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romany's (romany on UKA) UKArchive
155 Archived submissions found.
Title
Shadow (posted on: 09-03-15)
For the weekly challenge ending 11th March My sister's cat was called Shadow. She lost him recently, hence the inspiration.

Shadow. She called him Shadow, and when he came A scrap of a cat, his skin aflame Mangy, skinny, weak and small Shadow was barely there at all Weeks of loving, nights of care Became a years-long love affair Stealthy, funny, healthy, strong, Shadow found somewhere to belong A familiar outline against the wall A flicker of movement in the hall The brush of velvet passing by His presence gentle as a sigh Sneaking in and out of doors On silent, padded, stealthy paws Small as he was, filling the place With comedy and feline grace And so their lives intertwined If ever apart, then close in mind But life is short, this we all know And so came Shadow's turn to go No matter who may we feel love for It cannot be measured or put to score Love is love; we feel its cost It's what remains, when all else is lost So just look closely, by the wall Was that movement in the hall? Is that velvet, across your shin? Did you sigh, when you came in? Shadows remain, they follow you They join in everything you do The day grows old, shadows grow long But they are there, and never gone S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Shadow
Mikeverdi on 09-03-2015
Shadow
Its good, but I feel it could be improved. For me, there are to many words, giving a cluttered feel to the poem. eg... 'The brush of velvet passing by' in my opinion would read better, help the flow.In the last verse there is a typo seventh line 🙂 I'm not sure about the joining of the verses, when others are set a four lines.
These are only my opinions and observations, others may not agree, and in the end it's your work.
In friendship
Mike

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike, I agree with your observations as it happens. This was something I wrote very quickly to be honest, in response to the weekly challenge. I haven't written anything for UKA in a long while. When I saw the prompt was 'shadows' I felt compelled to write this and get it in in time for the challenge (not realising I had to post it in the forum.) It was a bit rushed if I am honest, and I agree with your observations as a result. I will sort the typo and thanks for taking the time.

Romany

pommer on 09-03-2015
Shadow
Hi Romany,
being a cat lover I could not help enjoying this wonderfully composed poem.I personally like the idea two four line verses interrupted by an eight line verse and again at the end. To me it gives a feeling of poetic beauty.I agree with Mike on the typing error,and Mike's suggestion about the brush of velvet is worth considering.Well done,Romany.Peter

Author's Reply:
Thanks Peter, I am glad you agree with the composition. Am about to deal with they typo,

Romany

stormwolf on 09-03-2015
Shadow
Hi sue
Great to read you again. A poem about a much loved animal friend will always tear my heart and this is no exception.
You captured Shadow so well that it was as though I had known him. I have a cat who means the world to me. I never imagined it. I was always a dog person but reading here, I knew that one day this will come to me.

I felt the poem sang along with good metre and rhyme and my only quibble was the last line which lost the rhythm for me. 😉

What about
The day grows old, shadows grow long
But they are there and never gone
The 'always' was out of sync.
I am sure your sister will cherish this poem.
Alison x



Author's Reply:
Hi storm, I appreciate you taking the time. I think you are right about the 'always' and am off to change it now. It is not an excuse but I admit I was somewhat rushed writing this, and it shows!

Thanks again,

Romany

Savvi on 10-03-2015
Shadow
Hi Romany, unfortunately I cannot comment as I am choosing this weeks egg award, but please remember to post it in the forum so it is considered along with the others.
Best Keith (Savvi Scribe)

Author's Reply:
Thanks, hope I am not too late then! Am I imagining things or did we once have to post on the main page for challenges set in the forum?

Romany.

sweetwater on 11-03-2015
Shadow
For me this poem said a lot of about how I feel about much loved, but lost, pets, I have lost three of my four precious cats to very old age, but they are still around, I catch a glimpse here or split second siting there, and I always acknowledge whichever one it is. It's a real comfort. Very much enjoyed reading this. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Thank you sweetwater, I am glad you enjoyed it


Life (posted on: 15-12-14)
After recent (personal) events.

Life Life is not Kind, Life is not Cruel Life is not Wise, nor yet a Fool Life does not plot, but lies in Wait To lay the path set down by Fate Life takes no Measure of foot-fall Offers no Guide, no defensive wall Life does not Judge, Life does not See Does not serve Justice equally Life does not Fear, nor is it Bold Does not decide on Young or Old It does not Argue, does not Quiz It does not care; Life just Is. S. Oldham.
Archived comments for Life

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Take It on the Chin (posted on: 01-08-14)
Song lyrics - I can hear the tune in my head, just wish I was musical enough to allow everyone else to hear it too! Oh well, make of it what you will...

Take It On the Chin. There's no point me saying I know how you feel For, after all, how could I? You are you and I am me That's just one difference between us I'm trying to tell you that I understand But I'm not sure now that I do I had all the words ready, empathy planned You make feel like I'm causing a fuss Maybe you're not as broken up as I believed Maybe you're stronger than you made out Perhaps it wasn't the shock I thought it was And you already had your doubts So stop your laughing at me like a drain Making me feel like I'm a clown There's nothing funny when I see your pain How you're paying for your choice Your eyes are troubled despite your smile They shine just a little too bright You seem just fine for a little while Then there's that tremor in your voice You're every bit as broken up as I believed You're not as strong as you make out It was just the shock that I thought it was And you never had any doubts I know you'll shake your head as if to shake me off But I'll tell you this anyhow I'm here for you when you need someone 'cos I can see how lost you are I watch embarrassed friends stammer and cough As one by one they take a bow They don't mean to desert you, they want to help They just don't know where to start But I can make you better than you'd ever believe Stronger than you were before I can absorb the shock and wrap you in my love And you'd know then for sure So go ahead and laugh, until you cry, at me I'll be your one woman show There'll be plenty of laughter, no more pain See I can help, because, I know There's no point me saying I know how you feel For, after all, how could I? You are you and I am me That's just one difference between us S. P. Oldham
Archived comments for Take It on the Chin

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Evermore (posted on: 26-08-13)
A bit of a ghostly tale based on my (totally non-supernatural) experience of actually doing the filing for Tredegar Orpheus Male Voice choir - the true horror element of the story that I have played down (wo)manfully here - it was a BIG job! Just for fun but feel free to crit. Thanks.

Gina regretted volunteering to overhaul the choir's music files the instant she laid eyes on the job ahead of her. She had been let in via the tradesman's entrance at the rear of the building, shown to a flight of stairs past the main hall to the cellars below. The musty smell of the old building and its dimly lit corridors were off putting enough, but on being let into the cellar, Gina's heart really sank. A row of eight filing cabinets, all stuffed full of words and music, lined the wall to her left. Spread across the floor more boxes held music, some over-flowing, spilling their contents. Items of old furniture, broken chairs, ancient tables, clothes rails, even an old organ, were variously strewn with sheets of music and all kinds of litter that appeared long forgotten. ''We'll just be upstairs in rehearsal. It's much appreciated,'' Peter, the elderly chorister who had escorted Gina down to the cellar, shakily handed over the cellar key, nodded his thanks and turned to climb the stairs. The strains of a piano playing and muffled voices became briefly clearer as the door was pushed open and Peter joined the choir. Gina felt strangely distant down here in the cellar alone, as if the hall and its male voice choir were very far away. She fought back the irrational urge to follow Peter up the stairs and tell him she'd changed her mind, instead turning her attention to the task at hand. She would itemise the contents of the boxes first, she decided. Laying them out alphabetically across the floor, she could get them in some sort of order before she even opened a filing cabinet. She began pushing some of the furniture out of the way, scraping chair legs noisily across the red tile floor, struggling with a table far heavier than it looked. Upstairs, the choir were singing Deus Salutis. Something stirred in the far corner. Panting from exertion, Gina stood up straight and watched for further movement; nothing, merely shadows within shadows. It was much darker there she noted; the lights at that end of the room were not switched on. Expecting a cat or worse, a rat, she crossed back to the open doorway. Four light switches were set into the wall; only two of them were on. She flicked the m, expecting the room to flood with light. A single dim bulb seeped into life. Opposite, in the corner where Gina thought she had seen something move, it remained stubbornly dark. Gina shivered; that corner was wholly uninviting. Perhaps it was just that it was the darkest spot in the room. Maybe her hair had fallen into her eyes and tricked her into thinking she had seen something. She shrugged it off, feeling faintly foolish and conscious of the need to make a start on the filing. Cursing the fact that she had forgotten her notepad, she began casting about for scraps of paper to write on. She had found a marker pen sitting on top of a box. Now she needed to write the letters of the alphabet on separate sheets and lay them in order across the floor; a rudimentary filing system to begin with. She had made a good start, the floor covered with small, neat piles of music sheets, her hands grubby with the feel of old, untouched papers, when Peter reappeared at the door, ''All okay?'' he asked, scanning the room warily, ''We've finished for tonight. See you Wednesday will we?'' ''Oh, is that the time already? Yes, see you Wednesday,'' Gina said, more brightly than she felt. Her gaze had been dragged back to that dark corner the whole time she was working. She glanced across at it now involuntarily, Peter's eyes following hers. ''You've been busy,'' He nodded at the rows of paper, all headed with assorted scraps individually marked A-Z, making three rows in all. Gina was suddenly alarmed. ''Do cleaners come down here?'' she asked, afraid her painstaking work would be tidied away. Peter gave her an odd look, ''Nobody comes down here, just me,'' he paused, ''and now you.'' He held his hand out for the key. Glad to give it back, Gina grabbed her coat and bag and was at the top of the stairs and outside before Peter had a chance to lock the cellar door. * In the warmth and safety of her flat, Gina dismissed the whole incident as her over-active imagination. She had been on edge ever since she moved in a few weeks ago. It being near impossible to find a job hadn't helped. That was why she had volunteered her services in the first place she reminded herself, when she had seen the choir's rather old-fashioned advert for a 'voluntary filing clerk' in the local paper. It would give her something to focus on while she job hunted. Yet the memory of that dark corner stayed with her, invading her dreams and turning them into near-nightmares, where everything came in shades of black and grey and all the shapes were nebulous, sinister; formless. On Wednesday evening she decided to take a torch with her, to investigate the darkness, expose her fears as groundless and forget about it once and for all. * Peter handed her the key once again and wordlessly climbed the stairs. Immediately, Gina felt a tingling at her back. There was no one there; just that dark corner, heavy with threat, brooding and forbidding. She half expected her work to be scattered wide but it lay just as she had left it. Heartened, she decided to investigate the corner first, put it behind her and get on with the job. The torch felt hard and comfortingly real in her jacket pocket. She took it out and set it to full beam. It glowed strong and powerful. Encouraged, she picked her way carefully across the floor. She saw now that when she had been pushing furniture out of the way she had formed a line; tables, chairs, clothes rail and organ standing in a row as if to delineate light and dark, or to hold something at bay. She chided herself for the thought; it was nothing more than a subconscious action, her tidy mind taking over, that's all. A navy blue jacket, the choir's emblem on its left breast, hung from the clothes rail, along with some empty hangers and a tatty old suit cover. They rattled as she used the top bar as a hand hold and stepped through the body of the rail. She took a few steps, trailing the torchlight slowly over the rear wall and into the corner. The pulse in her throat quickened, her chest constricted. A cold sweat covered her back as the shadowy forms became more distinct. A single picture frame hung lopsidedly from the wall. There was no plaster or paintwork here, just the original bare brick. A scrap of carpet lay under an old wooden chair and an ancient filing cabinet stood at an angle to the wall. Other than that, there was nothing. These items were much like everything else in the room, not at all out of place; there were certainly no disembodied figures or leering spectres lurking there. Relieved, Gina nevertheless couldn't wait to get away from there. Unwilling to turn her back, she clumsily found her way back to the clothes rail and the light beyond. She realised she was shaking, her breath coming in short, panicky rasps. She gave a weak laugh, more forced than real, and tried to calm down. Her hands were cold and trembling as she began sorting the papers on the floor, her work doing nothing to warm or steady them. At last, Peter appeared at the doorway and told her it was time to leave. She couldn't resist looking over at the corner one last time, but now a different movement caught her eye. The navy jacket was swinging on the rail; not wildly like it had when she had knocked it in passing earlier, but regularly, uniformly; as if it was being steadily pushed by a hand on the other side. The hangers and the tatty suit cover hung still and unmoving beside it. Gina's blood ran cold. She turned to Peter to gauge if he had seen it too, but he wasn't even looking that way. He was simply staring at her, his hand raised to take back the key. * She made up her mind not to go back on Monday as arranged. She would phone Peter and tell him she had other commitments. He wouldn't argue; he knew as well as she did that there was something odd in that cellar. She had seen it in his eyes. The dreams came again, more vivid than before. Now, from the grey-gloom of her nightmares the chair took on a weird life of its own, bulging and bending as if it might burst, tongues lolling from its wooden arms as if to lick her, hands growing from its frame to reach out and grasp her. The filing cabinet drawers seemed to scream as they opened, sending flakes of rust falling to the carpet below to pool, suddenly wet, like blood, at its feet; and all the time that picture frame swung madly from side to side, scraping the brickwork, the glass inside splintering into myriad spiteful pieces * She had resolved not to go back there a hundred times or more, so Gina was surprised to find herself back that Monday evening as promised. Peter seemed even more so. He said nothing, but the way his eyebrows raised and his mouth formed a small oh at seeing her gave him away. He unlocked the door, slipped the key into her hand and climbed the stairs, never speaking a word. Gina was grateful for that, sure that normal conversation was beyond her. Moments later there came the sound of masculine voices, the piano striking up a tune she did not recognise. Gina turned to look into the cellar. Part of her had half expected the scraps of paper bearing the alphabet to have formed some message, like a giant Ouija board. She let out a sigh of relief to find that they were once again exactly as she had left them. Across the room, the jacket and its companions hung peaceably on the rail. She grasped the torch in her pocket tightly for reassurance, as if it had become some kind of talisman and stepped down into the room. * Things had been quiet; she had got a lot done. It took Gina a good while to even realise that something was amiss. She had been finding a disproportionate number of sheets for one song; Evermore. Curious as to why there were so many copies of this, she had nonetheless stacked them up and filed them into her rough system under 'E' accordingly, this pile now much higher and less stable than all the others. It was only when she stopped to straighten up and rub her aching back that she saw what was wrong. Evermore was on top of every single pile of paper on the floor. It faced upwards from every stack; A, Evermore, B, Evermore, C, Evermore not one single letter of the alphabet had been missed out; X, Evermore, Y, Evermore, Z Evermore. This time her panic was instant; there was no voice of reason arguing in her head, nothing but a primitive urge telling her to get out, now. She turned on her heel and ran for the door, tripping over the handles of her bag in her haste. Cursing, she scrambled up, grabbed the bag and lunged for the door. It slammed shut in her face. Gina stopped dead in shocked confusion. What the hell was going on here? Was that Peter? Did he think this was funny? A surge of anger flooded her veins. She hammered at the door, ''Peter! Peter! This is not funny. What the hell do you think you're doing?'' Her hands, slick with cold sweat, were sliding uselessly off the handle; it was locked. Gina's stomach lurched, ''Why would you lock it? I've got a key, remember?'' Her voice was high with fear, ''You gave me a key!'' She fumbled about in her pockets, weak with relief when her hands brushed the cold metal of the key, ''I've got a key!'' she shouted again, hands shaking so badly she had to use both of them to guide it into the lock. It wouldn't turn. No matter how many times she tried it this way and that, it would not open. Frustrated, Gina banged her fists against the door, screaming for help, jolting the key out of the lock, sending it clattering to the floor. He had given her the wrong key. All this time he must have planned this, slipping her a fake key to give her some false sense of safety. Yet all the time he planned to lock her down here for some hellish reason. Gina knew she had to calm down. More than ever now she needed to be rational, to think clearly. A gentle rustling behind her made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. A mere whisper of noise, it somehow filled the room, filling her with a dread far greater than any she had yet known. She huddled closer into the door, wishing she could somehow melt herself through it and out the other side. The rustling went on a moment longer, then stopped; the atmosphere expectant. Dreading what she might see, she turned around. Her neatly ordered rows were still untouched; the song sheet Evermore still topped each pile, but now the header letters did indeed spell out a word. Across the centre of the middle row, in Gina's own hand-writing, was the word STAY. Gina gave a strangled sob, her breath suddenly visible on the air, spiralling upwards as a dank chill descended. The rustling began again and Gina watched, transfixed, as the letters rearranged themselves in front of her into a new word: GINA. She moaned, low and guttural, heaving her body away from the door to search frantically for the key; if she could find it, just try it one more time in the lock The lights went out, the darkness so complete it seemed solid. There was no sound, not even a trace of movement. Gina froze. Then the grating, dry sound of something rasping across stone came to her through the darkness; a sound that made her sick with fear. She had heard that noise before, in her dreams. She couldn't see it, yet she knew it was the picture frame, swinging to and fro on its hook, scraping the bare bricks of the wall. She closed her eyes against the darkness, making herself as small as she could, covering her ears. The scraping grew wilder, faster, louder, followed at last by the shattering of glass as the frame flew violently free of the hook and crashed to the floor. Gina cringed, expecting shards to be thrown in her direction, unseen hands to pull at her, but the room seemed to have fallen still once more. Sobbing, she fumbled for her torch, her fingers clumsy as she hurried to turn it on. Only when she heard the small click of its switch did she reopen her eyes. Over in the corner, a single bulb flickered into life. Her legs felt at once leaden and weak. Gina crawled heavily to the wall, used it for support to struggle to her feet and looked over. The bulb shone faintly above the chair and the filing cabinet. She reached back and tested the door handle one last time, knowing it was pointless, suddenly overcome with a feeling of inevitability. It was that sense of fate that lured her on towards the corner. The bare bulb was swinging erratically, sending shadows to loom monstrously inwards upon the little scene and then veer away. Her feet crunched upon shattered glass and she looked down; the frame was snapped but whatever it had held was still in one piece against the wooden backboard. She knelt down and shone her torchlight upon the paper. A face she recognised stared up at her from a photograph alongside an article in yellowing print. The title above it read: '''Killer Chorister'' Dies.' Gina picked it up; it was a Weekly Herald paper cutting, dated some years ago: 'Killer Chorister' Peter Hesquith passed away in his prison cell yesterday afternoon after a brief illness. Hesquith, 87, was once a well known and much loved local character, who late in his choir career achieved some success when his hymn, 'Evermore' was published. It became something of a signature tune for the now defunct male voice choir to which he belonged. His arrest and eventual imprisonment, along with several fellow choristers, was a huge shock to the community. As a consequence the song lost popularity and is now rarely sung, largely due to the nature of its lyrics when held against the evidence of his crimes. Hesquith and fellow choir members Gregory Lacey, Raymond Chapman and Phillip Greer, were all convicted of charges including theft, fraud, abduction and murder. Hesquith, widely believed to be the ringleader, received a life sentence. It was proved that the building in which the choir practised played a role in the abductions, if not the murders, of the quartet's many victims. As a result the choir disbanded, in part as a mark of respect to the victims and their families, but also due to the widely held feeling that the building had become tainted by its misuse. It has since fallen into disrepair and is no longer in use. Hesquith is the first of the four to pass away, being the oldest by some years. There were rumours at the time of their arrest of a pact between the men to reunite 'on the other side' leading some to speculate there may also have been an occult interest to their activities. One thing is certain; if we do ever find out more about the actions and thinking of these men, it will not be Hesquith who tells us now.' Gina threw the paper aside and fell onto all fours, retching. How could Peter be the man in the photograph? How could the choir be defunct? They were the very reason she was here. She had heard them herself, singing above her head as she worked in the cellar below The chair creaked as if a sudden weight rested in it. Disbelieving, Gina wiped her mouth and looked up. Peter sat smartly upright in the chair; his eyes closed, a faint smile on his face, his feet tapping in time to a tune she could not hear. The sound of the piano came, loud and clear. Feet shuffled on the floorboards above their heads, a throat was cleared in readiness to sing. Gina could hear them; she could hear them! She curled into a ball on the floor, mindless of the shattered glass pricking her skin, sobbing freely, helplessly. Peter's eyes flickered open. He did not even cast a glance at Gina, prostrate and defenceless at his feet. In harmony with the unseen choir, he began to sing; 'Evermore! Evermore! We shall be together Nevermore! Nevermore! Shall we be apart Endlessly! Endlessly! We will endeavour Eternally! Eternally! Joined heart to heart' The song came to an end. The light went out. S. P. Oldham
Archived comments for Evermore
Weefatfella on 26-08-2013
Evermore
 photo b75165e4-7600-48cb-b7fd-9f85d6470df7_zps4cd05353.jpg
Absolutely wonderful.
A well constructed and scary piece.
I loved it.
The atmospherics were spot on the pace was perfect. very tales of the unexpected.
Thank you for this.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Thank you!

Funny, I have had a few conversations with people about Tales of the Unexpected in the last couple of weeks, and even watched an ancient episode the other day! Not thought about it in years. Some of them were quite good.

Anyway, thank you for reading and commenting and above all, enjoying,

Sue x

orangedream on 27-08-2013
Evermore
Some great writing, here Sue, and more than deserving of its nib;-)

Very much enjoyed.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina x

anth2014ed on 04-09-2013
Evermore
sorry this is not a comment, but could you provide permission for work to go in the Anth (see forums and FP)

Author's Reply:
Sorry if I missed this (as I appear to have done!) Did I give permission? I really can't remember. Thanks.


A Walk in Autumn (posted on: 19-11-12)
An autumn poem.

A Walk in Autumn. Our autumn walk is just the same as that of any season Yet it is richer, more enticing, for many a good reason; Where the trees swayed green throughout the summer past They stand bereft of leaves now; lost sails blown from the mast Where the earth was once solid, cracking beneath our feet We slip and slide in mud, the land sated and replete Where there were mere promises upon the apple tree Its boughs are full of giving, hanging low and heavy I free you of your lead when we reach the five bar gate The day already aging, though the hour is not late You run like copper madness, like the fallen leaves you chase Your senses overloaded by the richness of this place Earthy tones assault us as we walk into the wood A deeper cold descends and I retreat beneath my hood Lichen lines the tree trunks, moss disguises stones Fungi push through soil like shiny, ancient bones You snuffle your excitement, your nose close to the ground You quiver with elation at each new thing you've found; Here a fallen pine cone, there a conker shell Many times enraptured by some nameless smell I feel somehow privileged to just be standing here I sense an older entity, lingering somewhere near I wonder if perhaps Autumn herself looks on But when I turn to see her, she is already gone The walk home is as exciting as when we first began The country a riot of colour, full of nature's lan And as I close the front door upon the darkening day I know Autumn will be constant, until Winter holds sway. S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for A Walk in Autumn
Texasgreg on 19-11-2012
A Walk in Autumn
Aye! You're back and form is fit as ever. I really liked that a lot, Romany. Outstanding visuals.

Greg 🙂

Photobucket.

Author's Reply:
Cheers Greg x Love the avatar!

Romany.

Ionicus on 19-11-2012
A Walk in Autumn
A good seasonal poem, Sue.
'You snuffle your excitement, your nose close to the ground
You quiver with elation at each new thing you’ve found;'
is this about the late Romany or a new dog?

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Luigi.

No, this is a new pooch - this time a slightly bonkers but absolutely gorgeous cocker spaniel called Milo!

Sue x

Andrea on 19-11-2012
A Walk in Autumn
Lovely, Sue - very atmospheric.

Author's Reply:
Cheers Andrea.

Sue x

orangedream on 19-11-2012
A Walk in Autumn
A wonderful poem;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thank you Tina,

Sue x

peg on 19-11-2012
A Walk in Autumn
Aww, this reminded me of walks with my dog, since departed sadly...a delightful poem indeed...Maggie

Author's Reply:
I bet you still miss the dog? I still miss roman, though we only last him last year. The new arrival is lovely though, bless him.

Thanks for reading,

Romany

butters on 19-11-2012
A Walk in Autumn
mere promises upon the apple tree
Its boughs are full of giving, hanging low and heavy

two images, one superceding the other in the natural order of things - takes me from visions of buds and blossom and small hard pre-fruits to the lush, ripe, fermenting roseate plenty

Your run like copper madness
ignoring the typo here, it's a highly original and evocative phrase!

Fungi push through soil like shiny, ancient bones
you show us the exact colour and moist sheen -

You quiver with elation at each new thing you’ve found;
sums up, perfectly, that vibrant dogginess!


some very clean imagery going on. having said that, the rhythm's a bit wonky and one or two end-rhymes feel a trifle shoehorned but oh - the imagery 😀

Author's Reply:
Hi butters, thanks for reading and commenting. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the imagery. If any of the rhymes are shoe horned I can only say I don't think it was intentional! Lol. thanks for spotting the typo, I will duly correct.

Much appreciated,

Romany.

ValDohren on 20-11-2012
A Walk in Autumn
Loaded with great imagery, and very atmospheric - felt I was with you on that walk. Wonderful Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Valdohren, I am glad you enjoyed it.

Romany

cooky on 20-11-2012
A Walk in Autumn
I like this. So many autumn poems rave on about colours, and I hate this. You wrote about autumn like it should be.

Author's Reply:
I am so glad you think so cooky, thank you.

Romany

Weefatfella on 19-01-2013
A Walk in Autumn
Photobucket
Thank you for inviting me along on your walk. the images and smells were so vivid I was there.
Thank you for sharing this.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much, it was a pleasure having you along...

Romany

Fox-Cragg on 12-03-2013
A Walk in Autumn
Hi Romany, really like the line 'Fungi push through soil like shiny, ancient bones'. At peace with a four legged friend and the world, at that time of year.
Paul FC


Author's Reply:
Thanks Paul, really appreciate you dropping by.

Romany.


Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction. (posted on: 04-06-12)
This was chosen as introductory poem to the publication Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales back in 2010. Thought I would dust it off and post it up! It was meant to give the reader an idea of what to expect from the book, as if the title wasn't enough! Frightening-Fables-and-Freaky-Fairy-Tales-Anthology

It's right to warn you, gentle reader, before you turn another leaf, that these tales will entice you, but they are tales of grief. These stories will enthral you, though you yearn to look away, they will have you jump at shadows in the middle of the day. These tales are not for children, they are not simple, fabled guides; they will lead you just to horror, and churn your cold insides. For the once imagined faces you first saw when you were small, and the dreamed of far-off places that were home to them all, become the faces of your nightmares, the places of your dread, and the good and kind and innocent, the rancid, rotting dead. The woods are dark and shadowed; the sun is weak and hidden, the world is cursed, the folk are worse, their morals are a midden. So take heed, if you will, and turn back now while you may, or else move on and luck be with you, if even luck dares stay. S.P.Oldham.
Archived comments for Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
cooky on 04-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
I like this. A tight flowing piece that beckons you on

Author's Reply:
Thank you. I couldn't wish for a better comment because that was precisely the point of the intro poem - to entice readers on to reading the stories in the anthologyl. Glad you like it.

Romany.

Chew on 04-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
Really enjoyed reading this.

Author's Reply:
Good! Thank you,

Romany.

Andrea on 04-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
Ooooooh, scary stuff, Romany - I had to hide under the bedclothes!

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks Andrea, you can come out now,

Romany.

Inchrory on 04-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
Hi Romany,

Well, this is an excellent introduction; it certainly whets the appetite for the main course.

Seeing that story is about fables and such, I thought that maybe an older style language might perhaps compliment it further.

Take your first two lines for example-

“It’s right to warn you, gentle reader, before you turn another leaf,
that these tales will entice you, but they are tales of grief.”

Nothing wrong with that, I hasten to add- before the grammarians jump on me.
However, as rules are made to be broken, I would have leaned a little bit the other way for example.

It’s right to warn you, gentle reader, afore you turn another leaf,
that these tales will entice you, for they are but tales of grief.

If you don’t like it just ignore me, I’ve not had my wee dram yet.

Morchuis.



Author's Reply:
What's not to like? It's a good idea and a suggestion I might have followed, except it was published two years ago now! Thanks for caring enough to make the suggestion, and for reading and commenting. Appreciated,

Romany.

stormwolf on 05-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
This is the second poem I have read of yours that makes me feel would be well served with an illustration in a children's book.
Children loved to be scared and adults too!
It certainly serves its purpose for it really makes the reader want to read more. We have been warned, we know it's not going to be pretty and we are all ears! 😉
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Well that's exactly what I was aiming for!

I am chuffed you see this illustrated too, but it would most definitely not be for a children's book. the anthology it preceded was a collection of true horror stories, which is why I slipped in the 'not for children' line.

I just entered a children's story writing competition so I hope your 'visions' of publication and illustration are prophetic!

Thanks again,

Romany.

Ionicus on 05-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
A perfect introduction, Sue.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you!

stormwolf on 05-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
I am chuffed you see this illustrated too, but it would most definitely not be for a children's book. the anthology it preceded was a collection of true horror stories, which is why I slipped in the 'not for children' line.


yes, I maybe gave you the wrong impression. I was thinking of older children / adults as horror has always been fascinating. I was fascinated from a very young age but that's just me hehe x

Author's Reply:
Me too, although the funny thing is I cannot watch horror or graphic violence at all, but I'm okay reading it!

R x

Pennywise on 05-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
Wonderful introduction. It definately entices the reader to go ahead and read the stories -- is the book still available? If so do you have a link?

I do like the idea of Inchrory's suggestion to give that old feel, I know you've mentioned that it is already published, surely that shouldn't stop you from playing around with it and maybe submitting it elsewhere, that is if you still have copyrights.

Author's Reply:
I think that if you click the link above it might lead you on via further links to find the book.

Thanks for reading and commenting. I do have copyright and I could play around with it as Inchrory suggests - maybe I will - but I don't feel in a rush to do it as it is kind of a fait accompli now.

Best wishes,

Romany.

shangri-la on 06-06-2012
Frightening Fables and Freaky Fairy Tales - an introduction.
An enjoyable and very enticing read, the tales might not have been for children but I know I would have read it as a child anyway. Odd the way we like to be scared out of our wits. I love the title too.

Author's Reply:
Thanks again shangri-la, I appreciate your comments.

Romany.


The Ghost House (posted on: 04-06-12)
An oldish write that I thought I would post up. A post from last week reminded me I had written this!

The Ghost House. It stood on Burford Road, set a little back Half-hidden by hedges but not off-the-beaten-track It had a wooden five bar gate and a gravelled drive and windows that stared at you as if it was alive Its red-tiled roof had darkened and begun to slide; people swore they saw strange shadows flit inside, though the house was long since empty, left to rot and die like the face seen at the window by some luckless passer-by All the children relished the scary stories told About the Haunted House that was ever dark and cold Even the adults gave a shiver, pulled their collars close As they passed it by, sitting brooding and morose They miss it now it's gone, taking its spirits with it too The road is bland and boring, the houses dull and new It had character, charisma, a charm-all of its own With its wooden five-bar gate and its hedges overgrown. S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for The Ghost House
CVaughan on 04-06-2012
The Ghost House

Ah here's the one you said you had in the offing Romany. Unlike my imagined "House" a real recollection possessed of just tht right vibes. Frank

Author's Reply:
Thanks for coming by to check it out Frank, appreciated,

Romany.

stormwolf on 05-06-2012
The Ghost House
Loved it. I love a good ghost story and you caught the haunting (pardon pun) emptiness of the house....but of course it was not actually 'empty'
I lived in a house like that once. It was very modern and nothing like the usual descriptions but it was a very real experience that affected the whole family.
We had it exorcised a couple of times but the bishop would not allow a full Catholic exorcism as I was not Catholic. Go figure! Grrrr
Anyway, I can see this poem in a book with a lovely watercolour illustration on the opposite page.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks storm, I am so gratified that you can see it not only published, but illustrated - in my dreams!

Thanks for reading,

Romany.

Ionicus on 05-06-2012
The Ghost House
A lovely poem, Sue. Very atmospheric.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi,

Sue

sunken on 05-06-2012
The Ghost House
Hello Ms. Romany. Seems that every neighbourhood has a house like this. Sadly mine doesn't. I feel cheated. I demand to be terrified. Very nice piece. Nice isn't the right word is it? You know what I mean.

s
u
n
k
e
n

her hair, whispering his name, as the moon conducted oceans...

Author's Reply:
So glad you liked it Sunky. Sorry your neighbourhood is missing a haunted house. Perhaps there is something you could do about that?

Romany.

Pennywise on 05-06-2012
The Ghost House
Enjoyed this one too. You do have a good grasp at horror poetry. Shame about the house though. I know of an empty house that I used to play in with my friends, we messed around calling spirits and that stuff. I do miss that house, where it once stood is now part of the A1, such a shame. Thanks for the read and the memories.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pennywise. I think lots of kids 'dabble' to an extent - having an old ghosty house conveniently nearby is just an added bonus. Glad it brought back memories for you.

Romany.

shangri-la on 06-06-2012
The Ghost House
I really enjoyed this piece, you've done a great job of capturing the spooky ambiance. I've always liked ghost stories, I would have loved having a house like this in my street as a child but sadly I had to content myself with imagination and reading endless spooky stories.

Author's Reply:
Me too! You can't beat a good spooky story! Thanks for reading and commenting. (No obligation but if you fancy a spooky story I've got a couple lurking in my previous posts here at UKA!)

Romany.

JackKoozie on 12-06-2012
The Ghost House
Really glad you dug this one out again, Romany, would’ve been a shame to miss it had you not. Good rhyming pattern and metre, and scary... and much enjoyed.



Jack



Author's Reply:
Glad you liked it Jack, thank you for your comments this evening, much appreciated.

Romany

BATEMAN on 19-10-2012
The Ghost House
Ireally enjoyed this one Romany, we used to have an old house like that by where i live untill the developers ripped it down and built new houses on the land,even though it was very scary i used to think " i'm going to live there when i grow up ", sadly it was'nt to be. xxxxx

Author's Reply:
Apologies for the late reply, can't believe I missed this. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Romany.


The Truth (posted on: 25-05-12)
This came runner up in an online competition for Anniversary gifts by Year (http://www.anniversary-gifts-by-year.com/happy-anniversary-poems.html) I wrote it in the pov of a husband to his wife and even though I supplied my full name, they have detailed me on their website as having written it for 'his' wife. Hey ho... It's just meant to be a bit of fun.

The Truth. I may sometimes join in with a gentle jest or two Aimed at wives in general, not specifically at you; Jokes about a ball and chain, the old trouble and strife Or how much simpler things would be without you in my life But you know that it is not The Truth; that I am just a fool Who takes part in the teasing because, as a general rule That is all it is; an inherent lover's guide That says the jokes are okay because, of course, they hide The Truth; the real meanings that underlie the laugh For it must be said you really are my better half; You are no ball and chain; you keep me grounded, strong You ease the way; you soothe me when things in life go wrong So let me here abandon jokes and say, for all to know That I am not so much a fool I'll ever let you go It's no joke that I love you; no joke that this life we share Is so bright, warm and beautiful, simply because you're there So Happy Anniversary and all silly jokes aside It's all down to me for being smart enough to take you for my bride. S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for The Truth
Bradene on 26-05-2012
The Truth
It\'s fun but lovely to read fun . Nicely done Sue, enjoyed immensely. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val. A light little piece but I am glad you enjoyed it.

Romany x

Andrea on 26-05-2012
The Truth
Awwww. that's cute - really made me smile 🙂

Author's Reply:
Well that was the aim, so good! Thanjs,

Romany.

Texasgreg on 26-05-2012
The Truth
Rated one-up 'cause as a man, I see the simple yet elegant truth in "his" words. Thanks for giving us our due.

Greg 🙂


Author's Reply:
My pleasure Texasgreg, and thank you!

Romany.


The Glitter Path (posted on: 25-05-12)
Without wishing to give too much away before you read it, this was written for where I used to live, though sadly it applies here equally as well.

If you can tear your eyes from the beauty of the cherry trees the graceful, shapely pines standing alone, then cast them downward for a step; the path ahead lies spangled, glimmering, frost-kissed, even though the sun is at her height Tread carefully; each tiny shimmer is unique, each crystalline sparkle a wonder. See how they wink and gleam, flash and glint; cold invitations to nostalgia, a yearning for winter to make haste For this is not winter's arrival, nor is it evidence of its passing You do not learn of the deceit until it's too late; until it cracks beneath your weight more spitefully than ice; until it's laced with the blood of a ruined paw, a shredded knee, an unsuspecting tyre stabbed, left gasping. There is no beauty in this; no perfect shape, no frozen glamour, though it had you fooled for a step or two, I know. S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for The Glitter Path
Nomenklatura on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
I enjoyed this one, it has several layers for me. Your choice of vocabulary is clever and hangs together well, 'frozen glamour' I found particularly effective due to some of the residual (archaic, hoho) meanings that glamour has.

Very good.
Regards
Ewan

Author's Reply:
Thank you, I'm glad that phrase worked for you. Thanks for reading,

Romany.

franciman on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
This is biting comment wrapped in sunflowers. For me nature has always had this duplicity, though I realise this is life imitating nature in this case. Well done.

Jim x

Author's Reply:
Great metaphor! Thanks for reading and I am so pleased you seem to have understood exactly what I was getting at.

Romany.

e-griff on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
This is an excellent poem. I dare say it is one of your best (not to denigrate the others, but this does stand out) - elegant and succinctly expressed, not too long or short . bravo!

Author's Reply:
What a lovely comment griff. Much appreciated, thank you.

Romany.

sunken on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
Hello Ms. Romany. Good to see you subbing again. This is excellent. It reminds me of the frost-bitten streets in the early hours of winter mornings. The frost on the ground at that time often looks like a starry black sky. It almost seems wrong to walk on it. Definitely one of your best. Well done on the nib and nom. Beautiful stuff.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
Hey Sunky! Great to hear from you too. I am so pleased you like this. It was actually written about all the shattered glass that various thoughtless idiots saw fit to strew all along the path alongside my old house. It struck me on several occasions that it sparkled quite prettily in the sun, yet it was potentially so lethal, which inspired this poem. I can't quite believe it has engendered such a positive response to be honest, but it's great too!

Romany.

Andrea on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
Wonderful! Starkly, menacingly beautiful with amazing imagery.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Andrea, glad you like it.

Romany.

amman on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
Oh, this is so good. Startling imagery with, as Andrea said, a touch of menace. This is going straight onto my favourites list.
Regards

Author's Reply:
What a compliment! Thank you amman, for a lovely comment and for reading in the first place.

Romany.

Bradene on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
Nothing in this wonderful piece to pick at , it definitely is one of your very best and so deserving of the nib. Great writing Sue. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much Val, am chuffed to bits at the response and at the nib.

Romany.

cooky on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
lovely imagery I enjoyed reading this.

Author's Reply:
Thank you cooky, good to know you enjoyed it.

Romany.

stormwolf on 25-05-2012
The Glitter Path
Hi Sue
The title was fab, gave the reader a desire to read more and the poem itself skillfully composed with that certain lack of 'tell all' that weakens some poems. The meaning of the poem was very well presented and for me the line

of a ruined paw, a shredded knee, an unsuspecting tyre stabbed, left gasping.

as an animal lover who hates to see the way they suffer due to us and a grandmother, who would hate to see her little granddaughter trip and fall on such a path....it just makes me sad............
and as a cyclist.well that makes me murderous! ;-( Have to go and take a chill pill now Haha!
congrats on the well deserved nib

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison, glad it stirred up passion in you (sorry you had to resort to chill pills!)

Those three things - the paws, the knees and the tyres - happened to me and to people close to me more than once, which is why I incorporated them into the poem. My gorgeous old namesake Roman, gone now, cut his paw open due to this glass on the path 3 times, my bike suffered twice and various kids cut themselves, the worst instance being when my youngest was out mucking about with his mates. One of the girls, about 14 at the time, was running as kids do, chasing about. She fell at full stretch, which in any other circumstances would have been nothing more than a graze. However, she landed on glass and skidded, shredding her neck. They all came racing to the closest safe haven - my house. It looked like a youth club that night! I sorted her out as best I could of course, and called her mum. She was very lucky and doesn't so much as have a single scar (thank goodness - she is such a pretty girl.) But it could have kileld her had the glass fragments been bigger. Can't tell you how angry it makes me. I need a chill pill now! Lol.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Romany.

Ionicus on 26-05-2012
The Glitter Path
An excellent poem worthy of the nib and the nomination.
Well done Sue.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, much appreciated.

Romany.

Texasgreg on 27-05-2012
The Glitter Path
Romany, as I can certainly see and agree with sentiments above, this poem ended up holding a special significance for me. As you well know, we can all see things differently through reading the same thing. I lost my older brother many years ago during a snowstorm. They found him merely fifty yards from our home in a ditch. I recall my mother telling of the frost on his face and embedded in his hair, making it crackle as the moved him about. The beauty and silence that snow provides is no comfort to me once I hear it crunch under my weight. If it makes any sense, I thank you for allowing me to see him again. It gets so hard after all the years and takes a jogging to do so.

Greg 🙂


Author's Reply:
How tragic, I am so sorry for your loss. I am also sorry that this poem has such sad signifcance for you as a result. I am always saying that writing, whatever form it takes, so often has a different meaning for different people. If this allowed you to remember your brother more clearly for a brief moment, after all these years, then I am glad.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Romany.

ChairmanWow on 31-05-2012
The Glitter Path
Romany,
Evocative piece. To me it recalls reading that many people feel more sorrow for their acts of cruelty committed against dogs than for any other thing in their life.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.


The Iron Bridge (posted on: 13-02-12)
A list poem based on a local (before I moved) 'landmark.' Nothing to do with Ironbridge, it was just literally an iron bridge behind my old house!

The Iron Bridge Ugly, cold, garish, bold Green, pitted, obscene, gritted Staged, soiled, laboured, toiled Railings, posters, failings, jokers Hollow, shaky, sallow, flaky Slippery, tall, climb and fall Practical, logical, sensible, horrible Meeting-place, passing-place Racing-place, saving-grace Rivets and slats, blown away hats Banners, signs, ill-manners, hard-lines Up, down, headway into town Steep, ramped, old, revamped S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for The Iron Bridge
Bradene on 13-02-2012
The Iron Bridge
Nice image here, could see it plainly in my minds eye. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Bradene and sorry for putting the image there, it wasn't exactly pretty!

Romany.

orangedream on 13-02-2012
The Iron Bridge
Clever writing. Much enjoyed.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thank you Tina, glad you liked it.

Romany.

Andrea on 13-02-2012
The Iron Bridge
Really clever wordplay! Am impressed 🙂 Could see that old bridge clear as day...

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. It was a bit of a monstrosity. When the council began the seemingly endless chore of repainting it a couple of years ago, we all thought the rancid shade of green they chose was an undercoat. We were wrong...

Romany.

ChairmanWow on 13-02-2012
The Iron Bridge
Places and structures have personalities and practically no place has as much personality as a bridge.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Except maybe churches...and castles...and old railway stations...

Only teasing. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Romany.

Ionicus on 13-02-2012
The Iron Bridge
I feel some sympathy for the cold, ugly bridge. I am sure it had its uses.
Good play on words, though.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
It did indeed. Not everything in life can be pretty, right?

Thanks Luigi,

Romany

Kat on 14-02-2012
The Iron Bridge
A great list poem - very apt and wonderfully descriptive.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Kat, appreciated.

Romany.

jay12 on 15-02-2012
The Iron Bridge
You paint a lovely image of a terrible bridge.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Lol, thank you jay.

Romany.

Albermund on 17-02-2012
The Iron Bridge
Really cute idea and very nicely done though I feel it could do with a stronger ending. cheers, Albert 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Albert, I know what you mean. Will ponder on it.

Romany.

Weefatfella on 03-06-2012
The Iron Bridge
I smiled at racing place, I could see the wee boys going for it.I have never came across this type of writing before but I get it. Thank You.

Author's Reply:
I am so happy you picked up on that and understood it. Thank you,

Romany

Texasgreg on 03-06-2012
The Iron Bridge
Came across this as it was recently commented on and noticed it. Still have to delve into some more of your writings. You do have a penchant for perfecting verse 😉 Wasn't much for poetry 'till I came here, but am quickly becoming a fan due to lines such as yours.

Greg 🙂


Author's Reply:
What a lovely comment, thank you.

Romany

Inchrory on 03-06-2012
The Iron Bridge
Hi Romany,
Strange how certain poems invoke thoughts not intended by the author.

To me, bridges are like memories, some you never want to cross again, whilst others you cross every day.

I like your dog, it seems as though it is ready for a walk.

Now the rain has stopped- I best take mine as well. Or more rightly, he goes where he wants and I just follow.

Morchuis.


Author's Reply:
I love your analogy of bridges.

The dog was my beautful old Golden, Roman - my namesake. Lost him last August. The photo was in the garden of my old house, a nice warm day and he'd been playing before sitting down happily with his tug of war toy!

Hope you and your dog enjoyed the walk!

Romany.


Dogged. (posted on: 26-09-11)
An oldie, for (Daffni's?) prose challenge, written with the pov of a cat. Not really experimental, just didn't know where else to put it. Dogged.

I can still see him. At least, I can see his tail through the branches, flapping wildly like some sort of berserk, floppy metronome. And I can most definitely hear his barking; when will that absurd creature learn? I am too fast, too agile and far too clever for him! Oh, what's this? He has pulled himself up on his back paws to his full height, front paws resting on my tree, and he's looking for me. I'll stay quiet, I think. If I hiss he will only begin his barking again. If that canine nose comes any closer I'll send him yelping home with his ridiculous tail between his legs! Humans! Why do you adore these buffoons so? They are big and loud; or small and yappy, but generally noisy. They lack any shred of dignity. Show them a ball or a stick and you have their undivided attention. Feed them and they will lay down their lives for you, and they only have one! They foolishly chase their own tails, and like nothing better than to humiliate far worthier creatures cats. At least, this grand example of the canine species below me does; and the cat he particularly enjoys hounding (pardon the pun)? Me, of course. Apparently he is a mongrel, (not even a pedigree, can you imagine my shame?) I know his name is Allsorts; I've heard them calling him. What I don't know is, why does he feel he must do this? He has never caught me yet! Perhaps I should let him catch me like I let that big oaf 'Red' catch me last year. Red is a long and loping Red Setter, normally quite placid. Perhaps strolling past his nose as he lay stretched out in his garden enjoying the morning sun, was too irresistible? Anyway, he surprised me! He was much faster than I realised, and he soon had me cornered I had no choice but to turn and face him. I arched my back, extended my claws and hissed a very real warning. Red was completely bemused. He gave a few half-hearted 'woofs', and then backed off. He hasn't dared come near me since, and rightly so! Allsorts here is a different matter maybe. He's not brave, and I'm not sure he'd know what to do if he caught me either. But he is stubborn very stubborn. I know that I'm up here in this tree for some time now. Yes, I can see him plainly now lying like an awkward sphinx, feigning interest elsewhere, but still keeping his eye on me, waiting for me to move. It's not right you know. I should be asleep now, curled up on a soft quilt with a full stomach in preparation for tonight. And that's another thing! I am expected to prowl the streets at night. I admit my night vision is excellent, and my hunting skills second to none, but really! Allsorts will be curled up, warm and dry, next to someone's feet, no doubt. The only thing he will have to hunt down is a free space on the sofa. It's only my natural sophistication that prevents me from protesting too greatly. Now what is he doing? Why must they scratch all the time? If they would only keep themselves clean! When was the last time you saw one of us cats roll in wet mud, or leap into a big muddy puddle with an inane grin on our faces? I am embarrassed to be in the same street as this dog! Now that really is the last straw! Against my tree too! Why don't you use a litter tray, like a civilised animal? Oh no! I've started him barking again! Perhaps he will leave now? He is looking towards the house. Maybe he is hungry. No. He has settled down again, still not giving up. Oh well, I suppose I should try to get comfortable. Allsorts has rested his head on his paws and is watching my every move with those big, brown eyes of his. Another day wasted with this game of cat and mouseerdog. (Is that what you humans would call a Freudian slip?) That's it then, until he gets bored, or hungry, or both. It's a dog's life. Er that is Romany.
Archived comments for Dogged.
sirat on 26-09-2011
Dogged.
I think this is okay, but fizzles out a bit at the end. It just needs that extra something to leave us with a grin on our faces, or simply to make it memorable. I wonder if Daffni will like it.

Being churlish and hard to please, I wonder if there's really much point in going to your back catalogue for these challenges? The whole point for me is that as a result of the challenge I might be stimulated or inspired to produce something new and (at least potentially) good. But that's only me, obviously you're entitled to use them in whatever way you like.

Very nice to see you taking part, which is more than I can say for myself.

Author's Reply:

bluepootle on 26-09-2011
Dogged.
I think you've certainly captured a cat voice that most people will recognise! More of a monologue than a story, with not much actually happening. Nice clear writing (although I'm not much of a one for exclamation marks, but that's a personal thing I think); just a bit static. I don't know if it could sustain a longer story, but I think it's a good piece as an exercise in voice.

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 26-09-2011
Dogged.
Very believable as a cat, I can picture them easily. It may have been better if the cat had chased the dog off or something at the end to give it a little lift but at the same time cats are notoriously lazy so settling down to wait is probably what would have happened. Good attempt at a difficult challenge (imho).

Author's Reply:

teifii on 26-09-2011
Dogged.
You make quite a credible cat, Alison. Definitely could have done with a bit more action but the cat-thoughts were good and you did get the Red episode in for a bit of action. I was held by it but was disappointed that it didn't end with the cat coming up with some brilliant idea for defeating the dog.


Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 29-09-2011
Dogged.
Not Alison, Daff, this is our friend Susan. Perhaps you didn't recognise her in the guise of a cat.

Author's Reply:


On Dreaming. (posted on: 26-08-11)
In memory...

On Dreaming. I go to sleep and dream of you In truth what else is there to do? Each dream once more makes life anew And so I sleep and dream of you The waking day stumbles and slows In your long absence my love grows For now what else is there to do But fall asleep and dream of you? S.P. Oldham.
Archived comments for On Dreaming.
RachelLW on 26-08-2011
On Dreaming.
This made me feel quite sad. A nice little piece with its well written pace and rhyme. Rachel 🙂

Author's Reply:

franciman on 26-08-2011
On Dreaming.
Sad, short and all the more poignant for it.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 27-08-2011
On Dreaming.
A short and very sweet poem, Susan.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

teifii on 29-08-2011
On Dreaming.
Very simple and straightforward and all the better for it.

Author's Reply:


If I Could Only... (posted on: 18-07-11)
On behalf of my mum, LavenderRose, who rather shyly gave this to me on my last visit home about two weeks ago. Enjoy x

If I could only If I could only compose a poem Like Keats or Shelley maybe Perhaps like John Betjeman; Now he appeals to me. What about Lord Tennyson? Or Carroll's Cabbages and Kings? And then of course, there's Spenser With his wonderful faeries wings Or maybe I should lower my sights And try a simple rhyme Of things I've done, or wanted to do But never had the time. Audrey Mitchell (aka LavenderRose.)
Archived comments for If I Could Only...
franciman on 18-07-2011
If I Could Only...
Romany, tell your mum this is elegant verse with a twinkle in its eye.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Thanks all, I passed your messages on to mum. She enjoyed them and appreciates your encouragement.

Romany x

stormwolf on 18-07-2011
If I Could Only...
Heartwarming and gentle musing....
lovely and now you know where you get it from 😉
Alison x

ps now she 'found the time' and it was much enjoyed. x

Author's Reply:
Thanks all, I passed your messages on to mum. She enjoyed them and appreciates your encouragement.

Romany x

Ionicus on 20-07-2011
If I Could Only...
Dear Sue, tell your mother that she has no need to imitate other poets; just expressing her own unique voice is an achievement in itself.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks all, I passed your messages on to mum. She enjoyed them and appreciates your encouragement.

Romany x

e-griff on 20-07-2011
If I Could Only...
I thought this was very good indeed, a nice blend of sophistication and basic common sense. Cleverer than it might first appear to some.

My only (only) suggestion would be to say 'faerie wings' which somehow would be more in keeping with the tone.

Good job, Rom's ma!!!!!!! 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks all, I passed your messages on to mum. She enjoyed them and appreciates your encouragement.

Romany x


The Mind Pool. (posted on: 04-07-11)
An attempt at a triolet.

The Mind Pool. The surface of the pool is clear Though what lies beneath is turmoil All is not as it may appear The surface of the pool is clear Enquiring sunlight shafts may spear Around the reeds and grasses coil The surface of the pool is clear Though what lies beneath is turmoil S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for The Mind Pool.
RachelLW on 05-07-2011
The Mind Pool.
I thought this was a pretty little poem, liked the metaphor. I enjoyed it.

Rachel 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thank you Rachel, I am glad you enjoyed it.

Romany x

e-griff on 05-07-2011
The Mind Pool.
I thought the intention and the meaning hung together well.

but here's the boring technicality (only to explain my halted reading)

the only snag for me is the 'turmoil' line, which gave me great difficulty reading . all the other lines are iambic tetrameters, that one is confusingly ambigous, plus its feminine (unstressed) ending, whereas all the others are masculine (stressed 🙂 ) - eg, you can only say, naturally TURmoil in english. you don't say turMOIL (unless maybe you have a strong Irish accent 🙂 ) the us pronunciation is less differentiated, I agree.

I can't think of a clever way to fix it, maybe you can.

best JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and for leaving such a well informed comment griff.

I must admit that I had no trouble with 'turmoil' but then, I probably am not as technically correct as you. It is my first attempt at triolet - maybe I missed something in my understanding of it. Will ponder over it and see if it can be fixed or even, with respect, if I agree it needs fixing in the first place.

Cheers,

Romany x

Andrea on 05-07-2011
The Mind Pool.
I had a go at one of these too, a while ago. Sadly, it was not as successful as yours. It went like this:

How Great My Grief, I’m désolé
I can’t compose a triolet.
Rhyme alas is not my forte,
if it was I wouldn’t be short, eh?
of a needy bob or two,
would be handy, see me through.
But alas, I can’t compose,
so looks as if I’ll decompose
on the slag ‘eap of the poor
C’est la vie, say no more.


Fortunately, yours was much better, so well done!

x

Author's Reply:
Ah, but yours is laden with your own unique wit and dare I say it, mild cynicism? I wish rhyme did make you rich, as I am ok at it sometimes! However, since I am permanently skint I must take issue with you on that one!

Thanks for taking the time.

Romany x

e-griff on 06-07-2011
The Mind Pool.
Romany, it's not about being 'technically correct' as if that didn't matter. All good poetry is technically correct - that's partially why it's classed as 'good' (the rest is imagination and artistry)

As I've explained before here, when I read a poem and strike a problem, only then do I analyse to try to identify the cause of the problem - do you see? It's the problem strikes me first. I want to simply read and enjoy poetry, not go around blooming analysing it all the time! 🙂

in fact, looking again, I would say the 'turmoil' line is trochaic (/ - / - / - / -) rather than iambic (- / - / - / - /) and that's what's throwing the poem out of kilter.





Author's Reply:
Thanks for coming back to it. I seem to have ruffled your feathers? Not intentional I assure you, just meant that I hadn't seen it as being a problem, whereas you clearly have, that's all. No harm done and I know you mean well.

Will try to get my head around this later.

Thanks again,

Romany.


sunken on 06-07-2011
The Mind Pool.
I couldn't tell ya what a petrichemical parameter is - Wasn't he half of a 70's detective drama in the states? I just know it's a very sweet poem. My gran used to have iambic tetrameters by the way. She didn't half suffer with them. Towards the end she could hardly sit down. I trust this has helped. Hello? Ms. Romany?

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two thousand and slip

Author's Reply:
Cheers sunky!

Romany.


A Passing Thank You. (posted on: 04-07-11)
For my namesake, my beautiful Golden Retriever Roman xx

A Passing Thank You. So at my feet you lie, content A watchful eye ever your intent Your aging bones ache and deride Yet still you're faithful at my side Together we have shared the day Now we each dream the hours away What does your dreaming mind recall? When we were young, and had it all? Do you, in dreaming, chase and run? Or do you mourn the fading sun? I wish for all your dreams to shine As you have brightened all of mine I know the evening must soon end I must part from my dearest friend I can't always hold night at bay Though I would love to have you stay That's just my longing, selfish need My human fault, my loving greed However many minutes we steal They would still be too few, I feel There's one more thing I have to do; To hold you close, whisper 'thank you' For now, we are content, replete; Whilst you lie peaceful at my feet. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for A Passing Thank You.
Ionicus on 04-07-2011
A Passing Thank You.
An affectionate tribute to your faithful companion. For a dreadful moment I thought he had passed away. Luckily it wasn't so.
The poem shows how attached we become to our pets and it brings to mind an earlier effort of mine, directed not at a dog but at a cat,
entitled 'Old Tom'.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, he's still with us, just about! Getting slower every day, but still perky mentally and very much loved by us all. I intend to just enjoy him for as long as we have got him.

Is 'Old Tom' posted on site? Would like to have a look - though I think I might already have read it?

Romany x

admin on 04-07-2011
A Passing Thank You.
Aww, that is so lovely Romany! Golden Retrievers are Jesse's favourite dogs, and he's determined to befriend one as soon as he has the space. You need more than even a city as dog-friendly as Amsterdam to do these animals justice.

Author's Reply:
Glad you like it Andrea. I don't blame Jesse one bit! My mum can still recall how I harped on about wanting a Golden from the age of about 5, and the desire to own one never left me. Then, when I got one I got a real cracker. Ok, according to kennel club standards he's not quite perfect but who cares? He's beautiful unique, highly intelligent, loving and protective, devoted, loyal, funny, friendly and I swear more deeply perceptive than most people are willing to give any dog credit for. Better still, he has eyes only (mainly) for me - me and my shadow, and I have loved and will continue to love every minute of it!

Cheers,

Romany x

Ionicus on 06-07-2011
A Passing Thank You.
It's odd, Sue, but I can't find it on this site but you can read it
Here

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Oh Luigi, what a gorgeous poem! I had a vision of a cat quite content in his retirement, enjoying his memories. What more can we ask for our pets? You should post it up here I think. Thanks for the link,

Romany.

Gee on 06-07-2011
A Passing Thank You.
I teared up as I read this. It sums up my feelings towards my Ben. This is such a beautiful and fitting tribute to a faithful friend.

Author's Reply:
Glad you can empathise Gee. They make wonderful companions, so I am happy for you that you and Ben share the same kind of relationship.

Thank you for your kind words,

Romany.

sunken on 06-07-2011
A Passing Thank You.
Beautiful and very, very moving. For once, no messing around from me. My only question - Where's the nib! Certainly deserves one. Well done, Ms. Romany.

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Author's Reply:
Praise indeed, coming from you Sunky, thank you. I'm touched to know I moved you (I am sure there are numerous double entendres in that little sentence, but moving swiftly on...)

Genuinely, thank you, appreciated.

Romany x

Romany on 07-07-2011
A Passing Thank You.
Thank you to whoever nominated me - am very touched, especially since the subject matter of this particular poem is very dear to me!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 07-07-2011
A Passing Thank You.
I understand this completely, and it brought a tear to my eye: maybe we shouldn't invest so much affection in our pets, but some of us can't help it! (I'm being watched by a soppy torty mog as I speak) He looks a gorgeous dog - give him a tickle for me. I noticed Luigi's comment and thought - great minds think alike (Or, fools seldom differ) - a few years back I put down a poem called Old Cat, but I'm afraid there's no link because it's just too sad to even think about now that the subject has passed on. Yes, I DO know what you're saying with this...

Author's Reply:
I tink it's absolutely right to invest in our animals. Sory I brought a tear to your eye, though at least I know you empathise! Thanks for your comments and dog duly tickled on your behalf.

Romany.

stormwolf on 14-07-2011
A Passing Thank You.
Well this made me cry half way through. I so understand the feeling here...it's almost 25 years since I lost my 'Chief' and I still miss him. There are no words to adequately describe the love that passes between a dog and his or her owner in this kind of relationship.
I am convinced that they know how we feel. Their gift to us was to share our life for whatever time they can. Just, lovely, lovely writing. It could have become over sentimental but it never did..however, the love shone through. I am away to have a cry now..;-)

Alison x
ps into favs of course.

Author's Reply:
Hi Alison, I am sorry I made you cry - that seems to be the general effect of this one! It is heartfelt and I am glad you can understand and empathise. I am sorry you still miss Chief (there could be a pun there, but it's too obvious...) I am trying to gear myself up to losing Roman, because I know that day grows ever closer now. Not sure you can 'prepare' yourself really, no matter how inevitable it might be.

Anyway, thank you for your response and for making this a favourite. Very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Romany (Sue.)

Romany on 16-08-2011
A Passing Thank You.
I lost my beautiful boy yesterday morning. I was lucky - I had time to thank and hold him close, just as I promised I would when I wrote this poem. Already I miss him so much.

Author's Reply:


Four Yellow Roses (posted on: 20-06-11)
I saw these the other day, conspicuous in their not very pretty surroundings, and the opening line came to me. They were beautiful and they happen to be my favourite flower too.

Four Yellow Roses. Four yellow roses by a low wall Caught my searching eye Yet other things I looked for The day I passed them by I saw their velvet petals Glorious and bold Shine like earth-bound suns Though the day was cold I thought my vision shadowed My purpose weak and veiled But I saw clear those roses; They have never dimmed nor paled And though I did not come upon Those other things I sought Four yellow roses by a low wall Grow brighter now in thought They curtsey to the brickwork; To the gentle breeze they bow They glow upon all around them And they shine within me now. S.P. Oldham.
Archived comments for Four Yellow Roses
stormwolf on 20-06-2011
Four Yellow Roses
Loved this. It leaves the reader with the feeling of being uplifted.

Grow brighter in thought
I thought this may be better if 'now' was added "grow brighter now in thought" simply on reading the extra word seemed to emphasize the lasting impression and was in keeping with the rhythm but you have taken such a simple image and made it into something of lasting beauty.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
You are right Alison, thank you and thanks for you comments.

Sue.

sunken on 20-06-2011
Four Yellow Roses
A lovely juxtaposition, Ms. Romany - The flowers bowing to the brickwork. Delicate and hard, like er... No I better not go there. Lets just say I likes it. A tip-top write. I hope Bernard doesn't pee up said wall and drown ya flowers. Ahem. You didn't expect me not to lower the tone did ya? Enjoyed muchly - like beefburgers.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, lovely to hear from you,

Romany xx

RachelLW on 22-06-2011
Four Yellow Roses
Lovely nostalgic feel to it, very well written.

Rachel

Author's Reply:
Thank you Rachel,

Romany

Ionicus on 22-06-2011
Four Yellow Roses
A sweet poem, Sue, which shows that flora can generate a feelgood factor. Congratulations on the nib.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi x I love flowers but yellow roses are far and away my favourites. They remind me of warmth and sunshine and laughter.

Romany.

Zoya on 23-06-2011
Four Yellow Roses
Sometimes Little things can give rise to big poems, like the Daffodils... This is indeed a lovely poem Romany!
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:
Thank you Zoya,

Romany.

Zoya on 23-06-2011
Four Yellow Roses
Sometimes Little things can give rise to big poems, like the Daffodils... This is indeed a lovely poem Romany!
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:

teifii on 24-06-2011
Four Yellow Roses
Lovely poem. Especially liked 'curtsy to the brickwork' -marvellous delicate image.
'They glow upon all around them' -how about 'on' instead of 'upon'? It would scan better.

Author's Reply:
Thanks teifi.

To be honest I started out with 'on,' but felt 'upon' was better! Thanks for sharing your opinion, I'll see what others feel.

Romany.

RoyBateman on 25-06-2011
Four Yellow Roses
Serendipity, eh? (I love that word, though it sounds as if it should be a place in Sri Lanka. Maybe it is...) Yes, the wonder of coming across such a simple, but moving sight by chance. This certainly made me smile - and the last line is excellent! Congrats on the nob, well deserved.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, glad you liked it. Serendipity - a nice word, I agree.

Romany x


The Shame of the Sun. (posted on: 21-02-11)
Based on the bitter concept of 'where was the sun during all that rain? after flooding. Also the idea that the sun has feelings and is now feeling guilt and shame for standing by and doing nothing when the rains fell, and the mirrored bitterness of the people who suffered the flooding, of which I was fortunately not one.

The Shame of the Sun. The sun rose slow and sluggish Watery and washed out, It should never have bothered; Should have stayed hidden Beyond the grim horizon Hanging its head in shame and Shadows, desolate as night Why should we care that the Sun Bears its own burden; its own guilt? It was we who spent the grey days, The endless days, the sodden days Without it. We who looked up Into the pale sky in hope of comfort, In need of light and reassurance To be met with nothingness; A pale sky, a bleach of clouds While the Sun skulked, pale and Embarrassed in the background Like Heaven's own weak watermark Whilst below everything was harsh and Blatant; more richly coloured in defeat Than She ever was in all her glory. S.P.Oldham.
Archived comments for The Shame of the Sun.
Bradene on 21-02-2011
The Shame of the Sun.
I enjoyed this, i liked the concept of the sun hiding its shame among the heavy veil of cloud. (-; Valx

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 21-02-2011
The Shame of the Sun.
Odd how we notice the absence of the sun and yearn for its return after the flood. Should it feel ashamed? No, in my opinion. It is the grey, heavy, clouds that are the guilty ones which prevents us from the warmth of that mighty planet.
But whichever your point of view, a well presented lament.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 21-02-2011
The Shame of the Sun.
This puts forward a really unusual perspective. Like Luigi I feel that the sun is maybe not at fault, but you've made me think and that is a very good thing 🙂 Elf

Author's Reply:

len on 22-02-2011
The Shame of the Sun.
The sun rose slow and sluggish
Watery and washed out


That is such a strong image. There is nothing more depressing than one gray day after another. I read about all the damage in your neck of the woods. What a mess!...len

Author's Reply:

teifii on 03-03-2011
The Shame of the Sun.
Really unusual take on the flood situation and very well written. Excellent images; I particularly liked "a bleach of clouds "

Author's Reply:


Home Front. (posted on: 08-10-10)
For the Poetry Workshop challenge and as a nod to National Poetry Day.

They ring me all the time now, the people from the paper, just because, three or four years ago, I was fool enough to air an opinion about the flats and the abandoned parks, the glass strewn pathways, the countless rows of empty houses in their pre-fabricated shame, all lined up in mournful rows. Condemned already, they still await execution. We call them Quarters. Butchered as they are, it's hard to find one still intact. Most are patched up, forced to endure just one more year held up by crutches, pinned together, shuttered and shattered battered and abused, reviled and ignored all at once and yet still undeniably there; serving as ugly reminders of past and present, acting as ready made headstones to the living. They want a story you see; something lurid and emotional to have their readers up in arms and fighting for a cause, one they deem as being worthy, one they can be involved in. So I told them about the junkies and the vandals, the copper thieves, kids and drunks and passers-by who shake their heads and say what a shame it is, that such an otherwise pretty place should be so blemished and crude. They ring me all the time now, though they know nothing has changed; perhaps a few have since fallen, leaving gaps, spaces they used to fill, but no one ever mentions them, even though they sent a photographer to prove it in pictures, so there's no real need for words anymore. Is there? S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Home Front.
Bradene on 08-10-2010
Home Front.
Not a pretty picture is it, but one which is true none the less. Such a terrible waste and your words are equivalent to any amount of pictures. Great write. Valx

Author's Reply:
It is true yes, and starkly so where I live.

Thanks Val x

Ionicus on 08-10-2010
Home Front.
An excellent cri du coeur Sue. It is so frustrating seeing one's effort to improve the environment being ignored. A very well executed poem. Thanks for joining the challenge. We should do this more often, although the weekly Forum challenges give plenty of opportunity.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, the environment is certainly one aspect of this poem, but it was almost meant to parallel the needless waste and ruination with defence accomodation alongside that of the service men and women themselves. A bit grim perhaps but, as Val pointed out, true nonetheless.

Thanks for reading.

Sue x


Gone Wrong. (posted on: 13-08-10)
This is almost a list poem I suppose. Its a VERY old one by me, found it lurking amongst my work when I was having a browse the other day. Never done anything with it before so thought I would air it here. As always, make of it what you will.

Gone Wrong. A bad day A sad day A make it go away day. A wrong day A long day A wish that it were done day A break it day A lose it day A dream it all away day A sorry day A dark day A nothing left to say day A heavy heart An aching head I should've stayed in bed. S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for Gone Wrong.
pdemitchell on 14-08-2010
Gone Wrong.
hi sue - you read my experimental piece - the rule of three. This has a good, almost playground skippy tempo to it but I wanted to add one final 'day' to the last line for some reason when read aloud! An enjoyable short poem. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Cheers for reading and commenting,

Romany.

stormwolf on 15-08-2010
Gone Wrong.
Hi Romany I felt the same as Mitch. It needed a last 'day' to round it off but other than that it worked really well as written and it is something that I can sure empathise with as I am sure many can.
It's good to break out into different styles which you managed here.
Alison xm

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison. Funny you both think that, I am not sure I agree but thanks for your thoughts,

Romany.

sunken on 15-08-2010
Gone Wrong.
Hello Ms. Romany. I like it. It reminds me of a commercial, but I can't think which one... It was either to do with trains or lettuce... It'll come to me... one day. Ahem. I'm so glad people can't rate comments.

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you will always find him in the freezer at parties

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken, hmm - which ad was that then?

Romany.

Capricorn on 20-08-2010
Gone Wrong.
I really enjoyed reading this - we all have days like this at times!
Eira

Author's Reply:
Thanks Eira. We do indeed, but hopefully few and far between!

Romany.


Man in a Corner. (posted on: 09-08-10)
Another failed competition entry! This was a workshop challenge for Leaf Books - there was a word limit and the idea was that old adage - 'show don't tell.' It is prose as opposed to being a story so whilst I always welcome comments, please bear that in mind. This was enjoyable and a good exercise in and of itself. The subject matter is an individual I have 'used' in my writing before and one who, on reflection, obviously had more influence on me than I realised. That in itself was an education.

Man in a Corner. He shakily picks up his cup of tea. A cup mind you, with a saucer as well; no mugs here boys! One of his little jokes that he always laughs at himself, as if he's never heard it before. No mugs here, including me! He coughs a smokers cough, puts the cup down in order to vent his bronchial attack more fully. When it's over he takes a pristine white handkerchief out of his trouser pocket, raises it to wipe his spittled mouth and watery eyes, returns it to his pocket and picks up his tea once again. He sits in his chair, very definitely his; no one else dares to sit in it. He has marked his territory well, an old tin ashtray balanced on one broad chair arm, an ancient, folded cloth on the other for his tea. His matches and roll ups are in easy reach, on the edge of the equally ancient cabinet next to him. His slippered feet rest on the tiled fire hearth, the other area over which he is ruler. The little stainless steel hearth set - brush, pan and poker - are his property though he never bought them and he has never said as much. It is just known, accepted by those around him, and the only time these implements are used by anyone else is either very early in the day, before he is awake, when he is out, or when he has taken of drink a little stronger than his ritual cups of tea and is none the wiser. He clears his throat again, takes another sip, leans back in his chair and gives me a sardonic half- smile, ''All right?'' he asks, making me wonder if he really wants to know, ''What's the matter with you then?'' S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for Man in a Corner.
sirat on 10-08-2010
Man in a Corner.
I don't quite see how this piece fits in with the idea of 'show, don't tell'. It's a description of an old man doing something very simple, i.e. lifting his teacup and asking 'What's the matter with you then?' What we come to know about him – his age, appearance, attitudes and physical condition – we learn because you tell us. I'm not clear on what is being 'shown', but my understanding is that the concept applies more to things like plot, character and motivation than to a straightforward description like this. Everything about the man seems to me to be stated rather than implied, but in a descriptive passage that seems quite okay to me.

I have no criticism of the general tone of writing here, but there are a few minor technical things which (if I am to be perfectly honest) would stop me from choosing it as a competition winner of any kind. If it's a competition, you've really got to get the basic stuff right. These are the points that would mark it down for me:

Firstly, while I'm not as anti-adjective as some people here, the word 'shakily' in the very first sentence did grate a bit. Something like 'his cup rattles as he picks it up' would be a lot better. In 'a smokers cough', 'smoker's' is possessive and needs an apostrophe. 'rol-ups' needs a hyphen. 'has taken of drink' is an odd construction – just 'has taken a drink' sounds more natural to me. 'half- smile' no space between the hyphen and 'smile'. The final sentence is wrongly punctuated. It should be: “All right?” he asks, making me wonder if he really wants to know. “What’s the matter with you then?”

I hope this is some help.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sirat, thanks for taking the time.

I was hoping to post the competition criteria here for you but they have taken them down from the site. The stricture was that, for example, rather than saying something like 'Liz was a kind person who liked to help,' you would imply that through her attitude, actions, words instead. That's what I meant by show don't tell. Of course, in some sense there has to be a certain amount of 'telling' the reader otherwise there would be no words on the page/screen!

I have to say I disagree with you about the punctuation in the final line – I think it is fine as it stands, and I also disagree about the hyphen in ‘roll ups.’ I think that it might be a personal or ‘preferred’ thing but is not necessarily the ‘correct’ thing, absolutely. I am with you on the apostrophe on ‘smoker’s cough.’ Funny, I checked and checked this before submitting it, but that still got past me! Same with the ‘half – smile hyphen thing!

The ‘has taken of drink’ sentence is valid I think, and it was in the sentence referring to ritual. My intention was to refer to the ‘taking of drink’ as being almost ritualistic, i.e. alcoholism. It obviously didn’t come over as that.

So you wouldn’t have picked this as a winner. Fair enough – neither did they! All good practice though, eh?

Again, thanks for taking the time, much appreciated.

Romany.



Bikerman on 11-08-2010
Man in a Corner.
I think when you're competing against maybe a few hundred others the piece has to be something really special or different for it to stand out. As Sirat says, this is an okay piece of descriptive writing, but I'm afraid it's not different enough to carry away a prize. I accept what you say about it not being a story, but it still needs to make an impact with the adjudicator (much more so than the general reader who is not reading dozens or hundreds of similar pieces.)
I agree about 'taking of drink'; it sounds wrong. And not sure about the punctuation of the sentence beginning 'He marked his territory well,' a dash would be better than a comma. Finally, why is his handkerchief 'pristine white'? It seemed strangely irrelevant. Or did I miss something?

Author's Reply:
I agree bikerman, this doesn't blow anyone's socks off.

The handkerchief was meant to be a contrast to the state of the man's emotional self - but I obviously failed miserably in imparting that - lol!

Anyway, I really do appreciate comments and am grateful to you for taking the time and effort,

thank you,

Romany.

e-griff on 11-08-2010
Man in a Corner.
This is not 'bad writing', this is not 'faulty writing' (although there are a few places where it should be brushed up a bit):

I read this before seeing the comments. David is spot-on with 'shakily' - it immediately leapt out at me as awkward. Now it occurs to me also that here's a good example of 'show not tell' - 'shakily' is the narrator TELLING us the cup is shaking. 'SHOW' would be David's 'rattle' (or similar) ... where the READER makes the connection to his hands being shaky (and to the drink or age).

I think generally you should listen to what David has said, and I concur almost 100pc with his comments. For instance on the last line punctuation, David is absolutely right and you are wrong. Sorry - but that's unequivocal - they are the rules of punctuating resumed speech, end of. 🙂

he's right about roll-up (Oxford dictionary of english confirms).

now, my own opinion only on 'taken of drink' : first it is ungrammatic. Second, I don't think it's colloquial (but am not sure). But as we've discussed before, it's the readers you have to consider, so while it might be a 'bon mot' (see my 'letter to the editor' 🙂 ) in Overcote or Nether Tossing, if most people don't say it, then most people don't say it .... and as it is not at all important for atmosphere etc (it is the narrator talking, who has (and only in certain cases where you are trying to add flavour does not have) a 'standard english' tone. So 'taken a drink' or 'taken drink' 'in drink' are all perfectly acceptable.

I'm sorry if I seem picky, but it is important (to me) to get things right. And for aspiring writers here to learn the right lessons when viewing comments.

In terms of the competition, this is not really an examplar of 'show not tell' in my opinion, for the reasons David has given. As piece of writing generally, it does seem burdened by some unecessary information (which Bikerman has pointed to), the rather stilted tone of the narrator, but mainly the lack of any point to the piece, something memorable or involving. If you look at the flash stories in the weekly challenge, at 350 words, most of them do achieve that aim.

I don't want to seem overly critical, but you did ask .. and I'm guessing the judges thought along the same lines.

very best, JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks to you too griff, for taking the time.

Okay, I give up, although I genuinely believed the punctuation in that line to be okay.

I take your point about the 'taken a drink of' line, that's a fair cop.

Sorry if I seem a bit rushed in my response, am up to my eyeballs at the moment, but wanted to let you know that I have read your thoughts and wanted to acknowledge them.

Cheers,

Romany.

e-griff on 11-08-2010
Man in a Corner.
Ah, that's good of you, Romany. I tell you, if I could have edited that comment, I would have softened it a bit ... (Richard where are you?) I was hot, bothered and reacting off the cuff.

Anyway, the exact rule for interrupted/continued speech is:

regardless of the author's intent (note that), if the first section of such speech can be seen as an independent statement, it is punctuated as that, and the resumed speech starts in a separate section.

so (to try and tread close to the demarcation line)

'Well,' he said, 'that's torn it.'

'Bugger me!' he said. 'That's torn it.'

remember this is a copy editing rule for published works. It confused me when I was editing books, so I went on a google mission to nail it down 🙂



Author's Reply:
Thanks for coming back griff. Actually, I really appreciate you sharing that bit of knowledge, it's very useful to something I am doing right now.

Thanks again,

Romany.


The Tryst (posted on: 09-08-10)
My (unsuccessful) entry to the Hannah Frank poetry competition, based on her black and white sketch entitled 'They Steal Their Way.' As usual couldn't get link to come up, but the url for the picture, if you are interested, is as follows: HannahFrank.org.uk

The Tryst. Stockinged feet do not clatter against the cold stone floors So in silence, holding slippers, they go ghosting; Careful of casting shadows, they flit past open doors; Candles gutter in their wake, but they are coasting Like spirits down the stairwell, like spectres in the hall Like a breeze, light and airy on the landing Pulled and pushed here and there, led on by the call Of their youth, their need, their lust and love's demanding. Enamoured of the darkness, they shun all things bright Her skirts whisper 'hurry now;' his wild heart races, The lure of their courtyard, dappled by moonlight Adds recklessness to their once measured paces The courtyard is familiar; it greets them like old friends It keeps its vow of solemn silence and keeps faith Now it has begun; though their stolen journey ends Now they can be flesh and blood, not muted wraith. S.P.Oldham.
Archived comments for The Tryst
sunken on 09-08-2010
The Tryst


Forgive me if the above url doesn't show as the picture, Ms. Romany. It's a long time since I tried to be clever. It does help to see it tho. Your words fit the pic like a glove. Nice work and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Hey, well done Sunky! Thank you!

Thank you for your kind comment too x

Romany.

pdemitchell on 10-08-2010
The Tryst
Ah, ever trust a tryst, my dear Romany! Exceptionally well presented and in a classical form that old Mrs Browning would have signed off without a moment's thought. Enjoyable. Mitch. 🙂

Author's Reply:
Wow, great comment! Thank you,

Romany.

barenib on 10-08-2010
The Tryst
Romany - I enjoyed this too, has a touch of the Bronte sisters about it for me. Good stuff - John

Author's Reply:
Browning and Bronte! Whatever next! Thank you John, appreciated,

Romany.

admin on 11-08-2010
The Tryst
Lovely pome Romany (I fixed the link, too)!

Author's Reply:
Thanks and thank you too! I am rubbish at that,

Romany.

Ionicus on 12-08-2010
The Tryst
Sue, it has all been said. A lovely poem in the classical tradition. The fact that you were unsuccessful is not down to its quality but to the vagaries of competitions.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
BLess you for saying that Luigi, you cheered me up no end! Thank you,

Romany.

stormwolf on 12-08-2010
The Tryst
loved it.
Haunting and atmospheric
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thank you!


Stumble (posted on: 23-07-10)


Stumble. We all move through our days; sometimes a pleasant stroll through life, sometimes a run, too rushed to spot the sunshine. On other days we crawl, we flag and stumble; I myself have limped along to Friday, reached out to it on Wednesday as if it were a lifeline, flung to pull me From the mire. I don't know where the rope comes from. I do know that it is just enough to save me, 'til the next time; I know that if the throw was stronger, the rope longer or, perhaps, the days shorter, I would stumble less often; I could even slow myself from running and bring nicely into focus all the blurred things. The stumbled days become the well trod years. I am grateful for Fridays; for rope. I am even grateful for the mire and the lame and limping hours remaining hopeful, as I do, that the line may one day be more strongly woven, that it may be far longer than before, for when it is, I know that Wednesdays will never be the same again. S.P.Oldham.
Archived comments for Stumble
pdemitchell on 23-07-2010
Stumble
Hi Romany - this one works well as prose when read aloud - I've stumbled a few times myself! Another elegant piece of introspection of the humdrum week. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thank you again Mitch and good to hear from you,

Romany.

pombal on 23-07-2010
Stumble
Speaking as one of lifes stumblers - I stumbled across your poem and really identified - nice one Romany 🙂

Author's Reply:
I am glad this resonated with you, thank you pombal.

Romany.

sunken on 27-07-2010
Stumble
Hello Ms. Romany. Ya know, I never realised how philysofical you were. To be frank I'd rather you were weren't. Ya see, I can never spell philysofical. Ahem (-; Another thought provoking piece that deserves more than it got. Nice work missus.

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he prefers to take the stairs

Author's Reply:
Thanks again sunky munky!

stormwolf on 27-07-2010
Stumble
Hi Romany,
I understand the feeling in this poem, thank God for lifelines thrown, they keep us afloat.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for dropping in!

Romany.


Who? (posted on: 23-07-10)
Another poem!

Who? Is there anything as forlorn as a talent unacknowledged? I speak to you of nature, of abilities innate; perhaps even super natural. To think! For every Einstein, da Vinci or Olivier, there are perhaps as many lights, muted under bushels; as many whispers never heard above the din; as many colours, mixed brilliant upon the palette, redolent of life and drama, destined to be nothing more than background, as noticed and appreciated as whitewash. All the while, authors, painters, writers, singers, poets Crafters, spinners, weavers, philosophers and cooks, face the world armed only with forbearance and the knowledge that they love and excel at what they do. Such calm frontage coolly housing all the passion, that burns, white like phosphorous, yet consoles and also sears, like unfulfilment. S.P. Oldham.
Archived comments for Who?
pdemitchell on 23-07-2010
Who?
Hi-five Romany. This is a good introspective piece but the layout lets it down a tad with connectors like 'and' hanging at the end of lines and
arbitrary wrapa
rounds that distract.
With a wee bit of editing it would ROCK maybe:

Is there anything as forlorn
as a talent unacknowledged?
I speak to you of nature,
of abilities innate;
perhaps even supernatural.
For every Einstein, da Vinci or Olivier,
there are perhaps as many lights,
muted under bushels;
whispers never heard above the din;
as many colours mixed
brilliant upon the palette,
redolent of life and drama,
destined to be nothing
more than background,
as noticed as whitewash.

In this format, it steps up a gear - hope you don't mind this wee suggestion. Cheerz Mitch 🙂


Author's Reply:
I don't mind at all Mitch, thank you for taking the time andeffort. You are of course right, I was a bit lazy with my recent subs, publishing what were more or less first drafts really. It is always interesting to see the reaction such subs provoke (though I hasten to add I don't do it regularly!)

Anyway, yes this definitely needs a heavy edit and a lot more attention, so thank you for your patience and input.

Best wishes,

Romany.

sunken on 27-07-2010
Who?
Hello Ms. Romany. Ya know, it's not often I stop and think about things. It's even rarer (is that a word?) for a piece of poetry to have this effect on me. I'm surprised you haven't had more comment on this.

Fave bit:

'To think! For every Einstein, da Vinci or Olivier,
there are perhaps as many lights, muted under bushels;'

What exactly is a bushel anyway? I must google it. I suspect it's like a bush but er... with an el on the end. Ahem. A tip top sub. I hope you won't mind me slapping a Bernard on you. I just hope he doesn't pee up ya bushel 😉 Ahem. Sorry.

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Author's Reply:
Hey a Bernard! Not had one of those in a while!

Thanks for reading and commenting Sunky. As I said in my other reply, it most definitely needs an edit, but I appreciate your appreciation, if you know what i mean.

Romany.


At Odds (posted on: 05-07-10)
I am tired!

At Odds. The day begins without me again; Fair enough, I grow tired of waiting for it To come, when, in those endless nights I sit and count the moments. Where is it then? We are in constant opposition, The day and I; we can never agree, it seems On when to start, when to end or What should go on in-between. But why should we care? We have become nothing more than watchmen Each for the other, both of us too keen To remonstrate when one is late, To gnash our teeth when one is early. But what does it matter? The day will come, regardless of me, Or of itself, and the night; the night Will take as long as it pleases; After all, who can change such things And who would want to? S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for At Odds
sunken on 11-07-2010
At Odds
Hello again, Ms. Romany. I never did like to see a pome without a comment. I can't quite understand why this is comment-less. I is a sunk tho, I'm conditioned to not understand. I'm sure many of us have had days that seem to start without us. It's even worse when no one seems to miss ya. How rude! This deserved more than it got. Nice work missus.

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ferret believed to be responsible for traffic hold up

Author's Reply:
Bless you Sunky, thank you for reading and commenting. Things have been a bit slow round here lately it seems? There again, I am as guilty of that as anyone. Was only thinking of you earlier today, was going to send you a 'hello and how are you' pm, but I'll just do it here now instead. So, hello Sunks and how are you?

Romany.


Blue Echo (posted on: 05-07-10)
Romance is often sad, don't you think?

Blue Echo. They echoed there, hung in the blue, As if your words Were made of clouds and Any passer-by could simply read them The sun looked on, painted yellow As if a child Had taken a brush and Painted it in; all it lacked was a smile The trees seemed of the greenest green As if to prove They were alive, but their Silence should not be taken as agreement Even the pavement, grey and worn Reflected me Supported you, and Lay hard and unremitting beneath our feet All it takes to recall you now, The way you looked, The words you spoke Your soft smile as my heart broke Are the colours of the day, The sun, the trees, The tell-tale clouds and Every echoed moment since you left. S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Blue Echo
pombal on 05-07-2010
Blue Echo
Lovely Romany 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thankyou pombal!

stormwolf on 06-07-2010
Blue Echo
Hello Sue
The title is perfect and the poem speaks of the moment time stood still amid crushing hurt and disappointment. Into favs for me. Very well deserved nib for sure
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks stormwolf, and thanksfor the hot story nom too,

Romany.


sunken on 11-07-2010
Blue Echo
Hello Ms. Romany. This certainly deserved more comment. Sorry I'm late getting here. I've been busy digging for late 16th century ice cubes. My digs have not been going well. A truly tip top write that screams 'nib me'. I'm glad said screams were heard. Nice work.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks and hello again Sunky Munky! I should get Time Team on the case if I were you.

Romany x

Gee on 17-07-2010
Blue Echo
Beautifully written and descriptive. One part that really stood out for me was "all it lacked was a smile", as if even the sun could recognise the sadness of the moment.
Very well written.


Author's Reply:
Thank you Gee. I really appreciate it. I love your interpretation of that line too x

Romany.


A Window on Another World (posted on: 21-05-10)
Something I saw this weekend and loved!

A Window on Another World. I saw this week, a big surprise Into the heart of a blackbird's nest: The chicks lay, curled, unsuspecting The mother out to gather food While I stood, potential plunderer, Behind a window, and observed Three tiny pulsing, beating hearts Three small bodies, fragile souls Secure in their woven fortress An armoured holly bush as guard I watched as busy ants scouted The length of the holly's boughs; Saw the remnants of a spider's web Sway, weighted with a beetle's corpse; Yet all the while, the chicks slept on Oblivious - then, all at once, a frenzy Of unformed feathers, questing beaks As mother returned with food And the hungry siblings competed. She was wary; mother. She paused In her hopping ascent, branch to branch, She spied me, I think, and for a moment My heart stopped, for fear she might Shy away and leave her young hungry; Perhaps it was the thorny leaves, Perhaps the quiet courtyard, or her Pride at having chosen such a prize Position for her nest, but she overcame Her fear of me, or perhaps it was contempt; I suspect she had forgotten me Before she even flew the nest, But I will not soon forget them; The mother and her precious young. I cannot help but marvel, still At their nest; safe in a holly bush, Embraced inside a quiet courtyard For all the world untouched, unseen, Right up against the window! S. P. Oldham Footnote: This is all true! My husband took me to his place of work to show me the blackbird's nest, right up against the window in the heart of a holly bush. There is even a sign up on the window warning people not to open it as there are birds nesting - just lovely! It really heartened me how everyone wants' to protect these birds. It was quite a privilege to watch them up close and personal as it were and I couldn't believe my luck when mum appeared to feed them. Just gorgeous!
Archived comments for A Window on Another World
stormwolf on 21-05-2010
A Window on Another World
aww Don't you just love nature? I really enjoyed the bit below
I watched as busy ants scouted
The length of the holly’s boughs;
Saw the remnants of a spider’s web
Sway, weighted with a beetle’s corpse;
Yet all the while, the chicks slept on

I had the mental picture of such tiny activity all around which I feel is what you wanted to put across and so you really suceeded.
Your delight is also very obvious in the verses. Thanks for sharing Val
Alison x


Author's Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment storm (apologies for lateness in replying.) I am glad you could envisage this and yes, I was delighted! They have flown the nest now - wonder if they will be back next year?

Romany.

stormwolf on 22-05-2010
A Window on Another World
oops my brain was elsewhere sorry Sue..
These tablets are making me like a zombie 😉
Alison x

Author's Reply:

sunken on 23-05-2010
A Window on Another World
Hello Ms. Romany. Smashing to see ya subbing again. This is nib worthy, in my sunken opinion. The best I can do is a slap a smelly Bernard ya tho. Did ya know, by the way, that bluebirds can't see the colour blue? As Alanis Morissette once sang, '...isn't it ironic..?' - Ya know, that song is so rubbish. She bangs on about how ironic it is that her drawer is full of spoons when all she really needs is a knife. That's not ironic. It's just not using your head when purchasing cutlery. I despair of pop stars sometimes. Ahem. I'll shut up. Thank you.

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Author's Reply:
Cheers Sunky Munky!

pdemitchell on 24-06-2010
A Window on Another World
Hi Romany - a well observed piece of nature worthy of an Oddie - if it were an award and not a small bearded ex-Goodie bird-watcher. It could do with a wee bit of editing here and there but a stalwart and enjoyable piece methinks. Cheerz! Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Hi, I agree re the editing, to be honest I was more concerned with just sharing the experience,but you are right! Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

wfgray on 24-06-2010
A Window on Another World
Hi Sue, I am a blackbird admirer. I have at least six of them visit my garden every day. They are territorial birds and I have one who is top dog. His mate emerged a week ago with one chick. The nests of one is in the front garden and the other in the rear. We get a lot of pleasure out the birds that visit and nest in our surrounding bushes.. Your poem is a brilliant portrayal into the life of a blackbird. Will

Author's Reply:
Thank you Will, good to hear from you,

Romany.


Profit (posted on: 25-01-10)
A way of thinking that is becoming more and more appealing to me.

Profit. I have no wish to worship a god of any name However great he may be, however wide his fame I do not wish to fall upon my bended knee And offer up my prayers to a dictating entity I have no faith in any being who condemns my fellow man, Whose rules and law remain unchanged since politics began; Whose greatest tool is fear and whose strategy is division Who keeps his followers deprived, whilst his prophets pour derision Upon the weak, the lame, the destitute, the masses, the believers, The hopeless, lost and desperate; and then employs these things as levers I see no worth in appealing to a divinity Who advocates death for loving and sells virginity Who dares to grade humanity, raising some above others; Who denigrates sisterhood and values only brothers Who deems a mere apple, equal to a hand - No matter the thief was starving in the holy land; Who stones and whips a woman forced out of her honour And, instead of understanding, wishes all hell upon her What comfort is there to be found in any of the gods? When the love they claim to preach is so completely at odds With the actions of their most devout; those who follow, to the letter The written word of their idols and believe that they know better When I am compelled to do something for a friend It is because I want to help them, not for some other end; Not because I want to be assured a heavenly place Or saved from the fires of hell, or spared some god's disgrace I do not want to have to choose who my compassion should be for When it must be based on ignorance or some ancient, heartless law; If I must worship something, let it be the rising sun A true miracle of science and nature I will ascribe to no-one If I must offer up praise, let it be for rain Which is not 'sent,' is not a punishment, nor a blessing in his name If I must value something, let it be life and love And the wonderful things people can do, not puppeted from above If I must pray for something, let it be that soon All men and women everywhere stop howling at the moon And see that faith is just that; blind and unsubstantiated It brooks no questioning, no learning and will not be educated; I pray that they cast down all their hypocrisies, Cast away their icons, examine prophecies, Do away with all the garb that signifies their worth And find peace and love, for peace and love's sake Upon this beautiful, natural Earth. S.P.Oldham.
Archived comments for Profit
stormwolf on 25-01-2010
Profit
A heartfelt and worthy plea ably demonstrated in this peom which resonates deeply with me.
I have come to see the many ways that the people have been subjugated by fear of damnation of some sort and the blaring discrepancies existing at times between what is preached and inherent goodness.
I don't worship nature as such...but I have a deep reverance for it and feel totally connected to it while I view the folly of man as depressing beyond words.
We should change our allegiance..we can live without religion...but we cannot live without the sun or the moon.
Alison x

PS we are entering into the 'Golden Age'..wonder what it will be like?...we sure are going through the tribulation at present and I feel its gonna get worse ;-(

Author's Reply:
I don't worship nature either to be honest, I was just trying to make a point. I'm glad that this poem reached you and that you appear to have understood me. A Golden Age? Really? Well, as always, time will tell...

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Romany.

niece on 27-01-2010
Profit
Well-said, Romany...somewhere down the ages everything was misconstrued and misused by ill-meaning people...I hope the Golden Age mentioned by Stormwolf happens soon. Maybe like the rainbow after the thundershower, something good is waiting to happen...

Author's Reply:
Thank you neice, let's hope so eh?

Romany.

sunken on 27-01-2010
Profit
Hello Ms. Romany. Good to see you subbing again. I'm kinda grateful that I don't believe in all this god stuff. It seems to cause more hassle than it's worth. I just believe in people (the good ones that is). Well written and very thought provoking and no mistake.

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now available in argos

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, good to hear from you.

Romany.


Flat on the Mat. (posted on: 08-01-10)
A la Dr. Seuss's 'Cat in the Hat,' but inspired by an endless stream of junk mail, a good while back. Just for fun!

Flat on the Mat. As I sat at my table Enjoying peace whilst I was able What should come through my door And land flat upon my floor But a letter, telling me ''Have this card; it's interest free!'' ''I do not want this card,'' I said, ''I do not want to buy a bed,'' I turned the page and read still more, Of the letter that fell on the floor, ''I do not want a card,'' I said, ''I do not want to buy a bed. I do not want one that is red; I do not want a card,'' I said. ''Would you like one with a book? Would you like to take a look?'' ''I do not want one with a book, I do not want to take a look, I do not want one for a bed, I do not want one that is red. I do not want one it's not hard; I do not want a credit card.'' ''Do you want one for a yacht? Do you want one such a lot?'' ''I do not want one for a yacht, I do not want one such a lot, I do not want one for a car, I do not want to travel far; I do not want one with a book; I do not want to take a look.'' ''Do you want one that you can't repay? Do you want one now, today? Do you want one to sail the Med?'' ''I DO NOT WANT A CARD!'' I said. ''Not even if the card was nice? Not even on a bed of rice? Not even if the sell is hard? You do not want a credit card?'' ''I do not want one, no, you clot! I do not want one such a lot! ''I do not want to hear from you! What can I say? What can I do? This letter; I should not have read it! I do not want a card for credit! I do not want a card for money! I do not think that it is funny. If I fill the forms in, on my pay, You'd refuse me anyway! I do not want a credit card; I do not want one! It's not hard.'' ''You do not want one for a while? You do not want one for a trial? Would you like one with a cup of tea? Would you like one, interest free?'' ''I say again, I say no! I do not want to know! Stop sending me these begging letters; I thought by now that you'd know better. I do not want one that looks nice; Don't want one on a bed of rice Don't want one with a cup of tea; I do not want one, interest free. I say again, it is not hard; I DO NOT WANT A CREDIT CARD!'' ''If Madam does not reply,'' it ends, ''Please pass this letter onto friends. Your refusal will be noted with sorrow; We'll write to you again tomorrow.'' S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Flat on the Mat.
Leila on 08-01-2010
Flat on the Mat.
ha this gave me a chuckle Romany- spot on and great title too...Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks Leila,

Romany.

sunken on 09-01-2010
Flat on the Mat.
Lol. Blimey, there's some strong subs this week. Bernard will have to come to you on a rotation basis. Top stuff, Ms. Romany. Well done and no mistake. It's me, by the way - sunks. Thank you.

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Author's Reply:
Thankyou sunky munky and Bernard!

Romany.

Ionicus on 09-01-2010
Flat on the Mat.
Gave me a good chuckle Susan but at the same time is all so true. We are continually bombarded with unwanted offers from credit cards to double glazing to fitted kitchens.
And have you taken advantage of the Government scheme to write off your debts? Etc., etc.
You have hit the nail on the head with piece and it is nice to see you posting again.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi, I've almost finished my NVQ now so am hoping to be back to normal as regards posting soonish. Plus I entered a few writing competitions and had a couple of other little things on the go lately, which have kept me away a bit (although I very often pop back from time to time and have a peep without anyone noticing!) Anyway, thanks again,

Romany.

macaby on 09-01-2010
Flat on the Mat.
Well said Romany. We are all continiously bombarded with post, e-mails and phone calls offering us the world at a cheap rate. You have put a lot of work into this poem and it shows 🙂
Good write.
Cheers
mac

Author's Reply:
Thanks mac, and I'm glad (and sorry!) that you can identify.

Roman.

stormwolf on 10-01-2010
Flat on the Mat.
Round my way..it's carryout menus!
It seems that every single day someone comes up the path and drops one on my mat. I now have a selection of hundreds of places to eat from Chinese to Indian to Tai and good old fish and chips.

Last time my son came to stay he asked if I had any suggestions for a carryout meal and I directed him to my overflowing drawers 😉

What starts off as a mild irritation can lead to murderous thoughts..I am convinced of it.
Great funny writing Romany!
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Me too Alison, though these days I tend to pick them up off the doormat and put them straight into the recycling box - what a waste of time and paper! Thanks for reading,

Romany.

Jolen on 11-01-2010
Flat on the Mat.
I thought this was brilliant too and can't believe it's not nibbed! Clever stuff, for sure! And a very enjoyable read.

blessings and Happy New Year,
jolen

Author's Reply:
Happy new year to you too Jolen, and thank you, glad you liked it.

Romany.

Ania on 11-01-2010
Flat on the Mat.
I think this should be essential reading for schoolchildren. Gordon Brown should hire you for his 'financial education for 5 years olds' that his government is introducing. Brilliant!

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ania, you could always send GB a reference for me!

Romany,

Beth on 16-02-2010
Flat on the Mat.
I'm a big fan of cat in the hat and I thought this captured the flavour of his books perfectly. The best thing to do with credit cards is to cut them up and throw them in the bin! An amusing poem that got me laughing.

Author's Reply:


In progress (can't think of one!) (posted on: 30-10-09)
Just some silly fun from a while ago, i know it's not perfect but not really looking for in depth critque on this one. Hopefully you'll just enjoy!

Published by Anchor Books in the anthology; 'A Classic Collection of Comic Verse,' September 2001 When Jack fell down the hill All the way down, he blamed Jill. And Humpty-Dumpty was no brave heart They say that he just fell apart. Mary might have helped Jack stop But she was busy grilling a chop (Good thing Bo-Peep was fast asleep And yet to know she'd lost her sheep) As for Old King Cole and his thousand men They were all out, at the pub again. Goosey gander wandered all round town, But didn't pass the hill that Jack came tumbling down. The King of Hearts had troubles enough (What with the Queen finding out about the birds and tarts and stuff.) All I know is, when Jack landed, It wasn't vinegar and brown paper he demanded. Twinkle twinkling stars danced in his head. No rhyme could repeat the words he said. He threw down the now empty bucket And shouted up to Jill ''I'll chuck it Up to you! You draw the water! I'm off to marry some rich king's daughter!'' But Jill was having none of this. ''Hey!'' she yelled, ''We made a deal! How dare you leave! How do you think I feel? How will the rhyme begin if you are done? 'Jill went up the hill, got the water and spilt none?' There's no excitement in that line, no story to relate, Get your bucket, and your backside, back up here mate!'' And so, they both still toil away you'll know if you read the verse. Jill's fine, as she always is. But Jack's headache's getting worse! S P Oldham.
Archived comments for In progress (can't think of one!)
sunken on 31-10-2009
In progress (cant think of one!)
Clever stuff, Ms. Romany. I think I see what Ms. Wolf did there - Crack a smile - egg - humpty dumpty. Do you think she did it intentionally or am I reading too much into it? Anyway, enjoyed muchly.

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based on a half eaten crunchie bar that got confiscated by a rather strict maths teacher


Author's Reply:

macaby on 01-11-2009
In progress (cant think of one!)
A pleasnant and fresh look on a well known nursey rhyme,
made me smile more than once.
Enjoyed
mac

Author's Reply:

Beth on 21-02-2010
In progress (cant think of one!)
I'm sure our love of verse starts with childhood nursery rhymes. I did enjoy this. It makes you start wondering what did happen next! I liked all the humour here and the original slant. Regards Beth

Author's Reply:
Thanks Beth, always good to have an oldie revisited!

Romany.


When I Am Beautiful (posted on: 18-09-09)
This is 8 years old, written for my husband. I don't think I've posted it here before but it is on my little site.

When I Am Beautiful. I'm just an ordinary girl Nothing special about me Legs end too soon, Skin's not perfect. I scrub up ok But I can't wear a dress And my perfume's cheap, not the best. Yet when he looks at me When he gives me that slow Up and down, Drinking me in look. When his hands are in my hair And his lips are on my mouth When we're alone And there's no one else to see me, I am beautiful then I do all the boring jobs That keeping home necessitates Can't keep my nails long For very long When I've just got up Hey that's the way I look No permanently perfect style for me. But when I feel his arms around me When he pulls me close and holds me so tight That it's hard to breathe his name When I can still feel his touch on my skin Long after he is gone When I'm alone and there's no one else to see me I am beautiful then. S. P Oldham
Archived comments for When I Am Beautiful
sunken on 18-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
Hello Ms. Romany. It's odd what passes for beauty these days isn't it? Orange girls with fake hair, fake nails, fake boobs and fake eyelashes don't really do it for me. I like real women... Although I do like them to shave their armpits... Ahem. I hope Ms. Delph doesn't see this. She'll have my guts for garters and no mistake. You seem like a very beautiful person to me, Ms. Romany. Neat poem.

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falling to her knees would have to wait until the ad break

Author's Reply:
Always great to have you read and comment Sunky, and what a lovely comment this one was too! Thank you,

Romany.

stormwolf on 18-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
Oh this is lovely! It reminds me of falling in love with someone and to quote me "suddenly, he became my prince" by that I am speaking of the eyes of love that, without warning, transformed an ordinary man ...
This poem leaves me feeling warm
Alison

Author's Reply:
Good, that was my intention! (My intention in posting it here 8 years down the line that is - my intention when I wrote it was simply to express what I felt. And I still do - nothing's changed for us) and you've understood me very well. Thank you Alison,

Romany.

Jolen on 18-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
I loved this poem. I know just exactly how you feel and it is the most wonderful feeling in the world to be so loved. Excellently expressed!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen, and I am so glad you know this feeling too.

Romany.

Andrea on 18-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
This is lovely, Romany - made me go all gooey inside *sigh*

PS. I'm a bit of a state, too (although not orange with fake boobs, happily)

Author's Reply:
Lol! Trust you Andrea! You and I are not 'a bit of a state' at all, we are simply just windswept and interesting - there's a difference!

Glad to know I made you go all gooey inside!

Romany.

e-griff on 18-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
How lovely. And what a lucky bloke, I have to say.

My wife's never written me a poem. But she has looked after me for 35 years, so ...

Author's Reply:
Thank you griff, I'll make sure he reads your comment - lol!

I think that fact that she's looked after you all those years can be said to be dedication enough, too.

Romany.

hoopsinoz on 18-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
What a beautiful sentiment so wonderfully expressed - good stuff 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thank you, glad you like it.

Romany.

Ionicus on 19-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
There is nothing more I can add to the preceding comments:
a lovely poem beautifully expressed.
If I can be a little bit pedantic, shouldn't there be a comma in the line 'Drinking me in look.'?

Luigi x


Author's Reply:
Yes, there should! Thank you Luigi,

Romany.

silversun on 19-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
The thing I notice about this poem is that it shares the characteristics that it portrays, it is almost a mirror of its author, as far as the subject of the poem itself goes, obviously. This is by no means a bad thing. Ignoring the words completely, to look at, it is not particularly elegant with the contrasting line lengths and the patchy punctuation, and yet the sentiment contained within is a saving grace; very much like the supposed ordinariness and unspecialness of the writer, who transcends the common materiality by her dedication.

James

Author's Reply:
It is clumsy and awkward to look at you are right, and I deliberately left it that way to reflect the content of the poem. I am gratified that you noticed that, thank you.

Romany.

jay12 on 20-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
A lovely poem. I'm no looker but my missus makes me feel like I am worthy of happiness. I enjoyed this a lot, I think a lot of us will relate to it.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Good, I'm glad that's how she makes you feel - that's just as it should be. I bet you make her feel the same way. Thank you for reading and commenting,

Romany.

Mezzanotte on 20-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
I've come to this late, so all of my sentiments have been expressed already, except the Silversun comment, that was too intellectual.

A brilliant poem.

Best wishes
Jack

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jack, for taking the time to read and comment, I am glad you like it.

Romany.

Griffonner on 20-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
Well, one things for sure: you're beautiful, and beautifully unique, all the time. So there!

Allen
x


Author's Reply:
You've no idea how much you have just cheered me up Griffonner. Thank you!

Romany.

Rupe on 23-09-2009
When I Am Beautiful
It's a very good poem - for all the reasons that everyone else has noted above. It's real & truthful and gets to the point & I don't think you can go far wrong when a piece of writing does that.

I stumbled a little over 'necessitates', though I'm not completely sure why. Maybe because it's a bit of a long & slightly abstract word & out of keeping with the straightforwardness of the rest of the poem.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Thank you Rupe, I take your point.

Romany.


Battle Plot (posted on: 28-08-09)
I am still very much a learner, despite having had the allotment for about 18 months now!

Battle Plot. On this rectangle of land, and here alone I have some small control, or am I fooled; Over what is weeded out and what is grown Where once the grass was long and Nature ruled. She is now usurped, or at least tamed I have donned her crown and imposed order But she laughs at me, I think; could she be blamed For the anarchy that reigns along my border? For I fight to keep the bindweed army back Whilst troops of onions strangle in despair The brassicas fall under the attack Of Cabbage Whites, bombarding from the air The hardy spud, my heavy infantry Fall to blight; a perishing disease; Their trenches done, they fall short of the pantry But their passing has me falling to my knees The beetroot blush, embarrassed by their fate Just like the carrots, they stay hidden in the soil While the roses in the planter by the gate Refuse to bloom, regardless of my toil; Mercenary aphids, slugs and snails Commit dawn raids and evening sorties; The copper, beer and wire netting fails, Something furtive dishes death out to the peas The sweetcorn, in their shame, hang their heads Even the shed door becomes unhinged The flowers remain tucked up in their beds As Nature reasserts where I impinged. Best I let the grass grow sure and strong Give back the dandelions their heads and let them roar, No doubt the Queen will correct where I went wrong I must allow the land to lie, just as before Perhaps, once my back is turned, my tools away, After Nature has run riot in her glee It may be, a single seed, which went astray Takes roots, takes hold and stands defiantly To grow into a cultivated veg, To stand as testimony to my hand Perhaps safe in the shade of the hedge So I can say I made my mark upon the land. S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Battle Plot
Griffonner on 28-08-2009
Battle Plot
Oh how I know that feeling, Romany! You describe it so true with your well constructed words.

Apparently there has always been chaos - ever since the moment of creation. But what chaos, eh!

Author's Reply:
Absolutely! Thanks for reading and commenting Griffoner,

Romany.

stormwolf on 28-08-2009
Battle Plot
LOVED the way you made the plants and veg have personalities and every line was rich and funny too. 🙂
Really well written from the troops of onions strangling in despair...to the shed becoming unhinged...
My advice would be to leave the lot to nature and go to the pub.
Alison

Author's Reply:
Aha, I have done just that on many an occasion - probably why the weeds are winning! Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

sunken on 28-08-2009
Battle Plot
Hello Ms. Romany. This is very clever. Too many great lines to pick out just one. This should be nibbed! Do you think anyone will listen? Probably not. I'll just let Bernard of the communist persuasion do the barking. Top stuff and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunky, appreciated. Give Bernard a pat on the head from me,

Romany.

wfgray on 28-08-2009
Battle Plot
Hi there, there is the garden of your dreams. when they dont grow, you are inclined to let out a scream. The green beans, the beetrot and cabages fail to show. One wonders why the don't grow. I have a garden too large for me. I can see that yours is large enough for you to agree. You have described the lot word by word of your maghnificent plot. I like, i like. You obviously have a lovely garen to be able to write so many lovely words about it. GREAT. Will

Author's Reply:
Very poetic reply Will, I am impressed! Thank you and I am glad you liked it,

Romany.

macaby on 28-08-2009
Battle Plot
This is a clever, imaginitive, very visual and well crafted poem. I like how you describe your garden plot , comparing it to a battlefield, I know the feeling. There are so many great lines " crammed" in here but
"For the anarchy that reigns along my border? "

"Give back the dandelions their heads and let them roar, "
just two that caught my attention.
One question. Doesn't your husband object when you give his good beer to the snails? I know I did when my wife done the same thing. I really enjoyed this poem. Well done.
mac


Author's Reply:
So many people can empathise! it's fun though, and good for you apparently (gardening that is!)

See, where your wife went wrong was TELLING you about the beer...

Romany x

CVaughan on 28-08-2009
Battle Plot

Your poem abounds with good humour and clever wording. Carrying off ABAB is an ask as I know and you pulled the rhyme off really well in these lines here
The sweetcorn, in their shame, hang their heads
Even the shed door becomes unhinged
The flowers remain tucked up in their beds
As Nature reasserts where I impinged & included a killer joke "unhinged", classic. And why not a 10. Frank



Author's Reply:
What a great comment! Thank you Frank, so glad it made you smile. Have a good bank holiday - we're off to Southend in an hour so best I toddle off!

Cheers,

Romany.

woodbine on 30-08-2009
Battle Plot
It's all good fun and I like the second verse best with the aerial bombardment of the Cabbage Whites and the spuds dug in the trenches.
It's all perfectly true gardening is like ironing, there is no end to it, and the minute you stop Mother Nature is back over your fence again. At least you got a spiffing poem out of it.

Something I heard on the radio from owner of ancestral pile. 'To get a decent lawn you can't beat seeding it and giving it a good roller for a couple of hundred years.
John

Author's Reply:
Thank you John and apologies for my tardiness!
romany.

shackleton on 30-08-2009
Battle Plot
Nice one, Romany. It can be disheartening when everything but you is making a good living from your endeavour. Main thing, of course, is that you're keeping yourself fit. I bet you've got some good crops! Enjoyed the read!

Author's Reply:


Football in the Sky (posted on: 27-07-09)
An oldie! This was published in Bluechrome's charity anthology 'A Sporting Chance.' (Boho Press 2003.)

Football in the Sky. There's a football in the sky Someone kicked it way too high It got caught up there Stuck in a web of stars Someone with a fearsome boot Sent it on its' astral route To leave it hanging Just up and right of Mars It's shiny, round and bright And on a very clear night You can see it glowing Like a torch beam in the gloom Sometimes it looks like it will land Like you can touch it with your hand That football thing That people call the moon. S.P.Oldham
Archived comments for Football in the Sky
sunken on 28-07-2009
Football in the Sky
Hello again, Ms. Romany. Very fitting this, what with the recent moon landing anniversary. A neat ickul kiddies poem and no mistake.

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in search of coma chameleon

Author's Reply:
Hey I never thought of that! - Very topical of me wasn't it? Cheers sunky munky,

Romany.

e-griff on 28-07-2009
Football in the Sky
I ad one in that, missus!

I see you are at wiv the old its' again *tuts*

Author's Reply:
Not much time for writing new ones these days, although I have entered a couple of competitions and am waiting to hear from a publisher - couple of new rejections to look forwrd to! Which one was yours then?

Romany.

Ionicus on 28-07-2009
Football in the Sky
Hi Romany. I remember "The Sporting Chance" but I didn't realise it was published as far back as 2003.
Quite a few UKA authors contributed to it, myself included.
Anyway your poems is still fresh and, as Sunken says, topical in view of the moon landing's anniversary.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Hi Luigi, sorry I missed this comment! Yes, doesn't time fly? Thanks for reading,

Romany.

e-griff on 28-07-2009
Football in the Sky
I think it was one about trying. I'm always trying, you know.

Author's Reply:
I'm saying nothing ...

Mezzanotte on 28-07-2009
Football in the Sky
I read this to my kids and they really enjoyed it, there attention span is short, so thats a compliment.

Bst Wishes
jackie

Author's Reply:
Oh how lovely Jackie, thank you. I've never tested it on kids other than my own when they were 9 and 11 - 6 years ago! I'm glad they enjoyed it, thank you for doing that.

Kind regards,

Romany.


Wales I Am (posted on: 27-07-09)
Another oldie - this was written for my husband a few years ago now.

Wales I am. What compares? If you know of somewhere then please tell me; This love affair has gone on for so long And though we've had to part, as lovers often do I've never really left this land of song I know this earth is full of many wonders Our Earth; a mystery of extremes Places where the wild sea beats and plunders Yet always I see Wales in my dreams I've heard of awesome sights, beyond description Of sun-kissed shores; of calm and peaceful pleasance No matter how they defy imagination Wales I always am, in essence. So many scenes, to hold the eye's attention To tempt the painter and the poet to their art Tell me once, if you must, then no more mention Wales I am, and always will be, at heart Countless beaches ravaged into drama Shining deserts stretching far and wide All are wonderful; all Earth's panorama Yet one place, alone, fills me with such pride Have you ever left her? Longed to see her hills and mountains, Waving promises in greenery and flower? Holding secrets that they've held throughout the ages; Knowing every hour is her finest hour She seduces you; cleaves you to her wishes Bends you to her will and makes you whole Wales I am and Wales I ever will be Wales in the centre of my soul. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Wales I Am
cat on 27-07-2009
Wales I Am
'Have you ever left her? Longed to see her hills and mountains, waving promises in greenery and flower?'

... And 'cleaves you to her wishes'

How beautiful your Wales, your home and your words. cat xxx

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much cat,

Romany.

sunken on 28-07-2009
Wales I Am
Hello Ms. Romany. You'll probably hate me saying this, but Gavin & Stacey have given me a newfound love of all things Welsh. Smitten I am. Neat poem by the way. Your hubby is a lucky man. I, on the other hand, have been described as a mucky man. I blame hormones. Hello?

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he's loosely based on an ever widening gap

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, I don't know if he'd agree about being lucky!

Romany.

P.S Nothing wrong with Gavin and Stacey is there? What's occurrin' sunky?

teifii on 28-07-2009
Wales I Am
Hope he liked it. He should.
I used to dream of Wales all the time before I lived here so it's not surprising if a native should do so.
Wales I am, praise God, and ever will be

Wales in the centre of my soul.
I have a belt buckle that stands on my bookcase. A friend gave it to me but it seems like cheating as I'm only one quarter Welsh, and London Welsh at that.
It says
British by birth
Welsh by the grace of God

Author's Reply:
Welsh is Welsh is Welsh teifi - I thought, looking at your posts and work over the years, that you were a Welsh girl. You speak the lingo don't you? More than I do! I've seen that logo before - my hubbie would love that belt buckle!

Thanks for reading,

Romany.

shackleton on 29-07-2009
Wales I Am
I liked your poem, Romany Sue. I've caught many poems and songs about Scotland and Ireland, but not many about Wales or England. My lad lives near Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire and spends many summer days on Sefn Sidan beach. Good poem!

Author's Reply:
Lovely! I love to be on the beach. Thanks for reading shacks,

Romany.

shackleton on 29-07-2009
Wales I Am
Sorry... I meant 'Cefn Sidan'. I must get a new set of choppers.

Author's Reply:
No worries!

e-griff on 29-07-2009
Wales I Am
Yeh, my father's family come from Wales, and I come from the capital of North Wales of course. My wife comes from Cardiff (but that's not really Wales, of course) My first great love came from Merthyr (not really Wales either of course, with all those Irish) I went to university in Wales (Aber) and you may have read the story about that. Yes, I loved the upsides, but some of the downsides were cruel, spiteful and parochial. Still, at least I didn't go to Bangor (which would probably have been worse). Ah me .... 🙁

I like Wales, I like England, I like Scotland, the highlands, Islands, I liked Finland, Denmark, Sweden, I liked Japan, I liked Canada, I liked the US, I like France, I liked Italy, I liked Germany, I liked Australia, I liked Spain, Portugal, I liked Poland, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria ....I liked Russia .... er, should I go on?

er, okay then ....

this is lovely ...

Dear Gwalia! I know there are
Towns lovelier than ours,
And fairer hills and loftier far,
And groves more full of flowers,


And boskier woods more blithe with spring
And bright with birds' adorning,
And sweeter bards than I to sing
Their praise this beauteous morning.


By Cader Idris, tempest-torn,
Or Moel yr Wyddfa's glory,
Carnedd Llewelyn beauty born,
Plinlimmon old in story,


By mountains where King Arthur dreams,
By Penmaenmawr defiant,
Llaregyb Hill a molehill seems,
A pygmy to a giant.


By Sawdde, Senny, Dovey, Dee,
Edw, Eden, Aled, all,
Taff and Towy broad and free,
Llyfhant with its waterfall,


Claerwen, Cleddau, Dulais, Daw,
Ely, Gwili, Ogwr, Nedd,
Small is our River Dewi, Lord,
A baby on a rushy bed.


By Carreg Cennen, King of time,
Our Heron Head is only
A bit of stone with seaweed spread
Where gulls come to be lonely.


A tiny dingle is Milk Wood
By Golden Grove 'neath Grongar,
But let me choose and oh! I should
Love all my life and longer


To stroll among our trees and stray
In Goosegog Lane, on Donkey Down,
And hear the Dewi sing all day,
And never, never leave the town.




Author's Reply:
I agree, that is lovely. Thanks for coming back griff,

Romany.

allieuk on 01-08-2009
Wales I Am
This is beautiful, it made me feel wistful and ever so slightly sad. A gorgeous and inspiring write 🙂

Author's Reply:
Wistful is what I was aimimng for - sorry it made you feel sad! Thanks allie,

Romany.

wfgray on 14-08-2009
Wales I Am
Hi there, I met many Welshman a women in my life, this poem brings out every Welsh vein of the hills and vallies in your body. It is a lovely and a beautiful written poem. I love it, Will

Author's Reply:
Thank you Will, for a lovely comment and for reading,

Romany.


Funereal (posted on: 13-07-09)
I just had to write this one, it's been whispering to me for a while now and I couldn't ignore it anymore, and when I started writing it just gushed out, in a manner of speaking. I deliberately kept this feel in the poem, for what I believe are good reasons! Actually had time to do this too, which makes a change! There's another one nagging away at me too, will maybe get that one down on paper as well. Anyhow, hello all, I am still around!

Funereal So, I went to this funeral right, Like some kind of rehearsal for my own death Most of the time I found myself Wondering who would turn up to mourn me Or just for the beer and gossip I thought of writing up an invitation list But who knows how many people I'll still know, or how many more I'll meet Before I go? There may even be some I love now Who I'll hate then; I wonder if Sometimes that isn't the same thing anyway. So, like I said, I'm brushing a blonde hair off My black jacket when I notice some people Are wearing blue or even brown, and Boy does that annoy me? I mean, it's a Funeral, right? You should wear black at funerals, Not blue or brown or fucking off white Like it's a wedding. Don't these people think Or care or what? And I can see someone I should know, Give me a minute and I'll remember her name; Maybe she's an Aunt or something. We smile and shake hands and I in my Black suit am polite and Say The Right Things But the sunny day is overcast and All wrong and I'm sweating into my collar; I'm cold inside and even I can't understand The incoherent rambling, the angry asides That some part of me is screaming Down the aisle, all unnoticed. I can see the font, solid and defiant There's confetti on the floor beside the door, I suppose they cleared it away, but I saw some, wedged in a damp pile Behind the doorjamb, and it seems to me That this should be a place for beginnings. S. P Oldham
Archived comments for Funereal
e-griff on 13-07-2009
Funereal
I enjoyed this, very nicely done.

(needs a comma before first 'right')

Author's Reply:
Hi griff, thanks for reading and commenting but not sure I agree about the comma.

Romany.

chrissy on 13-07-2009
Funereal
This was good. I enjoyed it. All the things that come into your mind when you should be thinking of something or someone else. The small things like the confetti and the different colours, that seem so important when we have no mention of the person who has died. I think this is an excellent piece.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:
Thank you Chrissy, glad you enjoyed it.

Romany.

Mezzanotte on 13-07-2009
Funereal
Dear Romany,

I like the way you've written this. An internal monologue, where I can hear the poets voice, the way he thinks. It's great. The confetti wedged in the door is also a nice touch, an epiphany which provokes feeling in the reader and the poet...this really makes me think of the works of James Joyce.

I really enjoyed it.
well done on the nib
Best wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
Wow, a nib! Thanks Mezzanotte, and thank you for a great comment,

Romany.

e-griff on 13-07-2009
Funereal
you schoolteachers!!! *tuts* 🙂

So, I went to this funeral right,

Boy does that annoy me? I mean, it’s a
Funeral, right?

? (well you could always make it 'funeral rite' 🙂 )

oh ps, I now disagree with the ? after 'annoy me' as it's a statement not a question.

rely on me for the trivia, kid. 😉



Author's Reply:
I always do griff!

By the way, I am not a school teacher x

wfgray on 13-07-2009
Funereal
Hi Romany, this is not your type of poetry. I could say like every one says, "It was nicely written" I have read many of your poems and they tell me that you lead a happy life in some wilds of Yorkshire with your animals. When you get to my age you always think on the bright side. Will


Author's Reply:
Hi will, it's lovely to hear from you, hope you are well.

You are for the most part right - I do live a happy (cheap and cheerful) life and I know I am fortunate to do so, although at the moment I am on the border of the Cotswolds rather than Yorkshire, but I know what you are getting at! Like everyone else though, I am occasionally prone to my darker moments - I suppose this was one of them. Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.

e-griff on 13-07-2009
Funereal
oh, yes of course,

*grins sumptuously*


(just you reacted like one) 🙂

Author's Reply:
Lol! To be fair to you, I am a teaching assistant! Reacted like one eh? Interesting.

Romany.

Sunken on 14-07-2009
Funereal
It's all been said, Ms. Romany. I see no one has said 'turnip' though, so just let me add that here - Turnip. There, that should do it. A top piece that's worthy of both nib and nom. I now feel, however, that it is my duty to bring you back down to earth with a smelly flea infested Bernard. That'll teach ya (-;

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, my own turnips have not done too well this year so far, so thanks for yours. You know, Lloyds chemist have started stocking a nice little range of dog shampoos for only a couple of quid - maybe Bernard would like the Oatmeal and Aloe Vera one?

Romany.

Michel on 14-07-2009
Funereal
Great write, love its natural conversational flow. Somehow hilarious and tense at the same time, then a wonderful ending.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Michel, couldn't ask for more really!

Romany.

Ionicus on 16-07-2009
Funereal
I have arrived at this fairly late. I am getting round to more reading having attended to other chores - but you don't want to know that. Your poem reads so very true, Susan. I can recall occasions at funerals where the same scenario you describe was enacted. It is one of those events where one meets relatives one rarely sees and people unknown to us who feel that they have to engage in inconsequential talk with the bereaved because it is the right thing to do, not because they feel your pain.
Well done on the nib and nomination.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi, I am so glad you know what I am getting at.

Romany.

P.S I don't know who nibbged/nommed me, but thankyou!

macaby on 16-07-2009
Funereal
Brilliant, loved the matter of fact way in which it is told.
Congratulations on the nom, well deserved.
mac

Author's Reply:
Thank you macaby, much appreciated,

Romany.

teifii on 17-07-2009
Funereal
It rings very true. I thougth the confetti [so visual] was a great touch and I liked the idea of not knowing who would be invitable when the time came. Congrats on the nom.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Tank you Daff, am pleased you like it.

Romany.


And. (posted on: 18-05-09)
It's been even longer than the last time, what with NVQ and work and all, but still, all excuses aside, this is somewhat abstract. Let me know, Romany.

And. And so I let the pen bleed on the page The ink blot, like the clotted memories And where it ran dry, I filled the gaps And just assumed that it was the before and after The unknown, the obvious and the vague The something I always held inside me The something that I never understood; That, I leave to you to decipher With no more key than this; How I appear, is what you see or perceive And what I am is unknown to even me S. P Oldham
Archived comments for And.
Mezzanotte on 18-05-2009
And.
Dear Romany,

clotted memories and the pen bleeding on the page, very visual. I guess this is about trying to piece together a forgotten past...not sure, I'm currently writing a poem about the opposite, how I remember inconsequential things from my past, and how they are not valid to my present...or are they?

Best Wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
Hi Jackie, apologies for the lateness of my reply. Thank you for commenting. It's not so much about a forgotten past as almost a feeling of helplessness as to our own being, for want of a better phrase. Good luck with yours,

Romany.

Zoya on 18-05-2009
And.
'And so I let the pen bleed on the page
The ink blot, like the clotted memories '
I just love these opening lines, Romany-very poetic and strong!
Rest of it is a lot of self search and kind of probing into your inner self for some coherence, some meaning--- I can understand this... We have all gone through that phase in life, at one point or another...
Very interesting and a bit intriguing write... And yes, very philosophic.
I love it.
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:
Hi Zoya, sorry it's taken me so long to reply. Thank you for your encouraging comment,

Romany.

Ionicus on 18-05-2009
And.
Memorable opening lines, dear Sue, and the whole poem sounds quite philosophical. A 'who am I', soul searching kind of thing. I liked it.
Welcome back BTW.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Hi Luigi, lovely to hear from you and sorry it's takne me so long! Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.

teifii on 18-05-2009
And.
Very mysterious. Love the opening couplet.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Hi Daff, must apologise for not responding sooner. 'Myserious' - I can live with that! Thanks,

Romany.

Sunken on 18-05-2009
And.
Hello Ms. Romany. It's good to see you back. Great opening and ending... actually I quite like the middle bit too. As Ms. Daff said, very mysterious. The Beagle named Bernard, he say 'woof' - but don't let that put you off (-;

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Author's Reply:
Hey Sunky! Sorry it's been so long. Thanks for reading and commenting, plese give Bernard a pat on the head from me.

Romany.

Jolen on 18-05-2009
And.
I think this is quite good, and something that I can totally relate to. Very, very fine work, dear Romany.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hi Jolen, again I must apologise for the tardiness of my reply. Thank you for reading and relating,

Romany.

Elfstone on 19-05-2009
And.
Intriguing poem; I'm not sure that the title works . . which I suppose is another way of saying that for me it doesn't, but the poem itself is one to read again. Elf.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Eflstone. I appreciate what you say about hte title, but for me it felt natural. Thanks so much for reading and sorry it's been so long for me to reply,

Romany.

macaby on 19-05-2009
And.
Great opening lines, very strong. It could be philosophical, I could take a wild guess and say it's about a patient with alzheimer's disease. Overall a very intriguing poem. mac

Author's Reply:
Hi mac, what an intriguing thought. It never even occurred to me that this might be about something specific like alzheimers but I can understand how you get that. Once again, the way you read poetry is not necessarily the way it was written, and that's why I love it so much. Thanks for reading and sorry it's taken me so long,

Romany.


Spectrum (posted on: 16-02-09)
I wrote this about something very specific. I wonder if anyone knows what? (There is a huge clue in the title, for those who may be in the know!)

Spectrum. The world is blurred; too slow, too fast Too dumb to be heard Out-of-focus, double-shadowed Kaleidoscoped and curved Definite and wavering Terrible and grand A laugh, a frown, a mystery Where Fortune lends a hand You are not there; you must be there All the time and never I am somewhere in-between A tribute to endeavour Perhaps, sometimes, you'll see me Trailing in my wake; I witness what you cannot see I won't perform for sake Sudden, jarring frequencies may at once attune But the dial is always jolted and I am gone too soon Do I tantalize you? Would I know or even care? Still something fundamental lets me know that you are there. Be my voice, my instrument; I'll handle my own mind Any trace of feeling may be hard for you to find It is there; just different not caught in verse or prose Love me, love the spectrum; the brightest of rainbows. S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Spectrum
Sunken on 16-02-2009
Spectrum
Hello Ms. Romany. It's me, sunks. I'm intrigued (I'm also in levi's, a black t-shirt and a pair of doc martens, but that's not important right now). Is it about someone losing their eyesight, or having problems in that area? Or is it about a medium? Or am I talking balls again? You can be honest, I can take it. My local was meant to have a clairvoyant night a few weeks ago. It got cancelled tho because of the snow. If he'd been any good he would have known that prior to hiring the pub? I blame Paul Daniels. Oh no, he was a magician wasn't he? Actually he might still be a magician. Is he dead? I'm sure he died. Anyway, enjoyed the piece. I shall keep popping back until you reveal the 'specific' thang.

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take a torch, i predict darkness

Author's Reply:
Hi Sunky, no not eyesight or mediums, though both interesting guesses! Not letting on yet, sorry!

cat on 16-02-2009
Spectrum
Hi Romany,

I initialy thought about rainbows and the distribution of colour when I first read your opening, but after reading your poem I'm thinking more along the lines of ranges in wavelengths.
'The dial is always jolted' I am probably way off, as I usually always am, but I will keep trying.
There are so many good lines in this and I love a piece that makes you think and allows you room to breath. Enjoyed it very much. c x

Author's Reply:
Your very insightful remarks about ranges and wavelengths, and the reference to the jolted dial are all very close to the mark and were intended 'pointers' to the subject, but you're not quite there. As I told Sunky, I think I will wait and see who else takes a guess before revealing all. But You are very, very close though maybe you don't know why?!
Glad you enjoyed it, thank you,

Romany.

artisus on 17-02-2009
Spectrum
I read it as it is, a poem, ignored the short description, and I loved it.

Author's Reply:
Thank you artisus, and thank you for the Hot Story nomination. Much appreciated.
(If pushed, what would you say this was about?)

Rom any.

artisus on 17-02-2009
Spectrum
tears.

Author's Reply:
No, but thank you for guessing.

macaby on 17-02-2009
Spectrum
hi romany, a very intriguing and enjoyable poem that has got me thinking, but i can't imagine what the "brightest of rainbows" could be, (at the moment anyway.)a bit of a riddle i'd say. i'll have to come back to this later.

Author's Reply:
I suppose it is a bit of a riddle! Thank you for reading, will leave you wondering for now!

Romany.

freya on 17-02-2009
Spectrum
Intriguing write, Romany! Since I have a background in mental health and know the tern 'spectrum' is, these days, often used to describe the continuum along which many illnesses fall, I've paid particular attention to what your speaker is saying here. I'm reading your narrator as an autistic child or adult trying to communicate his/her own experience so that I the listener/reader can better understand, relate to and accept who he/she is. This seems a passionate appeal (in as much as an autistic can feel emotional in the usual sense) to be loved AS he/she is ; one distinctive human being who is a legitimate part of the beautiful rainbow of life.

Very touching and clever conceit - though I may be totally wrong in my conclusion. Yet this is what your poem says to me! You know this brought to mind Temple Grandin, perhaps the most famous autistic in the US. See how she even uses the word spectrum on her web page:

http://www.templegrandin.com/templehome.html
(sorry, don't know how to make this an actual link here)

I admire this Romany! Thanks for challenging my interpretive skills and shaking me right out of a painful creative slump. Shelagh 😉



Author's Reply:
Spot on freya, well done! I am glad it made sense to you and that you enjoyed it. i'm so pleased that this has managed to convey exactly what I meant it to - you've made my day!

Romany.

Munster on 19-02-2009
Spectrum
Really enjoyed this poem, one to read again.

Tony

Author's Reply:
Thank you Tony. Sorry I took so long to reply, didn't get a notification.

Romany.

teifii on 03-03-2009
Spectrum
Loved the poem just as a poem without explanation [so I had varied lurking views of the 'spectrum' without defining any].
But I see very well how it fits Freya's definition. I hadn't hit on autism but did feel it was avbout aceptance of the person with all their 'colours'.
Daff

You are cordially invited to visit my bookshop and art gallery.
http://www.merilang.co.uk/shop.merilang.htm

Author's Reply:
Hi teifi, thankd for reading and commenting and once again my apologies for tardiness!

Romany.


in progress... (posted on: 30-01-09)
This is the result of the collaborative challenge set in the poetry workshop. Contributors in order were: me (Romany) e-griff Simon Luigi Bluepootle Daffni

I am still unsure if the pattern on the blanket Is a blight to the aesthete, or a comfort. Running through the threads like a coursing river, Colours and shapes that barely deliver Distraction or relief to a man who is dying Of cancer, wetting the bed with soft crying Feeling sorry not for himself but for his family. When the time comes he will depart quite readily. Yet he's still unsure if the stillness of the weather Is a code unread, or a promise undelivered. But the weather is outside his pain; He'd like just once more to feel the rain
Archived comments for in progress...
e-griff on 30-01-2009
in progress...
This was a fun challenge, and as delph(?) said a great deal of fun on the thread discussing it!

Overall though, I have to say that the poem doesn't hang together, it is inconsistent. I remember last time a similar thing happened (but this is better as people have been serious and more coherent) . I think we have to think out a way to allow individual creativity while imposing a consistent overview, which has to be one person's (the setter) IMO.

Still, we continue to experiment and test our minds! JohnG

Author's Reply:
Have to say I agree griff! But it was fun and it always interests me how people approach things differently.

Thanks all for giving it a go.

Romany.

Ionicus on 30-01-2009
in progress...
A bit of a hotchpotch I have to say. It just hangs together. Maybe a case of too many cooks. I still prefer collaboration between two people who communicate to iron out the creases
so that a decent output can be achieved.
This experiment resulted in a game of 'consequences', as we all expected I am sure.

Author's Reply:
That's exactly how I described it originally Luigi - a game of poetic consequences. Still, as I said before, always interesting to see different approaches to the same problem.

R.

SugarMama34 on 30-01-2009
in progress...
Hi Romany.

I'm not sure what the challenge was for this, but I thought that the emotion from the narrator was sincere and that reflects through the poem. It's a very touching, but also very sad write about a man who is dying and his wishes, which is to feel the rain one last time. Things that we take for granted and sometimes moan about can be so precious and we never really realise until something like this happens. IMO I think that this will make people think, as I have. It hits home Romany. I think you captured all what you wanted to say in this and in my eyes it works very well.

Sugar. xx

Author's Reply:
Hi sugar and thanks fo rreading,

This was not written by me in its entirety. Only the first two lines are mine. The rest were written by the writers named, in contributive order, in the intro above. I'm glad it appears to have worked for you. Looking forward to seeing if others agree with you, as those of us who actually composed it don't feel it's worked!

R.

Romany on 30-01-2009
in progress...
I agree that this doesn't really hold together properly. It feels to me like more than one person's thoughts, though maybe that's because I happen to know it was! Interesting but not successful, no disrespect to anyone.

Here's an idea for an extended challenge should you fancy it; take the two lines you wrote and turn it into a piece that works!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 30-01-2009
in progress...
Hello Ms. Romany. I'd be far too nervous to test my mind as suggested. I would be fearful that thoughts of a dubious nature might escape. An interesting experiment though.

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she would fall apart in private

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky. It proved difficult to do in more ways than one!

Romany.

e-griff on 30-01-2009
in progress...
The last time we tried this, we invited people to rewrite the poem their own way and post them by a certain date. This resulted in some quite good 'tick-tock' poems (I did two!) You might like (Romany) to do a follow -up in this vein. Some people will use their own two lines, but interestingly, I feel sure most will incorporate a lot of the other contributions in their own effort.

What say? 🙂

Author's Reply:
Why not? Any takers?

macaby on 30-01-2009
in progress...
i have only read poems by 2 people collaborating and most of the times they were pretty good. here there are 6 people who worked on this experiment and i found it interesting.i don't think it's easy to follow up on 2 previous lines given from another person and write / rhyme 2 of my own but i found the result was quite good.

Author's Reply:
Interesting that another person not involved found it worked. Hmm, very interesting. Thank you,

Romany.

SugarMama34 on 31-01-2009
in progress...
Well I have to say and I'm sorry I didn't realise at the time that 6 of you wrote this, but I think it worked very well. Isn't writing poetry about bringing emotions across to the reader? I think it is and have been taught that by my tutor. In which case you have all done pretty darn well in my book because IT DOES WORK, all of it. You should all be proud of yourselves for what you have achieved. now begin the next one - all 6 of you.

Sugar. xx

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sugar, not least for coming back to it/

Romany.

cat on 31-01-2009
in progress...
Hi,

This reminds of chinese whispers. Found the old man caring not for himself but for his family very moving.
c x

Author's Reply:
On behalf of us all, thanks Cat.

Romany.

teifii on 02-02-2009
in progress...
I think the final result was better than I expected. Of course it is a bit inconsistent but I think that's what you'd esxpect with 6 inputs. Cound certainly have been much worse.
i'll have a go at reusing my lines but probably not soon.
Daff

Author's Reply:


Stalemate - BP's prose challenge. (posted on: 23-01-09)
A bit long for prose maybe, but for Bluepootle's prose challenge. Thanks BP.

Stalemate. The boy, sweating and panting, leaned heavily against the wall, catching his breath and assessing his next move. Two teaching assistants, old and fat, were puffing harder than he was, both of them red in the face. He knew his colour was high too, but that was the blush of anger; theirs was lack of oxygen. The thought struck him as funny and he laughed out loud, a wonderful bubble of momentary release, all the while watching his pursuers warily. Mrs. Redditch, the one who always wore heels and smelt of cigarettes, spoke in breathy gasps, ''I don't know what you're laughing at Callum. This isn't funny you know, and if you don't calm down and drop that Stanley knife right now, it's going to get a lot more serious.'' Callum's laugh dried up. The handle of the knife felt warm and solid in his sweat-slickened hands. He looked down, needing suddenly to see it. The chunky handle was a solid and livid red in his hands. He knew it probably hadn't been such a good idea, taking the knife in the first place, but it was just sitting there, on the desk in front of Miss Wyatt and I seemed absolutely right at the time. She'd been having a go at him again, because he couldn't get his hear around the stupid D.T project and he couldn't work out where to fold and where to slice, and the whole class was watching him again, and Callum just knew he was going to run. He knew too, what the consequences would be, but he didn't care. All that mattered was getting out of there, away from their contempt and their laughter. He snatched up the knife and turned around, barreling his way through his so-called classmates, knocking over chairs and jumping tables. Miss Wyatt's shrieking seemed to fill the room, turning into a shrill buzzing in Callum's head until he thought it would explode. He reached the door, and ran. As usual, Mrs. Redditch followed, stopping only to get the teaching assistant from the class next door to help her. Mrs. Poole. Callum looked at her more closely; she was all right really. Didn't shout like Mrs. Redditch or his mum. They were always shouting. Mrs. Poole caught his look, ''Come on Callum, think about it. You've got a chance to make a good choice now. Just drop the knife and come downstairs with us. We'll go somewhere quiet if you like; have a chat. You don't have to go back to class just yet if you're not ready to. What do you say?'' For a moment, Callum thought about it. He was desperately thirsty and there wasn't really anywhere to go from here. To his right the door to the auditorium stood locked. To his left the I.C.T suite, also locked. Talk about issues of trust, he reflected. He almost dropped the knife. ''If you don't drop it now Callum, we'll have to fetch Mr. Hollis. You must know what that will mean?'' Callum felt his temper flare again. Bitch! ''You'll phone home. Yeah, yeah; like they give a toss. Do what you like,'' Peering over the rail he could see the roots of her hair, showing dark through the bleached blonde. She appeared to have got her breath back; she had stopped panting and was staring up at him, her arms folded across her chest and a pinched expression on her face. ''You'll be lucky if he just phones home Callum. You're now carrying an offensive weapon; he'll probably call the police,'' ''You're carrying an offensive personality; I don't see anyone arresting you,'' He was gratified to see her blush. He didn't miss the fleeting smile that crossed Mrs. Poole's expression either and he liked her all the more for it. Redditch the Bitch spoke again. ''We can wait here for as long as it takes Callum, we're not going anywhere.'' Callum shrugged, ''S'okay. When I've had enough I'll just jump the rail.'' ''You'll break you're neck,'' ''No I won't. Ever heard of Parkour?'' ''What?'' ''Nothing. Wouldn't expect you to know,'' ''Street running isn't it? Climbing buildings, jumping off roofs? All that stuff? You can't really do that can you Callum?'' Once more Mrs. Poole surprised him. ''Not like the pro's I couldn't, no; but I could do this,'' with the knife he gestured the stair rail, ''easy,'' ''Really? I wouldn't want you to though Callum; no need to risk hurting yourself. Why don't we deal with this rationally eh? You just drop the knife and walk away from it. We'll talk if that's what you want, get this sorted out properly, no harm done,'' Clever Mrs. Poole; full of surprises. ''No,'' Stalemate. No one spoke. Mrs. Poole moved down to the lower step of the flight she was standing on and sat down, an air of endless patience about her. Callum thought she looked tired; he felt tired himself. He'd had enough of this but there was no way he was going to let Redditch the Bitch know that no way. The minutes ticked by; Redditch eventually checked her watch, ''This is ridiculous. You had your chance Callum; I'm going to fetch Mr. Hollis,'' She pushed herself up off the wall and began descending the steps. Mrs. Poole remained sitting, moving only to allow her to pass. She had reached the turn in the stairs and was about to go down the remaining flight. The circle of dark roots ringed by a bleached crown passed directly beneath Callum. Why didn't she just carry on going? Why did she have to stop to put the boot in one more time? Why must there always be one more time; the final word? She stopped mid-step and looked up, ''I warned you Callum. Mr. Hollis will not only call your mum,'' she spat the word out, telling Callum she knew plenty about his mother, ''he'll call the police too. You've gone too far this time.'' Afterwards he could clearly remember the look on Mrs. Poole's face; she seemed to know what he was about to do before he knew it himself. He supposed he must have heard her scream ''No!'' but he remembered the shape of her mouth more clearly than the sound it made. His throat dry, gasping for a drink, his head pounding but his grip steady, Callum leaned back and raised his arm high. In a rush of anger and frustration, he threw the knife over the rail. S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Stalemate - BP's prose challenge.
e-griff on 23-01-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
er, Rome, I think you are a week early, kid! 🙂

Author's Reply:
Whoops! Sorry about that...

Romany

Sunken on 24-01-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
Hello Ms. Romany. It's me, sunks. I read this yesterday over a cup of tea and fig biscuit. It was the perfect accompaniment to an impromptu break from ironing practice. I hope this was fictional, but it could all so easily be fact. An all too realistic account of something that seems to happen more and more these days. Nice one Ms. Romany.

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his navel has a population of approx 4000

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky. Dealing with these kids is what I do for a living. You could say that this is based upon a mixture of incidents I have experienced over time, although the actual knife throwing occurred when I was a teenager babysitting, years ago. The knife never found its mark (happily) and the kid who threw it did so a bit half-heartedly anyway, I'm pleased to report!

I'm glad you found it 'realistic.' I've accidentally posted a week early, so thanks for reading. Don't know if I'm being vetoed until the correct posting date!!

Romany.

macaby on 24-01-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
i thought this was an enjoyable story and well written/told. somehow i was waiting for the boy to damage himself with the knife, after being laughed at by the other children and the threats of calling the police. i felt sorry for the boy and his situation. oh and ms wyatt shouldn't be leaving stanley blades lying on her desk they should be locked away, in my opinion she is partly to blame for this incident. great story.

Author's Reply:
You're absolutely right, and if it wasn't for the fact that it is a DT lesson it wouldn't be out at all. In such cases, it is the teacher and/or T.A alone who may use the equipment and it is a given that the class clearly understand this. It is also the teacher's/TA's responsiblity to keep it out of harm's way nonetheless. However, being human, these things happen. I've seen sharp implements left lying around by so called 'responsilbe adults' on many an occasion in the classroom - I'm probably guilty of it myself at times, "I'll just nip into the stock room for 2 secs," "I just need to put this in the bin," "I'll just help this child" etc. Perfectly human and perfectly undersatndable, yet also utterly unforgivable when the unthinkable happens.

I know self harm seems widespread amongst youngsters, but in my experience most of them are more likely to direct their anger outwards. This is why I didn't want him to hurt himself.

Anyway, thanks for reading, even though it's a week early!

Romany.

niece on 25-01-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
This is very close to a real life incident that happened years ago, Romany...and co-incidentally I've been meaning to write it, even started writing, but left it at the second or third para a couple of weeks ago. Maybe your piece will inspire me to complete it. Btw, it's not easy to write something like this...and you've done a very good job...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thank you neice. I hope you get round to writing it and sharing it with us as I would be very interested.

Romany.

bluepootle on 30-01-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
This had a good pace and I got caught up in it. Good stuff! Just a few things - at one point you use the word 'solid' twice in quick succession, and it jarred. Also, the line about offensive personality didn't seem quite right with the rest of his speech patterns, for me. A little too clever for a moment of extreme anger? Might just be me, though.



Author's Reply:
Hi BP,

I kow just what you mean. I was basing this on amixture of different (troubled) personatities I have worked with over the years. The child I was thinking of when I wrote the speech is autistic. His anger is often extreme, yet he remains eloquent and intelligent throughout his rages, and is sometimes even quite deliberately funny. So I absolutely know what you're getting at, but there's my reasoning!

Thanks for the challenge and for reading.

Romany.

Rupe on 01-02-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
I thought it worked well - I felt fully involved in the story and wanted to know what was going to happen. I also wondered about the 'offensive personality' retort & still feel (having read your explanation) that it might seem jarringly over-clever to an uninformed reader.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Thanks Rupe. I take your point completely and will give it some thought. You are undoubtedly right.

Romany.

e-griff on 02-02-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
this was well observed and highly credible, managing to encapsulate three characters in few words. anyone would think you were a teacher! 🙂
well done, and a good read.

in terms of the challenge - yes the knife was the backbone object of the story, essential and integral, so full marks there.

one typo 'get his hear round it'

I'd have nibbed it, frankly. It's certainly no worse than David's or mine and some would enjoy it more ...



Author's Reply:
Thanks griff, will amend typo soonest (but not now as I am going out in the snow!)

e-griff on 02-02-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
so I hope you will accept this rare 'Griffpick' ...

Photobucket

Author's Reply:
Rare indeed! And I will most certaily accept it, thank you.

R.

discopants on 03-02-2009
Stalemate - BPs prose challenge.
I was kept involved by the tale and the interactions worked pretty well. Are you sure Mrs Poole is old and fat- she came across as being a bit younger and almost quite lovely from where I was reading- I was even egging her on to save the day! (In addition to the typo egriff mentions, there's one in the line before that- 'I' where 'it' should be, although you could probably end that sentence at 'Miss Wyatt' anyway...)

disco

Author's Reply:
Hi Disco, and sorry it's takne me so long.

Mrs Poole was 'old' in the child's eyes, at least that's what I meant to infer. I am flattered by your remarks as I based her loosely on myself! Thanks for the remarks about the typo. will look at that,

Romany.


Delirium (posted on: 24-11-08)
In reply to my own challenge in the Poetry Workshop.

Delirium And being numb is something close to happiness, I think At least for me: it seems a heartbeat since my nostrils held the stink Of broken bodies, spent shells, the clotted earth My mind was sharp and spiked; as new and wounded as at birth Yet here I am, the sodden ground seems melted all away. I'm warm here; I'm safe now, moulded to this clay And the pain that I was nursing, holding close and for my own Seems, now, to have left me and in its place I've grown Something like contentment; something close to a smile I think perhaps I'll stay here, just enjoy it for a while I was so tired and frightened, always wishing to be gone, Perhaps this is to be my journey, perhaps it won't be long Until I see their loving faces or feel their warm embrace I would never have believed I could be happy in this place. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Delirium
Bradene on 24-11-2008
Delirium
Lovely poem Romany not so much happy but peaceful and calm. A nice atmosphere to it. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val. That's close to what I was trying to convey, but I won't elaborate until I have read other responses.

Romany.

Ionicus on 24-11-2008
Delirium
A very good poem, Sue. A celebration of survival and the unbelievable feeling that can taken for happiness while in truth it is just relief.

Author's Reply:
That's interesting Luigi - relief wasn't quite what I intended but if that's what it says to you, then fine. Thanks,

Romany.

Sunken on 24-11-2008
Delirium
Hello Ms. Romany. A cracking piece, if I may so. You seem to have put yourself right there. Well done on giving the challenges a kick up the bum too. Your choice of topic seems to have resulted in quite a few classy subs. The Beagle named Bernard, he say woof.

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Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunky, appreciated, and I agree the others responses to the challenge have been really good.

Romany.

e-griff on 24-11-2008
Delirium
I know you may not want a deep crit. But I am one who speaks what he thinks while sitting in the author's seat.

I was very impressed by the first verse. a good concept well expressed. Why do you need the rest? What does it add? Surely the major message is all in this (with a few tweaks from me to consider)

And being numb is something close to happiness, I think
At least for me: it seems a heartbeat only since the stink
Of broken bodies, spent shells, and the mired and clotted earth
My mind was sharp and spiked: new, wounded, as at birth
Yet here I am, the sodden ground is melted all away.
I’m warm here, and I’m safe now, soft-moulded in this clay.

I can think of a number of different permutations of words, so mine is a mere thought provoker. But I stick by your first verse, and I love the first line, it's majestic .;...

a very telling thought. G


Author's Reply:
Interesting comment, thanks Griff, although I am not sure anyone has really got what I meant to convey with this, which says more about my lack of clarity than that of the reader, I suspect!

Romany.

teifii on 25-11-2008
Delirium
I love the whole thing from beginning to end, Sue. It's definitely a favourite for me.
It strongly reminded me of the shot of Hedd Wyn's death in the film. for those not in Wales, who may not have seen it, Hedd Wyn [the bardic name of Ellis Evans] is a brilliant film. It tells the story mostly through flash backs while the poet is dying in flanders. Towards the end of the film it swings back to him as he sees his muse floating above him and almost smiles. The orderly standing by the strtcher says, 'Well, you seem happy anyway.' HW replies,' Yes, I .. am... happy.' And dies. Unbelnown to him he had won the chair at the national eisteddfod.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Wow! I can't believe that! I have never even heard of that film, much less seen it, yet you seem to have come closest to understanding what I mean to say. Thank you Daff, and I am thrilled you like it,



Romany.

RoyBateman on 25-11-2008
Delirium
Very thought-provoking indeed...you captured the moment perfectly, but left us to decide which way it was going from there on. Clearly, my first thought was the "moment of death" scenario - you need poetic licence to revisit it after it's happened, obviously, but that's what's so good about having that facility. On the other hand, he could be coming out of anaesthetic after a life-saving but possibly disfiguring operation...who knows? There may be other meanings yet, and only you know which is closest to your own meaning. Either way, it's a wonderful poem.

Author's Reply:
Thank you for your thoughtful comment Roy,

Romany.

wfgray on 25-11-2008
Delirium
Hi Romany, As always your poems appear to have a story that has yet to be revealed. My idea of it was that you were born maybe under stress and then ithen the words conveys to me that you have moved through the years and found an area to live where you are contented.

Author's Reply:
That is an extremely original view on this piece and I must confess, one I had not thought of myself! How interesting, thanks Will,

Romany.

e-griff on 25-11-2008
Delirium
I do (I think) possibly understand the full intent of this poem: the washing away of troubles in the face of greater troubles, the contrast with external troubles to internal ones.

Putting aside your intention, however, my original (instinctive) reaction, now I consider it, may be based on something you didn't intend (someone dying in the mud, sinking, last thoughts) but I maintain that is a damn good poem in its own right, despite the shifted meaning. Are we here for intended meaning or for poetry? (hey, no hassle, just a thought) bless. JohnG

Author's Reply:
Hi John,

Actually that wasn't what I meant! I was trying to put over the fact or idea that delirium (the clue was in the title) can be mistaken for a state of happiness to some degree, as can hysteria. Although it often has a deceptive quality about it; putting off the horrific reality for now, as it were. It can be an almost blissful state, perhaps even offer a clarity of thinking that is nonetheless misplaced, whilst you are experiencing it. The problem with delirious states is they are, by nature, transient, whatever the outcome of them may be. But it's interesting to see how many takes there are on this.

As far being here for poetry as opposed to conveying meaning - well, aren't they one and the same thing? Often, if not always? The poet usually intends to convey something in his work, even if it is nothing more than a word picture. The message does not need to be profound, but there is usually a message of sorts, I think. So, for me anyway, that is a non-argument.

Kind regards,

Romany.

discopants on 26-11-2008
Delirium
As well as the title itself, the other clue to what you were conveying is in the 'something close to a smile'. It suggests a sense of delirium, probably in the moments before death- there's a possibility that the delirium could even have been brought on my gas/chemical warfare.

The sense of satisfaction/happiness is deceptive as it seems clear that if we were functioning normally, we couldn't be 'happy in this place'.

Thought-provoking one and I don't see any hyarm in having readers digging to find a meaning or picking up different interpretations. Sometimes others point out something in your work and it makes you wonder if you subconsciously put the idea in there without even realising!

dp

Author's Reply:
There you go you see - people finding their own interpretations, which is great! I never considered the possibility of the delirium being brought on by gas or chemical warfare, but of course it could well be. Thank you, that is another interesting comment. I wonder if I did, as you suggest, do that deliberatly on some sub conscious level? Or am I just trying to take the credit for something you discovered - lol!

Thanks for the comment and for appearing to understand me!

Romany.

Albermund on 28-11-2008
Delirium
Very, very moving. Best poem I've read of yours, R. Had a few wee hiccups with the rhythm initially but think I've mastered it now. LOve your ending. cheers A:)

Author's Reply:
Thank you very much!

Romany.


Torrent (posted on: 27-10-08)
Don't know what to say really - decide for yourselves...

Torrent We all have our own sepia-toned moments. Our passions, our dramas. They should Be overplayed with music. Some score To send the pulse racing. Something heart-breaking Daring, persuasive; a challenge to the sleeping Senses. All backlit by the erotic light of Lust. It shows the way, stepping in time with the Drum beat in the throat. The molten core melts on, a Trembled sigh all that can escape. Caught; a willing Captive in the moment. Now, raging, spewing forth, Unstoppable and ugly. As violent as vengeful Earth. Or once again baptised in burning tears, awash with Shame and fear, pleading voicelessly with the band to Stop the music; the scriptwriter to enter the fullstop
Archived comments for Torrent
Sunken on 27-10-2008
Torrent
Now this is good, in my sunky opinion. I like how you end it with the word 'fullstop' so as to avoid having to use a real one. Sometimes they're just too final aren't they?
It's really good to see you back on planet uka. I'd been wondering where you were. You know how I worry. Please accept a Bernard (recently scrubbed- I used the jetwash at the local garage. He enjoyed it, honest).

s
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k
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n




Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky. That's not exactly what was getting at with 'fullstop' but I can see what you mean and, as is often the case, now that you have pointed it out to me it makes perfect sense.





It's good to be back by the way - all sorts of reasons why I haven't been around much, so I won't bore you with them.





Thank you for the Bernard too!





Romany

artisus on 03-11-2008
Torrent
loved it! very inspiring write! the missing fullstop is so full of art! thanks for the excellent read

Author's Reply:
Thank you artisus, and my thanks for the hot story nom too,

Romany.

macaby on 27-12-2008
Torrent
i liked this poem a lot. it,s all in there music, passion and the drama building up, heading for the climax and then the anti climax. great note to end on the "fullstop"very original.

Author's Reply:
Thank you macaby, it's much appreciated.

Romany.


Blanket Stitch (posted on: 27-10-08)
It's been a while - be gentle with me!

Blanket Stitch This has all been done before: The shrouded morn, the baleful twilight Those with a lighter touch than mine Have washed water-coloured Autumn Limpid, pale and muted across the page, Leaving more behind than Brush strokes. Who can say he has not seen the Blanket of leaves, red and gold or Abandoned brown upon the ground? Who has not relished the wisp and crunch Of heartless footfall on fallen treasure, whilst Turning blind senses from the dark and Sliding rottenness beneath, seeing only the beauty In death? You have stepped out swathed in Scarves and gloves, swaddled in coats, Become a sweating skulk, desperate for air Only to be wrapped more tightly yet in the Dank coldness; the determined chill of Winter's breath. She is but a pace away, you know; waiting, Draped in patience, adorned with her Dazzling smile. An infant, cradled in a world as warm as Summer, Fresh as Spring, has not seen these things. Yet look into those new eyes; Can it be the child knows, even so, That the seasons thrive and fail, That day and night are inescapable and That Time alone dictates? All else, beguiling, beautiful and poignant it may be Is embroidery. S.P. Oldham.
Archived comments for Blanket Stitch
red-dragon on 27-10-2008
Blanket Stitch
This is beautiful, Romany. I have read it a few times and will make it a favourite read. Ann

Author's Reply:
Well thank you for a lovely comment and the rating. Thank you also for the Hot Story nomination - it's been a while since I wrote anything at all, so this is very encouraging.

Thank you,

Romany.

Sunken on 27-10-2008
Blanket Stitch
Wow. The final line made me go back and read it over again. This is a proper classy write and no mistake. I feel a nomination coming on. Well done, Ms. Romany.

s
u
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k
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when two tribes go to spar

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunky, I appreciate you taking the time.

Romany.

Yutka on 01-11-2008
Blanket Stitch
a lovely expression of "autumn" thought! I can see a beautiful piece of embroidery.
I love those last two lines!

Author's Reply:
Thank you Yutka,

Romany.

Dazza on 28-10-2009
Blanket Stitch
"Sweating skulk" is wonderful. Why only four comments? This is a seriously good poem, time out was time well spent. Dazza.

Author's Reply:
You'd think I would have got the hang of this replying malarkey by now wouldn't you? Reply below Dazza, thank you .

R x

Romany on 28-10-2009
Blanket Stitch
Bless you Dazza, thank you.

Romany x

Author's Reply:


Bluebell Wood. (posted on: 21-07-08)
A response to Daffni's sonnet challenge.

Bluebell Wood. A purple grove of heavy descant blooms Is silver lined along its furthest seams And shimmers, like the dappled sun, in dreams; They shake their bowed heads and one assumes They grieve, like royal mourners beside tombs Of sodden earth and shaded worlds it seems (But the gentle knells must have quelled the screams.) Whilst over all the ancient woodland looms All along, a guardian hedge stands sentry; The kiss-gate a sentinel in steel And still this place is all that's fresh and good But memory is what, now, allows entry In wishful thoughts alone is it still real Always alive for me; the Bluebell Wood. S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Bluebell Wood.
delph_ambi on 21-07-2008
Bluebell Wood.
A good poem that's been crow-barred into the sonnet form. I'd love to see a version of this that doesn't try so hard to fit, ie, doesn't have redundant phrases like "it seems".

Some great ideas here, but the word order is forced in places. Sonnets, eh? Tricksy things.

Author's Reply:
Hi delph,

I honestly didn't think 'it seems' was redundant here - I thought it conveyed what I meant it to. But if that's how it reads, then fair enough. Yes, it was all a bit squeezed into shape, which is why generally speaking I prefer free verse. I think there is a danger of losing the actual poetry when trying to follow strictures. There again, there have been some great sonnets written, so maybe I'm just no good at it!

Anyway, I enjoyed the challenge as always, and it was nice to be reminded of a place from my childhood, even though it, sadly, barely exists anymore.

Thanks Delph,

Romany.

teifii on 21-07-2008
Bluebell Wood.
Yes sonnets are indeed tricky. This has taught me, if nothing else, not to try to write sonnets. But I must say that I think you made a better job of it than I did.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff. I haven't got round to reading the others yet but I may later this week, if not this evening. Hope all's well with you?

Romany.

Sunken on 21-07-2008
Bluebell Wood.
Hello Ms. Romany. A tip top write and no mistake. Especially like the guardian hedge standing sentry line. Very clever imagery to be sure.
The beagle with fleas, he say woof, woof. I'd keep him outside if I were you. Nice one, Ms. Romany.

s
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Author's Reply:
I'd let him in - I like Beagles, fleas or not.

Thank you Sunky.

Romany.

stormwolf on 31-07-2009
Bluebell Wood.
Beautiful...and I am not a synesthesic but I swear I saw colour reading this delightful poem. You made the forest come alive and the plant kindom proud.

You captured perfectly the abundance and the full bloom of a woodland alive with flowers.

Author's Reply:
Hi stormwolf. Only just found this comment, thank you for reading and I am so happy that you were able to see the colours and the abundance - just what I was trying to convey.

Romany.


Our Nan. (posted on: 20-06-08)
This is the poem my eleven year old neice read out at her Grandmother's (my mother in laws) party on Saturday. I promised her I would post it up here - so here it is Molls! How's this for a piece of performance poetry?!

Our Nan , She's so fine She's fun and jolly all the time She likes to dance around the room And her singing would sound better on the moon Barry Manillow is her star He's got the biggest nose I've seen by far She loves the Harry Potter books And boy, she likes Dumbledoors looks She loves the old black and white films Cory hates the thought and squirms She has two sons, Adam and John And a daughter called Mary/Leanne They really are a jolly lot Where's my dad ? He's a miserable sod Our nan, she is a wonderful cook She does it without a second look Can you guess who we are talking about ? Yes its Patty O, the best without a doubt ! Molly Oldham June 2008
Archived comments for Our Nan.
orangedream on 20-06-2008
Our Nan.
My goodness, Romany! What a talented niece you have. Please tell her so from me:-)

I bet she 'performed' it beautifully. Particularly like the reference to 'my dad'. She obviously has quite a sense of humour. Had me in stitches.

Thank her from me for brightening my day. She certainly has ten out of ten in my book ... and a gold star to boot!

Tina:-)

Author's Reply:
She has got a sense of humour - and she did perform it beautifully, alongside her cousin. I will pass your comments on. Thanks Tina,

Romany.

Sunken on 20-06-2008
Our Nan.
Sounds like you have a ittle cheeky monkey on your hands there Ms. Romany. Enjoyed and no mistake.

s
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k
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five past summer

Author's Reply:
She's a gorgeous cheekly little monkey, Sunks! Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

niece on 24-06-2008
Our Nan.
A very cute poem, Romany...the young lady really is talented...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Will pass it on, thanks neice,

Romany.

DocOrange on 26-06-2008
Our Nan.
I enjoyed this too, but I have to agree with Sunken, she does sound a proper cheeky monkey, lol, loved the line about her Nans singing sounding better on the moon. 🙂

Author's Reply:
Lol! Funny thing is, she is right! Much as I love my mum in law, her singins is, erm, something which, once heard, is never forgotten!

Thanks Doc,

Romany.

DocOrange on 26-06-2008
Our Nan.
I enjoyed this too, but I have to agree with Sunken, she does sound a proper cheeky monkey, lol, loved the line about her Nans singing sounding better on the moon. 🙂

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 29-06-2008
Our Nan.
Wow! This is a great piece and as you have pointed out in your other comments she performed it beautifully.

She will be giving you a run for your money lol.

Pass on my regards as I think it's wonderful.


Si:-)




Author's Reply:
I will do Si, thank you.

Romany.

Raindog on 05-07-2008
Our Nan.
A star is born. Still laughing about the description of her poor Dad.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Raindog - her mum thought it was funny too!

Romany.


Insufficient Anger. (posted on: 13-06-08)


Insufficient Anger. After puzzling and tapping at my disposition gauge; It would apparently appear that I've run low on rage This then, must account for my great lack of aggression The disinterest in government; political recession I've not the slightest need to show you all how it's done, Or to bestow my thoughts upon each and every one, Shock tactics are a bore; there's no one left to surprise I can't get worked up about life, or by some Big Name's demise, You can pick a fight with me, bait me if you choose But my calm complacency means I cannot lose, There was a spark of something, but it faded and went out; There are far too many voices and so many of them shout A thousand red-flushed faces, all fighting to the fore, Keen to be seen as wise and tough and not an easy score All striving to be different; they're all the bloody same Stomping over others and playing their own game; Indifferent to feelings, making their own rules, Intolerant of variants and never suffering fools. Ironically, whilst amongst this throng, bile and ire are in, There are, aside, soft voices who know that none can win. Rage against the machine? Against the dying light? What for? An angry man once told me, ''Sometimes less is more,'' So put the boot in if it makes you feel you're worthier than I; I'll tell you no, I'll whisper it your fury gives the lie. Success is not always noisy, nor is failure always quiet, I'll join the march, I'll fight my cause; but I'll leave you to riot. S.P. Oldham.
Archived comments for Insufficient Anger.
red-dragon on 13-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Well said Romany! I enjoyed this - apathy is the better part of valour! (or something like that!) Ann

Author's Reply:
Hi Ann. Not apathy really - quite the opposite, or at least that's my intention. I was trying to say that some of us can make a point without making a fuss, can be assertive without being thoughtless, courageous without an audience etc... That's what I was trying to say, anyway! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Romany.

red-dragon on 13-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
You're right, apathy wasn't the right choice of word here. Apologies - Ann

Author's Reply:
No need for apologies Ann - always interesting to know what readers pick up in our work, right? Have a good day!

Romany.

delph_ambi on 13-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Very effective writing, and a good read. You're absolutely right, too. Quiet conviction is often the way to go, rather than hysterical ranting.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, that's just what I was trying to say.

Romany.

Sunken on 13-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Hello Ms. Romany. Well done on the muchly deserved nib. A very strong piece and no mistake. I couldn't agree more with the sentiment. I have a tendency to switch off when people start ranting. I'd prefer to go and make a cup of tea or watch an episode of Taggart. Nice one, Ms. Romany. My Bernard code is on my other pc so I'll be back at a later date. Sorry, but someone has to have him for the weekend (-;

s
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k
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lemsip 3 - anadin 3

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky - I get so sick of some people who often bang on about how 'straight up' they are and how they're not afraid to speak for themselves. They call their actions assertive when actually they are the opposite, I think. If you were truly secure in your convictions and beliefs you wouldn't feel the need to make your self heard loudly and often aggressively where ever you went, would you? I don't think so anyway - quite conviction is so much more convincing. Thanks Sunken.

Romany.

Ionicus on 14-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
The final line aptly summarises this very strong poem:

'I’ll join the march, I’ll fight my cause; but I’ll leave you to riot.'

My sentiments exactly. A good read.

Luigi x


Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi - I'm glad you understand what I'm trying to say.

Romany.

Rupe on 14-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
I agree. Very succinctly expressed too.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Thanks Rupe,

Romany.

AlexClay on 14-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
I liked this, it's quite bitter-sweet.....it's true, the empty wagons make the most noise. I hear so much bollocks spoken on a daily basis, backed up with macho-posturing and ego, that i too sometimes wish everyone would just STFU for a day. How about a national day of silence? to go with national no smoking, drinking, shagging, breathing, and every other thing that's been banned. Better shut up now. Funny you wrote this, cos i wrote one the other day called 'Gobshite World' which kind of explores the same territory. Good poem anyways.

Author's Reply:
National No Posturing Day - now there's an idea! Thanks Alex,

Romany.

Macjoyce on 14-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
People with insufficient anger are very annoying.


Author's Reply:
Then maybe they quietly achieve what all the ranting and raving takes at least twice as long to do?

Romany.

Sunken on 14-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
As promised, Ms. Romany...



Author's Reply:
Good boy Bernard! Good boy!

Thanks Sunks,

Romany.

e-griff on 15-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Heh heh - I missed this up to now. Nicely ranted (quietly) in a trad rant construction - reminds me a bit of my 'If' poem which had a similar theme.

Coincidentally very relevant also to the discussions I've been having with young Mac on this very same point.

And there - you've 'annoyed' (maybe) young Mac already without lifting a finger or a cuss. 🙂

Very good indeed! If it hadn't been nibbed already, I'd offer a Griffpick.

Only comment on technique is that the the metre is erratic in several places, so you don't get the 'lilt' so typical of a rant, especially where it works up a head of steam towards the end. I think if you could tweak that, this could be a real winner.

Author's Reply:
Thank you griff.



This is actually entirely independent of you and Mac and is not in any way connected specifically to anyone on this site. Its source is more 'real life' if you see what I mean, though I see that it could equally apply online as it were.



A griffpick? A first for me - thanks!



I agree about the metre, but a rant isn't always tidy is it? I mean, anger (even quite controlled anger) isn't neat and tidy. But I accept your point and when I am less knackered (just got back from in laws party - 4 hours sleep last night) I will look more closely at the pm you sent me. Thank you for taking the time to go into such depth.



Romany.

P.S. I don't think I've really annoyed Mac - I think he's being tongue in cheek and clever. Am I right Mac, or have I annoyed you?

pombal on 15-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
excellent poem romany and congrats on the nib 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thank you!

Romany.

Macjoyce on 15-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Well, no, insufficient anger does not achieve what ranting sets out to do. Ranting is not about being annoying. It's about proving a point, about showing up a falsehood, an injustice etc, and about standing up for what you believe in. Whereas insufficient anger isn't about anything at all.


Author's Reply:
A lack of something cannot set out to prove anything at all, can it? I was trying to stress the quality of conviction without verbal aggression - 'insufficient anger' was meant simply to imply belief without bile. You can believe in yourself and your argument without being angry.

And I disagree - a rant is not always coherent, nor is it always about proving a point/showing up falsehoods etc. Very often it is simply someone losing their temper and venting it, nothing more.

I think you misunderstand me - I am trying to say that it is possible to fight your corner without shouting others down, without making yourself verbally aggressive. I am trying to say that plenty of people have plenty to say, but often so little of it has any real substance. Many, many folk can talk the talk but when it comes down to it, have a little trouble with the walk. Equally, many quieter people can be something of a surprise when their beliefs/opinions are challenged. They are often surprisingly strong.

For me, as I said earlier, quiet conviction is so much more convincing and appealing than listening to someone shout at you that they are right and you are wrong and that's that, whatever argument they may back it up with. Surely, if your argument is THAT convincing, you don't need to shout?

Sometimes people win arguments not because they're right, but because they have a louder voice and are more aggressive. That proves nothing at all. A loser of an argument can still be in the right.

Romany.


e-griff on 15-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Hmm - ranting is about TRYING to prove a point, about TRYING to show up an alleged 'falsehood', isn't it?

It's one opinion, one representation. And sadly, many rants are ill-researched, illogical and unconvincing, consisting of blind assertions, not true argument.

Worth listening to, to judge. But 'proof' is in the eye of the beholder, n'est-ce pas?


Author's Reply:
From what I understand of this comment, you seem to be agreeing in part with Mac (in which case, please see my response to him above) and partly with me, in that you accept that many rants are illogical, ill-researched etc...

As for proof - there are plenty of subjects upon which there is no verifiable or solid proof, so I can't entirely agree with you there. Proof for some is an argument against for others.

Romany.

Munster on 15-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Hi i enjoyed the poem well worked.

Tony

Author's Reply:
Thanks Munster.

Romany.

Macjoyce on 15-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Well, yes, you're right that often, the loser of an argument is right, but has simply been shouted down, or ignored, or shouted down then ignored, or ganged up on by others.

I'm not saying that shouting is the best way to win an argument. What I'm saying is that we live in an anger-inducing world, and sometimes it is necessary to show your anger and resentment.

Your poem does not seem to me to particularly advocate "conviction without verbal aggression". It much more seems to advocate, as you say, just "disinterest". It is against "getting worked up about life" and "raging against the machine". It's about wanting your "spark" to fade and go out.

Basically, it seems that this poem is about letting people shit on you. That's what I get from it. It feels to me to be about never fighting back. The word "insufficient" says it all, and it's fitting that it's in the title.

Progress comes about through conflict, I'm afraid. That's why King Charles got his head cut off and democracy was born.



Author's Reply:
Well fair enough, it that's your understanding of it, then that's fine. But disinterest and not fighting back is not what I am advocating in the least.

You're absolutely right that we live in an anger inducing world - but that's because so many people are angry and aggressive, and scared (which is often the root cause) in the first place - it's something of a vicious circle. If no one ever takes the calm, reasonable approach, everyone's just going to get angrier and angrier and less able to pose balanced arguments or to listen to reason, or, worse, to consider others views or take on new or different ways of thinking. Anger breeds anger.

The reference to disinterest in the poem is to my personal disinterest in aggression or 'bigging myself up' for want of a better phrase. I don't need to constantly remind people how tough/brave I am - not least because I'm not! But also because, when I am sure of my ground or my beliefs, I am secure in them - I don't feel the need to convince anyone otherwise, at least, not in a threatening or loud fashion.

Have you never come across a person who'll say something like, "I'll tell 'em straight, me. I don't take any shit off anyone. I'm not afraid to speak my mind/stand up for myself...' etc etc... People who are obviously very insecure really, and so feel the need to make themselves appear tough to others? Or have you never had a discussion or an argument or a debate with someone, which has degenerated into pointless rambling anger and become very wide of the original point of debate? People who can turn a disagreement, in the proper sense of the word, into a personally insulting, threatening event? If you haven't, then you're a lucky man, and I suspect an unusual one!

I can't be bothered to engage in bluster and bullshit. People do sometimes misread that for complacency or lack of courage. What they believe is up to them and not my problem, frankly. I'll discuss for as long as I feel able. I am happy to concede mistakes or inaccuracies on my part when they occur, and I'm able to accept I'm wrong. There are so many people who absolutely will not back down, no matter how compelling the evidence against them, for fear of losing face. I have 'insufficient anger' to deal with them. I do, however, have a reserve of pity for their obvious feelings of personal inadequacy. But of course, they don't want to hear that, do they?

As to progress coming about through conflict - of course you're right- but conflict has also equally ensured regression too.

Romany.

artisus on 15-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
I read it a couple of times, I disagree with you, but the poem is very well written - the title is thought-provoking and in a way, intellectually provocative.

ps: "There are, aside, soft voices who know that none can win." i don't believe that..

Author's Reply:
Hi artisus,



The 'none can win' line is not about nobody ever being able to prove a point or win an argument, or be successful in fighting their cause (I am surprised no one else has commented on that yet, actually.) I had a feeling that line would be misunderstood. What I was referring to here is the fact that, once everyone's lost the plot and started shouting, threatening and even sometimes backing the words up with violence, then there are no winners. Not really.



Thanks for reading and commenting,



Romany.

Macjoyce on 15-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
"Have you never come across a person who'll say something like, "I'll tell 'em straight, me. I don't take any shit off anyone. I'm not afraid to speak my mind/stand up for myself...' etc etc... People who are obviously very insecure really, and so feel the need to make themselves appear tough to others?"

Well, to a certain extent I *am* that person, but I don't think I'm insecure. I won't always say "I'll tell 'em straight", because often that is unnecessary and damaging, often tact and diplomacy are needed instead.

But I certainly don't take shit, and I do stand up for myself (and others). There are a lot, and I mean an AWFUL LOT of snides in this world, who think they have the right to insult other people, show them a lack of respect or understanding and make them look stupid. And when someone insults me, or insults someone else who doesn't deserve it, you bet your life I go in all guns blazing. I don't think that's a sign of insecurity. It's a sign of wanting justice. It's not about wanting to appear tough. It's about teaching a lesson to people who do.

If I was in the wrong and people were insisting that I back down, then I would back down. But I get angry when people insist that I back down when I'm right. I can't do that.

Normally, I tend to avoid externalising my anger and most of it gets channelled into poetry instead. I think that really angry and passionate poetry is good, though some would disagree.

You say that people sometimes mistake your attitude for a lack of courage. I wouldn't say that you have a lack of courage. But some things you say, like this poem, seem rather... how can I put this?... apathetic. Disinterested. You seem not to care much about the reasons why people might be angry. You dismiss them as insecure, when that's not necessarily the case.



Author's Reply:
I do it every time! Sorry Mac, response below, as a comment.

Romany.

Romany on 16-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Mac, you are completely misunderstanding me.

You couldn't be more wrong about me caring what the reasons behind people's actions and behaviour might be; it's because I care so very much, especially with regard to children, that I do the job I do. I am a behavioural and Nurturing Teaching Assistant - not as grand as it sounds, but the vast majority of my job is about understanding the needs, and usually the anger, of children with behavioural, social and/or emotional difficulties. All behaviour is driven by feeling. That is the principle tent and it's important to find out what that feeling is; and once you have discovered it, you must then learn where that feeling comes from. So I utterly reject your contention that I am indifferent. Apathy most certainly does not apply, sorry.

I am not saying you should never stand up for yourself. I am not saying you should always just accept whatever crap someone gives you and back down meekly. What I am saying in fact, does not necessarily apply to situations of conflict even.

What I am trying to do, is highlight those people in life who feel the need to make themselves out to be something that they are not. Many of them are actually angry with themselves, or with some aspect of their life that cannot be changed or they don't know how to change. Many of them wake up angry. I have met many, many people, men and women, who feel the need to 'show off' to all around them about how assertive they are - mistaking anger, and yes insecurity, and general unhappiness for confidence and outspokeness (if there is such a word.) A lot of aggressive and continuously angry people ARE basically very insecure and usually don't like themselves very much. Of course I am not suggesting that everyone who gets angry is insecure, or that anger is a kind of insecurity. You misunderstand me.

Incidentally, this is not about you - you seem to have taken this somewhat personally. I did say earlier in the thread that this is not aimed at anyone here. It is not even a sweeping generalisation, as you seem to read it to be. It is based on the numerous people I have met over the years who have behaved in this manner.

In a nutshell, all I am saying is, why resort to aggression to a make a point that can just as easily be made with a calm approach?

Romany.


Author's Reply:
For 'tent' please read 'tenet.' This weekend is still catching up with me!

e-griff on 16-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
I got the 'none can win' line and I agree with the whole sentiment of the poem.

I think you are talking about the difference between assertiveness (good) and aggressiveness (bad). I did a training course once which was very helpful in explaining this mode of dealing with potential conflict. and also the difference, in negotiating, between compromise (lowest common denominator agreement) and collaboration (vector sum - win-win agreement)

G

Author's Reply:
I don't know about win-win, but the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness is spot on, and something a lot of people don't recognise. Thanks for coming back,

Romany.

teifii on 19-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
I am altogether with you on the content but the title [although very eye-catching and provocative] is I think inaccurate. It implies that your anger should be more but I don't think that is what you say in the poem. The poem is really good to my mind. Very well said.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff,

What I was trying to say I suppose, with the title, is that I don't have enough anger in me to allow myself to becomse angry at the drop of a hat. I do get angry, of course I do, but not easily and not often. It seems to me sometimes that, for some people, anger is the easiest emotion to display and so they do so, often. It's back to the 'aggression is not the same as assertion' point.

I don't think my anger should be more - I think certain others could use less, or try different tactics! But thanks for reading and commenting - I appreciate your thoughts,

Romany.

teifii on 19-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
I understand that. I'm much the same. I mainly don't get angry because it makes me feel far worse than the person I'm angry with.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Exactly. It makes me feel physically sick, although sometimes it is unavoidable.

Romany.

wfgray on 19-06-2008
Insufficient Anger.
Hi there, a vary strong well witten poem. It is so midful about the younger people of today who would rather put the boot in, instead of walking away. Anger, ire, whatever you call rage has to be controlled and in my mind you have hit the naill right on the head with your magic words. Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks Will, I am so pleased that you have understood exactly what I am trying to say. Thanks for reading,

Romany.


The Debtor. (posted on: 23-05-08)
Just a bit of a dabble. Haven't had much of a chance lately and was beginning to panic that I'd not subbed anything for a while!

The Debtor. Give me back this wasted night Repay me all the hours you owe Not as a memory or promise; Pay me back in colours, if you will Or in scents of night, dampened by the dawn A heavy must; a musk to rival heat, That slows the sun and always mists the morn Take back this fruitful night As full, as sweet and heavy as the vine I know that you'll forget me soon. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for The Debtor.
e-griff on 23-05-2008
The Debtor.
very nice. One comment - mostly for rhythym, not just for grammar.

I know THAT you'll forget me soon.

or even I know you will forget me soon.

Author's Reply:
Noted and duly edited. Cheers griffy!

Romany.

Bradene on 23-05-2008
The Debtor.
I must try a dabble like this myself (-; Lovely wistful poem Val x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Val,

Romany.

eddiesolo on 23-05-2008
The Debtor.
I enjoyed this Sue, you could have the 'PAY ME BACK stanza-rhyming my shortening the word morning to morn.

Pay me back in colours, if you will
Or in scents of night, dampened by the dawn
A heavy must; a musk to rival heat,
That slows the sun and always mists the morn.

With the other two not very long and non rhyming IMO it changes the feel of the poem.

Whatever...I liked it 🙂

Si:-)









Author's Reply:
Thanks Si. I was deliberately trying to avoid rhyme here (I so often write in rhyme, but then, I am a pro rhyme type of girl!) but in this case I think you are right. Will change. Thanks for taking the time,

Romany.

Griffonner on 23-05-2008
The Debtor.
Nice and plump - bounteously plump you understand. Classic stuff.

Author's Reply:
Great comment. You could just as easily be talking about me! Thankyou Griffoner,

Romany.

Sunken on 23-05-2008
The Debtor.
I was going to say Classy too. Good to see you subbing again, Ms. Romany. A very accomplished piece and no mistake.

s
u
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k
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take a spoon, i predict yogurt

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunky,

Romany.

artisus on 23-05-2008
The Debtor.
classy, yes I agree with Sunken, and eddiesolo's suggestion was very good.

Author's Reply:
Classy is good, thank you. Si was on the money, I have to admit. Funny how you can miss these things when you're writing.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 24-05-2008
The Debtor.
Yeah! I gave a suggestion that worked! *runs around the room*

Congrats on the nom by the way 🙂

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Thank you Si, and thanks for the good suggestion.

Romany.

RoyBateman on 25-05-2008
The Debtor.
You got a lovely sensuous, dreamy feel to this. Very nice to float away on...

Author's Reply:
Thank you Roy, that's just the effect I was after.

Romany.

Romany on 26-05-2008
The Debtor.
Hi Shy,

Must and musk were both quite deliberate, as was 'scents of night' as a pose to midnight. It was originally 'morning' but I changed it to 'morn' at the suggestion of Si, and I think it's a change for the better to be honest.

As to why I want the wasted night given back - precisely for that reason - because it was wasted. Give it back and let's do it again, except, of course, we can't do that, can we?

Thanks for your thoughts though Shy. As for my own nights, they are usually quite fruity enough, thanks, but I'm grateful for the offer!

Romany.

Author's Reply:


The Proposal - poetry challenge. (posted on: 29-02-08)
This is also a bit experimental for me. Poetry or prose? The old, old argument. Not sure myself about this. Oddish I think, Romany.

The Proposal. The air-conditioned atmosphere was all at once heavy with the weight of shocked silence and the awkward shuffling of people faced with a dilemma they had no idea how to handle. Numerous eyes became drawn to the floor, the window, their own finger-nails as they tried not to face the situation head on. But, despite the averted eyes, the ears were all perfectly tuned in, all other senses awake, just playing dead, keen to learn the outcome of this unprecedented event; this youthful outrage. The main protagonist stood, for all the world an innocent, just as surprised by his own suggestion as everyone else seemed to be. But, this apparent innocence was made just slightly suspicious by the hint of a smile, the ghost of humour in the blue-grey eyes. ''What?'' he asked charmingly, engagingly, ''Is there a problem?'' Romany.
Archived comments for The Proposal - poetry challenge.
red-dragon on 29-02-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Clever ending, Romany, to a proem (hey, is that a new word?) that I enjoyed - thanks for your challenge 'proem'! Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann - 'proem' cover both prose and poem nicely I think. If it's not already a word, it should be!

Romany.

e-griff on 29-02-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Nicely done. Intriguing situation.

Author's Reply:
Thanks griff!

Romany.

teifii on 29-02-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Love the enigmatic ending. Makes you want to know what on earth he had proposed.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff. I toyed with the idea of revealing what he was suggesting, but everything I came up with was anti-climactic, so I thought I'd just leave it to the reader's imagination.

Romany.

Ionicus on 29-02-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
The clever, open-ended question in the last line raises a host of possibilities and challenges one's imagination.
Very good composition.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you. Always appreciate your comments Luigi,

Romany.

Slovitt on 29-02-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Romany: H. Nemerov suggested that the defining difference between poetry and prose was how a piece was printed out on a page. If it is printed as a poem then it is a poem, and one can then go about assessing it according to other criteria and decide whether it is a good poem, or an average one, or no good at all. Similarly, if a piece is printed margin to margin then it is prose, however poetic it may me, even to the point of the hybrid genre of the prose-poem (yes hybrid even though prose poems go back at least as far as Baudelaire, and later Rimbaud). So, that said, I wonder at how you came to the shape of your poem which has syllable counts that widely diverge from 12-19 before I quit counting?
Anyway, there is a charm to your piece, and however you print it, you might profit it by cleaning up a little of the authorial bent to fill in the reader, to intrude, even so perhaps cut 'as they tried not to face the situation head on.' and perhaps cut 'of this unprecedented event', the new line to read '...just playing dead, keen to learn the outcome/of this youthful outrage.' and on along, perhaps pare 'for all the world an innocent', and finally, pare 'this apparent innocence was made slightly suspicious', that line to read 'But, with a suspicious hint of a smile, a glint of humour in the blue-grey eyes.' Finally, finally, you probably don't need both 'charmingly' and 'engagingly', or maybe even either, 'What?' he asked, cocking his head, "Is there a problem?' I do realize that these excisions would wreak havoc with the shape of your poem, but that might be an opportunity to play with syllabics as a way of re-ordering it. All of this to your attention, and in the end you always have your original. Swep



Author's Reply:
HI Swep,

Thank you for your very educated and deep comment on this piece. I will be totally honest and say that whilst I wrote it, I did so with a little bit of poetic abandon; that is to say, I decided not to conform to any strictures whatsoever and just wrote it. It never even occurred to me to count syllables etc..I will further admit that this is the first draft and I honestly felt that I would just 'publish and be damned' as it were.

Of course you are absolutely right, it would certainly profit from a tidy up and a good edit, but I kind of enjoyed the innocence of this piece to be honest. I may tinker with it, I may not, but I fully respect your suggestions. I am not afraid to admit that I am not a technically minded writer - lots of what I do I do by accident I'm sure! - but it's the words that are important to me.

Thank you for your thoughts, and when my ever erratic mind is feeling more ordered and able to concentrate I may well return to this and 'sort it out' so to speak.

Romany.

Sunken on 01-03-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Enjoyed this. Intriguing indeed and no mistake, Ms. Romany. Is his proposal perhaps apple based? I imagine him baking a pie... I'm talking crap again aren't I? I'll have another think.

s
u
n
k
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n

he wonders if Tesco's new 'lite' range will help him to fly

Author's Reply:
Hey Sunky!

His proposal may well be apple based - whatever you like, which is more or less the whole point of this rather trite little piece (the poem, not me.) Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

pombal on 01-03-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
I enjoyed this very much Romany. Oddly - the last line together with the title almost stands up on its own...

Author's Reply:
Thanks pombal. I will have a look at that,

Romany.

Gerry on 02-03-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Left a little to the imagination (I am sure it was meant to)
Clever stuff 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Gerry,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 02-03-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Charming piece. Poetry or prose or something in between - doesn't really matter. I enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:
And that's the main thing. Thank you Delph,

Romany.

wfgray on 22-03-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Hi Romany. Wow ! I don't care whether it was poetry or prose. I liked it. It caused me no problems. Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks Will. Good to hear from you and glad you liked it.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 26-04-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Hi Sue, how are you doing? Long time no see 🙂

I really liked this, thought it flowed well and well...I JUST ENJOYED IT!

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Good enough for me Si, thank you. And great to see you too!

Romany.

Macjoyce on 07-05-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Well, this is clearly poetry and not prose, because of its brevity and line-breaks.

I think it's interesting and somewhat tantalising that you've left it open what the proposal is. However, I feel it could be more interesting and tantalising if you worked harder at making people want to know what the proposal is. You could, for example, throw in some cheeky clues to get the mind working. At the moment, the proposal could be anything at all. We know nothing of the protagonist and even less of the other person, what sex they are, what they're wearing or carrying or what they look like. A hint in one of these directions could really improve things.

Another point of improvement is language, a lot of which here is superfluous and slows the piece down, which can lead to minds wandering and abandoning interest. In particular, there are rather too many adjectives and adverbs, which are usually tell-don't-show type words.


"The air-conditioned atmosphere was all at once heavy
with the weight of shocked silence and the awkward shuffling"

You don't need 'the weight of'. And you could have something more inventive than 'awkward'.

"of people faced with a dilemma they had no idea
how to handle. Numerous eyes became drawn to the floor,"

You don't need 'numerous'.


"the window, their own finger-nails as they tried not to face the situation
head on. But, despite the averted eyes, the ears were all perfectly tuned in,"

You don't need 'head on' or 'perfectly'.


"all other senses awake, just playing dead, keen to learn the outcome
of this unprecedented event; this youthful outrage. The main protagonist"

You don't need 'main'.


"stood, for all the world an innocent, just as surprised by his own suggestion"

I don't see how he's "for all the world an innocent" if he's just done something shocking and outrageous. If you mean something specific like his youth, you should describe the cause of his looking innocent, describe for example his boyishness.


"as everyone else seemed to be. But, this apparent innocence was made
just slightly suspicious by the hint of a smile, the ghost of humour in the
blue-grey eyes."

Just slightly suspicious? Two adverbs and an adjective in a row? Oooohh. You could just say something blunt and clean like "thrown into doubt" instead.


“What?” he asked charmingly, engagingly, “Is there a problem?”

Do you really want to say "charmingly, engagingly" when he could be doing something charming and engaging instead?

Just a bit of food for thought. Few others are likely to give you any.

All the best,
Paul.




Author's Reply:
Bugger! The number of times I have done this! Sorry Mac, please see my response below.

Romany.

Romany on 07-05-2008
The Proposal - poetry challenge.
Hi Mac, and thank you for such an in depth crit.

It's interesting, the poetry v prose debate but I am willing to accept that to you it's poetry - fine by me.

I get what you are saying with reference to the more clues as to what the proposal might have been, but I left that deliberately vague for two reasons: 1.) I didn't want to lead anyone, the proposal can be whatever they want it to be and 2.) I wasn't entirely sure myself! I kept veering between one of two extremes, which I won't bore you with here. But I could get neither of them right.

I also made it deliberately ott with the language and heavy word usage, to coin a phrase. Ordinarily it is something I have to be careful of because I know I am prone to do it, but here I left it as I wanted to tell rather than show - converse to usual rules I know, but that was kind of the point of this, whilst at the same time being contradictory because I never let on what he proposed. Clear as mud? I know what I mean!

The 'for all the world' was also deliberate- have you never seen anyone act as if they are angels fresh from heaven when you know damn well they've just done something they shouldn't have? That was what I was alluding to.

I absolutely wanted to say 'charmingly, engagingly' because anything he might have been doing at that point would necessarily, I feel, give a some clue as to what the proposal was. I wanted to give a rich feel of the aura surrounding him, rather than details of what he had done.

I also feel that 'just slightly suspicious' is fine as far as people's thoughts and observations go - we are not all always grammatically correct even in our thoughts, are we? It seemed to me in keeping with the vagueness of the whole piece.

In short, this was a deliberately vague piece. It appears to have worked for some and not for others. It's all good - everything I do here I learn from one way or another.

However, I absolutely take your points. It could undoubtedly be vastly improved with an edit. It would have a completely different feel to it and therefore would not be what I set out to do.

Thank you for taking the time.

Romany.

Btw, I have had lots of genuinely constructive criticism from many other site members.

Author's Reply:


Tranquility - previous poetry challenge. (posted on: 25-02-08)
A late entry of the poetry challenge by LavenderRose (my mum!) This is the one where you take lines from other poets and construct another poem. I think it's lovely. Comments welcome as always. Romany.

Tranquility. Beside the lake, beneath the trees Where the otter whistles his mate Silence and passion, joy and peace Out of the summer's static heat. LavenderRose. William Wordsworth - Daffodils Rudyard Kipling - The Way Through the Woods Robert Browning - Two in the Campagna Alan Brownjohn - Mum forgot to write the name of the poem and I can't find it anywhere and yes, I did Google!
Archived comments for Tranquility - previous poetry challenge.
artisus on 25-02-2008
Tranquility - previous poetry challenge.
yes, it's lovely.

Author's Reply:
Thank you. Mum is up this weekend so will make sure she reads your comments.

Romany.

orangedream on 26-02-2008
Tranquility - previous poetry challenge.
Ah ... 'The Way Through the Woods' on of my most favourite poems I was introduced to as a child.

Indeed, this is beautifully put together. Enjoyed.

Tina

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 27-02-2008
Tranquility - previous poetry challenge.
Short and sweet. When is Mrs LavenderRose going to post her own contributions?

Author's Reply:
Short and sweet - a bit like the lady herself! I toyed with the idea of buying her a UKA membership for her last birthday, but she has only rare access to a pc and even then needs help in using it. Also, as she herself says, she writes very infrequently and feels it wouldn't justify a membership (although I am sure she would get much pleasure reading other's work.) Anyway, the long and the short of it is she prefers me to post for her. Thanks for reading and commenting Luigi,

Romany.

Sunken on 27-02-2008
Tranquility - previous poetry challenge.
They're very clever aren't they, those poetry mash-ups. I like your mum's more than Oats-so-simple. This is quite a compliment as said breakfast cereal has become quite a hit with me of late. I guess anything with 'simple' in the title is going to appeal to a sunk. A very nice piece. The poem's not so bad either (-; Ahem. I'll shut up.

s
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k
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his kitchen has been blacklisted

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky. Mum is sat with me now and is giggling at your comment.

Romany.

Jolen on 25-03-2008
Tranquility - previous poetry challenge.
Oh I wish I had seen this challenge. What a fun thing it had to have been..doing this. I liked it very much.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen,

Romany.


Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge (posted on: 25-02-08)
Haven't written any prose in a long time, but this challenge appealed to me. Acknowledgements: 'Red Tufted Sunbird Wikipedia. Quote: ''Idealism is what precedes experience, cynicism is what follows.'' David. T. Wolf, 1943. Words: 790

Red Tufted Sunbird. ''But she was so pretty '' ''Yeah, pretty and a thieving little bitch!'' Greg cut in, anger clouding his usually open, honest features, ''She even helped herself to my leather jacket. Probably get few quid for that too. I can't believe I've been so bloody stupid! It doesn't help you looking so smug either mum; you're just dying to say I told you so aren't you?'' A quick flash of guilt crossed Janice's face; she hadn't meant her expression to be so easily readable. ''Of course I don't want to say 'I told you so,''' ''Even though you did?'' ''Even though I did,'' she conceded, ''I am truly sorry things have worked out like this, honestly.'' ''But she was such a pretty little thing,'' Ray repeated, ''so, so'' ''Pretty?'' Janice said archly, making the word sound like an affliction, ''Since when does 'pretty' equal decent?'' Greg watched his father, who had the good grace to colour slightly, ''Well of course, pretty doesn't mean a thing,'' he tried to placate his wife, ''of course it doesn't. It's just so hard to believe, don't you think, that a chit of a girl like that could be capable of doing something like this? I mean, come on Greg, don't look at me like that; you were more taken in than we were,'' ''Oh cheers dad! You're not helping you know; you're just making me feel worse.'' ''We're just as shocked as you are, that's all.'' Janice said, ''I mean look at this place!'' She gestured widely and all three turned to absorb the scene again. It was a similar tale in every room of the flat. Bedding, stripped bare and exposed, lay half on and half off the bed. The bedside tables stood open and empty, the lamps and midi hi-fi system gone. The dressing table had been selectively cleared out, only the most expensive aftershaves missing, although all the jewellery had been taken. The wardrobe doors were flung wide and a few old shirts dangled sadly from wire hangers as if embarrassed to be left behind. The shoe rack below was similarly empty, a single pair of ancient slippers still sitting sheepishly on the lower rack. Janice hesitated, afraid to provoke another outburst from her son, ''Greg, please don't take this the wrong way, but what on earth made you fall for her so quickly? You barely knew the girl,'' Far from being further enraged, Greg suddenly looked utterly defeated, ''Well I don't know do I? Do we ever know why? She was at Cameron's party, he introduced us, you know the score. She was funny and daring; punky red hair and sexy dark eyes. I suppose I just liked her. I mean, you don't think things like this are going to happen when you meet someone you're attracted to, do you? You just, go with it,'' ''But drugs? I mean, it's so unlike you son,'' Janice tone lowered, ''you didn't ever touch the stuff did you? Please tell me you didn't'' ''For God's sake mum, I'm not twelve!'' Greg saw his mother's worried look and sighed, ''Of course I didn't touch the stuff! Jesus, you make it sound like she was doing coke or something. It was only the odd bit of weed now and then,'' Janice held her tongue, with difficulty. She had been utterly shocked when the brash little tart had casually engaged in her grubby little habit at a family barbecue. In truth, Janice hadn't known what she was doing and would have remained ignorant if her sister in law hadn't pointed it out to her. ''What have the police said?'' Ray asked. ''Just what you'd expect really. Write down what's missing, anything of any value. Wanted her personal details, which I was even more humiliated to admit I didn't actually know much about. Funny how you don't think about these things,'' Ray and Janice exchanged a rare look of a thought shared, not to be expressed. ''Took lots of forensic stuff. I don't know; police stuff. Said they'd be in touch. I couldn't help noticing one or two sly smiles when they thought my back was turned. I can just imagine what they were thinking; what an idiot, leaving a girl he barely knew alone in his flat while he worked away for the weekend.'' ''She was so pretty,'' Ray murmured again, not daring to look up at the others' expressions. ''All I saw was a pretty face, dad's right'' Greg admitted, ''thought I'd found the one, you know?'' ''I do know,'' Ray said, ''You chased off after love. Thing is son, ''he added, still not daring to look at his wife, ''no matter that it's love you're chasing, cynicism is what follows.'' Romany.
Archived comments for Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
beard on 25-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
Thats fantastic. I really enjoyed reading it. 10/10 from me. Its a great interpretation of the title and use of the quote. I found it wonderfully written and perfectly paced.

Its such a joy when you find a great example of brevity. That is part of the reason I set such a low word count. I love to read short things like this. Especially when executed like this.

Author's Reply:
Wow! Praise indeed. Thanks beard, for a comment much better than I had any right to hope for since I'm a bit rusty at this prose lark these days! Thanks for a great challenge too,

Romany.

pombal on 25-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
I loved this Romany. The last line makes the story for me. I feel maybe you don't need the line "he tried to placate his plain wife" - I don't know what anyone else thinks?

Author's Reply:
Thanks pombal, glad you enjoyed it. I will bear in mind what you say about that line, and wait to see what others think. Thanks for your thoughts,

Romany.

bluepootle on 25-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
Great little story. I think you reveal too early on what happened when it could make a great hook. Maybe cut this section:

“But she was so pretty …”

“Yeah, pretty and a thieving little bitch!” Greg cut in, anger clouding his usually open, honest features, “She even helped herself to my leather jacket. Probably get few quid for that too. I can’t believe I’ve been so bloody stupid! It doesn’t help you looking so smug either mum; you’re just dying to say I told you so aren’t you?”

A quick flash of guilt crossed Janice’s face; she hadn’t meant her expression to be so easily readable. “Of course I don’t want to say ‘I told you so,’”

“Even though you did?”

“Even though I did,” she conceded, “I am truly sorry things have worked out like this, honestly.”

And start after that? Just an idea to give a better hook.


Author's Reply:
Thanks BP, I'll give it some thought though not sure what it would do to the word count. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks,

Romany.

e-griff on 25-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
I liked the energy and flow in this, helped by the dialogue and a bit of intirigue. But the ending didn't really work for me. I felt it was a bit weak (mind you, I felt mine was too, perhaps it's because we had to use what given).

I've tried to analyse it, and I think that the story kept building up 'pretty' repeatedly, yet the punch line had nothing to do with pretty - it suddenly talked about love, and his father glanced at his wife. I felt the remark should have been about being pretty, really ...

Author's Reply:
Fair point, but as you say, we had to work with what we were given and it would have been difficult to use these last four lines in relation to 'pretty.' What I was trying to do was convey the message that beauty doesn't have to have anything to do with love, but only as a 'sideline' to the story if you know what I mean, and not as an over riding message. Thanks for your thoughts as always,

Romany.

SugarMama34 on 25-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
Hi Romany,

I thought that the line “Yeah, pretty and a thieving little bitch!” was actually a good hook because I thought Oh, what's happened here then, what's she nicked and who is SHE?
I liked the way it just flowed on the page and things became apparent of what had happened, but it didn't disappoint me because it was so true to a real life senario. Its always the people you think won't do something end up doing it! I thought this gelled together really well. A short and much enjoyed story.

Lis'. xx

Author's Reply:
Thank you Lis, much appreciated.

Romany.

Rupe on 26-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
I think this is an excellent story - very sharp, great pace, scene-setting & dialogue & just the right length for the content.

There are some points where you perhaps spell things out too emphatically. I agree with Pombal about the line 'he tried to placate his plain wife'. I think it would be better if the reader were left to infer this. Something like, 'he looked thoughtfully at his wife's profile' - not that exactly, maybe, but the idea of providing a hint & letting the reader draw his or her own conclusions.

I liked the ending. There is something ambiguous about it. Is Ray saying that looks aren't everything - or is he really saying that he's secretly unhappy in his marriage? But I did find the last line too obviously the moral of the story & it doesn't sound like the kind of thing someone would say in exactly those words. From Ray's speech up to then, I can't imagine him saying 'no matter that it’s love you’re chasing, cynicism is what follows'. It's too clear and too writerly somehow. I'd imagine him saying the same thing but in a more colloquial way.

Anyway, minor quibbles. It's a very enjoyable story.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Point taken about that line - will remove.

As to the last four words, that was part of the challenge. We had to use the final four words of a quote and that's what I had. I agree it is a little formal compared with the speech beforehand, but I couldn't think of another way to incorporate it!

I'm glad you enjoyed it and really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

Romany.

red-dragon on 26-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
Hi Romany - I enjoyed this as a lunchtime read - I think I agree with some of the comments above, but that didn't detract from a good story. Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann - I like the idea of it being a lunchtime read!

Romany.

Rupe on 26-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
Sorry - touch of brain fade about the last line. I'd completely forgotten it was part of the challenge...

Rupe

Author's Reply:
No worries!

Romany.

Sunken on 26-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
Hello Ms. Romany. I read this yesterday and once again today over a sausage sandwich. The sausage sandwich isn't important. A corker of a piece to come back with. It's good to see you here again. Well done on that there nib.

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Ahem. I don't have a Bernard for prose, but ya get the drift.

Author's Reply:
What is it with me when it comes to responding to your comments Sunky? I always put it in the wrong box. My apologies, please see below.

Romany.

Romany on 26-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
I do indeed get your drift. Thanks Sunky!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 28-02-2008
Red Tufted Sunbird - Prose Challenge
lovely read -don't know if /what you have changed, but i really appreciated how things weren't spelled out - nicely nuanced tale i reckon -super writing Romany xxldx

Author's Reply:
Thanks ld, and apologies for the late reply,

Romany.


Argument in Collage. Luigi's challenge. (posted on: 04-02-08)
Ok, this is what I did. I have not added any of my own words, although for the sake of some sort of semblance of structure I have removed two, the words being 'that' and 'and.' I know this isn't quite on the money, but I wanted to keep my response to the challenge as 'pure' as possible. For what it's worth, I quite like this, but then I suppose I would! Some of my favourite poets feature here, and I had a great time reading poems, some of which I have never heard of before, some I had forgotten and one or two perennial favourites for me. Thank you Luigi for a stimulating and throughly enjoyable challenge. Romany. P.S Had to use easy edit and then couldn't get single line spacing to work, so spacing not quite as I would like it!

Argument in Collage.

Is the only sound that comes to me,

When thy heart began to beat?

If I should die, think only this of me,

For men may come and men may go;

I was much too far out all my life.

Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;

Since you would have none of me, I bury some of you.

Watch for me by moonlight -

A savage place, as holy and enchanted,

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken,

That restless whispering you never get away from.

The blare and the tweedle of bagpipes, a bugle and fiddles

The music stopped and there was nothing left of them.

Words recycled by Romany. Original authors, in order of use: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Four by the Clock. William Blake Tiger, Tiger. Rupert Brooke - The Soldier. Alfred, Lord Tennnyson - The Brook. Stevie Smith Not Waving But Drowning. John Henry Dryden Happy the Man. Michael Drayton - from IDEA. John Donne The Funeral. Alfred Noyes - The Highwayman. Samuel Taylor Coleridge Kubla Khan. Elizabeth Barrat Browning How Do I Love Thee. Rudyard Kipling - If. John Montague Windharp. William Carlos Williams The Dance. Katherine Mansfield - Night Scented Stock.
Archived comments for Argument in Collage. Luigi's challenge.
red-dragon on 04-02-2008
Argument in Collage. Luigis challenge.
I like your choice of poets and lines for this most interesting challenge! Ann

Author's Reply:
Thank you, it was interesting and very enjoyable.

Romany.

e-griff on 04-02-2008
Argument in Collage. Luigis challenge.
to be honest, I think this might be shortened to good effect. You have some good lines and a good fit in some places, not so good in others. In there is a good thread of meaning, but slightly diluted, if you see what I mean.

best, JohnG

Author's Reply:
My thoughts exactly griff, I know just what you mean. But for this first sub I wanted to leave it as 'clean' and true to the original as possible. You're right, with some jiggery pokery I think it could be a lot better, and I may just have a go at that. Thanks,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 04-02-2008
Argument in Collage. Luigis challenge.
Intricate and interesting. Pity the formatting didn't work, as the wide spacing makes the poem appear disjointed. Maybe you could edit it and type in directly, using html code for the italics. This really needs to be single spaced.

Author's Reply:
Well I did try! But I went into easy edit to put in the italics and it all went down hill from there. Thanks delph,

Romany.

e-griff on 04-02-2008
Argument in Collage. Luigis challenge.
edit it in html and delete all the extra
's (in case that don't come out - br in triangular brackets)

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 04-02-2008
Argument in Collage. Luigis challenge.
A good one Susan. Sure it's not your mother's?
Only joking. I agree that the formatting doesn't allow the poem to be presented in its best light.
I normally type it in word, then cut and paste it.

Author's Reply:
Quite sure, cheeky bugger! Mum hasn't subbed hers yet!

I did cut and paste (it's what I always do too) but I went into easy edit to get the italics to work, so then the line spacing went wrong - sighs - you just can't win...

Romany.

Sunken on 05-02-2008
Argument in Collage. Luigis challenge.
Blimey. You put a lot of work into this Ms. Romany. Clever stuff and no mistake. It's good to see you subbing again.

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Author's Reply:
All I did was read some great poetry and then mess about with the lines Sunky, but I appreciate you reading and commenting as always. Thank you,

Romany.


Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstone's Challenge.) (posted on: 03-12-07)
Don't know where this one came from, but once it started, I warmed to it! Romany.

Pattern of Ignorance. Dead set against the setting of the sun Loath to let it become horizon, Blocking, soon, the lines of sultry light Letting in the uniform of night. This pattern is meant to reassure That day and night will go on as before. Whole cultures and beliefs have evolved Around the way the Earth and Sun revolved. Yet all it does for me is prove again There's no certainty in the lives of men. The rise and fall, the infinite fast-dance Leaves no room for frightening chance Even if our world should sink and drown The sun would still come up; still go down. To me, it is mocking our frail state Waiting patiently for us to seal our fate. Whilst we, in glib complacency Still watch the tides and guard our lunacy In the knowledge that, sure as breath The sun will rise and set upon our death Then will the final arrogance be known Neatly laid in rows of heartless stone Yet still there will be night, there will be day; The World's pattern she knows no other way. S P Oldham
Archived comments for Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstone's Challenge.)
e-griff on 03-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
I had a similar idea, but couldn't get it into words. Well done.

(a typo - 'loath to' )

Author's Reply:
Thanks griff, will correct.

Romany.

Bradene on 03-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
Nice one Romany I liked in particular The sense of the inevitable and The final peace. Val

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val, glad you liked it.

Romany.

Ionicus on 03-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
A finely crafted poem, Susan, with excellent lines.
Top work.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 03-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
Nicely crafted with good unforced rhymes. Works well.

Author's Reply:
Thanks delph,

Romany.

teifii on 03-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
Excellent, Romany. I do like a well crafted piece. Wherever it came from, my dear, you certainly made it work.
I love
Whilst we, in glib complacency
Still watch the tides and guard our lunacy

Daff
PS a favourite

Author's Reply:
Thank you Daff, much appreciated,

Romany.

Sunken on 03-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
Hello Ms. Romany. Like Ms. Daff, I have to agree, 'Whilst we, in glib complacency' is a great line. A smashing poem and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, good to hear from you,

Romany.

orangedream on 04-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
It's all been said, Romany. A fine poem. Made me really think. Now that's what I call, 'good writing.'

Tina:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina,

Romany.

Elfstone on 04-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
Well this is a fine contribution to the Challenge Romany. I really like the fatalism simmering beneath the surface of this.

Thanks for taking part in the Challenge :-)) Elf.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Elf. Thanks for the challenge too, enjoyed it,

Romany.

wfgray on 28-12-2007
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
Hi Romany, WOW!. Another one of your pearls of wisdom. A great piece of poetry which people like me who can look back and say, -How true to life." Kind regards. Will.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the lovely comment and the rating Will - to have someone like you leave a comment like this really means a lot to me, thank you. Happy New Year,

Romany.

Aurelio on 12-01-2008
Pattern of Ignorance (Elfstones Challenge.)
To the point indeed. Couldn't be better expressed. Sincere compliments.

Aurelio

Author's Reply:
Thank you for reading and commenting Aurelio.

Romany.


Christmas As It Never Was (posted on: 26-11-07)
Wonder if I've managed to get across what I meant to here?

Christmas As It Never Was. Christmas in the memory appears Soft-focused and sweeter for the years, Though I know I never owned a bonnet, Or a Yule log with scented herbs upon it, That we never once sang carols in the snow Beneath a streetlamp's gentle candle-glow, That we never went wassailing I'd recall, Or went out to pick fresh holly for the hall; I've never worn a cape or velvet gloves, Or even seen a brace of turtle-doves, Christmas, nonetheless, when I remember Comes back to me all golden-edged and tender A true Victorian Christmas seems to snare The holiday we miss, though we weren't there, Perhaps it's simply just the way It always seemed to snow on Christmas day, Or that a carol was enough to bring good cheer And fresh hope, for the coming year. Maybe now there's just too much to wish for Do we long for the simple days before? Now that we are all spoiled for choice, Is it simplicity that would have us rejoice? All I know is that, for me, when brought to mind Christmas shines as something warm and kind In a dream I never lived, in soft detail One image, above all, will prevail; You and me and all who we hold dear, Snugly wrapped, bonneted and near, Flakes drift down to settle on a scene Which lives in memory, but has never been, Captured there, beneath the glassy stars In a moment that is forever ours, We stand beneath a streetlamp's gentle glow, Amber-edged and singing carols in the snow. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Christmas As It Never Was
Jen_Christabel on 26-11-2007
Christmas As It Never Was
I thought this was lovely. To me, you were stating the simplicity that Christmas should be? Perhaps I am wrong. Nevertheless, nicely penned :o)
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
That's partly it Jen - I suppose what I was trying to say was how nostalgia is so rarely accurate, really, but comforting nonetheless. Thanks,

Romany.

littleditty on 26-11-2007
Christmas As It Never Was
Super! Romany - this is great, the rhymes really work and the idea is packed with what nostalgia is all about, i loved the poem -be back later if i can get on line again -writing against the clock! (The history of Christmas cards as we know them is interesting..) xxldx

Author's Reply:
Thanks ld, really glad you like it,

Romany.

Sunken on 26-11-2007
Christmas As It Never Was


Hello Ms. Romany. Good to see you subbing again. A very well written piece in my mucky little book. Not my fave time of year, but a crackin' poem all the same.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky. Bernard's a very cute communist isn't he? I know you don't like this time of year, but I hope it goes well for you anyway. Take care,

Romany.

Ionicus on 26-11-2007
Christmas As It Never Was
You have conveyed the sentiments very well, Susan.
As the theme is nostalgia perhaps you ought to enter it in the ABCtales.com's current competition which is about that topic.
Best regards, Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, I might just do that,

Romany.

orangedream on 27-11-2007
Christmas As It Never Was
For me, Romany, this delightful poem captured the true essence of Christmas.

"All I know is, that for me, when brought to mind,
Christmas shines as something warm and kind."

For the first 11 year of my life, I lived in cramped conditions in my nan's rented 2 up 2 down house in London. There was me, my sister, my mum and dad, my nan and my aunt. When
my immediate family and I moved to a posh council flat on the other side of town, it was lovely, all that space, except Christmases were never the same ... ever.

Tina 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina, I'm glad this little poem reminded you of something from your own past. Thanks for commenting,

Romany.


Bad Boy Hitler (posted on: 29-10-07)
My son's class were tasked with writing a 'war poem.' My son asked his teacher if he could attempt a 'happy war poem.' The teacher warned him that it would be a difficult thing to do, but he had a go anyway, and here's the end result (with one or two minor edits.) I am very proud of him and the poem itself reminds me of something in the vain of 'Who Do You Think You are Kidding Mr Hitler?" What do you think folks?

Bad Boy Hitler. Naughty boy Hitler Had a trigger, his only toy Naughty boy Hitler Had a trigger that brought him joy Bad boy Hitler Tried to hit ya Bad boy Hitler Waiting to get ya Smarty boy Churchill Stirred the alarm Smarty boy Churchill Stayed so calm Brainy boy Churchill Stayed cool all day Brainy boy Churchill Blew Hitler away. Rhys Oldham. (Aged 13)
Archived comments for Bad Boy Hitler
Bradene on 29-10-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
These kids have a happy trick of suprising us every time don't they. Nice little rap rhythmn going there. I hope he got top marks for this Romany. He has the knack. Val x

Author's Reply:
He did get top marks actually! He also got his poem blown up to poster size, mounted and put up on his teacher's wall! Thanks Val,

Romany.

Rhys says:

Thanks. Didn't really mean to have a rap rhythm but my teacher said the same thing! This was a rewrite in my second lesson - the first one was too simple.

Rhys.

orangedream on 29-10-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
Well, Romany, your talented son gets top marks from me, anyway!

Some original thinking here, which I like, very much. Well done!

Tina:-)

Author's Reply:
I thought it was original too Tina. Quite a challenge isn't it? To write a happy war poem... perhaps I'll set it as a challenge in the Poetry Workshop Forum - what do you reckon? Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.

Rhys says:

Thank you. There might be more poems in future - I am trying to get the best GCSE results I can from this as I would like to be a writer in the future. (Wouldn't we all?! Romany.)

Rhys.

Jolen on 29-10-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
Hi Romany,
I think this is like a little song and I enjoyed his unique concept and his ability is obvious. You should be proud.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen, I am proud of him,

Romany.

Sunken on 29-10-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
Looks like he's following in his Mother's footsteps Ms. Romany. A more than promising start, in my sunky opinion. Well done and no mistake.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, hope you're well?

Romany

Ionicus on 29-10-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
How many more geniuses in your family, Su? My compliments.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Only me, naturally! Only joking, thanks Luigi,

Romany.

teifii on 30-10-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
Yes, it seems there is definitely something in heredity. Talk about picking a near impossible subject!! I hope you get rerally good GCSEs Rhys. You certainly should in English anyway.
Daff


Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff. I read this out to Rhys (he's just going for a run with his dad) and he really appreciates it.

Romany.

Gerry on 02-11-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
The lad done well 😉

Gerry xx.

Author's Reply:
He certainly did! Thanks Gerry,

Romany.

Jen_Christabel on 09-11-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
Great little poem - keep it up, great stuff!
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen, he often writes poems, bless 'im. Maybe he'll be rich and famous one day, and keep his mother in the style to which she would like to become accustomed!

Romany.

wfgray on 17-11-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
Hi Romany, You are always rich when you have a son writing delightful lit poems like this. Best regards, Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks Will,

Romany.

Macjoyce on 23-12-2007
Bad Boy Hitler
Why's your son got it in for Hitler? The dead can't defend themselves. Poor old Hitler, leave him alone. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be watching 'The Great Escape' on the telly.


Author's Reply:
Lolk! That's very true - will admonish Rhys in due course.

Romany.

(Yet again, only just saw this response, very belatedly!)

walters on 18-04-2008
Bad Boy Hitler
Bravo! The boy is bold!

Author's Reply:
Oh, believe me, you have no idea! Bold is good word,

Romany.


Romany limerick - Ionicus's challenge (posted on: 15-10-07)
A bit of trite silliness as per limericks! Thanks Luigi. Romany.

My name's Oldham, but not my address, I'm a Welsh girl in England no less, My alter-ego is Roman, A natural blonde Golden, But my real shade you'll just have to guess! Romany
Archived comments for Romany limerick - Ionicus's challenge
e-griff on 15-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
hah ha! dyeing to please, eh?

Author's Reply:
Fighting a losing battle...

Romany.

Hazy on 15-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Oh, whatever happened to the limerick thread... I used to like reading those every day! Here's hoping someone revives it soon!

Nice one, Romany!! 🙂 Won't mention collars and cuffs...

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
I don't know WHAT you're implying! All 'au naturel' naturally!

Romany.

Bradene on 15-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Very good Romany and not really so trite. Val

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val,

Romany.

wordthug on 15-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Hey, this is great and reads like a riddle as well as a limerick! I like this sort of thing.

Alex Wordthug.

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed. Thanks Alex,

Romany.

Elfstone on 15-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
No, not trite and not silly - very good Romany! Elf.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Elf, appreciated,

Romany.

Ionicus on 16-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
I liked it very much, Susan.
Welsh, eh? I always imagined you as a flaming redhead. How wrong can one be.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Sorry to disappoint you Luigi! Lol!

Romany (brunette.)

teifii on 16-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Now I knew you were Welsh. I like this one. It is rather like a riddle. Clever.
Daff
PS Wales sends you commiserations in your hiraeth.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks teifi. You are the second person to say it reads like a riddle. That wasn't intentional, although I do like riddles!

Romany.

wfgray on 16-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Hi Romany, Your tresses look good today
With a little bit of colour applied
Make sure that your roots on show,
Should be properly dyed/

Nice to see you up inghts again. Will

Author's Reply:
Hey Will, good to hear from you! What a poetic response too, how come you didn't have a go?

Romany.

eddiesolo on 17-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Heh, heh-liked this Sue!

Si:-)




Author's Reply:
Cheers! Romany.

delph_ambi on 18-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Fun limerick, with a lot more depth than many. Multi-layered. Enjoyed it (and reading through all the comments!).

Author's Reply:
Thanks Delph,

Romany

Jen_Christabel on 25-10-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Bright red?! Great fun and, as, delph says above multi-layered.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
I'm not telling!

Thanks Jen and good to see you back,

Romany.

Macjoyce on 23-12-2007
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Oh, guess, must I? You women are so demanding.

I reckon you're a subtle lime green with a crimson border.


Author's Reply:
Sorry Mac, only just got this response! I love green as it happens, but lime is not my shade. Now crimson I could maybe do ...

Romany.

wfgray on 01-11-2008
Romany limerick - Ionicuss challenge
Hi Romany, Just had to read it again and to let you know I am still in the land of the living. No problems just getting old. Will

Author's Reply:


Stop Watch (posted on: 31-08-07)
Okay, better late than never! Here is my take on a rewrite of the challenge I set in the forum. Romany.

Stop Watch. The clock keeps more than time, counts more than hours For every measured moment it empowers, Fate, or certainty, chime in on each dull note, They slow his pace, cast doubts upon his vote Light falls across his face, a web of worry Tolled remembrance stays his stride, halts his hurry At last he sees, between the humdrum tick and tock The true face of the eternal clock Sees, not hands nor digits, but the divine; The faceless truth, both fleeting and sublime His own non-intervention leaves it whole; Man's imperfection, perfect time, the sum of Soul. Romany
Archived comments for Stop Watch
Kat on 31-08-2007
Stop Watch
Another good write in this ticktocking batch, Romany. I like the metred control you've exerted and particularly,

'The true face of the eternal clock'

The last line is also very intriguing.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat,

Romany.

Ionicus on 31-08-2007
Stop Watch
Hi Susan. As you say better late etc., etc.
A very good re-write, and a good title and, what's more, it rhymes.
Well done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thankyou Luigi,

Romany.

e-griff on 31-08-2007
Stop Watch
Despite a slight worry (for me at least) about slightly too much in lines 3 and 6, overall this was smooth and flowing, a good improvement on the original. G

Author's Reply:
I know what you mean, but I was trying to be true to the original, as far as I could. Thanks,

Romany.

artisus on 31-08-2007
Stop Watch
I liked it, especially the second strophe.

Author's Reply:
Thanks,

Romany.

Sunken on 01-09-2007
Stop Watch
Well I unfashionably still like rhyme. It's good not to be fashionable. I just got back from Oxfam and am writing this wearing my purple cords (with orange stitching would you believe). I love them as I love the poem. Nice one Ms. Romany.

Rate: We are glass

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loosely based on a savory craving

Author's Reply:
I actually used to own purple cords, although not with orange stitching! Thanks, Sunky,

Romany.

Perrorist on 01-09-2007
Stop Watch
I like rhymes as well but the important thing for me is that a piece flows naturally, which this does. A minor nitpick: I stumbled momentarily on 'not hands nor digits'. I think 'or' would flow better (despite the implicit 'neither') and still be grammatical.

Good work, Romany.

Author's Reply:
I think you're probably right Perrorist. I did mull it over but plumped for 'nor' - but now you've pointed it out, I think I might change it! Thanks,

Romany.

Elfstone on 02-09-2007
Stop Watch
Another interesting take on our joint effort, I liked this. I think the rhythm doesn't quite work in places, but you have tapped into the philosophical aspects of the original very well. Elf.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Elf; you are undoubtedly right, but as I explained to griff, I was trying to stay true to the original. It could probably do with a third or even a fourth rewrite. Thanks,

Romany.

shackleton on 02-09-2007
Stop Watch
Nice one, Romany!

Author's Reply:
Cheers Shacks!

Romany.

69-96 on 19-09-2007
Stop Watch
Hi Romany. I like the intro to your 'Stop watch' "Better late than never" Very cleverly put together is this. A joy to read and take in. The timing I find all important as I read repeatedly. Brilliant!

Author's Reply:
Thanks 69-96 - the intro wasa accidental actually! This was my version of a collaborative piece that came about as a result of a challenge I set in the Poetry Workshop - we all rewrote it as an extra to the original challenge. Glad you enjoyed it.

Romany.

teifii on 22-09-2007
Stop Watch
Most intriguing. I'll have to look for the original now.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff, good to see you around!

Romany.

wfgray on 26-09-2007
Stop Watch
Hi Romany, another of one of your gems. Your poems seem to arrive by clockwork. I like. Will

Author's Reply:

wfgray on 26-09-2007
Stop Watch
Hi Romany, another of one of your gems. Your poems seem to arrive by clockwork. I like. Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks Will, but I can't take all the credit for this one! This was my take on a rewrite of the challenge I set in the forum, written by a group of us as a collaborative effort. Maybe you'll join in the next one, seeing as you are something of a closet poet yourself! Hope you're well and thanks for dropping in on me,

Romany.

eddiesolo on 14-10-2007
Stop Watch
I like this Sue-great last line.

Flows really well, you're poetry is getting better and better.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Thanks Si, good to see you here!

Romany.

Buggins on 10-03-2008
Stop Watch
I really liked this one! The rhythm and the imagery, plus a beautifully balanced spiritual/mystical dimension. Fab!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Buggins, and good to hear from you!

Romany.


Our Soldiers (posted on: 27-08-07)
Written by a twelve year old friend of mine, whose father, incidentally, is in the RAF.

Our Soldiers Our soldiers, fighting for their country, Out there in Iraq, They long to just come home, And never have to go back. They're always thinking about family, And also their best friends, Wishing they could see them, Hoping for the war to end. They fight long and hard, Not getting much sleep, And when they finally do, You never hear a peep. Every day on the news, We see another attack, But all we really want, Is to have our loved ones back. Nathan Coomber.
Archived comments for Our Soldiers
Sunken on 27-08-2007
Our Soldiers
Hello Ms. Romany. It's good to hear from a new generation isn't it. I especially liked -

Every day on the news,
We see another attack,
But all we really want,
Is to have our loved ones back.

I think that pretty much sums things up. Nice one Mr. Coomber

s
u
n
k
e
n

he lost the will to give

PS. As ya know, I'm not rating these days. Hope you understand (-:

Author's Reply:
I agree Sunky, that those are the lines that sum things up. Quite touching, I thought. Thanks for reading and commenting, I will pass it on.

Romany.

petersjm on 28-08-2007
Our Soldiers
I agree with Sunk. That last stanza is the clincher. Great potential here. I find the best way to write poetry (not that I ever do write poetry, mind) is to count the beats (or syllables) on my fingers to make sure each line has the same. Hope that helps for future poems and good luck!

Author's Reply:
Thank you - will pass it on.

Romany.

KDR on 28-08-2007
Our Soldiers
I don't usually 'do' poetry, but this is about a subject fairly close to my heart and, IMO, shows a lot of promise as well as an awareness of the world situation and the anxiety of families (everyone mentions wives and partners, but rarely the children). This, I think, gives the poem a maturity that can only increase over time.
Hopefully, Nathan will share more of his work. It will be interesting to see how he progresses.

Author's Reply:
Thank you KDR, will pass it on.

Romany.

Andrea on 28-08-2007
Our Soldiers
So do I - it really is very good I think, and expresses what most people feel. Well done Nathan, and welcome to UKA, hope we see you here again very soon.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. You may well see more of his work. I have posted some up on my sebsite, if anyone is interested!

www.freewebs.com/spoldham

e-griff on 29-08-2007
Our Soldiers
I think Nathan has a good ear for rhythm, but like all of us, could brush things up a little bit. Take up Peter's suggestion (but beats not syllables!) suggest he reads his poem out loud to himself and taps the table or clicks his fingers or something as he does - see if it 'raps' smoothly or not 🙂 Good ordered meaning - demonstrates planning and story-telling ability.

Author's Reply:
Thank you, will pass it on.

Romany.

Jolen on 29-08-2007
Our Soldiers
Hello there, what a insightful piece of work. He expresses well what so many of us feel and let us know that we're not the only ones affected by this horror. I hope this young person continues to work, his voice is clear, and he's got a good ear.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Appreciated Jolen, thank you.

Romany.

Ionicus on 29-08-2007
Our Soldiers
Pass on my compliments, Romany. The boy has real potential.
He's got the right ideas and will no doubt produce more good poetry. Practice makes perfect.

Luigi.

Author's Reply:
I will Luigi, thankyou,
Romany.

shackleton on 29-08-2007
Our Soldiers
Good poem, Nathan. You have a style that most adults would long for. Don't stop writing now! Best regards to your Dad.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Shacks, will pass it on,

Romany.

MiddleEarthNet on 30-08-2007
Our Soldiers
Very thought-provoking piece. The last verse is the definitely the best because it sums up the general feeling towards Iraq.
I thought the following lines worked better with words removed:

They long to come home,
And never have to go back.

Keep writing and keep on submitting.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Middle, Nathan has read!

Romany.

littleditty on 30-08-2007
Our Soldiers
Nice one Nathan - good message, a well thought out poem - i can see you have taken time to express your thoughts and feelings with care and attention to the rhyme and rhythm of your poem - and they are thoughts and feelings many can share and relate to - get an account and post some more for us! xxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Thanks ld,

Romany.

Kat on 30-08-2007
Our Soldiers
I just love the sentiment in this, Nathan - a poem that we can all relate to. Well done!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat,

Romany.

69-96 on 19-09-2007
Our Soldiers
How marvelous to see a piece with such feeling from a 12 year old. Such brevity and clarity in one so young. I applaud his comments too.

Author's Reply:
Thank you - I am sure he will appreciate your comment.

Romany.

69-96 on 16-10-2007
Our Soldiers
Marvelous Nathan, and so understanding. All the soldiers would be happy and proud to know you feel this way. Best of luck to all of them, and best wishes to you.

Author's Reply:


Untitled (posted on: 17-08-07)
This is a collaborative effort, written line by line by the following people, as a challenge set by me in the Poetry Challenge Forum. The idea was that each of us wrote a line and sent it on to the next person to add a line, and so on, until complete. Well done everyone. Very interesting outcome I think. Romany. Authors (in order): Me (Romany) egriff Hazy Kat Ionicus Bradene Perrorist Elfstone Mandrake P.S Title folks?

The clock keeps more than time, counts more than hours Each tick precedes the tock that it empowers Routine, certainty and fate: stressed with each dull note He speed-walks through the double-doors, his face a web of worry And doubt, not knowing how to use his casting vote Abruptly remembrance stays his stride, halts his hurry Perceiving in that moment the truth of time Between the tick and tock, there is divine Non-intervention and all the potential of human imperfection
Archived comments for Untitled
Bradene on 17-08-2007
Untitled
Just a quick first impression, I'm off to Leicester to see my brother in a mo, when the poem reached me I thought it was someone facing his own mortality for the first time, I still think that. More thoughts later. PS Griff came up with Patchwork for a title I quite liked that (-;.Val x

Author's Reply:

petersjm on 17-08-2007
Untitled
Even had I not seen the list/order of authors, I would have guessed "Each tick precedes the tock that it empowers" was an e-griff line! LOL. I like it. It's almost a bit morbid, somehow. Valiant effort, guys! 🙂

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 17-08-2007
Untitled
I think there is a very interesting thread of meaning running through this which makes it well worthwhile, but to be honest, if we did this again, I think it would be better to declare a form at the start to keep the rhythm and rhyme consistent also. 🙂



Author's Reply:

artisus on 17-08-2007
Untitled
Well done! Great ideas here.

Author's Reply:

Romany on 17-08-2007
Untitled
The whole point of not deciding on a rhythym or form was to see what the outcome of a 'poetic consequences' would be. It gave us all scope to write freely, in our own individual style. Although actually, I think we all pretty much conformed anway!

I think that considering there were no impositions of form whatsoever, we've done a pretty good job! It will be interesting, now, to see the rewrites that come from griff's challenge.

We should all be patting ourselves on the back, methinks,

Romany.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 17-08-2007
Untitled
am I that predictable, Peter? 🙂

Author's Reply:

Hazy on 17-08-2007
Untitled
Ooooh, I like it! I prefer the freestylee approach and actually quite like the form it took. The words on each closing line are as follows:

- hours
- empowers
- note
- worry
- time
- divine
- imperfection

So a few rhyming lines. I quite like the odd rhyming line and things that aren't so regimented 🙂 I tend to be of the 'chaotic persuasion'.

Well done all! And good luck with the rewriting challenge!

Hazy x

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 17-08-2007
Untitled
Interesting experiment. I'll tell you why it doesn't work: it's because poetry needs ebb and flow. You can't have line after line of intensity and expect the reader to cope. You need a lull. There is no lull here, because each of you was trying your hardest to write a killer line.

I suspect the individual re-writes will be infinitely better.

Author's Reply:

Hazy on 17-08-2007
Untitled
Not sure I entirely agree, delph. I think the fact that the lines are longer means there is ebb and flow. If we'd all only included 5 or 6 words in each line, yes, I agree it might be a bit like a list/not enough 'flow'. But the lulls fall at the ends of the lines, IMO. Do know where you're coming from though, there's probably a bit too much 'power' on each line, but I think we just about get away with it!

Looking forward to seeing the rewrites too!

Hazy x

Author's Reply:

Mandrake on 17-08-2007
Untitled

I think the problem for me, as with most things designed by committee, is that it is missing a creative overview. None of us knew where it was going, so it lacks focus and precision.

It moves from a fairly abstract idea at the beginning, through a personal moment of realisation for the protagonist, back into some abstruse philosophy.

Personally, I was sorry it abandoned Romany's opening pentameter - but I was surprised to inherit a rhming scheme of AABCBCDD.

Having only one line to complete the piece, I decided it had to rhyme too - but with what? At first, I considered cycling back to the opening couplet. However, all I could come up with were trite references to flowers. So I decided the line needed to contain an internal rhyme instead. (intervention / imperfection, as it turned out)

Plus, there was that hanging word 'divine', which forced an enjambment at the beginning of my line and left little room for manouvre.

Ideally, I would have continued to expand on the personal elements that had entered the poem. 'Remembrance' suggests something very specific had caused the character to literally halt in his stride. Instead, I tried to hint at something 'more than hours' to achieve some kind of closure.

I think the result reads like a first draft (which it is, of course) and could be developed into something worthwhile. So, on to the next stage of the challenge...



Author's Reply:

e-griff on 17-08-2007
Untitled
for me, I think it's coherence. I think it's turned out remarkably coordinated for the kind of exercise it is, but although some of the lines follow the train superficialy, I think at a deeper level they are pulling in a different direction, and some are mutually incompatible. This is inevitable as each person thinks differently. I guess it's like making a film and using a different director for each scene .... but interesting. 🙂

Author's Reply:

Dil on 17-08-2007
Untitled
As Mr. Grace would say...'didn't you all do well'
Dil

Author's Reply:

discopants on 17-08-2007
Untitled
I think this hangs together pretty well given all the different perspectives each contributor would have had. It definitely seems to have been a worthwhile exercise and I'll look forward to seeing individual interpretations of the poem.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 18-08-2007
Untitled
I can only say well done to co-contributors! Romany's opening line was a goodie and up until me, and after, I think all did admirably to make the most of the 'unknown' with Mandrake's closure being particularly skilled (very interesting to read your musings, M!).

I was trying to set something a bit more concrete in motion after the more abstract ideas, but I think my line stands out like a sore bum! ;o) So full credit to the followers, especially the lovely Luigi.

I thought Elfstone's line was very successful in bringing the poem back in sync with the second line, and is effective in that.

I think the challenge for each of us (and anyone else who's interested) to rewrite this in our own styles, is a great idea. I'd love to see a Macjoyce-version! :o)

Title: Temporal ?

Kat x

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 18-08-2007
Untitled
To be quite honest it reads to me like a poem that everybody enthuses about and nobody understands.
I agree with griff that it lacks coherence and pulls in different directions and with delph about the lull factor.
Mind you I thought the opening line was brilliant.

Author's Reply:

Perrorist on 18-08-2007
Untitled
I'm new to this stuff, including finding my way round this board (just frequented the discussion forums for the last few years), so please bear with me. If I'm responding to e-griff's rewrite challenge in the wrong place, please redirect me.

Anywhere, here's my effort:


The clock keeps more than time; counting off the hours
each tick removes its preceding moment,
routine and certainty dispensed with each dull tock.

Speed-walking through the double-doors, he shrugs off worry
and doubt, confident his casting vote’s a valued prize.

Abruptly remembrance stays his stride, halts his hurry,
and in that moment time’s eternal truth insinuates itself:
between each tick and tock a soulless void
counterpoints all human vanity.


For the record, I'm not a poet. I simply teased out what I thought was the theme and tried to integrate the lines accordingly. I ignored meter and focused on what I thought would flow and sound poetic when spoken.

Make sense? No? Don't worry. I think I know what I mean.

Perry

Author's Reply:

Perrorist on 18-08-2007
Untitled
Now posted my rewrite in the proper place.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 29-08-2007
Untitled
I loved the theme, the collab and the message. I wonder if 'outside of time' is a good title? a play on 'out of time' and also expressing the expanding theme in the piece. You all did an exceptional job!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Romany on 29-08-2007
Untitled
I like Jolen's suggestion for a title. For my part, I think this has produced an interesting array of thoughtful lines, but that they perhaps don't quite gel as they should - the flow is staggered if you see what I mean. Only to be expected I suppose. I have two favourite lines, but I won't point them out as I don't think it's fair. Very interesting.

Author's Reply:


Horror Story (posted on: 03-08-07)
A different poem for me. Inspired by something recently, and snow-balled (not current affairs or a news item, by the way.) Had to write this one down.

Horror Story It was never to my taste To glory in gore, to relish The cutting, carving, cleaving Of the flesh I could not sit, slick with sordid sweat Wet with awful fascination at Some madman with an axe, Some woman with a grudge, A monster with an appetite, or A mutant on a mission to devour Whilst they raged across my screen; All the rending I could stand Was to tear my eyes away Twist my neck and change the channel Strange then, that when we first met, Face-to-face Bone-to-bone, spilling blood to lie In shameful puddles round us, All I could do was stare; Ravenous, at once, to take it in. I decided, in that bullet-beaten, Smoke-enshrouded, Burned and hacked at moment To face the horror, since it had come so far To find me I saw it all, the torn bodies, inhuman flesh, Scattered, butchered, thrown, forgotten I saw the hacking blades, The bombs, falling like cold insults From hidden, safe tormentors; Those leering, jeering bombs, that blew Both me and you away I looked on and let the eager pain engulf me, The sinful sadness crush me, eager now To face this fear and know it fully, This last feeling, I would feel completely. Cruel death; I survived. S P Oldham.
Archived comments for Horror Story
e-griff on 03-08-2007
Horror Story
this is a different poem from you, and a sucessful one, although I did have trouble near the end - the (presumably deliberate) repetition of bombs, and also (maybe not) eager and feel/feeling. I did not fully understand what was happening - it may be I'm a bit slow this morning. 🙂

Author's Reply:
It was a deliberate repetition griff. I note that it doesn't work for you. I'll see what others think, but personally, I felt it conveyed what I meant it to convey. I know what you mean about eager and feel/feeling, but again, whilst it might be clumsy (not unusual for me!) it conveys exactly what I meant. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, always appreciated,

Romany.

RoyBateman on 03-08-2007
Horror Story
Certainly very powerful - and enigmatic too, in a way, as it seemed obvious until the end that this was a "from beyond the grave" type of tale. Oh, maybe I got that wrong - but this was searing and memorable whichever way I interpret it.

Author's Reply:
That's an interesting take on it Roy - I never thought of that angle, but I see what you mean! And thanks for such a great comment too, very much appreciated,

Romany.

Ionicus on 03-08-2007
Horror Story
A nice poem with an excellent sense of rhythm and some good alliterations. It doesn't matter that the actual event is not spelled out; it is clear that it made a big impression on you.
Unlike Roy, I took the last two lines literally: that you survived the horror of some cataclysmic happening, emotionally if not physically.

Love, Luigi x

Author's Reply:
To be honest Luigi, there was no 'event' as such,nor was there a cataclysm; I was watching my son play a ps2 game (the usual violence.) The scene was a heavily armoured warrior stalking an opponent. My son was also listening to rock music at the time - I can't remember the lyrics but the gist of the song was about a moment in time, that kind of thing. It suddenly prompted me to think, or to wonder, how a person not usually given over to violence might embrace it if it were the last thing he/she was ever likely to do. That's what prompted this, odd, piece, but thank you so much for reading and for your thoughts,

Romany.

Kat on 04-08-2007
Horror Story
Very expressive, and very excellent, Romany. I really like the way you segue into the second stanza. Lots of poetic skill evident and you've made me think (again) of Cormac McCarthy's book, The Road, which I've recently finished.

Great stuff.

Kat

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat. I've never read McCarthy - seems to have made an impression on you though!
Thanks again,

Romany.

Sunken on 04-08-2007
Horror Story
Hello Ms. Romany. What a smashing poem. My fave line has to be -

The bombs, falling like cold insults
From hidden, safe tormentors;

Oh yeah, come to daddy. Ahem, sorry. I say that when I get over enthusiastic. I really should stop it. Please accept a tamper proof ten (it has a caramel filling) Mmmmm... and no mistake. Thanks.
Rate:10

s
u
n
k
e
n

he stumbled on her smile and never truly recovered the fall

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky. I love caramel. And there you go again with those great one liners...

Romany.

shackleton on 05-08-2007
Horror Story
Good poem, Romany. I thought it was a video arcade game. All shoot 'em up and blow 'em away. Excellent 'take' on it all. Catch you later.

Author's Reply:
Hi shackleton - you were close! See my response above. Thanks for reading,

Romany.

Jolen on 06-08-2007
Horror Story
Totally brilliant poem! Great lines and your metering is wonderful. There are countless lines here that I really enjoyed, too many to name, really. I too liked the alliteration. I think you once again maintained great control from open to close, which seems to be quite easy for you. And impresses the pants off of me. Okay, so that's not difficult, but still. LOL Just a wee bit o' my silly humor. Really enjoyed this piece, but I always enjoy your work.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
So glad you enjoyed it Jolen. Metre is not something I always find easy, to be honest, so I really appreciate your comment! Thanks for dropping in on me again and for leaving such a nice comment.

Romany.

Linear on 10-08-2007
Horror Story
A beautiful poem, Romany. I think the final six lines tie it all together perfectly. An amazing job.
Be well, Linear.

Author's Reply:
The fact that you have called this 'beautiful' despite its content makes me think you have an understanding of it Linear, that I can appreciate.

Thank you,

Romany.

teifii on 22-09-2007
Horror Story
I'm a bit late. Haven't had time to come here recently.
I think this is a great poem. I thought it was about real war but putting yourself in it in imagination. either way it certainly works a treat. I agree with Sunken about
The bombs, falling like cold insults
From hidden, safe tormentors;
-- it couldn't be expressed better.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks again Daff, glad you enjoyed it,

Romany.


Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge (posted on: 20-07-07)
This is a part of Welsh folklore and a story I have known since very early childhood.

The link will take you to a quickly readable version of it. www.valleystream.co.uk This is my attempt to rewrite it from the pov of the infant involved, and to imbue that child with emotions we all deem as being beyond a baby's concept. Sorry - it's quite long for me - turned into a bit of an epic! Pronunciation: Bedd = phonic 'b' - b - air - th Gelert = hard 'g' Bedd Gelert = (Gelert's Grave) Thanks for another good challenge, Romany. Bedd Gelert There was little meant to reach me In my cradled bed; no harm When I grew, father would teach me But for now, I was safe and warm. When father could not be there Watching through stern, loving eyes He left me in the rough care Of the hound that he most prized. Despite the layers of soft fleece The sturdy wooden frame I felt their unity and peace, Heard the loving in the name; Bedd Gelert A babe's heart should not harbour Such worldly jealousies An infant should not number Such heartfelt injuries But I lay there, thinking, dreaming Listening to their content With envy as my comfort And revenge as my intent; Then the fates ruled that, again The glorious day came round When father walked with men, And left me with the hound, Bedd Gelert I waited until the footfall Had faded beyond hearing Until the sun, an orange ball Had left our woodland clearing Then I wailed, screamed and cried Fit to waken the deceased Bedd Gelert paced and tried But my hysteria increased Until I heard, beyond our walls A howling from the night outside And as the shadow shrinks and falls My wailing shrunk and died. Bedd Gelert I meant my father to find me Uncovered and distraught I had no life behind me To tell me what I'd brought Out of the dark places To my cradled bed But I think I recall faces And a smell of all things dead; The hound was stillness, silence His stature strong and brave His odour spoke of violence And dalliance with the grave Bedd Gelert A fury leapt upon me Knocked me to the ground Darkness all around me A blur of beast and hound Blood spilled upon my fleeces Snarls too terrible to hear Claws that shred to pieces All overruled by fear; I wailed again, in vain The stench of death too close A final yelp of pain Then silence, dark, morose; Bedd Gelert! It seemed a long, dark, age Before father returned I saw his dreadful rage When he thought he'd learned What his faithful hound had done What horror he had caused To me, his infant son Drew his sword and, without pause He plunged the dreaded blade Into that exhausted soul; With that blow he had made More than one gaping hole; Bedd Gelert. It was only when father came To lift me from the floor That he at last could put a name To what he had missed before A wolf, dripping jaws agape Eyes shiny, pelt ugly grey Lay dead. My close escape- It died mere moments away. He fell to his knees and cried That strong and fearsome man To know his faithful hound had died At his own loving master's hand Bedd Gelert The River Glaslyn, people say Runs quicker past the stones That mark where father lay Gelert, that he might atone For the sin, done in an instant That left him heartbroken, alone To avenge an unhurt infant Who, as a man, wish it be known; Gelert was a good and brave soul I must, now that I can Do all I can to make things whole And wish I were as brave a man Bedd Gelert S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
Dil on 20-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
Romany, how very creative to have composed the poem from the pov of the child. I found this to be a first class piece with many great lines. Having visited the grave of the dog on a few occasions, this story has always been one of my favourites, and likewise, your poem is also a favourite read.
Very well done.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Thank you Dil. I must confess that I have never been there, though it's on my 'to do' list! Thank you so much for the hot story nom too, much appreciated,

Romany.

Bradene on 20-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
Fantastic tale beautifully told. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Val,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 20-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
Ooh... this is good. I knew the story, and was fascinated by the slant you put on it. Very clever and effective. Also answers the challenge perfectly.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Delph!

Romany.

Sunken on 20-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
Brilliant Ms. Romany. You're on a roll of late and no mistake, and I'm not talking bread. Well done.

s
u
n
k
e
n

cd or vinyl? you decide


Author's Reply:
Thank Sunky!

Romany.

e-griff on 20-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
So have I (known it). see, i grew up in Liverpool, the capital of North Wales. We did ALL that welsh stuff. hah!

Author's Reply:
Glad you could relate!

Romany.

Andrea on 20-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
Lovely, Romany - and I know this part of Wales. Stunningly, stunningly beautiful, and I want to live there 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea - maybe you will someday, who knows?

Romany.

e-griff on 20-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
go to Liverpool, take the ferry to Birkenhead and do a day trip on a bus from there.

safest way. Wales is wierd.

Author's Reply:
Oi!

Romany.

Ionicus on 20-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
I didn't know the story, Susan, and the link you put was very useful in understanding the background to your poem which is very well written and meets the intention of the challenge, methinks.
Top mark from me and let people argue.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. As to arguing, somebody's bound to you know, but it won't be me!

Romany.

Kat on 21-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
I think this is excellent. Some great lines and much control in the metre which you have maintained so well throughout.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Kat,

Romany.

reckless on 21-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
This is a new story to me, but I very much enjoyed the slant you put on it. This cannot have been easy to compose, and I can appreciate the work put in here. There are some very good lines and the tempo is well sustained throughout.

Author's Reply:
Thank you reckless, appreciated.

Romany.

littleditty on 22-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
Enjoyed so much -and because of my terrible memory i forgot the story until you mentioned the wolf! Totally engaging read Romany -wonderful, and i now miss Wales quite desperately! xxxldx

Author's Reply:
Lol! Sorry ld - me too! Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed,

Romany.

Jolen on 31-07-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
OH to be able to take something and create such magic, as you have done here. You have maintained control through the entire piece and executed this beautifully. I am nearly speechless. It's creative, full bodied and extremely well written. BRAVO!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen - I don't quite know what to say to such a laudatory comment. Except of course that it is very much appreciated, thank you, and I am so glad you enjoyed it.

Romany. 🙂

teifii on 22-09-2007
Bedd Gelert - poetry challenge
What a brilliant answer to the challenge. I'd never have thought of telling it from the child's view - and such a nasty little one too. Very clever.
I'm a bit puzzled by-- Bedd Gelert paced and tried as his grave didn't presumably pace but it does read as if it is his name. Might be an idea to think of something else to extend the name such as brave Gelert [I realize that this is hardly original, just suggesting as an example because readers who know the language will trip over it.]
I like the way that the brat turns out decent and wants to speak out.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Great comment, thanks Daff, and thanks for pointing that out about Bedd Gelert too - very good point! It's obvious which of us is the Welsh speaker, and it ain't me! Cheers, and thanks for all your comments this evening, much appreciated,

Romany.


Chptr 15 - Line Up - (posted on: 16-07-07)


Chapter 15 The Card. Christmas loomed ever closer. The high street was busy with shoppers, including Jenna and her father; buying chocolates, biscuits and all sorts of treats for the occasion. They bought a new tree too, and some tinsel. When they had decorated it, it lit up their front room and made the whole place look cosy and cheerful. Jenna had to admit that, despite everything that had happened this Christmas was turning out to be better than last year's after all. The night before Christmas Eve, Jenna was tucked up under a blanket in front of the television watching an old Christmas cartoon when her father popped his head in the doorway, ''Jenna, I've got to pop out for a moment. You'll be all right won't you? I won't be long,'' ''I'll be fine dad,'' she said, sitting up, ''as long as you're not gone too long. Where are you going?'' ''That's my girl,'' he said, ignoring her question, ''I'll be back soon,'' Jenna jumped up and ran to the window to see which way her father was going, but it was very dark outside and she lost him quickly. Over the last couple of days the rain had turned to sleet, which had frozen to a treacherous ice on the pavements. The sky looked heavy with snow. Jenna's thoughts turned to Old Tom, and she hoped he was somewhere warm and safe. When her father returned, she expected him to shout instructions through the closed front room door to stay in there and keep it shut, until he had sneaked whatever the surprise he had gone out to get was safely upstairs out of view. But he did no such thing; he came straight in, shivering and rubbing his hands together. ''Be a love and put the kettle on will you,'' he winked, seeming truly pleased with himself. Jenna shrugged, knowing there would be no point asking questions, did as she was told and went to fill the kettle. No more was said about where her father had been that evening. Jenna went to bed more puzzled than ever. She was delighted to find, when she awoke on Christmas Eve morning, that the world outside was covered in a cold white blanket of snow. Somehow, everything seemed more Christmassy when the snow had fallen. A little of the old excitement she used to feel around Christmas had crept back into her, and she felt a surge of it now as she looked from her bedroom window. The path up to the doorway was still untouched; no postman had spoiled it yet. Apart from the scratchy trails left by a few foraging birds, the snow in her garden was still smooth and new. It was just too tempting. Jenna slipped on her slippers and dressing gown and hurried downstairs. Her father was already up, and busy at the kitchen sink, peeling vegetables. ''Morning dad,'' ''Morning Jen! Christmas Eve, eh?'' ''Aren't you going a bit mad dad?'' Jenna asked, looking at the mound of vegetables, ''It's only me and you for Christmas dinner,'' He gave her a big grin, ''It's Christmas Jen, why not eh? Besides, vegetables are good for you!'' He laughed and crossed to the fridge, where he took something out before returning to the sink. J enna got the impression that he was being very smug about something, but she didn't know what. Perhaps it was a present he had gone out to arrange last night, after all? Jenna's stomach turned in sudden horror. A present! It was Christmas Eve, and what with everything that had been going on. She had given no thought at all to getting her father a present; worse, she had no money to go and get one with. In despair, she scanned the kitchen for something, anything, that she could turn into a home-made gift. Her eyes came to rest on the discarded 'Scoopalicious' ice-cream carton. Without pausing for thought, she snapped it up and raced back upstairs. There was an old art and craft box in the bottom of her wardrobe. Jenna pulled it out and fished around in it. She found a half empty tube of glue, some plastic diamonds and even some glitter, as well as mounds of coloured tissue paper. She got up to shut the bedroom door firmly, and then sat down in front of the box again, the carton in her hands. An idea had begun to form in her head. With a sudden air of purpose, Jenna snatched up the scissors, and went to work. * It had been a busy day. Jenna and her father hadn't actually seen much of each other at all, but the atmosphere in the house was a happy one. Her father was playing music loudly as he worked in the kitchen, and Jenna was singing along upstairs. She wouldn't let him in to see what she was doing, no matter how many times he asked her. ''It's a surprise dad!'' was all she would say. Eventually he gave up in mock exasperation, and went back downstairs. It wasn't until the evening, when the day had drawn quiet and dark again, that Jenna went down for her tea. She had been so absorbed in her work she hadn't had time to think about being hungry, but now her tummy was growling at her. Even though it was just the two of them, her father had laid out a little buffet tea; sausages-on-sticks, fairy cakes, mini pizzas, biscuits in the shape of Christmas trees. They nibbled, and talked as they ate, and watched television. ' At last her father patted her knee and said, ''Okay, bedtime,'' Jenna looked up at the clock; it was very late. She didn't even bother to protest; why would she on Christmas Eve? The sooner she went to bed, the sooner Christmas Day would come. The stairway was cold and dark compared to the warmth of the front room. Jenna ran up quickly and got into bed. It took her a long time to get to sleep; partly because of her growing excitement for tomorrow, but mainly because it was hard to think of Old Tom, cold and alone on Christmas Eve.
Archived comments for Chptr 15 - Line Up -
Sunken on 16-07-2007
Chptr 15 - Line Up -
Dear Ms. Romany, I am saving your subs for the early hours. I cheat death on a daily basis by getting out of bed before 4am. This is the time when most naturally occurring deaths er... occur. So you see, I am really quite clever. I shall return. Thanks.

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muggy or clammy? you decide

Author's Reply:
4 am? Are you mad? Of course you are!

You are a star Sunky, thank you.

Romany.

e-griff on 25-07-2007
Chptr 15 - Line Up -
But is Tom free then? Maybe I missed it. I thought the police still had him - was that resolved?

I know what's gonna happen 🙂

Author's Reply:


Chptr 16 - Merry Christmas - Line Up (posted on: 16-07-07)
Final chapter.

Chapter 16 Merry Christmas. Never in her whole life had Jenna slept in so late on Christmas day. When she finally woke up, she knew she had missed most of the morning already, the day just had that feel to it. She also knew that the snow had fallen thick and fast while she slept; the brightness that pierced her curtains had that strange quality to it that told her it wasn't just the sun at work. The thought of going out in the snow and playing in it later was almost as exciting and tantalising as the thought of the gifts that she knew would be waiting for her downstairs. She jumped up and ran on to the landing, where the aroma of roasting turkey wafted up the stairs and made her stomach rumble. ''Well it's about time too!'' her father said, coming out into the hallway, busily rubbing his hands on a tea-towel, ''Merry Christmas Jen!'' ''Merry Christmas dad!'' she shouting, darting back into her room to snatch up the gift she had made for him. She ran down the stairs and stopped in front of him, hands behind her back, slightly breathless, her eyes shining. ''I'm sorry it's not wrapped dad,'' she said, bringing her hands round to offer him her gift, ''Merry Christmas,'' Her father took the present from her hands. Jenna had worked on it for most of the previous day. The embarrassing ice-cream tub had been transformed. After lots of rummaging around in cupboards, drawers, boxes and tins that hadn't been opened in years, Jenna had managed to unearth photos of her from when was a baby, right up to one her father had taken of her on the beach last summer. She had cut them out and, feeling a little self-conscious, stuck them to the lid of the tub. She decorated it with a border of red and green, leaving the sides plain except for a few of the cheerful plastic diamonds, which she had stuck on in a symmetrical pattern. She had stuffed the box full of soft tissue paper in delicate shades of pink and blue, on top of which she had laid a carefully made card. The card had taken her longer to make than the box; she had thought long and hard about a picture for the front of it. She had nearly drawn a snowy scene, because of the snow that had fallen yesterday, but after some thought she had changed her mind. She wanted this card to be suitable the whole year round, not just Christmas. She chose in the end not to draw any picture at all, but to write something instead. Trying to make her writing as neat and as beautiful as she could, she had simply written; 'To The Best Dad In The World.' Inside she had drawn a picture of her and her father side by side. At least, their bodies were drawn, her father wearing his favourite rugby top and Jenna in her old jeans and trainers; but rather than drawing their faces, she had found small photographs of each of them, cut out the faces and stuck them on. Her father laughed when he saw what she had done, but it was a kind laugh and Jenna was relieved to see that he liked it. She watched him as he read what she had written inside. Jenna had found these words the hardest part of all. She agonised for hours over what she should write. Eventually the words had come to her, simple but honest; 'Merry Christmas Dad, Sorry for Everything, Thanks for Everything, I Love You, from Jenna. Xxx.' Jenna waited nervously for her father's reaction. He tried to thank her but the words caught in his throat. Jenna saw that his eyes were unusually bright, and she was instantly worried that she might have upset him again. He looked down at her, grinned and tried to compose himself. ''It's beautiful Jenna, thank you,'' he said, and then a little less seriously, added, ''Best Christmas present I ever had!'' He gave her a hug. Jenna felt incredibly relieved and more than a little proud of herself. Now she could finally give in to her own excitement. She burst into the front room to find a pile of presents under the tree, addressed to her. They spent the next hour or so unwrapping gifts. It was only when they were all opened and her father was busily collecting the shredded wrapping paper into a bin bag, that Jenna noticed she was cold. She didn't want to come away from the Christmassy feel of the front room, but it would only take her a few moments to run upstairs and get changed. She dressed hurriedly in jeans and jumper and a new pair of socks that had been in her stocking, took the time to open the curtains in her bedroom and check the snow in the front garden, when the front door bell rang. ho could be calling on Christmas Day? She heard the front door being opened, followed by her father's voice apparently welcoming someone in, and then another voice came to her; a man's voice. Jenna crept onto the landing, trying to observe without being seen. She could hear her father clearly now, ''Come in please, let me take your coat,'' Jenna felt a growing resentment at the unknown intruder; she had been looking forward to a cosy day with her father. Trying not sulk, she started down the stairs, just as her father stepped aside to reveal the newcomer. Jenna couldn't believe her eyes; there, large as life, was Old Tom. He was handing her father his heavy old coat; the same one she had fallen asleep under in his shed. He looked somehow different, but Jenna couldn't decide why. Perhaps it was just seeing him here, in her own home. He looked up at Jenna, smiling broadly. ''I know you've been wondering about a surprise Jen; well, here it, sorry, he, is!'' her father winked. ''Hello little Kitty,'' Old Tom said, ''Merry Christmas!'' ''Old Tom!'' Jenna cried, racing down the remaining stairs to throw herself into his open arms. Laughing, he whisked her up easily and followed her father into the warm front room. Old Tom set Jenna down and smiled at her, ''My, Kitty,'' he said, ''I'm sure you've grown since I last saw you!'' Jenna looked up at him, and her face grew serious, ''Oh I have Old Tom,'' she said earnestly, ''I really have. So there's something I have to tell you,'' ''Oh? What's that?'' He asked, growing serious too. ''You'll have to change my name,'' Jenna said, a hint of mischief in her voice now, ''From Kitty I mean. You're going to have to start calling me Cat!'' Old Tom held her gaze for a moment, then he really smiled; a deep, satisfying smile that came from his heart as well as his mouth, ''Cat indeed?'' he said, and he gave her a hug that lifted her off her feet. Jenna's father was watching; looking both puzzled and pleased; she knew it was all right to keep this one thing between her and Old Tom, just for now. She would tell her father all about Old Tom calling her Kitty, later. For now, it was enough to have them both here; the two people in the world she cared about most, where it was safe and warm.
Archived comments for Chptr 16 - Merry Christmas - Line Up
Sunken on 16-07-2007
Chptr 16 - Merry Christmas - Line Up
Hello Ms. Romany. You know how I said I was going to read this at 4am? Well I cheated and read them last night. I think you’ve done great with this story. Parts of the last chapter were especially touching, and I don’t care if that makes me sound wimpy. Us boys worry about that ya know. I’m whacking this final chapter on my faves list. It kind of makes me wish I was a kid again… I know what you’re thinking. I never grew up anyway. Cheeky lady.

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pot noodle or cup-a-soup? you decide

Author's Reply:
Hi Sunky, sorry I am so late in posting a reply - I could have sworn I already had! Well, thanks for reading and sticking with me anyway. I am really pleased you found it touching - that was the plan, but it's tricky to do without being over the top! As for being a kid again, I don't see that there#'s anything wrong with that, personally!

Romany.

e-griff on 25-07-2007
Chptr 16 - Merry Christmas - Line Up
Yep! I was right!

*sobs happily*

Is that it then? bit short. I think you should have lots of sexual perversion, bondage, etc - only then Old Tom escapes! 🙂

Nice little story - reminiscent of a 60's kinda girls mag story - not sure about today (mind you, although some of the superficialities change, core themes do stay the same).

*sobs happily again*

Mind you , if Old Tom turned out to be wanted by Police because he was the long lost father of a famous pop star who'd lost his memory, you could have alsorts going on, couldn't you, as well ... I think some kind of additional explanation about him might add to the mix rather than have him just disappear and then turned up - see what I mean?

I also think that some final confrontation with Briony (you hint she'd like to stand up to her) outside school, with Jenna getting the best of her by force of will and moral strength, not violence. - maybe with some of her classmates looking on. Briony being embarassed and slinking away ...

or summat. 🙂 best JohnG

Author's Reply:
Hi John,

Thanks for reading. I think your comments are spot on. When I get the time (and am less knackered than I am at the moment!) I fully intend to go back to this and work on it. You are also right with reference to the grammar and punctuation around interrupted speech. Thanks for the objective view, much appreciated,

Romany.


Chptr 14 - Line Up-Absent (posted on: 13-07-07)


Chapter 14 Absent. At the end of the school day, just as they had tidied up and were settling down to listen to the next chapter in the book Miss Robbins was reading them, Jenna got a message to go to Mr. Greenaway's office at once. Her heart sank; she had been expecting this all day. He no doubt wanted to lecture her on running away from school; what was the word Dr. Mortimer had used? 'Absconding.' She would much rather have stayed and listened to the story, even though she had missed a few chapters now, but she had no choice but to go. Mr. Greenaway's office door was slightly ajar, but Jenna knocked anyway. ''Come in,'' he called. He told Jenna to sit down, and asked her if she was all right. Jenna was getting tired of being asked that question, but she smiled politely and said ''Yes, thank you.'' ''Good,'' he said, and then becoming more serious he added, ''I won't go into details Jenna, but I want you to know that the problems you were having with Corrine, Trudi and Briony, I will not call them the ladies,'' he added, mispronouncing it again, ''have been addressed. You will be pleased to know that there is in fact no longer any such thing as 'the ladies,' and if Trudi and Corrine have listened to me at all you will have no further trouble from them. I trust they have not said or done anything untoward today?'' Jenna shook her head; that would explain their sudden shyness around her, ''But what about Briony?'' she asked. ''Ah, Briony! As I have already told you Jenna, I am not prepared to go into details with you. Suffice to say that Briony is proving to be somewhat more of a challenge than her cohorts. You needn't worry about running into her at school though; at least, not until after Christmas and possibly not even then,'' Jenna's eyes widened. She had just about managed to follow Mr. Greenaway, although she wished he would stop using such long words; but she was burning with curiosity about Briony. What could have happened that she had been kept off school for so long? A thought came to her; could she have been suspended? She didn't dare ask Mr. Greenaway, so she just sat quietly and waited for him to carry on. Mr. Greenaway could see she was desperate to find out more. He smiled, ''Look Jenna, I can't say too much. All I am prepared to tell you is that her parents weren't entirely willing to accept there was a problem at all. But that is for them and for me to worry about, and not you. You've had quite enough to deal with.'' He looked at his watch, ''Now, it's nearly home-time; the bell will go soon. There's just one more thing I'd like to discuss before you go,'' Jenna braced herself; this was it, the big telling-off. ''I think I understand why you ran away like that last week,'' he said, surprising her, ''I'm sure you know by now that it caused quite a fuss and that we were all very worried about you; not least your father. You probably don't need me to tell you all that; I imagine you've heard it more than once already,'' Jenna was relieved; she was tired of hearing it all, even though she knew it was true. ''I just want to make sure you understand,'' he continued, ''that if you are ever concerned or worried again, you must come and speak to me, or any teacher you feel comfortable with. Don't hide your fears; we all know where that leads, don't we? Running away from school is not the answer Jenna, and it is certainly not a course of action I would recommend. Do you understand?'' ''Someone told me that it's harder to keep running than it is to face your fears,'' Jenna said wisely. Mr. Greenaway was impressed, ''I shan't ask who that someone was Jenna; but I will say, that is good advice.'' The walk home that evening was not as lonely as it had been. A group of children from her class walked with her, almost as far as Allotment Row. She was hoping they would all leave her long before then, and she was beginning to doubt she would ever rid herself of them. The irony of the situation struck her and she nearly laughed out loud; all this time she had longed for friends, and now that she had them she just wanted to be alone. She didn't want to be rude, it was just that she was hoping to walk up Allotment Row alone; she was hoping Old Tom would be there. Eventually they did all trail away, some of them still asking questions and giving her odd looks, until she was finally alone. The allotments were dark and quite; there was no-one there. A small voice in her head was telling her to give up on Old Tom, and it made her sad. In finally ridding herself of enemies and people who had made her life a misery, Jenna suspected she had also lost a true friend. Old enough to be her grandfather or not, tramp or not, Jenna missed Old Tom. * It rained heavily over the next few days and nights and Jenna was trying hard to get into the spirit of Christmas, but it was obvious to her father that something was on her mind. As they sat down to supper one night in their warm kitchen, he said, ''Jenna, what's wrong?'' ''Jenna smiled, ''Nothing really dad; you don't need to start worrying about me again I promise, it's just'' she hung her head. ''I think I know what it is,'' he said, ''It's Old Tom, isn't?'' Jenna hung her head in misery, ''Jenna, he's a tramp. Tramps don't always stay in one place; he's not like us,'' ''I know,'' said Jenna, ''but you're wrong dad; he is like us really. And he does stay in one place, especially in the winter; he has his shed, that's his home. He welcomed me there, and now he's gone and it's all my fault! Wherever he is, he must be thinking that I've got him into trouble, that I told the police lies about him!'' ''Is that what's worrying you? You think Old Tom might believe you somehow betrayed him? But that's nonsense! Jenna, Old Tom is a grown man; he knows that there are some things that the police have to do. He understands why things happened the way they did, and he knows it wasn't your fault. It's because you spoke up about him and told them he had done no wrong that they let him go; how can he blame you for anything?'' ''Do you think so dad? Really?'' ''Of course I do,'' ''But then, where is he? Why hasn't he come home?'' Her father couldn't answer, and Jenna couldn't shake off the feeling that she had lost Old Tom for good.
Archived comments for Chptr 14 - Line Up-Absent
Sunken on 14-07-2007
Chptr 14 - Line Up-Absent
Hello Ms. Romany. I can't help but feel that people are missing out on this. It's a great little story. I'd like to know how you get that Xmas vibe over without hardly mentioning Xmas itself? The sign of a good story, in my book, is that you ultimately end up caring about the characters. You've achieved that as I'm really hoping Old Tom is ok and that Jenna's bullying probs are definitely behind her. See what i mean? I won't rest until I know. Nice one Ms. Romany.

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her shadow refused his advances

Author's Reply:
I couldn't have asked for a better comment than that Sunky, thank you. I was worried that readers (however sparse!) might not be able to empathise with my characters, so it is a real relief to learn that you and apparently Shackleton too, can do so. There's only two chapters to go, so all will be revealed soon. Thank you so much for sticking with it,

Romany.

e-griff on 25-07-2007
Chptr 14 - Line Up-Absent
Glad to see the Laydeez have been routed. What about that Briony then? Have we seen the last of them, or ...... 🙂

and poor Tom!!! what's gonna happen.

One edity thing - you need to look at punctuation around interrupted speech - (I may have said this before, sorry) but there are several incorrect instances here, so I'm commenting as it seems to be endemic and not a one-off.

Author's Reply:


Chptr 13 - Line Up - Back to school (posted on: 13-07-07)


Chapter 13 Back to School. They were both too exhausted to do anything but go straight to bed when they got home. Her father let her lie in bed the next day; in fact, he had a lie in himself and never went to work. When she did finally wake, it was to the sound of her father's shouting. She ran to the top of the stairs, her heart pounding; what on earth could the matter be now? She arrived on the landing just in time to see her father slam the front door closed on someone's surprised expression. He looked up and saw her watching him, ''Sorry sweetheart,'' he apologised, ''newspapers.'' ''What do you mean, newspapers?'' ''I'm afraid the local paper found out about yesterday. That was a reporter and a cameraman; they turned up out of the blue asking for an interview and they wouldn't take no for an answer,'' he gave her a grim look, ''You were very lucky you know Jenna; there isn't always a happy ending to stories like yours. Some poor kids'' ''I know; sorry dad,'' Jenna interrupted, not wanting to think about it. ''Right. Well, come on then, come and get some breakfast,'' That was how the day started, but things were going on around Jenna all day; things she never made much sense of, as tired and confused as she still was. The phone rang several times, and Jenna even allowed herself to fantasise that maybe it was her mother calling, to see if she was all right. But none of the callers were her mother, at least, not as far as she knew; her father never even mentioned her and in the end, Jenna had to let that forlorn hope go. But it wasn't really her mother she was worried about. Jenna couldn't stop thinking about Old Tom. Where was he now? Had the police arrested him, or let him go? Did he think it was all Jenna's fault that he was in such a serious situation? That was what bothered her most; that Old Tom might think that she had in some way betrayed him, and after all he had done for her, too. She nearly got dressed and went back to his shed to see if he was there, but then she stopped and thought about all the worry she had caused doing just that thing yesterday, and changed her mind. Her father suggested a shopping trip to cheer her up. He offered to buy her a new lunch-box but she didn't have the heart to go shopping. All she really wanted to do was lie around, feeling sorry for herself and worrying about Old Tom; and that was what she did, for much of the day. Besides, the thought of having to fend off newspaper men was a bit disturbing; what if they were still outside the door? Her father had to admit that could be a difficulty, and in the end he went off the idea of shopping himself... Even so, despite the fact that she had done nothing all day, come bed-time Jenna found she was once again exhausted. The days came and went, and Monday morning rolled around. Jenna felt a curious mixture of emotions about going back to school. On the one hand she wasn't sure she could face anyone, and on the other she felt more able to do so than she had in a long time. It was strange; what had changed? Her father insisted on taking her to school in the car. Jenna agreed on the condition that he leave her at the gate. She didn't want to be walked into school like one of the infants. Almost sick with anticipation, she clutched tightly the new lunch-box they had finally gone out to purchase yesterday evening, when it was obvious the local newspapers had given up trying to get an interview. She nearly turned and ran away again when she saw her class lined up, ready to go inside. She tried to prepare herself for a barrage of taunting and name-calling, but was pleased to find that most of the children greeted her warmly. Trudi and Corrine looked away as she passed, but there was no malice in it as there had been before; they seemed embarrassed, ashamed even, to look her in the eye. A few of the other children seemed shy of her too, but the rest treated her like a hero; as if she was a film star or something. They clustered around her asking endless questions and giving her bits of disjointed information that she didn't have time to make sense of. It took Miss Robbins a little while to get them all organised into a line before sending them into the classroom. ''Feeling better now Jenna?'' she asked as Jenna filed past her into the class. ''Yes thank you Miss Robbins,'' It wasn't until Miss Robbins took the register that Jenna found out that Briony wasn't at school. She felt oddly disappointed at that, and realised she had been looking forward, in a strange way, to facing her. It wasn't that she wanted to say or do anything awful to her, or that she was suddenly brave or daring; she simply wanted to prove to the Lay-Deez, to everyone else, but most of all to herself, that she could stand and face them now. She wasn't afraid of them anymore. She glanced over at Poppy, and all of a sudden knew how she must feel all of the time; lucky Poppy. Lucky Jenna now, too; lucky Kitty; no, she wasn't a kitten anymore. Lucky cat then; she hugged herself and couldn't wait to tell Old Tom he'd have to change her name. With the thought of Old Tom, all her worries came rushing back. There had been no sign of him since the police had taken him away. Her father had made enquiries at the police station and had found out that he hadn't been arrested. Jenna had felt a bit better when she heard that, but then her father told her that sometimes rumour is more damaging than fact, and that he was worried Old Tom had been forced to leave town through gossip and accusation. No-one seemed to know where he had gone. Christmas was fast approaching and Jenna wondered how a tramp spent the festive season. He had no money, no real home, and what seemed saddest of all to Jenna, no-one to share Christmas with. Afraid she would burst into tears in class, Jenna tried to stop thinking about him. Miss Robbins hadn't made a big fuss about her return and she was grateful for that. Things carried on as normal and Jenna allowed herself to get caught up in her tasks. They were easy anyway; it being so close to the end of term, most of their real work was done. Lessons were tasks like finishing off word-searches, colouring in Christmas scenes or clearing out trays. She felt happier in school than she had for a long while. The children who were bold enough to ask Jenna questions about her ordeal, soon realised that they were not going to get anywhere. Jenna found it all too complicated to even begin to explain; besides, she wasn't sure she wanted to. Telling them would be like sharing old Tom with them somehow, and she didn't want to share him with anyone. He was still her secret, no matter who knew or what newspapers or rumours might have to say. So when they asked awkward questions, she would changed the subject or just pretend she hadn't heard, and they would give up asking. Trudi and Corrine seemed to be going out of their way to avoid her. It was odd, but Jenna wasn't complaining.
Archived comments for Chptr 13 - Line Up - Back to school
Sunken on 14-07-2007
Chptr 13 - Line Up - Back to school
Hello again Ms. Romany. I hate seeing subs without comments. I know I've already commented via the following chapter, but I thought I'd repeat myself. I'm always repeating myself. It's either a rubbish memory or those beefburgers I had for me tea. Another great chapter Ms. Romany. I'm glad you decided to sub this, I have muchly enjoyed.

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his thoughts have an echo

Author's Reply:
Bless you Sunky, what would I do without you? Thank you,

Romany.

e-griff on 25-07-2007
Chptr 13 - Line Up - Back to school
What about Old Tom???????

this was a bit of a filler, probably necessary though ....

point of her not being afraid now...

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 25-07-2007
Chptr 13 - Line Up - Back to school
What about Old Tom???????

this was a bit of a filler, probably necessary though ....

point of her not being afraid now...

Author's Reply:


Cptr 11 - Line Up - Wake Up (posted on: 09-07-07)


Chapter 11 Wake Up. ''How can you make us both a drink?'' Jenna asked, hoping to avoid the 'chat' a bit longer, ''You've only got one mug,'' ''Ah! You may have been in my home a while, but you haven't had a proper look around, have you? See all these bags and boxes? There is something in each and every one of them. To most people they are rubbish but to me, they are treasure. Well, perhaps not treasure,'' he laughed, catching Jenna's eye, ''but certainly valuables. Things most people would find useful if they just tried a little harder,'' He stood, rummaged in a bag under the table, and pulled out a blue metal mug. It clanked satisfyingly down next to the chipped mug on the table. ''I don't suppose a little Kitty like you would like coffee; how about a hot chocolate?'' Jenna said ''Yes please,'' without stopping to think where it might be coming from. She watched Old Tom as he opened the drawer in the top of the table and pulled out a small sachet and a pair of scissors. He snipped open the top of the packet and emptied the contents into the metal mug, then snatched up the small kettle, ''There's a tap just outside Kitty. I'll be no more than a minute. You stay well away from this,'' he gestured to the burning ring, ''well away, understood?'' A short while later, Jenna nursing the remains of the mug of hot chocolate and Old Tom sipping on a mug of foul smelling coffee, things didn't seem so bad. Feeling suddenly shy, Jenna put the mug down at her feet and said, ''Thank you Old Tom,'' ''You are most welcome Kitty; I would have thought you would prefer milk,'' ''I do like milk,'' Jenna said, missing the joke for a minute; then she smiled, ''Oh! I get it, sorry,'' ''Don't be sorry Kitty, it was a weak joke. Perhaps it is not the time for jokes anyway,'' Old Tom said, ''If you're ready now, we could have that talk,'' ''The thing is,'' Kitty started, ''I do want to talk to you, I really do, but I don't think I know where to start,'' ''Well, how about starting with telling me why you ran away from school today?'' Jenna hung her head, ''I just had to get away from there that's all. I'm tired of the whole thing; school, I mean, the Lay-Deez,'' ''Pardon?'' Old Tom said, ''The who?'' ''The Lay-Deez. Those girls; the ones you've seen bullying me. They pushed me down and broke my lunch box yesterday,'' ''Oh! I know who you mean. The Lay-Deez, you say? Hmm. All right, go on,'' ''Well that's it really. I had just had enough and wanted to get away. No-one there likes me or cares about me anyway. And then there's my dad, and what he did,'' Jenna's voice cracked and she had to stop and concentrate on not crying. Old Tom gave her time to compose herself before prompting her. ''What about your dad?'' ''He expected me to take this awful ice-cream carton to school as a lunch-box. Can you imagine what the Lay-Deez would have said if they had seen that? And then I find out he's gone and rung the school and spoken to my teacher about me behind my back! Last night, when I had gone to bed; and after all that happened as well!'' ''What do you mean? What happened?'' Jenna sniffed, ''We just had a falling out that's all; me and dad I mean, over the lunch box. I went up to bed,'' she faltered, ''That's not completely true; I stormed off to bed,'' she was glad Old Tom couldn't see her blushing in the darkness, ''I had another tantrum,'' she admitted, ''Dad says I'm far too old for that nonsense these days, but sometimes I can't help myself. They just come out,'' Old Tom nodded, as if he understood, ''So you just walked out?'' ''Yes. It was too easy really. I just ran. I don't think I had any plan or anything, if that's what you mean. I just started running, that's all,'' ''And your running feet brought you here?'' ''Perhaps I was looking for you Old Tom, but you weren't here. No-one was here. It was cold, and I knew then that I couldn't just hang around outside, someone would find me. So I tried all the sheds until I found yours, and I came inside. I didn't mean to fall asleep though,'' ''You understand that this is serious Kitty?'' Tom asked eventually, ''We have to get you home, and soon,'' Jenna knew Old Tom was right; she couldn't stay here all night. Besides, she was beginning to worry about her father; she knew he would be out of his mind with worry for her by now. Old Tom took her hand and patted it gently, ''It'll be all right Kitty; things are never as bad as they seem,'' ''That's the sort of thing my dad would say,'' she said reproachfully. ''Then it seems to me your father is a wise man,'' Old Tom replied, ''come on; time to go.'' Jenna pushed the coat away, feeling instantly colder, and stood. A question popped into her head and was out of her mouth before she had even thought about it, ''Old Tom, why are you a tramp?'' At once the atmosphere changed; Jenna got the feeling she had said something she shouldn't have. When Old Tom answered her, his voice was heavy and sad, ''It's all right, Kitty. I suppose you were bound to ask sometime; you're not the first either. The thing is, I'm not sure a little one like you needs to know why, or would even understand,'' Jenna felt the tiniest stir of disappointment; she'd thought that Old Tom wasn't like other adults, that he thought better of her than that. ''It's not you Kitty,'' he said gently, ''It's just that sometimes, some things in life don't go the way you plan them, or want them to. Sometimes there's nothing you can do to stop them going wrong; it's hard to give up on something you worked hard for, or wanted for a long time. But you're young yet; perhaps you don't know these things,'' Old Tom turned her face up to him and searched her face intently, ''there again, perhaps you do,''
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Chptr 12 - Line Up - The Misunderstanding (posted on: 09-07-07)


Chapter 12 The Misunderstanding. Jenna suddenly felt very small. There was nothing to think about; of course she wanted to go home. But the idea that an important decision was in her hands was terrifying. Feeling slightly breathless and more than a little shaky, she made up her mind, ''Come on then,'' she said, ''you can take me home.'' Someone else might have told Jenna then what a good girl she was, or how clever or brave. Not Old Tom; he simply stood, put on his hat and said, ''Wise choice Kitty. Follow me,'' He pushed the shed door open, Jenna close on his heels, and they were greeted by the refreshingly cold night air. Two torch lights were bobbing up and down the path, heading towards them. Jenna could hear hushed voices. There was a moment of recognition, and the voices became raised. More lights appeared, heading for Jenna and Old Tom. Frightened now, Jenna pressed in close to him, only to be pulled roughly aside by a stranger's hands. Someone was shouting orders as Old Tom was shoved violently up against the shed wall. The air around them buzzed with static electricity as radios crackled and messages were relayed. Jenna was half-carried, half-dragged away from the scene. She was shouting too, and crying, but no-one seemed to be listening. The last thing she heard as she was bundled into the back of a waiting police car, was a breathy report into a radio, ''We've found the girl apparently unharmed, and we've made one arrest,'' The car door was slammed in her face and she was whisked away. * Jenna could do nothing but sob helplessly in the back of the police car. She had given up trying to tell them that she was all right, that Old Tom had done nothing; it was obvious no-one was listening. Her father was waiting anxiously, standing in their open front doorway. Jenna was let out of the car and ran to him. He clutched her tightly, as if he would never let her go again. In the quiet safety of their front room, he sat with her on the sofa and just held her, stroking her hair and murmuring quiet words to her, until at last her sobbing eased and her breathing calmed. Eventually there came a knock on the front room door, and two police officers entered. ''Sorry Mr. Birchwood,'' one of them said, ''we have to have a word with Jenna now. It's okay Jenna; your father can stay too,'' he added when he saw the look on Jenna's face. The policeman came in and sat down opposite Jenna, flipping open a notebook and taking a pen from a pocket in his jumper. The other, younger police officer sat behind them, at the table, watchful but saying nothing. ''Now then Jenna,'' the policeman with the notepad said, ''I know this isn't going to be easy, but I want you to try and tell me about everything that has happened to you today. If you really are finding it difficult, we can always stop and have a little break until you are ready to go on, okay?'' Jenna nodded, trying to imagine what had happened to her today, other than running away from school, that would be likely to make her so upset that she couldn't go on talking. ''If you are ready then? I have to ask you some questions,'' But Jenna had a question for him first, ''Where's Old Tom?'' she demanded. ''It's all right Jenna; you're safe here, he can't get you now,'' ''But I want to see him,'' The policeman blinked and looked at his colleague sitting at the table, before turning back to Jenna, ''You want to see him?'' ''Yes!'' Jenna was becoming frustrated. ''I tried to tell you; I tried telling you all when you came and got us at the allotment, but no-one would listen to me. Old Tom is my friend,'' ''Oh, I see,'' said the policeman in a heavy voice, ''Jenna, I know he may have told you he is your friend'' But he is my friend!'' Jenna interrupted angrily, ''He is! Old Tom would never hurt me; he hasn't done anything wrong!'' But it was no good; she could see that the police weren't really listening to her again. None of them seemed to believe anything she was saying. She turned to her father, ''Dad, you've got to believe me! Old Tom hasn't done anything. He didn't come and take me away; I went to him!'' ''You did what?'' he asked in disbelief. ''I went to him; when I ran away from school. I knew I would be in big trouble if they caught me, I knew I shouldn't have done it, but I had nowhere to go. I had to find somewhere to hide. I met Old Tom yesterday morning, on my way to school. He's seen them dad! He's seen the Lay-Deez, when they've been bullying me. He saw them push me down and break my lunch-box. He understood what was going on.'' Jenna's father looked suddenly weary. Jenna continued in a softer voice, ''So, I looked for his shed. I knew when I'd found it; I just let myself in and lay down on his bed. But I didn't mean to fall asleep; when I woke up it was really dark and Old Tom had come back and found me. He wanted to bring me back home there and then dad! But I wouldn't let him, not straight away; I was too upset. He made me a hot drink and we had a talk. He told me that I had to make a choice dad; I could go on running away, or I could turn around and come home. He's a very clever old man dad; if it wasn't for him, I might not even be here now. Where is he?'' she asked the policeman again. He stopped scribbling notes furiously into his pad and looked up at Jenna, pen poised, ready to write down whatever she said next. ''You're quite sure about this are you?'' he asked her, ignoring her question. ''Yes!'' Jenna was losing patience, ''very sure!'' The policemen exchanged a look and Jenna had a curious feeling, as if she wasn't really involved in their communication. She tugged at her father's shirt to get his full attention, ''Dad, if anyone should be in trouble here, if anyone's done wrong, it's me, not Old Tom. I'm the one who ran away and hid; it's because of me the police are here and you've been so worried; not Old Tom!'' Her father studied her closely, before turning back to the bewildered looking policeman, ''Where is Old Tom?'' he asked him. ''He's down the station sir. They'll have processed what information they can about him and then they'll take him into custody overnight at least, I should think. That's the usual procedure,'' ''And then what?'' ''He'll be interviewed and depending on the outcome of that, well, I really can't say sir. It is possible he'll be arrested'' ''Arrested!'' Jenna blurted. ''On what evidence?'' her father pressed. ''As I say sir, I'm afraid I don't know at this point,'' ''Is there nothing we can do to help him?'' ''Why would you want to do that sir?'' The policeman was confused. ''Because he's done nothing wrong,'' Jenna's dad said, looking at Jenna. She smiled at him, loving him for believing her. * The rest of that evening passed in a confused blur. They were taken to the police station, Jenna wasn't quite sure why, but she was happy to go if it meant she would get a glimpse of Old Tom. But he wasn't anywhere to be seen. She wondered if he was in one of the small, bare rooms she and her father had to sit in for a while, whilst yet more police officers spoke to her and asked her questions. These police officers were different; they wore smart suits rather than uniforms and they had lined, tired looking faces. Despite her sleep earlier in the day, Jenna was starting to feel tired herself. A very smartly dressed lady called Dr. Mortimer came into the room when the policemen had gone, and asked her yet more questions. Jenna wasn't at all comfortable with her and couldn't wait for Dr. Mortimer to go away. Finally she did, and Jenna and her father were left to wait in the stuffy, artificially lit room for a long time. Someone brought them drinks, but otherwise they saw no-one and Jenna was beginning to worry that they would have to stay the night, when a grim-faced, busy looking man came in. He thanked them for their patience, apologised for the wait and told them that they could go home. Just like that; after all the fuss. They could go home. Everything was nearly all right; except for one big thing. Old Tom.
Archived comments for Chptr 12 - Line Up - The Misunderstanding
shackleton on 09-07-2007
Chptr 12 - Line Up - The Misunderstanding
Oh heck! I hope the old guy is OK and not affected too much by this. Quite a development, Romany. Enjoying it all!

Author's Reply:
I really appreciate you sticking with this Shacks, and that you appear to be enjoying it. Thank you,

Romany.

Sunken on 10-07-2007
Chptr 12 - Line Up - The Misunderstanding
Hello Ms. Romany. Are you attempting to write a novel in a month? (-; I've really got into this as it goes. Looking forward to more.

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up above the streets and houses...

Author's Reply:
Hey Sunky!

No, I finished this a few months back. Am posting it as didn't know what else to do with it (have become a bit despondent re: publishers - there's no hope for someone like me really!) Am glad you are into it, hope you stick with it.

When are we going to see more of your work then? You are missed you know,

Romany.

Sunken on 10-07-2007
Chptr 12 - Line Up - The Misunderstanding
Excuse me? No hope for people like me? You are more than capable of spinning a good yarn and no mistake. I had no idea that you wrote stories until I saw this. I really do struggle to read longer subs, as I'm sure you know, but this isn't a struggle at all. I can imagine some kids (I bet 'kids' is un-pc isn't it?) would get a lot out of this. As for me? It's sweet of you to ask, I'm just not sure what the answer is. I get like this sometimes. Perhaps it's that Immobile Warming? I dare say there are just as many people who are relieved that I'm not posting, lol (-; Take care Ms. Romany and don't let me here ya being so down on yourself. This is great stuff. I still say kiddie writing is one of the hardest genres to get right. The big kid in me is seldom wrong (he's a hoodie, I ain't arguing with him).

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paint the whole world with a...

Author's Reply:
Bless you Sunky, you always cheer me up! Not really down at all believe it or not, just get a bit fed up with trying this writing malarkey sometimes - don't we all!?

As for you, regarding the people who are glad you're not posting - I bet they are! You are serious competition in the poetry stakes - maybe they can't handle it. Ever thought of it like that?

Romany.

rainboooow...


Chptr9 - Line Up- Getting Serious (posted on: 06-07-07)


Chapter 9 Getting Serious. As soon as Miss Robbins got the note from Mrs. Walker, she went straight to the office to telephone Jenna's father. When she got back, she sent messages herself; Trudi, Briony and Corrine were to come to her at once. She put her class of desperately curious children in the care of another teacher, who looked both put-out and as curious as the children were as she shepherded them into her room, fussing over finding seats and who was not to sit next to whom. Alone in her classroom with the Lay-Deez, Miss Robbins explained what had happened and the seriousness of the situation. Briony and Trudi had looked at each other slyly and stifled a giggle, but, to everyone's surprise, including her own, Corrine burst into tears. To her utter dismay, after just a few careful questions from Miss Robbins, she found herself telling her everything; about the Lay-Deez and how they picked on Jenna. How they had done so since the start of Year 5. She told her all about the teasing because Jenna's mum had left, all the name calling and 'accidents.' Trudi and Briony were absolutely horrified and tried telling her to shut up, but Miss Robbins silenced them, sharply and firmly, with a very grim look on her face. When she had finished, Corrine's sobbing eased a little bit, but she was sniffing continuously and rubbing her eyes. She looked exhausted. Miss Robbins didn't speak for a long time; when she did, she sounded tired too. Briony rolled her eyes at Trudi in an attempt to make her laugh, but Trudi was beginning to look upset too. For the first time, Briony began to wonder if things really were going to be serious for the Lay-Deez. Stupid big baby Jenna; why had she run away like a big scaredy-cat and caused all this trouble? ''I'm afraid there isn't anything I want to say to you girls, other than I am disappointed in you. I would like to think that you are thoroughly ashamed of yourselves; I can see Corrine is. Sadly, I can equally see that you are not, Briony. I suggest you take that silly look off your face; Mr. Greenaway will not appreciate the expressions you are pulling when you think I am not looking,'' ''Mr Greenaway?'' Briony asked, blushing. ''That's right, Mr. Greenaway. Perhaps you would like to follow me, Lay-Deez,'' Briony didn't at all like the way Miss Robbins said their name. Trailing behind Miss Robbins on the way to the headmaster's office, the girls managed to exchange a few meaningful looks. Even Corrine began to feel a little more confident; they were in this together after all. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. ''We are the Lay-Deez!'' Briony whispered to Trudi, and they smiled at each other. Mr Greenaway wasn't such a big deal really; just another boring lecture and they'd be on their way. All that changed when Mr Greenaway opened his office door in answer to Miss Robbins' knock, and invited them inside. Standing at the window, hat in hand, was a policeman. * Jenna's father was beside himself with worry. The minute he was told there was a phone call for him from Springwell Primary School, he knew it would be bad news. He had left the engine repair he was doing unfinished, his hands still black with oil, and taken the call on the office phone, much to the receptionist's disgust. It was Miss Robbins on the other end of the line, sounding distraught even though she was telling him to stay calm. ''I'm sure she won't have gone far Mr. Birchwood,'' she had said, ''but of course, you had to be told. There is a possibility that she might come to you at work, or even go home,'' ''Have you told the police?'' ''Yes of course, we're just waiting for them to get here. Perhaps you should come here too; they might want to talk to you,'' ''I'm sorry Miss Robbins, but I have no intention of standing around talking. I'm going home, to see if Jenna is there. If the police want me they can find me at my home address, I know you've got it at school,'' and he hung up, too worried to bother about offending anyone else. He was furious; with himself for not seeing this coming, and furious with the school for allowing it to happen. What on earth was Jenna up to? He knew even before he opened the front door that Jenna wasn't at home, but he rushed through the house anyway, checking all the rooms. He saw the ice-cream tub sandwich box standing empty on the table, and sighed. He was wasting his time here; perhaps he would go to the school after all. There didn't seem a better place to start, and maybe they had heard something by now. They couldn't have, he realised. They would surely have contacted him if they had? Where could she have gone? He would worry about why later; for now, he just wanted her home and safe. Would she have gone to her mother? He was filled with a sudden panic and had to force himself to calm down and think clearly. She couldn't possibly have gone to her mum; neither she nor he had any idea where to even begin looking for her. She had left no details, no address when she had walked out on them. To the school then; he slammed the front door angrily shut and sent up a silent prayer that, wherever Jenna was, she was safe. * As it turned out, the policeman in Mr. Greenaway's office was quite friendly. He said that he didn't want to frighten the girls, but he needed to ask them a few questions; about Jenna. Where might she have gone? Was there anyone she might have gone to see? He spoke in a soft, soothing voice but his eyes, a shade of pale blue, were bright and intelligent. When he had finished asking them questions, he stood and excused himself. He even thanked the Lay-Deez for their help; though they hadn't really been any help at all, unable to tell him anything about Jenna that might have been any use. He asked Miss Robbins if he might accompany her back to class, saying he wanted to talk to the rest of the children to see if they might be of any assistance. When they left, Mr. Greenaway turned to the Lay-Deez; he suddenly seemed so much more threatening than the policeman. ''I seem to remember speaking to you little lot about Jenna last year, didn't I? Yes; I distinctly remember warning you all about your behaviour at that time. As I recall, things had become difficult at home for Jenna, and you girls went out of your way to make things difficult for her here at school too; am I right?'' No-one dared speak; instead, Mr. Greenaway got some half-hearted nods and sniffs for a reply. ''I would like you to know that I have been made aware of late, that you have been continuing this unacceptable behaviour. I have been kept apprised of the situation. What does 'apprised' mean Trudi?'' Trudi jumped and looked blankly at him, ''I don't know sir,'' she shrugged. ''Informed, Trudi! It means, 'informed.' Although I am not quite as well informed as I thought; I was unaware that you had given yourselves a name. Would you care to tell me for yourselves what you are called?'' The girls looked at one another uncertainly. Briony spoke up, in barely a whisper, ''The Lay-Deez, sir,'' ''Ladies!'' Mr Greenaway roared, deliberately mis-pronouncing the name, ''Ladies indeed! Do you know what we end up with, ladies, when a group of children such as yourselves give themselves a name? Do you? A gang! That is what we end up with; a gang! And I will not tolerate gangs in my school!'' He paused, took a deep breath and continued in a more controlled fashion, ''If, ladies, it should turn out that Jenna's disappearance this afternoon is in anyway connected with you'' ''But it isn't! We've hardly even seen her today!'' Briony protested. ''I hope it isn't,'' Mr Greenaway said, fixing her with a glare, ''I sincerely hope it is not.'' He returned to his seat behind his large desk, steepled his hands and addressed the row of sorry looking girls again, ''You will all return to class, quickly and quietly. I will not hear from or about any one of you for the rest of the day. I think you should know that, as we speak, Mrs. Swanning is typing a letter for each of your parents. They will be sent in the post this afternoon, to ensure delivery. I suggest you all think long and hard about whether or not there is anything you would like to tell your parents tonight, before that letter arrives tomorrow morning. That, of course, is up to you. You may leave now,'' Corrine had begun to cry again, and Trudi was finding it hard not to join her. Briony, defiant, tried to hold her head high and look Mr. Greenaway right in the eye, but found she couldn't. They left his office in a shambling, head-bowed file, just as Mrs. Swanning was allowing Jenna's father entrance to the school.
Archived comments for Chptr9 - Line Up- Getting Serious
sunken on 06-09-2009
Chptr9 - Line Up- Getting Serious
Hello Ms. Romany. I just spotted this in the featured members section. I remember it well, though I think I commented on the following chapter as you tended to sub in pairs. You put a lot into this. I'd forgotten just how well you did prose. Enjoyed the re-visit.

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mummy, stacey's taping the telly tubbies over your wedding video again

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunky, it's always nice when someone revisits your work and even better when they enjoy it! I did put a lot into it, you're right, and I learned a lot whilst writing it. It'll never be a best seller and I am aware it has its faults, but it's special to me because its the closest I ever came to writing a book and it actually making a kind of sense! Thanks for reading it again and for commenting,

Romany.


Chptr 10 - Line Up - Rumours (posted on: 06-07-07)


Chapter 10 Rumours. The shed had a mixture of scents, Jenna found; some were oddly comforting, like the pungent tang of damp wood. Others were not so pleasant, stale smells that Jenna preferred not to think about. The bed was more comfortable than she had thought it would be. She lay down on it fully; she even pulled one of the old blankets over her for extra warmth. She really didn't mean to fall asleep School had finished for the day. By the time 3 o'clock came everyone knew Jenna had gone missing. Gossip and rumour was rife amongst both the children and the parents who came to collect them. Mr. Greenaway offered to stay at school for as long as was necessary, but the police suggested that there was really no point. Jenna had run away from school; she was hardly like to come back. Besides, she would expect it to be shut at this time of day anyway. Reluctantly, the headmaster had locked up and gone home. Jenna's father went home too, followed by a police car carrying two police officers, one a man and the other a woman. They followed him inside and made him a cup of hot, sweet tea while he sat at his kitchen table in despair. ''I can't just sit here!'' he said, feeling the panic rise again, ''I've got to get out and look for her! You should be out looking for her!'' ''Here Mr Birchwood, drink this; go on, it will make you feel better,'' the policewoman was nudging the steaming mug of tea into his hand. He took it, unthinking. She sat down opposite him, just where Jenna had sat that morning. ''We are out looking for her sir; we've got officers out right now, looking. But we need you to stay at home. I know it's hard for you, but you have to remember, nobody has taken her away; she left of her own accord. Chances are, whatever upset her, she'll calm down and come back of her own accord too, when she's hungry and too cold to stay out anymore,'' ''But what if someone's found her by now? Someone who might'' he sobbed, suddenly aware of just how tired he was. The policeman standing behind him put a conciliatory hand on his shoulder, ''It's all right sir, we can see you're upset. Why don't you take your tea upstairs and try and get some rest? We're here if Jenna should come home. Go on now; you'll be no good to Jenna in this state,'' Although he didn't want to go and lie down, he didn't know what else to do. The policeman was right, he saw; he would be no use to Jenna like this. He needed to get himself together, ''Just for a while then,'' he said, rising slowly, ''But you promise to call me the minute you hear anything at all.'' * Old Tom liked Christmas, even though it was a cold time of year and the shops were full of things he could never afford, and he had no home or family to go to. He loved the town at this time of year; the colourful, bright lights and the exciting scenes in shop windows. It reminded him of when he was a boy; things had been so much different then. But a few kind souls gave him gifts at Christmas, still. When he lived in the abandoned bus shelter during the summer months, he would often come back from his wanderings to find someone had left him a pair of old shoes or a bottle of squash or some small kindness; but at Christmas, although the gifts were less frequent, they were better. Someone had already stopped him today, and dipped into a carrier bag to pull out a box of shortbread biscuits. The lady handed it to Old Tom with a smile, saying ''Merry Christmas Old Tom! You're quite a character round here you know!'' and gone on her way. There were always the ones who walked past him like he wasn't there; still others who seemed to delight in shouting abuse at him or shoving him out of their when he stepped into their path. Or tried to; Old Tom was old, but he was not a small man. It was while he was accepting another token of the season, this time from a man about Old Tom's own age, but wearing an expensive-looking suit, that he first heard the rumour. It was early evening, but already dark. Most of the shops were still open, making the most of shopping hours until Christmas. The man had flipped open his wallet and fished out a crisp ten pound note, which Tom, swallowing his pride, had accepted with grateful thanks, when the man said, ''It always happens though, doesn't it Old Tom? Every time we come up to Christmas or some other school holiday, some kid goes missing,'' Tom froze, ''Missing, you say?'' ''That's right; some little kid from the school up the road there. To think, my boys used to go there! It makes you go cold just thinking about it,'' ''When did this happen?'' ''Today; kid just disappeared off the face of the earth it seems. Police have been out looking for her all day, but no joy. I can't imagine what her parents must be going through. She could be anywhere by now,'' ''Her parents? It's a girl then? Gone missing?'' ''That's right yes; a young girl,'' he looked at the expensive watch on his wrist, ''Anyway old man, just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas and all that,'' he extended his hand to shake Old Tom's and Tom took it, already eager to get away and do some looking of his own. He had a good idea just who it was had gone missing. Better still, he had a good idea where she might be. * Jenna was awake, though it had become so dark now that she had to strain hard to see; so hard that her eyes might almost have still been closed. She was on the verge of panic, of actually screaming, when the tang of a struck match halted her and a small flame burst into life. In the shadows it created, Jenna could see the face of Old Tom. ''It's all right little Kitty, it's only me,'' he said. He leaned to turn on the gas ring and set the match to it. The burning ring offered comfort and Jenna relaxed. ''I don't suppose you found my torch?'' he asked her, ''Gas is expensive.'' Jenna nodded and felt round in the folds of old blankets and coats, looking for the torch. She handed it to Old Tom, who switched it on confidently despite the weakness of the beam. But light is light and Jenna felt better for it, ''Couldn't we keep the gas ring on too Old Tom? Just for a little while?'' ''All right Kitty,'' he sighed, ''just for a while then. But you'd better sit up straight. I think you and I need to have a chat,'' Jenna sat up, keeping the coat wrapped around her for warmth, ''How did you know where to find me?'' ''It was just a hunch Kitty,'' Old Tom smiled, ''Word gets around you know; people are worried about you. Someone in the town stopped me, just to pass the time of day for a minute or two. They told me a girl had gone missing from the school. I knew it was you Kitty, and as soon as I knew it was you, I knew where to find you,'' ''You're not angry with me are you Old Tom?'' ''No Kitty; I'm not angry, but I am worried about you. It's late; it's dark outside. You must have been here a long time on your own; we need to get you home,'' ''No! I'm not going home,'' Jenna protested. Old Tom sat on the bed next to her; it creaked alarmingly as his weight joined hers and Jenna imagined it snapping to the floor beneath them. Even sitting down, Old Tom towered over Jenna. Oddly, she didn't find his large frame frightening; in fact, if anything, it made her feel safer. ''Kitty, you can stay a short while longer. Perhaps I can make us a warm drink. We can have that chat too; but then, whether you like it or not young lady, I am afraid you are going home.'' Old Tom's voice wasn't cruel, but it was firm. Even Jenna knew there was no point in arguing.
Archived comments for Chptr 10 - Line Up - Rumours
Sunken on 07-07-2007
Chptr 10 - Line Up - Rumours
Hello Ms. Romany. Another couple of chunky chapters and no mistake. I have nothing constructive to say, but just wanted you to know that I am still following and enjoying this. And now, if you do not mind, I have comment classes to attend. Good day (-:

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Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken, I appreciate it,

Romany.

orangedream on 07-07-2007
Chptr 10 - Line Up - Rumours
I'm trying to write more prose Romany, but don't find it easy, that's why I really admire your style. I very much enjoyed this. Thank you for an excellent read.

Tina 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thank you od, for such an encouraging comment. I'm very pleased you enjoyed it,

Romany.


Line Up -chptr7 - Getting Worse (posted on: 02-07-07)


Chapter 7 Getting Worse. ''He what?'' ''Let me explain. He was lucky to catch anyone still here actually, but as it happens we had a staff meeting last night and it ran a little late. I am glad he did though, because he was very worried about you. He told me about your fall and your broken lunch-box. That's how I know, you see, that you're not telling the truth,'' Jenna nodded miserably, ''My dad rang you just to tell you that?'' ''No, not just that. As I said, he is worried about you Jenna. So am I. He explained that you have been having lots of accidents lately, and he wondered if everything was all right here at school now. I am afraid to say I had to tell him it isn't. For a start, your work has gone downhill recently. You know that don't you?'' Jenna nodded again, too shocked to speak. ''What is it Jenna? What's going on with you?'''' Miss Robbins let the question go unanswered for a while, and then said, ''Is it anything to do with Briony, Trudi and Corrine? Are you still having trouble with them?'' It was all Jenna could do to stay in her seat. She took a few deep breaths and wiped a tear away with the back of her hand. She was about to tell Miss Robbins everything, could suddenly barely wait to tell her, when the classroom door flew open and the Lay-Deez burst in. ''Excuse me girls!'' Miss Robbins shouted angrily, ''You do not just stampede through school like that! When a classroom door is closed you knock it and then you jolly well wait until you are told to enter! How dare you come into my classroom like that? Outside please, all three of you and try again. Do it properly this time!'' ''Sorry Miss Robbins, it's just that Miss Preece sent me to tell you that the bell's gone and our class are still lined up outside,'' said Trudi. ''I said outside Trudi, thank you! I Miss Preece sent you to give me a message, I can't imagine why you two came along as well,'' she added, looking from Briony to Corrine, ''Go and join the back of the line and don't ever race around the school like that again.'' The girls left, far more subdued than they had arrived. Briony looked at Jenna with a mixture of disgust and interest as she left. ''I am so sorry Jenna, I have to go. But I do want to talk to you some more about this. Perhaps you can come back after lunch?'' Jenna frowned, ''I know it's no fun for you Jenna, but we need to sort this out,'' Jenna said nothing. ''I have to bring the class in,'' Miss Robbins said, ''You go to Literacy now and I'll speak to you later, all right?'' Jenna took her coat off the rail as she passed back through the cloakroom. Her father had gone behind her back, and not said a word about it to her. Her own father. Why hadn't he told her he had phoned the school? She pushed away the thought that she had stormed off to her room last night, unwilling to listen to or talk with her father at all. She forgot how she had reacted so hysterically. All she could think about was how useless they all were; all of them, her dad, her mum, Miss Robbins, all of them. She didn't really matter to any of them. Even as she thought it, she knew it wasn't true. But she was so angry and hurt that she didn't want to think calmly or sensibly just then. She just wanted to hurt them all back. Corrine was beginning to wish she had kept her mouth shut. As the Literacy lesson went on it became obvious to both her and Trudi that big baby Jenna wasn't going to turn up. They had a chat and decided to tell on her for skipping lessons. They just couldn't wait to get her into trouble. Mrs Walker's reaction wasn't at all what they had expected though. She had quizzed Corrine thoroughly, making absolutely certain that Jenna had come into school late, but that she had been in the Numeracy lesson with them that morning. She had sat very quietly with a serious look on her face, and then she had picked up pen and paper and sent an urgent message to Miss Robbins. She nearly handed it to Trudi to deliver, but had pulled back at the last minute and asked Alexander to take it instead. Trudi didn't like the odd look Mrs Walker gave her at all. * Jenna no longer cared what the school rules were; she ran all the way back through the school corridors. She had no idea how she was going to get out; she just knew she was. The head's door was still shut tight. Mrs Swanning was still in her office, busy with papers and the telephone and a delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables, delivered daily as part the school's policy of 'Healthy Snacks, Healthy Minds.' Jenna didn't even think twice. She ducked out of the door just as the man carrying a large cardboard box full of Satsuma's came in. ''Hey, where do you think you're going?'' Jenna shoved her hand in her pocket and waved her sandwiches, ''It's all right,'' she shouted, ''dental appointment! Got to go.'' By the time the delivery man had got Mrs. Swanning off the telephone and told her a child waving sandwiches had sneaked past him out of the door, Jenna was long gone. She didn't know where she was going, she just knew she had to get away; away from the school and the Lay-Deez and her father. She just ran, as fast and for as long as she could. When she finally stopped, her chest heaving and struggling to breathe, she found she was once again on Allotment Row. She looked around, forcing herself to calm down and breathe slowly, and checked to see if anyone was watching her. The school would probably have raised the alarm by now, she thought gloomily, imagining Mrs. Swanning on the telephone to her dad at work. She felt dreadful suddenly, at the thought of the worry she knew she would cause him when he heard she had run away, and then she thought spitefully, 'Serve him right!' She couldn't go home; that was the first place he would check. He would jump straight into the car and go home to see if that was where she was. So home, curling up in her nice warm bed, shutting the world out and falling asleep, was out of the question. Where then? Nowhere in town, that was for sure; far too many people there, and if Jenna was gone long enough she knew it would only be a matter of time before the police were involved. They would have everyone on the look-out for her; a trouble-making little kid who'd run away from school. Nowhere to hide in town; besides, even if she could go into the high street she would need money to do just about anything there, and she didn't have a penny on her. The thought that the police might get involved made her feel sick. She knew this was serious; that no amount of excuses or lies were going to get her out of this. She toyed with the idea of going straight back to school, and then immediately changed her mind. If the Lay-Deez found out about her failed escape attempt or that she had chickened out and gone back, they'd make her life hell. She couldn't stand the thought of more torment at their hands. She shoved her hands into her pockets, accidentally squashing the now limp parcel of sandwiches, and thought immediately of Old Tom. Of course! In a rush of hopeful excitement, Jenna looked for a sturdy looking spot in the precarious allotment fence and, with some difficulty, climbed over it. It felt strange to be standing here, on this side of the fence. She had never actually been in the allotments before.
Archived comments for Line Up -chptr7 - Getting Worse
delph_ambi on 03-07-2007
Line Up -chptr7 - Getting Worse
Very pacey writing. Utterly convincing.

Author's Reply:
'Convincing' is good - thanks delph!

Romany.


chptr8 - Line Up -Old Tom's Place (posted on: 02-07-07)


Chapter 8 Old Tom's Place. She looked around nervously, half expecting someone to shout at her to get out or mind where she was stepping. But there didn't seem to be anyone around. Some of the allotments were so overgrown and weed-ridden that it was obvious no-one had tended them for a long time but, Jenna saw, there seemed to be some sort of order to others, 'People must come here then,' she thought. She was lucky there was no-one around now. If only she could find Old Tom She picked here way carefully down the side of a muddy plot, trying not to step on anything that looked like it was meant to be growing there, until she was standing on the grass pathway that sliced the area in half and acted as a walkway up and down the entire allotment area. There was an old tap next to her feet, attached to a sturdy wooden board. The pipe from it sank down into the grass and disappeared. Jenna guessed it was where the gardeners filled watering cans from, or attached hosepipes. She noticed how dry her mouth had become, and crouched to fill her palm and take a sip. When she stood, she wiped her mouth on her sleeve and scoured the allotments for any sign of Old Tom. There was nothing. She wished she had taken more notice that morning, when she had been talking to him. She tried to think; he had been standing by a shed. Which shed? There must be some truth in the rumour that he lived in one of these draughty old things in the winter. Which one? She scanned the place; there were more sheds than she had realised before. Funny that, she thought; how you don't notice the details in ordinary things that you see everyday. If someone had asked her to guess how many sheds were on the allotments before, she would have probably said about six. She counted them now; there were seventeen. It made sense to check all the sheds on this side first, she thought; the side closest to the path, where Old Tom had been standing. She just hoped that, when she found it, it wasn't locked. She had to hurry too; she could sense it. It wouldn't be long before people started looking for her. Every shed on that side was locked. Jenna was surprised that Old Tom would bother to lock it when he went out, but when she gave it more thought, it made sense. He probably kept everything he owned in it. In growing frustration, Jenna crossed to the other side and began trying the shed doors there. She had given up any real hope of finding one unlocked, when the door on the last but one shed left swung gently open before her. Relief flooded through Jenna. She could make out a few dim shapes in the gloom, but they didn't seem to be the sort of things you would usually find in a shed. There were no tell tale shapes of lawn-mowers, hose-pipes or pots of old paint. It was hard to tell what anything was; the shed had no window. The thought of shutting herself in here with no means of lighting was not a pleasant one. The thought of being discovered and carted back to school to face everybody was far worse. Jenna stepped inside, shivering not just from the cold. She stood still and gave her eyes time to become accustomed to the darkness, trying to ignore the feeling that cobwebs were clinging to her face. It was probably just her imagination, but to be sure, she brushed at her face a few times anyway. When the door was open she had made out a set of shelves to her left. Cautiously, she began tracing her hands along them, feeling around for something that would give her some way of lighting this small space. Once or twice she pushed her hands into a web, feather-light and surprisingly strong to the touch, and she pulled her hand back hurriedly. She felt other things too; rough woollen bundles that she took to be blankets, tins and packets of food, piles of old newspapers, and, thankfully, what appeared to be an old torch. It was heavy and cold to the touch. Jenna fumbled to find the switch. She had to push down hard to get it to click on. There was a moment when she was afraid the batteries would be dead or that there would be no batteries in it at all; and then a weak halo of light glimmered into life and she immediately felt better and braver. She shone the torch around the shed curiously. This must be Old Tom's place. There was a narrow old bed, the kind you might take camping, pushed as close to the right hand wall as it could go, and piled high with blankets, tattered old coats and jumpers. Peeping out from beneath it were a pair of heavy looking boots and a fraying and worn pair of ancient slippers. On the end wall, somehow squeezed in between the bed and the shelves, was a low table with a single drawer. Under it was an assortment of hastily stuffed carrier bags that were so bulging they almost lifted the little table off its feet. On the table stood a single gas ring, on top of which rested a small red kettle; the kind that whistles when it boils. Next to it was a single chipped mug, a spoon, an opened bag of sugar, the neck of the bag rolled down in an attempt to close it, and a half empty jar of coffee. But the thing that told Jenna once and for all that she was in the right place, the thing that made her smile, was the screwed up wrapper that lay discarded next to all this. She knew that wrapper had once contained a small bar of cherry cake. It was the one she had given Old Tom that morning. She didn't think for a minute that Old Tom would mind her being there. Somehow, she knew he wouldn't. She wasn't even sure why she had come here; there was nothing Old Tom could do for her, was there? No. but he would just let her be, no awkward questions or embarrassing silences; she was sure of it. That was why she had come here, where no-one would find her. She sat down gingerly on the bed, imagining all kinds of things crawling through the blankets under her, and tried to get comfortable. Not wanting to attract any attention from outside, she switched the torch off; probably best to save what was left of the batteries anyway. She sat back, shut her eyes against the darkness, and waited. The minute Mrs. Swanning got a note from Miss Robbins explaining Jenna hadn't turned up for her Literacy class, she knew which child had escaped when the delivery man came in. He was still in her office; he had only just finished explaining to her how the girl had got out. So it was Jenna Birchwood! She sent word straight back to Miss Robbins and the headmaster explaining what had happened, and without waiting to be told, got straight on to the police.
Archived comments for chptr8 - Line Up -Old Tom's Place
e-griff on 02-07-2007
chptr8 - Line Up -Old Toms Place
I said it was gas!!!! *preens in triumph* (but still think meths is more likely)

Author's Reply:
Eh? You've lost me!

Romany.

e-griff on 02-07-2007
chptr8 - Line Up -Old Toms Place
Romany, Romany, wherefore art thou Romany?

in an earlier episode, you said Jenna wondered how he boiled his kettle. 🙂

so this remark - referring to my previous one. 🙂

he'd have to buy gas cylinders, which are expensive (small ones) bigger ones would be heavy. A spirit stove would be more likely. 🙂

OK, goddit now?

Author's Reply:
Aha! Now I've got you! Good point, well made. Thanks griff,

Romany.

Sunken on 03-07-2007
chptr8 - Line Up -Old Toms Place
Hello Ms. Romany. It seems that you've hooked me in with this one. I tried to comment in the early hours, but uka was on a go slow... a bit like me. Top stuff.

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her arms were of little use to him now

Author's Reply:
Thanks for sticking with it Sunken. I am pleased that I seem to have 'hooked' you, just hope I continue to hold your interest!

Romany.

reckless on 07-07-2007
chptr8 - Line Up -Old Toms Place
Intriguing, nice sense of mystery and tension. I've obviously come into it in the middle, so I need to read more.

Author's Reply:
Hi reckless, thanks for your comment.

Yes, you have come into it a little way through the story. I'm glad you like the atmosphere though!

Romany.


Line Up -chptr6 - A Bad Day at School (posted on: 29-06-07)


Chapter 6 A Bad Day at School. There was no chance of slipping into class unnoticed. The school gates were locked at nine a.m. sharp and any late-comers had to go through the main reception. That meant being 'buzzed in' by Mrs Swanning, the school receptionist. The Headmaster, Mr Greenaway's, office was right next to reception, so the next challenge was to was to sneak past it without being seen. If you were discovered, you'd better have a good reason for being late. Jenna could feel Mrs Swanning's disapproval as she opened the security lock release with a touch of a button and allowed her entry. ''Thank you Mrs. Swanning. I'm sorry I'm so late,'' ''Don't tell me dear, better save it for your teacher,'' Mrs Swanning said, sifting through papers on her desk, already losing interest in Jenna. Mr. Greenaway's office door was shut. Jenna passed it as quickly as she dared without actually running, which was not allowed in the corridors and would certainly have earned her a telling off had she been caught. Assembly had finished and everyone had returned to class. Jenna was later than she had realised. She glanced at the clock on the wall in the assembly hall; 9:42. She should have been at school almost an hour ago. Once again she found herself thinking up believable excuses as she made her way to class. What could she say this time? That she had slept late? That was no good; her father would have brought her by car and apologised for her lateness himself, explaining that it was his fault, not Jenna's. She would have to think of something else, and fast. Her heart was pounding as she pushed open her classroom door. The children were sitting quietly at their desks, listening to Miss. Robbins who was standing in front of the class, talking. They all looked up when she came in. ''Jenna!'' Miss Robbins exclaimed, ''I've marked you as absent. Better late than never, eh? I'm in the middle of a lesson here; why don't you hang your things up and go straight to your Numeracy lesson? Mr. Harris will be pleased to see you. Come back to me at playtime please, and you can tell me then why you're so late. Off you go then, there's a good girl,'' Jenna sank back through the door gratefully, shutting the curious faces behind it. As long as Mr. Harris didn't ask for an explanation, she had a whole hour to think of a convincing excuse. Her coat felt damp and heavy. She wondered if Old Tom's coat was damp and cold too, suddenly feeling very sorry for him. At least she had somewhere warm and dry to hang hers. The thought of Old Tom cheered her up a bit; he was a secret she intended to keep to herself. As far as she knew, all the other kids thought he was nothing more than a story, a figment of someone's imagination. Jenna knew different now, but she wasn't going to tell anyone that. It made her feel good to know something they didn't. Mr. Harris was mid-sentence too, when Jenna walked into his classroom. Trudi and Corrine sniggered and pointed at her almost the minute she arrived. Jenna heard some remark about the cut on her face; she had forgotten about it and wondered briefly if it was bleeding again. She lifted a hand to check, but her skin was dry. Funny, how it had never hurt at all. The two girls were abruptly 'shushed' by Mr. Harris. ''Good morning Jenna. You're very late; have you been to see Miss Robbins?'' ''Yes Mr. Harris,'' ''Good. Everything all right?'' ''Yes sir, thank you,'' For an awful moment Jenna thought he was going to ask why she was late, ''Well then,'' he said, appearing to make up his mind that everything was fine, ''in that case you'd better come and sit down, you've got some catching up to do.'' Jenna took her place. Corrine and Trudi continued to make remarks under their breath and give her dirty looks, but, Jenna noticed with some surprise, it was just a little bit easier to ignore them now that she had Old Tom. Play time came around quickly and Jenna had to hope that the only excuse she could think of would be good enough. After all, it was nearly true. She went back to Miss Robbins, her hands slick with sweat. ''Ah! Jenna, thank you for coming back. Come in, that's it. Now, why were you so late this morning?'' Jenna's expression must have been one of dread, because Miss Robbins quickly added, ''You're not in any trouble Jenna. I just need to know what kept you, that's all.'' Jenna took a deep breath; it was now or never, ''I dropped my lunch-box and it broke. I had to run around and pick up all my lunch and put it in my coat pockets. You can go and check if you like,'' she pointed to the cloakroom, ''It's all there except the cherry cake. I had to throw my lunch-box away, it was so smashed up,'' she stopped, breathless. Miss Robbins gave her a hard look, ''I see. That took you almost an hour, did it?'' Jenna had hoped Mrs Robbins wouldn't pick up on that, ''No,'' ''So?'' ''I had to go home and change my socks and skirt, they were soaking wet and dirty,'' she added, feeling very pleased at her own quick thinking. ''I see,'' Miss Robbins said again, ''and what happened to the cherry cake?'' Jenna blinked, ''Pardon?'' ''The cherry cake. You say your lunch is filling your coat pockets; all except the cherry cake. So what happened to it?'' Jenna, absurdly, felt caught out. She could have said that she'd eaten it on the way to school, but she was beginning to panic. She certainly couldn't say she had given it to Old Tom; Miss Robbins would probably have the police out or something. ''I lost it,'' she said lamely. ''You lost it? How?'' ''It was dark where I slipped. It must have rolled away and I just couldn't find it.'' ''I see,'' Miss Robbins said a third time. She stood and walked to the front of her desk to stand directly in front of Jenna, ''I'm sorry Jenna, but I just don't believe you.'' Jenna was dumbfounded. She didn't know what on earth she was supposed to say. Miss Robbins didn't sound cross; in fact she sounded worried. ''But it's true!'' Jenna said, angry with herself for crying, as she was now. ''I can see you're upset, but I have to tell you that I don't believe you because I know it's not true. You see, your father telephoned school yesterday evening,''
Archived comments for Line Up -chptr6 - A Bad Day at School
e-griff on 29-06-2007
Line Up -chptr6 - A Bad Day at School
I found this 'The Headmaster, Mr Greenaway’s, office...' although grammatically correct, decidedly clumsy.

coming along .... naughty dad, blabbing like that 🙂

I think this moves along better than the previous chapter. I was meaning to ask there whether the long telly section in that one about the teacher etc was really needed, it did slow things up.

Author's Reply:
Thanks again for reading. Will take another look at that paragraph,

Romany.

Sunken on 30-06-2007
Line Up -chptr6 - A Bad Day at School
Hello Ms. Romany. I have to keep reminding myself that this is listed under 'kiddies'. A very real write that hits home, sad as that may be. Top stuff.

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Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunky, I tried to make it real and not too condescending, which is hard. Not sure I've got the balance right yet. Kids are a lot more aware than we give them credit for, I think.

Romany.


Line Up - Chptr 5 - Meeting Old Tom (posted on: 29-06-07)


Chapter 5 Meeting Old Tom. She was going to be late. She had stuffed as much as she could fit of her packed lunch into her coat pockets, deciding that it was better than taking the ice-cream tub. She looped her book-bag, still dirty after yesterday's brush with the Lay-Deez, around her wrist, missing the feel of her lunch-box in her other hand. Feeling awkward in her lumpy pocketed coat, Jenna set off. It had taken her forever just to force herself to move after her father had left and the closer she got to school, the slower she walked. If she hadn't been so late perhaps she would have gone to school the long way round, but she didn't have time for that now. She slowed almost to a halt on Tenement Road and actually came to a full stop at the head of Allotment Row. The path lurked in the gloom as if it, too, was expecting something to happen. Jenna felt a surge of fear; her dad would go mad with worry if he knew where she was. Allotment Row appeared to be deserted; no-one did very much in the allotments at this time of year it seemed, at least, not this early in the day. Jenna started reluctantly down the path; everyone else was probably at school by now. With some difficulty she pulled back her coat sleeve to look at her watch, but the light was too dim to read it properly. ''It's almost ten minutes past nine, Kitty. Seems to me you're a tad late this morning.'' Jenna let out a half scream and backed into the fencing behind her. A man was leaning over the unsteady fencing, standing on the allotment side. He appeared hugely broad, swaddled as he was in layers of clothing topped by a heavy-looking coat. He was almost as tall as the shed he stood next to, with long greying hair, large, strong looking hands and an uneven smile that thankfully didn't reveal too much of his slowly rotting teeth. At least, Jenna hoped the expression on his face was a smile, and not the snarl she feared it might be. She pushed herself a little further into the fencing behind her, hoping the people in the houses behind it might come to her rescue, should she need them. ''Why don't you run along Kitty? Don't want to get into trouble, do you?'' She didn't move; incredulous, she had realised who this was. Despite all the stories she had heard, all the rumours since she was very little, she had never imagined she would meet Old Tom for real. ''Off you go then Kitty, off you go!'' he was making a shooing gesture at her. Her heart pounding, Jenna was surprised at the sound of her own voice, ''My name's not Kitty,'' she said. He stopped shooing her, ''I know,'' Jenna blinked, ''You do?'' ''I do,'' he winked, ''but it's my name for you.'' ''Your name?'' ''That's right Kitty, my name. For you.'' Jenna remembered all the times her father had warned her about the dangers of talking to strangers, telling them anything about yourself, even your name. She should run now, as fast as she could. She shouldn't stop even to look behind her. She should just run and scream the place down as she did. ''How do you know my real name?'' she asked, ''You don't really, do you?'' ''Yes Jenna, I do,'' she felt a shiver of shock. ''That's how I came to name you Kitty,'' Old Tom went on. Jenna knew she should be going; it wasn't right, standing around here on this quite pathway talking to a strange man. She would be later than ever, too. ''I don't understand,'' she whispered. Old Tom shifted his stance, letting go of the fence which made a feeble attempt at springing back into position. ''I've seen you pad up and down this alleyway many times, little Kitty. You're as quiet and stealthy as a cat. I nearly called you Cat,'' Ignoring the nagging little voice that was telling her to leave, Jenna couldn't resist asking, ''Why didn't you?'' Old Tom eyed her closely before answering, ''Because you're not a cat, little Kitty. You're a kitten still,'' ''You mean I'm young?'' ''No, I mean you've no claws.'' Jenna had an uncomfortable feeling she knew where this conversation was heading, ''What do you mean?'' Old Tom sighed and Jenna inhaled a waft of stale tea, ''You've no claws Kitty! When a cat's cornered, out come its claws and everyone gets out of its way. Those cartoons you kids are always watching, they show cats chasing mice, right? Dogs chasing cats?'' Jenna nodded, curious. ''Well we all know what happens when the cat chases the mouse, right? The cat wins, every time!'' ''Well, not every time,'' Jenna said, thinking of Tom and Jerry. Old Tom ignored her, ''But when the dog catches the cat, what happens then, eh?'' Jenna thought, ''They fight?'' ''Exactly!'' Old Tom roared, making her jump again, ''They fight like Billy-o! Every time! Ever seen a real dog chase a real cat? Ever seen a real dog catch a real cat? Even a real big boss dog, a big hefting thing, thinks twice before it takes on a cat!'' he stopped, arms wide, beaming at Jenna as if he had just told her something marvellous. ''So?'' Old Tom's hands fell, ''Well that's my point, Kitty. Cornered cats fight, kittens don't; you know what I mean?'' Jenna thought hard, ''You mean, you think I'm a kitten because I don't fight back?'' It began to dawn on her suddenly what Old Tom was talking about, ''So you've seen then?'' Old Tom nodded, his grin vanished, ''More than once, little Kitty; more than once,'' ''How come you never helped me?'' Jenna waited so long for a reply that she was beginning to think Old Tom hadn't heard her. ''Not my fight,'' he said at last. Jenna thought that if anyone else had said that to her, 'Not my fight,' as off-hand as you like, she would have been upset, disappointed or even offended. Old Tom saying it was different somehow. She felt respected; that he hadn't interfered because he believed Jenna could deal with it herself. She didn't know how she knew that, but it was a novel thought. Jenna wondered how other adults would have reacted had they seen the things the Lay-deez had done to her in the past. Her father was easy; he would have been angry and completely over-reacted. Her mother, on the other hand; Jenna realised she didn't really know how her mother would react. Miss Robbins would most likely have told them all off, Jenna included, if she saw it at school, just to ensure no-one escaped justice. There might have been letters home to parents; letters with half the facts missing and the other half wrong. There would have been endless lectures and all the teachers would have watched them all closely for a while. But Jenna knew that nothing would really change, and things would return to normal when all the fuss had died down. As for the dinner-ladies; in truth, Jenna suspected they probably would care. But the year 5/6 dinner lady was, as far as Jenna was concerned, as waste of time. She had two children at Springwell herself, and as far as Jenna could see she had very little interest in anyone else. Jenna had gone to her once, to tell her about threats Briony and Trudi had been making towards her. She had tried to ignore them, as Mrs. Wyatt had suggested, but it had made no difference. In the end Briony had carried out a threat and kicked Jenna, hard, in the left shin. When Jenna limped back to Mrs. Wyatt, both she and Briony were sent for time out for ten minutes, together. Jenna never went to Mrs. Wyatt for anything again. But Old Tom was different. He had watched, he had listened and now he had spoken to Jenna alone. She had a feeling he might be worth listening to. ''Not your fight?'' ''That's right Kitty,'' ''Everyone calls you Old Tom,'' ''I know,'' ''Do you mind?'' ''Why should I? I am and it is!'' Jenna was lost, ''Sorry?'' ''What for?'' ''No, I mean, what do you mean, 'I am and it is?''' ''Oh, ha!'' he laughed, ''I am old, and Tom is my name. Stands to reason they'll call me Old Tom,'' ''So that's what I should call you?'' ''If you call me at all,'' he winked. Jenna didn't return his smile; she was thinking. ''You think I should grow claws?'' she asked. ''Only if you feel you can grow 'em sharp enough Kitty,'' ''What if I can't?'' Old Tom didn't answer. ''I should go now,'' Jenna said, reluctant to leave. She remembered her coat pockets were stuffed full of food, ''Would you like these?'' she offered Old Tom a slightly squashed, cellophane wrapped parcel of cheese and tomato sandwiches. ''That's your dinner isn't it?'' ''Yes, but it's okay; I won't be hungry,'' ''How do you know that then? Of course you'll be hungry. You put them away now, although, I am partial to a bit of cake,'' Jenna brightened, ''Will this do?'' she held out a hygienically wrapped, shop bought cake bar, ''I think it's cherry, but it doesn't say on the inside wrappers,'' ''Well, if you're sure,'' Old Tom stretched his arm over the fence. Without thinking, Jenna stepped closer. His rough, strong old hand curled around Jenna's, enveloping it completely. She felt a flicker of fear, looking up into those wise old eyes, ''Thank you Kitty,'' he said, ''I was just about to put the kettle on.'' Jenna's mind was reeling as she hurried down the path and onto the main street. She was really late now; what was her excuse? Would her dad find out? What about the Lay-deez; what did they have in store for her today? How did Old Tom manage to boil a kettle in a shed?
Archived comments for Line Up - Chptr 5 - Meeting Old Tom
e-griff on 29-06-2007
Line Up - Chptr 5 - Meeting Old Tom
I'm still reading, you know. definitely interesting now 🙂

good twist - old bloke - but is this dangerous ground for a kid's book? I know you keep repeating the warnings, but you are showing a young girl getting pally with a friendly old bloke. I don't know. You could always make him her actual grandad if necessary, I suppose.

I'm not sure an old bloke would say 'tad' , which is a US import.

Although I applaud your use of the semi-colon in most cases, I do think you may be in danger of overusing them in terms of contemporary writing. But in just a few cases they are definitely misplaced and confusing.

Anyway - onward and upward! Unsheath those claws kitty and come out scratching! G



Author's Reply:
Sorry, see reply below.

Romany on 29-06-2007
Line Up - Chptr 5 - Meeting Old Tom
Hi egriff, thanks for sticking with it.

You hit upon my biggest concern reference this story too - the befriending of an old man. ALl I can say again is, bear with me if you feel so inclined, and if you do stick with it til the end, maybe you can give an overall view of this matter then? A big ask I know, so don't feel obliged.

I disagree about 'tad.' I have heard lots of people use that expression. Not sure it's an American import, but even if it is, it is still well used here in the UK.

Will revise the semicolons. Thanks again,

Romany.


Author's Reply:

e-griff on 29-06-2007
Line Up - Chptr 5 - Meeting Old Tom
Of course I'll keep looking. But I'm no expert. Perhaps if you can find an established children's author, editor or publisher you might get a more authoritative response. Or someone on site here who could comment - try 'research' forum maybe.

On 'tad' - it has been around for a while in the UK, I agree. My objection was not general - if any other character had said it, I wouldn't mind. But it was thinking of this guy as pretty old, reclusive and (I guess) not an afficionado of american TV or new-fangled slang that prompted me, was all. 🙂

oh - forgot to say --- gas! (or meths) Hah!

Author's Reply:
Keep popping the pills griff!

Romany.

(Oh and I forgot to say, thanks.)

Micky on 30-06-2007
Line Up - Chptr 5 - Meeting Old Tom
interesting read ,you have me curious to see what this is about and where were going
enjoyed the old tom character and the kitty and claws reference
NEXT! LOL
Micky :>D

Author's Reply:
Thanks Micky, hope you tune in later!

Romany.


Chapter 3 -The Long Walk Home - Line Up (posted on: 25-06-07)
Chapter 3.

Chapter 3 The Walk Home. When the home-bell went, Jenna again waited until the corridor was empty before collecting her things. The playground was empty, save a few stragglers trailing out of the school gates. Jenna, clutching her lunch box which she had eventually retrieved from the hall, started out behind them. It was already beginning to get dark. Streetlights and brightly lit shop windows displaying Christmas scenes and coloured candles lit Jenna's path through the town centre. The contrast as she turned on to Allotment Row was startling. This was the only part of the walk home that Jenna didn't like, but she doubted her father even knew she came this way. He would almost certainly forbid her doing so if he knew; he would make her go the longer way round town instead. Allotment row was a pathway about a hundred metres in length. To the left was a row of high-fenced gardens which stretched up to Victorian terraced houses. To the right, protected by battered mesh fencing and odd bits of hastily erected planking and rusting corrugated metal, were the allotments. At this time of year they were nearly always empty when Jenna walked by on her way to or from school. Occasionally a dim light glowed in one of the ancient wooden sheds. Jenna scanned the allotments for any sign of light now, but there were none. There was a rumour amongst the children of the town that Old Tom, a crazy old tramp, lived in one of those sheds in the winter months, preferring to sleep under the stars or in a bus shelter during the summer. He was something of a local legend, but Jenna had never seen him; there was no sign of him, or anyone else, now. She had been so preoccupied with the thought of Old Tom and the allotments that it came as a surprise to Jenna to find she had almost reached the end of the path. All she had to do now was step on to the safety of Tenement Road, turn left on to Victoria Avenue, and she would literally be home and dry. Encouraged by the thought, she stepped around the corner and walked straight into Briony. ''Look where you're going, stupid!'' Jenna felt a surge of sick, familiar dread. She tried to say 'sorry' but it came out as a strange, strangled sort of noise. Trudi and Corrine were laughing at her. ''What did you say?'' asked Trudi, ''Can't you speak properly, baby Jenna? Cat got your tongue?'' ''Let's have a look, shall we?'' Briony pushed Jenna hard, sending her staggering backwards, ''Open your mouth then, big baby Jenna. Let's see what's happened to your tongue,'' ''Leave me alone!'' ''Leave me alone!'' Trudi mimicked in a whiny voice, ''she does have a tongue then Bri,'' ''That's a surprise,'' Corrine joined in, ''I though perhaps her mum had taken it with her when she walked out on loser baby Jenna,'' Jenna felt herself wanting to cry, with anger as much as with hurt. How dare Corrine bring her mum into this? What did she know? What did any of them know? For the thousandth time since she had gone, Jenna wished her mother would come home; at the same time she hated her more than anyone in the world. More, even, than she hated the Lay-Deez. ''Here,'' Briony sounded bored, ''you dropped your lunch-box,'' she picked it up, released the catch and emptied its contents over Jenna before throwing the box hard at her. It hit Jenna and fell to the ground. ''Now look what you've done, clumsy,'' Trudi sneered at her. But at least it was over; the three girls swaggered away, giggling and chatting as if nothing had happened. Jenna picked herself up, trying to ignore the pain from her fall and scrabbling around for her dropped belongings. She was working on an excuse for her father. With any luck he wouldn't be home from work anyway, he was rarely home before her. If he was, she would say she had fallen over; just slipped on an icy patch. No, better still, she had fallen and landed on her lunch-box. It would explain the now broken lid and hopefully he wouldn't need to ask any more questions. Jenna had become good at hiding things. Shoulders slumped and blinking back tears, Jenna began walking slowly home, hoping the Lay-Deez were long gone by now. Back on the allotment, a shed door closed quietly; a moment later, soft light escaped in strands through the cracked wooden door. Jenna was in luck; the house was still in darkness when she got home. She changed out of her muddied uniform and lay down on her bed in the darkness, trying not to think. It wasn't too long before she watched the headlights on her father's car chase shadows across her room, followed by the crunch of gravel as he turned into the drive. Too late, Jenna realised she should have left the house lights on. The first thing her father would do now was fuss over her, asking her why she was sitting in the dark, and that was the last thing she needed. She was tired and becoming sick of having to make up stories and excuses all the time. If she just told him she was feeling unwell perhaps he would leave her alone. For a fleeting moment she even considered hiding and pretending that she wasn't in. ''Jenna?'' The front door slammed downstairs, ''Jen?'' Her father sounded concerned. With effort, Jenna hauled herself up off the bed, ''Up here dad!'' ''Are you all right? Why are you sitting in the dark up there?'' Jenna rolled her eyes heaven ward and leaned over the bannister, ''I've just got a bit of a headache, that's all,'' Her father flicked the hall light on, ''Come down here a minute will you? I want to look at you,'' Defeated, Jenna slumped down the stairs and followed her father into the kitchen. She could feel the coldness on his coat and suppressed a shiver. He set a full shopping bag down on the kitchen table and turned to look at her, ''What happened to your face?'' ''What do you mean?'' Jenna's hands flew up and found something crusted on her cheek. Her fingers, when she looked, were tinged a brownish-red. ''That's what I'm talking about Jen, your face. How did that happen?'' Jenna was lost for words; she hadn't realised her face was cut, ''Uh, I fell,'' she stammered, pointing to her lunch-box sitting broken on the sink and hoping to distract her father's attention, ''I landed on my lunch-box; it's broken. Sorry dad,'' ''Never mind that,'' he waved it away impatiently, ''it's you I am worried about. You fell, you cut your face and you didn't even realise it and you're complaining of a headache. Did you hit your head? How do you feel? Look, come and sit down, this could be serious.'' Jenna allowed her father to usher her into a chair, and feel her head over tentatively for lumps, his anxious, gentle brown eyes watching her closely, ''There doesn't seem to be any more damage. Do you feel sick at all? Dizzy?'' ''No dad, honest; I've just got a bit of a headache,'' ''I am not happy about this; perhaps I should give Dr. Hansen a ring, get you checked out,'' ''Dad! No! I'm fine, honest. I've had a headache practically all day. There's no need to get a doctor,'' He still looked unsure, ''Why didn't you tell me?'' ''Tell you what?'' ''That you had a headache? Did you have it this morning, before school?'' Jenna felt bad about lying to her father, but now that she started it she had to stick it out. ''What would've been the point dad? You've got to work; you're always saying so and there isn't anyone else around, is there? It's not like I could have stayed home is it?'' She knew she had hurt his feelings; she watched the twitch in his cheek as his jaw clenched and she realised she had made him angry, too. He turned his back on her and leaned over the sink, steadying himself. When he turned back the twitch had gone, ''Jen, I would have worked something out. Those sorts of things, they're my problem, not yours, okay? If I'd known you were feeling ill I would have made arrangements somehow, of course I would. I could have taken a day or two off and worked the weekend instead or something,'' ''But that's not fair on you dad!'' ''Life's not fair Jen,'' There was a heavy silence. Her father was the first to break it, ''So come on then, tell me, how did you fall?''
Archived comments for Chapter 3 -The Long Walk Home - Line Up
shackleton on 26-06-2007
Chapter 3 -The Long Walk Home - Line Up
She's got to tell him, Romany. She can't keep it bottled up... it'll end in tragedy.

Enjoying your chapters - you've got me fired up. I want to throw a bucket of sludge over the Lay-Deez. Mind you, I reckon the ghost of old Tom was watching from that shed... I hope he's got a bucket of sludge handy.

Well written!

Author's Reply:
Thank you! So pleased you are enjoying it,

Romany.


Chapter 4 - The Argument - Line Up (posted on: 25-06-07)
Chapter 4.

Chapter 4 The Argument. There was a suggestion of disbelief in her father's voice, as if he knew she was lying to him. Jenna's headache was becoming unpleasantly real. ''I don't know really. It was dark and the pavement was a bit icy,'' she shrugged, ''I just slipped,'' ''Right,'' he was leaning, arms folded, against the sink, ''you've been falling a lot lately, haven't you?'' Jenna blushed, ''Have I?'' ''Yes, you have,'' Another unbearable silence; this time it was Jenna who spoke first, ''Can I go now please? I want to have a bath,'' ''Not just yet Jen, I want to have a little chat with you. I'm not sure where to start really, so I'll just say what I've got to say, okay? First and most importantly of all, I want you to know that I know it hasn't been easy for you since your mum left. It's been tough on us both. But if ever you need someone to talk to, about any thing at all, I'm here for you. I know there are some things you'd probably prefer to talk to your mum about'' ''No I wouldn't!'' ''Okay then, maybe not,'' he sighed, ''I just want you to know that you can come to me Jen,'' he paused, giving her a steady and unsettling look, ''That you don't have to keep things from me.'' Jenna looked up at him, startled, her mind racing; what did he know? ''I don't!'' she was full of guilty indignance, ''I'm not a liar!'' ''Calm down Jen, I never said you were,'' ''Well what did you mean then?'' He sighed again, ''I'm not stupid you know. It wasn't really such a long time ago that I was at school. I know what kids can be like,'' ''What do you mean? I don't know what you're going on about dad!'' she knew she was shouting now but she couldn't seem to help it. ''You Jen; school books you 'accidentally' drop in puddles, coats with hoods hanging off, lost tuck shop money, you crying in your sleep,'' ''I do not!'' ''Yes you do my love; you do,'' Jenna stood up, knocking her chair over. She was furious; with herself, her father, the Lay-Deez, her mother. Everything, ''Liar!'' she screamed, ''You're a liar! Liar, liar, liar!'' ''Jen, please! Look, if it's about your mum'' ''It's not! I hate her and I hate you!'' then she turned and ran upstairs, locking herself in the bathroom, crying so much it was hard to breathe. When Jenna stopped crying she crept back into her room, hid herself under the covers and fell gratefully asleep. Downstairs, her father had made toad-in-the-hole, her favourite meal, but he didn't wake her to eat it. He put her meal in the fridge, ready for tea the next day. He ate alone, but found he didn't have much of an appetite. It was still dark when Jenna woke. Her radio alarm clock was beeping annoyingly. She slammed it off with a clenched fist, her mood as dark as the morning. She could hear the shower running, a line of muted light sneaking in from the landing. She already felt dreadful and was beginning to wish she didn't have to go to school. Her head was pounding now; although she had slept, her sleep had not been restful. All night she had sinister dreams full of dark shadows and weird, disjointed images. In one, Briony had been taunting and laughing at her, but although the face was Briony's, the voice had been her mother's, mocking her over and over again, ''Big baby Jenna! Big baby Jenna!'' She rolled onto her back and stared through the gloom at the ceiling. Christmas nearly here and she couldn't be less interested. Even last Christmas, shortly after her mum had left, there had been some excitement for the season. True there had been lots of confusion and crying and it had frightened her to see her father so broken, but they had muddled through somehow. How come this year was so much worse? Wasn't it supposed to get easier? She was dreading Christmas. She didn't feel like facing her father; she felt terrible about her behaviour last night, but how could she avoid him? She deliberately took her time about washing and dressing, so that she wouldn't have to spend too long with him before he had to leave for work. She had no idea what mood he would be in when she ventured into the kitchen. He looked up from his toast and coffee when she appeared, ''Morning love,'' he smiled, ''you okay?'' Jen gave him half smile back, ''Yeah, morning.'' ''There's some cereal left if you want it, or I can do you a couple of pieces of toast,'' Jenna didn't feel like eating, but she knew if she said so he would start fussing all over again, ''It's okay, I'll get some cereal,'' She forced herself to swallow a few mouthfuls, feeling self-conscious the whole time. She didn't know what to say to make things better and she was too scared to try. Every time she opened her mouth she just seemed to make things worse. ''Feeling better this morning then?'' her father asked. '''Spose so,'' ''Good,'' he got up and took his dishes to the sink. Jenna pushed the soggy cereal around her bowl, ''Dad, can I be school dinners today?'' ''Why?'' ''My lunch-box is broken, remember?'' Jenna would have loved to have school dinners every day, but she knew that was out of the question; her father just couldn't afford it. ''Ah! That's where your clever old dad comes in,'' he winked, ''I've already sorted it Jen; look!'' He gestured vaguely towards the bread bin. Jenna looked, ''What?'' ''There,'' ''What?'' There was nothing there but the bread bin, a roll of almost finished kitchen towel, a dirty teaspoon and a family sized ice-cream tub, ''I don't get it,'' ''Here,'' her father crossed to the counter, picked up the ice-cream tub and placed it triumphantly on the table in front of her. ''A stroke of genius or what? I gave it a good wash and hey presto! What do you think? It'll do for now, right?'' Jenna stared at her make-shift lunch-box. It was a shade of pale yellow. The lid had a picture depicting scoops of chocolate ice-cream nestling in a glass sundae dish, drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with chopped nuts. A long-handled, prettily decorated spoon was sunk into it invitingly. Under the picture, the words 'Serving Suggestion Only' were printed in small white capitals. Across and on top of all this, in garish shades of red, yellow and orange letters, made to look as if they were melting and dripping down the lid, was the word 'Scoopalicious!' underneath which was written, 'Quality Budget Ice-Cream.' Jenna couldn't believe her father actually expected her to take this to school as a lunch-box. If the Lay-Deez saw this, she'd never hear the end of it. She dropped her spoon. ''Haven't we got anything else dad?'' A look of disappointment crossed his face, ''Sorry Jen, it's the best I can do at short notice. It's just for today; we'll go shopping tonight and get you a new one. Right, if you want a lift you need to hurry up and get sorted, I'll be going in ten minutes. Come on, look lively!'' He ruffled her hair on his way out of the kitchen. ''It's okay dad, I'll walk,'' ''You sure? I don't like the thought of you'' ''I'm fine dad!'' ''You meeting your friends on the corner are you? What are their names again? Polly and Jasmine?'' ''Poppy and Jasmine dad. Yeah, I'm meeting them on the corner at half-past.'' ''Well in that case I'll be off then. I could do with getting a bit of a head start,'' he shrugged on his coat and checked his pockets for wallet and keys, ''Make sure you've got your front door key then, and I'll see you tonight,'' At last, he went. Jenna sat alone in the kitchen wishing Poppy and Jasmine really were meeting her on the corner; wishing she didn't need to lie about things like that. Wishing she didn't have an ice-cream tub for a lunch-box. Wishing
Archived comments for Chapter 4 - The Argument - Line Up
Sunken on 26-06-2007
Chapter 4 - The Argument - Line Up
Hello Ms. Romany. I'm now up to date. Some nice touches. Especially the ice cream tub. Poor kid, I can imagine it now. The only bit I stumbled on was - “Dad, can I be school dinners today?” - Unless that's some kinda new slang term. As I just mentioned on Ms. Sugar's sub, you too seem to have the spacing right. Much friendlier on the eye and no mistake. Nice one Ms. Romany.

s
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k
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she, unlike her hair, remained unruffled


Author's Reply:
Cheers Sunken. I work in a school as well as having kids of my own. I know it sounds awkward, but it's how kids talk. "Are you packed lunches today?" "Are you school dinners?" "I wish I could be dinners," etc... Incorrect, but, I hope, accurate for kids!

Glad you like it so far and thanks for your patience,


Romany.

SugarMama34 on 26-06-2007
Chapter 4 - The Argument - Line Up
Hi Romany,

A lovely story full off innocense, which has been a pleasure to read. The story is clear and satisfying to read and it all falls into place very well. The relationship between father and daughter come across as very loving, and Jenna's are realistic and believable as are her dad's. My only two nit picks would be the dialogue in places, as Sunken suggested above.
"I wish I could be dinners," for me didn't sound right. The reason because her dad says in one part about her having a key. Would a child of that age allowed to have a key talk in such a way. To me it sounds to young for Jenna. It's more what maybe a 3 year old would say. How old is Jenna?, btw. The other thing was that I thought the writing description on the ice-cream tub was a tad over-done. Only need a little bit to be said about what it says on the tub. Don't go to indepth about minor things like that, the reader will get the gist of what it looks like anyway. It won't add too much to the story only slow the story down.
The reader does feel sorry for Jenna, from this chapter that I've read I take it that Jenna is being bullied. A sad fact but it does happen still and a story like this needs to highlight it. I shall be looking out for more of the chapters. Hope this helps.
Sugar.xx




Author's Reply:
Hi Sugar,

I take your point about the ice-cream tub - will look at it.

As to the "Can I be dinners" - I will defend that. Working with kids of all primary school ages and having two secondary school kids myself, I just KNOW that's how they speak! Lol! I also know that some kids in Year5/6 (ages 9-11 roughly) certainly do have front door keys, especially where there is only one parent or carer and it may be necessary for them to spend some time at home alone, before their parent finishes work. It's not often I defend my work, but I feel pretty strongly about these two points, simply because (for a change!) I know them to be authentic.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment,

Romany.

Sunken on 27-06-2007
Chapter 4 - The Argument - Line Up
Oh, I get it now. Sorry Ms. Romany, I'm not down with the Lay-Deez, which perhaps a good thang. Hope the rest is coming along ok.

s
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k
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last in cross country

Author's Reply:
No need to be sorry Sunky! Thanks for dropping in on this again,

Romany.

wfgray on 27-06-2007
Chapter 4 - The Argument - Line Up
Hi Romany, Having a bit of time on my hands I have read your story from the beginning. I feel that the girls about 11 or 12 years of age. This is how bullying starts and the young girl Jenna who in my opinion does not to wish to report it to her father or her form mistress, Miss Robbins. But when the bullies cause so much fear, I fear the reci[ient of these bullish remarks could upset her mind. In my mind this girl is strong and will overcome her fears without the help of her parents or teacher. I may have presumed a lot ;to me it has the makings and will read the next instalment quite carefully. Just give us some of your brilliant story telling. Will

Author's Reply:
That's about it Will! So pleased you are reading and enjoying this! Thank you for such an encouraging comment,

Romany.

shackleton on 27-06-2007
Chapter 4 - The Argument - Line Up
It's starting to make me feel a bit sad now, Romany. Her poor Dad was only trying to help and he's unknowingly making things worse. Poor kid needs a big brother. Where's old Tom and his bucket of sludge? Enjoying the ongoing serial... keep it going now.

Author's Reply:
Thanks so much for sticking with it Shacks, I really appreciate it,

Romany.


Line Up - Chapter 1 - Time Doesn't Fly (posted on: 22-06-07)
Getting nowhere with this, except despondent, so thought I 'd post here. As usual, fire at will... Romany.

Line Up. Chapter 1 Time Doesn't Fly. 'So far,' Jenna thought miserably, ' year six has been worse than year five, much worse.' She was trying to focus on the lesson and what Miss Robbins was saying but it was impossible. Miss Robbins had a voice that was so boring it sent Jenna to sleep, as if geography wasn't boring enough already. Besides, there were too many other things to think about. They were sitting two rows behind her at the back of the class, but Jenna could still feel their eyes burning into her back. She knew that they were talking about her even now. She couldn't hear the exact words but every now and then she was sure she heard her name mentioned, followed by giggling. She wished that she was sitting at the back of the class, with nothing behind her but the wall. More than anything she wanted this lesson to be over and done with. For once she didn't have to worry about the walk home. Her dad had promised he would be waiting in the car just outside the school gates ready to whisk her off to a dental appointment, but the lesson felt like it was never going to come to an end. Jenna shifted in her seat and managed to stifle a yawn. ''What did I just say, Jenna Birchwood?'' Jenna immediately sat up straight, blushing fiercely, ''Sorry miss?'' Miss Robbins gave an exaggerated sigh, ''I said, what did I just say?'' There was an awkward pause. A burst of quiet, delighted laughter came from the back row and yet again Jenna heard her name whispered. ''And what exactly is so funny Briony? Trudi?'' Miss Robbins turned her attention to the back row, and the giggling stopped and was replaced by a lot of nervous shifting and shuffling, everyone now trying to avoid being the next person Miss Robbins singled out. ''Can anyone tell me what I just said, or am I wasting my time and breath here?'' A few other hands went up in response and Miss Robbins chose one, ''If you would kindly stand up, Kieran,'' she said, pointing to a dark-haired boy sitting at the front of the class. Kieran stood up, scraping back his chair, ''You said that there will be an assessment next Friday and that we need to make sure we've revised everything we've learned so far,'' he said. ''Thank you, I'm glad someone was listening. Sit down please,'' As Kieran sat down, noisily scraping the chair into position beneath him, Miss Robbins turned her back on the class, went to her desk and picked up a pile of exercise books, ''There are to be no excuses for bad results on Friday, since I know you all have the work, complete and correct, in your books. It is simply a case of revising and remembering,'' She was giving out the books around the room as she spoke, ''There are some of you, and I will not mention names at this stage, who need to put a little more work into your revision than others.'' She hadn't mentioned names but she was looking straight at Jenna as she spoke. Jenna cringed inwardly; she was getting tired of people staring at her. She didn't dare break from Miss Robbins's gaze to risk a quick look at the clock. Come on quarter past three! Hurry up! Miss Robbins finally looked away, and Jenna relaxed. ''If you are wise you will use the remaining ten minutes of this lesson to do a little revising now.'' The way the teacher spoke it was more of an order than a suggestion. Jenna obediently opened her book and pretended to read, but she never even saw the words. Ten minutes left, that's all; just ten minutes. 'Please be there dad.' * The usual rush to get coats and lunch-boxes; the usual pushing and shoving. Jenna, keen as she was to leave, made sure to hang back a bit and wait for the corridor to clear. Briony was out there already, in the thick of it, diving for coats and shouting for people to get out of her way. Trudi and Corrine, the two remaining Lay-Deez as the little threesome of girls liked to call themselves, were leaning against a radiator. They were watching the chaos and smiling like cats watching a bagful of mice. Jenna was careful not to make eye contact with any one of them. The crush eased a little as Briony barged her way out through. She was struggling with an armful of coats and lunch-boxes, ''Here! Get them yourselves next time will you?'' She dumped the pile down in front of Corrine and Trudi. A lunch-box flew open and a small, empty juice bottle rolled across the floor to land with a soft bump against Jenna's foot. She froze, uncertain whether she should ignore it or hand it back. ''Well pick it up then stupid!'' sneered Briony, ''Don't just stand there looking useless,'' Jenna blushed again, hating the fact that she was once more brought to everyone's attention. She knelt and picked the bottle up, but it was snatched out of her hand before she had stood up again, ''God, forget it, slowcoach! I'll get it myself next time.'' ''I'd put it in the bin now, if I were you,'' said Trudi, ''You don't want it after she's touched it,'' ''Good idea,'' Briony was holding the bottle outstretched in front of her as if it was tainted or toxic, ''Here Corrine, catch!'' She threw the bottle but Corrine wasn't expecting it. She fluffed the catch and the bottle bounced out of her hands and skittered across the floor again. ''Hey, Poppy, pick that up and chuck it in the bin will you?'' Poppy had just left the classroom with her usual group of friends. She looked down at the bottle and then up at Briony, considering for a minute. Jenna watched her, fascinated to see what her response would be. ''Get it yourself Briony, you threw it,'' ''I never actually, Trudi did,'' ''Then tell Trudi to pick it up, not me,'' Poppy kicked the bottle across the floor to Trudi and turned to get her coat off the hook. Jenna was full of admiration for Poppy. How come she wasn't afraid? Why wasn't she shaking and helpless like her? She wished she could be more like Poppy. Trudi had bent to pick up the bottle. She threw it again, just as Miss Robbins opened the classroom door. ''Trudi Willis! What on earth do you think you are doing?'' Jenna used the distraction to get her things in safety and leave as quickly as she could. As the big, heavy doors swung shut behind her, she heard Miss Robbins raised voice, and dared to hope that the teacher would keep the Lay-Deez there for at least another few minutes. * To Jenna's enormous relief her dad was waiting for her. He was sitting in the car, the engine running, just outside the school gates. ''Hi Jen! Good day babes?'' She slammed the car door shut behind her and smiled at her dad, ''Yeah, okay I suppose,'' she said, ''Did you remember to bring my toothbrush?''
Archived comments for Line Up - Chapter 1 - Time Doesn't Fly
e-griff on 23-06-2007
Line Up - Chapter 1 - Time Doesnt Fly
I'm not sure what kind of feedback you want. It is a generally convincing opening, setting the scene for schoolgirl bullying etc. If you are saying this is not particularly unusual (the topic) or gripping, then I would agree with you. I 'm assuming this is for 10-14 yr old girls. Sadly in these Tracy Beaker days, it should probably open with the drunken boyfriend in his sweaty vest taking a swipe at her mother and calling her a slag, then pushing said girl downstairs and telling her to get out and go to school 🙂

Your opening is orderly and passive. I'd be tempted to suggest opening with a fight/bullying, something dead nasty.
eg:

'Through a haze of pain, Jenna could hear the shrieks of encouragement as Bethany wrenched her arm higher up her back.

'Spit in her face!' Tina commanded, and Sara and Naiomi obeyed. Gobs of warm saliva covered her as she squeezed her eyes shut and clamped her mouth closed.

Then, with a calm that surprised her, Jenna managed to reach down with her free hand and find the ball-point pen in her pocket. With a massive effort, she swung free of her oppressor and stabbed the pen unerringly into her right eye. A spurt of liquid and blood spewed across the front of Jenna's blouse as she stepped back.

Suddenly, Miss Tickle was in the room. 'I saw that, Jenna.' Jenna's heart sank. 'It's a half-hour detention for you tonight. Bethany, for goodness sake run off to the hospital now, eh?'

har, har 🙂 I enjoyed that.

On a detailed technical note, you don't need quote marks round thought. Additionally: ‘Please be there dad.’ is completely isolated and nearly incomprehensible.

throughout, you many instances of incorrect punctuation - commas before speech starts when there is no 'said' word - and in one case at least a terminating comma which should be a full stop (as once again there's no 'said') you need to check these over.

best JohnG



Author's Reply:
Thanks John,
You've got the targeted age group spot on, I am pleased to say. As to the rest, I take your point, but would argue, 'stick with it' that's my only defence. Weak, possibly, and I will mull it over. Thanks again,

Sue.

Sunken on 24-06-2007
Line Up - Chapter 1 - Time Doesnt Fly
(-: Hello Ms. Romany. I had no idea you did prose. I'm no expert and wouldn't pretend to be, but this read effortlessly for me. You know how I suffer with my attention span. This simply flowed and definitely made me want to read more. Well done and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n

her eyes were all he saw

Author's Reply:
Since I believe I DO know how you suffer with prose, I am all the more grateful you stuck with this Sunky. Thanks for your positive thoughts and your encouragement. As always, good to hear from you,

Romany.


Line Up - Chapter 2 - Glitter and Sparkle (posted on: 22-06-07)
Chapter 2. Romany.

Chapter 2 Glitter and Sparkle. The following morning at school passed as it usually did; Literacy with Mrs Walker and Numeracy with Mr Harris. Those lessons weren't usually too bad, because Briony was in a different group. But Jenna was still left with Trudi and Corrine to deal with. Even so, most of the morning had been uneventful, until the very end of the Numeracy lesson, when Trudi made a remark about Jenna's weight. They had being doing weights and measures at the time and Mr Harris had wanted an example of something that could be weighed in tons. Trudi actually put her hand up and said, ''Jenna.'' No-one had dared to laugh. Mr Harris made Trudi leave the room and gave the whole class a lecture about unfair and unnecessary behaviour. He asked Jenna, in front of everyone, how she felt at being insulted like that. Jenna was absolutely horrified at being singled out again and she couldn't think of anything to say, which made her feel even more stupid. But worse was to come. Mr Harris had gone outside 'for a quiet chat' with Trudi. When they came back into class, Trudi had a face like thunder. She marched up to Jenna, gave her a look full of disgust and said, ''Sorry.'' Mr Harris wasn't impressed, ''Stand up straight Trudi and try it again. If you are going to apologise to someone you had better make it sound like you mean it, young lady.'' Trudi had apologised again, using a soft, almost sweet voice that cracked as she spoke, as if she was about to cry but Jessica wasn't fooled. She knew the look in her eyes, and it was anything but a look of apology. Mr Harris appeared to be taken in though; he sent Trudi back to her seat and, thankfully, no more was said about it. Even though she was hungry, for Jenna, lunchtime came around too quickly. She thought about pretending to be sick so that she wouldn't have to go into the packed-lunch hall and be forced to endure to put up with the taunts of the 'Lay-Deez' while she ate. She probably should lose a little bit of weight anyway. She looked down at her stomach and gave it a rub. It didn't look that big to her, she had to admit. But what if Trudi had a point? What if she was really fat? In the end, she did eat; she was too hungry not to. She had managed to get a seat next to Jasmine and Poppy. All through lunch, Jenna found herself watching Poppy and wishing she could be more like her. She hadn't realised she was staring, until Poppy stopped chewing and said, ''Why are you staring at me Jenna?'' Her heart sank; a cruel word from Poppy just now was the last thing she needed. Her fear must have shown on her face because Poppy said, ''It's not a problem or anything,'' with a shrug, ''I just wondered why you were staring at me. I haven't got chocolate round my mouth or anything, have I?'' Jasmine giggled, ''I'd tell you if you did, wouldn't I?'' ''Sorry,'' said Jenna, ''I didn't mean to stare.'' ''No probs,'' Poppy shrugged again and shoved what was left of her cake into her mouth. There was a burst of sudden and loud laughter and raised voices in the hall, followed by a shouted warning from one of the dinner ladies to stop messing about. Poppy and Jasmine turned to see where the commotion was coming from. Jenna didn't need to. She'd recognise those voices anywhere. Things went quiet again and Jenna, feeling safe and comfortable in Poppy and Jasmine's company, allowed herself to believe that nothing else would happen. She was wrong. The noise grew suddenly louder. At first it sounded like chanting, until the Lay-Deez stood up and began singing loudly and badly to a hastily made up tune and with lots of false laughing and faked embarrassment for their shocked audience; ''Sitting in maths, having no fun Wondering what might weigh a ton Look around the classroom, what did we see Big baby Jenna like a whale in the sea!'' They sang it over and over again, ignoring the warnings and threats from the dinner ladies. It went on and on, and the more they were told to stop the louder they got. In fact, they only stopped when Mr Greenaway, the Headmaster, walked in with a very grim expression on his face. Poppy and Jasmine remembered Jenna then, and they turned to offer some her comfort and support, feeling dreadful for her. Her lunch-box was sitting open on the table, but Jenna had gone. As punishment for what they had done, the Lay-Deez spent the afternoon in the library, Mr Greenaway supervising them. They were each given the task of writing at least two hundred and fifty words on why they thought they were in 'time out.' They should have been making Christmas cards with Miss Robbins class, just as Jenna was. But her heart wasn't in it; she didn't even want to be in school anymore. What was the point? She had slipped away from the packed-lunch hall when everyone else was pre-occupied with the ladies and that awful song. She was burning with humiliation. How could she ever face anyone again? She had run without thinking, and finally found herself in the reception area outside the school office. She put her head to the window of the security door and stared hungrily at the world outside. If only she could get out of this place, away from these people. If she could find a place to go everyday, her dad need never know she wasn't at school and she could stop going through this hell. She had been close to tears when Miss Robbins found her. She had put her hands on Jenna's shoulders and spoken her name in a soft voice full of worry, and for a horrible moment Jenna nearly gave in to her tears. It reminded her so much of her mum; why had she gone? Miss Robbins had knelt and asked Jenna if she was all right. Jenna had lied and said she was. Miss Robbins told her she knew what had happened in Numeracy that morning and about the girls singing that silly and cruel song. She also told Jenna that if anything like that happened again, she was to tell her straight away. She finished by asking Jenna if there was there anything she would like to talk about now? Jenna considered it for a moment; she actually thought about telling Miss Robbins about the constant name-calling, the taunts and 'accidents' on the way home, the stolen lunches and screwed up worksheets and all the other things that Trudi and Briony and the others had been putting her through since the start of year five. But what would be the point of that? She had been through this before, last year, when her then teacher, Miss Griffiths, asked her much the same thing. All that had happened was that the school had sent a letter home to her dad. Her poor dad; as if her mum walking out just before last Christmas wasn't enough to cope with. Jenna had felt awful when she saw how distressed he looked when she got home from school that horrible day. She had screwed the letter up into a tight ball, and never gave it to him. It was her problem, not his. She looked into Miss Robbins's eyes, ''No thank you Miss Robbins, I'm fine.''
Archived comments for Line Up - Chapter 2 - Glitter and Sparkle
e-griff on 23-06-2007
Line Up - Chapter 2 - Glitter and Sparkle
ah, OK, this is hotting up now, I see! Mum walking out ... good! And the bumbling teachers, details of bullying. Yep, more interesting than chapter one (which I think justifies my comment on that).

Only one technical quibble - your first semi-colon should be a full colon as first directly introduces the second.

best JohnG

Author's Reply:
Okay, accepted and will amend (as soon as pc allows - problems) thanks John,

Sue.

delph_ambi on 23-06-2007
Line Up - Chapter 2 - Glitter and Sparkle
Very convincing writing. Good stuff.

Author's Reply:
Thanks delph,
Romany.

e-griff on 23-06-2007
Line Up - Chapter 2 - Glitter and Sparkle
oops! sorry - I meant first statement introduces the second statement

Author's Reply:
Understood!

Romany.

shackleton on 24-06-2007
Line Up - Chapter 2 - Glitter and Sparkle
Fascinating read, Romany. Very moving account of the build-up of a bullying situation. I'm desperately hoping it doesn't end in tragedy. Catch you later.

Author's Reply:
Aha, but you'll have to wait and see, won't you?

Thanks for your interest Shacks,

Romany.

writeagain on 16-10-2007
Line Up - Chapter 2 - Glitter and Sparkle
I like this story a lot. Difficult situation, delicately handled by the author.

I wondered if you had considered writing the story from the 1st person point of view, as the story is so much Jenna's.

Very good work in any case.

writeagain

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your thoughts writeagain. I was just more comfortable with 3rd person for some reason!

Romany.


Cycle of Fear. (posted on: 15-06-07)
Egriffs 'Englyn or my attempt at one anyway! As discussed in the 'Poetry Workshop' Challenge.

Cycle of Fear. Her hands are cold but still they cling, in fear Icy, spear headed sting Rioting, the wheels they sing The bike, the hill, her chagrin. S P Oldham.
Archived comments for Cycle of Fear.
delph_ambi on 15-06-2007
Cycle of Fear.
Very clever title for an effective poem. I'm not sure the metre's quite right. Mind you, an out of kilter metre's entirely appropriate for the story. If it skids awkwardly in the middle, that works perfectly in context.

On re-reading, I wonder if it would have worked even better in first person. Would have given you an extra rhyme to help tie it together.

Author's Reply:
You may be right - I will have a look and see. Wouldn't the extra rhyme throw the scheme off though?

Romany.

e-griff on 15-06-2007
Cycle of Fear.
you did get the mid-second line rhyme in this one, but on syllable count lines 2 and 3 are missing one apiece 🙂

Author's Reply:
I again think I got them in. Sorry if I sound defensive, but given previous discussion in the forum, I think this may be down to simple difference in pronunciation.
If I am truly wrong then I will throw my hands up and admit it.
Cheers John,

Romany.

P.S Enjoyed this challenge.

e-griff on 16-06-2007
Cycle of Fear.
er *thinks hard*

you know the only way you can get 6 and 7 syllables out of lines 2 and 3 is if you are counting 'wheel' as 'whee- ul' and spear as 'spee-uh' , whereas 'ee' and 'ea' are normally single sounds - certainly that's the accepted (dictionary) pronunciation. Is that it?

If so, I think most people nromally read standard pronunciation and that's the reason some of us will say 'hey! something out of whack there!' . If suggest you wanted to write this in a dialect or local accent for the teller, then I think you have to flag that up in the writing somehow and get us to read it that way.

I wonder if words like this are similarly the cause of previous problems with metre, which you mentioned?

Author's Reply:
Probably. And you are probably right. My only argument against this is that when people 'normally' read poetry, they are not counting syllables either! Thanks for a good challenge - will look at these two of mine again,



Romany.

You are right about wheels and spear. Have modified, thanks,

Romany.


The Web. (posted on: 15-06-07)
Another attempt at an Englyn as per the poetry workshop. This time I had a bash at the internal rhyme scheme too, but am prepared to be told it's all wrong! Romany.

The Web. The web, its wondrous weft and weave the work! World within, I believe Wrapped and trapped flies heave Without hope and will not leave. Romany.
Archived comments for The Web.
Bradene on 15-06-2007
The Web.
Lots of lovely alliteration I liked this a lot Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val,

Romany. (Hope you're ok?)

delph_ambi on 15-06-2007
The Web.
That's a good one. Lovely alliteration and rhymes that work. Very musical as a result. I know I should look up the form again to check you've done it right, but I'm sure you have.

Quite apart from being an exercise at writing an englyn, this is a good poem in its own right.

Author's Reply:
Thanks delph, much appreciated,

Romany.

e-griff on 15-06-2007
The Web.
I think you should be counting your syllables, but you got some cynghanedd in! congrats 🙂

Author's Reply:
I thought I was ok on the syllables front = maybe it depends on how you tell 'em!

Thanks for the challenge,

Romany.

Sunken on 15-06-2007
The Web.
Hello Ms. Romany. Enjoyed your piece, have no idea about the form, but then you didn't really expect me to did ya (-;
Nice one.

s
u
n
k
e
n


Author's Reply:
Bless you Sunky!

Romany

e-griff on 16-06-2007
The Web.
After the other one, I came back to this to see if it was the same thing. line 3 is the one I had trouble with (should have said). But I can't get: 'Wrapped and trapped flies heave' to any more than five syllables whatever i do. ('rapt and trapt fliz hev' in pronunciation terms (can't do the accents))



Author's Reply:
You're right of course griff - slipped through the net! Will revise, thanks,



Romany.

Hi griff again!

According to online syllable counters, wrapped and trapped each have two syllables. I suppose it must be a pronunciation thing! Thanks for the interest,

Romany.

Kat on 17-06-2007
The Web.
This looks like a very interesting form and must be difficult to master. I think you've done this really well - I've no idea about the syllabubbles.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat _ I don't think I do either!

Romany.

Jolen on 19-06-2007
The Web.
This is a good piece, and I too found it musical. Well done.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Bless you Jolen, thanks.

Romany.

Ionicus on 27-06-2007
The Web.
As I was going on holiday I did not familiarise myself with the format but regardless of the rules I like your entry very much.
You have made a good use of alliterations and I agree with the others that the result is pleasantly musical.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi. Hope you had a great holiday,

Romany.

69-96 on 19-09-2007
The Web.
'And cannot leave' I might have written, had this wonderful piece been mine. The alliteration works very well. But for me it was the trapped and yet free aspect of it that held me. How do you do it Romany? I have just found you and your work and am enkoying the read.

Author's Reply:
You're probably right about 'cannot leave' - may well change it. Thank you,

Romany.

Just remembered though, I have a feeling that it may have been something to do with the rather strict rules to this form (it was another challenge) and having alliterative qualities. Will check!

69-96 on 19-09-2007
The Web.
I always did 'enkoy your work!!! LOL

Author's Reply:


Sold STC (posted on: 04-06-07)
My attempt for sirat's prose workshop challenge, the theme being 'returning.' This is prose, and just a snippet, at that! Romany.

Sold STC. I stare at the little girl in the photograph as if she were a stranger to me. She is smiling precociously back at the photographer, clutching a large, pale yellow teddy bear. Her hair is clipped back to the left, giving her a slightly lop-sided look. This, coupled with the off-white socks that have slipped down her legs to ruche at her ankles, give the little girl a careless air but the twinkle in her eye looks real enough, even now. She is framed by patchy wooden fencing and a row of bean-poles lashed loosely together and lightly decked with greenery. All else around her looks grey and dull. She is the only bright thing in that picture. Funny that; I remember trying to smile without showing the gap that was in my teeth at the time, I remember insisting on my teddy being in the photo with me (teddy was destined to become the 'patient' in a game of hospitals some time later, which entailed my sprinkling talcum powder on him and cutting off all the fur on his belly.) But I don't remember who took the photo. There's a story behind the bear; another vague but real aspect of my young life that I still cling to, despite not really knowing the full truth of it. This particular story was imparted to me in hushed tones. Teddy was a gift to me from a man who was at the time a resident in one of Her Majesty's not so illustrious residences. He was, apparently, a 'close family friend.' I also received a heart shaped jewellery box made entirely from matchsticks; nothing further was ever explained to me. The gifts simply dried up. I don't know what became of either the box or the bear but they stand out like milestones marking the journey of my life; just two of many. A free standing gate, no fence either side of it; a stainless steel ashtray emblazoned with the image of an eagle, wings spread wide; a yellow double-decker bus; a butter knife, its mother of pearl handle faded and smooth with years of use. All mundane and ordinary things, yet all so special to me. I experience a sudden and utterly irrational urge to go back there. No, not just there; then. I wish I could turn back time and be her again, the 'me' I was. I'd give anything to know what I was thinking. The moment passes and reality reasserts itself; but not entirely. I find I am contemplating a journey that isn't beyond me. * A wave of sick excitement and dread hit Susannah as her foot touched the pavement. Everything looked so different and so very much the same. The shopping centre, or 'up the shops' had been no more than three shops in what was inaccurately called the square; a butcher, a grocer and a hardware store. They had become a newsagent, a video store and a small supermarket. The sweet shop, nothing more than a dimly lit hut, had been further around the corner, out of sight of the bus stop. In an effort to calm her nerves, the old woman rounded the corner to see if it was still there. Of course, it wasn't. In its stead was a hairdressers, and next to that, an estate agent and a Chinese take away. She toyed with the idea of calling in at the estate agents, but changed her mind; she would stick to her appointment. She retraced her steps and began to walk down the hill to the house she still thought of as home, though she had been away for so long now. The walk was a slow one, going downhill always so much more painful for her than going up. She was glad to reach the bottom. An image, unbidden, of herself as a girl, skipping up the hill without a though, flashed into her mind's eye and was gone just as quickly. She smiled in recognition; not far to go now. A small incline to her left, a walk of no more than a hundred yards, and she'd be there. Another memory; but in this one she was no longer a child, but a young woman returning home from a day's work. She remembered that this was the point in the road at which home suddenly seemed so nea, and still so hopelessly out of reach. A last, determined effort was needed to get to the front door; just what was required now. She found herself wondering if the old neighbours were still there and decided it was unlikely. Most of them would have passed away by now; but perhaps there were a few children who had stayed on, or grandchildren. She hoped she would have long enough left to her to find out. There was no sign of the gushing young estate agent she had spoken to so frequently on the phone. Given the young woman's apparent concern for her safety and her ability to get there under her own steam, Susannah was a little surprised that she wasn't there already, anxiously checking her watch and ready to call the police at any moment to report a missing person. She chided herself for her unkindness, telling herself to be grateful for the opportunity to have a little wander up the street, an actual memory lane. She didn't spend too long lingering at number four just yet; only long enough to register the neat wooden gate hanging usefully between two well-tended, lush privet hedges and the alleyway beyond it, what she knew as the 'gulley,' currently an obstacle course of tricycles, scooters and footballs. Susannah used to love playing 'pretend' games in there when it was too wet to play out. The past assailed her again, this time in the form of the smell of the rain on the concrete, the roast chicken wafting its tempting scent down the years and through the frosted pantry window mid-way down the gulley. With difficulty, Susannah tore herself away, forcing herself to walk on up the street and at the same time mentally hurrying the estate agent up. In her childhood, the street had ended in a row of garages, children's home and a field, usually full of horses. Now it merely merged into a second street, and that into another. Depressed, she turned back; all at once very aware that ever since the day she had left her home, she had been on her way back to it. A car pulled up at the kerb just as Susannah reached the neat hedgerows for a second time. A smartly dressed woman stepped out; ''Mrs Patrick,'' she said, smiling and confident, extending her hand, ''You made it all right then? I hope I haven't kept you waiting'' A perfunctory glance at her watch that couldn't possibly have allowed her to check the time, ''Shall we?'' she suggested brightly, swinging the gate smoothly open and gesturing Susannah to lead the way. ''After you dear,'' she said, ''I imagine you're a bit quicker than me,'' She laughed politely and trotted down the steps just as Susannah had once done, except this time, the keys were in the girl's hand, jangling noisily. ''Here we are, after you,'' she smiled again, pushing the front door open. Susannah nearly turned and fled then. She'd longed to be back here for so long, yet she was afraid that it might suddenly be too much for her. How could she tell this girl that this house was so very much more to her than bricks and mortar? That she knew it foibles and faults better, probably, than anyone? From down the small passageway which led to the kitchen, Susannah glimpsed a figure, brief but definite. Her mother, in her prime, busy and harassed, a long floral apron tied around her. She looked up at Susannah and smiled, her fingers moved in a quick gesture which meant 'come in.' She could have sworn she heard the faint cry of 'shut the door' fading in the air. She knew then that she was doing the right thing. Resolved, she stepped inside, catching the slightly puzzled expression on the young woman's face as she passed her. ''I think I've seen all I need to see Miss Preston. I'd like to buy it,'' she said, and shut the door firmly behind her. She was home. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Sold STC
sirat on 04-06-2007
Sold STC
I don't think I have anything very profound to say about this one. It's a homecoming story, and we have a few scattered clues as to why it's so significant to the narrator but not really enough to see the full picture (unless I misssed some of them). We have the teddybear and the heart shaped box of matchsticks, the "close family friend" in prison, the childrens' home at the end of the road (or is that not significant?). As I was reading I was putting clues together, probably quite unnecessarily, in anticipation of a surprise ending or at least a sense of narrative closure, which wasn't really what the story was going to provide. It's really more of a mood piece, I think. Taken in that way, for me it lacked enough of an emotional core to get me really involved. Why was her childhood in this house so important? Why did she feel so strongly about it? What was it that she was in fact feeling? I was floundering a bit at the end, but it may well be that I had siomply missed the point.

Coming down to specifics, after the first section the first person narration changes to third person. I wondered why you did that.

Once or twice I was a little concerned about tendency to cliche in language: Another memory assailed her; so near and yet so far; The past assailed her - I think one or two others.

On another small detail: "A perfunctory glance at her watch that couldn’t possibly have allowed her to check the time". It doesn't really take long to read a watch. Often you more or less know the time, e.g. know that it's after twelve and just want to see if it's ten past or twenty past. I think a small fraction of a second is enough. But that really is a detail.

Overall, I think I would like slightly more of an emotional core to this one, I want to understand more of is going on in the narrator's mind. It doesn't go quite far enough for me.

Author's Reply:
HI sirat,

I understand absolutely your feeling of wanting more from this - I think your description of it as a 'mood piece' fits it very well - I realised it myself when I posted it, which is why I stressed in the intro that it was a 'snippet.' I take on board your point about cliches though, and hold my hands up to that!

It has always been my understanding that prose does not necessarily have to be a 'story' per se - I am not being facetious here, this is a genuine remark/question. I understood prose to mean a passage of fictional writing, descriptive etc but not necessarily an 'entire' story if you take my meaning. Prose could just as well be a desctriptive passage, couldn't it? Have I missed something in my understanding?

As to the checking the time on the watch, my intention was to show the young estate agent as being carefree, innocent of the Susannah's relationship with the house, a little, not slapdash, but blase about 'just another appointment' and with an old woman to boot, in contrast to the older woman's measure of such things, if that makes any sense.

Anyway, enough said. Thank you for taking the time to read my little effort, and for leaving your thoughtful comment. And of course, for setting an interesting challenge in the first place,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 04-06-2007
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She is a child in the seventies, yet somehow has become an 'old woman' now. I'd like to know how she managed that, as she can't be much into her forties yet. That was the only major glitch I found. I'd trim the excessive adjectives and clichés, but they weren't too much of a problem. There was a lot of atmosphere, and the emotional content was well handled. An easy and enjoyable read.

Author's Reply:
Nice spot! That is why you shouldn't let fact mar fiction! Will edit, thanks,

Roamny.

Ginger on 04-06-2007
Sold STC
I enjoyed this, yes it is a snippet, but you created a wonderful sense of returning - just what the challenge asked for.

One error. In the para beginning 'Another memory;' you've missed the 'r' off 'near'.

Also, the glance at the watch, I have to disagree with Sirat. I know just what you mean, and could picture it well in my mind.

Especially liked the ending, with her mother telling her to shut the door.

Lisa

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ginger - will hunt down the typo - glad you understaood the watch thing!

Romany.

e-griff on 04-06-2007
Sold STC
I thought this a perfectly good standard 'homecoming' story. Not surprising, arty-farty etc, but just 'nice' (in nice way).

It needs a bit of sprucing up (eg the bit where she asks the estate agent to go ahead is not clear and the speech needs attribution or some reference)

I can't see what the first section is for - I don't know who the bloke in prison is (her father? - who cares?) there's nothing in all that that tell us anything important. The story actually starts at the second section.

why did she think of going to the estate agent but decided to keep her appointment (er, with the estate agent) missed the significance there.

the watch thing could be solved by having her hold her wrist up but her eyes not look at it kinda thing...

enjoyed the flavour, and as has been said, the mood comes across well.

Author's Reply:
I suppose the first bit was all just on the theme of remembering. The photo with the teddy was taken in the garden of this house (maybe I should clarify that) which led to recollections of the jewellery box, which led to the memory of the man, or the unknown man I should say. I'm not sure I should explain every minor detail as it would clog things up. Suffice to say they are just memories. The connection being the house.

Re the estate agent - it was simply meant to convey that she wanted to see the house again alone first. The estate agents office being there was a momentary temptation to go in, but it passed. Again, just meant to ilustrate indecision and wandering thoughts. We all have them, don't we?

Thanks for your comments egriff, I agree it does need sprucing up,

Romany.

bluepootle on 04-06-2007
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I particularly enjoyed the initial detail of the photograph, and the sudden swap to third person action. I like the fact you leave the reader to make connections, if any, and that you haven't forced a series of revelations on to us that really might not have been that much of a surprise anyway (about the prisoner, for instance). Yes, it was a good piece.

I do feel that sometimes you just lapse into tired phrasing, for instance, 'turned and fled' , 'tore herself away' and for a very realistic piece something fresher might keep it from feeling like a told story.

Author's Reply:
Absolutely BP, point taken. Will give it some thought. Thanks,

Romany.

Rupe on 04-06-2007
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Yes, it's an interesting question about whether a piece of fictional writing needs to be a 'story' as such. I'd say not, but what slightly threw me was the switch from first to third person. First person tends to make the reader take the writing as personal reminiscence, and third person - because it's presenting a character at a remove - seems to indicate a story.

Other than that issue, it read quite smoothly & I liked the quiet, conversational tone of the piece. I agree that there are a few clichés you could trim out (as noted in sirat's comments) & I wasn't too keen on 'Funny that' in the third para, though I'm not entirely sure why & it's not a big deal.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Lol! Fair enough, thanks Rupe,

Romany.

josiedog on 04-06-2007
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I loved the first part, the photgraph scene, and the hints of some unmentioned relative sending presents, all tantalising morsels. I was fine with the change of POV (although I wondered why) but the mood and tone changed, there was less mystery after this. I know, it wasn't a bout mystery, but that style at the first was lost unfortunately.
I liked the ending too, from when she stepped throughtthe door, but I think the scenes in between could be tweaked, regarding descriptions, much as Sirat and 'pootle pointed out. There was one description that did bother me: a the gate hanging "usefully". I know what you mean, but usefully didn't really work for me.

Author's Reply:
Okay josiedog, I will give it a bit of thought. Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

Sunken on 05-06-2007
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Hello Ms. Romany. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to comment on prose or not? I enjoyed this tho. It has an unusual vibe and no mistake... I think you'll agree, possibly the most useless comment of the week so far. Do I get a badge? Good to see you back.

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losing his religion was simply careless

Author's Reply:
Of course you are allowed to comment! Great to hear from you, and thanks for looking in on me.

Romany.

orangedream on 05-06-2007
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I just enjoyed every line of this Romany and got the impression that you enjoyed writing it. I could identify with a lot of the things you were saying. I went back to the house I was born in, in Tottenham, North London actually, a few years ago now. Boy oh boy - had the area changed, very similarly to the one you speak of in your story. I agree by the way, with what you said about prose. I think it is the mistake of lots of budding authors (present company exluded) to feel they have to 'weave a tangled web', so to speak when writing prose. Thought this was really good, in my own humble opinion, anyway.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks od, for commenting. I am glad that you seem to have the same view of prose as a pose to story writing. I think we may be in a minority there though. I did enjoy writing this, you are right, and I am glad that it struck a chord with you. Much appreciated,

Romany.

shackleton on 05-06-2007
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Enjoyed your story, Romany. The first part about the little girl in the photo... you could have been describing one of my sisters or one of my daughters. The ending was great - eerie but warm conclusion. The middle bit: transition from 1st to 3rd didn't quite hinge it together perhaps. Overall - smashing story... you've left me cogitating. Bye for now.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Shackelton - will think about the transition. Given the comments, I think I should look at every aspect of the whole piece - lol! Glad you enjoyed the story anyway,

Romany.

wfgray on 09-06-2007
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Hi Romany, Well well well, so many crits? I have gone back to many of the places where I lived. They are never the same. In fact I wrote a story on going back. Five hundred pages of it, Your story interested me very much but I am not fully qualified to crit on the grand scale as other readers did. All I know is that I liked the story. Wll.

Author's Reply:
Will, I am sure that you are as qualified as anyone else to comment on my work, and your thoughts are always welcome. Thanks for reading and I am glad you enjoyed it,

Romany.

P.S What did you do with your story?


Second Time Around and None Too Special (posted on: 07-05-07)
As per the rules for my little Poetry Workshop challenge, the following poem incorporates 21 British comedies, ranging from the great and the good to the not-so-good, the recent to the not-so-recent. Can you spot them? This is an easy one I think, but its fun (I hope.) One of them may be slightly obscure as I have written the title in its full form (thats the only clue youre getting!) As for poetic artistry its not great so be prepared. It was only a fun challenge so no in-depth critiques if you dont mind I dont imagine this ones going anywhere, except possibly the wpb!

Second Time Around and None Too Special. A fine romance this is proving to be; I hear myself intoning a dull soliloquy In ever decreasing circles, my mad monotony Drives me ever further from my family When I first laid eyes upon this middle-aged Adonis I thought his muscled frame absolutely fabulous '''Allo, 'Allo!'' Thought I, when I first heard his whispered promise But since then I have noticed that he is often less than honest I wish I was still single and, therefore, of duty, free Going straight to wherever I should choose to be Without having to ensure that my lover should agree Bless this house Lord, bless my kids and then dear God, bless me! My old dad, my father, Ted, was never one for fusses; He had no time for folk who came and went like on the buses I can still hear him now; see his clenched fist, hear his cusses Best get rid of my smile before Casanova over there susses That I am not thinking of him; just imagine that! How brave Of him to imagine I might drool over him and rave Over what a man he is, when he's one foot in the grave And one foot under my table and that I'm his love slave! I'm going to have to tell him, my conscience will demand But I must choose a moment when I have the upper hand So, with butterflies in my stomach, I start out as I have planned To ask if we can be just good friends, but I can barely stand To see him slurp his porridge, or the way he clicks his feet I'm finding it hard not to just pack him up and tip him onto the street. I so much want to send him his way, and never the twain shall meet He looks up at me, sneers and asks for more, and then my wrath is complete; In a trice I've got him packed and dressed and up the garden path On his way, I hope, to fresh fields with no thought of aftermath He's slipped off like a wounded puppy in need of an osteopath And I'm single again! God it feels so good I'm off for a soak in the bath Where I lather, rub, scrub and squeeze Then it's down the pub to see the goodies there and to tease; I leave my order for two pints of lager and a packet of crisps please It's great now they're open all hours, I can make my selection with ease S. P Oldham
Archived comments for Second Time Around and None Too Special
Ionicus on 07-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
Jolly good show, Susan. You have skilfully woven into your poem a good number of comedy titles. Spoilt it somewhat by giving away the answer but nevertheless enjoyable.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi - not sure what I gave away? Unless you mean the fact that they were comedies?

Romany.

Sunken on 07-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
(-: Ms. Romany! You're back. I thought you had disappeared and no mistake. This is a very entertaining piece. I shall come back to it because I'm sure I missed some. Funny bunch are we, the Brits. Our comedy ranges from brilliant to pure drivel. Drivel, alas, this is not. Thanks.

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her flippers reminded him of the dolphin he had truly loved

Author's Reply:
Hi Sunky! Good to hear from/of you too! I haven't been around much as have been busy of late, but I aim to put a stop to that! Thanks for dropping in on this bit of silliness,

Romany.

e-griff on 08-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
very nice. what a good idea! 🙂

Author's Reply:
Cheers John,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 08-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
Nice one, Romany. This works really well.

Author's Reply:
Thank you,

Romany.

SugarMama34 on 08-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
Hi Romany,

What a lovely fun piece this was. Glad that you didn't mention snogging worms in this one, lol. I really enjoyed the read, very refreshing.
Hugs,

Lis'.xx

Author's Reply:
Hi Sugar and thanks for dropping in on me!

The worms reference was meant to mean a worm as in a horrible bloke - hope that makes you feel better?! Glad you liked this,

Romany.

discopants on 08-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
I got all 21- 20 on the first reading and then guessed at 'Up The Garden Path' on the basis that I hadn't found any in the penultimate paragraph and that seemed the most likely name for a sitcom. So now I've done that, I'll maybe just read the poem for the fun of it...

Author's Reply:
Thought I'd responded to this - sorry disco! Thanks for dropping and yes, of course, you are right.

Romany.

littleditty on 08-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
Oh Romany! What a story told, it's the story that is brilliant, and the Brit com has made me homesick 🙁 in a good way though 🙂 I am without TV and miss the comedy the most - this was a great read - really enjoyed the way you used the comedy to tell this story so Thank You, from a rock in the sea, Tenerife xxldxx

Author's Reply:
Again, my apologies ld, I could have sworn I responded to these comments. Has there been a problem with the site lately or something? Anyway, I must thank you or reading, glad you enjoyed,

Romany.

Gerry on 10-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
Romany, very well done--clever stuff...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry.

Romany.

Bradene on 19-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
I thought this was super Romany, It was a shame there weren't more entries it was fun to do I really enjoyed it. Sorry though about my late reply as I explained to Luigi and Griff I have been out of things recently, Hope to get back to normal now though. Well done on the nib. Val x

Author's Reply:
Hey Val, how are you? It was a shame about the lack of interest, but it seems to be the case at the moment - a bit of a lull in proceedings, or maybe everyone's writing a best seller! How you're all sorted now and thanks for dropping in on me,

Romany.

wfgray on 30-05-2007
Second Time Around and None Too Special
Hi Romany, this is a right super poem. It could be one of your own desires. What are you looking for? Thats how it gets to me. Will

Author's Reply:
Hi Will, I'm glad you liked this. To be honest it was just a vehicle for slotting in the comedy titles, but who knows what's going on in the subconscious? I don't think I want this scenario for myself, but I'll confess that I may have had my moments! Take care,

Romany.


All The Blessed Children Reach (posted on: 06-04-07)
In response to e-griff's poetry workshop challenge to base poetry on the structure of a well known hymn. 'Eternal Father, Strong to Save, by William Whiting, Winchester, England, 1860. In the style of 'The Navy Hymn perhaps better known by its refrain, 'For Those in Peril on the Sea, but originally and more correctly entitled 'Eternal Father, Strong to Save. A beautiful hymn in my opinion, and I tried to do it justice, but was also somehow unable to move away from a 'religious theme. Also learned that each line is made up of 8 syllables, which I tried also to emulate, and that the rhyme scheme through stanzas 3 and 4 differ slightly to those of 1 and 2. This has been rewritten many, many times over the years, to embrace most of the services, (E.g.: 'For Those in Peril in the Air, etc) It can be found in many of its various forms on the net.

All The Blessed Children Reach. Enduring hope, children give Fresh faith to those who strive to live Thus His purest form be heard And with such gladness, spread His word May He in turn hear them beseech And all the blessed children reach And may He hold their hands in His And soothe their young souls with His kiss May their hearts with joy be stirred And His loving way preferred May He in turn hear them beseech And all the blessed children reach The child's smile, so radiant Can make the world so different Can move a man to prayer or tears Can lift the heart and lessen fears May He in turn hear them beseech And all the blessed children reach Thus with His strength and in His name A child may all His love proclaim Through all the passing years they know They reap His love from soil they sow May He in turn hear them beseech And all the blessed children reach S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for All The Blessed Children Reach
Bradene on 06-04-2007
All The Blessed Children Reach
Lovely Romany I think this is your best. Very skilfully done IMO Val

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your comments Val, much appreciated,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 06-04-2007
All The Blessed Children Reach
Well crafted writing. I particularly like the refrain. Distinctive and memorable.

D.

Author's Reply:
Thank you delph, much appreciated, especially from you,

Romany.

e-griff on 06-04-2007
All The Blessed Children Reach
Well done - another hymn though, you hymner! 🙂

Author's Reply:
Well that was the idea though, wasn't it? Thanks John,

Romany.


To Raise a Good Glass (posted on: 06-04-07)
Again, in response to e-griffs Poetry Workshop Challenge to use the structure of a hymn for a basis for a poem. The hymn ''He Who Would Valiant Be'' is actually itself taken from a poem in 'The Pilgrims Progress Part II by John Bunyan. However, the first line as read in the original copy below is 'Who Would True Valour See. This is another hymn that has been rewritten many times over the years, but for my efforts I used the real original as a framework for the structure of my poem. Romany.

The original text from 'Pilgrim's Progress:' Who would true valour see Let him come hither One here will constant be Come wind, come weather There's no discouragement Shall make him once relent His first avowed intent To be a pilgrim Whoso beset him round With dismal stories Do but themselves confound His strength the more is No lion can him fright He'll with a giant fight He will have a right to be a pilgrim Hobgoblin nor foul fiend Can daunt his spirit He knows he at the end Shall life inherit Then fancies fly away He'll fear not what men say He'll labour night and day To be a pilgrim. John Bunyan 1675 (at age 47,John Bunyan wrote "The Pilgrim's Progress" during six months of incarceration.) Okay, here comes my little effort. CAMRA might like this one! To Raise a Good Glass Those who would drink real ale Let them find the Inn Nectar both sweet and pale A true round to win Determined in the fight To sup the pure and light To give each man the right To raise a good glass Chemicals here abound In dismal bitter Best spilled upon the ground As liquid litter Does not a real glass grace Not welcome in this place Banish clouded disgrace To raise a good glass Hops, born of nature's care 'Neath brightest of suns To nurture and to share With discerning ones Brewed by His loving hand Gifted by His own land Each man by right demand To raise a good glass. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for To Raise a Good Glass
Bradene on 06-04-2007
To Raise a Good Glass
You have done a great job with this I tried a second one with this tune but couldn't quite make it sound right. I love your very original subject matter too Well done Romany. Val .

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val, much appreciated,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 06-04-2007
To Raise a Good Glass
Excellent! I love this one. Love the original, of course, but your take on it is superb.

D.

Author's Reply:
thankyou delph_ambi, much appreciated,

Romany.

Sunken on 06-04-2007
To Raise a Good Glass
Lol, clever stuff Ms. Romany. I can't quite remember the tune but I do know how the last line goes. I am having a beer-free weekend and so shall raise a cup of tea to you and yours at easter time. What's easter about anyway? I don't get the rabbit and egg connection... or the chocolate connection. I do like chocolate tho. Oh god, I'm so rambly today Ms. Romany. I think it's a mixture of sun and tiredness. I shall leave in the style of a man who has just realised that he didn't lock the front door. Thanks.

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no tag week

Author's Reply:
What's with no tag week sunky? I love your tag lines.Thanks for commenting, I am in a tea free weekend, so will try to raise a beer to you (had a few by now!)

Romany.

e-griff on 06-04-2007
To Raise a Good Glass
liked 'liquid litter'

you did escape the hymn! congrats! JohnG 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks John, I liked 'liquid litter' too!

Romany.

Ionicus on 06-04-2007
To Raise a Good Glass
Excellent Romany. I'll raise a glass to your contribution.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Cheers Luigi,

Romany.

Sunken on 06-04-2007
To Raise a Good Glass
It was the council Ms. Romany. They say there is a chance of a summer drought and have made me stop tagging for a week. It's a disgrace and no mistake! And now, if you don't mind, I have a fridge to defrost. Good day (-;

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no tag week )-:

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 18-04-2007
To Raise a Good Glass
This is a great write, enjoyed very much Sue...sorry for been late, as you know not been so good with the ole peepers.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Much appreciated, hope you are feeling better,

Romany/Sue.


Who Died In Pain (posted on: 06-04-07)
My mother's contribution to the Poetry Workshop Challenge, to rewrite a hymn if you will, as a poem. My mother loves hymns and found herself unable to impose a different subject matter upon a traditional hymn, so she simply chose to rewrite one! I am posting this on behalf of her, LavenderRose. She doesn't want a membership herself as she feels it would not be used frequently enough to justify it, but she does like to join in with the odd workshop challenge. If you feel inclined to leave a comment I will be sure to pass them on to her. Thanks in advance, Romany.

Who Died in Pain For Jesus Christ who died in pain To cleanse away our sin, I thank Lord God for all His love Who sent His son from Heaven above Whose love will never pall; I praise Him, Lord of all. LavenderRose.
Archived comments for Who Died In Pain
Sunken on 06-04-2007
Who Died In Pain
Hello Ms. Romany and Lavender Rose. I'm not too good with religious stuff as I once had a bad experience with a crucifix. Anyway, that aside, a very tender and loving piece, a bit like your mum I'm sure. I have a lavender air freshener in my kitchen by the way. So we have something in common. I'll work on the religious side.

Note for Ms. Romany - Do feel free to explain to your mother that I'm 'not all there'. I won't be offended. And now, if you don't mind, I have pizza to prepare.

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no tag week

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks Sunky - passed this onto mum and she thinks you're barking! Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

Bradene on 06-04-2007
Who Died In Pain
A lovely little hymn Well done Lavender Rose. Val

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val, will pass it on!

Romany.

delph_ambi on 06-04-2007
Who Died In Pain
Absolutely authentic in style. I wouldn't have known this wasn't a traditional hymn.

D.

Author's Reply:
What a lovely comment - will pass on, thank you,

Romany.

e-griff on 06-04-2007
Who Died In Pain
Hmmmm. Hymnnnnn! 🙂 JohnG

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks John,

Romany.

jay12 on 06-04-2007
Who Died In Pain
This proves the writing is in the genes. Well done your mum!

Take care,

Jay.

Author's Reply:
On behalf of my mum, and me, thank you!

Romany.

orangedream on 06-04-2007
Who Died In Pain
What a beautiful name - Lavender Rose. And a beautiful hymn.

Romany - you sure have to be ' a chip off the old block'. Gosh, I didn't mean that in any way, the way it sounds. Thinking about it - yes I did.

:-)Tina

Author's Reply:
I'll take it as a compliment anyway, thanks Tina!

Romany.

Gerry on 07-04-2007
Who Died In Pain
Lavender Rose is a talented lady...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
She certainly is, and she's lovely with it! Thanks Gerry,

Romany.

eddiesolo on 13-04-2007
Who Died In Pain
Your mum sounds like a very talented lady...this is great!

Well done.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si,

Romany.

wfgray on 01-05-2007
Who Died In Pain
I am not the praying type but I like a nice hymn and this is one lovely contribution to the hymn book. /
Well done Lavender. Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks Will, will pass it on,

Romany.


Mothballs. (posted on: 23-03-07)
Just a bit of silliness.

Mothballs. They called you miserly and mean Generosity's obscene; You saw yourself as thrifty, economical To others you seemed close, Clutching and morose, Your obsessive love of money almost comical Weathering the storms unflinching, Accused of penny-pinching, You held your sweaty purse strings pulled tight A more giving soul, when asked Called you tight as a duck's arse And other folk around him thought him right You've been told your true vocation Should be a skinflint's occupation But you wouldn't pay the postage to apply You nearly paid a visit to a friend, Until you could comprehend That the forecast interest rate was way too high And the rumours that abound About how, when it's your round You realise you're late and have to go I was willing to ignore I've seen jealousy before- But the scales dropped from my eyes and now I know That if you gave your heart how sweet You'd ask for a receipt; Yours is always the half empty cup I knew we could be no more When the penny dropped to the floor 'Cos it was you who stooped to pick it up. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Mothballs.
Sunken on 23-03-2007
Mothballs.
Lol. You mean, we're allowed to be silly Ms. Romany? I was beginning to wonder. Sweet piece. Clever ending. Ya know, I haven't actually spent any copper coinage for years and years. I'm amazed we still bother with it. I just shove em in charity boxes... Oh, we should bother with it then. I'll shut up. I keep losing my own arguments of late. Good to see 'silly' back. Take care and a poop scoop.

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she fell apart in the company of strangers

Author's Reply:
Hey, a comment! Lol! Thanks Sunky. I think we should all do silly for time to time - as Lily the Pink would say, it's efficacious in every way! Good to hear from you,

Romany.

Micky on 23-03-2007
Mothballs.
Alas I knew him well. lol
Nicely done

Micky


Author's Reply:
Perhaps we have a mutual friend? Lol, thanks Micky,

Romany.

Bradene on 30-03-2007
Mothballs.
This sounds just like my late step father, clever piece Romany . Val

Author's Reply:
Oh dear! It's amazing how many people can put a face to this little poem! Thanks Val,

Romany.

wolfeeboy on 02-04-2007
Mothballs.
Ah yes,
short arms and deep pockets syndrome, their images are reforming in my head even as I type. This piece will ring a lot of bells, good stuff.


Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks wolfeeboy,

Romany.

Macjoyce on 16-08-2007
Mothballs.
Very amusing, Rom. Particularly liked:

"You’ve been told your true vocation
Should be a skinflint’s occupation
But you wouldn’t pay the postage to apply."


This is quite close to an Indian form called the Tripadi. That's a lovely form to write in. I believe it's couplets of eight syllables and a non-rhyming line of ten. I think that's right, check my poem "It's not dead, it's reincarnated" to find out, if you want.

You can of course, as you have done here, make the non-rhyming lines rhyme.

Rhythmically, your best verse here is the first.

Shalom,

Mac the Miser



Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac. I have never heard of Tripadi, but I am very pleased to have written (or nearly written) one. Will maybe have a go at doing it deliberately, now that you've educated me! Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.


The Pause. (posted on: 16-03-07)
In answer to the Poetry Workshop 'Art' challenge. Jean Francois Millets famous painting ''LAngelus'' pictures peasants pausing in the field to pray when church bells ring. http://www.calvin.edu/worship/stories/prayer.php - You'll have to cut and paste if you want to see the accompanying painting, as I haven't got round to working out this hyperlink malarkey yet! Romany.

The Pause. He is as hard and unyielding as the dry soil you till Yet you stop in awed obedience to offer up your prayer. Seedling thoughts, fragile as the lives you have so often laid to rest, Once full of promise; such sweet deliverance, As fruitless and as cruel You stand, heads bowed, as if ashamed of your existence Submit your souls that He may know your gratitude In being so loved. When you murmur your Praise Be's, your Bless Us Lords, your Amens, Do your good hearts not harbour some bitter-sweet, unwary thought? Do you never ache nor tremble, to know that He who commands your love, Adds to your burden? So simple, to soften the soil, cool the sun, Raise the crops, Ease your passing with the hand of a loving Father Loosen his grip on the yoke and slow the pace, Of each tired shift marked by dawn, by dusk, and the appeal of iron, To bare your souls. Or do you merely stand, humble and weary and hurry your entreaties, That you may fall to dust again soon, and rest your hollow bones Upon His earth? S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for The Pause.
Bradene on 16-03-2007
The Pause.
You depict the painting with these words so beautifully Romany. A lovely piece of work Val x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Val,

Romany.

Sunken on 16-03-2007
The Pause.
Blimey. I feel a bit daft Ms. Romany. I followed the url and read your poem as if it were related to the picture of that bearded bloke on the stairs (why does he have a dummy around his neck? Perhaps he was a cheesy quaver techno raver back in the day). The poem sounds very accomplished and no mistake. I shall re-read it later with a hob nob and a cup of tea. Thanks.

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she coped better without the constant reminders of yesterday

Author's Reply:
Lol! You make me laugh Sunky! Thanks for reading, and no, it wasn't about him!

Romany.

delph_ambi on 16-03-2007
The Pause.
This is excellent. I love the way you've illustrated the theological debate through a description of the painting.

Thought provoking and entirely apt.

Author's Reply:
Thank you, I am glad I managed to convey that to you,

Romany.

Hazy on 16-03-2007
The Pause.
A very accomplished poem. Covers many issues and looks very deeply into a seemingly 'simplistically obvious' painting. Taking my hat off to you.

One thing, I think I'd lose that final question mark. The others are questions, but that reads more like a final statement to me.

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Hazy.

I take your point about that question mark, but really the whole poem was meant to be a question and I intended to leave the reader with the question unanswered, and therefore still pondering the issue, when they had finished reading. I haven't made my own mind up about the outcome yet! I left the question mark in to illustrate this.

Thanks again,

Romany.

discopants on 16-03-2007
The Pause.
Fits the poem very well and takes us beyond the painting itself to open up some interesting debates.

Author's Reply:
Thanks disco, that was the idea!

Romany.

orangedream on 16-03-2007
The Pause.
A fantastic piece of work Romany. It has all been said by others, I like them admired it.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much Tina, very much appreciated,

Romany.

Zoya on 18-03-2007
The Pause.
So much of reverence and faith of the simple hearted is described here with beauty. The questions you ask, are indicative of the empathy you share with these pheasants... You have done justice to the painting!
(((hugs for the nice write)))
Love, Zoya

Author's Reply:
Thankyou Zoya - for 'pheasants' I will read 'peasants' as I assume that's what you meant. Thank you for recognising my simplicity - sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse. Hugs to you too,

Romany.

Corin on 18-03-2007
The Pause.
Hi Romany - a brilliant take on this - I remember school assemblies when I was a teacher we used to moke the children sing the hymn, `We Plough The Fields And Scatter'

We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft, refreshing rain.


I often wondered why we glossed over the fact that He often sent drought or flood as well!

It is a wonderful picture though.

David

Author's Reply:
I wonder too! Thanks David,

Romany.

Zoya on 18-03-2007
The Pause.
Ooops! Sorry for the typo, Romany!
Of course I meant Peasants!
lol!
Love, Zoya

Author's Reply:

teifii on 19-03-2007
The Pause.
A very good take on the subject, I thought. I wonder why any God there might be should always get the credit and never the blame.
The poem certainly conjures the picture.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Good point, well made! Thanks Daff,

Romany.

Ionicus on 19-03-2007
The Pause.
You have raised very deep philosophical questions with this poem, Susan, and challenged the faith of some people that can only be described as 'blind'.
Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. It wasn't really meant to be that 'deep' but there again, given the subject matter, perhaps it couldn't be otherwise. I appreciate you taking the time,

Romany.

wfgray on 20-03-2007
The Pause.
A brilliant read. It reminds me of the two paintings we have on the wall. The gleaners and the Good Earth. Very nicely painted in your poem. Will

Author's Reply:
Thank you Will, what a lovely expression - "Very nicely painted in your poem" - appreciated,

Romany.


Caught Out (posted on: 02-03-07)
I know it's technically incorrect, but when it comes to poetry, technicality is not everything, is it?

What am I to do With these jostling memories: Succumb, or survive? S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Caught Out
Bradene on 02-03-2007
Caught Out
you have to survive Girl!((-; Liked it Val x

Author's Reply:
I fully intend to! Thanks Val,

Romany.

e-griff on 02-03-2007
Caught Out
what's 'incorrect' ? This is what people nowadays call a haiku. Therefore it is. 🙂

Author's Reply:
Well I thought something was bound to be! Thanks John,

Romany.

Gerry on 02-03-2007
Caught Out
Romany, it is 17 syllables and follows the pattern, Subject-Story- Conclusion. So it is a technically correct Haiku 😉
I like it also...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Good, thanks Gerry. Glad you liked it too,

Romany.

Sunken on 02-03-2007
Caught Out
Thank god. Someone who thinks like me. Loved it Ms. Romany. Technicality means nothing to me... oh Vienna. Thanks.

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life replaced by angles

Author's Reply:
Lol! I hope that's a compliment! Technicality doesn't me much to me either. Thanks Sunky munky,

Romany.

orangedream on 02-03-2007
Caught Out
'Exactness is not truth', didn't someone once say. Your poem, I liked and that about says it all.

kind regards
Tina

Author's Reply:
And so does your response. Thanks Tina,

Romany.

Rupe on 02-03-2007
Caught Out
I like this idea - succumbing to or surviving memories - it gets at something essential about life. Memories are a little like ghosts maybe - sometimes you don't see them at all, but at other times they're everywhere and threatening.

And you express it with extreme economy.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
You seem to have understood what I meant to impart perfectly. Thank you Rupe.

Romany.

Sunken on 03-03-2007
Caught Out
Oh yes, it was compliment Ms Romany. To be quite frank, I wouldn't know if your Ikea was technically correct or not. I bet you have a few screws left over tho... Oh bugger, I'm getting poetry confused with flat pack furniture again... Oh I-Ke-a. Thanks Ultravox.

s
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so they buried him anyway and just hoped for the best

Author's Reply:
I think you have got a screw loose mate!

Romany 🙂

len on 08-03-2007
Caught Out
It's correct as far as I can tell. Has the right amount of silly bulls, and all..I definitely recommend survival. There's no future in anything else...len

Author's Reply:
Thanks for both the comment and the advice Len!

Romany.

Abel on 09-03-2007
Caught Out
Well said, R. I wouldn't know if it were technically incorrect anyway...I just share the feeling.

Ward

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ward, much appreciated.

Romany.

Macjoyce on 16-08-2007
Caught Out
Succumb.



The haiku is such an alien form to the English language that I don't think there's much point trying to write an English haiku. Unless you have an incredibly short point to make. And even then it's almost impossible.

This one kind of works, though there ought to be more of a gap between the first and second lines. Also, technically, a haiku is not a true one unless it mentions or alludes to a season, or weather. This is really a senryu. Which is a haiku that doesn't mention a season or the weather.



Oh alright then, survive. You've persuaded me.



Author's Reply:
Hi again Mac,

I was aware of the need to refer to seasons/weather in order for it to be a true Haiku, but I didn't know what else to call it (actually, I thought it had to refer to 'nature' perhaps less specifically, in order to qualify as haiku.) Once again you have educated me - this is a senryu. When you talk about a 'gap' between the first and second lines, I wonder if you would elucidate a little? (Sorry to be dense.) Do you mean in a physical sense or in another sense?

I understand what you mean about English writers and haiku (true haiku) but it seems a shame to me to exclude ourselves from the form simply because we will never achieve it purely. It is a challenge in itself just to get as close as we can, don't you think?

You very obviously know your poetry - I respect you for that, and thank you all the more for your time and your thoughts,

Romany.

Macjoyce on 17-08-2007
Caught Out
Hi Rom,

Yeah, you can say a haiku just has to be about nature, but really it should allude specifically to seasons or the weather. Human nature doesn't count and belongs to the realm of the senryu. Not that I'm an expert on Japanese poetry by any means.

Yes, it is an immense challenge to write an English haiku. It'd be great if you could achieve a really good one. I myself have never done it. I've written a senryu and and a few comedy 'clerikus' (A hybrid of the haiku and clerihew) but nothing special. It's damn hard. By all means try and try, but it may prove elusive.

What I meant about the gap between the first two lines was that you should avoid enjambement in a haiku/senryu, difficult though that is. There ought to be some kind of pause.

I still think, as English senryus go, this is quite a good one.

Mac


Author's Reply:

e-griff on 17-08-2007
Caught Out
Of course, this is not a true haiku. But the whole definition of haiku has been simplified and devalued, especially on US sites. Several years ago I used to defend the traditional haiku (with the season word and cutting), having studied its origin and development as the first verse of a longer poem. But I got some very sharp replies, in fact the majority didn't know (or understand) the real definition. Nowadays anything 5-7-5 is called haiku (and even some that are not) - which is why my original comment said 'it's what people nowadays call a haiku' - and sadly it is. 🙂

Author's Reply:


Diamonds - final edit (posted on: 26-02-07)
Trying to write a little something for my aunty and uncle who will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary soon. Thanks to everyone for your input, but especial thanks to delph_ambi for seeing the heart of the problem and helping to put it right! Much appreciated delph! Romany.

Diamonds In the glow of your reflected light The years shine brightly still Enduring as the stone, delight To know they always will. Your greatest fortune your devotion Smoothed by love, shaped by time Weighed not by carat but emotion Sculpted treasure so sublime That both of you will always carry Safe in your hearts, that which Gave you love enough to marry And will always make you rich. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Diamonds - final edit
e-griff on 26-02-2007
Diamonds
I personally found 'crystalline' and 'brilliantine' a little too obviously inserted and I don't think they read too well with the rest of the tone of the poem.

I also found 'brightly' interfered with the light/ delight rhyme. maybe just take it out. But also that rhyme may be a little too close anyway.

I DID like the use of facets, enduring, smoothed by...shaped by...., carat, sculpted treasure/sublime, make you rich.

and I'm sure it is a poem that will be appreciated by the recipients John G 🙂



Author's Reply:
Thanks John. In a sense I wanted it to be obvious, that's why I used diamond 'language' if you will, in the poem. I also deliberately left in 'brightly' in that particular part. I will mull it over and see what others think.
I hope the recipients will appreciate it, if I ever get it right and feel happy enough to give it to them! Many thanks, appreciated as always,
Romany.

Sunken on 26-02-2007
Diamonds
Hello Ms. Romany. How could they not love this -

Your greatest fortune your devotion
Smoothed by love, shaped by time
Weighed not by carat, but emotion

That, Ms. Romany, is sheer class. Thanks.

s
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so it stayed in the box for another decade

Author's Reply:
thank you Sunken - I hope they like it!

Romany.

delph_ambi on 26-02-2007
Diamonds
Lovely poem, super sentiments.

The only problem I had was with the word 'brilliantine' which I only know as an old-fashioned hair product intended to make your hair extra glossy. I had no idea it had any other meaning. I would be inclined to re-think the first four lines to remove the word altogether.

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks delph - you and egriff are of course right, and I will tamper with it forthwith! Thank you for your honesty and interest,

Romany.

orangedream on 26-02-2007
Diamonds
Loved it Romany as I am sure they will and also think themselves lucky, no doubt to have a talented and caring niece such as you.

warm regards
Tina 🙂

Author's Reply:
What a lovely thing to say! Am blushing now. Thank you Tina, much appreciated,

Romany.

Romany on 27-02-2007
Diamonds - edited
Okay, I have now totally removed the first four lines, as they were, frankly, awful! Now it begins half way through, if you know what I mean. I will rectify that, but at the moment leave it as it stands - this is going to be one of those poems you wish you'd never started! Wanted to incorporate a start involving crystals, like the diamonds themselves. Will wrack tiny brains today. Thanks all for you help and advice,

Romany.

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 27-02-2007
Diamonds - edited
This is a much stronger poem without those first lines. I think it still needs a little tweaking, but not much.
This is what I would do:
Delete 'As' from the start of line three (rhythmically in the way).
Change the semi-colon in that line to a comma (too much of a break as it stands).
How about having each four line section as a separate stanza?
The middle four lines work fine, but I think there should be a full stop after 'sublime'.
The last four lines need a bit of a re-work because 'that you each' and 'that which' are a bit ungainly. I'll have a think about this... errr... how about:
Each of you will always carry
Close within your hearts that which
etc.
So the whole thing would now look like this:

Diamonds

In the glow of your reflected light
The years shine brightly still
Enduring as the stone, delight
In knowing they always will.

Your greatest fortune your devotion
Smoothed by love, shaped by time
Weighed not by carat, but emotion
Sculpted treasure so sublime.

Each of you will always carry
Close within your hearts that which
Gave you love enough to marry
And will always make you rich.

I don't think you need to add on anything at the beginning. The thing with metaphors is not to explain them too much; just let them speak for themselves. If you add a stanza about crystals to introduce the diamonds idea, you might well find you're gilding the lily. Keep it simple.


Author's Reply:
Thank you for your valuable insights and your advice delph_ambi, very much appreciated as always,

Romany.

e-griff on 27-02-2007
Diamonds - final edit
Wow! big difference! 🙂

Overall, this is fine. I particularly liked '... stone, delight' - nice little line ending, creating an excellent mood.

However, for me there now remain three weaknesses:

'In knowing they always will', besides being rather predictable and simple, does not fit the iambic nature of the preceding lines. Of course, you can mix rhythm for interest, but here I think it muddies what is a serene and smooth flowing verse. It's because of the unstressed '-ing' and the 'they' following each other. For instance 'In knowing that they will' is iambic and would fit the rhythm, but maybe doesn't have the required meaning.

In the second verse, the line: 'Smoothed by love, shaped by time' relies on the reader implying a cesura where the comma lies in order to separate the two stressed syllables (love/ shape). This can work well in some circumstances, but as I've said, IMO this is throughout a smooth-flowing poem, and this would be the only 'dramatic pause' in the whole piece - and in the words, there is no reason to have a dramatic pause here. 'Smoothed by love and shaped by time' works better rythm-wise, but is not ideal.

(oh, ps, I'd take the comma out after carat)

Thrid verse 🙂 - I found 'that which' a slightly clonky construction, a dodge. i don't believe it's serious enough to worry your friends, but now we are down to small nit picking, I think it's worth mentioning.

Hope that helps best JohnG 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks John. Have amended again. what do you think now?

Romany.

e-griff on 27-02-2007
Diamonds - final edit
I hesitate to do htis, it's cheeky. but I had a wee go to illustrate what I meant. First verse is now fine by me 🙂

so forgive me ... but since you asked:

Diamonds

In the glow of your reflected light
The years shine brightly still
Enduring as the stone, delight
To know they always will.

Second verse: smoothed by love... to say this in rythm you’d have to stress the first ‘by’ which is unnatural. For the last line, ‘sculpted’ also makes difficulty, and you’ve already said ‘smoothed’ and ‘shaped’ above, so sculpted could be seen as tautological.
and I say Treasure (not ‘a treasure’) as there is a spare unstressed remnant on the line before (‘shun’) to allow it. But you could put and 'A' to add emphasise to that line equally well.

Your greatest asset your devotion
Smoothed and shaped by time
Weighed not by carat but emotion
Treasure so sublime

Verse 3: I tried and tried to keep the same lines, but I couldn’t make it work, while getting the rhythm right. (and avoiding the repeated ‘that’ and the ‘that which’) – this is a stab (and the last line is a bit arse about facey) which I hope might give you some thoughts ...

Within your gentle hearts you carry
Close-kept and guarded well
The jewel that gave you cause to marry
May it always in you dwell!

It is overall very dah de dah, but I think that is an appropriate style for a verse in a card or something read out on this kind of occasion

hope this helps. very best JohnG


Author's Reply:
Hi again John,

Have to say that I disagree with the following:
you’d have to stress the first ‘by’ which is unnatural - don't think that there is any unnatural stress placed on the rhyme here, but then we know that we each read rhythm differently!

I know where you are coming from re the last verse, but on this occasion I think I will forsake rhythm for the sake of saying what I meant to say.

Thank you once again for your interest and time,

Romany.

Corin on 28-02-2007
Diamonds - final edit
Lovely effort Romany - says it all very eloquently and will make them weep in the aisles!

David

Author's Reply:
I was hoping to make them smile! Thanks David, for reading and for your thoughts,

Romany.

Bradene on 28-02-2007
Diamonds - final edit
Lovely Romany says just about everything, Very pretty. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Val. Diamonds are pretty!

Romany.

narcissa on 01-03-2007
Diamonds - final edit
Lucky aunt and uncle - what a beautiful poem written in their honour! Very steady metre and rhyme, and not over-sentimental (but just enough sentimentality to be right for the occasion!!)
Laura x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Laura, I am glad you think so.

Romany.

Albermund on 01-03-2007
Diamonds - final edit
You sculpted well from the comments you received. This is a much better poem than the original. Loved the second stanza. Can't get my head round Stanza 1 Line 3. I feel it's clever one minute but doesn't work the next! The last stanza is a real tear jerker yet the "that which" which makes the lovely meaningful rhyme possible makes for such an awkward read. However, as other folk have said, I'm sure your auntie and uncle will be over the moon that you did this for them. cheers, Albert


Author's Reply:
Thanks Albert, I know what you mean about that line! As to the last stanza, have altered it AGAIN! Do you think it works now? Am going to keep it as is now anyway, to be honest, as time is running out before the surprise party. Thank you for reading and commenting. My mum read it yesterday, and then warned me that my uncle can be quite emotional at times and is likely to have a tear in his eye when he gets this - and I wanted to make them happy! Lol.

Romany.

wfgray on 03-03-2007
Diamonds - final edit
My dear Romany, to think of your Aunt and Uncle in their great achievement shows you as a shining diamond. "I Like" Will

Author's Reply:
Thank you Will, I am very pleased that you appreciate it,

Romany.


What the River Watchman Said (posted on: 24-02-07)
In response to egriff's challenge, posted on behalf of an environmentally concerned friend of his. Just a poem, as usual.

What the River Watchman Said. They say still waters run deep, Perhaps, sometimes, this is so They lie, stinking and asleep While the algae thrive and grow Upon the surface, calm and flat Giving life whilst seeming dead But they are soiled, for all that; Is what the River Watchman said Sit along the bank with me, Watch the weary river pass Look closely friend, and see Beyond the hardy reeds and grass What tale does it tell? What lies, rotting, in its bed? Let me show you and dispel Your quaint ideals, the Watchman said Look at the water, black and grey See the sludge-rimed edge, the scum Observe the gentle, jeering way The beer cans bob - drunken flotsam A trolley, spine up, in the shallows A tyre, drowned and airless Smashed glass in the shadows Left by the selfish and the careless A plastic bag, snagged on a rock Captures the waters for a while The bag breaks, and then it mocks The river with its ragged smile This is no oil, spilled here So troubled waters can be eased This adds to Nature's toil, Leaves her gasping and diseased That she might nevermore run clear Fills my very soul with dread We will all suffer, I fear The River Watchman said So whilst you while away a morning Dreaming of the rushing river You would do better to start mourning Do not smile; shiver Look to the heart of our existence The very arteries we need To continue our subsistence Yet we stand and watch them bleed We leach the life out of her Clog her up with waste and woe Blame her for our misfortunes But, if she should ever go Die out, abused and neglected Dry out, exhausted and bereft It will be, as long suspected We weak mortals who are left To grieve her untimely passing She ran, timeless, for so long She should outlive man, surpassing His blame - complacent song I do not want to witness A world left dry and dead Help me revive her forgiveness The River Watchman said. S. P. Oldham
Archived comments for What the River Watchman Said
e-griff on 25-02-2007
What the River Watchman Said
An interesting angle, and the poem itself is calm and limpid, reflecting the subject matter very well 🙂

Author's Reply:
Nice comment. Thanks egriff,

Romany.

Bradene on 25-02-2007
What the River Watchman Said
Love this Romany, sad tale very well told Val x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Val. It is sad,

Romany.

delph_ambi on 25-02-2007
What the River Watchman Said
This is super. The form works well; both the formality of the stanzas, and the structural device of having the 'voice' of the River Watchman. I think poems have to tell stories, and possibly of all the waterway poems in this challenge, yours comes closest. You've made this personal. It's good.

Author's Reply:
Thank you delph_ambi. I tried to make it personal because it is something I worry about very much - our polluted environment and our abysmal lack of willingness to take responsibility for it, and do what we can to rectify it. I think we are all becoming more aware these days though, thankfully.
I'm glad you thought the voice worked too - I wanted to introduce a, hopefully enigmatic, character to make the whole thing, just as you say, personal.
I'm very pleased that this appears to have worked for you - thank you,
Romany.

Sunken on 25-02-2007
What the River Watchman Said
You're subbing some of your best stuff just lately Ms. Romany, if you don't mind me saying. This is very strong, in my sunken opinion. Well done on the nom.

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so they canceled their subscription out of protest

Author's Reply:
Your sunken opinion rates very highly with me. Thank you for reading and for the encouraging comment,

Romany.

orangedream on 25-02-2007
What the River Watchman Said
Oh I loved this Romany. Beautifully crafted. I too loved the narrative, almost hypnotic voice of the Watchman. Loved the lines:-

"... a plastic bag, snagged on a rock
Captures the waters for a while
The bag breaks, and then it mocks
The River with its ragged smile ..."

Also the line breaks, especially illustrated here, I found very effective. A poem well worthy of a nomination and one I enjoyed and admire immensely.

kind regards
Tina

Author's Reply:
Can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to say so Tina. Thank you,

Romany.

eddiesolo on 25-02-2007
What the River Watchman Said
I think this is the best of all the challenge subs.

Great piece Sue.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Very kind (and perhaps brave!) of you to say so Si, thank you,

Romany.

Ionicus on 26-02-2007
What the River Watchman Said
Dear Susan, you are growing in stature, getting better and better all the time and this contribution is super.
I am in agreement with Tina in choosing the following lines as my favourite:

"... a plastic bag, snagged on a rock
Captures the waters for a while
The bag breaks, and then it mocks
The River with its ragged smile ..."

Luigi x


Author's Reply:
Thank you so much Luigi,

Romany.


All Seeing I (posted on: 23-02-07)
If this is for you, you'll know it's for you. If this is about you, you'll know it's about you. Be your own judge.

All Seeing I. None but I Can have such sharp, incisive wit Can eye the mirrored glass and see through it Hold a hand against the sun and not be blind To the falsity and faults the fools can't find I alone Can analyse with expert skill Begin a pulse where all else is dead and still Look over shoulders, close my ears to pretty phrases Pick out the flaws, no time for singing praises If only I Could understand there are some who Like what they see or hear and what you do What do they know? They should not opine The only opinion they're entitled to is mine None but I And others of my favoured ilk Can impart wisdom in tones of classic silk The rest of you may flannel and delight Only I, all seeing I, can see the light. S. P Oldham,
Archived comments for All Seeing I
Sunken on 23-02-2007
All Seeing I
Dear Ms. Romany, from the subject matter to the execution, I think this is bloomin marvelous. Thanks.

s
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if only we had known that our paths would never cross again

Author's Reply:
Thanks to you, too Sunky!

Romany.

eddiesolo on 24-02-2007
All Seeing I
Hi Sue,

I thought this a great write, and it should have had more folk leaving a comment.

Enjoyed very much.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thank you Si. Perhaps it is a little too close to the quick for some, or I have touched a nerve? Or perhaps no-one likes it! Lol! Thanks again,

Romany.

eddiesolo on 24-02-2007
All Seeing I
Who knows Sue? lol.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 24-02-2007
All Seeing I
As Sunken says - bloody marvellous, Romany. Should have had more attention. A brilliant write.

regards
Tina

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 24-02-2007
All Seeing I
As Sunken says - bloody marvellous, Romany. Should have had more attention. A brilliant write.

regards
Tina

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 24-02-2007
All Seeing I
As Sunken says - bloody marvellous, Romany. Should have had more attention. A brilliant write.

regards
Tina

Author's Reply:
A triple whammy od - thank you - you have doubled my comments thus far single handedly!

Romany.

barenib on 27-02-2007
All Seeing I
Romany - I know quite a few people like this, it's a bit frightening when you start to think about it. And I suppose we're all a bit like it at times, if we're honest. Anyway, a good life observation, and well penned. John.

Author's Reply:
Hi John,

Yeah we all critique and sometimes pick holes. It's not that which offends me though; it's the attitude of a minority who seem to think no-one else's opinion is as valid as their own. They are few and far between thankfully! Just for the record, this little poem was not aimed at any one individual, just a sort of nameless, faceless 'them.' Had to get it off my chest.
Thanks for reading,
Romany,

Jolen on 04-06-2007
All Seeing I
Brilliant!!!! Now, see, I wish I could do that. LMAO. I am about as subtle as a sledgehammer. This was a lovely bit of acerbic wit and served up with style. I bow to your skills.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen, glad it made you laugh. You see, you are not alone?!

Romany.


Law-Whore Rap (posted on: 09-02-07)
As per the Poetry Workshop Challenge. Never written a rap before - you can probably tell! Lol!

Law- Whore Rap. Latest word, have you heard What's going round? Choose your crime, do no time, 'Cos you won't go down Jail's ganged-up, over banged-up; Packed in tight. No more sentence, no repentance, It just aint right. So a paedo watching porno With a little kid, Don't get locked up, don't get knocked up For what he did. It's my conviction, my suspicion Maybe just my pride, But I feel more like a law-whore Than they do inside. Just the villains, real wrong 'uns Get the key in the lock, For murder, rape and torture It's the jailhouse rock. For the vandals and the scandals It's an easy ride, 'Cos they know, they won't go Spend one night inside. Laugh in their faces, cruise the places They don't spare, Shrug their shoulders, getting bolder 'Cos they're going nowhere. Locked inside me, right denied me Could be it's just my pride But I feel more like a law-whore Than they do inside. Seems a ship, aint equipped To keep the system afloat; But don't you protest, don't you attest Don't you rock the boat Keep it low-key, no more choky For light fingered Joe, Just a slapped wrist, just a 'screw this' And away you go. Rule the estate, abuse and race hate With no consequence, Go terrorise, tell your lies With no recompense. Young or old, blood runs cold; Sweet anger abide. I feel more like a law-whore Than they do inside. Do your stuff, go act tough Who's gonna face you out? High on coke, low on strokes Know what you're about. Hurt and maim, in the name Of respect and shit, No-one expects, real respect's Something to do with it. And all the time, our streets of crime Get more populated This being good, like we should Seems so overrated. Those power lords, with all the words Keep bad people free Seems like they're more, of a law-whore Than the cons, to me. S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Law-Whore Rap
Bradene on 09-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
Well now I suspect this is a real rap! I even understood it and agreed with what you were getting across. The site I looked at was awful and looked as if all they sang about was sex and really perverted sex at that... don't shout I realise what is perverted to one person can seem normal to another but what I read wasn't for me((-; This though has a strong message and the rap was an effective way of getting it across. Well done Val x

Author's Reply:
Real rap? I have to say that I seriously doubt it; I have no experience of this type of writing to base it on, I just had a bash, that's all. But I appreciate very much the fact that you 'got it,' and indeed that you read it in the first place! Thanks Val, off to check out everyone's subs now,
Romany.

Ionicus on 09-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
I am not an expert on rap but I liked the rhythm of this piece and the message it conveys.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Luigi.

admin on 09-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
Thought this was pretty good Romany - and I've become something of an expert, living with a 17 year old Eminem fan 🙂

Author's Reply:
Praise indeed! Thanks admin,

Romany.

Sunken on 10-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
You're a dark horse and no mistake Ms. Romany. I've still not forgiven you for the snow however, so I don't want to 'big ya up' too much. It's thawing now btw, so please keep your mouth shut (-;

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he counts on the hands of strangers

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky - I think I like being a dark horse. Sorry about the snow (don't think we've seen the last of it yet...but I'll keep my mouth shut.)
And there you go again with those great one liners that are just begging to be used in a poem - counts on the hands of strangers. Your little asides are so often quite deep. If I am the dark horse, you are the still waters.

Romanyx

Kat on 10-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
Romany, this is clever, sharp - perhaps you could sell/offer up these rap lyrics to someone? A local group?

I loved the film, '8 Mile' with Eminem, partciularly the rapping scenes which showed how well this can be done, how clever and sharp (like your work here), and how it's an outlet for many frustrations and a way to be 'heard'.

Really well done.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Wow! Thanks Kat. I am sure that most groups wouldn't find this 'cutting edge' enough though, plus I don't know of any rap groups locally anyway. But I really appreciate the sentiment and the fact that this appears to have worked for you. I will bear your suggestion in mind' and we'll see. If anything more does ever become of it (which I have to say I doubt) I will be sure to let you know. Thanks Kat,

Romany.

e-griff on 11-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
i thought this was pretty good. 🙂

I'm ashamed that I didn't make it, but I do have one for tomorrow. It doesn't compare with this, I'm afraid, but hell, have a laugh on me!

Author's Reply:
Thanks egriff!

Romany.

soman on 15-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
Romany,

I'm a bit hazy on the rap stuff but I am with you all the way on the satire deal. There is no shortage of such hypocrisy in
this part of the world either.

Good writing.

Soman

Author's Reply:
I don't think it's in short supply anywhere, sadly. Thanks for commenting Soman,
Romany.

Hazy on 16-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
OMG you're a professional lol!! Really convincing, Romany. I'd think it was by some 'homey in da hood' if I didn't know no better 😉

Well done! Totally impressed and ta for the challenge 🙂

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
Not a pro Hazy, honest! Just bashing the keyboard, that's all. Glad you enjoyed it,
Romany.

SugarMama34 on 18-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
Hi Romany, I thought trhat this had a really strong message and it came across well. I thought that the rap was good too. It had that tune to it as I read it, and I did enjoy the read. I think you have touched on a subject that people feel strongly about. Each and every stanza told a different part of the story really well. Nice one Romany.

Cheers From Lis'.xx

Author's Reply:
Thank you, appreciated.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 18-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
Hi Sue,

Can't stand rap, cos I don't understand it probably.

But I liked the rhythm in this and think you did an excellent job.

Enjoyed it my dear.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Hi Si,

I am not keen on rap either, although I do think it is a vital medium and SOME of it is actually quite cleverly written. It seems to be a vehicle for definite message too, once you get past all the aggressive/sexual/coarse crap! Anyway, thank you all the more then for bothering to read it, and then to leave an encouraging comment.

Romany.

Macjoyce on 27-02-2007
Law-Whore Rap
Yeah, I hate rap too, mainly cos of the boring subject matter it ususally has, and cos of the shitty American or wannabe American accents it's normally delivered in.

However, this piece was really good. It's experimenting with rhyme and rhythm, and you achieve a lot with both. Low-key/choky is a particularly great rhyme.

Keep it up! More of this, please.

Mac

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac! I liked that rhyme too. Appreciate the encouragement,

Romany.


Hungry for Snow (posted on: 02-02-07)
I know, I know! Be careful what you wish for...

Hungry for Snow. Even the grass looks grey when held Up against the brightness of the great White that's gripped the country. All Of it, it seems, but here. I watch the stricken motorists on my screen, The school-free kids; the gritter grinding on, Trudging workers finding purchase and the Path to grind. The snow fell here too, last night. Holding my Breath, I barely slept, waiting to be surprised First, but then cool, to warn the kids, 'There might Still be school.' But all it left was a tantalising film; provocative, not Fulfilling any promise. It lay at our feet for less than half The day, hindered no-one and was forgotten By the time evening fell. Fall it did; dry and cold and taunting. An early night, Another early morning. An evening spent wishing for Spring. A warm supper, enjoyed and clung to overlong; yet I am still Hungry for snow. S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Hungry for Snow
Sunken on 02-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
Hello Ms. Romany. We've hardly had any this year have we? Snow I mean. Ahem. I hope you get some soon - Do you really want it? You must be mad. Thanks.

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he once got a cotton bud stuck up his nose

Author's Reply:
Yes I do really want some. But I can't see it happening now. Oh well, there's always next year (mind you, I have known it to snow in April...)

Romany.

orangedream on 02-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
Oh I love snow too! Hubby says I'm a big kid.

A good poem, evocative and well written, as usual.

kind regards
Tina

Author's Reply:
Hubby calls me a big kid too! If it DOES snow, you'll have to come round and help me build a snowman!

Romany.

Gerry on 02-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
Romany, how I yearn for those days of sledging and sliding on the lake. It's just not the same. Nicely done...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Gerry, much appreciated.

Romany.

Rupe on 03-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
No shortage of snow here in Finland, although it came a lot later than usual (global warming?). Not so much in the UK these days, I agree - though I still have vivid memories of the winter of '81... A nicely written poem.

Rupe


Author's Reply:
Hi Rupe. I should imagine Finland is a little snowier than Oxford! I remember that winter too - the roof fell in at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, due to the sheer weight of the snow!


Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

Mandrake on 04-02-2007
Hungry for Snow

Hello Romany,

This is a nicely worded poem and I appreciate the sentiments. I haven't seen snow for years.

I was wondering what effect you were intending to achieve with your steadily lengthening lines, which gradually slow the pace of your words. Everything grinding to a halt in the snow?

It does place a neat emphasis on your final short line. 'Path to grind' and 'Still be school' also benefit from the same emphasis. However, the other two stanzas are less strongly worded at the end. Perhaps you could look at your line breaks and see if they can be more effectively placed.

Hope you don't mind the suggestion.

Regards,

Mandrake.



Author's Reply:
Thanks Mandrake. I don't mind at all - will look at your suggestion. To be honest, the structure of the poem wasn't deliberate, beyond experimenting with a different layout, which I like to do from time to time. But I appreciate the meaning you took from its form, and think you might be right about the final lines. Will give it some thought, thank you.

Romany.

wfgray on 06-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
Hi there, A nice up to date poem for this day. I look at my garden and at this moment it is white over, but not with snow. However I might see snow any time from now onwards. If it does arrive it will give a few days of pleasure to the children but no one else. Nice read.Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks for dropping in Will - always good to hear from you.

Romany.

SugarMama34 on 07-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
Hi Romany,
A lovely written poem that brings back all the memories of wanting snow flakes to fall, and to see them cling to the outside world. It brought my memories back when I was a child. Now I tend to like looking at the snow but scared to go out in it after it has frozen over night. A thought provoking piece.

Cheers From Lis'.xx

Author's Reply:
I know what you mean! But I just love walking the dog in it when it is freshly fallen. It does get a bit dicy when it's iced over though! Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.

Romany on 08-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
Well I certainly got what I wished for! Me and the dog off for a walk in a bit - lovely!

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 08-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
I'm not happy Ms. Romany. I blame you entirely. And now, if you do not mind, I have snow to shovel (-;

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he's hopes that at least Romany had a good day

Author's Reply:
Lol! I am sorry Sunky! But at least me and the real Romany (my dog) went out for a nice snowy walk. Mind you wear gloves when you're shovelling.

Romany.

shadow on 08-02-2007
Hungry for Snow
A lovely poem, and I'm glad it seems to have worked! (And why is it that they close the the schools now at the first snowflake? We NEVER got let off school, even if it was 3 foot deep. Not fair!)

Author's Reply:
It's farcical isn't it? I was listening to all the cancelled schedules on the radio yesterday morning; footballers unable to practise, kids of school, buses not running etc. and marvelling at how gloriously unprepared and inadequate this country always is, despite ample weather warnings! Thanks for reading,

Romany.


That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge (posted on: 19-01-07)
An attempt at writing (silly) poetry in the vague style of Dahl/Nash/Milligan (I wish!) as per the original suggestion in the poetry workshop of the theme 'Ode to an Animal.' For kids, but hopefully it might make a grown up smile too! Not meant to be deep, this stuff, but comments welcome as always, thanks, Romany.

That Pigeon. I watched that pigeon intently I watched him He watched me And just when I believed him dead He rose, and landed on my head 'Hey!' I yelled, 'This changes things! I cannot fly, I don't have wings!' At which the pigeon trilled and cooed, Got comfortable and promptly pooh-ed I shouted twice and flapped and hopped, The pigeon pecked, The pigeon dropped. The pigeon said, 'No matter whether You flap and dance, you have no feathers.' At once I knelt, in inspiration, 'You may be good At aviation But neither can you soar and fly Once you are baked in pigeon pie!' And so, for all eternity, That pigeon will Be part of me. I forgive his mocking me in haste, He had, after all, such good taste. S. P Oldham. Question on a Cat Before the Fire. How is it that, When a cat Stretches before a fire, Just its shadow Seems to grow A good few inches higher? S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
Bradene on 19-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
Thought this was really brilliant Especially the one about the pigeon Great Challenge had lots of fun. love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val. It was fun, wasn't it?

Romany.

Sunken on 19-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
Lol. I must be a big kid at heart because I always enjoy this kinda stuff. You do it so well Ms. Romany. I reckon that's what comes of having sprogs? I may purchase one from mothercare. Well done. I'm giving a ten because I want to. Thanks.

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sleeps in four hourly cycles

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken. Purchasing kids is a much better option than the one I took, I'm sure!

Romany.

expat on 19-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
A neat melange of poets there, Sue: well played! I can see the cat poem as one of those philosophical-but-funny filler thingies at the bottom of Readers Digest pages. I reckon Spike was looking over your shoulder when you wrote it.
:^-)
Steve

Author's Reply:
Thanks expat. I'd love to think Spike influenced me in some way!

Romany.

orangedream on 19-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
I too must be a big kid at heart Romany. Loved the pigeon one. An expert write.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Not sure about 'expert' but I really appreciate the comment!

Thanks Tina,

Romany.

Ionicus on 19-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
A very enjoyable read, dear Susan. I liked them both.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi, glad you enjoyed!

Romany.

Jolen on 19-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
LOL These were fun! I may have to check this challenge thing out! Thanks for the fun read.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen,

Romany.

e-griff on 20-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
well done! 😉

Author's Reply:
Thankyou!

eddiesolo on 22-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
Loved em Sue!

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Good! Cheers Si,

Sue.

wfgray on 30-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
Eeh lass it were great. We are troubled with Seagulls and believe they do make a bloody mess. Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks Will, am glad you enjoyed them. The seagulls down in Devon are ferocious!

Romany.

SugarMama34 on 31-01-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
Hi Romany - I loved the pigeon poem, it was interesting, enjoyable and humorous without fault. It made me smile and i loved the descriptions and imagery it gave out. Out of the two it has to be my favorite.

I enjoyed the cat poem too though and it gives you something to think on lol. Rhymed well too.

Hugs,

Sugar.xx

Author's Reply:
HI SugarMama,

Thank you for your comment. It seems the pigeon one is the preferred one thus far. Fair enough! Just glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for dropping in,

Romany.

Macjoyce on 16-08-2007
That Pigeon/Cat - Ode to an Animal Challenge
Yeah, this is really good. A lot of fun. I especially dug "You may be good at aviation."

Silly poetry is underrated. There are few things more satisfying than a well-crafted limerick.

I think you mean "But you can neither soar nor fly".

Always neither...nor.

All the best,
Mac the Pedant


Author's Reply:
Hi again Mac!

Have to disagree with you here I'm afraid. I did mean that line as it was written, although I know what you mean.I'm really glad you enjoyed these. I meant them to be fun, and silly (nothing wrong with silly) and I really enjoyed writing them.

Thanks for all your comments this evening!

Romany.


Christmas Quickies - Selection Box. (posted on: 25-12-06)
As per challenge I started in the forum.

1.) When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney When Santa got stuck up the chimney He began to shout; ''For God's Sake Jean, get the Fire Brigade, I can't bloody well get out!'' But, sick of his shit, Jean had soon lit The kindling and paper too. When Santa got stuck up the chimney, He left as smoke through the flue. 2. To the tune of 'Deck the Halls' Christmas viewing on the telly? Ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha, ha, ha. Packed with laughs to hurt your belly ? Ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha, ha, ha. Turn it off, that's what I'm thinking, Switch it off! Switch it off! Switch-it-off! Telly's rubbish just keep drinking, Ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha, ha, ha. 3. Oh Little Town of Birmingham Oh little town of Birmingham How restlessly you lie, Above thy many shallow streets The angry stars race by. Yet through thy dark streets shineth, A neon, lasting light: 'Chips and hot pies, Sausage rolls and fries On sale here all night.' 4. Silent Night. (Small explanatory note: a 'bob' is a fifty pence piece, needed to feed the electricity meter in some houses. We had one when I was growing up as a kid. Every time the electricity ran out the shout would go up; 'Bob's gone!' to which invariably came the incredibly hilarious rejoinder, 'Where's he gone?' Rib cracking stuff, I know.) P.S I suspect it's gone up to a quid now! Silent Night, Boring Night, Bob has gone, No more light. Round a candle we si-it in gloom, Harbouring tho-oughts of New Year and Doom. Find a fifty pence pie-ece! Fi-ind a fifty pence piece!
Archived comments for Christmas Quickies - Selection Box.
wfgray on 26-12-2006
Christmas Quickies - Selection Box.
Yes they are quickies. The on stuck up in the chimney made my four year old grandson laugh. I thought you had made a quick job lot there. Merry Christmas/ Will

Author's Reply:
A quick job lot is exactly what they are Will. Thanks and happy new year,

Romany.

Sunken on 28-12-2006
Christmas Quickies - Selection Box.
Hello Ms. Romany. Third time of trying to re-comment, fingers crossed. Well done on the success you have had with these. Well worthy of that there nib and no mistake. Thanks.

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spends hours talking to walls

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, not least for re-commenting so many times. Happy new year,

Romany.

eddiesolo on 04-01-2007
Christmas Quickies - Selection Box.
I refrained from commenting on this and wasn't sure about the pm situation...but read it...liked and a HO HO HO to you.

Bit late but who cares.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Better late than never Si - cheers!

Jolen on 17-01-2007
Christmas Quickies - Selection Box.
Oh my goodness, what a treat this was. Clever and crisp!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen, glad you enjoyed them,

Romany.


Light in Dark Corners. (posted on: 08-12-06)
A seasonal poem. Nothing deep.

Light In Dark Corners Where normally would darkness be A many sparkling Christmas tree Gives off such cosy, radiant light, That somehow softens even night. Beneath it, smug and satisfied Gaily wrapped presents hide; They seem to say ''Come! Try and see If you can guess what's inside me!'' Branches bow beneath the weight Of baubles, bows and chocolate, They spread wide, as in embrace, To say, ''This is a cheery place!'' Whilst garlands, tinsels, all bedeck Like diamonds round a prickling neck, And atop it all, calm and serene An angel, or a fairy queen. S P Oldham.
Archived comments for Light in Dark Corners.
littleditty on 09-12-2006
Light in Dark Corners.
Romany -i liked this so much i came back for another go! Reads beautifully and makes me feel all snug - a lovely chrismassy poem -thanks 🙂 xxldx

Author's Reply:
Good! Just the desired effect. Thank you ld,

Romany.

orangedream on 09-12-2006
Light in Dark Corners.
Ditto, Romany. I love poems that make me feel all warm inside almost as much as a glass of good brandy!

Seriously though - enjoyed. Nothing like the Christmas spirit, is there!?

:0)Tina xx

Author's Reply:
Nothing at all, especially when it's in a glass! Thanks Tina, so glad it made you feel warm inside,

Romany.

Sunken on 10-12-2006
Light in Dark Corners.
A smashing little piece Ms. Romany. I particularly like the chocolate line. Thanks.

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regrets august 01

Author's Reply:
Lol! A little tongue in cheek there Sunky? I know that rhyme is a little forced but hey, it's just a little Christmas ditty! Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.


Winter in Two Voices. (posted on: 08-12-06)
At last! The long awaited (lol) collaborative effort of myself and expat, in a somewhat belated response to the Blind Date poetry challenge. We went for a deliberate contrast here. Does the 'voice' if there is one for you, remind you of anyone/anything?

Winter in Two Voices. Do you believe Spring sleeps beneath the snow; Pulsing slow and soft beneath the drifts? Or that Earth, corrupt, lies rotting, sweet and low; In mouldering contempt, as seasons shift? Well, I've got me doubts Spring's having a kip, Wiv them sheets of ice upon its bed, More like it's lying in the grip, Of a Russian blast called Smirnoff Red. Do you not hear the mild, muted breath, Held in patient pause to hail the sun? Or is Spring gasping, labouring in death; Lying cold and wet, defeated and undone? I listened real hard but couldn't hear nowt, Which made me very sorry, 'Cos I never heard the warning shout, Nor the Council's gritting lorry by expat and Romany (Steve and Sue!)
Archived comments for Winter in Two Voices.
Bradene on 08-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
I like this the contrasts of voices, are we supposed to guess which is which I should guess the 1st & 3rd are yours Romany and the 2nd & 4th are expats The 2nd & 4th remind me of Pam Ayres perhaps the 1st and 3rd could be a number of the romantic poets. Very good though very amusing. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
I won't say which is which yet, although I must thank you for your guess at Pam Ayres and 'any romantic poet!" Not quite what we were thinking about when we wrote it, but not too far wide of the mark either! Thanks from us both,

Romany (and expat.)

Ionicus on 08-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
Two voices, one sentimental and one cynical, give contrasting views of Spring. The style of the 1st and 3rd verses are definitely influenced by a romantic poet although I can't put a name to him and my guess is that they were penned by Susan
with Steve being the author of the other two.
A good combination resulting in an amusing poem.

Author's Reply:
Now that's interesting! You and Val are both right as to who wrote which verses, but I am surprised that you both think I was influenced by a romantic poet, as I thought I had written in my own style. I suppose there are probably sub-conscious influences there, though whose I couldn't say! Steve (expat) obviously has far more of a talent for humour than I do.

Thanks for reading and commenting Luigi,

Sue. (Romany and expat)

e-griff on 08-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
Another interesting take - like hazy and shy's - a dialogue, but a different kind again. Deliberate opposites. 🙂 G

Author's Reply:
That's it exactly - we were going for a flavour of Morecombe and Wise, but only a taste of, you understand. When Ernie is 'writing a play' - balanced by Eric's plain silliness. Not meant to be Fanfiction or Eric and Ernie as was, just 'a la' if you will.

Romany.

flossieBee on 09-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
I loved the contrasting voices.
This would work well as a performance poem

Author's Reply:
Do you reckon? Not with me performing it it wouldn't!

Thanks flossie,

Romany.

e-griff on 09-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
(I wish i could continue debate under the same original post)

I would say its more 'Two Ronnies' myself - they used to do that. Big Ronnie city gent in bowler, little ronnie common as muck. I bet that's who you really meant! (only just realised)

Author's Reply:
No, we meant Eric and Ernie! But I know what you are getting at. Hey, if that's what it put you in mind of, then great - it's along the same lines. Thanks,

Romany.

Kat on 09-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
Well done to you and Steve on this collaboration! I have to say it reminded me of the Pogues song 'Fairytale in New York' when Shane MacGowan duets with Kirsty MacColl (so I wasn't really heading in the romantic poets direction!), or anywhere near it for that matter lol I know I'm way off, but it was the contrast that got me and I thought was so effective.

Kat x



Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat - that is my all time favourite Christmas record!

Romany.

Sunken on 09-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
Even 50% of Romany is enough to satisfy. Not that Expat isn't satisfying... oh balls to it, I'll just rate.

s
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regrets sitting in santa's lap

Author's Reply:
Bless you Sunky, thank you!

Romany.

expat on 09-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. There's no way I could have collaborated with Sue on a serious level because I don't have the poetic skills, so I went for the lighter side. It was fun doing it and Sue's verses stand alone very well.

Author's Reply:
But writing humorous poetry is no mean feat either Steve - enjoyed our little collaboration - we must do it again sometime!

Romany.

eddiesolo on 09-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
I agree with FlossieBee, this would make a great performance piece.

I liked this very much.

Well done to you both.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
On behalf of expat and myself, thanks Si. Anyone up for an acting role? Lol!

Romany.

expat on 09-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
That's very kind of you, Si. Many thanks!
Sue & Steve.
€:^)

Author's Reply:
Hi again Steve! You beat me to it - can't wait for this notifications glitch to be fixed!

Sue.

expat on 12-12-2006
Winter in Two Voices.
I sent a reply this morning and it's done disappeared!
Once again, many thanks for the compliment, Shy, it's especially heartening coming from one of UKAs poetic luminaries. I'm sure I speak on behalf of Romany too (who's been having notification problems).
Best wishes,
Steve.

Author's Reply:


One Colour - In Remembrance (posted on: 17-11-06)
A late sub meant for last weekend. Romany.

One Colour In Remembrance. Even in these jaded, jealous days Over these clouded, grey horizons; They wait still, beneath greening tendrils, Bowing yet to the breeze in salutation Despite the muddied, earthy eulogies, Well intentioned; growing pale in the light; Shaded brown and miserable in text-books, Dying forever in slow, sepia moments But one colour stands up to long service; Eclipses all the washed-out hues, The watery pastels and paints, Spilled, not mixed, upon the canvas One brave colour carpets fields; blossoms On still-beating breasts, here at home Like blood-blooms from the entry of bullets Or the weighty recognition, enduring always That they should have been here longer, Waving back, wild and windblown as the flowers; Cherished and borne proudly and with honour Like the Poppies; but they are all that remain. S. P. Oldham.
Archived comments for One Colour - In Remembrance
Dil on 17-11-2006
One Colour - In Remembrance
'Like blood-blooms from the entry of bullets'...found this line extra special as indeed the remainder of your wonderful poem.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Thank you Dil,

Romany.

wfgray on 17-11-2006
One Colour - In Remembrance
As always. A creditable and nice poem for the time of the year. I stood this week-end with some of my comrades who I still rate as my life long friends. We will never forget. Will

Author's Reply:
And nor should you. Nor should any of us. Thanks Will,

Romany.

Kat on 17-11-2006
One Colour - In Remembrance
This is an excellent write, Romany - love:

'Like blood-blooms from the entry of bullets' = the perfect (sad) image and brilliant for your extended metaphor.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat, appreciated.

Romany.

Sunken on 18-11-2006
One Colour - In Remembrance
Hello Ms. Romany. Sorry I missed you again. You're getting some terrible positions lately. Nothing terrible about the sub though. A very clever write and no mistake.

s
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k
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his ladder only has three rungs because he's scared of heights

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunky, always good to hear from you.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 22-11-2006
One Colour - In Remembrance
Top poem Sue.

I am sorry for not commenting sooner, read it earlier and then had my problem with my eyes, hence not on for a while.

I think this is a really excellent write.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Good to hear from you Si. Sorry to hear you are still having trouble with your eyes. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, especially since it's not easy for you at the moment. Look after yourself,

Sue.


Warmest Wishes (posted on: 10-11-06)
Struggling to put across what I am trying to say here!

Warmest Wishes All kinds of warmth From the roaring coal fire, To the burdened stove Giving rise to golden cakes Sausage rolls, mince pies; Or the advent candle That burned too slow I could blow it out If I was good From scratching, itching jumpers To soft flannelette pyjamas That we wore furtively Under our clothes when It was really cold outside Our own brand Of shameful secret A rush of warmth Stepping in to the living room From the cold, damp hallway; Even the shouted 'close the door!' Was a kind of warmth The most special kind; From family and friends Doubting, arguing, loving warmth; All of this comes cosily wrapped Throwing shadows on walls long gone Cocooning me in the reassuring, Comforting warmth, that is nostalgia. Far enough away now, Not to get burned. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Warmest Wishes
Dil on 10-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
Made me laugh about wearing the pyjamas under your clothes...something I remember doing when I was younger. In all, this brought back memories for me, and love the way you created your own warmth in this well written piece.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dil, and I am glad I made you laugh!

Romany.

e-griff on 10-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
A nice expression of the warmth of family love, and the emotional spikes hidden within it. G

Author's Reply:
That's it exactly, thanks egriff,

Romany.

Sunken on 11-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
Blimey, I nearly missed you there Ms. Romany. I'd never forgive myself if I overlooked one of my favourite ukaneers. Your poem puts me in mind of some of my favourite things. I have taken the liberty to list just a few of these things for your perusal.

Waking up to discover it wasn't dream, she really did return the smile.

Receiving someone else's mail by mistake and putting the discount coupons to good use.

Discovering that a long lost relative invented the turnip.

I hope these examples help. Thanks.

s
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he can't find the hoover bags

Author's Reply:
What a lovely thing to say Sunky, you old charmer you. Thank you. As to your list, the first is rather sad and touching, the second I have done myself (washing powder vouchers, dog food vouchers and money off tights!) The third; you're not related to Baldrick, are you?

Romany.

RoyBateman on 11-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
Well, you certainly got it across as far as I'm concerned...to me, warmth is an essential part of any existence, and any writing, yet it's astonishing how many best-selling authors have not one jot of it. (Most crime writers esp. Ruth Rendell, S Faulks, I could ramble on for ever.) And there are so many ways of expressing it. A universal subject, covered with finesse.
ps For a dog, this is exceptional. Award yourself a bone at once!

Author's Reply:
Woof! Thank you. Ruth Rendell is one of my favourites as it happens. Perhaps it is difficult to write 'warmly' when your subject matter includes murderers? Thanks Roy,

Romany.

Kat on 11-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
Romany, I ditto Roy's comments, and you succeeded in your aim. Beautifully and sensitively written.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thank you Kat, am pleased it seems to have worked after all,

Romany.

SugarMama34 on 11-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
Hiya Romany,
A lovely nostalgic poem of days gone by, mixed with good and bad feelings that make up fond memories.
I liked the pyjama imagery too, it made me smile. A sentimental write that shows warmth. A nice one for christmas.

Hugs,

Sugar.xx

Author's Reply:
Sentimentality is not something I normally go in for, but you're right SugarMama, this is sentimental all right! Thank you for your warm response,

Romany.

genova on 14-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
You are a profoundly deep person indeed! Are you an angel? I am a very infrequent visitor to these pages, but you regularly display soul in astronomical amounts...this piece is beyond me in ways you could never imagine...but very comforting...it reminds me a bit of winters in Ireland in the early seventies, listening to my quite mad gran tell stories by the fire...me with pj's beneath clothes! After a whole bottle of Jim Beam, your piece reminds me of...was it Mark Twain?= " I'm not afraid of death-I was dead for many billions of years before I was born, and it did me no harm at all!' Good Luck Romany!

Author's Reply:
Sorry, done it yet again. Reply is below.
Romany.

Romany on 14-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
Your comment is almost beyond me too, though very gratefully recieved. I am most flattered that you think that I 'display soul in astronomical amounts;' - that's what this poetry lark is all about, for me. I'm a Jack Daniels girl myself; I hope the good Jim Beam didn't influence your wonderful comment in anway! I am most definitely not an angel either, but thank you so much for asking!
Good luck to you too, Genova,
Romany.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 22-11-2006
Warmest Wishes
A lovely sentimental piece Sue.

Enjoyed reading very much, made me think of loved ones departed.

Si:-) *having a sniff*



Author's Reply:
Thank you Si, and sorry I made you sniffle. I hope this comment hasn't gone unanswered too long - am not getting any notifications of anything from UKA lately. Thanks again,
Sue.


Look Closer Then. (posted on: 30-10-06)
Poem.

Look Closer Then. When I steel myself to gaze at my reflection Do I see images of carefully coiffed perfection? Hollywood pouts? A time defying complexion? Sculpted youth? Eternal resurrection? No trace of ever walking life's direction? Make-up daubed and smeared in rouged correction? Accentuation; accent and inflection? Look closer then! I merit more inspection My faults and favours are of nature's selection You don't often see an image of dejection; To life's creases, scars and lines I've no objection I wear a badge of my acceptance and rejection Never yet was born a woman flawless, unimpaired Lines and furrows serve to show how, in life, she has fared. S. P Oldham
Archived comments for Look Closer Then.
eddiesolo on 30-10-2006
Look Closer Then.
Now this I do like Sue.

No matter what creams, potions and lippy are smeared on faces they do not really hide what's beneath.

Lovely write.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
No they don't, unfortunately! Thanks Si, appreciated,

Sue.

potleek on 30-10-2006
Look Closer Then.
Romany the last line is perhaps correct, but doesn't death smooth many of them out.
Perhaps we shouldn't examine too closely what we see in a mirror...Tony

Author's Reply:
You are right of course, we shouldn't. But we do anyway! Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.

e-griff on 30-10-2006
Look Closer Then.
It's difficult to sustain the same rhyme throughout without becoming contrived, but you've done a good job with this, and I enjoyed it very much.
But I felt the line : My faults and favours are of nature’s selection was a wee bit clonky ('are of nature's' steps out of the rhythm)
'My faults and favours nature's own selection' or similar would do it.
And unlike the elegance of the main part, I did find the two last lnes disappointing, where you have had to twist the grammar round to get the rhyme. A bit of rethinking of those lines, bringing them up to the standard of the rest, would put the cherry on the cake, I think.

best JohnG


Author's Reply:
Thanks John, I am glad you enjoyed it. I am not sure I agree about the 'nature's selection' line, but I take your point about the ending. Will give it some thought.

Thanks again,
Sue/Romany.

barenib on 30-10-2006
Look Closer Then.
I like the idea expressed here; I've always preferred women with the natural look to those with trowel loads of Max Factor, or whatever 🙂
Enjoyable piece, John.

Author's Reply:
Me too John. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Romany.

Ionicus on 30-10-2006
Look Closer Then.
Excellent Susan. I like the play with words: 'Accentuation; accent and inflection?'
The poem flows well but I agree with JohnG that the last two lines are a bit clunky. A bit of cosmetic surgery will soon remedy their complexion.
Well done on the nib.

Luigi x


Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi - 'clunky' Lol! Good word. You are right of course, both you and John. When I get the chance and my head is a little less busy(!) I will have another look. Always appreciated,
Sue.

Sunken on 30-10-2006
Look Closer Then.
(-: Yey. You got nibbed Ms. Romany. Well done. Much deserved. As for perfection, it only exists in the heads of advertising executives. Give me a decent flaw to ogle any day of the week. Top poem. Well done.

s
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never been to scunthorpe

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunken; couldn't be further removed from perfection myself, which is true for everyone of course. Thanks for reading,

Romany.

Dil on 31-10-2006
Look Closer Then.
Top write. Well deserved nib.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dil.

Romany.

soman on 02-11-2006
Look Closer Then.
An objective, introspective self-evaluation? Not very common these days!

Soman

Author's Reply:
Apparently not! Thanks Soman,

Romany.

littleditty on 04-11-2006
Look Closer Then.
Loved it Romany -

was thinking about the ending - you have probably thought about these -but as you used contractions throughout perhaps these are a bit smoother, simpler

Never yet was born a woman flawless, unimpaired. Lines and furrows serve to show how in life she's fared.

(you could italic 'how')

Never yet was born a woman flawless, unimpaired
Lines and furrows serve to show how in life, she's fared.

just thoughts! liked the sentiments here very much! xxldx

Author's Reply:
Thank you ld; I must give this ending some more thought! Thanks for your suggestions, will give them some thought too,

Romany.

Rosco on 19-11-2006
Look Closer Then.
It's chilling how that ending channels Thomas Hardy.

Author's Reply:
Really? Yet another occasion for me to demonstrate my profound ignorance. In what way do you mean 'channels Thomas Hardy?' Did it remind you of him in some way? A particular piece? In a good way or a bd way? Am intrigued now and would very much like to know more. Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

Rosco on 20-11-2006
Look Closer Then.
In a very fortunate way. I was enjoying the inventiveness of the word choice and the vanity of the subject and the facility with language, and then boom, that determinism he hammered into the culture stated as plainly and clearly as he did. I looked through some of the post 1914 poems, but I couldn't find a line or poem that paralled it in a way that suggests a direct borrowing or anything of that kind. I just hear his voice and manner of relating a stern and uncompromising reflection.

Author's Reply:
I am flattered that you went to such lengths on account of my little poem, but I could have saved you the hassle, as I knew there was no 'direct borrowing!' Am shamefully ignorant of the man and his work. I am pleased though that the voice here had a resonance for you, and that you found a similarity to another, far better and more well known, writer! Thanks for coming back to clarify, and my apologies for lateness of response - am not getting any notifications of anything from UKA.
Romany.

ThePhoenix on 04-12-2006
Look Closer Then.
an excellent poem,

I agree with e-griff the continued rhyming can be dangerous but you've pulled it off,

great thankyou,

dX

Author's Reply:
Thank you - I am glad you think it worked.

Romany.


I May Not Know Art... (posted on: 27-10-06)
...but I know what I like, (and more to the point, what I don't!)

I May Not Know Art... I study it with interest and ignorance Trying hard to seem to know what I'm about But the hall I'm in echoes with such resonance That all I hear in my own voice is doubt They tell me that the colours, bold and vivid Hold different meanings, each in their own way; That the red block in each corner, pulsing, livid Has some profoundly artistic thing to say I stare and stare, and try to make it reach me I'm desperate not to let it pass me by I'm sure that there is something there to teach me; But it's elusive, no matter how I try 'It's art!' They cry, 'Can you not comprehend?' 'Can you not appreciate the form and light?' And I struggle on, but never reach the end Of my poor confusion, try as I might There's nothing in this painting that can touch me; Nothing in it that makes me think of life, Nothing there to warm me or inspire me, Or impart some misfortune, deed or strife There are no words to clarify its meaning Its beauty, my eye will not behold It is brash and loud; it's endless screaming It is shapeless, formless and too bold It is wild primary colours gone a-riot; But it is all secondary to me It is pounding, promising disquiet; Histrionics of a paintbrush, seemingly. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for I May Not Know Art...
Sunken on 27-10-2006
I May Not Know Art...
Oh well done Ms. Romany. I love the final line. I have no pictures up as they won't allow me to press pins into the padded walls )-: Top write.

s
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last in cross country because he wasn't angry enough

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken. I wasn't too sure about that final line myself - seems a little too final, if that makes any sense (which I doubt!) Wrote this years ago and found it just sitting around, so I dusted it off and posted it just to see how it would fare. Thanks for taking the time,

Romany.

Dil on 27-10-2006
I May Not Know Art...
You have expressed your feeling so very well in an honest account of your reading of art.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dil; not all art leaves me like this I have to say, just some. Don't even know what it is classed as. God I am such an ignoramus!

Romany.

reckless on 29-10-2006
I May Not Know Art...
I do like 'histrionics of the paintbrush'. Sums up the daftness and delusionism of modern 'art' That's the one where an empty gallery is art because it forces you to remember other art you've seen elsewhere. Yeah right. Anyhow, art is to be enjoyed, not 'comprehended'. Those who try to read meaning into it remind me of people who see the Virgin Mary on their toast and marmite. woooooo!!! I generally get Arsene Wenger.

Author's Reply:
Not sure I agree that 'art is to be enjoyed, not comprehended' entirely. Most people, when faced with something that is not in some tiny way recognisable and/or pleasing to the eye, will say 'What the hell is that supposed to be?' won't they? I suppose it's a bit like poetry, a point I have made endlessly before, where the 'reader' has his/her own take on the subject and takes away from it what he/she will. This 'art' works for some (although I can't help thinking that there is the same kind of snobbery around art as there is around wine and 'literature) but I'm afraid it leaves me cold. No, that's not entirely true; it leaves me mildly annoyed and irritated. Interesting. That's a response in itself I suppose, though not necessarily what the artist would want.

Anyway, thanks for your comment reckless. I've never seen the Virgin Mary in my toast and Marmite, but I did once see Twisted Sister in my cornflakes; does that count? Lol!
Romany.

Macjoyce on 23-11-2006
I May Not Know Art...
I really like the sentiment of this poem. It's something that ought to be said, but which frequently isn't said through fear of being dismissed as a philistine and a vulgarian. I too think most modern art is pretentious, remote, uninspiring, meaningless, obscure, ugly wank.

I'd love to give this poem a ten and a nomination, but I can't because the metre is too clumsy. My dear Romany, with just a few minor alterations you can make this piece blinding.

I don't want to be a sticklerish metre pedant bore, but the truth is, poems which aren't in free verse sound so much nicer when the metre is consistent. You can tell me to piss off if you like, but here are some suggestions for line changes. Don't tell me to piss off until you've read the poem incorporating these, and then decide if you think I'm right or not...

And yearn to seem to know what I'm about
But the hall that I'm in echoes with such resonance
Has something desperately profound to say
But it eludes, no matter how I try
I struggle on, but never reach the end
Of my confusion, labour as I might
Nothing in it makes me think of life
Or impart some great misfortune, deed or strife
It's beauty that my eye cannot behold
It's brash and loud, it's endless, endless screaming
It's shapeless, formless, frameless and too bold
It's wild primary colours gone a-riot
But which, alas, are secondary to me
It's all just pounding, promising disquiet


Et voila. Near flawless iambic pentameter.

All the best,

Mac


Author's Reply:
Thanks Mac. Egriff is often pulling me up on my metre (or lack of it) and I wouldn't dream of second guessing either of you when it comes down to it, as you and he both have a knack for it (I can do it, honest! I just don't always want to.) I read your version and whilst I must agree that it is undou btedly near perfect in its use of iambic pentameter, I can't help but feel that as a result, it has lost some of the clumsiness that I wanted to come across in its original form. A kind of physical, on-the-paper, edge to what I was trying to express. I am no more perfect at poetry than I can claim to be an 'expert' at art or its appreciation! But, I know you meant your comments kindly and I appreciate your efforts to educate me (no mean feat in itself!) I promise I will look closely at your revised version and give it some serious thought. I might even feel a resub coming on!
Thanks Mac, appreciated,
Romany.


Clarity. (posted on: 23-10-06)
Just a poem.

Clarity From a clear heart, the pulsing veins Grow weary with the weighty rains, Swell upon sweet mother earth, Until they break, in blissful birth Calming greens and soothing blues Silvering streams and myriad hues; As racing brooks or teardrops small Graceful curve, crashing waterfall Each drop purer than the last Affecting all it brushes past Relentless,ancient in devotion It flows, triumphant, to the ocean Yet at this bridge, in a shaded spot It slows, its urgent haste forgot; Like the willows that bow to its edge, I lie across the low bridge edge, Let my fingers trail in the wake Of the path the unseen trails take, I close my eyes and listen long To nature's bells; their joyful song, I let the music lullaby I watch the foaming play and die I imagine, in this cool embrace, The bridge is gone, and in its place I lie in endless reverie Cool water washing over me To awaken, fresh and anointed From a time my soul appointed Knowing, even as I dream My soul's source is that clear stream. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Clarity.
orangedream on 23-10-2006
Clarity.
Reminds me of the sentiments of Simon and Garfunkel song, 'Bridge over Troubled Water', which is a timeless, beautiful song. As is this poem. Wonderfully written with some very pleasing imagery.

kind regards
orangedream

Author's Reply:
I couldn't ask for more than that od; thank you.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 23-10-2006
Clarity.
I read this earlier and refrained from commenting as I wanted to say something really poignant about this piece.

I couldn't think of anything but...beautiful.

I loved it this morning and I love it more tonight.

Wonderful write Sue.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
A touching and gratefully received comment Si, thank you.

Romany.

Dazza on 02-11-2006
Clarity.
Water. I love the stuff, salt and fresh and you have put a name as to why. Blissful poem, Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Apologies for my late response Dazza - only just saw this. Thank you for your comment; I love being around water too, when it is tame and contained. Having a bit too much of the bloody stuff at the moment as we have some seriously dodgy plumbing (never happy, I know!)

Thanks again,

Romany.


Italica (posted on: 23-10-06)
Just a thought.

Italica. The trouble with those words in smug italics is, That in reality, we can neither see nor hear them They are locked inside our minds, often too weak To materialise as anything more than printed symbols So they pass into the ether, unspoken, unshared; Unrecognised, which seems to me to be a shame They look so pretty on the page, yet I, the jealous reader Only learn of them through the close, imparted words Of main protagonists. They would be such a boon To the spoken word, I can't help but think; the few battles They might start, would be a small price to pay For the wounds that they might heal. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Italica
Dil on 23-10-2006
Italica
A well thought out piece.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Thank you Dil.

Romany.

orangedream on 23-10-2006
Italica
I second that, wholeheartedly. A well-written poem. Enjoyed.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina,

Romany.

Ionicus on 23-10-2006
Italica
Hear, hear. Very original dear Su.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi,

Romany.

eddiesolo on 23-10-2006
Italica
This is original Sue, very much enjoyed it.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thank you Si,

Romany.

Sunken on 26-10-2006
Italica
Nice one Ms. Romany. I was going to be clever and comment in italics, but I can't. I don't mean I can't comment, tho that is true as I am crap at it. I meant I can't comment in italics... God, this is the worst critique yet. I'll leave quietly. Thanks.

s
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keeps god on hold

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thank you Sunky - you are clever anyway, I happen to know. The hamster told me so...
(hey, that rhymes - perhaps I'm a poet and I don't know it?)

Romany.


See Them Grow. (posted on: 20-10-06)
Really don't know, other than it's a poem!

See Them Grow See them grow, through the wooden grasses, Their spectrum heads bowed to the breeze No Latin; yet they are in classes To grow or wilt at the wise oak's knees. Fast growing flowers; dark or flaxen Orchid black and poppy-head red, A dandelion frizz, tulip waxen, They seek warmth in their primary bed. Rushing raised hands, like reeds or the heather Allowing depth in the currents of thought; Flurry up, flurry down; like a feather Freed from birds, that the playful wind caught. Set in rows, neatly spaced and ordered Brushing petals with flowers and ferns; A classroom garden, wall and glass-bordered Their futures root, the ancient earth learns. Some grow tall, casting far-reaching shadows, Some stay timid and seek out the shade, Some grow upon grow, to fill out the meadows But all will remember, when they played As seedlings, fragile and weak Held safe by fences unseen In a time when all life was unique And all sides of the fences were green. S Oldham.
Archived comments for See Them Grow.
eddiesolo on 20-10-2006
See Them Grow.
Hi Sue.

This is an interesting piece and I thought it was about children at first. I re-read and not to sure as to the meaning behind it. I think its a great piece that would work well if it was free-form and not rhyming IMO, although the rhyming does work.

Babbling again.

I liked it.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si; it is about kids, you're right, although as always, poetry can mean so much more than just one thing. I take your point about free-verse, but I seem to be in a rhyming frame of mind of late!
Thanks again,
Romany.

Kat on 20-10-2006
See Them Grow.
Romany, I go along with Tai-Li's comments - a beautiful, heartfelt poem with a wonderful sentiment and the metaphor works so well. Loved, 'A dandelion frizz' and your ending is excellent. A very skilful write.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
I am so pleased that you think so Kat - thank you!

Romany.

Zoya on 20-10-2006
See Them Grow.
"As seedlings, fragile and weak
Held safe by fences unseen
In a time when all life was unique
And all sides of the fences were green."

this last stanza sums up the poem so beautifully!

Yes, children are like flowers
in the garden of life,
and each has his own fragrance,
Each his own colour,
Each his own little way to grow;
Some like weeds ,
Some like roses,
Some like daisies,
Or dandelions grow...

Very beautifully developed idea, skillfully rhymed and perfect rhythm...
Thanks for sharing.
Love,
Zoya



Author's Reply:
What a lovely comment. Thank you Zoya,

Romany.

orangedream on 21-10-2006
See Them Grow.
'And all sides of the fences were green'.

What a marvellous line Romany. Such a deep, thoughtful and well constructed poem, which said far more than its words.

Enjoyed, thank you.

Tina

Author's Reply:
I am glad you liked that line od; I would hope that its meaning is clear. It appears to be so far. Thank you for reading and for leaving such a kind comment.

Romany.

scotch on 21-10-2006
See Them Grow.
hi i like the theme, the speed when reading it, it seems like a list poem in parts then changes slightly to tells about variety in life...scotch

Author's Reply:
A list poem? Really? Interesting - never thought of it like that when I was writing it. Thanks Scotch.

Romany.

spongemonkey on 22-10-2006
See Them Grow.

Hi Romany, forgive me if I'm wrong but is this colorful, fragrant little number about growing children by any chance?

If so good on you, I enjoyed it and I think it involves kids in some respect take care. The sponge.

Author's Reply:
Absolutely spot on Spongey! Thanks for reading,

Romany.

Sunken on 22-10-2006
See Them Grow.
Hello Ms. Romany. Isn't it dull outside? It puts me in mind of a barry manillow concert. Thank god for your poem, that's what I say. Thanks.

s
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at the copa, copa cabana... the hottest spot north of... Botswana? Or was it Tesco. I forget.

Author's Reply:
Hello Sunky! Thanks for the kind comment; I'm pleased that it was the weather you found dull (and Barry Manilow) and not my little effort at poetry!

Romany.


Wild Sunset (posted on: 06-10-06)
Not really satisfied with this one yet, but can't put my finger on why! Edited, after the kind suggestions of my good friend eddiesolo (Si) and the interest of a very patient e-griff! This version is Si's reworking (bar two words - wanted to keep the rhyme scheme.) Thanks mate, I owe you one! Romany.

WILD SUNSET. A pallid sun rests in a lowering sky, Rendering vibrant, pastel shades, Mindless of the geese as they fly, It rules from cotton-wisp glades. Its boundary shimmers through waters below Its warmth holds the wild birds aloft, The waves accept it, caress it, and so Its kiss for the shoreline is soft This faded flight then; this oiled moment Is long past and yet passes still, Beneath the grey icing, the currents foment The sun dies, the geese fly, until, You turn away from the framed and the captured Your mind's eye become distant and flown In the scene and the sky that enraptured The pale sun governs aeons, alone. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Wild Sunset
Ginger on 06-10-2006
Wild Sunset
I can't see what's wrong, sounds beautiful to me. Just one typo (I think):

Your mind’s eye become(s) distant and flown

Should that have an 's' on the end?

Thanks,
Lisa

Author's Reply:
Thanks Lisa. I think it can stand with or without the 's' at the end to be honest. It was intentional rather than a typo anyway. I'll see what others think. Thank you for reading and commenting,

Romany.

e-griff on 06-10-2006
Wild Sunset
I think this poem takes off at verse three, where the voice changes completely for me. What about the first two verses then? Whereas the second half 'flies' in meaning, these two are simply attempting physical description in a poetic way to set up the scene. I'd be tempted to cut it to one verse, and make it as rich as the last two by condensing the main thoughts of the two. I won't attempt to suggest that to you, but I do have these 'tidying' suggestions for the last two verses for you to consider:

This faded flight then; this oiled moment
Is long past - yet passes still.
Beneath grey icing, currents foment
Sun dies, geese fly on, until ...,

(too many the's and for rhythm originally)

You turn away from framed, enraptured,
Mind’s eye become distant, flown.
In the scene and sky that captured
A pale sun governs aeons. Alone.

best, JohnG

(the sky that enraptured - too many syllables to fit comfortably on the original line)




Author's Reply:
I think you are spot on re the setting the scene in the first two verses e-griff, and I felt the change in voices myself, so hats off to you! I am currently too busy helping my other half celebrate his birthday (sneaked off for a minute!) so I will look at your suggestions more closely tomorrow. Thanks for once again taking the time,

Romany.

Sunken on 07-10-2006
Wild Sunset
Hello Ms. Romany. I think it's smashing as it is. It reminds me of shredded wheat with warm milk and just a fine sprinkling of sugar. I hope this helps. Thanks.

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stakes out burger king in hope of meeting Elvis

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken - what a sweet comment!

Romany.

wfgray on 19-10-2006
Wild Sunset
Hi Romany. I love that name. This poem reminds me of a day in Scotland about this time last year. I was passing an open field when about 200 geese flew up. Minds eye becomes distant when they flew into the sky. Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks Will, I am pleased that this little poem conjured up that lovely image for you. It was written (as seems to be my wont lately) 'for' a birthday card that I picked up for someone, and ended up keeping because I thought it was a lovely picture! Must find the name of the artist and picture, and post it here.
Thanks again,
Romany.

eddiesolo on 19-10-2006
Wild Sunset
Hi Sue,

Glad that you thought my suggestions worked, I did like the original but just felt it a tad long in certain lines.

To be honest a lovely piece in whichever format you choose.

Si:-)


Author's Reply:
I think you were absolutely right Si. You know that I always appreciate your point of view. Thanks for giving me a nudge in the right direction.

Romany.

P.S Glad you like it!


Blood Lust. (posted on: 02-10-06)
Poem. Don't often write with the voice of a man, if you know what I mean. Don't really know what prompted this one.

Blood Lust. I stood at the foot of a steepening hill One amongst many a man, Armed with my courage, my love and my will I set out upon my battle plan A hard mail breast-plate, over a heart Pounding a drum beat of war Greaves and iron, leather and helmet Were all the protection I bore I've witnessed many a dismal dawn Seen the sun set, blood red, at dusk Terrified at my own ferocity, borne From my own urgent yearning and lust I fought 'til my arms grew heavy and tired My hands slick, my eyes weary and red Mortality won; cruel fates conspired That I should lay down my head The battle was over, lost blow by blow For me it has ended at last You saw not so much as my shadow And you never darkened my past So many men have yearned for your love But for me, there is no blessing said At the close of the battle for your heart You must count me among the dead. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Blood Lust.
Gerry on 02-10-2006
Blood Lust.
Well as they say my friend--you just can't win em all 😉
Nice poem by the way...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry.

Romany.

orangedream on 02-10-2006
Blood Lust.
Well written poem Strange the things that leap into our minds sometimes.

Enjoyed, thank you.

regards
orangedream

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thank you - is that your polite way of saying this poem is strange? Lol!

Cheers Orangedream,

Romany.

Ginger on 02-10-2006
Blood Lust.
Graphic images of a battle, nicely countered with relationships (unless I completely misunderstood!).

Regards,
Lisa

Author's Reply:
Spot on Ginger, thank you.

Romany.

Sunken on 02-10-2006
Blood Lust.
Dear Ms. Romany, have you considered reincarnation? Not to be mistaken with carnation cream... do they still make that? It's lovely with jelly. Sorry. Great poem... god, I really am crap at this. Why haven't I been banned yet? That Andrea woman is very lax on the moderating front. I hope this comment finds you in positions relative to toast. Thanks.

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sponsored by bird flu

Author's Reply:
Sunky, you are bonkers, but I am glad you dropped in anway!

Your remarks about Carnation reminded me of my oldest son a few years back. I am not in the habit of buying condensed milk, but for some reason I had some in the cupboard and he had seen it on the morning we went on holiday. Half way to Great Yarmouth he turned to ask me if I thought the 'concerned' milk would be all right. Bless.

Romany.

parallel to toasted bread

potleek on 05-10-2006
Blood Lust.
Romany very nicely put, I enjoyed reading this, you set the scene very well...Tony

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Tony.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 21-10-2006
Blood Lust.
Wow Sue!

Good, good piece.

I loved the very last stanza it just worked so well even though it was sad. Rounded the whole thing off.

So many interpretations with this. The love a woman, the love of your king and country. Dramatic write and a real joy to read.

Si:-) Really liking this.

Author's Reply:
Sorry Si, my response is below. Replied in wrong place as usual.

By the way, I wrote it as a dramatic/romantic piece, a metaphor for unrequieted love, but you are right, it could equally be a real battle and the love for king/queen and country. Thanks.
Romany.

Romany on 21-10-2006
Blood Lust.
Thanks Si - much appreciated!

Romany grinning, liking the fact that Si is really liking this!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Ccurious on 16-02-2007
Blood Lust.
Dear Romany, Very nice poem! I enjoyed reading it! Within it relies many meanings. The scene was very nicely written out as well! Sadly, his heart died. lol. so blunt I am. but very nice poem!

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ccurious - pleased you liked it!
Romany.


The Real Witch (posted on: 02-10-06)
Okay, so we are in October, spirit of Hallowe'en and all things spooky, I offer up a little poem that was published in Lost in the Dark online magazine in 2004. See what you make of her....

The Real Witch. Gnarled and grey, with eyes like pitch An evil smile; a tight lip's twitch Whip-like hair, the sting of the switch Foul smelling breath; the stench of a ditch Truly a most repulsive bitch Boiling and belching, the cauldron cooks She stops. She strains her ears. She looks Impaled on her wicked nails; vile hooks The wings and hearts of a brace of rooks Saliva drips; she consults her books No tasty stew will this mess be No drop ensures eternity Not of this, will she live happily; Happiness has no security For a rotten soul such as she And in that mix of blackest intent What's left of some creature, torn and rent Follows the trail her cruel spoon went Spirals round and down, with no relent As she tends to it; her stance twisted and bent Her figure seems frails in this dim light Seems incapable of any fight But inside, there's something, burns hard and bright That's fooled many a man on a fateful night Enticed them in, to irresistible plight Her trophies hang around her walls Beneath them, like paint, blood drips and falls When the fierce wind drops you can hear their calls Her stooped back straightens; her fists ball She smiles. She so enjoyed them all Outside, eternal night remains Time erodes the give-away stains Washed away by the coldest rains The ground, her ground, absorbs their pains And from their loss, that hag gains. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for The Real Witch
orangedream on 02-10-2006
The Real Witch
Wow! 'Hubble, bubble toil and trouble' is what I say! Very atmospheric. An effective 'word picture'. Enjoyed.

regards
orangedream

Author's Reply:
Thanks od, just what I was after.

Romany.

Bradene on 02-10-2006
The Real Witch
Have to agree with Tina the imagery is strong enough to turn my blood to ice Nice one. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
So it achieved the desired affect? Lol! Thanks Val,

Romany.

Gerry on 02-10-2006
The Real Witch
Romany. Blimey, I thought my mother in law had returned from the grave (God rest her soul)

Clever stuff...

Gerry xxx

Author's Reply:
Lol! You are wicked, Gerry! Thanks for reading,

Romany.

Kat on 02-10-2006
The Real Witch
Romany, I really enjoyed this and the title fits so well - your witch is definitely 'the real witch'! Well done for the publication - she deserved it!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat - she's not very nice, is she?

Romany.

Sunken on 04-10-2006
The Real Witch
Dear Ms. Romany, if I have bad dreams tonight I shall be holding you entirely responsible. So think on. Thanks.

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never trust a man with a tea cosy on his head

Author's Reply:
Sorry Sunky - never realised you were of a nervous disposition. Cuddle up to the hamster - he'll protect you. (How is Rudy anyway? Haven't heard from him in a while.)

Romany.

shadow on 05-10-2006
The Real Witch
Ooooh, spooky! I like it. (Actually it reminds me of my old maths teacher).

Author's Reply:
Oh dear! Lol! Thanks shadow.

Romany.


Joyce (posted on: 29-09-06)
A short poem for my sister, Joyce, as the result of a challenge she laid down about four years ago! Finally did something about it. Make of it what you will. Romany.

Joyce 'I am stirring my resolve,' she said Her hair as dark and wild as the night; She faced the heartless space and Dared the stars to take her on, The moon to fight his corner Dead leaves scrapped and whispered, Fell still and silent under her eye; Mist descended cautiously Like oil on torrid water Whilst raindrops, silent and unseen Slid stealthily down window panes To evaporate into midnight, Where Joyce held sway. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Joyce
Sunken on 29-09-2006
Joyce
Simply brilliant Ms. Romany. I am painting a nib on my monitor as we speak.

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Rolls Joyce

Author's Reply:
Why thank you kindly sir!

Romany.

Dil on 29-09-2006
Joyce
Good poetry that is a joy to read.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Lovely! Thanks Dil,
Romany.

orangedream on 29-09-2006
Joyce
What else can I do but nod - enthusiastically in agreement.

Lovely, thank you.

Tina

Author's Reply:
No, thank you, Tina!

Romany.

Kat on 29-09-2006
Joyce
Romany, what an intriguing and strong write - enjoyed lots!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thank you Kat - always appreciated.

Romany.

Gerry on 29-09-2006
Joyce
Romany, the meaning here seems quite clear, you captured the scene well. Nice one...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry - wonder what you interpret it as being about...

Romany.

Gerry on 30-09-2006
Joyce
Romany, I may be way off mark--I quite often am 😉

It seems to me that your sis was having a little battle with the world 'as young girls are wont to do' could it have been male trouble?

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Lol! Close but no cigar! She is my older sister, but she will relish being referred to as a girl! What she was actually doing was literally stirring her Resolve, i.e. a medicinal cure for a hangover! I asked what she was doing and she said, "Stirring my resolve. Hey! That's a good line for a poem," and proceeded to challenge me to write one - 4 years ago!

Thanks for your interest,

Romany.

RoyBateman on 30-09-2006
Joyce
Whatever the nuances here, it's a graphic word-picture and very striking. Reminded me perhaps of "Wuthering Heights," or maybe either of the part endings of "Gone With the Wind."

Author's Reply:
Fabulous comment! Turbulent, elemental, indefensible - just what I was trying to achieve. Thank you so much; I am chuffed to bits!

Romany.

Kat on 30-09-2006
Joyce
Me again! Loved your explanation, Romany - I was intrigued, and had read this very darkly - much prefer the reason for the poem that you give - whew! :o) Isn't it great the way a poem can translate to another, which is the joy as well as the pain sometimes... but all part of the process, and yes, didn't Roy do well?

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Hi Kat!
Thanks for your observations - that, as I have often said, is one of the reasons I love poetry so much. Roy did do well, yes; but I would have loved to have known what your initial impressions were, too.

Romany.

Kat on 01-10-2006
Joyce
*sneaks in again* Cooee!

Well, without the intro and just taking the poem as it stands - the personalisation with a name as a title, the language and imagery suggested to me that the subject was rising up from difficulties, perhaps an illness of a serious or terminal nature (which granted it can feel like when hungover!). There was great strength in it and the first line (which was your starting point/inspiration) is immediately captivating, unusual and positive.

*slips out*

x

Author's Reply:
Oi, come back 'ere! I saw you sneaking back in!

Thanks for the response Kat - it was interesting to hear your thoughts. I see what you mean about the recovery from serious illness; hadn't thought of it from that angle. Thanks for taking the time to return and satisfy my curiousity. Always good to hear from you,

Romany.

stormwolf on 13-10-2009
Joyce
wow I LOVED this ....
The aura of power and dark menace that came to me was palpable...I see her as a woman who is fired up with dark thoughts and plans.
Now I see you have explained the 'resolve' to other commenters...but to me the 'resolve' speaks much deeper than that.
I am not suggesting she is a bad person...anything but...but her power is such that even nature is trying to do its own thing as quietly and surreptitiously as possible.

She faced the heartless space and
Dared the stars to take her on,
The moon to fight his corner

She is all powerful when filled with her resolve....
I sure can relate to this poem in a deep way.
Taking it into favourites.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much for taking the time and for making this a favourite, and my heartfelt apologies for my extreme lateness in realising you had left me a comment!

Romany x


Ideas Elusive - A Rubaiyat (posted on: 29-09-06)
A few years ago, as a response to a challenge on, (I think!) Writelink, (slap my wrists be assured I have now seen the light - only joking!) I attempted a poem in the form of a Rubaiyat.

The directions were as follows: 'An interlocking rubaiyat is a poem where 'b' line (line 3) in stanza 1 becomes the 'a' line in stanza 2. The third line of the last stanza should rhyme with the first line of the first stanza. In other words, in each quatrain all lines should rhyme except the third, leading to the pattern: a,a,b,a, b,b,c,b and so on. What follows is my long forgotten about attempt at this form, which I rediscovered yesterday evening whilst having a clear out. What do you think then? Have I achieved it? P.S Couldn't get little thingy on resume and expose to work meant to read as 'resumay' and 'exposay.' Ideas Elusive Ideas, elusive, tease my mind Hidden away and hard to find Promising some revelation If I would only stop being blind Promising some revelation Hinting at such jubilation Never quite an expose I approach it with such trepidation Never quite an expose A recap of thoughts; a resume Taunting me, so near so far They come so close but will not stay Taunting me, so near, so far Glimpses now of what they are Gone too soon to be defined Defiant in their will to spar Gone too soon to be defined Exciting, fresh and so unkind If I could only make them wait To have the sight, before and hind If I could only make them wait Give me time to contemplate Ideas, elusive, tease my mind Inspire me and exasperate. S. P Oldham. Romany still hopeless with computers.
Archived comments for Ideas Elusive - A Rubaiyat
Dil on 29-09-2006
Ideas Elusive - A Rubaiyat
I feel you made and excellent job of this.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Thank you Dil - it's always a bit nerve wracking, trying out an established and recognised form instead of my usual hotch-potching!
Romany.

Bradene on 29-09-2006
Ideas Elusive - A Rubaiyat
well done Romany I tried one once but was hopeless must have another go someday soon I enjoyed the read Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - good luck with it if you give it a go. At least it keeps the old grey cells ticking over!

Romany.

Zoya on 29-09-2006
Ideas Elusive - A Rubaiyat
You could make it " They come so close but quite there" instead of "They come so close but will not stay." in the fourth line of the third Rubai ( By the way, Rubai is the singular of Rubaiyat in Persian); That would rhyme with the 'expose','resume' pattern without changing the meaning.
What do you think Romany?
Over all a good effort!
Love, Zoya

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your thoughts Zoya. Sorry if I am being a bit slow here, but I don't see how 'there' would rhyme better than 'stay' with 'resume' and 'expose,' and wouldn't that throw the rhyming pattern off form?

Never quite an expose
A recap of thoughts; a resume
Taunting me, so near so far
'They come so close but not quite there'

That throws the rhyme off course and would make this verse a different scheme from all the others. But thank you for taking the time to give it some thought.

Thanks for the explanation of the Rubai by the way - didn't know that!

Romany.

Zoya on 29-09-2006
Ideas Elusive - A Rubaiyat
Oops! I mean: "They come so close but NOT qiute there."
Z.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 30-09-2006
Ideas Elusive - A Rubaiyat
Blimey, all those directions gave me a headache Ms. Romany. Thankfully, the poem didn't. You is a clever lady and no mistake to be sure.

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now available in spring fresh 2Ltr.

Author's Reply:
Done it again - groan - reply below sunky, thanks.

Romany on 01-10-2006
Ideas Elusive - A Rubaiyat
Thanks Sunky - don't know about the clever bit, but I appreciste the sentiment!

Romany.

When will life size be available?

Author's Reply:


Cascade (posted on: 18-09-06)
Written in response to a beautiful painting. http://www.freewebs.com/spoldham/poetry.htm for the painting (scroll down the page!)

Cascade. I saw you shimmer through the veils The dusk-drawn curtains of the night; I saw you scarlet, saw you pale I watched the moon blush in delight. Through flawless, perfect, rose-quartz walls I saw your shadows join the hour; Beneath and through those rainbow falls Vermillion-kissed in a purple shower Of shades of pleasure, depths of wine That challenge even your sultry heart; I heard your thunder, strong as mine I yearned to find your end, your start. Ever mindless, you caress, you tease, Your tendril fingers search and find; You come, you go, just as you please, You leave my salty tears behind. No matter, I will watch you yet As you fade to pink, to foamy creams; I will close my eyes, I will forget I will drift away, in damson dreams. S.P Oldham
Archived comments for Cascade
wfgray on 18-09-2006
Cascade
It was lovely to read. I am not a poetry man, it reminded me of the days when the girlfriend use to wave to me from the window.

Author's Reply:
Then I must thank you for reading wfgray - bearing in mind that you are 'not a poetry man!' I am flattered that you found it lovely - as for reminding you of a girlfriend waving at you from a window - would a lovely interpretation. Thanks once again,

Romany.

Sunken on 18-09-2006
Cascade
This is one of your best Ms. Romany, in my munky opinion. My fave line has to be -

Through flawless, perfect, rose-quartz walls

I saw your shadows join the hour;


Oh yeah, that's the stuff. Ya know, it reminds me of the days when the imaginary girlfriend use to wave to me from behind the bars. Top write Ms. Romany.

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crap comments guaranteed

Author's Reply:
Done it a-bloody-gain Sunken. Reply below, sorry.

Romany.

Romany on 18-09-2006
Cascade
Lol! Thanks Sunken. What bars would those be then? Twix?

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 18-09-2006
Cascade
I am in total agreement with the munky. Definitely one of your finest.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Luigi!

Romany.

spongemonkey on 19-09-2006
Cascade

Hi Romany, I liked the poem. The last line was a good one.
I will drift away, in damson dreams. I really like that line, it makes one feel relaxed, specially after a hard day.
Well done.

The Sponge.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sponge! That was the desired effect, so I am glad it worked.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 21-09-2006
Cascade
Lovely Sue.

A piece to read then close your eyes and savor the images.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si,

Romany.

SugarMama34 on 27-09-2006
Cascade
Hiya Romany,
This was a lovely poem that has been well thought about. Your choice of words were apt enough for this piece. I thought the flow and structure were sound and loved the imagery you portrayed in this. I can't say which part is my favourite as I enjoyed it all. A refreshing and interesting read.

Sugar. xx

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much Sugar - glad you appreciated it.

Romany.


Levelled Men (posted on: 01-09-06)
Any mistakes in reference to historical content, below, are my own. All this information was obtained from St John the Baptist Church in Burford, Cotswolds. I have of course heard of The Levellers, Fairfax, Cromwell etc many times before, as have you I expect! But history is so absorbing...

Introduction (I think this piece needs one!) This is a humble little homage to the Levellers; men who intended to right some of the wrongs of their time (1649.) Originally part of the New Model Army, they sought to satisfy what appear to be reasonable complaints and, in protest, stopped their intended march to Ireland, at Salisbury. Their officers left them, and there was no single leader. On the evening of May 13th they reached Burford in the Cotswolds. They naively trusted to the word of Fairfax and Cromwell as Roundhead generals that they would be given safe passage until all possibility of settlement by negotiation had been exhausted. Not so; they were attacked unawares during the course of a night, during which event one loyalist and one mutineer was apparently killed. 800 mutineers escaped minus their horses; their own personal, and expensive, property. 340 prisoners were taken. The only building in Burford large enough to accomodate these prisoners was the church, into which they were all duly ushered. One prisoner, and the man who 350+ years later prompted me to write this little poem, was one Anthony Sedley. He engraved his name in the stone of the ancient font thus: 'Anthony Sedley 1649 PRISNER.' On the morning of 17th May, three men were lined up against the Church wall and shot as suspected ringleaders, and as a warning to all. The damage to the wall by musket (or whatever was used) remains today. I saw and was deeply interested in all of the above evidence at the Church of St John the Baptist in Burford on Saturday, and found it totally fascinating and quite moving. Quite an intro for a humble, imperfect little poem, but at least you know it was written from the heart. Romany. P.S Fire at will, so to speak. Levelled Men. And there you'll find an ancient name, carved in stone that's older still Yet all the waters that blessed life, from the depths of that crucible Could never serve to wash away the sins of earthly, worthless men; Nor cleanse their souls, or purify, that they might begin again A man's name is still held here, in safety and in pride Though neither church nor God could protect the ones who died; As if in supplication then, the spire reaches to the skies A granite invocation to be worthy in God's eyes For it was His name they stole, and His name they defiled But they feared Him when He raged, and they scorned Him when He smiled They took three men and stood them against the old church wall; In righteousness they watched them; in justice saw them fall Levelled men; they made them equal with the mud, the earth, the soil Then buried them; interred all trace of their dangerous toil; But like stigmata, the church bears the scars of that day From the shot that made examples of the men who dared to say That all was not even; that man's weary plots wore on; Those men are not forgotten, though their tired bones are gone. They left a mark more than the musket, more than a name scratched in despair; They paved the way, though it was overgrown and lacking its due care They left a legacy that neither politics nor power can besmirch; Left their signatures and spirits in the care of Burford Church. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Levelled Men
Gerry on 01-09-2006
Levelled Men
Romany, thanks for that intro--The poem is superbly written and relates the story well. I love old churches they are often steeped in history...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Gerry. I am aware that I am not a 'technical' writer, but I am glad you feel the poem tells its story. You are so right about old churches though - they are such enigmatic places.

Romany.

Sunken on 01-09-2006
Levelled Men
Hello Ms. Romany. If this is anything to go by, then 'not being technical' is surely a good thing.

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he lives in a cartoon house

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Sunky!

Romany.

Bambi on 02-09-2006
Levelled Men
A very informative intro. followed by an excellent poem.
Blessings,
Bambi

Author's Reply:
Thank you Bambi!

Romany.

eddiesolo on 04-09-2006
Levelled Men
The intro is spot on for setting up a great poem...enjoyed reading this very much.

Si:-)

Well done on the nom too!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si - appreciated. And I'm glad you enjoyed it, too!
Romany.

e-griff on 04-09-2006
Levelled Men
I missed this Friday. I won't miss it again! I've copied it to read in quiet, and will come back later 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks e-griff. Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Romany.

glennie on 04-09-2006
Levelled Men
Yes, very good reading. I too have fascination with history, a subject I hated at school, and love the atmosphere of churches, especially graveyards. Weird? Glen.

Author's Reply:
Lol! No, not weird at all. I have always loved history, just wish I had a head for facts!

Romany.

Romany on 05-09-2006
Levelled Men
Have just re-written last line as I was uncomfortable with the word order there. Just so you know I have had a little fiddle with this folks!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

midnight on 05-09-2006
Levelled Men
Romany,

Agree with everyone else regarding the intro and the poem. Interesting and emotive in equal measure.

Many people suffered and some had to die to wrest a semblance of freedom and respect from those more powerful than us. Your poem is a reminder to us all that is was not always as it is now, nor that has to remain so.

Is this too political? I'm new to all this.

Midnight.

Author's Reply:
Not too political at all Midnight; thank you for your comment.

You are right of course, that things weren't always as they are now, and history is littered with incidents in which people died to further the cause of, at the risk of sounding like an idealist, the 'greater good.'

The Church in question really touched me when I visited - having said that though, there was also a less pleasant aspect to it too (not that the recorded imprisonment of hundreds of men and the murder of three is pleasant you understand!) Perhaps I am not making myself clear. Not sure that I can - suffice to say that I wouldn't want to spend a night in there alone, beautiful place though it is!

Glad you found this interesting and informative. Thank you. Look forward to 'seeing you around',

Romany.


Timeless (posted on: 14-07-06)
Poem.

Timeless. You need not ask of others where the time goes, Or seek to find the answers elsewhere; Time lies sleeping in the cradle of your eyes, Or silvering the contours of your hair. It nestles in the softness of your body, Whispers softly round the memories in your mind; If you look close, you'll see that time has never left you, But it can be so very hard to find Some people speak of how time has betrayed them, Swapped age for youth when their backs were turned; Or caught up with them, forced them to abandon Dreams and hopes that they grew tired of, and spurned. They speak of time itself as of an enemy; Some dreaded, apocalyptic foe, Yet time gave all, though sometimes none too fairly. Time can be deceiving, this we know. So search no more for time, for it lies waiting In endless patience, like a mist upon the skin. Until we can bear no more of its burden; Then the clock stops, and endless time begins. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Timeless
Zoya on 14-07-2006
Timeless
A very beautiful piece on time!
Time that never stops,
Time that chimes all the time,
Time that witnesses everything
Yet keeps a tight vigil...

So, much has been said and so much can be said about Time.
Yet this is such a lovely piece!
*Hugs Romany for sharing it*
Love, xxx, Zoya

Author's Reply:
Thank you Zoya.

Romany.

niece on 15-07-2006
Timeless
Amazing poem, Romany...! Especially loved the last one line-simply lovely!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thank you neice. I wonder what about that line appealed particularly?
Many thanks for commenting,

Romany.

Sunken on 15-07-2006
Timeless
I've always got time for you Ms. Romany. Did ya see what I did there...? Ahem, I'll just vote. Thanks.

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sowing needs

Author's Reply:
Thank you for the comment and the rating Sunky,

Romany.

niece on 16-07-2006
Timeless
Time - that which seems to be the force behind every action on the Universe, intended or otherwise-deadlines to meet, a bus to catch on one hand - growing up first and then old on the other- and so much more- every second counts and "then the clock stops" and the transition occurs from moments in time to eternal life or "endless time"...this is what I understood from that single line and which is also the reason I loved it...

When the Hindu epic "Mahabharath" was serialised on TV several years ago, each episode used to start with the voice of Time giving us a little intro....I am time and I have seen everything...that was what it said...

Thanks and regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Blast! Done it yet again! Sorry neice, please see reply below, spelling mistakes et al,

Romany.

Romany on 16-07-2006
Timeless
What a lovely and interesting comment. I am so glad that you both understaood and liked this. Thank you Neice,

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 16-07-2006
Timeless
What a beautiful and considered poem, Romany. I like the contempative and reflective style, and this line:

'Until we can bear no more of its burden;'

is a very telling one which seems to be the crux of the problem when it comes to worrying about life/time as opposed to living life and not watching the metaphorical clock, which can often be when it's too late.

Great stuff!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thank you Kat, I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

Romany.

discopants on 16-07-2006
Timeless
We're in such a rush to do things with our lives that we fail to appreciate the time we have. A thought-provoking poem, beautifully expressed.

Author's Reply:
Thank you discopants - I couldn't have wished for more than that!

Romany.

wfgray on 20-07-2006
Timeless
Thought provoking! It certainly is. Is it three score and ten or is more. Yes a nice read and well thoght in your methodical way of putting verse to poetry. Its nic e to be back again. Will

Author's Reply:
It's nice to have you back! How was your holiday (cruise wasn't it?) And how is the publishing thing going?

Thank you for your comment too; I am glad you liked it.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 22-07-2006
Timeless
I say Sue,

This is an excellent write.

All the other comments point this out but...it is a very thought-provoking piece.

Well done and well written.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si!

Romany.


Dogged. (posted on: 30-06-06)
Put this in 'Experimental' as it was the only category I could see it fitting into, although I never thought of it as experimental before! Just a little something, a piece that I actually quite like, but, as ever, please do your worst (or best, depending on your point of view.) Romany.

Dogged. I can still see him. At least, I can see his tail through the branches, flapping wildly like some sort of berserk, floppy metronome. And I can most definitely hear his barking; when will that absurd creature learn? I am too fast, too agile and far too clever for him! Oh, what's this? He has pulled himself up on his back paws to his full height, front paws resting on my tree, and he's looking for me. I'll stay quiet, I think. If I hiss he will only begin his barking again. If that canine nose comes any closer I'll send him yelping home with his ridiculous tail between his legs! Humans! Why do you adore these buffoons so? They are big and loud; or small and yappy, but generally noisy. They lack any shred of dignity. Show them a ball or a stick and you have their undivided attention. Feed them and they will lay down their lives for you, and they only have one! They foolishly chase their own tails, and like nothing better than to humiliate far worthier creatures cats. At least, this grand example of the canine species below me does. And the cat he particularly enjoys hounding (pardon the pun)? Me, of course. Apparently he is a mongrel, (not even a pedigree, can you imagine my shame?) I know his name is Allsorts; I've heard them calling him. What I don't know is, why does he feel he must do this? He has never caught me yet! Perhaps I should let him catch me like I let that big oaf 'Red' catch me last year. Red is a long and loping Red Setter, normally quite placid. Perhaps strolling past his nose as he lay stretched out in his garden enjoying the morning sun, was too irresistible? Anyway, he surprised me! He was much faster than I realised, and he soon had me cornered I had no choice but to turn and face him. I arched my back, extended my claws and hissed a very real warning. Red was completely bemused. He gave a few half-hearted 'woofs', and then backed off. He hasn't dared come near me since, and rightly so! Allsorts here is a different matter maybe. He's not brave, and I'm not sure he'd know what to do if he caught me either. But he is stubborn very stubborn. I know that I'm up here in this tree for some time now. Yes, I can see him plainly now lying like an awkward sphinx, feigning interest elsewhere, but still keeping his eye on me, waiting for me to move. It's not right you know. I should be asleep now, curled up on a soft quilt with a full stomach in preparation for tonight. That's another thing! I am expected to prowl the streets at night. I admit my night vision is excellent, and my hunting skills second to none, but really! Allsorts will be curled up, warm and dry, next to someone's feet, no doubt. And the only thing he will have to hunt down is a free space on the sofa. It's only my natural sophistication that prevents me from protesting too greatly. Now what is he doing? Why must they scratch all the time? If they would only keep themselves clean! When was the last time you saw one of us cats roll in wet mud, or leap into a big muddy puddle with an inane grin on our faces? I am embarrassed to be in the same street as this dog! Now that really is the last straw! Against my tree too! Why don't you use a litter tray, like a civilised animal? Oh no! I've started him barking again! Perhaps he will leave now? He is looking towards the house. Maybe he is hungry. No. He has settled down again, still not giving up. Oh well, I suppose I should try to get comfortable. Allsorts has rested his head on his paws and is watching my every move with those big, brown eyes of his. Another day wasted with this game of cat and mouseerdog. (Is that what you humans would call a Freudian slip?) That's it then, until he gets bored, or hungry, or both. It's a dog's life. Er that is
Archived comments for Dogged.
eddiesolo on 30-06-2006
Dogged.
This is great!

I loved the human POV but from a cat...does that make any sense?

Anyway a great piece and brought a smile to my face.

You captured their mannerisms just fine.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Lol! Well, it makes sense to me Si! Thanks for th ecomment - I am glad you enjoyed it,

Romany.

niece on 30-06-2006
Dogged.
I liked the cat's attitude...it seemed so apt...their sense of superiority over everything else in the world...! This is really good, Romany...
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Great - I wanted to convey their sense of superiority! Glad you liked it,

Romany.

Kat on 30-06-2006
Dogged.
Romany, this brought a Cheshire cat grin to my face! Really enjoyed the paw-oint of view and loved,

'lying like an awkward sphinx'

Super stuff.

Kittykat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat - so pleased you enjoyed it. For my part, I love 'paw-oint!'

Romany.

Sunken on 30-06-2006
Dogged.
How come it's mainly women who seem to favour cats? To be quite frank, young Romany, I prefer dogs. They are more loyal and I don't think their poo smells quite so bad. I hope this helps. Clever write Ms. Romany. Well done on the nib (-:

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in charge of cod liver oil

Author's Reply:
I am a dog lover myself Sunky - allergic to cats. I was trying to view the 'relationship' (stereotypically) between the two species, with a little humour thrown in, I hope. Thanks for reading and commenting. By the way, I have run out of Cod Liver Oil - any chance of a few freebies?

Romany.

reckless on 13-08-2006
Dogged.
An interesting and enjoyable read. I liked it as I too used to have a cat (sadly gone now- old age). This conjures up for me a world of innocent pleasures, a world untouched by the ravages of humanity. Great fun.

Author's Reply:
Thank you reckless, I am glad you thought it 'great fun' - lovely!

Romany.


Well, I would... (posted on: 12-05-06)
Odd little snippet; make of it what you will!

Well, I would... "Trouble is," she said As we sat in shared monotony "I don't know if Any of that truly motivates me; I mean," scratching her head, "If I thought any difference could be made by me, I'd stop this fruitless talking And start work immediately." Then she sipped her ice-cold water And lay back on her lounger, "Don't think me sanctimonious, Or an inveterate scrounger, But they do insist on handing it All to me on a platter, And I'd rather save my breath Than save the world." S P Oldham.
Archived comments for Well, I would...
Sunken on 12-05-2006
Well, I would...
Nicely pulled together at the end Ms. Romany, a bit like a corset. I hope this helps? Nice write. Eat fruit. Cheers.

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not stirred

Author's Reply:
You always help. Cheers Sunky!

Romany.

Bradene on 14-05-2006
Well, I would...
Wow! Sue I could certainly put an interpretation on this and no mistake, all I can say is , is Sorry! Love Val x

Author's Reply:
I should think so too! Lol! Thanks for reading Val,

Romany.


Arrogance v Antipathy (posted on: 12-05-06)
Poem.

Arrogance v Antipathy Everybody's telling me what to do But there's no-one here I want to listen to I'd listen to your words though, it's true But you can't even look me in the eye, can you? What's this I hear you say about equality; That it's an out-moded philosphy? Can that be true, or is it just, possibly That you don't think we're equals, you and me? And as for shaking hands and calling it quits; I don't like the way your satisfaction fits So neatly round your smile, or the way it sits And taps it's fingers when you pull me to bits. I'm the one wearing heels, but you stand tall You're the one that wobbles but it's me who falls And amid the jeers and boos and the alley cat-calls I still know that I'm the one with all the balls. It's doesn't matter in the end if it's all seen as fun Or taken up as a cause by each and every one Of your banner-toting babes who want their day in the sun 'Cos in the end, it's justice that must be seen to be done. So I'm content to watch you posture and to watch you mime The latest, latent lyrics of your pantomime You're bordering ridiculous; certainly sublime But the clock's ticking; I don't want to waste your time. Pack your bag up with your certainties, ensure it's locked Stroll the empty streets where your praise-singers flocked Make sure the safety's on; don't want you going off half-cocked I stood here on firm ground, while your world rocked. S P Oldham.
Archived comments for Arrogance v Antipathy
Bradene on 14-05-2006
Arrogance v Antipathy
A good strong rhyme and rhythm with some good old fashioned home truths, I like a poem that tells a story and this did, both in words and imagery. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
I tried deliberately to work on the rhyme and rhythm (I am sure iI spelt that wrong!) so I am glad it worked for you. Cheers,

Romany.

teifii on 15-05-2006
Arrogance v Antipathy
Another favourite! So I can come back to it agaian and again. I think --I don't like the way your satisfaction fits
So neatly round your smile -- is absolutely brilliant. And I really admire the whole thing. It has a regular rhyme pattern without ever being jingly or losing it's normal use of language.
Daff


Author's Reply:
Thank you Daff - I'm glad it's a favourite for you! Much appreciated.

Romany.

eddiesolo on 21-05-2006
Arrogance v Antipathy
Good strong write this Romany.

As Bradene pointed out some good home truths in this.

Enjoyed it my dear.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Thanks Si - good to hear from you.

Romany.

Jolen on 05-06-2006
Arrogance v Antipathy
Holy shit Romany! You go! What a strong write. Loved it!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Lol! Fab comment; glad you appreciated it Jolen. Thank you.

Romany.

Zoya on 23-06-2006
Arrogance v Antipathy
Dear Romany,
That is the way to give it to them! Beautifully executed piece of work. Rhymes so well, without ever a hint of forcing. The tone of sarcasm is superbly sustained:
"And as for shaking hands and calling it quits;
I don't like the way your satisfaction fits
So neatly round your smile, or the way it sits
And taps it's fingers when you pull me to bits."
This would be my favourite stanza, I literally see the smugness on his face...
***hug***
Love, xxx, Zoya



Author's Reply:
Thank you Zoya - I can be a bit sarcastic I suppose, at times!

Romany.


The Waiting Room (Dogfrog's Challenge.) (posted on: 28-04-06)
In direct response to Dogfrog's prose challenge (see below.) ''There's a theory, one I find persuasive, that the quest for knowledge is, at bottom, the search for the answer to the question: ''Where was I before I was born'.' In the beginning was what? Perhaps, in the beginning, there was a curious room, a room like this one, crammed with wonders; and now the room and all it contains are forbidden you, although it was made just for you, had been prepared for you since time began, and you will spend all your life trying to remember it.'' Angela Carter The challenge is simply to write about your curious room... This was a real learning experience DF - thank you. Romany. N.B This is prose, not a story, and I have used a certain amount of poetic licence. Thanks.

The Waiting Room. My room is not a room, in the conventional, four-walls sense. It is a room in that it is a space, a designated area. It is exclusively mine, unless I should decide otherwise, but even if I should invite some passing soul inside, it remains mine, in sense and fibre, and any visitor is nothing more than that; a visitor; just passing through. But if for you it must be a room, then let its walls be the trees that hang in graceful arches over me; real wood, alive and breathing. Unshakeable, ancient guardians watching over me. They offer shelter and shade, but are not forbidding, and welcome the sunlight in through careful, well-spread fingers. The ground beneath them is damp and cool, and despite the massive, tangled roots that must thread beneath it, it is lush with meadow flowers and grasses; all of them heavy with dew, as if every waking moment is dawn. That dew is as sweet and as refreshing to my undefined body as it is to my far more tangible senses. Between those trees are smaller bushes, just as proud, and each as worthy despite their lesser standing. They are full of the ripe, juicy foods that feed the physical, and in this world, none of them can harm me. In this, the room made just for me, all of nature's bounty is just that; a blessing to be enjoyed, to grow strong upon and to relish. And in equal measure, I, regardless of my embryonic stages, must give back what It has seen fit to give to me. Not all of my walls are as definite though; to an errant warrior or a mischievous fox, one of my defences may seem to be a weakness. The wall to which I most often face is no more than a stream, rushing about its duties, of which I am merely one. This is the source that passes through many rooms like mine, yet when it reaches my little haven, it seems that I am the thing for which it is rushing, its sole purpose; its very reason even. If I was not here, then neither would the stream exist. It appears gentle and so clear that you can smell the iron tang in the water. An elemental thing, and like all elementals, it can be surprising, no, terrifying in its nature. This simple stream remains a stream while I am safe. If danger should approach, whilst always a stream to me, a wild, white torrent rages, the iron hardens in response and anyone, mortal or otherwise, would be a fool indeed to try to cross it. In this shaded bower then, I wait, but it does not feel like waiting. Time is irrelevant here; I do not count the days and nights because they are of no import to me. They are matters that are out of my hands and greater, wiser beings than I will deal with them. I am barely aware that such things even exist. All I know is that I am warm, I am secure, and I am in a state that far exceeds happiness; I am content. I can lie on my back and stare up at the clear sky through the gnarled fingers if I wish. Or I can lie there and let the gentle rains pepper my body; both of these things bring me equal pleasure. I can sense every living thing within this space, smell each scent and feel each sensation as if for the first time. This is an ecstasy that only the truly innocent can know. There is nothing here that holds any repulsion or puzzlement for me; it is all as simple and as pure and uncomplicated as the busy stream at my feet. The gentle wings of butterflies at my face, the whirring wings of inquisitive birds, hold no terror for me here, in this now. The bees do nothing more than hum me to sleep; the spiders weave me silken sheets. All the lives here amount to one; one life, one being. A heartbeat; a lifetime. Inside me, in time judged by Others, there grows a feeling that I am sure the seedlings and the saplings share; a sense that builds and builds. It is the certain knowledge that there is something approaching; or something towards which I am inexorably heading. The wonder of this place does not lessen because of it; this is just another wonder to behold. I begin to see that the room in which I languish has grown smaller; the trees are closer in their rough rows, the bushes tighter and sagging under the weight of their own fruits. The stream is thundering by, neither angry nor impatient. What then? Excited; eager for that which must happen, that cannot be stopped. And then I am in a tight, warm space, a red world, and I can hear voices that sound like I sense my own to be, but senseless and distorted, as if corrupt. Shock and coldness rush at me, tearing me from my verdant womb; it takes my breath away, and suddenly I become aware that I breathe. This strange new existence is harsh and beyond my comprehension; hard upon it, a force both lesser and greater than my stream hits my naked back, and then the rushing waters break their banks. Gone are the soothing shades of patient nature, the cool silver hues of absolution and timelessness. My world has become bruised; stained purple and blue, as if the juice of the berries those laden bushes birthed, had spilled over into this reality and soaked me in their crushed blood. Calmness returns, and there is nurture once more. New scents assail me; I can feel the soft warm skin of another soul; I can once again smell metal, heavy in the air. But those who blessed me with my room, my sanctuary, have silenced me it seems. There is no-one in this place that I can make understand. I try to tell them of my haven; the trees, the grass, the flowers, but they seem not to know these things, and distract me with vivid colours and shapeless sounds. I miss the soft greenery and the sibilant reeds, yet all I can do is wail my misery and yearning. There will come a time when I can truly converse with these new beings, I know. But by then, I will have forgotten, in my haste to live, all about my room. They have told me this, in whispers that can only be felt. Yet locked away in some part of me, so deep that even I cannot reach it, is a small knowledge, a truth, that lies nestled amid all the un-necessities; my room will still be there, waiting for me, when my time here is done. Wherever 'there' may be. Romany.
Archived comments for The Waiting Room (Dogfrog's Challenge.)
dogfrog on 28-04-2006
The Waiting Room (Dogfrogs Challenge.)
Some lovely images here me dear. It reminds me of the place I walk young Zac of an evening. I like the way you build the image of the forest, a nice way of doing things indeed. My slant on this was entirely different and I forgot to post it!! Will do for monday though.

cheers

df

Author's Reply:
Thanks DF - and thanks for the challenge in the first place.
Romany.

wfgray on 28-04-2006
The Waiting Room (Dogfrogs Challenge.)
Hi Romany, do you know I can smell the lush grass, see the swaying trees and see myself walking along that stright avenue of Firs. Beautifully described and well written. Will

Author's Reply:
Thank you Will; so you imagine them as firs? How lovely! Thanks for reading and commenting, it is muc appreciated.
Romany.

Romany on 28-04-2006
The Waiting Room (Dogfrogs Challenge.)
P.S Thanks for the nib Powers that Be; only just noticed it (again; I seem to have some kind of nib-blindness or something!)

Much appreciated,

Romany.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 30-04-2006
The Waiting Room (Dogfrogs Challenge.)
the nibbers are often late, of late
I believe they might be in a hassled state.
but let's express our appreciation
for the nibbers of the UKA Nation.

Author's Reply:
Hear hear e-griff, and very poetically expressed too!

Romany.

Sunken on 30-04-2006
The Waiting Room (Dogfrogs Challenge.)
Hello Ms. Romany. Have to say, this is a very rich and inventive piece. It puts me in mind of 'Miracle-grow'. But that's not important right now. Well done on the nib, muchly deserved in my munky opinion.

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sponsored by the electric booga-loo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken; could do with some Miracle-Gro for my cucumber just now (but that's another story.) I'm glad you think it's 'rich and inventive' - appreciated,
Romany.

Dargo77 on 30-04-2006
The Waiting Room (Dogfrogs Challenge.)
Romany, enjoyed your story. Congratulations on the well deserved nib.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thank you Dargo,
Romany.

Jen_Christabel on 04-05-2006
The Waiting Room (Dogfrogs Challenge.)
Suoperb imagery in this, I liked it :o)
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen, glad you enjoyed it.

Romany.


Where Is Everybody? (posted on: 10-04-06)
This is purely a 'bit of fun response to the challenge set to answer the question ''Where is everybody?'' (Prose Workshop - go take a look!) I deliberately steered clear of using names, and opted for using UKA 'places instead, as that would be identifiable and inclusive of all users, regulars or otherwise. I dont think there is anything in this that can be deemed offensive, but, as a disclaimer anyway, no offence is intended to anyone in any way, shape or form. Hope this raises a smile at least. Forgive my unbelievable amateurishness (is that a word? Lol!) Romany.

Where Is Everybody? 'Where is everybody?' the leaf-clad pixel said, 'They were all over UKA when I went up to bed; The place was warm and cosy, the forums all well led But when I got up and logged back in, the place was Do-Do dead! Can't a little pixel get a byte to eat? I'm hungry from my searching; I won't mention my feet! Cyberspace is big, you know, and I don't have a rocket! I wouldn't mind, but there's no comments and I'm a tenner out of pocket. I thought at first the boss had had a good clear out again And deleted all the pictures and the slightly dubious men, And that, in literary disappointment, the girls had all gone out To protest at Place de la Concorde* and throw bicycles about But that's not so, I see; all the poems and prose still exist, (I checked back through the archives and found a few I'd missed,) So I contacted all the publishers, to show them my authors list But they just said, ''Oh, that lot? They'll be at the pub, getting pissed.'' So shocked was the little pixel that she began to sob ''I'll just give up this writing lark and get a proper job! ''But wait!'' she cried, ''No, I won't! There's always hope,'' she thundered And dashed off with impish speed to check out the latest one hundred. Horror, drama, mystery; she encountered each of these But no comedy or kid's stuff, (be serious, if you please!) And by the time she searched back as far as page eighty eight Our poor little pixel was in a flaming state ''*_!**-!!** **!!__--*'' she said, maddened in her quest, Her expletives sent the air blue, and put spellcheck to the test; She let her anger hit the keyboard, whilst paying it no heed Slammed return, and to her surprised delight, saw it marked as a Great Read! In barely assuaged distraction, she went in agitated hops To listen out for hammer and anvil in the workshops; But the old door creaked open, the room beyond lay dark, No sign was there of creation; not the merest wordsome spark ''I'll go check out the journals; they might have gone to give their views Or fill me in on their day and share with me some news,'' No joy; and so she went to see if it was the chatroom where they hid, But the chatroom was a closed box, with a firmly shut down lid Then a brainwave came to her, and as fast as pixellated legs can go She headed to the helpdesk; they were bound to know! The desk was bare, the swivel chair rocked gently where it stood But there was a note pinned to the corkboard, which said, 'Dear Pixel,' good! In blurred anticipation the pixel tore it down and read, 'Dear Pixel, if you're reading this, don't worry, we're not dead; We hate to think of you all alone in those virtual pages, But you were sleeping when we left, and we waited for you for ages! You may remember a forum thread, about a five book, multi million deal, That none of us could get over? We thought it quite surreal. Well, therein lies the clue; please don't think us loony, We've all gone off to audition as ghost writer to Wayne Rooney.' Romany. * That was the square where the Paris riots took place recently, wasn't it?
Archived comments for Where Is Everybody?
Jen_Christabel on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
LOL LOL This is just great :o)
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Cheers Jen!
Romany.

Dazza on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Spot on, really clever, really. Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Cheers Dazza!
Romany.

e-griff on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
this is very good, but as the challenge is about prose, I can't give this a medal. But I hereby create a new class 'Prose Challenge' (Poetry class) and give you first prize!!! 🙂

Hooray!!!

the challenge derives from a thread by HelenRussell - the objective is to write a story with the title 'Where is everybody?'. Date for posting Fri April 28th. any genre......

Have a go!

Author's Reply:
Lol! Cheers griff, I am most honoured. Sorry, I know I cheated but my tired little mind wouldn't come up with any original goods as far as prose went with this one, so I thought I'd be a loose cannon and go poetry, just for fun. Hopefully it will be a good ad for the real challenge, if nothing else!
Romany.

Andrea on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Well, that brought a smile on a nippy Monday!

Author's Reply:
Good! Thanks Andrea, how was your visit?
Romany.

ruadh on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
I enjoyed that Romany. Very witty.

ailsa

Author's Reply:
Thanks ailsa,
Romany.

Andrea on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Great, thanks, Romany - stocked up on teabags and...er...bangers 🙂

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Very clever Ms. Romany. It put me in mind of the following three things - Sunshine on a rainy day (makes my soul slip, slip, slip awayyyy - who sang that?) er... Mineral water and Persil Automatic (with the 1998 box design that, to my mind, was far superior to the current design). I hope this helps. Again, a very clever piece and easily a ten, 'cause both myself and the hamster say so.

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not too keen on mushrooms

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken; I love mushrooms.
Romany.

Ionicus on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
You have beaten us to the finishing line, dear Romany, with a very original piece. As you know I am partial to poetry and am glad you have gone against conventions and not produced a work of prose. I like the ending with the reference to Wayne Rooney's autobiography. There's no hope for us poor scribblers.
I shall wait patiently for the 28th when I'll post my humble rendering - prose not poetry.
Cheerio for now.
Luigi x.

Author's Reply:
Look forward to reading your prose Luigi; thanks for the comment,
Romany.

red-dragon on 10-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Worthy of one of them there nibs, if you ask me! Very enjoyable. Ann

Author's Reply:
Cheers Ann, glad you enjoyed it!
Romany.

RoyBateman on 11-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Very witty, and a really rollicking read...actually, I was away all last week, and I know how awkward it is getting back into the rhythm of everything - very appropriate, this one! I know what a bugger rhyming poetry is, and there certainly was some work in this - well done!

Author's Reply:
Thank you Roy!
Romany.

Romany on 11-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Thank you Roy!
Romany.

Author's Reply:

wfgray on 11-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Hey I liked it and so up to date.

Author's Reply:
Thank you!
Romany.

woodbine on 11-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
What an enchanting read! Last week I thought I got an Elfin in my change, but it turned out to be Euro in funny letters.

John XXX

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks John,
Romany.

Kat on 11-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Romany, this is so clever and so well done - excellento!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat!
Romany.

niece on 12-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Dear Romany,
Very creative and truly hilarious! Excellent poem...!If I were to quote my favourite lines, then this comment will become as long as your poem...so I wont do it!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks very much niece.
Romany

Hazy on 13-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Great fun, Romany! Enjoyed this one. Loved the Wayne Rooney ref too 🙂

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
Cheers Hazy!
Romany.

teifii on 14-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
If this was here on Monday, I must have missed it. But that just meant saving the treat fo today. It's great. So glad you decided to flip to poetry or I'd have still missed it.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff,
Romany.

Capricorn on 20-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Romany ~ this is fantastic. It is so witty and I am a great fan of rhyme and meter so I love your style. Well written.

Eira

Author's Reply:
Thank you Eira. Glad you enjoyed it!
Romany.

Corin on 21-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Great stuff Romany - really enjoyed this - wonderful ending:-)

David

Author's Reply:
Thanks David - just for giggles, this one!
Romany.

glennie on 22-04-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Great read indeed. What a lot of effort you must have put into that. A 10 easily. Glen.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Glen - appreciated.
Romany.

Jolen on 07-05-2006
Where Is Everybody?
Romany!! A delightful piece. Wonderfully presented and carried me right along, giggling. love it!
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Only just saw this! Thanks Jolen; glad it made you giggle,

Romany.


The Buttercup Prediction (posted on: 31-03-06)
Poem.

The Buttercup Prediction I remember all the truth Held in a buttercup; Petals stroked your soft throat With the sharp proof of a knife, Whilst I, the jury, deliberated And announced the verdict; ''Guilty; you like butter!'' Then we blew the heads off dandelions, Crushed rose petals for perfume, And made a chain-gang of the daisies. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for The Buttercup Prediction
Apolloneia on 31-03-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
Very interesting, will read again. I'm not sure I got it. But I liked it too!

Author's Reply:
When we were kids, if you held a buttercup under a friend's chin, and their skin glowed (light reflected!) it 'meant' that the person concerned liked butter. It was a kind of test. Blowing the heads off dandelions was the dandelion clock thing; how many puffs it took to clear the head of seeds = the time. The chain gang of daisies= daisy chains. Think the rose thing is fairly clear. There wasn't really meant to be any message or anything 'deep' here, but it's always interesting to see how others might read it.

Hope that clarifies - do any of these childish pastimes ring any bells with you?

Thanks for reading and commenting,

Romany.

pinchus on 01-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
Daisy chain bondage. - Grass sticky darts. - Puffballs. - Sycamore helicopters. How can anyone ever grow-up and forget the childhood pleasures of nature.

Author's Reply:
Quite so; thank you Pinchus.
Romany.

Albermund on 01-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
You're right, R. Kids are utter shits. Good stuff, Albert.

Author's Reply:
They are? Of course they are! Thankyou Albert,
Romany.

ruadh on 01-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
Ah, those were the days. Sadly kids don't do things like that any more. Nicely done.

ailsa

Author's Reply:
Seems like a long time ago now! Thanks again ailsa,
Romany.

Kat on 01-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
I really enjoyed that, Romany - thank you!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thank you Kat!
Romany.

Jen_Christabel on 01-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
I used to do this - still do during the summer :o)
Quite lovely Romany.
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Thank you for reading and commenting Jen,
Romany.

glennie on 01-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
Ahh, I remember it well. Long live the innocence of our childhood. I wonder if they still do these things today. Glen.

Author's Reply:
I would like to think they do, but perhaps children are altogether less free now, given the understandable fears of parents in our society. Thanks for the comment,
Romany.

Apolloneia on 02-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
do any of these childish pastimes ring any bells with you?

Yes they do Romany! ;0))
thanks!

Author's Reply:
Glad to hear it! Thanks Nic,
Romany.

Sunken on 02-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
This is brilliant Ms. Romany. The title caught my eye when the subs went up on Friday, I'm a bit late commenting and have decided to blame that on the following - a bitter north easterly wind, migrating poodles and the lack of nhs dentists currently taking on patients. This aside, a proper bo piece of writing that easily gets a ten, 'cause I say so. Thanks.

s
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k
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caught between a fridge and cold place

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunken, not least for the great rating¬ Appreciated,
Romany.

teifii on 04-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
Ah yes, I remember all these although it is a long time since I thought about that dreadful stuff we maufactured out of rose petals.
Daff

Author's Reply:

teifii on 04-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
Ah yes, I remember all these although it is a long time since I thought about that dreadful stuff we maufactured out of rose petals.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Lol! It involved lots of water (which stayed smelling of water) and earwigs, as I recall.
Thanks Daff,
Romany.

Ionicus on 04-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
Who can forget those days, Romany? The age of innocence.
And do you remember pulling the petals of a daisy saying: he/she loves me,...loves me not?
You have created a delicate little poem. Very enjoyable.
Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ionicus. I do remember pulling the petals off daisies, yes; why were we all so intent on destruction? Lol.
Romany.

Jolen on 07-04-2006
The Buttercup Prediction
I really enjoyed this. You have captured so many delightful images with an economy of words.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen,
Romany.


Colour the Wind (posted on: 31-03-06)
The way I'm feeling just now.

Colour The Wind. Shall I, instead Hold the sun in my pocket? Step over mountains, To tie-back the clouds? Capture a wave, and See that Autumn Follows Spring? Wrap a river Around my shoulders, Drink from the desert, Harden the molten heart And try again? Might as well colour the wind, my friend; Might as well colour the wind. S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Colour the Wind
Apolloneia on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
I liked this one Romany! Will read again.

Author's Reply:
Thank you.
Romany.

HelenRussell on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
I read this three times and each time found a different interpretation- think it proves the forum thread before, that no matter how a poet intends a meaning, the reader will always find their own slant on it.
Much enjoyed, will probably come back to this one.
Sarag

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sarah - that's just what I love about poetry!
Romany.

wfgray on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
I had to read this twice and like Helen had a different interpretation. I enjoyed reading it and I will probably read it again and again.

Author's Reply:
Thank you; I'm glad you got something from it, and am also pleased that you feel able to return to it. Great!
Romany.

littleditty on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
liked this very much - 'Shall i instead...Nice - lovely poem Romany xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Thanks ld; appreciated,
Romany.

Dazza on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
Reminds me a bit of Walt Whitman, this is a light/heavy poem and it's not easy to pull that off. Your welcome too on the hot author thingy! Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dazza - know the name Walt Whitman, but not anything else (unless I'm thinking of Slim!)
Romany.

Dazza on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
Ten.

Author's Reply:
Thanks!

Romany.

Jen_Christabel on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
I loved it!
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen.
Romany:)

alcarty on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
Enjoyed the imagery. Flowed well.

Author's Reply:
Thank you alcarty.
Romany.

Gerry on 31-03-2006
Colour the Wind
Do I read some despair here?
Well written whatever...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
You do indeed Gerry, but not sure I could even describe the whys and wherefores. Thank you for reading and commenting,
Romany.

niece on 01-04-2006
Colour the Wind
Romany,
Lovely poem...I liked the way you've used "Nature" to bring out your feelings...beautiful!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thank you very much niece!
Romany.

ruadh on 01-04-2006
Colour the Wind
Loved this Romany

ailsa

Author's Reply:
I'm glad! Thanks ailsa,
Romany.

Kat on 01-04-2006
Colour the Wind
Romany, this is brill! And I really hope that whatever inspired it will get steamrollered soon.

All the best

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks Kat,
Romany.

glennie on 01-04-2006
Colour the Wind
Aha! Someone else wants to play God. Very good poem, I quite got into it, and was that a bit 'Donovan' at the end? Perhaps 'See' Autumn follows spring could be altered for something more descriptive. I too had a few re-reads. Liked it lots. Glen.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Glen. Wasn't really about playing God, more about the futility of certain situations. The hopelessness and impossibility of some scenarios. Don't know Donovan, 'scuse my ignorance. I'm gratified that you read it through a few times, and even more that you liked it. I don't really feel that 'see' needs to be anymore descriptive than that, to be truthful, but thanks for your thoughts.
Kind regards,
Romany.

Sunken on 02-04-2006
Colour the Wind
Is it me, or are you writing better than ever? Killer first four lines Ms. Romany. Better, in my opinion, than a lovely pint of Guinness. I hope this comment finds you in moods beneficial to smiles. Thanks.

s
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k
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Jason Donovan's tu-tu

Author's Reply:
Nice comment Sunky - I'd love to think you are right! Thanks,
Romany.

Jolen on 03-04-2006
Colour the Wind
Oh what an excellent and compelling piece. Very fine images, creating a real sense of movement.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
What a lovely comment, thank you Jolen, I am glad you like it.
Romany.

teifii on 04-04-2006
Colour the Wind
Really beautiful. I looked for special quotes but love every line equally. Well deserved frequent read box.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Lovely comment - thank you Daff.

Romany.

Frequent read box? That is a new one on me, or am I misunderstanding something?

chrissy on 06-04-2006
Colour the Wind
I felt like singing this, went all Bob Dylan.
A beautiful piece that says so much about the human condition.
Brilliant and a ten plus from me.
chrissy

Author's Reply:
Really lovely comment, thank you Chrissy.
Romany.

Corin on 08-04-2006
Colour the Wind
The North wind is black
The East wind brown
The South wind white
And the west wind blue.
The rainbow's an illusion
Life is too.
It's not painting by numbers
Or joining the dots -
Its counting the sand grains and
Untying the knots.

David

Author's Reply:
Your comment is better than my original poem! Nice one David,
Romany 🙂

Zoya on 04-05-2006
Colour the Wind
Very original, very beautiful. Cleverly crafted and executed.
Thanks for sharing!
You know, if it were for me, I would colour the wind sky blue!Now don't ask me why? That reminds me of my poem 'Colours', I am a great one for colours.
"Wrap a river
Around my shoulders,
Drink from the desert,
Harden the molten heart
And try again?"
LOVE THESE LINES.
Here I am reminded of the famous beautiful Quatrain by Omar Khayyam, and I Quote:
"Ah Love! Could you and I with Him conspire
To grasp the sorry Scheme of things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits- and then
Re-mould it nearer to our Heart's Desire!"

If only wishes could be horses?
Love,xxx, Zoya



Author's Reply:
What a great comment Zoya! Thank you.

Reminds me of a saying 'If wishes were fishes the seas would be empty.'

'If' - such a big word.

Thanks again,

Romany.

Dazza on 05-07-2006
Colour the Wind
Molten hearts of magma cool off in the end, but aren't the hot blooded full of passion and zing? Great poem, concise thought for the day stuff, Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dazza. If this is the thought for the day, then I think 'zing' should be the word of the week!

Romany.

P.S I like to think that, in some cases at least, whilst the magma does indeed cool down, it still simmers under the skin!


Universal (Unsuitable For All.) (posted on: 24-03-06)
Something I feel quite strongly about. Written a bit tritely, but I hope the message gets across anyway, for what it's worth. Romany.

Universal (Unsuitable For All.) When I was 21, and a film was an '18' It was deemed worthy of such censorship Because of many an ugly scene Now that I am older Such films have lost esteem; For what was once classed as adult, Is now a mere '15' This gives me cause to wonder How long it will be so; That same '15' will fast become A lowly '12' you know; And as we all get wiser All the more stupid too I don't think it will be long, Before that becomes a 'U.' S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
HelenRussell on 24-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Eloquently expressed, and something I am in complete agreement with. No longer can we rely on the "guidance" given by these ratings, because it now seems so meaningless.
Can I come and join you on your soapbox!
Well done,
Sarah


Author's Reply:
Thank you Sarah; please do join me, the more the better! Thanks for your comments,

Romany.

Ionicus on 24-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Dear Romany, the message comes across loud and clear. As we grow older we realise how the standards have slipped and this must be a cause of concern for parents with young children.
As for the poem, I must regretfully agree with you that it is a bit untidy and could do with some polish.
Best wishes, Luigi.

Author's Reply:
Done it again! Aaagh! When will I stop answering comments in the comments box?! Sorry Luigi - reply below. Thanks.
Romany.

Romany on 24-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
It is VERY untidy and unpolished Luigi! Lol! I was just annoyed (another story) and in a hurry to take it out on the keyboard. This one was never meant to be a poetical great, so thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on it anyway.

As to the content; standards have indeed slipped. It never fails to amaze me, the way films that actually were 18 when I was a kid, are now 15. The hypocrisy of warning about violent content in animated cartoons, and then rating what was once thought of as a horror film a 15, is staggering.
The level of violence in some 15's is incredible; since when was 15 adulthood? Little wonder, I think, that society is so violent these days.
Before anyone asks, yes, I do think film and other media can to an extent be blamed for this. It works, in my opinion, in the same was as the media does when it sets standards for youngsters, especially girls, to look stick thin and conform to the 'media perfect.' It sets a precedent for what's 'acceptable' or 'cool.'
Don't get me started!

Cheers Luigi - not a rant at you specifically, just at the wider world. Better out than in.
Romany.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 24-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
I am a prime example of how these ratings can scar Ms. Romany. I went from 'The sound of music' to 'Debbie does Dallas' in just one summer. Never in all of my life have I been so terribly disturbed. That Julie Andrews has a lot to answer for and no mistake. Sorry, didn't mean to be flippant. I know what you're saying, and I think you expressed it in a forthright manner. A manner that indeed puts me in mind of a young Barbara Woodhouse of dog training fame. This comment isn't going well is it? It is ill conceived and possibly offensive. I shall rate it 15. Interesting write Ms. Romany. My respect, along with a mars bar, is yours. Thanks.

s
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on paper he made sense

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunken - always great to hear from you.
Romany.

RoyBateman on 25-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Okay, as you say it's a bit rough round the edges - but the message is what's important! I really do think that society as a whole is fast becoming desensitised towards genuine horror, violence and simple general lack of caring for others. I've recently been stunned by some "children's" stuff, both in terms of language and content - aren't kids allowed to have a childhood any more? That magical time of discovery and making your own mistakes is being shrunk all the time, and that's a tragedy. I couldn't agree with your argument more!

Author's Reply:
Very eloquently expressed Roy - thanks for reading and for sharing your views.
Romany.

ruadh on 25-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
I can't say anything that's not already been said, but I completely agree with the sentiments expressed. Good work.

ailsa

Author's Reply:
Thanks ruadh.
Romany.

woodbine on 25-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Your poem has stimulated much interest in the age range changes so it's served it's puurpose well. My thinking is that nothing much has changed in the thinking of the film makers in regard to making the use of handguns appear on the screen to be absolutely 'normal' as a way of threatening people. There is an unwritten code in making film posters and part of that code is that action adventure movies are almost always symbolised by a character pointing a gun, the bigger the better. Kids grow up absorbing this message unconsciously, that the gun is the quickest way of solving arguments. The filmmakers rarely linger on the social consequences.
Maybe from a wheel chair Tarantino might see things differently.
John

Author's Reply:
Absolutely John, but it's not just the guns that bother me; there's so much other, far more graphic violence on offer too. It's funny you should mention Tarantino (or there again, maybe not) as the trailer for one of his films, on at all times of day, bothers me a lot at the moment. The 'peephole' view of tools and a sinister basement type setting, a woman begging for mercy in the background, all nicely over laid by a man whistling in a blase, 'everything's-fine' fashion. Nasty stuff; what the hell kind of message is that giving out? Makes me shiver just thinking about it. And that's just one amongst many.
Romany.

Gerry on 25-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Romany, nice one and fully agree--I fear for my Granchildren.
Where has childhood gone?

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry - it seems the whole world is so cynical and jaded these days. Hopefully some day we will all start to see sense, and then do something about it.
Romany.

RDLarson on 26-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Think of the evening news. And I would not let my children when they were young watch the news. Honor, decency and respect aren't much valued any more. I wish it could change back.

8 for content!!!!

Author's Reply:
Thanks RD - honour, decency and respect are almost dirty words these days!
Romany.

Jen_Christabel on 26-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Very good Romany :o) Nicely done.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen.
Romany.

eddiesolo on 27-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Good message in this one, hear,hear!

You know what else pisses me off?

How come kids can buy toys from films that are rated 15 or 18. Years ago it was Alien, kids got the toys and then wanted to see the film...all about money.
Nice Sue.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Spot on Si - it's all about the money. We'll all end up paying in the end though, I think. We're starting to already.
Thanks for reading and commenting,
Sue.

Dazza on 27-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Watershed's getting more like 5 in the arvo as well. Desensitize me and my kids. Power poem. Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Good point Dazza - I have seen some compeletly unsuitable trailers during the day myself. Thanks for commenting,
Romany.

Pink-ghost on 27-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Succinctly put. I couldn't agree more.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Pink-ghost.
Romany.

Jolen on 28-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
I have to say I agree with you. I'm pretty damn liberal but in my opinion children need to be children. Well done on this piece.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen.
Romany.

Abel on 28-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
I couldn't agree more. The times have indeed changed...

Well done!

Ward

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ward - not all change is progression, eh?
Romany.

Lare on 30-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Hi Romany...very good message...reflections...hit the target with this one. This is perhaps how we rate life...aquaintances...friends...

"And as we all get wiser

All the more stupid too

I don’t think it will be long,

Before that becomes a ‘U.’"

Hmm...Romany...this is very clever...very clever...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Thank you Lare. Good to hear from you,
Romany.

teifii on 30-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Make a litle room on your soap box for me too, Romany. It is difficult to calculate how much the diet of violence on tv is the result of how or society is going and how much it is the cause. It is a sort of self perpetuating circle. Excuse mixed images but I know what I mean [Oh dear I've just realised what a weak excuse that is from someone claiming to be a poet.] I wish there was something one could do but, except for talking to children and trying to feed some antidote to them, it is difficult to see.
Daff

Author's Reply:
That's what really worries me Daff; how to we begin to rectify it? I despair...
Thanks for commenting - there's always room for one more!
Romany.

red-dragon on 31-03-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Your message is spot on - all I can do is echo the comments of those quicker off the mark than me! Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann.
Romany.

Saxonshadow on 07-12-2006
Universal (Unsuitable For All.)
Hi, Romany, I just had a nosey through your list of posted work and just had to say a word or three in agreement with you on the subject, nice write too, I like your way, SS


Author's Reply:
Am so sorry I missed this earlier! Was having a lot of problems getting notifications, and a few seem to have slipped through the gaps here, including this one. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, I am glad you seem to get what I was saying.

Romany.


Old Gods (posted on: 24-03-06)
Poem.

Old Gods. Even the moon sulked Skulked behind clouds The stars dimmed And dipped their lights; Defiant trees Bowed in compliance; Once calm waters Lashed at banks Their one-time defenders, In their urge to escape; The sleeping desert Rose up and Spat At its own futility; Mountains pleaded, Begged forgiveness, Found frosty air and Cold contempt; While weak man, Helpless mortals Shivered in the empty Heart of rock; Of Earth herself, When the Old Gods Raged. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Old Gods
Apolloneia on 24-03-2006
Old Gods
Loved this one!
Nicoletta

Author's Reply:
Great - thanks Nic!
Romany.

chrissy on 24-03-2006
Old Gods
This is extremely good. I love the short, sharp lines that seem to convey a kind of violence.
Very well written.
chrissy

Author's Reply:
Thank you - was trying to endow it with a feeling of elemental brutality; not sure if it paid off, but 'violent' is close enough! Thanks again,
Romany.

Frenchy on 24-03-2006
Old Gods
It's only a matter of time before Nature really takes her revenge! Liked the imagery and the urgence. Take Care.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Frenchy; Mother Nature is indeed a powerful woman!
Romany.

(I'm surprised the pc brigade haven't cottoned on to that yet, and insisted we refer to a Nature Person,or some such nonsense.)

niece on 25-03-2006
Old Gods
Wonderful imagery, Romany...! Excellent poem!
regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thank you neice.
Romany.

Sunken on 25-03-2006
Old Gods
Excellent Ms. Romany. One of your best in this munky's opinion. Please don't let that put you off though (-;

s
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k
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alarmingly compliant in the face of diversity

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunken.
Romany.

Gerry on 25-03-2006
Old Gods
Romany, no mistaking the message here--nice one...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Gerry.
Romany.

eddiesolo on 27-03-2006
Old Gods
Romany I loved this to bits!

So many great lines in this.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Cheers Si!
Romany.

Jolen on 07-04-2006
Old Gods
Wonderful work. Very powerful, and your lines are so clean and crisp.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you very much Jolen, glad you liked it!
Romany.


On A Constant Ocean (posted on: 20-03-06)
For S who hardly knows me, and the children I never met, in appreciation of an unusual home-made ornament (not mine, sadly!) Romany.

Out on a constant ocean Of golden, shining foil Three matchstick ships go sailing To some never-reached new soil They languish on the breast Of an ever-becalmed sea Safe inside their cardboard harbour Drifting endlessly The storms come, but do not reach them The sun shines, but does not burn The wind howls, but does not urge them on; The tide is yet to turn I think, beneath that precious sea Paper fishes swim; I wonder, is there a captain? And wish that I were him Any man aboard such a vessel Would marvel at the skill That made the sea, the wall, the ocean That grace the window-sill As you draw closed the curtains You bring that sea its night; They'll sail on through the moonshine To greet you at first light Though the tableau is unmoving Perhaps that is not true; It moved its maker to create it And it moved my heart, too. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for On A Constant Ocean
niece on 20-03-2006
On A Constant Ocean
Romany,
Don't know whether it is the lovely imagery or the words or maybe both, but this moved my heart too!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Done it AGAIN! Aaargh! Sorry neice; please see my response below.

Romany on 20-03-2006
On A Constant Ocean
Thank you neice - glad to hear it!
Romany.

Author's Reply:

Capricorn on 22-03-2006
On A Constant Ocean
Hi Romany ~ really enjoyed your rhyming poem. Keep it up girl. Great read.
Eira

Author's Reply:
Thanks Capricorn - appreciated!

eddiesolo on 23-03-2006
On A Constant Ocean
Lovely poem, really enjoyed this.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thankyou Si.

Jolen on 07-04-2006
On A Constant Ocean
Romany:
This is delicate and so visual that I felt I was sitting there, you managed to bring the ornament to life with excellent detail. A moving and enjoyable read.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
What a nice comment! Glad it made you feel that way; just what I was after. Thank you.
Romany.


Forbidden Fruit (posted on: 10-03-06)
Thanks for reading. (With thanks to Dargo77 for help with the fine tuning!)

Forbidden Fruit That nameless desire That shadowy despair Not naked But swathed in hot, silken strips Pushed Until the teasing stitches nearly give The seams tear; Almost. That enticing darkness That shaded fantasy That at once Repels Yet pulls you down Into its white-hot core And melts you so; Until you force your eyes to open, To race back To the light, bright world The safe world Where only half of you Belongs. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Forbidden Fruit
Bradene on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Temptation at it's best and most alluring, not many could or would resist. Fascinating write Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Fascinating? Lust can be all absorbing, it's true! Thanks Val.

Romany.

Dargo77 on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Romany, you covered the subject matter so well in this poem.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks again Dargo!
Romany.

Gerry on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Romany. Powerful play with words here. Point hammered home 😉 ...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Thank you for your comment - please see my response below (posted in wrong place as usual!)
Romany.

Romany on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Thank you for your comment, which I find to be very interesting. 'Powerful,' and 'hammering the point home' both surprise me, but in a pleasant way! This is what I love about poetry; the many different ways different folk read it. Thank you Gerry.
Romany.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
More lovely than a chocolate hobnob. Thanks.

s
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where the people look good

Author's Reply:
Praise indeed! Thanks Sunken.
Romany.

Jolen on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
I agree with the others, you have in a few choice words, brought us a delightful vision.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much Jolen.
Romany.

littleditty on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Very nicely done Romany - i will read again - well written and i feel id like to see it without the spaces - a fine conclusion - nice! xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Thanks ld - not sure that the spacing would make that much of a difference to the reading of this particular poem, but since you suggest it I will try it and see! Thanks for taking the time,
Romany.

littleditty on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
no -probably not - it reads really well - it's me not liking scrolling! Like this poem 😀 xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Fair enough ld - will try it and see anyway though! 🙂
Romany.

Ionicus on 10-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
An alluring sketch of being on the verge of succumbing to temptation, pulling back at the last moment perhaps with wistful regret.
Being weak-willed I would have reached for the forbidden fruit without hesitation.
Joking aprt, a very fine piece of writing.
Luigi.

Author's Reply:
It's swine, that temptation - but that's a whole other story!
Thanks Luigi,
Romany.

Jen_Christabel on 11-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Saucy stuff, I liked this :o)
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen.

Romany.

Lare on 11-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Hi Romany...wow...this gave me the feeling of coming out of a dream...

"Until you force your eyes to open,

To race back

To the light, bright world

The safe world

Where only half of you

Belongs"...

I really like how you set up your imagery...and I really like when you wrote about the bright world where only half of you belongs. I hadn't thought of the reality that the other half of us belongs to the night...darkness...unpredictability...

I've said it before...and I'll say it again...because you've done it again...this is a wow...

Lare

Author's Reply:
You can say it as many times as you like Lare! Thank you very much - it is much appreciated.

eddiesolo on 14-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Very naughty this piece...I LIKE IT!

Great image portrayed in so few lines.

Top piece.

Also on the copyright thingy...if your using word you can press ALT GR then C. It will give you the © symbol!

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thank you eddie-s - I am pleased that people seem to be imagining a clear picture from this poem, although it was written with the intention of conveying an emotional struggle rather than a particular incident; of course, as I have said so many times before, the beauty of poetry is that people can 'see' what they will, for themselves!
Will try your copyright suggestion, as the one given previously didn't work (can only assume my number board is not active? I'm not exactly au fait with IT - there's a title if ever I heard one!)
Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
Romany.

RDLarson on 17-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
I think it's dreamy. It's that first astounding moment of will I and the the sweet aftermath of when or if. All together very fine.

Author's Reply:
Dreamy - lovely word! Thanks RD - glad you enjoyed.
Romany.

Sherston on 21-03-2006
Forbidden Fruit
Pwoarh indeed!
Hot stuff romany. 🙂

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks Sherston.
Romany.


Plumbing the Depths (posted on: 06-03-06)
I know it's another odd layout, but I like to fiddle with things!

Plumbing the Depths. The puddle lies before me A murky invitation And from down the years, I hear My mother's remonstration I smile, and look deeper Into its' oily depths Its' rainbow illumination A naughty child temptation I glance down at my high-heeled shoes Satin-blue, to mark the night Diamante stars dust their surface Beautiful shoes; cruelly tight I wonder just how good it would feel To cool my heels, here and now. I hitch up my skirt; I might; There's not another soul in sight. The silk of my stockings whisper As if to hurry me on I suppress a girlish giggle Oh, but the urge is strong! I want no courtly Raleigh The night is cloak enough As a child, I would not pause so long By now the deed would be long done The thought decides me, and so I step into the inky bliss The waters rising with my blood The coolness of a parting kiss; I splash, and the puddle rains grey Inhibitions ebb, and seep away The puddle is all the things I miss; But I never knew, until I did this I hear my own delighted squeals Oblivious to the stares; Aghast, It comes as quite a hearty shock To learn I have company at last I stop; oil-smattered, puddle greasy And wonder what a sight I make Then I ask them to join me, as I cast A backward glance, at my carefree past. S P Oldham.
Archived comments for Plumbing the Depths
teifii on 06-03-2006
Plumbing the Depths
And you really do fiddle extremely well. Another fav for me. It made me smile too at the whole idea of a relapse into childhood. We should all do it sometimes.
Daff


Author's Reply:
Done it AGAIN!!!
Sorry teifi, please see my response below.

Romany.

Romany on 06-03-2006
Plumbing the Depths
Thank you teifi - am very chuffed it's a favourite for you!

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 06-03-2006
Plumbing the Depths
This, like Ms. Katie of Melua fame, is a lovely piece Ms. Romany. I remember jumping into a puddle when I was ickul... it turned out to be a bleedin' open manhole cover and I nearly drowned. It was a shock and no mistake. I think this explains my fear of both men and holes. I hope that didn't sound homophobic...? Anyway, I ramble. A truly great write Ms. Romany. Well done.

s
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yes sir, i can spot-weld - but i need a dark visor

Author's Reply:
Thank you Sunken - glad you liked it!

Romany.

red-dragon on 06-03-2006
Plumbing the Depths
Romany - it's like jumping into a pile of autumn leaves - delightful! Your poem brought back memories of last summer and dancing in pools left by the sea. Quite daft (me, not the poem!) Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann - daft's okay! I can do daft!

Romany.

Dargo77 on 07-03-2006
Plumbing the Depths
Romany, a nice easy poem to read, and I especially enjoyed the 'daring' in this one. I thought the lines:
'I want no courtly Raleigh
The night is cloak enough'...very inventive.
Regards,
Dargo


Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo - Iliked those lines too, if I'm honest!! 🙂

Romany.

niece on 09-03-2006
Plumbing the Depths
Romany,
One has to take care before stepping into puddles in Mumbai(of which we get many during the Monsoon season). Fortunately(or otherwise) last year, I found myself wading through this huge pool of water carrying my little one...and though initially I used to hate it, I began to enjoy it after a while. yes...there is definitely something exciting about splashing about in puddles. It would be lovely to drop all one's inhibitions and become a child once again. A very lovely poem this, Romany.
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thank you neice - should imagine Mumbai's puddles are probably a bit deeper than the Uk's!

Romany.

Corin on 17-03-2006
Plumbing the Depths
A very original piece Romany, not at all odd or daft and I enjoyed reading it very much. There are lots of very creative touches in it - I like the observation of the oil rainbow (nothing to do with rainbows really - which are created by refraction of light whereas the coloured effect produce by oil is created by interference of light - sorry just the scientific pedant surfacing)
-the shoe description; do you have a shoe fetish?
- the whispering stockings, one of those rare concrete metaphors, since a skirt moving on silk stockings really does make a whispering sound - cf "In the fearfull hollow of mine ear"
- the very skillfully handled ending, recreating on the page one of those special moments when you somehow step out of ordinary mundane time into that special time where seconds are longer than hours and years are nothing at all.

Warm Wishes,

David


Author's Reply:
What a lovely, and well informed(!) response. Thank you David. No, I don't have a shoe fetish, but I do like shoes, and that's not the same thing at all, is it? Lol! Thank you for commenting.
Romany.

Dazza on 14-11-2006
Plumbing the Depths
Romany, just read this in the Anthology, so much nicer in a book! Great take on the child like we all are but shove under carpets. Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Dazza - can't believe I've only just got this message! Was having problems with notification alerts for a long time (wonder how many others I have missed.) Chuffed to think you have read this in the anthology. Thanks so much for reading here too, and leaving a comment. Can only apologise for not getting to it sooner!

Kind regards,
Romany.


The Wood for the Trees. (posted on: 06-03-06)
*****

The Wood for the Trees. How did I ever feel protected? There, beneath your brittle arms, While the days passed by me, undetected Beyond your browning, fading charms. Why did I listen to your aching moan; Your groans, your endless, ancient song, When my heart sang to me of sunshine And my head knew all was wrong? What kept me there? Bound to your power; Bound to your old, relentless sway. Held me, helpless in your bower While the rings of my time turned away. Where did my eyes rest, when I looked Upon your dry, your knotted brow? How did I snag myself; get hooked Upon the thorns that pierce me now? When did I truly see your forest Where, once, I fancied meadows lay? How did I find the strength to protest And force your heavy arms away? Those visions fell like autumn leaves before my eyes I consigned them all to foolish fantasies; I fled the wood, and to my summer fresh surprise Saw so clearly, all your guardian trees. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for The Wood for the Trees.
teifii on 06-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
Romany this is lovely. I do like formal poems that don't make any concessios by way of meaning and yet sound as if rhyming, scanning verse were the proper way to speak. I ahave to go and make it a favourite now.

Author's Reply:
Thank you once again teifi - appreciate your taking the time to comment.

Romany.

littleditty on 06-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
Very good rhyme Romany -flowing, beautiful to read - so as remedy for my bad attitude to rhymes, i will read it again out loud - tonic - nice one xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Thank you for that encouraging comment ld - I find a little gin with the tonic works wonders!

Romany.

Jen_Christabel on 06-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
I liked this very much, a fine read :o)
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jennifer.

AnthonyEvans on 06-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
romany, i enjoyed this, though i must confess to getting lost during the final couple of stanzas.

best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Anthony - what confused you?

Romany.

AnthonyEvans on 06-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
i read it as two literal trees, then i got stuck and couldn't see how one tree could up stumps and move off. i guess i should stick with a more metaphorical reading?

best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:
Oh I see! Lol! Well, there's always more than one way to read a poem. I tend to be a bit face value myself at times; and at times of course I just don't get it! Sorry this one didn't quite do it for you, but I really appreciate your comments and thoughts.



Kind regards,



Romany.

niece on 07-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
This is beautiful, Romany. The words flow so well...
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thank you neice - I am so pleased you like it.

Romany.

Dargo77 on 07-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
Romany, well written and enjoyable to read.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo.

Romany.

shadow on 07-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
This is very satisfying, the sort of poem which repays two or three readings. I like it .

Author's Reply:
Thank you Shadow, not least for feeling able to read it two or three times! Appreciated,

Romany.

Bradene on 08-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
Oh yes a wonderful poem this, I love the metaphor, the rhythm too is perfect. Well written Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Val!

Sunken on 08-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
Oo, I nearly missed this one Ms. Romany. Have you subbed two this week then? I get confused with my numbers. I blame an abacus that I had as a child. Half of the beads were missing and for years I thought ten was eight. Anyway, that's not important right now. Top poem Ms. Romany. 8 from the munky, cause he says so - cause he says so.

s
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they don't understand, do they

s
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Author's Reply:
Thanks funky munky!

ThePhoenix on 10-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
Beautiful

Author's Reply:
Thank you!

Lare on 16-03-2006
The Wood for the Trees.
Hi Val...once again...very well..very nicely done...I especially love the ending...this is perfect...just perfect...you do have a way with words...I mean that...I always learn much from reading your writings...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Hi Lare! Val is a great writer, I agree, but I'm afraid it was little ole me who did this one! (Don't worry - I did the same thing earlier this week, called eddiesolo, Dazza!)
I appreciate the comment all the same,
Romany.


Oh So (posted on: 03-03-06)
Think this could maybe work as a song? Don't know! A bit of a romantic one this - I do dabble now and then!!

Oh So. He says he loves me, even when he's sleeping; How can he know, when his mind is not his own? He says Eternity is ours, but it's not his to give; Just how does he know we'll never be alone? What authority has he, over destiny? How can he be oh so cool? So self-assured? Time has nothing to prove; it doesn't give a damn. You can deny, or just take it at its word. What fills him with such absolute certainty When he holds me and says ''Everything's all right?'' How can he be so sure? It's not so obvious to me. But I smile, because his eyes are oh so bright. And his smile is oh so soft and gentle, And his hands are oh so warm and strong, And his lips are oh so close to mine, And I've loved the man for oh so long, I'll ignore all the creeping doubts, That try to find a way inside my mind, I'll bite down on all the fear-filled words, That would be oh so true, and so unkind, And I'll let my oh so heavy heart believe him, Make my oh so tired mind believe it too, When he whispers, ''Baby we're all right, And Baby, I am so in love with you.'' S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Oh So
Dargo77 on 03-03-2006
Oh So
Romany, very honest poem of deep, inner feelings. Well written.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo - appreciated.

Jolen on 03-03-2006
Oh So
Oh so lovely, and oh so a piece that speaks beautifully to what we often feel. Fears and doubts, and to have those alleviated is beautiful, as your fine words portray. Great metering here.I can very easily hear a song.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Well bless you Jolen, and thank you! What a lovely, encouraging comment.



Romany.

Sunken on 05-03-2006
Oh So
I agree with that Jolen of America woman, a fine write Ms. Romany. Your metering is spot on (3.2808 ft. if my sums are right). Consider water and it's relationship with clouds (but only if you have the time).

s
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yes sir, i can stir-fry - but i need a certain wok

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken - it's appreciated.

Your little sign off line: sounds like "Yessir, I can boogie..." Was that intentional? (Lol! Yes sir, I can stir fry, but I need a certain wok, I can stir fry, stir fry, stir fry, all night long..." You may just have a classic on your hands there mate!)

Romany.


Crocodile Clamour (posted on: 03-03-06)
This needs work, but I've come a bit unstuck with it! Another one I wrote years ago, but have dusted off. I always envisaged it in a big picture book, lots of illustrations, for younger children than the 'Aesop' stories. What do you think?

Crocodile Clamour. At school just the other day We all heard Mr. Masters say ''Children; line up in single file, Just like a long crocodile!'' So we all lined up against the wall Ready to go to the lunch hall. But my! You should have heard the fuss Made by every one of us. Mr Masters shouted, as loud as he could ''Children, children! Stop! Be good! No crocodile I ever knew Made a din quite like you! I've changed my mind; it would be nice If you could all be little mice. Creep to the hall, not a whisper or shout So quiet that no-one knows we're about.'' But we weren't quiet mice for very long. Mr Master's plan went quite wrong; Not a word did any child speak. We crept, oh yes, but all going 'Squeak!' ''No, no, no!'' Mr. Masters screamed, ''This is much more noisy than I had dreamed. Instead, be a burglar, silent and slow, With a mask and a swag-bag; now off you go.'' So down the corridor we started again, Creeping about like robber men. We did well or so I thought, until we were stopped, when Harry was caught! ''Harry, what are you doing with that toy? Does it belong to you, boy?'' ''No sir, I robbed it like you said.'' Mr Masters groaned and rubbed his head. ''All right everybody, no more of that; This time pretend you are a cat. Slink along on padded paws, Slip in quietly through the doors.'' We changed again, to pussycats What a racket came of that! Everybody meowed and purred, Such hissing and mewing you've never heard! ''Enough, enough! My goodness me! What a noise from you, year three!'' But we had, at last, reached the lunch hall, Only then did silence fall. The only noise to be heard then was the 'munch' As we all ate up our lunch. And I thought, we would never had made such a noise, If Mr. Masters had only said ''Be quiet, girls and boys.'' S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Crocodile Clamour
Dazza on 03-03-2006
Crocodile Clamour
Best days of our lives, you have snapped a great little photo of halcyon, Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dazza - glad you enjoyed.

alcarty on 03-03-2006
Crocodile Clamour
Another moral. Be careful what you say to kids! These little pieces are classics; fun reading!

Author's Reply:
Not really moralistic, this one? Anyway, rest assured they have not had the chance to corrupt any young ears and minds thus far! Thanks for reading,

Romany.

e-griff on 03-03-2006
Crocodile Clamour
I see what you mean. There are, for me, a number of problems with this verse. I'm happy to tell you about that, but would prefer to send you a mail with a word doc, with track changes and comments included - can you handle that? (ie do you have a full MSWord programme).

I just wiped my old address book, so lost your e-mail. so, if you want, mail me at egriff2006@aol.com

Author's Reply:
Thanks egriff - just got back to you.



Romany.

Thanks egriff - noted your points, although I have very stupidly managed to delete the email you sent me, before printing it off. My apologies for my ineptitude; I don't expect you to go through all that again!
Thanks for the input,
Romany.

niece on 04-03-2006
Crocodile Clamour
Romany,
Very cute...I know what you mean, you really have to be careful what you say to little kids and how they interpret it. It's not easy!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks neice. I am not too worried about this one though; ever heard of Burglar Bill? There are lots of stories for kids that could be misinterpreted. I am curious to know; is there really a potential issue with this one?

Romany.

niece on 04-03-2006
Crocodile Clamour
Romany,
I was not referring to your poem being misinterpreted...I mean, generally, things you say to them or in front of them(you know things which you are not really addressing to them). In fact, I am sure this poem would tickle them quite a bit...if they know what's good for them, you wouldn't dare to attempt any of it. Atleast not mine ;)!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks for clarifying neice!

RoyBateman on 04-03-2006
Crocodile Clamour
Delightful - you've captured the way kids misinterpret things with great skill - very funny, too. I could just see the little buggers!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy! I am chuffed you thought it was funny; the tricky bit is, getting the kids to enjoy it I suppose!

Romany.


Found Whilst Rambling (posted on: 24-02-06)
Another one by my mum, LavenderRose; she is shortly to have her own web page, but for now I am posting her work (too long-winded to explain!) This was written as a belated response to a challenge in the Poetry Workshop. Mum is new to writing poetry, but I don't think you would necessarily know that - all bias aside, I think this is very good! Will also post in the appropriate forum. In the meantime, if you feel inclined to comment, I will make sure mum gets them. Thanks in advance, Romany.

Found Whilst Rambling. It was a pretty beaded purse With a dull gold fringe And a dull gold shoulder strap That I found, as I wandered near The Grange, The old house on my map; It put me in mind of the twenties age When young flappers danced With all that jazz And razzamatazz, When prohibition waged. But maybe I was lost in a reverie And it was not from that time. So I opened the purse And there, inside, Found a lonely U.S dime. LavenderRose. (My mum!)
Archived comments for Found Whilst Rambling
Jen_Christabel on 24-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
Lovely, and lovely images here Lavender Rose :o)
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen, will pass your comments on.

Romany (on behalf of LavenderRose.)

Kat on 24-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
I really enjoyed this, LavenderRose. I had a whoosh of The Great Gatsby as I read it - I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat - Great Gatsby eh? Lol! Will pass it on.

Romany (on behalf of LavenderRose.)

Sunken on 24-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
I have an air freshener called lavender rose, I think it's made by airwick, but I'd have to check. Anyway, that's not important right now. This is more lovely than a Cornish pasty (of which I am quite partial). I hope your mother finds my edible critique both useful and tasty young Ro of Many fame. Do be sure to remind her that she can have me banned from commenting on her poems by simply mailing that young Andrea woman of Uka fame. Nice work.

s
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Motorhead 0 - Boy George 0 (Match postponed due to inadequate wardrobe provisions)

Author's Reply:
Cheers Sunken! Why on earth would she want to ban you when you make such tasty comments?
Romany.

RDLarson on 25-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
A special sweet moment that we all want in an otherwise ordingary day. Beautifully said.

Author's Reply:
Thank you RDLarson - I'm sure LavenderRose will be touched by your comment.

Dargo77 on 25-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
A poem that sent my mind racing (not a good thing at my age). When my mind had reached the tape, I had many a thought as to the story behind the lost bag. A nice poem.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thank you for all your comments and interest Dargo; you know that LavenderRose appreciated it very much.

teifii on 25-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
More power to your pencil, Lavender rose. This makes one want to know more.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff, I happen to know that's just the effect mum wanted! Will pass your comments on.
Thanks again,
Romany.

eddiesolo on 25-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
Nice piece by ya mum Romany. I wanted to know the story behind the bag, who owned it? And who was behind the coin?

Great just loved it.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting eddie - will pass it on!

alcarty on 25-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
I agree in wanting to the story of the bag, and the dime. Pass along my praise to your mother. I would like to see her expand these thoughts into a story. Possibilities.

Author's Reply:
I certainly will - thank you!

red-dragon on 25-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
This was the first one I read on Friday, before I'd logged in, but it's taken me till now to return to say how much I enjoyed it. I sort of expected it to smell of Lavender Rose, too, such was the effect of the poem. Well done to Mum and good on you, too, for posting it. Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ann - from both of us!

Andrea on 25-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
Oh that's lovely, Lavender. Poignant. Really liked it. Long time since I heard 'flappers' 🙂

Yes, a lot of possibilites here for expansion, methinks. Not that it's really necessary, imagination can do the work, too. Great stuff.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea; mum likes to leave it up to the reader, as you say. She believes very strongly that some things are best left to the imagination!
Romany.

Lare on 26-02-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
Hi LavenderRose...This is so beautifully done. Nice, soft imagery...the purse...the old house...and of a time I know from the memories from my parents...and what a wonderful touch with the dime at the end...this is a wow...in a delicate way as was the poem itself...very well done...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Thanks Lare, not just for the comment but for phrasing so perfectly what I feel about mum's poem myself; a wow in a delicate way - perfect! I have passed your comment on.
Romany.

Bradene on 01-03-2006
Found Whilst Rambling
Lovely poem You have a talented Mum She has a lovely way with words and the imagery is superb. love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Val - she is indeed talented - just wish I could convince her of it! Maybe all these lovely comments will help.
Romany.


Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy. (posted on: 17-02-06)
Last one in the set of six.

Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals 6. Lazy Daisy. I would invite you in to see Daisy Wickes room, but the door won't open wide enough to let you through. It jams almost instantly on the heap of clothes that lie discarded, along with the books and damp, slightly mouldy towels that are piled up behind it. Beyond this heap, further into what should be a light, airy, pleasant room, greasy, half-empty pizza boxes, cereal bowls complete with flakes of corn stuck to their edges by slightly green milk, and, I am afraid to say, underwear, worn and unwashed, litter the floor. The bed, unmade and unchanged for months, stands sulkily in the corner, giving off its own unique odour. The drawers and cupboards, and there are many, all stand partially open, spilling out their contents; belts, bag straps, socks and tights, like Daisy herself when she eats Bolognese and strands of tomato-smeared spaghetti dangle from her open mouth. Every single surface in the room is covered; the floor, the drawers, the cupboards and the bed. They are cluttered up with all manner of things; from school books and pens to sweet wrappers and hairbrushes. In fact, the only clean thing in the room is the waste-paper bin, which stands innocent and untouched, next to Daisy's bed. The only person who can get into the room, is Daisy. She has a complicated method of opening the door just wide enough to get her foot through; she half-closes it again, and then with an awkward half-shuffling, half-kicking motion, she flicks the debris away from behind it, allowing room enough to squeeze through. Her parents have both given up trying to master this particular skill; her mother hurt herself once trying to do it, and her father, having managed to open it quite wide once, was repelled by the smell from within. It reminded him of dusty books, old socks and rotting food all at once. You may have gathered then, that Daisy is not the tidiest or neatest person you could ever meet, which is true; but it's not just that she's not neat and tidy, it's more that she's incredibly lazy. Lazy's not so terrible, I hear you say. Well, perhaps not; but there are ways of doing everything, and Daisy's kind of laziness is not very nice. She has no manners at all; the words 'please' and 'thank you' rarely pass her lips. As far as Daisy is concerned, other people exist only to do things for her. She got away with this kind of behaviour for a very long time until one day during the summer holidays. * Daisy was lying in bed one afternoon. Her parents had asked her if she would like to go for a walk with them; they were taking Jasper to the lakes. Daisy hadn't bothered answering beyond a rather rude, ''Shut the door quietly on your way out; I'm trying to get some rest.'' She had just finished eating breakfast; a sticky jam sandwich that she had ordered her mother to bring to her door before she left. After the effort of going all the way across the room to fetch the sandwich, and then all the way back to bed, where she sat up and ate it, eyes half-shut, she was feeling a little tired. She couldn't be bothered to put the jammy plate on the bedside table, so she had left it resting on her pillow; and then, rather forgetfully, laid her head back, right on top of it. There she lay; thinking that she should probably move the plate, or her head, but having no intention of doing either, when she heard a strange, scrabbling noise coming from somewhere on her bedroom floor. At first, Daisy did nothing, thinking that whatever it was, it would stop soon; but then she heard it again, closer and more insistent. Her curiosity beginning to rouse, Daisy went to the trouble of propping herself up on one elbow and scanning around for a clue as to where the noise had come from. She had almost given up and flopped back down, when she heard it again. Daisy's eyes actually opened wide; that didn't happen very often. She thought it might be coming from an empty milkshake carton that was lying on its side under the radiator. She narrowed her eyes like a cat stalking prey, and watched closely. Yes! Whatever was making the noise was in the carton. Very slowly, Daisy tucked back her bed-covers and got out of bed. Crossing the floor carefully, with the occasional ''Ow!'' and ''Ouch!'' as she stepped on a hairpin or a bottle-top, she crossed the strewn floor and crouched in front of the carton. It rocked slightly as whatever was inside it became aware of Daisy's sudden closeness; an air of expectation settled on the cluttered room. Daisy wiped away a blob of jam that had trickled stickily down her fringe and into her eye, and waited. Just as she was becoming bored and about to give up and go back to bed, a small, whiskery face peeped out of the carton, glanced at Daisy with something like disdain, and shot across the obstacle course that was Daisy's bedroom floor. Daisy shrieked and stood up abruptly; a wave of dizziness washed over her, her body unaccustomed to such sudden and swift movement. But her head quickly cleared, and she shuddered in revulsion. A mouse! There was a mouse in her room! She turned and eyed the floor, trying to spot it again. She scooped the milkshake carton up and began to stalk the floor, nudging rubbish and discarded clothes gingerly aside with her toes. Once or twice she caught a glimpse of the little furry invader as it darted from her approaching footsteps, looking for a hiding place; but she wasn't quick enough, and she soon grew tired of hurting her bare feet on the debris littering her floor. ''This is no good!'' she announced aloud, ''I'll never find it in this lot.'' She threw the carton down in frustration, trying to think what to do next, when an idea came to her. Daisy never went into the kitchen cupboard for the cleaning things herself of course, but she had seen her parents do it. She seemed to remember there were some big black bags in there; bin bags, her mum had called them. Maybe she should go and get some, clear away some of the mess and make that cheeky little mouse easier to hunt down? Daisy quailed at the thought of going downstairs and straight back up again in one go, but she forced herself to do it, and arrived back in her room, sweating and breathless, a roll of black bags clutched in her slick hands. ''Right!'' she threatened the thin air, and snapped a bag off the roll. She began where she was standing; clearing the floor from her feet outwards. One black bagful later, and she had barley cleared a patch around her feet. Determined now, she snapped another bag off and set to work again. She became carried away with her rubbish collecting, so it came as something of a surprise to realise that the floor was clear; except for the row of black bags that lined the wall. She could actually see her carpet; a once attractive shade of hyacinth blue, not that it was a very pretty sight any more, stained and tacky as it was. She stopped, listening intently; there it was again! A brazen scratching, this time coming from under her bed. Of course! She hadn't ventured under there yet. Tentatively, she approached on all fours, bag in hand, and began cautiously pulling out the things that lurked under there; she found a greying, mouldering slipper that didn't fit her anymore, and lots of pieces of mouldy toast that still had lumps of something on them. It was probably jam, Daisy decided; but it had turned white and furry now. She found lots of revolting things under her bed; the floor under there was clear now too, but still no mouse. Scratch-scratch-scratch. There it was again, and this time it was coming from her dressing table. Becoming angry, Daisy wasted no time in snatching up her bin and sweeping everything on top of her dressing table, into it. A flash in the mirror revealed the mouse streaking across the floor and scooting up the side of a very full bin-bag; upon which it stopped, quivering as if shaken up and out of breath. ''Got you,'' Daisy whispered. Moving slowly, something she was good at, she reached down into the bin and took out an old yoghurt pot, before padding as softly as she could across the room. It wasn't easy; she kept getting her feet stuck on sticky patches on the carpet, or crunching nosily on crispy ones. The mouse never stirred; it merely sat, trembling violently and twitching its whiskers. With a surprisingly graceful flourish, Daisy sank the pot down and over the little mouse. ''Yes!'' she squealed, punching the air and suddenly not feeling the least bit tired. She stood, congratulating herself and wondering what to do next when, to her dismay, the yoghurt pot rolled down the bag like a rock rolling from a mountain, and landed, rocking softly, at her feet. ''What? How the?..'' She was puzzled; she could have sworn she had caught that mouse, she was certain she had. The brush of tiny feet across hers told her she was wrong; she recoiled in horror, and watched helplessly as the mouse scampered up the leg of the bed and, to her disgust, into it. Infuriated now, Daisy launched herself at the bed, tearing off the sheets and covers in a frenzy. She even turned her mattress in her frantic search, and was once more frustrated; no mouse. ''That's it!'' Daisy stormed, ''THAT IS IT!'' She flung her door open wide and stalked downstairs. When she returned this time, she was holding her dad's cricket bat; brandishing it in a very threatening manner. ''Okay mouse, you want to mess about, we'll mess about,'' she snarled, not feeling the least bit silly to be talking to a rodent. As if in understanding of the situation, the mouse reappeared from behind Daisy's cupboard, and positively flew, straight between her legs and out of the still open door. Daisy, insane with rage, could have sworn she'd heard the little creature squeak, ''Nutmeg!'' as it passed through, and she became still more irate. With a shapeless noise, something like a war-cry, she turned and followed, hot on the mouse's heels. No longer bothering to creep or go carefully, she was smashing out wildly at anything and everything in her path; cursing the mouse with every crushing blow. Nothing was shown any mercy; she shattered and crushed the plants on the stairs, the hall table, the vases and photo frames on the window-sills. She battered the sofa, the lamps, the T.V, the shoe rack and the bookshelves. She lost herself in utter fury until, finally exhausted, she sank to the floor, her hands too weak to hold the bat any longer. She was panting and breathless; sweat and jam dripping into her eyes. Her heart began to slow and her breathing eased, and suddenly, she realised what she had done. The house was demolished; from the landing right down to the front door, shards of glass, splintered wood and shattered china covered the floor. The walls were bruised and dented; she had even managed to hack pieces of the stair carpet off in her rage. Daisy was horrified; how on earth would she even begin to clear this lot up? Then Daisy heard the most terrible sound she could possibly have heard at that moment; the key turning in the lock on the front door. * It took Daisy a very, very long time to clear up the mess she made that day; and years, yes, years, in pocket money to pay for the damage. Her parents, understandably, had been absolutely furious; they refused to believe any tall tales about a mouse. But what shocked and surprised them most, was how tidy Daisy's own room was. It had become the best room in the house, whereas it had always been the worst. Her mother was so flabbergasted that she nearly forgave Daisy for the rest of the mess; but her dad had said, ''No way! It's high time this young lady cleaned up her act.'' He had drawn up a weekly rota and made sure that each week, Daisy had the worst of the chores. Her list included: Scrubbing her bedroom carpet by hand, until it looked like new. Emptying and cleaning the bins. Cleaning the toilet. Walking Jasper daily, at least two miles. Amongst other things Daisy's room looks far nicer these days I have to say. There's only once piece of rubbish in her room now. It's an old milkshake carton, which lies just under her radiator. A little mouse lives in there; Daisy has decided to leave him alone. After all, what possible harm could a little mouse do? * The moral to this story is: Never clean your room; it's just not worth it.
Archived comments for Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
HelenRussell on 17-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
I am not letting my children read this! In fact up until the appearance of the mouse I thought you had sneaked into my house at some point for inspiration LOL.

A thoroughly enjoyable read, I will miss these little tales.
Regards
Sarah

Author's Reply:

HelenRussell on 17-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
I am not letting my children read this! In fact up until the appearance of the mouse I thought you had sneaked into my house at some point for inspiration LOL.

A thoroughly enjoyable read, I will miss these little tales.
Regards
Sarah

Author's Reply:
Done it a-bloody again!! Please see below Sarah.

Romany on 17-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
Thanks for all your support SArah - glad you enjoyed them.

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 17-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
Fun reading! You've got quite a collection now. Are you planning another series?

Author's Reply:
6 so far. Depending on if I do anything useful with them, have plenty of ideas for a few more. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement.

Romany.

niece on 18-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
Romany,
I shall not say too much since I am not a very organised person myself(never have been!). I gather you are not stopping at 6. Looking forward to reading more.
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Well, I'm stopping for now niece - the rest remains to be seen. Thanks for reading,

Romany.

Dargo77 on 19-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
Romany, I hope you spend time writing more of these wonderful stories.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo - I do have a few ideas flaoting about; it's pinning them down that's the bugger!
Romany.

Andrea on 19-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
Great little tale, Romany. Not a very...er...likeable child though, that Daisy, I must say 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. Most of the kids in this little series are not very likeable!
Romany.

Sunken on 19-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
Thank god the mouse didn't get hurt.
I think this is my fave of the bunch young Ro of Many fame. They make me wanna go out and get pregnant just so that I can have kids to read them to. Is there a male pregnancy pill available these days? There seems to be pills for everything else. You, my dear Romany, would seem to have overdosed on 'PillWrite'. I don't know how they'd go down with parents as the 'morals' are slightly questionable (-; Very original tho Ms. Romany. Well done. have a '10' cause I say so.

s
u
n
k
e
n

somewhere over the roadkill

Author's Reply:
Lol! Thanks Sunken. The morals are meant to be questionalbe - that's the point! If this ever did reach a child audience, I like to think that I can credit them with being sensible and able to make their own good choices, and to recognise that these stories are tongue in cheek and, hopefully, fun! That's my excuse anyway! Thanks for commenting,
Romany.

P.S I did post a disclaimer at the very start! Lol!

wirlong on 19-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 6. Lazy Daisy.
Romany,

This was a great read. I really, really enjoyed the ride.

My only reservation was that I thought she was going to end up cleaning her room (polishing the windows so she might glimpse the mouse in the reflection...etc etc). I thought the mouse might have revealed itself to be a wizard who had taught her to clean her room.

Nevertheless, it turned out to be a great story anyway.

Definately looking forward to the next tale now!

Wirlong

Author's Reply:
Thanks Wirlong. I am really glad you enjoyed these. I didn't want to make the mouse anything magical, just a slightly mischievious little character, innocent enough really, that made Daisy do something totally uncharacteristic.

As to the next tale, as I have said, I'm not sure. Lots of ideas, but nothing 'solid' yet. Watch this space!
Thanks for commenting and for the rating,
Romany.


Club Scene (posted on: 17-02-06)
An old one that I dusted off - never posted before though, so I suppose I could get away with calling it new!

Club Scene Come to me, my painted love And I will tell you tales of Your ballroom, filled with glittering lights Raucous men in drunken fights, Scarlet girls in dirty skirts Searching hands under fitted shirts; You shall see your often dreamed of freedom. Yes, come to me, my painted child To where those things that once beguiled Are seen through dry-ice smoke and song; Look at where you yearn to belong Pretty maidens? Yes, there are many. Handsome princes? Two a penny; But where's the orchestra, the staircase and the kingdom? Don't run away, my painted rose There's so much more, and heaven knows You've such determined competition Shake off your girlish inhibition; If you want to dance to the tune they play Let your conscience go, make your body stay Offer your soul up, to the rules of this place Cold day awaits you, your paint is cracked; Shows the flaws the false night lacked Gone are the dreams of the girl, but slow Even now not keen to let them go, No sophisticated smiles, no thrills But slurred words, rough hands and cruder skills And all your pretty colours turned to grey upon your face. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Club Scene
Jen_Christabel on 17-02-2006
Club Scene
I liked this, I liked it very much :o)
I just love poems that rhyme, dunno why, but they sort of 'sing' to me.
Great stuff
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen. Sometimes I rhyme, sometimes I don't - the poems seem to decide for themselves whether they want to rhyme or not! I've never understood the difficulty some folk seem to have with rhyming poetry! Anyway, thanks for the comment. I hope this one 'sang' to you too!

Romany.

Griffonner on 18-02-2006
Club Scene
Yes, I like this very much too. There was one thing that nagged me though: I wanted to change "Offer your soul up, to the rules of this place" to "offer up your soul to the rules of this place"... thut that's just me.

Author's Reply:
I did think about that myself Griff! But I decided to go with the original - don't ask me why!! Will see if the general consensus agrees with your change and have a ponder!
Glad you liked it - thanks for commenting,
Romany.

Dargo77 on 19-02-2006
Club Scene
Romany, I enjoyed your poem and really loved the lines...'Scarlet girls in dirty skirts
Searching hands under fitted shirts;
A well thought our piece, interesting subject matter.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo - it stems from my childhood! I have older siblings, and I used to watch them get ready to go out of an evening with envy; the world they entered on a Saturday night used to seem so exciting, even more so when I heard them recount the night's events on the following morning! I had this childish, little girl image of beautiful ballrooms in my head, a bit like Cinderella! Took a while for me to grow up and realise that it is not the case at all!
Thanks for your comments,
Romany.

len on 21-02-2006
Club Scene
Hee Hee.. I know the scene, all to well..You took me there.. I had to give up the sauce 15 years ago, but some things never change..Very well put together poem...len

Author's Reply:
Thanks Len; it's not really such a great 'scene' in reality, is it? Lol!

Romany.

teifii on 22-02-2006
Club Scene
Very evocative. Lots of lines impressed me but my favourite is
'But where’s the orchestra, the staircase and the kingdom?' -- just that line says it all about the lost fairy tale, lost childhood dreams.
Daff
PS I like Egriff's suggestion

Author's Reply:
Thanks teifi, that's just the message I was trying to put across. Still thinking about the edit!
Romany.

Dazza on 27-02-2006
Club Scene
Aaah the smutty slutterama and dogged men that can't dance with the scruples of the Marquis de Sade. Great stuff, Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Great comment Dazza! Thanks,
Romany.


Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 5. Nosy Rosie (posted on: 13-02-06)
Fifth in the series, one more to come. Nosy Rosie.

5. NOSY ROSIE Most people think that nosiness is bad; anyone who is curious all the time must be meddling and interfering all the time too. To be honest, I think that is mostly true; but not always. Rosie Banks is an ordinary girl. She isn't especially clever or especially stupid. She isn't particularly tall or particularly small. She is neither all bad, nor all good; but she is exceptionally nosy. What is amazing about Rosie is all the different ways she can be nosy in. Sometimes she marches straight into a situation and demands to be told what is going on (although this approach tends to make her a bit unpopular). At other times, she just happens to have something to do around a group of people talking, and she pretends to be interested in something else entirely; but all the while she is listening carefully. She very often hears or sees something in one place, and then hears or sees something in another place, and decides that they belong together, to make one big juicy fact. 'Putting two and two together' her mother calls it. Lastly, but by far the most clever way in which Rosie is nosy, is by asking certain people (usually small children) certain questions. Not outright questions, no, she is much more devious than that. Let me tell you about the time she put two and two together about the Lawson's, next door. * It was a hot day, and Rosie was alone in the garden, lying on a towel and enjoying the sun, when suddenly she heard voices from over the fence. Rosie, being Rosie, made it her business to listen. She could only pick up snippets, but this is what she heard: ''got to go.'' Mr Lawson was saying, ''old and creaky.'' Another voice, Mrs Lawson this time, ''sagging in the middle.'' A sigh, then, '' Oh all right thenget ridsoon as possible'' ''smelly too.'' ''does not smell!'' ''sometimes doessadyears and years'' Then Mr Lawson again, in a soothing tone, ''never mind, got to go'' Through a crack in the fence, Rosie saw Mr Lawson nod his head towards his patio. ''Come on, let's go and sort it out.'' and off they went. Rosie was intrigued. She waited until she heard the Lawson's back door bang shut, and then she stood up and approached the fence, pretending to be very interested in Dad's roses. When she felt it was safe enough, she peered over the fence at the Lawson's patio. There, fast asleep under a parasol, was Grandma Lawson. Rosie thought back over the conversation she had just eavesdropped and tried to piece together some of the words. Old, creaky, smelly Got to go? A nasty suspicion took root in Rosie's mind. She watched Grandma Lawson, snoring gently in the shade, and shook herself. No! Surely not? Of course not! She told herself not to be so silly, and was about to lie down again on the towel, when the Lawson's back door flew open, and little Adam Lawson came bursting through it. He stopped as the brightness of the sun hit him, shifted his dummy from the left to the right side of his mouth, and made a clumsy beeline for his Grandma. Rosie always reckoned that little ones are good for gleaning information from. Grown-ups say all kinds of things in front of them, because they believe they don't understand what they are saying; or because they can't speak properly yet anyway. ''Yoo-hoo! Adam'' called Rosie, in her friendliest voice. ''Wassat?'' Adam enquired of thin air. ''Adam! Hiya! Hello there!'' encouraged Rosie. ''Hiya!'' Adam's whole face broke into a sticky grin. He turned awkwardly and half trotted-half stumbled towards Rosie. ''Where's Grandma?'' she asked sweetly. ''Gran'ma.'' Adam pulled his dummy from his mouth with a wet, rubbery sound, and pointed. ''Gran'ma sleepy!'' he volunteered. ''Is Grandma tired, Adam?'' ''Sleep! Gran'ma sleep! Night- night!'' He looked extremely pleased with himself. Rosie thought hard. Tired. Old. Night-night? The suspicion that had taken root earlier was growing fast. ''Bye-bye.'' She absently waved the small child away, and sank down onto the grass, chewing her lip thoughtfully. This was becoming interesting. * Later that day, Rosie had another chance to do some more snooping. Mum sent her down to the shops to pick up some things, and who did she see there, but Mrs Lawson! She was deep in conversation with Mrs Moore. It was busy in the shop, with lots of people standing around chatting, but this is what Rosie managed to understand: ''Wellvery old now of courseuncomfortable.creaks whenstand up'' Mrs Lawson was explaining, whilst Mrs Moore was nodding her head and ''Hmm ing'' in agreement. ''No use anymore taking up space lumpymaybe a home somewhere'' Mrs Moore nodded again and said she understood absolutely; Rosie couldn't believe her ears! How could they be so heartless? ''Hello Mrs Lawson,'' Rosie stood right in front of her. ''How is Grandma Lawson today?'' she asked pointedly. Mrs Lawson gave her a funny look, ''She's fine, thank you; but I was talking to Mrs Moore, Rosie.'' ''Of course you were!'' Rosie almost shouted. People in the shop broke off their conversations and looked over, to see what the fuss was about. Rosie gave Mrs Lawson a filthy look and stormed out, minus her mum's shopping. She fumed and fretted all the way home. ''Rosie, where are my things?'' ''What?'' she snapped, ''Oh, sorry Mum, but something terrible is going to happen!'' Rosie's mum rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips. ''Oh Rosie, not again! What is it this time? That's the last time I send you shopping! Always coming backing with half-truths and fairy tales'' ''But Mum, you've got to listen to me! Something terrible is going to happen to Grandma Lawson!'' ''Grandma Lawson? Who on earth would want to harm Grandma Lawson? Rosie, really!'' ''Mum, really!'' Rosie sounded desperately serious. Mum sighed and folded her arms, ''All right.'' she said, ''explain.'' ''Oh Mum, it's going to be terrible!'' she repeated. ''They're going to do something to her, I just know it!'' ''Who are 'they' Rosie? Who's going to do something terrible?'' ''The Lawsons are! You should hear the things they've been calling her Mum! Old, tired, creaky, smelly! They're saying she's no use to anyone, that they should just dump her in a home somewhere! Oh Mum!'' she wailed, ''She's such a sweet old lady. She just sleeps a lot, that's all!'' ''Now Rosie, calm down! Are you sure about all this? Remember the time you thought Mr Curtis was building a rocket in his shed?'' Rosie blushed bright red. ''And it turned out to be his gas fire?'' ''Mum! This is different'' she was irritable now. ''Oh? How?'' ''I've got proof this time! ''Proof?'' ''I heard them!'' ''That's not proof, Rosie!'' Rosie thought hard. ''Ok, ask Mrs Moore. She heard her too, talking about poor old Grandma Lawson like that.'' Mum searched Rosie's face carefully; she looked worried and upset all right. ''But Rosie, if they are going to put her into a home, it's none of our business.'' ''So you won't do anything?'' ''Well, what can I do?'' ''Right! If you won't, I will!'' Before her mum could stop her, Rosie was out the door and marching up the Lawson's path. She banged the front door so hard, the knocker nearly came off in her hand. She pushed straight past a surprised Mr Lawson, hand still on the doorhandle, and strode into the living room. She took a deep breath, and in a very determined voice, began. ''I happen to know that you want to get rid of something,'' she said with great authority, ''something that, just because it's a bit old, and a bit creaky, you don't want anymore!'' She looked at Grandma Lawson, asleep again in an armchair, and tears came into her eyes. A key turned in the front door. Mrs Lawson stepped into the room, Adam in one arm, a shopping bag on the other. Rosie's mum trailed in behind them. ''How could you?'' Rosie demanded of Mrs Lawson, who was looking at her in astonishment. ''I'' ''No!'' Rosie cut her off. ''lumpy, and useless,'' She spat the words out. ''Well we have a use for it! We'll take it in! So what do you think of that, Mrs Lawson?'' Mrs Lawson scratched her head and shook herself. ''Well Rosie, if we had known how strongly you felt, we would have given you '' ''Given me? Given me! How can you be so cold hearted?'' ''Cold hearted? I'm sorry Rosie, I'm afraid I don't follow.'' Rosie pointed a shaking hand at Grandma Lawson, tears spilling down her cheeks. ''You called her smelly, and old and useless and creaky and'' Mrs Lawson's face suddenly showed understanding. ''The sofa, Rosie.'' she said calmly, ''we were talking about the sofa.'' Rosie lowered her hand. ''But, but I heard you say you were going to dump her! In a home!'' ''No you didn't. You may have heard me say 'dump' and 'home', but you didn't hear me even mention Grandma, now did you?'' Now Mrs Lawson sounded like she was beginning to lose her patience. ''Well Rosie?'' prompted her Mum. Rosie suddenly looked a trifle uncertain. ''but you said she was lumpy, and smelly! ''Really Rosie! Do you think I would call my own mother smelly?'' ''You've done it again, haven't you?'' Rosie's mum said. Rosie's face turned the colour of a sun-dried tomato. ''Oh dear.'' She murmured, ''I am sorry. I just thought'' ''No you didn't think, Rosie Banks! You put two and two together again didn't you?'' ''Yes Mum.'' Rosie examined her shoes. ''And what did you get?'' ''Five Mum.'' ''Exactly!'' Mrs Banks turned to the Lawsons. ''I am so sorry about this,'' she apologised, and then, glancing at Rosie, added, ''you know how she is.'' ''Oh indeed we do.'' said Mr Lawson, ''I think you'd better take her home, before she says anything else.'' ''No you don't!'' came an unfamiliar voice from the corner of the room. Grandma Lawson was leaning forward in her chair; and very unusually, she was wide-awake. Her arms were folded across her chest, and her milky-blue eyes were fixed on Rosie. 'That's funny,' Rosie noticed 'she looks younger when she's awake.' ''So,'' Grandma had a sore-throat sort of voice, dry sounding, ''you think I'm creaky, do you?'' Rosie, unable to speak, shook her head in dismay; the old lady had heard everything! ''You think I am creaky, lumpy and old?'' ''Grandma Lawson, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to '' Grandma Lawson gave a toothless, wrinkly smile, ''Perhaps you're right.'' she mused. Her shoulders were rocking slightly and she was making a funny, wheezy noise. Rosie became quite alarmed, and wondered if someone should call a doctor. ''Not sure about smelly though.'' there was a sparkle in Grandma's eyes that hadn't been there for a long time; she was laughing, Rosie realised. ''Or useless; but there again'' the old lady's shoulders were shaking helplessly. Rosie laughed then, too. Little Adam, still in his mother's arms, dummy still in his mouth, announced ''Gran'ma wake-up, Mummy! No night-night!'' And he clapped his hands in excitement. **** It's been a long time since any of them laughed as much as they did that day. Rosie still sticks her nose in other people's business, and has had it pushed out a few times, too. The sofa went to the town dump the next day. Grandma Lawson still sits around, snoozing. Now and then though, she'll open those milky-blue eyes and utter one word: ''Smelly!'' Before she nods off back to sleep, smiling. The moral to this story is: - Let you're imagination run away with you; it's often more fun than reality! S.P Oldham.
Archived comments for Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 5. Nosy Rosie
HelenRussell on 13-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 5. Nosy Rosie
Romany,
I'm surprised no-one has commented on this yet. I have been thoroughly enjoying this series and will be quite upset when you post the last one.
Please, dream up some more, there must be hundreds of ideas lurking somewhere.
Take care
Sarah

Author's Reply:
What a lovely thing to say ! Thanks for your support through-out Sarah - I am so pleased you have enjoyed them.
I have wracked my tiny brain and come up with a sixth story, to be posted soon, but I am not sure about any more. If I could get someone interested; i.e. an agent or a publisher, then maybe I would go to the trouble. ( I don't mean that to sound ungrateful; your interest and all your comments, as well as the others who have left remarks, are very valuable to me; but you know what I am getting at?)
There again, maybe'll I'll just carry on regardless, as always!
Thanks again Sarah - it means a lot.
Romany.

Dargo77 on 14-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 5. Nosy Rosie
Romany, my favourite of the five to date. Well written.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Your favourite so far? That's interesting! Why, I wonder?
Not that it matters - once again I have to thank you for taking the trouble to read and then leave a comment. Thanks Dargo,
Romany.

Sunken on 14-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 5. Nosy Rosie
Excellent Ms. Romany. I meant to comment yesterday, but due to 'birk' commitments I was otherwise engaged. You've really hit the spot with these. Treat yourself to something from Elizabeth Duke, the in-house jewelry store at Argos. Thanks.

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winner of the post cool Britannia no hope award 2002

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken! Glad you think they work.



If you're paying, there is a little necklace and earring set I've got my eye on ...

niece on 18-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 5. Nosy Rosie
Dear Romany,
Rosie sounds like many of the people I get to meet around here...another enjoyable fun read...hope you won't stop at 6 though!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Lol! I didn't base her any one person niece, more like an amalgamation of many! I'm glad you think these are fun to read - that was the general idea.
Thanks again,
Romany.


Afrodisiac (posted on: 13-02-06)
Never done this or anything like this before. Don't know what prompted me to have a go either! It is unfinished as I came right slap bang up against a blank (writer's block!!) Thought I'd still post it anyway, see what kind of reception it gets. Fill your boots... P.S Have left out directions and descitpive passage as per a play script. Never written one before; where have I gone wrong? Adult content/offensive language. Those of you who have seen 'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.' will hopefully be able to identify.

Fan-Fiction Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. Afrodisiac. Linda is sitting on sofa wearing 70's style, lime green mini skirt, high sheen green tights, fitted green T-shirt and chunky brown platform boots. Most noticeable about her appearance is her ginger afro, complete with afro comb still in place. Enter Tom: Oh My God, what do you look like? Linda: What? Tom: Your hair. What in God's name have you done to your hair? Linda: It's an afro innit? Don't you like it or what? Tom: Like it? Like it? Of course I don't like it. You've looked in a mirror have you? You've actually seen yourself? Linda: Yeah. Tom: And you still think you look all right? All right; you look like an angry dandelion! Linda: I don't care what you think mate. I like it. Besides, I can always take it off if I get fed up of it, which I won't. Tom: Take it off? What do you mean, 'take it off?' It's a hairstyle, not a hat. Linda: Well that's where you're wrong pal. It's not an hairstyle, it's a wig. 'Ere, look. Tom: You mean to tell me that you, Linda La Hughes, actually bought a ginger wig? A ginger afro wig at that? What on earth for you stupid little tart? You're already ginger. If you wanted to look even more deranged why didn't you just get an afro done properly? Linda: I am not ginger, I'm titian! Anyway, this was cheaper, weren't it? And there's no messing about with some jealous bint pulling at my silky locks, is there? Ugh! I can't stand that: some female playing with me hair, trying not to hate me because I'm blessed with me natural beauty. Tom: Yes, all right. Where did you get it then? Linda: At that new little place down the road, you know, the 'Nouvelle Te' shop. Tom: Nouvelle te? Nouvelle te? Novelty, Linda! That's what you mean; novelty shop. You bought your wonderful new hairstyle from a joke shop! Linda: So all them fags I bought won't be much good then? Tom: Oh for heaven's sake; no! They'll be joke fags, won't they? They'll probably just blow up or snow or something. (pause) So, how many did you buy? Linda: Wigs? Just the one. Tom: No not wigs Linda, fags. How many did you buy? Linda: 40. I thought it was funny mind you, them being sold in singles. Aah! I haven't bought singles since mummy asked me to pick some up for her on me way home from knocking off school. Aah! Tom: God, you really are beyond hope Linda. What are you going to do with 40 fake fags? Enter beryl dressed in black P.V.Catsuit with pink feather boa and houseslippers. Beryl: Coee! Did Beryl hear mention of fags? Are we talking the nicotine kind, or one of Tom's boyfriends? Linda: laughs. Tom:Do you mind? God, I hate it when over the hill prostitutes barge into my living room unannounced and have the audacity to pass comment on my sexuality. Linda: You what? Beryl: Pleased to see you too Tom, I'm sure. But don't fret; Beryl isn't stopping long. I've left a baby on my bed. His nappy needs changing. Tom: What! Beryl, you can't leave a baby unattended on a bed like that! It might roll off and hurt itself! Beryl: Not to worry Tom; baby is 53. If he rolls off it will be on purpose. I just came to ask if you've got any talc, only I've run out you see, and baby does get a little sore around the groinal area you know. (Aside to Linda) Those proper old nappies were the best kind really you know. Not this disposable rubbish. Tom: Stop! Stop right there and get out. Get out now, you ghastly woman! Linda: I haven't got any talc Beryl, but we've got some flour left from when Tom tried making fairy cakes. Baby won't know the difference, surely? Beryl: Oh! There's an idea! But I've got some flour of my own upstairs. Beryl must dash then; mustn't leave baby alone for too long. Tom: Use self-raising then; the poor pervert probably needs all the help he can get! Ugh! Linda: What' the matter with you now Tom? You've got no imagination, that's your trouble. They're only having a bit of fun! Tom: Me? No imagination? Me? Tom Farrell; actor? And this from the woman who thought it the height of imagination to go to a Halloween fancy dress party dressed all in brown, wearing a white hat and claiming to be a bad pint? Linda: yeah; it was good that, weren't it? Tom: Anyway, I'd rather not imagine what goes on above our heads when Beryl is 'entertaining.' Eugh! Just think Lindy; just think what's going on up there right now. Tom points to ceiling and pulls a face. Linda looks thoughtful and distant. Silence for a moment. Tom flops into his swivel chair and rocks idly back and forth, then turns to look at the patio doors. They are covered with raindrops. Linda sighs loudly and looks blank. Tom: I mean, just look at that Linda; look! Linda: Look at what? Tom: The rain Lindy, the rain! Look at how heavily it's raining out there. Look at the raindrops on the window, the misty glass, the condensation. Listen to it falling; tapping, bouncing on our veranda. What does it say to you Lindy? What does it speak of to you? It speaks to me of a lover's teardrops; of security and shelter in someone's arms, of the gentle, pounding heartbeat in a passionate embrace. Linda: Really? It tells me that it is pissing down outside and that you've left your new shirt on the washing line. Tom: Oh no! Oh bugger! I need that shirt for tonight. What time is it Linda, quick! Linda: I dunno, do I? Tom: No of course you don't, what was I thinking? Why don't you tell me which numbers Mickey Mouse's hands are pointing to, and I'll help you work it out. Linda: Ha ha! You know full well I haven't got a watch anymore, on account of the fact that I had to use it as payment for taxi fare last Saturday. Bleeding female taxi drivers they shouldn't be allowed. If it had been a man driving I would only have had to give the wrist, not the watch as well, know what I mean? Tom: God, you really are filthy aren't you? I don't know why you don't share a flat with Beryl upstairs and leave me in peace down here. Linda: Me live with a prossie? No way guy! Anyway, I'd cramp her style, wouldn't I? Why would a punter pay for her services after he'd seen me? Tom: True; that should be enough to put anyone off sex. Anyway, never mind all that, just go and get my shirt off the line. Linda: Get stuffed! It's chucking it down out there, get it yourself! Tom: Oh please Lindy. You never know, Jez might be looking out of his window. You know how good you look in a wet T-shirt; and your afro will keep your hair dry. Linda: Well, you've got a point a little drop of cold water does help to highlight me best points, I will Tom; I'll do it! Tom: Oh thanks Lindy! Thanks! (Exit Linda through verandah door. Tom watches her go. She is tip-toeing up the garden path, pulling her T-shirt down tight and humming. She turns back to Tom, smiling.) Linda: 'Ere Tom, this is just like 'Singing in the Rain!' Tom: Looks more like Gorillas in the Mist from where I'm standing. (Linda retrieves shirt and returns, casting hopeful glances in Jez's window direction. Throws wet shirt at Tom; red streaks pouring down her face.) Linda: 'Ere, that was a waste of time; there was no sign of Jez! Tom: Thanks. Yeah, never mind. This is soaking. I think I'll put it in the machine for another rinse before I tumble it. What do you think Lindy? Linda: Yeah whatever. What do you need it for anyway? Where are you going that's so special? Tom: To a meet and greet. My agent thinks there might be someone there worth rubbing shoulders with. Linda: Will there be anyone there worth rubbing anything else with, or are they all poofs? Tom: They are not, and there will not, And it doesn't matter anyway Linda La Hughes, since you are not going. Linda: Oh go on Tom, I'm bored! You're always out these days, and I did get your shirt off the line for you. Tom: You did yes, and I said thank you didn't I? There's no way your coming Linda. I've got to make a good impression, get some work generated, and turning up with an air brained slapper wearing an old Bill and Ben costume and a joke ginger wig is not going to be of any help to me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must get ready. Linda: All right! Listen then, I'm gonna do some washing anyway; give us your shirt. Tom: Oh really? Oh! Well, thanks Lindy. Listen, if you wait up, I'll tell you all about it when I get back, all right? (Tom throws shirt to Linda and exits to bathroom.) Linda enters kitchen, puts shirt in washing machine, and then throws wig in. Switches to a hot watch. Linda: There we are Tom. Let's see how professional you look now, you raving ponce. (shouts through to bathroom) Hurry up yer poof! I need bath now an' all. I'm freezing! (Cue doorbell. Linda rushes to answer it, pausing a moment before she does so to flick back her wet hair and smooth her skirt. Opens door expectantly to find Jez standing there.)
Archived comments for Afrodisiac
Jen_Christabel on 13-02-2006
Afrodisiac
Yes I watch Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and therefore thought this a damn fine read! Well written, great stuff.
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jennifer - I'm glad you enjoyed it, and very glad someone read it in the first place! (Wasn't sure how much Fanfiction gets 'noticed' if you know what I mean.)
You're a star Jen! Cheers,
Romany.

Dargo77 on 13-02-2006
Afrodisiac
Romany, found this to be as good as an original script from the series Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. I really felt the atmosphere of constant bickering between the two main characters. So very well written.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Wow! Praise indeed. Thank you so much Dargo, so pleased you found some worth in it.
Romany.

Claire on 13-02-2006
Afrodisiac
God I love that program! Hun, you've done a grand job with this... finish it!

Who is at the door? I'm eager to know! Is it her son returning to bug her again - a taxi - a handsome bloke to take Tom to his meeting - It could be anyone! The mind boggles!

Author's Reply:
Jez is at the door Claire! Not sure how to take it from there though - might see if I can stretch the old grey cells. Was thinking of getting Lindsa to attempt (another) seduction of the hapless Jez, whilst her face is streaked with red dye and she is unaware of it. Cue arrival of a hormonal Suze - maybe!
Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it.
Romany

alcarty on 13-02-2006
Afrodisiac
I don't know what Gimme is; we don't get that here. Hyacinth, Father Ted and Midsomer Murders are what we see. I enjoyed the backchat between your characters. Funny stuff.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for sticking with it in that case alcarty!

Gimme ... is a rather rude comedy about a foul mouthed sex mad woman who thinks she is supermodel material but is in fact, er, not .. and her gay flat mate who is an Ac-tor (as a pose to an actor) who is more often than not 'between jobs.' Theirs is very much a love/hate, rely/resent friendship and they are each as dysfunctional as the other.

As if that wasn't enough, they have neighbours, thus; Jez and Suze - madly in love inter-racial relationship, always 'at it.' He is very much a new man and she is very much in touch with herself and, she thinks, the world around her. Linda fancies the pants off Jez and calls Suze a lesbian and other really awful names at every available opportunity.

Beryl, upstairs flat, is an ageing prostitue who still entertains now and then. Often wears the most bizarre clothes and wanders in unnanounced.

Not a comedy for the faint hearted or the easily offended, but I think it's great, and the fabulous Kathy Burke is always hilarious in it. (She plays Linda; James Dreyfuss is equally as good as Tom.) If you ever get the chance, have a look!

Anyway, after all that, thanks for the comment and I am glad you enjoyed it.
Romany.

niece on 13-02-2006
Afrodisiac
Dear Romany,
This is good stuff and definitely worth completing! As for the format, you may need to work on it a bit, if you want it to read like a script. eg:
"Enter Tom:Oh My...!" would be
"[Enter Tom]
Tom: Oh My..."
It would be a good idea to put all directions and other descriptions within square brackets.
Haven't seen "Gimme,..." , but enjoyed it never-the-less.
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Done it again! Please see response below! Ta.

Romany on 13-02-2006
Afrodisiac
Thanks neice. Wasn't at all sure about the script format, so will follow your advice about the brackets.
Thanks again and glad you enjoyed it,
Romany.

Author's Reply:

wirlong on 13-02-2006
Afrodisiac
Hi,

You can download some example BBC soap scripts, which you may find useful for this type of prose. Search in google. The Eastenders example is good.

Wirlong.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Wirlong - will have a look, see if I can pick up a few tips!
Romany.

eddiesolo on 14-02-2006
Afrodisiac
Good write here Romany, I have seen Gimme, gimme, gimme and the parallel is so true. Great characters and discourse.

Great!

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Si! AM glad you think it worked and that you enjoyed it.


Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary. (posted on: 10-02-06)
Number four in the series.

4. SCARY MARY. Mary Meadows. Now isn't that such a sweet name? Doesn't it make you think of a cute little girl, hair in pigtails, all rosy-cheeked and smiling, sun shining all around her? Well, you couldn't be more wrong! Mary Meadows is a very tall thin girl, with very tall thin hair, sharp nails, sharp tongue and even a sharp nose. Her thin lips are always set in a frown and her dark eyes are always screwed up tight with meanness. All of the other kids in school call her 'Scary Mary' but never to her face of course. The strange thing about it though, is that Mary had two sisters Molly and Melinda and they really are sweet. Molly has adorable ringlets in her hair, and a sunny smile; Melinda really does have rosy cheeks, and gentle eyes; but even they are afraid of Mary! Everybody is. Including Mr Snapper, the headmaster at school, who tries to avoid Mary if he can. When a teacher sends a child to Mr Snapper for being naughty, the whole school can hear him shouting and roaring in his office. If a teacher ever dares to send Mary to him, he meekly says something like ''Yes, erwellMary, see that you don't do it again.'' the whole time wringing his hands and looking down at his feet. Mary stands there, fists clenched, glowering at him. Then she stamps and bangs her way back to class. Needless to say, Mary doesn't have too many friends. Anyone new at school quickly learns what she is like, either from others, or for themselves, the hard way. All of them that is except one. Lucy Sharpe is a lot younger than Mary. She is very small, very quiet and very shy. So shy in fact, that although she had been going to Highly-Unlikely High School for a week now, she had still not made any friends. Every lunchtime, after she had eaten, she had taken to sneaking behind the school kitchens (which was strictly 'out-of-bounds'), and fussing the school cat, Stodge. Stodge is old and fat and lazy. He likes nothing better than to while away an afternoon curled up on top of a dustbin. Now that Lucy has come along to stroke him and feed him scraps everyday, he is in feline heaven. He purrs so loudly that Lucy worries someone is bound to hear and come to investigate. Nobody has, yet. But there is something that Lucy, being new, doesn't know. She had accidentally stumbled across one of Mary's favourite places, somewhere she likes to spend her lunchtimes away from all those nice people. * One afternoon, as Lucy was gently rubbing Stodge's fat belly, while he stretched his big body out contentedly, purring like an engine, Lucy giggled. ''Stodge! You are a lovely, cuddly old cat!'' she said ''No he's not!'' came a spiteful voice from the shadows, ''He's a stupid, smelly disgusting old lump!'' Stodge stopped mid-purr, leapt to his feet, arched his backed dramatically and hissed. Lucy took a step back from him; he was looking intently into the gloom beyond the dustbins. Lucy followed his gaze, and held her breath as somebody stepped forward into the sunlight. ''Oh thank goodness!'' Lucy breathed, ''I thought it was someone really nasty in there!'' Mary looked most offended for a moment. Then she screwed up her fists and eyes, ''I am really nasty!'' she hissed, a bit like Stodge, ''I'm Mary Meadows!'' and she waited for the terrified recognition. Lucy looked her up and down a couple of times, then put a hand to her mouth, and laughed. ''What are you laughing at?'' demanded Mary incredulously, advancing a step with menace. ''Oh nothing,'' Lucy replied airily, ''you know, you don't look nasty.'' Mary was taken aback; no-one had ever dared say anything like that to her before. She didn't know quite what to do, so she took another threatening step toward Lucy, who responded with a big, warm smile. Now this, Mary was definitely not used to; usually, by this stage, most of her victims were either crying or trying to run away. Lucy just stood there, smiling; Mary was at a complete loss. ''I'm sorry,'' Lucy continued, ''it's just that you've got something on your face.'' Mary automatically raised a hand to her cheek. ''No, the other side; that's it.'' said Lucy helpfully, ''and you've got something in stuck on your jumper, a bit of leaf or twig or something, and one of your socks has fallen down, and'' ''Ok! Ok! I get the message!'' warned Mary, raising a fist, ''but you better watch it Little Miss Perfect, or I'll '' ''Oh, and there's a spider in your hair.'' Mary froze, arm still poised to take a swipe at Lucy. Her eyes had lost their screwed up look and were wide open. ''What?'' she whispered. ''There's a spider in your hair.'' Lucy cheerfully repeated. Get it out, get it out, GET IT OUT!'' ''Would you like me to get it out for you?'' There was just a hint of innocent mischief in Lucy's voice. ''YES!'' ''Pardon?'' Mary looked at Lucy in astonishment; this small, mousy little little little mouse was trying to get the better of her! Well! She'd show her! If she thought for one minute that Mary felt something move in her hair. ''Please!'' she said through gritted teeth. ''Oh of course I will!'' gushed Lucy. She stepped forward and took from Mary's spiky hair a long-legged, spindly spider. Now, the thing about long-legged spindly spiders is that they move fast. Very fast. And the thing with lazy, fat old Stodge was, being a cat, he just couldn't resist trying to catch them. He watched it dangle from Lucy's hand, still stretched out between her and Mary. It swayed invitingly in the air, eight little legs working frantically away at nothing, until he could stand it no more. Forgetting his loathing of Mary, he launched himself from the top of the dustbin, through the space between the two girls, breaking Lucy's hold on the spider and scratching her face as he did so. The unfortunate spider hit the ground and ran for the shelter of a discarded cardboard box, Stodge pursuing it enthusiastically. Lucy, round-eyed, clasped her cheek in pain and gave a little ''Oh!'' Mary watched as the blood began to rise from the scratches on Lucy's face. ''Better go to first aid.'' she grunted. In shocked silence, Lucy went back through the narrow alleyway and on to the playground, where everybody had lined up, ready to go back to class. Every pair of eyes in the school fell on Lucy; they all saw the three deep and painful scratches on her face. Well, everyone had been saying all week that it wouldn't be long before Lucy met Mary hanging around in her favourite place and all. Poor Lucy it looked very sore; perhaps someone should have warned her about Scary Mary? As she passed the rows of children, they became very quiet; all the excited chattering stopped. They all averted their eyes guiltily; despite the fact that they knew Mary was scary, none of them had ever seen her do anything as bad as this before. Mr Snapper stopped Lucy as she went by. ''Lucy Sharpe! Where have you been? What happened to your face?'' Lucy stifled a sob, ''Behind the kitchens.'' was all she managed to say in a small voice. ''Behind the kitchens!'' repeated Mr Snapper, then, more thoughtfully, ''Behind the kitchens? Er... isn't that where Mary?'' Lucy nodded, the throbbing in her inflamed cheek making her unable to explain, and continued on to the school nurse. Just then, Mary came onto the playground, scuffing her shoes, hands shoved deep into her pockets, scowling. Mr Snapper began fiddling distractedly with his tie. ''Into class children! Into class!'' Slowly the lines of children filed into the school. Mary made as if to reluctantly join the end of her line. She just knew she was going to be in real trouble this time, 'Scary' Mary or not. Mr Snapper had a look on his face she had never seen on him before. 'Well, let them punish me,' she thought, None of them would ever believe it was Lucy's own fault; hers and that stupid fat cat's. She looked Mr Snapper straight in the eye. ''Oh not you Mary, no, no; you take your time.'' babbled Mr Snapper. ''no need to rush, no need at all.'' He was edging backwards towards the doors, eager to get himself out of Mary's company. ''In fact, you don't have to come in at all if you don't want to.'' closer still, ''It's up to you of course.'' through the doors, and gone. Mary was alone in the playground. Class had started, and she didn't have to go in, ever again, if she didn't want to! All because of little clever clogs Lucy Sharpe and that fat old cat, Stodge. And then something very unusual happened. Mary Meadows smiled and went home. Moral: - Always take credit for being mean and tough even if it's nothing to do with you. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
Dargo77 on 10-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
Romany, I really enjoy these little moral tales of yours.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo, glad you enjoy them.

niece on 10-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
Dear Romany.
Extremely descriptive and enjoyable...! I thought this would make a nice animated/cartoon movie.
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks neice - what a nice idea!

HelenRussell on 10-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
I am loving these tales- I can't wait to reach the end to find out the moral- and no I'm not tempted to cheat and skip to the end.
Bring on the next one!
Sarah

Author's Reply:
Lol - thanks Sarah. Glad to hear you are practising self-control - maybe that would be a good theme for one of these backward little tales! Thanks for commenting,
Romany.

Sunken on 10-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
Well when 1500+ words fly by so quickly it can only mean one thing - Great write. I'm the laziest reader I know Ms. Romany, so believe. These 'moral tales' have proven very popular with both Rudy and myself. I'm giving a ten because I want to, because I want to.

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insert 'A' into slot 'B' before phoning our helpline

Author's Reply:
Thanks once again Sunken. Dare I ask; who (or what) is Rudy?

Sunken on 10-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
Ahem... sorry, I just say Rudy now and expect people to know what I'm bangin on about. He's my hamster. He always tells me what ratings to give by lining up his nuts for me to count... I'm not mad. Thanks.

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Author's Reply:

Romany on 10-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
Blimey, how many nuts has he got Sunk?

Thanks for clarifying. You know, one of the first signs of insnaity is denying you're mad? Just thought I'd point that out...



Author's Reply:
Insnaity? I'm not mad either...

alcarty on 11-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
I'm not kidding. Your soon-to-be book is getting fatter. Another very enjoyable read.

Author's Reply:
Thanks alcarty. There is now 6th story, so we have 3 boys and 3 girls. I appreciate your continued interest,
Romany.

thehaven on 12-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 4. Scary Mary.
Enjoyed this,

Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike!


Frosted Yellow Rose (posted on: 03-02-06)
Inspired by the beautiful photo eddiesolo put up in the forums,(touched up by egriff - the photo I mean!) of the frosted yellow rose (my favourites.) I have been meaning to have a go at Haiku but lacked a subject, then I saw this photo. Does it work? Is it correct syllables wise? Thanks Eddie!

Illuminated Sun; halted in its rising Crystal kissed. Frozen.
Archived comments for Frosted Yellow Rose
red-dragon on 03-02-2006
Frosted Yellow Rose
Romany, I saw the photo and this is a perfect compliment to it. It works on every level for me. Ann

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ann - the photo was so beautiful - I am pleased that this worked for you too!
Romany.

Dargo77 on 03-02-2006
Frosted Yellow Rose
Romany, really enjoyed your haiku. Beautiful to read.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo!

e-griff on 03-02-2006
Frosted Yellow Rose
This a simple and effective poem, nicely expressed.

I posted an explanation of classical Haiku not long ago:

< http://www.ukauthors.com/phorum/read.php?f=1&i=53416&t=53416 >

Author's Reply:
Thanks e-griff; will take a look.

Kat on 03-02-2006
Frosted Yellow Rose
I think you can do, haiku!

Loved this Romany - well done.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat!

Sunken on 03-02-2006
Frosted Yellow Rose
There's a lot of this Hikey about all of a sudden? I always thought it was some kinda Scandinavian furniture store. I can see from your Huka that it isn't. I have yet to check out the picture, but after reading you Huicxe I don't feel that I need to. Top stuff Ms. Romany (-;

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he walks with doctor marten

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken - you should look at the pic, it is lovely!

Dazza on 06-02-2006
Frosted Yellow Rose
Oh yeah, a flash of the concise you. Minimal, Dazza.

Author's Reply:
Concise and minimal - if only that was me! Lol. Thanks Dazza.


Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 2. Mean Dean (posted on: 03-02-06)
Once again, edited as a result of the comments people were kind enough to leave. Is this better? Thanks for reading, Romany.

2. MEAN DEAN Meet Dean Garret. He is twelve years old and gives nothing to anyone. Be thankful that I told you his name, because he wouldn't even have given you that. Dean has no brothers and no sisters; his dad is a tax-collector and his mum is a bank manager. Every Friday, Dean's mum gives him 10 and says, ''Treat yourself to something nice.'' Dean snatches the money from her hands like a lizard snatching a bug, and says ''10? Is that all? You never give me anything!'' Then he slams the front door behind him, and heads off to the shops. Now, you might think that 10 is enough to buy sweets to last a whole week, or at least a few days. But Dean spends it all on penny sweets so many sweets that the shopkeeper had to put them into twenty paper bags. Then Dean stashes the bags under his jacket, making him look like a badly stuffed scarecrow, and opens the shop door quietly. Cradling the hoard of sweets hidden beneath his jacket like a pregnant lady might nurse her stomach, he looks up and down the street furtively, making sure that no-one is around. Trying not to rustle too much or drop even one sweet, he runs home as fast as he can, and shuts himself in the shed at the bottom of the garden. There he sits all evening, cramming sweet after sweet into his mouth until they have all gone. He never goes indoors to offer one to his Mum or Dad, he never takes them to the park to share with other kids, and he certainly never saves any for another time. * It was a usual Friday evening. Dean had just settled into his favourite corner of the shed, ready to rummage about for his first bag of goodies chocolate coins when the door opened, just a crack, and a thin shaft of light fell across Dean's knee. He looked up in surprise, and watched as he realised to his horror that the door was slowly being opened. Dean was so alarmed he actually dropped his bag of chocolate coins. He stood up to face the door, trembling; what would it be? Some terrible stranger come to steal him away? An escaped convict looking for a hideout? An alien looking for specimens of human life for observation? His imagination raced and his heart pounded. His mouth became dry; his knees were shaking. The door continued to open wider, wider still, all the way; and there oh he could hardly bear to look, therethere. was Sophie, the two year old from next door. She had obviously crawled through the gap in the hedge again; the knees in her tights were holed, there were twigs in her hair and her hands were muddy. Dean stood there, too astonished for words; just staring at the pretty, curly haired little girl stood before him. Sophie, however, seemed completely unconcerned. She glanced at Dean, and then looked past him at the golden chocolate coins that had spilled out onto the dirty shed floor. Her blue eyes grew big and round, and she gasped, ''Oooh, sweeties!'' Dean's astonishment quickly turned to terror, and he fell to his knees, hurriedly scooping up his dropped treasure. ''Sophie sweetie?'' asked Sophie, watching Dean expectantly. ''Sophie sweetie?'' ''No!'' ''Sophie sweetie!'' A determined stamp of a small foot. ''No! Dean's sweeties.'' Dean was scrambling around, frantically trying to retrieve sweets from cracks in the floorboards, under the lawnmower, in spider's webs. At last, panting and sweating, his sweets held closely to his chest for safety, Dean stopped for a rest. It suddenly occurred to him that Sophie had gone very quiet. Maybe she had left? He turned to look in the doorway again, and what he saw there froze him in his tracks. Little Sophie was sitting down cross-legged. Her tongue was sticking out, her face contorted in concentration, the task of freeing a chocolate from its golden wrapper difficult for her small fingers. Her warm little hands had melted it, so as she finally got it out and raised it to her lips it was more a shapeless sticky lump than the smooth flat coin it once was. With great pleasure, Sophie opened her small fist and put the whole blob of chocolate into her mouth. Her eyes closed and she dribbled a little bit as the delicious chocolatiness filled her mouth. Then her eyes snapped open, she stood and rubbed her chocolate covered hand down the front of her pink and white T-shirt, and stretched her fingers out to Dean. ''More?'' she asked innocently. Dean was flabbergasted. She had eaten one of his sweets! She had found and actually eaten one of his sweets! ''More? Ta?'' Sophie tried hopefully. Dean was transfixed. He could not stop staring at her. ''More?'' He never really understood what happened next. As if in a dream he watched himself hand Sophie another chocolate coin, and another and another. He even began opening them for her. The coins finished, Sophie moved on to the coconut mushrooms, then the jellies, then the lollipops. In what seemed no time at all, all the sweets were gone, and Dean hadn't eaten one. Not one. ''They're all gone.'' said Dean in a voice that didn't sound like his own. ''All gone!'' said Sophie philosophically, raising both hands in the air. ''Sophie? Sophie? Sophie where are you?'' came the sound of voices from behind the hedge outside. At the sound of her name Sophie made to leave. Dean suddenly noticed what a state she was in. Not only was she grazed and muddy from crawling through the hedge, but her clothes and face were covered in chocolate; bits of jelly were stuck in her hair, coconut was stuck to the chocolate on her fingers, lollipop sticks stuck to her trousers. What a mess! But before Dean could stop her, she had made her clumsy way back to the hedge and was calling ''Mum-mum.'' in a very self-satisfied tone of voice. Dean watched her go, and then sank down onto the grass, thinking extremely hard. He hadn't eaten a single sweet, and yet he was feeling quite good. Really good in fact, better than he had felt for a long time. Why? What had he done? He knew there was a word for it. What was it? He had he had Bingo! Shared! He had shared something. He stood up, suddenly feeling wonderfully proud of himself, and strode towards his house. Sharing; it hadn't meant much to Sophie of course, but it filled Dean with a strange and wonderful, warm feeling. She was just a little girl, not much more than a baby really; to her it was nothing more than a nice, unexpected treat. She was quite sweet, when you thought about it. He smiled at his own unintended joke, oblivious to the goings-on in next doors' garden. ''Sophie! What on earth? Where have you been?'' That sort of thing. Still smiling, Dean was just coming in through the back door of his house, when there was a loud pounding at the front door. Mr Garret went to answer it. ''Where's your Dean?'' Demanded Sophie's father, ''I want a word with him!'' ''Dean? Sweeties?'' chirruped Sophie ''What on earth is the matter?'' asked Dean's mum, who had come to see what all the fuss was about. ''What's the matter? What's the matter! Just look at Sophie!'' Sophie, tattered and sticky, stood innocently next to her father. ''There he is!'' shrieked Sophie's mum, spotting Dean trying to slink back out through the back door. ''Dean Garret, come here this minute!'' shouted his dad. Dean knew it was pointless trying to escape now. ''Yes dad?'' ''Did you do this boy?'' All eyes turned to Sophie. ''Do what?'' Dean turned to look at Sophie, ''Oh, I see what you mean. Well, I only gave her a few sweets,'' He was still full of that wonderful feeling that you get when you know you've achieved something new, and it showed in his face. He looked proud. This time everyone turned to look at Dean. Four mouths fell open in astonishment; four disbelieving faces looked at him. ''But'' stammered his mum, ''but Dean, you never give anything away.'' ''It was only one or two sweets.'' he protested. ''One or two?'' ''Ok, maybe more than one or two,'' Dean admitted grudgingly. ''How many more?'' prompted his dad, ''three or four?'' ''Five or six?'' asked his mum crossly. Dean put his hands in his pockets and shifted about uneasily from foot to foot, beginning to feel uncomfortable with all these questions. Sophie was noisily sucking coconut-chocolate off her fingers. There was a tense silence; everyone was waiting. ''A whole bag?'' suggested his father, fearfully ''Twenty,'' mumbled Dean ''Twenty! You gave her twenty sweets?'' Sophie's mum was shouting now. Deans' face blushed crimson and he dropped his head. ''No,'' he said quietly, ''twenty bags.'' ''Twenty bags!'' shouted everyone at once. At that point, Sophie pulled her fingers out of her mouth with a funny squelching sound, and pointed at Dean. ''Dean!'' she squealed in happy recognition. ''Dean! Sweeties!'' Then her face went a horrible green colour, ''Mummy! Sophie sick!'' Her mother whisked her up and shot Dean a filthy now-look-what-you've-done look. Holding Sophie at arms length, she headed for home, Sophie's father following them closely. He turned at the gate, to shout over his shoulder ''You haven't heard the last of this Dean Garret!'' And then they were gone. * ''Well Dean,'' said his mum in her I'm-very-annoyed voice,'' I hope you're satisfied! Fancy giving a little one like that so many sweets!'' You never normally share!'' shouted his Dad, ''Why on earth start now boy?'' ''I'll tell you what,'' his mother continued, folding her arms to emphasise the point, ''that's it! No more money on a Friday. Not if you're going to share like that!'' ''But Mum!'' ''But nothing! Get to your room! Tomorrow you can go and apologise; now bed!'' So to bed Dean went, with the prospect of no sweets, and no money for sweets on a Friday night, ever again. He was to blame for a sick next- door neighbour and her irate parents, and set of parents of his own that were none too pleased with him. Worst of all, he realised, he had no sweets left! The moral to this story is: Never share your sweets with anyone! S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 2. Mean Dean
Dargo77 on 03-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 2. Mean Dean
Romany, really enjoyed your wonderful tale. A Favourite Read for me, and I will be sure to adhere to the moral in this story.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo - you know your feedback is always appreciated, and I'm thrilled you picked this out a a hot story! Thank you very much!
Romany

alcarty on 03-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 2. Mean Dean
I think it's a charming little story. Adolescence stuggling to grow. It's a good job of writing and easy to read.

Author's Reply:
Thank you alcarty - it needs a lot of work, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!

wirlong on 03-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 2. Mean Dean
I'll put as many points as I can find (hope that's ok). 🙂

repetition/redundancy --> Dean’s mum, Mrs Garret (omit 'Mrs Garret')

'never saves any until tomorrow' clumsy --> (perhaps 'for another day')

A comma needed --> 'Her blue eyes grew big
and round*,* and she gasped “Oooh, sweeties!”

Bit akward --> 'Dean was furious; at that moment, Dean was truly mean.'

Another comma here --> 'Dean’s anger quickly turned to
terror*,* and he fell to his knees...

Watch your ands (people say remember the word fanboys to know whether to consider a comma or not; that's, for, and, nor, but, or, yet and so. Something like that?) You must have a comma if the sentence segments can be written as separate clauses. Sometimes called run-on sentences.

'Her tongue was sticking out with the effort of freeing a
chocolate from its golden wrapper...' I thought her tongue was literaly trying to free the chocolate from the wrapper at first.
Perhaps rewrite this sentence?

The coins finished, they began on the coconut mushrooms, then the jellies, then the lollipops. In what seemed no time at all, all the sweets were gone, and Dean hadn’t eaten one. Not one.
--> 'they began' implies they were sharing them, but only Sophie was eating them according to the next sentence.

I thought there was some conflict over the astonishment that Dean had shared and yet the anger that he had. It wasn't quite right for me.

I would like to have seen some metaphors and similar devices. This would improve the story. The descriptions were good but it's useful to use similes etc. for colour and variation (and interest).

However, that was the sort of story I enjoy reading. The descriptions of Sophie were brilliant and very amusing. I doubt if I will ever forget this story because it was so entertaining to me.

JK


Author's Reply:

Thanks for taking the time to leave me such a detailed crit, JK. I will look more closely at the things you have suggested and do my best to rework them. I knew when I posted them that these stories (there are five of them) are quite unpolished, and so I am very grateful to anyone who takes the time to point out where I need to start shining them up.
Am also chuffed to bits that you think this story is memorable! Really grateful for your input. I now intend to post the remaining stories as they stand, take any feedback that maybe proffered, and then rework them all as a series.
Thanks again for your time and interest,

Romany.

niece on 04-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 2. Mean Dean
Never share your sweets or your desserts, Romany...I hate anybody digging into my dessert even for a taste...!
I think I liked this better than the first...girl power at work?
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks neice, for reading both this and the first of these stories, and taking the time to leave a comment. I don't really do desserts myself, or sweets, but chocolate is a different matter!
Thanks again,
Romany.

Sunken on 05-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - 2. Mean Dean
It's official, I'm just a big kid at heart. Very well done Ms. Romany.

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Telford 3 - Riot van 2

Author's Reply:
Cheers Sunken! Any more nutz on the way?

Romany.


Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 1. Slow Joe (posted on: 30-01-06)
Edited and reposted, after (trying) to follow the suggestions people were good enough to leave below. Hope this reads better, and if you feel so inclined, comments and suggestions are gratefully recieved. Thank you.

If you choose to read these stories and their 'morals', please bear in mind that they are meant only as a joke. You are generally safe if you reverse them, e.g: Always share. Never lie. etc But that's boring. If you do adhere to any of the morals herein, I (the author) shall not be held responsible for anything that your parent/guardian/teacher may do to you as a result, (although you will undoubtedly deserve it.) DON'T BLAME ME!! Happy Reading. Who's Aesop/Modern Morals 1.Slow Joe. Joe is always the last one up in his house. His brother is always half way through his breakfast, and his sister has brushed her hair before Joe has even got out of bed. By the time Joe has thrown back his bed-covers and heaved himself up, his brother has usually left the house, and his sister is putting her coat on. Mum, exasperated, shouts, ''Joe! Joe! For goodness sake Joe! You'll be late!'' So, Joe stretches and yawns. He goes to the bathroom where he always brushes his teeth for precisely three minutes. He combs his hair, making sure it is exactly the way he likes it. He slowly gets dressed, and strolls down the stairs with his Mum shouting all the while, ''Joe! Joe! Hurry up Joe! There's no time for breakfast, come on!'' Nevertheless, Joe always has a glass of fresh orange juice and a piece of toast before he goes to school. He munches his toast thoughtfully, clears away his plate, puts on his coat and ambles slowly along to the bus stop. Every morning, his brother and his sister are there, complaining about the weather, and how the bus is late again. They look at Joe in disbelief how does he do it; how can he be so slow, and yet never arrive late? ''You were still in bed when we left the house,'' his sister grumbles, ''how come you never miss the bus?'' ''It's not fair,'' his brother complains, ''we get up much earlier than you, but even then we have to rush to get ready. What's your secret Joe?'' To which Joe just smiles rather a smug smile, before being the first to get on the school bus, ahead of everyone else. Things went on this way for a long, long time. Then one day * Joe found he was wide-awake. The house was strangely dark and quiet; he strained to listen very carefully. All he could hear was his clock ticking, and the sound of his family snoring in their beds. He lay back down, closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep; but sleep just wouldn't come. He sat upright in his bed and switched on the lamp to see the clock. 5.15 a.m. 5.15 am! Joe had never before been awake this early in the day; he felt so alert and restless. He gave up on trying to go back to sleep, and got dressed, trying to think what he could do while he waited for everyone to wake up. He washed and brushed his teeth, (for three minutes,) combed his hair and put on his shoes; then he checked the clock again. 5.30. He made his bed and tidied his room, then went downstairs. He took the cover off the budgie's cage, fed the fish, let the dog out and let the cat in. He made breakfast and ate it; he even cleared his things away, before he looked at the clock again. This time it said 6.05 a.m. almost another three hours until school! Now what? He still felt so awake. He heard the milkman on the doorstep, so he went to collect the delivery. The milkman almost dropped the bottles when he saw who had come to open the door, ''My word Joe! Don't think I've ever seen you up and about this time of day before; everything all right?'' he asked, trying to peep behind Joe as if he was afraid some terrible drama might be going on in the hallway behind him. Joe smiled, ''Everything's fine thanks Mr. Banner. I just couldn't sleep that's all.'' ''Oh. Righto then,'' said Mr. Banner, still looking suspicious as he handed the milk to Joe, ''as long as you're sure.'' Joe put the milk into the fridge, then, hands on hips, looked around for something else to occupy him. He looked down at his shoes, noticing for the first time just how scuffed and dusty they were. Rummaging about under the sink, he found the shoe care kit, and polished his shoes until they shone. That done, he cast about for another task to complete; he was beginning to enjoy himself, doing little jobs that he would never normally dream of doing, while everyone was nicely out of the way, and the house was peaceful and uncluttered. He emptied the tumble dryer and folded the clothes into the basket, the way his Mum did it, feeling very pleased with himself; but he drew the line at starting on the ironing when he saw how tall the pile of clothes in the wash-basket was. Instead, he reread his homework, and after some thought and a fair bit of pencil chewing, added more to it. When he next checked the time, it was 6.55. He drummed his fingers on the kitchen table, becoming bored. He breathed on the window and drew a face in the condensation with his finger. He even boiled the kettle, although he didn't make tea. At 7.15a.m. Dad's newspaper arrived, pushed half-heartedly through the letterbox as if the delivery boy begrudged bringing it; it fell with a dull slap onto the tiled floor. Joe picked it up and began to read the front page 'GRATE BRITAIN'S HARD CHEESE' read the headlines something about a strike in a dairy factory. Joe didn't think it was a very good newspaper. Then, suddenly, at 7.20 a.m, Joe felt sleepy again. He crept quietly back up the stairs, and got into bed, still fully dressed. 'Oh well,' he thought as he slipped back under the warm covers, 'I'm all ready for school so I can have at least another hour in bed; and I'll be in mum's good books when I get up, after all I've done this morning already.' Feeling very self-satisfied, he drifted off to sleep just as Mum's alarm went off. It seemed like only moments later, yet Joe could definitely hear his Mum. ''Joe! Joe! Come on, Joe!'' He heard the front door slam as his brother left for the bus stop, and then again as his sister left. Snapping abruptly awake, Joe became aware that, for the first time ever, he would have to hurry. Still being half asleep, he forgot he was already dressed and took all his clothes off, thinking they were his pyjamas. ''Aaagh!'' he screamed, and then hurriedly put all his clothes back on again. He rushed into the bathroom, only to remember when he got there that he'd already washed and brushed. He ran downstairs, grabbed his mother, kissed his coat and ran out the door. Then he ran back inside, kissed his Mum, grabbed his coat, and ran out again, leaving his very well done homework behind him. He raced to the bus stop and almost made it on time, except he had shined his shoes so well they had become slippery. He fell down hard on the pavement, just as the bus pulled away, watching his brother and sister pass him by with surprised looks on their faces. He could hardly believe it; even as he watched the crowded school bus roll past him, onlookers pointing at him through the steamy windows and laughing at his misfortune, he couldn't believe it. He had missed the bus! Him, of all people! Joe hauled himself up and trudged slowly, and very carefully, home. When his Mum opened the door to let him in, she looked surprised too, at first. Then the look of surprise was replaced by a look that said 'I-told-you-so'. ''Oh Joe!'' she tut-tutted, ''I'm always telling you to get a move on in the mornings. I just knew you'd miss your bus one day.'' Joe said nothing, but Mum thought he had a very odd look on his face. Very odd indeed. The moral to this story is: - Stay in bed for as long as you can in the mornings! S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Who's Aesop?/Modern Morals - 1. Slow Joe
Dargo77 on 30-01-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals.
Romany, very enjoyable little tale. Looking forward to reading your othes.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo. Not sure if or when I will post the others, as they are, as I said, a bit raw. Will have to pull my finger out and do a bit of editing! Thanks for the support,
Romany.

alcarty on 30-01-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals.
I think the idea itself is brilliant! One of those things that most families can relate to. Well written, and I couldn't agree more with the moral. Bring on the others.

Author's Reply:
Thanks alcarty. A bit hesitant about the others - we'll see!

wirlong on 30-01-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals.
Very entertaining indeed. I would like more dialogue, but that's just me, I suppose.

More stories please!

JK

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your comment Jk.

The few other stories that accompany this have more dialogue, but this was the first of these that I wrote. Thought I would post it to see what the feedback was like as, as I said in other replies, I wasn't sure how they would come across.

Might be brave and post the next couple up if I get more responses!

Thanks again,

Romany.

alcarty on 31-01-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals.
It's just another comment from me. Why worry about subbing the other stories? When the presentation suits you, sub them? Look who's talking? My problem is I don't scrutinize my subs enough before subbing and then wish I had. If you have a story, and you think it's ready, send it on. What is there to lose? Take the chance.

Author's Reply:
You are right of course alcarty - and I will. But these were written a few years ago now and, although they are (I hope) quite original, they are also very unpolished! This one has got far better feedback than I imagined it would, so after some serious editing, I will take the bull by the horns and post the others. Thanks for the encouragement,
Romany.

niece on 31-01-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals.
I agree with the moral of this story---I too stay in bed for as long as I can...and yet we manage to reach the stop on time for my son to catch his bus in the mornings!!!
Looking forward to the rest from this series...I feel it would be an ideal collection of stories for children aged 10 -12.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks neice. The age range you suggest is just about the age range I tried to pitch them for, so I am pleased you say that! Some of the other morals area bit dubious; in this pc world you never know if you should be 'saying that' do you? To hell with it; as alcarty says, I think I'll publish and be damned!
Thanks for taking the time,
Romany.

Sunken on 02-02-2006
Whos Aesop?/Modern Morals - Slow Joe
I love this Ms. Romany. I think I'm just a big kid at heart. I look forward to reading more. I need to get my morals sorted out (-;

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tomorrow they exclude him

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Sunken - more to come! As for morals, that's a whole other debate!

Romany.

xxxxx


Rat-Tat Ginger! (posted on: 27-01-06)
Another one I wrote years ago. Based in part upon a game that kids in my neighbourhood (me included, to my shame) used to play when we were young. If my kids did this I'd go crazy! Hypocrisy? Yes, undoubtedly, but I am older and wiser now - (well, older anyway.) Besides, you never know who'll answer the door these days. As always, I'll leave it to you to decide

Rat Tat Ginger! There's an old man in the house across the road His garden's deep and twisted; overgrown All the children knock the door and run away But the grown-ups leave him well alone. The kids believe that he is something bad Their fright delights them as they flee from his door When he opens it; slow and stooped and tired, The simplest task for him become a chore Upon the lines that cross his face they read wrong-doing In the bags beneath his eyes, they see flight Withered hands they see, shaking with the devil; But they do not see the child in the night Yet, not once has his voice risen above a whisper All the breath his years allow him to expend If only they could see the small and patient smile When he finds they've all outrun him, again; Though it's a slow and sometimes painful way to see them The old man always leaves his chair to get the door It's the way he fools himself that he still matters That someone's come for him And cares for him The way they did before. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Rat-Tat Ginger!
HelenRussell on 27-01-2006
Rat-Tat Ginger!
I lovely poem with a sad message at the end.
Sarah

Author's Reply:

Romany on 27-01-2006
Rat-Tat Ginger!
Thanks for commenting Sarah.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 27-01-2006
Rat-Tat Ginger!
Romany, wonderful subject matter... handled with skill.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thank you Dargo.

red-dragon on 27-01-2006
Rat-Tat Ginger!
Romany, I agree with Dargo's comment - a skillful write that's filled with sad truths. Your 'portrait' is very vivid. Ann

Author's Reply:
Thank you Anne - I am pleased you see it as 'vivid.'

Leila on 28-01-2006
Rat-Tat Ginger!
This is very good, subject matter and language combine really well...very minor, should line 8 'become' have an s to becomes and at the end of that 1st verse perhaps remove the second 'they see'. Personal thoughts as ever on this very fine piece...L

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Leila - Meant it to be 'become' rather than 'becomes.' I take your point about 'they see' but I meant to convey the fact that the old man they envisage exists only in their imagination, not in reality.

Thanks for taking the time,

Romany.

teifii on 28-01-2006
Rat-Tat Ginger!
Very well constructed and moving poem.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thank you Daff!

Macjoyce on 07-09-2007
Rat-Tat Ginger!
This is a very sad and moving poem, and one that tells a true story about the way people react to strangers, eccentrics and loners. “Shaking with the devil” indeed. He’s just a lonely old man who no-one gives a stuff about. I’m reminded of the Beatles song “The fool on the hill”, or “Mad John” by the Small Faces:

There was an old man who lived in the green wood
Nobody knew him or what he had done,
But mothers would say to their children,
“Beware of Mad John”.

I really do like this poem. The only thing I’d change of course would be to tidy up the metre, because several lines are too long and a bit clumsy and could be better with a few minor tweaks, but I don’t suppose that bothers you.

All the best,

Mad Mac


Author's Reply:


I Have Two Sons (posted on: 27-01-06)
Written a few years ago now, when I was in a particularly maternal frame of mind! It's a bit soppy for me; sorry!

I Have Two Sons. I have two sons Robust Healthy Boisterous Loud When I look Into their shining faces My heart swells Like a booming Pounding Rising Bloody Tidal wave A burst of love Fills my chest Tightens my throat Wets my eyes And has me Grinning Like some maniac Joyful Grateful Thankful Hopeful Mother Of two boys. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for I Have Two Sons
HelenRussell on 27-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
Hey, I think it's great that we can be soppy about our children. Reminds me of Nought to Sixteen I wrote when my twins turned 16 last year. Oh how quickly it goes.
Nice read 🙂
Sarah

Author's Reply:

Romany on 27-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
Thanks Sarah. It flies by, doesn't it?

Author's Reply:

skinnyscot on 27-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
awe lovely. thats just how a mother should feel. very nice writing.
Catriona

Author's Reply:
Thanks Catriona - this was written about five years ago, but my feelings are just the same (don't tell them I told you though!)
Romany.

RoyBateman on 28-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
Why not express something wholly normal and healthy? Yes, it's not as easy, perhaps, as putting other adult-to-adult forms of love into words, but it's good to see it done. Worked for me, even though I have daughters...big 'uns, too!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy. Why not indeed? Kind regards to you and yours,
Romany.

Dargo77 on 28-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
Romany, a wonderful expression of that special love one has for their children.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo - appreciated as always!

Sunken on 28-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
I wish someone would get soppy over me... I should rephrase that. Top write Ms. Romany. Drink Pure orange juice and contemplate yoga.

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tomorrow they remove the hamster

Author's Reply:
Oh Sunken - I'm sure there's quite a few ladies who have already got soppy over you!
Thanks for the comment,
Romany.

littleditty on 28-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
Read this one yesterday - and have been broody ever since - i am taking measures to rectify what your poem has done to my resolve and may need to book myself into one days supply teaching as an antidote!! Your poem is very effective -it is that feeling, that huge love and admiration, that you have got across so well - lovely poem xxxlitttleditty x

Author's Reply:

Romany on 28-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
Thanks littleditty - and my apologies for making you broody - I hope that it either a.)passes or b.) resolves itself (!)
A day's supply teaching would probably be a suitable cure!
Romany.

Author's Reply:

Lare on 28-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
Ahh, Romany...spoken/written like a true mother. The greatest treasure of any mother is to know she raised her children well...they are healthy...and no matter how many miles apart...they are all still together as one family. I know of this through my mother...she has now lost everything...but she stills smiles...for she still has us kids...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Thanks Lare. I am sorry to hear that your mother has lost everything; I'm glad she still has you, her children. You must be a great comfort to her.
I hope I am always this close to my children.
Romany.

alcarty on 30-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
What do you mean, soppy? Some men maybe won't admit it, but the emotions, when it comes to children, are pretty similar. Well written.

Author's Reply:

Romany on 30-01-2006
I Have Two Sons
I'm sure they are, and glad to hear it too! Thanks alcarty.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 02-02-2006
I Have Two Sons
Soppy?? So NOT! just proud. I love this. It is exactly how I feel about my girls. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - it's a great feeling, isn't it?


Parchment (posted on: 20-01-06)
Don't know why I decided this was a set of song lyrics and not a poem. Have a read, see what you think!

Parchment. Don't pay too much attention to what I have to say They'll just paraphrase it all anyway Or make it up completely; I often speak profound When my lips don't let slip a single sound And don't ask me for my thoughts or my opinions I don't write the rules; I don't know if I'm allowed them Of course, I must be wary; see who's slipped inside the sphere Don't want strangers, friends or enemies to hear Wheels; Turning faster Spinner wilder Twisted day; Broken heart Set in plaster Turned to stone Flaked away; Set in rock Carved in anger Use a chisel Use a pen All just words In the end Fingers rubbing at my temples, trying to break in And desecrate the altar that lies beneath my skin Pounding like a drum-beat; hard and ancient on the floor I can read between these lines, but I've not been here before I've seen those photographs, those faces; felt their breath upon my flesh Don't go back, it all gets so stale; stay here and press refresh Time and tide, they wait for no man, but I wish they'd wait for me Can think of nothing better than hanging with the sea Waves, Rising higher Getting stronger Beating me; Cast asunder Debris drifting Bottled sympathy Pass on by Rescue me? Lover's letter? Could I have Done it better? It doesn't matter Anymore Dried up Washed up On the shore. S. P Oldham.
Archived comments for Parchment
Bradene on 20-01-2006
Parchment
I love this and I could hear a beat, Definately needs music, I could hear a Katie Melua type voice singing it. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - got Katie's number? Lol!

Dargo77 on 20-01-2006
Parchment
Romany, good set of lyrics; I especially enjoyed the line:

'Fingers rubbing at my temples, trying to break in
And desecrate the altar that lies beneath my skin'

I also enjoyed the beat in this one.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo - that line is my fav. too!

uppercase on 20-01-2006
Parchment
Nice song/poem I like it there are some great lines here..erma

Author's Reply:
Thanks Erma - appreciated.

HelenRussell on 20-01-2006
Parchment
Simply loved the lines-

Broken heart
Set in plaster
Turned to stone
Flaked away

Would really like to hear this to music, (might ask my daughter's to work something out if that's ok with u?)

Sarah

Author's Reply:

Romany on 20-01-2006
Parchment
Hey, that's great with me! I would love to hear it set to music; and I'm flattered you think it's worthy! Be sure to let me know how you/she gets on! If I could hear the end result, if you decide to go ahead, I'd loce to hear it!

Thanks,

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 21-01-2006
Parchment
This reminded me strongly of a couple of the Moody Blues' songs. I think it would work set to music.

Best wishes, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Elfstone!

teifii on 21-01-2006
Parchment
I can imagine it would make a great song. Does it have a tune yet? I never know which comes first. So many song lyrics seem to me not worth bothering with. I remember one Japanese student begging me to relent on my stace of not listening to pop long enough to write down the words of an Abba song. I did and she was most disappointed with their paucity. Now yours would have been a much better bet.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Well thank you Daff! I am flattered! I don't know if this would work when set to music, but Helen Russell and her daughters (above) are going to try, which is good of them I think, and very exciting!

In my case, lyrics come first as I don't know the first thing about music (not that I know much about lyrics either mind you!) Still, it's fun trying.

Sunken on 22-01-2006
Parchment
Oh balls. Why did Val have to mention young Katie Melua... I've gone all dreamy now. I may have to pop back later to comment properly... not that I ever comment properly do I? Oh balls to it then. Do let me know if you manage to get a hold of Ms. Melua. I so want a Melua moment. Thanks.
Oh, top write - as always, goes without saying.

s
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tomorow they remove the lego brick

Author's Reply:
Cheers Sunken!

red-dragon on 22-01-2006
Parchment
Can't imagine how I missed reading this gem. I wasn't clued into the song lyrics bit. Having read it, I agree that it has fantastic potential and hope I can hear it someday to music. Ann

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ann - I hope you are right! I would like to hear it set to music too.


Patchwork Life (posted on: 09-01-06)
I'll leave you to make of it what you will (as always) but I know what I'm getting at here! If you feel like posting a comment, I would be interested to see how it's interpreted. Thanks.

Patchwork Life Framed photographs hang from your walls You, her, baby, smiling and innocent Letters come, addressed to Mr and Mrs But your names are not the same at all Just because you drive a family car now Belted up, secure and going nowhere Smug in the front seats; despite the fact You hate her reckless driving That your clothes hang From the same shiny rail, And your slippers slide Under the same bed Is no excuse to pretend That the fragile threads Which hold you together Are tightly pulled Or bound to last Do you recall Other photographs? Other letters? Other cars? I did not want to live Your patchwork life. Why are you still with her? I'm your wife. S. P Oldham
Archived comments for Patchwork Life
Jen_Christabel on 09-01-2006
Patchwork Life
I found this most poignant and, after 19 years of marriage, I could relate to most, if not all of this!
Jen :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jen, for commenting. I could say the same myself - after sixteen years of marriage there are parts of this I can relate to and others I can't; not really. Some of it was inspired by something I saw in a client's house recently, plus other bits and bobs, experiences of friends and family etc, that one picks up throughout life. Thanks again for taking the time,

Romany.

Kat on 09-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Hi Romany

This is very intriguing and well-written. Loved:

'That your clothes hang
From the same shiny rail,
And your slippers slide
Under the same bed
Is no excuse to pretend
That the fragile threads
Which hold you together
Are tightly pulled'

I thought it read in the voice of the 'other woman', but then there's the 'surprise' at the end - really well done!

Kat :o)


Author's Reply:

Romany on 09-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Thank you Kat - I appreciate it.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 09-01-2006
Patchwork Life
What can I say young Ro of many fame? A perfect patchwork of observations all sewn together with a thread of intrigue... Am I making any sense? I'll shut up and vote. Thanks. Well done on the nib. How will you wear yours? Take care and a friend named Sue.

s
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he thinks teeth are fairy tombstones...?

Author's Reply:
Very deft comment Sunken. Thanks for taking the time.


Every time I try to respond to one of your comments Sunken, I end up cocking it up! Please don't think I am ignoring you! I'm just a bit slow sometimes!!

Romany on 09-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Very deft comment Sunken. Thanks for taking the time.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 09-01-2006
Patchwork Life
I enjoyed this and read it a coupla times (which is good not bad) . I especially appreciated the plea near the end - an outburst of quiet desperation...

If I were to make any suggestion, it would be to take out 'looking' from innocent looking. I can't exactly say why, but the meaning would not be altered, and its presence kind of cheapens it for me (don't take that too strongly, I'm searching for words here... 🙂 ) G

Author's Reply:
It's funny that you should say that Griff, as in the original write, 'looking' wasn't there; yet when I came to edit it prior to posting, I felt that it needed to be! Hang on while I re-read with your edit.

Yep, you're right. Fair point. Will edit it now. I should have trusted my own instincts! But thanks for caring enough to point it out, and to comment in the first place. It's much appreciated.

MiddleEarthNet on 09-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Interesting. I had to read this a few times to see if there was supposed to be a hidden meaning to it, but I don't think there is (I'm probably still wrong). It seems to me that at the start, the person is talking about two other people and then at the end, talking about themselves with one of those people. Is the whole thing done from the point of view of the wife, perhaps a relationship that's not going well?

Author's Reply:
No, no hidden meaning, and you appear to have understood it perfectly well Middle - it is about a married woman whose husband has left her for another woman, with whom he has had a baby and begun a new life. It is meant to be about the wife's lack of acceptance of and bitterness about the new situation.
I am glad you found it interesting. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Romany.

Ionicus on 10-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Excellent work, Romany. I have come across this situation before when the wife refuses to accept the fait accompli and believes that he will come back to her before long.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ionicus - must be a very difficult thing to accept such a sad reality. Thanks for commenting.

barenib on 11-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Romany - the poem's message is quite clear to me too. the patchwork image tends to emphasise what's now (rightly of course) an old fashioned notion of the doting domestic wife, sitting at home sewing. Don't know if you intended this, but that resonance is there for me - John.

Author's Reply:
I didn't intend that actually John, but now that you've pointed it out to me, I wish I had! Thanks for commenting.

Bradene on 11-01-2006
Patchwork Life
I thought this was straight forward enough But then I am a simple soul, I'm taking it at face value and not looking for another deeper meaning. I can empathise at least. and I like the way you present the age old problem. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - there's a lot to be said for face value, I think.

Leila on 11-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Romany I think the message is clear...L

Author's Reply:
Glad you think so Leila. Thank you.

Dargo77 on 11-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Romany, I thought this was a well thought out piece, written with skill.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thank you Dargo!

Gerry on 12-01-2006
Patchwork Life
R,I think many will relate to this. The old grass is greener syndrome--but it seldom is.
Nicely done...

Gerry x.

Author's Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to comment Gerry - you're right, the grass is seldom greener.

narcissa on 13-01-2006
Patchwork Life
The message in this is certainly clear - your powerful writing gets it across perfectly. Such emotive, bitter language which condemns that happy image of the man with his new family. Rather chilling, but also sad because of the loneliness of the speaker.
This really moved me, I'm sure that a lot can relate to it- it's such a sad situation.
Laura x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Laura - I'm glad you think this worked. It is a sad situation - one I wouldn't want ever to exerience first hand.

teifii on 13-01-2006
Patchwork Life
An amazingly precise cameo of an all too common phenomenon. I especially like the second verse and the smattering of rhymes. The end is quite despairing.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thank you Teifi, and my apologies - I don't know how I missed your response earlier.
Thanks for taking the time.

Romany.

Corin on 13-01-2006
Patchwork Life
An original voice and viewpoint here Romany - and well held until the end.
Yes - I know so many people who live patchworked lives. I am not sure really where I stand on this, certainly the older man with young woman/wife and new family seems an untidy bit of patchwork, however before I was married I felt as committed to my present wife, a certificate does not necessarily make a committment but children ought to - the children should always come first, even if in the end separation is the only way to put them first. - Perhaps I am misreading your piece - however the voice of rejected wife at the end has a strong impact.

Warm Wishes

David

Author's Reply:
Thanks Corin;

This wasn't meant to be any kind of a judgement on anyone or anyone's lifestyle; nor does it necessarily reflect my point of view. It is simply a poem written from the pov of the disaffected wife. I intended only to put across her lack of acceptance of the situation, and her desolation; she feels 'deserted.' The reality of these situations is of course often different; there's more than one side to every story, after all. This is just 'hers.'

It's very interesting to read all the comments that people have been good enough to leave, and all the views they express.

Thanks again,

Romany.



Lare on 16-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Hi Romany...after I read this I sensed frustration...disillusionment...abandonment...you put these feelings together very well in an order that the reader could digest and not be overwhelmed. I especially blinked at the end when you wrote

"I did not want to live
Your patchwork life.
Why are you still with her?

I’m your wife."

Whoa...that's the surprise punch at the end that really makes the reader take that second breath...very well done...

Lare


Author's Reply:
Thank you for commenting Lare. It's gratifying to know that I made you take a sharp intake of breath for a minute! And those are just the feelings I intended to convey. Thank you.

Romany.

HelenRussell on 16-01-2006
Patchwork Life
Very cleverly written. And real sadness in that last line, it really packs a punch.

Sarah

Author's Reply:
Thank you again, Sarah/Helen! I'm glad it worked for you.

Romany.


Wash-Basket Blues (posted on: 06-01-06)
Very silly and just for fun!

Wash-Basket Blues Well, I got me something Keeps me busy all day long I said I got me something Keeps me busy all day long Well, I empty it each morning Don't have time to sing my song Don't have time to sing my song, no Lord my hands are raw and cold Don't have time to sing my song, no Got me feeling sad and old That old basket, she is mean yeah Lord, please ease my weary load Please ease my weary load, Lord I can't take this spin again Yeah ease this weary load Lord I can't turn this wheel again Just when I think I've reached the bottom Baby's spilling out again Baby's spilling out all over We aint got no clothes to wear Baby's spilling out all over Back is aching baby, yeah That old handwash's gonna kill me And that label 'Extra Care.' Don't have time to sing my song, no Lord my hands are raw and cold Don't have time to sing my song, no Got me feeling sad and old That old basket, she is mean yeah Lord, please ease my weary load S P Oldham
Archived comments for Wash-Basket Blues
red-dragon on 06-01-2006
Wash-Basket Blues
Very silly it may be, but it's given me a smile! Thank you! The wash basket blues are a daily event here! Ann

Author's Reply:
Here too Ann, that's what 'inspired' me! Thanks for commenting,

Romany.

alcarty on 07-01-2006
Wash-Basket Blues
Made me smile, too. Nicely written. My wife has been recuperating from an injury so guess who gets laundry duty? Of course it has to be done, but, believe me, I am not inspired!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment alcarty. I hope your wife gets better soon (for your sake as much as anything else - wash day is never fun!)

Sunken on 07-01-2006
Wash-Basket Blues
I could almost sing it Romany. Just be grateful you're not here. Expect the bad weather to continue (-;

s
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k
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he dissolves in lager

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken. I have dissolved in lager myself once or twice!

Dargo77 on 08-01-2006
Wash-Basket Blues
Romany, good fun lyrics, that gave me a laugh.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo - glad I made someone's day a little brighter!

Jolen on 09-01-2006
Wash-Basket Blues
Ohhhhhhhhhhh I know this tune! A wonderfully fun and fine song you have here, with very real truth in it.

Thanks for giving me the smile and I hope it is okay if I sing this while doing the wash.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
I think just about anyone who's ever done a day's washing knows this tune Jolen! Of course it's okay to sing while you do the wash - I find singing at the top of my voice helps when doing the laundry (and housework generally.) It seems to get done so much quicker, somehow! Glad I made you smile - thanks for commenting.

Romany.

Jen_Christabel on 09-01-2006
Wash-Basket Blues
Cracked me up! Great song, tralalalaaaaaa
Jen :o)

Author's Reply:
Thanks again Jen, for taking the time, and what a beautiful singing voice you have!


Contentment (by mum/LavenderRose) (posted on: 26-12-05)
This is NOT by Romany - posted by Romany on behalf of LAVENDERROSE. In (belated) response to the poetry workshop challenge, to write a ten line poem incorporating ten given words, one to be used on each line. If you feel inclined to do so, please comment and I will relay. Thank you. (Also, see Forum - First Ever Poem.)

Contentment. The quaint old china boot stands on the mantleshelf The reason for its purchase long forgotten now But lending a note of nostalgia somehow The blaze from the hearth throws shadows on the walls The faint sounds of ashes dropping in the grate I watch them fall and then abate As I turn my gaze towards the window Glass panes flickering in the firelight glow Through the door, comes a mewing bundle of fluff Bringing a sense of well-being, a new lease of life. LavenderRose
Archived comments for Contentment (by mum/LavenderRose)
Sunken on 26-12-2005
Contentment
I wouldn't have guessed that this had conditions imposed upon it young mysterious writer with links to a girl who goes by the name of Romany. Whoever you are (sorry i didn't check the thread yet) you should open an account with Uka and sub under your own name. You don't want that Romany taking all the credit. This is a great first sub in my munky opinion, so go for it or I'll.... I'll.... I'll fart, that's what I'll do. Please don't expect too much intelligent comment from me by the way, I'm only a munky. I'm sure you'll get a brainy Ukaneer who'll comment at some stage. Well done.

s
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he has a carrot for a big toe

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken - LavenderRose is my mum, but she has no access to a computer as yet. I have registered her, but she thinks that for now she would like to stick to doing it this way. Thanks for taking the time to leave her a comment. I will pass it on.

Romany.

littleditty on 26-12-2005
Contentment
I have said that this poet's got something here -and now i read it again i can say that the same line struck me both times. It is very visual so: The faint sounds of ashes dropping in the grate - works very well to engage another sense. Nice one! xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
Thanks littleditty - will pass it on!

niece on 28-12-2005
Contentment
Dear Romany,
It is very difficult to write a poem when it is restricted like this one was --- I think it read very well, the words flowing smoothly with such lovely thoughts and images. I think LavenderRose needs to post more poems. She is good!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thank you neice! That will boost her conficence noe end. She is already thinking of having a go at one of the other workshop challenges, so I'll make sure she gets your comment!


A Drop of Something Warming (posted on: 16-12-05)
Another seasonal offering, this time as a short story. All comments welcome as always, and by the way, Merry Christmas!

I told her not to come here. She can hammer on my door as much as she likes. I won't open it. I don't care if it is snowing and she has arthritis, and the steps may be slippery. I won't answer. I won't. She is so stubborn. I knew it was a mistake to turn on the lamp, but it gets dark so early in the day, you know. I thought about the tree lights, but I knew she'd spot them, so I plumped for the lamp instead. It's only a dim bulb, 20 watts or something. Should have known better; eyes like a hawk that blessed woman, even though she makes out she can't always see straight. She's never missed much in all the years I've known her. It's only because she thinks I've got whisky. She's right too, mind you. I have got a drop, what with it being Christmas and all. I've got a little bottle of brandy too. Just enough to sizzle my little Christmas pudding with, and a drop to warm the cockles. Not enough for two. Aha! She's stopped pounding the door down. Peace at last! Hang on, what's that? Oh for goodness sake, the woman's going to fall and break her neck if she's not careful! Fancy leaning over the railing like that. Sometimes I think she thinks she's still a kid. Just look at her, all squinty eyed and nosy, trying to see past my poinsettia and into the room. If I move now she will definitely spot me, and that will be that! I'd better keep still. Blast! Tappety-tap on the window pane and an inquisitive, ''Bill! Come on, I know you're in there! Open up!'' I'll ignore her. I don't want her pity or her company or her anecdotes. I'd rather just sit here quietly, thank you, with my whisky and my lamp and my thoughts. ''Bill! Open up right now! I'm not going anywhere, so you might as well give up and answer the door!'' I have to admit defeat, I know. This woman never could take no for an answer. I don't want to get up out of my chair it's nice and warm now, and I just got all the cushions into exactly the right shape, but still, I know when I'm beaten. ''I'm coming!'' I shout and I know I sound like a miserable old codger. My back is stiff, and I rub it as I step into the cold passageway. Mildred Milly, she always insists upon is safely back in front of my door. I can see her outline, small and compact, fairly bristling with impatience, or perhaps she is just shivering? I brace myself for a blast of effusive greeting as I reach for the handle. I am prepared. ''About time too! Honestly Bill, you get worse. It's freezing out here. Look!'' She steps back, sweeping one arm dramatically to show me the snow, falling ever more thick and fast, whilst holding a full, heavy looking shopping bag in the other hand. The snow is piling up on my steps, and I forgot to ask Andrew to grit them for me. Lord knows when the boy will be back now. I hardly see him from one end of the year to the other, I realise. My prodigal grandson. All that's left to me of my boy. I don't invite her in, I never need to. She bustles past me as if she has every right in the world to just help herself to my home, sniffing out Christmas spirit somewhere in my drinks cabinet no doubt. ''Come in.'' I say, as sarcastically as I can. She acknowledges my tone with nothing more than a half-raised eyebrow and a full, warm smile. She is wrapped in her coat, not wearing it properly, and sitting faintly comically on her head is one of those knitted beret type hats with a pom-pom, as if it can't decide whether to be formal or not. She sweeps it off, allowing damp, grey curls to spring wildly about her head. ''So Bill! Christmas Eve again eh? Doesn't seem like five minutes ago that it was last Christmas does it? How's that grandson of yours? See much of him these days? I suppose he's got his hands full, what with a young family and all. Now, have you eaten? I brought you a little something '' She rummages about in the bag, which she has placed on my table mid-flow. She can talk and talk and I let her. It's easier than trying to get a word in edgeways. She's saying something about cheese and crackers, and a slice of chocolate log, but she stops mid-sentence, to look at me. ''Why aren't your tree lights on?'' She makes the question sound like a serious, interrogatory one, accusing almost. 'I was hoping for a bit of peace.' I think, but I say, ''Saving on electric.'' She tut-tuts at me and strides to the socket. Before I can have any say in the matter, the corner of my little room is aglow with dancing lights, and very pretty they look too. The room at once feels warmer, oddly, and I glare at her. I would have put my lights on sooner, I really would, but I knew they would have alerted her to my presence. ''Now then,'' She is saying, ''Do you want these now? I've wrapped them in foil, so they will keep for your supper if you'd prefer. I'll just put them here shall I, on your ashtray table?'' I don't know why she bothers asking me, she's already set the plate down. ''And here's a little something for under the tree.'' This is the bit I've been dreading most of all. I am not comfortable with giving, or receiving, gifts and I just knew she would buy me one. She always does. She caught me out one year, and I had nothing for her. She didn't seem to mind, laughed it off, saying something banal and clichd like ''You don't give to receive,'' or something, and I felt awkward and embarrassed and awful about it. She had truly surprised me. I watch her now as she puts a small, gaily wrapped package under my little tree. It looks like socks, or possibly a tie. She steps back to look at it, rearranges it to look more aesthetically pleasing, and bigger probably, and turns to me like a child who's just completed a particularly hard task. ''There.'' She declares. I shuffle back to my chair, and refuse to allow the groan that my aching limbs emit pass my lips. If she had any evidence of discomfort on my part, she would be beside herself with concern, and would drive me to slow insanity with her ministrations. ''Yours is under there too.'' I admit, hating the fact that I can't even give a small gift in return with grace. I knew she'd get me one! She beams and heads back to the tree, rummaging about, though Lord knows why she's making such a song and dance about it, there are only two gifts under there, mine to her and hers to me. She finds it, retrieves it and beams again, shaking it next to her ear experimentally, though she knows as well as I do what it is. A miniature, very miniature, whisky. We talk for a while. No, scratch that. She talks for a while, I interject now and then when she pauses for breath. The clock on the wall ticks the minutes slowly by. She tells me that it's cold in here, asks me if I want the blanket that I keep behind my chair. I accept, but I put it over my legs myself; I'm not helpless. She puts the fire on and shuts the door, says she'll turn it off before she leaves; it's just to 'take the edge off.' Then we sit in silence. We stare at the black/white world beyond my bay window. The snow is falling like a cool balm on the troubled earth. The Christmas lights, though bright and garish colours, illuminate the darkness and take the chill off my thoughts. I glance at her and see, as I knew I would, as I have seen so many times before, a small, silver tear trace the contour of her face. She must feel my eyes on her, for she turns to look at me, but I turn away, just in time, I think, and she doesn't know I was watching her. Then she jumps up suddenly, all hustle and bustle again, clearing things away, turning off the fire, fussing with the blanket on my knee. She is chattering again, but I have stopped listening to the actual words. ''I'll pop round tomorrow. I'm doing a turkey and all the trimmings, just a small one you know, but there's enough to go round. I'll do you a plate and you can pop it in the microwave all right? We could even eat together!'' She claps her hands in delight, as if it is something we'd never done before, like a child again, ''That's what we'll do! I'll cook it all up, and bring both our plates round at about one o'clock. We'll open our presents together too!'' She dips back into the bag, takes out my gift to her and replaces it under my tree, ''I don't suppose you've got anything in for tomorrow yourself have you? Oh well '' ''I have actually,'' I cut her off, ''You know I'm partial to Christmas pudding.'' She giggles, actually giggles, ''That's fine then! Very sociable! I've got the main course, you've got the pudding!'' ''And you're crackers!'' I retort, refusing to smile, but she does of course. Mindless of her protests, I see her to the door, and even go so far as to caution her against the slippery steps. To my surprise and embarrassment, she pecks me on the cheek, a shy and tight little kiss. Her eyes are shining as she pulls away, and she wishes me a Merry Christmas. I feel better as I watch her descend the steps, clinging on to the rail tightly, stepping tentatively. I watch her cross the quiet road back to her own house, and I know she feels better now too. I read a story earlier today. Or was it yesterday? No matter, it was a Christmas offering, and for a while it made me feel quite seasonal, until it started to go off into the realms of angels; all 'thee's' and 'thou's', folded wings, and shining haloes. It put me off a bit, and I think I fell asleep. Did I read it? Perhaps it was something on the T.V? It doesn't matter. Why did those impossible angels antagonize me so? As I watch Milly step carefully, I give that question some thought. Is it just because I am, in reality, a miserable old man? At first I thought that was probably the case. But then I look at Milly again, her small frame surrounded by the pale-yellow glow emanating from the streetlamp, and as I watch, that glow seems to spread about her, grow brighter, more intense. A gust of wind billows the coat that she had draped about her shoulders, sending the loose sleeves flapping like two grey, well, wings, behind her. Her winter warm hat, round on her curly grey crown, slips but doesn't fall. I stand up straighter, ignoring the twinge in my back. The snow is falling; obscuring my vision? I don't think so. I know what I saw. And then I have my answer. Why those angels seemed so wrong to me. Perhaps they do exist. Perhaps some privileged souls on earth have been blessed by such visitations. But my angel is much more real than that, more mundane even. My angel is an ageing, sad woman who talks too much and listens too little. She is nosy and interfering and impossible. She lives across the road from me, and looks for excuses to knock on my door, more than for reasons to rescue me. Yet she always brings a smile and some small kindness. And what do I do for her? A wave of seasonal guilt washes over me; do as you would be done to and all that. And then I see what I give her in return, for I do bring her something. I give her reason and purpose. I give her someone to fuss over and care for, and probably sympathise for and complain about on her regular little shopping trips, to complete strangers, of course. I gi