Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting
April showers bring May flowers

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

⌗WEP-IWSG Challenge, Wednesday 11th December 2019, FOOTPRINTS, TRANSITIONS.


Welcome to the last contributions of the year to the Write... Edit ... Publish and Insecure Writers Support Group Challenge.

if you would like to know more about this Challenge and maybe sign up for next year start here then here

This Month, the last entry of the year is FOOTPRINTS

Thank you to Laura, Denise and Tyrean for making this month's challenge possible.
The WINNER of the DECEMBER Challenge will be offered a critique by multi-published author J.L. Campbell, on 3 chapters of a novel in progress, or a completed short story.

NOW, without further ado, here is my contribution for FOOTPRINTS.
This Flash is a follow-up on the OCTOBER Challenge Horrible Harvest, TRICK OR TREAT, which you can read or re-read HERE


Robert, hunched over his desk, was listening to the snow rushing at the panes which left intricate lace crystals. He was poring through newspaper clippings on the Web. Halloween had come and gone. The usual frights and brawls splayed over the pages. Not a hint of exploded pumpkins .
Teresa appeared in the doorway.

' Dad, Dad, look what I found on Instagram ! '
She stuck the phone in front of his nose.
' What am I looking at ? '
' Read, look at the pics.'
' Holy Ghost ! '
' You said it.'

There on the screen was a clear photo of eight of the outlandish creatures they had seen on Halloween Night, dancing below a starry sky. In the middle, a blur of firefly-like small pods hovered. The caption read : Crazy spectacle in Hill wood,⌗BanderaTexas, ⌗11/20/19, ⌗SallyEvenbrite.

' You have to contact her.'
' Already sent a poke.'
' Ask her how she found them, ask for details. Did they have ten arms and legs ? Did she see lightening bolts ? What ... ? '
' Slow down Dad, here she is.'

Sally had appeared on the phone.

' Gosh Teresa, I thought I had gone crazy. You're the first hit I got.'
' We're coming to Texas to visit family for Thanksgiving. Will you be around ? '
' You bet, no way I'm going out of town now. Text me as soon as you get here and we'll go to the clearing together.'
' Yeah ! Great ! I'll try and bring my buddies Paul and Tim along. They were there with me on Halloween. I'm bursting ! '
' Me too, so long.'

The same afternoon on Terry's battered couch, Tim and Paul were studying the pics.

' Wow, this is crazy. It has happened somewhere else.'
' You reckon they're all over the country ? ' 
' All over the planet, more likely, Tim. Why would they just choose two places, if it's an invasion.'
' An invasion ! Christ ! '
' Now, let's not get ahead of ourselves,' Robert interjected, ' We haven't got a clue why they're here, what they want. They might be peaceful for all we know.'
' Shouldn't we take this to the authorities ? ' suggested Paul.
' Fat chance. First, they wouldn't believe us.  Then we have to investigate further, now that we're not the only ones to have seen them.' Teresa enjoined.
' I would tend to agree with Terry, let's keep it quiet for the moment. meet up with Sally in Bandera and take it from there,' sided Robert.


Sally was a redhead covered in freckles which stood out from exposure to the Texas sun. She was standing in the middle of the dirt track leading into Hillwood.

' Look,  here are some footprints that they must've left. See the big toe and then the smooth curve, the round heel and nothing in between,' she pointed out to Terry, Robert, Tim and Paul gathered round, squinting their eyes against the midday glare.

' They lead that way. Is that where the clearing is ? '
' Yeah, about a quarter of a mile through the brush.'
' Let's go see,' chorused Paul and Tim.

The clearing was bare except for a star of scorched earth.

' Exactly how it was in Maine. The star-shaped circle burnt into the ground,' contributed Robert.
' Can you stay till the next full moon ? That's when they seem to come out. If two sightings make a pattern,' asked Sally.
' You bet, we have to see this through,' agreed Teresa.


The night sky was cloud-spattered. The white orb dipped in and out, the stars joining in the cosmic dance. When Robert, Sally, Terry, Paul and Tim snuck behind the trees, the dark blue beings were already crouched in their positions. The sound that rose from the gneiss boulder was deeper than the one they had heard in October, haunting and ominous. The firelights erupted from a crack, shot around the twelve translucent heads, then, with lightening speed, something unexpected happened. A tiny balloon of pea pods zapped to within an inch of Sally's forehead. She glided upwards towards the stone, hypnotised. The sitting creatures circled her and touched her arms and legs with their thumbs and fingerless palms sending waves of lights all over her body. Four more bubbles bolted and grasped Terry, Tim, Robert and Paul in their spell drawing them into the fray. The humans, open-mouthed, speechless, vibrated in the caresses of pure energy.

' Yoki cum staka. Yoki cum staka ...' chanted the little blue people.
' Welcome in our midst.' The words translated themselves effortlessly. Neither the blue people, nor our friends had spoken a word.

' Cum luk pata, lanot colam oka. Kala ov kluk.'
' We are with you on the blue planet, to help you transition, like we have in the past.'
' Transition to what ?' thought Teresa.
' Colam oka malaïa kata song pata.'
' Transition to a species who respects life on the planet.'

' Luk pata kono asurot molona Oba.'
' The blue planet is very important to the whole of the Universe.'
' Lanort colum ov kluk. Cum Tola. Cum Fo.'
' We have helped you in the past. With tools and with fire.'

In a wink, the assembly disappeared beyond the clouds with these lingering words:
' Asam ot  bala Alpha. Asam Alpha.'
' We will spread the word to the worthy.'

Once shaken from their daze, Sally broke the silence:

' Let me get this straight. They live on Earth. They have helped humans before. They communicated directly with their minds. And nobody has ever noticed !'

' Sounds improbable. Near impossible that there are no recorded sightings in stone at least,' added Robert.
' Crazy,' Tim qualified it.
' Cool,' wondered Paul.
' Well at least they have answered one simple question,' stated Robert.
' Simple !' boomed Teresa.

' I think we can agree that their aim is to contact humans around the world and help them act upon  the future of all species on this planet. The authorities will have no part in it.'
' I guess they're not worthy enough,' chuckled Paul, as though drunk.
' At least we agree with them on that,' joined in Teresa, lightheaded.
' Wow, I have to sit down, this is mind boggling ,' collapsed Tim.

As they left the wood, their dreamy minds were ablaze with ideas and plans to make sure every living thing enjoyed this world for thousands of years to come. They would avoid treading in the footsteps of their forebears.


2001, A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968, extract The Dawn of Man, here
scenario co-written by Arthur C. Clarke while shooting in progress.

Arthur C. Clarke,  2010 ( written 1982  ); 2061 ( 1988  ); 3001 ( 1997  ).
films adapted from novels.
Some interesting things but not as good. It needed two genius minds working together to come up with the masterpiece : 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Starman, David Bowie, 1972, here

The Doors, Strange Days, People are Strange here
                                           When the Music's over here

Sunrise July 2013

Full Moon June 2019

 Gneiss Rock

Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the story.
Please leave a comment or a FCA and I will be sure to reply. Looking forward to reading your take on Footprints. Have a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

⌗IWSG, Wednesday 4th December 2019, Monthly Question.

Welcome to the last monthly post of the year 2019.
Merry Christmas and all that ....
May 2020 be as inspiring and fruitful.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.


Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

if you would like to join us, please sign up here

Remember, the question is optional! 

December 4 question - Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve? 

The awesome co-hosts for the December 4 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson!

My response.

My first dream or goal would be to publish my first Poetry Collection From the Shadows.
It's ready, it's finished, edited, approved, read by writers and non-writers. It was submitted as part of the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition last March. Unfortunately, it wasn't even long-listed. Disappointment gave way to frustration, then inertia. My next move will be to submit it to publishers outside of a competition ... when I summon up enough courage, drive and find openings.
I read and wrote a review on Goodreads and Amazon for the published second collection of a fellow poet (who had sought me out). The author, as part of the deal, was supposed to read my pamphlet, offer feedback and suggest publishers. However, he did not keep his end of the bargain, despite repeated solicitations. I was hurt and angry. I should suggest he join the Insecure Writers Support Group so he sees how things are done in the writing community. Obviously, he has no idea what a code of honour is.

If and when I publish this first collection, I will enjoy launching it in England and travelling on a book tour of independent bookshops in England, in France and maybe in the States. Three poems have already appeared in magazines in England ( 1 in Paragram Winter 2014, 2 in Orbis August 2015), one for sure and maybe two will be published in the 2020 Spring Anthology of Poetica Publishing in the States.

My Novel in Progress, started in 2005, is a very long way off from being completed. So this is more of a life's work-as-a-writer dream. Just hope I'll see the day and reap the benefits. I will be very happy and proud if it is published either in England, Cameroon or the States (see my IWSG post of March 2019). I would very much like to tour bookshops in these countries. However, I need to go back to Cameroon to write parts of it there, on location. I hope it will bring communities together, enable people with different backgrounds and cultures to meet and interact. Maybe share their love of books, their world curiosity and even become friends. I would like to publish it in English but would love to publish it in a bilingual version French/English.

Other works in progress include three independent poetic tales on childhood for child and adult readers. These are all in French and I am currently trying to find an illustrator. Very hard task. I have acquaintances who are interested but currently busy with other tasks. My daughter would be willing, and there might be an opening there as she is currently in between jobs. I have a painter neighbour (watercolours mostly) whom I could ask but she usually paints pictures from life or photos. So if I get too impatient, I'll have to learn to draw them myself. I have ideas but my hands just don't possess the necessary skills. Or I could submit them to a publisher without illustrations and let them take care of it. I haven't made the move of submitting them yet. I feel very insecure when writing in French, though I've been doing it for a long time and have received positive feedback.

Another dream of mine is to gather a collection of short stories together or maybe a novella with related stories turned into chapters, as if they had been serialised in a paper, or have them serialised in a magazine, Dickens' style. I have always admired this way of publishing.

It would also be a great joy to publish some essays: reflections on reading, writing and the World ... Very ambitious.

The satisfaction and pride in making theses dreams come true would be all mine. My close family are already proud of my writing and offer praise/ support regularly. Many long-time, non-writer friends, not so much : I'm a laughing stock with my writing, when they don't simply ignore this aspect of my life most of the time. Very hurtful, not to be acknowledged for who I am.
For my mother-in-law, I don't amount to anything and will never be good enough for her son, or my own children for that matter, whatever I do. I could save the whole wide world, she would still find fault : asshole ! sorry, but not sorry. It drives me nuts, and has been a burden in my life for the past 35 years ...

Dreams keep me alive. However 2019 has been a very happy and fulfilling year writing wise : meeting new bloggers, writers, friends who never fail to boost my morale and creativity. Thank you.

Under The Silver Lake , 2018, with Andrew Garfield trailer here

Storm Boy, 2019, with Geoffrey Rush, Jai Courtney here

Les Filles du Soleil by Eva Husson (conflict journalist) here and English subtitles here

This is Us, Season 4  September trailer   Episode 1, Strangers here    Episode 9, So long Marianne,  here                     BEWARE  SPOILERS

Tears for Fears, The Hurting, 1983, here

Le Pigeonnier

Elie du Bois, November 2019

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to comment, like, dislike, agree, discuss and I will be sure to reply. After a week of sunny frost, we have swung back to a warm, wet December. Off to Malta for some late year sun before winter sets in.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

⌗IWSG, Wednesday 6th November 2019, î Abà

Welcome to a new monthly post for the Insecure Writers' Support Group.
If you would like to know more about this Blog-Hop or join-up start here

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional! 

November 6 question - What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story? 

The awesome co-hosts for the November 6 posting of the IWSG are Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie!

î Abà

Writing a poem for the November issue of MAGMA, them Resistencia, I researched the Amazone tribe of the Guarani on Wikipedia. Beyond the historical aspects of their culture, I came across a link to a website detailing their language, as widely documented by the Jesuits priests in the 17th and 18th centuries. The site was in Spanish and I discovered a whole new world. 
This very intriguing language surprised me by the insightful light it shed on the Guarani, their culture and more fascinatingly on the way they perceived and interacted with their environment.
A lesson to all later civilisations, the Guarani, like most native people from the American continent live in harmony with Nature and have developed a deep respect for one another. I discovered an unfathomable richness of philosophy and art which gave me pause, which if it hadn't been recorded would have been lost, as their language perdured only orally until the 17th century.

my poem (not accepted for publication)
September 2019.
î Abá

Soy Guaraníe, î Abá.1
The white man appeared,
a tall spirit in a black robe,
a drape over his feet.

He glided into a clearing
silently from the roar
of the Iguazu waters. Hair
covered his cheeks and lip.

Tendyva, a beard. He spoke
a harsh tongue. The pale man
charmed our ears with the song
of a guyra2 we had never heard.

The sound came from a rigid
wooden Mboí3, he held in his hands.
We listened to his tales.
We believed his barter.

Our soul for protection.
We had heard of the raids.
Men in heavy shiny shells
thrust thick spears into tye4.

They took the strong. Juka5
the debíl6. The disappeared
never returned. The dead u7,
their bones and angue8

we offered to the ground.
The clanging battles
encroached more and more
on our hunting paths.

We knew we were next.
The black-robed men came.
We welcomed them
in our midst.


We gave them our chipa,
jeky, pakavo, pety9. We shared
the kali. They showed us
a wooden cross.

We felled more trees in a moon
than we would in twenty-four.
We missed their shade.
We missed the korochire10 tune.

The tatu, tapiti, mbosevi fled
deeper into the forest. We saw
no more panambi, pykasu11.
We built a great house.

It climbed to the sun
blaring down. The priest
chose a boy to clamber
the planks and tie

a gigantic gold cross
on the apex. They spoke words
from leaves bound in skin,
called a prayer, membo'e.

The drone drowned us in sleep.
When we woke, the words
were etched on the inside
of our minds. Our eyes blind.

With time the clash of metal
reached our ears. The din
and wails turned us deaf.
Sapukáy, Sapukáy12,Hasê.

The shiny-shell men
aimed sticks of fire,
sent a hail of arrows.
Flames rained.

The black-robed sorcerers
told us to chant the words
behind the cross statue.
We obeyed, temimbo'e13.


Many, many, many rains later,
our great-great-great grandsons,
deep, deep in the dark forest
looked up at the hovy14.

They heard a roar, saw
a giant shiny bird
with rigid wings.

They remembered
the legends

while gathered around
the hearth, weaved
with their hearts,

from elder to young.
Mother to daughter,
father to son.

They knew they
would come.
This time,

The Guaraní
would not be
wiped out.

They would fight.


1I am a Guarani, in Spanish and in Guaraní (
2A bird
6Weak in Spanish
9Bread, potatoes, banana, tobacco .... monkey.
10Zorzal cantor, type of bird.
11Armadillo, hare, tapir .... butterfly, dove
12Screams, to weep

MISSION, the film. Palme D'or, Cannes 1996, here

The Atlas, Morocco, October 2019

Bab Zouina, traditional Moroccan villa, Natha Yoga Retreat, October 2019

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to comment, discuss and I will be sure to reply.
Happy IWSG Wednesday.
Torrential rains here in Toulouse, the past ten days. Halloween washout !

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

⌗IWSG-WEP, October Challenge, Horrible Harvest. Trick or Treat.

Welcome to our Horrible Harvest challenge.
Write every two months on a prompt with Write Edit Publish and the Insecure Writers' Support Group.

If you would like to join us go here.

To read more about the October Challenge here

Thank you to both teams who have worked out the prompt, the rules, created the badges and linkups, and to our judge who will give out the Winner, Runner Up, Encouragement Awards.
Readers will award a special badge for the Best Commentator.

Denise Covey - Founder/Host
L.G. Keltner - Co Host
Nilanjana Bose - Blurbs/Host
Olga Godim - Badges


C. Lee McKenzie - liason IWSG/WEP
Pat Hatt - tweets and promo

Elizabeth Seckman - IWSG Newsletter


Nick Wilford- Judge

Here goes

Trick or Treat

' On Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin will rise from the worthiest pumpkin patch,' declared Linus.
' Do you think he'll choose yours this year ?' asked Charlie Brown.
' I sure hope so.'

' Mum, do you think there really is a Great Pumpkin ? ' asked Paul, wide-eyed, sliding down under the covers.
' It's just a story darling. Go to sleep now.'

Paul rang the doorbell.
' Can Tim come out to play, Mrs Vanhoren ? '
' Tim ! Paul's out front ! ' She left the door ajar.
Paul edged in and stumbled over the galoshes in the entrance. Tim appeared, hair spiky and tumbled down the stairs while sticking his arms in his jacket.
' Want to hang out in my pumpkin garden ? '
' OK, have to be back by nightfall though. '

 The autumn breeze ruffled the leathery leaves of the gourds. Terry had joined them earlier.
' Still sitting with the pumpkins, I see,' she had sneered in way of a greeting.
' Shut up Teresa. What are you doing here if you're so high and mighty ? ' challenged Tim.

The three of them gazed at the birthing stars. The light was waning. The last fiery clouds were clearing, the phantom sun but a memory.
' Have to go home soon or else my mum will yell at me,' Tim ventured tentatively.
' Let's wait till it's really dark, only a few more minutes.'

The stars popped up brighter, the heavens a dark blue blanket.
' Heh, look.'
' What,Terry.'
' That huge pumpkin by the fence, it's glowing. Have you already put a candle in it Paul ? '
' No.'
' Creepy,' shuddered Tim.
' It's pulsing, like a heartbeat.'

They stepped gingerly over, mesmerised. The orange, bulbous radiance illuminated their spell-bound faces. There was a very faint sound like a high-strung whistle at every pulse.
An owl hooted and they snapped out of their trance.
' Aaah ! ' Tim, Teresa and Paul chorused. Stumbling over roots and squashing lesser pumpkins, they skeedaddled out of there and raced home.

' What was that ? ' Teresa panicked in front of Tim's house.
' Mum, Mum ! ' Mrs Vanhoren who was lurking behind the door, at the ready to hide her late son, threw open the door.
' I said sundown. Get in here. '
' But Mum, you have to come and see. There's a live pumpkin in Paul's vegetable garden.'
' What are you talking about ? In, now.'
' Bye Paul, bye Teresa, see you tomorrow.'

' It's hatched ', Teresa was fingering the exploded mulch.
' Do you really think something actually came out of that pumpkin and is roaming around somewhere ? You're crazy Terry.'
' Maybe not, ' mused Paul.

The last week in October snaked on. At school everyone was comparing costumes, boasting about their decorations. Every single student seemed to have acquired the biggest pumpkin ever.
' Ours is huge. It spans from the porch column to the doorknob. We're going to make a feast of pumpkin soup.'

All over the country, pumpkins were being harvested, shipped to cities, sold on the markets, in garden centres, even on street corners. The fruit seemed to be exceptionally enormous this year. A report came over the radio that a farmer in Ohio had found ten burst, one morning.
' As if they were too ripe,' he had stated.' Never seen anything like it my entire life.'
Tim glanced sideways at Paul. They were sitting in Teresa's living-room on the battered old brown couch listening. It was Friday the thirty first, and they hadn't gone back to the Pumpkin patch since Monday.
' You see, I'm not crazy. It's happened elsewhere. For all we know, it's happened all over the country, even all over the World.'
' They don't have pumpkins in other countries.'
'Of course they do. Halloween is an Irish holiday, so they sure celebrate it there, and probably all over Europe and Asia by now too.'
' Here are some cookies and milk,' Robert, Teresa's dad had just shuffled into the room, wearing a weathered robe and sheepskin loafers.They lived in a shanty house at the end of the dirt track leading to the wood. Teresa's mother had left when she was two. 
' We just heard a guy in Ohio who has ten pumpkins that have hatched.'
' Oh, that's curious. Isn't that what happened in your garden Paul ?'
' Yeah, we're scared to go back.'
' I'll come with you. we have to get to the bottom of this.'

When they arrived at the patch, they found, amazed, the gutted pumpkins strewn across the leaves and roots. Their edges were chiselled as if something had cut them open from the inside, or bitten their way out.
The bush at the far corner rustled and a shape rushed out towards the meadow.
' Let's follow it,' ejaculated Robert excitedly.

It sped into the lush grass. They kept up as best they could, trying to soak in the details of this strange being. It was dark blue, shiny, as though star-studded. It raced along on six members, four more beating the air like an eagle's wings. Its head was a large oval, bizarrely translucent. You could see streaks of silver messages shooting to and from the core.
' Keep up or we'll lose it,' Robert called breathlessly.
Suddenly it darted into the wood leaving a mist of dust and slashed branches in its wake. They followed the beaten path to a clearing. The full moon spotlighted the scene.
A dozen of these outlandish creatures sat cross-limbed in a star-shaped circle. In the centre, a pulsing, glowing, orange what-looked-like-a boulder. They were chanting.
A faint, unworldly symphony composed of sighs, whistles and furtive bellows rose from their midst.
Paul, Tim, Teresa and Robert were crouched behind a thick-trunked pine peering at the spectacle, their jaws dropped, their eyes popping, speechless.
The melody gained in strength and intensity. Wave upon wave of sound hit the stone, accelerating its pulse.
In a burst of intense light and deafening sound, the rock fissured and freed a shower of tiny fiery pods, the size of peas, bearing a myriad of silver wings. The pods darted to and fro for a second, sped towards each apex of the star circle, paused, received a streak of light, then swelled in unison with the bellows, hovered an instant below the moon.
The newly-born cloud flew out of the clearing, above the pines and disappeared into the night.
Our bewildered onlookers, once their senses recovered, opened their eyes to a deserted, seared patch of grass, and wondered if they were awakening from a dream or a nightmare...

( be December's WEP challenge Footprints)

1065 words.
FCA Full Critique Acceptable

for details on the critique go here

The Peanuts, Halloween Special

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Theme music. go here
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, animated movie, 1966, extracts
go here
and here
and another one
last one
the bedtime story here  (grandma is too young and has a real annoying voice)
spin-off, robot chicken
scary movie

Halloween Songs from the 60's, go here

The Skeleton Dance, go here ,  and here

Muppet Show Halloween, go here and here

Thank you for visited. Please feel free to comment or leave an FCA, that would be so helpful. And I will be sure to reply.
Have an inspiring Halloween.