In long-gone days, the wraith came at my beckoning, materialising clear as a leaf in a clean running stream brightly clad in nature's hues With wings of light she'd flitter through fields greeting trees, spinning in whirling dervish twirls till balance failed and she fell helpless with glee revelling in endless freedom I watched her mount the Oak, childish fingers clutching ever slimmer limbs climbing high higher Taunting a fleeting theory of God challenging death placing her feet on the flimsiest twig willing the wood to take her weight even as she dared it to defy her credence that her breath would never cease Frozen in time, the child remains forever nine When the world growls and bites I call her and she arrives. She always shows consoling me through the years with her reminder of joy Time breathes mist over my eyes and leads my senses toward a vacuum, yet still from time to time my wraith twists through the claws of time lending me memories of crowning days. Her margins have long since blended into the landscape, her flesh faded to grey evaporating into smoke Her diaphanous wisp floats over fields and streams beside my childhood home; the ghost of the child who was me and I recall that once upon a time I felt immortal and believed I was free ©Jane Paterson Basil
You twist the cube, try for one bright hue to fill your eyes, fumbling to build a blue wall that shines like a clean childhood sky, but the fingers fail and the cube bleeds, refusing to comply, its fuming patches bragging bitter truth, describing the sickness that grins between the seams. You drop the cube, close your eyes and dream. ©Jane Paterson Basil
Written for Reena‘s Xploration challenge #196. Sorry, Reena, my WP editor has a glitch: hard as I try, I can’t get it to highlight the whole name of your post when creating a pingback.
Don't diss me sister; I'm a cool fashionista, running with the times, an Eco A lister. Dressed by Oxfam from my head to my toes, elegant in every stitch of pre-cherished clothes and feeling pretty nifty in my vintage hat --- fifty years more stylish than this season's tat. I never understood; it's always been a mystery why people steer clear of raiment with a history, but the world is changing and the wise understand it's grand to to be strutting in second-hand. Our over-production will suck the planet dry --- we cannot halt the damage unless we all try. . If you buy less new, it'll slow production down, saving precious energy the world around, so come on into Oxfam and rummage with me, you never can tell what treasures you'll see. It's better than the High Street shops in town --- come with me to Oxfam and look around. Labels lack soul and the prices are steep, those showy little tags make folks look like sheep or mannequins standing in a window display trailing the fashion victims rags of the day. Change your look, show your personality --- come into the Oxfam shop with me. When you learn about the projects that Oxfam holds dear I hope that you will sign up to volunteer, giving up a portion of your time for free, learning new skills while you work with me or any of the members of our friendly crew who'd surely be delighted to get to know you. If you ain't got the confidence I'll hold your hand, and when you walk out the door you will understand the reasons I spend my time like I do, and buy pre-used instead of brand new: I'm runnin' with the times, I'm a cool fashionista, don't diss me sister, I'm an Eco A lister. ©Jane Paterson Basil
Seems I’m all out of poetry. so I’ve been messing about with this one, which I wrote a few years ago... still not entirely happy with it.
A beautifully crafted poem penned by my guest poet, PW.
Abuse can take so many forms the worst of which a bitch that's scorned who shoots untruths from lips not hip each time her man takes stand or slips. Her hands hold grip around your throat and with her words she bounds and chokes. No room to breathe, your freedom gone and with it youth, the truth along with peace of mind and decent times - deceit then reaps to beat you blind. So blind in fact your tragic eyes can't see the traps or magic die. Imagine why, I can't, can you? She kills the thrill of love so true then blues come back with blackness too to swallow up and hollow you. On borrowed time, the signs were clear as years of tears had disappeared the hope you held so very tight to live and love and bury spite. My plight can't end, my friends are hers to bend and break, my mates dispersed and curse me now just how she likes while I bleed red on beds of spikes. She fed them lies and tied them well while hellish bouts of shouts and yells consume me still and fill my mind, an ever-growing hill to climb. So now I know, I start to grow and leave behind the crime and crows and start out fresh the best I can but torn, I warn the rest of man - don't be a sap, this patterns old. Be bold and brave, don't slave or fold and hold your head up high and cope, don't mope, just mend. I'm sending hope. ©PW
PW’s heartrending verse highlights the sad fact that men – as well as women – are sometimes subjected to repeated acts of abuse… yet their voices are rarely heard or listened to.
You can't think straight. The reins were always slack. They slipped from your hands again. You can't remember when; could've been in your sleep or while you escaped into butterfly flight, clicking: once, twice, watching colourful wings flit... as if they could save you... anyway you let go or maybe those reins were stolen and now there is no escape from the claw that clamps your flesh, forcing you back into the cold of an echoing cave.
©Jane Paterson Basil
©Jane Paterson Basil
This brave beauty has been buffeted by autumn's steely breath, robbed of its faded cape. Not one thread clung to shield it from winter chill. Twigs snap, strained limbs creak and break, yet victory is gained; the tree remains staunch, tall and erect. Vanquished by harsh wind, leaves crumble and decay into mulch to feed next season's stunning display.
©Jane Paterson Basil
Written for Word Of The Day Challenge: Reflect
With apologies to the oft-disputed author of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
It's a dim little Christmas we're having this year, stranded from family and friends we hold dear. Factions are splattered all over the place, there is fear and denial, ragr and bad grace. World leaders sit haggard on prickly fence while scientists struggle to make them see sense. Conspiracy geeks prittle predictable prattle and the papers continue to treat us like cattle. Mother is shielding and father is fraught by the dreadful cost of the gifts that he bought. Business is failing, his debts are a-growing, since Covid put paid to the seeds he was sowing. His children are sleeping in confident bliss faithfully dreaming of generous gifts. Santa has packed up his sleigh with great care, he's padlocked his storehouse and fed his reindeer. He's flying up high on his usual rounds; although visits are tricky, he won't let us down. Since rulings preclude him from entering chimneys he drops down the presents and flies away nimbly, with a groan in his throat and a tear in his eye; he'd be glad of a drink or a lovely mince pie, to fill his fat belly and give his heart ease - but he cannot risk catching a nasty disease. As he smoothly directs his crew through the air, he's pleased to be giving but filled with despair. He reflects that it's been a difficult year: There's lots of goodwill, but damn little cheer.
©Jane Paterson Basil
You can't beat addiction by beating the addict; it will hitch up their need to reach for a fix. Shame on your actions, you showed no compassion. You oppressed and tormented and drove her to drink, then you slammed her and thrashed her, but she didn't sink. Throughout your life and long after you died her beautiful spirit and body survived. ©Jane Paterson Basil
Nobody told me you say: no-one explained; it seems at each road you pay a toll. Where crossroad meet, signposts scribe lies, or mud smudges each destination, you claim. You've lost control: you never know where the next path will lead. Looks like a dead-end street. Your hands shake, shame numbs your brain. So many mistakes. Nobody told you, you say, then you heap blame on those who are blinded like you. Loved ones tried, their words blurred by your need, your potential curdled by wild hurtle into dim thrill of needle and sleep. Deep sleep just short of eternal. Mornings bring cravings, day follows day filled with theft and sale, theft and sale to pay for your sleazy escape again and again. Always the same peppered with desperate efforts and creasing failures and cramping pain and careless mistakes and fleecing arrests and imprisoning cells while your head forever screams to be clean, while your need to appease the clamouring beast that clamps your frame and grabs your guts and clings to your skin and kidnaps your mind and steals your very being rejects the thought. ... How times change: these days you clean my home, cook my meal. We share expenses and I marvel at your strength of will. I ask you: what was the defining moment that inspired you to strive for the light? This is how you reply: I gazed at the signpost ahead and as I wiped the mud which had blinded my eyes, I read where each of three roads led. the first was a dire, familiar trail, the second pointed to sudden death. I chose the third road, the hard road, the right road, the sane road, the safe road, the stuttering shock. It was a toll I had to pay: that searing act of cleansing agony. I'm glad I grappled through the pain which led me back to hope and health. ©Jane Paterson Basil