A Spirited Soul

If I were 9-years-old, and living in the Dominican Republic, and my grandmother’s cackles were still bettering the world of the breathing… Then today, my face would be painted gray with ashes and my eyes encircled black with coal, until I resembled a calavera (or skull). We would dress my grandmother’s cross in brightly colored crêpe paper; we would cook sweet beans; and we would tell forever-living tales of our dead. The celebration would be nameless, but every heart and soul—young and old—would know what today was called.

But I’m 38-years-young and living in New York City. So my family and I will spend the day cooking… Then tonight, we’ll carve pumpkins, share a yummy meal, and tell tales of our dead. My cyber-home always partakes in the partying, so I’ve crafted a Halloween(y) haibun for you:

“A Spirited Soul”

I visit the place nearly never. It’s too dark… too many bones… too much death for a spirited soul; except on the day before All Hallows… when with pumpkin chili, rice, rum, Bachata music and belly laughs, my blood celebrates my life.

bare branches rustle
food and song in the graveyard—
to honor the dead.

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Inspired by “The Dead”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 4; and linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Flash 55.

If you celebrate this witchy holiday, then Happiest Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve, Dia de los muertos, Samhain… and if October 31st holds little or no meaning for you, then Happiest Day.

A Spirited Soul

Love, Death, Memories

Your wails opened my eyes to the dark. I covered ears with shaky hands and begged for dreams of noontime. But our blood danced too fast through my veins and arteries, forcing my heart to drum its deafening thump-thump-thump into chest and skull. I had bested terrors that had lurked in the night for eleven years. But you were so small, so tender, so hairless… too many nightmares could steal bright dreams from your still soft baby head.

night terrors
love’s shaky embrace—
you are safe

I was angry with you, for working too much and sleeping near naught. “It’s not for long,” you said, “just until I get this, maybe that, and then something else. I’m safe.” I yelled my disbelief. You pretended not to hear, and said, “I want ribs for my birthday, coconut rice with black beans, and Russian salad. For dessert, I want Dominican cake.” I told you I would cook nothing, and hung up the phone when you laughed at my lie. On our next day together, bloody cracks lined your lips… I did all the talking and crying. You did all the dying.

one last laugh
death is such a thief—
bye, baby

My memory makes you eternal. In a room that’s ever-bright, my dress is red and your wings white; I cook, you eat, I smile, you drink, I scold, you laugh, we dance… and you never drive.

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Process Note: My little brother was killed in a car accident, almost three years ago. I miss him all the time. There are days when I get very angry at the universe that took him from this world, while he was still so young. After a bit of crying and a lot of cursing, I thank nature for the gift of memories. Since he died, I’ve been writing everything I remember about him. When memories hit while I’m away from my computer, I write on anything I can find: napkins, leaves, the back of receipts… I keep those bits of scribbled treasure in a miniature cabinet I purchased from my friend Eliora, with that purpose in mind. I pulled the first haiku of this haibun out of my little cabinet of remembrances. It’s October… The Veil is thinning… It feels right.

linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Tuesday Platform

pre-Witches in Fiction 2015, fourth giveaway:
Ancestor/Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, by Eliora

Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, by Eliora1
Witches in Fiction 2015… Death Rites and Remembrances 4th giveaway is sponsored by Eliora. A very lucky Wicked Darling will receive an Ancestor/Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, which contains four white candles, a wee bottle of ancestor candle dressing oil, a photo frame (black velvet easel back), a vintage embellished brass candlestick, and a suggested ritual.
Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, by Eliora2

Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, by Eliora3

Here is how to enter this giveaway: Leave a comment telling me a bit about how you honor/remember/celebrate the memory of loved ones who have left this world. For one extra entry, visit Eliora’s page, scroll down her wall, and come back to tell me what caught your eye. Wishing for a second extra entry? Share this post on Facebook (tag me and Eliora). You can get a third extra entry, if you add these words at the end of your comment: “Magaly, do throw my name into your witchy cauldron!”

Giveaway Rules, details and stuff…
* I need to be able to contact the winners. If you don’t have a website or social media profile, through which we can interact, then please add your email to your comment. If your name comes up, and I have no way to contact you, I will choose another name.

* You can group all your entries in a single comment—or not… the choice is yours.

* To my Canadians, before you can claim your prize, I must test your mathematical brilliance by asking you a very obscure question, such as… what’s 13 + .5? Yeah, obscure…

* All Witches in Fiction 2015 giveaways will end on October 20th, 2015, at 10:13 pm, EDT. The winners will be chosen using Random.Org, and announced on October 21st, 2015.

* This giveaway is open worldwide, excluding any place where prohibited by law.

This is a pre-party post. Witches in Fiction 2015… Death Rites and Remembrances won’t take place until October 17th; to join the celebration, click the link.

Other Witches in Fiction 2015 pre-posts:
– “Loving You through the Veil
Culture with Real Fictionalized Witches in It
Shaking It and Twisting It until It Says Yes
Not All Witchy Souls Are Religious
– “A Rattle and a Wee Book on Her Grave

A Wild Witch’s Urban Garden

My plants, especially the mango tree, make me homesick… and make me feel at home; yes, at the same time—homesick because my memories of my Dominican Republic taste of sweet mango juice running down my arms as I sink my teeth greedily into the ripe fruit. Watching the small mango tree (all 3 of them) grow in my living room, tended by my hands… puts all sorts of grins on my face. My homeland is far away, but I’m growing home anew around me.

The other day, while watering and speaking to my dear green babies, I composed the haiku I’ve included below each photo… Oh, the avocado—a real jokester—told me to stop trying to take all the credit; they helped. 😉

Mango in Containersweet mango
home, longing for fruit—
transplanted

Pepper in Container
once cloud kissed,
the bite will be sweet—
my pepper

Passion Flower in Container
scented winds
with passion blooming—
purple bliss

Avocado in Container
a strong tree
for guacamole—
greenish mush

Daisy in Container
spring’s easy,
my hardy daisies—
love the fall

for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Tuesday Platform