Thursday, 31 December 2009

Write what you know

This post breaks my editorial guidelines for this site – it isn't 50 words and its not a poem inspired by a single word but I was surfing doing story research, and found myself on the Leicester Mercury site(the old newspaper from where I was born and brought up). And as you do I typed in relatives names to see if they surfaced- they don't usually! But this time one did as below.
And like a bad Soap Opera episode it revealed that my brother was killed in August. It even had a comment from a sister in the memoriam section. Protesting that she didn't know, and despite not talking to him for 26 years, she missed him. I haven't spoken to either for 20 years, but like she says,  he pops up in my thoughts over the years. And unlike her, I did try to have a relationship through birthday phone calls and cards at Christmas. But I was too "weird" for him given my life style, and dare I say - my acquired middle classness. We both came from a very dysfunctional family background and in our own ways are the success stories. He kept married, had one child and was never out of work as a HGV driver - all miracles given our family background. And now he is dead.

Even more spooky, is/was that an Open University creative writing assignment is going to be about a fatal motor-bike accident and its aftermath so now I am part of the ripple myself. Needless to say not in the mood to do the overdue critical essay for a while until I make the phone call. It took me ages to track down where they live( strangely, like us they been in the same house for the past 20 years but somehow both of us never managed to keep even a Christmas Card going) but when I rang, his wife and daughter was out. It must have been a very difficult Christmas for them. Do they want the strange unknown relative intruding with empty words who wasn't even a footnote in their daily life?

If I am brutally honest, I am not that emotionally upset at the moment  as in shock although it will kick in later. We never had a life together, just some moments. Its more about the loss of possibilities, and of your childhood memories and "furniture". I always had at the back of my mind that some type of reconciliation could take place - when he was 50 ( I missed it), on his birthday,( three days after mine but it gets forgotten more then remembered), and at Christmas (more luck but never a response). But now a phone call, and then maybe a visit to his ashes(one day as never in the area), and that's the end to a brother who I brought his first suit when I left Leicester for good, and who's best man I was. And I last saw as shy, awkward fish out of water attender at my Quaker wedding.

I shed my tears through writing this poem - not great poetry but genuine feelings as writing what I know.

When reading on-line
Today was the day I lost my brother.
Outside it rains, for him it was sunny -
a perfect day. For me, eyes are runny.
He loved, and will be missed, I discover.
What did we have in common, a mother,
separate lives, women who rescued us?
His Kawasaki roared with impetus.
He loved, and will be missed, I discover.
Yet I have fond memories that cover
first suits and a matey bottle of gin -
with a past beaten through self discipline.
He loved, and will be missed, I discover.
Now that engine stands silent, my brother.
He loved, and will be missed, I discover.

Saturday, 31 October 2009


Random Word: Customer service

Random Story Image

'It isn't right.'
'It's been the rule for years, sir.'
'They burned heretics for years; it didn't' make it right.'
'We were very disappointed by that decision.'
'Look, I must be on the register.'
'I'm sorry sir, when a camel gets through the eye of a needle, you'll be considered.'

Friday, 30 October 2009

How to sweet talk – not

Random Story Image Random Word: Sugar

'Baby, you know I love you.' I always sugared when I wants some sweetening. You hand a line to your kitty-cats or they claw but not the fun way if you gets my drift. Why I even shave and shower for the good uns – she's a splash and dab gal.

Before having too much

Random Word: Molasses
Random Story ImageMe lasses you no ken what it were like in the auld days. We worked in the fields till our backs broke from the picking and skin burned... burnt so we was sisters o' the earth. Our bairns worked once they tottered or we starved. Me lasses you no ken.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A married love

Random word: Honey
I call 'Honey', and she ignores my plea
as her past replays hard distant voices –
echoes that prick and bleed, nightmare forces
to tear and tug away her melody.
Breakfast was once love, now cool clemency
reigns, with burnt toast welcome as winter sun.
But temptation still leaves a charlatan
to tear and tug away her melody.
Yet life's song made her my celebrity,
a star of silver screen from the first sight.
So I dream of life starved of appetite
to tear and tug away her melody –
a time of love, without adultery
to tear and tug away her melody.

Monday, 26 October 2009

To kill with love

Random Story Image

Random Word: En Español

Looking at him swagger, she sensed what he’d be like in bed, a controlled slow burner that got the pot bubbling before going out – her kind of man. She liked one who knew that a cat purred when you stroke. As her mother like to say...para matar con amor.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

No man is handsome to a dad

Random Story Image
Random word: A Handsome Man
‘He's a darn touch too good looking if you get me drift.’ 
            ‘What man - what real man - puts muck on his face...and...thinks about what to wear outside of weddings and funerals.’
            ‘Dad, Bill is sensitiv—’
            ‘Sensitive! He'll be in a dress next - he's got the hair already.’

Friday, 23 October 2009

On meeting beautiful women

Random word:  A Beautiful Woman

A beautiful woman draws like a flame,
so you watch wondering who she will burn.
But cool heads lose when they dream of the sun.

So what, you may say - a day in the sun
when you flutter and fluff around the flame
is worth that hint of bliss before the burn.

For a moment you hope...pray that the burn
when it comes heralds the dawn of the sun
shining on the love you feel like a flame.

But flames burn so let loose dreams of your sun.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Love isn't all we need…is it?

Senior_Mother_Son_Mass_2008_(70) Random word: Sad
Steve is so defensive. Whenever I ask "are you happy", he says something flippant. What's wrong with me worrying about him? Dad slipped way before I could ask. Kids, what do they know about neglect, I sleep with it every night. What's wrong in wanting to be someone's prize possession?

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Love isn't all we need

Senior_Mother_Son_Mass_2008_(70) Random word: Happy
'Are you happy?' Steve answered quickly; he knew the consequences of being slow or honest. His mother pounced on any sadness as dancing with the Devil – a slide to moral corruption or worse. He knew it was love of a kind; his wasn’t a story of neglect but of possession.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The peril's of being a Home Counties witch

Random word: Round Midnight
Random Story Image ‘It were at the witching hour when the moon shines out the deeds of those too evil to be abed like good folk. And before you say, it were a call of nature that got me to the window.’ 
           ‘Why do you have to arrest mother? She’s only…confused.’


Saturday, 17 October 2009

You talking to me?

Random word: Protection
'Do this and...well you'll see Roy again.'Random Story Image
'What you mean? He's back this evening. I were on the blower with him only this morning.'
'He's been...detained.'
'You butcher.'
'Keep your hair on mate; he won't be touched if you play straight.'
'You’ll have to kill me first.'

Friday, 16 October 2009

A Man doesn't have to always do what a Man does

Random word: High Noon

Not a Cowboy!
Real McCoy, Mam -
saveloy ready.
Eh, Woody, what
could you mean you bad little saucepot?

Campfire food Mam,
we have lamb too.
Oh damn the food,
let's be rude tonight
and get your gun shot through my gunsight.

Madam, this is wrong,
please remove your tongue.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Love thy Friends

Random word: Coffee Date
 Random Story Image 'I'm sorry darling, the traffic was terrible.' Sarah's sincerity was as real as her eye free smile as she air kissed Alice and the others.
            'How horrid for you having to rush out so unprepared,' Alice said, in honey tones.
            The other participants winced - who would be collateral damage?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The wrong love

Random word: Sunrise

My last sunrise.
I despise her-
her guise disgusts,
yet...yet my lusts
soil and rusts the
metals of my
soul. So I die.

The first word begins the story

Random Story Image

He looked at the white page, and from it smiled an old bitter woman haunted by her past betrayal. A lover long dead,  never let her forget as he sat by her bed each night. But for peace both must forgive. 
His pen moved, and the dream became your story.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Whenever was it about the words?

 Random Story Image'Will you use a taxi when I die?' 
           Harry knew this was a test, but not what sort of test. The ones that started with screams, but ended in bedroom squeals  were...manageable.
           'Because you're a cheapskate.'
           Harry desperately checked for forgotten anniversaries. Why can't women speak plain?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Souls untouched

Will you love me tomorrow?Random Story Image
How much will you love me?
But I want love for eternity. A love they write books about.
I think you want romance not love.
I do.
Well my love will keep you warm and fed.
Tomorrow comes. Choose.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Remember least we forget

'Is it true daddy', asked Jake with the honesty of innocence. Random Story ImageBefore we die perhaps we regain that humility and hope. 
           George, his father, thought he knew better. 'It's a sea of yellow story told to—'
           The knock at the door gave George eventual humility and lost Jake his innocence.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

When you can’t avoid or report

I just knew Random Story Imageyou were trouble the moment I—
Only because you have no ear—
Who is giving the orders?
If you have to ask.
I will report you to the sponsors.
The one who slept with me or the one who avoids you?
Just sing…just—
                                                Darling, I was.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Old soldiers never die they just fade away


Old Friends

'We met on the 9.42 to London from...from...I forget,' said Keith, wiping his brow in the heat.
           'It was from Hitchen. Station gone. Chinese restaurant now don’t you know,' said George. 'Cold so very cold.'
           Keith knew better then to argue and just touched George's hand. 'I know.'

Saturday, 3 October 2009

The Enemy Within

'Hände bis, Random Story ImageEnglische hunde.’
           Sir, if they don’t shoot you, I will.’
24 Hours earlier
I'm sorry Sir, but I think using Elefanten erinnern nur selten ein picknick-rumpus as a password will blow our cover.'
           'Look you may be some hotshot in civvy street, but here I give the orders.

Friday, 2 October 2009

When the cure was worse


Random Story Image

I knew as my hand touched her, she was ill; the skin was too scratchy for a woman who had others cook and clean. 
            'Please take a seat, ' I said, weighing up her fee.
            What they paid, told me, the truth they wanted. I reckoned she wanted expensive lies.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Motel Loves

'Did you seeRandom Story Image that?' 
            Christie prodded Keith
            ’What, Its only six.’
            'Look. The woman behind the lace curtain over in 42.’
            'So? It's her room.’
            ‘Yes but isn’t it old Pulaski's wife?’
            Keith rolled over and said, 'What would she be doing here?'
            'Someone 20 years younger and 40lbs lighter.'

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Conspiracy

Random Story ImageI looked down at the dead body, her green dress mingled with the red of blood. Looking back  I was too silent, the body as stiff as hers, both our eyes dry. I longed to scream, as once we did between silken sheets, or in the poppy field at dawn.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Age before beauty

Random Word: Nana
Grace pulled the curtains and waved him to the bed. She was soon naked not caring what sagged where. The last time everything had pointed up on its own, Kennedy had got shot. What counted was that he was young and definitely nothing was sagging. Hmm, Nana wanted…Nana got.

When does God approve of Kissing?

Random Story ImageTwo teenage friends in the 1940’s
Fredrick : Why can’t boys kiss?
Harold: They can.
Fredrick: What boys kiss boys?
Harold: Yuk no. Its wrong in the eyes of God.
Fredrick I thought God loved you?
Harold : He does.
Fredrick: So if you kiss and love, He must approve?

Thursday, 24 September 2009

The Dreams of Kings

Random Story Image
‘Sire, did you dream last night as the witch foretold?,’ asked the Night Lord.
           The King looked at the couriers but did not speak. His eyes lost in shadows.
           ‘His Highness is cursed,’ they cried, many even with real concern. Or were they the better liars, trusting no living King.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Switch and the Dark Tower

Switch halted at the door. He was out of breath and out of time- theRandom Story Image screams of Help me had stopped. 
           ‘Emolley hold on I am coming.’ He charged at the door with his shoulder that creaked but held. 
            ‘Cut. Sorry darling,the  bloody door should have come off.’

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The past may not be your future

Random Story Image

'Once this was a lake where fish were like a slither of snakes.'
            'What else old timer?'
            Craig could see that the boys were sand runners and the girl was something… more dangerous. 'We burned in the sun.'
            The children laughed at this nonsense from the time of cold skies.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Four Jaws you don’t forget

'Random Story ImageThey hunt in fours but divide into singles to corner you.’
Rosemary knew—she had lost a finger to one. Hearing the rosters, she jumped up. 'Sir, I want to partner up with Kawasaki when we go south.'
Sitting down, she smiled. Her growing babies would enjoy his bones.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Love at the movies

Random Story Image

‘Don’t you just love it when the good guy wins,’ Ryan said, grabbing a handful of popcorn from Meryl’s  carton -his had kept the trailers unheard. 
           Meryl, just chewed her gum.
           On the screen, Bret smashed the UV ray-gun and turning saw her—his reason for crossing over to flesh world.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Guesthouse Manners


Random Story Image

'Don't look now but that little madam has had a second orange juice.'
            Harold turned round.
            May manage to say, 'Good Morning, nice view isn’t it.'
            'Harold,' she hissed, 'Thank you! I'll have to chat now.’
            Harold just shrugged, women always made it so complicated—he’d just smile and ignore.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Looks aren't everything


Random Story Image

Zelda wiped the grease away from her mouth, she has real class, before saying, 'You don’t want to cross Hash Brown's woman. She did a John Bobbitt, if you get my drift.' 
            I didn't. She just sighed and said something about lights being on but they weren't, it was noon.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Script conference from Hell

Random Story ImageYou’ll be Texas toast when I get you.’
‘Where's the bloody writer.’
‘What can’t you understand now?’
‘What he’s saying, the character is supposed to be Cool not some Beverley Hill twink.’
‘Its a metaphor!’
‘God, to think I turned down Spielberg for this crock.’
‘It’s not what I heard.’

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Sticks and stones

Random Story Image

‘I ain't firing blanks, its yor eggs that are scrambled.'
            He regretted saying it, as soon as he saw her eyes empty
            'I'm sorry, let me—’
            'Just go and stay with yor brother. Shame it's too late to swop, at least he wer better in bed then you ever managed.'

Friday, 11 September 2009

The first step

'Are you knowndrunks-1?' 
            The words slapped him. What accept that drink doesn’t killed the pain—it merely distracts 
            'Let yourself be known by your own words' 
             Rick, looked up to the outstretched hand, hesitated, then turned to pick up his bottle and walk away. ' Do you know?, echoed his footsteps.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Your Family

Random Story Image

Because they're family is all that Mike got whenever he complained about sharing toys with  some lousy cousin from the sticks. 
            As a teenager, he saw it as a fat lie. He was gay. Families like his hated queers.
            When he came out, they just shrugged—he was family.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Sunday Pancakes

'Why can't Random Story Imagewe make a Frisbee', Maise said. It was the Sunday drought and only morally uplifting activities such as cooking were parent approved.
            Harry tentatively asked 'how?' 
            'Easy we make pancakes with plaster rather then flour.'
             Looking back Harry saw that 'no way' was what he should have said.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

What we did as kids

The crash got them running. Old man Coles was treacle slow buRandom Story Imaget he could hit flies a mile away once cocked up. Gasping hard, they jumped over the hedge ripping modesty away as bullets thundered past.
           Later when asked at school each said, 'No, not me' with a practised innocence.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Listen and you will learn

‘Prof JRandom Story Imageackson, folks. Put your hands together for the professor.’ 
           ‘So Prof, what made you a Nobel prize winner?’
           ‘It was when I was eight years old—’
           ‘Now folks did you know what you wanted at eight. Isn't that wonderful.’
           ‘Thanks and my father woke—’ 
           ‘Yes folks, clap for Dads…’

Friday, 4 September 2009

A Song to live by


Random Story Image Only her face shone in the stage lights, the moon to the audience's stars as recording lenses sparkled back. Her note broke the silence of death to summon hope. Out of the darkness came the answer, a deep despair to her joy—both voices merging in a hymn to life.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


'What did dad do,' asked Jack smiling up at her.Random Story Image.2
            She dreaded the innocent questions. How do you explain, a drunkard fumble with neither party remembering what was loosened until one of them suddenly knew what was tighten.

He felt her lie long before he knew how to forgive her.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Forgotten Witness

 Random Story Image

The stone stood, a relic marking where once the slaughter of the innocents took place. Who now cares for the truth- they were bait for enemy lured to defeat or the myth- a nation born out of struggle. Only songs remember why—the bodies, with the nation, long since dust.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

How not to ask for a Loan

Random Story Image

‘I don't get it.’  
            ‘Its simple really, I have invested—’
            ‘Invested my bonus in a sports bike so I can scrap the car.’ 
            ‘You don’t have legs?’
            ‘Dad, it's too far.’ 
            ‘So I dig into my pockets, have bread taken out of my mouth and you save the planet?’

Thursday, 27 August 2009

For better or for worse

We are going out whether you like it or not
think of the glamour when we are on the yacht.
I'm on the mobile.

I could wear the little black dress with gold edges.
To think, they live in houses with concierges.
Shush, on the mobile.

Try to wear your pinstripe suit, as for our first kiss,
and look with love rather than taking the piss.
Finished the mobile...

...I hear he replaced you with jail bait—yes, I know.
So do yachts matter more…should I stay or go?
I'll ring the mobile.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Strange Fruit

Random Story Image
The scream was short but it was the signal for the crowd to break up, some at least looking shamefaced. Not always, the ones you expected, Silas would say years later on the rare occasions he let the booze win. His granddaughters' angry why let him cry the past clean.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Don’t Mess With Grandma

'I was born here and I die here,’ Evelyn said calmly.
Random Story Image            'Listen to grandma here, you'd think she was paying the bills,' the bailiff said.
            'I am not your Grandmother and if you touch me, they touch you.’ 
            Looking out of the window, Karl saw the street crowded and ready.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Hot and Cold Holiday

Random Story Image

Outside each tree in the garden was doing a disdainful tango as the rain sighed against the rattling window. It was a jumper day.
           ‘My kind of summer,' Rob said, as his wife banged the breakfast things away.'
           Only because you are too tight to go abroad,' Mandy shouted back.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Getting Chosen


 Random Story Image

'Yor stuck with yor kin but you choose yor friends,' she said in a take-me-as-you-find-me voice. It wasn’t an invite. Maggie, standing in her thrown together boot-sale clothes,  sidled a look at me. Sighing, she brushed her grey scraggy hair back and said, ' But I reckon you'll do.'

Saturday, 22 August 2009

A Secret Affair

  Random Story Image

'You like. Want buy. Big on girls who like boy.'    
           Phew, from the cover Harold saw that was true but he had promised his wife no more secrets. Which apart from his special stash he kept to. So could he risk his marriage for the 1946 Archie Comics makeover edition?

Friday, 21 August 2009

Cold Turkey

Random Story Image

'I need a hook-up now,' Jo screamed. 
           His mother just sat, holding her gun. Tears long gone, now it was a battle of wills. 
           She had lured him to the old house where nothing but the buzzards would be disturbed. 
            ‘You leave here either clean, or dead. It's your choice.’

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Run Rabbit Run…

Random Story Image

‘Please it's only a rabbit,’ Dali said, resigned to her irrational reaction.
           ‘Oh no, no.’

           He saw Lucy’s body go rigid, her neck reddening, and eyes flickering in fear.
           What the hell could a rabbit do, he thought.
Her first rapes were always to the sounds of Run
Rabbit Run.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Clashing Obsessions

Where have you been all day, sniffin around skirts?
      ‘No, I am trying
to find an elegant way of line indenting in HTML .’
      ‘That’s not what a healthy boy should be doin.’
      ‘It is what I do.’
      Les loved his son, or at least the son he thought he deserved.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Pedant's burden

At times of stress, you know

before you want to kill,
but after you slam doors
repeat to yourself this
evocation: They may
vacillate but you
insist on time worn rules.
As you calm, look again
to the stupid squiggles
innocently peering
out- a clear sense rotted.
Now your head thumps again,
someone has to say no!

Sadly, you wail in vain
unheard and ignored as
common gutter grammar
kills our Bard's mother tongue.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Waiting too long

Always alone
by the thrown tree—
his moan now woe.

Blue skies his low.
Best was snow or
rain—though love missed.

On death, she kissed.

He waited as he always waited—outside by the fallen tree.

.....The worse days were sunny and blue when the children danced to school. But on

rainy days when the children trudged by he could always imagine her wanting to


.....Not even her death stopped him waiting.

When is mine yours?

The wedding dress was a satin back taffeta
a-line gown with halter-top but the mirror was screaming not good with those shoulders. In any case, the side-draped
waistline with its delicate crystal beading was too tight but what did you expect.
.....Shame his girl friend insisted he wore a morning-suit.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

How you treat the least amongst you, is how you shall be judged

It was seeing his neighbour die needlessly

that started his plea, 'Call me crazy but
when was it right to let us suffer in the midst
of plenty?'

.....They did and beat him out of town.

some listened, and then more, so he died
leaving others able to live.