The Shanty

Shack

​Maverick Mustang Manuscripts  

   

Prelude.
I have a secret.
I am the last of my race.
We existed in peace and harmony for many eons of millennia
Even before the first formation of the Order of Jedi Knights
Then the Emperor ordered the testing of the Death Star.
The rest is history......


****************

Talking Blues

It’s early December,
The days are getting so damn dark.
But the nights are worse though,
They’re pitch-black.

It’s eight years to the day.
Since that stupid accident
Ended my career as a mailman.
Put me on crutches
For more than a month.
 
Halfway thru that time,
We heard the news that my father was dying;
And wasn’t being expected,
To make the night out.
But such was his love for life,
He lasted a full further week.

We got the grandkids,
Staying for the weekend.
Word is their ma has upped and left.
Really not lookin’ forward
To bein’ the one breakin’ that news.

Reminds me of the time,
Way back now;
When the same thing happened,
To my young ‘uns.

But then they were so much younger.
Barely babes in arms.
So they didn’t feel the pain,
That’s gonna be the lot
Of these here other twos.

So is it any wonder
That I’ve decided to call
This here poem.....
‘Talking Blues’? ...
**************

Random Ramblings & Reflections on the Events of Westminster on Wednesday

On a day when we should have been discussing dialogue,
In the Dun Cow in the evening.
I found the makings of a monologue.

I heard Richard wants us to have a 'jolly' in June
To the British Library.
In order to maybe find some 'inspiration' for our writing.
But what 'writer' needs it,
When real life is happening all the time around us?

Maybe that is why the 'College Green Spy' and I
Will never probably really see eye to eye.

Some details of the facts that have come out of yesterday's events
Prove sufficient subject material for reflection
And maybe further expansion.

It was announced yesterday by Easy Jet that from now on,
All laptops, tablets & electronic devices are to be stored in the hold;
Rather than in hand luggage for security reasons,
On flights from certain Middle Eastern countries.
Are they really sure that is a good idea?

It has come to light that three of the pedestrians who got injured,
Were policemen returning from a ceremony at New Scotland Yard;
Across the way to Westminster Palace.
Where they had just received commendations for bravery.

Another point to ponder upon is the fact that when the policeman who died
Left for work in the morning, he was was fully expecting to return home
To his family at the end of his shift.

I also see that President Trump in the infinite wisdom
Of his daily tweet to the World promises
That there will be 'Revenge' for the outrage.

And as I heard someone else comment;
Whether the atrocity was was the action of one man working alone,
Or if it was part of an organised action by a terrorist group.
It didn't matter to the victims, the results were just the same.

*Codicil *
In a statement today,
The PM, Theresa May.
Said the perpetrator was well known
To our national security organisations
As an extremist, with radical views.
But that it was considered historic.
And he was no longer currently under observation


******************





Toby's Tale

Took me a knife,
To just another nigga's neck.
No reason really.
An' I still don't know why.
Maybe the Red Mist
Was just running high.

Didn't matter none
That the blade was blunt,
The S.O.B, still squealed,
An' tole the teecher.
The lyin' c**t!

Next day, the proverbial
Really hit the fan,
An' I became what is known
As an Excluded, man.

The muthas had a meeting,
Decided they didn't
Want me there,
Disrupting their day-time duties.
An' I was out on my arse or was it my ear,?
*This was written about my grandson *
*****************
SWAN SONG (New Beginnings)

I heard the other day
That a friend had reached
That famous fork
On the Road of Life.
You know the one I mean.
The point where you have to decide
Whether to continue' to listen to the lies, spoken softly by fools' 
Or do as in the song made famous by Sinatra,
'Say the words you truly feel and not those of one who kneels'.
He voted with his feet,
And handed in his resignation there and then.
Not an easy decision to make
In these hard economic times.
He is no spring chicken,
And has been doing the job,
For a very long time.
Training for something else 
Will be hard,
And our benefit schemes,
Frown strongly on people who voluntarily
Make themselves unemployed.
So financial support will be short
In coming for the foreseeable future,
I am sure.

But he has always been
A man of high principles,
And has never struck me as a coward
In any situation
That required forthright action.
I wish him all the best for his future. 
Down whatever road
He decides to travel,
And wherever
It may take him.

****************************************
Everyone's a Critic!

To all those hecklers in the crowd,
Who sometimes shout when I read aloud;
To them, I have but one thing to say;
This time pals, you didn't have to pay.
But believe me, there'll come the day,
When you will.
For then I'll be famous,
And the price of bacon will be considerably higher;
For a pig is so much harder to catch when it's a flyer!

​************************************************
A walk on the wild side

I moved to this town,
But I soon found there was no place to go;
Came the dark of the night,
I was lost, and all alone.
I was told of a place where,
For a price;
People like I could go.
Thought I'd do myself a favour,
And go and see;
But when I got there,
It was just a facsimile.
Not all are limp-wristed,
Frail and weak;
Not all take mincing steps,
And are openly called 'freak'.
Some are strong,
But gentle and kind;
And the only real difference,
Is the state of their mind.
Every man is gay,
To some degree,
They must be;
To walk into a public urinal,
And covertly show the world;
That which many claim to be,
Their prize possession.
The bonhomie of the pub,
The camaraderie of the barrack room;
The awe of the terraces.
The extent of our relationships,
Are merely a point of view.
Some are more involved, than others;
That is all.
*************************
'Anyone know...?'
​Anyone know about paranoid schizophrenia?

My mum,dad, brother, 
And my uncle
They all did get it,
Must be genetics.

Poor little ol' me,
I kept seeing the doctors and medics
Trying different methods, on how to address it.

Now my mum got it first, and she had it the worst
But don't take that from me though,
These are the words from the nurse.

She was found sat outside
Tooting Broadway tube station,
With my sister in the pram, nothing in her hand,
Convinced she was feeding the birds.

She rejected the help, which affected her health
She lost a lot of weight,
And had to wear size-six jeans,
Held up with a belt.
Friends came up to me,saying they just saw her
On the Number Seven bus, arguing with herself.

Things came to a head once.
When I asked for chicken,
And she cooked me some ham.

Being the kind of guy that I am,
I chucked it back at her.
She just picked up the pan,
And that's when I ran.

Does anyone know about paranoid schizophrenia?

Cos' my mum, my dad, brother,
And my uncle.
They all did get it.

No, I don't know why,
But they all did get it.

Now listen, 
My brother,he was blazing weed,
Grinning through the haze
And scoffing blue cheese
And then I caught him sniffing yay,
Off my front door keys.

He was only about sixteen then
So I notified all the drug dealers in our area,
Don't be serving him please.

And that's when he went mad
He wanted what he can't have.
So he overdosed on diazepams.
That he took from my dad.

Spent five months in a coma,
And when he woke up,
It went from him being mad,
To fucked in the head.

He tried to jump under a bus
And ten minutes later, 
He went to the police station,
And told them that he sold drugs.

Then he went up to Streatham Common, 
To see his mate's young son.
There an ambulance 
Had to pick him up
Cos' he got overly drunk.

Does anyone know about paranoid schizophrenia?

Voices going back and forth,
Like the ball in tennis.

It has been over ten years now,
Since I last saw my uncle.
Heard he hung himself, 
Life, he just couldn't take it.

I went to the mental home,
To visit my brother Trevor last year
And bumped into my other cousin Norman
I didn't even know was there.

It was fate,
It was all over the papers.
Cos' Trevor escaped,
And killed two kids..

Does anyone know about paranoid schizophrenia?

*************

The Pale Rider

‘There came a pale rider. His name was Death.
And the grave did follow him.’


*Revelations 6:1-8*

 
I was there.....

A bullet in the wrong place,

At the right time;

Can change the world forever.


I was in the single bullet

Fired from a madman's gun.

That killed Archduke Ferdinand,

And caused World War One.


I was down there in Dallas,

Back in nineteen sixty-three;

'Twas I, who murdered the president,

Caused Jack Ruby to kill Lee.


Now Martin was a King,

In more ways than one,

He raised his people by saying,

“Look what to us, they have done"

But some white folks,

Didn't like it;

So he became the victim,

Of yet another cheap gun.


I was in the American theatre,

Back in the eighteen sixties too,

When yet another hombre thought

That he had a mission to do;

Or I'm guessing that was the thinking,

Of the guy who shot Abe Lincoln.


I first wrote this poem,

Back in seventy nine.

Since then, many others,

Have had their lives,

Laid on the line.


In eighty, Chapman,

Read 'Catcher in the Rye',

Fate then decreed,

It was John Lennon's

Turn to die.


They shot Ronald Reagan, thrice,

But he survived.

In fact, on Nancy and Maggie's admiration,

He positively thrived.


Saddam Hussein's big gun threat

Made things quite sore,

For the whole Western world,

During the bloody Gulf War.


Arafat and the PLO,

Sat down with the Jews.

Then a stupid student,

Went and made world news.

Now war in the Middle East,

Raises it's ugly head;

Are they really so sure,

Perez is better off dead?


Salamin Rushdie hides,

So the bullets won't reach.

To complete the madness,

Ayatollah Khomeini,

Muslims did teach.


A bullet is just a missile

Of many surprises;

It can come in all of many

Different shapes and sizes;

Some can even hurt those

With Kelvar vests on.

If you don't believe me,

Just ask Simon Weston.


If about Hamilton, to the Scouts,

They didn't complain;

Maybe we would have been spared,

The misery that became Dunblane.


Any damn weapon

Can take a life,

Be it Exocet missile,

Handgun, rifle,

Or even combat knife;

The result is the same,

Another life uselessly lost;

As headmaster Peter Lawrence's

Poor wife found to her cost.


Saddam's antics and efforts

Caused terrible furore;

Back in that bloody Gulf War.

Talking of that time,

Many soldiers got sick,

And even now,

Are ageing too quick.

By the efforts of what then,

Was described by the doctors

As just a 'little prick'.


Talking of Kelvar,

And jackets made for flak;

They still only protect

The front sides and back.

And as every good gunman knows,

Be they assassin, terrorist,

Or even Irish Provo's.

A clear shot to the head,

Will leave them dead.

Every time.


And if you think

That it really needs

An awful lot more confirmation;

I suggest you go ask,

The whole world's

Innocent population.

*********************

 Swansong

Chapter One – Weapon of Choice

It would be his last job. His career had been both long and very successful. Physically, and financially. His unique services had been in high demand both far and wide globally.

And besides, the ‘materials’ were running out. The ‘tools of his trade’ as it were. What was that phrase? “You can’t get the wood anymore” Or in his case, it was the glass.

Funny where inspiration comes from, isn’t it? For him it had been Fredrick Forsyth’s ‘Day of the Jackal’. He’d read it when it first came out, whilst at college. You could say it had shaped his life. It was then that the idea to be a professional assassin had first occurred to him. Another thing he discovered whilst attending said college were the design capabilities of the torpedo bottle patented by William Hamilton in 1814. And when the chance to purchase a job-lot of said bottles manufactured by an Aylesbury firm of Mineral Waters producers that had ceased trading many years previous at a ridiculous knock-down bargain price, it’s fair to say that he jumped at it.

Born the illegitimate son of a Moroccan bar entertainer and a French soldier serving in the Algiers quarter in Africa proved also to useful in that he had dual-nationalities in his own right. This fact had been exploited on numerous occasions whilst attempting to obtain more than one of the several passports he held. Many acquired illegally on the black market, where few pertinent questions are raised during transactions involving the exchange of cash for goods supplied.

Whilst he had a myriad of dubious identities in order to travel the world to perform his nefarious crimes, the fickle finger of fate had intervened early to create the vehicle for his notoriety.

E.North’s Mineral Waters of Manufactory New Road, Aylesbury had a trade mark of a Swan embossed on the said bottles acquired at the auction. Probably influenced by Forsyth’s character’s title, he decided that simply ‘Swan’ would be a suitable pseudonym for himself. Coupled with the fact that he decided that he would need somewhere safe and undetectable to store the volume of bottles actually purchased, he took the unusual action of burying them in woodland rarely visited by anyone. Due to the natural properties of the specialist glass used in the production of these peculiar vessels, an added bonus to the distinctiveness was the iridescence caused by the action of them being underground for so long............  

(To be continued)........
Copyright: Dusti Rodes 2017

******************

   ‘Mumblings’

     Dusti Rodes
 

© Copyright Dusti Rodes

ISBN: 978-1-911377-06-1

MaverickMustangManuscripts


                       Foreword

  Sometimes Martha says some strange stuff. Like the other day. She suddenly came out with,

 “I wonder how one becomes a professional ‘Hit Man’? It’s not exactly a job that you can find easily advertised at the local Job Centre, is it? I suppose it really must be a business for the self-employed person! And how do ‘employers’ contact one? Again I really can’t see it as a situation for ‘business cards’ or an entry in Yellow Pages, do you?”

****************

Contents

NaNoWriMo & All that Jazz ............... 1


“That’s just like you to be leisurely lazing about lying on a lounger LISTENING to lyrics, when you should really be WRITING some! Just because you are staying in Spain at the moment, it doesn’t mean that you should be using the ‘Manana’ approach. What have I told you before about procrastination? But since you are in a musical mood, I’ll go with it and say in the words of from a Beautiful South song: ‘Do you know your problem? You keep it all in...’ When in truth you should be adopting the sentiments of the song from ‘Frozen’ and ‘Let it go...’ I know that you have lots of good ideas but you are not putting any of them down on paper! You were telling someone the other day that you are a techno-dinosaur; no wonder you are becoming extinct...”

“There she goes again, that’s Martha, my Muse. Looks very like I’ve another ear-bashing coming on. It was her idea that I should write this blog. So maybe I should start at the beginning. As SHE has told me many times now that that is always a good starting point for a narrative.  Just sometimes.....

So while I’m listening to her latest outpouring of wisdom, you can all amuse yourselves by reading the background to this point in the proceedings. Hope to see you all on the other side. Tarah for now!”

*****************

NaNoWriMo & All that Jazz

And now the real writing starts. The penny has finally dropped. Martha kept me awake half the night. Martha? I’ve told you about her haven’t I? No? Well let me explain. Martha is my muse. And a right pain in the arse she can be sometimes! Like last night for instance, there I was trying to get some sleep in order to write some more of my novel for NaNoWriMo, when she says “What have I told you? It’s QUALITY not QUANTITY! You’re a bloody poet and a sometime writer of SHORT stories. Not Novels!” “But that’s the name of the game; I’ve got to write fifty thousand words by the end of November, apart from having grown this bloody moustache as well. Then of course I had to go down to Jaywick and close the caravan up for the season over last weekend.

I lost two good writing days over that. Then there were the hospital appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday Fat lot of use they were. Just because that optician at Asda’s didn’t understand my physiology, he sent me to Moorfield’s to get checked out for Glaucoma. Glaucoma! I ask you! For a man that doesn’t like bright lights and wears photo chromatic glasses, to have to go through the palaver that I did the other day was ridiculous. First the nurse, or should I say one of the nurses put what I thought were the drops to dilate my pupils so that the optician would be able to see inside my eye better.

But were they? No they weren’t! Turned out those drops was just the anaesthetic in order to numb my eyes so the first nurse could use her machines and measures to actually touch my eyeballs. “Need to measure them accurately” she said. Turns out one is larger than the other but I could have told her that! And what about all those questions about my personal details? Do I drink? And how much? Is that weekly or daily? I told her that with my three Iron mistresses I would be lucky if it was monthly.” What Iron mistresses?”She asks. “My heart medication” I reply. “And what are they?” So I tell her, don’t I. “Foxglove Extract, Rat Poison, Thyroxin, and Chalk,” 

“What?” she retorted. Gotcha! I thought. “Well, to you they are Digoxin, Warfarin, and Leveothroxin and Ad cal tablets; according to my doctor my Vitamin D levels are low. (Another one who doesn’t understand my physiology!) “Oh, I see” she said. But what I want to know is, in light of the end situation, what’ll happen to all that information? So much for the Data Protection Act, but I don’t trust them any more than I do Face book!” “Face book? What ARE you talking about?” interrupted Martha. “You know! When I first went on the site six years ago, it was a great place to be. Plenty of like-minded creative people to talk to. But now it’s the multi-national bemoth of advertising, everybody’s friends of friends cousins aunts sisters get to know all your details, whether you want them to or not.” “I get the picture” she said. “So what else did this first nurse do then?” “Well, she then went on to EXPLAIN if you will, that your common or garden optician use the puff of air to test the pressure in your eyeball. But not her! She was going to put her little measuring meter right on my eyeballs.” “You may feel a little discomfort, nothing too distressing.” “She should be on the end of it, that’s what I say. Nothing too distressing, my arse! After she had done that she put the searchlight in my face ““Searchlight?” “I don’t know what else you’d call it; after she’d played around with it for a while all I could see was stars. Then she used the blue light thing that created, or should I say split the white light back into the individual hues of the spectrum. Hasn’t had that experience since I was last on Alpha Centauri. But we won’t talk about that too much, will we?” “Wasn’t one of your better efforts, was it?” “You’re a fine one to talk! Look at some of the roads you have had me travel down over the years. Especially the last few.” ”You are always complaining, your exploits have fired imaginations, created a whole raft of new writers.” “But that’s the problem nowadays, isn’t it? With the internet, apps phones, tablets, laptops, social media sites, like Face book, Twitter, Watt pad, Tumblr to name but a few, EVERYBODY thinks they’re a writer! One six line sonnet on StoryENet, and they think they are Robert Frost! You know full well that I’ve had to labour for my efforts. Every one of the accolades today was hard-earned. I put my sessions of burning the mid-night lamp in many a time, haven’t I?” “That you have” agrees Martha. “But not without my help on several occasions, as is the case in question.” “Sorry, what are YOU talking about now?” “As I was saying earlier, before you so badly interrupted me, you are a poet, whose discipline by its very nature crystallises thought in order to use only one word to describe something that in prose will require ten. Volume of output is not your forte. So what are you doing attempting to write a novel of what is it, fifty thousand words, and without me it seems” “Don’t tell me YOU don’t know about NaNoWriMo?” “And who do YOU think created it, then?” “Sorry,” I mumbled, out of the side of my mouth. “Of course you’d know about it, wouldn’t you? Bloody Mrs Know-It All. I thought it was a brilliant cause, with principles so very close to my heart, that I had a bash at doing it this year. Actually, you’re winding me up again, aren’t you? You know full well that I entered it last year and was going to write the story that I’m entering now, but you know perfectly what happened with Linda’s situation at that time.” ”Yes I do, of course. And it was absolutely first rate what you did for her in her very frightening experience. You also know better than most what it is to stare Death in the face. She was totally unprepared for it, and refused to the very end to accept the inevitable. You know all mankind have to meet our Maker sometime, sadly for many it seems too soon. But you also know that He has a purpose in all that HE does. You saw how friends, family reacted to the news and even the situation. For yourself, you have taken away something from the experience. You have written the poem ‘The Big C’ and I know you have stored up the experiences and emotions that you have felt for future use in your writing career. And believe me, Dusti; you are going to have one as a writer. I wouldn’t be wasting my precious efforts on you if I didn’t truly believe in you. That’s why I approached you when I did. You have a lot of natural talent, but you sometimes lack direction, like as we are discussing now for instance. I know full well why you have done what you have, and your intentions are honourable of course. But as usual YOU are going about it the wrong way!  The rule of this competition, and even that is a paradox, because it isn’t a competition as such. It is just really a device in order to try and get people to write. Maybe channel their thought processes into a direction of creative output. You read the Pep talk that you received by yesterday’s messages. But as usual, you were slow to take in the actual message of the piece, weren’t you? Better save this section now, I don’t want to have to repeat myself again, we’ll be here all day that way” “Eh? What did you just say?” “I said SAVE this piece of writing before the computer gets a glitch or your wireless mouse goes into sleep mode and when you try and pick it up to save this script it’ll kick in and go back to start like it did when you wrote that two thousand word article on StoryENet the other month. And you wouldn’t want to have to do that again now would you?” “No I wouldn’t!” “Then just use the touch pad, because I can see that the mouse HAS gone to sleep now and just save this piece of writing NOW!” “OK, you win!”

  “Great stuff! As it happens we are both winners, because I understand that now, due to your previous efforts, (and without my intervention I might add,) but then again if you believe that you really have spent the last seven days alone, you really are a bigger fool than I take you for! (But you also know that I don’t underestimate you at all. As I have told you many times before I trust you as far as I can throw you, and I cannot even lift you off the ground!) Anyway, as I was about to say, I believe that now your daily word count average to reach fifty thousand words by the completion date at the end of November is something like fourteen hundred words a day. Well, it seems that with this little conversation between us, we have more than covered today’s quota. And you haven’t finished telling about the rest of your experiences at Moorfields on Tuesday; let alone what happened on Wednesday. See you tomorrow then? Bye for now!

“So what is the battle plan today, then?” “What do you mean?” “I hear that today is the NaNothon, (No word count left behind) “What is your local region doing? Anything?” “I understand that they have a guest speaker at the Library in Milton Keynes. But I can’t go because I have a previous engagement.” “So what is happening with your writing schedule today?” “Doesn’t look like I’ll get to do any today, it’s a nuisance but my appointment has been a long standing one” “Where are you going? Croydon?” ”Well, yes actually. How do you know about that? That’s stupid, of course you know all about what happened, don’t you?” ”I know we have only been together for what is it? Six years now but I am aware that you have been chronicling your experiences for a lot longer. How long has it been now since it happened? “”It’ll be fourteen tear filled years on Monday”. “Was that a Freudian slip there?” You wrote ‘Standing at the Cenotaph’ on the strength of it, didn’t you?” ”You know I have.” ” Should been in here, along with the one you wrote last year, what was it that you called that one, ‘Remembrance Day’? “Recite them both to me now.”
 “That’s good and what about ‘Standing at the Cenotaph’? Go on, go for it!”

*****************

November the eleventh.

Fourteen years now to the day

That you went far away.

You remain here in my heart.

At this time the ground

Stands cold and bare.

There are no poppies gathered there.

At other times this place

Reflects the golden sun.

Acting as a tribute.

All is quiet as I stand here

Remembering.

Two minutes of silence

Is short measure

For the length of a lifetime.

 ******************

“They are both very good, Dusti, and while we are at it, you should be adding the poems that you wrote about your father. And just remember this is all about playing the word count game so you should be adding the poem that you wrote about Linda in here, the body of the manuscript, not in the Author’s Bio page.

******************

Final Farewell

In an oaken casket,

On a glass-sided,

Flower-bedecked hearse;

Drawn by two magnificent

Plume-crested,

Coal-black creatures:

He slowly made his way through

Crowd-strewn streets.

On the way to his last appointment,

Here on this earth.

Having always been a quiet, private man;

The pomp and pageantry of this auspicious occasion:

Probably was in no way what he would have wanted.

But it was merely a fraction of the public accolade,

Of which he was truly worth.

It seems to me,

Somehow fittingly poetic.

The fact that he was delivered into,

And dispatched from,

This entire mortal toil at last;

On the very same January date.

The only difference being, of course,

 Eighty-one years had passed.

So it seems its farewell, dear father;

We must now finally come to part.

But I'll always remember you, forever

In that very special place, here

In my ever grieving heart.

 

“Again, Dusti, I really like it, I think you should put it on here as well. Probably be better in front of this in order to give some sense of timing of events. I know his funeral was several years ago now. Then of course you should add the poem that you have dedicated to Linda.”

“OK, I suppose that experience will fit in just fine with the rest of the madness that’s being exhibited here!”

“Of course you’ll have to write more about your poem ‘In Remembrance’ that you specifically wrote for the time of year, which will lead you on to the poem about Wilfred Owen, won’t it?” “Yes, I suppose it could”

 *****************

“It’s all very Axel Foley, isn’t it?” “WHAT?” “You know, Guns & Roses, ‘Sweet Child of Mine.’ #Where do we go? Where do we go? Where do we go from here? #” “Don’t you mean AXEL Rose?” “Yeah, of course I do! I ALWAYS get those two mixed up! But that’s the thing, you need to start writing the stuff down. If you are going to play this word game thing, and it’s obvious that you are, you need to be maximising the effort. Your trouble was that you flew off those first fifteen thousand words or so last week and have written yourself into a corner, if not even a dead end! You’re the one that likes the quotes, well, you should use their logic. The fact that daily life gets in the way of your writing schedule should be incorporated in here. Don’t just write the story; write about the STORY behind the story! Tell the readers about the day to day problems that prevent you doing as much as you would like to. Let’s be fair, you know that you are in good company. Half the people in your regional group are in the same boat right now, aren’t they? But you should be chronicling that you lost the first two days this month because of closing up the joint caravan in Essex, “I already mentioned it” ”Yes I know you have, but then there was last weekend as well. And you are pretty tied up this week with the cooking and decorating of those Pudsey biscuits and Gingerbread characters for the annual marathon Children in Need appeal on Friday. And not to mention the fact that you will be out doing ‘stupid’ stuff all in aid of your fund-raising efforts on Friday, won’t you? Not much actual chance of writing there then is there? But you can use the emotions and experiences later as you usually do, can you not? The Good/Bad thing is that will be half way through the month then with only a fortnight left to go and who knows what tomorrow brings? So you must just do the best you can, but not beat yourself up over it. This challenge is a double edged sword isn’t it? The aim is to write fifty thousand words in thirty days. It is aimed at getting participants all over the world WRITING. I have seen through your eyes the pep talk saying perhaps people may need lower aims if necessary, i.e. just do the first six chapters of the intended book. As someone else said, the product at the finish of the month will be thousands of semi-completed manuscripts. And whether they are fifty thousand words long or only twenty; the big question is as I said earlier, where do we (or you) go from here? .The organisers won’t care about content too much, just that you’ve made the word count. But you will have the makings of your first real novel.”

****************

Panic over! I got an advanced warning yesterday that the Power Company were going to turn off all the electricity in our area for essential maintenance today. My first reaction was “Thanks for nothing! Plenty of warning, I don’t think! “The second thought was “What am I supposed to do about my writing schedule?” I am stuck in the house today anyway; I am expecting a parcel delivery. And you know what that means, ‘Our driver’s delivery window is between eight and five, we cannot be more specific than that!’Terrific! So, I at least thought, I could use the time on my writing. Then I got this flyer through the door yesterday afternoon. I should maybe explain at this point about my writing style. I have found that being only a one-fingered typist, it is just as useful to type straight to the document. If I write it all out in longhand, I only have to re-read anything I have written down in order to re-write it one letter at a time to the screen. So I tend to cut out the middleman most times now. The only other fault that I seem to find with this procedure is I often get so engrossed with my chains of thought that I forget to save it regularly. I had that problem only the other day; I had just written close on a three thousand words piece for a blog-site that I post some of my writings on. I went to ‘Publish Now’ my piece but during all the time it had taken me to write it, my wireless mouse had gone into SLEEP mode so when I picked it up it kicked back into Start mode and I found myself staring at a blank word document! So as I say I try to remember to save as often as possible. (This reminds me,)

  That’s that bit saved! Anyway the gist of this piece is the fact that I had returned from walking with the Maverick and came back to find the power still on. “Funny I thought!” in my best Dudley Moore impression. “That’s strange?” So I re-read the flyer and found that I had seriously maligned the Power Company. It is an advance warning. They are going to turn the power off in this area NEXT Thursday, the twenty-first! The problem with my laptop is that it is now getting a bit old hat. I’ve had it over six years now. When I bought it the salesman, Jake, told me it was state of the art and it would be future-proof for any technology that might be developed. Little did any of us realise back then just how fast progress can be made. It has a two hundred and fifty gig hard drive memory, but now you can get ones with a terra gig of useable memory space. But even they are becoming obsolete with everybody who is anybody using cloud technology for storage of their files. Available anytime, anywhere, and from any machine, not just your own. When I bought my computer, three hours battery life was considered the bee’s knees. Now if you don’t have one with at least a seven hour life, the manufacturers say you are courting trouble. As I say with mine, if it isn’t the rechargeable laptop battery going down on me, it’s the two triple A batteries in the mouse that seem to die very quickly. My friend’s wireless mouse is powered by one Double A battery that stays on permanently, just going into SLEEP mode when not in use. It lasts for about three months at a time. Mine is as I say powered by two Triple A batteries. It is turned completely off when not needed for use, and if the batteries last a fortnight, that’s considered a LONG time!

Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? I now realise that I should have started at this end of the room when I began varnishing this metaphoric floor. Because I have written (cum painted) myself into a corner if not a dead end. The door is now far away and all I can do is sit and wait till the varnish dries in order to escape from here. And the worse thing is I will have to return here later in order to varnish the area on which I’m now standing!

I had to go to the town today, I looked in our two local COSTA’s but I couldn’t see anyone who looked like they were working on a manuscript. Maybe I’m the only one in our area doing the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. I cannot believe that is right though. And I’ve noticed that our library opens very restrictive hours these days. Who goes there at those times I ask myself.

*****************

It’s just after nine thirty a.m., and I’ve been up hours. I haven’t really, but it sounds good. Actually I have been awake since just after six, when the clock radio kicked in. I must have moved the volume knob when I was dusting yesterday. Yes, I am house-trained! Anyway, it came on at such a volume it almost gave me that heart attack that we have all gone to great lengths to stop happening to me. But that’s story in itself, so I’ll leave that for a time when the inspirational flow is in its ebb! Having been shocked into the world of full consciousness I heard the news this morning. It was very sad to hear that Gladys Mason has finally passed away. Who was she you might ask? Gladys had been the oldest British person alive (before her death) to have been born in the nineteenth century. She was born on the seventh of December 1899. And she was one hundred and thirteen years and three hundred and forty two days old when she finally died. She was at that time the sixth oldest person in the world. Now a woman called Ethel who lives in Bradford is the oldest person in this country. Gladys never married after her fiancée was killed in the Great War. He himself is worthy of mention as he was one of the earliest causalities of that war. And given that it started in nineteen fourteen, Gladys could have been no real age herself at that time. The writer in me says that this is worthy of researching more about, as their story probably is screaming out to be told. Much the same way as the storyline behind the film ‘Titanic’. I will make it my business to discover more details. Here in England, it is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s BIG day. The annual Children in Need appeal. This has been going since November 1980 someone told me the other day. And it made me think “My God, I remember watching the first one!” A friend has been having me make and cook cupcakes all week now and she has been selling them at her workplace. (I know, you cannot but help thinking about the paradox can you? A big hairy ex-biker hard man both dusting and making cupcakes, eh?) Although I think if I was to pal up with another of my motorcycling friends who also cooks, I think there could be a TV series in the making! What do you mean, it has already been done? As to the cake making, some, in fact many, say that I do a mean sponge mix. Very light and with the added ingredients, vanilla essence, cinnamon, nutmeg etc it comes out pretty tasty too. I’ve taken to making what have become known as ‘Dusti’s Delights’. I cut a small ‘divot’, fill the cake with jam or lemon curd, then replace the divot as best as I can and cover it with butter icing that I have either added food colouring or cocoa to give a chocolate effect. As I have intimated they go down a bomb and people cannot get enough of them. They really are surprised by the hidden fillings. Talking of lemon curd, now there is a thing that isn’t often heard of today is it? Personally I haven’t eaten the stuff for over fifty-odd years now. Not since my grandfather told me a ghoulish explanation of how people with very heavy colds manufactured it! It has put me off it for life! I have also been making and decorating Pudsey shaped biscuits and gingerbread bears for her to sell on her stall. And I personally will be sitting in a bath full of baked beans from noon today! (Strange things that you can get people to do for charity!) But then again on a more serious note, I have sent some money by PayPal towards the Philippines Disaster Fund. Some sent me an email last asking if I would like to sign the petition to the National Lottery about them donating the fourteen million pound Euro-millions jackpot that was not won on Tuesday to the Disaster Fund. Good idea, I say. It is the same situation for tonight. There have been adverts on the TV all week about the special EIGHTY million pound jackpot prize for tonight’s special draw. No one person NEEDS eighty million, but it really could do a lot of good in the Philippines right now. It is the same situation really with this NaNoWriMo contest this year. As a writer, it is should I say, a fun mental exercise. I like, many others, am finding it difficult to fit in being able to do the required fifty thousand words along with all of the other demands on daily living. As I have quoted, John Lennon said ‘Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans’ and that is very true in my own case. As I have said in my Author’s Bio, I entered it last October for the first time, but just about that period, a very close friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I spent most of November attending hospital appointments, having multiple scans and tests. All to no avail. She finally died in my arms on January the eighth this year. Elvis’s birthday. She liked that. Poetic she thought. She had been a life-long fan, she was devastated when he died and some of her last words were that she would be at his party on that night! It was such a shame about the whole situation. I have written a poem that I will use to dedicate my novel to her when I finally finish it. And finish it I will, because of her. She hadn’t long celebrated her fifty-ninth birthday late in September and was looking forward to a joint holiday with friends to celebrate them all being sixty this year. She had two sons, one of which is gay. Not having Sir Elton John’s resources, the chances of any grandchildren coming from that quarter were remote. But her other son and his wife had a baby boy in late September and she was really looking forward to doing the full Grandmother thing and spoiling him rotten. Sadly it was not destined in the stars to be, but a driving desire to be there for his first Christmas kept her going long after the doctors thought that it should have been all over. It was after she had finally been able to contact and talk to her estranged father, that she had not seen for over thirty years, that she finally seemed to loosen her grip on life and come to terms with the inevitable end result.

But that was last year, so this October I was determined to perhaps re-do the original idea in honour of her memory. But once again Life gets in the way of plans doesn’t it? The Saint Jude’s Storm hit us here on the Monday morning; it did some serious damage to some friends of mine’s farm. They needed some assistance with the cutting up and removal of several fallen trees. They also sustained serious damage to outbuildings that house their cattle and horses over the winter. Friendships come in all shapes and sizes don’t they? I couldn’t very well say I was sorry that I would be unable to help them with the essential repairs required immediately because I was involved in a mental challenge, could I? Then on the first weekend of November, I had to go down to the Essex coast and shut up the caravan that I share with other friends for the winter period. Another two days writing time lost. And again, last weekend I had a long standing appointment that I could and would not want to abandon, hence yet another two days lost. As I have again chronicled here, I have been seriously involved this week with making cakes and gingerbread Pudsey bears for the annual Children in Need appeal. More precious writing opportunities lost! Hopefully next week looks promising at this point in time! But then again as I have intimated, you NEVER know what Life has around that hidden bend, do we?

It is pouring with rain. Absolutely tipping it down. Even the ducks are hiding and taking cover under bushes. So I physically CANNOT do the tasks that I am supposed to be doing today, anyway. Hence I maybe can get on with the writing schedule! Really I should be out cleaning up the fallen leaves from the sycamores all around. Not only the leaves but the ‘spinners’ too. Before they take root in any nook or cranny that they can find. (Much to all our annoyance next Spring.) The worst offender of course is the self seeded monster over in our neighbours back garden. I should have taken it down myself over twenty years ago now, the elderly tenant, George was his name, was really too infirm at that time to have done anything about removing it. I, of course, was tied up with working then, a young family to provide for etc. So it didn’t get done. He died and the new council tenant that took over the tenancy quite liked the young tree, so it stayed. They were, at the time an elderly mother and her son in his early thirties. They did tend it in the early period of their dwelling there, but sadly the young man developed mental problems and hence spent long periods of time in hospitals and various institutions. All this was unknown to us at that time. The tree, being what it was, grew steadily, quite rapidly in fact, The mother became infirm and was put into a nursing home, and the young man was eventually institutionalised. The property stood empty for some several months whilst it was refurbished and brought up to the new housing regulations specifications, then it was let out to the present tenants who have been there some five or six years now. This brings me back to the tree. It has grown very much and several large boughs overhang my property. We have made some headway in our mutual discussions and we did last year cut away a couple of the more offending culprits. But it has still left a very sizeable tree in their garden. It has a copious crop of seeds every year, to say nothing of the leaves that also cover most of my garden.  The clearing saga has been documented in my poem ‘Little Big Horn Revisited’.

Some say that the poem is good; I leave it for others to judge. Anyway back to the tree in question. The St. Jude’s storm the other week broke off a very large bough of the tree, very nearly splitting the tree in two, and now whilst at this moment it is lying where it fell and is protruding over their back fence they will have to eventually dispose of the offending dead bough. That can only serve as a bonus for ourselves as it has at one stroke, so to speak, literally halved the problem of the leaves and growth and loss of lighting throughout the spring and summer months when the foliage is abundant. As I say, it is pouring with rain. That will not help with the smell of the rotting leaves. With all the Council cutbacks, they do not come around now like they used to and clear up the majority of the fallen leaves. This action or should it be lack of action, is causing problems for the elderly residents around here, with the slippery surfaces that the wet leaves create underfoot. Being Bin day around this area today, it’s the turn of the recycling bins and waste boxes. The local authorities recently changed the criteria for where we now have to put our cardboard. We always used to be able to put it in the large one hundred and forty kilo brown wheelie bin along with the compostable garden waste of lawn trimmings, weeds, vegetable peelings etc. They did suggest that we also put our food waste in these bins, i.e. bones, animal carcasses, giblets etc. But with the collection being only fortnightly due again to the cut-backs in financing, many people complained about the situation that arises in the hot summer months with the flies and maggot infestations. It is fair to say that it has not been one of the most popular suggestions the council has made! Again I digress, now they say that the cardboard has to go in the little blue forty litre boxes along with the old free newspapers, magazines, junk mailings (of which we are getting an increasing amount weekly, I might add!). The point I am trying to make is that these boxes are easily filled within the two week periods between collections and the lids on the boxes are not fixed as even on the wheelie bins and are prone to come off in the slightest wind. Given that we have gales today along with the rain squalls, you well be able to picture the scene out in the roadside and surrounding green verges. Paper being blown everywhere and being soaked into the bargain! Creating one heck of a mess that will require extra clearing up.

***************

Act Two - August 2020

“There’s a fair few here today, to be sure”
“You can say that again,”
“I said, there’s a fair few here today, to be sure.”
“You ‘aving a larf?”
“Pardon?”
“I said, are you trying to taking the mick, with that repeating what you said?”
“Not at all! But being soft spoken and having a strong accent, many people don’t always understand what I say first time, so I’m used to having to repeat myself! I apologise. In the small village where I come from in County Sligo, we all talk this way. With the accent I mean.”
“So you’re Irish, then?”
“Can you no tell?”
“Well, to be honest, I’m really not sure about anything about you. Not to be rude, but are you really a girl, or are you a bloke or what?”
 “That truly is being a bit of a personal question to by asking someone you have hardly met, let alone know, to be sure. Don’t you be thinking?”
“Well, wot wiv yer ‘andbag thing, the make-up, and the way you are dressed, you do look like a girl or young woman, should I say. But some of your mannerisms and the gravity of your voice, wiv an accent or not, I’d say you was one of those cross-dressers or wot do they call ‘em? ...Tranny’s?”
“To be fair, sir, you are very astute. I am awaiting my gender-changing operation, which will hopefully happen in the next couple of months. I’ve been having hormonal treatment for awhile now. Some people really are just born in the wrong bodies.”
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a problem to me, I really do believe that people can be how they like.  I have probably embarrassed you now, and for that I am very sorry.”
“No offence taken, I’m used to people giving me strange looks or making remarks, it comes with the territory or so they say.”
“So what is your name, if you don’t mind me asking such a personal question? But I believe that’s how strangers end up becoming friends, don’t you? My name is Peter, but my friends call me Andy.”
“My birth name was Diego Neria Lejarraga, but I now like to be known now as Primrose, thank you.”
“Primrose. That’s a really nice name. I knew a girl called Primrose once in my youth. She was a strange girl too! Not that I’m at all inferring that YOU are in any way strange, you understand?”
“You seem to be digging a very deep hole for yourself.”
“Yeah, I do, don’t I? I’m sorry for going on like that again.”
“It really is fine, don’t you be going worrying yourself about it. Cephas or Kepha, eh?”
“Very few know that! There really is more to you than meets the eye, isn’t there? So where do you know those derivatives of the name from?”
“I read a lot. ‘Peter’,  Latin – Petrus, Greek –Petros, Syriac or Aramaic – Kepa ‘rock’, Hebrew - Kepha (Apostle, preacher and martyr) Born Shimon or Simeon, (English – Simon), date unknown, in Bethsaida, Gaulani tis, (Galilee) Syria, Roman Empire. Brother Andrew, (also an apostle).Accredited Founder of the Early Christian Church. Accredited founder of the Church in Antioch and in Rome. The first Pope, ordained by Jesus as ‘Rock of my Church’ in his speech - Matthew ch.16 -18. His original occupation was as a fisherman. This is why the early church probably met under the auspices ‘the sign of the fish’. His papacy was from 30AD until 64 or 67AD when he was crucified on the orders of Nero Augustus Caesar. He was reported to have been crucified head downwards by choice ‘as he felt that he was not worthy to suffer in the same way as his Lord’. His saint’s day is celebrated the same day as St.Paul - June 29th.” The gospel of Mark is generally thought to show the influence of Peter’s preaching and eye witness memories. The English / German –Peter, French-Pierre, Italian-Pietro, Spanish/Portuguese-Pedro, Polish-Piotr, Russian-Pytor, Malayalam-Patros, Greek-Cephas, and Hebrew- Kepha are all derivatives of the name. He is depicted by most artists, Rubens, Caravaggio, Murillo, El Greco, to name but a few, as having a white beard and hair, such as yourself, and wearing the pallium.”
“Pallium?”
“Derived from the Roman pallium or palla, a woollen cloak, is an ecclesiastical vestment of the Catholic Church. It was originally peculiar to the pope, but for many centuries bestowed by him on metropolitans, and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. It is a white woollen band placed around the shoulders and neck with a short tappet hanging from the front and back. It symbolises the bond between an archbishop and his Pope. The wearing of the pallium dates back to the fourth century, predating the miter and the crosier as Episcopal symbols. Back in two thousand and fifteen, Pope Francis decided that the archbishops would no longer receive their pallium at a formal ceremony in Rome on the feast of St.Peter and St.Paul, but should be vested in their own archdiocese. I myself met Pope Francis at the Vatican in two thousand and fifteen after having written him a letter.”
“Did you really?”
“Yes, I did. The meeting was held in his private quarters.”
“You couldn’t have been any age then. You look very young now.”
“I am living proof that looks can be deceptive!”
“That is indeed very true. While we seem to be on the subject of knowledge deemed from the pastime of reading, I’m sure I read somewhere an article in a magazine or maybe it was a book, I can’t exactly remember which, that purported that the angel that appeared to the shepherds at the time of Christ’s birth was androgynous.”
“Now that’s an interesting theory I’m sure.”
“So why ‘Primrose’, then?”
“From the genus, Oenothera. One of the most distinctive features of the flower is the ‘stigma’ which has four branches in a cross shape. Oenothera are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species. Oenothera flowers are pollinated by insects, such as moths and bees. Like most of the members of the Ocagraceae, however, the pollen grains are loosely held together by viscin threads, so only insects that are morphologically specialised to gather this pollen can effectively pollinate the flowers. Bees with typical scopia cannot hold it. Also the flowers open at a time when most bee species are inactive, so the bees that visit Oenothera are generally vespertive temporal specialists. Bees that forage in the evening. The seeds then ripen from late summer to autumn. Oenothera act as primary colonizers, quickly appearing in recently cleared areas. They germinate in disturbed soils, and can be found in habitats such as dunes, roadsides, railway embankments and waste areas. They are often casual and are eventually outcompeted by other species. Wiser now?”
“Yes, thank you, very serendipitous of you, I’m sure.”
“Now it’s your turn to be facetious, eh?”
“That certainly wasn’t the intention, I assure you. I’m being serious in my praise of your knowledge. A clever idea, holding a book auction in the Railway Station here.  With it being high summer and all, all those general holiday makers and specialist sightseerers that come to see this specific station and railway line are an added bonus to the usual attendees of such events. Are you living locally?”
“No, I still live in Ireland. I read about this auction on the Internet, and have come here today with the intention of buying a specific book.”
“Would that be one of the Rodes collections? Perhaps one of his first editions or one of his original manuscripts, that is up for auction today. Maybe one of his numerous books of poetry? That is one of the reasons I am here myself. I’m considered as an expert on his works. He spent quite few years living and working all over Norfolk. He had homes in Heacham and Yarmouth, well, Scratby actually. He also spent a lot of time in Wells, just along the coast from here.”
“No, it not one of his works, although I know much of his work well, as he is one of my particular favourite poets. Actually it is a book that he once owned. ‘The Complete Plays of Bernard Shaw’ published in 1937. It is rather a rare book as only a few copies were actually published: as it was the subject of a new style of book publishing project at that time. Subscription only. His publishers at that time talked him into the deal. They had made an arrangement with a national newspaper group. And their angle was that you had to subscribe to their broadsheet weekly in order to be eligible to apply to own a copy. Because of this the book came handsomely bound in leather and printed on top quality vellum. This made the cost of owning the said volume of his works expensive, as not only was the actual volume costly to produce: but of course buyers needed to in addition to that to also subscribe themselves to the annual fee of receiving the broadsheet newspaper journal. Coupled to the scarcity of publication at the time, very few copies of it have survived well in the eighty-three years that have passed since that occasion.”
“So, you are a collector then of Shaw’s works, eh?”
“Again, I suppose you could describe my interest in that way. As you may be aware Shaw was an Irish playwright. I am in fact the Librarian/Curator of the Shaw Museum back in Ireland. When it came to our attention that this particular copy of the book was on the open market, the governing board, in their infinite wisdom decreed that no expense should be spared in our acquisition of said item. Hence I am here today, authorised to purchase the book, with a bottomless budget at my disposal.”
“Good for you!  As it happens I know the book that you describe, and in fact the actual history of how Dusti acquired said volume in the first place. And that thought process has jogged my memory of where I read that bit about the angel. I must be getting older, my memory is getting to be shocking these days, I cannot remember much at all after a few minutes.”
“You’ll be telling me about your bus pass next!”
“You cheeky sod, bus pass indeed! How old do you think I am, then?”
“Well, to be honest you’re another one yourself, aren’t you? In some light, I’d say you were in your forties, but in others, you could have seen a thousand summers!”
“Thank you very much! I’ll have you know I’ve just turned forty-five! A thousand summers indeed!”
“Now it’s my turn to apologise, I suppose. I, like you, really have no intention of causing offence to yourself. But you did ask me my opinion.”
“Anyway, before I forget it again, that bit about the angel was from Dusti Rodes himself, when he was commenting on his poem ‘Poetic Licence’. I don’t know if you know the actual poem, but it goes something like this: ‘And an angel of the Lord appeared unto them, And they were sore afraid. Or in plain speech, Last time, we scared the s**t out of the shepherds, And we have never used the wings and sandals approach since.’ He said in his commentary that the angel had an androgynous appearance.”
“I do know that he had a thing about angels, they seem to appear in a lot of his writings”
“That’s because he is one himself, I suppose. The writing pundits always say you should write about what you know to get the best effects, don’t they?”
“What do you mean by that remark?”
“Which remark? The one about Dusti being an angel, or the best subjects to write about if you want to be a successful writer?”
“Let’s try the one about Dusti being an angel first.”
“Oh yeah, Dusti’s an angel alright. When was it now? This blinking memory thing! Oh, I remember! It was back in September, nineteen seventy-four. He had originally agreed to go on a boating holiday on the Broads. (Norfolk that is, well, just downs the road from here actually. Beccles, the Aston Boatyard there.) He and his friends, John and Diane, (she was John’s fiancée at the time,) had booked it up in the January in order to get a cut-price winter deal on the trip in late summer.(Remind me to tell you more sometime about the relationship between John, Diane and Dusti) Silly me, there I go again forgetting the fact that how Dusti originally met up with the ‘Heaven’s Angels’ is well-documented in his book, ‘The Best Man’s Speech’ isn’t it?. Of course at that time, Dusti was single himself. But that was all to change, wasn’t it, when in the March, whilst playing at a County darts match, he met June. They were soon ‘an item’ and they moved into that basement flat down in West Croydon together. Now then, as the story goes, June really wanted to get married, (or should I say her mother wanted her to have a ring on her finger, if you get my meaning!) Dusti wasn’t all that bothered either way as it happened, he originally thought that the arrangement was working OK, and as the old adage says, ‘If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!’. So finally they did get married in the early August, and then between them all, it was agreed that the boating holiday would serve as a delayed honeymoon as well. As it happens the whole trip was quite a saga. But I’ll tell you more about that in a minute, if you don’t mind waiting. Just to go and ’point Percy at the porcelain’ if you get my drift? Do they have that phrase for it in Ireland?”
“Yes, they do. Now, as it happens, I could do with going to the toilet myself, it’s proving a long wait for this auction to start. So you lead the way, and I’ll be following you. I think I saw the sign for the Gents over that way to the right,”
“So you still use the Gents toilets then, do you?”
“Now I never said I would be doing that, did I? All of the toilets are over that way.”
“Sorry, Primrose, my mistake!”
*(Short Interlude, Bob Marley’s ‘Buffalo Soldier’ can be heard playing in the background)*
“Ahh, now I don’t know about you, but that certainly feels better for me. A load off my mind as they say. Listening to that bit of Bob Marley playing over the speakers while I was in doing the business, reminded me yet again of something I heard about Rodes. He knew an awful lot about Native Americans or Red Indians as they used to known as. Several of his collections had titles that had references to some of the tribes and their customs.”
“Yes, that is very true. Maybe I could tell you something you don’t know. As you say several of his collections had Indian connotations, ‘Sung on the Singing Stick’, As Told in the Tepees’, ‘Tales of the Cheyenne’, all reflected the story-telling aspects of how the Tribes histories, their traditions, their beliefs were carried down in cultures that did not have a written code. The singing stick for instance was a symbol of reverence, ornately carved en-bas with figures of  animals that were held sacred, the raven, the bear, the wolf, the eagle, and of course the buffalo or bison. It was the duty and habit and task of the shaman or medicine man to relate the past history and the relevance to the future of the tribe through, what would be called today, the medium of narrative.”
“So what do you know about ‘buffalo soldiers?”
“The 10th Calvary unit of the United States Army were originally formed back in late September 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, in Kansas. It was the first unit to be made up of ‘black’ or’ negro’ soldiers. The nickname was given to them by the Indian tribes that they fought. Their reputation of fierceness of fighting came legendary in their campaigns against both the Cheyenne and the Comanche. Some stories say the tribes called them ‘buffalo soldiers’ because they had curly kinky hair,’like bison’s’. Other explanations said that they were like the herds of buffalo or bison that they hunted, and were not easily killed, mainly by the application of overwhelming odds, as with the bison.”
“I am impressed! And I expect Bob Marley would be too.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“As he says in the song, ‘If you knew your history, you’d know where you coming from  ...’ and you certainly seem to know your history.”
“Thank you. You started telling me about Rodes being an angel. Do you want to tell me more? I am certainly intrigued by your statement.”


********************

(* Since I only posted this on here late yesterday evening, I am delighted to have already received several compliments both by email and Tweets. I am currently working on this play and will post the results of Act Three, in due course! - Dusti)*

'The Birth of a Writer'

The first in maybe a series of essays.

*Singing Songs set in a Single Solitary Voice*

It’s day seven of this year’s NoNoWriMo, I feel like I am repeating myself. I had much the same sort of situation back in 2013. I had spent the first week writing what was going to be a biographic autobiography. I attempted to start writing it the year previous. That had been my first entry into the realms of attempting to write a novel.
I have spent the better part of the last close on fifty years writing poetry. I am proud of the fact that I am a Poet. In this day and age where most people are trying to write novels, it’s good to be able to say that you specialise.  In fact the very essence of NaNo is to encourage people to write a novel/story in 30 days. I was discussing this back in 2013 with my muse, Martha. As she told me then that word counts were not my game, I have spent many years honing my craft , in order to be able to tell a story that a prose writer would take probably ten thousand or more words to tell, I attempt (and most times get away with!) telling in fifty lines maximum.
So the ethos of writing fifty thousand words is alien to me. This is why until now those story ideas for novels have not been developed to any serious degree previously.
It is now my intention to rectify this matter over the probable next few years, as it’ll probably take me that long to do the actually typing involved in the production of said novels.
I tell all and sundry, (and anyone else who will care to listen!) that I am a one-fingered typist. I have and most still do, write my stuff down in notebooks, or any scrap of paper that is handy at the time of the conception of an idea. I have had long discussions now with one of my colleagues from the Stevenage Writers Group with which I am involved about writing practise. He posed the question as told the frequency and style in which people wrote. He was genuinely shocked would not be too strong a word to discover that myself and several others saying that we wrote whenever the muse showed any interest, and made copious notes of any gems or sparks of inspiration came into our heads.
His approach was that writing should be a planned and polished piece of writing in all cases. Complete with self –editing and review of sentences at every point. When several of us commented on the value of spontaneous creativity. Like getting down as many words onto the actual page in one session, and reviewing and editing at a later date. His flabber was as they say, gasted.
And I have to admit to being guilty of the offences mentioned by myself here. This is a new concept for me, sitting here, just writing whatever is coming into my head. As I said, I am a one-fingered typist, and thereby I have to spell or space out every single word that I write.
Hence now attempting to try and ignore the want to spell every word correctly, and rectify any spelling mistake when I make one (I have only put one L in that last spelling) and watching how the page is becoming literally littered with the red and green colourings to tell me that I have misspelt or used the wrong grammar is a new experience in my writing.
But I now know that needs must, in order to complete the physical task of completing fifty thousand words to be written.
I have as I say been struggling, like many of my fellow writers, in trying to ‘think on my feet’ as it were, whilst writing the story. But I have come to appreciate that with two plays, a blog site to feed, several articles, possibly some pep talks, posts on the various threads on the regional page. Coupled with the fact that I am a self-confessed NaNo Rebel, I really don’t know now what I was worrying about in my attempt to complete fifty thousand words in the time allotted, i.e. the next thirty four days, including today. I look at the clock on my laptop and see that it is 17.25 pm and that I have now been writing for the last twenty or so minutes. I then look at the word count for this particular piece of writing and note that I have completed some seven hundred and seventy words at this point. In fact make that closer to ninety.
Then I shall follow the classic line of tell rather than show and inform you all that I intend to make a cup of coffee at this point of the proceedings. See you in a short. Coupled with the fact that I now need to save this section before my mouse goes into sleep mode, and on moving it, losing all this precious copy.
Having just said that, I note that my faithful hound and companion on many of my adventures, plus the source of much of my inspiration, is lying asleep over my feet. So in order not disturb him at this point, I shall carry on writing. Because when I do now eventually stop it will necessitate me taking him for his evening walk, and actually as this point in time it is both raining with a fine mist, and it being the Saturday after the fifth, people are having firework parties in the distance.
I am indeed fortunate in that respect that in him being a pedigree Labrador, the noise doesn’t seem to worry him too much. The actual lights of the sky-bound fireworks are of course a different matter entirely. And as I am also ‘babysitting ‘ my son’s  whippet/collie crossbred, Buster, whilst his family and my wife attend the owners end of season party in Jaywick , I could be in for a bumpy night as he dislikes fireworks vehemently  in any form, both for their noise and light disturbances to his ordered life.
Having now finding myself in considerable discomfort at needing the toilet facilities, coupled with increasing thirst and the need to quell such. I shall have to stop writing at this point, so I shall return when I have in fact taken both dogs for their evening walk. Looking at the word count I see I am fast approaching eleven hundred and that the fact that the current time is 17.56pm.


**************


“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” – John Winston Lennon

Back in two thousand and twelve, when I first attempted NaNoWriMo, I was what am now referred to as Planner. I’d had some previous thoughts about the direction I wanted to take my story in; and I had planned to wait until the first of November till I wrote an actual word. In the early part of October that year a close family friend and neighbour of some thirty odd year’s acquaintance; had a slight pain in her groin. She made an appointment to see a doctor at our local surgery. Or should I say, she attempted to make an appointment. Such was the situation then, and it has in fact worsened over the last couple of years, that the earliest date she could be offered there was some two weeks later. Hence she accepted an appointment at the sister practise to ours. Some three miles away in a very rural location with poor local transport services on which see was dependent ; as she did not herself drive. When she finally arrived at that surgery, the usual doctor had gone sick and patients were being seen by a locum. It might also be somewhat important to add at this point; that my neighbour was a very shy and private woman; and had for many years now only been seen by a female doctor on the rare occasions that she could be coaxed into even making an appointment.
She thereby found it distressing to find that the locum was male, and the pain being high in her groin area had required an intimate examination that she at that time found to be a stressful experience in itself. To find that the locum was referring her to the local hospital with immediate effect really only served to heighten her distress. The news that she was indeed suffering from inoperable terminal cancer and had three months at best left to live absolutely devastated her.
As I have said, this was in mid-October and she had celebrated her fifty-ninth birthday in early/mid September. Just several days before her first (and very likely to be her only grandson had been born). She had two sons; one being gay and thereby not the greatest of chance of offspring. The other being the father of her grandson. Sadly his conception had been an accident, in that it only goes to prove the old adage about other medications affecting the safety and effectiveness of oral contraception tablets. His wife, whose religious beliefs prevented her from even considering a termination, did not carry the child well during her pregnancy; suffering firstly prolonged and severe morning sickness, followed by anaemia and eventually septicaemia after the actual birth. Hence as I have intimated this was probably destined to be her only grandchild. Hence she was planning her future to absolutely ‘spoil him rotten’ in her own words when she got the news concerning her cancer.
As I intimated earlier; we had been friends and near neighbours for many years, even after her husband, her childhood sweetheart, left her for a much younger ‘new’ model shortly before Christmas, nineteen ninety nine. The usual festive celebrations at that time were shattered and the arrival of the new millennium a week later didn’t exactly fill her with happiness and hope for the future that prevailed in people’s general demeanour at the time.
Hence for the close on thirteen years that had passed since that sad time, we had been the saving grace on many occasions. Thereby it was automatically taken for granted on my part that a hospital appointment, tests, scans, examinations, and diagnoses’ would of course be accompanied by me, in a supportive role.
Those appointments took up much of the October/November period that year; so my entry into the two thousand and twelve Nano went by the book.
Last year, two thousand and thirteen, I had planned to resurrect my original manuscript and dedicate it in her memory. I have said elsewhere that my own forte is as a Poet rather than an actual Novelist, I even wrote a poem commemorating the sad affair of the year previous; and was going to use it in the front piece, but then again as Lennon said, ‘Life’ is what happens ...  and along came the St.Jude’s storm last November and friends were badly damaged generally throughout their farm. The stable’s roof was a serious casualty of the action and powerful forces of Mother Gaia; thereby they needed ‘all hands to the pumps’ literally. Then I was heavily involved with some serious fund-raising activities for  the Children in Need appeal last year that again ate into my time available for writing; so I only eventually ended up with a word count in excess of thirty-five thousand words (which I did not validate!)

That brings us to this year’s shenanigans, now again I had a vague idea about what the subject for this year’s project might be. Then on the twenty-seventh of last month, October, a friend of forty-five years standing finally died. I have actually used my ability as a poet to write a couple of poems about him; that I have incorporated into my writing efforts. The problem will be that he no longer has many other living friends and someone will need to make and carry out the funeral arrangements. He was a very successful DJ in his long career; ending up doing two shows a week on the Internet radio station RGW. His failing health had prevented him from actually performing ‘live’ as it were for the last couple of months but he religiously made up recorded shows each week that could be broadcasted on air.
Whilst I am on the subject, Dave turned sixty-two in mid-September, like many of us of that age era, I myself am a couple of years older than him, ‘back in the day’ we took what work we could. And back then society thought nothing of asbestos. I remember that Dave spent a long time labouring for a firm that was contracted to demolish and site clear the old Prefabs that were put up after the Second World War because of the then housing shortage caused by the bombings over the South East of England and London. Only in later years have we discovered the dangers of that material. Dave sadly suffered from serious lung damage from the effects of it. Coupled with the other then popular habit of smoking. Dave smoked Marlborough, ‘the mark of a man’ cigarettes for many years in vast quantities, more often than not maybe a hundred or more a day. And of course his other vice was the hard drinking of copious volumes of scotch. These habits and medical condition all served to create the fact that for many of his last years on this mortal coil, one of his lungs had a maximum capacity for oxygen of only eight per cent; hence his other less-damaged lung basically had to work overtime to compensate. This finally gave up the ghost the other week. And as I have said; It now really behoves to me to organise the arrangements for his funeral. I already know that it will be a turn-out the likes of his now home town have not experienced probably in a long time, if ever. Such is or should I now say was his popularity.


**************

"This is one in a series of Radio Plays I am attempting to  write under the group title of 'Play for Today'


Serendipity

(A Play for Radio)


Ser (e) n ‘dpiti
Noun.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines serendipity as ‘the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.’
*The fact of finding interesting or valuable things by chance * (Noun)
*Reading should be an adventure, a personal experience full of serendipitous surprises *. (Adjective)

*****************************************************************

 Androgynous remarks: “One of us, sweetie, is an angel  ...”

*******************************************

An Introduction by the Author

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” – Hebrews ch.13. v.2

Very little is known with reference to angels. Many humans know of them: but very few know about them. Their lifestyle is probably very similar in a way to that of a writer. Long periods of study of their material as it were. Working for the most part on ‘projects’ in isolation. ‘Secretive’ about the results of their labours. Each carrying on dutifully doing the task allocated to them by Divine decree without recourse to any other.

 Therefore I would like you to consider the situation that could possibly arise if two such beings should meet at a point in time, both being totally unaware of each other’s true vocation or existence.

And thereby hangs a tale .......


*************
Act One - PROLOGUE

A hallway echoes with the sound of a telephone ringing. The sounds of hastily running footsteps, hard breathing: a bunch of keys being rattled and fumbled with, seemingly being searched for the correct one to open the oaken entrance door leading from the outside driveway. Then the metallic sound of a key being entered into lock barrel, turned, and the opening of the door, more quickened footsteps and the telephone receiver being hastily snatched up.
“Colisland 59,” said a man’s voice, breathless.
“Is that The Manse, Newmills?” spoke a voice from the ear-piece.
“Yes, this is The Manse, who is that?”
“This is Clutterby’s, the book shop, North Walsingham; the book that you requested us to order has arrived, and is ready for your collection.”
“Oh, thank you. Please excuse my tardiness in answering, I was in the Garden. I’ll come and collect it later today, if that is suitable.”
“That will be fine, look forward to seeing you then. Good day.”

“Good day.”


********************

  'Sailing on a Different Tack'

          The Poetry of Dusti Rodes


          **********************

Indices

Living with Lepers
If I were ...
Modern Day Cowboy
Influences in my Life
In the Doldrums
A Rural Setting
“The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained ....”


    ******************


Living with Lepers


The dreams are too vivid
The nights are too long.
The pains are too real
The fear they bring
Is frightening.

Some days are better than others.
Today is not a good day.
The pressure is pounding
And pulsating.
Do you have a hole,
I can hide in?

If I were....


If I were flavoured crisps,
I would be plain.
If I were a colour,
I would be beige.
If I were a paint,
I would be dry.
If I were the moon,
I would fall out of the sky.
If I were a swimmer,
I would drown.
If I were a steeplechaser,
I would fall down.

      *************************

Modern Day Cowboy


" But signor, if he is the best,
With the gun, and the knife;
Then with whom does he compete? "

“With Himself ...."

(Scene from the film - The Magnificent Seven)

Performing with puppets,
Plied from papier mache.
Drafting drawings,
Scribbled from sketches.
Making models,
Worked from wood.
Crafted from clay.
Moulded meticulously
In metal.
Pummelling putty,
And plasticine.
While leaving puddles
Of Plaster of Paris.
Working with words,
In a wonderful way.
That continues to paint
Personal pictures,
Framed in people's minds.
Potter, Puppeteer,
Painter and Poet.
Writer & raconteur,
Teller of tall tales.

     **********************
Influences in my Life

The father of the modern computer,
Clive Sinclair;
Bill Gates, for giving us software.
Edward de Bono's
Lateral thinking.
Metaphysical poets,
Spiritualism;
The Beatles, of course;
John Lennon in particular.
The woman at the bus stop;
The North American Indian culture.
David Carradine, for Kung Fu;
John Keating for the Dead Poets Society,
Melanie Safkta, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez,
John Denver, for just being themselves.
Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Confucius;
Plato, Socrates, Kipling;
Schizophrenia, for never leaving me on my own;
And a cast of thousands,
That has caused me
To write it all down.

      ********************


In the Doldrums

Sittin' 'ere,
Throughly bored;
Don't know if I canna'
Take much more.
Just sittin' 'ere.
Wiv 'n achin' 'ead.

They cannas feel the stress,
Ora sense the seethin' angi'
Thata is surgin' from wi'in mae,
I feel trapped ana troosed up
Ina mental cage.

I feel  I ama slowly goanna mad;
Awning befir me,
Is a black crevasse;
To which there is no end.

I retire to tha inner sanctum
Ora mae solitude;
But wi' thir mindless, endless questions they intrude.
I feel asa thae fabric ofa mae mind,
Isa bein' rent ti'shreds.

Gain thru soma' reely a'heavi hee'd changes,
Blindin' rages ana seethin' furies;
Getting'sa screwed-up, ita hirts ta' think.
The ragin' fury theta dwells, ana erupts froma deep wit' in',
Canna scarce be contained bya mere skin.

Sun shinin' ina mae eyes,
Callin' outa fir mae spirit tae pla'
Feelin', tearin',ata mae viry fibres;
Atellin' mae tae git awae.

****************************

A Rural Setting


Seth sat rocking in his chair,
Gazing into the fast dying flames of the open fire;
Deep in thought.
Martha stood clearing the dishes
Left from their evening repast.

A passing gust of wind;
As if seeking shelter from the cold night,
Chanced to swirl down the chimney,
And fanned the glowing embers
Into life once again.


This sudden burst of unexpected activity,
Aroused Seth from his state of trance;
And he groped, wearily, for his pipe.
“‘Is little pleasure”, Martha called it.

“Times is ‘ard,” sez he, “But ‘here’s ‘hose as won’t forgit ‘heirs ‘umble beginnings.”
“Aye, ‘ere’s ‘at abou’ it, I supposes,” said she. “Don’t know wha’ we ’ave gotta worry abou’:
Fings ‘as allays bin loike ‘at ‘ere!” said Martha wearily wiping down the table.
“Don’t ‘ee go on so, fings is bad, I knows. But ‘ees got a roof o’wer ‘ead, ‘asn’t ‘ee?”
“’Eres somes aroun’ese ‘ere parts as duns’t ‘aves ‘at!”
“I ‘nows ‘at, but even oise’s roof needs amendin’ o’er scullery; an’'em rats is in corn bin, summat bad.” retorted Martha.
“We’ll gits a’boi, “says Seth. Carefully knocking out the ash from his pipe on the cast iron grate.
“We’ll gets a’boi.” Sez ‘e.

     ***************************

 “THE QUALITY OF MERCY IS NOT STRAINED ......" (From 'The Merchant of Venice)

"OK, everybody, QUIET! on the set...."

'TALKING BLUES’..... (Take Six!)

The cry went out,
for people to post poetry.
On yet another group 'PAGE'
Set on here.

So I sent two of my own.
But under another name.

Comment came back
that they were alright
for an amateur,
but 'PROPER' poems
rhymed in lines
Two and Four.

I answered;
I'd given up the 'rhyming couplets' approach
to poetry, back in the late Seventies.
And now my work was measured in a meter
of lines One, Nine, Seven, Eleven, Five and Three.

The reply came back,
"Sadly, a poet, I would never be..."

So it seems, or is that deems?
That after over forty-five years, in my quest,
to write poetry, at my very best.
It's back to the drawing-board for me!


"CUT!"
"Thank you, everybody.... That's a wrap!"


         ***********************

        Pure Quill

'Unpolished Moonstone Gems'

To aim for a far distant star,

And have to crash-land on the Moon

Is no bad thing.

Many only ever get to orbit this planet;

And most never leave the Earth.


These are some examples from the  various collections of my Poetry.


'Scrambled, Not Fried'

​​

The Man in the Mask


the man
in the
mask


you can
only wear
a frown
upside down
for so
long

***************
Me Muddah


She a bag ladee
Washa woman

Workin' all day
In de Laundromat

She wishes she is thin
But she's fat

Wid dat pink pinny
Dat cover 'er twat!

Why me say dat?
She me muddah!

*********************
Rough on the Rails

Roller coaster riding.
Travelling round
On rails of rust.
Participants on this journey
Must be made of firmer stuff.


The downs, then the ups.
Followed closely by feelings sinking
Climbing out with strange thinking.
Dream into nightmare,
Terror into pleasure.


*******************
Seeing sense


' If a person does not seem to keep pace with others,
maybe it's because they hear a different drummer '


Who can see sense
In the mind of a madman?
He looks out through eyes
That some think are empty.

He hears words that others don't speak.
He smells the fragrances of nature,
The sun, the sea, the air, the grass and the flowers
That the others just let pass by.

He tastes the bitter dregs of envy amongst enemies
And the sweet nectar of respect amongst friends.


He feels the coldness of your anger,
Or the reassuring warmth of your love.
A seeming sixth sense, warns him of the danger,


His sensorium gives to others, for being tuned to hear music;
Made on instruments of a very different kind.

Senseless?
Has no sense.?
Nonsense!

**************************


Standing at the Cenotaph

(For my Mother)

Sunday,
November the eleventh.
Six years to the day
That you went far away.


You remain here in my heart.
At this time the ground
Stands cold and bare.
There are no poppies gathered there.

At other times this place
Reflects the golden sun.
Acting as a tribute.
All is quiet as I stand here
Remembering.


Two minutes of silence
Is short measure
For the length of a lifetime.


*************************
Christmas Requiem


Jacquie

As Time travels slowly on,
Unforgiving.
The pain of your passing,
Eases but slightly.
And remains forever.

*********************
Decorating Douglas


Spent most of the day
Decorating Douglas.
He's our fine fir.
Resplendent in silver and gold.
Decked out in red and green

He's the finest Christmas tree
That you have ever seen.
With his twinkly lights
And his silly songs
That just seem to go on and on.

Carols too, are sung by the dozen
About the time when the land is frozen.
And people full of food
Are by roaring fires dozing.

***********************
Tail Gunner

They are not always
Loving thoughts
That I feel
On the down days
Like these.


I try very hard to tell you
Honestly
Just how it is
I spend my day.

But you always go and shoot me
Down in burning flames
By constantly putting your mouth
In gear.
Before you start engaging
Your brain.


********************
Regrets


Too late in life
I began listening
To the blind man
Singing songs to the sea and trees.

Started to watch
The eagle fly high
In an ever emptying sky
Filling with darkening clouds.


**********************
I didn't stop to think


I just bought you chocolates
Did I stop to think but once,
How fat they might make you?
The thought never entered my head.
I just anticipated the pleasure
That they would give you instead.

********************
Grey Day

It's a grey day
And the sun ain't shinin'
It's a grey day
And the sun isn't shining on me.

It's a grey day
And the sun isn't shining for sure.
Just feel like crying
Feel like I am dying

Certainly won't be
Cleaning windows
No more.
Just gonna sit here.

It's a grey day
Turning black by the minute
And there's no turning back.

************************
Why?


Why don't you weep?
When I hurt you.
Why don't you cry?
When I cut you,
With my hard words.

You don't weep.
And I can see
That the anger that you feel,
Only builds up inside.
Fuelling flames.

**********************
Soured milk


In the corner of
a white room with
darkening curtains
stands the stranger
speaking in syllables
I could not pronounce.

'Twas the fly on the wall
missed by us all
coming in the moonlight
and leaving on the mists
of the daybreak of dawn.

Loads of logwood lumber
where whittled into spittlesticks
and burnt on the bonfire
of our profanities
at Michaelmas.
************************
What a wanker!


I remember a time in my secondary
school days, if that is the proper
grammar, for the establishment
that I attended all those years ago.
silly action, keeping a daily
diary, say it, I couldn't even
spell it, let alone do what
your right hand's for
being ambidextrous was
a problem though nowadays
you can come anywhere
you don't even have to be
very tall no top shelves
for today's youth
they have the internet
television cinema etc
to keep a tight grip on things
having wet dreams over
the convent girls were they
really getting nun of the
practical lessons in love
like copping a handful
of tit or the smell of fishy
fingers from the more
free spirited amongst
the likes of the secondary
modern scrubbers high
on the surrounding hills.

***********************
PC Lines

Public concern about
People's complaints over the
Political correctness of a
Private citizen's
Previous convictions in
Public court by
Prosecuting council
Pressing charges made by
Police constables
Presenting claims that
Private cars were
Parked carelessly turning them into
Petty criminals being stored on
Personal computers.

********************
Girl's Night Out

Will it be a date
to remember?
Or a night to forget?


Alcohol can make
all the difference.
So they found
That Friday night.

Looking forward
to a fun night out.
With ex-mates from work.
Been a long time
since they'd last done this.

Clubbing and pubbing
don't easily fit
into a mother's days.
The time is usually taken up
in more humdrum ways.


*******************
Grief

What can I tell you
In your grief
That you don't already know?


How can I tell you
That it will be alright
When you know it isn't so?

The pale rider sits side-saddle,
as the raven soars high overhead.
And only the dwellers of the crumbled ruins
Know the true pain of poverty.

While the ghosts of many bygones past,
Are still dancing in the moonlight.
The dead sit feasting at the table of iniquity


*****************

Pennyabasqee

Love you bear me, I beg you,
Send a message for me.
A raven if you can.
A rider if not.
You must build a castle
Out of wooden blocks once.
There beside the door
You will never know
How sick it looked,
As Lady Genna drew him
From the solar.
*********************
No white flag


I never said,
I'd show no quarter.
I just took no prisoners;
But I never planned that I would.

Most, just upped,
And walked away.
Prepared to do battle another day.
Some, fought me.
And fell,
Where they stood.

**********************
Akenfield

The pace is slow, in Akenfield.
The stream does flow, in Akenfield.
And sunsets glow, in Akenfield.
The air is clean, in Akenfield.

And I am told, although frosts there are very cold,
Butterflies are to be seen, in Akenfield.

*********************
Ode


I don't know the meanings,
I just feel the feelings;
And I love you.


*******************

A Belief

Everybody needs somebody.
Someone to love.

For if they have no-one,
Then they have nothing.


And all life would be,
Just a total waste of time.


**************************
Three Long Hours

Three long hours,
Before I see you again.

Three long hours,
Precious love.


I need your arms around me,
I need your loving touch.


For it's when I'm down, like this;
That I need you most, so much.

************************
The Traveller's Request

(In the manner of Robert Frost)

Just another stop,
On a long and winding road.
I have been on tramp,
For many a wearisome mile;
But I have still far to travel.

My boots are dusty and hobnailed,
My gait is ragged;
My clothes are torn.
Testaments to the thickets,
I have passed on the way.

Suffer me not,
To enter your house;
For my manners may offend you.
Merely offer me a penny,
That ere night falls;
Some charitable almshouse,
May provide some small comfort.
For my tired body.

********************
Together

Sitting quietly,
In the dark.
The room illuminated
By a single flame.
From the gas fire.

Your arms forming,
A secure yoke.
And a pillow,
For my head.


The sound of a casual car,
Passes outside.
Taped music vibrates up,
Through the floor.

We are alone.
Together.
We are one.


************************
Dylan came to see me

Dylan came to see me last night,
Said he was here for a concert;
Thought he'd just drop by, to see how I was doing.
I said I was doing fine, so is he;
But ain't he always?


So we rapped a few lies,
Him telling 'em, me listenin'
We went on thru the early hours;
Then I woke up!


**********************
Card Sharps


Youth has always
Had all the cards
In the pack.
Only with Age,
can one learn
To deal them.


*******************
Halloween


people need not fear,
Those of us who sit here.
For we have only come,
To watch as they do.
Not for always,
Will the time be right;
Only on this, a special night.


*********************
Space fantasy

Then your young men
Shall see visions;
Your young women
Will dream vivid dreams.

The fires will burn brightly,
In the neon sky.
And peace will come to all.
Then Xandrata will rule,
In all his glory.
The necrophilliac hordes,
Will reign supreme.

Eyeballs aching in their orbs,
heads will be full of hazes;
Born of tempestuous beginnings,
The age of reasoning will have waned.
The age of knowing will have arrived.
The goal of all our aims;
That we for long have striven
Will be achieved.

***********************

With God on Our Side

With God on our side, who need we fear?
Are they tensions that we feel ?
Are they strains, are they human aches?
Or merely mortal pains?

But we have God on our side, don't we?
Or is that only what they would have you think/
I believe that only some other deity,
To these depths would sink.

*******************

Crocodile Tears

Always hoping
I will make it.
Ever aware
I may not.


I do not want
People crying
Crocodile tears
At my passing.


My daughter
will not miss me
We were not together in life.
Death should make no difference.

*********************
Pissed-off PC blues

Micro cameras
They tell me it's techno-crap
Be it personal computer
Or political correctness.

***********************
Band Practise - it isn't!

" This is not a rehearsal, forget the notes, play the music "

All are carrying secrets, they dare not share.
All have our personal crosses, that we have to bear.
We are all prisoners of the past.
And our parole is in the present.
We all live our own lives.
Some are satisfied,
To be mere nine to five.
Others march to the beat
Of a different drummer.
You must measure your life
In your own peculiar meter.
To stand on the side
Will only cause you to teeter

******************************