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Salamander

She wants to procreate

in poetry; drench words in sounds

but most of all in silence.

She wants to pour forth

the secrets of her soul but

still hold something back.

She wants to pivot

between stillness and movement

as in a Zen meditation.

She wants to pan

like a prospector; to separate

gold from the dross

She wants to live

like a salamander between

water and wetland.

For my Weeekly Whinge: http://watermaidmusing.wordpress.com/

A Walk in the Wood

My mother told me:

Always keep to the road!

If I go through the woods I can save twenty minutes.

For weeks, the rain has been covering southern England

with a blanket of black mud which slops and squelches

underfoot. I’m wearing my white trainers.

I have a fetish for clean shoes.

Today it’s stopped raining and the pasty path draws my feet

like dry bread.  A few paces in, I stand on a knoll

for a better look at the pond. Sparse green shoots are sprouting

on the trees and sunlight skims across the water.

I hesitate. Deep inside the woods,

no-one will hear the scuffle or a girl’s screams

as she’s bludgeoned to death

and her body dragged beneath the green algae.

Last nigh, a prisoner escaped

from a high security jail.

This is a re-write of a piece of flash fiction. I’m not sure which form works best. As I wrote this it moved away from depicting the consequences of disregarding a warning to the narrator being the agent that fulfilled that warning.

Always keep to the road!

If I go through the woods I’ll save twenty minutes. For weeks, the rain has been changing southern England into a blanket of black mud which slops and squelches underfoot. I’m wearing white trainers and I have a fetish about clean shoes. But today it’s dry underfoot and the pale path looks inviting. I take a few paces to get a better look at the pond which I can see through the sparse green shoots now sprouting on the trees. The sunlight skims across the water, caressing the green algae. Once I’m deep inside the woods, no-one would hear if there’s a scuffle. No-one would hear a person being bludgeoned to death and their body being dragged underwater. I take a few more steps along the pathway. No-one will ever know.

Last nigh, a prisoner escaped from a high security jail

A man has been charged with the murder of three prostitutes in the NE of England, following the discovery of the remains of one of them on a river. It’s difficult to understand the mindset of the perpetrators of such awful crimes.


I feel the need to write about why I’ve been absent from cyberspace for almost a year.

First of all, three apparently unrelated incidents:

  • A statistical survey I did in a Maths class back in the Eighties.  One girl told me that each member of her family of five had a TV in his or her bedroom, which was also where they took all their meals.
  • A report that Simon Cowell can’t use an ipod.
  • A short story, written by E M Forster called The Machine Stops. In this futuristic fantasy, all the inhabitants of the earth live in a honeycomb of cells below the earth, where all their needs are provided by the Machine. Communication takes place through a round, hand held plate which glows before lighting up to reveal the image of the caller.

I like to think that I’m pretty savvy when it comes to digital technology; I bought my first computer in 1999 so that I’d be able to e-mail my daughter in China.  In that instance, having a computer was a good thing. I don’t own an ipod, although I can see that they are handy on a journey or when out jogging. Like Cowell I sometimes find ipods intensely irritating and I preferred the days when  listening to music was more of a social activity.

I was, however,  horrified by the image of my pupil and her family sitting in their individual ‘cells’, eating their meals and watching TV. Also back in the Eighties, the daughter of a close friend told her mother that our families were the only ones who still  sat round a table to eat a Sunday roast. I suppose that by removing watching television from the social sphere prevents rows over which channel but it also rules out the pleasure of shared social activity. In the twenty-first century we can now watch whichever programme we like, catch up using devices like BBC iplayer and watch DVDs; all without leaving  our laptops.

Forster wrote his story before the First World War, well before the era of Facebook, Skype and ichat. The woman in the story, Vashti, knew thousands of people, but not face to face. When her son, who lived underground in the northern hemisphere – she lives in the south- wants her to visit him, she’s horrified:

“But I can see you!” she exclaimed.”What more do you want?”

Now don’t get me wrong, I love having from all over the world, but I did start to feel the need for more face to face communication and social interaction. Many people manage to get the balance right, but looking around me, I do see society  moving in the direction of Forster’s dystopia.

Watermaid’s return

I’ve been absent from my site ever since completing a poem a day with ReadWritePoem last April. I decided I was whiling away too many hours at my computer and life was slipping by fast. I intend to return soon but to try to be less obsessive.

Watch this space!!

Lost for words

I ‘ve been having a bit of a break this week, after the massive effort to complete 30 poems in April. Here is an American Sandwich, using the words from 3WW.

He specialised in placing cryptic clues in recesses around the house.

His wife flashed messages in Morse to tourists lost in the labyrinth.

They both stopped, wordless, after the villagers started to malign them.

kreativ_blogger_award_copyKimberley at The Possiblity of Being (cool name for a blog) has given me  the Kreativ Blog Award. Until now I have been too busy with NaPoWriMo to formerly accept it. Kimberley is one of the talented writers I  discovered over the last month.

The award comes with a few responsibilities:

1.  Post the award on your blog and link to the person who gave you the award.

2. List seven things you love.

3. Pass it on! List seven blogs you love and let those people know you’ve given them the award.

Seven Things that I Love

1.  My family.

2.  My cat, Jack.

3. Chocolate. It’s best that I don’t get the taste of it as once I start eating it I can’t stop.

4.  The great outdoors which includes my garden, the New Forest and the sea (both close by), lakes and mountains.

5.  My computer. I wouldn’t be without it and I’ve written a poem dedicated to it.

6.  Holidays in faraway places which I came to late in life as the result of having wandering offspring. To date I’ve visited China, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and  Malysia.

7. Oh dear! I’ve come to the end and there are still lots more things that I love. I love writing, which means I also love reading…and, of coure, poetry.

(I realise that I’ve cheated and crammed in far too many things).

Now I don’t know who has already received this award and please feel free to turn the Kreativ Blogger Award down if it isn’t your thing.

This is my opportunity to flag up the blogs I enjoy visiting.

Blogs that I love

1. David King at Pics and Poems. Dave’s blog is a mix of art  work, fine poems and (sometimes controversial) topical posts.

2. Kay McKenzie Cooke at Made for Weather. Kay is a published NZ poet.  Kay illustrates her posts with wonderful photographs.

3. Andy Sewina at Sweet Talking Guy. Andy is the creator of the Naisaiku (or was that Wendy Naisaiku?) and the American Sandwich.

4. Linda Jacobs at Linda’s Poems. Linda is an American High School English teacher who writes some very original poems and co-hosts Totally Optional Prompts.

5. Elizabeth Enslin at Yips and Howls. I ‘met’ Elizabeth through NaPoWriMo. She  is a writer and anthropologist who claims not to have written much poetry before.

6. S. L. Corsua at Unguarded Utterance. A pen name for a blogger who writes powerful poems as an antidote to the law. She is based in the Philippines.

7. Wayne Pitchko at POGA…Poetry. Wayne writes poetry and paints. I also ‘met’ Wayne through NaPoWriMo. His poems are quirky (I like quirky).

So this is it. Day #30 and I have six words left from Read Write Word #15. I have more than thirty poems. I have made some wonderful new blogging buddies whose poems I will continue to read and the prompts have been amazing.japan-2009-293

Keep writing!

This lunacy must end

It was less like hardscrabble
more like a magical mystery tour.
Thirty shiny pennies jingle
in my piggy bank of poems.
The company was wicked.
I’ve travelled on different cadences
and I close these thirty days
with nascent aspiration.

And to update my Naisaiku:

today’s the last day
thirty blossoms are blooming
A RED LETTER DAY
thirty poems are written
let’s have a party!

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(Microsoft media clip)

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