This is my blog (now there is a surprise!). I will be sticking in it poetry, prose, random musings, things that take my fancy and more than likely lots of pictures of cats. I hope you find something to amuse and/or interest you here.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Now for the Picture Prompt Challenge!

Another brilliant photo by Jack – Thanks, you keep me thinking.
I also blame Jack for making me late for work the other morning – see here : http://pensrandomjottings.blogspot.com/2011/02/beautiful-sunrise-this-morning.html

Please visit http://onestoppoetry.com/   and read the interview with Jack.
Connect with JackAZ on Twitter
Visit Jack’s official website: jackazphotography.com

  Past Still Present

I may be just a chunk of history,
A dusty piece of scrap on an old desk,
You barely spare a passing glance at me,
You find me oh so clumsy and grotesque.
You see me as the past you’ve left behind,
Discarded as you move to better things,
Pushed so far to the back of your full mind,
By wonders that the modern age now brings.
But I am an ancestor of the print
That floods the modern electronic age,
The lettered keys on my front give hint
That my descendants have reached a new stage
For they are the new keyboards and  touch screens
And I am the ghost in modern machines.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Six line poem.

The prompt is:
Write a six line poem with the strict syllable count of 2-2-2-2-9-9
The last two lines must rhyme.

Mine today is:

Deep well
My hell
Tight bound
In the misery of my today
Reasonless self-hatred, soul decay.

Pain, empathy and being clever.

I woke up early this morning and was feeling okayish. (Look, it is my blog and if I want to invent a word, I will).
Then I read something on Facebook which made me feel sick with misery.  Is this empathy?
Or am I being self-indulgent by appropriating someone elses pain and sorrow?

This also got me thinking at a tangent.  Why do people think it is funny to mock real grief and sorrow if they don't care about what has happened?
Tell your workmates that you parent/partner/child is very ill or badly hurt and most seek to comfort.
Now tell them your pet is hurt or ill.
Someone will say 'just get another one' or make some other 'joke' at your expense.  And people will laugh.
On the radio the other day, there was a vet offering advise to pet owners.  The presenter thought it funny and appropriate to say frequently 'Apart from having it put down, is there a solution?'.
Now why is it funny to threaten someones beloved pet?
Tell a group of people you love cats and someone will tell a story about a cat being terribly hurt, maimed or killed.  Why?  To hurt?  It seems a form of bullying to me.
You see, these stories stick in my brain.  When I am down, they haunt me and I feel sick and miserable.  I hurt to think of the pain and suffering.  And it seems endless.


Off that topic before I spend the rest of the day crying.

I've been reading other peoples poetry a lot recently.
I realise that, however intelligent I am, I am not clever.  Most of it goes straight over my head.  The free verse that most people seem to prefer so often comes across to me as a jumble of adjectives and emotions with no meaning or purpose except, perhaps, to the writer.  Some of it is so tortuous and strained it seems contrived rather than poetic, if you see what I mean.  Yet other people love them.  I must be thick and inartistic.  For me, a poem should say what it means and speak to others clearly.  Some poetry I read I do not enjoy because it is not enjoyable.  It is gut-wrenchingly painful, heartbreakingly sad.  Not enjoyable but beautiful.
My poetry is blunt, to the point and often bitter.  it relects my world view.  But I don't think it is 'clever'.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Coincidences happen

Yes, they are at it again!  It is these people at http://onestoppoetry.com/.
Or to be precise, you Mr. Brian Miller!

"So along that thread write a poem inspired by the heart, the community, your desire or angst about writing – in other words write!!!"

And my friend JL, who early today came up with the prompt 

" Today's Prompt is FIRST AND LAST

Today we will do the line ...
I opened a secret passageway...
The rules are ...
You MUST use this as the first and last line in your write, as it is given."

To which I responded with this before I dropped in at onestoppoetry

I opened up a secret passageway
Deep, deep down far within my own mind
And I found an escape from the grey,
Dull and dismal world of everyday,
I felt that I had been so very blind.

Deep inside my imagination
I found a whole new world I can love
Where words show a strong inclination
To set up their very own nation
With debates that fit them like a glove.

Where numbers dance in their symmetry
That grave stately waltz of proven fact
Defining life using logics key
And making forms for some poetry
To party with the words and make a pact.

I can escape with many a friend
And happily spend all of my day
With words and numbers in a fine blend.
Yes, life is fun now that, in the end,
I opened a secret passageway. 

And they say coincidences don't happen.

A Beautiful Sunrise this morning

Sometimes we need to stop and look at the beauty around us.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A very rough draft of a story. Is it worth polishing and writing more?

Prologue – Night Of The Dead

At last Tam was old enough to join the real celebrations of the night of the dead. Midwinter night, the last night of the year, the longest night. The fun celebrations had been going on all day, of course. Gourds had been carved into ghastly faces and all the youngest had gorged themselves sick on the sweets, biscuits and special treats. Now they were being taken to bed and the real celebrations were about to begin.
Standing in line with the other boys, he shivered as the cold night air played across his naked skin. The Dream Walkers processed between the two lines, male one side, female the other, eldest first, youngest last. Tam could only faintly make out the flicking Talash brushes that sprinkles the ice-cold blessed water over the assembled. As the leading Dream Walker, Master Hol-Ka, approached the younger children, Tam felt a strange growing tension that seemed to swell up through his feet from the ground beneath him.
Despite the need to stay silent, the cold and the dark, Tam felt as if he should be singing. He was resonating with a sound he did not understand and could not really hear.
Finally, Hol-Ka reached the youngsters and, followed by the rest of the Dream Walkers, passed Tam with only a glance and the ritual flick. The children reached down and picked up their blue robes, robes whose colour showed the wearers to be juvenile and, therefore, gave them a certain degree of leeway during the major part of the ceremonies. Wearing his warm robe and with his feet in his thick boots, Tam felt calmer and more ready to face what lay ahead.
The Dream Walkers had reached the Talish tree. Removing their tokens from around their necks, each Walker touched it to his or her forehead. At this point, the tokens began to glow softly. Tam gasped. He knew it was supposed to happen but he had never seen a token actually glowing before.
Hanging their tokens in the tree, the Dream Walkers turned to face the assembled villagers and bowed. The villagers bowed back and the night of the dead had begum.

The light from the tokens on the Talish tree was brighter than Tam thought it would be. Looking around, he could see the multi-coloured clusters of the villagers as they gathered together to remember their dead. There were no Village leaders or Dream Walkers to remember this year so, until the nights end ceremony, people were free to remember who they wanted in whatever manner they chose.
Tam moved towards his family. His mother stood out in her pure white initiates robe. They would be popular tonight as Sharmia was favoured by people remembering lost children. The summer fever had taken many babies whose hold on life had yet to become firm enough to allow the Dream Weavers to do their work. Tam decided he would not join them. His two older brothers, Rafillo and Tirrillo would not care to share their status as helpers and his sister, Kara, in her new yellow robe denoting physical maturity, would prefer not to have to watch over him during the services his mother would hold, she would want to participate fully.
So Tam decided to risk what he had planned for this night. Drifting apparently aimlessly over to the dogwood bush near the north gate, Tam smiled but shook his head at the invitations to join the history telling groups. Two months ago, he was afire to join one of these groups, sitting with his friends and hearing the full histories for the first time. That was before. Now, after, he just wanted to remember Rin himself.

Reaching under the dogwood, Tam pulled out the little fabric pouch he had hidden there earlier. The dogwood provided a shadow which acted as a screen for his actions. Solemnly Tam sat in the correct cross-legged posture. Opening the pouch, he took out the contents and placed them in a circle in front of him. A sliver of wood he had whittled from Rin's food bowl. The collar he had made as his first leather work project. The wooden whistle he had used to call Rin. A feather to represent the birds Rin had chased. A rabbits tail to represent the rabbits they had hunted together. A tuft of wool to represent the sheep they had herded. Finally, in the centre of the circle, the few hairs he had gathered from the brush he had used on Rin.
“What are you doing boy?”
The words were softly spoken but they whipped across Tam's ears like a shout.
“Nothing Sir!”
The response was automatic and, even as the word escaped him, Tam realised how futile they were. The evidence of what he was doing was laid there before him on the grass. Tam knew he should stand but to do so would be to ruin the ceremony he had started. Ruin it forever as this questioner would surely demand he destroyed what would be seen as mockery.
“What are you doing boy?”
As the question was repeated, the questioner moved into Tam's sight. The earth brown robes of a Master Dream Walker. The voice was not that of Master Hol-Ka. A visiting senior Dream Walker. The best Tam could hope for now was to be dismissed to bed and declared too young to attend for at least another year.
Stiffening, Tam decided to hold his head up and face the consequences. In for a lamb, in for a sheep as his father often said.
“I am holding a private remembering Sir.” Tam responded, quietly but firmly.
“What is the name of the remembered one?”
“Rin, Sir.”
“Rin? An unusual name. Tell me of the life of Rin.”
The reply made Tam look up swiftly in shock. These were the ritual words. The words a Dream Walker would say for a major remembering. This Dream Walker Master must not have understood what he was seeing.
“Rin was my dog, Sir”
Tam closed his eyes, braced for the uproar that would follow.
“Was he a faithful dog to you?”
Again the ritual words. Was the Master mocking Tam? That did not seem right. Surely a Master would not make fun of a rite, however abnormal it was.
“He was, Sir.” The words flooded out and with them the tears Tam had not been able to shed all these weeks. Tam found himself telling of his earliest memories of Rin. How the dog had let the toddler Tam haul himself up by hanging on to Rin's collar. Of the long golden days exploring with Rin, first in the garden then, as Tam grew older, in the nearby fields. The pride Tam had felt when he and Rin had been set to guard the sheep one day when his father had been needed at a neighbours. Oh, he knew now that Rin had been quite capable of guarding the herd by himself for those few hours but it had made Tam feel so useful and part of the family. His even greater pride when he was allowed to go with his father and Rin to help with the herding and how he had learned to direct Rin with the whistle.
Tam told of Rin showing him the countryside. Hunting birds and rabbits. Of long evening walks in the fields. Of rolling in the hay barn on rainy days. Of a childhood shared with his canine friend.
Finally, he told of Rin becoming slower. Moving less freely. Then, that final morning, greeting Tam only with a wag of his tail. Tam told of spending the morning sitting with Rin by the fire. He told of Rin licking his hand. He told of Rin going to sleep and breathing slowly and gently. Slower and slower. Then not breathing.
“His life was good. He lived it well. You share the memories. Remember him and be glad. He was loved. He loved you.”
The Dream Walker Master rested his hands on the items on the grass as he spoke the ritual closing to the remembering.
Tam choked out the ritual response. “I remember him with love and with gladness for the time we shared.”
Even as he spoke the words, Tam realised it was true. All things end. Rin's end had been peaceful. He had been with one he loved and who loved him. It was enough. The hole in Tam's life was still there but the sharp pain had gone. Time now to heal and move on.
Tam raised his eyes to the Dream Walker.
“Thank you Master for your grace in allowing me to remember Rin like this. I know it is not proper to remember a dog as one would a person.”
“To you, he was and is a person. Why should it be wrong to remember him so?”
The Dream Walker Master smiled.
“I will tell him of this ceremony”
With that, he was no-longer there.
Tirrillo touched his young brother on the shoulder as he spoke. Tam started and turned to look at his brother.
“What are you doing, Tam? You must have been sitting here for hours. You are freezing! Come on, it is time.”
Tam looked wildly round. False dawn was staining the horizon, it was time for the final ceremony. Scrambling to his feet, Tam stuttered, “I was talking to the Master.”
“What Master? There was no-one near you. Don't tell me you fell asleep and missed everything! Well, you will have to wait for next year to hear the histories now. Come on, we had better join the others. Pick your bracelet up.”
Tir turned and walked towards the rest of the family who were gesturing to the boys to join them. Tam looked at where his brother had pointed and saw a leather thong with a brown bead sitting where he had made the remembering circle. The bead was the colour of Rin's eyes. Tam picked it up and tied it on his wrist as he jogged over to join his family.

I'm trying a new (to me) form of poetry.

We were not the richest of families.  In our house we never had anything second-hand.  It was always 'new to us' stuff.  Just word play?  Possibly but it made a huge difference to the way we looked at things we got.  Everything was new since we hadn't had it before.  It had history and we could invent a past for it.
Maybe it is why I love charity shops.  I can buy 'new' furniture for my house that is sturdily build but quite cheap from Charity shops.  I can change it when I want by donating it back to that or another similar shop.  I haven't wasted money, I have made donations to charity.

Anyway, back to the poetry.
The poetry form is called a nonet.  It consists of nine lines.  The first line has nine syllables, the second eight and so on down to the final line of one syllable.

Here is my attempt.


There is lots of magic in the world
Just look around and you will see
Lights that come on with a switch
Aeroplanes in the sky
Done by science? Yes.
But still magic
Enough there
For me.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

One Shot Wednesday strikes again


Any aspiring poet should know this site.
Come to that, so should everyone else!

So here it is again:  http://onestoppoetry.com/

Go take a look.

Todays one shot attempt is a Tanka since we looked at them on Monday.  My brain seems to be stuck.

Trembling rosebud
On the point of opening
 Enfolded in warmth
Pressure, pain, joyful stretching 
The blood red rose bloomed that day.


Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Alarm went off.
I hit it.
Alarm went off again.
I hit it again, knocked the clock on the floor and had to get out of bed to switch the dratted thing off.
Cranked eyelids open and staggered into bathroom.
Stepped on cat.  Wish he wouldn't sleep in the shower.
Got tangled in shower curtain and ended up face first in the sink with the shower curtain firmly hanging on to my left leg.
Found towel and got face dry enough to see.
Staggered round bathroom trying to find specs.  Fell over cat who was walking round me trying to get me to feed him.
Remembered I hadn't put specs on so staggered back into bedroom to find them.  After ten minutes found them under the bed where I must has knocked them when I hit the alarm.
Staggered downstairs, narrowly missing falling over cat.
Gained two scratches separating cats who were facing off in the doorway.
Staggered though to kitchen and skidded on mouse.
Closer inspection proves it was a very old toy mouse with artificial fur.  Phew.
Filled kettle and plugged it in.
Fed cats.
Fed the next lot of cats.
Fed the first lot of cats with the stuff the second lot wouldn't eat and vice-versa.
Stared blankly at kettle for five minutes waiting for it to boil.
Switched kettle on.
Lifted boiling kettle and went to fill the mugs.
Put the kettle down and got the mugs out of the cupboard.
Put tea bag in one cup and coffee in the other.
Added water.
Added milk.
Took both mugs upstairs.
Stood outside Mums bedroom trying to work out which mug held her tea.
Took tea into Mum.
Took coffee back downstairs and sat down.
Took large swig of coffee.
Spat large swig of coffee back into mug.  Went and added sweeetner.

Look out work, here I come...

Monday, 21 February 2011

Tanka day

I'm having a Tanka day today.

Looking in the glass
I see age there looking back
My soul still feels young
Though time's wintry finger tips
Have stroked frost into my hair.


Sleeping brings forth dreams
That whisk my heart far away
I dance through starlight
While the wind from the warm sun
Blows into my weary soul.


Soft the sound of growth
Silently the leaves unwrap
I see hints of green
I see them in your flashing eyes
Jealousy's seed sprouts again.


The sheets kiss my skin
The cool breeze softly strokes it
Lying on my bed
I miss the feeling of warmth
That comes when you are near me.


Car engine purring
The scenery unrolling
The freedom to drive
To travel along the road
Moving independantly.


My problem isn't writing
It is NOT writing...

Tanka -more complex than it seems

One Stop Poetry Form Monday – Tanka with the help of Lady Nyo
Just when I think I've got my head round it all, along comes this excellent pieces and throws all my ideas back up in the air.  I love it!

As the leaves now fall
At winter's cold arrival
My heart will wither
When you turn away from me
Saying that our love is done.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

One Stop Sunday

Thanks Jack and one stop, I think....
Sunday Photography Interview: JackAZ Photography
today’s Picture Prompt Poetry Challenge…

On the street corner
A violin is playing
Darth Vader dances
While the rain falls steadily
His tunes wail anger and grief.

Perhaps I should have said Tanka very much Jack...
Please read the article folks,  the photography left me breathless.

Electronic man
Using an old violin
Fiddling out his woes
Angry, menacing and dark
Tunes and man challenge the norm.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Early writing

 This is the first poem I posted for a wider audience.  It was in response to 'Dodge Writes' on J L's prompting blog.  The challenge was to use these words:
Oh! Look how you stand there in your pulling gear!

I know you can’t wait to get well out of here

To meet with your mates and in a Club stand

Looking tough while you listen to the latest hit band.

For you life is tangy and you love the taste,

You live right on the edge, not a minute to waste.

Posing and preening like the Worlds greatest Stud.

‘Come with me, baby, and things will be good’

You say, looking carefree and manly and rich,

‘I am a winner and this here is my pitch,

I risk everything on the roll of one dice.

Just look, you can see we are real Men not mice!’

It’s not good pretending, you can not fool me.

It just doesn’t fit with the facts that I see

When you’re out on your own and nobody knows

That you and your mates are like carrion crows.

In a mob you are frightening, you pick on the weak

But alone you’re more nervous, no trouble you seek

In the face of a fight you just wilt and then ooze

Well out of the way when not strengthened by booze.

Asked for an opinion on the fence you go sit

For so long it’s no wonder wood’s got into your wit.

Oh yes, out in daylight I sure see no trace

Of that macho, tough-guy standing there in your place.

Both ends of the stick

OK.  I'm on a right downer this morning.  Medication withdrawal combined with a skull cracking headache equals depression on a grand scale.

Anyway.  I joined this site called Fanstory.  It looked quite my cup of tea. Competitions, reviews of your work, chances to read other peoples work and see how it was rated to judge your own against it.
Today I am not sure.

You see, it promised feedback and reviews and I don't feel I am getting much.  Oh I get lots of 5 stars plus 'well written' and 'I love it' comments but, apart from a couple of helpful people, that is it.  For example:  I write a story and enter it in a competition judged by read vote.  I get over 20 reads, 5 reviews of 5 stars, etc., no bad comments, no improvers.  But, when voting opens, not a single vote.  So, why?  What made the other stories better?  How can I improve?  Is my style wrong?

Then there is the 20 views and overall far less that 50 votes.  This is a huge site, why so few votes?  Too many contest? Or is it that most people are really only interested in their own works and only review to get the 'money' to promote there own stuff?

Then there is the Committee decided contests.  The winner is publish.  Okay, not me.  Well I didn't really expect it would be, I am very new at this.  However, there is no feedback from the judges either.  No improvers, no explanation of why the winning poem won and what made it better than the others.
So what do I do to improve?  Where do I go from here?  Do I bother spending money to enter contests?  After all, If I want no responses I can enter national contests and be ignored by professionals!

Then there is the money you have to spend to promote your work.  I could be a slap-happy 5 star reviewer, stick 'wonderful, well written, good luck, etc..' and walk away with enough to reach top spot.  But that isn't me.  I would be lying and also insulting the writer.  What is the point of that?  It would just devalue the whole thing.

Without spending that money and offering people what amount to bribes, no reviews and no rating.
For example, I spent nearly 15 'members dollars' on promoting this article.  Where did this land me?
"You have promoted Where do I go from here?.
"Where do I go from here?" is listed on page 3 at the 71st position of the listing.
At the current position the estimated number of reviews is 1 to 2."

So I Spent $15 dollars to get?   Well, nothing actually, since the 'new release' certificate promises 2 reviews....
Yes, I rashly spent money to prove the point.

The worst part for me is that, when I read other works, I see things being given 5 stars and excellent when the rhymes don't and the syllable count is off.  So how can I value reviews given to me?

I dare not review anymore.  I can't give 5 stars to everything and some of the things I see with 5 or even 6 stars leave me cold.  How do I rate them?  Have I the right to go against so many people with more experience than me and give a lower rating?

So I am beating myself up.  Am I expecting too much?  Am I too demanding?  Am I just useless and might as well not bother?  Am I missing the whole point?  Should I give up altogether?  Have I got the wrong end of the stick?

So here I sit, one depressed dilettante writer who wants to be more.  Has anyone out there got the answer?

Friday, 18 February 2011


Practicing a sonnet:
Ah, but there's more to a sonnet than just the structure of it. A sonnet is also an argument — it builds up a certain way. And how it builds up is related to its metaphors and how it moves from one metaphor to the next. In a Shakespearean sonnet, the argument builds up like this:
  • First quatrain: An exposition of the main theme and main metaphor.
  • Second quatrain: Theme and metaphor extended or complicated; often, some imaginative example is given.
  • Third quatrain: Peripeteia (a twist or conflict), often introduced by a "but" (very often leading off the ninth line).
  • Couplet: Summarizes and leaves the reader with a new, concluding image.

As girls with models faces, models gaits
With perfect features painted on each face
And not a hair or freckle out of place
Like pictures on a box of chocolates.
This perfect beauty captured in a scene
Is stacked up in each city and each town
Chocolate box perfection, one could drown
In sweet copies of perfect beauty queen
But no, behind each picture on a lid
Sweet chocolates are hiding, tempting taste,
While beneath this cosmetic paint and paste
Among the sweet both sour and harsh are hid.
Perfection may be beauty but for me
There's more in individuality.

So.  Did I get there?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

At the crossroads.

 This is in response to the prompt to write a story completely in dialogue.  No narration, descriptions or sentence tags.  maximun word count 1000 words.  I used 706 words.

“Here we are then, off you get.”
“Right. I've got the tools. Where do we start?”
“Over there will do, start stripping the turf.”
“It would be bloody rainin', wouldn't it?”
“Stop moaning and start working.”
“'Ow much?”
“Six by three of course, what else?”
“Six by three? It's a bloody grave! You didn't say we was digging a bloody grave”
“What else would we be digging out here in this weather, you dollop?”
“I thought we were putting up another signpost or sumthin.”
“God Almighty! Did you even bother to think? A signpost? What's that over there then?”
“Well p'raps a mile post then.”
“Bleedin' idiot, that's what you are.”
“'Ang on, if we're digging a grave 'ere, who's it for?”
“The Flint boy.”
“ 'Im! But 'e killed 'imself?”
“Aye, that he did. That's why we're digging here. Now get back over here and pick that bloody spade up.”
“I don't want 'im 'aunting me.”
“Look, you know the rules. Buried in unconsecrated ground, at the crossroads.”
“I dunno. It's not nice.”
“Nice? If you want nice, pretend your digging a flipping flowerbed.”
“Oh, all right.”
“Pile that turf up properly then come and help with the digging.
“'Ow did 'e do it anyway?”
“Why did who do what?”
“Tom Flint. 'Ow did 'e kill 'imself”
“Hanged himself. Used the wire from the fencing he was doing for his Dad.”
“Bloody hell. You don't want to dig his grave but you want to know all the gory details. You young ghoul.”
“Aw. Go on. You might as well tell me. It'll 'elp pass the time while we're digging.”
“Well, you know young May Brown?”
“'Er who lives with 'er aunt at Millbrook?”
“That's right. Tom Flint has been courting her for the last year.”
“Everyone knows that. Bloody 'ell, 'e's talked of nothin' else for months.”
“Then you'll know he asked her to marry him.”
“'E did?”
“That he did. And she said yes”
“And that's why 'e killed 'imself?”
“No, you dollop. He was that happy he looked like he had gone simple, smirking and laughing to himself.”
“So what 'appened?”
“Well, him and his Dad went to see Aunt Brown to talk terms as it were.”
“And she said 'No'? Tom had nowt to offer and weren't every likely to either, bein' the youngest an' all.”
“She said 'Yes' and bloody fast too.”
“What! Why?”
“Turns out young May had got a bit ahead of herself as it were.”
“She was expecting.”
“Expecting what?”
“God! How old are you? Seventeen? More like bloody seven if you ask me. Expecting a baby, you young thickhead.”
“A baby! Er and Tom! Lord! 'Is Dad'll skelp 'im.”
“Aye, that was the problem you see. It weren't her and Tom.”
“It weren't? Who was it then?”
“May wouldn't say.”
“So Tom killed 'imself?
“Nope. His Dad told Aunt Brown that the whelp would have to go. Said Tom could marry May when there was no babe but he wasn't having any cuckoos in the nest in his family.”
“Cuckoos in the nest?”
“Grow up boy! Kids whose Dads ain't their Dads, if you get me.”
“Bastards, you mean?”
“So what 'appened then?”
“So Aunt Brown gave May summat to do the job.”
“Do the job?”
“Make her lose it, like the sheep do if they get chased by dogs.”
“Ooooh... Did it work?”
“Oh aye. She lost the baby all right.”
“And she wouldn't stop bleeding. Aunt Brown tried everything. Even sent to Pailton for the doctor. Did no good though. Young May bled to death. We heard yesterday.”
“And Tom 'anged 'imself?”
“Come on, that's enough. Let's get him off the cart.”
“Off the cart! You're never tellin' me 'e's bin on the bloody cart all this time...”

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


I spent some time chatting to a lady called Annie one day while we waited for her daughter to pick her up. This one is for Annie:

Time Traveller
Along my memories
I dance at random intervals
And live

I’m five
It’s my birthday
My friends and family
Are singing, I open presents
There’s cake.

My love
I sit with you
As you lie there in bed
Breathing your last as I hold you
You die

A flash
Hold quite still, smile
The photograph will show
A wedding day of happiness
For us

Now back
To three, to ten,
What age am I right now?
Who knows? Who cares? Senility?
My life.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Today is going to be a random Haiku day.  I shall be jotting things down as the moment takes me and seeing what happens.
haiku :
  1. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.
  2. A poem written in this form.

Prismatic flashes
Sparkling on the black tarmac,
Sharp shards of impact.

Red stains the low clouds
Early blossoms swirl to ground
Stirred by days last breath.

Grey sky softly weeps
Sunlights rays pierce the blanket
And the rainbow arcs.

Monday, 14 February 2011

One Stop Poetry Tanka

Try your hand at Tanka using the 5-7-5-7-7 (syllable) structure of tanka.  That is the challenge.
Arithmetic and words, not a good mix for me but here we go.  Since it is St. Valentines Day, I thought it appropriate to go for the original type of this verse, a love poem.

This heart full of blood
Dutifully beating hard
Keeping me alive
Is still somehow so empty
When you are no longer near.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Sitting in the café and the world is full smiles
Kids, parents, grandparents, lover and friends
Meeting and laughing, happiness abounds
The snap. I'm down.
There are shutters between me and the world
I'm trapped in a hall of mirrors, lost in confusions thrall,
Everything reflected and distorted as I look round.
The smiles are turned to jeers, the laughter notes turn false,
I no longer see happiness, no longer feel a part of thing
I'm isolated, set apart and no-one seems to know,
They can not see the forcefield that traps me here.
I don't know how to break free or how long I'll be trapped
My mood swings are no pendulum with regular forward and back.
It's an emotional roller coaster, each turn and drop a jerk
And every climb back up again a slow ratcheting process.
Then at the top, that breathless pause, that sense of holding on
How long will I stay there before I plunge again?
Will one day I miss a twist and fly of into oblivion?

One Week On

One week since I started Blogging here.  So, what has happened?

Well, I am still a frustrated artist, when I see a lovely painting I wish I could paint.  I've seen works by photographers that make me want to spend months out with my camera.  So what can I do?

Well, it seems I can write.  I feel a bit bemused by this as, compared with the work of others I read, I use words with all the delicacy of a sledgehammer.  I spent my final two years of English Language and literature studies having my work thrown back at me with large F's scrawled on it.  My art mistress regularly told me I was as artistic as a block of steel and had all the imagination of a rhino.  Still, people seem to like what I write now so I will carry on.

I have learned that I am very impatient.  Why must my friends live in different time zones?  I don't want to have to wait for their day to start.  I want to shake them awake and say 'Look what I've done!'  As for waiting for feedback.  Read it now world, tell me instantly!  Oh dear.

Ah well, I am back at work Tomorrow, maybe I can be a little more patient when I am out for 8 hours a day.


Anyway, a huge THANK YOU to all you readers and commenters.  I welcome you all and am so glad you feel inclined to drop by.  I hope I continue to provide some entertainment.

The One Stop Sunday Picture Prompt Challenge!

In the stone wall
Framing the much loved view.
Golden field, distant hills, blue sky,

Wooden framework
Was the room you were in
Full of love where the weeds now grow
Sun touched.

Held there
By the stone work
Looking inward or out
Which side of the wall do we stand

Who once
Stood here looking?
In your sight now glassless
You hold the ghostly echoes of

Gone now
Almost all of
The once sturdy building
Where you held off the cold wind of
Lost times

Wooden framework
Looking inward or out
You hold the ghostly echoes of
lost times

Another piece inspired by a magificent photo from Sean McCormick
The man makes me want to grab my camera and roam the world.
Read the interview at  http://onestoppoetry.com/

To learn more about Sean, visit his website:

Saturday, 12 February 2011

St. Valentine’s Day

Sickly printed verses on
Tawdry folded cards.

Voluble declarations
Attached to plastic flowers.
Leering, smirking Cupids
Engaged in shooting arrows
Not caring who they're hitting.
Twisting tales of lovers found
In unlikely ways and places.
Neatly packaged tokens of
Emotionally drenched affection,
Simpering teddy bears clutching 'sweet' hearts.

Despite these overwhelming shows of manufactured mush
Actual love is found displayed across the world,
You can express your feelings without fear of mocking.

Yep.  It's those one-stop people again!   And I wasn't going to rant today either. Ooops!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Prose for a change - this is your fault JL.

This is from FanStory, a place of wonderful Prompts and contests... This prompt was a Sentence starts the story, it had to be at least 500 words but no more than 1000. The sentence was THE BED WAS EMPTY....

The bed was empty at last. Julia stood in the doorway staring blankly at the neat, clean sheets. For a long moment she didn't know what to do next. It had been so long since she had seen a bed that didn't contain a sweating, writhing figure struck down by the mysterious fever that had appeared out of the blue.
For the last three months it had been a ceaseless battle against the illness. Julia had been one of the earliest casualties and her survival had been taken as a sign of hope at first but, as the death toll mounted, hope too had died. The mortality rate was literally unbelievable, In their small community of 200 people only 3 had lived. The epidemic had hit in high summer, the hottest part of the year making it difficult to lower the soaring fevers. Hospitals had stopped admitting new patients after the first week. The T.V. had gone off in the first month, The radio and the electricity supply had lasted a little longer. Finally, the taps had gone dry.
Now, as she finally stood still, Julia could hear children playing in the garden and, miraculously, laughing.
Unbelievable That happy sound torn though her brain and she staggered back, turning to run down the stairs to the sanity of the kitchen. Mona looked up as Julia entered.
“Heard 'em. Hey?”
“Yes” Julia choked in reply.
“Bin there on and off for an hour now” Mona said, “ Makes ya wonder, don't it.”
“Where have they come from?”
“How should I know? Just turned up and started playin' like they belonged”
“ Did you ask?”
“Aye. Didn't get no answer though. They just looked at me then turned and went outside.”
“ How many are there?”
“'Bout a dozen all told. I guess there'll be more comin'.”
With that Mona turned away and started washing the sheets. Glancing back over her shoulder she said “ Put some more water on t' boil, then y'ad better go git some more food.”

Dazed, Julia did as she was told, picking up the bucket yoke and heading out to the well. As she drew near where the children were playing they froze and turned to watch her with silent intensity.
“Hello” Julia said, “ I'm getting some water, would you like to help?”
Without even glancing at each other, the two eldest looking, boys of about 12, moved towards the well where they stood waiting, still in eerie silence. Julia smiled at the other children and moved on to the well.
“Thanks for helping.”
She got a nod in reply and the boys moved simultaneously, one helping her lower the yoke, the other starting to wind the well handle, raising the bucket.
“So, I'm Julia, what are your names?”
The boys again gave her a brief, penetrating glance before going on silently with their tasks.
“O.K., no names.” Julia got the feeling she was missing something, “It's hot, you boys want to come up to the house and get drinks for everyone?”
Both boys nodded and, as she picked up the yoke, moved to steady the now full buckets, one each side in perfect unison without a word of look exchanged.
“Come on then. We've water and milk. There might be some lemonade left too.”
She lead the boys back towards the house, past the laughing children who seemed to be playing tag. Julia paused to watch as she wiped her forehead with her sleeve. Suddenly, the hot air seemed to turn ice cold as she realised that, apart from the laughter, the children were not making a sound. Speeding up, she moved quickly to the house, no longer caring whether she spilled water from the buckets on the yoke. As she notice the two boys, still trotting along with her were carefully steadying the buckets she felt close to tears with unexplainable panic.
Her abrupt entry into the kitchen caused Mona to look up.
“Aye, I noticed that me-self.” Mona turned to the boys, “ glasses are in that cupboard, milk's in the pantry keeping cool, so's the lemonade. Don't spill owt or you clean it up y'selves.”
Julia watched in horrified amazement as the boys filled glasses and silently handed milk, water or lemonade to the equally silent line of children, each of whom took the glass that was offered without comment or acknowledgement.
Julia turned to Mona.
“Do they need us?”
The question was jerked out of her.
“For now, aye.” was the reply, delivered with a grim shrug.

One Moment

Way up in the heavens the stars shine clear and bright
And though it is the night-time, my life is full of light
For standing in my garden here I've had a moments worth
Of good will to all men and peace upon the earth.

No it is not Christmas so my words seem out of place
But for just these few minutes I feel in a state of grace
All my sins forgiven, my trespasses absolved,
All my hurts are healed, all my problems solved.

I feel if could touch the world and share the way I feel
Then all the half felt dreams of men would suddenly be real
Everyone would have enough and greed would not prevail
Every deed would be rewarded, evil would always fail.

I'll hold on to this moment and store it in my heart
And take it out and look at it when my life falls apart
To feel new strength flow though me as I know that I can be
Truely content with myself at last and happy to be me.

Thanks to Clover and Kathy for the inspiration of their garden.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

One Shot Wednesday

Here is a propery entry for one shot Wednesday.

Guilt or Gilt?
Why am I being force fed second hand emotions?
Every day my mail includes another blaming plea,
Another tale of third world woe, a child in poverty,
Another blind or maimed person relying upon me,
A batch soft-eyed animals betrayed in their devotions.

Then on the television screen horrific stories harrow,
Tortured pictures, tortured souls as in some freak-show
Get their thirty minutes of fame although they do not know
In thirty second sound-bites, just a background shadow,
While well-chosen, performed words chill me to the marrow.

All these things, so I am told, are easily turned to joy,
All I have to do is hand over a small sum of money
Two pounds here, three pounds there, the outlook will be sunny,
No kids will die, no pets are hurt, and the world is full of honey
There's jobs and education, work for every girl and boy.

So I give as much as I can afford but not a day goes by
Without another leaflet posted through my door to beg
For another country in famine, another powder keg
Of misery and torment, the trapped gnawing of a leg,
Another person or animal condemned by me to die.

So is this about helping through engendering this guilt?
Or just to slap a band-aid on humanities vast wound,
Ignoring the many troubles with which the world's festooned,
That the ones who do the giving are emotionally marooned,
Is this about helping others or about raising the gilt?

What makes a friend?

I was feeling very low the other day when I logged on to Facebook.  When I went to my home page I found it full of foul language, sexual innuendos and derogatory comments about others.  Had I been hacked?  No, this was 'normal' chat between some of me 'friends' and some of their own friends who I don't know.  I don't like it.  I don't want to face this sort of thing when I log in.
  After much thought I decided to remove these people from my list of Facebook friends.  Does this mean we are no longer friends?  I don't as yet know since I am not at work and have not seen any of them in real life yet.  Have I emailed them to talk about it?  Again no, for 2 reasons.
1/  Have they even noticed?  Looking back, only 1 of these 'friends' has actually written on my wall, messaged me of involved me in any way in the last 6 months.

2/ If they have noticed and take exception to it I am enough of a coward to want to leave it until I have to face it rather than invite a barrage of comment when I am trying to relax.

I suffered a nervous breakdown 2 years ago, aggrevated by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after an incident at work I never emotionally resolved properly.  Since that time I have opened up more and made more friends.  Strangely, most of my new very good friends are people I have only met in this strange virtual world we now have, yet I find I am closer to them than to many of the people I share my real life with, most of whom didn't even notice I was ill and some of whom still think I made it all up.  A few people even stopped being my friend at that time because I was 'crazy' and worse, i didn't try to hide  it or pretend it has never happened.  I mention it in public!  I still suffer from depression and anxiety and will talk about mental health issues in meetings at work!  Shock, horror!  I might run amok with a knife or a shotgun next you know!

So, what makes a friend?  Shared experiences or similar reactions to similar experiences.  Working together or talking together.  Sharing lifes troubles or lending an ear to them?

Book of Love - chapter 7

Self - Tanka

I'm cheating here,  This is in response to Jl Dodges Prompt for the week but I am also including it in the One Shot Wednesday.

Friends say they love me,
My family show they care.
Animals trust me.
Have I the courage to risk
Loving myself a little?

Book of Love - chapter 6

Pets - 15 words or less

They put their very lives into my hands
How can I not return such love?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Book of Love - chapter 5

Friends – Free Verse.

What is it that make friendship so unique?
The answers that I find are so oblique,
Acquaintances believe in give and take
When there are things to do, decisions to make
Friends believe in sharing and in laughter,
With no record of owing kept thereafter
Good and ill shouldered just the same,
Forgiveness following swiftly after blame.

Undemanding love that shines a light
Into the darkest moments of the night
Illuminating the corners of my soul
Making tattered hearts once again whole.
No heckling tales of who did what and when
But remember stories of what happened then.
Laughter and tears are shared with a whole heart
As though no time had past when you're apart.

Book of Love - chapter 4

If you can't work out what this one is about, I've definitely got the form wrong!

Constant presence in my heart
Holding my soul in their hands
Innocently trusting me
Loving so wholeheartedly
Demanding I return their love.
Returning affection openly
Ever sure that I'll be there,
Nothing must us ever part.

Book of Love - chapter 3 - Crapsey cinquain

The theme is spouse, the form is Crapsey cinquain.

Constant support,
Sharing, tender lover.
The other half of my lifes arch,
Hearts friend.