Monday, September 26, 2016

Queen of Seasons - poem

(As Above, So Below - photograph by Kimberly B. Richardson)

Time is inevitable.
Of course, our minds are no longer
working in accordance to the rest of the body.
We think, therefore, we can not
possibly imagine what degree of damage
has been dealt to our flesh sins,
corrupted and rusted,
and yet we still move forward
in some futile attempt
to collect what was once lost,
mittens buried deep in snow
left by a child who was too cold to 
 handle the responsibilities. Violets,
somehow, are saved from cruel hearts
that forget the truth that they are human.
Flowers, rare and delicate, made into a crown
to bless the queen of seasons
while she walks the trails, her feet
made of morning dew and baby’s breath.
Time, spent in frugal measures,
can be seen as primal and short lived.
Understand, then, that this must be
a religious experience, one to surpass the
once popular notion that sin would
forever control us. And yet, and yet,
eyes still seek out something
greater, to encompass the right,
split down middle, to evolve in
our fashion and become more than human,
more than machine. Puritanical to replace
the lustful, surprising even our own selves
to die withered on a cross
created by steel and rusted nails -
This is the gift we have
all agreed to accept with such frowns on our faces.
No, it is no longer here, our words, sins,
deeds, creatures created strictly
from the mind, of desires reached
an faintly grasped.
Do we have a prophet, now, living among
us, ready to speak for us all?
Is She in great pain that only She created
for Her words will not make any sense
if otherwise? We have been led to
believe that She must suffer before
we will take Her words as truth.
She used to be our queen of seasons
until Her followers killed everything,
leaving the land barren and sick. Her crown
was replaced with screams,
Her dress tattered greys and blacks
and still we want more, raping Her mind
to search for sweet and bloody secrets
She holds from us. Religion is our saviour

and She is its mother.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Patti Smith Late Bloomer

I will freely admit that I am a late bloomer to Patti Smith. I'd heard of her and her music for years, yet never took the time to listen to her music or look at her other forms of art. That all changed this year, when I finally listened to the album, Horses, while at work. Thirty minutes later, I was a devoted fan. However, her music is nothing compared to her writing. M Train, her latest book, is quite the read.

The book is made up of her travels, both solo and with friends, that serve as windows into her explorations. From visiting the long abandoned prison that inspired Jean Genet, to speaking of her time with William S. Burroughs, M Train is one long love poem from Smith to the world she inhabits. Of curse, she does lose her pea coat in the process, discover (and devour) Haruki Murakami, visit a cafe in which the tables and floors are wiped down with fragrant tea, all the while still having time to enjoy her black coffee as much as possible.

Although this is a slim read, M Train does not need to be read in one afternoon. I found myself taking notes on books to read just because they affected her so much. I did smile when she mentioned reading W. G. Sebald - he's one of my favourite authors. When she wrote about chamomile tea (see above photo), I immediately took a picture of the section and posted it on Instagram. Her words are like her songs without the music. You just need to listen. I have a list of books and authors to explore very soon, thanks to her. In fact, I finally purchased copies of two of Murakami's books, just because she talked about her experience with him, not to mention several of my close friends who LOVE his work. I hope to no longer be a "Murakami virgin", as one of my friends put it.

Her photographs are sprinkled throughout the book; not flashy or "trying too hard". They simply are. When I read the section about her seeing items owned by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera as well as her photos, I felt a twinge of jealousy. Although she has lived quite a different life than I, she was able to experience things that I have only thought and hoped for. However, and I'm going to end the review with this thought - the world that Smith speaks of is still here. Even with the tragedy and pain that she experienced while writing this book, Smith still lived.

All we have to do, like her, is open ourselves to what the world has to offer.

Ex Libris.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tea Among the Gods - NEW TEA BLEND

I first met author Eva Vanrell at Wizard World New Orleans this year and honestly thought that she was too cool to talk to. She'll probably laugh at that, but it was the truth. Several months later, we started talking on Facebook and, well, the rest is history. I consider her to be one of my dearest friends as well as part of my NOLA family. Love you, girl!

In any case, Vanrell's book, The Butterfly Crest, tells the story of a young woman in New Orleans who discovers that she is more than she appears to be, thanks to her loving "parents". Blending a Tolkien-esque feel with the deities of myth and legend against a backdrop of New Orleans and Japan, The Butterfly Crest is a fantasy that will stay with you long after you finish the book. Especially the character Death - you did an awesome job of creating him, Eva!

In honour of this lovely book, Viridian Tea Company is pleased to present our newest blend: Aisa Tea Blend!

Aisa, according to the myths, was one of the Fates - she was the one who "cut" your life line. The one who embraced Death. For many of you who know me, Aisa holds a special place in my heart. So, in honour of this Fate, the Aisa Tea Blend is a splendid blend of assam tea, honey crystals, sage, and dried lemon peel. I opened the box that held the blend and took a deep sniff - it smells divine! Just like a god!

The tea will be available through the Etsy store - ViridianTeaCompany, and coming soon to Tubby and Coo's Mid City Bookshop in New Orleans!

I will also have bags of the blend for sale at Contraflow!

Purchase a copy of The Butterfly Crest, order a bag of Aisa tea, and enjoy your time with the gods!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

unfeeling - flash fiction

While at a coffee shop here in town several days ago, I noticed a woman who entered the place. Something about her struck me as interesting and so, I decided to create a flash story about her. No, she wasn't crying and yes, she did order a sandwich. Yes, that is her in the photo, by the way.

Anyway. . . . 

While enjoying my iced Darjeeling tea with honey at one of the local coffee shops, I looked up and saw a young woman enter the place. She had a worried look on her face and for a moment, I wanted to ask her what made her look like that. However, posing such personal questions to strangers in this city is not seen as a good thing, so I resumed drinking my iced tea while reading my book. I overheard her order a sandwich with chips at the counter; her voice, I thought. What's wrong with her? She sounds so sad. I shook off my curiosity then resumed reading, only to notice that the woman sat down near me. She immediately pulled out her cell phone and began to text. This time, I did look at her longer than normal and noticed a tear sliding down her face. She never noticed me staring at her as she furiously texted. Another tear, followed by another. She then wiped her face with her free hand, then looked up to see if anyone was watching her. Thankfully, I glanced down at my book in enough time. I heard her sigh then resume texting. Just as I was about to be bold and ask her what was wrong, the barista yelled that her order was ready. The woman jumped up from her chair, grabbed her sandwich, then retreated to a table in the back. I refused to turn and look at her, yet my question was still on my mind. Some days, I thought as I packed up my belongings and left the shop, it doesn't pay to be human. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

In a Lifetime Before

So. I have no idea where this came from, but here it is. I guess this would be a stream of conscious post. Anyway, enjoy. 


Some days, it's easy to get up from bed to begin my day.

Some days, it's fucking torture.

And yet, I still open my eyes, just to know that everything around me is still here.

I stopped counting days since she left me; now, I'm just numb to it.

She wanted the breakup. Claimed she couldn't handle me. Me and my passions, many of which she shared with me.

I sat in my car, listening to her detached voice tell me repeatedly that she still thought I was a swell guy.

Swell guy? I thought. Who the fuck says shit like that?

I just want you to know that I still want to be your friend, she told me, all the while probably wondering when the phone conversation would end. When I would finally dissolve from her life so that she could resume hers without the pressure of being truly loved.

I swallowed, sighed, then said good-bye, only to cry like a child when the phone went dead.

That was . . . shit, I still can't remember. Perhaps it's better this way.

Suddenly, when I don't expect it, a face. Eyes staring at mine with a smile to brighten them.

She told me her name was Julia. I believed her.

When I told her about my life over cups of darjeeling tea, she crinkled her nose.

Dear gods, she said, I thought I was the only one.

Only one what?

The only one who wanted more from Life than what was handed to me, like a checklist used over and over again. I want to breathe in my own way. Know what I mean?

She's not afraid of me, of what I represent.

She wants what I want, sees what I see without fear.

Support from within, of her own design.

David, she tells me one night over pasta and wine, can you love me?

Can you look at me and love me?

I embrace her; no words are needed. She holds me. ME. Her brown skinned hands touching my heart, probing deeper inside of me, letting me know that it's okay for my heart to beat again.

I twine my pale hands with hers and love her.

Two free spirits, bohemian, laced with chamomile, hushed secrets, and love that is colour blind.

She will love me, as I have done in a lifetime before.

(all photographs by Kimberly B. Richardson)