THE POWER OF WORDS

MONDAY 5th APRIL 2021

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘The Daily Post on WordPress’  

Prompt ~Share the Love

Tell us about another blogger who has influenced your own online journey.

Crows roosting by Patrick White – 15/09/1948 – 01/03/2014.

THE POWER OF WORDS

by John Yeo

  It was ten years ago when I first came into contact with a man who had a big influence on my writing. 

  I followed his writing on a daily basis, overwhelmed with his poetry. He would write a long powerful poem on a daily basis and publish it on his Facebook page. It was to become a joy for me to wake in the morning and to start my day by reading his latest overnight post. I began commenting daily on his published poem and receiving a response. We became good online friends, to the point of him signing off by always sending. ‘Love to Margaret,’ my wife.  

He was also a brilliant and accomplished artist, often displaying and selling his work online.

Sadly he passed away on the first of March, 2014.

PATRICK WHITE R.I.P.

by John Yeo

Tragedy; a situation that can be woven into verse?

Not a difficult question for the power of the pen.

Read the question closely, memorise every word.

Take whatever comes into mind and spin it.

I remember a friend I made on the internet once,

A creative poet with a magical mind.

I would wake every day and devour his work

Then we would take time to greet each other.

~

The poetic spells he had woven overnight

Were gems of wisdom and poetic thought.

With the communication of his imagination 

He became a friend, a guide and an inspiration.

Slowly his verse became darker and darker;

My friend was living on borrowed time.

A terminal evil began to darken his verse

As he described in poetry his fight for life.

~

One deep, black moment before the dawn,

I looked for my friend but his magic was gone.

Gone to new horizons to record infinity,

A comet travelling through the universe

Swamped in the starmud of eternal time.

As dawn suffocated the starlight completely

I knew my friend had breathed his last.

Leaving a brilliant legacy of poetic tragedy.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

~~~~~

Advice from a talented well-respected poet and artist

Patrick White (15/09/1948 – 01/03/2014)

‘I Often employ a Sufi practice in my poems, called scattering. You seed the wind with so many flowers, stars, images, the border guards of front door consciousness are overwhelmed by them to the extent that they start coming in the undefended… back door of the subconscious that listens to and hears everything without missing a thing. The point is to get in first, and then let the conscious mind find a place for them to settle. As for the form, its dynamic, not static and runs like a northern river back to its source, with all the inflections of water, whitewater, still water, falling water etc. reflecting the various moods and intensities of the poet along the way.’ Patrick White

ONE LAST REMINDER

SATURDAY 13th FEBRUARY 2021 ~ BLOG POST

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

Prompt ~ONE LAST REMINDER

ONE LAST REMINDER

by John Yeo

  Time is moving inexorably, passing almost unnoticeably fast, catching up with us all, unaware of the passing years. It seems just a short while ago I was a young man with a head full of dreams, breaking away from my roots and embarking on my life as a confident, independent young man. 

  Yet somehow, it seems like centuries ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I have certainly lived through them all. I have memories of how it was and of all my hopes and dreams for the future.

   It seems as if the winter of my life has stealthily arrived catching me by surprise. 

   How did it arrive so fast? Where did the years go and when did my young man’s dreams disappear? 

   I remember meeting older people through the years and thinking that those people were years older than me and that the later years of my life were so far away I couldn’t understand or fully imagine what it would be like.

  Looking back over the various chapters of my life, I realize that as I’ve matured my later years have been a kaleidoscope of contentment. It has been almost two decades since I met and married Margaret. During these 17 contented, love-filled years, we have both matured and gracefully aged together.

  Yet here it is! As I enter and accept another season of my life, I’m prepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but I never did!  At least I know that my winter has arrived; I’m not sure how long it will last. I accept that when life is over; it’s over.

   I  certainly have regrets. There are things I wish I’d done. and things I should have done and there are so many things I’m happy to have done. It all goes to living a lifetime. A final reminder if you’re not in your winter yet, let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in life. Do not wait for tomorrow it may never come.

One Last Reminder – Finish Your Book!

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

LITTLE BY LITTLE

TUESDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 2021
This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

Prompt ~ LITTLE BY LITTLE

I lay on the mountainside seeking inspiration. I examined my problem to solve the conundrum. It began to rain, I looked at my watch. A drop of rain landed on my nose and supplied the answer. 

~~~~~

LITTLE BY LITTLE


by John Yeo

Every day, with the warming return of the watery sun, the snow would melt, then seep and freeze again.

Forming pools of water that would rise and trickle and soon flood the surrounding plains.

 It starts in the mountain peaks, flowing and falling down rocky slopes, creating rivulets and cataracts descending into well-worn river beds. 

Tiny drops of water that little by little would wear away and hone and shape the boulders and rocky escarpments.

 Erosion over time smooths hard rock. 

Water, dripping on a rock over thousands of years, can eat through the rock. 

A river pounding against rock can cut through the rock over an extended period of time. 

Caves, set in the mountainside, created by rainwater slowly seeping through limestone rock, are formed little by little as the centuries turn into aeons. 

Stalagmites and stalactites are formed by traces of dissolved rock deposited by water dripping from the ground above.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

~~~~

I realise there is a lot of truth in the old adage, ‘The sands of time grind exceeding small.’ Perhaps a parallel should be, ‘A drop of water can create the sand.’

MONDAY 23rd NOVEMBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

PROMPT ~ THE FUTURELESS FUTURE .

THE FUTURELESS FUTURE 

by John Yeo

  A mysterious man entered the marketplace in the town of Northchester carrying an ornate, richly decorated chest.

       ‘Gather round folks I would like to reveal an instrument that could transport your innermost soul to places you could never dream of. I bring an instrument that is capable of changing your life forever.’

 Then with a flourish, he pulled off the lid to reveal the contents of the box:

 An ordinary antique black plastic telephone. A scratched, battered, extremely well used, old fashioned telephone.

 The telephone suddenly rang! 

    The mystery man said.  ‘This proves this is not just any old telephone, this is a special telephone.

A line to the timeline of history revealing the twists and turns of the life of the planet since time began.

To travel through the timeline one just needs to dial the year one wants to visit. No kidding! Past, Present or hopefully the Future.’

  The worrying thing was when you dialed the future there was no response. 

‘Why was this?’  You questioned the powers in authority.

 Mr. Optimist replied. ‘There is no reply as the future hasn’t happened yet.’

    Mr. Pessimist said. ‘There is no reply because there is no future. A bomb has wiped out the entire planet. There is no future!’

   There was a third person present. An old man who shrugged and said. ‘Hang up the phone; it is written.’

 The wise old sage in the company then addressed the mysterious stranger.

     ‘Sir! Excuse me please. I don’t think there could ever be such a thing as physical time-travel. The end result would never be the same. People would surely travel backward and forwards in time to undo or change an unfortunate action or to rectify a mistake. Surely one person’s mistake is another person’s gain.

Some of us may not actually exist. How many times have people admitted their child sadly was the product of an unfortunate mistake?

 The past surely should be left in the past. The future is surely best left in the empty mists of time.’

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

BATTLE OF WITS

SUNDAY 22nd NOVEMBER 2020 

BATTLE OF WITS

by John Yeo

The answer always at the end of the fingertips 

We are sure it will never drift far out of reach

Beating the virus is becoming a battle of wits.

The world has been overtaken by a mutual crisis

Nations collaborating and sharing the research

The answer always at the end of the fingertips.

~

The death toll mounting widespread contagion befits

A closedown of society, widespread fear of defeat 

Beating the virus is becoming a battle of wits.

Confinement essential borders just close to friendship 

Perhaps death and sickness have a lesson to teach

The answer is always at the end of the fingertips.

~

Science searches desperately for a vaccine to contain it

Prayers for the families with no solution to the breach

Beating the virus is becoming a battle of wits.

The rallying call to the carers, healers and medics

To stem the tide of desperation with a caring outreach 

The answer was always at the end of the fingertips.

Beating the virus has become a battle of wits.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

A WALK IN THE PARK


FRIDAY 20th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ BLOG POST

A WALK IN THE PARK

by John Yeo 

The afternoon was cold without the strong winds we’ve been becoming accustomed to lately. Margaret and I decided to take a good long walk through Sheringham Park. This is a National Trust (NT), property, comprising a large wooded area surrounding Sheringham Hall. The woodland walks are carefully maintained by NT employees and are extremely pleasant to visit. There are many mature trees with Rhododendrons, Azaleas with several species of Magnolia.

A striking young tree, resplendent in its Autumnal golden yellow foliage is the first colourful image that strikes the eye, giving a flavour of the season. Many crunchy, brown Oak and Beech leaves were covering the ground along the way. I couldn’t help imagining a fine tilth of leaf mould all over our allotment if only I could solve the logistical problem of transportation.

We continued to wander along the woodland trail and next encountered this wonderful pink Azalea tree at the edge of the pathway. This was the only shrub  in bloom at this time of the year, although many shrubs were covered in plump strong buds which promises well for a gorgeous display of blooms in the Spring.

Margaret came prepared with a walking cane to aid her balance on the uneven terrain. We passed a few people also enjoying the solitude of a woodland afternoon stroll, mainly couples walking the family pooch. Everyone we encountered strictly observed the social distance recommendations and cheerfully said Good Afternoon to us as we passed.

I was examining some rich green ferns, almost ankle-deep in Oak tree leaves here. The tangled branches in the background sadly feature a good number of branches that had been torn off the trees in a recent terrific storm.

We were just in time to see a Squirrel dashing  up the trunk of a large Beech tree and I noticed the ground was covered with the empty husks of Beechnuts. Obviously there is a secreted hibernation larder nearby.

The normally prolific birdlife was either roosting or away on migration. However we did notice a Magpie, a Crow and a few smaller birds darting around. At the end of the afternoon we had walked two miles in about 50 minutes. A good healthy lockdown exercise experience for both of us.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

The cruel decline of a brilliant husband of a poet.

THURSDAY 19th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ POETRY ~ BLOG POST

The cruel decline of a brilliant husband of a poet

(A fictional tale of a fictional meeting)

by John Yeo

Quite a good bus service here in Huddersfield,

The bus station was busy but empty,

It was a chilly day in town with a sharp wind. 

I sat waiting next to a gent in a raincoat, 

He puffed on his pipe and looked content.

Suddenly he turned to me and said,

“I was a boy in this area, it’s changed”.

I murmured a response and nodded.

~

 The wind picked up, then I asked my friend,

“What time is the next bus due to arrive?”

“I’m not too sure, Mary will know,” he replied.

“There was a huge gasometer down the road,

Near the grammar school that I attended.

My name is James, they called me Jim at school”

The cruel wind was blowing mercilessly,

A bus arrived, already full, so Jim and I sat still.

~

A kindly lady bustled along, “There you are Harold!

I’ve looked everywhere for you, the driver is waiting, 

The car is here”, She looked at me and smiled.

“I hope he has not been any trouble, I’m Mary”.

My friend looked at me, “Thank you for listening”

Pulled his raincoat collar up against the cruel wind.

~~Of change~~ “Mary I’m coming love,

I was Prime Minister, once you know”.

~

I sat stunned as realisation dawned,

My mind raced over the conversation

I would like to have had before his resignation

And cruel mental decline from Alzheimer’s disease.

How he kept us out of the Vietnam war,

Awarded The Beatles an MBE

During a very long week in politics

Foreseeing the “white heat of technology”.

My companion had been none other than,

James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rielvaux.

~

©️ Written by John Yeo~ All rights reserved.

This is a poem I wrote several years ago based on a real life Prime Minister of the UK from 1964 to 1970. 1974 and 1976

He sensationally resigned shortly after his 60th birthday. It has been suggested he was in the early stages of Altzheimers disease when he resigned and some recent tests seem to bear this out.

He died in 1995 aged 79 of colon cancer and Altzheimers disease.

He was buried in St Mary’s in the  Isles of Scilly.

His wife Mary Wilson was an accomplished published poet.

Mary Wilson’s poem on Harold’s death….

My love you have stumbled slowly

On the quiet way to death

And you lie where the wind blows strongly

With a salty spray on its breath.

For this men of the island bore you

Down paths where the branches meet

And the only sounds were the crunching grind

Of the gravel beneath their feet

And the sighing slide of the ebbing tide

On the beach where the breakers meet

Lady Mary Wilson lived to be 102 passing away on 7th June 2018 in London and her ashes are buried in St Mary’s in the Isle of Scilly.

MEMORIES

FRIDAY 6th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

PROMPT~ What do you like the least about your father?

MEMORIES


by John Yeo


  This is a very tricky question for me as I don’t remember anything much about my father at all. This account will have to be made up of dribs and drabs of second hand information. I was born towards the end of the second world war when things were absolutely hair-raising. Enemy aircraft were in the throes of non-stop bombing raids on England. I was born in spite of this and I was living with my parents on a Canadian air force base in the depths of rural Surrey. From second hand accounts, I learned later I was wrapped in a shawl or blankets and deposited in a cupboard under the stairs during the aforementioned bombing raids. I can’t begin to imagine the effects of the continuous crash, bang, wallop, on the senses of a tiny baby lying in a cot in darkness under the stairs. 

 My younger brother arrived and the family were obviously surviving in spite of the rigours of living with the continuous uncertainty of war. 

 It will be obvious to anyone who has read this far that my Father doesn’t feature in this account at all. He was obviously a Canadian service-man based in the United Kingdom.

 From all other vague inferences and information that have reached me over the years I’ve discovered my Father returned to Canada at the end of the war leaving my Mother with two children and possibly another child on the way. The family were obviously no longer entitled to stay in military accommodation and in the upheaval following the war, accommodation was scarce. Rooms were finally obtained with a widow with three daughters, and things were overcrowded, with two women and five children in a three bedroom house. Adding to the problems of this overcrowding, was the fact that my Mother was pregnant and would be adding another baby to the household shortly.

  A solution to the overcrowding was arrived at through the intervention of the social services and it was arranged that my brother and I would be sent away to a residential home for children. I have always referred to this as a boarding school, as we were fed, educated and taken care of under the auspices of the charitable organization who ran the establishment.

. This was the beginning where the seeds of dislike for my Father were planted and this feeling simply grew from a vague feeling in later years.

   What I dislike immensely about my Father is his total disregard of the children he abandoned and his complete inability to find the time or the inclination to trace them, I have since discovered he married again and had at least one more child from this union. I can understand his needing to start a new chapter in his life on his return to Canada, but this will never justify his closing down all previous chapters and shutting the book.

©️ Written by John Yeo

TEMPORARY CATASTROPHE


FRIDAY 30th OCTOBER 2020 ~ POETRY PROMPT ~ ‘The birds didn’t go south for the winter’

TEMPORARY CATASTROPHE 

by John Yeo

The birds didn’t go south for the winter this year

Since global warming started climate change

It was puzzling to see them remaining here.

~

Due to the heating up of the atmosphere 

The unusual seasonal effects seem strange

The birds didn’t go south for the winter this year.

~

They changed their presence on the biosphere 

Swifts and swallows were soaring their range

It was puzzling to see them remaining here.

~

The perpetual dawn chorus was tunefully clear

Insects remained to live in a strange disarrange 

The birds didn’t go south for the winter this year.

~

Natural consequences would be surely severe

Science would need adaptation to rearrange 

It was puzzling to see them remaining here.

~

It was mysterious to witness such abrupt change

Wings have ceased to fly the global sphere

The birds didn’t go south for the winter this year.

It was puzzling to see them remaining here.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

~~~~~~

When I first saw this prompt l began thinking about the consequences of global warming on the whole of the avian family. 

The heating of the atmosphere is such a slow insidious process that the consequences to birds wouldn’t be an instant event.

  Obviously this would not be a simple matter for birds as migration is linked to food supply and food supply would have to increase to cater for the birds. If there could ever be a continuous food supply in one area for the birds that didn’t fly South and were able to survive, surely breeding patterns would change and there would certainly be an over-abundance of birds, thus putting more pressure on the food supply. A good subject for a poetic flight of fancy.