Vanity In Reptiles – A Quadrille (Entirely Jane Dougherty’s Fault)

The size six snake

three trees over,

slithered past here

last Saturday.

The iguana on fern

saw her by the pool.

Think’s she looks better

in the water.

Told the croc by willow

he should swim on.

Big boys like him

stand no chance.


This is what happens when poets start commenting on other poet’s work. You end up down the rabbit hole with snakes, iguanas and crocodiles.

(It didn’t end well for the rabbit.)

To check out the writer who provided the inspiration for this quadrille, and then joined me in the madness, hop over to Jane Dougherty Writes. There you can find more of her work like the poem below:

Whip snake
resplendent in green and black beading,
striped vicious as a wasp,
terrifying as braided headdress,
twisted and entwined
with feathers and human teeth,
squirms and twitches and sloughs,
aghast
that this shrugged off apparel,
skin of skins,
must be how he looks.

My Grandfather

‘One of the old men fearing no man’ Thomas Yarnton of Tarlton by John Drinkwater


My Grandfather no longer ages.

In photos from family gatherings he stands

taller

than the rest of us

our constant invariable.

Despite broken ribs,

eleven,

smashed sternum,

destroyed spleen,

punctured lung,

fracture wrist,

cardiac arrest

not once but twice!

Despite the bull’s best efforts,

our urges to lessen the workload,

relax,

take time,

watch the races and leave the farming-

An old farmer never retires.

He doubles the size of the vegetable patch,

rebuilds fences,

two new stables,

buys a flock of ewes

(in lamb)

(and claims they’ll lamb themselves…

we all know they will not lamb themselves.)

To him, technology was foreign,

but,

to prove the family wrong

he bought a laptop.

And taught himself to use it in six months.

(Though email still proves elusive

And the last text he sent me

was

blank.

Still.

My Grandfather is the same

as the man in my memories,

And even at my most feminist

I did not mind to be princess,

So long as it was my Grandfather’s princess.

My Grandfather is one of those old men fearing no man,

who does not age in photos,

and makes me brave,

when I remember

that his stubbornness

runs just as strongly through me.

Incomplete

“Tomorrow morning, that footstool goes!”
And I’m left to listen to my own voice’s echo,
As it bounced back off half-painted walls
And round corners without the skirting-

Next weekend’s promise still etched in pencil.
But faded past the point of a stranger’s notice,
And even your mother has stopped commenting,
On the second landing’s crooked light fixing.

I must have asked you a hundred times before,
To throw out that footstool in the hallway.
Bought at some junk shop, three streets away,
And just awkward enough, so that I stub my toe,
Every single time I walk through the dam door!

The same door you painted pink to annoy John,
Next door’s tenant with a grey tweed suit,
And a hate for anything even mildly creative!
God he hated you! With a passion unmatched.

At least he did-

Last week he said how he’d admired you.
He said that you artwork was unparalleled!
You would have snorted in his face,
And asked him “what else you would expect?
You were a genius with a paintbrush after all!”
I just nodded and smiled.
You always said I was too polite to others.

That footstool you put in the hallway…
I try, but I can never throw it out.
Unlike the ashes, those I-

Your mother has them. Above her mantle piece.
She wanted a way to keep you close,
One that would match her interior design.
And I wanted that horrible urn out of the house.

You exist more in a footstool than an urn.
Though your mother wouldn’t agree on my thought.
She never did appreciate your…
I think she referred to it as ‘taste’-
Though some of those conversations are lost.

Like I said, she’s stopped about the light fitting,
I’m hoping she’ll leave the skirting alone soon.
Apparently I’m foolish to leave things in this state.
“No one wants a house half finished.”
She seems to forget that I still live here,
And there are memories I refuse to erase.

Hollow Out My Heart

You begged for forgiveness
With scrapped up knees,
And I stood on my steeple
With nothing to steady me.
The hollow of your words
Drowned out these chapel bells
And I struggled not to slip,
Knowing you wouldn’t catch me if I fell.
If the air is too thin,
Then why does it seem
That here I can think!
While with you I can’t breathe?
These lines between lies,
They blur into truth!
And the crows in the graveyard,
They recognize your tune.
The magic of the bard,
A lair’s way with words.
They wait for fresh meat,
For me to fall at your feet.

So you must sew up forgiveness,
Stitch it to my lips,
And have me recite it
Edit out my slips or quips

You apologies for lying,
You never meant to cheat
And though I’ll nod along,
Mimic your rhythm and the beat-
My acceptance is falsehood
As much as any of your deceits.

Graveyard 001

“Why does this writer not get more views?”

Have you ever asked yourself that question? I would have thought that it would be a common one to crop up, especially if you’re someone like me spending infinite amounts of time trawling through websites such as Deviant Art, WordPress.com and Fanfiction.net.

I have even been on the receiving end of astonishment from some. Random comments cropping up on whatever piece I’ve recently published, on whichever site I’m using, the author bamboozled by the fact my stats have never really taken off at any great rate. 

Now I know I can write, it’s taken some time for me to listen to the insistant voices in my ears, (namely one of my best friends Jad) but I’ll now admit that I can write pretty dam well. I just haven’t achieved large numbers of readers.

The thing is, I find it bothers me more when I find incredible writing by other people and the reading stats are low. When my own stats plummet, I’m fairly comfortable in the knowledge that there are a group of people out there who I can rely on to enjoy the writing I upload, and they will tell me if they don’t think it’s as good as it could be.

Admittedly, If you trawl through writing sites on a regular basis, you’ll find some atrocious stuff. I have to be in an incredibly good/patient mood to open up my Deviant Art  notifications and work my way through them one by one. More often or not I’ll delete anything that doesn’t grab my attention in the first few lines. This is purely down to limits on my free time and the fact that some of the writing that crops up in my notifications is truly terrible.

Especially when it comes to poetry I find myself reading what seems to be the same thing over and over again, leaving me to wonder if there is any understanding that depression does not have to be the only theme in poetry.

Of course there are also the diamonds that you find hiding in the piles of fool’s gold. These are the writers and artists who keep me from deleting my entire notifications inbox the moment I log into DA and give me hope for the future of writing.

Sometimes I simply like the thought that someone has put into a piece of work, such Akeesha909 who wrote ‘Inspiration’.

Red, Blue, Green
             Every colour becomes a thought
????!!!!!????!!!!
             Every thought becomes a painting
Oil paint, Water paint
             Every painting becomes a masterpiece  
Mona Lisa, Adam and Eve
             Every masterpiece is hung in a museum
The Vatican, The Louvre
             Every museum is filled with colour
Purple, Yellow, Orange
             And every colour becomes a thought

http://akeesha909.deviantart.com/art/Inspiration-300409076

The poem may not be perfect by any means, but I like the way it’s been set out and the theme running through it is refreshingly original. Publishing to Deviant Art is not about putting up works which are polished to perfection, or should be plastered across the pages of best selling novels or anthologies. It is supposed to be a stepping-stone, and a place where you can share what makes you happy and what your passion can achieve. 

Of course there are pieces which tackle the more worrisome issues such as depression, addiction and grief incredibly well. I can cope with reading these and there are some which are fantastically put together and can really connect with a reader. Prose such as ‘147’ by sense-and-stupidity does go some of the way to proving to me that these issues can be taken on and presented, without following the awful cliché’s that seem to litter the online world.

However, one of my favourite pieces of the moment has to be ‘Emily’ by inkedtea. The piece was right at the bottom of my pile of notifications this week, and almost brought me to tears after I read it, (take from that what you will.) Of course I then had to check out her gallery, and thankfully found that she has a beautiful collection of work that is just as wonderful as my initial impression.

All three of these writers have fairly low stats, yet their works contain something that I, at least, hold to be promising. I will defiantly be keeping an eye out for future developments and I advise you all to do the same. The links are there in the text, get clicking and reading, you know you want to.

 

(I hold no claim to the works of these writers, I simply wanted to share my appreciation for their work and talent.)