Gardening in the Heat
by Julie Carpenter
It’s June and while northern gardeners are just reaching the dizzying peak of summer blooms, here in the south we’re rapidly creeping towards sunstroke territory. My hydrangeas are already acting like drama queens. I firmly believe they droop their leaves a little lower if they see me looking at them. We’ve had a fairly wet early summer with afternoon thunderstorms that leave the garden feeling more like a steam bath than a garden, fogging up windows and the gardener’s glasses. As bad as it is, I have to remind myself that it will get worse. By July around here an afternoon thunderstorm will feel like the sauna on the devil’s back porch.
Gods of Jade and Shadow
Author, Silvie Moreno-
by Jarad Johnson
A blend of mythology, fairy tale and history, Gods of Jade and Shadow is captivating and original. There are many characters, events and places packed into three hundred pages, but essentially, a Mayan death god and a mortal girl embark on an adventure across Mexico, with the help of their demon friend. Yes, demon friend. We all have one of those. It’s epic in scope, and chock full of interesting mythological references. How could I resist? How could you resist?
OF ICE, OF FIRE
by Alisa Velaj
We can't be clearer than this snowy sky, my dear.
It has the guts to see everything stark naked,
unabashedly so, down to the bone of nakedness--
similarly to Eden in its genesis days...
You and I vest one armor piece upon another,
lusty with bonfires stacked up deep inside us,
while they never satiated us enough,
nor ever burnt
or cremated us to ashes...
We are heroes of glorious sunny days--
our clarity held hostage by a long winter night,
ever since you swore on rock and wood
to flee four seasons away from snows,
there, where the sun would shine your eyes...
And here we are now—in season five,
wordless and eyes downcast, under the same sky,
which we shall never be able to outspace,
unless we first master the spectrum of light!
Translated from Albanian by Arben P. Latifi
Readings on Racism
by Sacred Chickens Staff
This is not really a political site in one way, but as you know if you’ve read through our pages for long, we believe that all stories are political in that they give us a lens that helps us navigate real life, our expectations, and how we think we and others should be treated. Sometimes, we like to share opinions and stories that relate to current events. Here are some links we are working through this week.
In addition to the articles Jarad and I have found enlightening, a neighbor of mine shared some links with the neighborhood. Her recommended readings can be accessed under the label Anti-Racism Resources. (She shared the YouTube video that made this list as well.)
We all need to stop and ask ourselves sometimes if we’re listening. Are we hearing other’s stories and perspectives? All of these links are food for thought. Read them. Listen to them. If they’re different from the perspective you usually hear, all the better.
Author Amy Stewart
By Jarad Johnson
Nature is something that the gardener must revere. In many ways, it is our greatest teacher. Nature can be beautiful, wondrous, fascinating and otherworldly. It can also be violent, dangerous, and mischievous. All of that encompasses the general term of nature, and it’s much more complex than many people make it out to be. When people go for a walk or a hike, they are generally seeking a peaceful retreat. Nature can be peaceful, but as Amy Stewart points out, you might not want to relax too much. On a walk through the woods (a favorite activity of mine to do) there are many mischievous plants, some that can harm you, some that can intoxicate you, and some that might even kill you given the chance.
The Scent of Death
by Ann Neo Celeste
The Scent of Death
Gregorian chant, I hear
A farmer harvesting crops
Sheathed in black bags
Past rigor mortis, feast for maggots, mobbed by flies
fate of struggle
after life found
another time, another place
Advice For Everyone
by Uncle Mortimer
Dear Uncle Morty,
I have a weird and kind of embarrassing problem, and I really don’t know who else to talk to. I’m a twenty-something year old male, a philosophy grad student, who has suddenly developed excessive body hair and a few other medical/psychiatric issues? I don’t even know if what I’m experiencing is real. All I know is I need help.
Under the Tulip Poplar Tree
by Jarad Johnson
Today, similarly to when Julie spoke about burying a small chicken, I am reminiscing on the death of my pets.
I have always been an animal lover, and we have always, always had a houseful of cats – and the occasional dog – all of them rescues. When I was born, my mom had a Yorkie named Chappea. When I was crawling around on the floor, he would take hold of my diaper with his teeth and drag me back to him if I got too far away. I had a cat named Jewel, whom I loved dearly; when he was very old, he went off into the meadow next to my house to die. There was a dog named Princess, hit by a car, and a cat named Gigi who died of old age. I’m very much a cat person, and I could (and would, given the opportunity) take the time to tell you about all those precious little felines, but I’m afraid I don’t have room on this page and I’m sure you have a life you need to be getting on with. I get on better with old dogs than puppies, but consequently that means I have to watch more of my animals die All of these animals were special to me, as are the ones who are with me now.
by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
There are things
one cannot escape
from, a heavy cloud,
the tiger’s claw.
Eternal peace comes
for us all, in the form
of a cloud, heavy
with rain, to the old
and young, the dumb
and wise, too heavy
to be lifted
when it is your time.
The Midnight Writer
by Jarad Johnson
The Witching Hour. The dead of night. The middle of the night. Midnight evokes within the human imagination an endless source of fascination and dread. It is said that midnight (the time I’m writing this) is the time when the veil between worlds is thinnest. What ghosts may come and tell me their haunting stories of the afterlife? What ghouls and phantoms shall visit me at this perilous hour? If you, like me, are just on the edge of slipping into the world of dreams, you may see something out of the corner of your eye. Was it a cat, a flash of light, or perhaps something more sinister? You may pull the covers just a little tighter, till the cold light of day reimposes logic into your mind.