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Vivacious, Ephemera, Controversy, Meaning

Emma in comments on the old blog gave me “purple, vivacious, hamster” to work with…

Two pigtails ran out of the tall gates
and into waiting arms.
A grey uniform brought to life
by a bright purple lunchbox
and clashing orange satchel.
Smiles crest and crash as words
struggle to get out in time.
So much to remember, to tell
about finding the new day.
A vivacious bounce from skipped steps
bringing every detail out.
And then finally the best news of all –
a hamster for next week to keep,
all week. A whole week long.

Now a small confession, the title is not quite accurate. Jay-Jay was a guinea pig, not a hamster. But he was a very well-loved classroom pet.

This next one is one I was really excited to write. I begged for words from the wonderful Mr Ian Whates who kindly offered “Resonance, Candle, Ephemera” for me to play with. If you don’t know any of Ian’s work he writes both SF and Fantasy. Brilliantly. I am a mega-fan of the ‘City of a Hundred Rows‘ series. Ian is also amongst the most lovely people I have ever had the fortune to meet.

A stone guardian watches three women
stand at an empty grave to imagine
the men who had died.
A son, a brother, a father.
The small parcel of ephemera is delivered
in uniform late in the morning to a well-swept doorstep.
Handed to a step removed, to the past, the childhood,
he was not long enough a man to count,
not enough for it to last
the soft turn of memorised pages and photographs
crashes the final candle
then the flame is only seen as an inverse
reflection on tired minds.
And so she went away with a parcel –
one that was never seen.
Sixty-seven years.
I can return to the place they never saw him
with flowers and the resonance of a family
that just might have existed.

Zoe Ashton from the Etsy forums gave me “emphatic, controversy, escapades” to work into a poem.

A conference around a kitchen table
where bread is broken and milk is spilt.
An emphatic denial of everything
that is laid down in front of them.
A seat with a framed photograph of the past,
when rose petals covered every eye.
Crumbs splash down with a ferocity
that they expected even before
the future controversy was
spelt out in clear. Cut letters.
Flesh and blood cannot be heard
even when screaming over the remembered
escapades and adventures that
never happened in the future.
That never could exist.

Sarah Tristam also on the Etsy forums has kindly given me “love, powerful, meaning” to work with.

Barbed wire fences that refuse
to rust no matter how much rain
is poured down on them,
tears of acid are resisted by a need
for history to remember.
A meaning that is seen through
the cross-hatch of memory and metal,
where good lives live and
love is scratched into cold walls.
Powerful fingernails run over words
that we still read and music sings
through our brains as we listen
to the past and see ourselves.

These were all very enjoyable to write. Not easy but the ideas seemed very natural here – which I was expecting from such a disparate group of words. On to the next! And while I am here a huge thank-you to everyone who has given me words for this.


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  1. Hi Vick

    I absolutely love “Jay-Jay” – it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling! :-)


  1. Poignant Poem - Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums

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