Poetry Archive :: The First Time

Couple of edits in this from the live version.

BRB, editing 30 Haiku for Thursday.


The First Time

Together, begin
mindfulness; look within self
your answers lie, quiet.

Acceptance, unique
truth there to find: presenting
mental progression.

Knowing shortcomings
plan accordingly; cover
failings, redefine.

True intimacy
grows organically, sprouting
fertile, grasping vines.

Make fresh beginning
just like our first time: leave past,
recreate present.


Poetry Archive :: The Last Gasp

Starting Thursday, we have a thirty part Haiku spectacular on the cards, so it will only be Micropoetry scheduled across the week.  As a result, I promise that this form will not suffer and is being given extra special love and attention. I also wish I could do bold and italic on Twitter so there’d be a chance to add some spice to my rhymes. Perhaps I should consider some emotes across November…

Now, there’s a thought…


The Last Gasp

It’s over. Lame excuses remain pointless,
arrogant assertions; blame shamed remaining
lack of explaining: just shut up and listen.

My fault. What a shocker, fault fraught
embrace selfish default, expelled suddenly
finally grasping pointless asking.

Let’s talk. Combine grievances, settle
differences, constructive discourse, on course;
resolution is a solution?

Fresh start. Dispense recompense, redefine time
warm hearts, depart from history’s bind,
beauty in kind, joint meeting of minds.

Last gasp? Not a chance, firm romance
redefinition without attrition, perdition
avoided, happy ending enjoyed.


In Pursuit of Happiness

Yup, it’s that time again. November is (checks calendar) NEXT WEEK and so, we need a graphic for the upcoming ‘write a novel in a month’ journey and some definitive idea of what the fuck is going on. Fortunately, both of these things are well in hand.

NaNoWriMo

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, here’s my mate Tessa explaining why 50k words in a month is such a big deal. For me, this is my eighth year taking part, and (hopefully) the fifth year required wordage will be complete at the end. We’ve discussed the plot here, and I’m not going to spend any more time going over details. However, I will find the time to share some of my personal insights over a decade, including that horrible moment when all the planning goes to hell and characters rebel against your well-organised planning.

It’s happened for the last three years and already, I’m hearing mutters of discontent from my major players…

cakehole

However, there’s a ton of stuff that needs to happen beforehand, including a rather important submission that is likely to take up all of my Monday. Therefore, it’s high time I got the backlog of work sorted and the new stuff prepared. All things being equal, we’re going to move into a new phase of work (and visuals) beginning on November 1st.

I’ll see you there 😀

Thank You For the Music

We’re BACK in action after the much needed and utterly awesome weekend away and this morning, we’re reminding the room all about next month. NaNoWriMo gets it’s own separate post on Wednesday but for now, I’d like to explain how #Soundtracking2018 and #Narrating2018 fit into next month’s timeline.

The 'Symphony' OST.png

#Soundtracking2018 this month encompasses 30 songs which inspired this entire ridiculous endeavour to begin with, giving a hint of what you can expect from the poetic ‘narrative.’ A large portion of the action takes place in Paris, a city with huge personal significance in my own existence. Needless to say, in many cases, the song you’ll hear will mirror the scenes imagined in order to create the haiku.

The 'Symphony' OST (1).png

On the flip-side (and as a possible spoiler as to what you’ll see play out across the month) the #Narrating2018 selection is all about coming and going, arriving and leaving, or the beginning (and end) of journeys. It’s also an opportunity for me to throw in more of my favourite romantic comedy moments. I’m a sucker for those stories, and I doubt that is ever going to change. So, next month, you get to share that with me.

Symphony

Once it’s all done this project is going to have it’s own space on the IoW website, and I’ll be redesigning the space too allowing the accommodation of further projects of this type. I totally love the whole haiku business now, and it’s become an indispensable part of daily existence.

Let’s hope I can do my own lofty aspirations justice.

Poetry Archive :: The Bigger Picture

Slowly, haiku is becoming a different tool to work with. It is no longer a set of random, perfect moments, but is evolving into something considerably more interesting. I’ve got a neophyte idea for a set of images and poems after we’re done with Symphony, which is likely to be a testing ground for my new narrative approach.

For now, it is time to keep tinkering.


The Bigger Picture

Sometimes, it’s not you
World revolves round: redemption
sourced via cognition.

Understanding self
vital first step: give love back
respect your neighbours.

Accept relation,
harshest correlation comes
looking first within.

Selfish win streak ends,
cards laid, hand scratched: chips are down,
loss, accept your fate.

The bigger picture
painted by millions; rich
canvas, education.


Poetry Archive :: Last Gasp

Haiku are, at least for me, the means by which progress can be measured.

Things are looking pretty good right now.


Last Gasp

Perhaps the point reached;
old degrading: allow peace
space within your heart.

Ignore constant beat
marching time: this future hewn
with past’s storm-felled boughs.

A fatal, last gasp
Summer’s passing: arrivals
falling into place.

Decomposing fault,
brittle crackle: time to wait
for Spring’s renewal.

All soon forgotten,
season’s change: redefining
our shared existence.



September Short Story: Sacrifice

This story was first published in 30 parts via Twitter during September. It is now reproduced now in a complete form, with a number of small edits and corrections made to improve narrative flow and maintain correct continuity.

Enjoy.


Sacrifice

 

Knowing this is how he will die, Daniel Burton succumbs to fate.


The salty whiteness his body is tumbling towards registers acceptance with more than a measure of panic: he’s willingly sacrificing himself to me with no fear, why? He’s in love, first time in 34 years. With HER. Searching this man’s mind, these last seconds are blissfully calm. Elaine’s honestly, beauty and courage shattered resolve never to even consider the possibility of a woman in his existence. This is true love too; the Librarian’s Contract has been broken. Daniel has to live.

The vast lake of sentient semen, built over nearly six hundred years from ritual offerings, thinks it has the right to be hacked off at this turn of events but is surprisingly sanguine instead.

Then it begins to laugh: deranged and maniacal: what will now happen is beyond funny.


There’s a voice, in Daniel’s head, chuckle that unexpectedly busts out into a full-blown cackle of delight.

‘Nice work, my son! Whether you like it or not, we’re now in this for the ride, together. I can’t harm you, because if I did the World will come to an end, quite literally… I have one last task to do before this is all over then you get the happy ending that fucked me over in the first place. HANG ON…’

Up from the lake comes shape of a hand, catching falling body with delicate skill. The last thing Daniel remembers before passing out again is the smell…


Chained to the Non-Fiction section of the Manchester Central Library, Elaine McCormack knows something has altered in the nightmare of existence since September 12th, 1468. Deep below Manchester’s streets familiar presence in her head is laughing maniacally whilst Edgar’s in pain. Next to Fiction, the warlock to whom she’s been magically bound since her 16th birthday drops to the ground, clawing at collar of a perfectly starched Jerome Street shirt. The air darkens, swirls of mist and iniquity not seen since their fateful first night on Saddleworth Moor.

This game, meticulously managed over centuries encompassed the Industrial Revolution, two World wars… rise, fall and renaissance of a centre for commerce and inspiration. Finally they’re here, second decade of the 21st Century, about to lift the curse that’s crippled this city. For six hundred and fifty years this man wanted her love. That was all that was needed: steadfast refusal had been her undoing, and in his anger they were both bound to this spot to suffer for all eternity… except not any more.

Daniel had broken their curse, simply by being kind.

There’s a low rumble from beneath the foundations of the Library, as Edgar Burrows grasps extended existence is about to be forcibly snuffed out by his own deranged and distinct ego. The spell used to separate them back in 1968 had simply escalated this inevitable confrontation. Except Burrows isn’t ready to leave, and with the curse that joined him to Elaine temporarily weakened, there might yet be an opportunity to reach for a second stab at immortality without the millstone of his own sexuality to continually assuage. It is worth a try, so he’s gone.

As warlock vanishes in a puff of sulphur and salt, McCormack’s mental and physical bonds evaporate. Falling to the floor, the woman prepares for reversion to pre-pubescent state, or to die instantly from old age. When neither happens, there’s cause for considerable celebration. Her thoughts go immediately to Daniel: he’s beneath, in the Chamber. This offering has not been consumed by the Creature and remains… asleep. Protected inside its body, reward offered for assistance, if she really cares for him. To remove Burrows completely… there is still a way.

Running through the Library, people are leaving, belongings left behind in panic as they bolt for the exits. Only now is it apparent that the entire building is shaking, books beginning to dislodge from shelves: outside sirens grow louder, emergency services arriving on cue. Time is running out, and the item that Elaine needs is locked inside Edgar’s office. Fortunately for her, he won’t realise what is about to happen until it is far too late. The obsession with self-preservation is literally about to become his own undoing, blinkered to the end.

In her head, the Creature’s apprehension manifests as surprise and resignation, before its guilt stops her progress. The ego is sorry, as afraid to die as Burrows… but is about to do so willingly for her soul. Joint sacrifice is unstoppable, stolen life now returned, unhindered. With a massive bang, door to Edgar’s office is blown off its hinges before being reduced to a surprisingly neat and evenly splintered pile of firewood. An ancient Tome of Spells that had been used to bind virgin to warlock is in Elaine’s hand, conveniently open at the right page.

Except after centuries of abuse and subjugation, McCormack cannot read the words; killing and torture her abuser’s task, not hers. She was better than this… but unless there was action, more innocents would vanish. A hand moves gently on her arm, book taken from a shaking grasp. This man ceased to exist the night he bound them together on the moor, yet continues to represent pure body of their curse: Burrows true self, forcibly removed decades previously. His ethereal manifestation smiles, resignation obvious and inescapable, tears falling as he speaks.

‘I am so sorry for all of this, what I did to you. The Evil will stop at nothing to keep himself in this plane, and to stop him I will smother every atom of that persona into oblivion. Let me read the words, so you can understand the good that existed but was lost so long ago.’

As the Creature reads, book turns from solid to smoke, vapour swirling around and into the fabric of the apparition. Instead of being bound to the woman, good has reattached itself to evil with one task in mind, to forcibly cancel darkness out with light, once and for all. The building suddenly stops shaking, and with a thump, Daniel appears on the floor in an ungainly heap.


Outside the Library, Emergency Services are in a state of some considerable concern. The ground beneath their feet has gone from solid to distinctly unstable within moments. With complete synchronicity, every manhole cover and access point covered by a metal plate is blown upwards into the early July morning. How anyone is not hurt is a miracle… and as each one whistles into clear blue sky, they vanish without a trace, before time slows to a crawl.

For a mile surrounding the Library an overpowering, oppressive stench rises like a wave from beneath city’s streets: is it hideously overripe cheese, rotting food or dead fish? Perhaps it is all three: as nearly four thousand people lose consciousness simultaneously nobody cares.


There remains a fair deal of contention as to what exactly happened at 10.15 am on the morning of July 16th: most agree they won’t ever forget the smell. Details are still under investigation, discussion in public subject to a raft of legal restrictions… but evidence remains. The three foot high wave of white liquid that engulfed Albert Square and surrounding streets has been described as a mass hallucination, because how else would the entire Town Hall have remained undamaged? Except amazingly, everything for a square mile is now pristinely clean.

Skeletal remains that appeared in 162 neat rows east of St Peter’s Square are being identified by the Manchester Police Force. Early rumours suggest at least some may belong to a number of the Jackson’s Row Missing, homeless people who mysteriously vanished across forty years. Initial damage reported to the inside of the Central Library could not be confirmed, and patrons were somewhat divided over what they observed in the hours leading up to the incident. The event’s only casualty was last seen inside the building: Edgar Burrows remains listed as ‘missing.’

Manchester Chronicle reporter Daniel Burton was injured as a result of a separate incident on the same day and remains stable at the Royal Infirmary. His harrowing report surrounding this incident and Burrow’s true identity has been read nearly twenty  million times on the Internet.


As man sleeps, wrapped in hospital linen, Elaine refuses to leave his side. Outside their room a dead Elm tree continues to regenerate: late, unexpected burst of Spring green in mid July. There will be issues to address over McCormack’s abilities once Daniel is fully conscious…