Monday, 23 May 2022

Poem - Dionysus of the Dreaming


I have seen him in my dreams
So much a normal part of my night, now.
He still scares me.
His eyes, green, verdant, powerful - 
They to me with emotions I have never felt
When I was alone.
The figure in my dreams hunts me down
Night after night, yet smiles when he captures me
As if he holds a fit of laughter
So close in check.
His long, twisted hair, fans softly across my cheek
Sighs, long, drawn out, a longing
Terrible hunger, unable to quench
This Lord of the Green, Dionysus in the flesh.
Madness, it comes for me
Through the eyes of green, staring, holding me
Bound, wrapped in His pagan arms.
Am I feeling love for the first time?
Or, is this the last?
He smells of musk, freshly turned earth,
Kisses made of water, magic
And Death.
Rough, calloused hands, made dark by moonlight
Touch my face, that same smile lingers
As a torment to my existence.
Still, he does not tell me of the secret,
The why of the smile, damn, forever
Like Paradise Lost, Milton’s sacrificial lamb.
“Make me a Furie,” I tell him
my mouth covered by his moss-covered chest.
“Truly madness is my key, my right,
my gift.”
Nothing is said - should it by him?
As the reality pressed on me by so many
Begins to unravel and break,
Creating a slip in time, lost and forgotten
Not this time or this hour.
My Lord of the Wild, now flesh and grass,
King of what was once, now risen again.
My Heathen of right, my guide
Into a better place for us all.

Viridian Tea Company - Strange and Unusual Tea Blends!
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Monday, 16 May 2022

For The Love of Bookstores - BookBar

 BookBar is a bookstore for wine lovers and a wine bar for book lovers. I didn't get it until I finally visited the cute bookstore on Tennyson Street in Denver on a sunny Saturday morning. As soon as I walked in, I felt strangely at home. Not because of the wine (I'm allergic), but because of the energy the place exudes. Actually, let me back up a little. Tennyson Street is one of those areas in Denver in which you could spend an entire day - restaurants, pet stores, parks, bookstores, and other places to delight your senses. The more I explore Denver, the more I'm seeing pockets like Tennyson Street. Havens of Third Places for people who need a break from their work and home. BookBar consists of books galore plus a cafe that serves all kinds of drinks, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic, and you want to find a table and just chill. I wandered through the bookstore, not really looking for anything in particular, until I reached the local authors' section. I located a super cool novella titled No Regrets by Juliana Rae Nicewarner (look for my review soon!) and clutched it to my chest. Finding a book by a new author means a lot to me. I get to see their view of the world. 

BookBar, and the rest of Tennyson Street, is super hip and super laid back. Nothing wrong with that at all. I also felt at home in that area, thanks to finally embracing my hipster side and not having it clash with my Goth, literary, bohemian, et al sides. At one point, I looked outside of a window in the back of the bookstore and noticed that there were outdoor sofas just waiting for someone to purchase a book and a drink, then proceed outside to resume with their self-imposed chill. I keep saying the word chill but it's true. BookBar is a reservoir of CHILL. I kept thinking to myself: I gotta bring my boyfriend here. 

Colorado continues to amaze me with what the state has to offer. I came here with no expectations except to expand upon my inner self and I find that the state is okay with that. In almost every bookstore I have visited here, I have felt nothing but WELCOME IN AND BUY SOME BOOKS! BookBar has been added to that list. They even have a Well Read Black Girls Book Club that I'm looking forward to attending, AND they are always looking for local authors to share their books. I hope they like Jackie Verona. 

BookBar - 4280 Tennyson Street, Denver, Colorado 

Monday, 9 May 2022

Welcome to the Middle

 (starting a new collection of short stories. Hope you enjoy!)

I remember the first time. Don't we all? Don't we all want to remember the first time we fell through the grey gauze, stumbled actually, and landed in another world? Another world that had stood in silence next to ours for so long, yet we on this side never knew of it? I think we were cheated. We were told to be born, grow up, learn everything that didn't matter to us, grow old, and die so that others would have a shot at being miserable. 

I woke up. And saw. And fell. When I finally stopped rolling, I looked around and wanted to cry. A sky the colour of a ripe lemon. Massive trees that swayed in jasmine-scented breezes. A multicoloured teapot lay next to me. I got up to a seated position, then took the teapot in my hands and studied it. So, I said to myself and watched the words trip out of my mouth and fly away, this is what the other side looks like. 

Yes, it does, said a voice from all around me. 

I quickly stood up and set the teapot by my feet. 

You have nothing to fear from me, the voice added with a laugh. Just then, a woman with long purple hair and wearing a white dress, appeared before me. Welcome, she said, to the Middle. 

The middle of what, I had to ask but then again, did I really want to know?

The Middle, she said with a smile, of everything. You found a split seam and stumbled through. She waved her arms about, causing the trees to sway with the winds once more. Welcome to the Middle.

I looked around as a smile appeared on my face. I had heard stories, I said, from travelers who carried the dust of olde on their backs. From the women who wove blankets out of spiders' webs. From the tea drinkers who drank from chipped indigo cups. 

Their stories, their sights, were carried on the winds, she said to me, and they find the right ones who will listen. She held out her hand and I took it. . . . .

Welcome to the Middle. More to come. 

Viridian Tea Company - Strange and Unusual Tea Blends!

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Monday, 2 May 2022

A Flash of Jazz - Monday


Monday. That day when everything in the world seemed to reset itself. That day when you looked forward to a new week ahead and wondered how it could all go wrong. That's what went through Simone's mind as she opened her eyes from a good and long night of sleep. She felt the dread creeping over her, some unknown malady that slowly sunk its claws into her body. She stared at the cracks in the ceiling. Monday, she sighed. That dread now covered most of her body as she rolled out of bed and trudged toward the bathroom to get dressed. It seemed only yesterday when she had stars in her eyes at the thought that finally, she would begin working on her third novel after so much praise for her first two. Yet, after selling her idea for the third book to her publisher six months ago, she began to feel dread about it. And, that dread always seemed to come on a Monday - her nemesis. To the rest of the world, Monday was just another day yet to her, it was a reminder to get cracking on a novel that probably wouldn't sell, even though she knew better. Brush the teeth, take a shower with that new lemongrass-scented goat's milk soap, wash the hair and hope that more of it wouldn't fall out in the drain. The more she got herself ready for the day, the more the dread loomed over her. Finally, after preparing her usual pot of milk oolong, toasted blueberry bagel with peanut butter, and a glass of water, Simone set her food on the table and slowly began to eat. She felt the pressure of Monday on her back and she squinted her eyes. The pressure was so great that her hand shook as she poured her first cup of tea. Finally, she couldn't stand it any longer; she yelled out - alright, let's talk! The pressure immediately went away and Simone's eyes grew wide as a form slowly materialized in the chair across from her. It was an indigo-shaded version of herself. The indigo Simone looked around fretfully, then cast her dark eyes upon Simone. Well, Simone said to the indigo shadow, why are you doing this to me? The indigo shadow stared at Simone, then broke out a wide grin. I'm Monday, she whispered. Thank you for finally acknowledging me. Simone stared at the shadow, then poured it a cup of tea and slid it toward her. Mondays, the real Simone thought with a lopsided grin. 

Inspirational album - Minor Blues by the Kenny Barron Trio 

Viridian Tea Company - Strange and Unusual Tea Blends!

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Monday, 25 April 2022

Adventures With My Tea Muse - SPRING!

(Tea Muse artwork by Brittany Lewis)

Me: Yay! I'm so glad that Spring is finally here!

Tea Muse: Break out the grill, I'm ready to BBQ!

Me: I'm ready for hiking, sitting outside with a cup of tea, and planting flowers!

Tea Muse: New tea blends! New smells in the air! Maybe even a new romance for me!

Me: Wearing shorts! Farmers markets! Chilled lemonade!

Tea Muse:  . . . . . 

Me: (looking outside the window in the living room) SNOW?! What?

Tea Muse: Oh, it's Spring alright . . . Spring in Colorado!

Me:  (shrugging my shoulders) Hot chocolate! Blankets! Warm Socks!

Tea Muse: Hot tea! Shoveling snow! Freezing our butts off!


Viridian Tea Company - Strange and Unusual Tea Blends!

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Monday, 18 April 2022

A Flash of Jazz - Turn It Off


(what if Sylvia Plath turned off the gas?)

I turned it off, the gas I mean, and sat on the floor. I couldn't do it, no matter how lost I felt. I stared at my worn hands and wondered if I still had some of that cherry-scented lotion I loved. I wanted to cry and I could feel the tears pressing against my eyes. Instead, I got up, dusted myself off, and removed the tape from the windows and doors. Suddenly, A flurry of poems came to me, ones that I knew had to be shared with the world. With every strip of tape removed, I felt life returning to me. Yes, I wanted to breathe. Yes, I wanted to write. Yes, I knew that I was flawed, just like everyone else. With the last bit of tape removed, I opened a window in the living room and took in the air. The nighttime air that gave rise to such creatives like myself. I frowned; he wouldn't win. I wouldn't let him. I took another deep breath and made my way to my desk to write. I wondered if life was like this for everyone; how one moment of blinking your eyes would change your mind and affect everything that caught in the range of your sight. The words felt delicious as I rolled them around in my mind and then as I whispered them. Yes, I thought to myself, this breath and this one and this one and this one. . . . .

The sun rose. 

Inspiring music - Night Train by the Oscar Peterson Trio 

Viridian Tea Company - Strange and Unusual Tea Blends!

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Monday, 11 April 2022

A Flash of Jazz - Vitamin Tree


He wanted to take me on a long hike. I wasn't sure about it. I'd never been on a hike before. I didn't know the unspoken rules regarding hiking, if there were any. Yet, we woke up on a cool yet sunny Sunday and, after having a full breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and Darjeeling tea, we drove off toward our destination. While he hummed a senseless tune, I looked out the window to the world beyond. To a world that I had barely begun to explore and connect with on a deeper level. I wanted to understand the world around me because in doing so, I would have a better understanding of myself. Finally. We drove for almost an hour, leaving the city behind and entering a world filled with trees, no litter, and quiet. We pulled into the parking lot next to a wooded area and got out of the car. While he checked his provisions and water bottles, I slowly turned around to get a full view of what we were about to encounter. I heard a bird cry out over my head; looking up, I noticed a hawk flying dangerously low in search of its latest meal. Suddenly, I felt dread crawling up my spine. He noticed that something was wrong as he walked toward me. You look as though you've seen a ghost, he chuckled. I looked at my new hiking boots on my feet, then to my hands that smelled of my green tea and jasmine lotion, then at his kind and bearded face. That same face that welcomed me into his world of long hikes, reading thick books by a firepit, and listening to the sounds of the mountains. It's your first hike, he said tenderly, and so I chose this trail because it's not that long and all horizontal. If you like this, then we can work on getting you more acclimated to the harder ones. He took my hands in his and I could smell the pine trees behind us. He closed his eyes and whispered - soak in that Vitamin Tree and you'll feel much better. I took a deep breath and felt my body relax. He then released my hands and we started the trail. At that moment, I knew that I loved him. 

Inspiring music - Shades of Jade by Marc Johnson 

Viridian Tea Company - Strange and Unusual Tea Blends!

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