A Poem For Friday

This week, my guest poet is David Marsden, one of my former Writers Bureau students. Here’s a little bit about David, in his own words:

I started off writing short stories, then I became interested in poetry and non-fiction, so I write a mixture of subjects.

Poetry writing is a favourite of mine because it comes more natural and takes up less time. I also like writing short non-fiction about mysteries. I enjoy digging into the past and researching unusual things.

I entitle this poem The Mirror. An old film about a haunted mirror inspired me. It doesn’t reflect on the story but gave me the idea.

The Mirror


David Marsden

The mirror on the wall is old and brown

he bought it from the antiques shop down town

he didn’t know the power it possessed

it’s just a gift for his loving wife, Bess.

It’s rather large, she thought, where shall it go

the lounge, he thought, study, she told him so

over the mantle-piece where the flames dance,

to give the room an air of ambiance.

He looked into the glass one stormy night

a figure stood behind, oh what a fright

its face distorted as if in torment

its eyes as black as night, its clothes all rent.

It laid its deathly hand upon his neck

a grip of iron, one mighty squeeze did break

he fell upon the floor in a dead heap

he’s trapped in the mirror, its soul set free.

She could not find her man, he is not there

in all the house, there’s not a single stir

she looked into the mirror on the wall

and saw him there and thought he’d had a fall.

But when she turned to help him off the floor

she did not see his body there no more

she once more gazed into the mirror there

again, the mirror held him in its glare.

She felt a force upon her neck, a hand

and now she lies in there beside her man

she saw him trapped in glass for evermore

and now there’s two of them, or maybe more.

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Can You Tell A Story In…

It’s Thursday and your new five-word challenge is here. This week, your prompt is FRUIT. So can you tell a story in five words, using the word FRUIT in it somewhere?

Here are your THING stories from last week:


This thing, too, shall pass.

Need to tell you something.

Things are looking up, finally.

Christine Mallaband-Brown:

The ‘thing’ was truly huge.

My husband loves railway things.

Several things appeared last night.

I’ll be at the thing.

Think not thing-you fool!

An egg and thingy sandwich?

Thing was made of string…

These foolish things – favourite song.

Keith Channing:

Thing a thong of thickthpence.

Things Harvested Invariably Need Gathering.

Trent’s World:

I can’t remember a thing!

Is “thing” a dirty word?

Roberta Writes:

Unknown thing. Approaching Earth. Bam!

The thing I needed. Lost.

Lance Greenfield:

Thong? Thing thumb thing thimble.

Thingamajigs bounce around in Thingamyland.

Viking meeting. There’s a thing!

All things to all men.

Julie Andrews sang Favourite Things.

Always wash your thingy thoroughly.

We’re onto a good thing.

Eating custard isn’t my thing.

Chuck Berry’s thing? His Ding-a-ling.

Cleopatra did her own thing.

Crazy little thing called love.

That was a close thing!

Anything worn under my kilt?

Nothing mostly happens quite frequently.

Heavy breathing on telephone line.

Something emerged from the briny.

Sarian Lady:

I can’t remember a thing.

EDC Writing:

Young, maybe? Fresh another thing!

One thing, two of them.

Thing is, she didn’t know.

Thing is, he couldn’t tell.

My thing thanks to you!

Paul Mastaglio:

The thing is… I’ve forgotten.

I’m late for this thing.

Here’s the thing you wanted!

K Morris Poet:

The thing is somewhat unfinished!

I had this fling thing.

Joy Smith:

Some thing for the weekend?

Things ain’t what they were.

Red jumpsuit for Thing 1.

Thing 1 divorces Thing 2.

Things created by Dr Seuss.

String and thing, kitchen drawer.

What is your saddest thing.

This crazy little thing life.

Things – sings with a lisp.

My thing is getting away.

Brushes with this covid thing.

Have a great weekend thing.

Linking People 2003:

The word “thing” is “pronoun”.

”Whatitsname” is synonym of “thing”!

Idle mind says, “thing”, often!

A thing of the past!

Learning from everything and everyone!

Sentient being feels unlike thing.

Thing is inanimate material object.

Vacuum does not occupy anything.


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Fairies Part Two

For part one, click here

I am shaking with sobs now. I know the answer. I know the things Eleanor has seen. Things a seven-year-old shouldn’t see, shouldn’t ever know anything about. And I could do nothing about it. I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t save her.

But it wasn’t always like this. Her daddy used to make her smile. All the time. He worked hard at the shop and came home as early as he could to read her a bedtime story. He used to bring sweets home every Friday. Fizzy cola bottles were the best. So sugary and sweet. Her daddy used to swing her round and round. Her mummy used to scold him for getting Eleanor all excited before bedtime and then he would pull out a bottle of perfume and Mummy would fling her arms around him in forgiveness. Her mummy didn’t mind really. All she wanted was for her Eleanor to be happy. And they were happy. All of them. Such a happy family.

Then everything changed. It was all her daddy’s fault. Horrible, horrible Daddy. Poor Eleanor. Poor Eleanor, who had been feeling sick all day at school and who had come home early with Mummy. Her mummy had gone to school straight from work when they couldn’t get hold of Daddy at the shop. Her daddy had taken the afternoon off work and gone home to bed.

Dear Eleanor. She ran up those stairs when she saw his car outside, all thoughts of sickness suddenly gone. Her fast footsteps didn’t give Mrs Draper from number three much time to wrap Daddy’s dressing gown round herself.

Her daddy shouted at Eleanor. He shouted at her like he had never shouted before. Her mummy came up after her. She was so shocked and so hurt. For a moment, her face had crumpled and the floor had threatened to claim her. Then anger kicked in. Anger at how Daddy had spoken to their daughter. Anger at Daddy for what he had done. Anger at Mrs Draper.

Her mummy told Eleanor to go downstairs then while she marched on, pulling at Daddy’s dressing gown. Eleanor didn’t know what was going on. She thought her daddy was ill. Why else would he be in bed? Perhaps Mrs Draper was ill, too. But she knew something was wrong. It was in their voices and their faces.

Eleanor couldn’t move. She watched the ugly folds of flesh emerge as the emerald green gown fell to the floor. She stood rigid as Daddy leapt up, pulling his trousers past his hips and launched himself at her mummy. Mummy was wild, lashing out viciously and verbally.

Eleanor should have gone. She would have known what was to come next, but she wouldn’t have seen it. It wouldn’t have blasted into her conscious, raw and ragged, day in, day out until the only thing that made sense were the fairies.

Part three next week


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Funny Of The Week

Whenever I see this sign in the future, I’ll now take extra care…

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Laughing Along With A Limerick

Here’s your Monday smile – it’s limerick time. Send in your own or here’s a prompt for you –


Here are a few limericks to make you smile this Monday. The prompt last week was GIFT.

Keith Channing:

A friendship that’s suffered a rift

Can sometimes be healed by a gift.

An ill thought-out token

Can leave one heartbroken;

And you may end up getting short shrift!

Tales from the mind of Kristian:

The other day, I received a gift,

I thought would give me a much-needed lift,

But when opened, I saw

It was actually for next door,

And Boy! was I really Miffed.

Kim Smyth:

We all like to get a cool gift

Yet at times can cause a real rift

“Hers is better!”

Thought the setter

So the terrier was really miffed!

Christine Mallaband-Brown:

Today I got a big gift

Which gave my spirits a lift

It’s an LP, (long player)

But I have no record player!

Through junk shops I will have to sift!

Trent’s World:

Esther, without a fuss

Gives great micro challenges to us

A gift to a writer

Makes our days much brighter

Writing words on Monday without a cuss.

Paul Mastaglio:

I had a gift

But I left it in the lift

I don’t know if it went up or down

I fret and frown

I’m missing my gift.

The Hidden Edge:

My Nephew, Alec, who loves his cricket,

Is a bowler with a golden ticket,

If you catch my drift,

Tis a splendid gift,

To yell HowZat! When taking a wicket.

Lance Greenfield:

Private Frederick Hitch – a true hero

There was a proud soldier called Hitch,

Won V.C. for brave act at Rorke’s Drift.

His medal though lost,

Was bought back at a cost

And displayed at museum: a gift.

And the moral of the story is . . .

I once had a gift-horse called Dennis,

Who refused to visit the dentist.

His teeth were so hairy

That his mouth was quite scary,

And worse, he had bad halitosis.

Linking People2013:

Opened a bag of birthday gift,

A present given as a thrift!

Pussy cat was her birthday gift!

Slept with pussy cat in kist!

She has a gift of gab to list!

Sarian Lady:

I’m a sleek young horse named Gift,

Like lightning I really am swift.

You’ll be in the money.

Your days will be sunny.

Don’t look in my mouth. Get my drift?

And here are two from Joy Smith that I forgot to post last week! The prompt was ‘suit’. Huge apologies, Joy.

The man in the lavendar suit

Always gave the good girls a hoot

One day at the wheel

He did have a feel

And then they gave him the boot!

Carmen Miranda with her hat full of fruit

Would never be seen dead in a suit

All bananas or melon

Or a whole row of lemon

Wins the jackpot, and oodles of loot!


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A Poem For Friday

I would like to welcome back Kevin Morris to my blog this week. I hope you enjoy his poem as much as I did. Here is a little bit about him:

Kevin Morris was born in the city of Liverpool on 6 January 1969.

Having obtained a BA in history and politics and an MA in political
theory from the University College of Swansea, Kevin moved to London
where he now lives and works.

Being visually impaired, Kevin uses screen reading software called Job
Access with Speech or JAWS, which converts text into speech and
braille enabling him to use a Windows laptop.

Barely a Bird I Heard


Kevin Morris

Barely a bird I heard.

The wind blew,

And a fallen tree

Spoke to me

In words most true,

Of the progress of humanity.

Kevin has recently published his Further Selected poems, which is
available from Amazon, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08XPMGD3F/


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Can You Tell A Story In…

It’s Thursday and your new five-word challenge is here. This week, your prompt is THING. So can you tell a story in five words, using the word THING in it somewhere?

Here are your BATH stories from last week:


Bubble baths – my favourite treat.

How do you say ‘bath’?

Christine Mallaband-Brown:

Bath, town down near Bristol

A bath of silver thiosulphate,

(a bath for developing photos)

She had a bath yesterday

My bath was too cold.

Bath bombs- fizzy, smells nice!

Bath of asses milk – yummy?

The cat fell into bath!

Doughnut bathed in caster sugar…

Kim Smyth:

Showers are quicker than baths.

Baths soak that pain away!

Bath melts are very moisturizing.

My sister makes bath melts.

Eva Hnizdo:

After skiing, bath. Heavenly.

Lance Greenfield:

Bishop of Bath and Wells.

Tin bath warms by fireside.

Skinny dippers bathe in waves.

Archimedes leaps from bath. Eureka!

Bath: narrow streets, steep hills.

Bath: grocery delivery driver’s nightmare.

Bath together: economical and fun.

Sauna – ice bath – aromatherapy massage.

Writers think in their baths.

Muddy runner needs a bath.

Romans bathe in Bath baths.

Cleopatra likes a roomy bathroom.

Always undress before your bath.

Soapy suds or bath oil?

Flushed baby with bathwater.

Took a bath without me?

Icy bath hardens my nipples.

Smell bad? Bath. Smell good!

No plastic duck? No bath!

Green lizards like sand baths.

Hot sex in warm bath.

Eating juicy fruit in bath.

Hot bath is perfect cure.

Sarian Lady:

Memories of Jane Austin in Bath.

Warm bath, candles, wine, bliss.

Joy Smith:

Christmas Carols from Bath Abbey.

Discover Jane Austen’s Bath haunts.

Aromatherapy bath brought on labour.

Epsom bath, salts and downs.

Georgian bath release sulphuric fumes.

Bath the dog, waggy fun.

Acid bath hides the evidence.

Rendezvous in Bath. Now married.

Kitchen sink as baby’s bath.

Jane’s footsteps echo around Bath.

Acid bath, extreme exfoliation system.

EDC Writing:

Last bath, he slipped in.


Splosh, splash, having a bath!

Threw baby out with bath.

Meet me in the bath.

Linking People 2003:

Immersing in warm bath container!

Bathtub must have grooved mat!

Hip bath can keep clean!

Sitz bath is hip bath!

Whirlpool bath in seas dangerous!

Hot steam filled room bath!

Steam bath relaxes and refreshes!

Turkish bath is steam bath!

Steam bath in sauna room!

Victorian slipper bath in public!

Towel wrapped during slipper bath!

Public slipper bath for cleanliness!

Douche requires spraying with water!

Rectal flush wash during bath!

Laving face and hip bath!

Jacuzzi bath has underwater waterjets!

Greece and Rome used thermae!

Soap and scrub for bath!

Val Fish:

Visited Bath once, got soaked.

Baby’s bath time; precious moments.

Mum’s bath time; pure escapism.


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Fairies Part One

She’s seeing things again. My dear, sweet, Eleanor. I watch her and yearn to reach out my hand and stroke her long, brown hair, to tuck it back behind her ears. The tiny girl turns. She knows I am watching. Such sadness in those glorious eyes. My fingers are edging nearer. I stop. I can’t touch her. I mustn’t. My dear, sweet, Eleanor, only seven years old.

She turns back and sobs, clutching her teddy. Dear teddy, so old and worn from constant hugs and tears trapped beneath the fading fur.

Her sobbing slows. She stops. Her head leans on one side and her fringe falls forward, hiding her face. She flings back her head and the smile twitches at the corner of her mouth. She listens and a light illuminates her. Her eyes dance, alive once more and her thin fingers tap teddy to a tune only she can hear. They’re here. Oh, Eleanor, the fairies have come again.

Her smile slowly spreads as mine vanishes. Her tears have dried and mine replace them. Why, Eleanor? Oh, why?

Her hands reach out and open up as if to catch a ball. She pulls back. She has one in her grasp. Yellow, pink, purple; only she knows the colour of the wings, the hue of the dress, the feel of hair and feet flitting over flesh. She turns to me and holds out her hand. I can’t see them. I can’t see them, Eleanor.

I turn away. I can bear no more. But I have to look back. Eleanor is dancing now, with her arms raised above her head and her eyes glancing gleefully in all directions. They’re everywhere, aren’t they, Eleanor? She won’t look at me now. She doesn’t need me any more, not when they’re here. This is the only time she smiles, the only time she feels anything. Why, Eleanor? What terrible thing made you create such a wondrous world? Is the real word so terrible, so bad?


30 Most Inspirational Quotes of All Time
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Funny Of The Week

So, as long as you’re quiet, it’s okay…

50 Of The Worst Spelling Mistakes Ever | Bored Panda
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Laughing Along With A Limerick

Here’s your Monday smile – it’s limerick time. Send in your own or here’s a prompt for you –


Here are a few limericks to make you smile this Monday. The prompt last week was BOSS.

Keith Channing:

If your company runs at a loss

The person to blame is the boss.

You have to work wonders

Whilst he commits blunders

And lives in the world of Pangloss.

Kim Smyth:

I once had a wonderful boss

Whose charms on me weren’t a loss

“Your secrets,” she said

“Never give up until dead!”

So out the window with them I did toss!

Christine Mallaband-Brown:

There once was a cowboy called Hoss

Who fell out, big time, with his boss.

He jumped on his mount

With a big angry pout

And shouted, I’m off. And it’s your loss!


Is that man actually our boss

The one chewing strands of dental floss

I’ve heard of diet fads

But he’s really sad

Soon will be six feet under the moss.

Is that man actually our boss

The one chewing strands of dental floss

I’ve heard of diet fads

But it’s really sad

He’s missing out on the applesauce.

Trent’s World:

Bob was a boss who was mean

The nastiest guy ever seen

One poor clerk

Was fired by the jerk

But took revenge on the fiend.

Julie was a boss who was nice

I’d surely work for her twice!

She praised everyone

For the work they had done

And always gave great advice.

Barbara Owen:

His lordship thinks he’s the boss

The rest of us don’t give a toss

Yes dear! No dear!

Three bags full dear

We all know the dog is the boss!

The Hidden Edge:

Our business chief is called Joss,

She makes a pretty good boss,

She’s fair with our pay,

Oft gives praise away,

And ‘hardly’ ever gets cross!

Lance Greenfield:

Daktari’s lion was called Clarence,

Boss-eyed and strange in appearance.

Although mild he appeared,

When poachers came near,

His roars saw them off in the distance.

Linking People2013:

Boss always right grants survival but a leader is not boss,

Boss doesn’t lead team, commands with a gloss!

Leaders work with the team unlike boss sitting in armchair,

Upon retirement boss is like any other to compare!

Leaders never retire unlike boss!


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