Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019.
She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can.
Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears.
She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.
They fill her grave up with hindsight. Shift the weight of blame to keep her bones in the mud, her soul buried under reasoning, as if the stake wasn’t enough they must reform her a monster. Imagine her rising half clothed in skin, ribcage a broken casket heart still guttering not all the way extinguished. That way her howling can be dismissed as nothing more than yes, yes, yes.
Who missed a day of NaPoWriMo, not me that’s for sure. The Day Six prompt was “Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.”
I decided to follow on from Day Five, and chose the last line from the Fiona Benson poem that inspired me, “The woman is blamed” (from [Not Zeus: Medusa I] – ‘Vertigo and Ghosts’).
Pleaded innocent for hours, reading as guilty when she protested in that shrieking, crackle voice
and choked on communion wine prayers with her mouth full of spells.
It does people some good roping up witches, purging evil from the world
the woman is blamed.
I’m mixing two prompts this evening. NaPoWriMo’s Day Five challenge to mirror the layout and of an existing poem that I admire, (I chose a Fiona Benson poem from her collection ‘Vertigo & Ghosts’) and the DVersePoets Quardrille prompt: wine. During the 17th century there were a number of ‘tests’ to prove the innocence or guilt of a person accused of witchcraft. One of those ‘tests’ was to offer them communion or to have them recite the Lord’s Prayer. If they choked, of stumbled over the words then it was proof of their guilt. Fiona Benson’s poem [not-Zeus:Medusa I] ends on the line “the woman is blamed” which I’ve kept the same, but I’ve not followed the syllable count exactly.
At some point in the empty hours of a night, the motorway tarmac softens into a sea, allowing broken ships to slip upwards their ghost ragged rigging thick and slack with mist yet sailing steadily beneath these walkways, beneath these sleeping midnight travellers, watching through the steam of their coffees not so much as blinking while spectres leap from mast to mast, all colours bleached down to canvas and a single bone white skulls screaming at the heart of every flag.
I’ve not posted a response to the Day Three prompt as I’m still working on my deck of words. I decided to use Caroline Taggart’s book ‘500 Beautiful Words You Should Know’ as inspiration for my deck so I’ve only got around 20-odd words picked out at the moment. I still wrote a poem yesterday as I took part in the Weekend Writing Prompt, so I’m still on track for 30 poems in 30 days.
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem inspired by one of the images from the Space Liminal Bot twitter account. After a bit of scrolling I came across the image above and it sparked the idea for today’s poem.
After the heat passed out of our veins and cold sucked all energy right through the soles of our feet to the same place shadows reached to. When your voice seemed to linger, half calling, your smile flickering in my periphery. That was when I turned my head, slow and deliberate, lips caught around words I’d wished I’d said to you.
No point crying over spilt memories, when the morning slinks in early and worn, shivers itself under the covers beside you dew damp and clinging.
Regrets evaporate eventually, or so you tell yourself, tucking your face into the hollow of morning’s shoulder, scenting last year’s summer.
‘Imagine if-‘ Slide your hand across morning’s mouth, so similar to your own it seems, hush her into half-sleep.
We have other questions to ask when the sun is finished stretching awake, and none of them look back on the moments set in stone.
‘But you want to? Don’t you?’ heavier now with pillow pull, sinking stone dropped into still waters, down, down we go.
The earlier moments seem blurry now, edges smoothed so it all seems inevitable, choices we tripped around first time, face planting into our decisions.
Still… we got here in one piece, or enough pieces to pull together a whole with two halves and another third steadily on its way.
‘All of it could have been so different,’ but nothing wistful in that thought which slips away with the other dreams at the call of morning breaking.
Today’s optional prompt for #NaPoWriMo, is to write a poem about The Road Not Taken, pulling inspiration from Robert Frost’s poem. I’m already very good at picking apart my past choices, and obsessing over how things could have turned out so differently if I’d made a slightly different decision. I decided I didn’t need to voice that again in a poem as it’s not the healthiest of habits, and I’m trying to be better about looking forward rather than back. It’s all experience in the end, and we can only learn from the past, we can’t change it.