

Tighten the bonds and enjoy the wild ride.