ROOTS

ROOTS 

by John Yeo

Henry was a man of stubborn independent views

Absolutely self assured with single-minded opacity 

If encouraged to uncover the past he would refuse.

~

He was the product of wartime upheaval and blues

He grew hard and self sufficient with harsh pugnacity

Henry was a man of stubborn independent views.

~

After the ceasefire a marital breakdown would infuse

The facts of his history would be cloaked in mendacity 

If encouraged to uncover the past he would refuse.

~

Educated in an orphanage without facts to confuse

Without means to uncover his descendants veracity

Henry was a man of stubborn independent views.

~

People often prompted Henry who resisted the cues 

To uncover his heritage would require fabled tenacity 

If encouraged to uncover the past he would refuse.

~

After a happy successful life in his contented shoes 

He faced the future with ingrained perspicacity, 

Henry was a man of stubborn independent views

If encouraged to uncover the past he would refuse.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved 

Hereditary roots are important to some, as they frantically haunt online heritage sites avidly searching for people with the slightest tenuous link to a version of their family name. Seeking perhaps, long lost connections to the aristocratic families of the distant past. An obvious linkage to a wealthy forgotten branch of their family with the chances of a long lost inheritance. 

 Personally I prefer to forget the past and let sleeping dogs remain fast asleep in the pages of tenuous rumour and mystery. I certainly understand the view and outlook of my imaginary friend Henry in this poem.

NORMAN

WEDNESDAY 12th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION

This is response to a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Fill in the blank
Three people walk into a bar . . .THE PANOPLY OF FOOLS

NORMAN

by John Yeo

  It was a rather special afternoon at the village drama society, all the members were holding their breath in anticipation. Today was casting day for a performance at the local theatre, rumour had it that some celebrity guests would be attending the auditions. The play we would be performing was to be William Shakespeare’s, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ I had reluctantly joined the West Chester drama society at the behest of my dear wife Penelope, who is a regular performer. This was to be a first, I have never acted in my life before and I was feeling incredibly nervous about the prospect. I gingerly made myself known to the other members of the group as we entered, The Leering Donkey, a local pub. 

      ‘Hello everyone, I’m Norman, nice to meet you all.’

There were several nods and smiles of welcome and approval from the assembled members of the drama group.

I was a bit unnerved when a tall young man came bustling up and said;  ‘Hi and welcome I’m Lawrence. Wow! You will be perfect for the role of Nick. Penelope darling! Well done; your husband will be perfect for the role I have in mind.’

  ‘Nick?’ I asked, ’I don’t remember a character by the name of Nick in Midsummer Night’s Dream. I read the play last night at home!’

   Lawrence smiled and said, ’Don’t worry Norman, the character you have been selected for has an important role to play! I think you will be perfect for the role of Nick Bottom. A very sought after role indeed!’

  ’BOTTOM!’ I exclaimed: ‘You mean the character with an Asses head. The fool?’

  ’Norman this is not just any old fool you will be playing here! Bottom is a very important fool. Out of all the panoply of Shakespeare’s fools Bottom is the finest. I think this role could be the start of a well-revered career: Bottom was one of the leading performers in the Mechanicals. I think you will be perfect for this part. Am I not right Penelope darling?’ 

  ‘Are you mad? I refuse to get involved with this! Anyway! Who do you think you are calling darling? That’s my wife you are addressing.’ I said, becoming quite annoyed by the sly inferences of this toffee-nosed twit.


    ’Just a theatrical term lovey. It’s a great pity; Won’t you change your mind? I think you would be perfect for the role; I’m sure you would look exactly right playing the character with an asses head.’

  ’Clear off!’ I said walking out of the pub.
 One month later Lawrence and my wife Penelope had set up home together. I swear if I ever wake up from this horrible dream, I will get my revenge.
 Wait until he finds out that Penelope is part Mexican and suffers from Montezuma’s revenge whenever there is a certain variety of food on the table.’

   © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


SILENCE IS GOLDEN 

MONDAY 10th MAY ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Rebel

SILENCE IS GOLDEN 

by John Yeo

   We had been desperately searching for somewhere to live as my lovely wife Mary was expecting our first child in three months. Our landlord rented out the flat to us fully furnished, with the strict rule, no children would be allowed  to live in the accommodation under any circumstances. 

Mr and Mrs Sherwood lived on the ground floor and wouldn’t tolerate the noise of children under any circumstances.

  We had searched the small ads everywhere and tried many agencies without any results. Private landlords all wanted a massive payment up front and it certainly looked as if homelessness beckoned.
  I noticed a newspaper advert for a bookshop manager with accommodation provided. This is not my normal profession, I trained as a research scientist, but the advert clearly said experience wasn’t  essential as full training would be given.

 I applied for the job where we met the adorable Tom and Barbara, both octogenarians headed for retirement. I was hired on the spot and after the interview Tom and Barbara became close friends. They spent many hours with us both, teaching us the tricks of the bookshop trade.

 Mary and I soon moved into a lovely spacious flat above the shop with furniture donated and provided by friends, with some on permanent loan from Tom and Barbara.
  Then we learned about the gruesome twosome next door, Rock and Roll ravers and rebels who ran a drugs cafe, open 24 hours a day. The noise after dark was horrendous, with loud music and shouting well after midnight, seven days a week.

 Mary became extremely tense and nervous after the first few days and I was quite worried about the effect this would have on our baby after the birth. I gave the situation a lot of thought and I came up with a plan to rid us of this noisy inconvenience permanently. 

As a research scientist in chemistry, I devised a plan to procure certain chemicals that would emit a harmless extremely powerful obnoxious smell when they were mixed together. I was able to place a small tube from our yard at the rear of the shop extremely close to their windows and I switched on a pump that spread the foul smelling gas directly into the noisy drugs cafe next door.

The effect was magical as there was an instant exodus of people into the street holding their noses, cursing and shouting. I then switched off and withdrew the tube. The gruesome twosome couldn’t work out where the smell came from and every time the cafe filled up in the evening, I would repeat the gas emission with the same wonderful effect. Eventually they got so fed up they closed their cafe and moved away after six weeks of this treatment. The empty premises became a charity shop with normal opening and closing hours. 

 Mary soon gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. I always would be a hero in Mary’s eyes as a rebel against inconvenient noisy rock and roll rebels.

 © Written by John Yeo  All rights reserved 

SUCCESS

SATURDAY 8th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY 

This is a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Success
Tell us about a time where everything you’d hoped would happen actually did.

IF ONLY I’D REMEMBERED……..

by John Yeo

Work has been stressful without a break

I’ll feel better when I get home.

The flight was late, I had a horrendous wait,

It’ll be good to surprise the family.

It’s been a hard week but I’m early.

My wife will be delighted

When she knows I’ve been successful.

I’ll be taking her out to dinner tonight.

~

The taxi pulled up behind a posh new car.

There’s another one parked in the drive.

My children must have some visitors.

Two brand new matching luxury cars.

~

Mary, my wife rushed out of the house.

‘Welcome home! Our luck finally changed!

Isn’t the windfall exciting?

Thirteen million pounds is a massive amount..

I knew our numbers would come up in the end!

Come inside, relax, put your feet up,

Your work is now a thing of the past.

We have many plans to make.

I have rung the family, everyone knows.

We’re having a party.to celebrate.’

~

My face must have mirrored my confusion 

When my wife grinned and continued.

‘Don’t tell me you’ve been so busy

You haven’t heard the news.

Our regular lottery numbers have won,

We are now multi-millionaires.

We just need the ticket to prove it.’

~

My face went white in shocked surprise.

Reality took seconds to surface.

Thirteen million pounds; a huge,amount

That sadly we can never claim.

I certainly would have celebrated,

If only I’d remembered to buy the ticket.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

SUCCESS 

 I wrote the above poem in a way that illustrates the dangers of spending money that hasn’t actually arrived. The elation at the success of winning could lead to some unfortunate decisions. The unfortunate person who forgot to invest in the winning ticket is obviously in dire straits with the family.

 Yet although I’m sure winning a massive amount of money would be welcome, I can’t help thinking this sort of success can often be something of a double-edged sword.

 Success will always be a difficult concept to recognise and to write about. Anyone’s first thoughts about suddenly winning 13 million pounds on the lottery, would obviously be extreme delight and excitement. However on reflection a massive sum such as this carries many hidden disadvantages, not the least being the sudden, certain, changes of lifestyle. 

 Obviously the members of the family would be the most uncomplicated beneficiaries. The mere fact of the initial delight of receiving what would be a reasonable sum would certainly lead to an easing of life’s pressures. Then, human nature, being as egotistical as it certainly is, would throw up all manner of complicated psychological reasons on the way the spreading of the winners good fortune could have been done differently.

 The main problems would surely arrive, with the certain lifestyle changes for the winners that would arrive the minute the cheque is cashed and the money becomes available. The sheer danger of the ability to indulge in everything in excess would be incredibly stressful. 

 However the positive aspects of a large win would certainly outweigh the negative aspects. All I can say is keep buying the ticket, as you can’t win without the investment of the entrance fee.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

FLAUNT 

FRIDAY 7th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a response to a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ FLAUNT 

FLAUNT

by John Yeo

   Peter Pleasant was the luckiest person you could ever imagine. He was born into a wealthy family. The only child of two famous actors, Peter never wanted for anything. Consequently he was incredibly selfish and uncaring in his behaviour towards others. He didn’t just flaunt his privileged lifestyle, he went out of his way to rub everyone’s nose into it. For example, he would cruise around the poorest areas of the city in a large gas-guzzling, four-wheel drive car! This man just seemed to attract every lucky break there ever was, everything went his way. 

 However the winds of change were beginning to blow. It started at the regular poker night he attended with three of his close friends. Peter actually began to steadily lose. Hand after hand went against him and he was soon several thousand pounds down.

 Then Peter’s luck began to change again when it came to the final hand, slowly, two of the players dropped out, leaving Peter and Joey Wilkins left playing. Both men were holding possible winning hands and the pot just got bigger and bigger. Joey finally ran out of money and he was sure he held the winning hand. He smiled at Peter and said, 

 ‘‘Look Pete! I’m a gambler and I have one more challenge for you. I have a ticket for next Saturday’s lottery draw in my pocket, this could be worth nothing or at least a million pounds. I will see your hand for the value of this. All or nothing. What do you say?’

  Peter shrugged and replied. ‘You realise the ticket is probably worthless. It’s a 45 million to one chance of being a winning jackpot ticket. Can’t you give me an IOU?’

 Joey grinned and replied. ‘I’d rather not! I challenge you to take a chance and give me a break, I know you are wealthy and you can afford to lose a few pounds. Go ahead and take a chance.’

 Peter grinned and said. ‘OK put the ticket in the pot and show me your cards.’

 There was a moment of electric tension in the room when both players revealed their cards.

  Peter Pleasant won the hand and scooped the pot including the Lottery ticket. He almost gave the ticket back but changed his mind on impulse and put the ticket in his wallet.

 Amazingly Peter became three million pounds richer on the following Saturday, when the numbers on the ticket came up trumps.

  Joey sought him out and tried to claim a substantial share of the winnings but Peter just laughed and said, 

   ‘Sorry I’ve blown the lot on a luxury yacht…….

‘The SS Flaunt’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

EVASIVE ACTION 

THURSDAY 6th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY

This poem is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Evasive action
What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?

EVASIVE ACTION 

by John Yeo

After it happened, I desperately sought for a retraction

When I heard you I turned scarlet with embarrassment, 

The secret you trusted me with leads to evasive action.

My whole response to you was a thoughtful chain reaction 

Why did you choose me to take into your confidence?

After it happened, I desperately sought for a retraction.

The secret you trusted me with led to evasive action.

~

My response to your secret drives me to total distraction 

How do I respond to a confession of wicked malevolence 

The secret you trusted me with leads to evasive action.

To prejudice a long time friendship with risky overreaction 

The information you trusted me with didn’t make sense

After it happened, I desperately sought for a retraction.

The secret you trusted me with led to evasive action.

~

I respect your wish for my promise of trustworthy inaction

Although you have driven me to the extremes of sentiment

The secret you trusted me with leads to evasive action.

I value a friendship that has brought much satisfaction 

A bond that has cemented a close, safe, stable environment 

After it happened, I desperately sought for a retraction.

The secret you trusted me with led to evasive action.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

ABRUPT DEPARTURE 

SUNDAY 2nd MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ BLOG POST 

This is a response to a prompt on The Last Post on WordPress

PROMPT ~ ABRUPT 

ABRUPT DEPARTURE 

by John Yeo

  We had been invited to tea at the vicarage, the vicar was new to our parish. We were keen to get to know him and to make a good impression. Matilda and I had been warned to expect something of a third degree interrogation as he was keen to familiarize himself with everyone and everything connected to his new duties.
  We arrived at the vicarage, slightly early for our appointment, the pathway leading to the front door was untidy and somewhat overgrown with weeds and uncultivated. Matilda was dressed in her nicest clothes, to make a good initial Impression, and she clicked her tongue with an audible tut-tut. She was wearing a pair of brilliant white gloves that were far  too nice to spoil by pushing a grubby bell push. I politely stepped up and ignoring the bell, I gave the grubby door-knocker a comprehensive bang.
  After we had waited for a few minutes, a cheerful buxom lady with permed dark brown hair kept in place with a hairband, opened the door. She had a brightly coloured floral apron over a neatly tailored two piece suit.
  ‘Ah! You must be Mr. and Mrs. Smithers. Come in; I’m Constance, my husband is expecting you.’

  ‘Yes! That’s us, call us Roger and Matilda please.’

We were shown into a comfortable book-lined study complete with several comfortable leather chairs. Seated at a large desk smoking a decorative pipe was our new vicar. Except he looked altogether much different than the person we had envisaged. He had shoulder-length greying hair complete with a ginger-coloured, greying moustache and beard. He wore a black short-sleeved top that revealed numerous colourful tattoos on both arms. His clerical dog-collar was virtually invisible behind his thick beard.
With a cheerful, ‘Howdy-doo!’ the vicar immediately jumped out of his chair and extended his hand.

‘I’m so pleased to meet you! I’m the Reverend Randolph, please take a seat. You’ve met Constance my lady wife, no doubt she will appear in a few minutes with some tea and biscuits.’


  We were both taken aback by his unconventional appearance. I warmly shook the proffered hand although Matilda abruptly sat down on the nearest comfortable seat. I think she was in a mild state of shock. It was when he broke the news about the new order of service that finally shook her up.
  ‘We plan to get rid of the organ and establish a guitar-led musical service led by our son Randy and his gospel group.
There will be flags issued to the congregation to wave in time to the music. We will encourage much clapping and swaying to the beat of the drums.’

It was at this point we both got up and headed for the front door where we left in the most abrupt manner possible.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved 

WAYWARD

SATURDAY 1st MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY

This is a my first response to a prompt from Sammi Cox on sammisscribbles

WAYWARD
by John Yeo


  Stella lived up to her name, everyone considered her beauty to be out of this world. A star in every sense of the word she dazzled everyone with her looks and sharp wit. It was a shock when rumours began to circulate about her love life. Things became seriously upsetting when her parents became aware of her waywardness through the parish priest.
After a family row Stella became a nun and went to lIve in a convent.
  (77 WORDS)


ASTONISHING 

FRIDAY 30th APRIL 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY 

PROMPT ~ Astonish

ASTONISHING 

By John Yeo

If I were able to see into the future,

When and how I would pass away.

Would I be able to alter the outcome?

Take steps to alter the finality

Of my death or a long drawn out illness.

Would the future astonish me?

~

Would I be able to be somewhere else?

Somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be?

Would I then be responsible

For altering lives that depended on me?

If I were able to alter the future

Would the outcome astonish me?

~

If I could see life after death

Where I will be going when I die

Would I be tempted to get there fast? 

End this life to enjoy the next?

If I were able to control the future

Would the finality astonish me?

~

Perhaps it is better to be as I am, 

A blind clairvoyant, wishing the future

To be, the way I would like it to be.

In total ignorance of the final reality.

Perhaps it is better to be free

Of alternatives that would astonish me.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

HALLO, WHO’S THERE?

SUNDAY 18th APRIL 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY

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

Prompt ~ UNKNOWN CALLER
You receive a call from an unexpected person. Who is it, and what is the conversation about? Go!

HALLO, WHO’S THERE?

by John Yeo

​   ’Hallo! who’s there?

Sorry, I’m a little hard of hearing lately, since my husband passed away. Can you speak up please dear?’ 

‘What’s that you say you’re not selling anything? That’s OK! I have nothing to spend my money on, I don’t need much.’

‘Oh! You say you want to make lots of money for me. I don’t need any more cash at the moment thanks.’

 ‘You sound like a nice young man. I bet you are wealthy, if you can show people how to get rich quickly. Are you married?’

  ‘It’s so good to have someone to talk to. I get lonely here on my own. I spoke to someone this morning and we had such a lovely long chat. He wanted to sell me something nice, I asked for more details. I explained my situation clearly, so nice to have a friendly ear. He asked for my bank details in such a nice helpful way.

I asked him if he was married and how things were with him.

He finally got exasperated and rudely slammed down the phone.’

’Hallo! who’s there?

   You say my computer needs a new service plan!

Tell me more, sounds interesting, so nice to have a chat.

What is your name and where do you live? I would love to meet you and get serviced by you. Are you a married man?’

‘You would like to have my bank details to start the service plan?

Great to hear a friendly voice. Give me your bank details first! We can then plan a future together.’

‘So nice to have someone to talk to. What’s your name and where do you live?’

 ‘Hello! Hello! Oh, he’s gone, I thought I heard the phone slam down only I’m a little hard of hearing now.’

’Hallo! who’s there?

“Hello! Yes, Double Glazing? That sounds so interesting .

I would love to hear more about that, you have such a friendly voice.

What? You haven’t got time for a chat? I love the sound of your voice. Who knows we could become really good friends. I might even buy some new windows, in a few years time.

Are you really going to cut me off before we get to know one another?

Call me again, just say hello. I promise to never hang up the phone;

It’s so good to have someone to talk to, I get lonely here on my own.

​Oh! Please don’t cut me off yet.

Bang!

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.