Tag: nature

Fun and Games – a story in 100 words

Struck by lightning, the ancient oak would have blazed for a day and smouldered for a week. In place of its wooden heart was a blackened hollow, hardened and burnished by centuries of sun and rain and ice.

Climbing up to its rim, children saw a sculptured bowl like a womb where they might rest like dozing emperors. Here they could lie, unseen, overhearing private conversations far below. No longer paupers in the balance of power, they could sip the nectar of the gods and experience a measure of divinity – invisible, ever-present, omniscient.

It beat the hell out of hide-and-seek.


Image result for hide and seek


Image: MoMA

Vault Finding #6



Run dry of artistic ideas,
I looked at old drafts through my tears.
He swam into view
And before long I knew
That a work-ethic bypasses fears.

The power of positive thought
When the race against time is so fraught
And the girl gets to choose
If you win or you lose –
A lesson this blogger’s been taught!

So no more lamenting the lack
Of lightbulb moments! It’s back
To good old hard work
And a glance through the murk
At castles of sand down the track.


Image result for castles made of sand jimi hendrix



G etting much more heat than
L ight, Jo Publik switches off her TV.
I t is so quiet she can even hear herself think.
M aybe, she wonders, without all those warm words and inflammatory images
M y grip on the world out there will weaken?
She opens her window.
E very single bird in the sun-dappled garden
R eplies in song, as if to welcome her home.


Image result for garden through window


Image: Fine Art America

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Glimmer

To One Considering Unnecessary Cosmetic Surgery

W aves leave
R ipple patterns
I n the sand.
N ature sculpts with Time –
K nitting brow and creasing cheek with
L ines of laughter, tracks of tears. But why do you want to hide
E vidence of living, like some guilty secret? Where’s your pride?


Image result for ripples in sand


Image: David Moynahan Photography

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Wrinkle


The authorities are working round the clock to decipher this desperate message.

Actually, the desperation is theirs. Can you help them decode it?

H ave just been captured by geese. They will 
O verfeed me to death if pate de fois gras is 
N ot banned immediately. Rescue, I'm told, is impossible. They    
K eep their password secret, should you come disguised as a goose!

All too easy for us to laugh at other creatures, don’t you think? It’s like mocking foreigners who make mistakes in the language we have learned from birth. But the ancient species of waterfowl known as Antidae have long been useful to humankind. It is reputed that they once saved Rome from the barbarians. Not that they had much choice in the matter …

H ere we sit
O n the edge of a cliff, caged like canaries -
N othing else to do, when the 
K illers come creeping, but sing out danger.

Image result for honk

Image: Pinterest

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Honk

Art Attack #2

Where was I?

Oh yes, just like you, here … and trying to make sense of it! My previous post set several hares running, so let’s see if we can catch up with some of them.

The Buddhist Higher Worlds (Learning, Realisation, Compassion) emphasise relationship, the core skill of a social species. The Lower Worlds (Hunger, Anger, Animality, Tranquillity) demonstrate disjunction, the breakdown of communication. What separates Higher and Lower is the difference between the collective and the individual. This gulf can be bridged, however, as Anger – to take one example – over injustice can lead to Compassion.

Snakes and Ladders, anyone?

Or swings and roundabouts. Did you know our power of speech is an evolutionary gain which increases the risk of choking? Thankfully we can use it to remind ourselves of the Heimlich Manoeuvre at the start of every dinner party …

I don’t really consider Buddhism a religion because it foregrounds the shared life in the here-and-now, unlike death cults which put individual salvation ahead of collective welfare. I Before We.

Perhaps the most famous example of We Before I is the stirring cri de coeur of the French Revolution – ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité!’ Unlike the Higher Worlds, however, these three beauties aren’t easy bedfellows. My liberty to do whatever I want, for example, can make a mockery of your right to be my equal. We may need some relationship counselling. Or maybe some helpful quotations:

‘Equality is the soul of liberty. There is, in fact, no liberty without it.’ – Francis Wright

‘Love is not accidental. Love can only exist with freedom.’ – Leo Tolstoy

‘Liberty is the mother, not the daughter, of order.’ – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

‘Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear.’     -Eastern saying

Whoa, more hares disappearing over the horizon! That last quotation suggests we need more than just a little give-and-take. What’s required, it seems, is a radical change of consciousness. And who better to guide us than, gulp, a politician?!

‘The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.’ – Franklin D. Roosevelt

It’s a frightening thought, isn’t it? Like Keep Calm And Carry On, it makes me wonder what they’re trying to hide …

Besides, what’s so great about Tranquillity? It’s one of those pesky Lower Worlds, isn’t it, full of zombies and yes-men? Far better to think for yourself, expand your capabilities and refuse to hate the unfortunate patsies and scapegoats they sling your way to hide their own incompetence and lies.

They? If I hate anyone, it’s those who get elected on promises of strong government and then dismantle safeguards against unfairness to favour their own kind. You know. Them.

But the bad old days of freemasonry and closed shops are long-gone, right? Surely no secret deal is safe in these days of WikiLeaks and world-wide web-sharing? We are entering, are we not, a golden era of openness and honesty in which we are all fellow-citizens of a world without borders or barriers or ignorant bigotry?

Hmm, could be … but in the meantime, dear Netpal, you’ll find my FacePaint Page under a sassy pseudonym with a pirated profile picture and a plethora of posts carefully curated to present a thoroughly positive image: witty, sophisticated, discriminating, intelligent, thrusting, upbeat … all friends selected, all nerds unfriended … a perfect shop-window for a world that’s open for business 24/7!!! 🙂

😦 Now I am frightened. Just looked at my FaceAche Page. My satire is uncomfortably close to the truth. Sometimes the internet resembles the aftermath of an explosion, numberless fragments flying around, a crazy chaos without context. Conventional media, caught up in the blast, dance to the same broken tunes. And you can find whatever you want unless you want to make any real difference to anything.

Too gloomy? I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

If you’d asked the Ancients to imagine a magical way of talking to everyone in the world, what might they say were its possibilities? A marvellous theatre or a great debating chamber? A gallery of wonders, drawn from art and nature? Above all, perhaps, they might have envisaged a repository of truth and goodness and beautiful flashes of insight – a pathway to enlightenment.

When I was a kid, giving little puppet shows to anyone who’d watch and listen, such a vision seemed to beckon. The other day I told my granddaughter, 2 years old, about toys I’d lost as a child – the little manikin out of a favourite forklift truck, a plastic crocodile floating into the overflow drain of a sink. She asked me to retell these two stories over and over. Then she devised a drama in which they were returned to me.

You know what? It worked. There they were.

When nature is broken, I wonder, can art mend it? It’s a question I’ll return to in my final post in this sequence … no guarantee of reader satisfaction, of course, but I can promise this picture clue will be part of the answer


Image result for skull


Image: Dr. Odd

Please Continue

Contributions are invited for a new renga. Our previous efforts can be viewed on Rengarama and Haikumania (The Results)

A renga is a shared poem which begins with a haiku (an unrhymed 3 line poem of 5-7-5 syllables) to which are added 2 more lines (each of 7 syllables) to form a tanka (an unrhymed 5 line poem of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables). Another haiku then starts the process again.

So each new contributor converts the previous haiku to a tanka and then writes a new haiku for someone else to convert. This continues until I decide to bring the poem to a close by completing the final tanka and adding a concluding haiku. The finished poem will then be published with co-authors credited.

Anyone can participate more than once if they wish, the only bar being don’t add to your own haiku. Please use the Leave A Reply box because hitting Reply may jumble things up.

There should be some connection, however slight,  with the contribution immediately preceding yours – a tanka should hang together and a haiku have some link with the previous tanka. But half the fun is watching the poem shift emphasis and I relish the challenge of pulling disparate elements together at the end!

Here is the poem so far, but please check the reply boxes for any new additions. Verse 6 changes the stanza pattern but, hey, who minds? Feel free to do your own thing, it’s not an exact science!

See the clouds as they
Keep trying to catch the moon,
Yet still she breaks free

To sail so gently across
The sea of infinity,

As stars blink sightless
With light long dead and worlds sore lost
In the murk of time.

She jumps to oblivion to
Surface in the cosmic stream,

The light that binds us
Mesmerising our souls joy –
Cosmic lovers flying

To meet the morning.
Will the sun bless their union
Or tear it apart,

Retreat to shadows holding
Transitions of time

Grown long in dusk sun.
Watch as all evaporates
Melting breath of cloud and wind                    

COMPLETED POEM ON  https://davekingsbury.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/renga-2/