Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Archive for the tag “Christmas”

Press Repeat, Nothing Changes: A Selection of Seasonal #Tanka Poems

Sun cuts low through trees,
Squirrels burrow under roots,
People chase daylight.
Winter solstice then Christmas
Hibernation ~ if only ~

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TinselTownpx

~National Grid alert~
Christmas stomping on the world:
an unwanted gift
their electricity bill
our indefinite future

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OldChristmasTree

Once crowned with a star,
it glittered in the firelight.
Last year’s Christmas tree
dumped, forgotten and homeless,
its chocolate coins melted.

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RainyStreet2px

Besieged on all sides,
chimneys whistle, timbers creak–
December gale.
Beyond, in cardboard city,
lie papier-mâché homes.

Monday Morning #Haiku 179 — Still Waters

Natural glitter
No Christmas decorations
Serene December

Tanka #27 — Winter Solstice

Sun Through Winter Trees

Sun cuts low through trees
Squirrels burrow under roots
People chase daylight
Winter solstice then Christmas
Hibernation ~ if only ~

Neglected Structures & Overgrown Place #29 — Part-time Leather Chairs & Secret Reading

Leather Chairs

Throughout the year, these chairs have come and gone from their present position. I reckon they’re family rumpus chairs that are kept hidden from visitors: most especially from snooty relatives coming to stay for Christmas and the New Year.

As you can see, their basic framework is good and the leather well maintained (ignore the bird droppings and rain on them) but, if you look closely, the seat cushions have indents in them, each of them bearing the shape of their usual occupant’s bottom. And just because people are related to one another, it doesn’t mean they all have the same size backside.

Personally, I’ve not hidden any item of furniture from visitors. However, this year I admit to removing a particular novel from the sitting-room when some of Mister’s erudite friends came to our house for a meeting about local arts and culture events. The book was such an embarrassment that, even on Goodreads, I didn’t own up to reading it; although there were two perfectly valid reasons for it being in my possession. Firstly, because my daughter lent it to me and, secondly, because I wanted to know why the darned thing was a bestseller. Let’s just say that I won’t bother with the other two novels in the trilogy and would have given it 2-stars in a review.

What, if anything, have you hidden from visitors?

December’s Guest Storyteller, Sherri Matthews

Sherri

Sherri is a freelance writer, published in a variety of national magazines, websites, and anthologies.  She is writing her first book, a memoir, and regularly publishes articles, memoir bites, flash fiction and poetry on her blog.  Having lived in California for twenty years, she now lives with her hubby, daughter and two cats in the West Country of England, where she walks, gardens and takes endless photographs.

You can connect with Sherri at

Blogwww.sherrimatthewsblog.com
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/aviewfrommysummerhouse
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sherri-matthews/60/798/aa3
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103859680232786469097/posts

Memoir Book Blurb: http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/memoir-book-blurb/ )

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Sarah says: Welcome to my blog, Sherri, and thank you so much for contributing a most poignant and seasonal piece of flash fiction. In Sherri’s words: “This is about a little girl’s discovery that she isn’t the only one in her family who is keeping secrets”.

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Chocolate Umbrella 

Emma knew magic because Daddy made magic and she never stopped believing. Such magic that only he could muster, especially for his little girl, every Christmas Eve.

But today, while Daddy paid for their shopping, she stared in disbelief at the box of chocolate umbrellas on the shelf at the supermarket. Her chocolate umbrellas, the ones that fell out of the sky every Christmas Eve because of her daddy’s magic. How could this be?

On the way home, Daddy took her to the pub. “Don’t tell Mummy,” he said, with a wink. While he propped up the bar, let out bursts of laughter, and slapped the backs of drinking friends, Emma sat out of sight in a quiet corner with a bag of crisps and a glass of cola to keep her amused.

As she sat alone, she remembered last Christmas Eve, how Daddy had regaled her with stories of mystical creatures, of elves and fairies and how her eyes had shone with the wonderment of it all.

She remembered the flush of her cheeks as the burning coal in the fireplace cast its orange glow and how, with the lights off, she had been mesmerised by the red-hot ash of Daddy’s cigarette as it danced and made patterns in the darkness.

Then she had gasped with surprise as she heard a rustle and something fell from the middle of the darkness, landing in her open hands. Always a chocolate umbrella, conjured up just for her.

“Let’s go day dreamer.” Pulled away with a start from her memories, Emma looked up at Daddy. “Don’t want to miss the magic,” he grinned.

She stood up, smiling faintly. “I’m excited,” she lied, as she took his hand. She knew now there was no such thing as magic and she felt sad, but she played along, not wanting to hurt Daddy’s feelings.

That night, as a chocolate umbrella landed in her hands, she giggled as before and hugged Daddy but she knew things were no longer the same. Then again, she already had an idea that things had changed, ever since last week when she had seen Mummy kissing a strange man while Daddy was out at the pub.

The man had worn a Christmas hat, but Emma knew he definitely wasn’t Santa Claus.

© Sherri Matthews 2014

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You can find the links to previous guest storyteller posts at https://sarahpotterwrites.com/guest-storytellers-2/

And guess what? Next month, it will be exactly one year since I started my monthly guest storyteller slot, but more about that in January! Meanwhile, a big thank you to my twelve brilliant guests for 2014 🙂

Protest haiku #1

wooden turkey

Not on the menu,
she stands alone in protest —
a wooden turkey.

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February might seem a strange time to write a protest haiku about turkey welfare, but Christmas and Thanksgiving aren’t the only times people eat the meat from these birds. As I post this haiku, there are billions of  turkeys undergoing the torture of factory farming. This happens 365 days a year.

Below are some links to “Compassion in World Farming” and “mscpa angell” — organisations which expose the horrors of this industry and look at ways to improve animal welfare.

http://www.ciwf.org.uk/news/turkey_farming/turkey_farming_in_the_uk.aspx

http://www.ciwf.org.uk/news/turkey_farming/christmas_turkeys.aspx

http://www.mspca.org/programs/animal-protection-legislation/animal-welfare/farm-animal-welfare/factory-farming/turkeys/turkeys-on-a-factory-farm.html

For The Love Of Haiku

Don’t poison that mouse!
A rodent fattened on cheese–
Kitty’s dream dessert.

My apologies for skipping last week’s haiku challenge and producing a rather belated one this week, but have had countless musical commitments over Christmas. Anyone else who wants to jump on board at the last moment and join in with the fun, please check out http://allaboutlemon.com/category/haiku-lovers/

Special Christmas greetings and New Year good wishes to adollyciousirony and all her art game players who’ve provided us haiku lovers with so many eccentric, if not surreal images as our writing prompts throughout 2012.

You can check out the making of the image above at http://allaboutlemon.com/art-game/ag-w-21-say-cheese/

Tanka #6

TinselTownpx

National Grid alert
Christmas stomping on the world
an unwanted gift
their electricity bill
our indefinite future

Tanka #4

sunrise1px

Late autumn sunrise.
Tucked in their sparkling houses,
some dream of Christmas.
For them, today means nothing,
their minds fixed upon winter.

Tanka #3: a brief guide to the 31-syllable poetic form

OldChristmasTree

once crowned with a star
it glittered in the firelight
last year’s Christmas tree
dumped forgotten and homeless
its chocolate coins melted

Anyone else out there with a seasonal tanka in them, bursting to get out, if only they understood a little more about this poetic form?

Here are the absolute basics: a tanka is a five-line poem of 31 syllables shared 5-7-5-7-7, so it’s just a longer version of a haiku, which is three lines of 17 syllables shared 5-7-5. Lines 1 and 2 of the tanka usually represent a moment or thought in concrete terms. Line 3 is the pivot. Lines 4 and 5 are your reflection upon that moment or thought.

Sometimes I punctuate my tanka, but the one above called for me to leave it as bare and unadorned as the dead and abandoned tree. There is no hard and fast rule about punctuation.

For more on writing tanka, have a look at http://www.tankaonline.com/Quick%20Start%20Guide.htm

There’s also a comprehensive history of tanka at http://www.tankaonline.com/About%20Tanka%20and%20Its%20History.htm 

Looking forward to seeing your compositions, and please do paste a link to them as a “comment” to this post.

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And now for something completely unrelated to this post — today I received this message from WordPress:

Happy Anniversary!

You registered on WordPress.com 1 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

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AND WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN!

A GREAT BIG HUG AND THANK YOU TO ALL MY WONDERFUL BLOGGING FRIENDS 🙂

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