Tag Archives: #LWG

‘Remembering Things’ – a poem.

‘Remembering Things’ – a poem.

Remembering things;

watches, and strings

on ancient guitars;

places I’ve been,

bands that I’ve seen,

the purchase of dodgy old cars;

people I’ve known,

styles I’ve outgrown,

that time that I landed on Mars;

the toys that I’ve had,

hols with Mum and Dad;

collecting bugs in jam jars.

Liskeard Writers Group Prompt for 05-11-2019: “Explosive Possibilities.”

LWG Prompt for 05-11-2019:

“Explosive Possibilities.”

I wasn’t sure what to write for the prompt ‘Explosive Possibilities’ – in fact, I had the barest scattering of any ideas at all upon the subject.

So… I left it… for a week. For two weeks. For nearly ‘three’ weeks.

And, then, I started writing.

Then, I stopped.

Then, I considered whether I should write ‘sensible’ or ‘silly’.

Not much discussion inside my head to be had there.

So, it’s silly. It’s nearly always silly.

And so I give you (for what it’s worth):

‘Silly Explosive Possibilities.’

There was this guy, named Guy (or Guido, if you prefer) who was a bit of a wiz when it came to the world of explosives. He was a Cataholic. Which was not a good thing to be in the early Jacobean era: James the First (Jacobus Prima) was a lover of soft fruit, translating Bibles, and writing naughty Limericks – I may have made that last one up to fit the list to the ‘rule of three’.

‘There once was a king, name of James,

Who lived in a house by the Thames;

He was a Stewart, you know;

Back to Scotland, wouldn’t go;

and his house, almost went up in flames –

because of the Gunpowder Plot, as you like it as not.’

That wasn’t one of his naughty ones.

‘There once was a lady from Troon…’

No, no…

“There was a young man hailed from Glamis;

Who covered his body in jams—“

No, that’s not suitable for present company.

“There was a young lady from Buckie;

Who was always—

I can say no more of that one.

Anyway, getting back to this guy, Guy (or Guido) it seems (from my small amount of research) that he was also a bit of a drinker – he certainly liked ‘rolling out the barrel’, and, importantly to the narrative of this tale (sorry, this historical account) he liked cats. Well, it also seems that he got in with a bad crowd, a fanatical group of cat-aficionados, who were well unhappy about James the King, and his ‘not’ ‘liking’ ‘cats’ – at least they didn’t know about his grandson’s future ‘liking’ ‘of’ ‘dogs’, – that would really have rattled their… well, rattles.

So, we return to Guy and his antics; which were: being the ‘go-to-guy’ when any wrong-doing needing doing (not that he did the doing wrong, oh, no); he was proficient (and pretty darn good – but, not pretty darn good looking -he was pretty darn good at darning, too) in sourcing all manner of powders (washing, baking, gun, and so on) in quantities not to be sneezed at; and, you should never sneeze when you are around gun-powder, as it is very vol-au-vent and could explode in your face with the slightest encouragement.

Back to the story.

The telling of history is often written by the victors, and biased towards them, and against those defeated, as in the cases of William the Conker, Henry the Seventieth, Oliver The Crumb, and then immediately rewritten by those that followed them, as in the case of William Roofless, Henry the Ate-To-Much, and Victor-Victoria, the ‘I’m as wide as I am tall’ monarch who reigned until she stopped reigning, and her son came out (but, not in that way – allegedly).

But, that is ‘other’ history. We are focusing (albeit very loosely) on the events of the Earl of Seventeenth. Century.

The early seventeenth century, is what I meant. The threat of the Spanish Armadillo had long faded into the annals of time, whereby the Spinach Inquisition was a thing that was very real to a lot of Protesting warships that were docked in harbours in England, Holland, Grimsby, and the Newt World.

Back to the Fifth of November, sixteen hundred and six, and there is a very simple rhyme to help you remember this date:

“The Day a Fox Nearly Blew Up Parliament”

‘The Day was a Tuesday;

when the Lords were supposed to blow up;

the plotters’ plot was foiled on a Monday;

one day before,

(not four);

remember ‘this’ rhyme,

if you ‘ever’ have the time.’

which poem is, even today, taught to the small children at all the major universities, the length and breadth (or width, if you prefer) of the land.

Hoops! And this is the bit where I try to recite the continuation of the story whilst walking the dogs… because what could possibly go wrong there.

Spoiler alert: after the failed plot, King James the first day the first day the first day Thursday the first day the thirsty know the thirsty thank you decided do you have pictures drawn of the plotters the pictures with and cut into 4/4 and hung in galleries around London and hand and galleries around London straight enough none of the pictures had hence so you couldn’t really tell who was home or who with who apart from their initials which were embroidered onto there I am jackets shall we say GF Prosam Paul was Guy Fawkes and GS was goalscorer I am and this is How the cat a Hollick netball team gained their notoriety.

(… don’t you just hate it when the ‘auto-correct’ function on your phone autocorrects-corrects’ something that you wanted to write incorrectly).

Perhaps I should wait until I finish the dog walk before continuing.

Here, I am; and not a dog-walk in sight – by the way, is a dog-walk different time a cat-walk? and, come to think of it, what is a cake-walk

I’ll translate that previous section for you:

Spoiler Alert: After the failed plot, King James the Thirsty decided to have pictures drawn of the plotters, the pictures were then cut into four and hung in galleries around London, although none of the pictures had heads, so nobody could tell who was whom, or whom was who, apart from them having their initials embroidered onto their jackets, GF was for Guy Fawkes, and GS was Goal Scorer, and this was the Cataholic Netball Team destined to be remembered for all of posterity.

The Plot for the whole caper was discovered when a Christmas Card to the 4th Baron Monteagle was sent with the PostScript: Sending this early, Nuncle, as busy blowing up the inflatable House of Parliament at the moment.

Guy Fawkes may have died… I think that that is the case, as no records of his having lived after 16-0-5 have been found… but his memory… probably died with him – I know not how the brain works.

And, to finish with a bang?

Hold on, is that the King or Queen’s Royal Loyal Men running up the stairs that I hear, with their fire extinguishers primed ready for action? And are they all too closely followed by the King or Queen’s Royal Loyal Bomb Squad?

I told Catesby it was too early to send out his Crimbo cards!

Two 10-Minute Exercises – Upon entering a room (happy and sad versions)

Two 10-Minute Exercises – Upon entering a room (happy and sad versions)

(LWG Exercise 06-08-2019)

Entering a room (with a happy perspective)

I walked in and looked up – the ceiling could do with a coat of paint… perhaps, even an overcoat; maybe a thick trench-coat. I chuckled.

Well, at least our eight-legged friends were enjoying their lofty playground – I could just imagine them hop-scotching across a numbered grid.

Come to think of it ‘that’ was an image that didn’t quite work – ‘two legs good (at hopscotch): eight legs four times better…?

Ha! I would leave that mathematical conundrum rolling around the empty corridors of my mind. I was happy for the spiders; they were probably indifferent to the plight of all mankind, not just me.

‘It’s one small step-ladder for man;

one giant leap-frog for mankind.’

I was in that sort of a mood.

I pulled out a chair and sat down – much better than doing sit-ups.

The room had seen better days – and, admittedly, it had almost certainly seen far worse ones. If Charles the First had visited this space would he have thought of the illustrious being that would follow in his footsteps nearly four centuries later?

I giggled at this, and thought:

if you can’t keep your head

whilst all around are round heads

then you will just have to be relevant in the

memory that you leave behind.

Wasn’t there a portrait of him just down the stairs?

What a Charlie he had been.

—//—

Entering the same room (with an unhappy perspective)

I walked in and looked down – the floor was dank, dreary, dusty. Scuff marks had left a series of black lines that looked like somber crossings-out or redactions upon the tarnished surface of the dry tongue and not so groovy floorboards.

A layer of something vaguely human skin-cell like coated the furniture – it pays to clean otherwise the flakes of humanity build up and can create dust-bunnies in a room. Dust-bunnies? Yes, evil little critters with dark red eyes, they live under tables and in the knot holes of skirting-boards, waiting for a chance to steal away the joyous life of a happy chappie, leaving only a deep pit of loss and a numbness that feels like a curtain hanging by its neck, swaying morbidly from a wooden pole as the life-force drips from the drop… one. molecule. at. a. time.

My eyes settled upon my feet; which seemed to be sinking into the wooden floor surface – that may not have been likely; but, it now turned out that it was possible.

I awaited my descent into the fabric of this room with all the enthusiasm that I could muster – which was none.

“Wellies”

‘Wellies’ – LWG prompt for 06-08-2019: I should have worn my wellies.

“I should have looked after my wellies – then I would have been able to wear them today. Sadly, knowing that I should have worn my wellies, does not make up for the fact that I did not ‘actually’ wear them.”

said Pam Ayres – for it was she, my impersonation was of.

‘If it wassnae for ma wellies

where would I be…?’ (Billy Connolly)

Who asked a good question, for which there are, it seems, no good, or interesting, answers.

When should I have worn them?

I must apologise for my questions, they are quite adamant that they have to be asked and, sometimes, even to me, seem unusually brusque in their manner – it is often the way with questions.

Answers seem to be less forthcoming, more reserved, upon this subject – being outnumbered, as they are.

So, what more is there to say?

“Lots!” I hear you cry.

Please, stop crying. Dry your wyes, cross your teas, and dot your… jays? Wasn’t there a time when jays had the privilege of being dotted? Anyway, are we ready to continue?

But, Ha! Rhetorical questions are also a nightmare, aren’t they? – for, by the time that you realise that one had been asked, it is already too late and you have fallen into the trap of trying to answer it.

‘My Wellingtons’ for sixty seconds without repetition, deviation, or hesitation. Starting now!

My Wellingtons weren’t named after the famous Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, but after one of his most famous victories, the Battle of Wellington, New Zealand in 1827 – a skirmish largely forgotten by modern day historians who tend to extricate the minutiae of details from several other sundry altercations that occurred in the early 19th century or before, possibly after. My wellingtons are called Leftie and Rightie or Laurel-Wreath and kiss-me-Hardy, or some such similar epithets that I am unusually lax in remembering – being of unsound mind, you laugh, please – my Wellingtons fit me like a glove – which, in itself, is a problem, as I am cursed by having no thumbs upon my feet – to be brutally honest – I have no toes upon my hands either – I’m not from Norfolk, I’ll have you know – nor am I Anne Boleyn – which should be staggeringly obvious to anybody who has even the smallest smattering of knowledge when it comes to Tudor history. Henry the Seventh’s son, the eighth, was largely careless when it came to looking after his wives, they all seemed to end up shorter or locked up in a secluded sanctuary or monastery somewhere, only to die of old age, the plague, or boredom.

The Silly Season is upon us.

The Silly Season is upon us.

a Liskeard Writers Group 10-Minute Exercise – Prompt 2: Fallacy.

We renamed the seasons – they had been called the same names for so long; Spring became ‘Bounty’, Summer became ‘Heat’, Winter was renamed ‘Cold’, and Autumn became ‘Time of the dropping leaves from the trees when the Earth sighs with relief at the time of Harvest. The Americans decided that this was Fallacy.

We decided to rename America as The Land of the Giants, they renamed Britain as Limeland.

Everybody else looked on from the sidelines as the silly-season began.

We thought about that and made up a fifth season – Silly.

Well, you would – wouldn’t you?

—//—

Vivaldi the XVIIth re-imagined his great, great, great, great x 4’s grandfather’s classical interpretation of the four seasons, adding in the fifth fo comical effect.

SFX: Daaaaaa-diddlie-op-de-de

fiddle-op-de-do-de-da-

and on it went.

—//—

Further to this…

the classic Italian pizza, the Quattro Formaggio, now included Cheesecake as the fifth section – there was a reaction of disbelief at first, but it was surprisingly popular, astonishing the world with it’s combination of flavours.

So, at least some good had come out of the Silly Season.

Prompt: William Blake Quotation

LWG prompt for 16-07-2019

Quote: “To see a world in a grain of sand

and a heaven in a wild flower,

hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”

by William Blake

I read the words, the understanding of which was not immediately apparent to me. Nor did their meaning become any clearer within days, weeks, months, long years – decades even.

I hadn’t spent every second of that time thinking upon the quote from William Blake, that would have been a strange career; but, I did return to perusing their meaning every once in a long and wearisome while.

None of the actual words were a problem to me, it was just their combination together that caused the headaches,

‘that flesh is heir to- ‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d’,

as Hamlet once soliloquised.

Saying that, I really don’t know what it has to do with anything, never mind the aforementioned quotation.

And, saying that, a quotation is just that: something spoken once (or written down) and then discussed or argued over for years (Centuries even) to come.

I may have digressed – I do that. Sometimes, I just waffle on about something when I really should be focussed and keeping to the point of the whole contentious issue – such as that time when I was talking about the possible existence of life on Mars and then I rambled on about how the Marathon bar became the Snickers bar and how the Mars bar stayed the same – did you know that Wagon Wheels are exactly the same size as they used to be, even though popular opinion is that they were once larger, and are now smaller, than they were.

Returning to the William Blake quotation that I quoted earlier, if you remember – wasn’t it a corker? – I have to say that, if I had chosen a quote, I wouldn’t have chosen that one; but, as it ‘was’ chosen for me, I shall limit myself to commenting upon its merits, rather than discussing the dubious benefits of a different, and more popular quotation, that seems to be the wise thing to do at this moment in time, or ‘now’ as ‘this moment in time’ actually means.

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes. William Blake. 1757 to 1827 – approximately half an hour, to be imprecise, or seventy years in old money.

He wrote the quote. And was a bit of a pote, to boot.

He couldn’t give a hoot about owls; although he did consider the use of tea-towels to be a waste of new material – and so never ever mentioned them in his stand-up routines.

What he was saying in his quote – if you can still remember it – was that if you can, ‘see a world in a grain of sand’

and ‘a heaven in a wild flower,’

and, also ‘hold infinity in the palm of your hand’

along with ‘eternity in an hour.’

then that pretty much sums up the idea of something or other.

Which my saying of that should have helped you to understand the “interesting” quotation… as much as I do.

Yes?

No.

Well, to put it another way.

“To see a world in a grain of sand…”

Is to see great detail in a teensy-tiny, minute item – grain of sand, rice, split lentil or atom –

“… and a heaven in a wild flower,”

is to realise the wondrous beauty that there is in Nature.

“…hold infinity in the palm of your hand…”

is to see possibilities to the nth degree as available to you, for your perusal, at your leisure, so to speak.

“…and eternity in an hour.”

is saying that you can make a moment last a lifetime, and even beyond – in some cases, longer.

It is really no surprise that Stan from ‘On The Buses’ really hated Blakey.

And that vague 1970’s TV reference finishes my clear and well defined essay upon the words that which were given to us for us to do that which what where we would.

To be honest, I just can’t wait for the rest of the poem to be suggested as a prompt – and, BTW (by the way) can I just say here and now that I loved Blake’s 7 – his finest hour so far.

“Absent Friends!”

“Absent Friends!” – A Liskeard Writers Group prompt for a 15-minute exercise.

(LWG exercise 02-07-2019)

We gathered around the round table and took the register of names.

It was sad that every year the knights became fewer; this time Sir Lachrimae was absent (tears were shed for his loss) and Sir Hector de Maine was counted as being amongst the fallen at Caer Baden.

The spaces at the grand old table of Arthur were almost matching those places filled by the elderly knights.

That was another thing, there were three present that wouldn’t be lasting past Lammas-time, their ailing and failing bodies soon to succcumb to ‘la Morte’.

Arthur raised his chalice. The room hushed as the knights, standing strong around the circle, finished raising their armoured arms to place their own goblets to within a touch of their stubbled and bearded chins.

“Absent friends!” Quoth Arthur.

“Absent friends!” came the response from the room.

They drank, thinking of those who had taught them to bear arms, fought alongside them through quests and battles, and who had fallen in mortal conflict when their time to go had arrived.

It was soon after this meeting that many of the knights decided to go on individual quests in search of grails; to find saintly places lost to knowledge, or to take up hermit status in caves in the woods or the mountains.

The Holy realm of Logres was fading quickly and would soon become a legend that would inspire the hearts of many in the centuries and millennia to come.

Arthur, king, hero, knight of the round table, founder of Camelot, was to become the once and future king – if legends are to be trusted he will return at the time of England’s greatest need.

But, legends being what they are, he may never be seen by any, apart from in a few written documents and the many tales that were ignited by England’s need for a giant in history.

The legend is still growing, Camelot, Tintagel, Arthur’s Seat, Badon and Silbury Hills, Logres, Glastonbury, and the like have claimed his name throughout the centuries, and shall do so for many more.

Hic Jacet Arthurus. Here lies Arthur.