Category Archives: Essays

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 26 March 2017

Another week, another Sunday. It was an emotionally exhausting week. I realized late on Friday that I have been holding my breath since November. Well, not literally of course. That’s not something I would recommend. But I have been holding my breath, figuratively, watching the world crumble with each executive order, congressional bill and lie that has gone unquestioned and unchallenged.

Some of us dodged a bullet this week. We, as in 24 million people still have healthcare; we, as in senior citizens, immigrants, the mentally ill, refugees, women, mothers, and those who hope to be. It was a tiny victory, but the battle rages on. While I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief, the world lost innocent souls to terror from radicals as well as from coalition forces. “Bombing the hell out of them…” as our fake president likes to boast, is not a sustainable nor advisable foreign policy, especially when innocent victims are part of the collateral damage of such actions. It only makes things worse.

I breathed on Friday. For the first time in months I didn’t feel helpless or hopeless. Resistance to this speeding runaway train is not futile. Still, those wielding power in the name of privilege, greed, hate and yes, even religion, will not let go of the reigns willingly. But they mustn’t win. It’s personal. It’s important that those who are suffering know that they matter. It’s important that they feel loved and that they know there is a seat at the table for them, for all of us. Because we’re in this together; because…Love is all. ❤

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 26 March 2017

what are your intentions?
it is the sweet things
heaven’s awaitin’
selling love over death
death disguised herself in fleeting sweetness
sometimes what you search most for
(is) first to root in frosted earth
breeze by, nose upturned,
they whisper in soft kisses
sleeping with me, then leaving,
what was it with these people
proving they are fools
especially one whose gentle nature informed her conscience early in life
Love is all



A shi sai or ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the shi sai features the words of one writer,providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week. 😊

Esoterica – Friday’s Word of the Day Haiku


Happy Friday. Today’s word of the day is Esoterica. But I couldn’t resist the word of the day for yesterday…Throttlebottom (Definition: a harmless incompetent in public office.)! What an awesome word. Oh how I wish we used these types of words today. How enjoyable the nightly news would be if our journalists embraced some of the other obscure, descriptive words featured as words of the day. I wish I had time to research each one. Here’s a sampling of the last week or so…

Breaking news from kat’s imagination: “Today was a most cimmerian day for the nation. The halls of congress were a-twitter with crocodilian calls for justice in response to the latest canard from our vaunting, throttlebottom of a president. Meanwhile the lotus-eaters were oscitant to this developing malfeasance.”

Even if the news is bad, at least it would be entertaining.

But back to our official word of the day, Esoterica. It is a noun that evolved from the Greek adjective esōterikós which means “belonging to the initiate, inner, esoteric” with a “distinguished history in ancient Greek philosophical systems (Pythagorian, Aristotelian, Stoic).” The English noun form is attributed to poet Ogden Nash who used the term in a 1930’s poem published in The New Yorker, referring to the obscenity trials over James Joyce’s Ulysses. It is defined as things understood  by or meant for a select few; recondite  matters or items.  Or curiosa (books,  pamphlets,  etc.,  dealing with unusual subjects, including books, pamphlets, etc., containing pornographic  literature or art; erotica).

I like this quote from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, “Life is a conundrum of esoterica”.  It literally means that life is a confusing and difficult problem, question or riddle, understood by or meant to be understood by a select few. I think it captures the meaning of esoterica perfectly!

Unless of course it is a skin cream. Esoterica the moisturizer promises to lighten dark (brownish) areas on the skin, such as freckles, age and liver spots and other skin conditions that result in localized high concentrations of melanin.

Or a Black/Heavy Metal music band called Esoterica from Pennsylvania…or the now disbanded UK Christian rap/West Coast hip-hop, Dance/Electric band called ESO for esOterica…or the name of a secret cult of humanoid characters, with access to alien technology, able to span dimensions, called the The Flame Keepers’ Circle in the gaming world’s story of Diagon. But I digress. 🙂

My job today is to come up with a haiku using today’s word of the day…Esoterica. Skin creams, Metal/Alertnative/Rock bands and video cult circles aside, I am mulling around the idea of applying estoterica to the current secretive nature of our government. With the added bonus of yesterday’s word, throttlebottom, you get a two-fer this week. Have a great weekend!

daft throttlebottoms
bellow esoterica
proving they are fools

kat ~ 24 March 2017

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 19 March 2017

Happy Sunday. Though I try to spin goodness and hope into my day to day I must acknowledge the fact that I am also a creature of my environment. I imagine that I am given a clean slate to write upon each morning, new in its graces, but it is not long before I realize how daunting that is. It is a balancing act on a fragile tight rope. It is exhausting. It’s impossible to blot out the never-ending stream of lunacy that bombards me even on the sunniest of mornings. Even if I try avoid all media and the cacophony of negative spin, lies and negative vibes, it is always there. Reality.

How does one rise above? How do I continue to press toward the light when I know that darkness is an inevitable end of each day. This week we turned our clocks forward to save the daylight, but the night still comes, cold, dark, sometimes scary, haunted by shadows that block streams of artificial light. Even the moon is a reflection. Try as I may I cannot hide from the darkness of the night any more than I can hide from the dark elements of reality.

But I’m still an optimist at heart. It’s there. The ugly. It will always be there. At the risk of appearing totally bonkers I still greet the blank slate I am given every morning with hope because beauty, goodness, love and truth are also realities in this crazy world of ours. They may be harder to find in the harsh light of day or hidden in the shadows of the night, but they’re there too. Today, every day, has great potential.

I leave you with this week’s Shi Sai and the paraphrased words of the Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to the frantic little man behind the curtain.”

Have a great week. Spring is almost here! 🌱🌸🌻🌸🌱
Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 19 March 2017

like breathy kisses
the old house was a writer
ever chasing the light
those who twist the truth
impossible to hear
it’s better this way
a fading memory
set in rock and sand
blossoms of love
from heaven’s vantage
stones etched mysteriously
eden softly dawning



A shi sai or ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the shi sai features the words of one writer,providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week. 😊

Smaragdine – Friday’s Word of the Day Haiku

Happy Friday. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!‘s perfect word for today is Smaragdine, which means of or relating to emeralds; emerald-green in color. Perfect right? It’s originated around 1350–1400 from the Middle English word smaragd that literally means “emerald” as well as Latin smaragdīnus and Greek smarágdinos, which are equivalent to smáragd(os).

Of course on a day like today I naturally think of my Irish heritage and my Chicago roots where the river through the city runs green every year. Here’s a little history about the river that I found on Wikipedia:

The tradition of dyeing the river green arose by accident when plumbers used fluorescein dye to trace sources of illegal pollution discharges. The dyeing of the river is still sponsored by the local plumbers union.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlawed the use of fluorescein for this purpose, since it was shown to be harmful to the river. The parade committee has since switched to a mix involving forty pounds of powdered vegetable dye. Though the committee closely guards the exact formula, they insist that it has been tested and verified safe for the environment. Furthermore, since the environmental organization Friends of the Chicago River believes the dye is probably not harmful, they do not oppose the practice.

In 2009 First Lady Michelle Obama, a Chicago native, requested that the White House fountains be dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Clearly that smaragdine river leaves quite an impression on us Chicago daughters!

An imaginative 17th century depiction of the Emerald Tablet from the work of Heinrich Khunrath, 1606.

I found one more cool reference to the word. It has to do with an ancient cryptic piece Hermetic lore called the the Smaragdine Tablet. It’s origin is a point of debate, with some scholars who believe it to be 1200 years old and others who claim that it is over 38,000 years old, chiseled into a smaragdine tablet by the gods. It has been associated with the philosopher’s stone, laboratory experimentation, phase transition, the alchemy and magic.

There is even a reference from the tablet in the Gnostic Gospels of Phillip and Thomas in the text “above and below” as much as “inside and outside.” You can read more HERE.

And there is even a modern reference to the tablet in the 2006 miniseries, “The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb”. If you have several hours to kill, you can spend some time researching this tablet. It’s definitely an interesting read if you like a good mystery.

Which brings me back to Chicago and the green river and St. Paddy’s Day. Trust me it does….take me back, that is. When I was a girl I always believed that it was the magic of leprechauns who turned the river green.

We all need a bit of magic and mystery every now and again so we don’t take ourselves and the crazy realities of the world too seriously. I think I understand why Mrs. Obama asked for that green fountain on March 17th. I find myself googling Chicago every year to see the green river. As crazy weird and mysterious as it is, it gives me comfort and memories of home…and of course Spring! 

Sláinte ~ kat

smaragdine rivers,
stones etched mysteriously
greening is magic

kat – 17 March 2017

Twittering Tales #21 – 14 March 2017


If you accept the challenge, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale.

A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. Have Fun!


Twittering Tales #20 – The Round Up

You all wrote some fantastic tales for last week’s photo prompt. Here’s the line up! This week we had break ups and break downs, alien invasions, loss, desperation, intrigue, mystery, art…oh the drama! Thanks everyone for having such a good time with this one. Hope to see you next week! 🙂


Gayl at Gayl Wright-Words, Photos and Art wrote:

Trust Betrayed
Tired of his shallow, twisted excuses, she became angry.
Hurling the goblet to the floor she screamed,
“Go! I never want to see you again!”
(139 characters)

Broken but Determined
Like this broken glass
A marriage had been shattered

He chose another

Not to be kept down
She worked hard for their children
Filling in the gaps
(139 characters)

Michael at Morpethroad wrote:

I carried it around the world, through every customs place imaginable, and as fate would have it, I dropped it out of the box at home. Ugh!
(139 Characters)

Kathryn at Another Foodie Blogger wrote:

She held her wrist inches above the glass. “God, please someone help me!” she pleaded. The door opened slowly, as tears streamed down. “Mom?”
(141 Characters)

Lorraine at 25 Words, More or Less wrote:

She is like a broken wine glass; the stem remains, but her mind, the bowl, is gone.
(84 characters)

Jane at Jane Dougherty Writes wrote:

The reception committee paused, champagne untasted, as the aliens munched through their coupes before starting on the silver cake stands.
(137 Characters)

Di at Pensitivity101 wrote:

‘Darling, you know I can’t attend these dos without a glass in my hand!’
‘Does it have to be full? Hang on, I have the perfect solution.’
(136 characters)

Francine at Woman Walking Max wrote:

Romantic dinner, I’m the only one for you? Liar. Your turn to hurt now. Cheers
(79 Characters)

Sudha at SriSudhaK wrote:

Wow geeta! You sketched it with perfection. I must say,”Amazing 3d art dear..!” And here goes my caption “A bit of optimism -Last hope”
(135 Characters)

Reena at ReInventuions wrote:

Jim was the container to hold her joy in life. He disappeared. The base was intact. She just had to drill a hole, for happiness to re-enter.
(140 Characters)

Irena at Books and Hot Tea wrote:

“It’s done. You broke it,” she wept. 

The tone of her voice hit him like a punch. It sounded like she wasn’t talking about the glass anymore.
(140 characters)

Peter at Peter’s Ponderings wrote:

The magic flute was no more.
It had refilled itself with champagne for the last time.
Paula had savoured, slurped, then sloshed.
Both smashed!
(140 characters)

Kirst at Kirst Writes wrote:

You’re late. Again.
I’m here now. Happy anniversary.
She could smell cheap perfume. As he leaned towards her, she hurled the champagne flute.
(139 characters)

John at Broadsides wrote:

There are no fingerprints. It is washed. There are slivers still in the flesh of his throat, He cannot, they cannot, say who struck the blow.
(141 Characters)

and I started everyone off with this…

“I will never forgive you!” she cried. “It was my grandma’s.”
“I’m so sorry,” he lamented. He knew she wasn’t crying about a broken glass.
(138 Characters)


Twittering Tales #21 – 14 March 2016

First off, WHAT IS THIS? Haha! Just kidding. I love antiques. But I must admit, I remember plunking on a modern version of one of these. And then I remember getting really excited when they became electrified. Of course many were over the moon over word processing machines…not quite a computer…where you typed on a keyboard and the words showed on a tiny screen instead of paper. No more carbon paper to make copies or chalky correction tape, no more messy typewriter ribbons. It was fabulous. My, my how far we have come. Anyhow, I like this photo because there is a bit of text on the paper in the typewriter. Your challenge…if you like…write a tale that continues the line typed on the paper. Or just let yourself go like I did and write what first pops into your head. Words, words, words swirling around in our heads…whatever shall we do with them! Have Fun! 🙂


Photo from

The former owner of the old house was a writer. Ten years after his death he finished his novel. The author’s name? Ghostwriter, of course!

(139 Characters)



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