Mountain goats

the universe is a sly genie

granting your heart’s desire

unexpectedly

be careful

what you wish for because

the woman who prayed

for a release from exercise

lost the use of both ankles

while she

who despised uncertainty

was forced to choose change

as definite

finding out too late

there’s a sort of peace

in fate unknown

and before you know

that leap is made

like an

ungraceful newborn

a colt, a mustang, a mountain goat

with shuddering legs

sprays matter from the birth canal

over disgruntled onlookers

as she

scrambles up the other side

of life

triumphant

or, if not, well, anyway

the crevasse is too wide and

you see

we

smash the stones of our past lives into oblivion

on the way, so

you can’t

go back now

don’t even try

 

Photo: https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/720/cpsprodpb/EE3A/production/_87068906_thinkstockphotos-473747066.jpg

FICTION: Nice Ride by Claire Doble

Having only just discovered the re-blog – here’s another one of my stories that was published about a month ago I forgot to mention! oops… enjoy!

We weren’t supposed to end up in the bath. It was one of those intense blue afternoons where it’s almost too hot in the sunshine but disconcertingly dark and shivery when you step indoors. The kind of afternoon you get in Melbourne in early spring. But this was Sydney, autumn. I was sitting out on my balcony, eyes closed as I soaked up the brightness when he stopped by. I had other things to do. But he was far more appealing.

Joel was a taxi driver so I always half-expected him to visit anyway. He’d knock on my door to use the toilet when he was passing by and had a spare fifteen minutes. Toilet breaks are the bane of a taxi driver’s existence. I’d learnt to listen out for the engine’s wide hum as he pulled the cab onto the concrete slab in front of my block of flats.

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Ruby – by Claire Doble

Another one of my stories has been published! Please chuck it some love 🙂

SICK LIT MAGAZINE

“This is the place”

“Yes, I remember.”

Her seventy-nine-year-old eyes were large and ripply behind her thick spectacles. Her face a mass of ridges topped by a puff of grey-white hair.

We walked up the familiar lane – barely wide enough for two cars to pass on the metalled road in the centre, and streaked by tyre-tracks of dirt in a wide pattern from countless passing tractors. Or maybe one tractor passing countless times. It was damp, as it usually is in North East Scotland, but it hadn’t rained properly for a while. I looked at the fuzz of sticks and straw and bits of grass embedded in the lines of light-brown dirt from the tractor tyres and sighed. Somehow the messiness of it annoyed me.

The laneway was familiar to me, as was the approaching garden gate. I’d visited here several times on my various trips to Scotland. But…

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Aargau #26CANTONS52WEEKS

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Canton: Aargau

Destination: Ebianum Baggermuseum (museum of diggers), Fisibach

Interesting thing: I found the museum commentary pretty interesting!

 

My 26Cantons52Weeks challenge has been on a bit of a hiatus. April’s poetry month, combined with our London trip and my writing course has not left much spare time. However, I’m back with two more cantons to write up, which will mean I’ve done eight so far (not counting Zurich yet, that’s my ace up the sleeve!) with 18 to go. We’re nearly at midyear but summer is a great time for tourism for non-skiers like myself so I’m still confident I can visit all 26 Swiss cantons in 2017.

So to Fisibach and the Ebianum Baggermuseum (museum of diggers)! It was a rainy Sunday and Himself had to work, so I decided to drive the kids to this hidden gem of a museum (Himself had taken them previously and assured me it was good for a few hours’ entertainment). It was an easy half-hour drive from our place in Zurich with the sat nav. I’m still new enough to driving here that I feel proud of making it to new places on my own in the car!

The museum is basically a huge, airport-hangar/barn of a room which displays the decommissioned digger vehicles, cranes, tractors and bulldozers used by local-family business Eberhard over the years. Eberhard is a construction and civil engineering business, but more about that later. There’s loads of construction vehicles on display, from Eberhard’s first steam-powered tractor to more modern machines. You can also climb on and into a lot of the diggers, which the kids enjoyed. Perhaps the best bit (for us) was at the end, where there’s a large indoor sandpit full of kid-size construction vehicles, as well as about 20 ride-on bobbycars, tractors and balance bikes. The kids played here for about two hours. On a rainy Sunday, I’d say about 90% of the museum visitors were families with 0-7 age boys. I saw a few girls too and I know I would have enjoyed playing here with my brothers as a child.

Your CHF15 entry (free for kids under 7) also gives you an audio tour of the museum, which I requested in English, and was delighted to find the commentary done by members of the Eberhard family (even in the English version!). I’ll outline the story, apologies for any gaps, I had to keep one ear on the kids!

Eberhard was started by two brothers in the 1950s after they got their first big break — winning contracts to help build Zurich’s Kloten Airport in the 1940s. After that they mostly went from strength to strength, winning both Swiss and international building contracts, including a substantial amount of work in the MiddleEast. I loved the mix of personal anecdotes and hard facts in the commentary. The commentators were from the 2nd generation of the Eberhard family, so they really know their stuff. Their grandmother, who had 10 children, was also the bookkeeper for the business (can you imagine?!) so, in typical Swiss fashion, they also had exact figures for things, such as how much they paid for various machines over the years and things like – “when we got back from the Middle East, our local bank informed us we were due to foreclose, luckily we secured a loan for 1 million Swiss francs, so we could continue our business…”

Since I’m learning a bit about memoir writing at the moment, I found these personal details and family history bits of the story really fascinating and nicely done.

There’s also a spacious café are with an OK range of food (picknick is verboten, but we had brought sandwiches so ate them alongside some food we purchased).

A really fun day-trip to Aargau!

The Spinning Ones

Photo: http://bookdome.com/fiction/Grimms-Household-Tales/The-Three-Spinning-Fairies.html#.WQXN7PmGPIU

once again I rally them

my shining ones, my friends

she tells me that in twenty years

we’ll still be laughing til there’s tears

and magicking the world aright

like we did those moonlit nights

she says that I can let it go

permission to go slow

something I can’t grant for me

but when she speaks, I obey

she sometimes tells me I’m still Jerry

always missed, do not worry

invoke me with my name

on lips, in heart, the page…

and so we go around, around

casting spells and hauling found

fortunes, jokes and sparkling things

while endlessly the earth does spin

 

Today’s prompt was to write a poem about something that happens again and again (kind of like NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo). When I get down, my wonderful friends pull me up again tirelessly.

This is the last day of April and the final day of GloPoWriMo. I made it! I’m going to take a short break and get back to you shortly with a poetry-month wrap-up! 🙂

Photo: http://bookdome.com/fiction/Grimms-Household-Tales/The-Three-Spinning-Fairies.html#.WQXN7PmGPIU

Absolution

A woman on the street was circling, circling

her shoulder bag dropped down around her waist

she had spittle on her mouth

a frail and old person

scraggly white hair, a stained windcheater

broken,

and yet I was too afraid to help

bad possibilities zinging through my mind

of being hit, attacked, screeched at, misunderstood

at the heaviness of a human body collapsing on me in relief

the time it might suck from me

I walked by

with tears in my eyes.

doesn’t absolve anything

lazy coward me

she stopped circling, the spell broken

by me?

no way to know how the light gets in to a fissured mind

I told a friend later and got upset again

silly, scared me

still hoping for absolution

which she gave

‘you’re a kind person for even noticing. You wouldn’t be crying now if you didn’t mean well’

but I didn’t care enough

I could have given her a tissue to wipe her face

‘did you even have a tissue? I bet you didn’t even have one on you’

I just shook my head and sighed

the secret shame of soft, 3-ply folds in my bag,

putting me to the lie

knowing they were there all along

just like

the least I could have done

was

offer her one

 

Off-prompt for the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo! 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@raffiklopes

Skeltonics in the closet

everything is shrinking

or is it just my thinking

something about drinking

haven’t got an inkling

maybe Skeltonic verse

is par for the course

guess we could do worse

don’t call the hearse

yet

that Hemingway cartoon

crashed like a lead balloon

did no one see

or do they all hate he?

but I got 320 followers

so could not be jollier

and

with two more days to go

in this NaPoWriMo

think I’ve done O (K)

and to finish will be yay!

 

Day 28’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another. Here is a good explainer of the form, from which I have borrowed this excellent example:

Dipodic What?

Dipodic Verse
will be Terse.
Stress used just twice
to keep it nice,
short or long
a lilting song
or sounding gong
that won’t go wrong
if you adhere
to the rule here,
Now is that clear
My dear?

This year’s poetry month has felt like more of a challenge to get through than last year, with my other writing commitments bubbling away in the background, so I thought I’d just go for rather silly doggerel today.

Not actually sure if it’s skeltonic or not.
Think I usually write like that.
What-ever. 

The image is a detail from one of  Sir John Tenniel’s Alice in Wonderland illustrations I grabbed off the internet  … I think those pics are royalty-free these days anyway. ?

To write and to rewrite

 

Why sit and admire

Hemingway

it’s not just the lines and lines and lines of

shining, razor prose

the way potato mashed through the tines

of a fork in Africa

while a man who hunts a lion

shows himself a coward

-I know I’m not that

because

I gave birth two times

something he could never define

and 

rearing them

takes nerves of steel sometimes.

Last year I thought of Rollins

and in some ways they’re the same

these hyper-masculine, clear life-purpose,

tough, take no shit,

big-game giants

can I

feel myself aligned?

go, rewrite

 

Off-prompt for NaPoWriMotoday.