Lizard dreams of former glories


Lizard scuttles
Stump-tailed bark-coloured
To the safety
Of the rough stone wall.
Cat yawns
Satin-sleek old roué
The twitching stick tail half-forgotten
Beneath his godlike paw.
Lizard waits
In a cool crack
With grains of sand
And the wrinkled remains
Of dry dead leaves.
Sides heave
In ancient anger
And in the eye’s dark depths
Dragon stirs
Steaming swamps
Fear-soaked fur
Brittle bones breaking
Beneath its jaws
And the taste of hot blood
On its saurian tongue.

Night poems

Bright white light

Almost day

But not quite



* * * *

His cloak

the black velvety night

Orion stands,

a star on each shoulder

his belt the light of a million worlds

and at his feet

the brash puddle of the city.

* * * *

So many stars the sky’s net is full

* * * *

Cat on the wall

stares at the stars

not returning their distant winking

dreaming of sunlight

and the tremulous softness of birds

* * * *

Deep night

full of toiling clouds

their struggles

etched in silver

by the wandering moon


Happy cat poem

The workmen disturbed the nest

too close to the kittens,

too loud.

Fearful of too close too loud

she looks for another place

far and quiet

and finds it on the landing

by the door of the empty flat.

Dust in the corners,

old papers, cobwebs, and no light.

No more too close too loud.

Safety and peace of sorts.

The time for a kitten to grow.


Trixie’s blogspot

I was reading about what makes a good idea for a blog post. One suggestion was to interview non-bloggers. Bloggers are always interviewing other bloggers, but it can be interesting to interview someone who doesn’t have a vested interest. I thought of the ideal candidate.

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Trixie, when did you decide that you were going to a house cat?

Well, I was very young, about four, five months old. At that age, you do some stupid things, you know? I’d been hanging around the mosque for a few days and there wasn’t much happening. They tell me it’s always like that during the week, but I was too wet behind the ears to know that. Anyway, this kid with his little sister in tow stopped to say hello, and I could tell he’d be a push over. Something in the gooey way he looked at me. So, I yelled at him a little and he finally got the message and led the way to his home.

So you were adopted by a boy and his little sister?

Adopted? That’s a bit strong. I simply reminded him that every home needs a cat. The boy’s cat had just gone walkabout, permanently and he was feeling a bit down. I jumped into the breach. Charity work if you like.

Does the position suit you; do you feel you’re treated reasonably?

They’re a bit stingy with the Friskies. I have to shout until I’m blue in the face in the morning, to make the big one who gets up first understand about breakfasts. He thinks one bowlful is enough. One bowlful! After a whole night barely closing my eyes. Does he think the mice stay away because they prefer the wallpaper next door? Has he no idea what it takes out of a body playing the black panther all night?

I hear you share your lodgings with a dog. No problems there?

Don’t mention the dog. I’ve done my best to show the brute where it can sleep and where it can’t, but it lollops about the place as if it owns it, flopping down anywhere it fancies with its great hooves flying. I’ve been forced to take drastic measures, but the stupid people who live here haven’t understood. As if I enjoy peeing on the furniture and in the smelly dog’s bed! A dog’s place is outside, in a kennel, on a short chain, with a muzzle.

And the other cats?

Huh! Those two bird brains? The grey one has no idea of the value of good Friskies. Turns his nose up at what’s put in his dish. If I wasn’t there to clean it up they’d be complaining about the smell, or the mess or whatever. All he wants to do is drink out of the tap in the bathroom. Drinks like a Pole. And he’ll only eat meat! They’ve tried to get me to eat that stuff too, all slippery and bloody. Yerk! It’s not natural. Give me a nice bowl of Friskies anyday. Brekkies aren’t bad either, and Whiskas are okay for a change. But meat!
The other one is just mental. I mean, really. She falls over her own feet, plods around like a platoon of squaddies, and her eyes are weird. I mean, who ever saw a cat with eyes like an owl? She can’t tell the difference between the dog’s biscuits and Friskies. Chews on those giant-sized things for hours! Moronic, if you ask me.

You don’t sound too enthusiastic about your place, Trixie. Would you consider another position?

I might. If they had Friskies 24/24, 7/7, and the hours were acceptable. And there was no dog, and no other cats. I’d have to have my own cushion, and I’ve got rather attached to this one. And I have first breakfast at 4.30 am. At least the big one here has understood that much. And I have to have access to the beds. All the beds. Some people don’t like that. And I couldn’t leave the area. The Bear doesn’t wander too far these days, and White Pants keeps strictly to this territory. Isis, Black Prince and all the mob from the next block would miss me if I moved away. It would have to be a pretty good offer. I’d have to think about it carefully. Very carefully.

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Is blogging worth it?

Having struggled with the whole concept of ‘the blog’, the sheer befuddling mechanics of it, for six months now, I think I’ve got something that looks attractive, the menu works as it should, and the content is interesting. But now I’ve got it, what do I do with it?
I have done my best to make the articles interesting, they’re nicely illustrated, and easy to navigate. But who reads them? I read other blogs where each post has yards of comments. True, many of them will be thanking the blogger for having visited another blog, but they are comments nonetheless. How do they do it?

I don’t follow that many blogs, no time, but there are a few whose posts I read assiduously. Those blogs might get a lot of visits, I can’t tell, but they certainly don’t get the dozens and dozens of comments gleaned over a period of many months that some less well-put together blog posts do. All I can suppose is that those very popular bloggers spend a lot of time visiting other blogs to incite return visits.

As a tactic, it obviously works. My question is: is it worth it? If someone reads your blog because you read theirs, does it have any impact for you at all? As a soon-to-be-published writer, I would like my blog to attract people, to read my words because they are actually interested in what I have to say, and eventually to buy my books. Of course, I hear you say, if you don’t publicise your blog nobody’s going to find you among the hundreds of thousands of other bloggers.

A friend pointed out that most people like to read about personal, everyday stuff, and the point is often made that nobody wants have the blogger’s book thrust in their face in every post. People lose interest very quickly in your struggles with writer’s block, they don’t necessarily want daily wordcounts of the WIP, and get frankly annoyed by constant exhortations to go-out-and-buy-my-book. So, I go easy on the spam and write about Trixie, the cat and her personal problems. Any other suggestions?

What do you do to promote your blog? Anything? Does it work? To put it bluntly, does blogging translate into sales? I’d be interested to know.

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