My Knight… #Poetry

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

My Knight

My seven-year-old son informed me

 he would like a knight’s outfit,

with a sword for Halloween.

I thought it odd at the time

For he likes clowns

I managed to find one his size

He looked the very inch of a Knight

in shining armour. No face paint, he said.

He needed to be seen.

After two hours of walking around

I could see my tiny knight tiring

Time for tea, bath and bed, or so I thought.

No amount of persuasion could remove the outfit

He refused to go to bed,

so, I let him fall asleep on the sofa

Carrying him to his bed, he woke

Telling me he had to stay awake until midnight

“If Gran comes back, I have to save her…”

The gifting hour, when the dead can walk among us

Oh God, why had I explained this to him

I should have known he was too young.

He slept with the sword for two weeks

Before leaving it under his bed

Clearing his room, picking stray toys from the floor

I asked if we could put the sword in the toy box

He said he didn’t need it anymore.

“Gran kissed me goodnight, so I know she is all right.”

It seems my tiny knight was happy again…

©anitadawes

#TuesdayBookBlog ~ Secrets… #DarkFamilyMystery

 

SOME SECRETS WILL KILL YOU…
and some are about someone who is already dead.
A mother must find the truth before the secrets destroy her family…

Secrets, a haunting family drama, is about deeply buried guilt and all the secrets and suspicions that invade and control our lives.

Many children have an invisible friend, and sometimes they can be a necessary part of a child’s life for many reasons.
But when this ‘friend’ starts to cause more than just mischief, it is time for his mother to investigate further.

Maggie Swan loves her little boy Danny, but his new playmate was becoming something of a problem. It was almost as though something was wrong and he was trying to fix it.
Her husband Jack, was no help at all, dismissing her ideas as rubbish. But was he merely trying to hide a guilty secret? One that Danny’s new friend knew all about?

Amazon Review:

I’ve been thinking about this review for a few days. I finished Secrets a short while ago and I’ve been trying decide how to express what I felt about it, but now my heading really says it all. This is a strong and powerful story, very well told. The characters are well-drawn and empathic; you have to like and sympathise with them fully, and the main plot, being that of a child who has an invisible but somewhat malicious ‘friend’, is very compelling. If you enjoy and read a lot of paranormal suspense, then you will really love this book. It isn’t my usual choice but I still found myself ‘turning the pages’ on my Kindle till I reached the end. In fact, it is very good!

I won’t say too much about the story as I don’t want to spoil the suspense and excitement for the reader, so this review is quite short. However, I think Anita Dawes has tapped into subjects that are very topical today and it’s well worth reading this book to see what can happen when we bury secrets for too long.

Excerpt of Secrets…


Deep in thought, Maggie started to play with her breakfast and it was Jack’s turn to watch fondly as she doodled with the egg yolk, spreading strange and bizarre patterns across the plate. The early morning sunlight streamed through the kitchen window bathing the breakfast scene in a cosy glow. She looked like a child sitting there in a pretty cotton housecoat, pale honey-coloured hair falling around her shoulders like a halo. She had something on her mind, he was sure. Knowing he didn’t really have the time and hoping she’d say it was nothing, he said, ‘What’s up, love, did you have another bad night with Danny?’

She slowly looked up at him from the mess on her plate, and he could tell by the way her usually bright blue eyes had darkened to the colour of the sea that he wasn’t about to hear anything like what he wanted to hear.
Looking back down at her plate, she said, ‘I’m very worried about him, Jack. These terrible nightmares are getting him down; and now this thing about an imaginary friend, I don’t like it, something’s wrong.’
Jumping straight in, hoping to get it over with quickly so he could get out of the house, he said, ‘You know what the doctor told us, he’ll grow out of it soon enough. It will only make things worse if we try and make Danny let go before he’s ready.’

‘Yes, I know what he said,’ an edge creeping into her voice, ‘but he’s not God. You don’t have to take everything he says as gospel. I don’t happen to think this thing with Toby is the same as a comfy blanket or a favourite teddy a child drags around with him. Can’t you see how he’s changed?
‘… he’s destructive, rude and downright messy. Don’t you think dragging half the garden into the kitchen last week was going a bit too far? You saw his face when I tried to tell him off, he wasn’t the least bit sorry. Judging from the skid marks all over the place it was plain to see he’d had a whale of a time, and what did he say when I asked him why he’d done it? … because Toby wanted him to.

‘… Jack, can’t you see we have to make him understand this Toby is only in his mind and he’s too old to play these pretend games?’
He took a deep breath, painfully aware the time was getting on. ‘Maggie, he’s only seven. You’re making too much of it. The doctor said to give him time and not to bully him into giving up Toby. It might make his nightmares worse.’
She opened her mouth to say something, but before she could, he reminded her again that she had agreed the gentle approach was best.
‘Plus, you haven’t given that idea of yours idea a chance. Having Cathy take Danny to school with Michael may work. He’ll soon see that having a real friend is lots more fun. Have you asked him again about joining the cubs?’
She snorted. ‘I did, and his answer was the same as before. Toby doesn’t want him to.’
‘Give him time, Maggie, he’ll come around.’

Maggie seemed to have run out of wind for the time being, so he took his empty plate over to the sink and left it on the draining board. Straightening his tie as he turned to her again, he said, ‘I’m sorry I don’t have time to talk this morning. I have four books waiting a final decision and what with the deadline and our new budget, I think I’ll have to reject two of them, you know how I hate sending out rejection letters. It doesn’t make for a nice day, especially when a book is worth publishing. If you’re that worried about Danny, we’ll talk about it tonight.’
Maggie frowned and gave him the kind of look that said, sure we will. Jack had seen it many times and responded in a way she had grown used to over the years. He pulled her into his arms, squeezed her gently, saying, ‘I promise we’ll talk about it later.’
Then he kissed her goodbye, grabbed his briefcase and left.

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Keys…

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Keys

Old keys tell of forgotten keyholes

Their intricate beauty beguiling

Speaking of secrets yet to be found

I have one such small key

Matching keyhole found in my mother’s old cottage

It gave me the name of my missing father

Would that I could find him

The stories, the secrets he could tell

To fill the empty spaces in my mind

Where he should be…

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Beloved…

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

Beloved…

She looked at me with salt worn eyes

Tears of a thousand years

Her pain I could not imagine

Her years are old, she has lived too long

Old memories haunt her days, her nights

A plait crowns her beautiful grey hair

Her hand small and gentle, touch my face

Her smile almost invisible, too hard

Her pain holds it at bay, yet I remember

that her smile lit her eyes like night stars

She will forever be my beloved Oma…

Anita Signature

Love Really does Make the World go around…

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

This week I have been thinking about all the different kinds of love there are, and how many I have had the good fortune to have shared. Unfortunately, this also highlighted the ones I haven’t or made a complete hash of, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, right?  At least I can’t.

I miss not knowing my dad, and I really wish I had never known my mum. (but that’s another story altogether!) Then there were two husbands one after the other that I’m glad I don’t miss in the slightest.

I was told once long ago that I have two brothers somewhere, and they are possibly who I miss the most.  I watch Anita’s son and daughter sometimes and really envy their relationship. They do fight and argue sometimes, but they are always there for each other, instinctively knowing what each of them needs and offering it before the need to ask.

It would appear that missing things is one of the saddest aspects of growing old and I don’t care for it too much.  I don’t want to spend any of the time I have left complaining about this and that, bemoaning what was and what could never be.  My life has been what I could make out of it, good or bad, and I’m not really the kind of person who will waste any time worrying about all the ifs and maybe’s. What’s done, is done.

 

I was wondering what to write about this week, and then I started thinking about all the things I love now. (And I did need the reminder).

Which was a nice change from all the problems and mini-disasters that have been depressing my family and me of late and it lifted my mood considerably.

So much so, that when I ventured outdoors yesterday, battling against strong, chilly winds to run an errand, I began to notice things that I might not have seen last week. Mother Nature’s presence was everywhere, and I wondered if the weather would be kind and not ruin her efforts. But it was good to see them nonetheless, proving that Summer really can’t be far away after all.

 

Back to all the things I love at the moment…

I love having the strength of my family around me.

I love that I still have most of my health and some of my mental faculties. (More important than I ever knew it could be)

I love that I have learned so much this year, mainly from the people I meet online every day. (And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart)

I love that I am enjoying writing my books and loving every frustrating minute of it.

I love all the people (and I am sure you all know who you are) who, with their advice, patience and humour have inspired us so much.

watermark xjj

 

#Throwback Thursday ~ The Italian Thing by Patricia Salamone @Pattisalamone #memoir

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Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

Our Review

I have always wanted to visit Italy, such a timeless and beautiful country with so many interesting places to visit.

Reading “The Italian Thing” will be like going there and seeing the country through someone else’s eyes, I thought, expecting to find a country I was already familiar with. I was looking forward to the trip of a lifetime and the book did not disappoint. It was well written, full of all the wonderful scenery and architecture I have come to expect of the country.

However “The Italian Thing” isn’t about the country, not really, it is about the people and family. About the lives they live and the glorious food they eat.

“Everything will be fine” is the Italians hilarious answer to everything, and is the key to understanding their very different way of life.

I loved the touches of humour, the very descriptive narrative, and the loving but feisty relationship between Pat and Mike. Two people who were out of their depth and up to their eyes in food of every delicious description. How they came home weighing less than before is remarkable!

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Biography

Patricia Salamone was born in New York. Raised in the borough of Queens. She had five siblings including one brother that passed away in August of 2003.
The Italian Thing is her first published book although she has been writing since the age of 8 years old.
She married and has three children who are grown with families of their own now, and they have blessed her with grandchildren.
Patricia retired from AT&T in 2008 and was able to concentrate on her love for writing, hence “The Italian Thing.”
The Italian Thing is available on Amazon Kindle worldwide and also available in print (English only).

As Patricia puts it, “No awards yet, but there is always tomorrow.”

 

 

 

 

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Another memory of the Falls…

 

St. Nectan’s Falls

 

On one of our trips to Cornwall, we decided to seek out St Nectan’s Glen.

Not realising there was a short cut, we took the long walk through the fields along a small path to get to the Falls.  Single file small!

There were cliffs to one side, the other a sheer drop that was full of trees, nothing soft to break a fall. I moaned all the way there, to find the waterfall at the end, the most wonderful sight.

Jaye had stepped into her own paradise, her love of water. It was plain to see, her face lit up as if the sun shone where there was none.

We noticed people high on a ridge, at the top of the waterfall.

Jaye has a fear of heights, but that day she conquered it, to get as close as she could to the top of the Falls. I am not kidding when I say that there was barely room for a pigeon on this ridge. There we were, my entire family, along with any future grandchildren I might have, vanished in fear.

Squeezing past people coming down was the moment I realised just how dangerous this was. Even now, when I think about it, I remember the nightmares I suffered. I still believe we were fools to have climbed up there.

We found our way to the small hut where St Nectan lived out his days. We signed the visitor book. Back on the flat ground, I gave a sigh of relief. Never again, I said, more times than I can count.

The thing I remember most was the deafening sound of the water and how cold it felt. Would I go again?

Maybe, but taking the shortcut, and no climbing high…

 

 

(This was Anita’s memory of the day I posted about HERE  )

Golden Memories…

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Due, I suspect, to the arrival of our Great Grandchild three weeks ago, an air of nostalgia has descended upon our household. All the old photographs have come out of hiding, accompanied by much reminiscing.

We thought we would share some of these golden memories with you…

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It was like having a time machine, going back to all those times and remembering them as if they were yesterday…

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Do you ever take a walk down Memory Lane?

AAAAA

 

My Father…

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

 

My Father

What would I say to my father

should he pop up like a ghost from the past?

I want to know where you were when I needed you.

I wait for his answer, to pounce,

to shoot him down in flames.

“It was the war, sweetheart.”

That deserved a slap. My hand itched

but I didn’t move to land it.

“Have you ever heard of writing a letter?

Sending a photo that I could identify myself with?”

“Time,” he told me, “Life, gets in the way…”

With an ocean between us, it must

have been easy to forget the things done

when age hampers the mind.

His voice, absent throughout my life

Still nothing much to say, now he is in front of me

It would have been nice, growing up

to know which part of my face belonged to you.

My mother did say I had your bottom lip

which isn’t much to go on.

What part of my mind, is from your DNA?

I am left to wonder. There is no answer.

Maybe you truly are a ghost

with no trace left behind…

AAAAA

 

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Everything is Upside Down…

 

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This year has been a series of difficulties. More downs than ups, to be honest. So it should come as no surprise to anyone to see a Christmas tree, seemingly floating upside down in mid-air in our front room.

Being white, it looks ethereal, the string it is suspended on almost invisible as it moves slightly on invisible air currents.

It wasn’t easy to do, for these trees are not designed to be upside down, and the top part parted company with the base at the most awkward moment, almost resulting in our giving up on the idea and being conventional after all.

Beneath the tree, looking remarkably like Miss Havisham’s abandoned wedding feast from Dicken’s Great Expectations, we have created a display to reflect the dinner we will not be having in our house.

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The idea came to us because this Christmas will be like no other we have ever had or imagined. For the first time in the history of our family, we will not be here on Christmas Day. Relatives will not be arriving, full of Christmas cheer to share our carefully prepared feast of turkey and all the trimmings. There will be no fun and games at the table when we don’t pull the crackers.

There will be no toasting the cook or pulling the wishbone, not in this house, anyway.

We will all be somewhere else…

 

The next generation in our family is now of an age to change things, to take charge of traditional celebrations and create new ones of their own. This is the way with families.

It came as a bit of a shock for me and for a while I didn’t think I welcomed the invitation. For nearly fifty years, I have been cooking the turkey and mince pies, and I suppose I thought it would continue. I mean, what would I do with myself?

I have accepted the idea now, and the notion of someone else manhandling an uncooperative turkey into an equally uncooperative oven is making me smile.

It will seem odd to have nothing to do on Christmas day, but you never know, I might like it so much I will arrange it for next year too!