Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

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

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.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

⌗IWSG-August 2021-Craft books

  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

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today: PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!

August 4 question - What writing craft books do you read and use for your writing ? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

Welcome to AUGUST writing.

My two ' bibles ' for writing are Kenneth Koch's Making your own days and Considering Poetry, from my schooldays, both for Poetry; the Open University Creative Writing Handbooks levels 2 and 3 for prose, poetry, theatre and articles. They bring me references on the craft of writing, free-writing exercises to get the juices going; editing tips on punctuation, dialogues and vocabulary expansion. They are also a firm base for encouragement with plenty of examples from classical and contemporary authors: a wide range of Poets, Novelists versatile in several genres, Short Story writers and Playwrights.
They keep me anchored into the realm of marketable work.

However, personally, I find that craft books on writing or any other endeavour for that matter are merely crutches to lean on to launch from or finalise my skill when writing prose or poetry. The meat of my work stems from the books I enjoy reading and which lift up my consciousness to higher awareness and dreams.

My reading ranges to the outreaches of many genres: sci-fi, poetry, philosophy, history, historical fiction, anticipation, detective and crime novels, thrillers, mysteries, fantasy, everyday lives. Elevating mundane thoughts into transporting words, sculpting the ordinary into dreamlike extraordinary. These books are my greatest source of inspiration and imagination along with forays into many other arcanes of art: paintings, photography, sculpture, cinema, architecture, myths, legends and above all the world how I experience it through outlook, feelings, emotions, nature and people around me; be it in my current living space or on my numerous travels, discoveries or pilgrimages to places I have fallen in love with, like receiving an update of a shot from a muse linked to a whole universe.

My writing is not so much the fruit of a painfully carrying out of techniques dictated by craft books as the observation and appropriating of what has come before and what I can witness and interpret for myself, first hand. Like all painters first spend hours copying great masters before launching onto their own path with their own fortified wingspan.

While sitting in a deckchair overlooking Tragumna Bay, in Ireland this summer, I plunged indifferently into Thomas Hardy's  Selected Poems from a lifetime of writing Poetry, inspired by the hills and dales of his beloved Dorset, also my birthplace, (during his lifetime Hardy considered himself foremost a Poet even though his commercial success came from his novels, in which, strikingly, his poetical prose is what shines through the most); Essays by Machiavelli and Homer; an anticipation novel by the surprising Bernard Weber, a former scientific journalist who became a best-selling author by imagining plots involving science, myths, esoteric beliefs, history, long-standing mysteries on the Human condition, philosophy and art. This particular novel mingled psychology, hypnosis, the legend of Atlantis, reincarnation and the uncovering of Pandora's Box.
My travel notebook which never leaves me when away from home is now full of new scribbles of poems on the verge of birth, etchings, philosophical thoughts, descriptive prose of plants, birds, the way the light slants on the rock on which I am perched, or the waves of sounds and smells that hit me while soaking in the landscape from a sandy cove; stories inspired by overheard conversations or observing the comings and goings of the Irish people, so calm and friendly.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and reading. Please feel free to leave a comment and share your own views on craft books and your relation to them when writing.
Wishing you all a pleasant follow through from the summer.

The Brittany Coast. France,  before embarking for Cork


County Cork, Ireland.  Feels like Dorset and Cornwall, England

Early Morning Bathe in Tragumna Bay

Sherkin Island

Celtic Stone Circle

Our Holiday Cottage, seen from opposite cove

Bye Bye Ireland, I'll be back....

Home sweet Home,
Morning Writing