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ShackledMuse's Profile Picture
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
South Africa
Cheryl Kahla, also known as Shackled Muse, is a South African blogger, poet and freelance writer. She writes for a variety of sites, on topics ranging from Consumer Tech and Gadgets, to Productivity and Arts/Crafts.

Cheryl is passionate about writing, photography and graphic design. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her partner, Michael, their 2 cats, and 28 tarantulas.

She can be contacted at @ shackledmuse (twitter) or cheryl kahla (at) gmail dot com

Features & Group Duties:

Sorry guys, I fell a bit behind with my personal feature series and group duties. I will hopefully resume my schedule again next week.

Community Wise

I promised kiwi-damnation I'd feature ProjectDFC's Octacula Theme, I'm so sorry I'm only getting to this now (please read below...)
But there's still time! Go! Do it!

Welcome to our new Form challenge extravaganza! In honour of October and all it cree-eights, Octacula shall reign throughout the entirety of the month. I am aware that it sits as the tenth month, but by its very name, it is all about the eights, baby. (Because while October is the tenth month, Oct is eight. I am sticking to that :heart:)
Octacula features eight forms divided into two groups. The first group consists of:
:ninjabattle: Form-idable foes  :matrixfight:
:bulletred: Chant Royal: The Chainsaw Wielding Psychopath
The Chant Royal is a murderous French form, invented by Christine de Pizan and Charles D'Orléans in the 15th century. It consists of five 11-line stanzas with the rhyme scheme [a-b-a-b-c-c-d-d-e-d-E] (E is a refrain) and either a 5-line [d-d-e-d-E] or a 7-line [c-c-d-d-e-d-E] envoi (finishing stanza). The biggest obstacle in a Chant Royal however, is the fact that the same rhyme sounds have

Oh, something I suggested for a DD, actually got chosen!! I'm so stoked, nothing I suggested ever got chosen before!!
You can read it here:
Meara and the MermaidOnce upon a time,
Very long ago
Lived a kingdom on a cliffside,
With the ocean far below.
Within it lived the mermaids
With sea-jewels in their hair;
Beneath the moon, they swam all night,
By daybreak, none were there.
Once upon a day,
Of bluest sky and sea,
A girl from that said kingdom
Was lost in reverie;
But this girl was no peasant,
She was the princess fair;
The lucid sky was in her eyes
And sunbeams in her hair.
Princess Meara was her name,
A child at thirteen;
The king, her father, loved her so
And called her "Little Queen";
For his own wife had long since passed
And left him quite alone;
So Meara was his foremost thought;
He scarce heeded the throne.
She looked down on the water
Tossing in the light,
And wished that she could watch the mermaids
Dancing in the night.
But when the creatures rose to play,
She had gone to bed;
The kingdom thought these beings strange,
Regarding them with dread.
For oceans were an unknown thought,
Their depths a mystery;
The people called the merma

Also, I promised liyaperfidious aggggeeeeessss ago I'll go through her gallery property, because she has such an awesome friggen gallery. I'm so sorry for not getting around to that, or replying to your comment that probably hiding somewhere in my notifications. I haven't forgotten you, I just need to make it till the weekend... :heart: I promised KomradApex the same even longer ago... I''m sorry, I'll get there... :hug:

To everybody else, I have A LOT of comments and stuff to respond to. And journals to read, and deviations to look at/read. I'm still here, I love you all, and will get to it...

Just an Update:

It's just been... one of those months. Nothing specific went wrong, yet it feels like everything is going wrong and I just cannot get a grasp on anything. I'm blocked on all fronts, I'd get hints of something spectacular (something I need to write, paint, create or some other crazy idea, and then it just fades away, never fully formed to reach it's potential. It's so fucking frustrating.

I feel like I have no will to do or start something, I've been meaning to organize sort some sections of my home out, get rid of clutter, etc, but I just don't have to motivation to do anything productive. I'm tired for no reason, my job is driving me crazy. It's not busy. I'm not busy during the day. That's the problem! I sit and stare at the walls for hours and I'm slowly losing my mind!!! I always said I wanted a job where I'm not rushed/stressed all the time, and now that I have it, it's driving me bonkers. This would be the perfect opportunity to get some work done on my sites or writing, but I've got this ever present guilt of doing personal stuffs during work hours, and besides that, there's practically no internet connection at work. (Don't get me started on that...) 2G, you ma se #$@#

I tried writing offline, (oh the shock, horror) and doing some much needed NaNoWriMo prepping, but see the first paragraph of this section for why that isn't working out...

And as if that isn't bad enough, I feel so helpless, in general. The world is broken, there are abused animals and people out there, we are ruining the earth through greed, selfishness and ignorance. And here I am, staring at the walls instead of making/being the change. I want to call myself an activist and environmentalist, but I feel like a fraud instead.

It's making me want to comfort eat all day long

Yes. Welcome to my madness.

Yet, I will (try my best) to not that get to me any more than it already has. I know how important a positive outlook is, and I'm done venting now. I just needed to do that. I'm going to end this post on a few positive notes:

Somehow, in the midst of all the other negativity, my love for Geocaching sparked up again. I found the coolest cache ever in a park in my neighbourhood. The micro cache was imbedded in an acorn. A FRIGGEN ACORN! And hung in a slightly complicated manner from a tree in a quiet corner of the park. You had to unwind the fish gut from all the places it was wound around, on the tree, which lowered the acorn within reach. Then just wind it up again, and it's pulled back up again to the branches overhead. SO FRIGGEN AWESOME!

I'm so fired up, I go look for at least one cache every evening after work (not always successful, mind you) and have scouted three locations out to place my own caches (I've already placed two in my hometown in a different province.) I've already spray-painted and camouflaged three containers and have Swag to fill them up with, they just need to be placed over the weekend, and I saw a genius cache design, which seemed to be very popular in USA but I haven't seen any of them in my area yet, so I'm gonna get me some pipes and adapters this weekend, and try to make that too. (I don't want to give too much away until I've actually built the thing.)

Zero Waste Bloggers Network 2nd Twitter Talk:
Wow, that's a mouthful. Inge from our Network hosted the first successful Twitter Talk 2 weeks ago, and the 2nd one is happening TONIGHT! (6PM for me in SA, 2PM if you're in NY, 7PM if in UK, 10AM PST, etc. There'll be five questions around a specific theme, marked Q1, Q2, etc. People who want to participate answer questions using A1, A2, etc, and the hashtag #zwtot.
If you are living a Zero Waste lifestyle, or interested about it, feel free to follow us. (I'll definitely be partaking, find me at ShackledMuse.

I've started working out again. I have the awesomest boyfriend in the world (MiKe---ZiLlA) training me, and we end our work out sessions with boxing. My footwork is still a mess and I'm still way too slow and clumy (must be hard for him who is practically friggen Bruce Lee or Yip Man incarnated... He's way too damn fast, yo) but I'm getting there. I can feel my muscles getting firmer, and it's awesome. I'm always never in the mood to start, but definitely feel a lot better afterwards.

FINALLY getting my next tattoo. Only in December, but that gives me some time to save up. It'll be my 10th tattoo!! And I'm getting Eeyore with his quote: Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. I have an Eeyore fluffy toy. (Did you know Eeyore is manic depressive? Pooh Bear, Piglet and Tigger never ever try to change him or tell him to get over it or cheer up. They just understand and let him be who he is. He also wrote I poem. I love Eeyore.) I found the perfect Eeyore, looking all happy like and sniffing a flower. If I can save up enough, and my tattoo artist agrees, I'd like to get second tattoo at the same time, something related to Animal Rights Activism or Veganim. Something small.

Inspiring people:
There's this person I met on Facebook, not in real life, who is simply awesome. At the risk of sounding like a stalker, I make a point of glancing through her profile at least once a day. Like I said, I don't know her personally or her full story and I don't want to pretend that I do, but she's overcome addiction, she's an artist/designer/illustrator, and fights for all the stuff I believe in. (Human rights, animal rights, equality, feminism, The stuff she shares on facebook feeds my soul and keeps me sane.

Through her art (or rather, one of her tattoos, lol) I was also introduced to the awesomest poem I have ever read, and I will leave you with that now. Wow, this entry was A LOT longer than I intended it to be, I just wanted to log on and say sorry I'm absent and might be absent some more, but yeah. I guess that all needed to come out. Thanks for listening. Sorry not sorry for any spelling mistakes, I didn't feel like proof reading all that... :heart:

I present to you:

Sometimes A Wild God
Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.

When the wild god arrives at the door,
You will probably fear him.
He reminds you of something dark
That you might have dreamt,
Or the secret you do not wish to be shared.

He will not ring the doorbell;
Instead he scrapes with his fingers
Leaving blood on the paintwork,
Though primroses grow
In circles round his feet.

You do not want to let him in.
You are very busy.
It is late, or early, and besides…
You cannot look at him straight
Because he makes you want to cry.

The dog barks.
The wild god smiles,
Holds out his hand.
The dog licks his wounds
And leads him inside.

The wild god stands in your kitchen.
Ivy is taking over your sideboard;
Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades
And wrens have begun to sing
An old song in the mouth of your kettle.

‘I haven’t much,’ you say
And give him the worst of your food.
He sits at the table, bleeding.
He coughs up foxes.
There are otters in his eyes.

When your wife calls down,
You close the door and
Tell her it’s fine.
You will not let her see
The strange guest at your table.

The wild god asks for whiskey
And you pour a glass for him,
Then a glass for yourself.
Three snakes are beginning to nest
In your voicebox. You cough.

Oh, limitless space.
Oh, eternal mystery.
Oh, endless cycles of death and birth.
Oh, miracle of life.
Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.

You cough again,
Expectorate the snakes and
Water down the whiskey,
Wondering how you got so old
And where your passion went.

The wild god reaches into a bag
Made of moles and nightingale-skin.
He pulls out a two-reeded pipe,
Raises an eyebrow
And all the birds begin to sing.

The fox leaps into your eyes.
Otters rush from the darkness.
The snakes pour through your body.
Your dog howls and upstairs
Your wife both exults and weeps at once.

The wild god dances with your dog.
You dance with the sparrows.
A white stag pulls up a stool
And bellows hymns to enchantments.
A pelican leaps from chair to chair.

In the distance, warriors pour from their tombs.
Ancient gold grows like grass in the fields.
Everyone dreams the words to long-forgotten songs.
The hills echo and the grey stones ring
With laughter and madness and pain.

In the middle of the dance,
The house takes off from the ground.
Clouds climb through the windows;
Lightning pounds its fists on the table.
The moon leans in through the window.

The wild god points to your side.
You are bleeding heavily.
You have been bleeding for a long time,
Possibly since you were born.
There is a bear in the wound.

‘Why did you leave me to die?’
Asks the wild god and you say:
‘I was busy surviving.
The shops were all closed;
I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’

Listen to them:

The fox in your neck and
The snakes in your arms and
The wren and the sparrow and the deer…
The great un-nameable beasts
In your liver and your kidneys and your heart…

There is a symphony of howling.
A cacophony of dissent.
The wild god nods his head and
You wake on the floor holding a knife,
A bottle and a handful of black fur.

Your dog is asleep on the table.
Your wife is stirring, far above.
Your cheeks are wet with tears;
Your mouth aches from laughter or shouting.
A black bear is sitting by the fire.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.

Skin by SimplySilent
  • Listening to: Workshop sounds
  • Reading: You're Never Weird On The Internet - Felicia Day
  • Drinking: Tea



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UnbridledMuse Featured By Owner May 4, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi Shackled. :D Meet Unbridled. ;p
ShackledMuse Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi there!! 

(Sorry for the late reply, I've been away from here for a while :) )
Bisexual-Human Featured By Owner May 29, 2016
happy b-day
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