Von Tempus? Or Von Temptress?

Today is the last day of my birthmonth.

In fact, there's only a wee bit of time left.

Did I have fun on my birthday?

Glad you asked.

My friends, Shani and Chris, are jewelry artists who also construct armored outfits based on the theme of the warrior goddess.

They call it Metal Body Art.

January just so happens to be Shani’s birthmonth, too.

Shani asked me to celebrate with her by wearing one of her Metal Body Art creations to perform in a show at the MacCallum House alongside all of the other stunning goddesses.

She didn’t have to ask twice.

I give you Countess Von Tempus - time travelling thief and steampunk pirate extraordinaire.

Shani worked up this outfit just for me, complete with goggles, dagger, compass, skeleton key, and a nifty transmogrifier pistol that her dad made.

My magnificent mane is courtesy of Marianella over at Mantras in Mendocino. Try saying that three times fast.

Firewood, flammable gas, a committed miscreant, and a lit cigarette.

What could possiblay go wrong?

Not a thing!

Thank you, Chris and Shani!

And thank you to everyone who participated in the show to make this year's birthday one I'll always remember.


Not Cruel. Just Indifferent.

It bothers me that the wood I throw into my fire every day is home to countless living creatures. Beetles and worms and spiders and ferns…

A wood pile develops a complicated and delicate ecosystem capable of supporting all manner of life.

Take this little guy. Poor fellow. Sleeping all safe and sound under his log until - BAM!

His life is ruined by some stupid freak of evolution that doesn’t even have the good sense to grow a coat of fur when it gets cold, and has to burn up perfectly good homes of perfectly innocent creatures simply to stay warm.

And this tiny newt is one of the lucky ones. I can’t help but wonder how many of these little beauties I’ve burned alive in the course of trying to keep my (alleged) hippie cabin nice and toasty.

I wonder if, when they feel the vibrations of me dislodging their happy home from the wood pile, they burrow ever deeper into the cracks and crevices of the bark in the hopes of protecting themselves. I bet they do. Way to seal your doom, newts.

If you think about it, it really would be better if they were to do the opposite - it would be better if they were to run out into the light and confront their fate, consequences be damned. They would lose their home, but they would escape with their lives.

Before I toss a piece of wood into the fire, I bang the crap out of it to try and dislodge (and thereby save) any resident critters. Some do bail out. But some of these creatures have burrowed so deeply into the creases of knots and bark, I never even see them at all; I am completely unaware of their existence.

Some of these tiny beings have second thoughts once the log is in the stove, and they try to abandon ship once they begin to feel the heat of the flames. I have spent many breathless minutes trying to rescue spiders from a horrific death without setting either the cabin or myself on fire.

Still, the fact remains that I'm responsible for the demise of dozens of creatures every single day, and that I am completely oblivious to the very existence of many of them. This sobering idea brings me to one essential conclusion:

Nature is not cruel.

Nature is indifferent.

And when I play this conclusion out on a larger scale, it kind of boggles my mind.

Am I currently burrowed deeply into the crevice of my own log of wood, feeling snug and secure in my surroundings even as some unseen hand lifts my home and moves it towards flame and destruction?

Man, I hope whoever belongs to that hand has enough kindness in their heart to give my log a good bang on the bricks before they toss it in.


She Burns Madly.

My sister the sun
Marks beginnings
And ends.

(What a purty picture.)

In between
She burns bright and fierce.
She burns madly.

(This one here's purty, too.)

And after her beginnings

(The sky in this one is real purty.)

She ends.

(To the insensitive jerk who told me that my poetry is too sappy and "hippie-style" for his tastes: Yeah? Well, fuck you, buddy. How's that for hippie-style?)