The Fruit of Passion: Chapter 7 – Part I


The silver-bluish starlight faded to gray, and the next dawn broke red. The awaking light leapt into the Great Hall through the high bay window on the left side of the room. Knives, spoons and forks struck against porcelain plates as the household enjoyed their breakfast. Merry conversations flowed over as feminine voices shared news with each other.

Morella, elevated on the dais at the end of the rectangular hall, occupied her chair on the high table. Seated amidst a couple of plush cushions, her spine stood painfully rigid while her eyes took everything and everyone in, never resting anywhere.

Every single sound grated on her ears—the torrent of human words that seemed to belong to an alien language, the fire burning in the central hearth, the clinking of the cutlery, the shuffling feet of the servants, the pushing and pulling of seats. All hurt her hearing like nails spiked within her flesh.

From time to time a scream wedged between her teeth but, since not everyone had finished their meal, she never opened her lips to release it, and from all the things she didn’t cry out, bite marks were imprinted on her tongue.


Dione’s question roused once more the ill feelings that had been seething within her from the moment Calan Gaeaf came to an end. All her expectations were frustrated and, since no agent could carry the blame for the abortion of her longings, they threatened to explode within her soul like some long boiling water inside a cauldron.

Morella, knee-deep in her own turmoil after Blodwen’s journey, didn’t part with it to contemplate on the effects this ordeal generated upon Dione. Now, deliberating the situation, it seemed to her that Dione was diamond to her clay, and that maddened her further. Wasn’t Blodwen Dione’s mother as much as her own? So why did Dione continue her course as if life and death were interchangeable puppets in a badly cast representation? Was her love as mercurial as a child’s mood? Or was she made of stuff so granite that all afflictions grazed over her without breaking her or altering her shape?

But the unstated ingratitude of her musings immersed her in acrimony, so she tried to shake them off her mind before they poisoned her further. What right did she have to judge Dione? Hadn’t Dione always stood unwaveringly by her side since childhood? And hadn’t she always offered her protection by being a pillar of stability and strength when the world fell into shambles?


Dione paced before the hearth, absently fingering the wood carvings that decorated the overmantel, her tips sweeping over the horned God and the stags that encircled him only to hover above the sun nestled within the maiden’s palm.

Her back turned to Morella, she let two tears hang from her eyelids like precious gems. Her composure could be easily mistaken for indifference, but suffering should be allowed to run its course and die a natural death, and all things past human reach should be accepted as such.

Blodwen’s passing was so swift and unexpected that the household was shaken from its foundation. Her absence left a trail of keen sorrow, a void that only patience, companionship and forbearance could close and heal.

Dione was a martyr to helplessness. Helpless to prevent Blodwen’s departure from their world and helpless to do battle on the wake of its impact. She had the conviction Morella was as much of a martyr but, while Dione bore it all with infinite stoicism, Morella rebelled, armed with living fire and denial.

Dione pinched her tears between thumb and forefinger, and spun around with legs akimbo; a bitter grimace gnarled her mouth. ‘’A rage against the heavens, a grief against the stars! What is beyond help, should be beyond reflection.’’

Excerpts from my mythic fantasy novel, currently titled The Fruit of Passion


Seamus Heaney: Oysters


Here’s one of my favourite poems from the Irish poet, playwright and translator, Seamus Heaney, comprising the reign of the senses, emotions and the power of memory. 

Our shells clacked on the plates.
My tongue was a filling estuary,
My palate hung with starlight:
As I tasted the salty Pleiades
Orion dipped his foot into the water.

Alive and violated,
They lay on their beds of ice:
Bivalves: the split bulb
And philandering sigh of ocean.
Millions of them ripped and shucked and scattered.

We had driven to that coast
Through flowers and limestone
And there we were, toasting friendship,
Laying down a perfect memory
In the cool of thatch and crockery.

Over the Alps, packed deep in hay and snow,
The Romans hauled their oysters south to Rome:
I saw damp panniers disgorge
The frond-lipped, brine-stung
Glut of privilege

And was angry that my trust could not repose
In the clear light, like poetry or freedom
Leaning in from sea. I ate the day
Deliberately, that its tang
Might quicken me all into verb, pure verb.

Wishes, Curses and a Sister Saves her Brothers: The Tale of the Seven Ravens

Under the influence!

1016px-the_seven_ravenThe Seven Ravens By H.koppdelaney (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsWe all have dreams that we wish would come true.  Sometimes we make a wish and that wish is granted but what we actually get may be the result of how we have made that wish. If we make a detrimental wish against someone or something that wish becomes a curse.  Sometimes unforeseen consequences may be unleashed that affect others who have to pay some kind of a price even though they were not the ones who did the wishing. The following is a retelling of a folktale called The Seven Ravens and explores how wishes are made and how they are fulfilled and what can happen when wishes are made in haste or anger.   It appeared in  Household Tales by Brothers Grimm by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm and is classed as Aarne-Thompson type 451…

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The Great Myths #33: The Child Cúchulainn Gets His Name (Celtic)

word and silence

myths_and_legends3b_the_celtic_race_28191029_281478031515129When Culand the smith offered Conchubur his hospitality, he said that a large host should not come, for the feast would be the fruit not of lands and possessions but of his tongs and his two hands. Conchubur went with fifty of his oldest and most illustrious heroes in their chariots. First, however, he visited the playing field, for it was his custom when leaving or returning to seek the boys’ blessing; and he saw Cú Chulaind driving the ball past the three fifties of boys and defeating them. When they drove at the hole, Cú Chulaind filed the hole with his balls, and the boys could not stop them; when the boys drove at the hole, he defended it alone, and not a single ball went in. When they wrestled, he overthrew the three fifties of boys by himself, but all of them together could not overthrow him. When…

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The Disappearing Islands

He remembered the sound of her red stilettos,
and the way her ruby lipstick slowly coming
undone by the rim of each martini glass
that she couldn’t stop kissing. That night

the desert winds blew hot from the west.
And he watched her topple from the edge
of the bar crowd into her last martini glass
holding a toothpick with two stabbed

olives between her scarlet nails looking
like an unfinished sentence trailing off
in a silk dress and looking like nothing
could ever harm her. What happened,

happened once — the kiss that didn’t last.
And it’s been years since the moment when
he lowered his lips to hers like a parched
camel leaning into a small brook to drink

the sweet water running deep inside her,
and in his arid palms her freckles came alive
like stars in the dark desert night.
As he drew her closer to…

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The Fairytale Heroine’s Journey — The Fairytale Heroine’s Journey

When I first started developing my ideas about the Fairytale Heroine’s Journey, I wrote an article for Faerie Magazine describing that journey and its various stages. Here is the article I wrote, in which I describe how that journey appears in a number of different tales by fairytale writers and collectors such as Charles Perrault, […]

via The Fairytale Heroine’s Journey — The Fairytale Heroine’s Journey