Saturday, December 31, 2005

Seeds Again


Where are the tears of yesterday’s joy,
and laughter of life memories’ pain?
A man’s pride can endure quick release
in cathartic most public display,
but only in disguising poetry
can I now merge teared soul-seeds
with drops of rain in life’s rebirth.

my friends --
daughters of friendship’s kiss;
but a tree rooted in Mother Earth
and aspiring to spirit’s reach,

within and beyond
reach out through the loom
and pass the shuttle to me.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

My Russian Gypsy

After tea I went for a short walk down to the Gypsy Camp. Even in the early afternoon I could hear music playing and laughter coming from some of the tents and carts. The air was sweet with incense and exotic cooking smells. I wandered over down a side path and saw a tent whose markings looked familiar to me. Could it be?

I hurried over to it looking for a name sign or way to see who might live there but saw nothing to identify it. But the colors of the scarves fluttering in the wind and the wind chimes sweetly blowing let me know indeed I had been to this tent before. Not here, but in another place and time. Yet… if it were true, then my old friend Zaryana, the Russian gypsy, must be near.

I went up to the door flap and rang the little chime. From what seemed to be deep within I heard a soft voice cry out, “Just a moment please.” I waited with anticipation. I remembered our last meeting with clarity. The wild red-haired gypsy had warned me of many changes in my life and that I would be taking some dark paths for a while but that I would fare well and come back into the light eventually. Maybe this was that moment she meant. At that very thought the sun broke through the trees and a ray shone directly on my face, warming me to the core of my being. I smile. Yes, this must be Zaryana.

The curtain-door parted and I was greeted with a sudden hug and laugh. “It is YOU!” she cried out.

I nodded and found myself nearly in tears. “Yes, it is I and I am so happy to see you again!”

She motioned me inside and offered me a cup of her famous tea. “Drink up,” she whispered. “I am sure your tea leaves will be very interesting this time.”

I felt the steam caress my face as I raised the cup to my lips. I had a feeling “interesting” was putting it mildly, whatever was out in front of me now. But I knew for sure this time I welcomed it and had no fears. I had come back to a place where art and writing and dance were to be a part of my life again and I was happy.

Amazon Queen dances on the Barn Door

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The Amazon Queen has arrived and is staying with the Gysy Chief at the camp near the barn at the back of Riversleigh. The Chief popped down the barn door and the Queen is dancing barefoot for him.

Acrobat Fitz


The flips and spins draw oohs and ahs,
and we must appear comical viewed up-side-down;
but I see the smile when she slowly turns --
fully extended -- exposed, vulnerable,
yet in perfect balance --
doing what no other can do,
being what no other can be…

and I am only speaking of poets and dreams.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dressing up!

Luna and Orion.jpg

My little kitties have heard about the party and are doing their best to dress up too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Gypsy Camp All A Flutter

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The Gypsies, having heard about an expedition to find the Faraway Tree of Enid Blyton fame, have set up by the barn at the back of Riversleigh Manor. A stream of odd musicians and characters have been wandering through the camp. Pigs will begin flying soon.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Longer Days Now

Pulse of Tears

The whispers may be frozen
in the leafless, sleeping trees,
as dormant seeds of hopes and dreams,
now stripped to harsh realities.

But your heart can sense the pulse --
the oft hidden yearning tears,
trapped in pristine soul ice
and mem'ries of dying years.

View the Tiers of Sakin'el,
which still run free and clear
in defiance of solid mist
and colors of fall so dear.

Do you hear it chiming now?
Your mind may not know of Spring,
but here each new dawn's caress
tell of days when flowers sing.
papa - Solstice '05

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Old English Christmas

a popular song in Old English


Incipit gestis Rudolphi rangifer tarandusHwæt,

Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor --
Næfde þæt nieten unsciende næsðyrlas!
Glitenode and gladode godlice nosgrisele.
Ða hofberendas mid huscwordum hine gehefigodon;
Nolden þa geneatas Hrodulf næftig
To gomene hraniscum geador ætsomne.
Þa in Cristesmæsseæfne stormigum clommum,
Halga Claus þæt gemunde to him maðelode:
"Neahfreond nihteage nosubeorhtende!
Min hroden hrædwæn gelæd ðu, Hrodulf!
"Ða gelufodon hira laddeor þa lyftflogan --
Wæs glædnes and gliwdream; hornede sum gegieddode"
Hwæt, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor,Brad springð þin blæd:
breme eart þu!"

Explicit which, being translated, is:

Hrodulf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Here begins the deeds of Rudolph,
Tundra-WandererLo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer --
That beast didn't have unshiny nostrils!
The goodly nose-cartilage glittered and glowed.
The hoof-bearers taunted him with proud words;
The comrades wouldn't allow wretched Hrodulf
To join the reindeer games.
Then, on Christmas Eve bound in storms
Santa Claus remembered that, spoke formally to him:
"Dear night-sighted friend, nose-bright one!
You, Hrodulf, shall lead my adorned rapid-wagon!"
Then the sky-flyers praised their lead-deer --
There was gladness and music;
one of the horned ones sang"
Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer,
Your fame spreads broadly, you are renowned!"

Here it ends.© copyright 1996 Philip Chapman-Bell; All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas from Gail and the Gypsies!



More musicans


We will play along

I am gifting Em a string psaltry and an antique
African wood flute I traded a walking stick for.
She will give me at least one musical instrument,
which will bring to 66 the number of playable
instruments in our home.

Dance a lick for me...


Musicians Come With an Invitation

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The Gypsy Camp is being invaded by strange musicians who say that they are from the Faraway Tree. They have bought an invitation from White Owl, who lives in the Tree, to come and visit in the New Year. Meanwhile everyone is dancing and celebrating a successful journey along the Silk Road.

Happy Holidays!

Xmas tree.jpg

Friday, December 23, 2005

Must have been a Gypsie

Years ago a neighbor said,
"The trouble with Santa is it detracts
from the spiritual message of Christmas."

"Oh," says I -- and wrote this, perhaps in time
for you to read it to someone.



Arthur had always dreamed of being Santa Claus. As a small boy he had absorbed each bit of "Santa" lore as other children sampled cookies, candy and fruitcake. Dancing rain deer replaced "snow angels" and each snow fort became a sleigh from which to soar above the rooftops. The other kids laughed at Arthur's antics since he was as skinny as a candy cane, and his face was more yellow than "ruddy", and he never got any gifts for Christmas, no less gave any.

Arthur was happy with this laughter. It was enough to make others laugh and dance at Christmas time. Nobody in Arthur's family was happy -- ever. He dreamed of his mother smiling almost as much as he dreamed of being Santa. But Arthur couldn't be Santa. He was only four.

Each passing Christmas brought years to the youth and a great deal of height. Illusions of Santa as an elf and responder to kids' letters gave way to "Santa helper" and commercial realism. But the dream had not died; ersatz or not, ill fitting costume or not, black hair showing thought the white or not. Arthur tried to be Santa -- to play Santa -- to help the other "Saints." They wouldn't allow it! He was too young. Certainly he was too skinny!

Arthur ate. He worked in the school lunch program. He worked at a bakery in the afternoon. His dreams shifted to food most of the year. He only grew taller, not bigger. Some of the other Santa "wannabes" were not all that fat either so when December came he could at least try on the costumes at the department store tryouts. They laughed, which was all right, but he was not selected. His "ho, ho, ho" was not deep enough. He didn't have any whiskers of his own. Santas had to be old and big. Arthur learned that having a dream and making it come true was not easy.

Arthur worked at being Santa. He wore red all year. He took diction lessons. He ate. He gave away everything he had. The trouble was that people really didn't want Santas, except for a couple of weeks a year. For Arthur, it wasn't possible to be a part-time Santa. For the rest of the world it wasn't possible for Arthur to be Santa at all. But then, for the rest of the world Santa didn't exist at all.

Arthur's fascination with Santa didn't mean that that he ignored the true meaning of Christmas. He went to church every Sunday with his Grandmother and listened to the sermons and lessons carefully. He was sure that he would discover why people only acted certain ways during Christmas time and could be terribly different at others. As Arthur became an adult he realized he didn't just want to be Santa at Christmas -- he wanted to be like Santa all year long. Just try to tell someone in June that you are Santa Claus. See where it gets you!

Arthur had to go off to war. The same people who said he couldn't be Santa said he had to fight for ideas he wasn't sure he believed in. He thought soldiers in a distant land might like a Santa, though, and wouldn't care if he was skinny. Instead, Arthur lost his arm and had to come home. Now they said he could never be Santa because he would scare children and not be able to pass out gifts properly. But Arthur was stubborn. The more reasons people found for him not to be Santa, the more he thought of ways to be and act like the myth of his youth. The dream kept him from being too lonely, and too sad.

Arthur had a brilliant idea. He worked very hard and saved all of his money. Then he had a special Santa suit made. It was spectacular! Stuffed with special filling it made him very fat. The fur lined cap pulled low over his pointed ears. Instead of just white whiskers he had a complete mask made that padded out is narrow features and hid his patchy hair. His non-existent arm was disguised in a sleeve that clutched a gift sack over his shoulder. Special boots were designed to help him stand for long hours. Christmas was coming and Arthur was finally ready for anything. He went looking for a job. No luck! His outfit was so good it made the other Santas look bad. Only one small shopping mall said he could pass out candy canes out front. It was very very cold that year and few people lingered out of doors. Only Arthur was warm in his special outfit. Maybe clothes did make the man!

The stores closed and those with homes went to their warmth or off to midnight mass at the huge cathedral. All of the other Santas disappeared. Arthur thought of entering the church but wasn't sure he would be welcome in his bright red and furry garb. Instead he sat by the manger and crèche outside and thought of another cold night hundreds of years before and those who had no warm place to stay. Slowly Arthur smiled.

He marched out into the freezing night and sought the homeless and hidden drunks and runaways. He said to them, "I have a gift for you -- come." And they did. People who had no trust for others and had lost faith in most everything followed the "jolly elf." They remembered the security of their early Christmases and the hope and love they had once shared. He guided them back to the manger and had them huddle closely together where their combined warmth would protect them through the night. Arthur went out again and again, protected by his special Santa suit to save the helpless. Hundreds heard his call and gathered to share and sing in the Christmas dawn. Some police arrived at the disturbance but he told them, "I need no help on my appointed rounds." Later the officers joined in the song and closeness of the milling crowd.

The bishop came out to survey the scene and could only marvel at this special sharing of Christmas spirit. The passing throng gave prayer at the crèche and drew more warmth from the effort. The Bishop added his own prayers and blessed the event. He sent priests out to find the "angel in red," but they could not. So they all helped the lame and weak join the celebration. The Bishop thought of the Christ child and of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. "If the love between the Father and the Son is strong enough to generate the Holy Spirit, then can the love of man produce a real Santa?"

The sun rose on many cheery faces that morning, but not on Santa's. He was no where to be seen. Only memory remained as it did for children everywhere on Christmas morning, and the child that lingered in every soul that Christmas day. Arthur's tall gangly frame did not seem out of place in the midst of the singing crowd and no one cared that his voice was too high and slightly out of tune.

The Gypsy Camp welcomes the travellers home...

Pipers and drummers are coming from miles around, the barn doors are being dusted off and feet are itching for the dance.
Such a party this will be! The like of which was never seen before. This is more than a party to the Gypsies, it is pulling all stops out to welcome the travellers back and enfold them once more in our hearts.

Gypsy Chief

Karen, Happy Birthday

A birthday is so special
A fuss is what is needed
This gift, a magic carpet
Is flying o'er to you
With warmest wishes
from Leonie

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Gypsy's Tent

The thing about some choices is that you never know at the time just how important it will be in shaping your future. It is not until afterwards that you look back and see where the forks in the road were. At the time, you were just living your life.

Annemika could see her own life in the palm of her hand; a multitude of forks that split off into a decorative display of narrow, crooked and unsealed roads. Some of the roads crossed each other, and some of them seemed to peter out. Yet they were all connected, albeit in a disorderly and random fashion. Annemika imagined that if she removed just one of these forks then the whole pattern would change, and there would be a grand chasm symbolising an abrupt halt to the rapid continuation of events that had characterised her life.

Secretly, she believed her life was different to most. And this made it all seem worthwhile; important.

It was an unseasonably warm evening early in May when the dreaming took place. Days had turned from darkness to fresh, windows were flung open in the pale morning light, and the dampness and mildew that had gathered through colder months was unceremoniously stripped from the wintry corners of hibernation.

Annemika laid alone in her house, savouring the gentle whisper of mild breeze upon her skin, the scent of ocean in darkness and the sound of sea birds crying as they circled the land. She was busy in her mind, rearranging all those forks by reversing some of the choices that had created them. Funny, it was like a ‘choose your own adventure’ story and so far, she had created seven different endings (all of them happy, of course). Oh, there were many things in her life right now that she would change, if only she had the dare. Trouble was, Annemika felt more than a little footsore from travelling along so many unmade roads, and who could predict to which type of surface the next fork would lead? Annemika mused that what she needed was some guiding inspiration, or a prophetic crystal ball to grant her certainty that the next big change would lead to a perfectly straight, sealed road. And a wide road with plenty of space to overtake others that got in her way. She consoled herself by reflecting that Old Man Time would take care of it all.

By and by her thoughts drifted into haze, into the dreaming.

There in her life was a colourful gypsy boy dressed in natural fabric that fell loosely over golden skin. He reached out his hand and pulled Annemika close. As he did, a tenderness and warmth unfamiliar to Annemika’s tardy emotions flooded her to the point of vulnerability. So she stole herself from falling hopelessly into the arms of this enchanting boy who was beckoning upon her desires. She took a step back to look at the gypsy’s face, which formed a smile that lit up the dark sky. Then his eyes of deep, dark soul formed words unspoken:

‘That which traps me, I do not wish to explore. That which grants me freedom, I will return to ever more. But you must pay for your own brand of freedom with the price that loneliness asks.’

Having said this, the gypsy disappeared into a valley, blowing softly into a magical harp that had been carved from the wood of a timeless willow. Annemika followed the gypsy with her eyes, and looking down she noticed he had left his footprints behind. So she ran after him, calling ‘Wait, you’ve forgotten something.’ She knew it was a poor excuse to see him once more; to bid him a long farewell. In her pursuit she came across a May Pole that was adorned with bright ribbons blowing freely in the wind and the gypsy was there with all his gypsy friends. They stood around a fire, sipping rum and bitter gin. Then one by one they gathered to the May Pole in the earth, and there they stood in fours, poised to strike the dirt. Bare feet and dirty hair, not captured by the land; returning ever more to dance free – woman and man.

Annemika awoke from dream with a river of jumbled yet profound thoughts trickling through her head. But her inspiration was not complete. So she drifted back into the haze, into the dreaming.

Gypsy boy came forwards from a valley, with willow wood in hand. Once more he took her closely, and for a moment their hearts entwined. But all too soon it was over, and she was running away into the night. The footsteps came behind her, strong yet lightly-paced, and she looked around in terror to see the beautiful gypsy’s face. He pulled her short of breathless then standing abreast her perfect form he placed his covered foot ever so lightly alongside hers. And again his soft eyes spoke:

‘Look, our feet are the same size. Can we swap our shoes? And now please tell me, do you feel my mood?’

Walking beside the gypsy free, she was pleasantly overwhelmed with feelings of empathy for this complete stranger. In the gypsy’s shoes, she knew him. In the gypsy’s shoes, she humoured him. In the gypsy’s shoes, she laughed with him. And the words that did not need to be spoken formed a May Pole before her eyes, and there again were the freedom people, laughing and dancing high. In groups of four they skipped, twirling ribbons around the pole. Then effortlessly each person swapped places with the other in their pair and they danced in silent harmony wearing a different set of shoes.

Again Annemika awoke from dream with a blur of images running loose, but rolled back into sleep for return to those gypsies-free. So she drifted back into the haze, into the dreaming.

Once more the gypsy appeared as the kaleidoscope of her life, and there was no mistaking he was handsome with a bit of mongrel to his bite. Gypsy boy strolled towards her but then paused to look aside. His outstretched hand beckoned Annemika, and when their palms pressed against each other she lost her sight. Suddenly, the world became clearer to her and much brighter than when she could see. Again the gypsy’s eyes spoke:

‘Feeling is believing, so trust what warns you inside. Nobody is owned or possessed, only committed to others in kind.’

Like before the gypsy disappeared, but this time he waited for her to follow. Again they came across a May Pole, with ribbons flying high. Annemika gazed upon those wild people dancing a pattern throughout the night and she was warmed by the flame of their eternal fire. Then the dance pattern changed once more, as each gypsy left their partner’s side and swapped places to dance with another from a different pair. They danced awhile like this, taking pleasure in a new face and eventually they slowed down to a gentle, rhythmic pace. Soon they all became still, dropping peacefully to the ground and the beauty in their chaos echoed triumphantly throughout the land.

When Annemika looked more closely she saw what their dance had created. The coloured ribbons of the May Pole dangled ceremoniously, knotted together in an obscure way. It was a lasting symbol of their movements; a timeless, intricate blueprint. Without question or analysis it suddenly occurred to Annemika that the pattern on the May Pole was the same pattern that lay in her palm.

Gypsy boy then raised his head and spoke to her with his eyes:

‘We call this dance the Gypsy’s Tent. It results in a pattern that we describe as a complicated, open plait. Because our movements our random, it ends up in a colourful delight.’

The next unseasonably warm day, Annemika broke up with her boyfriend. The one after that, she resigned from her job. And the one after that, she packed up her house. The week following, she was on the road to another life. She glanced at her palm - more forks, more roads, yet many smooth patches still on her skin. The highway she was driving on met the horizon at a point not so far away. That is where she was headed.


Welcome, newcomers, to the Gypsy Camp. If you would like to have your birthday, anniversary or other special day celebrated here, just let Gail know the date and the Gypsies will organise a party.

You can get your tarot or I Ching reading for free at
or maybe you would prefer an old fashioned tea cup reading at Willa's place

There is an overview of the many tribes of gypsies here at
Make yourself at home!

Gail and Lavengro, Gypsy Chief

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Present from le Enchanteur

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Everyone needs a Spirit Servant Karen. You may have my magic lantern for today and have my spirit servant at your service. Happy Birthday!

For Karen

The gypsy camp has been transported to the Pavilion of Earthly Delights - lanterns are strung threough the trees, fire eaters and tighrope walkers thrill the onlookers on the green sward and in the Pavilion, Prince Adiguzel and his new Princess sit under a silken canopy with their guest of honour, Karen. As she shares a glass of champagne with them, a tall dark handsome man makes his way through the throng.
No, it is not the Sheik of Araby - it is Lavengro, Gypsy Chief, arriving by flying carpet to claim as his right the first dance with our special guest. He whisks her out onto the dance floor and the band strikes up a lively tune. Everyone stops to watch the couple on the dance floor.
Later in the evening we gather on the green sward outside the Pavilion to watch the fireworks and the gypsies put on a show of dancing and tumbling, a spectacular climax to a wonderful evening filled with light and love.

Monday, December 19, 2005


orginal artwork by aletta mes

Happy Birthday Karen

Wishing you a happy day, and much
happiness and joy in the year to come!

Divine Design

It was approximately ten days ago when I actually saw the subject of the following poem, and the simplistic beauty of it has stayed with me.

It was just a piece of bark,
once part of an aging and now fallen tree,
weather beaten, and almost crumbling,
but not quite.
It was dressed in lichen
as green as a mountain meadow,
and in its hollow center
someone had placed
a bunch of fragrant lavender.
What simplicity.
What divine design.

Vi Jones
©December 12, 2005

Yes, Happy Birthday, Karen


May all your birthdays bring you the best of all that you wish for yourself. Don't count the years so much as the experience of traveling the great adventure of life and the joys of love and friendship.


Happy Birthday Karen

Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Have a great day and a wonderful year. Fran

Sunday, December 18, 2005

An invitation to the Pavilion of Earthly Delights

The Prince goes to meet his bride

The Beauteous Pavaneh

The Pavilion of Earthly Delights

I have received a communication from Lavengro:

Dearest Travellers,

While you are adventuring on the Silk Road, we have not forgotten you, nor our sworn promise to celebrate your birthdays and anniversaries.
I have been in touch with my dear friend Prince Adiguzel, whose mother was a Gypsy dancer, like mine. The Prince will be celebrating his wedding to the beauteous Lady Parvaneh this month. This is a true love match and the Prince and Paveneh are very happy to share the occasion with Karen, who celebrates her birthday on the 23rd. Adiguzel has thrown open his palace and grounds to you, so please use your magic carpets to be at the Pavilion of Earthly Delights on December 23, where there will be dancing and feasting and much joy for our dear friends.
My cousins the Gypsies will also be there to entertain the guests with feats of daring such as fire eating and tightrope walking.
Le Enchanteur has kindly lent me a magic carpet so I may have the first dance with our own guest of honour – so I will see you there.
I hear the ladies have been to a ball with the Sheik of Araby. Beware of this man. No doubt he is charming, but his camels have more honour. I will not have him trifle with ladies of such quality.

Yours respectfully,

Gypsy Chief

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Single Again

I wish to thank all of you for helping the girls see the world a little differently. That adventure is coming to an end. 'quoise father, who owns this house is returning home from Iraq and we can't use it is a group home now. Jade is going to stay with her grandmother, who doesn't really want her, but is fairly kind. Coral has to go into the hospital for some extensive surgery (ongoing) and recuperation stay. I have registered as her 'minister' so that I can see her anytime. I can stay here at the house for a while as a "guest" and friend for 'quoise. I am thinking of going back to school for a masters in Project Management. No future in social work, especially with that Bush guy at the helm.

I am thinking of joining this "caravan" trip -- but not sure of the time investment just yet.