Category Archives: Calen’s Sandbox Challenge

A message carved in stone

maya writing.1

we are all human
angels and demons are rarely to be found
but when we glance around us we imagine them to be all around us.
If I look in your eyes
I may see perfection, where another may visualise evil
some of it depends on
the darkened shadows and bright highlights
thrown out by the light of the observer
and the reflecions therein
while the rest is caused by
your unique patterns of the moment
your pictures of the past
your visions of the future
and miriad complex tricks of imagery

we are all human
angels and demons are rarely to be found

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Posted for Calen’s Sandbox Challenge 26 “What message just for you is written in this ancient writing?”

©Jane Paterson Basil

Locked and barred

This week, in the Sandbox Challenge, Calen asks us: What door have you closed in your life, and why? Will you ever open it again?

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I used to dream of love and romance;
of marrying a reasonably handsome man
who would be the perfect companion
in every way. He would never fire me to anger
and would understand and support my many passions.
Together we would fashion our own private paradise
and he would never look twice at some big-busted bimbo
or overpriced impulse buy.
He would fill my days with laughter and smiles
and we’d while away the nights in intimate delight.
We would wish to die in each others arms
and pray there was a heaven,
so we’d never have to part.

But it all went wrong, and I gave up hope.
Now I take up my hammer and a heap of oak.
and even though I closed it six years ago or more,
I place a weighty plank across the door,
grab my tool, and drive the nails straight through.
I fix up a second plank, and then another two,
then check them and find that they’re secure,
but I add a load of screws, just to be sure.
Only now can I guarantee
that no man will ever try to romance me,
because they’ll never fight their way through the door,
and through all those heavy timbers which I pulled from my floor.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The most secret of secrets

Posted for The Sandbox Challenge


I will not leave you in ignorant bliss;
my most secret of secrets is simply this:
I don’t know whether my life is a truth
or a habitual deceit I’ve carried since my youth.
I always believe that my motives are pure
but I have never been completely sure.

In The Sandbox Challenge #21 Calen asks us to share our deepest secret. I don’t have many secrets, but this is one I don’t think I’ve shared before.

©Jane Paterson Basil

If I could

Written for Calen’s Sandbox Challenge


If I could erase anything from my persona
I would be without this sickness of spirit .
the fear, constantly digging into me.
the indignation which inflates into rage
whenever my daughter tries
to push her brother to destruction.
I would sling from my sight
the impurity of my desire for her imprisonment;
I would throw out
my pathetic impotence against the beloved enemy
as she wields her filthy weapons
in an effort to kill everything in her vicinity.

©Jane Paterson Basil



A Hidden Ember

when I am broken
my protective shell smashed on
the bleached sands of all lost things
my sticky innards beached and caked with grit
frightened, squeamishly wriggling
while silence screams lies in my ear

and someone makes a remark, which
leads to a thought, which
leads to a smile, and
I give a laughing retort.

I sparkle and shine when everything
lies in pieces around me
and without a tiny tap on the funny bone
I may expire.


Sparkle and Shine

knows me
like my siblings do
we share our first

the waste of all which
has since been
a hidden ember glows, and
sometimes when we speak
we are one again, unchanged
though age has bent us

and familiarity
sends a spark from the
ancient fire of childhood
setting us aflame with merriment
it is then that we shine
we turn dark into light
we sparkle and
we shine

Written for Calen’s Sandbox Challenge

©Jane Paterson Basil