Who needs TV…

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A golden globe
floats amid a small break in the grey,
its glow raining rays of light,
painting a silver lining.
The sun sinks
washing peach silk over the whole sky,
and as it retreats
funereal mauve bleeds in,
pushing peach into a narrowing horizontal gash
which darkens to orange.
The grieving sky thins to watery blue,
blotting out the flash of flame,
letting sweet night descend.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Greed and hunger

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far away
a child starves
while the fat ones
bemoan their perceived poverty
filling their faces with too much food
covering their vain tattoos with the latest fashion
before going home in their fuel-guzzling metal monsters
to rooms so stuffed with luxury goods
that their essential electronic toys
have to be produced in
miniature

tinier than
the starving child’s
foot

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Written for The Daily Post #Miniature

©Jane Paterson Basil

Itch

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I’m a wicked Itch with no wish to be scratched
a witch of an Itch with big tickles to dispatch.
Disappointment is the only thing you’ll catch
If you make the mistake of thinking you’re my my match.
I ain’t contagious, and even if I was
you’d never pick up anything from me because
I’m no more than a playful, teasing Itch
and if I was younger I’d be branded a bitch;
but nevertheless if you spar with me
you’ll be wriggling about like you’d picked up a flea.

if you want an explanation I’ll lay myself bare
I’m an Incurably Tantalising Celebate Heterosexual
so there!

PS
The right kind of man could cause a hiatus
and make me consider updating my status.

aaMakingitwrite

©Jane Paterson Basil

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A sign of the times

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what did you learn today in school?
I learned they can’t stop me from playing the fool
the teacher doesn’t know how to punish a child
who is shooting paper pellets and running wild
he can’t hit me with a ruler or beat me with a cane
so he gives me lines to write, and only the tame
will be scared of the punishment for making a kite
out of the paper on which I’m meant to write
I get a detention and although he may shout
he’s got no power to stop me from walking out
I just can’t wait for tomorrow to come
when I’ll be back in school and having some fun.

what did you learn in school today?
I learnt some games that the big boys play
we rigged a up some cards and and we set up crooked bets
and everybody paid us in cigarettes
we had so many that just for a kick
we forced a kid to smoke them until he was sick
we beat up a boy and set fire to his books
but on the way home I was getting looks
from his older brother and a few of his friends
and I think it’s too late to try and make amends
I’ve had enough of messing round playing the fool
Tomorrow I’m gonna need a knife in school.

Written for The Daily Post #Learning

©Jane Paterson Basil

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The summer of ’76

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the sun licked their steamy skin
as they primped in skimpy bikinis
sipping cider, slurping icecream
which dripped, sliding down their thighs
while I
said goodbye to my love

they disguised their innocence
beneath promiscuous hippydom
prodding intimate hot-spots
slyly faking orgasm
while I
said goodbye to my love

young skin defined Britain
bubble-gum tunes and lyrics
floated through open windows
that still evening
when I
deserted my love

all  of us were young
every forever would end
next month or maybe next year
to be replaced or renewed
but I
could never replace my love

aaMakingitwrite

©Jane Paterson Basil

Living by numbers

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She lived her life by numbers, expecting good luck on days which were multiples of six, weeks which were multiples of four, months which were multiples of two. The best luck of all arrived on days which involved all three factors, so Sunday April 24th – falling on the twenty-fourth day of the month, the 26th week, and the fourth month of the year, should have been a very auspicious day – the first of only three this year, counting Friday, 1st January as the first day of the first week of the year. She had woken up that morning to find her dog, Loopy, dead on the kitchen floor. The post mortem found that he had suffered a massive heart attack. He’d been sixteen (four squared) years old, his sight had been going, he was diabetic, he had athritic legs, and some kind of digestive problem which often resulted in her having to scrub and disinfect carpets, so dispite her grief, she looked upon his death in a positive light; he had died suddenly and relatively peacefully at a point where his life had been becoming a chore. Furthermore, he had saved her having to make the decision to have him put to sleep. All in all, it had been a good end for her old companion.

The second super-lucky day was Saturday, 18th June. A lorry lost control coming out of the junction opposite the front of her house, and ploughed through her wall, grinding to a halt with its wheels in the centre of her living room. Her bedroom was above, and her bed was pushed across the room, while the ceiling collapsed on top of it. It was 6am, and she would normally have been in bed at that time, but a bout of indigestion had made her unable to sleep, so she was in the kitchen pouring milk of magnesia into a cup. She considered herself extremely lucky to be alive.

The council moved her into another house, and she was just getting settled when the
third especially lucky day arrived, on Friday, 12th August, which happened to be her 50th birthday. She wanted to take stock of her life, as this was her half-centenary, so for the first time ever, she looked through her diaries. She had begun keeping a record on her tenth birthday, which was the day she had begun her system of numerification. The only entries she had made had been on her lucky days, both minor and major, but she skipped the minor ones (written in gree) and only read the major ones (written in purple).

The first entry told her that on Tuesday, 24th April 1976 she had ridden a horse for the first time, but had fallen off and broken her leg. She had spun it into a happy result – the nureses were very kind to her at the hospital – but her leg had become infected, and had never healed properly.

On Thursday 8th March she’d still been in hospital. There was a brief mention of the news that her father had left her mother, but a long description of the gifts he brought to make his daughter feel better about it.

Already she was beginning to see a pattern. She read about fall-outs with friends, the death of her cousin, her sister and her mother, several attacks by a group of three bullies who had made her life miserable over an eighteen-month period, a car crash, two burglaries, ambitions crushed by failed exams… the list went on and on in this vein, and yet she had put a different spin on every entry, so determined was she to believe in her lucky dates. She pictured herself, a poor, lost child who had taken up he needle and darned fantasies over her hollow life; whose only consolation had been her faithful Loopy, and now even he was dead.

She remembered how he laid his head on her lap when she was feeling low, how pleased he was to see her when she returned from her cleaning job, or from shopping.

She lived her life by numbers, always planning to end it on a lucky day, a tidy day, a day with round numbers, She was a round, tidy, fifty today. It was a very lucky day. She had fifty pretty little pills and she was going home to Loopy…

Written for The Daily Post Prompt #Fifty

©Jane Paterson Basil

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A place called Jeopardy

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Last Monday brought a hangover from hell
rang up my work, said I didn’t feel well
boss knew I’d been on a drinking spree
told me that my job was in jeopardy
On Thursday the same thing happened again
can you imagine my consternation when
In the blink of an eye I was in a strange land
full of rolling boulders and slipping sand
and though you may think this story is berserk
I was sitting at my desk from the office at work
Danger was apparent everywhere I looked
slitty eyes were glinting out of every nook
razors were raining down from the sky
I even saw a scorpion flying by
the earth beneath kept shifting and slanting
I could hear some invisible creature panting
jagged cracks kept opening in the ground
while fire balls exploded all around
0n my computer screen my boss appeared
laughing so much that he shed a tear
His eyes glittered brightly as he said to me
D’you like your new position in Jeopardy?

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Written for The Daily Post Prompt #Jeopardize

©Jane Paterson Basil