Wax Seals...

I've always been a fan of sealing notes and letters with wax. Like everyone else, I've gotten away from it, simply because I do more e-mail than actual writing. Still, I love adding a wax seal to a note.

This compass rose has been my seal for years now. I like it. With writing the dragon story this spring/summer, that imagery has been on my mind. I saw a dragon seal on Etsy, and thought it'd be a good addition.

Here's the dragon, after a couple of practice attempts with dark green wax. What was neat was that they sent a stamp pad with gold-metallic ink along with a couple of sticks of sealing wax. The idea is, you stamp the seal on the ink pad. The ink covers the flat surface of the seal, but not the depressed portions. When you press the seal into the wax, the ink goes down, around what becomes the raised impression:

I went a bit too heavy on the ink on this test impression. I'll work on that, while I order some more red sealing wax!


The Caduceus

The Caduceus

Two snakes, entwined,
Rising to Hermes' wings
The symbol of the Magician,
The symbol of the Healer.

The roles of Magician
And Healer are often
Clarke's Law
Turning the Hermetic Priestess
Into the Thoracic Surgeon,
Or, more important to many,
The Nurse.

Hermes' wings give flight
To the mind's fancy:
Always Desires,
As the snakes
Work their way up
To a Higher Plane.


©2014 Edward J. Branley. All Rights Reserved.



A Beverage
Is the most important
Part of the Coffee Shop
To the Unitiated,
The Worker Drone,
The Professional,
The White-collar hustler,
Or, occasionally,
The Nightowl, who is
Up way too early.

They acquire their cup
In exchange for a swipe
Of the card,
Or a scan
Of their phone, proceeding
Mindlessly to the next phase
Of the day.

Those select Initiates
To the Sublime Mysteries
Of the Coffee Shop know
That people-watching
Is so much more
Rewarding than mere coffee,
Even when
The gorgeous Redhead
In the tight summer dress
Busts the Initiate
Staring shamelessly
At today's Muse.

©2014 Edward J. Branley. All Rights Reserved.

On the Importance of Air

On the Importance of Air

Like breathing,
It is impossible to write
In a vacuum.
Inspiration is airborne,
Carrying sensory information
To the writer's imagination.

Colors bent as they pass
Through gas,
Revealing the blue of the pedicure,
The red of the sassy sports car,
The particolour of the summer skirt,
As eyes move up from the pedicure,
Then further up to observe
That bit of sunburnt red
At the nape of the neck.

Smells emerging,
From the flower.
From the kitchen.
From the nape of the neck.

Sounds carried to the ears,
On the wings of the Muse.
The purring of the cat,
The happy panting of the dog.
The soft sigh as you kiss
The nape of the neck.

©2014 Edward J. Branley. All rights reserved.

The Red Fairy

The Red Fairy

The Red Fairy Is not as well-known
As her Green sister,
Who has been an object
Of curiosity,
Of affection, and,
Of desire,
For generations.

The Red Fairy
Is an awesome kisser,
Leaving many tastes
On the tongue:
And Wormwood,
To remind you
She's more than a little sassy.

The Red Fairy
Is strong and potent.
It is not recommended that
You attempt to experience her
At full strength,
Until you understand
From whence she comes.

The Red Fairy Is a nocturnal creature.
Her gossamar wings
Fade in the sunlight.
Many try to protect her,
By keeping her in the dark,
But this strategy always fails.
She will find her way out,
Back in front of you,
And you'll never realize,
You opened the door yourself.

The Red Fairy
Has her detractors,
Who will tell you,
Her beauty fades over time.
Those loyal to her do not heed
These admonitions,
Closing their eyes, listening
As she asks,
“Do you like my tits?”

©2014, Edward J. Branley. All rights reserved.

Time Shifts

Time Shifts

We come together
Then drift apart.

It's hard to pick up
Right back at the same place.

Like the Doctor,
The return can be unexpected.

We try to move forward,
But it's a challenge.

It can be successful;
We can make it work.

So long as both sides
Are aware of the temporal displacement.

©2014 Edward Branley

NaPoWriMo - 23-April - Apologies


When someone knows you
Better than you do yourself,
It does neither of you any good To hold a grudge.

The ability to move away
From mere mortals
And find a path
That allows you to avoid
The awkward confrontations Is easy to summon.

But when that one you're avoiding
Is a force of nature,
Someone who knows you
Someone who cares about you
Someone who defends you
Someone who would take a bullet for you,
There comes a time
To put away childish things
Like petty jealousy
Like pride
Like the inertia of silence
And put things right.

©2014 Edward Branley

NaPoWriMo - 22-April - Suburban Secrets

Suburban Secrets

The conversation is always casual
About the kids,
Or car trouble,
Possibly some other mundane
Subject that breaks the ice,
Or merely passes the time,
Before the “walkers” are dismissed.

In these days of online everything,
That casual conversation often continues
Beyond the carpool line,
After the kids go to different schools
As we connect
Via “mutual friends.”

We see different sides of the people
From the parents' club meetings,
And awards ceremonies.
If we observe how they talk
And interact
With their friends.

Perhaps those observations
Can lead to a different relationship,
Even if that's just coffee,
Or a very-casual lunch
On occasion,
Properly chapereoned
By “mutual friends.”

Those of us who have the ability
To detect feelings through the wires,
Wonder if there are stories
Waiting to be told,
Perhaps signals being sent
That could transform
The casual relationship
Into something deeper.
Not necessarily progressing to
Daytime trysts,
But just the comfort
Of shared experiences
And Suburban Secrets.

©2014 Edward Branley

NaPoWriMo - 21-April - Hotels


The hotel room is a blank canvas,
Painted on by many, only to
Be wiped clean with strong chemicals
Upon the departure of the artist.

The paintings are various portraits:
Of lovers
Of secrets
Of ideas
Of lonlieness
Of despair.

Some portraits are completed by
Check-out time.
Others are unfinished works
That can't be completed,
But rather a new painting
Is started
When the artist finds a new hotel.

The portraits are rarely viewed
By anyone but the housekeeping staff
Who can look at the works in progress
And feel the emotions
The anticipation,
The excitement,
The passion,
The disappointment,
The finality.

Then the linens are replaced,
The furniture reset,
And the bathroom sanitized,
As the canvas awaits
Its next painter.

©2014 Edward Branley

NaPoWriMo - 20-April - Freshman Crush

Freshman Crush

She's the girlfriend
Of the junior,
The guy everyone wants to talk to,
Because he's moving up.

She's the “big sister”
Of the girl you know
From debate tournaments last year.

Or perhaps
She's the senior
Taking that one freshman-level class
In your newly-chosen major
That stands between her
And life beyond
The Lakefront.

She wouldn't give you
The time of day
Back when you first arrived
On the scene
In the University Center.

Or maybe that's just your perception,
Because now,
Thirty-plus years later,
She'll talk to you as an equal,
Making you wonder,
Did you have a shot when you were seventeen?


©2014 Edward Branley