A quick poem

Written in response to a poem prompt that demanded starting with one word – working up to ten and then back down to finish with the first word.

 

Bird,
I heard,
That you sang,
When the bells rang,
And all the morning calls,
Like dripping honey fell to earth,
And clothed the spring day in song,
And the beauty made me long, yet again,
To be among the trees, along the dappled lane,
And down beneath the greening cuckoo bower, in deep shade,
The only real thing the love that we made,
Then we would lie with sunkissed limbs entwined.
After loving, wake from sleep, to find,
fallen blossoms covered all the grass.
We let the hours pass,
And through nature’s throng,
Just your song,
We heard,
Bird.

cropped Robin with logo1

 

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audio

Just a very quick post to let you know that

Broken Angel and Burning Greed are available for pre-order in Audio version on Amazon.

Am I grinning like a loon – Well Yeah.

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Home Sweet Home – Chapter 6

“The Wildwood” was in the throes of its annual make over.  The window frames gleamed under a new coat of wood preserver and the front door glowed with fresh varnish.  The moss had been expunged from the roof tiles and the gardener was busy pruning and mulching and raking.  The blinds were freshly cleaned and the man had been to sparkle the oven.  Number 16 slouched lower on its foundation and shed a piece of rotten soffit in disgust.

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Home Sweet Home – Chapter 5

Lydia shivers, her body shudders and shakes.  Her ears are assaulted by thuds and crashes.  She struggles forward through the wind, rains lashes at her face in a landscape that is unfriendly and alien.

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Home Sweet Home – chapter 4

“Hello, hello. Lydia are you there?”

“Here in the breakfast room, come on through.”

“Oh, you poor thing.  Look at your poor head, and your arm.  How are you?  I brought this plant and some chocolates.  I thought they might cheer you up.”

“Oh Mrs Saunders you really shouldn’t have.  How very kind, thank you so much. I’m alright, it looks worse that it is I think.  Well my arm is broken but it’ll mend.”

“Whatever happened do you know.”

“Oh just one of those things I think.  I pulled the door closed and those old tiles must have been just teetering on the edge.  The shock was the worst thing really. I thought the sky had fallen down.  You know like that chidren’s story with Chicken Licken and all his friends.”

“Oh, Lydia you are brave.  Now, is there anything that I can do for you?”

“No, no thank you so much.  You’ve already been very kind and you know if it hadn’t have been for your alarm I don’t know what I would have done.”

“Yes, that was lucky and we didn’t find any sign of intruders.  Almost as if it had sounded just for you.”  Mrs Saunders smiles her perfect smile and wraps her fragrant arms around the bony shoulders.  As she pulls away she spots a tear glinting on the wrinkled cheek.  “Now, there is something wrong isn’t there.  Are you in pain, can I get you some aspirin.”

“No, no dear it isn’t that.”

“Well now come on spit it out.  That is of course if you want to, I wouldn’t wish to pry.”

“Well I am a little worried to be honest.  While I was in the hospital overnight, for the shock you know.”  The blonde bobbed hair swung above the cashmere shoulders.

“Yes, very wise.”

“Hmm, well a social visitor or whatever they call them came to see me and unsettled me rather.  Oh sorry, excuse me.”  Lydia pulls a tiny square of embroidered cotton from the cuff of her cardi and blows her nose and dabs at the tears trickling from her eyes.  “She said that maybe I should be thinking about leaving here.”  She swings her good arm in a wide arc.  “She said that maybe I should get rid of my house and move into sheltered accommodation.”

The house tightens and stiffens the boards and woodwork creak and crack.  “Goodness what’s that noise.”

“Oh it’s just this old place.  It’s like me a bit past its best and I think it has rheumatics and bad tubes.”  Lydia’s lovely smile peeps out, her bravery and good nature re-asserting themselves.

“Well, do you want to do that?  Move away I mean.  We should all miss you, you’ve always been here.”

“Oh I don’t know.  I was born here you know in this house.  I don’t think I want to leave it.”  A door slams in the kitchen.

“Heavens, did I leave the door open?”

“No, no don’t worry it does that sometimes.”

“Well look, you obviously don’t need to decide now so why not wait until you’re feeling better and then give it some more thought.  If we can help you at all, Jim and I we would be happy to.”

“You are really too kind, thank you.”

“No, no it’s nothing.  I will just say though, and please don’t take this amiss I only want to let you know.  If you ever do decide to sell please give us first refusal.  We would give you full market value of course and I am not trying to sway you one way or the other but just bear it in mind. Great heavens though if this place creaks and rattles like this all the time maybe I should think twice.”  With a gay tinkling laugh Mrs Saunders gives Lydia another friendly squeeze. “Now, you just sit there I’ll let myself out and please do give us a ring if you need any shopping or anything won’t you.”

“Thank you my dear, thank you so much.”

The killer heels tap on the old linoleum “Goodness Lydia I think your house likes me, the door has just opened for me as I came across the kitchen, how funny.  Bye dear take care.”

Number 16 watches with shivering excitement as the denim covered bottom sways becomingly across the road.

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Home Sweet Home – Chapter 3

A suicide squad of roof tiles has shuffled and skated into place under cover of darkness.  Six brave warriors willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good.  They believe in fame and notoriety in the annals of history and in view of the fact that most of them are weather damaged, chipped and cracked they are ready to go.  They poise above the front porch as the sun peeps over the roof of “The Wildwood”.  There is a slight breeze, not as strong as they were hoping for but it will serve.

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Home Sweet Home – chapter 2

Number 16 Magnolia Drive seethes under a watery sun.  “The Wildwood”, aka number 25 opposite, smirks back smugly as the shiny nuclear family alight from their Frontera.  Yumminess follows Mrs number 25 across the newly paved parking driveway and her bespectacled son drags his violin case from the rear seat.  Little Molly skips after her mummy, blond pigtails popping and Little Pony ribbons twinkling against her Mini Boden Hoody.

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Home Sweet Home

Lydia has lived in the same house since she was born. It is a small pre-war semi-detached.  The windows have lead lights and the front door is protected by an arched porchway.  A small front lawn, a narrow path and wooden gate are the only decoration at the front and the back boasts an oblong of plain grass with a few rather boring shrubs dotted around the borders.  The spring finds daffodils nodding at the lawn and the winter sees puddles and mud and dreariness.

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Smithy – Chapter 22

You know what happened after that. I ran to the house and called an ambulance and your police car turned up with it.  The first bloke, the copper in uniform told me I had to stay in the caravan until he said different and that was it.  Your guys took over and there we are.

A coupla days later Mr Simm, the solicitors came to see me.  I was gobsmacked when he told me what Mr C. had done.  I know people think that in some way either me or Smithy or maybe both of us did something to him, but we didn’t.  I can’t say any more, just no we didn’t.  I wouldn’a known how to and Smithy – Smithy would never do anything bad to anyone.  He wouldn’t.  I wish you’d known him, just met him for a bit and you’d believe me then, you would.

Mr Chambers left me the caravan in his Will.  He left me the caravan for ever it’s mine.  I still can’t believe it. He left me that and the bit of woods where the blackbird lives.  He left me some money, but I don’t know yet how much.  Mr Simm says it’s enough to see me through college.  As well as the caravan he arranged for me to have a place at the college to study about conservation and wildlife and stuff.  In the Will he said he thought that was where my heart was and so it was where my life should be.  If we’d forced him to do it would he have written something lovely like that, would he?

He was wrong though.  I’m chuffed to bits I really am and I’m gonna work so hard to be sure he’d be proud of me and it’s exciting, but he’s wrong, about where my heart is.  Smithy and Mum when they went off, just dissolved in the air they took it with them.  Since that happened I have felt as though I’m only half here.  I get up in the morning and I hear the blackbird and go out to sit in the sunshine and it’s empty and there’s no Smithy.  I love the thought that I’ve got the caravan and Mr Simm says nobody can take it away, but I’d give it away I really would if it meant Smithy would come back.

I know now what Mr Chambers – poor old bugger – meant when he said what he said about giving everything up just to have one hour with his son.  I’m sorry I’m crying now I really am, but I can’t help it.  I didn’t do anything to hurt Mr C.  Smithy couldn’t and wouldn’t no matter what anyone says and if I could turn back time, I’d stop us coming here I really would, and I’d still be on the road with him and I wouldn’t feel empty and alone.

I know what people are sayin’, I know that they think Smithy ran off, I don’t know how they can to be honest.  All the people that he met, the ones from the charity shop and the ones in town, they must know he just couldn’t hurt anyone.  Anyway, I can’t change the way people are, I’ve told you what happened and that’s it.

It’s gone so fast, when I think about it all now, it’s not even a full year yet since Mum died and look at what’s happened to me.  I’ve been down about as far as it’s possible to go, further than I would’a ever expected, I’ve moved on and, well it looks like I’ve moved up in some ways.  I’ve got the caravan and college and I can see where I’m goin’, incredible. I’m different now, I know more, and I know that it’s okay to ask for help but that I have to keep it together, okay I didn’t want it to be this way, but it is and so I have to deal with it.

I’m gonna go to the funeral and hold my head up amongst all those people and I’m gonna do the best I can to make this all work out, but I wish I had Smithy and I wish I had my mum.  One thing I don’t wish, and I know it’s daft of me to say I, here with all of you thinking what you’re thinking, but I don’t wish Mr Chambers was still here.  He didn’t want to be here, he wanted to be with his son and maybe his wife and if you’d seen them hugging each other there in the wood and then the way that they just walked off together through the trees you wouldn’t want him to give it up either.

Can I go now, Mr Simms said that Mr C died of a heart attack and you can’t say any more than that and I don’t want to be here anymore.  I want to go and sit in the edge of the woods and listen to the blackbird and try to get my heart back.

The End

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Smithy – Chapter 21

I’d fallen asleep quickly and I don’t know how much later it was when I heard the knock on the door.  I got out of bed and Smithy had gone out into the dark where Mr Chambers stood beside him.

“Are you absolutely sure about this?”  I heard Smithy even though his voice was low, and Mr C whispered back.

“I am certain.  I know this is a great sacrifice for you and I am so grateful, but I am sure this is what I want.”

“You could have longer.  You don’t need to go now.  It’s not really time.”

“I know, I know but there’s nothing more for me.  Everything is over, all finished let me go on.”

Smithy just put his hand on Mr Chambers’ shoulder then and smiled at him.  “The sacrifice is Phil’s really.  He should have had my help for a while yet.”

“I know but I think that the arrangements we agreed will be some small compensation.”

I was outside now and they both turned and looked at me but they didn’t speak.  Smithy walked a few steps away to the edge of the woods.  He just stood there in the dark with his head down.  He didn’t say anything to me at all.  I wonder sometimes why that was, but he didn’t. I wish he had done, I do. It might have helped, but anyway some things are just the way that they are.

Well this is it now the really freaky stuff and I know before I say any of it you’re not going to believe me.  I can’t help it, all I can tell you is this is what happened.  I’m not lying about it and there’s nothing I can do to force it to make sense, but here we go. I’ve said it all so many times now and each time I see the looks on people’s faces but I can’t do a thing about it, and to be honest I don’t want to.  I’ve got to live with this now for the rest of my life, it’s part of me and I’m not going to start and try to make it sound other than it was just to please other people.

The night started to get a bit lighter as if the moon had come out from behind a cloud.  It got more and more light and I looked up but there wasn’t a moon just then.  I wondered if someone had a torch but – well um – shit, don’t look at me when I say this next bit, cos I’ll see in your eyes that you’ll think I’m nuts.

Okay, here we go.  The light was coming from Smithy.  He was glowing.  You know when you’re little and you put a torch behind your hand and the light shines through? Well it was a bit like that but not a red light it was goldy coloured.  It wasn’t super bright or anything it was just like a very dim sort of bulb.

We stood there, me and Mr Chambers. I was too scared to even breathe, and I don’t know how he was but he didn’t say anything.  Then beside Smithy this shape started to show.  It was as if it was his shadow but ‘course it couldn’t be.  Then it got deeper and clearer and more real and then I heard Mr Chambers gasp.  It was a small noise, but everything was so quiet that it filled the night.  “Brian” that was it, that was all he said the whole time.

“The shape was now pretty clear, and it was Brian.  He wasn’t in his uniform or anything, just ordinary clothes, but it was him for sure.  He just stood there in the edge of the trees with his feet in the long grass. He sort of cocked his head to one side and looked at Mr Chambers and then he smiled.

Mr C took a few steps towards him.  I more felt that than saw it because I couldn’t take my eyes away from Smithy and Brian.  Smithy was looking really strange.  It was as if his edges were getting hazy and wobbly.  There was still the glow around him and he hadn’t moved.  His eyes were closed, and his head was down.  Like the statues you see in churches and stuff and he was dead still.

Brian walked forward and once they were close enough him and Mr Chambers just grabbed hold of each other and hugged.  They were like that for ages I think, although I have to admit I have no idea how long it all took really.  After a bit, Brian turned round and started to walk towards the trees and as he did Mr Chambers walked on with him.  He never looked back or said anything he just walked into the trees with Brian.  They disappeared into the dark. I can’t say it any clearer than that, I could see them for a while weaving between the trees and then I couldn’t see them any more and I turned round to Smithy.

He was still standing right in the same place.  There was still a shape with him and I thought it must be Brian come back, but it was smaller and fainter than he had been.  Then I knew, all of a sudden, I just knew.  One minute I didn’t know what it was and then I saw and I knew just like that.  I started crying, you woulda done as well, you would.  It was my mum.

The more that she became real and solid the less he did.  It was just as if he was melting or dissolving.  She was dressed in a pair of light coloured trousers and a blouse thing.  Her hair was long and loose and there were flowers sort of twined into it.  She didn’t look sick the way she had just before she died, she looked like she did when I was little.  I used to see her standing at the school gates and thought she must be a princess ‘cos she was so much prettier than the other mums and smilier.

Sorry, can I have another tissue, I’m not bothered you know, about crying in front of other people.  If you don’t understand, well, you just don’t and if you do then I don’t need to explain. It’s not soppy and it’s not wrong.

She took a step towards me and held her arms up and I just walked a couple of steps so she could reach me.  When she gave me that hug it was just as if I’d fallen into a soft cloud.  I couldn’t feel her as if she was there, not arms and hands but she wrapped around me and made me feel warm and safe and loved.  I know, I know I sound dead girly, but there’s no other way for me to tell you about it because I think that no matter what it was and where it came from it was just love from Mum.

I don’t know how long it lasted, I know I didn’t want it ever to end.  It wasn’t sudden, but I felt her start to go and then slowly, so slowly she unwrapped me and drifted away.  I turned round to where Smithy had been standing and he was nearly gone as well. The glow that had been around him was fading and sort of sparkling like those dust bits that Mum called sunbeams, although it was night, so I suppose they were moonbeams really.  Just as he went. he looked at me and lifted his hand up and smiled his goofy smile and raised his eyebrows the way he used to and that was it.

He simply faded away and I didn’t know how alone you could feel until that happened.  It was just as if there was nobody in the whole world except me standing there in the wet grass with the trees swaying and whispering.  Even the creatures in the night were quiet there was nothing, absolutely nothing.  Me and what I’d seen and that was it.  It was like a hole that I’d fallen into with the little bit of world I’d taken with me.

When I turned round and saw Mr Chambers lying on the ground I was gobsmacked.  ‘Course I ran over to him and tried to make him waken up, but I knew he was dead.  I’d only ever seen one dead body before, Mum, but you could just tell.  I suppose I shoulda tried that chest pumping thing but for one I don’t know how and for another I knew it’d be no good.  He’d gone with Brian, gone off to be happy so I just went into the caravan and grabbed Smithy’s blanket to cover him.  I think I was still crying, and I was panicked, it was bloody scary to be honest, in the dark with a dead body and nobody to tell me what to do but I had to just get on with it.

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