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topsy's (topsy on UKA) UKArchive
6 Archived submissions found.
Title
Hubble Bubble (posted on: 07-11-03)
I wrote this, my first (older) children's story, a while ago, and have edited it according to some of the advice I have received. I hope it works.

Topsy

Emily was shocked. She hadn't expected things to happen like this. The recipe had seemed so simple.


She looked again at the silver saucepan standing innocently on the switched-off gas hob, then bent awkwardly to pick up the small ladle from where it had fallen on the floor. She fumbled it the first time, but by moving her hand in a slow arc over it and then closing it like the metal grab in an arcade sweet machine she finally managed to pick it up. Once it was in her grasp, placing it back in the pan was a much easier task. She would be able to get used to this, she told herself, trying to control her rising panic.


The worn leather-bound book lay open on the kitchen table, its grease-stained pages witness to years of use. ''A Booke of Simples and Remedies for the Ille Humoures of the Bodie, by A Lady''. Centuries, in fact, thought Emily. Centuries of use and this can't ever have happened before or someone would have heard of it. On the stained and brown-tinged paper of the displayed page the recipe was still clearly visible in old-fashioned type. Recepte for the Clensing of Alle Mannere of Blemysh. She had worked out that this meant it should clear up spots. And beneath the ingredients and method, the dosage: An Egge Cuppe fulle of the Infusion to be Swallowed, Whych will cause the Blemysh to Disapear at the Instant. And it had certainly done that, she thought grimly.


Emily went back in her mind to the moment when she had found the book at the bottom of a box of jumble at the school fete. She was fed up with the pimples that seemed to permanently decorate her face these days and, she reasoned, if modern treatments couldn't do anything for her, maybe a different approach was called for.


She'd spent a happy afternoon reading through the antique pages, captivated by the magic of the ancient words and the strange recipes. The plants it mentioned were familiar. Her mother's hobby was flower painting, and she would bore everyone with a running commentary on the names and uses of the various hedgerow plants as they passed them on their family weekend walk. In fact, along with the usual creams and lotions, Emily had tried a couple of home-made herbal remedies of her own over the past year when no-one was around, but so far nothing had worked. The spots just grew worse, and there was a particularly obstinate one on the end of her nose that just wouldn't budge.


She had gathered her ingredients with her friend Poppy. Emily was sure they had done everything correctly. It had been a full moon when they had crept out to collect the goose-grass stems and cuckoo-pint root. The slug had been cabbage-fed and wholesome; they had been extra careful to select it from a garden where insecticides were given a wide berth. The marigold blossoms were perfect too, with no brown bits to their blazing petals, and Emily had placed them in a bag at the back of the fridge overnight to keep them fresh. She was all ready to explain them away as being needed for a school project if anyone asked, but no-one had noticed.


Perhaps it was the wine. 18th century white wine was maybe a little different from that of the 21st, although they'd made sure to sneak one of Poppy's father's expensive old bottles of French wine from his cellar, rather than use what her dad referred to as 'Plonk' as he picked a bargain from the supermarket shelves. Poppy had helped with the preparation of the mixture, but had gone off to babysit her little brother Max while her mum went on a shopping trip.


So what was she going to do? Change into something less skimpy than the tiny shorts and strappy top she had on, for a start, and put some shoes and gloves on. It was horribly unsettling when she couldn't tell where she ended and the kitchen started.


Having decided on some positive action, Emily turned and headed for the stairs, but tripped at the first step. She shut her eyes and made her way up by feel alone - it was so much easier that way. She was fighting hard to control her tears she knew that if she started she would never stop, and the one thing she couldn't risk now was losing control. She needed to be able to think things through with a clear head, and maybe she'd find an obvious solution to.


She couldn't even face the horrible reality and instead concentrated on making it to her room and getting into some covering clothes. She tried to avoid looking in the mirror but in the end she couldn't resist a tiny peek. She looked away quickly and finished dressing, topping everything off with a scarf and huge sunglasses. The temperature was in the 80s outside, but the relief in being able to see where her limbs were was enormous and, hot though she was, she began to cheer up.


The sudden ring of the doorbell made her jump in alarm and, after a moment's hesitation, she lifted the edge of the net curtain to see who it might be. Poppy was standing on the doorstep and staring impatiently at the door, while Max was running up and down the path, shooting at the gnomes in the neighbours' front garden with the flashy new water pistol he'd got for his birthday.


Emily felt a flood of relief at the sight of her friend. Together they would work this out. She rushed downstairs and hauled the door open just as Poppy had her finger poised for another ring of the bell.


''Poppy! Am I glad to see you! Come in, quickly!'' she whispered urgently, half hiding behind the door, her hand up to her mouth to cover the lower half of her face.


Poppy regarded Emily with astonishment.


''Em, what on earth are you doing? Why have you got all those clothes on? It's hot enough to fry an egg outside!'' She turned and yelled back at her brother. ''Max! Come here right now!''


She grabbed her brother by the arm as he shot past, and dragged him protesting into the house.


Emily swiftly closed the door behind them and began a hurried explanation.


''I tried that mixture we cooked up andand it. Listen, Poppy. Something awful's happened. Don't get upset or anything, it's only me.''


Emily took her hand from her mouth and removed the sunglasses. Poppy made a choking sound, staring with horror at her friend, until Max gave a yelp as his sister's hand gripped hard at his arm.


''Poppy, let go, you're hurting me! Emmie, make her.''


His high plaintive voice drifted off into silence as he lifted his gaze to Emily's face and his mouth dropped open.


''Wow, Emmie, you've got no head! Cool! How do you do that? Can I have a go?''


*****


Poppy had turned such an alarming shade of green that Emily quickly shoved her friend onto the front room sofa before her legs gave way altogether. Then, hurriedly replacing the sunglasses on the empty space where her face used to be, Emily rushed out to the kitchen to fetch some reviving ice-cold lemonade, giving Poppy a few moments to gather her wits. Max, released from Poppy's numbed grasp, trailed after her in deep fascination, his eyes round and staring. He'd gone completely quiet, which was almost unheard of. He just followed, and gaped, and made Emily feel quite unnerved.


Emily poured a glass of lemonade for Max, then returned to the front room with drinks for herself and Poppy. Poppy had recovered enough to start asking questions.


''Em, howI mean, whenoh God, Em! What are you going to do? Is it like that all over?''


''Yes, and I haven't even begun to think about it yet,'' admitted Emily. ''I just can't get beyond the, you know, the 'what're Mum & Dad going to say?' scene.''


''Maybe they'll be able to do something about it,'' pondered Poppy. ''I mean, your dad being a doctor and all. When're they due back, anyway?''


Emily fiddled with the scarf that she had pulled up over her mouth.


''Dad won't get home till gone eight,'' she answered. ''And Mum's away on a painting weekend. But I'd rather try to sort this out without them, Poppy. If they ever get to find out about this I'll be grounded for a year!''


Poppy pursed her lips. ''If you don't sort this out, you'll be grounded for ever, Em! Unless you fancy going out with no clothes on!''


Emily's glasses began to steam up, and a snuffle erupted from behind the dampening scarf. Max sidled up to her and poked her tentatively in the stomach.


''It's OK, Emmie,'' he tried to reassure her. ''You still feel real!''


Emily's snuffles got louder.


''And just think of the fantastic things you can do!'' he continued with all the logic of his six and half years of existence. ''You can get into the zoo for free as many times as you want! And if you do something wrong, your mum won't be able to find you to tell you off! And you can''


''Shut up, Max!''


Poppy glared at her brother, then deliberately got up and walked across to where Emily was standing, cloaked in misery and too many clothes. She put her arm around the heaving shoulders and steered her back towards the sofa.


''Come on, Em. It'll be alright, just you see. Come on now. Let's sit down and have a nice cold drink and work out what to do.''


She sat close, and nudged Emily's glass towards her lips. Emily pulled the scarf away from her mouth to take a sip and Poppy let out an uncontrollable shudder. She tried to suppress it but it was too late, Emily had felt it.


''Everyone's going to think I'm a freak!'' wailed Emily. ''Even you can't stand me like this! Oh, what am I going to do?'' and she took a trembling gulp of lemonade and dribbled it all down her front.


''Wow, look at that,'' gasped Max. ''Look, you can see it going down inside her! Wow, cool!''


But something even more remarkable was happening. As Emily drank, the bits of her that had touched the liquid remained visible even after she had swallowed. And they could see little wet sections of her chin where the drink had spilled from Emily's mouth.


''Em! It's it's wearing off or something! I mean, the drink's doing something to you. That is Em! The lemonade's making you visible again!'' Poppy could hardly get the words out in her excitement.


Her muffled friend gasped with relief and ripped off her glasses, scarf, and cardigan, which was not such a good idea. Poppy gurgled in disgust. The lemonade had made Emily visible all right, but only where it had touched her. So what could be seen were lips, tongue and gullet, with a few bits of chin floating around about half an inch in front. The line of the gullet disappeared behind Emily's skimpy top and if you leaned over you could see streaky bits of stomach coming into focus as the liquid worked its anti-magic further down.


''Ohhh, wowww!'' breathed Max reverently. Emily looked down at herself and yelped in horror.


''Urghh, what's happening to me?''


Everyone was silent for a moment, transfixed by the sight. Max recovered first.


''How far down does it go, Emmie? Can I have a look? Please? Please?''


Poppy got herself together. ''Shut up Max!'' she said, automatically. Her eyes had acquired a knowing glint, like a light had come on somewhere inside.


''Drink some more!'' she instructed, and Emily nervously raised her glass and swallowed the rest of the lemonade in one go. Max and Poppy watched Emily's chest for signs of progress but all that happened was a dimming of the edges of the gullet and mouth, until they appeared to be half obscured by a throbbing pink haze. Poppy let out a sound of triumph that made them all jump.


''Aha! I see what's happening, yes, I do!'' she yelled, leaping up and dancing around the room in her excitement.


''Let us in on it, why don't you?'' mumbled Emily irritably.


''The lemonade's working, that's certain, but it has to touch you first, every bit of you!''Poppy sat down again to explain her theory. ''Every bit of you that's been touched by the lemonade has become visible, but inside it takes a while. You know, we've done this in biology how food is absorbed into the body. That's why we can't see your stomach properly anymore. The lemonade, or whatever's in it that's working as an antidote to the mixture, is gradually being absorbed into the rest of you so you'll slowly become visible from the inside out.''


''And we can watch it all happening, watch it all happening!'' sang Max over and over until his sister slapped him.


''I'm not sitting around like a freak show for your entertainment,'' huffed Emily.


''That's OK, you don't have to.''


Poppy dipped her fingers in her own drink and, placing them next to the apparently empty shoulder straps of Emily's top, she drew a line along the flesh she could feel beneath her hand. A pink piece of skin appeared in the wake of her fingertips


''All we have to do is cover you all over in this stuff and we'll be able to see you again. Then it doesn't matter what's happening inside you, does it?''


''So long as I don't need an emergency operation for appendicitis or anything,'' murmured Emily, but they could see her lips curving upwards into a Cheshire cat grin, filled with half visible teeth.


Poppy stood up decisively. ''How much lemonade have you got in the house, Em?''


''About 3 large bottles and some cans.''


''Right then. Up you get, pal. I think a rather special bath is in order!''


*****


Much later, after a lot of sticky mess and some minor panic that maybe the 'problem' might come back when the lemonade was washed off (it didn't, much to everyone's relief, although Max didn't seem as happy as the rest), they were engrossed in the relative normality of 'Popstars' as Emily's dad put his head round the door.


''Hi, I'm home!'' he greeted them cheerily. ''Oh, hello, Poppy, young Max. Had a good day, all? Been doing lots of exciting things?''


Emily looked at Poppy, and glared at Max, who was fidgeting with his mouth tightly closed. He had been warned.


''Nothing much, Dad. It's too hot for anything.''


Emily's dad looked mildly irritated. ''Kids nowadays! You just sit in front of the TV all day and rot your brains. Why don't you do something interesting for a change?''


Max hiccupped and Poppy kicked him surreptitiously.


''Maybe, tomorrow, Dad,'' said Emily, absently scratching the spot on her nose.


Archived comments for Hubble Bubble
dancing-queen on 2003-11-08 19:03:01
Re: Hubble Bubble
Hi Topsy - I thought this was a very inventive idea for a children's story. The thought of actually seeing inside someone sounds pretty gruesome but then kids love anything like that, don't they?

When you say you wrote this for 'older' kids - how old were you thinking? There's no mention of age in it but my feeling is that Emily should be no older than 10 or 11. The reason I say this is, firstly, because it is a short story and you have to bear in mind that there are not many openings for short stories in the older kids (i.e. early teens) mags.

There are some mags for slightly younger girls that do print short stories (e.g. Go Girl/Shout) but their wordcounts are quite restricted (so you'd probably have to re-work this to reduce wordcount). I think you'll find that the mini-teen market would not find the theme of this story appealing to their readers (take a look at any of the popular teen mags and you'll see what I mean - the stuff they're reading is verging on adult these days). Aim this for a younger market and you'll probably stand more chance.

Another little tip I can offer is to check that you're using language appropriate for your target age group. Keep it simple, with shorter sentences. Words like 'surreptitiously' are not usually part of a young kid's vocab - and I can't remember the last time I heard a child call a friend 'pal' (although maybe they do in certain parts of the country - ?).

It's not easy writing for kids, is it? My writing tutor helped me immensely by making me realise that in order to write for kids you have to reinvent yourself as a kid - whatever age your main character is, you have to become that age and write for that age in a way that they speak and understand it.

Many words that we used as youngsters are often regarded as old-fashioned now, which means we have to be on-the-ball to keep up with the times (read lots of the latest kids novels, listen to their conversations etc). I often slip up (like in a recent story of mine someone pointed out that 11yr olds don't usually say "for goodness sakes" - my daughter does, but then I thought I'd best change it because that was a valid comment - the majority of that age group don't use that expression. And it's the majority that we're aiming for, after all.)

Sorry for rambling on a bit. I write mainly for children but I know that there aren't that many other writers on UKA that also write for children -so constructive criticism doesn't come as often as I'd like (on my stories). So, when the opportunity to help out arises, that's what I try to do. Hope you've found my comments useful.

DQ 🙂


Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-11-09 04:21:13
Re: Hubble Bubble
Thanks so much for this - I really needed guidance and you've been very helpful. I intended Emily to be about 11-12, and the story to be for 10-12 year olds. I put in those words because I was reading them at 12 but I suppose kids nowadays tend to think in short sharp information bytes and their vocab is quite different. And their interests much less 'innocent'. Hmm, it's been a while since I (or my kids for that matter) were 12. I guess I'll have to watch a bit of kid's TV and see how they communicate!!
Again, many thanks for taking the time to read the piece, and for the good feedback.

Author's Reply:


DIFFERENCES (posted on: 13-06-03)
Pondering on a friend's life experience, and the sudden realisation that people are truly unaware of the depth of their prejudices, this popped into my head.

I look at you
And you look at me
We’re different.
I’m white, you’re black
You’re different.
You’re straight, he’s gay
He’s different.
He’s Muslim, they’re Jew
They’re different.
They’re well, she’s sick
She’s different.
She’s thin, he’s fat
That’s different.
He’s old, they’re young
So different.
They’re loud, we’re quiet
Different!
I’m me
You’re you
They’re them
All different.
Who can say
Who’s more different
Than the others?

Archived comments for DIFFERENCES
woodbine on 2003-06-13 05:41:29
Re: DIFFERENCES
I wish to protest on behalf of the Bald Fraterniity that we are under-represented in this poem. Otherwise it's just fine.

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-06-13 12:32:48
Re: DIFFERENCES
Ah, but baldies are not different, they are merely displaying the outward signs of maturity and wisdom (!)

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2003-06-14 03:03:53
Re: DIFFERENCES
Pull the other one; it's got bells on.

Author's Reply:

Frenchy on 2003-06-28 14:06:12
Re: DIFFERENCES
You caught it for us , poetic truth. Our whole society is in this one 🙂

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-06-28 15:05:40
Re: DIFFERENCES
Thanks for that. It sort of wrote itself, somehow - and my friend cried when he read it.

Author's Reply:


Avatar (posted on: 01-03-03)
Click to see more top choices

Homer Simpson winks and mumbles
About beer and donuts again
Same old record
What a jerk

Bleeding Heart fires up in anguish
Engrossed in navel contemplation
Such a pain
Her drips never reach the floor.

Must be a He, must be a She
Can't see it another way


Puppydog bounces along
Kisses and waggy tails all round
Sickeningly cute
You can't make the whole world love you, you know

Uh oh, the Night Walker has appeared
Cutting comfort with his pointed jibe
He worries me
I wish he didn't make me laugh

Must be a She, must be a He
Could it be another way?


Here's Darth Vader striding to join the gang
Night and Darth, the gruesome twosome
Spiky and cruel
How can they SAY such things?

Ah, Snoopy the voice of reason
Always guaranteed to calm things down
Dull though
You need some spice in life, Snoop

Must be a He, might be a She?
Not sure about that


Dream Catcher and Archangel drift in together
Dreaming of Gaia and the living Earth
Avoiding trouble
I envy their idealism

Shady Baby high kicks her way into the fray
Eyeing up the talent
Some baby
Lost HER innocence in the cradle

All She's, guaranteed
Perhaps.



Hooray, Bruce Bee steps in with gentle quips
Gleans laughter like a standup
Everyone feels warmer
Why DID he choose to be a Black Belt bumbler?

Better make haste before Baby gets her claws in
So here's Sweet Sixteen at last
Coyly flirting
And Brucie's noticed her

A He and a She definitely
maybe


Archived comments for Avatar


e-griff on 2003-03-01 11:36:36
Re: Avatar
Excellent! Enjoyed reading that. Do we mark them? No point you just bloody won! Bit embarrassing if you got all 4's - No chance!

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-03-04 05:04:03
Re: Avatar
I was pretty gobsmacked to do so well - although it seems not everyone agrees with the verdict!! Glad you liked it, anyway!

Author's Reply:

Rich72 on 2003-03-13 17:09:19
Re: Avatar
I have to confess at not fully understanding every line in your piece, but I do feel that it has a punchyness about it that keeps you on your toes. The parts I did get my head round I felt were very poignant, and the pacing is right on the money. Apologies for the quality of this critique, but poetry, for me at least, is hard work. Perhaps I should just say this is a very good piece.

Author's Reply:


Just Friends.... (posted on: 10-02-03)
Click to see more top choices

A simple take on an unpleasant subject. Written with the invaluable input of a good friend who has been on the receiving end of this sort of experience.

Sammy won't you play with me
We can chat
Of this and that
Sammy come and play

Sammy I got this for you
A chocolate ice
Now aren't I nice
Sammy you'll like this

Sammy won't you come with me
Into the park
When it gets dark
Sammy why not come

Sammy are you feeling cold
Give me a hug
And we'll be snug
Sammy it's so cold

Sammy won't you stay awhile
Don't be shy
My flat's nearby
Sammy stay awhile

Sammy oh how soft you are
Skin like milk
And smooth as silk
Sammy oh so soft

Sammy let me try this now
Yes that's right
You're really bright
Sammy try this now

Sammy dry your eyes for me
A good child must
Not make a fuss
Sammy dry those eyes

Sammy don't you tell a soul
Mum and Dad
Will think you're bad
Sammy, never tell

Archived comments for Just Friends....


shadow on 2003-02-10 17:32:57
Re: Just Friends....
A very disturbing poem, the way it starts out all light and innocent and ends up somewhere very nasty. Just like the real thing. Scary. Very well done.

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-02-11 02:59:11
Re: Just Friends....
Thanks for your comment - you have described exactly the sort of reaction I was intending for the piece, so I guess I succeeded!

Author's Reply:

JeffDray on 2003-02-12 18:17:07
Re: Just Friends....
Could this be used in a TV awareness campaign?

It doesn't, to my non poetic eyes, have a single fault and packs a punch like Tyson at his best.
This deserves a very wide audience.

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-02-13 02:46:44
Re: Just Friends....
I was 'right chuffed' by your comment - cheered up a rather morose start to the day - thanks!

Author's Reply:

nibs on 2003-02-13 14:20:51
Re: Just Friends....
The poem has an authentic voice, tastefully done - not easy to achieve with such a subject, well done.

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-02-13 15:14:53
Re: Just Friends....
Yes, I tried to do it all by suggestion - I hope, I think, I succeeded.

Author's Reply:

chant on 2003-02-18 06:00:45
Re: Just Friends....
yeah, i liked this one a lot too - liked the nursery rhyme style and the subtlety with which it develops.

Author's Reply:


Net-works (2) (posted on: 03-02-03)
Second of 2 'Net' poems I've written (not for the competition).

Between here and there
Between thought and response
Lies the uncontoured land
Replete with skittering shadows
Muttering ceaselessly in their half-world

Tenebrous whispers curl through the charged air
And touch the fabric of a bright dimension
Where darkness is outlawed
Save in the quiet of the deepest night

There the muttering shadows
Gather in insidious swarms
To erode the barriers between worlds
And gnaw at our reality

They draw the lively breath
Down through the thought-filled shades
To a simulation of life
A mental echo of the physical

Flesh atrophies
As the mind sinks deep, deeper
Into a gluttonous orgy of abstraction
Life subsumed into another universe
A being without being
Existing only
In the uncontoured land

Archived comments for Net-works (2)
e-griff on 2003-02-05 06:06:42
Re: Net-works ((2)
No niggles about rhymes here! 🙂
Very nice piece of work!

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-02-09 05:17:09
Re: Net-works ((2)
Thanks. (BTW I keep forgetting we're supposed to reply to feedback here - it doesn't happen like this on TC. Soplease excuse the delay!)

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-02-09 05:47:37
Re: Net-works ((2)
I don't always do it. It seems a bit impolite to me to make people read it when it just says 'thanks' . I either make a fuller response, or say nothing. you don't have to thank me. G 🙂

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-02-09 06:03:36
Re: Net-works ((2)
Oh, so I have to think of something intelligent to say as well, do I? God, this is hard work 😉

Author's Reply:


Net-works (1) (posted on: 03-02-03)
The first of 2 'Net' poems I've written (not for the competition)

This isn't me only shadows of me
Edges planed smooth and colour removed
Sensation erased in the digital maze

This isn't you only echoes of you
Far out beyond your own private land
Day touching night through impersonal byte

This isn't us but illusions of us
Sliding our thoughts beneath units and noughts
Reality hides in the hidden asides

This isn't them but extensions of them
Hiding yet showing, and not really knowing
Who what and where. Do we know, should we care?

This isn't it but a corner of it.
What does it cover and is there a lover
To hold all its wisdoms, to rule all its kingdoms?

This isn't.



Archived comments for Net-works (1)
e-griff on 2003-02-03 07:17:28
Re: Net-works (1)
This is mostly very good for me. However, (inexplicably, because the author can write), the second line of verse two completely fails to fit. Also in the last line the rhyme 'kingdoms' with 'wisdoms' seems to lack punch to me, as does the whole of the last line, which preferably should be telling and memorable in its expressed idea. The additional 'This isn't...' seems to be telling me the poem is not finished, or you like the formula too much. Hmmm. not sure that works (for me) . However, all the rest is fine by me, and I appreciated the internal rhymes on the second and third lines and the 'this isn't..' formula . that is an excellent device! A small editing job would fix this, so I won't vote it now.

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-02-03 16:09:34
Re: Net-works (1)
Hi e-griff

I'm not sure what's wrong with the second line of verse two, or the last line - the rhymes are not supposed to be exact, but the rhythms seem ok to me. I originally had an extra bit to the 'This isn't' but someone objected so I cut it - perhaps I should add it back in?

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-02-03 17:20:32
Re: Net-works (1)
er,1) it does not have an internal rhyme like the other verses. (wonders - this is pretty obvious!)
and 2) it's a matter of opinion! Own taste.
I guess its up to you! JOhnG



Author's Reply:

Sooz on 2003-02-04 17:48:59
Re: Net-works (1)
I thought this was clever and of a really good standard. That second line did fit but only after sanding its edges a litle bit and some of the rhymes did seem clumsy because other rhymes were so good. If none of the rhymes fit exactly then it would be fine, but because most of them were so tight and so beautifully written in both wording and meter, the less good ones seemed out of place. I thought this was a really good piece 7/10 and it's rare I vote poetry so highly.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-02-05 03:16:48
Re: Net-works (1)
I'm sorry, Topsy that I did not take the time to explain myself properly. I think Sooz has done it more eloquently than I could have anyway. thought/nought, showing/knowing are indeed very clear rhymes. for me beyond/land slipped by OK, but smooth /removed did not (guess its the 'd' ).I suppose you could say edges plane, smoothed and ... which would fix it.(said it was a small change!) Actually, the more I read it, the more acceptable it is, now I've seen the rhyme that's there. BUT first time I read it I didn't, it just stopped me and I sat there wondering how on earth you could have done that. After several re-reads I'm beginning to see why you didn't understand my comment. Perception is a curious thing. Funny thing is for me erased and maze was OK - go figure!
And I do still have that nebulous feeling about the end needing something more punchy. But no doubt its a good poem!

Author's Reply:

Topsy on 2003-02-09 05:14:31
Re: Net-works (1)
Thanks for the feedback - I started off with vague rhymes but they seemed to insist on getting better as the poem progressed. I suppose I should do something about it, but I'm rather fond of the originals as they're where I started from. However, can't afford to be sentimental I suppose. I'll look at them again.

Author's Reply:

chant on 2003-02-18 06:10:38
Re: Net-works (1)
thought this was all excellent till you got to the penultimate stanza and the incomplete last stanza. the entrance of 'lover', 'wisdoms' and 'kingdoms' all felt like intruders to me. i think they drag the poem off in the wrong direction so that you don't quite know how to finish it, hence the incomplete last stanza, the incompletion being forced by the previous stanza rather than occuring as a natural completion of the poem.

Author's Reply: