Category Archives: Daily Prompt

Roots

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Beneath plastic castles and shifting sands,
beneath mortgages and grandiose plans,
beneath labour pains and mortuary vans,
beneath gleaming yachts and broken fans,
beneath lion hearts and rodent fangs,
beneath flat denial and praying hands –
beneath all of the hunger and greed of man,
lies the inheritance on which we stand.

It’s there, where it has always been,
silently waiting to be seen.

Beneath the feet of you and me,
are roots of possibility.
Though we may be too blind to see,
the earth still strives for harmony.

There, beneath all that we wish to become
is the strum of life, the truth that we are one.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Daily Post #Harmony

Anomoly

 

outlier

I dressed like the rest of ’em,
dragged the ragged hem of my Indian Kaftan
as I shimmied in the ‘seventies summertime dust,
bare soles greying,
slurping up the dirt as they slapped on the pavement,
lank hair swaying down around my waist.

I picked up the lingo;
learned to tag a suffix onto hellos and info.
“Hi, man”, “Hey, man”,
“I’m spaced out today, man”.
I gabbed about breadheads, straights and deadheads,
denied having hang-ups,
while the guys got spaced out,
dabbled with the wahwah, and crashed in the pad.

I dressed like the rest of ’em,
babbled like the best of ’em,
but I burned with a different kind of fire.
An anomalous question mark, an obvious outlier,
I shook my head at weed, and I detested LSD.
There
had
never
been
a
hippie
quite
like
me.

~o~

The Daily Post #Outlier

©Jane Paterson Basil

Foul Frederick

When they cut the dead men down from the gallows they carry them to Newgate cemetary, and throw them into a pit where the tangled limbs of unnamed, unclaimed and unwanted convicts rot and stink in one mass grave.

On hallows eve each spirit disencumbers his crumbling bones from those of his neighbours, to walk alone, as, following his nature, he haunts, punishing those mortals who cannot forget him, or visiting those for whom he aches. Some malicious ghosts with a taste for tradition shamble in rattling chains, making a cacophoninous clank which grabs at the entrails of all unfortunate folk who hear, leaving them quaking in fear. Others, with theatrical flair, can be seen only through the corner of the eye; they disappear at the turn of the head. These phantom tricksters rustle papers in the corner of the room. They requisition the wind, which swings windows wide open. They slam doors shut. They sigh and moan while an eerie chill fills the firelit cheer.

Many of the victims of the hangman’s noose are innocent of the crime for which they were convicted and killed. Lost in endless misery they drift, desperate for deliverance from their dragging affliction. They appear in dreams, to be half-remembered when we awake in the deep of the night. Their stories slip and slide in our minds as we try to hold tight to them. In the morning they are an insubstantial smoky wisp which drifts, thins in the atmosphere, then disappears.

Foul Frederick steps on fetid limbs as they reach for the lip of the grave, kicking them back in, to land, bone on bone, with a clatter on the weakest, who wait their turn. With every kind of weapon, with fists and teeth and squeezing hands he murdered friends and foes and strangers, showing no favoritism, and less sympathy. He needs no sweet lips to smile at him, no kiss to warm his breath. He lived for the thrill of bringing screaming death to those who crossed his path. The people of London celebrated on the day that he was hanged.

The dread demon ghoul could have been a teacher in a ghostly school for all the tricks he knows. But he tutors nobody. His skills are for him alone. See him roam the darkened roads, grabbing the throats of foolish folk and desperate souls who walk the Newgate streets at night, lost and cold or reeling drunk, all of them fodder for his hungry hands. But this is no more than an hors d’oeurve. He hunts the pockets of the slumped body for a knife, and when he finds it, he is in his element.

Dawn finds Foul Frederick daubed in damp scarlet rags, beneath the soil, contentedly rotting away until next year’s joyous party, while the blood of last night’s losers soaks into the bones of innocent and guilty victims of Newgate Gaol.

On November 1st every year, screams and weeping echo through the streets of Newgate, strangled and slashed bodies are removed, blood is washed from the streets, and the hunt for the Halloween killer is renewed.

The Daily Post #Eerie

©Jane Paterson Basil

Equal

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.

frozen between
two small tasks

unable to decide which to prioritize
weighing each, .judging them equal

then, for an instant, .figuring this one is more pressing
before changing my mind, thinking the other more fun

arranging, .switching, .rearranging
struggling .to come .to. a..decision

until finally
I do neither

.

~0~

.

The Daily Post #Rearrange

©Jane Paterson Basil

The lonely man

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Having made the decision to dismiss all things related to jiggling passion and doe-eyed romance, she hypnotised her libido into an indifferent torpor.

Months stretched peacefully into years, before a lonely man with physical allure, but dull conversation, approached with an inviting smile, injecting a rippling frisson beneath dry skin;
a tiny itch like the tail of a sting.

The eyes of the lonely man dove deep into the core of her, and with a finger, tickled unwilling, damp fantasies.

His hand(as if by accident), brushed lightly against her thigh, pressing lascivious ideas into wakening flesh.

As weeks went by, each accidental meeting added heat to her unwanted, wanton desire for the relief which he was longing to give.

And he, hungry for love, pitching for her heart, her soul, continued in the only way he knew,
until she, weakened by the ache, gave him the treat of no more than her body.

It would not be true to say she had no heart, for in the moist heat before he undid her buttons and zips, her heart froze at the knowledge that the lonely man with physical allure but no conversation, was undone.

Later, in her melting tower she turned the lock, took a shower, cleansed herself in steam, all the while humming the closing strains of a bawdy song, her demeanor briefly shaken by his desolate scream.

Wrapped in fresh linen, her renewed flesh forever banned from thinking of him, she slept.

The Daily Post #Banned

©Jane Paterson Basil