Bechstein’s Bat

Posted: February 19, 2010 in pieces

Bechstein’s Bat

Bechstein’s bat goes out for the evening
In his favourite suit of pale brown and white
It may be said the his dress is unseemly
but he finds the conventional dj so trite

He flits around the woodlands and parklands
and stays away from the bustle of towns
He makes his home in south of old England
and likes to stroll the West Wiltshire Downs

Bechstein’s bat is cultural wee fellow
though he rarely frequents the opera or plays
He prefers to keep to historical hollows
and can often be thought to be absent for days

He likes the chatter of babbling streams
that trickle on by the place that he dwells
He rests by the shoreline and ponders his dreams
and listens to the distant tolling of bells

Bechstein’s bat has a small close knit family
His wife is pale with reddish-brown hair
His son can be found at Woodpecker’s Nursery
For his life as an adult, he has to prepare

Bechstein’s bat goes out for the evening
In his favourite suit of pale brown and white
It may be said the his dress is unseemly
but he finds the conventional dj so trite


It’s February… a nice short month which can be made a lot more hectic by participating in February Album Writing Month (FAWM) in which crazy folk try and write and record 14 songs in 28 days. Now, I am no musician. I have two very neglected guitars and a history of murdering both the violin and the clarinet. In my defence though, I didn’t do bad at percussion. Anyway, I digress. I have joined up to do lyric only songs which involves me posting lyrics and hoping that some kind soul will take pity on them and set them to music. So far 3 down, 11 to go. I may post them here individually but for now go here to check them out.

Drawn to the River*

Posted: December 5, 2009 in pieces

Drawn to the River*

Smoke curls it’s tongue and licks at the sky
as the daylight grey bleeds into the dawn
and the wreckage from the avalanche tugs at my heels
as I make my way down to the river again

Feverish current swirls black as a crow
the world bleached out into monochrome haze
I taste my own blood as it pounds through my veins
whilst the inky dark water caresses my skin

At the edge of my senses, it pulls at my mind
a vocalised thought I can feel more than hear
the sound of you calling me, taking my hand
coaxing me back to you, holding me close

The bank of the river kisses my toes
a love affair suspended till next time she calls
I pick my way back through the rubble and dust
and find myself waking safe and warm in your arms

*working title

Between the Nettles and the Laurel

Posted: December 5, 2009 in pieces

Between the Nettles and the Laurel

Between the nettles and the laurel I will wait for you.

As the pale sky bleeds into dusk making shadows and silhouettes of the world until all I can see is the penumbrous outlines of buildings in the distance, the red of the sky and the deep green of the leaves before my eyes.

I am camouflaged here amongst the dense foliage, in my green jumper left over from the grunge rock days of my youth. A faded acrylic, torn at both cuff and hem, still smelling of cheap cigarettes and vodka after all these years. It is my security blanket, a constant from my past to my present, reminding me of who I was and where I’ve been. An evolution from the heady exuberance and optimism of youth to the person I am now. Someone I never thought I’d be.

I am hidden here, set back from the street, protected by a web of stem and leaf as early October rain starts to fall. I am unnoticed by the home-time commuters hurrying past me to their sanctuaries, barricading their doors against the cold and the dark with lamps and heat and well-cooked meals. I don’t exist to them. I am a nonentity, the only suspicion of my presence being a faint rustle in the leaves on the rare occasions I move. A noise immediately dismissed by those who register it as early evening autumnal breeze.

I am quiet here as the chill of the night starts to permeate my boots and settle in my toes. I shift position, my muscles cramping in the small space I allow myself to take up. The movement is nothing more than a stronger gust of wind through the undergrowth. Not enough to disturb the passers-by but enough to startle a blackbird who glares at me in disgust with his beady eye. An eye rimmed with orange and luminescent against black feathers and fast approaching darkness. I glare back, defiant, for this is my place, our place, nestled amongst the laurel and nettles. Not the most hospitable of places but that was part of our intention. A place no one else would want and not many would even notice, a place entirely of our own.

I peer out from the undergrowth, through the leaves and beyond the shadowy buildings to the first stars blinking into visibility, tiny pinpricks in the darkening sky. I allow my eyes to lose their focus, the faint constellations blurring and becoming indistinct as I recall another time and place, away from the sharp night air and the bitter smell of the earth. My muscles relax, the tension ebbing away as memories form in my mind. A smile plays across my lips even as tears prick the backs of my eyes.

I remember the last time we spoke, the way the afternoon sunlight caught the red in your hair setting it aflame like a beacon, a beacon calling me to you. I remember the catch in your voice and the coldness of your hand as your skin touched mine. We talked for hours without ever saying anything at all, using small talk as a defence against that which we were too afraid to say until the moment we parted. You kissed me softly, your lips slightly warmer than your hands, and spoke with passion for the first time that day. ‘Wait for me,’ you whispered in my ear as we embraced, ‘between the laurel and the nettles, wait for me.’

So here I am and here I’ll stay. Between the nettles and the laurel I’ll wait for you.

Long time, no speaky

Posted: December 5, 2009 in general stuff, writing stuff

So… all quiet on the norhern front for a while. Between swine flu (twice!), multiple weddings (none my own), getting engaged, toilet training the cats and helping to organise York Pride, I’ve found little time to keep on top of my updates. I am still here though, still writing and still plodding on with my various endeavours.

I’ve decided that rather than posting each piece of writing as a separate page, I’ll have a tag/category with which to find all my work. Be it poetry, short fiction or random prose of an indeterminate nature, it can now be found in the ‘pieces’ category.

I will upload by back catalogue over time so keep checking back and enjoy.

Another month, another brigits_flame assignment which I am again attempting to finish. Last months attempt was scuppered by spilling tea on my netbook’s keyboard and being away in London for the duration of the first week. As such I was stuck in the big smoke with my half finished writing trapped on a computer which wouldn’t let me sign in thanks to a combination of Yorkshire Tea, sugar and milk corrupting my keyboard. Thankfully it is now operational again due to a shiny new replacement keyboard and I am now being much more careful with hot, sweet liquids whilst typing.

Once again though a deadline is looming and I’m filled with a sense of apathy. I like my character, I have a clear image of what she looks like. I like the world I am creating for her. I am struggling  however, with getting the story across. I’m also at the stage of deleting a huge chunk and starting again. I may come back to my other character and I may come back to this world but for now it is seeming too big for what was intended to be a sort of dark fairy story. Far too big. I need to strip back and find what my plan was to begin with. And right soon now as the clock ticks on.

Ok… so I totally failed to keep up with this month’s brigits_flame competition. This was largely through life getting in the way as it so often does. I also find it harder at times to write to a specific prompt. Of course, this is why I sign up to these things, to get me into the habit of being able to write about anything or to take an idea and put some kind of spin on it. The oil and vinegar prompt didn’t really grab me and the idea of writing about relationships is a romantic sense seemed a little cliché. My sole idea was about a married man who wakes up dreaming about having an affair with someone. It later becomes apparent that this someone is a male colleague who is also married and the idea being that in reality this fantasy relationship can’t exist – like oil and vinegar they can’t mix together and the protagonist is content with his dreams. Not as clichéd as it could be but still.

I am still writing though. I have a tentative idea rolling around in my head from Midsummer inspired by the emotions smell can conjure up and this weekend whilst travelling around the country I have been working on a piece that has been rumbling around form ages. I know how it ends and the first draft is almost done. The danger with knowing the ending is that I rush to get there, hence why this is most definitely a first draft. It’s a strange piece in that it’s told from one person’s perspective with very little dialogue. Some it it is addressed to the other main character and as always I’ve got to watch my tenses. I’m terrible for switching tenses during a piece without realising it. Sometimes it is intentional and can work but most of the time it’s down to my lack of proper grammar knowledge. Grammar is something that is taught badly in schools, I think. Certainly when I was there many moons ago and I still agonise over punctuation and tenses as a result. At the end of the day if it sounds good to me I leave it. I’ll be an editor’s nightmare, I’m sure.

I’ll hopefully get some older pieces posted on here. I’m not sure how to go about it. Should I add them as new posts or create a new page for each piece. I shall ponder.