art & artist – Wordle/Fun Poem – August 28, 2015

Mario Schifano – Paesaggio particolare , 1963

art & artist

to the amused muse
the artist becomes art!
lucid and luminous
a superior job:
chiselled stone
or painted in acrylics –
[a crust some would say
or a stain on the wall]
dumb I now puzzle
at how I came to be here
inside this odd painting
stuck on the wall —
a foreign object
hollow and queer …
[could it be the wine
that I’d imbibed with my meal,
that made me the winner
of this dubious prize]
to be in a picture
looking out at the world
had never been one
of my dearest ambitions
[then I think:
what’s a poet …
an observer inside the picture
we like to call life]
ah! here comes another
oh! a feckless modernist
the kind that makes installations
with rough rounded stones
and chipped broken boards …
he looks at me with disgust
and I look back at him
then I stuck out my tongue …
and to my surprise
I was back in the room
looking at a crust
of chicken wire and dung.

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for: Tale Weaver 28: art & artist

with the Wordle of The Sunday Whirl – Wordle 213


Brooding under the Moon – Flash Fiction (100 Words) – August 9, 2015

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods


Brooding under the tenuous moon, the wicked witch sat reflecting about her current lover, who of course didn’t really appreciate her genius, the wimp. She’d dump him.

Though beautiful, her heart was a black hole. Everything and everyone that came too near, got sucked up, transformed and spit out as an appendence of herself.  She avoided mirrors. Like Dorian Grey’s portrait they showed her the dissipation caused by her wickedness. Strangely, she was woman enough to wonder why no one really loved her.

A cat spied her sitting on a park bench. It saw her aura, so prudently slipped away.

© G.s.k. ‘15

This post is written for Friday Fictioneers and I’m submitting it to Tale Weaver as well, as it speaks of a “wicked witch” of sorts.

Tale Weaver and The Sunday Whirl – Mythical Creatures – March 25, 2015



Walking through the forest, I came upon a lovely villa, its lights burned invitingly gave it a dream like effect.  Beginnings are always a bit ambivalent … think about Hansel and Gretel, the witch’s house seemed a child’s paradise, but in the end, well we all know what happened.

This dream house had its own special powers of attraction so, I walked down the path then up the stairs, wondering who might be the owner of such a delightful place.   Near the door stood a clay pot and instead of lovely geraniums or some other ornamental plant, I am sorry to say, there were quite a few bird’s skeletons.  That should have given me a clue about the inhabitant of this mausoleum and served to have me leave immediately, but I was tired and decided to ring the bell anyway.

The door opened a crack and there stood a butler of sorts.  I told him I’d lost my way in the woods and needed to use the telephone.  He just looked at me.  I figured the man didn’t understand me, so I tried speaking to him in one of the other tongues I’m able to speak.  He still made no reply.  At this point, I heard a ‘voice’ in the background and the butler stepped back to let me pass.

My host was a large dark figure in a black woollen cape.  I wondered if sleep had stolen me from reality.

“Meow help youuuuuuuu?” said the figured personage.

“Well, I just need the use of your telephone actually.” I replied trying to be as blasé as I could.  I’d realized that the creature before me was some sort of monstrous cat!  The green eyes that reflected in the light were fixed upon me.  I was wondering if I might have been mistaken for prey to be caught for dinner.

“Neow weee’ve noew fffone … ” the figure replied again.

I thanked my host or hostess, it was hard to tell which, turning to leave but found the door had been firmly closed behind me.

The cat person removed its cape and stood before me in all its glory.  Well glory isn’t actually the right description.   It looked like an over-grown alley cat that had been in many a scrape.  The right eye was ruined and puckered shut, the left ear was a torn up rag of a thing.  When I say over-grown cat, I’m talking about 5 feet 9 inches of over grown brindled cat.

“I allllways neow a cat luuuuuver when I seee one! Come come.  Don’t be ssssssshy!” and my host, for I’d decided that it must be a male cat, led me to the candle-lit parlour (“come into my parlour said the spider to the fly” came to mind.)

I was invited to sit upon an old settee and the personage offered me a choice of drinks .. catnip wine or a nice cup of tea.  I accepted the tea, though I thought it would probably be catnip laced.

Soon the butler brought the tea.  The cat, whom we may now call Minx, had told me his name, began to tell me his story.  He was related to an Egyptian cat goddess, who’d disseminated around the world her young thousands of years before.  He had been like any normal cat though until one morning he woke up with excruciating pains in his limbs and a terrible back ache.  He’d grown from a sturdy three-foot high cat (when he stood on his hind legs) to the monster I had before me.

I listened sympathetically for hours, what else could I do, still wondering what my fate would be.

“Well …. naaaw.  You’vvve my story.  Go and write it, my ancestress has told me all about you!”

At that moment a rat flitted out of a crack in the wall and Minx jumped upon it and devoured it in a second.  I shuddered thinking what he could do to me, however it seemed that I was to be let free, in order to write stories about Minx and his life.

I walked away from the house and when I looked back, there was no sign of a house ever having been in these woods at all.  I soon found the road and a small pub.  I went in and ordered a stout.

“Have you ever seen the house in the woods?” I asked the bar maid.  She just looked at me as though I were some sort of alien.

A man near me looked me up and down, then he said:  “There was a house, long ago.  It was the property of an old witch named Bast or something of the sort.  Burned her, her cat and her house back in 1645.  No one ever goes near there now.  It’s haunted they say by a huge brindled cat wot eats anything that get’s near it.”

I finished my beer silently and began to think about the stories Minx had told me.

© G.s.k. ‘15

Wordle #204: through, am, clay, burns, wild, tongues, dream, beginnings, powers, end, stolen, sleep

Sunday Whirl banner     the Sunday Whirl

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Tale Weaver Prompt

The Murales – Flash Fiction – March 17, 2015

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

Dear Diary,

Today was a hot sunny day.  I arrived yesterday from Italy and was just too tired to do any exploring!  Ah, but today bright and early I decided to take a walk down main street and shoot a few photographs.  I came upon a rather strange building.  There were some lovely shops at street level but the building itself was very old and weather beaten. It looked to me like an old brick waterfront warehouse.

I wanted to get a closer look at it so I moved back a bit then realized that the building front, which seemed to be covered in windows, was in fact covered with a decaying ‘murales’ of flaking windows! I began to click away, you just know how I love an interesting subject,  when suddenly the top floor windows began to fill up with people! They jostled one another as they pointed at me.  I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed, but everyone went about their business obliviously.  I’d often noticed that few people ever look higher than a shop window alas, today proved no different. I went back to clicking away feeling that this would be a great piece for my weekly Sunday column at the ‘Times’.

I wasn’t paying much attention to the world around me, so it was no surprise that I stepped off the curb into the street nearly getting myself hit by a car.  A policeman came up to me and admonished me, saying I should be more careful.  I apologized and then decided to ask him what he thought of the people in the second story windows above the chain of stores.

“What people in what windows miss?” he asked me curiously.

I pointed upwards and to my surprise and embarrassment I discovered there were in fact no windows, painted or otherwise.

“I think you might want to have yourself a nice cuppa, perhaps the sun’s been playing tricks on you miss.” he said rather unsympathetically.

I walked dazed down the street occasionally looking back, the windows insisted on not returning.  Once I got back to my room, I took my SD card  out of my camera and slipped it into the card reader of my net-book … the photo above is just one of around 50 which I took this morning.  So what happened?


This post is dedicated to Justine with many thanks for lending me the use of the above photograph! and is linked to Phylor’s Mindlovemisery’s Tale Weavers post

Blue Hopeless Day – Free Verse/Wordle – February 23, 2015


Lucas Grogan. Skeleton for MLMM.

Lucas Grogan. Skeleton for MLMM.



blue … blue as a hopeless day
walking in the rain without an umbrella,
he thought of bright red poppy fields –
where delicate tiny petals mutated
turning into opium pods .-
yearning for that substance,
uncut and potent,
he perched on a tree
down by the flowing river
drifting inside a dream
of peace
he’d long forgotten …
the yearning became pain –
a long hopeless silent cry of wracking pain …
it rent his soul from his body
as he fell in the water
to be washed out to sea.
blue … blue as a hopeless day
I took him with me that day.

© G.s.k. 15


Sunday Whirl banner

Sunday Whirl Wordle:  blue, post, hopeless, perched, umbrella, petals, delicate, tiny, uncut, river, yearning

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Tale Weaver Prompt

The Tyke – Quatrain – January 9, 2015

Emperor's New Clothese in Odense. Wikimedia.

So pompous and vain
The President came
To show us all
His new Fashion for fall …

A paunch and much flab
(In need of re-hab)
We all stood in awe
At what we saw.

When up piped a tyke
From his red and blue bike,
With a joyous titter
His eye all a-glitter ..

“You should go on a diet
Man you’re really a riot
You should put on some clothes
(Or you’ll be blowin’ your nose!)”.

We the people surprised
Let out a laugh and then sighed
For all thought that He
Was better than we …

He said his new clothes
Could be seen only by those
Who were innocent and pure …
We could throw no stones … so we weren’t sure
If t’was safe to say that we saw
The old boozer in the raw.


© G.s.k. ‘15

Anderson’s moral was that yes, the Emporer was a pompous fool, but that the people are sheeple for one reason or another. (This is a quatrain with a sestina ending .. but I put it in the quatrain category).  I didn’t have to adapt it too much for our modern times … seemed pretty well stated as it was.

Written for Tale Weaver’s Prompt – Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie

The Prophetess – Free Verse Wordle – January 5, 2015

Alphonse Mucha.  Prophetess, 1896. WikiArt.Among the sweet flowers
under the sacred oak
the prophetess swirls
her potion of vision ..

A hostage of the past
with a snarl and a snap
old jackal watches on
curious, wondering his fate.

She takes a mariposa
and cuts it into stripes
adding some pink gravel
inside her brassy bowl.

Erecting a tent over the mix,
using gossamer and silken cable,
with her magic flair she creates
an arch of ephemeral mist.

After three days and three nights
the mixture shone of its own light …
old jackal skulks away, but grey owl
now looks on with curious glee …

The prophetess smiles
as she looks into the mist
thinking of happy portents
soon disowned with a sad tear .

Not even this year
she reads in the mist
will pass without war
and hunger and hate.

A blackbird flies near
a finch sings his song
the birds of the land
in unison sing comforting lays.

The owl in disgust flies away
seeing that the jackal in smiling sleep
dreaming his happy dreams
of hunting with ravens and crows.

© G.s.k. 15

Monday Wordle: 1. Stripe 2. Gravel 3. Unison 4. Flair 5. Mariposa (a type of lily) 6. Jackal 7. Cable 8. Swirl 9. Hostage 10. Erection 11. Arch 12. Pseudo

Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie – Tale Weaver Prompt and Monday Wordle


The Funeral of Al-Naash – Choka – December 13, 2014


From Egypt came one
Sent by Seshat and Thoth
With a book of song
And wisdom of the past
Into the land of Cush
When the flooding soon grew near
To save all knowledge
A book was sent to each land –
And to Al-Naash one
Passing over Al Jadi.

Of Al-Naash we know little
His name is now lost
Al Jadi slew him in wrath,
Envy and lust.
Al Jadi:  navigator,
Leader of people
Across the wide deserts
Through mountains and woods,
Snubbed by great Thoth
For his lustful haughty ways.

Al Jadi was proud
And loved Al-Naash’s wife
Envied him his sons
And his quiet wisdom.
The messenger came
From out of now lost Khem,
Bringing the missive
To Al-Naash in his hut
But Al Jadi’s spies
Brought the news to their lord.

 Al Jadi went to Naash,
He raved and he threatened –
Al Jadi killed him
And stole the wisdom of Thoth!
Saddened sweet Seshat –
For she in her omniscience
Knew of the crime –
Ordered the skies to open.

All men may now see
The funeral bier passing
Al-Naash’s loved ones
Follow close behind mourning
Alkaid with Mizar
Alioth covered in ashes
And off from the rest
Al Jadi is alone
A guide cut off from glory.

 Look at the stars
On a clear frosty night
A tragedy
For all wanderers to see
A wise man’s passing

© G.s.k. ‘14

Looking for more information about the story behind the Arabic tale of Al Naash and the Constellation of the Bear, that was presented by Jen for this week’s Tale Weaver’s Prompt,  I Googled “Al Nash and Al Jadi – Constellation of the Bear” and came upon a group on Yahoo – Language of Cosmic Love, A to Z.  I used some of the mythology that I found there to create this choka – I’m using the short – long – short form of choka instead of following syllables.

Linked to: Tale Weaver’s Prompt and BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond both found on Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie.




Underground Railroad – August 31, 2014

“Oh lawd … save these your chill’en!” Maimy cried her prayer softly as they trudged along the river bank.

It was a moonless night.  They were 15 between women and children who’d run away from various plantations in Maryland.  They’d been gathered in one “way station” in Pennsylvania.  The owners of the farm were Quakers, also known as Friends. Maimy and her group had been hiding in their cellar now for almost 5 days waiting for the new moon.

The slave hunters had come by the day before with their dogs.  It had been hard to keep the baby silent.  They wouldn’t be safe until they reached Canada.  Sure, Pennsylvania was a free state, but black people had no rights and everyone was obliged to return runaway slaves to their owners … thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Dred Scott decision.

Soon they would cross the river and exchange guides Maimy thought.  They’d been told that their new guide who would take them the rest of the way to Canada was an ex-slave.  He’d risked his life and freedom for nearly 10 years to help his people.

An owl hooted. The group stopped, hearts in their throat. Then their guide hooted too.  Soon a black man with a “red injun” came up to their leader.

“Okay ev’rybody … we’s gonna cross this here river and go through a mountain pass.  You’s gonna be in Canada next week.  Just have faith and walk.”  said the black man.

And they did.

Written for Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie

The link provided in this post informs us that very often slaves never went farther than Pennsylvania especially where there was a large community of Quakers and free “people of color”.  My story is just a mish-mash of various stories I’ve heard since I was a kid and shouldn’t be taken seriously, though I’m sure that maybe somewhere in history a Maimy must have existed … but maybe she was an Armenian, a Kurd or a Jewish woman (et cetera) running from some other “master” though not necessarily because she was a slave, but just because she’d been born into the wrong ethnic group.

Over the last century and into this new century we’ve seen over and over again masses of people having to leave their homes due to war, political upheaval, racial intolerance and famine.  The underground railroad is for me just a symbol of all those throughout history who have helped the down-trodden find a place of safety to live.

Tale Weaver’s Prompt – July 4, 2014

music, saxophone, curious,  root, garbage

This week Oloriel asks us to weave a story with the above five words!  So here we go!

The Root of Primitive Instincts

“Oh man!  This is just garbage!  You call this music?” shouted the saxophone player as he read a piece of sheet music his friend had composed for him the other evening.

“It’s experimental James, you could at least try to play it.  I’m curious to hear what you can do with it on a saxophone, I’ve tried it on a violin and on the piano of course, but not the sax.”

“Julia, you’re a genius … usually, but it’s not even remotely feasible for me to play this thing.  It’s aweful!”

“Aw, come on … just a try.  I’m trying to get to the root of our primitive animal instincts!”

Tabby was sitting on her lap sleeping.  Toby was over by the fireplace looking curiously them as he sat placidly on his rug. James gave in and as he hit the first cacophonic squeal of high notes moving on to a low bass tone, the cat jumped about a foot and took off, the dog began to howl.

Julia put her hands to her ears and shouted, “Okay okay! You’re right it is garbage on a sax!”

“Told ya so!”

Written for Mindlovesmiserys’ Menagerie – Tale Weavers Prompt