Monthly Archives: December 2017

A New year beckons

Through darkening skies

the light of a thousand stars

a visible sign

of our hopes for the future

and memories of the past



Filed under Self compositions, Tanka

Off to the Highlands for Hogmanay

So we boarded the Northern train
in howling winds and stinging rain.
The guard, with duties now performed
gives one last cry of all aboard.
Green flag raised, his whistle blows,
checks the carriage doors all closed.

Whilst stowing cases overhead
released our snorting fiery steed
With metal and mesh racks overflowing
four bare round lamps, all gently glowing.
As we settle back on the velour seating
Our ankles warmed by piped steam heating.

So leaving the station far behind
we catch the rhythm of the lines.
Windows sealed against the chill
the rhythmic, rocking motion will
enfold us in it’s gentle arms
as we succumb to it’s lazy charms

After eight long hours the race is run
to our right the rising sun
our destination close ahead
reluctantly our journey’s end.
So sadly we depart the Northern train
Counting the days till we ride it again



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Filed under General post, Self compositions, Singalong

Colleen’s weekly Tanka Tuesday poetry challenge #64 Experience & New (synonyms only)


Silent cry

There are those who say

dumb animals do not feel

they should look afresh

communication is found

alongside their sentience




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Filed under Self compositions, Tanka, Uncategorized

December 28 – Flash Fiction – Wishing Star

She stepped out of the long white limousine onto the spotless red carpet. wearing her famous smile but little else she elegantly turned and striking a pose, first to the left and then to the right allowing her long elegant legs to peep out from the thigh-slit silk dress. Flashbulbs popped as they clamoured to take her photo, to be the first to get a risque shot of a slight wardrobe malfunction. Taking the arm of her tuxedo-clad companion the young star of many films entered the hall wishing for the ultimate accolade. To be given her first Oscar.


Filed under Flash fiction, Self compositions, Whimsical

Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt


It was the third moonrise since the elation of the first arrival. The seas had remained calm, the large shoals of fish had moved back out of the bay to continue their journeys along the Eastern coast. The return of the first three boats had brought joy but this was replaced by sadness at the realisation there may not be a fourth. There was now only sadness mixed with hope for the watchers on the shore. Women, their heads covered with woollen scarves, shawls wrapped over their shoulders, their once gaily decorated smocks replaced by the black clothes of mourning. Sadly they turned away from the falling tide, retiring to their tiny whitewashed cottages to sit in front of of the open fire in sadness and contemplation. Two with babies slung at their sides felt a worse pain for the children who would never know their fathers. Already the families had known hunger, the times when the shoals of pilchards had bypassed their small cove and other boats had been able to reap the harvest leaving little for the inhabitants of this one remote village, where crops in the field were scarce and prices in the markets high.

One young woman, childless, stayed on the beach in hope, her eyes, though salty with tears, scanning the blue, darkening horizon for any sign of the boats’ return. With no husband or parents to care for she could only wait for her fiancée, the crewman on the smack Louisa. They were betrothed but had decided that marriage could wait until he was able to be master of his own vessel. Then they could hope to move from his parents home into their own property without the expense of paying rent to the Lord of the Manor who owned all of the houses which doubled as the fish-processing works. Gathering all the driftwood and rapidly drying seaweed at the top of the beach she started to make up the fire in preparation for her lonely vigil.


Filed under Alternative history, Flash fiction, Inspired emotion

Writespiration#147, 52 Words in 52 Weeks. Week 52. 27 DEC 2017-WIP


I grasped the heavy iron bolt and pushed open the oak door. Taking a gulp of the fresh air I relished the warmth of the morning sun on my face. This was the final chapter of my latest novel, thus my last visit to the underworld to research my work in progress.

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Filed under Flash fiction, Uncategorized, Whimsical

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #181

When dread darkness falls

enter the land of nightmare

in all it’s horror

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Filed under Haiku, Self compositions, Uncategorized

MindloveMisery’sMenagerie #Photo Challenge #194


Gertrude looked down upon the plain below. Her mentor and familiar perched upon her shoulder as was befitting a Prince of Utgard in earthly form. His advice had previously been freely given but the time was approaching when he would require the service he had waited for since their first meeting. Had he not given her great beauty and power beyond her youthful dreams for the past decades. By his power and guidance and his alone, armies had been vanquished, alliances formed and the wealth of nations heaped upon his charge threefold. Now time was progressing and the old ones were stirring in their slumbers. Portents of future catastrophe had invaded his dreams. Long forgotten memories had commenced their slow return. When Krandeus whispered in Gertrude’s ear all but she could only hear a loud, rasping Kerrayk. To Gertrude it was the wisdom of the ages for she heard only the friendly advice that had served her so well in all aspects of her long, successful reign. Her furrowed brow and sidewise glances were uncharacteristic and alien to her proud measure, for he had sounded cautious to a high degree. For once Krandeus had advised her against impetuosity. Doubts of the soundness of his latest counsel immediately entered her mind. She did not argue but acquiesced to his suggestion of a meeting with the mysterious band of warriors the scouts had reported encamped in the Whispering woods on the Eastern shore of the White river. She rose and stamped back to the seven horsemen who stood guard, ensuring that no man could approach her in her lone meditation. “My horse,” she demanded and as they handed her the bridle, she announced, “I will go down tomorrow, there will be no feast for you tonight, you will all accompany me.” “We depart with the dawn.”

Being a brief extract from, “Tales of Emeralds and Queens.”

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Filed under Alternative history, Flash fiction, Self compositions, Uncategorized

Last Christmas

Each slow syllable
dragged over broken crystal
where once was humour
a now regretful greeting
turning to a sad goodbye

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Filed under From the heart, Inspired emotion, Tanka, Uncategorized

First Line Friday -December 22nd, 2017

Alexi watched the snowfall with narrowed eyes. It seemed as though it always snowed here. At least it had for the past three months. Three months, it was hard to believe but it was as nothing compared to the fifteen years that he expected to spend in this hellhole. No chance of parole, no retrospective appeal. All for a crime that he had committed without realising that it was a crime. He had known it would be risky when he had first mooted the idea of standing for election as Prefect of the Novosibirsk ward. The party was strong but they seemed to be in the pay of the mafia gangs and the people were clamouring for respite from what they saw as the extortion and corruption slowly insinuating into everyday life.

He should have realised that everyone was under the influence of a higher authority. Since the revolution his country had been controlled by a select band nicknamed the Nomenclatura but even this elite group had been usurped by a more powerful fraternity with absolute power now vested in the hands of one man. Someone who had once been his friend when they attended the academy in Petrograd. Rivalry had matured into a form of hatred and despite Alexi’s business assets and connections his intrusion into local politics had forced his rival’s jealous hand. The komitet gasudarstvo bezopasnoctee, still loyal to their former head had managed to assemble a catalogue of charges which they had kept on file until they could be used against him. When the Party realised he had gained popularity and there was a chance of him winning the position it was time to act.

Without warning the arresting officers had paid a visit to his office and without ceremony he was escorted to the police station. The prosecutor had a list of charges and he was politely asked to sign his confession statement in order to avoid any unpleasantness. Upon his refusal he had been led to a cell where he spent the night before he was taken in chains to the courtroom. The judge handed down the predetermined verdict and when sentence was passed even Alexi was astonished but was stoic in his acceptance. The only surprise was the destination of his prison for the next fifteen years. A penal colony in the wilds of Siberia. Each morning at five-thirty he would arise from his bunk and filing out of the long wooden hut with one hundred and fifty others make his way to the canteen before the work parties were dispatched for the day. Only when the names were called and the areas of work allocated would he find if the snowfall was a friend or foe.

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Filed under Flash fiction, Inspired emotion, Self compositions