'Thirty-five Dolls' accepted for publication...

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Slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune - knees, brain, I've taken 'em everywhere. But I'm still here...kind of.
Thanks, anyway! I'd had a run of 'Thank you but' responses, and was starting to feel a bit jaded, so it was good to get some interest.
 
Frightening is good, if you intend to frighten. Someone said I frightened them yesterday, with a poem. Result!
They were right to be frightened.
 
Tut tut, mais non. In fact the story is to do with kindness, overdue but still welcome, and perhaps hope. Not as black as my usual output, though the back-story is sad.
Oh I was definitely thinking it was going to be like a Goosebumps-type story. Thirty five dolls all staring back at you....
 
It will be brill if I know you at all.

Dolls and clowns...nasteeee. Likewise the archetype of The Fool. Innocent and knowing. In oracular tradition, this figure, the Fool, Trump card Zero in the Tarot, is also the Joker in a pack of playing cards. The Fool on the Hill etc. This apparently playful figure is anything but. He is the force known to the Norse as Odin, walking abroad in human form, and he cares for only one thing...knowledge for its own sake.

The Fool


Zero draws the Number of the Fool

But only fools will fail to fear

The oddly smiling one who walks alone

Magician, outland, dawn and dusk

Fleeting, glimpsed by tree and mere

Where ripples lap without a breeze

Or single casting of a stone

Zero, Odin’s one remaining eye

His other traded for all kenning

Out-with the knowing of the Norns

Nine days he hung considering

On Yggdrasil, the great ash tree

But Life is flux, and unfulfilled

Does Odin walk abroad with Men

Entranced, he follows their technology

Their blindly restless struggles to get free

Refusing that their final liberty

Is in their choice of sacrifice

Their ultimate expression

In their direst of necessity

Insatiably, dispassionate, he watches, waits

And sometimes smiles, but has no tears

For what might dim or blind his sight

Of conjurings and reckonings with Fate

The new born come, and dead depart

His scouts of Thought and Memory

Twin ravens, Hugin, Munin, fly

Through Odin’s questing, flaming Eye

The singing echo-chamber of The Gate.


KEH August 2015
Ah, yes, very unsettling. Nice one. I always thought there was something sinister about the Joker, perhaps that's why. Norse gods are scary in their own right, of course. I always wonder if they had any connection with Herne the Hunter, as he seems too outlandishly pagan to be from gentle England. I found Herne deliciously creepy when I was a kid.
 
Do you know Harrison Ainsworth's, 'Windsor Castle?' He features Herne in this novel, causing mayhem backstairs while Henry v111 terrorizes everyone upstairs.

Herne, Cernunnos? http://www.lugodoc.demon.co.uk/HERNE.HTM

The Saxons brought creepy runes in to England from Germany, but before the Norse Gods came, England had 'The Green Man,' and other sometimes dark traditions and manifestations. There's a whole swathe of this history, very unclear. But we've got naiads, still, named ones haunting all the great rivers.
 
Yeah, the Green Man seems English. Like something out of an Andrew Marvell poem.
Don't know the Windsor Castle novel. But Diana Wynne Jones featured Herne in one of hers, can't remeber which.
 
Ah, yes, very unsettling. Nice one. I always thought there was something sinister about the Joker, perhaps that's why. Norse gods are scary in their own right, of course. I always wonder if they had any connection with Herne the Hunter, as he seems too outlandishly pagan to be from gentle England. I found Herne deliciously creepy when I was a kid.

Herne the Hunter is derived from Cernunnos, who is a Celtic god. Nothing gentle about the Celts.

And big congratulations!
 
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