#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

January 14, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about dressing up. It can be a child or another character. Be playful or go where the prompt leads!

I never had the opportunity to dress up as a child
It never entered my head
I was far too busy, swimming, skating
Riding any bike I could borrow
I did have a cut-out book
Where I dressed a paper doll with different clothes
This, however, wore off too quick
I wonder now if it might have been
The lack of imagination, or up bringing
Parents need to understand a child
As my granddaughter does with
my little great grand daughter
I love to watch her run around
In nothing but a hat and wellies
Or her father’s big boots…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Another kind of lockdown…

Two days before Christmas, my computer hub started flashing orange instead of the reassuring steady blue light I am used to. My heart sank, knowing all hope of working had just gone up in smoke.

After a healthy rant and several phone calls later there was nothing to do but switch off and leave the office until normality could be restored.

The office felt alien this morning, but I switched on the computer, just to see what I could do, if anything. I must wait until 8am to telephone anyway. Turns out I can still play solitaire… Yay!

Checked into the fault line and ended up talking to a very pleasant young man called Derek. When he said it would take days to fix the problem, he must have heard the despair in my voice, for he offered to send me a mini hub so I can get back online while we wait.

Sounds good to me, but will it arrive tomorrow, as promised?

I was expecting a dismal day, twiddling my thumbs and all that but I try to think positively, and ended up sorting out several jobs that have been waiting for an eternity for a quiet moment. We don’t get many of those these days, do we?

After lunch, I put on my writing hat and forced my brain to come up with something, anything really for I was secretly getting desperate. Possibly some sort of email withdrawal pains!

True to his word, the mini hub arrived the following afternoon. All I had to do was plug it in and wait for it to charge. I don’t have a lot of faith when it comes to promises or computers for that matter, so when a small blue light started blinking at me, I turned on the pc and looked for the link. One click and I was back in business!

I was now a happy bunny, which is more than I can say for Anita. With no land line and a limited television performance, she was spitting tin tacks! Hopefully, they will fix the fault before she explodes with frustration…

© Jaye Marie 2020

The Temperamental Christmas Tree…

Image by Jaye Marie

The Temperamental Christmas Tree

We didn’t want a big tree this Christmas, so when we saw this pretty fibre optic tree in the shop window, we took it home, content with our preparations.

The next time we went to town, we spotted a wonderful tree in a charity shop window. This was a small tree too, although quite different from the one we already had. Old fashioned ribbons and flowers gave it an old-world charm, as if it had come straight from a Dickens novel.

We had to buy it, even though we already had a tree.

It was decided that the Dickens tree would be in pride of place in our decorations, relegating the fibre optic tree to the dining room.

Image by Jaye Marie

And this, as they say, is when the fun started.

On the first night, the fibre optic tree turned itself off at 10 pm. Puzzled, we checked the instructions, but it wasn’t supposed to do that. It hadn’t overheated either. Before we could turn it on the second day, it turned itself on and then off again at 10pm!

We made sure it was switched off, thinking it just a fluke, although it felt distinctly weird. We are quite used to weird in this house. Remember that red light reflecting on our window, the one we never could find the reason for?

The next night, we switched it on and waited. It felt uneasy, as if someone we couldn’t see was controlling the tree.

It was one of those trees that has the capability of a choice of different light patterns. Twinkling, fading and several other combinations. We only wanted the static light, so we were very glad it didn’t decide to muck about with the sequence too.

Despite the weirdness, we have kept the tree… and it has turned itself on every afternoon, and off in time for bed.

What would you have done in these circumstances, chucked it out or run for the hills?

© Jaye Marie 2020

Christmas Memories… #Poetry

Christmas Memories

Old Christmas memories come calling
When snow did lie all around
Snow angels, snowmen, the days delight
Children laughing, presents wrapped
Warm mince pies waiting
Custard stirring in time with Grandads snoring
Mum flapping while dad sharpens the turkey knife
Big brother calling, time to come in to help lay the table
Three of us rush the door together
Managing to squeeze through
Like the pop of a champagne cork flying across the room
We land in a giggling pile of legs and arms
Mother calling, I need help!
I know this isn’t true,
she likes to give us something to do
To feel a part of our Christmas cheer
God bless, Mum… she’s our Christmas angel…

© aniota dawes 2020

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge…


It’s the third week of the month! Time for an Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt

This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). I’ve selected an image for this week’s challenge.

I’ve always loved watercolors. There is something special that speaks to me from the muted and surreal colors and brush strokes. I especially connect with scenic images featuring humans and wildlife—especially birds! Write your syllabic poetry based on the image below.

Image by Barbara A Lane from Pixabay

Sand blowing
Hidden secrets
Two minds whispering
Of highland days gone by
My wild red hair dancing free
Pale shadows watching from behind
Time reflecting, dreams broken by hope
Black wings tell of a time lost secrets buried…

© anita dawes 2020

Colleen has set us an extra interesting challenge this week

If you want to be creative and feel up to an additional challenge, respond to Colleen’s renga with your own two, seven-syllable lines. A renga is a cooperative poem, written by two or more poets.

Colleen has written the hokku (haiku portion in 5/7/5). Your response to the hokku is the wakiku: two seven-syllable lines that connect with the interaction between the different links.

We must remember, our renga stanza will link and shift. It will NOT tell a sequential story. Review the renga on the cheatsheet link below to refresh your memory.

Here is Colleen’s hokku:

hazy reflections—
crows gather to remember
the gifts of summer

After much deliberation (and arguments) we have managed to come up with the last two lines for Colleen’s hokku…

Pyramids built on hot sands

Dream reflections of lost time…

® anita dawes 2020

The Sunday Whirl ~ #Wordle 486 ~#Poetry

My children decorate the Christmas tree
The fire crackling,
shadows dancing, walls aglow
Their noses pressed to the window
Hoping to see Santa fly by
After a while, their eyes stream
Time for bed
Each tiny mouth quiet with sleep
Arms limp as I carry each one to bed
My head in a swim,
checking my list before the big day.
After I tuck the last
of my precious bundles under cover
I trim the tree, tidying earlier efforts
Making sure the last present is wrapped
Taking one last look at the room
Pleased with what I see
It would seem to be time for me
To put myself under cover until morning…

© anita dawes 2020

#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community ~ #Poetry

December 3: Flash Fiction Challenge

Each of us grows…
Changing throughout the year
Come Christmas,
that would seem to be a lie
if my family don’t get Jaye’s mince pies.
When I say I am cancelling Christmas?
They turn into peasants and revolt
If you could see the looks, I get
Enough to kill the Bah Humbug in me
Can’t we just have Jaye’s mince pies?
No, I say. Cancelled means cancelled
I managed one year
Then a great granddaughter came along
Children to me mean Christmas
So here we go again, it’s game time
Charades, old tabletop games
Screams of you cheated, mum!

© anita dawes 2020

Bad Zeus… #Poetry

Image by Jacques GAIMARD from Pixabay

Zeus, King of the Gods
Is no more than a rotten, unfaithful husband
Who cannot keep it in his pants
Fathering demigods here and there
Even playing the hero
Giving birth to one of his offspring
From his own thigh
Turning himself into a swan
Cute as that may be, doesn’t cut it in my book
Neat trick, though.
Just goes to show it’s hard to find a good man
Above or below
Years ago, I was advised to keep looking
As many do make it to their
fiftieth anniversary and beyond
Without falling from the tracks
Let’s hope Santa has a surprise
on the back of his sleigh this year…

© anita dawes 2020

#Jaye’s Week…

The Queue

I only managed to leave the house once this week and that was to collect urgent medication for Boots the chemist in the High Street.

It was a typical autumnal morning, bright but damp, with the smell of all the fallen leaves I enjoyed shuffling through as I walked.

There was not many people about due to lockdown, as most of the shops were shut, so I hoped there wouldn’t be a queue in Boots. They are short staffed, so even a small queue means standing in line for ages, something I don’t enjoy doing these days.

As I used my elbow to open the automatic doors, my heart sank when I saw three people already waiting. Sometimes you get lucky and people pick up their prescriptions without any complications.

The first person in the queue took forever and as I watched the next person walk up to the counter, I hoped it wouldn’t happen again, as my legs were feeling the strain already.

My heart soared just a little when it was the third persons turn.

Me next!

That’s when my luck ran out… and things became a little crazy.

There were now two people behind me in the queue. An elderly lady on crutches, who looked likely to collapse at any moment, and an equally elderly gentleman who was leaning heavily on a walking stick.

Even though I was in pain, I knew I would offer my place in the queue to the elderly lady, as there was no way I could take my turn ahead of her. As I watched, I also knew she needed to sit down on the chair over by the counter before she fell down.

She refused to sit down, worrying about losing her place, but I assured her I would make sure this didn’t happen.

What happened next turned into a comedy sketch with the elderly lady and gentleman taking it in turns to sit down while we waited. We were all wearing masks, so made a pretty picture as we all tried to help each other.

We all saw the funny side and chatted along like old friends.

And still we waited.

Eventually, the hold up was resolved and I insisted the old lady was next.

By then she had stopped protesting as I could see she was in real trouble.

Luckily, the story ended well, and we were all dealt with in record time…

© Jaye Marie 2020

#Jaye’s Week …

Anita came home from the hospital after having the pacemaker fitted with a digital monitor, something that will be plugged in next to her bed to record her heart activity while she sleeps. This amazing gadget is linked to the hospital and can alert them and us in the event of another heart attack. It will also record if it has been called upon to restart or shock Anita’s heart back to a normal rhythm.

Knowing what to do when or if this ever happens, is extremely complicated, so the next home visit from the heart failure nurse will be full of questions.

And speaking of questions, there seems to be far too many answers now, none of which are helping us to know what is really going on at any one time.

In fact, we are more confused than ever as each doctor/person we speak to, seems to have a different explanation of what’s going on.

Anita is progressing, albeit slowly and that’s what really counts, isn’t it?

Ten days later, Anita began to have trouble breathing again, so it was back to the hospital to have her checked out.

It all seemed like the worst kind of Déjà vu.

Before the pacemaker was fitted, Anita was getting on well, doing small jobs around the house and even walking to town almost every day.

This simple procedure seems to have sent her back to how she was in the beginning, something she is not happy about!

They were very thorough with their checks, and everything was deemed normal apart from the fluid in her lungs, but no explanation as to why.

As the next lockdown starts, I am hoping to knuckle down and finally get cracking with the writing as my muse is getting so tired of waiting for me. 

I just wish she could learn to type!

Good luck to those of you who are taking part in NaNo this year!