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Title
Falling down (posted on: 21-02-11)
"I'm fallin' down," I say. I want to tell her I got the 'flu or somethin' somethin' she can give me some pills for but the truth just comes out of my mouth.

Falling Down. I hate the way they do that. Like when they ask you, 'What can we do for you today?' Like you was in there yesterday? And the way they don't look up. Like, 'I'm doin' somethin' very important here an' you are interruptin me.' I hate that. Like I would choose to spend a Tuesday mornin' sittin' wif my mum in a shitty waitin' room for twenty minutes longer than I should have 'cause this woman couldn't drag her sorry arse outa the bed or 'cause some stupid old woman has taken too long complainin' about her hot flushes. Tah! But really, I don't know what to say. I don't want to tell her why I'm there. I'm scared that if I tell her that will make it real. She looks up at me an' I fink she looks like that mad doctor in East Enders, with the neat hair and the makeup and the big eyes. Those eyes look right into you. Like she had this X-Ray vision? And she is X-raying into your mind? "I'm fallin' down," I say. I want to tell her I got the 'flu or somethin', somethin' she can give me some pills for but the truth just comes out of my mouth. Like when I locked the puppy in the shed all day and as soon as I opened the door to feed him he came straight out an' ran into the road an' the consequences of my sayin' 'I'm fallin' down' are just as 'orrible. She's all interest, the X-ray eyes workin' overtime, readin' my 'body language' like she really doesn't understand or maybe doesn't believe my words. "Do you mean you're fainting?" she asks, "passing out?" I say; "If I had meant faintin' or passin' out, that is what I'd have said. I mean fallin' down. On my feet one minute, on my arse the next." "How often has it happened?" "Free times. First time was ten twelve weeks back. I was in my bedroom, playin' a game? I stood up and the next thing I'm sittin' on the floor." She asks me if I felt dizzy, if I stood up too quickly. I tell her, no. "The second time I was at a mate's house. We'd just got in an' we went up to his room. Like he went in first an' I was just steppin' froo the door and bosh. I'm on my backside again. An' he turns to me an' says 'Pick your fu ... feet up, bro.',' an' we laughed." She asks, "Did he have to help you up?" "No. I just got up." "And the third time?" "The fird time I was in town wif my mum an' we'd just come out of Tescos. I was pushin' the trolley. Not stupid, not pissin' about. Suddenly I'm sittin' on the floor. My mum fought I was foolin'? She shouted at me an' then I told her about the other times. That's when she rang 'ere." "She's here with you now?" "Yeah. I'm like sixteen but to her I'm still seven." She smiles this doctor but there's a look in those X-ray eyes that disturbs me. She presses her hands togever and says; "I'm going to have to ask you some personal questions, Quinn, do you want your mam here?" "Like, if they're personal, no." "OK. Do you smoke?" I look at her. "Does it not say on my notes that my dad died of lung cancer free years ago?" "No, it doesn't. I'm sorry." "Believe me, you watch somebody die like that an' you ain't quin' up to top yourself in the same way." "How about alcohol?", she says and I think 'Do I tell her the truth or...?' I decide that the truth is best. "On the week ends. Sometimes we get some cider? Depends on if we got the money." "And this is only on the weekends?" "I'm at school. My mum wants me to do good. She finks that's important." She folds her hands. "How about other drugs?" "Like street stuff an' that? No way! I'm not that stupid." "I didn't say you were but I do have to ask. And I have to ask you, are you sexually active?" This is the question that I hoped she wouldn't ask, 'cause I'm sixteen and I've never done it. I look down at my hands and I mumble that I'm not. She looks surprised. "My mum's always told me that you have to respect people, women." "Well that's an excellent attitude." "Hardly goes to make me the coolest bloke on the globe though does it." She has that indulgent smile on her face. "Have you had any illness recently? Cold, 'flu, anything like that?" "Nah." "Do you take regular exercise?" "I play football." "You any good?" "I got a trial for Chelsea, next month." "Well done." "My mum finks it's like not a good career choice." "Well, that's mums for you. Have you had any injuries at all, in training or playing." ''Nah.'' She looks down at her hands and then smiles at me. "I'm going to have to give you a physical examination now, Quinn, so is it OK if your mammy comes in now?" "Yeah, that's cool." I watch her as she leans forward to buzz the receptionist girl to bring my mum in and I think this is a cool lookin' woman. She smells clean and her hair has that looked after look. There's a knock on the door an' my mum comes in. She's tryin' not to look worried but there's a look in her eyes that's been there since the fallin' down. My mum is scared, like when my dad was first diagnosed wif cancer an' that scares me. The doctor goes about her business, gets me to take off my shirt, sounds my heart, does my blood pressure. Then she looks in my eyes an' that's nice 'cause she's close to me, she looks in my ears and I hear my mum say "You shine a light in his ears, doctor an' it go straight through and shine on the wall." My mum don't really fink I'm stupid it's just her way of layin' off the fear. ''Well,'' says the doctor, ''Your heart rate is a little bit elevated.'' An' I think 'That's because I have just had a gorgeous woman touchin' me an' gazin' into my eyes.' But I say nuffin'. ''What d'ya think is wrong, doctor?'' My mum asked. ''Be perfectly honest, Mrs Larra, I'm not sure. Can you tell me what you saw when Quinn fell down outside the supermarket?'' ''Just that. We'd done the shoppin'. He'd been perfectly normal. We go outside. It wasn't very hot or very cold. I said something to him about where I'd parked the car an' the next thing I know, he's sittin' on the floor, lookin' up at the trolley. I said 'Get up and stop playin' the fool' and then he told me what had happened before. I was very worried.'' ''I can appreciate that Mrs Larra.'' They go on talkin' like I left the room or somethin' an' I hear the doctor sayin' somethin' about tests. ''I'll try and get you an appointment as quickly as I can but for the moment, I know it's not easy, but try not to worry. It could be an ear infection, it could be his eyes, it could just be he's still growing up.'' ''Ya mean like hormonal,'' my mum says. ''Could be, could be. Children develop at different rates.'' I resent being called a child. ''I'll just get the nurse in to take a blood sample, doctors are hopeless at it.'' There's this really gorgeous girl sticking needles in me an' tellin' me to make a bit of a fist an' then it's over. The doctor's sayin that she'll try an speed them up an' I'm no wiser than when I walked in. ''T'ank ya very much doctor,'' my mum says and touches my tie straight because that's what mums do when they can't do anything else. The doctor gives me time off school and reassures my mum that she doesn't think that it's sickle cell because that 'presents much earlier and with a lot of pain' and my mum says that she thought she should mention it 'with the boy bein' of mixed race.' Like the doctor hadn't noticed? An' then we're heading to the door an' I turn to say thanks to the doctor an' then I'm fallin' down. If it hadn't been so scary it would have been funny. Me sittin' on my arse by the door, mum holdin' up her hands in her best 'glory hallelujah Sunday meeting style, the doctor scooting around her desk to try and get to me before the gorgeous nurse an' me just sittin' there like it's all normal. The doctor goes back to her desk an' it goes from East Enders to Casualty in minutes. Suddenly there's ambulance people an' the doctor's briefin' them an' they're being pally, callin' me by first name and tellin' me I'm all right. I want to tell them, I know I'm all right that it's my mum and the doctor that's worried but I don't say anything. Scene change to the hospital. It's like ev'ryfin's goin' on around me an' I don't have any part to play. I'm now the patient an' patients don't get much of a speakin' part. They ask me a lot of questions but they're mostly the same questions the doctor asked me. I give the same answers but they seem to think that my answers are more important. Doctors come and go. I have to pee in a bottle which is well embarrassin' 'cause my mum doesn't want to leave me but eventually they persuade her to go and get a cup of tea. There is somethin' very different between havin' a pee an' givin' a urine sample but I manage it and it's taken away to the pee specialist. There are those people, people whose job it is just to look at pee. For a while it's just me and my mum. She sits by my side, holdin' my hand an' I know that inside she is so scared. She's been here before. All those visits with my dad. I squeeze her hand because I want her to be confident and not to fink about my dad. ''Hope we get out of here before seven,'' I say and she looks at me. ''Chelsea is playin' tonight.'' ''Quinnlan.'' ''It's important, mum.'' She smiles. ''We'll be home by then.'' A grey lookin' bloke who hasn't been before pops his head around the curtain. ''Quinnlan Larra?'' For some reason my mum stands up but the grey bloke sits her back down. ''I'm Mr. Fisher, consultant neurologist. We're arranging for Quinnlan to have a scan.'' I can't resist. I go; ''Oh no, the washing machine.'' Grey man smiles. ''Yeah. Tele takes away all the mystery, doesn't it.'' I say; ''I fought you had to wait a long time for them. Like go on a waitin' list or somefin'?'' ''We need to know what's going on in your head, old son and we need to know now. So someone will be along fairly shortly to take you along to the washing machine and I'll pop by when it's done.'' I look at my mum as he goes and I can see from her face that this worries her. ''Cool,'' I say. ''They ain't gonna find nothin'.'' She looks at me an' I see the act come on. She doesn't want to frighten me. ''I be surprised if they find a brain to scan.'' It's nearly four o'clock. The scan has been done and we're just waitin' now. It is boring and my mum has exhausted her stock of reasons to be cheerful and the longer we wait, the more I see her goin' in an' eatin' on her own fears. She's been here, done this an' somewhere she's got the T shirt. 'Cancer is a word, not a sentence.' ''D'ya reckon I could get a drink,'' I ask. My mouth is genuinely dry but I also can't take my mum sittin' there like a prophetess of doom. She stands up and pops her head round the curtains and I hear her ask a nurse if it's all right for me to have a drink. The nurse comes in to the cubicle with a wheel chair and a young bloke in a brown uniform. ''Erm you can't have a drink for a minute, Quinn. I've got to take you to Mr. Fisher's office.'' ''I ain't goin' in that,'' I say. ''I can walk.'' ''It's just what we have to do,'' she says like she's used to sayin' that, like she's used to bolshie kids who don't want to have their control taken away completely. I get into the wheel chair and the young bloke pushes me. He can't be more than a couple of years older than me an' yet he wheels me along like he was pushin' a baby in a pram. We don't go far just down this corridor and then the nurse is knockin' on a door an' brown boy is pushin' me into a light, modern room. There's papers an' computers an' it looks like the office where we went to settle my dad's insurance. Grey man is standing behind a desk and he waves my mum to a seat and then sits down as brown boy pushes me up to the desk next to my mum. The nurse and brown boy leave an' it just the three of us. There's lots of seconds when no-one says anything and I'm startin' to feel frightened. Grey man shifts back in his seat and I wonder if he's getting out of range. ''There is no easy way to tell you this. Quinnlan has a large tumour deep in his brain.'' I close down and I hope that my mum is listening so that she can tell me all about it later. The man is sitting there, opening and closing his mouth like a big grey mullet, but what's coming out I can't really say. I hear one or two phrases; reductive surgery, radiotherapy but the most important thing has been said. I have a brain tumour. That's what the falling down has been all about. It's big, the tumour and it will probably kill me. ''Are there any questions you want to ask me?'' My mum is crying now so I figure that what he's actually said is pretty devastating or maybe she's just thinking about dad. I ask; ''Time. I need to have a time scale.'' ''OK erm. Everything depends on the growth rate of the tumour. We'll need to do more tests to determine that, but with the reductive surgery and with radiotherapy we're looking at I would think twelve to eighteen months before you get any other symptoms.'' ''And the other symptoms? You've probably said this but I've got to admit I wasn't listening that well.'' ''Of course you weren't. The other symptoms will include double vision, head aches increasing loss of mobility. Some of these will result from the surgery and the radiotherapy straight after but they will be relatively short lived.'' I get struck by a brilliant, witty, cruel thought. ''A bit like me then. 'Cause this is going to kill me, right?'' My mum nudges me very hard but Mr. Fisher appreciates the graveyard humour. ''Yes. It is.'' ''And how long will these 'symptoms' last if I have the surgery and the radiotherapy?'' ''Depending on the radiotherapy a couple of months.'' ''And if I don't have the treatments? How long do I have then before I get really sick?'' ''Again, it depends on the growth rate of the tumour but a pure guess ten to twelve months.'' I try to work this out, to do the math. Maximum eighteen months if I have the treatment but minus two months which is sixteen months. Maximum twelve months if I don't have it. Four months. Is it worth it? My mum asks; ''Are you absolutely certain?'' And I want to hug her and tell her how daft that is, but I don't. She's got a right to cling to whatever hope she can. ''You're of course entitled to a second opinion Mrs Larra but the scan is pretty clear.'' ''How long before I have the surgery, if I'm going to have it?'' ''What do you mean if you're going to have it? Of course you're going to have it.'' My mum is lookin' at me, glaring and angry. ''We'll need to do another scan in six weeks and then we can decide on what we're going to do.'' ''I fink my mum has already decided but not me.'' ''I understand, old son, believe me.'' ''Can I go home? I mean apart from the falling down, I'm all right, aren't I.'' He looks at me long and hard. ''Only I got a trial for Chelsea next month,'' I grin at him. ''I s'pose that's out the window now, innit?'' Scene change to now. It's my birfday. I'm eighteen. I think. I haven't fallen down for nearly a month but that's 'cause I don't stand up. I'm on morphine pretty much all the time an' the nurses are really nice here. My mum coped as long as she could but the doctor thought a hospice was better. My mum has been really special an' I think she should have somethin' special so I aksed one of the nurses to buy her some flowers an' they're going to give them to her when she comes to visit. I got a birfday card from the team. I got one last year but I thought that was just for the tele. I'm not frightened of death. Looking forward to it a bit. I've done livin' an' bein' ill so I wanta see what bein' dead is really like. I never really thought about it before, bein' dead, well you don't. When the only thing that seems to be wrong is that occasionally you do a bit of fallin' down, you don't think you're ever going to die. I feel bad about leaving my mum but I would have left her anyway. I'd have grown up become a man, played football or got what she calls a proper job and I would have left her, that's what kids do. I suppose this way, she's had me longer. Now that is odd. I wonder if there is somethin' on the 'other side'? Mum believes there is but she believes in God and all that. Even after dad died, she still believed. Faith, not belief. Belief requires proof, faith is something you just have. Not sure if I do. I'm tired now. I'm going to get some kip before mum comes.
Archived comments for Falling down
geordietaf on 21-02-2011
Falling down
Fantastic. You managed the difficult trick of being moving without being maudlin. he only minor observation I have is that it takes a while to work out that the narrator is just 16. I had him down as an old man or woman and that caused a little confusion at the start, but you may have intended that kind of uncertainty.

Paul

Author's Reply:
Paul, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Sorry you found it confusing, that wasn't my intention. I thought by mentioning that he was there with his mom that had made it pretty clear that he was a youngster.
Still, you enjoyed it.
Much thanks
chrissy

geordietaf on 21-02-2011
Falling down
Oops. I meant 'the' not 'he' in the preceding comment

Author's Reply:

franciman on 21-02-2011
Falling down
This talks with a really authentic voice. The phonetic dialogue helped, but it was the way you got inside Quinn that made it so absorbing.

Deserves nomination.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Jim, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and for the generous rating.
I like people, all kinds of people and so I like to get to know how people think.
chrissy

Ionicus on 21-02-2011
Falling down
I don't normally read prose, especially long pieces, but my curiosity was aroused when I read in the Forum that you were perplexed at how the story could be shown to be of different lengths.
I am very pleased that I changed the habit of a lifetime because this is a remarkable piece of writing. Well done, chrissy.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Luigi, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

e-griff on 26-02-2011
Falling down
An excellent story, told without overemphasis, with Quinn's mundane thoughts running along with an occasional insight that shows he's not just a stereotypical teenager but also quite a smart cookie. It worked well.

What intruded for me was the (to me) very self-conscious and awkward attempt at his accent. It didn't seem to me to be consistent or credible, and the 'like' s at the beginning were intrusive and annoying. The story would be improved greatly by a better treatment of this aspect (even if you simply dropped any attempt at all and just wrote in plain english, with maybe a few quirks in his speech, but not the narration). Other odd things, such as the doctor talking about his 'mammy' also struck me as odd.

This is a good story, and a bit more editing and revision would be well worth the effort, IMO. 🙂 G

Author's Reply:
e-griff, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Sorry the 'voice' didn't work for you.
I will think on your suggestions.
chrissy

teifii on 03-03-2011
Falling down
Well you thoroughly led me astray from what I was supposed to be doing but it was worth it. If it were in a real book, I'd sat I couldn't put it down. Quin is amazingly believable.

Author's Reply:
teifii, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Glad you enjoyed it.
It is a real book, well part of a real book, it's one of the stories in End Games.
Chrissy M-H

Rab on 28-10-2013
Falling down
Read this in the 2014 anthology and just had to add my praise to the comments above. Wonderful, and I agree with Jim about the way you captured Quinn's voice.

Ross

Author's Reply:


The experiment (posted on: 07-02-11)
Do criminals deserve the right to lie to defend themselves? (Not sure about this. Anyone like to comment?)

The experiment We're hiding behind the Greek chippy on Landsdown Road. The mosque is at the top of the hill, he has to come right past us. He's always well behind his dad and his brother. He has to come this way and we'll get him. He's cocky, that's why he deserves his arse kicking. It's not racial. I'm not a racist. There's five of us. Me, my little brother Jimmy, Saga, Nogger North and Div. The little toe-rag doesn't stand a chance. Nogger's out on the street. He whistles, we know that means Raj has left his house and is on his way up the hill. Nogger stops him. We can hear his surprise. I come out from the back of the chippy with Saga and him and me and Nogger drag the little shit in to the yard at the back. He's wiry and he struggles but Saga's got his hand over his mouth. "You little twat!" Saga belts him one. "Little bastard bit us. Twat!" It all starts then. We can't risk too much noise. Not that Stavros would do anything. But there could be one of them have a go heroes in there, some old biddy with her bag full of bricks, so we do what we have to do to keep the little sod quiet. Div grabs him and smacks him against the back wall then turns him round and punches him in the face. His nose sort of explodes, there's a lot of blood. Then we all start in on him; punching him, kicking him when he falls on the ground. My boot goes into the back of his head. Jimmy kicks him in the gut. Then Nogger bends down and picks him and stuffs him in the wheelie bin. Saga's laughing like a drain at that. Nogger nips out on to the street to see if there's anyone about and we follow him. There's this girl, Asian girl. She's just standing there staring at Nogger then at us. Div grabs her and we're back behind the chippy and doin' her. Jimmy's not interested, says if he wants a fuck he'd prefer a white girl. Then we smarten ourselves up and go down the boozer leaving the girl with her trousers round her ankles and we're laughin' cause she fell on her face trying to run after us. "That's it?" "Yes." "Let's go through the names. The scrote we've got is Chris McGovan and it would be James." "Jimmy. 'bout five eight, mid teens blond hair." "That's Jimmy. Div?" "Tall, skinny, black guy. White streaks in his hair." "Horatio Divine. He hasn't been on our radar for a while." "Just got out, guv. Three months, taking and driving." "Dozy bastard. Nogger North." "Could be either of them." "Short, thin, red hair." "David. Oh dear me. Now who the bloody hell's this Saga? What's he look like?" "Five ten maybe. Medium build, lanky brown hair, early twenties, acne." "Could be anybody on the Blakely. Could you go back in, dig a bit deeper?" "If you want him brain damaged." "Personally that would be a very good outcome for me, son, but I take your point." "Guv." "Susan." "Samuel Garret? Sa Ga." "A stroke of genius. Right. Thank you very much, Christian. Not a pleasant case for your first one but I think, if we lock these pricks up, we'll definitely be calling on you again." "I'm sure the director will be very pleased to hear that." "It's never easy, son. It's horrible and dirty and all you get from it is a vile memory and a good feeling that you've done good. And that's the way it has to be." "I'll leave a statement on your desk, yes?" "If you would be so kind. Right, ladies and gents, let's go and shovel some shit." "James Edward McGovan, I'm arresting you on suspicion of aggravated assault. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence, if you do not mention when questioned, something which you will later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence..." "David Philip North, I'm arresting you on suspicion of aggravated assault and rape. You do not have to say anything...."
Archived comments for The experiment
e-griff on 07-02-2011
The experiment
I found this rather confusing. the narrator is one of the offenders. one of the other offenders is his brother. It seems he 'shops' them, does he? But would he shop his brother? And why do the others not identify him in turn? as I said, I'm confused. 🙂

Author's Reply:
Hi e-griff.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Yes, this is confusing. Mia culpa.
1) I should have put the 'perp's' thoughts in italics or at lest made it more obvious that he wasn't speaking.
2) I should not have called him Chris. That was just sloppiness and inattention to detail on my part.
3) I could maybe not have cut the first bit I originally wrote but that a) made it longer and from my last sub I suppose I thought it wouldn't get read and b) would have made it really obvious.
I will go back to this and tinker before I think about putting it into a collection.
Much thanks.
chrissy

geordietaf on 07-02-2011
The experiment
The first section is very effectively written, but I have to say i got very confused by the following parts. Usually 'less is more' but in this case I think more is definitely needed as there is clearly the basis for a very good piece.

I also couldn't understand how this all related to the 'right to lie'.

I would be interested in seeing an expanded and clearer version of this.

Author's Reply:
Hi geordietaff.
Thanks for reading and commenting and for saying that it was effectively written.
Yes, this is confusing. Mea culpa.
1) I should have put the 'perp's' thoughts in italics or at lest made it more obvious that he wasn't speaking.
2) I should not have called him Chris. That was just sloppiness and inattention to detail on my part.
3) I could maybe not have cut the first bit I originally wrote but that a) made it longer and from my last sub I suppose I thought it wouldn't get read and b) would have made it really obvious.
I will go back to this and tinker before I think about putting it into a collection.
Many thanks.
chrissy

Nomenklatura on 08-02-2011
The experiment
Well I found it a little confusing too.

I think the story involves an undercover policeman/agent provocateur
called Christian, or perhaps as said above "Christian" is Chris McGowan. Less is more, but I think you need to be a little less opaque here.

I agree that the first part is well written, I found it immediate and compelling.

Author's Reply:


Going back (posted on: 28-01-11)
Sometimes life is interrupted by things outside our control. Circumstances can combine to change us totally.

Going back I have this dream. I'm sitting on a bus. It's night and we're driving along a quiet country road. Suddenly a deer runs in to the road. The driver swerves. There's a car coming towards us. We hit it. And then I wake up and I'm sitting on a bus ... Nicco examined the spot from a short distance away. People had left flowers and, because there had been reports of children being being involved, there were toys amongst the rain sodden blooms. The police tape fluttered from the broken fencing in the light wind. He wondered if he should put on a coat but he wasn't cold despite the wind and the rain and anyway, he didn't have a coat with him. He spotted Ben walking towards him on the grass verge just by the the police accident notice, hands in pockets, looking a bit miserable. Not for the first time, Nicco, questioned the wisdom of bringing the boy with him. ''Is this it?'' Ben asked as he drew level with the accident site. ''Yes.'' ''Feels lonely.'' ''Yes, it does.'' ''I wasn't expecting .....'' ''What?'' ''To feel like this. To feel anything really.'' Ben was twelve years old, intelligent and quite mature in some ways. He leaned forward to read the cards people had left. Some he couldn't manage; the rain had washed the ink into an unintelligible blur but others had been carefully placed in plastic covers. ''Why do people do this?'' ''It's become the thing to do. Television I suppose, It's like a fashion. I think it started with the Princess of Wales.'' '''I didn't know you, little child,''' Ben read out loud. '''But I grieve for your loss.' And it's signed by Muriel Collins.'' ''Sometimes, people find it easier to feel things from a distance. They find it less painful. You understand?'' ''No, I don't.'' Nicco looked at the boy and then across the road to the huge stone slab that ran with small waterfalls of rain water. Why here? Why this place? ''There's one here from Collin Burk. He's a teacher at my school.'' Nicco looked at his son. ''Do you want to go home?'' ''Yeah.'' I keep dreaming, the same dream. I'm on a bus. It's night, dark. I have a suitcase and a big tapestry bag. We're driving on a country road. Suddenly a deer runs into the road. The bus driver swerves. There's a car coming towards us. We hit it. I wake up and I'm on a bus.... The house felt empty. Even with Ben lying on his stomach on the floor watching something on television, the house felt cold and empty. There were smells that Nicco had never smelled before or had never noticed and there were cold spots where there could be a draught that he had never felt before. He leant forward and touched Ben's shoulder. ''Do you want something to eat? ''No. I'm not hungry.'' ''Neither am I but I think we should ...'' ''Why?'' ''Look, Ben, we should try to maintain some kind of normal ...'' ''What is normal about this, dad?'' ''I don't know. I just think we should try.'' ''Why did she leave you?'' ''I don't know. Maybe she left because I didn't want to go and live in London.'' ''Do you think she'll come back?'' ''She might.'' ''I miss her, dad.'' ''So do I.'' ''I didn't think I would feel anything. I thought it would all just stop but I still miss her.'' ''Don't look to me for guidance, Ben. I've no idea what's happening to us, what we should or shouldn't feel. Do you understand me, son. I'm lost and I feel like I'm going mad. If that frightens you, I'm sorry, but it's how I feel. I'm confused and frightened and I just want to understand, to help you to understand and I can't.'' Ben looked up at his father. ''If we went to London, could we find her?'' ''I'm not sure that's possible. We could try, I suppose but I don't even know where to begin to look for her.'' Ben stood. ''I'm going to bed.'' ''Alright. I'll be up soon.'' For a while after Ben went upstairs, Nicco sat watching the TV but the images made no sense to him and the words even less. This whole thing was so far outside his experience that he had no idea what he was doing or meant to be doing. In twelve years he had spent virtually no time alone with his son. There had been odd days when they had gone fishing or to football but the time was so short. He always busy and Ben didn't seem to want to spend time with him. There was a big distance between them and Nicco knew that he had very little chance of bridging that distance now. No matter how much he thought he should want to. Why was it he always came to things too late? It had been the same with his own father. They had no sort of relationship. Maybe that was the problem. He had nothing to learn from, no guidelines to follow, That was the easy explanation and he knew it. He switched off the TV. He had to go through the motions. Is there nothing else? Just the dream? Just the never ending being on a bus, the deer, the swerve, the crash and I wake and I'm on the bus and everything starts again. I have to wake up. Some time, I have to wake up. I have a life. ''You should eat something.'' ''I'm not hungry. Why did she leave me, dad?'' ''She didn't. She left me.'' ''Dad, she could have taken me with her. If she couldn't stand to be with you anymore, why did she leave me?'' ''Well, maybe she's coming back. Maybe she hasn't left, maybe she just needs time. People do stupid things, Ben. Sometimes even adults do very stupid things. There are times when life doesn't make a lot of sense and you just have to step away.'' ''She's my mum. She's supposed to love me, no matter how good or bad I am.'' ''I'm sure she does...'' ''Then why leave me?'' Ben was on the verge of tears and Nicco knew that he should hold him close, comfort him, say all the reassuring things but he couldn't do it. He didn't have the answers anymore than his own father had all the answers when his mother died. He couldn't be strong for his son when his own world had fallen apart. It wasn't in him. He caved in, as his father had caved in, and wept. ''Dad, I don't blame you.'' ''Well maybe you should because it is all my fault. Something I did or didn't do drove your mother away from us.'' ''It could be just her. I mean, maybe she's found someone else.'' Nicco looked across the empty kitchen table at his son. The boy had a wise head on his shoulders. Maybe too wise. ''It's on TV all the time; people fall in love with other people, families break up. It even happens with boys at school.'' ''I would have had some idea of that, Ben. If she had found someone else, something inside me would have told me. I love your mother, I really do and I promise you, if she really didn't love me, I would know.'' Ben was silent for a moment and then asked; ''Do you think we could try to find her?'' ''I don't know where she would go in London, who she knows.'' ''You could try her 'phone again.'' ''My 'phone doesn't work.'' ''Try the land line.'' ''I've tried.'' ''Maybe I could ...'' ''Ben...'' Nicco reached out to his son and held him close. The closeness of the boy gave him strength and comfort. ''Maybe if we just think about her. Sometimes, when I was working away from home, I would think really hard about your mum and you and sometimes the 'phone would ring and it would be you, or your mum. We could try that.'' ''Anything's worth trying.'' I want to wake up and not be on the bus. I want to open my eyes and see something different but it's always the same. I open my eyes and the night is passing the window. At the bac of the bus two girls are giggling, the woman just behind me is talking to her husband in Welsh, most of which I understand but I'm not really listening . I'm in my own head, listening to my own thoughts, trying to make sense of things, trying to work out why I'm doing what I'm doing ... And then there's the deer, big , dark, startled. It stops still, the driver swerves, the road is slippery. We skid across the road; the car is coming towards us. We hit it. I hear the bang, the crunching metal and the screaming breaks. The breaks screaming, the people screaming and then nothing. Silence, blackness and then I wake up and I'm on the bus... Nicco looked across at the phone. It was ringing but he knew it wasn't her. Head in hands he listened to the ringing and eventually it went to the answering service. Depp inside, he knew it wasn't her and he couldn't take the disappointment of not being able to answer it. The reality of his situation was starting to bear down on him like a very heavy weight. There were new limits; things he could not do, places he couldn't go, people he couldn't communicate with. He thought about Emily, his secretary. She was in love with him or she thought she was. There was nothing he could do about that. Never had been. And then he thought of his mother and thinking about her, remembering her, it was suddenly like she was in the room with him or like he was standing in her kitchen instead of his own. Quietly he said; ''I wish ....'' ''Be careful what you wish for, wishes can come true and sometimes what you wish for is not so good for you. Be careful what you ask of life; an end to pain, to sorrow, strife. Take care in what you wish for, for wishes can come true.'' ''I know that, mama. I've always known that, just sometimes you want a different outcome.'' ''And sometimes there will be a different outcome but you have to give it time.'' ''I just don't want to be as useless for Ben as papa was for me.'' ''Then you must reach inside you. You must find what strength there is in you. You can't always pass on your responsibilities to someone else. Ben is your son, he is not you and you are not your father.'' ''Who are you talking to?'' Nicco turned around and smiled at his son. ''Dead people.'' ''That's not funny, dad.'' ''No, sorry.'' ''Did I hear the 'phone just now?'' ''Yeah. It wasn't your mum.'' ''Who was it?'' ''Work, I think.'' ''You think?'' ''Yes, I think it was work but I know it wasn't your mother.'' ''Who wee you talking to? You weren't on the 'phone.'' ''I told you ...'' ''Dead people?'' ''Your grandmother.'' ''You're losing it, dad.'' ''When I was your age, whenever something bad would happen, I would always say; 'I wish' this or that hadn't happened. I would think how can I change this or is there something I can do to make this different. It was always 'I wish'. Your grandmother made up a poem and every time I would say 'I wish' she would trot out the poem.'' ''Be careful what you wish for?'' ''That's it.'' ''What were you wishing for?'' ''What?'' ''What were you wishing for that made you think of grandma, that made you talk to dead people?'' ''I just wished things could be different for you. I wished I could be different for you.'' ''Wishing won't change this, dad.'' ''I've just about figured that one out for myself.'' He looked down at his hands. ''But we have to figure some way of going forward, of moving on.'' ''But you said she might come back.'' ''And if she does then that will resolve things one way but if she doesn't, then we have to come to terms with what's happened and move on. We have to, son.'' Inspector Carol Lewin looked down at the documents. The passport was the most interesting. She opened it and looked inside. ''Bloody hell,'' she muttered as she examined it. ''Francesca Scolari.'' She shivered involuntarily. For three days they had wondered about the identy of the woman in the coma, had wanted to know who she was. Now they did know and it made her uncomfortable. She checked the DVLC record again. There was no doubt. The name, the address all the registered keeper's details for the Range Rover matched. She shivered again. I'm sitting on the bus, It's night but the lights make it not so bad. I'm going back. I'm going home. I want to go home. I love my husband and my beautiful son. I want to be with them more than I want to be alone. I feel stupid but it will change. I know I can make it right. If only I can wake up and not be on the bus.... ''Mum!'' Ben ran towards his mother and hugged her. ''I knew you'd come back.'' ''So did I darling. Where's daddy?'' ''I'm here.'' ''Oh, Nicco, I'm so sorry.'' Nicco held his wife and son in his arms. There was a wonderful feeling of warmth. ''Doesn't matter. We're all together and that's all that matters. We can sort it out now.'' ''Inspector, it's the hospital.'' She took the 'phone and listened to the words she half hoped she would hear. She had not been looking forward to having to face Mrs Scolari if she woke and tell her that her husband and son were dead. ''Thank you,'' she said eventually. ''I'll inform my team.'' She put the phone down and turned to the expectant faces. ''Erm that was the hospital. I'm afraid the RTA death toll has risen to four. Mrs Francesca Scolari, 'coma woman' died ten minutes ago and I believe that the Range Rover was driven by her husband and his passenger was their son, Benjamin. Thank you.''
Archived comments for Going back
orangedream on 28-01-2011
Going back
A good twist at the end, Chrissy, which I didn't see coming.

The dream sequence was something that was puzzling me, as intended I believe, which ultimately fell beautifully into place.

An enjoyable read. Thank you;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Hi Tina, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment and I'm genuinely pleased you enjoyed reading this.
When I submitted it I was going to put it in as a ghost story but a good many times I've been 'told off' about being too obvious and leading the reader too much so I thought just put it in as drama and let the rader come to their own conclusions. Glad you came to the right one:-)
chrissy


Two words of three letters (posted on: 06-09-10)
A poem I foind. I think I wrote it

Sympathize with her, how could he/ Sympathize with him, why should she? Look at me sitting in the middle like Solomon. Weigh each word cause him no offence give her none come forever time free me Understand me how could they? H as heaven and hell him to her, nothing her to him the same. Two nothings who, by their minus coming together should send each other in to their own oblivion or create a life me a positive from two negatives emerges Question Why? because the answer is perpetuation. Of pain? of hate? of not feeling? Correct
Archived comments for Two words of three letters
pdemitchell on 06-09-2010
Two words of three letters
Hi Chrissy - The joys of mediation when both partners revel in the conflict... a bit staccato in places but that reflected the tone of the subject matter well. I hope you did write it! H as heaven and hell/him to her, nothing/her to him the same - stands out. Yin and yin and more yin. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Hi Mitch
Many thanks for reading and commenting.
I think I must have written it years ago when I was a lot more angst-ridden than I am now.
The more I read it, the more it feels like mine.
chrissy

Ionicus on 07-09-2010
Two words of three letters
And a good find it was too, chrissy. As for authorship, it certainly bears your mark.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

sunken on 09-09-2010
Two words of three letters
Hello Chrissy. I remember you asking on the forums if anyone thought this might be someone else's. Or was it someone else who posted on the forums asking if anyone knew if Chrissy had wrote this or not...? I'm so confused. I blame Charmin changing the name of their luxury absorbent kitchen towel to Chargrin. I think I have that right. They should choose a name and stick to it. I swear they're done this before. I know Jif did it when they became Cif. Ahem. Sorry. A gem of a find and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n

inventor of the polar-neck jumper conversion kit

Author's Reply:

barenib on 09-09-2010
Two words of three letters
Chrissy, this is a bit like being the opposite of a gooseberry, but just as awkward - I've done some mediating in my time and this captures it very well. John.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 18-09-2010
Two words of three letters
Hi Chrissy. I reckon you wrote it, sounds like you and very good it is too. I just googled a few quotes from it and nothing but different assortments of the words came up. So it must be yours.
Daff

Author's Reply:


The Black Velvet Band (posted on: 16-07-10)
A story about a band.

The Black Velvet Band I've been over it so many times. My head is spinning with it. I'm torn in two different directions and just lately I'm falling apart. This is a young persons' business and I'm thirty years old. I've had ten years of this abnormality and I think that's enough. The trouble is once I get out on to that stage and see the people and I hear the music, I'm not sure I can live with out it. The life I think I want now is not the life I've prepared myself for. Sometimes I wish I'd been born a man and then the choice wouldn't be there, I wouldn't have to have one or the other. Men get both. I watched the other two and wonder if they really don't know what I'm thinking. They know there's something wrong, that I'm not 'right' I'm a terrible one at disguising my feelings. Joshua always says that, reckons he can read me like a book and I've known Mickey as long as I've known Josh and he's equally as intuitive. I'm not sure whether Kendra 'knows' anything. She has spoken to me about it but she has her own concerns. I think she is the one I feel most concerned about. She's so young; just a baby. She's the age now that I was when I started out when Mickey and Ailsa and me got together in a Belfast pub and decided that we were going to be a band. Poor little Kendra. Mickey won't look after her. Morals of a ferret on heat has Mickey and he only thinks about himself. I do love him, I love him dearly but sometimes I don't like him. He's selfish and mean and if she doesn't fit in with his ideas when I'm out of the picture, if I'm out of the picture, he'll just dump her. He struts in front of me, pulls a face, like a kid, to make me laugh and when I don't laugh he goes surly and mumbles something about it being the wrong time of the month. I want to hit him. Why do blokes always assume that? If you're moody or miserable it can't be because you've got life changing stuff going on in your head, no, it's got to be bloody hormonal. Joshua isn't like that. Josh is a gentleman, a lovely, wonderful man who makes me feel like a real woman with a real personality not some velvet clad tart with a voice like it came straight from a sixty a day habit, which my voice doesn't incidentally. I gave up the fags five years ago and I don't even pretend for publicity now. He's clever, Josh. He lectures at the university and he writes poetry. All right, Mickey writes poetry, good Lord, I write poetry but Josh is a lot better at than the two of us. He was our first groupie. He used to come to our gigs at the university. He told me once that it started off for the music, just the music and then he said it changed. He's thirty years older than me and that's part of the problem, always has been. He doesn't think he's a right to me. Silly old fart. Mickey comes back and starts playing his Mick Jagger in front of me. Kendra usually finds that funny but even she isn't laughing. There's a real feeling here tonight, a real depression. I feel like I've already told them. I'm a shallow bitch. It's probably nothing to do with me. Now I come to think of it, she's been off since we played Cardiff. I think it's a bloke. I saw her with him and he didn't look that prepossessing. Kendra's a replacement. We started out with me and Mickey and Ailsa but Ailsa got into drugs and one day she just went to sleep and didn't wake up. We blamed ourselves, I know I blamed my self so when Kendra came to us and especially with her being younger I've tended to be a bit over protective. That's how come I noticed this bloke. He's black, not West Indian, North Africa, I'd say, fine features, very black skin. He's good looking enough but I got a sense of him not being quite... Oh shite, I don't know. That's me over reacting again. I always see the dark side of things. We don't do the same things every show. We do rehearse, but sometimes we get ideas and we do them. Mickey's the really spontaneous one. He's always surprising and he's always brilliant. Tonight he wants to do a new song with Kendra and I'm OK with that. It's a brilliant song and it doesn't suit my voice. So, we're almost ready. Josh comes back stage which gets right up Mickey's nose but I don't care. Then we're on and it's like slow motion as we walk across the stage. The three of us all in black; Mickey with his knee high boots and his long black velvet coat and crisp white shirt and Kendra in her arse high skirt and her tight jacket, with her dark curly hair all over the place and me, flowing black dress my red hair all tumbling from the black velvet band. The lights hit us and the noise of the crowd and the magic happens. We play and we sing like this is the last night of the world and for me, I think it is, so I love it. You can always pick out some faces in the crowd. The ones standing close to the stage, you can pick out the little girls who would sell their mammies to sleep with Mickey. Daft little mots. The big lads below the stage keep them in their places with just a look I fancy I saw Josh, he always comes to the front, bless him and I'm certain I saw Kendra's bloke and he didn't look like he was there to enjoy himself but then the music takes over and we only see each other. The place could be empty and we wouldn't care because we're the only ones who matter. We slam it to them. We rock and roll, we sling our voices into so much stuff and I think the audience might go completely berserk when Mickey does his Rod Stewart. That man can make me laugh out loud sometimes. At some point, while I'm taking a drink and then playing the fiddle, Mickey and Kendra do his new song. It really gets them. He's holding her hands and looking directly into her eyes and it's like they're in love but only on the outside. On and on it goes and in my head I'm wondering if I can give this up, if I can be satisfied with just Josh. I've done this for so long and what the hell if we're yet another Irish folk-rock trio in a very crowded niche. We're good, we're the best we can be and I know that I can't stop this. We're close to the end and it starts sort of slowly, like a mumbling and then it's clear New York! New York! We pretend we can't hear them and then you just can't ignore it. Mickey and I walk to either end of the stage and we start. " It was Christmas Eve babe In the drunk tank An old man said to me, won't see another one And then he sang a song 'The Rare Old Mountain Dew' And I turned my face away And dreamed about you" We start to walk towards each other and eventually we're back in the middle of the stage. "You were handsome You were pretty Queen of New York City When the band finished playing They howled out for more Sinatra was swinging, All the drunks they were singing We kissed on a corner Then danced through the night The boys of the NYPD choir Were singing 'Galway Bay' And the bells were ringing Out for Christmas Day" It's going really well and then suddenly there's a bang and flash that isn't a camera and Mickey isn't singing any more; he's fallen down and he's lying on the stage. There's blood coming out of his mouth, staining his crisp white shirt scarlet, the lights are making his black velvet coat shine as the blood seeps into it. I bend to look down at Mickey and then into the audience and I see someone pointing. He's pointing at Kendra. I stand quickly and for no reason I can think of that isn't completely insane I get in front of her. There's another bang and a flash and a terrible pain in my neck. As I fall, I vaguely see the security men grabbing at some one, throwing them down on to the ground. I can see people getting onto the stage, people screaming and running around and Joshua in his black overcoat and Kendra mouthing something that I can't hear. I can taste the iron in my mouth feel the blood pumping up, choking me. Then it's black and I wonder when the light is going to come and I wonder too if I'll have the bottle to walk towards it. The light comes eventually but it isn't the light that I was expecting. There's no sainted granddad there to take my hand and lead me on to a better place of apple trees and kids in washing powder advert white, just a nurse looking like she might have come out of a war zone and then as my vision clears I can see Joshua standing at the end of the bed. He looks so old and tired and all I can think is; ''This is my fault.'' It's still in my head. I can't shift it Over the next few weeks I got more out of the Gardee than they got out of me. The shooter was a psycho who just happened to be Kendra's natural father. Don't I wish she would have shared that with me. Nobody quite knew why he did it. I suppose if you're crazy enough you don't need a reason and it doesn't matter anyway. It won't make Mickey any less dead or poor Kendra any less mentally damaged or me any less I don't know what I am. Reasons are for the perpetrators, to justify what they've done, for the investigators so they can tie everything up in neat little packages. They're not for the victims, the ones left when it's all done and dusted, we don't care why. I can't sing anymore but that doesn't matter that much. Josh and me are happy enough. I still wear my black velvet band only it's round my neck to cover up the scars.
Archived comments for The Black Velvet Band
pdemitchell on 16-07-2010
The Black Velvet Band
This was an excellent micro-drama that captured the maniac in the night club, The number of bands i was in, I got assaulted twice, having ten guys stomping you 'cause they didn't like the music is a bit of a downer. Excellent and poignant end. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Mitch, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Glad you enjoyed.
Chrissy

Gee on 16-07-2010
The Black Velvet Band
It's lovely to be able to read something new from you, Chrissy.
First of all, you really got into the character and made her come alive for me. You captured the thoughts, the atmosphere, everything, and the ending to the story was just right.
Lovely to see you again, especially with something like this.
Gee x


Author's Reply:
Gee, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the welcome back. I feel like I've been gone a long time.
I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
Thanks
chrissy

pombal on 17-07-2010
The Black Velvet Band
Hi chrissy - I enjoyed your story and the pace very much - I had to check that it wasnt a biographical story about the pogues - just shows how ignorant I am about music!

Author's Reply:
Hi pombal,
much thanks for stopping by to read and comment and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
No, not about the Pogues just poguish song. I love that song.
Regards
chrissy

Ionicus on 17-07-2010
The Black Velvet Band
A nice, gripping tale nicely crafted and deserving of the nib. Well done, Chrissy.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Hi, Luigi.
Thanks for reading and your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed the story.
chrissy

e-griff on 18-07-2010
The Black Velvet Band
this story has come a long way since I first saw it, and now hangs together really well. You capture interest and have the reader second guessing who the attacker is before you tell us. and ... you don't say too much, you credit the reader with intelligence to fill in the spaces throughout, and that too enlivens interest. That's why it works so well.

Congrats... 🙂

Author's Reply:
John, many thanks for taking the time to read and for your generous comments. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

sirat on 18-07-2010
The Black Velvet Band
Well, praise from Griff is hard to come by, so I hope it gives me permission to tell you the one or two things that I'm still not entirely happy with. I think I said the same things the first time you posted it.

I still think the logical structure would work better if it was in fact the new West African boyfriend who did the shooting, out of jealousy over what he considered too much friendliness between Kendra and Mickey when they stared into each other's eyes to sing the song. That would make some kind of sense. It still makes no sense to me that her natural father would suddenly turn up and start shooting band members. In fact you say 'The shooter was a psycho who just happened to be Kendra's natural father'. Do you really mean that? Is there no significance in the fact that he was her natural father? Are we to look for no motive whatsoever? You've laid the groundwork for the boyfriend doing the shooting (he looks a bit questionable, Kendra has been upset about something, she and Micky have just had an intimate-appearing moment on the stage, he's in the audience), and then you produce this other killer from nowhere like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. For me, this damages the structure of the story. I'm not saying that it couldn't happen, just that it isn't interesting from the narrative point of view. There is (according to your account) no human motivation involved. You could just as easily have had a stage light fall on top of the two of them, producing the same outcome. Random happenings don't make interesting stories. The diligent reader is left feeling let down – deliberately misled for no particular purpose.

Another slightly puzzling thing was when, as narrator, you said: All I can think is: “This is my fault.” Why would the narrator think it was her fault? What had she done wrong? She had actually shielded Kendra with her own body.

Finally, I'll repeat my point that there are opportunities for making the relationships between the three band members more complicated and more interesting. The narrator seems almost inhumanly well-disposed towards the young newcomer. Wouldn't it be more interesting if you introduced a bit of three-way sexual tension, vague feelings of jealousy and resentments on the part of each female of shows of closeness between the other two? Or even something more subtle? But at the moment all you've got is what comes over as dislike on the narrator's part towards Micky (coupled perhaps with some degree of professional admiration), and this striking protectiveness towards Kendra. I'd like to be able to understand and believe in the dynamics of the group more thoroughly. I find that aspect more interesting than the shooting, which as I have said is just a random event like a lightning strike.

Sorry if this seems negative. Obviously I'm greatly in the minority but I feel an obligation to say what I think, in the hope that it might have some small usefulness to you, as something to consider and probably reject. It's only because the other aspects of the story are so good that I think it's worth analysing in so much detail.

Finally, a couple of tiny technicalities: 'makes me feel like real woman' – missing indefinite article 'a'.

The sentence: 'I always see the dark side of things' comes just after you have mentioned that Kendra's boyfriend has very dark colouration. Because of this it jarred a bit with me.

I really do hope this is of some use.


Author's Reply:
Hi David.

Thanks for taking the trouble comment.

I think in the early draft the relationship with Kendra and her natural father was clearer, more spelled out than 'flagged', but cutting it the way I did, lost a lot of the exposition. By making him North African and indicating that Kendra was of what's the term, dual heritage, it was, in fact a lot clearer in the early drafts.

Also, the narrator's own relationship with Josh, would have led her to think that it would be normal for Kendra to have a relationship with an older man.

The narrator is protective of Kendra because she feels that she failed the original other girl in the band and because Kendra is very young.

She is not sexually attracted to Mickey because she doesn't like his 'wham bam thank you mam' attitude to women. I think that's pretty clear but in a way she loves him because he has contributed to her being able to make music so on that level adding any kind of sexual tension between the three of them would seem contrived and really I think if I complicated the relationships within the band, it would not be the story I wanted to write. That's not what the original story was about.

I think I wanted to show more of the complications within the narrator's own life.

I will ofcourse correct the typos (I thought I had. Shows how carefully I check things)

Thanks again,

chrissy

e-griff on 18-07-2010
The Black Velvet Band
everything can be improved, and I have no doubt that David's ideas could help. I must admit (maybe because of my knowledge of earlier drafts) that I thought it was her boyfriend so the pyschotic father was surprise. This may not be true for fresh readers, of course.

still a good story as it is IMO.

G

ps. I do praise stuff often (check my home page) It's just people (except the authors, I hope) don't notice it. Vultures!!!! 🙂

Author's Reply:


A portrait of Judith weeping (posted on: 08-03-10)
Out of the army for good due to injury in the closing stages of the first world war, Sol decides that he will paint his sister's portrait.

"A Portrait of Judith, weeping" My war was over, physically at least. For months after I finally got back to England, while they were still trying to save my legs, while I was still in hospital and surrounded by other soldiers from the front, I was still not home. My head still raged with the battles that I and the others had fought. It was only when I was discharged with one reasonable leg and such limited use in my left hand that I wouldn't be of any use to the army any more and was permitted to go to my family that my war finally ended. The absence of memory came gradually and then there was a day when the fighting wasn't the first thing I thought of and I decide that was the day I would start the portrait of my sister Judith, the portrait I had promised my parents when I first went up to Oxford what seemed a life time ago. She sat in father's high-backed chair in the library, her hair freshly washed and brushed, her clear clean skin looking a little pale but still dazzlingly beautiful. Mother had allowed her to wear the pearl necklace that Grandmother had insisted should not be worn until Judith turned eighteen. It was the summer that Judith turned sixteen. The dress she wore was grey silk and it suited her. Her friend Miriam had said that she should be holding a book, firstly to show off her hands which were long and elegant and secondly because it made her look 'studious'. Studious was the last thing my little sister was. "Are you comfortable?" I asked. "I really don't want you fidgeting." She fiddled with the book; it was Byron, poetry and I was certain she had never read it or had any intention of doing so. "You'll have to hold still for quite some time." "I really am quite comfortable, thank you. So long as you don't expect me to smile. I really don't think I can manage that at the moment." I started, pushing to the back of my mind the horrors of the trenches, the terrible sight of death, replacing it with the wood and the quiet garden beyond the window behind my sister's perfect form. I had been working for perhaps twenty minutes when she suddenly asked; "Do you believe in love, Sol?" Her question was so sudden and unexpected that my mind froze. I was completely at a loss. I fumbled for words. "Depends what you mean by love," I said, scratching away some blue paint I had only just applied so that I might appear too busy to bother with her question. "I mean," she said softly, "the quiet passion, the real thing, the only person in the world who could ever make you happy and sad at the same time. The only person you would willingly die for." "Steady on," I said. "Where on earth have you found all this?" She didn't answer and when I summoned enough courage to look at her, her head was bent and she was weeping. "Listen to me, Judith, when you have seen as many dead as I have -- and I hope and pray you never do -- then the word won't come so lightly to your lips. No-one dies for love, Judith, not in the real world." I returned to my painting, making angry marks on the canvas and wishing with all my heart that my sister wasn't such a silly thing and might understand that love and death, happiness and sadness don't belong in the same sentence. Eventually I asked; "Who is this young chap who has got you thinking so stupidly?" "Joshua," said in a very small voice, "and I...." "Joshua!" I exclaimed. "He's father's best friend. Hell's teeth girl, he's old enough to be your father. It's about time you grew up young lady. I hope to heaven you haven't said anything to him. Mother would be mortally embarrassed and so would I. Now you put this nonsense away and don't think of it anymore. Joshua! Goodness me. Falling in love with a man of what is he... he must be forty six at least." I heard her draw in her breath in a small, painful sob and then the rustle of the silk dress as she stood. "I didn't say that I was in love with Joshua." I looked up. "They were his words, not mine." Chrissy M-H
Archived comments for A portrait of Judith weeping
sunken on 09-03-2010
A portrait of Judith weeping
Hello Ms. Chrissy. I've not read much prose of late but I'm glad I started with this. The ending packs quite a punch and no mistake. Is it part of a series? I'm kinda left wanting more. This can only be a good thing.

s
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star bathing under lunar





Author's Reply:
Sunken, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment, I genuinely appreciate it.
There is no more to the story.
It was written two years ago to give one of the readers at a poetry and prose evening his full 'fifteen minutes of fame'.
I suppose I could extend it, add to it but I'm not sure I want to run the risk of being accused of being 'long winded'. We shall see.
Much thanks for commenting and I'm glad you enjoyed what you read.
chrissy

RedKite on 09-03-2010
A portrait of Judith weeping
A fine piece of verse and am glad to have taken the time to read it thanks Daniel

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daniel.
Are you sure you meant this comment for this piece? I don't think it could be classed as verse.
chrissy

pdemitchell on 09-03-2010
A portrait of Judith weeping
Hi chrissy - it's a cracking standalone piece well-paced and polished but it feels unfinished despite the little twist at the end. My great-grandfather died at the Somme but even on leave - my grandfather told me - he was appalled by middle-class women who would thrust white feathers into the hands of plainly wounded and shell-shocked men (they used to shoot men with post-truamatic stress for cowardice abck then). Oddly enough, the sense of smell would paralyse men with fear, where an odour recalls a gas attack, shell cordite, trenchfoot. Your hero seems quite composed and not prone to the violent mood-swings of the shell-shocked and the sister's sole source of knowledge of the war were the jongoistic rags of the time. See if you can dig up a copy and have her qoute it at him if you expand the work. if you do, I look forward to reading it - does he confront this villanous and lecherous Josh? We should be told! Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Mitch. many thanks for stopping by to read and comment.
As I said to Sunken, the piece was written as a sort of filler to give a reader a bit more to read. I have thought about expanding it possibly in to something quite a bit longer which would bring this upper-class Jewish family in to the start of world war two.
Thinking along those lines I might have Judith marry Joshua.
Worth thinking about.
chrissy

pdemitchell on 10-03-2010
A portrait of Judith weeping
Sounds like a good plot line... disabled war hero and the affluent Josh at loggerheads... remember well before the war we had the Daily Mail supporting Oswald Mosely and his brownshirts. Then in 1936 the Battle of Cable Street - where Moseley's fascists tried to march throught the Jewish areas in London and London rose up against them and fought the police as well - nearly half a million people took to the streets in a key moment in UK history as the Quislings were ready and anti-semitism was rife in London and the big cities.... a rich seam of plot tension methinks - what if Joshua or friends were Mosleyites? Just a thought. Mitch

Author's Reply:


The First Kiss (posted on: 26-02-10)
A short story.

The First Kiss I wasn't a Billy no mates, I won't have anyone believe that. There were four of us who had, shall I say, a limited number of friends. There was my self, Fergal Binchy who, like me, had an elder brother and a younger sister -- Bernadette I think her name was but she went to be a saint at the age of five -- Ryan Scutter who was English, well, Liverpudlian, but that wasn't his fault and the fat boy, Roger Bartlet, fresh from County Cork with more brains in his little fat fingers than we had in our three heads put together and who latched on to us like a virus because no one else could be bothered to see behind the layers of blubber or had the good sense to take on someone who could be useful with the school work. We didn't as such become a gang -- there were gangs enough around even in our sparsely populated area and they fought like demons at the slightest provocation. Lord help the Hill Street boy who met the Carrick Road lads or vice-versa for that matter but that kind of aggravation wasn't what drew us four together. We had similarities. Like me, Fergal was musical. He played the flute, I played piano and we both liked art as did Ryan despite being good at football, that's the Gaelic persuasion not the sissified game the English play and Roger, well Roger was Roger, a bit of an all rounder and something of a 'Renaisscence man' in his artistic accomplishments. We were all cracking on to manhood at a clattering pace and though we all talked the talk, mentioning no names but giving ourselves much adolescent pleasuring by recounting what we thought were sexually explicit and accurate accounts of what we had been up to with this or that girl, in truth, we were all virgins. When the truth came out as it inevitably had to during one of our long conversations that centred on the film stars we would like to shag, we all agreed that it was a shame for us and that things ought to change as soon as possible. We were none of us overly religious boys but the priests warnings about the danger to our physical and spiritual health of fiddling with ourselves was one of the few lessons we genuinely took to heart. It wasn't so much the displeasure of the Almighty that scared us shitless, it was the going blind and/or deaf, depending on which one of the fathers was slapping you around the head for even looking like you were thinking of giving yourself a pull, that worried us. For myself I had fashioned the ambition of being at the very least a piano tuner and whilst being blind in my chosen profession was considered something of an asset -- how many sighted piano tuners do you know -- being and/or deaf would have been seen as something of a draw back. So, on a rather sprightly, late spring afternoon, when we had all just finished double Latin, we met up at the Polish chippy, to discuss the meaning of life and our place as perpetual virgins in it. Ryan confessed to us at this time that he was perhaps not as virginal as the rest of us. He told us that at his old granddad's wake last summer, he had, at her inebriated invitation, touched his second cousin Maureen's tits. We took this confession under consideration and came to the conclusion that because of his close familial relationship with Maureen it was probably 'incest' and likely to earn him a long time in the slammer if not in this life then certainly in the next which meant interminable tortures in Purgatory and when he told us that she was ten years his senior that really set our minds at rest. He wasn't responsible in fact could, under certain circumstances, consider himself an abused child and so he was definitely included in our plans. And plans we made in abundance. They ranged from pooling our meagre pocket money to get to Dublin or some other big city and seeing if we could hire a prostitute a couple of minutes each, to kidnapping nuns and finally, as a mark of our desperation, to breaking into the female wing of the fever hospital and snogging all the delirious or comatose women we could get our gobs around. They were shite plans and we knew it and that made it worse. The problem was, we really didn't want to have that much to do with girls we just thought we should. We decided, eventually that we would limit our sexual exploits to snogging. It was safe, you couldn't pick up much more than a cold sore from mouth to mouth kissing and with your eyes shut, it didn't matter if the girl was as ugly as Mother Mercy. So, it was to be a snog and no extras. Apart from Ryan's second cousin Maureen who now resided in the United States and our mothers we had the sum total of one extant female relative between us and that was my sister Catherine. I was willing to rent her out but that left me without and I didn't like that idea. It was Roger who came up with the idea of the convent school some twelve miles from our own single sex establishment. Surely, he reasoned, there would be girls there who would be up for a bit of 'experimentation'. Lord help us, didn't the nuns keep 'em as close as their knickers, they would be gagging for it. Having decided up on our source of females, we had to come up with some way of getting at them. The nuns' security was as tight as, well, something very tight and we confessed ourselves practically defeated until Fergal had an idea. It seemed suddenly to descend upon him like a dove. He said he had been walking past Father Brian's office in the morning and he had seen a notice posted on the big bulletin board by father Crispin. Father Crispin was a new teacher, trained in an American seminary and very up to the minute, very modern for a priest, what Paul Simon or maybe Art Garfunkle would have called a radical priest. Anyway, according to Fergal, Father Crispin was seeking volunteers for a gardening project whereby he was going to redo the gardens at the convent of the Holy Cross. It struck us all immediately but it was Roger who articulated our common thoughts. ''It's a sign from Heaven,'' says he. ''Isn't that the very convent that has attached the school we were just speaking of, the very school which we have chosen to do our 'experimentation'?'' We all agreed it was the very convent and all put our hands together in silent prayer. Over the next week we refined our plan. Fergal and I drew up plans for the garden. We had both been there on retreat when we were ten and so we remembered the general look of the place. Roger, being clever and rather more into plants and horticulture than the rest of us drew up a list of plants, whilst Ryan applied pressure of a mental and physical kind on any boy who even vaguely looked like joining the project. By the Monday morning we had everything nailed down and Father Crispin had agreed that he would take us over there in the car on the Wednesday. That didn't give us a lot of time to finely tune the plan, we had no real idea how we were going to get the girls to kiss us or at least let us kiss them. I suppose we were all of the persuasion that something would occur to us. Wednesday dawned unseasonably hot. The sun, almost from its rise boiled down from a cruelly clear sky and as we loaded up the father's Morris car with tools and plants and ourselves, I was almost exhausted before we set off. I sat in the back with Ryan and Fergal, whilst Roger took the whole of the front passenger seat. With the blessing of Father Ignatius who said we were little saints for agreeing to give up the whole day for such a worthwhile cause and that the whole school should take a lesson from us, we were off, belting along the country lanes, scaring the cows and causing the dogs to bark and the farmers to curse until they saw that it was a priest driving when they took off their hats until we eventually reached our Nirvana. The Convent of the Holy Cross was an impressive building by any measure. It had been left to the Carmelite order by an old lady of some wealth and deep faith but, though the grounds and gardens had once been splendid, the old dear had neglected to leave the order the wherewithal to maintain the gardens as they should have been. Weeds choked the flower beds and the grotto that contained a fountain that was fashioned to look like three angels holding a golden bowl in their upstretched hands and an inset statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the ancient stone wall, was so overgrown with ivy that you would have thought Our Lord was ashamed of his mammy, to allow nature to take over like that. Us four boys unloaded the car whilst Father Crispin showed our detailed plans to the Mother Superior. Vaguely we heard her complimenting the art work and making approving noises at Roger's detailed list of plants that we were going to be putting in there. Then eventually we all started work. It was hot and sticky and the gnats and midges were torture. Father Crispin had thoughtfully supplied us all with straw hats and we worked like slaves to get the job done. Just before lunch time Roger and I, who were working to clear the ivy from the grotto and Fergal who was barrowing away the rubbish and barrowing in the plants and fresh compost to where Father Crispin and Ryan were digging, stopped for a moment to watch Ryan at his work. Father Crispin had gone inside for a moment or so to pray with the nuns and so Ryan was left to his own devices. He waited a few moments until a small group of almost grown girls came into viewing distance and then theatrically wiped his brow, put down his spade and stripped of his shirt and vest. I thought the young ladies would swoon away on the spot. A couple of them actually ran away but the remaining three were fully appreciative of Ryan's almost manly chest. We took bets. I thought maybe a minute; Fergal was a little more reserved and said girls like these wouldn't rush into things and Roger, ever the pessimist said that he thought either Father Crispin or one of the nuns would come along before Ryan could score. It took thirty seconds before first one and then the others came up and planted demure kisses on his sweat stained face and finally on his lips and then ran off, red faced and giggling. ''I was closest,'' I said and held me hand out for the penny bet. Of course, we three knew that that kind of showmanship would not work for us. We did not possess the animal appeal that Ryan did. We would have to resort to more devious means. Fergal was away transferring our ivy to the compost heap and it was just me and Roger doing the hard graft of stripping the ivy with small blunt knives and our four gloved hands. We had finished the fountain and had just started cutting away the clinging stuff from the feet of the BVM when suddenly, without a sound or warning, Roger collapsed in a red, twitching faint on the hard stone ground, narrowly missing smashing his head and emptying his brains in to three angels' bowl. ''Jesus God!'' I exclaimed before remembering where I was and who might be listening to me. We were out of the way in a remotish corner of the garden but as it turned out my call to the Lord had been answered. A girl of maybe thirteen or fourteen came running over to see what was amiss. I knelt down close by Roger's head, scrabbled for his hat which had exited his head when he fell, and started to fan his face. Just as I was about to cover his face to keep the burning hot sun from addling his brains completely I saw him wink. ''Did he just fall down?'' Asked the girl. ''He did,'' said I. ''Did he bang his head?'' ''He did.'' ''Can you tell is he breathing?'' I put my face close to Roger's. ''I'm not,'' he whispered. ''He's not,'' I said. The girl didn't hesitate. She came straight over, knelt down beside him and, pinching his chubby little nose between her fingers, proceeded to blow air in to his mouth. All right so it wasn't a proper kiss but it was the closest that Roger was going to get. ''Could I have a sip of water?'' Roger asked in a thin, reedy voice. ''Go and get him a drink of water and ask one of the sisters if they'll come,'' the girl commanded me and proceeded to cradle Roger's head while she soothed him. The crafty bugger, I thought as I ran to get water and the nun. I would have thought him much more than a bugger had I not been so aware of my location and the omnipresent listening ear. Roger had fallen with an awful thump and until the wink I'd thought his predicament genuine and was quite worried. I was angry with him for that and for getting his snog in before Fergal and me. Two nuns came to his rescue and they and the girl helped him away to the cool of the kitchen. Fergal arrived back from the composting and I told him what had happened. ''The crafty bas...'' He stopped himself. ''Well it's down to you and me then, so it is.'' We thought of a plan, a small plan but nicely formed and one which we thought might gain us at least as many snogs as Ryan. We would sell our favours, for charity of course or at least that's what we would say. The young ladies were moving out of their school for their afternoon recreation period and no less than four of them arrived at our little hideaway just as Fergal and I, heads turned away out of decency, were cutting away the ivy from the cold stone folds of the BVM's dress as it draped over her breasts. ''The sisters said you should have some lemonade,'' said one of the girls. We were stood on wooden chairs, the top of the Virgin's statue being beyond our reach and we almost fell down at the thought of young girls and lemonade. ''Is there any word on Roger?'' I asked, immediately establishing myself as the caring one. ''Sisters are putting cold compresses on his head and father says if he's not feeling right in half an hour or so he'll take yous all home.'' ''Oh, we'd better crack on with this then,'' said Fergal and I got the feeling that actually having the girls there, in the flesh so to speak, was putting him off our plan a bit but of course he was just padding out the role. ''There is just one thing before we get on with this.'' The girls were looking at us in a slightly puzzled way. They were not the shy stunners who had bestowed their favours on Ryan or even as good looking as Roger's 'saviouress' but they were passable enough and the words any and port and storm floated into my head. ''It's this way,'' Fergal continued. ''We're doin' this thing fer charity.'' ''Oh.'' ''We're actually selling kisses,'' said I. ''Fer charity. Fer the little black babies in Africa.'' God bless them. My little black babies were, in my opinion, a master stroke. What self respecting pubescent girl could resist little black babies? Especially in Africa where the mere donation of money and the receiving of a kiss from two not-so-bad looking lads would guarantee novenas of thanks for life without you having to do another thing for them? I noticed the change in their attitudes and I wondered to myself were we that terrible looking that we should cause such fear and then there was a voice from behind us, calm with just a hint of righteous indignation. ''Little black babies in Africa. Now there is a cause we should definitely support.'' Fergal and I whipped around swiping the hats from our heads as we did so and genuflected more out of fear than religious conviction. She was tall and thin and flanked by two 'heavies'. Nuns of such generous proportions as to have the look of the Sumo about them. ''And how much will charge for these ... Kisses?'' ''Sixpence, mother,'' we said together. ''Is that t'ripence each?'' We nodded. I wanted to say sixpence each but I knew I would have been pushing me luck. ''Well,'' she said. ''That seems a fair price.'' She snapped her fingers and one of her heavies produced two shiny silver t'ripenny bits which gave the lie to my conviction that nuns never carried money, then she drew Fergal and I to her and planted kisses on our fire red cheeks and pressed the coins into our sweating, shaking hands. They came thick and fast as if summoned by some unheard Angelus. Fat and thin, fair and foul, young and old and eight nuns and four girls later Fergal and I had the sum of six whole shillings and so much blood in our faces that we would both have collapsed like Roger had we not so feared the resuscitation. When we had done, pulled the final cobweb strewn tangle of green from the face of the statue and given all a firm brushing I gazed up at that serene countenance and thought to myself that she seemed to be smiling. Maybe she was just grateful to feel the sun on her face again or maybe she was amused by the sight of her daughters in Christ putting two Bolshie wee boys in their place. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and plumped for the sun on her face.
Archived comments for The First Kiss
e-griff on 26-02-2010
The First Kiss
sorry, Chrissie, this was too long for me. Try to keep it under 3,200 words, eh?

Author's Reply:
It is, unless your a weirdo who reads full stops, commas, spaces etc.
Thanks for your constructive comment.
chrissy that's with a y not ie.

e-griff on 26-02-2010
The First Kiss
oooh, dear .... 🙁

yes, I copied the text and did a word count , which is why I picked 3,200 of course. ... I've explained on the forum post. 🙂

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 26-02-2010
The First Kiss
Ha ha, serves them right. I liked this Chrissy. I think your portrayal of the boys behaviour was realistic.

ailsa

Author's Reply:
Ailsa, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm glad you liked the story. This wee boy has been inhabitting my head for a while now. I think he's a bit based on my male cousins, they were a bit roguish in a 'Just William' sort of way. He now has three stories.
I read this one at a poetry and prose evening last Friday and it got a good reception and a lot of laughs.
chrissy

e-griff on 27-02-2010
The First Kiss
Ah, they often say 'be careful what you wish for', young Chrissy. Here's my 'deep-pan' opinion as promised ... 🙂

This is an amusing and touching story, written from the point of view of a young Irish lad. Overall the plot is lightly humorous, no 'laugh out loud' moments, but several chuckles and wry observations.

The story starts slowly, with a lot of setting up – perhaps too much? We are told about the narrator and his friends (the gang) and given some background, all of this before we get into the actual plot. I wondered if much of it could be cut with no loss. The setting and the Irishness, and the motivation, are all in the main part of the story (which for me starts at ' It was Roger ...'). I'd cut all before.

From that point the story proceeds apace, fine, keeping up interest, amusing. However the style of writing is, in my opinion, slightly overlong and padded, and could be made much snappier without any loss of atmosphere or interest – in fact probably the opposite in the second case. Things don't have to be 'classically completed'. Readers have imagination – they can work things out, they don't need 'telling'.

Just a few examples of superfluous (IMO) words (in brackets):
'... ashamed of his mammy (to allow nature to take over like that)'
'... of plants (that were going to be putting in there)'
'... for charity of course (or at least that's what we would say)'
Also, too long sentences! I found one paragraph consisting of only one sentence of 99 words! Plus a few others ...

I didn't like the attempts at conveying accents – this is fraught with danger, because people hear accents differently, and odd spellings are also interpreted different ways, so it's really inadvisable. You CAN use certain known words as keys to tell readers what accent to 'hear ' the voices in – (eg in scots – it's a braw night! (NOT nicht)) but apart from these, it's best to use straight spelling. Ones I object to? : (me self, meself (?), t'ripence (horrible!) )

There seemed to be some lack of care in checking, I found – eg a number of typos (renascence, may (sighted), it's rise, demur, poses, I gave he the, and/or ) and words split up wrongly ( draw back, up on, where with all, up stretched, hide away). AIso, I think you need to examine your comma use. I found numerous places where comma pairs were not completed, and others where commas were needed, or where they were used unnecessarily.

With some editing and checking, I think you have a nice wee story here, which many will appreciate and chuckle at. I enjoyed it.

best, G


Author's Reply:
'Ah, they often say 'be careful what you wish for',' that sort of implies I was expecting something different and I wasn't.
I really can't even consider cutting that much of the story not even for online consumption. There is some really funny stuff in the first bit of the story and it does identify the boys and sets out their personalities, who they are and what they think about, expect from life.
Re the language I’m a bit torn. I write what comes into my head, the way it comes in to my head. This wee boy is talking about, telling us about his past from a future view point. It’s his voice.
I once remember reading a story on this site that had two teenage girls as characters and I found the dialogue between the two very stilted because it was so precise and correct and found myself thinking, ‘lassies that age wouldn’t talk like that to each other no matter how well educated they were. I mentioned this to the author (genuinely forget who it was) and he replied that that was the way he wrote.
I can’t do that. Who ever the character is that I’m writing about, they have to speak in their own voice.
Incidentally, until I started school, I thought that t’ripence was how you spelled three pence because that’s what my nain used to say.
But on the other hand I remember more recently Daffni asking me to read a piece by Kipling, something about an elephant serving with the British in India and that had been written in ‘joke Mick’ and whilst I had no problems reading it to myself, reading it out loud was almost impossible.
I have found the anaconda of a sentence that you pointed out and will certainly change that and will chop bits to see if I can make it more acceptable. I will also have a look at the typos and such that you pointed out. It was very sloppy of me.
Much thanks for reading and giving your opinion. Like I said on the forum, that is why I submit stuff.
chrissy

Bikerman on 27-02-2010
The First Kiss
Griff got in ahead of me here, but I agree with what he says. It is definitely too long (especially to read on a screen) and could easily be cut down. For example, in the set up:
...at that very same convent.
'It's a sign from heaven,' Roger said. And we all put our hands together in silent prayer.
Nothing is lost, except 50-odd unnecessary words.
It's enlightening that you mention 'Just William', because I thought it read like a children's story, which is fine if that is what you intended. It certainly wasn't unenjoyable.
Minor points: 'draw back' and 'where with all' should be drawback and wherewithall.

Author's Reply:
Bikerman, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
I will, as I said to griff, certainly go through the story again and correct errors but as for cutting great big chunks and it being 'too long' you'll have to let me be the judge of that, though I do agree for reading on-line it could be a bit cumbersome.
Like the other story about this little boy (The Piano) it was originally meant for radio so perhaps there is a bit of pruning to be done for its internet existence.
'It certainly wasn't unenjoyable.' This so reminded me of my late father. He was really verbally constipated when it came to paying compliments of any kind. His phrase was; 'There's nothing wrong with that.'
chrissy

e-griff on 27-02-2010
The First Kiss
okay, I'm popping back here to clarify, not go overthe same ground (I hope). When I crit a story, I print it out. I read once through, with a pen in my hand, noting technical problems and unclarities. I see how I feel about it. I then read through again, and if an unclarity goes, I check to see if it's maybe just me. If not, I keep the note. I also check out the action and the plot, etc.
I then go through a third time as I type out my comments on the computer, often filtering details out in the process.

When I referred to this story as too long - just to be clear, I didn't mean in an absolute sense (and it doesn't matter whether it's internet or print - it's the same thing) . I should have said, 'it is too long for what it is'. When you write a dramatic novel it is considered best to grab the reader's attention with a 'hook' and get the story started as soon as possible. Same for a story, I guess. If you wrote out the essential plot of this story, the first part of the writing would not feature in it, is what I was saying (Four Irish lads decide to get some experience of sex, so they hatch a plot to ....) , so it is really not important for the overall impact of your story, funny or not - and it is essentially 'tell'. If parts of the information given are that important, I'd say, well, drip the descriptions into the story as it goes. But for me, the boy's characters come out amply in the way they choose to get the kisses. That's the real interest, at least for me.

After reading first yesterday, I found that today I remembered the action parts, but honestly did not retain much of the opening descriptions, if I am honest, which is my other reason for saying cut it.

Anyway, more than enough from me, I shall say no more.

Author's Reply:

discopants on 01-03-2010
The First Kiss
Enjoyed this- it didn't strike me as being too long as I read it (or of being over 3000 words) and I particularly liked the opening paragraph setting the scene. If you were to snip the 'setting-up' of the story, then you could probably look at paras 2 and 3 but it's not essential for me- the rest of the opening sets up the 'action' and is a good source of amusement. Also had no problem with the dialogue/way the speech was written and, as said elsewhere, I think you've captured the way the boys would think and their innocence while trying not to be so innocent- for me, the equivalent action was taking up Ballroom dancing- it didn't last long, though!

Author's Reply:
discopants, many thanks for reading and commenting
I guess, as with everything, it's different strokes for different folks (if that's not horribly cliched).
When I read this a couple of weeks ago at our poetry and prose thing I logged the laughs and they were fairly constant throughout.
It's maybe not as funny as other stuff I've done and it certainly isn't nor was it meant to be fall on the floor funny.
When I write a story, I don't sit down and think of a plot and say let's do a story about that. The story is the words as they come in to my head, if that makes any sense.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

sirat on 05-03-2010
The First Kiss
I said in the forum I would have a look, but to be honest Griff has already said most of what I would want to say. Absolute length is not the issue here, it's the way the words are used, and I too found a lot of it long-winded and in need of a prune. Griff's remarks about commas and over-long sentences, incorrect connecting-up of composite words and the like are all very much to the point also. There is a good humourous core to this story that is worth preserving, but a lot of it is IMO unnecessary padding. I would see this as a first draft. Next you need to get clear on what that core is and cut out the rest. Putting down the words that come into your head (your description) is the starting point for a story – then the work begins!

The Irish writer that this brought to mind for me was Frank O'Connor. He too writes humorously from an adult perspective about his Irish childhood, and I think his technique is to do it all in a very 'dead-pan' way, without signalling which bits are supposed to be funny, like a good straight-faced stand-up comedian, and it works beautifully. Where I think this one goes wrong (and it's a very subtle point) is that it's too selfconsciously setting-up the funny incidents which take place between the other passages that aren't funny. The humour is spasmodic, not contained in the whole situation like O'Connor would do it, and it's somehow 'flagged'. I don't know if that's very helpful, but if you could take the whole thing very 'seriously' and let the reader see the ridiculous side of it for him/herself rather than the author signalling it I think that might work better.

Author's Reply:
David,
Thanks for reading and commenting.
I think I'm not going to cut too much from this. It wouldn't be me, it wouldn't be the way I write but thanks for taking the time and trouble.
Chrissy


Crazy (Revisited) (posted on: 19-10-09)
I can't say that this is a rewrite of the poem I submitted a while back because I don't remember all of the original and I haven't been back to have a look.It is, I suppose, revisiting the title and the feeling the original poem left behind.

Crazy (Revisited) Crazy is the stray dog who wags his tail at the boy with the hands full of sharp stones, the dumb cat who stops in the middle of the busy road. Crazy is the kid who thinks he can drive someone else's car, the little girl who thinks she has time to cross the railway track before the train comes. Crazy is the driver who has just one more for the road, the old woman who really believes her son will visit her today. Crazy is the beaten wife who believes he's sorry and won't do it again, the girl who thinks all daddies love their daughters that way. And crazy is me expecting interest from you.
Archived comments for Crazy (Revisited)
Bradene on 19-10-2009
Crazy (Revisited)
This rings very tue Chrissy. A nicely observed piece of poetry. hope you are well. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and comment and for the generous rating.
chrissy.

stormwolf on 19-10-2009
Crazy (Revisited)
So much covered in a very unique style.
Loved it. well done on the nib too.;-)
The last verse was perfect and the poem was both insighful and also sad in its own way too.
Alison


Author's Reply:
Alison, many thanks for stopping by and for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Ionicus on 20-10-2009
Crazy (Revisited)
Crazy is...anyone who doesn't appreciate this fine poem full of observation so true to life.
We all know a careless girl who crosses a railway line as the train is coming or a reckless drunk driver or the beaten wife who doesn't acknowledge the abuser.
A top write from beginning to the end.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Luigi, many thanks for reading and for your lovely comments and for your generous rating. Your interest is very much appreciated.
chrissy

Yutka on 21-10-2009
Crazy (Revisited)
a great picture of craziness, brilliantly observed

Yutka:)

Author's Reply:
Yutka, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and for your generous rating.
I am genuinely pleased you enjoyed it.
chrissy

sunken on 22-10-2009
Crazy (Revisited)
Whoops. Sorry I missed this, Chrissy. I blame water on the knee. Never again will I balance my coffee cup in such a precarious fashion. Enjoyed the piece. It leaves me wondering if perhaps we're all a little bit crazy. Well done on the nib and no mistake.

s
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k
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he'll post your letter for a small charge

Author's Reply:
Sunken,
very sorry for not replying before this.
Many thanks for reading and commenting, much appreciated.
A good cure for water on the knee is a tap on the leg.
TTFN
chrissy

macaby on 22-10-2009
Crazy (Revisited)
I like the way you have done this poem, perfect examples of some sad aspects of life. Good poem.
mac

Author's Reply:
mac.
sorry not to have replied befor now.
Many thanks for reading and commenting and I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

pdemitchell on 09-03-2010
Crazy (Revisited)
Dark and true - the reference to child abuse was particularly chilling but it left the last three lines short and a bit anticlamactic after something as visceral as a childhood being destroyed. I'd have ended it there. A strong 9/10 nevertheless. Excellent. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Mitch, many thanks for reading and commenting.
This was one of those poems that comes into the mind almost fully formed as it were. I was thinking about another poem I'd written a while back and this one happened.
chrissy


First Born (posted on: 12-10-09)
Sort of man against machine story when Man has mucked up the planet and the species and the machines try to fix it. It's quite long and by me so I don't expect many reads or many (if any) comments but I've paid me dues so I thought I'd submit it.

First Born Kyle hauled his tortured, distorted body across the badlands towards the tower. There was now only maybe half a klick between him and what the whole of his life so far had been heading towards. He felt the night eyes watching his every halting step as he picked his way between the mounds of debris towards the bright, shining sentinel of hope. During a second's pause he wondered if he had been right not to call an ambulance but he wasn't sick or injured just someone in terrible, terrifying pain. The mantra repeated in his head; more warriors die than breeders. He forced himself forward. A white search beam came from somewhere near the top of the tower and swept the badlands in a broad east west arch. Just ahead of Kyle, on the path between the high walls of some long dead building, a small figure scuttled out and across his path, swiftly followed by a larger figure. Kyle stopped. The second figure stopped. Their eyes met. "Don't go there, my brother." Kyle felt his arms move forward, protecting his distended belly. "Like I have a choice." "We all still have choices, my brother." "And I made mine, already." The figure nodded, briefly and disappeared into the darkness. Unsettled by the encounter, Kyle resumed his journey after a moment. If everyone did still have choices perhaps his choice to walk here had not been one of his better ones. The classes had told him that walking was good exercise and helped keep things in place before, during and after delivery but perhaps they hadn't meant this kind of cross country hike and perhaps they hadn't meant for such a journey to be undertaken so late on. He wondered if even now, he might call a Tommy Cab to take him the short distance he still had to go, then reflected that he didn't have precise co-ordinates and rejected the idea. He had been on his own thus far and would remain so to the end. His choice. More warriors die than breeders. And where do they die and when and how. On some forsaken chip of rock that no one wants to know about anymore; in very short order from disembarkation and in frightful agonies, alone all glory gone. A senseless waste. What Kyle had chosen though basically because he didn't want to die that distant, premature, solitary, painful and unmourned death, was at least constructive, added to the species legacy. At last he was bathed in the light from the shiny tower. There were just five steps up to the glass doors and each step felt like he was climbing a mountain. He fumbled in his jacket pocket for the key card he'd been given at his last class, found it and inserted it into the door lock. A nanosecond later the door hissed and slid open admitting Kyle to the reception area. An audio message told him to place the card in the desk reader and to have a pleasant stay. There were three droids on duty at the circular desk. Kyle went to the one directly in front of him. It seemed to be hooked into some other system, maybe downloading the latest brain destroying episode of Yabba Strass but as he pressed the card in to the reader, the droid sprang to life. "Welcome," it said and reading the card, "Kyle Demetrius, to birthing center five. Please take a moment to confirm your details. Name, Kyle Demetrius." "Yes." "Existence 22 years, Terran and 26 days, Terran." "Yes." "ID number 777485-6223." "Yes. Could you speed this up a little, please?" "Birthing plan solo." The other droids stopped their equally mind buggeringly boring downloads and swivelled round to look at him. He could imagine their metallic laughter when he was finally out of the way and he would have felt something quite close to shame, had not a physical pain, so searing and raw, robbed him of any other feelings. The droid continued. "Present address Sector 14, East. Building 27, Apartment 84." "Yes," Kyle said still breathless from the pain. "Do you think I could have a sip of water, please." Kyle could never work out why he was polite to machines, auto-communicators, ATMs, even Tommy Cabs, he had always said please and thank you. The droid looked at him. "Nil by mouth," it said. "And that's it? Nil by mouth? No, 'I'm sorry you can't have anything to eat or drink, sir'? Just nil by mouth. I guess I'm lucky you didn't condense it to initials. Agh God!" Kyle almost folded as another pain ripped through his insides. The droid seemed to wait until Kyle looked sufficiently recovered then continued. "Birthing pod number 555/73. Please take two pairs of clean coveralls from the receptacle to your right. Please take one birthing instruction interactive DVD from the receptacle to your left." Kyle did as he was told. "Please take a Medicaid kit from the second receptacle on your right." Again Kyle obeyed and prayed, silently, that all this would be over soon. "Please wait whilst a Tommy Chair takes you to elevator 10." For a couple of seconds Kyle stood where he was and then the Tommy Chair arrived and bumped into the back of his legs almost forcing him to sit down. "Hello," a second's pause while it read the card the droid inserted. "Kyle Demetrius. I am your chair number seven eighty two and I'm here to take you to .... Elevator 10. Please note, the safety strap is adjustable for your comfort.'' For once Kyle did not say thank you. Tommy Chairs it seemed, like Tommy Cabs were too familiar, but he was in too much pain to care about the mistakes in the manufacture of machines. He wanted this over and the very first thing he intended to do after his statuary three days recuperation was to get himself reassigned as a warrior. There was no way he was going through this again. The Tommy Chair took him to the elevator and then smoothly up to the floor his card requested and along the seemingly endless corridor to the door of the cylindrical birthing pod. ''Do you require any assistance?'' ''No,'' Kyle mumbled. ''I'll be just fine on my own.'' ''I could wait outside,'' said the chair. ''Whatever.'' Kyle inserted the card in to the door, it hissed and opened and just before it closed, he saw the chair plug itself in to a recharge station on the opposite wall. The room was clean and bright with a triple glazed window that showed what ever you programmed it to show. Kyle didn't bother with reprogramming, so it just showed him the real, dark, rainy night. Pain seized him and he rammed the pre-programmed card in to the receptacle. ''Please remove all your clothing and stand in front of the diagnostic,'' said a voice. He obeyed and was grateful there were no reflective surfaces. His body disgusted him. ''Please put on the first coveralls,'' the voice said after a moment and again Kyle obeyed and the voice immediately told him to position himself on the delivery couch. For a moment he wondered if there were real people somewhere watching him but he didn't think that was the case. That was why he had chosen this tower and the solo plan. He didn't want people around and this, all of this was high end automation. He lay down on the clean white couch and waited for instructions. There was a gap in the coveralls that exposed his belly. He could see it moving and when he looked up at the monitor which was just above his feet, he could see his belly moving there too. He knew that the whole procedure would be bloodless and painless. Just as soon as he plugged himself in to the analgesic, he would be able to cut through his own tissue and deliver the baby and then he would be able to seal the wound and that would be the job done. Nothing more to it than that. Quickly he placed the analgesic dispenser line in to the cannula in the back of his neck. Soon, and he was a little surprised by how soon, there was no more pain. He put in the DVD, skipped the advertising intro and then very carefully watched and obeyed. There was really nothing to it. The machines did it all. First they scanned to see exactly where the baby was and then, with just a little help from the human they were operating on, the laser scalpel made a clean, bloodless incision through exactly the right amount of tissue, the sterile spreaders dropped down from their pods and stretched the incision to exactly the right width to allow for the extraction and that was really all the human had to do, reach into the wound and extract and at that moment, that first second of contact with the thing that had shared his body for the last, he couldn't think, however long it was, but that contact even through the sterile plastic gloves, changed everything for ever. The baby, his baby, his infant son was real. He was warm, Kyle could feel his heart beating, the softness of his skin. Kyle laid his son belly down on his own chest and marvelled. The machines were telling him to; ''Place the infant in the receptacle provided.'' Kyle told them to go fuck themselves and had a moment of deep humour imagining them doing that and then the DVD spluttered to blue screen and Kyle swore. He had only the vaguest idea of how to close the wound and now he felt very afraid indeed. ''Why is this happening?'' He asked and was concerned by how small and needy his voice sounded. The machines told him again to place the infant in the receptacle provided and for the first time since he had embarked on his life as a breeder, Kyle questioned. ''What happens if I do? What happens to the baby?'' There was, of course no answer. You did not question the machines. At the classes people had questioned then, expressed their fears and they had been reassured by stock answers. Even Kyle had been reassured but he could not now remember anyone ever asking about the children. He touched the child's head. It moved. Why were there no clothes for the baby, no diaper, nothing even to wrap it in? The infant receptacle was to his right; a clear plastic dish that when he touched it, vibrated slightly as if preparing to disappear back into the side of the pod from which it came. Kyle made a decision. If the DVD player did not right itself in ten seconds, he would have to fly completely solo, close the wound the best way he could and leave with his child. He had no idea of the consequences of such an act but they had left him with no choice. He watched the screen and counted. Ten. The machines repeated the request that the infant be placed in the receptacle. Eight. The screen remained blue. Six. The request again in the same flat monotone. Four. Kyle noticed with alarm that the analgesic seemed to be losing its potency. He was starting to feeling uncomfortable. Three. He opened the Medicaid pack and withdrew the two clear plastic vials. One contained a mud coloured fluid labelled regeno-som and the other a clear fluid labelled dermo-gen. Inside outside. Pot luck as to which was which. One. Kyle broke open the mud coloured regeno-som and spread the fluid on to the inner part of the wound in his belly. It set quickly and he could actually feel it drawing together the edges of his muscles and internal tissue. The machine kept on repeating its request and Kyle noted with some satisfaction that it now sounded a little testy. ''You don't give me the information I want, I don't give you jack shit.'' He snapped open the dermo-gen vial and ran the fluid along his skin on both sides of the incision. There was a searing pain and Kyle wondered if perhaps he had made another wrong choice but it passed and he could see that the incision was now closed. A thought crossed his mind. If the machines had discontinued the analgesic what might they replace it with? He carefully removed the line from the cannula in his neck and stuck a pad from the Medicaid kit over it. Later, he would see if he could remove without killing himself, for now it could remain where it was. Holding his child close, he got off the couch and stood, unsteadily for a few seconds and then the dizziness and discomfort passed and he was able to continue. He had no idea what would happen if he put the baby down on any of the surfaces in the pod so he kept it close with one arm as he pulled on the clean coveralls changing arms and keeping the child as close to him as he could. Nothing was now more important to Kyle Demitrius than this tiny life that he had brought into existence. He struggled into his clothes which didn't seem to want to fit over the two pairs of paper coveralls even though they had been comfortable when his belly was three times its size and wondered if he would be able to get out. He still felt fairly certain that there were no people in charge here, that it was him against the machines and he wondered if he had the wit to outsmart them. The machines had now stopped asking for the child and seemed intent on shutting down the systems as fast as they could. Kyle took a chance and opened the door. After a second or twos delay, it obeyed him and slowly hissed open. What he expected outside the door, he didn't rally know but there was nothing, no army of droids waiting to snatch away his precious infant nothing but the Tommy Chair still plugged into the recharge station where he had last seen it. He made his way over to it and sat in it. The chair immediately unplugged itself and started to move even before Kyle had the safety strap done up. ''Take me down to reception,'' Kyle said, ''I'm done here.'' ''My analysis shows that your weight has not decreased. Are you certain that the birthing process is over?'' ''Yes, I am certain now just get me the fuck out of here.'' The chair took him to the elevator and on the brief journey down, Kyle examined his situation. If the chair could check his body weight and determine that he still had the child, how much better would the building do. It was why he had chosen the place because he had not wanted, nor did he want, other humans to be involved but what if all that automation, that had seemed so essential, wouldn't let him out of the building. He felt the child move against his chest and decided that he had to try. Maybe the stories weren't true, maybe the babies did just go to automated nurseries but he couldn't be sure. They had reached the ground floor and there was no more time to think, no more time to change his mind. The elevator door hissed open and the chair took him down the long corridor to the reception desk. All the droids seemed occupied with other tasks so Kyle inserted his pre-programmed card and waited only a few seconds before instructing the chair to carry on. No metallic voice called him back, the chair didn't suddenly stop and lock him in with the safety belt. At the doors he fumbled in his pockets for the exit key, found it in the last pocket he looked in and, getting out of the chair, inserted it in the door lock. The lock began to flash red but outside, someone had keyed themselves in. Kyle moved quickly to the opening door as the new breeder with his group of friends and helpers entered. He took a deep breath of cold night air. A quick look behind him showed the exit door still closed, the lock still flashing and the Tommy Chair still waiting to be dismissed. From inside the building came the faint sound of an alarm. ''Don't wait for them to come get you,'' said a man standing at the bottom of the steps. ''Come with me.'' Kyle obeyed because he couldn't think of anything else to do and followed the man out to the badlands. He had watched as they fed, washed and dressed the child and then laid him down very carefully in a plastic cot that could have been the salad drawer from an old refridgerator then he had listened as they had talked for hours in the comfortable room beneath one of the dead buildings. They told him the history he remembered from school, talked about the wars and the damage that humans had done to their home and their species and how the machines had come up with the solutions; moving the wars off planet, altering males so that they could incubate babies, when the plague took the females, to perpetuate the species until they, the machines, could come up with a better way, and Kyle realised that though he knew all this, he had never used his knowledge to take him the next rational step to working out how the providers fed everyone on a planet where still nothing grew and no animals survived. The man who had brought him and his child to this place and said his name was Vincent offered him food but after what they had said about what happened to the first born, Kyle was reluctant. ''Don't be crazy,'' said Vincent. ''It's vegetable matter. We grow it here. Do you honestly think that the providers would dump 'rations' out here for us.'' ''I'm finding this very hard.'' ''We all did. We all thought it was just stories and then someone got video of it actually happening and those of us who saw it ...'' ''You saw it?'' ''Yes. Look it's like when humans used to have cattle, always the first born calf would go in to the food chain. It didn't matter if it was male or a female, it was judged not good enough to be a breeding animal.'' ''And that is how the machines think of us.'' ''We built them that way.'' ''Why?'' Vincent looked at him. ''I dunno. It's just the way things worked out.'' He paused and looked down at the plate of food on Kyle's lap. ''You really should eat that. You need food to survive and you need to survive if not for the species sake or your own, then for his.'' Kyle looked at the child, his child, sleeping soundly in this strange world and then picked up the spoon and started, slowly to eat.
Archived comments for First Born
Hornygoloch on 14-10-2009
First Born
I'm not a huge fan of science fiction but I was fascinated by the detail and coherence of the story. The cold politeness of the machines was effective in raising the tension of the piece but I feel that perhaps Kyle's escape from the tower was a little easy. There are some parallels with the film "Soylent Green" for those old eough to remember it but never the less this was worth a read.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and comment. It is much appreciated.
I agree the ending is a little 'in a leap and a bound he was free'. In the original story, which is way too long to post here, there was a more detailed and slightly more sinister escape but as I say it was too long and I wanted to post here because I wanted to see what people thought of the story.
The story had many influences; 'Soylent Green' being one, though that was the other end of the age scale. Did you know that was the last movie Edward G Robinson made?
I'm a great sci-fi fan and I love the Man causing his own downfall scenario.
Once again, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the rating.
chrissy


Breaking free (posted on: 31-08-09)
A poem about a woman who's had enough

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm no one's mother, I'm no one's wife. I'm starting again from scratch! For most of my life I've been forced to share with husband and children who don't even care for a woman losing the plot. I've saved all my pennies I've stashed all my pounds I'm kicking the traces by doing the rounds of night clubs and seedy bars. I'll dance round my hand bag I'll shout and I'll sing as loud as I like and it won't mean a thing because nobody knows me. So, tonight is the night I will lift up the latch take final leave of those I can not despatch I'll start again, from scratch!
Archived comments for Breaking free
e-griff on 01-09-2009
Breaking free
good luck to you girl! nice evocation of a free spirit ... bounces along and makes you smile - a bit Pam Ayresey

I'm not sure about the exclamation marks

How about taking the 'again' out of the last line of the first verse - IMO it would make it a bit smoother.

the only line I had any real trouble with was:

of those I can not despatch

changing it to: '... of those I can't despatch' is a bit better, but the stress is still tending to 'those' when it should be on 'I' as far as I can see.

best JohnG

Author's Reply:
So, tonight is the night
I'm lifting the latch
taking my leave
of those I can't despatch
I'm start again, from scratch.

Is that any better?
Chrissy

e-griff on 01-09-2009
Breaking free
naw, my suggestion was crap! 🙂

this is one of these situations that we both know where the poet reads it right (and would do so in public) but off-page the reader doesn't know how the poet is reading it.

I just had a thought - you may not like the words (and you should be happy with anything in your poem), but for me the problem would be removed by this:

So, tonight is the night
I will lift up the latch
*leaving behind
those that I can't despatch*
I'll start again, from scratch!

the last line misses a beat, but the caesura created by the comma substitutes it. The word 'maybe' could be inserted before for to give a smooth rhythm, but I'm not suggesting that, just holding it up as an explanatory exercise. You might want to put in an ellipsis instead just to make sure.

best JohnG



Author's Reply:
I think I'll leave it as it is, thanks. I think it gets the point over quite well; she can't get her family out of her life so she's getting out of their lives. I'll let you know how it goes down being read by me in public on the 15th.
Much thanks for your interest.
Chrissy

sunken on 03-09-2009
Breaking free
Hello Ms. Chrissy. There must be so many women who'd identify with this. Sadly, it seems, none of the ukanettes. Perhaps, unlike your good self, it's something they can't admit to in public (-; Very well written, in my sunky opinion. It belts along like a high speed train and no mistake.

s
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they met by a skip full of dead chickens, she wore denim, he wore her out

Author's Reply:
Sunken, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You always do and your comments are always very entertaining and very welcome.
Chrissy

pdemitchell on 04-04-2010
Breaking free
Hi. Enjoyable stuff but the last stanza did misfire on the tempo when compared to the preceding ones as the syllable counts varied and the last but one line 'stuck' for me - 'despatch' falls dead for some reason. Enjoyable though! Mitch --- maybe repeating the end line from stanza one gives is circular closure.

So, tonight is the night
I'll lift up the latch
I'm taking my leave
of an ill-favoured match
and starting again, from scratch!

Still not quite right but I hope it helps. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:


In the blink of an eye (posted on: 31-08-09)
A little poem about time passing

In the blink of an eye time passes. worlds collide, disintegrate, disappear. Leaving only dust. And who's to say it was worth it or not. feelings. thoughts, memories go, In the blink of an eye.
Archived comments for In the blink of an eye
Zoya on 31-08-2009
In the blink of an eye
You are so right, especially if there are accidents, explosions, natural disasters, the world really comes to a stand still or changes irreversibly- in that one blink!
Thought provoking stuff!
Though I would have loved to elaborate on it...
I think you have inspired me to write something about, what all can happen in the blink of an eye... hmm... interesting!
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:
Zoya, many thanks for taking the time to read and for your comments. Much appreciated.
Chrissy

sunken on 01-09-2009
In the blink of an eye
Hello Ms. Chrissy. This is a classy little write and no mistake. Deserves to be nibbed. Perhaps you should change the genre to 'prose' as the nibbers seem to be ignoring poems at the moment. Disgraceful behaviour! At least we have Bernard. Ahem. They can shove their nibs up their editorial arses. Good day! Hello? (-;

s
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Author's Reply:
Sunken,
many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this and much thanks for the Bernard, truly appreciated.
As for nibs in arses, sounds a bit painful to me.
Chrissy

e-griff on 01-09-2009
In the blink of an eye
nice simple poem.

how about moving 'go' to the beginning of the last line? 🙂

Author's Reply:
Why?

stormwolf on 01-09-2009
In the blink of an eye
Indeed.
The whole mystery of life and death..in a few lines,
enjoyed.
Alison

Author's Reply:
Alison, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
Chrissy

wfgray on 09-09-2009
In the blink of an eye
Hi Chrissy, a nice write. The blink of an eye opens and closes on life each day, We all experience it. Will

Author's Reply:
Will, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment, much appreciated.
Chrissy

e-griff on 09-09-2009
In the blink of an eye
because you have a list of three things that 'go in the blink of an eye' 🙂

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 12-09-2009
In the blink of an eye
Hi Chrissy,

Yes, indeed, many a lives are lived between blinks. We need to live in the moment and keep our eyes open.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Sorry, only just found your comment. I don't normally ignore people.
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and you are right, we do need to keep our eyes wide open.
chrissy


Gerard (posted on: 13-07-09)
This story is one of three monologues that make up the first story 'End Games' in my third collection of short stories of that title.

Gerard Land of mountains and cuckoo clocks and the Swiss Army penknife. For a long time I didn't understand that. Why would the Swiss need an army when they're neutral? And why would that army need such a special penknife. I'm not sure I get it even now. But there you are, that's life and it's a bit late now to start worrying about stuff like that. I was thinking, just now when Marion left, this would have been a great place for a holiday. I mean it has the reputation for being very clean, beautiful, astounding scenery so I'm told. I wonder why we never came here. We've been almost everywhere else in Europe. Oh, I've been everywhere, man, I've been everywhere, man. Of trouble I've had my share, man. I've been everywhere. Lonnie Donegan. I can see his face now. Smiling as he's singing, I can hear that nasal voice. How amazing is that. They say everyone's life has its own sound track. I suppose Lonny is part of my sound track. Fifteen things to think about before you die. Mountains, cuckoo clocks, Swiss Army penknives and Lonny Donnigan. I remember Christmases best. Our very first Christmas in Carreg Ddu. Dear Heaven, we worked so hard on that place. Two years hard labour. Well, nearer a year for me because I didn't retire till December eighty nine. It was such a big house. Why the hell did we choose such a big house? Simple answer is because we fell in love with it. I don't think there was a floor in that house that didn't have at least one hole and one room had no floor at all. But we worked our arses off and we made it our home and that first Christmas when Marion had finished the barn... Oh Lord I remember that so clearly. I'd been coming up on the weekends and she'd been so protective of what she was doing. She made me promise that I would not go in there until it was done. I kept my promise. Of course you could see the changes from the outside, if you picked your way through the scaffolding and the blue plastic sheets. But I never went inside until she was ready. I was due home on 21st, the Thursday but something cropped up, some last minute thing before I said my final farewell to London, so I decided to travel on the Friday instead. When I rang her on the Thursday morning to tell her I was a bit put out by the relief in her voice. It was only later that she told me how close she'd cut things. She desperately wanted to have the Christmas tree there. The barn was well, a typical 'barn conversion' stuck on the end of the house, one big room with a mezzanine, they call it don't they and she wanted the Christmas tree to be in there. She'd been up to the Forestry and chosen the tree and they had told her they would definitely deliver it on the Wednesday, but of course they didn't. It didn't come till the Thursday morning. I will never forget that Friday. Marion was like a child. She made me close my eyes and led me by the hand into her barn. The smell of pine, the oh so delicate decorations, Victorian, beautiful. Everything was perfect that year. ''Are you asleep, Gerard.'' ''No, no I was just thinking. It's ...'' ''Catherine.'' Her voice is soft, French. I feel her hand touch my wrist. ''You're very cold. Are you in pain?'' ''I'm always in pain and before you ask, no the pain relief is not helping.'' ''I'm sorry. We should really take some time to talk but if you're not ....'' ''I can still talk. There may be times when I'm not making a great deal of sense, that's the tumour talking, but I'm more or less able to talk rationally.'' I sense that she sits down in the chair next to my bed. This monster inside my head long ago robbed me of my sight but it's true that your other senses compensate. I feel the displacement of the air as she moves from me to the chair. ''Is the pain worse today than it was yesterday?'' Her voice sounds a little tired. ''I find it hard to differentiate. Pain is pain and when it's constant, it all tends to blur into one. I'm sorry.'' ''It is I who should apologise. It was a stupid question.'' ''But one you felt you had to ask anyway.'' ''Yes. Is there anything you would like to tell me? Ask me?'' ''A hundred and one things, none of which I can remember at the moment.'' I think hard about what I'm going to say next because I don't want to sound belligerent or angry. What ever the circumstances, this is nothing really to do with her but I need her to know exactly how I feel. A movement she makes, I hear the faint rustle of her clothing, get an extra sense of her deodorant as she moves her arms and I think she might be standing up, getting ready to leave because she believes that there is nothing I want to say to her yet. ''You, I don't know but I assume, have done all this before. I have not.'' She settles back in her chair and I feel her lean forward a bit. Is she trying to indicate that she's paying extra attention. ''Of course,'' she says softly. ''Have you seen many people die?'' ''Too many,'' she says and her voice is flat, like she can't be bothered to put feeling in to it. ''I am thirty two years old, Gerard and until Spring of this year, I worked for Medicine Sans Frontier. That is what I mean by too many.'' ''You mean in horrible circumstances.'' ''Of course.'' ''But you can't tell me what it's like to die, what happens inside the dying person's head when they die.'' ''I can tell you more or less the physical side of death but you are right, I can't tell you what goes through a dying person's mind.'' ''What if the brain is active while the body is shutting down? You see my dear, that is what frightens me about dying. What if my last thought is; My God, I wish I hadn't done this.'' ''Do you believe in God?'' No one has asked me that question in years. Marion, when we first met, what is now, twenty years ago, might have asked me. It was the sort of question she would ask. Do you smoke? Do you drink? Are you married? Do you believe in God? That was the sort of thing Marion would have asked. She was twenty when we got married I was forty two. Nobody gave us much of a chance but twenty years on she's still my wife and I can't remember if she asked or how I answered. ''As an insurance policy,'' I tell Catherine and when she speaks I can hear the smile in her voice. ''A bit like a lot of people.'' ''I question why God would let someone suffer like this but then I think maybe He doesn't have time to bother that much with the drones and then I think, but God is supposed to be omnipotent, He has time for everything. Time is the one thing the old fella has a lot of. So I rationalise. I say that if God exists, He surely couldn't bear to see even one of His creations suffering and therefore He either doesn't exist or is such an uncaring God that He's not worth believing in anyway.'' ''Very rational.'' ''For a man with a tumour the size of a hen's egg in his head. Do you? Believe in God, I mean?'' ''No.'' She says it simply, immediately and I find myself wondering if she has ever believed or if some big trauma, maybe in some war torn city robbed her of her belief. I don't ask. ''If I did, truly believe, I mean if I was absolutely certain, I couldn't do this, could I?'' I say and bring myself back to the centre of my own concerns. ''Why not?'' ''Because God would judge me, slam the door shut in my face as soon as I got there.'' ''But what if there was a god and he was a different god, a god more given to understanding the human condition, a more forgiving god.'' ''You have a point,'' I say and then try to tell her that my understanding of God comes directly from the Old Testament and certain Charlton Heston films and my God is a vengeful and a jealous God who does not take so kindly to his role being usurped by mere mortals who can't take any more but it all turns into the bollocks gibberish of a seizure and all my cleverness is lost and, when I can make sense of things again, all I'm getting from Catherine is pity. I have been here for two days and Marion has hardly left my side except when Catherine comes to examine me. They don't seem at all concerned that I'm taking up a room that someone else might have need of it. It wouldn't be like this at home but then, I couldn't be doing this at home. And thinking of home even tangentially, I suddenly know that this is not for me. I ask to speak to Catherine. I can tell from the way she moves that she knows what I'm going to say but I say it anyway. ''I've changed my mind.'' ''D'accord.'' Her one word response confirms that she knew. ''Do you think I'm being selfish? Inflicting this on Marion?'' ''If your reason for coming here was only to negate the suffering of others then you would be here for the wrong reason anyway. This has to be only to do with you Gerard. Forget Marion, forget me, forget even god, think only of what you need.'' ''I need to be at home. I need it to be Christmas and the decorations on the tree and I need to smell the pine and feel the stone and hear the snow falling making everything quiet even my soul and then I need to die.'' ''You are very brave man, Gerard.'' ''Am I? I feel like a selfish coward. I feel wrong for tying my wife to Lord knows how long with a blind, screaming, gibbering idiot who isn't even an echo of what he was.'' ''But you will face that and that is what makes you brave.'' On the 25th of December 2009, Gerard Morely died at his home in his beloved Wales, with his wife Marion holding his hand. It was snowing.
Archived comments for Gerard
e-griff on 13-07-2009
Gerard
classy writing, moving and scary. to tell you the truth, I got it before the end was revealed, as perhaps you meant us to with the reference to Switzerland. You could take that out, of course and see what happened. It might get more powerful if the reader wasn't guessing ahead (I'm always saying engage a reader make them guess etc, involve them, but here I think I was thinking 'hey, it's one of those clinics in Switzerland, aren't I clever' when I should have been worrying and guessing about him (if you see what I mean))

couple of small things - if you keep Switzerland in, I think you should signal the opening sentence is a quote - with quote marks or italics. and you misspelled Lonnie Donegan - SHAME on you!

best JohnG

Author's Reply:
John, much thanks for reading and commenting.
I think I wanted the story to be more about then end, about him thinking about what he was doing and coming to a different decision.
We really only ever hear about the people who go through with it, I wanted to write something that examined the process more than the actions.
Very sorry about Lonnie Donegan, SHAME on me indeed. I shall put it right with the "land of mountains cuckoo clocks" etc.
Much thanks.
Chrissy

Sunken on 15-07-2009
Gerard
Excellent stuff, Ms. Chrissy. It's hard to believe that it's only had one comment so far. Well done on the nib. Commiserations on the Bernard (-;

One typo (I think)

“It I who should apologise. It was a stupid question.”

Very much enjoyed the read and no mistake. I couldn't help but wonder if it was true?

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Author's Reply:
Sunken,
Many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm a rather elderly lady and a bit cynical so nothing much in life surprises or disappoints me these days.
If 30 or so people have actually read it - not just clicked on it and buggered off again - and only two people can be arsed to make a comment, then that's up to them.
It does make me wonder a bit why I bother submitting but I pay me dues so I might aswell keep on subbing.
Will look at the typo.
Thanks for the Bernard a much treasured award.
chrissy

Ionicus on 16-07-2009
Gerard
Dear Chrissy, I can't speak for the 30 or so people who might have clicked on this and buggered off, but sometimes people have nothing constructive to say or feel that a story or a poem has hit the right note and comments are superfluous.
In other words their silence may signify a tacit approval. You shouldn't take it personally. Having read your monologue I too find myself lost for words of wisdom and can simply praise you for the excellent writing. The fact that it was awarded a 'Great Read' nib should convince you of its worth.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Luigi,
many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
'In other words their silence may signify a tacit approval.'
I suppose I could put that interpretation on it but aren't the comments what we submit our work for? If I just wanted it out there for people to read, I could shove it up on my own website and hope that other people read it.
I can't be the only person on the site who wants other people's opinions of what they've written whether that's a simple 'This worked/didn't work for me' or a detailed critique of the work picking up errors or typos or whatever.
I'm not arrogant enough to put my work up on the site and say that if you read it I'll assume you love it. I want to know what people think of what I do or why bother to submit?
Much thanks again.
chrissy

RoyBateman on 17-07-2009
Gerard
Well, that nib was certainly deserved. I too realised what might be going on, as a similar story made the news this week. That didn't, however, detract in any way from the power of the ending, as I didn't see his change of heart coming anyway. You cover so many bases with this one: not only the vexed concept of assisted suicide, but also the nature of bravery. I'm not sure that I could define that...maybe none of us can. An excellent, thoughtful piece - and I wouldn't give a monkey's about how many reads or comments it gets - I'm surprised one way or the other every time I sub. If you're happy with it, stuff 'em all. Anyway, I was too...

Author's Reply:
Roy, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Suicide, whether assisted or not, was once called the coward's way out. I've never thought that. There are so many reason why people choose to end their lives and I think not wanting to inflict your own suffering on those you love is perhaps the saddest reason in that it seems selfless but is actually quite selfish because you are denying those you love the chance to show how much they love you.
Human relationships are complicated and when it comes to matters of life and death they get very complicated indeed.
I'm glad you enjoyed this and took the time to comment and tell me that.
Much thanks
chrissy


Just Talking (posted on: 23-03-09)
A story about communication

Just talking I sit and hold your hand. Your hands are starting to look their age, thin, not as strong as they once were and a bit freckled. And I feel so powerless, so weak and stupid because I can't stop bloody crying. I hate myself for it. I know you don't like to see me cry and I'll be devastated if I look at you and see your eyes are open. "They say I should talk to you. Well that pretty doctor, the one that looks like the French footballer, not Cantona the one who really knows he's good looking. Ginola that's the chap, well he said, not Ginola the doctor that looks like him, he said that I should talk to you. So I've thought about all the things that I can say. Do you remember the first time we met and we went to that really posh restaurant. I'd just got back from Nam or was it Cambodia? It must have been Cambodia because Nam was finished by seventy five and we didn't meet till seventy eight. It was somewhere around there any way, and we were just having the chilled melon with ginger and I collapsed and you thought I was pissed. I know you did but the waiter, the little Taiwanese chap he knew what it was and called the ambo. Do you remember that? You never get a second chance to make a first impression, do you. And falling flat on your face in a bowl of chilled melon with an attack of Dengue Fever is not the kind of first impression you really want to make. We did get a second chance though. I'm so glad about that. I would have hated it if we hadn't even tried. We're such different people you and I. We don't even like the same music well, not all the same. Mind you, I've never met anyone who truly appreciated my kind of country music." A nurse comes in, small, pretty with her hair cut really short. I still have hold of your hand and she smiles. For a moment as she turns around while doing something to the countless tubes and wires that attach you to the system, I smile at her. I've not seen her before. She smiles back. ''How is your dad, today?'' Not for the first time I feel angry, outraged, I want to slap her face but of course, I don't not physically anyway. I say; ''Still dead, though he was a Buddhist so he might well have been reincarnated by now.'' She looks as though I have slapped her but I'm not sorry. ''I'm sorry I ....'' ''You assumed,'' I say. ''People always assume. This is my husband, dear. Not my father.'' She finishes what she's doing very quickly and then she leaves and I swear she's crying. Oh shit, I shouldn't have done that. Poor little cow, it isn't her fault. I return to you and our one sided small talk. ''The police haven't caught the scrote who hit you. I wish I could catch him. But you don't want to know about that. Malcolm rang, sends you his best wishes. Very macho. You know what Malcolm's like.'' Someone else comes in, hovers a bit and then smiles as I turn to look at her. It's the sister. She's about my age, with dark hair and big expressive eyes. ''I'm sorry,'' she says. ''The lass is new on the ward today. Looking at the names she...'' ''She assumed. Why do people always make assumptions.'' ''I'm really sorry. It should not have happened. My fault, I should have told her.'' ''Yeah, OK.'' ''Mrs. Kawolski ... Jenna ...you really should try and get some rest.'' I turn back to my husband. ''How can I leave him. What if he comes round? He'll be alone or worse surrounded by strangers.'' ''But you've been here three days. I've not seen you even doze off.'' Has it really been that long. Something of a record that, even for me. ''I'm used to going without sleep,'' I say. ''It becomes something of a survival aid when you don't have anyone to watch your back.'' She comes towards me. ''Will you at least come and have a cup of coffee? Proper coffee, not from the machine.'' She isn't going to leave me alone, this well meaning woman and I really don't want to alienate her. ''OK.'' ''I'll leave someone here and we'll just pop into my office.'' I let go of your hand and stand up. ''I won't be a minute, Leo.'' We go to her office which is small and has a couple of comfortable looking chairs. She makes me a cup of coffee. ''Sit down,'' she says and I sit because suddenly I feel very tired. ''Is he going to come out of this?'' I ask. ''There isn't anything telling me he won't. You should speak to Dr. Charles.'' ''Yeah.'' I look at her face. She has an interesting face, quite thin with fine bones and clear skin. Well lit, she could be a very nice subject. ''I suppose it's because it's personal.'' ''I'm sorry?'' She says. ''Because it's Leo. I mean I've seen maybe a dozen guys with head injuries worse than his but even though I knew them, it didn't faze me like this.'' I think for a moment of those men, just to assure myself that I'm being honest. ''I was a war photographer.'' I say because she obviously needs clarification. ''Ah, I see.'' ''You think you're hard as nails but ...'' ''Good heavens, he's your husband.'' ''Yes.'' ''I can't imagine how you feel. I see this, something like it on a daily basis but if it was my husband lying there ..'' I breath in through my nose. To anyone who knows me this signifies subject closed but she doesn't know me. ''I don't really know how I would feel,'' she continues. ''Try uncontrollably angry. Try wanting to get your hands around the throat of the bastard that did it and squeeze the life out of him.'' She looks frightened but I can't stop it. ''All the time I spent taking pictures of people killing people, maiming children, destroying their countries, their cultures ... And I never wanted to physically harm anyone. Even with a child in pieces at my feet, I didn't want to do to them what they had done to her. Now I do. I want to get this little bastard and smash his head against something hard so that his skull splits and brain swells up.'' I could go on, I could spew out all the terrible pictures in my head, but I don't. I start to cry instead and that's something she can handle. The police inspector is a woman. Her name is Kylie. She's a petite little blonde with too much make up for a day job. She talks to me like she's known me for years, uses my first name very chummy. ''Jenna, I know you didn't see this man properly ....'' ''I hardly saw him at all, Inspector, just a blur as he ran past me.'' ''You went to get the car because it was raining.'' ''Yes, Leo had had a chill, he's just finished a tiring recording session, I didn't want him getting wet and miserable.'' ''So you left him inside the restaurant.'' ''Yes.'' ''So why would he come out?'' ''Because that's what he's like. He's contrary.'' ''You went to the car park, got the car and came straight around to the front.'' ''Yes.'' ''And you saw ....?'' ''A man ran in front of me, youngish from the way he moved. He was wearing dark trousers a jacket of some sort and a woollen hat. He didn't look at me just ran straight on.'' ''And then what?'' ''I could see the front of the restaurant and Leo, lying at the bottom of the steps. I stopped the car and got out. Someone came out of the restaurant. I remember yelling at them, 'Don't touch him' or 'Don't move him'. I had no idea what had happened, I just thought moving him was a bad idea.'' I take a drink of water and she reaches across to touch my hand. ''I went over to Leo and he was just so still. He wasn't groaning or making any noise. The owner of the restaurant came out and said he'd called an ambulance. They were on their way. I remember asking him if he had called the police. He said yes he had that was when your people showed up.'' ''Going back to the young man you almost hit, would you say he was black or white?'' ''I really can't say.'' I try hard to think, really hard and then suddenly there he is in front of me and he's snarling in my face. I'm terrified and I'm thinking things that I shouldn't be thinking, things I don't understand. ''He was white,'' and I say it so suddenly, so convincingly that I surprise not just myself but the inspector too. ''You're sure about that?'' ''Yes. He was white.'' I can't tell her how I'm sure but I am. She looks pleased, almost relieved and I think I know why. A black kid mugging an elderly white man would have been a lot harder to apprehend, a lot more politically volatile. ''Have the doctors said when they think ....'' ''They haven't even said if they think he'll regain consciousness.'' ''I'm sorry.'' And she probably is but so what. ''I had another chat with our friendly neighbourhood police lady. I got a colour from somewhere. White. You saw him better than me, he was white, wasn't he?'' And he's there again in my head, his horrible angry face, features so distorted that I can't make them out, he's just like every other bully that I've ever seen. I realise that I'm squeezing your hand and I relax my grip a little. It's been six days and I'm really tired now. I've tried to sleep but I keep dreaming about the little shit bag and every time I dream, he's clearer. I know he has blue eyes but I don't know how I know so I can't tell the police. I'm beginning to think I'm going round the twist. Sleep deprivation probably. I try to remember what I used to do to help me sleep but the meditation doesn't really work and I don't want to go down the chemical route. I'm taking a break, trying to find a magazine that I can read to you when I find myself in A&E. It's late on a Friday and quite busy. I really need to get back up to intensive care in case you come round while I'm away and then suddenly I see a shape, huddled on a seat, a cloth of some sort clutched to its head, it's moaning and swearing. People seeming to be ignoring it. A big woman comes over and sits down next to the shape. She has a cup of coffee clutched in her hand. I look at her but she doesn't look at me. The shape leans against her obviously expecting comfort but she drinks her coffee. Then she leans over to get a magazine and a chain she's wearing round her fat neck falls forward. I see your signet ring, the one I bought you for a wedding present, and no sooner have I seen it than I'm reaching forward, my hand closing around the chain and I can hear her squealing like a pig. I pull, hard. The cheap chain breaks. ''That's my husband's ring, bitch!'' All hell breaks loose. Security grab bits of me and pull me away. The shape on the chair next to my victim tries to do a runner but one of the security men has his wits about him and grabs the shape before it can get away. I relax and the woman holding me relaxes too. I know it's him and that, when they've fixed whatever's happened to him, he'll get what he deserves. I sit and hold your hand. Your hands are starting to look their age, thin, not as strong as they once were and a bit freckled. And I feel so powerless, so weak and stupid because I can't stop bloody crying. I hate myself for it. I know you don't like to see me cry and I'll be devastated if I look at you and see your eyes are open. One day, maybe tomorrow, you'll wake up and I'll be able to tell you that they got the little scrote who did this to you but for now I just talk to you and tell you things that I think you want to hear.
Archived comments for Just Talking
teifii on 23-03-2009
Just Talking
Ah you didn't say it was this one. I had read it in the book. It's a great story. I don't usually cast votes but thought I'd get the ball rolling with a 9.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, many thanks for taking the time to comment and for the rating.
I was sure that I rold you it was the first one in End Games. But you know what my head is like at the moment.
chrissy

e-griff on 24-03-2009
Just Talking
This was one very good story! It worked.

small things - para spacing needs sorting at the beginning (for screen), could have put some off reading.

typos:

faze not phase

deprivation

impressive wee story, hen. och aye!

naw, it's me, JohnG 🙂

Author's Reply:
Ta, John.
If I just use the edit feature can I change things? Or will it go pear shaped?
Respect,
chrissy

Sunken on 26-03-2009
Just Talking
Hello Ms. Chrissy. It's not often I can stick with longer subs, my contact lenses tend to dry up because I forget to blink. I can't do multi-tasking. Anyway, glad I stuck with this one. It was worth the saline. Bernard enjoyed it too (tho I suspect he was more interested in the Kylie character than anything else - That dog has tatse). Tip top and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken for taking the time to read and comment. I guess it is a bit long that's probably why it's had so few hits. Other folks must have blinking probs too.
chrissy

macaby on 26-03-2009
Just Talking
Good story. I thoroughly enjoyed it, kept me interested from start to finish.I read teifii 's remark, has this been published ?
thanks for the read. mac

Author's Reply:
Hi there. Thanks for rading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
The story is in End Games my third collection of short stories available from my website at:-
http://www.black-butterfly.co.uk/
chrissy


10.9 on the shiksa scale (posted on: 19-12-08)
A short story about a lady with a problem.

Ten point nine on the Shiksa Scale So, I've become what I have always tried not to be. Twenty five years I've resisted and suddenly, he says one thing and I am mutated, transformed, over night, like turning into a cockroach. I'm amazed. It isn't like he hasn't given me the opportunity in the last twenty five years. I can safely say, the best time I had with my son, was the nine months from when he was conceived to when he was born and even then he was a pain in the... Right from when he was tiny he was a whinger. At his Bris you would have thought the Mohel was cutting all his bits off instead of circumcising him he made such a fuss. And his first hair cut! His father, rest him, was so embarrassed he left him in the shop for almost an hour. At school, academically he was always excellent. You could be proud of a boy like him but when he became Bar mitzvah, that was something else. He was a bit of a Jack Rosenthall. You remember ''Bar Mitzvah Boy'', that was my son only maybe not quite that bad. He did his standing up for himself, let everyone know that he knew the law but then he went through it all faultlessly. He gave us a scare though. Imagine the Kiddush afterwards. I've always tried to be laid back about everything, not to put pressure on him. I remember the way my brother suffered and I swore that I would never be like that with my children, were I blessed with a son. Don't get me wrong, I loved my mother, she was a good mother she went through a lot to bring us up the right way but she was a Jewish mother, a typical Jewish mother and I didn't want to be like that. Perhaps that's why he's always thought he could go his own way, perhaps he thinks I don't care. I do. There was a time towards the end of senior school when I thought he might be you know feygele, gay but he wasn't, he just wasn't at all interested in girls then. Some boys are, some boys aren't. I think the worst thing, well I know the worst thing, well till this was his career choice. Being so gifted and intelligent I thought maybe the law, medicine, even a Rabbi at one point. What does he choose? He's a veterinary surgeon. Please don't misunderstand me, I have a great respect for animals. Their welfare and well being is as important to me as to anyone else but I've never kept pets. It's a hair thing, a fur thing. I'm allergic. Cats, dogs, guinea pigs I can't.... They make me itch. That is what my son chooses to do. I don't mind with the small animals, little kittens, puppies but he's also done the farm animals which I can't approve of. In maybe a sow's rear end is not the place for a good Jewish boy's hand to be. And he is a good Jewish boy or he was. That's why I can't understand this ... this woman. It isn't as if he doesn't know any Jewish girls, he does. We don't live out. We have a community, small, I grant you, we aren't that many but there are girls around and good girls, pretty girls, Jewish girls. So why does he suddenly tell me that he's seeing this woman. She's forty four, nearly my age, divorced with grown up children. If his father was alive, this would kill him. I keep thinking, what would my mother do. I know the answer to that. She would take the sharpest kitchen knife she could find, place it in his hand and say; ''Here, cut out my heart, why don't you.'' Oy! She was a real drama queen but she cared, she really cared. Now I've become her and that's someone I didn't want to be. I suppose it's hard wired into the Jewish brain, the grandchildren thing, the need to continue. That's why we desperately try to keep our children from marrying out. Of course I want him to be happy but I want to be happy too. Is that so wrong, to want the pride and not the pity. I don't want people saying; ''Poor Mrs Shumann. She's so brave with her only son marrying out. The shame would have killed me.'' We used to say that my mother had a scale of unacceptability. We called it the Shiksa scale with my brother. It would start with an observant girl of child bearing age who had one or two Reformed or preserve us lapsed parents and that would be a one and it would go on up through the realms of unacceptability. Oh mamme, this one your grandson brings to my Shabbat table is at least a ten point nine. But on the positive side, he is bringing her, he is letting me at least meet her. Which I suppose shows some respect. Maybe she can still have children? Maybe she's willing to convert?
Archived comments for 10.9 on the shiksa scale
Bradene on 19-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
Love the voice here, I'm a great fan of Jewish humour, especially jewish mother humour, there is such pathos in it and you have captured it so well. Jack Rosenthall was one of my all time favourite writers, and of course Maureen Lipman his wife was who I could see and hear here as I read. A great team they made. Thanks for the great read chrissy. Val x

Author's Reply:
Hy Val, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I do get voices in my head (that's not quite as manic as it sounds) when I'm writing - poetry or prose - but I don't think I had Maureen Lipman in my head when I was writing this. She could have been lurking in the background when I mentioned her hubby but - better or worse - this is my occasional voice. Sometimes Welsh, sometimes Jewish, sometimes Irish, and sometimes, especially when I'm angry. pure Geordie. Don't ask why, just the way my head functions.
Still, you enjoyed. Right? Of course right.
Shalom, Chrissy

uppercase on 19-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
Hey Chrissy this piece is very funny. The part about the sows rear end and his jewish hand had me in stitches....erma

Author's Reply:
Hy Erma, thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.
It's one of those things you think about, well, you do if you're me. What would a Jewish vet do if he had to treat pigs. Can't say it's top of list of must solve problems but I have given it some thought.
Thanks again for reading and glad you enjoyed it.
Chrissy

Sunken on 21-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
Hello Ms. Chrissy. It's me, sunks. As you know, I tried to comment earlier but I got zapped by a glitch. I have a bit red mark on my bum to prove it. I shall refrain from mentioning my balls in this comment as I think they might be jinxed. I really enjoyed the write. It's very witty in places and just the right kind of length for a sunk. I must admit, Like Ms. Val, I also thought of Maureen Lipman. Am I being stereotypical? Well done on the nib. Muchly deserved and no mistake.

s
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lost in asda

Author's Reply:
Sunk, much thanks for your comments and for not mentioning you round objects -- you know Churchill was supposed to have commented, when some wit in the war office wrote 'round objects' to avoid using the word balls when he meant something was a load of balls. "Who is Round and to what does he object?" -- but that is by the way.
Don't think you're being stereotypical. Maureen Lipman is probably the most famous Jewess since Jesus' mother so it's natural to think of her. Just I wasn't thinking of her when I wrote this.
Glad you enjoyed.
Chrissy

teifii on 21-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
Well, I've had the pleasure of hearing Chrissy read this at Theatr Fach where it went down very well, especially the sow's arse which had the audience convulsed. I even have an amateur recorded tape of the evening so can hear it all again. Now I'm waiting for the new book in which it will, I gather, appear.
Congratulations on the nib, Chrissy, well deserved.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, much thanks for reading and commenting.
Don't think DC would be pleased by you calling his recording amateur LOL
The new book will be out soon enough, when I can get stuff written.
See ya.
Shalom Chrissy

reckless on 27-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
I enjoyed this very much and thought it lively and fun. Thanks for the read.

Author's Reply:


Message in a bottle (posted on: 12-09-08)
Not sure if I've submitted this before, can't find it. It's about things we should say and don't or do and no one listens.

Message in a bottle. The message I wrote, placed carefully in a bottle, drifted back to my shore; spoiled by the sea. Unread, unreadable. The words I wrote with a stick in the sand, were washed away before anyone could read them. The writing I did in the condensation on the bathroom mirror dribbled together became illegible, was wiped away. Only the words in my head remain and they are unwritten, unspeakable meant only for my inner ear.
Archived comments for Message in a bottle
Sunken on 12-09-2008
Message in a bottle
Hello Ms. Chrissy. I hope the site's working okay for you now. I had similar probs but the server changeover seems to have cured it. It's good to see ya back. I enjoyed your piece more than Fry's Turkish Delight. This is quite a compliment. Thank you.

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to the discothèque, let's go

Author's Reply:
How spooky is that? I just ate a Fry's Turkish Delight, a whole bar all to myself. Thanks for reading.
chrissy

Ionicus on 13-09-2008
Message in a bottle
It is indeed nice to see you back, chrissy.
Pity the message in a bottle was spoiled by the sea. We'll never know your secret thoughts, now.
Nicely written poem.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
It's good to be back.

orangedream on 14-09-2008
Message in a bottle
A lovely poem, chrissy and it is nice to see you subbing again.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Tina, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and for the most generous rating. All much appreciated.
Being able to contribute to the site again is good but I fear, given my luck at present, it will be temporary. Still, I shall keep at it as long as the technology holds up. Have so much to catch up with, here and elsewhere.
chrissy

teifii on 22-09-2008
Message in a bottle
Lovely to see you back -- even though you had told me. As to the poem, it's very descriptive but I must point out that fortunately you have written much also on paper and screen so we are not totatly deprived of your talent.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated
chrissy

discopants on 28-09-2008
Message in a bottle
I took this to mean that it's only the important things that we don't say, which is often too true!

Author's Reply:
Much thanks for reading and commenting.
Chrissy

jay12 on 06-10-2008
Message in a bottle
i feel like this at work. No one listens to anything I say no matter how helpful it may be. I'm going to give this poem top marks! Great one Chrissy!

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for reading and your most generous rating.
chrissy

jay12 on 06-10-2008
Message in a bottle
i feel like this at work. No one listens to anything I say no matter how helpful it may be. I'm going to give this poem top marks! Great one Chrissy!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

macaby on 21-12-2008
Message in a bottle
i liked the images in the poem, especially the writing on the mirror. i think that is something that we have all done at sometime or another, like a secret thought or the name of a secret love.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for your comments. I'm glad you liked it.
chrissy


The Piano (part II) (posted on: 14-05-07)
In part II we learn the consequences of being twelve, the aftermath of death and why the piano isn't in tune.

The Piano (Part two) The time came when I had to be twelve years old and Grand Pa had to die and the two things coincided on a cold Saturday in November. The first we knew of the old man's impending demise was a hammering on the door and a breathless boy stuttering out the words that Mrs Conn had sent him and we was to come to auld Mr Byrne's house quick. It was the first time that I had ever known my father to visit the house but he put on his best coat and his only hat and drove us there, my mother nervously twitching at a handkerchief, my brother Michael polishing his boots on his grey socks, my sister begging my mother not to make her kiss the old man's face like she remembered having to do to Great Aunt Philomena and me, thinking of how I was going to rescue my piano. Mrs Conn greeted us at the door and told us all that Father Boyle was with him and that it would not be long now. I remember she took us children into the kitchen and gave us sweet tea and biscuits and told us to sit and be good and our mammy would send for us. Catherine was sobbing at the thought of having to kiss the old man but neither Michael nor myself took any notice of her. Michael was looking around the big old kitchen, at the big copper pans and ancient pewter pots and I could see that he was costing each item just in case we should be left something by the old fella. I could not think beyond what stood in that front room and how I would be able to play it with Grand Pa gone. Eventually my father came to get us and we filed in to the room. The old fella was sitting in his chair. He looked cleaner than I had ever seen him look and with his eyes closed and a bandage around his chin, I knew that he was dead. Michael went forward first, kissed the air near the old man's snow white hair and backed off quickly, then it was my turn and I really kissed his forehead. The stench which had driven Michael back in such a hurry wafted up at me and I knew the clean was only surface. I bent and kissed him again. ''That's from Cathy, grand da,'' I said. ''She's too little and too sad to do it herself.'' As I stepped back I felt my father's arm on my shoulder and I heard him whisper, ''Good man.'' The funeral was a grand affair. Relatives I knew only existed from old faded photographs turned up in their droves not just for the service but the wake. It was my very first taste of porter and I found it pleasant. There was much good crack to be had, even at this old skinflint's funeral and then my Aunt Kate, said; ''Did ya know he left a will?'' And everyone fell silent. Eventually my mother managed to stutter; ''But I thought everything was going to the Brothers. The house is certainly....'' ''Not according to Mr McGurk of McGurk and McGurk. There is a will for certain dispensations.'' I looked with open concern at my mother's paling face and pushed Catherine to get her another cup of tea. In my twelve years of grace I had never seen my mother look so afraid. At the dispensation of the Christian Brothers, at Grand Pa's house which they now owned. we gathered all together in the room where Grand Pa had passed away and Mr. McGurk of McGurk and McGurk, a man with a skull like face whose skin was so paper thin that it looked like it had been applied with a mortician's brush, read the will of Patrick James Byrne. There were one or two bequests of money; fifty pounds to the church of Our Lady and twenty pounds to Mrs. Conn. None of my mother's sisters received as much as a mention but to my mother the old man had left all her father's paintings. At this, the sisters and their spouses left in a huff without even a nod to my mother. I sat towards the back of the room on the piano stool, praying as hard as I could that there would be some mention of the piano, that the old man would have written it into his will that I would be allowed to come and play the piano at least every Sunday. I promised God that I wouldn't mind playing for the Brothers and that I would do my best to try and learn the music and then Mr. McGurk of McGurk and McGurk was saying; ''And to Roland Anthony Patrick Doyle.'' I looked up from silent devotions. Everyone was staring at me. ''I leave the walnut piano and piano stool.'' Go on I thought, go on. 'To be played every Sunday...'' But there were no conditions. The piano was mine. All mine. I touched the locked away keys. You're safe, I thought, you're safe. The Brothers stared at me, their eyes burning into my soul. They knew the financial value of the thing but they did not know it's value to me. ''Surely not,'' said Brother Tobias. ''The piano is part of the fixtures and fittings.'' Strange allies came to my defense. Mr McGurk of McGurk and McGurk cleared his throat in a menacing way. ''Are you disputing the last will and testament of the late Patrick James Byrne?'' He intoned. ''Because if you are,'' and he looked at them with his eyes all squinted up like he was daring them, ''if you are disputing this legally drawn up document which I myself wrote as dictated by the afore mentioned late gentleman, I would suggest that you go through the proper procedures. To wit employing at not inconsiderable expense to yourselves, the service of a reputable firm of solicitors to contest this will in the courts.'' I wanted to applaud him but my mother was speaking. ''You can't mean that you want to keep it when it gave the boy so much pleasure.'' To have my mother on my side was more than I could have hoped for. ''Or do you just want us to pay ya for it?'' asked my father who had, since being taught by the Brothers as young child, held the opinion that they were God's Gestapo. I felt like a king as the Brothers' objections withered away. The piano was mine. I wanted to unlock it and play it right there and then but I knew that would not be allowed. Arrangements were made for the collection of the piano, the stool and the paintings. I went with my parents and sister in the motor car , while Michael and Francis O'Connor our hired man brought the lorry up from the farm. In the back of the lorry were four long stout planks of wood, several lengths of rope and a couple of horse blankets borrowed from our neighbour. My mother insisted that the piano should be tied tightly closed. She said that she didn't want the lid flapping open and the music stand to be damaged but she didn't seem all that bothered about the candle holders which I had to flatten before the ropes were tied around the instrument. Michael laid two of the planks down the front steps of the house and with much pushing and shoving from my father they managed out of the front room and sweet as a nut down the steps and onto the street. I brought up the rear with the stool and a couple of the paintings. Getting the piano up onto the lorry was a little more problematical. It require the efforts of the Brothers and fair play to them they did their part, pushing the piano up the two remaining planks onto the lorry, while my father, brother and Francis O'Connor pulled on the ropes. My father then tied it down with the stool and my mother surprisingly agreed to my traveling back with it. Of course I wanted to play it as soon as we got it into the house but my mother forbade it absolutely saying that the instrument would not be touched until Mr. Peterson a piano tuner from the town had been to look at it and make sure it was all right.. I tried pleading and begging and sulking but she was unmoved by any of it. Sunday brought a sickness to our house which affected me and my mother. Even when I knew that she would not be going to church I didn't make the sudden miraculous recovery my father had expected, thinking, as I knew he would, that my sickness was just an excuse to stay home and play with the piano. My mother's malady was more woman's problems than anything else and so after she had put me to bed with hot bottle, a warm drink of milk and strict instructions that I was not to get out of my bed unless it was absolutely necessary, I settled down with out much worry to try and sleep off the genuine feelings of illness. It became absolutely necessary after only about half an hour and I dashed from my sick bed, down the stairs and into the privy without summoning my mother's aid. The milk churned up from my stomach and for a while after it was all gone, I stood with my sweating head pressed against the cold privy wall thinking that I would soon be seeing not only Grand pa but all my deceased relatives. I was twelve years old and I wanted my mammy. I stumbled into the kitchen but there was no sign of her. Sometimes, when she got her 'women's problems' she took to her bed but I couldn't remember her coming back upstairs after she left me. I was wondering where she might be when I heard something. Once when we were still going to grand pa's on a Sunday, I had bumped the stool against the piano quite hard. There had been a resonating sound that seemed to last forever. That was what I heard. I went to the front room. Someone, and it could only be my mother, was harming the piano. She had the front off it so you could see all the hammers and wires and she was reaching down inside it. I rushed at her. ''Mammy! Mammy! Don't hurt it.'' She turned and stared at me. She had in her hand a rolled up piece of canvas which I presumed she had dragged from the guts of the poor instrument. I grabbed it from her hands thinking I might put it back and instead of trying to resist me, she just stood there. Carefully, I unrolled the canvas. To my immature eye the image that was painted there was beautiful. A young woman naked as the day she was born, her long red hair hanging down over her breasts. I tore my eyes from her nakedness and looked at the face. My mother took the painting from me. ''Mammy,'' I said. ''That's you.'' She looked at me. ''It was me,'' she said. ''A good many years ago.'' ''But what was it doing in the piano?'' I asked. ''Patrick put it there, hid it there.'' ''Was it your daddy painted it?'' ''Oh no. My father painted only landscapes. Grand pa painted that. Patrick is who I mean.'' ''And isn't it good? Is that why he hid it?'' ''Oh,'' she said tiredly. ''It's grown up stuff.'' ''What are you going to with it?'' I asked but she said nothing just took the painting and with a knife from my father's tool box, she cut it into shreds then put it to the back of the hearth. ''I'd be grateful,'' she said ''if you didn't mention this.'' ''I won't tell,'' I said. ''So back to bed with you.'' ''Will you put the front back on the piano?'' She looked at me and she smiled. ''It will have to come off again on Monday when Mr Peterson comes to see it but I'll put it back. Now bed. Do you want another drink of milk.'' I looked at her. ''I think I'll just go to bed.'' I slept like a baby. I didn't dream of my mother naked her long red hair cascading over her breasts instead I dreamed of how good the piano would sound now there was nothing inside it.
Archived comments for The Piano (part II)
Dil on 15-05-2007
The Piano (part II)
Thought the 'family secret' ending fitted in with what went before. A lovely gentle piece. Well written.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Dil, thanks for following through and reading the end. I am so pleased that the story worked for you.
chrissy

glennie on 16-05-2007
The Piano (part II)
Chrissy. This was very, very good. Some of it was so authentic and atmospheric that I thought you must have experienced it. Deserved many more read and a nib at least. HOWEVER, it's not the finished article. I note that you still split words in two, Grand Pa, news paper etc. And pace could be quickened. Getting the piano back wasn't important. Glad I read it as I don't usually read such long pieces. Glen.

Author's Reply:
Glen, many thanks for reading, commenting and the most generous rating.
I feel perhaps that I shouldn't have split the piece in two but it was quite long as a single piece and would perhaps have received even fewer hits than it got.
Have I experienced it? No. We did have a piano when I was younger and until I was seven we lived with my nan but I remember so little about that time that I don't think I could have pulled any experience from it.
I will certainly check the split words that you mention. It's just me being sloppy and not using my dictionary.
Don't like to disagree but for me getting the piano back was important because it helped to illustrate the mother's need to keep the contents of the instrument hidden. It was originally going to be a bit longer and have a silly scene where having got the piano up onto the lorry the two planks spring up and knock the Christian Brothers over but for the sake of the word count I got rid of half of it. Perhaps it could be reduced but I would need to keep the mother's need for secrecy and I've never really been one for 'with a leap and a bound he was free'. We shall see.
Thanks again for you comments and for flagging up my errors.
I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it and found it so realistic.
chrissy

discopants on 17-05-2007
The Piano (part II)
Interesting story and it's so true of the kids not really knowing how to communicate with the old relative.

I think the piano probably does have to be retrieved- it is essential that the mother has access to it and that Roland discovers her as she finds the painting and it would be difficult to recreate the scene in 'Grandpa's' house.

I thought the start of part 1 set the story up well, the key being that we knew that there was some underlying tension, giving us something to muse about. This gives away as we concentrate on the piano and surfaces only fleetingly until the denouement. I wonder if you could give thought to emphasising the tension a bit more, giving us something else to muse about, perhaps or getting us through to the conclusion a bit more quickly.

Incidentally, I found the first phrase of Part 2 to be a bit awkward- 'the time came when I had to be twelve years old'- I know what you mean but it could be smoother.

dp

Author's Reply:
dp, many thanks for reading this and for your considered comments.
I think the fault, if fault there is, with the pace lies in the fact that it was originally conceived as a radio piece and would therefore have been read in the appropriate accent and would have had the flow that it required.
Regarding the particular phrase "The time came when I had to be twelve years old...." I could have written "I had my twelfth birthday and Grandpa died on the same cold day in November...." and it would have been less cumbersome but it would not have been consistent with the 'voice'.
I think on the whole that the Internet was not the best place to air this story as I would have liked it to be read for the language as much as for the story and it clearly doesn't work that well in this medium as it is.
chrissy


The Piano (part I) (posted on: 14-05-07)
In part I we meet Roland Anthony Patrick Doyle and his odd relatives and learn about his love of the piano. Split this into two parts because it's quite long. I will sub part II today also. Any comments/constructive crit most welcome

The Piano (Part One) Grand Pa was not my grand father in as much as he was not either my mother's or father's father. He was, in fact my mother's father's cousin. A tenuous link but a blood link for all that and it carried with it the obligations of such things. Every Sunday, after Mass and before we had our lunch, mother would march my sister and me through the village to the big house where Grand Pa lived and, while she and Mrs.Conn, the old fella's house keeper, prepared his Sunday lunch, my sister and I would be dispatched to the big front room where Grand Pa sat in a big high chair by the window. The room, as I recall was unprepossessing. It was crowded with old books and news papers, empty biscuit tins, half finished oil paintings that had been my genetic grand father's life's work and margarine tubs stuffed with bits of silver paper from the innumerable sweeties that the toothless old man in the chair ate. Mother always told us that we should never accept sweeties from him because sometimes he would suck a sweet and then put it back in the paper. The mere thought of putting into our mouths anything that had been even remotely close to the old fella's gaping maw was enough to destroy any desire for sweeties from him. One of the many things I could not understand about our visits was why, when we always refused the sweetie tin and never too graciously, the old fella would always offer. Another thing that always intrigued me about our visits was why, when my mother had five sisters, were we the only ones to visit. Perhaps the sisters and their families visited on other days of the week and we got Sunday because my mother was the youngest. To be honest I never asked anyone about it just as I never asked why we called him grand pa when he was closer to great uncle or second cousin, or why my father and elder brother Michael never came with us. It was implied that they were always too busy with farm work to be able to accompany us but even that young I gleaned the impression that they did not come because they did not want to. Sundays always followed the same pattern. When mother had deposited us in the front room we would stand in front of the old fella and wait quietly. My sister, Catherine, would fidget a bit but she was only a little girl and not given to too much patience. Eventually the old man would acknowledge our presence and would reach under his quilt -- an ancient rotting thing made up of knitted patches of wool in what had been many colours but which now, through washing or lack of it had become a uniformly drab, muddy, hay-fed-horse-dung colour -- to bring out the sweetie tin. I had never touched the sweetie tin but I knew that it would be sickeningly warm from nestling next to grand pa's groin. Sometimes I would imagine the state of the part consumed, hot sticky humbugs within and when I did I would wretch and be forced to cover my mouth with a shaking hand. He would hold out the tin in a long bony hand and we would repeat the mantra. "No thank you very much, Grand pa but we've not had our dinner and mammy said we'd not to spoil it." My mother was not a cruel woman and always about ten minutes into our visit, would summon my sister to 'help in the kitchen'. Catherine would nod towards Grand pa and run like the devil. I suppose my mother thought that I, a boy, could be expected not to posses such fine feelings and could be expected to stand the 'old man smells' longer. When I once questioned her about the stench in the room, she told me that all men smelled like that once they passed the age of sixty. If I'm honest, the Sunday ritual was only endurable after my sister left the room. No sooner had her best coat disappeared beyond the great oak door, than Grand Pa would nod towards the far wall and I would metaphorically leave the clutter and detritus of the old man's life, the stench of his decaying humanity and enter the world of the piano. It was of the upright persuasion. Highly polished walnut with curls of smoky yellow and a coolness when you touched it that thrilled my fingers from the very first time I did. If you lifted the lid, there was, secreted away inside a delicate and very ornamental music stand that was attached to the body of the instrument by two small brass hinges. Though I did not read music and did not require the music stand I always fetched it out. Also attached to the front of the instrument were two brass filagree candle holders which when not in use folded flat against the wood and though I did not need these either, I would always flick these out as a part of my performance. The penultimate part entailed my placing my hands under my bum and flicking back an imaginary tail coat before seating myself on the upholstered piano stool. Then I would majestically open the instrument. Seeing those black and white lines and knowing that attached to each was a sound, individual and unmistakable, never ceased to thrill me. I had but to touch one key and I would create sound. With hindsight, the tone of the piano was not good for reasons which would only later reveal themselves but to my untutored ear, it was magnificent. I was a concert pianist in an Albert or Carnege Hall of a place. I knew how to play just the one tune, the one Grand Pa had taught me. He'd said it was like teaching a parrot to talk. He'd say the word bong, roughly in the key and rhythm he wanted it and I had to search up and down the keys until I had come to a close enough approximation. It had taken time but now I was confident and to my own ears, quite good.. Every Sunday the same. I would belt it out on the piano and Grand Pa would sing along in a drum beat of a voice. ''Fa-i-th of our fa-th-ers Ho-ly Faith, we will be true to thee till de't'. A with that trut' that comes from Go-d, Ire-land shall then indeed be fre-e.'' And on it would go, throughout the hymn until my fingers ached or Grand Pa grew tired. Always as soon as we finished my mother would come in and she would have on her hat and coat and would tell me to close up the piano and say ta ta to Grand Pa and we'll see him next Sunday. I would do things in strict reverse order; closing away the ebony and ivory, folding flat the candle holders and finally putting away the music stand back inside the piano. I began to notice a tension in my mother when ever she saw me lift the lid. Did she think I would break it? I loved that piano like it was a living breathing thing. I would never damage it. I would then bid the old man good-bye and we would make our way back through the village and then on up the hill to our farm where my father and mother would exchange looks and few words and we would all sit down to our Sunday lunch.
Archived comments for The Piano (part I)
Dil on 15-05-2007
The Piano (part I)
Enjoyed the first part of your story...going on to read the conclusion.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Dil, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment, it is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

glennie on 16-05-2007
The Piano (part I)
This is interesting, Chrissy. It's so true to life I wonder if it is written from experience. Some very good points about old men and smells. Must tell my dad - he's 67.

Author's Reply:
Glennie, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Genuinely appreciate your interest.
chrissy

SugarMama34 on 20-06-2007
The Piano (part I)
Hi Chrissie,

As those who have read this before me and commented I will add the same, I too found this interesting. I especially enjoyed the words you chose to describe the story, it's not too much or two little and I could picture it all in my mind, which is what I like a story to do, so that I can see what the author sees in their mind as they write it down. i will read the next part of this tomorrow, hopefully if my children give me the peace I need. A much enjoyed story.
Sugar.xx

Author's Reply:
Hello Sugar,
Sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. Been everso and very busy writing so please forgive. I'm really pleased that you took the time and trouble to read this, comment on it and rate it and that you enjoyed the read.
Many thanks
chrissy


Ryan and the lion (posted on: 11-05-07)
Shorter than the last one.(Under 2000 words according to my word counter) Not strictly drama. If there had been a fiction choice in the genre selector I would have chosen that. A bit humorous. Any comments/constructive crit welcome

RYAN AND THE LION RYAN woke to a primordial scream that tore through the dark night, penetrated the double glazing and thick curtains of his bed room and hammered repeatedly at his sleeping brain. He sat up, knowing that his hated adversary was only a few feet below his window on the low wall that separated Ryan's once neat and well planted garden from that of Mrs. Doonan next door. Leaping from the bed like a sudden hot coal had been introduced he crossed the room to the window. Jerking aside the curtain, he banged on the window. "Go back to hell! Ya demon!" He knew that his tirade went unheard by the cat or anyone else and slowly he sank in to the chair where his jacket and trousers rested. How in the name of reason, did such a sweet gentle person as Mrs. Doonan come to be possessed of such a monster? He knew the physical how. Hadn't it been himself who had climbed up on to her roof , to rescue the ungrateful beast when it was just a kitten? And hadn't it almost taken off his left hand as a thank you? What foxed him was how it could have become such a renegade when it's owner ---if you could say the thing was owned --- was so near an angel. It should have grown in to a sweet, home loving creature that accepted a fond stroke and a saucer of milk from time to time. Some how, perhaps it was genetically modified, crossed with some thing Jurassic, it had managed to evolve in to the monster that now paraded along the wall, spraying it's foul smelling scent over every living plant there and causing almost instantaneous death and decay. In the village it was known variously as an excavator of newly planted things, an exhumer of lovingly buried and treasured small pets, a slayer of any thing that walked or crawled or flew unaccompanied by a platoon of SAS, and the sire, on any hapless female that crossed it's nocturnal path, of the ugliest kittens ever brought mewing in to life. It begot the impossible to home, so that it's progeny were turned loose to fend for themselves and mercy on them if they ever came across their father. The cat was a rogue, a diabolical throw back to what cats had once been. A sabre toothed only semi-domesticated moggy who had a desire for world domination. Ryan was not given to anthropomorphism but it seemed to him that his dislike of the cat was reciprocated in full measure and purposefully by the animal. He made his way back to his bed. He had to be up early, had a lot of work to do before he went in to school. Soon, he would give up the teaching and start his own computer business. He was almost there. He lay down and closed his eyes. Out side, there was, for the moment, silence. Ryan started to drift off back to sleep. The hellion screamed again. Not long after his mother died about three years ago, Ryan had taken to popping in to see Mrs. Doonan. The old lady lived alone now, her husband, the village post man had been dead some time and her only relatives lived in England. It didn't take much of his day and he could make sure the old dear wasn't up to any thing silly, like leaving on the gas cooker or airing clothes too close to the fire. Looking around him as he went out of his back door to see what devastation the fearsome feline's nocturnal roamings had wrought, he was fairly relieved to see that only a small shrub seemed to have caught a blast of the radioactive urine or what ever it was the cat emitted. The stench was appalling. He made his way down the path to the little gate that led in to the neat, easy care garden next door and not looking down, stepped in to some thing soft and dead. He was still cleaning his shoe as he got to Mrs. Doonan's back door. "God save all here, barring the cat," he said as he went in. "Is that you, Mr. Ryan?" the old lady called from the lobby. She was just coming through to the kitchen. "I was going to call you on the telephone." She was clutching a long manila envelope in her arthritic, liver spotted hand. "I've just had this come and I'm out of me mind with worry." "What ever is it?" He went to the kettle, filled it with water and plugged it in. "I've to go in to the hospital," she said. "They say for tests." "Then for tests it'll be," he said confidently. "You don't want to be frightening yourself." "Oh, I'm not. It isn't that that worries me. It's Leo." For a moment Ryan's mind played him false. Did she think her husband was still around to worry about or did she want some one to visit the grave? And then it hit him. He remembered her husband, flaming red hair and a temper to match. She had called the cat Leo. "Did you not put him in the cattery when you went to your daughter's." "I did. And they won't take him back." Ryan thought, that doesn't surprise me, but he managed to keep the thought to himself. "He disgraced himself by abusing the owner's Yorkshire terrier." "I see." Ryan said and could not think why, when he knew exactly what she was going to say next, he did not immediately invent some story about having to spend the next few months in a monastery. "I was wondering ... I don't like to ask ....but he likes you, Mr. Ryan. That's why he's always bringing you what he catches. He likes you." She paused then said; "All you would have to do is put his food out." Ryan thought, and do I kill the sheep first or simply tie it to a stake. "I wouldn't expect ya to clean out his tray or nothin'." Just then, the cat insinuated itself around the kitchen door and came softly towards Ryan. With back arched and almost on tip toe, it rubbed itself around his legs, leaving a fine coating of red fur on his dark trousers. Ryan heard his own voice say; "Don't you worry, Mrs. D. I'll look after him." And so the school teacher became zoo keeper, for a day or two or three at least. On the first day he had placed the cat's food on the back step and then shrunk quickly back to his own side of the fence. At precisely seven ten, the cat showed up, ate the food and took off again like the devil himself was after him. Perhaps the new human scent had upset him. Spitefully, Ryan found himself hoping it had. The cat was to get a full tin of the foul smelling, fish dross a day and that to be divided in to two meals, morning and night. On his return from work on the second day, he noticed the morning food was still there. No neighbouring cats would think themselves possessed of their right senses if they ventured in to the lion's den. As he ate his solitary evening meal, Ryan acknowledged an unease. If there was one thing the cat loved better than tormenting the life out of Ryan, it was his food. The feeling grew when he went out to put out the cat's evening meal. There was no sign of the animal. The morning of the third day, Ryan risked sharing his concern with a neighbour. "Good riddance to it, I say," said the neighbour. "Ah but I promised I would look out for him and with her being in hospital." The postman caught the end of their conversation and it was he who confirmed Ryan's worst fears. "If it is the beast of Bally James Duff you're looking for, I think it is dead by number seventeen's fence." Ryan dashed in to his own house and through to his back garden. He brought a pair of old gardening gloves and a cardboard box from the shed and then ran up the road in the direction of number seventeen. The cat was lying against the bottom of the fence, it's nose bloody, one leg screwed under it obviously broken. There was blood matted in to the fur on it's rear end but it was not dead. Muttering a prayer to Saint Francis, Ryan donned the gloves and carefully placed the unresisting cat in to the box then fled back to his car. The neighbour and the post man watched, no doubt commenting on Ryan's insanity, as he drove very carefully out of his drive and off towards town and the vet. She was a young woman, Canadian, pretty but her face held nothing but concern as she viewed the damaged cat. Ryan could see the hopelessness of the situation but still he said; "If there is anything to be done for him, do it. I'll pay." "It looks pretty bad but I'll clean him up and we'll see what the damage is. Call back around five. I'll be able to tell you more." "Right." She'd given him a paper to sign so that the cat could have an anaesthetic and he had left it there. It was a tough cat, it might make it but he had to prepare the old lady for the worst. Ryan was totally unprepared himself for the grey faced doctor who told him that they were very sorry but Mrs. Doonan had passed away early that morning. Nothing anyone could have done anything about. She was well in to her nineties. They had notified her family and they would be coming over as soon as they could. Ryan's heart sank to his boots. That was such an unfair thing. Still, at least it had relieved him of the obligation of telling her about the cat. At five o'clock precisely, Ryan presented himself at the vet's office. If there was to be more bad news it was best all over at once. There was a few moments while he read the notices about sheep worrying and having your cats and dogs vaccinated, castrated, micro chipped and then the vet was poking her head around the door and smiling. He went in to the small consulting room. "Well," she said. "You'll be pleased to know that it wasn't quite as serious as it looked. A little longer before you got him here and it would have been a different story. He's lost a leg and we've wired his jaw and I'll keep him till Friday at least. He may need a little more surgery then but at the moment he's stable." Ryan nodded and then said; "His owner died this morning." "Oh, I am so sorry." "She was an old lady." He looked at her. "I'll still pay for the bill. In fact....I'll probably keep the cat my self." A malicious look came to Ryan's eyes. "Can you tell me, would it damage his chances at all if, while you have him unconscious on Friday, you were to ...castrate him. I don't mind taking him on but I don't relish having a tom cat around the place." "I can do that for you Mr. Ryan, no problem. It should have been done a while back." "Ah well, better late than never." "Would you like to see him." He followed her through to the back room where cats and dogs lay in various stages of recovery. The cat, conscious now, looked at Ryan through watery green eyes. It mewed, pathetically and Ryan couldn't resist poking a finger through the bars of the cage to stroke it's bald face. "You and me'll be fine now," Ryan said. The cat purred.
Archived comments for Ryan and the lion
SugarMama34 on 11-05-2007
Ryan and the lion
Hi Chrissy,

A really interesting story, that I have enjoyed. I found I had to read on until I had got to the end. You keep the reading guessing about the cat. I thought at first it was going to be some kind of weird creature and Ryan would have to fight it to the death or something. I also liked your choice of words and descriptiveness throughout the piece, it projected good imagery for the readers mind and I thought the characters were convincing. I laughed at the part about the yorkshire terrier. An entertaining story.
Lis'.xx

Author's Reply:
Lis', many thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and comment and for the generous rating. Much appreciated.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the story.
chrissy

Gerry on 11-05-2007
Ryan and the lion
chrissy, do you realise that you are taking all my time up 😉

This was original and very clever IMHO. I enjoyed it...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed, Gerry and thank you for stopping by to say so.
chrissy

jay12 on 11-08-2007
Ryan and the lion
That is such a twisty story. Entertaining to the very end. I love the way that he loves the cat at the end and hates it at the beginning. A really enjoyable piece of writing.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, much thanks for reading commenting and rating. I thought this little effort had sunk without trace ages ago. Nice that people still read my stuff even when I'm not around much.
Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy


Thrall (posted on: 07-05-07)
I wake. My head is empty. The world feels empty. In the six hours from midnight to now, something has gone disastrously wrong with the world, my world. Any comments/constructive crit welcome

Thrall I wake. My head is empty. The world feels empty. In the six hours from midnight to now, something has gone disastrously wrong with the world, my world. I try the explanations. A power outage. The building generator would have kicked in. Attack by persons or states unknown. I would be dead and I'm not. The transfer was not set. That is a possibility. The transfer is his job. I move from my bed to the computer interface, interrogate the log, no transfer took place. In my stomach there is a sudden nausea, in my mind total, blind panic. Fifteen years have elapsed since I last had anything like original thoughts and I have never really thought for myself. The first twenty years of my life were mapped out by the plan. E.L.E.S: Eat, Learn, Exercise, Sleep. Original thought did not have a place. ''Good morning, my boss.'' Nothing, just my own anticipation. ''Good morning, my boss.'' No response. I shuffle off the satin sheets and sit on the edge of the double bed, shake my head to clear my still sleepy brain. A look at the clock tells me that it is 6.30 am. I should have woken an hour ago. What the hell is going on. I stand, bare feet feeling the luxurious bedside rug. 'My boss?' I internalise the words but still there is nothing. A kind of panic drags me from the bed room into the Solarium where the glass sarcophagus stands utilising the first weak rays of sunshine. He is still there. Of course he is still there. I expect him to not be? I cross to the console, check the last transfer. It had gone perfectly. I view the log; Transfer commenced 23:10:15 completed 23:15:05. Five minutes ten seconds. Perfectly normal. I check the utilities. No outages reported, so I check National. Nothing there either. I go back to the transfer log and click NEXT. The text blinks at me. Transfer 5:23:50 not commenced. Command deleted 24:00:00. Ultima. I'm finding it harder to breath. What I am seeing is impossible. My throat tightens and I recognise anger and pure panic vying for my attention. Whipping the chair around, I stare for a long time at the three hundred year old corpse that lies so still and silent. ''What the hell have you done?'' A personal message tone sounds and draws my attention back to the screen. PM Clem7. Read? Yes. Clem7, this is not the longest suicide note ever written it just took a long, long time to write. I understand your anger and fear but I am too damned weary to care. Today 07/07/4000 should be my three hundred and fiftieth birthday. That is too long for any man to live. I have never believed that the service I created should last for eternity. Selfishness and massive egos are the only things that have kept it going as long as it has. I suppose the fault is mine. I should have built in regulators to the original programme but even a genius can't think of everything. I'm too weary now to bother about it. I would think you still don't understand that but you and I have only been combined ten years and when you've lived as long as I have that's only a second in time. What you do with your life, is now your business. I have no part of you now and you have no part of me. You are a free man and though you were never prepared for that - I suppose I should be sorry - you have to come to terms with it and survive the best way you can. You are not stupid and I suppose you'll make some sort of stab at it. We shall meet again in heaven, as my father would have said. Be lucky, free man. David (Ultimo) I sit back staring at the screen. Thoughts only drift into my mind very slowly. Free man? Am I truly that? And if I am, do I want to be? I look over at the sarcophagus. I know even before I check the settings that it has been set to off just after midnight but I go across and check anyway. Nausea wells up inside me. What in the name of heaven am I going to do? I have made no decisions for ten years. I have not even taken myself to the bathroom in that time. He lived an eighteen hour day. I don't live at all. Panic sets in again. All kinds of delusional thoughts scurry after one another through my 'liberated' mind. I think about overriding the automatic setting on the sarcophagus but that would only revive his body. His brain is dead, his mind is gone and that is the way he wants it. I could put on a suit, walk out the door and just leave him there, but where would I go, what have I got that doesn't belong right here in this room, with this man. One after the other the possibilities present themselves and are shot down. In the end I just sit in the chair and do nothing. Tears fill my eyes. In thirty five years, I have never been alone. My first twenty four years, I spent in Building seventeen on the East side of the quadrant in a Thrall cell, four by four, each day exactly the same. Wake, exercise, wash, eat, learn, exercise, wash, eat, learn, exercise, wash, sleep. No seasons, no laughter, no tears just a body, growing, developing. Not much of a life - no life at all - but always I knew there was someone close by, another thrall like myself just meters away in the next cell, or the staff who watched me twenty-four seven. I was never alone. The only thing I had of my own was hope. The hybrid hope born of boredom and despair. The small, not well nurtured emotion that got me out of bed each morning with the thought that today might be the day the call would come. And then it did come. Not in the translucent morning when things should be born, but at night, while I slept my dreamless sleep. One night I was woken, dressed and bundled out of the building without any knowledge of where I was going. The Tower, the home of The Ultima Corporation is thirty Quadrant blocks and a world away from where I'd been. A high wall surrounds it. Creepers grow over the stone and the building rises above the city almost into the cloud. There are gates and security locks and then there is the penthouse, the pinnacle, shining, new, bright metal and ancient wood. And it was here they brought me and left me. His host then was old, his face wrinkled, flecked with dark spots but the voice had a strength. I did not look at the host. I kept my eyes down. I think they appreciated that. ''So,'' he said. ''Here you are. And you're ready for this?'' I muttered; ''I am, my boss.'' I felt his eyes looking at me, examining the package. ''How old are you?'' He asked. ''I am twenty-four, my boss.'' ''So young. So much time.'' There was a silence between us; the host, me and him and then he said: ''This body is eighty two years old. He and I have been together for fifty years but he's old now and doesn't get me around so well. Our muscles ache, our feet swell and he has certainly doesn't have the power over women that I require. You on the other hand are very fit, quite good looking. I think you will do very well. Tell me, are you intelligent?'' ''I am, my boss.'' ''You've never skipped a lesson?'' ''No, my boss. Why would I?'' ''And you have no desire for a life of your own?'' I didn't know how to answer that. There was no prospect of my having a life of my own. My only purpose was him, to be his vehicle, his means of experiencing all the carnal experiences, the sensory experiences. That was my reason for existing. ''You have no desire for a life of your own?'' he asked again. ''No, my boss.'' ''Good. I have to ask these things - what is your designation by the way?'' ''Clem7, my boss.'' ''Clem7. Well, I have to ask you these things, Clem7, because the constitution demands it of me. I have to have you verbally agree to this. Slavery - do you know the meaning of that word?'' ''I do, my boss.'' ''Slavery was outlawed, criminalised, centuries hell, millennia ago, that is why you have to agree and why I can not 'inhabit' you twenty four/seven. That would be illegal. The decision to let me enter your body always has to be yours. That is the way it must be with us. A mutual contract.'' ''I understand that, my boss.'' ''And you agree?'' ''I do, my boss.'' He touched my chin up so that I had to look at the host. ''This is all I have to offer for my part of the bargain, Clem7, that one day, a very long time from now I hope, I will use your hands to make some other young man stare into the face of his future.'' ''I said I understood, my boss. I said I agreed.'' ''So you did.'' I dropped my face down again so that I didn't have to look at him. ''In precisely ten minutes, a technician will arrive to insert the chip into your brain. I have no idea how painful a process that will be. You will then be receptive to my matrix. There then follows an acquisition period, usually twenty hours, it depends on how co-ordinated you are, then I transfer back to my own body, you sleep for awhile,you wake and transfer me back. Are there any questions?'' I remember thinking I had a thousand questions but I managed only to articulate one .''If I could ask, my boss, what happens to ... Well erm the present .. Host?'' He pulled at his own shirt. ''Him? I don't know. I've never tried to find out.'' ''You've lived inside him for fifty years, you said, and you don't care? I'm sorry, my boss, I shouldn't have said that.'' ''No, you shouldn't, mainly because I didn't say I didn't care. I don't want to know. I don't know this man. After fifty years, I still don't know this man any more than he knows me. I shave in the morning and I see his face but after all that time, it's my face. I've watched his body fail, felt his pain but he hasn't. Except first thing in the morning when he wakes.'' ''Like I said, I should not have asked.'' He reached out and touched my shoulder. ''Don't worry about it.'' We signed documents, I took the retinal scan, gave the required DNA sample and then the technician was there; a young woman in a white coat with a small black box of shiny metallic objects she wouldn't let me see. It was painless. The housing had been implanted into my brain when I was probably only weeks old, all that was required was the implantation of the chip and small jolt of electricity to start it working. I remember a discomfort in my ears, a little giddiness and then it was done. The technician stuck around for a while as the host and I went through the various procedures for transfer but she wasn't in the room with us when it happened. That was my first sight of the sarcophagus; a long glass box that housed the very mortal remains of the man I was going to be. He'd been a handsome man at one time. I remember thinking that, looking down at the sunken face, the leather-like skin that stretched across the bones of his skull. And I remember thinking, how could he bare to go back into that just to obey the law. That first transfer was a terrifying experience. Even after ten years, I find it so hard to think about. The host did all the physical stuff, worked the computer links, fitted the jacks to himself, me and the sarcophagus. I was told that I would have to do the final transfer from the sarcophagus to me and I was shown which button to push. I watched as the first transfer, saw the life drain out of the host's face, watched him crumple a bit, like he was just asleep. And then the almost mummified being in the glass coffin twitched, the eyes snapped open. I knew this was the final time I had any choice in the matter. I could, if I wanted remove the jack and walk out of there, free, enthralled to no one, but there was nowhere else for me to go, no one else for me to be. I remember that my hand shook as I touched the little green light. And then my head began to spin. All kinds of crazy stuff that I had no idea of, names that I didn't know, pictures, people, concepts, flooded my brain. History unfurled itself inside my head. Years and years of information. Children laughed, grew old, died. A million, million images spun in front of my eyes. I saw mountains, valleys, mighty, giant trees as old as time and tiny delicate flowers that lived a day and were gone. It seemed to last forever but it was over in seconds and then there was a voice inside my head, soft, comforting. ''It's all right, it's done now. It won't ever be this crazy again. Shush. It's all right.'' My bladder tells me it's time I took a leek. It's a strange sensation feeling the physical responses of my own body that aren't breathing and opening my eyes. I run my hand down my arm, just to feel the sensation of my skin on my skin. Fascinating. But the need to urinate is just as real and less pleasant and I realise quite suddenly, I have no memory of where the bathroom is. I must have known. In that twenty hour period when he and I were sentient in the same body, I must have used the bath room. I dig deep into my own mind and memory. There was the solarium, my room or rather his room and an en suit bath room. I feel my face muscles flip into a smile. You haven't beaten me yet, you bastard. I can and will piss without your permission. Relieved , washed and dressed I have to find my way around. I amnot sure about surveillance in the apartment. I know there must be some, just in case I decided to do away with my 'employer' but how far reaching that surveillance is, I have no idea. I could called up the apartment specs on my screen but that could alert the system that all is not well, so I will have to rely on trial and error and do my damnedest to keep the errors down to a minimum so that if anyone is watching, they won't get suspicious. I'm just plain lucky with the kitchen. Somewhere I can hear a very quiet, low humming sound. I figure it could be a refrigeration unit though it could just as easily have been the air-con but I follow the noise, let the scanner on the door scan me and hide my joy at the sight and kitchen smells masterfully for the imagined cameras. So far, so good. I will, for the moment have to eat the food he liked to eat, drink the beverages he liked to drink and maybe I will like them too. As I eat the tasteless food and drink the lukewarm drink, the confusion and fear begin to leave my mind. I am using my own thought patterns and the more I use my brain, the easier it gets. I am thinking my own thoughts for the first time in ten years. A decision has to be made and it has to be made very soon. It is a simple decision really. I have the choice. I can take every movable, valuable item from the apartment, step outside, zero lock the door and be gone. My own person, in my own skin, making my own life. It would take them maybe some time to realise what I'd done and by that time I could be so lost to them that I would never be found. Alternatively, I can carry on being him, living his life, here, in this beautiful place, I can be David. The trouble with the first choice is that almost every place in this and for all I know, every other quadrant, my bio-information is on record. I can not, at this moment, walk out and be someone else or even be myself. Some ancient ritual chant drifts from some dark recess into my consciousness. 'I am he and he is me and we are we and we are...' There wasn't anymore of it. So, I have my alternative, which would be the more challenging move. I can carry on being David. David, David what? David Ultima? I don't think so. Ultima? The final syllable of a word. The last. The last. He was a clever man. A genius and he liked games. More than once or twice I woke with a residual memory of a site he visited, somewhere he played games, word games. My head starts to ache. This isn't going to work. I need to think like him and I can only now think like my self. I have no idea how my days are spent. No idea how he speaks to people, if he does speak to people. I have never even imagined his life. From the moment I woke in the morning I was sentient in my own brain only long enough to move from the room I woke in to the solarium where I transferred him and then I slept. Desperately I try to remember if I had ever 'woken'. There had been the first twenty hours when he and I were 'together' but that had been mostly a learning curve for him; regulating my heart beat, finding his way through my brain. It just feels so hopeless. I move from the kitchen to the lounge without really thinking about it. I have to figure out what he did all day and half the night. He was the head of a multi-quadrant corporation so presumably he spent sometime in an office. In this building? That was a distinct possibility. I have no idea what I'm doing or what I'm going to do and then an idea comes to me. Perhaps if I try to suspend my consciousness then what every is residual in the chip will help me get a handle on his mindset and then I think why should I. He's given me my freedom but freedom to do what? To continue his life? He wanted to die, to finish with being what he was, why would he condemn me to perpetuating that? But he wasn't thinking of me, was he? Why would you think of your body when your mind is set on death? I'm just the shell, I'm nothing. I'm the structure that moved him around from A to B and I have no more right to life without him than he had to life without me. And do I just sit, waiting. Eventually someone will come to find out where he is and why he isn't doing what he normally does and they'll find me here, the thrall and maybe I'll tell them what's happened and show them the suicide note and maybe they'll believe me and tell me what to do next. Or maybe they won't believe me or I won't tell them and they'll assume that I've killed him and take me away to prison where I won't have to think for myself. Freedom! Fine concept unless you've never had it, don't know what to do with it.
Archived comments for Thrall
delph_ambi on 08-05-2007
Thrall
Fascinating story, very well told. I was gripped.

Author's Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to read this possibly too long story and I deeply appreciate your comments.
chrissy

chrissy on 10-05-2007
Thrall
I guess this is just too long for people to read. Shame.
Thanks for the nib and to delph_ambi for taking the time to read and comment.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 10-05-2007
Thrall
chrissy, I read it. I have to say it was certainly different.
One little point--you need more line breaks, It is too long for just two breaks IMHO 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Gerry. What I may do is have another serious look at and see if I can't trim it a bit (a lot) and re sub at a much later date.
chrissy

Rupe on 11-05-2007
Thrall
Very interesting and unusual piece. I found the repetition of 'my boss' highly effective, but I don't really know why. Likewise, some of your subversion of familiar expressions - the 'can and will' thing (piss without your permission). Imaginative idea & creative language.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Rupe, many thanks for reading. I'm glad it worked for you.
chrissy

sirat on 13-05-2007
Thrall
Despite the length this one held my attention. The problem with nearly all science fiction is that you've got a lot of information to get across and that task gets in the way of other things like character development, pacing and atmosphere. I think this one has a reasonably original plot idea, but the theme, what it is to be free and why it matters, is ancient. To put it very succinctly, I would go for less plot and more theme. The centre of interest here is what this shell of a human being is going to do with the rest of his life. I wouldn't worry too much about how he got into this position (the details of the transferrence etc.) or whether anybody is going to hunt him down or prevent him from doing what he wants (you've already stressed that the thrall has to agree to being inhabited by the "boss". The more interesting material would be the kinds of possiblities that this future society, and even life itself, offers for somebody without a past and a completely free hand to choose. I would let him have more knowledge of the possibnilities. It becomes more interesting if he understands what his choices are. It's tempting to present him as so repelled by the kind of society out there (rampant consumerism? soul-less conformity? Stepford wives unreality?) that he takes the same decision as his boss. But there are all kinds of possiblities that you could develop.

Technically there are a few things that need to be tidied up, as you probably realise. e.g.

I’m finding it harder to breath. (should be "breathe")
I could called up (could have?)
presumably he spent sometime in an office (some time)
then what every is residual in the chip ("whatever", one word)

Author's Reply:
Sirat, many thanks for taking the time and trouble to read this piece and for your in depth comments.
I will take more of a look at this, bearing in mind what you've said.


Lost (posted on: 30-04-07)
Not sure about the end of this. Any comments/constructive crit gratefully received.

This is not the first time that I have seen the boy. I have been watching him for three weeks. I knew he was the one the moment I saw him. He is small for his age. I know that he is twelve years old. His hair is blond and his eyes are brown. When I was young, the grandmother used to bless herself whenever she saw me because I have blond hair and brown eyes. The boy is slender. His skin lightly tanned. He has been on holiday, somewhere warm. I know where. I watch him as his friends crowd round him. He has many friends. I had no friends when I was his age. Today he cannot go with them and I see from his face that this makes him annoyed, maybe even a little angry. The friends go one way, the boy goes the other, turning a moment to shout after them that he will see them later. I pick up his pace as he walks, his hands stuffed in his pockets, his feet scuffing the ground. He looks so sad. Is what his friends are doing so important? When you are his age everything that you want to do is important. He turns down a side street and I wait on the corner. He will come back. There is no short cut that he can take. While I wait for him, I think of how his skin will feel when I touch it for the first time. I wonder if his hair will smell of shampoo, if he will still carry the scent of baby oil. I close my eyes for a moment and try to recall the scent of clean, childish skin. There is a special smell about a boy like him. I open my eyes and see them coming from the junior school. She walks slightly ahead of him, dancing backwards. She is trying to show him something that she did in school, something she is proud of? He is not interested. He wants to get home, have his tea and then go out with his friends. He has no time for younger siblings. In her backwards dance, she trips and falls. The boy laughs aloud and after a moment of indecision, where the choice is tears or smiles, the girl laughs too. Being a big brother, he helps her to stand and they continue on their way. They pass me and I follow along the broad, pleasant street in early September when the leaves on the birch trees are not certain whether to turn gold. At the crossing, he takes her hand and waits for the fat attendant, who looks so like the grandmother that I want to run and hide, to come to the centre of the crossing. She marches forward and stands stalwart against the traffic. I do not hear but I know that the boy has said thank you. I cross the road a little behind them and follow them up the street to the little shop where he will buy sweets to share with his friends and she will probably buy a pencil for drawing. For a moment I wait looking at the adverts in the window. Small yellowing cards that advertise line dancing, flat shares, The Samaritans and then I follow them inside. We are the only customers and the young girl behind the counter pays us little attention. The boy heads straight for the sweets. For a second or two I hang back and then follow him. He buys boiled sweets and a can of diet coke. I reach down as he does and take a pack of wine gums. I want our hands to touch, to feel his skin against mine but it does not happen. He does not even look at me. The girl is at the counter clutching a yellow pencil. He places his sweets and cola next to the pencil. Giggling, his sister pushes them away. Her funds are limited and she will not pay for his purchases. He gives her a friendly push, they laugh and pay for their own, private joys. From my pocket I take two twenty pence pieces. The girl behind the counter scarcely looks at me as she mutters 'thirty-eight pence.' I place the two pence change in the dog shaped RSPCA box. I have always had a fondness for animals. Outside in the sunlight I see the boy as he again takes his sister's hand to cross Broadmead Avenue and I wonder briefly if he really cares what happens to her. Of course he must. He would not be the perfect child if he didn't. They cross the road and turn down Church Lane. I have been this far before. I have stood at the corner my back pressed against the church wall, trying to control my emotions, trying to stop myself from feeling what I feel, wanting what I want. It has worked, until now. I push away from the wall and turn down the road. By the time I see them again I am outside a large beautiful house. The boy is closing the heavy wooden gate, the girl is already half way up the drive. I can see the house with its large windows, clean paint work, shining glass. The boy looks up at me and I know, in that second that his eyes look directly into mine, that I no longer have a choice. I have to act now or there will be no point to living any more. He smiles, as children smile sometimes at strangers they think might want something from them. "Excuse me," I say and hear how very foreign I sound. "I am looking for the house of Mr and Mrs William Barker." The boy looks a little surprised. He obviously did not think that I would be wanting his house. "This is the house of Mr and Mrs Barker?" I say. The boy does not answer me. The parents have taught him well. Do not speak to strangers. How well he has learned that. The girl is at the front door. I watch almost breathless as the boy turns towards her and shouts to her to get mum and dad. For a second or two she looks back and then runs into the house. The boy stands his ground by the gate and I feel a little proud of him for being so prepared to defend his territory. His shoulders are squarer as though he would be prepared to physically stop me entering. I long to reach through the gate and touch him but I do nothing. The man is tall, stocky, fatter than I remember him. He stands in front of his wife and daughter and holds out his hand to his son. I reach inside my jacket pocket and bring out a crumpled card. "Excuse me, you are Mr. William Barker?" I hand over the card. The writing is faded but the hotel address is clear. He looks down at it. Colour leaves his face like water draining from a sink. His wife reaches forward and grabs the card from his shaking hand. Her expression is a mixture of pain and joy and fear. She opens her mouth to speak but she can say nothing. Alarmed, her daughter clings to her. "Please," I say, "I have to speak to you." The woman looks directly at me and I remember those eyes laughing, looking into my eyes with love. We talk for a long, long time. They show me the photographs, the news paper cuttings about the tragic couple whose little boy was abducted while they were on holiday, the countless letters to the police and the authorities. I tell them my story as much as I remember, as much as I can bear to tell them. I have the card and the small clothes and some of the money I took from the grand mother when she died. I have the vague memories of my brother being born, of his infancy and how his skin was so soft to the touch. The tests we will take will tell us definitely where the truth lies but I know, in my own heart I know who I am and what happened to me. I know I was someone different, that I had another life before I was left with the grandmother who did not care for me and beat me when I tried to speak English. I know these things. And I know that these are my parents and that this boy is my brother. I know he is the one.
Archived comments for Lost
SugarMama34 on 30-04-2007
Lost
Hi Chrissy,

I found this an intriguing write. I couldn't stop reading until I had finished. The narrator makes the reader believe that there is something sinister about to happen. To me as a reader the first thing I thought of was a peadophile following the child. I thought that the feelings/thoughts of the man were conveyed well and the twist was good at the end. I definatley didn't expect it.

Hugs,

Sugar. xx (Lis'.)

Author's Reply:
Lis'. many thanks for reading, commenting and for the generous rating. I'm very pleased that you enjoyed the piece.
I tried not to guide the reader too strongly in the direction of the peadophile but, inevitably when you have a strange older person following a child it is something that people think. As for the twist at the end, I fear that it could have been too much of a surprise but that was the idea that got me writing the story in the first place. There was a wee boy some time ago who went missing in Greece I think and years later there was a program on TV about it where they reconstructed his face aged by however many years he'd been gone and there was another boy in America who was found after many years of being abducted. It's just a strange situation that made me write the story but I fear that I didn't write enough about that and too much about his feelings about his little brother.
May do something more or different with it at another time.
chrissy

delph_ambi on 01-05-2007
Lost
Good story. Definitely sinister undertones, when the narrator is following the children. That's well handled. The ending is good too, thought I would drop the last couple of sentences as you're almost saying to your reader: "look, in case you're thick and haven't 'got' it, this is what the story's about".

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and commenting, much appreciated.
I guess I could leave off the last two sentences because I really wouldn't want anyone to think I was implying they were thick but the very last sentence; 'I know he is the one.' takes you right back to the beginning of the story. Don't know. Needs must think on't.
chrissy

Bradene on 01-05-2007
Lost
It grabbed me from the beginning and I must say I did think of Paedophilia at first. It was only the last paragraph that it dawned on me what was actually happening here. The story is all the more powerful because of the true facts it mirrors. Superbly told .

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the generous rating. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the piece and that it worked in the way it was intended to. Like I said, I didn't want to guide people too strongly along the Peadophile route because that would have made there ending seem "There! Wasn't what you thought it was." I think that was why I tried not to put too much emphasis on 'feelings' for the boy which the narrator didn't have and I tried to introduce a memory, the grandmother, of his previous life.
chrissy

glennie on 02-05-2007
Lost
Yes, Chrissy, I thought 'paedophile' too but knew that would be too obvious and there would be a twist. The tension was well held throughout which keeps the readers interest. The last para, perhaps, had maybe a bit too much explanation, I think the reader has worked a lot of this out already. Glen.

Author's Reply:
Glennie, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It is genuinely appreciated.
I'm glad that the story worked for you and will take a look at the last paragraph again, see if we can't get across the information that he wasn't well treated during his captivity in a different way or in a different part of the story.
chrissy


Formerly known as Ashley (posted on: 19-03-07)
Any kind of comments, please. 'When did I stop just being a fucking kid? Why do they refer to you as what's wrong with you?'

Formerly known as Ashley. She's told just about everyone she can think of, like it was something to be proud of, yeah?. Oh, don't ask me why. I suppose it gets her off the hook. She can't be thought of as a bad parent if I'm mental. And she would sooner be seen as the brave single mother of a mentally ill kid than as a tart who went out almost every night when her lad was old enough to leave on his own. It was always what she wanted. She wanted a new lippy or mascara and it always come out of money that should have been used on me. Always. The times I've tried to walk to school 'cause me bus fare was spread in a big red slash across her fucking face. I always got side tracked, bunked off, did something stupid. Now they say it's not even my fault. I'm Schitzofrantic or bi polaroid or something. When did I stop just being a fucking kid? Why do they refer to you as what's wrong with you? You don't hear people say 'Oh the broken leg, or the measles.' Physical illnesses they don't do it. Kevin isn't a slipped disk or a fractured skull. But I'm a schizophrenic or whatever and a lad at junior school was an epileptic. Why do they do it with some things and not others. She took me with her when she went to tell me gran. We'd just got the diagnosis. I don't know why she bothered telling her mam. I mean what did she think the old bitch was going to say? Did she imagine that gran would be full of sympathy. She's twice the nutter I am if she did. Do you know what my gran said, when my mam had finished telling her everything the doctor had said, do you know what that fucking ignorant old cow said. She's cleaning her 'silver' candlesticks like that is so much more important than anything my mam has to say, and she says; "Well, he must have got it from his father's side. There's never been any mental illness in our family." Like I wasn't even there. I wanted to grab the candlesticks and smash 'em on either side of her fat frizzy 'ead. She hates my dad. I know why. He was black and gran hates blacks. And she thinks that isn't a big sign of mental illness? I hate my gran. She's never liked me. Not even when I were little and my mam used to pay her to baby sit. She never asked for money from auntie Paula. Oh no. Auntie Paula and Uncle Gordon only ever asked her to sit with Trisha and Blake when they had to go to some big function or other. Uncle Gordon was always functioning. My dad died when I was seven. He was in the army and he got shot. My gran couldn't even bring herself to say his name at his funeral. She never, ever used his name. His name was Winston, Winston Benjamin. He was Jamaican. Really good looking bloke. I've got a picture of him somewhere. He joined the army when he was eighteen. He was thirty two when he was shot. I'd like to go to Jamaica. My dad wasn't born there, he was from Leicester but I'd like to see what Jamaica's like. I wish I was Superman. No, straight, if I was Superman, I wouldn't be mental. Like if I was Superman the only thing that could hurt me would be kryptonite and there isn't that much kryptonite, not on planet earth. And if I did come across some kryptonite I'd just put on a lead suit, 'cause if I was Superman it wouldn't be that heavy, 'cause I'd be super and sort of well hard, so I could wear a lead suit no problem. If I was Superman, I wouldn't be ill and I wouldn't have to take great gobfulls of tablets. These new tablets they got me on, they don'alf make my arse itch. I am serious. When I was a kid, right, I had this mate called Ronnie. His old man used to work away a lot and one weekend when he come home, he brought Ronnie this puppy. He'd brought it all the way from Norwich or somewhere on his motor bike. It was all wrapped in his coat. How it survived I dunno but it was really cute and it licked your face and that. I got worms off it. So did Ronnie. My arse itched so much. My mum bandaged my hands so I wouldn't scratch. That's what these new tablets are like, they make my arse itch like havin' worms. My psychiatrist, and believe me I ain't lying, his name is Dr Reason, he says that I have to keep a diary. He says that some of his patients keep video diaries. Like my mum would spring for a video camera just for me to talk to. I don't think so. So I'm writing it all down, everything. Even what I don't want other people to know. Dr Reason thinks that it will help me to get to grips with my 'disorder'. What would help me is if my mum didn't go braggin' on it to anyone and everyone, like it somehow made me different. I don't want to be different. I don't want to be some illness that was formerly known as Ashley. I want to be me again and take the blame for bad things I do. I want my control back. I want to be Superman.
Archived comments for Formerly known as Ashley
deepoceanfish2 on 19-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
chrissy,

This piece flowed for me. You have a genuine command of dialog. This poignant character is really gripping. Do you intend to take this further in a longer work? I'd be interested to see more. A very fine read, in my opinion.

Warm regards,

Adele

Author's Reply:
Hello, Adele, how very kind of you to say such nice things and I mean that. I was expecting this piece to get some stick because it seems a bit rough and ready, you can have no idea of the work that went into making it that way, and so to see that for you it worked and worked well is truly great and very much appreciated.
I don't have any real intention of developing it into a longer piece but who knows with me?
Many thanks for taking an interest and welcome back. I've missed you.
chrissy

Rupe on 19-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
Very much like the voice you've created in this piece - it's viscerally bitter but incorporates an element of uneasy humour (the itchy arse episode in particular). And it sounds authentic.

A minor quibble - you could perhaps make the language register a little more consistent. Sometimes, it's clearly colloquial (I ain't lying) & at other times more articulated ('I am serious'). I also noticed a missing question-mark or two missing.

The piece feels a little open-ended - is it the beginning of a longer work? It feels like it could be.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Rupe, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment, it is much appreciated.
I will look again for the missing question marks when I am feeling a little less 'brain dead'.
As for the 'I am serious' thing, I thought about this and from where I stand it fits. I've been listening to a lot of young people 'Ashley's' age talking and this is something they would say. For instance, they don't say 'you're not serious', they will say 'you are not serious' as if to stress what they're saying. I have noticed one thing that I'm going to have to do something about and that is the slipping of mam to mum and my to me. Should be one thing or t'other.
chrissy

Hazy on 19-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
Loved this piece - a fave for me. Some of those 'rough edges' are what makes it appealing so don't go ironing too many out!

You might like a book called 'Lazy Eye' by Donna Daley-Clarke. Amazon link here: http://tinyurl.com/23toge

Take care,

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
Hazy, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I am glad you enjoyed the piece.
Don't intend to do any rough edge smoothing, it took me too long to get them in. I will probably take another look at the punctuation though.
Can't find out what the book's about.
chrissy

Hazy on 19-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
Just to let you know, there's another link here with a brief synopsis: http://tinyurl.com/25nutv

Your tale reminded me of the book and thought you might enjoy it!

Anyway, shoving a 10 your way too... really enjoyed the way you told this - some skilful writing.

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
Hazy, thanks for the ten and for the second link. Will take a look when I get five.
chrissy

orangedream on 20-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
Oh I loved this Chrissy. I could really hear Ashley. The dialogue was splendidly done. The entire piece, for me, something special. It leapt off the page at me and by the time I'd read the last word all I wanted to do was give Ashley a big hug.

Super - well deserving of the nib.

Tina:-)

Author's Reply:
Tina, many thanks for reading, commenting and for the generous rating. I'm glad that you enjoyed reading about Ashley.
chrissy

Bradene on 20-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
A great piece of writing Chrissy. With a lot of apparent insight into the disorder as well as getting under the skin of an adolescent. Brilliantly told. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for reading, commenting and the generous rating. Not sure how much I really know about mental disorders but I was an adolescent once, a very long time ago 🙂
chrissy

chrissy on 20-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
Val, many thanks for reading, commenting and the generous rating. Not sure how much I really know about mental disorders but I was an adolescent once, a very long time ago 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

juliet on 22-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
I really enjoyed this. The voice is authentic and the types of things he talks about jumping from major issues to fantasy is really well done. The message about labelling comes across very strongly without any patronising.

I don't think it needs to be any longer, but it would make a great series, like a diary if you did do more. I would however change 'I am serious' to 'I'm' just reads better.

Juliet

Author's Reply:
Juliet, many thanks for reading and for your comments, much appreciated.
I'm not sure if Ashley will have more to say, it's possible.
I did think that the 'I am serious' thing fitted for reasons already given to Rupe but I will think about it.
chrissy

teifii on 23-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
Another wonderful story, Chrissy. I couldn't resist a quick dose of prose when I spied it. You certainly bring Ashley to life.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, many thanks for reading and for your lovely comments. Much appreciated.
chrissy

sirat on 25-03-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
Sorry I'm so late in adding my few words, I've been away. This is a very strong story with a great narrator's voice. Any tidying-up might spoil it. The only tiny thing I wondered about was his use of the word "diagnosis" which seems just a bit technical for this speaker. "Schitzofrantic or bi polaroid" sounded just right. I don't think it needs to be any longer or shorter or different to the way it is. Great work.

Author's Reply:
Sirat, many thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I truly appreciate your interest.
The tiny thing, diagnosis, yes I agree that it would be out of place if it was the isolated word 'diagnosis' but it's the phrase 'got the diagnosis' which appears in countless medical dramas and would, as many other phrases, come in to the vocabulary of a grumpy teenager or at least that was the idea behind putting it in there.
chrissy

SugarMama34 on 28-04-2007
Formerly known as Ashley
Hi Chrissy,

This to me was a powerful piece of writing. I thought the voice of Ashley was very good and his emotions and thoughts came across very well. The character shines through and it gives you an insight of what this lad is going through mentally. The begining of this really catches the readers attention and it definatley has that 'read on' factor throughout. I couldn't stop until I had finished. I liked this piece very much and thouroughly enjoyed the read and the journey into Ashley's mind and his life as he see's it.
Congrats on the nomination, it deserves it.

Hugs,

Lis'.xx

Author's Reply:
Lis many thanks for your kind comments and I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the story.
chrissy


Hard (posted on: 19-02-07)
Not sure about this (when am I ever sure of what I post here? 🙂 ) I haven't done a lot of tarting to it so any comments of any persuasion will be welcomed.

Hard. It's raining. It would have to be for something like this. All the bad things in life are accompanied by rain. The first time you get kicked out of your digs isn't a balmy summers' evening when rough sleeping'll be a bit of a lark. The first girlfriend who dumps you doesn't leave you standing outside the pictures on a warm afternoon in midsummer. You never bury your dad on a bright sunny day. So why should this be different? When shit's descending on your bare head from such a great height, it has to be accompanied by rain. And rain helps mask the tears, doesn't it? Stops you feeling like a complete tosser. It's not my fault. Oh how many times have I said that? It's not my fault. When my school reports said I was inattentive and easily distracted. That wasn't my fault. It was Barrington and the other knuckle-walkers who beat up any kid who dared to show the slightest intellect. And turnin' up at home pissed and throwing up over the new hall carpet that wasn't my fault, it was the 'ruby' that was off. And bein' late for Brian's wedding when I had the rings. That wasn't down to me either, that was the bleedin' copper who clocked me doing forty in a thirty limit. And missin' mum's funeral because I hadn't finished a job I was meant to be doing. I had to earn a living. And this, this isn't down to me either. We're sitting in the car park, her, me, the box on the back seat and the fact that she's giving me the 'silent' isn't helping. I can't explain it. It's out of my control and there is nothing I can do. I want to tell her that I love her, that it doesn't matter to me what she's done, that it was all probably my fault anyway, that I must have done something but I can't say those things, not so that she'll understand that she isn't to blame. I lean forward and look out at the seemingly endless, flat, concrete space. No one's here yet. It's five o'clock in the morning. I suppose the night duty people are kipping. My big problem is, I can't be alone. I need someone to just care for me. Like I needed my mum when I was at home, or my mates or girlfriends. I need Karen. I need her to tell me that I am a good bloke and that she does care about me and that what her parents think of me doesn't matter because I'm what she wants. That's what I need. And my needs come first, don't they. I look at her but she's not looking at me. She's just sitting there, silent, waiting. "It's not your fault," I say and she turns to look at me, sort of happy looking, like she's misheard or heard something she was wanting to hear. "It's me." And how many times has that been said? "I'm weak, and thick, and I just can't hack it on my own, all right ?" I get out of the car and go round to open her door. She just sits there, with that 'it's raining' look so I just leave the door and get the box off the back seat. It's heavy but I don't put it down. She gets out of the car and comes towards me. I slam the doors and lock the car. There maybe no-one around but I don't like to take chances. As we walk across the car park I try again to explain things. "It's Karen. She has to come first. I know I promised I'd be there for you but ...." I stop talking, stop trying to justify it. I made a promise to someone and now I'm breaking it. End of. We've reached the buildings and now it's really the hardest thing I've ever done but I know it has to be done. I put the box down and straight away she's fussing about it but I don't touch her, I don't speak, I just back off, turn and walk away. Every step I take I want to turn round and see what I've done but I don't. I walk straight back to the car. The rain is falling really hard. And it's running down my cheeks. I get into the car and start the engine. Just a few more minutes and I'm out of here. I'm gone and she's just a memory. Somebody else's problem. I'm almost at the gate and then I think I hear something. I stop, listen and then drive round in a big fast circle. She's still there where I left her. Trembling and cold and frightened because she doesn't know what the hell is going on. I slam the breaks on, fling the door open and run to her. Bending I snatch up the box and run with it to the motor. It's not that wet but she is. I don't give a monkey's. I push her into the car on the drivers' side and shove her over to the passenger seat. Sod you Karen! If you don't like it, tough tits! I promised my dad I'd look after her and I will. I'm livin' in his house and I will keep my promise. She looks at me with that instinct that some dogs have when they see their owner crying and she rests her head on my thigh. From the back seat I can hear the puppies whimpering. I really have to get them all back home. It's far too early in the morning, though it has stopped raining.
Archived comments for Hard
Romany on 19-02-2007
Hard
Clever little twist. I must say that I was a little confused when you switched from talking about/to Karen, to the dog, but of course that was partially intentional. I suppose it lost me a little bit, round about 'As we walk across the car park I try again to explain things.
"It's Karen.'
because at that point I imagined 'Karen' was stil sitting on the front seat. Original story though.
Romany.

Author's Reply:
Guess it's me trying to be too clever. I wanted to lead folk into believing that he's dumping his 'bit on the side girlfriend' in favour of his 'steady girlfriend'. And then at the end it's something quite other. Maybe I should have another look at it, though I really can't think how I can make it clearer without giving the whole thing away.
Thanks for commenting.
chrissy

juliet on 19-02-2007
Hard
Hi Chrissy, a great little story with a good twist. However i did get very confused by who was on the front seat, can't you use the name, e.g. Ruby or something ambiguous.

I thought the beginning was strong, i'd like the way the narrator describes himself, whilst showing the reader the opposite (clever).

I think you can build up more of the scene before the dump without giving too much away. He loves her, so i want to see more of this relationship, maybe a bit of reminiscing about the good times, or more description. Her eyes of chocolate, her supple limbs that kinda thing.

I also like the fact that the narrators moves forward in this piece finally accepting responsibility for his actions. A lot of short stories 'fail' becuase the characters are not faced with conflicts that cause them to change, good or bad.

This definetly needs more work (imo) but i can see already it will be a wicked piece.

Juliet

Author's Reply:
Thanks Juliet.
As I said in the intro, I didn't do much 'tarting' in fact I only did a very quick spell check and word count so I can completely accept that it could definetly do with some work. I think I will have to be very careful though, cause I give too much away, the story loses any point. I will have a good think.
chrissy

wfgray on 19-02-2007
Hard
Hell Juliet, you had me completely and utterly confused. At first I thought there had been a love entanglement that had gone wrong then came the twist with the dog. Yes it always rains when there is trouble about. Whether it is women, men or dogs. I love dogs but they can cause some trouble in a family, especially if they are lost. Nice read. Will

Author's Reply:
Will, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm genuinely pleased that you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

discopants on 19-02-2007
Hard
Hi Chrissy,

I liked the start of this, the character finding excuses for his own inadequacies and failure to take responsibility.

I didn't get the sense that the narrator was looking to dump a woman or bit on the side- I was thinking of a young child and the thought that it was dog had also crossed my mind so the twist didn't come as a surprise to me. I think that because you deliberately omitted any detail regarding the 'second' character I automatically assumed that it wouldn't be who we should imagine it to be.

As Juliet says, though, there is a strong development of character, with him facing up to some responsibility at the end of the piece.

Author's Reply:
discopants, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
The thing was with this one, it came into my head and I wrote it down from what was going on inside my mind. I'm not sure what triggered it but I didn't really do much with it on the developmental side.
I guess once I had the idea I was caught in a bit of a bind. If I describe the second occupant of the car in too much detail, I risk losing the 'surprise' at the end, which, as I think I said in a previous response, is the whole point of the piece but if I don't do much description at all, I flag up that there is going to be a 'surprise' which I didn't want to do either.
Guess I lucked out on this one.
Back to the drawing board.
chrissy

Rupe on 20-02-2007
Hard
Yes, I also enjoyed this, though it did take a couple of reads through to get it.

What I particularly liked was the way you caught the defensive, self-justifying inner voice of the character. 'It's not my fault' is one of the cheapest, most exasperating phrases in the English language & alarm bells ring whenever I hear it - particularly if it turns out to be me who said it(!) The examples you used (the funeral etc) built this aspect up very convincingly.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Rupe, much thanks for reading and commenting. I am genuinely pleased that you enjoyed it.
Oh yes, we all do the self justification thing, don't we? but I suppose we wouldn't be human if we didn't.
chrissy

juliet on 20-02-2007
Hard
Chrissy, i don't think you lucked out on this. It is a good story, but it needs more work. Don't scrap it, work with what you have got and resub. I look foward to a more polished version. And well done on the nib, that ought to tell you something. Juliet

Author's Reply:
Juliet, much thanks for the return visit.
Don't think I'm saying I'll scrap it, not the way I do things.
I shall have a look at it and see what it wants me to do with it.
Much thanks for your interest. It is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

SugarMama34 on 20-02-2007
Hard
Hi Chrissy,
Sorry I'm late with the review, but it's been a little chaotic here. I thought the narrator told about this guy's past really well, the fact that he is always making excuses and that's it's not his fault, is very good and the reader can see how this guy ticks a little.

At first I thought that it was Karen on the front seat with him in the car, then I dunno something just clicked, and I thought nah it's a dog, though the heavy box had me guessing, so that part did come as a surprise. I didn't expect it to be puppy's. It's a good short story and I'm glad that he took responsibility for his actions and done something right for once, without thinking of himself. That part came across really well.

Cheers From Lis'.xx

Author's Reply:
Lis', many thanks for dropping by and commenting.
The man was worked out because he's a lot of people I know and he's me bit. (Not the throwing up on the hall carpet and blaming it on the the iffy 'ruby'. I don't drink and I don't eat curry) but things can always be someone else's fault if you can't face up to taking responsibility for your own mistakes or failures.
I think he's more than a bit confused because he is being pulled two ways; by his love for his dad and his need for Karen. At the start he's decided that his need for Karen is most important but then his dad has cared for him and has left him the house and thing he promised was simple, should have been easy.
Glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Sunken on 20-02-2007
Hard
Hello Ms. Chrissy. Well ya fooled me. I know that's not difficult, but there ya go. I thought it was a casket of ashes in the seat for some reason. I think I'm just obsessing about death of late for reason. Kept my attention right to the end, never an easy thing to achieve. Well done on the nib.

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last in casualty

Author's Reply:
Sunken, many thanks for reading and commenting and I'm truly pleased that you enjoyed the read.
Keeping a cute little munky guessing is an achievement I agree.
As for the ashes, I can see your point. There are two funerals mentioned so it could have been that.
Many thanks for your interest.
chrissy
she's fond of dogs and munkys.

sirat on 21-02-2007
Hard
I liked the defensiveness of the main character and his unwillingness to accept responsibility. I did wonder why we were being told so little about the other "person" in the car, but to be honest I found the dialogue and narration a bit contrived for the purpose of leading the reader astray. For instance would one really say of a dog theat "she's giving me the 'silent' ? Or "As we walk across the car park I try again to explain things". To a dog? I think this is deliberate reader deception and (at least in my book) breaks the rules of trick-ending stories. It really only works when the clues are all there, staring us in the face as it were, and we don't see them. It works best of all when this failure to see what's coming points up some prejudice in the reader. I don't mean to sound negative but I think the characterisation is the best thing in this story. I think it would be more interesting without the trick ending - just an examination of somebody's feelings in having to do what this man had to do. Just a personal viewpoint I know.


Author's Reply:
Hi Sirat, many thanks for reading and commenting, though you have given me much to think on and that is never good at this time in the morning.
I said in the intro and in other comments that I haven't done much if anything to this apart from tap the keys but I think my idea in writing it was for it to be about a chap who dumps something he's promised to care for because it doesn't exactly fit in with his life style.
The 'trick ending' could, I suppose be changed but it would still have to be the ending.
As for the dog giving out the silent treatment, well I would certainly be concerned if any of the dogs of my acquaintance were silent when traveling in the motor.
The explanation to the dog well yes I suppose that could be seen as contrived but mostly because it's him trying to explain to himself and to the reader and not because I want to trick the reader. And I did have a friend whose dad kept bees and I remember when the old chap suddenly died someone having to go and tell the bees that he was dead. If bees can understand stuff, why not dogs. I frequently talk to my dog about things.
Any way many thanks for taking the time to comment. I will certainly review this piece.
chrissy
confused of Gwynedd

teifii on 25-02-2007
Hard
Hi Chrissy. I got there at last. Congratulations on the nomination --well deserved.
I loved it. I too thought it was Karen there at first but when I realised it wasn't i still thought it was human, another girl. As for the box, I thought it was a dead baby, so I was quite relieved it was live puppies.
I don't hink you need to do anything to prevent the reader being confused midway. Isn't he/she supposed to be?
Daff

Author's Reply:
Hello Daff. Many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm really pleased the story worked for you and that you enjoyed it.
Dead babe?
What with Sunken's ashes (not literally his, the ones he mentioned) and now your dead babe (same applies) you two ought to get together 🙂
chrissy

Kazzmoss on 25-02-2007
Hard
Oh wow, dogs, puppies, what a clever twist to the story. Really enjoyed reading this, Chrissy. - Kazz

Author's Reply:
Kazz, many thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

jay12 on 02-03-2007
Hard
This is a good story but it's very heat breaking. I think you could polish this up with an edit too and maybe space the text so that it seems less bunched up at the start - that would make it easier to read on a small screen. (Sorry if I'm picking flies).

Take care,

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting and I'm pleased that you enjoyed it, despite its need for polish. (I am working on it -- thinking about working on it -- e'en as I write.)
Respect
chrissy


Do not shoot the messenger (posted on: 12-02-07)
This was based on a remark made to me by a man who had reported the Viet-Nam war. Any comments welcome.

Do not shoot the messenger Do not shoot the messenger for bringing the fish to your table as it was, rotten, stinking its glazed eyes no longer seeking compassion its gaping mouth drilled with the a cruel hook. Do not blame the one who lays your dead face up, eyes bulging, torn skin, between the gaudy ads for second-hand Buicks unused candy striped porch recliners. Do not lay your demons at our door. You sent your children there to kill to be killed. We simply recorded it. And we have demons enough of our own.
Archived comments for Do not shoot the messenger
e-griff on 12-02-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
the message here came across very well. I have some doubts about the 'fish' analogy in the first verse, to be honest. Not the dead fish/body thing but the thing about bringing a rotten fish to the table doesn't quite work for me. If someone did that, I would blame them (justifiably I think), wouldn't you?

Few typos: its' (its) ; Bewick (assume Buick, the car not the swan)

Author's Reply:
e-griff, many thanks for reading and commenting and for flagging the typos which I have fixed. Don't think I meant the analogy to be fish/body but fish/the reporting of the war. From what my friend told me it was like the people, Americans, blamed the reporters for reporting what they saw for actually 'telling it like it was' , like they should have cleaned the fish first so that it didn't appear quite so rotten. Think that's what I meant.
Much thanks
chrissy

Gerry on 12-02-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
Chrissy, well done with this. you make the point very well.
That was one terrible war...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Gerry, many thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

barenib on 12-02-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
An interesting poem - I can't help thinking of Iraq now too, with possibly Iran to come. Of course, some messengers do 'clean up the fish' and maybe they do need shooting. John.

Author's Reply:
John, many thanks for reading and commenting. I think Nam was the first really 'heavily' reported war and I think people got fed up with continually seeing the body bags.
Glad you thought it was interesting.
chrissy

teifii on 13-02-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
Very effective, Chrissy. My first reaction was that the first verse didn't work as I too felt that bringing stinking fish would be blameworthy, but once you realise the metaphor, it works fine on second reading.
Was the last line what the reporter said?
Daff

Author's Reply:
Hi Daff, many thanks for reading and commenting.
The fish thing seemed like a good analogy at the time of writing but maybe it is a bit obscure, needs other references.
There is no one line that is directly attributable to Jack. I based the piece on our general conversation.
chrissy

Sunken on 13-02-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
Hello Ms. Chrissy. I could have sworn I commented on this yesterday. I must have been dreaming again. Anyway, that's not important right now. I think the last line pretty much nails what is already a very strong piece, in my ickul opinion. It's good to see you back on uka.

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last in bargain booze

Author's Reply:
Hello Sunk, many thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I'm genuinely pleased you found the piece to your liking and ta for the welcome back.
chrissy

Sunken on 14-02-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
I really am cracking up. I forgot that I had commented and decided to do it now, only to find that I have commented. To be quite frank Ms. Chrissy, I feel a bit daft sitting in your box like this for a second time (-;

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lost in inaction

Author's Reply:
Hello again little munky. I'm just sat here listening to Vesti La Giubba and somehow that seems quite appropriate accompaniment to your post.
You're welcome in the box any time.
chrissy
she loves return visitors

orangedream on 15-02-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
I too think that the last line was a realy winner - and the rest of it, of course. For me, the fish analogy worked from the start. A good poem about an abominable war - as they all are.

kind regards
Tina

Author's Reply:
Tina, many thanks for reading, commenting and for the generous rating. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Sunken on 15-02-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
Ahem, sorry Chrissy - I forgot my jacket.

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Author's Reply:

Jolen on 09-05-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
Hi Chrissy. I had to read this when I saw the title. I have one called 'don't shoot the messenger' and it's on war, as well.
fine work and I agree, those who cover the war deal with their own demons doing so.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hi, Jolen. Many thanks for reading and commenting.
I think, but I can't be sure, that I wrote this in the mid eighties, it was certainly a while after Nam was done and dusted. I'm not sure it's really about 'war' in as much as it doesn't deal with the actual horrors of war but more with the reaction to the reportage, to the daily in your face body count and unrefined photography.
chrissy

jay12 on 04-06-2007
Do not shoot the messenger
Wow, the meaning of this could apply so much to the Iraq war. A lovely, well written and meaningful ditty. I enjoyed it.

Jay.

Author's Reply:


Small view of a silent woman (posted on: 26-01-07)
I went outside, just for a moment to let the cat out and this happened. Odd how these things come upon one. Have done it no other disservice than to write it down.

Small view of a silent woman They want her to say something, anything. They think she should speak to someone, anyone. She sits listening to the sound of her own heart beating, hears only her own thoughts. She nurses her pain, keeps it tightly confined. Her own private, very private wound, still too raw and bleeding to speak about. She has no words. Her silence says enough.
Archived comments for Small view of a silent woman
e-griff on 26-01-2007
Small view of a silent woman
this is an excellent small view of a silent woman ...

i have (genuinely) no suggestions to improve it.

However, I think you should have written a large view of a loud man 🙂 (re: our thread discussions bless! G )

Author's Reply:
'i have (genuinely) no suggestions to improve it.' This shall I treasure to the end of days. As for loud men, I know no men loud enough to demand their own poem except for the SOF and he doesn't like me writing about him.
A blessing on your head.
chrissy

orangedream on 26-01-2007
Small view of a silent woman
Perhaps you should let your cat out more often, Chrissy if you come back inside with little gems like this! An atmospheric, quite beautifully written piece.

regards
Tina

Author's Reply:
Tina, many thanks for your comments and for the generous rating. I am genuinely pleased you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Jolen on 27-01-2007
Small view of a silent woman
Chrissy: This is powerful..It is so valid and relatable to most all of us, I'd bet.

blessings,
JolenPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Author's Reply:
Jolen, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm genuinely pleased that you enjoyed the piece and that you found something in it to which you and others can relate.
Much thanks.
chrissy

red-dragon on 29-01-2007
Small view of a silent woman
I read this and meant to comment when I'd signed in, then I got distracted - but I'm here now.
I found it very eloquent, its introspection enough to speak volumes. Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy


Roses from the south (posted on: 25-12-06)
A poem... maybe.

Graciously, he released her opening his hands like someone releasing a bird from a room where it should not be. Often he wonders if she remembers pictures drawn in sand washed clean by the blue sea. Sometimes, when memory permits, he sends her flowers in the hope that she will dream, sleeping with roses on her pillow.
Archived comments for Roses from the south
flossieBee on 25-12-2006
Roses from the south
This is a beautiful and moving poem. I wonder if the characters are friends, family, lovers

Author's Reply:
FlossieBee, many thanks for dropping in to read and comment under the recent difficulties, I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

jay12 on 27-12-2006
Roses from the south
This is a lovely poem. I like the image of the metaphorical releasing of a bird.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Sunken on 28-12-2006
Roses from the south
How lovely to see you back Ms. Chrissy. Your poem put me in mind of a girl I know who makes me go all funny when I see her. Perhaps I have caught a bug. I hope this helps. Thanks.

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shades of confusion

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading, commenting and rating, sunken, most generous in all respects.
Love chrissy

teifii on 31-12-2006
Roses from the south
Absolutely beautiful Chrissy. Love the last line especially but the whole thing is just right.
daff

Author's Reply:
daff, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm very pleased you liked the poem.
chrissy


Not what you think (posted on: 04-09-06)
Another monologue. Blame sirat he got me hooked on monologues.

I loath the term housewife. It's so diminishing. Homemaker's just as bad. And yet I prefer wife or husband to partner. Housewife literally means married to the house and that's not what it's all about. Whenever I have to fill in forms and it asks for my occupation, I put unwaged, that's the new one. Unwaged, I like that. It can mean anything. It could mean you're an unemployed layabout who doesn't want a job or some one like me who works thirty hours a week for a charity. What do words matter? Words, names, labels, categories they're not worth bothering with, that's other people's business, not mine. I could be anybody sitting here on this bench with my good shoulder bag and my old shoes. I could be a fortunate bag lady, a spy, a bored housewife meeting her afternoon lover but I'm not. I'm just a middle aged woman trying to come to terms with a piece of information she thought she would never hear. But I have heard it and what's more I went out of my way to hear it, paid good money to hear it. How stupid is that? I've never believed women who say that they didn't know their husbands were having affairs. If you know some one really well, it doesn't matter how careful they are, how discreet, you have to pick up on it. Perhaps women who say they didn't know maybe didn't know their husbands very well. I always thought David would never do this to me, would never even look at another woman but I knew there was something wrong. All right, so I thought for a start it was problems with the business. I do still keep an eye on things and maybe the work hadn't been as good as he'd led me to believe. Then I had a horrible time of thinking he was desperately ill and didn't want me to find out. That was the worst time of my life, thinking that he was suffering and not able to tell me. His father died of cancer when he was sixty seven. David's nearly sixty. I so wanted to ask him, 'are you all right? Are you pushing me away because you think that if I don't love you I won't be so hurt when you die?' It's insane, I know but you think these things, well I did. It didn't even occur to me that there could be some other woman. Oh, I've said it now and I feel sick, really sick to my stomach. Thirty years. That's how long we've been married, thirty years next month. I was twenty three, David was twenty nine. It was a lovely day. Gorgeous weather for late September. Everything looked so golden and warm. Even now, when I look back at the photographs, I can see and feel the warmth, the love. It was a wonderful day. I do remember my sister turning up late. She had a black eye. She's three years older than me but she married very young, she must have been about eighteen. Oh she was so full of herself when she hooked her husband. He spent money on her like it was going out of fashion, big house, holidays all over the world. He was Mr. Perfect, good looks, money in the bank, a good career and a more than useful right hand after a couple of years. I will never understand women who stay with violent men, never. If David had ever so much as raised a hand to me, I would have been out of the door quicker than ... Oh, I don't know, something that's very quick. Why am I thinking of the good things about him? Like he never forgets our anniversary or my birthday or like he's never left me a penny short even in the early days when we were just starting the business. He's always been good to me, to our sons, made sure that they had a brilliant education and a lovely home to live in 'till they got married .... But he's screwing another woman so all of that means... What? Nothing? Oh, I wish, I wish, I wish .... I wish I'd never noticed the changes, never wondered what was wrong. I wish I could just forget it all. But I can't. It's like wanting to find something, something you think you desperately need and you search and search and finally you come to a drawer that's stuck but you're thinking that it must be in there so you pull and pull at the drawer until finally it comes out and everything spills out of it all over the floor and sometimes what you wanted isn't there or sometimes it is and it smashes on the floor and all you've got is pieces. I'm looking across at the building I've just left, the investigator's office. His name's Simon. Simon Kern. He's only about thirty. I got him out of the yellow pages. He was ever so businesslike, but nice. He told what he was going to do and roughly how much it would cost and he said he would start doing it straight away but it could take time. And then he said, and I thought this was really nice of him, he said I could stop him whenever I wanted. I didn't stop him though. Oh no, not me. Get to the bottom of it. There's something wrong and I have to know what it is. That's the real problem. I did want to know. I wanted to know that it was something to do with money or his health or anything that I could contribute to solving or making easier. I didn't want to know he was screwing some other woman. She's in her mid thirties, according to Simon. He had some pictures, her and David in a pub. They looked like they were having a good time. She's quite tall, slim, elegant and she's got long blonde hair. She looks like an actress or something. I was expecting some one younger. When Simon first told me, said that it was another woman scenario, I was expecting some one quite young and frothy. Not that that's David's type at all, well, I don't know, do I? I thought I was his type. I wonder if it's my fault? I really haven't let myself go. I know a lot women my age who have stopped caring about themselves but I haven't. When we first started the business I was very active, seeing clients, doing all the office work I've done just about everything. Of course when the boys came along I wasn't quite so 'out there' but I didn't let myself go. I know I'm not glamorous. I never have been but I weigh now only about six or seven pounds more than I did when we got married. My hair isn't grey and I don't colour it and I've still got all my own teeth. I've always dressed nicely. I'm not a fashion slave. I'm not very tall you see and some fashions don't suit the not very tall but I've always been smart, not slopping around in old trousers and baggy jumpers. I thought our sex life was all right as well. I mean we've never been that adventurous but I thought it was good. Oh, what have I done to make him do this to me? I've tried so hard to be interesting, to maintain an interest in life. I'm up on the news and politics and I like art and music. Admittedly I'm not too interested in sport but then David isn't, except golf. He does like golf. I'm not particularly fond of it but no two people like exactly the same things, do they? And he's never complained. I always go with him to the functions and I never make him ashamed. Maybe it's just an age thing. I mean his age. Sometimes men his age get fancies for younger women or so they say. Or maybe it's my age. Maybe we've just been together too long. You know they say the average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eleven and a half years. That's hardly trying very hard, is it? Don't people take the commitment seriously any more? Maybe they should change the wedding vows, take out 'till death do us part' and put in I don't know 'till you get too fat and frumpy or 'till I get too fed up with you coming home pissed or maybe 'till life gets too hard. David and I, we've had our problems but we've worked through it. We've come through our troubles or I thought we had. Oh, this is just so confusing. I have to decide now ... Big decision ...do I face him with it and wipe away thirty years of marriage. That's what it would mean. I couldn't just accept that it would be over and a never to be repeated thing. That's if he would admit to it and say that it was over. Maybe he would want to be with her. I could, of course say nothing, pretend that I don't know, just let things go on the way they are but that would still mean our marriage was over, for me it would anyway. I couldn't .. Well it wouldn't be the same. So, I'll go home and I'll think some more and then I'll come to a decision, one way or the other. Well, I'm not sure what I believe now. David was there when I got home, sitting in the kitchen. I went in and started straight in to doing the dinner. He asked me where I'd been and I just said, out. Stupid thing to say I know but my mind was still so confused. I could have said something right there and then but I still hadn't made up my mind what I was going to do. He still sat at the table and then he said; "Leave that, come and sit down, I want to talk to you." I pretended I hadn't heard him and carried on with what I was doing, so he said it again. I stopped what I was doing, wiped my hands and went and sat down. I was facing him so I could see his eyes. He looked so nervous, and I thought, he's really going to tell me something I don't want to know.Even at that point I didn't want it confirmed from his own mouth. He started talking and I suddenly understood that he wasn't saying anything about the woman. He was talking about when he was at university. I started to say that it wasn't anything to do with his time at university, that I knew what the problem was but he just went on talking. He talked about this girl he was going out with at the time and how they had a sexual relationship. I really didn't want to hear any of this, it wasn't relevant. I wanted him to talk about the woman he'd been seeing for the last six months, not some girl friend he had thirty odd years ago. He said that they'd broken up, that she'd dropped out of university and he hadn't seen her again. I said, I don't want to know about all of this. This was before we met, it has nothing to do with us. He said he was going to tell me what he wanted to tell me and I wasn't going to stop him. So I just shut up and listened. He told me that seven months ago he'd been contacted by one of those organisations that helps adopted people find their real parents. They'd had an enquiry from a woman called Hazel Best. She'd been adopted when she was a baby. She knew her real mother's name, Joy Killegan and she'd been to see her. Her mother had given her her father's name and she, Hazel had got back in touch with the agency to make the initial contact. David said that he was sceptical to say the least but he agreed to making contact. It had been just by 'phone at first and then they'd arranged a meeting. There were more meetings, a lot more and then he said; "I'd like you to meet her." Just flat, like that, "I'd like you to meet her." I felt so angry. More outraged than I can ever remember feeling in my life. I wanted to shout at him, say to him; 'You wouldn't like me to meet her. If that was what you really wanted I'd have met her months ago. You'd have brought her here and said "this is my daughter, Hazel, her mother and me had a fling at university and now Hazel's found me." I wouldn't have gone through what I've gone through, dredge around finding some poxy little Private Eye to follow you around and take pictures of you with your ... daughter.' I didn't say anything. I just sat there wanting it to be the truth and yet not wanting that. Not wanting the inconvenience of his past catching up with him. There's never been anyone else for me. I have no skeletons in my cupboards. There were no flings that resulted in a pregnancy that resulted in adoption. There's no little brown haired, blue eyed spitting image of his or her mother out there that's waiting for me. I haven't said that I will, that I want to meet her. It's a lot to take in. I don't know how I feel. Part of me believes him, that she is his daughter and I really don't think he would be so stupid as to bring his mistress into my house and have her pretend but part of me, a small part, still feels betrayed. I can't explain it but he ... By meeting her secretly like he did, he's betrayed me. He didn't trust me enough to tell me what was going on and that hurts. Still, if he's being honest now and I've no reason to think he isn't, it isn't what I thought it was, he hasn't been unfaithful not to me. She might be very nice. I mean, she took the time and trouble to find out about her real parents and maybe she only did that for herself but she did keep on seeing him. If I do meet her, we'll have to tell the boys. They'll have an older half sister. Maybe, if she's married with kids, they'll have other relationships, nieces, nephews. I don't know. We'll see.
Archived comments for Not what you think
Bradene on 04-09-2006
Not what you think
A fine Monologue Chrissy, Well thought through and written Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks a lot for reading and commenting. Glad it hit the spot.
chrissy

Claire on 07-09-2006
Not what you think
Hey there, this is a gripping read. I must admit, I'm a bit doubtful whether she is meant to be the 'love-child'... you've got me thinking now.

Glad sirat got you hooked on monologues.



Author's Reply:
Claire, many thanks for reading and commenting.
I wasn't sure whether I wanted the 'other woman' to be the bloke's daughter or not but I thought it was better that she should be because I didn't want the marriage to be a complete wreck if you know what I mean. It's a badly damaged marriage, yes, but not a complete basket case.
Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy


Merry Christmas Mr. Stein (posted on: 14-08-06)
Really unsure about this. I need to know if the 'voice' interferes with the story or if the story is no good even without the 'voice'.

Merry Christmas Mr Stein. It's Christmastime, there's no need to be afraid At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime "I've switched the radio off. It's no' the tune, that's fine enough, it's the hypocrisy I cannae stand. I'll bet nearly all o' thae bastards stan'in' up there singin' about starvation and death, spend enough on booze and drugs and sex tae keep thae poor bastards in Africa goin' fer years. I hate hypocrisy. I always have. That priest, at Saint Mary's, I saw him what three days ago and he says tae me, 'Will you be coming to spend Christmas day at the church Mr Stein?' I asked him why he would want me there. He said; 'All people who live on their own are welcome in my church on Christmas day. We like to give folk a sense of belonging to the larger family of Christ.' I said, no thank you. If you want tae give me a nice Christmas, stop thea neds frae puttin' dog shite through ma letter box, stop 'em writin' filth on ma walls an' breakin' the windaes. You do that an' I'll have a fine Christmas all on ma ain. I hated seeing his face. He'd been so bright, full o' good will and hope. His face crumpled, sagged, went sad and he sloped off wi'out anither word. I do that tae some people. I destroy them. But they have tae know that it is no good treating me like a charity case. I don't want that. I jest want to be left on ma ain tae live my life the way I want tae. I've paid ma dues, I've done ma time. I've come to terms with what I did. I killed a man. I'm no' proud o' that. I'm no' sorry, the bastard deserved tae die ten thousand times worse a death than I gave him, but I'm no proud of what I did. You know it's odd how much and how little people know about you. I came here ... what ... must be five years ago now. I ken I wasn't straight out o' Barlinni. I went north for a wee while, tried tae find ma wife an' the wee boys but people who don't want tae be found can stay lost very happily. So I came back tae Glasgow, came here. There was nae real chance of getting a proper job, no wi nine years in the Bar L behind me so I just wondered frae job tae job. Did a bit on the buildin' sites, then about three years ago somebody, one o' ma neighbours, started spreadin' rumours that I was a child molester, what thae psychiatrists call a paedophile. Odd word that. It literally means a lover of children. Well, I'm no' that. Paedophobe. That's one I'll admit to. If Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary came knockin' on my door the neet askin' fer a room, I'd say, Aye, fine, away in but I'd no' take the baby Jesus. It's kids roond here that do the damage. I just cannae understand why, if their parents thought I was a child molester, why dae they let their weans wi' in a hundred miles o' me. It's very strange. Some copper came and set 'em straight about who and what I was, what I'd done. Didnae stop the neds frae dog shitin' the letter box, but I didnae get beat up or spat on in the street any more. I don't drink. Never have. Not a real Glescae man. No, one of those pre world war two mongrels that were'nae fish nor foul. My dad was German a doctor, my mother Polish a teacher and, unfortunately fer me an' my wee brother, Jewish. I can remember ma father trying to get ma mother tae say that she'd converted to Christianity when they married. If it wasnae fer being so sad it would be funny. He hardly ever went tae church a day in his life and there he sat, night after night, trying tae educate her in the ways of the church. They did come for us of course and ma father went with us, to the initial interviews any way. It was fine fer a start. We really thought they believed us. They let us all go home with our papers all nicely stamped. Then ma father made the mistake of trying to get us out of Germany. They sent for us again. An examination they said. Ma parents thought that it would be verbal, they'd prepared us, what we should say, what we should hold back. There was a doctor there, a colleague of my father's frae the hospital. He examined us all right. My father tried tae say that it wasnae a Brit milha, that it was a straight forward circumcision for medical reasons. His colleague asked him where was it done, who did it, when was it done, why was it done. I don't think the authorities believed a word he said. That was the last time I saw him until after the war. My mother, my brother and myself were taken away and I can still see my father's face, hear his voice telling the story over and over until we were taken down tae a lorry and pushed inside. My mother kept on saying 'I'm not Jewish, my children aren't Jewish, please let my children go.' And then after that all she did was cry. We were 'deported' to Poland, spent awhile in the ghettos. She found her father and we went to stay with him. There were about a dozen of us adults and children all in two rooms. It was friggin' awful but we survived. My mothers' brother had married out, like her. His wife was a Polish girl called Lottie. She looked after us, my brother and me. My mother wasnae really capable. All she could do was sit in corner greetin'. Even when she had no tears left tae cry, she'd go through the motions. I always wanted to think of my mother as strong but she wasnae. Eventually, when they decided tae clear the ghettos we found oursel's on a train in the Winter going ... I don't know where. It's odd what time does when you try to look back at things, get events intae some sort o' perspective. In my mind everything sort of concertinas taegether so that events separated by years or months all seem tae happen at once. One minute we were with the family, the next there was me, my mother and brother and Lottie standing in a compound with snow falling on our bear heads and my mother shaking with the cold and the fear and then time does that evaporating thing and the next thing that's clear is the last time I saw my mother. I suppose when the days and nights are so unbearably awful you tend to lump 'em all taegether. We were moving on somewhere else. I remember Lottie had hold of Joshua and I was standing next tae her. Mother was just by the huts. We were waiting for the gates tae be opened. Then I saw my mother fall down. It's a clich I know but it was like she was a marionette with strings cut. I remember wanting tae run over tae her and help her up but there was a tension in the guards that Lottie had picked up on and she hung ontae me so tight it hurt. There was a guard, German, tall, thin, narrow faced bastard. I remember he wore a long grey coat with a fur collar. He shouted at ma mother tae get up and bless her, she tried but she was too weak. He kicked her. I heard his shiny boot make contact like kicking a sack o' rags. I saw her blood on the snow. Lottie tried to put her arm over my eyes but I bit her with what teeth I had left. And then there was a shot. It sounded so loud and so long but it didnae put the birds up out the trees. They were too used tae the sound o' gunfire. Just before the guard turned around fully, Lottie grabbed ma heid and turned me tae face the fence, the way she was facing, the way everyone was facing. She saved ma life. Hmm. She definitely saved ma life. I donnae remember a great deal after that. It was the one thing I kept seeing, day and night, ma mother, the guard, the blood, the fence, endless. Ma brother died. I don't know when, I don't know where. And then Lottie died and I was on ma ain. Logic, chronology, history all tell me it was just the end of the war and the camps were opened up. There was no way a wee boy could survive long on his own. I remember the guards running, terrified because the Russians were coming. I was frightened of the Russians. I was a blue eyed blond German boy and we all knew what happened to them when the Russians came. But someone gave me chocolate and I ate it so fast I was sick. And someone else gave me some bread and a hat to wear because I had no hair and my head was cold. We were documented, questioned fed and watered, treated fer lice and then we were taken by some uniformed women to a place of safety. That's when my father found me. He'd escaped from Germany. He thought we were all dead. He'd gone to his brother in Edinburgh and then started working with the Red Cross. That was how he found me. I didnae get on well with ma father. I blamed him for leaving us, he blamed me for letting my mother and brother die. When I was eighteen I left him. He died about five years later. I did not mourn him. I got a job on the docks and that was where I met Bill who became my father in law. He was a real hard original Glascae man. He got pisht of a Saturday, stayed a bed of a Sunday and the rest o' the time he worked his bolocks off. By the time I'd met and married his daughter, Gena, I'd finally, I thought, confronted ma demons, put ma past well behind me. I could sleep of a night time and not dream of ma mother. We were happy, Gena and me and ecstatic when the weans came along. Two wee boys. Jack and Finlay. I felt nothing could hurt me. Then just afore one Christmas Gena's mother died. She had cancer but she told no one and by the time we found out, it was too bliddy late. Bill couldnae cope at all when she died and Gena, well, all she could do was sit there greetin'. So I said I would take care o' things and I thought I could. I went into town and down tae the undertakers, went in and then I saw him. I couldnae quite get a handle on where I'd seen him before just his face looked so familiar. He came towards me and held out his hand. I looked directly into his face and I recognised him. He was older but unmistakable. I looked into his eyes but there was no sign that he recognised me just that pseudo sympathy. I gave him my mother-in-law's details and when he spoke, when I heard that accent, I knew who he was without any doubt. I was shakin' hands with the man who killed my mother. I remember going outside and throwing up in the wee alleyway next to the funeral parlour. I knew I should leave it. I knew in ma heart that I should go home and be there fer ma wife and the boys but I couldnae. I went and got a drink in a nearby pub but I'm no drinker and I didnae finish it, just left it there on the bar. I went back and waited in the alleyway. I had no idea what time he closed up but I jest stood there. Eventually I saw the back door open and then the next thing I knew he was lying on the ground, the back of his head stove in and I was aiming a kick at him. Somebody saw me, called the polis. I didn't deny it. Why would I? I'd done it. I'd killed a man. I told the polis why I'd done it, who he was, what he'd done. Didn't make a lot of difference I still got sent tae prison. Gena didnae wait around long, took the wee boys away. I came here, after I got out and tried finding her. So Christmases come and go an' all I get is older. Nothing changes. The bloody door again. If it's thae bliddy neds .... Well, that does surprise me. It wasnae the neds, it was the priest, said he'd had a word wi' the boys an' their parents an' he thought he might hae done some good. Bloody amazin' that. I was gaunae ask him in but, well, it's Christmas, I'm sure he's got a lot tae do. I did wish him a merry Christmas an' he says; 'And a very peaceful Christmas to you Mr. Stein.' Strange." Here's to you raise a glass for everyone Here's to them underneath that burning sun Do they know it's Christmastime at all? Feed the world Feed the world Feed the world Let them know it's Christmastime again Feed the world Let them know it's Christmastime again
Archived comments for Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
e-griff on 14-08-2006
Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
Well, you'll obviously have tae find a body frae the Isle of Man to check the old accent willanyenae? 🙂 G

Author's Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to read and for the insightful and constructive comment. 🙂 chrissy

e-griff on 14-08-2006
Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
It's just i started reading it according to your request, and it immediately occured to me - you being Welsh etc - that what you really wanted was an opinion from someone of the appropriate national persuasion rather than a sassenach/saesneg like me. 🙂 sorry if it sounded flippant. G

Author's Reply:
Sorry John, didnae mean tae snap. A bit confuddled this morning when I read your reply.
chrissy 🙂

teifii on 14-08-2006
Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
Well, I thought it was Scots and it sounded so real I gave up as I never could read Scots on the page. It gives me the same laborious feel as trying teo read transliterated Russian.
I'm sure the story is good though for them as can understand the dialect.
No offence meant to either Scottish or Isle of Man speakers.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Glad it had the reality thing but if that stopped you reading that sort of defeats the object.
Perhaps I should delete it and put up the English version on Friday. Oh, I don't know. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. Bother!
chrissy 🙂

e-griff on 14-08-2006
Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
I think you have to ask yourself what the added value of making this bloke a Glaswegian is, and does it add more value than the undoubted difficulty of reading an accent takes away. In fact it's not him being a Glaswegian, it's trying to make him talk like one - does that add owt? (I mean, there's no reason his thoughts and words couldn't be reported in plain english, but I see that what you have done does add character and flavour to the story. I can't really say yea or nay. But then I'm someone who is fairly comfortable with accents of all kinds. (You should hear me singin' in the bath).
G

Author's Reply:
I would love to say that there was some grand reason of style or intellectual content that made me make him Glaswegian but in all honesty I can't. It was just the voice he took on in my head when I was working the story out.
I did write in English, I mean straight English without any accent but it just seemed a bit flat when I'd been thinking in an accent.
Mayhap I overdid it a tad. I dunno. Oh botheration! In my head it sounded really so much better.
I do so dislike being in a confused state over my writing.
Never mind. I shall resolve it.
Thanks for the input.
chrissy 🙂

e-griff on 14-08-2006
Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
I may not have been clear. I too, (for no apparent reason) felt the Glaswegian accent added to the story. I think an accent (and it could be any 'common' accent - although it could also be a wavery 'posh' bloke down on his luck) is adding to the isolated, parochial sense of the situation - ie you're on your own kiddo, central authority ain't gonna bother with you, one: because you're in an alienated place, two: because you're poor or poorish (which an accent denotes).

🙂

Author's Reply:

Claire on 17-08-2006
Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
This is excellent. Love the voice, I think it's spot on, didn't stop me from reading it, it kinda reminded me of Zen's works. I wouldn't alter a thing. The story is moving. Yup, as I said spot on hun!

A fav read from me.

Author's Reply:
Claire, many thanks for reading and for the generous rating and making it a fav. I'm really glad you enjoyed the story.
chrissy

Bradene on 20-08-2006
Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
Chrissy for what my opinion is worth I thought the voice was great My late friends both came from Glasgow and still had strong accents until they died The voice reminded me of him. As for the story I thought it was so very good, very convincing.Cannot for the life of me understand why it didn't get a nib. Well done chrissy Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, thanks muchly for taking the time and trouble to read and for the most generous rating.
The voice dilemma seems to have resolved itself now as all who have read and commented seem to agree that this is the 'right' voice and that it adds rather than subtracts from the piece.
As for the nibbing well I think the nib fairly must be on her/his/its annual holidays or maybe just didn't think it was deserved either way I'm more than happy with the comments I've had.
Very glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy (not in charge of nibbing during the nib fairy's absence)

expat on 06-05-2007
Merry Christmas Mr. Stein
I didn't know you wrote fiction as well as poetry, Chrissy! I ran through your home page and see you've written quite a bit.
I like the voice in this piece, both the style and the accent. I had no problem understanding the vernacular and I think the 'harshness' of it portrayed/amplified the protagonist's bleak existence.
The opening dialogue was very effective and it immediately let us know what we were in for, although I'm not sure that the Band Aid lyrics added to the story.
A good read.
Steve.

Author's Reply:
Steve, glad you enjoyed this and that you've been to my site. There's all sorts of my rubbish there!
I started off writing poetry about fifty years ago, that was when I had my first poem published in a children's anthology, but I did get second prize in a national competition when I was fifteen and that was a 'short story' (they called them essays then, I think) I like writing short stories but I love writing anything at all. Stage plays, screen plays, television scripts. I've done all sorts.
Many thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy


Choices (posted on: 15-05-06)
A story. Don't normally do stories but I thought I'd give it a try.

I watch the ground below and wonder, even at this moment when it would be far too silly and embarrassing to say that I've changed my mind, am I doing the right thing? I've done the research, painstaking, painful research, I've made the contact and I've made sure that everything is running smoothly at home. I shouldn't worry, but there are the what ifs. What if the baby, my first grandchild and a boy, bless him, should arrive while I'm out there? What if something should go wrong with the birth? Oh, no, I mustn't think like that. I MUST NOT think like that. The baby will be fine and he won't come early. Esse will be fine. She has first class medical care and I've made Moshe promise on his life, that if something should happen it won't but if something should happen, he will call me and I'll come back. No matter if I have to get off one plane and straight on to another, I will come back. Then, there are the other what ifs, the more frightening what ifs. What if there's no one at the airport to meet me? I'll just have to get a taxi. But, what if the taxi gets hijacked and I end up being part of a Palestinian suicide bombing? No! Stop this Sarah Stern. Stop this right now. Calm now, deep breaths, remember why you're doing this. This is supposed to calm me? I tell my head. Thinking of why I'm going half way across the world to people I don't know and who don't know me, is supposed to give me a sense of wellbeing? I think not. A steward hovers close to me and asks if there is anything I need and for a moment I wonder if he sees me or just a middleaged, Jewish lady all dressed in black, going "home". I decide it doesn't matter what he sees and say no thank you, I'm fine. I'm not fine though. I haven't been fine for over forty years. I've pretended, I've believed the lie made for other people so they shouldn't worry about me, but I am not fine. I close my eyes and try not to think, but there it is, like a film running in my head. My mother and father, their faces all pale and somehow crumpled. My grandmother had died, quite suddenly, and going through her papers with my dad, I'd found papers concerning me, my adoption. I suppose had my dad been thinking straight he wouldn't have let me anywhere near the papers but he was upset and then so was I. My parents were gentle and kind, but it still changed things, irrevocably and forever. By the time they had trotted out all the platitudes about my being special and them loving me all the more because they chose me and all the other things that parents say to ease the pain of their adopted children, I could think of nothing but all the clues there had been. The fact that no one ever said how much like my parents I looked. Not like they did with my sister. 'Oh, she's got your eyes Francis' or 'Doesn't she look the image of your Nancy when she was that age.' And they would even bring out the pictures to prove it. There was my grandmother too who never quite managed the same tenderness when she spoke to me that entered her voice when she spoke to my sister. Then my father was saying something else and my mother was trying to stop him but being dad he soldiered on any way. "I think you should know about your real mum." They didn't use 'birth mother' or 'biological parents' in those days. Mum butting in with, "It's enough for her take in at one go, Billy." But I wanted to know. Real mum, real dad, I wanted it all. Someone nudges me, the Rabbi sitting next to me. "I'm so sorry," he says. "Did I wake you. I apologise." "That's all right," I say. "I was just thinking." "Your first time going home?" and he asks it like he means it. Do I look Jewish? I've never really thought about it. People know I am, just as I know I am but do I really look 'Jewish'. I tell him, because it would be rude not to answer, that it is my first visit to Israel and I say it like that perhaps because I don't think of Israel as home and maybe because I don't really want to talk to him. He seems to take the hint and I close my eyes again and go back to my thoughts and memories without feeling too guilty. Things really changed for me when I found out about myself. I became a different person. Even before my parents explained every thing about my mother, I changed. I didn't want to but I was different. For one thing, I wasn't my sister's blood relative any more, somewhere I had a twin brother and that was really painful. Until then I had been close to my sister, she and I had been real friends and then suddenly there was someone else. Someone I shared blood with. Yes, I admit it now, I pushed her away. Everything changed. My parents tried hard not to let it, they really did but there were too many questions I needed answers to and some of them were questions that they couldn't answer. I suppose I chose to believe that they wouldn't answer them. Things got put away after a while, feelings and resentments got shoved to the back of my mind and I tried to carry on like it didn't matter but I couldn't do it, not really, not and have any real honesty in my life. I survived school, family gatherings but only by pretending, by playing a part. That's what hurt more than any thing because it wasn't just me playing. My whole family knew that I knew and they didn't mention it. After awhile it felt wrong to be Jewish, like it was something you should be ashamed of. The holocaust was something I learned about in school and suddenly it was my history they were talking about, my people who had allowed themselves to be treated like that. How could I be someone like that, someone who didn't fight back? Decent people fought oppression, always you read that or saw it on TV. Why hadn't the Jews fought back? Where were the Maccabis? As I grew older, got in to it more, read the history they didn't teach you in school, my opinions changed. I understood why it was easier to let things happen. I saw that if you feel no one is going to come down on your side, that you are alone in your struggle because other people really don't care what happens to you, it is simpler to roll over and take the kicking. When enough people tell you or at least let you know you're not worth defending, why defend yourself? Somewhere between Heathrow and Telaviv, I fall in to a troubled sleep. All the things of my life get mixed up in my mind until I wake, confused and flustered, what seems a lifetime later with the Rabbi telling me that we should do up our seat belts. The first thing I notice, after the security people have practically removed my costly bridgework looking for only they know what, is the people waiting to meet and greet. There seems an urgency about them, a need to grab whoever they have come to collect and to get the hell out of here. As if they believe that even with the guards with their Ouzies or AK whatever number they are on now, they have no chance of protecting them. And then someone is saying my name, quite firmly but with a touch of friendliness and I am very glad that I e-mailed the photograph. "Sarah Stern," he says again. I look at him . He is tall, much taller than I, has close cropped grey hair and he is in uniform. "Ariel," I say. "Thank goodness you managed to download the photograph..." He looks straight at me. "I didn't," he says, holding out a large, very clean hand. "I had only time to read the e-mail." It puzzles me a little and something of that puzzlement must pass between us as we shake hands. "You are very like mama." I press my hands together hard. My trick for stopping tears. This was something that worried me more than anything else in the what if moments. What if I look like my father? Given the history that would not have been good. We hurry away, moving towards the outside world. I am afraid. His car isn't so much a car as military transport and for the first time I start to wonder if this, all of this is right. Why couldn't I have been contented with the kind letters from the Red Cross, the detailed explanations of how chaotic things were after the war and especially with the Jews who wanted to get to Palestine. Why couldn't I have trusted my parents. "We love you Sarah. It doesn't matter where or who you were born. We love you." But then there was the legislation that made it possible for adopted children to find out about their birthparents and personal computers, the Internet and yes, my own children and it suddenly became more important than anything that I knew. I notice Ariel's driver is a woman. Woman? Girl, not more than twenty-two, twenty-three and she too is in uniform. I ask him, "Are you a career soldier?" "Yes. A lot of people think we're just a conscript army..." "Oh no," I say. "I remember seeing pictures of Moshe Dayan. My daughter is married to a Moshe." "Esse." I smile. "Ester really but she got stuck with Esse when her brother was small.." And we chat amiably until we reach the hotel. Ariel tells the driver to park at the back of the hotel when we are out of the vehicle then turns to me with a smile. "It's safer for her." The hotel is good, very clean and modern and Ariel comes up to my room on the fifth floor and tips the young man who brought my bags up. "I could have done that," I say. "Habit. Will you be all right here?" "Of course." "Is there any thing else I can do...tell you.." "Is..well.. mother, is she all right with meeting me?" He closes in on himself a little bit and I think maybe she isn't all right with it, that maybe he at least thinks that he has forced her in to this. "I will be honest with you, Sarah," he says, "I don't really know how she feels. She seems to accept it, the natural justice of it but how she really feels is something she is keeping very much to herself. I can't guarantee what she'll say to you." I touch his shoulder. "Don't worry. I can't guarantee what I'll say to her." After a while, after he reinforces his information about her stroke and how often she seems to have good days and bad days all of which I understand completely, he leaves with a promise that the driver will be there at ten o clock the following morning to bring me to his house where mother lives. I kiss his cheek as he leaves. He has been good and kind and gentle in the months of our Internet acquaintance and I am grateful for that. I don't know what the time is in England but I phone home and Josh answers immediately. "Mazletov," he says "You made it." "Don't be a clown and don't say anything that might be misconstrued." I'm not sure if I believe the phones are tapped but it wouldn't surprise me if they were. "So, the flight was all right?" "I think I slept through most of it." "That's good. And your," he hesitates because brother, in relation to me is a relatively new concept for him. "brother met you?" "Yes. He's in the army, a colonel. We've talked a bit." "That's good too." "How's Esse?" "Gave birth to quins two hours after you left." "Can we have the one with the pink nose?" "I'll see what she says. She's fine. We're all fine except me and maybe the dog who are missing you like crazy." "Silly old man," I say, "and silly old dog too. I'll be back before you know it." There's a lot of small talk, the big talk won't really come till tomorrow when I tell him word for word what I say to her and what she says to me but the small talk is always important for us, for Joshua and me. Eventually, when we decide that the 'phone call is costing more than the room, we hang up on a count of three. No bombs or gun battles, no wailing crowds or sirens disturb the night but I do not sleep. I do not close my eyes so the morning does not catch me unawares. I wash, dress choosing black and grey. I am small, fifty-four years old, slightly overweight for my height. Black helps. Breakfast is simple. I am normally not a breakfast person but I haven't eaten for hours and my stomach is making noises. At ten o'clock precisely, the "Little Drummer Girl" driver turns up, pretty and smart as paint. I check my bag, that I have my photograph albums. She checks my bag, that I don't have anything else, and the sweetheart, she apologises for doing it, then I follow her down to the car. She holds the door for me and looks around. She drives fast, knowing we are a target. Ariel's house is large, clean and white. The sun strikes it and makes it shimmer against a cloudless blue sky. Shrubs and flowers grow in terra cotta containers around the small courtyard and I'm reminded of our holiday home in Tuscany. Our sign of having made it. Ariel greets me at the door. He is warmer and friendlier out of uniform. "Shalom alaychem," I say and he grins broadly. "Alaycham shalom. Come on in." I hand over a book of poetry I had published two years ago and the delight on his face is good to see. "You arranged for flowers to be in my room," I say. From what I presume is the kitchen a young man appears, so obviously Ariel's son he needs no introduction. He comes forward and takes my hand. "I'm Daniel," he says. "And you are my aunt Sarah." "I am indeed." For a moment I think about it then I hug him because that is what I want to do. A girl comes in and Daniel introduces her as Miriam, his fiance and for a while we sit and talk and drink sweet black coffee and eat biscuits that taste sweet and crumble in my mouth. I show everyone my pictures, carefully telling each story. I watch their smiles and think I want nothing more than this, this interested, warm, acceptance. And now I understand the Rabbi from London calling this place home. Ariel goes through the wars, the struggles, the hardships that have given him this life and I think, would I have fought so hard? But I was not given the chance to find out. She enters the room like a ghost. Her wheelchair is well maintained, silent and she steers it with comparative ease. Daniel brings her forward. Silently, she pushes his hand from the back of the chair. I know she is seventy years old, from my time online with a man called Emmanuel Horrowitz who was in the camp in Cyprus and remembered her. She had survived the camps, the turmoil after the end of the war. She had found protection with a doctor and his wife but the doctor had abused her, raped her, made her pregnant and she had finally fetched up in the British run camp where she had given birth to twins on the fifteenth of May 1948. Professionally I judge the results of the stroke. Left side partial paralysis, her left eyelid droops and her left hand occasionally contracts into a spasmodic ball. There is a tremor in her left knee which shakes the folds of her black dress. She is taller than me and a lifetime of work has coarsened her. Her hair is grey, slicked back in to a tight fold behind her head. Her eyes are midnight black and they stare at me. I have imagined this moment, turned it around, viewed it from every angle possible. I have thought about my hugging her, her hugging me, my leaving, her leaving. I have turned it upside down, made it beautifully good and hideously bad. But I have not seen this, have not heard this empty silence. It hangs between us, almost unbearable. I have a thousand questions Ten thousand words bubble in my mind, then finally distil themselves in to just two childlike words that slip from my mouth and fall in to the silence. "Why me?" She leans forward a little. "Excuse me?" she says and I hear in her voice the retained German accent. "Why you? What do you mean?" "Why did you give me away and not my brother?" She sits back, almost smiles but the left side of her face isn't up to it. "After fifty years this is all you want to know?" I nod, unable to say more to her and hating myself because there is so much more I should say, but my trick with my hands is not keeping the tears away this time "You think I had the choice? You think I said here, take this baby. I have two, this one I don't need." I resent her making me feel ridiculous but I say nothing. "Please believe me, it was not like that. I was sixteen, still in many ways a child. I had thought that surviving the camps was enough, I had paid my dues but there was still more to pay. For eighteen months after the end of the war I was looked after by a doctor and his..." "I know this," I say, "I just need to know why I am sitting here as the visitor in your life. How was the choice made if it wasn't made by you?" She sits forward again. "Tell me, have you had a good life so far?" I realise that this is what is important to her, that she can exonerate herself. I'm tempted to lie, to tell her my childhood was one long term of abuse, but I don't. "I have had, so far, a wonderful life." "Then why is it so important to you to know why?" "Because there is in all of us an irrational child. The child who takes the blame for all the wrong things that happen..." "You were seven weeks old when the Red Cross took you. I do not know if what they did was legal, if there was any legality in what was going on in that place, but they took you because I could not take two children to Palestine. They took you because Ariel was circumcised, they took you because you were a girl...I can think of many other reasons but that's not what you wanted to know. You wanted to know why I let them take you." I can feel the tension in the room, Miriam's embarrassment because she is still outside all of this. I can imagine the many conversations between father and son, mother and son, that led to my being here and causing this pain but I can do nothing about it now. "Like I said, I'm not that rational. Even after forty three years of knowing, I can still not be rational about this." I look at Ariel. "If this offends, I'm sorry. I'll go." "No," he says. "No one wants you to go, Sarah." So I stay and I listen and I talk and somewhere, sometime, between her and me there is understanding. It isn't anything we say in words, it isn't one moment when everything becomes as I wanted it to be. It doesn't change what has happened, knowing the whys and wherefores, knowing that she did not choose but it changes how I can let my self feel about her. When I was growing up, after a while of 'knowing', I had started to think that I had accepted things, that I understood her reasons, that perhaps I might have done the same thing under those circumstance but all that was false, a pretence. I could convince others that there were no issues for me regarding my adoption but I couldn't convince myself. I had never understood the pain I'd felt, never really understood the betrayal I felt, the guilt, the irrational 'it must be my fault' and maybe I never will fully understand why I felt like that but knowing her version of the truth feels better. Daniel takes my pictures and scans them in to the computer and then he takes pictures with his digital camera, very swish, and he prints them out for me. Me with my new no my old family. I stay for a week. I get to know her, a little and I make sure that she gets to know me, that I am proud of what I have made myself, that I think I did a good job of becoming a Jew, and then there are just too many things that call me home and I'm driving back to the airport with Ariel and Daniel. I've said my goodbyes to Ruth and Miriam. I've said the usual, that I'll stay in touch and as I kiss my brother and my nephew goodbye, I really mean it. Plane journeys are boring and this time I don't even have the Rabbi for company and I don't have my thoughts either, not the same thoughts. I take out the pictures and look at them. Oy! Is that really me in Israel? Can I believe that is me? Joshua smiles. His face is beautiful when he smiles, his eyes light up and he sort of lolls his head to one side as he holds out his arms to me. And there's my boy, my Jacob all embarrassed smiles and big hugs. "Moma." I look and there's my Esse with Moshe and I hold her so close I could crush her. My hand rests on her belly. The child moves. And I am filled with joy. I look into my daughter's face and see she trusts me. I am home with my family and who I might have been had things been different is not important now. 2004 Chrissy Moore-Haines
Archived comments for Choices
blackdove on 15-05-2006
Choices
Wow Chrissy,
I'll have to try your trick of pressing my hands together for this has me on the brink of tears.
I was almost put off by the number of words, thankfully I wasn't.
This is an excellent short story (I think it's too long to be flash fiction).
It really ought to be published.
Your writing was so controlled and clean. I just loved it. The retelling never flagged once.
Best story I've read in ages.
I don't know if it's true but it sure had a ring of honesty about it.
Wonderful,
Jem x



Author's Reply:
Jem, many thanks for reading (it is a long short story) for your overwhelming comments and for generous rating.
I don't often 'do' stories, I think I've only posted three here, which is why I didn't really know where to put it. I guess it should be in drama or somewhere.
I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 15-05-2006
Choices
Chrissy, I agree with Jem, it is definitely of publishing standard and a read I sincerely enjoyed. I will look forward to reading more of these...I hope.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo for reading, commenting and for the generous rating.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed the read. That you also think it's of publishing standard is a huge bonus. I do have it on my site in a slightly different form but it has never 'been anywhere' maybe it should.
chrissy

glennie on 16-05-2006
Choices
Hi, Chris. There is some remarkable writing here. The characters are so individual and real they're... well real. I have to ask myself is the autobiographical? I think you should write more stories. I pretty sure I've read at least one other of your three because I remember mentioning the way you split words up like 'my self' instead of myself and 'any one' instead of anyone etc. easily sorted. Glen

Author's Reply:
Glen, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the generous rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

I thought I'd taken care of all the 'idle thumb mistakes'. Ah well, nobody's perfect, I guess, certainly not me. Thanks for flagging it up.

chrissy

Bradene on 16-05-2006
Choices
Chissy! This was such a touchingly sad yet happy tale. It had me crying and smiling both. Please write more stories. Loved every moment of it. love and admiration Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for reading (it is quite long) for your lovely comments and your generous rating.
The subject is sad and happy because it is a very special circumstance.
I'm glad I got it right!
chrissy

qwerty68 on 16-05-2006
Choices
An excellent piece of writing. Emotionally, you hit the right notes all the way through. If this isn't auto-biog, then you must be an extremely insightful and empathetic person. Please keep writing stories.

Author's Reply:
qwerty68, many thanks for taking the time to read and for your lovely comments and your generous rating.
Stories are harder for me, I find poetry a lot easier, mainly because I tend to think the whole thing out in my head (sometimes I even say them out loud) and while wandering talking to yourself is OK for a shorter poem, you get one or two odd looks if you're telling yourself a story. LOL. I suppose I could always stay in for the duration of the story.
chrissy

RoyBateman on 17-05-2006
Choices
An excellent piece all round - beautifully written and encompassing all the horrors and terrible decisions of that time of statelessness after WW2. It's still a period that's unravelling now, and it will continue as long as the people involved still live and need to know who they really are. It sounded extremely authentic, too - always a plus point when so many writers just don't bother and ruin it for the poor reader with sloppy errors. Very, very good and well worth the nib.

Author's Reply:
Huge thanks for reading and for your truly lovely comments. I tried very hard with this.
Sadly such things happened and to write about them honestly was very difficult.
I'm glad this worked for you.
chrissy

Claire on 17-05-2006
Choices
Hey there hun,

What a fascinating read, I did notice a few minor typos, but after half way through I stopped noticing them as I was pulled into your story. You should deffo write more prose.

Congrats on that worthy nib. ;^)

Author's Reply:
Claire, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the generous rating.
I think, with help from Tai-Li, I have managed to put some of the typos right but thanks for ignoring them.
I'm really pleased you enjoyed the story.
As for more prose, dunno. It's scary.
chrissy

discopants on 17-05-2006
Choices
As others have noted, it held the attention throughout. Let's see more of your prose.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm genuinely pleased that you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

Hazy on 19-05-2006
Choices
Chrissy, I agree - write more prose!!

Gave me goosebumps in places! My last prosey piece was on adoption as I was adopted as a baby - so obviously this had me totally absorbed! Your last line "I am home with my family and who I might have been had things been different is not important now." was fantastic. It's something I often feel thankful for. I don't wonder about my natural family, their lives or 'why?' (I know they were together but extremely young, maybe still at school) but I do wonder about what I would have been like if I'd stayed as 'her' (me? - oh it's very confusing lol). My piece was really done from the opposite angle and wondered about the fate side of it all and whether or not I'd be the same person if I'd remained with my natural parents as I am now. I like me now, the life I have and the family I'm truly blessed with - and thank my lucky stars more often than not.

Today is actually my 'adopted birthday' (the day my parents got me, 5 weeks after I was born when all the paperwork was sorted). My mum and dad always celebrate the day with me - I get a card and cash (pressies when I was young), and my mum texted this morning to say 'happy special day'. My sister was always really jealous of me being adopted as I'd have two birthdays with cards and pressies lol (she used to get stuff too but it wasn't her special day, was it?!).

I believe all adoptees should be told from day dot. All this sitting them down when they're old enough to understand is utter tosh IMO. All the adopted people I know who were told later had huge problems and issues and didn't turn out particularly 'well balanced'. A few went off the rails a bit.

Have done a couple of projects on adoption and nature/nurture over the years and I think your story would work really well written up as a psychological piece too rather than fiction.

Anyay, a really insightful piece with some interesting viewpoints - and told so, so well.

Hope you don't mind me babbling on, I know some hate it!! It's a subject I love hearing about - planning to write another story about it soon (incestual love - surprisingly common when adopted siblings, etc meet up after a lifetime apart).

Take care. Thanks for a very enjoyable read.

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
You can babble all you like when it's as interesting as this. There seem to be quite a few adopted people on this site. Interesting.
Many thanks for reading and for babbl ... commenting.
I'm glad you enjoyed and that the piece worked in the way it was meant to.
Your interest is truly appreciated.
chrissy

eddiesolo on 21-05-2006
Choices
Great write Chrissy. Held my attention and really enjoyed it!

Well done on ya nib.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Si, thanks very much for reading and commenting and for the very generous rating.
As I said in the intro, I don't normally do stories and so I had no idea how it would go down.
I am pleased that it worked for you and that you enjoyed it.
Many thanks, chrissy

sirat on 21-05-2006
Choices
This is the kind of story that the Anthology exists for in my opinion, the genuinely outstanding. I was totally involved from the first sentence,the pacing was just right, the characters (even the minor ones) came to life for me and there was an elegance and craftsmanship about the structure that set it completely apart from a merely "good" personal account. I wanted to argue with the writer when she suggested that the Jewish people could have or should have defended themselves in some way against the Holocaust. That seemed like blaming a man in front of a firing squad for allowing the bullets to hit him. But it was completely and precisely balanced by Sarah's own realisation of how unfair she had been to blame her birth mother for "giving her away", or for imagining that she had been offered a choice between whether she should keep her son or her daughter.

The whole story dealt with the sense of belonging, whether to a family, a nation or a people, and the ending was absolutely perfect.

I agree that the story deserves publication, and I would suggest using it as a competition entry. I'm sure you know all about the larger competitions and if you don't you'll find them in the UKA resources pages.

Tiny things that perhaps need to be tidied up before submitting the story:

"we should do up our seat belts" (I think this should be "we should undo our seat belts" since the aircraft has landed)

"to wonder if this, all of this is right" (comma after the second "this")

"who brought my bags up" (this is awkward. You are writing in the present tense so to keep the tenses right you would say: "who had brought my bags up", but it sounds ugly so I think you should just say he tipped the porter)

You already know about separating words that normally run together and running together words that are normally separated, as in: "in to a tight fold", "every thing", "any thing", and "awhile". Very minor things but worth putting right.

Towards the end you say: "When I was growing up, after a while of 'knowing'", but I thought it was only after Sarah had grown up that she came to know about this.

Finally, there's somewhere that Sarah says she is pleased at the job she made of becoming a Jew, but from the family names it's pretty clear that her adopted family is Jewish, so it isn't really something she did for herself. Maybe I misunderstood what was meant?

Many congratulations on an excellent piece of work.

Author's Reply:
Sirat, thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to read Choices and for your lovely, considered comments.
I think perhaps the confusion about doing up the seat belts occurs because the story starts with the plane taking off and Sarah considering where she is going and what for and should she change her mind. She thinks and dozes and is woken by the Rabbi as they are coming into land.
It's a hell of a long time since I flew anywhere but I've got this idea that the seat belt is on at take off and then you can undo it during the flight but you have to do it up again for landing. If I'm wrong, blaming it on my failing memory.
The idea of Sarah blaming the Jews for their lack of resistance to what was happening in Germany from 36 onward, stems from my own recollections of receiving very little in the way of historical, factual information concerning this period when I was in Secondary education. From what I can remember, I was only taught that Hitler was a bad man who wanted to take over the civilized world, did a lot of bad things to a lot of good people and was finally trounced by the British and the Americans. Simplistic, I agree but you get my drift. It wasn't until much later, when I learned of the 'general lack of interest in the plight of the Jews', that 'I' understand the reason for their lack of 'fight'.
Sarah is adopted by a Christian family. Some of children born at Caraolas on Cyprus were. I did not think that I had given her adoptive parents 'Billy' and 'Francis' particularly Jewish names.
Sarah discovers that she is adopted and that her birth mother was Jewish when she was quite young, still at school. She is told by her adopted parents.
She finds out about her mother later in her life but she has already made the decision that she wants to be a Jew and therefore 'converts' and in fact marries a Jew, Joshua. This is why she is proud of her own commitment to being Jewish.

I will go through this again very carefully, not only for the typos you mention but also to see if I can tidy up and make clearer the things that you have pointed out. If it confused you it will certainly confuse others.
Many thanks once again for your encouraging comments.
chrissy

iQueen on 30-05-2006
Choices
I agree with all of the above comments, particularly those of Sirat.

I found the story extremely well written. The pace was just right and it flowed properly. The subject was treated exactly right too - I could actually feel the nervousness and the introspection. As the birth mother of an adopted child, I could identify, to some extent with the mother - no reflection on your writing, just different circumstances.

On the grammatical points, I should say that I am currently reading Saki and he also had the style of separating words, such as 'every one'. Mind you he was writing in Edwardian times! So it is probably somewhat archaic to do it now.

On the other hand, I think that there are times when these words may be acceptably separated, as it can change the meaning or emphasis slightly, eg 'everyone had a good time' and 'every one had a label on it', and 'It was a while before he turned up' [noun] and 'she stayed awhile' [adverb].

Having made those comments, I was so engrossed in the story that I did not notice anything irritating... and I am usually REALLY pedantic! Nice one, Chrissy! Let us know when it is published!

Author's Reply:
iQueen, many thanks for reading and commenting and welcome to UKA. The separation of words is something I've had trouble with only since I started using a computer. I call it the idle thumb syndrome. I think the digit gets a bit bored with having nothing to do but do spaces and it therefore does more than it should. I have tried to train it but it is, alas, now far too old and I have to go through things several times just to make sure it isn't up to any mischief but in my case the devil really does make work for idle thumbs. 🙂
Much thanks for your kind comments and I'm genuinely pleased you enjoyed the story.
chrissy

jay12 on 04-06-2006
Choices
This is one of the best pieces of fiction I've ever read on UKA. A fave for me. You say you never normally write prose but I would if I were you because it would be a shame to waste the obvious talent you have for it.

Jay.x

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the generous rating. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the piece.
Re writing more stories, I probably will but poetry is and always will be my first love and what I really like doing. Might get my thinking cap on for a collection of short stories though. That sounds like a plan.
Much thanks
chrissy


Patterns (posted on: 24-04-06)
A poem.

Patterns On fine paper we draw the lines, note down the annotations, redraw the rules. Marking each tiny, precise stitch, each change of thread we interweave our lives. My gold matched by your silver Your scarlet compliments my white. Each colour each silken thread carefully chosen to show our life's journey. We cannot deviate, change one line. These patterns must be followed closely for the garment's sake.
Archived comments for Patterns
Bradene on 24-04-2006
Patterns
This is lovely Chrissy very well thought out. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for your kind comments and generous rating. Much appreciated and I'm glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Jen_Christabel on 24-04-2006
Patterns
What a cracking piece :o)
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Jen_Christabel, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating. Truly appreciated and I'm genuinely pleased you enjoyed it.
chrissy

niece on 24-04-2006
Patterns
What a lovely poem, Chrissy...!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

chrissy

Sunken on 24-04-2006
Patterns
Blimey, that Mr. Wolfe is on the money with his comments isn't he? I wish I could do that instead of talking about munkys and hamsters. This is a top piece. See, I'm crap at it. I'll shut up and vote, but not before mentioning Turnips - I think they're great. Thanks.

s
u
n
k
e
n

sponsored by gravy

Author's Reply:
Sunken, your comments, gravy, turnips, munkys, hamsters,whatever, are comments I wouldn't be without. Right? Of course right. Many thanks for making them and for the generous rating. It really is appreciated.
chrissy

stolenbeauty on 24-04-2006
Patterns
Mmmmm, I liked this one! Thank you xx

Author's Reply:
stolenbeauty, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Truly appreciated.
chrissy

Zoya on 24-04-2006
Patterns
The metaphor of garment, the stitches, colours matching each other, is cleverly crafted.
Very thought provoking philosophic piece.
Makes a very interesting read.

Author's Reply:
Zoya, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm truly pleased that you found the piece interesting.
chrissy

Kat on 25-04-2006
Patterns
I thoroughly enjoyed this, chrissy - a very masterful write.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Kat, many thanks for reading and for your encouraging comments. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

teifii on 26-04-2006
Patterns
It's lovely, Chrissy, the whole sustained metaphor, but I especially love the last verse. Of course i have seen your real life embroideries and this inevitably brought them to mind. You do embroidery so well with either thread or words.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Daff, for reading for your lovely comments. I'm really glad you enjoyed the poem. Your mention of my embroidery has given me an idea for my next collection of poems. I could photograph say the peacock and use that as the cover. Good idea or what?
chrissy

red-dragon on 27-04-2006
Patterns
As delicately woven as the fabric of life. A great read indeed. Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, many thanks for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 04-05-2006
Patterns
Crissy, what a great piece of writing. So pleased this received a nib.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo77, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating, much appreciated. I am genuinely pleased you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Jolen on 07-06-2006
Patterns
I see I join a long line of admirers and rightly so. What a beautifully constructed piece of finery; really special..
Congrats on the nib, and I look forward to reading more of your work.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 07-06-2006
Patterns
Jolen, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm genuinely pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


This time (posted on: 03-04-06)
A poem

This time This time, I have been lucky the heart is not completely shattered one single break, definite, clean no lingering thoughts of what should have, could have, might have been. This time, no repairs are possible. No half fed hope of a different outcome a happier ending if we had taken longer worked harder knew more wanted less been stronger. This time, there are no photographs to remind us, cause pain on seeing some starry night, blue sea, white sand just the ruins no you or me happy and smiling my hand in your hand. This time, with experience, love knew its limits. Raveled up its own ends, left nothing to chance, gave only what was expected no additions, no unwanted gifts, no memories later rejected. And yet, this time with its predetermined end its limits, boundaries places not visited mountains we did not climb. This is the love that I will remember long after this time.
Archived comments for This time
bluepootle on 03-04-2006
This time
Really liked this, Chrissy, particularly verse four: 'love knew its limits'. Good poem.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and commenting. I genuinely appreciate it.
chrissy

Apolloneia on 03-04-2006
This time
Excellent work chrissy! Very well written.
nicoletta

Author's Reply:
Nicoletta, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating. I really appreciate it.
chrissy

Romany on 03-04-2006
This time
I agree, verse 4 is excellent. a mature poem, if you don't mind me saying so.
Romany.

Author's Reply:
Romany, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm pleased you liked it.
chrissy

red-dragon on 03-04-2006
This time
Chrissy - I do like this one. It flows very well with just the right delivery - not too flowery. Well done on the nom and the nib! Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Kat on 03-04-2006
This time
Now, this is the first time I've used this expression, ever, for a piece of work (and I am fond of my superlatives!), but this is BREATHTAKING!

Have to pop it into my cocktail cabinet beside the really really really good stuff!

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Kat, how very kind and thanks so much for your super comments and for the favs. Is 'umbled.
chrissy

Ionicus on 03-04-2006
This time
A really superb write Chrissy. I like the description of a relationship which starts with no expectations and thus ends with no recrimination but with an enduring memory despite its faults.
Well deserving of the 'nib' and nomination.
Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Luigi, many thanks for reading and commenting. I am very pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Corin on 04-04-2006
This time
Oh dear - this sounds like a one night stand - uncomplicated sex with strictly limited objectives on both sides - a male fantasy. But I presume it is not. As an anti-love love poem it is very original. I hope the anti-hero and anti-heroine were unhappy never after and that they ran off into the sunrise before the shadows grew short and all the anti-mysticism faded into the light of common day to feast briefly on healthy anti-pasta!

david

Author's Reply:
I guess. I mean that is one, quite reasonable interpretation of the piece but I don't think, at the end, it is quite as 'anti-love' as it might first appear. Love, my concept of love, and I have 'been in love' many times in my life, can be any thing we want it to be.
This is genuinely not about a one night stand, male or female fantasy version, it is about love.
Many thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.
chrissy

Jen_Christabel on 04-04-2006
This time
Cracking piece :o)
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Jennifer, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your most generous rating. I'm genuinely pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

wfgray on 04-04-2006
This time
One of the best poems I have read. Its like a river that keeps flowing

Author's Reply:
wfgray, many thanks for reading and for your kind comments and for the generous rating. I am genuinely pleased that you liked the piece so much.
chrissy

pinchus on 04-04-2006
This time
I find that everything has already been said so all I can add is; good work.

Author's Reply:
pinchus, many thanks for reading and for telling me that you felt it was good work.
chrissy

teifii on 04-04-2006
This time
Well deserved nib and nom, Chrissy. It's beautiful.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks muchly Daff. Very glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Gerry on 04-04-2006
This time
chrissy, I have a feeling that many relate to this poem 😉
Nice one...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
I get that feeling too Gerry.
Glad you liked the poem.
chrissy

pencilcase on 04-04-2006
This time
A very expressive piece, chrissy. The opening stanza appeals to me in particular.

Best regards,

pencil

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

littleditty on 06-04-2006
This time
excellent writing -enjoyed your poem -the rhyme works so well, to hang the fall of each verse -super poem! xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Thank you for reading and commenting, littleditty and I'm glad the piece worked for you. The only really 'natural' rhyme was the last one the others were 'tooled' after the poem was written first draft.
chrissy

Bradene on 06-04-2006
This time
What a beautifully structured poem Chrissy I loved it's sad finality, I loved the last stanza in particular a fav' for me Chrissy Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for reading and commenting and rating and making it a fav. I'm genuinely pleased that you liked the poem.
Sometimes life is sad. Even the little bits of 'love' that drift into our lives and should make them happy, serve an opposite purpose.
chrissy

Sunken on 06-04-2006
This time
I wish I knew my limits, maybe I wouldn't be sitting here with a tattoo of Kylie's arse on my chest if I did. I blame the following - Jack Daniels (he's a bad influence), first impressions and funny fags (by which I don't mean comedic homosexuals). Ya know, I'm sure your poem deserves far better than this tawdry comment Ms. Chrissy. I'll shut my horrible un-pc mouth and, instead, let the ratings button talk for me.

s
u
n
k
e
n

solo powered

Author's Reply:
My dear little apple cheeked shrunken. You know you shouldn't let that nasty Daniels boy lead you off the true path and you (seriously) should never apologize for your comments; they are sometimes the only thing about this site that really makes me laugh out loud. Where would we all be without you.
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and for the generous rating.
chrissy


Night Breed (posted on: 24-03-06)
First sub for a while. Not sure I should have.

Night breed Folded in shadows, hidden away where none can see, only feel presences at the edge peripheral to normal existence; we slide, creep, repose. With sharp emotions we infrequently split the dark, dusty drape that divides us, peeping through; seeing, unseen, glimpsed only in dreams. On high mountains shrouded in cold mist, we are the shapes half seen through memory's fear filled eyes, felt in the icy touch of remembered dread. In dark streets we trace the footsteps of the living world between the lights casting no shadow in our shadowed existence. Along a river bank cloaked in night black reeds, or through a forest just off the path we watch take half life from life lived by others. We grow or diminish with time dependent on the mind of those who breathe, who live by daylight's rules in regulated time. A race memory carried deep in the souls, hard wired in the brains of those who still believe and keep us safe.
Archived comments for Night Breed
Apolloneia on 24-03-2006
Night Breed
Chrissy this is a fine write. Wouldn't dare to change a thing. Well done!

Nicoletta

Author's Reply:
Nicoletta, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the generous rating. Truly appreciated.
chrissy

littleditty on 24-03-2006
Night Breed
Chrissy -excellent - each stanza - is that breath or breathe? I liked the control of this piece -it has poise i think! I will read again xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Much thanks for reading and commenting and well spotted with the typo. I have edited.
chrissy

teifii on 25-03-2006
Night Breed
Ooh, spooky! Good poem. Specially like
take half life from life lived by others.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, much thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Gerry on 25-03-2006
Night Breed
Sounds like it could be anyone of us 😉
Nicely done chrissy...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Ah no, they're a special bunch the night breed, not very nice to know at all.
Much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Sunken on 25-03-2006
Night Breed
Nice one Ms. Chrissy. This put me in mind of a limited edition plain chocolate aero (orange center). I hope this helps? I'm pretty sure it's a compliment. Thanks.

s
u
n
k
e
n

missing presumed bruised

Author's Reply:
You funny little sunky munky, I don't understand you but I am very amused by you.
Many thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Jolen on 28-03-2006
Night Breed
Chrissy,
Absolutely! This was amazing. Powerful and moving, great pace and the imagery is right on the money!!!!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Oops! The below 'comment' is meant to be your reply, Jolen.
Many thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

chrissy on 28-03-2006
Night Breed
Much thanks for reading and commenting, Jolen. I was sure this one had sunk without trace.

Author's Reply:

Lare on 29-03-2006
Night Breed
Hi chrissy...this is indeed a well woven piece...I like how you join each thought, in stanzas, together so evenly...almost like well placed transitional blends...I especially liked your lines...

"Folded in shadows,
hidden away where none can see,
only feel presences
at the edge
peripheral to normal existence;
we slide, creep, repose."

Wow...simply...wow...I like this a lot...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Lare, many thanks for reading and for your generous comments, truly appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

Abel on 29-03-2006
Night Breed
Love this line: "through a forest
just off the path
we watch
take half life from life lived by others."
Wow. Well done!

Ward


Author's Reply:
Ward, many thanks for reading and commenting. Genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Frenchy on 30-03-2006
Night Breed
Chrissy,
It flows like the river of life itself. Great Stuff!!!!!!!
Take Care,
Dave.

Author's Reply:
Dave, thanks for reading and commenting and for 'picking' it. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Leila on 01-04-2006
Night Breed
I like the dark chilled feel to this one...L

Author's Reply:
Leila, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

ThePhoenix on 04-01-2008
Night Breed
Love this poem, thought you grasped the dancers in the shadows perfectly until I read your response to Gerry. 🙁 "not very nice to know at all"?!

without the dark there can not be light. appreciate them.

great poem, thank you. dX

Author's Reply:


Shopping List (posted on: 13-01-06)
Observations in a local supermarket. Please feel free to 'honestly' say what ever you feel and think about the piece, the way it is written, the style, the content even. I would honestly like to know. chrissy

Shopping List Here is a man too big for his clothes, belly popping, red and hairy through sweat stained shirt By the biscuits is a woman, weighed down with the troubles of the world and having three kids under five Here two girls, mid teens hell bent on taking what they want laughing at the thought of not paying. An old woman, shoulders bent face criss crossed with years, takes, examines, replaces selects less costly alternatives. Megan and Bronwen block the aisle discussing, in endless street Welsh a sister-in-law's cousin from Bethesda. In chapel black, a mean man trailing memories of every little man who hurt, ridiculed, belittled. Narrow, ferret eyes seeking bargains. The pregnant woman wears her fecundity like a pride badge, not thinking or even suspecting, almost no one envies her. A young, sniveling child whose snot nose and black eye tell tales best left untold. And you by the unseasonably early Christmas offers (it is September) tins of biscuits 1.99 cheap wine Buy one get one for free, seeing me, smile.
Archived comments for Shopping List
pencilcase on 13-01-2006
Shopping List
Supermarkets are one of my recurring themes, so I was attracted to this. And yes, it was me, seeking out bargains again. And I did smile at you - I admit it. You should read/listen to my 'A Shortage of Imagination' that I posted recently!

Like a lot of the language in this: takes, examines, replaces/
selects less costly alternatives; Narrow, ferret eyes seeking bargains; wears her fecundity like a pride badge. The title is just right for your listy/observational poem.

They've started filling the shelves with Easter stuff now...

You should read 'The Shopping Forecast' by Eddie Gibbons.

Actually, I'm fed up with telling you what you should read. You read what you bloody well like.

I enjoyed reading this, anyway!

Best wishes,

Steve *he's an offline shopper*



Author's Reply:
Steve, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I love watching people and giving them little stories of my own making.
chrissy

Romany on 13-01-2006
Shopping List
The cliched line about the teenagers not intending to pay niggled me a bit; they are not all criminals! But I enjoyed it over all. Love the bit about the pregnant woman not realising no-one else is jealous of her - you do get a bit self-absorbed when your (happily) pregnant!

Author's Reply:
Sorry, it was a bit of an easy jab but the kids I was thinking of when I was writing this were, I think, on the rob. Glad you enjoyed it on the whole.
Much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

red-dragon on 13-01-2006
Shopping List
Very descriptive. I can imagine this happening in the bright new Tesco at Bangor. Spent a lot of time in Bethesda as a child. Lot of chapel black there, too.
Also thought your ending very perceptive.
Yes, a red-dragon ten from me. Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, many thanks for reading, commenting and your generous rating.
Not the Tesco in Bangor, I don't get that far these days. The not so bright one in Portmadog is as far as I get.
Hwyl
chrissy

teifii on 13-01-2006
Shopping List
Hello Chrissy,
Just as I see it om so many days. Loved the 'sister-in-law's cousin from Bethesda'. Those sort of conversations also go on in my lane and yours.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Indeed they do and on the main street in the village.
Many thanks for reading and commenting.
Hwyl
chrissy

Gerry on 13-01-2006
Shopping List
Chrissy, wasn't there another Welsh writer Dylon Thom something 😉 Well this brought him to mind--and that can't be bad, can it?
(laughing at the the thought of not paying.) the the.
I liked it...

Gerry xxx.


Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry for reading, commenting and pointing out my error, I have fixed it. The devil makes work for idle thumbs.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 13-01-2006
Shopping List
Chrissy, this conjured up a picture that I can put my own faces too. Very descriptive and a joy to read.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, many thanks for reading, commenting and for your generous rating.
As I said, I love making up stories for folk I see around.
chrissy

littleditty on 14-01-2006
Shopping List
Dear Chrissy - like Gerry - 'Under Milk Wood' came to mind - not just the Welsh thing -the accute observation, with judgement but without malice. Enjoyable - to share your observations -if i have any crit it would be to say stanza 2 was not as visual as the rest for me, felt one visual detail was missing -and stanza three, how's about a comma after Here,? i stumbled a bit there! nice one Chrissy xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
littleditty, much thanks for reading and commenting and for pointing out 'wrongs'. I am normally not that failing when it comes to punctuation.
I will look at stanza 2 too and see what I can do to make it more 'show' than 'tell'.
chrissy

Dazza on 14-01-2006
Shopping List
I shop with my mp3 on, head down, bum up, brain in neutral! Thanks for letting me glimpse what I'm missing! And so well, Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Dazza. Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Elfstone on 14-01-2006
Shopping List
I enjoyed reading this chrissy. I thinks some verses are 'stronger' than others and I wonder if you would consider doing a little editing, just to tighten it up? It's a good poem and, as the advert says, worth it.
Elfstone.

Author's Reply:
Elfstone, sorry to take sooo long to reply, not rude just busy.
Thanks for the read and the comments. Glad you liked it.
chrissy

Elfstone on 14-01-2006
Shopping List
Oops! "I thinks"?!! Sorry.
(I thinks therefore I is.)
Elf (blushing)

Author's Reply:


Close quarter combat (posted on: 25-11-05)
Inspired partly by QBall's comments about the anti binge drinking ads and partly by the feeble 'take your litter home' ads you see out in the country side, I thought we could combine the two and have a 'take your crap behaviour and vomit home' campaign.

Close Quarter Combat Pursued by demons from the bottle of cheap red he becomes one with the floor, each toe, foot and leg disappearing on its own account. Standing becomes no longer an option. Amazed by how quickly the table lamp changes its allegiance from friend, provider of light on long winter nights, to mortal foe, he vows vengeance, just as soon as he can unwrap the strangling cable from his neck. The carpet marshals its secret weapons. Drawing pins, nails, hard stale crumbs like rocks burrow into the exposed skin of his hands. Foul smells assault his nose remind him that he should have let the cat out. The settee changes sides moving from enemy obstacle to assisting ally within reach of his outstretched hand then switches back the seat cushion slithering beneath his grasp. A set back, nothing more. He maneuvers to the armchair, sliding across the floor like a beached seal, gathering dog hair,broken Bonio bits, nodules of ancient pizza Allies? He can't be sure. Gaining the high ground and not mortally wounded, he heaves his progressively anesthetized body onto the comfortable, over stuffed chair. His hands and arms alone have remained loyal friends. He breaths, deeply. An error. His brain changes sides - a last minute desertion - pitches him into the whirling pit of oblivion, a suffocating lake of regurgitated Chicken Tikka Masala.
Archived comments for Close quarter combat
Dargo77 on 25-11-2005
Close quarter combat
Chrissy, a wonderful description of those not in control through over indulging in alcohol. A very well written piece.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the generous rating.
I think it's meant to be a bit humorous but I'm never too sure with my stuff.
chrissy

woodbine on 25-11-2005
Close quarter combat
I don't know what this has to do with the campaign you mention
but it's a great piece of imaginative writing. I'd be very surprised if you don't get a visit from the knib fairy. His house sounds like my house,
a potentially hostile environment, an accident waiting to happen.

Kind regards, John

Author's Reply:
John, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and I'm glad you found the piece pleasing.
chrissy

Apolloneia on 25-11-2005
Close quarter combat
You're such a good poetess Chrissy. Vivid good writing here. Brava!
Nicoletta

Author's Reply:
Nicoletta, many thanks for your comments and rating. I'm really glad you enjoyed this.
chrissy

red-dragon on 25-11-2005
Close quarter combat
Not an easy subject to write about, but you have managed it with humour - and honesty. The ad was crap, but it's a good job your poem isn't. Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, many thanks for your comments and generous rating.
As a nondrinker for twenty five years or more, I can vaguely remember what being the 'worse for wear' could be like.
chrissy

dogfrog on 25-11-2005
Close quarter combat
Good straight talking stuff. I think I'd be tempted to turn this into prose. As a poem I think at times it says too much and implies too little and I think as prose you could say more, be even funnier. At the moment, it seems to sit between the two.

The lake of Chicken Tikka Masala is a disgustingly good image.

df

Author's Reply:
df, many thanks for reading and commenting. I am genuinely pleased you liked it despite the disgusting Tikka Masala.
chrissy

Gerry on 25-11-2005
Close quarter combat
Chrissy. We have seen today sadly the result of alcohol abuse.
It seems the people who abuse are the last to realise it.
I found your poem witty yet disturbing.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Gerry, many thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comments.
chrissy

Ionicus on 26-11-2005
Close quarter combat
A very forceful description of what the demon drink can do but written with witticism and humour.
I see that the 'nib fairy' mentioned by Woodbine has visited you and she couldn't have made a better choice.
Kind regards, Luigi.

Author's Reply:
Luigi, many thanks for reading and your very kind comments and the generous rating. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

AnthonyEvans on 26-11-2005
Close quarter combat
fucking funny stuff, works fine for me and i love that almost trick ending where the brain changes sides just before the chicken masala drops by.

best wishes, anthony (funnily enough, it has put me in such a good mood that i now feel like a drink!)

Author's Reply:
Anthony, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm genuinely pleased that the piece worked for you.
chrissy

teifii on 27-11-2005
Close quarter combat
Very funny. I love the way all the inanimate objects line up against him. And the brain changing sides is a master stroke.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Bradene on 27-11-2005
Close quarter combat
Excellent piece Chrissy, should be compulsory reading for every school in the country. Thoroughly deserving the nib. love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the poem and that you think it's saying something.
chrissy

Flash on 27-11-2005
Close quarter combat
That reminded me of my old man on a Thursday or a Friday, after finishing his 6-2 shift. Mind you being a Scot it would have been a black pudding and chips, rather than the Indian takeaway.

Good poem.

xxxxx
Flashy

Author's Reply:
Flash, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

littleditty on 30-11-2005
Close quarter combat
hello chrissy - what a vivid narrative that shows us the stumbling clumsy piteous drunk - what a foul and odious picture - I really don't like drunk people at all and enjoyed your description very much - perfectly horrible and disgusting -well done! xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

jay12 on 29-12-2005
Close quarter combat
I know this poem so well without having read it before, it could be about my life, well except my carpet is clean of pizza and bonio bits!

Nice poem, Jay.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jay for reading and commenting. I'm glad you took the time to do both.
chrissy


November Blue (posted on: 21-11-05)
It was cold, I was not feeling too happy, this poem came. I feel better now. Comments of any persuasion welcome.

November Blue Damned by the faintest of praise that does not match the effort I made, I welcome self pity, the world's disregard. The compliment that does not hide a barb is not worth the getting. There is no unconditional love, no thoughtless admiration, no promise of something better. My mind is a slum of back to back thoughts that admits no light that makes no room for new green things to grow. I am tired beyond sleep, the salve of unconsciousness, clinging to the wreckage of a half remembered, still longed for dream. I inhabit the world of the lost, the aggravatingly lonely the damned and semi damned who did not make it on to the world's least regarded list. I walk with eyes tight shut and curse the three blind magi of faith, hope and love; they lost the star and thus their way, went to Bethlehem instead. And what ails me infects the world and no one cares for seasons of good will. No one smiles with happiness untainted by sorrow or self loathing. I am lost, siphoned away, tossed in a Maelstrom of unrelenting gloom. The game is not worth the penny pitch and I am too weary to care. I do not even weep.
Archived comments for November Blue
Dargo77 on 21-11-2005
November Blue
Chrissy, your poem portrays your feelings at the time of writing... I sincerely hope the weather changes in your life. There are some really well thought out lines in the poem and I particularly liked:

'My mind is a slum
of back to back thoughts
that admits no light
that makes no room for new
green things to grow.

Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Could have sworn that I replied to this but obviously not. Sorry Dargo.
Many thanks for reading, commenting and for your most generous rating. I am feeling better now than I was when I wrote the poem. Such is life.
chrissy

Jen_Christabel on 21-11-2005
November Blue
I've been there! Your thoughts are very philosophical and this came across well.
Jen :o)

Author's Reply:
Jen, many thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm glad you thought the piece worked and that you found something in it to relate to.
chrissy

Slovitt on 21-11-2005
November Blue
chrissy: You do write some exceptional stanzas:

I walk with eyes tight shut
And curse the three blind magi
of faith, hope, and love;
they lost the star and thus their way,
went to Bethlem instead.

For me your poem doesn't have enough 'things', concrete items, and there is too much 'telling', which leaves the reader on the outside of an ability to interact, left only to listen, to be talked at, or to. I like your impulse. Swep

Author's Reply:
Swep, thanks for taking the time to read and comment, it is very much appreciated.
chrissy

barenib on 22-11-2005
November Blue
Chrissy, I tend to agree with Swep's comments in most respects; the stanza that he quotes is very good indeed, as are several others. The story is told, however, rather than shared. This doesn't stop the poem from being a good one though, and delivers some memorable moments. John.

Author's Reply:
John, thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment it is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

teifii on 23-11-2005
November Blue
Definitely been there! Trust you're feeling better. I think Christmas is responsible for a lot of such depression -- the endless nagging to be jolly [and buy, buy, buy].
A agree with SWep about
I walk with eyes tight shut
and curse the three blind magi
of faith, hope and love;
they lost the star and thus their way,
went to Bethlehem instead.

It's a wonderful stanza. But I don't think I really agree with the rest of his comment. Surely there is a palce for poems that 'tell' it as it is.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, thank you for reading and commenting. I'm really pleased that the poem worked for you.
Yes, I think there is a place for 'telling' especially if, like this, it is a piece about personal feelings and not a piece that has to be 'form-perfect', but for other people perhaps this is not the case.
chrissy

Kat on 23-11-2005
November Blue
Hi chrissy

I think this is an excellent piece and there is definitely a place for poems like yours!

Sharing and self-disclosure is one of the most important things we can give to another human, then we know we are not alone in the world, especially not with our despair.

So many great bits, but I particularly liked:

'My mind is a slum
of back to back thoughts'

also stanza 6, as already mentioned and the penultimate one too.

Great work and one for my cocktail cabinet...beside one of the fine malts.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Kat, many thanks for reading and commenting and for making this a favourite. I am genuinely grateful for your interest and your opinion means a lot to me.
chrissy

pencilcase on 24-11-2005
November Blue
chrissy, I like your November Blue, and I think that's a really good title too.

I don't entirely disagree with some comments that this is telling rather than shared, but I think whatever drove you to write this was the need to tell, to express yourself. And it's an effective expression, imo.

To start with welcoming self-pity and the world's disregard and end with being too weary to care or weep (although all this strikes me as well put together) would ring 'alarm bells' of angst poetry. But, I think this is a very good expression and well constructed, without any over-egging that would undermine that expression, perhaps.

I've read it 8 times.

Bit tired now (from work, I mean - not from reading your poem!), so better go.

Steve

Steve



Author's Reply:
Steve, many thanks for reading and commenting. What fortitude to read the piece 8 times.
If there is angst expressed maybe that was what I felt. I don't know. I was feeling bloody miserable and this poem was the result.
Once again, many thanks for the reads and the comments.
chrissy

Corin on 04-04-2006
November Blue
Chrissy - I noticed the comments about `showing not telling' - those people who write poetry by rules should stick to painting by numbers in my opinion. The great example I always quote when this comes up is Larkin's `This be the Verse' That was telling of a high order in your face and up your nose telling! Brilliant.

Yours is more subtle and full of wonderful images and brilliant juggling with words:-

"The compliment that does not hide a barb
is not worth the getting. "

"I inhabit the world of the lost,
the aggravatingly lonely"

"I am lost, siphoned away,
tossed in a Maelstrom of unrelenting gloom."

"My mind is a slum
of back to back thoughts "

"I walk with eyes tight shut
and curse the three blind magi
of faith, hope and love;
they lost the star and thus their way,
went to Bethlehem instead. " - a brilliant verse

You build to the inevitable ending very effectively - tell it to them like it is!

David








Author's Reply:
David, many thanks for reading and commenting. I have never seen the point of rules in poetry or any other 'creative writing' for that matter. I know the rules, vaguely but I tend to write from what I feel. I always have and after fifty years of doing it that way, I suppose I will continue.
Much thanks.
chrissy


Falling out of love (posted on: 18-11-05)
If you take the initial letters of this poem's title you get the word f o o l. Yes, well...

Was it some unheard word, a compliment left unremarked, a discarded sentence alone defenseless against misinterpretation? Did we leave the same world at the same moment with the true intent of returning but never quite made it back in time? Were we always set on different paths meeting by chance, not design, there being no real destiny in our meeting? We fall out of love together each waiting for the other to give reasons why we are no longer one.
Archived comments for Falling out of love
Apolloneia on 18-11-2005
Falling out of love
I wouldn't change a thing Chrissy. Lovely poem.

Author's Reply:
Ah m'dear, thank you. Your consistent interest in what I do and your kind comments and ratings are truly appreciated.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 18-11-2005
Falling out of love
Chrissy, this poem flowed like a silver stream. You should be so proud of this one. Congratulations on the Great Read, and an obvious favourite for me.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, your generous comments and rating are genuinely appreciated and thanks for making it a favourite.
chrissy

Corin on 18-11-2005
Falling out of love
As Puck in `A Midsummer Night's Dream' says:-

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

Off to see it tonight so I will think of you - who would you like to be Helena (tall) or Hermia (short) - both pretty, both unrequited but both married in the end! Hermia is the feisty one who runs off into the woods with lover boy only to lose him. I love Helena for making this remark:-

"And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
Steal me awhile from mine own company."

WArm Wishes

David



Warm Wishes

David



Author's Reply:
Hope you enjoy it. Tonight I shall be reading poetry.
If I was to be any one from the dream I would probably be Bottom.
chrissy

Abel on 18-11-2005
Falling out of love
I adore this piece...sad, but I think resolute. Mature in its approach, and expertly crafted, chrissy. Well written!

Ward

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

Jen_Christabel on 19-11-2005
Falling out of love
Deep, meaningful and a thoroughly good read.
Jen :o)

Author's Reply:
Jen, many thanks for reading and commenting. I am truly pleased that you enjoyed the read.
chrissy

narcissa on 22-11-2005
Falling out of love
What a thought-provoking and moving piece of writing this is. I love your use of questions, and the resulting contrast with that extremely strong last stanza (my favourite bit). This is very powerful writing 🙂
Laura x

Author's Reply:
Laura, many thanks for reading and commenting and for rating this piece.
Sometimes I get it more than a bit right, sometimes not. 🙂
I'm genuinely pleased that you enjoyed this poem and very grateful that you took the trouble to tell me so.
chrissy

teifii on 30-11-2005
Falling out of love
I seem to have missed this one. It's very good. So well observed.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm very pleased that you found it and enjoyed it.
chrissy


The Happy Times (posted on: 07-11-05)
A very short poem because I want it short.

When the wound is heart deep, the sorrow inconsolable, the grief and guilt unsupportable and the 'if-onlies' come thick and fast, so fast they crash your soul render it irreparable; thinking of the happy times hurts the most.
Archived comments for The Happy Times
Bradene on 07-11-2005
The Happy Times
This is exactly how it is you know.. So well expressed Chrissy, you didn't need to say more. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Truly appreciated.
chrissy

teifii on 07-11-2005
The Happy Times
Very true.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Diolch yn fawr.
chrissy

Claire on 07-11-2005
The Happy Times
Yup, spot on hun. Those wounds feel as if they will never heal...

Yes, this is short, but any longer you would have spoiled it. You have a little gem here, one which I would have nibbed. ;^)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 07-11-2005
The Happy Times
Claire, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Your interest and support is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

tai on 07-11-2005
The Happy Times
10 from me Chrissy, very succinctly put, Yes they do, but not for everyone. We all deal with loss individually, or so I have found. For me and my boys, engrossing ourselves in their fathers art and memory really helped us through the first year or so, but now, as you say, memories such as these sting deeply and oh so darkly. For us, I sincerely hope The Happy Times will soon be upon us again.

Smiling at ya

Tai

Author's Reply:
Tai, much thanks for reading and for your very kind comments. Much appreciated.
chrissy

Apolloneia on 08-11-2005
The Happy Times
Must agree with the others, very true and I think you nailed it.
Nic.

Author's Reply:
Nic, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Your opinions are truly appreciated.
chrissy

pencilcase on 08-11-2005
The Happy Times
chrissy,

put very succinctly, and very well. Title also good.

Must go,

Steve

Author's Reply:
Steve, many thanks for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate you interest.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 09-11-2005
The Happy Times
Chrissy, profound poem, that I found never needed to be any longer...you said it all.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, many thanks for reading and commenting. I am genuinely grateful for you interest in my work.
chrissy

jay12 on 12-11-2005
The Happy Times
Don't I know it. With time though memories are cherished again without tears.

Heartbreaking read.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy


Friends (posted on: 31-10-05)
Not really happy with the title. Comments and maybe a title welcome.

We did not part the best of friends. Still caring for me, you let me go, took your separate path to some unknown place leaving me to stand alone uncertain of the path that I would tread. Raging at your departing back I stamped and screamed obscenities cursed your lack of courage broke faith with all I once believed. This was no superficial wound that time would heal. No Winter snow or Spring grass or Summer flowers or Autumn leaves would cover the hurt and give it time to mend. I will miss you in the seasons that remain. I will speak to you knowing that you do not hear and I will try to say I'm sorry.
Archived comments for Friends
Apolloneia on 31-10-2005
Friends
I think this is excellent. And yes maybe the title is not good enough for this very fine poem Chrissy.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading, commenting and rating and for making the poem a favourite. I truly appreciate it.
The title is really bugging me and I will *have* to do something about it.
chrissy

Romany on 31-10-2005
Friends
I agree it's a very good poem, but the title is weak. What about something like 'Burning Bridges,' or maybe 'Time Is No Healer,' or something on those lines?

Author's Reply:
Glad you thought the poem was good.
I've got two poems called 'Burning Bridges' already. I might just go with the first line, that's always safe, isn't it.
chrissy

MLAllen on 31-10-2005
Friends
Very frank, highly emotional situation, Chrissy. Well done. ML

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Emerald on 01-11-2005
Friends
A lot of past pain in this - showing those regrets that cannot be undone. Can't help with the title I'm afraid as titles are my weak spot with writing.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:
Emma, much thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm normally quite good with titles but this one just didn't feel 'right'/ strong enough.
I think I will go with the first line or a line any way.
chrissy

jay12 on 01-11-2005
Friends
Very honest and open poem, I wonder is it based on real life?

Maybe "Hurt, The Price We Pay For Love" as a title.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting.
Yes.
Like the title. Hmm. Might be able to write another poem about that.
chrissy

Bradene on 02-11-2005
Friends
Wonderfully poignant and so well done Chrissy. It brought a tear to the eye and quite honestly I think the title is perfect. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it and that it worked for you.
Still not three happy with the title.
chrissy

Jen_Christabel on 02-11-2005
Friends
Highly charged and emotional - a good piece. How about something like 'Parting is such sweet sorrow' or summat like that?
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Jennifer, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
All title suggestions are being considered. Much thanks for yours.
chrissy 🙂

pencilcase on 02-11-2005
Friends
Hi chrissy. I'm trying to think about a suggestion for an alternative title. How about 'Disclosure'? I'm thinking about firstly the meaning of the word, and secondly as a hint towards lack of closure.

Anyway, a good poem that expresses itself very well in not so many words. There's another idea: 'Not So Many Words'!

Steve

Author's Reply:
Steve many thanks for stopping by to read and comment and thanks for the title suggestions.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 03-11-2005
Friends
Chrissy, a poem full of feeling...that left me sad.
I would leave the title as it is, your first thought is often the best.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, many thanks for reading, commenting and for your most generous rating. Your opinion is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

teifii on 05-11-2005
Friends
Lovely poem. How about 'Scar tissue'? O the first line - actually I think that's the best solution.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, many thanks for reading and commenting. All titles will be up for consideration.
chrissy

flossieBee on 06-11-2005
Friends
The line "Raging at your departing back is so powerful!



Author's Reply:
flossieBee, much thanks for reading and commenting, muchly appreciated.
chrissy

littleditty on 06-11-2005
Friends
So open and a gentle, sad voice somehow -so 'Broken Faith' is my suggestion for your poem xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
littleditty, many thanks for reading and commenting. This titling business is a real pain. I'm normally quite good at it. I shall examine yours.
chrissy


Reaction time (posted on: 24-10-05)
A little poem.

Reaction Time From the moment the words dropped like bombs? No, sped like bullets, expertly aimed minimizing collateral damage, shielding the innocent; there was no time to react. You spoke. I was destroyed. End of story.
Archived comments for Reaction time
Romany on 24-10-2005
Reaction time
Very succinct. Like this a lot!

Author's Reply:
Romany, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Bradene on 24-10-2005
Reaction time
Well aimed chrissy landing right on target. I really liked this. Love val x

Author's Reply:
Val, many thanks for reading, commenting and for your generous rating. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 25-10-2005
Reaction time
Chrissy, loved your thoughts; after those words that cut like a knife. Well written.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, much thanks. Your continued support is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

teifii on 25-10-2005
Reaction time
Very good - not a word too many and not a word wasted.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, much thanks. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for saying so.
chrissy

jay12 on 25-10-2005
Reaction time
A poem that most can relate too. I think we have all been targetted by bad words sometimes. Words that hurt us and sometimes even destroying us.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for your interest and for your comments.
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. My head isn't on this planet at the moment.
chrissy

Gerry on 25-10-2005
Reaction time
chrissy, you really nailed this one...

Gerry.xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry. I truly appreciate your interest.
chrissy


Close Companions (posted on: 14-10-05)
A poem

We have often been close companions, he and I. Many times we have sat in congenial conversation ordering my affairs; dotting all the I's crossing each T making clear my intentions. Yet always I have proved the fickle mistress, an inconsistent heart, preferring, as is natural, his brother, a far more vigorous lover and cling to him, shamelessly when all about me say; "Go now with your good companion. Now is the time." My friend does not care. He counts as temporary folly my unilateral relationship with the other. To him it is a delaying tactic, an affair of smoke and mirrors; he knows my true heart, is certain of the outcome. He has proved his love and will, in the end, have me.
Archived comments for Close Companions
jay12 on 15-10-2005
Close Companions
Wow, Chrissy this is a poem that reads like an episode of Trisha. I hope this aint based on true life; things get complicated when you share siblings in the bedroom. lol

Anyway enough of my sillyness. I enjoyed his poem greatly.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Nothing to do with Trisha.
Have you not got what it's about?
chrissy

Dargo77 on 15-10-2005
Close Companions
Chrissy, very strong subject matter, that you have turned into a good piece of work. I truly hope things are going well for you at present.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this. Strong subject matter? Hmm possibly, but not in an obvious.
Things are going a lot better now than they have been as I have just got my telephone line back after nine days being incommunicado, so to speak, or not.
Much thanks for your continued interest and support.
chrissy

Elfstone on 15-10-2005
Close Companions
Interesting poem chrissy.

Two small points: I think "cling" should be "clinging" (in the second stanza) and I feel that some of the lines are too wide visually.

A good read, I enjoyed this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:
Have you had your elfish nose in my computer? In the original draft of this poem, I had 'clinging' and then changed it for some reason.
As for the width of the visuals, not quite sure what you mean. It's meant to be loose, not too explicit because it's not quite what it appears to be on the surface.
Hell, I'm getting inscrutable here, grasshopper, must be the time of day.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Bradene on 17-10-2005
Close Companions
Smashing poem Chrissy i raelly enjoyed this. It's an unusual one from you but deserves full marks. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, much thanks for reading commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Not quite as unusual as it at first seems. Big clue. Not real people and certainly not the erotica Jay12 seems to have me writing. lol.
You know what I'm like.
Catch you later.
chrissy


Crazy (posted on: 10-10-05)
Something that popped into my head.

Like a whipped dog
howling on the end of a chain
in a wet and filthy yard.
That's what crazy's like.

Not like a warm blanket
wrapped around you 'cause
you're shiverin' cold
and someone cares.

It's like not knowing the way
or knowing a different way,
the way no one else goes
'cause it's too scary.

It's not like being certain,
knowing there's only one choice,
one clear path
to where you want to be.

Crazy's like always being wrong,
even when you're right
because your right
is other peoples' wrong
and it's crazy
to be different these days.
Archived comments for Crazy
Bradene on 10-10-2005
Crazy
Great poem Chrissy and great insight too. Well written as usual. love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thank you for reading and commenting.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

jay12 on 10-10-2005
Crazy
I think we are all a bit crazy really - especially when you put it like this.

I luv the last stanza so much, we live in a world where the media portrays what is right, or cool, or fashionable and its wrong to disagree. Partly because so many people are simply brainwashed these days by TV and obsessed with celebrity.

I really liked this poem.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm genuinely pleased that it worked for you. I guess we're all a bit crazy.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 10-10-2005
Crazy
Chrissy, I like what you have done here. Different is good for me.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, thank you for reading and commenting. You know how much your interest means to me.
Different is good, yes, but different can be dangerous.
chrissy

Gerry on 10-10-2005
Crazy
Chrissy, anyone who is not crazy these days is truly unique.
we are all in the club. Some are just crazier than others.

(or is that animal farm)? 🙂

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Listen up young Ger, who are you calling crazy?
Many thanks for reading and commenting. Muchly appreciated.
chrissy

eddiesolo on 10-10-2005
Crazy
Crazy? I must be certifiable.

I enjoyed this very much.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Si, many thanks for reading and commenting.
Glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

red-dragon on 10-10-2005
Crazy
chrissy, well said!

Author's Reply:
red, many thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Slovitt on 12-10-2005
Crazy
Chrissy: Think about removing the 'likes' from your poem. As a poet once said about similes, and his lack of use of them,
not many things are really like other things. And your metaphor becomes more organic without 'like'. For instance,

A whipped dog
howling on the end of a chain
in a wet and filthy yard.
That's what crazy's like.

Not a warm blanket
wrapped around you 'cause
you're shiverin' cold
and someone cares.

And so on, 'It's not knowing the way'/, etc. A good piece. Swep

Author's Reply:
Swep, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Sunken on 12-10-2005
Crazy
I just thank god for people who are different. They make life all the more interesting. It's those that aren't naturally different, but who pretend to be, that p me off a bit. I met one on the bus the other day pretending to be a penguin. He didn't fool me one bit. Wannabe! Great poem Chrissy. Respect and rice pudding,

s
u
n
k
e
n

he often writes in the nude

Author's Reply:
We real crazy penguins should stick together.
Can I pass on the rice pudding, it's a school thing. I shouldn't go there, I really don't want to go there.
chrissy

Warhorse on 12-10-2005
Crazy
hi there Chrissy

So strong and powerful in its images
an eye opener to read and very well done

regards

Mike

Author's Reply:
Mike, many thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm glad it worked for you.
chrissy

Griffonner on 13-10-2005
Crazy
A brilliant piece of observation, this. Nicely done.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading, commenting etc. I'm glad this worked for you.
chrissy

teifii on 18-10-2005
Crazy
Speaking as one who's always been more than a little odd, I like this one -- especially
because your right
is other peoples' wrong
Daff

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed this and took the time to tell me so. I'M BACK!
chrissy


Boxes (posted on: 07-10-05)
More significant flags. Think I was thinking about Nam and how mindless a conflict that was but all conflict is mindless and indefensible.



Another boy came home today,
the usual way
in a box
draped with a flag,
slow marched
from the fat belly
of the same 'plane
that flew him out there.

He was met by his mom and dad.
They can only remember
the way he was,
with his mom's
soft brown eyes,
his dad's chin
and something of his grandpa
about his nose.

They won't see that now he has no face ,
that he was too long
in the heat
and the damp
with the things that
nibble and chew
on flesh.
He has his teeth.

He'll stay in the box after they bury him.
And the white gloves
the smart caps,
the best uniforms,
will fold the flag
give it to his mom
when the box is gone
deep, deep under ground.

And they'll mark his name on a wall,
gold on white
carefully chiseled.
But they won't say thanks
they won't say sorry
for the needless
useless sacrifice
in an indefensible cause.


Archived comments for Boxes
eddiesolo on 2005-10-07 11:11:29
Re: Boxes
Very powerful piece Chrissy, I think you captured well the emptiness and pointlessness of war.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-10-07 11:42:23
Re: Boxes
A Great Read Chrissy and a very valid subject. You made it a powerful and a compelling read right from the first line. A poem that every single God damn politician in the world should read and digest! Oh look! is that a pig I see flying past! Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-10-07 12:12:37
Re: Boxes
Si, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I genuinely appreciate your opinion.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-10-07 12:16:31
Re: Boxes
Val, much thanks for taking the time to read and for your continued support. I truly appreciate it.
I don't think it would do a lot of good if politicians read this.
I once wrote a much more direct comment -- Hang Johnson-- in spray paint on a wall in Leicester. No one did.
chrissy 🙂

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-07 12:47:24
Re: Boxes
Chrissy, what a sad world we live in when people have to kill one another , and even kill themselves.
You wrote this with a passion than punched its message home.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Gerry, thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to read and comment. I truly appreciate your interest.
chrissy

Dargo77 on 2005-10-07 13:15:27
Re: Boxes
Chrissy, as I read this poem I became even more pleased that you stayed with us. A wonderful tribute from you, to the many thousands still being killed to this day. How long must all people become 'cannon fodder' in futile wars?
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo, thanks for your continued interest in my writing. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Apolloneia on 08-10-2005
Boxes
I utterly agree with Val dear Chrissy. A powerful read...
Nicoletta.

Author's Reply:
Nicoletta, many thanks for taking the time to read and say what you thought. Very much appreciated.
chrissy

littleditty on 08-10-2005
Boxes
This is great -you pulled the reader in with the details - the whole picture is powerful, as is the sentiment. Good to read - a protest poem xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
littleditty, many thanks for reading and leaving your comment.
There used to be a lot of protest poems and songs in my youth.
I'm glad this one worked for you.
chrissy

Sunken on 08-10-2005
Boxes
There's only one way to write about such a thing, and that's powerfully. You drop words like bombs. Top stuff Chrissy.

s
u
n
k
e
n


Author's Reply:
Sunken, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad the piece worked for you and much thanks for your consistent interest.
chrissy

kenochi on 08-10-2005
Boxes
Chrissy,
this is the first time I've read something of yours, I think and I really liked it. If I was going to offer one small criticism, it would be the last few lines, where it said,

"they won't say sorry
for the needless
useless sacrifice
in an indefensible cause"

Up to that point the poem's message had been delivered really subtlely and visually and that bit just seemed just a tiny bit heavy-handed.
But there were some really powerful sections here. Verses two and three were especially telling, I thought.
Really strong, powerful work.

Author's Reply:
Kenochi, much thanks for reading and commenting. It's truly appreciated.
Like I said in the intro I was thinking about Viet Nam and one of the most disturbing things about that particular conflict, for me, was the reaction of the 'folks back home' to the returning vets and those returning in body bags. I think because the war didn't have a lot to do with 'homeland security' and there was so much else on the political agenda at the time, these people were not treated as heroes as those returning from the first and second world wars were.
I wanted to show that despite the flag and the dress uniforms and writing his name on a wall of remembrance, generally speaking, no one gave much of a toss about this lad and all the others like him.
I shall have another look maybe.
Much thanks for your interest.
chrissy

Kat on 08-10-2005
Boxes
Hi chrissy

I think this is a powerful write and I think your ending is perfectly pitched because it drives home the brutality of war, the reality of war, and saying sorry would be admitting they were wrong, which seems to be a 'politically incorrect' thing to do - perhaps give them another 50 years or so.

'War - what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.' As I believe Bruce Springsteen sings.

A fav.

Kat x



Author's Reply:
Kat, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the fav. (Blushes deeply) You are very kind.
I'm glad the poem worked for you.
chrissy

Frenchy on 09-10-2005
Boxes
Hello Chrissy,
You said what politicians and the military haven't the guts to say.. A great piece of emotional writing that brought back the days when I fought with words and not a rifle..
Take Care,
Dave.

Author's Reply:
Dave, many thanks for reading and commenting.
I have always fought with words. Only weapons I've got.
chrissy

jay12 on 10-10-2005
Boxes
This is emotive stuff. A great poem though.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting of this poem.
It is an emotive subject.
I'm glad that the piece worked for you.
chrissy


Nothing is the same. (posted on: 26-09-05)
A poem? Some words I wrote. Comments welcome.

Nothing is the same Nothing is the same. There's an edge to the ticking of the clock, as though it apportions blame The wall paper, so carefully matched won't hang straight like it wants to give up. The kitchen, if it could, would refuse entry. The pans turn their handles to the wall. The plate, accidentally broken still awaits repair or rejection, too many pieces to bother with. Sometimes the books return to their shelves out of order, upside down. Only the flag remains, tightly folded corner over corner, neat, tidy, constant.
Archived comments for Nothing is the same.
tai on 2005-09-26 09:08:14
Re: Nothing is the same.
Homes and housework Chrissy, is an obsession us women revert to in times of trauma. I know this feeling well. The give away for me, is that flag.

All the best

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-26 09:29:48
Re: Nothing is the same.
Tai, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you understood.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-09-26 11:06:55
Re: Nothing is the same.
This is so poignant Chrissy and the last stanza says it all so beautifully.

Only the flag remains,
tightly folded
corner over corner,
neat, tidy, constant

Love Val x

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2005-09-26 11:07:06
Re: Nothing is the same.
I wondered where this was going, until I reached the last verse and suddenly it all became clear. Nicely done Chrissy.

love ailsa

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-26 11:17:59
Re: Nothing is the same.
Val. many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm trully glad it worked and I honestly appreciate your opinion.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-26 11:20:16
Re: Nothing is the same.
ailsa, many thanks for reading and commenting. When I wrote this, the flag thing came first into my mind.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-26 17:26:06
Re: Nothing is the same.
chrissy, I have never been sure how the feminine mind works 😉 but I like the poem anyway...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-26 17:42:01
Re: Nothing is the same.
Gerry, many thanks for reading and commenting.
I don't think it's a peculiarly feminine thing, it's a way of coping.
I'm glad you liked the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-09-26 18:12:01
Re: Nothing is the same.
Brilliant young Chrissy. The ending, without a doubt, nails it home. I'd say it was a poem, definately.

s
u
n
k
e
n

also available in microwaved portions

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-09-26 18:16:02
Re: Nothing is the same.
Balls, I posted before spell checking. Just let me put that 'definately' right...

definitely

That's better. I always spell that wrong. You think I'd learn wouldn't ya?

s
u
n
k

making do with audio cassettes

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-09-27 03:00:34
Re: Nothing is the same.
I really like this poem, chrissy and its meaning is clear to me or rather, it has a meaning that is clear to me! 😉 Great work.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-27 09:44:09
Re: Nothing is the same.
Sunken, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-27 09:46:03
Re: Nothing is the same.
Kat, many thanks for reading and commenting. I genuinely appreciate it.
I'm glad the poem worked.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-09-27 21:12:44
Re: Nothing is the same.
There was only one stanza I think you can edit. But the rest of the poem is so clever and well written that I gave it a ten.

This is the stanza I'm talking about:
The plate, accidentally broken
still awaits repair or rejection,
too many pieces
to bother with.

Loved it!
Nic

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-27 21:44:51
Re: Nothing is the same.
Nic, many thanks for taking the time and trouble to read, comment and rate. I truly appreciate your interest.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-09-27 23:19:00
Re: Nothing is the same.
This was so sad but well written...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-27 23:36:49
Re: Nothing is the same.
Leila, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2005-09-29 06:42:08
Re: Nothing is the same.
This could well describe the home life of our own dear queen. Nobly written.
Sunken, please don't slouch when you are standing to attention.

Well done.
John

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-29 11:57:03
Re: Nothing is the same.
John, thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2005-09-29 23:19:07
Re: Nothing is the same.
I like the repetition of the first line reinforcing the idea from the very start. I also like the way the order of the flag contrasts with the disorder of everything else, drawing your reader's attention firmly to it.
Very skilfully done.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-29 23:42:09
Re: Nothing is the same.
Gee, many thanks for reading and commenting. The first image I thought of was the flag, the contrast came when I wanted to descibe the results of the tragedy that causes the flag to be there. If that makes any sense.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 2005-09-30 19:57:01
Re: Nothing is the same.
I especially love the first verse, some great images there 🙂
Karen x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-09-30 21:20:14
Re: Nothing is the same.
Karen, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-10-04 17:21:01
Re: Nothing is the same.
Bloody Housework!

Nice poem!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-10-04 18:22:47
Re: Nothing is the same.
Glad you enjoyed. Thanks for your support.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

allieuk on 08-10-2005
Nothing is the same.
Chrissy, this is such a poignant piece of work. The sense of loss and devastation is palpable throughout, the reason for it only being forced home in the last verse, and those last few words packed a physical punch for me.

I found the kitchen the most evocative image, the lines:

"The kitchen, if it could,
would refuse entry. "

seeming so innocuous, but the kitchen is the heart of my home (maybe most people's), and it would take a terrible tragedy to close it....

And the juxtaposition of chaos and order is truly masterful. I can't fault it at all, I wouldn't want to because it's beautiful and moving.

Allie x



Author's Reply:
Allie, many thanks for reading and for you lovely comments. I'm truly pleased that the poem worked for you.
chrissy


The scent of wild roses (posted on: 08-08-05)
I have not tinkered much with this. I dare say there is tinkering to be done and maybe I shall do it.
Comment or crit but please, if you feel the need to do a line by line deconstruction, resist, or if you can't, confine it to a pm

The scent of wild roses He will never forget the scent of wild roses that she wore in her hair on the night he first kissed her finger tips her eyes her lips. and the moon will never shine more Autumn golden will never illuminate one more beautiful than she her midnight hair cascading like a veil her velvet eyes gazing to the sea. And where she stood and where her naked feet made prints in blood red sand he will carry in his memory for ever and eternity. Until his last breath he will gaze up on that vision of ethereal beauty; his transcender of worlds his fragile link between the state of what we are and what we think. No silken gown will flow more lovingly over softly yielding skin. No one will love him more purely than she. No one will adore her more deeply than he. In future time when he returns, lonely, to this place and touches the cold stone that does not bear the imprint of her hand, he will but close his eyes a moment to see her standing there the taste of wine upon her lips wild roses in her hair. Copyright C M-H 2005
Archived comments for The scent of wild roses
Bradene on 2005-08-08 11:19:14
Re: The scent of wild roses
Hi Chrissy I thought this piece was one of the most beautiful love poems I have read for a long time, definitely not one to be de-constructed line by line.. the only possible niggle I have and it probably is me.. is the * will*on the third line of the second stanza, it just jarred to me a little but that is so trifling it's hardly worth mentioning. Lovely writing. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-08 11:40:44
Re: The scent of wild roses
Val, much thanks for your kind comments and for drawing my attention to the 'will'. Maybe if I was to remove the full stop from the previous line, which I think was my idle fingers looking for occupation and make the next line lower case:-
"In future time
when he returns, lonely
to this place
and touches the cold stone
that does not bare
the imprint of her hand,
he will but close his eyes a moment
to see her standing there
the taste of wine upon her lips
wild roses in her hair."
Is that clearer? If it is then I shall go and do this to the poem.
Much thanks
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-08-08 12:10:09
Re: The scent of wild roses
Perfect Chrissy, much clearer and reads splendidly. A great read in my Opinion. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-08-08 12:28:27
Re: The scent of wild roses
Hi Chrissy,
I think this is a wonderful piece.

Si:-0

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-08-08 13:03:39
Re: The scent of wild roses
No tinkering from me chrissy, this is absolutely delightful. Can't find a thing to crit.

10 from me.

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-08 14:24:28
Re: The scent of wild roses
Si, many thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-08 14:25:52
Re: The scent of wild roses
Tai, thank you so much and I am truly glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-08-08 16:28:44
Re: The scent of wild roses
Beautiful Chrissy. I like the way it covers different times - like seeing into the future.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-08 16:42:41
Re: The scent of wild roses
Dolch yn fawr, Daff.
I'm pleased you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 2005-08-08 18:40:15
Re: The scent of wild roses
Chrissy, without doubt this is a masterpiece. Absolutely magic. Carrying the reader on the tide of its imagery and entangling itself in their emotions. Brilliant.

If this were mine (Oh, if this were mine!) the only tinker I would do would be with the line 'velvet eyes gazing to the sea' because I want it to read 'velvet eyes gazing out to sea'. I'm sometimes naff like that.

But if you don't change a thing about it, it will still get a ten out of me.

*Admiringly*
Griffonner

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-08-08 19:04:51
Re: The scent of wild roses
If anyone tinkers young Chrissy, just send them to me and I'll sort em out. Yeah, like I'm hard. This is perfect. I didn't notice if it was nibbed or not. If it were up to me I would not only give you the nib, I'd give you the whole bloody pen. They are so miserly around here. Top write.

s
u
n
k
e
n

seducing statues for practice

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-08 22:04:39
Re: The scent of wild roses
My sweet, my dear Sunken, my life long I have sort a knight in shining armour, are you truly it? Oh dear. Thanks a million for your lovely comments.
It wasn't nibbed the last time I looked at it but it is now.
Love chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-08 22:11:18
Re: The scent of wild roses
Griffonner, many thanks for your comments and for the fav read, truly appreciated.
I thought about 'gazing out to sea' it was one of the tinkering things I did, I changed it from that because it looked a bit.... expected.
Thanks muchly and I am so pleased you liked it so much.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-08-09 03:26:19
Re: The scent of wild roses
This is a great read,

I wonder if anyone did PM you with a line by line crit cus I would like to see it, cus I cannot see what they would have changed. I like this poem.

J.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-09 07:41:46
Re: The scent of wild roses
James. many thanks for you kind comments I truly appreciate your continued interest in my work.
No PMs yet but there is still time.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-08-09 11:08:16
Re: The scent of wild roses
What a thoroughly romantic write - and why not? The world needs more of it - I wouldn't change it one jot. Very floaty and ethereal...a perfect memory. We should all have one like it....

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-09 12:27:59
Re: The scent of wild roses
Roy, many thanks for your kind comments. Much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2005-08-09 19:25:08
Re: The scent of wild roses
OK, only some small comments. For what you've tried to say, you achieved it, IMO. I hope this doesn't class as 'deconstruction'....

'transcender' - this is not a word in my dictionary. Although I would not object on that basis alone, because the meaning is apparent. But it strikes me as wrong (maybe for the same reason). I understand its use, but something more acceptable might be less distracting from your key thread...

'than she' - maybe (just a thought) leave that out and let it echo once the reader gets to 'than he'. Inference rather than obvious.

returns, lonely - if you have a comma before lonely, you should have one after. If you had none, that would also be okay.

'bear' - unless you had some significance in 'bare'

'but' - archaic use, not consistent with the rest of your imagery.

that's all! nice one G 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-09 22:03:50
Re: The scent of wild roses
Thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and comment. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ceo61 on 2005-08-09 23:56:11
Re: The scent of wild roses
I never crit in public view, and only rarely privately, because I'm not good at it anyway, but I only comment on poems I like and I would comment on this one more than once if it wouldn't make me look rather eccentric! It's great work.

Best wishes

Clive

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-10 08:02:31
Re: The scent of wild roses
Clive, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this piece. I am genuinely grateful for any comments (or criticism) I receive and I am truly pleased you liked it.
Public line by line criticism mildly annoys me because I don't like anyone using my space to put their view of they would have written on the same subject. When it's well intentioned and more or less fair, I don't really mind that much, it's 'the art master/mistress taking the brush from the pupil's hand and doing the painting themselves' that I don't like.
As for appearing eccentric, I thought that was a prerequisite for belong to this group 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

colourfunk on 2005-08-10 13:50:31
Re: The scent of wild roses
Good poem

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-10 23:43:54
Re: The scent of wild roses
Hi Tai-Li. and welcome.
Many thanks for stopping by to read and comment.
I don't tinker if I can avoid it. I'm too bloody lazy for one thing and can't be arsed to do anything unless it's something daft like spellos or typos.
I'm really pleased you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-10 23:45:49
Re: The scent of wild roses
Thanks for saying so.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-08-11 03:54:49
Re: The scent of wild roses
Hi chrissy,

I thought this was beautiful

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 2005-08-11 05:23:35
Re: The scent of wild roses
now then...this is soooo romantic - and i rarely find romance that doesn't make me feel a bit sick - after popping this in my favourites, i am off, happily, without any ill feelings, to read Neruda.... what a really excellent poem - thank you xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-11 07:36:16
Re: The scent of wild roses
Emma, many thanks for saying so.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-11 07:39:49
Re: The scent of wild roses
littleditty, much thanks for reading and commenting and thanks for the favourite read. Much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

BaBy_PoeT on 2005-08-11 21:28:59
Re: The scent of wild roses
hey Chrissy i don't know what to say.
i mean this is romance and very romantic something i normally think is 'gay' in the teen language. meaning a lot of things.
but this is just really nice, i mean i loved it. don't think theres anything your going to need to improve. its great as it is. and your defiantly getting a 10 from me.
and I'm adding this as a fav as well.
great post.
take care
xXx...:::...BaBy PoeT...:::...xXx

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-11 22:39:36
Re: The scent of wild roses
Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm so pleased that you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-08-14 22:44:10
Re: The scent of wild roses
This is a vividly romantic piece Chrissy...I like the idea of midnight hair and that closing verse works really well...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-15 08:55:41
Re: The scent of wild roses
Leila, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment, it is genuinely appreciated and I am so pleased this worked for you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Lu on 2005-08-29 19:51:53
Re: The scent of wild roses
WONDERFUL!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-30 08:33:51
Re: The scent of wild roses
Many thanks for saying that. Glad you enjoyed,
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Lare on 24-11-2005
The scent of wild roses
Hi Chrissy...I have read this now twice...and both times I get one more special feeling from this...this is very, very moving and touching...so warm and loving...I love how you wove this together...each read brings out one more slight emotion...this is very well done...

Just me, Lare

Author's Reply:
Lare, many thanks for reading and for your lovely comments. I am genuinely pleased that you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy


Running on empty (posted on: 11-07-05)
A poem for old people, everywhere.
Comments,of any persuasion, most welcome

Running on empty He's running on empty. This man of four score years and ten, doesn't know where he doesn't know when the call will come to summon him home. At night he no longer kneels to pray for the Lord to spare him one more day He doesn't care he sits with the others who sit in chairs and he blankly stares at the flickering window onto other peoples' worlds. The world he knew has drifted away consumed in the smoke of cigarettes and fires. And all the ones he loved are gone and there's nothing left but he lingers on suffering the half life of the unknowing dead. Nothing intrudes, nothing involves. All the care from the bleeding hearts is for others, for the dying children born of dying mothers and all the lives that are blown away and no one came to see him today. And no one cares that he once had a life two strong sons a daughter a wife. No one cares that his wife is dead that there's no loving hand to soothe his fears that no one comes to dry his tears. And it doesn't matter that he sleeps alone when he sleeps at all, that his mottled hands grip an icy sheet and he's lost all feeling in his frozen feet. And he's running on empty again.
Archived comments for Running on empty
Emerald on 2005-07-11 14:40:25
Re: Running on empty
Hi Chrissy, sent a chill through me. One of my fears is to end my days alone, having lost all my loved ones. Yet surely all life is valued and important - good thoughtful poem.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-11 16:21:08
Re: Running on empty
Emma, thanks for commenting and I'm glad you found the poem thoughtful.
I wrote it because I was thinking about Africa and how we, quite rightly concern ourselves about the people who are suffering there, and then this awful bombing in London and despite all of that, I found myself wondering about all the people who live and die without any one caring about them.

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-07-11 21:12:15
Re: Running on empty
'suffering the half-life' many do unfortunately, we should not have to distinguish between the worthiness or media impact of humanitarian issues that require attention, all deserve dignity and care from the beginning through to the end of life wherever or whoever they may be.
thanks for sharing your thoughtful poem Chrissy
all the best
LEx

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-11 22:24:35
Re: Running on empty
LE much thanks for reading and commenting it is truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-07-12 01:20:20
Re: Running on empty
An excellent poem. Powerful and thought provoking, Horrific and scary. I hope and pray that I don't end my days like this. It's sad but it goes on and its heartbreaking.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-12 08:29:32
Re: Running on empty
James, thanks for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate your consistent interest and support.
I'm glad you found the piece interesting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-07-12 12:09:40
Re: Running on empty
Why doesn't this have a nib I wonder?? Chrissy this is a fantastic piece of work in my opinion. You said it all in this poem, Excellent. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-12 14:43:56
Re: Running on empty
Val, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
Your comments are much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-07-12 15:36:53
Re: Running on empty
Hi chrissy, this is brilliant imo. Yes! we do neglect our elderly residents in this country. They are a burden in the eyes of the state. Their homes are mopped up in those final lonely years...I know care is expensive but what they get in care, that I have seen...actual human contact....ain't worth a fiver in a lot of cases. Of course there are some wonderful care homes for the elderly I am sure too. But the fact is in most other societies there would never be such need for them as people kept their parents within their familes.

This great poem of yours needed writing. Thank you.

A fav read for me.

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-12 15:55:34
Re: Running on empty
Tai, many thanks for reading and commenting and for making this a favourite.
I guess it was seeing all the natural grief and concern for the big, macro things and knowing that old people in this country are at best side lined at worst totally neglected or abused and for the most part people just don't seem to give a two cent one.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-07-13 19:04:03
Re: Running on empty
Very good, Chrissy, and unfortunately so true.
I thought
The world he knew
has drifted away
consumed in the smoke
of cigarettes and fires.

was especially telling and also
And it doesn't matter
that he sleeps alone
when he sleeps at all,
that his mottled hands grip
an icy sheet
and he's lost all feeling
in his frozen feet.

And the title is a stroke of genius.
Daff



Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-07-13 21:09:18
Re: Running on empty
Chrissy this is sad, true and well written...L

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-07-13 21:31:11
Re: Running on empty
Excellent, Chrissy. You've left me with a feeling of desolation about the inevitable future. I hope I get the chance to go out in a blaze of glory. Take care.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-13 22:00:49
Re: Running on empty
Daphne, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm pleased that the piece worked for you.
The title had been kicking around in my head for a long while and might have become a song had it not been for this content fitting it so well.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-13 22:02:45
Re: Running on empty
Leila, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It is truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-13 22:06:40
Re: Running on empty
shackleton, sorry it made you feel bad. You know me when I get the truth at all costs thing.
Many thanks for taking the trouble to read and comment, it is genuinely appreciated.
And be careful what you wish for.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-07-14 19:16:19
Re: Running on empty
Brilliant Chrissy. So nearly missed this. I'm glad someone nominated it. If they hadn't, I would have. I can't fault it.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-14 21:47:39
Re: Running on empty
Sunken, many thanks for reading and for your kind comments.It is truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2005-07-17 22:36:12
Re: Running on empty
patronising, ignorant

you are young. I am almost old. Your perspective does not even come close to the feelings that develop later in life, which I am in reach of understanding at a distance. People are the same inside, your outside description fails to capture the spirit of a human being, which a poem should rightly do.

'for old people, everywhere' - would you want this dedicated to you? You treat them like objects, idiots, non-persons. Your mum and dad, uncle or aunt, are proud individuals, people!

look, I know it's not your fault, my words may seem harsh, and it' s not about you, OK? but try to tackle subjects that you know. They are far more immediate and persuasive. 🙂



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-17 22:51:31
Re: Running on empty
Griff, much thanks for reading and commenting.
I think if you try reading again, you might find that I am writing about the way old people are treated, rather than the old people themselves.
I'm sorry you found it patronising and ignorant. It wasn't meant to be either.
For the record, I'm 57 married to a gent of 81 and my mom worked for a good long while as a cook in an old peoples home. I got to know a lot of the residents pretty well.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2005-07-17 23:17:05
Re: Running on empty
you are young at heart, and my comment was probably coloured by a stay in hospital with many older souls who were treated, well....

Sorry if I vented stuff on you, but my gut still tells me the same feeling, regardless, though less censoriously, about your piece, as it stands.

I felt so strongly for some of the fine people I saw ignored and overruled, just because they were ill.

Maybe that's what you were trying to say, but I got caught short, as it were.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-17 23:46:27
Re: Running on empty
Griff, that's OK we all have our hissy fits for what ever reason.
I genuinely don't see how you can read into this piece any thing patronising toward older people. I'm simply trying to describe the way some older people are treated in 'care' homes.
Perhaps you object to the 'dedication' "For old people everywhere."?
Just some sort of description I suppose.
Thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and comment, anyway. Genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2005-07-18 10:46:58
Re: Running on empty
I came back this morning, and you are right, I apologise. It just touched a raw nerve, that's not your fault... sorry I withdraw my remarks

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-18 11:25:35
Re: Running on empty
No problem, cher.
Forget it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Leaving Agrigento (posted on: 20-06-05)
The foray into the box of papers that produced my last submission found some photos and produced this.I think perhaps it could be more, don't know. I am loath to tinker.
Comments genuinely welcomed.
chrissy

Leaving Agrigento

I will go there once more
before time and the turn of the tide
take me from this shore
and I will stand in the broad space
breathe the air
heavy with the dust of centuries.

I will see this place again
before I start
on my never to return journey.
I will touch the cold stone
with a soft hand
and add myself to its' history.

And the pillars will still stand
rising from the red earth
and the beetles will still scurry
in their iridescent armour
between the fallen stones
and the sun will still throw javelins of light
between the ruins
and all will be
as it always has been
but I will not be there.
Archived comments for Leaving Agrigento
eddiesolo on 2005-06-20 09:08:08
Re: Leaving Agrigento
I really, really liked this piece Chrissy.

'and the sun will still throw javelins of light'
Don't know why but I love this line.

Well written.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-20 09:22:14
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Many thanks for reading and commenting.
I am genuinely pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-06-20 11:05:26
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Chrissy PLEASE don't tinker.. this is perfect as it is
especially this :-

I will see this place again
before I start
on my never to return journey.
I will touch the cold stone
with a soft hand
and add myself to its' history.
pure magic chrissy. love Val x



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-20 11:10:16
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Val, you sweety. Many thanks for reading and your kind comments. Perhaps 'tis best left alone.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-06-20 15:08:59
Re: Leaving Agrigento
"javelins of light" an exquisite image, lovely read, thanks for sharing this piece Chrissy 🙂
all the best
LE

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-20 15:51:19
Re: Leaving Agrigento
LE, much thanks for reading and commenting. I genuinely appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-06-21 01:07:57
Re: Leaving Agrigento
I read this poem twice and dont think I fully absorbed its meaning or message. Will come back another time and try again!

I did enjoy it but without understanding it too I feel I'm missing out!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-06-21 02:21:03
Re: Leaving Agrigento
I really like the way you have written this as well, chrissy - lovely images, with a spiritual feel.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-21 08:36:42
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Jay, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
Not sure if there is a meaning beyond what is expressed.
Perhaps the idea is that though you can physically go back to a place, if you have changed, the place, though seemingly unchanging, has changed as well.
Does that make sense?
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-21 08:39:05
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Kat, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm genuinely pleased that you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-06-23 19:56:41
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Chrissy, top class piece of work. I enjoyed every line and a favourite for me.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-23 21:35:34
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Dargo, much thanks for reading and commenting and special thanks for making it a favourite.
I'm glad you enjoyed it and I genuinely appreciate your support.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-07-03 17:28:36
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Certainly don't tinker [except perhaps to remove the apostrophe from its' 🙂 . It's lovely. I was a bit worried when I got yo the 'cold stone' that you were about to up sticks, but then I got yo the sunshine and realised what the title should have told me.
Anyway, it is a beautiful poem. Don't meddle.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-03 19:34:19
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Thanks for reading and commenting, Daff. I'm glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

superted on 2005-07-03 19:40:25
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Not sure where Agrigento is but i'd like to go there. not sure i'd like to leave tho
mimi x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-03 22:17:54
Re: Leaving Agrigento
Thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm glad you liked the piece.
Agrigento is in Sicily. There's a lot of ruins there, Greek as I recall. Lots of red stone and broken columns.
When I was last there, the authorities were tarting them up a bit. I always thought the purpose of ruins was that was what they were ....
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Dead Words (posted on: 13-06-05)
This is my first post here since April 25th. Now there's restraint.
I wrote this a couple of weeks ago when I was sorting through some old papers.
Any comments, as always, most welcome.

It is long past the time for me to put away the memories, to refrain from picking the emotional scabs. I am too scarred too lost to the present, in the past. I have no more time to play the Homeric heroine, to wait for bronze limbed heroes. These chains I must break myself. This dragon I must slay. So why is it, when I am so resolved, that I refrain from burning your letters? Why do I still read dead words that should no longer touch me and find that I am touched?
Archived comments for Dead Words
e-griff on 2005-06-13 11:48:02
Re: Dead Words
Good God, Chrissy! This is so bloody awful, I wonder you have the bare cheek to post it.

The glaring fault in this is there should be a question mark on the end. After that, I suppose... well...it's probably quite good and meaningful, really.

! 🙂 G

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-13 12:40:32
Re: Dead Words
How do YOU know my cheeks were bare when I posted it? Come on! 'fess up! You've been spying again, you've been perving!
Of course you're right. You always are. It is bloody awful and I shouldn't have posted it. I'm sorry, very, very sorry.
To all who find this poem awful and lacking in question marks, all I can say is ...tough!
much thanks for the comment Gruff? and, as the Chinese say; May you live in interesting times.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-06-13 15:18:38
Re: Dead Words
I hear you and find that I am the same way. I think it's a way of living the what-iffs and dreams of another time...love Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-13 18:14:39
Re: Dead Words
Erma much thanks for stopping by to read, comment and if it was you, rating. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-06-14 00:34:54
Re: Dead Words
This is a lovely little poem.

Never burn those old letters, keep them safe and close to your heart!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-06-14 02:20:43
Re: Dead Words
A very sensitive and emotive piece of writing - I love your style chrissy.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-14 08:43:48
Re: Dead Words
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
The keeping of things past is something I do. Sometimes though, I have this mad urge to clear everything out and start again. Meaning well, I start sifting through the detritus of the past and, when I'm done, I usually find there is just as much as when I started.
Ah well, I can always use the excuse that I'm saving stuff for posterity, archiving my past for when I'm famous and dead and people will want to know about me.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-14 08:46:01
Re: Dead Words
Kat, sincere thanks for reading and for your lovely comments. I'm glad you liked the poem.
Thank you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-06-15 11:21:23
Re: Dead Words
Well written Chrissy. I've read this a few times now and I think it is very stylish. Will PM you soon Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-15 11:55:27
Re: Dead Words
Val, much thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.
Look forward to hearing from you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-06-15 21:12:51
Re: Dead Words
i've come back to this a few times (and it's not even old yet!). i think you capture this state quite well. and of course it is hard to throw out those old letters because no matter what has happened since they were written, when they were written, what was contained in them was meant. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-15 23:13:08
Re: Dead Words
Anthony, many thanks for taking the time to reading and comment. I'm genuinely pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-16 21:41:15
Re: Dead Words
chrissy--I liked it, nicely done...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-06-16 22:31:58
Re: Dead Words
Gerry, much thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm glad you like it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-07-03 17:37:30
Re: Dead Words
Another very good one. I know the feeling -- got a draw full of dead words. But, you know, I have an idea that words are never actually dead. Whether this is a good thing or not is another matter.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-03 19:31:06
Re: Dead Words
Many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you found something in the piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Busy, busy (posted on: 25-04-05)
Another one that I read on Friday.
Comments welcome.

Busy, busy

Busy, busy
always worrying
how we get from
this to that.
No time to stop
and smell the roses,
to walk the dog
or stroke the cat.

We have no time
to just take pleasure
in the things
we're working for.
Trading enjoyment
for full employment
makes poor Jack
a crashing bore.

Always rushing
here and there.
Till at last
the time runs out.
We never simply
stop and wonder
what the hell
it's all about.

Take a moment
stop and ask
before you face
that long goodnight.
work and pleasure
toil and leisure
did you get
the balance right?
Archived comments for Busy, busy
teifii on 2005-04-25 15:28:59
Re: Busy, busy
I heard it on Friday of course, but it loses nothing in print. Like the reference to suirrels hide their nuts. Can't remember who wrote that ---- head full of Russian lessons.
Good poem. The busy format fits the subject well.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 15:53:17
Re: Busy, busy
Daff, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment, especially as you had heard it on Friday.
I really thought this poor little chap was going to wind up in the lonely stories department.
Much thanks
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-04-26 00:27:19
Re: Busy, busy
Canny one hun. Life is exactly like that!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-26 08:39:59
Re: Busy, busy
Thanks Claire.
I'm glad you liked the poem.
Life can be like that if you don't watch it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-04-27 02:29:20
Re: Busy, busy
That life I guess!!

Nice read, I hope more people comment on this as its a good one!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-27 11:19:01
Re: Busy, busy
Jay. many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


The tick and the tock (posted on: 25-04-05)
I read this on Friday 22nd April at Theatr Fach where I frequently read my stuff.
teifi (Daphne) said that I should post it.
Comments welcome.

The tick and the tock I am the tick and the tock of the time keepers clock as he stands and waits at factory gates. I am the natter and chatter of the women who clatter down the street in clogs to the barking of dogs I am the whine and the hum of the steel drum as it spins and gleams in drying machines I am the swish and the swash of the cloth that falls from the looms in weaving rooms. I am the click and the clack of the picks that hack at the coal under ground, a terrible sound I am the dust that chokes from the chimney that smokes. above the fire that roars behind furnace doors. I am the muffled tread when they bury the dead and the worker is gone but the work carries on.
Archived comments for The tick and the tock
tai on 2005-04-25 09:58:28
Re: The tick and the tock
Hi Chrissy, teifi was right, it is a very good poem. love the flow. 10 from me.

All the best

Tai

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2005-04-25 10:02:35
Re: The tick and the tock
Hi Chrissy, I enjoyed this it does flow really well.
nice one.
beks:0)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 10:08:34
Re: The tick and the tock
beks, I'm glad you enjoyed this and very pleased that you took the time to say so.
Truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 10:10:24
Re: The tick and the tock
Tai, much thanks for reading and commenting and for rating.
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-04-25 10:14:16
Re: The tick and the tock
Chrissy,

The juxtaposition of child-like, nursery-rhyme syncopation, veiling the raw, impacting message beneath, makes this poem, for me, absolutely chilling. A brilliant piece and a fav for me. Absorbingly rendered!

Best regards,
Adele

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-04-25 10:54:32
Re: The tick and the tock
Beautiful flow, rhythm picking out the beat and grind of machinery to tell the tale.
all the best
L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 11:06:03
Re: The tick and the tock
LenchenElf, many thanks for reading and commenting on this poem. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 11:08:59
Re: The tick and the tock
Adele, many thanks for your super comments. I'm really glad that you enjoyed the poem.
Your support is very much valued.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chant on 2005-04-25 11:38:26
Re: The tick and the tock
very well written, reminded me of Auden's Night Train, rhythm and subject both possessing a certain inevitability.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 12:37:27
Re: The tick and the tock
chant, much thanks for reading and commenting.
The poem was written in a single sitting though messed around with after I read it at the theatre.
I think the rhythm comes from the "voice" in my head when I was writing it. It was Richard Burton.
Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-04-25 15:21:08
Re: The tick and the tock
Definitely a favourite. I like it just as much as when I heard it the other night. You say you messed around with it later and I'm being driven mad trying to spot the differences.
I love the rhymes that sound so right they seem inevitable.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 16:00:52
Re: The tick and the tock
Calm down dear, it's only a poem.
This is how it was. I wrote it rather quickly, as you know, but when I read it, I rearranged the verses. If you were looking at my eyes at all you would have seen how I kept looking down to the next verse I wanted to read in the order I wanted to read it which was not the order in which it was written.
Much thanks for the read, comment and adding it to your favs.
Truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 16:04:59
Re: The tick and the tock
Trevor, no umbrellas were needed, promise 🙂
Much thanks for your kind comments and I am extremely glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-04-25 16:39:05
Re: The tick and the tock
Very nicely done and maintains its good rhyme and rhythm to the inevitable conclusion...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 17:42:20
Re: The tick and the tock
Leila, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
I am very pleased you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-25 20:02:18
Re: The tick and the tock
chrissy, I am no expert on poetry, but I know what I like---I liked this...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-25 22:16:53
Re: The tick and the tock
Gerry, I am so pleased that you liked this poem and that you took the time to say so.
Your appreciation means a lot.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2005-04-25 23:49:47
Re: The tick and the tock
To Chrissy,

I would love to hear you perform this which conveys such a wonderful sound picture of working life as it was in my mother's youth. Little Lily left school at twelve to work in the weaving sheds crawling under machines to fix on new bobbins. This was in Bolton, Lancs, then a cotton weaving town. I don't know if they existed where you live but my mum used to talk of the knocker-up who for a small weekly fee would tap on your bedroom window with a long pole. This tap tapping could make a good verse before the women in clogs clatter down the street. What do you think? I just Googled knocker-up and got a site called Cottontown.org with lots of details.

Only a thought.

All THe best,
John

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-26 08:56:14
Re: The tick and the tock
John, much thanks for your comments and your idea. I'm not sure why this poem isn't longer. It was written in a bit of a hurry when I was given the "theme" of the evening which was work or human endeavour and, idle trollop that I am, I realized that I had not written that much about the subject.
The first line (title) came into my head by a circuitous route of thinking of that sculpture "The B of the bang" and came to me as "The Tick of the Tock", then the Richard Burton influence took over and what I got was more or less what you see here.
I think it was to do with different kinds of work, not just the mill lasses though it does have proportionally more to do with them than the miners or furnace men of the later verses.
Later I might re-write from a totally mill worker POV. I'll have to have a think about that.
For the moment, here is a possible verse to do with "knockers up", who I remember my mom telling me about, too.

"I am the tip and tap
of the men who rap
on the window to shake
the worker awake."

Glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

colourfunk on 2005-04-26 16:29:06
Re: The tick and the tock
I really liked this, an excellent rhyming poem, the onle part I wasn't sure about was:

I am the dust that chokes
from the chimney that smokes.
above the fire that roars
behind furnace doors.

but that's just me, is a real gem though.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-04-26 21:59:54
Re: The tick and the tock
Excellently written, well done Chrissy!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-26 22:47:36
Re: The tick and the tock
Thee and me both, heart. It's the only verse that isn't a sound and I'm not sure that it scans as well as the others but I needed the balance between masculine and feminine.
I toyed with the idea of having molten metal that hisses but thinking of a rhyme for that when I was reading to an audience of mostly ladies of a certain age and refinement....well I wasn't really going to go there, was I.
I do agree this piece could do with a bit more thought and work and maybe, now I have the time, I will get round to it.
Mean time, thanks for your comments. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-26 22:50:00
Re: The tick and the tock
Much thanks, Apolloneia. I'm glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-04-27 23:04:45
Re: The tick and the tock
This ticks along quite nicely young Chrissy... did you see what I did there? Ok, I'll get my coat.
I'm glad that Daphne woman made ya post. Ya know I'm partial to a bit of rhyme. I don't give a rats thingy if it's out of vogue. Everyone knows that being out is in. Not that I'm gay or owt (-: Thanks.

Never gets any easier this commenting lark.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 2005-04-28 14:14:51
Re: The tick and the tock
This is sooo hard to do sooooooooooo well! Enjoyed that rhythm and rhyme - thanks -littleditty

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-28 18:12:16
Re: The tick and the tock
Littleditty, much thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm soooooo glad you enoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-28 18:19:45
Re: The tick and the tock
Oh, my dearest shrunken, you really know how to cheer a person.
Just imagining you 'vogueing' that was what they called it when they did that silly pointing thing whilst 'dancing'.
Think I'll join you in the getting of coats.
Very pleased you liked the poem and that you used your cute, chubby little fingers on the keyboard to tell me so.
As ever, chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-04-28 20:42:56
Re: The tick and the tock
I love this Chrissy it has an almost childlike quality to the rhythm and rhyme yet it is such a serious piece. Great read indeed. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-04-28 21:30:35
Re: The tick and the tock
great fun, chrissy. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

shadow on 2005-04-28 22:55:41
Re: The tick and the tock
This I like. It resonates! Very good.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-30 00:12:22
Re: The tick and the tock
Much thanks for reading and commenting Val. I'm really grateful for your support.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-30 00:14:13
Re: The tick and the tock
Shadow, many thanks for reading and commenting and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-30 00:17:52
Re: The tick and the tock
Anthony, many thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-04-30 00:31:39
Re: The tick and the tock
A lovely poem, sounds like it was written by a child, I mean that positively. its not full of cynicism or negativity like a lot of poetry.

A lovely read.

Jay

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-30 10:58:03
Re: The tick and the tock
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-04-30 16:00:13
Re: The tick and the tock
I liked this a great deal and I do enjoy rhyme(don't anyone shoot me) The whole piece conveys how too often we live in the "clocks' shadow...... even in death.

most enjoyable.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-30 22:48:34
Re: The tick and the tock
Jolen, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

potleek on 2005-05-03 19:28:12
Re: The tick and the tock
Simple? perhaps. Simple answer YES I like this one, but never a truer word when it comes to the last two lines...Tony

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-05-08 19:08:54
Re: The tick and the tock
Tony, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm very pleased that you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Post (hunting) horn gallop (posted on: 28-03-05)
If we want a law that stops cruelty to animals, HMG should bring back the red flag law for motorists so there would be no more 'road kill'. The hunting with dogs law is a silly sop to the antis and a compromise for the pros.
Comments welcome.

Post (hunting) horn gallop

No more a hunting they will go
a chasing of the fox.
They may not hunt or capture him
and put him in a box.

No more they'll don their pink (red) coats
or mount their prancing steeds.
No more they'll take a stirrup cup
nor answer farmers' needs.

There'll be no more a hunting.
Hunting with dogs is banned
and farmers will not let them ride
for 'fun' across their land.

No more you'll see them riding out
in weather foul or fair
The fox will still be killed, of course
by cartridge, bait or snare.

He'll be fair game to lads and blokes
out for a bit of 'sport'.
They won't care how they do it,
what age the fox they've caught.

So no more a hunting they will go,
waking hounds at dawn.
And all you'll hear is "Gone Away"
played on a hunting horn.
Archived comments for Post (hunting) horn gallop
richardwatt on 2005-03-28 14:18:47
Re: Post (hunting) horn gallop
Chrissy:
Food for thought, and this argument was the singular convincing one for the pro lobby. I tend to think that fox hunting should be banned in this day and age, along with all the other things the yonkers enjoy. Hopefully they'll move to Monaco and stop sending their inbred horse-like children to St. Andrews. Rant over!

Making a fair comment in an easy to read poem is a welcome change, it's good to take the time to write about something that affects others, 'specially the poor foxes.

rickx

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-03-28 17:31:06
Re: Post (hunting) horn gallop
You would probably guess I don't agree although I think we shall have to give the whole matter more consideration. But that aside it's a brilliant poem.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-03-28 18:56:08
Re: Post (hunting) horn gallop
Hi Chrissy, I nearly missed this poem - hunting is of course an emotive issue. What do you say to a farmer who makes his money from chicken farming, and fox breaks in - and doesn't just take off one or two hens as food - but goes in and maims, kills and injures 50 or 60 hens in a night, and not one of them for food? Its a tricky decision - leave culling down to the people who know nothing of seasons? or have a controlled environment. I wish I knew the answers - have listened (and agreed with some) of the arguments from both sides. Good thought provoking poem

Emma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:22:32
Re: Post (hunting) horn gallop
rick, much thanks for your comments.
I'm not sure this poem is as much about fox hunting which, yes, hands up, I admit I've done from when I was about six 'till I was eighteen and got put in hospital for a while due to a riding accident, as it is about the law. The hunting with dogs thing.
It just strikes me that it's a bit daft to say to these people yeah, it's fine for you to still go out and kill foxes but you can't take all your hounds and you have to shoot the thing when you find it.
Out local hunt shoots them anyway.
Much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:26:45
Re: Post (hunting) horn gallop
Daff, much thanks for your nice comment about the poem.
You KNOW the law is daft. It's the most cobbled together piece of legislation ever forced on to the statute.
As they say where I come from ' it's neither asshole nor watercress'. It's Bambi trying to face both ways at once and it isn't going to do a damn thing to stop animal abuse.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:38:11
Re: Post (hunting) horn gallop
Emma, much thanks for your comments. I'm glad you found the poem thought provoking.
I used to be in farming, many moons ago when I was young and fit and I have seen the devastating foxes can visit on a hen house or the mashed up bodies of lambs.
I have been the 'unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible', I hunted from childhood and was brought up to do it.
It is this law, I object to. Not because I particularly want hunting to continue but because it is a cretinous law. It does nothing.
Foxes will still be killed but then the urban foxes will still die horribly of gastric diseases picked up from eating people's discarded take away meals, they'll still get squashed by cars and maimed by pet dogs.
What I want HMG to do is 'fess up and say this isn't an anti-cruelty law it is a law to stop one lot of people doing something which another lot of people object to on grounds of class.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-04-15 11:50:44
Re: Post (hunting) horn gallop
This is a lovely poem and fair comment. I sit on the fence because even though I think hunting with hounds is cruel. I can see that as a town dweller I have no rights to poke my nose in countryside matters especially when people's jobs are at stake. Cars kill foxes, they don't get banned!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-16 08:11:28
Re: Post (hunting) horn gallop
Jay, many thanks for reading this and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Despite living in the country and spending most of my life so far in country related pursuits and work, I am also a fence sitter. It is this law that sets me gnashing my teeth and tearing my hair.
I can not abide duplicity of any kind and this law is duplicitous. HMG is just not giving people the true reasons behind it and I just wish they would.
Rant over.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Summer Storm (posted on: 28-03-05)
I wrote this the other day when we got our rain after good weather. Comments welcome as per.

Summer Storm

She did not see the clouds;
in the blue sky,
with the sun shining,
they were too small
to catch her attention.
The coming stormy weather
did not match her mood at all.

Set free, her spirit
wanted only to wander,
to fly beyond the normal
every day things.
Liberated, she spread her arms,
embracing all the world,
pretending she had wings.

And then, one rain drop
followed another
from the dark, towering clouds.
The rain wet her hair
her face, her hands and clothes
soaking and cooling
as lightening sparked the air.

She heard the distant thunder,
saw mountains traced
by the blue white streaks.
Standing on hard, grey stone,
she knew the land beneath her,
the sky above her
was hers alone.
Archived comments for Summer Storm
Emerald on 2005-03-28 14:20:12
Re: Summer Storm
Hi Chrissy, this epitomised the freshness and freedom of rain - really enjoyed.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-03-28 16:57:05
Re: Summer Storm
Lovely, Chrissy. Just the feel of the rain [I love rain] and very well crafted too.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-03-28 18:03:32
Re: Summer Storm
Ahhh young Chrissy, how I wish it would piss down right now. I know its a bank holiday and all, but I prefer the rain. It suits my sullen mood. Ya know, if it's sunny for too long I get proper fed up. Its like that SAD condition but backwards. In fact, I think that's the very term my doctor used, 'Backwards' Anyway, lovely poem young lady. Put me in mind of a butterfly shopping for stockings. I hope this helps? Thanks.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Take George Michael, I predict entrapment.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-03-30 00:19:52
Re: Summer Storm
I could smell the rain settling the dust..I love it..Erma

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-03-30 10:41:06
Re: Summer Storm
Beautiful, fresh and alive. I love this poem.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-03-30 22:23:32
Re: Summer Storm
I really appreciate what you are saying here ...most enjoyable...L

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-03-31 11:36:10
Re: Summer Storm
Chrissy I love this poem it's so full of atmosphere, wonderfully constructed. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:00:06
Re: Summer Storm
Been in enforced solitude for a couple of days. Computer sick so just getting to grips with things.
Val, many thanks for your lovely comments.
I'm pleased as... something that's very pleased that you enjoyed the poem.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:01:47
Re: Summer Storm
Emma, most kind and much thanks for your comments.
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:03:55
Re: Summer Storm
Daff, much thanks for your comments.
I'm glad the poem worked for you.
luv chrissy
p.s where are you? Been ringing for ages.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:08:12
Re: Summer Storm
Ah, young munkfish. Guaranteed to raise a smile on even the most steadfastly gnarled and frowning countenance.
Glad you liked the poem.
I wouldn't take George Michael if he was gift wrapped and free with my Cornflakes.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:10:59
Re: Summer Storm
Erma, much thanks for your comments and your unwavering support. I truly appreciate it.
I love the smell of the rain except on dogs. Dogs smell awful when they're wet.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:12:54
Re: Summer Storm
shangri-la, much thanks for your lovely comments.
I am very pleased that you liked the poem.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-31 12:14:48
Re: Summer Storm
Leila, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it.
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-04-15 11:52:14
Re: Summer Storm
A very descriptive poem. Hopefully the summer sunshine will be here soon to stay for a few months.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-16 08:03:47
Re: Summer Storm
Jay,
don't know about Summer sunshine, there is snow on the mountains here.
Glad you liked the poem and thanks for commenting.
I thought this had sunk with out trace.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-04-22 01:31:46
Re: Summer Storm
Yes chrissy, I was there with you in that Summer Storm. 10 from me.

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-22 07:41:11
Re: Summer Storm
Tai, many thanks for taking the time to read comment and rate.
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and I truly appreciate you letting me know.
Much thanks,
chrissy.

Author's Reply:


When I was small (posted on: 21-03-05)
I thought I had submitted this but I can't find it anywhere on my pages.
A poem about me. Comments welcome.

WHEN I WAS SMALL .

When I was small and all the world
was perfect and green,
no tree grew that was not there
just for me to climb.

No stream stumbled and splashed
between it's grassy cows-lipped banks
for any other reason than for me to wade in
or sit idle on the bank and wonder.

In childhood's time no breeze blew
except to lift my hair
or cool my reddened cheeks
on endless summer days.

No dog barked or cat mewed
except in greeting,
and keen anticipation of
a kind word, a small hand caressing soft fur.

When I was small and all the world
was new and wonderful
no road was too long to travel
high on giant's shoulders.

No field existed that wasn't open
to picnics on a Sunday afternoon.
No church bell rang, no clock struck
except it held a message
just for me.

In memory's safe, the images of
innocence are kept.
Bright pictures that bring healing
to the broken heart
Archived comments for When I was small
uppercase on 2005-03-21 12:31:23
Re: When I was small
Wonderful poem.. That's the way childhood should be for all of us...love Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-21 12:44:30
Re: When I was small
Erma many thanks for reading and commenting and rating ( I think you rated).
Childhood is an odd time because it can only really be appreciated in hindsight.
When we're small and being a child we seldom see beyond the nasty things that happen to us. When we're older the good, pleasant things are much clearer.
Thanks for your consistent support, it is truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 2005-03-21 13:19:36
Re: When I was small
Enchanting, Chrissy. Absolutely spot on. Magical things abound in this, like: ' a small hand caressing soft fur' that just cement your vision with the one I sometimes forget. Kind regards, Griffonner

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-21 13:44:40
Re: When I was small
Griffoner, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
Childhood can be a 'magical' time, if we're lucky.
chrissy.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-03-22 14:52:52
Re: When I was small
Don't think I'd ever seen this one, Chrissy. Lots of lovely images. I especially like the idea of streams stumbling along.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-22 16:07:04
Re: When I was small
Daff, much thanks for stopping by to read and comment.
Very glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-03-22 19:10:55
Re: When I was small
This is beautiful and a fav for me - I lived every minute of this

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-22 21:33:46
Re: When I was small
Emma, much thanks. I'm really flattered and I am very glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-03-24 10:01:25
Re: When I was small
Hi Chrissy, You sound like a very contented little girl indeed. It is so good to remember through your poem, childhood memories to return the smile.

I gave it a 10

Thanks for the memories, we can all find nice ones like you say, we just have to look harder!

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-24 11:40:57
Re: When I was small
Tai, many thanks for reading and for your comments and for the rating.
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and that it brought happy memories for you.
I was indeed a contented child. As kids we didn't have a lot but what we had was good.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-03-27 13:37:51
Re: When I was small
Chrissy I absolutely loved this, you captured childhood perfectly, it was a delight to read. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-27 22:51:10
Re: When I was small
Val,many thanks for reading and commenting. I am genuinely pleased that you liked the poem and that it gave you such pleasure.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-04-15 11:47:29
Re: When I was small
Childhood is such a great time, I miss my childhood because real life sucks ass! Great memories evoked by this poem; memories that most of us carry and cherish.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-04-16 07:59:56
Re: When I was small
Jay
many thanks for stopping by to comment on this.
I'm glad you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

reckless on 2005-06-30 22:49:14
Re: When I was small
This is lovely, and very affecting. Hold on to that innocence.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-07-01 07:45:33
Re: When I was small
Many thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
Childhood should be a time of innocence when we don't take the cynical view but, sadly, a lot of kids seem to miss out on that these days.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Lost (posted on: 14-03-05)
Just something that I was thinking about. Comments please

LOST

Wanting only to get from A to B
by the most direct route,
I took a turning
mistook a sign,
misread my own directions
and now I'm lost,
losing it by the minute.

No one deliberately led me from my path,
mischievously showed me
the more circuitous route.
I simply made a turn
when going straight ahead
would have been
the better choice.

But C looked a more interesting place
an unknown
where excitement
or at least interest
might be found.
New people
new things to do.

Perhaps I could go back.
retrace my steps
but turning alters the perspective.
What was right
is left or wrong
and the turning
can't be remembered.

Now there is no one on the road
I trust enough to ask the way.
No one who would tell me
the most direct route.
All have gone their separate paths
and I am lost,
walking alone.
Archived comments for Lost
tai on 2005-03-14 10:32:12
Re: Lost
Hi Chrissy, An interesting read indeed. Much food for thought. The thing is, as you say in the 3rd stanza, it was more interesting than the direct route. My motto, never regret the thing you did, just the things you didn't get around to do.

I gave it a 9 by the way.lol

All the best

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 11:21:05
Re: Lost
Tai, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and for your rating.
I'm not so sure I'm regretting the diversion, just regretting the time it took from getting where I originally wanted to go.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Hazy on 2005-03-14 11:36:03
Re: Lost
Nice one, Chrissy 🙂 My kinda poem!

Know exactly how you feel... mind you, I think half the time my 'path' goes round in bloody circles. I'm starting to recognise some of the signs! 😉

Hazy x

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2005-03-14 11:50:35
Re: Lost
I liked this very much, wanted to give it more than a nine, but would have preferred (sorry!) for the
last few lines (after 'route) to be cut so the reader has to engage and interpret, themselves; so that it is left stronger, without the explanation, but the feeling carries on and holds, after the poem stops. I gave it a ten, though, because I like the rest SO MUCH.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 12:21:48
Re: Lost
Hazy, much thanks for reading, for your comments and for rating.
I know what you mean about going around in circles. I do it all the time and still don't get where I originally wanted to go.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Twirlybird on 2005-03-14 12:23:57
Re: Lost
Particularly liked 'right' being 'left or wrong'
Really interesting write. Opens up the mind the whole question of 'fate'. If this - if that. Who knows the answers.
Good one Chrissy.

all the best
twirly

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 12:25:59
Re: Lost
Michel, many thanks for reading, commenting and for your generous rating.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I think that I included the last bit because I wanted to get back to the 'lost thing' and the being alone, but I do appreciate what you say.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-03-14 12:47:55
Re: Lost
This struck such a deep chord in me, I've read it three times.

It took me back to when I was 16, just left school, directionless and hopelessly lost. I got literally lost at this time too, (on a route I'd been doing every day for 3 months) mind full of confusion and confliction not knowing which way to turn. I was cold and wet and without realising took a wrong turn and ended up going round in circles.

You have done an excellent job of illustrating how it really feels to be lost.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-03-14 14:40:27
Re: Lost
Even if life came with a map would we follow it. I like your poem..Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 14:54:49
Re: Lost
Erma, many thanks for reading, commenting etc. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 14:59:01
Re: Lost
shangri-la, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and I'm glad that enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 15:01:58
Re: Lost
twirly, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2005-03-14 16:49:25
Re: Lost
I really like your sentiments in this poem, Chrissy, life is never clearly directed and even to loose our way from time to time is sometimes the making of our most memorable experiences.

Regret is a waste of time, but to have 'done' it' has used time without wondering what we might have missed if we'd stayed in the mainstream. I enjoyed muchly and am giving a ten! Zydha

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-03-14 17:45:30
Re: Lost
I like this very much, as one who has been taking doubtful turnibgs for 70 years. And it reads beatifully, good rhythm. I love
'What was right
is left or wrong
and the turning
can't be remembered.'
Daff

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-03-14 20:15:20
Re: Lost
OO - You is good Chrissy. I love that last bit, it seems to sum it all up. Perfection with a big 'P'

Take lettuce, I predict a salad.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-03-14 21:15:07
Re: Lost
Chrissy, enjoyed the poem. The straight course. the right path are often boring. To make wrong turnings at times, adds to our bank of life lessons. Another very fine poem from you.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 22:31:21
Re: Lost
Zydha, thank you muchly for reading, commenting and for your generous rating.
I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 22:33:54
Re: Lost
Dargo, many thanks for reading and for your comments.
I'm glad you liked the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 22:36:35
Re: Lost
Sunken, sweet Sunken. Thanks for reading and commenting and for the lettuce.
Your comments make me smile and some times make me laugh out loud.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-03-14 22:37:17
Re: Lost
Like this one lots, the whole poem works well, especially liked verse 4...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 22:38:33
Re: Lost
Daff, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm really pleased that you liked the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-14 22:43:16
Re: Lost
Leila, many thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-03-15 03:38:47
Re: Lost
Hi Chrissy, this is an excellent poem. I often feel like this, at least once a day!!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-15 07:51:26
Re: Lost
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
I guess we all feel like this from time to time.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 2005-03-15 17:52:12
Re: Lost
Hi chrissy. Don't really want to be 'me-centric' when commenting on someone else's poem, but this reminded me immediately of one of mine called 'Breakdown' which is on uka, should you choose to take a look.

Anyway, back to yours! Erm, I don't mean...Oh, you know what I mean, even if I don't!

I really like this poem, not only (by any means)...

and now I'm lost,
losing it by the minute.

But that sets the tone. Sort of hapless, not done by design. Love the A to B thing, but...

But C looked a more interesting place

Very good.

Yours, searching for magnetic north,

Steve


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-16 08:09:45
Re: Lost
Steve, read your poem and see what you mean. Getting from A to B.
I don't think this piece is quite as 'desperate' as yours, the feelings when I wrote it were not of disaster or breakdown but simply losing my way and feeling alone, with no one to trust to put me back on the 'right' track. I think it might have as much to do with writing as life.
That's possible, even for me, who seldom admits to needing help with writing. 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Wicked Grand Pa (posted on: 07-03-05)
I knew only one of my grand parents, my maternal grand mother who was a dear sweet old thing full of wisdom and Guiness, so this grand pa is a mixture of other people's grand fathers and a bit of my Dad's dad who was, by all accounts, an evil old chap.

Wicked Grand Pa

Wicked Grand Pa frightens us,
with stories grim and grave
of how the Zombies came back to life,
and made a naughty child their slave.

He tells us things he says are true
of ships that crew-less sail
endlessly on the oceans dark,
manned by specters grey and pale.

Wicked Grand Pa builds monsters
from things inside his head
he tells us of some folk he knew
who were buried before they were dead.

He tells the tale of Billy Bones,
his friend when he was a lad,
who out of his mind with lack of food
ate his mum and dad.

Wicked Grand Pa makes the night
a frightening time, for sure.
We beg for lights to be left on
or leave the open door

But we pray for his longevity
before we close our eyes
because we know his shade will haunt us
when our Wicked Grand Pa dies.

Archived comments for Wicked Grand Pa
Jen_Christabel on 2005-03-07 10:08:41
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Naughty old buggar! Great poem, I can feel the children's fear.
JayCee

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-03-07 10:26:46
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Certainly a wicked old man, playing on childrens imaginations. Enjoyed the read.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 10:40:36
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
JayCee, many thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 10:42:17
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Emma, thanks for reading, commenting and the generous rating.
I'm glad you enjoyed the read.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2005-03-07 11:03:48
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Dear Chrissy,
Lovely poem. Especially, 'Wicked Grandpa builds monsters from things within his head'. Billy Bones eating his mum and dad made me laugh out loud. I think it could be even better if
you kept to the child's voice throughout. In the last verse 'longevity' jumps out as not belonging, and 'shade' could easily become 'ghost'. Don't want to niggle but the opening line, 'Wicked Grand Pa frightens us,' does, with the story in the present tense, suggest it is you as a child telling the story.
Great fun throughout.
All the best,
John

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2005-03-07 12:00:38
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Nice one Chrissy:o)
this has a real Roald Dahl feel to it and I had those distinctive Quentin Blake illustrations dancing in my head to accompany it when I read it, delicously dark and twisted and very nicely done.
bek

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 12:26:55
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Dear John, I'm so glad you took the time to read and comment. I really mean that.
I don't think you're 'niggling' at all and I can fully appreciate what you say and agree with you. It's my lazy mind.
How's this;
But we pray for he lives a long, long time,
before we close our eyes
because we know his ghost will haunt us
when our Wicked Grand Pa dies.
I think that's a bit better and might edit the poem accordingly.
The thing is my pack-rat brain sorted away lots of 'big' words when I was a child so 'longevity' could have been a word I might have used.
Much thanks for reading and I'm glad it made you laugh.
chrissy


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 12:34:13
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
bek, I'm so pleased you liked this.
It was written for a Halloween poetry reading a while ago.
I'm very honoured that you thought of one of my favourite writers when you read it. I love Roald Dahl.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-03-07 15:08:52
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Oh Lord, what folks will tell little kids.There is always someone in our lives that get a kick out of telling us things like this when we're little..Worded just right Chrissy. Well done ..Erma

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-03-07 16:11:52
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Wow, if your Dad's dad was really anything like him, I suppose you can be glad you were deprived of him. Mind you, don't children quite like to be frightened by stories? Look at the popularity of Brothers Grimm. Anyway great poem. Glad to see you back.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 17:09:47
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Erma, many thanks for reading, commenting and for your generous rating.
There really are people like this old guy around though, as I say in the intro, he is a conglomeration of other people as well as my own Grand daddy.
We once had to let a dog go because he wasn't good with kids and a friend of my mom's delighted in telling us kids how she 'knew' that dogs got put down if they couldn't be re-homed in a week or something.
People can be cruel.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 17:13:19
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Daff, my daddy's dad was a cruel, sadistic old swine of the old school who regularly beat my daddy with a Sam Brown belt. I too am heartily glad that I never knew him.
I guess kids do like to be scared a bit.
Glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 2005-03-07 17:23:07
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Hell, Chrissy, this guy would do more than make the little ones beg for the lights to be left on. But it brought back memories of an uncle that I had...loved... and was sometimes frightened of. AND, I had forgotten those fearful childhood nights, all so very long ago... Bravo.

Kind regards, Griffonner

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 19:22:13
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Griffonner, many thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I'm really glad that you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

potleek on 2005-03-07 19:34:28
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Chrissy I enjoyed this one a lot, it gave me a kind of laugh, you must have had a rich chilhood, in a way I think it's nice that you have something to always remind you of what Grand Pa was like, mine just seemed to blend into the background most of the time and I don't have many childhood memories of them...Tony

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 21:55:08
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Tony, thanks for reading, commenting and for your generous rating.
Like I said in the intro, I didn't know my grand parents, except for my mom's mom but I did have a bit of a rich childhood.
Glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-03-08 02:06:40
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
This is an excellent poem, Reads so fluidly and smoothly and conveys all of the fear of a child scared of the dark and the dark tales told to it.

A great read.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-08 08:46:56
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm pleased the piece worked for you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2005-03-08 10:24:07
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Wicked indeed! Well written.

Mike

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-08 12:17:40
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Mike, thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I truly appreciate your interest.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2005-03-08 13:11:33
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Hy Chrissy, I loved this spooky sort of (adult's) children's ghost story. Very nicely compacted.

My only Grandfather died when I was six, but I am not sure if I would have liked tales like these, or just be left to my imagination, lol, I have always had enough trouble with the dark. Zydha

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-08 14:32:55
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Zydha, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating.
I'm very pleased that you enjoyed the poem. Your interest and support means a lot to me.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-03-08 20:30:24
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Enjoyed this chrissy. I wasn't scared at all, oh no - not me. Was it grandparents day recently or something? Seems to be a lot of poems on old people. Very good though. My fruit based rating system has hit a snag this week, I've actually run out. I have a mars bar I can offer you though?

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-08 21:25:44
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Sunken, thanks for reading and commenting and your generous rating.
Erm yep, I'll have the mars, unless you have a tube of smarties.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-03-08 23:00:27
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Chrissy this is nicely done with a lovely ending too...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-09 08:56:07
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Leila, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-03-09 09:16:27
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Chrissy, love the feel of this one. I had a Grandfather, who never even bothered to speak to us children, so I suppose in one way you were lucky....at least he spent time with you, even if he scared you.
Best regards,
Dargo


Author's Reply:

KevTheRev on 2005-03-09 10:02:05
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Lovely wicked Grandad, lovely poem, I love it to bits.

Warm Regards

Kevin

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-09 13:07:50
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Dargo, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and for your generous rating. Your unwavering support is truly appreciated.
Like I said in the intro, I knew none of my grand dads but from what my dad told me about his own daddy, this would have been his way of 'entertaining' his grand children.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-09 13:09:24
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Kev, many thanks for reading and commenting and for the generous rating.
I'm glad you enjoyed this poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-03-10 21:50:32
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
dear chrissy,
well, i like this old man. i agree with woodbine's comments, even with his pointing out the line: 'wicked grandpa builds monsters from things within his head.'
a neighbour of mine wouldn't let her kids come round to my place after i showed them some video of a cat eating an eyeball that pops out of a skull. i had been trying to find some film trailers to old japanese dinosaur movie (on a VHS cassette i had) when this horror one came on instead. i think she has forgiven me now.
best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-11 07:57:07
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Anthony, glad you enjoyed the piece and much thanks for saying so.
Thanks too (I think) for sharing the cat and eyeball thing.
Don't you just love those old Japanese horror flicks. So camp and yet, at their time, so clever.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-03-13 12:13:37
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Permission to use "Billy Bones" please! Great poem and broken down into it's parts there are many more in here, great stories to. This one really got me to thinking! Imaginary Grand-pa come by for Cocoa! Dazza.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-13 15:03:21
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Dazza, glad you enjoyed this piece.
Of course you can use Billy Bones if you want to.
chrissy


Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-03-13 15:13:28
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Loved this Chrissy right up my street. Brilliant Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-13 18:31:56
Re: Wicked Grand Pa
Ta, Val. Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


In Pencil (posted on: 14-02-05)
A little poem. Comments welcome

In pencil I write my life in pencil, that way I can erase all the dark days, the dreary episodes and keep the days that made me smile.
Archived comments for In Pencil
potleek on 2005-02-14 08:46:53
Re: In Pencil
Chrissy if only it was possible in real life wouldn't it be nice.
Would have loved this to be longer for there must be more to it...Tony

Author's Reply:

whitesprite on 2005-02-14 20:02:14
Re: In Pencil
A soft graphite that smudges around the edge when rubbed! Your poem made me smile today. ws

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-02-14 20:12:58
Re: In Pencil
Potleek said pretty much what I wanted to say. In pencil has a lot of potential.

Apolloneia

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 21:23:18
Re: In Pencil
Tony, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating.
I might do more to this but later when I have got rid of this 'flu.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 21:26:43
Re: In Pencil
Apolloneia, many thanks for reading and commenting.
It seems that the reply I gave to Potleek has appeared below this to you. Don't know why. Probably me.
Later I may do more to this but for the moment it is what it is.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 21:28:06
Re: In Pencil
whitesprite, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Glad I made you smile.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-02-14 21:56:20
Re: In Pencil
lovely, wouldn't it be good if we could rub out the bad days and forget them.. It brought an involuntary smile to my lips Chrissy thanks. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-02-14 22:09:08
Re: In Pencil
Nice little poem. It would be nice to be able to do this. Although I can't think of many events I would like to erase. Still plenty of years ahead (I hope) for mistakes to be made!

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 22:20:43
Re: In Pencil
Val, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm so glad that this little poem caused a smile. Knowing that made me feel so much better. I really mean that.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 22:23:37
Re: In Pencil
Jay, thanks for stopping by to read and comment. It would be good if we could all just scrubble out that which we regret and make it like it never happened.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-15 06:24:17
Re: In Pencil
Chrissy--c'est la vie.
Hope you are soon feeling better...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-15 07:51:47
Re: In Pencil
Gerry, many thanks for stopping by to read and for your kind comment.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-02-15 17:16:19
Re: In Pencil
Love the title and really enjoyed your poem Chrissy. I really like your gentle, thoughtful style of poetry. All the best to you!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-15 17:28:45
Re: In Pencil
Kat, thanks for the read and the comment.
I'm glad you like my work.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-02-17 06:26:55
Re: In Pencil
Hi Chrissy,

I liked this gentle look at life - wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to do that.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-17 08:44:34
Re: In Pencil
Emma, many thanks for reading, for you kind comments and your generous rating.
I am genuinely pleased that you enjoyed this piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-02-17 21:38:47
Re: In Pencil
Chrissy, I love the poem, but most of all the imagination behind this wonderful piece. Hope you are getting better day by day.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-17 22:09:00
Re: In Pencil
Dargo, many thanks for reading and for your kind comments and generous rating.
I appreciate your interest more than I can say.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-02-19 17:35:24
Re: In Pencil
Chrissy,

What a charming vignette of philosophical import! Brilliant!

Warm regards,
Adele 😉

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-19 20:19:44
Re: In Pencil
Adele, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-23 01:01:36
Re: In Pencil
Lovely, Chrissy. Don't really think it does need more; it might then be overloaded.
Hope you are ready to erase the flu.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-24 05:02:30
Re: In Pencil
Daphne, thanks for reading and commenting.
I wish I could erase the 'flu.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-03-06 19:54:34
Re: In Pencil
Reinventing Haiku..My favourite poems are all tiny and this is tiny and big at the same time which is a tricky thing to pull off..Dazza.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-03-07 07:47:21
Re: In Pencil
Dazza, many thanks for stopping by to comment. I'm pleased you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


On a visit to Corleone (posted on: 11-02-05)
I love Sicily and this happened on a visit there way back a long time.
Comments welcome.

We, who did not know her, stood, respecting her death. You removed your hat as you had been taught from distant childhood swipes at caps by anxious maternal fingers. I watched as people standing by traced cruciform patterns with their fingers. Respect or gratitude? It was not their wife or mother passing strangers to the music of an out of tune band. Behind the ones who carried her, two small children dressed in unseasonal black carried a picture in a heavy frame. Their tear stained faces upturned, bravely defying loss. A man in a black suit and collarless shirt crisp and white despite the sun that made him sweat the tears that ran from eye to neck unstaunched. I felt like an intruder not meant to be there, not meant to witness their grief. Something like a robber or a voyeur wanting to take pictures that would look clever in black and white.
Archived comments for On a visit to Corleone
jay12 on 2005-02-11 12:59:04
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Nice Poem Chrissy.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-11 17:37:18
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Jay, thanks for stopping by to say so,
chrissy

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 2005-02-11 21:07:32
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Hi Chrissy - a very visual poem, nicely written. Dragon

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-11 21:30:19
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Dragon, many thanks for reading and commenting on this piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-02-11 22:05:20
Re: On a visit to Corleone
I very much like your poem, but the third stanza and to be more specific the last line of the 3rd stanza in my humble opinion has to be edited. And to be even more specific I am talking about the word "defying". Something like "expressing loss" would be more suitable I think (because of the "their tear stained faces"... if it was "their young faces defying death" I would understand it. Does your line mean that the two children who had been crying --out of sorrow, deep sorrow-- got over the loss? Perhaps if this is what you mean You can make it more clear.)

Apolloneia

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-02-11 23:07:38
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Hi Chrissy

I love the atmosphere and reverence of this. I really like the image here:

'as you had been taught
from distant childhood swipes at caps
by anxious maternal fingers.'

I think that perhaps you need a comma in the part that Apolloneia has highlighted to enhance the meaning, thus:

'Their tear stained faces, defying loss.'

See what you think. Really enjoyed this though.

Cheers

Kat 🙂



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-11 23:43:45
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Hi, Apolloneia.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this piece.
I've tickled around with it a bit but I'm not strictly happy. Now reads a bit "brave little soldiers".
See what others think.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-11 23:47:02
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Hi Kat, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You know me an punctuation, the two are mutually exclusive. 🙂 Reckon what I've done with it will do?
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-02-11 23:55:05
Re: On a visit to Corleone
I think you got it now chrissy.

Apolloneia

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-02-11 23:55:48
Re: On a visit to Corleone
I mean you nailed it.

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2005-02-12 03:45:31
Re: On a visit to Corleone
I enjoyed reading your poem Chrissy,
it has a weird monochomatic cinematic quality and a sharp ending.
bek :o)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-12 04:37:29
Re: On a visit to Corleone
beks, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
I'm glad that quality came over because that is what it was like. We're talking '69 before the Godfather made the place almost popular and it was an absolutely traditional funeral.
Very "brotherhood" *presses nose to one side*.
Thanks again
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-02-12 14:23:33
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Chrissy:

I see you've had a twizzle and you've made a hot poem sizzle - love it!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 2005-02-12 21:39:15
Re: On a visit to Corleone
I think this is an excellent poem. very successful depiction of the event. I like the way you've made a sandwich, introducing and ending the poem from the point of view of the outsiders, with the description in the middle. And robber/voyeur sounds nice but the real punch is the notion of going back to the selfish reality of thinking about clever pictures. The mention of childhood swipes at caps engaged me with this poem: certainly rings a bell!

An accomplished use of poetry to tell your story.

Steve

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-12 23:24:50
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Steve, many thanks for reading this piece and for your lovely comments.
I'm really pleased that you got everything there was to get from the piece.
I think any gentleman of a certain age will remember moms and others who insisted they show respect by removing their caps.
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-02-13 21:20:54
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Loving this Chrissy. Who needs clever black and white photography when you have words like these. Top banana.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-13 21:29:17
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Sunken, dear Sunken. Many thanks for reading, commenting so kindly and rating so generously. I truly appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-02-14 00:21:56
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Chrissy, simply wonderful.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 00:39:34
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Dargo, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Your interest is truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2005-02-14 03:48:21
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Chrissy - a vivid description that makes it easy to visualise and set off nicely by your own feelings at witnessing the event - John.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-14 04:58:48
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Very good. In fact just like the pictures you presumably did not take.
I think some punctuation is needed here for clarity:
It was not their wife or mother
passing strangers to the music
of an out of tune band.
Otherwise it sounds as if the wife or mother is passing the strangers.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 07:50:19
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Hi Daphne, thanks for dropping by to read and comment.
Not sure what you mean about the punctuation, my mind isn't firing on all cylinders at the mo. Will look at it later.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 09:39:09
Re: On a visit to Corleone
John, many thanks for reading and commenting. I really appreciate your comments.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-02-14 21:51:52
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Some poem Chrissy full of atmosphere and it reads black and white just like the picture waiting to be taken clever piece. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-15 04:18:11
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Val, many thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. I truly appreciate your interest.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-02-19 17:39:34
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Chrissy,

This is one of the best poems I have read on this site and IMO should have had a Great Read Nib. This was executed with panache:

'You removed your hat
as you had been taught
from distant childhood swipes at caps
by anxious maternal fingers. '

But the conclusion is bar far it's greatest detail ....absolutely brilliant!

'You removed your hat
as you had been taught
from distant childhood swipes at caps
by anxious maternal fingers. '


A fav for me.

Warm regards,
Adele 😉


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-19 20:30:52
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Adele, many sincere thanks for reading, for your delightful comments, for your generous rating and for making it a favourite read. You have made my day! 🙂
Sicily is a wonderful place and the mountain towns and villages, treasures. Going to some of these places is like stepping back in time. If ever I get rich enough I will buy a place there and sit of an evening sipping real blood orange juice and watching the sun go down.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-02-24 05:21:47
Re: On a visit to Corleone
dear chrissy, i can see the whole scene before me and i think you capture well that feeling of being an intruder. you want to capture the scene and you do but you have your doubts about the ethics of doing so. very good, better than something merely clever. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-24 08:05:01
Re: On a visit to Corleone
Anthony, many thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


The Strangers' Gifts (posted on: 04-02-05)
When I was eighteen, I had an accident which for a good while virtually wiped the hard disk in my head. I had no memories of my past.
This piece deals with my folks doing their best to replace what I had lost, but selectively.
Comments welcomed.


The Strangers' Gifts

Into this white room
the strangers come
bearing gifts of memories.
cleansed and sanitized,
with the hard edges removed.

These easy memories,
pictures of
a small girl
in a print dress
with neat hair,
essential to my 'recovery'.

They give them up
these second hand memories
for me to make my own
but true?
untrue?
Their interpretation.

The strangers come and go,
their memories
left as presents for me.
My memories will return one day.
But will they be mine
or strangers' gifts.


1991 C M-H
Archived comments for The Strangers' Gifts
uppercase on 2005-02-04 14:58:17
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
How awful not to have any memories of who you are. It's scary to even think about something like that happening. Did your own memories return?...Love Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-04 17:04:36
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
hi Erma, thanks for reading commenting and rating.
It was, as I recall very scary but strangely a bit exciting too. People were constantly telling me things about who I was and it was like rediscovering the who of who I was. Trouble was I was, until my own sense of personality returned, I was getting only who my family and friends saw me as, their idea of who I was.
The me every one knew and loved did return though thanks to a lot of clever doctors and the tenacity of my family and friends.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-02-05 04:50:03
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
This is a great poem Chrissy really haunting, I'm glad you posted it. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to lose all of your memories. You wrote this with style Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-05 06:39:55
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Hi Val. Thanks for reading, commenting and for your generous rating. I'm so glad you enjoyed the piece and much thanks for your encouraging advice.
It was very frustrating but like I said to Erma, exciting as well.
I can remember people saying how awful it must be for me but it was much worse for my family and friends. I didn't know what I had lost, they did and they wanted me back the way I had been, the way they had helped make me.
Most of my memories did return but there are still small holes. Someone will say something and I won't remember it at all.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-05 11:48:30
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
chrissy, memory loss is a terrible thing at any age;
for some--memories never return.
Glad you recovered okay, and like Val said you wrote this with style.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-05 12:43:46
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Gerry, many thanks for reading and commenting.
Losing ones memory can be beneficial sometimes. You can forget all the times you've made an arch pratt of yourself for instance and that's good. People will remind you though! But it's still good because if you honestly don't remember, you don't feel embarrassed about it.
Of course there are things that I do remember and would be probably better off forgetting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2005-02-05 12:55:35
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
The epiphore of "...memories" works very well in this poem, it brings not ONLY a rhythmic element it brings an image with it...

EXCELLENT work!

D

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-05 15:14:22
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
debs, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
I am genuinely pleased that you enjoyed the piece and that it worked as it was meant to.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-02-05 19:04:43
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
As Gerry says, what an experience for someone at any age. You have written this with great aplomb! Love the title.

I came across an interesting article about someone who had suffered a brain trauma at the age of 13, Linsey Calderwood, who has written her autobiography, 'Cracked'. She still has some visual memory impairment. She has completed an MA in Creative Writing (if I recall correctly) and teaches creative writing to people with mental health problems.

All the best to you!

Kat x

Author's Reply:

glennie on 2005-02-05 22:42:39
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
As you are with stories so am I with poems. I liong to read a poem that i can understand and this worked for me. Thanks a lot. Glennie.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-06 08:05:08
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Kat, many thanks for reading and commenting.
The closest I've ever come to describing my feelings after my accident was in this poem.
I'm glad you thought it well written.
Don't think I could write an autobiography. This bit might be interesting but the rest -- forget it! 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-06 08:08:13
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Glennie, many thanks for reading, commenting and your generous rating. I'm so glad this worked for you.
I too like poetry that is easy to understand.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-02-06 11:02:34
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Chrissy, loved the ending on this one. A delicate subject, handled with poetic skill.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-06 13:31:24
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Dargo, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this piece and for your generous rating.
I'm very pleased that this worked for you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-02-06 21:48:43
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
A lovely poem, it must have been terrible to have lost your memory. I hope you got it all back in the end!

Take care,

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-06 22:20:29
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting.
Yes, my memory did return eventually but it took a while and I still have moments when I will think of something and I can't be sure if it is something I actually recall or something I was told.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-02-06 22:21:10
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Chrissy,

This opening is impacting and swings into stride beautifully:

'Into this white room
the strangers come
bearing gifts of memories.
cleansed and sanitized,
with the hard edges removed. ;

IMO, one of your best. Nicely done.

Regards,
Adele 🙂



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-06 22:26:07
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Adele, many thanks for reading, commenting and for your generous rating. I'm glad you liked it. It's quite an oldish piece but I thought it was worth posting.
chrisy

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2005-02-11 05:18:30
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Hy Chrissy, it's all been said again, lol, I must come in to you sooner.

This is a moving read, Chrissy, it poses two points for me, and one is, that you have written this so clearly from a troubled memory which is juxtaposed to the fact of loss, very clever, but the second is, that you have gently asked the question of the memories you do have...."Are they yours, or, are they theirs?" The most haunting quality of all.

Am pleased you recovered as much as you have, Chrissy, and glad you posted this, Zydha

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-11 08:59:36
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Zydha, many thanks for reading, commenting and your very generous rating.
This piece was written a good while after the events and I suppose I have taken some license, imagined what actual lack of memory left out.
I have regained most of my memory but there are still blanks.
For instance something like JFK's shooting I remember it but not what I was doing when I heard about it, so maybe I remember it because of what I've seen since.
The one thing I really do remember is the day my short term memory returned, when I first recognized my mom. I remember that.
Glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-14 04:50:24
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
I didn't know about this episode, Chrissy. Must have been terrifying. The poems expresses it all very well, especially the need to know who one really is.
Daff

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-14 07:41:45
Re: The Strangers' Gifts
Daphne, thanks for dropping by to read and comment.
I don't believe that I never told you about this. I've 'dined out' on it for years. One day I will tell you all about my NDE.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Arbeit Macht Frei (posted on: 28-01-05)
Val (Bradene) posted an excellent poem, Journey To Oblivion, about Auschwitz. That inspired me to post this. br /> Comments welcome.

Arbeit Macht Frei


There is the sun.
Still yellowed and faded by the smoke
but there it is
pale in the white sky.

They are here
and does it matter
that they have come too late
for the Cohens and the Lieberwitzes
the Kaufmans and the Morgensterns,
they are here.

Sarah Stern still breathes
in desperation
raises one skeletal hand
in salute
but the soldier turns away
and cannot look.

We hang our heads
we cannot meet their eyes.
It is wrong to look into the eyes
of the victors
this is the lesson of the day.

And what is free
and what does freedom mean.
A scab, picked from a festering wound
is free
but leaves the septic puss
embedded in the tissue.

The soldier sees our nakedness
and we see his naked pity
Which is more revolting.
Are we to blame for our lack of courage.
Sheep can only bleat
but when the axe falls are silent.

Is there respite?
Those who survived
who turned up their ragged sleeves
to show the numbers to the cameras,
who took the chocolate bars
and did not see the shame
in the soldier's eyes
will never know
cannot believe that they survived
to tell their story
to a world that has long since
become deaf.

And on another day
will the soldier's grand children's children
see the hermetically sealed remains;
the hair, the limbs, the false teeth and the spectacles
and will these generations yet to come
understand, without the smell
the cold, bring them only in winter,
the bitter, sad sounds.
Archived comments for Arbeit Macht Frei
jay12 on 2005-01-28 04:07:37
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
A good poem, but a very sad chapter of humanity.

A few allied bombs would have destroyed those railway lines. Hindsight wont judge us, but history will.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-28 10:00:38
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Jay, thanks for reading and commenting.
I have often wondered why the lines weren't bombed. I suppose the people it would have saved would only have been taken somewhere else to be killed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-01-28 10:25:55
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
You have written this with great skill and sensitivity Chrissy. Stanza 5 is particularly strong, but you bring a shocking and unbelievable event to life. Great work.

Kat x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-28 10:37:08
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Kat, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating.
It happened and sadly the people who know that it happened are getting fewer as we have seen by recent memorials.
I have talked to some survivors not just of Auschwitz but the other camps and the overwhelming feelings I got from many of them were shame and guilt. Shame that they could not do more to defend themselves and guilt that they survived when others did not.
That is perhaps the saddest thing, for me.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-01-28 11:52:40
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Chrissy, a powerful poem...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-28 11:56:36
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Gerry, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 2005-01-28 12:22:01
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Chrissy, this is an important poem. There are two parts of it that ring out to me straightaway:

who turned up their ragged sleeves
to show the numbers to the cameras

and

and will these generations yet to come
understand, without the smell

These are vivid lines. When I was a student, visiting an educational establishment in East Westphalia in 1981, there was a middle aged woman working in an administrative role there. Mechtild (a gorgeous woman teaching there at the time) told me that this woman suffered a breakdown at the end of the war when the truth about the concentration camps came out. I believe that, whilst there were those actively involved in what has now become known as the holocaust, and others were implicated, the bulk of wartime German society was not aware of exactly what was going on. A big topic.

The image you have captured in your poem of a camp survivor rapidly, painfully rolling up their sleeve to show their tattooed number is an all too graphic and poignant image. We can only hope that furure generations don't lose the strength and meaning of such a moment.

Steve

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-28 14:03:40
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Steve, many thanks for reading and commenting on this piece.
I had a friend, Karen whose grandfather was a surviver. I remember her once telling me that she was embarrassed at the way he would display his Auschwitz number, she said it was like he still needed to prove that he had been there and had survived and that he knew what he was talking about.
I have spoken to survivors who remember, some being small children, proving to the liberating soldiers that they were prisoners and not guards or the children of guards.
It still makes me go cold to think of the suffering.
chrissy


Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-01-28 15:45:39
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Chrissy this is a remarkable poem. I think you described the way the victime and the victors must have felt just right...Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-28 16:59:11
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Erma, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I genuinely appreciate your support and you comments.
Though I wasn't born until '48 and can't have first hand knowledge of how people felt, I have spoken to survivors and to one Russian gentleman who was with one of the first groups of soldiers into Auschwitz and I hope I've got a bit of what it must have been like.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

potleek on 2005-01-28 18:02:21
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Chrissy this is a very sad but powerful poem it conjures up very vivid pictures in my mind which stirs the memories I have of pictures my dad brought back from Germany in 1945.
But the words "And will these generations yet come to understand, without the smell" for without that they are only pictures which some still don't believe in...you put it all down so well...Tony


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-28 18:27:54
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Tony, many thanks for reading, commenting and for your generous rating.
Thinking about Auschwitz being a museum made me think that though the place, the feel of the place, the hair and glasses and other stuff can be preserved, the smell, which must have been appalling, could not be preserved and it is very sad that there are people who do not believe and do not want to believe.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2005-01-28 18:34:18
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Well done, Chrissy, I missed the posting time with my comment on this very sad and shameful happening. This is so well written.

My husband is half Polish and lost all his Father's side. What has been exposed to eyes and mind most recently, should make every human being feel shame that such 'was allowed' to happen and must never be allowed to again, by letting go of those memories and documented facts The only way, is to emphasise that it was mass 'murder' and the 'whole' exercise of such, was 'not' a secret to humanity. Mankind is the most unfathonable of all life forms, Zydha

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-28 19:37:26
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Zydha, many thanks for taking the time to read, for your comments and for your most generous rating.
The one thing that is absolutely common to all the survivors I have spoken to over many years is the fear that when they are gone, when there is no one left who was actually there, the whole terrible thing will be forgotten and it will happen again.
Sadly, it does not take the lack of survivors to allow this to happen. It has happened since the second world war in Cambodia, in Africa all over the world because people cannot accept difference of race or religious persuasion or just social differences. Until we can defeat this attitude that people who are different are less human we must, it seems, be condemned to repeat the same vile things over and over again.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-01-28 21:11:20
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
This is a great piece of work Chrissy. I am so glad my poem inspired you to post this. This really says so much more than my offering and is so haunting in its reality. A class piece. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-28 21:41:46
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Val, many thanks for kind comments and your generous rating.
I don't think it matters how things are said about this subject so long as they are said and said over and over again.
If this piece seems real it is because it was based on the stories of those who were there and who suffered the terrible things that we 'know' about but can't really even imagine.
Many thanks once again.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Mehitable on 2005-01-29 00:21:09
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Very powerful poem Chrissy - I thought the 6th stanza was particuarly poignant. I lived in Eastern Europe for a couple of years while the Communists were still there and you're so right, it's impossible to say where the greatest revulsion lies.
Impossible to believe this was only 60 years ago!
x Mehitable

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-29 08:11:04
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Mehitable, many thanks for reading, for your comments and for your generous rating. I truly appreciate your interest in my work.
I agree that it is hard to believe that such terrible events happened within living memory but as your poem, New Towels shows, they are still happening today. It would seem that we have learned nothing from the past. Are we, I wonder, incapable of taking the lessons on board?
chrissy

Author's Reply:

royrodel on 2005-01-30 06:14:09
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
And we still haven't learned from this horror as the genocide still goes on.

RODEL

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-30 08:12:15
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Roy, many thanks for reading and commenting on this piece.
Sadly we do not learn because despite thousands of years of 'civilization' we are still cursed with the old tribalism that makes nationalism and sameness more acceptable than tolerance of difference.
The Jews, in this case, were seen as different and because of their own exclusion of others, maybe, were an easy target. No one liked them, every one wanted rid of them at some stage in history, the Nazis just did it on a more industrial scale because they could.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-01-30 12:30:15
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Chrissy, sorry about being late looking at your poem. I found this to be an expression of a great feeling, which is always found in your work. As a UKA member, I am proud of your poem.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-01-30 14:40:55
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Spot on! Are you Jewish? Religion is irrelevant when men become animals. Your buddy Dazza.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-30 16:28:20
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Dargo, many thanks for taking the time to read and for your very special comments and your generous rating.
Your support means a lot to me.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-30 16:32:11
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Dazza many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
You are right, when people behave as inhumanly as this, religion, ethnicity, 'class' matter nothing. This was done because it could be done.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-01-30 16:35:46
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
A stunning piece Val.

s
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Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-01-30 16:55:44
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Chrissy a very strong poem, this is written with immense depth of feeling and the desire that the world does not forget...L

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-01-30 17:19:11
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Chrissy, I apologise for calling you Val... not that there's anything wrong with being mistaken for lovely Val you understand? Oh god, where's my spade. It's not half getting some action at digging me out of holes lately.
Still a stunning piece and er... still written by you and not thingy... what's her name now? Val, yeah that's the one. Right, I think I cleared that up. Pheww...

s
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Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-30 17:23:35
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Sunken, I understand don't fret it.
Thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
I'm glad the piece worked for you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-30 17:30:22
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Leila, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this piece and for your generous rating.
I did feel very strongly when I wrote this and I still do.
My problem is that it is happening again and it seems that 'we', humankind has learned nothing from our history. We can still treat our fellow human beings worse than we treat animals and that is a very shaming thing.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-01-31 19:13:28
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Wonderful poem, Chrissy. It needs saying all the time, lest we forget.
In the last stanza, don't rhetorical questiosn need question marks? and is ' bring them only in winter,
the bitter, sad sounds.' not another sentence. It is so good I feel I shouldn't quibble but you know me. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong.
Daff


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-31 21:23:53
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Daphne, many thanks for stopping by to read, comment and rate.
Originally it was
understand, without the smell,
the cold -- bring them only in winter--
the bitter, sad sounds.
I suppose it could have a question mark.
Much thanks.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-02-02 17:43:12
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Chrissy,

A darkly superb read. Lush with sombre, chilling emotion. Well done!

Warm regards,
Adele

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-03 06:40:50
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Adele, many thanks for reading and for your comments and generous rating. I genuinely appreciate your interest.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-02-03 22:50:05
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Hi Chrissy, a stunningly poignant poet. I too have direct connections to this disgusting episode in our history. My Adopted eldest son's great grandmother on his fathers side lost her life in the camps and also my late husbands father was a refugee whose family escaped to America just before the war. So our two younger boys also have their lives because their forefathers escaped.

May all who lost their life rest in peace and all who live on, never forget the horror of such evil indoctrination.

Great poem

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-04 06:58:40
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Tai, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating.
I wish we could learn from this terrible period in our history. I wish the sacrifice of so many lives would have at least taught us to think before we allow such things to happen again but of course we don't learn and the sacrifice was for nothing.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-02-04 06:58:44
Re: Arbeit Macht Frei
Tai, many thanks for reading and commenting and for your generous rating.
I wish we could learn from this terrible period in our history. I wish the sacrifice of so many lives would have at least taught us to think before we allow such things to happen again but of course we don't learn and the sacrifice was for nothing.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Alone Again (posted on: 24-01-05)
I guess I always wanted to be the center of some body's world and when I wasn't, when I was younger, it was a really big drama. This is the story of one of those dramas.
Comments of any persuasion most welcome.

Alone Again

Searching for the perfect ten
that I know will no longer fit
or if it did
would be so modern
I would lack the courage to wear it.

Needing a new game to play
that isn't lonely solitaire
or reading
other people's mail
or standing just to stare.

When I am not with you nor can be
when you have gone,vanished without trace
and no slightest
thing remains
no photograph to remind me of your face.

And I am just deserted by friend and foe.
For lonely months that stretch in endless time.
Seeking strangers
for unspoken conversations
writing sad poetry that does not scan or rhyme.

When all the world is crazy happy
making demands of sun and sand and sea
I do not laugh
or sing repetitive songs
I curl up,introvert, alone with me.
Archived comments for Alone Again
Penprince on 2005-01-24 07:39:30
Re: Alone Again
There is a character in this poem and the poem assumes a character of self...like the conflicts and the existential struggle in between...EXCELLENT work!

D

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-24 08:25:32
Re: Alone Again
debs, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and many thanks for your generous rating.
Your support is truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-01-24 20:37:46
Re: Alone Again
A lonely poem. I know these feelings so well.

Jay

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-25 03:45:53
Re: Alone Again
Jay, many thanks for stopping by to read and comment.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-01-25 07:51:29
Re: Alone Again
Chrissy, you brought a bloody great big lump to my throat at the end of this poem....to me that means, you have written your poem with maximum effect.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-25 08:38:05
Re: Alone Again
Dargo, many thanks for taking the time to read, rate and comment on this piece.
I'm glad that it worked for you.
Your continued support means a great deal to me.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-01-25 17:54:16
Re: Alone Again
Searching for the perfect ten
that I know will no longer fit...

Needing a new game to play
that isn't lonely solitaire

when you have gone, vanished without trace
and no slightest
thing remains

Chrissy a strong poem, full of feeling...L

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-01-25 18:42:36
Re: Alone Again
Chrissy you are on a roll.. you are writing some magnificent poetry lately, this one just makes me ache I love it a favourite definately Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-26 03:38:40
Re: Alone Again
Leila, many thanks for reading and commenting your opinion is genuinely appreciated and I know that's what I always put but I do mean it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-26 03:44:01
Re: Alone Again
Val, many, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
I really do appreciate you support.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-01-26 20:51:47
Re: Alone Again
Wow how did you get so much sadness into so few words..This poem is so good it makes my eyes sting. I love it when that happens...Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-27 09:18:30
Re: Alone Again
Erma, many thanks for reading and for your lovely comments and your generous rating.
I'm so pleased that you liked this poem and that it worked the way it was intended.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-08-09 08:59:17
Re: Alone Again
Please excuse me as I rummage through your back catalogue:-)

This is a top write and a very powerful piece...take another 10.

Wonderful emotional read.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-09 09:18:12
Re: Alone Again
Rummage away, dear heart.
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Because (posted on: 21-01-05)
As per usual, I am unsure about this one.There could be more to it, there could be less. It is about a time in my life when I was not exactly 'singing happy', not all the time anyway. But no one ever is, are they? Not all the time.
Comments of any persuasion welcome.

Because I am a guest at your table one of many, I cut my food into small pieces using my knife and fork, eat daintily with refinement. Because I know I am being watched I do not gulp the blood red wine like some one dying of thirst in a desert but sip gently admire the glass,turn it in my hand, appreciate the fine cut crystal. Because I am sure someone would notice I do not touch your hand though often on the crisp white cloth it lies close enough to mine to assume it wants to be touched. Because I know that no one knows for sure I say good night and thank you and let you kiss my hand when all I want is just to hug you close. Chrissy Moore-Haines
Archived comments for Because
Penprince on 2005-01-21 08:32:00
Re: Because
An intimate moment captured so well...I like the anaphora and imagery!

D

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-21 09:09:44
Re: Because
debs,
many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm really pleased you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-01-22 03:38:58
Re: Because
You've really a gift for capturing the intangibles with your fine net of words Chrissy - great work!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-22 03:54:04
Re: Because
Kat, many thanks for your comments and your generous rating, truly appreciated.
Small moments and little details sometimes get me inspired. I suppose life is made up of little fragments and I like to keep them.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-01-22 04:23:08
Re: Because
Chrissy, this poem goes a long way in confirming why you are on my favourite author list. A lovely piece.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-01-22 06:47:13
Re: Because
One word Chrissy Perfection! why no Great read Tag?????? Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-22 10:28:45
Re: Because
Dargo, many thanks for your lovely comments. Your support is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-22 12:19:17
Re: Because
Val, thank you so much for reading, commenting and rating. I'm really glad you enjoyed this.
Don't know from Great reads, they descend from somewheres beyond us mere mortals.
love chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-01-23 08:36:45
Re: Because
This has a lovely feel of intimacy and frustration...especially liked..
I do not
touch your hand
though often on the crisp white cloth
it lies close enough to mine
to assume it wanted to be touched...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-23 08:49:25
Re: Because
Leila, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. Your support is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Nicoletta on 2005-01-23 12:28:46
Re: Because
A beautiful and graceful write Chrissy. Enjoyed reading Because. Kind regards, N.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-01-23 12:43:33
Re: Because
Oh yeah baby. I've been there Chrissy, but it was too long ago and I didn't take notes. For now I'll make do with your poem. I don't use words like 'beautiful' - Ya know what I mean (-; ?

Top notch young Chrissy.

s
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k
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in dire need of hugzzz.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-23 13:17:37
Re: Because
Nicoletta, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed this piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-23 13:22:32
Re: Because
This too was a long time ago. I'm really quite respectable now. 😉
Many thanks for reading, your lovely comments and the rating.
You want a hugzzz? It can be arranged.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Mehitable on 2005-01-26 22:25:23
Re: Because
I thought this was very good Chrissy - you've set the scene, I can feel you apprehension and nervousness at getting it all right. But the best thing is that delicious feeling passion in a polite situation that insists you keep it all in.
Brilliant!
x Mehitable

Author's Reply:

Mehitable on 2005-01-27 00:58:04
Re: Because
Chrissy, here's the corrected version without kids who won't go to bed, husband in bad mood and stepson stoned and reading over my shoulder! Not that I'm complaining about the original!
x Mehitable
I thought this was very good Chrissy - you've set the scene, I can feel your apprehension and nervousness at getting it all right. But the best thing is that delicious feeling of passion in a polite situation that insists you keep it all in.
Brilliant!
X Mehitable

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-27 09:28:23
Re: Because
Mehitable, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm really pleased you enjoyed this piece and that the main theme came through clearly.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-01-27 11:29:43
Re: Because
dear chrissy, like the others, i liked this one. i felt it captured that moment very well. i liked the crisp white cloth and the cut crystal caging the basic emotions. small thing: should wanted in stanza three be wants as the rest of the poem is in the present tense? best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-27 17:59:20
Re: Because
Anthony, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked the piece and you are right, it should be present tense, will go and change it now.
Much thanks
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Quilting (posted on: 17-01-05)
Not sure if this one is quite as I want it. Could be, see what others think.
Comments most welcome.

Quilting

Lacking another diversion,
he takes a book of her poems,
while she sits quietly quilting,
threading the needle with her tongue
an aid to accuracy,
lost in a sea of multi-coloured
bits and pieces.

In the book he reads
her life before he knew her,
before he saw her fragile eyes
her soft smile.
On the white pages
he understands her fortunes
and misfortunes
as silently she
makes the chaos order.


His fingers flick the pages
where she has made her life
an open book.
Here are those she loved and lost
before she opened his eyes
to her love,
before she warmed his heart
and stitched their lives together.

Quietly and secretly
he looks at her
to see that she is looking at him.
They smile, assured in their love,
not wasting the precious moments
of their togetherness.
While he reads
and she sits
quietly quilting.

2005 Chrissy M-H
Archived comments for Quilting
deepoceanfish2 on 2005-01-17 03:03:42
Re: Quilting
Chrissy,

One of your best! Loved this:

'In the book he reads
her life before he knew her,
before he saw her fragile eyes
her soft smile.
On the white pages
he understands her fortunes
and misfortunes
as silently she
makes the chaos order. '


A beautiful portrait piece of the small revelations we bequeath each other, along the bonded road of life. A fav and a delight.

Regards,
Adele 😉



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-17 04:13:45
Re: Quilting
Adele, many thanks for reading and your generous comments and rating.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the piece(never quite sure whether to call my stuff poetry or not) as I felt it might be a tad too cozy. I liked writing it and it was based on a specific 'happening' but I wasn't sure that it might not be a little bit too personal even though I wrote it from a none personal perspective, I think.
Again, many thanks for reading. Your support genuinely means a great deal to me.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2005-01-17 12:28:37
Re: Quilting
This is simply FANTABULOUS!

D

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-17 13:14:52
Re: Quilting
Debs, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Your support is truly appreciated.
I had doubts about this piece but if it works, I'm really glad because it was a 'happy write'.
Thanks again.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-01-18 11:08:56
Re: Quilting
Chrissy, this poem is right up my street. I enjoyed every line. A Hot Story for me, without a doubt.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-18 11:58:09
Re: Quilting
Dargo, many thanks for reading and for your comments and your most generous rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. Your support is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-01-18 20:38:04
Re: Quilting
Hi Chrissy,

A beautiful poem, one of the best I've read on UKA in recent months.

Take care,

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-19 03:16:08
Re: Quilting
Jay, many thanks for reading and for you very generous comments. I really appreciate your interest.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

HelenRussell on 2005-01-19 11:17:09
Re: Quilting
I really like this, it conjures up a perfect picture of a couple growing old together, comfortable in the way their lives have intertwined.
It's given me a lovely warm feeling.
Regards
Helen

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-19 12:12:10
Re: Quilting
Helen, many thanks for reading and commenting. I am very pleased that you enjoyed the piece and that it made you feel good.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-01-20 07:21:21
Re: Quilting
Chrissy this is amazing I keep reading it over and over it is so beautiful Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-20 09:41:12
Re: Quilting
Val, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Your support is always appreciated.
I'm really glad you liked this piece.
Glad you're feeling well again.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-01-21 13:16:33
Re: Quilting
I love this one. It's rather like an oil painting, so visual.
I like

lost in a sea of multi-coloured
bits and pieces.

and the echo ot the end 'quietly quilting'.
Daf

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-01-21 13:18:58
Re: Quilting
I love this one. It's rather like an oil painting, so visual.
I like

lost in a sea of multi-coloured
bits and pieces.

and the echo ot the end 'quietly quilting'.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-21 15:31:46
Re: Quilting
Daphne, many thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Today (posted on: 14-01-05)
This popped unbidden into my head. Should I have let it out or kept it out of the public gaze forever?
Any comments of what ever persuasion, welcome.

Today

Today, nothing bad happened.
No one I even vaguely knew
got sent to prison
for something
they did not do,
so I would have to stand
outside the court with a banner
protesting their innocence.

Today, nothing uncomfortable happened
none of the kids was sent home from school
for calling the teacher
a friggin' fool
or writing obscenities on the board
or making faces
or pulling Leila's hair or doing any thing
they weren't supposed to do.

Today, nothing crazy happened
no one local said they'd seen
a little grey alien
reading a magazine
or reported a shower
of meteorites
or got abducted
by the powers of darkness.

Today, nothing good happened
I was not whisked away
from my kitchen sink
to a fancy restaurant
where I was offered a drink
of sparkling wine
that resembled champagne
or bought an expensive meal.

Tomorrow, something may happen.
Tonight the planets line up strange
full of portent and omens
signifying change
but tomorrow,
like as not
nothing bad
will happen.

2005 C M-H
Archived comments for Today
Bradene on 2005-01-14 05:59:08
Re: Today
Chrissy! This is just AWESOME.. you appear to have climbed into my head and under my skin! I wish I could express the way I feel at times like this.. This is truly splendid. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-14 06:16:07
Re: Today
Val, many thanks for the read, the comment and the rating.
Maybe this wee bit nonsense popped from your head to mine. Spooky! 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

MiddleEarthNet on 2005-01-14 13:30:30
Re: Today
It sums up well just the typical, unmemorable day that most people have every day.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-01-14 16:12:20
Re: Today
This is so well-expressed Chrissy.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-14 17:17:15
Re: Today
Middle, much thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Don't it just.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-14 17:20:00
Re: Today
Kat, many thanks for reading and commenting.
Bit of a weird style for me. There are some rhymes in there but I don't know how they happened.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-01-14 20:36:58
Re: Today
I could not have put it any better than that Middle. I fully agree.

A nice poem.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-15 03:25:58
Re: Today
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I genuinely appreciate your support and interest.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-01-15 18:27:49
Re: Today
So this is the effect that reading so much poetry on uka has!! I liked these thoughts on paper, especially since no one was pulling Leila's hair...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-16 01:31:33
Re: Today
Leila, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-01-16 06:04:22
Re: Today
Chrissy, I so enjoyed this poem. It was so well told, that I imagined it was raining when you wrote this. Very good original piece of writing.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-16 07:54:24
Re: Today
Dargo, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Your support is always appreciated,
I can't remember if it was raining but I know what you mean. It has that feeling of 'don't mess with me, I'm not up to joined up thinking today' about it.
Really glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2005-01-16 12:34:21
Re: Today
I like the anaphore and the depth in these verses...

D

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-01-16 13:48:45
Re: Today
My fruit based voting system is now in full swing young Chrissy. I have decided on melons for this piece. This is a compliment by the way. Thanks.

s
u
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k
e
n

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-16 14:02:49
Re: Today
debs, many thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-16 14:06:18
Re: Today
I like the fruit based system though I prefer vegetables myself.
Many thanks for the melons and I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-01-16 15:39:03
Re: Today
Chrissy,

Thisd was just brillient! I loved it. Has to be a fav for me, for all those days upon days when absolutely nothing happened! A fine, fine read.

Regards,
Adele 😉

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-16 15:56:20
Re: Today
Adele, you've made my day. Many thanks for the read, the comment, the rating and making this a fav.
This poem really did just pop into my head or, maybe popped is the wrong word. It's a bit too laid back for popping but I really didn't do a lot to it.
Again, many thanks.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-01-16 16:50:42
Re: Today
Summat will happen tomorrow, Chrissy. It always does. I enjoyed this - nice touch of originality.

You're poetry always seems to pop an idea in my head for a poem of my own. Your 4th stanza has just nudged the gleam of an idea into me addled brain.

Keep writing, Chrissy! Bye now.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-16 17:23:59
Re: Today
Michael many thanks for reading and commenting on Today. This mental link between us is getting spooky. but I don't mind sharing. 🙂
Catch ya later
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Mehitable on 2005-01-16 19:44:32
Re: Today
You were definitely right to share this with us Chrissy. I love poetry that just says it - simple, straight, takes us there, lets us share. I thought it was great. I thought it was my life too.
x Mehitable

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-17 03:05:30
Re: Today
Mehitable, many thanks for reading, rating and commenting on this piece.
Some people have days like this, some people, myself included, tend to have lives like this. Sharing the ennui tends to lessen it, just a little.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-01-21 13:34:52
Re: Today
Well, I like the rhymes, but then that's me.
I really like the poem, all the different possibilities in each verse. And I especially like the last verse, not just because it leaves an opening for the future but the actual sound of it.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-21 15:47:35
Re: Today
Daphne, thanks for popping in and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Stats (posted on: 10-01-05)
Have to confess, haven't worked this too much. It's what I feel. I know it probably won't get many reads or comments, I'm genuinely not concerned about that. I wrote it because I felt it.
Any comments, of course, most welcome.

Stats

Alone again
your tears do not stop
your sad brown eyes
do not cease their endless
search for a kind,
remembered face.

No one
forces you to talk now,
to tell the world
of the horror of it all
No one feeds you
no one cares.

Tomorrow
or the next day
some one may come
always there is that hope
that tiny spark
to light another
dark and lonely night.

You do not sleep
closing your eyes
they are dissolved again
drowned in your tears
their faces pleading
for your survival.

Run, run!
Do not look back
mother, father
sister,brothers
do not look back.

Fifty years from now
or tomorrow,
your face will be forgotten
by the world.
The horror of your seventh year
a statistic
remembered only as comparison.


2005 Chrissy Moore-Haines

Archived comments for Stats
Zydha on 2005-01-10 08:40:41
Re: Stats
Hello Chrissy, I hate to be first to comment, but I read this and felt such sadness. Another of your pieces I wonder if is about permanent loss.

Your words flow gently, sadly, as a reminder that despite our private thoughts, memories, and feelings, everything is brought down to passing statistics outside of ourselves. Well written, Zydha

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-10 09:23:06
Re: Stats
Zydha, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
Should have said in the intro I guess, the poem was written as a reaction to the news coverage of the Asian tsunami. They seemed to be parading kids in front of the cameras, asking them what they had lost and how it felt to lose it and they kept saying that the disaster was the worst since...etc. It occurred to me that in fifty years, if another should occur, this one would be the comparison.
How quickly we seem to put things to the back of our minds and concentrate on the next big cause always amazes me.
chrissy


Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-01-10 11:37:17
Re: Stats
chrissy,

I had rather thought that the tsunami disaster was the basis for this piece. Very emotive; the sadness bleeds through each verse. Touchingly rendered.

Regards,
Adele

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-10 16:15:55
Re: Stats
Adele, many thanks for taking the time to read, comment on and rate this piece.
Like every one else, the disaster touched me very deeply but what effected me more was the 'media' interviewing people who had lost everyone and everything they held precious in their lives and asking them how they felt. How the hell did they think they felt. And there kept coming up this phrase that it was the worst disaster since... That's where the title came from. They were already making it a statistic.
Thanks again.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-01-11 13:35:10
Re: Stats
Hello chrissy, Your poem gave me a deep feeling of a loss. After reading your explanations and re-reading it brought a tear. the most heartrending lines for me were,
'Run, run!
Do not look back
mother, father
sister,brothers
do not look back.'

I could see that child, almost taste their trauma and fear. Fantastic poem why don't you Donate it on the thread that Andrea has posted.

All the best writers are sensitive souls.

Tai x


Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-01-11 15:30:48
Re: Stats
Hiya Chrissy. There have been some of the most heart wrenching stories to come out of recent events. One women who was married on xmas day lost her husband and her baby on boxing day. She describes looking in to her babies eyes as he was swept out of her arms. There was another women who had lost three children, the only one to survive was now brain damaged and doctors had given up hope. She was just cradling him and waiting for death. It may sound totally selfish, but it doesn't half put things in to perspective. My, so called problems, are zero in comparison. I've wanted to write something on the tsunami, I just don't think I can. You however, have succeeded with this piece. It manages to raise questions without compromising the sensitivities of those involved. I'm in awe of posts like this. I need a 'feelings' transplant I think, as I can't communicate mine. Easily a ten (using whatever rating system)

s
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k
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Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-01-11 17:17:13
Re: Stats
I think the previous comments have pretty much summed up what I would say, so I just wanted you to know I read and shared...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-12 03:07:33
Re: Stats
Tai, many thanks for taking the time to read, rate and comment on Stats. I wish I had not been 'inspired' to write this, I wish that with all my heart. The dreadful events of Christmas 2004 will probably stay in my mind for the rest of my life, I hope they will. I hope I don't ever think of those devastating images as a statistic.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-12 03:16:58
Re: Stats
Sunken, many thanks for reading, rating and commenting. It is much appreciated.
We react to disasters like this in different ways. This poem was what I felt. I can tell you as I wrote it, I didn't really care whether it was a 'good' poem or not. I wrote 'my' reactions to what I was seeing and hearing.
I don't think you need a 'feelings transplant' at all. What you feel is quite clearly shown in your description of the mother and her children.
Much thanks for your comments.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-12 03:19:49
Re: Stats
Leila, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm so glad that you did and that Stats touched you the way I meant it to.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-01-12 14:59:52
Re: Stats
Hi Chrissy. I diidn't quite get the connection until the last few lines of the poem (that's how a good poem should be, I think). I initially thought it may be a child in an orphanage or perhaps a dog in a home pleading for adoption. Good poem, very touching - and you are so right, in a few years some other awful disaster (man made or natural) will push this one into the background as the media wolves will have some more survivors to push in front of a camera and a microphone. Good poetry! Bye now.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-12 16:55:26
Re: Stats
Michael, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked the poem and that my point was made. It seemed such a shame and so very unfortunate because of course it was necessary to show these images and it did make people dig deep into their pockets to help but I thought, as I always think with these things, what happens to the people after the cameras leave and the interest dies down.
The people and the events become stats too quickly.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-01-12 21:39:35
Re: Stats
This is a very well written and emotive poem. Its content is so sad though. I hope its fiction.


Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-13 03:39:53
Re: Stats
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I am genuinely pleased and encouraged by your comments and I truly value your support.
The reality of the piece has been daily before our eyes and I'm sure this specific surviving child exists somewhere. The reality of turning these dreadful events into statistics has already started.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-01-13 04:16:47
Re: Stats
Chrissy, your poem is very moving, and let us all hope there are no repeats in the future of this kind of disaster.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-13 06:11:08
Re: Stats
Dargo, many thanks for taking the time to read, rate and comment on Stats. Your support is, as always, genuinely appreciated.
I too hope this this does not happen again but we live in a fragile world and the possibility is always there.
If this was a totally man made disaster then we could perhaps vow, as a world community, to make sure that it didn't happen again but it was not man made and in reality the only thing we could have done to make this less of a disaster was to have ensured that the area had the early warning systems that exist in the more prosperous Pacific region. The people of this area, have suffered the consequences of their collective Governments inability to fund such systems.
Perhaps it would have made no difference.
It might also be beneficial to learn something from the way these disasters are reported by the media. That was the point of the poem, that these shattered souls were brought in front of the cameras to relive the horror of their experiences and then quite possibly just forgotten.
When the cameras turn away the child in the poem is still without her family and anyone to truly care for her.
chrissy


Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-01-21 13:44:04
Re: Stats
Can't really add to all that has been said but had to say I'd finally got here and read it. I think we get a surfeit of statistics and they need poems to make us stop and humanise them.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-21 15:56:50
Re: Stats
Thanks Daphne.
The really sad thing is that we're always being told that this disaster is the worst since.... or this is the largest number of people killed since and the next thing that happens, be that man-made or natural disaster, where there is a massive loss of life, this dreadful event will be trotted out for comparison and that's all it will mean.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Superman (posted on: 31-12-04)
Some times setting some one up as a hero can backfire. Any comments welcome.

Superman Shooting from the hip as always disengaging brain from mouth before speaking I fire recriminations both barrels scarcely pausing to reload. Unmindful of the red S cunningly concealed beneath your ordinary shirt I fire my bullet words, see them ping and ricochet fall spent and ineffectual on the floor. I reach for the weapon of last resort. Kryptonite tears. but I have made you too invulnerable and, all my ammunition spent, can only mouth a protest couched in desperate, childish words. "You mustn't go. It isn't fair." 2004 C M Moore-Haines
Archived comments for Superman
deepoceanfish2 on 2004-12-31 07:54:55
Re: Superman
chrissy,

This is a star! Loved it all but this stood out:

'Shooting from the hip
as always
disengaging brain
from mouth before speaking
I fire recriminations
both barrels
scarcely pausing to reload.'

A great read, indeed!

Regards,
Adele

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-12-31 07:57:17
Re: Superman
Original, hugely entertaining and *deep*
HAHAHAHA - this REALLY MADE ME LAUGH
*AND APPLAUD*

Author's Reply:

Nicoletta on 2004-12-31 09:04:45
Re: Superman
Clever and well written.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-31 09:59:48
Re: Superman
Nicoletta, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
Happy New Year.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-31 10:03:14
Re: Superman
Adele, thanks so much for reading, commenting and rating. I'm really pleased you enjoyed it.
Happy New Year.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-31 10:05:00
Re: Superman
Michel, thanks for reading, commenting and rating and for seeing the funny side. Glad you enjoyed it.
Happy New Year.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-12-31 16:01:59
Re: Superman
Well written Chrissy. I imagine many will relate to this.
Take a peep at the first line -last verse, is that a repeat?

Happy new year...
Gerry. xxx.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-31 16:15:46
Re: Superman
Gerry, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating and for pointing out my error. The Devil makes work for idle thumbs. 🙂 I have put it right, I think.
Have a good New Year.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-01-01 04:26:10
Re: Superman
Chrissy, I love this poem. Your words penetrated me.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-01 06:16:57
Re: Superman
Many thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
If my words penetrated you, you obviously do not have the benefit of the big red S.
Glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-01-02 06:46:43
Re: Superman
Chrissy one of your best without a doubt and a fav for me, haven't we all tried Kryptonite tears! this piece resonated so much with an earlier younger me. All the best for 2005 my dear. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-02 08:18:06
Re: Superman
Val, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating and for the hot story thingy.
Oh yes, lots of ladies use the Kryptonite tears. Sometimes they work but if you've constructed yourself a super super hero, you can come unstuck.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-01-02 16:25:50
Re: Superman
Dang this is a good poem. It gets a ten from me..Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-02 18:22:49
Re: Superman
Erma, thank you so much for reading, commenting and rating.
I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
Happy New Year
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2005-01-03 10:12:32
Re: Superman
This is a superb poem, deserves the anthology nomination.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-03 11:07:16
Re: Superman
Jay, many thanks for reading and rating and for your kind comments.
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
Your support means a lot to me.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Circle (posted on: 03-12-04)
Just a poem. Not too long. Is it too personal, too sentimental, too gloomy? Comments welcome as always.

Circle

I have no power to heal you,
no magic balm to seal your mortal wounds.
My eyes cry only salt tears
that serve not to soothe but to dismay

Your heart breaks that my heart breaks
and on we go
round and round forever
in a circle of despair.

I have no power to break the circle,
no magic spell that stops me caring.
Nor have you the power
not to care for my caring.

And so we go around, around
in our sad and sorry dance
until your eyes close and you do not breath
and the circle is broken. Chrissy Moore-Haines 2004
Archived comments for Circle
jay12 on 2004-12-03 19:05:21
Re: Circle
Hi Chrissy,

This is another good poem. It certainly is personal and sentimental but its not too gloomy.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-12-03 21:28:01
Re: Circle
Mmnnn, Chrissy, I hesitate to comment, as others might have done on this touching poem, as I wondered if I read correctly and the break in the circle here as a permanent loss. If so, this is indeed a sad but meaningful poem.

As Jay says, another good poem, Zydha

Author's Reply:

royrodel on 2004-12-03 21:37:08
Re: Circle
It's easy to follow and everyone can or soon will be able to relate to it. Just one thing, it don't matter what anyone else thinks.

RODEL

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 03:11:15
Re: Circle
James, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I was concerned that people might think this piece a bit OTT in the tragedy department but the feelings were there and I wrote them and shared them.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 03:15:58
Re: Circle
Zydha, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. You are right that the break in the circle was envisaged as a permanent one. The person it was written about was very poorly but, fortunately 'pulled through'.
Glad you liked the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 03:21:11
Re: Circle
Roy, I'm truly grateful for your reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you found the poem easy to understand and I'm sure that people will relate to it. Death, like taxes, is one of the few certainties in life.
To me, it does matter what other people think. I like having people's opinions and comments on my work and not just the good things 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-12-04 04:19:10
Re: Circle
Hi Chrissy, it certainly is very sad, but I don't think its gloomy - its an expression of how you felt.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 07:13:21
Re: Circle
Emma, many thanks for reading, commenting on and rating this piece. It was indeed an expression of how I felt at the time but looking back at it, I felt a bit of 'gloom' creeping in.
Perhaps not.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2004-12-04 07:58:37
Re: Circle
Chrissy, you have captured a mood in a very poetic way. The mood belongs to you and all we can do is share how you were feeling at the time of writing. Nice flow to this piece.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-12-04 08:14:56
Re: Circle
chrissy a heartfelt poem on the cirle of love, life, death. And the loop goes on! Excellent work. I am glad the loss was a fear and not a reality for you.

All the best

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 10:18:47
Re: Circle
Tai, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 10:21:17
Re: Circle
Much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-12-04 22:25:15
Re: Circle
I think this is very well done Chrissy. I can relate to it very much, putting me in mind of when my grandad was terminally ill...

I had always been very close to him and my gran, but as his health deteriorated he would not see people anymore. He had been a man of great dignity and didn't want people to witness his deterioration and suffering. This was very hard for me (as a nurse at the time) as I would have loved to have been able to sit with him, hold his hand and support my gran. But, I understood his wish, and his choice...

Well done with this.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-05 04:17:00
Re: Circle
Kat, many thanks for reading and commenting on this piece. I'm glad you liked it but sorry if it brought back painful memories.
I think people in this situation sometimes think more of the people left behind than they do of themselves and though they might still need the comfort of a loved one's presence, they don't want to inflict suffering on that person.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-05 07:26:57
Re: Circle
Is it too personal, too sentimental, too gloomy? - a resounding "No" on all three counts! Having been in this situation I would say that this poem is spot on infact. Well done, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-05 09:19:20
Re: Circle
Elfstone, many thanks for reading and commenting on this piece. I'm glad that you found it 'spot on'.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


The Lost Heart (posted on: 03-12-04)
Another short poem. I don't normally submit more than one but I would like to know what people think.
I wrote this ages ago but it's another one where I changed the perspective.
Comments welcome

The lost heart.

Seeing him searching, she asked;
'Have you lost something?'
'My heart,' he replied.
'Careless,' she said
'Hearts are too precious to be lost.
Where did you last see it?'
He smiled
his special smile.
'I think you have it,' he said
She was not sure that she did
or, if she did, that she wanted it.
'If I have it,' she said.
'You must have given it to me.'
'I seem to recall doing that,
though I can't think why.
Do you deserve it?'
'Probably not.'

Chrissy Moor-Haines 2004
Archived comments for The Lost Heart
Emerald on 2004-12-03 13:17:56
Re: The Lost Heart
I loved this - can't think why this has not had more hits. You wrote wonderfully of the strangeness of giving your heart to another, who is just not sure - so often reflected in real life. There was humour and sensitivity in this.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-03 16:08:50
Re: The Lost Heart
Emma, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating and for the hot story pick. I very much appreciate it.
I have long since stopped wondering why certain works get read and others don't, it's the way things go round here. At least if you don't get the reads you don't know if people like it or not. 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Nicoletta on 2004-12-03 17:48:54
Re: The Lost Heart
You wrote this in a unique way, you 'handled' the dialogue very delicately and at the same time you avoided making it sound too 'romantic' and thus made it truly romantic. In spite of her cold phrase (Probably not.), his lost heart was warm enough to make the whole poem a warm read.
Nicoletta.

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-12-03 18:43:19
Re: The Lost Heart
'Hearts are too precious to be lost.

Too true. A great read Chrissy.

Jay

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-12-03 21:09:27
Re: The Lost Heart
I find it takes more time than I have Chrissy to read everyone in the first day and frequently post replies right through until and often even after next publishing day, but I'm glad I came in to read this one.

Your volleying conversational style, avoiding committment is superb here, so indicative of the fear of rejection. This is indeed a clever concept of the insecurities some suffer in relationships with others. Zydha

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 03:41:23
Re: The Lost Heart
Nicoletta, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
She is young, he is not. His heart is not given away lightly though he knows that she probably does not truly deserve it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 03:44:04
Re: The Lost Heart
Jay, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm very glad you enjoyed the piece.
Yes, hearts are too precious to be lost but sometimes you just have to take the risk.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 03:50:40
Re: The Lost Heart
Zydha, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I truly appreciate it.
I often read stuff long after its' 'sell by date' that's half the fun of this site. You can come in any time browse around, and find something really good. And I really wasn't whinging in my reply to Emma it was just that she mentioned that the piece hadn't had many hits 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-12-04 05:57:18
Re: The Lost Heart
Lovely this.. with Chrissy style written all the way through it, Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-04 07:09:13
Re: The Lost Heart
Many thanks for reading and commenting, Val. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-05 07:01:51
Re: The Lost Heart
Sorry it has taken me so long to get round to reading this - there aren't enough hours in the day 🙂 !! This is very good Chrissy. It is unusual to see so much direct speech in a poem (and a joy to see it properly punctuated!!) but it works very well indeed. Regards, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-05 09:21:48
Re: The Lost Heart
Elfstone, thanks for taking the time to read and comment, it is very much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-12-05 13:37:37
Re: The Lost Heart
One word - Cute. I don't know if that's what you wanted to portray. Worry not young Chrissy, it may be my mind playing tricks on me. I do love it though. Nice concept. Made me smile - Imagine that? (-;

s
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n
k
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Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-05 17:28:49
Re: The Lost Heart
Sunken, thanks for reading and commenting and huge thanks -- Diolch yn fawr iawn -- for calling me Young Chrissy. You made my day, babe.
I take no exception at all to cute. Cute is good.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 2004-12-29 07:11:52
Re: The Lost Heart
Oh me, oh my... one of my favourite things to write about... a moment. Selecting a pertinent moment in time, as you have, can, when done as well as this, give you an insight to the whole, and encourage the reader's imagination to go wild. Loved it. Well done.

Compliments of the season to you, Chrissy.

Kind regards, Griffonner

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-29 12:40:16
Re: The Lost Heart
Griffonner, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and the compliments of the season to you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


On a less travelled road (posted on: 22-11-04)
Haven't done much here for a while so I thought I would submit this. I have a clear enough idea in my head what it's about but would appreciate other peoples comments to see if it comes across as clearly as I wanted it to and a general look at it.
chrissy

On a less travelled road We meet on a less travelled road with few markers to show us the way. For one moment of time our paths cross and we exchange glances, words, understanding before we take our leave. And, in the time it takes to meet, to find each others' meaning, the knowledge we each gift the other of ourselves remains to fuel our wondering. If we should meet again, along another road, if, turning a corner we should see the now familiar face that recognizes, tells us we are known, remembering our brief encounter we may smile.
Archived comments for On a less travelled road
Nicoletta on 2004-11-22 03:29:32
Re: On a less travelled road
"on a less travelled road" "in the time it takes to meet to find each others'meaning" "to fuel our wondering" Lovely poem Chrissy, I liked it very very much.
Nicoletta

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-11-22 06:17:00
Re: On a less travelled road
I like this idea chrissy, it works for me, I've felt like this about some people I have met briefly along the way too. One little thing, should that be.. Tells us we are known. in the final stanza? Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-22 09:07:40
Re: On a less travelled road
Nicoletta, much thanks for reading commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed this piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-22 09:09:40
Re: On a less travelled road
Val, much thanks. Of course you are right. I shall do things with it right now.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-11-22 10:00:27
Re: On a less travelled road
I loved this poem ...The title is great also...Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-22 10:56:03
Re: On a less travelled road
Erma, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. The title was twisted around from some thing I read in my youth by Robert Frost, I think. It seemed nice and it fits with the cover I've designed for my book so that will be the title of the book when I get round to doing more about it than talking and thinking.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-11-22 13:14:58
Re: On a less travelled road
Hi Chrissy,
I enjoyed this, it made me think of that theory from somewhere, I don't know where I have picked it up from, that in our lives we are connected with a certain group of people that stay with or around us in differing degrees of separation or relationships, throughout our many different reincarnations, this totally made me think of the situation where we meet someone who we feel like we have known or feel a connection with although we have not met before or have only met briefly.
anyway enough blether from me, I really liked it.
beks:)

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2004-11-22 13:39:56
Re: On a less travelled road
Chrissy, enjoyed your poem. It was nice to read you again.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-22 16:37:49
Re: On a less travelled road
beks, thanks for reading and commenting. Your remarks made me think and I remember reading a story based on that theory when I was young. For ages, literally years later, when ever I was asked what I did or where I lived or almost anything personal I would answer and then tag on "this life". Odd.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-22 16:41:01
Re: On a less travelled road
Much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-11-22 20:37:14
Re: On a less travelled road
This is a brill read. It seems to me to be about a lost loved one, family or friend, who's snatched from us just as we get to know them properly.

I dunno if thats what you meant to convay but its what it said to me anyway.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-22 22:09:40
Re: On a less travelled road
James, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating, it's really appreciated.
What I had in mind when I wrote this was poetry, writing people we 'meet' through their reading what we write or vice versa, but I think it could apply to some one we actually, physically meet, yeah I like that idea too.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-11-23 03:27:19
Re: On a less travelled road
Hi , I liked this poem - liked the thought of all the different people that have past through our lives, leaving us with wisdom, and hopefully the ability to recognise its worth. Life is made up of so many milestones and confusion, but its the people we meet who can impart so much.

Emma:)

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-11-23 10:33:36
Re: On a less travelled road
Your poem seems very clear to me Chrissy - well done for achieving to mark with words, an almost intangible feeling...

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-23 17:49:20
Re: On a less travelled road
I enjoyed reading this Chrissy and I think the jist of it is very clear. You seem to be asking for detailed comments, so may I suggest that you have another look atthe second stanza:
"the knowledge we each
gift the other
of ourselves
remains"

I know what you mean by this, but the phrasing of it is a little clumsy. Perhaps this might do:
"the knowledge of ourselves,
the gift we give each other
remains"

then again you may well have your own solution.
It is a poem worth working on. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-23 17:56:22
Re: On a less travelled road
Chrissy, I've just read your reply to erma in searching for my own poest to check it (it has gone into an odd place). Anyway, I was fairly sure that your title was familiar and I did a search for "The Road Less Travelled" - an advanced search for the specific phrase - and came up with 50,000 results. The first I clicked on (in Amazon) was a book of that title. You may want to check that you are not leaving yourself open to accusations of plagiarism if you use what is a strikingly similar title. Best wishes, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-25 00:46:59
Re: On a less travelled road
Trevor, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating, it is truly appreciated. I am glad to know that the poem worked for you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-25 00:52:39
Re: On a less travelled road
Elfstone, much thanks for reading and commenting, it is really appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-25 01:29:30
Re: On a less travelled road
Elfstone, much thanks for the research. I did flip the title through google both before and after I published it here and yes I got the other one but I also got my own work posted here on one search. It's confusing, I agree. The title as I said came from twisting around the Frost poem so I don't think plagiarism is much of a danger as presumably the person who wrote "The Road Less Travelled" would have taken their title direct from the poem. Still I shall keep it in mind, if and when I get back to my book.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-25 01:34:02
Re: On a less travelled road
Emma, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you liked the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-25 01:36:01
Re: On a less travelled road
Kat, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-12-01 07:35:20
Re: On a less travelled road
A lovely gentle thoughtful piece of work, much enjoyed...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-01 12:04:57
Re: On a less travelled road
Leila, many thanks for reading the poem and for telling me how much you enjoyed it. I am genuinely very pleased when people enjoy my work.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-12-01 16:14:46
Re: On a less travelled road
Chrissy, never ask a munky for a detailed critique. It can only cause pain and hardship for all involved. I will just say that I loved 'On a less travelled road'. Fleeting glances and stolen smiles are what keep me going, as well as poetry like this.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-12-02 02:29:01
Re: On a less travelled road
Much thanks sunken. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
Sort of keeps us both going.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


The Game (posted on: 22-10-04)
I can't really think of anything to say about this. I enjoyed writing it hope some one enjoys reading it. Comments would be welcome.

The Game

He is not himself today.
Around him
nothing has changed,
just grown older,
the inevitable passage of time
the bitter sweet
ticking of the clock,
the chronicle of years.

He watches her as she moves
without direction
between the stacks.
There is something different,
something strange,
changed.

Quickly, he moves to where
she stood, one tiny moment ago,
breaths the scent shape she left
and feels a longing
a sudden, quickening of his heart,
draws breath
assimilates her
into his own being.

She is his for the chase,
for the rare excitement
of the old game
played by the generations of Man.
She is his for the asking
for the pretty gift.

But winning and wanting
are different now.
Time has done
its' disastrous work,
claimed the spirit
that once quickened his step,
sharpened his eye,
silvered his tongue.

There is no point to a game
he cannot win,
pursuit of a prize he cannot hold
He is too old.
And yet,
in the small white square
of a dropped handkerchief
she calls him to the game.

2004 CMH
Archived comments for The Game
ritawrites on 2004-10-22 05:00:52
Re: The Game
“There is no point to a game
he cannot win,
pursuit of a prize he cannot hold
He is too old.” – I guess the game itself is the point, no matter what age. – wow, fab read!


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-10-22 11:08:01
Re: The Game
Very well written--I liked this.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-22 12:48:31
Re: The Game
I like this. Like the last twi stanzas best. They scan more than the rest and I'm a sucker for that. But the whole thing is a really good picture.
Daf

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-22 12:52:15
Re: The Game
Apologies from Chrissy. She can't get online. I'm here by skin of my teeth. Think it's out weather.
Daf

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-10-22 13:35:39
Re: The Game
Chrissy I love this piece it is so beautiful in it's sadness and wistfulness it's brilliantly written Love Val x a fav for me, and a nomination.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-10-22 17:44:58
Re: The Game
Hi Chrissy, as you say, it's the game, alone, for some. I think life is whatever you choose to make it. Too old for what, life....no, no, no, never too old for life. If you believe that, that will be your reality. Just a thought. A good poem.

Tai

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-10-22 22:25:45
Re: The Game
A great read it says and a great read it is.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-10-24 06:20:11
Re: The Game
I like the way you painted an EXISTENTIAL agony...I particularly liked>>He is not himself today.
Around him
nothing has changed,
just grown older,
the inevitable passage of time
the bitter sweet
ticking of the clock,
the chronicle of years.

<<

PP

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-26 08:13:48
Re: The Game
Thanks from Chrissy to all who have commented. She will reply when her modem is fixed as right now she can't get here.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-09 11:00:20
Re: The Game
To all who read, commented and rated and to Val who nominated and for the nib, much thanks and sincere apologies for not replying individually but that would take up the whole of the recent story comments thingy and I'm too shy and retiring to do that.
Now that I can once again move amongst you, I will be doing so.
Much thanks, again. Truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Inside Knowledge (posted on: 18-10-04)
This is what I used to call a 'head or Hera poem' in that it seemed to spring completely formed from my mind onto the page or in this case the screen. I think it is about someone, going quietly berserk but I could be wrong on that. Comments of any persuasion, as always, welcome.


Inside Knowledge

Ha! You think you know me,
really got me taped, huh?
Tell me about it.
You think you know
my motivation.

Deeper than you think,comrade,
deeper than you think.
It's my truth I'm telling.
Not given to me,
some one else's
hand-me-down version.
I discovered it.

I'll let you into the secret
The world is round,
a sphere in space,
farted out by some exploding star
billions of years ago.

There is no God.
He didn't sit down
on a Monday morning
and say;
"Why don't I make the Earth today."

There are people
tyrannical people
who seek my death because
I know this truth.
They don't think I should know.

I laugh at tyrants.
Ha!
Too late, comrades, too late.
I know the truth,
my truth.


2004 C M-H
Archived comments for Inside Knowledge
Bradene on 2004-10-18 07:28:09
Re: Inside Knowledge
Sounds like someone having a good rant at the world and everything in it. I like the feeling of spontaneity it emits. A good piece Chrissy Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-18 07:59:51
Re: Inside Knowledge
Val, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Truly appreciated.
As I said in the intro I thought about this for a very short time and then ping! there it was and I left it as it was. Maybe I might do something else with it or maybe I'll leave it as it is. See what others think.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-10-18 13:46:39
Re: Inside Knowledge
VERY POWERFUL and insightful...I love the way you brought a concatenation between diverse things and yet made it look one whole...EXCELLENT work...

PP

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-18 15:54:25
Re: Inside Knowledge
Much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I really appreciate it when some one comments on my work.
As I said this poem was not 'worked'. I guess these days it would be called a speed poem. The theme I gave myself was truth.
Glad you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-10-18 19:17:52
Re: Inside Knowledge
Simply perfick! An excellently excellent poem.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-10-18 21:46:31
Re: Inside Knowledge
I love this, it is very good indeed, the sharp jabbing of the piece, felt very much in your face, so to speak.

Yes, Everyones truth, is theirs alone. Too right.

tai

Author's Reply:

Safron on 2004-10-19 00:49:23
Re: Inside Knowledge
Chrissy,

I love this its powerful, reflective which I always find appealing in poetry this one has so much insightful Truth too
No one knows us as well as we know ourselves they only presume to from the outward appearance and actions.

nice job!

Safron

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-19 03:40:28
Re: Inside Knowledge
James, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad the poem worked for you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-19 03:43:24
Re: Inside Knowledge
Tai, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Truth, though sometimes Universal is individual.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-19 03:47:03
Re: Inside Knowledge
Safron, thanks for reading commenting and rating. I think we all think we know ourselves best and sometimes resent other people thinking that they know us as well, or better than we know ourselves.

Author's Reply:

potleek on 2004-10-19 03:57:13
Re: Inside Knowledge
who's truth is it, was it some tyrant who told you the earth was round...lol
Loved your views on the whole thing, loved your poem...Tony

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-19 05:12:30
Re: Inside Knowledge
Tony, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I appreciate it.
Truth is truth, whether disseminated by tyrant or teacher or found for ourselves.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-10-19 13:40:36
Re: Inside Knowledge
Sharp and strong..like you got it all out before pausing for breath...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-19 16:07:39
Re: Inside Knowledge
Leila much thanks for reading and commenting. Like I said it did spring completely formed from my head.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-10-20 03:45:35
Re: Inside Knowledge
Hi chrissy, I enjoyed reading this poem - I loved the sassy spirit to it - could picture someone with wild hair, laughing defiantly.

Emma 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-20 04:03:16
Re: Inside Knowledge
Emma, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and that it conjured up that picture for you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-21 06:11:27
Re: Inside Knowledge
Much thanks for dropping by and reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-22 12:46:29
Re: Inside Knowledge
Intriguing. Wonder what brought that on.
Daf

Author's Reply:


When. (posted on: 15-10-04)
Rummaging around in the lumber room of my mind, I came across this. I wonder, is it worth any thing? Comments please

When.

Needing solace,
he turns his mind
towards the past,
sees, with eyes well washed
by too much weeping,
the rosy-hued images.

Clean streets,
clean minds
where neighbours
were friends,
where no door is locked
and nothing at all
gets stolen
or defiled.

Men walk to work
whistling cheerily
or calling out to others
from Woodbined mouths
and bitter beer tongues,
whilst the women
donkey stone the steps
or perch on windowsills,
sashes on their thighs
to keep them safe,
while they polish
and Windolene

In his mind
nothing defiles the walls
but discreet advertisements
for Craven A -- the black cat--
or Frys' Five Boys,
and friendly steam trains
push their coal filled bellies
into stations
un-severed by Beechings' axe.
The market town connection
maintained in flower boxed splendour
and fresh painted white picket fence.

And in his once upon a time
when Churchill's army,
robbed of more glory
by the little Austrian corporal's demise,
the God-Emperor's ignominious surrender,
strike East again for more of the same,
he chooses not to hear
the bus-conductors' cheery greeting
to the khaki clad passenger;
"There's another ferkorea."

He mourns
the loss of Radio Luxembourg,
of ITMA and the Home Service,
before the Beatles 'Yesterday'.
He wishes back the time
when gay was happy
and women aged with grace
to much loved grand motherhood.
He longs for the time
of Christmas hymns
tunefully sung on door steps
by bobble hatted,
rosy cheeked cherubs.
Fortified wine for the parson
nuts and tangerines for the kids
and back inside
to watch the Queen in black and white.

He has no time for today,
for the culture of Giro
and something for nothing.
for the black face
that calls itself by an English name
for the woman,
unsatisfied with domestic bliss,
who strives to be more than equal.
He wants
the time of his prime
when life was uncomplicated
and respect was a word
hard earned.
And the fresh faced girls
to whom a kiss
or held hand was intimacy
in the dark of the cinema seat.

He exists in his mind
in a time
when the only guns on the street
were silver painted toys
in the chubby, grubby hands
of boys
who fought as cow boys
against the Indians
who never won.
and the bins were metal
had lids that fitted
and the men who collected them
wore their caps backwards
and didn't spill the contents
on the clean neat streets.

The wind of change
has blown his world off course.
The certainties are gone
dissolved in pools of piss
in high rise lifts
that do not work,
punctured by discarded sharps,
borne off by rabid liberals
who care more for
perpetrator
than for victim.
Nothing is what it seems
or seemed to be
in the time of his prime.
Archived comments for When.
Dargo77 on 2004-10-15 04:24:57
Re: When.
Chrissy, this poem is what I would consider to be one of my all time favourites on this site. You have gone through the ages with such wonderful style. I simply found this perfect in every way. A Hot Story for me.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-15 04:47:19
Re: When.
I was SO worried about this as it contained so many references to a kind of elderly gent who had his mind well back in the past and I thought people might think I was 'getting at' the elderly, which I am so not.
The piece just came to me when I was thinking about things 'I' vaguely remember.
Many thanks for reading, commenting, rating and for the 'hot story'. I am very grateful.
chrissy


Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-10-15 06:25:15
Re: When.
Quite an alma matar...BRILLIANT work, Chrissy...

I particularly like>>He exists in his mind
in a time
when the only guns on the street
were silver painted toys
in the chubby, grubby hands
of boys
who fought as cow boys
against the Indians
who never won.
<<

D

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-15 10:05:08
Re: When.
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and much thanks for the rating. I'm glad you liked the piece. I had my doubts about it but I'm glad it worked for you.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-10-15 10:24:30
Re: When.
Chrissy this is so fantastic! I suppose there will be those who will question it as usual! but for me it is perfect, I suppose because I can identify with it all. and it brings on a bout of that naughtiest of words nostalgia. I love it Chrissy and you did it so brilliantly. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-15 11:27:38
Re: When.
Ooh Val! You said the N word.
Seriously, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I really do appreciate it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-10-15 12:06:37
Re: When.
Hi Chrissy, I this was an excellent look at someones yesterday, a chronicling of changes in a lifetime.

Emma:)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-15 12:34:19
Re: When.
Emma, many thanks for reading commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed this.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-10-15 18:56:25
Re: When.
This is a great poem chrissy. I like the lines: "The wind of change has blown his world off course." Sounds like my life in the last 3 years.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-10-16 03:31:29
Re: When.
wow, what to say – fabulous write –

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-16 03:56:03
Re: When.
Jay, much thanks for taking the time to read, comment and rate. I'm glad you liked the piece. Life can be a bit of a bitch at times and I guess this old chap found comfort in his past, in the things that were certain.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-16 03:59:15
Re: When.
Rita, much thanks for reading , commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. I had a lot of doubts about submitting it but I'm glad I let it go.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-17 12:30:51
Re: When.
Trevor, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
I hadn't thought about updating it but hey! fifty years on, that will be for someone else to do. I'll be well done and dusted by then.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Child of the Wire (posted on: 27-09-04)
don't really know why this. It came to me some while back when I was thinking about my life, who I am, who I really am. I guess it's 'personal' and therefore those who don't like my personal poetry won't like this. What do people think?

Child of the wire

Bitter,the milk
leached from the wizened pap,
trickles
between thin, parched lips
over toothless gums,
into starving belly
there to sour.

Life
given, sustained
behind wire, razor sharp
barked orders
Go there!
Come back!
No entry!
Give up!

Given
to other hands,
faces, better fed,
stare into your fragile eyes.
No wonder,
no perfect joy,
just pity.

The child
should not pay
the parent's price for sin.
Deserving better,
different,
she gives you up
without protest.

Denied,
personal history
not knowing the circumstance,
the shame,
the pride,
the sorrow
the joy
of being what you were born.

Be strong
wire child
take your past,
your right,
history demands it.
Archived comments for Child of the Wire
ritawrites on 2004-09-27 04:22:19
Re: Child of the Wire
A very good read Chrissy – an inner turmoil.. or a cathartic one, of letting go of the past – I read something like that here –

Author's Reply:

niki on 2004-09-27 04:35:44
Re: Child of the Wire
loved the sense of desolation of one who's been surrendered, and the strength in the concluding resolve to unearth an identity.

niki x

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-09-27 05:12:47
Re: Child of the Wire
Chrissy I think you are right on track with this. You have to know who you are in order to make a *Star*! But go tentatively and with care! Excellent work.

Tai

Author's Reply:

Hazy on 2004-09-27 05:49:10
Re: Child of the Wire
I can very much relate to this one Chrissy. Glad I found it. In fact, I think you've inspired me to write something along similar lines.

Loved the poem btw.

Hazy x

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-09-27 07:38:54
Re: Child of the Wire
I found this very intense and powerful Chrissy It moved me to tears too. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-09-27 09:13:46
Re: Child of the Wire
Excellent stuff Chrissy. I guess everyone will read different things into this? Very moving.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-27 11:05:43
Re: Child of the Wire
rita, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
I'm not sure about 'letting go of the past', I think I've had a job trying to get hold of it and understand it, but like I said, I'm not really sure why this.
Glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2004-09-27 11:10:41
Re: Child of the Wire
Chrissy, this is without doubt my favourite of all your work I have read to date.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-27 11:14:06
Re: Child of the Wire
niki, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I think it does take a certain strength to understand who you are and how your history influences your life when your life is different from that history.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-27 12:36:17
Re: Child of the Wire
Tai, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. It is genuinely appreciated.
I'm not sure if I want to be a *Star* but I do want to understand about myself.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-27 12:38:53
Re: Child of the Wire
Hazy, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and that something about it inspired you to write something yourself.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-27 12:41:56
Re: Child of the Wire
Ah Val, I'm sorry it upset you. Thanks for reading, commenting and rating, it is truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-09-27 12:43:46
Re: Child of the Wire
WOW, this is such a strong write! I love the way you described the turmoils in your play of connotations...EXCELLENT work!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-27 12:44:58
Re: Child of the Wire
Sunken, much thanks. I really appreciate your reading, commenting and rating.
I think people will read in to this many different things because every one brings a different life experience of their own to it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-27 13:13:43
Re: Child of the Wire
Dargo, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm very flattered.
I was a bit unsure whether I wanted to submit this poem as it springs from very confusing and personal feelings. Even as late as last night I was going to delete it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-27 13:16:54
Re: Child of the Wire
Penprince, I'm glad you enjoyed this poem and much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I really do appreciate it.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-09-27 18:46:17
Re: Child of the Wire
Fantastic work! So glad you posted this Chrissy.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-09-27 18:51:10
Re: Child of the Wire
I cant really add anything else that has not already been said, but I just wanted to say that this is a fantastic poem.

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-28 02:26:45
Re: Child of the Wire
Kat, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating and for the Hot Story pick. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-28 02:28:19
Re: Child of the Wire
James, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm so glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-09-28 17:52:32
Re: Child of the Wire
Chrissy,

This says it all:

'Denied,
personal history
not knowing the circumstance,
the shame,
the pride,
the sorrow
the joy
of being what you were born'

A strong, evocative piece. Nicely done!

(By the way, you may want to have a look at this website; your work perfectly fits the theme required).

http://pages.ivillage.com/deepoceanfish2

Cheers,
Adele 🙂


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-28 18:39:01
Re: Child of the Wire
Adele, many thanks for reading, commenting on and rating this piece. I am so pleased that you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-09-29 06:44:31
Re: Child of the Wire
very powerful chrissy, with anger hidden in it: and why not? I like the genuine emotions expressed here, the struggling mind coming to terms with life as it was given, before the upbeat ending that says hang on now, the past is irrelevant, I am who I want to be. I like that, I like that a lot.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-30 03:50:58
Re: Child of the Wire
Skeeter, much thanks for reading and commenting on this piece. I truly appreciate all comments. Glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-09-30 03:56:54
Re: Child of the Wire
Hi chrissy, I think a reflection of the turmoil that many people go through - questioning and anger - probably good to let it out - I could feel a lot of unresolved sadness in this.

Emma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-30 12:12:13
Re: Child of the Wire
Emma, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm really glad that the poem worked.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-01 11:47:40
Re: Child of the Wire
If it had not been for the opening comment to your poem I would have had a totally different idea of who it was addressed to; I still see it as addressed to one of those pathetic little children one sees almost daily on telly behind the wire of a camp anf literally starving.
So, you didn't mean that, but it still for me conjures that powerfully. And I think it's agreat poem anyway.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-02 07:07:50
Re: Child of the Wire
Daf, thanks for reading and commenting.
I guess this is for all sorts of people; the Jewish children born in the detention camps after the war and who were given up for adoption because their mothers couldn't take them to the 'promised land', the children of the 'disappeared' who were taken by the families of corrupt officials. the south American kids who were adopted by well meaning European families, the children of mixed blood brought up by white or black families.
chrissy.
When you think about your own identity, you some times think how things would have been if other things had happened. It's complicated. Like I said right at the start, I don't know why this, it just came to me whilst wondering about myself.

Author's Reply:


Something she said (posted on: 20-09-04)
Another poem where I have changed the perspective from the original, from the personal I and you to the she and he, to distance myself just to see what happens.
Comments always welcome.

SOMETHING SHE SAID

He did not hear her when she spoke.
She seemed dumb,
mouthing words
that he did not hear.

He closed his mind, his ears,
his heart
to her words
he did not want to hear

So many times she tried to speak,
to tell him,
make him listen.
Still he did not choose to hear.

And so she had to leave.
Dumbstruck and silent
So many words
that he will never hear.

C M-H
Archived comments for Something she said
Bradene on 2004-09-20 06:31:40
Re: Something she said
Chrissy were you ever a fly on my wall? My goodness how I can identify with this brilliant poem. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-09-20 08:35:01
Re: Something she said
Sounds like there was no point, so less said the better, apart from this intriquing poem of course.

Nice work

Tai

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-09-20 09:59:35
Re: Something she said
I like this POV, excellent poem very crafty writing, Poet!

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-09-20 10:18:28
Re: Something she said
I'm sure that many will identify with this piece Chrissy. Nicely done, simple and to the point. Even a bloke would understand (-;

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-20 12:32:43
Re: Something she said
Val, much thanks for reading commenting and rating. I'm always happy when a poem finds common experience with a reader.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-20 12:34:28
Re: Something she said
Tai, many thanks for reading and commenting. Your comments are truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-20 12:36:32
Re: Something she said
Penprince, thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the work and I am truly grateful for your saying so.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-20 12:38:59
Re: Something she said
Thanks, Sunken. It means a lot to me when people read and comment on my work.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-09-20 13:15:14
Re: Something she said
Hi Chrissy, I found this so sad - a blinded relationship - each locked in their own misery.

Emma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-20 13:19:46
Re: Something she said
Emma, much thanks for reading, commenting and for rating. Truly appreciated.
Sometimes, when a person does not listen, it is far kinder to yourself and that person to walk away than to try and nag them into hearing what you have to say.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-09-20 18:42:20
Re: Something she said
Great poem - it works really well. Love the title - very clever.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-09-20 20:01:44
Re: Something she said
An interesting poem, of course its not just women who speak but are not heard.

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-21 01:38:54
Re: Something she said
Kat, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoted the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-21 01:41:30
Re: Something she said
James, thanks for reading, commenting and rating, it is much appreciated.
I agree, men have their share of selective deafness to contend with.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-09-21 06:53:35
Re: Something she said
I can relate to this, chrissy, happens to me all the time --

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-21 16:39:06
Re: Something she said
Rita many thanks for reading and commenting. Seems a lot of people have been there.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2004-09-22 09:52:38
Re: Something she said
Chrissy, nice one, well done.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-22 10:12:51
Re: Something she said
Much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Appreciated as ever.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-09-22 12:36:27
Re: Something she said
Well done I can identfy here. I don't know why God bothered putting ears on some folks,they sure don't need em...Erma

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 2004-09-22 13:23:20
Re: Something she said
Hi chrissy!

I too like the title. I also like the progression of the last line in each stanza: did not/did not want/did not choose/will never.

As is widely known, the problem between men and women is very often the fact that they don't speak the same language: the Venus code of hints, suggestion and subtle prodding is rarely received on Mars. I mean, if you want to speak in code and disguise what you really mean then you can join uka and send in a coupla poems. I did, and I've never looked back since. In fact, I've never looked sideways since, and only rarely have I even looked straight ahead.

Sorry, I seem to be rambling.

Enjoyed your poem.

steve

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-22 13:35:19
Re: Something she said
Steve, much thanks for reading and commenting. Genuinely appreciated.
I too ramble as does my husband and some how we manage to break the codes and communicate.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-22 13:37:47
Re: Something she said
Erma, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-09-24 07:11:16
Re: Something she said
Veru well written, Chrissy, it worked well in the 3rd person, Zydha

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-25 03:15:17
Re: Something she said
Zydha, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad the piece worked for others in the third person.
This experiment with shifting the POV is a direct result of the feed back I got from the 'mystery readers'.
For me, this poem doesn't have the immediacy and life of the 'personal' poem it was originally. Perhaps that's because I didn't really change it because I wanted to but because it was what other people thought would 'improve' it.
The poem was originally written as a way to get through to some one else and was from me to that person.
Still, like I say, I'm glad it worked for others.Perhaps, in time, I will grow to like again.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-01 11:43:53
Re: Something she said
Very universal experience I suppose. Most of us spend quite a bit of time speaking to others who do not hear. I like the echoing and changing last lines.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-02 07:12:00
Re: Something she said
Many thanks for reading and commenting, Daf.
I always listen.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


She Can See Him (posted on: 13-09-04)
Not all obsessed females boil rabbits to make their point. Some stalkers stalk in their minds which is much more scary.
Comments appreciated.

She Can See Him

She can see him
She can stand by his chair
or take his wife's place if she chooses
at the long table where they eat,
separated by space and more.

She can watch as he shaves,
pulling faces in the mirror
as he brushes his teeth,
and he will not know she is there.

She can watch as he sits
in the big leather chair
in the evening marking papers
tutting and shaking his head.

She can see him
From any where in his house.
From the long gallery
that she can run or slide along
playing with the dappled sunlight.

In the kitchen
where he butters
his breakfast toast
or makes his evening milky drink.

She can touch
the paintings on the walls
the carpets on the floors,
his face as he dozes in a chair.

She can watch,
if she wants
as he dutifully humps
his disinterested wife.

She can see,
all his triumphs
and his failures
and she can laugh at both.

The fault is his
he let her in,
invited her
to step over the threshold
now, whenever she likes
she can see him.

2004 C M-H
Archived comments for She Can See Him
Dargo77 on 2004-09-13 09:07:21
Re: She Can See Him
Wow! I hope JORDAN is not watching me all the time.
A great idea for a poem and so very well executed.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-13 09:45:14
Re: She Can See Him
Thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Much appreciated.
Are you trying to pretend that you had JORDAN in your house at some time? I believe you, thousands wouldn't.
chrissy 🙂

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-09-13 10:04:25
Re: She Can See Him
I loved this Chrissy It reminded me of fanasties I used to have about Robert Stack in my Youth!! Wow that really does date me!! Great poem. love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-13 10:16:43
Re: She Can See Him
Many thanks for reading, commenting and rating, truly appreciated.
But I ask myself, did Mr.Stack ever invite you into his house and when, vampire-like you were invited across the threshold, were you fantasies then fueled by reality? If he did you're a lucky bugger. I think he's smashing.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-09-13 10:42:34
Re: She Can See Him
ENJOYED the read, excellent poem Chrissy and can so well be true!

~D

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-13 12:14:12
Re: She Can See Him
Much thanks for reading and commenting, genuinely appreciated.
Oh yes, it can be true alright. There are a lot of weirdos out there and when I was a lot younger and sillier, I was one of them.
Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-09-13 12:21:50
Re: She Can See Him
Phew Chrissy - you can be one scary person - great poem - boiling rabbits is tame compared to this!

Emma

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-09-13 12:22:15
Re: She Can See Him
No! *sob* He didn't but My god I loved that man! he passed away last year by the way. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-13 13:05:37
Re: She Can See Him
Oh, I'm not really that scary, not any more 😉 The idea for this poem came to me long after the events to which it 'vaguely' refers.
Much thanks for reading, commenting and rating, truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-09-13 21:02:55
Re: She Can See Him
A great read indeed! Original perspective and the final stanza is my favourite - brill.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-14 01:53:14
Re: She Can See Him
Kat, thank you for reading commenting and rating. Glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-09-14 03:38:36
Re: She Can See Him
a marvelous read -- flowed as swiftly as a knife striking --

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-14 06:23:03
Re: She Can See Him
Rita, many thanks for reading and commenting. Your comments are genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-09-14 06:52:07
Re: She Can See Him
Chrissy what a vivid imagination you have! Yes I think with practice, we can go anywhere!! Perhaps, we shall meet up in a dream some day. who knows????

Great poem

Tai

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-14 07:21:22
Re: She Can See Him
Tai, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating, your comments are appreciated.
Would you really want to meet someone like this, even in a dream? 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-14 07:21:22
Re: She Can See Him
Tai, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating, your comments are appreciated.
Would you really want to meet someone like this, even in a dream? 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-14 07:23:07
Re: She Can See Him
So good I said it twice.
The Devil makes work for idle thumbs.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

discopants on 2004-09-14 07:56:08
Re: She Can See Him
Stop messing with my head- just boil the bloody rabbit. Still, I'm pretty certain that there wouldn't be any woman mad enough to be obsessed by me.

Great read, by the way.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-14 14:01:48
Re: She Can See Him
Just calm down. I don't do this sort of thing any more .... well, not much. And you do have to let me for this to work. Of course I could just use my imagination. 🙂
Thanks for the read and the comment.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-09-16 07:55:51
Re: She Can See Him
Chrissy,

In my opinion, this is one of your best! I especially loved the build-up; the escalation of madness, pervading each facet of his privacy.

'She can see him
She can stand by his chair
or take his wife's place if she chooses
at the long table where they eat,
separated by space and more.'

This is such a crystal opening; simply gripping. A fav read and a nomination, indeed!

Cheers,
Adele 🙂


Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-09-16 08:10:09
Re: She Can See Him
this really is a great read Chrissy... 🙂
beks

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-16 11:19:57
Re: She Can See Him
Adele, much thanks for you enthusiatic appreciation of this piece. It was very complicated to write and not all true, promise. 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-16 11:21:22
Re: She Can See Him
beks, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-09-17 10:47:24
Re: She Can See Him
Wow, scary stuff. I've sacked the cleaner after reading this - well I let her in! (Only joking, I wish I had a cleaner)

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-17 11:26:12
Re: She Can See Him
James, much thanks for reading and commenting. Wish I had a cleaner too.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-09-19 10:54:11
Re: She Can See Him
Spooky! I think I'd be more frightened of your imagination than your presence should I ever fall foul of you.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-19 11:03:06
Re: She Can See Him
well, if you're careful, that won't happen, will it. Nah, don't fret I only used to do this to blokey types.
Much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


The Kiss (posted on: 03-09-04)
No description just a little poem.
Comments please.
(I have edited this from it's original form.)

THE KISS

Lips touch, brief
to the point,
making the slightest contact
sharing one single breath.

Their eyes remain open
both wanting
the other's reaction
sharing confirmation.

They smile.
She shyly, unused
to such open
affection

He, wickedly,
knowing he is
wrong in others' eyes
but not caring.

Chrissy M-H

Archived comments for The Kiss
silentmemories on 2004-09-03 01:59:31
Re: The Kiss
Now that's a very interesting poem Chrissy. Well done! Nic.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 03:14:44
Re: The Kiss
Nic, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
I rewrote this poem a while ago, the original was more personal, more me focused. Don't know why I did it. I suppose I wanted to see how it felt with the 'me' removed and, to me, it doesn't feel so good. It sort of lacks any reason for being. It's cold. Just words. Maybe I'll grow to like it, in time.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2004-09-03 03:35:36
Re: The Kiss
Chrissy, a very good poem, well written.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 03:47:35
Re: The Kiss
Dargo 77, much thanks for reading and commenting, genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-09-03 04:10:57
Re: The Kiss
Great poem Chrissy lovely touch. Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 04:46:33
Re: The Kiss
Val, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I am genuinely grateful.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-09-03 05:11:49
Re: The Kiss
this took my breath away Chrissy.
sparse, clean, strong and to the point, exactly as it should be.
beks 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 05:47:56
Re: The Kiss
beks, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm really glad it worked.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-09-03 08:10:19
Re: The Kiss
Well written and expressed, Chrissy!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 08:18:44
Re: The Kiss
Many thanks for reading and commenting, much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-09-03 11:00:41
Re: The Kiss
Hi chrissy, an objective and slightly cynical view in some ways - a good poem, well written. Emma

Author's Reply:

Hazy on 2004-09-03 11:07:25
Re: The Kiss
Sounds like a teacher and pupil to me! Or maybe a married woman seducing a plumber... :p

Or maybe it's just me... (not that I go around secucing plumbers... but u know what I mean!)

Did enjoy this one 🙂

Hazy x

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-09-03 13:21:48
Re: The Kiss
Perfect little poem I say well done Chrissy...Erma

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2004-09-03 13:24:58
Re: The Kiss
Love those first few lines, very touching.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 16:11:27
Re: The Kiss
Emma, much thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 16:18:13
Re: The Kiss
About this obsession you have with plumbers, Hazy 😉 Seriously, thanks very much for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 16:20:42
Re: The Kiss
Erma, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Truly appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-03 16:24:29
Re: The Kiss
Claire, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Glad you enjoyed.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-09-03 23:20:55
Re: The Kiss
Hi Chrissy

This is very beautiful and so expressive.

Regards
Kat

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-04 02:26:42
Re: The Kiss
Kat, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad the poem worked.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

joia on 2004-09-04 11:23:27
Re: The Kiss
I agree with your own assessment Chrissy, it feels cold, but it is still interesting, both are almost standing back to see what the other is thinking. All they can hear is their own motives, as lightly, so light a kiss is hardly one breath in my oppinion..this poem should lean more to the inner thoughts and less on the deep breath as one. I like this, though, his view is interesting, wrong in who's eyes?
I rate this a 9. joia

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-04 13:10:53
Re: The Kiss
Joia, much thanks for reading and commenting. Your opinions are interesting as I didn't know if it would appear cold to other people or not. Because I altered it, made it not personal, removed my self if you like it felt like any one could have written it. It quite suddenly didn't 'belong' to me any more. An interesting experiment and one which I might try again.
Much thanks, chrissy

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2004-09-10 13:13:07
Re: The Kiss
Really enjoyed this one. Fine work!

Ward

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-10 17:55:41
Re: The Kiss
Obi Wan says that we shouldn't give in to the dark side. Did you like the poem? Loath it? That's what this is supposed to be about, yes?
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-10 17:56:56
Re: The Kiss
Much thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-09-17 10:43:53
Re: The Kiss
An interesting and cynical poem.

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-17 12:37:31
Re: The Kiss
James, much thanks for reading commenting and rating. Interesting you should find the poem cynical, in it's original, first person form it seemed rather naive.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-09-18 07:50:33
Re: The Kiss
funny how perspectives change when we kiss with our eyes open -- a good read 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-18 11:23:39
Re: The Kiss
Rita, much thanks for reading and commenting. Your comments are always appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET (posted on: 22-08-04)
This poem was written quite recently. The place, Number 1 Britannia Street was a 'spike' or hostel for homeless men. The 'line' referred to is not some thing people 'snort', nowhere ever could you get that for sixpence, but a clothes line that guys could pay sixpence to sleep on if the beds were all taken. A dog end is the unsmoked end of a cigarette, a butt.The man painting the fountain in Town Hall Square was my dad so if mention of him seems superfluous he's there because he's the one who told me about this particular old vagrant.
Comments genuinely welcomed.

NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET Today he found sixpence. Not shiny bright, Queen's headed sixpence. The sixpence he stooped to pick up was old and battered, tarnished and thin but sixpence still, enough to buy a line at Number 1 Britannia Street. Yesterday, because it was sunny he shuffled down Belvoir Street, sat in Town Hall Square, watched the man paint the fountains, gold and black, found a dog end to smoke, then made his way back to the alley behind Woolworths. Today is wet rain soaks through his layers of grease rich clothes freezing his skin, making him itch as angry vermin bite. But today he found sixpence, enough to buy a line at Number 1 Britannia Street. In the morning he lies cold and stiff in the alley behind Woolworths, stinking of piss, his own, someone else's, his rigid hand clasped around the neck of a brown bottle But today he might find six pence so it's worth moving, worth the effort of breathing and being. Today might be the day he finds another sixpence enough to buy a line at Number 1 Britannia Street.
Archived comments for NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Bradene on 2004-08-22 13:43:44
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Chrissy I love this, I can relate to it very well knowing all the land marks but one, that one being Britania street, The poem is vivid and beautifully written as usual, one typo spotted I think.. should that be stinking? Love Val x

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2004-08-22 14:48:47
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
This is evocative and atmospheric. I see many of these poor people in Brighton.They are trying to "sweep them off the streets" like so much rubbish forgetting they are human and not there by choice.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-22 16:34:53
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Val, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating and for spotting the typo. Smacked hand me. I've righted it now.
Glad you enjoyed it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-22 16:39:00
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Mike, thanks for reading and commenting. It is very sad that people are so neglected. this old chap was called Patrick if my memory serves me and he was generally found hanging around Woolworths.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-08-23 09:33:28
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
yes, we have many like him too here of course – poverty is a universal scourge – enjoyed the read –

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-08-23 10:58:24
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
I like this chrissy, it is evocative, and tells a human story; and alerts us to a problem the politicians keep telling us is solved. Well its not. A society can be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable. I remember reading years ago 'The Abyss' by Jack London, terrific book, highly recommmed it. It tells of his experiences in London at the turn of the century. If I remember correctly there's a whole chapter about 'The Spike'. Oh, shouldn't 'some one' be one word, someone?'. Liked this very much.

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-08-23 20:34:11
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
This is a powerful poem. Makes you think how lucky we are when we have a home to live in.

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-24 02:35:22
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
James, thanks for reading, rating and commenting. People end up as rough sleepers or down and outs for a whole lot of reasons, and yes, it does make you feel very lucky indeed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-24 02:39:48
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
rita, much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-24 02:50:48
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Skeeter, much thanks for reading and commenting. I think 'Spike' became a generic term for all hostels for the homeless along with doss house or flop house. They were never pleasant places probably are not still. This particular chap was around in Leicester certainly to my knowledge from the late fifties through to the early seventies. His big problem was drink as it was with many of the homeless in that city at that time. I don't know what happened to him but the place in Britannia Street was closed years and years ago. When we started to get rid of workhouses and asylums and went all care in the community.
Much thanks picking out the error. The devil makes work for idle thumbs.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-08-24 04:43:28
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Chrissy,
awful cheek but I would think of ending
it at 'so it's worth moving' -
and take out the second 'today he
found sixpence...etc' as it sounds
rather like a chorus, and detracts from
the overall strength of the message;
if it were a song, I would say OF COURSE
leave it in! but if it is for poets,
then I would say take out the
repetition because it is too good
a poem to need it.
(grease-rich - might be hyphenated?)

Yours cheekily - and *love this poem*
and so wanted to give my view, poem-wise,
for what it (isn't!) worth -
Michel




Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-08-24 19:58:52
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Hi Chrissy. There was a very short time in my life, long ago, when I was glad to be able to buy a line at my local equivalent of 1, Brittannia Street. A time when I was glad of a couple of dog-ends for my supper. Fortunately, I found enough sixpences to haul myself away from the line at 1, brittannia Street.

Good poem, Chrissy - unique insight. You've actually got my mind ticking over concerning a poem on similar (but different) lines. Well crafted poetry! bye now.

Author's Reply:

dancing-queen on 2004-08-25 05:36:09
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Chrissy - brilliant poem. Given us lots to think about and realise we have loads to be grateful for and shouldn't complain half as much as we do. There's only one thing I need explained as I can't picture it in my head and have never heard of it before - the sleeping on a clothes line bit. How exactly do they do it? Are there different types of clothes lines that I've never heard of, perhaps? The only ones I know are a single, plastic coated piece of rope type thing that you find in the garden stretched between two poles, and I can't fathom out how anyone can sleep on one of those. Help! I need educating, lol - DQx

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-08-25 07:31:49
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
BRILLIANT topical poem...Thanks for creating this piece of art, hope some eyes open...

Debashish

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-26 02:28:18
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Michel, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'll have another read, see what I think.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-27 03:27:00
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Mike, thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
Life has it's moments and they usually happen to us when we least expect them or deserve them.
There are any number of reasons why people find themselves in the same position as the old boy in the poem and sometimes you can get out of the situation and turn things around. Sometimes that is just not possible.
Glad you turned things around and that this poem got you thinking about your own poem. I shall be interested to read if you post here.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-27 03:39:33
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
D.Q, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating, much appreciated.
As far as I know, and I have no personal experience of this as I was only ever homeless once in my life when I was seven and things in the system had moved on a little bit by then, but the 'line' appears to have been a strong rope secured at two points and tightly stretched across a room, usually the kitchen as this this was the warmest place and chaps would literally hang over it with the rope under their arms. The object was to avoid sleeping on the floor where the vermin were at their most active. The term 'buying a line', in my neck of the woods became the the slang for getting a cheap or free night's accommodation.
Not sure when the practice was discontinued, probably when the hostels or 'spikes' dragged themselves in to the twentieth century.
As for being able to sleep on a line well, I guess if you are tired enough or drunk enough you will sleep any where.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-27 03:44:29
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Debashish, much thanks for reading and commenting.
I'm afraid the subject of this poem is, and probably always will be, topical. The hostels may change, society may put homeless families into bed and breakfast accommodation but there will always be the problem.
chrissy.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-09-19 11:11:58
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Great poem. I've been reading the other comments and was glad to see I was not alone in wondering how on earth one could sleep on a washing line. I think one would have to be very drunk and wiuld probably wake up with Friday night paralysis -- result of sleeping in chair with arm over the back after pay day binge. It was a real medical phenomenon and for all I know still is.
Please don't remove the last lines. I think it needs them because of the implicit irony that we know he will spend the next sixpence too on a brown bottle. The name Patrick in this context rings a bell.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-19 11:23:28
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
daf, much thanks for reading and commenting. Like I said the line 'washing' or other is only what I've heard about. I did once fall asleep leaning on the bottom half of a stable door when keeping watch on a sick horse but I woke quite quickly.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-01-11 11:06:06
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Hi chrissy I was in Oz when you posted this and have never caught up with all the poems I missed. Reading Shackleton's earlier led me here and I'm glad it did. Very sad and well written, we have much to be grateful for...L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-11 12:12:14
Re: NUMBER 1 BRITANNIA STREET
Leila, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm pleased that you found this poem well written and yes, we do have much to be grateful for.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Grave Thoughts (posted on: 20-08-04)
I had to take Wyndham (my present husband) to the doctor a while back. He has/had a bad leg. Not liking places of sickness and mom and baby clinics, I took myself off to a nearby church yard to occupy the time it took 'them' to deal with the offending limb. These are the thoughts that came to me. Comments, please.

Grave thoughts

Unhappy lie the bones
of old Robert Jones
as do those of Nathanial Wallace
But happy, by there,
lies young Malcolm Adair
in whom both young widows took solace.

In life she chose
to live alone,
did Ada Mary Harris.
'Returned unopened'
should mark her stone,
sour spinster of this parish.

Here lies Morgan
buried with his organ
that he played in church every day
though he's deep under ground
he'll probably be found
happily playing away.

My name is Jack Jones
I lived my life
and lived it bloody well
I drank too much,
deceived my wife.
I've likely gone to hell.

Lord Emmanuel Grey,
now he is dead,
lies close beside his wife.
Much closer in death,
so it is said
than ever they lay in life.

Beside the church,
in pride of place,
lies diocesan Bishop Hay
A brewery cart
dismissed his grace,
too pissed to get out of the way.

Pauper Tom's grave
is somewhere near,
A simple, unmarked stone.
In life and death
it seems, my dear
the poor are left alone.
Archived comments for Grave Thoughts
Penprince on 2004-08-20 14:12:51
Re: Grave Thoughts
Liked the flow, but just too many unknown characters threw me off...I tried to get into the poem...what I felt that there is deep down somewhere poet is very lonely...

Debashish

Author's Reply:

expat on 2004-08-20 14:21:53
Re: Grave Thoughts
I'm an absolute Phylis Stein when it comes to non-rhyming poetry. This sort of verse is right up my street, though. Very funny, especially the one about Mary Harris.
:^) Steve.


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-20 17:33:38
Re: Grave Thoughts
Not so much a poem as a series of epitaphs, totally imaginary and meant to be humorous. Sorry the humour got lost.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-20 17:34:59
Re: Grave Thoughts
Glad you enjoyed it.
Much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-08-22 03:56:34
Re: Grave Thoughts
oh I related to all the characters very well – straight out of life, no matter which part of the world you live in – and a very humorous telling too – the title is especially brill. -- Good stuff!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-22 04:09:10
Re: Grave Thoughts
Glad you enjoyed it, Rita and thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-08-23 19:56:24
Re: Grave Thoughts
A nice poem, it made me wonder are these characters real people or did you just make them up?

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-24 03:34:41
Re: Grave Thoughts
James, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating.
All the characters are fictitious. I was in the church yard and most of the stones had 'normal' epitaphs and I started to get these little verses in my head and the 'what if' thing kicked in. What if people actually put the whole truth on the stones. I don't know what I would like on my stone. Some thing funny and out of the ordinary.
The best epitaph I ever heard of, and I don't know if it's real or made up, goes some thing like; 'Here lie I, Martin Elginbrod, ha'e mercy o' ma soul, Lord God, as I would ye, were I Lord God and ye were Martin Elginbrod.' I think that's sweet.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-08-27 21:58:01
Re: Grave Thoughts
I always thought that if someone died from smoking weed they could have this on there gravestone, it makes me laugh:

"Keep Off The Grass"

Personally I hope it says this on my headstone:

"Here lies James Hazlehurst, died aged 102 making love to his 8th wife. He snorted too much cocaine and lost control of his aeroplane. Rest In Pieces."


Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-09-19 11:22:17
Re: Grave Thoughts
Really made me laugh. I thought they were real people whose gravestones you had rewritten. They certainly could be real.
Love the title, whivh, of course, made the humour a surprise and thus funnier.
James' comment and epitaph made me laugh even more.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-19 11:28:06
Re: Grave Thoughts
daf, much thanks for reading and commenting. Truly appreciated.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-09-19 12:46:17
Re: Grave Thoughts
Chrissy I just came across this, I thought it hilarious and almost choKed with laughter, although the last stanza was very sad and very true. Love this love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-19 13:03:22
Re: Grave Thoughts
Val, much thanks for reading and commenting. I have a habit of lulling into a mood and then I sock 'em with something other. Glad you enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-19 13:04:46
Re: Grave Thoughts
Gosh, should have said ta for the rate too. sorry.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


DOPPELGNGER (posted on: 16-08-04)
A short one. Comments please.

DOPPELGNGER There is another side to me a side my loved ones do not see, a darker side, a hidden mind an eye that sees a world, defined not by just the deeds it shows but by its dangerous undertows.
Archived comments for DOPPELGNGER
Bradene on 2004-08-16 11:01:47
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Like it Chrissy, I think we all have this other inside of us, the civilized bit keeps it under control! (-; Well for most of us that is.. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-16 12:08:12
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Val, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I thought that this one was too short to qualify as a poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

dancing-queen on 2004-08-16 12:21:41
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Chrissy, I thought that was short and sweet (well, maybe not exactly sweet because of the theme, but you know what I mean...) Wasn't sure about that last word 'undertows' - maybe 'undertones' might sound better. Just a thought.

It's surprising how much can be said with so few words...DQ

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-08-16 12:22:59
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
All of us have a darker side...well said...

Debs

PS check L6 it's-->its

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-16 12:42:32
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Debs, much thanks for the comments and for pointing out the slip. Will correct almost immediately.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-16 12:46:46
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
DQ, was thinking of seas or rivers with undercurrents that drag a person down and it rhymes with the previous line. Am I lazy or what? Much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-08-16 12:59:32
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Chrissy Darlin' you must have heard of Haiku.. and on the BBC site I once saw a poem wth one word... but do you know for the life of me I cannot think which word it was (-; Love Val x

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-08-17 13:24:01
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
I know what an undertow is and I love this poem. Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-18 02:46:26
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Erma, much thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you liked the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-08-18 16:08:50
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
We all have hidden facets Chrissy. Enjoyed this.

love ailsa

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-18 16:33:39
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Not sure I want to see yours, wolfie unless of course you mean you poetry which I enjoy.
Much thanks for the read and the comment.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-18 16:36:23
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
glad you enjoyed this Ailsa. Like I said I was a bit concerned about the length or lack of it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-08-18 19:13:25
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Hi Chrissy

This is good - says all it needs to say which is plenty. 🙂

Kat

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-19 03:27:51
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Kat, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-08-19 17:27:22
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Short and sweet. Nice one.

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-20 03:59:34
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
James, much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

bouncing_fluff on 2004-09-11 16:46:29
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Hi Chrissy,

I absolutely love this because it says so much in so few words - and I can actually relate to it too, so that's a total bonus! =D

Nice one!

Lv Fluff. (Emma)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-11 18:07:22
Re: DOPPELGÄNGER
Emma, thank you for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. I was a little concerned that I had used too few words.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Eurynome Rising (posted on: 23-07-04)
No description

Eurynome Rising

Rising, from Chaotic sleep
naked Eurynome
set forth waves
beneath her feet
so she might dance
alone.

Southward, dancing alone,
she tired of loneliness,
solitude.
So grasped the North wind
she created in her wake,
to make companion.

Ophion,
lustful serpent of the deep
coiled around her,
coupled
created.

Assuming dove form
the wayward goddess
laid one silver egg,
which Ophion
coiled seven
times around
at her command.

And from the egg
came all things,
tumbling,
racing into being.
All that was
and is
and shall be.

Better, Eurynome
had danced alone.
Archived comments for Eurynome Rising
dancing-queen on 2004-07-23 07:41:27
Re: Eurynome Rising
Chrissy, this is a wonderful piece with a very apt ending - so true! Are these characters from ancient mythology or did you make them up? Can't say I've heard of them before - but then I only know a few. Beautifully crafted - DQx

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-07-23 14:12:50
Re: Eurynome Rising
Hi Chrissy I think this is wonderful and so beautifully crafted. I am not too clued up on mythology so I have never heard of these characters, but I think the poem is tops. love Val xx

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-23 15:08:52
Re: Eurynome Rising
DQ, no, didn't make them up. Eurynome is the Goddess of All Things according to the Pelasgian creation myth. She created Ophion by catching the North Wind and rubbing it in her hands. Thus creating all things.
Much thanks for reading and commenting.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-23 15:13:10
Re: Eurynome Rising
Val, see above for the origins of Eurynome and Ophion. Incidentally, when Ophion got a bit above himself, claiming that he created every thing, the Goddess kicked out all his teeth and cast him out to live in the caves below the earth.
Much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Much appreciated as always.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-24 15:36:31
Re: Eurynome Rising
I would echo DQ and Bradene - I like the poem but I'm ignorant of the characters. From where do the Pelasgian myths come? I've never heard of them either! Thanks for educating me 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-07-25 03:27:52
Re: Eurynome Rising
You've done a great job here Chrissy! Bravo!
Silent

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-25 09:19:30
Re: Eurynome Rising
Elfstone, I have been reading Robert Graves "The Greek Myths" and this is the first creation myth he mentions. It took my fancy.
Apparently Eurynome was later demoted to being just one of the Nereids.
Pelasgus was the first 'man' drom whom the Pelasgians came.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-25 09:21:23
Re: Eurynome Rising
Thanks for reading and commenting and for the hot story pick. Genuinely appreciated.

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-07-25 11:33:01
Re: Eurynome Rising
Chrissy, a very enjoyable poem.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-26 04:45:19
Re: Eurynome Rising
Much thanks for reading, commenting and rating. Genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-08-06 07:10:52
Re: Eurynome Rising
though i felt the ending was a bit too glib -- otherwise a fantastic read -- WOW -- I'd love to do something similar with my Indian mythological characters -- we have a rich source of those ==

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-07 10:38:06
Re: Eurynome Rising
Don't really think the ending is glib in the way I understand the word, insincere or deceptive. I really meant it. I do think that some elements of our modern culture which, in the context of this poem, stem from the creation, are unfortunate and would, in my opinion, have been better left uncreated.
Thanks for taking the time to read and do go for the Indian myths. You're right when you say there are some great stories there.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-08-11 09:03:46
Re: Eurynome Rising


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-08-11 10:52:05
Re: Eurynome Rising
You say it best, when you say nothing at all.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-01 11:51:41
Re: Eurynome Rising
Fascinating. I love your mythological offerings. This is much better than Pandora and her box - amazing imagery. And the last line is a gem -- totally unexpected.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-10-02 07:15:27
Re: Eurynome Rising
Daf, much thanks for reading, commenting and rating, truly appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. It was going to be one of a series but other things have gotten in the way.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


When I am gone (posted on: 12-07-04)
I used to like to write poems about death, usually my own. I thought that's what poets did, that and wrap every thing up in mind buggeringly confusing metaphors. I don't do either so much any more. I find, as I've got older, I prefer Canaletto to Picasso. That is a comment on my taste, not a comparison. I would genuinely appreciate any comments on this, please.

WHEN I AM GONE

When I am gone
and all that remains of what I was
is a book of poetry,
an old dress in an attic wardrobe,
out of fashion, both,
remember that I loved life.

When I am gone
when Kaddish has been said
and the dark earth covers
the body I borrowed for my time
on this green Earth
remember that I tried.

When I am gone
and only occasionally you think of me,
in some unguarded moment,
in a half heard song
that reminds you,
remember I lived.

When I am gone
consigned to nothingness,
called home
or moved on to some thing new,
what ever you believe
remember me with kindness.
Archived comments for When I am gone
Bradene on 2004-07-12 04:44:55
Re: When I am gone
Chrissy I think this is perfect.. For what my opinion is worth.. and the piece in your intro' was wonderful too, I wish I had had the nerve and honesty to write something like that. It's all I ever want to do, read and understand, write so that I am understood. I love this. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-12 05:03:22
Re: When I am gone
Bless you for reading, commenting and rating.
As far as nerve and honesty with the intro, put it down to my being a bit fed up with people who tell me what I should like, be that words, paintings or music and the ones who say that this, the present fashion or in thing is the 'right' way to write, paint or make music.
I, we all, have the right to like what we want and no one, no one at all has the right to question our tastes or talents just because they might be different.
Write to be understood, if that is what 'you' feel good doing and don't let any one stop you.
Much thanks
chrissy

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-07-12 05:41:35
Re: When I am gone
Chrissy, I will remember you.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-12 06:57:42
Re: When I am gone
Much thanks for reading, rating and remembering.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-07-12 08:40:40
Re: When I am gone
I prefere to read stuff I can actually understand too Chrissy. If that makes me seem a bit shallow, then so be it. All you can do is write in a style that you yourself would like to read. I understand and like this piece. It's nice not to have to sit here deciphering cryptic lines.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-12 10:17:04
Re: When I am gone
Sunken, many thanks for reading, rating and commenting. I don't think that appreciating 'easy reading' work makes you appear shallow or in any way 'lacking' and I don't think that writing in that way means that either. I have been through many different ways of writing, some of which confuses even me when I read it now.
The way I write, be it 'good' or 'bad', is the way 'I' feel comfortable writing. If a subject demands a less straight forward style, then I will adopt that style but I really, honestly write the way I like to write and I read in the same way. I don't say that writing in a different way is bad, or wrong, if that is the way that the writer wants to express themselves. It is entirely a matter of personal choice.
chrissy


Author's Reply:

riggy on 2004-07-12 14:51:00
Re: When I am gone
I prefer to understand poems too, Chrissy and this one I certainly did. I have written a poem in a similar vein, but I do think yours works much better than mine. 🙂 Thank you for the lovely poem.
meg


Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-07-12 15:31:57
Re: When I am gone
I tell everyone I don't know anything about poetry but I do know what I like. I like this poem and nobody should be able to tell anybody what they should or shouldn't enjoy.. I will remember you....Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-13 00:34:26
Re: When I am gone
Much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-13 00:37:47
Re: When I am gone
Ah, thanks Erma, for reading, commenting,rating and remembering . Much appreciated.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-07-13 02:33:10
Re: When I am gone
Hi Chrissy, I thought this was a wonderful poem - it reminded me of Christina Rosetti's poem - I too like a poem that I understand and can relate to, and this was one of those pieces. I especially liked your first stanza.

Emma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-13 02:57:37
Re: When I am gone
Emma, much thanks for reading and commenting and for the endorsement of my belief that poetry which can be understood by the majority is not necessarily 'bad' poetry. I honestly don't like excluding people from my work.
I am mortified to admit that I am totally unfamiliar with Christina Rossetti's poetry. I have a memory that is akin to the Jumblies' 'boat' and can only say that it is possible that I have read her, I had that kind of education, but I honestly can't remember.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-13 14:37:10
Re: When I am gone
What a wonderful epitaph. Beautifuly put Chrissy. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-13 14:42:47
Re: When I am gone
Thanks Elfstone for the read and the comment. Genuinely appreciated.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-07-14 16:37:48
Re: When I am gone
Good one Chrissy - got me thinking about life, death, the universe, poetry and all that. Enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-07-14 18:01:29
Re: When I am gone
I find this hard hitting, in its way, and direct. It is said with such genuineness, that I immediately warm to it. Such thoughts are not always easy to put into words, but you have managed it. I enjoyed it, it made me think, and it made me feel.

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-07-14 19:40:24
Re: When I am gone
There are no right or wrong ways to write poetry, it just has to touch someone through its meaning. I think this poem is touching.

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-15 01:50:37
Re: When I am gone
Skeeter, much thanks for reading and commenting. I'm not sure I understand how it is hard hitting, it felt quite gentle to write, a poem written more in hope than any thing else.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-15 01:53:10
Re: When I am gone
Shackleton, thanks for reading, commenting and rating. I'm glad it got you thinking and I'm genuinely pleased you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-15 01:59:13
Re: When I am gone
James, many thanks for reading, commenting and rating this piece. I'm glad you found it touching.
I agree, there are no right or wrong ways to write poetry or, indeed to perform any act of creativity.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-07-15 04:20:06
Re: When I am gone
All week this poem has drawn me back for another read, it's so beautiful chrissy I'm just going to have to put it and you among my favourites Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-07-15 13:29:40
Re: When I am gone
Chrissy a lovely poem that is well written and reminiscent of the pensive poetry of Sara Teasdale whose work has been descrbed as ' a lyric gift as simple and natural as breathing'....L

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-15 15:38:24
Re: When I am gone
Leila, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-07-18 11:59:45
Re: When I am gone
chrissy: its just that I find honesty and directness hard hitting, I suppose thats all I meant. I liked it a lot.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2004-07-22 17:24:58
Re: When I am gone
I love this! It is one of the most morbid poems I have read here, I do mean this as in a good way!



Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-07-22 17:59:17
Re: When I am gone
This is really poignant & it's too late for deep thinking - but you've written about the fears we have about being forgotten in death beautifully. When I pop my clogs, I hope you'll let someone read it at the funeral as they burn the cardboard box.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-23 14:51:49
Re: When I am gone
Claire, much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-23 14:56:18
Re: When I am gone
I'll make a note of that for my executors.
Much thanks for reading and commenting
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Captain Morgan Stands His Ground (posted on: 02-07-04)
There was a time in my life when I consumed more alcohol than was good for me. When I grew up I at first looked back at this time and was very embarrassed by it . Now, knowing it's some thing every one has done, I look back at my favourite tipple as a bit of an old friend.

Captain Morgan Stands His Ground

During those oblique years,
when too much wine,
too many sea songs
were downed and outed,
Captain Morgan stood his ground
to the last drop.

His song, always loudest,
always longest.
He walked the way home,
to the door and beyond,
to crash in broken glass
on wooden floors.

The wine and roses days once done,
Captain Morgan did not leave
on pious, treacherous, tip toes,
denied proximity to
his faithless friend.
Captain Morgan stood his ground
roared and gailed
then drowned.
Archived comments for Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
ruadh on 2004-07-02 15:21:34
Re: Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
Morgan Spice per chance? love it myself ... but only at Christmas 😉

love ailsa

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-02 15:53:32
Re: Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
Always rum and black for me, Ailsa and always black label, a sniff of which would probably knock me out now.
Much thanks for the read.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-07-04 16:05:43
Re: Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
I drank enough rum and coke to sail a ship in. Now days all I do is remember how stupid those days were...good poem Erma

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-07-04 16:23:55
Re: Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
Great poem, I raise my glass to it!

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-05 11:59:11
Re: Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
Much thanks for the read and the comment. We do daft things when we're young.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-05 12:00:32
Re: Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
Thanks for the read and the comment, James. Much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-01-21 14:03:51
Re: Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
Wonderful! How did I mis this one? I like all of it, especiall the last lines.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-01-21 15:39:55
Re: Captain Morgan Stands His Ground
Daphne, ooh ever so pleased you found the cap'in. This is one of my personal favourites. It's a jolly old thing. Many thanks for the generous rating.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Rehearsal (posted on: 02-07-04)
This so doesn't feel like me. It feels uncomfortably like I'm trying to write in a different way because that's what I think is required. Read it, see what you think.
Sorry for offensive language. It seemed like the right thing to say.

Rehearsal

Saying all the lines,
the dumb answers
to smart questions never asked
in situations never met.

Remembering what to say if...
If never happens,
others' agendas
take precedence.

Making the moves
me here, you there
not well directed
or performed.

Fuck you!
You did not know the play
had not learned your part.
What use my knowing mine.
Archived comments for Rehearsal
Jasper on 2004-07-02 06:08:59
Re: Rehearsal
Well well...Excuse me for my lack of respect for ceremony and convention, but this is fucken good!
Love it when you're pissed off, chrissy. But go there more without lame excuses for the inappropriateness of lanuage...stuff em.
Writers rule No 1:
If you and they can understand or spell it, that's the definition of appropriate. If not, make it up and fuckem anyway!
Neither of my word usages here are in nor defined by law nor dictionary, so not definable as inappropriate in any manner of language! And although they can punish me for what I do and say, they can't for I think! And this is just my thoughts of your work!
Respect Jasper

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-07-02 06:28:20
Re: Rehearsal
However uncomfortable it was to write, you said it well Chrissy

love ailsa

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-02 07:31:57
Re: Rehearsal
Jasper, not sure if I was actually pissed off when I wrote this or just thinking about when I was. It wasn't the language that bothered me so much as the 'style'.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-02 07:37:51
Re: Rehearsal
ailsa, this was a bit of an experiment, a departure and I'm still not happy about it. I wanted to see how I would feel writing some thing that I hadn't written out in 'long hand' as it were, where I had just suggested meaning and not gone in to (too much?) detail and I don't think I like it. It doesn't feel like me, it feels false and forced and let's pretend.
I think I have been writing too long the way I normally write to start changing my spots.
In the words of the song "I am what I am," and I've taken a terrible long time to become it.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-07-02 07:38:40
Re: Rehearsal
Chrissy, love this poem. Well done!
Dargo

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-07-02 07:39:08
Re: Rehearsal
Chrissy, love this poem. Well done!
Dargo

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-07-02 07:39:09
Re: Rehearsal
Chrissy, love this poem. Well done!
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-07-02 07:41:09
Re: Rehearsal
Appreciate your own comments on this Chrissy but have to say it's good...l

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-07-02 07:42:38
Re: Rehearsal
By the way Mr D loved it!! ha ha...computers!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-02 07:43:28
Re: Rehearsal
I think that's clear enough my friend:-) Thanks for reading and commenting
love chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-02 07:47:23
Re: Rehearsal
Leila, much thanks for reading and commenting, genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-07-02 08:15:15
Re: Rehearsal
Being who you are is no bad thing my friend. I understand what you mean though, there is always a depth to your poems, which I love, because it makes them all the more poignant. Expoloring other avenues can be beneficial but if you find yourself crawling into your old niche then so be it. I, for one, will not complain *smile*

love ailsa

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-07-02 08:41:36
Re: Rehearsal
I liked this Chrissy, There is nothing wrong with trying out new styles, it's how we grow. I guess. In essence you were voicing the same complaints my Grandson has voiced on many an occasion when rehearsing. love Val x

Author's Reply:

Frenchy on 2004-07-02 08:59:11
Re: Rehearsal
A well merited round of applause for this one Chrissy 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-02 10:27:03
Re: Rehearsal
Trevor, thanks for the reading, commenting and rating. I hadn't thought of it as bitter and cynical. I'm not saying it's not nor am I objecting to you saying it is, I just say that I can't remember being in that sort of mood when I wrote it.
I suppose it is basically an experiment to see if I can still do it. It appears I can, though, as I have said before, I did not feel at all comfortable writing it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-02 10:41:04
Re: Rehearsal
I totally agree, Val, there is nothing at all wrong with trying out new styles; goodness knows I've done it enough in the forty years I've been trying to write poetry but, as with this I think, it's usually a case of been there, done that, got the T shirt and in my case, never wear it. Perhaps I am too set in my ways.
My problem is I love words. I love bible black, I love O'Driscol driving with a song the wild duck and the drake, I love eponymous trees and oblique years. I just love words, complete thoughts descriptions described in well chosen words. And I'm blathering, I'm sorry but for me less will never be more. It's the way I am.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
by the by I'm PMing you. Don't be afraid.
love chrissy:-)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-02 10:58:34
Re: Rehearsal
Je vous remercie beaucoup de votre amabilitè. That is straight out of my Harper's French Phrasebook. Good, init?
In my own voice, much thanks for reading and commenting. Genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-07-02 19:08:26
Re: Rehearsal
I do like this, I like the slightly anarchic feel it has to it, the libertarian spirit breaking free. It reminds of that book by Eric Berne I read at college, 'Games People Play', how we tend to live life according to a predetermined script; which to an extent limits us and pretty much means the death of freedom. Your voice comes through as annihilating all that and staking a claim for life, as it ought to be lived. I like that.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-03 01:30:02
Re: Rehearsal
Skeeter, much thanks for the read and the comments. Genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-07-03 04:54:45
Re: Rehearsal
I love this poem it sure says a lot in a very few words. I mean one hand clapping won't swim. It takes two to tango.....Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-07-03 05:17:10
Re: Rehearsal
Erma, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I genuinely appreciate it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:


From her window (posted on: 04-06-04)
I was listening to Kenny Rogers, not intentionally there was just one of those dum di di dum guitar pickin' tunes on the old steam radio and this came in to my head. Was it worth the effort of typing it? Comments please.

She sees from her window
old men dancing,
young girls laughing
and she wonders who's kissing her now.

Whose arms are around her
whose laughter surrounds her
who's wiping the tears from her eyes.
Who whispers "I love you
put no one above you"
Who holds her hand gently and cries.

Again from the window
she sees young men dancing
with young girls while old men look on
The young men look weary
the old men are smiling
for they know that youth soon will be gone.

Whose lips softly kiss her
who says that they'll miss her
who wishes to keep her from harm?
Who gently enfolds her
and weeps as he holds her
and rests her grey head on his arm

Then wrapped in white linen
she's carried by women
who lament at her passing away
while her pale faded ghost
moves unseen through the host
of old men and young girls at play.

Who weeps at her leaving
whose sad heart is grieving
who wishes to be with her once more
Who rejoices he met her
who will never forget her
for the loving memories he'll store.

There are drapes at her window
old men stop dancing
young girls stop laughing
and no one is kissing her now.
Archived comments for From her window


dargo77 on 2004-06-04 02:53:28
Re: From her window
Chrissy, I enjoyed this. Very well written.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-04 04:15:46
Re: From her window
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the read and the comment.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-06-04 09:24:03
Re: From her window
Hi chrissy - I thought this was excellent - a great read. Emma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-04 10:35:58
Re: From her window
Emma, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment, genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-06-05 11:43:59
Re: From her window
Sometimes i don't think you realise how good your writing is. The answer, yes of course it was worth typing!! This contains a lot of reflections and thoughts, touched with sadness/regret, that are very necessary to read. One thing: the line 'for they know that youth soon will be gone' doesn't work for me, the rhythm is a bit skewed, maybe omiting 'that' would improve it?

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-06-05 17:44:40
Re: From her window
loved this very much chrissy. a lilting and hauntingly sad meditation on love and mortality. a tight and clever rhyme scheme which nonetheless flows unnoticed whilst the focus is upon the lyrics. and actually this would make a great song. thanks so much for sharing.

chrissieX

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-06 02:09:03
Re: From her window
Skeeter, many thanks for reading and commenting. It's very much appreciated. Like I said in the little blurb "about the poem" I was listening to a song when I wrote this and some how a rhythm developed. It's a kind of a waltz 3/4 thing and the line you mentioned seemed right but I will have a look.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-06 02:19:02
Re: From her window
Thanks Chrissie, your reading and commenting are much appreciated. I said at the top of this piece I was listening to K Rogers when I wrote this and I think it may have mutated into a song. I know when I wrote the last verse I tried very hard to match it to the first in structure and rhythm.
chrissy(the other one)

Author's Reply:

sirat on 2004-06-06 03:00:44
Re: From her window
I liked this a lot. I read it as a song lyric from the start, suggested by your introduction, and it also has a narrative, which is something I like in a song lyric. I got the lilting waltz rhythm, but for me it slowed down at the end, in keeping with the ideas being expressed. I would like to hear it sung. A very engaging and accessible piece.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-06 04:20:06
Re: From her window
David, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I don't think you would appreciate it if 'I' were to sing it. My voice is not suited to carrying much of a song. I do know a lady who could write down the notes for me and a lass who has a wonderful voice so it might just happen.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-06-06 12:23:48
Re: From her window
Well worth it. Wish things came into my head like that.
At the beginning I thought it was just going to be an atmosphere scene. Then the dark turn took me elsewhere.
Very good.
daf

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-06-06 18:07:14
Re: From her window
It was worth typing, this poem is excellent.

James.

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2004-06-06 23:46:39
Re: From her window
On the face of it this is sad but to me digging under the words brings a sense of hope and eternal love.
So much in few words.



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-07 00:18:21
Re: From her window
Daf, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-07 00:24:02
Re: From her window
Michael, many thanks for reading and for your kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and that the message came across. I really do think that love endures, even death.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-07 00:26:35
Re: From her window
James, sincere thanks for reading and commenting on the poem. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:

Jasper on 2004-06-27 02:24:15
Re: From her window
Now that's the kind of ending which is well worth waiting for!
Just hang on while I pick my stupid heart up off the floor....ahhhh!
My rating of this piece says what words will never?
Jasper.


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-27 03:35:57
Re: From her window
Jasper, much thanks for reading and commenting and for the rating.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Redrose1 on 2004-06-27 15:32:05
Re: From her window
Lovley poem lots of feeling and expression

Redrose

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-28 00:43:07
Re: From her window
Redrose, much thanks for reading and commenting, genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Spinney Hill Park (posted on: 28-05-04)
A park. Not special, not splendid, just a park I remember from my very early childhood.
Comments please.

chrissy

Spinney Hill Park

Grey, pock marked
with tufts of browning green,
the tarmacked hill,
descends between
grass green banks,
decorated with dog shit,
eponymous trees
bark of fragile silver birch
wounded by the luv of Kaz for Moz,
to the play ground.

Where recently vacated swings
billow on creaking chains
that twist and turn,
and roundabout
bedecked in council green
red rosed,
still squeaks around it's axis
propelled by absent scuffed shoes.

Here, during daylight's reign
innocence takes leave, unsanctioned,
from school rooms'
gloomy confines,
to run and shout,
to laugh and play
among unnatural blooms
of brightly coloured shiny paper wrappers.

Running and sliding
on paths worn dry
by countless school shod feet,
the Brians and Normans
Kathys and Jackys
spit, show knickers
to old men
who sit and smoke.

When hours tip toe
day light in to evening
and innocence is
tucked up safe in bed,
they enter like the dead
through gap toothed railings
council black, gold speared.
Their pale faces keen with expectation.

Will tonight be different?
The longed for moment when
they give their all?
In consummation of their lust,
he deposits his immortality
she receives her ticket
to council housing,
or some one to love

While, in shadow shrouded,
unseen, unheard
the watcher watches,
marking their performance
out of ten,
or awarding E for effort,
taking his pleasure
single handed .

Archived comments for Spinney Hill Park


dogfrog on 2004-05-28 03:26:32
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Yes, yes, yes. I love this Chrissy.

Taking his pleasure single handed...genius.
Council green...genius

Truly great stuff, it could of gone on forever and I wouldn't have minded.

Phroggy.


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-28 04:06:17
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Thank you. I was very, very unsure about this one. Especially the last verse.
Glad you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Tara_Hanks on 2004-05-28 05:31:42
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Chrissey, I haven't read your work before but I liked this poem - it brings back memories of my own and for many others too I'm sure.

Tara

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-28 06:02:58
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Glad you liked it and many thanks for the read and the comments.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-05-28 09:11:32
Re: Spinney Hill Park
I enjoyed this Chrissey, I assume you are writing about the Spinney Hill Park in Leicester? I know it well and it brought back a whole bunch of memories. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-28 09:39:36
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Much thanks for the read and the comments. I wasn't sure if I remembered this place as it was or as I imagined it was. It has been an absolute age since I saw it and I think the poem is more about what kids and others got up to there.
Glad you enjoyed it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-05-28 13:19:50
Re: Spinney Hill Park
I like your poem sounds the same as our parks here in the U.S, kids play there until dark and then the older kids of the evening take over....Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-28 15:14:33
Re: Spinney Hill Park
I guess most parks are the same. I was only permitted to go there if my sister or my cousins were with me. I never used to go with my friends but I knew plenty of kids who did go alone. I guess these days the place is full of users and their works. Sad.
Glad you enjoyed it and much thanks for reading and commenting.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-05-28 17:10:24
Re: Spinney Hill Park
hi chrissy - i'm the other one, with an "ie"! i am quite new to the site. loved this very much. extremely evocative - i could picture it all. very clever stuff. i especially admire "gap-toothed railings". made me think of the "railings" as in "rantings and railings" as well as the fencing ones. wonderful stuff.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-29 00:48:50
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Much thanks for reading this piece and for your comments. Much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-05-29 02:02:04
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Chrissy, you have captured something special here.
Full of atmosphere and memories that belong to not only you. A Hot Story for me.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-29 02:31:33
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Dargo much thanks for reading and commenting and for making it a hot story. I am truly grateful. It does seem that the things in this poem are common to other people.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-05-29 02:46:53
Re: Spinney Hill Park
I love this, it has so much in it. History, memory, regret, a touch of the desolate, promise unfulfilled, irony, sly digs at councils, (and they all deserve it, Death to Councils I say). Terrific poem, I could have read more, honestly. This is up there with the very good.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-29 04:06:03
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Many thanks for reading Skeeter. Your comments are truly appreciated.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-05-29 09:26:24
Re: Spinney Hill Park
This is a truly fantastic write Chrissy. Its all there, from light to dark. Loved it. I can say no more. I'm crap at commenting, but I really rate this.

s
u
n
k

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-05-29 10:43:58
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Hi Chrissy

This is so skilfully done with its controlled exposition evoking chapters of life. Great read!

Kat

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-29 11:20:02
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Sunken, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it. Glad you liked the piece.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-29 11:22:06
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Kat, much thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it. Glad you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-05-29 12:59:59
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Hauntingly gritty, good use of language..the whole poem comes together well ard carries you along...L

Author's Reply:

neil2 on 2004-05-29 15:16:02
Re: Spinney Hill Park
"he deposits his immortality
she receives her ticket
to council housing"

Not at all what sex is supposed to be about but brilliantly cynical - I was expected wistful and fond! Great poem all the way through.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-29 15:29:58
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Trevor, much thanks for reading and for your comments. I tried all sorts of euphemisms but nothing seemed to go with the rest of the piece as well as actually say dog shit. Sorry.
Glad you enjoyed it apart from that.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-29 15:32:24
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Leila, many thanks for the read and the comments. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-29 15:39:04
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Neil2, much thanks for the comments and for taking the time to read. I confess I thought that this was one part of the poem that people might find offensive. I know that people say that girls didn't actually get pregnant just to get a step up on the council lists but I actually knew one lass who told me that that is what she did.

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2004-05-30 00:35:20
Re: Spinney Hill Park
wonderful evocative language of lost innocence .

Mike

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-30 00:50:36
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Mike, many thanks for reading and commenting. This piece was quite difficult to write and I really appreciate what people say about it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2004-05-30 11:53:46
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Really like this Chrissy, just a couple of comments..

I think it would read better between verses 1&2 like this:

bark of fragile silver birch
wounded by the luv of Kaz for Moz.

To the play ground,
where recently vacated swings
billow on creaking chains

Also I didn't get 'bedecked in council green red rosed' - do you need the 'red rosed' bit?

Otherwise a very evocative and effective piece. John.




Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-30 15:41:15
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Much thanks for reading and for your comments. Ill have another look at verses 1&2.
The council green and red rosed bit is there because that was how the council used to decorate their iron work. Hammerite green with an embossed red rose and usually the words Semper Eadem some where on it. It was odd because the corporation bus colours, as I vaguely recall were maroon and cream.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Faerie on 2004-06-02 02:31:29
Re: Spinney Hill Park
i almost missed this one but i'm really glad i didnt.. it's written so well.. loved the stanza that starts
"When hours tip toe
day light in to evening"..
the juxtaposition of the innocence of children playing in the park with the 5th stanza onwards is perfect.. a complete reflection of what really goes on..

brilliant.

nancy


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-02 03:15:09
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Nancy, many thanks for reading and commenting. As you may read in earlier replies to other comments, I thought long and hard about posting this poem. I'm glad that you enjoyed it and that no offense seems to have been caused by it. (big worry).
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-06-17 10:23:51
Re: Spinney Hill Park
there's a wonderful lucidity to your work. sometimes, i've thought you're not confident enough, or the work veers a bit too strongly towards the personal and melodrama, but when you do take a step back, as in this one, you demonstrate yourself capable of unlocking a very powerful poetic talent indeed. tippety-top! 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-17 12:40:54
Re: Spinney Hill Park
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I accept that a lot of my poetry is personal, but coming from a 'theatrical background', luvvy 🙂 I was a bit shaken by the melodrama bit. In theatre it's usually preceded by Victorian and is some thing of an epithet, meaning that the work is over the top and usually 'bad'. Hope that's not what you meant.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-17 12:54:02
Re: Spinney Hill Park
should be nasty epithet, I think. Not a very nice thing, any way.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-06-18 03:40:47
Re: Spinney Hill Park
no, i just meant that sometimes i think you let too much explicit emotion into your work. for some reason, and i have no idea why, i think explicit emotion weakens the impact of a poem. an example would be a poem of yours i read ages ago about your dad dying. it ends, as is perfectly natural, with tears, but though that is a natural response to death, it weakened the impact of the poem for me.

Author's Reply:


Boring (posted on: 17-05-04)
This can't be described.

chrissy

Boring

I never sleep naked
I have no studs set in my nose,
I don't wear peculiar make up
or strange, outrageous clothes
Perhaps that makes me boring
Maybe it even shows.

I have no dog called Beethoven
or a cat called Tokyo Rose
I don't fart in public
nor do I paint my toes
Do you think that makes me boring
Do you think it shows

I can't whistle through my anus
or play the trumpet with my nose,
I've no uncle called Matilda
nor an Aunty known as Mose
It's possible I'm boring
and more than possibly it shows

I know no cross dressers
chaps who wear ladies underclothes
The man I wound up with
is the only one I chose
I guess I'm really boring
I guess it really shows.

My poetry's mediocre
no one raves about my prose.
As for literary giants
I'm sure as shit not one of those
I am boring
Yes, it shows.

But does it really matter,
if I am that's not my loss,
if I'm really, really boring
who really gives a toss.
Archived comments for Boring


jay12 on 2004-05-17 04:47:49
Re: Boring
Nice Poem. You sound exciting enough to me, does that make me extra boring ???

James.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-17 05:16:01
Re: Boring
Much thanks for the read and the comments, James.
This "creature of the mind" came to me while I was driving in to town to do my shopping.
Now that is boring.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-17 11:45:31
Re: Boring
much thanks for the read and the comments. Being boring ain't so bad you know.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-05-18 11:43:56
Re: Boring
I finally got to read it and it really made me laugh, especially the cat called Tokyo Rose. I can vouch for you non-boringness. And you do have a cat named Trevor.
I think you don't fart through your noes, spelt nose and maybe one less 'shows' -- more than possibly it shows shows
Teifii

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-18 14:32:43
Re: Boring
Daf, edits done which makes the last part of your comments not make a lot of sense, sorry. Glad you liked it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Omma_Velada on 2004-05-19 12:17:38
Re: Boring
Really funny & fun poem. Not a boring line in sight! Btw, I think 'under clothes' is one word'. Bustles off to learn to play the trumpet with my nose...

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-20 04:10:11
Re: Boring
Many thanks for the read and the comments. Glad you enjoyed it and that it inspired you to take up a new hobby. 🙂
chrissy

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-05-23 14:37:52
Re: Boring
Chrissy, i really enjoyed this poem.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-23 15:48:09
Re: Boring
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:


In Palermo (posted on: 07-05-04)
I had posted this in the discussion/critique forum last week but it didn't get much of a response. I would really appreciate comments on it.

Things are maybe not quite as they seem

chrissy

IN PALERMO

I'm in Palermo, a place I love and come back to as often as I can. There's a lot that suits me here. The pace of life is slower. Goats carelessly herded by spindly limbed boys in unfashionably short shorts, can cause a traffic jam. I'm not like some people, losing my temper when my coffee doesn't arrive on time or when the guy in the car in front of me stops to talk to his friend or to try and pick up a pretty girl. That's the way things are here and if you don't like it, if you can't adjust your expectations to the locals', then don't come.

I'm sitting at a table on the street in front of an old fashioned cafe, adjusting the level of a glass of ice cold blood orange juice and waiting.

Just a couple of months ago I was in another cafe, smack in the middle of no where Nevada waiting for almost the same thing. That was the Laughing Buddha Cafe and it was owned and run by a guy called Hitler. He was a nice man and maybe didn't deserve what he got, either in the name or the way he died but I don't judge. That's not my job.

Now, I'm back in Europe and that's all right by me. I like Europe. The States, even the Laughing Buddha Cafe in no where Nevada, lives at a different pace. Every thing's got to happen yesterday. A day you don't get mail is a day you think you died. Think about it. Africa's too political for my taste. No one dies there unless they're politically motivated to do so. I swear and I don't like politics.

Europe is old, has traditions and here, this country, has traditions for people like me that go back centuries. No body beefs here. This thing is done for a reason, they accept it. Tradition.

At the table two from mine, is a couple; a very young, pretty girl and a quite old but still handsome man. My Italian is not so good but I understand these two pretty well. She is eighteen years old, very pretty in gamin androgynous way. Her hair is wavy and soft brown and her skin is olive tanned and just shiny enough to be attractive. She's petite, with little expressive hands that flutter like butterflies when she wants to emphasise some thing she's saying. Her name is Nicole Sutherland and her father is some sort of billionaire type who thinks that he has the right to blame other people for the way she's turned out.

The impressive individual she's with is Count Vittorio di Castelli. He's nearly seventy now but you wouldn't think it to look at him. He's tall, elegant. His hair is white, his suit is cream coloured, he wears a Panama hat and too much expensive jewellery. The ring on the middle finger of his right hand, the one Arturo Capaldi, the cafe owner, bent to kiss when this man sat down, is probably worth what I make in a year. This is not a reason I find to dislike the man. He's probably a warm, friendly individual, who was good to his mother, paid his alimony on time to his ex-wife, took care of his kids' education. This is not a man I can find one good reason to dislike.

There are those, some of whom I know personally, mostly young men who think that a relationship between a man his age and a girl her age personally threatens their masculinity, who don't like the idea of love between two people of such different ages. You pick up any airport novella where such a relationship is posited and it never turns out well. Never. Always the younger person finds another younger person and bla de bla da, the older person gets ditched. That's a fact. Your dime novelist can't see that there might be cases, and again I speak from people I know, where this kind of thing has a happy ending. People don't like it. Especially when it's an older man and a younger woman. They seem to go out of their way to prove themselves right. Is this because they genuinely don't think that the relationship is natural or because they just want to be proved right? I don't know. I don't judge. That's not in my remit.

Nicole is a real stunning looking girl and boy does she dress well. I don't know if this is her papa's money or maybe even the Count buys her what she needs but she dresses so well. I put this down to her mother. Sadly Arlet died when Nicole was just twelve years old but I think she influenced her. French aristocracy, bound to have given the kid some pointers on the taste front.

The count is a different generation. He has style bred in to him. All right so the bling could be a little less obvious but ....

You can't buy a man like him. That's Jude Sutherland's problem. He has no control over his daughter because she has no respect for him and he can't buy of her 'lover' because the guy doesn't want his money. what is the poor sap to do. He relies on me to solve his problem and because I am a professional, I do it by the rules, with respect.

I look at my watch, my one sign that what I do earns me a more than passable living. It's a Rolex, 22 carat gold. Paid for by the Laughing Buddha.

Right about now two young Dutch men will be leaving their hotel three blocks from where I'm sitting. They booked in last night under the names Ernst Van Keller and Pick Van de Kyle. They're both in their late twenties, good looking boys and surprisingly good at what they do. I've used them before and with any luck, I will use them again.

It proved impossible to use local people. Di Castelli commands too much respect and any way if I had left the information out there, in his own back yard, he would be bound to pick up on it. People talk. People expect people to talk. So I went back to Africa, reacquainted my self with the Dutchmen and here we all are. Waiting.

I hear her laugh, a soft, tinkling sound that's like music you hear some times at a fair ground and if you have memories like mine, it freezes your heart.

She loves this man. I haven't thought about that till now but it's clear from every thing she does, from the way she looks at him. She loves him. From the top of his London made Panama to the soles of his Gucci shoes, she loves him. It doesn't matter to her that when she drew her first breath this man was already head of his family, had two son's and a daughter, had buried more men than any one has a right to. She does not care. What she loves is what she sees now.

For a moment I stop watching them, close my eyes and just wish there was another way. Am I getting too old for this? The contract says there is one way for this to end and that is how it has to be. Why do I care about them? They're nothing to me. I know them because I have been forced to know them but I shouldn't care about them.

I open my eyes and look down at the Rolex watch. If I have done my job and I have, in just two minutes a motor cycle will come around the corner. It will slow down at the gas station across the road as if to pull in for gas and then the pillion passenger will do his job, they will speed up and be gone before any one knows what has happened.

When I first sat down here, I thought I had a get out. The gas station was having a delivery. The owner came out to talk to the delivery guy. They were both smoking and I thought then that that could solve all our problems. But nothing happened and the gas was safely delivered, the tanker driven away.

I can hear the motor cycle engine. Low and powerful. What if they skid out of control. It rained earlier in the day, what if the road's still slick but the sun is out and the road is dry. Every thing is in my favour.

I see her lean forward to whisper some thing to the Count. He smiles, touches her cheek. Why do I care if they love each other? This is not my problem.

Nicole turns to look at the motor cycle as it draws level. Does she see Van de Kyle draw the gun from his black leather jacket. I see it. I see their visors down over their faces, I see the black leather gloved hand reach in to the half open zip.

It all goes in to slo mo. The bike slows down. The gas station owner stops on his way back to the office. Arturo Capaldi's son Guido comes to the door of the cafe. Maybe he has a thing about Harleys too.

Nicole looks horrified. She has seen it. Damn! She moves in front of the Count. There's no way Van de Kyle can stop himself. One two three sharp cracks. The Harley's engine roars and they're gone. I look. Nicole is slumped on the floor, blood, like wine stains her pretty white dress. The sound of the gun shots still seems to be hitting the buildings.

The Count is on his knees holding his little beloved girl as the life dribbles from her into a pool on the floor. Guido's mama is screaming. Her scream the last sound I hear in my head as I stand, pushing my chair backwards.

I have done this job for twenty years. This has never happened to me before. People don't defy me.

I walk away from the scene I've created.

Rebus, my dog looks up at me as if I'm going to take him out but it's snowing.

I go down stairs and wait for a second before I enter the lounge. My husband looks up and I see he's concerned.

"What's up?" he asks.

"You know I always pooh poohed the idea of characters having a life of their own and doing what they want... well it just happened."

"Sit down. I'll make you a cup of coffee."

Later, I go back to my study and select the last two paragraphs, press delete. "No way you do that to me, you little bitch!"



2004 Chrissy Moore-Haines
Archived comments for In Palermo


KDR on 2004-05-07 05:45:06
Re: In Palermo
Interesting. From holiday-maker/globe-trotter to contract killer to author. Plenty of scope there for the tale to become a twisted, awkward mess...but it doesn't.
What it does do is show how involved in the story an author can become, so that, in describing the action, it seems as real as life itself.
The final change of persona is very nicely handled, and the false trail that leads the reader to assume that here is a hitman/woman on the job worked on me, so that the ending came as a surprise.

Incidentally, I can't help but feel that there is a good story wrapped within this one. Nicole should save the Count, but what happens then? And who wants him dead, and why?

For me, this story is pretty much done. Even cosmetic changes might spoil the setting.
Well done.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-07 06:02:59
Re: In Palermo
Many thanks for the comments.
I must confess that when I'd finished this I felt a feeling that I would sonner be writing the story the "author" is writing and I am going to do that.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-05-07 07:15:31
Re: In Palermo
I too, was led up the false trail of the hitman. I enjoyed this Chrissy, was very cleverly done. Would also like to see the 'inner' story.

ailsa

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-07 07:47:32
Re: In Palermo
Many thanks for the read and comment, ailsa.
Glad you enjoyed it.
Like I said, as soon as I finished it I started to think about doing the other story.

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 2004-05-07 10:57:09
Re: In Palermo
To me the narrator was the writer, you, start to finish. I like the scene, and your character description. I like the story. Tighten up the grammar. The pace is good, a few spots are unclear, Buddha Cafe, narrator's role. Have you ever tried this story in third person.

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-05-07 11:13:55
Re: In Palermo
Personally, I like it very much in first person,and
agree with alcarty - it has a VERY clear, strong,
appealing voice..

The only thing you don't need, I think, is the
detail in the description of the shorts.





Author's Reply:

expat on 2004-05-07 15:22:25
Re: In Palermo
Sometimes I like to read a story for on the site purely for pleasure's sake and not analyse or crit it. This is one of them. So, you're not going to get anything from me but this, Chrissy: a great read with a totally unexpected ending.
:^) :^) Steve.


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-07 15:48:46
Re: In Palermo
Don't think it would work in the third person but I might try it. I'm messing around at the moment and I like the first person.
As for the Laughing Buddha Cafe this is where the hit man took out his last contract or the author set her last book. I'm not totally clear on the role of the "narrator" whether this is the author or the hit man. I might need to have another look at it if I don't go instead for the story that's within the story.
Much thanks for the read and the comments.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-07 15:56:44
Re: In Palermo
Michel, much thanks for your comments here and on the discussion/critique forum. I should try to explain about the shorts. These boys who herd the goats are mountain boys and they are usually very behind everyone else as far as fashion goes. Even when I was last in Sicily they still wore the same very short French 70s style shorts and they thought they were really 'cool' and up to the minute. I describe them simply because I thought it gave the piece a little more atmosphere. Possitively no other intention.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-07 15:59:10
Re: In Palermo
Your reply seems to have slipped below Michel's, Al, sorry.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-07 16:01:54
Re: In Palermo
Much thanks for the read and for the very nice comment. Glad you enjoyed the story.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-05-07 16:32:44
Re: In Palermo

Yes,I thought it must be something like
that. I do think if you explained that, in
the off hand way you can write, and just explained to me - it would work
well; it is just the unexplained-yet-
mentioned that I thought unsatisfactory.

*WONDERFUL story, of course!*

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-05-07 19:26:08
Re: In Palermo
I cannot criticise this. Its really good. An idea I have not seen before. Something that could be worked into a novel with little work. (Have you ever written a novel?)

James.



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-08 01:47:03
Re: In Palermo
James, much thanks for the comments and I'm glad you liked the story. Yes, I have written a novel, rather too many for my talent I think and I've just started work on a first draft for the novel contained in this short.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-05-08 13:21:24
Re: In Palermo
Good story Chrissy. Well constructed - unique angle - suprise ending. Enjoyed it! Bye now.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-08 15:02:16
Re: In Palermo
Much thanks. I really appreciate it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-05-08 15:36:34
Re: In Palermo
classy bit of prose there chrissy.


alan

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-09 03:04:26
Re: In Palermo
much thanks for the read and the comment. Genuinely appreciated.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-05-09 03:30:39
Re: In Palermo
I really liked this, Chrissy. I've never read a story of yours before (just the poetry), but this is very good. It shows a great deal of imagination, to me. I lied the way it twisted, right up to the ending. I have a feeling I;'d have wnjoyed it more if the inner story (hitman, etc..) had been the REAL story. Scope for a lot there. It neds a little bit if editing, there's a few bits missing, commas, and the like, e.g. ' ..in gamin androgynous way..' shouldn't there be an 'a' in there? I think you should write a follow up, there's a lot of promise in this.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-09 04:40:49
Re: In Palermo
Much thanks for the comments. I will attend to the points raised as soon as I can. Re the story within a story, I am already working on that, as the same idea occurred to me the moment I finished this piece.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2004-05-09 17:22:51
Re: In Palermo
You definately need a follow up one with this one. I want to know more about the hitman.

Very enjoyable to read, cleverly written.

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2004-05-09 17:55:23
Re: In Palermo
This is a brilliant and very original piece of work. The story was well written, suspenseful and interesting and the ending caught me completely by surprise.
A wonderful story.


Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2004-05-09 23:18:28
Re: In Palermo
Hi Chrissy,
Having characters and the author cross over their respective zones is very well done by Woody Allen but not that many other writers. You brought it off
beautifully. If it ever happened to me I'd either be totally intrigued or think it was a more severe than usual senior moment, but not angry with the offending character.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-10 02:21:11
Re: In Palermo
Claire, much thanks for the read and the comments.
I'm working on it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-10 02:23:51
Re: In Palermo
Gee, many thanks for the read and the comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and that the ending did what it should do.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-10 02:29:06
Re: In Palermo
John, many thanks for the read and the comments. I realised when I was half way through writing the story that I stood a more than very good chance of screwing it up completely and even when it was finished and posted, I had doubts as to whether it would work or not. It could have been a complete waste of time.
As for being angry with the character, perhaps you aren't quite the control freak I am. 🙂
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2004-05-10 03:00:58
Re: In Palermo
Hi Chrissy,
I don't think any time writing is a somplete waste of time. One always takes the easiest route first and if something doesn't work, one has at least learned that.
As for control the characters are poducts of the writer's mind, but I agree it would be very disturbing if they started cutting you out of the action.

Recently my Visa card (undelivered) went on holiday to Paris without me and bought goods to value of
£5000. My bank's computer picked it up cos it knew I was an M&S man and not a D&G one. I have been keeping it in a deep dark drawer ever since.


Author's Reply:

Omma_Velada on 2004-05-11 05:41:35
Re: In Palermo
I enjoyed this idea. It reminded me of 'Sophie's World', where the characters in the book try to trick the author into exerting some control over their lives.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-11 06:01:47
Re: In Palermo
Many thanks for the comments and for the read. Glad you enjoyed it. Don't think I know "Sophie's World".
chrissy

Author's Reply:

OolonColoophid on 2004-05-11 07:50:27
Re: In Palermo
Hi Chrissy - I liked this piece right up until the last couple of paragraphs...this is possibly because I have an aversion to 'and it was all made up/all a dream' kind of endings. For me, that had the effect of demolishing my suspension of disbelief, like a heckler at a play. In my opinion, you could snip off the ending and improve the story 100% - but that's only my opinion 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-11 12:05:34
Re: In Palermo
Thanks for the read and the comments. Sorry it disappointed but that was the whole idea of the story, not the 'and it was all made up/all a dream' kind of thing but the point of the outer story was that some one who didn't believe that characters having a life of their own was possible, actually found it happening.
I am, at this moment, trying to work on the hit man story but ooh with the sun shining and it not raining, it's very hard.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

sirat on 2004-05-12 03:17:10
Re: In Palermo
I've come in very late on this one (just back from Portugal is my excuse) but I wanted to say that you have really carried it off extremely well and the plot doesn't seem at all "set up". It's the anger and the comedy of the final paragraph that dominates, not any sense of having been duped or manipulated. An original idea well executed (no pun intended).

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-12 03:44:21
Re: In Palermo
Sirat, better late than never and you are fully excused because I love Portugal though I did get hopelessly lost there once and nearly finished up in Spain. One should never try to navigate and drive at the same time.
Many thanks for the comments and I am glad you enjoyed the story in the way it was intended to be enjoyed.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Omma_Velada on 2004-05-12 21:20:05
Re: In Palermo
In case you're interested, 'Sophie's World' is a Norwegian novel in which a philosopher teaches a girl called Sophie the history of Western philosophy, in terms everyone can understand. Apparently he wrote it so that the young people he taught would be able to enjoy philosophy. It's a wonderful read 🙂

Author's Reply:


Nine Minutes (posted on: 26-04-04)
Click to see more top choices

Bryan's life is normal and happy. He's married, has one child and another on the way. OK so he has the mother-in-law from hell but he can live with that. Then, in the middle of an argument with his wife, he walks out .....
I would appreciate comments on this as I don't normally do short stories, so there's bound to be some thing a lot that needs fixing.

chrissy

Nine Minutes

Oh, hya. Didn't think any body else would come up here. No, no don't mind not being alone. Just came up to get a better view.

Well, at least it's stopped raining. We should be grateful for that. Not many clouds now and when the moon comes out, it's bright enough to see shadows.

It's amazing looking down at it from up here. Yeah. it's a good turn out, if you judge it like that. All those people, and hardly a copper in sight. Maybe they see us as just harmless nutters. That's how most people see us, isn't it. Come to think of it, that's how we see ourselves some times. Harmless nutters who BELIEVE. Yeah, right.

It looks really odd from up here, like .... do you remember those disaster films, mostly they had Charlton Heston in them. You'd see a wasteland of some sort and bits of fires dotted around, with folk huddled round them. The end of civilisation as we know it. That's what this is like.

I grew up not far from here. This bridge where we're stood, my uncle Dave painted this. And down there in what used to be the train yard, he had a big work shop. He sprayed my bike down in that work shop. Flame red it was, and he put yellow flames on it. My dad was furious. It was green originally and he bought it brand new from Halfords. The things you think.

What, Oh yes, first one I've been to. I've not been back long. Yes, yes, personal and no, I don't remember any thing.

Just now, before I come up here, I was talking to a couple from Leicester; he's called Ted and her name's Marianne. Really nice couple, early sixties, middle class, he's retired manager of an engineering firm, she's a house wife. They've come about their grand daughter, Kelly. She went missing two years ago when she was sixteen. Kids do that though don't they these days. Least little thing upsets 'em and they're off. Why is that? I mean are they stupid or what? Why can't they just tough it out like I did? I'm sure it weren't any different for me but I dunno, there seemed to be something inside me that said, this is temporary, being a teenager, having all these mixed up feelings, this isn't going to last forever. Maybe it just seems like that with hindsight. Wonderful thing that.

Thinking about it though, I mean really thinking about it, it was different. When I was Kelly's age, sixteen, seventeen, there was me football which was Middlesborough, me mates which was our Colin, me cousin uncle Jacks eldest lad who lost his mam when he were fourteen and she died having their Terry so he spent most of his time round at ours, Kevin Prattley who I'd been in junior school with, Dougie Ellis whose mam and dad owned the chippy on Rosamund Street, Dave Burton who had a sister who married a coloured bloke and went to America and ooh what was that lad's name with the bad acne? Michael, Mike, Mickey Doyle, that's it. Had a brother, Pete, worked on the busses. There was the pictures, we all used to go regular to the Palace and there was lassies and that was it. That was our lives. When you think of it, not as much as kids have today, with computers and clubs and all of that. Yeah. well I do go back to a different age.

Any way, that's not what's happened with Kelly, not according to her grand ma and grand pa. Her dad, Jonathan I think they called him, he's their son, well, he reckons she's in London. He doesn't believe in .... no, he reckons she's trying to be a pop star or some such or she's after one of these boy bands. I mean how stupid is that. Though I do remember my cousin Sylvia run off after the curate from Saint Peter's when he got moved up to Scotland.

Life's a bugger, isn't it. You think you've got all taped down, you've got it all worked out the way you want it and then something totally unexpected happens and the whole thing's off down the lav an' all you've got is shit on your face.

Yeah, I'm married. Well, before .... not quite sure what I am now. Oh yes, two kids, boy and a lass. It's funny, no I think I mean odd, I do mean odd, I really thought I had finally got what I wanted out of life. It wasn't a lot; no flashy cars or big farm houses on the moors. I had a good job, I loved my wife.

Karen. Oh, I knew her from school, we went out for a while, kids stuff, pictures, long walks on the moors. She was a stunner. The kind of lass, today she'd be a model or something.. any way her family moved to Bristol. Didn't see her again until I started work at Jack Venables, yeah the engineering company. I was in the drawing office and she was already working in the accounts office, We started going out again and then, it sounds daft but we just fell in love. Oh yes, it does happen.

You know, I can remember taking her home to meet my mam and dad. I knew she loved me, I knew that but our Colin was home on leave from the army. He always used to come round ours when he was on leave. He was a really good looking bloke was our Colin and really fit. It's funny, he was always a right fat lad when he was young. Yeah, yeah you change. I was really worried that Karen would meet him, and they'd really hit it off. Bloody daft. Colin had a girl friend, beautiful girl, mixed race they call it today. All I know was she was bloody gorgeous looking.

I shouldn't have worried. They got on all right but Karen loved me and that was it. That was a really good day, when I look back at it.

What does she think of this? Bloody hell. I don't think she believes. No, no she doesn't believe. Not many folk do, do they. They think we're barmy.

Oh yes, I'm back, I'm here but to her, that doesn't prove any thing. It's not some thing she's ever been forced to think about. She's like most folk I suppose, it's all just fiction, just science fiction. I suppose her mother's low opinion of me doesn't help. Oh aye, mother-in-law from hell that one. I've never been good enough in her eyes.

Meeting Karen's parents was one of the worst days of my life. Her dad was all right. Shook my hand offered me a drink but her mam oh no. Karen introduced us and I stuck out my hand to shake hands, like you do. She touched my hand... no, no she didn't, she touched my fingers, then she moved her hand away and I half expected her to wipe it. She said; "Oh, yes, you live on the Marymead housing estate, don't you."

That was the way of things from then on. Her mother hated me. Then, when Karen fell pregnant before we even got engaged that put the tin hat on things. My parents weren't that pleased but Karen's mam. You know, she even suggested that Karen have an abortion. Can you believe that.

We got wed. Not a big wedding, my parents and Karen's dad clubbed together and bought us a little house. Just a two bed end terrace but it was ours. It was a bit close to her parents but give her her due, Karen seemed not to want to be with her mam all that much. I suppose it was the abortion thing.

Joshua was born in December and he was the best thing that ever happened to us. Right from the day he was born, he was just so beautiful. A lot of babies, well they look like my grand dad's feet after he got his circulation problems, all purple and puffy but Josh wasn't like that. He was beautiful and just so good. He had his moments in his twos and threes but he was so good.

When he was about two and a half we had another baby, a little girl.Alicia we called her. She was born at twenty-eight weeks, only lived three days. They let us hold her. I thought I'd never stop weeping. But you know what, I think Alicia brought us closer together.

We decided we wanted to move. Well. Karen come up with the idea but we talked about it and I came round to it. I was doing all right and I just got the feeling that Karen wanted to get away from her mam.

Yeah, we found this little house on the edge of a village just a couple of minutes drive from the moor. Bye it was run down, in a right mess and we had to do a lot to it but we worked at it, put the time in on it, together and when we'd done it, it was ours.

Oh no. Oh no. Her mother did not like that. It was too far away, too isolated. 'cause it wasn't. It was on the edge of a village. Karen learned to drive and we bought a little car for her so ...

Then Karen fell pregnant again. We were delighted, anxious, whole mixed up bunch of emotions. It was just great. Our lives were really coming together.

That's when her dad had a heart attack and then every thing changed.

I wasn't going to stop her going to see her mam, why the hell would I. The evil cow hated me and I was none too fond of her but there was no way I was going to try and stop Karen going to help out where she was needed. I went to see her with Karen, took them both up to the hospital whenever they needed me to. I cared what happened to him and her.

Then Karen said that she would sooner go on her own. It didn't surprise me but it did upset me. I knew what her mother was up to, how she was trying to get Karen to turn against me, I wasn't daft and I wasn't paranoid neither.

It was a Sunday when all the stuff that led to this happened, led to my being here. I'd taken Karen to her mam's because Karen wasn't feeling well. I even said I wouldn't go in if she didn't want me to but she said I was being daft and any way she wanted to go with her mam to the hospital. So, in I go and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.

I took them to the hospital, I brought them back and then for some reason the old cow started in on me about my drinking. I honestly did not know what she was on about. She kept saying that I left Karen on her own when I went out to the pub with me mates. I was gob smacked. I go to the pub once a week.

I tried to laugh it off but she kept going on and then she said that it was because of my leaving Karen with the boy, she never called him Joshua , she didn't like him because he looked like my side of the family, that Alicia had been born premature and died.

Well, you can imagine. That was it. I wasn't taking that. She'd said it in front of Joshua and the little chap was well able to understand what she was on about. I just got Karen and Josh and left. There was no way I was putting up with that.

Karen was really quiet on the way home but by heaven she made up for it as soon as we got in and I opened my mouth to ask if she'd complained to her mam about me going out.

She really laid it on. There was no way I was going to win any argument with her that night, she was too hurt, to upset and I thought if I even try to argue with her she's just going to get more upset and then I didn't know what would happen.

Aye, I suppose I did think that, that some how it might affect the baby. Well you do, don't you.

I did what I thought was for the best. I got me coat, I left the house, got in to the car and drove up to the moor and then I'm sat there and I thought, what the bloody hell are you doing. You can't just walk out on your wife like that, on your wife and kids. That wasn't the way I was brought up to do things.

I started to turn back and then ... then it all gets rather woolly after that.

I remember nowt clearly, until I was walking back through the kitchen door. For some reason I'd got my eyes cast down, maybe I didn't feel ready to look at Karen. When I did look up. By Godfrey, I've never felt any thing like that. Every thing was different. I thought Oh my life. I've come in to wrong house. I felt so bloody stupid.

There was this woman, doin' her cookin', bonnie woman in black trousers and flowered top and I remember thinkin' please don't let her turn around and see me. Let me just get out before....

But then she turned around and... it were Karen. It were Karen, only...a different Karen, an older Karen. She had a fryin' pan in her hand. She dropped it and then she started screaming. I don't mean shouting, I mean openin' her mouth and screaming. Great bouts of sound, like nothing I've heard before. I was terrified. I didn't know what the hell was going on.

Then this bloke comes in, big, tall, really strong looking bloke about twenty-five, twenty-six. Some thin' in me head said, by Christ he looks like our Colin and then there was this lass, nineteen, twenty, so beautiful, so very beautiful.

I don't remember owt after that. I woke up, came to I suppose, in the clinic. That's when I met Moira. She's down there with some of the others in our group. She's a doctor. Right nice woman. She explained things to me, tried to any way. Of course I don't, didn't believe in that sort of thing. What she told me was pure fantasy, the sort of thing that happens to barmy American women and people in films, not to blokes like me.

Apparently I'd walked in to the kitchen, my kitchen, bollock naked and looking no older than when I walked out. No, no that's the honest truth. Problem with that is, apart from the nakedness, it was twenty years later.

Aye, stunner isn't it. Twenty years. Poof! Gone. For them. Nine minutes for me.

The bloke I thought looked like Colin was my son, Joshua and the lass, that was my daughter Louisa, the baby we'd been expectin'.

I just couldn't take any of it in, especially not when Moira started talking about aliens and abduction and that sort of thing. I thought she was potty and I told her so. I told 'em all. That doesn't happen in real life, not round here it don't.

Karen has her own theory. I'm not Bryan at all. I'm Colin's younger brother, Terence, the one his mam died havin', the one what took off when he were fourteen and n' body ever saw him again. I suppose it's a way of rationalising it. What she thinks he's done with me, I don't know or why should thought he'd do it in the first place. Can't say. You'd have to ask her.

I know I'm not Terence. I'm me. I'm Bryan Metcalf. I'm forty-eight year old an' I look twenty-eight but I don't care. I know who I am.

So, I had to start believin', didn't I. No choice in the matter. I look in the mirror and I'm not forty-eight. I started going to the group sessions that Moira organises. Her husband was abducted, twice. I've listened to other people, ordinary people, not loopy sods like you'd think. People like me. There's a bloke called Michael. He's been abducted three times. First two times he didn't know owt about it, couldn't remember a bloody thing and then the last time, he did remember. It were terrifying what he told us, what was done to him. But him telling it made other people remember stuff that had been done to them.

There's one other chap like me in our group. Moira calls us her absolute proof. 'cause we've not aged. It's not usual to be brought back in real time, that is to say other folks' real time, not yours. Moira calls it a chronoclasm. Normally they, our little grey friends, bring people back and just minutes have passed. But Moira says they use time differently to us.

Oh heavens, yes. We've all had tests. My whole family. We've had us DNA tested, psychological tests. Probes and pokin's. I myself have been in front of more medical committees than I thought could exist. I've spent more time in London than I have back here but it doesn't change any thing, does it. I mean basically it doesn't change a bloody thing really.

So here we all are. Waiting. You've probably heard it said, once you've been abducted or you've had someone abducted, you get this sense when they're coming back. It's a common thing apparently. That's why there's so many of us here, so many families of abductees. They're not all just from our group. Ted and Marian, like I said, they're from Leicester. Bob he's from Belfast. He was abducted along with his sister. He was brought back but she wasn't. He thinks she might be brought back tonight. Leslie, she's lookin' for her little boy and Tara she's lost her mam and her dad. They were on holiday in Morecambe when they just disappeared, had the life boat and the coast guard and helicopters and every thing out looking for them.

They've all come here because they think tonight might be the time when their loved ones are brought back. Sam, the bloke in our group who's like me, was brought back in his own future as it were, he's not here tonight. He's fairly happy with a second shot at life. He's younger than me.

Me? Why am I here? I'm here because... well... I'm not sure. Sod it to buggery I am sure. I'm bloody well here to get them to take me back. I want them to take me back twenty years so that I can walk back in to that house, my house, and hug my wife and say I'm sorry that I insulted her mother. I want to watch my daughter born, to hold her and let her know I'm her dad. I want my lad to grow up with a dad he can do things with. I don't want to look at my wife and kids and see strangers. I don't want our Colin to bring up my kids because he thinks he owes me for sharin' my mam and dad with him or because he always fancied the knickers off Karen. I want to do it. I've had six months of bein' part of Moira's bloody freak show, summat to be dragged out when she wants to screw money out of this or that Government Department. It's not fair. It's not bloody fair. I want them little grey bastards to take me back, to put right what they did wrong. I'm owed. Twenty years, five months, three weeks, six days, twenty-three hours and fifty-one minutes, They can keep their nine minutes. That's tradition.

Aye well, we'd best go down there now. The tele people are here and they'll want to see all the nutters on parade.

Of course people'll be disappointed if they don't come tonight. They believe, they really do.

I said I'd stand with Ted and Marian. See ya, maybe.




2004 Chrissy Moore-Haines
Archived comments for Nine Minutes


shadow on 2004-04-26 04:24:42
Re: Nine Minutes
I found this a very enjoyable story, you got Bryan's 'voice' very well. It did seem a touch overlong, though. Perhaps if you cut some of the domestic background, so the main theme stands out clearer?

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-26 05:54:28
Re: Nine Minutes
I think I was trying to show him to be a very normal bloke but you could be right. I probably don't need all the waffle. Much thanks for the read and taking the time to comment. Genuinely appreciated.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

bluepootle on 2004-04-26 06:41:26
Re: Nine Minutes
Hi Chrissy, I really disagree with losing the family history. I think that's its strength. You set him up as a very normal man and make sure we identify strongly with him so we're not going to pass him off as 'another weirdo'. A good, strong piece of writing, I thought.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-26 07:08:36
Re: Nine Minutes
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Genuinely appreciated. I will think about things.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-04-26 16:36:27
Re: Nine Minutes
Wow chrissy what a story I think it's very good. I have a short attention span but I couldn't stop reading this story...Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-26 17:11:25
Re: Nine Minutes
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Erma. Glad you enjoyed it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-26 20:39:38
Re: Nine Minutes
chrissy: This is very strong. I agree with bluepootle that the family history is integral. You've got an engrosing story, one in which you don't tip your hand too soon. Swep

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-27 04:17:32
Re: Nine Minutes
Swep, many thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and comment. It is genuinely appreciated.
I struggled with this piece, mainly because I don't normally write short stories and I was a bit unsure that the format, a sort of monologue was going to work and also because I wanted to find a balance between the previous life of this ordinary bloke with his ordinary life and the extraordinary thing that had happened to him. I didn't want to tip the balance either way. Don't know if I've succeeded.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:


Time (posted on: 19-04-04)
Still a bit unsure about this. Is there a real need to write about dust? Is that what it's really about or is it about me having time to look and think? Comments please.

chrissy

Time

On a single shaft of sun light
that breaches my window,
I see a universe of dust motes.
They rise and fall
with in the stillness of the moment,
then are assimilated.

Alone I witness
this second of creation
as the hall clock hesitates
between from and to,
stutters with a split second's
indecision between present and future.

I sit and watch
as infinitesimal worlds collide
joining or repelling,
expanding or contracting
with no reason
or predetermined destiny.

All is still,all is silent,
the only sound
the ordered tick and tock,
of the clock in the hall,
marking the seconds
it takes my mind to register time.
Archived comments for Time


bluepootle on 2004-04-19 04:51:18
Re: Time
Hi Chrissy, I really liked this. It captured those idle moments in sunshine really well (moments I don't seem to get a lot of any longer!) Thought this was one of your best.

Second verse, first line, did you mean 'witness' rather than 'wittiness'?

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-19 05:57:04
Re: Time
Much thanks for the read and the comments. Yes I did mean witness but knowing my spelling, which is terrible, I probably put two tts, ran it through the spell checker and accepted what ever it came up with. How do I change it.

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-04-19 06:07:16
Re: Time
Chrissy....Stunning two verses here...loved them:

'Alone I wittiness
this second of creation
as the hall clock hesitates
between from and to,
stutters with a split second's
indecision between present and future.

I sit and watch
as infinitesimal worlds collide
joining or repelling,
expanding or contracting
with no reason
or predetermined destiny.'....

You have outdone yourself this time! A great read!....Adele...:-)



Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-04-19 06:12:41
Re: Time
Yes there is a real need to write about dust!
this is like a perfectly focused snapshot of time standing still, when nothing seems to move although everything does... bek 🙂

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-04-19 13:06:38
Re: Time
Chrissy, well thought out, well written.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-19 14:53:20
Re: Time
Adele, much thanks for the read, the comments and every thing.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-19 14:54:56
Re: Time
thanks so much for the read and the comments, bek. Genuinely appreciated.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-19 14:55:44
Re: Time
Much thanks, Dargo.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-04-20 15:14:42
Re: Time
Good poem Chrissy - I reckon you were seeing countless universes in your dust cloud. Very inovative subject. Bye now.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-21 04:13:33
Re: Time
Thanks for reading and commenting on this, Shackleton, much appreciated.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-04-21 13:21:50
Re: Time
Chrissy, just to say how original---a clever little poem.

Gerry.xxx.


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-21 14:26:48
Re: Time
much thanks Gerry
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Jasper on 2004-06-27 02:30:54
Re: Time
Silence is the loudest of all heart beats.
Great work!
Jasper

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-27 03:38:00
Re: Time
Jasper, much thanks for the read and the comment, it is genuinely appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


Flight (posted on: 16-04-04)
Some thing I don't usually do just thought I would try it.

chrissy

Flight.

Cast out and falling,
wind rushing,
turning,turning,
looking upward
to the last vestiges
of innocence.

Pouring out vitriol
cursing instinct,
voiceless in the cruel wind.
Not ready!
Too young!
Too incompetent.

Spiraling out of control.
Eyes down cast
view the approaching ground
struggle against
the unused muscle.
Beat, beat.

Longing for grace,
instinctive ease,
unlearned skill.
hard wired,
in the brain,
the sinew, the blood.

Crashing and tearing,
pain and blood.
Faint the cry,
lost, losing,
trying, failing
broken and done.
Archived comments for Flight


Gerry on 2004-04-16 04:50:56
Re: Flight
You seemed to cover lifes "Rites of passage here"
they can be daunting---
Nice writing,

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-16 05:48:29
Re: Flight
Much thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-04-16 06:02:24
Re: Flight
This has got a real pace to it,it's nippy, I can feel the falling, the journey and ultimately the futility, also liked the --

struggle against
the unused muscle.
Beat, beat.

made me think of chicks who fledge too early (I know I'm on about birds again;-))
and think the strongest stanza is this---

Longing for grace,
instinctive ease,
unlearned skill.
hard wired,
in the brain,
the sinew, the blood.

like the rhythm of 'the brain, the sinew, the blood' gave the line the feel of the pulsing blood.
glad you broke your promise and posted this...
bek 🙂



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-16 11:03:22
Re: Flight
bek, much thanks for the comments very genuinely appreciated and you weren't far off the mark with the chick thing. The original title was Eagle but I felt that was too specific. You often see young buzzards around here trying out their wings and it made me think, what if it didn't work, if they hadn't learned the flying thing properly, then it started to feel like it could be about people who don't quite get the hang of being adult.
I didn't really know if it would work on either level but it seems it has.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2004-04-16 16:41:35
Re: Flight
I see this every Spring-time with the little tiny baby birdies, what a shame!! Like this a lot.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-17 04:03:08
Re: Flight
Claire, much thanks for the comments. Sadly some little birds don't get the flying thing right.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-04-17 04:04:02
Re: Flight
Chrissy, I like the way you have written this.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-17 05:03:46
Re: Flight
Much thanks, Dargo.
This was an unusual way of writing for me because I normally tend to write every thing out, if you know what I mean, tell a story complete. This, when I was writing it, felt like using words to create impressions rather than spelling everthing out. I enjoyed doing it so maybe I'll try it again some time.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-17 06:57:51
Re: Flight
Yes, do try it again Chrissy because this is good. There are some very poignant phrases here: "Longing for grace, instinctive ease" - I think I've been doing that all of my life! I see how this could be about a young bird but I immediately read it as about people and the struggle with life. (Mind you that possibly says as much about me as your poem.) Thanks for this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-17 11:09:25
Re: Flight
Hi Elf. Much thanks for the comments and the read, genuinely appreciated. I'm glad the poem worked for you on both levels. I was not at all sure that it would work on either but I'm glad it did.

Author's Reply:

day_dreamer on 2004-04-17 12:05:22
Re: Flight
the thing I like about this is that although it is called flight and as such one tends to think of a young bird it also - conjures up other possible scenarios. Sue.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-04-17 13:08:52
Re: Flight
Hi Chrissy this is impressive, I've don't think I've read your stuff before and I see now what I have been missing. The images you conjour in your poem are vivid and create for me at least the feeling of frustration one has when dreaming of flying and suddenly realising one can't fly! Love it. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-04-17 13:49:14
Re: Flight
This is good, it has an edge to it, I like 'the last vestiges of innocence', and the fourth stanza is very well done. I can't put my finger on it, but there's something about the first line of the last stanza that doesn't, to me, quite fit. Maybe its because I'd want it to carry on from the shorter bursts of rhythm established in the fourth (would 'crash and tear' read better???). I don't know. Maybe its because there's many ...ing endings gone before, then the fourth has none in the last 5 loines, then back it comes. Just speculating; but I fdeel it loses a bit of the edge the fourth has given it. Excuse me! rambling! Thanks for posting it, I liked it.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-17 14:56:22
Re: Flight
Sue, much thanks for the comments. When I was writing it I did think on different levels so I'm glad that it worked.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-17 14:59:02
Re: Flight
Val, many thanks for the kind comments genuinely appreciated.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-17 15:02:25
Re: Flight
Much thanks for the comments and for the read. Like I said I don't normally write like this so it was a bit of a departure for me.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-04-17 16:16:58
Re: Flight
I really like so many of your lines here. chrissy, but they have all been mentioned already.

What an interesting poem, I agree with Val,that it can just as easily apply to the struggles in life which some encounter before able to deal with them, but it is also such a wonderful perspective on 'fallen fledglings', I enjoyed your poem very much, Zydha

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-18 00:34:18
Re: Flight
Zydha, many thanks for the read and for your kind comments. I am glad this poem worked on both levels.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:


Last Pages (posted on: 12-04-04)
Another poem about losing some one and wanting them back. Comments please.

chrissy

Last pages

At the back of a book,crisp and clear as day
you have written your name.
I trace the letters with my fingers,
with my tears.

Did you believe that there would ever be a day
when I would forget you,
need the written word to remember,
to think of you.

I hold the book, press it to my heart.
If I could bring you back I would
and not care that happy ghosts do not return
to hearts they broke.

How can you rest and know the pain your leaving left?
Was your life so meaningless
even with me to treasure you and keep you brave and strong
by just the power of love.

Be my unhappy ghost, return to one who loved you.
Come back to the last page
and speak to me again of all we loved and lost
do not leave me just a name.
Archived comments for Last Pages


ruadh on 2004-04-12 08:00:28
Re: Last Pages
Heartfelt, as always Chrissy. The only thing I would consider changing is;

How can you rest and know the pain your leaving left?

to

How can you rest knowing the pain your leaving left?

Do you believe in reincarnation? Some people believe that souls stick together and come back in different guises in future lives, ie a brother may become a grandfather, a friend a lover. Maybe you can take comfort in the thought that you will meet Ian again in a future life.

love ailsa

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-12 09:24:22
Re: Last Pages
Ailsa, much thanks for your kind comments. I will look at the poem again.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-04-16 02:43:16
Re: Last Pages
Chrissy I enjoyed this, I really love the last stanza-which brings the poem to a perfect close,
'Be my unhappy ghost' I've read this twice now and that line stayed with me between readings.
bek 🙂

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-16 02:52:00
Re: Last Pages
bek, much thanks for your kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.
I'm never really sure if people like my personal poetry as I find other people's (personal poetry) some times a little difficult if I do not know the situations and people they describe.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2004-05-30 00:09:52
Re: Last Pages
I'm miles behind with my reading so forgive me for this late comment.I found this very moving.

I reminds me of finding a book at the bottom of a drawer with a message never read expressing forgotten feelings.

Mike

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-30 00:46:48
Re: Last Pages
Mike, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked the poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-06-03 12:25:19
Re: Last Pages
Difficult to know what to say except 'I've been there'.
{t's very good. The last verse is lovely.
Daf

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-03 12:40:22
Re: Last Pages
Hi Daf, much thanks for the comments. I could honestly not remember writing this when I originally posted it but then I found it in long hand in my poems file.
Glad you liked it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:


I love you. (posted on: 05-04-04)
It says what I feel

chrissy

Love You

Forgive me if I have said it today but,
I love you.
I say it, not for effect or even to make you aware of it,
but because I do not want a day when we are together
to end without your knowing
I love you.

It is my mantra, my spell, to say
I love you
and so ward off all the harm the world might do.
You know and I am content that you do.
I love you.

We have become mutual you and I
and I love you.
We are the two faces of the same coin,
two doors in to the same room.
Different only in perspective, up, down, left, right.
What changes?
Only the view.

You are my talisman, my charm.
I love you.
I put you on like my lucky socks, wear you close to me,
like my rabbit's foot, my amulet, my wicca's eye.
And I can not use different words to make it more believable.
I love you.
Archived comments for I love you.


deepoceanfish2 on 2004-04-05 13:28:01
Re: I love you.
Chrissy...A very tender piece. Your final stanza is your best, I feel, with a fluid imagery and momentum. Good read....Adele

Author's Reply:

ShadowChaser on 2004-04-05 13:56:52
Re: I love you.
Beautiful....does exactly what it says on the tin! :o)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-05 15:32:33
Re: I love you.
Deep thanks for your comments. It was written from the heart.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-05 15:34:27
Re: I love you.
Much thanks for your comments. It was, as I said, what I felt, still feel.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-04-06 15:24:24
Re: I love you.
Wow something we should all do thanks for reminding me. I like this poem...Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-07 00:38:47
Re: I love you.
Glad you like it, Erma.

Author's Reply:


Can I go now? (posted on: 05-04-04)
My husband is some times a very stubborn soul. When people tell him not to do some thing, especially for his healths' sake he WILL do it. But I still love the silly old fart to bits.

chrissy

Can I go now?

Can I go now
and not worry that you will do some thing silly?
Can I get to the door and not look back
to see you looking after me?

Can I leave you?
Just for a little while?
I have so much to do
and not just for me.

Can I trust you
to just sit and rest and not try
to do the things you know I'll do
when I have the time?

Shall I go now?
Come back when you want to talk
or not talk just sit and listen.
You were always good at that.

If you want me to stay
I will.
Put off until tomorrow
the things I should do today.

I will go now.
You're tired and you need your rest.
I'll only be a little while.
Be back before you know I've gone.
Archived comments for Can I go now?


ritawrites on 2004-04-05 06:48:39
Re: Can I go now?
this is so lovely -- tenderness and love -- i always find so hard to express -- you've done it so well --

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-05 07:45:38
Re: Can I go now?
many thanks for your kind comments.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Frenchy on 2004-04-05 09:01:55
Re: Can I go now?
A loving, thoughtful and above all caring piece about two people who love each other.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-04-05 10:05:14
Re: Can I go now?
Within you poem speaks gentleness, tenderness and love. A very pleasant read, Zydha

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-05 11:19:33
Re: Can I go now?
much thanks for your comments.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-05 11:21:34
Re: Can I go now?
glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comments

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-04-05 13:29:37
Re: Can I go now?
Interesting read..laced with futility.....Adele

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-04-05 14:56:07
Re: Can I go now?
Lucky fellow I can feel the love in this poem....Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-05 16:55:46
Re: Can I go now?
Not sure I would say futility. He can be infuriating some times but he is a very stubborn man when he thinks he knows best. I'm used to him though, after twenty six years.
Much thanks for reading it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-05 16:58:51
Re: Can I go now?
He's a very lovable old bloke.
Much thanks for the read.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

gouri on 2004-04-07 02:24:15
Re: Can I go now?
This poem has the expression of love with a soft touch. Lovely indeed!

Gouri.



Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-07 03:00:47
Re: Can I go now?
Thank you for comments. Much appreciated.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-04-07 15:36:19
Re: Can I go now?
Hi Chrissy - I loved your poem.

I'm the oldest of 6 children and the father of 3 children - and since the age of about 12, I've always had to be the 'alpha male' of the family - fighting off the big, bad baddies of the world from firstly, my siblings, and then my children. We've all now reached the stage whereby my siblings can take on the world in their own right - and God help the world if it crosses my children.

And now... now I'm enjoying my time as the 'silly old fart' of the family.

Best regards to your 'silly old fart'

Silly old farts of the world unite!!!!! You have nothing to lose but your flatulence.

Nice poem Chrissy. Bye now.

Author's Reply:

Lulu on 2004-04-07 18:32:51
Re: Can I go now?
That was simply beautiful. Shame I cannot remember the last time I talked like that to a partner...

You've made me realise what a lousy lover I make lately!

But still... I great poem, he better be proud! 😉

xxx
lUisa.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-08 00:37:12
Re: Can I go now?
Glad you liked the poem and your comments about being a silly old fart made me laugh, not an easy thing to do at 6.35 in the morning.
Best wishes.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-08 00:38:58
Re: Can I go now?
Many thanks for your kind comments, much appreciated.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

day_dreamer on 2004-04-10 15:26:28
Re: Can I go now?
Chrissy - This reveals a tenderness and caring - in a lovely way. Sue.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-10 16:01:54
Re: Can I go now?
Sue, many thanks for your kind comments.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-04-11 11:11:58
Re: Can I go now?
Nice one--bet I have been called worse than that. lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-12 01:59:33
Re: Can I go now?
Glad you liked the poem Gerry and I'm sure we all have benn called much worse. I know I have.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:


The Good Child (posted on: 08-03-04)
This is the kind of child I was.
Not really happy with the last two verses. What think you?

chrissy

The Good Child

The good child is not rude,
does not eat food with her fingers,
uses instead a knife and fork or spoon as
civilized people do.

The good child does her best,
attacks with zest each parental ambition,
achieves the required results with grace
and does not fail.

The good child does not stare
at the place where a purple, hairy wart
haunts the face of some slightly related
adult aunt.

The good child does not run,
have fun with other children in the street
when there is work to be done indoors
on her education.

The good child knows her place,
does not disgrace her self with tantrums
when she feels neglected and rejected
by those supposed to care.

The good child is not afraid
of ghost or shade that screams the terrors
of the night beset with awful dreams
and strange imaginings.

The good child seldom cries
but lies asleep in the darkened room,
a little plaster saint who troubles
no one.

The good child can not remain,
will not refrain from speaking her mind
when she has put away her childhood
and is grown.

Even the good child will turn,
will burn with rage that age imparts
to all as they grow, begin to know
life's injustice.
Archived comments for The Good Child


dargo77 on 2004-03-08 03:17:32
Re: The Good Child
Chrissy I see nothing wrong with the last two verses and I enjoyed this poem.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-08 03:25:46
Re: The Good Child
Much thanks.
I just don't feel the last two verses fit some how, like they're a bit forced.
Dunno, I'll have another think, maybe see what other people say.
Glad you liked it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-03-08 10:27:21
Re: The Good Child
Yes, see what you mean--somehow they don't seem to fit, or maybe just leave the last verse out?

Anyway I liked it.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-08 10:47:29
Re: The Good Child
I agree with the last verse being the big offender. To me it feels pompous and altogether too "poetic" if you understand what I mean. I don't know. I'll live with it for a wee while longer.
Glad you liked it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-08 17:08:41
Re: The Good Child
No, no, no, please KEEP the last verse; it is the heart of your poem (and it is such a good poem). I was that child and boy! do I "burn with rage that age imparts".

This was almost painful to read, but thank you for sharing it. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-09 02:43:35
Re: The Good Child
Much thanks for your comments.
Perhaps it is the construction and not the content of the last verse that worries me. I shall have more looks and see if I can't say the same thing in a slightly different way.
Glad you liked it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

RoseRed on 2004-03-18 22:02:19
Re: The Good Child
The "Good Child" eventually matures enough to realize they have a right to their own feelings, needs, desires and opinions. Don't change a word in this. It is perfect. The last two lines make the piece what it is.

Thank you very much for the favorite story selection.

RoseRed

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-20 02:05:59
Re: The Good Child
Much thanks for your comments. I will not change it, (mainly because I'm lazy) but I will keep looking at it from time to time.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-03-22 12:57:25
Re: The Good Child
First time reading your work and must say, I enjoyed this very much. You're describing my childhood! I have no problem with it's layout, after reading other's comments, but then, the final decision on that is your own. I especially liked:

'...The good child is not afraid
of ghost or shade that screams the terrors
of the night beset with awful dreams
and strange imaginings.

The good child seldom cries
but lies asleep in the darkened room,
a little plaster saint who troubles
no one....'

Fluid impact! Nicely done, Chrissy.


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-23 01:46:04
Re: The Good Child
Much thanks for your kind comments. I probably won't change it 'cause like I said I'm a bit lazy.
Many thanks for selecting it as a favourite read and for selecting me as a favourite author. Very kind.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-03-31 14:46:11
Re: The Good Child
I saw me in practically every line -- great read!

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-31 23:21:35
Re: The Good Child
much thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:

Jasper on 2004-06-27 02:50:02
Re: The Good Child
I can't rate this piece ,Chrissy, as I'm not a little girl!
Is it really so painful to be one?
Boy's get away with far too much if it is the case, as I still cry about injustice!
You achieved your aim and did it par excellence, is what I'm trying saying....brilliant!
Has this one been published for I believe I've read it before somewhere?
Jasper

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-27 03:51:39
Re: The Good Child
Jasper, much thanks for the read and the comments.
This is not the story of all little girls, just the little girl I was.
I've checked on my site and in a dirt cheap booklet of poems I printed up for family, friends and fans after I did some readings a couple of years back, the only places it could have been published, and I can't find it, so no, it hasn't been published.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Jasper on 2004-06-27 20:37:55
Re: The Good Child
I don't mean to scare you Chrissy, but my memory, while fallible, is very positive here. I saw it on a poster in a popular book store in Camberwell, Melbourne, Vic, Austrailia.
Coping others work may be thought as a compliment to some, but not I.
Just to be safe?
Jasper

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-28 00:48:40
Re: The Good Child
You can not be serious. Who in their right mind would want to snag my work? This is a wind up, right? Unless of course you're accusing me of copying some one else's work? Not worth the hassle and any way, I don't rate any one's work highly enough to want to copy it.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-28 01:34:54
Re: The Good Child
I realize that last bit about not rating any one's work highly enough to want to copy it, sounds a bit like I'm dismissing other people's work. I'm not. I just wouldn't copy some thing and try to pass it off as my own. You KNOW what I mean.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:


Think of me (posted on: 05-03-04)
First submission for a little while. Comments please.

chrissy

Think of me

Think of me when you walk
by the river
and you see the bridges
spanning from side to side
think of me playing Pooh sticks
laughing as I ran from one side to the other
to see the twigs emerge.

Think of me when you ride
your bone shaking bicycle
over the cobbles
to the wine bar where we used to meet,
when you sip the dark red wine
the light like reflected rubies
in the fire light.

Think of me when you walk
along a beach
on a dull day and let the sea
touch your feet
with cold, salty fingers
frothy and white, running forward
and chasing back.

And some times
when you sit alone
with time on your hands
and nothing much to do,
no book to read, no paper to mark,
just then, when nothing else fills your mind,
think of me.
Archived comments for Think of me


Gerry on 2004-03-05 05:04:17
Re: Think of me
Chrissy,
Just popped in to see what else you have written---I like this too.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-05 09:57:35
Re: Think of me
much thanks for your comments.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2004-03-06 13:18:37
Re: Think of me
I have read a couple of your pieces and I have noted down a few 'thingys and whatevers' to help me with my work. Your work is very good, enjoyable read.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-06 15:55:36
Re: Think of me
much thanks Claire. My thingys and whatevers are free to use by any one.

Author's Reply:


At the dance (posted on: 05-03-04)
I know, it's too long and it doesn't scan all that well in places. Any other comments please.

chrissy

At the dance

It took me hours just to decide to go.
I have no date and nothing new to wear
but go I must, I've told my self I will
and maybe, if I'm lucky, you'll be there.

My sister said that black would suit me better
but I chose white, in spite of what she said
I'm not, don't want to be sophisticated
I won't pretend, just be myself instead.

My courage ebbs and flows as I get closer
and at the door it all but disappears.
The lights are much too bright, I look quite ghostly
the "music's" much too loud, it hurts my ears.

If I could change my mind or maybe vanish
or better still not have started out at all
but breezing in they go and take me with them
a white wall flower at the Summer ball.

Beneath the flashing lights I stand alone
and watch the others' grotesque, modern dance
in low cut dresses, suits that do not suit them.
they bounce and wiggle, gyrate, bend and prance.

I'm all but gone when I finally see you
standing on your own quite near the door.
And seeing you my heart starts beating faster
I make my towards you across the floor.

I push aside the beery invitations
the scrubbed clean hands that paw and press and pray
in a silly dream I make my way towards you
and smile because you do not turn away

And Oh I want your hands to just caress me
to run your fingers softly through my hair
to take my hand in yours, then softly kiss it
but you smile and say you're pleased to see me there.

And when the music softens, grows more mellow
you lead me out to dance so close to you.
No cares for what the others think or say,
we dance so close together just we two.

Now I wonder if I'm only dreaming
If this is wishful thinking on my part
if any minute now my eyes will open
and then the stupid, lonely tears will start.

If this is just a dream, my mind is whispering,
then let me dream and never let me wake
to be alone at home with no one
would be much more than my sad heart could take.

Now once again the music quickens
and you and I will not stand the pace
we move back to the place we started.
Smiling, you bend and kiss my face.

It's not a dream, we walk home in the morning.
A rose red dawn tints the cloudy sky.
The quiet streets echo to our footsteps
the world's last happy couple, you and I.

At my door, you take my hand and kiss it.
No caution that we must not be seen.
I do not care, you do not care, this is our moment
the sweet continuation of a dream.

And when again in day light I see you
with all the normal trappings of the day,
I do not blush when deliberately you touch me
I do not quickly pull my hand away.

Gone is the awkward child that no one cared for,
the silly thing too clever for her age.
The chosen, golden girl her place has taken.
The little bird has just unlocked her cage.
Archived comments for At the dance


Gerry on 2004-03-05 05:00:20
Re: At the dance
Chrissy,
What a beautiful poem--well written.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-05 10:00:56
Re: At the dance
most kind. Much thanks for your comments and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Chrissy

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2004-03-05 23:30:05
Re: At the dance
I enjoyed this, a wonderful poetic story. Very romantic.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-06 02:20:07
Re: At the dance
Much thanks for your comments.
Before the events of this poem happened I used to see people, students mostly, coming home in the wee small hours and I always wished that I could do that one day. I did.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Kazzmoss on 2004-03-06 11:24:07
Re: At the dance
I am not very good with poetry, the only poetry I seem to like is the ones that flows and rhymes.

However, from a story point of view, I loved it. To me it seemed like a story set out in poem which made it a bit different.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-06 12:27:58
Re: At the dance
If just one person finds it interesting and "lovable", I reckon that's a job done.
Much thanks for your comments.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

RoseRed on 2004-03-18 22:05:38
Re: At the dance
I have been to this dance and I have been this girl and you have it portrayed perfectly. The path to maturity can be long, winding and difficult, but eventually you reach the smooth part of the path.

RoseRed

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-20 02:10:59
Re: At the dance
Much thanks for your comments. I don't think I will ever grow up really. In my head I'm still around sixteen or some thing.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:


Who am I? Who I am. (posted on: 09-01-04)
I wrote this when I was about eighteen..... the point is people can and do change

chrissy

I am the promising signet
that turned in to an ugly duck
the gold that was turned to base metal
by some alchemist's bad luck.

I am the dry dead straw
spun from the purest gold.
And while my picture stays young in the attic
I am the one who grows old

I am the bent drawing pin
that let your urgent message fall
the last one outside the picture
the one not seen at all.

I am the shadow of a shadow
the echo of an echoed word
the silent, sad invisible one
not ever seen or heard.

I am the broken, silent clock
that no one wants to mend
the plain Jane who, in the year book,
is listed as no one's best friend.

I am the lost ambition,
the criminally wasted chance.
I am the grit in the oil, the stone in the shoe
the last wall flower at the dance

I am the drab omega place,
destination of last resort
a cringing, whinging zero,
a faceless, nameless nought.
Archived comments for Who am I? Who I am.


discopants on 2004-01-10 12:34:01
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
So you were an optimist at the time, were you?? I like it- it has a good rhythm to it, but the line 'is listed as no one's best friend' doesn't seem to scan quite as well as the rest of the poem and throws the rhythm out slightly.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-01-10 13:25:50
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
Hi Chrissy. You've just written the story of millions of your fellow humans. In fact, there are so many of us, that this poem describes ...... that we are quite probably the new 'elite'. Interesting poem - enjoyed it. Bye now.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-01-10 14:37:16
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
Thanks for the comments. I must confess that I hadn't looked at this poem for a very long time and I do agree with you that that line could do with a little revision.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-01-10 14:40:47
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
much thanks.
I'm afraid I wasn't a very confident soul back then but like I said people change.

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-02-05 07:27:38
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
Chrissy, there is nothing plain about your poetry, in fact it is one of my favourite reads.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-02-05 09:43:34
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
much thanks, Dargo and thanks for picking it as a favourite.

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-02-10 14:09:36
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
Like it; and agree with disco p., some lines don't scan as well as others. I'm glad you've changed, because at 18, one never really knows what might happen.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-02-10 15:00:09
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
I guess at that age I didn't feel very special. Then I found that I could write a bit. Glad you liked it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-02-11 02:45:46
Re: Who am I? Who I am.
Much thanks. Glad you liked it.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:


THE WEB (Chapter 4) (posted on: 02-01-04)
Chapter four of the Web
any comments about this and previous Web chapters most welcome

chrissy

CHAPTER 4

LONDON

Matthews sagged against the wall. "If that wee bastard has done nothing else for you he's improved your squash game."
"He's done more than that."
"Well, does Simon know what he's doing or does he know what he's doing? I think you should have at least let me win for what I've done for you."
"Bubbles. It would be bad for your ego if I did that."
"You're certainly looking better."
"That's sleep. God I didn't know how important it was until I wasn't getting it."
"A bit like sex."
"Thank you doctor." Malcolm smiled conspiratorially. "Do you promise not to say a word to my agent?"
"What?"
"I'm writing again."
"Good heavens. That's fantastic John. Julian doesn't know what he's let the dear old British public in for."
"I don't really think he does. I doubt if he's read any thing I've written."
"What makes you say that?"
"Oh. I think I would be a bit too low brow for friend Julian."
"He's all right. He was always a bit of an odd ball but well you don't have his kind of life and not come out a little bit different to other folk."
"Sounds fascinating."
"Not really. He's just very intelligent. I.Q. like a Glescae telephone number, Harvard at the age of six, that sort of thing. I jest but you get the picture."
"How do you know him?"
"Oh, he did some post graduate stuff at Oxford. He liked it so much he stayed."
"Is he married."
Matthews grinned. "That depends."
"Got some little tottie has he."
"Er no."
"Ah," Malcolm remembered certain little things that he had found odd. "He's..."
"Don't let's be coy, the man is gay."
"I thought he might be."
"So, when's your next appointment with Monty?"
"Three months, I think. Oh Jesus. I'd better check that, I might not be here."
"And where might you be?"
"Oh Cyril's got this European tour lined up. I am not looking forward to it. It really cocks you up when you're working on some thing new and you've got to go back to talking about the last thing that you did. I could perhaps use Monty as an excuse for not doing it."
"Give me a free bun trip to the flesh pots of Europe any day, especially if the alternative is seeing Sir Clough Montgomery." Matthews looked at Malcolm waiting for the inevitable question about the knighthood but it didn't come, Malcolm was staring in to space.

She recognised him, he knew that and she didn't seem afraid, not as afraid as he was. She stared at him for a long time ignoring her elderly companion as he stroked the side of her neck affectionately. She was pretty in lemon yellow, her feet bare. She wore little gold ear rings that caught the light as the old man stroked her neck and ruffled her blonde hair.

"John. Oh shit! John." Matthews held Malcolm's arm just in case this should be some kind of seizure. "John, come and sit down, man."
Malcolm came back to himself fairly quickly.
"Oh ma God ye give me a fright!" Matthews exclaimed.
"Did I? I'm sorry Simon."
"No problem so long as you're all right."
"I'm fine. Look er I'm going to hit the shower and then get off home."
"I think we should have a wee professional chat."
"Simon. I'm fine. Really I am." Malcolm started to move away from Matthews.
"John, just to keep me happy?"
"Oh, very well, I'll pop in Tuesday, all right?"
"You'd better."
Malcolm smiled. "Thanks for the game."
"Aye."
***


"I told you that they were happening, Simon."
"I had no idea that we were dealing with some thing so like a petit mal attack. This has got to affect your driving licence."
"If you think I'm dangerous."
"John, you can't just go off like that. Just think, man if you had been driving your car...."
Malcolm looked disconsolately down at his hands. Even though he didn't use the car that much, except when he was in Wales, it was some thing else to be told that he couldn't use it, that Simon and some nameless, faceless bureaucrat in Swansea would get together and decide that. He hated the idea and he didn't care who knew that.
Simon was saying; "I'm sorry, John." but Malcolm wasn't listening. Try as he might to concentrate on what Simon was saying to him his mind drifted. He was back in the garden, leaning against the low wall of the terrace looking down as the beautiful child and the old man walked hand in hand like lovers in the garden below. She turned to look towards the house and waved. He was going to wave back but Simon had claimed his full attention again with, "You're going to have to tell Monty about this you know."
"I suppose so."
"There can be no suppose so about it, John. He's your consultant and he must know."
"I will tell him."
"We might be able to agree some medication he and I. Mean time you don't drive you don't handle any garden machinery, do it yourself stuff and don't go swimming alone. Nine times out of ten after a head injury some thing like this tends to clear up on its own and of those cases that don't the majority are easily treated."
"It isn't like that. Look, when I was about thirteen we moved to a different part of the country, I had to change schools and I remember that there was this lad there who had epilepsy and he used to get the petit mal attacks. I was the only one either ignorant enough or interested enough to ask what actually happened to him. From what I remember of what he told me happened to him, what happens to me is nothing like that. I still know exactly where I am and what I'm doing."
"I'm sure you do."
"It didn't seem to bother Julian. "His voice, even to his own ears sounded petulant and he could almost hear the stamp of his foot.
"Julian does not have the same duty of care to the wider public safety that I do. His interest was just in you."
"There is still the stigma, Simian. I don't care how intelligent and open minded you are, how politically correct other people hear the word epilepsy and they don't think of the fine minds who have suffered from it in the past they just think of the educationally sub-norms they used to see when they were kids, uneducated because society thought them ineducable in normal schools. I won't be stuck with that label if that isn't what's wrong."
"No one is sticking labels, John. But you have to understand that I don't just have a duty to you. If I let you continue to drive and you had an accident and kill some one, who is responsible for that?"
"I agree I won't drive."
"Then there is no problem."
"You won't inform Swansea?"
"You've promised that you won't drive."
"Thanks Simon."
"You'll be taking the train to Oxford then."
Malcolm smiled. "I do any way."
"Has he said any more about hypnotherapy?"
"Only every time I see him."
"I always got the feeling that he longed to be a surgeon. That's what hypnotising you would be, his equivalent of brain surgery."
"Well he can practice that particular black art on some one else."
"I'll tell him you said that."
"I suppose you see him socially, do you?"
"Occasionally."
"And do you talk about your patients?"
"Not so that you would notice. Julian and I share a love of music. I mean good music not that crap you listen to."
"The Rolling Stones were a seminal influence."
"I'm sure they were."
"Well, I'll let you get on. I'm sure you have sick people to see."
"Aye. That's a major draw back with the job. Look, if you want a chat, we'll go for a drink one evening."
"Ooh. I don't think that's on. My doctor doesn't allow me to drink."
"Get your arse out of here. And don't think you can get away with not telling Monty about the absences because I shall be telling him."
"So much for patientdoctor confidentiality."
"I'll see you in three weeks."
"Fine."

***


Malcolm walked from the surgery to his home, it wasn't far and he was feeling in the need of exercise. Squash once a week with Matthews wasn't enough.
The day was quite warm and sunny and despite the talk of epilepsy and all that that dragged out of his psyche that he was none too proud of he felt more at ease with him self and his life than he had for a very long time.
In his flat he made himself lunch and sat to think about laying out the work for that afternoon. He really meant to think about it, to get every thing planned so that all he had to do was sit down and execute the tasks as he prioritised them but she came all unbidden in to his mind looking soft and feminine in cream silk and smelling of magnolias. Who was she? This beautiful green eyed blonde with the little pointed chin and the full pouting mouth, who was this little angel, too young to touch? Did she truly exist or was she some figment of his imagination. The thought occurred to him that as she had started to appear to him now, she might be some one from his early childhood. That thought distressed him. If she was just a memory from that time she would be older than him, though perhaps she had retained her looks. And who was the companion, the handsome older man who seemed to dote on her? Malcolm thought not her father. No fathers he knew kissed and caressed their daughters the way he did with her. A lover then? Some one to whom the little princess had been promised as a babe or maybe just an old sugar daddy?
And were she real and young today, what was she doing cropping up in his dreams and mental wanderings.
He knew that he fancied her even though she was only a child and so what? If an old boy like that could.... He pulled himself up in his thoughts. She was more than likely just a figment of his imagination and he shouldn't waste his time. There were ladies by the dozen out there real flesh and blood women not imaginary nymphs. But she would not release him, still she walked in the garden and talked animatedly to her lover, still she smiled as his elegant bejewelled fingers brushed the golden hair from her face, still she sighed with pleasure as he kissed her neck and tasted the perfume she wore.
Did she love him? Malcolm thought that she might. He had known stranger combinations. But what had she to do with him? Where was the coming together of their two lives? Was it in memory or just in imagination? He hoped for the latter for to have known her and not to be able to know her again was too painful. He would keep her in his mind and then she would not grow old.


Trevor MacDonald said; "And finally, today in Boston Massachusetts, sixteen year old Nicole Louis Highlander became the youngest person ever to graduate Harvard Law School. Nicole, just sixteen years and eight months took a specially designed degree course....."
Asleep in his chair Malcom did not see the pictures of the pretty green eyed blonde smiling from his TV and did not hear Nicole describe the honour of being a graduate of Harvard let alone the youngest person to graduate.
John Malcolm slept and dreamed his dreams.
Later he woke and went up to bed. The night was not so frightening as it had been, his bed held fewer terrors.
The dreams still came but the tricks learned with Suzanne at Oxford helped him to take more control and yet still there was the feeling that the what ever it was, was still waiting for him. What was it Suzanne had misquoted some thing from Casablanca; maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but some time, when you least expect it....
He got in to bed and turned out the light. For the moment he could sleep, perhaps dream of her, though he rarely did, she was part of his waking fantasy but maybe tonight he would be lucky.
He closed his eyes and began to doze felt the now familiar movement of his eyes against his eye lids. They had taught him a lot and it was all vital, his mental survival kit.
He began to see his dream unfolding in front of him. He was in a street, a narrow cobbled street. He felt that his hand was being held by some one bigger than him. His father? The handsome young man who wanted to save his life. He tried to turn his head so that he could look in to the face of his companion but the man was giving nothing away, he had no face just a blank, featureless blob.
Malcolm felt his heart begin to pound. The tricks kicked in. He let go of the mans' hand and imagined that he had stopped to talk to a friendly dog. It worked. The panic left him and he didn't even mind that he was alone.
An old woman in black asked him if he was Michele's boy but before he could answer his hand was taken again by the man with no face and he walked, head down, eyes looking at every step he took beside his faceless companion until they reached the out skirts of the town. A large black car was waiting for them and the man pushed him inside.
No one spoke as they drove up the twisting, turning road and then, quite out of the blue the car veered off the road and they were plunging down the mountain side. He managed to open the door and threw himself out to roll uncomfortably down the rocky slope before being stopped by the roots of a tree. This time he had survived.
He sat up and the act of sitting up in the dream woke him. Instead of going to make a drink he switched on the light and wrote down what the dream had been about, and how he felt on waking. Then he did what he never did, turned out the light and lay down to go back to sleep.
Archived comments for THE WEB (Chapter 4)


Michel on 2004-01-04 06:18:39
Re: THE WEB (Chapter 4)
Interesting read! I got a bit impatient to know who the girl was, and felt like slapping Malcolm awake sometimes and then the others to stop them talking so much - but the story seems interesting (and I would like to find out what's behind it)

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-01-04 07:14:23
Re: THE WEB (Chapter 4)
much thanks for reading this and for your comments. The story is a tad complicated and I'm only just working it all out in my own head.
Chrissy

Author's