Planting Bulbs or...
I Hate Winter
by Julie Carpenter
This is an old piece, written when I lived on a little farm in Fayetteville, TN. I now live in Atlanta with a much smaller yard and somehow I planted my bulbs even later this year - in January. Some things never change.
This is hope. Fat at the bottom. Pointed and slender at the top. The bulb is wrapped in onion skin and a little bit dirty. I am angry at it. “I don’t believe in Spring any more,” I tell it. I look around as if to prove my point; the trees are bare and somehow an old paper cup has escaped the trash can and is slowly dissolving into the lawn next to the bed where the bulbs will spend the winter. The crepe myrtles reach frantically skyward with their bare rust colored arms, as if they died of fright. That misshapen red bud that has to lean away from the clutch of the cedars just to breathe is bare as well; grabbing my hat with its skeleton hands whenever I walk past it to go to the barn. The leaves are morphing into dirt under the naked trees or becoming paper shadows of themselves. It is, of course, cold. Barely above freezing. The universe conspires to make sure the only days I can plant bulbs are either cold or wet….and always, always windy. It's December. Two days after Christmas.
by Julie Carpenter
I have a vivid dream life that sometimes crosses over into my writing. Of course, many times, dreams die with the light, cracking into dust and scattering. Poof! I’m no longer running in place through a field of skulls while zombies fling lime Jell-O bombs at my head or sweating through an interview with FBI agents in the guise of talking dogs, or whatever was happening in those immediately forgotten visions. Vanished nightmares disappear into a miasma of never-was. Just as well.
But sometimes I have dreams that follow me into the waking world, hanging on in the light, refusing to dissipate, some lucid as the full moon behind inky tree branches, some hiding around corners and only jumping at me when triggered by an object, a word, or a scent. Those detailed dreams I sometimes put into words and stories. Dreams seem safer pinned in ink to a page. Is this cruel? I can’t tell but I reserve the right to defend myself.
Announcements and Apolgies
Sacred Chickens Staff
Hello Chicks and Chickens and all you groovy birds who read our blog! You will have noticed that we have been posting a bit less recently. Why? It’s not because we don’t love you.
Julie is writing a novel and is right (or write) in the middle of the knottiest part of tearing apart Hell. Trust me, that last sentence will make sense when you read the book.
Jarad is in the midst of a new temporary job, a hunt for a permanent job and a move. By the way, he’s up for some freelance writing and content creation. You can hit him up at email@example.com.
Two Book Reviews
by Julie Carpenter
We would like to introduce our readers to two books by author Cynthia C. Huijgens, The Boy Between Worlds: The Cabinet of Curiosities, a middle grade book that helps readers unlock a world of magic and history, and Polar Bear and the UFO, an illustrated children’s’ book with a whimsical and beautifully rendered combination of the Artic and Outer Space!
Mourning a Garden
by Julie Carpenter
I wrote this piece after leaving my little farmhouse in Fayetteville, TN. I spent a brief time living in a condo and missing my garden terribly. I now have a new garden and new thoughts but I thought I'd go back to this moment for a minute and reflect on losing a part of myself and moving on.
My garden now consists of a table full of house plants I saved from the little farm in Fayetteville, TN. By way of confession, I actually bought a few more plants, a pot of primroses and a tiny orchid, regardless that there is no more room for them in this little place. Soon we’ll be forced to wear potted plants as hats. Crow has already attempted to use one as a litter box.
by Chris Hillman
by Roy Peak
Chris Hillman, as a shy kid just learning to play bass, helped to form the California band the Byrds, which by itself, would be enough to land him a spot in the history books. But Hillman wasn't content to stop there. He also was a guiding force in the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Desert Rose Band, and Manassas. For over half a century Hillman worked with such musical luminaries as Roger McGuinn, Stephen Stills, Bernie Leadon, David Crosby, J.D. Souther, Tom Petty, and Gram Parsons. In the eighties he founded the Desert Rose Band, which had a multitude of hits on the country charts.
In The Garden of Your Heart
Plant me in the garden of your heart
Water me with your emotional tears
Until I blossom in your warm season
Just don't pick the flowers around me.
Let my seeds become your healthy
sustenance, allow me to be the fibres
on the abandoned empty dish of the
holiday, thus I would feed you happily.
Engrave your name on my chest of
the tree, and hold my green branches
Maybe you could educate me how to
dance, before autumn, split us apart.
Write your dreams on the colourful leaves
You live and die once and I live and die more
than onetime, be glad and I will be the tree
to expand my roots to reside with your breathe.
Bleeding Heart Poet ©
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes,
Music, Music, Music,
Boys, Boys, Boys
Author, Viv Albertine
by Roy Peak
Reading Viv Albertine's biography took me to another time and place more so than any other biography I've ever read.
I've read multiple books on the London punk scene, (England's Dreaming by Jon Savage was informative but a little dry, John Lydon's Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs was great, but a little self-centered.) but Albertine's was the first one that really made me feel as if I had been dropped right into the midst of what was truly an ever-evolving and rather incestuous happening. Albertine gives true insight into those who populated the music scene without sounding like a name dropper. She was friends with (or went to school with, or dated, or worked for, or played in bands with) some of the most important and influential characters in England at the time, and her memories of these people come off honestly, with no sense of malice. A for instance: Most tales of infamous Sid Vicious of the band the Sex Pistols make him seem like a cartoon character or a doom-laden extra in someone else's story. Albertine manages to turn him back into a real person—no small feat. They were friends, played in a band together, and Albertine paints a rather sympathetic portrait of the iconic rock star, painting a portrait of a person much different than you would think.
Plants of the Underworld
by Jarad Johnson
Whenever we think of the Underworld, especially in Greek Mythology, we think of a barren wasteland, devoid of any life. In reality, the Greeks really saw the Underworld, not as hell as the Christian tradition knows, but as a multifaceted world, one where souls travelled when they died. It was much more complex and three dimensional than the hell we know today, as there are actually five regions and five rivers that run through it. But, as a gardener, I of course paid attention to the plants. There are many plants that are associated with that realm, and I thought it might fun to go through some of them. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Or abandon your plants. I will gladly take them.
by Uncle Morty
Wonder what the holidays look like for your Uncle Morty? Here are some photos of his holiday experience among the living. Have yourselves a wonderful and safe holiday season whatever, whenever, or wherever you celebrate! See you on the other side (of this truly terrible year...not the other other side...at least for awhile).
Even Edgar has the holiday spirit this year.