Tag Archives: Children

Child of Woe, Child of Wonder

(a poem by   ~burning woman~   )

I don’t do love (she said)
He looked at her dismayed
not knowing what to add;
not knowing which new bait
he could put on his hook.

But I’m OK with friendship
(she added with a smile)
I’m also OK with closeness
I can do togetherness
at night when the moon is cold.

I’m also OK with silent tears
when there’s no more wood
and the hearth is only ashes
when there’s but crumbs
left on the kitchen table.

I’m not great with good times
(she added looking serious)
I know they cannot last
and how long can it hold
when so many fall through?

I really dislike promises
(she said pointing to her heart)
for I know my weaknesses
being the bane of humanity
No hero, no angel, am I.

Stay close to me then
let my body warm yours
Let’s blend smiles and tears
and perhaps make a child
though she will be of woe.

Fields of grass swayed green
year by year the stars circled
and trees grew tall in the sun
their child of wonder also grew
to pen these lines for them.

     The Star Dancer

       I have no recollection of having posted this very short story.  If I did, it would have been many months ago, and “followers” have changed drastically since.  If it is a repeat for you, just ignore, although I have made some edits.  thank you.                                               

                                                               a short story by  ~ Sha’Tara ~

One could almost say she had the characteristics of a winter bird without stretching the comparison.  A killdeer on a windswept dune in December heard only after darkness covers the shores, that would describe her presence. 

Slim of build, almost translucent of skin, she could stand in perfect stillness beside a doorway and remain unseen by those passing in and out.  Generally silent, there was a quality to her voice that demanded stillness and silence.  Not from weakness nor self-pity, her way of remaining in the background was her means of allowing her to observe the world, voicing some of her thoughts little more than the occasional soft word.  She could just as easily remain alert and active for long hours without apparently tiring.  Never was she seen indulging food or drink beyond a body’s basic needs.  Her pleasure, and she radiated pleasure, did not emanate from satisfying carnal desires. 

She was not what would be called pretty, but she was truly beautiful, with the movements of a small wild animal raising its head to look inquisitively at the world; with the velvety touch of an angel.  And what to say of her attire?  She wore no makeup and draped herself in the simplest of styles, in second-hand clothes.  If asked why she didn’t spend more on herself, she’d smile, as if shyly, and shrug.  “It doesn’t go with the innocence of children,” would be the extent of her explanation on the subject. 

Certainly, the innocence of a child would have described her.  She was called naïve by some.  To that she’d reply, “Do not confuse naïvety with innocence.  I choose to remain innocent.  It is my way of counteracting the many grave faults of this man’s world.  Do not make the mistake of thinking I am unaware of what goes on here or helpless to do anything about it.”  Only then did her voice take on the severe tone of the Teacher, a tone of voice loaded with implications which none but the awakened caught.

She was an empath.  Compassionate.  When she interacted with strangers, she mostly smiled and helplessly, they would smile back at her and then at one-another.  All children who met her were attracted to her, that is until the time when their innocence was forcibly taken from them.  Then she faded from their eyes and their memory.  They will not remember her until they get old and tears will roll down their lined faces in realization of what they had encountered; what they could have learned; how much it could have changed their lives.  

There were tragedies in her life as in every life.  Through it all, she brought hope and comfort where none existed.  That was her nature — to give, not to take.  It was as if she gave her own flesh and blood to those in need.  She “fed and clothed” by what she did not spend on herself – that was one of her “open” secrets.  But with each sorrow, her translucence increased.  A dawn would come to finally dim her starlight beyond earthly recall.

It didn’t matter what they called her, I recognized her from times before time.  She was of the Star Dancers; those whose home is the infinity of the Cosmos; who scatter themselves as stardust over myriad of worlds and touch the lives of countless others.  Sadly, yes, some of us get lost and for long periods, sleep in forgetfulness.  Our memories of the Star Dancer are but myths in the conflagration of time that burns within our confused minds.

But she did come.  A speck of dust on the wind, perhaps, but she appeared on our horizon, burning off into the skies like a meteorite. 

What does that matter now that she is gone, you may well ask?  What matters is, she came, scattered a bit of magic stardust and there was joy where none was to be had; there was hope where despair had held sway. 

What matters is, I can now remember and continue to do some of what she began.  How could anyone forget such a passing?  How could anyone mourn?  How could anyone who ever encountered her not make a supreme effort to remember? 


Take my Hand, Daddy! a short story by Sha’Tara

By way of intro to this short story, first I wish to say “thank you” for all the likes on the other stories, essays, etc. as they tumbled into this place.

I’ve been very busy lately on a volunteer job in the interior of B.C. (Canada), a place called “Rock Creek” where a wild fire roared through a year ago and burned down several homes.  So I went with my friend Vic Janzen, who is with “Mennonite Disaster Services” to help complete a house the organization had taken on in conjunction with “Habitat for Humanity.”  “We” (that is, MDS) supplied the labour and Habitat supplied the materials along with whatever the uninsured home owners could provide.  So the house was built, and this is what it looked like when we left yesterday.  A very pretty, basic, utilitarian house any family would be happy to live in.  If you look closely you can see the scorched dead pines all around the property.  (The pile of bags is insulation to be blown into the attic later.) 


Rock Creek MDS and Habitat house.

And now, the short story: 

Take my Hand, Daddy!           [a short story ~ by Sha’Tara]

Imagine a winter afternoon of this northern hemisphere, by a small town nestled almost silent among dark, brooding mountains.  The sun slips behind a mountain top and a shadow covers the waters of a wide river rippled by a bitter east wind.  A couple of golden eyes land and begin their usual systematic team hunt, diving, surfacing, diving.  These little ducks know their world well, choosing areas near enough to shore to take advantage of gentler, swirling currents, allowing them to dive faster and capture their prey, small fish also using the constantly reforming whirlpools to find food.

The edge of the river is forming ice now, not deep nor wide, but the bite of winter frost is not only in the air: it penetrates into the dark, fast moving waters.  The shore at this place, now cut through by the harsh shadow of a mountain, is made up of round rocks, large at the edge of the water, an edge normally under water – but this is winter solstice and the river is at its ebb.  Further up the shore the rocks change to large round gravel, then up the banks, into smaller, looser gravel.  Remnants of a recent snow fall tuck themselves behind and between the stones and form a dirty white blanket full of tears and holes among frost-burned grasses along the higher banks.  Such a stage leaves no room for doubt as to the time of year being dramatized.

There is a small parking area here where I sometimes stop to eat my lunch, read, or just observe the passing of a time-slice and whatever event it may contain.  I like the quiet of the place and on this day, the weather being bitterly cold with high clouds keeping the air moist, few people care to stay around.  A couple of cars drive in but there is nothing exciting or colorful enough to keep anyone’s attention for long and the damp cold drives them away again.  The pair of ducks, the male a ball of sharp black and white patterns, the female of a uniform brown, are a bit perturbed by the few onlookers and choose to be safe, moving their theater of operations farther away from the shoreline.  

The sun has almost crossed the mountain top and the shadow slides across the river, revealing a lighter shade of water as the incessant chop refracts the slanted, weak, gold-tinged middle-afternoon sunlight.  Far to the east however, no clouds have yet appeared and the sun has unlimited vistas to illuminate.  The higher mountains throw off the glory-glow of their snow-covered spires to grace a clear icy-blue sky.  

There is a wide gravelly path that leads from the parking area down to the river’s edge. While it remains in the gray shadow cast by the mountains, a very large man wearing a black woolen toque, a heavy dark-red mackinaw jacket and faded jeans tucked into unlaced brown work boots begins to descend along the center of the path.  To his right walks a tiny girl child, wearing what looks like dark blue cord pants tucked into white boots.  She has on a pink parka and a pair of pink mittens with small pompoms attached dangling from the coat’s sleeves.  As the couple begins to walk over the loose gravel, the child gingerly extends her short arms to maintain balance.  The heavy-set man, hands pushed deep into the folds of his mackinaw, seems totally unaware of his tiny companion, lost, it seems, in his own thoughts.

The little girl struggles to follow him, obviously with great effort.  Finally, barely able to stand, she extends her left arm to the large man, the reddened fingers of her hand splayed to express her need for help. 

In my mind, the image freezes there, as if someone had pressed the pause button on the TV’s remote. 

The man ignores the child, the child holds out her hand, confident that the man will be moved to help her.  In that slice of time, I sense a re-enactment of billions of such events over history.  I feel the energies involved; the times when they worked and when they did not.  The abandoned, and the re-united.  The dead losers and the restored winners.  I see mankind’s drama endlessly moving up and down, like the tides.  I feel my own helplessness, kicked out of the drama to find my place among the spectators of which we are too many.  

Does the man stop to take the child’s hand?  Does he pick her up in his arms to carry her to an easier place where she can walk without help?  Does he realize it is too cold to be walking there, at that time of day, with a child, and does he return to wherever they came from?  

All I heard in my mind was the child’s extended arm saying: “Take my hand, daddy!” 


Children are the Future

                      Children are the Future
[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

This is about children.  That’s right: children.  Think: your own children.  Then your children’s children.  Generations of children.  Good?  Bad? Indifferent?  I’m willing to bet it’s all good.  Children, wow, a totally sacred concept.  How we love children.  Children, after all, are the future.

Commonly said, commonly believed, and just as commonly misunderstood: “children are the future.”  Can anything more ignorant, more stupid, have ever been thought up?  Children are the future?  

Children are not the future, they are the helpless inheritors of our legacy of a tortured world.  In straight talk: *we are our children’s future*  What we do now is what determines our children’s future.  We pollute the planet, it’s our children who will have to deal with it and die on it.  We demonstrate truly bad examples of stewardship; of racism; of war-mongering; of class distinction; of gender inequality; of abuse; of love of violence and it’s the children who will be ground up into that pattern; who will suffer and die because of it.  Not us, them.  Our thoughts, ideas, words and acts totally determine their future. 

Let’s repeat it again: *we are the children’s future.*   

Everyday we deliberately contribute to the murder *yes, murder, pure and simple* of tens of thousands of children because their deaths equal monetary profits, political power and sexual pleasure to our elites which in turn provide us with the little tidbits of luxuries we so enjoy: fast foods, overpriced sports events, 3-D movies, parties, make-overs, trips, gambling, cars, fashionable clothes, hobbies.  We know how sick and morally depraved these thieving elites are and we possess the collective power to end their rule but we choose not to, mostly out of apathy but also because it would be rather inconvenient.  So they keep murdering children in our name and we say, well, it’s sad but necessary. It’s not our fault they are born in the “wrong” part of the world, is it?

Certainly for those innocent murdered children, we are all their future could have been because after giving them a promise of life we stole it from them to offer their little bodies on the luxury altars of the gods of money, political power and religious expediency.  We are definitely the future because we, not the children, determine in which direction it is going to go, and what it is going to do to the planet and it’s life on the way there.  Since we don’t allow children to have decision-making power then that leaves us as the responsible party for the state of civilization and guilty of mass murder on a daily basis.

So, let’s stop parroting Matrix mission statements to hide our social, political, economic and religious crimes.  Let’s stop saying “children are the future” while doing everything in our power to use, abuse and kill them off… or apathetically brushing off their cries for some sort of life; some sort of “future.”

I am tired of man’s bullshit.  I’ve spent most of this life of seventy years watching. Sometimes even engaging man’s ways if only to assure myself that none of them are actually worth a damn.  While I’ve been watching, I’ve been learning.  Figuring out ways to beat man’s house of cards.  I have been very politically incorrect: I have dared criticize, not only the management of the house but the habits of those who play in it.  Consequently I haven’t made many friends in the house and I prefer it that way.  

I learned this: as a collective, people are gamblers.  They don’t try to avoid the house, or better, to bring it down; they try to find a game in the house that pays higher dividends, either in this life or in the one to come.  They choose a church to worship in; a corporation to invest in; a bank to hold the pay for five minutes; a charge card company to be an accountant for endless bills; a town to live in that has a hockey or football team; a boat to fish from; a truck to drive up and down the street in and make as much noise as possible; a trophy somebody to snag in a marriage of convenience or necessity. 

Then the gamblers fully expect those choices to work out despite billions having already made similar choices that at best earned a break-even point, at worst saw them on the street or dead.  And who knows about eternal life?  That’s just another con, another crap shoot.  Where’s the upside?

When we play by the rules of the Matrix, the house always wins.  Of course.  If the house lost, there wouldn’t be any house, would there, because unlike us, the house is incapable of producing anything worth anything.  Everything the house is, is what it steals from us when we play, and the game is rigged so we must play and on the long run, lose.  The corollary is obvious: if the house always wins, we must always lose.  Simple math.  Of course we can choose not to play by the rules, in which case we’ll be in jail or bankrupt, sooner or later.  But the house doesn’t go to jail and never goes bankrupt because the house makes the rules and the house can always take more from the players: it owns the players.

That’s how it actually works. That’s man’s “present” to his children’s future.  Imagine how grateful the children and grand children will be when they discover the kind of future they’ve been given; when they stand starving and crying on the shores of a dead ocean among the dead bodies of gannets, dolphins and their own siblings and the sand sifting through their emaciated fingers leaves burn marks. 

I wouldn’t expect them to erect statues to their parentage.