A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday:  Uncertain Death


by John Yeo

    Mr. Spokes looked at the class and said, “Good Morning class.”

     “Good Morning Sir!” Chorused the assembled group of thirteen-year-olds.

   “Today we will discuss a subject that is closely bound up with everything we say and do in life. We are going to talk about something that most people would think is unmentionable in polite circles. Can anyone make a guess at this subject?”

   Three of the students instantly raised their hands. Mr. Spokes coughed loudly and said.    “Put your hands down if you have come to the answer of sex or sexual relations.” The three hands instantly disappeared. Mr. Spokes looked disappointed; “Can’t anyone here think of anything else?”

   There was a deafening silence until Sammy looking thoughtful said, “Everything else is discussed on the television or on the Internet Sir!”

   “Good thinking Sammy, but not quite everything. What about death? Or to put it more obscurely. What about uncertain death?”

    “Uncertain death?” Said Tommy to Mary, sniggering. “What’s that? My Mum says the only certainty in life is the certainty of death.”

   Mary grinned; she liked Tommy, they had always sat next to each other in school, since the first day they had met each other, only to discover they lived a stone’s throw from each other on the same road.

  “I don’t know what death is. I never think much about death,” she whispered, blushing.

  “Mr. Spokes,”  Tommy said loudly , “What do you mean by uncertain? I’ve heard death certainly comes to all of us. When my Grandma died, Mum says we have all got to die some time. She said Grandma has gone to a better place.”

  Mr. Spokes grinned and said, “You have just uncovered the uncertainty of death Tommy. If your Grandma is dead how can she go to a better place?”

    Sammy then interjected,  “We buried our cat in the garden when it died last year. Tibbles went into a hole in the garden, that wasn’t a better place.”

  Mary who professed not to know anything about death, suddenly asked. “What about Jesus? In Sunday school they say he died and came back. My Auntie believes we never really die.”

  Mr. Spokes smiled and said, ”Some doctors in hospital say, people who have died, have come back to life again!”

  There was silence in the classroom for a few minutes before Mr. Spokes suddenly said.

  “Class we have just discovered the uncertainty of death. Easy really!

  I now want you all to go home and ask your parents and friends the question “How certain is death? Then write an essay on the results. Class dismissed.”

  Tommy grinned at Mary and said, “Maths lesson next, at least that’s a certainty.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~All rights reserved.



A prompt response to ~

No. 296 – Cravings: Write about craving something:


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by John Yeo

  “Phillip! Stop gazing out of the window. What is it that is fascinating you so much? You have been sitting in that chair for ages, just gazing out of the window, staring at nothing. I see the trees and our garden lawn. There is nothing else to be seen; tell me what is it that is holding your attention? What do you see?”

 “Father, sorry I am deep in thought I see wealth beyond our means, I see riches enough to comfortably follow the sun from one end of this earth to the other. I see the luxury enjoyed by the super-rich. I feel our inadequacy when I see the wonderful lifestyles enjoyed by other more fortunate people, daily flashed into our home by the media. I want to be like those people, I crave the means to escape from the everyday drudgery of our humdrum lifestyle. I want wealth, travel, fine food and clothes with the chance to mix with people who know how to love life and live life to the full.”

 “Philip, my son, Mother and I have given you our all, everything we possess is yours, but you are talking nonsense. You are an intelligent young man and you will go far in your chosen profession, everyone thinks highly of you and you will be extremely comfortable one day. Please forget these impossible ideals of limitless wealth. Crave to be happy and comfortable with a lovely wife and family, this is a realistic set of ideals that you will certainly achieve. Banish these impossible cravings and live.”

  “Father, I love and respect you and I value your advice; but I see how hard you have to work to survive, I see the lines on your face that reveal a life that has lived through some tough times. I have this unbearable craving to be wealthy; I will do anything to escape and luxuriate in the life lived by the super-rich. I feel if I can find a way to accumulate enough money quickly, I will be able to satiate my cravings that hunger for wealth and the life my needs require.”

 “What do you mean by anything; Philip? I see a glittering pathway in front of you with a happy comfortable future, but these unrealistic desires are impossible to achieve. How do you propose to get rich quick to accumulate the money to fund the lifestyle demanded by these impossible cravings?”

 “Father, I have a plan, a brilliant plan that involves a mathematically infallible system I have worked out how to break the banks of all the major casinos in this country. I have spent the last two years working day and night on this system. It is an unbreakable chain of numbers that will certainly get what I want.

I just need your help to start the ball rolling with some cash, I know you will be able to get a second mortgage to help me by advancing me some funds. Of course, I will be able to pay you back as I will be extremely wealthy.”

Philip’s father’s, angry, shocked, face revealed his feelings.

“Gambling!” He exclaimed. “You propose to borrow money from your Mother and me to fund your risking everything by gambling?  Never son! This is something I will never condone, I am sure there is no such thing as a perfect system, and I refuse to have anything to do with any hair-brained scheme just because of your insatiable desire to be wealthy.”

Philip looked strangely nonplussed by this reaction,  “Father I am sorry you feel this way, I was sure you would help. I have already approached a firm of unsecured lenders to raise money to test the system, and it really works. I have paid them back their loan with a huge sum of interest. I thought you would welcome the chance for our family to be unimaginably wealthy. I would use the initial winnings to invest in the stock market and we would have more than enough to enjoy life to the full.

 Philip smiled as he left the house that day, never to return in his parents lifetimes. He became extraordinarily wealthy by using his system and diversifying the winnings, thus defeating his craving for limitless wealth.

Sadly another craving slowly took over his life, as he craved the excitement of the turn of the cards. The unbreakable system proved to be as fallible as his Father had predicted.

Ah! But that’s another story.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


A prompt response to ~

No. 293. Get Well: Write a poem that will help someone who is sick feel better quick


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by John Yeo

I understand your feelings

You’re under the weather

Below your normal par,

Not yourself at all.

The doctor says you will recover

Get back to normality soon.


I bring news that will make you smile,

I can’t guarantee you’ll be pain-free

No miracle’s on the cards.

Listen to the mystery of numbers,

A sequence of fortunate figures

That have healing power built in.


I know I’m not making things clear,

Your puzzled look is a good sign.

This news will set you on your way

This ticket has healing power;

The power to make your life easy

Lead you along a path to recovery.


Your life will change for the better now

You have won a fortune on the Lottery.


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.


This is in the nature of a practice run before I decide whether to take part in Poetic Asides November challenge.

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Guidelines


A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: 
 We Come in Pieces


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by John Yeo

 It was the same every night, the conversation would haunt me, I kept going over it in my mind.

  “Multifaceted, he called me! A man of many parts! What does that mean? Who is he to judge me or my makeup. I pride myself on being a unique entity; an entity that is definitely a whole unit. A very together individual!”

  I exclaimed, peeved at the remark. I had interpreted as a veiled criticism. “He had been implying I was a jack of all trades, therefore a master of none.”

 “Calm down Peter, he meant to say you are adaptable able to turn a new face to any part of your life at any moment.”

My wife Judy, a trained teacher, was always quick to defend another member of her profession. I had decided late in life to attend an adult education class at the local institute. I had become set in my ways and I needed a new challenge to keep my mind alive.

It started with a few drinks with my fellow students. This was the beginning of the fall down the slippery slope to ruin. I met and stupidly fell for a fellow student, Maria, I was besotted with her and this led to my wife Judy, leaving me and taking our two children with her.

The drink then began to take a firm hold and I lost my job. Maria became disillusioned and demanded I leave the flat we shared, this was in her name and I had to leave. I found myself on the streets with nowhere to go.

I then realized the hidden meaning behind the conversation that had been haunting me and the importance of the word multifaceted. My life had come to pieces. smashed to bits by my own actions.


My wife who had been a major piece of my life had left me.

I now have no contact with my children or any part of their lives.

My profession and my source of income had vanished.

My sense of self, an important part of my identity was now lost.

My home, self-respect, and self-assurance were now irretrievably gone.

Incredibly, I felt all the important aspects that made up my life were now lost forever.


We are not always aware we come in pieces unless we allow life to come to pieces.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: THOUGHT TRAVEL


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by John Yeo

The only time I ever get sunburnt from exposure to the sun is when I am actually exposed to the damaging rays of the sun.

The images just keep flooding in. My mind is overwhelmed with devastating images of poverty and suffering on the other side of the world. I have witnessed the victims of an earthquake, struggling to free themselves from buildings that have imploded and tumbled down, after the effects of huge shockwaves, as the earth moved and split apart. Wholesale death and destruction following a demonstration of the frailty of man.

I have lived through the effects of extreme hunger gnawing away at the consciousness and giving rise to pains racking the emaciated body of a child who is screaming for her Mother. The Mother who is lying dead beside her on the sun scorched earth. Hunger brought on by drought and a lack of rainfall to provide essential moisture for the crops.

Wars have unfolded before me, fought with a venomous fury. Where the bodies of the brave are heaped together; where the combatants have struggled in unequal combat. The victors revelling in the unequal struggle as their far superior weapons destroy all before them.

I have watched in horror as a river bursts its banks flooding the land with huge waves that destroy everything in their path. Leaving a huge death toll of people and wildlife in the wake. Flooding the land, filling valleys with the forceful power of water that over centuries can erode rock. Water that makes the tears of the survivors invisible as their tears add to the flood that destroys all.

I have followed a raging inferno as a tempestuous fire takes hold and rages through huge forests, the flames turning everything in their path to ash. Fire that leaves no survivors, turning all life in its path to dust. People and animals alike suffering an agonising death.

My senses then experienced the ultimate shock of a family sleeping through a nuclear explosion leaving this existence in a pile of ash. The burnt, scarred, contaminated, radioactive survivors and their future of eternal suffering.

The only time I ever get sunburnt from exposure to the sun is when I am actually exposed to the damaging rays of the sun.


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.



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A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: HEART CONTROL


by John Yeo

   He lay there dying, The bandits had left him for dead when they ransacked the wagon train, slaughtering everyone. We had been explorers, pioneers and settlers, peacefully penetrating this new land, he thought, dreamily semi conscious, drifting in and out of sleep.
    It was the deafening silence of the central interior of this vast deserted continent that got to him most. Mile after mile of sandy, fly-infested silence. The buzzing sounds of the wings of a multitude of flies, going about the business of survival, cannibalising and feasting on the detritus of millions of dead flies and other tiny creatures that had briefly lived and died here was the only sound that permeated the deathly silence. A cacophony of orchestrated wings, creating a symphony that quickly became drowned in the overwhelming background silence, Lost to the momentary awareness that consciousness allowed his limited human senses to suffer. Thrust into the background to be drowned in the interminable silence.
     He listened intently, there was another sound that seemed to be continually drumming in the background. A noise he was familiar with, a sound that was so close to him, he couldn’t pin it down.
The more he listened and tried to identify this alien but seemingly familiar sound, the louder it got. Always there, it resounded louder and louder to his annoyance, however hard he tried to ignore this persistent beat it soon became a crashing thump. The concentrated awareness of this beating sound began to play tricks on him.
What was it? This crashing beat that seemed so close to him that he was totally unable to resist paying attention to it.
    Sleep began to overtake him and dreamily he realised although the noisy beat was still banging away, the thumps were gradually getting softer, more irregular. Soon he could hardly hear them they sounded so weak and irregular.
Slowly a black cloud of unconscious sleep descended on his conscious mind and the beating thump was no more.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.