Thursday, 16 August 2018

Flag


There is no flag fluttering overhead, no patriotic symbol ‘neath which we, hand on heart, pledge allegiance.  We are just us. Nevertheless our flag marks out who we are, from whence we came or if new citizens, where we now reside.

Red white & blue the Union Flag (or Jack), a flag to signify the union of England and Scotland in 1606.  (Sadly, in this divided world of ours, ?some ?many in Scotland now wish independence.)  The Union flag bears many a stain of the blood of others, has fluttered over horrors I cannot even imagine.  I would suggest that the flags of many (most?) nations share similar shameful histories, these histories being written even now.

Am I proud to be British, English – I think I am.  If not quite proud, seeing the strife that scars the world today – I am glad I am.  I feel safe here, mostly safe, relatively safe, fearful sometimes perhaps. I think (perhaps viewing through rose-tinted glasses) that the silent majority of us Brits are okay as people.  Am I proud to be British, English – probably.  Am I proud to be human – definitely not.

Flags flutter madly,
earth signals in semaphore –
winter is coming

Anna :o]

Written for Susan’s prompt at Poets United  where she asks us to write of National Flag(s).  My response a bit of doom and gloom perhaps, but sadly, this is how I view this world of ours at present. 

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Original flag by Acts of Union 1800 SVG recreation by User:Zscout370

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Summertime


When between the ages of five and eleven, my family lived in Bognor Regis in West Sussex, Bognor being a coastal town, a seaside town.  My memory tells me it was almost always sweltering hot each summer and I have vivid memories of my clothes sticking to my back, so hot it was.  At weekends and during the school summer holidays, as a family we would often spend a day at the beach, taking with us my favourite thing – a picnic.  Mum would make up her wonderful fare, cheese and tomato sandwiches which would be deliciously soggy by the time we ate them (I still love these even now) and boiled eggs mashed up and mixed with Heinz Sandwich Spread, both these wrapped up in greaseproof paper parcels.  There would be her homemade currant buns, so deliciously soft and sweet and then the big treat of Smiths plain crisps with the little blue salt bag   I loved sprinkling on the salt and then would crush the crisps into tiny pieces, for in my child’s mind – it meant I had more.

We children would tread gingerly over the pebble beaches and make our way to the sand, which showed itself at low tide, and then swim in the sea.  Dad would join us in the water – but never in trunks, instead rolling up his trouser legs and going for a paddle.  The day was always a wonderful adventure and it was rounded off by the treat of soft whipped ice-cream, my favourite being this in an oyster shell cornet, the last delicious bits being sweetened by the marshmallow and coconut which provided the hinge.  Sometimes dad would buy a stick of rock, and once home, mum would smash it (with a rolling pin) into little tiny pieces which we three children shared.  I loved the sweet smooth outer shell and then the strange feeling of air sucked through the sucked porous middle.  Yum!

Oh memories are made of this!

Bare feet and warm sea, 
the sweet laughter of children, 
gulls squawk overhead.

Anna :o]


The above image is of Butlin’s indoor heated swimming pool where we children went for school swimming lessons, and I just had to include it for it evokes so many memories too.  I remember it so much, its magical appearance, its smell and the echoing expanse of it all.  I also remember us children desperately trying to hide the brief yellow stain that appeared as we peed ourselves, not wanting to leave this wonderful place for even one minute of the wonderful hour we spent there!


These words inspired by Kim at Real Toads – cheers Kim for this wonderful trip down memory lane.

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United - hosted by Mary.  Cheers Mary!

Images courtesy of Pinterest.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Eggs


The bantams are broody,
not a single egg laid
for at least the last month.
They hide in the hen house,
fretting and moody,
still in their silence
bar an occasional half-hearted,
a softest cluck-cluck. 
They long for the crow of a cock,
the warmth of the nest,
the gentle tap of the beak,
the cracking of shell,
the chirp of the chicks
as they welcome this world.

And she?
She is broody, her belly ballooning,
but this a mere phantom,
pregnant only with yearning, the want
the need of a tiny babe suckling,
grasping deep comfort in the warmth of her breasts. 
Oh how she longs for a life growing inside her,
if only, if only, if only.

This morning she rubs at her tummy,
fondles it strokes at it,
and yet knows it is naught but a dream,
for she has only ever been oh so desperately lonely,
she never having been kissed, never ever been loved
and never ever been laid
(Oh how she dreams of being laid,
safe in the arms of a man, she sure such a good man,
(she imagines the feel and the smell of him). 
Oh how she aches to be taken. 
Oh how she wants to be wanted.)

She hears the kettle click-off,
makes up a cup of  instant black coffee,
sees the bacon near-ready, (mmmm (licks her lips))
cracks an egg on the pan side,
lets it drop in
and watches it solidify in the sizzling hot fat.

Anna :o]

Inspired by the bantams – the bantams are broody.  They are not my little clucking friends, rather that of my son and daughter-in-law.

Just finished a few days stint of looking after my wonderful grandsons – loved it, but I’m now worn out!

Shared with the good folk at Poets United, hosted by Mary – cheers Mary!

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Jon Sullivan

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Summer


1)

Starling squawks,
woodpigeon
cur-coo-coos,

sparrow cheeps,
song thrush sings
bee buzzes,

plane drones ‘cross
cloudless sky,
summer’s here! 


2)

Cloudless skies,
sweet mown grass,
sprinkler swish.

Lie with you,
cuddle in,
steal a kiss!  

Innocence,
happiness -
salad days!

3)

Barbeque:
steaks, chicken
sizzle spit,

odours waft,
fill the air.
Magic taste,

charcoal grilled,
tummy filled
Yum!  Yum!  Yum!

Anna :o]

Marion at Real Toads has us writing Tricube’s.  Each Tricube should have three syllables per line, three lines per stanza and three stanzas’ per poem.

So above is a little trio of them.          

Image:  Courtesy of Pexels

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Running


World sleeps, almost silent now
but for the steady hum of city lights,
the echoing of footfalls of the running man
as he races through the city streets,
adrenaline pumped,
he rushes, he rushes.

He has ghosts here
that shadow him through each and every day
through each and every night, haunt his very being,
spark adrenaline flight,
heart pounding as he flees his awful fears,
and in terror as he runs away;
he rushes, he rushes.

He wishes she hadn’t been like that,
hadn’t made him want her oh so very much,
hadn’t sucked him in then spat him out
‘til there was nothing left but miserable.

He had never known he could think like that
be like that plan like that act like that,
revenge had been oh so bittersweet,
the thrill of when the knife went in
countered with ache the deep regret
of robbing life of one he once loved so dear,
the rue of watching blood spill out,
pooling neath her lifeless body.

He had left her there, litter in a city street,
she decomposing neath unseeing eyes,
back alley dead, a discarded ready meal for gnawing rats,
a bounty there for fox for dog for feral cats,
for gulls and multitudia of insecta.

The city has devoured her,
she has now become the city,
has him in her grip, his every thought is full of her,
she resides in him, 
hides ‘neath his paper-thin fragility,
pouncing out at will.

He wonders whether he should confess,
whether this would rid the guilt,
whether a certain kind of peace would come.
‘Til then, ‘til decision made,
fear guilt adrenaline sparked,
he rushes, he rushes,
he rushes to escape himself.

Anna :o]

Sumana’s prompt (cheers Sumana) at Poets United, of City, reminded me of a long forgotten draft of city rough sleepers who exist in our cities.  But a trawl through documents found nothing, so I guess I must have deleted it when the PC told me You Are Running Out Of Space!  So I decided to pull on (my own) memory, but my words morphed into something else.  Where it came from, I do not know.  

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Altoona Police Department/Medical Examiner

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Nag Nag Nag

Morning 1906, Clarence White (Fair Use, Public Domain)

Okay, so you’ve left me,
I can cope with that (or can I?).

But why leave all the mess,
the toilet seats up,
toothpaste spit in the sink,
curly pubes stuck in soap,  
dirty towels stuffed in cupboards,
and tidemarks ringing the bath –
it’s no wonder I nag you, no wonder I drink

I don’t know how I put up with you,
you dress like a tramp,
you stink of raw garlic,
snore like a pig
and your conversations a bore.

And now you have the cheek to leave me
saying you can’t stand me no more!
(Can’t stand me – I just don’t get that!)

Go then I said and damn you, you did!
You’ve gone and you’ve left me you garlic-breathed pig!
Damn you!  Damn you and damn you!
Damn you!
You’ll so regret leaving me
for I’m perfect you know!

Anna :o]

For Kerry’s Camera Flash prompt at Real Toads  – cheers Kerry!



Thursday, 28 June 2018

Hunger


When the End came,
this final End,
we were biting at our nails,
chewing on our lips,
tugging at the memories of our mothers skirts,
waiting the safe embrace of our long-dead fathers.

Greed had long left us hungry,
famine had devoured us;
thirst had left us dry,
our bodies shrivelling under the sun.

Hunger, conflict had scorched this earth, robbing
men of their hearts and us of our future,
our mothers raped, tortured, killed,
left to desiccate on this barren land,
ghosts they became,
ghosts of what was,
ghosts of what is.

We became carrion feeders,
teeth tearing at the souls of the dead,
sating our hunger with flesh,
our teeth grinding on their bones,
the bones the flesh of our mothers our fathers,
our brothers our sisters,
our friends, of strangers, of enemies -
for in us is a will to survive,
a will to live.

When only the living remained
we ate each other
and we began to eat ourselves,
one hungry mouthful at a time.

There are other predators,
those who are stronger than us.
The dogs are the worse,
savage in their packs,
as savage as we have become,
maybe always were.. 

I think they will inherit this earth;
they have the teeth for it,
the hunger.

Anna :o]

Kerry at Real Toads has us writing Speculative Fiction and above is my offering. 

If I were one of the last survivors in this possible future world, the dogs would worry me very much, oh so very much…

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United.  Cheers for hosting Mary.


Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Source:  Wellcome Images

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Starlings



There, outside, starlings squawk
squeaking squabbling
fighting over suet balls – posturing,
peck-peck-peck-pecking.
Wings flutter,    then flapping beating,
feet outstretched, threatening threatening.
Battles quickly won, winners’
peck-peck-peck at (suet) prizes,
losers peckng scattered titbits - 
‘til the next war, (in moments moments,)
then they’ll squawk and fight again

Here, inside, we squabble
over little things, the minutiae, the meaningless,
as if our sorry lives depended on it. 
Posturing, chins jutted out,
teeth bared; lips curled & snarled,
we lace into one another,
venom in our screeching voices.

You win this time, even if by default –
I’ll no longer, can’t be bothered
to play this losing game, this silly blaming game,
where (somehow) you believe
I’m the driver in your sorry stupid life.

You preen like some vain cock,
cock-a-hoop over shallow victory,
smile smirking across your stupid face. 
Whilst I, defeated by the pain the chore of it,
seethe so strongly deep inside, &
mutter silent words in venom breaths.

Outside, now, all starlings gone,
two wood-pigeons coo and woo,
he follows her across the lawn,
tries to mount and with a flap of wings
she flies away, he follows her,
pursues his love…

I wish I could fly away but I’m still here
squawking screeching deep inside,
seething, spitting silent venom
whilst putting out new suet balls. 

Anna o]

Inspired by watching the birds in my garden, the human bit is pure fiction.  

Shared with the good folk at Poets United, hosted by Mary, cheers Mary!

Video courtesy of YouTube

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Pills



She spills some on her palm, runs her finger through the little moving mound (a pretty shade of pastel blue) of her mother’s little helpers (“that don’t fucking help this fucking mother one miserable iota”).

She’s anxious still, all screwed up, the little pills don’t help at all, amongst other things she’s now  all screwed up about the stinging side effects, feels drunk without a drink.

If someone could get inside my head, they’d know, (she thinks) know how miserable, how screwed up I am, but no-one gives a damn about silly little me.

It’s true, her husband is tired of her/tired of it, she drags him down into her melancholy, he dreads every single day. The kids are sick of her, sick of being a mother to their mother, and wish she’d go away, be hospitalised, be normalised so they could be kids again.

She eyes the pills again, the pills she’s spilled upon her palm, gets anxious about the harm she’ll cause (if she takes every sodding one) of those she’ll leave behind.  She loves them still, her lovely hubs and kids, but knows they’d be better rid of her.

She finds herself suddenly strong. Even though a longing in her heart for all she loves, she cups her palm, swallows all (and other meds), doused down with her favoured alcohol.

She is confident she will sleep tonight – perhaps (she hopes) forever – and no doubt she will.  And those left behind will spill their tears, but (perhaps) will quietly be relieved…

Anna :o[


Inspired and written for Paul at dVerse, who asks us to write of medicine.

Working (as I did) with those problemed with mental ill-health, I know of the devastating affect this can have on the entire family, know that family members will/might become estranged from those experiencing mental ill-health, will ‘suffer’ almost as much as they.  It is a difficult problem. 

I have only ‘suffered’ with clinical depression once in my life, due to external factors that I could not change.  Once the situation was resolved (by others) it took some time to recover, be me again. 

Prior to this, in my late thirties, I began to experience severe PMS, something I did not believe existed until it (literally) dropped on me and the uncontrollable anger that came with this, because of it, was unstoppable.    When it ‘dropped’ I recognised it, explained to my family my friends and my patients that I was ‘like this’ because of it… and felt it right to inform, so they would know that my anger was remote from them, not their fault.

But I knew, they knew (by explanation), that it was transient –not their fault.  Some don’t have this luxury…

Image:  Courtesy of Pexels  

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Signatures



All I do is long for you.

Candle flickers,
gramophone spins old 45,

see you dancing in the shadows…

old sweater hugged
smells of you,
fills me up…

tobacco-kissed DNA,
remains of you among the ashes. 
I see you 
on the lips of long-emptied glasses,
whisky-scented,
cold breath whispering 
I was here.

Anna :o]

An oldie reworked and abridged for Hedge's 55.

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United - cheers for hosting Mary.

Image:  Courtesy of Pexels

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Afghanistan



I was not there
when on his quick road to hell
he detonated the bomb,
death strapped to his chest
like a medal for martyrs.

I was not there
when you offered prayers at the mosque,
did not hear the explosion,
did not sink into blackness,
did not wake to the horror,
did not see as you tried
to piece your children’s bodies together,
did not see you searching for limbs,
little body parts scattered
as if confetti of war. 

I was not there;
your screams passed without hearing,
your pain without feeling,
I just didn’t know.

I was not there but have read of you,
now know of your story,
know your grief is enormous,
know you sink into sadness,
know you can’t afford surgery,
know that poverty steals you,
know you still pick glass from the soles of your feet.

I was not there but have read of you,
I am moved by your story. 
I think of you, feel for you,
picture the horror in my mind.

The terrible truth is that although moved,
soon I will  unconsciously filter you out.
My thoughts will become full of a new outrage,
a new disaster    or petty things,
little petty things that don’t matter at all.

This is the scheme of things;
this is how we operate – to stay sane,
to not be constantly afraid… to have hope…
to deal with the next day and whatever it brings.

I wish you had this choice. 

Anna

Written for Susan’s Midweek Motif at Poets United where she asks us to write about Truth, thanks for the inspiration Susan.

Also shared with the good folk at Real Toads, hosted by Rommy – cheers Rommy, and also the good folk at dVerse - cheers for hosting Grace.

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Drunk


Old sot he is, drunk of drunks,
professional proper up of bars,
jars, jugs of, pints of ale, chased
down with a tot or two or three
or maybe half-full glass of warming whisky.

He smiles that inebriated smile he smiles,
guile he has, animated, bothers others,
other patrons with his drunken idle chatter,
slurring each and every word. 
They’ve heard it all before,
his inane views on world affairs,
how his wife bleeds him of each and every penny,
so skint is he, so stony-broke,
hasn’t any coins to rub together,
pours out his empty grasping heart.

They know his game and play it,
just to get rid of him,
buy him another pint, tell him “Now fuck off!” 
He laughs out loud, slaps their backs. 
“Cheers mates!”  he grins as he swills down
another dose of that lovely golden nectar.

He is not done yet,
watches eagle-eyed as others leave,
checks their glasses, downs the dregs,
smiling smugly as if he has won some clever game. 

Bar emptying, he gathers up the glasses
hoping for a freebie for his effort,
but now so unsteady, he falls,
smashes glasses as he hits the floor.  
The barman (now pockets full enough)
finally chucks him out.

He staggers out, smug and happy, singing loudly, heading home.

At home his family wait,
shivering in their frightened bodies,
quivering in their troubled minds,
fear showing in their blackened eyes…

they never win his mindless drunken games.

He always wins.

Anna :o]

Brenda (cheers Brenda) at The Sunday Whirl has us writing using the following words: Bar, check, animated, wait, loud, laugh, drunk, queen, eagles, family, win & hearts.  (I must admit to being naughty as I didn’t use ‘queen’ - as I would have had to force it in.)

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United, hosted by Mary – cheers Mary!

Image:  Courtesy of Pexels.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Water


Exsanguinated,

I have bled out,
arid I am.

I yearn for you,
quench my thirst,
quench my thirst.  

Let me drink of your body,
drink ‘til I’m full,
fill me up; fill me up,
rush headlong,
rush blood–red,
sear through my veins.

Fill me up,
fill me up -
you are my water,
I am your cup.
Empty,
I’m so empty,
empty, I’m empty
just waiting
for you.

Anna :o]

Sumana at Poets United has us writing of Water and perhaps I have gone off on a tangent…  Cheers for the inspiration Sumana!

Image:  Courtesy of Pexals.


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Whaddya Think?

There's life in the old dog yet!

I can’t barter my heart for it is not mine to give;
it is his, the love of my life who I stalk with a passion,
my love unrequited as no doubt you’ve guessed.

But I have needs I have wants and I’ve concluded you’ll do
to fill in the gaps gaping wide open, yawning and aching,
and this space deep inside me – I’ve reserved it for you.

I’ll trade you my body for my name on the deeds
on a home for the keeping, palatial not paltry,
and I’ll fulfil all obligations, take my place in your bed 

I’ll be your eye candy your trophy to triumph
over those doddery old fools who slither ever so slowly
in your false little circles, doddery old fools you want to impress.

Dressed to the nines, I’ll be bosom revealing and not concealing
my thighs; will wear skirts that barely cover the clean curve of my arse. 
Think, the doddery old fools, how green-eyed they’ll be with me linked to your arm! 

We can do a prenuptial – I don’t mind that at all for all I want is the house. 
Nevertheless, I will be a spouse to be proud of; will fulfil all your needs,
gratify all of your urges and indeed those of my own.

I shall still stalk him it’s true perhaps as a neat little hobby
for as young as I am I have to consider my future,
for one day you’ll be gone and a side of the bed will be empty…

but til that time comes I’ll be loyal to you until death doth us part,
I’ll be faithful and true, kindly and giving, attentive and pleasing,
I’ll be all that you want, but I can’t give you my heart. 

So whaddya think?  Have we a deal?

Anna :o]

At Poets United, Susan’s midweek motif is that of barter/trade and above is my offering.  Of course it is pure fiction, or is it… maybe I have a murky past…  :o]

Cheers for the inspiration Susan!

Image:  Courtesy of  Pexels

Monday, 30 April 2018

Walking



Walking has always been a problem for me, what with gait and balance issues.  That said, it didn’t bother me much as a child, or at least I can’t remember it doing so.  Now an old biddy, joints ache, knees give way and I fall now and again – but I get up and just carry on.  I know that in part, this is my fault for since retiring I have become sedentary and ‘use it or lose it’ kicks in and walking is tiring, not quite painful – but I ache and tire like crazy.  Only this weekend I have realised that only I can address this and I have begun to walk around the house for five minutes every two hours, but this eventually will become every hour and I will benefit from this.  I will become fitter.

But you my love, I remember walking with you.  I remember you walking me to the bus stop when we first met. I remember you walking me home after our first date and how you shook my hand at my front door and I thought I’d never see you again – but I did.  I remember how thrilled we were when our sons took their first steps and I remember walking (secretly) behind them when they wanted to walk to school alone.   I now walk (reluctantly) into your care home to visit you, for I find it hard to bear that most of the time you don’t know who I am.

Oh those little steps,
salad days then summer till
autumn befalls us…

Anna :o]

For dVerse where Bj√∂rn  asks us to write about walking.

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Tomascastelazo

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Clique



Back then I wrote lists on the back of my hands,
notes to my long-to-belong little self,
lists of things to remember,
things that don’t really matter,
well to me, but not to everyone else.

I peered at my lists through wide-open eyes
then erased with a finger & spit,
for whatever I did I was not the right shape to fit
in this clique exclusively fashioned by you.

Thinking of it, why did I want to belong
when I don’t want to change who I am,
I won’t play your games to beg to belong 
to your close-knit vain little clique,
- if you don’t like that, well I don’t give a damn.

Butter each other up; scratch each others backs
whilst you almost ignore me as I won’t play your damn childish games. 
I don’t give a damn if you don’t like who I am,
and quite frankly the way that you act defines how little you are
and I don’t view myself as the same.

Anna :o]

Shared with the good folk at dVerse, hosted by Grace, cheers Grace.

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Bert Kaufmann