Flushed

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog where she hosts Six Sentence Stories and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a prompt word.

This week’s prompt word is Service


Flushed 

This DIY job is not a service but a replacement of vital parts, because the toilet cistern no longer flushes and its innards have fallen apart.

Luckily I remember some skills from when I was a 16 year-old apprentice plumbing and drainage engineer, back in Peaky Blinders land, ay, can still hear my gaffer say: “Water will always find its lowest level.”

Words of truth, but in this case the water has nowhere else to go – trapped, just sitting there idly in its ceramic fish tank waiting for replacement parts.

So it’s off with the tank lid, hands plunged into cold and calcified water, deep into the guts of this watery grave of broken plastic parts never meant to last or endure the hard water of our town’s supply.

Parts unscrewed, loosened, taken apart, brightly-coloured plastic contraptions of simple yet remarkable ingenuity pulled out like sunken hulks hoisted from the sea bed, then replaced with a brand new system all shiny and seaworthy for its future days in a 6 litre tank.

Job done – I marvel at my capability, thinking I have won; yet, water always does what it wants in the end and can easily make fools of our controlling ways; while some may believe the mark of civilisation lies in our art, our music, our architecture, our distribution of wealth – the true mark is simply how we try to manage the precious gift of water.


Editor’s note: The above is a true story – the flush has been threatening to go kaput for a while, so I ordered the spare part in anticipation. Also, I really was a plumbing and drainage apprentice based in Peaky Blinders land, Small Heath, Birmingham, by order! Props for good mate fellow WP blogster BK at Be Kitschig for telling me that if my adventures didn’t make into poem form I could always write a ‘flush fiction’ piece 🤣


Poem: by Ford.

Image #1: The Sleeze Brothers. Cloak and Dagger. Marvel. 1989. US.

Image #2: View-Master, 20,000 leagues under the sea. 1954.

To Bring You My Love – a Project #2 extract for Six Sentence Stories

DNA-DNE-DNA-DNE

DNA-DNE-DNA-DNE


I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog where she hosts Six Sentence Stories and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a prompt word.

This week’s cue word is Journey


To Bring You My Love

The night train watchman bids her a safe journey behind his mask,

And sails away along the carriage in search of fish the bigger to fry.

And she – she winds back her thoughts to a lady and a lord –

DNA domina, DNE domine,

DNA-DNE-DNA-DNE…

The repetition makes the same sound as does her train

Clattering along rails under English skies.

A metal crate on wheels and track, parting mountains and rivers

To take her fast to her childhood love and a solemn pact.

Quickly now hurry, DNA-DNE-DNA-DNE, before my boy takes

His final breath, before he…

DNA-DNE-DNA-DNE.

***


“My Dear, which train shall I take to bring you my love? For the love of poets is vast and unbound, and many a reflection may be seen in scripts from their souls. Cryptic. A puzzle. A treasure map to the heart. Meet me there in words yet said. Match my love with time yet spent. Reciprocate the loving sentiment with your own true words of poetic beauty.”


Words: by Ford, extract from The Remains of She, the upcoming collaboration between Spira and Ford.

Art images: Spira and Ford. Train images: Marklin, Hornby, Lima. Stafford castle photos unknown.

March 10. 2021.

Ode to reading

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog where she hosts Six Sentence Stories and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a prompt word.

This week’s cue word is Marvel


Ode to reading 

Happy am I to allow conjured words to dance upon my stage,
The bliss of poetry tumbled from ink and sprinkled on the page.

Hungry am I to devour and read, poems, micro stories,
Five-thousand word tales, novellas on a leash, messages in a bottle.

The immersion into the belly of the beast of the epic novel,
Gifting tens of thousands of fibrous words as if spun from a throstle.

And just as oils and nutrients are essential for the skin,
The writer must read to grease the gears of creation from within.

You read you write, a revolution of inspiration, articles, reviews, blogs, papers
On socioeconomics, antagonists and protagonists, 25¢ Detective Comics.

The Classics, the Romantics, a bestselling psychological thriller,
Or a childhood Marvel comic, about the King of the Monsters – Godzilla.


Poem: by Ford.

Image: Marvel Comic N°338. Herb Trimpe cover. 1979. UK.

January 20. 2021.

Poem: Ghosts of the Seven Seas

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog where she hosts Six Sentence Stories and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a prompt word.

This week’s word is Horizon


 

Ghosts of the Seven Seas

O lover of mine, O Lily my love, I sail to thee across the sea

‘Neath a gown of stars twinkling in a mannequin sky,

O’er tumbling waves to the beckoning lantern

Of a lighthouse tall on a distant horizon.

 

I pass Christmas islands and frozen shores,

Cross coral reefs as pink as your lips and blue as your eyes,

To find you my love, O Lily my love,

I’m so sorry I’m late – but I have been to war.

 

A war which wounded me yet claimed without success my beating heart;

For each battle with invaders, charlatans and thieves,

Each duel with a demon and dance with a devil,

Did but strengthen my love and desire for thee.

 

Is it too late? I call out across the waves to the pirate breeze,

For I feel I am a ghost upon a ghost ship,

Sailing to deliver the gold ingots of my soul,

And all the trinkets and treasures of my pining heart.

 

Is it too late? for the lips of Lily to press mine in tender kiss,

For our arms to embrace, for our fingers to caress?

Is our love so far, so stretched, so tempered, so drowned and diluted

By all this sea which cruelly divides us?

 

Replies the pirate breeze: Ye poor fool captain upon the deck

Of your vessel bereft of direction and crew,

Ye seek the kiss of your living lover? Well, let me tell you the cold truth:

Your Lily died while you were at war, and is nought but a ghost

The same as you.

 

***


Poem: by Ford.

Image: La Tartane by Francis Bergèse. Heller catalogue 606. 1979. France.

PS: I love you

PPS: **if they smile at you thru sharpened fangs*and no matter how much they dress up their lies with fake gold*know that the truth will always sting*know only you can set yourself free*and see beyond the misery of what they want you to be*question everything*question it all**

PPPS: Look after my star

24/12/20.

SSS: a micro story and poem

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a cue word.

This week’s cue word is Clip. Last week’s was Tender. I missed last week’s due to work, so this is my double bill feature to catch up 😊


 

The Haunting of the Clipper

She was going at a fair clip across the lurching tapestry of the Atlantic Ocean, England to America, blue agate skies and lemony sun, seabirds orbiting the old ship as it sailed westward.

Mary leaned on the rails and gazed at the vast and moving plain, her thoughts turning to the dreams of joining her husband Richard at his plantation; did she love him? Yes, otherwise she wouldn’t be making this voyage, but… the but was as stark as the shrieking of a gull as it made a pass over the deck, a black and white phantom of the seas, all hungry and brutal and vital, and Mary gave a shiver.

And she saw then on the horizon gathering clouds, blooming with the menace of a fantastic storm she might later find herself sailing into; a storm as inescapable as the life she was about to commit herself to at Richard’s plantation.

That night, in her cabin, it wasn’t storms which troubled Mary – but terrible nightmares riddled with pleas for vengeance and retribution; and the moaning and groaning she heard was not the protesting timbers of the clipper, but voices weeping with pain; and the dreadful rapping at her porthole was no striking pellets of rain nor hail, but the knuckles of fists demanding her attention; and the howls which pervaded every inch of the ship were no lamentations of the wind – but people calling out to her “Avenge us” and “Free our souls”.

The next morning Mary told her dreams to the captain, who smiled knowingly beneath a seasoned beard, and through a puff of smoke from his billowing pipe he said: “Ghosts, lass, nought but the ghosts of slaves tossed overboard and now un-resting below, aye, did ye not know this route was once sailed by slavers?”

And upon that following night, while Mary slept and once more bore witness to the moans and the howls and the voices demanding her help, she found she was no longer afraid but steeled with resolve to unshackle those ghosts, and a vow made that as soon as she reached the promised land she would burn her husband’s plantation down to the ground.

***


Tender

Tender is the man who succumbs to the virus, tender becomes his limbs and lungs, palest skin, and fragile eyes as weak as glass panes in cheap picture frames.

Tender is the meat he is helped to eat, hashed and blended, almost a liquid, when not one week ago he was scramming Sunday dinner down his throat, unaided, unhindered, unblemished by the invisible fingers of a virus tapping at his shoulder.

Tender is the bed he slept upon here, de-blanketed and de-sheeted, the mattress disinfected, his worldly belongings put into quarantine before being sent to relatives tender with tears.

Tender, so tender, the placement of flowers at a socially-distanced funeral.

Tender are the sentiments we are left with to nurse: the anxieties, bad dreams, stress and grief machined into relentless missiles lined up at the open hatch of a roaring bomber in a midnight sky –

Yet hearts, made of tough steel to meet the enemy at whichever gate it chooses, strong and vital, beating hard; O virus, ye shall know our wrath in the most tender moments you can reduce us to, and by our acts and courage we shall persist.

***


Micro story and poem by Ford.

Image: Suzy la Revoltée. Par Tani et Souriau. Lisette N° 24, 1946.