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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Scaffolding/ Leaf

29th Nov 2016

This morning the rainwater that had collected in the garden tray had turned to ice. Yes, it is official it was freezing last night. But the clear blue sky, if you could ignore the cold seeping into your bones, was like a Tuscan summer sky, the morning light filling the garden helping to create the illusion.
With reds, yellows, oranges and browns set against the blue I could almost put up with the cold for the sheer beauty of it. But I will go out with scarf and winter coat and breathe out a foggy breath and it will not be pleasant. No, no matter how wonderful the scene outside , there is still ice in the tray.

Now for some words:


Scaffolding

This old building needs restoring after long grey years,
scarred with use and abuse, concrete slabs crumbling,
broken windows of shattered dreams, vacant eyes staring.
Shape a scaffold with forklift and crane...
and mascara  ...
Cover the cracks, the tracks, from every tear that smacks
of fear -
who hears anyway.
Fill in the holes of memory loss, though no one gives a toss,
that it's going that way.
Repaint the facade of this body, scrub white green slime-
disappointment and pain, stand tall again,
proud to be noticed.


Leaf

You were born in springtime, mama tree pushing you out as a brand new bud on your branch.
Delicate baby leaf, you unfurled to become a sweet, green promise. 
Fed by your tree with water and nutrients absorbed from the soil of ancestors, you grew 
And you, in turn, produced sugar sap - nourishment for your tree.
You opened up in the rays of the sun, played and danced through the summer 
of your life, veins giving you your particular leaf shape - individual to you.
You gave pleasure and hope to those who came by your wood in those fruitful long days, 
many who came went away refreshed and replenished by your colour, your light.
You, only being yourself, unaware how much you touched so many hearts.
This was your time, your season and with others you created a tapestry of wonder,
waving from your branch , giving your magic  to all who would see.
So when the temperature dropped and your green started to fade it was hard to take.
The first signs of yellowing took us by surprise, halted us in our tracks.
But with the shortening of days, orange specks appeared all over and a weakening began
with your edges getting brittle and other leaves falling to the ground all around you. 
Suddenly it was your turn, you let go and fluttered to the earth,
And you died in the autumn as it is right that you should, but it was hard.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pork Chop/ Stir Up Sunday

24th Nov

More about food:


The Kidney

I just fancy one of those pork chops.  You know the ones,  
 thick meat on  bone-  juicy - with  kidney still attached. 
Of course, they don't sell them like that any more 
something to do with cross contamination.  
I loved that chop with kidney and generous helping of apple sauce.
 Didn't the meat taste better in those days? Or is it  the passing 
of years, as in "nothing is the same these days." Well, it isn't!
My mouth drools remembering -
 fat around fleshy pork-crispy, crunchy, crackling.
Served with mashed potatoes-

so full of butter - the taste as good as cream
        




Stir Up Sunday

It was that time of year again,
Lined up on kitchen worktop twenty pudding bowls,  empty, waiting.
 On the white, worn, pine table, holding years of family history, the tin bath,
the one passed down from mum’s grandma, that she had from her own grandmother,
the one that mum’s dad and  grandfather were  bathed in once a week -  father first, 
the one classed as vintage  now, which made mum laugh
Five eager, powdery, faces peered into the old bath filled with a mixture
of fruit, flour, tallow, eggs, breadcrumbs,  brandy and stout,
not forgetting the secret ingredient, which only mum knew and wouldn’t tell,
a delicious  treat for Christmas day - dad’s favourite.
A yeasty, musty, malt aroma filled the kitchen like a brewery.
Five little wooden spoons took turns to stir
always from east to west -  the way of the kings - each time making a wish.
Five little children asked questions - mum told them the story
of  Stir Up Sunday



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Eternal Flame


21st Nov 2016

We had a moving service at church on Saturday to remember and pray for those loved ones who have died during the last year. Like an automaton I went along, not  feeling particularly happy about being there with all those others who also suffered a personal loss so recently.
 But that was, of course, the very thing that made it a moment of special Grace. A lady I knew there whose  son died just a few weeks ago was  with her daughter and grandson, being healed a little . Many of the others were friends who were also grieving and in some way the strength to be gained from us all remembering together was hugely powerful . Many of us shed a tear and comforted each other. 

Eternal Flame

Lit a candle for you both today,
And sat and had a little pray.
I miss you when I make the tea
I miss your jokes and revelry
I miss the stories that you told
Even if they were ones of old
I miss the way you knew all the news
The way you always shared your views.
I miss all our walks in beautiful places
The sea, and the hills, left smiles on our faces
I miss the way, mum, you made apple pie
I couldn't repeat it - how hard did I try.
And dad with your skill and intelligence
I was lucky if I'd got a bit of common sense.
One day we'll meet again I'm sure
When I find the way to the room next door
Image result for pictures of lit candles you can take for free




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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Slippery

19th Nov 2016

Prompt :
To use the word slippery in a five line story or poem

Slippery

You slide about on russet and gold,
An autumn evening turning cold
Leaves slippery with  fresh damp ice 
Your tread measured , slow , precise,
You head for home- he'll pay the price.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Story in Six Sentences / Light

19th Nov 2016

I'm going with a prompt today . It's to write a story in six sentences. The other constraint is to use the word light in each sentence . First time for everything. Here goes:

Light
That morning we woke in the early hours, had a light breakfast of a cereal bar and a few gulps of water  packed our tent away and set off in the dark.
Walking by the light of our torch to avoid tripping on the uneven terrain we hoped to get the eighteen miles completed before the heat of the day made it impossible to go on.
 After an hour or so, with  only the sound of our movement breaking the silence, we passed through olive groves and vineyards and spotted a mysterious light coming from the old hermitage of Cuevas .
We thought it was a trick of the eyes until we realised that the cloud cover was thinning and the light was coning from the early morning moon  hitting something, maybe metallic, in the ancient church.
Wanting a short rest and  to have a look around we lifted our rucksacks off our backs and immediately felt light and free.
We set off again, putting our torch away because the soft yellow light of dawn was creeping up over  horizon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Liberty




16th Nov
Following the prompts on the Poets on the Page web page
This weeks was :
Picture's Worth A Thousand Words , with the picture of the Statue of Liberty.

So in response:

Liberty?

Statue of Liberty - 4621961395.jpgPictures's Worth A Thousand Words:
Yes, but thankfully most've been said
A copper structure built by Gustave Eiffel
A gift from the people of France
She stands from ground to torch in her hand
Ninety three meters high
She stands for liberty, for strength , for freedom
The Goddess Libertas her icon
She stands tall - torch held skywards lighting
The way for all , or maybe just Americans
She stands bearing a tablet - no, not
The samsung variety- evoking the law
July 4th 1776 inscribed thereon.
She stands looking out across Manhatten
The broken chain at her feet unfettering
The people bound up
Where is the liberty now
Who will stand for the people
A choice between two - no choice

And the one from last week.
The prompt was music

8th Nov

The Music We Forgot   

It was not silent -their chatter was loud 
Like the rumble of thunder in a rain cloud.
But some thins was missing all was not right 
We'd forgotten the music, that extra delight.
Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole 
Romantic, moody, a bit of soul.

They didn't complain but it was made clear
That they would have liked to have more cheer
Music to lift the spirits up high
Music to lift our hearts to the sky,
Next time we'll remember 
That'll be December

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Brogue

15th November



The Brogue

Standing in the queue in St Paul’s bookshop I glanced at the watch of the young, bearded assistant. It was nearly four o’clock. I hurriedly paid for the books, packed them in my rucksack, careful not to damage the precious item at the bottom, which I’d wrapped so mindfully before leaving home and ran through twilight streets, down the steps to the Underground in Victoria.  I’d never heard of Boston Manor Tube station, but Google informed me it was on the Piccadilly line and is one of six Ealing tube stations.  Having no idea how long my journey would take, I wanted to leave enough time so I wouldn’t be late meeting my granddaughter.  She said her lectures finished at six and it would then take a few minutes to get to me.

Reaching my destination, I held back, walking behind the busy throng.   With more than an hour to spare I dawdled, stepping purposefully out into autumn darkness. What to do now? I could walk up and down for an hour - good practice for the Camino Way I hope to do next year. But, no, my rucksack was digging a valley into my shoulders, I was cold and I wasn’t wearing the right shoes.

Trudging through a crisp carpet of crimson and saffron, a beautiful mosaic tint of autumn, I searched for a cafe.   A faint scent of last week’s bonfire hung in the air, clung now to my coat with the evening mist, evoking memories of my father with hot potatoes and sparklers and my sister’s faces dancing in the shadowed flames rising from the bonfire.  I walked on, through the howling frenzy of red and gold, finding, not far away, a small row of shops. The cafe with its all - glass front, it’s brightly lit interior  and three suspicious looking youths, dressed in hoodies and huddled around the counter, didn’t encourage me in. On I walked.

Then, there it was. It’s not something I’d normally do and I had to dig deep for courage that day. Slowly, I walked outside the stone wall. It reminded me of that other stone wall opposite my grandmother’s cottage in Ireland, where I’d fallen into a patch of stinging nettles when I was ten.

Back and forth I strolled, outside this Irish pub, stretching up to peer through frosted windows. It’s name, The Brogue, gave me a warm feeling of family and ancestors.
Eventually, a man burst through the door and stood holding it open while he argued with someone on his phone, giving me chance to glimpse inside. The dim light and anonymous atmosphere went a little way to calm my nerves and when he went back in I followed close behind.  He was the only person, the barman nowhere to be seen.  I stood, shifting from foot to foot, wondering whether to speak, then blurted out,                                                                                                                                                 "Do you have to ring a bell or something?” he turned round suddenly and I tried to give him a warm smile.                                                                                                      “Ah, he’s probably outside, I’ll get him” he said and walked out leaving me stood still and alone, in the empty pub. The music played, but nothing moved and I was rooted to the spot.


They both rushed back in together                                                                                                “What can I do for you?” the barman placed his vape by the till.  When I asked him if I could get a coffee he was taken aback and wavered a bit saying there was a cafe down the road. I told him I didn’t like the look of it.  It was then I spied the small kettle hidden in the corner.

I took my coat off and sat, undisturbed on the sofa by a heater and warmed through for the first time that day. Another customer came in and I could hear the conversation get rather animated as they discussed the Trump victory and the bets they’d placed over it.

He charged me £1 for the coffee, serving it with milk he had to go to the cafe for and a chocolate biscuit from his own tin.  Bargain! Maybe I’ll pop in again sometime.

Refreshed I went back to Boston Manor station to meet my granddaughter and she took me to her halls of residence. Sitting on her bad, I unpacked my rucksack and carefully brought out the package. It took a while for her to unravel the material and bubble wrap to reveal the statue that was once chipped with its paint flaking, and was now beautifully restored to its former delight. She cried tears of thankfulness and joy, which I promised to relay to her granddad as he’d done such a good  job of making it new.