No Harm…



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No Harm

Would you wake a sleeping giant?

One who is cursed to walk the land

Looking for a place to be

To live as others do?

Where no one screams at the sight of him.

Would you walk with him?

Tell all those you meet

That he means no harm?

How can you convince them?

When stories have spread far and wide.

The village he destroyed, when a young boy

Throwing stones, hit the giants head.

What words could you use to convince them

He is no longer violent

When he barely understands a word you say.

What makes you think he has changed

In the time you have spent with him.

Will you tell them of the day?

You watched as he buried a fallen sparrow?

Picked flowers to lie on the dry earth.

The day he plucked a fish from the water

Removing the hook from its mouth

And setting it free.

Would any of this take the terror from their eyes

As he walks through the village

As they try to balance on ground that

Shakes with every foot fall.

An overgrown child who may never

learn to hide his pain without lashing out.

You may never tame what is meant

To live wild and free

Find a safe place for him, away from people

Let him go, watch from a distance…

Anita Signature

Remembering When it all Began…





I have always enjoyed reading books. Mostly for the sense of escapism involved. Somewhere you can forget all about your own life and live someone else’s, albeit vicariously.

It has been a blessing, sometimes more than at other times, depending on how my own life was going at that particular moment.

I honestly believe that reading books has kept me sane. They have taught me practically everything I know, for if I need or want to know how to do something, I turn to books to find out. Nowadays of course, we have the internet, but in my youth all we had were books.

These days, something else has been added to my enduring love affair with the printed word. Putting it quite simply, they have inspired me to write. You could say that the art of reading could do this anyway, to anyone. But up until recently, I was not aware of this. They were my retreat, my sanctuary. Nothing else.

But everything has changed.

I was a compulsive reader, consuming anything I could get my hands on. I didn’t discriminate and read everything. Asked to list my favourite authors, I would have been hard pushed, for I loved them all.

Somewhere along the way, I seem to have developed a ‘criteria’. I no longer just read a book. My brain seems intent on sifting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Who knew it could have that kind of opinion?

Two pages into a book, and if it is not talking to me by then, I discard it and try another. These days I love the kind of books that inspire me and make my fingers want to pick up a pen. Not to copy or emulate, but to write down the way the author has made me feel. Sometimes I find myself with a book in one hand and a notebook in the other.

It’s as if a doorway has been opened in my mind. Artists say colours work for them, for me it’s the power of the words and the way they are used.

Something else has changed in me. I have always considered myself reasonably adept with the English language. It was my favourite lesson at school and over the years as I have said before, it has saved my sanity on many an occasion.

For the first time in my life, I have doubts, and they are growing all the time. I have helped other people edit and proofread their books, and been totally convinced I was good at it. Many people (including an agent) said that I was. I have also reviewed dozens of books along the way.

But then I picked up a pen and wrote a story of my own. I never expected it to be as hard as it turned out to be, as words usually came easily to me. But I discovered a very important fact about writing a book. Not only must it have a beginning, middle and end, it has to flow, make perfect sense and be interesting to read.

It also had to have a structure and sub plots; the list was endless. I discovered to my horror that I was not as clever as I thought when the pen was in my own hand! Words tend to come at me in a rush, short spasms of prose that seem quite eloquent at the time, but appear quite truncated when you attempt to join them all together. So much so, I nearly gave up on Nine Lives several times.

I began to seriously doubt I could ever be a writer, that this wasn’t something I could simply learn how to do.

But I persevered, did my absolute best, and after my edits and even more soul searching, I uploaded it onto Amazon, thinking my work was done.

But I was wrong.

In my haste to achieve something that will hopefully out last me, I forgot the most important step of all. Someone else should have read it first. Someone objective, who would come to it afresh, with no desire or agenda to bin it at the first error.

I learned that it is impossible for me to see my manuscript with a subjective eye. You cannot possibly hope to really, because you have lived with it for so long. I wrongly assumed the reverse would be true, that the fact you created every word would make you more than qualified.

This was such a long time ago, I have learned so much more since then…

AAA (2)

#BlogBattle ~ Stable #Poetry


This is it! Blog Battle’s Glorious Return

We’ve all heard how writing is a lonely business. Well, I think we’ve all heard it. And if not, now we have. But in the world of the internet, writing doesn’t have to be nearly so isolated a pursuit!

Blog Battle isn’t your typical writing prompt. At our core, we want to create relationships, build life-long writer friendships, and encourage each other to become better writers than we were yesterday.

Admittedly, this means a little extra work. BUT! It is worth it. People are worth it. The value we gain from connecting with other writers who are on the same journey we are cannot be measured by analytics or the next best thing in social media marketing.

That brings us here, to Blog Battle. When you take up the monthly prompt, write your short fiction, and then share it with us, you are entering into a community. Don’t think of this as a “post and pray someone reads my stuff” writing prompt. That is all well and good (Truly it is. We all want to be read.), but the idea is to go out and read your fellow writers, share their work, share each other’s work, comment, connect, make friends, encourage, help and learn something new along the way.

July 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:




Better than Stable

The doctor is walking towards me

I know what he is going to say

She is stable. It was the same last week

Her mind is hanging on, but where is she?

Lying there with tubes decorating her still body

A strange kind of jewellery I wish she wasn’t wearing

Like an Egyptian mummy with the wrappings taken off

Stable. There should be a better word

I looked it up in the dictionary,

resistant to sudden change

Self-restoring, having no mode of decay,

plus, a lot of stuff about horses.

How am I meant to relay this to my wife?

Who last week found life fun, laughing, dancing?

Singing while hanging out the washing

Before she was spun into a coma by a filthy black car

Stable, is the best they can give me

Reminding me that over two thousand years ago

Jesus Christ was born in a stable

I don’t have a religious bone in my body

Yet I find myself walking to the hospital chapel

I light a candle, asking whoever might hear me

Can you do better than stable?

Anita Signature

99 Word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

June 27: Flash Fiction Challenge



June 27, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves paint. It can be fresh, peeling or in need of a coat. What is being painted and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by July 3, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.



I’m ten years old; it’s the middle of Summer.

My father gives me a bucket of whitewash,

a large paintbrush, telling me to paint the front fence.

The only thing on my mind is the cool blue lake, my friends waiting.

That’s where I should be. Not being used like a work horse

I’m a kid; I need fun before I’m old.

I stood in front of our fence, trying to make my arm work,

then it came to me.

Give everyone something to talk about.

Paint a lake scene.

Dad wondered why folk were looking at our fence…

Anita Signature

#Writephoto ~ Open

Thursday photo prompt: Open #writephoto

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Empty Rooms

To enter here is to lose your mind, your life

The house is reforming, rebuilding itself

Moving rooms from one end to the other

Building new ones, losing others

Should you be in one when it is lost

There is no telling where you will end up

Or how you will return to your own world

The house does not like the door shut

It is jammed open by a strange slab of concrete

Wedged tight against the bottom of the doorframe

Another, sloping away wedged against the outer frame

Making sure the door stays where it is

The interior is dark, moody, full of menace

Some say this is due to the missing rooms

The souls lost in the vanishing

It is a soundless place, yet the air is full of wanting

The door jam quivers as if something below

Is trying to move them, to close the door

To keep all trapped inside

Moving them around, like living pieces on a chess board

Outside there is a board with names of the foolish ones who entered

And yet the rooms appear to be completely empty

If you ask the locals, why they haven’t pulled the place down

They will tell you they have tried

Hammers bounce off the walls as if they are made of rubber

A lit match has no effect, the flame blows out

Before you can touch the building

They stand outside yelling, let us know you are still there

No returning sound has ever been heard

Others will tell you it’s not true, just Chinese Whispers

An old building left to rot, nothing more

Would you enter to find the truth?

Would you walk through those empty rooms?

Anita Signature




One Penny… #Poetry



A penny for a rose, my lady

Will feed my family this day

His blue eyes shone from his dark dirty face

From whose garden he stole

the rose I could not say

I gave the penny asked for

He curtsied and moved away

To sell one remaining rose.

I thought of his family waiting

Who will not see him again this day.

The black hackney carriage stole his life

He lay crumpled, rose still held in hand

My penny had rolled away.

No information as to his name could I find

Retrieving my penny from the distance it rolled

I heard a whisper, his mother’s name is Rose

Five children she could feed this day

If this one penny had not gone astray

When he does not return

Wait, she will send another

So, you will find a way to feed the rest this day…


What Good Is It? #Poetry




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What good would it do me

To know who I was before?

The Emperor of Rome

The snake that bit Cleopatra’s breast.

How would that help me now

To know I might have been

The first Dalai Llama

Or Buddha, sitting under that tree for years

Did he find enlightenment

Or did he come against his own immortality

Like the rest of us?

Would any one of them wish to come back

And do it all over again?

What if I came back as a Christmas turkey?

Remembering who I was before

Get eaten, am I a new man?

Remembering the turkey before

The me I was before that

What divine plan would dream up such a thing?

Is one mind not enough to bear?


My Genie… #Poetry



I dream of Genie, not the soppy kind from TV

My genie is a desert dweller, dark skin from Arabian Nights

blue jewelled eyes that say, set me free

I will grant what you wish

I have read the stories of how he tricks

I take the bottle from the sand

He pleads with me to understand

The thousand years he has dwelled within

What foolishness did put you there, I ask

His eyes grow dark as memory comes

She swore her love would be mine

If wish I granted

With all haste I gave the bag of jewels she craved

Still she did not believe I was the genie from the bottle

She bid me enter to show her proof

My size you see, made a liar out of me

Wizards spell I now control

Safe I thought, love made me enter

Shrink in size to please my emerald eyed goddess

Quick as lightning she capped the bottle top

With cold wet clay iron filled

Which held me still

Buried me beneath the sand

Until now you hold my image in your hand

Tell me what it is you wish

I have no choice but to believe you will set me free

I thought a while,

then said, life was not hidden from your eyes

Help me write the stories of the thousand years you have seen

So that is my wish

Remember, they must not rush through my mind all at once

A gentle whisper one by one will do

Now I am 24, three best sellers to my name

I watch the Genie melt away

I wonder what story the he will tell today…


Perchance… #Poetry




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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…