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The Nonsense Farmer

I have had a few ideas for poems running around my head for a while but am still plowing through edits of ‘The Fifth Coin.’ I got bored with this in the last few days though and decided I needed to write (strange that for a writer!). I have had for a while wanted to write a nonsense poem in the style of Dr. Seuss. When I decided that would be my next poem ‘The Nonsense Farmer’ just seemed to flow out of my brain. Some of the rhyming could be better but it is supposed to just be a fun piece and has helped me to refocus on the incessant editing I currently seem to be doing. You can read the poem on wattpad in the collection ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read’ or look at it below…

 

The Nonsense Farmer

There was a man lived in Blicket Bload

In a farm right down Yackity Road

He had twenty acres of rich land

Where he grazed ten pickety pand

Eight nickety nous, four hackety hees

And a rackty ripe with nobbly knees

The only problem with his own flock

Was that they always got themselves stuck

The nickety nous are furry and pink

They really love to drink and to drink

They have long tails and a little snout

To suck up water and the occasional trout

The problem with one nickety nou

Is he drank so much water he was stuck in a shoe

He puffed up so big and squeezed in the toes

But when he moved he was wedged with his nose

Sticking out of the hole where your feet go

To get out, the water he had to blow

Over the fence into the neighbour’s garden

Then pop round and say to them ‘pardon!’

Next farmer went to check his hackety hees

But you’ll never guess, they were all up in trees

Now the hackety hee is a ground dwelling fellow

About cow sized and all over yellow

With the odd spot of green on their bum

They tend to really stick with their mum

To climb up a tree is mostly unheard

That domain was made for a bird

But something had given them quite a fright

For they had been staying in the trees all night

They were shaking and shivering, too scared to come down

Across their long faces they all wore a frown

He had to grab their favourite food

A strange looking vegetable called a klood

Each was thin and bendy and blue

Sticky and sappy and dripping with goo

The hackety hees jumped straight for their treat

Completing their descent with an incredibly feat

Of twisting and turning within the air

Within just a moment they were now there

Stood on the grass munching so fast

That those poor kloods just would not last

They charged at the farmer baying for more

It was such a haste they knocked him to the floor

They pleaded and pleaded with their clacking sound

But poor old farmer was not waiting around

He charged and he fled away from the place

It was almost as if he was in new a race

To get as far from his animals as he could

At least at this he really was good

Next he came for the rackty ripe

But he could not find him try as he might

He looked at the field and up the mountain

He looked in the bins and in the fountain

He looked in his favourite spot by the stream

And tried to coax him with scones and cream

He looked up in despair to a great height

And there was rackty ripe stuck in a pipe

How did he get all the way up there?

He must have climbed ‘cos there was no stair

How to get it out, where could he go

There was no doubt, he would have to blow

The farmer bent over and drew in some air

Then blew through the pipe with considerable care

At first nothing happened so he had to blow more

Then out flew racty ripe with a terrible roar

He arched over the house and field back yonder

Making a noise louder than thunder

He hit the barn with an ear splitting crash

And on into the pond with a great splash

He left a hole in the barn the shape of his body

The pond was now all dirty and muddy

The fish had been flung almost half of a mile

To get back to their home would be quite a trial

The farmer was happy another animal was free

But there was one left to complete his spree

He ran to his collection of pickety pand

But luckily for him they were very bland

They had fur of beige and no spots at all

They did not get stuck or lost or fall

There they still were grazing in the field

With one whistle blow they did all yield

And came to the farmer all faces a beaming

With joy and love their whole bodies were teaming

He gave the group a hug, one mass of fur

And like a large cat they let out a big purr

From these he wished the others would learn

For at least the pickety pand were not a concern

Rejection doesn’t hurt when you’re a pessimist

I final submitted a short story to an online and print based magazine. It is a strange story that is a little sci-fi but not really and a little fantasy but not really. It moves away from character and focuses on implied mysticism. Safe to say that finding an appropriate magazine to submit it to was a challenge. The one I found focused on left field sci-fi. I suppose I really did not expect it to get in so when it was rejected I was not surprised, even when it got rejected for the reasons I thought it would. However, I thought I would be hurt when that happened but I am really not. Maybe it is because I know other people get rejected all the time or the fact that there are more magazines out there I can submit to. It could even be that I know I can independently release it through Smashwords or Kindle and it won’t cost me a penny (although it may also not get read). The thing that did frustrate me, though, is that many places that want short stories like ones that are about people and are a bit quirky. They call it contemporary but I call it things I don’t want to write about! That is why it is so hard to find a place for some of my writing. It is almost a little too mainstream whilst being not mainstream enough. So the search for my place in the market goes on.

I think another area that helps me is that I see myself as a hobbyist author. I have a full-time job and only write because I enjoy it, therefore if writing gets me nowhere it is no skin off my nose. As long as one person reads and likes my stories then I have an audience. Plus I will subject my children to my writing when they are older! So, being a pessimist has not always helped me but I do feel with writing it does. Robin McKinley said ‘Write what you want to read. The person you know best in this world is you.’ I write stories that I want to read so as long as I keep doing that I will be happy.

So what next for my short story? I will submit it to a few more magazines and if it goes nowhere expect it on Smashwords for free in the near future.

Planet of the Ducks

At last I have finished my first pass of ‘The Fifth Coin.’ For the last few weeks I have been itching to do some writing (editing really is painful!) so have decided to add another piece of flash fiction to my sci-fi collection ‘The First Flash of Hope.’ I have had the idea for the story for some time but managed to stop myself writing it to focus on editing, until now. I have added a bit of horror in there as well as sci-fi and played on the idea of one species taking over the world (yes it is inspired by Planet of the Apes!). It may seem a little silly but there is a twist at the end. I really like it and think it is quite clever, but you may just realise what is happening straight away. Anyway, you can read it on wattpad.

Suppose I should start the second pass of ‘The Fifth Coin’ so I can send it to publishers and get rejected! Oh, and if you wanted to know, ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ is still with beta readers so expect that out at some point!

Writing – where I’m at!

It is about half way through the year so I thought I would do an update on where I am with writing, not that it is really interesting. It may seem like I am not releasing much other than the odd poem or piece of flash fiction, probably because that is true. However, despite my apparent lack of writing I am actually working harder than ever to get things ready. Yes work is hectic and yes I do have two small children but I have my phone at my side and a lot of the time it is in my hand so I can edit. This is really starting to annoy my wife who just wants to have a conversation with me! That and the fact I have recently got a Nintendo Switch and Call of the Wild means I am no more than an enigma at the moment!

Right, on to specifics. Firstly, if you did not know already, I have finished editing ‘A Close Shave with Destiny.’ It is now with my beta readers, I have three but they are not professional editors or beta readers for a living so are doing me a favour. They also have busy lives so feedback is coming in slowly. When they have read it and final changes made it will be published through CreateSpace and on Kindle.

The novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo, ‘The Fifth Coin,’ is at the editing stage. I am about two-thirds through my first pass and am pretty happy at the moment. My new plan is to finish the editing then send it to a few publishers. When I get the obligatory rejection letters I will go ahead and publish it myself.

I have an idea for a children’s novel too but at the moment I am using all my willpower not to start it. Too many of my projects are half done before I flit onto the next thing. I am determined to get some writing finished so am focusing on editing before moving on. That said I do have ideas for more flash fiction to be included in ‘The First Flash of Hope.’ I am holding off on those as well until my first pass of ‘The Fifth Coin’ is complete then I can do a flash fiction or two before going on to stage 2 of editing my novel.

So there you go, I am still writing and I am being productive. With summer holidays coming soon I may even become more productive (although I will be spending most of it with the kids!). Just hang in there, I will be releasing stuff soon enough, I promise.

Parenting (or I love you but please leave me alone for five minutes)

Two poems in one month! Well it is National Poetry Month. Whilst I planned to write ‘The Tale of the Vitae Plant‘ this one I did not, it sort of just popped into my head. As a teacher I have had a few weeks off with my Wife and kids. Whilst I love the time we spend together, having children can be draining. This poem came to me as a lot of different rhyming couplets and then I popped them all together. There was actually very little thought involved. It is kind of a snapshot of my life as a Dad. I hope it resonates with other parents and they do not feel so alone in their struggles. As usual you can read it below or go to wattpad and my collection ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.‘ Enjoy….

Parenting (or I love you but please leave me alone for five minutes)

I know that you are my life
But sometimes you just cause me strife
Your questions really get me down
Why is the sky blue and the earth brown?
You are the apple of my eye
So why is it you must defy?
All the rules that I set
And no we are not there yet
The washing machine is going again
I think we’re on load number ten
I’m sure you’ve got more clothes than me
Your t-shirts number fifty-three
I thought I’d washed them all by now
But the laundry basket’s full somehow
How much TV do you want to view?
When I turn it off you look so blue
I have the theme tunes in my head
They go round and round when I’m in bed
Let’s go outside and play with sticks
Now put that down and stop those tricks
Just leave your sister alone
Hang on how did she get my phone?
Oh I see she started it
You both sap my energy bit by bit
I read this book the night before
It really is starting to bore
I read The Gruffalo a million times
Now I can remember all the lines
I keep reciting it in my head
If it’s not your music it’s that instead
To get you dressed takes a whole day
You just roll over and crawl away
We started getting ready at half past eight
It’s gone eleven and now we’re late
Why are you tantruming today?
Because in the cat litter I won’t let you play
Or eat that dirt off the floor
Or we have to leave we can’t play more
I remember when I had a book
In every cranny and in every nook
When I could read or watch TV
When I used to really be free
Now there is no space in this home
Because all your stuff is thrown
Across the floor and piled on the shelf
If I sold it all I’d have some wealth
Some you haven’t touched for a year
If I had my way it would be out on its ear
I was just going to throw that away
But with it you have started to play
How many toys do you really need?
You have horses in every colour and creed
Batman, Spider-Man, Thomas and Friends
This glut of stuff never ends
Then your relatives come around
And now there’s even more abound
Your Mum and me, we used to speak
Now we just nod when we greet
We look into each other’s eye
And wonder how we will survive
The romance really is quite dead
How do we get through so much bread?
Did you actually hear that rumbling?
It sounds as if your bottom’s grumbling
I am pretty sure we shouldn’t yet
Have farts louder than a jumbo jet
And when I try to have a wee
You suddenly appear just behind me
Can I have some space, however brief?
To do a poo or brush my teeth
I’ve got a cold I think I’ll drop
But you don’t care you just won’t stop
You just keep saying look at this
To jump a bit gives you so much bliss
I just want to have a rest
But my patience you must test
My shoulders are starting to ache
Just get off I need a break
I don’t really want to be a train
A boat, a horse or a climbing frame
How much snot can you produce?
We really must learn to reduce
The amount of tissues we are using
If only you would stop refusing
To let me wipe your button nose
It really just adds to my woes
I’m sure that fish cake was just mine
It really did look divine
Now it’s in your mouth of course
You’re eating it without remorse
You liked spaghetti the other day
We don’t eat shepherd’s pie that way
Oh look it’s now all down your top
This messiness has to stop
Can you sit on your chair properly?
You’ll hurt yourself and then it’s me
That has cuddle and comfort you
Oh you’re grumpy because you need a poo
Just get down, to the toilet run
Your tea will be here when you’re done
It took you ten minutes to get there
Now you’ve done it in your underwear!
I know when you don’t want more
Because you throw it on the floor
I’m just glad that we’ve got a pet
That’ll hoover up if I forget
And when I get five minutes free
I go and collect cold cups of tea
They seem to be dotted all around
In places they should not be found
In the bathroom, by the toaster
There’s even one behind the sofa
When you finally go to sleep
I tell myself I’ll have a treat
Because the days been a rollercoaster
I’ll just fall asleep on the sofa
It’s time to sleep not bounce on bed
But, “I love you,” you just said
Now I really want to cry
Your so sweet and you do really try
To be good and nice and wonderful
On my heartstrings you can pull
A cuddle, kiss and then goodnight
To lose you would give me a fright
I do this again every day
Because I love you more than I can say

National Poetry Month – a new poem

At last it is finished, my latest poem. It is a bit of an epic by my standards but then it is National Poetry Month. I tried something a little different with this poem, dispensing with rhyme to try to get a more old world feeling. I tried to get a rhythm going but that did not work, lines just seemed to shoot into my head so I put them down. When I came to editing I realised I quiet like that it focuses more on story than literary devices so left it how it was.

You can read The Tale of the Vitae Plant on wattpad in my collection entitled ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read‘ or take a gander below….

 

The Tale of the Vitae Plant

The King layeth upon his death bed
Skin pale as a ghost and pocked with marks of yellow and red
Though the last rites had been read, hope there still was
For in a far off land grew a plant
A plant so powerful it was told it could grant life to all
A crew were to be assembled, not of the nicest
But of the best, for a sinner may be more courageous
Than the most holiest of men
More builders than ever before were assigned
To build the most magnificent ship
A temple of oak stained to look like mahogany
Upon its prow sat the most beautiful mermaid
A sign of hope that was to bring luck on the seas
They would search the corners of the earth
To find the illustrious root
A tincture would be made and fed to the King
So his illness would, at last, be past
On the sunniest day of all they year
In the season of high summer
The rag tag crew, drilled till they were one
Set off on the fateful mission
The blue stretched to horizons unknown
A journey laid before, distance fixed
But timeframe chosen only by the waves
The creak and groan of wood knotted and gnarled
Weathered and beaten but standing true
Night become day and day become night
As not a soul didst enter their aura
But still they proceeded under rain and sun
One day the storm picked up worse than before
The sea a swell of dragons flapping violent wings
It threw the ship left then right, rocking more than a child’s horse
They went under deck or grabbed on to rigging
Anything that would save their mortal bodies
Like a bird set to flight one crew was tossed asunder
Landing in the water but making no dent on the waves
They shouted, they search but alas they could not see
Thankful they were, when the wind and waves died down
That only one was sunk like many a ship
But there was no time to think of this
Off course they had been driven
The maps and charts checked once more
A new direction set as sun descended and star appeared
A score and three they had been at sea
When yet new weather at once appeared
Through mists dense that none could see
Swirling and howling like horrible ghosts
Day and night one and the same
They journey through the impenetrable shield
Upon their exit, some four days hence
A cruel banner did descend upon them
Black as night with bones of X
Underneath a dead man’s face
Thus battle ensued of the fiercest nature
Smoke from cannon mimicked from whence they had come
And billowed high from treacherous fire
Though the ocean was full it could not get to the blaze
So bucket and basket transported their saviour
Poured, thrown and chucked a chain of buckets
Combated fire and saved the deck
Though the wood stood firm their assailants entered
Swinging from rope of twine and walking on plank of wood
Rapiers glinting showed off a deadly arsenal
But many more were hidden in the fog and smoke
With slash and thrust the swords tried to find purchase
Tried to rid our heroes of life given so freely
To plunder and steal what secrets this ship held
As the enemy deemed a life of villainy more rewarding than hard labour
But our lads and ladies didst not falter
They too had weapons a plenty
That of steel and wood and gunpowder
Blood did stain the well oiled deck
And many were taken to the kingdom in the sky
But alas, those deadly pirates could roam the seas no more
Cut down as they were in the vigour of their lives
Many of ours too did fall, never to stand again
But time for pity and to pay respect was not upon them now
The mission too important so such frivolities would have to wait
They continued henceforth till the sun position
Justified to them the location upon their maps
Their destination nearby must be
As black and white gulls swept the air
Diving, screeching, they follow the ship
In expectation of a feast, free loaders, unthankful
But alas their plans were foiled, no scrap tossed or morsel given
With renewed vigour our crew didst sail forth
The land glinted, found at last, a shining jewel
Moored in the bay they took to smaller vessel
Rowing ashore, toward the picturesque scene before them
Stepping foot first on pure white sand as the Sun’s rays beat down
They knew they should venture forth
But a moment in the sun is good for the soul
And thus they stopped there to rest weary heads and aching limbs
When sleep threatened to overtake them it was time to move
Up the bay and toward the lush foliage they marched
Into a small wood, large leaves and winding barks
That felt rough to the touch and had a strange tickle
One looked down to see a mini beast
Eight legs, large mandibles and a million eyes
Screams echoed, bouncing from bark to bark as more emerged
Crawling, scuttling, seeking flesh
The spiders bit deep, injecting venom
Swelling, puss filled sacks grew forth on arm and leg
Till man and woman alike did fall
And were consumed by a sea of legs
The rest did charge, dodging trunks, looking for any opening
They twisted, they turned in hope to find some secret exit
Through the dark maze finally found their way
They ran back into the sunshine and on to a glade
Hearts jumped at the welcome sight
A field of flowers aplenty, red and blue, purple and yellow
A kaleidoscope of fresh scent, a painter’s dream
But all too quickly the nightmare had taken over
Some incredulous beast didst taunt them with gross roars
Bounding into the peaceful meadow it cut them from their path
Its hulking mass, its thick brown fur, its piercing eyes
Did not waylay their vision from the yellowed fangs
Its breath was hot and tasted unpleasant such was its proximity
One of ours made a dash, fast of feet they flew
But alas their speed did fail them
And impaled they were on sharpened teeth
As flesh did rip and the beast did gorge
The others saw an open path
Best to save oneself than risk the entire mission
Take flight they did as the Bear distracted on his feast
And thus through all danger and treachery
All but two had been felled
Was this a price worth paying for one man’s life?
Though he be a King among men, a leader to all
From glade of beauty a wall of weeds
Thick and dense so no man should pass
They wondered east and they wondered west
Alas there was no way round
It was through the obstacle or turn back
They had lost too many to give in now
So, without knives, swords were drawn
Hack and slash, vegetation didst flow
No care given to homes of bird or rodent
Luck was with them this time as nothing worse
Than parrot or mouse hid away in the foliage
Whence at last they did find a way through
On golden path they did set foot
A dusky road to travel to such wonder
The path was steep and made calves burn
But ever onward they did trek
Pebble and stone tumbled down the slope
Collecting under the growth they had come from
Rejoice at last as small stone steps
Crudely fixed together with mud
Rose slightly to an opening, cut direct into the rock
There in nothing but darkness showed
As if a portal to yonder nightmare
But beyond the root they desired, grew steadily out of the sun
How such a plant without base needs
Could survive neither didst know
Unsure of what would appear inside
Their feet did falter and minds did create
A plethora of scenarios, each more horrific than before
Realising this was their destiny they could not let hearts rule heads
The chamber set deep in rock was to be
Their salvation or their tomb
But only way to know for sure was to cross that dreaded line
To step forth into the unknown
Once inside their fears allayed
As if they were players stepping onto a stage
For sunlight streamed in on well carved steps
Guiding the way with natural light
As dim a house appears when viewed through a window
But brightens by the presence of man
Their nostrils assaulted by the stench of decay
As they descended the crypt they didst see
The treasure they coveted that which they did adore
Around which sat bodies bereft of flesh and bereft of life
A contrasting juxtaposition against which the seed sprouted
A glow from whence they did not know
Bathed the plant in the most glorious light
And thus it shone like a beacon in the dark
Asking them to pluck it from this prison
So that once more it could see the day
One was cautious, stepping back, assessing what must be done
The other head strong, rushing in, ready to grab and run
He reached forth with grime cover hands
Eyes only on that which they sought
But as his fingers broke the light
And showed every crevice covered in dirt
Yet before he could touch their elusive prize
A terrible rumbling came from the earth below
Shaking the remains of those whom had stepped here before
As if they were byproducts when panning for gold
Appearing before them like some kind of apparition
Stood tall four fighters, thin and gaunt
Risen again, the bones of soldiers felled long ago
From the dust and cobwebs appeared
In each of their hands a rusty blade
Our heroes blocked and parried, sliced and thrust
Had these been normal enemies their dancing blades
Would have meet with skin, biting deep into flesh
But these were some sort of demons from the pits of hell
Where sword did hit bone and limbs were lost
The skeletons hit the floor, only to reform
They had lost their power and skill in death
But their endurance didst stretch on
And, alas, our heroes faltered
Strength and focus giving way to nought but wayward swings
They could have fled at any point
But loyalty stayed their feet and kept their hearts strong
Only so much stamina does a man have
And on thy enemies pitiful weapons they did surrender
Giving up on life’s true wonder
And more was their pain that no hand still touched the elusive root
Ere to this day they still do dwell
Though no flesh they have to speak of
But if one as bold didst want the plant
Then it be their folly that will rouse them
And of the King they still do speak
But not in tones of glory
History tells of his incurable illness
And an adventure to find a mythical root

Finished editing and a new Flash fiction piece

Well that took a long time! I am happy to say that the editing of ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ is finally done. It took time but I am happy it is over, now just looking for some beta readers then can get it out in the next few months. If anyone wants to be a beta reader then get in contact. I can only offer you a thanks in the final book, which will be released through Amazon via Create Space, and a signed copy. Be warned thought that given my lack of fame by signing the book I may actually be decreasing its value!
To celebrate, or rather get back into writing instead of editing, I have written another piece of flash fiction for my ‘The First Flash of Hope’ book. Not sure it is as good as the first but check it out and see what you think. It is called Bionic Hacker and you can read it on wattpad. Saying that, I did write a 2000 word short as well but I might try a magazine or competition with that one.
Short and sweet post but nothing more to say at the moment.