Diamonds.

Her cheeks carry the imprint of diamonds,

Where she pushed her face to see.

What life would be like beyond that fence,

To be welcomed in the land of the free.

Dusty hands grip tight, a heart still full of hope,

Unshed tears make her chin wobble, but determination helps her cope.

She gazes at the fancy dresses the boats being used for fun …

Not to escape in … or for the winds to take their Mum.

People on the other side, oblivious to her watching, or the sadness that it brings.

Play happily in the sunshine, The only diamonds they know, are set in lovers rings.

 

 

The photograph (with permission, on loan from Diane Hartnell)

On attending one of the fabulous workshops at the Theatre Royal Bury Saint Edmunds. We were challenged to use pictures as a starting point, to twist the scene and produce a piece of performance for a show called ‘The Other ends.’

The poem above ‘Diamonds,’ is my response. Performed at the Bury arts festival on 19th June. Our group will be on stage between 11am and 12 noon, where we will be accompanied by two choirs and when all the ‘Other Ends’ will be showcased.

I would love to know “have you pushed the boundaries of comfort and put yourself on the stage, if so how did it go?” Leave a comment I just love to chat.

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Five Tasty Buttons.

Five chocolate buttons were the undoing of her.

There, on the saucer adjacent to her empty mug sat the five caramel filled white chocolate covered buttons. The child watched the door for Mothers return. A hand slithered surreptitiously towards the willow patterned saucer and grabbed. The woman snatched and stuffed them into her dribbling maw. A cacophony followed, the child shrieked, her Mother pointed … police were called.

Because of those innocuous chocolate delicacies … she finds herself in the Church hall attending addicts anonymous.

Gingerly she stood screwing her finger round a tail of escaped hair, “My name is Josy” she lied; they all did, “I am addicted to … she mumbled … dregs.” Her cheeks took on a shade of beetroot. “I have to eat or drink what others leave.” You could hear a fly attempting to kill its self against the Gothic Window, bump, bump it went.

Her breathy speak and wet palms were proof of her struggle. Tom the resident peeper began the rousing clap, congratulating Josy for managing to admit the shameful addiction, the first step is always the most difficult.

At the end of the share session, they mingled over tea and chocolate covered hobnobs. She didn’t accept a cup or plate. Tom thought it was her resistance technique. So quietly he lay his palm on her shoulder and nodded. Josy, startled, shrugged him away and scowled. People eventually said their goodbyes and drifted off. Except for one … Josy, she hid behind a pillar until they had gone.

The weekly rag ran with the headlines … Local woman detained for psychiatric assessment, The lady who so far remains unnamed had to be forcibly restrained after being found under a table in the Church of Mary and Saint Ethlereds hall. Beside her, saliva smeared plates and cups scattered willy-nilly across the newly laid oak floor. The distraught rector had to be sedated at the scene. Through his sobs, he told of being unceremoniously grabbed by the leg; pulled beneath trestles and forced to endure such an abomination. “She was sucking on my fingers licking my palms for the longest time; it was awful.” He cried.

The Jane Doe was held under section 136 of the mental health act for 72 hours to be assessed as to her competency to stand trial, this being her second arrest in as many weeks.

I love to hear your thoughts, it helps me hone my craft. Play along, tell me in the comments what other fabricated addictions could the people have … in this church hall.

Five Paragraphs on the shaping of me.

“How many times must I tell you?” my Mother shouted. “How many times must I tell you, question mark” Is what my young self-heard. Like all good girls, I answered. A question should be answered, or you might be remembered as rude. I twisted my fingers like a church and steeple; stood on tippy toes and wore my most thoughtful look. “Maybe twice Mummy, I might not quite hear you with once … If I was doing something else … like reading.”Β  Shuffling backwards I sucked in my breath. “I might not hear … the first time.” I continued, I was careful with my answer, making sure to not say too many words or smile too much while I spoke. Unbeknown to me, that was not the right answer. I knew this because Mummy’s lip curled and her face twisted, into that not nice face, the one that made my knickers wet, which she liked even less than my answer; Five I was then.


My school uniform was still being worn when Mum came in looking for me; frowning. My buttons all skew-whiff, socks wrinkled into my shoes and my book firmly clasped between ink-stained fingers; behind my back. I stood straight and looked into her eyes while she spoke, knowing I should have changed before finishing that page, then she would not be as cross. Why hadn’t I? Simple, my book called me. I looked down at my shoe while I rubbed it against my calf; blackening my sock. Both hands were behind my back; clasping Black beauty. This left me unprotected, unprotected against falling, losing my balance. But I was not showing my book, not for anything. “How dare you answer me back, you defiant girl” I felt Mummy’s spittle land on my face as she snarled and poked me with her finger. “I was, only trying to answer Mummy” I whispered. “Just you say that once more girl!” That statement was another trap I fell into when I was small. Even though I was being asked to repeat something, I should never, ever do it. If I did, sore legs, no tea and bed would follow. That’s when my books became best friends. Under the blankets with my penlight torch between my teeth; I treasured that torch. I could check for bogeymen or the devil  … she said he would get my tongue if I lied, so I had to be vigilant.

I was one of a family of five, at least until my youngest sister came along when I was six. Six years and four months old, that was when she appeared; all soft and smiley, smelling of milk and baby powder. She came with a plethora of things I had never seen before. Mum and Dad must have done a deal on a job lot; my eldest sister said. There came a van with a carry-cot a bath with a stand, a chair that bounced, bags of rompers, dresses, vests and cardigans. There were lidded buckets, nappies, both muslin and towelling. Then there were the toys. My toys, I had outgrown them … so Mummy said. Off they went,  with new ones in her box. How she came to be, or how that happened, I am sure my sisters wondered as much as me.  But it did, and there she was, making the family of parents with four girls. She was no bother, she would be asleep when we left for school and asleep or about to sleep when we came home; so I only recall her being around at the weekends and holidays. With two older sisters to help, I didn’t get much of a look in; not old enough to be trusted and not experienced at life. My help was to sit next to her chair and read her stories, and of course to call out if there were any smells.

Learning the meaning of things is easier on a page, you can see the question marks and commas. ” When is a question, not to be answered?” By ten years old I knew better, but at five I hadn’t realised. You had to read the face, and interpret the tone that words were delivered in; if you were to understand. At ten, I knew when not to answer … though answering back was still a confusing one. As is, ‘just you come here.’ You do have to go as soon as it is said; not too quick, or too slow. I do not remember being taught to read faces or voices. It was something it seems you just had to know. It felt like I had to … just know, quite a lot Whilst growing up.

By fifteen I had learned to negotiate, compromise and keep my head down and nose clean. I had been working since I was fourteen, after school and at weekends. Sweeping and tea making in the hair salon, fetching coats and always smiling; part of the job. I lived in a lodging house and had an apprenticeship in hair and beauty, and for the most part, I coped nicely. Being fifteen was a time of hard work and independent living. I paid minimal rent; part of which was to cook the odd lunch for the landlady’s Father. Rent was paid for with three jobs. The hairdressers, the night cafe behind the Mace shop, and working every Sunday in a posh coffee shop in a neighbouring town. The reading of expressions came in handy at the salon, especially for nodding and smiling in the right places. Having my hair and nails done at work was a perk of the job and gave me an air of sophistication, or so I thought. Mixing with the elite as well as knowing good manners. I was brought up with, and my compulsion to read anything I could get my hands on made for a well-rounded, smart, nicely spoken, hard-working young woman. During this time my evenings were filled with writing, poetry mostly, all tucked between the pages of my favourite books. There I was secretly hoping Louisa M Alcott would permeate my work; improve it, as if by magic. But, as all fifteen-year-olds were back then, I was very naive.

My top five books were:
Alice in Wonderland
Black beauty
Mary Poppins
Little Women.
These taught me that words were wonderful … as long as they are kept in order. Books were my friends and writing could catch your fears on paper. Much better than in your chest.

So here we are with the power of five. Five senses, five elements, five digits on hands and feet. Five paragraphs and five Blogger Bashes. What more could anyone want?

I am unable to add this to the blog competition as alas, I got carried away. 375 was the count to stay below to qualify. This piece, is three times longer so I place it here to share with those who might enjoy a read. Iwould like to know if you have found it impossible on occasion. To tame a flash fiction to sit between the numbers required. Please comment I love to talk. .. 🎢😲🎡

Letting Her Go … As Good Mums Do.

Today, is due day for my daughters first baby. As a Mother of some grown up children myself; I have done this from a different angle. *eyes water at memories* I know, due days are often not met … like trains, busses and planes; some are on time, others not so much. My daughter has been and is a wonderful Aunt to four nieces under four and two nephews 12 and 13. Her brothers will vouch for the wonder of Aunt Lisa.

So, my nail biting began a few days ago. This is where the true “let them go” has to be as painful as when she moved out to uni.

Empty nesting; though I missed her, was where I got to see if I had successfully raised an independent young woman; one that would thrive in the world. I had and did and patted my back ‘Good job.’ That was between silent moments of abject fear. Wanting to drag her back, hold her tight and wield off any baddy who dared to upset my baby girl, with every minuscule breath I had.

Today is another test. I must wait, stand back, allow my son-in-law to do the things that they both need him to do. As he is great husband and smashing friend to my girl; I trust him implicitly. But, do I want to be there holding her hand? taking her pain away? Laughing, crying with her, when they wrap that darling bundle and put it in her arms. One hundred percent I do.

But I won’t, I will wait until I am invited to see them, until I meet the infant and check out his or her face, count the toes and fingers. I will smell the scent of purity, innocence and grandchild. My place will be to show patience and restraint. But it feels as hard as letting her go the first time. *Blows nose* well hopefully I will do better when the moment actually comes. Emotional mess comes to mind … Now I wasn’t expecting that. *wipes eyes. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ˜’ I am letting her go as good Mums do.

I thank Pixabay for the image of toes and ask

“Is this just me having a not so private melt down? Is psychiatry required?” Just shake me in form of a comment … I obviously am in dire need. … Pass the handkerchiefs *sniff sniff*

Our lonely planet Is left with the worlds Lonliest Whale, singing forlornly in the incorrect Hertz

Time never holds its breath When you can’t catch yours.

The sun does not forget to rise,

from behind closed doors.

Strength will appear from nowhere,

It slips beneath a storm filled cloud.

Allowing you to breathe in its beauty,

And hear nature sigh out aloud.

Our world continues turning,

Despite sadness in our eyes.

Or the sound of the earth failing,

The throbbing beat of babies cries.

Our Earth begins to rumble,

Beneath the seafloor.

For the Wildlife, there is no saving,

Sea creatures have long gone,

Except for the cries of number 52

As he sings his lonely song.

When our world is bare and barren,

Can no longer deliver what we need.

Too late they see the destruction,

As floods drown out the last seed.

To hear the facts of no.52 press here Every day I become more fearful for our world if only each of us took it upon ourselves to change one thing … we could prevent my words from coming true. ” What could or do you do to help?” Leave me your thoughts, I love to chat. πŸ˜‡

Take Care Not to Become The Next Project Abandoned.#FridayFictioneers

If you would like to read more or join in please πŸ”œ click here

Thank you for the prompt photo below Ted Strutz.

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We holidayed, near Dijon; in Burgundy. In a Farmhouse with orchards a rambling landscape and numerous trees. After visiting Les Halles for picnic food and Burgundy. We strolled around the grounds; warming our souls in the suns rays. Idyllic and perfect. We came upon a car as if years earlier someone climbed out; never to return. An inspection revealed several old cars, one with a family of Door-mice living in the glove box. On our return, John asked.”Projects are they?” Waving behind himself. With a derisive snort, Pierre answered in a clear authoritative voice. “Projects sir * … Projects abandoned.”

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We holiday in beautiful sleepy slow places to chill and capture the moments we sometimes neglect. It refreshes the bond and reminds us how without thought or consideration we too could so easily become project abandoned. Thank you for reading do you think we all should consciously work at connecting with our relationships? Or is it snowflake mentality you’re married so get on with it? let me know in the comments I simply love to chat.