21 October, 2014


A bit of fun on my part and no, it's not a real story.

Sky opens.
Fall up.
Slam down into ice.
Walking on the sky.
The view, the gravity and the ill and not-so-ill effects.
Sky buildings.
Sky cave.
Rainbow lights and rainbow streaks.
Transparent materials and... sky people?
First meeting.
Second meeting.
The killing.
Third meeting.
Lunch in a cafe and serious hunger pains.
Ice wind tea with sea foam cake!
Hunger remains, thirst begins.
Attempts to return to earth.
Sun burn.
Practicalities and impracticalities.
Logic that met gravity.
Wind breeze home.
Softly like a feather, drifting like a leaf.
Touch down.
Down is up and up is down.

15 October, 2014

I've been meaning to write

I've been meaning to write something here. Really. I have been writing, but somehow the rain falls, the clouds emerge from beneath me and it's back to stumbling in the mud.

You know that feeling of exhaustion you have after a marathon or a big bout of prolonged exercise? Or perhaps that feeling you get at the end of a busy week? Now multiply that by 20 and the fact that no matter how much you try to rest, it never goes away. You'll be getting close.

No, I don't have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Those are made up conditions that live all in people's minds. People with those diagnoses are just babies with mental health issues and need to just suck it up and deal. (Please note sarcasm is present here. This health professional has been hearing this rubbish even from other health professionals.)

I don't have those conditions. Just sayin'...

So, have you ever had a rug pulled out from under you? Or been around your house where you know you are alone and everything is in place, but then you walk a second circuit around the house and discover that everything has moved, even though you didn't touch it?

Say, you walk out of the house you have been living in years. You know your neighbours, what their houses look like, what their cars look like and can even recognise the shapes of all the trees and bushes. Blink and look again. They've changed.

Now you look up at the sky, it's a clear sky. Night and full of stars. Blink and all you see are clouds. Brown clouds.

Everyone knows what a suburban street looks like right? Nature strips, trees, concrete driveway, concrete gutters, black tarred road of asphalt or bitumen or whatever that stuff is called. Nup. It's gone. It's a dust road with pebbly gutters and ruts as deep as your ankle.

You know where you live and the general surrounding area? Now you're in a town you've never seen before and yet seem to kind of know your way around.

It's like waking in another world, with a different family, different friends, in a different time and hey. You've even changed ages. Perhaps genders. Social norms are different. People talk different... and what side of the bed did you get out of this morning that your house has disappeared behind you as you walked out the door.

Yeah. Nothing is as it seems.
Cliche, right?
Only, it's almost true and I feel like crying.

11 September, 2014


You scream and shout,
But nobody hears.
You wail and cry,
For all the fears.
No one notices
or raises their heads.
Each one continues
and keeps to their beds.
It's because you cannot show
Even a weakness.
You keep up the face
To keep no known weakness.
You must appear strong
And show all is well;
You must do no wrong
So gossip can't tell.

The enemy waits on the wayside,
Hiding there watching.
Waiting to catch you,
When you're most hurting.
They don't just attack,
But come at you sideways.
They don't face your front,
But strips bits off you always.
They whittle you down
Until you can't  rise
And then leap in a mound
To take your head prize.
When you're not looking,
When you can't see,
They'll take the chance raking
And you can't break free.
Show them your weakness,
They'll show you your heart,
Bloodied and beaten,
Poured all over the part.

Save, O Lord,
The waters have come up to my neck.
It deepens and eddies
And threatens to pull me under.
I need a boat
To stay afloat.
I need a pail
To help me bail.
Cyclones and towers
And deep currents too,
Pulling me under,
What should I do?

The enemy's waiting
By the side
With a net.
My strength's soon abating,
Unless You save me,
No one else will.
Unless You raise me,
They'll move in for the kill.
I don't want them to take
Advantage of this.
I don't want to make it
As easy as piss.

Swirling and whirling
And building in power.
Refuse to be hurling,
Refuse will to cower.

Heart fast,
Hold tight,
Don't let go
With all your might.
Pain though,
Now fight,
Breathe so,
Light kite.
Fast pace,
Don't waste,
In haste,
Straight faced.

Hold fast,
Dear heart.
Don't hide,

16 August, 2014

Still I try

Still I try to find something to say.
Still I feel in a helpless way.
Words are insufficient to get understanding across.
Words often fail due to information loss.
Galloping onward, I'd rather crawl.
Galloping over, I fall off and bawl.
Why must expectations of others I meet?
Why can't their standards with a stick I beat?
Much rather to raise my own flag pole high.
Much rather that than to look up and sigh.
In the morning, to rise without thought.
In the evening, to feel you've been bought.
During the day, to ears come the lies.
During the night, from cold fingers prise.
This poem's getting somewhat depressing.
This poem's not what I should be confessing.

Hail the deck, this stormy day!
Hail the wreck, this night's foray!
Belt the men about the head,
they'll not feel it since they're dead.
Are they dead? I cannot see.
They move not, so it must be.
I see their bodies, tossed with waves,
Bobbing limply, to their graves.
Hark how the wind doth howl.
Huddle deep, pull tight the cowl.
How was the message misunderstood?
Did they hear it and then put on a hood?
Clear as day, 'twas crystal clear.
The instructions told I them here.
Though I knew they'd try to see,
Still I tried to get them free.
Angry hearts and prouder eyes,
Have oft here met with their demise.
Pity the souls at home still waiting,
Who hear the storm, the loneliness hating.
Bound to this island where come the seekers.
I envy their freedom, those chaos wreakers.
Bitterer pills still I must swallow.
Could I save one, work would not be hollow.
Dig and heave,
Work shall not cease.
Into the earth the men shall go,
Into the graves, row upon row.

I give up.
Everything that comes out right now
is dark.
So I shall cease
and hope for

14 August, 2014

Story outlines

Because I tried to put this in the comments section of another writer's blog and discovered it was rather long and anyway, the comments refused to accept my comments because the date was far from the date the blog post had been written on - that or the internet had decided to stop working. Whatever happened, I have placed it here.

I initially started writing to find out what happened next in the story in my head. It was fine for short stories, I could finish those within a few hours or a few days. It was not so fine for long stories, because I could not physically write at a speed that would keep up with my brain's curiosity. This lasted for several years, resulting in multiple unfinished works which I still plan to get back to 'some day' (they're amusing to read, so rough and raw).

I used to be at a complete loss during school when the teachers made us do outlines, because for me that defeated the purpose of the story. Once the outline was written, there was no point in writing the story anymore. True, the details weren't there, but I knew what happened and my brain used to develop the story at the same speed it took for me to formulate the correct words with the correct spelling in the correct order (and comprehend it or reorganise it to make it comprehensible), before what happened next appeared to flow from my pen. Outlines were for intellectuals, control freaks and for people who wanted to become published writers, not hobby writers like me.

But the long stories... the long stories yearned to be put down - and quickly. So I discovered (grudgingly) that outlining was good for some stories, particularly the ones that enjoyed downloading themselves into my brain, rather than working themselves out via my pen. I used to hate typing too, because the pen was far more natural (but writing with a pen now hurts my hands and typing is not so trying on the little joints, until the pressure in the carpal tunnel starts to build up).

Then came a time of life where events and episodes and things flew at me like cars speeding on a highway. There was no time to write down whole stories and I had to (much as I hated it at the time) outline everything if I wanted to get them onto paper before the stories tried burning holes through in my brain to get out. It was around this time, pen and paper were scarcer and much too heavy to lug around with all the other stuff that had to be carried. Hence the reason I started typing some stories rather than writing them (these were the rebellious stories that refused to listen to my direction, until I learnt how to take digital control over them).

It was also during this time period that despite the outlines being down on paper, the stories refused to be 'over' or 'finished', as they used to be. Now they demanded detail, proper plots, costumes and voices that carried. They discussed their life stories in my head, whilst I lay in bed at night. They debated how they really would have reacted to that situation when I got up to go to the toilet during the night. They argued over their rights to become real when I woke up in the morning and ensured that they had clear settings by making me dream of maps, locations and the laws of their societies. During meal times, they talked about what they wanted for breakfast/lunch/dinner and what their favourite snacks were (made up or not).

Outlines turned into well annotated documents that at times required a magnifying glass to decipher. Before long, maps, illustrations and histories demanded their paper space. Suddenly, the stories were not just stories, but little worlds swimming in scrawled paper, begging to be put in order. I couldn't leave them in that chaotic state. How would they ever find themselves if I left them like that? How would anyone else see them for who they were if they remained what looked like a pile of papers stuffed into notebooks, stuffed into exercise books, stuffed into folders, stuffed into bags that were piling up at the foot of my bed? (I don't have a desk.) What if someone did not recognise their right to leap off the paper and threw them out in the trash? (I did that once to some completed stories whom I told to get lost and never to come to light of day again, and surprisingly, Mum fished them out the bin for me, thinking I'd thrown them out by accident. I was not pleased, although those stories were. I didn't take them back though. Rubbish is garbage which is a waste of space and should stay in the trash where it belongs.)

So I started writing the stories and typing them and they keep expanding (the notes and understanding of the characters, not so much the actual story). The outline changes sometimes, but so do the characters and so have I. Some of my WIPs are over 10 years old and I'm still working on them - a different one for every mood, since different WIPs require different atmospheres and sometimes more patience to sort out all those notes. I guess I'm still a hobby writer, with the aim of improving my writing for my own benefit, since I don't have the confidence to do anything more than that with my writing. (If they were medical literature or systematic reviews of clinical trials or similar, that would be a different matter. I'm quite confident with those... that is until I reach the statistics sections, which is where my creative writing gets to come out to play so that no one knows I have no idea what the math is really saying.)

One thing I will say for outlines (albeit still somewhat grudgingly), they are handy for figuring out where you are in a story after you've come back to it after several years and can't remember what it was about anymore; and for discovering that you have written the same story plot/outline with rather similar subplots, themes and characterisations, multiple times in various settings with different character names with the same personalities. I'm on the trail of hidden duplicates these days.

All duplicates shall be found.
All duplicates shall be merged
or deleted.

I realise that this post makes me sound a little older than I am, but I'm in an 'old' mood today. Likely because it's bedtime - or should I say, time to get up?

16 July, 2014

Sunshine in a storm

Amidst the storm, water trickles from the stony ledge to the powdery soil below; the droplets slowly being absorbed into the reluctant earth. The sheltered ground beneath the jutting stone is just the place to wait out the thunder and lightning. It's cold, but I guess you can't have everything. At least it's dry and protected from the rain with a pile of old dry leaves for a cushion.

From the leafy cushion, small green fronds curtain over the stone's lip a bit like a green waterfall, from which the rivulets of water runs. There are layers to this curtain, made of various mosses intertwined with delicate frills of something that reminds one of crocheted lace and ferns. Mini ferns with tiny fronds that underlay the heavier, but no less fine grass blades and other intricate creepers of a miniscule nature. It's like seeing a mini forest within the forest and gives a sense of worlds within worlds within worlds and where will it end?

In the distance, a tiny bird is huddled under a clump of leaves in a tree, its feathers ruffled up to retain extra heat, but looking like a miserable man standing at a bus stop, with coat collars turned up, trying to keep out the cold and hoping that the bus will hurry up, so that he can escape the wet and cold.

A rabbit comes dashing suddenly through the undergrowth, pausing momentarily under the shelter, giving no second glance when it sees no sudden or unnatural movement. It takes each ear in its paws in turn, wringing out the extra water and fussing at which way the fur should run. Licking its paws and washing its face, the rabbit glances over, sneezes and dashes back out, probably hoping to get back to its warm, dry burrow before it is completely soaked. A flash of lightning and an almost immediate boom of thunder causes it to jump sideways, skittering a little on the slippery grass, before it finds its footing again and is gone with a bound.

Water drips and drops in musical notes over the background drumming of the downpour. One more roll of the thunder and suddenly there's a patch of blue in the sky of heavy grey clouds. Brilliant sunlight streams down, making the water sparkle everywhere like freshly polished jewels that have been purposely scattered to reflect the sun's radiance. It's almost too bright, but at least the streaming sunlight brings the remembrance of what warmth is.

For a moment, time stands still.

Like a musical pause and before a thought can be thought or an emotion felt, the rain returns in angry earnest, the clouds denying the existence of the fleeting patch of blue, pretending the sun had never been.

But it had.

And the memory of that moment of bright warmth warms the heart through the long hours whilst waiting for the storm to pass.

13 July, 2014

Ruins of Maratore

Another old one.

I travelled valleys high and to valleys low, until I tripped upon it. At first glance, it was just a half buried stone hidden amongst long windswept grass within a wide rolling valley, with groves of ancient, vined trees tucked far from any known trade routes.

Shaking out my throbbing foot, I was about to continue on my long journey to rediscover the lost ruins of Maratore, when something about the stone's uniform shape caught my eye. Unearthing it, I discovered it was of a similar blue hue that the city had been known to be made of. You know, the deep sort of indigo blue that reminds you of warm blankets and soft comforters, but in a stone.

Hope beat in my chest and I cast my gaze out over the rest of the valley. Tilting my head this way and that, I was struck by the way the rolling valley floor contained straight and perpendicular lines. Were they streets? The remains of building foundations? Had I really found the ancient city that had once been famed for their wisdom and love of all things blue or indigo?

I was so excited that I couldn't decide what to do or where to start. I could only stand in awe, my imagination replacing the old walls and streets, until before me, I could see a vision of what the city had once been.

I saw people bustling about, calling to one another and trying to escape the crush of the streets. Children ran after animals which rooted within smelly heaps of garbage at various street corners. Street vendors cried their wares in high pitched undulating voices, whilst merchants waded through the press, forcing a path using their large,deep chested horses.

Something fluttered past my ear, just brushing my skin like a drape of velvet brushing by, breaking my reverie.

The butterfly was brilliant blue, veined with deep purples and blacks. I had never seen such a specimen before and couldn't think what it might even be called. It looked somewhat like a blue emporer and yet it was larger and more majestic than that. It flew with purpose toward one of the great groves of trees with canopies that stretched out great shadows.

Without really thinking, I followed the butterfly into the grove and into the cool shadow. Walls of vines rose about me, intertwining with the trees, leaving a tunnel through which I could travel.

The light beneath the thick vegetation was very dim, yet the butterfly continued onward, its wings capturing the struggling light and reflecting it in bright flashes of sapphire blue.

The sound of running water reached my ears and the smell of moist earth seemed to make my mouth salivate. I hadn't realised it before, but I was thirsty and couldn't wait to reach the water to which I felt sure the butterfly was leading me.

A black hole opened in the ground at my feet, causing me to stumble and nearly twist my ankle. There were steps. Leaning toward the hole, I could hear the water below. The butterfly had disappeared. Dust and dry vegetation littered the ground at my feet, but the air within the hole smelt sweet.

Taking a step of faith, I descended the cobblestone steps into the dark. For a brief moment, panic struggled against curiosity, but failed to stop my feet moving forward as if of their own accord.

Then I saw it. Soft light at the end of the tunnel of stairs, highlighting the browns and tans of the dust and fading vegetation against the indigo stone. Bright greens peeked out at me from their moment in the sunlight, looking as if they were cheering with uplifted hands.

From the dark, I emerged into what must have once been an elaborately decorated cavern, its walls lined with images of flora and fauna I had never seen before, now worn with water and time.

At my feet a pool of turquoise water swirled with fine white bubbles caused by the small cascade of water that emerged from the mouth of some fish-like creature on the opposite wall. Bright light streamed in through a jagged hole in the roof of the cavern where there must have once been a rockfall long ago. Ferns and mosses dominated the space beneath the hole at the pool's edges along with some fine bladed flowering grasses.

It was above the tiny flowers that myriads of those brilliant sapphire butterflies danced. Fragrant wafts of fresh grass and flowers filled the air, mingling with the wet smell of the dirt within this place.

Taking a seat on a cushion of moss, I closed my eyes and smiled. I turned my face up toward the light and contemplated the peace and beauty of this place, still not quite able to believe how blessed I was to be here.

12 July, 2014

Open spaces

Something old.

Open sky over open fields,
closed in spaces with leafy shields.
Sparkling water running by,
yet by them all still sit and sigh.
Waving grass ripples in the breeze,
petalled flowers toss heads with ease.
Still on sun warmed banks there lie,
looking up and wondering why.
Here in in water in firm ground stand,
when there's someone to give a hand.
Never mind thoughts running high
of possible things to go awry.
When it all becomes too much to keep,
look up to the hills whence help will leap.

05 May, 2014

Frosty morning

I woke to find the world encased in cold, crisp crystal layers. Where every breath is like a puff of steam and red, benumbed noses are expected. Through the frosted windows, the world is shattered in coloured shards and the clothes you try to dress in seem to be as stiff as card. The water from the tap, feels like snow melt from the mountains and while the coffee's boiling the steam drips condensation. To gain some warmth, hands are wrapped tight around the mug, while face leans toward the brew and a thick coat is buttoned snug.

The light is dim and sullen, coloured through with greys. The earth smells sharp and sudden, assaulting nasal ways. Grass crunches beneath the feet and wind bites at the ears, while it scratches at the eyes and brings unbidden tears.

27 February, 2014

It's not for me - it's for you

There are times when you don't want to do any work or study or even talk to your friends. There are times you want to laugh and cry and scream and throw yourself on the floor, hammering at it until it breaks beneath you. There are times where you expect the sky to crack apart and a storm to blow the world apart.

But you don't expect it to be perfect. You don't expect the sun to be shining and people smiling.

Not after a baby has died in its mother's arms. Not after the whole family had been waiting 10 years with bated breath for this one miracle to happen... and then bury it, just after 5 days.

You don't want it to be real.

How can a perfectly healthy baby, die while breastfeeding in its mothers arms with no warning?

There was no warning.

One moment, the infant was smiling and happy. The next, blue-grey and without breath.

And this was not the first death near me. There have been others. Friends' friends. Friends' parents. This one, that one. This person, that person. Dust to dust.

How dare the sun shine and the birds sing and people tell me what a great day it is? Don't they know what has happened? I want to shake them and shout and scold and holler until I've no breath.

There are times to smile and times you don't tell anyone what is going on in your life or what is happening, because if you do, it might be real and the world might really fall apart around you. You might suddenly realise that you've been living amongst cardboard cut outs and that everything you knew is gone. You might think that you've been living in a dream world, hiding from the rock bare reality out there. You might see building collapse into dust, trees dry up and birds fall from the sky and turn into skeletons. You might see the grass shrivel up around you and the graves. The graves stretching back as far as the eyes can see. That's why you need to hide amidst the poster paint and dancing cartoon characters. That's why you need to live, waking, in a dream.

But then, I have been living in a dream world ever since I was 12 and seen far more than I bargained for when I was 4 years old.

Sometimes, all I want to do is to heed that soft call - the one that tells you to just lie down and let go. Sleep. Sleep without ending and without waking. Sleep and feel no more.

I have seen all I want to see. I have seen enough and I want it finished. I don't want it any more.

It's hard to say things without actually telling you what has happened. It's hard to explain without making it seem melodramatic, inconsequential or stupid... but then you probably wouldn't believe me anyway. I can barely believe it myself, so why should you? Why should you believe me? I've told you nothing, but that a baby has died and babies do that. People do that. They die.

All I am is print on a screen. Noise in cyberspace. Floating letters. Just another voice nobody hears. Just another person nobody sees. I wish I could become invisible. I could then fade away. Disappear. Nobody would even notice. Nobody would even care. It wouldn't matter. And I'd be pleased. Pleased because that is what I deserve... but that would never happen, because there are people who would be devastated. Lost. They love you and would cry for you just as you would probably do for them (although sometimes you wonder whether you would cry for them). It's torture sometimes. You want to leave, but can't. You're trapped between your needs and the needs of others and you know that their needs will always outweigh yours. Because you love them and can't hurt them any more than you already have.

Trapped is the word for it.

So you sit in the box. You stay in the walls of expectation. You smile, you grin, you bear. You do what is expected of you and say the acceptable things. You act out a story that doesn't quite seem yours. You go about as if you haven't a care in the world. Eating, laughing, playing, working. Be perfect. Show no weakness. Not one crack. Don't let them see what a wreck you've become inside. How you no longer care about whether your papers are straight or your clothes are ironed or whether or not you smell. Don't let them know that your hobbies are joyless tasks and that your laughter is just a recorded echo. Don't let them know that all you want to do is sit on your bed in a corner and rock, listening to the moaning of the wind across the deserted plains in your heart.

Perhaps I do care. It's not that I don't or I'd perform the most selfish act of all. Perhaps I care too much.

This world sees too much death. Too much sickness. Too much hate and anger and selfishness and sadness. I don't want others to experience this. To know how it feels to have lost or be grieving or to have nothing left.

Which is why.

Why I gather my courage before fully opening my eyes in the morning and screw up what strength is left in me to face another day. Why I smile and greet my friends and colleagues all day as if all is well with the world. Why I go home and cook and clean and try to keep the family happy. Why I pray to not wake up again every night before I go to bed.

Love overrides a lot of things. A lot of problems. A lot of feelings. A lot of sins. A lot of sadness.

Love. Love is all you need and everything that is left. You see, love is hope.

You can live on love and know that no matter what comes, what enemies, what dangers, what emotions or things you may face, you know you will have the strength to face it. It's not for you. It was never for you. It was for them. That's how one man in the depth of history, took on the sins and the fate of all the people who will live and be born in time - and died for them.

Because with Love, nothing is impossible.
With Love, you can do all things.
In Love, you are invincible.

So I don't live for me.
I live for you.

20 February, 2014

Titles can be hard to think of - misty morning

On an early misty morning, you walk out the door into a wall. A wall of white, wispy fog. It's like entering another world. The fog tendrils envelop you and make you cold and clammy. It clogs your ears and dampens depth, so you can hear the silence rising. Bird song struggles or breezes in the distance. Moist dew beads and makes your clothes feel heavy. You feel sweaty without sweating, you feel dirty although you just showered. Dirt kicks up and clings to you from the back of your boots to the bare skin of your calves. Sometimes you can smell the rich moist earth - almost good enough to want to eat. Sometimes you smell decay, something rotting in a ditch. Sometimes you smell nothing, but the absence of any smell and the mist crawls up your nose and down your throat, threatening to choke you. Ominous shapes loom out of nowhere, appearing like old giant men or apparitions of the mist.

But then the sun, the glorious sun, it rises. Unexpectedly, the fog rises, tendrils twisting and writhing to escape from captivity in the strong sunlight. As suddenly as you walked into it, it's gone. Sounds resume - the insect scurry, the birds' song and the chickens calling to be fed. Smells waft with the new morning breeze. The dark shadow that looked like a stooping giant turns into an old tree, from which an old tyre swing hangs.

Until night falls and the mist comes creeping back, thickening into snaking fog that blankets everything.

On an early misty morning, you could accidentally wander onto the road and be hit by an oncoming truck you could neither see nor hear until too late.

On an early misty morning, you could disappear with a scream and nobody would see. Nobody would hear.

Which is of course what happened.

26 January, 2014

The Papyretans

The Papyretans were not a compassionate people. They were in fact, a race obsessed with systems, reports, forms and paper. In short, they were a people so passionate about paperwork that they had paper wars to prove who was the better administrator. Of course, the side with the largest amount of paperwork to show how diligent they were won. These wars often occurred between cities and could last years, or in some cases, centuries. The most recent two decade war of Papier and Mâché resulted in both cities becoming so inundated with paper particles that they had to call a cease-fire citing health and safety concerns involving asthma, fire hazards and visibility. People and traffic were unable to move freely without battery powered paper shredders and those with shares in battery power companies made millions before the excess paper was cleared. The profit made from these shares were then, of course, re-routed into renewing the war between these rival cities.

The average Papyretan's life was lived out behind small desks - often composed of completed paperwork that did not fit in the filing cabinets; and houses were multi-storey blocks of concrete apartments which were relics of a long forgotten industrial age. Along every street, were piles and piles of long lost correspondence, normally known as 'mislaid letters, reports, statistics, miscellaneous sheets and other papers'. These paper piles were preferred over trees or other natural flora as paper 'was more refined, did not need to be cared for and generally did its own thing'. Consequently, 'dirty' trees and other vegetation not 'naturally occurring' like mildew, mould and fungi were systematically eradicated as weeds within the cities.

Paper furniture was all the rage, despite its tendency to fall apart, but the Papyretans felt this to be excellent object lessons for their children to learn filing efficiency and proper respect for the papers. The cheapest and most proper food for children was paper porridge (made from the finest redundant forms), as it was nutritious (when laced with multi-vitamins and minerals) and was considered to help teach the children their 'letters, grammar and literacy essentials'. As a result, paper porridge unsurprisingly is the number one most hated food on the planet, far surpassing green vegetables, skinny shakes and mouldy bread. When the adults weren't looking, the children were quick to pour their unflavoured bowls of porridge out the windows upon the pre-existing paper piles to 'feed the mould'. It is said that the micro-organisms on the planet are amongst the most literate in the universe.

Due to the desk based nature of the Papyretans, the planet itself gave off a general odour of stale donuts and coffee, as well as something burnt, wet and rotting. Or to be more precise, singed paper (from the multiple fires that often threatened to engulf entire continents) that had been eaten by large silverfish (also known as Lepisma saccharina or fishmoths), spat out mid-chew, left to grow mould, chewed, spat out again and then left to rot in one of the paper bogs (made of shredded, saliva slimed paper bits) where the bored, overfed silverfish tended to wallow in their own filth whilst reading 'dear John' or 'dear Jane' letters that writers had either forgotten or avoided posting. Subsequently, the silverfish were cynical, extra hard shelled insects with a skewed sense of romanticism, who had no understanding of the words 'friendship' or 'intimacy'. If finding a mate in order to dump them straight away was not romantic, they didn't know what was. Considering the number of 'dear John' or 'dear Jane' letter bogs there were on the planet, it was a wonder how the silverfish or even Papyretans even survived to populate the planet.

25 January, 2014

Strong heart, dear heart

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Fear not the winter storms,
Where wind doth howl
And whole house growl
And rain sobbingly mourns.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Fear not the dark black night,
Where despair claws
Without a cause,
Wrapping thee in chains tight.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Heed not the whispering dread,
Whose strength is fear,
But can only leer
If thou turnst not thy head.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Give not up thy dare.
For troubles come,
But they will run,
When you rest in God's care.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Keep hope and faith quite near.
For the sun riseth
And from pain priseth,
Scattering thine each tear.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
In pain do not be lost.
For God's Word stands
And His commands
Outweigh the heavy cost.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Be bold and of good courage.
To others smile,
Let nothing rile,
And for all those near encourage.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
I'll hold thee tight all day.
You will be fine
And across the line
I'll carry thee alway.

They were here

The wind howled. Tree branches tapped against my window. There was no storm, no lightning and no rain. Just wind, wind and more wind. It roared and whipped around my house, sounding like myriads of voices, hammering at every door and window to be let in.

They said that they would come for me tonight. I didn't dare sleep. What if I never woke up? What if I went missing? I didn't know exactly what they meant when they said they would come for me. Was it to kill me? Was it to kidnap me? Was it to force me to do something I wouldn't want to do otherwise?

I had shoved a knife inside the waistband of my trousers and hidden weapons throughout the house - just in case. Perhaps they wouldn't come tonight. It was very cold and windy after all. Maybe something would dissuade them from coming here.

What was that? And that?

The noise of glass being smashed and crashing to the ground filtered slowly through the wind's multitudinous shouting. I ducked into the only hiding place I could think of. The back of my cramped wardrobe, behind the piles of clothes. I covered myself with a layer of neatly folded clothes and froze.

They were here.

They were here.

The whispering. The footsteps.

It wasn't my fault. The witnessing. The saving of the couple's lives. I mean, I hadn't expected to be there either.

It hadn't taken long for them to find out who I was or where I lived. It hadn't taken long for them to slowly strip away everything and everyone I knew and loved. The first, my cat, had been a warning, but when the police asked me questions, I couldn't lie. I couldn't not tell them about the attempted murders. Not that my testimony had helped them catch the culprits. The couple were killed in the hospital and my boyfriend disappeared.

I moved house and it was graffitied. My neighbours shunned me. Don't ask me why. How would I know?

The media came asking for my story. I was reluctant. Refused to speak to them, but somehow, somewhere, they got the story. Did a policeman tell them? My parents? I don't know. I only know that my parents disappeared, leaving behind streaks of blood. No bodies.

I moved house again.

Somewhere far away and deserted.

It wasn't my fault that they had people in the area dealing drugs and a policeman just happened to be passing by while I was also passing by.

My sister disappeared and a heart-rending, frightening CD had appeared in my letterbox. A letter, they said, with love.

Why target my family? Why hack into my devices and call all my friends for a party only to kill them en masse?

Why not just kill me?

Well. They were here now.

The wind blustered into the closet and found its way to me between the clothes. A rough hand grabbed me. Dragged me. The knife fell out my trousers. My neat piles of clothes fell haphazardly onto the floor. A blurred face. No weapons at hand.

They were here.

No where to go.

No where to hide.

24 January, 2014

River echo

By the river softly running,
By the green and leafy banks,
Her song can still be heard
Echoing upon the waters.

“Hiding and seeking
Are you a-seeking?
Here I am hiding,
Come to me finding.”

“Come and find me,
Come and seek me,
Follow me, follow me,
To where I might be.”

On the banks we used to play,
Running riot all the day,
Swimming and sliding,
Seeking, hiding,

Until the spring waters
Of melted, icy snow
Flooded the plains
And swept her away.

Here I am sitting
By the river waters
Listening to the echo
Of her voice still calling.

“Hiding and seeking
Are you a-seeking?
Here I am hiding,
Come to me finding.”

“Come and find me,
Come and seek me,
Follow me, follow me,
To where I might be.”

23 January, 2014

Midnight fight

One dark day in the middle of the night,
I heard a noise and got up to fight.
Grabbed a bat, snuck down the stairs;
In the kitchen, imagined bears.
Instead I saw a wild man,
Shuffling around and eating ham.
He had one hand stuck inside the fridge,
The other hand making a creamy smidge.
When I gave an angry yell-o,
Toward me flying came a jell-o.
He grabbed my bat,
I snatched up the mat
And down we tumbled with a smack.
Tangled in a mash of food,
Does not put me in a good mood.
Angrily I jabbed a punch
And outward came someone’s old lunch.
Then I heard a familiar sigh
And horrified, looked into my husband’s eye…

This is a work of fiction.

20 January, 2014


I travelled to the Eiderdown to whistle to the trees,
where hiding amidst the fluttering leaves, small birds chirp like buzzing bees.
They're the size of a child's hand and dressed in jewelled green,
and under the leafy boughs will in the sunlight gleam.

This is my place to rest
to think and contemplate
This is where I do what I do best
daydream while I sit and wait

If I'm patient and I'm still
My little friends after a while will
Come and crowd around me
Copying my small tunes soundly

I don't know if they tire at all
of that funny little buzzing sound
but I know that when I start to sing
they're imitations do fair astound.