Time out of mind

For the Secret Keeper’s weekly writing challenge

This week’s words are



Time out of mind the river’s flowed

Beneath the bridge, where we would stand,

Watching the boats sail to the sea.


Lovers ’fore us had promised here,

To be as constant as the flood,

Time out of mind the river’s flowed.


Box sprigs tied with ribbon bright,

Dropped in the current danced and sped

Beneath the bridge where we would stand.


A strange far land is where you went,

Your secret you did guard it well,

Watching the boats sail to the sea.

Microfiction: Bargees

Three lines for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

Photo ©Charlie Harutaka



They’d always lived on a barge, assumed their daughter loved it as much as they did.

She watched the bank slipping past as they glided down the wintry river and wished her life was not constantly in movement, always going somewhere but never arriving.

One day she would live in a house, a real house with a garden, and stand still, her boots planted firmly in the earth and watch spring touch the trees and the plants with green fire.

River promenade

A couple of months ago I finally got myself a telephone. I’m what you’d call a late adopter. I got it because husband said I ought to be able to phone for help when Finbar falls in the river (as he does). So I paid 49€ for a dinky little thing that actually does interesting things like letting me read my emails without having to turn the computer on, and it takes photos. Not very good ones, but still. For sending messages it’s not so useful—with a screen about the size of a box of household matches the keyboard is microscopic and you need fingers the size of matches to use it. I’m just about getting the reflex of snapping as I walk. Dumb, I know. It’ll pass.

The Cisne Branco has taken to the high seas, but the Marco Polo was just pulling up.


It looks like a converted tug boat to me but I could imagine living on something like this.


This thing, though, is one of my pet hates. Not a big one by any standards, it’s still a blot on the landscape.


The ‘Miroir d’eau’ is one of Bordeaux’ main tourist attractions. It was designed to reflect the lovely buildings of the Place de la Bourse. Unfortunately for the tourists who still expect to be able to photograph the reflection in the water, it has become Europe’s shallowest paddling pool and fills up with toddlers in swimming costumes from mid-morning.

The mist effect generally gets them all screaming. I find it quite touching that children (and adults) should get so excited about three centimetres of water in a city centre when they’ve just come back from or are about to go on beach holidays with real sea.


Finbar asking himself why mother is sitting on the wall where he usually gets yelled at to getdownoffathereFinbar.


You do get a good view from up here.

Red poems

This is a poem sequence, inspired by a painting of a Flamenco dancer, one idea leading into another.

Red skirts swirl
Gestures arrogant
Fire to the tips
But her heart flinches
from the avid watchers’
greedy eyes.


Red flamenco skirts swirl
Red shoes dance their endless rhythm
Cold eyes watch and appraise
Beneath the glitter of the cruel sun
That beams uncaring
Of the sorrow in her heart.

Red seeps through the earth
Of the cold damp north
In Flanders’ gentle fields
Where red poppies bend their graceful heads
To catch the whisperings of the dead.


War ends
The dead fade
Into weeping memories
But the poppy
Is forever red.

In the west
Red boat clouds sail slowly
Sinking into the fiery sun
Carrying their cargo of souls
Into the dying embers of the day.
Viking sunset.


My green pen draws a red boat
With a cargo of words in its hold
A cargo of shoots and delving roots
A floating forest of stories painted
All the colours of morning.

How I celebrate the river

Today was too lovely to stay indoors and cook, so we took a long walk along the banks of the Garonne. We are about five minutes walk from the river, we cross the Pont de Pierre, and the city is behind us.
Our Mexican friends are here as usual for the Fête du Fleuve.
PENTAX Digital Camera

I missed the flotilla of small sailing ships as they all left yesterday, to leave the limelight for the yacht ‘Cashmire’ leaving on the ‘Figaro Solitaire’ from Bordeaux today. Unfortunately The Belem has to share the quay with a floating hotel.
PENTAX Digital Camera

The wild flowers aren’t quite as lush as they were last week. The torrential rain has spoilt them, especially the fragile poppies.
PENTAX Digital Camera
PENTAX Digital Camera

Finbar doesn’t care. Give him a field full of grass and he’s happy as Larry.
PENTAX Digital Camera
PENTAX Digital Camera

Boats that seem to have been washed up by the current
Boats that seem to have been washed up by the current
Abandoned boat
Abandoned boat