The Heavens Shook… #Poetry

Merlin spoke, the heavens shook
Yesterday, the world held its breath
Today, the seas boil
Hidden behind dark clouds
I see steel blue eyes
Calculating the many
Questions waiting
Unanswered for too long
Ending in more answers that don’t please
Silver linings are not always what you think
Thunder broke behind the dark clouds
          The seas continue to boil…

©AnitaDawes2022

June BlogBattle: Scar ~ #Poetry

June 2022 Blog Battle

Ocean Deep


The scar I carry is not visible
so many years later it hurts
like carrying a suitcase full of rocks
It started with name calling
Then my chair pulled away as I sat
They threw things at me, homework got torn
Things got worse, the older we grew
too many things
I try not to remember,
The rocks on my back are enough
Over the years, 
some of the rocks have fallen away
Memory plays its part
Yet the scar is deep, like the ocean dark
I heard someone say, we adopt memories
If that’s the case, I wish I could give them back
To swim in a clear ocean
It took too many years hiding
Not until the day I met him, did I learn to smile
Some of the rocks fell away from my back
When children came along, 
the suitcase grew a great deal lighter
I keep one rock on the kitchen window sill
To remember every scar is not visible
I pray that my children grow up scar free
If not, I hope they learn 
to carry their wounds better than I did
I look in the mirror at years past
I see the rock that holds me to family
Life is good…

©AnitaDawes2022

Carrot Ranch Literary Community ~ #Poetry

May 23, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase “well’s gone dry.” Is it a real well or a metaphorical well? Why is it dry? What is the consequence and to whom? Go where the prompt leads!

I had planned this pilgrimage for a year
A sacred well, 140 mile walk
Could take a week
My father told me about it
To drink from it, brings good luck
I need some
The trek hard, my feet blistered
My back broken
The scenery beautiful
So many birds I had never seen
Camping at night, early morning pilgrims
Walking down, their faces grim
I thought little of it, except the walk had been tough
Then a couple told me the well's gone dry
I continued, disappointed, however
I was still hoping to hear the whisper from the well…

©AnitaDawes2022

The Universe… #Poetry

Image by Thomas B. from Pixabay

The Universe

The universe is like crazy paving
You cannot avoid the cracks
With each step, it changes
Like a constant gardener
Living in a compost heap of Earth’s wine
Plucking weeds, planting bulbs
where they’re not wanted
Changing borders, straightening edges
Turning my life into a jigsaw puzzle
Pieces missing, others put in place
where they don’t fit, causing chaos
Surely they could have chosen a better plan
on the day I was born?

©AnitaDawes2022

Purple Saturday…

My face and jaw are still hurting, so I took myself out of the office for a while and went out into the garden, hoping to relieve some of the pain. It was one of those wonderful early summer mornings, perfectly quiet for once. (we live in a very noisy neighbourhood)

I wanted to check out my favourite rhododendron. I had seen some huge buds last week, so expected to see bursts of purple, and I wasn’t disappointed. I stood and gazed at the display, the warm sunshine creating a summer meadow atmosphere down at the bottom of my increasingly wild paradise.

On my slow walk back to the house, other patches of purple caught my eye. First, a wild Granny Bonnet, I can never remember the name, growing through a crack in the crazy paving. The last one in the collage, grows all over what passes as a lawn and is called a Bugle, I think.

Back in the office, I feel more relaxed and the pain is less, so I can put my writing cap back on and get cracking.

See you later… Jaye

She Who Returns ~ Audrey Driscoll ~ #Travel Adventure Fiction ~ #Sequel ~#Review

Every decision has consequences, and logic gets you every time.

France Leighton is studying Egyptology at Miskatonic University, hoping to return to Egypt via a field school offered by that institution. But France has a talent for rash decisions, and things are complicated by the arrival of her twin half-brothers from England. Edward and Peter are contrasts—one a rational scientist, the other a dabbler in the occult—but they are equally capable of persuading France to help them with dubious schemes.

France does return to Egypt, if not quite the way she intended. She encounters old friends and new enemies, and challenges rooted in her previous adventures and her family’s complicated history. Accusations of antiquities theft drive France and her companions into hiding in the Theban Hills west of Luxor. An attack from the unknown turns an adventure into a desperate predicament. On the brink of yet another failure, France must make hard choices that may demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Our Review

I loved the Egyptian theme of this book, interesting right from the first sentence, the perfect sequel to She Who Comes Forth. Despite being slightly longer than I am used to, I enjoyed the story very much. This story was perfectly plotted, with no plot holes or thin parts, believable, and with a strong cinematic quality.

France Leighton makes an impressive leading lady, considering the unusual life she leads. Obsessed with Egypt and its mysteries but without the necessary knowledge, France manages to find work at an archaeological dig site, sorting stones. A menial job, but she loves every minute.

She Who Returns is an easy read yet complicated tale, full of mysterious goings-on and delightful magical touches. Once I figured out exactly what shabtis were, I thought this element was one of the best parts of this story. Intrigue made real and plausible.

I found the ending a little sad, but I have the feeling there might be more in the pipeline, as I would love to read more about France and her Egyptian forays.

Audrey Driscoll

Audrey Driscoll grew up reading books and became interested in making stories. As a child, she made her friends act out little dramas based on Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, her favourite at the time.

After establishing a career as a librarian – first at the University of Saskatchewan and then at the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia – a meaningful encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s character Herbert West turned Audrey into a writer.

The result was The Friendship of Mortals and three more novels, which became the Herbert West Series. Two other novels followed, as well as a collection of short stories.

When she isn’t juggling words, Audrey Driscoll negotiates with plants in her garden, which is located in Victoria, British Columbia.

I loved reading Audrey Driscoll’s She Who Returns! I have always been fascinated by all things Egyptian, and thoroughly enjoyed following France Leighton as she explored that fabulous country.

Turned out to be one of the best and most interesting history lessons!

Jaye Marie

Another #Six on Saturday… and why ever not?

I don’t really need an excuse to walk around my garden, but after an incredibly busy week, I was more than glad to do it.

Always first on my visiting list are Acers.

This one is right outside my back door and is looking so bright and cheerful right now. There are such amazing colourways in acers, and I cannot get enough of them!

The second Acer lives at the bottom of my garden. A delightful pale green with delicate, lacy foliage. It started life as a bonsai but refused to be confined in a pot. It is now taller than I am!

Third is a creamy pale pink Rhododendron, just starting to burst into flower.

Evergreen, it has been one of the few patches of green in the garden. The only sign of life all winter long and these early flowers are a joy to see.

Fourth is another Rhododendron, a purple one. Always late, but well worth it. Those huge flower buds promise an amazing display this year…

Fifth is a tree I once found in a garden centre and fell in love with, which has never quite lived up to its promise. I didn’t realise it was supposed to be a column cherry, one that grows up and not out if you know what I mean. It is 8 feet tall now and as thin as a bean pole. Good for small gardens, I suppose. I love all the different varieties of cherry and I do love this one for trying, bless it…

Sixth and last on my visit is my bonsai Laburnum. I grew it from seed seven years ago, and it sometimes produces those amazing yellow flowers. I just love the leaves!

That was a quick visit, mainly because here in the UK, it is still very cold.

Hopefully, we have some warmth coming, as the jobs are piling up out there…

Jaye Marie

Looking Back in Time… Remembering…

This post was written a while ago and is one of my favourites. I really must do more of these…

DSCF2214
My Screensaver

I am in the habit of changing my screen saver/background image quite often. I  like to have something lovely on my computer screen, as it is the first thing I see every morning.

This picture appealed to me for several reasons. I love trees, and this one is lovely but also ethereal, the mist hiding most of the scene. I particularly like the contrast between the nakedness of the sleeping tree and the tree covered in blossom.

I have recently found myself  ‘skimming’ when reading and writing, and I am not seeing or describing anything enough, which is not good. This post is an exercise not only for my eyes but also for my imagination. I don’t want to think of my old age robbing me of so much of my enjoyment of life.

The blossom tree in this image attracted me first, being frustratingly out of focus enough to prevent easy identification. The blossoms are pure white, with no hint of colour, and the petals are delicate and small. The branches look old, but the slender double trunk would suggest otherwise. Are there any more clues in the picture?

The tree is blooming very early. The companion trees are still bare, their branches stark and austere looming through the mist. Winter has not long departed, as I imagine the chilly dampness of the morning on my skin. The shrubbery in the background is sparse, too, confirming that Mother Nature is not fully awake yet.

My mind sifts through my knowledge of flowering trees and comes up with a likely choice. Is it a Magnolia, one of the small-flowered varieties, maybe Stellata?

Moving on from the details of the image, my mind is not finished. I wonder where this lovely little tree is. The setting would suggest a park, for the area seems too big to be someone’s garden. Vague images hide in the mist, indicating far more space than first thought.

Could that be a roof I see? It doesn’t look like the roof of a house, though…

My mind yearns to explore this scene, visit the tree and then walk into the mist to see what I can discover…

Jaye