This is a response to Robert Lee Brewers Poem a day for the month of April 2019.
For today’s prompt, write a morning poem. Maybe you’re a morning person, maybe not. Your poem can be about a morning. Or it can be set during the morning. And those who’ve done this before probably already know that I have no problem with you interpreting this as a “mourning poem.”
By John Yeo
Dawn breaks on a mist dampy day
Frost fills the air and colours the parkway,
January shadows, loom and recede
Not a sound to shatter the icy mead.
Then, a deep-throated sonata from a nearby bush
A fusion of birdsong to break the hush
Rising and falling to colour the morning
A Blackbird song signals a new day dawning.
The rich fluty quality, the tuneful sound
Resounds and is heard for miles around
This natural symphony is a beautiful warning,
A territorial stakeout, he is seriously performing.
He whistles and warbles sweet sound in profusion,
Smooth trilling notes with a melody in perfect fusion,
My eyes narrow in the cold morning light
To catch sight of the songster before he takes flight.
The silence seems melodic and richly outspoken,
Then, the smooth flow of notes is suddenly broken,
A cry of alarm sounds, wings flap with a whir
The Blackbird flies from the danger of feathers or fur.
His natural defense against Man, Feline or Hawk,
Against the danger of attack or predatory stalk,
He will surely return when the threat is gone,
Safety beckons and he will take up his song.
A melody of love and careful protection
Of his territory, his nest after careful selection.
It was just a year ago I first came into contact with Jessie, a forty-five years old divorcee. Jessie had long, blonde hair that obviously came with the aid of a bottle. She had a pair of sultry bright green eyes with long black eyelashes. A cute, full pair of kissable lips, rested under a tiny turned up nose. She wore a pair of designer glasses when she was shopping or at home, however she preferred to use contact lenses socially, in the interest of her vanity. All-in-all, she was the complete woman of my dreams. My name is Norman Jones. I’m an eighteen years old student at the local Polytechnic College. At six feet two, I was tall for my age and a good all-round athlete. My grades in college had been excellent and it looked as if I was on my way to a glittering career in Science. My best friend Matt, a fellow student, was lucky enough to live at home while I resided in student digs. Matt was a kind, cheerful sort of a bloke, who was a bit on the short side, at roughly 5 foot 5 inches tall, he was extremely sensitive about his height. He had a shock of red hair that prompted our cruel fellow students to call him Ginger. Matt hated this nickname for various reasons not the least being the extension to Ginger Beer. Nevertheless there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his friends. Then one fateful day I met Matt in town. ‘Hi Norm! How’s it going?’ ‘Fine thanks Matt, I’m just off back to the digs to open a can of beans and feast on these takeaway chips.’ I replied. ‘No mate, really! Why don’t you come back to mine? My Mum won’t mind and you’ll get some decent grub.’ I was taken aback by this generous offer. ‘Thanks Matt! You sure your Mum won’t mind? It’ll certainly beat beans and cold chips.’ ’Sure thing mate: Come along with me now.’ We made our way to the bus station and caught a bus to the city suburbs back to Matt’s place. Little did I realise this was going to be a life changing experience for me. My life was about to take a totally unforeseen and unexpected turn. Nothing could have prepared me for my meeting with Matt’s Mum. As we entered the house he called out, ‘Hi Mum!’ There was a muffled response from upstairs as we entered the house together. Then I stopped and couldn’t help myself from staring, as a mature, glamorous blonde lady appeared from the hallway. ‘Mum,’ said Matt, ‘Meet Norman, my best friend from college. Is it OK if he stays and has some dinner with us?’ ‘Of course he can darling, come inside and make yourself at home Norman. My, what a tall handsome lad you are!’ I blushed and stuttered, ‘Thththank yyyou’ Matt laughed as she said to me, ‘Don’t be shy, I’m only joking.’ Matt then said, ‘Take your shoes off Norm, as Mum’s just had a new carpet laid.’ I kicked off my trainers and followed Matt into the lounge where he picked up a remote and switched on the TV; flicking through the channels until he found a football match in full swing. Matt’s Mum, bustled in smiling as she asked, ‘You two guys want a drink? Juice or a cold beer?’ I nodded and replied, ‘Thanks Mrs Peterson, I’ll have a beer.’ ‘Please call me Jessie, Norman.’ My insides were churning up with some strange sensations as she sweetly said this. I had heard of the effect some women have on a man but this was puzzling to me. ‘Do you like your steak well done or rare?’ ‘Well done please Jessie’ I replied. as I savoured the sound of her name. ‘OK!’ She said as she headed towards the kitchen. I badly needed to use the toilet as I said to Matt. ‘Which ways your bathroom mate?’ ‘Just through the kitchen.’ he replied. I entered the kitchen and noticed Jessie preparing the meal. I suddenly felt strangely light headed. In that moment, I felt my knees give way from under me and I just fell to the ground.
I wrote this post for ‘The Quintet’ our church magazine in response to the theme of…Listening.
by John Yeo
Scientists and millions of expectant outer space fans, spend their lives listening for signs of extraterrestrial life. Life that theoretically exists many light years away in the depths of the known and the unknown universes. Nations have invested enormous sums of money and effort to hear a response, so far without success.
There are many types of listening posts all over the world. People gather in churches and places of worship everywhere, seeking solace, searching for signs of the reawakening of a special herald announcing the return of our Saviour. Listening for signs and interpreting ancient texts for guidance, the inner ear is always hungrily searching for answers.
A place of worship of any denomination is a gathering of people congregated to seek the understanding to go forward and prepare for the life to come.
Each and every one of us has an inner ear avidly scrutinising and interpreting every thought that may lead to answers. An inner ear that not only receives information from the outer ear but listens to the incoming waves of empathetic signs and feelings generated by others.
By continuing to listen; having the faith to keep the inner ear concentrated while searching for the message, is surely the true meaning of the words in the spoken message.
Something amusing happened this morning at the Allotments.
As I reached the water butt, I noticed a large black Rook sitting on a shed roof. I started to make a clicking noise with my tongue and on the third click, the Rook answered with a guttural croak-like caw noise; twice, and sat there unconcerned before he flew away.
I smiled; it was then I noticed that I wasn’t alone; a lady on one of the neighbouring plots had witnessed the whole thing. “Good Morning!” she exclaimed.
“Good Morning!” I replied.
God knows what she thought of a crazy gardener communicating with wild birds?
This article was written for “QUINTET,” our Parish magazine, requesting submissions on the theme of ~ Time Travel
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 hands of God.”
Two years after the death of her owner, Betty learned her mistress was to remarry. She most likely received the news of her mistress’s impending second marriage with great wariness as word spread that Martha Custis’s intended was Colonel George Washington. The colonel was a fairly prominent landowner with a respectable career as a military officer and an elected member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. His marriage to the widowed Martha Custis would offer him instant wealth and the stability of a wife and family that had eluded him.
A huge yet necessary transition awaited Martha Custis as she prepared to marry and move to the Mount Vernon estate, nearly one hundred miles away. For Betty…
A murky sky threatened to burst out into a storm as we drew up at the gated entrance to our destination. We had to abandon the car at the main gates as they were inaccessible, due to a large padlock and chain.
A long winding overgrown path pointed the way to Crossways. In days of yore, this would have been a smart well kept drive for the legions of horse-drawn carriages that carried many carousing visitors.
Miranda and I were following my family tree, apparently, this was lately the residence of my Great Grandmother, Lucy Landers.
The house was large with at least six bedrooms. The conspicuously obvious anomaly was sticking out of the dilapidated roof. No less than ten crooked chimney pots strategical scattered over the many layers of sloping roof.
“The place looks empty John, although I thought I saw a wisp of smoke coming from one of those chimneys at the back,” Miranda whispered.
“Why are you whispering darling? There isn’t any possibility of smoke. The place has been empty for ages. The agents who are dealing with the estate say my Great Grandmother disappeared some years ago leaving instructions and funds for retaining the staff. Apparently, they left when the money ran out. I am the sole survivor of this branch of the family.”
At that moment with a loud angry growl, a large black cat streaked across the path directly in front of us and disappeared into the undergrowth at the side of the path. We both jumped in alarm and hurriedly continued on our way to the double doors that guarded the main entrance.
I inserted the ornate metal key provided by the agents, into the doors.
With a harsh teeth-jarring screech of metal, the doors swung open. The overpowering smell of decay and damp penetrated our very being as we entered. We openly gagged in unison at this repulsive odour.
“Hallo!” I shouted loudly: “Is anyone at home?”
Miranda jumped at this: “Why did you do that? There is no one here; stop it.”
“Sorry:” I replied: “You did say you saw smoke from one of those weird chimneys.”
The house was stuffed full of dusty old furnishings that had been hurriedly covered with an assortment of covers.
“Did you hear that?” Miranda suddenly said.
“What?” I asked.
“John! Stop playing games; surely you heard that awful creaking sound from the upper rooms. Sounds like something is scratching around up there.”
“Probably rats moving around; I imagine this place is full of rats and bats. That enormous black cat has its work cut out here.”
We explored the ground floor moving gingerly from room to room, slowly gaining in confidence as we finally reached the bottom of an ornate staircase. There were signs of damp and decay everywhere.
With a deafening crash of thunder the threatened storm broke. Jagged flashes of lightning lit up the inside of the house. I kept flashing our torch into the dark mysterious corners, nervously, as we began to climb the creaky stairs.
Many oil paintings decorated the walls of the stairway. ‘These are my ancestors’ I thought as we climbed the stairs.
Miranda grabbed my arm tightly as we reached the upper floor and began examining the bedrooms.
Crumbling ornate tapestries decorated the walls of the richly furnished rooms.
As we opened the door to the master bedroom Miranda jumped back and screamed and we both retreated fast; I loudly slammed the door shut. With my heart racing and in a state of shock.
I loudly shouted: “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
“Sorry, darling!” I shouted as I kicked the door open again: “I have to find out who that figure was just standing there in that room!”
I gingerly entered the room and approached the figure. There was no response as I quietly approached the well-dressed figure in front of a large wall mirror.
Then to my astonishment, I found I was confronted by an extraordinary lifelike mannequin, dressed to the nines in an outfit that would have done justice to royalty.
Miranda and I ran from that room down the staircase and braved the storm rather than stay in that property a moment longer. Perhaps the setting and the mysterious disappearance of my late ancestor added wings to our heels.
Because I am a traveller I can look down on the birds and up at the fishes. I collect moments and can venture back in time to lost worlds. I seize life and simultaneously escape it at will. Because I am a traveller I envy no man at home.