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Little Red Riding Caps

Little red riding caps,
sitting in a row,
waiting for the unsuspecting forager

Entering a foreign body,
alimentary tract journey
releasing tiny particles into the bloodstream
travelling to the brain,
sending it on a trip, hallucinatory.

New luminescent pearl, swirling colour air, and purple trees uprooting,
walking or skipping over an orange meadow,
larks swooping low in lovely magenta plumage,
warbling out a greeting, in foreign bird language,
we can understand it if we try.

All the animals can now speak,
and we can converse with them
what stories the parrots can tell us, in their bright green feathers
sitting on our shoulders, murmuring in our ears,
secrets and lies, from their old pirate masters.

Ships overturning and coming back upright,
but never the same, once they’ve “rolled over”.
Like your pet dog red rover,
once he’s “come over”.

Ships encased in glass bottles, releasing their life forms
souls of their dead masters, who went down with the ship.

Treasures of gold buried on shores of sand islands,
emerge from the strand, return and float, airborne,
dead masters receive them,
in turning, tumultuous vortices.

“We’ve booty aplenty, but no more red mushrooms,”
“They’ll kill you, they will, sure as my name’s Jack”
“Send you to heaven or hell, depending, on your inclination, or preference, really”
“Choose now quickly, before the trip starts, no confusion that way, the devil won’t rake you, if you’re bound and determined for heaven .”

We found our man Jack, inhabiting our prize vessel,
sitting the mantle, of derelict mansion,
waiting for aeons to pass till release.
Beware of opening the cork of glass bottles,
messages inside, or whole ships sucked in,
spirits of loyal captains, forever preserved,
The sea loses nothing, they say in old wives tales,
but send us on voyages, circumnavigating the planet.

Which shore would you choose, to make your home on?
It’s a devil’s crap game, no matter which one.

Sea monsters inhabit the oceans below us,
and crawl into our brains, if the sea wants us.
Beware of the ocean, it’s sirens will lure you,
And little red riding caps, will cross oceans,
To claim you.

Writing by Regina Stemberger
Photo “Mushroom?” by Oslo In The Summertime

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