The Haunted Garden

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There is a garden behind a wall, where hollyhocks stand straight and tall
Lavender roams wild and free, ivy wraps round every tree
Maiden fern and meadow sweet weave a carpet at your feet
Flower heads embrace, entwine, Harlequin and Columbine
There is no bird song in the air, bees and butterflies take care
If you should ever stray near there, take the time to have a look
And see the babble in the brook
One thing you will never see, is my friend Mallory and me

Mary Younger

Storm

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A mandarin moon moves maleficently across the sun creating an eerie orange glow throughout the valley.

The wind sails in on a sea of white horses. Heads rearing, manes tossing, wildness of a bush fire reflected in their bulging eyes.

Trembling trees grow arms to hug and hold each other tight until the tempest passes.

In its wake a Whirling Dervish picks up its skirts, dances a fantastic fandango to the beat of the retreating horses’ hooves. During the dying throes of the dance the Dervish dips its head into its heart, diminishing in the dust.

Mary Younger

Meditation

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The quietude of evening post rush hour throng
The lull before a storm, a hushed dirty sky
The silence in a church when the choir stops its song
The parched empty bed where the river has run dry
Some stillness salves the soul
Becalms a troubled mind
The singing of the bowl
Serenity and Sound combined

Mary Younger

Homework for 23rd November 2017

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Write a completely unpunctuated piece (prose or poetry) and set yourself a strict 10 minute time limit to do this in. No capitals, full stops etc. It should be a stream of consciousness writing form relating to an event or moment in your day. Something that moved you during that day. Possibly seasonal.

Then write it again with full punctuation. Keep both versions.

Of Things Not Seen

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photo at pixabay

Chris had been really pleased when Jane telephoned and asked if she could stay with him for a week of the Easter vacation. She was doing her post graduate teaching qualification in Newcastle and they’d met six months earlier when he’d been doing his. Now he was in his probationary teaching year at Penrith’s Ullswater Boys’ School.

The early Spring sunshine through thin curtains woke Chris and he’d spent a couple of hours cleaning and tidying his rented cottage at Kitchenhill just outside Penrith. Later he met Jane’s train at Penrith station and she said she would like to see a lake. They’d driven down Ullswater, chatting easily, and carried on to Ambleside.

There they’d gone into a chintz and china tearoom owned by a striking woman of about fifty in a long dark skirt, bright green blouse, beringed fingers and dangly gold earrings. Chris noticed the earrings were sigil-like stars and crescent moons as she took their order. They also learned that her name was Mary and she’d previously owned the infamous ‘Jungle’ transport cafe on the A6 near Shap. She’d sold it three years earlier, just before the M6 had opened in 1970.

Mary had asked what they did and Jane told her. “You won’t ever teach” said Mary quietly to Jane. Jane’s brown eyes widened “Why do you say that?”

“I see things.” said Mary with a slight moue and an apologetic lift of her shoulders as she turned back to the kitchen.

Colin Dixon

The Chain That Shackles Love

photo at gretna green hotels

Oh Gretna Green, exalted place, young love’s impetuous mistake,
Optimistic souls unite, above an anvil troth they plight,
Bagpipes loll with limbs outspread until their breath returns,
On motorway, the sun ascends, a far horizon burns,
The birds sing out, hope rises new, as glimmers of the day peep through,
Light crept above the concrete mall, wool shop, whisky shop and all.
Through golden sunrise jumped a ray,
That flash brought Jack to earth, on summer’s longest day.

Officials who logged on first thing, learned of a legal glitch,
All weddings made in Gretna had one important hitch,
Each certificate of marriage, each wedding was destroyed,
Was cancelled out, abolished, repealed and null and void.
Cumbria News cries out all day, to those that Gretna wed,
‘Technically, legally, you are not now, have never been,’ they said.

Ask yourself what you would do if put in this dilemma,
Would you marry them again, keep the same old fella?
Would husbands start again, propose, and go through the whole thing?
Would they have to book a room, a meal and buy a ring?
Gretna Green was sanctified by antiquated rules,
But now the Gretna bureaucrats were made to look like fools.

Women thought, ‘I see that I’ve been single all my life,
A mother yes, a cook, a maid, but not it seems, a wife.’
Husbands scratched their heads, they paused and listened to the news,
Weren’t married now, had never been, felt anxious and confused.
The news rolled like a clap of thunder,
‘All set free in one big blunder.’

Jack’s sabotage was done, he watched the summer haze,
He had to hitch a sunbeam ride, to grasp the dying rays,
And wait in space for his next chance, next June the 21st,
Might make another joke go far too far, might do his worst.
A good day’s work for Jack the yearly, Jack the naughty, Jack the nearly.
Some were glad and some were sad, but Jack was quite elated,
He melted back into the sun, became a flame, and waited.

Lorraine Mackay

Non Magic

photo at pixabay

Non Magic

Magical realism is a contradiction
The real world is wonder enough,
So why follow a path of myths?
As the sun rises,
The miracle of human birth,
Allows the understanding
Of  this Earth.
Real challenges to be confronted and enjoyed.
So why hide behind mystical words?
Reach out to those
Mountains to climb
Seas to sail
Skies to fly in
Countries to roam
Peoples to meet
Celebrate our time here
Before the sun sets for the last time
Who needs fiction?

Michael Bohling