Guest Writer Slot

If you’d like to see your work in my Guest Writer Spot, please contact me here or by e-mail: esthernewton@virginmedia.com. I accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. All you have to do is make sure your prose is no longer than 2000 words and your poems no more than 40 lines.

This week’s guest writer is Suzy Sharman. Here’s a little bit about her, in her own words:

“I’ve written three novels, all unpublished, but I’ve just started writing short stories. I love how tight the writing has to be and how you can gradually build the story before revealing all. This is the shortest story I’ve written. I hope you enjoy it. I thought I’d go for the holiday theme as my children have just broken up for the summer.”

Holiday Heaven

By

Suzy Sharman

 

“Where do you fancy going on holiday this year then, Jason?”

“I want to go on an adventure holiday. I want to go canoeing, white water rafting, rock climbing, swimming and abseiling. What about you, Dad?”

“”I think I’d like to go to Spain, or to Greece. Anywhere with a beach, hot sunshine and a bar.”

“Or what about Florida? They’ve got beaches there, it’s always hot and there’re tons and tons of bars and loads of adventure stuff for me to do, too. That would be perfect, wouldn’t it, Dad?”

“Yes. Perfect. I’ll have a word with your mother.”

“I suppose you have to, don’t you, Dad?”

“Yes, ‘fraid so.”

“Then I suppose it’s Mrs Grott’s guest house again, isn’t it? The closest I’ll get to an adventure is the leaky shower, dodgy bed and shaky scaffolding.”

“Yes, looks like it, son. And the nearest I’ll get to a beach is the sand, which always settles in the bottom of her bath and I think the last time hot sunshine went anywhere near Mrs Grott’s guest house was 1906. She doesn’t believe in stocking any alcohol, either.”

“She’s a bit of a dragon, too, isn’t she, Dad?”

“You shouldn’t talk about her that way. But I can’t stand the woman, either, Jason. Can’t stand her. But she is your mother’s sister.”

“Maybe it’ll be Florida next year, eh Dad?”

“Maybe, Jason. Yes, maybe next year.”

***

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My Weekly Writing Challenge

Looking for a new writing challenge? Here’s one for you:

OPTION ONE: Write a six-word story with the word BINGO in it somewhere.

OPTION TWO: Write a poem or limerick on the theme of INFATUATION.

OPTION THREE: Your word is HOLIDAY. As it’s that time of year, what else could it be? What does the word holiday mean to you? Lazing on a beautiful beach, or taking in the stunning scenery? Perhaps you have some happy childhood memories to share, or you can create a fictional holiday; it’s up to you.

Now for last week’s challenges:

OPTION ONE was to write a six-word story with the word FLAMINGO in it somewhere. There were some brilliant entries:

Indiablue:

In the pink? My dear Flamingo

EDC Writing:

Flamingo dancer … bird brain it’s flamenco!

Glynis Smy:

Oi, I said flamin’ go, Flamingo!

Bindu:

The pink sea beckoned! Flamingo world…

Please visit the following link to see Steve Walsky’s story:

https://simplicitylane.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/lolli-poped-the-question/

Sarah:

Pink panther? No, pink flamingo! Doh.

Ugly duckling? No, a pretty flamingo.

Rajiv Chopra:

Bill and Hillary did a flamingo dance!

Carolyn Imbaya:

Flamingo legs! Don’t step on me.

OPTION TWO asked you to write a poem or limerick on the theme of LAUGHTER.

Bindu:

Laughter is the best medicine
Oh what a crime, my goodness what sin!
To consider a bitter, pungent mouthful,
Akin to something sweet and cheerful,
Is nothing but a mind boggling toxin.

For OPTION THREE I gave you the word POLITICS. Here’s what you came up with:

Bindu:

Politics at work,
politics at play,
Find it in the open,
Even behind closed doors,
discover it in governance
Or even everyday matters
Ah, politics is here to stay,
What you think; no matter!

Sports or cinema or even infotainment,
Find it in plenty, whichever field you venture,
Education, e commerce or history,
Are replete with many examples
Of interesting, engaging mind games.
These make for fascinating conversations,
And tingle awake many a sleepy mind.
Politics is here to stay, it makes the world go round!

Pat Garcia:

My heart weeps.

Years filled with murder.

Women, children,

Old, young, dying,

My heart weeps.

Freedom, the way to live,

Dictators wanted

Greed unquieted,

Power boosted,

Suppression of others routine,

And my heart weeps.

 

The best way, my way,

The right way, only my way,

People seen as dogs, infidels,

Breathing air, their air,

And my heart weeps.

 

Down through the Ages,

Past and gone,

Lies the unknown spirit of confusion, hatred, and death,

Arising,

Turning men into war mongers,

Nations into furnaces,

Knives killing,

Like arrows diving pointedly into the soul,

Guns shoot,

Bombs explode,  

Men, women, children die

And my heart weeps.

 

Politics play,

Leaders encouraging each other,

As blood spills and soaked the ground,

The pavement,

The floor,

And my heart weeps.

 

Autonomy?

Monarchy?

Communism?

Socialism?

Democracy, what?

Socio-Marxism?

Dictator, ah what?

Strange bedfellows,

Do they understand?

 

My heart weeps,

People sent out to kill,

My heart weeps,

Listening has disappeared,

Only the cry of death can be heard,

As the politicians play the games called politics.

 

I’m calling you Wisdom,

Cause my heart weeps.

No one has ears to hear,

Eyes to see,

They’re blinded by their own greed, ambition.

They say my way is the best way,

And my heart weeps.

 

Shall I run,

Shall I stand,

Shall I proclaim the uniqueness of life?

Does no one see,

Does no one hear the wailing,

Of the mother,

The widow,

The grandmother,

The auntie,

Oh, my heart weeps.

 

Yes, they sit there,

The politicians

Playing the politic game,

The men,

The women in the cabinets of this world,

Chic, but unwise,

Having status yet knowing nothing,

And my heart weeps.

 

The stupidity of politics,

The restlessness to attain power,

To scrounge, cleanse, and devour,

Wiping out resistance that becomes non-existent,

As we desecrate the human spirit,

And my heart to weep.

David Harrison:

Time to Return to the Real World:

Recently while reading a well-respected political magazine, I came upon an article by an ex-MP which seemed to me to represent the prevailing false wisdom doing the rounds in Britain. It appears that those of us who voted to leave the EU almost four weeks ago are racists, xenophobes and ‘little Englanders’ and that our votes were won by a campaign which was anti-immigrant and untrue. The time has come to debunk such palpable nonsense.

I am neither racist nor xenophobic. Neither am I anti-immigrant. I do believe, however, that it is essential that immigration is controlled in order that our country retains its British identity and that our services are not placed under intolerable pressure. Concerns of this nature are not racist, but sensible and valid. For too long this debate has been shamefully shut down by the liberal left which has always used the racism card when it knows it is is losing the argument. Those who have been ignored and sneered at for far too long by a remote establishment, have now clearly expressed their opinion and have, at the same time, brought about some of the most seismic events ever witnessed in Britain’s political history.

The Leave campaign understood ordinary people’s anger. It also gave a positive outlook of life after Brexit. Contrast this with the Remain camp, which in its eternal arrogance continually talked down Britain, used lies and scaremongering and remained a remote elite which simply didn’t get it. This is why it lost. And lose it did. Despite this the empty rhetoric is still being heard. Now is the time for an acceptance of defeat and a respect for democracy.

There should be no more anti-Brexit marches. No more sour attacks on those who exercised their rights. No more fatheaded accusations that we have let down our young people and ruined their future. In reality, we have presented them with a future of prosperity and hope, free from the hubris, lies and shambolic ineptitude of an institution which has no interest in reform. This despite the many lives wrecked through its catastrophic policies-including the doomed euro. The plight of the Greek people and record youth unemployment across Europe are but two results of its failure, together with growing unrest and instability.

Our nation is now on the threshold of great things. We can rejoin the world. Already we are in talks on several trade deals. Many investors have signalled their intention to remain in Britain. Already ‘project fear’ is crumbling.

It is now time for the remainers to rejoin the world. The real world. Stop the bitterness. Stop sounding like the EU itself. The matter has been resolved and Britain has voted out. I, for one, am proud of the good common sense of our people and proud to be able to number myself among them.

Carolyn Imbaya:

‘Members, for how long will we tell ourselves that we are still in a low level? How long will we be afraid of taking up a challenge? How long will we be afraid to fail?  Please, let us get off our butts  and be in charge of our own lives, for that is where our destiny lies.’

The members of Nana’s women group nodded their heads in approval. Maybe this time we may go far as a group, Peggy thought, we should have chosen her to lead us much sooner.

Nana was stepping in for the chairlady who was away and the wealth of ideas she brought was mind blowing. ‘Do you think the members are going to implement whatever they discussed Lisa?’ asked Peggy as they walked out of the meeting. ‘You know these ladies, here’s a great idea, jump for joy and that’s about it, it ends right there.’ Oh well let’s hope that this time it will be different.

Nana accepted her role as an acting chairlady reluctantly as she didn’t feel up to the task. She had no choice but to put her best foot forward. There were many things she wanted to change but top most in her agenda was to ensure that every member of the group owned a property and this she had to do no matter what!

The next couple of days Nana spent her time talking to financial institutions to find out how their group could access a loan facility so as to buy a big chunk of land and then sub divide it amongst themselves. She not only researched on areas which they could get the land but also on a formula they could use to raise the much needed amount.

‘I haven’t felt like this in a long time, Peggy, for once I feel I am doing something that really matters.’

‘I must say, Nana, you are really cut out for this kind of thing; I wouldn’t know where to begin. I’m sure the chairlady will be very pleased when she comes back. Speaking of the chairlady, when exactly did she say she was coming? I think the next meeting will find her around.’

‘Good, I really need to move very fast and have everything ready before then.’

‘Sure, my friend, but just don’t break your back while you’re at it.’

‘Members I am so glad to be back. I am sure everything has been going on well as I was briefed by my assistant Nana. There is one caution I would like to make though. Trust me, members, I have more experience. Let us not get carried away by emotions, think with your heads, ask yourself whether you are really ready to undertake a big project such as buying property. If we as a group have not managed to even rear poultry, will we be able to buy land? Let us remove our heads from the clouds and come back to reality because the way I know you members, this project is going to fail even before it takes off. I think that is all I wanted to say.’

Nana fought to stay calm as she stood up to address the members. ‘Ok I guess we all heard what the chairlady has said. I don’t refute even a single word you’ve said, madam chair lady, just to add on to what you were saying. It is true that as a group we have not even been able to rear poultry, it is also true that we have not transacted business as a group but it is also true that as members we would like to each own a piece of property to build our homes. It is not wrong to aim high, and our heads are not in the clouds; we have a roadmap to achieving what we set out for. Today as we vote on the project, let us be level headed and leave politics out of it.’

***

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Markets For Writers

This week’s market has an excellent prompt; as soon as I saw it, all sorts of ideas came bursting into my mind. Brilliant Flash Fiction‘s prompt is ‘It came in the mail‘. Here are the all important details for you:

Word limit: 500 words, excluding title

Entry fee: None

Prizes:

1st prize: 50€ (or equivalent in your own currency)

2nd prize: 25€

3rd prize: 15€

Closing date: 15th September 2016

To find out how to enter, visit the competition page.

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Funny Of The Week/Nutty Newspaper Stories Part Five (Again!)

Technically, this is a correction rather than a news story. But it made me wonder if it could have turned into a news story had anyone actually made the original recipe…

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Monday Motivations

This week, I’m going to give you five words. This is a good way to get your creative brain thinking and the ideas for a story/poem to come flooding in. Here are your words:

  • Ghost
  • Caravan
  • News
  • Football
  • Shadow

Here’s my story, using all five words:

Unexpected

I was wrong. I thought finding a ghost would be exciting and fun. At the very least, I thought it would be scary.

Still, when Dad said we were going on holiday to Bournemouth instead of the Bahamas, I knew it was going to be a living nightmare. Mum tried to make Bournemouth sound exciting.

“It’s got a…a beach,” she said. “Well, at least it’ll be different.”

Yes. Very different. It would rain. It always rained when we went on holiday in England. Not that we’d been on holiday in England for a while. When Dad got a posh job at the London office of, ‘Cavendish’s Computers,’ we started going abroad. Benidorm became Bali and this year we were supposed to be going to the Bahamas.

“I’ve got something to tell you and your mum, Ollie,” Dad said on that terrible day.

I knew he’d lost his job. He didn’t have to say a word. Coming home at five o’ clock on a Tuesday afternoon said it all.

Mum cried. It meant she had to go back to work for a while. She hadn’t worked for years. Well, ten of them anyway, since I was born.

Dad did find another job, but it wasn’t as well paid. He kept saying computer firms were laying staff off and the staff they did want were young, with lots of fancy qualifications.

But worst of all, it meant we weren’t going to the Bahamas.

“I’ve got some exciting news,” Dad said, when he came home one night, “we’re going on holiday after all.”

I was just starting to think about the airport and taking my i-Pad on the long plane journey when he said it.

“We’re going to Bournemouth.”

I had images of caravans, tents and dodgy guesthouses going through my mind. When I first saw the house we were staying in it didn’t look too bad. At least we weren’t in a leaky caravan, holey tent or guesthouse with frazzled fry-ups being forced down our throats. But it was old and a bit musty. It smelt of wee, too. A bit like Auntie Joyce’s. Mum said she used to wear incontinence pants and everything. Ugh!

“It’s lovely,” Mum said when we arrived. “Why don’t you go down to the beach while we unpack? I saw a shop on the way. It’s not far. You can get a bucket and spade if you like. Here’s a couple of pounds.”

I bit my tongue. Bucket and spade. How old did she think I was? Still, the beach sounded better than staying in that wiffy house. I had to admit Mum was pretty good at making things nice, so I hoped that by the time I came back, it would smell half decent.

That was when I first saw him. Colin. He looked younger than me. He was so small. So slight. He was just staring out to sea. I wasn’t going to talk to him at first.  There was something weird about him.

“Hello,” he said, not taking his eyes from the sea.

I looked round. There was no one else on the beach. Only me. But then why would there be? Black clouds were whizzing across the sky and the wind was doing its nut. Why would anyone want to go to the beach? I thought about ignoring him and running back to the house before the rain came.

“I’m glad you’re staying in our house. I’ve wanted a boy my own age to come and stay for a long time,” he said.

“I’m ten. You’re much younger than me,” I said, standing as tall and straight as I could.

“I’m eleven,” he said.  

I laughed. Eleven indeed. Slowly, he turned to me. He looked so sad and I wondered what I had found funny in the first place. Then I saw his eyes. They were hollow. Great big, black holes. Ok, so finding a ghost was a little bit scary. And then he started coughing. A tiny, sickly sound and I wasn’t scared anymore.

“I’m Colin,” he said, in between his splutters, “do you want to play football?”

I looked at the football at his feet. I was sure it hadn’t been there before, but I supposed ghosts could do that sort of thing. I thought how cool it would be to tell the boys at school that I’d played football with a ghost. Dean reckoned he’d seen the ghost of his grandma. He said she’d come to give him a hat she’d knitted for him. It was a great big, brown one. It covered most of his face, too. Not that he cared. At least he’d seen a ghost, he always said. I couldn’t wait to tell him I’d played football with one.

Colin went to kick the ball and missed, falling flat on his face. I didn’t think I’d be telling Dean anything at that rate. Then Colin started crying. His shoulders were shaking and he just led there on the sand.

I walked towards him. I couldn’t leave him like that. Then I noticed the bruises. He was covered in them.

“Useless, useless, useless Colin,” he was muttering, over and over again.

“It’s all right. I do that all the time,” I said, reaching out to put my hand on his shoulder.

I hadn’t ever missed the ball, actually, but I thought it would make him feel a bit better. Though, I wasn’t prepared for my hand to go right through him. I realised that I couldn’t make him feel better. He was a ghost. Ghosts didn’t feel anything, did they?

“Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me. I didn’t do anything. Honest.”

Something was going to happen. The sand was jumping and the ground was jiggling.

“Colin,” a voice thundered.

I looked everywhere. It was still just Colin and me. I looked back at Colin. He was staring straight at me, with those sightless eyes.

“Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me. I didn’t do anything. Honest.”

“Colin!”

There was someone there this time. A dark shadow, snaking towards me. It split in two. A man and a woman.  Both with sightless eyes.

I started to back away, stumbling over stones and fumbling my way further up the beach. I couldn’t take my eyes from Colin. Not even when they reached him and started to hit him. But I felt the tears running down my face and heard his words once again.

“I didn’t do anything. Honest. Mum. Dad. I didn’t do anything.”

My feet hit the steps and I turned, my eyes free from him. I ran all the way back to the house, feeling the first stabs of rain on my face. By the time I got back, I was soaked, but at least Mum and Dad couldn’t see I was still crying. I didn’t tell them about Colin. They wouldn’t have understood. Grown-ups never do. 

I didn’t sleep that night. I kept expecting to hear Colin’s cries, followed by shouting and then worse. A lot worse.

I must have gone to sleep eventually because Colin was there at the end of my bed when I woke up. The sun was shining through the window, shining straight through Colin.

“I’m sorry about yesterday. I’ve wanted a friend for so long and I know you won’t want to be my friend now. Not after…” Colin said, looking away.

“Why didn’t you tell someone?” I said.

“I told my teacher at school. She came to see Mum and Dad. They were so nice to her. The teacher didn’t believe me. Though she did cry a lot at my funeral and I think she believed me then.”

I didn’t know what to say. I thought about Mum. She was a bit annoying at times, but that wasn’t so bad. Dad only seemed to have time for work, but he loved us. He loved me. They both did.

“We’re only here for a week, so I can’t be your friend for long,” I said.

I looked at Colin’s face and winced as I saw the jagged cut across his forehead and the swelling around his eye. And then I noticed something else. Something that I was sure didn’t happen very often. Colin was smiling. A great big smile.

He did that a lot during the week we stayed there. I hadn’t thought I could make Colin feel better. As I said, ghosts weren’t supposed to feel anything, were they? Colin did.

He showed me where he went fishing and to his very own secret cave. He laughed when I told him jokes and when we both fell over running into the sea. I’m sure I could see the whites behind the hollows of his eyes as I told him about my friends at school and all the holidays we’d been on. His bruises began to fade too when I talked about Mum and Dad.

It was the best holiday I’d ever had, Bahamas or no Bahamas. I’d never had a friend like Colin before and I was dreading that last day. I didn’t want to say goodbye. But I didn’t have to. Because Colin had gone.

I knew he had as soon as I woke up. The house seemed different. I wasn’t sad, though. Colin was in a good place now. And then I heard the voices.

“Colin. Colin!”

They didn’t stop all day. I didn’t care, because they wouldn’t ever find him. Not ever again.

“You seem as if you’ve had the time of your life, Ollie,” Dad said, as we drove home. “Would you like to come back next year?”

“No, thanks. I don’t think I do. It won’t be quite the same. Perhaps we’ll try Bognor next year,” I said and smiled.

Mum and Dad looked at each other with mouths gaping open. I don’t think they closed them for some time.

I was wrong. I thought finding a ghost would be exciting and fun. At the very least I thought it would be scary. But it was more than that. So much more.

***

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Guest Writer Spot

This week’s guest writer, Lucy Jackson, is a woman after my own heart; she’s a cat lover, too. Here’s a little bit about her:

“Cats have always played a big part in my life and I currently have seven! They’ve inspired me to write poetry and I’ve probably written well over a hundred poems! Other subjects I like to write about include the seasons, flowers and the sea. I live by the coast and its beauty never fails to move me.

“This particular poem is just a bit of fun and was inspired by my darling boy, Basil. Though he wasn’t quite as chubby as Marmite, nor as famous!”

Marmite

By

Lucy Jackson

 

There was a cat,

Who was ever so fat,

Marmite was his name.

 

He ate and he ate,

‘Til he got stuck in a gate,

It was such a shame.

 

He was put on a diet,

It made him so quiet,

His owners felt the blame.

 

He tried to exercise,

But it hurt his thighs,

That was the end of that game.

 

The paper told his story,

Pictured him in all his glory,

He had always wanted fame.

 

People came from all around,

Just to see him lie on the ground,

Luckily he was tame.

 

But they soon got bored,

Of a cat who lay there and snored,

But his owners loved him all the same.

***

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My Weekly Writing Challenge

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!

Jocelyn Barker:

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!

Sacha Black:

New carpet. Red wine. Total disaster.

Hugh Roberts:

Underarm disaster. Hairspray instead of deodorant!

Nest Madden:

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.

Bindu:

A slip and much revealed. Disaster!

Sarah:

Oh! I’ve burned the cake, disaster!

Steve Walsky:

They kissed, he belched; absolute disaster.

Rajiv Chopra:

Disaster! Football Brexit! Ice, Ice, Baby!

Cristina Cofaru:

Disaster prevention: stay calm and smile!

Timbrofil:

Disaster strikes when unvoiced birds survive.

Graeme Sandford:

6-word disaster movie story:

The Alabaster-Plaster Disaster Movie – Soon!

The World Today 6-word Story:

One disaster after another; ever faster.

Pat Garcia:

It happened suddenly. Disaster struck.

David Harrison:

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?

Bindu:

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.

Rajiv Chopra:

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:

Master

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.

Worker-Slave

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.

Master

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.

Worker-Slave

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?

Master

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.

Graeme Sandford:

‘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
They are
As are you
A mirror of the days
And the ways
That is literary types
To live
And ply our trades
And tirades.

Les Moriarty:

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.
Feeling sick
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
asleep.
The Working Day.

Pat Garcia:

The day ends.

Work undone,

Not yet finished,

Looms in the background,

Waiting.

 

The day begins.

Work undone,

No longer looming,

But pressing,

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.

David Harrison:

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.

Bindu:

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:

Freedom

‘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.

Rajiv Chopra:

Freedom:

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.

Pat Garcia:

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.

Steve Walsky:

The nincompoop autocorrect-ed ‘Esther’; ‘jester’ disaster.

Sarah:

Nincompoop had fun playing word games.

Rajiv Chopra:

“Nincompoop! You voted both, Trump and Clinton!”

***

index

 

 

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