Pestle, Mortar, Pratchett

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With my pestle and mortar, I began to grind lavender blossoms and orange leaves.

“Oh Maga,” Lorelei’s message echoed in my head. “We have lost Terry Pratchett.”

He died surrounded by family and while still remembering who he was, I thought. I hope he got his glass of brandy. I continued pulverizing blossoms and leaves until I had enough to make the biggest cup of tea in the universe.

But I didn’t feel like drinking tea. In fact, I had been sipping French vanilla coffee while pressing pestle to mortar and watching orange leaves and lavender blossoms become something new… and thinking about Terry Pratchett being gone.

I’m not exactly sure at what point in time I decided to put my grinding tools aside, and chose to recycle some left over bits of wax into a new candle.

I started melting the old wax and…
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… grabbed some lavender sprigs…
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…a recycled coffee filter, a pencil, scissors, three pennies and an empty jar;
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I cut the coffee filter into a wide strip, and wrote “You will be missed and remembered…”
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…twisted the strip into a wick, anointed it with rosemary oil, tied one end of it to the pennies, and the other to the pencil, which was balanced over the mouth of the jar;
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I poured the melted wax into the jar, and added three sprigs of lavender when the wax began to set… I stared at the cooling candle for a long time, inhaling its scent, trying not to cry. García Márquez last year and now Pratchett… Death must happen in order for life to continue happening. If not, we’ll run out of room.
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The practical thought didn’t dam my tears, so I repeated the previous process in the making of a smaller candle…
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After removing the pencils and trimming the wicks, I melted a wee chunk of recycled lilac candle, topped the new candles with the purplish liquid, sprinkled some of the lavender/orange powder over the wax, and brought them into my bedroom to finish cooling by me… as I wrote this post…
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The small candle is shining in front of some of my Knight Writer’s books. I will save the one in the golden jar to light on April 29th, Terry Pratchett’s birthday… after he has had his first long conversation with Death; and perhaps, a drink or three with the ghost of Gabriel García Márquez…

Terry Pratchett
Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, OBE (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015)
image via,

Red Candle and Dark Whiskey

I called you
with living blood and lived memories,
with feet dancing to your laughter;

are you flirting with angels
and drinking heavenly mojitos?

I’ve called on you
with bawdy jokes
and ribald songs;

perhaps it isn’t your time…

I’m calling
with red candle and dark whiskey,
with open heart and closed—

“You said whiskey?”


for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads and Poets United

Process Note: Today marks the second anniversary of my little brother’s death. Gregory Guerrero’s flesh and bones left this world on February 28, 2013, ten days before his 27th birthday. But his spirit continues to grow in the hearts of those who love him as he was, in the memories of anyone who speaks his name and summons his smiles…

The poem above came to life after my friends, Jonquil, Sharon, Rommy, Kim and Gina replied to a message I posted on my Facebook wall. I had been working on a short story that celebrates my little brother’s life, when sadness began to creep in; I wasn’t ready for it. So I shared a portion of the first sentence of the story: “I’ve been calling on you, with living blood and lived memories…”, and asked friends to cheer me up by completing it. I said to keep in mind that the words were being spoken by a living sister to her dead brother; that he loves a good joke… and she adores the sound of his laughter.

Thank you, my ladies. May the song of our words warm my little brother’s soul… ♥


Gregory Guerrero

You will always be loved, mi Gordis…