Baby waking.

I wrote this poem for the creative challenge Paul Brookes is running on his blog as part of the Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days of Wild. Yesterday the snapper came to visit, her first day out of the city since she was born all of six weeks ago. Paul posted the poem here along with the other contributions, poetry and artwork.


Baby waking

Six weeks old
her first day outside the city
grizzling after the long journey
I carry her across the meadow
beneath the trees by the stream.

I hear the grizzle change
to crooning chirrups weaving
among the bird songs
the feathered calls
and the burble of the water.

She lifts her head
eyes entranced by leaf movement
the dappled sky
light on green
oh the flash of wings.

There is wonder even now
scarce left the womb
eyes barely focused on the world
and already the world is wild—
the trees have claimed her.

Sunday Strange: The Baby Strikes Back

This tale cuts the cutesie picture down to size. To recap on Baby’s debuts, you might want to read this short story which will refresh your memory.

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Baby thought he was pretty special, destined for greatness, Ruler of the Universe probably, especially when his elder brother Jimmy fell foul of one of Baby’s genetic experiments, leaving Baby the eldest child. But Mother explained that in this world, only girls count. Baby would never become Ruler.

Mother never did have a girl. After Baby, came another two boys. Jack and Tom, thick as shit in a bucket, both of them, were easily persuaded to take the pretty sweetie. A much easier job than it had been to get the smart arse sheep to take it. The servants had been horrified, of course, and gone running to fetch Mother. Baby shrugged. He felt the time was right to take the logical next step.

With Jack and Tom in attendance, their dumb-wit eyes goggling, Baby trapped the power between his palms and wished very hard. He had no more need for sugar-coated pills. Not even Mother was able to do what he had done, had she? Jack nodded in agreement and wagged what passed for a tail. Tom just looked, the tip of his tongue poking out like a right shitbrains.

Baby brought his palms tight together, just like the magicians used to do before Mother got rid of them. He felt the power to change and transform squidge and squirm against his flesh. His eyes rolled and he fought to remain conscious. The squirming became a digging and delving, a hot, icy cold shiver of heat, and when it stopped, Baby was a girl!

She shook her curls and flexed her muscles, quivering with kick-ass, and Jack backed off the bed. Tom eyed the buttered toast. The door was flung open and Mother stood in the doorway, more agitated than Baby had ever known her before. She saw instantly what had happened and opened her mouth to squeal something obvious and idiotic like, “You’ve been messing with genetic engineering again!” But she never had a chance. Baby clapped her palms together once more and Mother rolled onto the breakfast tray, a smooth, fresh egg.

“Now for some real fun,” Baby said with a diabolical cackle and picked up a teaspoon.

Microfiction: Bounce

A very short story (89 words if anybody’s interested) in response to Sacha Black’s writing challenge. I admit it took me rather more than 60 seconds. It took me 60 seconds to clear my desktop and open a new word doc and another 60 secs thinking about what came after the first three words.  Ah well, rules are made to be broken, shouts the anarchist in me.

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The apple dropped. We didn’t hear the whoosh as it fell, just the thud as it hit the ground and rolled into the long grass. It was a beauty, green streaked with russet. And it had only one wormhole. Baby picked it up and gazed at it in awe.

“Round,” she said.

We beamed. Such a bright child.

She toddled to the path, apple clutched in chubby hand, and slung it to the ground.

She looked up at us, eyes full of reproach and shook her head.

“Doesn’t bounce.”

She waits as shadows fall

I tried to write a villanelle, I honstly tried. But I’ve had a tiring morning, and this is what I came up with instead. If you want to know what a villanelle is, look here.

Painting by Robert Falk

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She sits the whole day by the garden wall,

Until deep shade has filled the leafy lane,

And chilly fingers drum the old refrain,

Of loss and longing as the shadows fall.

 

She twists the finger where he set his ring,

Not gold, he said, but brass shines just as bright,

And she had laughed and held it to the light,

Not fearing then the heartache it would bring.

 

She sits while silence grows and takes the place

Of birdsong and the rippling of the stream,

Leaves her with seedling bairn and broken dream,

And useless tears that mar the beauty of her face.

 

The long night falls and stars prick one by one,

The waiting’s over for another day,

If only she had known to make him stay,

But that sweet dream with all the rest is done.