TURN, TURN, TURN

THURSDAY 8th APRIL 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY

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

Prompt ~ TURN, TURN, TURN

For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to?

I

TURN, TURN, TURN

by John Yeo

February dark is merging with March birdsong

Our tender baby plants protected from the weather

A forecast with ice and snow on the horizon.

~

Our plants fed, watered, nurtured and growing strong.

Spring is not very far, yet winter days last forever,

February dark is merging with March birdsong.

~

Wind howls from the north the season seems to prolong.

Harsh hardship for growers who have to be clever

A forecast with ice and frost on the horizon.

~

April brings welcome showers as flowers begin to throng

A carpet of colour spreads far outwards wherever

February is merging with March and April birdsong.

~

The farmer has learnt to always weather the storm,

Never afraid to stand his ground whatever, whenever.

A forecast with rain and floods is on the horizon.

~

Never taking shelter from the storms of life,

Ever ready to spread warmth with a smile.

A forecast with sun and warm rain on the horizon.

Merging February, March, April with a May Spring song.

~

~

This prompt was another relatively easy prompt for me to respond to. As gardeners  and confirmed allotment holders, Margaret and I follow the seasons closely. 

 I’m certain spring is the season we look forward to most, as this is the month when most of our hard work is done. We need to sow most of our vegetable seeds in the spring. We grow a surprising amount of our brassica seeds in large tubs, before transplanting the baby plants into their final resting place in the allotment beds.

We are always at the mercy of weather fluctuations, as a late spring frost could easily wipe everything out, sending us straight back to square one. 

 Spring is for me, the favourite time of the year, for the beauty of birdlife, their wonderful tuneful breeding season when the dawn chorus reaches the heights.

~

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

CONFUSION 

  WEDNESDAY 7th APRIL 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY

This prompt is from the ‘Story a Day’ site. Wednesday writing prompts. Hosted by Julie Duffy

The Prompt ~ Your character is searching for something…and time is running out.

CONFUSION 

by John Yeo

There is something I desperately need to know,

I must find out where I am! My location!

I lie here soul-searching for a solution,

My mind slips in and out of the flow.

My thoughts are the centre of my meditation.

Where am I? How did I get in this situation?

The answers are there and they come and they go,

I must find out where I am! My location!

I search hard to get control of the motion.

Of the patterns of thought fast and slow.

Where am I? How did I get in this situation?

I am paralyzed with mental frustration,

The clues are there and I know as I follow

I must find out where I am! My location!

My memory was good, many years ago,

Instant recollection, free from sorrow.

Where am I? How did I get in this situation?

My character of the moment is a solitary man who is recovering  consciousness from a massive car collision. He crawled away into a nearby thick, woody, copse, at the side of the road, where he became unconscious. Slowly, as he recovers his sense of awareness, he realises he is losing blood fast, drifting in and out of reality, he begins to search for himself with the slow realisation that his time is running out.

©  Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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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

ESCAPE

SATURDAY 3rd APRIL 2021

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

Prompt ~ ESCAPE

Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from.)

ESCAPE

by John Yeo

Life in lockdown has become a pleasant routine

Wear a mask, respect distance, stay safe at home.

Escape to the beaches of Australia is a distant dream.

~

Another update with frightening statistics between 

Dreaming of a future far beyond the present unknown 

Life in lockdown has become a pleasant routine.

~

Memories of past travels fill our days as we scheme

To visit distant shores flying above the ocean foam

Escape to the beaches of Thailand is a far distant dream.

~

Hope springs eternal with a successful jab of vaccine 

Fake news and rumour cloud the post-Covid syndrome

Life in lockdown has become a pleasant routine.

~

Sunshine, sandy beaches, rest, relaxation intervene 

We enjoy the present but look forward again to roam

A visit to the family in Australia is a distant dream.

~

The future begins to look clearer on the crystal screen 

Covid statistics show a pandemic in monochrome 

Escape to the beaches of Australia is a distant dream.

Life in lockdown has become a familiar routine.

~

 © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Unsurprisingly this was always going to be an incredibly easy prompt to respond to, as everyone is currently embroiled in a worldwide pandemic. It is impossible to plan an escape from an ongoing, ever-changing situation. However the poem certainly answers the prompt.

PRIZED POSSESSION

FRIDAY 5th APRIL 2021

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

Prompt ~ PRIZED POSSESSION

Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it? 

 

PRIZED POSSESSION

by John Yeo

  High adventure, romance, and crime.

~

A uniform array of seats and students,

A desk, an inkwell and a blotter,

A dipping pen with a removable nib,

Blotting paper to soak up the blobs

Inky fingers from leaks and smudges

Nib scratching on an exercise book,

Nibs that got crossed from wearing them in

Tailored to the way you held the pen.

~

Train drivers, firemen and cowboys.

~

Then a competition for all the class,

The prize to win was a modern pen

Blue in colour with a silver nib

With a container made of rubber within

That was filled by a lever with blue black ink.

Write a story, an essay or a poem

Using inspiration and imagination.

I won that pen through determination.

~

Nature, gardens and current affairs.

~

I respected that pen for years to come

My writing improved and my comprehension

A prize with hidden value beyond measure

That allowed me to convey my inner thoughts. 

To all around it was just a cheap pen,

To me it represented a treasure fairly won

A gateway to expressing thought on paper

Writing many stories, essays and poems.

~

Experiences of life, love and growing up.

  ~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

This prompt was quite easy for me to answer, as I had already answered something like it in a poetry group Margaret and I were both members of seven years ago. I wrote this poem which is based on an actual event that happened during my school days. The fountain pen I won did give me a lot of service over the years. Sadly, I can’t remember exactly what happened to the pen but the main section of this writing prompt is answered within this poem. I think I probably outgrew or lost this wonderful prize that was responsible for inspiring and enabling me to put my thoughts on paper over many years since.

The Germination of Significance from an Insignificant Seed

THE SOCIAL NETWORK 

THURSDAY 1st APRIL 2021

I’ve decided to switch my attention to another prompt provider, perhaps with more challenging prompts. So far I have completed three months of my New Years resolution to complete a writing prompt every day. A wonderful exercise during lockdown.

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

Prompt ~ THE SOCIAL NETWORK . Do you feel like you “get” social media, or do you just use it because that’s where all your friends and family are?

THE SOCIAL NETWORK 

by John Yeo

  The problem with responding to this prompt is the wide-ranging area of the question. I am sure everyone who experiences both the benefits and the negative aspects of social media would have a different view.

  My first introduction to this; at the time, a hazy, mysterious world, was through one of our daughters who was working on an Open University degree and suggested we join Facebook. I think we both have a lot to thank her for, as from that day, we have both embraced the online social media circle in many ways.

 To go back to the first part of the question, I would have to say I certainly do ‘get’ the benefits of social media and also I ‘get’ the prospect of the hidden dangers.

  The main positive factor has always been instant communication with the family wherever in the world they have settled. The sharing of photographs and comments both enables one to literally watch their children growing up in real time.

  A huge benefit to me has been the making of many interesting international friends who have helped me enormously with my writing. 

  Social media has a lot of hidden dangers only counteracted by whatever one reveals to the world of online respondents.

SOCIAL MEDIA

by John Yeo

The question is, ‘Do you ‘get’ Social Media at all?’

It’s the word, ‘get’ that triggers some mild anxiety,

At first the presentation is designed to enthral.

~

The feeling of a timeline on your very own wall,

Communicating with your friends and family,

The question is, ‘Do you ‘get’ Social Media at all?’

~

Friends suddenly appear to test your ultimate recall

Stretching the limits of your personal privacy,

At first the presentation is designed to enthral.

~

Mention a product, start a search, begin to trawl,

Soon your wall contains adverts in a great variety

The question is, ‘Do you ‘get’ Social Media at all?’

~

Your close friends and family reveal their almost all

Reminders appear of many an upcoming birthday,

At first the presentation is designed to enthral.

~

The twists and turns of opinion can often apall

Despite a feeling of fellowship and friendly society,

At first the presentation is designed to enthral,

The question is, ‘Do you ‘get’ Social Media at all?’

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

PARTY FANATICS 

FRIDAY 15th MARCH 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 ~ PARTY FANATICS 

PARTY FANATICS 

by John Yeo

  It was a special day of celebration for the Beelzebubs. Horatio, the eldest son in the Beelzebub family had reached his first century and the family were keen to raise hell.

  ‘Father! We must invite everyone in our social circle.’

   The head of the family flicked his tail across the table and responded. ‘Of course son the word will be spread through all the neighbouring covens, dens and magic circles at once.’

    Messengers were dispatched, the arrangements were finalised and preparations were soon completed.

  The night arrived, the guests flew and slithered towards the venue and the party was soon underway. 

   Devils, witches, wizards, and goblins were soon rocking the night away. A banquet was served of deviled kidney stew, sour cream sauce and blood red wine, mingled together in a heady brew keeping the evil frivolity under way. Horatio danced with an attractive witch with a head full of live snakes hissing to the beat of the music. It was difficult to find any room to spare as the monsters were at play. Everyone was having a terribly good time celebrating this special birthday when something occurred to break the spell. There was a loud bong, when a clang of the doorbell-gong announced a late arrival. A phantom butler answered the door, then jumped back in horror and fright.

  There in a shining white clerical collar stood a ghastly frightful nightmarish sight, a priest stood smiling broadly.

     ‘Good evening to you; can I speak to the person who is responsible for this party please?’

  The party-host, looked hard, scrutinised the interloper closely.

     ‘Who are you? Can I see your invitation card? This is a private haunting party.’

The priest, put his hands up in horror and said,

    ‘I’m not here to party. I’m here to complain. Would you kindly keep the noise down, the noise in the graveyard is waking the dead.’

   It was then the turn of the host to smile as he motioned the priest to enter.

  ‘Here is a special invitation card, stay with us for a while as we wait for our friends from the graveyard. Stay and enjoy the party.’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

NETTLES FOR NELLIE

FRIDAY 12th MARCH 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 ~ NETTLES FOR NELLIE

NETTLES FOR NELLIE

by John Yeo

   Norman Gellby was 69 years of age, a man who had lived a full life. A leader of men and a captain of industry, he threw himself into everything he was involved in and usually came out smiling.  Nellie, his wife, was the first to notice the little lapses of memory, the increasing number of times she had to remind him of little things. Nellie would often finish his sentences for him and  she gradually became responsible for keeping their appointments diary. 

  Norman was in total denial of the possibility of a medical reason for these lapses and just laughed the whole thing off as old age approached. 

    Secretly, Norman was worried enough to be aware that something would have to be done. He began to stretch himself with word games. Then he began to take supplements that promised to sharpen up the intellect. He watched Nellie’s reactions to his interactions with her, very carefully, to see if there would be any miraculous change or rapid improvement. No such luck, he continued to stretch himself however with puzzles and herbal supplements.

  One day Nellie heard of a herbal remedy used by gypsies, a drink made up of common woodland plants that promised to regenerate the intellect and reverse cell degeneration. Nellie secretly caught up with a large family of Romany wanderers and described the potion and then begged to be able to buy some of this miracle elixir. The head of the family introduced her to his Grandmother who agreed to mix the potion but she warned Nellie that Norman may have to take the mixture regularly for the rest of his life.

  Nellie began to notice a distinct improvement to Norman’s memory over the next few weeks. Norman assumed this was probably due to the mental exercises and vitamin tablets he had been taking.

   Norman’s mental faculties began to rapidly improve.

  Nellie continued to administer the gypsy cure, included with many brain enhancing vitamins. Norman was stretching his brain enormously with word games and astonishingly, this seemed to have worked.

  Doctors and Scientists employed by various drug manufacturers were keen to question Norman and Nellie in an attempt to isolate the substance that had effected this remarkable improvement. 

   The billion pound question was? Which area did the improvement come from? Was it even a single factor in Norman’s combination of remedies? Or was the improvement due to a combination of them all? Nellie revealed her visit to the gypsies and the herbal cure she had administered. Strangely when the potion was analysed it seemed to be made up of Nettle juice and Dock leaves. 

  There was no final answer to these tantalising questions. Norman lived to be 103, writing 15 books and becoming a chess grandmaster. 

Nellie became an expert on Nettles and Dock leaf potions. She grew a new variety of Nettle that became known as Nellie’s Wonder and made a fortune by producing a unique wine from Nettles for Nellie.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

NOTE TAKING NONSENSE

WEDNESDAY 10th  MARCH 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 ~ NOTE TAKING NONSENSE

NOTE TAKING NONSENSE

by John Yeo

  The eccentric billionaire Marc Farquharson, hosted a worldwide annual literary competition, ‘The M.F. Powerful Pen award.’

The first prize was £100,000 with £50,000 going to the runner-up. The competition, open to all and sundry, is hotly contested around the world. The winner and runner-up are chosen by a public vote in the world press, with television and radio shows collecting the votes. The prizes are presented by some influential businessmen and entrepreneurs, who are each presented with a very ornate fountain pen. Known unofficially as the note taking nonsense pen, it’s as highly valued by the recipients, as the acclaim that arises from winning the cash prize is by the writers. Competition to be invited to present the awards is always fiercest among the elite in the global business community.

 Shortly after last year’s competition, the world financial community became aware of some serious business leaks of sensitive information that could only have originated from inside sources. Insider trading was suspected and private security firms were called in to investigate; sadly, without pinning down the cause. After an intensive investigation by a little-known but respected firm of investigators; certain parallels became evident between the ‘M.F. Powerful Pen award.’ and many of these seemingly obscure, random, leaks of information.

  A separate investigation was launched into the wheeling dealing billionaire Marc Farquharson, without any questionable results turning up.

 A breakthrough occurred when a team of specialised financial investigators, headed by an intrepid lady sleuth known as Marg, discovered a bugged fountain pen in the office of a dot-com millionaire, who immediately informed the authorities. All the literary prize pens presented by the organisers of the ‘MF Powerful Pen award’ were collected by police, and Farquharson was arrested for financial fraud. The case against him is underway but proof is virtually impossible, as he denies all knowledge of these bugs and pins the blame on the Chinese manufacturers of these extraordinary pens.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

SPILLING STELLA

THURSDAY 4th MARCH 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 ~ SPILLING STELLA 

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

SPILLING STELLA 

by John Yeo

  Stella Fergusson was a renowned interviewer for a popular daytime television programme . The lady was 6’ 3” in height and extremely thin; stick-like would be the description that first sprang to mind on meeting her for the first time. She had long auburn hair that was always piled high on top of her head, adding an additional 6” to her height, making her an exceptionally formidable looking lady indeed. Her choice of earrings was usually long hanging gold pendants that sparkled and set off her deep brown eyes.

  Stella had an exceptionally quick mind; quick to pounce on the slightest clue to enable her to get to the nitty-gritty of the subject she was relentlessly pursuing. Stella had such an incredible knack of asking her subjects penetrating questions, she became known as ‘Spilling Stella.’ 

 In spite of this formidable reputation, celebrities queued up to be interviewed by her and her show was avidly watched by thousands of regular viewers. 

   Sadly Stella suddenly discovered she was suffering from a serious flu-like condition. Slowly, she became extremely ill and finally she was rushed off to hospital where she was diagnosed with Covid-19. After a period in hospital she recovered somewhat and tried to resume her work on the show. Unfortunately long Covid set in and she suffered fatigue with the cognitive impairment known as brain fog that made a return to her normal self impossible.

 Spilling Stella made a final broadcast advising her regular viewers she would no longer be available to spill-the-beans finishing with the words. ‘Take care and Stay safe.’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com