May Queen poem 2013

“Darling May”

 

Wendy Darling, bud of May,

Shake your future and past away.

Offer the world a nurturing hand,

May brings change to even Neverland.

 

But change is cruel and often rough,

with winds too full and not enough,

Full of riches, seeds, and nature’s joy

to plant over the dreams of a boy.

 

No more pixie dust or flying air,

now there’s lilacs and growing roots there.

Reality turns beautiful with its May Queen,

but it never comes close to memories I’ve seen.

 

Phantoms of those who are now lost,

the peace of time frozen within a frost,

the comfort of seeing life where I can believe,

All this, Darling May forces to leave.

 

It’s a story Mother Earth always tells,

We live to miss others, as savage as hells,

Yet we’re told that Spring is for smiles,

As May brings time’s green, like snapping crocodiles.

 

It’s time to grow past, really give them up,

The Queen’s stories call you to drink from her cup.

Come home to beauty, the world, and to you-

With all the dead shadows and souls that flew.

 

May’s strong magic isn’t happy or nice,

She bewitches even as she rules sacrifice.

In the land shook up with what’s Darling and grows,

We give into our nevers and what our heart knows:

 

That nothing’s the same as our springs’ bud,

Magic dust churns with change into spring’s mud.

 

Now, darling, you’re alone with a life to lead,

but to those who are lost, there’s no May Queen to heed.

No winds can shake them, and time, never-

So only they can keep, and stay forever.

 

This is the second year I’ve decided to make a well-known literary heroine a May Queen figure.  It’s surprisingly easy to see the lore of the May Queen figure in others, when you look.  For last yea’rs Katniss poem, go here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/modern-may-queen/

 

 

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‘Neverland’ review

Nick Willing’s “Neverland” miniseries of 2011  ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1720619) is on Netflix…and it is awesome!  (Note: this impression comes to you from someone who’s familiar with the lore but has not read the classic book.)   This comes to you without spoilers.

Neverland

First off, the casting is perfect.  Rhys Ifans is the man who becomes Hook.  It’s shivery-good.  Anna Friel has a ball as the Caribbean pirate captain.  Q’orianka Kilcher as Tiger Lily elevated the character to a respected heroine.  Charlie Rowe is the first Peter Pan I’ve seen whose mistakes instantly and automatically made me think, “It’s because he’s a child!” instead of having to be reminded of that.  All of the Lost Boys had a believable dynamic and a few refreshingly differentiated themselves from the group.  It was especially wonderful to see Peter interacting with his gang in London.  This show did an excellent job showing why these boys would follow him, not just any boy who could fly.  Particularly when they question Peter’s leadership.  Secondly, the added elements explaining how everyone reached Neverland start off with enough kick and mystery to match Neverland’s wonder, but the writers were smart enough to keep these additions on the fringe instead of overwhelming the original story with them.  Thirdly, once in Neverland the dynamics between the characters and that world felt organic.  You could really tell who had formed a balance with the world and who hadn’t.  It brought everything to life.  Fourthly, each element of the world included in “Neverland”  is adequately explored.  You feel you really know how it feels to live with the “Injuns” or with the fairies (known here as “tree spirits”).  Additionally, their backstory deepens, but doesn’t really depart from what I knew of these people before.  I could look at the screen and draw a clear link between what was happening there and the actions seen in “Peter Pan” with no trouble whatsoever.  It was glorious.  Without having specific expectations or predictions, I found myself sitting there going “Of course!”  That’s always the best kind of prequel.  The only nitpick I have is that they did not include mermaids.  However, everything else was so well done that I felt satisfied without them and imagine that another element might have easily just thrown the whole thing off.  Fifth and lastly, this version finally answers Barrie’s contention that children are heartless to my satisfaction.  That is, they agree with his premise that childhood itself can be heartless, but then go on to say individual people create connections and surround themselves in memories so much that even children cannot remain heartless without very special circumstances.  This might drive purists nuts, but I love it.  And I loved watching this.

I highly recommend this show.

Once Upon a Time 2×24 finale “And Straight On Til Morning”

There’s no leaving the need for spoilers:

 

-Does anyone else find it highly suspect that the holy Tamara and the sacredness of her quest allow her to leave escape plans with the most selfish males she meets, aka August and then Hook?  ANYONE ELSE feel that’s pretty much a red flag around here?

-So, Snow White is now clearing the darkness in her heart AND proving her and her hubby’s leadership skills by…declaring that she wants to risk the lives of herself, her family, and all of her subjects for Regina’s because it’s the “hard path” and because she still feels guilty over killing her mom.  This is the most selfish, horrible leader thing ever.  Luckily, I love Regina and really need her to live, I just thought we were going to get there through Henry or even Emma’s that-is-wrong-FAMILY feelings rather than hearing one woman using her guilt to imperil her people being portrayed as Great-yay!  And then to top it all off, it is Therapist Approved!  Come on, Archie!

-It is amazing to me that, in spite of being all moonish and anguished over Milah’s image, Hook never seems to think of Bae as Milah’s son, just Rumple’s.  In his private references to him it’s always the Dark One’s son or the kid the shadow’s looking for, only after Bae brings up Milah does Hook use her as a tool to persuade Bae into staying aboard.  This bugs me-just one more way in which Hook’s lovesick story is inconsistent.

-Technically, Cinderella’s baby was also born here, so Henry would have had it for company.

-I am gratified Granny was finally called in as babysitter, though.  Greg and Tamara wouldn’t get past her shotgun at Henry.

-There was a pathetic lack of Ruby.

-Emma’s magic powers are extremely convenient at all times, I must say.

-Was anyone else expecting Belle to wake up, remember all the bad things Gold let himself do at Lacey’s urging, and be all upset at him?  At least a little bit?  Make SOME comment about her Laciness?  After the town was saved, at any rate.

-I loooooove everything Regina in this episode!  On point, focused, and without even any really long speeches or claims.  That is the best media dying ever and no one ever, ever does it!

-Does everyone just assume if the diamond got sent to another land it would just not do anything, as opposed to simply exploding somewhere else?  Cause the random missile plan is truly not heroic.

-We’ve been over this-it took him forever, but Gold has magical security on his shop now!  Did Lacey let the dwarves in?  Also, we’ve been digging up memory-reviving fairy dust for weeks now and Sneezy STILL NEVER GOT HIS IDENTITY BACK???  THE HELL, SHOW?

-You’d think Ruby could survive as a wolf, right?  I mean, her wolf self did get born again in Storybrooke, so it was technically born there, sortof.

-I do finally buy a storyarc of Hook’s in this episode, though.  The reaching of his wearing-down point and willingness to try new tactics was believable and touching.

-These Lost Boys…first, do you suppose the confiscated shadows are then sold to the coachman in Pinnochio to be his creepy shadow workers on Pleasure Island?  Second, why are they dressed like Robin Hood?  Three, if they’ve just been looking for Henry all this time, as opposed to even a small short-list of desirable boys to kidnap, life in Neverland just got reeeeally boring.  I do not find this as Neverland version as intriguing or dangerous as others seem to, because….how frustrating and tedious is that?  Fourth, we saw a lot of scenes there at night.  Shouldn’t we have heard this creepy crying for parents Wendy spoke of?  Five, if there’s a picture of the boy the shadow wants, can’t he see whether he’s got the right one or not?  Geez.

-Please let Tamara and Greg be quickly dispatched and replaced by more interesting higher ups in the next episode.

-Someone could explain how Phillip got revived, perhaps?

-Perhaps we can finally get some Pirates of the Caribbean references?

-Also, Tiger Lily!  Get on it!

And that’s Season 2!

Once Upon a Time 2×21 “Second Star to the Right”

This is the episode where they stopped trying to wrap things up for the finale and just threw things into a box.  Fairly sturdy box, though.  SPOILERS:

 

1. Am I the only one who thought the “I love you”s between Emma and Neal were too abrupt and forced?  Perhaps if Neal, as someone who thinks they’re about to die, had started it as opposed to Emma, who was in denial, I could have bought it.  As it is, I just think that there goes another storyline that could have been interesting, super-condensed and disposed of.

2. I feel Disney really missed out on opportunities for fun references here.  I knew hoping for some kind of “Great Mouse Detective” thing in Big Ben was probably too much of a long shot, but shouldn’t there at least have been chimney sweeps?  A Mary Poppins hat?  A chimney sweep’s broom???  Come on, people!

3. This Neverland story doesn’t make sense to me.  If the Shadow just wants boys-Lost Boys-then why bother with Wendy in the first place?  If it was supposed to be a preview so her brothers would want to come, the shadow was pretty stupid to let her stay so long or tell her about the soil rule.  Why on earth would Bae think pots are a good defenses?  If the real plan was to get everyone in the crawl space, why not start there?  If the Shadow started showing up at the same time as Bae, wouldn’t he wanted Bae instead of the brothers in the first place?  How was Bae surprised about winding up in Neverland?  If he had a lighter up his sleeve to make Shadow go away, why didn’t he just try fighting with it before making the deal to leave the Darlings alone?  And on top of all that…taking in a hungry urchin is one thing, but letting him sleep in the same room as your preteen daughter seems screamingly out of place anywhere, but particularly in Victorian London.

4. Most important thing in this episode: Maleficent lives!!! Hurrah!  I’m going to go ahead and decide that she also survived Greg and Tamara due to that super-survival spell and just shape-shifted again.  Perhaps into a raven akin to her companion in Sleeping Beauty this time?  I felt incredibly cheated that we didn’t get to see the real fight with her.  Her shape and strength was amazing and even Hook managed a good line in her presence.

5. Okay, having Regina use her magic ‘obliviate’ just so she can tell the audience what she wants to do, since it’s obvious it makes no sense for her to be saying this to Henry, takes me right out of the story.

6. Also, what’s with the torture?  If they’d referred to things like no one withstanding the machine or this being Regina’s pit of despair I’d be okay with it, but…it just wasted time .

7. The minute Tamara said “unholy” I checked out.  Not that I was ever interested in that storyline to begin with.  However, if their headquarters can just inform Tamara that gem=a curse failsafe, then…First, that’s insane.  Second, I want this to go back to Jekyll and Hyde, the good doctor founded this to try and stop Hyde before its magic curse killed him.  Third, shouldn’t they be interested in using that technology whatever to make more anti-magic shields or whatever, prevention rather than eradication?

8. This complaint is late since haven’t reviewed the last couple episodes, but: You’ve got a field of magic portals that are your only hope for your desired future and you don’t leave anyone on guard???  I feel Granny or Ruby would have thought of that.

9. It’s a little difficult to take seriously the saying “No one steals from a dwarf!” seeing as most of them start life by doing grunt work for the fairies’ dust, which all goes to them, and so they don’t really have possessions to steal.  Even outside of that, they stick in packs, so it should at least be “No one steals from dwarves”?

 

Overall: Thank God that whole Tamara-Emma-Neal love triangle no one really committed to can stop bungling around.  Kudos for Regina for keeping everyone on point with what’s important.  Who wants to bet Antoine’s got some extra beans on his person since he’s learned it’s good to have failsafes too?  Anyhow, not totally great, but not a bad showing, either.  We’ll see how the finale goes.

Once Upon a Time 2×13 “Tiny”

Right, this episode sent us right back down into crumbling plots with crumbs that deserve picking territory.  This was for the SPOILER-FULL crumb -picking!

 

1. See, NEWCOMERS SHOULD BE THROWN OFF BY CARS.  How did Hook bypass this?  Cars should be even more dangerous to him since they are more threatening to human-sized folk!

2. Emma is really not doing her job-she knew that was coming.  She could have helped Gold roll up yon scarf and stick it in his pants pocket, or tie it round like a bad belt, or at least warned him about this.  That being said, Gold’s reaction to his scarf/magic problems are perfect and the very best things about this episode.

3. Seriously, people are just letting Hook wander around, leading them places?  You know if Cora really WAS on that ship she’d be waiting with the mother of all booby traps, and Hook would probably know it-you keep him in cuffs or something.  Also, you guys didn’t even pat him down to find out if he had anything useful like, ya know, giant-cage keys on him? You two really do need Emma and her half-ass sheriffing skills.  And you DEFINITELY don’t let him just waltz off to be unmonitored, allowing him to rendezvous with Cora messengers and whatever the hell else.

4.I know I complain about this every time, but…You don’t get to hit on people when you’re justifying your rampages on revenging losing your true love!  Somebody choke him or punch him in the face or something-rib aches are really unsatisfactory-you never actually see it and it just gives him an excuse to make annoying grunting noises while nonsensically smarming around.  For the love of God, just stop it.

5. On this Jacquelyn, there are several points: 1. Hook said “he” when speaking of Jack the Giant Killer and obviously there wasn’t enough time for the story to get warped and misremembered by the time he would have heard it. 2. Did Hook hear it from Cora, or what?  He was in Neverland before that happened!  And Cora would know, but she doesn’t seem like much of a storyteller.  Also, she definitely would have kept in the part about the villain being a woman.  It makes no sense. 3. So now we’re supposed to believe Jacqueline has the stupidity to have her sword engraved with the word “Jack”?  Just no.  4. Tiny told Emma the story of the slaughter-and he pointed to Jacqueline as the big bad, not James.  You’d think he would have mentioned it-he had nothing to do but sit there and babble at her, after all.  Mention all the bad guys you can, guy.  That’s just purposeful obscurity for the show that the character would never actually do, and that is my pet peeve.  Bah!  5. And how did she travel to and from Wonderland?  This is important.  Also, it provides more evidence that Cora would have known about her as a woman and would have no reason to mislead Hook.

6. So, how did Hook escape from Tiny after Emma left, now?  He mentioned something about getting past the stupid giant-we think he let him live?  That’s out of character and not the implication I got from that.

7. On the plus side, the poison on the swords thing does explain why Tiny can’t really clean up the skeleton on his floor or move the sharp sword out of the way.

8. No one tried to call Emma on their cell phone so she could talk Tiny down?  You guys aren’t the ones new to modern technology, at least try these things.

9. If James stole all that treasure to pay back King Midas, how come he was still supposed to kill the beast?  Does he have a gambling problem?  Or King George?

10. Man, Charming’s hands must have killer rope-burns.

11.  It’s now just official that Belle must just remember nothing other than stereotypes about Maine life, not even her time in the asylum.  This makes me very upset, but I’ll be more upset if I keep trying to make it match up and make sense, since that does not appear to be happening, ever.  I shall endeavor to let that go.  For her scene in this episode, however, the lack of continuity made me so ticked off that I can’t even think about anything that’s happening with her and stranger dude.  You know it’s bad when Ruby can’t save a scene.  *le sigh*

Here’s to a Gold-focused episode next week!

Once Upon a Time “The Crocodile”

Otherwise known as “Women Will Leave You.”

 

SPOILERS:

 

1.What on earth are the information channels around here?  How the hell does Hook know about Neverland? Did he hang out with Jefferson a lot?  Are there like owls that go between the worlds as well as around Hogwarts?  Did Hook come from there and is an ex-Peter Pan type and that’ll be the crux of the war between him and whoever Peter Pan is?  How does he contact Cora in probable-Wonderland or FTL?  How is this working?

 

2. Also, how do these magic beans work, exactly?  There’s no incantation or anything-are they psychic?  Hook thought ‘Neverland’ whereas Bae thought ‘land without magic’, so that’s where they wound up?  Cause in that case it’s no wonder they’re so rare, they have to be bred for telepathy AND world-traveling.  There must be a better system.

 

3. Smee looks exactly like himself.  Kudos for that.

 

4. So, Belle apparently knows Grumpy, who worked in mines or hid in cabins in the woods all his life, but she doesn’t appear to know anyone else from FTL who’s not Rumple or her dad?  How the hell would she know any dwarves????  *logic fail*

 

5. We have yet more evidence that the leader really worth the salt is Ruby.  Always listen to Ruby!

 

6. If your find spell only works on things that belonged to other people, then you probably should’ve given Belle a present, dude.  I would expect you to have covered your bases in this matter.

 

7. Surely with all the panic someone should’ve thought of guarding the mine shafts that go out of town, too?  That sounds right up Grumpy’s street, and he is after all the guy who began working on this problem.  It’s unbelievable he of all people wouldn’t have caught the passages in the MINE.  If Ruby was in charge I bet she would’ve thought of that.  Speaking of which, I didn’t notice anyone setting up any guards about that STILL after what happened in this episode.  Charming, you’re still failing.

 

8. This episode is the epitome of what I’ve long thought is this show’s main problem: they’re trying to write a lot of strong female characters without being sure about what that actually means.  Take Belle-she’s supposed to be strong in her emotional capabilities and her courage for loving a monster.  This started well last season, but this episode it fell apart.  Why?  Because they thought her just walking out on him would be the stronger move, even though the speech they had her deliver was more of a warning and should’ve just been the precursor for her venturing forth to think and give him space to reflect on her ultimatum.  From that point the episode could’ve gone the same, but no-her just leaving seemed like the ‘strong female’ thing to the writers, so they made that illogical decision.  Then every word she spoke to her dad made her sound like a teenager because they thought her insisting on her rights and independence without explaining anything would make a stronger statement than just telling him things.  Then after the mine ride, she had the weakest lines ever.  Now, it does totally make sense to me that at this point Belle is just done and needs everyone to back off.  After all, she didn’t sleep well, she faced the fact she might have to leave her love for the second time, she began to realize how much she’d missed out on by being shut out of the real world, she got kidnapped, she reunited with a dad who TRIED TO DESTROY HER MIND.  Being saved by the guy she’s thinkign of leaving would only be more confusing, and in any case half of that would be enough to say Just Get Away Everyone.  That lesser statement giving her time to think would have been totally logical and made her new dating thing with Rumple less wishy-washy.  But the writers thought that for Belle to be strong she had to make a “never see again” statement instead, because their ‘strong’=’shows total conviction in what she’s doing even if it’s wrong’, so they made her make less sense and ultimately seem weaker.  I could go on about how similar misunderstandings of  how to write strong female characters have plagued the other women in this show, but let’s just leave it at this most enormous mess, shall we?

 

9. I’m pretty sure Hook’s name is James.

 

10. I’m pretty sure Belle should’ve showed some kind of horror/shock/SOMETHING in response to Rumple admitting he was behind the fucking curse, not really Regina.  Is the show just assuming this is common knowledge to characters just cause we know it?  Cause it’s not.  And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t react like that, even Belle.  Man, does that girl have a rotten life.  With that dad at home, betrothed to guy she didn’t like, prisoner of Rumple’s is still a prisoner and slave even if she did fall for him, in a mental institution, let out with no knowledge of the world or the food that is here…..where the hell is Archie Jiminy Cricket???  If anyone needs him, it’s her.

Peter and the Starcatchers film

Gary Ross Sets Peter Pan Fantasy As Post-‘Hunger Games’ Followup – Deadline.com.

The director of The Hunger Games film is moving on to direct Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s prequel to Peter Pan.  I…have highly mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I adore Dave Barry and am always in favor of his stuff getting promoted.  Peter and the Starcatchers is a poignant and interesting addition to the Peter Pan verse that I think can work wonderfully in visual media.

On the other hand…the camerawork in The Hunger Games gave me dizziness and a headache, making it nigh impossible to enjoy watching and I’d hate to have to dislike it for reasons that don’t even have to do with the story.  Of course, what The Hunger Games did show was the hand of someone who’s genuinely interested in showing how things intersect and allowing actors to shine.  The most intriguing thing in this prequel is all the interesting new spins it put on the Neverland folk and the relationship dynamics.  I’d love to see a movie’s take on that.

Although, it’s at this point that the third ingredient comes into play: Disney.  I’m wary of the Disney version of Barry and Pearson’s mermaids, crafted culture that created the crocodile, and how they might influence the importance of the female lead in comparison to Peter.

It is confusing, but I suspect that this is one of those things that will be fun even if it falls flat, much like a deliciously ugly fallen cake.