Island of Pain

I never planned
for their cracks in my bones,
for their poison in my blood,
for their teeth
gnawing at my gut.

I was born of Aries—
surfing fiery waves,
dancing to the moon
in darkness
and bright.

Then the Nosoi warped
my course, and took me
(kicking and swimming)
into their Island of Pain.

“I won’t suffer your whims,”
I said, crafting it up as I went.
“I will feed on all the hurts
you birth, and morph
your island into my home.”

I never planned
for their warping ropes
(I was born of Aries),
I will fight them
with what comes
out of the blood
and the bone
and soul.

Process Note: on his first contribution to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads’ Sunday Mini-Challenge, Brendan decided to go big and asked us for a piece “about a situation or time or relationship… as if it were an island encountered on the wide wild sea.” My poem glimpses into what happens in the island I found. It also dances with the theme of Sanaa’s Prompt Nights: Are you “Spontaneous or Not?” And lastly, I wanted to continued Rereading My Pratchett, so I invited the Muse to keep in mind the following quote, from Lords and Ladies, while we birthed today’s piece: “…if you stay here and keep trying to call the Lords and Ladies, then you’ll be up against me again. Not playing stupid games in the daylight, but real witchcraft. Not messing around with moon circles, but the true stuff, out of the blood and the bone and out of the head.”

Nosoi – in Greek mythology, “spirits (daimones) of illness, plague and disease.”

Ixchel (Mayan Rainbow Goddess), by SunshineShelle
“Ixchel”, by SunshineShelle
(She looks like she’s ready for anything… and everything.)

Arrogance by Stealth

While on vacation, I reread The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I read it for the first time two years ago, but for some reason I didn’t love it all that much; after revisiting the novel, I can’t think why that was… The tale is full of elements that excite my mind: Pratchett’s delicious satire, an intelligent mixture of socio-political fantasy and every issue one can imagine affecting our reality.

And there are some phrases (like the title) and quotes that made me nod and grin for a while—I can’t believe I didn’t share them the first time around. This one must be my favorite of the lot:

“Oh, for a body to dissect! Well, lacking that, I will do the best I can, which will be the best that there is.”

Henry laughed. “You don’t believe in modesty, do you, Mr. Lobsang?”

“Absolutely not, Henry. Modesty is only arrogance by stealth.”

Other titles I read or reread during vacation (since a wee bird wanted to know):

The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G. Wells
How to Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell
Inkworld, by Cornelia Funke
Drawing Down the Moon, by Margot Adler
Miss Zukas and the Library Murders, by Jo Dereske
Inkspell, by Cornelia Funke
Inkdeath, by Cornelia Funke
Fearless, by Cornelia Funke

What have you read lately, my Wicked Luvs? Care to share something that stayed with you? By the way, I have several yummy bits to share about our trip to Friday Harbor. I’ll post them soon…

New York Sunset
I just finished reading The Long War, the 2nd book in The Long Earth Series. This picture, taken during our trip home, made me think of the sky on the book cover.