Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

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

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.

Monday, 7 October 2019

⌗FMF, Friday 4th October 2019, LISTEN

Welcome to another Five Minute Friday posting.
Write five minutes flat every Friday on a word prompt .

To know more and join up with Kate Motaung's group start-here/

This week LISTEN
Thanks Kate for your post this week. A lot of exciting things going on go here

My poem.

Listen to the Universe

Listen to the crowd.
Their stampede shivers
the Earth.

Listen to the stars
singing lightyears away
beyond their tombs.

The holler rising
to the azur from the trees
pierces my heart.

The crackle invading
the forests alarm
the does, the panthers.

Hear the plaintive
advocating action.
The wise warning the assembly.

Hear the waves
beat the sand.
The whales' cry.

Listen to the panda
weeping over bamboo

Listen to the rush
of dead coral
knocking on Ocean's floor.

Hear the distress.
Head the evidence.
Don't turn away, listen.

My Generation, The WHO, live 1967, here

Starman, David Bowie, 1972, here

Respire, Mickey 3D, 2004 here

Biarritz, Winter 2013

Storm brewing
View from my desk, April 2019.

Evening, July 2019

Don't touch the Moon
August 2019

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to comment, like, dislike, discuss. And I will be sure to reply. Have an inspiring week.
Sunny here in Toulouse. Clear skies early this morning, some fluffy clouds now. Warm, autumn dew at daybreak.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

⌗IWSG, Wednesday October 2nd, 2019. Tommyrot.

Welcome to another Monthly post of the Insecure Writers' Support Group.
Check out the latest post on the Homepage. This month's reflection question and all the news for October till December. Thanks to L. Diane Wolfe.
Next Up, the WEP-IWSG challenge Horrible Harvest, postings October 16-18th. home page here

If you would like to join up and have fun, learn with us, support, praise and comfort other writers
start here

October reflective question :

It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand how can you expect other people to want to read your writing if you don't enjoy reading yourself ?
What are your thoughts ?

My gut reaction is Tommyrot as my grandpa used to say.

Sorry but I can't find a single argument as to why a writer would NOT want to be a reader.

New and Original ! Are we the first Humans on Earth ? The first to tell a story ? The first to write ? No. So nothing we could possibly write could be entirely new. As to original, our imagination takes care of that. However, although each individual's imagination is different and special, new ideas stem from old ones. Creativity is an ongoing and permanent activity, a way of breathing, the art of living.

Everything you do is an extension of yourself.  Who are you kidding ? We are the sum of our parents, our genes, our own personality. Yes. Our knowledge and imagination are fuelled by what is fed to us and what we uncover ourselves. The world we live in: nature, conversations, films, music, songs, newspapers, travels, other countries, other cultures, family, friends. The input is fathomless. Finally, BOOKS, MANY BOOKS on a myriad of subjects, stories true or imagined, on philosophy, religion, science, art. A writer so isolated as to only write about him/herself and deprived of any outside matter, to the extent of never opening a book is a poor writer indeed. They could never write anything New or Original if their life depended upon it. Personally, I would have no desire whatsoever to read them.
We see, hear, make noises naturally. However we learn to observe, listen, understand, speak, read and ... Write. If you take out any item of this process, everything falls apart like a house of cards. Writing is the culmination of these operations repeated over and over again. If you stop practicing any of these steps, the produce rolled out is flawed.

To conclude, I cannot conceive of a writer not enjoying reading. It's the most fun and accessible activity in the world ... along with Writing of course. Who would knowingly give up such a powerful combination ?

Thank you for visiting. Feel free to comment, discuss, like or dislike and I will be sure to reply.
Busy writing my Horrible Harvest contribution and having the time of my life.
Have an inspiring fortnight.

Life Itself... film written, directed and produced by Don Fogelman (This is Us)  with Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, 2018

Beware Spoilers ...
on the unreliable narrator. here
interview here

Sunset, Nice,  July 2019

Leonard Cohen