The Sunday Whirl ~ #Wordle 484 ~ #Poetry

The morning after the party
I found my father’s old tape
In an old cassette player
Alongside a box of tapes
It contained his black wall stories
Press play, his first story, entitled ‘The Child’
Through narrow dark streets
The child ran, her bare feet caked in mud
Something had taken her the wrong way
Her bare feet could hardly hold the ground
Eight-year-old girl, running for her life
Dark shadows behind her
In her tiny hand she held her mother’s key
She is tiring, whispering a prayer
For help, for hope
 She calls for her long dead mother
Where had the small blue light lead her?
Is it safety that awaits her?
To be continued…
I was hooked,
it felt good to hear my father’s voice…

© anita dawes 2020

Grandma’s Attic… ~ #Poetry

Image by Pixabay.com

Grandma’s Attic

I felt lucky when I inherited my grandmother’s house
I loved every minute spent there as a child,
each visit felt like a two-week holiday
My grandmother made life fun
I could feel her spirit in every room
Joe, my fiancé, loved it as much as I did.
He was the first to enter the attic
There we found paintings of every size
Dozens of them, from a long time ago, no signatures
 There were four paintings of my grandmother
Much younger than I had known her
Her eyes sparkled with the same mischief I remembered
Who was the artist?
I imagined a dark-haired Latin lover
someone Grandmother never spoke about
We discovered more behind a large painting
My grandmother in the embrace of a woman
Scant clothing between the two of them
Surprised, as she had been married to grandad
For fifty-five years. Who was this woman?
Were they lovers as the painting showed?
Joe said they were good enough to put in an exhibition
I’m sure Grandmother hid them here for a reason
Least of all from Grandfathers eyes.
I may never find the reason they were hidden for so long
My search goes on, for there are dozens
of boxes and suitcases to look through
What I find will be a story for another day…

© anita dawes 2020

The South Downs… ~ #Poetry

The South Downs ~ Image by Ron Porter from Pixabay

As I walked across the South Downs
The moon walked with me
Later, much later, when the world turned dark
Moonlight kissed my face.
I felt some part of me lost to the light
The old silver light, sliding across small hills
Through trees, painting as Salvador Dali had done
A melting landscape, alive with shadows dancing
The land kissed with old magic
I felt it against my skin
The touch of an old friend
Whispering, come walk a while longer
Let me take you back
To a time you loved the best…

The South Downs ~ Image by Jonathan Hall from Pixabay

©anitadawes 2020

#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community ~ #Poetry

September 10: Flash Fiction Challenge

September 10, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes something heard on the radio. It can be from any station or era. What is heard? A song, announcement, ad? Think of how radio connects people and places.

I remember falling in love with a song
After hearing it coming from
my mum’s little Dansette radio
Indian Reservation
Years later I bought it on vinyl
Played it until it became paper-thin
The neighbours banging on the wall
Begging me to play something different
It’s strange how one song
Heard on a tiny radio
Can colour your life
To me the world suddenly
became wonky, off-kilter.
Why do people think they can take
what doesn’t belong to them
Changing Nations with their greed
Indian Reservation
remains one of my favourite songs
to this day
Played often…

©anitadawes 2020

Before… #Poetry

Before

I have seen through these eyes before
Memories from a time
that do not match my own
Images in black and white that fade
With each passing day
Old photos hidden in a shoe box
Time stamped by age
No longer valued, faces there
Consigned to the past
Their names etched in stone
My life now on hold
My time spent taking notes of all that passes
One entry underlined on each page
I know that face, a young girl
I put her age at ten
Is it her life I am witnessing?
Or did I live it all before…

©anitadawes 2020

Has the New Year started well for you?

Picture by AFP

I have never once thought that blogging could be detrimental to your health, but just lately, I have come to think that it could be.

Surely not, I hear you say, and I will admit it doesn’t seem likely, not on the surface, anyway.

I was nervous when I first started writing/blogging. Could I get to grips with the technology involved? Would I be any good at it? Would anyone ever talk to me?

I had a million questions, which are all very natural when you embark on a new adventure, and although at times it has been a frustrating and difficult journey, overall I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

So what on earth am I on about?

Just lately, a strange feeling has been creeping in, insidiously, like wisps of smoke. The internet is like a mirror, reflecting everything we bloggers do.  As a good proportion of bloggers are writers, you get to see what their lives and careers are like and it can be very reassuring if they are struggling just like you, facing the same problems and difficulties, but the more successful ones are an inspiration, showing you what you can accomplish if you work hard enough.

We have been blogging for nearly eight years now, and have met some amazing people.  Helpful, considerate people, generous with their advice and friendship. You gradually become part of their world, a world where anything is possible and you can afford the luxury of dreaming.

I can hear some of you tapping your fingernails, wondering where all of this is going, so I will try to explain.

Everyone says that with patience and hard work you can achieve your goals. But I have been patient and worked as hard as I can, but no nearer to anything even remotely like my goals.

And this was my epiphany… maybe my goals are wrong?

Something must be wrong with me, for on a bad day my enthusiasm wanes. All that wonderful optimism seems to leave the building.

I have been thinking about this year and it is clear that I must come up with some resolutions that work before the men in white coats come to take me away!

Not that this year can be the same as before for so many things are different now, starting with trying to get my head around it being 2020!

Then there was my number one symbol of the New Year, Big Ben. Seeing him up to his ears in scaffolding was a little upsetting on New Years Eve…

Big Ben has always been a very special symbol in my life. I grew up in London hearing the deep resonant sound of the bell. The imposing majesty of the building is one of my most enduring memories of my time there.

London has many such landmarks and I love them all, but that tall clock tower on the river Thames embankment is by far my favourite. By rights, my favourite should be the river itself, feeling as I do about water, but no. Very close though.

‘Big Ben’ is really just a nickname for the great bell itself, inside the famous clock tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. Built in 1858 and 96 metres high, it is the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world. But the bell itself is not the biggest. St Pauls Cathedral has a slightly bigger one, weighing in at 17 tonnes.

Scarily, the tower leans slightly to the North West, apparently caused by the tunnelling for the Jubilee Line Underground train.

I came across this picture of Big Ben a few weeks ago, and I was instantly transported me back to another New Year’s Eve so many years ago.

That particular year, my friends and I had decided to celebrate the coming of the New Year in style. We would attempt some kind of pub crawl, visiting as many bars and public houses that we could manage, in spite of the volume of people all doing the same thing; ending up at the embankment for the fireworks and Big Ben’s majestic chimes.

We had such fun that night even though I knew I would not contemplate doing it again, as the number of people all seriously intent on having as much fun as possible, created more madness and chaos than I ever thought possible and a lot of the time I was scared to death.

You see all the crowds on television, but could you imagine being there?

Of course, there could have been so much more trouble than there actually was. That many people, most of them hysterical with excitement and booze could have deteriorated into a riot. But it never seems to. No matter how squashed, drunk or freezing cold you happened to be, there is some kind of reverence going on, as if it would be a sin to ruin that night in any way.

Our journey around London that night was exciting, but I was glad when we found ourselves by the river just before midnight. We had left most of the throng behind and it was almost eerily quiet by the water. The fireworks were further up river and we seemed to have Big Ben all to ourselves.

It was very cold that night, but at least it wasn’t raining. I was one of the few people in our group that didn’t have a partner, something I knew I wanted to change in the New Year. I had no idea of the direction my life would be taking, no plans and not many dreams either, for I had already learned that dreaming was futile.

So that evening ended on quite a solemn note, and as the hands of the clock above us moved closer to the 12, the tears were not far away.

I had never been that close to Big Ben before and was not prepared for how loud the chimes would be. First came the melody and the vibrations seemed to travel up my legs until my whole body seemed to be humming. When the big bell started to chime the hour, the vibrations became longer and deeper and it felt as though my heart would break.

More than fifty years later, the sound of that bell has the same effect, instantly transforming me back to that lonely young woman who had already taught herself not to believe in dreams.

I obviously knew a thing or two back then, for my life has not been full of the stuff that dreams are made of, rather the opposite. But I am still here, not quite ready to give up. So is Big Ben, although undergoing major refurbishment along with the Houses of Parliament. Seeing all that scaffolding around the tower was worrying. If anything went wrong, we could lose Big Ben forever…

©Jaye Marie 2020