Many thanks for bearing with me. I now have a new challenge for you:
OPTION ONE: Write a six-word story with the word FLAMINGO in it somewhere.
OPTION TWO: Write a poem or limerick on the theme of LAUGHTER.
OPTION THREE: Your word is POLITICS. Yes, I’m probably opening the flood gates here, but I want to know your thoughts, fictional or otherwise; it’s up to you.
As promised I’m publishing all the wonderful stories and poems you sent in over the past two weeks:
OPTION ONE was to write a six-word story with the word DISASTER in it somewhere. All your stories were brilliant!
Farage, Boris, Gove. Referendum result – disaster!
Now it’s over to Jason Moody:
Boris Johnson has done what? Disaster!
I crept. Fell over. Swore. Disaster!
Spilt tea. Favourite blouse. Bloody disaster!
Date disaster. Kissed Him. Bad breath.
No internet! Talking? To you? Disaster!
New carpet. Red wine. Total disaster.
Underarm disaster. Hairspray instead of deodorant!
Boris stabbed by Gove is disaster?
EDC Writing steps in:
My first thought a disaster too!
Boris disaster back stabbed by friends.
Misshaped bald head his follicular disaster.
“I love you” too soon … disaster.
A slip and much revealed. Disaster!
Oh! I’ve burned the cake, disaster!
They kissed, he belched; absolute disaster.
Disaster! Football Brexit! Ice, Ice, Baby!
Disaster prevention: stay calm and smile!
Disaster strikes when unvoiced birds survive.
6-word disaster movie story:
The Alabaster-Plaster Disaster Movie – Soon!
The World Today 6-word Story:
One disaster after another; ever faster.
It happened suddenly. Disaster struck.
Inebriated I read Friar Tuck. Disaster!
OPTION TWO was to write a poem or limerick on the theme of WORK. Thought-provoking stuff:
Jason Moody is first in with his entertaining limericks:
I go to this place every day
It’s not bad, it’s not great, it’s OK
Devoid of all perks
That’s why it’s called work
I only do this for the pay.
Do I like it? I can’t say I do
But enough about me, what of you?
What do you do for work?
A lawyer, a clerk?
And do you have post-it notes, blue?
If work to you is a way of life,
There ain’t a struggle, ain’t any strife.
But if work doth become a burden,
Prepare to experience mood swings, sudden.
Seek lasting joy? Marry work- that’s my unsolicited advice.
Work, work, you little shit – work; Work on and on, and do not shirk. You need to work to make me rich, Don’t argue either, you little bitch.
I am your Lord, you are my Slave; From your benefits, I will always shave. To be inspired, learn from ants; And know it’s I who wears the pants.
Hear my words, my honeyed speeches; Then go off and pull up your breeches. Work, you minions, meet your goals – Stay neath the ground, like obedient moles.
You need to work, so I can fly; With lots of money, and things to buy. I’ll train you well, you little crap; To smile and jump, at my finger’s snap.
You need to work, to make me rich. And, don’t complain, you little snitch. The government’s mine, you little dork; So, work and work, little sap, work.
And Rajiv’s stunning second version:
Work, work, you little shit, work; Work on and on, and do not shirk. You need to work, and make me rich; Don’t argue either, you little bitch.
You make me work, so you can fly; With lots of money, and things to buy. Yet, you cut my pay – you cry and tell me, Profits are down, and I must believe thee.
I am your Lord, you are my slave; It’s my generosity that you must crave. To be inspired, learn from the ants; And realise it is I, who wears the pants.
I hear your words, from your honeyed mouth; We don’t believe you. Can you hear us shout? Behind glass doors, you wine and dine; Yet don’t realise that we can dim your shine.
We know you well, you will exploit us; Then o’er our bodies, you will roll a bus. But, we can strike and raise our voice, Will that leave you, with too much choice?
You need to work, to make me rich; And don’t complain, you little snitch. The government’s mine, you little dork; So, work and work, little shit, work.
‘Poem Vs Limerick: Work’
There is a thing I have to do: that’s ‘work’
Some days it’s good; others, berserk!
It buys the beers
For forty years
But, your savings you should never shirk.
A Limerick upon the theme of work
But, not funny.
No, not funny at all.
You wrote it too quickly
But, it takes time
To write a decent rhyme
And your effort is lacking and soulless.
A poet who writes and criticises
Doesn’t know what the meaning of wise is
He says I’m not funny
At best I’m slightly Punny
And can’t pen a decent rhyme if the occasion arises.
He sees he is wrong
Where there needs brevity he is much too long
And his humour is puerile and lame
I make such suggestion of style
As to aid his digestion, and while
I would cry with elation
If he could hone his creation
With some kind of subtlety
I think that his talent isn’t poetry.
There once was a man who upset me
With his moaning and groans he beset me
But, I am a man of such worth
I could flatten his girth
And with such a squashing…
He wouldn’t forget me!
Oh, Limericist of such good great fame
I didn’t mean to slander your name
You are better indeed
The more I do read
Of your words, excuse me, my self was to blame.
Well, that is alright, gentle poet
I am a great Limericist, you just didn’t know it
And my rhymes are not crimes
As are you
A mirror of the days
And the ways
That is literary types
And ply our trades
Stares at the clock
As time runs amok.
Another tedious day
Just hasn’t made hay.
So much to do
Work piles up anew.
No breakfast this morning
Cold coffee in hand.
Tired from not sleeping
Stomach is rumbling.
To the restroom, quick.
Back at the desk
The screen still flickering.
More work has arrived
Heart rate is quickening.
Beads of sweat
Running down his brow
Doesn’t know where to start now.
Must get things done
Will have to stay late.
On the way home
A take-away is sort and
Together with wine is bought.
Eaten and consumed
Lays on the sofa.
In no time at all is
The Working Day.
The day ends.
Not yet finished,
Looms in the background,
The day begins.
No longer looming,
Demanding to be first.
Oh, the joy that it fulfills or robs,
The disappointment it brings,
When yet another hour of overtime must be done,
And work becomes the victor that kills love,
That becomes bittersweet.
Horace loved quaffing much stout
Of the pub he hardly was out
The lazy old jerk
Wouldn’t hear of hard work
Till his dole got stopped-did he shout!
Round the corner I’m happy to lurk
To get out of doing much work
I’d rather lie down
Or sneak into town
I’ve learnt to successfully shirk.
OPTION THREE: Your word was FREEDOM. What meaning does this hold for you? You could write anything on it, be it a poem, story, non-fiction piece, in fact, anything and everything. There were some great entries:
Jason Moody‘s thoughts on this subject:
Freedom means not being sorry for who you are.
Freedom means not being afraid to speak out.
Freedom means the joy of experiencing the world and all it has.
Freedom means exploration.
Freedom means Learning.
Freedom, sadly, in this day and age, has to be earned by some.
Don’t take freedom for granted, for there are those out there who would rob you of it.
Freedom of thought, freedom of speech
Is good, if another’s needs you meet.
Freedom to smile, freedom to laugh aloud,
Sounds great if no one’s feelings you pound!
Freedom to walk, to saunter jump or run,
Or stroll at mid day under a hot blazing sun.
Is yours for the keeping, we needn’t object!
Hey watch out -hope the toes that you tread are yours,
For if those of the others it’s difficult to endure!
Geoff Le Pard:
‘Take off your clothes, put them in that box. Jewellery too, if you have any. And then put on the underwear and uniform and knock when you’re done.’
Anne-Marie, the prison guard, checked the prisoner one final time. This one must be sick or a loony. Why was she so happy? For a moment Anne-Marie wondered if she might be a suicide risk but there was nothing she could use to hurt herself. Shrugging she went outside and joined Bethany. ‘What do you think? Nutter?’
‘Seemed sane enough when she was filling in the forms.’ Bethany glanced at the clipboard. ‘Nothing here suggesting any sort of mental health issues. No medication. Shit, when you read what happened to her, you wonder she’s here at all. You hear what the bastard did?’
Anne-Marie sat heavily and checked her screen. ‘I heard she exaggerated. And she made a right mess of him. Him a pillar of the community and all.’ She looked up. ‘Two sides to every story, hey? Though it don’t explain why she’s so cheerful.’
In the changing room, Nancy struggled not to smile remembering her barrister’s surprise when she said she wasn’t planning on appealing. She didn’t have the heart to say she wouldn’t seek probation either, whenever she was due. Maybe, at the right time, she’d punch a warden or something. That made her laugh, a full of gusto guffaw. No one understood. For fifteen years her family and his had tied her down, kept her under, their skivvy and plaything and because they were so respected, no one listened. She could barely breathe, let alone move. Killing him – sure he deserved it – and getting put away was like the first day of her life. Freedom. They had a library, other people – though some may be a bit weird, proper food, the chance to sleep for a decent period, washing facilities. Real freedom at last.
I thought of writing this as verse, but no. Prose seemed a better form for me. Many years ago, when I heard Janis Joplin sing, ‘Freedom’s just another word / For nothing left to lose’, the phrase stuck to me. The lines, more correctly, stuck to me. Steve McDonald writes, in the prose that accompanies the song, “Freedom” that freedom lies within us ;and only when people can live with dignity, and without fear of oppression, can they truly be free.
On the other hand, despite the name and fame of the rock band, ‘Nirvana’ does mean complete freedom from desire and attachments. It is then that the soul can be free. It is a state of realising one’s own inner God.
I can imagine myself sitting on a mountainside, smelling the flowers, feeling the breeze on my face. The skies are blue, or grey. It does not matter. The air is clean and refreshing. Everything around me is still, calm, content within itself.
There is no rush, no concept of time. The calm, the peace, is constant. It is like an ocean that envelopes me, but does not suffocate. Time dissolves at that moment. Everything is still. My mind is still.
No worries. No words. No joy. No fear. No anxiety. No greed.
Just an acceptance of that moment. Being in that moment. Letting go, and yet being there.
I am me. I an Nature. Nature is me.
There is oneness with the vast infinity of the universe, and eternal time is felt in that moment. Everything is still, and pure.
In that moment, I die.
In that moment, I am reborn.
In that moment, I am free. I experience freedom.
A strange word is freedom. It mascots as something to be desired yet when presented we run from its consequences. The freedom to be is the world I dream to be accepted in. The freedom to walk and not fear to be robbed because I have on a better coat or a diamond ring that someone else cannot afford. The freedom to speak and be respected for my own thoughts, whether others agree with me or not. The freedom to love, independent of the bonds that dictate the social stigma which accompany the perceived correctness demanded by social norms. If freedom really existed, rules would vanish. Life would be regarded as a precious jewel, and fences would disappear as we become a world community.
OPTION FOUR was to write a six-word story with the word NINCOMPOOP in it somewhere.
The nincompoop autocorrect-ed ‘Esther’; ‘jester’ disaster.
Nincompoop had fun playing word games.
“Nincompoop! You voted both, Trump and Clinton!”