Poetry Archive :: True Beauty

On the flipside of our poetic juxtaposition for the week, I’m back in the land of rhyming which, for the record, I’m not a huge fan of right now. However, the number of people who inform me that unless it rhymes it’s not poetry is sufficient for an unruly mind to accept the direction being told to head in.

In the end, this also ended up as being far more personal than expected. That seems to be happening a lot of late…

True Beauty

Look closer, see what lies behind
A preconception, state of mind;
Is what you sought a truth believed,
Simply surface, vision deceived?

Single, individual’s taste,
Aesthetics constantly replaced;
This ceaseless search for perfect truth
Wrapped up in attitude and youth.

When flawless start to fade and age,
An understanding can assuage:
With time comes wisdom and true depth
Grasping, evaluating breadth.

Our clearest visual lies within,
So happiness only begins;
When apprehension is removed,
Enlightenment finally proved.

Forget the look, focus on form,
Grasp deviation from the norm:
These flaws create appearance bright
True beauty’s focus of delight.

Poetry Archive :: Beauty, True

It was one of those transition weeks for us again, moving between two themes, and so I picked a title that was interchangeable with both February and March’s directions. In this case, our Haiku focusses on the details in daisies, which are one of my favourite flowers. Hanakotoba (花言葉)  the Japanese form of the language of flowers, considers the daisy as a sign of faith.

I love them for their simplicity, order and sense of calm they instil within.

Beauty, True

Fractal perfection
Nuance of nature; tiny
Instances of joy.

Petals, stalks, stamen,
Components of brilliance
Evolution’s gift.

Beauty, defined here
As a bloom opens, beginning
Brief cycle of life.

For a joyous breath,
Life blossoms: transformation
Green to white, yellow.

Happy, this daisy
Truly unique; demonstrates
Earth’s diversity.

February Short Story :: The Shape We’re In

This story was first published in 28 parts via Twitter during February. It is now reproduced now in a complete form, and a number of small edits have been added to improve narrative flow.


The Shape We’re In

He’s been dreading this day for months. Lying awake, staring at the ceiling, there is no avoiding tonight’s inevitability. The annual Senior Year Five Dance is the undisputed highlight of his social calender; Charlie Fisher has never done ‘social’ in the same fashion as others. Maybe it’s because he’s the oldest boy in the year, or perhaps the notion of celebrating the most awkward phase of his existence has never sat well in a mind predisposed to overthinking. At least he doesn’t have to go to school today: thank the Deities for this small mercy.

There is the sound of raised voices above him: Tilly Craven is already complaining to her mother that shoes are nowhere to be found, and this day is, therefore, a disaster. Maybe if he didn’t live in a Communal Block he’d get more sleep at weekends… but it could be far worse. Lying in darkness, loneliness remains, nobody to share this children’s room with. His sister had died from Bird Flu before he could walk, no memory of her save the drawings his father had made. She’d never seen Year Five. He should be grateful for survival, especially today.

Things could be far worse. Charlie could be forced to wear the horribly restrictive outfits all the other boys were already being squeezed into, putting their manhood’s on show for all to see. His parents could embrace the Deity Doctrines: fortunately, both held no affiliations. Neither do they consider him the weaker sex, or a disappointing result at birth. Whilst everybody else asked for a daughter, his parents simply loved him as a person. Today he would wear his father’s antique dress, cut well below the waist, and that was the best thing of all.

Only then does he see his mother, dressed and ready to work in the woollen mill, sitting opposite on the sofa his sister’s bed had been transformed into. In her hand is his corsage: white roses, as it should be in Leeds. Even in darkness her smile beams, dark hair piled high.

She’ll be late, just to say goodbye.

‘I will never, ever get tired of your honesty and warmth in this house. Your father’s making breakfast. Just enjoy the day as much as you can.’

Leaving corsage on the sofa, she departs for her twelve-hour shift, as son heads for the bathroom.

Across town, in the Executive Zone, Lissa McIntyre’s 16th birthday party shows no signs of winding down. Birthday girl, however, left the Community Hall well before midnight, returning home for bag hidden beforehand. She’s abandoned the life that had become a prison and escaped. Neither parent will care or worry about her absence until it is too late. Her elder sister is of far greater significance, key to their aspirations of taking over all the Manufacturing Guilds in the county at month’s end. She left them all too drugged to consider anything at all.

Whilst the rich elite of their social circle smoked, injected and inhaled the fruits of their success using her coming of age as an excuse she’d been ready to run. Money was saved, transport quietly acquired and soon, Leeds would be a distant memory. However, there was a problem.

Charlie. Brilliant, individual, maddening; one boy who never saw the rich, spoilt brat everyone else thought she was by default. That poor kid on the School scholarship who’d changed the entire landscape for the better, whom she loved dearly. He had never been part of her plan. Love was for more worthy souls, this long-term future initially depending on leaving everyone else behind. Now heart grasped an essential need not simply to change direction but expand possibilities; everything willingly risked to not simply rescue him but both his parents too.

The Mill’s utilitarian cafeteria is packed: both sexes, mingling unhindered, unisex clothing the norm. There were no revealing tops or tights here, simply joy at being happy and relaxed, plus nobody cared who Lissa was. She existed as not simply independent but free of judgement. Looking up from her porridge and tea, the young woman meets Elizabeth’s gaze as she moves through the food queue. Charlie’s mother doesn’t seem that surprised to see her either, smile she gives making this change in plan worthwhile. The letter left at their home had been read.

Without the prosthetic breasts, coloured contacts and make-up, Lissa knows nobody will recognise her, not even the CCTV cameras will be able to make a positive identification. Elizabeth is the only other person who’s seen her without the trappings she was forced to wear by family. She’s already buying extra food, making sure the full ration of water is taken, quietly planning ahead. Charlie’s parents have already accepted the offer, now all that is needed now is to wait for him to return. If everything is going to plan he’ll have found his letter by now…

The boys are forced to line up against the School’s Gym wall, hands shackled above their heads. Many are in tears, and Charlie’s made the decision not to be one of them. The punishment for refusing to expose his manhood for public scrutiny is more palatable than this action. There’s no point in being here anyway, now he knows Lissa won’t be coming. She understands that bodies are irrelevant when minds matter more, and her plan… yes, it’s risky, but if his parents are willing as she believes to help them both, there is no need to worry about details.

Walking home in bright, uncompromising sunshine, Charlie thinks of mother at the mill, and that he could easily forget the last two years of School completely. He’d rather be working and contributing than spend another day being ridiculed. Life as a model student was overrated. This would be his first act of rebellion in five years, and once the punishment was served, he’d have gone anyway, because not another day would have been wasted pretending he was like everybody else. Lissa had ignited his spark of non-conformity: it burned now out of control.

He’s about to cross the road to his communal block when father appears unexpectedly, dressed as he did when working at the Community Centre. He ushers Charlie quickly into the alley next to the Corner Shop, away from the CCTV cameras: there’s a bag of clothing already waiting. He’d expected to have a chance to go back to the house one last time, but the clock is ticking. They need to be out of the town before the sun goes down, or else Curfew will keep them stuck here until tomorrow, and someone might then notice Lissa’s absence. It is time to leave.

At the other end of the alley, there’s a battered Range Rover in Manufacturing Guild dark blue. His mother watches from the driver’s seat, and in the back, Lissa’s blonde hair is hidden by a dirty brown wig. She has planned and organised everything, and Charlie loves her for it.

Charlie also loves watching Lissa sleep, tucked under his arm, more beautiful without the prosthetics than any woman he has ever seen. This future is now in their hands: he wonders if there will ever be a way to thank her for this as mother drives them into the Highlands and a new day. The flat chested girl and the boy with only one testicle were both damaged goods, in their own way. He’d never been whole, and she’d given up the right to live a lie in existence summarily left behind. No-one would come to look for them because neither were considered worthwhile.

Nobody would care if there were three fewer mouths to feed, one less cripple to make everybody else look bad. Polite society was more damaged than anyone wanted to admit. The future was away from the Empire and in Scotland, where diversity was joyfully embraced and celebrated. Lissa had freed them all with a mind that transcended what parents considered as her broken body. She was more than Charlie’s equal, and vice versa. The shape of them both together created a joyous and immutable whole, no more lies or deception.

The shape of things is perfect.

The Test

Tomorrow begins a project that has evolved significantly since being first planned. It will be ‘marketed’ on the Internet of Words Instagram feed, to see how using hashtags will affect reach, and whether it is possible to build an audience literally from scratch. It is a combination of art and poetry, which uses the fact that Wikipedia allows pictures to be shared from its database under a Creative Commons license.

It allows me to use Art History to inspire Haiku, and it is fabulous.

Stone Age Art

I’ve mapped out twenty-eight stops that cover most of the key tenets of Art History. With each one, there is a Haiku that will become, at the end of March, a journey from the Dawn of Mankind to the present day. I’m VERY pleased with the output thus far, and even more happy that I can now use Instagram and its various add-ons to create what is compelling and original content.

Haiku Page Day 2

However, what is most satisfying of all is the cohesive whole that these parts have made, quite a long way from the starting idea. This is not something I have the time to do every month, but it has undoubtedly inspired a lot of potential new directions for both poetry and imagery online. That’s what I’m here to do, after all. It is not solely about inspiring myself either, but (hopefully) making others think and enjoy what is being produced.

We’ll take a look at the end of March and see how successful (or otherwise) the project was.

All or Nothing At All

I have had to sacrifice some Erotic Fiction to the Gods of Quality this week: the idea is still 100% sound but my execution? Not so much. However, I am planning some space to shove it into Thursday’s WiP Extravaganza, and so it will see the light of day at some point in March. It also makes me realise that I ought to carry on this series, but not at the expense of anything else. Therefore, I have decreed that April will be Short Story Month, and at least one thing I write during that period will be entered into a Contest.

Short Story Month.png

I already have some stuff on the table, but as we don’t have March scheduled as yet, it is going to have to wait. That’s been a bit hamstrung today by me spending close to four hours in the car as a taxi service in the snow, but I’ve made some solid progress, which means I am confident everything will be ready to roll on Thursday. Also, Novel Progress is STILL GO. That’s looking really positive, as it happens. I’m not ready to pitch this yet, not until it is done and I’m happy with it. After that, it is going to get sold for all its worth.


Optimism and creativity remain high. This should hopefully lead to some random shiz occurring in the next few weeks (looking at you, output from Experimental Poetry.)

Even if it is cold outside, I’m keeping the grey matter ticking over nicely.

Experimental :: In Your Dreams

In my dreams, I was your wife
Picture perfect imitation.
Here, domestic servitude:
with no desire for anything
but pleasuring a life,
with nothing less but attitude.

Your perfect body taunted
All I did was stare, not touching.
Desire: staggered, overwhelmed
far too much, and when it came to
adult time, I panicked
waking in bed, alone and sad.

I’ll never be your lover
It doesn’t really matter now.
Depth of your duplicity
is something I find harrowing;
need to taste narrowing,
no call for adult time, go home.

My dreams are my own business
Stimulus summarily, ceased.
I can play with myself here
with no abuse, I’m in the clear,
take pointless excuses:
in the end, happier alone.

Poetry Archive :: Nobody But You

Love can be horrible, sometimes.

Here’s some Haiku about that.

Nobody But You

Now you have left me
Desolate: understanding,
This love is over.

All I now desire
Out of reach: estranged moments
Cold, empty feelings.

Every day, torture
Realisation; final
Line drawn, completed.

There is no return,
Our path blocked: accept failure
No future to gain.

Nobody but you
At this instant matters more:
Loss too much to bear.