Sep 30, 2011

Haiku Wednesday and FFF55, 28th September


Thanks to Jenn for suggesting "Dare" as the subject for this week's Haiku challenge.

Join the fun!

Go to your mirror.
What would you do if you saw
someone not you there?

 . . . and thanks also to G-Man who once again invites us to solve life's enduring mysteries in only 55 words.


The first mirror made me look fat and my head very long. In the next mirror my reflection didn't do what I did. I smiled. My reflection scowled. I waved at myself. My reflection aimed a kick. I stepped closer to examine this strange mirror. My hand reached through the glass and seized me by the throat.

(55 words not including the title)


Sep 28, 2011

In Tandem#12

The In Tandem prompt is this lovely picture by Jinksy.
Without a shadow of doubt it is artistically superior to
this -

She thinks, "I'll be really unkind
and sit with my back to the blind
so that gents passing by
who my front hope to spy
will have to make do with behind!"

Unfailingly helpful as usual, Jinksy did me a rush job so that an idea from Little Nell's 2nd. comment (below) could be given substance -

But if gentlemen do get an itch
to see that she wears not a stitch,
the louvres roll over.
The lads are in clover!
Full Frontal! The norty wee witch!

Sep 27, 2011

A Triolet Writer Grieves.

Sound a sad cow-bell. For the English Muse
is dead. Free verse now wanders down the page.
Easy! New-age poets have no use
for sounds. The cow-bell of the English Muse
is fading. You won't hear free-versers fuse
assonance with meter, rhyme. They're far too sage.
Sound a sad cow-bell for the English Muse
now free verse slops and dribbles down the page.

(Posted in response to the Triolet Challenge set by Grace at "Imaginary Garden With Real Toads")
Imago, Imagas, Imagat.

"Pay attention, Simpleforth!"
Raps ruler on desk.
"Simpleforth, are you bored?"
"No sir!"
"Do you by any chance not like Latin, Simpleforth?"
"Oh yessir. Amo molto Latino, Magister."
"But I thought I saw you yawning just now, Simpleforth. As if construing two hundred or so words of sensible Latin was, how shall we say, beyond your wit? Do not the forthcoming examinations generate an atmosphere of foreboding? Even fear?"
"Has the wretch actually gone to sleep?"
"No sir. I'm thinking."
"You mean, Simpleforth, that within the putrefying mess that passes for your brain, there is discernible activity?  And what will emerge as a result?  What terrifying creature will this pupil's pupa produce? Marcus Tullius in tablino sedet? Omnes Gallia in tres partes divisa est? Or are you hoping that if Latin finally begins to appear it will be at the same moment that the bell announces end of lesson and Hooray it's Morning Break?"
(Bell sounds.)
"Not so fast, Simpleforth. Instead of hoofing off for a ciggie behind the bike sheds, you will stay here and write a two hundred word imposition to explain the Latin or Greek roots of the words imago, lacuna, miasma, oscitate, and synchronicity." 
"Ohh . . . SIR!"

(Hint to the beleagured schoolboy . .  all the given words are implied in the story, but in Simpleforth Standard English)

(200 words, not including the title and footnotes.  Posted in response to Rachel Harrie's Second Campaigner Challenge)

Sep 23, 2011

Thursday Thirteen, 22nd.September.

1.   The washing machine began to rumble ominously in its final 1200 r.p.m. spin.
2.   The coffee mugs on the shelf above the rumbling washing machine began to dance.
3.   My Better-Half said "What is wrong with the washing machine?"
4.   I said, "It's rumbling. Ominously. I will switch it off."
5.   I hauled the washing machine out from under the counter (In the UK we call them "work tops", OK?)
6.   I took the top cover off the washing machine.
7.   I saw that one of the retaining springs on the drum was broken.
8.   I went to get my tool box.
9.   I could not find my tool box.  I called to my Better-Half, "Have you seen my tool box?"
10. My Better-Half replied "Yes."  This was probably literally true, but not very helpful.
11. I found my tool box, but by this time I could not remember why I needed it.  I thought, "If I go back the way I came, I will probably be reminded why I needed my tool box before I get there."  I am full of good ideas like this.  But it was a while before I could remember I had come from the washing machine. I stood my ground, thinking. Ah, yes!  The washing machine.
12. When I got back to the washing machine, I could not remember where I had found my tool box or why I needed it.  I noticed he coffee cups had stopped dancing. Except for the one that had danced off the shelf and shattered on the tile floor. Surely that's not why I needed my tool box?
13. My Better-Half called "I have phoned for the domestic appliance repairman."


What’s that sound?  Limping footsteps dragging across the yard! She seized a kitchen knife like she had seen cornered women do in the movies. The footsteps stopped on the porch. Something hammered on the door and an unearthly voice called out -
"Sorry to bother you, love. Guy down the road tells me you sharpen chainsaws?"

This is a Friday Flash Fiction 55 for the nightmare world of G-Man where bloggers edit hundreds of words down to the important 55. (YOU can do it!  You know you can!)

Sep 20, 2011

Magpie Tales#83

Once again Tess at Willow Manor asks us to dig deep into our poetic reserves, encouraged by this week's pictorial prompt.

"The Snake Charmer" Henri Rousseau 1907

A primitive painter called Rousseau
bought Mrs. Rousseau a new trousseau.
But snakeskin pyjamas
are no use to Charmers . . .
"I'll shed them," she said. He said "Do so!"

* * * * 

A charming Snake Charmer called Richter
tried charming a boa constrictor.
It squeezed her much thinner
and ate her for dinner
declaring "Music like that's nothing fit for!"

I dedicate these limericks to Stafford Ray (No.18 in the Magpie#83 Linky list) and ask if he will settle for an honourable draw?

Sep 17, 2011

Goodness Me, Fancy That, Who'd Ever Have Thought It!

Christian Goldbach (1690 - 1764)

Did you know that all EVEN numbers greater than 2 are the sum of not more than two PRIME numbers?

e.g. 4=2+2, 6=3+3, 18=11+7 etc.  

This so-called "GOLDBACH CONJECTURE" has been checked for billions of even numbers but never proved.  Well, I have a wonderful proof, which unfortunately, won't fit into 55 words. Pity!

(The renowned G-Man invites us to debate the State of Nations etc in 55±0 words.  Along with G-Man, I wish all bloggers a kick-ass weekend checking out all the even numbers they can think of . . . . )

Sep 10, 2011

Hup Two Three.

Beethoven's dog Allegro
was nimble on its feet.
To see it dance the polka
was something of a treat.

When people said, "Hey, Ludwig -
that's clever." - Go on, guess!
The dog replied "You'll need to shout.
The old man's bloody deaf!"

(What's all this about?  It's Laurie Kolp at 'Imaginary Garden With Real Toads' wanting bloggers to write a poem in ONE MINUTE, with EIGHT LINES and containing the word ALLEGRO. Which means you need to think piu mosso then hit the keyboard running.)

Sep 9, 2011

"The Falling Leaves . . .

 . . . drift by my window"

Wife:        "Why are you staring out of the picture-window?"
Husband: "Watching for the first falling leaf of the Fall."
Wife:        "And then?"
Husband: "I'll go out and pick it up."
Wife:        "Why?"
Husband: "Must keep on top of it or we'd soon be knee deep in them."
(Wife exits to kitchen, shaking her head ruefully.)

(55 words, not including the title)

Thanks again to G-Man for hosting a prompt-blog where we can be as Silly As We Like in only 55 words . . . and to Jinksy who hosts the up-and-coming "In Tandem"

Sep 7, 2011

Robert Lloyd at "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads" asks poets to try their hand at a "bad" poem.  Easy-peasy, Robert!


         No Thing
grass and glass
grass and glass
the grass like glass



glass like grass
No thing but grass like glass

and the ten the then ten
green grass bottles
hang     ING
on and on and on

(Readers please note. The person who wrote this poem hails from the north of England, UK. The poem is "bad" if and only if you pronounce "grass" and "glass" as I would if I could be bothered to read the poem aloud, i.e. with a short, flat "a" sound.  If you say "glahss" and "grahss", i.e. to rhyme with "arse" as they do along our south coast, you will hear the poem is pure, dead brilliant)

Magpie Tales#81

Bogged Down

This little failure of a poem came to me in a moment of unrelieved pessimism brought on by catching sight of Tess Kincaid's wonderfully depressing picture . . . here

I come from a long line of "stick-in-the-muds"
My father before me was one
and his father too and the one before that.
Our lineage goes on and on.

You think I'm ashamed that I've got nowhere fast?
Never tried to. Don't see why I should
upset our tradition of failure and loss.
I'm happily stuck-in-the-mud!

I'm told it's genetic and there is no cure
for laziness. Sticks-in the-mud -
(Is that the right plural? Hanged if I care!)
are born with it, cursed by their blood.

The best I can do with the future in mind
is don't do what I would if I could -
which is breed like a rabbit,
a time-wasting habit
for someone stuck deep in the mud.

Sep 3, 2011

Friday Flash Fiction 2nd September

Week by week, and Friday by Friday, G-Man invites us to discuss life's little ironies in a strictly rationed 55 words.

Crash Team

"We're losing him. 400 joules! Clear!"
"No, he's breathing!  I'm getting a pulse."
The patient eyes opened. "What? Where?"
"Easy, son! What's that your holding? Ticket with a number?"
"There was this huge queue at the Pearly Gates. Guy in a white frock gave me this. Told me to come back later."
The crash team looked at each other.

(55 words, not including title)