Prompt – Patterns

Clunk, splash
Clunk, splash

or was it splash, clunk?

The repeating noise led to a repeating pattern,
forcing its way across the paper,
and then across my room,
before inserting itself into my mind.

I love the swirls of autumn leaves in the wind,
waves breaking on a shore,
spring buds opening on a bush.

I love the patterns deep within Julia sets,
intricate fronds represented
in such beautiful colours.

I love the patterns in numbers,
such beauty in maths
that only a few recognise.

But splash, clunk?
Angular, ugly blocks on walls,
my mind endlessly counting.
no thank you

Writing Prompt – Bells

The Prompt this week was Bells, and I was thinking about possibly writing a poem – bells clanging, clashing, etc. Or a short story – maybe an alarm clock, waking from a dream or waking and going out to … somewhere? Or an evacuation in a war?
or, or
and then tonight my thoughts wandered in a very unexpected direction, not poetry, not fiction.

The Bells

“Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell” was a volume of poetry published jointly by three poets in 1846. It had little success at first, selling even fewer copies than my own more modest collection, although one person did write to the publisher to ask for their autographs.

It later became famous.

The Brontë family shared many creative interests, and Charlotte Bronte had an ambition to follow in her brother’s steps and become a recognised poet. She had written to the poet laureate Robert Southey to submit several poems; but she received a discouraging reply, after several months – ladies could not write great literature! In spite of the lack of encouragement, she continued to write. She was also impressed on reading some of Anne’s poetry, and persuaded her sisters to collaborate in producing a book of poetry to be published under male pseudonyms.

Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell was the volume of poetry published jointly by the three sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne in 1846 – their first work to ever go into print. The book was printed by Aylott and Jones, London. The first edition failed to attract interest, with only three copies sold. However, the sisters decided to continue publishing their work and each had a first novel published in 1847, still using their male pseudonyms.

But the three Mr Bells had a short lived success as poets and writers, as they were soon overtaken by the Brontë sisters. Evidently ladies could write after all.

Growing not withering

They closed down the shops,
and the families suffered,
but so did their villages and towns.

They dug up the graves,
and the families wept,
but so did their friends around the world.

They burned and killed the trees,
to punish the owners,
but polluted the air for everyone.

They tortured the believers,
who did not cry,
we cried for them.

Do they really expect to defeat
love and truth
through violence and fear?

On the ninth anniversary of the imprisonment of the 7, 
 

Numbers

As a statistician, I obviously love the numbers that describe our lives. But sometimes my brain wanders off to things like this:

I have 12 different items on my repeat prescription list. At the moment.

But I was recently diagnosed with some other ailments by a specialist. I haven’t seen my GP yet, but this means I will be probably getting another drug added to the list.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t happy about this. In fact I was very upset. I fretted about it in the four weeks between seeing the consultant and reading a copy of the letter he’s sent to my GP, listing the new diagnosis and suggesting treatments.

But then, in the postscript there was news that I have yet another thing wrong with me – that is four new things in total, two of which need new drugs.

So I’ll be getting 14 drugs on my repeat prescriptions, not unlucky 13.

I am so pleased.

Although, I just had another thought.

I’ve never counted up how many things are wrong with me – four news ones might just …

no it’s OK, I only have 12.

 

First of four – Spring

Four short pieces about the seasons. The first on Dreamwidth and WordPress, the others will only be posted on my Patreon page.

It was a warm spring day when I awoke this morning.

As usual I struggled to wake, then struggled to get out of bed. By the time I’d finished my first mug of tea it was already 11am.

Breakfast took another hour, even though it was just toast and coffee. Then I rested before my shower. Getting dressed was easier once my hands had warmed, and only took me 30 minutes. Followed by a brief rest of course.

Finally I was ready to go out, but the warm spring morning had turned into a rainy, chilly, afternoon, so I settled down with another mug of strong coffee and a cheese sandwich.

The clock ticked on, and it was time for an afternoon nap.

It was a cool dry evening when I awoke. Just right for a stroll. The early spring flowers were refreshed from the rain and their scents filled my nose as I opened the door. I walked slowly down the path to the gate, leaned on the wooden bar and admired the bright colours of the gardens around my home. My neighbours had done me proud this year, and their plots were filled with deep blues, purples, yellows and reds in a clash of vivid hues against the bright leaves.

I stood as long as I could, enjoying the evening light fading into dusk, then walked back into my home. It was nearly bedtime, but I’d had a good day today.

Selling myself

is hard.

Selling my books is even harder, and I have been very bad at it.

So, after thinking about this for at least a year, I’ve signed up on Pateon.

I’m hoping that people who don’t buy a book from an author they’ve never heard of might be tempted to sample a few short pieces for a $1.

And that some of my friends might decide to support me, then actually support me. This isn’t just about money, but me trying to gauge if you believe I have something interesting to say too.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5584703

So for a dollar, plus taxes of course (there is a rule written in stone in an ancient city, if I want some money the government want a share too), you will find a little something to enjoy, I will get a contribution towards the trip to join the European choir in Germany and the knowledge that, however bad my hair looks, I’m worth it.

Winter Wind

The wind is rising.

My letterbox bangs and I go to open the door, but there is nobody there, just the wind trying to come in uninvited.

I return to my seat.

Bang, Bang, Bang, goes the knocker.

I wait, but it is silent now.

Then just as I settle back – Bang, Bang, Bang.

I slowly pull myself up and walk to the door.

No one there. I see the empty plastic bags flying down the road, and winter leaves swirling, but no people. Not even a child running away.

On the way back to my chair, I notice the pain in my hip. Each time I move it pushes deeper in, and becomes harder to ignore.

But I resolve to try to ignore it, and the knocker too. I close my eyes and breathe deeply.

Bang, Bang, Bang.

What if it is my neighbour, come out in the gale to ask for help?

I get up again.
© Tricia Williams 2017

The salutes I never got

When I joined the Civil Service at 19, as a newly acquired ‘computer programmer’, one of the other staff told me that my equivalent grade was a Sub-Lieutenant (navy), an army Lieutenant or a RAF Flying Officer, and that people must salute if you visit a base on official business.

I didn’t, so they didn’t. Although I visited an army base several times as a ‘wife’ – and was (incorrectly I learned later) entertained in the Warrant Officer’s club – I left that job without experiencing any salutes even though I was by then in the giddy heights of Lieutenant/Captain/Flight Lieutenant.

Many years later, I re-entered in the guise of equivalent to Lieutenant Commander/Major/Squadron Leader, before moving up rapidly up to a Captain, a Colonel or a Group Captain. But apart from visits to some of the larger Customs House offices*, I never visited a ship or army base.

Then a little later, while placed firmly midway before those levels and their next stage of Commodore/Brigadier/Air Commodore, I did visit the MoD offices, and even the US Embassy – but no one saluted.

I guessed I was just not the sort of man other’s saluted.

Although there were some subtle hints they’d realised the other truth. I might have suspected they’d realised I was just a girl under the black trousers after so many entrepreneurs asked to speak to my boss, ‘my dear’ – when the only male around from the team was the one who did my filing.

Or maybe from to the time when they escorted my staff through into a meeting and tried to do the introductions while I was still stuck with the all male guards at the metal detector outside – they had it set so high I’d have had to remove an undergarment to pass, and maybe my teeth too.

My team waited for me, and there were flustered apologies, but I was getting increasingly irritated by such things as my health made doing my job physically hard even on good days. Expected to stand in a long queue outside the building, with no disabled facilities, then debating my belongings and underwear with security staff until I was late, all when I was doing them a favour?
Never mind a salute – I’d want a red carpet and police escort to go back.

and a band playing my song

the one I wrote

 

* Oh, and the Mayor of London’s parlour in the strange vertigo inducing building.

Silence

“It means that the impact on a person who is in a relationship that is emotionally and physically threatening is minimised. And under such conditions it is far easier to believe survivors are catastrophising their perception of reality.”   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/02/japanese-husband-speak-wife-abuse-coercive-control

(It wasn’t for 20 years, but I know how this feels and know that others dismissed it.)

 

Silence is a weapon

Silence is a weapon that leaves no bruises,
none for others to see at least.

Silence is a weapon that cuts as sharp as a knife,
but there is no blood on the floor.

Silence is a weapon that violates a soul,
but leaves little evidence.

Silence is a weapon that he uses well,
so that she suffers alone.

Silence is a weapon that destroys a marriage.
leeching love from both of them.

Silence is a terrible weapon.
© Tricia Williams 2017

Teaching Myself

Reflections on Book 7

“Everyone sit down and be quiet.
I want you to listen.
Benny I said sit down.
Janie stop talking.”

My voice gets louder.
“Now listen to me!”
Another child fidgets;
Benny is talking to his friend.

“Simon what are you doing over there?
Sit down immediately!
Everyone be QUIET!
STOP TALKING!”

They quieten for a moment
shifting in their seats.
Heathers looks scared;
Sarah stares at the floor.

But then George nudges his friend, and they giggle.

I take a deep breath, and try again,
“Children I have a special story,”
I drop my voice,
“about cats in the forest.”

Now I am almost whispering.
Smiling with delight,
as the children lean forward,
eager to catch each word.
© Tricia Williams
Dec 2016