Mutagenic Environment

Almost complete vessel, recovered
after light-years covered adrift
now in tow, station bound;

Your assignment, meanwhile:
Check lab and horticultural compartment.

Doors hissing apart under your hands, gloved
– mist hitting your face, stale nutrient aerosol,
tasting bitter even through filters;
waving it aside you see a bizarre, misshapen sea of green,
a greenhouse imploded into itself and re-grown into nightmare horrors;
movement, you think, you’ve seen movement
snaking coils of tendrils, their adhesive feet tasting, sampling dented walls,
stirring against the lazy flow of recycled air,
bulbous monstrosities swaying, SNIFFING

you check the radiation level records: too high, been too high for too long,
how many decades has the ship been orbiting that spinning neutron star?

– and OH GOD HAVE THEY ALWAYS HAD HANDS?

foliage claws reach for you, straining
against the resistance of twisted umbilical cords,
perversions no longer worthy the label of vines;
thrashing like hellhounds against chains holding them
within an inch of your life

you tumble backwards, gravity generators as unsteady as your pulse

and they follow you into the hallway, will always follow you, that much you know,
they will follow you until their poisonous seeds will eat you from within
and strangle you in agonized sleep.

green kitchen: update

Remember last year’s post about my attempts to turn our kitchen into a greenhouse? I think it’s time for an update:

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One of my many hobbies: filling all kinds of old containers with green life. Mostly ivy, sempervivum, and some fern, aloe vera, moss, and a green plant I can’t name (but it multiplies on its own). I love ivy. And how adorable is the sempervivum in the little milk jug? Not sure yet what to do with the old tea kettle in the background¬† I found recently – use it to brew ginger tea, or plant ivy (or maybe lavender) inside?

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Ivy in a cracked glass pitcher we don’t use anymore as it leaks (so I just put already potted ivy inside instead of filling the pitcher itself with soil the way I’d have preferred to).

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As I said, this kind of plant multiplies. It starts to grow a “child” dangling from the mother plant, which you then put into water until it grows its own roots; then it can be potted and cut off. This little family lives on top of our fridge, next to the coffee making thing.

Favourite Friday: things I did with my hands today

What I did with my hands today. It included plants on the roof, my guitar, and doing a handstand.

Repotting plants and weeding the roof: the sun was shining today and I felt drawn to the outside, so when I wanted to put my aloe vera into a bigger pot (because I had discovered a baby aloe plant crammed into a corner) I ended up weeding the roof with the help of an old stick – somehow there had grown some plants with stronger roots than anticipated from the flower seed mix I had thrown there with some old soil and they threatened the tar paper; and I don’t really want grass to grow on the roof either because the nutrients in the soil are supposed to go to next year’s flowers. So the two aloe vera plants have separate homes now, the old weedy stuff is bagged to rot in a corner of the roof, and the beautiful reddish amaranth plants have been relocated to an unused flower box so they can’t destroy the roof and I’ll be able to move them inside for the winter. I really enjoyed sitting there in the soft sunshine, touching the plants and soil with my bare hands, and using a simple stick instead of fancy tools to rake the weeds.

Putting new strings on my guitar: not exactly a favourite pastime of mine, but it’s a job that needs to be done every now and then – and the time was now as one string had snapped a week back – and as long as the strings are cooperative it’s a good time to calm down and think a bit (or just listen to music) while turning and turning the little knobs.

Standing on my hands: after months of trying today was the day I managed to get into a handstand (against the wall) without any help! In capoeira class we’re supposed to work with our own weight to strengthen our muscles, and one of our instructor’s favourite methods is bending and flexing arms/legs/waist (like doing crunches or sit-ups) while doing a handstand against the wall. The last few weeks I had been getting closer and closer to the wall, but always fell to the left side before touching it – really weird and nobody knows why – but today I was able to reach the wall twice and each time standing there for a moment on my hands. A very happy moment for me! Now I will be able to work on my strength the way the others do.

 

green kitchen

The last few days I spent too much of my free time looking at Fisheye Placebo art in Yuumei’s deviantART gallery and her Tumblr. (You can read the whole comic/graphic novel on tapastic http://tapastic.com/series/fisheye for free! Go check it out!)

Well, the combination of the cherry trees blooming our city and seeing this picture too often …

Fisheye Placebo: Background Concept Art 2, Artist: Yuumei (Wenqing Yan), Original on deviantART: http://fav.me/d5sxdof

… resulted in our kitchen turning greenhouse:

There are some cherry branches in water, because I read that they might grow roots, but you have to take off the blossoms so they don’t use all their energy on these. In the tiny pot there are some lemon seeds, and today’s addition is the juice-to-go plastic cup. I put soil, moss, a stone, a random tiny plant from our roof inside, together with some ivy from the big jar on the cupboard, to create a small “ecosphere”.

The ivy and the other green plant have been on the kitchen cupboard before, but “other green plant” has a new offshoot, which is now dangling into a jar of water to grow roots, too. Not included in these pictures are the flower box and the flower pot, which are sitting on the window sill as well. In these I planted cucumbers, carrots, garden radish, and kohlrabi some days ago – and they are already sprouting like crazy! And I put a piece of broccoli stem halfway into the soil as well, maybe it will also grow new roots?

Favourite Friday: Scents

Hello again :) This one is a bit special one for me, as I can’t stand most artificial smells mixed into perfumes (ick, poison!) and scented lotions, deodorants etc. I want to introduce you to my wondrous world of natural and sometimes pretty ordinary scents.

Favourite scents: cedar wood and lemon grass essential oils, and lavender (both the plant and the essential oil, I like the scent because it is a childhood memory). I use them for adding a bit of fragrance to my homemade cosmetic products. Apart from that, I mostly enjoy the clean smell of a freshly showered human body without the addition of weird perfumed stuff (will write more about simple beauty/hygienic products and essential oils another day). I also really like some smells you can find in nature, for example the scent of rain on a hot, dusty path/street, the scent of the air directly before and after a thunderstorm, the aromatic fragrance of straw and hay – and the scents of late summer in general. Sometimes I enjoy the heavy scents of a forest, especially in autumn. Also, this special kind of winter air, when there is only dry snow or none, frosty temperatures, little to no wind, and this faint scent of fresh, crisp novelty and freedom. The kind of winter air that beckons me to run across the fields like a wolf, and once it really made me run through partly knee high snow at night! Some very nice everyday smells are the aroma of freshly brewed coffee in the morning (smelling it is nicer than drinking it imy opinion), freshly baked bread/buns, fresh bed linen, and of course clean morning air, especially after a rainy night.

Somehow I like all kinds of natural “fresh” smells, while things like scented air-fresheners give me headaches, big time! It is also unforgivable to spray me with a scented deodorant for fun. Not funny. You can take me for a walk in the forest or through fields instead.

I guess I’ll have to bake raisin buns today, writing this post made me hungry for fresh food (this, and the fact that I haven’t had breakfast yet).

What do you prefer, artificial blends of scents, or natural smells?