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Bradene's (bradene on UKA) UKArchive
496 Archived submissions found.
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Memories Of Raymond Froggatt (posted on: 09-05-14)    
J'ai vu une petite grenouille laide...

www.youtube.com You were my noisy Frog The prince of them all One I can't ever forget A delight to recall You always made me tremble At my favourite choice Your ''All because of you'' my love In that gravely noisy voice. You sang all your love songs Like they were meant for me It was you and I together Where no one else could see. I didn't want a handsome prince I loved you Froggie, as you were Rough toned and rugged The sound made me purr. Eat your heart out Sinatra My Froggie had you beat Well that is my opinion To me...always so sweet. Copyright VMM2014
Archived comments for Memories Of Raymond Froggatt
stormwolf on 09-05-2014
Memories Of Raymond Froggatt
Hi Val!
I nearly did not see you 🙂
Now, I must confess I had never heard of him but having looked him up and listened to him...well, all I can say is budge up, I fancy him too.
Lovely man. just the way I like 'em!

Great to see you posting again!
Alison xxx

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 10-05-2014
Memories Of Raymond Froggatt
Hello Val, it has been a little while since you last posted on UKA. Are you well? I like the Froggatt/Frog play on words although, he being British, it doesn't refer to his nationality.
By the way, it should be 'gravelly' and not 'gravely' on the last line of the second verse.
Luigi x

Author's Reply:


Cruel Tricks And Wrong Turns (posted on: 17-01-14)    
Yet it only takes one small step to change the course of a life... A complete re-write which I earnestly hope. is an improvement.

Stooped beside the trash bin he scrabbled around, his hand pulling out a small polystyrene carton. Opening it he found a half eaten burger in a bun, he stuffed it unceremoniously into his hungry mouth whilst his other hand was busily searching, for dessert. Images of what he may find freaked me out. I tasted bile in my throat smelled vomit on my own breath, approaching him tentatively, I offered my Mars bar and hot Latte. His faded blue eyes grew wide with maybe a question? - What was it? Why would she do that? or, how did I get here? Copyright VMM2010/re-write2014
Archived comments for Cruel Tricks And Wrong Turns
Elfstone on 18-01-2014
Cruel Tricks And Wrong Turns
It would have been interesting to have the original version beside this so that we could see in what way you have re-written. It is good as it is. It is so sad that what is described is so accurate. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Bozzz on 18-01-2014
Cruel Tricks And Wrong Turns
I liked this one too - a tragedy and humanity in a few words.
Good write, David

Author's Reply:

Pronto on 20-01-2014
Cruel Tricks And Wrong Turns
A short, sad and sorry tale but all too real I fear. Well told poet.

Author's Reply:

usutu on 16-03-2014
Cruel Tricks And Wrong Turns
I thought we had become a better country, and this was a thing of the past - sadly not.

U'sutu.

Author's Reply:


At Peace (posted on: 17-01-14)
A blissfully happy moment.

Last night I dreamed I held a new life in my arms whilst giving CPR to my long dead brother. When the babe started to cry my brother opened his eyes and smiled. I rocked the babe gently to and fro; my brother sat up and looked at me with a radiance I had never seen before, and so it was that for the first time in years I felt happy and at peace. Copyright VMM2014
Archived comments for At Peace
Elfstone on 18-01-2014
At Peace
You're fortunate to have such pleasant dreams! I envy you. 🙂 Elfstone

Author's Reply:

royrodel on 19-01-2014
At Peace


Author's Reply:


The knocker (posted on: 13-01-14)
Written for a challenge some time ago and I forgot to submit it. Yet it is still topical.

Knocking for antiques and curios was Benny's scam of choice. A doddle to procure if you had a wheedling voice. Especially from the old girls who were lonely and alone, in the long cold winters when the wind sliced to the bone. Couple of quid for a silver spoon five for a Queen Anne chair, it had languished in the attic, she'd forgotten it was there. Paintings that needed cleaning Yet, Benny could clearly see, they were original Turners, Gob-smacked, he'd counted up to three. He doled out five ten pound notes and told her she'd done well. Silently under his foul breath prayed he wouldn't go to hell. He told himself he'd saved her from hypothermia and the flu. Then off he went whistling convinced she hadn't a clue. Until one day, while out knocking he walked into a trap the Old Bill had set for him, it was time to take the rap Porridge was awaiting him, I'm not guilty, he did shout, Yet, he knew deep down inside he'd be antique, before he got out. Copyright VMM2014
Archived comments for The knocker
Andrea on 13-01-2014
The knocker
Hahaha, very funny - reminded me of one of my silly tales (I think you've read it) --> A Knife in the Back

Author's Reply:

barenib on 13-01-2014
The knocker
Nicely done Val, especially the finale! John.

Author's Reply:

Savvi on 13-01-2014
The knocker
Loved it, very funny and you kept the meter tight, what more could one ask.

Author's Reply:

Nemo on 14-01-2014
The knocker
Topical, yes. My mother was cheated by one these - my inheritance for a mere £25. Enjoyable poem, though. Regards, Gerald.

Author's Reply:

pommer on 14-01-2014
The knocker
Very funny,I enjoyed reading this. An alcoholic friend of mine was once conned out of an antique table( 200 years old ) for a bottle of Whisky.He got away with it .Pity the old bill didnt find him.Good poem. Pommer

Author's Reply:

Bozzz on 15-01-2014
The knocker
A good subject and entertaining poem. But I believe greater attention to rhythm would markedly improve the flow when reading - turn a good piece into a very good one....Bozzz

Author's Reply:


Pebbles of Emotion (posted on: 10-01-14)
Just a few pebbles, thrown and caught.

Careless Words Petals drifting on the wind are like words falsely spoken. Promises we unthinkingly rescind; leave the flower crushed and broken. ~~ Gleam Sunlight in rays, dancing, plays on inlays of glass. Mixed Emotions Crying out my sorrow wringing hands in fear, yet emerging with heart pounding and raging Cold Spell Grey layers of sky, a blanket of cold comfort to the warm hearted Springing Puss Pausing while washing furry face with playful paws pounces upon prey In Spring Lime green leaves giggle as a zephyr whispers with the weeping willows. Loving You. To see you evokes flower bursts of emotion soft around my heart. ~~ Copyright VMM2014
Archived comments for Pebbles of Emotion
Elfstone on 10-01-2014
Pebbles of Emotion
It's lovely to see you posting again and always good to read your work. May I make a suggestion or two? The layout of 'Careless Words' and 'Mixed Emotions' might be improved (and should "Crying" be in bold?).
Your haiku are lovely, but there is a syllable missing in the first line of 'Cold Spell'. Something like "Steel Grey layers of sky" or "Grey layers of wet sky" would fix it. (I assume 'Springing Puss" should be in bold?) For your consideration only. Elfstone 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for you suggestions I've made on or two, but on the whole I do rather like them as they are. Love Valx


The Dreaming Hours (posted on: 10-01-14)
Hope springs eternal.

Months have passed, pen idle on the desk. Muddled thinking an everyday menace, the onset of old age perhaps Night time hours are filled with poetry. Couplets run screaming through my head and somewhere deep inside, I know they are good. If only I could recall the voices of the night, present them to the waiting paper with pride. It's futile, the dark genius hides from the daytime dolt and awaits the dreaming hours, another game of hide and seek. Copyright VMM2014
Archived comments for The Dreaming Hours
Nomenklatura on 10-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
Ahh... I think the dark genius has won out over the daytime dolt, here.
regards
A Daytime Dunce

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ewan, your comments are always very welcome. Valx

ifyouplease on 10-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
very nice

Author's Reply:
Ah! Nic how nice to receive a comment from you, hope you are well. Valx

stormwolf on 10-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
Hi Val
Lovely to see you writing again! I know exactly what you speak of here. What about a Dictaphone by your bed or even a pen and paper?
So many wonderful gifts from the subconscious melt away in daylight, like the cloths taken out of Tutankhamen's tomb.
Anyway, you managed to save some to write this little beauty 😉
Alison x



Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, comments from you are always welcome Valx

Elfstone on 10-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
Oh golly, can I relate to this!! you can't imagine the number of symphonies I've composed during the night, only for them to have dispersed into the ether in the morning! If I was to be really picky I would reset the last stanza, but the words are all there and all so true. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:
Hi Lillian, hope you have settled into your new home and a happy new year by the way. Thanks for your very welcome comments. Love Valx

Bozzz on 10-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
Yes, a gem, but I too worry over the last line. For me, the last line will read better without the "and", which of course demands a comma at the end of the preceding line. Great piece...Bozzz

Author's Reply:
Thanks Bozzz, The 'and' should not have been there I had already decided it was superfluous. I'm happy that you liked the piece. Valx

Mikeverdi on 10-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
Wonderful, you write about something we all understand so eloquently, I too think the \'and\' unnecessary. Such a small quibble over a splendid piece however... I loved it.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Mike glad you liked it, as I said I'd already decided the 'And' was not needed, I'm not a great lover of the word anyway, so I think I must have been day dreaming when I checked it before subbing, Thanks for your smashing comments. Valx

Ionicus on 11-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
Nice to read your work again, Val.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi hope you had a splendid Christmas. Have a Great New year. Valx

Nemo on 12-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
Great writing: 'pen idle on the desk' - been knowing this for some months now. Regards, Nemo.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Nemo. All the very best to you. Valx

Leila on 12-01-2014
The Dreaming Hours
Well written as always Val...Leila x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Leila. Happy new year to you. love Valx


A Little Life (posted on: 16-09-13)
Continuing the story of Minnie, This week Minnie meets Walter

As the years passed Minnie's pain became intolerable. Then one day her mother took her to see a new Doctor The new man promised to mend Minnie's legs. He explained to her what he could do, however, he told her it wouldn't be without a great deal of pain and lots of hard work; he described how after the operation she would have to wear heavy iron callipers to straighten her bones and strengthen her muscles. If she was a good girl one day soon she would walk. One day soon she would walk They were magic words to Minnie and soon became her mantra. Her mother encouraged her to join a club known as the Cripple's Guild, in no time at all she was making lots of new friends. One friend in particular, called Walter became her constant companion and was clear to everyone, that he was besotted. She took Walter to visit her newlywed brother Tom and his wife Rose who had prepared Minnie's favourite meal of cold pork with lashings of salad and pickled onions and bread and butter. They were all chatting away happily not really noticing that Walter was very quiet, suddenly a pickled onion whizzed past Toms nose almost separating it from his face. Something landed in the goldfish bowl with a loud plop! Tom peered into the bowl exclaiming with a chuckle ''well I'm blessed'' it's a picked onion! Now all we want is a plate of chips and we'd have fish-n- chips and pickles for supper too. They all fell about laughing all except poor Walter whose onion it was, it had flown off of his plate whilst attempting to stab it with his fork. Poor Wally couldn't stop blushing and was as quiet as the gold fish in it's bowl for the rest of the evening. Copyright VMM2013 To be continued.
Archived comments for A Little Life

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A Little Life (posted on: 09-09-13)
The beginning...Part 1

Let me tell you how it all began. The last day of 1914, this funny beautiful thing slipped painfully into a world at war swiftly followed by another scrawny screeching little entity, only that one was a he and whole, his limbs long and straight, showing signs of strength yet to be. They named him Joseph the name implied growth. He did grow and was strong they didn't worry about him for long Minnie was different, Minnie's legs were crooked and she had no cup for her left hip bone to slip into. Her spine was curved to the left making her whole body twist, yet she had the face of an Angel, hair as soft as silk, eyes of midnight blue. Minnie's immediate future was to spend her long days in a spinal carriage, watching her mother busy herself with her baby brother and the other nine children. It was a noisy life and her siblings did what they could to amuse her to make life happy for her. Everyone loved the smiling little scrap in the carriage She was home schooled they even taught her to play the piano, honky tonk style. On fine days they would push her up to the tram terminus. All the tram conductors would wave and call out to her, some would even bring treats of sweets, tell her stories and make her laugh. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew the little cripple girl with the laughing eyes. She loved her brothers most of all. Tall handsome Fred, funny George and his comical stories, Tommy with his silly voices the times he would dress up just to entertain her, quiet Joey her twin would sit and read to her. Then there would be letters from Billy fighting at the front, soon to go to Canada to marry his sweetheart Alice, Albert who didn't say a lot but would cuddle her when she was frightened Her sisters would teach her how to set her hair; secretly envying her the wondrous mass of beauty. They taught her to put on a light dusting of powder so that her strict father couldn't see that she wore it. Each one in turn taught her something, But she taught them the greatest lesson of all. How to live, love and be happy even when the pain seemed too much to bare To be continued... Copyright VMM2013
Archived comments for A Little Life
Gee on 09-09-2013
A Little Life
Beautiful story telling here, Val. I love your descriptions and I'm looking forward to the next part.

Author's Reply:

deadpoet on 09-09-2013
A Little Life
Good story telling- I hope it doesn't turn sad in the next part.

Author's Reply:


Portrait of an old time Local (posted on: 02-09-13)
My memories of the old Local we used to frequent. Not many like it exist today I wouldn't think... 3/9/13 thanks to Ewan for his suggested changes.

I remember when a pub was a place to drink beer. Where the air was noxious and thick with blue smoke and nicotine the preferred dcor. Old men played dominoes and crib, the younger men threw darts at a board on the wall not at each others heads, where Juke boxes were still in coffee bars with the teenagers. Over by the door next to the bar the old women would sit with their half pints of mild, a G and T if they were flush. Every now and then they would take turns handing round their boxes, each would dip in and take a pinch, sniff it up their noses for a satisfying snort of snuff. Their talk was ribald, their laughter raucous yet without malice or rancour. At around nine thirty the piano would be played by some wannabe Joe Henderson. The women would start to sing old favourites from the war We'll meet again, now is the hour, Oh so many, and they would always finish with Show me the way to go home. Suddenly the landlords voice would boom "Time Gentlemen Please" and the bar bell would clang abruptly ending the nostalgic cabaret In 'Cow's Corner' slowly we would all turn out into the unsteady night. copyright VMM2013
Archived comments for Portrait of an old time Local
Mikeverdi on 02-09-2013
Portrait of an old time Local
I too morne the passing of 'Pubs' from our landscape.

Author's Reply:
They were mostly friendly places, at least our local was. Thanks for reading. Valx

Andrea on 02-09-2013
Portrait of an old time Local
Blimey, Val, that took me back. Like Mike I mourn the passing of that finest of all establishments, the English boozer.

Great stuff!

Author's Reply:
There was always a friendly face and a welcome at our fav' place. Much missed. Thanks again Valx

Nomenklatura on 02-09-2013
Portrait of an old time Local
That took me back too, Val. I reckon the last stanza rushed to the end a little, and it was a little overt for me.

'Then Cow Corner's cabaret would end,
turning customers out
into the unsteady night.'

That's terrible, of course, but do you see what I mean?
I think my big problem is the the word 'thus', but I'm sure it's just me.

Author's Reply:
You were right of course, I was unsure how to end it at first but with your prompt it fell into place, I think Hope you don't mind my using your word Unsteady, I thought it was just right. Thanks for your help and for reading. Valx

pommer on 02-09-2013
Portrait of an old time Local
How very lovely and nostalgic.It transported me back over 60 years to a small country pub we used to visit,and all the sing songs we had. Well done Val.Belucky, Pommer.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pommer Glad to have brought back happy memories. Valx

cooky on 03-09-2013
Portrait of an old time Local
good old days indeed, less we forget

Author's Reply:

Pronto on 05-09-2013
Portrait of an old time Local
Ah the pubs of my youth! We were so unsophisticated in those days and none the worse for it either.
Damn good poem.

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 05-09-2013
Portrait of an old time Local
A woman after my own heart, Val, you most certainly are. I'm with the rest...mourning the loss of the 'pub'. The Star and Garter, along by the Thames in Putney, and the dear old Coat and Badge, to name but a couple.

Great stuff, and well deserving of its nib;-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:

barenib on 08-09-2013
Portrait of an old time Local
There are still a few left in some of the old side streets, but they won't be long gone too I fear. Some lovely memories Val, John x

Author's Reply:


And Along Came Mac (posted on: 30-08-13)
This one I wrote as a tribute poem to my husband a couple of years ago. I decided to rewrite it this week to mark our 22nd wedding anniversary which we celebrated on the 16th August a few weeks ago. He is without a doubt the best thing that ever happened to me, except of course giving birth to my wonderful girls. I look back over my life and realize how lucky I am and how wonderful it all has been.

That summer, 1989 I was at my best in my prime. Free like a bird released into the wild feeling all giddy Like a wayward child. I'd wore the chains of married life. A chattel, a possession, an obedient wife. I stretched my wings used my brain what exhilaration thinking for myself again. Made decisions, Knew a job was a must. Went to dances, kicked up some dust. There wasn't a problem I couldn't lick, life was a breeze and I was so slick Slimmed right down to eight stone nine, felt so trim in this body of mine. looked eighteen all over again became self aware unafraid of time. Then there was you like a cloud silver lined, filling my vision with a shimmer a shine. A glorious light to chase away dark lonely nights, making them just for play and delicious delights. copyright VMM2012 Re-written 2013
Archived comments for And Along Came Mac
Pronto on 02-09-2013
And Along Came Mac
This is such a vibrant and sweet write Val well done.

Author's Reply:


After the Mines (posted on: 30-08-13)
Mother Nature reclaims what is truly hers.

Autumn approaches achingly beautiful, bestowing colours to lift the soul. Chestnut hues golden tipped leaves cling to twigs which in turn adhere bravely to brittle branches on trees lightly rooted into ages old slag heaps. Once the earth here was scarred black, the air gritty with dust and soot, the damp northern fog spread lethal fingers and fisted inside already damaged lungs. Sporadic coughing resounds like the malicious caw of malevolent magpies bent on mischief. These days the birdsong is sweeter blackbird, robin and bluetit, as well as the noisy arguing of the water fowl echoing across the water parks. Now the mines have gone- Mother nature has reclaimed and re-dressed that which had belonged to her centuries past. Slag heaps smart now, glow in the autumn light with lush green grass shimmering like precious emeralds. Decorated proudly with sapling silver birch, bronzed beech hangers tremble in a light breeze. On manmade lakes between heaps of detritus, transformed magically the water ripples and glistens, Canada geese, swans and ducks gather to make the long journeys to their wintering homes, whilst local moor hens settle in sturdy reed beds for winter. Deep inside the earth the ghosts of generations glide silently among the idle monster like machinery, discarded and almost forgotten Copyright VMM2013
Archived comments for After the Mines
franciman on 30-08-2013
After the Mines
The fragile beauty of Nature is indeed an illusion. Your canticle proves she is robust and enduring. Maybe that's true beauty?
cheers,
Jim x

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm a bit late responding, had rather a lot of hospital appointments to keep and just having had a cataract removed from my left eye I've had to limit my time on the computer. Much better now though Looking forward to end of oct when they do my right eye, should be Superwoman then!! first of all, can I thank you for making this a fav' and me a fav' author I was thrilled to bits. I'm glad you liked the poem. Thanks once again Jim. Valx

Ionicus on 31-08-2013
After the Mines
Nice to see you back on form, Val.
You can't defeat Nature, it is resilient and it will spring back to life notwithstanding the ordeals to which it's subjected.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi it's nice to be back and great to be writing again, Glad you liked the poem Love Valx

Andrea on 31-08-2013
After the Mines
Wonderful, Val - and great to see you posting again.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, it's good to be able to write again just hope it lasts. thanks again Love Valx

Pronto on 02-09-2013
After the Mines
Oh yeah nature might be slow but she's very sure.
Good write Val.

Author's Reply:
Thanks so much Pronto for the positive comments, Love Valx

Mikeverdi on 02-09-2013
After the Mines
Loved it! Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks for loving it (: Valx

Corin on 03-09-2013
After the Mines
Yes Val - we have lots of places just like this in the North East, where subsidence ponds and overgrown pit heaps have restored the industrial landscape to a park for the descendants of redundant miners. Otters now gambol where men once risked their lives to win the coal for British industry.

I loved this:-

"the damp northern fog spread lethal fingers
and fisted inside already damaged lungs. “


This is of course strictly speaking true, here the old mine workings have collapsed below ground and caused the formation of subsidence ponds and lakes. Is that how the South Yorkshire lakes were formed?

"On manmade lakes between
heaps of detritus, transformed magically
the water ripples and glistens,”

However the phrase ‘manmade lakes’ suggests to me that these were deliberately created to beautify the area after the mines had ceased being worked rather than being created by the mines themselves so I thought that mine-made mines might be more precise.

Nevertheless, despite the beauty of these areas, damn Margaret Thatcher to hell for eternity for destroying the communities, lives and livelihoods of the miners of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire!

Dave


Author's Reply:
Thanks Dave, I know a way of life has gone but life here is so much nicer, I've been coming here for over thirty years now to visit my daughter and we moved up here to live in Feb' this year, The air is much cleaner and the houses and gardens are looking as if they are loved, the streets are a pleasure to walk down and people smile and talk so much more happily than they used to.
I have been told that the water parks have mostly been created deliberately but I think you are possibly right about the lakes forming after subsidence, what ever the whys and wherefores Barnsley is a far nicer and healthier place than it used to be. Thanks for your very positive comments Valx

Nomenklatura on 07-09-2013
After the Mines
Very, very good. Sharp images.

I believe 'ages old' should be 'ages-old' in much the same way as we write a 'twelve-year-old boy'. The same goes for 'monster-like'.

Of course, all hyphenated expressions start as separate words, spend a few decades hyphenated and then later become just one word, like 'corkscrew', for example. 'Manmade' is on the cusp of change, I'd write man-made, but I think if you crossed the Atlantic you'd come across manmade more often.

I'll shut up now.

ANYWAY, a very good poem that I enjoyed very much.

Author's Reply:

Evelon on 09-05-2014
After the Mines
I have an interest in the hardships of early miners and their families and have found it a rich subject for both poetry and prose.
I particularly like the way you compare today's landscape to that of former times illustrating how transient the impact of our actions, and our lives, are.
You have drawn a vivid picture of both place and time and I thoroughly enjoyed the poem.
It's one I shall enjoy reading again.


Author's Reply:


Remembering Fountains Abbey (posted on: 26-08-13)
An old one

Remembering Fountains Abbey brought a tear to my eye, yet a smile couldn't resist touching my lips. I recall the day we went, it was early autumn; the trees all burnished reds and coppery gold in the weak morning sunlight, just beginning to burn away the haze. Seeing the majestic ruins of the abbey rising up through the mist took our breaths away; then the temple of piety among that sea of arboreal splendour dedicated to Hercules, overawed us. In the water gardens we lunched on crusty rolls with Cheddar cheese; drank Beaujolais, (because it had been on special offer at Sainsbury's.) We huddled close together for warmth, feeling the first hint of the approaching winter. The cooling air full of the scents of a dying year and the last cut of still green grass, new mown. Just before we left, you bought me my teddy bear from the abbey gift shop, with the legend proudly proclaiming he came from Fountains Abbey right across his silken chest. Now he stares at me forlornly from pillows adorning my lonely bed, I wonder Does Teddy miss you too? Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Remembering Fountains Abbey
orangedream on 26-08-2013
Remembering Fountains Abbey
Val - this is so very poignant.

I also enjoyed my visit to Fountains Abbey. It sounds a beautiful place.

Hope all is well with you.

Best wishes

Tina x

Author's Reply:

amman on 28-08-2013
Remembering Fountains Abbey
Hi Val. This is so nostalgically heartwarming. Some lovely phrasing and memorable language. The last verse so unexpectedly sad.

Regards.

Tony.



Author's Reply:


Aunt Nellie (posted on: 23-08-13)
(A memory from childhood)

Aunt Nell, a formidable woman with a huge bosom, we would watch in awe as it rose up and down and up again wobbling non stop like a Christmas jelly. She held a cigarette calmly between thin moist lips, grey ash staying miraculously intact as it was rolled precariously from side to side by a pink tipped tongue. while blinking away acrid smoke that never seemed to make her eyes water. A raspy cough alerted us to hold collective breaths. Looking fearfully down at her bosom, it shuddered violently. Ash quivering on the precipice of a deep dark cleavage, only to be brushed off as she hauled her burdensome bulk up out of a creaking chair to go home. A hefty pile of ash accumulated on linoleum floor, for our poor mum to sweep up after her visit ended. Misty blue haze of smoke hung with tobacco aroma and tangy flavoured air for hours after; and a little more sticky nicotine would adhere to the already taupe tinged ceiling. Copyright VMM2014
Archived comments for Aunt Nellie
franciman on 23-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
Hi Val,
Descriptive poetry of a high order. My eyes watered in her acrid smoke.
Well done. (God isn't that patronising?)
cheers,
Jim x


Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comments Jim, It's lovely to be back. Valx

stormwolf on 23-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
Hi Val
A peep back in time. The subject matter maybe not the most how shall I say...attractive...but I really resonated with it in my own way.
The way it came over was perfect, in that the voice behind the words, was the child you were.
I had a boss like that on my first job aged 14 in the summer holidays working on a shop in the caravan park down at Nairn's beach.
They were all 'fisher people' (back in those days people looked after their own.)
My boss chain smoked, taking one out and putting another in and never, ever seeming to inhale or use his fingers.
Everybody smoked, and I remember how grown up and accepted I felt at 7am on a summer's morning, sitting in the back shop, having a grown up fag before going to sell the rolls. 😉

Your poem reminded me of all that, so thank you and great to read you again.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Hi Alison thanks for your positive comments, it's great to reminisce isn't it.. Hope you are well. Love Valx

Bozzz on 23-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
Loved that. A great bosom in the right place is a powerful weapon - I know I would have cringed before Nell....Bozzz

Author's Reply:
Thanks Bozzz, Though Aunt Nell had a large Bosom, She was no Dolly Parton (-; Valx

Corin on 24-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
Great imagery in this Val. She sounds like a fascinating and intriguing character. I wondered if perhaps you could flesh out a bit:-) in another poem about her?
I hope to hear you read your stories and poems, at the UKALive Event in London on Saturday September 20th. For full details see:-

https://ukauthors.com/phorum5/read.php?1,219923

NOTE: If you have books to sell bring a few along.

Of course, if you just want to listen to some of the excellent work being posted on UKAuthors you will be very welcome, the more the merrier, and some us may be very merry:-)

Dave



Author's Reply:
Thanks David for your lovely comments. I would love to come to UKAlive but at the moment my health prevents me from doing the things I love. I shall be with you all in spirit and I will watch the 'You Tube' performances. Good Luck to all Love Valx

Weefatfella on 24-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
 photo 915e0b75-fce7-4fc2-9921-556099197c13_zps1f6b3c50.jpg
Wonderful portrayal of old family life Val. I thoroughly enjoyed and drifted away into reverie after reading this. I've always thought the Air traffic control tower at Edinburgh Airport was reminiscent of the old fashioned ashtrays our aunties used to have. The ones where you would press down and they would spin the dog ends and ash into a bottomless pit inside them.
Goad A'm ramblin oan.
Loved the pome Bradene.
Weefatfella.href="http://s1247.photobucket.com/user/weefatfella/media/atc_zps3ae1800c.jpg.html" target="_blank"> photo atc_zps3ae1800c.jpg

Author's Reply:
Hi WFF I'm glad my poem and reminiscing pleased you. I love to write about the old days. Thanks again. Valx

ValDohren on 24-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
Everyone used to smoke back in those days, and there were no stick insects either as all ladies seemed to have big bosoms - must have been the suet puddings they used to eat!! Loved it, very descriptive.
Val (another one) 🙂

Author's Reply:
Hi Val, Glad you enjoyed the poem, hope to be reading your work sometime today I have to work in short bursts at the moment as I've just had my cataracts done and My eye still gets watery and tired after too much reading. But it's getting better with each day that passes Valx

Leila on 24-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
A detailed portrait Val, nicely done...Leila

Author's Reply:
Hi Leila thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed. Love Valx

amman on 25-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
Yes, great imagery in this Val. A nice snapshot of the past. My favourite Auntie in Wales was similarly big bosomed but there the similarity ends. A lovely, lovely person. Thank you for the trip back into nostalgia.
Regards.
Tony.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tony Glad you liked the poem and that it brought back so many good memories. Love Valx

orangedream on 26-08-2013
Aunt Nellie
Val - just now happened on this. Great to 'read you' again, and I do hope all is well.

All best wishes;-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Tina how lovely to hear from you again. hope everyone is ok and yourself of course. We've moved up to South Yorkshire to be closer to my daughter, she is a rock takes care of us beautifully. She has a new Husband too and he is fantastic, I've just had my cataract in my left eye fixed, I only wish they could fix my old ticker as easily. Take care. Love Valx


A Hint (posted on: 20-05-13)
Because 0f illness and long hospital stays and finally a house move to Barnsley to be close to my daughter, it's been almost a year since I was able to write anything new, in fact I'm still having difficulty writing something fresh and original. So I am more than happy to re-sub this favourite piece of mine for Karen's challenge.

Dogwood red and lambs tail dangle among the skeletal hawthorn and blackthorn of ancient stale pollen hedgerows; as old as William's book. Beneath, primrose and violet wait patiently for their cue to dance nature's fandango.. Raindrops splatter mole hills into pancakes, in buttercup meadows that wait for Spring to peep like a clean kirtle from under the raggedy gown of Winter. Between the showers, a hint a certain feel, an air of expectant exultation. Instinct inbuilt, tells us Spring (hopefully) rides astride a March-ing wind. copyright VMM2006
Archived comments for A Hint
franciman on 20-05-2013
A Hint
Hi Val,
It is lovely to see you back with us. It seems redundent to offer critique on your return.
This may not be new work, but it is still fresh. You build tension in the wait for spring, and do it with an artist's eye for detail.
You'll have heard it before Val; but writing poetry is like riding a bike - you never get where you set off to go!
cheers,
Jim x

Author's Reply:
Hello Jim, Thanks for your comments. Having lots of trouble writing these days. So I'm not sure if I will be around for long. Thanks all the same. Valx

Shywolf on 21-05-2013
A Hint
A beautiful evocative piece, Val.

Shy

Author's Reply:
How nice to hear from you Glen.. Thanks for the comments. Valx

Slovitt on 21-05-2013
A Hint
val: a well written--concrete details galore--gentle poem. pleasing to eye and ear. yes, "astride/March-ing". not sure about (hopefully). a good poem, and glad to see you posting. swep

Author's Reply:
I was really pleased you liked the poem. I know what you mean about 'Hoping' but if you know anything about the changes and downright awkwardness of the English climate you must know what I meant, I expect you do! (-; lovely to hear from you. Valx

karen123 on 21-05-2013
A Hint
Every day I walk around a field left to return back to nature and your poem reminded me so much of what it looked like a few weeks back. You gt imagery exactly right for me

Author's Reply:
Walking was always one of the greatest pleasues of my life, These days though, 50 metres and I'm done. Growing old is a pig, although in a few ways it has it's pleasures too, like watching my Grandchildren become adults and achieve the dreams they set out to achieve. Thanks for this challenge Karen and your kind comments too. Valx.

stormwolf on 22-05-2013
A Hint
Dear Val
I almost missed this being so far down the line. Firstly, lovely to see you posting and hope your move went well. I know how stressful moving is having moved 14 times in the space of 12 years ;-(
This is delighful and very descriptive. I could see it all so clearly and LOVED
Raindrops splatter mole hills
into pancakes, in buttercup meadows
I could almost smell the earth.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
The rating was lovely to see but your comments meant so much more. The move when it eventually happened went smoothly enough, but then my family were magnificent. The legal stuff was a nightmare though.
I'm glad you liked this piece Alison, it's always been one of my favourites. I just pray that I can get back some of my old abilities to write, my muse seems to have deserted me completely. However I will continue to try. Hope things with you are calm and peaceful. Love Valx

freya on 22-05-2013
A Hint
Val, you moved from Lincolnshire? How could you! *kidding* I was just there for a month. So sorry to hear of your difficulties, but hang in there with the poetry. I haven't written anything new of any significance for ages, either, but I know several others who feel drained of inspiration too.

The suggestion of various colors here pops out, like Spring, all over your poem - buttercup fields, primroses, violets - and your delicate touches of internal rhyme and alliteration add skilfully to the sense of a budding emergence.

Loved the idea of flowers waiting 'for their cue to dance nature's fandango', and meadows that wait to peep like 'a clean kirtle from under the raggedy gown of Winter.' Beautifully evocative. Good to see you here, Val. Shelagh xx


Author's Reply:
Hi Shelagh, how wonderful to hear from you. I've been so miserable this past year, not just because of being ill but being unable to write, what you have said has given me new hope that I may just be able to beat this feeling of hopelessness. I'm glad you liked my poem and thank you you so much for your lovely comments. We moved to, Barnsley to be close to my Daughter, My husband is almost 80 now and so taking care of me was getting too much for him, although he is still very strong for his age, I felt it was only fair that he should have some time to call his own. My Daughter and her husband are wonderful and my husband gets on really well with our Son in Law, so it's worked out very well. We loved living in Grantham but had no close reletives there that we could call on in an emergency, as we found out on numerous occasions. I seem to have spent the last year or so in and out of hospital. Hopefully, fingers crossed maybe I can turn that elusive corner and start to enjoy life again. . Thanks again Shelagh. Love Valx

jay12 on 21-06-2013
A Hint
The birth of spring, it still feels like spring despite being the first official day of summer today (I think.)

Jay.

Author's Reply:


The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester (posted on: 11-06-12)
Because I've not been up to parr for a couple of weeks I haven't written anything new, so I thought I would share this old one with you. The first part is the Myth, the second is my version. Just for fun.

The Original Myth For a wager a giant named Bel set out to reach Leicester by three jumps of his horse. He mounted his sorrel at Mountsorrel. In his first leap he reached Wanlip, and in his second, Birstall, where he burst his all: his harness, his horse and himself. He made a third leap in a desperate attempt to reach his goal, but fell with his charger at Red Hill, a mile and a half short of Leicester. He was buried where he fell, and the place became known as Belgrave: Mountsorrel he mounted at, Rothley he rode by, Wanlip he leaped o'er, Birstall he burst his gall, At Belgrave he was buried at. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Version Such a bonny babe was Bel, his proud parents soon could tell to be a sporty lad, he would do well. Bel the bonny boy began to grow to prize proportions, don't you know. So it was, he set out to show his mates and cronies how far to go. Ambition leapt inside his heart but, what to do? Where to start? Which of the sports should he take part? He considered the great marathon but fancied eating would be much more fun. The hop, skip and jump be done to various take aways, one by one. He hopped to Wanlip to buy a curry, ate Chinese at Rothley in a hurry, then fish n chips at Birstall, all in a flurry to buy a pizza in Leicester, then home for cheese and bread But at Red Hill poor Bel dropped dead With belly full he dropped like lead. His gall had burst under the strain So there at Red Hill did remain, For none had the strength to carry and bury Bonny Bel to the cemetery. His greed and gluttony had made him a slave So now, Red Hill, is known as Belgrave. ~~ If you believe that you'll believe owt!!
Archived comments for The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester
franciman on 11-06-2012
The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester
Well done Val.

Hope you rediscover your muse soon. I loved your historical pieces.

cheers,
Jim x

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 11-06-2012
The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester
Hahaha - I much prefer your version 🙂 Great stuff, but come back muse, all is forgiven...



Author's Reply:

Texasgreg on 12-06-2012
The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester
Val, I thought that was super-duper!
Always loved myths as a young-un and read much on Greek mythology. Never heard this 'un, which I'm sure doesn't surprise you, but your take on it was really neat. I hope to take an American tall tale sometime and flatter you with imitation. It all sounds so fun to try now. Thanks for the inspiration.
Photobucket.

Texasgreg 🙂



Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 12-06-2012
The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester
Well, I was completely unaware of the original, despite spending some time in Leicester! Liked your take, though - much more believable, especially these days. Talking of monster chompers, though, Daniel Lambert has many connections with the city, doesn't he? I'm sure they used to have his chair at one of the museums...probably Newarke Houses. I've still got some way to go to get that far, but I'm doing my best... Good to read something from you again, Val - more, please!

Author's Reply:

barenib on 12-06-2012
The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester
Yes I prefer your version too Val, very amusing. John x

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 12-06-2012
The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester
A real demonstration of your creative mind.
This you excell at.
Alison x

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 12-06-2012
The Myth of Belgrave in Leicester
A very humorous piece thoroughly enjoyable, Val.
As you never forget to ride a bike, you never forget your writing skills. New ideas will soon come to you.

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:


Mum's Funeral (posted on: 08-06-12)
Slight revision on Wednesday's challenge poem . The prompt was The Longest Day. I'd been in hospital prior and not too good after coming out so it was late wednesday when I just threw this together. So don't expect too much. (-;

A long dreary day in March, wind blowing wild and loud. Fingers stiff as starch emotions dull and cowed. Watching for the coffin to come, waiting for the cars to arrive scent of flowers imbue each room the only things that seem alive. Hearts trampled, pale faces, taut. Eyes staring, yet unseeing, In heartache all of us caught, none vibrant, just barely being. The journey, the church, the service all pass in hazy blur; Like an impressionist painting on canvass, painted just for her The event happened long ago it stays with me even yet. The longest day passing slow, impossible to forget Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Mum's Funeral
Romany on 08-06-2012
Mums Funeral
Well if this was 'thrown together' after a trying day, I'd love to see one of your masterpieces! This was very good and I enjoyed reading it.

Hope you are well.

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 08-06-2012
Mums Funeral
Very poignant, Val. Very atmospheric.
I hope you're relatively well.

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 09-06-2012
Mums Funeral
I second Romany.
THIS is what good poetry is all about. You captured the contrast of the living and the dead and the bleak confusion of the sorrowful heart.
Alison x

Author's Reply:

Texasgreg on 09-06-2012
Mums Funeral
That's why I love to study your poetry. The words all come together and paint so well. I'm so sorry for the lingering memory, yet gratified that it could be shared with us. I will do well to remember this piece.

Photobucket.

Texasgreg 🙂

Author's Reply:

amman on 10-06-2012
Mums Funeral
Oh, this is so good. You have captured the atmosphere and emotions you must have felt on the day so well in so few words. Trust you are on the mend.
Regards

Author's Reply:

cooky on 10-06-2012
Mums Funeral
You have captured the atmoshere that goes with any funeral. Marvelouswrite

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 10-06-2012
Mums Funeral
What can I say that hasn't already been said? Marvellous stuff and spot on for the challenge.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

pommer on 27-03-2013
Mums Funeral
I loved this poem.So very memorable.A true piece of an emotional event.I never made my mother's Funeral.A fact I have regretted all my life.Thank you for sharing with us.Pommer

Author's Reply:


Waiting (posted on: 01-06-12)
This poetic form is called a Cinquain and was popularized by American Adelaide Crapsey. I entered this for the Wednesday challenge a week ago and won. The word as you may have gathered was Waiting.

. She waits, Life drips away Slowly oh so slowly, But fear gathers speed, as for death; She waits. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Waiting
barenib on 01-06-2012
Waiting
I like this very much Val, I'm not surprised it won. John x

Author's Reply:

Romany on 02-06-2012
Waiting
i understand very clearly what this is saying. A worthy winner,

Romany.

Author's Reply:

amman on 03-06-2012
Waiting
Hi Val. I think this got lost somehow; deserves a lot more reads. Congrats on winning the challenge.
Regards

Author's Reply:

Texasgreg on 03-06-2012
Waiting
Nicely done Val,

I like the part about fear gathering speed while death waits. I had this posted some time back and could not get rates on it so I pulled. Don't want to waste space with things people find no value in. Personally, I liked it, but such as it is with poetry.

Fear drives us to believe what we will about mortality rather than living in the moment given. It causes war, divides families and allows one to rationalize the unimaginable. It also creates a sense of well-being and stimulates faith where hopelessness prevails. Right or wrong, fear drives us.

Contemplating existence
Rationalizing the end
To be as long as I persist
Like butterfly from cocoon
I can be born anew
Touching wing to star
On my journey toward heaven
For all and all of time


Author's Reply:

Andrea on 03-06-2012
Waiting
A worth winner Val, well done.

Author's Reply:

CVaughan on 03-06-2012
Waiting

Late arriving upon this Valx. A great example, obviously born of the poetic form, of more is less. Point made perfectly in astutely selected words, pithy and precise poetic and a neat fit of the proverbial nutshell. Frank

Author's Reply:


The Last Tudor (posted on: 28-05-12)
Gloriana: The final dream

Photobucket Her thought's this night took flight back to a cold November day, shivering in her cloak with the tart taste of apple still tingling on her tongue. It was there, sitting under the mighty old English oak, that she learned of her sister's death and her own succession. Falling to her sacred English earth she whispered- A Domino Factum Et Istud Et Est Mirabilis In Oculis Nostris" (this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes) She knelt and felt the dew dampened grass, the chill on her knees, yet all the time her heart was filled with joy and a strange trepidation. No man would call her Bastard again, and live Reviewing her life she knew her fear to be justified, there had been many enemies countless plots and traps waiting to ensnare her. Rome, the Pope. Spain and Philip. The ever and malevolent presence of her cousin Mary. Yes Mary! The Queen of Scots and Queen consort of France. Now daring to declare herself the true and rightful Queen of England. She would ever be the thorn in her side. Yet there had been compensations, her staunch and loyal subjects. Her sweet Kat, and Ascham; her teacher after beloved Master Grindal's passing. Blanche Parry, her trusted Lady in waiting; all of her Ladies- Lord Robert Dudley (her Robin) who, she declared her master of the horse; later she bestowed upon him the title Earl of Leicester. Cecil her faithful secretary. Guiding her always, teaching her how to build up her exchequer, to make peace with France and to rebuild her navy- Despite all of her travails her reign was a good and happy one. She allowed her people freedom to worship as they pleased. Appeasing her detractors, she decided on the Religious Settlement. She determined, she would be known as Supreme Governor, and not head of the Church of England. The marriage question was all consuming for several years. Yet, in honesty she enjoyed the flim- flam, the political cut and thrust. If ever marriage had been an option, she would have had her Robin. All in all, her conscience was clear, but for signing Mary's death warrant; in truth she had no choice- Mary had been the source and instigator of too many threats on her life, to England and the protestant cause. Let there be an end then... The Spanish Armada had been defeated, England emerged victorious; stronger and more powerful than ever before- She had a heart as stout as any man's. Come then, to her Lord Essex. she loved him so, for all his arrogance he had dared to call her Bastard No man would call her Bastard again and live It is over, he is dead. It is done, she was done in clo quies (There is rest in Heaven) Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for The Last Tudor
stormwolf on 28-05-2012
The Last Tudor
Filled with strength and purpose. One could really feel the renewed sense of duty and also resignation of the task ahead.

No man would call her Bastard again and live
Loved that stand alone line which defines the crux of the poem.
Alison x

Author's Reply:

cooky on 28-05-2012
The Last Tudor
bravo on an excellent romp through her reign and a very stylish ending

Author's Reply:

Texasgreg on 28-05-2012
The Last Tudor
Forgive me Val, is this fiction? Seems not. I dunno as I'm a Yankee bastard, LOL. Though I don't know the characters with exception of her majesty, I found it much more fun to read than I thought I would.

Greg 🙂


Author's Reply:

Andrea on 29-05-2012
The Last Tudor
Wonderful! If this is the end, you'll have to pick on someone else (Charles ll might be entertaining :))

Author's Reply:

amman on 29-05-2012
The Last Tudor
Hi Val. This is excellent, as ever. The intrigue of those times was something else. Poor old Essex got his in the end.. silly man. What's next? I'm ready for History 201.
Regards

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 29-05-2012
The Last Tudor
A triumphal epilogue to Queen Bess's long march to the throne.
Well researched and skilfully described. Well done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:


Insurrection and Execution (posted on: 21-05-12)
Fourth part of Elizabeths whimsical reminiscences and night time ramblings

Photobucket Her Father, Good King Hal had signed many a death warrant. He took away good lives, loyal men all; men who opposed his liaison with Elizabeth's mother Anne. His desire for her and to beget a son, a legitimate heir to keep the Tudor dynasty thriving. How did heaven receive him She wondered? How would God look upon her With mercy ? She had striven all of her life to do what was right and fair. She had been firm and faithful to England, her one true love. As had her cherrished brother Edward. He so loved England, that he cut Mary and herself out of the line of succession for fear Mary would take England back to Rome. And Mary did exactly that It soon became Mary's passionate intent to marry Philip of Spain. When little Jane Grey had been overthrown all insurrection put down, the land ran red with protestant blood and fires became a feature of life. Old Northumberland (John Dudley) and his ill-fated son Guildford along with their puppet Jane Grey were imprisoned in the tower. After Mary had her way, and wed Philip; fearing the return to Catholicism, rebellion broke out among the new thinkers led by Thomas Wyatt the younger. All insurgents were rounded up and incarcerated. Later,complicity of the Duke of Suffolk; Jane's over ambitious father, in the uprising was proved. presently, all those implicated lost their heads. She, Elizabeth had protested her innocence in the plot but was detained and lodged in the Tower for two months; then transported to Woodstock palace and placed under house arrest. It set the seal on Mary's short and fruitless reign. She miscarried and endured phantom pregnancies- Poor Mary was losing her grip, her people's love, but most of all she lost Calais. How would her God receive her? Soon Soon Elizabeth's time was fast approaching. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Insurrection and Execution
RoyBateman on 21-05-2012
Insurrection and Execution
Blimey, Val, you know your stuff! What with Luigi as well, we're really learning something today - and rightly so: most folk know so little of their own history (Because they weren't even taught it...) that this would go over many of their heads. Shame, because you bring it to life with great enthusiasm. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed it!

ps You know, I'll NEVER understand how Mary lost Calais...I mean, you just get off the ferry and there it is! Should've gone to Specsavers...

pps Sorry for that!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Roy. I love History and have always wanted to do one about Elizabeth 1st. This is the fourth in the series. The last and longest appears today. Sorry I'm late with this reply BTW Love your sense of fun about Mary losing Calais you really did miss your vocation, you would have made a great standup comedian, or as I've mentioned before a writer for TV. Thanks again Valx

Ionicus on 21-05-2012
Insurrection and Execution
Another fascinating installment, Val. You are a match for Philippa Gregory.
Enjoyed it.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
You flatter me Luigi. Thanks for the compliment and also for reading this epic. The last and longest appears today. Valx

cooky on 21-05-2012
Insurrection and Execution
I love my history. Instalment three completed, I await the next episode. Excellent stuff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Cooky, it's installment 4 actually but not to worry the final and longest appears today. thanks for reading. Valx

amman on 23-05-2012
Insurrection and Execution
Hello Val. Again, thank you for the history lesson so eloquently penned. Who needs Open University! Small typo in line 5. should be 'liaison'.
Regards

Author's Reply:
Hello Amman. Thanks for staying with me throughout this epic the final part appears today hope you will read and enjoy again. Valx

Andrea on 23-05-2012
Insurrection and Execution
Still enjoying muchly, Val!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea it's been a long haul especially for the faithful reader . Last part is up today *sighs of relief* hope you will read and enjoy that one too Valx

stormwolf on 23-05-2012
Insurrection and Execution
Blimey! Just goes to show that nobody was safe back then, certainly not among the monarchy 😉
I really liked the way you wove their inner feelings into it by their reflections on their judgement in the next life. A good touch.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison to another faithful reader hope you enjoy the final part today. This remark of your btw inspired my choice of word for this weeks challenge. *Karma* I know that you are a fan of that sort of thing as I am myself and hoped it would inspire you to write one for Wednesday. Have a think about it. Valx

Capricorn on 24-05-2012
Insurrection and Execution
Your historical knowledge is amazing, Val, but I like how you've shown the emotions of those involved.
Great Read
Eira x

Author's Reply:
Thanks once again for your ever encouraging comments. I really am inspired by people such as you. Appreciated very much. Valx


The Return Of The Sonneteer (posted on: 18-05-12)
As I explained on Wednesday on the challenge thread this was written in anger, and never posted, knowing that it would only fan the flames of a senseless argument raging on another site years ago, I came across it as I was reading through my archives and realized it was quite amusing, even if it is technically imperfect, it fitted this week's challenge. So I thought I would share it with you. Feel free to tear it to pieces... (-; I already know it's faults though, and have no intention of changing it because as I said, it was written as a completely stupid knee jerk reaction.

This sonnet is for all who like to mock others work, because it fails to conform simply to their own narrow minded form. Or perhaps they get a buzz just to knock neatly laid out verse. Perhaps to shock! Noting nothing of a heart being torn enjoying just the torment of the storm. Tempest stills, then returning to the flock hoping that will be the last they all hear, while chattering in their cliques, smiling broad thinking, they had seen off the Sonneteer. Enraged when he posts once more on the board regaling them with just one more sonnet, sticks a finger up, and says, spin on it!! Copyright VMM1999ish (-;
Archived comments for The Return Of The Sonneteer
Romany on 18-05-2012
The Return Of The Sonneteer
Well said!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
thanks Romany. Valx

Ionicus on 18-05-2012
The Return Of The Sonneteer
Oo-er, missus. I can see you fuming. But I sympathise, I too have been through senseless arguments with pompous asses, on other sites admittedly.
I hope that I offer sensible advice when I suggest that you mind your apostrophes - the one in the introduction not needed (it's) and the one in the poem missing (others).
Sorry to be such a pedant, Val. I know that there have been discussions in the Forum about that and that it is quite a common mistake.

Love from a grumpy old man.
Luigi x

Author's Reply:
My skin is thicker the older I get, I think such behavior is funny these days. Sorry again for my late reply. Seems my memory is thicker the older I get too (-; Valx

stormwolf on 18-05-2012
The Return Of The Sonneteer
Ha ha You told 'em Val. I do think there are unkind people all over, who ride rough-shod over what they must know is someone else's sensibilities. I detest cruelty in all its forms and find it hard to keep my trap shut accordingly. 🙁
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Well I did and I didn't if you see what I mean, as in the end I realised I would just be playing into their hands. So I just let them think they had won. sorry I'm late again in replying. I shall be getting a rep' for being the Horse coming up late on the outside!! (-;

Andrea on 19-05-2012
The Return Of The Sonneteer
You're right, it is quite amusing 🙂 Good for you and your erect fingers!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, (-; Valx

Capricorn on 20-05-2012
The Return Of The Sonneteer
Haha!!!! I love it!

There are some who on certain poetry boards who seem to enjoy mocking others. It shocks me at times! A moderator on another site, once told me my poem belonged in the deep end of a midden and when I replied that I had posted hoping for help not abuse, he continued along the same lines. Unbeleievable! Needless to say I don't go there any more.

I can always accept constructive critiism- as long as its given in a polite friendly manner.

Your sonnet is certainly amusing!
Eira x

Author's Reply:
I'm glad you changed sites, their loss our gain. Thanks Eira. Valx

Texasgreg on 25-05-2012
The Return Of The Sonneteer
Rate was for content, not form as well as the virtual finger. Didn't know you had it in you, Val. You make me right proud!

Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Oh I can be quite naughty when the occasion arises! (-; Thanks Greg. Valx


A Throne In Torment (posted on: 14-05-12)
Once again Elizabeth finds herself Bastardized

Photobucket Nights grow cold. Even summer nights chill her aging bones, but her teeth, God's breath how they ached. Was there to be no ease- at least old age brought her another kind of peace. She no longer had to play the marriage game, farce that it was; then, when did her memories ever give her any surcease. Hazardous times after her Edward ascended the throne. The evil power games the factions played out became more frenzied than ever. Paget and the vile Wriotheley lording about the court like puffed up peacocks. Turncoats the pair of them, what did loyalty and faith mean to them? Nothing - so long as they were aligned with the victors. And what of proud Tom - her Kat was so certain he would be her husband. Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral of England First Baron Seymour of Sudeley ...her Lord... He dared to woo her hard - then marry her step mother the dowager Queen Catherine; who died in the birthing bed. Yet some say poisoned by Tom to make way for her Yet, it's all gone by- they came, they went; as did her beloved Edward, his feeble flame snuffed out too soon. Afterwards, all of hell broke free. The factions were on the march, the race for the throne of England began. And pious plain Jane Grey was the puppet of the new faith. The puppet master? John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who had acted as Edward's regent - Father of her sweet Robin Already the crafty old fox had married his youngest son Guildford to Jane, after all a Queen needed a consort, didn't she! Bastardized again, this time though, so was Mary To be Continued: Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for A Throne In Torment
Nomenklatura on 14-05-2012
A Throne In Torment
Very good again. I expect you're excited about Hilary Mantel's sequel to Wolf Hall, 'Bring Up The Bodies', if you haven't read it already.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ewan actually I don't think I've read either those books which is unusual because I pounce on anything to do with history, I'll have to look on Amazon . Thanks for the tip. Valx

Andrea on 14-05-2012
A Throne In Torment
Another interesting piece, Val. Much enjoyed.

Author's Reply:
Glad you are still enjoying it. The trouble is with these poems in parts, folk usually start to get fed up with them half way through. Still onwards and upwards. Valx

amman on 14-05-2012
A Throne In Torment
Enjoyed this. Thanks again for the history lesson. The power games that went on!
Regards.

Author's Reply:
Happy you enjoyed the piece. Thanks for reading. Valx

cooky on 14-05-2012
A Throne In Torment
Curious about her teeth, was it decay or poison from the powder they put on their face and wigs. I look forward to the next instalment

Author's Reply:
I'm not altogether sure what caused her bad teeth. They didn't have the same hygene as us of course. I know the stuff they put on their faces could prove to be lethal, it was a mixture of white lead and vinigar. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Valx

Ionicus on 14-05-2012
A Throne In Torment
You have found the right formula, Val, and very interesting it is too. The material on Elizabet I is so vast that you could write an entire volume on the subject.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
That is what I'm afraid of Luigi, Knowing what to put in and what to leave out. knowing where and how to end this poem is a problem. Especially if I want to keep it factual and I do of course. Thanks for your support, much appreciated Luigi. Valx

Inchrory on 14-05-2012
A Throne In Torment
Hi Val,

I have to admit to being a little confused on this one.

However, I have been away, so I may have missed one.
(It might be an idea to number these, in order for the reader to keep track)

You seem to be floating backwards and forwards in time, that may be intentional, however you are not making the reason obvious to the reader.

“Nights grow cold.
Even summer nights
chill her aging bones,
but her teeth,
God’s breath how they ached.
Was there to be no ease-
at least old age
brought her another kind of peace.
She no longer had to play
the marriage game, farce that it was;
then, when did her memories
ever give her any surcease.”

I know bad teeth are no respecter of age, but you have mentioned “old age” in this one, when technically, she should still be a young woman.

It will be interesting to see how you deal with the Pope, the Irish question and the ever-stubborn Catholics.
I know you have tremendous amount of information to deal with.
However, it might have been helpful to indicate the reasons for the dissention amongst her noble lords.
I am looking forward to your next episode, possibly her true nature will start to appear.
Being a Catholic seems to have led to the death or downfall of many more than just her sister Mary.
Spies, in high places.

I liked the use of the word surcease; it seemed so in keeping with the times.

Well done,

Morchuis.



Author's Reply:
I've no intention of getting into this subject that deeply politically, otherwise I may well have written a book, this is just meant to be the reminisences of an old woman. I thought that was made clear at the very beginning, going back and forward is very much a whimsical way of hers, thinking back to incidents that either amused her or touched her conscience. There are so many books written on this subject by people with far mor authority than I could ever give it. No This is more a piece of work written for my own amusement and hopefully may give other people some pleasure and enough insight and enthusiasm to want to make them go and read about the tudors themselves. Thanks though for your very Kind interest. Valx


For The High Jump (posted on: 11-05-12)
A lighthearted piece, a memory.

Singing and splashing jumping up and down in puddles. ''Rain, rain, go away Come again another day'' Mud splattering, soaking wet summer sandals, soggy socks sagging around skinny ankles. Hair hanging in rats tails, nose dripping dewdrops; flowery frock clinging to my four year old form like a second skin. Oblivious of everything. until mum came out spitting fire Jumping ceased, singing stopped. I knew soon I'd be jumping higher! Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for For The High Jump
Ionicus on 11-05-2012
For The High Jump
A nostalgic memory of childhood games, jumping into puddles unconcerned of the muddy mess but acutely aware of the forthcoming punishment.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked my little memory of a naughty moment in Childhood Luigi. Valx

amman on 12-05-2012
For The High Jump
You take us right back to childhood in this lovely, economic piece. Likes it a lot.
Regards

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment and for reading. I really appreciate your support. valx

sunken on 12-05-2012
For The High Jump
Lovely. Proper lovely, Ms. Val. If ever a poem should have been nibbed it's this one. I'm getting my big heavy placards out as we speak. I don't even care if I get arrested. Enjoyed very much.

s
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k
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Author's Reply:
Ah bless! well I'm glad you enjoyed the poem Sunk. And thanks for Bernard again. Your comments are always much looked forward to. Valx

stormwolf on 12-05-2012
For The High Jump
Absolutely lovely and brought back memories of the times my childhood pleasures ended badly 🙁 x
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Alison It's odd isn't it how kids are drawn to water even if they are only muddy puddles! (-; Valx

Leila on 12-05-2012
For The High Jump
As ever Val you caught the moment perfectly...Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks Leila and congratulations on all of your successes, you seem to be going from strength to strength. Carol Ann Duffy watch out! (-; Valx

Andrea on 13-05-2012
For The High Jump
Lovely, Val - may I add scraped knees and scabbed elbows to the picture? 🙂



Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, you may add all your scrapes and bruises too. The more the merrier. Valx

Capricorn on 13-05-2012
For The High Jump
This has brought back so many childhood memories, Val - I enjoyed every line. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
Eira

Author's Reply:
Thank you Eira glad you could identify, but then I bet there are thousands that could. Happy you enjoyed the trip Valx


Hatfield to Whitehall (posted on: 07-05-12)
More of Elizabeth's reminiscing...

Photobucket When night fell her tired mind wandered back to Hatfield, what tender memories that precious place brought forth. Peaceful days spent in pleasure and contentment with sweet mistress Ashley. Kat, her comforter, her confidant, Master Grindal her wise and learned teacher. How she loved those two. Happy carefree times with books and parchment. Greek, Latin, Italian, all meat and drink to her; feeding a hunger and thirst for knowledge and the complexities of the world and men. She recalled that chilly spring morning, Kat, all a dither pulling her not too gently from the warmth of her bed- Still, the echo of the horse's hooves on cobblestones resounding in her head. On her mind's eye the baleful sight of Paget, a strange, tall figure that somehow filled her full of fear and frightful foreboding. Her instincts were true- Grindal hurriedly whispered warnings in riddles that her young mind could not quite grasp. Before the hour was out she and her household were on the road, bound at her father the Kings powerful bidding to make all haste to Whitehall, that grandest of royal palaces in all of Christendom. So began Elizabeth's lessons of truth and reality, greed and the terrible lust for supremacy of power hungry men Enlightenment dawned slowly, Master Grindal's vaguely couched riddles answered. Factions formed: Wriotheley, Norfolk, Surrey, Paget, all Mary's zealots. The Seymours, Somerset and Sudeley brothers of Queen Jane, Edward's loyal uncles.. Yet, the old Eagle the King had three chicks- What of Elizabeth? She was the cuckoo in the nest, some murmured bastard- Who could she look to? To be continued: copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Hatfield to Whitehall
Inchrory on 07-05-2012
Hatfield to Whitehall
Hi Bradene,
Now you are really getting into your stride, this is more how I imagined it should be.

The immense power struggle, which developed, between the various factions both political and religious.

England at that time was in period of great change and advancement, the royal path was a perilous one indeed.

The written word too was starting to make its influence felt, in more ways than one.

In fact it could be said, it to be the downfall of some.

Someone, somewhere, was going to have to pull a few dirty tricks to get their own preferred royal fledgling selected, it will be interesting to see how the ugly duckling progresses.

You have the makings of a fine poetic story here.

Morchuis.


Author's Reply:
Thanks again for your interest, As I said last time it will have to be written as Elizabeth's whims take her. I couldn't possibly cover all of her history in a poem, but there is more to come. I just hope people won't become bored with it. Then I suppose that will be very much up to me and how well I can get it down. Valx

Andrea on 07-05-2012
Hatfield to Whitehall
Wonderful! Please do continue asap!

Author's Reply:
Thanks again Andrea. Part three already posted. Not to be published until next Monday though. Valx

cooky on 07-05-2012
Hatfield to Whitehall
The second instalment of this intriguing write. I love historical writes. Where I live in Sheffield we have the Manor castle which housed Mary queen of Scots. So Elizabeths influence still lives on around here.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your continued interest Cooky much appreciated. Valx

Ionicus on 07-05-2012
Hatfield to Whitehall
Dear Val, you are mining a rich vein and very rich it is proving to be. An enjoyable and erudite piece of writing.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, it is something I have been meaning to do for years but frankly the thought of it scared me, it still does, especially as I go along as you can only hold peoples interest for so long. It becomes more and more obvious that this is going to have to be a potted version. (-; Valx

stormwolf on 07-05-2012
Hatfield to Whitehall
Better than an up market Dallas any day! 😉
Couple of apostrophes short
On her minds eye the baleful sight of Paget, (mind's)
Still, the echo of the horses hooves (horse's)

small fry in an imaginative and delightful tale of old.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for spotting the typo's Alison in fact it was while I was editing that I spotted a glaring mistake, thankfully no one seems to have noticed, unless those who have read and not commented did, and thought I was a moron. Well it's fixed now and all due to you. Thanks again. Love Valx


Robin (posted on: 04-05-12)
Fun piece written in haste for Wednesday's challenge.

Tiny fledgling Robin hungry in his nest, ever open maw eager to digest. First comes his mother, mouth full of worms. Followed by his father in whose beak something squirms. Daily he grows bigger stronger than before, feathers are forming, yet he longs for many more. What he wants most of all is a bright red breast, just like his parent's smart plumed vest. Oh, poor little fledgling with horrid feathered dots, must suffer adolescence like beastly acne spots. copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Robin
Andrea on 06-05-2012
Robin
Awwww, lovely (apart from the acne :)). I have a pair of robins in the garden. They're very tame and curious. Perch on the fence and wait for worms when I plant something :))

Lovely, Val.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, Yes they do seem tame and friendly although I read somewhere they are known to be bullies with other birds. Valx

Ionicus on 06-05-2012
Robin
Very nice poem, Val. Pity it was excluded from the challenge as you sat as a substitute judge; it certainly it would have been in contention.
Robins are very brave or very trusty: I had some come to pick up worms as I was digging.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the kind remarks Luigi. i hope there is more of a response to the challenge this week. Valx


Royal Reminiscing (posted on: 30-04-12)
Life and times of Elizabeth 1st Part 1

Photobucket Aged dimmed eyes, lie, they perceive only what her vanity dictates. She being all powerful no one dare gainsay her. She has her bonny boys about her to tell how pretty she is - still. Yet that insistent and impudent voice whispers in her ear- that spiteful rasp, tormenting her nights Remember Robin, sweet Robin When Robin loved her she was young, beautiful, and vital- Virgin it was rumoured, ha! Let them wonder. They, her lords always pressing, prodding her to marry. Let them push all they like she would have no husband, but her England. It amused her to play with her Lords they were mere men, what did she care, she kept them at bay with half promises and maybes. Her only concern that England and her people love her. She enjoyed the pursuit, it was delicious. She minded the time when Tom Seymour was mad for her. She, a girl of fourteen summers; he, a man full grown married to her stepmother Catherine; what a furore that had caused, that was before she became Queen. Robin, dear Robin who she had known since infancy, falling in love, when later they were both held captive in the tower. Laughter bubbled up as she thought of the little lad who had brought posies of spring flowers to her from Rob, with little notes of love she would hide between her breasts. It was a perilous period. Each passing day produced no respite for she had many enemies; yet in her heart she knew she was meant for Glory. To be continued: Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Royal Reminiscing
franciman on 30-04-2012
Royal Reminiscing
Val, this is truly magnificent historical poetry. The inner voice is just right for Elizabeth. I love the stanza about her bonny boys. I also particularly like the slightly feminist touch in suggesting her lords (and all men) are just playthings!

Two small things:- she has her bonny boys?
no apostrophe with maybes?

Could I suggest as an esoteric change: Her England and Her people. I can almost hear her say it.

To say this grabbed my attention is understatement. I will keep returning to this until we have part II.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the advice Jim and the encouragment for my next installment, it gets harder as I go along and the thing that scares me most is losing the voice. but I shall continue whatever..Thanks for the generous rating too. I have edited, thanks to you. Valx

Nomenklatura on 30-04-2012
Royal Reminiscing
This is a good example of what would make an excellent voice poem. Carol Ann Duffy has written quite a few... Have you considered trying this in the first person?

Nicely scholarly and well written in any event
regards
Ewan

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ewan, yes at first I did start to but I found I kept wandering into the third and had to keep altering it. So I decided I was best to stick to the third. Thanks for the compliment. And for taking the time to read it. Valx

Andrea on 30-04-2012
Royal Reminiscing
Fabulous, Val, loved it! One of my favourite historical periods, as you know.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, Thanks for the nib and rating too Valx

stormwolf on 30-04-2012
Royal Reminiscing
A very personalised peep into a historical and mysterious figure. Well done all round
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for that Alison, I'm really pleased you enjoyed it. Valx

ChairmanWow on 30-04-2012
Royal Reminiscing
Good Queen Bess made England a great power in my opinion. Like the suggestion of going to first person for this. Good work, Val.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph. My mantra is going to have to be: Sorry I'm late again Lol Just a bad memory and having so much to do at the moment. How are you I haven't seen you around all week? Hope things are OK with you. Valx

amman on 01-05-2012
Royal Reminiscing
Good selection of historical pieces this week. Love the shift from the aging Elizabeth and reminiscence of her younger self.
Regards

Author's Reply:
Thanks Amman. hope you are still enjoying this epic. Valx

Ionicus on 01-05-2012
Royal Reminiscing
An imaginative look at a fascinating figure in the history of England. You seem to be on a roll, dear Val, and you put your knowledge of the Elizabethan period to good use.
Well done on the nib.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm late again! such tardiness , I would never tolerate in my younger days but I have to admit most of it is due to memory and having too much to do just now. However I hope you forgive me. Thanks for the very positive comments and I hope you'll continue to enjoy the tale. Valx

Inchrory on 03-05-2012
Royal Reminiscing
Hi Bradene,
I read this with considerable interest, not because of the historic aspect, but because I initially started to try to learn the art of poetry construction, in order to write a family history in a poetic format.

Which, I hoped in turn would cover the last thousand years of a very turbulent ancestry.
On reflection however, it is indeed a wonder that there is any of us left to tell the tale.

You have picked an extremely complex subject to illustrate.

Intrigue and double dealing with its underlying religious turmoil, seemed to colour the entire reign of Elisabeth “the bastard queen” who killed her sister.

It is quite true that Elisabeth in comparison to Mary was quite an ugly bitch; however, power has its own beauty and its own rules that make love and any possible sex a poor contender.
Common sense and compliments it seems, makes strange bed partners.
There appeared to be too many interested parties with vested interests, only too willing to keep the royal matrimonial bed unsullied and empty of contenders.

I think you are right, maintaining or adjusting the poetic voice is of paramount importance.

However, I have a feeling that by starting in the latter part of her life, you have made it quite hard for yourself, to go back through her earlier life, (if that is your intention), to a period when she was in some ways a more normal female.

It would have been easier to start with the softer supplicant voice before adopting the harder tones of the self-satisfied and domineering female.

As I have said, I will be following your subsequent additions with considerable interest.

Best of luck,

Morchuis.


Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments, I'm wondering though if you are confusing Mary Queen of Scots, who was a beauty if a bit empty headed and Elizabeth's cousin, with Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary) who was definately no beauty and Elizabeth's older Sister. Elizabeth was also considered to be a beauty herself when young. While it is true that Elizabeth held Mary of Scotland prisoner and eventually signed her death Warrant, she did so reluctantly. Mary Tudor on the other hand died of natural causes, and that is when Elizabeth ascended the throne. Also as You go along reading you will see I am writing it as a look back at life for Elizabeth, it's not really that difficult as long as I manage to keep the voice true. My only problem is what to include and what to leave out. Obviously this has to be a dip in and a dip out kind of thing otherwise I may as well have written a whole book and that has been done so many times before. I just think an epic kind of poetic work could be a little more original. Thank you for your very obvious interest and encouagement which I greatly appreciate. Valx


Death Slithered In (posted on: 27-04-12)
Another Wednesday Challenge the word was Serpentine.

Sensuously serpentine she slithered around the pole her supple body rhythmic, pulsating, matching melodious music hypnotic flashing lights kept time with the beat and each pair of peepers in the room glazed over. Nothing registered as she slid over him winding her sinuous body about his and squeezing until the light popped out of his eyes She was back dancing around the shaft as cymbals crashed to a crescendo and death took his leave before senses returned and puzzled gazes watched perplexed, as the man hit the floor with eyeballs bulging and blue tongue bloating obscenely. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Death Slithered In
Andrea on 27-04-2012
Death Slithered In
Ooooh, some lovely alliteration here, Val! Gawd, though, eyes popping and tongue bloating! Whatever next! Made me feel quite queasy 🙂

Author's Reply:
Lol. Glad it made you shudder, it was meant to create that effect. Thanks andrea. Valx

stormwolf on 27-04-2012
Death Slithered In
WOW!!!
Great dark writing Val! I saw it all in my inner vision and that always says it was well put over.
Made me think of deadly spiders and other things.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison glad it made you think of creepy crawlies though Snakes were the aim. Valx

ChairmanWow on 28-04-2012
Death Slithered In
Serpentine indeed. Nicely done.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph. Valx

Ionicus on 29-04-2012
Death Slithered In
Jolly nice, Val. As Andrea said, lovely alliterations.
Mind you with lines like:
'winding her sinuous body about his and squeezing
until the light popped out of his eyes…' and
'She was back dancing around the shaft'
it reads to me more like an erotic piece than horror.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Ha!Ha! well I have to admit I did wonder if I should put it under erotica when I re-read it, I did intend to give it an erotic feel as I think that horror and erotica go hand in hand, I mean look at the Dracula series. Valx

cooky on 29-04-2012
Death Slithered In
Horror meets James Bond. she makes a good assasin. I like this

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 30-04-2012
Death Slithered In
Hi again 😉
Oh yes, the poem was strongly serpentine but the way the woman was portrayed reminded me of a deadly spider who kills her mate after copulation.
🙂

Author's Reply:
Of course you are perfectly right there. On reflection I see clearly what you saw. Thanks Alison. Valx


A Very Senior Moment (posted on: 23-04-12)
Oh Dear...

Somewhat stooped, sun glinting off balding pate sparsely furnished with silvered hair, he shuffles from his sanctuary (the garden shed) A frown creases his ripened brow, as his stare slants skyward; dazzled by the sun's fierce flare he stumbles to scrawny knees. A loud crack, a shot of pain and a dawning knowledge he'll soon be plastered once again. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for A Very Senior Moment
Texasgreg on 23-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
Oh dear...Val, you must not have spent much time amongst sailors. That's not exactly the phrase that I would have muttered, LOL. I saw very clearly the painful picture and circumstance and love how you accomplish it all in so few lines.

Greg

Author's Reply:
Thanks Greg for the comments much appreciated. Valx

RoyBateman on 23-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
Well, the poor old chap wouldn't be the first to get plastered IN his beloved shed (Quite a coincidence there...) and that'd be preferable to having it done up at the infirmary, surrounded bu squealing kids with pans on their bonces and pregnant primary kids. I shall take this to heart, Val, and stay out of both the shed and the sun. Those pesky senior moments, they happen more and more, don't they? By the way, where am I? And why?

Author's Reply:
Lol I love some of your comments Roy as good as some of your humourous Monday morning reads. Thanks for reading glad you enjoyed it. Valx

Andrea on 24-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
Oh dear, oh dear, I know the feeling well, having been recently plastered myself! Hope it wasn't t'other half!

Author's Reply:
How is your wrist now anyway? No thankfully this wasn't Mac, it is sort of true though based on an incident with an old friend of ours now deceased, it happened several years ago and caused quite a stir amoung the old timers. Valx

Icequeen on 24-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
You've done it again Bradene, another wonderful poem. Powerful and sympathetic. I'm not a huge poetry fan but I really really like your work.


Author's Reply:
Thanks for the lovely comments and compliment I really appreciate your words. Valx

sunken on 25-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
You little minx. I thought the poor fella was off to meet his maker. A recent survey claimed that men who potter around in their sheds live longer. The same is true of those who regularly masturbate. I've a strong feeling that the two are related. I must get a shed. Nice work missus. Hope you are well.

s
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Author's Reply:
Thanks for your hilarious comments once more Sunk. Also for sending me Bernard again. Love him to bits. Valx

amman on 25-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
Lovely piece, but who said you could write about me? Nah, can't be; I've got plenty of hair but the scrawny knees might fit and haven't been sozzled for ages. Well last night actually.
Cheers

Author's Reply:
Thanks Amman for reading, glad you enjoyed it. Next time you are on your way to getting sozzled think of me and have one for me too, I can't drink these days, I used to love a Brandy and dry ginger. Oh well they were the days. Valx

cooky on 25-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
I like this reminds me of my old dad. thank you for stiring the memory.

Author's Reply:
You are very welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting. Valx

Ionicus on 25-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
Plastered in more ways than one? Mention of a shed suggests illegal drinking but let's give the poor fellow the benefit of the doubt.

Author's Reply:
Yes indeed. we shall. Thanks for reading Luigi. Valx

ChairmanWow on 25-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
Maybe i'm off but i thought the plastered was the gentleman looking forward to medication at the hospital from his falling injury. Innocent until proven guilty.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Plastered here means to be drunk. Sheds are a handy place for husbands to escape nagging wives, many men are known to take refuge in them. Some are known to keep the porn mags in there too. the dirty old men variety (-; My Mac has two garden sheds and his garage, he's a potterer though and loves nothing more than to fish through his collection of odds and ends and he is constantly surprised by what he finds. It keeps him happy so it makes me happy too. Valx

PS I'm not a nagging wife by the way, rather a doting one...

Romany on 26-04-2012
A Very Senior Moment
Blimey Val, you could be describing me! I may only be 42 but my knees are at least double that, I swear.

My boys are still teasing me mercilessly for saying I was going to put the dog in the fridge at bedtime last night. I meant kitchen (obviously)...

Author's Reply:
Lol Well I have Twenty seven years on you so I'm here to tell you it aint gonna get any better girl!!
I often think I must be in the here after all ready as I'm always finding my self in the kitchen wondering what the devil did I come in here after! Oh well c'est la vie Valx


The Worm (posted on: 20-04-12)
From Wednesday's challenge. The word was Change.

I turn my eyes inward, I need to see the worm of discontent that's eating me. I feel frustrated with anger gnawing. I try for reason but, contempt is scoring I need to understand why I feel this way, what's making me hate everything you say. So, I turn my eyes inward, there is nothing to see; the worm is invisible leastwise to me Or perhaps I am the worm, now, that's unforeseen! A frightened drudge who ought stay keen, learn how to change and take a big bite at my tormentor, and stop being polite. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for The Worm
orangedream on 20-04-2012
The Worm
Oh I like this one, Val, very much;-) I can somehow almost taste the venom with which it would seem to have been penned.

Even so...very much enjoyed;-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks again for commenting Tina. I can't say I was feeling venomous when I wrote it, just tried to imagine what it must be like. Valx

Ionicus on 20-04-2012
The Worm
The worm that turns. Enough said.
It suits the challenge very well.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Luigi. Valx

sunken on 22-04-2012
The Worm
Hello Ms. Val. that's the trouble with being polite isn't it? People have a tendency to take advantage. Now and again you've got to bite. Show em you aren't a pushover. I've probably got the meaning all wrong, but that's what I got from your excellent piece. By the way, you can bite me anytime ya like. Just saying.

s
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wary of midgets since 1996

Author's Reply:


A Hint (posted on: 16-04-12)
Short on inspiration this week, I decided to re-post this old favourite of mine from six years ago. I hope the new members like it as much as the older members appeared to have done all those years ago.

Dogwood red and lambs tail dangle among the skeletal hawthorn and blackthorn of ancient stale pollen hedgerows; as old as William's book. Beneath, primrose and violet wait patiently for their cue to dance nature's fandango.. Raindrops splatter mole hills into pancakes, in buttercup meadows that wait for Spring to peep like a clean kirtle from under the raggedy gown of Winter. Between the showers, a hint a certain feel, an air of expectant exultation. Instinct inbuilt, tells us Spring (hopefully) rides astride a March-ing wind. copyright VMM2006
Archived comments for A Hint
Texasgreg on 16-04-2012
A Hint
Val, your writing always gives me wonderful visions...or is that the moldy air? LOL, really...I can always envision the setting in your poems, lovely indeed.

Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments. Really appreciate them. Love Valx

Andrea on 17-04-2012
A Hint
I don't remember this, Val, but it's lovely! I love Spring, it's my favourite time of year, and I can smell, touch and feel it in your poem 🙂

Author's Reply:
Really pleased you liked this, it was always one of my favourites. Valx

sunken on 18-04-2012
A Hint
Unlike your poem, Ms. Val, spring promises much but often delivers little. I blame isotopes and isobars. Apparently we're in a drought situation now to boot? We may have to share our showers. At least, most mornings, I wake up with a handy hook for the shower gel. Isn't mother nature wonderful like that? She thinks of everything. Beautiful poem, Val. Really like the clever use of March-ing. Deserves a nib. My placards are out.

s
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Author's Reply:
Thanks so much for the nice comments and my Bernard and for putting the placards out. it paid off eventually. I really thought I'd bombed out re-posting this, although having a comment from you and a Bernard to boot made it worth the effort. Valx

orangedream on 19-04-2012
A Hint
This is truly beautiful, Val...and I don't remember it either.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks so much Tina. what a lovely comment. Love Valx

stormwolf on 19-04-2012
A Hint
Bravo! Bravo!
Just took me back to byegone days of wonder and joy. Very enchanting
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison Comments appreciated. Valx

ChairmanWow on 20-04-2012
A Hint
Love "clean kirtle" and "mole hills into pancakes." The world coming alive again is exciting.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph, glad you liked my take on the coming of Spring. Valx


Outraged Polly (posted on: 13-04-12)
This little tale is absolutely true. I did have a needlework mistress like this at School a hundred years ago (-;. I used it for one of my entries for last Wednesday's challenge, the word was Virago. It didn't win but I was quite happy with the way it turned out as writing it brought back a lot of long mislaid memories of my limited schooldays.

Outraged Mrs Outridge was a virago through and through. Forever angry at life and her student's antics too. She taught us all needlepoint, how to knit and sew, her patience grew extremely thin if we didn't want to know. Ranting and raging when she saw we didn't care, if we showed more interest with fashion or our hair. She'd put us in detention brandishing a cane, threatening to beat us all till we couldn't sit down again Her bad moods were legion lasting one week to the next, scaring us all witless when we saw she was so vexed. Her nickname was Polly and she'd make you rue the day, if she ever heard you use it you'd wish you'd stayed away. She was a true virago, and one thing you couldn't risk was to make eye contact, for her punishment was brisk. A slap from outraged Polly, a sharp resounding sound would make you want to disappear through a large hole in the ground copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Outraged Polly
Andrea on 13-04-2012
Outraged Polly
Ah, the good old (school)days, eh? Could do with a bit more of that detention and respect for teacher these days imo. Your needlework mistress sounds a bit like mine. I was always hopeless at sewing and knitting, still am. Hate it, too.

Nice little nostalgic pome, Val 🙂

Author's Reply:
Sorry, I'm late usual Excuse I forgot! Thanks for reading . Valx

Nomenklatura on 14-04-2012
Outraged Polly
I think we're all of an age where there was at least one teacher who terrified us at school. Looking back I can't explain for the life of me why we were so terrified of Mr Jackson. Only the Deputy Head could wield the cane and Mr Jackson had never sent anyone for a dose of corporal punishment, ever. He was just scary, and the most sarcastic person I've ever met and I spent 23 years in the military.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is this poem resonated with me (and I still like it better than mine).


Author's Reply:
Thanks for the nice comments. Sorry I'm late again with my reply. I keep forgetting to do it. My senior moments are beginning to stretch into senior days, weeks.... (-; Valx

ChairmanWow on 14-04-2012
Outraged Polly
Nice light-hearted fun poem about a crotchety personality. I had a 7th grade teacher who kept notches on the handle of the large wooden paddle that had holes drilled in it to add to the sting. Public schools are in chaos here now, no discipline of any kind.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, your 7th grade teacher sounds a real piece of work as they say. Thanks again, and I 'm sorry to be late again. Valx

Ionicus on 14-04-2012
Outraged Polly
We were always terrified of our teachers and we behaved ourselves even out of school and there was no corporal punishment in my days. I can't imagine what the deterrent was,
it was just the aura of authority.
Anyway you well described the fear that we all felt.

Author's Reply:
I think it was the fear of our parents finding out we had been punished too. You remember when we were kids if a beat policeman caught you up to no good he would clip your ear, if you told your parents about it you would get another one from them. really! we couldn't win. Thanks for the comments Luigi. Valx

RoyBateman on 15-04-2012
Outraged Polly
I reckon that it was the older female teachers that inspired the most fear in everyone - especially the boys. And the staff... Of course, I'm talking about junior school: no females at my grammar school, except for a brave lab assistant. And she wasn't frightening at all, though I do remember passing a remark about her spending a lot of time in the stockroom with the chemistry teacher. I wish I hadn't, because the sadistic bugger knocked me clean off my stool in revenge. Ah, those were the days! Nice one, and a nostalgia trip for everyone, it seems!

Author's Reply:
You are probably right there Roy, My memory of the older female teachers were that they were always as ugly as sin and twice as mean. Thanks for commenting . Val;x

Texasgreg on 15-04-2012
Outraged Polly
Virago...my word of the day! I thought at first that it was Virgo and said "Hey, that's not fair." Yes, I'm a Virgo. Anyway, I really liked it and "lernt" a word, lol.
TexasGreg

Author's Reply:
Ha! Ha1 I do that often misread a word then can't make head nor tail of the thing I'm reading. Glad I taught you a new word. Thanks for reading. Sorry I'm late with my reply. Valx


From Versailles To Fotheringhay (posted on: 09-04-12)
Poor Mary was doomed from the start.

1. She was feeling sick as the tall ship lurched, rising and dipping tossed like a toy by the gigantic waves. The channel, a pitiless, perilous place. Always the danger of being captured by the English, and at the mercy of her cousin Elizabeth; who, it was rumoured was seething at Mary's audacity for declaring herself Queen of England and Scotland. Everywhere now, she felt friendless even in her beloved France. She hated leaving the place that had been her happy home since she was five years old. It would have been intolerable but for her three Marys to accompany her back to Scotland, back to duty. She missed her loving Francis mourned his passing sorely and deplored leaving the ease and splendour of the Palace of Versailles; yet she was glad to be of rid of the oppressive eye of the de' Medici witch. 11. Her sickly French husband dead- abruptly the young Queen of Scots found herself head of a rough, untutored race. The majority didn't want her there; yet her arrival at Leith was a small triumph. Her shining youthful beauty warming the coldest heart. She was so young, and some whispered 'foolish.' Wrong turns and unwise choices led her from disastrous marriage to motherhood, to witness the bloody murder of her private secretary the Italian Rizzio. Then, the slaying of her jealous consort, Darnley Back to yet another ill-starred marriage. An unholy alliance with Bothwell. That, her ministers couldn't, wouldn't stomach, finally sealing her fate in the eyes of her people. Abdication and imprisonment at Loch Leven castle followed, later escaping, she fled to England, seeking succour from Elizabeth- finding instead another gaoler. 111. So many dreams and schemes began with the crossing of Solway Firth. Landing at Workington She'd hoped for Elizabeth's aid but was denied. Slowly her imaginings withered and died Taken to Bolton then to Tutbury, on and on- from one dark and draughty castle to another noxious midden stinking pile of a palace; never allowed to stay, to rest. Yet worse, the realisation that Elizabeth was her enemy. So many plots and ill advised plans perished and crumbled. Evidence piled up against her and her allies. As her burdens grew her beauty diminished until all that was left ? those two bloody strikes of the executioner's clumsy axe, instead of a sword, as befitted someone of her high station. Journey's end- Fotheringhay. 8th February 1587 In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for From Versailles To Fotheringhay
Andrea on 09-04-2012
From Versailles To Fotheringhay
Marvellous! If I recall correctly, Mary and Elizabeth never actually met. Seen most of the movies about her, but the best imo was the 1971 one, with Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson - seen it about 4 times!

Good stuff!

Author's Reply:
Yes I saw that too. It would have been great if they had met, but from Elizabeths POV you could see how impossible it was, as long as she lived she was always a threat to her, she had so many followers in England, though one wonders how long she would have kept them for, her head was so easily turned... No pun intended. (-; Thanks for commenting. Valx

Ionicus on 09-04-2012
From Versailles To Fotheringhay
They were very dangerous times and Elizabeth had a tight grip on England's crown. Mary's downfall was inevitable.
As for David Rizzio, I hope that his death was worthwhile: it was rumoured that he was Mary's lover and possibly the father of her child.
History is a rich source for inspiration.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Oh Dear another I thought I had answered and hadn't Sorry Luigi. Yes I did know about Rizzio being rumoured to be the father of her child, but it's difficult to log every detail of a life. I'm glad you are so learned about English History. It's one of my hobbies. Valx

ChairmanWow on 10-04-2012
From Versailles To Fotheringhay
Love this history, Val. I saw the recent movie "Elizabeth" so i know a little bit about Mary Queen of Scots. How interesting that British history is so rich with strong female leaders, to the point they are in conflict with each other. Your poem hints at the emotional life lived by the heroine very nicely.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
I really must get a grip of myself. I thought this had been relied to. I'm glad you like the history Ralph. I love it. It's one of my hobbies. Valx

stormwolf on 11-04-2012
From Versailles To Fotheringhay
A nice walk down history lane. It sure was risky being royalty back then. Seemed that nobody was safe. They say that her little dog accompanied her to the chopping block and run out from under her skirt when her head came off.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison Glad you liked this. Sorry I'm so late replyijng. Valx

Icequeen on 12-04-2012
From Versailles To Fotheringhay
I love Tudor history so I enjoyed this poem very much. For Chairmanwow's information, the 'Elizabeth' films were completely inaccurate. Mary Queen of Scots even had a French accent and couldn't speak gaelic as she grew up in the French court. Those films get me so mad, particularly as I live in Scotland.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment. So sorry I'm late replying . Valx


Butterkist (posted on: 06-04-12)
My effort for last Wednesday's challenge. The word was popcorn Edited.

Watching flickers in the dark sticky kisses what a lark. Butterkist lips sweet to taste tongues entwined and toffee laced. Popcorn packets crackle loud, madden film buffs in the crowd. Shushing sounds along the rows flashing torches, culprit shows. Stillness settles for a space, dialogue and action's paced. On silver screen villain dies, jaws plummet, while eyes grow wide. Out of the dark, silence stops, Bags are scrunching and corn pops on the floor content scatters, someone squeals, night in tatters! Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Butterkist
Ionicus on 06-04-2012
Butterkist
I like your interpretation, Val, and am surprised that no one has commented before.
Beauty, or should I say perfection, is in the eye of the beholder. You know what I'm referring to, I'm sure.

Love, Luigi x


Author's Reply:
Thanks for your loyalty Luigi, do you think I'm in the dog house? I don't think I've even been tweeted. Ah well onward and upwards. Valx

ChairmanWow on 08-04-2012
Butterkist
Val,
i think you have evoked the fun of the old big movie theaters before the box cinemas replaced themin the malls. That's why we invented drive-ins, so as not to disturb people who really want to see the movie.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Ralph, I was about to delete this as it has been largely ignored. Thanks for your support Valx

sunken on 11-04-2012
Butterkist
Did you win, Ms. Val? If you didn't, then whatever did must have been very, very good. Enjoyed this from the opening. It has made me crave popcorn though. Not sure that's such a healthy craving at 7 in the morning. I may opt for crunchie nut cornflakes instead. I wish they would call them crunchie nut. It reminds me of an incident I had with an ironing board. They can be lethal when you're folding them away. Fellas shouldn't iron naked I guess. Ahem. Very strong write. Enjoyed muchly.

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Author's Reply:

amman on 11-04-2012
Butterkist
Sorry to have been a bit tardy in commenting. Really liked this.
Ah, those were the days. Back row at the flea pit and all that.
Regards


Author's Reply:


Two Kennings (posted on: 02-04-12)
A re-post from 2007, slightly edited. I thought they deserved another outing. Just a little fun poking at myself and my beloved.

A kenning About My Husband Dialect dodger Grumpy codger Perfection pest Spotless vest Compulsive shopper Hedge lopper Telly shouter Silent pouter Tender carer Lifetime sharer Creaseless folder Ex soldier. And One About Me Nostalgic Nancy Nothing fancy Plain speaker Comfort seeker Late sleeper Secret keeper Silly dreamer Nightmare screamer Loyal lover Devoted mother Soft centred Often demented Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Two Kennings
Andrea on 02-04-2012
Two Kennings
Didn't know what a 'kenning' was, so had to look it up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenning

Anyway, this made me smile, like it a lot 🙂

Author's Reply:
My Grandson told me about this form as he was doing it in Eng'lit' at school i thought they were fun to do. i'm glad you liked them Valx

stormwolf on 03-04-2012
Two Kennings
I also liked it a lot. It was tender and moving too.
I felt the love in it.
Alison x


Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, what a lovely comment. Valx

royrodel on 03-04-2012
Two Kennings
Telly shouter
hehehehe

Author's Reply:
Glad you were amused and thanks for the rating. Valx

Ionicus on 03-04-2012
Two Kennings
Sweet.
You had to go back in time to find this form.

Luigi x


Author's Reply:
As I told Andrea it was my Grandson who first told me about them. Fun I think. Thanks luigi. Valx

ChairmanWow on 03-04-2012
Two Kennings
Nicely done rhyming couplets. Minimalism form but maximum character illustrations.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks once again Ralph. Valx

teifii on 06-04-2012
Two Kennings
Two lovely succint portraits.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff(-. Hope you are well. Valx


The Beat Goes on (posted on: 30-03-12)
I suppose you could say this is a speed poem, it took me all of 8 minutes to jot this down. it shows too! It was Wednesday about an hour to go before the challenge ended and there was still only Andrea, Griff and me. So I thought what the heck it's only a bit of fun. This was the result. It didn't win, Griff's did, and thoroughly deserved it was too.

Up in the 'pool there is a tavern a basement club known as the Cavern. It's dim and smoky full of noise, the haunt of a group of Scouser boys. These boys would set the world alight, with original music that would delight. The 'Beatles' they said they'd call their act, after five decades their beat still attracts Their songs have lasted through the years, some make you smile, some bring you tears. The music began Underground, then bubbled to surface the world around. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for The Beat Goes on
Andrea on 30-03-2012
The Beat Goes on
Took me right back. I actually married (very briefly) a Liverpudlian, so visited a lot back then (in-laws etc). Not a bad effort for 8 mins, Val!

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked it Thanks Andrea. Valx

Ionicus on 30-03-2012
The Beat Goes on
I liked it Val. You took two minutes less than I did: it was ten minutes to go when I realised I had nothing to post and rushed one through before the deadline.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Once again, your support is much appreciated Luigi. Thanks. Valx

amman on 31-03-2012
The Beat Goes on
Very nice. Ah, those were the days when we wore long hair and thought we'd change the world.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Amman for commenting. Valx

sunken on 31-03-2012
The Beat Goes on
Love how you rounded this up at the end, Ms. Val. A very impressive write, especially for eight minutes. I'll be frank, I've had less satisfying wanks in eight minutes. Actually, eight minutes is being a little generous. They don't call me two stroke sunks for nothing, Val. Ahem. Thank you.

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who's that girl with the purple hair, dancing around like she just don't care, singin la la la la laaaa



Author's Reply:
Naughty boy! (-; but you cheer me up and that's a fact. Thanks for commenting Sunken Valx

ChairmanWow on 31-03-2012
The Beat Goes on
i'm a Beatle maniac so i love it. When is Britain going to have a prime minister with a Liverpool accent? George Harrison's sister was married to a guy from southern Illinois and he visited there in 1963.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Doubt if we'll ever have a scoucer PM. I maybe wrong of course, The Liverpool accent is very conducive to comedy and I for one would never be able to take a Scoucer seriously. Though thinking about it. can we really take any politition seriously anyway? (-; Glad you enjoyed the doggeral, Valx


King Diblock And The Devil (posted on: 30-03-12)
This is a very old poem I wrote years ago for my Granddaughter, I've posted it before and because the theme fitted the challenge on wednesday I used it for that too. I did edit and tidy it up quite a lot. I thought some of the newer members might like to read it.

Down in the snogglegrass the great Diblock stays, underneath the smelly cooch his pet Mantis prays. Diblock is the King of the great realm beneath, he rules with an iron claw and twenty golden teeth. One week ago last Saturday he decided to rebel, for Diblock began to open the giant door to Hell. A thousand green goblins came pouring forth, screeching and yelling all heading for the north. King Diblock's tiny creatures tried to stem the flow, But Diblock quickly ordered them, to let the goblins go. ''Let them go a pillaging, up there beyond the hill for now they've disappeared, the Devil we can Kill.'' Diblock with his creatures, approached the Devil's door, descending far deeper than they ever had before. The air it was sulfurous with an awful rotten stink, turning Diblock and his creatures a pretty shade of pink. At last they reached the region that was the Devil's lair, but found it quite impossible to meet his fiery stare. Suddenly poor Diblock, had a dreadful premonition, knowing, without a doubt, he had failed upon his mission. Diblock turned around seeing the Devil at a glance, there upon his evil face a demon seemed to dance. ''Look back good king Diblock, look back upon the stair are you not surprised to find my goblins waiting there?'' The Devil and his goblins laughed for all they were worth, as Diblock, and his creatures, were trapped below the Earth. So, if you should go walking down by the snogglegrass, or should you ever see Mantis praying as you pass; if you feel a strange sensation underfoot like a scrape you'll know it's Diblock and his creatures, trying to escape. copyright VMM1989
Archived comments for King Diblock And The Devil
Andrea on 30-03-2012
King Diblock And The Devil
Very clever, Val, bet your granddaughter loved it! Must have missed it last time...much enjoyed

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, yes she loved it I'm happy that you liked it too. Love Valx

Ionicus on 30-03-2012
King Diblock And The Devil
Excellent Val. Just right for the kiddies.
As far as the challenge goes, it was originally intended to inspire new work but I can understand that it's not always easy to produce fresh pieces and to bump up the numbers a good old one is just as good.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, yes sometimes it's difficult to come up with something new, it depends on the word we're given I think. Valx

ChairmanWow on 30-03-2012
King Diblock And The Devil
Loved it Val. Rhymes are excellent. Should be a picture book.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph, I have thought about getting someone to illustrate it for me, perhaps one day. Glad you enjoyed it. Valx

RoyBateman on 31-03-2012
King Diblock And The Devil
Yep, I bet this went down a treat with the young 'un! Just the sort I'd read before bedtime...mind you, it's been some time since I did that, and the kids haven't come up with any grandchildren! (Yet, anyway...) Highly visual, and a good mix of that eternal good/evil struggle that even the youngest seem to understand. I'd not seen it before, so thanks for posting it.

Author's Reply:
You're right it did go down very well with all the little ones at that time. Never had this one published though. Thanks Roy. Valx

stormwolf on 03-04-2012
King Diblock And The Devil
Hi Val
I can see this in a book with a lovely illustration. Just the sort of thing that kids love, I know I do! 😉
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, as I said to Ralph I have often thought about getting someone to illustrate it for me but as I also told Roy It's one i've never had published. Valx


Deathly Night Shades (posted on: 26-03-12)
Irrational Fear

He began to appear on the periphery- never full on, He'd hover there as though dancing to a tune I could never quite hear. As autumn turned to winter I'd catch glimpses of his shadow. When the night claimed me I'd dream I was running, breaths coming hard and fast. Yet nothing I did could shake him loose; he was always there at my back, reaching... I became wary of sleep, fear took hold. I sensed, soon he'd ensnare me and tomorrow would never come. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Deathly Night Shades
Andrea on 26-03-2012
Deathly Night Shades
Yes, know that feeling extremely well. How fragile is our own mortality, eh? Great expressive piece, Val.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, sorry I'm late with my replies, week of hospital appointmenta and the blooming dentists too Ugh! Glad you liked this. Valx

stormwolf on 26-03-2012
Deathly Night Shades
I can relate 😉
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, hope you are well. Valx

amman on 27-03-2012
Deathly Night Shades
As Andrea commented; very expressive. I think some children are sometimes affected, usually in dreams. Hope I sleep well tonight.
In the 2nd verse, should it be breaths (not breathes)
Regards

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting and pointing out my typo much appreciated. Valx

Ionicus on 28-03-2012
Deathly Night Shades
A good description of irrational thoughts. I like the title.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi Glad you liked this. Sorry I'm late with replies I have an awful lot to catch up with. Valx

ruadh on 28-03-2012
Deathly Night Shades
Great piece, and a very apt title, love it.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting much appreciated. Valx

ChairmanWow on 29-03-2012
Deathly Night Shades
Angel of Death walks next to us all the time. Very evocative.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks once again for your very welcome support Ralph much appreciated. Valx

RKane on 29-03-2012
Deathly Night Shades
A tale on the edges of rational thought. I wanted more.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting. Valx

Alphadog1 on 29-03-2012
Deathly Night Shades
very tense. good work. 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for your support Valx


Kicking Back (posted on: 23-03-12)
Wednesday Challenge was all about Tilting at Windmills

Milly ran downstairs, air catching at the back of her dry throat, making her retch. For a moment stopping her dead in her tracks, perplexed. Her frail body shuddered, dizziness overcame her, she clung tightly to the banister. She must remember life was no longer- like a bowl of cherries as mama used to sing; to be devoured ravenously. Work done briskly at a rate of knots so that playtime came quickly, was no longer on the agenda. Should Milly now bow her grey head concede and act her age? Even when the wind of her years fails to blow and her sails slow? Away daft notion! Millie lives in the breeze Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Kicking Back
Andrea on 23-03-2012
Kicking Back
I saw this cartoon once - an Indian chap in a loincloth sitting on top of a mountain with a bowl of cherries in front of him. The caption read 'Is that all it is?' Made me laugh, never forgotten it 🙂

Lovely - a very 'Val' piece 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea . My mum was a very patient woman most of the time, but you could always tell when you were sailing close to the wind with her. She had two songs she would sing. Life is like a bowl of cherries or Oh what a beautiful Morning. On hearing either of those songs you always knew it was time to back off. (-; Valx

orangedream on 23-03-2012
Kicking Back
I agree with Andrea...this is very much 'you', Val, and all the more enjoyable because of it;-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina I appreciate that. Valx

Ionicus on 24-03-2012
Kicking Back
It's only when the sails come to a standstill that we have to worry. Nice, wistful poem, Val.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
thanks Luigi Kind of you to say so. Valx

ChairmanWow on 24-03-2012
Kicking Back
Never let the wind go out of your sails. Great work, Val. ("He who is not busy being born is busy dying"-- Bob Dylan)

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph. Love the Dylan quote. Valx

RoyBateman on 25-03-2012
Kicking Back
Very personal, but quite universal too...what DO we do when those sails slow down? Obviously, a personal choice but influenced by so many factors, and those keep changing. This made me think...damn, I've come over all nostalgic now! Another excellent piece, Val, apparently lightweight but full of meaning when we look deeper.

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm so late with this one I must have overlooked it somehow. I'm glad you appreciated it. Valx

Albermund on 26-03-2012
Kicking Back
"the wind of her years" doesn't work for me but the rest of your poem really does and I love your last two lines... and Milly. cheers Albert 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Albert for reading. Valx


The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley (posted on: 19-03-12)
A re-worked poem. I realise many readers will not agree with this point of view. It is just my personal opinion, and is in no way meant to sermonise.

Derek Bentley was hanged for murder on the 28th of January 1953. Based on evidence given by policemen who claimed to have heard him shout ''let him have it'' After many years of campaigning by his family, he was finally granted a posthumous pardon in July 1998. This event had a profound effect on me as a child and has played a major part in my thinking on capital punishment ever since Of course there have been times over the years when a particularly horrendous murder has been committed that I found myself re-examining my thoughts and beliefs, then I remember Derek Bentley and Timothy Evans who was also hanged for crimes he did not commit. He too, like Bentley had a low mental age, both men were intellectually ill equipped to cope with the rigours of police interrogation. There have been numerous miscarriages of justice since. Those men would be dead too if it had not been for the abolition of capital punishment. The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley When I awoke it was dark and cold that winter morning, I was nine years old. Sombre of mood as I lay in my bed I couldn't think why I was filled with dread. Had I misbehaved the evening before broken a cup, split milk on the floor? Why was I so fearful about that day was I in trouble, forbidden to play? Had I done something ever so bad? all I knew, that I was feeling so sad. Beside me my sister snorted and sighed, out of the darkness baby brother cried. I heard my Step-father leaving the house, I scuttled downstairs like a frightened mouse; at the foot of the stair, I pulled up short grasping at once why I was feeling fraught. That morning, a man was going to die; when the clock strikes nine, they will hang him high. For weeks on end it had been in the news, grown ups were talking, all airing their views. A youth called Bentley and a boy named Craig, had shot a policeman, causing outrage. Bentley they said hadn't pulled the trigger Craig fired the gun but Bentley was bigger. ''Let him have it'' Bentley was heard to yell, A shot rang out, and the policeman fell. Craig was only a boy, so he got life, Being nineteen, Bentley took all the strife. His counsel said, ''he's not right in his head" the judge wouldn't listen a man lay dead. So now all the clocks had begun to tick, in my little girl's view, justice was sick. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth my childish mind, saw no justice or truth. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
Andrea on 19-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
Yes, I remember this case well. His mother campaigned to her dying day, as I recall. I'm in two minds, really. In these days of advanced forensics and pretty damn accurate DNA, it's a tricky one. I think if the DNA evidence is clear, and there is no doubt, then there may be a case for capital punishment for the most horrendous of crimes. A very heartfelt poem, Val, much food for thought here...

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Andrea, As I said in the preface to this poem, over the years I have on many occasions re-examined my thoughts on the subject, yet I can't get rid of those childish impressions completely. Of course when there is absolutely no doubt and children are involved it is so easy to wish the perpetrator dead too. I suppose it will always remain a contensious issue.

sunken on 19-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
This is very well written, Val. I saw a documentary about this case a few years ago. I think it all hinged on what the youth meant by "Let him have it". Was he telling the other lad to give-up the gun or to actually fire it. Like Andrea says, it's a different world now. This aside, your poem is top banana. Talking of which, wouldn't the world be a much safer place if we just replaced guns with bananas, Val? I've put it to various government bodies over the years but have never received a reply. I suspect t they're busy people. They've moats and chandeliers to install after all. I hope this has helped.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks for the Bernard and comments Sunk. The subject I wrote about will always incite arguments both for and against. It was really just a memory that refuses to go away as it made such a deep impression on my childs mind. Thanks again Valx

ruadh on 19-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
It's a hard call to make. On the whole I am against it unless they can come up with a cast iron system of proving guilt. A piece that gets you thinking Val.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ruadh I think on the whole at this time in my life and given the awfulness of life and general lawlessness that seems to have the whole world in its grip I think I would agree with your viewpoint. Valx

PS although as I pointed out to Andrea I think it was, That childhood impression is very hard to remove.

e-griff on 19-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
as Jeremy Clarkson wrote: the only civilised countries in the world have democracy and no death penalty.

Author's Reply:
Probably the only decent thing ever to have come out of such an objectionable mouth! (-; Thanks Griff I appreciate your comments. I can't stand Clarkson, not only is he repulsive to look at but he has a peronality (if you could call it that ) to go with it. Sorry I know you happen to think he's the bees knees but I'm sure I'm not alone in womankind with this opinion. Feel free to call me a daft old bat(-; NOT. Valx

ChairmanWow on 19-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
Yes, no second chances with a death penalty. I think you need the possessive for "little girls view," should be "little girl's view." A trifling. A great poem Val. Makes you want to justify what you believe in. We should think about the innocent people that are murdered when the courts let some psychopath go Scott free too.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
The last part of your reply pulled me up short as I always am when a terrible crime has been committed, and I do realise that with DNA miscarriages of justice are rare. Yet do still happen, we had one recently with the murder of TV personality Jill Dando. The Man was convicted largely on the presence of a tiny speck of gun powder in his coat pocket, the coat wasn't even taken for testing until weeks after the crime and that was all the Forensic they had , no actual DNA was present. Trouble was Michael Stone the accused was another such man as Bentley and Evans, he too has a low intellect. He spent years in prison until recently winning a re-trial and was found, Not Guilty. As you so rightly say though there are still a lot of Psycopaths out there free to kill as and when they please. Thanks again for your support. Valx

Leila on 19-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
A very strong poem Val with incredible rhyming skill, the last verse is perfect...Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your kind words Leila, it's funny isn't it how some things flow straight the way and others take forever. This one originally was too long and sounded a bit disjointed but it only took another read several months later to see how it should be. Thanks again Valx

orangedream on 19-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
You have given me much to think about, here Val. As Leila says, a strong poem and the rhyming is brilliant.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina much obliged. Love Valx

stormwolf on 20-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
a different style for you and one you executed (pardon the pun! 😉 ) well.
You captured the confusion in the child (you) and showed us that children get caught up in adult issues and can suffer because of it too.
I also felt he would never have hung these days but back then that was considered such a crime whereas nowadays we have crimes that are so incredibly evil that the perpetrator in my mind at least, has sacrificed the right the breath the same air as the rest of us.
well done
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Alison. I do get my knickers in a twist these days about the rights and wrongs of the situation, but as I say childhood experience is hard to put aside sometimes. thanks again for your comments. Valx

amman on 20-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
Hello Bradene. It made an impression on my juvenile mind too.
Murders were pretty rare in those far off days. Very well written and rhymed. How do you do that!
Regards
Amman

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting on a very contensious theme, as you say they were rare in those days and so I suppose made a greater impression especially on the young. As to my rhyming skills well I'm not sure if I know how to explain it, it's all to do with rhythm and counting Syllables. The best person to ask is e-griff he explains it all very well. Thanks again Valx

Ionicus on 20-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
A very contentious issue admirably expressed Val.
As Ralph pointed out, with the death penalty there is no second chance. During this century there have been several instances of miscarriage of justice and the repel of the death penalty has spared the life of innocent men. On the other hand the pendulum has swung the other way and light sentences being handed out allow killers to be released early and free to roam the streets. What is to be done for the best? Is there a realistic answer?

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments Luigi, Of course you are right the law these days has gone soft in lots of ways. Let's hope that one day in the not too distant future someone can come up with the perfect solutioin. Valx

e-griff on 21-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
coincidentally, I was just looking at the Wiki entry on Clarkson, after reading another of his books. He does say some very penetrating and sensible things under the superficial humour. Anyway, a propos your comment about whether women like him - here's what Wiki says:

In 2008, an internet petition was posted on the Prime Minister's Number 10 website to "Make Jeremy Clarkson Prime Minister". By the time it closed, it had attracted 49,446 signatures. An opposing petition posted on the same site set to "Never, Ever Make Jeremy Clarkson Prime Minister" attracted 87 signatures. Clarkson later commented he would be a rubbish Prime Minister as he is always contradicting himself in his columns. In their official response to the petition, Number 10 agreed with Clarkson's comments.

In a 2008 poll of 5,000 female members of an online dating website, Clarkson came third in a poll of MISAs—Men I Secretly Adore—behind Jonathan Ross and Phillip Schofield. Characteristically, Clarkson was upset not to have come top.



Author's Reply:
Ha!Ha! well if you and wiki say so I'll concede I can't argue with statistcs can I, but it doesn't alter the fact that I can't stand the man and all my women friend say the same, unless they are closet admirers. Thanks for taking the trouble to answer my reply. You Mr Griff' are unique! Valx

e-griff on 21-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
Just as well, Val. Imagine if there were two of ME!

Disaster!

Author's Reply:

CVaughan on 22-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
Graphically reporting in poetic form, well appreciated by those like myself the more for remembered experience of how one reacted at the time, how could one criminal die for another's action? All so wrong your version so right. Well done.
The authorities demanded retribution for the death of a copper of plainly, and would brook no appeal to proper justice. Your poem brings back to mind the controversy it will always be. Frank

Author's Reply:
Thanks Frank. Sorry I'm late with my reply, it must have been overlooked. once again thanks for your interest. Valx

teifii on 24-03-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
Out of the mouths of children! So true.

Author's Reply:
Yes indeed. Thanks for reading Daff. Sorry I'm so late with this reply. Valx

Icequeen on 20-04-2012
The Statutory Murder Of Derek Bentley
I enjoy reading your poems Bradene, they always have something to say. Very nicely rhymed too. I recall watching a documentary about this film and found it all very tragic, which really comes across in your words. Nice work.

Author's Reply:
Thank you for the very complimentary remarks about my poem. I love History and writing about it too. Welcome to UKA BTW. Valx


Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex (posted on: 16-03-12)
My take on Henry's last moments

His blood ran sluggish, and as cold as ice trickling through veins that were hardly visible now. His once glorious body, flaccid, the colour of a fish's belly. Breathing was difficult ragged, spasmodic. Spittle dribbled through thin blue lips and into a wispy grey beard, that was once as lush and as red as the cunning fox he used to chase. He was aware of foul smells rising from below- they made him gag. The spectres that hovered in corners crept closer, the whispering energized, grew louder. He wanted them gone he still had business, important matters he needed to discuss, yet his two Thomas's Wolsey and More remained unmoved, would not look at him He ranted, raved at them, to no avail, they would not turn. Anne and Kate; their combined perfumes doing nothing to rid his bloated body of its pungent miasmas, drifted around him; their severed heads, floating inches above their tantalizing bodies. The thick candles that flickered and sputtered fat, leapt momentarily causing shadows to rise up menacingly. Black hooded monks pressed in on him, baying like hounds demanding revenge. The thin faced Plantagenet foe of his father, eyes fiercely aflame stood accusingly, dripping the muddy waters of the River Soar where his poor broken body had lain these many years. His restless spirit angry at the Tudor despot for having ripped his mutilated remains from their marbled resting place of Grey Friars In the county Leicestershire. The ghosts were gathering fast, his final journey had begun with his last breath and peace was left unmade. Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
orangedream on 16-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
You paint a gruesome and graphic picture with your words here, Val. I could even smell that perfume and those 'pungent miasmas'. Great stuff. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Hope you are OK, by the way, and that you have a peaceful weekend.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina glad you liked my poem. We are fine. Have a great weekend yourself. Valx

Andrea on 16-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
Ah, excellent - my favourite period of history - that and the Roman Emperors. Have you read Antonia Fraser's The Six Wives of Henry v111? If not, I highly recommend it.

Lovely stuff - took me right there to the royal bedchamber.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, Yes, it's one of my favourite periods, I love the plantaganets too. I have been meaning to read Antonia Fraser's book for ages now but have not yet got around to it. I must make it a priority. I have not too long ago finnished reading I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Mills which was brilliant and can heartily recommend that to you. Thanks again for the comments. Valx

ruadh on 16-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
Great imagery here, though rather horrible 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks ruadh, I know the imagery is horrid, but it's my educated guess his last moments were equally as horrid for him and his entourage. The smells must have been discusting. Valx

franciman on 16-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
Hi Val,

I think you have set your personal bar impossibly high. Were you Catherine Parr in a previous life? Raw, unsweetened history in verse, and a verse so evocative and visceral it left me feeling sorry for the once young knight errant turned loathsome despot. This must make the Anthology.
Bloody Well Done Val,

Jim x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jim for your very kind words and for the nom and making it a fav' too, also the generous rating. You made my day. As to whether I was Catherine Parr in a previous life, it's funny you should say that. Lol, I do seem to have an affinity to that period in time. I just love history and read copious ammounts whenever I get the time and opportunity. Thanks again Valx

ChairmanWow on 16-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
Val,
You did a marvelous job with this. Delving into the complex character of the one of the best known and most controversial of English monarchs on his death bed is no small feat.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ralph History is a great interest of mine especially the Plantaganet,Tudors, and Stuarts. I find the characters fascinating then. Thanks again Valx

Ionicus on 16-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
A very graphic and realistic interpretation of the death of a despotic monarch for whom I don't feel sympathy. There were to my mind no redeeming features whatsoever.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi. I agree he was a terrible despot, especially when viewed retrospectively. I suppose he was a man of his time, in a powerful position which he took full advantage of. He makes for very interesting reading though. Valx

stormwolf on 16-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
Hi Val
You excelled yourself here with this incredible feast of imagery and depiction.
It captured the scene like a still in time.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, You may be interested to know that I am planning to write a piece about Mary Queen of Scots, I have started it but I find with these historical pieces it's best to check all the facts, because there is always someone lurking out there who knows more about the subject than I do. (-; thanks again Valx

eddiesolo on 17-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
Great piece Val, interesting write and well delivered.

Enjoyed, well done on the nib, deserved.

Si:)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si. lovely to hear from you again. How are you these days. Valx

RoyBateman on 17-03-2012
Rex Mortuus est, Vivat Rex
Hi, Val - another incicive dive into the lives, or in this case, death, of a controversial historical figure: you brought the old goat to life so well, too. Unlike that pile of tripe that disgraced our TV screens a few months back - "history" for gawping morons. If only everyone could capture the flavour of the period as this does!
(Gawd knows what Julian Fellowes is going to do to the "Titanic" if the laughable dialogue in "Downton Abbey" is anything to go by...sorry, I digress again.)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy. Well yes I know exactly what you mean I stopped watching Downton months back and I decided that the Titanic had been done to death anyhow. As you know I'm a Richard the Third freak too, so I'm hoping against hope he keeps his posh nose out of that period. Thanks again Valx


Your'e Nicked (posted on: 09-03-12)
Wednesday's challenge. Meme. I had never heard of the term and didn't fully understand the explanation, so it was with trepidation that I eventually subbed this effort after seeing the only other contestant was Andrea, who by the way subbed two very good pieces. I felt sure her sophisticated effort would win imagine my shock then when this piece of doggeral won. I take no great pride in it though as I'm sure if more people had entered I would have struggled. Meme. See wiki -->MEME

At the end of the day when all is said and done, you'll be the one to pay for your time in the sun. The piper must be paid as plans carefully laid, go pear shaped and tits up when you've been sold a pup. You'll need your own space and the time to retrace all the steps that you took that landed you in schtook. Hope friends find a window to visit by jingo, when cosy in your cell, settling in for a spell! Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Your'e Nicked
Andrea on 09-03-2012
Youre Nicked
Sophisticated? Jeez, no-one's even called any of my stuff 'sophisticated' before! Yours is a very nice piece of doggerel, Val, and a well-deserved winner!

Author's Reply:
Ha Ha! of course you're sophisticated, you're a sophisticated lady! Thanks for being nice about my effort... and effort it was. (-; Valx

ChairmanWow on 09-03-2012
Youre Nicked
Ha-ha, I like it. We all pay one way or another.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Glad I could make you laugh with this. I felt like I was putting my reputation on the line with this rubbish. I really did not understand the word at all it was pure guesswork on my part. Valx

Ionicus on 11-03-2012
Youre Nicked
You have more guts than me, Val. I too did not know the term and I am not sure that I understand it now that it has been explained to me. For this reason I chickened out but you bravely made an attempt and came up trump. Bravo.

Author's Reply:
Sorry Luigi I forgot I hadn't answered this one. Thanks for reading and the comments. I must say it's not a piece of work I am too proud of, thanks anyhow. Valx


Such Futility (posted on: 05-03-12)
This was one of my entries for the UKA poetry Competition. Unfortuately for me, not a winner (-; c'este la vie

Like Don Quixote I was tilting at windmills. The futility of hoping you could kick your habit just too much. The cogs in your head turned the stone of carelessness and ground on and on grinding all my faith to dust. In your cups your arms flailed Like the sails of windmills My pleas lost on the air they created. Now I cannot look at a windmill without regretting all that energy wasted. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Such Futility
Andrea on 05-03-2012
Such Futility
I know exactly where you're coming from Val (been there!) - terrible shame all round. Very poignant and sad stuff. x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, once again sorry for being late with my reply. Valx

Ionicus on 06-03-2012
Such Futility
You said: this was one of my entries to the UKA competition. Can we see the other(s)? I see that this was a 2008 effort and to be honest, Val, it sounded a bit dated to me. The Don Quixote's analogy is good but the cri de coeur has been done a bit too often.
But take heart, you have written many other poems worthy of a prize and one failure does not reflect your talent.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
I didn't really expect to win with any of my entries Luigi, truth is up to that point I hadn't written anything new and all my entries were old ones. I needed to get back into writing and as I have been ill for some time I felt I had to regain a little confidence, by entering the competition I was just giving myself a bit of a kick up the bum so to speak. However although the words are not quite as free flowing as they once were I am at least writing again. Thanks anyway for your ever welcome comments. I really appreciate your support. Valx

ChairmanWow on 06-03-2012
Such Futility
Val,
this is a wistful poem about wasted effort and you have succeeded with your imagery.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph, your comments are as ever much appreciated. Valx

sunken on 08-03-2012
Such Futility
Hello Ms. Val. Lovely poem. I live near a windmill. It has no sails though. I don't know why. It would make quite an attraction if they got it renovated. Doesn't it seem like a big old rigmarole though just to make bread? To be frank, Val, I'd rather just pop into Tesco. I hope this has helped. Truly enjoyed the read.

s
u
n
k
e
n

art garth buncle

Author's Reply:
Hello Sunk How are you? Thanks for commenting on my poem. I live in Lincolnshire and there are quite a few windmills throughout the county especially up in the north where it's very flat. I live in the pretty part of Lincolnshire. There are quite a few without sails here too, its a shame someone doesn't try at least to renovate them. Personally I don't like Tesco, we shop at Asda or Sainsbury's, depending how rich we feel that week. (-; stay happy love, Valx


STORM (posted on: 02-03-12)
This is an old one I used for a Wednesday challenge a week or two back. I'm quite proud of it actually.

From a window that overlooked the bay She saw the tiny boat Being tossed like driftwood, The wind ripped the sea white, The late autumn sky was pigeon grey Full of menace. The gulls screamed, C-a-r-e-c-a-r-e-c-a-r-e Great rollers reared up To terrorize the rocks That stood like bent old men On the beach. Wet shingle rattled like dry bones And was swept angrily By the ebb and flow of the tide. The casements rattled As the unrelenting wind gusted persistently against the panes. The voice of the wind Shrieked banshee-like Throughout the dark rooms She trembled, and wished she was not alone Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for STORM
Andrea on 02-03-2012
STORM
Oooooh, creepy! I remember this one, Val - like it then and I like it now!

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm late answering all to pot this week. Glad you liked this, I'm thinking of enlarging on the theme at some time in the future, when the mood takes me of course. Valx

Ionicus on 04-03-2012
STORM
And you should be proud, Val, as it is a lovely poem. I particularly liked the following stanza:
"The wind ripped the sea white,
The late autumn sky was pigeon grey
Full of menace.
The gulls screamed,
C-a-r-e-c-a-r-e-c-a-r-e…"

Take care,
Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments Luigi they are very kind remarks. I appreciate them. Valx

RoyBateman on 04-03-2012
STORM
I agree - really atmospheric and visual. It would easily lead into a tale of...well, who knows? Something spine-tingling, I reckon. But, on its own, its still a great poem, sweeping the reader along as if they were caught in the storm itself.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, who knows one day I may turn it into a horror story (-; Valx

ChairmanWow on 04-03-2012
STORM
What a picture this poem paints. i have to say i love it, banshee scream and all.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph glad you enjoyed it. Sorry I'm late with my reply. Not been too well last week. Valx


Fever (posted on: 27-02-12)
A night to forget.

Half awake, wrung out with white heat my mind wanders involuntarily seeking a cool haven. I wonder briefly why I'm looking for an ice berg What do I want with an ice berg? I don't find one, my foot is tangled in a wet dish cloth, it trips me, I fall, my heart jerks painfully. I am an amnesiac blindly wrestling my foot from something vindictive, why can't I free it? Exhausted, I give up the fight when my mouth clogs with wire wool. Faintly the drip, drip of water Penetrates, I lust to lap it up. Lust is replaced by fear; my head is growing, I feel my teeth snap hard together. Ice flows bump my body; shards pierce and penetrate my skin. The quake begins deep within, spreading, shaking my soul into a zillion pieces, I scream for it to stop. It stops as oblivion swallows me whole. The change is gradual, hardly noticeable at first; it's cooler and a soft breathed breeze wafts across my damp skin, it feels so good. A gentle light shines benignly upon me; sanity returns, the fever recedes, and with it the vision of Hades falls back and fades into the black swirling torrent of the River Styx beyond. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Fever
Harry on 27-02-2012
Fever
A peach pf a nightmare Val. Very imaginative, like a Bosch painting ... I like it.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Harry. Appreciate your reading my poem Valx

Andrea on 27-02-2012
Fever
Yes, I know what Harry means about the Bosch painting! Powerful picture, Val.

Author's Reply:
So do I, I used to work in a book shop in Leicester and I loved to look at the books on Art, there was one on Hironomus Bosch, it was facsinating what a mind that man must have had, nightmarish! Thanks Andrea, Valx

Ionicus on 28-02-2012
Fever
Excellent imagery, Val. The mention of Hades and the river Styx reminds me of Dante's Inferno and his hellish Journey through the underworld.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, you got that right it was a hellish night as I remember. Valx

barenib on 29-02-2012
Fever
Val - A vivid and strong description of what I presume was your experience - thank goodness things calmed down at the end! A good read - John.

Author's Reply:
Thanks John yes it was my experience and all turned out right thanks goodness. Still it's all gris to the mill as they say. Thanks for your comments, appreciated. Valx

ChairmanWow on 01-03-2012
Fever
Interesting piece on what strange things a fever will do to a human mind. Maybe fever could be an metaphor for the creative process?

Ralph

Author's Reply:
I'm sure you must be right about that Ralph, looking back on my work a lot of it comes from my experiences as a child. I was always a bit of a puny child and managed to get every bug that was passing until finally I got the big one TB when I was 12. That experience was the source of lots of inspiration. Thanks for your interest Valx

ChairmanWow on 02-03-2012
Fever
People forget what terror a diagnosis of tuberculosis meant just two generations ago. My grandfather came down with it in Tennessee and was quarantined away from his family of wife and 9 children for years. Glad you survived it.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Another one I'm late with, trouble is If I don't answer them straight the way I tend to forget. It was 1956 when I got TB so I was lucky as they had Streptomicin by then, but I was still in isolation at a sanatorium for eight months and In all I lost two years of schooling. In those days hospitals didn't provide teachers like they do today so I have a great gap in my education. If I had come from a wealthy family I could have had private tuition, but my people were poor. All that I know today I more or less taught myself. Thanks again for reading. Valx


Benny The Knocker (posted on: 24-02-12)
Wednesday Challenge, Antiques and Curios adjusted slightly from wednesday's effort. I put it under Humour, but if you think deeply about it, it poses a serious problem in our society

Knocking for Antiques and curios was Benny's scam of choice. A doddle to procure If you had a wheedling voice. Especially from the old girls Who were lonely and alone, in the long cold winters when the wind sliced to the bone. Couple of quid for a silver spoon fiver for the queen Anne chair, it had languished in the attic, she'd forgotten it was there. Paintings that needed cleaning Yet, Benny could clearly see, they were original Turners, he'd spotted up to three. He counted out five tenners and told her she'd done well. Silently under his foul breath prayed he wouldn't go to hell. He told himself he'd saved her from hypothermia and the flu. Then off he went whistling convinced she hadn't a clue. One day, while out knocking he walked into a trap the Old Bill had set for him, it was time to take the rap Porridge was awaiting him, not guilty, was his plea, Yet, he knew deep inside he'd be antique, when he got out. Copyright 2012VMM
Archived comments for Benny The Knocker
orangedream on 24-02-2012
Benny The Knocker
Yes, you are right, Val. This kind of 'cold-calling', taking advantage of the old and the vulnerable is all too common these days. Only the other morning I got an envelope dropped through my door, with another stamped one inside, inviting me to post off any old gold I had. They would in turn 'value it' and 'you could get rich quick'...or so they said. More than likely the other way round.

I much enjoyed your poem, Val, and the ending, despite its disturbing undertones, made me smile;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Tina, glad it made you smile even knowing that it does have a darker side.
valx

Andrea on 24-02-2012
Benny The Knocker
I used to know an English guy who owned an antique shop here in Amsterdam and did exactly that. Take trips in his van to the UK and go through old ladies attics for 'antiques' - granny's old wardrobe went for a fortune here! And I'm talking 30 years ago, so it's nothing new.

Of course I do see the serious side, but a pome after me own heart, Val - naughty Benny!



Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, Yes my ex was an expert on Antiques and indeed although he didn't knock himself hung out with all the villians and knew all the wrinkles. He was by no means an angel but he wasn't an out and out crook. He was generous in many ways, but he liked to brag and show off to his not so savory friends. I suppose if I put my mind to it I could write a book, on The Life And Scams of David S*****!! but I don't think my daughters would appreciate it. (-; Valx

sunken on 25-02-2012
Benny The Knocker
Love the ending to this, Val. A strong punchline for a strong poem. I don't know much about antiques, but I do like old things. Andrea for example. Ahem. Don't worry, she won't see this. Thank you.

s
u
n
k
e
n

winner of the 2007 formation panic buying award

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky. Lord help you if Andrea gets to see your comment, but knowing how kind the lady is she'll forgive you, I think she has a soft spot for you anyhow. (-; Valx

Ionicus on 25-02-2012
Benny The Knocker
At least your Benny gave his 'client' a fiver or two. There are some people who go 'house clearing' and want to charge transport for the privilege of taking the stuff away.
Still, as you say, not everyone is a crook.
Good read.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. It was a big part of my life once, I wouldn't trust these people as far as I could spit. As I said to Andrea I could write a book. Valx

ChairmanWow on 26-02-2012
Benny The Knocker
I guess buyer and seller need to beware. Here in Arizona it is phone scams that get the elderly; they long to talk to someone so much they let a lifetime of guard down. But this is such a fine poem about an individual scoundrel who has to use his con man abilities to keep his own conscious fooled as well as his marks. Good work!

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Oh lord I've just found this one too! This was just a bit of fun with the Wednesday challenge. I'll try to keep up a little better in the future with my replies. Valx


Surprise (posted on: 20-02-12)
What a grand thing it is, to be remembered...

He sat bemused listening to these good old friends. That they should honour him so, with this lunch after all these years! They had thought to come to say, ''hello there, Happy Birthday'' I sat, listening to their wives chatter about old times, yet kept a watchful eye on his bewildered expression, urging him silently, to reminisce too. He ate a hearty lunch of T-bone steak and chips cooked golden brown all through the meal his head and eyes cast down Now and then his head would lift and nod a smile would light his eyes His voice when he spoke, was soft a little stilted, full of surprise. And I knew he was so overwhelmed that someone had remembered him Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Surprise
orangedream on 20-02-2012
Surprise
As they always say, Val...'little things mean a lot', which, for me at least, this poem illustrates admirably.

Have a good Monday;-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina much appreciated. Valx

Andrea on 20-02-2012
Surprise
I just love your poetry, Val, it's so expressive, tender and evocative. This even brought a tear to a rheumy eye (no mean feat, my girl!)

Author's Reply:
Really pleased you liked this, wasn't sure about it when I subbed it, I'm so glad I did now. Valx

Ionicus on 20-02-2012
Surprise
So sensitively observed, dear Val. Great writing. Where's the nib?

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
You are very kind Luigi, A true gent. Thanks for the great comment. Valx

ChairmanWow on 20-02-2012
Surprise
The slice of life creatively observed. These captured moments are important and you do them justice.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ralph, I appreciate your support and comments like this make writing very worthwhile. Valx

sunken on 22-02-2012
Surprise
Glad you finally got a nib on this Ms. Val. Sensitive and touching.... God my mind is filthy. Ahem. Nice work and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks /sunk, Glad you liked this. Thanks for the Bernard again. Did you have a lovely Birthday?
Love Valx

sunken on 25-02-2012
Surprise
A lovely birthday was indeed had, lovely Val. thanks for asking and no mistake. By the way, did you know that squids have three hearts? I've just got the one. I do have an iPad though. Swings and roundabouts innit? Thank you.

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inventor of the screw off bra

Author's Reply:
Glad you had a lovely time. If Squids have three hearts, I bet they're miniscule. You Sunky have a heart as big and kind as yourself. Valx


Life's A Conspiracy (posted on: 17-02-12)
This was written for the Wednesday challenge, The word was conspiracy. I wrote this in the spirit of the Challenge...FUN. (-;

Life's conspiring to send me right round the bloody twist, with all my pills and potions, at times I feel quite pissed. I can't see to thread a needle, I can't hear you when you speak and if I walk a bit too far hips and knees begin to creak. When I come to take my pills I'm so clumsy I could swear, they fall to the kitchen floor and bounce everywhere. When trying to retrieve them I can't get to my knees then all the effort I expend just makes me cough and wheeze There are those times at night when my bladder won't let me rest. In and out of the bathroom puts my temper to the test. Oh yes, life's one big conspiracy daring me to be at ease, for every hour of painless calm come weeks of agony, my patience can't appease. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Life's A Conspiracy
orangedream on 17-02-2012
Lifes A Conspiracy
Val - my heart goes out to you. I could so identify with you about the pills. Hubby has to take hundreds (well, almost) for his Parkinson's, and they are always going flying all over the place. Muggins here, always has to hunt for them;-)

Seriously though, a great poem, and I guess whatever life throws at us, if we can somehow find a way to smile, it helps, if but a little.

Tina;-)x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina for the thoughtful comments. How is your Husband these days, I often wonder. I think a sense of humour is essential when health starts to fail, it's the only way I can get through at times, although I have a wonderful partner who is my rock, and two fantastic daughters,without their love and collective support I would be lost. Thanks again Valx

Andrea on 17-02-2012
Lifes A Conspiracy
You and me both, Val - getting old sucks bigtime! I can get down on me knees without too much trouble, but I can't get up again! Youth really is wasted on the young 🙂

Great stuff (and much sympathy :))



Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, I know that you above all would know exactly where I was coming from. Thank god for a sense of humour. Valx

Ionicus on 17-02-2012
Lifes A Conspiracy
Good that you can see the funny side, Val. I can visualise the pills scattering all over the place.

Luigi xx

Author's Reply:
It's being able to see the funny side of life that gets us through most times. Pills can be a pain, especially the big ones that take some swallowing, c'est la vie (-; Valx

ruadh on 17-02-2012
Lifes A Conspiracy
I think you're living my life Val. Loved it!

Author's Reply:
Oh poor you, I'm glad you found my little rant amusing, That was my intention. It's nice when one suceeds. Valx


Questions for his children (posted on: 13-02-12)
A piece of prosetry

I wish you could have seen him this morning. His pale blue eyes wounded and teary as he witnessed the postman disappearing without calling here, on this day of all days. It's no way to see a man begin his 78th year. I watched him as he fed the birds fluttering around him in the freezing cold, funny, they weren't a bit wary of him. He stood like St Frances with them all clamouring at his feet, even a sparrow chanced to land on his head. Yet, you, his flesh and blood, keep your distance, ignore him. When it is time for him to leave this life, will you cry, will you care? What was it that he did? Was it because he married me? It couldn't have been that he was abusive to your mother, or any of you. He was a tender carer, you all hurried to let me know that. How it was him you cried out for when you were having your childish nightmares. How he would wipe the sweat from your brows, turning your pillows to the cool side. So tell me, make me understand. Why do you beat him so with your cruel indifference?
Archived comments for Questions for his children
orangedream on 13-02-2012
Questions for his children
This is so very poignant, Val, and so beautifully written. Very much enjoyed.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for that tina. Valx

Andrea on 13-02-2012
Questions for his children
Very sad, Val - I do hope it's not autobiographical?

Author's Reply:
It is sad, I'm sorry to say it is autobiographical and so undeserved. One day I may be brave enough to speak my mind. Thanks for the comments Andrea. Valx

Romany on 13-02-2012
Questions for his children
Sad indeed. Perhaps you should get them to read this poem?

Or perhaps not; I know how hard it can be and how difficult too, to face up to family and friends.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and caring Sue, I'm often tempted to confront them with these questions, the only thing that holds me back is that the situation is such that it is more than likely to make things worse. I live to make him happy, if I did anything that caused him even more pain I would hate myself for the rest of my life, hence, this poem here, writing about it has relieved my stress somewhat for now at least. Love Valx

Ionicus on 13-02-2012
Questions for his children
A sad poem, full of anguish. Skilfully crafted.

Author's Reply:
Thanks fot the kind words Luigi. Valx

Kat on 14-02-2012
Questions for his children
Dear Val

An excellent piece and I know exactly where you are coming from having been there too often myself for one reason or another.

Being assertive is a good way of dealing with the understandable anger/disappointment. Perhaps putting something into words or sending this poem, as Romany has suggested, could help? There's nothing to lose when feelings are already such.

Only you will know what's for the best (with family), but my own experience has taught me to be true to myself and my own wee family in the first instance, so if anyone else should be offended... tough titty! ;^)

You write really well in this vein.

Power to you, dear Val.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Dear Kat thanks for caring, I had a feeling that you with your experience of Social behavior etc' would understand. I understand and appreciate the advice you give. I know that under ordinary circustances I would probably follow it too. But as I explained to Sue there are facets of this problem that would make things more distressing for him especially. If I spoke my mind and things spiralled because of that I would never forgive myself. I found writing this poem helped me enormously, not only by relieving some of my anger but it put things into perspective too. Thanks again Valx

ChairmanWow on 14-02-2012
Questions for his children
Well written and deeply felt. I now have a guilty conscious and will be calling my folks today.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ralph, I do hope you called your parents and that they were well. Valx


A Limerick About A Dog Called Muffin (posted on: 13-02-12)
And just for fun a silly piece I entered for last weeks challenge

We once had a dog called Muffin Who delighted in ripping the stuffin' Out of cushion and pillow Leaping at all things that billow And collapsing huffin' and puffin' Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for A Limerick About A Dog Called Muffin
orangedream on 13-02-2012
A Limerick About A Dog Called Muffin
Val - thank you for making me smile in such a delightful way. It's grey outside and I'm doing housework (or should be), so you really cheered up my day.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina nice to know I can make you smile. You are right it is grey out there today, Roll on Spring. Valx

Andrea on 13-02-2012
A Limerick About A Dog Called Muffin
Hahaha, naughty Muffin - made me laugh this, Val 🙂

Author's Reply:
Glad it made you laugh too. Is it a grey day in Amsterdam too, It's right miserable here.
Been to Leicester Hospital this morning to see my new urologist, very interesting meeting Will email you when I've had time to digest facts Valx

Romany on 13-02-2012
A Limerick About A Dog Called Muffin
Sounds like my new little Milo!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading , I hope Milo can retain his puppy cutness, when he gets over the naughty stage (-; Valx

Ionicus on 13-02-2012
A Limerick About A Dog Called Muffin
Dogs can be a handful and, although I haven't got one, I expect that this the way they would behave.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, Yes, it's in there nature, some more than others though, I think. Valx


Linger A Little Longer (posted on: 10-02-12)
A piece of whimsey

When I was a girl Of five or six The games I played Involved a mix Of bats and balls Or just pretend Loud Tarzan calls A secret friend. Hidden dens In tree or bush Amid the sounds Of Summer's rush Travelling through Soft warm air Snow white daisies Adorn perfumed hair. Buttercup bracelet Round bony wrists All woven while waiting Mischievous trysts. A pretend princess In fairy land Hoping Prince Charming Would claim my hand Here in old age I look back and smile And linger longer In childhood awhile. Copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Linger A Little Longer
Kat on 10-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
I really enjoyed this, Val - a great bouncy rhthym too. Fav part:

'Snow white daisies
Adorn perfumed hair.
Buttercup bracelet
Bound bony wrists'

Those were the days indeed.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat. Valx

orangedream on 10-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
This is beautiful, Val. Conjures up a wonderful picture of childhood in my head. Much enjoyed.

Tina;-)x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina. Valx

e-griff on 10-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
Liked the accidental rhyme of the 'dens', which broke the rhythm a little just there to add interest. Whole thing worked well, light, resonant.

some small suggestions for - up to you.

Round bony wrists (the B alliteration seems a bit much for me at least)

All woven while waiting
For mischievous trysts.

(currently 'awaiting' throws the lilt out)

'And linger a little longer' - this one I haven't got a suggestion for - it's just an awkward line to fit in and I think the last lines need smoothing while keeping the message clear, so I think you should consider it a bit.

er, that's all! Nice pome! JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff, For commenting and the suggestions as you see I've edited it but I find I can't come up with anything better than I alraedy have. Thanks again Val x

Andrea on 10-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
Crikey, those were the days, eh? Climbing trees, making dens, always outside. No pc's, no pc games, no bloody Facebook, hardly any telly! Great stuff...

Author's Reply:
True. The kids miss out so so much these days. Thanks for commenting ?Andrea. How's the wrist feeling now Valx

Romany on 11-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
Lovely! My childhood was like that too. Makes me sad for kids who never go out to play properly these days - they are missing out.

Romany.


Author's Reply:
Me too Sue, they won't have much that is personal to them alone to recall when they are old, will they? Or perhaps we are wrong there must be some magic in sitting alone and talking through facebook, but what it is, really does elude me. Thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed the read. Valx

Ionicus on 11-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
A charming and rhythmic poem recalling episodes of one's happy childhood. Nice to read about a positive view of life.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Luigi. Belated birthday greetings BTW. I'm heading for my 69th it's enough to put the fear of God in a girl. (-; I wanted to grow old digracefully but I really don't have the energy! Valx

sunken on 12-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
This is lovely, Val. I shall refrain from commenting in my usual blasé way as I feel it would detract from said loveliness. Well done on the nib and nom.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken Lovey to hear from you again. Thanks for the lovely comments and the Bernard made my day. Love Valx

RoyBateman on 12-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
Yep, well done on the nib! I reckon we can all relate to this - or, we SHOULD be able to, if we had a normal, imaginative childhood...and we shouldn't be on this site if we didn't, should we? I was never in as a kid, always playing on some waste land or over the park: that's still there, and quite similar - but it looks so much smaller than it used to! Obviously, it's me getting bigger. Or my brain failing...that's more likely, eh? Good one - a read to bring a nostalgic smile to the face!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, one thing I am always grateful for is that I had a lovely childhood despite losing my Dad during the war and having TB when I was twelve.Tthe rest of it always shines like the sun when ever I look back. Valx

Texasgreg on 12-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
I'll send this on for the mothers of my nieces as it reminds me so much of watching them play among each other in summertime. Childhood memories fashion us more than parents realize and must be nurtured.

Author's Reply:
Thank you for the sweet comments, I'm flattered that you should want the share this with your Sisters, I hope they enjoy it too. Valx

ChairmanWow on 13-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
Well this is just a delightful poem. I think freedom was taken away from kids even before computers. Parents got paranoid about letting them play out of sight. Then computers came and it was bloated stomachs and no reverie in their minds. I spent endless summer days outside with my friends or by myself imaging stuff, took it for granted that's the way it would always be for kids.

Author's Reply:
I think you are quite right about paranoid parents, though these days one can hardly blame them too much. We live in dangerous times. Thanks for your comments I'm glad you enjoyed the read. Valx

teifii on 13-02-2012
Linger A Little Longer
Very reminiscent of my own childhood. I've had one half written on the subject for ages and you've beaten me to it.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Daff, please post your memories I would love to read about them. Valx


Rage (posted on: 06-02-12)
A re-post, Simply because it fits with the way things are now and had been all last year for me. I'm trying so hard to pull myself out of the doldrums, this is where I begin...

Fear ferrets away at my innards, chases the butterflies upwards to flutter around my fearful heart. The source of the fear? A blank page that stares me out; inkless, pristine, even virginal. It mocks, teases , ridicules and sneers at me. Until I want to scribble and scratch all over it; ravage, rubbish, render it impotent. Rage and frustration ferment inside me; powerful toxic mixture threatens to burst through the dam of reason that tentatively hold it back. Perhaps I should breach the dam? Put pay to reason, let my rage spill forth. Maybe inspiration might spew and splash over the page, give birth to a new idea. Copyright VMM2006
Archived comments for Rage
e-griff on 06-02-2012
Rage
it will - go gal! 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff. I'm trying so hard. I feel I may just win through this time. Valx

Kat on 06-02-2012
Rage
Hi Val

A very expressive poem, the emotion of which you've admirably put into words. The words that many feel/have felt.

My last 'drought' lasted 3 years. Induced by life stresses that I thought I'd never rise above.

But it's so bloody good when we're out of the doldrums again, and almost worth it (but not quite!) for the learning/insights, I believe we have afterwards. Which leads me to a quote I recently read:

'If suffering brings wisdom, I would wish to be less wise.'

(W.B. Yeats)

This poem (and your talent) should give birth to many new ideas, Val.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
How Kind you are and how inspirational your words. Thank you so much for your encouragement Kat. Valx

Andrea on 06-02-2012
Rage
great to see you back Val, and with such a powerful piece - you are one strong woman!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, that's realy something coming from you. Valx

orangedream on 06-02-2012
Rage
I think many of us will identify with your words, Val. As usual, your honesty coupled with your talent for writing, serves to make this a very moving piece.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina for your kind words. Valx

RoyBateman on 07-02-2012
Rage
I think that Kat really said it all, and I agree fully...I lost all interest in writing a few months back, and I haven't written a word since - quite a change from the verbal diarrhoea of the lat 14 years. Yes, outside influences again...but it's really good to see you back and I do so hope that you get back into full flow: it's a weird feeling, not even wanting to write, isn't it? Anyway, you're clearly facing the challenge head-on, and I reckon that's the way to do it - keep going!

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 07-02-2012
Rage
I think that Kat really said it all, and I agree fully...I lost all interest in writing a few months back, and I haven't written a word since - quite a change from the verbal diarrhoea of the lat 14 years. Yes, outside influences again...but it's really good to see you back and I do so hope that you get back into full flow: it's a weird feeling, not even wanting to write, isn't it? Anyway, you're clearly facing the challenge head-on, and I reckon that's the way to do it - keep going!

Author's Reply:
Thanks once again for your support and encouragement. I'm glad that you have managed to find your way back too and that the urge to write continues to flow. Thanks Roy truly. Valx

stormwolf on 09-02-2012
Rage
I really felt the frustration coming out of the screen. Just goes to show that when you can 'write', you can write even about not writing if you see what I mean. 😉
I am sure this is the start of a renewed surge of creativity.
Great to see you writing again and well done on the nib
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Alison. Hope things are OK. Valx


Rapper Clap Trap (posted on: 06-02-12)
This is one of my entries from last weeks P&P challenge. The word was Rap

Words that grate, all raw and rude Body undulates, actions crude Musicians loud mostly strapping Pleasing crowds, boisterous, clapping Flashing lights, electric venue Romantic lyrics right off the menu Woolly knit caps tight and silly Baggy panted yoofs, dress willy nilly Hypnotic rhythms go on and on My nerves are jangling... I AM GONE!! copyright VMM2012
Archived comments for Rapper Clap Trap
Kat on 06-02-2012
Rapper Clap Trap
Hi Val

I'm chuckling away here. This really brings a smile to my face, especially 'Woolly knit caps tight and silly
Baggy panted yoofs, dress willy nilly'.

Great to see you posting!

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat, it's so nice to hear from you again, I'm happy my little rap amused you. How is the little one these days? Not so little now I bet (-;

moogster on 06-02-2012
Rapper Clap Trap
Summed it up really well. Love how you put rap down by writing a rap song yourself. yo. very funny. Very well done. take care. Best wishes. Pete. LOlL. You got the vibe. a 10.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pete really pleased you got it. You've made my day. Valx

Andrea on 06-02-2012
Rapper Clap Trap
hahaha, lovely Val ! I must confess to admiring Eminem's lyrics, though 🙂

Author's Reply:
Glad it pleased you Thanks Andrea. Valx

orangedream on 06-02-2012
Rapper Clap Trap
I like your style, Val;-) Great as ever, as always...and I'm with you!!

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks again Tina. Valx

ChairmanWow on 06-02-2012
Rapper Clap Trap
This poem sums it up for me, a Beatles/Bob Dylan man. Most rap seems to me just an obnoxious advertisement jingle for what I don't want to buy. My daughter listens to Lady Sovereign who is a good artist.

Author's Reply:
I have to admit to being rather eclectic with my musical tastes, but I've never been able to find anything remotely attractive about Rap. Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate it. Valx

Ionicus on 06-02-2012
Rapper Clap Trap
A poem which met the challenge very well, Val.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi, you are very kind. Valx

Corin on 06-02-2012
Rapper Clap Trap
I can't stand rap either Val - Rap Crap!!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting David. Valx

RoyBateman on 07-02-2012
Rapper Clap Trap
Right on...groovy, baby. Hey, am I giving my age away or what? When they called it rap, they missed off the c. (The old ones are the best,eh?) A great parody - it's one sound (Can't call it music) form that always has me reaching for the "off" button. But then you don't get much of it on Classic, do you? Thank gawd there's some escape... But, congrats on the nib - you nailed it fair and square.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy. I suppose given another fifty years the rappers will be complaining vigorously about that days music fad. The mind boggles (-; can't imagine anything uglier or more raucous, can you? Valx


Procession South Wednesday Challenge re-write (posted on: 29-04-11)
The March for a very basic human need. The right to work, took place on the 5th of October 1936. From Jarrow in Co. Durham to Westminster Palace, London. Sadly this show of solidarity gained little sympathy from the government of the day, Stanley Baldwin's Goverment. This coming October will be the 75th anniversary of the Crusade.

A drizzly misery cast a cloud over an already drear October day. Two hundred sets of dust damaged and iron seared lungs sent streams of steam upon the morning air Red Ellen led a procession of proud men demanding the right to work, seeking desperately to avoid the poor law. Flat caps and trilbies bobbed along on an ocean of heads wending their way from a seemingly insignificant Jarrow to an all powerful Westminster Palace. Twenty five trudging days, twelve thousand signatures' petitioned to a grudging Prime Minister and a Parliament deaf to the plaintive hoi polloi, they won one measly pound each for the fare back, to home and cold, cold hearth. Then came, a wearisome amble into World War Two before, heads high, they marched like men again. copyright VMM2011
Archived comments for Procession South Wednesday Challenge re-write
Nomenklatura on 29-04-2011
Procession South Wednesday Challenge re-write
I know some will not like the alliteration in the poem but I think it's suggestive of the tramping, trudging step of the marchers. The new ending is very poignant and it's very clever to describe the lead-up to WWII as an 'amble' before the men march again, many for the last time.

Very good.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 02-05-2011
Procession South Wednesday Challenge re-write
A heartfelt, very effective evocation of an event which has become somewhat shrouded in the mists of history - the only organisation to back the march was, in fact, the church. People of all beliefs took part, even Tories! Oh, and hardly mentioned nowadays is Paddy the labrador, who I learned about from a contemporary newspaper report. I believe he went all the way, uninvited! Weirdly, the march was backed by no political party or the TUC. That was odd... We'll have to agree to disagre over whether work is a right, I'm afraid - it was a Mr Hitler who finally, as you imply, brought the shipyards back to life, albeit temporarily. Sad but true. An interesting take on an event which still has the power to move those of us with any feelings, even if we weren't even born at the time.
ps. As I'm a bit of a history nut - Labour was thrashed in the 1935 election, and Baldwin's Tories took over (Until 1945). Stanley became the first Earl Baldwin of Bewdley in the Lords in 1937, replaced as PM by Neville Chamberlain.

Author's Reply:

potleek on 23-06-2011
Procession South Wednesday Challenge re-write
Val this is about something that is very dear to all who live along the River Tyne and will always be remembered.
Enjoyed reading.
One slight error...Jarrow is in Durham not Northumberland

Author's Reply:

moogster on 05-02-2012
Procession South Wednesday Challenge re-write
Ah The Jarrow marches. what proud people. Taking their case of hardship to London. Let us not forget these poor souls and their struggle. very well written. Excellent. warm best wishes. Pete. LOL .

Author's Reply:


Tumbling Down That Tunnel (posted on: 18-03-11)
My piece of fun from Wednesday's challenge. The prompt was Tumbledown. Not Necessarily my view of course...

Tumbling down, tumbling tumbling toward the light, down into brightness away from the night. Just when my heart had stopped its drumming and the blood in my veins had stopped its thrumming, I was hauled back to face all the pain; tumbling backward to life again. Back to finish a life left too soon, back to the terror of the emergency room. Copyright VMM2011
Archived comments for Tumbling Down That Tunnel
Ionicus on 18-03-2011
Tumbling Down That Tunnel
A nice rhythmic poem, Val. For some reason the first stanza brought to mind Alice in Wonderland. Odd how the mind works.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
You know Luigi, it's strange but as I was writing that first stanza I too thought of that piece of Alice in Wonderland and had to fight myself really hard to stay with my original idea. It's odd how you can start off on one track and finish up with something entirely different, This time though I managed to win. (-; Valx

TPILB on 19-03-2011
Tumbling Down That Tunnel
My dear Val - Learning about rhythmic poems, and can see you do that well. One point, tumble down for me denotes into a dark place, in this it seems you wanted death over life?

Author's Reply:
Yes it would seem that way, but actually I was writing about a Near Death Experience. Loads of people report that they would have been quite happy to stay on the other side, especially if they are extremely ill. I'm not saying I believe or disbelieve, I have an open mind. But I thought it would be a fun write and different from what everyone else was writing about. I'm panicking at the moment because I haven't a clue what to do with the word Punch this week. I see you have entered, it is good too. I'm going to be hard pushed. Thanks for commenting. Val

sybarite on 22-03-2011
Tumbling Down That Tunnel
I too, found Alice in the first stanza. I enjoyed this, and yes, nice rhythm throughout.

Author's Reply:


I, Whistleblower (posted on: 07-03-11)
Here is another Wednesday Challenge winner I forgot to post on the front page, it's from way back in December and the prompt word was Whistleblower.

The whistle's blown their game is done, I'll stand alone the facts they'll shun. They'll make me pay I cannot win, they'll turn away I turned them in. Honesty must out no matter the cost, the truth they flout and I am lost. Copyright VMM2011
Archived comments for I, Whistleblower
geordietaf on 07-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
Sad but true.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Geordiefor commenting. Valx

TPILB on 07-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
I am by no means a poetic person or authority , however here are my thoughts -Very confusing in content, you start with ‘their game is done’ i.e. conviction then end in loss (Lost). could be your intent, in short stating whistle blowing if fallible? 1st stanza line 4 ‘shun’ just seems very weak, since its perversion (legal, justice etc) ‘molested’ would be good? Stanza 2 - The most confusion on my part, it this a battle of peers/friends and write/wrong? “they’ll turn away”, or do you mean the authority or all or the perpetrators only? The ending and the last stanza it just dies, ‘flout’ + and I am lost, if it was ‘I have lost’ it would make sense to me, or if you are intending to display your dismay at the process and the final sentiment of being honest leaves you ‘lost’, in this event, then understandable, but would need revised, or so I feel.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting. But, you're right you're not a poet (-; Val on second reading of your crit' you should check your spelling, I am confused as to your points, the poem is perfectly clear and makes sense. The rhythm and rhyme are important here I suggest you read it again with a less jaundiced eye. Sorry If I came across a little terse but your comments are unjust I feel.

TPILB on 07-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
On you're reply you should check your wording, one could assume ‘crit’ is a bike race (-; adding to the confusion. All jesting aside;

I read it again, and again; maybe you should make a audio version, since it's still bland; you are by no means ‘Alfred Lord Tennyson’, but he did suffer from extreme short-sightedness...

In truth, 'fraud' is one of my specilaist subjects, so I was critical since your variation seems obscure, or abstract, at least to me.

On a final note, yes, it make sense as to the subject matter (Whistle blowing), it could be you sacrificed the fusion of elements and direction for the ‘cause and effect’ for - rhythm and rhyme; then again I am not a poet - So in this light, I will see what others think and draw from that; a lesson and possibly a learned on my part.



Author's Reply:
Well thanks again for the comments, I must stress that I have no pretentions whatsoever I am who I am and I am what I am, just someone who likes to write and interact with other people. Usually though when someone makes suggestions about my poetry, positive or otherwise they are far less abrasive. I bow to your superior talants. Obviously I write bland poetry. The odd thing is I like it. So you won't be offended I'm sure if I continue to write bland poetry. Val

Andrea on 07-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
I liked it but thought the third verse didn't quite scan and fit with the first two (and you know I ain't a poet either):-)

Honesty must out
no matter the cost,
the truth they flout
and I am lost.

I thought something like:

Honesty must surely out
no matter what the cost.
Sadly, the truth they flout
and I, alas, am lost.

(not saying those particular words, but the syllable count I mean).



Author's Reply:

Andrea on 07-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
I meant to say that I understood the sentiments exactly 🙂 It was a purely technical point.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea for the comments, I'm sure you were trying to defuse a situation, No problem, I intend to leave my poem as it is as quite honestly I like it. Love Valx

stormwolf on 08-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
The brevity of the lines added punch to what was a tricky subject handled with skill.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison Much Appreciated. I'm glad you understood what I was trying to convey. Love Valx

RoyBateman on 08-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
Seconds out, round two! Ouch...such a short poem to start a punch-up with, young Val! I'm not sure why - you make the point with great economy, but perfectly well: I assumed that the slight difference in the third verse was deliberate, as you'd made the point and wanted to sum up with something slightly different. Anyway, It hit the mark - does honesty and truthfulness pay? Sadly, not always - that's one of our childhood certainties that gets less tenable as ewe get older and "wiser"!
ps Actually, it sounds as if I lifted that last line from the last episode of "South Riding" - possibly I did without realising!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, I'm glad my meaning was clear to you. It was difficult to write without getting bogged down and also you are right, I did want to sum up differently. poetry is not meant to be black or white it's supposed to leave a lot to the reader to decipher and that is never easy either. But thanks again. Valx

Andrea on 08-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
Nice to have a discussion though 🙂

The meaning was perfectly clear to me, no problem at all with that! And now that Roy pointed it out, I see what you (he) mean(s) about the third verse. Never thought of that - see, that'll learn me to comment on things wot I know nothing about 🙂

x

Author's Reply:

TPILB on 08-03-2011
I, Whistleblower
Dear Val,

Being new;

Please accept my apologies for coming across as I did, ‘It’s in my nature -at times’, all I need is a South African accent to complete the image you must have of me. I will, as a gesture, (and unwisely) make an attempt to write a poem on the same subject matter (A game of two half’s), and expect a good thrashing; in return, and be truthful- PC is the scourge for progress, and one of my pet hates.

I read some of your other poems, and ‘some’ were excellent, bravo. I read it again while eating my lunch; a steak, grilled, no salt or pepper, medium- rare; ironically, it’s the blandness I enjoyed... ‘The steak that is’. (-:

TPILB


Author's Reply:
Well what can I say.. you've completely disarmed me, (-; You are a true gent. I look forward to reading your poem and I sincerely hope you prove me wrong and that you are indeed a poet. I'm sorry that we started off on the wrong foot but I'm sure things can only get better from now on. Thanks again for being brave and caring enough to say sorry. Thanks. Val


A Knowing (posted on: 04-03-11)
Much to my surprise, this little piece won me the Golden Egg last Wednesday.

They fascinate those amber eyes, they look, they see, they're far too wise for such a child. Yet I am told it's not a sham, they're cool, she's cold, gives not a damn! Yet, oh! those eyes appearing old, secrets and lies, they change their hue If you're a man they'll warm for you. Then, turning hard with much deceit I sense a knowing they seem so sweet that I really fear someone, somewhere should know, beware Copyright VMM2011
Archived comments for A Knowing
sybarite on 04-03-2011
A Knowing
Well done. The flow is unbroken throughout, the rhyming scheme subtle. You shouldn't be surprised at all by your egg. Well deserved.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 04-03-2011
A Knowing
A punchy poem with good rhythm and rhyming. I don't know why you should underestimate your skill. The 'egg' was the right accolade. Well done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

Capricorn on 06-03-2011
A Knowing
Well worthy of the Golden Egg Bradene - this had me gripped until the last line.

Eira

Author's Reply:


The Stranger (posted on: 21-02-11)
Yet another Wednesday Challenge I forgot to post This is one from a few weeks back. The prompt word was Uninvited.

The Stranger The shining day began all smiling sun and wonder. At last, my fresh beginning, a special one prepared for. Just a small collection of my friends and relations gathered for my new life, amid floral decoration. Then I saw him standing there alone, unknown and uninvited; dressed strangely in white. Unfamiliar yet familiar. He looked straight at me with a gentle half smile, sapphire blue eyes, with an almost imperceptible tilt of his head, I knew I had to heed him and follow wherever he led, for his invitation had been issued at the time of my conception. No escape now, it came to me then, it's a good day to die Copyright VMM2011
Archived comments for The Stranger
Romany on 21-02-2011
The Stranger
Lovely! I thought at first it was a wedding then realised (as you intended I think) that it was your funeral. Nice light touch to it. One thing, shouldn't it be 'almost imperceptible' rather than 'imperceptible?' Otherwise, how was it then perceived? Or perhaps I am just being picky! Regardless, I enjoyed this.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany , you were right of course . A silly oversight on my part. I've fixed it but had to re-arrange it slightly to accommodate the ten syllabic lines. I hope it makes better sense now. Glad you enjoyed it though despite the slip. Valx

franciman on 21-02-2011
The Stranger
Really good read. I could readily picture your celestial escort.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jim for your comment. Appreciated. Valx

Corin on 21-02-2011
The Stranger
If it be now,
'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the
readiness is all:

Let every third thought be your death:-)

David

Author's Reply:
Always nice to hear from you David Thanks for the comment. Valx

stormwolf on 21-02-2011
The Stranger
wow! LOVED it!
I came all out in goosepimples a sure sign of being affected in my spirit. A poem I will remember always. I liked the way the lines wove on and the inference rather than direct way you dealt with the scene.
Into favs of course Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Allison, Glad you liked it so much and also for the generous rating. Valx

Ionicus on 21-02-2011
The Stranger
An original interpretation of the theme. Well written with an unexpected twist. Well worth a second showing.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

sybarite on 21-02-2011
The Stranger
I agree with all the comments above. I too, got goosebumps when I reached the final stanza. Most unexpected ending--well done!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 21-02-2011
The Stranger
I feel there is kind of "peaceful spookiness" about this one - I really like the twist. Can I say something about layout though - actually I won't, but you know me and layout! Elf.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 24-02-2011
The Stranger
Oh, yes - definitely nibworthy. Though the twist was novel and unexpected, it wasn't as dark as the reader might have expected: chilling, yes, but also strangely peaceful and even welcoming. If you see what I mean...I know that looks rather odd given the subject matter. Calm without being unsettling, floating away like Holst's "Venus" into silence. Very good, Val, and I see a lot of folk agree!

Author's Reply:


Our Winnie (posted on: 18-02-11)
As I have said, recently my writing has been very sparse, but I have been doing the Wednesday Challenge when I could. It came to me suddenly that I hadn't been posting my work on the front page, so, here is last weeks effort. The Prompt was Dying Words.

Our friend Winnie made fine speeches, he vowed to fight them on the beaches. Lots of wise words often tripping off his tongue and all very gripping. Thanks to him in celebration won hearts and minds of this fair nation. Without complaint did his duty Man's loyalty, a thing of beauty. His last words as he lay dying, ''I'm bored with it all'' he said sighing. Copyright VMM2011
Archived comments for Our Winnie
franciman on 18-02-2011
Our Winnie
For me this draws us toward the anti-climactic nature of death. Great work.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jim, appreciated. Val

stormwolf on 20-02-2011
Our Winnie
ha! Nice way to go....rather go bored with it all than feeling unfinished business.
Well written Val
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, Yes, me too, though I would just like to shuffle off in my sleep. thanks for commenting. Valx

sybarite on 26-02-2011
Our Winnie
Wonderful ending. I would imagine there is much truth in it, though I do hope it's a while before I find out!

Author's Reply:


7 Haiku. (One for every night of the week) (posted on: 14-02-11)
Because I've been dragging my atrophied old grey matter through a word desert for ages, I decided to trawl through my bottom draw and I came across these 7 haunting Haikus. I must have written them for one Halloween and forgot all about them, I certainly can't remember if I ever used them, well here goes, in for a penny...

O Apparition phantasmic visitation, unholy ghoul go! Bella Lugosied vision, blue lipped, drawn tight back over yellowed fangs. Blood drenched eyes of night, vampire appetite sated pierced sweet swanlike neck. Banshee wail filled air, haul hearts into frozen throats, stilling voices dead. Phantasms arise zombied, restless, roam enthralled ecstatically. By the waxing moon shadows of those who once were, dance in death's delight. Devil worshipper, deliverer of nightmares evil fantasy. Copyright VMM2011
Archived comments for 7 Haiku. (One for every night of the week)
orangedream on 14-02-2011
7 Haiku. (One for every night of the week)
Hi there, Val;-) I'm glad you did 'trawl your bottom drawer'. Goodness knows what I'd find in mine...nothing like this, I can guarantee. These are great and I'm glad I didn't read them late at night; kind of spooky as they certainly are, to say the very least. Much enjoyed...if that's the right word;-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina, I miss posting, but Lately my writing has just dried up, hence the trawl. Appreciate you stopping by. Love Valx

RoyBateman on 14-02-2011
7 Haiku. (One for every night of the week)
Ooh, Mummy...are there any dry pants? These really are atmospheric and chilling, Val - lovely flow to them, too, even if it's sticky, scarlet and drying up round the edges. Let's hope your mojo returns without delay - I know how it feels: you simply don't know where the next piece is coming from, then, like the proverbial buses, several arrive at the same time. It'll happen, and in the meantime, thanks for these!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Roy and the encouragement, I need all I can get. I'm still struggling though. hopefully if I persevere something will turn up. Cheers, Valx


Demented (Syllabic Poem for e-griff's Challenge) (posted on: 11-02-11)
This was all I could come up with. Having a really arid time just now.

I've stretched my mind to breaking point, to find some worthwhile words to write. My brain is burning, each synapse turning, sssnap !! breaking at the joint. All my thoughts become fragmented each moment lived a tiny pain. My heart lies sighing, my small gift dying, arghhh !! God I'm demented No! I will not permit it so, it is such a cowardly act. Come on, start writing, that's right, start fighting, woohoo!! yes, way to go! Copyright VMM2011
Archived comments for Demented (Syllabic Poem for e-griff's Challenge)
Ionicus on 11-02-2011
Demented (Syllabic Poem for e-griffs Challenge)
I like the mock desperation, Val. An amusing and rhythmical poem.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi but the desperation is real. I'm really am having a hard time writing just now. I appreciate your comment, as always it's grand to hear from you. Love Valx

e-griff on 11-02-2011
Demented (Syllabic Poem for e-griffs Challenge)
well, done Val!! 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff, I did try anyway. Val (-;

franciman on 11-02-2011
Demented (Syllabic Poem for e-griffs Challenge)
Simple premise, simple verse, very complex story. You have bridged your synaptic gap Val.

Great piece of work.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
I really appreciate the positive comment Jim, and the great rating. Val.

orangedream on 12-02-2011
Demented (Syllabic Poem for e-griffs Challenge)
Hi there, Val;-)

I wouldn't even have attempted this, let alone come up with something as adept as yours.

It was much enjoyed and I can only echo what has already been said. Well done, indeed!

Tina xx

Author's Reply:
Hi Tina thanks for the sweet comment, nice to hear from you again. I'm not writing so well these days so it was good to get your comments. Hope you are well. Love Valx


The Eyes Have It (posted on: 03-12-10)
I wrote this especially for the Inspiration Point over at ABC. the theme was repetition.

The look in his eyes told me everything, everything I needed to know. The look in his eyes told me everything, he was planning to go. The look in his eyes told me everything, I needed to know why he wanted to leave me, but he said nothing; I only knew by the look in his eye.. That look in his eyes spoke volumes, It was more expressive than mere words could ever be. That look in his eyes, was so eloquent; he was sick of the sight of me Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for The Eyes Have It
ifyouplease on 03-12-2010
The Eyes Have It
good Val!

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, ifyouplease. What a lovely username. Valx

Ionicus on 03-12-2010
The Eyes Have It
It was good to read it on ABC as it is seen repeated here.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

sybarite on 03-12-2010
The Eyes Have It
Oh ouch!

The repetition works well. The sentiment is honest without being smarmy. Last line is a bullet.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 03-12-2010
The Eyes Have It
Packs a punch Val. Repetition can begin to bump a bit, but it works here. Elf.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 05-12-2010
The Eyes Have It
Just the right length, Val, as (for me, anyway) repetition soon loses its appeal - but this works. Quite a shocking last line, even if we knew what was coming - very effective.
ps Good punning (eyes/ayes) title, too!

Author's Reply:

sunken on 12-12-2010
The Eyes Have It
Hiya Val. I'm all for repetition. I'm all for repetition. I'm all for repetition. Ahem. Sorry, someone had to do it. I really am though. I think it can be very effective in poetry. You just proved it. Sadly under-read for such a strong piece. Nice work, missus.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:


Christmas Trails... Or Trials... (posted on: 29-11-10)
Times, like seasons, inevitably change.

When I was a child Christmas would tip toe gently in. Its journey beginning with Advent in Sunday school, the first week of December. From then on anticipation built with carolling around the village, the Church nativity and Santa's visit to our school. Christmas eve was a hive of activity, including children, almost bursting with great expectations, yet, determined to obey harassed parents, lest Santa be watching. Times, like seasons, inevitably change. Now Christmas noisily stampedes through our homes via the television in October. Shouts at us in November demanding immediate attention each time we visit the supermarket. Screeches and screams at us with such a cacophony in December it makes us dizzy. When it finally arrives, it plops into our lives, tired, with no enthusiasm, and scowls at unimaginative children being fractious when their overpriced gifts arrive without batteries Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
e-griff on 29-11-2010
Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
I often feel I've arrived without batteries *sighs* ...

Author's Reply:
Wow! I'm honoured, that you should read my poetry (-; thanks for commenting. Valx

littleditty on 29-11-2010
Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
it can feel so like this, i don't look!! Well told Val - mute the ads, or cancel them altogether, pop some mulled wine on the stove, a favourite old movie on DVD, and plan to make the season all you want it to be message to this one poem -good read Val xxx

Author's Reply:
Yhanks LD, I am already implimenting your very sound advice. Valx

RoyBateman on 29-11-2010
Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
Yep, Val, times change - and no doubt our kids will think the same in turn! Life inevitably gets more complex - mind you, I reckon most folk associate the voice of Noddy Holder with Christmas more than traditional carols - and that record dates from, what, the early 70s? Ancient history now! In fact, Wizzard etc. all date from around then too, so at least our Christmas pop is acquiring a patina of age! Get the batteries and the sherry in well before the shops shut and just enjoy it - cheers!

Author's Reply:
Lol Roy as always you are very likely right. I quite like old Noddy and used to love Roy Wood and Wizard, but I still get misty eyed at the old traditional Christmas carols. And Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without watching Old Scrooge on the Telly. Only 22 days to go (-; Thanks for the comments. Valx

Andrea on 29-11-2010
Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
Quite right, Val! Disgraceful business!! Drives me mad!!! Bah, humbug. Very good.

Author's Reply:
Lol yes. Well I used to love it when my girls were little, but as you get older somehow the magic wanes especially when you are under orders not to raise a glass or two. still I may sneak the odd red wine and be damned. Thanks Andrea. Valx

Ionicus on 29-11-2010
Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
Don't hold your breath about muting the ads, dear Val. In a few days you shall see adverts for Eater Eggs. The marketeers can't rest on their laurels, can they?
And they say we are in recession.

Author's Reply:
I know exactly what you mean, I've already seen some ads for Summer holidays. As for the ressession, people still pile it on the plastic.. without thinking about the day when the piper will inevitably demand payment. Thanks for the comments Luigi. Valx

e-griff on 29-11-2010
Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
I always read it, just don't comment always ....

I never comment on any of the 'weekly' posts if they are submitted cos I've already read them 🙂

G

Author's Reply:
Any excuse ! only joking (-; thanks for popping in. Val

Leila on 29-11-2010
Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
Yes well written as always Val...Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks Leila, Valx

sybarite on 03-12-2010
Christmas Trails... Or Trials...
Great title and many truths. Excellent commentary on the commercialism of the modern Christmas.

Author's Reply:


Memories Of Cherry Nibbling (posted on: 26-11-10)
Just a little something

Winter's grip around my heart freezes inspiration, Yet, crimson hawthorn berries flame to fire imagination. Tumbling snowflakes floating down very reminiscent of falling cherry blossom time shining, iridescent. Then my mind drifts like the snow recalling memories late Summer evenings spent with you nibbling sweet red cherries. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
Ionicus on 26-11-2010
Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
Dear Val, there is no stopping you. Having nibbled at the cherries,
a nib comes your way. Keep it up.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Well it's been a long time since i got cherries and nibs are rare but I've no one but myself to blame my writing has just not been up to scratch for ages. Thanks for the comments Luigi. Valxx

Corin on 27-11-2010
Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
O those old cherries - like the taste of madeline cake they taunt us with that bright youth that will not come again.

David

Author's Reply:
Unfortunely your words are so true, but memories are still sweet. Thanks for reading. Valx

pdemitchell on 27-11-2010
Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
Ver' cute, Val, with stong accents and rhyme scheme. A first too: a nibble begetting a nibble! Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Lol Yes indeed. Thanks for the comment. Val

Andrea on 27-11-2010
Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
Really liked this Val - very sweet and...er...juicy!

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked this Andrea. Thanks for stopping by. Valx

RoyBateman on 28-11-2010
Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
Cheery nibbing, I see? Good! Yes, it's good to drift back to warmer times and happier memories - especially when it's like this outside. You caught the mood perfectly, and in few words too - not an easy feat!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy just a bit of day dreaming with a little help from the IP point over at ABC. Hope all is well Valx

Leila on 28-11-2010
Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
Nicely done Val making each word count...Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks Leila, how nice to hear from you again. Valx

niece on 29-11-2010
Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
A lovely poem, Val...a perfect blend of summer and winter thoughts...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thank you Niece, it's nice of you to say so. Valx

teifii on 01-12-2010
Memories Of Cherry Nibbling
Really like the images mixing up the seasons. Reads very well aloud too.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff from you that's a real compliment. Hope you are resting up that leg and feeling lots better. Valx


Moving On (posted on: 22-11-10)
This was my first sub for last Wednesday's challenge. If you remember the prompt was, 'Moving House'

It'll be alright moving on, learning new things as we go along. The house is bigger plenty more room, views will be broader a lot less gloom. The town is older friendlier, cosy, a closer community, ... maybe a little nosy. There're hills, a river that runs through the town, It'll not take long for roots to bed down. The time comes then and it's hard to tell goodbye to the house that sheltered us well Memories tumble through heads, through tears, birthings, schooldays, the minutiae of years Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Moving On
pdemitchell on 22-11-2010
Moving On
Hi Val - well structured homage to the old cottage with only a minor rhythmic tweak needed on the last line of the penultimate stanza - maybe losing the 'so' sorts it. Enjoyable positive stuff and well-written. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mitch, I took your advice and took out the 'so' It reads a lot better now. Thanks again. Val

stormwolf on 22-11-2010
Moving On
aww There is tenderness in this poem that comes over to the reader. An acknowlegement of the benefits and advantages of the new house but ending with the bittersweet feeling as one remembers the little things that made the old one 'home'.
I found it quite moving actually.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Alison. Glad you enjoyed the poem, I appreciate your comments. Valx

Gee on 22-11-2010
Moving On
For me, there's a kind of forced optimism behind the list of good things about the new house, as if the person leaving has to remind themselves about them all in order to leave the old house.
It worked very well for me, Val, and I could definitely relate to the memories at the old house.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gee, it was kind of an easy one for me, as I based this on the first house move, during the happier years of my first ill fated marriage. Thanks for reading. Valx

RoyBateman on 22-11-2010
Moving On
Interesting - looking on things through the other end of the telescope, as it were - before it's happened, rather than taking a nostalgic look back. Which is how it should be, of course - at least when you're young. A refreshingly different take, I reckon - well done.

Author's Reply:
Thanks once again for the support Roy, I enjoyed last weeks challenge, both pieces came easy for me. Valx

Ionicus on 22-11-2010
Moving On
"It’ll be alright
moving on,
learning new things
as we go along."
A truism which is equally applicable to moving house as to life itself.
The anticipation of a different environment, more challenging perhaps, comes through well with just a hint of regret for all that has been left behind.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi for the kind comments. Always happy at your approval. Love Valx


Nostalgia And Moving House (posted on: 19-11-10)
An old one re-written and tidied up for the wednesday challenge. Much to my delight it won. The prompt was Moving House

I'd been clearing the attic all week, getting ready for what I was desperately hoping would be my last house move. You fell out of an old book I thought I'd lost, wearing nothing but a pair of maroon swimming trunks. Your long legs white, skinny as draw threads, with puny muscles like knots in cotton and a grin to charm the birds from the trees. Straight black hair hung over your dark lashed left eye leaving the right one to twinkle alone into the lens of the camera that loved you, despite your obvious shortcomings. I started to cry. Memories I thought long dead came rushing back. In retrospect I feel foolish now, the thought of my standing there in that dusty attic alone, with tears dripping off my chin, pictures of the long lost past tumbling one over the other, unasked for, unwanted yet somehow inevitable. You looked the typical sixties rebel, hair collar length, blue stubble pointed chin. A Lawrence Harvey look alike if ever there was one, quite a dish in fact. You knew it too, girls just adored you. It was like being married to a film star sometimes. You never worried about having sand kicked in your face, that sort of behaviour had gone out with Victor Mature et al. The hungry look was in with the emerging Beatles and the late still great Buddy Holly. The Liverpool revolution had saved you. You were fashionable, in the swim; lean mean and hungry the world at your feet. For some reason you had chosen me to share it with you. I was happy then, content in the perceived knowledge that you would make a great daddy, a wonderful husband; that our love was enduring and would survive anything. How nave I was then. Looking at the picture now through a blur of tears a rogue thought struck me, I had always been a Robert Stack fan! Why couldn't I have met someone who had looked like him? I never could stand Lawrence bloody Harvey! I wondered vaguely what Freud would have made of that. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Nostalgia And Moving House
Bikerman on 19-11-2010
Nostalia And Moving House
Congratulations on winning. But I'm not sure the ending really works - I think it would be better if you finished on the more elegiac note of 'How naive I was then'. Also, the piece would be even better if it was tightened up, as in '..the thought of (my) standing there in that dusty attic (alone)....tumbling over one another, unasked (for), unwanted, yet somehow inevitable'. And maybe 'collar-length hair' would read better? Just suggestions.

Author's Reply:
I think for what I was trying to convey the ending was ok. I'm very pleased you read and commented though please feel free to stop by again, I'm always open to any suggestion and grateful for all the help I can get especially with my prose. In this case though I will decline your suggestion, Thanks again for your kindness, Val

RoyBateman on 19-11-2010
Nostalia And Moving House
Ah, we're all prone to that moment when we come face to face with a long-forgotten image, and it can be a real heartbreaker - I knew exactly how you felt in this, though circumstances are obviously different for everyone. Perhaps the most surprising thing aboutbthese moments is when we realise just how far back they take us, and how recent it seems...frightening. Congrats on winning - a worthy take on a very interesting theme.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, Yep it was quite a revelation to realize just how long ago that was, my youngest daughter turned 50 this last September and my youngest will be 45 in December, as you say Frightening... Thanks for reading and your support. Valx

Gee on 19-11-2010
Nostalia And Moving House
First of all, you have some wonderful descriptions in this. I think everyone can connect with the idea of suddenly finding something from the past that hits you this hard.
I like the way you first describe the person in the photograph, then go on to make your reader think things worked out. That one small sentence "How naïve I was then." is simple yet effective enough to tell that things went badly wrong.
I liked the ending. It had a kind of defiance to it somehow. The whole thing worked very well indeed for me.

Author's Reply:
Thanks again Gee for the great comments, you sussed exactly what I was trying desperately to convey. It's really good to know I achieved that. Valx

Ionicus on 20-11-2010
Nostalia And Moving House
A good and worthy winner, dear Val, and a 'nib' to boot.
But what have you done to the title? I spotted the missing 'G' (pun intended).

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for spotting the not so deliberate mistake for me, I hadn't noticed. I'm happy you thought it a winner and nib worthy. Thanks for everything. Valx

pdemitchell on 20-11-2010
Nostalgia And Moving House
Cracking flash, Val, with a sad twist. Made me want to dig out my old speedos - no, on second thoughts, better not. Worth the nibbling. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mitch Glad you liked this piece. Thanks for commenting. Val

stormwolf on 20-11-2010
Nostalgia And Moving House
Hi Val
I very seldom read anything but poetry, feeling as I do, totally out of depth to give helpful crit...however, the title grabbed me, having moved house 14 times over a 12 year period.
There was such a bittersweet feeling to this..totally well captured. I dare say that looking at that pic you were straight back there too.
Sometimes it's almost masochistic to look back, isn't it? It sure is many times for me.
I look into young eyes and wonder why the hell I was not more discerning?....but if we were born 'all knowing', we would not need to be here.
A lovely bit of writing indeed.
I thought the second to end line was actually a bit of genuius myself.
In this you are adding, not only some lightening humour...but you are highlighting the folly of youth that thinks in its innocence that we can change the instinct.
I married the typical boy next door. Next time round I will choose the rat. It may still all end in tears but will have lots of thrills along the way! lol 😉
All in all I felt the last couple of lines added the twist that made it stand out from simply tender reminiscing. Well deserving of the nib in my humble opinion.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
I'm really glad this caught your eye Alison it made my day reading your comments. I always thought the amount of times I have moved house was far too many but having read the number and frequency with which you have moved thus far, puts me in the shade. I hope that you settle down soon and enjoy some well deserved peace and quiet. Thanks so much again for reading and the lovely caomments.Val


Green Girl of the Sixties (posted on: 12-11-10)
Wednesday challenge. Word Yellow

Mellow yellow banana skins were never the thing for me. The electrical banana I escaped virtuously, for I was a nave girl who just saw the yellow sun, and the golden colour of butter spread over my currant bun. copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Green Girl of the Sixties
pdemitchell on 12-11-2010
Green Girl of the Sixties
They call me yellow mellow, quite rightly! Delightful wee ditty there, Val. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mitch, glad you thought so. Val

littleditty on 12-11-2010
Green Girl of the Sixties
Dear Val - i don't think i want to know what the electrical banana was - the sixties seems full of naivety to the younger folk too now i think -love the golden last verse xx

Author's Reply:

sirat on 13-11-2010
Green Girl of the Sixties
I often think the sixties represent the last flowering of idealism in the young. Electrical bananas and soft drugs perhaps, but also passions and ideals. The times seemed to be a'changin' but sadly they havern't. An excellent poem because it gives you something to think about.

Author's Reply:


Yellow Peril In The Country (posted on: 12-11-10)
Another Wednesday Challenge entry for the word Yellow

Friday nights Jan, Keith, Bobby and I would go out to eat, choosing a different country pub each week. They were a fun couple to be with, but I was beginning to feel the strain. Bobby said I was silly, I looked lovely whatever I wore, ''you don't need to tart yourself up in new frocks every time we go out love, it's that gorgeous smile and pretty violet eyes people see when they look at you'' then he kissed and hugged me. I felt better after he'd said that although as the week wore on my insecurities returned. Jan after all was a tall willowy blonde, who drew men's eyes wherever she went, her dresses were always stunningly different. She never missed the chance to pass comment on my attire, sometimes even saying, '' Oh I remember that, didn't you wear it a couple of times last month? It's really very sweet'' That Friday was a scorcher so I chose Bobby's favourite, the dress he always said was made just for me, it being almost the colour of my eyes. A soft cool cotton halter, and crease resistant, so I always felt good in it. I knew I'd only worn it once before in their company, so with my confidence restored a little, I began to hope she wouldn't notice. When we arrived at the pub I was feeling relaxed, then my earlier ebullience disappearied the moment Jan got out of their car and began to walk towards us. She was wearing a silk sheath dress the colour of yellow corn. She looked fantastic. I slid out of the car and pasted a smile on my face that I was sure didn't quite reach my eyes, then suddenly her dress started to grow black in great patches, she gave a loud squeal of anguish, frantically trying to escape millions of minute corn flies that had settled upon her. Behind me I heard a snort, I knew Bobby was trying to hold back a laugh. Inside, my inner imp was chuckling. Keith began to desperately brush the black menace away, smearing them over the fine silk dress, making a terrible mess saying, '' never mind sweetie they'll all come out in the wash'' Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Yellow Peril In The Country
Harry on 12-11-2010
Yellow Peril In The Country
Punchy little story, Val, with a sweet revenge twist to make the average woman feel like a queen.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Harry for taking the time to read my story, glad you enjoyed it. Love Valx

sirat on 13-11-2010
Yellow Peril In The Country
Female rivalry is a terrible thing. It's lucky the balance was restored before the narrator had to resort to homicide. Works well for its length.

Author's Reply:
Thanks David much appreciated. Valx

sunken on 13-11-2010
Yellow Peril In The Country
Hello Ms. Val. Enjoyed this. My inner Imp is an old Hillman Imp. I'll be frank, it isn't half uncomfortable. Nice work, missus.

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Isn't she a beauty? Val? Hello?

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky I remember that car, it was a bit noisy as I remember. Val x

Kazzmoss on 14-11-2010
Yellow Peril In The Country
Loved this, Val, great to see someone get their comuppance!

Kazz

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kazz Glad you enjoyed this bit of nonsense Valx


Pretend It Hero (posted on: 29-10-10)
This is just my take on John Wayne, no offence intended. Written for my own poetry Workshop challenge, to write a Tersa Rima.

He said he was too old to go to war, so stayed at home to promote it instead. Now he is idolised for evermore whilst millions of others lay dead. He cavorted across the silver screen and propaganda was the food he fed. His characters, constant, handsome and lean law abiding, as straight as a die. He was cast as the best, was always seen as a man of honour, who baulked at a lie. They called him Duke to show their respect as American as blueberry pie. He always walked tall, his bearing erect though behind the mask his life was a sham. Yet, he played the hero to great effect, on the screen he was a shadow, a ham, but in reality... what kind of a man? Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Pretend It Hero
e-griff on 29-10-2010
Pretend It Hero
Val, this was successful for me. Particularly, it had a flow through it which carried it along, which seems to me to be the key to make this form work poetically, rather than just be mechanically 'correct'. (I struggled with this same aspect in my own version). Forms can restrict, but maybe they force a poet into greater efforts to overcome those restrictions which results. I believe you've done that well.

I did find the -'otitin' sound (promote it in)- sequence disturbing the first time I read it. My only suggestion would be to change that slightly.

Author's Reply:
Thanks John, funnily enough that was the part that really bothered me. I shall have to try and fix it, though nothing has come to mind all the time I've been working on it. Thanks for positive the comments. Val






Ionicus on 29-10-2010
Pretend It Hero
You didn't like the guy very much, did you Val? I never thought of him as the archetypical American hero just as a run-of-the-mill Western actor. He wasn't the only jingostic actor in my opinion, American or British, and even now we see films which give the impression that the USA managed to liberate the world single handed. In time of conflict propaganda raises its ugly head and all parties claim that God is on their side. But this is by the way.
Back to the poem. It is a very polished rendition of the given form.
Personally I though the first line of the third verse a bit too long and in the following line I would have put a 'and' instead of the comma, but then what do I know?

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
No I was't keen on him as an actor, I was always aware he was acting and I thought he played the same part over and over, but that was just my impression of him, I wasn't that keen on Clarke Cable but at least he did join up to fight during the war and flew some pretty dangerous missions, so there were no pretentions to him, Kids watching the films today would think Wayne won the war single handed. Thanks for pointing out your thoughts on the third verse, I'm going to think a bit more about it as I need to find a better word than promote in the first. Thanks again Luigi. Valx

Gee on 30-10-2010
Pretend It Hero
The main reason I like this is because it challenges our perception of the person on the screen. Too many people identify the character with the actor and that's absurd.
It also calls on us to see the difference between reality and the story and I found this very effective.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 31-10-2010
Pretend It Hero
Yes, this worked on both the technical and content level for me - I agree entirely with your main point. I believe that Wayne pulled every string he could to avoid any kind of war service, which is just so hypocritical...and no, I could never understand how he got to be a star. He wasn't good looking (As far as I, a normal bloke, can tell - but then, I admit it in some cases - I can see why women like George Clooney, for example!) and his "acting" was so unchanging. Perhaps that's it - audiences don't want novelty once a character is accepted. But then, how did a lot of "stars" come to that status? I thought Michael Caine was rubbish from the off, and he's never improved...

Author's Reply:

Beth on 08-11-2010
Pretend It Hero
Hi Val, this is not a form I'm familiar with but I have read a few of these on here recently. I thought you did well with this, maybe:
so stayed at home promoting it instead.
to help out a little with the iambics.
I'm not a huge fan of John Wane either and agree he just played himself the whole time- regards Beth

Author's Reply:


Without A Voice (posted on: 22-10-10)
My entry for the Wednesday Challenge. The word was Ignore

As a small child I was ignored, because children should be seen and not heard. As an adolescent I was ignored, because I was just a silly teenager with no life experience. As a young married woman I was ignored, because my man knew best. As a middle aged woman I was ignored, because I was bending his ear. Now, as an old woman I am ignored, because I am too old to understand this modern world Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Without A Voice
Elfstone on 22-10-2010
Without A Voice
It was a worthy winner Val - well done!

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm late with my reply, I must be going crazy I honestly thought I had done them, Dur!! thanks for choosing my poem as the winner and commenting Lillian Much appreciated. Hope you are feeling much better after your ordeal Love Val x

RoyBateman on 24-10-2010
Without A Voice
Oh, you won? Sorry, I should have known - congrats! This is succinct, sharp and straight to the point without wasting any words so I can only agree with the judges!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy for the comments, as I explained to Lillian (see above) I thought I had already done these, it must be my age! Thanks again Valx

Ionicus on 24-10-2010
Without A Voice
Dear Val, this was so down the list that I almost missed it.
If I remember correctly my comment in the Forum was that I loved it
and, on re-reading it, I haven't changed my mind.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the lovely comments Luigi as I've often commented before, You're a gent. Love Valx

Romany on 26-10-2010
Without A Voice
There speaks the voice of experience! Love this xx

Author's Reply:
Yes true; although these days I have a voice of a kind, through my scribblings (-; Thanks for commenting. Valx

Capricorn on 27-10-2010
Without A Voice
I love this one Val! -- the way you follow the milestones of life. I had to smile at your ending - I think I'm with you there!

Eira x

Author's Reply:
Not only do I not understand this modern world, but I'm getting forgetful too (-; it's quite scary if I think on it too much! Thanks for commenting Eira. Valx

sunken on 28-10-2010
Without A Voice
Hello Ms. Val. Sadly I took the prompt word to your poem at face value and er... ignored your poem. Ahem. I thought it was an instruction. I blame food additives. A very neat write and no mistake. Long may you be noticed for your wonderful poems. Well done on the nib.

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at retrograde city we'll choose between VHS & betamax

Author's Reply:
Not only do I love your comments Sunky, I also love your funny final observational pieces on life, Today's is a cracker (-; Thanks again for your remarks Love Valxx


An Unforeseen Worm (posted on: 15-10-10)
From Last Wednesday's challenge.

I turn my eyes inward, I need to see the worm of discontent That's eating me. I feel frustrated with anger gnawing. I try for reason but, contempt is scoring I need to understand why I feel this way, what's making me hate everything you say. So, I turn my eyes inward, yet,there's nothing to see; the worm is invisible leastwise to me Or perhaps I'm the worm Now, that's unforeseen! A frightened drudge who ought to stay keen, make a U turn then take a big bite at my tormentor, and learn how to fight. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for An Unforeseen Worm
Capricorn on 16-10-2010
An Unforeseen Worm
I like the message here Val - reminds me of a poem I wrote years ago called 'gremlins'. Yes there does come a time to lookat our lives - and fight!
Take care
Eira x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 18-10-2010
An Unforeseen Worm
Ah, will the worm turn? And, as you say, who exactly is the worm anyway? There're certainly more ways then one to read this...

Author's Reply:


Jealousy Creeps. (posted on: 11-10-10)
One I'd forgotten I'd written.

I always thought in my youth, jealousy quite uncouth. Then later, when I'd matured a little, saw that green emotion made the heart quite brittle. Its toxicity would eat the brain rendering the soundest, quite insane Now, in old age, it's hit me square! and I've discovered life's not fair! A jealous rage creeps over me, at the young and their energy, the way they ooze their precious health, and waste it, like spendthrifts, wasting wealth Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Jealousy Creeps.

No comments archives found!
Tableau (posted on: 08-10-10)
An edited version of my entry for the challenge last Wednesday. The word was Throttle.

Her mottled skin her bloodshot eyes, bulging grotesquely in surprise. Supine, staring at the ceiling, blood is pooling now congealing. Silken stocking round her neck, tied bow like to bedeck. As the days drift quietly by, decomposition makes her high. Then at last as she is found, a throttled gasp and screaming sounds. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Tableau
Ionicus on 08-10-2010
Tableau
Yes Val a better version than your original one. That Blue is a wise owl.
You've gone all spooky of late but always very readable. I enjoyed the poem.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, going all spooky wasn't at all a conscious thing, it was just the words we were given and the ideas that came to me the strongest. I couldn't really write about the other meaning of throttle as I'm not a bit mechanically inclined, and I'm sure it would have come out all wrong. Still I quite liked my poem, even if no one else thought much of it. (-; Thanks for stopping by. Valx

RoyBateman on 10-10-2010
Tableau
I think the word that springs to mind is "Hitchcockian" - certainly this is very visual and shocking. Ooh, mummy - I shall be under the bed for the foreseeable future.

Author's Reply:
Glad to have scared someone a little bit, shows it works. Thanks Roy much appreciated. Valx

stormwolf on 10-10-2010
Tableau
Hell's teeth Val
A masterpice of grotesgue but truthful desciption of the changes in the body after death with your own take on it thrown in.

Just really good writing too many good lines but this stands out

Silken stocking
round her neck,
tied bow like
to bedeck.
bloody great! (in a horrific way lol )
Aliason x


Author's Reply:
Happy you thought this good Alison, sorry I'm late answering to tell the truth I forgot, I often tend to forget to reply it's an awful fault of mine. Hope all is well. Val

stormwolf on 10-10-2010
Tableau
oops

Author's Reply:
Thanks (-; Val

Albermund on 11-10-2010
Tableau
Liked the original very much but I guess this does read and work slightly better. The 'throttle' coming from finder is neat. Nice one, Val. cheers, Albert 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Albert chuffed someone of your stature should like one of my efforts, much appreciated. Valx


Come The Night (posted on: 04-10-10)
Four years ago I pre-arranged my funeral, to make sure I got what I wanted and to save my husband and children the distress of doing it. I chose a green burial and wrote a poem about it, which if you wish you can read here-Click here Yet sometimes at night when I'm having a tough time I wonder...

A shallow sleep envelops me, feelings half formed flit fleetingly through stulified senses. Awareness is fogged yet, some yawning ache seeps to the surface bringing me fully awake thinking thoughts fit only for the night, my mind wanders to that windswept hillside; imagination irrational now. How cold it will be, lying there alone, perhaps my decision was wrong Incineration may be preferable, my detritus scattered to the winds must surely end my fear. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Come The Night
e-griff on 04-10-2010
Come The Night
Spooky Val!

About two hours ago I was lying in the dark, sleepless, composing in my head a poem about the end of life ...

Author's Reply:
Spooky indeed, I look forward to reading the finished poem soon. Thanks for reading. Val

stormwolf on 04-10-2010
Come The Night
Hi Val
I can certainly relate to fears that take on huge perspective in the dead of night. Come the morning they never seem quite so bad.
I do love the freedom of being scattered to the winds though.
This was well executed with sensitivity and vulnerability
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison these nights are getting too many for comfort though... ( -; Thanks for reading. Val

barenib on 04-10-2010
Come The Night
Hi Val, I echo Alison's comments and would just like to add a 'well done' on the nib as this isn't an easy subject to write about. John.

Author's Reply:
Thank you John, for reading and commenting. Val

Corin on 04-10-2010
Come The Night
Not at all. Make sure you have a penny on each eye to pay the Ferryman and bathe in the waters of Lethe, then sit quietly in the Halls of Hades, where the sweet balm of forgetfulness eases all sorrow. Funerals are for those left behind, nice to leave them a final message though.

David

Author's Reply:
You're right David funerals are for those left behind of course, but I think in the dead of night just sometimes even the most stoical can sometimes have irrational thoughts especially when the old health starts to give us a worry or two. Thankfully come the morning and all fears disappear. (-; Thanks for reading and commenting. Val

Ionicus on 05-10-2010
Come The Night
Not a subject to be made fun of but I can't help remembering a play (by Alan Bennett if I'm not mistaken) with Pete Postlewhite and Thora Hird where the son asks 'Do you want to be buried or cremated?' and the mother answers 'Surprise me'.
Your poem defines the fear of the unknown that most of us feel.
Congrats. on the nib.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Hi Luigi I remember that play very well as I am a great fan of Thora Hird, It was in fact called Lost for Words and was written by Deric Longdon and if memory serves me right it was a biopic of a period in Longdon's Life. He also wrote one about his first wife who suffered from ME and again if memory serves, that starred Julie Walters. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Love Valx

pdemitchell on 05-10-2010
Come The Night
Hi Val - I think this was one of your most powerful to date. A grim but thoughtful subject underpinned by some deft alliteration. Marvellous. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mitch, I hope you took the time to read the first poem about the Green Burial, which I personally like the better of the two. Thanks again for the comments. Val

sunken on 05-10-2010
Come The Night
Hello Ms. Val. Pls don't talk about your death. It makes me sad, like er... seeing an eigthies has-been doing his shopping in Lidl. Two for one on penguins this week by the way. Grim, but well writ. Nice one, Val.

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don't talk to me about wellies

Author's Reply:
Aww I didn't mean to make you sad Sunk. Hey there is nowt wrong with shopping at Lidl now and then, I love their tins of Pemier Ham it's really tasty and the jelly part is delicious especially in the summer when it's too hot to cook, Lovely with Baby beets and green salad. Thanks for the lovely comments as usual. Valx

RoyBateman on 07-10-2010
Come The Night
A brave piece, Val, and a subject that most of us would shy away from. Especially as it's so very personal. For once, I'm stuck for words, as I don't think that I could add anything useful to your own thoughts. It was courageous of you to even share them with us, and I'm sure that everyone feels as I do - that hopefully this day is a long way off.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, though I didn't feel especially brave when I wrote it after a bloody awful night. I just thought writing about it would get it out of my system, of course it never does really. Anyhow thanks again for reading and leaving your comments. Love Valx


Kissing The Air (posted on: 01-10-10)
Yet another unloved and forgotten piece from the challenge

You blew a kiss from the train, the kiss came down like falling rain. It landed softly on my lips, I touched my mouth with finger tips that trembled with my pain. You left me there without care to face my future in despair. Time without you stretched before me lonely with no one to adore me, life seemed so unfair. In time I understood that kiss, should have walked away, let it miss. Ignoring all your histrionics got on with life, thinking it comic kissing the air, like this... Mmmmwa x
Archived comments for Kissing The Air
stormwolf on 01-10-2010
Kissing The Air
Hi Val.
Enjoyed the poem and the sentiments too. 🙂 However,
I felt the rhythm could be improved seeing as it's a rhyming poem. I am not good at expressing how but there were bits that seemed out of sync somehow.
I am sure E Griff would be able to put it over better. Enjoyable all the same.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Alison, however I don't really understand your difficulty with the rhyme or rhytnm, it worked perfectly for me, it I get a moment later I'll upload a recording and you can see what you think then. Val x

Ionicus on 01-10-2010
Kissing The Air
A sweet poem Val. I had a bit of difficulty with the audio: it took ages to load but I think it is typical of the wma format - I find that mp3 is better - and the volume wasn't very high but that could have been me not having set the speakers properly.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the kind comments Luigi. Valx

jay12 on 01-10-2010
Kissing The Air
I enjoyed the poem but couldn't get the audio to play at all.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Sorry you were unable to listen to the audio, I know that it does take a while to load up. But it was sweet of you to comment Jay. Valx

e-griff on 02-10-2010
Kissing The Air
*poof* (oh missus) I've been called from me rest by SW...

damn!

what can I say, Val old fruit? We've cudgelled rhymes together since the beginning of time, it seems to me ... who is this wild barbarian minx to come between us?

Here? well, a Light opinion only: More complex rhymes enhance a poem. There! that was painless, wasn't it?

Bye! *back to the bottle* (hey! the genie's - not the Uisge Beatha (but that's nae a bad idea ....))

Author's Reply:
Now you shouldn't have come out of your bottle you naughty boy. Stay there for the next thousand years! (-; Valx

RoyBateman on 03-10-2010
Kissing The Air
Ah, the bitter-sweet memories of parting. "Brief Encounter" will never lose its appeal, will it? Timeless... And, with time comes understanding - or, at least, resignation. You caught the mood so well here, Val - well done even if it didn't win the challenge!

Author's Reply:
Very perceptive Roy, only I made a slight change to the ending (-; Thanks for commenting Val x

stormwolf on 03-10-2010
Kissing The Air
Ok I will tell you what I felt.
The second lines are of unequal lengths making the third verse second line out of sync. The second verse first line I felt would have been better to have had the addition of 'a'
You left me there without 'a' care .
I see Griff has insinuated in his usual half joking way that what I am saying if off but we are meant to be encouraged to say openly what we feel in the way of crit and this is what I am doing.

You do not agree but that's fine Alison x

Author's Reply:
I've Pm'd you.

sunken on 03-10-2010
Kissing The Air
I likes this Val. Especially the use of the word 'histrionics'. A very pleasurable little read and no mistake. Bernard seems to have soft spot for you of late. Just be greatful it's not a hard one. Ahem. Hello?

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Author's Reply:
Bernard is always welcome here Sunk. Thanks for the Sweet comments. Yes that word Histrionics seems very apt now you come to mention it. (-; Valx

e-griff on 03-10-2010
Kissing The Air
Right, I've been triggered into an opinion here, from both sides 🙂 (dear ladies!).

Val, this is how I would write your poem (and maybe not how you would, okay?). Alison, this is how I would write Val's poem. Good.

Val, I particularly liked the accelerating pace in the 3rd and 4th lines (which I hope I've retained in the 3rd verse, which didn't seem as strong to me - and I really didn't think 'histrionics' and 'comic' worked at all well.

I've tried to keep the meaning, but that's for you to judge. And, as ever, this is not a definitive 'this is how the poem should be', It's a suggestion. You can ignore it, use odd bits (and some of my bits are pretty odd 🙂 ) or maybe spit out 'stupid bugger' and rewrite it better than my attempt ...

Ah me. The things I do for women!


You blew a kiss from the train,
it came like falling rain.
It landed softly on my lips,
I touched my mouth with finger tips
that trembled with my pain.

You left me without care
my future in despair.
Time without you stretched before me,
lonely -- no one to adore me.
Life seemed so unfair.

In time I knew that kiss --
I should have made it miss,
ignoring you, the histrionic,
got on with life, and thought it comic,
kissing the air, like this...

Mwaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I like exclamations)

very best, JohnG

Author's Reply:
Nice John, but sorry mate I still like mine the best, if you read Roy Bateman's comment it may give you a clue as to what I was originally aiming at but the third verse sort of veered away and wrote itself as I find my poems tend to do and it seemed to me to be mishchievious and I decided I liked it,so I let it stand. I still like it. Thanks though for all your efforts. Val

Bradene on 03-10-2010
Kissing The Air
I forgot to mention and perhaps this should be said to both of you, that just because I have chosen to leave this piece of work unaltered, it doesn't mean that I am against my work being criticised, on the contrary I am always grateful for any advise anyone has to offer as long as it is constructive, which I hasten to add both of you are always constructive. it is just that on this occasion I prefer to defer to my own judgement. Val

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 03-10-2010
Kissing The Air
Hi Val,

I like this piece. Only thing that seemed slightly off was 'lonely' I would ahve dropped it as I don;t think you need it, made the line too long.

But apart from that it read okay to me.

Si:)

Author's Reply:
You know what Si, you are the only one to have seen what has been staring us all in the face, I think you are right. Thanks for that Val x

oops! just tried it again and found it doesn't really work after all, but I'll keep looking because that line may be the problem line, Thanks again anyway.


The Towering Toll (posted on: 27-09-10)
One of the challenge poems I was too late to post, It was for the ninth anniversary of the Twin Towers 9/11

Watching the flicks after the event, must have seemed to Osama Heaven sent. All that panic out there on the street, was almost as pleasurable as the original feat, of toppling the Twin Towers to rubble and ruin; can you imagine his sniggers at the trouble brewing? The towers saw death and many a Hero, before collapsing to dust then becoming Ground Zero. Since that fatal day the toll continues to mount, is it so long ago that we forget to keep count ? Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for The Towering Toll
pdemitchell on 28-09-2010
The Towering Toll
Hi Val - this was a worthy effort on a difficult subject. Alas, I can't see an evil mastermind watching flicks and sniggering which kind of undermined the piece for me. I've got one called 'the falling man' that I found too painful to post because this is not an easy subject especially when you realise that the Bin Ladens were major Saudi oil dealers with links with US old conglomerates - in fact many Bin Ladens were in US boardrooms when the planes hit and were allowed to leave as the US can't upset the Saudis. There is even a ghastly suspicion that the loonies were allowed to do the act as they had been under surveillance - I mean, guys buying plane lessons but not learning how to land is a bit of a giveaway in retrospect. Incompetence or a useful device for hardening world opinion to target a major oil-producing region? Would this happen if Iraq was oil-poor? Also, when the Russians were in Afghanistan, the pre-Taliban and pre-Al Qaeda groups were our clandestine heroes and the UK and the US TRAINED them! Murky murky stuff indeedy. Anyhow, a VALiant effort that read well! Cheers. Mitch 🙂


Author's Reply:
Hi Mitch, well thanks for reading, but I must take issue with you as to the content of the poem. This was based on a piece of film I saw on a documentary on the history channel some time back which showed Osama Bin Laden and his cronies sitting cross legged quaffing coffee/tea or whatever and laughing and cheering as they were watching the twin towers in their death throws and finally collapsing in an almost pyroclastic cloud engulfing most of Manhattan. However thanks for your comments Val x

eddiesolo on 28-09-2010
The Towering Toll
Very thought provoking Val.

Time does make us forget or dull the memory and events but a little write like this with no over compilcated stanzas just gives us a mental prod.

Hope you're keeping well?

Si:)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si for reading and appreciating the write. How are you keeping now, I hope the problem with your eyes has been resolved satisfactorily Love Val x

pdemitchell on 28-09-2010
The Towering Toll
Hi Val - I wished I'd have seen that footage of Osama and his cronies taking pleasure in the atrocity - I think I'd have been spitting sparks. It has to be one of the ultimate high-profile terror acts in modern history and I remember watching it unfold - first one plane and then another. I feel so angry about it and the machete massacres in Rwanda - at least Pol Pot's cronies and reptiles like Charles Taylor are being dragged through the courts. I can't see them catching Osama though, do you? Cheers. mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
I can't remember what the doc' was called but if you have Sky keep a watchout for any of the films about 9/11, they are a real eye opener. I know what you mean about spitting sparks, it's very frustrating when you know there is nothing you can personally do. Thanks again for your interest. Val

Gee on 29-09-2010
The Towering Toll
People who do this kind of thing, do it for the consequences. I can honestly see them viewing the events with satisfaction.
I felt that the sheer simplicity of your poem somehow made the events more sinister. It felt to me like the way events like the Black Death was portrayed in the children's rhyme Ring of Roses.
Simple, yet compelling.


Author's Reply:
Thanks Gee for your insightful comments much appreciated Val x

sunken on 29-09-2010
The Towering Toll
Hello Ms. Val. An interesting spin to use the perspective of the terrorist. Never an easy subject to cover. I tried once, I failed. I ended up writing about cupcakes instead. I guess I just can't handle death. No one ever died from cupcakes... I don't think. Nice work, missus.

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Author's Reply:
I couldn't have written this kind of thing when it first happened, my first reaction was quite different. In retrospect thoughts become clearer and take other routes, don't you think. Thanks Sunk for your support once again Val x

jay12 on 29-09-2010
The Towering Toll
It doesn't seem like 9 years ago, especially when you see how the ripple effect is still happening today all around the world. We've had Madrid bombings, 7/7, Beslan, Moscow Theatre siege, Mumbai, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq and all we still hear about is war with Iran, failing middle east peace, and today a threat of a Mumbai style attack in Europe. Where will it all end? How will it ever get sorted out? I sometimes wonder if 9-11 opened up the gateway to hell and maybe the end of civilised humanity for ever. I hope not. Anyway, your poem... I enjoyed it very much. Made me think about the world we live in and how unsecure everything really is.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jay, I'm really pleased I made you think, after all I suppose that is always our aim. Funny you should use the line opening up the gates of Hell because initially when it first happened I though of using a line very similar, but thought better of it for fear of people saying it was OTT, but when you think about the way things are it seems to me those gate have been opening bit by bit ever since Man appeared on the earth. (Man as a species, not the gender, I hasten to add before I get jumped on from a great height) Lol. Val

Capricorn on 29-09-2010
The Towering Toll
Hi Val
Such a difficult subject to write about and this is quite a different take from the norm. It's really thought provoking and chilling!
It's always good to read your work.
Eira

Author's Reply:
Eira, thanks for your comments on my work, they are always very valued. Love Valx


Shadowy collection (posted on: 24-09-10)
A poem from the Wednesday challenge, the word was Collection

In the shadows he collects creamy thighs, long white necks. Then a token to remember how it felt to dismember all those gory artefacts for others to find in woodland tracts. A silver ring a piece of lace, with each small thing his pulses race. He takes great pride in his collection and hopes he may avoid detection... copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Shadowy collection
Jolen on 24-09-2010
Shadowy collection
Gruesome and chilling. But very well done, Val! Congrats on the nib.

blessings,
jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen. Appreciated. Valx

e-griff on 24-09-2010
Shadowy collection
Hey, dollface!

You dun put our Looge's nose outa joint *spittoon pings*

Back off the comp, eh? Give the boy a chance, you dang poetic varmint!

twarglins!

Granpaw Griff

Author's Reply:
Aww shucks Mr Griff, sure is a while since anyone called me dollface!! more like a cabbage patch dollface these. Didn't mean to hurt Mr Loogi bless my soul his poem was a good un and I aim to tell him so... Jeez you've got me as daft as you..lol Thanks griff, I was so pleased with my egg and the nib, what more can a girl want, don't answer that *Giggles* Valx

stormwolf on 24-09-2010
Shadowy collection
Great stuff Val Just enough informatuion for the reader to fill in the ghastly details. Well done on the nib!
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Hello Alison, yes well we all know enough about serial killers, so I figured all the reader needed was a prompt. Thanks for reading, hope you are well . Valx

pdemitchell on 24-09-2010
Shadowy collection
Hi Val - minimalist and very dark - I loved it and thought it well worth the nib. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Hello Mitch Glad you liked the piece, I think this was an instance in which a little was a lot, imagination is a wonderful thing. Thanks for stopping by. Val

Ionicus on 24-09-2010
Shadowy collection
Dark and sinister, Val, but very effective. Well done on the egg AND the nib. I am not at all hurt and my nose is not outa joint, so you can relax.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Oh thank you Luigi, oh dear we do pull your leg don't we. But of course you know we love you to bits really and congrats on your nib too. The challenge on Wednesdays are the only thing that keeps me writing these days and it's nice when something turns out well. Love Valxx

Nomenklatura on 24-09-2010
Shadowy collection
I'd have picked this too, Val. Much darker in a chilling way than anything I've seen from you before. I really liked it for it's frightening simplicity and clarity.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ewan much appreciated. Val

ifyouplease on 25-09-2010
Shadowy collection
*Brrr*, well written Val... you surprised me.

Author's Reply:
*Smiling* In what way I wonder? Thanks for reading. Val

sunken on 26-09-2010
Shadowy collection
Blimey, Val! Have you been eating Bombay Bad-boy Pot Noodle again!? I've told ya before, it can only lead to trouble. Stick to Beef & Tomato, that's my advice. Well done on the nib. Much deserved to be sure.

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Author's Reply:
Hello Sunk Glad you liked my poem and thanks for letting me have the beagle again (-; I promise to stick to beef and tomatoes in future. Hope you are well. Love Val x

Capricorn on 27-09-2010
Shadowy collection
Hi Val - it's so good to read you again. This is different from your usual? Very well written - just enough info to chill!
Eira

Author's Reply:
Thanks Eira glad you enjoyed this, thanks for reading. Valx


A Very Common Breakdown (posted on: 30-08-10)
Another from the Wed' Challenge. It came second, mind you there were only two entries that week.. (-;

Our break-up Caused my breakdown, All those years ago Our marriage Was in meltdown, Yet, how was I to know The promise That you made me Was out of date and dead, You never Thought to keep it When it became like lead. You couldn't Help yourself though, To cheat, was in your blood; You didn't Even care if Our children understood. You ignored All commitment, Drowned them all in drink; That always Was your answer You didn't need to think. My breakdown Didn't phase you, I had to get away To retain Some small sanity And survive another day. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for A Very Common Breakdown
pdemitchell on 30-08-2010
A Very Common Breakdown
Hi Val - painful and well-metred. The cad reminds me of my ex running off with a man half her age and leaving me with the kids! Excellent and worth a nib any day. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:

Capricorn on 30-08-2010
A Very Common Breakdown
Hi Val - I always enjoy reading your poetry. I like the rhyme and meter in this, but most of all I love the natural flow of a very human poem.
Nice to read you again.
Eira

Author's Reply:

Capricorn on 30-08-2010
A Very Common Breakdown
Forgot my rating!

Author's Reply:

sunken on 02-09-2010
A Very Common Breakdown
This is more personal than an intimate piercing, Ms. Val of Bradene fame. For that alone I would applaud you. As it is, you also have a fine little poem here. I feel a second wave of applause coming on. The beagle named Bernard, he say woof. "Woof!" - Told ya. Nice work missus.

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Author's Reply:


A Reluctance Of Relatives (posted on: 06-08-10)
It was a miserable day.. The Wednesday challenge. The word, Reunion

The day is overcast rain drizzles a soft tip tap on the sun lounge roof; the company shuffle awkwardly desperate to be elsewhere. They sip their tea, nibble dainty sandwiches to the whisper of nervous niceties. Instantly I know you are there, I feel you, smell you; the air bristles with your presence yet no one else has noticed, Is it me? Am I the only one who feels you? Am I the only soul you haunt? What alerts me? Am I mad? I wonder Perhaps subconsciously I know you would know what to do, what to say. In your slap happy drink sodden life you could almost always hit the nail on the head Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for A Reluctance Of Relatives
pdemitchell on 06-08-2010
A Reluctance Of Relatives
Hi Val - a wee gem of a line here: "to the whisper of nervous niceties" I'm not sure about the enjambment on line 2-3 as
rain drizzles a soft tip tap
on the sun lounge roof; seems better to me but it's your call as they sez. Enjoyable and instrospective. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:

pombal on 06-08-2010
A Reluctance Of Relatives
I'm glad you posted this Val as I thought it was a beautiful poem and very deserving of its eggy accolade 🙂

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 07-08-2010
A Reluctance Of Relatives
Yes is the answer...I bet that, on occasions like this, everyone feels much the same but nobody admits it. And yes, that ending line on the first stanza is very striking. Sums it all up perfectly...everyone desperate to be in the safety of their own world, glad that it wasn't them this time. A gem.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 07-08-2010
A Reluctance Of Relatives
A good poem with an original title. Very enjoyable. Strange though that, generally, an 'egg' is rarely followed by a 'nib'.
Chacun à son goût, I suppose.

Author's Reply:

sunken on 09-08-2010
A Reluctance Of Relatives
Hello lovely Ms. Val. Well you certainly hit the nail on the head with this one... Was that too corny? Cue tumble dryer...
An egg, a nib... and just when you thought it was safe, a beagle. That'll teach ya! 😉 A tip top sub and no mistake, Val. Well done.

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Author's Reply:

sunken on 09-08-2010
A Reluctance Of Relatives
Oh bollocks! I meant 'tumbleweed' not 'tumble dryer'. Ahem. Sorry.

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post traumatic cake disorder

Author's Reply:

Capricorn on 11-08-2010
A Reluctance Of Relatives
Hi Val
A thought provoking poem. Your work seems to get better each time I read it.
Eira x

Author's Reply:


Ring o Roses (posted on: 19-07-10)
Another from a challenge, the word was Rose

Ring o roses on their skin, vomit in their hair. Racked by fever they're so thin, no one seems to care. Snotty noses oozes down, soon they'll breathe their last. Many years down the line, singing of the past spoilt fat children sing the song never knowing why, ring o roses on their skin first sign, they could die. copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Ring o Roses
pdemitchell on 19-07-2010
Ring o Roses
A pocket full of posies to ward off evil but still they Atishoo atishoo, all fall down. The truth was grimmer than Grimm and something about Lizzie Borden? Even the old fairy tales carry that dark era well but that nursery rhyme was one of the darkest. Chilling stuff. mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:


Excavating Time (posted on: 16-07-10)
My entry for last wednesdays challenge, surprise, surprise, it won! The prompt word was TIME

~ In time, I'll scratch away the surface, and find mostly clay; I'll excavate some fragments to enjoy along the way. I'll dig a little deeper, climb inside the hole; see rich seams of memories all intact and whole. I'll Chip away the layers Inhaling past time feed on ancient anecdotes and relish they were mine. One leads to another, buried there for years; invoking merry laughter with a few ill-timed tears. Discover, recover, polish till they shine; excited delighted , to be travelling back through time. Feelings re-awoken, long past and far apart; all along lay dormant, buried, timeless in my heart. Copyright VMM2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Archived comments for Excavating Time
pdemitchell on 16-07-2010
Excavating Time
Hi - nice to see you posting again. This was very enjoyable especially the break-rhythm - internal rhyme of stanza five. Not too sure on 'inhaling past time' but a worthy winner and needs a Nib right now! Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks mitch, with inhaling the past. I had in mind the times when you open an old cupboard or drawer in an attic and you get that old musty parchmenty kind of smell. Glad you liked it anyhow. Val

sunken on 16-07-2010
Excavating Time
Lovely stuff, Val. It's a bit like me when I've over-done the sparkiling water. Ahem. It flows like a dream. I can see why you won the challenge. Please forgive my tacky comment. I blame my upbringing. Thank you.

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Author's Reply:
Hey Sunk how are you? Thanks for the beagle I love having him to stay. I'm glad you liked my little bit of nonsense. Love Val x

Gee on 16-07-2010
Excavating Time
Oh, now this is lovely. It makes me think of the afternoons I've spent leafing through old photograph albums.
I particularly liked the little difference towards the end (there's probably some technical term for it, please forgive me that I don't know it) but it refreshed the whole poem. Beautifully done, Val.
Gee x

Author's Reply:
Hi Gee how nice to hear from you again. Hope you are well. I don't know the term for it either, except it just felt right to have that change of tempo at the end. Glad you liked it. Val x

cat on 16-07-2010
Excavating Time
Hi Val,

Well, this a little trinket box - NIB PLEASE NIBBERS!
Hope your well,
lv c x

Author's Reply:
Cat, what a nice comment. I'm really pleased you liked it. Hope you are well. Val x

Corin on 17-07-2010
Excavating Time
Hi Val - One of my sayings is that Life os a process of converting time into memories. When you have lots of time left you have few good memories - when you have little time left you have lots of good memories :-

Turner's Law

'Time cannot be created or destroyed'

David

Author's Reply:
A very true saying David, Thanks for commenting. Val

Ionicus on 17-07-2010
Excavating Time
I don't know why you should be surprised that it won the coveted egg, dear Val. It is a lovely poem with a nice rhythm to it.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Aww you're very sweet Luigi, you always know the very thing to say. Thanks for your lovely comments. Valx

pombal on 17-07-2010
Excavating Time
Well done Val - it was a pleasure to be beaten by such a worthy opponent xxx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pom what a gent you are. Valx

e-griff on 17-07-2010
Excavating Time
well, I liked it (of course, cos it was I wot picked it as the winner)

look, folks, if you haven't joined in the weekly challenge yet - try it (see forum) - it is lovely and cuddly, warm and winsome, this week's winner (here) shows a winner, but we enjoy allsorts, and sometimes people vote for their own winner anyway ... (BTW, last week's winner was absolutely magnificent, a great and monumental pome, a millstone in poetic histoire ...)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff, I hope you will be taking part this week. Val

RoyBateman on 18-07-2010
Excavating Time
Lovely...what else is life except a personal collection of memories? The present is too fleeting, the future all too uncertain and only the past is ours to keep. Yes, we mould it - often without realising it - but it's still as precious. Big subject, time, but your take on it gives it a meaning that we can all nod and smile gently along with. Did that make sense? I hope so - well worth the nib!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy glad you read and enjoyed the poem, Thanks for your good wishes by the way, will reply soon. Val x

Albermund on 18-07-2010
Excavating Time
Works well, V. Reads great. Very nicely done. Albert 🙂

Author's Reply:


Deceitful Soul (posted on: 10-05-10)
Return of a youthful fantasy ... (;

What was it that made me think of you after all these years? I had practically forgotten you, I can't remember even a second when I gave you a thought, not a single one. Suddenly my head is full of you and I can't turn off the need to see you, to hear that beautiful rich baritone voice. Abruptly you've become huge in my life, my soul seeks every piece of knowledge it can absorb. I say soul, as opposed to mind because my mind is logical, it acknowledges the fact that you are gone, yet, a desire at the very core of me cries out to know you in reality. Such a duplicitous fantasy Copyright Vmm2010
Archived comments for Deceitful Soul
e-griff on 10-05-2010
Deceitful Soul
oh Val! you appear to have such a complex love life ... back with the dream lover again? Bless! 🙂

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 10-05-2010
Deceitful Soul
Ooh, who's been taking a sneaky peek at Friends Reunited again, then? Naughty! I reckon it's probably best to keep these things in the realm of memory. Maybe it's best not to know what others have become, or what they look like now. And vice-versa, of course! But, being human, we want to KNOW, don't we? I don't think you're alone with these thoughts!

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 13-05-2010
Deceitful Soul
Oh Val, you caught this feeling so well. I sure can relate with it. Strange how all at once we can become almost consumed with the desire to travel old roads again.
I think most people have a special someone tucked away in the recesses of memory that we hold very dear.
The last satnza especially talks of the inner battle betwen heart and mind.
Thanks for sharing 😉
Alison x

Author's Reply:


Xenophobic Taste Buds! (posted on: 07-05-10)
My contribution for the Wednesday p/p challenge

He called me xenophobic Just because I said, I didn't like Jalfrezi Or peshwari bread. He said I was a bigot Because I much preferred To eat plain roast chicken Instead of curried bird. He thought I was racist And very, very rude, When I turned my nose up At all his foreign food. I told him he was the chauvinist If he couldn't see, The difference between my taste buds And the real me. After all, I married him And wore his ma's best sari In spite of my own family Who called me Mata Hari ! Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Xenophobic Taste Buds!
sunken on 07-05-2010
Xenophobic Taste Buds!
Well done on the nib, Val. Muchly deserved. I've found you can get away with being un-pc by just claiming to be 'a lad'. You may have to wrap cling film around ya tits and shove a banana down ya jeans tho to pull said stunt off. Ptotege moi.

And now for your stars -

Friday May 7th - You will bump into an old friend named Freda. You will both go for a coffee. Freda will surprise you by revealing that she used to be a bingo caller in a former life. On returning home you will find that a carrot has been shoved through you letterbox for no apparent reason.

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forbidden fruitcake

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 07-05-2010
Xenophobic Taste Buds!
well done on the nib Val funny and unforseen ending.;-)
Alison x

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 08-05-2010
Xenophobic Taste Buds!
nicely done, Val. very funny - it works well. (don't tell anyone but I think you should have won). 🙂

two small suggestions:
how about 'at all his foreign food'
and the last line --- 'who called me 'Mata Hari' '

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 09-05-2010
Xenophobic Taste Buds!
Nice twist, Val...mind you, I love curry. Mmm... Congrats on the nib!
ps Well done on that rhyme for sari!

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 11-05-2010
Xenophobic Taste Buds!
Well done on the nib, Val. Sometimes not getting the 'egg' can be a blessing in disguise. Mind you, do you remember what I said in my comment? I stated: "Pure genius".

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:


The Dealer (posted on: 09-04-10)
I knew this man in the early seventies, he was always bragging about being a self made man. I can't say that he impressed me with the way he'd chosen to make his way in the world, but that's just me.

He may as well have been a clone, conceived in error, not by plan. piss and importance, face of stone, a classic example of self made man. He owns a sumptuous house in Surrey and has little time to pause; he can't afford to stop to worry so his conscience he ignores. A small price he has to pay for living in the stockbroker belt, because, really, at the end of the day, he thinks it's worth all the gelt. Yet, several thousand miles away where he sells his devious wares, children abandon games they play; now that weapons of war are theirs. To neighbours and friends he's a good man; with adoring wife and family. A self made man who does all he can to support local charity He goes to church, he kneels to pray; A role model for his sons. What would the congregation say if they knew he dealt in guns. Coopyright VMM2010
Archived comments for The Dealer
e-griff on 09-04-2010
The Dealer
well done, Val old fruit! 🙂


Author's Reply:
Thanks John. Valx

stormwolf on 09-04-2010
The Dealer
Hi Val
I do not think you need the last line..It may have more impact without it..but maybe not. I feel that to add that denies the reader of the truth that was given in hints line by line.

There are many ways I laugh at those who make themselves superior. There are no ways to beat the 'Great Leveller' dressed too many to think otherwise..
He goes to church, he kneels to pray;
A role model for his sons.
What would the congregation say
if they knew he dealt in guns.

yes..and the pulpit too..
Your writing to me is stamped with fervant good and love the way you expose the (sometimes) shallow deviousness of the self made man.
Alison x
ps I do not believe all fall self made men are in this category...but know this was a challenge

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 09-04-2010
The Dealer
Assume this was this for the Poetry Challenge, Val? Nicely done!

Author's Reply:

Bevvy on 10-04-2010
The Dealer
Yes, Val, the self-made man can always distance himself from the fallout. Church and charity - the eternal sop to a bad conscience!
I think I agree with stormwolf about the last two lines being unnecessary.
Thank you for taking up the challenge...
Great stuff.
Love,
Bevvy
x

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 11-04-2010
The Dealer
You have made a good case for the prosecution, dear Val. Nicely done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 11-04-2010
The Dealer
A good swipe at a target that needed hitting soundly - just to balance things up, I suppose that we can imagine drug barons in other parts of the world getting fat on the misery they inflicted on us. As long as the results are out of sight, eh? Well said, Val.

Author's Reply:


Picking Up The Pieces (posted on: 19-03-10)
Another piece of doggerel written for the Wednesday Challenge. The prompt was "Pick up the Pieces" Hoopsinoz set the challenge then promptly disappeared! (-;

Picking up the pieces putting them together, seems an easy task yet it may take forever. Nothing is ever simple requiring a lot of thought, picking up the pieces is something we're not taught. When a life is torn apart a heart begins to bleed, picking up the pieces Is the first thing we need. Putting them together is a long, lonely road, it could take forever if no one's there to share the load. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Picking Up The Pieces
stormwolf on 19-03-2010
Picking Up The Pieces
ah that Hoopsinoz is a flighty fellow I tell you...comes and goes like a will-o'-the wisp...but it was St Patrick's day yesterday so he's probably coming round in a ditch somewhere as we speak 😉

Although this poem is short and seemingly straighforward, it does actually say so much. Some people never manage to pick up the pieces...and being alone to do it can be doubly hard. As always I enjoy your style Alison x


Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 20-03-2010
Picking Up The Pieces
How right you are, Val. Picking up the pieces is something we have to learn ourselves and is not part of any curriculum.
A good entry for the challenge which I was unable to enter as I was abroad at the time.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

sunken on 20-03-2010
Picking Up The Pieces
Dear Ms. Val. I have put out an APB on Mr. Hoops and hope to locate him soon. I don't know what an APB is, I just always wanted to say it. I heard it on Starsky and Hutch once. Ahem. I hope you have someone to helps share your load, Ms. Val. Nice work.

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it wasn't me. it was the goldfish

Author's Reply:

pdemitchell on 21-03-2010
Picking Up The Pieces
Hi Val I loved it though a little tweak here and there on the syllable counts in the last two stanzas would make it flow a little better. Maybe:

When a life is torn apart
and a heart begins to bleed,
picking up the pieces
is the first thing that we need.

Putting them together
is a long and lonely road,
it could take forever (maybe eternity?)
if there's none to share the load.

Cheers mitch

Author's Reply:


Mirror, Mirror... (posted on: 15-03-10)
A poem, sad but true

Glancing in the mirror this morning I caught sight of my mother, I did a double take, heart racing. Then I realised it was my own reflection I was facing. Chancing another glance in the mirror this morning; on closer inspection my mother suddenly morphed into my grandmother, no misconception Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Mirror, Mirror...
mageorge on 15-03-2010
Mirror, Mirror...
Hi Val, a sad, but comically true short. A scary thought, indeed.
Regards,
Mark.

Author's Reply:

RedKite on 15-03-2010
Mirror, Mirror...
Liked this Val the mirror asks so many questions , nice write, feely. Daniel

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 15-03-2010
Mirror, Mirror...
Oh, how true this is. I'm sure I have something quite similar hanging around somewhere, but it seems fresher and more immediate from you. Spooky, almost! I can sympathise completely.

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 15-03-2010
Mirror, Mirror...
Hello Val
Yes, it can be sort of alarming to see the way as we age we take on the family facial characteristics....but there is something beyond that...
Something wonderful and sacred in fact. Life, living and ageing are journeys of discovery and that face that looked out at you told of your belonging to the line of fine women.:-)
Alison x

Author's Reply:

pdemitchell on 16-03-2010
Mirror, Mirror...
There's no escaping the truth of time and genes, alas. Mitch

Author's Reply:

Rising_Dea on 18-03-2010
Mirror, Mirror...
lol this is freaky ;o)))
I was looking in the mirror the other day and something moved... I swear ;o) It freaked the hell out of me. ;o)
Now that I read this I feel better - it might have just been my mum ;o)))))))))))))))))

Author's Reply:

Munster on 18-03-2010
Mirror, Mirror...
well another reflective piece for us all, choices made by the gene pool, little we can do.
Good poem Val

Author's Reply:

Gee on 18-03-2010
Mirror, Mirror...
A truly terrifying thought, Val!
I've actually had that experience myself recently after having my hair cut short. Odd how time creeps up on us, isn't it?
Very nicely written but still scary.
Gillian x

Author's Reply:


Unconditional (posted on: 12-03-10)
I didn't begrudge you...

Even though I knew you ought not to be there I did not begrudge you, or regret, not you nor him, at first. Nor did I feel guilt; just a slow kind of impatience. I even ignored all their anger after I had scorned their entreaties to abandon you. I hugged you all the closer to my heart; relishing the thought of how you would feel in my arms. Not once did I consider the hardships ahead, even after the bickering, the blaming began. I nuzzled the thought of your sweetness against my breast. After your arrival I knew I was right, I pledged you unconditional love you returned it ten thousand fold. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Unconditional
RedKite on 12-03-2010
Unconditional
Yes I likedthis a lot , it is the only love to have hope it lives with you forever Daniel

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daniel, in this case forever means forever. Val

sunken on 12-03-2010
Unconditional
Another sweet and tender sub, Ms. Val. I shall once again prove that I can be sensitive by avoiding flippancy. I hope you realise how difficult this is for a simple sunk? Nice work missus.

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inventor of the self-tying shoelace

Author's Reply:
You are so sweet when you are tender Sunk (-; but I also lke your flippancy and sense of fun. Thanks for the comments Val x

pdemitchell on 12-03-2010
Unconditional
Hi Val. I read it aloud and loved the sentiment of trusting to the heart and not other people's heads but I kept getting tongue-tied on the oughtn't tos and didn'ts in the first lines which spoilt the early flow for me. A cracking piece nonetheless - 8 sunken red beagles! mitch

Author's Reply:
I'm so glad you like the poem,I've not been writing much of late and felt that the quality of my writing had suffered, so it was nice to know you felt it deserved 8 of Sunk's Bernards (-; as to the oughtn'ts and didn'ts, I've been thinking of alternatives and can only come up with ought not and did not, as any other way of putting it would not really say what I wanted to say. The poem by the way is about the out of wedlock conception of my daughter and my determination to keep my baby at all costs. I have never regretted my decision. I'm explaining as I get the feeling some of the comments seem to suggest that the poem is about an illicit affair. Thanks again Val

stormwolf on 12-03-2010
Unconditional
Very moving and one of the reasons I like your work so much..there is honesty in your expression.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison for your very sweet comments. Val x


Eleven Years Today (posted on: 08-03-10)
Has it really been that long?

Time means little these days each day runs into the next, the difference is hardly noticeable. Today though the date jumped out, shock rocked me. Eleven years ago today you slipped out of our lives; out of this life, into the next. Has it really been that long? The pain is still acute, unable to hear your laughter; see your face crinkle with mischief. Never to lift the telephone, hear, a cheery, ''Hiya Mu' just on my way to see you, should be there in an hour'' It really hurts. copyright VMM
Archived comments for Eleven Years Today
sunken on 08-03-2010
Eleven Years Today
Hello Ms. Val. Obviously a poem with subject matter that’s very close to your heart. Did you know, Ms. Val, that I can be sensitive? It’s true. I hope you’ll continue to remember the cheery times when this date returns in the future. Sad though it may feel, it’s the good memories that keep the departed alive. That’s what I think anyway. You can tell me I’m talking bum if you likes. I won’t mind (-: Well done for getting this down. I know poems like these are never easy to write.

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Author's Reply:
I've enjoyed having Bernard around this week Sunk, thanks a million, My poem was about my Beloved Brother Roger who died way too young in 1999. Time just gets away from me these days. Thankyou for you sensitive comment. Love Valxx

cat on 09-03-2010
Eleven Years Today
Dear Val,

I read your poem with tears. I prey you don't find me insincere when I say I'm very sorry for your loss, I am. We lost a brother but more than that, my mum, my dad their son.
Time doesn't take the pain away.

Beautiful, honest and heartfelt.

My love and best to you,
Catherine xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Cat, I miss my Brother every minute of every day and it's still difficult to realise he has gone. Val x

RedKite on 09-03-2010
Eleven Years Today
Cherished memorories from a heartfelt pen , so touching a piece Daniel

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daniel for reading and commenting. Val

woodbine on 10-03-2010
Eleven Years Today
As Cat says time does not heal the death of a child, it only
prolongs it. I'm sorry to say this.
John

Author's Reply:
I know that is so true, it is 45 years this year since I lost my Daughter and that still grieves me, This piece though was written for my beloved Brother Roger who was way too young to die. Not a day goes without my longing to see him or hear his voice. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings John I appreciate it. Val x


Carole and Jean (posted on: 05-03-10)
Whilst waiting for the return of my muse during my illness I watched a few old movies, this piece of doggeral is one result (For those too young to remember, or maybe even care, It was Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow)

The difference between them was plain to see, Dresden and Majolica occurred to me. One was brash and in your face, the other looked delicate as fragile as lace. Both were beautiful in their own favoured style each dying young after glittering a while. One had the face of an angel divine though her tongue was profane she warmed us like wine. She died for her country in an aeroplane crash lifting moral until the fatal smash. The other, looked tough knew what life was about yet failing kidney's soon saw her out Known as Baby, the original blonde bombshell who could have heard that premature death knell. They shared an era and sometimes their men the world will never see their like again. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Carole and Jean
stormwolf on 05-03-2010
Carole and Jean
Before my time but I do agree that the stars of yesteryear had charisma and style...a million miles away from the overpaid inflated ego's of so many today.
I reckon I am getting old and grumpy lol
The last stanza was just super, encapsulating the ethos of the poem.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, sorry I'm late replying again. I appreciate your taking the time to read my work. Val x

sunken on 06-03-2010
Carole and Jean
Hello Ms. Val. I know not of these starlets of which you speak. I enjoyed the poem though. How sad that they should die so young. It's a funny old life, but I wouldn't like to explain it to an alien. What, for instance, would they make of cricket? I hope this has helped.

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please sir, can i apply online for a position relative to my height?

Author's Reply:
🙂 thanks again sunk. I've often wondered myself about an Alien's reaction to Cricket, it's just has to be one of life's unsolvable Mysteries. Val x

Beth on 06-03-2010
Carole and Jean
I liked the metaphor in the first stanza with the comparison to Dresden and Majolica - I thought it was very effective. This is a well-written poem that tells us something about their lives -Regards Beth

Author's Reply:
Thanks Beth, Glad you enjoyed my little piece of doggeral. Val x

RoyBateman on 07-03-2010
Carole and Jean
Yep, they don't make 'em like that any more. I remember some wonderful quip about Jean Harlow - being introduced to some snotty cow who replied along the lines of "Ah, Miss Harlow - the final t is not pronounced, I hear." Subtle, eh? No, not really, but funny...I've always loved old films, and the late 30s and early 40s have always been been favourites. If the stars were imperfect, no-one was ever supposed to find out! Good to be taken back to those days, and this does it wonderfully well.

Author's Reply:
Oh yes I read about that somewhere too. Did you hear the one about when Carole Lombard was in the middle of making a film and three nuns visited the set. They asked to meet Carole and she welcomed them enthusiastically sprinkling her conversation liberally with four letter words the nuns thought it hilarious when all of a sudden Carole said " Oh! and if you three broards want to get laid tonight I know this great place... No one took umbrage and she had the nuns in stitches. I bet they had never met anyone quite like her before. No wonder she was known as the profane Angel. Thanks for reading and commenting Roy glad you liked it Val xx


I've Lost Mine (posted on: 01-03-10)
My winning effort at last Wednesday's challenge the word was Doohickey.

A doohicky is my thingy for completing a task, that I really hate doing, and now that you ask it's one of those gadgets that's simple to use, yet one that's a nuisance and easy to lose. When I need it, it's missing, I turn each room upside down and until I find it I constantly frown. My task stays unfinished, it causes me such ire! Oh! Sod the doohickey I'll use a coat hanger of wire! Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for I've Lost Mine
RoyBateman on 01-03-2010
Ive Lost Mine
I think you'll find that all the wire coathangers have been nicked for use as car radio aerials! Great amusing poem, this - what an odd word. I think I'd have been stumped completely - it sounds vaguely Irish and a bit obscene into the bargain. Perhaps it's what they wave about if they can't find their shillelaghs, but that's not a thought that I'd like to linger on... Well done for winning, Val - an original take on something I reckon's a real challenge!

Author's Reply:
I'm sure you'r quite right about the coathangers Roy. Doohickey is an Americanism as far as I can tell I first heard it in the sixties or maybe seventies when Lucille Ball used to have her show. Anyhow it has since become quite popular again, I hear it all over these days. I'm glad it gave you pause for thought and maybe a giggle. Love Val x

sunken on 04-03-2010
Ive Lost Mine
Hello Ms. Val. You'll also find that wire coat hangers are very handy for unblocking your pipes. I recently got a sprout stuck up my hoover. It's easily done. One good jab with a wire coat hanger soon had the bugger free. I hope this has helped? Well done on your win.

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he wonders if sprouts are in fact baby cabbages?

Author's Reply:
They always used to make things with wire coathangers on blue peter those and sticky back plastic! Do you remember Sunky or are you too young...(-; Thanks again for dropping in, here have a virtual swig of my coccoa.. Love Val x


Where Is Spring (posted on: 01-03-10)
Winter Blues I Think!

Winter persists with arrogance this year, fingers of ice clutch tight at the hedgerows leaving a trail of silver white frosting over blackened boughs, stunting the new growth. Even snowdrops shiver and become shy, reluctant to show us their sweet faces. Dawns creep in silently without birdsong just the sound of human activity; the drone of traffic on frozen tarmac, the lonely wail of ambulance sirens off to a motorway catastrophe Perhaps, is it the last call of their shift? The sounds are of winter, melancholy; pushing back the exuberance of spring. Winter holding on for dear life, breathing fiercely, March-ing onward towards April. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Where Is Spring
stormwolf on 01-03-2010
Where Is Spring
Winter holding on for dear life, breathing
fiercely,

ah yes, I agree. I also remember years of white snow that seemed to last an eternity, frosted windows inside...washing in freezing bathrooms and all the other hardships before we became cossetted in modernity.
I agree this has been a right long dreary bugger of a winter though...roll on spring.;-)

I have seen snowdrops and they do herald in a change of days. Thanks for this lovely poem which captures the cold barrenness of winter in a town as opposed to the country.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments Alison much appreciated. Val xx

RedKite on 01-03-2010
Where Is Spring
Enjoyed this and so true, they have forecast more snow for the weekend here in France , good pice Daniel

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm late this week has been hectic. from what I read and hear the weather in your part of Europe has been wild. Hope you got through it ok. Val x

sunken on 02-03-2010
Where Is Spring
Hello Ms. Val. Well March has started well in my neck o the woods. I'm currently looking at blue skies and sunny vistas. I can also see two pigeons canoodling in a tree. Isn't spring wonderful? This comment has been far too positive. I must say something negative to rebalance things - Horse shit - I can smell horse shit. I suspect it's a gardening thing. I'll be frank, it's putting me right of my crumpets. I hope this has helped. Ahem. Val? Hello? Val?

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his brain is scanned once a week for signs of intelligence

Author's Reply:
Yes it strange but for the last couple of days here in Grantham the weather has been quite nice and even my snowdrops and crocus have put in an appearance, so I'm really chuffed, I just hope it lasts. Take care Sunky. Love Val xx

RoyBateman on 04-03-2010
Where Is Spring
You've summed up what we're all thinking, Val, though there's been some respite this last few days. And the snowdrops are out! Just when we begin to believe all the crap we've been fed about Winters vanishing and Spring coming ever earlier, we get a "proper" winter to remind us of what they used to be like. Cheer up, though - the utter pathetic failure of the Met Office seems to have woken many former sleepwalkers up to one simple fact: weather varies. Always did, always will...however warm it is now, it was much warmer decades and centuries back without the aid of man. Funny, eh? Ah, I'm just an old cynic who, nowadays, doesn't believe anything so-called experts say - but it was a great poem. Sorry to witter on!

Author's Reply:
I was just commenting to Sunken that during the last day or two the weather has been good and my spring flowers have made an appearance. Good stuff I'm well pleased. Thanks for the comments Roy and you can witter on to me whenever you like, I'll always be willing to have my ear bent (-; Take care. Val x

woodbine on 06-03-2010
Where Is Spring
A very well crafted, well thought out poem with a strong through line and a satisfying conclusion. I like the last line a lot but personally would find 'Marching' less fragmented and more free flowing. But then punctuation for poets is not exactly rocket science. Nobody's life hangs on the outcome.
Best wishes
JohnX

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm late answering this one John I have to admit forgetting to do it, must be my age! I see what you mean about March-ing, I did that to specify that it could be taken both ways, The month and marching with the feet, so to speak. I appreciate your point of view and I'm giving it some more thought. Val xx


This Momentous Day (posted on: 26-02-10)
This, after a first feverish night in hospital.

Spectres taunt, on the cusp of wakefulness, dreams, haunt me with their sweetness. Their essence stays inside my head, all day. And from the corner of my eye, I see them, waving, teasing, making me want more, yet when I turn to look they disappear. I'll not heed them, peer instead straight ahead , while on the periphery, their presence comforts me, knowing they're waiting to light my way, safely on this momentous day. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for This Momentous Day
stormwolf on 26-02-2010
This Momentous Day
Absolutely beautiful Val. When nursing I saw so many experience things like this.
Your poem expresses this wonderfully well, full of comfort and very descriptive too of someone very ill and slipping in and out of wakefulness but knowing they are not alone. Love it!

dreams, haunt me with their sweetness.
Their essence stays inside my head, all day.

So glad you are feeling better.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
oops! got that wrong didn't I, sorry, read answer below. Val x

Bradene on 26-02-2010
This Momentous Day
Thanks for the smashing comments Alison I really appreciate your support, and thanks again for making it a fav' read. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 26-02-2010
This Momentous Day
Nicely done Val

ailsa

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ailsa for the sweet comment. Val x

sunken on 27-02-2010
This Momentous Day
Hello Ms. Val. good to see you posting again. I can't figure out if it's about nurses or angels. I guess the two are often one and the same though. Nicely done and no mistake.

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what he lacks in agility he makes up for in turnips

Author's Reply:
Hi Sunken, Well it's always nice to have the reader put his/her own interpretation on a poem it means at least you have given them something to think about. I'll tell you though that what I was actually writing about was the fact that I was delirious the first night I was in hospital and very ill, I honestly imagined that I was about to die and what I was seeing and dreaming of was all my departed loved ones, My Dad, my Daughter, Mum, Gran and my beloved Brother. I really thought that I was leaving the land of the living that day (-; hence the title This momentous day... fortunately for me it was just my delirium and as you see I lived to tell the tale.(-;

RedKite on 27-02-2010
This Momentous Day
I sense a lot of feeling in this fine piec of poetry, it is hard to capture one own inner feelings , you have succeeded in this Thanks Daniel

Author's Reply:
Thank you Daniel, I'm so pleased that you hadn't forgotten me (-; Happy aslo that you liked this piece. Looking forward to reading more of your work. Val x

mageorge on 01-03-2010
This Momentous Day
Lovely poem, Val. Well done on the nib.
Regards,
Mark.
P.S hope the weather's better down there in Grantham.

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm late in replying, been a bit hectic this week. Thanks for stopping by much appreciated. Val x

PS weather is much more to my liking at the moment, fingers crossed.

RoyBateman on 01-03-2010
This Momentous Day
Thank goodness you came back to us, Val, or this would have remained locked in your head...I don't like to think about that aspect! I'm sure, however that an experience such as this, once safely over, will provide a veritable tangle of ideas and themes for you to tease out at will. Hope so, anyway - and I'm sure all of us are delighted that your treatment was a success. Welcome back!

Author's Reply:
By the skin of my teeth I'm told Roy, but I'm feeling much better as each day passes. Glad you liked the poem Val x


Desolate and Joyful Return (posted on: 22-02-10)
Easing myself back in with two heartfelt poetic forms a Tetractys and a Triolet.

Stir, wake. Eyes blink then focus upon the new day, yet no enthusiasm stirs the blood in anticipation. Naught to excite the senses to even stir, wake At once I knew of her return as stealthily she tiptoed in. T'was then I felt my senses burn at once I knew of her return. A joyous moment to discern, now my re-birthing could begin, at once I knew of her return as stealthily she tiptoed in. Copyright VMM2010
Archived comments for Desolate and Joyful Return
Jolen on 22-02-2010
Desolate and Joyful Return
Fine work here, Val. I envy all of you who can do form poetry so well.

Good to see you posting again.

blessings,
jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen for those kind words, it's nice to be back again. Val x

e-griff on 22-02-2010
Desolate and Joyful Return
I liked the second one a lot. That worked well, and more to the point, sounded upbeat. Which is good.

The first I liked less, as it seemed rather nebulous and whispy and I'm a man *lowers voice noticeably* (though no complaints in poetic terms)

I'd say overall Val, write as you want ... bugger form ... fly free and do a good old Val blitz! 🙂 best, JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff your words have lifted me alot. I'm just beginning to enjoy life and writing again thank goodness. Happy 2010. Val

stormwolf on 22-02-2010
Desolate and Joyful Return
Great to see you posting again Val.
The first was simple and brought out the feeling very well and the second was very clever. I do not think I could attempt this kind of writing. Well done
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison for your support both here and in the forum. I'm sure that you would find the forn easy, you have a way with words. Love Val x

Munster on 22-02-2010
Desolate and Joyful Return
Well great to be able to read your work again & enjoyed very much, I must say

Author's Reply:
Ahh! thanks for your words I was so touched too when you pm'd me to ask how I was. Little things mean a lot as Dear Ruby Murray's old song says. Happy 2010. Love Val x

Ionicus on 22-02-2010
Desolate and Joyful Return
I see that you haven't lost your touch, Val. You tackled the triolet very well; not an easy task.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi. Nice to be back at UKA once more. Val x

teifii on 24-02-2010
Desolate and Joyful Return
Welcome back, Val. I wasn't too keen on the first one but loved the triolet.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff glad you liked the Triolet, it is my fav' too. Val x

sunken on 24-02-2010
Desolate and Joyful Return
Good to see you subbing again, Val. It's me, by the way, sunks. A couple of tasty morsels here and no mistake. Well done missus.

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he's been given a lifetime to live

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, lovely to hear from you again. Feels good to be subbing again too. Val xx

woodbine on 24-02-2010
Desolate and Joyful Return
Dear Val,
I can recognise a sonnet by its shape but I would expect a triolet to be a tandem for three people and a tetractys to have been
hanging upside down in a cave since the ice age, so I can only wonder at your ability to persevere and produce the real thing.

Good to read you again. Our cabaret is on July 10th if you and himself are interested.

Kind regards,
JohnXx

Author's Reply:
Thank you John for your very kind comments. The Cabaret sounds interesting, where can I learn more about this event? Val xx


The Key Ring (posted on: 23-11-09)
I was sorting some stuff for the charity shop and clearing some old handbags out, I came across this Key ring I had forgotten about. It provided a happy little trip down memory lane, plus my missing muse ignited briefly...

I came upon a red plastic key ring the other day, you know the kind, where you look through one end and there's a picture at the bottom. It was of my mum; sitting in a caf in Sherringham called the Copper Kettle. She was smiling up at me, just as I remember her, wearing her favourite red and a broad grin. She was holding a cup of tea aloft, with her little finger sticking up as if she was saying ''cheers'' The longer I looked, her image seemed to nod and wink; quite suddenly I became aware of tears on my lashes, obviously creating an illusion of movement. It was lovely; just for a heartbeat it was as if she had magically returned and I fancied I could hear her giggling Strange how the silliest of objects can turn one's mind into a time machine. copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for The Key Ring
stormwolf on 23-11-2009
The Key Ring
Beautifully nostalgic and loving Val. You seem to be able to capture so much emotion in your poems that gives the reader a real insight into the whole picture.
Photos..like memories, are precious.
Alison x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 23-11-2009
The Key Ring
Ah, it's always a nostalgia trip sorting out old boxes and drawers...I hate throwing anything away, because as soon as you do you regret it. It's always those little things, too! And why were all old cafes called the Copper Kettle? There was even one in Wolverhampton. A delightful poem, Val, that I'm sure everyone will relate to...hankies all round?

Author's Reply:

sunken on 24-11-2009
The Key Ring
I'm knocking up placards again, Ms. Val. I could just picture this. A lovely piece and no mistake. I'll be marching on Uka HQ later and demanding a nib for you. The lazy good for nothing toss pots. Ahem. That's me buggered for future accolades then (-;

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Author's Reply:

Mezzanotte on 25-11-2009
The Key Ring
Wow...your poem was a time machine for me. I remember that there used to b e one of these keyrings in my parents house. It was of my dad. Now you've set me thinking about what ever became of it, as i'm sure nobody would have thrown it away.

A lovely simple, but powerfully provocative poem. Provocative for me as it made me remember my dad...thank you.

Love
Jackie

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 25-11-2009
The Key Ring
Hi Val. A couple of weeks ago the ABCtales' IP was: key. This poem would have fitted the challenge very well.
A nice piece full of nostalgia which seems to have become your trademark and I don't mean in a disparaging way.
I particularly like the closing two lines:

"Strange how the silliest of objects
can turn one’s mind into a time machine."

Love, Luigi xx


Author's Reply:

Munster on 23-12-2009
The Key Ring
Hi Val this stirred real memories for me of my dear departed Nan and Sheringham too.
hope you are okay, just catching up on the site happy Xmas

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 21-01-2010
The Key Ring
How weird. Only a few months ago I cleared the attic to insulate it and I found a red key ring like yours that you look into. It had a picture of my oldest sister when she was young. I hadn't took much notice at the time but this poem gave me De Ja Vu. Nice poem Val.

Jay

Author's Reply:


One Dark Night, Long Ago (posted on: 19-10-09)
She would imagine something dark waiting to leap out at her...

She thought he may have cared once long ago, she remembered the wide, dark entry she had to pass en route from the bus stop to home. She would imagine Something dark waiting to leap out at her, he would laugh , with shining eyes, saying ''silly girl'' Later, one moonless night after he kissed her goodnight, she left him to run home. Reaching the entry, she moved up a gear her heel caught, sparked, she fell, along with a squeal from her lips. He heard, came running, helped her gently to her feet. His gallantry made him miss the last bus and he had to walk home that night. Now years later, reflecting, it popped into her mind the 'something dark' she had been waiting for with such trepidation had actually caught her. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for One Dark Night, Long Ago
SugarMama34 on 19-10-2009
One Dark Night, Long Ago
Hi Val,

A lovely story with romance, but I also sense a touch of sadness too. I enjoyed the imagery and the flow of this piece, it sounds good read aloud.

Lis'. xx

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 19-10-2009
One Dark Night, Long Ago
oh this is simply lovely Val.
It is tender and touching. You tell such a story in so few lines. It leaves an imprint on the mind too...
Alison

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 19-10-2009
One Dark Night, Long Ago
You have brought tears to my eyes. Very emotive, Val.

Blessings and light,

Allen

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 20-10-2009
One Dark Night, Long Ago
yes, very much a youthful romance! I like it - and it was always a good idea to get that elusive girl into an X film so that she could grab hold of you during the scary bits. Or vice-versa, if you could get away with it! Every bloke wants to be that knight in shining armour, admit it or not. A lovely, wistful, reminiscence.

Author's Reply:

sunken on 20-10-2009
One Dark Night, Long Ago
Beautiful. Just like our lovely Val. I know you think people will talk if I keep letting Bernard get randy with ya leg, but sod em. This is another tip top and touching little piece, in my sunky opinion. Bernard likes your house, Val. I hope he's not crapped on your carpet. Ahem. Lovely stuff - Your poem, not Bernard's stools. Ya know, I do believe I'm getting better at this commenting lark. Hello? Val? Hello? Anyone....?

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Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 20-10-2009
One Dark Night, Long Ago
A nice romantic story well told, Val.
By association it brought back some personal memories: I too did once walk home having missed the last bus after escorting a girlfriend to her house. Those were the days.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 21-10-2009
One Dark Night, Long Ago
Val, I very much liked this - it has a nostalgic ring without being too cloying. If I may nit-pick? In the last verse you have your tenses mixed up:
"Now years later, reflecting,
it popped into her mind"

"Now" is present tense; "popped" is past so either:
"Now . . . it pops . . ." or
"Then . . . it popped . . ."
There are one or two other ideas on layout, but I don't want to go on too much. As I said above, I liked it anyway. 🙂

Author's Reply:


Two Titbits (posted on: 16-10-09)
Written for the Wednesday challenge 'Red' a couple of weeks back.

Autumn is Red Cerulean September sky wispy silver cloud, sun sparkling through latticed crimson and bronze leaves of Autumn dressed trees, stippled, cloisonn like, above me. Against the creosoted fence, the red tide of the Viburnum Sargentii spread its vivid scarlet limbs, as if reaching out for the deeper burgundy stems of dog wood. copyright VMM2009 At a Glance A pink rose blushing to red, at petal tip, lying on snow white linen. A carafe of red wine, a crystal goblet nearby waiting for romance Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Two Titbits
sunken on 17-10-2009
Two Titbits
Dear Ms. Val of Tastic fame, I don't know what medication you're on of late, but it's having a marvellous effect (or is it affect) on your writing. Ahem. That was meant to be a compliment. I now realise it may have read as anything but. I really should engage my brain before my fingers. Hello? Bernard is mad for a bit of Val just lately. Well done and no mistake. Thank you.

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Author's Reply:
Three weeks in a row! people will start to talk ((-; You are kind Sunk I really love seeing the beagle he cheers me up no end. As for medication, I think I'm on rather too much! rules my life it does. Ah well at least I'm still waking up each morning. Thanks again Sunk. Love Val xx

macaby on 17-10-2009
Two Titbits
The first poem, paints a wonderful, peaceful picture of Autumn, great alliteration. The second one, fist class
"image " poem in my opinion. Wonderful poems.
Regards
mac

Author's Reply:
Thanks for you very nice comments Mac and thank you too for making this a fav' I really appreciate it.
Love Val

RoyBateman on 18-10-2009
Two Titbits
Yes, a lovely evocation of Autumn colours - I'm looking out on them now, and it's a magical time of year. Mind you, if I had that carafe I might not wait around for romance - I'd neck it, then not bother whether it came or not. But that's just me, the last great romantic. Or boozer, one of the two. Sorry, I'm wandering off the point - delightful poems, Val.

Author's Reply:
Thanks again Roy for reading and commenting on my work. Well I think I'm up to date on replies it's just the reading I'm all behind with. Coffee first though. Val x

stormwolf on 19-10-2009
Two Titbits
The first speaks of the majesty of the changing colours we all love..the second...is just so delicately sensual...mmmmmmmmm

I do so enjoy your poetry Val
Alison x
ps I am very honoured to be taken into your favs. so thank you.:-)

Author's Reply:


A Triolet: A Scary Thought, (posted on: 12-10-09)
For last Wednesday's challenge

This fear of being forgotten frightens me more than being dead, ill-conceived, and misbegotten, this fear of being forgotten. Yet even though it's a rotten and irrational thing I've said, this fear of being forgotten frightens me more than being dead Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for A Triolet: A Scary Thought,
artisus on 12-10-2009
A Triolet: A Scary Thought,
Very nice!~

Author's Reply:
Nic! thanks once again for commenting Val x

chrissy on 12-10-2009
A Triolet: A Scary Thought,
I found this both a nice form and a very profound poem.
It's something we can all relate to, I think that's why some of us are writers so that we will leave something behind.
I liked this a lot.
Well done.
chrissy

Author's Reply:
Thanks Chrissy, happy you liked it. How are you? Well I hope. Val x

stormwolf on 12-10-2009
A Triolet: A Scary Thought,
You captured a lot in these few lines. I am sure it is difficult to write
triolets...I have never explored different kinds of poetry..but you did it with aplomb.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your comments Alison Sorry I'm late with my reply, not been around too much of late. Val x

Romany on 12-10-2009
A Triolet: A Scary Thought,
Skilfully penned and I think many people would agree with the sentiment.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany. Sorry I'm late with my reply.. life ! you know. Val x

sunken on 13-10-2009
A Triolet: A Scary Thought,
Hello Ms. Val. You could always take up flashing? I was flashed by a woman in a nightclub once. I've never forgotten it. Ahem. That said, with poems like this how could anyone ever forget you? Stand back, my good lady Val - You're about to get beagled...

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky for the funny comments and for the beagle again. You certainly know how to cheer a girl up (-; Love Val x

Ionicus on 13-10-2009
A Triolet: A Scary Thought,
Dear Val, you seem to have learnt how to write a perfect tri-o-lay - do you remember the kerkfuffle on its pronunciation?
This one is very nicely crafted.

Luigi xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. Yes I certainly do remember the fuss about pronounciation, seemed to go on forever! (-; Valx

CVaughan on 14-10-2009
A Triolet: A Scary Thought,

Hi, I've no idea what makes up a triolet but it reads rather neatly as you did it, all that matters IMO. Congrats on the nib, I find I used the same "rotten" in a rhyme for the same contest by coincidence. I had not read your entry then but have now. Frank

Author's Reply:
Thanks Frank for your kind words glad you enjoyed it, google for triolet and you will soon see how and what they are, they are fun to write. Val x

RoyBateman on 15-10-2009
A Triolet: A Scary Thought,
Well, that sums it up for all of us - in 37 words, too. That's shorter than some of the comments! Excellent...

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, glad you appreciated my Triolay. Val x


Between Two Bridges (posted on: 09-10-09)
Nothing Survives forever

Back then, its waters snaked through the village, sparkling clear, salty reed bed fragrant and tangy; Swans happy to glide its calmness. Bull Rushes, tall, noble, towered over Yarrow and Butterburr, Bell Heather and Sundew, Brambles crawled over all, Devil Spit bubbling. Beneath the ripples, peeping, the Spiked Watermilfoil like brown lace, yellow Water Lilies floated serenely among the Duckweed. Water Rats, Voles, Fowl, and Fish teemed, even the King Fisher was glimpsed enjoying a visit here. Narrow boats, gaily painted, noisy with children and dogs; plied back and forth in rain, wind and sun, on and on. Now, the town creeps closer to devour the village; the only visible demarcation, two bridges, railway, canal The village suffocates, squeezed tight by new housing for whiz kid commuters, The canal doesn't sparkle much these days its waters are clogged, foul smelling, choked by overspill of man. Soon, the village will disappear as though it had never been; my roots choke too Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Between Two Bridges
sunken on 09-10-2009
Between Two Bridges
Hello Ms. Val. I hear some waterway in Stoke got polluted by raw sewage this week. Have you ever been to Stoke? I can't begin to think how anyone can notice where the city ends and the sewage begins. Ahem. Hello? I blame Desmond Tutu. You can't trust anyone who's named after such a stupid piece of clothing. He smiles too much to. Dale Winton's another - always smiling. It's like they know something we don't. Oh, I enjoyed the poem by the way. Not seen you on uka for a while. I can't think why, especially when you get comments as in-depth as this. Hello? Val?

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Author's Reply:
Hi Sunk Thanks for Bernard again, I love him. I'm glad you liked my poem, I haven't been around much lately because I am not too well just now, but I'm trying to get into the swing of things a bit. It tires me out though too much sitting at this computer (-; Thanks again Love Valx

stormwolf on 09-10-2009
Between Two Bridges
I think many will understand the deeper aspects of this poem.
You wrote a celebration of nature and the joy of the small things..back in a kinder world..a world fast disappearing in man's greed and total disregard for those very precious 'small things' Too late they will see that it was those self same small things that gave life 'life'
A very touching poem that affected me.
Alison

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison glad you could appreciate the idea behind the poem, visited the village where I grew up recently and wished I hadn't . They say it never does do to go back and it appears to be true in my case.Thanks again. Val x

Ionicus on 10-10-2009
Between Two Bridges
We 'oldies' are sometime laughed at because we say: things ain't what they used to be. But sadly it is all too true.
Cities are over-built in the name of progress and the sprawling suburbs eat into the countryside which is denuded of its unspoilt beauty. Pollution and neglect of the waterways negatively affect the fauna and some of the species you have mentioned might become extinct if we are not careful.
There is hope still, dear Val; programmes like Birdwatch and Autumn Watch inform of initiatives intended to preserve endangered animals.
Your poem is a stark reminder of the perils we face.

Luigi xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi for reading and commenting. Love Val

Jesse on 10-10-2009
Between Two Bridges
This is very sad and all too true. Sometimes my heart bleeds for the nature that used to be, and the lost love of it.

Sorry you haven't been well Val, we miss you and hope you feel better soon.



Author's Reply:
Thanks Jesse for your positive comments and for your enqiry about my health, I'm still quite unwell but I am determined to continue living life as well as I can thanks again for being so thoughtful. Val

Zoya on 11-10-2009
Between Two Bridges
Dear Val, this is a fantastic piece of art!
Much of the natural resources and beauty that renew themselves, if left to their own devices, and apart from maintaining the ecological balance also lend the elegance and bounty to the environment, are being eroded in the name of so called progress of the teeming humans...
What remain are the fossils of that what was... So are the human values eroded with the passing time- all we can do sometimes is to lament the loss...
A very lyrically put piece on a very important and deep-rooted problem of humanity.
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:
Thanks Zoya fir reading and commenting on my poem so positively. Val

artisus on 12-10-2009
Between Two Bridges
A truly great poem!~

Author's Reply:
Hi Nic, How are you? Thanks so much for commenting, making it a fav' and for nominating the poem for the anthology it made my day. Bless you. Val x


Terror (posted on: 31-08-09)
A familiar panic rises.

Walking through back streets with eyes cast down, playing a silly game of trying to avoid the cracks in the pavement. Her mind is absorbed with the childlike diversion; each step measured carefully, she must not step on a crack Unexpectedly, she lifts her head and wonders where she is. The location is strange, her eyes dart around for recognition nothing memorable materialises. A familiar panic rises. She's lost, yet, she knows it is her home town. ''Just around this next corner'' She turns and turns and turns again no matter how hard she tries she can't get back to where she needs to be Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Terror
RoyBateman on 31-08-2009
Terror
This IS terrifying, Val...like a nightmare when everything seems to make some sort of sense, but actually doesn't. Or sleepwalking - now that can have long-lasting effects, too. And, though I'm guessing that this is describing something different and darker, I have some understanding of what you're saying. And it sends a shiver down the spine!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 31-08-2009
Terror
I once got lost like that trying to get my hotel in Malta. It's scary. I managed to find a cop shop though and they took me back to my hotel.
This poem was really well written and managed to convey the rising sense of panic as the person turns and turns and turns again. You could see the walls sort of spinning around and it's made even more strange because the person is supposedly on their home turf. It makes you question if this is a physical getting lost or maybe a mental or even spiritual getting lost.
Interesting and well written. Congrats.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

sunken on 01-09-2009
Terror
Hello Ms. Val. Scary indeed. It reminds me of when I got lost in Argos. I hate it when they change the layout of the store. Still, I must admit, the new computerised ordering sytem is a big improvement. Ahem. Tip top, as usual. Your poem I mean, not Argos - Although I do recommend them. Thank you.

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Author's Reply:

e-griff on 01-09-2009
Terror
an excellent evocation not only of genuinely getting lost geographically, but of the far deeper parallel of getting lost in one's mind, in one's life. I dream of this and wake up unhappy. G

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 01-09-2009
Terror
Reminds me of the times (thankfully few) when I wake up and for a time do not know where |i am. Now this is far worse than student days in some strangers place ;-0

i am talking about waking in my room...suddenly alien to me for what seems like an eternity but must in fact be seconds. The panic is evident.
We were told as kids that if we stepped on a crack we would marry a black man....but after years of doing just that..it never transpired..oh well...
Alison



Author's Reply:

MLAllen on 11-09-2009
Terror
What a trip! I probably don't understand one line of this. What transpired in my mind as I read was she turned the corner and saw her body lying on the sidewalk and began to realize that she's dead. I'm probably more lost than she is. I like this very much, anyway. Well done, Val. ML

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 12-09-2009
Terror
Well done, Val, indeed, we are often lost just this easily, whether it be literal or figurative, it's still scary.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:


Time And My Cupboards And Drawers (posted on: 21-08-09)
This is the re-write piece I entered for last wednesday's poetry and prose challenge, to my amazement and delight; it caused a certain amount of levity and has the distinction of being the inspiration for next weeks prompt word DRAWERS. I found myself thinking it would be churlish of me to deprive the rest of you the same chance of some fun in these austere times in which we live. So here's to a jolly good belly laugh :0) If anyone would like to read the original poem they can read it here. http://www.abctales.com/story/bradene/time-and-my-drawers OH! and look at that I got cherries for it.. :0)

When I was a young woman with a husband, small children, a house, a job, time flew The lines that creased my face were lines of laughter, worry, care, and time flew... No time to worry about sorting my cupboard and drawers. Everything was washed, dried, ironed, put away. Stored hurriedly in cupboards and drawers. children rummaged, husband rummaged, I rummaged.. Everywhere, confusion, colour, chaos, and time flew.... Now my cupboards and drawers are tidy, neat; they have become strangers to me, time hangs heavily... My face is as alien to me as my cupboards and drawers are. Each morning when I look into the mirror, the lines I see are lines of age, etched deep. Time is cruel... That house has gone, that husband is dead; the children are grown and gone away. time grows short There is another husband; a quiet man, a steady man, a good man. Cupboards are clean and colour co-ordinated, drawers neat, socks folded; lying serried like grey corpses awaiting burial... Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Time And My Cupboards And Drawers
Romany on 21-08-2009
Time And My Cupboards And Drawers
To be honest I can't see how this caused levity - I think it is a touching and perhaps wistful reflection on your life, coupled with an appreciation nevertheless of what you have now. I think it's moving and lovely.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany for the kind comments. Val

e-griff on 21-08-2009
Time And My Cupboards And Drawers
well, you didn't read the original, with the immortal line: 'my drawers are strangers to me' !

Author's Reply:
Oh Dear silly me, I'll correct that now so that everyone can read the very original one. Val

stormwolf on 22-08-2009
Time And My Cupboards And Drawers
Not having read the original first I agree totally with Romany...
I can relate very much to this..apart from the second husband 😉

There is a certain sadness and tender reflection on the passing of time and the realisation of things no longer there...yes, very sad and reflective
Alison

ps nothing worse than messy drawers I will grant you...


Author's Reply:
Hi Alison. You really should try and find the time to read the original at the url given in the intro' Thanks though for your kind remarks. Val x

e-griff on 22-08-2009
Time And My Cupboards And Drawers
I should say, forgive me for my humorous comments, Val - as others have said, this is at heart a serious and moving poem

Author's Reply:
There is nothing to forgive, I've already conceded that you were right, my first effort had the double entendre that I and others hadn't noticed on the original, I meant what I said in the intro I was amazed and delighted that my poem had been the inspiration for next weeks prompt. We just seem to miss each other's humour somehow, yet I suspect if we ever met we would probably have each other in stitches (and I don't mean the ones they apply in the ER after being clonked (-; ) Thanks though you really are a very gracious man. Val

shackleton on 23-08-2009
Time And My Cupboards And Drawers
Wistful, nostalgic poem, Val. It put me in mind of this daft auld song...

For thyme it is a precious thing
And thyme brings all things to my mind
Thyme with all its flavours, along with all its joys
Thyme, brings all things to my mind

Enjoyed the read (and the memories you've made me recall from my own bunch of thyme).

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 30-08-2009
Time And My Cupboards And Drawers
I'm with Romany and Alison on this, Val. I think you have very cleverly melded quite simple things to create the atmosphere of this piece. I keep coming up with words that others have used: wistful, nostalgic, tenderly reflexive, and for me - there was sadness too.

You are right: when push comes to shove time is a wicked beast. 🙁

Author's Reply:


Fear Of Fear (posted on: 17-08-09)
A little revelation

Baffled by vanishing words as they slip through a crack in my brain; I'm scared I'll forget them never to be recovered again. I dread losing my dignity, in terror of misplacing my pride; my growing sense of insanity and constantly having to hide. Perplexed at the aging process, integrity slipping away. I fear, fear itself Yet, I think dying may be easy, one day. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Fear Of Fear
Mezzanotte on 17-08-2009
Fear Of Fear
I agree, I think dying is the easy bit, it's the getting to it that's tough. I love the first stanza, disappearing words/crack in the brain etc.

As usual a quality read.

Best wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 17-08-2009
Fear Of Fear
Sure ain't no joy in this ageing process. I think we should be born old and grow young myself.
Alison

Author's Reply:

sunken on 17-08-2009
Fear Of Fear
Hello Ms. Val. It's not all bad. You can blame everything on getting old. I'm looking forward to pinching nurses bums... In fact, I could pinch anyone's bum and just blame it on old age. Do you think I'll get away with it? I also want to confiscate footballs and stuff. I may even burst a few. I reckon it's the sane people who are mad anyway, Ms. Val. Wife, two kids, car and a mortgage... Where's the sense in all that? You couldn't be undignified if you tried, so I won't hear anymore on the subject and no mistake! Thank you. Ahem. Blimey, being forceful actually gives me a semi. Ahem. I best go. I have a lasagne in the oven and my smoke alarm has just gone off. Thank you. Well done by the way... a bit like said lasagne.

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Author's Reply:

barenib on 18-08-2009
Fear Of Fear
This subject always reminds me of The Who lyric 'Hope I die before I get old'. You've summed up the perplexities very well here - fearing fear itself is a very human foible. John.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 18-08-2009
Fear Of Fear
I think we've all been here, if we're honest...it ain't the destination, it's the journey and it doesn't always go smoothly. A brave poem, Val. Maybe this is a subject we all sweep under the carpet...

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 18-08-2009
Fear Of Fear
I think I know how you feel - I try not to think about it but the thought of ever becoming a burden frightens me a lot or being stuck inside my body unable to articulate - I think these fears are probably shared by many - a really thought inducing poem, Val

Emma x


Author's Reply:

Romany on 21-08-2009
Fear Of Fear
I agree with all that's already been said, but this poem made me think especially of Alzheimers.

Romany.

Author's Reply:


Beautiful Bones (posted on: 14-08-09)
From Last Wednesday's Challenge

If it were possible, if by some miracle his bones were found, how would they look? Would they be soft and white? The colour and consistency of mud? What does water do to bones? They wouldn't have lain where they had been so carelessly tossed by the treacherous rabble who called themselves Englishmen. They would have drifted, been pulled along by an undertow to some unknowable destination. At first after the infamy of his death, he had rested briefly beneath marble and alabaster at Greyfriars in Leicester. Then during the Dissolution of the Monasteries his poor desecrated body was torn from its resting place, and cast into the River Soar If they could be looked upon, only beautiful bones would be revealed; for it was Holbein's brush, Shakespeare's pen and Tudor lies that deformed him. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Beautiful Bones
sunken on 14-08-2009
Beautiful Bones
Hello Ms. Val. This seems very historical. And me being a sunk, I tended to sit at the back of the class. I never took much in. Looking up girls dresses was my favourite pastime. Nothing much changes if I'm being frank. I think I should leave 'being frank' to Mr. CVaughan. Anyway, very well penned, as ever. Hopefully someone who knows stuff will pass by soon. Hope you are well, lovely Val. Oh, it's me by the way, sunks. Thank you.

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Author's Reply:
Well yes it's about Richard the Third, very much maligned in my opinion and I'm not the only nut who thinks so, there is a whole Society of us who think he was innocent. Thanks yet again Sunk for your comments. Val xx

sunken on 15-08-2009
Beautiful Bones
Hello again, Ms. Val. I meant to mention that I finally got around to hearing the audio from the piece you subbed last week. It works okay on my other pc and no one else seems to be having the prob I had, so it's nothing you were doing. I also listened to Mr. Luigi's. You both sound far posher than I though you would. I must learn to speak proper like wot the queen does. You sounded very professional and no mistake.

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a paler shade of goth

Author's Reply:
Hey I'm really pleased you managed to hear my recording Sunk. I'm not that posh though, You should hear me when I'm Mad at some poor soul ooer watch out! (-; Val x

Mezzanotte on 15-08-2009
Beautiful Bones
A lovely title for a beautiful poem. I, like sunken, am at the back of the class in this history lesson too!

A good read, perhaps for us ignorant, a little footnote might enhance the poem.

Best wishes
jackie

Author's Reply:
Hi Jackie, Well it's Richard the Third I'm writing about and his defeat at Bosworth Field. I grew up not too many miles away from that historic site so as children we knew all the stories, I've always been convinced of his innocence and nothing I have read or heard has ever made me change my mind. One of my heros. Val x

sirat on 16-08-2009
Beautiful Bones
Richard III wasn't it? He didn't get a very good press. I see you disagree. There's a great 16th century Who Done It by Alison Weir about whether or not he did for the Princes in the Tower. In fact it's a whole industry, like Who Was Jack the Ripper. Personally I think it was the butler, in both cases.

Author's Reply:
Lol, yes Richard the Third and I think I must have read all the books, but I have a pretty closed mind where he is concerned I have to admit. I think I must have been by his side in a former life ((-; Thanks for dropping by David Val x

JeffDray on 16-08-2009
Beautiful Bones
Val Darling, a nice thought-provoking piece. I wish I understood poetry better.

Author's Reply:
Well I suppose it's a matter of understanding History in this case Jeff, I'm writing about Bosworth Field and Richard the Third here. Thanks for dropping by. I hope you are feeling better. Love Val x

stormwolf on 16-08-2009
Beautiful Bones
I confess I do not know who you are writing about but I am struck by the feeling of the poem..the solemnity and the searching unanswered questions.
The last stanza especially is just wonderful.
Alison

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, The subject is Richard The Third and his defeat at Boswrth Field and where his bones supposedly ended up. I am a great believer in his innocence and firmly believe that it was Henry the Seventh's and Tudor propagander that made him out to be a humped back murderer of children and of course The Holbein painting anf the play by Shakespeare did nothing to dispell the lies. Well that's my belief anyway. Thanks for taking an interest. Val x

RoyBateman on 16-08-2009
Beautiful Bones
Ah - I seem to recall that you were a member of the "Richard the Third was a Bloody Good Bloke so There!" society...I reckon he would have been better off if his name hadn't rhymed with turd. No, sorry, I did recognise the subject straight away, having some knowledge of Leicester apart from the pubs. Well, a bit. Even then, the equivalents of modern spin doctors were doing their worst - just you wait, someday they'll uncover a dusty memo in some record office titled "Richard - let's get the bastard, right?" And the name on it will be Lord Mandelson of Bendover.

Author's Reply:

Romany on 21-08-2009
Beautiful Bones
Richard III? We are learning more about him now - he suffered terribly at the hands of Tudor propaganda, although he was no angel (which of them was back then?) Very interesting read; I feel some sympathy for him too.

Romany.

Author's Reply:


Street of Bones (posted on: 14-08-09)
My second attempt at the Wednesday Challenge. This is a shortened version, thanks to e-griff. I think he got it right, if you want to read the long version see https://ukauthors.com/phorum5/read.php?54,149476

I imagine the cries, the screams, the whispered prayers, the lost dreams of poor souls, whose bones lie huddled, forever forlorn beneath that street in Passchendaele. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Street of Bones
e-griff on 15-08-2009
Street of Bones
Blimey! someone tell Val what you think. I mean, she KNOWS I like it, so it's pointless me saying so again

but at least I can do this, you buggers!!!!!

*bends down on one knee and offers ...*

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Author's Reply:
Griff you made a very dull day all shiny and bright! thanks for the Griff Pick I was thrilled and honored to receive it. Val x

macaby on 15-08-2009
Street of Bones
A short poem that conjures images of the horrors of trench warfare and the feelings of the " poor souls" who lost their lives in that and countless other battles. Great poem val, well done ,
rated 11
mac

Author's Reply:
Thank you too Mac for the comments, the generous rating and for making it a fav' really appreciated. Val x

shackleton on 21-08-2009
Street of Bones
Sorry I'm late to this one, Val. Well worth it from my point of view. Passchendaele was one of the saddest episodes in the history of humankind. Nicely understated, but powerful poem. Bye for now.

ps. I need to stop reading sad poems. It's Friday night and I need to chill out a bit.

Author's Reply:


Googling Earth (posted on: 07-08-09)
This is the winning entry of the Red Dress/Park Bench competition on ABCtales I hope you enjoy it and I have also recorded it too so that you can listen to it, tell me what you think. (-;

I happened to Google Earth; out of the blue for some vague reason I wondered if the park bench was still there. You know what, it was The spot where you suggested and I said yes. I was wearing that dress, you know, the red one. I blame that red dress for the mess I've made of my life. If it hadn't have been for that damn rag! You wouldn't have and I wouldn't How I hate that ruddy dress! And that tune! Lady in Red! You'd croon, every chance you got and we'd dance. How I hate that damn silly song! And Spring bank holiday It reminds me of a park bench, a red dress, dark brown eyes, fly away raven hair and a green girl who said yes. How I hate Spring Bank Holiday! Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Googling Earth
sunken on 07-08-2009
Googling Earth
Val, this is brilliant. A great idea perfectly executed, in my sunken opinion. I'm not surprised you won. I know people will talk if I keep on about how strong your current writes are, but let them! I think this is bloody Valtastic and no mistake. Good day!

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Author's Reply:
Aww thank you Sunk what a lovely thing to say, did you listen to the recording too? I'm just glad you liked it and thanks so much for the Bernard again, he's such good company (; oh yes and for the Nom too, what a nice chap you are.Love Val x

sunken on 07-08-2009
Googling Earth
Whoops. Almost forgot....



He likes your house, Ms. Val.

Author's Reply:
Hello Bernie back again I see * giving him a metaphorical Pat* ( I think I must be balmy) Lol Val x

sunken on 07-08-2009
Googling Earth
Sadly I'm having probs with the audio, Ms. Val. I can hear the piece Stormwolf has uploaded but yours seems to want to play in 'realplayer' and it's not having any of it. Ms. Wolf's opens in 'Quick time' (I think it's called quicktime). Uka audio used to play in it's only little player at the top of the subs. That was much better. I don't know what's happened to that. I'll post this comment on the forum to see if anyone knows what I'm banging on about. Hello?

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felt-tipped men felt-tipped cats n dogs

Author's Reply:
Hi Sunk, it's working for me although it is a little slow to start, but it does work. Val x

Ionicus on 07-08-2009
Googling Earth
Excellent Val. I've listened to the audio and I prefer your rendition to you know who. It took ages to load and I wonder if it would be quicker as an mp3. I am not at all a technical man but I seem to have heard audios in that format which took less time. I am sure the computer geeks will be able to advise.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi I'm so glad it worked for you and that you liked my version of it. Thanks for the advice too much obliged. Val x

shackleton on 07-08-2009
Googling Earth
You could well walk on water at the moment, Val (don't try it in the middle of the Atlantic ocean). This is another smashing one. You go girl!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Michael, for your great remarks, you make me believe there is hope for me yet (; Val x

macaby on 07-08-2009
Googling Earth
I had no problems listening and it stared straight after I clicked audio. Nice to hear your voice val. I think it is a great idea for a poem, " google earth" ( wish I could come up with something original like this ) yes I really enjoyed it, the audio and the reading. Sad and nostalgig but these are the poems that appeal to me. Congrats on all the honours, well deserved.
mac

Author's Reply:
I'm glad you were able to listen as well as read Mac. It's funny that this poem should have won the comp' because out of the three I entered, this one was my least favourite. Just shows the poet is never the best judge of his/her own work. Thanks again. Val

e-griff on 08-08-2009
Googling Earth
yes, Val, you've cracked a new ouvre for you here! (do I sound shrill like that Tonelli bloke on 'dancing with tarts?': I should)

very good indeed - you are letting your soul flow instead of conforming to other's perceptions for once. Nice one.

BUT - I (personally) would lose the last line. That's my only critique. 🙂

best JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks John. I had to get out my French dictionary for 'Ouvre' and the closest I could get was opening, am I right?. Anyway thanks for reading, Did you manage to hear it too?
about that last line, often before the judging I regretted it, but it was too late to do anything about it by then. When it won I was amazed, However I think if it is picked to go into the Anthology I may well loose it as you suggest. Thanks again. Val

woodbine on 09-08-2009
Googling Earth
A terrific poem beautifully read, that for no reason I can think of reminds me of the London Eye, in the right place at the right time, and so well constructed.
Congratulations,
John

Author's Reply:
Thank you John for that, How are you? I haven't seen you around for some time. I hope you are well. Val x

e-griff on 10-08-2009
Googling Earth
sorry Val-poo! I spelt it wrong. it should be 'oeuvre' ( a body of work of a painter, author etc) - it's a pity we can't edit comments - would have saved you a lot of trouble, sorry. G

Author's Reply:
Lol, I agree. Thanks anyway, What I really need to do is learn to speak French! Val

teifii on 10-08-2009
Googling Earth
I've come a bit late but read this before and it's still as good. Excellent and a well deserved nom.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Rupe on 19-08-2009
Googling Earth
Very good - funny and spirited. The Google Earth intro is a touch of genius & I like the way you've taken these very cliched elements (park bench, girl and boy, Lady in Red & the sense of what might have been) & done the completely unexpected with them.

Rupe

Author's Reply:


Blue Glass and Bingo (posted on: 03-08-09)
In Loving Memory of my dearest friend Betty. Who I miss more than words could ever say.

I miss the rush of air, all ciggy scented. It would accompany you on every fleeting visit ''Nae stoppin' just a wee hello'' your Glaswegian accent would enlighten me in a gravelly rasp. I'd make you a coffee that somehow you never finished, half a cup plonked on the draining board before you left, all cold and forlorn. I miss those countless minutes we shared, between the smiling, ''hi hen'' and the ''must dash ahm away tae ma bingo'' I would momentarily wonder what would it be today? Tears, laughter or a piece of juicy gossip picked up over the garden fence. Sometimes it would be a gift; a bit of blue glass, a vase, a dish, a sweetmeat tray. I don't know what it was I must have said to make you believe I loved blue glass I'd stifle my impatience at you for bringing them to me, I knew how much time and love you spent in the charity shops hunting them down. I hadn't the heart to say how much extra work they caused me; all that dusting! Then you up and died Leaving me with countless empty minutes to fill dusting blue glass; watching the sun sparkle on it seeing in it, your smile, catching the tang of your tobacco tainted breath; hearing the echo of your soft wheezing voice, "Hi hen, just away tae ma bingo" Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Blue Glass and Bingo
stormwolf on 03-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
This was heart stoppingly poignant. You captured it all..nailed it..
The little idiosyncrasies...the irritations...the pain of realising too late the love and the treasure in the friendship.
Oh I know you treasued her then too...I just was so moved that you had the guts to write 'warts an' all' about a special person whose leaving has allowed you to realise the preciousness of friendship.
I loved it.... trully

Alison

Author's Reply:
Thank you Alison. It's true unfortunately we never know the true value of something or someone until they are no longer there. Betty was one of those will-o-the-wisp types who said and did the first thing that came into her head, yet, she never had an evil thought or bone in her body, she would irritate the hell out of her husband but he adored her and she him. He was the first to go and she followed 10 weeks later, this was a couple of years ago now, and it devastated my husband and I. It is only recently that I have been able to write about her. I miss her every day that passes, she was such a character. Val x

Andrea on 03-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
This is very, very sad, but kind of lovely too, Val. What a marvelous tribute to someone who you obviously loved very much.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Andrea, Yes I did love her to bits, she was exasperating yet adorable and could sing a great version of " Blanket on the Ground!" Val x

shackleton on 04-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
Absolutely smashing, Val. We all know a Betty. In my case, he was a Bert. Drove me crackers in life, but I miss the old so-and-so now he's gone. You've left me sad and nostalgic. I must look up your book someday soon. I hope you and yours are all well. Bye for now.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Michael, everyone should have a Betty in their lives too, but she must be Scottish and Glaswegian if possible (-; What a character she was. Irreplacable. Yes do look up my book. Love to all the Treacy family. Val x

sunken on 04-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
Dear Ms. Val, I am currently knocking up a bunch of placards and will shortly be protesting, on your behalf, with regards to the absence of a nib on this particular piece. I can't slap a Bernard on you just yet as I'm not on my usual pc. I shall do within the week tho. I think it's a lovely piece. Well done and no mistake.

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get ya nibs out for Ms. Val!

Author's Reply:
Well, Sunk what can I say! your placards did the trick and no mistake (; Thanks for the lovely comments I apprciate them truly. Val x

sunken on 04-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
As promised, Ms. Val, a smelly Bernard. It'll just have to do until the protest takes effect (or should that be affect... I can never work that one out). Hello?

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Author's Reply:
Ooo! a Bernard to stay with me for another week! he's so sweet and cheap to keep, doesn't eat or drink, but it's great to know he's there. Thanks a million Sunk. Love Val xx

Ionicus on 04-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
What a lovely tribute to a dead friend, Val. I am sure that though she has departed she'll live forever in your memory.
Great piece of writing.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi. It took me ages to be able to write about her in the way that suited her best, she hated fuss and would have hated a soppy poem. She was a straight talker too. I miss her a lot. Val x

pombal on 04-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
a nice tribute Val - a heartfelt 10 from me

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pom and thanks for the generous rating. Val x

Mezzanotte on 05-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
Oh Val,

this is beautiful. Such simple words which convey hard punches of poignancy and emotion.

A brilliant write.

Best Wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jackie, glad I was able to convey my feelings to you. Val x

sunken on 05-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
(-: Well I'm glad to see the protest had the desired effect, Ms. Val. I'm sure you'd have been nibbed without my whinging tho. It's muchly deserved. Well done Missus.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks again Sunk, you're a gent of the first degree. Val x

wfgray on 06-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
Hi Val a moving piece of writing that affects a lot of us. I have an old friend, who reeks of tobacco smoke and speaks about bingo in every visit. The Bingo news I can stand but not the reek of the tobacco. Will

Author's Reply:
Hi Will, I know what you mean about the reek of tobacco, Betty's was mixed up with Old English Lavender Water so it had a kind of quality all it's own, although it's the person who wore it that I miss most of all. Thanks again for stopping by. Val x

royrodel on 06-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo


Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy. Valx

JeffDray on 06-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
Excellent. she sounds just like Morag, even down to the accent, She is the Scottish lady who always seems to walk past when I'm murdering the bagpipes.

Author's Reply:
Hi Jeff I hope you are feeling better today. Thanks for the comments and for reading. Love Val x

macaby on 06-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
I am from Glasgow myself, after reading your poem I thought about my auntie Betty, she played bingo and smoked, her husband was called Jock and they had a dog named Jip. God, that was more than 25 years ago. I liked the poem, a sad, touching tribute to a " special" person , maybe we all know someone like her but putting it down into words, that is the hardest part, you have done it marvelously IMO, thanks for sharing
mac

Author's Reply:
Hi Mac I'm so glad you liked the poem. My Betty hadn't lived in Glasgow for over 40 years and had travelled the world with her husband who was in both the Marines then subsequently the Airforce, but neither of them lost their Glaswegian accents. They were both lovely people but Betty was special. Thanks for making this a fav' and for nominating it, if it was you. I really appreciate it. Love Val x

Jolen on 15-08-2009
Blue Glass and Bingo
Fine work, Val, and it moved me very much. You've managed to capture a friendship and the sense of loss one feels for a friends death in a few good lines. Well done.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:


On Being Interrupted (posted on: 20-07-09)
A little bit of the McKinley philosophy (;

When you're convinced you're nobody you tend to talk too fast, because whoever wants to listen to a nobody and after all whatever could there be for a nobody to say? Only a somebody talks slowly and precisely in clear ringing tones, confident that they are being listened to. Realising this truth early on in life was one reason I started to write; at least I could snatch the chance to articulate and avoid being interrupted by somebody Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for On Being Interrupted
sunken on 20-07-2009
On Being Interrupted
Hello Ms. Val. How very wise and true your words are. I'd never thought about it like that. There are, of course, those who talk sooooo much that you eventually stop listening to them anyway, even if they are a somebody. You, my dear Valtastic, will always be a somebody. I enjoyed this and so did Bernard.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunk, and thanks for sending Bernard to keep me company again. So happy you both enjoyed my little piece of home spun philosophy. Val x

macaby on 21-07-2009
On Being Interrupted
All of us nobodys will relate /agree with you on this one Val. True words indeed. I enjoyed the read.
mac

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 23-07-2009
On Being Interrupted
Yes, gabbling is a bit of a give-away for some of us...particularly that first, horribly ineffective attempt at chatting up. Mind you, I'm going back to the Stone Age now... And, to be fair, there are some boring buggers who unfairly expect to be listened to - like politicians, teachers (Not all of 'em, obviously!) and the occasional clerical buffoon. Stand on the school roof and shoot the lot, I say. (Okay, I did watch "If" again recently.) A thoughtful piece, Val - well, made me think anyway. Good one!

Author's Reply:


Two Little Oddities (posted on: 10-07-09)
My two Wednesday challenge efforts for Sunken.

Orderly Oddity
Order of the old odd bods, order of the fools, older Orders rule, oh dear! I do, I do Intend to be, an orderly oddity.
For Matthew my Grandson Odds and sods of odd ditties Come floating from my head Most of them emerge When I'm tucked up in my bed. Some are very scary Others just plain daft Some of them are very rare And worthy of my craft Yet the ones I love to remember most Are the ones I dream for you For they're the rarest oddities And worth a kiss or two. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Two Little Oddities
cat on 10-07-2009
Two Little Oddities
'For they're the rarest oddities and worth a kiss or two' Hi 🙂 Oh I loved that. How very sweet.

Love to you cat x

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 10-07-2009
Two Little Oddities
Hello Ms. Val. I've already commented really haven't I? Well, it was kind of a comment. I couldn't let the chance of slapping a Bernard you pass by tho. Very clever & very sweet. The poems aren't bad either (-;

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Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 11-07-2009
Two Little Oddities
Two for the price of one! Are you getting greedy, dear Val, or are you giving us the choice to judge your talent?
Both very charming but my preference is for the second one.

Love, Luigi.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 12-07-2009
Two Little Oddities
Very clever, Val - though I really identify with the second...it's amazing what floats through your subconscious brain in bed, isn't it? Not much of it repeatable, I admit, but fun... Witty stuff indeed!

Author's Reply:

Romany on 14-07-2009
Two Little Oddities
This is lovely Val, really enjoyed,

Romany.

Author's Reply:


Invidia (posted on: 03-07-09)
The second of my three subs to the Red Dress/Park Bench comp' This one was just as piece of nonsensical fun

How she'd resented Laura. Impossible to ignore her smooth alabaster skin green eyes dewy, like the Spring. How she envied her retrousse nose; long slim legs, shapely thigh to pink tip toes. Her hour glass form in red dress wrapped, silken hair with sunlight trapped. Slyly watching from her lone park bench, pale plain face, closed and clenched; eyes full of Laura's charm, surreptitious thoughts of harm sailed through her odious head, how she wished Laura dead! Disaster struck, her curse backfired; lightning strike The Fates conspired. Down she went upon the grass smoke rising from her skinny ass Laura came, gently knelt beside her a jealous rage welled up inside her. Slowly, destiny resolved her plight Laura faded from her sight. The lights went out, her body fell her spiteful soul spiralled down to Hell Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Invidia
royrodel on 03-07-2009
Invidia
nonsense?
I think not, this is probably one of the best things I have read in a long time.
imo it deserves a great read, infact it's brilliant, it captures something that wakes you up.
I mean it's wow.

RODEL

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy that's the nicest comment I've have for the longest time. Thanks for the ten too. Val

Sunken on 03-07-2009
Invidia
Lol. That'll teach her... Or rather it won't because she's dead? Blimey, I almost made sense then. Thanks for that, Val (-; Really like this. Roy is right - We must petition for a nib! Are you listening nibbers! Get ya fingers out! Hello?

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Author's Reply:

pombal on 03-07-2009
Invidia
congrats on winning the competition Val - just read the entry - lovely lovely lovely

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 05-07-2009
Invidia
Ooh, you've got me worried now...the next time I wish someone ill (Should be within the next three seconds, if I'm reading the papers) I'll make sure I'm carrying a Whizzo lightning conductor. A cautionary tale indeed! You mean, there IS a God? Blimey, I'm double-worried now...

Author's Reply:

macaby on 05-07-2009
Invidia
A great poem Val. Haven't we all hed these kind of thoughts about someone at sometime in our lifes? Nonsensical or not there is a moral to the story.
Down she went upon the grass
smoke rising from her skinny ass

I liked these lines.
Yes I liked it a lot.
mac

Author's Reply:


Past The Last Stitch (posted on: 29-06-09)
This is one of my three entries for the Red dress/park bench Competition, this one didn't win but it was my personal favourite.

She could never venture far on foot; pain piercing her hip hot and sharp, she wouldn't carp, just carry on. We sat on the park bench for a while until the throbbing began to subside; she couldn't quite hide the hurt from me She told me a thing that day, surprised me! Said she'd always wanted a red dress A blush began to caress her face; that's when I got the best of ideas. I'd purchase some red jersey fabric, a dress for her birthday, neat trick if I managed to keep it secret. It wouldn't take me that long to make, how could I go wrong to bring a smile to that sweet face; always so serene even when the agony became demeaning. Her aim to suppress her distress from those she loved best. Just as the last stitch was in place the red dress ready to encase the diminutive figure; she passed on, no more suffering. Enough being enough for her. She lay peaceful in her coffin; nut brown hair tinged with grey and red dress newly on display Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Past The Last Stitch
RoyBateman on 29-06-2009
Past The Last Stitch
How sad - but somehow uplifting as well. She got what she wanted, if not soon enough - better than keeping your desires buttoned up, no matter how late in the day it is. I can see why you liked this one, Val - I do too. Very much.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the kind comments Harry glad you enjoyed it. Val x

nibs on 29-06-2009
Past The Last Stitch
How sad to have to wait until you die to get the dress you want! Nice to be peaceful at the end, it suggests she had a smile on her face. So sad at first then serene at the end. I think I'll have to go and buy that dress...

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting nibs much appreciated. Val x

Sunken on 30-06-2009
Past The Last Stitch
Hello Ms. Val. Is this a true story? Weirdly, a few sad events in my life have revolved around dresses. And no, I'm not a transvestite. Cheeky lady. In a way I'm hoping it's fictional. Sometimes life is too sad. A lovely write and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Hello Sunky you know I'm becoming really fond of Bernard in fact I miss him when he has to Go (: I'm so sorry sunk but this is basically a true story, it's about my Mum, all but the park bench and me making the red dress is true, I had it made for her though. She was a lovely lady and was only 57 when she passed away. I still miss her even after all these 37 years. Thanks for everything. Val x

PS was it you who nomed it? if it was Thanks a million, it made my day. xx

macaby on 01-07-2009
Past The Last Stitch
I find it stange how people who suffer from great pain( and hide the fact) have only the simplest of wishes.They have my respect. Like in your poem here, a red dress, that's all. A sad and moving poem.
mac

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac, My mum was never really free of pain she had a congenital hip deformity and a curveture of the spine, but she had such joie de vivre and never complained. Thanks for commenting. Val


The Serviette (posted on: 26-06-09)
Re-written slightly, Thanks to Archie (-; Ted was the art expert, not me

Ouch.. ahh, oh God! Why do that, I would have given him the bloody things if he'd asked. Oh, mmm, I can't seem to move my arm, If only I could sit myself up Oh Lord look at the blood on the carpet, now, where is that coming from argh! My head. Jeez, haven't got the strength I was born with If it was a painting he wanted why didn't he take that Amick print thing with the red Indian fishing from a canoe he was always bloody raving on about? Or Irene Leeming's flowers that she painted for mine and Ted's anniversary, even Ira MacMillan's Egyptian woman he admired so much Oucha! Damn him! I'm cold, wonder how long I was out, don't seem to be able to feel my bloody leg either, not expecting anyone to drop by. What day is it? Fridaycricky it'll be Tuesday before they find me, I'll be dead by then I shouldn't wonder, poor wench, expecting to cut my toenails and she finds me with my toes turned up! Aww Ted! If I had something to hand I'd chuck it at your picture and knock you right off the mantle piece, you old fart staring at me like that! OK, OK! So you were right! I am soft in the head, you don't have to look so bloody smug about it. You always did say I would get myself into trouble, '' you're too trusting Annie'' he would whine, ''can't go inviting just anyone into your home and giving them tea, it's begging for trouble with your bowl out''Weeell OK so you were right You were always bloody right! He'd been delivering my medicines from the chemists for ages before I invited him in for tea, besides he seemed such an inoffensive little man, certainly wouldn't have suspected him of a violent act We'd had some nice little chats, he told me he still lived at home with his mum, said how much they enjoyed going to the pictures and bingo together, it struck me as a bit odd but then he certainly wasn't no oil painting and he had this sort of self effacing way with him, I just thought he was as lonely as I was and liked to chat. Loved reading, just as I do and was a bit of an art buff. He seemed to know so much more than me about the subject; if I'm honest all that stuff bored me rigid, it was Ted who collected the art, he was the expert, though I never quite figured out why he put so much store in an old serviette and the inside of a woodbine packet; true they had drawings on them, the serviette had a drawing of an hotel in Sunderland called the Seaburn. The other was of Ted as a little lad on the beach, wish I hadn't shown him the silly things now Ted had guarded them with his life, God knows why. They had been given to him by an old man who used to drink tea at the beach caf and draw on anything that came to hand, always signed them too, I could never quite make out the signature but Ted said it was LS Lowry at least I think that was the name Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for The Serviette
Harry on 26-06-2009
The Serviette
Ted knew what he was doing, Annie. The stuff was worth millions. Anyhow, I hope you've learned your lesson. Very nice flash,Val ... a lot done in dew words.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Harry, I just happened to be browsing through wiki and came accross LS Lowry, apparently he really did draw on anything that came to hand while sitting on the beach and he did used to give his drawings away. I bet he never dreamt they would be worth so much one day. Wish I had a couple myself. The limited edition of the Amick Native American print I do own and the Leeming and MacMillan originals, but as they are both personal friends of mine and self taught somehow I don't think they will ever be worth millions, So I thought I would immortalise them in my story since I am convinced I shall be famous when I'm dead!! I can dream can't I? HeHe! (-; Hope you are keeping well Harry. Val x

Sunken on 26-06-2009
The Serviette
Hello Ms. Val. It's me, sunks. How long have you been flashing? I do like a lady who flashes. You have a talent for it. Ahem, I don't mean getting your tits out... I mean writing short stories. Although, having said that, I'm sure you are very adept at getting your... I may start this comment again Val. It's gone proper tits up and no mistake. Why can't I be like that nice Mr. Harry and just keep it simple and to the point. I blame the following - Caffeine, high pollen counts, mobile phone transmitters and of course, turnips. I trust this comment has helped? Even if it hasn't can you just make out it has? It would make me feel better about myself. I did enjoy the piece by the way. Thank you. Hello?

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Author's Reply:
Hello Sunk. I've been flashing for ages now! (-; Still not very adept but I'm learning, course the other kind of flashing well... I'm sort of well past my sell by date in that department, even toothless old geezers would run from the sight of me flashing these days Lol. Once upon a time I would be called voluptuous valerie, nowadays I'm known as varicose val, Ha!Ha!. I'm glad you liked my little story though, now and then something will inspire me to write something a little more challenging than a poem. Thanks again sunk . Love Val x

Archie on 27-06-2009
The Serviette
The second paragraph seemed a bit odd to me - a sort of authorial intrusion, and clearly not the same voice as the narrator, who talks like a character in Passport to Pimloco, maybe the sort of old crow who polishes her doorstep. I like (in the first paragraph) the way you use expressions only an elderly person would use, rather than get her to say. 'and I'm a pensioner!'

'matinee idol' is overdoing it a bit, don't you think?

Why did the thief have to use violence at all? Couldn't he have sneaked a cigarette packet away?

Anyway, I enjoyed your story and have got a lot more out of it than the minute of my time I invested, which I suppose is the point.

Great read.

Don







Author's Reply:
Thanks for the crit Archie, I've altered it slightly especially the para you mentioned I think it reads more like the old lady now, you were right about Matinee Idol being ott but in defense that is what we used to call hunky film stars years ago. There had to be violence,he was a nasty piece of work and had meant to leave her dead. Although Annie wasn't aware of the value of the items she would have noticed if they had gone missing, despite her ambivalence towards them she had treasured them as much as Ted had, simply because they had belonged to him. No offense intended here but I thought the reader would have divined that for his/herself. Anyhow I do think it reads better now so thanks again, Val

RoyBateman on 28-06-2009
The Serviette
Oh, great - I'd wondered what could have been so valuable! Oddly, I was walking round Sunderland last week, but I wasn't giving drawings away. Yep, Lowry did quite a bit of non-typical stuff - "Yachts at Lytham" springs to mind and he did indeed use cardboard, anything, to paint on. A true original whose work resonates with so many people...just like Damien Hirst, eh? No, I jest, obviously... The real artists seldom reap the benefits, do they? Very dramatic story, and a neat touch to have it unfold after the event - you can never trust a man who lives with his mum, can you?

Author's Reply:
Lol, it's awful really don't you think, that we make assumptions, I mean there must be lots of nice self effacing little men who live with their mums. (-; Thanks for reading this Roy. Wondered where you had got to. Hope you had a good time. Love Val x

Ania on 29-06-2009
The Serviette
I've not visited the site for a while as I've been busy organising a 'Love London' event, so it's great to re-visit and see the standard is being flown as high as ever. I thought this piece was really good. It reminded me just a little of my artist aunt-in-law who amongst lots of 'tat' as she called it, in her studio was a little sketch....Picasso no less!

Author's Reply:


Uncle Tom (posted on: 22-06-09)
A tribute to a late lamented much loved uncle

Uncle Tom was funny, whenever there was a family party he'd entertain us with a wink and a wiggle Uncle Tom was camp when I still thought camp was coffee or a couple of nights spent in a tent in the great outdoors. Be-turbaned, wearing peep toed shoes; scarlet slashed mouth, mascara eyes flashing mischievously, he blew kisses at the men making them blush and rush for another pint; he would joke about stuff I could never quite understand. The men would guffaw, the women looked abashed when they laughed, then tut-tut with eyebrows aloft. We children though would giggle at his falsetto voice, and choice of clothes. Uncle Tom was a projectionist at the picture house; each night Hollywood filled his eyes with stars his head with impossible dreams, yet, strangely he stylishly achieved both inhabiting his own personal Tinsel Town Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Uncle Tom
barenib on 22-06-2009
Uncle Tom
Val, a great portrait that you paint here - there's nothing like characterful relatives! This leaves me wishing I could have been a fly on the wall at one of his performances. Good read - John.

Author's Reply:
Thanks John. Yes, my uncle was a great character and very much loved. Thanks for stopping by. Val x

Sunken on 22-06-2009
Uncle Tom
Good to see you around again Val. A smashing read and no mistake. Sounds like he was quite a character. A fitting tribute and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, well I haven't been around too much of late, not feeling tip top or very creative to tell the truth, hope it's just a passing phase. Thanks for your very welcome comments and wonderful Bernard. Love Val x

macaby on 23-06-2009
Uncle Tom
He sounds like a pleasant character. I liked the poem. Nostalgic poems , whether happy or sad are always favourites of mine. I liked the end lines too, his own tinsel town, sad but touching words.
mac

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac, he was a wonderful character, much loved by all the family. Those end lines were long in coming and changed often, but like uncle Tom I got there in the end (-; Val

Jolen on 26-06-2009
Uncle Tom
I thought this was an excellent piece and as others have said, very visually stirring as well as nostalgic. Well done, Val.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen. Appreciated. Val x

Leila on 26-06-2009
Uncle Tom
Very well crafted Val and a lovely write...super last verse...Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks Leila Glad you enjoyed this. Love Val x

RoyBateman on 28-06-2009
Uncle Tom
What a character! Delightfully described, as is your own reaction to him as you grew up. That sounded really authentic. A portrait in words that brought a smile, I'd think, to all its readers.

Author's Reply:
He wasa smashing character too. we all loved him. Thanks for the great comments Roy. Val x


Millie's Tale (posted on: 01-06-09)
I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago but forgot... Better late than never, but then again...

Millie was a lazy bitch Couldn't be bothered to sew one stitch All because she failed to see One now could save nine presently. Millie wore her lacy pants To Sunday lunch at the Manse What a shock the minister got While watching Millie's panties drop They slowly slithered to the ground Framed her skinny ankles round Millie's face flamed brightly puce She knew she hadn't one excuse Her sloth had cost her very dear Every stare her soul did sear One tack in her elastic sewn Now, her dignity was blown The moral to this silly tale If at mending you tend to fail Or hate to use needle and thread Use a safety pin instead! Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Millie's Tale
Mezzanotte on 02-06-2009
Millies Tale
Haha,
very funny. I hate stitching too, and always buy new instead.

Best Wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 02-06-2009
Millies Tale
Hello Ms. Val. This is a little gem. Bernard needed a laugh (he's getting nowhere with next door's poodle) and you have given him one (a laugh that is). Ahem. Muchly enjoyed. Well done.

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Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 03-06-2009
Millies Tale
Great - a really amusing scenario - straight from a Donald McGill postcard. (Sadly, we don't see nough of 'em these days...) Mind you, the vicar shouldn't have been looking, should he? Mucky old...cleric. Maybe next time, Millie should use the obvious solution - don't wear any! Thanks for the laugh!

Author's Reply:


Verity (posted on: 29-05-09)
A single story with a double barrelled inference

Mister next door was re-roofing his garden shed; he looked like a rock ape sitting astride the apex with his mouth full of tacks. The tap, tap, tap of his hammer disturbed the peace of the garden. Abruptly he stopped as a shrill voice called ''lunch'' He scrambled down via a ladder propped up at the side of the shed, with whiskered cheeks puffed and puckered lips pursed he waddled off indoors whistling placidly Eyes closed against the glare of the sun, my mind drifts now that quiet has been restored to the garden; with nothing louder than the bees buzzing and an occasional car zooming by. On the insides of my eyelids a picture is developing like a photograph. Lovers scowling, then the sound of voices Words echo down through the decades roar angrily, spitefully, painfully inside my skull. My heart thunders as it recalls the ache the ribs caused holding it fast within their bony cage. ''Maybe we should call it a day'' his tone harsh and cold. '' You can't mean that'' mine soft, trembling with fear. He turned away, shoulders sagging, hands thrust in his trouser pockets; I stood rigid not breathing, waiting Suddenly he was holding me and we were both crying out our hurt; our kisses becoming passionate until the inevitable coupling returned the Status Quo. Now all these years later age demands verity, that was his pathetic attempt at honesty; his feeble bid for freedom. I was too immature to realise the reality, didn't understand; we should have gone out separate ways then. He wasn't ready to be tethered, I was too young to recognise truth. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Verity
Sunken on 29-05-2009
Verity
Hello Ms. Val. This is smashing, in my smunky opinion. I would like to nom it. I believe it is my right as a fully paid up member of Uka. I'm always being called a member? Ahem.
I hope someone gives you a better comment than this and that you don't mind me slapping a Bernard on you. Mind your leg, he's a bit horny of late. Hello?

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Author's Reply:
Hey Thank you Sunk. What a lovely surprise this is. I've had a bit of computer trouble this afternoon and couldn't get anything to work, but it's all sorted now. Fingers crossed. I'm glad you enjoyed my little story. Love Val xx

SugarMama34 on 29-05-2009
Verity
Hi Val,

What a sad story, but one that most can relate too. It's a shame that some of us don't realise until it's too late. Only when we are older we understand more about situations that have happened in the past. I found this a meaningful write of love and regret. Loveley and well told but has a sad edge to it too.

Lis'. xx

Author's Reply:

macaby on 29-05-2009
Verity
Congratulations on the nom, it is well deserved. Sad indeed, but well told/written. You have managed to take the reader with you, into the garden with the buzzing bees and the tap tapping of the hammer. Very visual I thought.
mac

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 30-05-2009
Verity
Congrats indeed, Val. A very strong and stirring poem!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Mezzanotte on 31-05-2009
Verity
Dear Val,

Words echo down through the decades
roar angrily, spitefully, painfully
inside my skull

I adore these lines and love a poem that tells a story, I too can relate to this, but 'he' had the courage of his convictions...

A lovely, visual story

Best Wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:

barenib on 02-06-2009
Verity
Val - excellent poem. I really like the way you move from the real moment with Mr next door into the memory/dream section and then back to a resolved emotional reality at the end. Definitely deserves the nom - and the Bernard! John.

Author's Reply:


Bankrupt (posted on: 18-05-09)
Written a while back for a challenge

He's running out of patience his energy levels low; he says he's lost direction can't recall which way to go. He says his heart feels empty can't even feel the pain; each thought that occurs to him keeps slipping thro' his brain. Emotionally bankrupt feeling insolvent and bust, he's entirely without funds of optimism, love or trust So I said I'd be banker, Receivers he wouldn't need. I'm his only creditor though our terms must be agreed. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Bankrupt
Mezzanotte on 18-05-2009
Bankrupt
A clever idea and some nice rhymes.

Jackie

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jackie. Val x

Sunken on 18-05-2009
Bankrupt
Hello Ms. Val. This is a bouncy little ditty and no mistake. Where is that Little Ditty these days anyway? I miss her and her shoes. Ahem. That Jackie woman has already said what I was thinking. She's always doing that. I'll be frank, sometimes I wish she'd shut up and give her arse a chance. Don't worry, she won't see this (-; Nice one, Val of Bradene fame.

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keeper of the hamster wheel

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunk, yes I too have wondered about her lately. Perhaps she is sunnng herself on some exotic beach (; Again thanks for the comments Love Val x

Elfstone on 19-05-2009
Bankrupt
Enigmatic and a little darker than your usual work Val. May I suggest dropping the "and" from the 4th line of the 1st verse and the 2nd line of the 2nd verse? I think that would tighten up the rhythm. Good to see another aspect of your poetic skills. Elf.

Author's Reply:
Hi Elf I'm taking the ands out right away. (; Good suggestion appreciated. Hope you are well. love Val x

RoyBateman on 20-05-2009
Bankrupt
It sounds as if he's the banker, not you... I'd keep a tight grip on his credit cards if I were you, and treat him to a demonstration of what "credit crunch" really means if he doesn't come up to scratch. A neat, offbeat take on the theme with a good ending - hard to do, that, but you've definitely succeeded with this.

Author's Reply:
Lol I'll cut them up if he doesn't behave! his Cards I mean... only joking of course, thanks for your nice comments Roy. Val x


Boiled Fish (posted on: 11-05-09)
I'm in a silly mood (-;

I dreamt I was a fish last night swimming in a bowl and all I had to look at was a fire that was burning coal. I kept on swimming round and round but couldn't see a thing just this conflagration, it seemed I was trapped in a fiery ring. I became a little worried that changed to real concern my water started to bubble and my fins began to burn. The last thought I remember as my flesh began to boil, at least I'd be healthier than a fish that's fried in oil! Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Boiled Fish
Mezzanotte on 11-05-2009
Boiled Fish
A silly mood which produced a delightful little poem. I used to have an aquarium with plain old goldfish in it. And like mongrel dogs, they are very intelligent, when i usd to come home from work they would go crazy and follow me up and down from one end of the tank to the other...it's true.

A funny verse
best wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
I like to write nonsense now and then, it's fun to do. Thanks for stopping by. Val x

Sunken on 11-05-2009
Boiled Fish
Talking of fiery rings, I had a curry last night, Ms. Val. It was very tasty but I'm regretting it this morning. Ahem. It's me, by the way, sunks. Muchly enjoyed the poem. Unlike my bad self, it has a very neat ending. I hope this has helped. Long may your silly mood continue. And now, if you don't mind, I can feel another bowel evacuation coming on. This will teach me to show off in front of girls.

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he's putting a claim in for vindaloo

Author's Reply:
Try a chinese meal next time they are not so fierce. (-; thanks for the smiles and comments Sunk. Val x

teifii on 11-05-2009
Boiled Fish
Very funny. Cheered me up. Being very fuzzy with a bug and antibiotics, I forgot for a moment it was a dream and got awfully worried about the poor fish.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Lol, I do hope you are feeling much better today Daff and I was pleased to be able to make you smile. Keep up the good work. Val x

RachelLW on 11-05-2009
Boiled Fish
Very good. Very silly, though I did feel sorry for the fish. Nice nonsense. Rachel.

Author's Reply:
Love writing nonsense at times just to keep myself cheerful, In a bit of a rut at the moment. Thanks though for stopping by. Val x

RoyBateman on 12-05-2009
Boiled Fish
Ah, ending up as the healthiest fish fillet on the plate...small consolation, I'd say! As you say, silly - but original and amusing too!

Author's Reply:
I hate fish! I have to cook it every Friday for Mac and it turns my stomach, but hey ho, the dutiful wife etc' (-; Thanks again Roy. . Val

stormwolf on 05-08-2009
Boiled Fish
ah the beauty of self sacrifice!!!
There is a lesson in everything lol

Alison

Author's Reply:


Bluegate Fields 1872 (posted on: 11-05-09)
A take on Blanchard Jerrolds London: A Pilgrimage, and an engraving by Gustave Dore.

[IMG]http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/encap/skilton/images/dore/Dore139.jpg[/IMG] Who dares wander Bluegate Fields solitary, all alone. Through stinking streets and thereby yield to the Devil and his own. A dozen pairs of greedy eyes squint covetous through the veil. To walk these byways is unwise and to drift beyond the pale. The shadows pounce, strip you bare they will steal your very soul; beat you blue and leave you there for Bluegate shall claim its toll. Ragged children, thieving punks cheek by jowl despairing. Immoral women, maundering drunks; In a cruel world uncaring A Doctor, and a policeman or a hearse may venture in. Bluegate Fields, to every man is London's deafening din. Life is cheap in Bluegate Fields death is a frequent stalker; stray deeper in, your fate is sealed so beware the reckless walker. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Bluegate Fields 1872
RachelLW on 11-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
I have no idea why no one's commented yet. I think this is very good. Not that I'm any sort of expert (far from it), but the rhythm slides a little in places. Other than that - some excellent lines, dark, frightening and macabre. Rachel.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Rachel, yes I struggled quite a bit to keep the rhythm true, but it was quite difficult. Thanks for commenting, but especially for reading. Val x

barenib on 12-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
Val - I really like this and it's a subject I've often thought of writing about but have never got round to it. I love the rhythm which perfectly suits the subject matter and I think verse 3 sums it up perfectly - I wonder if that might be best as the final verse? Also a suggestion for the current last verse to help the rhythm -

A Doctor, and a policeman
or a hearse may venture in.

Regards, John.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for that sugestion John, I had struggled with that line for ages, Hearse is perfect.. Why didn't I think of that! Thanks a million Val x

RoyBateman on 12-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
You certainly bring that Dore print to life - if "life" is the word. I don't think anyone else illustrated that period of squalor and the teeming underworld with such terrifying gusto, and you've captured it in words. I think I'll make sure the doors are locked...

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, I was beginning to despair about this one. All of a sudden it's come to life. The Engravings of Gustave Dore have always fascinated me. So I thought I would write something on them, then I came across some of Bluegate Fields and couldn't resist. Thanks for the comments. Val

e-griff on 12-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
try 1

[IMG]http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/encap/skilton/images/dore/Dore139.jpg[/IMG]

which probably won't work.



Author's Reply:
Thanks for showing me how to do this Griff, It's really fantastic. Val

e-griff on 12-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
now ...




which might

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 12-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
Naw...

Val, just copy the IMG above and edit the piece to put it in above the pome. That will confirm your ekphrasticity 🙂

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 12-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
see, Val, it's all dead easy! Don't let engineers 'secret language' put you off. It's used to keep out members who are not in the 'brotherhood' - I have no time for that - creeps!

(and I used to be one)

Author's Reply:
Lol. Much obliged thanks Griff. Val

Leila on 13-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
Very well captured Val and I must agree with John, verse 3 would be a strong and perhaps more satisfying ending...Leila

Author's Reply:
Hi Leila, Thanks for the suggestion, I missed that one completely in Johns comments and had to go back to check. I misunderstood what he was telling me, not myself lately!! Yes, I do see what you mean after having read through it again, this time bothways. I'm changing it as you both suggest. Thanks a million. Val x

Sunken on 15-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
It looks like a rough old hole and no mistake, Ms. Val. The last time I saw a rough old hole like that was when I accidentally walked in on my mates gran... Ahem. Sorry, I forgot where I was for a second there (-;
A tip top poem that, in the end, got some decent comments (apart from this one). Hello? Thank you.

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now available in ribbed

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 17-05-2009
Bluegate Fields 1872
This certainly fills a gap in my knowledge. I had read that Vauxhall Gardens near what is now Embankment Station was a place where naughty things could happen, and that Tyburn where public executions pulled big crowds was near Marble Arch, but Bluegate Fields doesn't ring any bells, or didn't until your excellent poem gave me the lowdown.
Thank you very kindly.
John XX

Author's Reply:


Shimmering Spring (posted on: 08-05-09)
I can't paint with brush and canvas and my photography is awful but I'v tried to capture this beautiful Spring day in my Garden with words.

The garden is alive with Spring, the May already budding. Blood red Rhododendron shocking beneath the soft blue pendants of the Wisteria climbing busily over the garage walls. And there by the Field Ash the cream and mauve of the Lilacs just beginning to bloom. Out by the door a planter filled with the blue of Rosemary and the pink of Thyme unselfishly share their fragrance with the rest of the garden where the golden light of the sun shimmers over all Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Shimmering Spring
Mezzanotte on 08-05-2009
Shimmering Spring
MM, I can see it, I can also see bees, why is that? You didn't write about them?



Author's Reply:
Thanks again Rachel, The bees are always buzzing in my head, whenever I see or smell blooms of any description, perhaps it's the same for you. Love Val x

Sunken on 08-05-2009
Shimmering Spring
Hello Ms. Val. It's me, sunks. If I'd have been writting this I would have had to include my neighbour's bright red bra. It's been hanging on her washing line all week. It's like a red rag to a sunk and no mistake. I am in danger of hitting total zinc depletion at this rate. Ahem. Luckily for uka, I didn't write this - you did. Which is pretty obvious and only further proves how completely crap I am at this whole commenting malarkey. You have indeed managed to capture a beautiful spring day with words, Ms. Val. Well done.

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inventor of ventilation pants


Author's Reply:
LOL Sunk you never fail me, you always make me smile whatever your comment and they are always most welcome, as welcome in fact as the beautiful Springtime. Val x

RachelLW on 09-05-2009
Shimmering Spring
I think you captured it very well. Lovely images. I need to find a nice garden to sit in myself now! Rachel x

Author's Reply:
Hi Rachel, I hope you get your garden. I couldn't imagine life without one, and so essential as one gets older I think. Thanks for stopping by. Val

Elfstone on 10-05-2009
Shimmering Spring
Gardens! don't you just love them! and if you have wisteria growing in your I'm *very* envious; it's just a bit too cold in the winter up here for them to survive.
This is a lovely poem Val and one I can very much relate to. May I make a couple of small suggestions?
- you might want to think about reordering these lines slightly to:

"Out by the door a planter
filled with the blue of Rosemary"

- and might you drop the last line altogether? I don't think it adds anything - the wonderfulness (is there such a word!?) is in the poem itself. Leaving it with "where the golden light of the sun
shimmers over all… " seems to be the right ending.
For your consideration only, Elf.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Elf for your good advice, as you see I've edited it. Thanks for the sweet comments. Val x

RoyBateman on 10-05-2009
Shimmering Spring
That about sums it up, Val - there's nowhere better to be on a sunny morning. Who needs a picture when you can conjure it up as neatly as this?

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, I wouldn't want to be without my garden, Mac has done a good job this year with my supervision naturally! (only Joking) it's looking wonderful. Thanks for the comments Val x

teifii on 11-05-2009
Shimmering Spring
Lovely evocation. Sounds like your garden has a head start on mine -- probably because mine is 750 feet above sea level. But I did notice this morning that my lilac is just thinking of blooming.
Daff

Author's Reply:


Honeymoon Hotel (posted on: 08-05-09)
My winning Wednesday challenge entry

Remember Atlantic View? The wide vistas of rolling surf pounding the beach unmercifully; watching young ones riding the high rolling white topped waves. Aquatic mavericks with enough energy to supply light for the whole of Devon Remember those enormous breakfasts? What a smile they brought to your morning face almost as broad as the one I brought to it! And those cosy candlelit dinners sitting out on a veranda watching the blaze of sunset with an inner glow of good red wine still tantalising the tongue. The elusive fragrance of Hydrangeas, shockingly blue against the sandstone coloured walls of the patio below. The anticipation of sharing another night in our honeymoon suite cocooned and cosy, you were so easy to love. (still are) Do you remember? Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Honeymoon Hotel
Mezzanotte on 08-05-2009
Honeymoon Hotel
loved it then, still love it now.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jackie. Val x

Jolen on 08-05-2009
Honeymoon Hotel
Beautiful, Val. It made me feel so good to read this.


blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Nice of you to say so Jolen I'm pleased you enjoyed it. Val x

macaby on 08-05-2009
Honeymoon Hotel
A reflective and romantic poem, one that I enjoyed reading.
, Aquatic mavericks with
enough energy to supply
light for the whole of Devon
I loved these lines, very original indeed.
mac

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac Happy you enjoyed the poem. Val

Leila on 08-05-2009
Honeymoon Hotel
I like it Val...Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks leila. Val x

RoyBateman on 09-05-2009
Honeymoon Hotel
I bet he does! Who wouldn't? Ah, those breakfasts...sorry, I mean the romance. Of course. You'ver painted a wonderful nostalgic picture, Val, better than a dozen photos. And that last little bit, of course, brings forth a collective "Ahh..." Lovely.

Author's Reply:
Once again Thankyou for the nice comments glad you liked the poem, and those Breakfasts were really something!! (-; Val x

RachelLW on 09-05-2009
Honeymoon Hotel
It's definitely those last few lines that do it for me...and without a trace of cliche which is what puts me off most love poems. Rachel x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Rachel, appreciated. Val x

cat on 10-05-2009
Honeymoon Hotel
I'm sure he does, remember that is.

Hi Val,
A beautiful write, such sentiment. It reminds me of that squishy (technical term for I'm a soft touch) feeling (-:

Love to you, Catherine x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Cat Glad you liked the poem. Love to you too (-; Val x


Time To Act My Age Or Is It? (posted on: 04-05-09)
That's life! Edited thanks to egriff.

Those secret little places I used to guard with pride, those pretty little curves I used to hate to hide. All those hills and hollows that drew admiring stares from all kinds of fellows sizing up my wares. Now that time has caught me I'm not prized anymore the aforementioned features drag along the floor. To all things come endings as expected time must win; my wares have lost their beauty time to rein them in. Time to dress in purple loose and comfy clothes. Surrender to convention before turning up my toes. Or is it just a hiccup a silly mood I'm in? Get yourself a brandy girl you've aged! So what.. Chin chin! Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
artisus on 04-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
Yeah, that's life, and that's a very clever and good poem!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Nic and thanks for making it a hot pick too Much obliged Val x

Sunken on 04-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
A lovely ickul sub and no mistake, Ms. Val. Chin-chin indeed (or should that be double chin 😉
The beagle named Bernard, he say woof!

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunk and I'm honoured I caught the Bernards eye this week. Much prized. Thanks a million. Val x

PS you are right about the double chin too *sighs* everything is going south faster than an express train I can tell you! (-;

e-griff on 04-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
a nice poem, with a chuckle.

now, for me, it went a wee bit adrift in verse 3 ..

Time and age have ravaged, (ravaged what? unusually here you have dropped the object of the verb)
not prized anymore (now you've dropped the subject)
the afore mentioned features (aforementioned is one world)
dragging along the floor. (rhythm's gone)

a suggestion from me (to get you thinking) would be:

Now that time has caught me,
I'm not prized any more
the aforementioned features
hang down to the floor. (or 'drag along the floor')

and in the next verse, changing 'quality' (3-syllables, 2 stressed making a total 4-stress ine)) maybe to 'beauty' (1 stress) would better fit your 3-stress rhythm.

'inevitable' is also a bit out of kilter as the line causes you to say it: 'the inEVitable must WIN' - ie a 2-stress line, and difficult to say at that.

otherwise, brill 🙂 (no, I mean it, I liked it, just part of my brain went techie).

Author's Reply:
Yes I see what you mean Thanks for the suggestions I think it's much better now. Again Thank you. Val

jay12 on 04-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
This is a really funny poem, it made me smile, but that's because I'm 31 with the body of an alcoholic, pizza filled granddad!

Jay.

Author's Reply:
OH! to be 31 again, my God man you don't know what you've got till you lose it (for good) there 's still time for you. Get cracking and get yourself back into shape, you'll have much more fun without the Alcohol and Pizzas I promise (-; thanks for stopping by Jay hope you are well. Val x

macaby on 04-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
A very funny and well rhymed poem. Well, we are all heading there, like you say let's have another brandy . I like your humour it brought a smile to my face. mac

Author's Reply:
I'm glad I made you smile Mac, thanks for the comment. Val

Elfstone on 04-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
Oh I could so *very* much relate to this!!!!! (sigh)

If I can be picky, I think this line: "the expected must win;" is missing a beat. It might be fixed by : As expected Time must win".

(Away to rein my saggy, draggy features in, draped in purple of course!)



Author's Reply:
You can be picky and I will adjust it soonest. Thanks Elf for reading and the help Val x

Munster on 04-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
Agree with all the positives above, a very good poem Val.
You totally deserve the nib + Bernard's top bark.
Tony

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tony, nice of you to comment. Val x

RachelLW on 04-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
Made me laugh too. This bit especially - 'the aforementioned features drag along the floor'. Very nicely written piece that can't fail to make everyone smile. Rachel x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Rachel, I started this piece feeling a bit off but soon felt better and had to laugh at myself. Cheers. Val

Rupe on 05-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
Very good - wryly witty, bittersweet, with some excellent lines & all carried along on a very sprightly rhyme. I don't think there's any real need for purple clothing, is there?

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the compliments Rupe. Why purple you say? well it's a bit of a nod to Jenny Josephs excellent poem, 'Warning' one of my favourite poems. Thanks again. Val

RoyBateman on 05-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
Act your age? Never! Very witty indeed - made me laugh out loud at several points. Don't give in to it, girl - just smash all the mirrors and be grateful for one thing...you ain't gonna get male pattern baldness! (Off to the toop emporium, methinks...) Good one, and obviously much appreciated.

Author's Reply:
I'm so happy I could make the Master of Mirth actually Laugh out loud! By Golly Roy that is one heck of a compliment. Well I'm not dead yet, and I'm clinging on for dear life (-; At least if I have a few tots of brandy I'll just slide away shouting wheyhey!! with a big grin on my face (-; Val x

barenib on 05-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
Val - a great fun poem - I'd love to hear you read it on UKAudio! I think I'll have a brandy too 🙂 John.

Author's Reply:
Thanks John, I may give it a try, though the last time I tried I was having trouble getting it to work. Thanks again. Val

Mezzanotte on 05-05-2009
Time To Act My Age Or Is It?
Oh!

I cooed and ahhed and made lovely comments about this poem, and then I lost it all.

Bother...anyway, the long and short is that it's funny, clever and true. I love all of your poems Val, really do!

Best Wishes
Jackie




Author's Reply:


Do Not Fear (posted on: 01-05-09)
Sestina Challenge. Sorry but this is awful... I think I've lost it... if I ever had it that is!

Do not fear I hear you whisper, take care. You there, yes, you who're showing all your emotions, unknowing there's another way to live with an abundance of love. So much love Above, the sun, moon and stars live giving light to the world showing it will bring freedom, knowing there's really nothing to fear when I hear you say you care. For I care. Aware now, that to feel fear is merely being afraid to live; forgive me for doubting your love, for being all unknowing, nave ignorance showing. Now, showing my face all knowing at last certain of your care and the rare air needed to love you. To prove I feel no fear just the will and joy to live. I will live like a river of peace with care here, there, everywhere with love, savouring life without fear each glorious year showing me growing with the knowing. Unknowing, flowing backward, never showing my feelings of complete love was above all else a silly way to live; unaware of how much you care was selfish too, to bow to fear Now that the fear has gone with the care, I shall learn to live, enjoy all the love You're constantly showing, and me at last, all knowing. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Do Not Fear
delph_ambi on 01-05-2009
Do Not Fear
I started off reading thinking: this'll never work -- too abstract. But I was wrong. I think it works very well. Ultra-romantic, with a mesmeric flow to it.

You've not used iambic pentametre, but that doesn't matter. The short lines at the start of each stanza produce a nice rhythm of their own. I'm assuming you've rotated the end words in the correct order. Looks right to me. All the rhymes add to the musicality.

A very enjoyable sestina.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Delph for the comments, I knew it wouldn't realistically cut the mustard, as you say fiendishly difficult to write. Val

teifii on 01-05-2009
Do Not Fear
I like the unusual format with the short first lines; gives it an interesting rhythm. Like the tercet particularly and the inclusion of rhymes..
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff, enjoyed doing it although it became a pain towards the end. Val

e-griff on 02-05-2009
Do Not Fear
pentameter is usual, but not mandatory, as I understand it.

The words in the tercet are not ordered correctly (see my comments on my own effort).

I thought the line scheme worked well - the whole poem flowed, and I think was the most successful of the four at keeping the word repetition in the background. The rhyming of a couple of the words enhanced it and the internal rhymes worked very well indeed. I'd put one in mine, but took it out cos it stood out. Perhaps I should have put more in?

I know we don't normally rate the workshop challenges, but I'd put yours and delphs joint equal (although I preferred your content) hers 'cleverly correct' and yours 'imaginatively clever' , Daff would be a close third, and I would be a long way back in fourth. BUT watch out! I'LL BE BACK!!!

Author's Reply:
To tell the truth Griff I didn't know that the words had to be in a certain order as long as you began the next stanza with the one you ended the previous one with, not until I read Andrea's comment on the thread in the forum. By then it was too late. Maybe I'll try to re-write it, but I would like to keep the rhyme and the rhythm. Thanks for the nice comments. Val

Sunken on 02-05-2009
Do Not Fear
Dear Ms. Val, What is all this talk of losing it? We'll have no such defeatist talk while I'm around to be sure! I don't know much about this Sestina girl but I do like your sub. Tell me, does she work at Dixons on the camera counter? Nice girl, big hair though. Puts me in mind of a young Cindi Lauper of 'Girls just wanna have fun' fame. I hope this has helped. And now, if you don't mind, my pantameter is reading ten and that means I need to get the washer on. A sunky's work is never done.

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last in mexico

Author's Reply:
Sorry Sunk, no more defeatest talk then. Your comments always help because they always put a smile on my face. Val x

Jolen on 03-05-2009
Do Not Fear
Once again, I'm left mesmerized at all the talent you possess. I enjoyed this.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 03-05-2009
Do Not Fear
Dear Val, I cannot imagine why you thought that your effort was awful. Anything but! Imaginative and clever, that's what I perceive.

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 03-05-2009
Do Not Fear
I dunno - how do you manage to get that flow and feeling into such a complex format? I can easily believe that it got to drive you nuts (I know - once you've started these things, you feel that you MUST finish it, right? A matter of pride!), but the end result was well worth it. I am impressed!

Author's Reply:


Within These Walls (posted on: 27-04-09)
A momentary impression captured during my recent stay in hospital

Hushed coolness belie the reality; with poise and purpose they move about their duties professionally, without panic or protest; no waves dare bestir this ocean of serenity. The amber glow of ever present lights reflect in polished surfaces of pristine floors. The distant tones of phones ringing relentlessly as voices slush gently; sometimes breaking playfully off eau du nil walls. Antiseptic odours pervade the air pleasantly re-assuring. Sighs, some soft slightly anxious, others hard edged, with pain complain, gurgling like an eddy. At the nurses station the doctors come and go like Gulls with the ebb and flow of the tide; diving through stacks of files as if they were juicy tit bits to be devoured instead of case notes to be studied; decisions made. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Within These Walls
Sunken on 27-04-2009
Within These Walls
Hello Ms. Val. I had no idea you'd been in hospital. Hope everything is ok. I'm lucky I guess. I've never had to stay in one. After reading your sub tho, I feel as if I have. Good to know you're still writing as strongly as ever. Good to have you back and no mistake!

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yes sir, i can noodle, but I need a big saucepan

Author's Reply:
Hi Sunky sorry I'm late, but I'm still not up to sitting at my computer for long periods and have to take rests frequently, but I'm getting there. Thanks for your comments Love Val x

admin on 27-04-2009
Within These Walls
Very nice Val - captures the atmosphere perfectly. Nice to see you subbing again 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks it's good to be back although my writing is still a bit sparse at the mo. love Val

RachelLW on 27-04-2009
Within These Walls
Brilliant. This stanza, in particular:

'At the nurses station the doctors
come and go like Gulls with the ebb
and flow of the tide; diving through
stacks of files as if they were juicy
tit bits to be devoured instead of
case notes to be studied; decisions made.'

Fantastic imagery. Good sea / water metaphor throughout. Loved it, though sorry that you were ill! Rachel.


Author's Reply:
Glad you liked the poem Rachel. Getting better by the day. Val

Mezzanotte on 28-04-2009
Within These Walls
I really like the rhyming and the images in this piece. A clever poem, although I hate hospitals, too many awful memories and fears for the future...Yuk, Yuk, Yuk. I hope that you are well again anyway.

Best Wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jackie Glad you liked the poem. Know what you mean about hospitals, I feel the same generally speaking but Lincoln Hospital was really very good and the staff were exceptionally kind, which means a lot when you are feeling so ill. Val

RoyBateman on 28-04-2009
Within These Walls
Firstly, I'm glad that your experience was so positive! This is how it should be, but sometimes isn't...good job it wasn't Stafford, eh? I hope you're back to fighting fitness and soon subbing again, especially if you keep this standard up.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, Sorry I'm late replying and I do have to catch up on reading, I'll get around to it soon I hope still a bit weak and I am finding sitting at the computer quite tiring, getting better by the day though. Is Stafford bad then, a little like Grantham then, but this time I was in Lincoln hospital and they were great. No complaints at all. Thanks for your kind comments Val

macaby on 02-05-2009
Within These Walls
Overall, a very serene poem . Very clever/ carefull selection of words, gave me that impression. I hope you are recovering well. Fine poem. mac

Author's Reply:


Review of Had Van Gogh Had A Day Job by John Webber (posted on: 13-03-09)
A Review of John Webbers new collection by Val McKinley

I knew from the moment I read ''Soul Mate'' the first poem in this collection, that it had succeeded in its goal; it had me hooked and had skilfully pulled me into the depths of a wonderful assortment of literary gems. The first three stanzas of ''Soul Mate could be, every man, then it turns and squeezes the heart right out of the reader with the final two stanzas When I come back home I want an arm around me, embraces brushing terra firma from my shoulders. Please apply, and if we're happy in the morning I promise that we'll take each other's photos and be out of here. So full of wistfulness, pure magic. ''Leaf'' is another work that sticks like super glue to the memory long after reading with some really breathtaking imagery, showing the poets love and appreciation of nature. The finale to the piece, real perfection. The leaf will die the tree continues; I stand and watch in envy somewhere between the two. There are so many wonderful pieces in this collection, ''Ancestry'' was one that particularly caught my eye, I found myself reminded once again of the angst my husband suffers as he attempts to hunt down his roots; I felt a complete empathy with Webber's words here. I found the street they lived in written in census scrawl, then later, The ghosts you know are there will not appear just for the curious and distant sons. Onwards to jewels like ''Sanctuary Dance'' sparkling pleasingly, weaving the magic of Paris, Jazz and the tale of Notre Dame together skilfully into an alluring tale; captivating passages like Early morning he tips his toes back across the squares, Our Lady dreams of him and as she moans the air draws through her shaking spires and rings, so lightly, a solitary bell. can't fail to tempt you further into the book. There are some gorgeously simple observational pieces too: Woman On A Train Knitting, Winter Lane, and End Of The Pier. The tentatively questioning poems such as Pinpoint, First Light. All beautifully evocative. There are the delightfully ever so slightly erotic kind too: End Of A Drought, Familiarity and First Kiss, each stirring the senses as well as the imagination. Yet the thing that strikes most about this book is the journey it takes you on. From Constable's England to France and Van Gogh's Holland but mostly to Russia, with its art, its people and customs. Webber is obviously very familiar with all and it shows especially in such stirring and heart wrenching works as, To The Palace Of Bakhciserai; the tale of the unrequited love of Khan Krim Gerei for his polish captive girl, who could not return his love so took her own life, denying him forever. My own favourite of the Russian themed pieces has to be Tolstoy's Bicycle. It comes to life before your eyes as if you are there watching from a window, smiling at his antics and finally laughing out loud as the snow falls over his lined but good humoured face during the last stanza. I'll write Karenina round Moscow in the summer he tells her; as he goes to fetch his coat snow falls from the tree onto his face- he rubs it in and laughs at nature's joke; he's always known for years how nature always wins, but now he knows his pen would not be falling yet. Instinctively I can guarantee John Webber's pen will not fall for many inspirational yeas to come. This is most definitely a ''must read'' Collection. Published By Indigo Dreams Press John Webber Lives in Ware, Hertfordshire. Is an active and popular member of UKAuthors and has been published widely. His first collection of poems 'Private Histories' was published By UKA Press in 2004. He also has a humorous travelogue 'A Slow Boat To Moscow' his website www.barenibs.com Val McKinley 2009
Archived comments for Review of Had Van Gogh Had A Day Job by John Webber
Sunken on 14-03-2009
Review of Had Van Gogh Had A Day Job by John Webber
Well done Ms. Val. It's nice to see ukaneers supporting fellow ukaneers. I think Mr. Webber gets my vote for best title of the year (so far). 'Had Van Gogh Had A Day Job' - It just rolls off the tongue and no mistake. Nice one Val.

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had sunky le munk had a brain cell...

Author's Reply:


It'll Get Us All In The End (posted on: 09-02-09)
Each line in this poem begins with the appropriate letter of the Alphabet. Xanthic= Yellowish according to the OED.

Arid is my wit in age Barren of bright ideas Carrion Crows pick my brains Dust left behind in layers. Edging closer to the grave Failing sight and hearing Growing frailer by the week Hopelessly careering Into gloom and grumpiness Jousting with memory Kicking cats, cursing pratsOh Lead me to the cemet'ry. Minuscule my mind for patients Non-existent and devoid Of understanding data Preceptors all destroyed; Questions needing answers Reside inside my head, yet Still it would be handy To ask them all instead of Utterly forgetting them, then Vehemently denying Wandering absently around Xanthic faced and crying. Yes it's such a rotten trick ZAP! You're now a geriatric. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for It'll Get Us All In The End
teifii on 09-02-2009
Itll Get Us All In The End
Very very clever, Val. You seem to be on an alphabetic roll.

Just this I noticed may need thinking about
Carrion Crow pick my brains
Dust left behind in tiers.

Crows plural or else 'picks' and I can't imagine dudt being in tiers; it's too soft. I may be being too picky. It's certainly fun although what it describes is anything but.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff for reading and commenting, The first thing was a mistake on my part I missed off the 's' and the second didn't sit too well with me either but the only other word I could think of was layers. Actually I've used that now and it doesn't sound as bad as I first thought it would. Thanks again Val x

macaby on 09-02-2009
Itll Get Us All In The End
good work bradene, an a-z guide of what is in store for a lot of us. well crafted and witty poem.

Author's Reply:

discopants on 09-02-2009
Itll Get Us All In The End
It's not easy to stick to the A-Z pattern, I shouldn't think, but you've pulled tis off nicely. Incidentally, I once knew a girl called Xanthe and she said it meant 'yellow'- never known anyone else with the name or come across the word 'Xanthic' before, though...

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 10-02-2009
Itll Get Us All In The End
Oh bum. I just spent ten minutes trying to figure out what Xanthic means, not realising that Mr. Pants had already explained it. Have you really gone yellow? I shouldn't worry. Yellow is a nice colour. It's very summery and warm. I realise that this might not be helping, Ms. Val of tastic fame. I'll shut up after saying that I think this is very clever and no mistake. This is very clever and no mistake. See.

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i did not have sexual relations with that melon

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 10-02-2009
Itll Get Us All In The End
Well, Val, the good news is that you obviously can't be anywhere near that sad state, or you couldn't have managed this! Very impressive... Well done navigating the X hurdle, too - difficult unless you're talking about xenophobic xylophone players, and there can't be many of those around. Except Patrick Moore, perhaps?

Author's Reply:


Two Offerings (posted on: 30-01-09)
My two contributions to the Prose/poetry Flash challenge this week. the first is a kenning. The second is an acrostic poem but Intricate should show up if read diagonally.

Intricate Kenning Intricate lacing Elaborate tracing Colours blending Beginnings un-ending A string of DNA Shakespearean play Complicated wife Sophisticated life Lives convoluted Opinions disputed Loving intimacy Delicate intricacy ~~~~~~ Intricate Contingencies Intricate contingencies and top secret strategies are always at the ready regarding emergencies. The rallying of forces at just a moments command are quite amazing to appreciate and to understand; we can always rely on an immediate reply Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Two Offerings
SugarMama34 on 30-01-2009
Two Offerings
Hi Val.

I liked both poems very much, but for me the first one is my favourite and it stood out more and stuck in my mind more than the other. I like the first one because of the wording, it just says so much about different things, but it can also be taken on as a story in itself. It also has good rhythem to it too which I enjoyed very much.

The second poem is good too and I thought it was good the way you used this acrostic poem and had the word going through the poem horizontally, a clever touch to it. The subject about the emergency services was very true and in most cases very accurate. Much enjoyed Val.

Sugar. xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Sugar glad you enjoyed them Val x

Sunken on 30-01-2009
Two Offerings
Hello Ms. Val. It's me, sunks. You are far too clever by half and no mistake. To write something that spells out a diagonal word is hard enough, to write something that makes sense and reads so well should be impossible. Your name stands. Well done Ms. Valtastic! Oh, the first one isn't bad either (-;

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shall i compare thee to a chicken tikka?

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunks always a pleasure to read your lovely words Val x

Romany on 30-01-2009
Two Offerings
I like them both but the second reads very easily for me, so that's my favourite.

R.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany Appreciate your reading and commenting. Val

macaby on 31-01-2009
Two Offerings
i liked the shortness and rhyming of the lines in the first poem.in the second poem writing the word diagonaly through the poem, brought my attention to the fact that you must have put a lot of thought into this poem. very detailed indeed for me to do something like that would be far to complicated.i think the result is very good.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement Much obliged Val x

RoyBateman on 01-02-2009
Two Offerings
I reckon you must have sucked the rubber off the end of your pencil working on these...or would have if you'd not been using a keyboard! Very clever, Val, especially the second to have achieved that pattern. Then, both are very good - well done!

Author's Reply:
Oddly enough I found these quite easy this week. Not written much since though, must have overtaxed my brain! Thanks Roy Val x

woodbine on 01-02-2009
Two Offerings
I must confess I've never heard of a kenning. The result looks very polished and complete even if I don't know the constraints involved. It reminds me of the way picture postcards would come assembled on a long card folded like a concertina, a long time ago.

The acrostic is poetry for crossword fans,you've done it very cleverly. I don't think I'll be doing any myself. Feelin' another attack of the old and crusty coming on.
Best wishes,
John

Author's Reply:
Thanks John, I know that feeling well myself of late think it must be the winter weather Roll on Summer I say. Thanks for your kind remarks. Val


And The Cat Came Back (posted on: 23-01-09)
A remembered pet

I remember how black he was; no white blaze, just blackness and amber eyes. Sometimes they flashed fire and he would lash out snarling. Mostly though he was benign; content to idle away his days waiting for night to hunt or go courting. Sometimes he would be gone for days, we didn't worry he always came home; then, he didn't It seemed he would never return, his absence like a cloud closing out the sun. Then, all at once he was home that memory haunts; one empty eye socket, one eye lying dried, shrivelled, sightless against his bony cheek and him lying across the doormat dying, in the blackness. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for And The Cat Came Back
Romany on 23-01-2009
And The Cat Came Back
Oh poor thing! How sad, very touching poem.

Romany.


Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany. Val x

Sunken on 24-01-2009
And The Cat Came Back
As you know, Ms. Val, me and cats don't get on too well. They all hiss at me for some reason. Anyway, I wouldn't wish them any harm. It's hard to write a sad poem about pets as, for me at least, I always end up laughing. Do you think it's a defence mechanism? I must raise it with my shrink. Anyway, yours is one of the very few poems on this subject that hasn't made me laugh.
Val, I believe, if you take a magnifying glass to this comment, you might just find a compliment. It's one of those obscured compliments. I'll slap a Bernard on ya instead hey? I do believe that Bernard is fast becoming the crit equivalent of giving an insulted girl flowers. It is a smashing poem tho. Why didn't I just say that to start with? Ahem.

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Author's Reply:
Oh! A smelly Bernard. Thanks ever so sunks. It made my day. I know you dislike cats but well this one was special and necessary. Living as we did in the country and right by the canal we were always apt to get unwanted furry little varmints skittering about the place and Monty our black cat was ace at catching them. Anyway poor old fella came up against something or someone he couldn't beat. We never did have another cat as good as him. Thanks for commenting Val x

BaBy_PoeT on 24-01-2009
And The Cat Came Back
oh ma god... thats sad. it made me remember of my little black cat... it left my grandads house when we went away on holiday... and he never came back to mine or my grans!! but that was a very very long time ago...actaully 10 years ago!! wow!! thats long!!
take care
xXxB-PxXx

Author's Reply:
Thanks BP, yes it was sad and all these years later it still makes me sad when I think of it. 10 years is a long time ago I agree, it just serves to remind me how old I am. How about 60 years then I was 6 years old when we lost Monty our black cat! Thanks for your comments Val x

macaby on 24-01-2009
And The Cat Came Back
one of these poems after reading all you can do is fall silent. i am sure lots of people ( i have )who have lost a pet can relate to your poem. very sad poem.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Macaby. Val

RoyBateman on 25-01-2009
And The Cat Came Back
That really touched me...I've always been a cat lover, and we lost our black cat, Oliver, last year at the age of 18. It was no use saying that it was the same without a cat in the house, because it wasn't - we'd never been without at least one. After six days, it was off to Cats' Protection...
What a powerful poem, and a very memorable one. And one of the saddest I've ever read.


Author's Reply:
Sorry to hear about Oliver Roy, it is like losing a family member when they die, especially when you've had them for so long. I hope the new one is settling in ok. The thing is with cats, they tend to choose you as opposed to you choosing them. Always remain aloof don't they; probably that's the reason they are not as popular with some people as dogs are. Cats don't seem to need us as dogs do. If anything I think it's us humans who need cats!. Thanks for reading. Val x

royrodel on 25-01-2009
And The Cat Came Back
Made me cry.

RODEL

Author's Reply:
Didn't mean to make you cry Roy )-; Sorry. Thanks for reading and commenting (-; Val

uppercase on 27-01-2009
And The Cat Came Back
OMG what an awful picture and so very sad...good work...erma

Author's Reply:
Hi Erma How are you? Thanks for reading, yes it was a sad piece but I was reminded about him ( his name was Monty) the other day when I read an article in the local news paper. Hope you had a good Christmas and are all set for a happy 2009 Love Val x


Walking In The Air (posted on: 19-01-09)
A Winter Poem

Grey skies look vast and heavy with catastrophe I cower imagining it will fall to compress me beneath its weighty misfortune It's winter, the air hangs harsh with frosty shards slicing lungs with cruel cuts. Breaths bite, cheeks sting, freeze dried lips twist into a grimace. Home looms in front of rheumy eyes the door opens like arms to welcome me back to where warmth and love lies. Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Walking In The Air
Sunken on 19-01-2009
Walking In The Air
Hello Ms. Val. It's me, sunks. I now have that bloody Aled Jones song in my head. I'll be frank (mmm Betty) I don't think Aled's been the same since his balls dropped. I heard that he once tried to hoist his sack back up with sellotape in a vain attempt to regain the angelic voice that once made him a fortune. It's sad when your career is cut short because of a developing scrotum... Ahem. I'm so sorry Val. I meant to come on here and say something really nice about your wonderful poem, for wonderful it is. My fave line is the one that refers to a weighty misfortune. You're a fine poet and deserve better than this. I blame Pot Noodle. Who knows what goes into them. Thank you.

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sponsored by a piece of string dangling from a tampon

Author's Reply:
You're right about Aled he's never been the same since the incident to which you refer occurred (-; He still has a nice smile and cheeky chops though doesn't he? As to my poem I thought it would sound better than saying it's enough to freeze the brass balls off the munky! (-; Thanks sunk for your lovely and most welcome comment. I must say they are rare things these days, do you suppose if I collected enough of them they may be worth something one day. You never know you may see one of my Grandchildren on the Antiques roadshow trying to flog 'em after I'm brown bread! said she sardonically. Lol... Love, Val xx

jay12 on 19-01-2009
Walking In The Air
Don't ya love the feeling of getting home when the weather is cold like the moment. Caught my mood here, and many other peoples no doubt.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Jay, much appreciated. Val x

RoyBateman on 20-01-2009
Walking In The Air
You spoke for everybody here, Val - brr, I could do with a bit of warmth! It's just gone on too long, this cold snap, hasn't it? Wer'e no longer psyched up for a proper winter, like when we were kids and we all had to freeze outside and lump it! Some lovely images here, but you've made me shiver just reading it! Excellent poem.

Author's Reply:
I hate the Winter always have I think I suffer from that peculiar thingy, you know, SAD! I need to feel the sun on my face. As to shivering I can't stop and the central heating is banging away, apart from that I'm quite cheap to keep really (-; Thanks Roy glad you enjoyed the poem Val x

macaby on 20-01-2009
Walking In The Air
i liked this poem, very visual especially the use of alliteration/consonance in the 2nd stanza.hh ss cc bb sc, they give the poem a very shivering affect( in my opinion).nice work.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Glad you enjoyed this . Val

Leila on 25-01-2009
Walking In The Air
Hi Val there is nothing like opening that front door on a winter evening...you captured it well...L

Author's Reply:
Thanks Leila I'm so glad you liked this one. Nice to hear from you again happy 2009 Val x


Why Am I Still here? (posted on: 16-01-09)
Based on an incident I inadvertantly witnessed not so long ago, it was very sad.

Standing in front of the kitchen window nothing particular going on in her head she was almost dead from the neck up. The washing machine bleeped plaintively startling her out of her stupor she felt her anger rise and she kicked the blessed thing shouting "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Then she felt ashamed and mumbled "I hear you, I know you're done" She thumped the off button hurting the heel of her hand ''That'll teach you to use profanities you silly woman, talking to a washing machine you want locking up, you do'' She shuffled off into the conservatory without emptying the machine; having already forgotten it. Looking out at the bedraggled garden all she saw was the ghost of him moving about, chopping down the overgrown foliage; ''NOT MAKING MUCH HEADWAY ARE YOU YOU STUPID OLD BASTARD!!'' Her Voice, loud, shrill and angry made her jump; again the profanity seemed to pull her back from wherever it was she had slipped to. She looked back at the garden and remembered he was gone, there was no one to cut back the tangled mess She sank down onto the chair and the tears rolled unchecked down the paper thin wrinkled skin of her cheeks '' What am I still doing here? Why didn't he take me with him?'' She began to sob and then she got angry again; "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO YOU NASTY OLD BUGGER YOU'RE ASHAMED OF ME, YOU MISERABLE FART. COME HOME" "Please come home to get me," "PLEEEEEASE" Copyright VMM2009
Archived comments for Why Am I Still here?
Sunken on 16-01-2009
Why Am I Still here?
This is indeed very sad, Ms. Val. May I recommend Hotpoint? They don't bleep. Sorry. That was very facetious of me. It's a defence mechanism that I use when things are getting emotional. If it's any help, it means that you hit the spot (-:
Nice one, Ms. Val.

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batman 3 - superman 3

Author's Reply:
I'm glad this hit the spot for you sunk, when I witnessed the original it made me go away and cry. This isn't exactly verbatim just my interpretation of the event. Val x

ruadh on 16-01-2009
Why Am I Still here?
Very poignant Val. I'm sure many will have been here at some time.

love ailsa

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Ailsa. Val x

RoyBateman on 18-01-2009
Why Am I Still here?
Very powerful indeed..."sad" hardly does the situation justice. Grief can be an incredibly overwhelming emotion, and it comes out in different ways. Talking to machines, or to oneself, seems to be one way of trying to make sense of a situation that defies rational explanation. A dreadfully sad cameo, Val - one that'll linger in the memory, I suspect.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, not really my style using the profanities but I felt justified this time. Thanks for the comments. Val x

royrodel on 18-01-2009
Why Am I Still here?
I just luv this
written how it happened.
It's so vibrant and refreshing in the way it has been written.

RODEL

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Roy. Val

jay12 on 19-01-2009
Why Am I Still here?
This is almost prose I felt, not poetry at all. Although despite that the message is clear and the feelings portrayed in a lovely way. Grief is an awful feeling, but that goes without saying.

Author's Reply:
Yes I usually call this stuff proetry these days it's a good description I think, glad you liked it enought to comment Thanks Jay Val x


Gnome From Home (posted on: 12-01-09)
Well, I did warn you there may be more to come!

~~~ ''Hello,'' said a little voice quite unexpectedly, then before I had a choice he made a grab at me. ~~ He wound his diddy arms tightly below my shins, he possessed all the charms of old banana skins. ~~ He had a sickly little grin a long bulbous nose, a scruffy bearded chin that reached right to his toes. ~~ Big pointy ears all tufted at the ends, an aroma that I fear could easily offend. ~~ ''Please.. Let me stay'' he cried. ''I'm just a little gnome! I've nowhere else to bide I've been banished from home'' ~~ ''That horrid lady down the street caught me fishing in her pond, I made an apology so sweet but she refused to respond'' ~~ ''I got fed up eating goosegogs see! they're always sour and sharp So I had this rather silly spree and ate her golden carp'' ~~ ''Do you think you could love me? Please let me stay I promise I won't eat fish for tea or scare your kids away'' ~~ He looked so sad and cheerless He melted my poor heart ''on one condition then, I guess, you take a bath to start'' ~~ He skipped around the yard with glee ''You bet! I'll get squeaky clean I promise that your garden, will be The best one there's ever been'' ~~ So that's why my garden stays Looking good all year around Because it really pays to home the cutest gnome in town! Copyright VMM 1994
Archived comments for Gnome From Home
teifii on 12-01-2009
Gnome From Home
Wonderful. You obviously have a talent in that direction. I think poems for children are so important, or how are the next generation of poets going to get into it.
For the record I still remember what I think was the first verse I learnt.
Who's that ringing my front door bell?
I'm a little black cat and I'm not very well.
Well, rub your little nose with a bit of bacon fat.
That's the best cure for a little pussy cat.

Sorry. Got diverted.
Daff
Come and see me at my book shop http://www.merilang.co.uk/shop.htm

Author's Reply:
Lol I don't think I know that one Daff, sounds like fun. I love writing for kids must do more sometime Val x

RoyBateman on 13-01-2009
Gnome From Home
Ah, so that's where all the gnomes go, is it? I don't trust 'em, you know...they look a bit sinister and you don't know WHAT they're doing under those grubby little coats. That fishing lark's just a blind, I reckon. Then agin, if you've got one that does the garden, it can't be bad. He can come and mow my lawns anytime.
Another great poem for kids - I agree, they're so important and they do stay with you all your life. I can still remember the young man of Kent and the young lady from Ealing...ah, happy days.
Sorry - I do appreciate this really! I've even got a few hanging round myself, might drag 'em out sometime. Keep up the good work!

Author's Reply:
I hate the blooming things in gardens, but this is only a pretend one so it doesn't count (-; I've a few more yet but as I said I seem to have mislaid quite a lot. Val x

PS meant to say it would be nice to read some of yours sometime soon Val x

Sunken on 14-01-2009
Gnome From Home
Hello Ms. Val. It's me, sunks. This appealed to the kid in me and no mistake. You wouldn't like the kid in me. He's a right little shit. Last week he stuffed a banana up a neighbour's exhaust pipe. I don't know what makes him do these things. A tip top piece. You have a talent for kiddies stuff.

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his left foot relies heavily on google


Author's Reply:
I'm glad it appealed to you sunks, and I'm sure the kid in you can't possibly be as bad as some of the s*** g******* little G*** I come across these days! lovely little angels that they are (-; Val x

jay12 on 19-01-2009
Gnome From Home
Great stuff! Very vivid images in my head from this one. Sounds like a poem that kids would love to read!

Author's Reply:


My Weird Dream (posted on: 08-12-08)
They say Dream of the dead, trouble with the living, only this time it didn't seem so.

Last night I dreamed I held a new life in my arms whilst giving CPR to my long dead brother. When the babe started to cry I rocked the child gently; my brother opened his smiling eyes. sat up with a radiant face and for the first time in years I felt happy and at peace. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for My Weird Dream
e-griff on 08-12-2008
My Weird Dream
I liked the unexpected rhyme face/peace, rounded it off well.

I thought mostly this worked well. I noticed the close repetition of 'babe' - it might be better to get rid of the second one.

The only biggie for me was the CPR bit - I feel it's too crude and blunt for the rest of the language. A more 'poetic' description such as 'trying to revive', or a variant, would fit better I think.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and the advice, I didn't like the repeat of babe myself it was only this morning that I realised child was the obvious word to use. I'll have to think about CPR. But that is what I was doing in the dream so that was how I wrote it. Thanks, Off to Lincoln now to get my results.. if that's not to un-PC to mention! (-; Val

RoyBateman on 08-12-2008
My Weird Dream
Weird, as dreams usually are, but obviously beneficial. It's possibly a good thing that we can't or don't remember too much of what's swilling around our brains when we surrender control. Those things you recall sometimes, ooh...strange. I'm no psychologist, but I'd have thought that your subconscious was trying to tell you something positive here. That was the result, anyway, and maybe you'll sleep easier now. Despite its brevity, there was plenty to think about in this one, Val. A little gem.

Author's Reply:
Yes, I think you are probably right Roy, I know I woke up feeling good anyway. It's a long time since that has happened, this year at least. Thanks for the positive response, I'm obliged. Val x

ruadh on 08-12-2008
My Weird Dream
Nicely done Val. I get positive vibes off this.

love ailsa

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 09-12-2008
My Weird Dream
Hello Ms. Val. The outcome of your dream, as other ukaneers have said, would seem to have a positive air about it. Long may such dreams continue. Has ya Flake melted yet by the way? 😉

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his front door is made of lego

Author's Reply:

Munster on 15-12-2008
My Weird Dream
Hi Val, its so nice to have positive feelings after a dream, it makes our day so much more positive.
Hope you are okay
Tony

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 19-12-2008
My Weird Dream
Nice poem Val it's good to read your work again..love erma

Author's Reply:
Hey Erma how wonderful, I was just thinking about you this afternoon, wondering how you were what you were up to these days. I really miss you, miss reading about Will and his adventures. I hope you are back to stay. Glad you enjoyed my little poem. Haven't been doing much recently, but if I thought you were back to stay I'm sure it would inspire me to make a greater effort. Hope you have a great Christmas and a fantastic 2009 Love and hugs Val xx


A touch of Class (posted on: 05-12-08)
Well... whatever would we do if we couldn't laugh at life's absurdities for God sake! Life can be a load of BS at the best of times.

A touch of class is what one needs I am reliably instructed, not quite so much clarity you must remember singularity. Your work must be constructed with refinement so take heed. Lay your thoughts in stylish order give them all special status, group all words into divisions saving tiresome revisions. Remember others love to rate us don't you dare cause such disorder! Do write everything with elegance with perfection and with taste, write with a flourish and some flair keep the whole wonderful affair to a rather measured pace; but pur..leese do keep the relevance! Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for A touch of Class
Sunken on 06-12-2008
A touch of Class
Hello Ms. Val. I is feeling this one and no mistake. You write how you like, that's my advice. You're doing fine from what I've read. Having said that tho, I is only a sunk. Nice one Valtastic.

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he can't be arsed playing games

Author's Reply:
You know Sunky I can't be arsed with games either, that's why I wrote this little piece (-; Thanks for stopping by Val x

RoyBateman on 06-12-2008
A touch of Class
Well, Val, I think life imitates art here...or possibly the other way round, as this certainly has class and wit! Very clever stuff - (always good to see) - AND it brought a smile to the fizzog too. This must have taken some time to perfect, eh? I know such a complex rhyming pattern isn't easy to achieve at all, never mind one that manages to make such a witty point.

Author's Reply:
Lol Thanks for the compliment Roy. I 'm really happy it made you smile. I have to admit it wasn't all that difficult to write, the words seemed to flow well enough and brought back my good humour too. Val x

Jolen on 06-12-2008
A touch of Class
Thanks for the giggle this morning, Val, but if I followed the 'Do write everything with elegance
with perfection and with taste, " suggestion, I'd never write again! lol.

Very witty, well rhymed and paced, a much enjoyed read this morning.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen for your gracious remarks. I'm pleased they made you giggle. Val x

Sunken on 07-12-2008
A touch of Class
Ms. Val, it's me - sunk. I forgot to rate you.

Ahem,

Rating: A Cadbury’s flake in the orifice of your choice (-;

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...did i go too far?

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, There is only one place to stick a flake (-; Val x

Corin on 07-12-2008
A touch of Class
Here is a little touch of something classy
Dancing on iambic feet - that's sassy'
You might prefer a waltz
In trimeter of course.
Or Rock and Roll quadrameter
With twelve bar blues should help you sheet her!
But my advice is not to think like magazines
And try to score with classless French Alexandrines!

David


Author's Reply:
I'm sure you're class all the way David, me I don't even try, I'm happy writing doggeral. Val


ITMA. For Romany's Happy Wartime poem Challenge (posted on: 24-11-08)
All these wonderful people helped to keep up the morale of the nation during the dark days of the war, apart from the ones mentioned in this piece of doggerel were Hattie Jacques, Derek Guyler, Horace Percival and many more. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.

Dark days and darker nights The world at war and low Yet happiness could still be found Listening to the radio We don't know where he's been We don't care what he's done Were the words we loved to hear Tommy Handley was the one Along with all his cronies Like the sunshine after rain ''Can I do you now sir'' Look out! it's that man again! Minister of Aggro' and twerps Chasing German spies Took our minds away from The terror that reigned the skies Sometimes they were inhabitants Of Foaming At The Mouth A little seaside town Situated in the south All the old time comedians Arthur Askey, Jack Train Dick Murdock, Sam Costa Molly Weir all shout, look out! It's that man again Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for ITMA. For Romany's Happy Wartime poem Challenge
RoyBateman on 24-11-2008
ITMA. For Romanys Happy Wartime poem Challenge
Wonderful - what an original idea! Though most of us won't be old enough to remember the show, it was of course enshrined in the post-war memory. My parents, naturally, kept repeating the catch-phrases and so they were passed on. Most of the "inhabitants" went on to other and greater things, too, didn't they? It's good to see something as different as this, and it gave me a good chuckle!
ps Apropos of nothing, I was delighted to see that you didn't fall into the trap that so many "professional" writers fall into...having people listening to the Light Programme. There was no LP until 1945, believe it or not! Through the war, there was only the unified Home Service (replacing all the pre-war local stations) and the Forces Network. Very few people know that...sorry, I'm being pedantic again!

Author's Reply:

discopants on 24-11-2008
ITMA. For Romanys Happy Wartime poem Challenge
Nice nostalgic poem nand a nod to those who kept the spirits of the nation lifted. Dame Vera Lynn lives a couple of miles down the road in a quiet Sussex village- she still makes the odd appearance at charity or memorial events down this way. Just looked her details up- I see she's 91 now but still going strong...

dp

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 24-11-2008
ITMA. For Romanys Happy Wartime poem Challenge
Even I, Val, am not old enough to remember these entertainers who kept people's spirits up during the war but their names and catchphrases have been repeated often enough that I feel as I know them.
You have used a bit of lateral thinking here: it is not so much the war that was happy as the atmosphere that was generated by those thespians. Good effort though.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 24-11-2008
ITMA. For Romanys Happy Wartime poem Challenge
Apparently, Ms. Val, it was easier to get laid during the war years because no one was sure if it was going to be their last shag. I reckon that song, 'War! What is it good for?' finally has an answer then? (-;
Please excuse my flippancy. I blame polo mints.

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brideshead revisited 1 - murder what she wrote 3

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 24-11-2008
ITMA. For Romanys Happy Wartime poem Challenge
Very entertaining! A good slant on a 'happy war' - I think yours and Luigi's have been quite creative in that respect.

Of course, I'M too young to remember all that, I start with 'Take it from Here' in the early fifties 🙂 (with Joy Nichols, of course)

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 24-11-2008
ITMA. For Romanys Happy Wartime poem Challenge
Blimey, my godparents in Worcestershire used to play records of ITMA (It's That Man Again) when I used to go and visit - I loved it!

Ahhh..memories, thanks Val.



Author's Reply:

teifii on 25-11-2008
ITMA. For Romanys Happy Wartime poem Challenge
I am actually old enough to remember ITMA etc and yes they did indeed cheer everyone up. This poem made me quite nostalgic for the entertainment if not for the background to it, which I can certainly do withoit.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Romany on 25-11-2008
ITMA. For Romanys Happy Wartime poem Challenge
I love "Foaming at the Mouth!" Great approach to the challenge,

Romany.

Author's Reply:


Should'veBut She Didn't! (posted on: 14-11-08)
Even so she loved him to bits.

Single minded was what she was, her voice strident all because Uncle George was hard of hearing, didn't make him that endearing to poor frustrated aunty Jess when she needed help I guess. He used to turn his deaf aid down pretending not to hear a sound. When she'd witter when she'd nag; you'd see her shoulders start to sag as she realised her plight; it wasn't any use to fight. Might just as well never married, singular would mean un-harried. Should've listened to her mother should've wed his older brother! Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Should'veBut She Didn't!
RoyBateman on 14-11-2008
Should’ve…But She Didn’t!
Hilarious - where can I get one of these old git de-luxe privacy providers? Eh? Whaddya say? There, I'm practising already. I could just see this scene! And mothers ALWAYS know better, don't they? Funny how they got stuck with a daft old goat, too. A real slice of family life - something you're extremely good at!
ps She should've threatened to syringe his ears with a rusty bike pump...bet he'd have heard that!

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 16-11-2008
Should’ve…But She Didn’t!
Almost makes me wish I had a hearing problem, Ms. Val. I guess deafness does have its advantages? My mate's aunt's hearing aid could pick up radio four. To get a good reception, however, we'd have to hang her from a light fitting. Ahem. A very enjoyable read, Ms. Val. Thank you. Good day.

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he likes to hang old women from light fittings


Author's Reply:

teifii on 20-11-2008
Should’ve…But She Didn’t!
I like this one. Was looking for the poertry challenge entries but found this by searching for you. It was worth it.
Daff

Author's Reply:

JeffDray on 23-11-2008
Should’ve…But She Didn’t!
What's that she said? Greetings, lovely Val

Author's Reply:


Oh Do Shut Up (posted on: 07-11-08)
I hate the bloody winter! Edited 13/10/08

Winter's here, I hate this weather, Let's feel blue and down together. Know I shouldn't think this way Just wish summertime could stay. Where's the sun, I miss its warming My old bones, arthritis forming In my feet and in my back. Hope the flu will not attack Just one more old woman moaning, Please old sport, don't you start groaning! Shouldn't waste time heeding me, Boil the kettle, brew some tea. Poor chap your teeth are chattering, Shut me up and stop me nattering. Just forget how bad I feel Cook for us a special meal. Something nice, yes, something nourishing, Keep us both so bloody flourishing. Keep us cosy, keep us warm Keep us from the winter storm Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Oh Do Shut Up
Rupe on 07-11-2008
Oh Do Shut Up
I'm one of those perverse people who actually prefers winter to summer (which probably explains why I now live in Finland!), but you make a good and amusing case for winter-hating. Plenty of tea and good nourishing stews are the way forward i reckon.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Thanks Rupe tried to write in Trochees instead of iambs, not too sure if I pulled it off, but I'm sure someone will tell me. Thanks for reading Val

Munster on 07-11-2008
Oh Do Shut Up
Hi Val, its just a great way to express our views, I have come to enjoy the four seasons, has to be at this point in life.

Tony

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 08-11-2008
Oh Do Shut Up
I heartily agree, Val! Great little rhythmic rant against old man winter! Much enjoyed the reading. I'm curious, what do you think about perhaps using 'how' in the fourth line?
Maybe something like "Wish Summer could stay some how"? Just a suggestion, I liked the poem very much. I hope you're keeping warm.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 08-11-2008
Oh Do Shut Up
Hello Ms. Val. I'm sorry, but I also kinda like this time of year. I'm not much for the cold, but I do like the dark mornings and evenings. I dunno why. My teachers used (should that be use?) to say I was morbid. Apparently I presented one of them with a dead bird once. I don't remember that though. I think it's a lie. I hope it's a good winter for you. What kinda teacher labels a child as 'morbid' anyway? Toss pots.

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he's not morbid, it's just how he's digging

Author's Reply:


Such Futility (posted on: 23-10-08)
My sub for the Wednesday Prose/poetry Challenge. Word was Windmills

Such Futility Like Don Quixote I was tilting at windmills. The futility of hoping you could kick your habit just too much. The cogs in your head turned the stone of carelessness and ground on and on grinding all my faith to dust. In your cups your arms flailed Like the sails of windmills My pleas lost on the air they created. Now I cannot look at a windmill without regretting all that energy wasted. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Such Futility
jay12 on 23-10-2008
Such Futility
Nice poem. Have the publishing days changed.

Author's Reply:
I'm not altogether sure what is going on but I don't think the publishing day has changed. Thanks for the comment Jay Love Val x

bluepootle on 23-10-2008
Such Futility
I love the use of 'created' here. It's spot-on now. I really like it.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Blue, What's this early subbing? Are all the widgets playing up again? (-; Val x

TexasLady on 23-10-2008
Such Futility
I loved the opening verses of this poem...and unfortunately, I felt the ending....well written! Linda

Author's Reply:
Thanks Linda that's sweet of you and congrats on winning the Challenge. I haven't yet had a chance to go and do my commenting this week but I'll try and get round to it tomorrow. Love the new word by the way and am already considering a theme. Val x

RoyBateman on 24-10-2008
Such Futility
A good original take on the subject - the ending, I think, is particularly apt and sad. Not an easy subject to tackle, I reckon, but you've obviously put some thought into it and come up with an unusual angle - well done indeed.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, yes I did put a lot of thought into it, I tried not to make it too ambiguous, but I didn't want to make it soft either. A happy medium is what I'd hoped to achieve. Thanks again Val x

Sunken on 24-10-2008
Such Futility
There's a pub close to me called 'The Windmill'. They do two meals for the price of one. They won't do one meal for the price of half tho, Val? I find that a bit singularist. I gave my last second meal to a bloke who said he'd lost an arm in the war. Thing was, there was fuck all up with his arm! Some strange people around here and no mistake. Nice poem. Ahem.

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he lost his fingers in the gulf - oh no he didn't

Author's Reply:
Thanks for leaving your lovely comments as usual Sunky you cheer me up no end. Love Val s xx

artisus on 25-10-2008
Such Futility
This is a great read. I wanted to pm you as soon as I read it.. Loved it.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Nic I'm really delighted that you liked it. Thank you also for making it a favourite. You have made my day Love Val x

Romany on 27-10-2008
Such Futility
Clever ending, the reference to the energy wasted.

Romany.

Author's Reply:


Bugger Bognor To use a famous Quote (posted on: 19-10-08)
A little piece of flash humour

The absurdity of the situation hit me at once. He was good at engineering these ridiculous circumstances, then looking innocent, saying ''what a coincidence it all is, must be fate!'' Fate my arse. He'd known exactly what would happen because he'd planned it all down to the tiniest detail. Unfortunately for me, I was the only person who truly knew him, the others just smiled and looked amazed muttering ''Well would you believe it'' There we all were at the charity ball given by my philanthropic Son in aid of 'The Poor Children Of Single Parent Families' where on the stage with the little orchestral ensemble, looking rather bemused stood the minor celebrity he had hired to draw the winning raffle ticket. The poor fellow not quite sure why everyone was so embarrassed, laughed nervously, repeated the number, turning the ticket around then re-reading the name on the back saying ''Come on Mr Reginald Higgins step forward don't be shy, I'm sure your dear lady wife would love a second honeymoon at Bognor Regis'' A little sarcastically I thought. What the chap didn't know was that Mrs Reginald Higgins had been Ex Mrs Reginald Higgins for the past two years, and that Mr Reginald Higgins had just been chucked out of his love nest by his 30 years younger than himself Ex-Mistress. The irony was that Anthony our son, wasn't rich and successful for nothing, no indeed, he was a clever chap, he knew for instance that a young blonde mistress wasn't going to be dazzled by thoughts of a week in Bognor Regis and come dashing back to make things up with his Dad, but, his poor old Mum just might be lonely and desperate enough to take the silly old goat up on his offer. Oh such absurdity! _________________ Copyright VMM200
Archived comments for Bugger Bognor To use a famous Quote
Sunken on 22-10-2008
Bugger Bognor To use a famous Quote
Ahhh. I get it now. Sorry Val. I read this in the wee hours of this morning and couldn't get my head around it. It's hard to read and wee at the same time. I blame wi-fi. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Anyway, an amusing yet sad piece. You might be relieved to hear, incidentally, that I was not passing water whilst typing this comment. Ahem. Thank you.

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hula hoop 2 - loop de loop 4

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky looks like you are the only one who does get it. Ah well back to the drawing board! (-; Val x






littleditty on 22-10-2008
Bugger Bognor To use a famous Quote
Ah! Ahhhhh!! That's kinda sweet, it did take a few reads Val, but i haven't been getting my vitamins - if this is being narrated by the mum, i'd cut 'desperate' to make it a bit more poignant...silly old goat...lucky old sheepish goat if she goes for it - unless she has other halloweener plans for him while they are there? *cackles like The Count from Sesame Street* 😀 xx

Author's Reply:
thanks LD just a piece of fun for a challlenge. Val x

Ionicus on 23-10-2008
Bugger Bognor To use a famous Quote
As the old joke says: First prize - one week in Bognor Regis; Second Prize - TWO weeks in Bognor Regis.
Amusing little piece.

Author's Reply:
Third prize you have to take the wife!! Yeah.. Thanks Luigi Val x (-;


When The Music Stops (posted on: 17-10-08)
Just a poem

A head that's empty out of touch a heart that's cold not feeling much. Eyes that see yet register naught a mind in turmoil forgotten thought. A hope of light the smallest glimmer Is quickly doused hope gets slimmer. Random phrases still survive of childish songs eyes come alive. Just for a space the shortest while brings back a tune to create a smile. Then lights diminish eyes go opaque the beat has stopped and heart strings break. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for When The Music Stops
red-dragon on 17-10-2008
When The Music Stops
A very touching poem, Val, that just reflects the emptiness of a person devasted by Alzheimers. Your last 4 lines sum it up well. Ann x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann, Yes well I did have someone in mind as I wrote it and she did indeed die from that dreadful condition. I can think of nothing worse than ending your days with such emptiness inside. Val x

Sunken on 19-10-2008
When The Music Stops
Long may you continue to make music with your words, Ms. Val. I think that made sense...

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please sir, can i have a custard cream?

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 20-10-2008
When The Music Stops
I found this to be very sad indeed. A lovely written poem, but sad sentiments .

Jay.

Author's Reply:


What?... Who?... where?... (posted on: 17-10-08)
Something my husband is aways complaining about... Look closely to find out what makes him so angry!!

In time our bodies start to age, there is No purpose to rant or rage, oh! really Venting our spleens at all three fates seems just Irrational to get irate. So with Snowy white or greying hair we become Invisible, do be aware the young Behaving like we don't exist, will I fear Leave us feeling pissed old friend The End Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for What?... Who?... where?...
Ginger on 17-10-2008
What?... Who?... where?...
Nicely done. The young seem to have no respect these days, do they? I have raised my children to be polite, and when my thirteen-year-old daughter went to Cadbury's World on a school trip, she chatted to, and showed respect to one of the chocolateers. He in turn gave her some molten choccie as a thank you.

Lisa

Author's Reply:

Ginger on 17-10-2008
What?... Who?... where?...
Nicely done. The young seem to have no respect these days, do they? I have raised my children to be polite, and when my thirteen-year-old daughter went to Cadbury's World on a school trip, she chatted to, and showed respect to one of the chocolateers. He in turn gave her some molten choccie as a thank you.

Lisa

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 17-10-2008
What?... Who?... where?...
The end, the end, my beautiful friend, the end. Some bloke from a group called 'The Doors' wrote that (I think). Amazing innit. Die young and everyone remembers ya. Fade to grey and no one really cares. I blame James Dean. Did you know, and this is a true fact, Ms. Val of the tastic persuasion, Jimmy Dean actually went to his grave looking like an old man? It's true. He'd been filming Giant and, as part of the final scenes (where he's an old man) he'd had his hair dyed grey and his hairline shaved back. He was then killed in a car crash. I blame Porshe. I doubt that this helps, but I thought I'd tell you anyway. You might be able to use it at a dinner party... I wonder why no one invites me to dinner parties anymore? I'll remember you when you're dead Val. I hope that helps. Ahem.

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saying the right thing would just scare people

Author's Reply:

Munster on 18-10-2008
What?... Who?... where?...
Nice poem, society chooses to ignore those who can't for various reasons keep up.
Social networking seems to have disappeared along with manners & the will to share all.

Tony

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 19-10-2008
What?... Who?... where?...
Oh, very neatly done! I agree with you, but I'm determined to remain visible! Yeah, these kids cross me at their peril. The case comes up next week...

Author's Reply:


Two poems about the lottery OH Bugger! (posted on: 13-10-08)
My Challenge entries, The Subject, The Lottery written in the comedic style of Pam Ayres I had meant to post them seperately but I forgot to change the status of the first one, so it got trapped in store!

The Lottery The lottery rolled over this weekend So I thought I'd buy a ticket The girl at the counter was grumpy I almost told her where she could stick it I can't abide a miserable face Especially when being served A little smile don't cost much And I always think it's deserved She'll soon change her face if I win it Cos' she gets a percentage you see if she can't bloody lighten up soon She'll get no more custom from me I'll take it off down to the co-op They're a jolly crowd down there And when you buy a ticket They smile and say Good luck! Like they care I bought one once from ASDA From a sour puss of an old Sow I know that's an oxymoron, don't tell me I've even stopped going there now. And then last night it hit me I could do the lottery on line And the only face I would have to see Is when I look in the mirror at mine! Copyright VMM2008 Oh Bugger ''Our numbers come up!'' You screamed at me, your eager face a treat to see. We giggled and danced, dreams come true a wonderful thought our joy enhanced for just a pound a ticket you'd bought Then after a bit of badinage Your eyes grew round, ever so large Your face went pale, you whispered ''sod it'' You fumbled around saying '' I musta' forgot it'' ''I went to buy it honest I did but I got waylaid by Jack n Sid Jack said ''I'm buying'' so we went to the pub we downed a few pints, so, there's the rub'' ''I had my lunch then went for a nap.'' ''OH! Strewth! What a bloody great sap. buying the ticket just slipped my mind 'aving a drink! Well you can stick it, Cos all I feel now is a ruddy huge dope I think I'll hang myself.. ''Pass me the rope!''
Archived comments for Two poems about the lottery OH Bugger!
e-griff on 13-10-2008
Two poems about the lottery OH Bugger!
On balance, I liked the first one best. 🙂

yes, I play on line as well ...

Author's Reply:
Thanks Grigff for reading and your comments. I liked the first best, but with the second has to be read in a certain way. I tried to record it but I can't get my bloody gizmo to work lately. (-; Must be me being thick. Val x

Ionicus on 13-10-2008
Two poems about the lottery OH Bugger!
Excellent, Val. I too liked the first one best but both were very good. You are right when you say they have to be read in a certain way. Perhaps if Pam Ayres was reading it, it would sound just right. I have tried, unsucessfully, to record some of my poems but I don't like what I hear so I have given up the attempt.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 14-10-2008
Two poems about the lottery OH Bugger!
Excellent. I liked them both. I've recently had a run of good luck on the lotto and Euro millions but in the last couple of draws nowt! After a running, winning streak worth about £220 in 8 days I got fairy tale eyes and expected millions. It aint going to happen of course.

Nice poems though.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 14-10-2008
Two poems about the lottery OH Bugger!
Most droll - I really could hear that distinctive voice reading these, especially the first, so you must have succeeded in catching the style perfectly! Come to think of it, there's a very long tradition of this sort of comic poetry...think of Marriot Edgar (The Lion and Albert etc.)
ps I may be the only person in the country who's literally never bought a National Lottery ticket of any kind. The Boss bought one on the very first day it started and won a tenner, and hasn't bought one since. Is this a record??

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 15-10-2008
Two poems about the lottery OH Bugger!
Lol. I'd love to hear Luigi doing a Pam Ayres. Some poetry snobs like to slag off our Pam, but I think she's smashing. You seem to have got into her head for these, Ms. Val. I hope you managed to get out okay? A happy smiley read for these dismal times. Nice one (or should that be two)?

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his dreams are not ready for the digital switchover

Author's Reply:


Last Wish (posted on: 03-10-08)
Death of a Man. RIP

Out loud, he said I want to die at home in my own bed with those I love around. Shocked, she looked back at him with silent groan and raw determination there she found. Steadfastly in his paling eyes she saw a warning not to bicker at his choice, knowing well enough not to argue more, nodding chose not to let him hear her voice fear filled, nor sense the dread down deep within her troubled spirit, sorrow wreathed, torn apart with grief. Pain pierced, pricked her aging skin. and seared her soul to join the wreckage of her heart. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Last Wish
jay12 on 03-10-2008
Last Wish
A sad, sad poem. For some reason it made me feel lucky to have what I have. I dunno if that was your aim or not!

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jay, oddly I thought someone would have twigged why it was written but no one has. I read about a month ago in a mag somewhere that Paul Newman had publically declared his wish to die at home with his loved ones around him, so this poem was about him really. I can imagine that he must have been a strong minded character who would not liked to be argued with. The words just flowed for this one without me having to think to much. Thanks again. Val

Sunken on 03-10-2008
Last Wish
Hello Ms. Val of the Tastic persuasion. I must admit, I do sometimes wonder about where I'll be when I die. I think most of us would like to die in our sleep. Personally, I'd like to die in my favourite pants. You'd like them. They are brilliant white with red stitching. I think this has been my most in-depth critique of the week so far, Ms. Val. I'm glad I peaked whilst in your box. Ahem. It's your own fault for posting that picture. Nice one Val.

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destiny had a fag before calling him

Author's Reply:
I want to die in my own bed at home too.. even this comment makes me smile as I said to bint , it's the way you say it (-; Love Val x

teifii on 04-10-2008
Last Wish
Very good poem, Val, and confronts such a crucial topic for most of us, I should think.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Too true Daff, but unfortunately for some the decision is taken out of their hands. Thanks for the comment. Val x

Jolen on 04-10-2008
Last Wish
Very strong work, Val. It hits hard and cuts deep, as the truth of it does as well. Much enjoyed the read.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed this , no one spotted it was meant for Paul Newman which rather surprised me. I didn't want to be too obvious or OTT about it, but I had read somewhere how he had wanted to die at home. Best Val x

Munster on 04-10-2008
Last Wish
Hi Val, its great to be back and reading work with such depth, that evokes so much reflection.

Tony

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tony it's nice to se you around again. Val x

RoyBateman on 05-10-2008
Last Wish
Last wish indeed...a poem that really cuts to the heart of the matter. It's a subject that may well concern any of us - and not at a time of our choosing, no matter how we'd like to put it from our minds. Strong stuff, but very poignant too.

Author's Reply:
Glad you commented on this Roy, it came quite easily to me as I have said earlier in my comments I wrote it for Paul Newman. I had read somewhere that he had said he wanted to die at home with his loved ones around him. I can imagine he was a strong minded character who always got what he wanted. The words just flowed so I let them stay where they fell without too much editing. Thanks again Val x

Sunken on 06-10-2008
Last Wish
Ms. Val, I just realised how totally insensitive my comment must have seemed. I am a disgrace and no mistake. I shall say one hundred hail Kylies before planting myself firmly on the naught step. Sorry.

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it's himself he lets down

Author's Reply:
No need to apologise to me ever, you always manage to cheer me up no matter what the subject. I love you to comment even if it is occasionally a bit naughty. (-; Love Val x


Daughters of Necessity (posted on: 26-09-08)
This is a tidied up re-sub. To my Daughter Sharon who has become my Rock Ananke is necessity and mother of the fates. Koltho spins Lakhesis lengthens and the most feared Atropos, who makes the final cut.

I knew I could never go back there, life's tapestry is the fate's business. If they had elected to tie a bloody great knot on the cusp of my seventeenth year how could I, a daft adolescent mortal unravel it? Even if I had managed to, who's to say I would have chosen the right thread koltho spins to cling to. No, it's far too late for regret what happened, happened. Look forward better to forget. Lakhesis's threads lengthen. Try not to waste the rest of the weave, best foot forward try to believe that before Atropos makes her final cut the whole picture will make sense when put to the test. The knot became a bud that continues to bloom and grow across the fabric of my life, it became a rose with offshoots of its own. So, even if it were possible I would feel no desire to return to unpick it. Copyright VMM2006
Archived comments for Daughters of Necessity
littleditty on 27-09-2008
Daughters of Necessity
Hi Val -i really like this conversational poem of acceptance - last stanza so bloomin' positive - best foot foward as we weave the story threads of our lives, good stuff from good yarn - enjoyed the read xx

Author's Reply:


The Window Of Delight (posted on: 22-09-08)
I have tried to tell this little story through the eyes of an African child, with innocence and honesty, without the clutter of politics and all the doubt that comes with adulthood When you clear away the cag there is a very serious question here.

Erasto was just a little boy of eight years yet his name meant Peaceful Man; now that he and his Christian family had managed to flee Somalia, his parents were indeed hopeful that Erasto would make it to manhood. It was the beginning of Advent and already the Christmas lights in the city were illuminating Erasto's life with such happiness he thought he would burst; never had he witnessed such a sight. His eyes became as big and round and dark brown as the chocolate and toffee Rolo sweeties he loved to chew so much since he had first tasted the agreeable things, they flashed with excitement moving and darting around quickly from one breathtaking spectacle to another. His nose twitched as he became aware of the delicious smell of the hot dogs and fried onions cooked by the street vendors. At last he let them rest as he saw the most magical scene of all. It was the window of a large department store the kind that Erasto still had trouble believing existed. The whole exhibit was housed in one of their largest windows and depicted the Nativity. Erasto marvelled at the vision. There were Angels flying around the Heavens, there were shepherds with Lambs, Oxen, Donkey's then the most splendid of all. The three Wise Kings from the East. A large star hung glistening and twinkling amongst other smaller stars in a dark blue sky and directly beneath it were the Holy family. Joseph standing tall by a kneeling Mary; hands together in prayer, the baby Jesus lying in a manger swathed in an old raggedy blanket. Erasto feasted his eyes on the window display wanting to remember every detail, suddenly he heard the high pitched voice of the tiny blond girl next to him. '' Mam, look at this mam, what is it? who's that?'' she whined pointing to the baby. The woman took the girl by the hand and dragging her away replied impatiently, ''C'mon Trace if yer dawdle about yer'll miss Santa's parade and yer wouldn't wanna do that would yer ay?'' Even though Erasto was only very young some flash of momentary maturity touched him then and he wondered how it could be that for him and his family it had been so necessary to escape from their homeland because they believed in the story depicted in the window; yet here in this strange cold northern land no one seemed to give a care to such things. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for The Window Of Delight
teifii on 22-09-2008
The Window Of Delight
I'm seeing double. Already seen this lovely lovely little story that rings so true.
Daff

Author's Reply:
No you are not seeing double Daff, it was my challenge entry last week but I've lengthened it a little and tidied it up a bit. Thanks for reading and commenting. Lots of read, but no comments.. I think perhaps stories like this scare people off for some peculiar reason. (-; Val x

Sunken on 25-09-2008
The Window Of Delight
Hello Ms. Val. Enjoyed the read. It seems to me that you have to cause a fuss over fuck all to get comments these days. Sad, but true. I think I'm losing the will.

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his failure to show was a positive relief

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Sunk, I knew you would be brave enough to have a say, no matter what it happened to be. Love Val x

RoyBateman on 25-09-2008
The Window Of Delight
Indeed, you make a pertinent point - what Christmas means to folk of differing cultures. It should be a time of magic and wonder, certainly, but clearly that's evaporated for our native chav - I'm quite sure that the surprising lack of comments, given the good number of reads, is more about our own attitudes to Christmas. Whereas, as I said, it should be a magical time, that has long ago become entwined with non-Christian beliefs that also exert a powerful influence. And, probably, most readers - at least in this country - are not religious so maybe they (I should say "we" there, as I'm not a believer either) feel a tad uncomfortable taking the refugee child's side? Just a thought! Anyway, my own belief in humanism doesn't stop me enjoying this and seeing it from both angles. Different and thought-provoking.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and having the courage to comment Roy (-; Actually I'm not that religious myself, what I think I was really trying to say was that we ignore our roots and culture at our peril, also it seems terrible that one set of people should have to flee their native land just because of their beliefs/ religion, then find that the sanctuary they thought they had found wasn't particularly a santuary after all. I just wonder the way trends are moving what the attitudes will be 20/30 years from now. We / they may not have the freedom to choose then. Just a thought. Val


Home Coming (posted on: 17-09-08)
A piece of prosetry perhaps ? A trap or a loving home? which?

The last but one in a row of terraced houses, red bricks needed pointing, sashed casements stiff, painted tight with dark brown paint now flaked and peeling. The key turned easily in the Yale lock but the hinges squeaked in protest though the smell of bees wax polish was warm and welcoming, overlaying a hint of the Monday wash. From the back scullery came the soft bubble of the copper boiling. In the yard the happy squeal of a little girl playing with next doors cat. A young woman turned the iron wheel of an older than Methuselah mangle, already a line full of pure white sheets flapped in the early morning breeze. This was the sight that greeted him after his night shift. A make do meal of cold yesterday roast and pickles because it's washday, was set out on an immaculate table cloth. This house was a home - yet he felt trapped, - she, bound? Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Home Coming
RoyBateman on 18-09-2008
Home Coming
What a fascinating idea, Val...appearances can be deceptive! I thought that this was going to be a straightforward piece of nostalgia, though a very well-written one, and then you turned it on its head. And there isn't an easy answer, is there? A thought-provoking piece indeed - worth a nib, I'd say, if the Mighty Nibber is looking over my shoulder!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy yes they can indeed, Thanks for the nice comments. Love Val x

Sunken on 18-09-2008
Home Coming
Hello Ms. Val. I'm afraid I can't give you a nib, but I can give you a Bernard. He stayed at Littleditty's over the weekend and she gave him a bath, so he's actually smelling much sweeter than usual. He does still have worms though. You just don't get this kinda detail with nibs do ya? A very clever little piece of prosetry and no mistake, Ms. Val of the Tastic.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky I love getting one of your Bernards much nicer than those poncy poodles! I'm so glad you enjoyed my poem Love Val x

artisus on 18-09-2008
Home Coming
fantastic!!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Nic, and for the the fav pic too and to whoever nommed this piece too I'm delighted. love Val x

littleditty on 19-09-2008
Home Coming
super write - good flow and the sounds especially - great images -and i have a suggestion for the end - may be a rubbish one, but i thought it may also work like this,

he felt trapped,

- she, bound ?


...may open it up to more possibilities? Well done Val, xx:o)





Author's Reply:
Thanks LD Glad you liked this, Tell you what I loved your idea, can't think why it didn't occur to me in the first place. I'll edit Love Val x

jay12 on 21-09-2008
Home Coming
Very true. So often the idyllic and perfect homes are the ones that hide the most pain and secrets. Lovely poem. I gotta go now and tend to my perfect house before I bury the corpses in my perfect marigold filled border 😉 hehehehehe

Author's Reply:

Munster on 25-09-2008
Home Coming
Hi Val this was a great well thought out poem, enjoyed the read.
Tony (Munster).

Author's Reply:


The Sea Urchin Shell (posted on: 15-09-08)

Another life flash.



 

Have you ever hated so much that you felt ashamed? I have. I hated a poodle, A French poodle.

His name was Sammy, right off I knew I wouldn't like him. I think in a crazy way he knew it too. I could never train him, no matter how I tried I couldn't get him to pee outside. He took a delight in cocking his leg up the curtains to my French Windows. I began to suspect the dirty mutt felt akin to them!

I had this collection of shells from all over the world, my friend Sue had picked them up for me on her forays abroad. She knew how much I had always wanted to travel, but I was dumb back then choosing to marry and have kids early instead of tasting life first.

The latest one she bought me was the shell of a sea urchin, it was a beauty. I placed it in pride of place on a shelf built into an alcove and would gaze at it lovingly, letting my imagination wonder all over the globe. The poodle seemed to sense my love of these shells I'll swear.

He was always watching me handling the shells, he would make a funny little whine whenever I picked up the sea urchin.

One day I'd been admiring my collection imagining the exotic places they had come from, when the doorbell rang. I went to answer it and was annoyed to find a salesman waiting to sell me something I couldn't afford. It took me ages to get rid of the pest, in those days I still hadn't mastered the art of dealing with unwanted hawkers.

When I returned it was to chaos. The pooch had jumped onto a chair, then onto the shelf scattering my precious collection, worse he sat in the centre of the shelf crunching up my sea urchin.

I saw red, wanting to tear him apart, he took one look at me dived for the open windows. It took all my strength not to commit dogicide that day. How I hated that bloody poodle!

 

Copyright

VMM2008


Archived comments for The Sea Urchin Shell
orangedream on 15-09-2008
The Sea Urchin Shell
I just love this one Val. It was good to read it again. Classic - that bit about the French windows.

You can laugh about it now, but you must have been so mad at the time. I collect shells too, by the way and so did Andrea. Juliet now has her collection.

Tina xx

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 16-09-2008
The Sea Urchin Shell
I know how you feel - sometimes, the little buggers just wind you up SO much, don't they? We had a daft moggy who delighted in outwitting us by getting outside when it was raining, then refusing to come in. Next morning, in he'd come, soaked, and complain loudly as if we'd chucked him out. He never got out of the habit... But, like all mogs, he's sadly missed. Can't live without 'em, eh?

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 17-09-2008
The Sea Urchin Shell
A woman after my own heart, that's what you is Ms. Val. For I too have hated a poodle. I should really say that it hated me. It belonged to my mate's mum (she's still alive). It use to growl at me any time I went near the bloody thing. It died in the end. It had some kinda growth up it's arse for the last three years of its life. God it was repulsive. The growth wasn't very nice either. What a shit of a dog it was. Good riddance I say. Ahem. Sorry Val, you awoke my inner anti-poodle module. I enjoyed your flash (-; I've never given a thought to where shells come from. I thought they were just there, like crisp packets.

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they met beneath the charred remains of their handy work

Author's Reply:

potleek on 17-09-2008
The Sea Urchin Shell
Val I couldn't help but laugh (sorry)
But your problem was, you have to speak with a Parisian accent to a French poodle...oui, oui...Tony



Author's Reply:

jay12 on 21-09-2008
The Sea Urchin Shell
Dogs - we all love them and hate them in equal measure. I have one and despite being well behaved, now and again, he throws in the odd weird episode to keep me on my toes. He's cool though. And so is your story, I like an anarchist!

Author's Reply:


Awake At Dawn (posted on: 12-09-08)
A Flash Of Horror

Kit woke suddenly, was instantly alert, a noise, a sharp rattle reverberated through her head. She looked toward the window where the grey light of dawn drizzled through the thin curtains. She sprang out of bed and peered outside, all seemed quiet yet her mind still held an echo of the sound that had disturbed her dreams. Her eyes travelled to the old disused garage across the street; she could just see the faded Shell sign hanging from its casing. Crumpled newspapers skittered along the concrete forecourt in the early morning breeze reminding her of tumbleweed in long forgotten western movies. Abruptly her eyes came to rest on something that immediately seemed out of place, she adjusted her focus screwing her eyes up a little to accommodate the grey light, it looked like a pile of ancient clothes but something about the way they were arranged disturbed her. Before she had time to consider the consequences she was dressing hurriedly and running down the stairs, through the front door and out into the cold morning air. She crossed the road in no time flat and brought herself up sharp just before she reached the bundle of rags. Her heart jack hammered against her ribs, she knew instinctively now what it was. Slowly she move towards it and gingerly pushed at it with her foot, it rolled back striking the doorway. Kit recognised the clatter that had woken her. She jumped back a couple of steps in shock at the sight of the empty eye sockets that stared back at her, blood still dripping from the eyeless shells. She turned with a silent scream in her throat and in those few nano seconds saw the last thing she would ever see. This time she didn't hear the clatter that had first attracted her attention. She just fell backwards against the rotting doorway beside the dead man, the first travelling companion the elderly tramp had had for years Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Awake At Dawn
qwerty68 on 12-09-2008
Awake At Dawn
Very spooky and very atmospheric.
Just a couple of picky points -
"yet her mind she still held an echo" add "in" or better, drop "she"
"saw the last thing she would ever see again", I'd drop "again".

Author's Reply:
Thanks Querty appreciate good advice, I came to writing stories late and find I'm having such a good time with them I can't stop and am finding it difficult to continue with poetry. Reads much better now, thanks again Val x

Jolen on 12-09-2008
Awake At Dawn
It was scary, for sure, and thanks for the creeps crawling up my spine now. lol Good bit of flash, Val.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen I'm really glad it scared you. I'm having such fun with these flashes. I'm writing several longer pieces now too but they need some more thought and work. Hope to sub one in the next few weeks. Thanks for reading and commenting Val x

e-griff on 13-09-2008
Awake At Dawn
there's an abundance of description here. I'm not sure all of it is needed for the story. after all, newspapers blowing along the street doesn't really add anything, except you tell us it is like tumbleweed to get us to understand no one else is about and it is deserted and uncomfortable.

another way to approach it would be from the action point of view with minimal background painting. eg

Kit woke with an uneasy feeling. She rolled out of bed and went to the window. Nothing. Except a bundle of rags lying against the door of the abandoned garage across the street. She looked again. There was something about them ... etc.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 13-09-2008
Awake At Dawn
Brrr... Certainly a chilling and discomforting picture you've painted here! It could have been longer, with more build-up, but maybe that wasn't necessary - you got everything in at this length so anything more would have been padding. Mind you, what about Part Two? Who or what was it, and will it strike again? Watch out for "Return of the Nameless Ghoul" same bat-time, same bat-channel... Sorry, that was silly - but there's plenty of scope for even more horrible goings-on here. I wait with bated breath...

Author's Reply:

sirat on 13-09-2008
Awake At Dawn
I agree with Roy, there is plenty of atmosphere here but, as yet, very little story. I think it could be lengthened to good effect - for example, who is the tramp? Has there been some previous encounter between him and the narrator? Has she nursed him in the mental ward of the local hospital, tried to free him of thye delusion that he is being chased by the old man with the sythe? It doesn't have to be that, but just something to give it narrative interest. Also I would avoid very conversational, borderline cliche phrases in narration. Things like 'in no time flat', 'Her heart jack hammered against her ribs', and references to nanoseconds. I think Griff's advice, to keep the narration simple and stark, is very good. Especially where you are building up tension you really don't want an intrusive narrator drawing the reader's attention away from what is going on. The strength of this piece is the creepy atmosphere. I hope you'll do more with it and let us see the result.

Slightly off topic, I'm typing this on my Eee PC, which I bought having used yours on holiday. It's very good, faster than the big one on the Internet. How are you getting along with yours?

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 14-09-2008
Awake At Dawn
A wonderfully spooky piece, Val and as I've said before, the ending really effective. You're getting quite a dab hand at this 'flash lark'.

Enjoyed.

Tina xx

Author's Reply:


The Road to Barnsley (posted on: 08-09-08)
My challenge entry, the subject , environmental issues. My poem tracks a journey traveled on a particular route, taken many times and no matter how often I take it, it always has the power to sadden me.

All I hear is soft music coming from the car radio, the thrumming of the tyres on the uneven surface of the A1(M) It's hot and I'm sleepy. I know we'll be turning off soon to Barnsley. Even though I'm tired I see the litter along the route, man mess. Plastic clinging to trees, tin cans on scorched verges, polystyrene boxes with half eaten crap spilling from its innards. On a steel post wearing a withered bouquet with purple and white ribbons flapping in the draught from constant traffic Some poor soul's memorial. The burnt out carcass of a car bits of black rubber, flayed, bobbing and bouncing along the highway. The list is endless, a trainer with a split sole lies at the edge of the inside lane. Whose ? I wonder briefly, we turn off to Barnsley there in the ditch by the roundabout some moron has discarded an old stained mattress. For a space the countryside shines through, we enter the pretty village of Hickleton with its sandstone coloured cottages mellowed and cleaner since the mines went. Too soon the man mess is back with our passage through Thurnscoe and Gt Houghton. Across heath land, laden with careless cag, over once scenic hills. I think of Rome built on hills, is it seven? Why are these hills such a blot on what should be a picturesque landscape? The questions form momentarily for the millionth time on my mystified mind. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for The Road to Barnsley
Ionicus on 08-09-2008
The Road to Barnsley
I agree with you Val. It is so depressing to witness the amount of litter on verges and even in parks. Sometimes bits of paper are strewn on the ground within sight of a litter bin.
Mind you I was pleasantly surprised, while travelling through Rutland, to see streets clean and free from rubbish. So there is hope yet.

Author's Reply:
oops I keep getting stuff wrong this morning see below for my answer Sorry Luigi. Thanks for commenting. Val x

Bradene on 08-09-2008
The Road to Barnsley
Ah! Well now Rutland is a little gem, although it does cost you an arm and a leg to live there in council tax. As you say though it's beautifully clean and tidy so they are obviously spending public money wisely. I live in the Vale of Belvoir and that too is quite beautiful but the A1does run along its Lincolnshire edge so that is a source of a lot of litter. Grantham is not too bad either in most parts. Val x

Author's Reply:

teifii on 08-09-2008
The Road to Barnsley
So very true, sadly. It took me back to the days when I was part of the rubbish team that cleared up after the Aldermaston marches [so that no mess would detract from the message]. We cleaned every car park on the A4 and every stopping point for meals. I London we were let off as the LCC, bless them, took over and did Hyde park so that we could walk up pat the Cenotaph with everyone else. When swapping stories the next year everyone had the same experience to relate. It was so hard to drive home and not stop to pick up every bit of orange peel or eggshell in the laybyes that were not on the A4. It's worse now because of plastic.
Daff

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 08-09-2008
The Road to Barnsley
You said it all in your excellent poem, Val. It never ceases to amaze me the stuff that people pollute this planet of ours with. I remember once I was on a walking holiday in Scotland - we were right at the summiti of Ben Lomond, and even way up there was an old tin bath, would you believe? It defies all comment, I guess.

Well said, Val.

Tina x

Author's Reply:

barenib on 08-09-2008
The Road to Barnsley
Val - how right you are, how routinely people trash their environment without a thought for what it looks like, never mind who's going to clean it up.
My poem 'Winter lane' is in a similar vein - somewhere that I walk every day.
A good read for me - John.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 09-09-2008
The Road to Barnsley
It's the ants I feel sorry for, Ms. Val. They're only little. A discarded milkshake or a stray sock can potentially add hours to their journeys (Ant hours that is). I think we should all stop and think about the consequences of our actions occasionally. I no longer take my socks off in public. I hope this has helped (-; I tried to do a proper comment but it didn't suit me.

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Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 14-09-2008
The Road to Barnsley
Rutland? They got it easy - you wanna come to South Shropshire for a REAL dose of council tax! (If you're hard enough...) Sorry, Val, you're making a serious point - and it's all too true. I went to Barnsley by train only a few weeks ago, and I'd forgotten how picturesque the surrounding countryside is...not at all like the Barnsley of legend, though obviously the mines have now gone. If only people could have just a bit of repect for their surroundings. Having said that, it's our food festival this weekend and Gawd only knows whast the streets will look like on Monday. This eat it/drop it/forget it attitude is everywhere, sadly. A point well made!

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 14-09-2008
The Road to Barnsley
Blimey Val, a right GOW you're turning into - just like me. Great piece, makes you sick, doesn't it? Knew a bloke from Barnsley once, rough diamond he was, but that was the 70s when it prob wasn't so bad. Besides, he'd left to come here...says it all, really.

Author's Reply:


On The Town (posted on: 05-09-08)
Inspired by a multiple stabbing incident in Leicester this week. The perpetrator? A drunken young Woman

Me and me mate head int' town, might go t' a club drink a few down. Nip out fer a fag size up the blokes too early yet, need more booze, more smokes. Got t' go t' the bog I need a pee; did I bring me lippy? Christ where's me key? trouble wi bags can't see fer looking. Fuckin' fags, me oxygen fer life. Oh! Yeh, here's me key ...right next t' me knife. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for On The Town
Ionicus on 05-09-2008
On The Town
Yes Val. A sad reflection on some youth of today. Binge drinking is often the cause.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 05-09-2008
On The Town
Thankfully, Ms. Valtastic, I don't need weapons. People seem to avoid me by default. Booze has a lot to answer for. I get a bit pissed off when people bang on about drugs. Alcohol fucks up far more lives from what I've seen. A strong piece, I guess it had to be. Well done Val.

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please use other door

Author's Reply:

Seebaruk on 06-09-2008
On The Town
Bloody hell, had no idea there was a stabbing last week. I'm in Leicester all weekend with work, and was having a couple of pints on the street where it happened last night 🙂 Is indeed a sad state of affairs, as reflected brutally by your writing.

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 06-09-2008
On The Town
A chilling write. The accent worked well. I could hear it as I read it.

A sad sign of the times, unfortunately.

Well said, Val.

Tina x

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 06-09-2008
On The Town
I too found it very chilling, the banality of evil. I can't help thinking that by contrast with some other countries, the poor education, and the starving of the imagination that stems from it, is a tragedy no quick-fix politician is going to put right.

The best to you,
John XX

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 06-09-2008
On The Town
A very strong piece, very direct and sadly very indicative of life today. I found the use of the Leicester accent totally appropriate and thought it added depth to the piece.
I grew up in Leicester and all those years ago, I'm almost sure it wasn't as bad as it is today. I don't think that's just rose coloured specs.
We had Teddy boys when I was growing up and, yes I agree they would sometimes use shivs but it seems to me that the people doing these terrible things are getting a lot younger and there really seems to be more of them.
Very well done.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

admin on 06-09-2008
On The Town
People seem to (conveniently?) forget that alcohol is a drug just like any other, and much more dangerous than most.

Powerful stuff, Val


Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 07-09-2008
On The Town
Very clever...leaving that line until the end. Until then, it's simply another dope wittering. Yes, a very powerful piece despite its brevity. Perhaps that makes it more striking? And, this is happening everywhere - what a society we live in...

Author's Reply:

Mandrake on 07-09-2008
On The Town

I agree, this is a very effective poem.

I noticed that there appeared to be 2 lines missing, so there was no rhyme for 'looking' - unless you were intentionally breaking the scheme and making an immediate rhyme with 'fuckin'' (fooking?).



Author's Reply:


Guardian Of The Home (posted on: 29-08-08)
This was my piece for the p/p flash last Wednesday the prompt word was engery. It's a sort of mini monologue.

I went to the little tearoom across the street from the courthouse after the sentencing. I was in desperate need of a cuppa, I thought I would treat myself to a scone with strawberry jam and fresh cream. I really needed some instant energy after all the trauma of the last months, not sleeping, wondering how on earth I would tell the children. Telling them would take all the emotional energy I could muster tonight. I had a quick look around the door before going in to order, I had a nasty vision of the others sitting there swigging back tea, chatting away like old friends. They weren't thank heavens. Energy, huh! he had had plenty of that, I never kept him short, we always made up for the lost time he spent driving that bloody lorry from one end of the country to the other He must have had the energy of a bull elephant and then some. Randy, yeh! That should have been his bleeding name, not Howard, my God, definitely not Howard. I remember when I was expecting our Tommy, I bought this little book of names and their meanings, I looked Howard up, I'd smiled as I read it, thinking how true that's exactly what he is. 'The guardian of the home.' Yeh! I'm not kidding. Some chuffing guardian he turned out to be Though when you think about it, he was that in a way wasn't he? Only not just one home but three buggers and another three kids! greedy sod. Well, huh, he won't have to bother guarding his next home will he eh? they'll be plenty of those where he's going Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Guardian Of The Home
Jen_Christabel on 29-08-2008
Guardian Of The Home
Interesting piece, nicely done (of course).
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen I was beginning to think this was awful or invisible! mind you I'm still not sure. ((-; Val x

orangedream on 29-08-2008
Guardian Of The Home
A smashing piece and no mistake, Ms Val. Oh dear. I've just realised I have done a 'sunken' impression. I apologise. Seriously though, this is a great piece, as I said at the time you posted it in the flash challenge.

Fascinating - the question of what our Christian names mean and as you point out, sometimes it can be quite entertaining.

Thanks for a good read, Val and I'm glad you posted it on the main site, even though things have been a bit on the quiet side today.

Have a peaceful weekend.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment and for reading this Tina, I was beginning to think I should have ditched it. ((-; Val x

Sunken on 30-08-2008
Guardian Of The Home
There'll be no ditching 'round these parts, Ms. Val. August is a quiet month. I blame summer holidays, festivals and that plastic film that they package greeting cards in. Five weeks I've been trying to send a 'get well soon card' to my mate. The ignorant git only went and got better before I'd gained access to said card! Anyway, this is a smashing piece and no mistake...

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Author's Reply:

woodbine on 04-09-2008
Guardian Of The Home
An unusual story that leaves you wanting more. I remember a black and white movie about a sea captain, maybe Alec Guiness, with a family in every port. I always say you shouldn't tell lies
unless you've got an excellent memory. Nice work.

John

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 05-09-2008
Guardian Of The Home
Good piece of flash fiction, Val. It tells its story in few words and achieves a 'voice' in a nicely rounded idea with an appropriate title.

Poor old Howie! Still, serves him right I s'pose...

Author's Reply:


Sleeping in Mummy's Bed (posted on: 25-08-08)
This is one I posted over three years ago and it turned out to be quite popular. It was written from a very dim memory I have.

A shaft of light pointing heavenward a lone flier trapped in its beam. A renegade relic that haunts the hallways of my mind, bumping now and then into a dead end of forgotten dreams and bouncing forward to stir yet another memory. A ragged sob, a shuddering sigh stifled by her pillow. The drone of the original and the wump, wump, wump, of a reply Then silence; until the echo of weeping begins once more, on and on to the dawn of another sombre day and Mummy's red and swollen eyes. Copyright VMM2005
Archived comments for Sleeping in Mummy's Bed
Sunken on 26-08-2008
Sleeping in Mummys Bed
Another sad piece, Ms. Val )-: I can't comment at the best of times. Can I just say something random instead? Cheese grating for beginners. There! I feel much better now. I hope you do to. Thank you.

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he sold her mother on ebay

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 26-08-2008
Sleeping in Mummys Bed
Val - this is so beautiful. It must have taken so much to have written these words down, but in so doing, I am sure it will have helped.

Thank you for sharing.

Tina x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 27-08-2008
Sleeping in Mummys Bed
Even if it's a fragment of a memory, it clearly still hurts deeply. These are just the sort of things kids recall, even if the cause is something they never found out about - certainly weren't told anything about, and maybe that makes it all the more searing. Not an easy read, but a worthwhile one.

Author's Reply:

Jen_Christabel on 28-08-2008
Sleeping in Mummys Bed
A very poignant piece, nicely done.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:


Shana (posted on: 18-08-08)
Written for a challenge on another site.

I'm dying, I know what that means and I'm not really frightened like most people are. I saw death happen, it's just like going to sleep. It wasn't my fault Shana didn't wake up, I didn't get into trouble for it, but I know that the carer's were cross with me. I heard them talking about Shana, how there would be an inquiry, I think I know what that means. All the kids are dying here, that's why we come, it's called respite care, then your mummy and daddy can go somewhere without having to worry about you. I have Down's syndrome, so they think I can't understand much but I'm a very.. Signiar, slnligner, no! no! singular person that's what Mr khan my heart doctor says anyway. He said I'm bright considering I heard him though, when he told the nurse to play with me, I heard what he told my mummy, that my heart was broken and he couldn't mend it, that's why I get tired and out of breath. He said only a new heart would do, but they wouldn't consider me, I think that means they won't let me have a new heart because I am a sgnie, err.. S i n g u l a r person I'm not sure. The other kids don't like Shana cos' she's ugly and old and looks like a goblin, but she's only five, I love her cos' she doesn't mind if I get dribble over her when she cuddles me When I asked mummy why Shana looks old she said it was cos' she has pogera no! progeria. I love Shana. When she cries at night, she'll come and get into my bed, but we get told off if we get caught. Last night she was all hot and sweaty and wouldn't stop crying till I put my hand over her face when the nurse went past, I was so comfy I didn't want her to go, so I kept my hand over her face till she went to sleep. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Shana
Sunken on 19-08-2008
Shana
Hi Val. I think I read this on Biblio. It's very realistically written, in my sunky opinion. I can't say that I saw the end coming. A bit of a shocker and no mistake. I'd shove a Bernard on it, but yet again I'm on the wrong pc. I think I owe ya one for another piece. I shall try to get my act together. I blame custard slices.

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custard slice 3 - french fancy 2

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 19-08-2008
Shana
Such a sensitively written piece, Val - by one who obviously has had experience in this kind of thing;-) Your prose goes from strength to strength as was proved when you posted it on Bibliothingy:-)

Can't understand why this one has not had more attention. Don't know what they're missing, I guess.

Tina x

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 19-08-2008
Shana
Hi Val - absolutely loved this - so much story in few words, you have developed the lead character wonderfully - perhaps one more detail for Shana early on, to hook me in emotionally - 'It wasn't my fault little Shana didn't wake up.' Thought provoking and brilliantly told - and if i had a Bernard, i would - great read, ditty xx

Author's Reply:

pombal on 20-08-2008
Shana
Val - excellent piece - gave me goosebumps 🙂

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 21-08-2008
Shana
I've finally dragged Bernard in from his shenanigans with next door's poodle. Disgraceful behaviour!



Author's Reply:


Confused In More Ways Than One (posted on: 15-08-08)
Luigi's Complicated Challenge, It's called equivocal verse. Can be read straight across two stanzas or down each stanza. One stanza is 'for' the other 'against' when read straight across... well work it out for yourselves my head aches! ((-;

When I was a young girl every night was exciting. At times the heady whirlthe parties, the inviting, turned into a crashing bore.How we started giggling at the guys who all woreteddy boy suits and jiggling. Blue suede shoes on their feet doing some rock-n-rolling D.A. haircuts almost neat. Never quite controlling the desire to impress, had to end up conflicting demonstrate their prowesswith their bragging Inflicting. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Confused In More Ways Than One
e-griff on 15-08-2008
Confused In More Ways Than One
Best of the bunch, I think, Val (no offence to the others) mine was the worst, I think 🙁

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 15-08-2008
Confused In More Ways Than One
Dear Val, you are not the only one left with a headache after attempting this challenge. I wish that I hadn't come across, and proposed, this format but it's too late now. I have been hoisted by my own petard.
You have all worked wonders.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 15-08-2008
Confused In More Ways Than One
Simply Valtastic. I'm not surprised your head aches. I reckon that Luigi owes you a packet of Anadin Extra for setting a challenge like this. Well done for sticking with it. Bernard will be along later to leave his mark (I'm on the wrong pc right now). Nice one Val.

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light bulb 2 - light shower 2

Author's Reply:

teifii on 16-08-2008
Confused In More Ways Than One
I'm quite astonished at the courage and skill of you clever people who rose to the challenge. This is excellent, Val. I was confused at first because I always enlarge the font to read things and this put the lines out but when I realised my mistake and could see it clearly I was even more impressed than I had been while puzzling it out. Well done.
Daff

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 16-08-2008
Confused In More Ways Than One
Dear Val, I agree wholeheartedly with what has been said. A fine effort for what was an almost impossible task, in my book anyway! And speaking of D.A.'s I actually had one of them. Am I right in thinking it's short for 'Duck's Anatomy'? That was what I always understood, anyway. I suppose, thinking about it, it does resemble the way a duck's little feathery bottom looks when it dips its wee head down in the water, 'up-tails all'!!

Tina x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 16-08-2008
Confused In More Ways Than One
Wow - what a challenge! A superb effort, I reckon - I don't think I'd even try to twist my brain round this one, yet yours makes perfect sense. I bet you're sitting in a darkened room now with an ice-pack on your overheated brain!

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 21-08-2008
Confused In More Ways Than One
As promised, Ms. Val, a Bernard. Sorry it's late. He's been impregnating poodles. It's just what he does. Cheers Val.

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Author's Reply:


War Time Convenience. (posted on: 04-08-08)
Perhaps this is better described as prosetry, A word invented by our clever Artisus

It was ever a mystery to me, uncle Joe divorcing aunt Florrie. The whisper was, the boy wasn't his. I used to think ''how could he deny it?'' Young Denny was surely one of us with his curly nut brown hair twinkly blue eyes and gaps in his teeth. He was whisked away by his much maligned mother never to be seen again, until the old folk faded away when we were all fully fledged, wiser. Uncle Joe? He rapidly replaced his dowdy doormat wife with beautiful Beryl and her half American baby boy I was too young to see the irony then; now I'm inclined to think it was all a tad too convenient Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for War Time Convenience.
artisus on 04-08-2008
War Time Convenience.
Not invented by me unfortunately, I had this idea Prose + Poetry = Prosetry and I googled it and it was already there! same thing has happened with other words, in fact only my Kumu related words are ..unique so far and the weaving of eccentric baskets.

🙂

Very well written Val, perfect ending!

X

Author's Reply:
OOps I really thought that was your word Nic, Never mind, I'm glad you like the poem anyhow . Val x

Sunken on 04-08-2008
War Time Convenience.
'Dowdy doormat wife' - great line. I hope the positive police don't get me (-; Nice one Val. Please accept a smelly Bernard.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky your smelly Bernard made my day. Really happy you liked my poem Love Val x

Macjoyce on 04-08-2008
War Time Convenience.
I don't think it's prosetry, Val. It's free verse. There's nothing prosaic about it. I imagine prosetry has very long lines, or alternately has rhymes or metre within paragraphs.

I liked the repeated alliteration.

The only slightly confusing thing for me, is whether you're talking about Joe or his questionable son in verse two - you use 'he' to describe both of them in two consecutive lines. Perhaps you could give the boy a name and stick 'young' before the name, to make it clearer and richer?

Anyway, nice poem. Reminds me of another poem, called 'Auntie Florrie' I believe, by Mandrake.


Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac, I wasn't sure what it was to tell the truth, but it was just a memory that has plagued and intrigued me since childhood. I see what you mean about giving the boy a name, funny I named uncle Joe and his wives but they are dead now, having said that I don't suppose my cousins are ever likely to read this, yet stranger things have happened. I could give him a false name I suppose. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll surely consider it. Val x

PS There, How about that almost his name, just a letter here and there changed, sounds good though. Thanks again

orangedream on 05-08-2008
War Time Convenience.
Some wonderful alliteration here again, Val:-

He rapidly replaced his
dowdy doormat wife
with beautiful Beryl and her
half American baby boy…

All in all, an extremely well written and humorous piece of poetry. I really enjoyed it and many congrats on the well-deserved nib ... and the Bernard award, of course.

Tina x


Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina Glad you like this one, been floating around for years, happy I did it now. Val x

Ionicus on 05-08-2008
War Time Convenience.
Hi Val. Catching up on my reading and therefore a bit late with my comment. A very enjoyable piece. I liked the last stanza most of all.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Hi luigi, Good Holiday? Thanks for the comments, Happy you enjoyed it Val x


Whippersnappers (posted on: 01-08-08)
For Tina's P/P/flash Wednesday challenge. The Word was Whip Threepenny is pronounced Thrupenny in our parts.

A bull whip his choice of torture. One flick of a fat wrist produced an ear-splitting hide tingling crack. His desired effect achieved he would stand arms akimbo, whip re-coiled, hanging loosely around fat ringed fingers. Grin grotesquely slitting his ruddy double chinned face in two. Gaitered legs parted, he was pomposity personified. Our crime? Fishing in his pit or scrumping his ripe red plums. Hearts racing, legs pumping like pistons we would be off faster than Superman could fly at the Saturday threepenny rush. Yet for all his posturing we could out smart his every move, he didn't expect a counter attack the minute his back was turned. Our spoils a bag of juicy plums or a tasty trout for mum. I can't ever recall returning home empty handed. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Whippersnappers
Jolen on 01-08-2008
Whippersnappers
Oh, sounds like you would have had a sound thrashing had you ran slower. Good poem, Val. Visual, interesting and the ominous overtone in the beginning really worked well to keep the reader moving. I also liked the pace.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 02-08-2008
Whippersnappers
Great poem this Val. As Jolen says it is extremely visual. Loved the alliterations that you used here as well. 'Pomposity personified' and 'pumping like pistons.'

Gosh - those were the days. As I said before, I got into a lot of hot water scrumping apples one time. But that's another story, perhaps:-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:


Walnut Whip (posted on: 01-08-08)
Another entry for Tina's wednesday challenge. The Word Was Whip

Kelly's nose pressed up against the window, her big brown eyes caressing the hand made chocolates displayed tantalisingly on silver and cut glass dishes. There were chocolate caramels, peppermint creams, rum truffles, Turkish delights, coconut fudge, praline, and there right in the middle of the display was the biggest walnut whip she had ever seen. Kelly's mouth watered as she contemplated biting into its soft creamy centre. Her brain suddenly rattled against her skull and her ear stung as her father's rough hand connected with the side of her head, ''Come on dilly dreamo, 'ere tek the key an dontcha lose it, tell yer mam when she gets in I'll be 'ome when I've 'ad enough'' Miserably Kelly watched her father disappear inside the Dirty Duck. She hoped in vain, for her mother's sake that he wouldn't drink too much tonight, Kelly let herself into the neat terraced house, everything was still but she thought she could detect the delicious smell of recent baking, obviously it came from next door. Her mother never had time for that sort of thing with working at the factory till five, then cleaning the doctors surgery from seven till nine she barely had time to cook a meal for them. Her father's invariably ending up in the bin if he was too drunk to retrieve it from the oven. Kelly went through to the back room, the moment she pushed the door open the light went on almost blinding her, her mother's voice rang out ''Happy birthday to you,'' Kelly stood open mouthed waiting for her mother to finish her song. Kelly looked at the table in the centre of the room, there were daintily cut sandwiches, jelly, blancmange and there the centrepiece a whipped chocolate cake with a ring of walnuts around the top looking for all the world like the walnut whip in the shop ''I hope you like the cake pet, It's butter cream, Couldn't afford real cream, perhaps next year ay?'' Kelly's happy smiling face told her mother all she wanted to know, her eyes fixed lovingly on the walnut whipped cake. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Walnut Whip
DocOrange on 01-08-2008
Walnut Whip
Thats really sweet, and a little sad, but ultimatley a happy story (sort of). Thank god for mums.

Best regards,

Doc.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Doc, for taking the time to read. Val

Sunken on 01-08-2008
Walnut Whip
Hello Ms. Val of the tastic persuasion. I know just what Doctor Orange is saying. I've read a few pieces lately that seem to have an air of sadness about them, but in a way that's almost good. It's hard to explain. I blame chicken tikka. Anyway, I like the sound of your childhood and I most definately like your flash.

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shades of monday on saturday night

Author's Reply:
Thanks sunky happy you enjoyed this little flash. Val x

pencilcase on 02-08-2008
Walnut Whip
This is a very effective shortie that balances light and dark without over-emphasining either extreme. You leave the reader to consider/engage and end up with a fine example of how a limited number of words can offer volumes.

"dilly dreamo" fits in very well! You have a good touch here, Val.

Best wishes,

Steve

Author's Reply:
Thanks Steve, I rather enjoy writing these flashes, I'm becoming adicted I think . Val x

orangedream on 02-08-2008
Walnut Whip
Dear Val, you know how much I thought of this beautiful little story and it was good to read it again. I am glad you posted it on the main site.

Dilly Dream - now which comic was that in? Beano, Dandy? Dunno. Memory definitely not what it was!!

Tina:-)x

Author's Reply:
Hi Tina, I enjoyed writing this one I must say. Do you know I rather think it was something like the Schoolfriend, I'm sure it wasn't either the Dandy or the Beano, it's such an age ago I am not too sure myself, I just have a feeling it was one of the more serious comics. Thanks for commenting Tina. Val x

Doughnut on 03-08-2008
Walnut Whip
Punctuation is very personal, I know. I do have the feeling that you didn't consider it as a tool as much as you might. I've put a comma or two in to make my point. the last example looks as if you started out with one construction in mind, then switched to another. I've made a suggestion.

and there COMMA right in the middle of the display COMMA was the biggest walnut whip she had ever seen. Kelly’s mouth watered as she contemplated biting into its soft creamy centre.
everything was still COMMA but she thought she could detect the delicious smell of recent baking
Her mother never had time for that sort of thing, WHAT with working at the factory till five, then cleaning the doctors surgery from seven till nine, SO she barely had time to cook a meal for them. Her father’s invariably endED up in the bin if he was too drunk to retrieve it from the oven.
bUT a good tale Doughnut



Author's Reply:
Hi doughnut thanks for taking the trouble to read and comment. Do you know my story had all those words and bits in that you suggested originally but I was only allowed 350 words for the challenge so I had to edit some out, but I do agree I could quite easily have put them back in for the front page version. As for my punctuation well I'm notorious for that I'm afraid, one day the penny will drop no doubt, my trouble is I don't give enough time to proof reading. Slap my wrists often enough and you may make a break through ((-; Thanks though your imput is most appreciated. Val x

sirat on 07-08-2008
Walnut Whip
A nice little 'slice of life' with a lot of subtext, which is something I like. At the end of a very short piece we feel we know all three characters better than we have any right to. I think that tells us it's a really good piece of writing.

Author's Reply:


A Walk By The River Soar (posted on: 25-07-08)
I promised a sonnet for Daff's challenge but missed Monday's deadline, because I stupidly forgot to change the status of publishing. However the more I read the one I had written the less I liked it. Then I remembered this one that I'd written back in 2004. It has all the requirements of the challenge, yet I supose there will be the purists who will jump on me because it's not in true iambic pentameter or some such or that it's cliched, Well I'm not too bothered I like it (-;

By calm still waters of the River Soar I wander lonely in silent musing. Where here sights and sounds of the country pour around me, my soul with nature fusing. I feel at one with all I see and hear and my spirit soars, far away up high feeling the freedom of the atmosphere like a lark winging thro' the summer sky Oh! if only life could stay just like this, or could I somehow hold the memory to go on reliving this perfect bliss whenever a day is ruined for me? Just to close my eyes to see and to feel this day by the soar...holds wondrous appeal. copyright VMM 2004
Archived comments for A Walk By The River Soar
e-griff on 25-07-2008
A Walk By The River Soar
I'll not be hard or jump on you, but if you will forgive a comment - if you've tried to write a sonnet, and it isn't, just call it a poem, simple.

there are many aspects to a sonnet - the iambic pentameter, the rhyme scheme (of whichever sonnet form you choose) and also the intent and structure of the sonnet - the statement, development, summing up, last two lines etc. They have a distinctive, recognisable form made up of ALL of these characteristics.

but if you simple want your iambs fixed in this poem (which is indeed a nice poem) it's not that hard:

By calm still waters of the River Soar
I wander lonely, lost in silent musing.
Where here the sights and sounds of country pour
around my soul with gentle nature fusing.

I feel at one with all I see and hear.
My spirit soars in flight, away up high
To feel the freedom of the atmosphere
– a lark that’s winging thro’ the summer sky

If only life could always stay like this,
And I could hold on to the memory
Reliving for all time this perfect bliss
On future days that might be ruined for me

To close my eyes – to see, to sense, to feel –
this moment by the Soar holds wonder and appeal.

still a few rough edges ... (the 'ruined' bit seems dodgy and I've taken the enjambment away)

hope you don't mind 🙂

PS - I've only ever written one sonnet, and haven't tried again!

Author's Reply:
oops! wrong box Sorry.

I don't mind at all, I'll freely admit I'm not good with iambs, but I do prefer pentameter and I quite like enjambment. I do agree about the word ruined, it does grate I know. Thanks for you imput. Glad I didn't use my original it was full of enjambment and double rhymed, I tried to be clever and it didn't come off. Sonnets are not easy, but very satisfying when you get them right. Val






eddiesolo on 25-07-2008
A Walk By The River Soar
Hi Val,

I have only once had a go at a sonnet and I got totally lost...

What ever format this is, I enjoyed it.

Take care.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si glad you enjoyed this, Hope you're feeling better these days Val x

Sunken on 25-07-2008
A Walk By The River Soar
Dear Ms. Val, I might jump on ya, but I can assure you that it won't be because of something so boring as paralytic armatures (whatever those are). Oh no, it will be because I'm on heat again and you were close by. It's official, I am a disgrace. I can only recommend, at this juncture, that you hit the 'Report Abuse' button (-; Nice one Val.

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scientists have yet to find a way of safely storing his used socks

Author's Reply:
You can jump on me anytime sunky, if you can catch me! (-; thanks for reading and commenting. Is it hot enough for you? The weather I mean of course (-; Val x

e-griff on 25-07-2008
A Walk By The River Soar
Guest poet Billy Connolly has provided this wee gem!

I walk beside the River Soar
Oh, I could do it o’er and o’er
I feel a sense of freedom here
(But kindly pass me a cold beer)

You know, this place is nice and free
And it all seems okay to me
For nature in her wilder mood
Provides a blissful solitude.

The River Soar! Now that’s a title.
A kind of place I’d like to idle
By water and by God’s own creatures
All of our world’s most lovely features.

The River Soar is quite a spectacle!
(excuse me while I adjust my testicle)

BC

Author's Reply:
Now was this the manic scott I wondered or was it another of your alter ego's? Whichever mattered not one bit. It had me choking with laughter over my oatabix. I only regret I haven't the same talent. Thanks for cheering me up, exactly what the doctor ordered. Val x

RoyBateman on 26-07-2008
A Walk By The River Soar
Oh, what do "rules" matter if you get the gist and the atmoshere across, and you do - so, fine! A lovely peaceful idyllic scene, and obviously something that'll come back to cheer you up for years to come. Great things, memories - in the end, they're all we have, aren't they?

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 31-07-2008
A Walk By The River Soar
Sonnet or poem. What the heck. Wouldn't know a sonnet if it bit me on the bum ... if you 'll excuse my French.

But I do know a good poem when I read it. And this was surely one.

Tina:-)

Glad you're feeling so much better.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 02-08-2008
A Walk By The River Soar
I agree, a good poem is a good poem, whatever. I must say you got nearer to the challenge than I did myself. The more I struggled the more I regretted it. I couldn't even remember just which kind of sonnet I was supposed to be writing. well done, Val.
Daff

Author's Reply:


A Little Treasure (posted on: 18-07-08)
A memory from 1984 https://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=edit&op=StoryQueueModify&uname=Bradene&qid=24385

I pretended to sleep I knew it was the time of day she loved. I teased her squeezed my eyes tight shut soft little hands cupped my cheeks eyes flew open to light on a sweet face startled. Tiny milk teeth trapped a pink tipped tongue, blue eyes sparked puckishly I tickled her, she squirmed away giggling ran to the television clicked it on, knelt before it as if it were a Godhead. The pleasant voice of Ralph McTell sang out about tickle on the tum for a while she was held captive Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for A Little Treasure
e-griff on 18-07-2008
A Little Treasure
I reject baby pomes, on the grounds they are too lovy-dovey. They might suck me in....

anyway, your link has moved on ...

Author's Reply:
Your cynicism can be abrasive and hurtful sometimes, Crit my poem by all means, but don't mock my memories of a lovely grandchild. Anyway my link hasn't moved, just don't click until you see the video. (-; Val

orangedream on 18-07-2008
A Little Treasure
Your beautiful poem, Val to which you refer is undoubtedly 'Ralph McTell's 1984 album 'Tickle on the Tum'. ? Same year as he released 'Streets of London', I believe.

I never reject baby poems on the grounds they are the essence of what life is about.

Your link may have moved on, but your message ... never.

"For a while, she was held captive."

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina, This little treasure's life is not so carefree these days and is a sorce of constant heartache for us all. Thanks for your lovely comments Val x

artisus on 18-07-2008
A Little Treasure
eGRIFF, you're one of us.....

Val..... I think you're one of us too!
Xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Nic For your comments and for making this and last weeks poem 'Lost' Fav's I'm hopelessly behind in answering my posts . I'm sorry about that, I do appreciate you reading and commenting. Val x

Jolen on 19-07-2008
A Little Treasure
Some of the best memories for me are just like yours. This touched me in a very tender spot and so thank you.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen. Appreciated. Val x

e-griff on 19-07-2008
A Little Treasure
Val, I'm sorry you took my comment the wrong way. I agree it may not be clear, but have you known me make any such comment (the way you interpreted it) on your work before? No.

What I was trying to say, perhaps a bit lightly/obscurely was that your poem was effective, but I was play-acting a 'hard male' who didn't like 'lovey-dovey' stuff (supposedly 🙂 ). Hope that clears up my intention here.

Author's Reply:
I know, me being over sensitive just now, I'm the one to say sorry, you just caught me off guard. Still friends? (-; Val x

Sunken on 19-07-2008
A Little Treasure
Hello Ms. Val of Valtastic fame. I think I remember Tickle on the Tum. Did they live on a boat? I may have this all wrong. I blame e numbers and unregulated food additives. Anyway, that's not important right now. I likey your poem. I believe that it's even managed to hit Ms. Jolen's tender spot! That couldn't have been easy. I've been trying for years. Those Americans can be so tough. Don't worry, she won't read this. She'll be busy doing something dodgy with yogurt. Nice one, Ms. Val.

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tomorrow 2 - the day after 3

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky I can always rely on one of your saucy comments to make me laugh and a good laugh is what I need right now. Thanks for your unending supply of good humour. Val x

RoyBateman on 20-07-2008
A Little Treasure
There's always a place for something as touching and heartfelt as this...simple yet universal. I'd hope that everyone would say "ah..." to this, and I'm not being patronising - I think you knew that! Brought a lump to the throat, and why not.

Author's Reply:


Lost (posted on: 07-07-08)
Then/Now/Future? Edited

I wake to an echo, catch her last hiccupping giggle gurgling into the morning milieu. My dreams had been all sunbeams dancing through her flaxen hair, blue eyes a crinkle, audacious, seeking to be chased around the pear tree that once was a hospital for her dolls when she wanted to be still. Life is still now, her eyes no longer flash blue fire only a faded grey; hair lank from lack of care. Pear tree forgotten, dolls voices frozen no more crying mama, mama as they were constantly turned and tucked in by inept yet tender infant hands. All suspended, forlorn; lost in a vanquished imagination. Now it's she who is ill, restrained. No pretend hospital this, aromatic with pear blossom alive with the music of bees buzzing through balmy air; but a bizarre place with an odour of despair. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Lost
artisus on 07-07-2008
Lost
Great ending here too! v. good Val!

X

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 08-07-2008
Lost
Val - this is so poignant.

"Pear tree forgotten,
dolls voices frozen ...."

Beautiful lines.

Shall remember this one.

Tina x

Author's Reply:

Raindog on 08-07-2008
Lost
Yes, very poignant indeed. The last verse is superb.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 09-07-2008
Lost
A smashing piece and no mistake, Ms. Val. Ms. Orange picked my fave line, but it's all pretty tip top. Well done, Ms. Valtastic.

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the teabag conspiracy

Author's Reply:

JeffDray on 11-07-2008
Lost
I cried and I didn't fully understand it.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 14-07-2008
Lost
Very sad. Beautiful poignant imagery.
Daff

Author's Reply:


Divine Inspiration (posted on: 04-07-08)
This is my piece of flash for last Wednesdays challenge. The word was Absinthe. With profound apologies to the master himself Johnny Sullivan.

''Double Absinff, crushed ice wiv a splash o black currant and a titchy bit o angostura bitters please darlin''' Delboy said ginning at the new bar maid, giving her a cheeky wink when she turned up her nose in disgust. He turned with an irritated frown as he saw Rodney enter the bar and walk casually up to join him. ''Wot you doin' ere Rodders I fort I told yer to go down the market and sell them shell suits I got from Trigger yesterday? ''You must be jokin'me Del, bleedin' shell suits? It's two fousand an' eight not nineteen eighty bloody eight'' Del grinned wickedly and rubbed his hands together noisily. " Bonne de douche, bonne de douche, just turn on the old charm wiv the old gels yer dipstick Rodders, they'll love 'em Rodney looked at Del's drink with a puzzled expression on his face. ''Blimey Del wot's that you're drinkin' it stinks disgustin' '' This Rodder's bruv' is a drink wot those arty farty types woz drinkin' before they cottoned onto LSD, reckoned it inspired em to write fings wot they don't normally fink of.'' Rodney digested this piece of information with a silly grin on his pale face. '' I don't fink you woz meant to put black currant in it though Del'' ''Ah well see Rodders I 'ad to disguise it a bit, cos' they usta t' call it Green fairy'' Del whispered, looking round sheepishly to see if he had been overheard. ''I aint avin nobody finkin I'm a fairy, know wot I mean?'' Yeah but why do you wanna go drinkin wot the arty farty types drink for anyway Del?'' Chortled Rodney. ''You aint no Oscar bleedin' Wilde'' "I know Rodders but I got done for selling wiv out a licence yesterday and I need a bit o divine inspiration as they say, I gotta fink up a good story to tell the beak when I'm up in court on Friday or I'll be doin a bit a porridge, it's me fird time in free monfs I've been bleedin' nicked!" ______________________________________________________________ Characters Pinched from Johnny Sullivan I hope he won't sue me ((-;
Archived comments for Divine Inspiration
Rupe on 04-07-2008
Divine Inspiration
An enjoyable and very recognisable pastiche. Liked to joke about the shellsuits (awful garments, they were) & particularly enjoyed this line:

"reckoned it inspired em to write fings wot they don’t normally fink of"

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Happy you enjoyed my little wander into Peckham, I just hope Mr Sullivan never gets to read it (-; Val

Harry on 04-07-2008
Divine Inspiration
You've got a real flair for these literary snapshots, Val. This one has all the elements and gives the reader the opportunity to write his own finish. Loved it!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Harry, I didn't know whether or not You got Only Fools and Horse over the pond, It's become part of the National heritage over here and is popular with all age groups, I've long wanted to try my hand at doing something like this I'm not too sure about the legality of it though. Val

Sunken on 04-07-2008
Divine Inspiration
Hello Ms. Val. Ya know, in me head I can do Del's voice spot on. My gob must be on a different channel tho. Very enjoyable.
By the way, is winking generally not a good idea when trying to attract a member of the opposite sex? It could be where I've been going wrong (that and the Brut maybe?) Nice one, Ms. Val of Tastic.

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tuna 4 - dale winton 3

Author's Reply:
Hiya sunky How are you doing then? Thanks for your nice comments, do you know I have the same trouble, Del and Rodney's voices sound great in my head but when I was reading it over the phone to my daughter the other day she was cracked up laughing at my midland accent trying to do a cockney one, Daft innit? Love Val x

orangedream on 05-07-2008
Divine Inspiration
I've said it before and I'll say it again, a great and very clever piece of writing. You have brightened up my rather cloudy Saturday morning. Thank you:-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina, for that. I'm really enjoying doing these little flashes of fiction, now all I need is more confidence to restart my flipping novel ((-; Val x

pombal on 05-07-2008
Divine Inspiration
Still love it Val - a hard thing to do and it looks effortless 🙂

Chris

Author's Reply:
Thanks Chris, I enjoyed doing this and I could get quite carried away and do more but I daren't risk it I'm sure it must be illeagle illegal even ((-; Val x

pombal on 05-07-2008
Divine Inspiration
It seems to be the way that most things that are fun are illeagle 🙂

Author's Reply:
Lol, love it.

RoyBateman on 06-07-2008
Divine Inspiration
Been sued yet, Val? I should think that JS has made enough to take this as the compliment that it was clearly meant as - if that makes sense. A very neat piece of dialogue, and very true to character!
I liked it a lot - but then, they do say that absinthe makes the heart grow fonder...

Author's Reply:


Numbers Up (posted on: 30-06-08)
Written for a Wednesday Prose/Poetry flash challenge. The word was Murder.

Elsie had found a new friend, it had been a while since her partner had died, she was lonely. She had never been good on her own, had always needed company, even now when she was about to turn eighty two she still felt the need to be with someone. She'd met Paddy as she was gardening, he was the local community policeman. She had heard on the grapevine that they had a new one, a bit older than the last chap, he had been far too young, the old folk on the estate just couldn't connect with him, so when Paddy stopped by to say hello she was pleasantly surprised to see he was in his late forties and rather portly. Obviously not long off retirement. From the moment they met there was a spark, Elsie had always been attractive to younger men so was elated to find she still possessed that certain something men always saw in her. Her house soon became a bolt hole for Paddy, when he wanted tea and biscuits or somewhere to pass the time. Paddy always gave her a nice kiss before he left. This morning she had bumped into Paddy in the supermarket just as she was buying her lottery ticket, he came over and whispered, ''Won't see you till tonight, I'm on a split shift the rest of the week, new rota they're trying out. Tell you later, oh I haven't forgotten what day it is.'' ooOoo Later as Elsie watched the coloured balls popping up one by one on the TV Screen she couldn't believe her luck, on her birthday too! She wondered how much longer It would be before Paddy arrived, she could hardly wait to tell him, she knew he would tell her how to claim her prize. Elsie sat knitting, her steel pins click clacking in the silence of her neat little sitting room, then the sound she had waited to hear all evening, the soft rat-a-tat-tat on the window meant Paddy had arrived. She picked up the pink ticket and with knitting needle in hand Elsie rushed to let Paddy in blurting out her news almost all in one breath. Paddy's face lit up, one arm went around her, his free shovel sized hand held her smaller one that held the knitting needle he bent and kissed her lips. Elsie's heart leapt as a sharp pain of happiness shot through it, dimly she heard Paddy say ''Happy birthday sweetheart.'' Paddy stooped to pick up the piece of pink paper that fluttered to the floor as he wished Elsie a happy birthday. He knew his numbers would come up one day Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Numbers Up
artisus on 30-06-2008
Numbers Up
for me it's a memorable good story, very very nice Val!

X

Author's Reply:
Thanks Nic (-; Val x

RoyBateman on 30-06-2008
Numbers Up
Ah, subtle! Leaving the denouement right to the end is wonderful if you can manage it, and you did with style. So, Elsie's not going to keep her cash for too long, eh? I love stories like this - well done!

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked the story Roy, thanks for reading. Val x

orangedream on 30-06-2008
Numbers Up
A good story Val, that I enjoyed even more second time around. Cleverly written:-)

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina, just added a little more to it for posting here though. I thought it was a bit too obscure before. I rather enjoy writing these little stories. Val x

Griffonner on 02-07-2008
Numbers Up
Oh how I wish I could do this!!!! Brilliantly concise and yet telling the story well enough for my brain to see the 'pictures'. Well done, Val.

Allen
x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Allen, hope you're feeling better just now. Love Val x

Griffonner on 02-07-2008
Numbers Up


Author's Reply:
Thanks for the rating allen (-; val x

Claire on 02-07-2008
Numbers Up
Hey there hun, shame the old dear didn't get to spend her winnings, I bet the ole copper has fun though.
Lovely wee piece here.

Claire.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 03-07-2008
Numbers Up
Hello Ms. Val. Really enjoyed this. It has a subtlety that only a Val can produce. Bloomin marvelous and no mistake.

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analyse kiss

Author's Reply:


Thief From A Parallel Life (posted on: 02-06-08)
A sequel to a piece I wrote some time back called Infinite Possibilities and also my effort for last Wednesday's F/P/P Challenge set by Mandrake

Out of the blue it came again, the strange hallucination I'd experienced when William and I were honeymooning. This time it was really scary, different too. It felt like something or someone other was controlling my body; no matter how I tried I couldn't move, more than that the parts of my body that I could see, weren't mine. They were emaciated, wasted. I could see purple veins, bones poking through the sallow skin. I felt weak, unbelievably tired, a terrible hopelessness and a yearning overcame me. The vision of William and me larking playfully on the beautiful white sandy beach in Hawaii came leaping into my mind, although suddenly even those thoughts didn't seem like my own anymore. I'm not sure how long the fugue like state lasted, but I'm scared. I know it will happen again. Sometimes I feel her close, pushing, pushing, ever more insistent. I resist, but I know somehow she's getting stronger; she wants my body. I feel her need, her craving. I'm afraid to sleep, I watch William sleeping by my side his face relaxed, golden eye lashes moving gently on the cusp of his cheeks, mouth slightly open. I want so much to tell him but I'm frightened he won't believe me. He'll think me mad, but I know she watches and waits, I can even smell her sickness on my body when I tire and sleep threatens to overpower me. My awareness snaps back, she retreats temporarily. She has learned patience. She covets what I have here; one day soon I fear she'll break through the barrier to stay and I'll be trapped, too weak to fight anymore. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Thief From A Parallel Life
Rupe on 02-06-2008
Thief From A Parallel Life
I'm not quite sure what's going on, though I have one or two tentative ideas (maybe I should have read the earlier piece first) but I like the style you've used - suggesting rather than spelling things out, and doesn't allow the reader the comfort of an authoritative perspective. It creates a feeling of unease, almost paranoia, very effectively.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
I suppose the clue is in the title. I'm glad that you found the writing style to your liking, I did try to make it as edgy as I could, I have only really just begun to write prose so I was pleased with your responce. I may even be tempted to try a prose challenge next, who knows. Val

red-dragon on 02-06-2008
Thief From A Parallel Life
Interesting Val - especially the premise that, once she's with you, you would submit and not fight 'it'. Title fits it very well. Ann

Author's Reply:
Did You read the first one? I did that from the thief's Pov, if you think maybe how long she has had to stumble upon this strange power and she did eventually master it completely then the other girl would be helpless to do anything about it. Not possible I know but hey! it's just a piece of fun fiction. Thanks for reading Ann. I appreciate your views Val x

Griffonner on 02-06-2008
Thief From A Parallel Life
Maybe, in the sequel, when the dreaded day arrives, someone will step in to protect her? I jolly well hope so, 'cos if this is you we would be robbed of a really good raconteur.

🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the sweet remarks Allen. Hope you are still keeping that wonderful positive frame of mind. Thinking of you Val x

Romany on 02-06-2008
Thief From A Parallel Life
Are we talking about depression here? As a seperate and stronger entity, threatening to take over the brighter moments? That is what came to me.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
The first little flash I did may explain it a little more, No it's not depression but I can quite see where you are coming from, as I said to Ann, it's just a bit of fun fiction really. I was going to put a link up to the other story but Mandrake thought it would stand alone as a piece of flash. Also there is a clue in the title. Thanks for the comments. Val x

Geoff_N on 02-06-2008
Thief From A Parallel Life
I enjoyed this, Val. The poet in you comes through with the sensitivity of the victim's feeling of helplessness. I'd like to know what the smell is that she detects - 'her sickness on my body'. The reader needs more - is it a real olfactory odour of rotting flesh, regurgitated food, or excrement - you get the smell-picture!
Her inability to move is like hypotonia only she is awake - or thinks she is? Interesting.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Geoff. Well the smell, I think I meant that long time sickness type of smell. This was limited to 350 words for a challenge and I was aware that if I tried to elaborate more I would have gone way over the limit, I also wanted to keep it a bit edgy, The first part I wrote several months back was just meant to be a one off story, but the challenge word was Parallel so I decided to make it a sort of sequel to that. I suppose I could lengthen the whole thing now the challenge is over and come up with a proper ending (0;. I'm not so good at fantasy or Sci fi as you you know, compared to you I'm a novice. *blushes* I appreciate your advice though anytime. Love Val.

orangedream on 03-06-2008
Thief From A Parallel Life
I really admired this piece of writing, Val, as I said when I read it on the 'flash' challenge recently.

I like your style, as they say and look forward to reading more of your excellent prose. A woman of many talents, quite obviously!

Tina:-)x

Author's Reply:


Just A Place To Be Born (posted on: 30-05-08)
A disintegration of a way of life

The house where I was born no longer stands, yet the place where it stood still holds a magic I cannot resist. The view is still the same, overlooking the grand union canal the bridge that spanned it; the pathway to my heaven and my mother's hell. She feared my falling, becoming entangled in the fronds beneath its murky depths. To me it meant freedom I would lie among the bullrushes and watch the diversity of life flit and fly dive and swim, and taste the salty tang of the reed beds. Listen to the chug, chug, chug of the narrow boats plying their trade along the busy waterways of a quintessential England that I did not then realise would soon disappear forever. Copyright VMM 2008
Archived comments for Just A Place To Be Born
Andrea on 30-05-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
Ahhh, marvellous nostalgia Val, loved it. I have a place like that in my heart, too - different location, same feeling...

(I think bull rushes should be bullrushes, although perhaps it can be both?)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea, I think you may be right about bullrushes Val x

red-dragon on 30-05-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
Your descriptions are spot on of childhood memories. They showed some kids on TV this morning gathering frog spawn. I was there, age 8, listening to the gloop of the pond weed as it plopped back into the water! Thanks Val, for a great read. Ann

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed this little cameo of childhood. Thanks for your comments. Val x

Ionicus on 30-05-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
How nostalgic, dear Val. It doesn't matter that the house where we were born has been pulled down. It will always be vivid in our memory.
A good read.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi Hope you are well Love Val x

Corin on 30-05-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
I can empathise strongly with this Val. The house where I was born is also no more and the little stream beside it is culverted in. The view of the District line and Fenchurch Street to Southend railway is still there, but the goods yard that I spent many happy hours watching the waggons being shunted is now gone and turned into a DIY super market. Strange really how those days of fifty years ago seem so alive, so vivid.

A lovely piece I realy enjoyed reading.

WarmmWishes

David

David

Author's Reply:
Thanks David, I don't think it was the house so much as the whole area, it was just a hamlet that had grown up around the lock keepers cottage by the Grand Union Canal and the signalman's house as the Great Northern Railway ran parallel with it for a while and our hamlet was betwixt and between sheer paradise for kids and total hell for parents. It is situated on the A50, but in those days there was almost no traffic unless you counted odd tradesmen or the Milkman's horse and cart, oh yes and the school bus, but it was safe enough to play football on for an hour or two without having to worry about a car coming, just the trains thundering overhead as we played our football under the railway bridge. (0; Kids miss out on so much fun and have little imaginations these days. Oops I'm beginning to sound 65 now I'd better watch out!. Val

artisus on 30-05-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
It's a good poem Val, very affecting too.

X

Author's Reply:
Thanks Nic Love Val x

Sunken on 31-05-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
I like a good tug myself, Ms. Val (-; What an idyllic picture you paint. Well done on the muchly deserved nib.

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where there's a willy there's a tug

Author's Reply:
Why thank you Sunk, that is very kind of you I must say. (0; Val x

orangedream on 31-05-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
I just savoured every line of this little gem. More than deserving of its nib and in fact I shall save it to my favourites
to remind myself to nom it when that becomes possible again. Round about the end of next month (June) if I am not mistaken.

A real smasher, Val.

Tina:-)

Author's Reply:
Thank you Tina and thanks for making it a fav' really appreciate it Love Val x

RoyBateman on 01-06-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
I think that this is something that virtually anyone can relate to...different place, perhaps, but surely the same aching nostalgia. Yes, aprents did worry - naturally - but not as much as today. We could still disappear all day onto waste ground, into parks, and wander back safely. Not today, unfortunately... Lovely poem, Val, and it's good to see it get the nib that it truly deserves.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, I love a bit of nostalgia now and then (0; we could stay out all day and not get bored or into serious trouble once, unless old Mason the Farmer happened to catch us pinching his apples and plums that is, but we were a lot quicker than him and outwitted him most times. Poor old bugger, we were the bane of his life I reckon. Val x

JeffDray on 01-06-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
Nice one Val. I would check the house I was born in but can't be bothered. I'd sooner remember the next one.

Author's Reply:
ooer now you got me wondering about the next one, do you mean the next one you lived in or next door? (0; Thanks for stopping by good to see you about again Val x

Raindog on 01-07-2008
Just A Place To Be Born
You've captured childhood memories perfectly- I felt I was there.

Author's Reply:


Wednesday 26th May 1943 (posted on: 26-05-08)
A little something I wrote four years ago, but thought as it is my 65th birthday today I would congratulate myself

In the midst of conflict the world at War, my father at sea, destined to walk his homeland no more. I arrived, breaking free of darkness out into the light leaving the warmth of the womb for a cool spring night. Not understanding, for how could I see, the man from whose loins I sprang would be but a shadow, a ghost to me. copyright VMM 2004
Archived comments for Wednesday 26th May 1943
RoyBateman on 26-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
First - happy birthday! Obviously 1943 was a vintage year - but, of course, this is a deeply sad piece. Kids grow and understand, then react, in such different ways to this terrible loss - the only consolation being that at least that thread of life is continued instead of being snuffed out completely. No, that's not much help, is it? Still, we all sympathise - enjoy that birthday anyway, it's quite a landmark!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, Enjoying it so far. Just whiling away a few minutes while waiting for a visit from my youngest and her tribe. As to the poem well, Yes, I still do get sad at the thought of not knowing my dad, My late Brother Roger (of Podge fame) remembered him quite well and used to tell me things about him, you know small anecdotes, but I still feel as if I should know more. I managed to find his grave and the ship he was on when it was torpedoed, but not much about his early background. Why we always leave these things till it's way to late I'll never know. Thanks again Val x

Andrea on 26-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
A terrible, terrible thing, that war, so sorry about your father Val. Very sad, but a beautiful poem nonetheless.

And happy birthday, hope you have a good 'un!

Author's Reply:
Thank you Andrea. Val x (-;

orangedream on 26-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
Many, many happy returns Val and I echo too all that has been said.

Tina:-)x




Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina, For your good wishes. Sorry about the delay in answering, been a bit busy of late. Val x

e-griff on 26-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
Happy birthday!

Author's Reply:
Thanks mr G Sorry it's taken so long, got a lot on at the mo. Val

Sunken on 26-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
Happy birthday, Ms. Val. A fine poem and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky sorry I'm late again been so busy. Val x

discopants on 27-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
A belated happy birthday wish from me and a nicely-expressed poem to boot.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Disco, Sorry I didn't reply sooner, lifes a bit hectic just now. Val

pencilcase on 27-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
A belated Happy Birthday, Val. You share poignant thoughts to mark the occasion, conveying not so much a sense of loss, but rather a sense of never had - and how this crucial circumstance concerning your arrival in this world has obviously stayed with you all these years.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hope that turning 65 brings more reflective offerings on uka.

Best wishes,

Steve

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments steve and birthday wishes. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, been so busy lately. Val x

red-dragon on 28-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
Belated happy birthday Val; a poignant, reflective poem to mark it - hope you enjoyed the day, though! Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann, had a lovely day in fact the whole preious weekend was really pleasant seeing my children. Nice to see your smiling face on WOTM. Sorry about the delayed answer, just so busy. Val x

Corin on 28-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
Happy Birthday Val - Sad to read this it was the same experience for me. My father died in 1950 of Leukaemia, a few days after my sister was born and when I was two. I used to have dreams that he had been lost in the war and finally turned up after being missing for years. The poem 'Unmemories of my Father' is about my experience. The pain is still there deep down somewhere.

Warm Wishes

David

Author's Reply:
Thanks David, Sorry to hear about your Father, I know what you mean about the pain always being there somewhere deep down, I know this sounds a bit ott but I always had the feeling of being incomplete and it has affected my like a great deal in lots of ways that I am only now beginning to understand. Best to you Val x

Munster on 29-05-2008
Wednesday 26th May 1943
HI Val, just catching up with the site, happy belated birthday and I totally agree very nice poem that makes us think how blessed we are.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tony, sorry my reply is late too I am rather busy just now with a writing project that I started a few weeks ago and I am getting so caught up in it I forget everything else *blushing* Hope you are OK Val x


A Silly Sort Of Sonnet (posted on: 23-05-08)
I know a few who would totally agree with this sentiment ((-; edited slightly

Most days I utter not a single word, My lips stay silently sealed, my tongue still. Frustration builds up until I could kill And my internal scream pleads to be heard. As the week jogs along it gets absurd, For I need to communicate and fill My mouth with prose that floats around until My head's trilling like a chorus of birds. When company comes, my dam overflows. My chattering forever onward goes Never knowing when I should make a stop. Missing signs, the hints some politely drop. Others impatiently request a cork To plug my mouth and hush my ceaseless talk Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for A Silly Sort Of Sonnet
orangedream on 23-05-2008
A Silly Sort Of Sonnet
One could say you are obviously blessed with the gift of the gab, Val and who am I to contradict?

Seriously though ... it certainly brought a smile to my lips, this rather damp and drizzly morning.

Tina:-)



Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 23-05-2008
A Silly Sort Of Sonnet
Brings a smile to my face, Val.

*Thinks: so that's why people don't come back to my place!*

😉

*hugs*

Allen

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 23-05-2008
A Silly Sort Of Sonnet
Ah, what turns us from trappist to yakmeister grade one? Maybe it's just opportunity, eh? Having an audience - can't criticise at all, I'm probably worse than most! Most amusing, but with a very realistic current below the surface!

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 23-05-2008
A Silly Sort Of Sonnet
There just comes a time when you have to let rip, Ms. Val. According to Munky, you are just compensating for your quiet times. He recommends Miracle Grow. I don't know why, it's just his latest cure for everything. Personally, I think he's full of crap. Nice piece. Thank you. Good day now.

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now available with grab rails

Author's Reply:

teifii on 24-05-2008
A Silly Sort Of Sonnet
Very nice sonnet and not so silly really.
May I suggest --prose that floats around - as prose is singular.
Daff

Author's Reply:


Beyond The Beaded Curtain (posted on: 19-05-08)
Artisus's wednesday Prose/poetry/ challenge, My effort. Written with my tongue firmly fixed in my cheek.

The Malaysian woman stood in the doorway of her small, spotless flat, a smile deepening the lines on her already wrinkled face. She beckoned me closer. I hesitated, uncertain, I had heard strange things about her. Her smile broadened, her small head nodding slightly as she persistently motioned me forward. Finally I advanced, she stepped aside indicating I should enter, my heart beat faster as I did her bidding, I turned, watching her fasten the door behind us. She pointed to a back room beyond a beaded curtain, it was dimly lit, I became conscious of a sweet pungent fragrance emanating from within. My head began to swim, I was faintly aware of moving slowly towards the swaying beads, I could discern the high reedy hypnotic sound of oriental music. Blackness came upon me like a giant raven smothering me with its all encompassing wings. Alertness was slow in returning, I couldn't perceive anything familiar; all was mysterious, my body felt light, cool, in fact it felt good. I looked down and saw I was wearing the loveliest silken sarong I had ever seen. I touched its softness and liked the feel. ''You are truly beautiful my wife'' I stiffened at the sound of the deep voice, I turned to the direction it came from and saw a handsome man similarly attired to me only his sarong was of a plainer cloth but still a rich silk. His dark features appraising me with love. He reached out a hand taking my smaller one into his. Gold rings adorned my fingers. He was speaking again in an exotic tongue; yet I understood his every word I had a compelling need to look at my reflection, as if he had divined my wish he produced a mirror, I looked at the likeness staring back, fear spiking for an instant. What had happened to my blue eyes, my mousy hair? who was this almond eyed beauty gazing back at me with hair softer than black velvet? The rustle of my husband removing his sarong sent all other questions fleeing from my thoughts Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Beyond The Beaded Curtain
Sunken on 20-05-2008
Beyond The Beaded Curtain
Ahem. I knew I shouldn't have read this in bed. I almost choked on my twix (I keep a supply at many vantage points, just in case of unnatural disasters). I must get myself a sarong... so that I can remove it. Nicely told, Ms. Val. Now if you'll excuse me, I have sap to extract. Disgraceful!

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chest hair optional

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 20-05-2008
Beyond The Beaded Curtain
Ooh, er...you'd better beware of these bead curtains, you know. Thay can have strange effects. Took me straight back to "Sing Something Simple" and that undying classic "Love's Old Sweet Sarong"...

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 20-05-2008
Beyond The Beaded Curtain
Really liked this, Val - tongue in cheek or not, and I really do believe I am becoming a big fan of your prose pieces. Just adored the last line!

Hope you're feeling much better. From the sound of it you are indeed quite chirpy!

Tina;-)x

Author's Reply:

Briarcal on 22-05-2008
Beyond The Beaded Curtain
classy, Bradene, I love the last line too.

Author's Reply:


Ink (posted on: 19-05-08)
Another Wed'F/P/P challenge effort.

The ink in my pen has begun to stall. There are days when I think I'm not a poet at all. My timing has gone; the rhyming all wrong. Imagination has fled to a permanent bed. Beneath all the clutter sporadically, a flutter a stirring of grey matter, a whirring, a splatter of ink on the walls from a pen that consistently palls. Sepia fading degrading. Soon, I think the ubiquitous Quink becoming invisible INK Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Ink
barenib on 19-05-2008
Ink
Well done Val, I think we've all had this feeling from time to time. John x

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 19-05-2008
Ink
Hello Ms. Valtastic. I hear that scientists are close to perfecting a writers block drug. I personally think it's poppy-cock. I always phone Dyno-rod. Those boys know a thing or two about blockage and no mistake. A nice piece with no spelling mistakes. Didn't you know it's national spelling misatke day? (-;

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weirdo inside

Author's Reply:

Romany on 19-05-2008
Ink
I know just how you feel, especially lately!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 19-05-2008
Ink
Hi Val. It seems to be a general malaise and you have expressed it brilliantly. Enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 20-05-2008
Ink
There's a lot of this about at the moment - mental constipation, I mean. In many cases, it's a very good thing indeed, but not, I hasten to add, in yours. You said it for all of us!

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 22-05-2008
Ink
I definitely can relate to this! That wretched writers block feel

Emma x


Author's Reply:


Cypriot Spring (posted on: 16-05-08)
2nd attempt at the spring Challenge

This year in Springtime Off with UKAway To Northern Cyprus For my holiday I've got to admit I was in for a surprise For those Turkish men Were a sight for sore eyes The handsome young males Waiting tables were charming I just couldn't help it I found them disarming I'm usually mature Yet it's not very sage To be winking at young things Having reached my age But the season was Spring So it's not too surprising I suddenly discovered That my sap was rising I had a grand time Visiting wonderful sights, but I really did fancy All those Turkish delights Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Cypriot Spring
e-griff on 16-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
So there is such a thing as a 'dirty old woman' then?

My god! Poor David ....

Author's Reply:
Ha! not really, just a piece of fun again. You had me worried with your remark about David though, (-; No, in spite of everything this old girl is settling into her autumn quietly thank you, but with some regrets. That though is life as they say (-; Val.

sirat on 16-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
Don't worry Griff. I don't think she's quite that desperate.

Glad you enjoyed the trip Val.

Author's Reply:
David! What do you mean? "Not THAT desperate... I wasn't desperate at all, just having some fun, and no doubt will have more next year if the opportunity arises. (-; Val

e-griff on 16-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
Ha ha! You two! 🙂

I actually meant poor old David having to put up with you simpering at all the young waiters and giving them the glad eye!

Author's Reply:
I do Not Simper for your information I blush, very easily. Ask my daughter. I just wasn't prpared to find myself so impressed by the Turkish men that's all and as for turkish delight well David bought some to take home too, so there! (-; val

delph_ambi on 16-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
Super poem. I'd have ogled them too, had I been there. No question. It's a funny thing, the way men are always surprised that we women, whatever our age, have a tendency to start salivating at the sight of a gorgeous young dark-skinned waiter...

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 16-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
Hahaha, great stuff Val - thoroughly enjoyed. And don't you worry, *I* ogle all the time - never too old, I say!

Author's Reply:

artisus on 16-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
hehehe, I agree with Andrea...
X

ps: you must really like Spring, don't know why, I was always deeply suspicious of spring. hmm. i prefer Summer and Autumn.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 17-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
Put your eyeballs back in, woman - what a disgrace, ogling young persons of the opposite s*x. I can honestly say that I've never ogled young blokes like that. Turkish or otherwise. Does your hubby know about this outrageous behaviour?
And I thought this uka malarkey was about writing! Tut tut...

Author's Reply:

teifii on 17-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
Ukaway certainly bore fruit. Cheered me up that did. No harm in appreciating the national charms, is there.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 18-05-2008
Cypriot Spring
Tut, tut. Disgraceful. Here I am at your disposal and nobody ever ogles me. Ok, I may not be a spring chicken but...
Very amusing piece with a good closing stanza.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:


Virtue Intact Girls (posted on: 16-05-08)
Rising Sap/Springtime challenge 1st attempt

On a Spring lunchtime In the sunny open air Sitting all alluringly Around the town Hall Square Lunching on Kunzel cakes A bottle of fizzy coke Being watched lecherously By every passing bloke Always had us giggling We thought we were it We must have looked a fine pair Of posers, now I must admit. We were just a pair of kids With a glad roving eye Especially in the Springtime When the sap was rising high. It wasn't just the blokes Oh good gracious me, no We girlie's knew what we were up to And just how far to go Then before the week was out We usually got great dates To show off at the Palais In front of all our mates. The problem always came When the last waltz was done How to keep intact our virtue On the long journey home. copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Virtue Intact Girls
e-griff on 16-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
I've never been to a 'Palais' *sobs*

what have I missed?

Author's Reply:
To tell the truth I didn't go that often, I was hopeless at dancing. Poem was just a bit of fun, but i did used to eat Kunzel cakes and drink coke in the town hall square, watching the world go by, not just the Lads! Thanks for the comments. Val

Munster on 16-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
The good old palais, altough was very young at the time.
Well done Val,

Author's Reply:
Me too, Thanks for the comments Val

delph_ambi on 16-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
Great fun. Living in deepest suburbia, we didn't have things like a town square or a Palais, so I feel I've missed out. Love the last stanza!

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 16-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
Never been to a Palais or eaten a kunzel cake - they must be a specialty from your area - but I could relate to this as I think girls all over behave like that and boys too lol

Emma x


Author's Reply:

artisus on 16-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
A very nice poem Val, and your workshop was really good, thanks!

xx

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 16-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
Lovely stuff, Ms. Val. This is surely what life is all about. I wear safety glasses when girl watching these days. Some of them are a bit rough. I blame bimbo culture. Where did all the English roses go? Enjoyed your poem, Ms. Val.

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he's a placebo

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 17-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
Ah, that's the challenge - keeping those legs crossed in the face of determined and drunken assault. Shocking - of course, I'd never have tried it on...not me, your honour, it's a case of mistaken identity! Very droll, Val, and oh so realistic.
ps Kunzel cakes? They were a treat! I remember a huge poster for them on Snow Hill station - the family fled from Austria to Brum in the 30s, I believe. (I knew the bloke who used to be Mrs Kunzel's chauffeur, by coincidence.)

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 17-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
Great write Val. I was always shy, still am, around the girlies so was always a good boy. It was those women I tell ya getting me in trouble!

Enjoyed very much.

Take care.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 18-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
Brought a smile to my face, it did. Nice one, Val. Ann

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 18-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
I was the right age to frequent the Palais but I too was not a good dancer. It was the allure of the girls that drew us there.
Hammersmith Palais was so huge that one could lose his mates unless they agreed to a meeting point.
It was hard work trying to deprive the young ladies of their virtue, I can tell you.
Lovely poem; brought back a lot of memories.
Luigi xxx

Author's Reply:

Romany on 19-05-2008
Virtue Intact Girls
That's just it, isn't it? We girls thought we led the game until it came to saying 'no' when things often got a lot less funny! Nicely put,

Romany.

Author's Reply:


Food For a Thief. (posted on: 12-05-08)
Another snippet from childhood, featuring Podge and Degs (-;

Food would go missing from our pantry at an alarming rate, no one would ever own up to stealing it. Our mother was a dear simple soul; her only concern in life was seeing that her brood were well fed, loved, honest and polite. Being allowed to run unfettered and unwashed mattered little as long as we obeyed her rules and were happy. The matter of the missing food became a pressing problem to my mother as the precious stuff was rationed and always in short supply. As the age old adage said, necessity is the mother of invention. Our mother knew that to discover the culprit she would have to be as sneaky as the thief, and invent a foolproof way of catching the culprit. It was one of those glorious days of childhood that seem to live in the memory when all the horrid things of life have long been forgotten. We were at our usual haunt, naked as jay birds, splashing about at big willow, our name for that part of the River Sence that flowed shallow and narrow on the outskirts of the Village. We had been given a simple picnic of cold toast and a bottle of cold tea. When it came time to eat. We all settled in a circle to share the modest but welcome goodies between us when suddenly Degs, white face contorted with agony, clutched his belly, snatched up his clothes and took off across the fields as though all the Hell-hounds of Hades were after him. We watched him disappear with only a slightly curious interest that children of our age were capable of and carried on sharing out the food. Podge declaring smugly, ''great that means more for us then'' Later that day, arriving home tired but clean after the only time we ever enjoyed an encounter with water, we discovered poor Degs in the loo, where he had been lodged on and off since leaving us so unceremoniously earlier. In those days the loo was a smelly outside job that had to be emptied once a week by the local sanitation department, in high Summer the pong was riper than a cart load of rotten eggs Seemingly earlier that morning before the rest of us were even awake Degs had been hungrily foraging for food again and had taken mum's perfectly positioned bait. Four squares of delicious dark chocolate just a pity it was of the laxative kind. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Food For a Thief.
e-griff on 12-05-2008
Food For a Thief.
very amusing!

cold tea in a bottle, eh? simple pleasures

Author's Reply:

pombal on 12-05-2008
Food For a Thief.
hahahahah 🙂 - just desserts .....

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 12-05-2008
Food For a Thief.
Very entertaining, Ms. Val. You should add 'cunning' to your Mother's list of attributes. A smashing little write and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 13-05-2008
Food For a Thief.
That'll learn 'im, eh? I remember ex-lax all right, very bitter stuff - though heaven knows why I would have needed it. The sight of that big rough kid from over the road usually did the trick...this brings back more innocent days all right! I remember taking toast to school every day, wrapped in greaseproof paper, to be eaten with the milk at morning break-time. For some reason, we always called this "lunch"! Another reminiscence that causes a wry smile - they're always welcome!

Author's Reply:


Rage (posted on: 09-05-08)
He might not be on duty tonight, please God Edited with grateful thanks to Griff and Sirat for their invaluable advice.

It'll be dark soon. There isn't so much activity after the night shift comes on, an occasional nurse will pop in to make sure all the gizmos are working, jot something on my chart and leave. They never make any attempt to talk to me, I'm just another regular chore before they sign off in the morning. Some of them aren't even sure what's going on inside my head, most believe I'm dead already to all intents and purposes. He might not be on duty tonight, please God I'm not sure how I came to be here to be honest, at first when the darkness began to lift I didn't know who or what I was, just that I was, if you get my meaning. I get flashes, pictures that come into my head without warning, pieces of conversations that sometimes hardly make any sense at all. Remembering comes slowly, faces: names: places: all start to align themselves into some kind of order, but I don't understand yet why I am here, why I can't move or speak, I don't understand why they seem to think I can't see or hear them these strangers, who appear to be looking after me. I drop off and dream I'm walking down a tow path, the sun warm on my face, a herby antiseptic fragrance of Meadow Sweet lolling untidily among Ragged Robin growing up out of the reed beds fill me with a sense of well being; sounds of splashing from a family of water fowl delights me almost as much as the realisation that I am moving freely without thought or effort. Swiftly the scene changes and anguish replaces the contentment as the dream fades to be replaced by the horror of raw reality. I see his dark outline moving in closer feel his hot rancid breath on my cheek, his fingers poking and prodding, I lie here unable to move or make a sound but inside I'm screaming. '' Get your putrid hands off me you fucking pervert!!'' I will myself to move, to try and push him away but the vessel I'm trapped in remains unresponsive to my brains commands, I look inwards, try to remember my special place, forget the violation that is happening to my all but dead body. Unexpectedly I am no longer trapped inside that useless carcass. I find myself floating above 'it' and my tormentor. I watch as my poor broken form is abused, listening to his disgusting animal noises . Rage rises in me like a great tsunami. I want to heave him away and throw him as far from me as I can. No sooner than the thought is formed than his filthy bulk flies across the room and he lands with a great thud against the cabinet where the medical supplies are kept. His head smashes through the glass and there is a loud shattering of instruments and Petri dishes flying in all directions. Abruptly the door flies open and a small pleasant faced woman stands looking at the scene before her. One look at me, one look at him and she knows. She shouts down the corridor for assistance and they come running, the clatter of hurrying feet on the marble tiles, a collective gasp followed by outraged voices. Gentle hands reach for me, sweet crooning voices try to soothe my unresponsive form, yet inside I smile with joy and am wondrous at the thing that has just occurred. Rough hands reach for him, scathing voices spit vitriol at him as he is dragged forcefully and unceremoniously from my room. No attempt is made to clean me up, I hear them whispering among themselves, the police are mentioned, I hear the words: Forensic evidence must not be destroyed. Time passes and once more I feel like a thing of curiosity, people popping in and out to take a look at this poor creature. Snatches of indignant conversation caught from time to time. Always the same horrified tones "That such an atrocity could take place here! Right under our noses. Unbelievable!" Eventually two sombre faced young women arrive with brief cases and a pile of equipment, they walk slowly around my bed their eyes missing nothing. At last they begin their task in almost silence, just a monosyllabic observation here and there. The older of the two women turns back the sheet and starts to gently work her way down my body taking note of any bruising as she goes, then she gently but firmly pulls my legs apart, takes out some cotton buds from her case and a plastic vial. This is when I decide to take my leave and go in search of my special place. My heart is sick, my soul weary of all this humiliation. Once more to my delight I find myself hovering over my body and the women who are labouring so silently yet diligently around it. Gradually I realise I don't want to return to that useless cadaver, its purpose long since redundant. I can float, free from pain, It rapidly and blissfully occurs to me that for the first time in an age I am happy Why I bet I can go anywhere I choose Yes, I'll follow that star. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Rage
Dazza on 09-05-2008
Rage
Valfonso have I been missing so long that I have not seen your crossing into fiction and all the mixed mash of emotion it brings? Yes. You are a talented little mama! Dazpacho.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Dazza, I'm just testing the water you know, I'm a bit poetried out just now, but I can't give up writing I'm hooked. Thanks for your comments, catch you later . love Val x

orangedream on 09-05-2008
Rage
A fine piece of writing, Val. One certainly to be proud of. As has been said, there are many strings to your bow, quite obviously.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina pleased you enjoyed my bit of nonsense. Reading your book at the moment it's really something to be proud of and brings a lump to the throat. Hope you raise lots of cash for this worthy cause. Val x

pombal on 09-05-2008
Rage
Hi Val - it's always a pleasure to see you writing prose too 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pom nice of you to say so, wish I could make it look as easy as you manage to. Val x

sirat on 09-05-2008
Rage
I liked this a lot. I think it's the best piece of your prose that I have read so far.

My only suggestion would be to dispose of any bits that don't move the story forward. Edit down a bit. For example, I think the whole first paragraph could be deleted without loss; in fact it would be a big improvement. Also, I would avoid words that might come over as a bit pretentious or 'arty', e.g. 'effulgent'. But overall, I thought it was great.

Author's Reply:
David.. what can I say, You see Cyprus really did do the trick for me this year, You make a good teacher. I've edited it and added a little more, but am still uncertain about too much fleshing out of a character in a piece of flash fiction if you see what I mean, anyway I remembered a piece of advise Geoff gave me in Cyprus about not forgeting smells etc' showing instead of just telling, so That is really what I tried to do in the end, hopefully the more practice I get the easier it MAY become. (-; thanks again Val

artisus on 09-05-2008
Rage
beyond doubt, a very good story.
x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Nic I value your opinion. Val x

e-griff on 10-05-2008
Rage
This is very good as it stands, but I agree with David it could be improved with some nips and tucks here and there.

The majority of the story is clear, simple exposition, almost deadpan, which works in contrast to the terrible emotions flying around. So, like David, I'd definitely say cut the first para: 'It'll be dark soon' is a classic but nevertheless effective way to start a story and gets the reader straight into the scene and wondering what it's gonna be, and surprise when it comes - then the psychokinesis is a really BIG surprise - major high point in the story, (with the decision to 'slip away' being the counterpoint sad and wistful one to end on) - a good balance - you lift us up in a 'good for you gal, yeah!' mood, then plunge us into quiet thoughtfulness, in relatively few lines - that's the major virtue of this story .

I'd take out the last line as well. I'd also remove 'whining like a troll' (they are not real, and who knows if they whine or not?). And I'd also pick through some of the longer bits of expression to maybe trim and 'terse' them up a bit.

This is not to say that you should try and shorten the story overall per se - you might decide to add to some of the passages to heighten drama and tension, which would not come amiss, eg, her feeeling, but don't try to describe more about the perpetrator etc, that's fine as it is.

Well done. 🙂 JohnG

Author's Reply:
I was really happy with your Critique Griff and as you see I've edited it a little and added a little more. As I explained to David I was a little worried about fleshing out a character in a piece of flash but decided in the end to follow some advise given to me by Geoff Nelder. I'm writing a longer story at the moment and I am about half way through, it looks as though it may exceed 3000 words, which is epic for me! I would value your opinion on that when I eventually post it. Catch you later and thanks again, your help is much appreciated. Val

Briarcal on 10-05-2008
Rage
This is great, Bradene, I especially like the passage when the police turn up to do the examination. You have a few punctuation mistakes, but what the hell! If it's a good story, no one cares, and this is a good story.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for your comments, I am terrible at punctuation I know but I will try to get around to cleaning up my act. I notice you too come from Leicestershire, another woollyback then (-. I come originally from a village called Kilby Bridge near Wigston, how about you? Val x


Shaking Winter's Blues (posted on: 25-04-08)
Pullmyhair's challenge. A Burmese climbing rhyme, I haven't written this with just four words to a line, I was looking on a site where they said you could use longer lines which quite honestly I liked, as I think the whole thing flows better, but no doubt Griff will ball me out for this ((-;

In winter I feel my wiring's all wrong or I'm a popular song whose melody has gone. A quickstep turned slow with nowhere to go and nothing to show that I've been here at all. I'm in free-fall, to oblivion, with no one to call, but that's the wintry effect. I hope and expect that spring will return and deflect all my sadness. Re-wire my brain cleanse with spring rain. Chase cob webs away with gentle refrain, to remind, life's not in vain. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Shaking Winter's Blues
e-griff on 25-04-2008
Shaking Winters Blues
That's good - if you recall my earlier ones, I used more words per line as in this one. I agree it gives you more scope, and doesn't harm the cyclic rhymes in any way.

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 25-04-2008
Shaking Winters Blues
I do like this Val; it reads very naturally and its message is one with which I identify. Ann

Author's Reply:

teifii on 25-04-2008
Shaking Winters Blues
I agree; longer lines is an improvement rather than a fault. Very nice poem altogether.
I’m in free-fall, to oblivion, with no one
to call, but that’s the wintry effect. -- lovely lines.
Daff

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 25-04-2008
Shaking Winters Blues
You've done admirably, Val. I failed miserably although I didn't realise you could use more than four words to a line. Mind you, they say a bad workman always blames his tools, so I shall stop whinging, especially as others have managed it so well.

I too could identify with the message in your poem.

Tina 🙂


Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 27-04-2008
Shaking Winters Blues
Clever! I'm only just catching up on this particular form, but this flowed perfectly well - plus, it read well too. What more do we need?

Author's Reply:

margot on 27-04-2008
Shaking Winters Blues
this works really well, I particularly liked the opening.

Author's Reply:


Thought Constipation (posted on: 14-04-08)
A poets lament

Not a single thought is clear Nor memory serves me well Nothing comes into my mind That I wish to show or tell. Weeks now have passed me by Without inspiration Wishing won't make it go This thought constipation. I've tried to remember bits Of life that shine out like a gem Those precious little incidents That happen now and then Yet all I see is a blank page With nothing written on it Oh Lord, what I wouldn't give To write a simple sonnet Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Thought Constipation
RoyBateman on 14-04-2008
Thought Constipation
Very droll! I do sympathise as will, I suspect, virtually everyone. It gets us all sometime. Mind you, maybe it's not THAT bad...we all know what we get when constipation inevitably ends, don't we? Good one!

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 14-04-2008
Thought Constipation
Oh, this could have been written about myself - if only I weren't so stricken! Ann

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 17-04-2008
Thought Constipation
Hello Ms. Val. To be quite frank, I don't see a blank page at all. I see Ms. Valtastic articulating writer's block in her own unique way. So shove that in your soda-stream and get busy with the fizzi! Thank you.

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girls rock the boys

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 22-04-2008
Thought Constipation
I know the feeling! A nice poem dragged out of your "constipation"

Jay.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 24-04-2008
Thought Constipation
Hello Val, hope you and the family-especially little Leo are okay?

I like this as it happens so often to so many...good little write.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:


My Ma In Law And The Jumble Sale (posted on: 14-04-08)
Another tit bit from life, circa 1963. Written for the flash challenge some weeks ago.

I loved my mother in law and she loved a good jumble sale! She had one fault though, she always insisted I accompany her to the said sales. I hated them with a passion but I could never refuse her; they were always a bit like a rugby scrum and it wasn't unusual to go home quite bruised from a vicious elbowing. One particular Saturday we went along to the local church jumble sale and as soon as the doors opened the stampede began. I found myself as usual being buffeted about like a rag doll. ''Oh bugger this for a lark'' I thought and elbowed my way to the nearest table. I stumbled and put out my hand to steady myself. My hand landed on something hard and cold and as I looked down to see what it was a strident voice said ''Yours for a couple of bob dear'' The object happened to be a blackened teapot and because I wouldn't say boo to a goose in those days I duly paid up, although I could scarcely afford to buy a useless old thing like that! I was so afraid of being badgered into buying more rubbish that I slipped out of the hall unnoticed. Once outside I looked dejectedly down at the old teapot and just happened to notice that the spout was clogged with something that looked like dirty paper, I got out my nail file and poked about a bit until I teased it out. I couldn't believe my eyes when I realised that it was a five pound note rolled up, I thought all my Christmases had come at once and as I turned the pot round in my hand and peered at it more closely I slowly realised that not only had I found a piece of valuable paper in the spout but the pot itself was made of silver. copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for My Ma In Law And The Jumble Sale
orangedream on 14-04-2008
My Ma In Law And The Jumble Sale
Now why aren't I ever that lucky, Val? Enjoyed your slice of life with a nice cuppa. Thank you for it! It's nice to read this prose of yours. You must do some more.

Tina

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 15-04-2008
My Ma In Law And The Jumble Sale
Hi, Val - what a result! One of those delightful little pieces that's over too soon. Should've got yourself on the "Antiques Roadshow" with this, but it was a bit too early, I suppose. This is the sort of thing that would easily adapt into a good little (wholly fictional) story, too! Mind you, I'd be wary of rubbing your teapot - you never know what might appear...

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 17-04-2008
My Ma In Law And The Jumble Sale
An interesting little memory, Val! I can imagine your joy at discovering the fiver and the fact that the teapot was made of silver!

I see Roy has already commented on rubbing the teapot, but that's what came to mind. Maybe you could take this memory and make a story out of it, based on what happened but then letting the imagination go as to the magical powers of the teapot. Maybe not 'magical' as such, but the £5 was a lot of money then and maybe it enabled you to buy/do something else which leads to another meeting with the mysterious vendor...

Just a thought! It's an interesting memory for you to have shared, anyway.

Best regards,

Steve

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 18-04-2008
My Ma In Law And The Jumble Sale
It couldn't have happened to a nicer Val. A smashing little piece and no mistake. I once got a toothpaste dispenser from a jumble sale. You turned this little handle and it squeezed the tube for ya... I was such a geek. Nice one Val. Hope you are well.

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shedding new light on plaque

Author's Reply:


Take Me Home... (posted on: 11-04-08)
A slightly longer and revised version of Pombals's Alien Challenge on flash prose/poetry forum. Thanks to my daughter Sharon for her honest crit and input.

Zac moved slowly, dragging his weary body to the door of the craft that had been skilfully camouflaged among the foothills and looked up at the great vastness of space as he had done on so many nights before. He had lost count of the nights, just as he was losing control of his body and many of his natural skills since landing on this beautiful blue planet. Zac's sigh was deep and a little ragged with fear, an emotion seeming as alien to him as were other things that had begun to happen since he and his comrades had been assigned to gather samples to take back. He glanced half heartedly down at the slightly bulging bag that held various articles he had managed to gather together that day, far less than his required quota, but the energy it took to perform this simple task was becoming more and more testing. He was the only survivor of the scouting party, the others had perished from this strange sickness that had struck them down so swiftly, and he began to wonder if it was any use him carrying on. It was Zac's only experience of death that he could remember, he had heard of the phenomenon but had never witnessed it. Zac knew he hadn't much time left to him and he wished with all his being that the mother ship would return soon. Perhaps their wise ones could cure this strange malady that left him feeling so weak and frail. Zac looked down at his hands, previously so strong and dextrous, now gnarled and painfully stiff. Though his sight seemed to be diminishing he managed to catch a glimpse of his reflection in the shiny surface of the craft's walls, the vision staring back at him sent a shock shooting through a now failing body that used to be so sturdy and capable, his skin wrinkling and loose about his once bright intelligent eyes and his lush blond hair now sparse and white. Zac turned and shuffled back inside confused and trying hard to remember what all the control panels were for, if only someone would come and take him home Again Zac heard his voice, cracked and raspy asking the familiar question. ''What was it about this beautiful planet that turned a strong and vibrant being into a gibbering wreck ?'' As if in answer a strange being appeared, wearing some kind of transparent guard with a metal frame over it's eyes, at the end of it's arms it pushed a kind of device on wheels. It began to speak. ''Come on Mr Zachery, sit yourself in the chair, I knew I would find you by the coffee machines again. Whose bits and pieces have you been pinching this time?'' looking down at the pillow case dangling from his dressing gown cord. ''Come on old fellow let's get you back to the ward where it's warm, it's so draughty in the foyer here'' Once again Zac caught sight of his aged and failing body as the nurse pushed him towards the stainless steel lift doors of the nursing home and he shuddered in despair. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Take Me Home...
RoyBateman on 12-04-2008
Take Me Home...
Oh, very neat - I didn't see that coming! I was expecting some Wellsian fable of aliens wiped out by disease, but this is the sort of thing that gets us all in the end. (Hopefully, not for some time yet!) Very effective, and just the right length to make an impact.

Author's Reply:
Once again Thanks Roy for your comments I began to think this would go unnoticed I was going to pull it this morning. I know it's not that original but I am just a beginner at prose and I'm trying out one or two pieces I did for the flash forum, see how things go. Val x

orangedream on 12-04-2008
Take Me Home...
Val - this one has come on so much! You should be proud of it and such a poignant ending. I enjoyed it. Thank you.

Tina:-)xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina, I had hoped for more feedback even if it was not so good, I really want to try my hand at more prose, it's strange isn't it though I read somewhere on the forum the other week there was not enough prose on the sight, yet when you write some, half of them can't be bothered to stop and read and comment even if as I say they think it's rubbish, you would think they could tell me so. Oh well mustn't complain after all I'm as guilty as hell recently for not commenting much *blushing* ((-; Val x

Sunken on 13-04-2008
Take Me Home...
This is very clever Ms. Val. I didn't see the end coming either. To be quite frank, I feel as if I have been tricked. I may forgive you if I can see your bum. I hope this has helped. Good day.

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she was never far from his wallet

Author's Reply:

pombal on 13-04-2008
Take Me Home...
hahahahahah - its changed :))) ...cool Val, didn't expect that ...please write more prose :))

Author's Reply:


A Promise Of Cyprus (posted on: 07-04-08)
This is a biographical slice of a larger work I am writing. This piece I completed during our UKAway trip to Northern Cyprus.

Here I am then, Cyprus at last. I had begun to think it would always remain a dream unfulfilled. Looking out of my bedroom window overlooking Kyrenia now renamed Girni by the Turkish Cypriots, my mind slips back to an evening many years ago and a promise made to me by my late ex-husband, David. We were enjoying our first meal together in our new home. He was regaling me with another story of the troubled island during his time with the air force regiment in the fifties at the height of the conflict there. He had paused for a few minutes, his face sombre. ''Poor sods never stood a chance, there wasn't much left to put in the body bags when it came right down to it'' He looked back at me and said sheepishly: ''Sorry, didn't mean to tell you that tonight, especially tonight; tonight is supposed to be a celebration. I'm going to make you a promise, I reckon if we start saving now, you know, a few quid here and there, by the time our fifteenth anniversary comes around we could just about afford a couple of weeks holiday there. Mum'll have the kids for us.'' I sat open mouthed not able to say a word; it was 1968 holidays abroad were still for the professionals and the very wealthy. People like us were lucky to go camping on the east coast, yet he had made me a promise so if he said it would happen it would, I believed in him fervently then. It was not long after moving that David took a part time job to help with the extra expense of owning our own home and it soon became evident that he enjoyed it more than his regular shift work. It was in fact the first soft chord of the death knell to our marriage and ultimately his untimely demise. Between shifts of his regular job, he had begun to help our friend Alec, with his removal business. The aspect of this work that had so fascinated him, was that part of the job that dealt with estate agents who had been retained by solicitors acting for people with deceased estates, which meant clearing properties and transporting the effects to auction to be disposed of. Occasionally an estate would come along where there were no beneficiaries, so all proceeds from the sales automatically went to the treasury. This to David's way of brooding was a crime so it was with a clear conscience that anything valuable found hidden in secret drawers of desks, behind wardrobes or under mattresses belonged to him... finder's keeper's being his philosophy. It may not have worried David's conscience but it played on mine continually. Nothing I could say though would persuade him to see my point of view, to my shame I gave up protesting and bowed to the inevitable. Soon the whole of our lives revolved around this new love in my husband's life, mine and the children's needs becoming an encumbrance to him. Fun family holidays camping up by the pine woods at Wells - Next - The - Sea for a fortnight became a thing of the past. His annual leave from his regular job was now taken up with the removal trade or portering for the auction marts. Family holidays were restricted to long weekends over a bank holiday, usually in an up market hotel at Cromer, Sherringham or Blakeny. Then the day came when that soft knell rang a little louder; I knew the minute he walked through the door something momentous had happened, he had that glint in his eye that told me whatever was on his mind, he had already made his decision. If I had an objection or any other kind of opinion, tough... I could like it or lump it. When at last he started to tell me his news I felt my heart sink to my boots but I knew him well enough by then to know that anything I had to say would not be heeded, he was merely informing me of his intent not asking for my blessing. His eyes alight with excitement he told me of Alec's desire to retire, that Alec's own son was not interested in the business and finally that Alec had offered him the chance to buy him out for just two thousand pounds. He said two thousand pounds as if it were nothing, when in fact only a few short years earlier we had bought our smart semi detached house for one thousand six hundred and forty pounds more than Alec was asking for what was in reality a very old Pantechnicon and as he claimed the good will. I suddenly remembered the promise of Cyprus he had made on the night we moved into our lovely new home and was stunned to realise that our fifteenth anniversary was only a year away and in that moment I knew beyond doubt my dream of Cyprus with David was becoming more and more remote. The deal took a few weeks to finalize and inflicted many a sleepless night on me; because in order to achieve his ambition we had to use our home as collateral against a loan from the bank, an action that didn't sit well with me at all. As usual though David's decisions were unilateral and my opinions ignored, even though he needed my signature on all of the documents. David always got his own way in the end. Yes... Cyprus remained a dream and over the next fourteen years the soft knell grew gradually and irrevocably louder, but that's another story. As I look out again over Kyrenia I think how nice it would have been to have shared this moment with David. The fates obviously had other plans for us, then another thought bursts joyfully into my mind. How wonderful it is to be sharing my cherished dream with our first born daughter. Cpoyright VMM2008
Archived comments for A Promise Of Cyprus
e-griff on 07-04-2008
A Promise Of Cyprus
Young Valerie, a serendipitous visit then, that brought this back? Intriguing and moving, an honest, unemotional recounting which amply indicated the real emotion within you, and the feelings you still have for him - which you have shown in other work.

I admire the ability to express yourself so honestly. Sounds like you had a great venue to encourage it.

best, JohnG

Author's Reply:
Sorry I'm late answering this, been so busy since I got back. holiday was fine just what the doctor ordered. Thanks for your positive thoughts on my little bio piece, I keep working on the longer one hoping one day to complete it as far as I can at least. ((-; Val x

orangedream on 07-04-2008
A Promise Of Cyprus
I can only ditto what has been said, Val. I got so much from reading this. Thank you for sharing it.

Tin;-)xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina for your comments Val x

jay12 on 07-04-2008
A Promise Of Cyprus
I'm glad you finally made it Val! I hope you had a great time.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jay, Yes I finally made it, not the way I had hoped originally but well at least I got there in the end. I count myself lucky to have experienced it. Thanks for reading. Val x

RoyBateman on 08-04-2008
A Promise Of Cyprus
A very bittersweet piece, and clearly a place that - although it was new to you - stirred so many mixed emotions. Still, you have at least now made your own positive memories, and those will be the ones that stick. I hope there are many more!

Author's Reply:
Thank you Roy. It did stir a lot more memories than I had bargained for, some I wish had stayed burried but most I was quite happy to remember and realise that not all my time with David was unhappy. The first years were really good, sometimes if allowed those things can get lost in more destructive feelings, yet how can I let bitterness destroy the joy that he gave me two wonderful daughters. (-; Val x

sirat on 08-04-2008
A Promise Of Cyprus
This is obviously a very honest and heartfelt piece of writing, and although you don't talk a great deal about your feelings they come across powerfully. I can identify with that nostalgia for the good bits of a relationship, tempered with realism about the bad bits. It reminded me of that Edna O'Brien story A Woman by the Seaside, and the film that was made of it, I Was Happy Here. A lot of what I write too is vaguely biographical, but I always dress it up a bit. This one of yours I feel, is straight from the hip.

Re things to look out for, your biggest fault I think is leaving out commas. All the following examples need a comma: I'll leave it to you to work out where. basically it's just wherever there is a natural pause;

He had paused for a few minutes his face sombre

It was 1968 holidays abroad were still for the professionals and the very wealthy

people like us were lucky to go camping on the east coast yet he had made me a promise

meant clearing properties then transporting the effects

a very old Pantechnicon and as he claimed the good will

One or two other kinds of minor errors:

this new love in my husbands life (husband's)

The deal took a few weeks to finalize and many a sleepless night for me (missing verb. Something like 'produced' or 'caused' many a sleepless night)

the soft knell grew gradually and irrevocably harder (I think the two opposites would be soft and loud rather than soft and hard)

acting for deceased estates ('the estates of deceased people' or 'deceased people's estates'. It isn't the estates that are deceased)

It may not have worried David’s conscience but it preyed on mine (I did a sort of a double-take on this one. It sounds plausible but I don't think something can 'prey' on your conscience. That would mean it hunted it like a predator. I don't think 'prayed' works either. You could say it weighed on your conscience or disturbed your conscience, or maybe 'played' on your conscience.

Only minor points, the territory of copy editors. A very nice piece overall.

Author's Reply:
Thanks David I found your advice useful and have made the changes you suggested. Thanks for reading this again Val x

discopants on 09-04-2008
A Promise Of Cyprus
Glad you got to Cyprus at last- when you realised that you wouldn't get there with David you probably didn't imagine how you'd get there in the end!

dp

Author's Reply:
Thanks dp. No, you are right I would never have thought I would be going to Cyprus with a group of other writers. We had a smashing time, just wish it had been a tad warmer though. . Thanks for reading. Val x


Tina's First Time challenge (posted on: 28-03-08)
A Poem.

The first time Evocative phrase Events to remember Some to amaze Some to shame Plenty to feel proud A few to stay silent Lots to shout loud The first snow Of winter, a tiny tot Wasn't long to decide I liked it not The first glimpse Of a vast restless sea Filled me with awe, ah yes This was for me My first love Was sweet yet bitter too Unforgettable still My time with you My first child Baby girl with green eyes My constant companion Now womanly wise My first times For most things, almost gone There's one thing remaining Has to be done The first time The only time I die To leave you with a smile Whisp'ring goodbye. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Tina's First Time challenge
Jolen on 28-03-2008
Tina’s First Time challenge
Hi Val,
I enjoyed how you conveyed so much with such a few choice words. The rhythm here is fun and playful, even. Then as in life, we speed right through to the end...at least of one tale, ours. A clever little poem!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 28-03-2008
Tina’s First Time challenge
a nice voyage through a life ...

but you wouldn't expect me to let you get away with 'I liked it not' would you?

nevertheless, I closed my eyes to that and enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 28-03-2008
Tina’s First Time challenge
Well done, Val! Not just for rising to the challenge beautifully, in your own inimitiable style, but by actually being organised enough to post this, what with packing and passports and all!

Tina;-)x

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 28-03-2008
Tina’s First Time challenge
Dear Val, you won't be reading all these eulogies until you return from your hols but let me add my praise to the others.
You and I seem to have gone done the same path down memory lane although our offerings differ in style.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 28-03-2008
Tina’s First Time challenge
Val, I enjoyed this too; some lovely vignettes of life. Ann

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 28-03-2008
Tina’s First Time challenge
Dear Ms. Val. I don't have much time, but I wanted to plant a big smacker on your lips. I have awoken in a very loving mood. I can hardly get my jeans on. Ahem. I'll regret this later won't I? Nice one Val. Hope you are well.

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where there's a Val there's a smile

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 29-03-2008
Tina’s First Time challenge
Clear and simply put, but very effective all the same - that ending, while completely appropriate, rather brought a lump to my throat!

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 31-03-2008
Tina’s First Time challenge
The poem is great overall, the ending is terribly sad though!.

Jay.

Author's Reply:


The Proposal Challenge (posted on: 29-02-08)
Red Dragons Challenge

It took a few seconds To say '' will you marry me?'' And even less To whisper ''yes'' Half a life time to regret Then forever to forget Finding ''Yes'' was a great mistake Surviving with a constant ache Realising life's no rehearsal No miracle of reversal Then when at last denouement came It brought its own brand of pain Pain of anger guilt and sorrow No surcease with tomorrow Now that proposal I recall When callow youth failed to think at all It took a few seconds To say ''will you marry me?'' And even less, To whisper ''Yes'' Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for The Proposal Challenge
red-dragon on 29-02-2008
The Proposal Challenge
Val, bearing in mind your comments to my villanelle, I see the hurt in this, but of course, at the time, life is full of joy and hope and yes is such a little word. Thank you for writing this for the challenge. Ann

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 29-02-2008
The Proposal Challenge
let's hope the present replaces the past
in thoughts, and that will always last.

G

Author's Reply:

teifii on 29-02-2008
The Proposal Challenge
Very well thought out. Wouldn't want to change a word. A sad and all too common a story, I fear. Yes, is a very dangerous word when it comes to marriage.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 29-02-2008
The Proposal Challenge
One is always wise after the event, dear Val. If only we could foresee the future.

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 01-03-2008
The Proposal Challenge
Dear Ms. Val, I am still on the open market. I'll treat you very well and will even make you the occasional crisp sandwich. You may have to fight for me, however, as Ms. Shadow has already shown an interest. She says she will show me more when she's left her husband. Disgraceful behaviour! You know we all love ya, Ms. Val. Well done for getting this down.

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kate nash 3 - insulating tape 1

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 02-03-2008
The Proposal Challenge
Val, I was deeply moved by your poem. Feelings, beautifully if but painfully expressed.

Tina x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 02-03-2008
The Proposal Challenge
Well written Val--hope all is okay down your way...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 02-03-2008
The Proposal Challenge
Moving poem. Very effective writing.

Author's Reply:

Romany on 05-03-2008
The Proposal Challenge
"Marry in haste, repent at leisure" the saying goes, which is what I think your poem is saying.

Romany.

Author's Reply:


The Last Elder (posted on: 25-02-08)
Just a thought I had at my aunts funeral recently

The last of our elders has passed on. We have become them Life continues, yet different. They were always so together. We are spread far and wide, worlds apart In so many ways than they would Have thought it possible to be. Their priorities so unlike ours. Their time planned, their lives shared together, One tribe. We on the other hand hardly ever meet, We have forgotten how to be a family. Have become strangers. What a shame it is, What a lot of rich life we are missing. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for The Last Elder
Romany on 25-02-2008
The Last Elder
I often think along similar lines! Does this line need the word 'more' inserting?

In so many (more?) ways than they would

Romany.

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 25-02-2008
The Last Elder
It's the way of the world; I have done our family tree and, whereas my great grandparents came from (and stayed in) rural Wales and spoke Welsh, their desendants are scattered world wide - but we are all in touch by email! Ann

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 25-02-2008
The Last Elder
Val a lot of truth here. Families were much closer when I was a lad 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 25-02-2008
The Last Elder
I'm just going to go with 'ditto' I think, dear Val. Many a true word spoken here - and as usual in your own inimitable style.

Tina 😉 xx

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 27-02-2008
The Last Elder
Hello Ms. Val. Wise words indeed. I am looking for things to blame, but as I am a little hungry at the moment I can only think of fish fingers. It seems wrong to blame Captain Birdseye... but then again, we have to blame someone? Never did like the look of him. Nicely put and no mistake.

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his testicles are inflatable

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 28-02-2008
The Last Elder
"We have become them" - yes, indeed, without even realising it we take our place at the top of the queue and don't like to think about it. Funerals stir the emotions in so many ways, don't they? Yes, families were closer, but those ties were often constricting to the point of strangulation... there's never a perfect solution for everyone, as all parents find out sooner or later. Excellently put, not OTT at all - just simple and comtemplative. Just right, I reckon.

Author's Reply:


One Evening Late Last Autumn (posted on: 22-02-08)
I had quite forgotten I had written this.

I sit idly dreaming in the last rays of the evening sun on the chilly stone bench Beneath the jasmine, knowing that my thoughts Are as amorphous as a morning mist. Impossible to seize, too tenuous To convince me one day they may come true. I sit statuesque and rise with the moon I turn my white face to her silver one And feel her aloof indifferent stare Icy and hard, her visage uncaring Of my small and insignificant life. Vaguely I hope her traverse across the night Sky will be an effortless journey, Smoother and calmer than my day just passed. Perhaps she may have noticed my plight, Whisper of it to the sun as they cross paths When the sun rises she may decide to Make the day a special one for all of us. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for One Evening Late Last Autumn
Romany on 22-02-2008
One Evening Late Last Autumn
Lovely! Love the idea of the sun whispering to the moon in passing,

Romany.

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 22-02-2008
One Evening Late Last Autumn
I do like the way you've written this Val; the last 2 lines are a fitting ending! Ann

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 22-02-2008
One Evening Late Last Autumn
Nice Val - hard icy Moon whispers to the Sun in passing....the full moon is coming isnt it? lets hope for a bloooooomer! Atmospheric piece, (did wonder about 'Vaguely I hope her traverse across the night' cos i stumbled a bit, may be a typo?) Cheers Val xxldx

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 23-02-2008
One Evening Late Last Autumn
Dear Ms. Val, You must put an end to forgetting about stuff you've written. Especially when they are gems and no mistake. Please sort yourself out. Good day.

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tomorrow the moon

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 24-02-2008
One Evening Late Last Autumn
You've created a lovely tranquil mood, clearly different to the preceding hours. It all sounds very natural and appropriate - a wonderful mood poem.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 24-02-2008
One Evening Late Last Autumn
Val, a tender little poem which I enjoyed reading...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


No One (posted on: 18-02-08)
An old one from way back.

I'm sick of all this guilt That I'm somehow to blame, I didn't twist your arm You played your own sick game You made your own daft rules That made me look a fool. Anyone who knew you Thought you were really cool. I was called the spoil sport The sour puss of the night, The nag who put the brakes on Someone to start a fight. The girls thought me snooty I was the jealous wife, They didn't know the truth They didn't live my life. Lads thought you a hero To put up with misery, They didn't live with you Were not around to see. Didn't see me rob Peter In order to pay Paul. They didn't see me crying When I knew we'd lose it all. No one really knew you No one ever cared No one ever realised Or saw me running scared. No one will ever know Or get inside my head. No one will understand Why I wish you weren't dead. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for No One
Romany on 18-02-2008
No One
I think lots of people will absolutely identify this, and the final two lines are very powerful and absolutely clear, to me anyway, in their meaning.

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 18-02-2008
No One
Powerful indeed Val and like Romany I think I fully understand the meaning...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 18-02-2008
No One
Powerful indeed Val and like Romany I think I fully understand the meaning...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 19-02-2008
No One
This looks as if it's mining a well-known seam, then delivers a real punch at the end...excellent. Certainly a hard-hitter, packed with real emotional force. I think maybe we CAN understand!

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 21-02-2008
No One
Val, I didn't comment on this the first day, fully intending to come back to it the next. It's been on my mind ever since. Pervasive and powerful piece, with which I empathised. Ann

Author's Reply:


Times They Are a Changing (posted on: 15-02-08)
We are all people of our time, so are there really any right or wrong ways to say something? This is a memory I have, I decided to write about it having had a session of reminiscing with relatives at my aunts funeral earlier this week, and in doing so I ask simple questions. There is absolutely no intention to offend.

Mother, moderately disabled From birth, would tell me funny stories About her youth and the Cripples Guild. Of a boy she met there called Walter Who wore a hideously built up boot Because one of his legs was five inches Shorter than the other. He was shy And awkward. One night she took him To dine with her brother and his wife, It was a modest meal of cold meat And pickles, all was fine until He tried to spear a pickled onion With his fork. The fork slipped, the onion Shot across the room as if with perfect aim Knocking my aunt's best vase for six. I still smile when I think of that tale, But I start to wonder, she was perfectly Happy, using the C word, for she knew That was what she was. When did it become Politically incorrect? How long I wonder too, will it take Until someone decides disabled Is an unkind word, and with what Will they replace it? Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Times They Are a Changing
e-griff on 15-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
When I was crippled, I used to say I was - some people used to say 'oh don't say that' and I'd look down at my useless legs and wonder why not. Sometimes today if I don't want to do something I say 'but I'm a cripple' and my family jeer.

To be serious, the only problem I had with the poem was 'the C word' - took me a moment to work out what it meant 🙂

silly o'l me, eh?

Found this on wiki: A cripple is a person or animal with a disability, particularly one who is unable to walk due to an injury or illness. The word was recorded as early as 950 AD, and generally came to be regarded as pejorative when used for people, in the United States, Britain and Canada during the 1960s. In other English-speaking countries, the term is still widely used without pejorative connotations.

sensible rest of the world, eh.



Author's Reply:
You know I did wonder if that C word bit would throw some people then I though nah! (-; Thanks for reading and commenting John. Val

delph_ambi on 15-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
Nothing wrong with the word cripple. I like the way you've reclaimed it, to a certain extent, in this poem. Handicapped is another one we're not 'allowed' to use these days. One of my daughters is seriously mentally handicapped, but I have to call her 'learning disabled' or some such meaningless phrase, which sounds like maybe she has a slight problem with sums, rather than being totally away with the fairies.

I think you're right. The word 'disabled' is likely to go the way of 'crippled' and we'll end up having to say 'differently abled' or something anodyne like that, where 'crippled' is accurate and descriptive and therefore better.

Love the anecdote in the poem. Helps to make the message entertaining rather than preachy.

Author's Reply:
I'm always afraid of putting my foot in my mouth these days especially, I've always been straight forward nothing devious about me, I am what I am. There are so many dos and do nots I get confused.
Do you remember there used to be a saying to describe someone who was plain speaking, they used to say, Oh she calls a spade a spade? Well, totally without malice I happened to say that to a friend I was speaking to and wondered why on earth everyone in the room had suddenly gone quiet. It took me a while to realise what I had said and the connotation being put on it. The friend by the way is from Antigua and she was the only one in the room who knew me well enough to know I meant no offense, even after that we remained firm friends and have been for the past thirty years. Anyway thanks for the comments. Val x

red-dragon on 16-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
Val, I think your most human tale and thoght provoking question highlights the fact that we're ALL humans with varying abilities and impediments and feelings. I enjoyed this one. Ann

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed this one Ann. Val x

JeffDray on 16-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
there's nothing wrong with the words we use, only the thoughts behind them. There's a guy in Swanage who plays the blues at various pubs and clubs - he refers to himself as a crip, I hate those patronising terms like "learning difficulties" and "physically challenged" as though the condition being referred to are ones that can be overcome with some effort on the part of the sufferer.

If you've lost a leg, no amount of training will make it grow back.

Author's Reply:
You are absolutely right there Jeff. Thanks for commenting. Val x

RoyBateman on 16-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
A wonderful story, told with humour and obvious affection...yes, I wonder how far we can go with euphemisms. No doubt these changes come about for genuinely caring reasons, but like you I wonder how far we can go. It also raises a valid point - how do we, as writers, cope with it? My grandparents had a black cat...yes, you can guess what it was called! The n - word... They weren't racists, as far as I know, or probably not more than anyone else was then. I know there was a doctor in Bilston before the last war who everybody called "The Black Doctor" because he was. It was just a matter-of-fact description, not an insult. But writing now, we have to be careful about the language we use, sometimes deliberately using it wrongly to avoid offending modern readers. I did read recently that they're thinking of remaking "The Dam Busters" which gives them a problem (see above) with Guy Gibson's dog's name.
Anyway, a really thought-provoking and entertaining poem - I'm sure you won't offend anyone!

Author's Reply:
Yes I know what you mean I used to love my golliwog but now the kids today cannot even have one, and try playing cowboys and Indians! it has to be Cowboys and the Native Americans! Oh well that's life. Thanks for reading and commenting. Val x

teifii on 16-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
Very good point Val and gently and affectionately made. Love the onion story.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff. Val x

reckless on 16-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
An enjoyable and heart warming read, and not in the least bit offensive at all. I think it needs to be said like this, staying far far away from th blight of political correctness and from those who would tell us how and what to say. We should respond with our humanity and our hearts, and that's what you've done, in my opinion.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Reckless for your sincere and heart warming comments. Val

Romany on 17-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
I think your mum shines through in this as an honest, down to earth and good humoured woman. Your poem does her credit. When oh when will common sense once more prevail?

Romany.

Author's Reply:
She was in constant pain but she never let it get her down and she was a warm and loving mother, not much of a cook or housekeeper but what she lacked in that direction she made up for in her love of life and her total commitment to her family. Thanks for commenting. Val x

Sunken on 17-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
You could never offend Ms. Val, not with that smile. I knew a spastic girl once named Emma. She was a proper character and would introduce herself Emma the spaz. The looks she got for speaking in such terms were priceless. I guess if anyone had the right though, it was her. Emma the Spaz... Where are you now? Nice one Val.

s
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Author's Reply:
Oh what a sweet character you are Sunken! I would loved to have known your friend, she sounds as though she was great fun to be with. Thanks for commenting Sunk. Val xx

woodbine on 17-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
A thought provoking piece for me. 'Disabled' was a difficult label to get used too. Today it doesn't bother me a wit and I use it to get a free seat for my 'carer' at the flicks and the theatre. But when I got my parking space some years ago and in the road outside my door it was stamped in huge white letters, I wanted to say the workmen who did it, 'couldn't I have SERIOUSLY INCONVENIENCED?'

Best wishes,
John

Author's Reply:
I learned at a very early age from my mother of course that there was only one way to get through life most of the time and that was to possess a sense of humour, the more ridiculous the better. Thanks for your comments John. Val x

Rupe on 18-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
I like the conversational flow of this poem - a humorous anecdote with a point.

I think the problem with all these new phrases like 'differently abled' is that it's not clear what they mean & they mystify things when what's needed most is straightforwardness.

Rupe

Author's Reply:

Bootylicious on 19-02-2008
Times They Are a Changing
Dear Bradene

It always mistifies me how the connotation of words change over time, how "gay" came to mean something other than happy, how "black" had to be replaced by "person of colour" etc etc. I could go on and on.

I myself am Coloured - a term coined by the South African government when I was growing up. Rather than be offended by the word, as I am sure many feel I should, I feel rather that it explains exactly who I am.

Desmond Tutu so wonderfully referred to South Africans as a rainbow nation and I feel great pride that I am a part of that rainbow.

Now, I have blathered on enough. The point is - your poem is magnificent.

Booty

Author's Reply:


Nature Luigi's Wicked Challenge (posted on: 04-02-08)
I've fiddled with one or two lines to make it flow. I've used the lines of:- Richard Wilbur, Rupert Brooke, Anon(Old English) Anne Bradstreet, Sylvia plath, Ruth Fainlight, William Shakespeare, E.E. Cummings,Tom Lovatt-Williams, John Clare, John Greenleaf-Whittier and W.H. Auden. As you see a mixture of old and new.

The air was soft, the ground still cold And the moon came down and danced to me Adorned me with silver and gold Saying spring lasts to eternity Where apple bloom ices the night Like a gift to confirm good fortune Do paint the meadows with delight Now the eyes of my eyes are opened I see the coloured Lilacs flame The yellow-hammer happily blest Shade of sadness, a blush of shame As those I love lie down to rest. cento/patchwork/mosaic VMM2008
Archived comments for Nature Luigi's Wicked Challenge
e-griff on 04-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
werry lovely, missus! 🙂

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 04-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
First and third stanzas are lovely, second doesn't quite work so well, but the whole makes a very satisfying poem.

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 04-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
Finely woven patchwork challenge, Val! Ann

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 04-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
You deserve applause dear Val. Not only you composed a fine mosaic but you also made it rhyme, something that I wasn't able to achieve.

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 04-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
Brill, Val!

Tina x

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 05-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
Hello Ms. Val. This is yet another sub that must have taken some slogging over. Do you challenge types ever rest? I recommend Horlicks... actually I don't, it's revolting. Ahem. A tip top piece that deserves far more than some idiot banging on about night caps. I shall leave via the gift of door. Good day.

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Author's Reply:

Gerry on 05-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
Very well done Val. Quite lovely...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Romany on 05-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
Very clever, getting the rhyme scheme in there too. Well done Val. Wasn't this a great challenge?

Romany.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 07-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
Beautiful. Don't know how you managed it. The challenge defeated me.
Daff

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 12-02-2008
Nature Luigis Wicked Challenge
Nice work, very clever stuff here Val!

Author's Reply:


The Unforgiving (posted on: 01-02-08)
A short Poem

A brown gaze disturbs My thought process Giving no respite. It's always there, relentless It accuses, Refuses to back off . Whatever activity Is in progress. It's proclivity for watching Silent, sullen. Unforgiving, living Feeding from hatred, The bread of the un-dead. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for The Unforgiving
Gerry on 01-02-2008
The Unforgiving
Blimey Val, I wrote a poem about this creature, watch your step 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 01-02-2008
The Unforgiving
Dear Ms. Val, I went and read this three times because I was looking for a shirt reference. I now see that it's a 'short' poem. I feel stupid and am wondering if perhaps poetry critique is really my forte. Lets just forget that this happened. I blame vitamin B.

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i'll have a P please noel

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 01-02-2008
The Unforgiving
sounds like next door's cat to me. 🙂

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 01-02-2008
The Unforgiving
I've come back to re-read it and still don't know what to make of it - except I feel the hand of writer's block at work, I think... Ann

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 01-02-2008
The Unforgiving
haunting Val - very well drawn - so well, it spooked me 🙂 in fact i will have to do a littlespell when i get home! Well done Val - hate as the ´bread of the undead´ is a whizz line *brrr* xxldxx

Author's Reply:

Corin on 01-02-2008
The Unforgiving
Now I never knew that Mort had brown eyes! The next brown-eyed hoodie I meet will get it in the throat!

David

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 03-02-2008
The Unforgiving
Did you accidentally boot the moggie this morning? Or am I reading it completely wrongly? Could well be...there seem to be several ways of interpreting this...very enigmatic!

Author's Reply:

reckless on 03-02-2008
The Unforgiving
Full of undertones this, which makes it many-layered. A hint of menace, a good write.

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 12-02-2008
The Unforgiving
Sounds like a neighbours pet cat. Pain in the a** they are. Decent poem though.

Author's Reply:


My Plant (posted on: 28-01-08)
A poem, make of it what you will.

I have this plant I don't know its name But it was dying. No matter what I did Or how I tried to nurture it, It just seemed to wither more, Until one day I spoke to it. I said softly, ''come on sweet thing Show me what you are made of'' And touched a wizened leaf gently. The next day To my amazement Its leaves were no longer wizened But smooth and full of sap; When I looked more closely New shoots were showing Near the base of the stem. ''Well done little one'' I crooned softly. So every day I talked to it sweetly And today I have re-potted it. Its roots are strong and healthy. A kind word, a soft touch And its confidence has flourished. Perhaps one day my plant will become a mighty tree All because someone believed in it. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for My Plant
potleek on 28-01-2008
My Plant
Val talking to plants is a well know thing. But I believe it works.
The last two lines speak volumes, it is so relevant in life.
Give someone a little attention or love and it changes their life.
Enjoyed this...Tony

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tony for your comments, long time no hear, is everything OK? Val x

red-dragon on 28-01-2008
My Plant
I enjoyed the message this conveyed, Val. Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann. Val x

e-griff on 28-01-2008
My Plant
Interesting thought, and a change for you. Enjoyed it.

I'd suggest a small change --- either this:

No matter what I did
or how much I tried to nurture it,
it just seemed to wither more,
until one day I spoke to it.

or

...
it just seemed to wither more.
Then one day I spoke to it.

I also think, although you can use punctuation or not in a poem, you need to be consistent, and the punctuation and capitalisation of the speech quotes here are not.

But they are small quibbles. A well-expressed poem overall for me. JohnG


Author's Reply:
Thanks for all your advice, all good as per, have edited, glad you enjoyed. Val x

Gerry on 28-01-2008
My Plant
Val nice one--it conveyed a good message...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Gerry. Val x

littleditty on 28-01-2008
My Plant
very sweet -and all true -enjoyed -thanks Val xxldx

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed this LD thanks for reading. Val x

jay12 on 28-01-2008
My Plant
I can read a lot into this one, mostly that we all need the encouragement sometimes to achieve something. Nice poem.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Exactly, and you never disappoint Jay. Glad you enjoyed it Val x

barenib on 28-01-2008
My Plant
Hi Val - a fine philosophy in this poem and one which our supposed leaders would do well to read! John x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for popping in John. I'm always honoured that you did. Val x

RoyBateman on 30-01-2008
My Plant
Good Heavens! I never realised that you were on this site under an assumed name, your princeness, though obviously I know your reputation for talking to plants. How is Highgrove keeping? Still keeping the riff-raff out, I hope?
Seriously, Val, this was a delight...the power of conversation, or the power of affection - or both? Maybe there's not enough of either around, eh?

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 06-02-2008
My Plant
This is so simple, almost a non-poem .. but it's so effective. I didn't notice whether it has a nib, but for my money it should.

Author's Reply:


Bits and Pieces (posted on: 25-01-08)
I've not written much of late, my brain was rusty with disuse. I needed something to kick start it so I decided to give it a little exercise.

Triolet of Woe I am full of words unspoken My head will burst if I don't speak No words will fall upon the page. I am full of words unspoken My mind is addled due to age My spirit soon will be broken I am full of words unspoken My head will burst if I don't speak. A Kenning (Guess who? ) No offense intended (-; Plain speaker Expert critiquer Witty writer Cheeky blighter Wine drinker Deep thinker Ardent grouser Canny Scouser A Paradel (of how I feel this time of year) Like trees in winter. Like trees, in winter With limbs stripped bare. With limbs stripped, bare. Like winter trees with bare stripped limbs, and cold despair. And cold, despair! Reaching out reaching. Out! And despair reaching out. COLD For the sun. For the sun rays, healing. Rays! healing rays. For the sun- healing rays Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Bits and Pieces
e-griff on 25-01-2008
Bits and Pieces
AS I said to Mr Mandrake, I have cast aside my crib sheet now so no technical crit from me - my mind is blank.

You're jusy showing off now, aren't you?

and a paradelle!!! (I prefer it spelt your way though, I always do - seems more magical)

Nice work. Seems you aren't that rusty!



Author's Reply:

teifii on 25-01-2008
Bits and Pieces
Not rusty at all I'd say.
But it sounds to me as if you need some sun shine. Since that doesn't come on demand, maybe you should invest in a really bright light. I've heard it works.
Daff

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 25-01-2008
Bits and Pieces
Phew, Val, if that's rusty, you'd better start limbering up for the Olympics RIGHT NOW!!!
Ann

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 25-01-2008
Bits and Pieces
Some elegant writing there. Good stuff.

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 26-01-2008
Bits and Pieces
Bright light? I've got thirty eight of them in my living room.

Liked the first two, especially the first one, not fond of the third. I know it's the form and all that but all of those repeated words could be NEW words. I'ts not the poem I dislike just the bloody structure... and that's nothing to do with you.

It's good to stretch the old writing muscles after a break isn't it?

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 27-01-2008
Bits and Pieces
You don't seem rusty to me, Val - as for the sun, we've had plenty today. Hope you did too - the birds think that Spring is coming, anyway... Let's all look forward to those longer days, eh? A read which well expresses how we all feel in the dead of winter, I'm sure, but it'll change!

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 28-01-2008
Bits and Pieces
Canny scouser, who could that be...?

Nice exercise!

Author's Reply:


Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge (posted on: 21-01-08)
Baba Yaga is a witch from Russian folklore. There are various stories, myths and legends about her, In my attempt at a Russian Sonnet for E-Griff's challenge I have written about her as a if I were a mother warning her children to be good or else

Ah Baba Yaga worst of witches, Flies her mortar above the night. Up through the air high over ditches With pestle plied in ruddered flight. As broom of silver birch goes sweeping Away all trace from children peeping, She'll snatch them for her evening meal Beyond a mother's careful zeal. Then take them to her cabin dancing On chicken legs and fence of bones All topped with skulls bring twilight moans To see her evil cottage prancing And turn its door toward the wood, So, darling children, pray be good. Copyright VMM2008
Archived comments for Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
RoyBateman on 21-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Wooh...scary! New pants, please. Odd - is there a conspiracy today to write accompaniments to music? I've just read "Girl with the Flaxen Hair" (Debussy) and now we have Mussorgsky! Still, I'm not complaining - I have the musical theme in my head, which makes the poem even more frightening. You've certainly risen well to te challenge - this would put the willies up most kids good and proper!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comments Roy Glad you enjoyed it Val x

bluepootle on 21-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
I like the sweeping/peeping/prancing/dancing which gives this life and energy. I remember Baba Yaga, and you brought her back to mind strongly here! Good stuff.

Author's Reply:
I'm happy you recognised her I wondered if anyone would. Thanks for reading and commenting so positively Val x

Gerry on 21-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Good one Val, one of your best this I would say.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry nice of you to say so. Val x

red-dragon on 21-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Val, a fast paced sonnet with lots of scary images - love it! Ann

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked my little tale of horror Ann, thanks. Val x

e-griff on 21-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Conjures up a wicked picture. G 🙂

Author's Reply:
Well... I must have got it right cos I'm sure you would have told me if not (-; Thanks Griff. Val

delph_ambi on 21-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Excellent, Val. Definitely one of your best. Lively, atmospheric and original.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Delph. Appreciate your comment glad you liked it. Val

teifii on 21-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Oh yes, a great [and very accurate] tribute to the baba yaga. She is one of my favourite fairy tale characters -- much more interesting than our witches, I think.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff your comments are much appreciated. Val x

jay12 on 21-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Could be a popular nursery rhyme here you know! Nice to see you still posting these lovely poems Val.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Thanks James nice to hear from you. Val x

littleditty on 22-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
LOVE THIS ONE! It reads beautifully -if i didnt get dizzy up on the forum - this would inspire me to try some forms in the workshops -a dazzling sonnet Val -super xxldx

Author's Reply:
Thanks LD. I thought this challenge was going to be a trial, but as it turned out I enjoyed doing it very much. Val x

Macjoyce on 25-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Ok, Madam Bradinova, let's have a goosey...


Ah Baba Yaga worst of witches,
Flies her mortar above the night.

Mortar? I'm a bit lost by that. Do you mean as in weaponry? If so, 'fires' might be better instead of 'flies'.


Up through the air high over ditches
With pestle plied in ruddered flight.

What's pestle?


As broom of silver birch goes sweeping
Away all trace from children peeping,

Again, not sure. All trace of what? Of children? Then it should be 'of', not 'from'.


She’ll snatch them for her evening meal
Beyond a mother's careful zeal.

Hmmm. The problem with 'careful zeal' is, you're using two rather abstract ideas at once and letting them meld. It's almost like a double adjective, and adjectives are to be avoided if possible anyway.


Then take them to her cabin dancing
On chicken legs and fence of bones

This is confusing. Who is dancing, witch or children? Or even cabin? It does sound a bit like the cabin is dancing on chicken legs. Is that what you mean, a dancing cabin?

This is probably why I didn't comment earlier. A bit too confused. I think I may have got drunk at that point.

Bestest,

Macovitch


Author's Reply:
Well it's obvious to me young Mac you know absolutely nothing about Russian Folklore and don't want to, otherwise you would have been curious enough to google. Then you would have understood the poem completely. You surely must know what a pestle and mortar is! well Baba Yaga flew in a mortar using the pestle as a rudder, she had a broom made from silver birch which she swept away all trace of her approach thereby taking the children by surprise. Her cabin was built on chicken legs and yes it did dance and would turn its door toward the wood on occasions. The fence surrounding her cabin was made of bones topped off with skulls. There are various myths, legend and stories told about her not just in Russia but other parts of eastern Europe too. Mac my darling boy, before you go rushing in again do try to find out about things you don't understand. But having said that, thank you for taking the time to read my poem and for commenting. Val xx ((-;

e-griff on 25-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Blimey! I don't mean this amiss, I'm just bored at the moment ...

Mortar and pestle (you grind things with it) The mortar (bowl) preceded the use of the term as an armament. The pestle is a stem with a rounded end. Did you really not know that? I wonder.

I understood it, anyway. 🙂
peace. G


Author's Reply:
Ever the Gallant rescuer thanks Griff (-; Val

Macjoyce on 27-01-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Well, my darling girl, you did nag at me to comment on this sonnet and so I did. I can only comment on things relating to how I understand them.

And no, I'm afraid I don't know what a mortar and pestle are. Should I? Is it something to do with cooking, or warfare? I don't engage in an awful lot of either.

Nor am I an expert on Russian folklore. You must think me awfully ignorant, but I'm afraid it just wasn't on the curriculum when I was at school. I'll bet that shocks you. "What are they teaching our children in schools nowadays, if not Russian folklore?", I can hear you gasp.

Do you not think that, to someone unacquainted with the tale of Baba Yaga, the idea of a cabin that dances on chicken legs might seem a bit confusing if not elaborated on in more detail? You're expecting your audience to know all about Baba Yaga when, the chances are, they won't.



Author's Reply:
Didn't you use a pestle and mortar in science? I don't expect everyone to know about Baba yaga, I'm not an expert on Russian folklore myself but I google for what I don't understand, and also for research purposes. Please let's not get into a fight about this sweetheart, I didn't exactly nag you into reading my poem I only mentioned it in passing, I truly thought that you understand it. Val

Sooz on 02-02-2008
Baba Yaga. Russian Sonnet Challenge
Good effort, don't know much about Russian folklore and even less about poetry but I liked the imagery and it would be a good one to start getitng kids interested in poetry.

Author's Reply:


Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge (posted on: 21-12-07)
Cynical alternative words to the beautiful Christmas Carol Silent Night, Holy Night. May Offend.

Raucous night, hellish night Christmas Eve let's get tight Round yon city we'll cause a stir Vomit in doorways and on the stair Let us come spewing out Let us come spewing out Raucous night, hellish night Coke for sale pure delight Hades demons all in a ring Alleluia he's their king All hail wondrous old Nick All hail wondrous old Nick Raucous night, hellish night Neighbours quake at the sight Foul words falling from youngster's tongues Can't tell the diff'rence, right from wrongs Don't give a toss, no way Don't give a toss, anyway. Raucous night, hellish night Son of man, loves to fight Devilish beams from evil face At their imminent fall from grace Satan's forces all Grin Satan's forces all Grin. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
potleek on 21-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
"Spare the rod and spoil the child."
I think that has already been proven.
Offend why should your words offend, the fact that things are the way they are is offensive.
I think you were too polite in your words...Tony

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 21-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
Val, It seems many will celebrate this way. Just what is it they celebrate?

Have a great Christmas Val and family.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Macjoyce on 21-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
Well, yes. After all, Santa is but an anagram of Satan...


Author's Reply:

SugarMama34 on 21-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
Hi Val,

I could see the message in this. Christmas is not always as happy as the Christmas carols and this time of year brings more than just prezzies for young children. It brings rowdyness and frightening times with it too, leaving chaos and grief in its wake for some people. I thought you captured it well in this piece.

Lis'. xx

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 21-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
I found it hilariously funny. Not sure I was supposed to, having read the other comments...

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 21-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
Hi Val. It seems that you and I have been left holding the torch in this challenge.
Your piece is very pertinent, and topical, in view of the fact that many churches won't be having a Midnight mass as it may be disrupted by drunken yobs.
Your caustic comments cannot be considered offensive as they are a true, but sad, reflection on some of today's youth.

Luigi xx

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 22-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
All too pertinent, Val - a typical scene in most town centres, only exacerbated (Hey, that WAS a long word, eh?) at Christmas. One can only hope the culprits freeze to the pavements by their own widdle...there, howzat for the spirit of Christmas? I shall not be appearing in this condition - I always stay well indoors when tippling, where the only risk is an unexpected frying pan to the head, and that's not a public display. I hope, anyway... Good, cynical poem, but all too true!
Have a great Christmas, eh?
Love, Roy x

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 22-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
Lol. You could never offend me Ms. Val. Another skillfully penned piece from the lady with the lovely smile. Have a good yuletide and stuff (-:

s
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shadows never looked to good

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 23-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
It's good to be offended by poetry, Val. The world demands it!

Hold on tight, our kid. Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 23-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
Lol Val! i am keeping your fab poem close at hand -i live on the main beach promenade here in Tenerife, and when the river of blood, shit and puke gets flowing i am going to sing it LOUDLY in my best attempt at an angelic voice, directly to the crowds, from the disturbed peace of my balcony! Then i may have to get a drink myself, some earplugs, and a good nights sleep. :o) Happy Christmas time Val and family - hope yours is lovely! xxxditty x

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 26-12-2007
Raucous Night, Hellish Night. Cynical Christmas Challenge
blimey Val - i didnt need to sing it! It´s all peace and love here! I´m completely shocked and blissed out! Still - it´s a fab poem, clever satirical lines, and a reminder of our dark, messy side - hope yours was peaceful (and merry) too! xx

Author's Reply:


Shame re-worked (posted on: 14-12-07)
This is The Villanelle I submitted last week... It died a death of shame and sank almost without trace, so I decided to take another look at it and this is the re-worked version. I hope this time it can at least die with a little more dignity! ((-; I've left the original in place so that those who are interested can compare if they wish to.

She walks alone through the darkness distressed, Her hair hangs matt and damp with drizzled rain. In heart and soul her feelings unsuppressed Twist inside her like a creature obsessed. The hurt burns her, a pustule full of pain, She walks alone through the darkness distressed. Remembering how softly he caressed Still hearing his constant loving refrain, In heart and soul her feelings unsuppressed. Again reliving his easy conquest Of the emotions she couldn't contain. She walks alone through the darkness distressed Knowing that not once did she protest. Her face in shadows burning sick with shame In heart and soul her feelings unsuppressed. If only fate could grant her one request To relive that night, wash away the stain She walks alone through the darkness distressed In heart and soul her feelings unsuppressed. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Shame re-worked
e-griff on 14-12-2007
Shame re-worked
hey! my only comments on this version are

I think hung should be 'hangs' (present tense)

And, for my own taste, I'd whip out the 'At' before 'knowing' as it's an awkward construction and the meaning is clear without it.

A nice wee message in this one. enjoyed it! very best G 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Griff, see what you mean about hangs, I should have spotted that myself unsure about the at though, as it will leave only 9 syllables unless I try to rework that line altogether, I'll give it some thought. Thanks again for your interest. Val x

e-griff on 14-12-2007
Shame re-worked
Yes, technically you are of course correct. However we're back to the old thing about how it's actually read. Try reading it out loud without the 'at' and with it. Personally it reads about the same to me, because I find I naturally put a small pause in at the beginning of the line. I rambled on about this before. It's similar to putting 'And' at the beginning of a line to get the metre right, eg:
'The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold'

If you read it without the 'and' it still sound right, because a silent short stress is assumed in the reading in place of it, rather as if you placed a dash there.

However, you may read it differently. But if it sounds right, it IS right. 'syllables' can be misleading as in English, they vary in length, unlike some other languages 🙂 best G



Author's Reply:
Yes I see what you mean. It does sound better as you say. I'll take it out Thanks again. Val x

Sunken on 14-12-2007
Shame re-worked



Hello Ms. Val. I'm just about to do my shopping at Tesco.com. Do you want anything? Nice poem by the way. Many smashing lines. Don't let those syllables get you down. I have many spares under my bed and I'm more than happy to give you one. I hope this helps. Well done and no mistake. All of my sticky love,

Mr.

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Le Munk

today tesco, tomorrow the world

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 14-12-2007
Shame re-worked
Val, I am not an expert on violinias but I liked this 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 15-12-2007
Shame re-worked
I liked it too. Wouldn't count syllables myself as I reckon English runs on counts of beat noy syllables.
Daff

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 15-12-2007
Shame re-worked
Enjoyed it and admired it, first time round. (Too clever for me by halves - Villanelles!) and I enjoyed it and still admire it second time round.

Are poems ever 'finished' I wonder? Not in my book, I guess.

Don't you dare let this one die, Val - way too good for that. Anyway, we won't let you!

Tina ;-)x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 17-12-2007
Shame re-worked
Die with dignity? Never...the "dignity" is fine, but don't let it die! Yes, it does read better though it was pretty powerful before. I think we're getting mired in technicalities here - you've painted a downbeat and all too realistic picture of an embarrassing and demeaning situation. Well done, I say.

Author's Reply:

Macjoyce on 19-12-2007
Shame re-worked
Hi, Val. I do think this is a good attempt at a villanelle, and I know they are a viciously hard form to compose (I avoid them), but I’m not entirely sure about a few things.

The woman is ashamed, but I have no idea why. There are no clues, so far as I can gather. The only thing that suggests itself is that he raped her, but if that’s the case, why was he loving and why didn’t she protest?

I don’t like the word ‘distressed’. It’s telling instead of showing. You don’t need to say she’s distressed, it’s obvious. It spoils the poem for me. I find the best thing to do at such times is to use a noun, something neutral, like “She walks alone through the night time in a vest” or something. I know that’s a bit of a silly example, but you know what I mean.

I find these lines slightly troublesome:

“Again reliving his easy conquest
Of the emotions she couldn’t contain.”

The problem with the first one is that it starts off iambic and ends up trochaic, which makes it sound clumsy, especially as in ‘conquest’, stress falls on the first syllable. My solution would be to change the stresses, into something like “Reliving now his easy conquest.”

Also, I think ‘could not’ would scan better than ‘couldn’t’.

All the bestest,

Grocer Mac x


Author's Reply:
Oh Mac use your imagination a little more gently, Rape indeed is that the first thing you men think of? No, she is having an illicit affair and is ashamed, yet she can't resist his tenderness. See((-; I think I would have to rethink the whole poem in order to use your suggestions, I have to admit this is definitely not one of my best efforts. I did see you comments and had meant to answer all of them but I was quite ill just before Christmas and didn't get around to doing much at all in fact I have only just begun to write again and am finding it tough going. Thanks for trying to help me I really appreciate all your comments and value your opinion. Happy new year. Val

Macjoyce on 21-01-2008
Shame re-worked
Hi Val, you may have missed some comments here because of Christmas, but I thought I'd give you a nudge because, I hope, you might find my comments almost as useful as Sunken's...



Author's Reply:


Reassessing (posted on: 10-12-07)
A re-write of an old one. Edited at e-griff suggestion

Stare at the wall and a doorway appears I know I must enter in spite of my fears. But, first let me think, let me recall let me remember, reassess it all Did I love you the way that I should? No.. I don' think so; not how I could . You were never there to make me aware To awake , caress me, teach me to care Unwilling to show me the way to act I remained cold with my heart still intact Wanting so much to be cherished for life Yet failing to become the perfect wife Looking back now it's all very plain You were indifferent, the architect of pain I chose too rashly, I settled for less Apart from my children my life's a mess I should have been patient, prepared to wait For that certain someone, my ideal mate It should be easy to go on my way To pass without fear through that doorway today. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Reassessing
RoyBateman on 10-12-2007
Reassessing
Great opening line, Val - and a message everyone will understand, too. It'd make a good song lyric, wouldn't it? Just a thought... Anyway, you've hit on an eternal truth - do we wait until Mr/Miss Right appears? Will they ever? Do we settle for the best available? Of course, it's only the past few generations that openly agonise about this - go back a while, and most folk just put up with what they'd got. Were they happier? Who knows - but it's a thought. Feel another poem coming on?

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy I wrote this some time back and put it down as it came to my mind, just edited it a little to keep the rhythm right. thanks again for commenting Val x

Sunken on 10-12-2007
Reassessing


Hello Ms. Val. I don't know if this is autobiographical or not. If it is, it's very honest and worthy of a pat on the back for that alone. Rather than a pat on the back though, can I give you a big smacker on the lips? I have cleaned my teeth and even have fresh pants on. Let me know before sundown. I hope this helps and that you are well.

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borrowing sugar would just have to do

Author's Reply:
Thanks sunky, yes it is sort of autobiographical, I had a difficult first marriage and tried very hard and long (almost 30 years to make it work) but I had to admit defeat in the end. Thanks for the comments and I will accept a virtual smacker from you any time ((-; Love Val; xx

e-griff on 10-12-2007
Reassessing
Val, the message is good, the words are fluent, but ... the rhythm's all over the place, IMO.

just for example:

But, first let me think, let me recall
Allow me to remember, to reassess it all

- try saying 'to reassess it all'

my suggestion, for example only is:
' Let me remember, reasess all.' (okay, another 'let' - but Miss, it fits the rhythm you have established in the first verse)

then:
Did I ever love you the way that I should have?
No.. I don’ think so; not how I could have.

Blimey! (don' ?)

how about:

Did I ever love you the way that I should?
No.. I don’t think so; not how I could.

which follows the same rythm.

well, the rest is up to you. 🙂 I don't mean to sound overpicky.


Author's Reply:
How's this Mr Griff sir (salutes with a Benny Hill Grin) No seriously as I said to Roy it was just jotted down really as it came to my mind and I did read it out loud and it sounded good to me but then I'm beginning to think I'm not a poet at all after Mondays debacle, I'm seriously thinking of deleting that one. ((-; Val

littleditty on 11-12-2007
Reassessing
Hi Val -i don't like the word ' poignant' at all -but it is, this poem of yours. I thought you were trying to use an occasional stick in the scan/rhyme scheme for the effect of doubt...makes the reader think and feel more than if a poem with this subject just skipped along merrily....anyway, enjoyed by me, tis a thoughtful idea as Roy says, cheers xxldx

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your encouragement LD, I did as Griff suggested and cut it about a bit I'm not to sure about it but well I'll see if I get anymore feedback before I make up my mind completely Thanks again Love Val x

e-griff on 11-12-2007
Reassessing
Gor blimey Val! Starve the lizards! Don't pull that old 'I'm giving up' line on me *bites off lizard's head and slugs tinnie, kicks roo onto barbie*

Geez, we all write the odd crook pome now an again, old gal. No need to take it to heart - you've wrote lots of bonzer stuff.

What debacle?

Author's Reply:
Oh good God No! I didn't mean I was giving up I just meant I was wondering about my ability? and thinking about deleting that particular poem. Have you read The poem I'm on about? the villanelle? I thought it was quite good when I posted it but I only got one comment *blushing *

orangedream on 11-12-2007
Reassessing
As far as this poem is concerned, dear Val I agree with ld, hands down.

It would spoil it if it tripped off the tongue, lilted along too regularly. It was obviously written from the heart, orginally, and sometimes the heart knows better than the head.

Your villanelle was an extremely well-written piece. I don't even attempt them - way too clever a form for me. But you did and not only that, wrote a bloody good poem (if you'll pardon the French) that I for one, feel richer for reading.

Tina :0)x

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 12-12-2007
Reassessing
Now you've made me very sad. ~:o(

So it changed my mood; made me think. That's what good poetry is all about. I like Tina's French. ^^ It's just about bang on.


*sympathetically and appreciatively*

Allen

Author's Reply:

Zoya on 13-12-2007
Reassessing
A perfect piece technically!
Yes, the plunge has to be taken at one point or another in life!
The sooner the better, before it is to late...
But it is a very hard decision to take- to cross the threshold; to pass through that door- it is like passing from life in to another...
A lot of courage is required!
Bravo for that courage!
I hope there is paradise beyond that door...
((Hugs))
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:


Pattern Challenge (posted on: 03-12-07)
My go at Elf's challenge. Last line edited for e-griff... 3rd edit to please the majority ((-;

Life for me is a zigzag Lots more zag than zig At the top of the zig I get dizzy At the bottom of the zag I sag Yet the pattern continues in so many more ways than one Like a bothersome stitch, d r o p p e d In some knitting I've done. The ups and the downs make me nauseous I'm sure that wasn't the plan When the cloth was cut for my life The template was meant to read, can I could draw a parallel with chaos Nod sagely and say ''that's right'' For the lines in my life have been scribbles And the dots have never been bright. Now I'm almost at the end of my tether And the rope is getting quite tight All that I hope for is the dignity Of floating straight into the light Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Pattern Challenge
e-griff on 03-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
Wow! You squoze in - good old And!

I'm afraid we all go horizontally. 🙂 (er, unless you mean something dropping on your head) Who is it buries bodies standing up?

Glad you made it - didn't like the squiggly beginning, but liked the poem as a whole, very nice.

Author's Reply:
I didn't mean the actual body I was thinking more of the spirit if you see what I mean.. I'm glad I made it too, many thanks to Andrea she's a sport. Sorry you didn't like the zig zag pattern it didn't quite transfer to the site but looked good on my original. Thanks for commenting though. Val

Ionicus on 03-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
Hi Val, quite an original piece.
I can see that you are trying to express a concept graphically but I did not much care for the layout. I could say: 'The ups and the downs make me nauseous'.
Sorry, couldn't resist that.
I like the analogy of life and the knitting pattern, with the mention of a dropped stitch.
All in all a worthwhile effort.

Luigi x


Author's Reply:
Oh Dear! and there was I thinking I was being clever... Well never mind, it was worth the try. Thanks for the comments though Luigi appreciate them. Val x

delph_ambi on 03-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
I like the patterns at the start, but I think to balance the poem you needed something like that at the end as well, to frame the middle stanzas which trip along merrily.

Enjoyable poem. A clever idea, worked out well (within the limits of posting to the site where things never look quite as you want them to).

Author's Reply:
Thanks Delph, glad you liked it, I think though that it would be difficult to do the same thing with the last verse. Val x

e-griff on 03-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
Why say 'horizontally'? why modify 'float' at all? - we're 'floating into the light'! that's nice ..... 😉

Author's Reply:
oops! wrong box see answer below Val

Bradene on 03-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
I see what you mean G but I wanted to keep the theme of the lines going so I've compromised a little as you see. Thanks for your help appreciated. Val

Author's Reply:

Romany on 03-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
I found the format a little off putting too, tbh, but I like the analogy.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany, I'm thinking of editing but I'm not too sure what form it will take yet. Val x

teifii on 03-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
Hi Val,
I think you have really been clever. I expect the zigzag did work properly before it got meddled with by the site's software. I'm impressed.
Daff
http://www.merilang.co.uk/gallery/paintings/paintings.htm

Author's Reply:
Well, I thought so too but I think it was ambitious and a little arrogant of me to think so. I'm thinking of re-writing it a bit here and there, but I do appreciate your kind words. Val x

orangedream on 03-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
So am I Val, impressed I mean. I could certainly identify with this one - especially with the dropped stitches. I never have been any good at knitting but I do so enjoy it. Therapeutic somehow - that click-clack of the needles.

I loved your layout. I too enjoy experimenting with the shapes that lines make on the page. To me, that is poetry as well. I have given up trying on the site though - it never works, unfortunately, but you can't have everything, I guess.

Warmest regards
Tina x

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked it Tina. As I said though I'm beginning to think it was too ambitious and needs to be re-thought. Thanks for the read and comment though appreciated. Val x

Elfstone on 04-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
Val I love the insight in this and agree with the thoughts behind it whole-heartedly. (I said something simlilar in my own piece.) Others have commented on the layout and I agree; while I can see what you are trying to do, I'm not sure that if is doing your poem justice.

Sticking my neck out here, I'm going to suggest you change your second verse - it stands out simply because in rhythmic terms it doesn't work. if you take away the formatting what you have is
"The pattern continues in more ways than one
Like a bothersome stitch,
dropped
In some knitting I’ve done. "
That just doesn't fit with the rest of your verses. I would suggest something like the following
"The pattern seems to continue
in several more ways than just one
Like a bothersome stitch that I’ve dropped
In some difficult knitting I’ve done. "
You know as ever to ignore all of this if you wish. Thanks for taking part in the Challenge :-)) Elf.


Author's Reply:
I think you may be right about that second verse, Im working on it . Thanks as always for your valuable input. Much appreciated. Love Val x

littleditty on 04-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
Hi Val -love the whole darn thing - layout and all - liked Elfstones suggestion re wording but i liked, and suggest keeping that
d
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p
p
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d

and thought it good that it continued without any more funny business - would yarn instead of rope work? Enjoyed - cheers - from an up and down littleditty xx:o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks lD glad you like it, yes I think I will change that verse but may keep the dropped part dropping ((-; After much consideration though I think I will change the zigzag pattern. Thanks for your kind word. Val x

Zoya on 06-12-2007
Pattern Challenge
Wow! Bradene, it is beautifully written, I love the consistency in the use of the metaphor.
It is the 'dropped stitch' sometimes that proves to be a decisive turning point in our lives...
Thanks for sharing!
((Hugs))
Love, Zoya

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the lovely comments Zoya. Appreciated. Val x


Shush! (posted on: 30-11-07)
An amusing but true snippet from childhood.

Mrs Smith looked just like a camel Large brown teeth that stuck right out She was tall and round like a barrel And was partial to a drop of stout Mr Smith was small and skinny With a droopy walrus moustache He wore a cap and a pinny That was tied round his waist like a sash They lived next door to my grandma And often borrowed sugar and tea Which they usually brought back in a jam jar With a spare copper farthing for me Mrs Smith ruled with a rod of iron Mr Smith would always succumb Poor man had plenty to sigh on Wishing for the bottle to run Then one wonderful day his luck turned His dear wife had lost her voice The silence for which he'd secretly yearned Arrived , and for days he quietly rejoiced. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Shush!
potleek on 30-11-2007
Shush!
Val it's easy to visualise the whole funny episode, perhaps a little bit of yesteryear, but it still goes on...Tony

Author's Reply:

Jen_Christabel on 30-11-2007
Shush!
Nicely penned Val, amusing little ditty.
Jennifer :o) x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 30-11-2007
Shush!
Val didn't know anyone else but me remembered the farthing---;-) cheeky liitle ode...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 30-11-2007
Shush!
Val didn't know anyone else but me remembered the farthing---;-) cheeky liitle ode...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 30-11-2007
Shush!
love it! camel/barrel rhyme esp. i had a mr-mrs teacher duo also - enjoyed the read Val, cheers xxldx

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 30-11-2007
Shush!
I liked this, Val. Really nicely put together story. I too had a Mr & Mrs Smith neighbour couple. I wrote a piece about me remembering him mowing his patch of grass when I was put to bed at night... just the sound, comforting through the drawn light curtains. He must have had the shortest grass in the world!
*nostalgically*
Griffonner




Author's Reply:

JeffDray on 30-11-2007
Shush!
Val, have you met my missus?

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 01-12-2007
Shush!
Yes, that farthing was a delightful little coin - it had a wren on, didn't it? A great little pen-portrait of a couple that perhaps we all know in some form - straight off a Donald McGill postcard! I bet the poor blighter wondered why it had taken so long for his wish to come true. This really made me chuckle - thank you!

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 02-12-2007
Shush!


Hello Ms. Val. Ya know, I don't know any Smiths. Isn't it meant to be the most common name in Britain? I might go looking for one tomorrow. A cheeky little poem and no mistake.

Rate: Automatic salad cream dispenser (with batteries)

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her tits were optional

Author's Reply:

Macjoyce on 02-12-2007
Shush!
A farthing, Val? Blimey, you’re showing your age a bit there!

An amusing story. It’s funny how one’s luck can suddenly improve.

There are some ace rhymes in here: camel/barrel, skinny/pinny, grandma/jam jar and iron/sigh on. All very inventive. The only thing that worries me slightly is that the last verse sticks out as suddenly being much longer than the others, especially the last line, and it’s a bit clumsy. Do you not think? It could maybe do with a poke.

Mac x


Author's Reply:


My Mother's Daughter (posted on: 09-11-07)
e-griff set a challenge a few months ago for us to re-write a favourite Hymn, my first attempt was to the tune of that wonderful Hymn 'The Day Thou Gavest Lord Has Ended but I also wrote this one. This is my version of 'To Be A Pilgrim As it will soon be my Mother's birthday and shortly after the 36th anniversary of her death I thought I would post it to mark both occasions.

She was my heroine 'gainst all the others, In my eyes free from sin. Mother of mothers. There's no good argument to make me once resent My fortune heaven sent To be her daughter. She taught me how to live, gentle and caring With her love free to give, all of her sharing. There was nothing quite as right than mother's hug at night I treasure with delight I was her daughter. Since she has passed away resting in spirit, I miss her day by day yet I inherit Endeavours she would display, wise little things she'd say My constant prayer to stay A worthy daughter. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for My Mother's Daughter
Bowlie on 09-11-2007
My Mother’s Daughter
Hi Val,

To be a pilgrim takes me right back to school, haven't thought of it for so long. Your poem is a very touching tribute I think.

Hope you have a nice weekend
bek 🙂

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 09-11-2007
My Mother’s Daughter
I chose this for my daughters wedding Val always been one of my favourites. Your words did not diminish the original ones.
Very well written verses...

Gerry xxx

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 09-11-2007
My Mother’s Daughter


Hello Ms. Valtastic. Well I'm not much of a churchy person, as you've probably guessed. I do like what you've done here though. Very clever and no mistake. Well done Ms. Val.

Rate: Automatic kettle locater (never lose your kettle again!)

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sold to the troubled terrapin

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 11-11-2007
My Mother’s Daughter
Very cleverly crafted, Val! Despite my utterly Godless opinions, I still harbour an interest in hymn tunes. (Blimey, I took enough hymn practices...) And, when I thought about it, I became convinced that this tune wasn't a hymn tune at all...so, off to Wikipedia...
I was right - that tune was only adopted in 1906, by Percy Dearmer, though the words by Bunyan are dated 1684. The tune is actually Monk's Gate, a Sussex folk tune, arranged by R Vaughan Williams. I can just see it as a peasant dance. Anyway, you probably knew that already, so sorry for wandering off the point. A fine tribute to your mum - I bet she'd have been SO proud to read it!

Author's Reply:

Kenart on 18-11-2007
My Mother’s Daughter
Lovely tribute to an obviously lovely woman Ken

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 25-11-2007
My Mother’s Daughter
That is a lovely poem and has sentiments in it that I can identify with too. I often use the wisdom given to me by both of my parents. And I do it all the more since they have passed on.

Jay.x

Author's Reply:


Heartsease Winter. Hazy's Challenge (posted on: 05-11-07)
My first try at a Sestina

I sit idle While the last rays of the sun Slant across the garden. I watch gnats fly frantic Through the cool evening air Of a fast fading Summer. An Indian Summer When nature turns idle. There is a stillness in the air With a pale diminishing sun, And the shortness of the days become frantic To meet the night settling upon a tired garden. My once beautiful garden, Full of the scents and hues of Summer. I must stir myself, become as frantic As the gnats, Stop being idle! Fill up on solar energy, face the fading sun, Feel the oncoming rush of Autumn in the air. Fill my lungs with air, Prepare, my once stunning garden For Winter's special style of sun. She too can be as lovely as Summer, No need to turn idle, Be tranquil, busy yet not frantic. No necessity for frantic, Tidy up, plant hardy for frosty air. Beneath the soil the bulbs lie idle, Let them lie, the Winter pansies will light the garden Just as in the glorious days of Summer. They will smile at the sun, And dance in the sun. A chill breeze may make them frantic To make a grey day seem as bright as Summer, To tempt the optimist to taste Spring in the air, Turn a leafless patch into Eden's garden. I will not sit idle. So weak is the sun in the Winter air, I'll not feel frantic in my pansied garden. I'll think of the heartsease Summer, when for a space I could be idle Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Heartsease Winter. Hazy's Challenge
Ionicus on 05-11-2007
Heartsease Winter. Hazys Challenge
A gentle, pastoral sestina not as strong as your other offering but pleasing enough.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

teifii on 06-11-2007
Heartsease Winter. Hazys Challenge
Just how I feel about my garden right now. Well done.
Daff
http://www.merilang.co.uk/gallery/books/shop.merilang.htm

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 07-11-2007
Heartsease Winter. Hazys Challenge
An enjoyable read. My only crit would be that 'frantic' is too strong a word, and became intrusive by the end. I think for such a gentle poem, you needed a more gentle word. Can't think of one off the top of my head, unfortunately.

The uneven line lengths work well here. Oddly enough, I think these are harder to write without a strict metre.

Author's Reply:

Romany on 07-11-2007
Heartsease Winter. Hazys Challenge
I think this reads beautifully!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Hazy on 08-11-2007
Heartsease Winter. Hazys Challenge
It's such a vivid one, Val. I agree about 'gentle' but very thoughtful too. Just coming back to these with comments. Been mulling over a few. It's weird seeing other people's sestinas as the form looks so much longer on other people's pages!

Anyway, I'm not planning another one. My scrap paper covered in scribbles for line ends can be binned! Arghhh!

Thanks again for taking part. Bloody brave doing two. I was gonna scrap mine for another but there was no way I could've finished it!

Hazybelle x

Author's Reply:


2nd attempt at hazy's challenge (posted on: 05-11-07)
This is my second attempt at a sestina and a little more ambitious, but it is still not quite right me thinks! (-; at least I gave it a good shot. Also a bit of a tribute to remembrance day.

Time tumbles fast like a downpour of rain. Why not gentle, slow soft as morning dew. Growing old, such an awful throbbing pain, Aching loneliness tears the body too. Then life is over followed by the rite, In mind, yet with certainty out of sight. But to die in war on some foreign site How cruel, that's when youth should take the rein. To live life's full span, everybody's right. It's each healthy young man's God given due Yet, freedom must be bravely fought for too. A price must be paid, not in coin but pain. Alone and staring through my window pane Haunted by visions of horrific sights, Body bags piled high, not just one or two But thousands, pure proof of an evil reign. Sadness comes with a loved ones last adieu, Eulogies for sons and husbands we write. Politicians all think they have a right Playing God and causing turmoil and pain. Will they answer when their own day falls due? They'll be no favourites in the Lord's sight, Come warm sunshine, hail, snow or cleansing rain. Will there be judge, jury to answer to? Are those boys who fight and die young judged too? They do as ordered and told that it's right To die for Queen, country or tyrant's reign. It's all the same, unending hurt and pain. Throughout history precedents to cite And former wrongs of mankind to undo. War can never have worth, nor credit due To the aggressor who shouts loudly too, Struts and covets his neighbours private site And all those things he thinks he has the right To take, just because he can, and trigger pain Time to terminate tyrannical reigns. Happiness is due, love's a human right. Earth needs freedom too, release from pain. With war out of sight, peace should hold the reins. copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for 2nd attempt at hazy's challenge
Gerry on 05-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
Val, I don't know about the poetic form. I do know that this is a deeply moving poem written from the heart...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

barenib on 05-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
Val, I'm okay at limericks and can just about manage a sonnet - but as for sestinas, well rather you than me! A very valiant attempt and I'm completely in accord with the message - John x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 05-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
If only, eh? thank goodness the Staffords (Sorry, 3rd Mercian) are back, ditto the Woofers. (Okay, 2nd Mercian...) But when will their next tours be? Where's that arsehole Blair who actually got them into this Afghan mess with no possible end in sight and no obvious aim anyway? Well protected, making a mint from his self-serving memoirs. It makes you puke, and I'm a bloke who's always supported the military. I still do, but how they can continue to do that job in such circumstances, I cannot work out. Sorry...I'm ranting. Thoughts we can all agree with here, Val - and a skilful piece of poetry too...don't think I could have done it anywhere near as well!

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 05-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
I am so impressed. What a touching and honest piece. I'd say you met the challenge and kicked its ass!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 05-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
A very polished piece, Val. I am impressed.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

SugarMama34 on 05-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
Hi Val,

The images and thoughts in this are powerful. Your words say how many of us feel about war and the ones who lose their lives and ones that are maimed too. What thanks do they get? I personally don't think they have enough and never will. Your feelings come across well. I have no idea what a sestina is, but I liked the way this has been penned.

Lis'. xx

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 07-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
Powerful and moving writing. I'm not surprised this one's been well received.

Regarding the form, you've demonstrated ably the extra dimension that can be achieved by using rhyming words amongst your 'six'.

Only one suggestion for an edit: stanza six, line 1, I'd use 'nor' rather than 'or'.

Author's Reply:

Romany on 07-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
A deep message very cleverly put across.

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 07-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge


Hello Ms. Val. I've been giving my spare change to the poppy appeal this week. I shall attempt to observe the minutes silence on Sunday too. Though to be frank, it won't be easy with my recent digestive problems. Ahem. Jeezus, that sounded disrespectful didn't it? I didn't mean it to. Is this proper crit Val? (-; Thank you. Hope you're well.

Rate: A years supply of cola drops.

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Author's Reply:

Hazy on 08-11-2007
2nd attempt at hazys challenge
Works really well, Val. It's really touching and I too like the way you used rhyming words (wasn't sure at first but, on reading aloud (well, kinda... don't want the neighbours thinking I've lost it), I think it worked) and I like the way you used words with different meanings. I think because the spellings are different in people's heads, they don't see them as the same word, if you know what I mean.

Thanks so much for taking part. If I ever do another one, it won't be a 'form' that's for sure!

Take care,

Hazybelle x

Author's Reply:


Third Time Lucky (posted on: 02-11-07)
A mirror poem of sorts. (-;

Twice I looked to see you there Twice you turned away Third time lucky, do I care? I should make you pay. Into the mirror you would rather stare I should make you pay Third time lucky? Do I care? Twice you turned away, Twice I looked and saw you there copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Third Time Lucky
Macjoyce on 02-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
Very clever! Has this been done before, or is it a form of your own invention, a 'Vallogram' perhaps?...

I like the way the middle line contains the word 'mirror', which is the basis for the structure of the poem. Also, the middle line is in pentameter, adding to its independence and centrality, as the other lines are ballad form, alternating tetrameter and trimeter.

Well done. There's a lot here, I like it.

Mackogram


Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac for being so nice, I can't claim to have invented this form I read about it recently on another site and thought I would give it a go, I wasn't too sure if people would get what I was trying to say here but the response has been better than I had hoped so I guess I must have done something right, thanks again for your comments. Val x

Jen_Christabel on 02-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
A big one-oh from me - great stuff!
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and the great rating Jen much obliged Val x

RoyBateman on 02-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
Yes, very carefully constructed plus it can be read in all sorts of ways - very enigmatic. It has to be said, Val, that you're quite the expert in this sort of thing!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, your comments were very gratifying, I wasn't too sure about the outcome of this one. Val x

delph_ambi on 02-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
Best mirror poem I've read (and I've read quite a lot of them). Works brilliantly.

Author's Reply:
Delph your comment made my day, I know how high your standards are, so I was delighted with this reaction. Val x

Ionicus on 02-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
I am not familiar with the form but I rather like it. Well done, Val, for introducing us to new territory.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
I'm not too familiar with it either Luigi, but I read about the form a few days ago and thought I would have a go. Glad you enjoyed my attempt. Val x

Gerry on 02-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
Nice one Val 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry, Hope you are OK, long time no speak. Love Val x

e-griff on 03-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
Well - achieved mirror - it's very hard to make such poems interesting, but I felt this one sustained it.

I have to admit though, I did find the middle line ungainly - you've obviously about-faced it to get the rhyme, and I think it would be an improvement if you could think of something more natural. 🙂 best JohnG



Author's Reply:

orangedream on 04-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
Gosh - I knew nothing about this form either and reading Mac's in-depth analysis of the poem, I have to admit, I learned a lot.

All this aside, I enjoyed the poem immensely. Well done!

Tina x

Author's Reply:

Romany on 07-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
I enjoyed this too, but I admit I found this line a little forced which detracts from the overall poem:

Into the mirror you would rather stare

Romany.

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 25-11-2007
Third Time Lucky
I don't think I have ever read this form of poetry before. But it works well and was a pleasure to read.



Author's Reply:


Mmm (posted on: 29-10-07)
She looked stunned as laughter exploded around her.

She stood slightly perplexed In the food hall of the posh new mall, All she wanted she proclaimed rather too loudly Was good old English fare, where was it? All she could see were Pizzas, Ciabatta bread with an assortment Of exotic fillings and Tandoori chicken salad. '' What's wrong with a jacket potato and cheese?'' she complained. ''I can do you a cheese toasty'' The spotty faced lad offered. ''Oh alright that will have to do'' ''What would Madam like to drink?'' '' Cappuccino'' she answered without missing a beat. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Mmm
e-griff on 29-10-2007
Mmm
But Val, surely it should be 'fayre' 🙂

seriously, a nice wee thought on human foibles

Author's Reply:
Morning Griff. Thanks for your comment. I did check on the spelling of fare in the OED and Fayre just said see fair. Fare had several meanings one of which says " A range of food esp' one provided by a restaurant." but thanks for mentioning it. Val x

e-griff on 29-10-2007
Mmm
sorry Val - 'twas but a wee joke on my part, referring to the way certain pretentious pubs and motorway cafes title their offerings. 🙂

Author's Reply:
oops *blush* I'm sorry I should have realised by now. Those human foibles again! *blushes* even more ((-; Val x

Jen_Christabel on 29-10-2007
Mmm
Very enjoyable Val - make mine a lamb madras!
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen I like a nice sweet n sour chicken myself (-; Val x

Sunken on 29-10-2007
Mmm
Lol. Thanks Val. I do believe I just cracked a smile. This is a great little piece that's well worthy of the nom. If you wouldn't be offended, I'd like to present you with my own special beagle award too. Top stuff.

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Author's Reply:
Hi Sunky. Really pleased I made you smile, that's made my day, as well as receiving your prized beagle award, I'm delighted Love Val xx

Ionicus on 29-10-2007
Mmm
LOL Val. This made me giggle and made me think of that other tipical English dish: curry!

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Glad I could make you giggle Luigi. I like Curry too as long as it's not too spicey ((-; Love Val x

eddiesolo on 29-10-2007
Mmm
Heh, heh what a super write Val!

Made me chuckle-great last line.

Congrats on the nom-deserved.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si Glad it made you chuckle. Val x

orangedream on 29-10-2007
Mmm
An astute observation on life (as we know it), beautifully penned ... as usual. Well worthy of its nom ... and more.. Val.

Tina:-) x





Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina for the lovely comment. hope you are well. Val x

jay12 on 29-10-2007
Mmm
Lovely poem and I love the irony of the last line.

Author's Reply:
I just had to get this incident down on paper made me laugh I can tell you. Val x

delph_ambi on 30-10-2007
Mmm
Fun poem. Excellent ending.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Delph glad you enjoyed it. Val x

RoyBateman on 30-10-2007
Mmm
Yes, you caught the mood exactly with this one - a common one these days, too, when even Tesco can provide stuff you've never heard of (And maybe never want to, either...) in spades. Or in packets. You want pretentious? You should come and see the new food hall on the Plymouth Estates, just up the A49 from here. Nice to look at, but...phew, what a pain in the wallet. I could really sympathise with this character, and that spotty kid took me straight to "The Simpsons". Great little poem!

Author's Reply:
Couldn't resist writing this down. I can sympathise too, but it just shows how confused and mixed up we are all getting here, I don't mind that much really as long as we can each still keep some of our identity at the end of the day. Val x


Who Was Bradene? (posted on: 26-10-07)
This is a repost of a poem I wrote back in 2004 an acknowledgement and a small tribute to my stepbrother

Bradene was a boy who grew to be a man, yet his brain stayed like a four year old. Bradene was our step brother, who we visited now and then; he lived at the asylum. Asylum is what we called the place in those days, we knew no better then. Bradene could roll his eyes in a perfect circle, the trick delighted us, it delighted Bradene to delight us. Bradene could embroider better than any of us girls, his stitches were fine and delicate, he would sit patiently for hours sewing things of beauty. Bradene could sing ''There's no place like home'' all the way through in perfect tune with the voice of an angel. The grown ups would nod and smile and say ahh bless him. Bradene never did come home Copyright VMM 2004
Archived comments for Who Was Bradene?
Jen_Christabel on 26-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
This is a lovely piece Val. Nicely done and a fitting reminder of your stepbrother I think.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
So Happy you liked this piece Jen it is special to me. I do like to keep his memory alive. Val x

Romany on 26-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
I have read about Bradene in a previous poem of yours? This is a very honest account and one written with the benefit of hindsight - it is not easy to have such insight as a child. It speaks a lot for the loving person you are, that you can see it this way now, all this time later. Do I make sense?

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Bradene was special and it was such a shame that he could not live with us. He wasn't violent but he was a handful and my Mum whose stepson he was, was disabled herself and already had a houseful of kids to look after including her aged mother. She did her best for us all but having Bradene would have been the straw that broke the camels back. Thanks for the lovely comment. Love Val x

e-griff on 26-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
asylum means a place of refuge, protection. i hope it was.

Author's Reply:
Fortunately it was a refuge I remember they used to have sports days that we all used to go to and it was quite humbling to see all the residents or inmates as they were called in those days doing their very best to win. It's a shame that there aren't similar places today for the so called care in the community lets so many people down in my opinion. Thanks for the comment. Val x

Sunken on 26-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
Hiya Val. I really like this. It's honest, intriguing and extremely touching. One of your bestest in my sunky opinion.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky coming from you that is praise indeed. Love Val x

orangedream on 27-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
Val - this is so touchingly beautiful written in a style that has become uniquely your own.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much Tina Love Val x

RoyBateman on 27-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
How incredibly touching. The simplicity of the style, just telling the story without embellishment - because it dooesn't need any - works perfectly. It's an incredibly sad tale, and it's difficult to see what would have been done differently now. "Care in the community" is, I reckon, simply a con to cut costs and shift the responsibilty back to those who aren't qualified to exercise it properly. That very recent, awful, incident involving a mother and her disabled daughter rather proves the point. But, then, I don't have a glib answer anyway. A memorable piece indeed.

Author's Reply:
I totally agree with you about care in the community Roy it's a farce and I know that for people like my brother a care home is the only answer, especially since my mother was unable to take care of him herself she being as she was , disabled herself. She did well to take care of the rest of us with such a happy go lucky disposition too. Love Val x

ruadh on 27-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
Wonderful Val

ailsa

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ailsa Val x

69-96 on 27-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
A great poem Val and so much more so because it is true. We are ALL good at some thing, you are good at this.

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much appreciated. Val x

69-96 on 27-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
Forgat rating.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the rating Val x

Jolen on 28-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
Very moving piece which made me tear up.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Oh Jolen how sweet thanks so much Love Val x

eddiesolo on 28-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
Lovely write Val, enjoyed reading.

Hope everything is okay with you, you're family and little Leo?

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si i'm fine and so are the family and leo is doing well. Hope you are OK Val x

jay12 on 29-10-2007
Who Was Bradene?
A nice poem but a terrible loss for you to live with. I guess sometimes life kicks us in the face sometimes. I'm glad you are OK and able to write about your brother in such a lovely way.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 14-11-2007
Who Was Bradene?
Val have been catching up a bit, as always I read your work and am full of admiration. Just wanted to say this one like many of your other poems is very moving, the language and tone conveys your meaning simply and directly to the reader, beautifully done...Leila

Author's Reply:


Quickie's for Luigi, Challenge (posted on: 15-10-07)
For the uninitiated Belvoir is pronounced Beever

There's nothing exciting about Grantham You can't live high, wide or handsome It's so incredibly boring You'll find yourself snoring Or hanging by the neck from a transom Now in Grantham I've lived for twelve years And in spite of my sarcastic jeers You have to agree Has ironclad history With Isaac and Maggie my dears. Sprawling lazily across the Wolds On South Lincolnshire's lush green folds In the Vale of Belvoir Like a sleepy retriever Grantham lies comfy shabby and old Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Quickie's for Luigi, Challenge
e-griff on 15-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
Sounds like a nice place. I've been through it several times (was there a level crossing?) - but I guess that says it all.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff, Must have been one at one stage I suppose but not since I live here. Val

Hazy on 15-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
I've been through Grantham many a time on my way to Newark!

Fab, Val 🙂

Hazybelle x

Author's Reply:
Then you will know exactly what I mean! Thanks Hazybelle. Val x

Romany on 15-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
Are you sure Belvoir is pronounced 'beaver?'

Very clever little limericks, all nicely coming together too,

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany, Yes I am sure it's pronounced Beever (spelled it wrong earlier) having lived in and around the vale for a large part of my adult life, Excerpt from Wikipedier:-
Vale of Belvoir (pronounced bee-ver), an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), is on the borders of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire in England. Indeed, the name itself derives from the Norman-French for beautiful view.
The Vale is a somewhat ill-defined area, but is generally considered to be the low, wide valley that runs SW-NE along the border between Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, tipping into Lincolnshire at the northern end. The area occupies the land between Newark on Trent to the north, Melton Mowbray to the south, Radcliffe on Trent in the west, and Grantham to the east. Belvoir village itself lies on the south-eastern slopes of the valley. Just thought you may like to know a little history (-; Val x


Griffonner on 15-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
I passed through Grantham a lot many years ago... and have only now finally learned how to pronounce Belvoir, thanks to you. 😉 I hope they are going to erect a blue plaque (or have they changed the colour?) that will say ' ... the poet Bradene lived here'. Nicely done.

Author's Reply:
Lol, even my next door neighbor doesn't know who I am! No, only joking. As for passing through Grantham I suspect most of the population has passed through Grantham at some stage in their lives. Passing through mind you, not much to attract tourists here (-; but it still has that quiet market town feel to it, which is nice. Val x

Ionicus on 15-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
Some people! Even I know that it is pronounced Beever and I live in the North.
A nice collection of limericks.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 15-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
and isn't there a Beever/Belvior Abbey? or palace? or castle? or something . . .? Anyway you make Grantham sound really quite appealing inspite of your disparagement 😉

In your second Limerick might I suggest tweaking for the sake of the rhythm?
"You have to agree
It has real history
With Isaac and Maggie, my dears. "

Elf.

Author's Reply:

Perrorist on 15-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
I used to live in Keyworth, not that far from Belvoir Castle.

Speaking of blue plaques, have they erected one for Maggie Thatcher in Grantham? Her dad was a councillor and grocer there, I believe.

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 16-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
Enjoyed, Val!

And I had no idea whatsoever about the pronunciation of Belvoir but I am sure the sleepy retriever knew ALL about it!

Tina x

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 16-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
Nice poem. I live in a small town near Wolverhampton called Bilston and have done all of my 29 years upon this Earth. I can't moan there are better and worse places by far to live. ANd over all I like it!

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 17-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
First, congrats for getting two words to more-or-less rhyme with Grantham! Some feat...and very neat all round. You should get a commission from the local tourist board! It' s not a bad place at all, from what I recall - some very historic pubs, for a start, (Mainly coching inns like the Angel and Royal...I'm gonna look a twit if I got that wrong!) which is something that not everywhere can boast. No, a nice atmospheric place - with a fine NT property just up the road. A VERY fine house, but I'd have to look it up. Thinks... Oh, yes - Belton House. Might you have started a trend in local eulogy? Why not!

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 18-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
I once tried to park in Grantham, but the car parks were either full or closed so I gave up and went to Oakham instead, which is a super little town.

Could be pedantic and point out that none of these actually scans 'properly' (too many spare syllables) but that doesn't matter. You've captured the spirit of the place and your own response to living there perfectly.

And yes, I've always known Belvoir was pronounced beever.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 18-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
Hello Val, hope you and you're family are doing okay?

Never been but it sounds like just one thing...you're town and that's all there is to it.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:

Kenart on 25-10-2007
Quickie’s for Luigi, Challenge
Wonderful. but as me old Dad used to say, there's nowt south of Derby worth botherin about and there's nowt south of Warrington worth drinking.

Author's Reply:


A Trilogy for Kat's Challenge (posted on: 08-10-07)
Oh dear! Oh dear! I fear this little lot are legends that belong in Christmas crackers! 🙁 ... 🙂 Very much tongue in cheek.

The Pessimist Careful don't break the spell, fragile its existence I fear I dare not dwell too long on its manner, for if the truth to tell inspect it too closely you may well hear the knell. The Optimist All around I hear the sound of laughter, love and living. All day long I sing a song true happiness is giving, giving love and living life laughing at adversity, shrugging off all fear and strife ignoring life's perfidy. The Realist Happiness and sadness Rough hand in velvet glove It's just like hate is opposite to that delightful thing called love. In life there must be sadness, unfortunately it's true or how could feeling happiness become a joy to you? copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for A Trilogy for Kat's Challenge
Sunken on 08-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
Hello lovely Ms. Valtastic. Hope you are well. I see the writing is as strong as ever. I identify most with the realist. Does this make me a bad person? I find myself drawn to pessimists... What wonderfully miserable children we could have, if only I could find the pessimist of my dreams. Ahem. Sorry Val, my mind wondered. I blame Sally from Coronation street, Geoff from down the road (he's a decorator) and mildew. I just can't shift it off my shower curtain Val. There must be something on the market. I hope this helps.

Rate: Kit Kat (chunky type)

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shedding light on turnips

Author's Reply:
Hello Sunky thanks again for your very amusing comments. Love them . Val x

Jolen on 08-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
Oh Val:
These were delightful! Excellent portrayal of each. I think the poems for Kat's challenge are a success over all, each one I have read is different, unique, and wonderful, as is this.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen. Val x

Hazy on 08-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
Hi Val. Hope you're okay 🙂

Being a pessimistic realist, the first and last ones did it for me! I think, reading that, I'm probably more of a realist, actually. Unless shite happened, how would you know to appreciate, or even be aware of, happiness?

Very astute.

Hazybelle x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Hazybelle. Val x

delph_ambi on 08-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
A philosophical trio of poems that works well. If I found them in a Christmas cracker, I'd be astounded.

Do you know, I'd start buying crackers again if they had good poetry like this inside them.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Delph, I know that they are a bit corny and cliched but my only excuse is no inspiration at the moment. Val x

Ionicus on 08-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
A very good effort Val. A nice idea to represent different viewpoints, with the pessimist almost afraid of accepting good fortune and happiness in case they should vanish, the optimist perhaps over enthusiastic and the realist recognising that happiness and sadness are terrible twins.

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi effort is definitely the right word to use here I had great difficulty drumming up any enthusiasm for the subject, particularly over the last month but that's another story! ((-; Val x

Kat on 08-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
Val, I go along with delph and Luigi's comments. You've taken a unique look at 'happiness' and succinctly summed up personality types with your poetic trio.

Very well done.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat, you are very kind with your comments but the poems were somewhat cliched. Val x

RoyBateman on 09-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
Spot on - you captured each precisely, and summed it all up in the final stanza too...maybe we're all a mixture that ebbs and flows with whatever other factors are intruding into our little worlds, but it would be a poor world of we were all pessimistic. Yeah, let's settle on realistic with a nice touch of optimistic, eh? We need contrast, as you so rightly say. Very, very neatly put.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy for your kind comments. Val x

teifii on 11-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
Much to classy for any but the most exorbitantly priced cracker, dear Val. I like the realist best but have to admit to a touch of all three characteristics.
All three poems have a nice lilt to them.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Not so much Classy as cliched but thanks for your sweet comment Daff very much appreciated. Val x

jay12 on 11-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
As trilogies go this is OK! It aint no Indiana Jones but I enjoyed it!! Hope you are keeping well Val.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed these little snippets Jay thanks for commenting Val x

SugarMama34 on 12-10-2007
A Trilogy for Kat’s Challenge
Hi Bradene,

A very philisophical write. Each stanza as true as the next. You had the trilogy spot on with yor words. I think a lot of people will relate to this, I know I did. Enjoyed the flow and the rhyme all the way through.

Sugar. xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sugar. Love Val x


The Spider (posted on: 28-09-07)
As I haven't written anything seriously this week, I decided to trawl through my old stuff and I came across this oldie (I wrote it for my youngest daughter when she was about eight, she's 42 this year) It's as I wrote it all those years ago, I haven't touched it at all. I thought I would let it see the light of day... no doubt I will live to regret it! (-;

Spider, spider on the wall Black hairy legs stealthily crawl, The way you pounce upon your prey Evil cunning by night and day, The beautiful web you constantly weave So cleverly designed to deceive. The sickening way you make them die, The fat black beetle, the buzzing fly, One impulsive visit with you Then their lives are surely through. Inject them with your acid sting Peace to their heaving bodies bring. Enjoy your meal spider, do For sentence of death you're under too... Copyright VMM1973
Archived comments for The Spider
e-griff on 28-09-2007
The Spider
reminded me a bit of tiger, tiger. 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting. Val

admin on 28-09-2007
The Spider
Oo-er, oh dear - I like spiders 🙁

Author's Reply:
So do I and I wouldn't dream of killing one, this was just to entertain my bloodthirsty little minx at the time (-; Val x

Kazzmoss on 28-09-2007
The Spider
Hehehe, what fun! I can imagine your daughter was quite delighted with it. Sums up the spiders grissily little life! - Kazz

Author's Reply:
oh yes she was delighted alright, blood and gore suited her very well when she was eight and quite a tomboy although she would deny it now. Thanks for commenting Val x

delph_ambi on 29-09-2007
The Spider
I enjoyed that. Very dark. Sort of thing I'd have loved as a child.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Delph. Val x

Jolen on 30-09-2007
The Spider
Oh Val,

This is quite good, and I bet your daughter loved it. It sort of reminds me of Ted Hughes' poems on spiders, etc.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen, what a nice thing to say. Val x

RoyBateman on 30-09-2007
The Spider
You know, I must have been a right wimp as a child, because I think that this would have given me the willies good and proper! In fact, it has now... Funny things, spids - totally necessary, yet I can understand why they frighten - in most cases, they just look so alarming, and they move like lightning too. I know they're harmless, at least here, but I can still recall when one big fat hairy bugger just dropped from the ceiling onto my book as I was reading, then shot up my arm. Ugh - no, I wouldn't hurt it, and I've rescued loads from baths, etc., but I can't say that I'm enamoured of 'em. Anyway, your daughter grew up, so it did no harm - and gave the rest of us something to think about when we switch off the light tonight too...ooh, mummy!

Author's Reply:
I know exactly what you mean although they are the good guys as they keep the bad bugs away but you know Roy they do bite, especially some garden varieties. I was biten by one a couple of summers ago and it really hurt for ages and made quite a swelling too. It took days to stop stinging in spite of all the usual jollop one puts one these bites. Thanks for reading and commenting, once again my apologies for being like the cows tail ...all behind! (-; Val x

jay12 on 01-10-2007
The Spider
This has a kind of gruesome, nursery rhyme, flavour! Very good, I bet this entertained an 8year old greatly! Good work. Shame it has taken so long for you to make it public.

Take care,

Jay.

Author's Reply:
It's the sort of thing that she reveled in at the time. I've a few more I'll have to sort out when I get the time. thanks for commenting Jay. Val x

Sunken on 03-10-2007
The Spider
Blimey Ms. Val. Aren't you suppose to read about nice things to young children? Ya know, like rainbows and stuff. Not that I'd know. It's good to see your early stuff and no mistake.

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sussex 3 - volvo 2

Author's Reply:
Well I did used to write about fairies and things too but the youngest one always prefered the gory ones best. Thanks for the comments Sunky. Val x

flyboy on 04-10-2007
The Spider
i like the direct approach no twists it just comes straight for you

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. Sorry the reply is late though. Been a busy time just now. Val


A fine day For Walking Alone (posted on: 21-09-07)
A reflective mood during some worrying family problems.

This was a day for walking, it had been a long time since I'd wanted to. A little talking wind ran before me stirring the dust in whorls along the path. Dirty grey clouds hung heavy in the sky like worn out sheets waiting for the rain to rinse and wring them white again. A now and then sun tapped my cold shoulder, a tiny tickle to tempt me to smile. A marmalade cat slid from behind the hedge, I stopped to let him wind himself around my legs, tweaked his ears and stroked him along his back before he shot off across the road and down someone's garden path, perhaps his owner's Suddenly I found myself wishing for someone to wind myself around, a strong body to lean on, to draw comfort from. Where was God when you needed him? A voice spoke close by, ''he's all around, open your eyes, your heart and trust'' Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for A fine day For Walking Alone
Jolen on 21-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
A lovely poem filled with what many of us will be able to relate too. I am glad the voice spoke to you and may this time of trials pass quickly for you. I enjoyed the read, thank you.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen thanks for your lovely remarks so comforting. Love Val x

Romany on 21-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
' A little talking wind ran' - a lovely concept. I'm glad your walk found ways to comfort you Val. You should go for a stroll more often, when you feel up to it. Isn't life wonderful when it's not terrible?

Romany.

Author's Reply:
The walk did me good in more ways than one that day. I got some inspiration as well as a few things straight in my head. (-; thanks for the comments Romany. Val x

e-griff on 21-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
look for that sunshine - it's a great soother, as I myself have found *sends a smile :-)*

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the smile Griff, accepted with gratitude Val x

Griffonner on 21-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
I have a cat that does that to me when I walk a particular path. I found your poem stirring memories from way back - and it was a nice reminiscence. Thankyou, Val.

Author's Reply:
Glad it triggered a few good memories for you Allen, thanks for stopping by Val x

RoyBateman on 21-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
I'm glad that it worked so well for you - an idyllic scene, very nicely captured and you manage to encapsulate that feeling that most of us get sooner or later...a yearning for solitude yet a need for support at the same time. Hopefully, in our different ways, we find it.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, The walk did the trick but it did make me realise that I am a bit remote from the rest of my brothers and sisters who all mostly live in Leicester, and I could have done with their company that day. Val x

Bowlie on 21-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
Lovely,

I always find a good walk in the country or just being around a bit of nature helps me to work things through or gain a bit of perspective and indeed can ease a troubled mind, I think they should prescribe them on the N.H.S!

I enjoyed walking through this poem with you.

Have a good weekend

bek

Author's Reply:
What NHS, do we still have one? (-; I know what you mean though, walking can be a good tonic for most ills, I'm glad you enjoyed the walk too. Val x

Macjoyce on 21-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
Some fabaroonie language and imagery in this, I'm thinking mainly of

"Dirty grey clouds hung heavy in the sky
like worn out sheets waiting for the rain
to rinse and wring them white again."

and

"A now and then sun".

Where is God indeed, when you need him? Probably down the pub.


Author's Reply:
Lol. Well I suppose it's what each of us think of as God. Me I'm a bit confused these days I used to believe 100%. I think I still believe in a greater power in the scheme of things but perhaps not the way I was taught, anyhow I won't find out yet hopefully. Glad you enjoyed the poem though. Val x

Sunken on 21-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
Why do cats never do that to me? I don't trust em Val. They're evil. Evil I tell ya! Nice poem. Thanks.

Rate: A perfect day.

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cats 0 - dogs 8

Author's Reply:
I guess they never wind themselves around you Sunky because they sense that you hate them. Very intuitive are cats, I like them we always had a cat when we were kids, mainly because we lived in the country next to the canal and we were always invaded by mice so you see a cat was very useful. Also you don't have to get up at an ungodly hour to take them for a walk! I love dogs too though in fact I like most animals and have a definite soft spot for monkeys ((-; Val x

littleditty on 23-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
HI Val - it was cloudy here in Tenerife today and i walked and walked - it's a meditation - and Nature is a tonic, as is the tot of Honey Rum i've put in my coffee! As i am unfortunately not a cat and there are no comforting arms, it seems that the walking/rum/and the amble through your poem have cheered me up some :o) thanks Val -

Dirty grey clouds hung heavy in the sky
like worn out sheets waiting for the rain
to rinse and wring them white again.

i liked the sound and image here - and 'a little talking wind' - the Voice at the end reminds me to be patient, walk again tomorrow, and be positive - lovely reflective poem Val, hoping your worries pass quickly, the 'marmalade cat' hoped so too i think! - enjoyed :o) xxldx

Author's Reply:

Kat on 23-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
Val, this is beautifully paced poetry which really takes the reader on your journey.

There is a 'someone's' and a 'someone' quite close together - I wondered about:

'before he shot off across the road and down
a garden path, perhaps his owner’s…

Suddenly I found myself wishing for someone
to wind myself around,'

But I realise that the repetition could be your intent too. Just a tiny suggestion for yet another Valtastic poem.

Kat x

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 24-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
This is an enjoyable poem. I'm not a very religious man (I believe in God but thats about it) but this made me think. It's a nice comforting thought that someone is watching over us and has best wishes for us and our lives. A very positive poem.

I hope you are not feeling too lonely though!
Re: "Suddenly I found myself wishing for someone
to wind myself around, a strong body to lean on,
to draw comfort from."

Jay.

Author's Reply:

Kenart on 26-09-2007
A fine day For Walking Alone
An extremley visual piece that flows. I could see myself filming this. It moves gently through many layers and that, I think is what I like the most Ken

Author's Reply:


Three Than-Bauk (posted on: 17-09-07)
Than-Bauk has Burmese origins, it has three lines, each with four syllables. It has a falling or climbing rhyme. 1st line 4th syllable, 2nd line 3rd syllable and 3rd line 2nd syllable.

Harvest set fair, golden pear hangs right there to pluck. Sunlight in rays, dancing, plays on inlays of glass. A word in jest can infest the mind, lest smiling. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Three Than-Bauk
Macjoyce on 17-09-2007
Three Than-Buak
Well done, you have mastered a form that's extremely difficult in English. Rhyming in such short lines is no mean feat. I've not done it myself, I use words rather than syllables, so that I can actually get somewhere. I once wrote a poem about my bum in Burmese Climbing Rhyme. It was called "A poem about my bum in Burmese Climbing Rhyme", but the less said of that the better.

Song That Luc Mac


Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac for the compliment and comment also for pointing out my mistake with the title all corrected now, Must take a look at your bum..((-; Val x

Macjoyce on 17-09-2007
Three Than-Buak
P.S. "Than-bauk".

You spell it correctly in your intro but not in the title.

Pathya Mac


Author's Reply:

e-griff on 17-09-2007
Three Than-Buak
I like the first one best. And have a completely unworthy temptation to write one myself like this (don't shoot me, pse :-)):

Val, these were good
If I could
do I would
(write one)

I found 'lest' in the last one a bit dodgy, but overall the three are very impressive! 🙂

(suprised you didn't save the form for a poetry challenge and sock it to us!)

very best, JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff, I agree the third one is a bit dodgy, I don't think I managed to get the feeling I was after across to well. Val x

Jolen on 17-09-2007
Three Than-Buak
Good stuff here, Val. I envy people who can master things of this nature.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen your comments very much appreciated. Congrats on being WOTM by the way, I've been away recently so haven't had a chance to comment or even read much, I've a lot of catching up to do. Love Val x

Kenart on 18-09-2007
Three Than-Buak
I really like this form and the way you have used it. Very evocative. Regards Ken

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much, I don't think we have met before, welcome to UKA Val x

Elfstone on 18-09-2007
Three Than-Buak
Bradene - good to see you back and posting. I had never heard of this form [you've been very good at introducing me to new forms (-: ] Like e-griff I find the third one less convincing, but I am full of admiration - I suspect little snippety poems like these are probably very hard to do well.

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:
Hi Elf thanks for the comment and the welcome back, been away on family stuff, still on edge though my brother has his quadruple bypass tomorrow so I'm finding it a bit difficult to concentrate on much at the moment. Chaos reigns as usual! Val x

RoyBateman on 19-09-2007
Three Than-Bauk
Welcome back! Yet another form I've never heard of, never mind tried...you make us amateurs feel inadequate, you rotter you. I'm tempted to post something in the obscure Okinawan erotic poetry form Foo-kyu, or similar...or maybe not. Seriously, this was educational as well as good poetry!

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 20-09-2007
Three Than-Bauk
Hello lovely Ms. Val. I very much envy you being able to write this. I'd find it impossible to compose a poem with 'pluck' in it without rhyming it to the inevitable. I blame porn. Nice one Ms. Valtastic.

Rate: A years supply of vitamin C

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winning the day was not a chore envied by fate

Author's Reply:


A Grave Of Lost Babes (posted on: 06-08-07)
I wrote in my Journal some weeks ago about finding my late daughter's birth and death certificate, The year was 1965 and she only lived for two days, because she was so gravely ill I was never allowed to see her after they took her away from me after her birth and I was never told where she was buried, only that she would be put in a grave with someone else. It was all very cold and clinical. You were discouraged from asking questions. After writing my journal, I was contacted by Michael Acton (The Haven) offering to trace my baby's grave for me, Michael had had a similar experience and had tracked his daughter's grave. I was amazed that anyone should be so thoughtful and kind as to make an offer like this. True to his word around two weeks later Michael contacted me with the details and it is with sincerest thanks to him that, at last on Thursday 2nd of August I actually stood looking down at the spot where my daughter is buried.

The air hung humid, the sky overcast, traffic droned on and on, birds fluttered between old serried headstones. The sun slipped out between clouds, lit a patch of grass freshly mown; its pungent aroma added somehow to the sense of raw emotion, rising from somewhere deep inside my subconscious self. For forty two years it had lain, trampled down by the strictures imposed by ignorance and arrogance. Leaves rustled in the slight breeze that sprang from nowhere in particular. Inside something loosened; the dam burst and the years of hurt and guilt rose like bile in my throat. Why had I not screamed at them? 'She is mine!' I should have fought to hold her in my arms; no one had the right to take her from me, Why did I let them put her in an anonymous grave? A grave of lost babes Here at last her resting place; a good place. My anger and guilt subsided, my grief remained for a while to be replaced by great peace. Yes, this is a beautiful place. copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for A Grave Of Lost Babes
RoyBateman on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
This is very difficult to read, but I'm sure that it was far more difficult to write. Hopefully, it was cathartic... What an awful experience - what more is there for an outsider to say? It's quite astonishing how long these attitudes by the medical "we know best" practioners lingered. You'd think that it had been 1865, not a century later. I really do hope that this whole experience has been helpful - and top marks to Mike for his help, too.

Author's Reply:
Hi Roy, thanks as ever for your comments, it was a difficult piece to write and as you see I have since changed the format with the helpful advice of elfstone. Yes, I am very grateful to Michael such a caring fellow human being if only the world were made up of more like him... Again thank you for your kind words, Val x

Jolen on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Oh Val:
Firstly, I am thrilled that Michael was so damn wonderful and did this for you. Secondly, this is very hard to read and made me cry, but I am hoping, as Roy says, that it was cathartic, as it seems to have been. Bless you for sharing this.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hi jolen Sorry I made you cry, Michael is a good man you are right. I am so lucky to have been able to do this at this late stage and feel so much better for the experience. Thank you for your comments. Love Val x

Romany on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
I am so pleased that you seem to have found some comfort at last, and that you have a place that's real, that you've seen and breathed in the air at the spot where you know your child lies at peace. They had no right, and yet they took your rights from you. I am so glad that you have reconciled your emotions now and have found peace yourself. God bless and thinking of you,

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Romany I feel that I did get a lot of comfort out of the experience. I'm so glad that things are different these days, there were so many women in my position in those days and we were afraid to challenge authority, how silly it seems, nowadays the woman I have become would never have stood for it. Thanks for reading and commenting. Val x

ruadh on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Glad you now have some peace Val

love ailsa

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much Ailsa. Valx

e-griff on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Blimey. After Len's piece today, another so difficult to read, so moving. Bless.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff. Val x

delph_ambi on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Very moving. I'm so pleased you've found the grave after all these years, and that it is in a beautiful spot.

Even without knowing the background, this would be a wonderful piece of poetry.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Delph for those sweet words. Val x

Gerry on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Val, a big hug from me. You know that Shirley and I went through this not long since, searching for her uncle and then her baby brother. Very moving and fully understood...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the hug Gerry (-; also for reading and commenting. Val xxx

Ionicus on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
A very moving rendition of a painful experience.
I am glad that your grief has been exorcised by the discovery of the grave of your long lost baby and you have finally found peace.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you for those comforting words Luigi. Bless you Val x

littleditty on 06-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Dear Val - your poem is excellent - the ending is so beautiful - i am really moved by your poem and story - that the peace found in the last line is yours, and i am so happy that it is so, for you. Tears and a smile for Val - love to you, Nicky xxx

Author's Reply:
Hi Nicky, thank you for the lovely comments you made they touched me so much. Smiling back, love Val x

Kat on 07-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Val, I read this yesterday and it has stayed with me. It's so moving and beautifully written. I've always admired your writing skills and this underlines why you have such a great poetic heart - it merely reflects your own.

What a wonderful thing Michael did. Wishing you all the good things you deserve.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Dear Kat, thanks for your comments, praise indeed from someone so talented as yourself. I was very touched by your words and yes it was a very wonderful thing that Michael did. Love Val x

Elfstone on 07-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Val, I echo all that has been said above about the content of your poem - what you went through all these years ago was dreadful and I am so pleased for you that you have found peace at last.

That said, may I say something about the structure of your poem? I realise this one is terribly personal so I'm treading gently. Perhaps I should PM you a suggestion or two? Elf.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Elf for the good advice, always happy to read your thoughts. Thanks also for the kind words. Val x

barenib on 08-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Val, I too share the sentiments of the other commenters - I can't begin to imagine what this was like for you, but I can read your words which are so well expressed. John x

Author's Reply:
Thanks John for reading and commenting so compassionately Val x

soman on 09-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Val,

I ob serve that you have not yet replied to the host of comments. Obviously, your eyes are so brimming with tears that you can hardly read them?

Very poignant, with the setting too built up very eloquently.

Soman

Author's Reply:
You are right Soman, it has taken me this long to be able to collect my thoughts enough to answer all the beautiful comments, including your own sweet words. Thank you so much. Val x

ShadowChaser on 10-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
This is a very beautiful, moving piece that oozes soul and the personal tragedy you suffered. I am so glad, like everyone else here, that there is finally some sort of closure for you --- my heart goes out to you, one can only imagine such terrible things - take care - ShadowChaser :o)

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 11-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
I'm so very sorry to know what happened to you back in 1965 and it is a terrible thing that you were not able to do the motherly thing. But this poem shares with your readers the journey you have been on in recent times, finding her location and being able to pay your respects. Michael Acton is an angel and no mistake. I'm glad you have found peace at last.

Take care,

Jay.

Author's Reply:

len on 11-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
Extremely moving poem..I hate that word, "closure" as if pain can be shut up in a box by one event, but it must have given you at least some comfort to find your daughter's grave. The guilt expressed over not demanding to see your dying daughter is understandable, even if it really makes no sense. Our subconscious really isn't very smart. Survivor's guilt is very common when we can't find a reason for our loss...len

Author's Reply:

discopants on 12-08-2007
A Grave Of Lost Babes
An excellent poem, although the merits of the poem itself hardly seems to matter given the subject. 3 cheers for Mike!

dp

Author's Reply:


Notes From Greece (posted on: 23-07-07)
First Impressions.

On terraced hillsides olive and citrus groves perch like a battle weary army bivouacked from the heat of the day. Closer in the bougainvillaeas' red and white brilliance seems at odds with the arid looking soil they are rooted in. Pomegranate and fig grow side by side the tamarisk seem to be the Minarets of the cicadas their incessant screeching a paradox to the gentle lapping and myriad blues of the Aegean. Further out the neighbouring islands sprawl over the sea like some mythical creatures crouched low along the horizon. Inspiration ignites in the unfamiliar heat and part of me cannot wait to take up my pen. For now though I am content to gaze in awe at the beauty of this ancient land; to soak up information, savour it, store it away to enjoy in cooler climes. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Notes From Greece
Kat on 23-07-2007
Notes From Greece
This is lovely, Val - very evocative. Really like:

'bivouacked from the heat of the day.' = brilliantly (and unusually) expressive.

A very satisfying last stanza too.

Kat x


Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments Kat I'm glad you enjoyed my little poem. Val x

barenib on 23-07-2007
Notes From Greece
Val, I can really picture this, which means you've done a great job of descirbing the scene.
One small point that I'm not sure about - If the bougainvillaeas are plural (which I think you mean them to be) then the apostrophe should come after the s - and their collective brilliance is singular, so I think it should be 'brilliance seems at odds'.
Sorry to nit pick on such a lovely piece - John x.

Author's Reply:
John thanks for the comments and the corrections in my punctuation (not my strong point I must admit)
I certainly don't consider it nit picking only too pleased to learn. Val x

e-griff on 23-07-2007
Notes From Greece
Great piece - only problem for me is envisioning the abberant messrs Gardiner and Dray in the midst of this beauty and peace --- impossible! You'll have to go back again without them and write the same poem again .... THEN i can admire it properly.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff for the nice comments about my poem. David and Jeff... well they were gents really, and once you got used to them they blended in very well, besides they had to get used to my ugly mug too , so that evened things up rather (-; Val x

Ionicus on 24-07-2007
Notes From Greece
It is obvious that the Greek scene suits you very well (mosquitos notwithstanding).
This is an ode that I have enjoyed tremendously in our cooler climate.

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Greece suited me down to the ground... then it got a bit difficult! the roads and pathways were a bit rocky and a little hazardous for an old girl like me, but I loved every minute of it . Valx

RoyBateman on 24-07-2007
Notes From Greece
You paint a wonderful picture, Val - we can almost feel the shimmering heat radiating off the page. Could you bottle some and have it sent over, do you think? We could all do with it at the moment! Apart from anything else, you capture the wonderment of just soaking up such a different environment and therefore take us all along with you. Excellent.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy for the comment, It would be nice to have some of that lovely sunshine bottled I agree. The Summer here has been appalling. I hope you haven't been flooded out. We have been lucky in Grantham considering the rest of Lincolnshire. Val X

discopants on 25-07-2007
Notes From Greece
Your poem is like a landscape painting that's come alive. Enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Disco appreciate your comment. Val x

Gerry on 26-07-2007
Notes From Greece
You painted a great scene here Val, one I know all too well.
Did you try the 'Stefada' ?

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Tried to store as much information as possible to write about later but I was a little overawed, first time in Greece there was so much to take in. Didn't try the Stefada, at least I don't think so... what is it exactly? Val x

Bootylicious on 28-07-2007
Notes From Greece
This is fab Val. Took me back to a holiday I had in Greece in 2005. So vivid!

Rae

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 29-07-2007
Notes From Greece
Smashing poetry, Val. Glad you had a good time.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 31-07-2007
Notes From Greece
Sounds like a perfect moment beautifully captured...L

Author's Reply:

Corin on 15-06-2015
Notes From Greece
Yes, I love the Greek Islands too. Poor buggers though - they are in deep shit now:-(

Author's Reply:


Black Anna (posted on: 20-07-07)
Black Anna / Annis, black meaning evil, or Cat Anna depending on the Area of Leicestershire you came from was reputed to have lived in her 'bower a cave in the Dane Hills. I remember as a child being threatened about her and the 'Nine-o-Clock Horses if I didnt behave and go to sleep. Another for this weeks poetry challenge.

In the Dane Hills of Leicester Black Anna ruled the night A witch woman so evil Obscene in mortal sight All the local children Afraid of Anna's power Obey their parents bidding Or end their days in Anna's bower It was whispered she scratched children With long claws and drank their blood And hung their skins out to dry, To wear at her waist because she could From Glenfield to the Newarke Her infamy spread far and wide Just the mention of old Black Anna Sent children scuttling off to hide. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Black Anna
delph_ambi on 20-07-2007
Black Anna
Good writing as far as it goes, but I would have liked a couple more verses describing what 'Black Anna' alledgedly got up to...

Author's Reply:
I see what you mean and possibly at some time in the future I may lengthen the story, thanks for reading. Val x

Sunken on 20-07-2007
Black Anna
Blimey Val, I'm surprised you slept at all and no mistake. I'd not heard of Black Anna before. If I can't sleep tonight I shall be cursing you, just so long as you know (-; Nice one Valtastic.

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light on or off? you decide


Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, well, personally I was more afraid of the Nine-o-Clock Horses, I could always fancy I could hear then galloping up the road for me((-; Thanks for commenting and the rating Val x

e-griff on 20-07-2007
Black Anna
Hmm - I'd say: obscene to mortal sight

you have a tense change in verse 2 (obeyed/end -should be ended)
you could switch it all to present (rules, obey ...) or make it ended. For me there's a problem in this verse. the first three lines seem consitent and complete - the fourth doesn't seem to fit - the 'all/afraid' seems to imply they all obeyed their parents ... see what I mean? There's also too many beats in the last line.

and a few other rhythm problems for me later ...

plus - doesn't 'Glenfield to the Newark' clash with 'far and wide'?

I think I'm having a picky day! 🙂 never mind. best JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks John I'll try to fix it... What do you mean you're having a picky day?? you always have picky days ((-; Val

Ionicus on 20-07-2007
Black Anna
You are right Val. I think he should be called e-gruff.
Seriously though, he gives good advice.
I too found that it limps a bit and doesn't flow all that smoothly.
I am afraid I am going to spoil sunken's perfect ten but I am not doing it anonymously.

Luigi x


Author's Reply:

Romany on 20-07-2007
Black Anna
This reminded me of my own chidlhood. Children don't seem to be as well versed in local folklore these days, do they? Or perhaps I am just not aware of them being so. I enjoyed this,

Romany.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 21-07-2007
Black Anna
Well, this is a new tale on me - but then, I didn't grow up in Leicester and I'd have needed to! The place names are all familiar, though - isn't Danehills an estate now? Kids NEED this sort of thing to frighten 'em witless, I say - bring back those under-the-bed monsters! No, not the sort you pee in... Good one, Val - every place needs someone like this!

Author's Reply:

discopants on 22-07-2007
Black Anna
The Leicestershire version of the bogey-man. I think Black Anna would be a good name for a drink, now I think about it. Liked the tale- further to griff's comment, I think replacing 'away' with 'off' in thelast line might help the rhythm a bit.

dp

Author's Reply:


The Murder Of David Riccio (posted on: 20-07-07)
I have used varying rhythms for this poem in order to heighten the drama, I am aware that I have broken many rules. ((-; This is for the poetry workshop.

Oh Mary, Mary quite contrary Heavy with child and slow Oh Mary , Mary please be wary They'll kill poor Riccio. ~~ Oh Jamie, Jamie how could you blame me If Mary I should tell Oh Jamie, Jamie you always inflame me So with your lies I dwell. ~~ Jamie Stewart wants the crown He plots to bring Mary down Jamie Stewart will raise an Army As soon as he's dealt with Harry Darnley ~~ I poor Anne, Jamie's wife Am sworn to silence or lose my life. ~~ Oh Mary, Mary quite contrary I can't say what you should know. This night they'll kill your secretary Poor little Riccio... ~~ Hark! Their footfalls on the stair Lord Ruthven comes to do the deed He thinks he enters the devil's lair But he's being used for Jamie's greed. ~~ ''What's this'' cries Mary all distraught ''Yon Riccio'' barks Ruthven, in return, ''We'll take him now! He's too long at court'' Mary warns, ''for this you'll burn.'' ~~ I poor Anne, Jamie's wife Am sworn to silence or Lose my life. ~~ Riccio cowers beneath Mary's gown A Douglas stabs with a knife Mary cries ''poor Davies' gone'' And Darnley laughs at his wife. ~~ The blood, the blood Oh God forgive me I run for help - none is nigh Mary's screams I hear above me A curse on Jamie's lie! ~~ Oh! Mary, Mary quite contrary Be mindful how you go Oh! Mary, Mary do be wary for each Man here is your foe! ~~ I poor Anne Jamie's wife Am sworn to silence or lose my life ~~~ Copyright VMM 2007
Archived comments for The Murder Of David Riccio
delph_ambi on 20-07-2007
The Murder Of David Riccio
This is excellent. Very musical and rhythmic, good unforced rhymes. Full of atmosphere. My only criticism would be the ungrammatical line of the refrain (Am sworn to secret or lose my life) I would have written something like: "Am sworn to stay silent, or lose my life."

Author's Reply:
Thanks Delph for your comment and useful suggestion Have edited Val x

e-griff on 20-07-2007
The Murder Of David Riccio
I am afraid I couldn't read this comfortably for some reason. if I take out 'Davie' in V1 and 'must' in V2 I'm more comfortable - and so on throughout. 🙂 G

Author's Reply:
oops wrong box see below ((-;

Bradene on 20-07-2007
The Murder Of David Riccio
Well I did warn you I had broken lots of rules, I can take out Davie in V1 and must in V2, but I'm not sure about the so on throughout!! Val

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 20-07-2007
The Murder Of David Riccio
no, it's not the 'rules' it's how it sounds. it's up to you what you do. My poetry 'ear' seems very picky today so I'm not gonna crit any more pomes 🙂

what I would say is: if you have one rhythm/rhyme scheme throughout, the reader is comfortable with exceptions and isolated changes - in fact they can add interest from a 'routine' - but here, verse-to-verse, the whole scheme changes. I think in this case it is important to ensure within each verse that the rhythm is very regular, and I don't think it is.

Enough! 🙂 cheers.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 20-07-2007
The Murder Of David Riccio
Dear Val, who says that we should follow rules? I am the first one to break them, so I should know.
I found this piece very original and rhytmic. I like the repetition of the line:
'Mary, Mary...' which heightens the musicality of the piece.
And in spite of what people say I WILL award top marks.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

Romany on 20-07-2007
The Murder Of David Riccio
Very quirky and unusual. I like the lonely couplets that are the voice of the wife. I also like your use of recognised nursery rhyme pattern, nearly all of which of course really stem from historical events (usually unpleasant ones!) Very different piece and hats off to you for posting it! By the way, I agree with Luigi - the rules don't always matter and nor, in my opinion, does comfortable reading. It's good now and again to have something that makes you sit up and concentrate!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 20-07-2007
The Murder Of David Riccio
Nice to see this again. I like the way you've tweaked it. As Romany said the nursery rhyme patterns give it an extra edge. Elf.

Author's Reply:


Kiss Of Torment (posted on: 16-07-07)
A short poem written whilst in Greece. will no doubt be edited or re-written.

No mythical monster, you, Beast who bleeds human blood When squelched away with a slap, Echidna herself would never Claim you as her child. You assail with stealth, your approach silent On the night air, homing in on warm bodies. Your sting as light as an ex-lovers kiss Only after departure does the torment begin. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Kiss Of Torment
Sunken on 16-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
Hello Lovely Valtastic. I am going to have to google 'Echidna'. I seem to be googling a lot of late. Still, it gets me thru the night (-; Especially liked - Your sting as light as an ex-lovers kiss. Come on Val - Give us a stinging. Hope you are well.

s
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k
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still water or sparkling water - you decide.

Author's Reply:
Curse those mosquito's, they drive you crazy for days after they bite in spite of all the gunk you put on the bite. (-; thanks for reading Sunky hope you are well. Love Val x

JeffDray on 16-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
Very apposite. The little buggers are still stinging. I wish I could be so kind about them.

Author's Reply:
Mine too jeff, I'm finding it difficult to get back into the swing of thing here at home in spite of mossy's I keep wishing I was back in Greece. Val xx

Gerry on 16-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
Val, thought you were on about something else for a minute 😉 then I realised you would have kept that quiet 😉

Nice one whatever lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Lol... Not that lucky these days Gerry! Had a great time though so glad I went Greece is really beautiful. Thanks for commenting. Love Val x

Elfstone on 16-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
It looks good in print, so to speak!
(and I'm still suffering, although it's confirmed that the first lot weren't mossies - as I suspected!!! - not a nice thought!)

I hope you're well. Elf

Author's Reply:
Glad you thought this was OK, Sharon and I suspected that the first lot was something more sinister but we didn't want to alarm you, Mossy bites usually take a couple of days to really begin to bother you? Have a great time in Barcelona Love Val x

jay12 on 16-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
After departure the torment always begin! A lovely poem. I need to catch up on your poems!

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Jay. Val x

delph_ambi on 17-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
Reminiscent of DH Lawrence's mosquito poem (which is one of my faves).

This is good writing. I don't think it needs much editing at all (other than getting rid of the caps at the starts of lines, which I find intrusive).

Author's Reply:
Thanks Delph praise indeed, as to the caps at the beginning of each line... well I find that really confusing, I was taught that there should be caps at the beginning of the lines in poetry but now it seems not so important. I'm at a loss at which rule to follow! I agree though they can be intrusive, especially in free verse. Val x

RoyBateman on 17-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
I thought for a moment that you'd been accosted by spiny anteaters, but that didn't sound right...then I noticed the capital E on Echidna. Ah, right - THAT one. Ah well, Val - that's what you get for going to warm countries. Stay at home and get peed on instead, eh?
ps Good poem, by the way - it's made me go all itchy too!

Author's Reply:
Yes I see what you mean, but if memory serves me right wasn't Echidna supposed to be the mother of all monsters? Glad you thought the poem good, thanks for commenting Roy. Val x

Ionicus on 17-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
Excellent Val. Some very good lines in a short poem.
I described a similar event in one of my poems ('Bad Blood' I think it was) but to me it happened in the back garden and not on a Greek island which makes it a more mundane incident.

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, yes these little monsters are the pits when they have feasted on you. Happy that you enjoyed the poem Love Val x

Corin on 17-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
What have you got against vampires? An insect has to eat.

Warm Wishes

David

Author's Reply:
Granted they have to eat and they do become food for some other form of life, but I just wish they would leave me alone! Thanks for stopping by Val

Macjoyce on 18-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
Ah, the not-so-humble mosquito. I don't think they're silent, they make a bloody irritating buzzing noise.

I like 'bleeds human blood'. Makes you think.

Get some of that cream that repels them, and smear it on yourself. Then you won't end up scratching your arms half off like I did when I was in Nepal.

Mac


Author's Reply:
Well maybe it's because I have trouble hearing these days (-; I certainly didn't hear or feel them come to that, not until long after they had feasted their fill. I have Smeared every imaginable gunk on myself until I smell like the local chemist shop! Thanks for stopping by Mac. Val

Kat on 18-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
This is good, Val... oh yes... and they can indeed be silent - it's only just the one little bampot that buzzes near to your ear as you drip off to sleep, I find. :o)

Hope you got a lot of inspiration out of your time in Greece and had some fun.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat, Had a great time in Greece, wrote down lots of notes and impressions now all I need is the time to write been so busy since returning I'm in a spin. Val x
PS Hope you are well. xx

Kat on 18-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
Oops... that was a bit leaky of me... holds up banner: *drop*

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Lol

discopants on 18-07-2007
Kiss Of Torment
I particularly like the way you've woven in the references to Echidna- I may now use this reference in a piece of prose I'm writing about Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Natalie Imbuglia. I'm not above the odd bit of plagiarism, you know.

The Greek trip tickled the muse by the looks of it.

dp

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Disco, I love Greek Mythology may do some more later. Good luck with your poem Love Val x


In The Swim (posted on: 02-07-07)
You never had worried about having sand kicked in your face...

I was laughing then the tears came. It had started with an old photograph. I'd been clearing the attic all week, you just fell out of an old book I thought I'd lost, wearing nothing but a pair of maroon swimming trunks, your long legs white and as skinny as draw threads, with puny muscles like knots in cotton but a grin to charm the birds from the trees. Straight black hair hung over your dark lashed left eye leaving the right one to twinkle alone into the lens of the camera that loved you, despite your obvious shortcomings. You looked the typical sixties rebel, hair collar length, blue stubble pointed chin, a Lawrence Harvey look alike if ever there was one, quite a dish in fact. You knew it too, the girls just adored you, it was like being married to a film star sometimes. You never worried about having sand kicked in your face, that sort of behaviour had gone out with Victor Mature et al. The hungry look was in with the emerging Beatles and the late still great Buddy Holly. The Liverpool revolution had saved you. You were fashionable, you were in the swim. Lean mean and hungry, the world at your feet, and for some reason you had chosen me to share it all with you. I was happy then, content in the perceived knowledge that you would make a great daddy and a wonderful husband, that our love was enduring and would survive anything. Looking at the picture now through a blur of tears a rogue thought struck me, I had always been an avid Robert Stack fan! Why couldn't I have met someone who had looked like him? I never could stand Lawrence bloody Harvey anyhow! I wondered vaguely what Freud would have made of that. Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for In The Swim
Romany on 02-07-2007
In The Swim
Lovely, loving piece.

Romany.

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 02-07-2007
In The Swim
Hi Val,

This had me choked up a bit until the end and then I had a good laugh. Who among us hasn't wondered 'why' we ever became involved with someone. Still, those early memories are bitter-sweet, aren't they? Good read.

Warm regards,

Adele

Author's Reply:

Bramwith22 on 02-07-2007
In The Swim
Val,

A tender commentary we can all identify with.

regards,

Bram

Author's Reply:

Harry on 02-07-2007
In The Swim
The trouble is the people who look like people you like, act like people you don’t like. And the people who act like people you like ... well, you know what I mean. The only cure for it is to stay out of attics.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 04-07-2007
In The Swim
Val, and I liked LH, a good actor anyway. C'est la vie...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 16-07-2007
In The Swim
This is a nice peek into your memories and mind.

Jay.

Author's Reply:


Tomorrow Never Comes (posted on: 02-07-07)
Airing for an old one.

Yesterdays were so much easier because there were still so many tomorrows, I could procrastinate without guilt. Today however the tomorrows dwindle down; life has become unbalanced with more yesterdays than tomorrows. They say that tomorrow never comes Well, metaphorically speaking that may be so; yet when it could all be over and done with today why worry about tomorrow? Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Tomorrow Never Comes
Bramwith22 on 02-07-2007
Tomorrow Never Comes
Well Val, this truly syas it all!

Bram

Author's Reply:

potleek on 02-07-2007
Tomorrow Never Comes
There's a lot to think about here, there's also a lot of wisdom.
You could be right about not being so many tomorrows, something that never enters the mind when you're young.
But you can't count them can you, perhaps it's just as well.
Like this one, a little haunting...Tony

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 03-07-2007
Tomorrow Never Comes
Ahhh, wise words indeed Ms. Val. I shall mull them over whilst extending the hand of friendship to a bewildered squirrel. I realise that this has no bearing on said poem, but I feel that you will understand. And now, if you do not mind, I have boxes to contemplate. I'll have a 'B' please Noel.

s
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k
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she did, and it scared him

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 04-07-2007
Tomorrow Never Comes
Very philosophical Val, 'Carp diem'---I think lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 04-07-2007
Tomorrow Never Comes
It COULD be over and done with today, Val - but hopefully not! The trouble with tomorrows is, we may be just as profligate with 'em as we always were with those yesterdays. That's life...I think Gerry came up with the apposite phrase!

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 16-07-2007
Tomorrow Never Comes
Who cares about tomorrow! I think we have to live for today otherwise we go mad, especially at work!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 18-07-2007
Tomorrow Never Comes
Hi Val,
A very well reasoned and thought provoking pholosophy of Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow and how they impinge on each other in a few wise words.
John XX

Author's Reply:


Mending A Memory (posted on: 29-06-07)
Memories that poured forth...

I found it folded neatly in a box Of stuff from way back, when life was easy. I took it out and shook the dust away The memories that poured forth stayed my breath With the force of their potency, snapping Back in time to the day I wore it to My wedding. It wasn't a traditional Wedding gown just a black and white sheath dress, Yet elegant in its simplicity. As the dust motes danced in the morning light The stale fragrance of Evening In Paris Assailed my senses and re-ignited Awareness, too long dulled by monotony. As a long dead voice and vows echoed far Across the lost years my eye caught the tear In the pleat at the back of the precious frock. I set about mending it instantly As I did so memories good and bad Merged and became a whole experience. Peace came as I mended the memory Copyright VMM2007
Archived comments for Mending A Memory
potleek on 29-06-2007
Mending A Memory
Val I can just picture you in that dress, it will mean so much more now that the tear is sewn with love and fond memories...Tony

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tony glad you liked the poem Val x

e-griff on 29-06-2007
Mending A Memory
I was unsure here about rhyme. I was admiring the light/ignite rhyme, but then decided you hadn't set out to rhyme throughout.

In the light of that, I did find 'made me sway' very weak - can you find some better expression?

But the overall subject and execution - very effective. *sheds small tear/tear* G

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff as per I think you were right, I changed it, I think for the better, but perhaps you won't agree. Val x

e-griff on 29-06-2007
Mending A Memory
why not? as critter, I prefer it when people respond to something I think is wrong (human nature) but if I suggest a word (and of course i didn't here) I'm fairly easy about what the author does as long as they do something. You fixed a problem I perceived. You are happy with it - I am a happy fellow. (er, but I don't think you need that comma after 'forth')

oops! *slaps wrist*

Author's Reply:
Does that please Sir? ((-; thanks again. Val x

orangedream on 30-06-2007
Mending A Memory
Oh Val, I really, really loved this. I can't pick one line or one stanza - it is all beautiful, but if I had to, stanza 4 is a gem.

It's odd isn't it - how our minds seem to have been a tad in unison this week, with the Evening in Paris I mean. There is another strange thing too. I wrote a poem, a few months back now about a lady sitting sewing, 'darning mayhem into order' being the last line. Great minds obviously think alike!

Definitely a 'fave' for me. Thank you Val.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
So Glad you liked the poem Tina, just a bit of nostalgia, it's nice now and then don't you think. (-; Val x

PS meant to say thanks so much for making it a fav', made my day a special one xx

Emerald on 30-06-2007
Mending A Memory
I'm a hoarder of so much and of clothes that had a particular significance for me - and just seeing them, the fabric can bring to mind so many memories - You captured this beautifully Val that I could feel the happiness and the sadness of it all. Emma x


Author's Reply:
I think it's nice to keep certain items in life and important too. My girls are always asking me questions about the past and it will be nice for them when the time comes to discover all these little treasures in the loft. Thanks for reading and leaving such a sweet comment Emma Val x

Sunken on 30-06-2007
Mending A Memory
I recently stopped hoarding Ms. Valtastic. I believe it to be a good thang to throw out the past and concentrate on now. Living too long in the past can ruin the future. Harsh, I know... but sadly true. Great work, as ever.

s
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k
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we take a mystery to bed

Author's Reply:
Well I'm not exactly a hoarder as such, I mean to say I don't keep every little thing but I do think it's important to keep certain parts of life for the benefit of any children you may have sunky. I regret not having something of my mothers to treasure, although I do have some lovely memories of her. Thanks for your comments, I treasure those indeed. Val xx

RoyBateman on 01-07-2007
Mending A Memory
A real tear-jerker, eh? We all have things stuffed away that maybe are best left hidden. "When life was easy..." a simple line, but very evocative - was it easier back then whenever? And, if it was, was it better? Who knows - with life comes the inevitable baggage, emotional as well as physical, and we carry it with us until... A poem that I think everyone will see something of their own experience in.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comments Roy, I think I what I really meant by the line "when life was easy" was well when you are young and just starting out, life does seem exciting and full of promise and you just don't give much thought to failure or heartache, it's only later when you look back and see what life has thrown at you that it seems hard. Though I have to be honest and say that I tried to handle all my troubles with alacrity. From this age as I look back I don't think I could have lived my life any better given the hand I was dealt and what hang ups I do have, well I find writing about then quite cathartic even comforting. I also try to write most of it with a kind of ironic humour as tomorrows sub will show, this time in the form of a small piece of prose. Val x

Ionicus on 01-07-2007
Mending A Memory
A beautiful, evocative poem Val. A lot of lovely lines: hard to pick favourite ones.
'...when life was easy' is a sentiment we seem to attribute to past events. We take a nostalgic look at our earlier life and somehow we recall a rosier picture. Does time dull our memory or was it really an easier existence?

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi for the lovely comments, perhaps if you read my reply to Roy above it will explain the line to which you refer. Love Val x

Gerry on