|Friday Flash Fiction||
Oh smile, Mr Fletcher, just smile
the young student says on seeing
my brow so furrowed with care
for she is but young in her days
happy awhile in her little world
this youthful soul open and kind
as yet unaware of the dark clouds
on the horizon or within my mind.
Once I spoke to the old busker,
I believe it concerned the weather.
He was famous for a shiny grey suit
and ditties from decades gone by:
"Hound Dog," "Shakin' all Over," "CC Rider,"
and other rock and roll classics,
a music machine to supply the beat,
he sang in the cold and sang in the heat.
I saw his photograph in the local paper,
it told of his demise
his friend claiming he was a sad old man
who came alive singing his tunes,
another character disappeared from the streets
with their soulless shops and muzak.
He no longer plays to the passing crowds
yet perhaps plies his trade...beyond the clouds.
Christmas Eve in the city:
a legion of lost lone men stumble
dazed and confused from one shop to another
as a homeless man huddled
in a doorway strokes his dog.
I wonder what unseen scars lie inside,
he's invisible to shoppers who stride
as he watches children skip, their eyes
such a contrast to his own.
A seagull picks scraps outside Burger King
under a sky as grey as the castle walls,
the reindeers not yet illuminated,
St John's Church a reminder of the birth
of the greatest figure who walked the earth.
I observe from inside Caffe Nero's,
many passers-by are glued
to their mobiles, some laden with presents.
I reflect on all those who've strolled
these city streets who wander no more,
people who are the ghosts of Christmas past
for life is precious...but nothing can last.
New Year, new me:
all those petty faults
will be consigned to
the dustbin of history!
Alas, it is too late
to change these flaws
which are ingrained
within my character
like the deep roots
of an old beech tree.
I stroll on a clear winter's night
to the sound of owls and the ugly roar
of cars from the motorway
which sliced the land leaving a scar.
My gaze leads to the white-freckled heavens
remembering I'm peering back in time
and through a telescope a view sublime:
Andromeda but 2 million years ago.
As I stare at the crescent moon and stars
I lay my own problems aside.
How much more wonderful is this vista
than flimsy material possessions
and feel the presence of a higher power
invigorated...at this lonely hour.
Back when I was a kid I
my dad always told me
I still remember the time I
there was this teacher who
that was the very last time I
I’ll never forget Freshers’ week
the drunkest I’ve ever been was
I was dating this cute blond girl
the first joint I smoked was when
we decided our wedding would
the worst job I ever had was
now that reminds me of when I
something similar happened to me
I was having a pint in the Lion
the best holiday I ever had was
back when I was a kid I
In the Glamorgan Archives
I studied a book of records,
a time machine from 1905.
Photographs of forgotten inmates
stared at me with sightless eyes
with handwritten headings saying "Imbecile"
and it was quite impossible not to feel
a sadness viewing these lost souls,
female photographs in black and white
afflicted with "Acute Melancholia"
and "Mania", the notes
denoting their progress (or lack of it)
and not the language which the doctors now speak
so no unpronounceable words in Greek.
One thought she had known a doctor
for over 60 years although a teenager
and another convinced she was Napoleon,
some even incarcerated for epilepsy.
Oh, there were so many tragic tales
but all their problems have drifted away,
I close the book...but memories will stay.
Ah, that Christmas Eve
of so many years ago
when my brother and me
stared at our presents
wrapped under the tree
when our world was whole.
It’s Christmas time again
some fifty years hence
yet I think not of now
nor of things to come
for Heaven lies in the past
on that Christmas Eve
of so many years ago
when my brother and me
stared at our presents
wrapped under the tree
when the world was whole.
On the cold condensation of the bus shelter
he writes her name and a love message.
The swept golden leaves by his side
are now coated with a hard frost.
He shivers but it's not just the cold
sadly remembering the times of old
and when he later returns
the message has disappeared.
Letters would have dripped with tears
as the sun rose, for everything
is transient and nature does not care
about his lost eyes...and total despair.
How fine that Cardiff has the grace
to keep one of its historic pubs
unlike the Vulcan delivered
screaming to St Fagan's museum.
The Golden Cross abounded with characters:
"Irish Meg," "Billy Shortlegs," "Plymouth Eliza,"
and I wonder what these punters would say
if they were to wander around today
with high-rise buildings scarring the horizon
and The Golden Cross an island of the past.
There was many a fight on a Saturday night,
it stood near the notorious brothels
at Charlotte Street and Whitmore Lane.
Yet now it's far more sedate,
staring defiantly at passers-by
for this is the pub...that would not die.
The morning sun illuminates the Graig
enhancing the hues of golden trees
where a rainbow seems to originate:
a colourful bridge in the blue ether,
mountain clouds framing the horizon.
This alluring view from the autumn hill
relaxes my soul more than any pill,
breath disappearing ghost-like in the air
as raindrops drip as if a tap,
glistening jewels in the sunshine.
Then the rainbow weakens, vanishing
as dark clouds menace the sky once more.
The show's over but I'll remember
this beautiful sight...deep in November.
Stars on a summer night
when I held your hand
on the moon-kissed sand
and all problems took flight.
Now I watch an angry tide
roaring on the same coast
longing for your ghost
to drift by my side.
Stars on a summer night
but Paradise is lost
yes I long for your ghost
to come into sight
but alas it seems
you'll forever...haunt my dreams.
In Autumn shadows surround
her husband’s outstretched hand
father on his knees, pleading.
Her boy drawn out to manhood
Whispers seep into her heart
Mama, I'm here, I'm cold.
She sips water
eating seems wrong
in this sepulchre of the disappeared.
Sifting grainy soil she searches
for fragments of loved ones.
Overhead, observatories chart
boundaries of our world
track the death and rebirth of stars.
The restless sea violently explodes
over the re-constructed sea wall,
a watery November sun
painting a silver corridor
as a lone swimmer emerges,
just in bathers, from the cold swaying sea
quite invigorated, his soul set free.
The unseen moon pulls back the tide,
breakers as white as frost
as we are pushed by the autumn gale
towards dramatic, red Langstone Rock
with holes in the limestone.
Tourists have gone yet I like it this way
but wish that the quaint Elephant Cafe
was open so I could cradle a hot drink.
The ocean retreats leaving seaweed strewn
on menacing rocks as seagulls
are forced back by the wind
as the sea roars on this melancholy day.
I pause for a while admiring the view
for wild stormy days...have their beauty too.
Let not your thoughts betray you while you bow your head
How can we remember when none of us was there?
At best we stand in silence and contemplate the dead;
At some point though, our minds drift like as not elsewhere –
These days a minute, perhaps two, can seem like hours
Not to check mobile phones for news we might have missed,
A text from a friend, or the latest football scores.
School kids might know that Dulce et decorum est
Is not ice cream, but gas – GAS?? Is that your biggest threat?
Aren't nuclear missiles or cluster bombs now the story,
Or napalm, or even a hijacked passenger jet
Crashed into a tower block pro deo mori?
We're no further forward, let's not try to pretend –
The war to start all wars is yet to reach an end.
"Their name liveth for evermore." – Artillery Wood Cemetery
The mist drifts over Flanders Fields
as if the ghosts of those who lie
in this foreign land across the sea.
A century has passed since the shelling ceased
yet conflicts still cast dark shadows.
I read the poem Rhyfel, Welsh for war
by Hedd Wyn whose grave I'm standing before.
There are no screams of the doomed today
only the gentle sound of cows and birds
as people plant flowers by the tombs
of young lads with dreams unfulfilled.
It is so peaceful now but I picture
terrified soldiers with dying breath
and the laughter...of the Angel of Death.
She peers out of the window
of the care home on the hill:
she can see the spire of a church
and beyond the sea where she swam
many decades ago but now only
in her dreams when she is young again.
She knows that in this place she will remain
but on this glorious Dali-blue
October day her eyes gaze
at red leaves on the maple tree
illuminated by the afternoon sun
and birch trees painted gold.
She views a robin on the maple's bough,
it satisfies her soul...it is enough
Your country needs YOU!
If the cap fits you join.
Come lad slip across and.
It’ll all be over by.
The whistle sounds to go.
The stomach wounds are the.
In no man’s land screaming.
Third light, the trigger is.
Chlorine gas damages tissue in.
19,240 fatalities on the first.
The barrage could be heard.
Effects of shell shock are.
They dreaded the postman because.
The telegram says your son.
It is my painful duty.
By His Majesty’s command I.
November 11th 1918 they signed.
All quiet on the Western.
The cenotaph in the village.
Dulce et decorum est pro.
fireflies in the grass
my little world --
My weary eyes fell upon
an autumn sunrise, magical moments
in an often dreary world
as if an enormous fire
had spread from the horizon:
pillow clouds and thin ones smoking along,
birds on golden trees sang their morning song
but the vibrant colours were eclipsed
by God's painting held in the sky.
Yet everything is transient,
clouds returned to their native grey
although some people ignored the scene
failing to view with wonder in their eyes
the sheer beauty...of the autumn sunrise.
"She's not worth it!" exclaims
the young woman as she sensually rubs
a weeping man's shaking hand.
His emotions have oozed like pus,
alcohol letting the demons roam
as I watch with schadenfreude, alone.
But then I view a self-portrait
and my malice melts like ice
under the rising spring sun.
The mirth from other tables
might make torment even harder to bear
but perhaps the poor soul...is unaware.
Hail to ye, O’ Gods of Call
by Your whim, we survive
You choose to work us to our bones
or let us sleep for five
Hail to ye, O’ Gods of Call,
by Your whim, we live
Those who show up at midnight,
help us to forgive
Let not the angry visit the bar
give not a knife to the crazy,
Hide from the drunk the key to the car
we’re tired, not lazy
The drunks will drink and punch and stab,
gangs will surely fight
Shooters will shoot, bleeders will bleed,
but keep them home tonight
A story inspired by Rhyme Zone.
One summer day
at her café
(a famed gourmet
was Dixie Mae)
made a purée
and a parfait
with a soufflé
for the entrée.
She played reggae,
and with a “bray”
took her away
where on the quay
near her chalet
from March to May
she pays her way
with a plié
and grand jeté
in a ballet
by G. Fauré.
This story may
be mere hearsay
that’s all I’ll say
(ou bien je vais
The manic wind whistled across the bay
with the primeval roar of the sea
and torrential rain angrily hissing.
Airborne seagulls were forced to veer off course,
their screeches part of the symphony
of the seaside on this most stormy day
with the dark clouds coloured a depression grey.
A woman's umbrella was wrenched
from her grasp, turned inside out
and a plastic bag danced to nature's music
as ruined boats lay weather-tortured.
Waves crashed over the harbour walls,
I stood in awe in the autumnal gale
feeling so insignificant and frail.
This is the section where fiction prose becomes something else. We still expect the poems to be short, though. Just submit them using the submissions Storybox.