Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Cold


The first flurry brought with it the purest of snow,
and the wind fell and there was comfort
in the stillness of silence.   And we breathed.
(Oh how we breathed and loved that first breath.)

Then fall after fall swirled round our loose feet
‘til our imprints lay hidden as we blackened the earth.
 (There is treachery underfoot, it deep and firm-rooted.)

The bantams stay in their coop, rarely venture their run.
Outside it is too cold for comfort and huddle they do,
claws clasped round their roost.  The feeder is full
and the nest box lays empty as eggs lie unlaid and future is lost.

You are cold; there is ice in your veins. 
I effort a warm glow but can’t undo what is done.

You whisper in echoes and shout in your warnings
as we gorge in our feeders ‘til the feeders lay empty
and then lost and defeated, you are gone you are gone 
you are gone.

And there is nothing left bar this strange comfort of cold
as it numbs up our veins and freezes our dull minds…
and we are gone we are gone we are gone

Anna :o]

Shared with the good folks at Real Toads – cheers for hosting Rommy!

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons

Author: Gpmg

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Sand



I grasp at the sand as it spills through my fingers, spilling itself on itself.

The grains are innumerable but desperate I count them, single grain after grain, this til my voice rasps with the burden, the burden of counting, the terrible aching, the aching of hoping, and the forlornness of hope...

Shifting and penetrable, the violence is sudden, the wind in its rushing, and taken I am and moulded to nature, thus I become.

There is grit in my teeth in the aching of waiting and tired of it all, I gently succumb.

Anna :o]

Victoria at dVerse has us writing a symbolic poem and above is my offering.  Cheers Victoria

I’m really not quite sure if my words are symbolism or metaphor….


Image:  Courtesy of Pixabay.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

I Like My Ladies Thin

Reginald Southey Lewis Carroll (1857) Fair Use
 

I like my ladies thin, very thin,
skeletal one might say. 
(One’s chuckling at one’s humour here,
what a *card one is and some might even dare a cad!)

I like my ladies thin, very thin. 
One’s want of flesh is not between the sheets
rather that of between the teeth, all rip and tear,
blood dribbling down my yearning chin   as one bites
through the tenderist of the most purest fairest skin,
ravishes the thrill of gore of blood and flesh and gristle,
spilling lovingly from my lovely wanting maiden.

(I daresay you might think one odd,
but mine is an all consuming passion!)

And now she naught but bones,
refashioned she is in skeletal form, born again she is,
she mine all mine for I like, no I love my ladies thin.

Anna :o]

*Card:  (old-fashioned informal) a funny or strange person.

Kerry at Real Toads has us writing an ekphrastic poem inspired by the photograph above.  Brilliant challenge Kerry – loved it!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

He Cometh


I don’t recall when I first began to think about death, my death, but I do know it wasn’t that long ago.  Until that time (whenever it was) although realising I was not immortal, I probably considered I was, for death was not a thing ever imagined, not an option, only life was. 

My death thoughts probably were given to me by protagonists of other stories, stories that weren’t mine, stories based on the fear of tomorrow, stories of worries that a tomorrow wasn’t possible.  These stories, these worries are now mine, an unwanted gift, unwrapped and laid bare, scarring my soul.

He slies in the night
salt and peppering my hair,
seasoning the fall. 

Anna :o]

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

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:  Incry

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Hedgehog: Thoughts as hibernation ends.



Air warms,
I stir,
awaken from my torpor. 

I hunger,
crave slugs crave sex. 

“Watch out!” I cry
as I emerge into the night.

Anna :o]

Kim at dVerse challenges us to write a new poem, of any length or form, about an animal in a human way or a human in an animal way, highlighting some trait of the animal/human that either sets us apart or brings us together.  Cheers for the inspiration Kim.

Also shared with the good folk at Real Toads Tuesday platform, cheers Sanaa. 

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:    T137

Sunday, 19 November 2017

It's in the Walls...



Gone are they that dwelt before,
no warning click of closing door,
no drunkard’s feet to pound the floor,
they’re gone they’re gone they’re gone.   

Gone is she enslaved to sink,
in fear of him his knowing wink,
for wild is he consumed with drink
(they’re gone they’re gone they’re gone).

No more she flung upon the bed,
a feast of lust before him spread,
abused and used and left for dead. 
She’s gone she’s gone she’s gone.

And there stood he of death accused,
found guilty then and life to lose
he felt sharp tug of hangman’s noose.  
He’s gone he’s gone he’s gone

And here evil dwells as did before,
it soaks the walls it soaks the floors. 
I beg you please ne’er cross this door. 
Be gone be gone be gone.

Anna :o]

Brendan at Real Toads challenges us to write words which involve Doors and above is my offering.  Cheers Brendan!

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United.

Brrr!  I’m cold!  The central heating’s dead and closed doors make little difference.  (Hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow.)

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Meteors...

Refugee Drawing Title : Yesterday.


The ocean our cosmos,
cast adrift we were
neath a myriad of stars.

Sun beats at our bodies,
salt sucks at our tongues,
wind chills to the marrow,
sea calls us and calls us,
bids us beneath it
and dampened our spirits
we wretched,
succumb.

Cast adrift we were
neath a myriad of stars,
the ocean our cosmos
and our hearts full of hope.

Lost we are. 
Lost we are. 
A showering of lost souls,
flooding the sea.

Anna :o[

Susan (at Poets United) provides us with the prompt of Meteor Showers and asks us to take it where we will.  I am not sure the above is what was asked for – but it is what came to mind.  Cheers for the inspiration Susan!

(Little is heard now of the refugee crisis as I guess it is ‘old news’ and maybe we have become numbed to it – but it still exists…)

Also shared with the good folk at dVerse OLN, hosted by the lovely Toni.  Cheers and Happy Birthday Toni!

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Polviak

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Hell Cannot Be As Bad As This


Hell cannot be as bad as this.

Entrenched,
I dwell amongst; exist amidst
a stinking mound of fallen men
who lie dead-eyed
in bubbling broth of shit and piss.
Earth moves as worms writhe
and feast on human flesh,
rats gnaw deep exposing bones
and in this mess a wounded soldier 
groans and screams in unremitting pain
and longs for sweet release of death,
long lost his dream of going home.

Half-mad, I suck (the breath) in deep,
let it cling to chest lest it be the last I draw. 
Sometimes when morning breaks like this,
illuminates lights up the carnage spread before
or in the black of night
when imagination plays its cruellest tricks,
I think death much more preferable to this.

What price this place in human life is made? 
How many soldiers’ hearts must spill their blood,
lay still upon its soil its stinking mud
until its final cost is paid?

Anna

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand the catalyst for what was to become The First World War, the first mindless, global war brought about by the insanity of the treaty alliance system, the war to end all wars…

The Battle of Verdun was the longest and one of the major battles fought on the Western Front and according to modern estimations the casualty count is in the region of 976,000.

The poem is composed of eye-witness accounts of life in the trenches found here and at other sites dedicated to The Battle of Verdun.

With thanks to Tess at The Mag for the inspiration, also linked to the good folk at dVerse~Poets PubOpen Link Night.

(Apart from minor editing, the words are of the original post.  The image differs as upon searching, I found the original copyrighted.)


I first posted these words on 14/11/12, and have reposted today as they remain relevant to all who have sacrificed their lives in the terrible arena of that that is war.

War does not only touch our soldiers who battle conscripted or not, but also civilians, and the death toll, the carnage, defies imagination.

Of course I am anti-war, but realistic enough to realise that conflict is sometimes neccessary to uphold to defend that that is good, that that is right.   Unfortunately the conflict of war is more often decided on the greed of humankind, whether it be for territory or the control of hearts and minds or any other pitiful excuse.

We will never learn for like it or not, we are tribal.

(I wear a red poppy although my heart tells me white.)

(Shared with the good folk at Poets United.)

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Baldridge, Cryus Leroy (1889-1977

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Traffic



She wears attire that fails to flatter,
fancy up her bag of bones. 
But no matter,   for her allure lies within for him
and those who rush to follow,
with their grubby hands and grubby minds,
for she is nothing more than nothing.

Once done they finger trace the lines
the needle tracks to crook of arm,
the foul evidence of ignoble gain,
their power play of bodies.

And here lies she drugged-up half-dead
mouthing silent hate through lips til soon
forever silenced.

Anna :o]

Sumana at Poets United has us writing of silence and above is my offering.  Cheers Sumana!

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons  

Author:  Worldwide Documentaries

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Child



Skin translucent
almost transparent,
I see inside her.   

Cachexic, body eats itself,
leaves naught but bony barren mountains;
blood slows in stagnant purple rivers.   

Whimpering,
head turns then body arches
as pain plays out its awful cruel game.

And here sit I,
a useless helpless heartless mamma
wishing she would fade away.

Oh how I have called out His Name,
begged Him to take her love her take her,
gave her up in sweet surrender,

yet He seems to want her not.

How I would love to lie beside her,
cradle her in loving arms,
whisper that I will always always love her

while wishing she would  gently

gently

fade

away…


Shared with the good folk at dVerse OLN hosted by the lovely Grace.  Cheers Grace!

3.11.17 (19:30)
In view of the kind concerned comments from Glenn and Frank (of which I thank them deeply for) I thought it right that I should add this note.

I wrote these words late last year after having been directed to a Facebook page in which a very caring father made the decision to publish a photograph of his four year old daughter who was in the last stage of cancer.

The photograph is very harrowing and haunted me for a long time.  It is true that opening up the page again (as I have not long done) has left me emotionally shattered and I have cried again.  However I am fully behind his brave decision, as we who have never been in this awful situation view childhood cancers as in the images that we normally see, of smiling bald little children with teddies and balloons and we are comfortable with that.  But the reality is far removed from that of happy little smiling faces.

Seeing Jessica’s picture last year reminded me of watching my dad die of cancer many moons ago, and the words I wrote are of him too and how helpless I felt at the time.   He was diagnosed three weeks before his death.  As any loving daughter would be, initially I was praying for him to live to be cured, but not long after, oh how hard and oh how often I prayed for him to die, to be relieved from the torment of his unstoppable pain.

I cannot even come close to imagining how I would feel if I had had to watch my child die. 

It is essential that more money is poured into the research of childhood cancer.

Writing this has left me torn as to whether I should direct you to the page, but it is so that Jessica’s dad wanted the world to know the reality, the awful truth of childhood cancers.  I would suggest however that if you are emotionally fragile at present, that you do not open it.  It is here.

Peace dear little Jessica.

 Anna

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Artist:  Edvard Munch  (1863–1944)  

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

GHOULAH


The moon a waxing gibbous she,
illuminates this hallowed ground   neath
silhouettes’ of swaying trees,
and in this graveyard here stand I
and drool as little kids pass by
and know this night I will not gorge upon the dead,
but indecent feasts of kids instead.

Anna :o]

Björn at dVerse hosts Poetics tonight and of course we are to write of monsters!  The twist is that we should give voice to said monsters, and above is my offering.  Cheers for the inspiration Björn!

(Also shared with the good folk at Real Toads – cheers Magaly.)

Oh dear, I seem to have a bone stuck between my teeth…kids! :o]

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Source:   Le Père Peinard, in Le Péril anarchiste

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

"I"


In the darkness of my soul hides my ugliness, waiting.  I despise the vacuous, the parasites who lust the vanity of my friendship and once trapped, I pull them screaming into the darkness. 
                                              (An incipit for the eventual anthology of my kills!)

I court her, oh the thrill of it the game of it the pleasure in beguiling.  (The stupid whores I pull them in and always leave them smiling!)  He-he!   Ha-ha!  I am a poet!

She is different this one…does she know, suspect, but how?  A question in her eyes beneath her furrowed brow…I CANNOT MAKE AN ERROR!  (I tease her with the softest kiss and mould my hands around her breasts and (then) my hands dance around her thighs.)

(She sighs – oh the magic in my hands the magic of my mind!)   (I pleasure her!)

And then I throttle her, but I can’t get no satisfaction…!

So welcome new babe – feel the action of my trouser trumpet!

My God I’m here you lucky lucky thing!

Anna :o[

Mish at dVerse has us writing of metaphorical masks and it got me thinking of folk I have encountered whilst working as a psychiatric nurse (now retired).

I have come across psychopaths in my time and will admit that in some instances, I was sucked in by them, believing all they said until they made an error, an obvious error in their story.  How plausible they can be!  How easy we are manipulated.

But do psychopaths’ (knowingly) wear a mask or are they just who they are?

We all wear masks, I do, several, to please other people.  Underneath I am just me and pretty harmless - I haven't killed anybody - yet!  :o]




Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons 
Author:  Gert Germeraad

Monday, 16 October 2017

Smiffie



I’ll never forget Jean or ‘Smiffie’ as she was affectionately known.  There was little knowledge of her past bar that she had been institutionalised at eleven, seemingly for promiscuous behaviour and spent the majority of her remaining life in a psychiatric hospital.  She came to us in her mid-fifties and was instantly adored by staff and fellow residents alike.  

She was damaged of course and had frantically hung on to a certain kind of sanity by inventing a husband whom she talked to often.  She also adored cats and loving her as I did; I gave her a cat ornament that was very special to me, but she was more special. 

I will never forget her funeral.  Having no relatives her burial was provided by the city.  Torrential rain had created a puddle into which her casket was lowered, even death held no dignity for her, and I was heartbroken.

Sky full of sadness,
rains a cascade of teardrops,
a sorrowful parting.

Anna :o]

Bjorn at dVerse has us writing a haibun, its theme being that of water and above is my offering.  Cheers Bjorn!

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:    Pridatko Oleksandr

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Fading


“You can’t explain what it’s like to mourn someone who’s still alive unless you’ve experienced it first hand.”
Jessica Seay-Soto


I can’t remember most of their names, those who were important to me, those I cared for across the years, those who lived when I left, left to enjoy the autumn of my life.

I have no doubt that my memory is failing, I know the signs.  I know them all too well.  I fear them.  I fear for my future.  I fear I will wake up one morning not realising that the essential me, the me I am happy with, the me that I am happy being, will have disappeared whilst I slept.

I will awake a lost soul.  And I can’t bear the thought of that.

Winter is nearing
leaving distant my selfhood,
memories fading.

Anna :o]

Please know this is not about me, but thoughts based on memories of my mum who I have been thinking of often of late.

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

Image courtesy of:  Wikimedia Commons

Author:  geralt

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Tumour


Oddly,
if searching for a (possible) familial adverse reaction
it would have been an incidental find – a saving find.

But why, as
*“When you hear hoof beats, think of horses not zebras.” 
So horses it is as the zebra runs wild.

(The mind still has it…)

(Somewhere a butterfly flutters – an advent of the storm.)

(There is madness here: 
Please inscribe on my gravestone
I told you so; I really did tell you so!)

Zebra grazes fat on the grass.

(I tell Eddy what the food tastes like as he tells me what it looks like.)

Eddy is dead now, yet I still live (unaware of the chaos to come.)

(The mind still has it…)

Anna :o]

Bjorn at Real Toads has us writing of order in chaos and above is my offering.  It is a true story.

 *"When you hear hoof beats, think of horses not zebras."

Also shared with the good folks at Poets United - cheers Mary!

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author:  Nevit Dilmen (talk)


(Please note that image is not correct to the diagnosis and is not about me, rather someone I love.)

Monday, 4 September 2017

To Michael



Late summer brings with it industry, for, for far too long my home has been neglected, but by necessity.  Working full time and caring for my lovely hubs Michael (for sixteen years) left little time for anything else.  But as seasons change, so does life.  Michael has lived in a wonderful care home for two years and I retired from work last November.

Initially, after retirement, I dwelt in that wonderful place of my time, where the only person I owed was me.  Happy in my apathy, I ignored the ingress of rain as it cascaded through the extension roof, preferring to place buckets rather than deal with it.  But as summer came and the grass grew and I knew I wasn’t physically fit enough to mow it, I had the garden landscaped and the roof repaired.

I then knew that I must concentrate on my home, for it is my home and not just a house.  I knew I must arrange for the house to be rewired, for the wiring is as old as the house, nearly fifty years.  I gave myself three weeks before the start date, thinking it enough to lift carpets and clear cupboards and wardrobes.  Little did I realise memories lost in the clutter.  (The British Red Cross needed a van to take the clutter away to their shop – the memories remain here.)

Autumn will come soon
echoing sweet  memories,
you are my summer.

Anna :o]

Toni at dVerse has us writing of the space between season and above is my offering.  Cheers Toni!

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:  Tony Webster

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Gone


I don’t suffer fools gladly
and I think that’s why I don’t like me anymore.

I search for you in the margins
and find your footprints in the sand;
embedded, resolute,
defying the soft wash of the tide
as it lazies itself to the shore. 
There is permanence in your absence.

I have toothache in my heart,
it is throbbing away and I can’t stand the pain. 
I miss you.

Anna :o]

Shared with the good folk at Real Toads - Cheers for hosting, Marian!

Image:  Courtesy of  Flickr
Author:  WiSch/Foto

Saturday, 19 August 2017

It's All About Love



Uncomplicated: life in the slow lane.

Skin wrinkles; bones tire.

She breaks fast as the day dawns,
sips tea as the sun shines,
loves him for all time. 

Summer is fading as the light in their eyes. 

Content with the season,
love undiminished,
life lived as a passion,

they welcome the fall.

Anna :o]

Kerry at Real Toads has us writing of “Uncomplicated Things” as micro poetry (ten lines or less) and above is my offering.  Cheers Kerry!

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (and the poems title stolen from there as it seemed so apt).

Author:   Candida Performa

Monday, 14 August 2017

Hope


Fresh we were,
fresh with the hope and the dreams
that are the spirit of youth,

we would reshape the world,
fashion war into peace
with naught but flowers in our hair
and love in our hearts.

Older now, we have nothing but hope…

Anna :o]

De at dVerse has us writing a quadrille, which is a verse of exactly forty-four words.  Today we must include some form of the word Dream.  Cheers De!

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons

Author:  Department of Defense

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Smiley


Off shoulder: it now hangs loose,
the bands of blue lopsided hoops,
bra one size down (and counting). 

This t-shirt measures her,
a testimony of inner strength
as she fights the fat that binds the wounds
that scar her heart that beats her awful misery.

She will smile for them, those who laugh and jeer,
shout ugly names with carefree ease in an effort to deride her. 
She will smile as if she doesn’t care, whilst deep deep down
(their ugliness) racks up the pain inside her.

She has learnt to wear this face to hide her hurt
from even those well-meaning, those kith and kin
who even they, fail to see to feel her pain within
and offer platitudes,   as if some alternative to caring.

She takes pride in her few pounds lost,
accepts the praise but knows this pleasure will be fleeting,
for Black Dog he will come again, tear up her heart cloud up her mind
and her only comfort will be in eating.

Anna :o]

Susan at Poets United has us writing of masks and above is my offering.  Cheers for the inspiration Susan!

(Black Dog = Depression)

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:  Ramesh NG

Monday, 17 July 2017

Regenesis


We walked on water ‘til the sea reclaimed us,
anchoring us to its bed as we slept forever. 

Beyond infinity a new dawn and our hearts flickered,
born again we rose to the surface and crawled upon the shore.  

Innocents waiting to be Gods…

Anna :o]

dVerse is six today!  Happy Anniversary dVerse, and many thanks to those good folk who tend the bar.

Grace ask us to write a quadrille, that is, a poem of exactly forty-four words, including a provided word.  Today’s word is FLICKER (to be used in any of its forms).  Cheers for the inspiration Grace!

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Source/photographer:  user:Rlbberlin

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Dreamin'


I’ve always wanted one, a gun that it is,
it’ll make me look (and feel) so hard and mean
an' all the gals, the gangsters molls
will be so keen to stride with me
as I strut along the city streets and dive into the shadiest of places.

An’ maybe if we dress up enough look tough enough
they’ll think we’re old enough to drink and so we will,
we’ll swill at it, the beer and gin an’ lap it up
an’ spill it down our fronts an’ laugh at it
an’ how we will be so admired by them not tough enough to carry.

An’ how hard we’ll be so old men quiver at our words
an’ buy us drinks an’ lend us money just to be their friends
an’ we’ll say okay mate friends just tonight, but you wont get it back
as we spend spend spend on beer an’ gin an’ the fattest of cigars.

An’ maybe we’ll get close enough an’ French kiss and stuff
an’ I’ll stick my hand right inside your bra
an’ you’ll breathe out the softest sexiest ahh an’ will hug me tight
an’ I’ll be so made up I’ll be orgasmic. 
An’ we’ll get a room an’ strip off an’ soon my naked body next to yours
an’ we’ll do things I’ve only ever dreamt of doing so before

An’ there it was in the shop it was, the gun that is
all brilliant with its silver sheen and keen I was to get it
an’ looked around an’ confident I wasn’t seen
I slipped it smoothly in my pocket. 
But seen I was an’ screamed an’ screamed “It’s mine, it’s mine”
as they whipped it from my jeans.

A lesson learnt perhaps as I now the mug being photographed
an’ pissed off I am realising I didn’t steal the friggin’
Smith an’ Western toy gun caps!  Bang!  Bang! 
What a dreamer that I am! 

(I wonder if she’ll wait for me.)

Anna :o]

Lillian at dVerse has us writing ekphrastic, which is attaching words to an image, these images a collection of vintage mug shots from the 1920s taken by the New South Wales Police Department which can be found here.

I really enjoyed this exercise.  Cheers Lillian!

(I do think my close needs tidying up though - so will work on it.)

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Lonely


She has no-one, no kith or kin,
just these four walls that close her in,
in this little space she once called home.

She is all alone waiting for the ring of silent phone
knowing there is no-one at all to call her.  
She pours out a drink and sips at it,
smoke rolled and lit she draws at it, thinks:
These are the only comforts that I have.

She relives the past of times before in letters read,
old photographs and memento's’ tucked in secret draws. 
This is her each and every day. 

She longs for warmth of company,
of laughs and love and idle chat,
of all things that used to be, before emptiness befell her.

She had the pub of course and once night drew near
she would wander there, buy half-a-pint, pull up a chair
and sit amongst the lost and lonely people gathered there. 
And in that noisy smoke-filled air she would become alive again
and belong and share, fill the emptiness of her days.

But now the pub is long demised,
its door long closed to all that once had gathered there,
its smoke-free air as silent as this life of hers. 
She (demonised) had tried of course to smoke outside,
her frail body shivering in the frigid cold. 
But she to old to brave this storm began to stay at home
and all alone she gradually wilted there.

She pours out a drink and sips at it,
smoke rolled and lit she draws at it, thinks:
These are the only comforts that I have.

Anna :o]

Susan at Toads challenges us to write a new poem in which we address our experience (or thoughts) about smoking tobacco.

I had my first cigarette about the age of thirteen.  In reality it was not a cigarette at all, rather my friend Carole and I tightly rolled up strips of newspaper, lit them on a coal fire, inhaled and coughed our guts out.

I am not entirely sure when I had my first real cigarette, I was either sixteen or early seventeen and I do recall it made me dizzy.  However it was considered cool to smoke and I persevered and a smoker I became.  Apart from ceasing when pregnant, I have smoked ever since, some forty-seven to forty-eight years.

Although smokers are now demonised, I am not a demon.  I consider myself a good person and hopefully I am.

I tend to think smoking was banned on public transport several years before the smoking ban in workplaces & public indoor areas in 2007, but this bothered me not, I had no problem with it.

After 2007 I had no problem not smoking in my workplace or restaurants, and if hospitalised could go without smoking for weeks.  Even before then, if a visitor in someone’s house and they were non-smokers; I would excuse myself and go outside to smoke.  I considered and continue to consider other people.

Where I do miss smoking is on a rare visit to a pub.  I admit it; I am not a social animal rather a happy introvert.  But on the rare occasions I meet chums and we go pubbing, which is a social thing, I do object to being demonised and having to go outside for a welcome puff.  I don’t know what it is, but smokers like to smoke when they drink.  I don’t understand why there cannot be smokers’ rooms in pubs or indeed smokers’ pubs.  But of course this cannot be allowed as smokers’ are horrible people and denied basic rights.

What I do remember of these early days, probably 2007-8, (some) non-smokers felt empowered to abuse those of us who did, and to be tut-tutted or verbally abused by those who passed by was not uncommon as we puffed outside pub doors.  Luckily that is long gone.

Pubs, clubs and other (indoor) places of social gathering have suffered since the smoking ban, thousands of these places (especially pubs) have closed their doors, resulting in the loss of jobs of those who worked there and loss of livelihood of those who owned and ran  them. This has had a knock on effect on those for whom pubs were their only social outlet.

An extract from Freedom2choose (pdf);

On the other hand, smokers have complained bitterly about the so-called ‘smoking shelters’ allowed, as they have to be 50% open to the elements. This of course means that, being basically useless as shelters, the elderly and the infirm (smokers) cannot visit the pubs/clubs in colder times. 
The smoking ban has led to a dramatic increase in drinking in the home. Obviously it is impossible to arrive at a definite figure but looking at the decline in customer pub usage against the rapidly rising beer sales at supermarkets it would seem that pre-ban concerns were well placed. One northern police force has indicated that this has resulted in a rapid increase in domestic violence cases – yet another unintended consequence of an overly zealous ban.
Whole communities are now denied a focal point for meeting and socialising as village pub after village pub closes down through lack of custom. Many council estate pubs have closed for similar reasons. Thousands of elderly and infirm members of our society have been isolated throughout the winter months due to the ban. In short, the ban has divided communities nationwide.”

And so it is that communities have suffered from this ban and will continue to do so…  But as said, it impacts on me little, and I will continue to smoke as I like it.

My (across the road) neighbour, although a nice man, is not nice when it comes to smoking, he vehemently opposed to it.  Yet he is quite happy (and conscience free) as he drives his diesel car, fully knowing its exhaust is a Group 1 carcinogen…

Further reading (if you are interested):

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:  Keith Edkins

Monday, 29 May 2017

When We Are Broken


I see our differences in the colour of our skin, our dress and our separation of cultures.  I hear our differences as you speak in your tongue and I feel excluded in my own land, failing to see it is your land too.  We both set ourselves apart, cling to our differences, afraid of each other.  Blind we are to our commonalities, our humanness. 

Yet in times of trial we set a common bond, we bleed into each others hearts until we mend.  Yet soon we will be as before and we will travel our different paths and close our doors behind us.  But until then I trust you.

If I close my eyes
will you trust me enough
to give me a hug?

Anna :o]

Grace at dVerse asks us to write of finding beauty in broken pieces or imperfection and/or the process of mending broken pieces, followed by a nature-themed “haiku”.

My words are a tribute to the good folk of Manchester who like most folk show their best when things are at their worst.  Hearts have been opened and communities rally together, a commonality is found.

Sadly, as time passes, things will return to what they were, that is, the divisions born of diversity.  Those who have lost loved ones or have been injured or have family who have been injured will suffer their grief their hurt for a long long time, and (eventually) they will be forgotten by the rest of us…

Political correctness will once again rear its ugly head, provide the fertile ground for the seeds of hate and distrust to be sown as the ‘ordinary man’ will be gagged in its name.

We must be allowed to express our fears our grievances for until that happens we will not be able to mend society.  We must have the freedom to talk to each other about each other, and in doing so, realise our paths might be different but our ultimate goals are the same, that is, to live life to the full, experience the beauty of it and share it with others.

I salute you Manchester and indeed every other community that has suffered the atrocities’ of that that is the evil of Daesh, and this includes those oft forgotten in the Middle East.

NB:  I do realise my haiku doesn’t fit the nature-theme, that is unless we consider the nature of man, and is also one syllable short (middle line), but I felt I needed to abandon the constraints of same…

Video:  Courtesy of Manchester Evening News      

Sunday, 21 May 2017

No News...



I don’ read books or anyfin,
ol’ fashion people do,
an’ I’m young y’know
an’ I’ve ‘air to crimp  an’ knees t’show – Har Har! 
Is this dress too short or not short enough?

The lads love me cos we talk of fins
that are importunt like, like what (?),
well fins in the neighbour’ud,  who’s screwing who,
an’ wevver fat ol’ Missis Smiff will kick Jonny
up ‘is arse‘n’kick ‘im owt like she said she would
when she found ‘im kissin Mike (yuk yuk),
y’know Mike ooze got’is brain arf missin.’ 
Har Har!

Prime Min’ster?  T’resa May innit? 
Tell trufe I don’ give a shit ‘bout anyfin in pollytics.   
They never do nowt for me, she’s Tory innit? 
Watch news on telly?  Nah, its borin’ innit? 
Wars?  Don’ care.  Famine?  What’s that?  Oh ‘unger.
Don’ care, only care what’s in my belly! (LOL)!

Newspapers?  Already said don’ read books or anyfin, 
I’m not ol’ fashion y’know, but I text’n’fins
so know evryfin that’s wurf anyfin I need t’know.

Anna :o]

Brendan at Toads writes brilliantly of how ‘The News’ is fed to us in this world of ours, where we are constantly bombarded with ‘News’ here there and everywhere. 

News and its intention to educate has now become a source of entertainment and often is presented thus.  It creates the shallow world of ‘celebrities’’ and then does its best to destroy same, cluttering their world with the sharks that are paparazzi, this especially so of the tabloid gutter press, who frequently find new depths to sink to.  Sadly, this presentation of ‘news’ is popular with its readers… (And this I worry about, worry about how society is being dumbed down.)

What did the (gutter) press do when Dr. David Dao was dragged off the United Airlines plane – they sought to find ‘dirt’ in his history and joined Oscar Munoz in victim-blaming.  Why in heavens name did they do that?   Luckily not all newspapers are the same and the Independent gives a fair opinion on this.

I could rant on forever but won’t.

Oddly enough, when reading Brendan’s post, the first thing that came to mind was that of an ex-colleague, a lovely kind young woman, who had no interest in the world outside her own sphere and had little knowledge of it – and so I wrote of her.   I could never understand why she didn’t want to know.

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:  Bobbie Johnson