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Jan 17
Angel Blue and Einar in Marrowbone Town

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Angel Blue and Einar in Marrowbone Town

Marrowbone town is as ancient and orphic as the memory is intimate with secrets.

Light is the same at Marrowbone in the morning as it is at dusk, when the sun and star shine, upon silver sheen fog, reach the eyes.

One will find many treasures and visions among the souls of townsfolk here. You will find them waiting for you among the thorned Honey Locust trees, the sun dusted fields of thistle and vines, the river ferry whose secrets are told slowly and the abandoned places of Marrowbone town. These are the truest places when the moon is still and dreams are carried by dark wings of starlings.

Each season bears the weight of a dark sleep and rebirth called the Great Turning.

This is when the sibylline story is shared with spirit among Marrowbone townsfolk.

The story was carved deep, inside, from the dawning by the hand of the alpha light and the first warrior.

All men, women and children have the "knowing" in Marrowbone.

Old man Caedmon says to me "it was never taken from us, just forgotten"

This story is best shared through the eyes and thoughts of two special young souls in Marrowbone….Angel Blue and Einar

All townsfolk in Marrowbone live in joyful light and storm, doing what they do best…creating thought for the highest good of all.

This gift was the beginning.

The gift could never be destroyed or taken. It could only be hidden…

Angel Blue loved to form thoughts in the forests, creeks, winter moon autumns and abandoned houses.

Angel Blue was from the one before the beginning. She is silver light, deepest fire and the most potent thought creator Einar has ever known.

The dark-eyed Junco tinkles a silvery song from a high loft as it watches her presence slowly move close to old man Caedmon's barn.

Einar is waiting, with silence, shadow clad and cedar smoke.

The shadows that envelop Einar are primal, fierce and protective.

Einar is a watcher and grand seer from the first warrior. His lineage was boldly carved in a secret storm; a watcher in the dark was his seal.

His gift as a seer was to protect Angel Blue in her time of Vision.

This bond was silent but forceful between them.

Even when she lay alone upon the feathered mattress listening intently to the long metallic whistle of the midnight train through a dreaming Marrowbone, did she feel Einar's watching.

He is always the protector of the dream vision, like an invisible silk web shrouding her moonlit flesh.

Angel Blue and Einar walk together with moments bathed in charcoal star skies, smoky clove scented woodlands, and abandoned places in the season of knowing.

A Loggerhead shrike glides swift through the ether of falling dusk, capturing a field mouse in its talons.

Angel Blue and Einar watch the dance with death as the Loggerhead shrike impales the mouse on a long Honey locust thorn.

Einar tells Angel Blue "The watcher knows the mystery in the living, dances close to what we promised to not remember…"

The vision will be dreamed through the season of knowing…

The vision will be passed on to you and me…

 

 

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Mar 23
March's New Fire

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March's New Fire

 

March, ...whirls in like a strange angel

 

Its touching is sacred and cold

 

All gloriously bathed in new green down, red bud and forsythia gold

 

Burning hues that glow in the dusty hollow where the wingless live and have been silent

 

A seasoned ash winter will relinquish and venerate to a winged spirit of the freshly awakened birth

 

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Mar 20
Foraging for Edible Wild Plants of Sumac and Wild Carrot

Foraging for Edible Wild Plants of Sumac and Wild Carrot (Queen Anne's lace)

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My study, fascination and field knowledge started early with plants and herbs. I was intrigued by the "Old and Unique" Shaker women's ways and the vast knowledge of a plant or herb's medicinal properties and applications.

My Father, Michael Douglas Flannery, was a quiet but powerful inspiration to me as he would busy himself in the "Seasons of Growing" and harvesting beautiful plants and flowers. I remember the very first organic garden he helped me plant with great patience. I can still see and feel the memory every time my bare feet touch the newly upturned coolness of the sandy loam in the hot and hazy weather.

This article will feature two of my favorite wild edible plants, Wild Carrot, species- Daucus carota and Sumacs- Rhus spp. I believe it is of great value and importance to know about the wild edible plants in your vicinity. You may need this information if one were to be lost or stranded in the woodlands for some time.

I will start with Wild Carrot, species- Daucus carota. This lovely white flowered plant is also affectionately called Queen Anne's Lace, Bird's Nest (for the dried brackets) and Bishop's Lace. This plant is a somewhat biennial herbaceous plant that will grow to 1 or 2 feet high. The little flowers in the bracket are white and flat in a lacy clustered umbel. The leaves are tripinnate and very fine with stiff bracts that have three forks.

It is of extreme importance to remember that Wild Carrot has a firm stem that have small hairs all around it. The edible root smells of carrot.

One of the most crucial things I learned about this plant may also be a lifesaver in a field study especially if you are in need of food! The plant has a tiny red to purple flower in the direct center of the lacy cluster. This little flower derives its color from anthocyanin to attract insects, is worth noting in the field. You must be able to identify this when searching for Wild Carrot because it resembles Poison Hemlock. Poison Hemlock's root smells vile and leaf stalks are hairless! A small amount of Hemlock can cause paralysis and death! Please always remember this in your field study of wild plants.

I also want to remind everyone because of misidentification, beginners should make no attempt to use Wild Carrot until you can distinguish it from Poison Hemlock and Fool's Parsley! Once you feel comfortable in your knowledge of this plant you will find it to be useful. It grows abundantly throughout fields and waste places in Midwest, southern and northern regions of America. It will flower from May to October.

 

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Queen Anne's Lace- Wild Carrot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sumacs- Rhus spp.

 

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Sumacs are lovely summer to autumn shrub like or small trees with large feather compound leaves, pithy twigs and milky sap. The densely packed red fruit clusters are small, hairy and dry.  The silhouette of this plant in winter is distinctive for it holds onto its clusters.

Sumac can be used as a refreshing drink with vitamin c. Its acidic nature makes it taste like a pink lemonade. I would always find this abundant plant on upland open fields and forest borders in IL, IN, KY, TN and northern GA.

In the summer when the berries are ripe and before the heavy rains wash away the acid, collect the entire fruit cluster and rub it gently to bruise the red berries. You then can soak for 10 to 15 minutes in cool water. Then gently remove the cluster and pour the pink juice mix through cheesecloth to strain out any tiny hairs and berries. You can drink as is or sweeten to taste this refreshing drink.

It is very enjoyable to do field studies and school yourself of the properties and uses of the wild edible plants that grow profusely in your vicinity. It may be of great importance to you and your loved ones. Enjoy the great outdoors and all it has to offer.

Stay tuned for more of my wild edible plant writings from Tommie Flannery Baskis

The photographs that accompany this article were taken by me in Indiana and Kentucky.

 

 

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 Staghorn Sumac-

 

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 Silhouette of Staghorn Sumac

 

 

 

 

Mar 16
Slippin Creek is Just a Stone's Throw

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I'm my Mother's shiny girl child when she left me here

I'm the seed of love from my Father, distant watcher...proud of my growing

My Grandmother spoke to me on the last hour of her death bed, "Child don't take money for things undone and things that should not be done."

Boy, don't you know slippin creek is just a stone's throw away.

I see you lolling behind, boy-

slow moving and strong-

I see you there summer sweat and shadow dark.

Slippin creek is just a stone's throw....

As a smiling child my Mother told me I had the strength for making up for peoples shortcomings

So I took off running into the sun of Summer unveiled and barefoot to feel slippin creek beneath me, a lithe shadow dancing just a stone's throw

Boy I see your dark shadow watching just a stone's throw away-

I see your shadow bright... hiding in the darkest corner behind that heavy hanging door

Slippin creek is waiting under summer rose moon, darkest scent of purple violet and mimosa candy sweet-

Blackbird flies swift and heavy with secrets to share over slippin creek...

Where shadows lie still and illusions speak-

 

Mar 16
Old Grandpier Church

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Old Grandpier Church

Dec 16, 2014

 

It was a very old Baptist Church settled on the outcrop of encroaching forest.

Old Stones crumbled, dusty and sun melted in too many midwest summers

The only reverent melody being sung was by a storm wind...

Rushing in through broken blue glass windows.

Once was congregation in praise and forgiveness...

Now spider and dust and the darkness vibrate the ether.

 

Mar 16
The Secret Place 11:11

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In the long days and moments of her dream wandering, she will discover the Secret Place.

She moves at peace through angel snow and forested misty ether with her woman child knowing...

She comes with the hope of eternal sun, rustling leaf melody and the fragrant bloom of life dancing to cicada electric hum.

Her eyes of wandering reflect what she has known, what has always lived there, older than blood and stone.

The old house awaits her return. It moves and gives to her its powder sugar and cinnamon baked clapboard. An ancient fire rises from its stones transmitting a ghostly dance of soul wood into the dusky star mystery.

Her steps on entering through the forsaken door, has heard the cries of the child of December, always longing for warmth and love. The children of summer sun with scent of burning honeysuckle who with their small bare feet run forever....are reverent and sure.

She knows her will creates the dream of her wandering. This house of secret refuge, like the man that awaits her return with calm fever, will hold the vision...sun bright on storm gilded wing, flying to all

 

 

Mar 10
Dreams from the Wood Porch

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A stirring of rust colored leaves rise ethereal with clay dust as the girl child dances under the hazy sun of an August heat...

Not yet an Angel gold dipped in sin and prayer, her tinkling laughter is matched by the cicada drone that beats with hypnotic fervor.

He rocks back and forth ceremoniously on the old porch with solemn and careful watching.

The evening damp strangles and descends the smoke clouded mist from the old man's pipe as a whippoorwill hurriedly cuts through the last lazy moment of heat from the celestial terrace.

He waits in the gathering dark for her to come in as she moves steadfast and barefoot toward the tall blistered wood porch...

Laced with secret and smiling she will lay with thought dreams bathed clean in star shine.

 

 

Mar 10
The Dark Forest

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Evening frost, silver laced and crystalline, settles its placid veil over the Forest trees of Sycamore and Black Walnut....

Secret guardians shimmering and creak under the primeval glow of moon.

She walks upon ground, ancient loam with secret life buried, returning unto her....

Her thought lullaby moves and dances to form

All that she cannot speak.

The Forest will hold this sacred alliance until flame fire untie

An eve as sweet as clove, bathed in silver moon and silent wind.....

She will go before me, through the Dark Forest, as guardians of night.

 

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Nov 25
The Old Slip

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 "The Old Slip"

 “The Old Slip”

 

Her old,  laced slip of silk, faded and soft by man and times warm hands…

From a wooden window, bathed in silent sunset, drapes her lithe shape and eternal pattern of moments, within the being of silk and lace.

Fabric cool as chilled cream with faraway scents of cassia and coriander

from the small paper box…its  reverent lonely storage, next to the spice cabinet,  it has come forth.


To hide its  beauty under a more humble garment for no man to see…

only in secret the old slip breathes with her again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 23
The Lightning Struck Black Walnut Tree

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 The Lightning Black Walnut Tree

 

I Stand small, in the Summer of my innocence, beneath the ancient, lumbering, struck walnut tree.

The shimmery amber haze of thick Summer sun hypnotize me, as I dream of a silver winged storm that struck a jagged and cavernous rip down through the black walnut tree above me.

Moving on the lazy porch swing by the river, I remember the pungent green scent of the walnut flesh as it stained my fingers prying very eager to enter it's inside.

My Grandmother told me what fine Christmas persimmon cookies we would bake with this harvest.

Dusk came with a soft tinkling of the calliope on the supine river...and smiles as we sipped with reverence, her special lemon iced tea; Squeaky rust chain swing broke into the somber silence as the blues and lavender bathed our eyes from the sky.

In my downy coolness of bed, so far up the steps in the old home I see that tree.  It just stands old and knowing...letting some distant storm stir it's children leaves.  I know it will always be with me.

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