Finding Magic.

Once in a moon
you walk in a room,
With feelings
like you belong.

Once or twice in a life,
When the weather is nice,
And the sun heats up the sky
You will hear a unicorn sigh.

Just now and then
for a smidgen of time
You believe you are
The subject of a song.

If you lay, for a week and a day,
Watch the sun play in the trees.
You’ll see faeries take up a dance,
On the warmth of the incoming breeze.

By holding the thread at end of your bed,
You get to tug it once in your dreams.
The world turns blue especially for you,
And magic exists … So it seems.

pictures by pixabay

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The Privy.

A link to more responses here

Photo for #FridayFictioneers use only. https://russellgayer.com/

 

The privy, or outside toilet, Mother said, was called this because what happened within was private.

On the nail were neatly cut newspaper squares threaded on white twine. It was used if you were outside playing, or you had an upset tummy. Otherwise, we used the bathroom indoors; with the softest of tissue. The privy was a remnant of a bygone age; put to use by Mum.

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You could read the newsprint on my bum and us giggling sisters often tried … until Mum caught us and locked the door. The privy was never to be used again.

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My First Exquisite Dress.

I love the life of your hat,

I once had a dress like that.
All grace and glamour,
The boy’s would clamour
To glimpse the off shoulder
French fancy.

And me, at sixteen,
I learned how to preen
I perfected a wiggle,
A look over my shoulder,
But under my brows.

The dress held my joi de vivre
My confidence my class.
It was in the lace,
While I hid the blush
Upon my face.

My parisienne dress
wasn’t me.
But in it, I could be,
Entertaining and sweet.
They would fall at my feet,
And I could shoo them away.

Back then, when age was nothing
But a moment in time.
Confidence plucked from air
As the flower in my hair.
It was all so fleeting,
like a clandestine meeting.

A Seat In The Bleak.

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Thank you Sue Vincent for the photo this week and the opportunity.  Press here To join in this weeks prompt. #WritePhoto

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Bleak, some say this view is bleak, the empty to me isn’t empty. The sky speaks of things to come and hints at things just past. I gaze thoughtfully while digging deeper into my pockets dipping my chin so the zipper scratches my nose. My quiet contemplating place; perched on crag like a bird with its feathers ruffled. Hair whips my cheeks and stiffens in the biting wind. My eyes struggle to see as far as I want them to. But here, the whoosh of the sea, the lapping of water against rock and the voices on the wind … comfort me.

Hours pass with me inside my head, the imagery sharp as Italic ink on paper.  The sky darkens, reflections flicker, horses lick, their white manes they flash and curl atop the surf and I am reminded of where I am. Cleansed and at peace I raise myself, soles firmly grip into roughness of rock, gouging in to keep me from slipping as I head back.

At first barely a glimmer of light shines from the tiny house creeping between badly pulled curtains. The rusted swing squeaks in the wind; the taste of salt lingers. I open the oak door, stamp my shoes on the coconut matting and strip off the sodden outer layer. His head lifts and kind eyes take me in, his book thumps closed as he makes way for me to join him. Tom pats the cushion next the fire on the double club chair. “Come, let’s get you warm,” his eyes crinkle as they do when he looks into mine. “You look rested now, how anyone comes back from such a bleak unforgiving spot looking as you do … I will never know.” Tom rubbed my feet between his hands twisted a strand of salt encrusted hair behind my ear and said … ” I love you Eve.”

With all my worries blown into perspective, I inhale the stew I have cooking on the stove, the bread Tom has put to warm. “Shall we eat, then I will tell you a new fireside story, one brought to me on a gust of wind.” I say. We clatter to the table amidst the spitting of logs laughing at the days turn of events. Knowing tomorrow my bleak will refresh me once more.

Do you have a place? I would love to know, leave me yours in the comments.

 

Memories of Sophistication.

Even forty plus years ago, people rushed, (power walking, as we would say today) to work across Putney bridge. Not so much lycra clad but wearing trainers and nylon track suits with Nike ticks. Oblivious to visiting girls on training courses, they squeezed the obligatory Mr Motivator or Jane Fonda’s suggested amount of exercise into their day. All the while plugged into a personal tape player; an early mobile distraction.😄😃😂

I was fifteen on my first adventure to The Olive Brown’s school of beauty, where I took the Revlon Manicurist’s course. My first journey on a train alone. From rural Berkshire to London. From a niave girl to sophisticated young woman.

There were many firsts ticked off in those three weeks. My first, first, was a carriage full of dark-skinned men who laughed and spoke in a way I’d never heard. The first time I looked at the underground map but couldn’t find any coloured tracks … surely if it shows a red line the track it stands to reason, the tracks would be painted red …

I tapped the arm of a uniformed man with a shock of grey hair. My chin dropped when he turned, another face as black as can be showing perfect dazzling white teeth. His jovial demeanour and beautiful smile; chased away any fear. Being lost in London, terrified of being impossibly late and wondering if It would be better to just go home; vanished with his kindness.

My first lesson in how to look ‘chic’ came crashing in at the first class. I was used as an example of how not to dress. Red-faced I stood before a sophisticated collection of Young women, it was painful, almost more than I could bear.

My first trip to Selfridges, my first makeover quickly followed by my first glass of Mead. I experienced my first hangover and my first and last unexpected unwanted grope by a stranger. My first excursion to a club, where cage dancers were stunning. The beautiful people with no inhibitions seemed like fun, with their magazine fashion looks and money to buy anything. Yes, I learned more than how to beautify peoples nails on that first adventure.

Lessons learned in the first four days were crucial, even pivotal, in my life. Those lessons stayed forever. Lessons engraved into my soul.

1. Skin colour is not a measure of the man.

2. Sophistication does not automatically bring Kindness.

3. I know how to get around London using the underground better than most … above ground is another matter.

4. Never get in the path of exercising tracksuit wearing commuter on Putney bridge, unless you can seriously swim!

5. Do not .. ever drink Mead.

6. Never lean in to hear what the man is whispering to you while in a nightclub.

7. Raising my knee with speed, while being held close to a persistent man will make him wince and buy me time.

8 I am an excellent runner when I need to be.

9. I am as good as anyone and better than some.

10. Though qualified, a manicurist position is not for me.

11. I have more to fear from ignorance than anything I may encounter.

12 . Travel is a great way to get educated and have adventures.

13. Nightclubs and the gamut of substances found within, don’t hold any attraction for me.

14. All is not always as it seems.

15. The Brownie leader was right! Being prepared is the best way.

14. Fascinating people come in all shapes colours sizes and creeds.

15. Makeup and expensive clothes will not change the you you are inside.

16. The memory of a pale pink suit with contrasting baby blue rick rack, purchased by my fifteen-year-old self in Selfridges, will be remembered  … even when I reach the ripe age of sixty.

 

The photo of Putney bridge is on loan from the independent newspaper, and the rest are free photos from Pixabay.

Do you remember your first learning curve into maturity? I would love to hear, drop me a comment I love to chat.

The whistlers

I catch a noise before I sleep
The whistlers skulk about
Spreading fear skin deep.
Chirruping secret calls,
Hiding behind garden walls.
Disturbing young girls dreamsI wake with terrifying screams.

I pull a quilt over my head,
Hide a torch beneath the bed.
Prepare to fight for my life
I take Mum’s vegetable knife.
It’s old and blunt, bent a bit
She stabs at spuds in the pot
To ascertain if they are hot.

Armed, I squeeze Emma tight,
Her yellow suit warm and bright
She comforts me as I hum
a lulluby learned from Mum.
Doll and me are doing fine
Until music starts keeping time.

Through the crack, behind the bed
I hear the tune, inside my head,
Sweet and soft hardly heard.
Matching me word for word.
Spuriously stuffing notes in a sack
My sleep is wrestled into the black.

Sheets tangle around my legs,
like on the line, around Mummy’s pegs.
I can’t escape, I scream at last,
Sodden sheets and whitened mask.
Tapping her foot beside my bed
Mummy glares, shakes her head.
washed and clean no longer soiled
Tea is made …
Once the
whistling kettle’s
boiled.

For those who want to listen to me speaking the poem click the link below…

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7WJ-42kvYrWdGtNM3RBdERHcWpYNlZwcXVxMGctWmVzYXFJ/view?usp=drivesdk

Written for A Halloween poetry competition press here to see all the wonderful enteries here Thank you Auroura for the opportunity.

A little Halloween can go a long way… What were you scared of? Or maybe you still are? leave me a comment I’ll answer quick smart.

A Right of passage #FGM.

She wears the scars of the divine

They think she’ll forget given time.

that she’ll bow to the pain

And pray in his name.

But she won’t, instead,

she will cry in her bed

For God, on a mission,

Or ancient tradition.

The girls In her tribe

Just frown.

At the stain they see

On her gown.

The heat in her face as

Infection slots In place.

Death is often the way.

Not saved from the cut,

Like a kick in the gut,

Her Mother held

Her hand that day.

It happens In a home

Just like yours,

carried-out behind

Closed house doors.

When blood seeps

through the cracks,

it’s covered with a mat

Never to be mentioned

Again.

I didn’t think it could be,

Because I was too blind to see.

Not in a house that’s

Next door to me.

The piece below was taken directly from Feb 2017 ITV news.

A case of female genital mutilation (FGM) is either discovered or treated in England every hour, according to the analysis of NHS statistics by a charity.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 there were 8,656 times when women or girls attended doctors’ surgeries or hospitals and the problem was assessed – the equivalent of one every 61 minutes.

Did you know this barbarity was so prevalent in the UK?

Can ordinary people like me, with art, stories and poems be heard … make a difference?

Any acknowledgement or comment on this will be responded to with honesty and speed.

Liking Autumn

I love the crunch beneath my boots,

Crisp mornings and coloured trees.

Fingerless gloves and owl hoots,

Long scarves down to my knees.

Conkers burst their, spiked armour,

Spill their seeds for conker wars.

Scarlet and golden paint a scene,

To cover paths and forest floors.

Without Autumn there’d be no respite

a harvest moon would not appear.

No Halloween or cosy suppers

To bring us all our Autumn cheer.

So many of you asked, ‘what are conkers?’ I have popped this link for you. Here . The shaddow fighter picture above was found un credited on the internet and depicts a conker war. All other shots are of my own making.

What do you like about Autumn? Have you played Conkers? I’d love to hear … go on, you know you’d like to.

A Frantic photo.

Capture 1

 

I watch a very attractive twenty-something girl, (youth is beauty after all) she poses outside a well-known emporium in London. I sip my tea as I catch a glimpse of the figure through the steamy window, across the street. Her task became clear as pedestrians moved on, leaving her in view.

She shot five, ten maybe twenty or more snaps, all with different sections of shopfront. The window dressing backdrops, all varieties of poses. There was lipstick on and off, a chin down and up, head to the right then left. One which surely was one side only with a book covering one eye. Hair combed, twisted, tucked and pulled.

My tea finished I walked across the street curious to see her closeup. I couldn’t help it, I smiled and said ‘the first one, you were far more beautiful in the first one.’ She came after me; touched my arm. ‘Sorry. but how do you know?’ She was agitated not quite cross but rattled. I pointed across the road ‘I was in the tea house and saw you clicking, taking shots with your phone … you were perfect in the first one.’

She scrolled fast through her gallery as she tip-tapped alongside. Until she shoved her i phone under my nose. ‘This one … why would it be the best, my nose looks long at that angle and my lips look dry, it isn’t the best at all.’ She was quite frantic, rushing her words, pushing her chest forward. ‘But your nose is the way it is, besides in the first one you were twenty-five minutes younger than the last, so it must be the best.’ I left her baffled as I went about my day. We are what we are regardless of the persona we show the virtual world. Our looks constantly change so each picture depicts a flash of what was; not a perfect shot of what is. The worry on the face of the young woman bothers me. Why the image was so important, it appeared imperative so stressful that I swear I heard palpitations and saw a fear in her eyes. I suppose the term ‘selfie syndrome’ will soon be another condition that parents have to watch for. It seems appearance is all, and ageing humans such as myself, women and men that have lives and deaths etched on our faces will be invisible. At least to the people

We are what we are regardless of the persona we show the virtual world. Our looks constantly change so each picture depicts a flash of what was, not a perfect shot of what is. The worry on the face of the young woman bothers me. Why the image was so important, it appeared imperative, so stressful that I swear I heard palpitations and saw a fear in her eyes. I suppose the term ‘selfie syndrome’ will soon be another condition that parents have to watch for. It seems appearance is all, and ageing humans such as myself, women and men that have lives and deaths etched on our faces will be invisible. At least to the people whose faces, they believe are the measure of them.

thank you unsplash for the use of the picture.

I would love your answer to the question … why was the perfect shot so important?

An Educated Walk

To join Rochelle’s prompt press ‘here’

A hundred miles I walked. Stinking dirty miles, in shoes that didn’t fit. The right too tight, reminding me, squeezing too much in leaves little space to breathe.

The left, two sizes too big, rubbed raw my foot. It made me bleed until it seeped through the lace holes and rolled back the skin, but on I walked.

It taught me to say no, to leave room to be kind, so I can grow a better man.

It taught me, never to be too proud to admit, this is too big for me.

It needn’t hurt to learn that lesson just take an educated walk.

Thanks for the Photo @Sarah Potter