Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CDX - Not Too Bright II

Mad Kane has a regular limerick challenge.
She provides the first line,
the rest is up to us.

A fellow who wasn’t too bright
Refuelled while striking a light.
There were parts of him cast
Over an area vast
And his balls were blown out of sight.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

CDIX - The Blue Stones

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #84) presents a list of words that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  
I hadn’t tried this before, finding the number of words to use a bit daunting.  
Inger-M said that she was sure that I could do it.  How could I not try?

Amateur psychologists please note that this is complete fiction.

The words this week are: 
fill, scent, sway, held, fell, sight, fleck, still, end, load, skimmed, heap.

Flecks of sunlight from the water erupted on the impact of the stone.

It skimmed the surface, bounced three times and fell from sight.

He watched as the surface absorbed the impacts, reacted, adjusted 
and, in the end, was still.


He missed her.
He missed her smile.
He missed the scent of her perfume.
He missed the taste of the nape of her neck.
He missed the sway of her hair when she laughed.

But he had a load of time to fill.


He picked up another stone from the small heap beside him, 
held it briefly, feeling it’s rough warmth, and threw it into the lake.

It skimmed the surface, bounced three times and fell from sight.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

CDVIII - Not Too Bright

Mad Kane has a regular limerick challenge.
She provides the first line,
the rest is up to us.

A woman who wasn’t too bright
Thought babies were fashioned at night.
She thought sex in the day
Kept the stork at bay;
And, for a couple of months, she was right.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

CDVII - Schoolgirl

Red Dirt Girl sent me this photo.  
My original intention was to do a limerick 
but things sort of got extended.

The Schoolgirl

In a school room,
Was a girl, whom
Didn’t learn the things she ought;
Late, as a rule,
She acted the fool
And her skirt was far too short.

Her lack of attention
Got her detention
And a corner, in which she was seated,
But she enjoyed the pain
Of a well applied cane
So her homework was never completed.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

CDVI - Reflections on a Pond

Three Word Wednesday requires participants
to use the three words of the week in a composition.
The words this week were motion, peaceful and vision.

Reflections on a pond.

On a good day, a pond can be 
Smooth, comfortable, contained.  

But this is not the normal state of a pond.

Or of a life.

Into the peaceful lagoon of life, 
The gods may throw pebbles, small or large, 
That set in motion ripples, 
Waves that move and interact, 

And negating.  

Where they fall and how they impact 
Is totally beyond prediction.

The vision that we have for our day 
As we make the first coffee of the morning 
May bear no resemblance to the memories 
We are left with as we sit with our last 
And reflect on our day.

Or on our lives.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

CDV - Idle Thoughts on Silence

Sunday Scribblings has the prompt 'Silence'.
This lead to a  few idle thoughts on the subject.

Idle Thoughts on Silence


I am sitting, listening,

I can hear the hum of the computer, 
The ticking of the clock; yes, my clock ticks; and chimes.
Some rooms away I hear the drama of a TV show unfolding, 
Dramatic chords, screams, a bad day for someone.
A car passes up the street.  Sounds fast.  Too fast.
I can, if I try, hear my own breathing.

Silence is not easy to come by.


People are afraid of silence.

They fill their world with noise,
Their ears and lives are wired for sound.
Cars throb as they pass, whoomp, whoomp, whoomp.
Sound, I hesitate to call it music, is in lifts, foyers, buses, supermarkets.
Time is space is money.  Turn it on, fill it up.
The TVs get switched on first thing, turned off last.
Babysitter, companion and anaesthetic. 

What are they afraid of?
What are they afraid may creep into the void
If it is left empty, unguarded?

Vacant possession.


Silence, the song tells us, is golden.  
But is it?

Well, that depends, doesn’t it?
Silence can be delightful, lying on the grass, sitting in the garden,
Walking through the countryside with nothing but the chirp and whirr of nature 
Happening around you, everywhere.  Ah, yes, that is precious.

But being silent?  
Being silent when you know something evil is happening.
Forgive me for I have sinned.  The silence of the confessional.  
To know evil has occurred and to do nothing:
A sin compounded.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CDIV - The Equations of Emotion

Three Word Wednesday challenges us to write a piece using three given words.
This week the words were ‘cause’, ‘implicate’ and ‘stretch’.

The Equations of Emotion.

Cause and effect.  
Action and reaction.
Clich├ęd.  We all know it.
Newton wrote equations for it.
Einstein extrapolated them.

Cause and effect.
Action and reaction.

Cause and affect.
They are also action and reaction.

And our emotions react in strange ways and 
Implicate others when they, and we, least expect it.

It is no stretch of the imagination to say that
Cause and affect may be a more potent 
Than cause and effect.

But it is not reducible to equations.

Just to parabolic flights of fancy.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

CDIII - A Lady of Whips

Poets United asks us to think of shades of grey,
of the graduations between, say, pleasure and pain.

There was a young lady of whips
Who drew screams from her clientele’s lips:
But the result of her applied whacks
Was a pleasurable climax
So they paid her, as well as left tips.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

CDII - A Frequent Treat

Mad Kane has a regular limerick challenge.
She provides the first line, the rest is up to us.

A woman would frequently treat
A sailor to sex in the street.
So popular the sport,
When the fleet was in port,
She found she was worked off her feet.


A postscript joke for the astonomers out there:

Her body, a heavenly delight,
In a dress, too short and too tight.
She was called a White Dwarf
By the crew on the wharf:
Very hot but not very bright.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Reflection 1: Choices

Three Word Wednesday challenges us to write a piece using three given words.
This week the words were ‘decision’, ‘compromise’ and ‘forward’.
Is this a poem?  Maybe.  It's a work.  Let's call it a reflection.
Still on a serviette, of course.


It is said that every decision that you make is the right one;
that you cannot consciously choose wrongly.  
But the truth is that all decisions are a compromise, 
where prudence and daring collide.  

The decision that you make is a trade-off 
between risk and reward, 
between the known and the unknown, 
between conflict and accord.  
The decision you make is the one that comforts you going forward, 
one that makes you feel most secure.  
At the time.

But to look backwards!  Now, there’s the rub.  
With the razor sharp clarity of hindsight, 
we ponder what might have been, 
ignoring the myriad of little twists and turns of fate 
that have moved us from there to here, 
and like Lot’s wife, 
cannot resist a glance back over our shoulder.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

CDI - The Telegram

November 11th.  Armistice Day. 
I chose a villanelle for the main portion of the poem
as it is circular and goes nowhere.
Like our ability to stop fighting each other.

I - The Telegram Boy

He hated his job.  
Hated being hated.

A satchel around his chest carried a sealed envelope.

Sealed.  But he knew its contents.  
Everyone knew its contents.
Paper and gum cannot hide these things.

The War Office did not send telegrams lightly.

Eyes watched him, willing him, begging him to continue past.
But he had to stop.

Relieved eyes watched 
from neighbouring yards,
from behind curtains,
from footpaths. 
People frozen in fear.  
And relief.  

Except for one.  
Who just froze with fear.

The world lost its colour.  

All that could be seen was the boy and his bicycle.
He opened the gate and approached the house, holding an envelope.

Apologetically he offered it, turned and slipped away
into the grey mist of disbelief.

II  - The Politician

They fall for the trumpet’s martial strain,
Ignoring history’s warning cry,
And repeat the same mistakes again.

Blood rushes hotly to their brain
But, never stopping to wonder why,
They fall for the trumpet’s martial strain

Their courtiers paint the quest humane;
But they cannot see that it’s all a lie
And repeat the same mistakes again.

Sold on pictures of a sweet domain,
With babbling brooks and a clear blue sky,
They fall for the trumpet’s martial strain.

It matters not the numbers slain,
So they stoically wave the troops good-bye
And repeat the same mistakes again.

They are living in a different plane
Where they never see the children die.
They fall for the trumpet’s martial strain
And repeat the same mistakes again.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

CD - Macbroth

Theme Thursday has the prompt ‘Soups’.

The Newbery household often has ‘Buddist Soup’ for lunch at the weekend,
where the week’s leftovers get a second chance.  These soups are 'never to be repeated' creations. 
That merged into the recent Halloween season to create the following. 
Apologies to whoever you may feel wrote Shakepeare.


Cook 1
It’s Sunday morn, I have a hunch

Cook 2
We’d better make a filling lunch

Cook 3
Quick!  Quick!  They are a fractious bunch!

Cook 1
A Buddhist soup shall be created
From our leftovers, reincarnated!
They shall return in another guise
(And if it fails, we’ll send out for pies.)
Let me think, what have we got
To throw into this steaming pot?

Potage, Potage, Buddha’s child
Never captured in the wild!

Cook 2
Carcass of a long dead chook
Into the pot to quickly cook
An onion chopped and roughly diced
Some peppers, with the seeds excised,
Some celery, as limp as any seen,
A ramekin of something green,
For a creation with the lot 
Throw them in the bubbling pot.

Potage, Potage, Buddha’s child
Never captured in the wild!

Cook 3
Bowl of pasta, piece of ham
Mashed potato, some diced lamb
Grated ginger and a garlic chopped
Into the seething mix is dropped.
A cup of sauce, maybe Bolognese ,
Hard to tell, seen better days.
A couple of carrots, diced quite fine
And a mug or so of cheap cask wine
Medical advice: well meant but a waste:
For a little salt will improve the taste.
Finally add some cream of corn
And Sunday lunch is roughly born!

Potage, Potage, Buddha’s child
Never captured in the wild!

Cook 2
Serve it with some herbs, afloat,
And a glass of wine, as an antidote.

© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

CCCXCIX - Pax Non Verisimilis

Imaginary Garden with Real Toads invites us to write ‘Poetry for Peace’.
I’m afraid my view of the prospect of peace for mankind is not a hopeful one.

Pax Non Verisimilis.

The lion shall lie down with the lamb 
but the lamb will not get much sleep. 
– Woody Allen.

There are no Neanderthals living now.

They were different.    

So we killed them.

We don’t like difference.  


Our history is a catalogue of fighting differences:

Racial differences, 
Religious differences
Ideological differences

The same depressing folly.

Our sports teams play out surrogate wars for our respective tribes.  
Victors gloat.  The vanquished rail in dismay.  
The result is meaningless but the hurt is real.  
The defeat is personal.

The religious, our self appointed moral custodians, fight each other.
The winners claim god’s endorsement. 
Who can argue?

We are intensely tribal, 
deeply suspicious of outsiders 
and driven by greed, envy 
and revenge for long held grievances.  
We cannot be trusted.

Can mankind live in peace?  

I suspect not.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

Saturday, November 03, 2012

CCCXCVIII - The Departure

Three Word Wednesday invites us to use three given words in a piece of work.
This weeks words are ‘sallow’, ‘false’ and ‘illustrate’.

The Departure

The shades were drawn.  
The room hung heavy.  

Just the breathing.

She was dying.  

There was no avoiding, 
No denying that the end was close.  
Her skin sallow, lack-lustre, 
Crinkled like yellow crepe; 
The faded wrappings of seasons long gone.  

Her eyes glazed, 
With that faraway look 
Of the indifferent.  

Her breathing irregular, 

Long pauses 
Forcing the watchers to hold theirs, 

Visitors came intermittently, 

Full of false bonhomie and cheer
But you could see it in their eyes, 
Their expression 
In those brief moments 
When they let their guard down: 
Grapes and flowers. 


Fade to black.

The obituary spoke of the lovely person that she had been long back when
and was illustrated with a picture of her, much younger then, holding a parasol. 
Her life was before her, full of promise, odd to see it now and
reconcile it with the hollow shell that had remained.

Two women died that day.

I wonder which one St Peter chose.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012