Like China

And like China, my snowy angel,

You can hold copious amount of tea,

Retain warmth, yet parts remain cold

and if you smash you’re a bitch to get out of the carpet.

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Thorns of China, Sword of Bronze

Oh! My snowy girl we are china and bronze!

You! Oh you are china, brittle, cold, fragile and sharp and painful,

When you shatter you make me bleed, despite my bronze armour.

Your white splinters, your jagged shards slip under my metal,

dig into my flesh and draw lines of rose scented heart blood

My bronze armour, sword and shield, do nothing against your thorns of china,

your delicate, cold nature

your sharp and fractured soul.

 

China and Bronze

Your fingers, china against bronze thighs,

Your gasp, a ribbon of silver in the dark.

The arch of your back, sacred as church windows.

Your eyes, soft, drinking in light,

Your shudder, the trembling of a May bloom

The scent of your hair, smoky and cold as the night.

I blink, a dream, a vision of what could be and sigh

return to my empty bed.

 

My Skin, Your Strength

Darling, my snowy girl,

Your skin is so fragile, wrapped in white powder and ribboned with scars,

I would trade my skin for yours, wrap you in my gold flesh, it is thick and strong

It will protect you when your salt and pain storms rain upon your mind,

Keep you warm when the cold of your loss turns your blood to frozen mud.

When the winds of fear blow through your silvery hair, and turn your earth eyes to stone

my skin will chase the fear away and keep you safe.

When your fingers itch for flame and leaf, my skin will push the awful anguish away,

fill you with knowledge instead of empty fumes.

Just let me, let me wrap you in the armour of my body,

I will save you.

But you won’t let me , you will turn to him or him or him or the leaf, the blade or worse

and never me,

you know I could save you,

and so you will never let me in.

So miserably happy in your self-annihilation,

your artful and grey demise

I say again and again “I will save you” and you laugh from on high.

I peel off my skin, lay it at your feet, I am bleeding “Take it, Take it, be safe.”

You shake your head, “Bleed and and I will burn instead.”

I take the flame into myself, try to understand,

you wear the smoke like a grey shroud and I scream as I burn.

You wrap yourself in leaves, in smoke and weak boy-flesh,

I will save you, save you, save you…

Damn you, SAVE YOURSELF.

Darling, my snowy girl,

Warm your blood, cast aside the flesh of others, and rise plated in marble

Turn from the leaf, the flame, break the blade on your granite wrist

Sew my flesh back to my body, help me keep my heart in line

help me when I am bleeding

and your strength will come soon behind.

Fight Terrorism with Compassion

Controversial topic, but we can all fight terrorism.

The Belgian attacks, the Paris attacks are not the worst of what terrorism has done, there are many other third world and developing countries who have suffered equally if not more so devastating attacks. The media ,and I believe the government, have downplayed these attacks, there are no filters on Facebook for Bamako, Mali-20 dead, on November 20th, Istanbul, January 12th -13 dead and on March 19th-4 dead along with many more that happened in the wake of Paris and have been largely under-reported because they are countries that are not necessarily large global economic contributors, and therefore deemed not as important. I do not mean to downplay the horrors of Brussels or Paris, but, terrorism must be pulled up by the roots, it cannot be fought from the top down, which means stopping extremist groups gaining footholds in lesser developed countries and just as ardently defending LEDCs as we do MEDCs and EU countries would be a good way to start. And no, this doesn’t mean a token gesture of sending some planes to bomb Syria.
Also, many of the right-wing and Out of Europe campaigners have been and will use the high-profile attacks to scaremonger and convince the public that these attacks prove that we need “more control over our borders” and that “national security is weaker if we stay in the EU”. I say no, terrorism is not just a national threat it is a global threat, we cannot beat it by closing ourselves off, closing our borders. We must continue to utilise our intelligence correspondences and exchanges with other EU countries and continue to coordinate with them to tackle terrorism on an international level. If we leave the EU we will not be safer, we will just have made it even more difficult to exchange information and fight terrorism on the ground. If our  British intelligence agencies are so much more superior to others in the EU as many right-wing and Out campaigners have said, isn’t that more of a reason to stay and help? Unity and co-operation when facing such a hydra-like threat is vital to our security. If history has taught us anything it is that building a wall between one country and others never ends well, countries need unity, in an increasingly interconnected world and globalization linked economy we must all help each other. Do not let anyone tell you we are safer alone, do not let anyone tell you Muslims or any other religious or ethnic minority is to blame, we must stand together and not allow narrow-minded xenophobia and Islamiphobia to cloud our county’s conscience.
So therefore, I will not say, je suis Charlie, remember Belgium, remember France, though these are all important and tragic events, I will say remember democracy, remember humanity and above all remember UNITY. Because united internationally and in our own communities, we will beat extremism and we will help ensure that no young Muslim who has felt ostracised by their community because of right-wing and nationalist scaremongering will ever feel the need to turn to jihad-ism as a way to feel accepted. Every single one of us has the power to help stop terrorism, by turning and facing these tragedies with compassion, love and respect, by accepting others and remembering that we are one race, one species, one community.
Blessed be.

Review of a Court Of Thorns and Roses- By Sarah J Maas

There is boring characters, a vague feeling of sexual violence-but the second half is deliciously nasty and clever and the imagery throughout is stunning!

The plot; Human girl accidentally kills a fairy and as punishment is made to live in the beautiful Spring Court with a beautiful High Fae Lord…what a punishment.

The first half seemed completely not plausible, her “punishment” and the way she is accepted into the fairy world is rushed and feels off-kilter with the wrathful first meeting between main character Freryee ,or however you pronounce her name, and love interest Tamlin.

Main character Freyrealls (idk) is a poor put-upon gal, and her self-pity chokes me, she didn’t need to give a narrative on her problems because we see them. I feel sorry for her when we  meet her selfish and nasty sisters and her lame (no pun intended) dad who serves no purpose, so her inner monologue comes across as bitter and as far as the plot goes, useless. FYI the mercenary she meets in the town for half a page seems more interesting than Feyre and Tamlin do combined in the entire book.

Speaking of, lover boy is handsome, but wears a mask and turns into a beast when he wants to, therein lies the whole point of a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast being shattered into pieces. The explanation of why it would be difficult for Freye to fall in love with Tamlin is, while clever, delivered in a monologue (bad exposition here) and does not restore any of the core feelings that makes Beauty and the Beast such a beautiful story. the lack of superficial and shallow values and the challenges of his bad temper, though Tamlin isn’t perfect-I’ll get to that.

Feyre is pretty damn boring, though I can’t help but sympathise with her at the beginning due to her truly shitty life and desperation to protect her family. Also, the way she views the world is beautiful. BTW she is not a virgin yet the way her encounters are described with Tamlin make me feel like she was a closeted nun, she literally swoons and goes weak at the knees and while some find this romantic I find it unrealistic and quite frankly stupid, I mean for god’s sake he says her name and she finds it difficult to breathe, this kills any sexual tension, though the sex scenes are quite sweet is a bit try-hard (ha-ha)

It is a beautiful book however, set in the perfect Spring Court and described by artistically-minded Feyre there are parts where I can practically smell daffodils and bluebells and feel grass beneath my hands. Lucien, snarky side-kick is also an asset, he’s sometimes nasty sometimes hilarious and sensitive (he throws up when he sees a mangled fairy.) His back story is also really heart-breaking and interesting, despite the shameless fridging of his former love, a technique used all too often by Maas. (Fridging=using a woman’s death/pain to cause someone-usually a male-angst and further their character development for those who didn’t know.)   Also, the second half of the book was amazing, we see grit and gore and nastiness. The evil queen has a sad and interesting back-story which reveals Tamlin to be a bit of an asshole and she is genuinely creepy and just..well evil. I also love how we see Feyre become resourceful, tough and single-minded in rescuing Tamlin (nice change from him holding her “captive”) She deals with emotionally and physically damaging things in a realistic yet strong way and she becomes not boring and instead, pretty damn badass. though she does lapse back into annoying self-pity again, becoming listless at points which, while understandable-is really irritating. I  liked the links with the Ballad of Tamlin, I thought the name was just picked out of mythology randomly but I liked how at the end it became more a retelling of Tamlin than Beauty and the Beast, which to be honest would have made for a better story.

I  didn’t like parts of how Tamlin was portrayed, there’s a bit wild and then there’s borderline crazy, did anyone cringe slightly at his rough encounter with Feyre after the Fire Night festival when he essentially told her to lock herself in her room or he would lose self-control and rape her?-not chill- which btw, the Fire Festival felt a little awkward anyway as it just seemed to be pimping out Tamlin more than he needed since up until that point Feyre had me convinced he was the most desirable man to have ever lived…even if he was boring and we never see the scary- High fay powers that are alluded to and Feyre seems almost constantly afraid of Tamlin or awed, both not very healthy. The book dithered the line between soft erotica and YA at some points and that just made the steamy-and kinda rushed- scenes seem out of place. Also, in the second half Feyre is drugged, painted and dressed in sexy clothing by a creepy mind-rape guy who she makes a deal with to spend a week out of every month with so that he fixes her messed up arm and saves her life. Also, Feyre was totally kicking butt but the second she makes the deal she relies on him and he saves her during one of her tasks. (Serious hunger Games shit kicks off at one point) Is that okay? No! Also, the bargain they made is literally branded on to her, along with a creepy eye that Mr Mind Rape can use to see her and can hear her thoughts…yeah. When we get an explanation for why Mr Creep does this, it’s flimsy and the whole dynamic feels unnecessary and objectifying in a way that I genuinely found uncomfortable to read, I was getting quite angry reading it and I’m not a feminazi that tries to find demeaning messages about women everywhere, but it was there-in black and white and I.DID.NOT.LIKE.IT.It was definitely a far cry from Aelin who was hardly ever unnecessarily objectified despite being gorgeous, though to be fair she would probably gut anyone that tried.

I do have high hopes for the next book, something (spoilers) happens to Feyre that makes me think she will become an equal and be able to hold her own next to Tamlin and creepy mind-rape man (PLEASE NO LOVE TRIANGLE NO)
It was an engaging book, I just hold Ms Maas to the standard of her beautiful Sardothien work, if this book was by anyone else I would be raving about it everywhere.
Finally, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CAN I PLEASE HAVE SOME GAY CHARACTERS- NOT TOKEN ONES THRONE IN LIKE IN HEIR OF FIRE!

BTW-It’s set in the same universe as Throne of Glass, Maas said you could open a portal between their worlds hence the similarities.

In summary- read it but Throne of Glass series is much better.

Harsh and Gentle

Ah, my winter, summer girl

skin a sheet of ice and hands even colder

Eyes, my your eyes are warm and red-brown, like summer earth.

Your mouth, rose-bud pink, cracked like tree bark

Your scent, smoke and flowers, harsh and gentle.

You, in my life, harsh because you’ll never be mine

Gentle because I do not mind.

As long as you are there, my beautiful winter, summer girl.

I do not care if you will never be mine,

just as long as I can look upon you and smell your harsh, gentle skin.