My Own Legacy

Tell me, why did you make me from half hate?
You could not have made your disgust clearer.
I was wanted only as your mirror,
so long as I reflect what makes you great—
a legacy I don’t appreciate.
Though others exclaim at my raw power,
I shut that side away, spurned that “our”
to define “me” and shun ideas of fate.

But isn’t that “our” already “mine”
when I wield it with a strong will to serve
humanity, not just my own ego?
Parts of me I thought were you can align
with my scarred self to be a true hero
and at last find the wholeness I deserve.

Song Choice: Numb by Linkin Park

Shoto Todoroki

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for my prompt at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads where I encouraged everyone to get out of their comfort zone and try something new, either in style or theme.

Soooo...I probably should have realized earlier on, that meant me too. 😂

I racked my brain to come up with something and made a face when it hit me. As I'm not super comfortable working with rhymes and meter, never had I ever attempted a sonnet before. So I looked it up, and decided on a petrachan sonnet with CDECED form for the last part.

This was pretty tough! But I did make things easier for myself picking a subject I was comfortable with--anime, specifically, My Hero Academia. For those unfamiliar with it, it's a series about a bunch of kids with super powers in an elite high school learning how to become heroes. Shoto Todoroki, isn't the main character of the series, but he's an engaging side character. The son of the number two hero, Endeavor, he's easily one of the most powerful kids in his class. But he relies mostly on the powers he's inherited from his mother (ice) because his fire-flinging father is a cruel jerk, more invested in his image as a powerful hero than in any actual ideals of heroism.

Maladroit: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 36

Sunlight's surprising
to green that's only known shade.
New growth is awkward
until gawky stems find strength
inside their curious selves.

This poem was created for Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Weekend Mini-Challenge: Maladroit. 

Liner Notes for this Groove:  One of the realizations I made after BookCon was I could be doing something more to promote my book, The Trouble with Wanting and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales. Besides the fact that talking myself up feels about as pleasant as a sandpaper massage, there’s another barrier—I’m a survivor of an MLM

I don’t want to go into which MLM it was, but direct sales make me feel as cheesy as a car salesmanI worry I’ll sound like thisBut the good news is I’m not operating as part of a company with dubious business ethics. As awkward as I feel about selling, I have a little more faith in what I have to offer this time around. I’ve not only gotten some really positive comments about the book, I've already had several requests for autographed copies, one from as far away as Finland. (Thanks Khaya!) 

So after imbibing a steadying cup of tea (because as Cassandra Clare said in City of Bones, "Tea. I find that both settles the stomach and concentrates the mind. Wonderful drink, tea.") I've decided a couple of things. First, I've signed up to vend at a Nerdtino, a Latinx themed comic book and geek convention on November 2nd. Second, I'll be offering autographed copies directly for sale from this site. Use the Contact Me section on the side or write to me at kestrel dot trueseeker @ gmail dot com 

Both of these things are new and somewhat unsettling for me, but you've got to get through some awkwardness to get some growth.

Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

So dear Groovers, can recall any times you've gotten out of your comfort zone and it ended up being a good thing? Share your story (and boost my spirits a little) by telling me about it in the comments section. As always, if you want to continue the conversation at your cyberhome, feel free to include a link as well. 

Song Choice: Lose Yourself by Eminem

There Must Be Some Misunderstanding: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 35

My second biggest fear in writing was being misunderstood (my first biggest was being afraid of it stinking). It’s understandable. I think a lot of us express ourselves artistically to let loose some part of ourselves. So people sometimes see misinterpretation of their art to directly equal a misinterpretation of who they are.

It’s fair to feel let down. On the other hand, when we share art we have to expect people will view it through the lens of who they are. For example, the thought of tea parties gives me the warm fuzzies, but to Virginia Woolf “even a tea party means apprehension, breakage”. People’s first (and sometimes only) responses are usually tied to the emotions and thoughts most familiar to them.

Do I like it when people overlook some of the bleeding heart bits I season my work with? No, not particularly. But do I like it when something I wrote really touches a reader, intentionally or not? Heck yeah!

I’ve written things that are 100% true, but phrased them in a way that could have multiple interpretations--Honey for example, which a lot of people assumed was about an affair. Debra from She Who Seeks got the closest when she asked if it was about Winnie the Pooh.

It was about my husband – and how his formerly out-of-control sweet tooth led to his diabetes. I’ve often said I’d trust the man in a house of ill-repute, unless the house of ill-repute was loaded up with baking supplies, in which case he’d spend the whole night preparing culinary masterpieces so the ladies could carb load for energy.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

My husband’s response to the piece was eye-rolling and saying, “At least you didn’t kill me off again.” He insists that some of the poems I’ve written make it sound like he’s dead (to which I respond that the petite morte poems I’ve written have a solid grounding in fact, thanks to him). It just goes to show that even someone close to you can see something wildly different than you intended. 

Being misunderstood isn’t my number two fear. Persistent typos after several rounds of edits take that spot.

This essay is in response to Moonlight Musings Interactive Edition over at Poets United 

Emilys Twinkle: Blogging Around with Rommy, Week 34

Emily Dickinson wrote tons of wee bits of poetry on the backs on envelopes 
and other assorted scraps of paper. A bookful have been collected in

Atoms need no excuse
to rock out and pulse
at the heart of their star.

Let Emilys twinkle
and weave groovy
spectrums of hues
to preside over
ever expanding universes
with no limits.

This poem was created for Sanaa's Wild Fridays at Poets United. The unfinished poem I chose to respond to was “Excuse | Emily and | her Atoms | The North | Star is | of small | fabric | but it | implies | much | presides | yet.” by Emily Dickinson. It's also linked to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads, Just One Word: Groovy.

Liner Notes for This Groove:

It is a singularly daft person who even partway believes their four year old when they insist they will always want a bright pink bedroom. OK, perhaps I didn't entirely believe my youngest child's declaration of undying love for pink, but I did throw myself into making it super frilly, complete with light and dark pink stripes of paint, little rose door pulls on crackle-painted closet doors (pink underneath!), with a canopy netting festooned with flowers.

So yeah, twelve years later Rose prefers to be called Rozz. And can I please move out the Tinkerbell stuff to make room for Stranger Things, Green Day, and Captain Marvel? Of course it makes sense that the mom in this scenario is going to be a little more nostalgic (and less mortified) than her kid would be.

But I got to thinking it might be a little more than that. So I took Charles Dicken's words to heart (“My dear if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.”) and after many conversations with Rozz over gallons of tea, I figured out something. Creating the perfect be-frilled bedroom was something I always wanted as a kid. 

I had a boring bunk bed I shared with my little brother in a very sensible room. It gives me a giggle to think that room might be Rozz's dream room (complete with it's now "classic" rock and pop posters). Teen Rozz deserves a perfect place just as much as pre-school Rose did. And none of that has a thing to do with grown-up Rommy's preferences.

OK, as an adult I absolutely do not want a pink on pink striped bedroom. But I'm getting more comfortable in indulging myself in frillier personal things (and gothier upbringing wasn't exactly conducive for embracing my inner goth either). 

As for Rozz, breaking in a new pair of Doc Martens is on the to-do list and Tinkerbell is on the donate pile. The pink paint can stick around because it's just a backdrop for the new posters and shelves. But can we please do something about those pink curtains? 

So talk to me dear you remember any moments where you embraced your individuality, either as a child or an adult? Let's discuss it in the comments section. And as always, if you want to bring the conversation to your site, drop your cyber address in too.
Song Choice: Pretty in Pink by the Psychedelic Furs

It's OK to Not Like Things: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 33

You don’t prove power
by hitting the defenseless.
Strong people punch up
and don’t hide in fake kindness
to justify their cruelty.

This poem is linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry 492.

Liner Notes for this Groove:

“Sir, I did not count your glasses of wine, why should you number up my cups of tea?”
― Samuel Johnson, The Life of Samuel Johnson, Vol 2

There’s no question we are living in some serious rough times. A lot of us often rely on admittedly goofy things to cope like indulging in silly interactive memes because holy fuck, people who look like me are getting caged and shot.

So I found it more than a little distasteful to see someone who has set themselves up as something of an advisor or a guide of people to purposely use belittling language to describe others who engage in the sort of thing I described. There was the tiniest bit of back pedaling when confronted with the fact their words were insensitive, but ultimately they reaffirmed their phrasing, hoping its aggressiveness would get through to people.

Yeah, I guess that’s one way to go with it.

But how about this…how about not going out of your way to shame people for harmless things they do to deal with the daily suckage that spews at them constantly? How about seeing that any form of lighthearted human connection, that involves nothing mean-spirited or blood pressuring raising, is a good thing, even if it isn’t your thing?

I think the world could use more of those moments of brief connection. Admittedly, there’s a decent chance it won’t be all that deep but a.) maybe the equivalent of a sugary bon-bon of interaction is all we need or can handle in a particular moment and b.) very deep and true friendships have had their start in silliness. All I know is that when I’ve been the goofball comedy relief a friend has needed, we both came out feeling better for the experience.

So dear Groovers, do you indulge in goofy little things to get a smile going on those tough days? Tell me all about it in the comments section and do be sure to drop a link to your cyberhome if you want to keep the conversation going there too.

These little crows have the right idea.
Bloom by Magic Love Crow
Follow her blog for more whimsically fun art.

Song Choice: Smile from My Little Pony, in English and Spanish because I can.

Keep Away

The overripe fruit burst under her finger in a splatter of pulp. Ilva curled up like a bug at the sound, counting to 10 before she lifted her head.

The field was still the same—vines heavy with rotting fruit, their sticky smell, and the quiet undisturbed by even the sound of a fly. Ilva looked at the meager collection of fruit in her basket. It had to be enough.

The plop of a fat raindrop on her hand startled her again. But this time she smiled, looking up at the darkening clouds. Heavy rain would muffle the sound of conversation. Taking it as a good sign, she scurried back to the crumbling building that served as her latest home.

Ilva, along with several others, made it in before it really came down. The tense lines around everyone’s mouths eased the longer it went on. Except the Keeper’s. She had her usual sorrowful expression on her old-young face.

Ilva hated her eyes. They always looked seconds away from tears. But what she hated most was the Keeper’s cheeks, plump from eating the best of everyone’s harvest.  When she asked Pa about it, he shook her until Ma stepped in.

It was her turn to take the best from each basket and feed the Keeper. Ilva grabbed what she could and walked to where she sat. Her fingers brushed up against a fruit spotty with mold. Before she could think about it, Ilva popped the rotten fruit into the Keeper’s mouth.

Let her see what it’s like, she thought.

The Keeper began screaming when Ilva turned away. Someone ran to the Keeper and shook her hard enough to crack her head on the side of the wall. But it was too late. The luck keeping them safe fled along with her life. The Finders had certainly heard the noise. And they would be coming.

Photo by Del Barrett on Unsplash

Song Choice: In Hiding by Pearl Jam

This flash fiction was created for Poets United's Pantry of Prose. This month's theme is gothic stories.