Family Portrait

Black Sheep

Black Sheep (Photo credit: JoshBerglund19)

He stares at his family portrait, but there is something not right about it.

His parents look like they always have, except that their salt and pepper hair might have a bit more salt than it used to. He scratches his cheek, but it does not remove the itch from his mind.

His big brother is there pointing his large nose at his wife. Their two youngest are in front of them, the eldest beside them. There is his sister with her toothpaste commercial worthy smile beside her girlfriend and the child that they adopted. There is his little brother in a high hat and his fiancé in a dress of golden sequins with a small, white poodle on her arm.

And then it strikes him.

He is not in the photo at all.

A Christmas Rhyme

Illustration for Edgar Allan Poe's "The R...

Illustration for Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”. Accompanies the phrase “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor/Shall be lifted–nevermore!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas made me late
But gave me inspiration for my update,
So as you can see this time,
I’m going to try to make it rhyme.

Some say a poem must paint a perfect picture,
Some say it is all about the structure,
Others say that a poem is not fine
Unless it has a proper rhyme.

The Raven was read aloud Christmas night,
Followed by a poem about love’s might.
Both poems were much longer than mine,
and still they did beautifully rhyme.

I have reached the fourth stanza
Of this rhyme extravaganza,
And I’m already having trouble
With making it rhyme.

I hope you all had a very happy Christmas!

A Drunken Tale


Tortoise (Photo credit: frefran)

Provide me with wine and I’ll tell you a tale. Not a long one though, because I will pass out before I finish and you will be served better with half a tale than a tenth of one.

I served the tortoise once, you know, when his shell was still unbroken. Now his home is ashes and ruins and there is still salt in his fields. The people from his valley are hungry or fled or both if they are especially unlucky, but it was the tortoise I was telling you about.

He was a good lord, better than anyone around these days, but being a good lord and a good general is not the same. The only tactic the tortoise knew was to crawl inside his shell and hope for his enemies to pass him by or break on his walls. And what good are walls when someone from the inside opens them up?

You’ve heard they were opened, sure, but did you know it was by his own son?

Oh why do young men do things? For honour, wealth or love, you can be sure of that.

Him, it was for love.

Oh, she was beautiful, yes, just like her mother, and kind and gentle.

Do not mind the tears; it is just an old wound acting up. I would have killed her myself if I had known how much that love would destroy.

No, none of them are alive today. No. Old cowards survive to see younger and better people in their graves. Now leave me. I hear mother sleep calling me, if she is merciful, she will send me no dreams.

A Song


English: Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris in Lat...

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris in Latin) at Skansen in Stockholm.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The forest smelt fresh and damp after the light spring rain. Birds chirped overhead as a squirrel climbed up a twig covered in large green buds. She planted her feet in the moss and concentrated on the music in her head. A spring tune; lively and growing.

She took a deep breath and began.

As the ear-rending screech left her lips two blue tits, a blackbird and a squirrel fell to the ground. She stopped and looked at the critters. Then she nudged one of the small stiff bodies with her foot.

A thought fluttered around her head that maybe banshees were just not meant to be opera singers.

Late, Late, Late!

White rabbit trumpet

White rabbit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The white rabbit scurries down the tunnel, clutching a pair of miniature white gloves. When the tunnel gives way to grass and a blue sky, the fresh air seems to urge him on.

He darts past a house enveloped in a cloud of pepper which tickles my nose and stings my eyes. He sprints past white roses dripping with red paint. Everything in the garden smells of iron.

Then he stops and turns. He points a pair of cute, accusing gloves at me.

‘What are you doing chasing after me?’ he shouts, ‘You should be writing!’

‘But I am,’ I tell him.

Tasting Regret

Private charter plane in hanger

Private charter plane in hanger (Photo credit: Shine 2010 – 2010 World Cup good news)

Sweet, soft and melting on his tongue with just a hint of rum and raisins. He could already feel his stomach rebelling. Why he had eaten the chocolate when he knew how his body reacted, he could not say. The taste did not even please him.

However, the regret he felt from eating chocolate was mild compared to the regret he felt every time he looked at Abigail. Her taste did not please him either, not anymore, and a both sour and bitter taste rose into his mouth when he looked at the plane he had recently bought for her.

The only thing that could make his regret worse now would be if his wife ever found out.


After The Snowstorm In The Forest...!!!

After The Snowstorm In The Forest. (Photo credit: Denis Collette.)

The stinging is like a hundred small knights charging into my face with their lances. I can hear others smash against the trees though the stems are only slightly blacker shadows in the dark. I am being half throttled by the old sweat and wood smoke from my scarf, but it is better than being chocked by the wind. I pull my hood further down and struggle forwards, barely able to see the ground in front of me.

If I had had a horse, I might have risked huddling close to it and waiting for the storm to pass, but I have no horse and my fingers and toes have gone numb.

There should be an inn close by. I remember stopping there a couple of years back. The giggling Ploughman it was called. A ridiculous name, but it was warm and light.

The stinging stops and I wonder how the hail could cease so suddenly. I blink and then I see the light between the trees. I jog towards it and it is all warm and soft, so I close my eyes.

Searching for a Grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Excuse me, have you seen my grandson?’ the man leant on his cane as he asked. He was wearing slippers and a sweater which hung loose on his shoulders.

‘Your grandson?’ asked the museum guard, blinking as he rose from his folding chair.

‘My grandson,’ the man nodded, ‘yes.’ He cast a glance across the exhibition hall and the wrinkles on his face multiplied.

‘Well, I don’t know, how does he look?’ The guard sniffed, wiped his nose with the back of his hand, noticed a booger had attached itself and wiped it off on the seat of his trousers. The man looked back at him.

‘He should be young,’ said the man, ‘just a little boy.’

‘Yes?’ said the guard checking his hand for snot, but it was gone now. The man beside him sucked on his teeth.

‘What is his name?’ asked the guard.

‘His last name will be Pond, like mine,’ said the man and looked around the hall again.

‘First name?’ asked the guard.

‘Phillip, Phillip Pond,’ said the man following a young man in a beret with his eyes.

‘I could tell the reception that Phillip Pond has gone missing,’ said the guard.

‘Hm?’ the man looked at him with raised eyebrows, ‘but I’m right here,’ he indicated the front of his sweater.

‘Then what is your grandson’s name?’

The man sighed and shook his head.

‘I don’t know,’ he said.

‘You don’t know?’ asked the guard.

‘I’ve never met him, but I must have some family left somewhere.’ He shuffled off with the assistance of his cane.

Inner Music

Crossroads of the World

Crossroads of the World (Photo credit: iwillbehomesoon)

There was rhythm in his steps as he walked across the square. He stopped at the zebra crossing, waiting, tipping his head to one side as if listening for the tune he had been stepping out with his feet. Perhaps he found it in the milling of the crowd around him. With a smile, he took a deep breath as if there were no sweeter perfume than the symphony of car exhaust and hot dogs from the corner.

If it had been a musical, this would be where he burst into song and all the people in the square would accompany him with their choreography.

But it was not a musical, so he crossed the road, the city swallowed him and I never heard his song.

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