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parsonthru's (parsonthru on UKA) UKArchive
68 Archived submissions found.
Title
Another soul passes (posted on: 30-05-16)
Thoughts on loss

And another soul passes One among tens of thousands today Some of them screaming He, quietly holding the side of the bed Waiting But he was my soul My history And now he is gone
Archived comments for Another soul passes
sweetwater on 31-05-2016
Another soul passes
So sad, beautifully written. I am guessing it is for someone deeply loved. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. Thank you. An uncle. A lot of history. He stuck his neck out. Every soul is precious, some are just much closer and more loved.

Kipper on 01-06-2016
Another soul passes
It is a sad fact of life that it must end, and those who are left behind must weep.
In just a few words you have conveyed both love and loss.
"He, quietly holding the side of the bed Waiting" says much about the man I feel.
Michael


Author's Reply:
Hi Michael. It's true that loss is a fact of life, something that loss itself maybe brings you to accept. Moving towards our own end. Yes, it probably sums him up. No fuss. Thank you. Kev

pdemitchell on 02-06-2016
Another soul passes
Short and powerful - I've sat at too many bedside vigils not to be unmoved by the sentiment. Mitch.

Author's Reply:
Hi Mitch. The bittersweet taste of having a large family. Someone close to me pretty-much does it for a living.


Inside-out (posted on: 27-05-16)
More daydreaming

I watched a column of ants

organising in the sun

and wondered

 

I imagined human life was weather

and wars were storms

 

I watched the sky

imagining mathematicians

peering at the universe

and wondering what lay inside


Archived comments for Inside-out
sweetwater on 28-05-2016
Inside-out
I read this several times had several different ideas of your thinking, not too sure if I have it right, but I did enjoy the journey on which you took me.
Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. I'm really glad you enjoyed reading it. Each journey is unique. Each reading is individual. The ants will still be there this morning.

ParsonThru on 30-05-2016
Inside-out
Thanks for the nib.

Author's Reply:

ParsonThru on 30-05-2016
Inside-out
Thanks for the nib.

Author's Reply:

Pronto on 07-06-2016
Inside-out
Those mathematicians may never work it out. Perhaps we're not meant to? Worthy piece that raises more questions than it answers. Well done congrats on the nib.

Author's Reply:
Hi Pronto. No, maybe it's all too big. Thanks for the comment.


Here today (posted on: 27-05-16)
Subjective time

Routine journeys become ingrained. Time and space reconstructed in soft tissue. Start-end times and duration vary through the complex daily interplay, but the journey remains the journey. Road junctions, traffic-lights. Bus-stops and interchanges. Railway stations, signals, halts. Metro barriers, tunnels, platforms and stops. Doors open, doors close. Early-morning internalisations shift routine to the background. Encounters spin new thought-streams off to mingle, connect and spiral towards unconsciousness. Doors close. Motion, inertia, momentum, noise. Doors open. Routine. You know the route, every stop. There should be no need to count. Perpetual motion. Doors open. First stop: Diego de Leon. Two perceptions of time divide, running briefly side-by-side but apart, becoming independent. A lifetime passes in your mind. A hundred thousand images and questions: people, places, preoccupations. Whole worlds of situations manifest and fade, replaced by something new, forgotten. Doors close. A sensory signal flips you back to check the name. Indexing the stops: one? four? Avenida de America? Cuatro Caminos? No. You're still in estacion Diego de Leon. Motion, inertia, momentum, noise. Two perceptions of time divide. A hundred thousand images and questions...
Archived comments for Here today
pdemitchell on 02-06-2016
Here today
The Madrid Metro will never be the same. I can't believe there is no pat on the back or comment as yet as prosetry is really good! This dysfunction is true of metros the world over. Well done. Mitch

Author's Reply:


San Isidro 1 (posted on: 16-05-16)
A dialogue

The two men sat across the table from one another. To look at them, they might have been father and son.   They were brothers. The younger one spoke first: ''What did you bring me here for?'' ''Because I need to know.'' ''But the things you're seeking can't be known.  Not this side of the divide.  You dream, don't you?'' ''Yes.'' ''Why can't you be satisfied with that?  It's as close as you're going to get.'' ''Because I always forget what I've dreamt.'' ''Always?'' ''Almost always.  By the time I'm awake, it's gone.  Just a few hazy, lingering moments – a few people maybe.  I don't even know who most of the people are.'' ''It's the same for everyone.  Some people don't even get that. I don't understand what it is you want.  Why can't you just live?'' Drinks appeared.  ''I am living.  But I know there's more.  Much more.  All those things forgotten and lost.  Except I know they're all still there.  They screw me up – they mess with my mood.  Jonathan!   Please!   Tell me what's going on.'' Martin became aware of arms closing around him.  He was enveloped.  He was being scooped-up and hugged.  A woman's voice whispered in his ear, but he couldn't make out the words. The sun was shining.  He was walking along the shallows of a river, stepping over rocks between steep grassy banks.  He was happy.  Carefree. ''Why can't you just be?'' Jonathan spoke again. ''I couldn't tell you anything even if I wanted to.  And if I did you'd never remember.'' ''I would.  You know I would.'' ''You wouldn't.  There's no reference – nothing for you to hook into.'' ''Tell me if this is real.'' ''What do you think?'' ''For God's sake, what does it matter what I think?'' ''Of course it matters.''  Jonathan's voice was calm and compassionate. ''I pray every morning for the strength to carry on, and for a break for my family, friends; anyone who needs it.  Just for a little hope.  Who is it I'm speaking to?'' ''Yourself, maybe?'' ''Really?'' Jonathan shrugged.  ''I told you, there's nothing to say.'' ''But what about spirit?'' ''I don't know.'' ''You mean you won't tell me.'' ''I mean I can't, even if I wanted to.  This isn't the place.'' Martin picked up his drink and peered into it.  ''Did you believe in anything?'' ''I believed in something – I don't know what.'' ''And does it exist?  You must know so much more now.'' There was laughter from a group standing beside a car. It was parked under a dim tungsten streetlamp.  A man and woman got in and drove away.  Martin knew them from somewhere. When he looked across the table, Jonathan had gone.  ''When there's nothing else to believe in, believe in yourself.''  The words echoed in his consciousness.  He wasn't sure if he'd just heard them or if he'd known them all his life. Cold water was running over his feet and making them ache.  A few feet away, or maybe in another life, a child stubbed his toe on a rock and started to cry.
Archived comments for San Isidro 1
Mikeverdi on 16-05-2016
San Isidro 1
Weird and wonderful, I loved it.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike. Really pleased that you liked it. Certainly weird.


San Isidro 2 (posted on: 16-05-16)
Metrodream

The soft sensation of being propelled sidelong through a hole in the ground Steel whispering to steel Increasing, till it's almost too much Drifting into shallow sleep that stretches the interval to infinity The music of rail and guitar merge Dreams emerging Imagining Turner or Tennyson here Incredulous Then hurling the moment another two hundred years hence Propelled through stately stars in an infinite dream Beyond Heaven and Hell Living Post-climactic steel whispers me to wakefulness, slowing Doors hushing-open I'm here
Archived comments for San Isidro 2
Mikeverdi on 16-05-2016
San Isidro 2
I'm going to come back to this a lot. So much to admire in your work on these two posts. I will comment again.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Really lovely comment, Mike. Thank you.

pdemitchell on 16-05-2016
San Isidro 2
Innovative stuff and I loved the daydreamy tube-train "doors hushing-open". I googled San isidro and got a delightful Nerja parade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3eYhO2cDD4
ciao Mitch


Author's Reply:
Hi Mitch. Glad you liked it. You probably saw more of San Isidro than I did. Kev

sweetwater on 17-05-2016
San Isidro 2
What a beautiful recommendation for a tube journey, wonderful words wrought from the mundane.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. Thank you for your lovely words. Really nice of you. Kev


Time (posted on: 25-04-16)
Objects in the rear-view mirror may be closer than they appear

You're watching yourself in the mirror and seeing the setting sun Fighting against the prediction of what you would one day become You thought it would go on for ever but couldn't know what was in store It's too late now for reflection and rueing what happened before The room's filling up with your victims a masque of the damage you've done You hear yourself breathing ''The horror'' knowing there's nowhere to run Your demons demand satisfaction as the usher is closing the door And the strands of your fate join together on the tiles of a bathroom floor
Archived comments for Time
sweetwater on 28-04-2016
Time
Wow, that's a very telling poem, an accurate summing up of all that is likely to come for each of us. A scary warning. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. Red-eyed, bloodshot, staring up from the sink. Not too autobiographical, hopefully. Thanks for the comment. Kev


Raking-up the past (posted on: 01-04-16)
Cruel unconscious

"I love you, son.'' ''I love you, too, dad.'' It's all I can remember of the pained conversation, crouching on the footpath. One of us kissed the other, uselessly, on the forehead; I can't remember who. There was poignancy; a sense of something overdue; of a flame guttering and finally going out. It was a weak and pitiful death; a hanging-on and lingering death, but its coming was sudden for all that. I was left alone, kneeling by a low garden wall; the burden of his body there beside me. And now I don't remember whether he called me ''son'' or if he used my name. What a cruel thing the unconscious is. Why inflict that scene on me? I missed his death, being far away; too busy. Modern life, I suppose. In all the weeks of putrefaction and lost dignity, we never spoke of it; skirting the truth. Just another way of getting by: pyjamas and routine. Visits. I asked the consultant if he'd been told how grave the situation was. I was given an assurance that he would be. Perhaps they finally told him. There was something in the last, lingering look we shared. He rallied in the final week, as they often do (they?). Remission poured fuel on his denial. He got out of bed and dressed, ready for a taxi home. It couldn't last. Last night, the unconscious undertow of thought, writer of dream-scripts, goaded me for failing to be near enough to kiss his living flesh when the outcome was finally beyond doubt. Self-annihilation.
Archived comments for Raking-up the past
expat on 04-04-2016
Raking-up the past
I don't really understand the self-annihilation aspect but the pain is clear enough. I was living 11000 km away when my father died after a protracted illness so your submission struck a chord.
Perhaps it's human nature to blame oneself for something one's not guilty of in these sort of circumstances. All we can hope for is a less traumatic departure in respect of those we leave behind.

Author's Reply:


Meditation 173 (posted on: 18-03-16)
Just a busride

Riding the commuter bus, 173, back towards the city, hanging from a handrail, tired, worn-out, looking at the setting sun and thinking of the times I've ridden airport buses to hotels in Italy and Spain; how those rides had lived with me throughout the year, keeping hope alive until the next escape. Passing by the same untidy landscape: scrubland, commerce, concrete car-parks, all beneath a wash of evening sky streaked with silken cloud and coloured by the sun, I think about those rides and how they kept me going through the years of monochrome monotony, bringing colour to my dreams. These are long, weary days, teaching 8 till 7; travelling from class to class by Metro, bus and tram; eyes sore and aching; throat dry and tight; unable to communicate. I think about my bed, an hour away at least. Then I see those scenes of hope rolling through my mind; a vision from some guardian; dreams replayed from years gambled in a game for better times. The bus swings, bumps and cuts an arc into the Intercambiador, Plaza de Castilla, hissing to a stop beside the Metro. I place the rucksack, heavy, on my shoulder; step down upon the sidewalk with the rest. A voice tells me: ''This is home''.
Archived comments for Meditation 173
Mikeverdi on 19-03-2016
Meditation 173
This is familiar territory for me. I've sat at desks doing the same over the years, spent all my money on holidays and travel. Why is it some of us are always chasing dreams.
I like this....except it's started me off again!
Mike

Author's Reply:
πŸ™‚ You know what to do Mike.

pdemitchell on 20-03-2016
Meditation 173
The second paragraph is special - almost wanting to burst into a new poem bringing colour to our dreams! Paul

Author's Reply:


Isolation (posted on: 18-03-16)
The radio in the cafι is off-station

The radio in the cafι is off-station It always is The conversations are unintelligible But I spend this hour and a half Over coffee and a sandwich Taking a breath Thinking Waiting Watching a world so different To the one I left And so much the same Isolation is hard to express
Archived comments for Isolation
Mikeverdi on 19-03-2016
Isolation
There is a strangeness to this that I like very much, almost other worldly. Thanks for making me think.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks for making me smile Mike.

Supratik on 19-03-2016
Isolation
How many times have I felt this. I beg your pardon, but did you hear my radio that wasn't off-station I wonder. I will definitely come back to it. Best. Supratik

Author's Reply:
Hi Supratik. I may have heard but would need a stronger clue. I'm a simple soul. Waiting and thinking might be a more common occupation than my own selfish thoughts suggest. Thanks for reading.

pdemitchell on 20-03-2016
Isolation
Tinnitus is like that in the wee sleepless hours sounding liek a badly-tuned radio. Lovely surreal imagery. I sometimes sit in a cafe feeling exactly this. Paul

Author's Reply:
Hi Paul. Reading your comment has brought those ringing bells into focus. A friend of mine lives between three churches in Italy. I don't know how he copes. Thanks for connecting.


Hope springs eternal (posted on: 12-02-16)
Thoughts from Gregorio Maraρσn

Is God simply Hope? Where are we without Hope? Where are you and I? Why drag ourselves through the hardship and the tragedy? For a few all too scarce moments of pleasure? Maybe. I'm immersing myself in work just now and trying not to think too much. But look what happens over a coffee between classes. Into the vacuum comes the problem of affection: the need to receive it; the need to give it; its proximity to the physical, the emotional and the spiritual; the tangled web of those forces in our lives and the mess they create. From down in that mess emerge two colours (orange and blue – a particularly intense shade) that link to something lost or hidden in my earliest memories. When I see them together, such as on a pair of shoes worn on the Metro this week, I feel a key being tried in a long forgotten door. The door remains locked. I wander around towns filled with strangers. Strange towns. What is home? A rented room? I read the final words of ''On The Road'' again for the third and probably last time this week and was hit by just how sad, vast and empty life can be. It was like a Metro train clattering out of the tunnel into the brightly-lit consciousness. Poor Jack. Poor Neal. Poor us. The lost and the losers caught in a never-ending cycle of sadness, broken only by distractions that can speak to the soul. Love embraced and rejected. Doors opened and closed. Why so much affection? Why so much sadness? I feel caught in a physical, emotional and spiritual confusion. A mess. The first of those is a simple fact, being slowly depleted, exhausted, worn-out. The second is the wild and unpredictable response to everything that crashes around it – a ship tossed on the open waters of life, one minute calmed and comforted, the next minute whipped by dangerous squalls and tipped towards maelstroms of gloom and disaster. The third resides somewhere deep in ourselves, occasionally speaking in a voice that has no idiom. Perhaps behind that voice, somewhere, lies Hope. Hope manifested daily in an invisible spark between strangers, the universe transmitted in an instant between eyes and then forgotten, and in the dream-coordinator – writer of complex and unpredictable realities that direct fragments of memory as we sleep. What force controls this world we inhabit for one-third of our lives? And, actually, who are the strangers we encounter in all their human detail? Perhaps they come to us during forgotten daytime encounters in streets, shops and Metro tunnels – those momentary glances. We may come closest to the deepest secrets as we sleep. If we are lucky, in our waking lives we find someone with whom the wall between each spirit is thinned – a precious thing, indeed. To be physically alongside that person is like finding home, but spirituality lives beyond the physical and emotional. Kindred spirits might be anywhere in the world or the universe for that matter –home and Hope existing outside of time and space. Home may not, after all, be a place. Hope might well spring eternal.
Archived comments for Hope springs eternal
pdemitchell on 13-02-2016
Hope springs eternal
Expansive and inventive prosetry with nougats of wisdom; "We may come closest to the deepest secrets as we sleep." bravo!

Author's Reply:
Thank you pdemitchell. A very encouraging comment.


La vida peligrosa (posted on: 01-02-16)
The dangerous life

Dull as ditchwater It's how life could be if I let it If I didn't keep on running away from the comfortable chair From walks through old familiar streets Past the same shop-fronts It's hunger that gives life its spice not the promise of a full belly Nor the fixed routine of a radio show airing at the same old time Never missed I'd rather starve Better to run and jump the scythe than await its sweep in some cosy seat Better to live the dangerous life Better by far
Archived comments for La vida peligrosa
Supratik on 01-02-2016
La vida peligrosa
It's a point of view I respect. Supratik

Author's Reply:
Thanks Supratik. Always best to be a moving target.

Bozzz on 01-02-2016
La vida peligrosa
I enjoyed this piece, very well written and your thoughts will be shared by many. ....David

Author's Reply:
Thank you David. Lovely of you to comment. Much appreciated.

pdemitchell on 01-02-2016
La vida peligrosa
"Better to run and jump the scythe" distils the muse amply methinks! I am 60 this year and gig like a 20 year old - only slower. Paul

Author's Reply:
Great to hear, Paul. Alarm's just woken me for my 0800 gig. Three more, then, before 1650. Keep attacking it.

sweetwater on 02-02-2016
La vida peligrosa
Loved this, beautifull expressed. You paint an exciting picture that I would wish to be part of, if only I wasn't a security and routine type, strangly though the older I have become the more I desire freedom and excitement, travel and exploration, unfortunately the means and the bravery have always escaped me.
The last four lines I thought were especially clever. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sue. That's lovely of you. You should try "stretching the envelope" little by little. Who knows where it might lead.

Savvi on 02-02-2016
La vida peligrosa
Just when I think I'm stuck in the groove the needle jumps to a new song long may your records be scratched. Best Keith, great stuff

Author's Reply:
Brilliant! Keep jumping Keith. Kev.


Seen from a distance (posted on: 01-02-16)
Thoughts on a Sunday evening

Basalt arms encircling the bay Bring comfort to me in this foreign lay Sensing in this place The rough security of their embrace I watch the tide rip Across the shoulder of the Down Remembering how my life was saved One squalid afternoon Where shuddering grasses Offer yellow jewels to the sun And the muddy waters pass As though I'd never been or gone
Archived comments for Seen from a distance
Supratik on 01-02-2016
Seen from a distance
Beautiful flow. The last two stanzas are quite involving. Supratik

Author's Reply:
Thank you Supratik. Much appreciated.

ParsonThru on 03-02-2016
Seen from a distance
Thank you for the nib!

Author's Reply:


Making the most of it (posted on: 25-01-16)
It took a beat-up, pungent tramp passing through the Metro this morning to remind me that a healthy life is one of distraction – denial of one’s true situation.

It took a beat-up, pungent tramp passing through the Metro this morning to remind me that a healthy life is one of distraction – denial of one's true situation. It's what parents and betters refer to as a normal life – one of sociability, harmless good humour and backslapping, sport, noisy conversations in bars where no one can really hear what's being said. It doesn't matter that we can't hear each other above the noise. Meaning is largely irrelevant – all that matters is that there's conversation and noise. Banter. Don't dwell on things. Things. I once digested a small sliver of Sartre. I may even have tasted it as it went down. I'm told the flavour is derived from a much older corpus. It doesn't matter. I'd tasted it before anyway. We are merely filling in time. Almost everything beyond food and shelter is a distraction – mere amusement to keep our minds from dwelling on the fact that the reality of our existence is a tragic one. Distraction / amusement / team-sports / sociability provide comfort to individuals in a collectively lonely existence. What the stinking soul with the battered face was lacking was some comfort. We all ignored him. His cup was as empty at the end of the carriage as it was at the beginning. Linea 6: Circular. All day long, and into the night, the train will run around its track. At the twenty-eight stations, thousands will flow in and out of its doors – the same tomorrow, the same the day after and the day after that. Life just going around. Normal life: it's all normal. The difference is comfort. Some find it, some don't. The tramp reminded me that, either way, all you can do is make the most of it.
Archived comments for Making the most of it
Savvi on 29-01-2016
Making the most of it
You capture very well a moments distraction when we see things as they really are I guess sometime perspective has it play with what we see. Best Keith

Author's Reply:


Just another Joe (posted on: 25-01-16)
Plaza encounter. True, fiction? Could be either.

I couldn't work out their accents. Something eastern with a twist of North American. I shoved my hands deep into my pockets and closed my eyes the better to listen. One of them was speaking between draws on a cigarette in an over-dramatised way that had me recollecting Graham Greene. It was all a storm in a tea-cup - overblown nonsense. The usual who's done what to whom and who's going to get it next. Tawdry nonsense, but I need entertainment so I closed my eyes and listened. "If you can't be honest with yourself, you've got a big problem on your hands." He could have been called Joey. In my mind, that's what I decided to call him. I christened him right there in the square with the traffic swirling past and people disappearing down the Metro steps and he didn't even know it. I didn't have a name for his friend. I'm taking a liberty saying he was a friend. Could have been a connection of some kind - this is a good square for that kind of thing, and for eavesdropping. "It's like falling out with yourself. What else have you got?" The connection wasn't answering. Maybe he was nodding quietly and thoughtfully. Probably had his own thoughts, or chewing his lip waiting for the pay-off so he could disappear with the rest down the Metro steps. Perhaps he was letting Joey's wisdom wash over him like muzak while he watched the anonymous crowds through disinterested eyes, waiting for Joey to make his point, whatever it was. "There are some times when you can get away with kidding yourself, and others when you can't. Times when it all turns to shit because you lied to the one person you shouldn't." The connection let out a "Yeah." It escaped like a concession. I paid the waiter and stood up to leave, glancing quickly at Joey and his companion as I passed their table. Joey was leaning back in his chair staring into space, cigarette clamped in his mouth. He was drawing air to deliver his final wisdom. The connection swivelled his eyes just sufficiently to take in another anonymous Joe leaving the cafι. A few yards on, I heard Joey making his point. The connection was too busy watching the stranger enter the Metro to listen.
Archived comments for Just another Joe
pdemitchell on 25-01-2016
Just another Joe
Lovely watercolour of a moment and well writ with a minimalist flourish. Bravo Metro. Paul

Author's Reply:
Thank you Paul. That's really nice of you.


En los Jardines del cabo Noval (posted on: 30-11-15)
Thoughts in the sun

There are many times when I sit and think there's nothing more to write – that I have nothing more to say. That's how I feel right now. I've been playing with ideas. About how my head's a mess – victim of all that's going on around it and inside it. That old thing – the world and my place in it. The universal problem, acknowledged to a greater or lesser extent by all thinking beings. The difficulties: big stuff, such as wars, want, ecology. (Doesn't seem so bad when you summarise it in three words.); smaller stuff (?), such as family, relationships, and what to do with those three-score and ten years (if you're lucky). I'm discounting killer asteroids, geology, etc. – why worry about those things? We can't prevent them. So it mainly comes down to people. Happiness depends a lot on people and happiness is what we want. No? Want and war. Economics and religion. Greed is catered for or justified through economic models. Religion justifies superiority and hatred (we're all going to Heaven/Paradise – you're not). So much for peace and love. Humans are somehow caught up in all these things. We're not at all free. But that's all we really want to be - healthy, safe and secure first, maybe. Instead we get appropriation, oppression and war. I struggle with the idea of a choice between evils, which is largely what we have. Utopia has been discredited. Heaven, or Paradise, should be, too. Nirvana? Don't know enough – someone will have to help me. How about the small things? Family, friendship, relationships? Filling those three-score and ten? ''Tell me why…is it hard to make arrangements with yourself?'' sings Neil Young through the headphones. Quite. Reconciliation with one's self is a work in progress – a never-ending daily task. Every human encounter changes the picture. I doubt the validity of claims that people have it all worked out. I would like to eavesdrop on their daily conversations with themselves. Or maybe not – it won't be pretty. I was always drawn to the psychological and spiritual rather than the sociological, although power structures are real enough. The closest I can get to an answer, personally, is conscience. Forget the metastructures and megastructures. If humanity could get to a position where the conscience machine functioned correctly, it might have a chance – every individual as a free agent listening to and acting in accordance with their conscience. That might work. People largely know when they are doing something that hurts others, it's just that the mechanism gets broken, often from an early age. The damaged damage the innocent. That's how it works, until no one is innocent. How to fix that? I wouldn't know where to start. Bring in the sociologists. Free people with functioning consciences – maybe that's Utopia. Is anyone listening? I doubt it. No wonder my head's a mess.
Archived comments for En los Jardines del cabo Noval
Rab on 30-11-2015
En los Jardines del cabo Noval
Nice to read a philosophical discourse for a change. I don't agree with you on one fundamental point, though - not everyone knows when they're doing something which might harm others. From someone who wants to build an extension that might offend a neighbour to the megalomania of Donald Trump, we can't rely on self-control in social interaction. A properly functioning conscience for all would help make it a better world, but we'd also have to all agree on what constitutes fair and reasonable behaviour too. We'd still need laws, controls.

Author's Reply:
Hi Rab. Fair point. Optimism: innate sense of right and wrong. Pessimism: innate desire to take and kill. Taking the pessimistic option we need to develop in children a sense of right and wrong based on respect and not doing harm. That's the aiming point: self-regulation. Then, maybe, we can get beyond laws and controls. The US model is the one we should be moving away from with militaristic law enforcement and a huge proportion of the population in prison, or about to be.


Thoughts of a madman (posted on: 23-11-15)
Thoughts of a madman

God awoke and rolled away from the sun that streamed through the window into his eyes. His mouth was dry and he needed to piss. Reluctantly, he gave up on the prospect of returning to the dream he'd woken from with its mysterious characters and settings so edgy but reminiscent of a life he may have lived. He reached for his wristwatch. He eyes wouldn't focus, but he thought he made out the position of the hands – that would make it 09:30. He threw back the duvet and swung his legs out to the floor, searching for his slippers. No matter how bad the night before, he always made a point of leaving his slippers where he could find them. It was part of his make-up. Like ''a place for everything and everything in its place'', or ''always leave everything as you found it''. It helped him get by. It wasn't easy being a deity. He wandered into the bathroom and took a leak. His head was full of the problems of Creation. The initial idea had seemed fine, but nothing ever goes to plan and the whole Creation project served to prove the point. He sat back down on the edge of the bed and reached for his cigarettes and lighter. A low, rumbling roar sounded outside his window. He recognised the sound. Car bomb. The whole thing crammed with American-made explosive. He could smell it. Almost straight after, the stench of smoke rose to him as fires took hold. He was pained by the anguish of the souls caught in the blast; of those injured and, later, of those whose kin had been killed or injured in the explosion. He knew, also, the unease in the souls of those who had perpetrated the attack. They were euphoric at the success of their plan. They feigned righteousness, but he and they knew it was a sham. He sensed their questioning. The interesting thing was that God really didn't give a shit. He just felt frustrated and sad that, having created this existence in the middle of a field of nothingness which only he could survey, things hadn't worked out as he'd hoped. Every single one of those beings down there was unique – no two the same. Yet they were all roughly based on his model – on him. Because of this, there was no deterministic factor – they were as free as he. They could only imprison themselves. Life down there could have been good but, no, they had determined that it wouldn't be. They had invented Hell and Heaven and decided that they were going to bring about both themselves. They'd kind of missed the point. He drew on his cigarette and considered the potential that he'd given them. They'd received, as a minimum, the gift of being born sentient and aware of their situation. They had the capacity to experience and enjoy it. Above all, he'd given them the faculty to understand how it all works – they could know as much as he did. Instead, they invented religion, television, war. Out of the window, he heard the pandemonium in the street. It was Beirut – a beautiful city by the sea. One of the countless paradises he'd provided. His ears were filled with the wails and screams of its inhabitants. The pain of every soul came up to him, for every soul born was a fragment of his own. In Beirut, night was falling. He flicked the end of his cigarette out the window. Somewhere far below, a shooting-star skimmed through the sky. Nobody saw.
Archived comments for Thoughts of a madman
Nomenklatura on 23-11-2015
Thoughts of a madman
Humorous, but bitter and sad at the same time.
Splendid! I bet the Devil is as fed up of the whole business as God is.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Nomenklatura. I bet he is, too. Thanks, whoever,for the nib. Very grateful.

shadow on 24-11-2015
Thoughts of a madman
Interesting take on the Deity. Funny, yet with a core of seriousness. I liked the idea of a god in slippers.

Author's Reply:


Burying the truth (posted on: 16-11-15)
A multifaceted horror.

Out of the shower of anguish comes the blood and guts of it all. We shake our heads in dismay and disbelief. Blame is laid alongside the remains and the flowers are scattered. Hymn-sheets are handed along the pews. What will we learn? The past tutors the future and tells us that nothing will change. So we lower our flags expecting more of the same.
Archived comments for Burying the truth
Pronto on 16-11-2015
Burying the truth
So true, we do the same things again and again each time expecting a different result. Folly or what?

Author's Reply:
So true. Yes. Folly. And ongoing agony.

Elfstone on 17-11-2015
Burying the truth
This is very good - great use of a few words to say a lot. If I may nit-pick a little, I think a bit more punctuation would add the final polish. Elfstone

Author's Reply:
Hi Elfstone. Thank you. Took your suggestion and implemented it. Hope you like it.

gwirionedd on 18-11-2015
Burying the truth
Is that a Hitchcock reference at the beginning?



Author's Reply:
:-)) It so could be, gwirionedd!


Witness (posted on: 16-11-15)
Between life and death

He woke with a pale-blue sound in his ears, like an empty sky. It sounded like peace. It looked like a dream, but he knew it wasn't, on account of his being awake. Or at least that's how it seemed. Everything had come to a halt. He was surrounded by stillness. Nothing moved, anywhere. He wondered if he might be dead. Do awakedness or sleep have any dominion in the world of the dead? He felt something moving beneath him and realised it was the ground. He'd never been aware of it before. He stood up unsteadily, balancing carefully. The surface of the planet was moving at a very high speed around its axis. The whole lot was travelling at an unknown velocity through a soup of visible and dark matter. It was all he could do to hang on. Peace was being subsumed by something like a colossal orchestra tuning-up. It was the building awareness of eight billion others just like him and all of their inventions. One invention carried people where they didn't want to go, another carried them back again. One built edifices, while another knocked them down. One invention rushed to the scene of an accident caused by another, or to pick someone up from the floor where they'd fallen, shot-through by an invention in the hand of a stranger. And in the midst of this cacophony, birds sang. It was all becoming too much. A dreadful howling rose above the din, wailed until it was almost above him, then stopped. He watched two people kneel without effort and fuss over something on the ground. They lifted it and slid it into the back of their invention. He wanted to speak but discovered he had no voice. As they drove away, he recognised the figure, whose stain still marked the ground, and felt himself becoming lost.
Archived comments for Witness
shadow on 19-11-2015
Witness
Interesting - very enigmatic. Feels like the start of something? Would like to see the idea developed further.

Author's Reply:
Hi Shadow. It was just a snippet of an idea really. It began with the colour of sound. Might come back to it if I have time. I thought I had time now, but it seems I don’t. Thank you.

franciman on 20-11-2015
Witness
This short piece fascinates me. It also frustrates me! The first half seems over described and a bit sluggish. From 'Peace was being subsumed', it improves beyond measure for me. I love the 'New World' language. It's thought provoking and thoroughly absorbing. I agree with Shadow, it does feel like an extract from a longer piece. Sorry if I seem negative about the start, but the contrast is striking.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Hi franciman. Thanks, first, for great feedback. Really great that you took the time. I've just replied to Shadow on some of this. The first bit is my mind's echo of a writer that I'm reading: Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 5. The second part is me experimenting with a kind of naivety with the hustle and noise of the world, placing the spirit into it without any means of translation and seeing it childlike, including the stark oddness of human material habits. I wish I had more time to explore it.


Samos (posted on: 26-10-15)
Written while staying at the monastery at Samos

I watch the autumn leaves drift by Turning, tumbling, sinking to the mud Autumn's great farewell A fleet of waterboatmen dart through sycamore and oak over washed-out beech and chestnut To a busy mind, it all amounts to nothing Just another season, one more year From the bank, I watch the leaves drift by like days Each one bearing the impression of every soul it touched
Archived comments for Samos
Supratik on 26-10-2015
Samos
"From the bank, I watch the leaves drift by
like days

Each one bearing the impression of every soul
it touched"

Excellent. Thank you for sharing. Best. Supratik

Author's Reply:
Thanks supratik! Really glad you liked it. Thank you.

sweetwater on 27-10-2015
Samos
Such gorgeous words, I wish there were more. Love the ' Turning, tumbling, sinking'. And the last line greatly appeals to me. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. Thank you. Glad it appeals. Very grateful. My poor little head only has so many words in it. Thanks. Kev

Thanks for picking as a favourite!


The wisdom of Don Sangrνa (posted on: 12-10-15)
Don't quote me

Anyway... The tyranny of youth will come crashing down upon their heads as it crashed upon our own once-upon-a-time. As it crashed upon our fathers' and our mothers' and upon the heads of those who thought the sun would never set on empire and still it crashes down – arrogance of believing colliding headlong with arrogance of knowing. And there among the wreckage lies humanity, bleeding, never learning. Always right. Always wrong. So I close my eyes to this dream and sit amongst reality and the sadness of life –dream and sit amongst reality and the sadness of life – a trip around the bay that ends always in empty lust, death and lost dreams. Statue faces stare from the greatness of their lofty height – lifeless in fulfilment of achievements and dead like all the rest. I'd follow their example, but lack the fortitude they show when covered every day in shit dispensed by pigeons and ignored by every fucker else.
Archived comments for The wisdom of Don Sangrνa
gwirionedd on 13-10-2015
The wisdom of Don SangrΓ­a
Was it Isambard Kingdom Brunel's statue you saw, covered in shit?



Author's Reply:


The cusp of sleep (posted on: 07-09-15)
Sweating it out

Lying in my sweat in a place I don't know which, as of now, is my home Drunk on the new and the free and cheap Rioja Trying to find the chink of light between reality and the dream of death Strangers and spirits closer than my own thoughts invade the purple night Dylan plays to his own empty hall and maybe this will all mean something to someone some day in some yet to be discovered way
Archived comments for The cusp of sleep
Nomenklatura on 07-09-2015
The cusp of sleep
Haha, that has been the Guadalhorce valley since the end of May. It rained here at last overnight.
Your poem made me feel hot and grumpy all over again!
I enjoyed it.
Ewan

Author's Reply:
Hi Ewan. A bit of resonance there. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope things cool a little. Kev

chant_z on 08-09-2015
The cusp of sleep
Congratulations on the nib! Very fine. "In some yet to be discovered way" .. what a line.

Author's Reply:
Hi chant_z. Thank you. Glad you liked it. And thank you for the nib. Very much appreciated.

Mikeverdi on 08-09-2015
The cusp of sleep
Just beautiful Kevin, one of your best for me.
Congrats on the Nib, well worth it.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike. Really appreciate that. Kev

Supratik on 13-09-2015
The cusp of sleep
Splendid indeed! Bravo! Best. Supratik

Author's Reply:

Pronto on 14-09-2015
The cusp of sleep
I recognised the feeling! That's the trouble with cheap Rioja! Very well deserved nib.

Author's Reply:


Nightisms (posted on: 21-08-15)
Words in a whirl

Shaven shaman Sean Modern mystic Drawn in lipstick Floating like a phantom in the middle of the room Broken bottle Bennie Dry and wheezy Takes it easy Walking in the gutter where the porno-truckers zoom Pesticidal Pete Photon filler Wanton killer Cries out like a madman to the demons in the moon Sorbitol Samantha Torn asunder Going under Hears the angels' voices in the naked afternoon Death by misadventure Easy come And just as easy gone Fever flickers in the night An end will follow soon
Archived comments for Nightisms
deadpoet on 22-08-2015
Nightisms
Enjoyed this- quite a feat- Indeed some interesting characters.

Author's Reply:
Made me smile, deadpoet. Glad it moved you. No characters are as interesting as those in real life.

sweetwater on 22-08-2015
Nightisms
Ooh dear me need to have a tissue handy to say this one out loud, or at least be several feet from the nearest person, especially when saying the 'P',s hehe. Loved it, loved it, really loved it! Sue x

Author's Reply:
Can't beat a mouthful of rice and explosive consonants to shower the dinner-guests. Thanks Sue. Kev

Supratik on 24-08-2015
Nightisms
... and in disguise it's a boon... enjoyed the poem... Best. Supratik

Author's Reply:
Hi supratik. And in the skies I'll venture very soon. Glad you enjoyed it. Kev

ParsonThru on 24-08-2015
Nightisms
Thank you for the nib. Thrilled!

Author's Reply:


Dream-on (posted on: 03-08-15)
A vignette

The great screen-idols cruise through Sunset and Vine, hiding behind dark glasses in their showboats, dames in furs at their side. The watchers gawp and holler screen-idol names in the hope it's them. There's nothing between the idol and the schmuck, except male-model looks and the ability to hold a few lines through a shoot. And he's rich. His reward for keeping unreality alive in the hearts and minds of America. To him, it's all unreal - the dame, the watchers, LA living. But there's nowhere else to go. He watches cops breaking heads for fun. A mile down the road, the same booted cops wave him in through electric gates with his bennies and his booze. He raises a finger from the wheel. Dream-on, America.
Archived comments for Dream-on
Mikeverdi on 04-08-2015
Dream-on
Love it, I could wish for more.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike. An image inspired by a line in Kerouac's On The Road.

Pronto on 06-08-2015
Dream-on
Sounds like a lifestyle I could cope with. Very well expressed it conjured up some great images.

Author's Reply:


Living a dream (posted on: 20-07-15)
Who could begrudge her this?

Drifting down upon a river Secrets open to the sky Flowers floating in her death-hand Beauty in her shuttered eye Skin so wan, her only colour Streaming from her golden hair Lying in a concrete chamber Etched in monochrome despair She sees the ramparts from her window Hears the pennants in the breeze Tears fall upon her pillow Sparrows listen from the trees The halting words of her recital Reach across the city scene And somewhere in another tower Sounds the echo of her dream Above the distant hum of traffic She smoothes the cover of her cot And yields her body to the river Carried down to Camelot
Archived comments for Living a dream
Mikeverdi on 20-07-2015
Living a dream
That's beautiful...
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike.

gwirionedd on 20-07-2015
Living a dream
I really like this. Fave story for me.

It got me guessing over which literary figure you're alluding to. At first it sounds like Hamlet's Ophelia, and then it goes a bit Juliet, and by the end I'm left thinking that it's not a Shakespearean heroine at all, but a woman from Arthurian legend.

The meter and rhymes work very well, but may I make one suggestion? -

"Teardrops" rather than "Tears", which would make the rhythm flow much better.

All the best,

Archie


Author's Reply:
Hi Archie. Thank you. She's a bit of a blend, methinks, but it's probably Tennyson who's turning in his grave. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try it with a silent beat for now. Really pleased you like it. Kev

sweetwater on 22-07-2015
Living a dream
Wonderful images leap from every line, enjoyed the way it all flowed together. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue thank you. Really glad you liked it. Kev

ParsonThru on 23-07-2015
Living a dream
Thank you for the nib!

Author's Reply:


Hey Mama! (posted on: 03-07-15)
Who am I?

Hey mama! Who am I? This and other thoughts plague me, bother me and unsettle my mood The only comfort is activity: work, sociability and the person other people want me to be Otherwise, I lose myself, cast adrift, estranged from birth, confused by death Packaged, labelled and placed on a shelf in an endless parody of myself Hey Mama! What am I supposed to be?
Archived comments for Hey Mama!
Mikeverdi on 03-07-2015
Hey Mama!
Been asking those questions all my life, seems I'm a twat...or so I'm told. πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

deadpoet on 03-07-2015
Hey Mama!
I'm a twat too- that's what my Mama told me! πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 05-07-2015
Hey Mama!
No matter what the answer is, you'll always be the best boy in the world in your mother's eyes. So be happy.

Author's Reply:
To hear us argue you'd never know. But...

sweetwater on 05-07-2015
Hey Mama!
Loved this, strikes such a cord with me, going into favourites, so glad you posted it πŸ™‚ Sue.

Author's Reply:
Really glad it struck a chord, Sue. Lovely of you to say so. Worth the writing!


Before sleep (posted on: 19-06-15)
Close your eyes

I close my eyes and a million stained-glass overlays of living blues, violets, shimmering yellows play ten thousand shattered patterns in the endless depths, sinking through the darkness: then, now, the long forever, losing me among my fractured thoughts: long lost and not yet born, forsworn from velvet night to follow untold paths. To sleep.
Archived comments for Before sleep
sweetwater on 20-06-2015
Before sleep
This is truly lovely, a fascinating mix of palette and poetry. Sue πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sue!

ParsonThru on 20-06-2015
Before sleep
Hi Sue. Thank you so much. That's really lovely of you. Thank you also for the favourite. Thanks for the nib, whoever picked it. Very grateful. Just saw all those colours and had to tell someone.

Author's Reply:

Mikeverdi on 20-06-2015
Before sleep
Congrats on the Nib, it's a really nice piece...you must stop smoking that stuff though πŸ™‚
Mike

Author's Reply:
πŸ™‚ That would have been "Purple Haze" Mike. Thanks mate. Kev


View from a train (posted on: 12-06-15)
View from a train

Lurid translucent transparency is menacing me from a hundred directions Driving me into a corner, where my eyes are held by a footlit phalanx of glistening erections I realise there's nowhere to run any more as I lie on the floor sweating out my affliction Observed by a face on a fading canvas, hanging over a fireplace that, on inspection Is not what it seems, but the burned-out wreck of a stranger's dreams whose acrid smoke obscures my reflection The scene is lost in a chaos of flames as the chorus proclaims me guilty as charged of gross dereliction The curtain falls on a living hell and there's nothing more to tell.
Archived comments for View from a train
Mikeverdi on 13-06-2015
View from a train
We all take what we read in our own way, this for me plays out like a bad acid trip. It may not be what you intended but as I see it, it works, and works well...."is not what it seems, but the burned-out wreck of a strangers dreams" Just one of many great lines for me. I loved it.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike. Hope you're well. As you say, it's in the eye of the beholder and could mean something different to whoever reads it. Bad trip, maybe. Of some kind. A troubled mind in freewheel, or just a bunch of images viewed from a train. I'm really pleased that you like it. One of those that 99% don't give a second look. I'm grateful for your feedback. To me, it could as easily be garbage as it might have something. As I re-read it I thought it did, but parents are not the best judges of their children. Cheers. Kev.


Branscombe Beach (posted on: 08-06-15)
Dreaming of an English summer

Beside a surging sea fractal tracery drifts across the sun Idling silent thoughts we squeeze each other's hand And try to grasp how gulls command the wild capricious breeze Waking in a fresh-mown field from English summer dreams We look into each other's eyes and wonder why The tower clock reports each empty hour to the sky Swallows skim the shadow of the darkening hill And to the stars I swear If nothing else is true I will return to Branscombe Beach with you
Archived comments for Branscombe Beach
Nomenklatura on 08-06-2015
Branscombe Beach
Very fine work.

Author's Reply:
Really lovely of you. Thank you.

Mikeverdi on 08-06-2015
Branscombe Beach
Beautifully simple....and I know Branscombe.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike. Thank you. Split between there and a field in Axmouth.

ParsonThru on 08-06-2015
Branscombe Beach
Thank you for the nub. Very grateful.

Author's Reply:

gwirionedd on 08-06-2015
Branscombe Beach
Nice poem... Although you seem undecided as to whether you want it to rhyme or not...

I know Branscombe too. Posh place. 85 quid for a home-made duck-feather sofa cushion.



Author's Reply:
Can't argue with any of that, gwirionedd. In another place I'm ruminating on the fact that the UK is the capital of overcharging, where a willing cohort is happy to be overcharged on the basis that it confirms their superiority over those who can't afford to be overcharged to such an extent. Beautiful place, though.

ParsonThru on 12-06-2015
Branscombe Beach
Thank you for the nomination. That's absolutely lovely.

Author's Reply:


Stress talking (posted on: 01-06-15)
Stress talking

It always seems set against you Victories Little wins Eclipsed by failure If you stand still It overtakes you I guess that's why You have to keep on moving
Archived comments for Stress talking
Mikeverdi on 01-06-2015
Stress talking
I though on retiring it would all go away....not a chance.
Nice piece.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Sorry to hear that Mike. For both of us.


Despair (posted on: 22-05-15)
I can't believe we are here

There is nothing so ugly as this place There is nothing so ugly as this place There is nothing so ugly as this place There is nothing so ugly as this place There is nothing so ugly as this place There is nothing so ugly as this place There is nothing so ugly as this place There is nothing so ugly as this place What have we done?
Archived comments for Despair

No comments archives found!
Fragment (posted on: 01-05-15)
Souls in a crowd

She was a driver on the Metro. Dark skin, long black hair and eyes like hot coals. A single look revealed our synchronicity. We walked up to the street, falling behind the others. No one thought to look for me as the crowd moved on. I don't remember who spoke first, but it seemed as though we knew each other from before. No introduction needed. This was her last stop of the day. She carried a bag on her shoulder – soft leather, tan. I had my pack to carry to the ferry. Someone may have called back. We stood on a patch of grass as words released themselves in streams of excitement to fill the air between us. She asked if I was leaving. I said I was, and nodded in the direction of the docks. Her eyes dropped to the ground. When she looked up, she said: And so we'll never meet again. Both question and statement. I told her I believed that Heaven knew we must. She pulled something from her bag – a trinket or small amulet – and handed it to me. Keep this until we do. I knew I had nothing I could give to her. She shook her head and smiled. The embrace was involuntary and spontaneous. She whispered: We will meet again, because I know it in my heart. One short, sweet kiss. When our eyes opened, we stood on separate shores.
Archived comments for Fragment
Mikeverdi on 01-05-2015
Fragment
I like the idea of this, it's a simple and effective story. If I may add some critique, I think it would read better with less words, it's a bit over written. Less is more springs to mind.
As usual it's only my opinion, and I do like it anyway.
Mike

Author's Reply:

deadpoet on 01-05-2015
Fragment
I haven't read any of yours for ages and this is so lovely. Subtle, gentle and very real. Well done.

Pia

Author's Reply:


Bricks and mortar (posted on: 13-03-15)
A love story

Once it's gone, it's hard to know why it left or if it'll ever come back. It leaves a hole in your being, yet right at that moment, you'd rather have that hole than anything else. All the years count for nothing. All those words and the little things, the places and the people shared are water under the bridge. You just want to end the pain, to walk and leave it all behind. After all, it's only bricks and mortar.
Archived comments for Bricks and mortar
franciman on 13-03-2015
Bricks and mortar
The layout lends to the reading of this excellent piece. Great duality until the final line. Maybe I mean ambiguity: yet a pleasant subterfuge in any language.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Very many thanks, Jim. Very grateful. It's so ambiguous even I can't work it out. Kev

Mikeverdi on 13-03-2015
Bricks and mortar
Almost flash fiction with the well hidden last line. I liked it a lot. Clearly it could be metaphor, but either way its a great write.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike. Really chuffed that you enjoyed it. Kev

ParsonThru on 13-03-2015
Bricks and mortar
Thank you very much for the nib. Really nice of you.

Author's Reply:


Enjoy the roses (posted on: 09-03-15)
Enjoy the roses

Don't kid yourself that life is all gingham drapes and flowers on the table. You're only denying the inevitable. Keeping reality at bay. Life is bovine, but death is a predator: clamping its jaws on the back of your neck; tripping your feet to bring you crashing down; tearing your belly as you lie, eyes fixed, snorting and kicking. Do you really believe you'll outrun the slaughter? Do you think you're too quick or too smart? Enjoy your gingham; your roses over the door. But remember to sniff the air, for the hunt has been on since the moment you slid from the uterus to the Serengeti floor.
Archived comments for Enjoy the roses
franciman on 10-03-2015
Enjoy the roses
There's beauty in this angry reality. I love the metaphor and its focus on the comparison between bestial truth and beautiful fantasy? Great stuff.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Hi Jim. Thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Wasn't at all sure about this one. Thanks so much for the rating.
Kev.

stormwolf on 10-03-2015
Enjoy the roses
Jim beat me to it with his assessment. I agree entirely. An unusual comparison I have to say.
Creativity is so inspiring.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Hi Alison. Thanks for the lovely words. Much appreciated. Just in one of those moods, I think. Still am, I think. Thanks. Kev

ParsonThru on 10-03-2015
Enjoy the roses
Thank you for the nib. Really very grateful. Like I said, I really wasn't sure whether this really worked.

Author's Reply:

sweetwater on 11-03-2015
Enjoy the roses
Great poem loved it. But if it's all right with you I'll take the gingham curtains and hide behind the rose covered door for as long as I can, and block out the real but far too harsh reality until I am no longer able. πŸ™‚ Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. Hang onto that gingham as long as you can. Thanks. Kev


Two souls (posted on: 23-02-15)
Two souls

Two souls Drifting without end Seeking satisfaction In emptiness Knowing there is none Filling our time Doing the best we can Without reason Trying to fit in Failing Dwarfed by the reality of life Two souls Adrift in a field of stars Wondering why
Archived comments for Two souls
franciman on 23-02-2015
Two souls
I love the feel of this. Surprisingly, in a poem of so few words, I think there are still too many. Just a suggestion; two words removed, nothing added.

Two souls
Drifting without end
Seeking satisfaction
In emptiness
Knowing there's none

It's so close to being perfect - Beautiful yet fragile.
Feel free to disregard the suggestions.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Hi Jim. Many thanks indeed. For the helpful crit. Made the changes that you suggested. It does read better. Thanks again.

franciman on 23-02-2015
Two souls
I love the feel of this. Surprisingly, in a poem of so few words, I think there are still too many. Just a suggestion; two words removed, nothing added.

Two souls
Drifting without end
Seeking satisfaction
In emptiness
Knowing there's none

It's so close to being perfect - Beautiful yet fragile.
Feel free to disregard the suggestions.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Thanks again for the kind words Jim.

Mikeverdi on 23-02-2015
Two souls
I agree with Jim on this, I think less would be more. Its still a great write as the Nib shows.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike. Thanks very much for your comments. Changes made. Very grateful to whoever awarded the nib. Really chuffed, in fact. Thank you.

ParsonThru on 23-02-2015
Two souls
Thank you for the nomination. Now really chuffed. Thanks. Kev.

Author's Reply:


Barking at dogs (posted on: 09-02-15)
Barking at dogs - a reworking

I wake to the sound of people barking at dogs and I'm back My mind replaying meaningless scenes Dreams of reality Head spinning with things I need to do and my heart reaches out Oh, these days My antics no more than a series of fairground rides – it matters little on which I light The only necessity, to know you are there I find you in the melee – briefly together then lost in a whirl of movement and noise Flung, re-formed and re-invented in an endless carnival of being Pleasure becomes the dream Pain, the reality Reaching at shadows Eyes searching Imploring: Live this thing with me
Archived comments for Barking at dogs

No comments archives found!
Beautiful (posted on: 05-01-15)
Beautiful

Oh, beautiful An empty mind in which my thoughts can swim A secret place where dreams can play Fractal scenes without an end A world of whispered messages Endless dreaming of the dead Invisible yet everywhere Brilliant in the velvet night A place where I can lose myself A universe among the throng
Archived comments for Beautiful
Mikeverdi on 05-01-2015
Beautiful
I like it, but I wanted more. It seems unfinished, this maybe just me..it often is πŸ™‚
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike. You've got me thinking about how it might develop.

ifyouplease on 08-01-2015
Beautiful
I also wanted more, liked it very much.

Author's Reply:
Thanks ifyouplease. As per Mike's comment above. Got me thinking.

sweetwater on 08-01-2015
Beautiful
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, lovely poem. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sue. Really glad you enjoyed it. Makes it all worthwhile.


Despatches (posted on: 22-12-14)
Despatches

With his head removed his mission was lost but still his valiant legs pumped on sprinting for the enemy line undaunted by the futility of their situation This never-say-die approach is an inspiration to those who might doubt the wisdom of sending men to charge against machine-gun fire
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Hopesanddreams (posted on: 15-12-14)
Opening the prison door - jumble-mix poetry school.

Borne along on hope and dreams, reality entangles me - imprisons me it seems. Surveying the clutter of this place I yearn for the simplicity and space I used to know. Integrity has fallen to contingency. Pragmatism hits me like a wave and I feel the weight of clay upon my grave. We move into the darkest days. Summer seems a life away, but August and escape will surely come. I close my eyes, appreciate the fix. Find myself riding on a highway, unenclosed. Mountaintops to left and right, sun behind to chase away the night, Babel lies beneath the clouds. On every mountaintop a road appears. Transcendent invitation, screaming out that every destination is a dream and every dream is hope.
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Getting through the night (posted on: 28-11-14)
The long night

An owl called out in the darkness. It was half-three when Stone last looked at the clock. The owl called again, further away this time. Its wavering note carried on the breeze. Another night without sleep. His throat hurt him. His mouth was dry and coarse. He would have loved to cry. To sob all the tension out of his wretched body then fall into grateful oblivion. But his soul would not release its burden. As though protecting him - keeping him strong. It was only delaying the big collapse. He knew this road well. A sharp pain stabbed behind his ear. He thought of his aunt. Beyond the Last Rites. Beyond the worst that life could inflict. Only death could touch her now. He remembered the shock of seeing her at the last funeral. Like a woman feigning frailty - borrowing the garb for an outing. And now she'd smoked her last cigarette. Only yesterday, before they took her in. He thought about the younger ones – taken barely in their twenties – and a short sob escaped him. But still the tears of release did not come. So he stared at the shadows moving on the ceiling and waited for the morning.
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Blues (posted on: 24-11-14)
Blues

When I'm under this cloud can God see me? Where does the sun go? If I get this thing right will I wake up in Heaven? How will I ever know? If we stand together with open hearts have we found love? Or just the end of another war? These questions emerge as a silent scream They weep like an open sore
Archived comments for Blues
Mikeverdi on 24-11-2014
Blues
Deep stuff, I usually have these thoughts after a couple of bottles of wine followed by whiskey.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike. As good a time as any. Point me in its general direction.


Happy Birthday Hazel (posted on: 21-11-14)
Happy Birthday Hazel

Happy Birthday Hazel How I dug your party on this dank pre-winter evening Such a shame I had to leave Lou tuned up, plugged-in Deborah, book poised in her lap I slipped away across the restless city feeding on itself Picking at a scab Avoiding drunks dispensing savage bonhomie How silently they brooded on the morning train Now these bellicose men good-naturedly perform for chattering girls While the more demure sit quietly jabbing at our phones Only four more stops to go Happy Birthday Hazel It was good to see you May the party that surrounds you never end
Archived comments for Happy Birthday Hazel
ParsonThru on 22-11-2014
Happy Birthday Hazel
Thanks for the nib. Much appreciated.

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 23-11-2014
Happy Birthday Hazel
An interesting and quirky poem that captures quite a lot
Well done on the nib
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Alison. Quite a party. Shame to leave. x


Idle hands (posted on: 07-11-14)
Idle hands

Taps gleam in every bathroom Floors and worktops shine Nothing out of place Except the smile This house so big and lonely Keeps her busy Never time to stop and think Always more to do She sees to that Thoughts are dangerous after all Lead to strange ideas Awkward questions
Archived comments for Idle hands
Andrea on 07-11-2014
Idle hands
Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

Much enjoyed.



Author's Reply:
Or the devil's worktop. Thanks Andrea. Glad you enjoyed.

sweetwater on 09-11-2014
Idle hands
Keep busy, then thoughts cannot upset the day. Very good poem.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. Some homes sparkle more than others. Thank you. πŸ™‚


Awakening (posted on: 27-10-14)
I had a dream last night that, somewhere in the starlit sky, I was shown a book containing all the secrets of the universe. Then I learned that no living soul could know its contents. I decided this was not my time for knowing and returned to wake upon my pillow.

Wearied by a troubled night Shadows of encounters hang Somewhere lost in darkened skies was the very meaning Among the stars secrets now known only to the dead And in the never-ending dark an invitation Overawed, I declined Falling to the morning and the comfort of your arms
Archived comments for Awakening
stormwolf on 27-10-2014
Awakening
Hi There πŸ˜‰
I have had dreams like this. I am reading a large book and it all makes such sense. I tell myself that I will take all the info back to waking consciousness but it never allows me to.

Crit side I felt the poem was not quite one thing or the other...meaning it had a very loose rhyme which (to me at least) threw me off the reading. I wondered why you chose the layout.
I am only speaking for myself of course, but I felt the layout and the lack of rhyming structure let the poem down. The last two lines are really superb so it could do with a tweak here and there.
Hope you don't mind..others may not agree πŸ˜‰
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Hi Alison. Thank you! That's a great piece of crit. I'm always very grateful when someone takes the time and sticks their neck out (it's always a risk).

Have to say, it's a bit of a reworking of something that was even worse. I'm not great on the theory side - rhyme and reason. Will try playing with it again when I get chance and address your points.

28 Oct: Hi Alison. Had a bit of a play with it.

Thanks again Alison. Such comments are gold-dust. Kev x

Mikeverdi on 28-10-2014
Awakening
Hello, I like this a lot. We can always as writers read our own interpretation into others work, a tweek here and there πŸ™‚ I see that you have told Storm that you have 'had a play' HaHa. For me I would still prune out some words:-



'From out of the fog comes morning'

'Silvered pages from the unfamiliar fall'



It is as always your poem, and I like it anyway; some words are just superfluous. The last couple are indeed splendid.

Mike


Dont give up on this one, it was a good poem (could be great) We all said that!
Mike

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike. Thank you also. I have played further.

Thanks Mike. Smiling! The woes of the writer. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Would we? πŸ™‚

ParsonThru on 28-10-2014
Awakening
I may have lost the original meaning. Another for the "Revisit" drawer.

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 28-10-2014
Awakening
Hi Kev

I like the edits..too tired tonight but will hopefully get back to you. I know how it feels to change a poem so much you feel you have lost the thread so don't worry.
I feel it's calling out to rhyme but it's maybe me needing my cocoa ha ha

Alison x 😉


Author's Reply:

Mikeverdi on 28-10-2014
Awakening
Take out the word hung and leave
An invitation ....

See what you think...
Mike
I'm going to nom this... I love it πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
I see what you mean Mike. It is definitely better.

Going to have to head off. Crisis brewing up in York and work to do in Bristol. Work-life balance?

Thanks for your help (and Alison).


Truth (posted on: 20-10-14)
Sunday afternoon observation

I watch the alcoholic parading outside with his bushy goatee and long balding hair I'm moved by his expression of learned insanity Withered roll-up tightly gripped in arthritic fingers And the middle-aged couple with heads down are leaving town clutching their shopping Pioneer wagons crossing the West I look for the truth thinking how we're all in this together We all die eventually of broken hearts
Archived comments for Truth
Supratik on 20-10-2014
Truth
A poem worth many reads! Even with the brush of sadness, there are moments like 'clutching their shopping' even though with 'heads down' that talk of the human dignity, and I read that as happiness, as in coping with sadness. The 'learned insanity' that's moved the poet here could also be in the form of witnessing a coping mechanism.

The last five lines that look for the truth talk about the inevitable eventuality in similar condition.

Now this does not make it a pessimistic poem, not necessarily; certainly not in my view, because this realisation can veritably help the individual in plunging into life, with the wisdom, with the understanding that in the end, failure is waiting for us.

I just read a good poem, a very good one.

Author's Reply:
Wow, Supratik. Wonderfully thought-through consideration. Thank you for such lovely words.

stormwolf on 27-10-2014
Truth
Wow! This is more the ticket!
Really emotive and insighful. Do not know why you have not got more comments but congrats on the we deserved nib
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison. Very grateful. x

gwirionedd on 12-06-2015
Truth
The last three lines got me.

Yes, we do. Some earlier than others, it seems.



Author's Reply:
Sadly true.


Rain (posted on: 17-10-14)
Listening to the rain

Yesterday we laughed and smiled He lent me a hand and we swapped names Today, by email, I learned that he's gone Found on the floor of an empty office Alone in his moment of anguish and pain Not a soul to share his thoughts I stare into the sleepless night trying to reconstruct his face But it does not come And the rain soaking the street is different and new Like I'm hearing it for the first time
Archived comments for Rain
sweetwater on 17-10-2014
Rain
Your poem really brought home how suddenly life can be snuffed out, making us far more aware that all other life is still rushing on, somehow making the loss even greater. Brilliant writing. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Thank you very, very much Sue. Therapeutic writing, maybe. Appropriately, the rain's just started hammering down on the station roof.

Andrea on 17-10-2014
Rain
I've lost three friends in the past year, PT, one of whom I think you knew - Footsie/Paul. All three were sudden (although one was not entirely unexpected). A pome which makes you reflect on the fleetingness of existence...

Author's Reply:
Hi Andrea. I remember the shock well. We live our lives on very thin ice. The shock maybe comes from forgetting so. Thank you.

Gothicman on 18-10-2014
Rain
Yes, when people suddenly, unexpectedly and tragically leave us, the rain seems to wash the world clean as if saying it's sad, it's happened, let's clean up, and move on. Different symbol for different situations. Well-written PT, very poignant. Gothic man

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gothicman. It does reset things a bit. Thank you.

pommer on 18-10-2014
Rain
Yes, it once again makes me reflect.We just had our son in law cremated after six months since his demise.He had donated his body to medical research.It has been a very traumatic time especially for our daughter and all our family.Thank you for sharing, Peter.

Author's Reply:
Hi Peter. I'm really sorry for you and your family. So sad. It must have been really hard for you all. I hope you get some comfort from his request. I really don’t know how I would feel in your situation. Take care. Kev.

Kipper on 19-10-2014
Rain
Hi Kev,
Not too long ago I lost my last brother, and in my poem about him I used the rain as a way to express my sense of loss.
I don.t know why it helped, but it did.
Perhaps it did the same for you.
Best wishes, Michael.

Author's Reply:
Hi Michael. I don't know why I chose to add rain other than that it was actually raining. But you're right. To me, it was about bringing a sharpness to my senses I think. Like seeing the beauty of all we take for granted for the first time. Kev


Black 5 Country (posted on: 22-09-14)
Clearing out

It hangs round the back of the door Meaningless when the time comes to clear out Just another walk to the skip But look at it Do you know that winter engine smell? Those donkey-jacket morning thoughts ? The burning of the shovel in your hands? No It means no more than a black & white film skimmed as you channel-hop Look again Each brush-stroke builds this moment of a mist-shrouded man His shouts ring in the artist's ear as the colour's worked in He lives in a world as real as yours Steel steps under tungsten light Slipping on dew Kicking away spilled coal and spitting onto the ballast Do you think you have a monopoly on life? Hang the print back up again and think about those men They're the same as you through a different lens Railwaymen trying to make ends meet Making the best of what they have Hang it up
Archived comments for Black 5 Country
ParsonThru on 22-09-2014
Black 5 Country
Posted in Bristol. Edited in Astorga en el Camino de Santiago de Compostela by phone. Lovin tecnologΓ­a.

Author's Reply:


Late afternoon (posted on: 15-09-14)
Poetry in the afternoon

The majesty of the day towers above us still Though few care to notice No one takes the time, the way that lovers will Their senses brought to wakefulness To witness the sublime
Archived comments for Late afternoon
Mikeverdi on 15-09-2014
Late afternoon
I like this one, short and sweet; nice writing.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike. Really nice of you.


The Barley Mow (posted on: 12-09-14)
Science is great. God is doing his best. Or was that the other way round?

A languid late summer evening. Drinking urban cider 'neath gently breathing trees by the Barley Mow. We speak of God and goings-on in the green-room at the Marriott, whose illuminated sign shines blood-red over unfashionably matte graves (Shalom!). Both of these we've avoided by the mercy of Allah. Exploring the manifold failings of science, I ask of my friend "Listen, is it pompous to think of one's self as an artist? And what is an artist anyway?" "Come, it's late." he counsels, "We'll save that one for another day." Backs are slapped. Turning our eyes to ersatz flats with reality lit on interior walls, I ask "What of Bradbury?" "What, ho! Only three more walls to build for The Family." We separate into the night. God is in the ground, Einstein's in his Heaven and all's well with the 21:55 to Taunton. Amen.
Archived comments for The Barley Mow
e-griff on 12-09-2014
The Barley Mow
Forgive me intruding. We need your bio for the anthology. See anthology forum.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Griff. Sent this morning. Kevin


Freedom! (posted on: 05-09-14)
Modernity

Go on. Disappoint me. Say the modern era's over. '60s clean straight line vitality. The answer in living colour and sound. Rock 'n' towering Marshall stacks. Bands with a voice all of their own. Depth, space and something like honesty, tho' maybe it ain't. Authority held up to the light and exposed. Religion redundant and cast away. Apogee of liberal revolt and amplified sound in a single mass. Implosion - explosion under one sky. Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Do you hear me? For fuck's sake, I'm talking 'bout Freedom! Please don't give up on it now.
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Spotter! (posted on: 05-09-14)
A brief encounter - escape

This morning I passed a wonderful scene An A4 Pacific raising steam Beautiful blue and black design coupled against the proportioned line of a Southern Pacific, modern and lean resplendent in British Railways Green And through a gap I spied the mass of a Great Western ''Castle'' Class ''Spotter'', I hear you dismissively say But don't be so harsh for I spent the day in a basement room not far away impenetrable to a single ray of light Then leaving late I completely forgot what I'd earlier seen It may have been no more than a dream But, if that's true I'll render it anyway here for you Provide you with a brief distraction A wonderful scene of steam traction Hide the newspaper, switch off the news forget their editorial views Join me in this window seat on a yard where elegant giants meet Watch their boilers come to life Close the page on war and strife for now
Archived comments for Spotter!
sweetwater on 06-09-2014
Spotter!
Loved this. And the memories it brought back, steam trains pass through a village I lived in, and the excitement they carried with them, the steam and their lovely sound and unique styling, made it so wonderful to watch as they passed through.
Forget today's hurry and scurry watch a steam train, or read
about one in a great poem such as this. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sue. There's something very human in them and in their operation. Also distracting to see them standing there. Glad you enjoyed. Thank you. Kevin

stormwolf on 07-09-2014
Spotter!
Yes, we all need a diversion from the horrors around and your enthusiasm is catching. There's little more uplifting than to tune into someone's obvious passion for something.
Whether it's walking past a beautifully tended garden or reading a poem like this, we need to remember the things that give us joy.😀

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Hi Alison. Thank you. Nice to have infected you. They do get under one's skin a little. More so when the view in the opposite direction is so consistently abysmal. Glad you enjoyed. Kevin.

stormwolf on 07-09-2014
Spotter!
Yes, we all need a diversion from the horrors around and your enthusiasm is catching. There's little more uplifting than to tune into someone's obvious passion for something.
Whether it's walking past a beautifully tended garden or reading a poem like this, we need to remember the things that give us joy.😀

Alison x

Author's Reply:

Supratik on 07-09-2014
Spotter!
A very special poem indeed. Readers from all over the world can connect with the poem so easily because of the object used. For instance, a reader like me from India, can also connect with the steam train and its grandeur. I absolutely agree with Sue and Alison here!

I have a question about rhyming the second and the fourth stanzas not following the same track.

Supratik

Author's Reply:
Hi Supratik. I travelled Indian Railways for nearly two months. Mumbai down to Trivandrum, Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai and all the way back over to Mumbai. Wonderful. Some things are universal. Like goodwill and empathy. On those stanzas, well, structure is nice, rhythm is pleasing, but maybe they should be a place of freedom rather than a prison. Like a train switching tracks, or a sailor deciding to go around the buoy twice just because he wanted to. Don't know really. It just felt alright. Thanks for asking. And for reading. Kevin.


Bake-off (posted on: 29-08-14)
A scene

''What are you watching?'' ''It's just a daft programme.'' ''What are they doing?'' ''They're baking.'' ''Why?'' ''No reason. It's just entertainment.'' ''Is it?'' ''Yes. Well it's meant to be. - It's not so bad really. Just something to switch off to.'' ''Don't you want to talk?'' ''I'm tired, Mo. I've had a hard day at work. I just want to sit and watch this.'' ''But what are they supposed to be doing?'' ''Baking.'' ''Who gets the food? - Oh, I see. It's a competition.'' ''Yes. The judges decide who's best and they win a prize or something. - To be honest, I'm not sure. It's just something to chill out to.'' ''You don't want to talk or go for a walk? We could discuss this article.'' ''What is it?'' ''It's about what's happening in Iraq and Syria – all over the Middle East. It's a good article – I know the man who wrote it.'' ''Really Mo. I just want to watch this.'' ''I see. Don't you care about these things? '' ''Of course I do. - Look, maybe at the weekend we can talk, but I've just worked a twelve hour shift, I'm covering for two sick staff and my boss thinks I can get his promotion and his bonus for him and put his kids through private fucking school. - I'm sorry, Mo. I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to snap, it's just that I don't have the capacity to care anymore. It all gets used up. I didn't mean to offend you.'' ''People are dying, Annie.'' ''I know, Mo. I just can't handle it tonight.'' ''But this thing you are watching – it's all fake. It's a subterfuge. It's all worked out for the camera. I used to know someone who did all this. - It's lies. The production companies just make money out of it. You are being had.'' ''I don't care, Mo. I really don't. Please just let me watch it.'' ''Where are you going Annie?'' ''I need a vodka.'' ''It won't help. It's bad for you. I treat people with liver problems through drink. You should see them – it isn't a pretty sight. - Why don't we go for a walk?'' ''Because I've had enough. I just want to sit here, drink this vodka, watch the telly and get all today's shite out of my head. I've got to go and do it all again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. And the next. - Now look. You've made me miss it.'' ''It's available on-line. You can watch it anytime. Don't you care about the bad things that are happening?'' ''You can't change any of it, Mo. It's all going to happen anyway. It's a rich man's world. We can't do anything.'' ''You're wrong, Annie. This is a free country. You have freedom of speech. You have democracy. If you can't make a difference here, you can't do it anywhere.'' ''Nobody's interested, Mo. Can't you see? We're all busy working just to make ends meet.'' ''So that's it then? Everyone is too busy.'' ''Yes. Roughly. That's it.'' ''This is why people plant bombs, Annie.'' ''What? Are you mad?'' ''No. It's why they do it. To get you to turn your tired busy heads and take notice of what is going on. What these great democracies are doing in your name. - Can't you see?'' ''No, no, no, Mo. You can't go around killing innocent people just to get your way.'' ''But innocent people are dying all over the world because of things that happen in Europe and America.'' ''Look, I don't understand half of what happens, Mo, but planting a bomb under innocent people is just plain wrong. That I do know. It's abhorrent. - Why would anyone do that?'' ''To get you to look and listen. To get you to make a difference.'' ''Do you really think that will work? I'm sorry, Mo, but you're crazy.'' ''You haven't seen what I've seen.'' ''I see suffering every day. You know that. You see it, too. It's inescapable. All we can do is try to alleviate it. That's all.'' ''Aaaah! Annie! It feels like nobody cares. They close their eyes. They are too busy enjoying themselves or paying their bills for their TV programmes. - Why don't they take an interest?'' ''Oh, Mo, I don't know why. But violence just breeds more violence. - Do you want a world war? Be grateful for what you have here. If you care that much, get involved in politics – join in peaceful means. But not violence. It won't achieve anything in the long term.'' ''I'm sorry, Annie. It's so frustrating. - Can we talk?'' ''We are talking, Mo. - Listen. It's still light. Let me turn this crap off and we'll go for a walk. - Grab my bag while I pop to the loo. Maybe we'll call and see Jon and Becks.''
Archived comments for Bake-off
Mikeverdi on 30-08-2014
Bake-off
I really like this, the look at 'normal' life through the writers eye; it's so real. An every day conversation laid bare for us to see and feel; just brilliant.
Thanks for posting
Mike

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you're well.

Supratik on 30-08-2014
Bake-off
Wonderful read over a cup of coffee! I have done a lot of scrolling up and down with pleasure! Will do that again!

Author's Reply:
Hi Supratik. Thanks so much. Easy on the caffeine.


August Bank Holiday (posted on: 25-08-14)
A nip in the air

I watched this piece of Earth tilt away from the sun today Made me feel quite sad Like that final turn before landing at Bristol airport I know it can never last but live in hope that one year the sun will stay setting over Barry and not return home to Minehead There's something melancholic about the bar-music drifting in the air tonight
Archived comments for August Bank Holiday
Mikeverdi on 28-08-2014
August Bank Holiday
Dont know why more haven't commented on this post, you capture the end of the 'holiday' well...and I too know the Bristol bit, normally in the rain just to rub it in.
Mike

Author's Reply:
πŸ™‚ Oh yes. Almost always raining. I'm trying to set up an air-bridge between Bristol and Madrid, but it's easier said than done. Thanks again Mike.


Standing still (posted on: 25-08-14)
A poem

Wandering, just killing time The way we do Me and you Standing in our favourite place Tying up your trailing lace The one that comes undone Walking in the sun Beside the open sea You and me Holding hands like lovers still With all of time to kill
Archived comments for Standing still
Supratik on 25-08-2014
Standing still
It sounds like the opening lines of Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot':Nothing to do, as it touches upon the basic units of a play, viz. time, place and action. I like the tone of the poem, which is not exactly that of melancholy!

Author's Reply:
Hi Supratik. Must see that one day. The world whirls in madness around the hand-holders, for whom nothing changes much.

Mikeverdi on 25-08-2014
Standing still
I like the simplicity of this one, in fact I really like it.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike. I suppose, through a certain lens, the situation’s not a complicated one.

Andrea on 25-08-2014
Standing still
I know what Supratik means. Here's a taster...





Author's Reply:
Wow! Thanks Andrea. What a great scene. Really must see it. Thanks, both, for the pointer. I have been lucky enough to have nice people pointing me in the direction of great things for over twenty years and I'm eternally grateful to each and every one.

Gothicman on 27-08-2014
Standing still
A pleasant little amble uncluttered and fresh, not many today can achieve such a stressless feeling of just being; usually the cell phone suddenly blurts out the can can and screams "answer me!" A little gem with fine flowing structure. Gothicman

Author's Reply:
Hi Gothicman. Thanks so much. Good
Good timing. I managed to leave my phone at home today. Had a phantom limb experience.


In search of ghosts (posted on: 08-08-14)
In search of ghosts

Well, we're outbound again tomorrow. Paris. First time we've been there together in years. Last time I visited Paris I was returning from the Balkans on my bike, alone. That was some trip: central Europe, Serbia, Greece then Italy. I'd taken a night ferry across the Adriatic, landing at Brindisi. Just outside the town, I'd stopped for fuel and had the tank filled by an Italian goddess while her papa was beating the crap out of some old truck. The sun was already high as I coasted the big black Suzuki onto the forecourt. The girl was sweeping dust from between the pumps. My mind was still swimming from the sweltering crossing from Igoumenitsa and the long approach into the docks. I love entering ports. You can't rush those things. With this stunning woman filling my tank, the sun shining and the old man under the raised bonnet of the truck, I was looking around for the film-crew. But there was nothing staged about this scene. Pure Brindisi summer morning. Cast hand-picked – except for me. I took a mental photograph. A little way up the road, I pulled over and called up my friend E-J who lives in Tuscany. ''Yay, mate! You're in Italy? Wow! Where are you?'' ''Brindisi.'' ''What? Can you get here?'' ''Yeah, I suppose so.'' ''Tonight?'' ''Yeah.'' So that was how I came to ride past Naples, Rome, Florence and anything else of interest as I nailed that bike up the autostrada to Pistoia. I have a kind of inbuilt compass and found her place fairly easily among the Etruscan streets. Pretty soon she and I were lifting the heavy bike over the ancient doorstep into her building. It was in this miniature Florence that I got myself lost one afternoon and had to ask someone the way. I found a man in his sixties busy entertaining three old ladies in a small stone piazza. I tried a bit of Italian. He smiled and spoke back in English. ''Can you give me a few minutes? My car's round the corner. I'll drive you.'' I stood and watched as he kept the ladies cackling with some story I'll never understand and soon we were on our way. The car was a little red Fiat 500 with a fabric roof, rolled permanently back. We jumped in and he fired up the engine. He was a big man and I squeezed in the passenger seat beside him. We set off down cobbled alleys, between high sun-washed walls, laundry hanging against blue sky. Periodically, he sounded the horn as we burst into piazzas, scattering pigeons and skirting fountains. ''This is a great car.'' I shouted. ''Perfect for these streets.'' ''I love this car!'' he replied. ''I've had it since new. More than thirty years.'' Another movie scene. I closed my eyes and smiled. He dropped me outside E-J's apartment and drove away waving out of the sun-roof. The following day I was on the road again, heading for France, but not before changing the oil and adjusting the chain in a car park. I'd bought some oil from a shop and a plastic bowl from a hardware store to catch the old stuff. I felt a bit scummy leaving old engine oil by a bin amid such beauty but, needs must. I entered France on the beautiful road that slashes its way through the mountains overlooking the Mediterranean. Azure was a word invented for this place. Hurtling under tunnels and blue sky, sea flashing in the sun hundreds of feet below. Sheer pleasure, sheer drop. What a way to die. I was aiming for Marseilles after a night camping somewhere above the Cote d' Azure - just a random campsite off the main road. I rode into the city through the underpasses that lead to the harbour area – so much filmed and photographed. I parked the bike up and found a cafι. It was time to ring home and check in before sweeping round into Spain along the coast and then inland to Madrid for more free board and lodgings. Excited by the buzz of Marseilles, I dialled home and spoke to N. In London the weather was as I'd left it two weeks before – cold, grey and wet. Worse, N was sick. The last time I'd spoken to her I'd been in Greece, having just swum out to an anchored freighter as I wasted the hours before the ferry sailed. Now, I looked around Marseilles harbour with its cafes, parked cars and castle on the hill. I thought about the journey to come through Barcelona, Valencia, then back up to Madrid. ''Please can you come home?'' she asked. There was only one answer. I took a last look around, threw a leg over the bike and lit the engine. A deep rumble echoed around the harbour. The race-exhaust that had so pissed off Serb policemen only a week before resonated around Marseilles. I headed back through the tunnels and then north out of the city. Two nights later, I was in Paris, staying with my friend Tobi just off Place d' Italie. It was a Saturday. Saturday 14 July. Bastille Day. I hadn't realised. We watched the fireworks from a viewpoint on Montmartre. The sky filled with celebration, the street filled with youths throwing fireworks at passers-by. Tobi took me to a party in some darkened, crumbling club in a side-street. The building had Turkish toilets. It was hot, sweaty and noisy and buzzing with conversation and life. I was drunk and filled with the bonhomie of the Parisienne night. A great way to see out the trip. And now, twelve years on, N and I are heading back together. Hotel booked in Montmartre. Visits planned to the Louvre, Giverny and Moulin Rouge. Maybe, for old time's sake, we'll run across the traffic again at the Place Charles de Gaulle - the madness that circles the Arc de Triomphe. We might even spot a few ghosts.
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ParsonThru on 24-08-2014
In search of ghosts
Thanks for the nib!

Author's Reply:


Hall of Mirrors (posted on: 04-08-14)
"Roll-up! Roll-up!"

''Roll-up! Roll-up! See yourself as you've never done before!   Enter the hall of the grotesque! Roll-up!'' ''Step this way, gents? Admire yourselves in our mirror on the soul. Only one pound, sirs, for this amazing opportunity. Look inside yourselves.'' ''Shall we?  Can't do any harm.'' ''Two, please.''   You gave the man two pounds. Inside, a small loutish group feigned horror and recoiled, cackling, in front of the assortment of distorted mirrors. An old man carefully studied his reflection alone. I smiled, half-amused, and watched an obscene leer spread across my face. You stopped and checked yourself in the next frame, twisting your head for greater effect.  We carried on the conversation.  Something had changed.  I had a feeling that I'd never experienced with you – a slight lifting of the spirit.  A mild flutter – a warming hitherto unnoticed in the years we spent at college and since.  I don't know how we ever hit it off. We moved along.  My legs disappeared – I was never tall, but now my image was squat and round. You stopped again and this time made a slight turn in front of the distorted surface, as if admiring yourself. Never one to be knocked off course, you continued with your view of the world and life.  I was suddenly struck by the honesty and integrity of your words.  I began to like you in a way that was new.  There was a feeling of trust forming.  Just the green shoots.  But it was there.  I struggled to comprehend. Again, we moved on.  My reflected-self gained a crookedness, with long, unflatteringly stretched features.  I watched you correct your tie slightly and smooth your hair. I have to say that if I'd been wearing a hat I'd have taken it off.  Your words made extraordinary sense.  You seemed to hit the nail on the head and your reasoning was completely sound – supported in the most erudite fashion.  Where had all this been hiding for so long? I reached the last mirror, where you loitered to get the most from your investment. My reflection was ghastly: nose spread across a dinner-plate face - eyes like slits, pulled far apart.  I looked at yours behind me.  You had film-star looks – perhaps a young Connery or Cary Grant.  Well proportioned, with a bold Roman nose and fine forehead.  Your shoulders were square and straight.  Not the usual desk-shaped stoop, bloated by after-office drinking every night. You caught me staring and walked out into the cold evening air.  I took a last look at my grotesque self and followed you outside. ''Thank you, gentlemen!'' hailed the owner.  ''Well that was two quid wasted.'' your retort. ''Roll-up! See your other side! The Hall of Mirrors never lies!" "Enjoy your evening, gents!''
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The people in the park (posted on: 28-07-14)
Life modulating in the breeze

The people in the park are listening to the band The players blow their instruments beneath a makeshift stand The crimson-clad conductor makes the spectacle fun The people smile and doze in the afternoon sun Relaxing in their chairs they are cooled by the breeze That carries off the music to be lost among the trees The people in the park are measuring their breath Turning on a Ferris Wheel of rebirth and death And out beyond the wall an ancient bus comes by Crawling up Redemption Hill they hear its gears whine The people in the park understand the time has come The band has stopped playing the Anthem has been sung
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Maintain Flying Speed (posted on: 14-07-14)
The difficulties of being far from a place you once called home

We sat in the sunshine – my son and I – contemplating the beauty of a buttercup. An insect fussed within its close. ''How are the kids, son?'' Our contemplation was shattered by an aeroplane flying overhead. It was the basic traditional type with an internal confusion engine – my son worked out from the sound that it probably had a two-bladed propeller. That was when the beauty struck me. ''They're fine, dad.'' Using the basic principles of life, someone had worked out how to fly this thing over our field. My son described it as a man or woman poised behind a fan - the fan blowing air past the machine. ''Are you sure? I tried to speak to them on the phone today and I don't think they recognised me.'' They'd worked out that if they fitted the machine with a flat blade or aerofoil, angled to deflect airflow down, then air pressure above would be lower than air pressure below. The blade would rise – it would be a wing. ''That's because you never see them. When were you last up?'' The fan needed to push sufficient air behind to overcome the inertia of sitting in a field. Once rolling, the machine would pick up such speed that air would be moving over its surface quickly. ''I went up around three weeks ago, but it was for a funeral – a flying visit. It's not so easy to see them these days. They're further away now. Time's always tight. You know how it is.'' To overcome its weight and that of the man or woman, the machine would need to move fast enough for the wing to generate sufficient lift. The engine was powerful enough to do this – and to make a lot of noise. ''Yeah, I know how it is.'' At a certain speed, machine and man or woman would rise into the sky. They'd worked all this out before-hand. "It isn't easy." Happiness is a mood like any other And moods pass like clouds The machine would need additional blades to make it fly straight and level. My son told me the man or woman had worked this out, too. ''Well, it's up to you, dad. The kids are fine, but they're your grandchildren. It's up to you to visit them.'' While all this was fun, the man or woman would be happier still if the machine could be manoeuvred. ''I know. But it's not as though we live close and I'm getting worried about grandma. I try to do what I can for her when I'm up. It doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else.'' My son told me about control-surfaces. A rudder to yaw or steer like a boat; elevators to point the machine up and down and ailerons bank and make it turn. ''Well. Like I said, it's up to you. It's not our fault you live down here.'' But what about returning to the ground in a nice way? I asked. I imagined it was fun rising into the air behind all that noise, twisting and turning like a bird, but nothing lasts for ever. ''I know, son. But you make your bed and lie in it. This is where my life is – work, all that. And it isn't going to get any easier soon. Grandma's not getting any younger.'' Then I realised the principle works in reverse. ''Well, dad, she's going to need more help and I've got my own life to live. I do what I can. She's losing her friends and there aren't many family left. She's struggling.'' If the man or woman slowed the engine, air would pass more slowly over the wing. The pressure differential would reduce and the machine would lose height. My son said this could be done gently with practice and the whole thing would come down nicely. ''Are you still planning to move to Spain, dad?'' He told me how they'd quickly worked out another principle based on the first – MFS: Maintain Flying Speed. ''I don't know. I just don't know. But I've no idea what I'll do if can't. I'll go insane if I have to stay where I am. I worry about grandma, though.'' By the time he'd finished explaining, the aeroplane was gone and the sky was quiet again. We looked at the buttercup and the little insect within its golden glow. ''And when do you think you'll see the kids?'' It struck me that the aeroplane was as beautiful as the flower. ''I don't know.'' We're all lost souls Condemned to wander until the end
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The man (posted on: 04-07-14)
A moment in time / a mirage

We sat on the pavement outside his shop – a small group, coming and going in the sunshine. There was music and conversation – lazy and drifting. The music came from inside. A car drew up and the boy beside me got to his feet and left, so I slid my back against the wall. A young woman and child had arrived in the car. The child was little more than a baby – completely helpless and dependent on the mother. Assuming that's what she was. The conversation was easy. Words curled into the air like wood-smoke. Someone asked my name. The woman asked where I was from. I suppose I sounded different. She said she wanted to know my journey. I told how I'd arrived on the street – the miles and the half-forgotten lives gone before. She passed the child to someone and pressed me on being on the road, about places I'd stopped - some for days, others for years - and the people I'd left behind. She lit a cigarette and thought for a while, then asked if I ever travelled back the way I'd come. I gave her a smile and looked away. Someone spoke about another place, a lifetime from where we sat. Several of us knew it well. We tried a few names, but none of them stuck – though we all knew the sound and remembered the feeling. The man wandered out of the shop to soak up the sun and the company. Business was slow. The breeze pushed an old paper bag to the kerb. The child began to choke. Someone held it up and hit its back. The girl pushed her finger into its mouth and out came an olive – light green, shiny and whole. It was the hard kind with the stone inside. We all felt guilty from an unspoken suspicion that one of us might have given it, though none of us felt we had. I guess the child picked the olive up from the floor. The vibe kind of died after that. The girl got up and hoisted the kid into a papoose, then walked away without speaking. We looked at each other and shrugged. He went back inside. There was silence for a while, save for the music coming out the shop. I closed my eyes in the sun. What more could anyone do? Someone told me it was all a dream.
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Red Dirt (posted on: 06-06-14)
Just an idea come to mind from real events. Many of them.

Mid-afternoon sun was burning the red dirt landscape hard. In a bowl surrounded by baking scrubland and pitiful fields of maize and sorghum stood a home that was little more than a shack. An empty rocking chair sat among assorted hardware on the porch. Inside, the air was warm and stale. ''Pappy.'' ''Pappy. Wake up, I gotta tell you something.'' ''Uh? What is it son? Can't you see I'm sick?'' ''You been asleep for days off and on, Pappy. The Doc came around this morning.'' ''What you doing bringing him around here? We can't afford his bills, dammit.'' ''I gotta tell you something, Pappy. Doc says you're dying.'' ''You woke me to tell me that? You shit-for-brains! What the hell got into you?'' ''I don't know what to do, Pappy. I need you to help me.'' ''God-damn! If I could get outta here I'd knock your stupid head off.'' ''Doc told me I'd better start getting things ready – calling relatives and finding papers and all. Well we ain't got no relatives anymore and I don't know what papers he's talking about. I'm scared, Pappy.'' ''Damn! Did he say what's wrong with me?'' ''Says it's the trouble you had last summer, come back again. But this time ain't nothing he can do.'' ''It's my guts, boy. It never went away. They done all they could last year. Is that water fresh?'' ''Yes sir.'' ''Pour me a glass. My mouth's as dry that land. Pass it here.'' ''Will you tell me something, Pappy?'' ''Oh! Sweet Jesus! Give me some more of that. Tell you what?'' ''Well I wanted to ask Mama, but she couldn't speak no more when she was sick. What's it like?'' ''What's what like?'' ''Dying.'' ''Hell, boy! Are you crazy? Whaddya want to ask a damn fool thing like that for? I'm sick, can't you see? I'm tired and sick. Why can't you let me sleep? And there ain't no papers. No insurance. Nothing.'' ''But…'' ''But nothing. Just get outta here and leave me alone. Oh, Jesus Christ! No.'' ''Pappy? What's wrong?'' ''Get outta here!'' ''Jesus. I'd say you took a dump right there in the bed. Stay right there. I'm gonna get some water and a cloth. Don't move.'' ''Oh, God Almighty! What have I done to deserve this?'' ''It's OK, Pappy. It's gonna be OK.'' ''Get away from me, you bastard! Oh, God help me.'' ''I need to clean you up. The bed's full of shit. Oh, Jeez, you're bleeding and, oh my. I'm sorry, Pappy. I'm real sorry. Please don't cry. I only ever saw you do that when Mama passed away. Just let me clean this up. I got clean linen outside.'' As evening fell, the room began to fill with darkness. Other than the sound of birds fixing to roost, the house was silent. Nothing moved, save the slow progress of shadows across the floor. ''Pappy. You awake?'' ''Yeah. Give me a drink.'' ''What you thinking of?'' ''Your Mama. This house and land. I'm thinking about when I was a kid. The things I wanted to do.'' ''What did you want to do?'' ''It doesn't matter.'' ''Does to me.'' ''Son. There's nothing for you here. Only what you're looking at. You'll just follow me like I'm following my Pa. Trying to make something of this dirt just because you were born on it. And this is where you'll die. Sell up, you hear me? Sell up and get the hell out of here. Go to the city. That's where the opportunities are, boy. These are new times. We've been left behind here – not that the place was ever much anyway. Leave. Talk to Henry, the Real Estate guy. He's OK. He'll fix you up.'' ''I ain't leaving, Pappy. This is your land. Our land. What else have we got?'' ''It ain't worth shit, except for a few bucks to get you on your way. Get out. Go to the city and find a job. You can do that, can't you? Yeah. You can do that.'' ''But I don't know nobody in the city.'' ''You will. Just do as I say. We shoulda sold up years ago. This place worried your Mama into her grave. Just promise me you'll do as I say.'' ''I can't promise, Pappy.'' ''You will. Ah!'' ''Pappy?'' ''Give me another drink. I'm tired. Listen. In the picture frame, behind your Mama's picture, they's the Title Deeds for this place. Ah! Oh, God in Heaven. That hurts. Take the Title Deeds to Henry. Tell him I want the place sold. It's your future, son. Now, run up the lane and get me the preacher. Go now. I need to sleep. Go!'' ''I'm going. I love you, Pappy.'' ''Git! Goddam it! Get outta here!'' ''Yes, sir.'' From a cross-roads a short walk from the farm, you could pick up the local buses into town. Twice a day, a big silver Greyhound rocked up and maybe one or two folks hauled out their cases and anything from furniture to radio sets and birdcages, brought across the country to the scattered homesteads. A young man in his Sunday best handed his case to the driver and climbed on board. An elderly lady, smart for her years, showed her ticket and moved down the aisle, looking for polite company to pass the time. ''Mind if I sit here?'' ''No, ma'am. I could use the company.'' ''Me, too. My name's Alice. Alice Corn.'' ''Jem. Jem Landers. Nice to meet you, ma'am.'' ''You can call me Alice. You wouldn't be Dolores' son Jem? There can't be that many Landers around here.'' ''Yes, ma'am. 'Cept she's been gone a few years now.'' ''I know. I saw her maybe five, six years back. She must have been around fifty then, but she looked older. She was hanging off her bones.'' ''She was sick an awful long time.'' ''I'm sorry, Jem. I don't mean to pry.'' ''Not at all, ma'am. It's nice talking to you. You being a friend of Ma's and all.'' ''Thank you, Jem. And how's your Pa?'' ''Pappy passed away just six weeks ago. Farm's all sold-up and gone. I'm heading up to Fort James. To the city.'' ''No? Oh my Lord, you poor boy.'' ''It's what Pappy wanted. I'm gonna start afresh in the city. These are new times. This ole place been left way behind.'' ''Well I never. Well I'm heading up to Fort James, too, but I'm changing buses to head on to my sister in Oklahoma City.'' ''That's a good long ride from here, ma'am.'' ''It sure is. I do it once a year and once a year May rides down to visit me. I can't tell you how many years we been doing that journey. A long time.'' ''Well we can keep each other company as far as Fort James.'' ''We sure can, Jem. Mind if a take out my knitting?'' No, ma'am. Mind if I smoke?'' ''Nope. I think we'll get along just fine.''
Archived comments for Red Dirt
Nomenklatura on 06-06-2014
Red Dirt
Bit of an unfinished symphony this one. I liked it, the voices sounded authentic. The spare, bare-ish description wasn't too intrusive. For a while I thought you were going to tell the entire story in dialogue. Unless I missed something, (which is most definitely possible) there didn't seem to be much of a story arc/change in/for the protagonist, all that CW guff. However, I still liked its style and handling of the vernacular dialogue, which made the piece worthwhile for me. The 'Red Dirt' business (ouch) was good too.

Author's Reply:
Hi Nomenklatura. Thanks. Really nice of you. I'll need to go and Google some of that advice. Just a scene really with a couple of folks thrown in to improvise. Sparked by a dying uncle, a wish to head to Texas again and a million other things flying to around in my head. Always very grateful when people share their knowledge and will be go look. Thank you.

QBall on 08-06-2014
Red Dirt
Mostly dialogue, but you paint a real picture in my mind. Sad little tale that shows life as it is with dirt-poor individuals.
Could it use more descriptive passages? Possibly, but I think it is fine as is.
Good work.

Author's Reply:
Thanks QBall. Nice of you. It began without any narrative at all, but I relented in the end.

Mikeverdi on 08-06-2014
Red Dirt
Kind of agree with both the other comments, it does paint a picture for the reader. A bleak statement of a world I can only read about (thankfully). I do wonder if we need to know how the journey ends, but then I guess if I care enough to ask ...that's what you wanted πŸ™‚
ps I had a look at others on your page, don't know how I missed so many.

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike. The journey may continue if I can find time to do something with it. Nice words, thanks. Thanks for reading the other posts, too.


Remembering '68 (posted on: 16-05-14)
Listening to Sexy Sadie

I'm listening to Sexy Sadie. Remembering '68. My uncle and his friend Glen gone away to Canada. Young men. I see their glossy smiles on my wall. And I'm lost for a while among rows of plastic seats. Remembering school - brand-new. The fence was high and jumping over the other side the grass came over our heads. We thought we could hide. Crab-apple trees by the beck. I can see the walls of the class, defaced with ink. Rubber stamps - clock-faces. Disruptive even then. The walls have gone. Torn down for a new age. Shit! The teacher's probably dead, too. '68. It's a long way from here. The music sounds so fresh in my ear. But the players are all old men. Or gone. In '68 I began to hear. Began to see. Apollo 8. More. Something happened. I became aware. The beginning of all of this. Tiredness suddenly takes me. The universe slips and I catch myself. Stare out at a world rushing by. Remembering '68.
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sweetwater on 17-05-2014
Remembering 68
Ah, 68. Pillion on boyfriend's motorbike,matching leather jackets with nine inch tassles, almost cracking a ton on the motorway ( would have made the ton, but had enough of his tassles slapping me in the face)Great times. Thank you for returning me there for a while πŸ™‚ Sue.

Author's Reply:
What a great story and brilliant image, Sue - love it! Contemplating heading over to London on mine tomorrow. It's lovely to hear the piece brought back those memories.

Savvi on 17-05-2014
Remembering 68
I remember 68, in 68 Julie was Johnnys date (song called the sixteens by The Sweet)

Very much enjoyed this one PT, not sure you need the "I can see" those words break the flow for me and we already know you looking back so are redundant, but for me everything else is spot on and this is definatley a keeper. Best Keith


PS Sweetwater Ha ha "had enough of his tassles slapping me in the face" there is a whole poem right in that line.

Author's Reply:
Hi Keith. Thanks for your lovely comment and for the rating. Very grateful. Will have a think about those words. After a day of dashing around and painting, my head is in the wrong place. I'd forgotten all about The Sweet. How did I do that? Many thanks.

Andrea on 17-05-2014
Remembering 68
Ah, 1968 - Paris riots, remember it well πŸ™‚

Loved it (your pome, that is)

Meant to ask, where are your prose pieces?

Author's Reply:
Hi Andrea. Thank you! You weren't there were you? πŸ™‚ Have I not written any? Had to go and look. There's one piece about something that's trying me at the moment (Context, Escape and something or other). I seem to swing from one form to another. It just depends how it hits the keys. Was that what the question was about? πŸ™‚ I could be so not getting it! I think my prose went through a patch on ABC where it got a bit tired. Sometimes it's good to toss the match in the box and watch all the fireworks at once.

Andrea on 17-05-2014
Remembering 68
I wasn't there, but knew people who were. We had a sympathy 'vote' in the UK :)I thought you must have removed a couple of prose pieces - I distinctly remember one I compared to Footsie. I wanted to nominate it for the Anthology, but it was gone when I looked. Am I going senile? Probably.

Author's Reply:
If you are, you're not alone. I don't remember it. Maybe it was two other people. πŸ™‚ I think it was someone else's piece though. Haven't removed anything.

Nomenklatura on 19-05-2014
Remembering 68
Sorry to interrupt, but I think you were thinking of something by Terrence Oblong, Jefe.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 25-05-2014
Remembering 68
Ah, thank you Ewan, you are correct. Sorry, Parson, as you were πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Stand easy.


Context, Escape and Longing (posted on: 09-05-14)
Context, Escape and Longing

Context What a thing that is. Makes us what we are. Limits us – corrects us. Sets up all of our hang-ups. Makes us toe the line. It's our image – what we are expected to be. Reinforced as necessary by myriad influences who know it's not good for some part of the picture to start disturbing the whole scene. Anyone stepping out of line is first supported, then chastised, beaten to a pulp and, if all else fails, ostracised. You can't change your mature self without first overcoming the context. And there is only one way: blow it up. Plant a bomb and watch it detonate. Blow up the context. Collateral damage? It's inevitable. But if you're serious, you'll do it anyway. I did. At least once. Family? They may come to forgive you. May even understand you one day. Friends? Probably not, but you'll find new ones. Escape. Escape is blowing up the context – preferably without warning. Leave the keys in the door, ignore the screams and abuse. Stare straight ahead, seeing only escape. While the dust is still in the air, walk to the station. Buy a ticket. A single – to anywhere. Sort your head out, then look for a large city – that's where the opportunities are. Opportunity and anonymity – a heady mix. Casual killing – casual sex. Cities have it all. It's a good place to start anew. Blow it all up and start again. Longing Every now and again I get that feeling. And when I get it, it doesn't go away. I have to break out of the city limits. Travel documents and an air-ticket bring temporary relief. But the only way to feed the longing is to make the move. Move on. It's time to move on. But now I feel my responsibilities. Maybe that's my weakness. It would all be so easy if I could just walk out the door. I've done it many times before – but that was then. I can feel the change coming, but it's going to take time. Not that I have a lot of that anymore. There's the paradox: when I was young and had so much time, I would just up-sticks and leave; now, with time dwindling, I hold on – feel those responsibilities. I try to do the right thing. The logical outcome is that I'll end up fleet-of-foot as a fucking tree-stump. These days, everything's a compromise. Always negotiating. And my mind gets to telling me ''Blow it up. Just get out and go.'' I have to make the move. Make it while it's under my control. While there's still a chance it'll work out. I have to do it soon. I'm already building the bridge. The centre of gravity's moving. Soon it'll be irresistible. Soon I'll have to go. And once I arrive? How long before it begins all over again? I don't know.
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What's on your mind? (posted on: 09-05-14)
A friend posted a photo of the Empire State Building, taken on his way to visit the dentist.

I click "Like" Play another one by Bingham Southside of Heaven Out of the door - head in a cloud Past high-gated small-town prisons Range Rovers ease like blackshining slugs into the morning Boarding a train Looking around at sea-side freaks They're probably looking at me (Freak) Provincial non-existence Freakin hell! Give me Manhattan streets Fifth Ave and West 34th Endless soaring walls Impatient horns Hidden bars Bagels Appointments to keep Give me a coffee Take me along to your Midtown dentist Drill till tomorrow - I don't care Just take me there
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Defying gravity - the need to leave (posted on: 02-05-14)
Defying gravity - the need to leave

The giant comes alive Crumbling ice, flaking falling to the ground Gantries, lifting, turn away Restraining arms roll back A dreadful pause then Gleaming, steaming power shatters the dawn Redundant hoses fall like sated lampreys Earth briefly lies subdued Stunned beneath this brutal act Hushed by thundering suns that bellow ''Freedom!''
Archived comments for Defying gravity - the need to leave
chant_z on 02-05-2014
Defying gravity - the need to leave
Critique: just like Brahms' third racket!! Comment: Critique not at all serious ...:). Very nice and delicately worded.

Redundant hoses fall
like sated lampreys

Earth briefly lies subdued

My favourite lines I think. Wonderful!!

Author's Reply:
Thank you chant_z. Racket is such an adaptable word. No wonder he had three (at least).

Bozzz on 04-05-2014
Defying gravity - the need to leave
McGravity always wins in the long term - His motto : things vertical are bad, horizontal are good. flat=best. An interesting if noisy poem - enjoyed ....Bozzz

Author's Reply:


0808 notes (posted on: 25-04-14)
A few thoughts

Money's a drug. There will never be enough to satisfy the lust. Every time the dose is upped the need increases. Everything is sold to feed the need: identity, heritage, brothers, sisters, the future, the past. Ourselves. We become bogus. The whole of humanity becomes fake, save for a few well-meaning people. Which am I? I knew you'd ask. I'm a well-meaning fake. Worse than that, an observer. A watcher who thinks he's entitled to an opinion, but doesn't get involved. The worst kind of all. The more I see, the more I think and the more I think, the more I'm fake. I see the frauds excelling at their work. While bogus Buddhas sit in judgement, gazing at their own image. But the real Buddha's invisible, even to him/herself. Once in a while, I feel the air move as another gentle soul passes through. In the main, they go unnoticed - irrelevant in a fucked-up world. They know they'll inherit nothing here, but what's worth having is already theirs.
Archived comments for 0808 notes
stormwolf on 26-04-2014
0808 notes
Very insightful I have to say. I like your name ha-ha.
I also consider myself "just passing through" and so can relate to much of what you write about here.
congrats on the nib.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Hi Alison. Thanks, I like yours too. πŸ™‚
Thank you to whoever gave the nib. Very thoughtful.
Funny place to be, isn't it, passing through?

Andrea on 26-04-2014
0808 notes
Excellent - like it πŸ™‚ Also congrats on the nib.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. Really appreciate that a lot.

Andrea on 01-05-2014
0808 notes
Hmmm...dunno why 'Submission info' doesn't reflect votes - forgive me for using you as a testing-ground πŸ™‚

(RATING 7)

Author's Reply:
Honoured to be able to help out in some small way. Never felt a thing. πŸ™‚ Like the layout.

Andrea on 01-05-2014
0808 notes
Ha! Excellent, worked - sorry about that πŸ™‚

(Money's worse than smack, in many ways)

Author's Reply:
It can be almost as destructive.

Andrea on 01-05-2014
0808 notes
Oh good - we aim to please πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:


I got to thinking (posted on: 21-04-14)
Triggered by a comment from Mr K

Imagine a chest that don't move no more. Where the air gets stale, like some dark old cave and nothing much goes out or in and nothing ever will. That's the way it'll be before too long for you and me both. That's just the way it is. That's what's in store.
Archived comments for I got to thinking
ValDohren on 21-04-2014
I got to thinking
Not much to look forward to then eh !! Better take a few more breaths before the day is out.
Val

Author's Reply:
Make the most of them all, Val. We only get so many.

sweetwater on 21-04-2014
I got to thinking
This put me in mind of a long term marriage, don't know why. Luckilly I changed my chest (twice) after a few years. do not possess any old chests now. πŸ™‚ Enjoyed this. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. Nice. Whatever floats your boat. πŸ™‚

Pelequin23 on 21-04-2014
I got to thinking
better enjoy ourselves till then

Author's Reply:
If that's the message it's sending, it's not a bad one. Have fun!


Poor daffodils (posted on: 04-04-14)
Poor daffodils

They're doing their best to brighten the scene Sagging, heads turned away from the rows of dreary houses by the tracks Gazing into a littered beck they seem ashamed, bending low beneath the slate-grey evening sky I stare through the window of the train and wrack my brain to work out why anyone would want to plant them there Then, as the train moves on, I turn and see a glory like a distant sun among the debris of another burned-out day
Archived comments for Poor daffodils
Andrea on 04-04-2014
Poor daffodils
Very visual - good stuff!

It always amazes me, going by train into London, how the Buddleia grows out of the tiniest cracks along the tracks, and flourishes amongst all the smoke and dirt...

Your pome reminded me of it...

Author's Reply:
Hi Andrea. Thanks. I know exactly what you mean. I used to look at it during my London years. Great bushes of the stuff coming out of brick-work and under the guttering of those high, grey terraced blocks from Limehouse to Earl's Court and Shepherd's Bush. So London. Memories.

sweetwater on 04-04-2014
Poor daffodils
Someone had an inspirational eye, first to envisage the scene and then turn it into reality for others to enjoy. And then you to write such a lovely poem about them. I especially like the last line. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue. Thank you. All part of the crazy world of... Yes, that last line. It would have been interesting to have filmed the faces at the windows. Cattle-trucks of burned-out commuters.


Sonrisa (posted on: 04-04-14)
Beautiful dawn

Sonrisa Sunrise Sonrisa Sunrise First a frown Then the glow of a newborn day Lines of tiredness melting away Beautiful dawn Heavenly smile Oh, and your eyes Sonrisa Sunrise Beautiful dawn Heavenly smile And your eyes
Archived comments for Sonrisa
Jabberwocky on 05-04-2014
Sonrisa
Wow-beautiful imagery here,
Yours
Jabber

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jabber. Very much appreciated.

Pelequin23 on 06-04-2014
Sonrisa
positive attitude and meaning

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pelequin.


We stood in the road holding hands (posted on: 28-03-14)
A cosmic event

We stood in the road holding hands It was Calle de Serrano I felt your skin move against mine Slightly rough and dry We stood in the road side by side Electromagnetically charged Absorbing the energy of the street Briefly together then gone I wonder when I will see you next Will I ever again hold your hand? In recent times, Halley's Comet has appeared in 1910, 1986 and will return on 26 July 2061. I saw it in '86. It's most unlikely I'll see it again.
Archived comments for We stood in the road holding hands
Nomenklatura on 28-03-2014
We stood in the road holding hands
A once in a lifetime thing, as many are. Delightful.
Ewan

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ewan. Maybe they're the best.

Andrea on 28-03-2014
We stood in the road holding hands
Ha! Lovely, Parson. Welcome to UKA.

Author's Reply:
Hi Andrea. Thank you. Nice to be here.

Ionicus on 29-03-2014
We stood in the road holding hands
A nice debut on this site, Kevin. Welcome to UKA (my other home).
Regards, Luigi

Author's Reply:
Hi Luigi. I hope you are very well. Thank you. I like your other home very much.
Regards, Kevin

barenib on 30-03-2014
We stood in the road holding hands
I enjoyed this too, an interesting sentiment. Welcome also - John.

Author's Reply:
Thank you John. Nice to be here. Really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for saying so.