Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Acrostic poem- Adapt

 I signed up for 12 poems in 12 months challenge via deadlinesforwriters.com.

I chose December 1st, expecting the month to begin then, but it doesn't.

I discovered I have a week to write my first poem that has to be posted on 8th.

The prompt is 'Adapt' and we are not given a form. I chose Acrostic.

I wrote a quick one on Sunday, but plan to do something more polished before it is posted.

Archeopteryx so vast is your wing

Diplodocus, such thrills your bones to children bring

Archeologists search for your skeletal remains

Perhaps you could have changed your ancient terrains

To escape dusty incarceration in academics brains

Well, despite what I said at the start, this looks a lot like the original draft.

It won't win any prizes will it, but here's hoping for a vast improvement during 2022.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Making Friends with a Siamese

Andreas was an actor. He was often in between jobs so he earned extra money waiting tables. He was good looking so got excellent tips especially when he made a fuss of the French poodles the silver-haired ladies brought into the bistro each afternoon. He had time to help out his friend with her dog walking business and would often take half a dozen dogs at a time to the nearby park. One day she told him she had received an odd request. A man had asked if she could take his three Siamese cats out for a walk every day. She could not commit but asked Andreas if he was interested.

The money was good and acting parts were sparse so he said yes.

His new client lived in a sumptuous fourth-floor apartment overlooking Central Park. A maid answered the door and ushered him into a large sunlit room where he met his new client.

The man loved his cats but illness prevented him from walking them daily. Andreas was to arrive every morning at ten and take the cats out on their velvet harnesses, a different colour for each cat. They were to return at eleven precisely.

The work was easy and the cats were no trouble once he got used to their yowling and the stares from joggers and nannies.

It gave him time to learn audition pieces and flirt with cute girls. Cats were even more of an icebreaker than dogs.

He was happy to feed the cats when they returned to their owner and he would spend time with him, listening to tales of his life as an actor on stage and in film.

His client's health grew worse and Andreas wondered who would look after the cats after his death.

His client went into a hospice and asked Andreas to keep walking his cats, to feed them, and spend time with them.

Andreas agreed.

His client died and left his apartment to Andreas along with several million dollars on the condition he continued to take care of his three beloved Siamese cats.

Andreas agreed.

350 words.

FlashNANO prompt Two - write a story about a man with three cats.

Monday, 1 November 2021

It's not fair

The kids huddled together at the edge of the fairground. It looked weird in the dark. They all had so much fun earlier when the place was illuminated and full of people. Having a go at the rifle range, getting sick on candy floss, chasing each other on the dodgems, just like their parents had done before them when they were young.

They had come back for a dare. Toni was going to go in the ghost train all on her own, write her initials on the front car then the next night they would check her handiwork when the fairground was open.

They wouldn't let her take her phone. She had to go in the dark.

Toni pretended she wasn't bothered but the shapes looming out of the darkness scared her.

She made her way to the ghost train and pushed open the battered doors. No one had bothered to lock up. It smelt musty and the dust made her cough. She screamed when she came to a tired old skeleton hanging from the wall.

Finally, she made it to the last car and wrote her initials. T.E. Then turned to make her way out. Something blocked her way.

The kids waited and waited at the edge of the fairground. An hour passed and then another. Cheryl wanted to go home. They all did. It was cold, dark, lonely out here. But where was Toni? Someone said they ought to go into the fairground, go to the ghost train and find her. None agreed. Someone said they should go home and tell their parents.

They all agreed, even though they knew they would be grounded for a week.

The police arrived with the fairground owner. They went into the ghost train.

Toni was nowhere to be found. Her initials T.E on the front seat were the only proof she had ever been in there.

315 words.

I am taking part in FlashNano2021 organised by Nancy Stohlman.

A prompt a day, with no word count.

Today's prompt- ''write something that takes place in the dark''

Friday, 29 October 2021

Counting Down

My mentor told me that now was the time to take the plunge. He said I was being lazy. It was tempting to stay here where life flowed smoothly and everything was easy. The stars were aligned he said, and the angle between the sun and Jupiter was auspicious. I only had two hours to make the most of the conjunction between Venus and Mercury.  It was up to me. So, this was it. I said goodbye to my friends, knowing I would be seeing some of them again soon. 

I went into the launching room and took my seat for the countdown, then felt myself falling.

The landing was safe. I heard mewling.

 'Your Siamese has safely delivered her litter' said a deep male voice.

I looked around a saw several wriggling kittens. Something was amiss. I was supposed to have been born as a human, not a cat.


Word count -150.

Sonar Tori

My P.A. had outdone herself. The Hotel Sonar Tori was exquisite after the hustle and bustle of the software conference in Delhi. It was wonderful to be here for ten days before I had to return to my Mumbai office. The early morning swim in the ocean followed by yoga on the beach. The delicious plant-based meals, the spa, the hot stone massage. What more could a girl ask for.

 I  even enjoyed the book of poetry that was on my bedside cabinet. It was by Rabindrath Tagore and written in Bengali with an English translation.

I noticed that the meditation tutor looked a lot like Mr. Tagore, with his soulful eyes and delicate limbs.

I grabbed the chance when he invited the meditation group to join him on the Golden Boat for a cruise downriver.

The boat was even more tranquil than the hotel and we spent the days writing our memoirs. He said that was a good start for writing poetry.  I thought we were there to go deeper into meditation but decided to go along with the poetry writing idea.

We had individual tuition with him too.  Here I explored times of conflict, unhappiness and disharmony with others. At times it felt like a 12 step meeting, or my idea of a 12 step meeting.

My dreams were disturbing as if a lot was coming up for re-evaluation.

The Golden Boat stopped now and then, and some people got off.

Eventually, I was the only one in the group remaining.

The boat stopped and the meditation teacher told me it was my turn to disembark. I did not want to, but he said my earthly sojourn had come to an end and it was now time to face my karma. I put one foot on the gangplank.

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Bread for the Dead.

Rosa Perez set out the Pan de Muerto on the gingham cloth. On the next table, she placed some clay and images of sugar skulls.

Frida Kahlo loved to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

 Rosa carried on this tradition with local children who came into the Frida Kahlo museum where she worked, to make clay skulls every year.

Rosa was expecting a visit from a San Francisco art collector and hoped this would generate lots of American dollars. The Day of the Dead celebration was perfectly timed.

She took a walk around the museum. Everything had to be immaculate.

But who was this?  The public was not allowed in until ten o'clock yet here was a woman standing in front of 'Without Hope'. Something about her dark hair and the red skirt was familiar.

 The woman turned around. It was Frida Kahlo herself. This was too much for Rosa. No one was supposed to be in the museum. An uninvited visitor was one thing, the dead artist herself was too much to take in.

There was a scent of whiskey and sadness as Frida returned her gaze. 

A skittering sound disturbed their tableau as a spider monkey darted across the floor, leapt onto Frida's skirt then up to her narrow shoulders where it stroked her hair with its spindle sharp fingers.

' I see you have taken good care of my home.

Why don't you give me the guided tour, like the one you give the rich Americanos.'

Rosa obliged her unexpected guest.  She showed her the pastels and paints on the desk, showed her the bed where Frida had been trapped for years.

' Where are my dresses, where are the back braces, where is the jewellery I loved to wear?'

Rosa took her to the display room.

'Have you ever tried on one of my dresses?

Do you know what it feels like to wear a brace?'

'No, I would never dare to.'

'But if you did, it would give you a deeper sense of me, the woman I am.

Go on, it's alright. Only you and I will ever know.'

Rosa took off her smart blue dress and flat black shoes.

She tried on a painted brace and one of the ornate dresses.

'Perfect. Let me put my favourite necklace on you.

 Come and stand here next to the other dresses.'

Rosa did as she was told.

It felt odd to be wearing this forbidden dress. How many times had she told the visitors not to touch the exhibits?

The brace felt tight and heavy.

Her limbs felt leaden and cold.

Rose felt frozen, petrified.

Unable to move, she realised she was trapped with only the chittering Fulang Chang for company.

Frida put on the smart blue dress and flat black shoes

The bell rang.

'Ah, that must be the American. My first project in the new role as curator of my own home.'

Frida enjoyed the feel of her youthful, healthy body, finally free of pain.

'Ah, Ms Materman. Welcome to the Frida Kahlo museum. I have much to show you'

509 words.

Don't rush your meals

Her eyes absorbed the black words from the printed page. Along the optic nerve they raced. Pouring into the ravenous brain which set to work to digest the information, to free the energy once poured down the pen onto the page into eye along the optic nerve. The brain burped.

Prompt- Digest

Word count 50.