The Cavalier’s Escape Salisbury, Wiltshire

by Walter Thornbury

Trample! Trample ! went the roan,
Trap! Trap! went the gray;
But Pad ! Pad ! Pad! like a thing that was mad,
My chestnut broke away.
It was just five miles from Salisbury town,
And but one hour to day

Thud! Thud! came on the heavy roan,
Rap! rap the mettled gray;
But my chestnut mare was of blood so rare,
That she showed them all the way.
Spur on! spur on!- I doffed my hat,
And wished them all good-day.

The splashed through miry rut and pool,-
Splintered through fence and rail,
But chestnut Kate switched over the gate,-
I saw them droop and tail
To Salisbury town-but a miles of down,
Once over this brook and rail.

Trap! Trap! I heard their echoing hoofs
Past the walls of mossy stone,
The roan flew on at a staggering pace,
But blood is better than bone.
I patted old Kate and gave her the spur,
For I knew it was all my own.

But trample! trample! came their steeds,
And I saw their wolf’s eyes burn,
I felt like a royal hart at bay,
And made me ready to turn.
I looked where highest grew the May,
And deepest arched the fern.

I flew at the first knave’s sallow throat,
One blow, and he was down.
The second rogue fired twice, and missed,
I sliced the villain’s crown,-
Clove through the rest- and flogged brave Kate,
Fast, fast to Salisbury town !

Pad! pad! they came on the level sward,
Thud! thud! upon the sand,-
With a gleam of swords and a burning match,
And a shaking of flag and hand;
But one long bound and I passed the gate,
Safe from the canting band.

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Avant Charlie Hebdo- Le flashmob des Prodiges

It’s official. Miracles still happen amidst the fray. Check this out:

Only in France ?


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Odes for the Angels

Blessings from above often come in the form of angels from on high so I thought I’d take a moment to honor those who have been instrumental in turning my tides, towing me here and there, saving my skin and giving me the right words at exactly the right moment. Praise God for angels! What would we do without them? – The Castle Lady

angels_fiddlingAngels encourage us by guiding us onto a path that will lead to happiness and hope.
– Andy Lakey, artist

where e’er we go
attend our steps
whatever betide.
With watchful care their charge defend
and evil turn aside.

– Charles Wesley

Ideas sAngel voices,
ever singing round thy throne of light,
angel harps forever ringing,
rest not day or night,
thousands only live to bless thee,
and confess thee, Lord of might !
-Unknown poet

The best Jazz sounds like angels laughter. – Evelyn Wallace


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Florinda and Yoringal

456560A Bros. Grimm fairy tale has typical elements of castles, witches and magic spells but quite a few, in the original German, were much darker and gruesome than would have been considered appropriate for children in the past or even in the present! A new anthology was published last year by Princeton University Press, freshly translated by Jack Zipes from the original text and is packed with these raw tales. This comprehensive book will definitely appeal to adult readers hooked on reading fairy tales or watching them on T.V.   (i.e. ABC’s Once upon a Time or Into the Woods) .

9780867888317In comparing the stories in this new book with one of my old books which is nicely illustrated by Annie-Claude Martin, I noticed these very anomalies have an honestly ribald nature much like thrillers of today. I decided to put this tale up because I thought it was particularly unique, as Grimm’s tales go, keeping in mind the appropriateness for adult and child alike. My title uses the names given for the main characters from my old book but in the Zipes’ version the names are Jorinda and Jorginel and starts on p. 127…

Once upon a time there was an old castle in the middle of a great, dense forest. An old woman lived there all by herself; and she was a powerful sorceress. During the day she turned herself into a cat or a night owl but in the evening she would return to her normal human form. She had the ability to lure game and birds, which she would slaughter and then cook or roast. If any man came within a hundred steps of the castle, she would cast a spell over him, so that he wouldn’t be able to move from the spot until she broke the spell. If an innocent maiden came within her magic circle, she would change her into a bird and stuff her into a wicker basket. Then she would carry the basket up to a room in her castle where she had well over seven thousand baskets with rare birds of this kind.
Now, once there was a maiden named Jorinda, who was more beautiful than any other maiden in the kingdom. She was betrothed to a handsome youth named Joringel. During the time before their marriage, they took great pleasure in each other’s company. One day they went for a walk in the forest so they could be alone and talk intimately with one another.
“Be careful,” Joringel said, “that you don’t go too close to the castle.”
At dusk the sun shone brightly through the tree trunks and cast its light on the dark green of the forest. The turtledoves were singing mournfully in the old beech trees and at times Jorinda wept. Then she sat down in the sunshine and sighed and Joringel sighed too. They became very sad as if they were doomed to die and when they looked around them they became confused and didn’t know how to get home. The sun was still shining half above and half behind the mountains. When Joringel looked through the bushes and saw the wall of the old castle not very far away, he became so alarmed that he was nearly frightened to death, while Jorinda sang:

“Oh, my bird, with your ring of red,
sitting and singing your tale of woe!
You tell us now that the poor dove is dead.
You sing your tale of woe- oh-oh, oh-oh !”

Just then, as Joringel looked at Jorinda, she was turned into a nightingale singing “oh-oh, oh-oh!”
A night owl with glowing eyes flew around her three times and each time it cried, “To-whoo ! To-whoo! To-whoo!”
Witch_YoringalJoringel couldn’t budge. He stood there like a stone unable to weep, to talk or to move hand or foot. When the sun was about to set, the owl flew into a bush and then immediately returned as a haggard old woman, yellow and scrawny, with large red eyes and a crooked nose that almost touched her chin with its tip. She muttered something to herself, caught the nightingale and carried it away in her hand. Joringel was still unable to speak nor could he move from the spot. The nightingale was gone. Soon the woman came back and said with a muffled voice, “Greetings, Zachiel. When the moon shines into the basket, let him loose, Zachiel, just at the right moment.”
Then, Joringel was set free and he fell on his knees before the woman and begged her to give Jorinda back to him but she said he would never get her back again and went away. Joringel shouted. He wept, he moaned, but it was all in vain. “Oh, now what’s to become of me ?”
Joringel went off and eventually came to a strange village, where he tended sheep for a long time. He often went around and around the castle and always kept his distance. Finally, he dreamed one night that he had found a flower as red as blood and in the middle of it was a pearl. He plucked the flower and went with it to the castle: everything that he touched with the flower was released from the magic spell. He also dreamed that he managed to regain his Jorinda with the flower.
When he awoke the next morning, he began searching all over the mountains and valleys for the flower in his dream. He searched for nine days and early on the ninth day he found a flower as red as blood. In its middle was a large dewdrop as big as the finest pearl. He carried this flower day and night until he reached the castle. When he came to within a hundred steps of the castle, he didn’t become spellbound but was able to get to the gate. Overjoyed by that, Joringel touched the gate with the flower and it sprang open. So he entered, crossed the courtyard and listened for the sound of birds. WitchFinally, he heard them and went toward the room where the sorceress was feeding the birds in their seven thousand baskets. When she saw Joringel, she became angry, very angry. She began berating him and spitting poison and gall at him, but she could only come within two feet of him and he paid no attention to her. Instead, he went and examined the baskets with the birds. Since there were hundreds of nightingales, he didn’t know how he’d be able to find his Jorinda again. While he was examining the baskets, he noticed that the old woman had stealthily picked up one of them and was heading toward the door. Quick as a flash he ran over and touched the basket with the flower and immediately thereafter, he touched the old woman as well. Now she could no longer use her magic and consequently Jorinda appeared before him. She threw her arms around his neck and was just as beautiful as before. After Joringel had turned all the other birds into young women, he went home with his Jorinda and they lived together in happiness for a long time.

On the wings of doves everywhere,

King of the Jews ~ Holy One of IsraelThe Castle Lady

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The following poem was written by my good friend and fellow poet Leona. We met Mom'sDayon the internet when Microsoft had their own blog forum which was called Live Spaces. Eventually we exchanged books- my book of poetry Seasons of the Heart and hers, titled: Out of the Starting Gate. We have been the best of cyber pals ever since. We have very different backgrounds and are distinctly different types of people but the wonderful aspect of our association is that we share a love of writing and poetry in total equality and enjoyment. I am presenting this gem of Leona’s in honor of mothers everywhere. Here’s to a wonderful abiding friendship through thick and thin:


I have stood the test of time.

Once I lived a life of beauty,
sunrises excited me, sunsets comforted me.
Each morning I rose to greet a new day,
with outstretched arms reaching for heaven,
giving thanks to God for my magnificence.

I have survived through season after season.
Hence, ravages of weather brand every inch of my being,
neglect hastened my demise,

ignorance imprisons me.
Yet I stand, with outstretched arms reaching for heaven,
giving thanks to God for my endurance.

Mothers_Spec_DayStill I stand, though forgotten abused and forlorn
waiting to once again greet the sunrise,
to slumber peacefully in the sunset,
to serve a purpose other than despair,
with outstretched arms reaching for heaven,
giving thanks to God for my redemption.

August 3, 2012  © by Leona G. Shankle

Mothers_Day_15 from

The Castle Lady

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It’s a KO !

Run_4_RosesIt’s that time of year again. The Kentucky Derby is in full swing. Josh Groban just finished singing The Star Spangled Banner and this year It’s a Knockout is in the running to win along with American Pharaoh who is on the top of the leader board and OchoOchoOcho also is looking pretty good out there !


Kentucky Derby_2 If it’s not possible for you to be anywhere near Churchill Downs to watch the race today you have a little bit of time to get on the telly and put in your bets and watch !

    Good luck all !  



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Earth is Full of His Glory

Butterfly_I_12Today is coming to a close but I wanted to post something even though the real celebration of Earth Day is just getting out there and enjoying it. As much as humans may be in error in how we treat our home and even each other there is just something so exquisite about a celebration for our day that I cannot quite express.

Pass the garden hose, okay ?


“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” II Corinthians 4:7


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Kissing a Shadow

I seldom explain my poetry, if ever, but I wanted to mention that many poems are spiritual events expressed in a physical world. We are not beyond communicating with the spiritual world because we house a spirit within ourselves. The languages we speak are vastly different, however. Inspiration was a recent dream.The Castle Lady

by Evelyn M. Wallace
mind clouds framed in fear
grasping, but spun out of control
landed in a spray of tears
spluttering and then
gone…down a putting hole

a curio shop in my head buzzes with activity
she asked, what was the theme
awake now and retrograde emotion
momentum eternal it cannot be
we’re separate, together, forever

riding waves of elation now spring
go out and come in measuring
take courage in the shape of a sad smile
stay awhile…

it hurts
kissing a shadow.

All rights reserved by author
March 18, 2015

The Castle Lady

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Wellness = Nutrition + Exercise

kitchen-kuchenBy now you have probably read more than a hundred articles on proper nutrition and diets if you have been online for more than a few years and you follow the health and wellness trends with any amount of fervor. There is almost too much information available and it is impossible to tell which are fads, fiction and downright misinformation versus plain and simple facts. This is why I tend to stick to the tried and true nutritional knowledge that I have acquired through my years of earnestly trying to get and stay healthy rather than simply focus on weight and how I look in a mirror. It’s not only that I think diet and fashionable trends are a bane to the public but sometimes true health just boils down to how you’re feeling rather than how you look. You have to acquire maturity to approach this subject with any amount of success so I’m not going to apologize for what I’m about to write.
espedadaWhen it comes to drastic measures concerning getting control over your weight I still hold to some of the philosophies of Hippocrates. Why ? Because I know they work and that these things are true. He said, “Walking is a man’s best medicine.” I find that to be especially true. That’s why I walk every morning without fail- rain, snow or shine. Some dynamic processes happen, when you walk as regular exercise, that cannot be effected by any other means. I guarantee that if every person on the planet walked to and from work everyday instead of driving they would have to stop manufacturing blood pressure medications. Matter of fact they would probably give up trying to sell antacids and aspirin, as well. We might even put doctors out of business. Hippocrates’ philosophies are as old as the hills but they’ve stood the test of time.
Food52He also said, “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” If that sounds strange to you it soon won’t because people are really starting to get into this branch of nutrition and holistic medicine and are seeing results that they don’t get when they head for the doctor and come away with pills that have more side effects than benefits. One sure way to start using your pantry as a medicine cabinet instead of the actual medicine cabinet is to start studying vitamins. Get a good book or chart on the vitamins from A to Z and look for something that will tell you how to prepare the foods which contain the specific vitamins for maximum absorption, the food sources, the health benefits of each and maybe even information on deficiency symptoms. If you are truly into getting as healthy as you can, the book will become your second bible !
frenchfriesAre fried foods really bad for you ? It depends on what you fry them in, how much you are actually eating and then how your body absorbs them. Is it fattening to eat desserts ? If you make a habit of rewarding good habits by overindulging in carbohydrates you will definitely gain weight. Perhaps dessert can be relegated to special occasions when separated from full meals. Otherwise, don’t make a habit of dessert eating. I adore tiramisu. I have one serving about twice a year or when I wear jewelry.

For many years now traditional doctors have been prescribing iron supplements to people who they say are suffering from anemia but that’s only helpful if the person has an iron deficiency. There are many types of anemia and the fastest way to correct oxygen-carrying deficiency in blood, often the red blood cells, is to increase the general volume of blood content. It’s not a cure but a way of sustaining what can otherwise be fatal if untreated. Anemia often starts with severe blood loss either by trauma or perhaps internal bleeding. Amenorrhea can be a symptom of anemia. Other causes may require increases in liver intake, B 12 or folic acid therapy (the two latter vitamins being interdependent in the case of pernicious anemia) and high protein diets are usually precedent in cases of decreased blood formation anemia because leucocytes (white blood cells) are an important factor as well. Back in the 1970s Russian doctors were giving pangamic acid ( B 15) to retarded children because they believed that it increased blood oxygen supply to brain tissues. Apparently, they were seeing serious good results and yet B 15 is not even mentioned in our books!
Shrimp_cocktailMost people would tell you if you have a banana with milk at night you’re going to become extremely fat but as a matter of fact it may increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep and both are loaded with nutrients which stave off heart attacks, diabetes, depression and even migraines! Once you get into nutrition and healthy eating, being model thin pales by comparison to the robust health you’ll enjoy. Proper diet and exercise as a way of life promotes a special type of beauty all it’s own and you’ll be glad you took the time to be good to yourself. After all, you’re the only one of you we have !
CastleCake_Bundt_basicI read a newsletter recently that honey has a natural constituent in it which, it turns out, compares to Penicillin A. If you check this out on the internet you’ll get conflicting stories some of which are suspicious that bees are being fed antibiotics from the hive. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. I can tell you that being ultra sensitive to antibiotics, myself, honey has never caused me any problems and I don’t usually go without honey at least once a day. I have heard the reports for many years now that to combat allergies and common colds there is nothing better than tea with lemon and honey and I feel that this is correct because I’ve proved it to myself time and time again. One drawback is that you cannot give honey- at all- to newborn infants but they already have their immune systems in overdrive, anyway. Mom’s milk is all they need for the first few weeks of their life which should tell you something about the nutritional properties of milk. Later on in childhood, milk supplies Vitamin A, B-6, B-12, Riboflavin, D, potassium, magnesium and protein.
castlesmorgasNutrition may be more of a study in health and it’s always best when brought down to wholesome ingredients and educating yourself but exercise in any form will create a balance of health which can’t be beat. However you come to adopt a program of regular physical exertion, make sure that you don’t neglect it. Exercise is the most important part of your personal health program and it’s as easy as putting on walking shoes and going for a mind-clearing walk. Go for it !


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Eighteenth Century Poetry

Disney_CastleTo other themes my fancy now inclines,
Thoughts of the by-gone years, the olden times,
When the strong castle in its lofty pride
Frowned o’er the sleeping woods that stretched beside;
Here the fierce Conqueror from his victory came,

Here Royalty, with all its glittering train
Of courtly knights and dames of noble race,
Graced the fair banquet or pursued the chase

by Sarah Littleboy, a Berkhamsted Quaker

Castle_ChildatHeart-640The Castle Lady

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