The War Was Over – Free Verse Wordleing – April 18, 2016

How could I have forgotten
The miles of old whining telegraph wires
That stretched across the land
Sending good news and bad –
Of course that’s all gone now,
Down the worm-hole of time –
We forget what the world was like back then…

I walked down a lane plastered
With red, white and blue flags –
People like ants applauded and threw confetti
I wore my green jeans and matching shoes
(My first fashion collection was
Based upon this memory
— Remember …
The green feathers in Martha’s hair?)
Now we could rest – after the sight
Of the shell-shocked soldiers with their
Loose minds and knife creased pants.
The war was over ...

While we were dining, father spoke of the war.
(That night
I dreamt of Japanese soldiers rattling

Bolted doors and bayonetting wounded soldiers,
The sight roiled my stomach but I couldn’t wake-up
And I ran afraid as the fronds hit my face –
It was something I wanted to forget)
Something I’ll never forget –
He told us that he was in the jungle
Running lost and scared –
And heard the whining of mosquitoes
Like telegraph lines
Back home,
They used to cross the land.

© G.s.k. ‘16
Note: This is a poem about memories … most of the memories aren’t my own actually, but things I remember hearing other people say … except for the dream … I had that dream and it was very vivid,  when I was 5 years old, after my father told us about his war experience in the Philippines, where we’d just come to live. What has always intrigued me was the clarity of the dream … I’d never seen Japanese soldiers nor how they were dressed … but I remember seeing them in my dream and remembering their uniforms – which I only saw a few years later in a film.


NaPoWriMo: Day 17 Smorgasbord Sunday

Sunday's Whirligig - Whirligig 44

Sunday’s Whirligig – Whirligig #55


Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #55
The Sunday Whirligig

green, blue, red, shoes, loose, pants,
dining, ants, good, news, miles, whining




Wordle 246

Wordle 247


The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #247
The Sunday Whirl

forget, stretch, rest, left, hole, lost,
sight, first, shell, feathers, rattle, old

Sunday Whirl and NaPoWriMo – Haiku and Tanka – April 10, 2016


wintry last stands
where talk ends and hope is born
rain drips on blossoms

the river flows
tales under the surface
call to us
concentric circle shimmers
as a trout eat mosquitoes.

© G.s.k. ‘16


NaPoWriMo: Day 10 – Smorgasbord Sunday

Wordeling Haiku and Waka – December 3, 2015

coloured reflections
first light
reflecting on the river
naked trees
wings of a bird
the stalking and stalked
in the foggy morn
wanting clarity – the hawk
swoops from the clouds
little creatures
all the world revealed
within this valley
© G.s.k. ‘15


Rosamunda and The Wayward Light – Fantasy – November 23, 2015



hill side villa

Through the foggy mist … a light filtered from a certain cavern near mountain pass.  The cave was not far from a cliff.  If one was not careful one might fall into the murky abyss being lost forever, even if perhaps not dead.  And nearby there was a village, which few had ever seen.

Many had travelled from far and wide to unravel the secret hidden with-in the cave.  Some said the light was holy, other’s demonic.  There were those who were sure that is was just a natural phenomenon – like the ebb and flow of the tides … but is that really natural or isn’t it a sort of magic. However, the point is, though many had gone forth to unravel the mystery, none had returned with the solution, and eventually it fell out of the memory of humanity.

Our heroine, who didn’t know as yet that she was to be a heroine, had been gathering berries in the woods when the fog suddenly came up.  This wasn’t new to her as she had found herself in the fog innumerous times before…

But now, let me tell you something about her before we go on with our tale.  The village was in a far northern land ruled in peace by women.  The whole country had once been ruled by women until a dark force had come up, invading the land from the south.  Now many of the towns and villages and most of all the capitol had become the dominion of men and their dark passions.

Granny was the village wise woman and she, Rosamunda her apprentice. She’d been chosen the day she was born, because she had a tiny red birthmark on her bum – usually these birthmarks are strawberry shaped but hers was different, it was shaped like a star.

The mid-wife when she saw the star sent word immediately to Granny, who ran to the cottage where Goody Morghan lived and had given birth to the babe.

“Let me see! Are you sure it’s the star?” whispered avidly Granny.  She’d been waiting a very long time for this sign and had begun to doubt she’d live to see the day of this special child’s birth.

“Aye, Granny … and you did well to come right away, it’s already beginning to fade already.”

Granny took the baby in her arms and then flipped her to see the birthmark.  The midwife was right of course … the star was fading, which was also a sign, in these dark times, the Great Mother protected her chosen ones.  She gently gave the child back to her mother, who began to nurse her.

“Her name will be Rosamunda and she will come to live with me when she is weaned.” said Granny.

Goody Morghan smiled down at her daughter who seemed to be in ecstasy.

“Rosamunda it is dearest Granny! Of course you will come often to see how she fares?”

“If it doesn’t cause problems, yes.”

And so it was that Rosamunda grew and thrived, and when she was three years old she left her mother’s house to live and learn with Granny, whom she considered to be her own grandmother. She was quick to learn the names of all the beasts of the woods and their languages, all the names of herbs and their properties and best of all the song that tames the dark passions that live inside men.

Now, many years later, Rosamunda walked through the woods in a fog that had suddenly come up without warning.  It was her birthday and she’d been gathering berries for her feast meal which she and granny and her mother had been preparing for days.  This birthday was a special birthday.  She would be eighteenth and therefore a woman in every respects.  Her own true love would be found and she would have a home of her own … and perhaps a daughter one day to carry on her line.

She saw the light filter through the woods and stopped surprised.  Of course she knew where she was but had never seen the mysterious light of which the men talked as they sat around the fires in the summer evenings. She’d just thought they were fireside tales or men’s tales, she’d never thought to one day see that light herself.  She also knew that this was a particularly dangerous part of the woods when the fog was up.

A blackbird began to sing: “Rosamunda, fair and brave, wise woman of the red star, gather together these juniper berries from my tree and put one in your mouth and the rest of them put in your pouch.  Thus you will be safe from the noxious odours of the wayward light.”

And so, Rosamunda gathered the berries and put one in her mouth and the others in her pouch and walked onward.

A roe came walking calmly towards her and said: “Rosamunda, dearest of friends to the woods and beasts, cut a staff from this old oak under which we stand.  It will protect you from the illusions of the wayward light.”

And so, Rosamunda cut a branch from the old oak tree and fashioned for herself a staff and walked onward.

A large brindled cat jumped from a large stone beside the trail and said: “Rosamunda sweetest of maids, I am Brynhildr, your familiar and ally.  We will walk together and face the darkness of the wayward light.”

They followed the light up to the cavern where it flickered invitingly.

“Dearest Brynhildr, how can this be darkness? Look how warmly it glows!”

“This is an enchantment brought from the south.  It seems fair but indeed it brings only death and heartache.  It was a light like this that toppled the last Good Queen from her throne and threw our beloved land into the passionate love of war.”

Then they became aware that just before the mouth of the cave a young man was lying near death.  Rosamunda found him very handsome in his green cambric shirt and tights and felt the warmth of love run through her.  A bow abandoned by his side meant that he must be a hunter.  His eyes stared into nothingness.

“Oh, Brynhildr, what is wrong with him?”

The cat went over to him and smelled him, butted him with her paw, then turned to Rosamunda and said: “He has been poisoned by the odour of the wayward light.  Only one thing can save him … juniper berries.”

So, Rosamunda grabbed two berries from her pouch and crushing them put them into his mouth.

With a gasp, he sat up and his eyes focused on Rosamunda and thus fell instantly in love with her.

“Oh, loveliest of maids … you’ve brought the forest into my soul once again when I thought I would no longer walk upon this earth.  My name is Adelhelm.  What is your name that I may thank you and ask you to be my own true love?”

Brynhildr meowed restlessly … and then said to Rosamunda, “There is no time for courting! Now is the time to end this evil in our woods! Have the man fashion a bow from this ash tree and you fashion three arrows.”

And so Adelhelm cut a branch from the ash tree and made a strong long bow  and with the strongest twigs Rosamunda fashioned three arrows.

“Now crush some of the juniper berries and rub their juice onto the arrow heads and along the shafts of the arrows.”

After Rosamunda had done this the cat said:  “Now, place two new berries in both of your mouths.  Do not talk nor answer any questions you may hear nor look directly at the wayward light for if you do you will be overcome by the darkness even though you walk with the staff!  Enter before the archer with your oaken staff before you, it will help shield you both.  Now tell him all that I’ve said and tell him to tend his bow ready to shoot whatever — no matter what it seems to be — that comes towards you with these arrows. Mind, anything at all!”

So after explaining everything to Adelhelm and placing the new berries into their mouths she rose her staff and began to walk into the cave.  Adelhelm followed, his bow tended.  A soft sweet voice asked who they were and they remained silent … then a roar like a lion shook the cave and demanded them to identify themselves but they ignored the request, though their hearts were now pounding with fear.

The light flared and began to come towards them.  Inside the light was the image of an old man in white robes carrying a platter of fruit.

“Come, my dear guests, let us feast this new day of prosperity!  I offer you wealth and fulfillment, only eat of my fruit of plenty.”

Adelhelm shot his first arrow into the vision which instantly disappeared with a rumble.

Then inside the light came the vision of a beautiful woman.   She too was dressed in faultless white and she held in her arms a golden pitcher filled to the brim.

“Today is the day of redemption … drink from my pitcher of wine which will give you hope. security and happiness. Just drink of my wine and noble truth will fill your souls!”

Adelhelm shot his second arrow into the vision after a moment of hesitation. This vision too dissolved into nothingness.

Then a third vision appeared.  Before them stood a mighty Warrior King dressed in golden armour, a great flaming sword in his hand and he began to loudly remonstrate them saying:

“Who are you to attack my envoys who have come offering prosperity and hope! Know now, that  I am the Truth and The Way … I am the Defender of all that’s holy and the Propagator of Wealth and Happiness … I am the Light and the Mighty Leader of all men!”

Adelhelm lowered his bow, enchanted by the powerful image.  Rosamunda stood with her oaken staff before her hesitating as she saw Adelhelm waver. Brynhildr realizing the peril her charge was in, she began loudly to caterwaul which shook the cavern to its roots, attracting the vision which raised its sword to strike the cat when suddenly Rosamunda began to sing the song that calms the passions of men.  Adelhelm in surprise shook himself then, lifted his bow and sent off his third arrow which planted itself into the great warriors heart saving Brynhildr and dissipating the vision of the Warrior King.

Before them bloomed the horrors of the vision of war, a mountain of skulls,  bloody bodies laying in row upon infinite row, motherless children being beheaded and women being raped, burning cities and towns and the marching of endless files of soldiers singing battle hymns, carrying numerous flags and robbing anything on which they could put their hands.  The howling was terrible and the stench of decay would have killed it was so terrible and a huge cloud of flies and crows filled the sky.

Then the vision disappeared and the smell too leaving a burnt out candle, no larger than a seed.

Brynhildr said to Rosamunda: “Now, crush the last of the juniper berries and pour them over the seed that it might never become fecundated in this land.”

Rosamunda, Adelhelm and Brynhildr returned to the village and told all to Granny, who wrote the tale into the book of knowledge.  A great feast was held for Rosamunda’s coming of age.  Soon afterwards Rosamunda and Adelhelm celebrated their allegiance.  Rosamunda one day became the wise woman of the village and had three lovely daughters, but without the sacred star upon them (that child would be born elsewhere and is another story)  and what of Brynhildr, well Brynhildr lived for many many more years advising her ally and had many kittens of her own – three of which attached themselves to Rosamunda’s daughters.

The village still exists, you may have passed nearby it, without knowing this because it is hidden from the world of darkness and war, awaiting a time when humanity will tire of the wayward light of war and will seek peace.

© G.s.k. ‘15



The Sunday Whirl

The Kitty Loves Kibbles – Fairy Tale – November 19, 2015

Brynn with a Lizard

Everyone has heard of Puss and Boots, no doubt because being a male chauvinistic world no one looks further than a pair of scruffy boots.  My name is Brynhildr but I allow my human to call me Brynn.  We met one spring evening while I was out with my brother and sister and I decided to adopt the poor boy, he really needed someone to straighten out his life.  By the way, Puss was my great-great uncle on my mother’s side.  Here’s the story I want to tell you  …

Our life together was rather nice right from the start.  He knew just the right games to play and oh how I loved the kibbles he offered me – really scrumptious. So I thought it might be a good idea to help him make his way in the wide world.  No one could have done it better than I, of course.

One morning, as he was snoring on the bed, I bopped him on the nose to get his attention and then once he was awake, flew out the window.  He jumped up instantly and ran to the door to follow me.  We live near an old castle in Northern Italy.  I remembered from listening to Mum that old uncle Boots had put aside a bit of treasure, just in case, in the castle.

Once I reached the door of the  castle, I discovered that the place had been over-run by mice.  These weren’t just ordinary mice of course, they were enchanted and right arrogant too.  They sat around in a circle not far from where Puss’ treasure was hidden singing a silly mouse song:

scrape, scramble, peck and laugh
looks like the dish is frozen fast
silent seven in a nameless land
look over the brim of a speckled band ….

My human came clumsily at a run and grabbed at me where I stood near the door watching the mice.  The mice of course heard him long before he actually got to the door and so had plenty of time to run to their refuge just under an old plank.  They hadn’t seen me though so I was one up on them.

We went home and I had my breakfast then sat down at the window to watch the birds in my persimmon tree.  After a while, White-face, one of my neighbours came sauntering as proud as you please into my garden.

“Psst, White-face!  I’d like to ask you a question or two about the castle.”

“What do you want to know about it?”

“Well, I was up there today and I saw seven mice sitting in a circle reciting poetry …”

“Poetry?  Is that what they call it now? Anyway … that doesn’t sound like a question to me!”

“It wasn’t because you interrupted me you gormy cat.  But you answered my first question anyway … so you know who they are.  Tell me about them.”

“Not much to tell.  They’re enchanted … they were set up here, so I’ve heard, some centuries ago by an ogre who’d lost all his belongings to one of Us.  They’re the seventh generation of the Silent Seven to live in the castle and they’re there to take revenge on any cat that gets near a treasure which was hidden there by Master Puss.  Or so goes the legend.  Fact is, they’re a bad lot, even the local count is afraid of them.  The humans have been trying to get rid of them for years!”

“Ah … interesting!”

I sat for awhile taking in the news.  I thought and I thought until I came up with an idea.  But first of all, I’d have to talk to my human.

“Meowr … chit chit … brrr-rup”  I said as I jumped onto his lap.

“What a chatter box you are dear Brynn!” he said.

“A lot more than you might expect!”

He nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard me address him.

“Don’t go quirky on me old boy!  I’ve got something to say which you need to hear, so listen.”  I told him the Uncle’s story(which he seemed to have already known)  and then info that White-face had just given me.

“By rights … I figure that treasure is mine to dispose of as I see fit.  So, I’ve decided that it should go to you so that you can make us comfortable.”

“Uh … sure, uh … “

“Don’t stutter.  What I need is some of my kibble … the special Sunday treat and one of those mice prisons.  I’ve got a feeling that I should be able to get them away from the treasure with the kibble … I’m not sure they’ll fall for the prison though.  What you have to do is slip in QUIETLY once they start following the kibble trail and then just under a broken plank in the floor not far from the door, you’ll find a strong box.  Grab it and come out to where I’ll be waiting for you.”

The plan worked a charm, the mice followed the kibble trail and all but one walked right into the mouse prison.

My human came out holding a strong box … he then looked at the mouse prison a little worried.

“Well, now we curry favour from the local gov.  Take this prison to the constabulary.  The count has put a reward up for their capture!”

“Hey, if you do that, the coppers will kill all my mates!  We’ve done nothing to deserve such treatment … but you know how humans are.”

I looked at my human … and he looked at me.  It’s was one thing to capture enchanted mice but after all but to kill them –  it was not their fault they’d been born into a weird family. It just didn’t seem right that they should be killed just because they sat around singing in an old abandoned castle.  On the other hand, I did want my human to have all the benefits of wealth and fame.

“Listen Kitty Brynn,”  my human said.  “I can’t profit from another creature’s death.  That just isn’t who I am.  We’ll take the mice out to the woods and let them go, once they’ve promised never to return.  We do have the treasure … “

“That’s a great idea young human … once the treasure is gone we don’t have to stay here anyway … and once you’ve taken us away from here, the enchantment is ended!  We sure would prefer to live in the woods!”

So that’s what we did.  When we got back home my human opened the strong-box and we found 20 solid gold, mint condition, sovereigns … they were worth millions.  So we were well covered wealth wise.  As for fame … well you have to know my human’s a writer and I’ve told him quite a few tales he’s published, you know his name of course it’s …  but I can’t tell you that now can I … it would ruin his reputation!

© G.s.k. ‘15


Tale Weaver #40: Snow White Stop Kissing that Frog!*



Sunday Whirl – Wordle 225

Sunday Whirl in Haiku – October 18, 2015


[black scorpions]
dance their death dance on the path
with dark energy

baby’s breathe
runs along the side-walk fence
breathless view

food for thought
deep in her energy walk

practice with sticks
wooden weapons clash loudly
Kendo practice

transforming the trees
the first snows fall in the hills
chilling the valley

© G.s.k. ’15

imageWordle 221 Oct 17 by brenda warren

OctPoWriMo Day 12 – Wordling – October 12, 2015


City Life

With all her courage
she faced the traffic
running the risk
that she might get hit –
buses and cars
thrumming and rumbling
passed ’round her –
but minute and fierce
she dodged them all
’cause she’d learnt her letters
about cars and traffic
from her mother’s pride.
Ah, how the urge was on her
to get back home
she knew he was waiting
and she was chilled to the bone …
scratching at the door
mewing piteously
she pulled at the link
she’d formed to his heart …
he opened the door
petted and hugged her
then lovingly poured her
a bowl of warm milk.

© G.s.k. ‘15

October 12. 2015

October 12. 2015

Inspired by Brynn and  The Sunday Whirl Wordle


The Signal – Short Story – September 12, 2015


I was walking along the river under the harvest moon one evening, kicking stones that seemed to be hidden under snow, when I saw a signal from up in the old tower.  It was a lady for sure, for it seemed that she was waving her skirt from the window.

I ran to the bridge, gritting my teeth as a cramp caught me in my side.  I’ve no marathon blood cells for sure in my poor body, just a weak blend of sedentary  DNA.  I came to the pond, just below the tower and was surprised to see my friends Jan and Dale.

“I’d bet you good money that that is Mary O’Rourke a waving her skirt!” Dale whispered lowly to me.

“And just how would you be knowing that and who is Mary O’Rourke anyway?” came a low rumbling reply from Jan.

Jan and Dale had been dating steady from the first day they’s begun taking organ lessons at the Academy of Music – about 5 years all told.

“Don’t you worry about who’s Mary O’Rourke, but believe me, she comes sometimes and waves her skirt from the tower, when it’s not her knickers.” Came Dale’s hoarse reply.

About that time we heard someone scurrying through the bushes not far from where we were huddling.  For some reason, we decided to hide.

He ran out into the open court not far from the pond, he was tall willowy man. He looked as though he’d seen better days, though he was handsome in his own way, with long fair hair that glinted like gold in the moonlight.

He gave a jaunty call: “Hey, you in the tower, who are you signalling?”

A girlish voice answered: “It’d be you if you’ve got the nerve to carry me away.”

He scrambled up the broken stairs that led to the tower and soon descended carrying a slim girl in his arms going off towards the river. She was cuddling him and kissing his neck and face, it must have been hard for him to walk at that point.

“Slow now lass, slow … I’ve a boat on the river, and there I’ll make love to you as you’ve never been made love to before!”

Soon there was silence again and we looked at one another.

“I told you it was Mary O’Rourke,” whispered Dale “And that’s the last anyone will see of that man.”

“Whatever do you mea….”

The cry of the banshee lilted up from the water as a dark cloud covered the harvest moon plunging us into complete darkness. Then came the blood curdling yell of a man in great pain.

© G.s.k. ‘15


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


A Festive Wordle – August 22, 2015



Feast with me my bonny lass
laugh in all your heartiness
leave the way that broke your heart
and empty your sack of all your ghosts.

Be not torn by unhappiness
though the engine of my train revs up
the veins of sadness are just a map
drawn like arteries and public roads.

But all roads are not one way
who knows I may come back again
so sing and feast with me today
at least we’ll have our memories.

Feast with me my bonny lass
laugh in all your heartiness

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for The Sunday Whirl