Obsession… #Poetry

 

This weeks inspiration comes from Lord of the Rings and this image…

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This is one of my favourite pictures of Gollum. Painted by P E Pracownick

 

 

Obsession

Dark, dank wet cave is no place to call home

Yet for one small creature it has become so

His passion having driven him underground

After taking the life of a friend for a ring of gold

His world turned upside down

Over time his skin grew pale, translucent

His body shrank, his eyes bulged

Strange maladies, a madness ruled his world

His inly thought, his ring of gold. His love

Ever vigilant of losing what he stole, his madness grew

The fearful day came when his ring could not be found

What heart was left, broke anew, his mind split further in two

He spoke as if a twin stood close

“They pesky hobbits have it, we will find it soon, my precious.”

The hunt was long, fraught with danger

A glint of gold ever in his mind, he found the culprit

His shock was great, for he could see the pesky hobbit

Meant to destroy the ring of gold

He is here to take back as his own and watched as the Hobbit’s hand

stretched over the evil flame from whence it came.

The creature’s pain, too much to bear

He ran as sound escaped his lips

Heavy with pain enough to split the world apart

The ring flew in the air, one tiny pale hand snatched in time

To hold again his love now joined in flame

He was no more

The hobbits eyes filled with tears, for once this forlorn creature

Lived in Shire’s green and pleasant land

Before obsession stole his soul away…

AAAAA

Perchance… #Poetry

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

I dream of a smoke-filled room

With deep red leather chairs

An old boys meeting place

Where all my favourite poets and storytellers

sit with their philosopher friends

Pen poised, ready to change the world

With their great imaginings

Magic to soothe the mind

Help your own thoughts to expand

Lewis Carroll speaks of a young girl

fallen down a rabbit hole

My ears tingle with anticipation

H G Wells speaks of the time machine he has in mind

Reading from his notes I want to interrupt him

Beg him to please take me with you

Today they have a foreign visitor

by the name of Mark Twain

He speaks of a strange land

and people of a different kind

Of a boy, Tom Sawyer, made to paint

 a picket fence with white paint

Getting into all kinds of trouble

Helping a slave to escape when no one else would

His heart as big as the Mississippi

I would have helped with that expedition

A run for freedom that belonged to his all along

Morning wakes my still tired eyes

I look to my notepad by my bedside

Wishing I could write as well as my favourite authors

My mind still held in half dream

On my notepad I read two words, You can

Written by a hand that was not my own…

AAAAA

Black Velvet…

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

When I was seven, my mother bought me a black velvet dress for my birthday. It had a white collar with white cuffs on the small puff sleeves.

I felt like a princess, and couldn’t stop rubbing my hands over it. Mother told me to stop doing it, as I would ruin it.

My stepfather Joe said he would take me and my brothers to the park. As we left the house, my mother said not to give me any ice cream.

We played on the swings for a bit and then Joe brought my brother’s some ice cream.

I walked away, wondering if he would do as he was told. I didn’t go far, for I hoped I knew better than that and I was right.  Joe handed me an ice cream, telling me to please be careful.

I said I would, but what child can eat an ice cream without getting it down themselves?  Not me anyway. I kept rubbing at it, making it worse. The velvet was sticking up where I had rubbed it and there was no way to hide it.

All the way home, I wished Joe would run away with us, but he told me not to worry. He would say it was his fault, which in a way it was for buying it for me. I know that’s an unkind thought, but when we got home before he could say a word, mother ripped the dress from my body,  leaving her nail marks on my back because the fabric was too hard to tear.

Joe got both barrels of her temper until I thought his ears would swell and drop off.

This memory has returned, because my daughter who lives next door, was playing a song I haven’t heard for a long time. It was one of my favourites, called Black Velvet.

It’s a funny old life isn’t it, the way old memories come back?

Anita Dawes 2018

One Beautiful Moment…

This has been a very odd week, full of vastly differing experiences. For a start, I haven’t been feeling great, and that fact alone seems to affect my workload.

But… and this was a big one for me… I have been thinking of making another beaded bonsai tree. I need to find some much-needed peace, away from machines, noise and worrying about everything. And although I never seem to have enough time as it is, I know this is something I have to do, if only for a while.

 

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I first got interested in making these trees when I came across a lady in Covent Garden market who made similar trees, using tiny seashells instead of beads. All of her trees were beautiful and have remained my constant inspiration ever since. I especially like the notion that they cannot die from lack of attention or daylight. They don’t lose their leaves in the winter, and they always look just right! That’s an awful lot going for them, right there!

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“This is the one I want to make”  image from Pinterest

When the weather finally decided to behave,  I took a walk to our local pond (it’s a huge lake really, no idea why they call it a pond!)
It’s a beautiful place, and I usually find bucket loads of peace and quiet, and sometimes inspiration. But I wasn’t feeling great, so I just sat and watched the ducks.

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As I sat there, I remembered watching a pair of swans last year. They built this huge nest and seemed to be sitting on it forever. But someone reported seeing newly hatched cygnets, so I had waited for them to appear. Just when it seemed they would not, I saw a flash of white among the reeds. Then another, and then they sailed into view. For the life of me, I couldn’t count them, couldn’t even see them properly as they were very small and the same grey colour as the water they were swimming on.
Slowly they came closer, and I couldn’t believe my luck. I tried to count the cygnets again, there seemed to be six or seven. Round about then I started cursing that I had not had the foresight to bring my camera. I usually did, but as I said, I wasn’t feeling up to much, so hadn’t bothered.
Just as I sat there, contemplating what an idiot I was, the male swan suddenly lumbered out of the water, and I froze. I knew how protective and dangerous swans could be, and I was barely three feet from him and his beautiful family!
Luckily, he ignored me. When his mate lumbered on to dry land, followed with some difficulty by all seven of the cygnets, I could hardly breathe. They pottered about for several minutes, inspecting blades of grass and then all the babies sat down. They looked a bit tired, very small and so close I could have touched them.

All too soon they left me sitting there with tears in my eyes.
It was the most magical moment, and to say that I needed one right then would be an understatement.

I will be eternally grateful, but will always remember my camera next time!

Shades of Green… (or Favourite Places 4)

I was in dire need of a day out, but the weather was  awful. Now, what could we do about that?

All of the lovely places we have visited flashed through my mind, and I realised that I could enjoy one of these without leaving the warmth of my home.

So I rooted out one of my favourite posts to share with you…

We wanted to do something different that week. Something we hadn’t done in a while, and someone suggested the river walk.
We hadn’t been back there since we first discovered it several years ago. It is a bit of a hike, three miles or so, there and back, which is probably why we hadn’t returned before now, but it is a lovely walk and we sort of talked ourselves into it.

It was originally a railway line, running through what remains of Liss Forest to the village of Liss itself. Two rivers converge along its length, the Rother and the Blackwater and the area is a nature reserve with several wet meadows and mixed deciduous woodland.
But it is so much more than that.

Because it was a railway line, the walk is slightly higher than the surrounding countryside, so you don’t really feel swamped by the trees, but still a part of it all. The weather that day was ideal. Not too hot or windy, and once inside the forest, every shade of green overwhelms you.

I have a special affinity with trees, and to be in such a grand company of them was wonderful. Bird song followed us as we strolled along, stopping every few feet to look at all the special details. A fallen tree, a freshly dug animal burrow, the wild flowers, including masses of honeysuckle, left behind when people once lived close by.
The smell is amazing too, at this time of year the normal intoxicating aroma of the forest is suffused with all the wild garlic that grows all along the riverbank. A heady mix.

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Along the way, you cross three huge bridges, refurbished with new green oak, but built on the original steel and concrete structures. Towards the end of the walk you come across the old station and platform, eerily empty at first glance, but linger a while and you can hear the ghosts of yesterday.

It was a long walk, but a lovely one. Well worth every aching muscle!

While The Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle #Children’s ebooks

 

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes

 

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I was immediately interested in reading this book, as I’ve lived in Suffolk for nearly 30 years, and not too far from Bungay. I heard lots of wartime stories from my mother who lived in London during the war, but this book was different in that the main character, a child called Elsie, lives in the countryside. Ms Cheadle has written anecdotes gleaned from family and friends over the years, and has written quite a charming faction book.
Elsie tells of what it was like to live not only through the war itself, but also about food rationing and how her mother made the pennies stretch to feed her family. There are highlights in Elsie’s life of Christmas Day, and the rich fruit pudding complete with a lucky sixpence that she and her siblings looked forward to, and also at other times of the odd rabbit that her farmer father managed to catch and the rabbit stew it became after her mother had skinned and gutted it. There is also the alarming sound of the air raid siren, and how she had to flee to the garden shelter with her family, sometimes in the middle of the night.
As Elsie is a child, the book is written in quite a young style that is suitable for older children as well as adults. She thinks nothing of walking two miles with her siblings to play at a favourite spot, something I think today’s children would not even consider (indeed if they are allowed outside in the first place). She took as normal today’s privations such as icy bedrooms and having to share a bed with her 2 sisters, but she was glad of them for warmth.
With a diet augmented by rabbits and whatever else her father managed to catch, Elsie possibly fared rather better than children in London who were not evacuated. I’m sure she grew up healthier than today’s children, brought up on a diet of fast food and lack of exercise. Hopefully she would have been too young at the time to let the war’s horrors blight her later life.

Memories of The New Forest

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It was a late summer day. The sky was an intense blue and enormous puffy white clouds sailed above our heads, heading towards the horizon as we set off on an adventure, satnav in hand.

The journey to the New Forest took just over an hour but didn’t seem very long at all. There was lots of lovely scenery to look at, especially as we got closer to the Forest.

You know when you are almost there, for you begin to see the wild ponies everywhere. They are allowed to roam freely, wherever the mood takes them and if you are lucky enough to live there, you must get used to them just turning up and being in the way. They are not that small, either. To call them ‘ponies’ would give you the wrong impression. Most of them are quite a size and can be quite formidable!

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I am always surprised when people seem frightened when a pony gets too close to them. Sometimes it can be alarming, one poor man had to give up his ice cream; it was either that or lose an arm.

As we made our way to the car park, there were several ponies standing around in the street and a few more in the car park. Nobody seems to mind, but it does tend to play havoc with the traffic. Most of the foreign tourists have no idea what’s going on, and I know from experience that it’s completely terrifying trying to steer a car around a completely oblivious animal that’s just standing in the middle of the road.

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It was not our first visit, so we knew what to expect. We were here about ten years ago and still remember one rather large and stroppy pony who was trying to break into some of the cars in the car park. He obviously thought he could smell food, and it was all very scary not to mention the damage he was causing!

We decided to have lunch and have a look around afterwards, so we chose an eating-place with a good view of the road so we could watch the show. One pony, in particular, was standing in the middle of the road and didn’t look as though he had any intention of moving anytime soon. He seemed to be hell-bent on causing as much disruption to the traffic flow as possible. Almost deliberately, I thought as I could swear I saw mischief in his eyes.

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I heard some of the locals explaining to the tourists that the freedom the ponies enjoyed was theirs by right, as they were here first. The New Forest belongs to them and people take second place, as simple as that. Very strange goings on, if you ask me, but wonderful to see. This has been going on for centuries and I can see it going on for years to come.

 

I could live there for sure, to literally share your life with wild ponies seems like my idea of heaven.

Quite apart from the fact that I have wanted to live in a forest for years…

City Walls… #Poetry

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

City Walls

Threads of gold with silver ink

Pen in motion, tides that sink

Her voice I hear with words made clear

Her face now lost to memory

Where cities burn beyond the gate

Soldiers march to Troy’s great walls

Prince Hector has fallen

Achilles lost to arrows swift blow

Paris carries his love away

His heart now wrapped in barbwire

For death, he left behind the city walls…

AAAAA

#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

Carrot Ranch Challenge

April 11, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers.” You can play with the words, alter them or interpret them without using the phrase. Give it any slant you want — show what it means or add to its  meaning. Go where the prompt leads!

 

And this is our contribution…

 

Years ago when I wore second- hand clothes

Worn out shoes

Sleeping in a room with no heat

Blankets as thin as rice paper

I made my way long ago,

I am happy

Some I know are still searching

Most days, he sits at the corner of Waitrose

Playing his clarinet

I hear the coins drop into his open case

At his feet as I pass

Today, I would give him a choice

Between a sandwich and  coffee or a two- pound scratch card

I walked home eating the sandwich

Without waiting. I hoped he made the right choice.

AAAAA

Memories…

 

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

 

Memories are funny things, aren’t they? The way certain things suddenly pop into your head, and you think – hey, I know about that, and you remember.
I wonder what makes some memories surface and not others? You could say it’s down to something you have just heard or seen, but I know that’s not always the case.

Just lately, I have been remembering a specific time in my youth, and never realised before how that time must have influenced me.  Was it that threshold of childhood, the time you really start to think and question things? To imagine a future for yourself, that you won’t always be just idling along, not really caring if it snowed, depending on others to organise your life.

This particular time was when I lived in Kent, in a small village called Birchington, a few miles from Margate. I was about 8 or 9 years old, and up to that point, I didn’t really think about anything much. So much had happened to me that I had got into the habit of not questioning anything. Not much point really, as I knew I couldn’t change anything.

I was with foster parents by then with several other children, all from broken families; and surprisingly it was the first time I felt relaxed enough to appreciate the peace and quiet of the countryside, not to mention the freedom from all my mother’s problems.

Every Sunday we all went to church, and right outside the church door was an impressive gravestone. It was made of a beautiful piece of marble, and I thought the writing on it was very ornate and posh. I looked at it every Sunday for ages, when it suddenly struck me that this had to be someone quite famous. But why was he buried here in this tiny village?

The name on the stone was Dante Gabriel Rossetti  (1828- 1882), and I remember being very impressed by the sound of him, resolving to find out more about him. I was about the right age for romantic flights of fancy, and the more I discovered about this tortured man and the life he lived, the more intrigued I became. He was a poet and a painter, and some would say that he wasn’t very successful, but history will always remember him as a founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais.

I learnt about Rossetti and how he ended up a recluse in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea after a nervous breakdown, finally retreating to Birchington for rehabilitation only to die less than a year later. Perhaps he should have spent more time in Kent, for it was making me feel better!  I secretly sympathised with the mess he had made of his life, determined that my life would be better than it had started out to be. I just needed to be old enough to set the wheels in motion.

So you see, I think Dante was my friend back then, right when I really needed one, guiding me to where I am today…

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