Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

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

Monday, 29 November 2021

⌗Friday Fictioneers- 3rd DECEMBER 2021

 Welcome to another week of Friday Fictioneers

if you would like to know more and join in the fun visit here



 Welcome to another post of the Insecure Writers Support Group

If you would like to know more about the IWSG and sign up

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!

Thursday, 4 November 2021

⌗FridayFictioneers-5thNovember 2021- Just one minute

Welcome to another week of Friday Fictioneers

if you would like to know more and join in the fun visit here


This week's Photo Prompt brought to you by Jennifer. Legos.

To link up

and visit all the wonderful inspired stories.

    "Just one Minute"

    "Time to go Benji."

'Have to get the fire engine to the scene,' Benji was thinking , absorbed in his imaginary adventure. 'Round the corner, past the hydrant; park next to the oak tree'. It was shedding golden leaves while some boys were kicking a football haphazardly. 'Hook up to avoid the flames', only feet away from hitting the line of gasoline creeping towards the porch steps. The hose finally sprouted a steady arc of water. Just in time, just in time.

    "Ready now, Mum."

Thanks for reading. Have fun perusing the list.

Autumn Colours
St Bertrand de Comminges, Pyrenees.

Friday, 15 October 2021

⌗FRIDAY FICTIONEERS-15th October- Carousel ride

 Welcome to another week of Friday Fictionneers

if you would like to know more and join in the fun visit here

Today's photo prompt brought by ©Brenda Cox

to link up

"I want a ride on the elephant"

"Me, on the pumpkin carriage"

"I got to the spaceship before that redhead"

Wee, round and round, up and down. Dizzy, elated, drunk on pure pleasure. Carousel music plays on a large painted organ in the corner. A disquieting clown opens his mouth to reveal his brass tube teeth, in time with the cymbals.

Out of control, screams. The old man crawls under the platform, swings up from a hole and gently eases the lever. Phew ! The dizzy young'uns stumble from their mounts and recover by sinking their jaws into toffee apple, cotton candy.

Thank you for reading. Visit all the gifted scribblers on the link up.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, original abc television soundtrack.

listen here

some videos of my own, my three children, from Chattanooga, North Carolina, April 2008.

More photos of Carousels

My first born and I, Bournemouth 1997

above, Paris Christmas 1997

and below, 

my second born Toulouse February 2001


Friday, 8 October 2021

⌗WEP-October 2021-Crossing the Bridge

 Welcome to another posting of the Write Edit Publish blog-hop.

If you would like to know more visit here and join in the fun.

This month The Scream by Edward Munch

Crossing the Bridge

The rays glanced off the rugged tip of the mountain and hit the rocks she was staring at. It felt like she had been shuffling and stumbling on this goat path for years. Yusef was skipping ahead as though they were on some kind of mad adventure. He criss-crossed in front of her, from time to time, crouching to look at a beetle or a brilliant bloom. Arysa wished she could behold her surroundings with her son's gaze. The smallest detail in the landscape seemed a window into wonder. The border appeared eons away; a day or two at the most now but so many unforeseen events could still befall them. Arysa felt her shoulders buckle at the thought.

    Her mind wandered back to her native village in the green hills, the sparkle of the river as it rushed over polished stones. The coy girl which she was then, had envisioned the future stretching  bright and carefree on the horizon. Omar was a catch: handsome, hard-working, tall and strong with a mischievous glint in his eye which made her laugh. Arysa's father toiled on a small patch of earth; they harvested enough though to survive and trade the surplus. Homely rituals lent rhythm to the seasons under a dry, clear sky.
    First the Soviets had come; Omar and her father fought them behind boulders among the tracks and bracken in which the invader fumbled. They couldn't just roll in with their tanks and flatten all resistance like they had in so many territories. Omar's glint dimmed but Arysa had said nothing. A wrinkle had appeared in her forehead.

    "Mama, look," shouted Yusef, wrenching her from her reverie.

On the crest of the hill stood a stone temple: a mound pilled with rocks and covered with red, yellow, orange garlands, spiked with fading white petals; a serendipitous reprieve to her clouding thoughts. Yusef was already running around the cairn while she quickened her pace, gusto in her step and faith slowly expanding in her breast. The sight cast a glow in the despairing hills. Arysa smelled for the first time in months a clear, spring whiff in the air.

    "Yusef, respect the place. It is a gift for worship and hope," she said as she came abreast.

The burden lifted slightly from the pit of her bowels and she remembered Kohar and Yusef, when tiny, prattling together in the meadow at sunset, immersed in some imaginary game. When the skirmishes started between opposing factions, Omar had decided to move them to Kabul. Several farms had been pillaged, hired hands murdered. The furrow between his eyebrows deepened but still Arysa had said nothing. Kohar became sullen in the city as though his true self had stayed in the hills, buried in the dirt, discarded like an old pair of linen. Again Arysa hadn't protested.

She brushed away the thoughts with a few strands of hair framing her cheeks and opened her heart to the joy etched on Yusef's face while he scrutinised every crevice of the temple from which rolled pieces of paper protruded.
    "Shall we leave one too ?" she asked him.
    "Oh, yes ! Please Mama. You write, I'll phrase the message." Yusef clapped his fingers.

Arysa lifted the bag from her back, patting down the pockets in search of her small notebook. Triumphant, she extracted it finally from a thick pouch in the lining.

    "So Yusef, what shall we thank and wish for ?"
    " 'Thank you for this sprig of flowers, the strength to continue our journey. Please keep us safe until we reach our destination and be reunited with our distant cousins' ," said Yusef, loud and solemn.
    "Beautiful my son. Here you go, choose where to place it"

Yusef stood on the toes of his boots and slid the scroll into a smooth hole between two gold-leafed pebbles.

        They looked back once more towards the breeze in the wreaths and heard the tinkle of the bells. The winding path stretched before them down a slope, lost between boulders and shrubs. More peaks towered in the distance, some glistening in the afternoon light. Arysa wondered if she would ever cross the bridge of her sorrow and let go of her pain.

    In Kabul, Omar had found work in an uncle's grocery shop, sorting, piling, fetching: strenuous hours in the dust and pollution. The drone had hit the school the third year and they had brought Kohar's dismembered corpse back to their tiny lodgings. Arysa's scream had given way to wailing. Then for weeks, she roamed the room and streets of the city in a haze. Her mind could not fathom the future, an end to the bridge towards a possible tomorrow. Omar, distant, had grown more and more estranged and finally had lost himself to days with shady connections. Arysa had not been able to mouth any words to describe his new loyalties. Yusef stayed home with her and silently she packed the flotsam of their past. She had made her choice. They would face the long road together to join their distant family in Tajikistan. Her heart screamed in her chest but Arysa would say no more.

Word Count 872 FCA

Thank you for reading

Volker Schlöndorff's Oskar's Drum, film soundtrack
Die Blechtrommel

Thursday, 7 October 2021

 Welcome to another blog hop from Friday Fictionneers .

If you would like to know more and join the fun visit here

Here is today's prompt

Fidgety Frog

Fidgety frog funnels along
the fragmented fairway
frothing at the throat.

Feet frantic,
foraging through
floppy hats.

Fuming Forests loom
far on the horizon. 
Frontier frosty peaks.

Feet frantic,
foraging through 
floppy hats.

Fainting frog flags
fireman throwing
water on flames

Feet frantic,
foraging through
floppy hats.

Father frog falls
foaming at the mouth,
son salvation serves.

Thank you for reading.

here are some old photographs of my own:

My GrandPa, Albert George Dunckley, aged 8,  London, Hackney Elementary School, September 1913.

My Nana and Mother in Bournemouth, 1949

Antique Shop, taken in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, 2013

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

⌗IWSG-Wednesday 6th October 2021-Draw the line

 Welcome to another post of the Insecure Writers Support Group

If you would like to know more about the IWSG and sign up

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!

October 6 question - In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

The awesome co-hosts for the October 6 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

My answer

There are topics which I don't enjoy reading, so I don't enjoy writing them either: Romance notably.

Others I enjoy reading but just haven't mastered the knack to write on : Crime, Political, Historical Fiction.

I definitely draw the line in language when it comes to explicit sexual descriptions or gratuitous swearing

Otherwise I love to experiment with vocabulary, especially for painting a picture of scenes: the physical and the emotional. I particularly love the sonority of verbs and adjectives which perfectly evoke a feel of what I mean to convey. Synaesthesia, I dote on. Colours, sounds, feelings, smells jump out immediately when using certain words.

writhe, wriggle, wrench

swoop, sail, snag

hume, drift, searing

sparkle, twinkle, baffling

I also like to play around with images, sometimes mixing metaphors, which is, I know, considered an incorrect way to use an effective metaphor; but I suppose that my Franco-British heritage conjures likenesses which often overlap, creating a collage metaphor or simile that just fits the bill.

Mostly I don't overthink ideas or language when writing. The inspiring combination just seems to fly down unexpectedly to hit the page.

how do you function ?

Thank you for reading.

this is how I also feel sometimes:

Véronique Samson  Full Tilt Frog listen here

Mont Canigou French Catalogne

Puigcerda, Spanish Pyrenees

Winter storm in Malta

Friday, 1 October 2021

⌗FRIDAY FICTIONNEERS-Photo Prompt-sacred haven.

Welcome to another blog hop from Friday Fictionneers .

If you would like to know more and join the fun visit here


This week's photo

Sacred haven

Painfully, he tread up the last step of the church stoop. He fumbled at the ring knob and creaked the thick oak door open. It cringed on millennium rusted hinges. Steven banged the opening shut and slid the bolts tight. Incense furled upwards, candles played rainbows onto the pews: contrite figures, horses rearing, sparkling crosses. Safe at last.

A throaty howl wrenched the silence. Wood splinted. A ghoulish shadow framed the alcove, followed by an army of grunting figures. No sooner had they crossed the threshold of the sacred haven than they dissolve into screaming flames.

Steven let out a hissing sigh as snow cherubs descended upon him.

Thank you for reading.

Wishing you all a restful and inspiring weekend.

Missa Criolla

listen here

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

⌗Friday Fictionneers

 Welcome to another photo prompt from the Friday Fictionneers blog hop.

If you would like to join in the fun , please visit Friday Fictionneers

thank you to Liz Young for her photo prompt today.

Gordon ran, ran and jumped up each step, mirrored by a million windows of blinding bulbs. They were definitely after him. He couldn't hide among the myriad perpetual staircases leading up to no rooms or hallways. He couldn't warp into another time frame and he couldn't cease to breath: he was immortal.

His thoughts thrashed and boiled, his eyes darted, his body writhed. A trickle of cold sweat finally woke him up to the golden rays playfully dancing on the dresser.

"Honey, what a nightmare, I was in Blade Runner, but nowhere near as handsome as Harrison Ford. I think maybe that was the worst part."


Thanks for reading. Don't forget to look up what the other scribblers have imagined on the linkiz page.


Monday, 20 September 2021

⌗WRITING WEEKEND-Ramshackle-A Yard so Beautiful


If you'd like to join or know more visit Sammi at sammi's scribbles

This week

How could a plain yard be so beautiful ?
A ramshackle of objects tumbled
from each, every room
of this foreboding house.

A four-post bed stripped of varnish,
mould creeping up its legs
saw the births of George, Ann, 
Terry, Benjamin, Gloria; the deaths
of a parson, a banker, a billionaire.

An imposing Ming vase: a lovers' bridge,
a dragon spitting fire from a rocky ledge;
a wooden dolls' house, an exact replica,
complete with furniture, right down

to a cracked enamel washbasin,
a rugged counter with a grey plaster fish.
All strewn across memories below
falling snow.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 17 September 2021

⌗Friday Fictioneers - Photo prompt Paddle- Paddling up the ORINOCO

 HAPPY Friday. Welcome to the Friday Fictioneers' blog hop, hosted by Rochelle.

Thanks to Keith for introducing me to this fun excuse to write our heart's out and share with so many talented scribblers.

This week's prompt

'Well, I certainly hope he's enjoying himself,' she thought. 

Karen saw herself in a bark canoe paddling up the Orinoco with Alexander Von Humboldt in 1799. Windsurfing had been bad enough on her back ! She far preferred sailing on a twelve-footer along rugged coasts off Porquerolles or Belle-île. What was this crazy new fashion ! She rather pictured herself on a mirrored lake working oars with her Grandpa in Scandinavia or the Dordogne. Maybe she'd take a leap and go in for Kite-surfing.

"Is that the time! Gaspard, you're running in circles, let's take that walk," she said out loud to his ghost.

susanbauryrouchard, Toulouse, France.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

⌗IWSG-September 2021-Success or earnings ?

   Thank you to all my followers on Blogger and Wordpress for their support and praise for my poem Trapped by the Undertow, published 1st May 2021 on Bandit  Read More section Poetry.

And for their encouragement on the publication of my poem CARTHAGE in ORBIS quarterly Literary Journal June 2021, Issue 196. Subscriptions on

Welcome to

Another writing day for the Insecure Writers' Support Group

Thank you to the co-hosts for this month.
They are

September question : How do you define success as a writer ? Is it holding your book in your hand ? Having a short story published ? Making a certain amount of income from your writing ?

as always, the response is optional ... in my insecure case, even somewhat embarrassing.....

Not many publications and very scanty feedback on these few... no, my door is not clogged up by fan mail through the letter box... some mention in the magazines I've published in, lavish praise from present and past tutors and polite comments on my blog that is the sum of the visible 'success' attached to my writing.

However, what is always encouraging is the flame of passion which courses through my veins when dreaming up plots, metaphors, dialogues or descriptions. Finding the exact word which encompasses all I am feeling; the picture in my mind's eye of the perfect setting and unfolding of a story or an atmosphere.
Success can only be measured for me if I manage through my poems or stories to share fully with readers this passion. Any comments which reveal a kindred emotion add to a growing list of confidential prizes which I cherish and bask in whenever the dark hand of 'giving up' looms.

To all and sundry, a message of hope which will shed a welcome glow on the stormiest day: HANG IN THERE and keep writing and sharing your "Joie de Vivre" with the world.

Thank you for stopping by and Happy IWSG day, may this month's posts swell your heart with companionship and compassion.

inspiration in walks 
village bliss

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

⌗WEP-Freedom of Speech-The Fresco-August 18th 2021


Welcome to another posting of the Write Edit publish Prompt.
If you would like to know more about the WEP Challenge or join the fun, please read here

this Month

The Painting prompt

The Fresco


The hours ticked by, long, long, one crutch at a time; the needle seemingly stuck 

on each scratch of the mantelpiece clock's face. He applied each downward strike 

of his red imbibed brush as though it were a sword. 

Frowns of brown appeared on the workers' brows. Straight jackets 

and pressed pants, tight, encased their limbs. He shifted, a crick

in his lower back. Gustav's strain of concentration vibrated in each 

strand of his nervous system to wheeze out of his throat in a hiss 

of a high-pitched, barely audible whistle, like some alien signal nagging at his mind.

'At six sharp, the Master and the Herr Kommandant will stomp 

into the Great hall to survey, eyebrows knotted, the martial mural,' he thought,

 trepidation and dread  beating like dissonant gongs in his chest. 

'All I ever hopped for was a logged-walled home up on a lush hill 

overlooking the thick, reassuring forests with white-capped peaks beyond;

 greens, bright yellows and orange-streaked ochres in the shadow 

of my eyelids to enhance beauty on a crisp canvas,' he daydreamed. 

His reverie spanned a century, a whole lifetime, imprisoned 

in these few endless minutes fixing the final touches on months 

of intense labour: the sum of his apprenticeship 

that would either enslave him or cut down all future prospects.

The double oak door exploded with the din of dictatorial hard boots.

“Let's see what you have to show me today, Klaus.”

“Um, Herr Kommandant, here is the result of our Workers' Union efforts,”

 the Master crooned, turning his head sharply to Gustav 

as a warning and hissed “step back boy.”

The Kommandant moved his eyes away towards the wall to his left, 

feigning not to have heard this à parte, and raised his monocle 

like an aristocrat from the past century. 

While bending to examine a detail on the tunic of one of the Patriot Soldiers 

depicted on the mural, he let out a gasp of horror.

Was ist dieser Speck ab diesem Arm?” he boomed curtly.

The Master squinted behind his thick lenses and gazed intently, 

straining to make out the offensive blob, not risking to take a step closer 

so as to remain firmly behind his superior and not cast a shadow on the fresco


Gustav lowered his gaze to the toes of his galoshes, noticing as if for the first time, 

the film of white dust on them. He heart lurched as it clonked in his chest 

and he wondered that they didn't seem to notice, as it appeared to echo 

and bounce from floor to ceiling. 

He balanced from one foot to the other stealingly 

rubbing each shoe behind his ankle while a mischievous smile twitched on his lips.


   “It's a bird, a dove ! White ! What means this insult to Demokratisher Deutschland ? 

Wer hat dieses   getun ?”

Klaus, the Official Master Painter, fidgeted, rubbing his nail skin 

with his opposing thumbs and looked fixedly at the floorboards, 

an appalled face frozen on his features. 

The Herr Kommandant wasn't expecting an answer, Klaus and Gustav knew.

 They both waited, dreading  what would come next.


“Master Klaus, you will get to the bottom of this and bring me the culprit 

or it's your Kopff that will  roll!”

With these definite words, the Herr Kommandant wheeled towards the open doors 

and stormed out, Klaus tripped rapidly behind him, but not without a backward glance 

at Gustav, eyes burrowing holes into his soul. Gustav, innocence itself painted 

all over his cheeks,  shrugged his lanky frame once 

and shook his head decisively. Klaus resumed his march down the corridor,

 momentarily convinced. 

Gustav could still hear the ghost of the Herr Kommandant's outrage, 

mingled with the click of his boots down each marble step of the majestic staircase, 

long into the night. 

Before disappearing down a side exit, he had quickly taken up the brush, 

stuck it into a tiny mud of a puddle on the half-caked palette, raised his wrist, 

digging his forefinger and thumb  into the tip of the handle, took a step forward 

and halted his intent. A  thousand bursts of pure thought had ricoche'ed 

through his brain. For a few seconds, he had stood there, mesmerised 

by his own daring and had even feared his exhilarating sense of digression. 

However, his disgust and  craving for freedom that had somehow been buried 

under eddies of space and time had erupted like a volcano. The rush of adrenaline, 

his decision now fully formulated was like lava destroying any reticence 

that still lingered in the rumble of his life. He had taken a step back, resolute; 

eyed the dove, its uplifting wings, his poetic handiwork.

The grin on his mouth turned into a harmonious laugh, like a birdsong soaring 

out of the door to its cage. Then followed a sonorous “Sheiℬe” as it had dawned 

on him  that he had no choice. The brush had clattered onto 

the immaculate floorboard, his apron had been discarded halfway across the hall. 

Gustav had calmly stepped  through the concealed door to the workshop 

and flew back home  as if his feet hovered  on an invisible breeze.

In the morning he would step onto the train with his pass to visit his grandmother, 

born and still living in small village near Göttinger. With the recent uprising 

in Budapest, controls on the lines were notoriously rare. 

There he would shout out the truth  about the iron curtain 

which had cleaved his homeland into two by painting a real picture 

with his colours and his words.



- what is this blemish on this arm ?

- who did this ?

- head 

- shit


thank you for reading and please feel free to comment.