Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge

#TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 255: #Poet’sChoice (with a twist)

Message from Colleen

It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Word Crafters, choose your own poetry form—It’s up to you! This is our last Poet’s Choice for 2021… I have a request. Let’s write a poem using a form of your choice about Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, and any festival or tradition you celebrate during the month of December. Even if you don’t celebrate, share something meaningful as we go into the dark days of winter. Share your wisdom with us. Remember, I’ll have a new weekly poetry schedule beginning on January 1, 2022.

We went with a double etheree, enjoy!

Christmas day
Just nine years old
cold, nothing to do
I bring home a stray dog
Mum won’t let it in the house
I did not want to open gifts.
With heavy snow falling, I waited
Mum let me give him a bowl of her soup
My heart broken, I wanted to keep him
That Christmas wasn’t one of the best
Mum said I would soon forget him
Years later I remember
my cold Christmas orphan
He’s out there somewhere
I hope someone 
took him in
to their

© Anita Dawes 2021

The World in White… #Festive Fiction

Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

Snow crunched beneath my feet as I walked towards the church. A string of icicles hung from the Lychgate.

A world in white, silent, the snow lay untouched by others. I looked back at my footprints, melting pools of snow lay behind me.

Unlit houses dark against the white, no sign of life. I felt alone, abandoned in a strange place. I have no memory of passing this way before.

The church door stood ajar, inside I felt warmer, welcomed. The early morning light threw a kaleidoscope of colour across the pews. The tiled floor danced, shimmered with light. With the door being open, I didn’t think anyone would mind if I wandered around.

Three steps beneath the church lay the most beautiful room, lit by the light coming from the tall arched windows. I counted twelve pillars, covered in carvings of cherubs, grapes and strange winged creatures I had no name for.

My mind told me I should be afraid, but I felt at home. As I moved through the space, touching each pillar as I passed, a feeling of having touched them before filled my thoughts. Memories that cannot be mine.

I was there with six others, bare feet and long white dresses. What we were doing there was not revealed to me. I did not run from this place, for we were happy. That much was clear from the smiles and the sound of laughter.

These strange blue pillars seemed to hold some kind of attraction that kept us playing here long after we should have been home asleep in our beds.

I couldn’t wait to get back to the B&B to ask about the church. Fresh snow had fallen, stealing my footprints. As I walked through the Lychgate, I felt a shiver grip my body. I heard a voice in my head and knew it belonged to my grandmother Sarah. “Don’t look back…”

I knew the tone, she meant for me to obey so I did as she bid. Reaching the B&B, I asked about the church.

“You’re frozen, come sit by the fire…” The landlady led me to an armchair, and I sat.

“You have been outside for hours…” She put a hot cup of tea in my hands and told me there was no church here. “It burnt down more than 100 years ago. We almost sent out a search party to look for you.”

I looked at the clock on the mantle, I had been gone for four hours. I remembered leaving at ten o clock that morning. I told her she must be wrong; I was inside the church.

She patted my hand like an aged aunt and told me again how it burned down, taking six young lives, young girls about to take their first communion.

 I could not speak to her. Ignoring my grandmother’s warning, I went straight back to retrace my steps, but I could not find the church. I did find the remains of a graveyard and seven headstones. Tears froze on my face as I read each name. My own stood out like neon, Sarah Wilkes, aged ten…


Black Velvet Memories…

When I was seven, my mother bought me a black velvet dress for my birthday. It had a white collar with white cuffs on the puff sleeves.

I felt like a princess and couldn’t stop rubbing my hands over it. Mother told me to stop doing that, as I would ruin it.

My stepfather Joe said he would take me and my brothers to the park. As we left the house, my mother said not to give us any ice cream.

We played on the swings for a bit and then Joe brought ice cream.

I walked away, wondering if he would do as he was told. I didn’t go far, for I hoped I knew better than that and I was right. Joe handed me the ice cream, telling me to please be careful.

I said I would, but what child can eat ice cream without getting it down themselves? Not me anyway. I kept rubbing at it, making it worse. The velvet was ruined where I had tried to rub the ice cream away and there was no way to hide it.

All the way home, I wished Joe would run away with us, but he told me not to worry. He would say it was his fault, which in a way it was for buying it for me. I know that’s an unkind thought, but when we got home before he could say a word, mother ripped the dress from my body, leaving her nail marks on my back because the fabric was too hard to tear.

Joe got both barrels of her temper, and I thought his ears would swell and drop off.

This memory has returned, because my daughter who lives next door, was playing a song I haven’t heard for a long time. It was one of my favourites, called Black Velvet.

It’s a funny old life isn’t it, the way old memories come back?

© AnitaDawes2021

The Sunday Whirl ~ #Wordle 527 #Poetry

Twelve stones did an altar make
The divine number, enchanted by legend
A scented feather to light the way
Through ice cold tunnels
Breath, spread, sparks, words glue against the ice walls
Few make it this far, searching for the ancient brew
That comes from the majestic twelve
Those that hold the secrets of the universe
Of everlasting life
Would you drink from the sacrificial elixir?

© AnitaDawes 2021

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch… An Acrostic Poem

It had to happen, I suppose.

Anita loves to write acrostic poetry, and for some reason, longer words are more attractive. So when she chose this particular word, I just smiled. I knew it would be in safe hands…

Long winding road ahead beckons
Little did I know, ghost lie in wait
Air, thick, cold with fear
Never ever bends behind fog laden turns
Fathers words of warning echo in mind
Arrive as you mean to go on
In shadow would be helpful
Rain splashed streets shine under moonlight
People rushing, bump against me
Worries rub against my own
Lost time touching unknown thoughts
Lodging in mind, memory stirs, something sticks
Gutters blocked, rain reaching my feet
Wishes held from childhood
Yearn to be freed
New wishes gather in the background
Getting harder to find space to wait
Yesterday’s thoughts stick, unused
Longing for inspiration
Lead laden boots stamp away dreams
Gritted teeth, drag out my steps
Over lightning ahead, I push on
Greetings, warm welcome greets my end
Envying those sat warm inside
Rain doubled the weight of my clothes
Yule logs burning, guests anticipated
Children wrapping Christmas gifts
Happy faces behind frosted glass
Winter eggnog raised in cheer
Yuletide carols sung by the fire
Rain, no worry to those inside
Never ending tide of water
Drowning out all comforting thought
Run now, thoughts charged
Overwrought emotions
Bumping inside grey matter
Willing my legs onward, my socks soaked
Legs cold aching to rest
Longest road I have travelled
Laden with secrets, lights shining from windows
Long lost families come to mind
Arriving unbidden, I sweep them away
Never a good thing to bring into mind
Touching yesterdays ghosts will never do
You need to think of the now
Stay with the dream, polished with wishes
In time spent dreaming
Longing for success
In long dark nights alone
Over playing your hand
Getting nowhere fast with dreaming
On long days you write them down
Getting yourself a diary full of words
On summer nights, you sigh with remembering
Great times you have planned ahead
Of time spent checking each detail
Comforted by foolish dreams
Hope springs eternal…


Love Remembered… #Poetry

Image by Jacques GAIMARD from Pixabay
Love remembered

Something familiar disturbs my sleep, my thoughts
Knowing is not enough to reveal all
It feels old, far away out of reach
Yet demanding, needing to be found
Understood, remembered
Music I don’t recognise steals part of my day
Strange scent assails the air, faint, almost recognisable
The way passing someone wearing too much perfume
as if walking through a half-remembered fog 
Leaving sticky fingers on my memory
Nails clawing the dark corners of my mind
Where the knowing hides
My dreams like the dark spaces
I remember him, but sunlight washes it away
All but his voice, my name whispered from his lips
Wait for me, I will return
This voice I know from the many lifetimes past
Why must love be lost like ships passing
Can destiny be tricked to let us love again…?

© Anita Dawes 2021

The Sunday Whirl ~ Wordle 526 ~ #Poetry

Sound can break glass
Words can break hearts
Blink and the world has changed
We stand alone
With eyes that see only the past
I try to stay upbeat
I paint a grey day with light and sunshine
The secret is not to let a dripping tap
get on your nerves
The years roll towards you, no matter, 
meeting them with a smile is simple
Try to let your troubles melt away
I know this is easier said than done
With a little luck, a pat on the back to say well done
Surprising how this can put air into your step
The world has slipped a little from your shoulders
The day no longer looks so grey…

© Anita Dawes 2021

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For those new to our website and blog, we would like to thank you for visiting. Between us, we write in several different genres, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Anita cannot abide computers, so I (Jaye) do all the technical (oily rag) stuff! Our books tend to be varied, from horror to supernatural romance and coming of age, and mystery thrillers.  We try to keep our website interesting with guest posts, bloggers, poetry, and reviews for all the books we read. Our books are shown in the right-hand sidebar and clicking on the images should take you straight to Amazon.

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#Whatdoyousee ~ #Keepitalive ~ #WDYS ~ #Poetry ~ The White Castle

What do you see #107 – November 8, 2021

Image credit; Google images

For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a castle in the clouds. A surreal image created by the clouds that surround it.

From the crowd below I am lifted
I drift towards the beautiful white castle
High on a cloud
Inside is full of colour
Stunning stained-glass windows
Not seen from outside
So many people dressed 
in the finest silks I have ever seen
The long banquet table overflowing
With food and exotic fruits
My stomach rumbles at the rich aroma
Warm an unspoken welcome
I sit across from a beautiful woman
With dark smiling eyes
She speaks of much for me to discern
Did I die, in that muddy flat land at Glastonbury?
Have I reached Heaven?
Has my body been trampled, buried below?
Will I be missed?
I awake inside my tent covered in dry mud
Remembering nothing of last night’s concert
My only memory is of the white castle
The clouds, was it drug induced?
Could it have been real? 
a glimpse of the afterlife?
I spent the rest of my life 
believing the latter to be so…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Frozen… #Poetry

Image by Enrico Hänel from Pixabay

I am sitting in my favourite armchair
The cold wrapped around me like a blanket
Why isn’t it warm?
Through my window, 
I see my neighbours pelmet of icicles
Hanging from the guttering
Snow wrapped around the house
Falling now flakes growing larger
Cold patterns the window
I hear my husband’s voice
Why are you sitting in the cold?
He is about to find out
I had forgotten to turn the heating on
I cannot move, I am frozen
I take his last words with me
As my soul leaves
I have been gone for three days
How long have you been sitting here?

© Anita Dawes 2021

Waiting… #Poetry

Image by Richard Chapman from Pixabay


My mind is a giant sea sponge
Waiting to be filled
I cannot reach beyond my grasp
It pushes, pokes, waking me at night
I see it in the darkness
Something grand, marvellous
Light comes too soon, sweeping it away
Yet the mind screams to be filled
More information is needed
How can I push through the invisible shield?
Find that place where answers grow
I read the books that tell me
There’s more power in mind than an atom bomb
That’s the problem.
We walk around with a quarter of a tank full
Never pushing the grey matter further, harder
Than we have been taught
I know more now than a year ago
Age creeps up behind, taking pieces I had stored
Telling myself I will do that tomorrow
By then, it is hidden in one of those tiny holes
It might as well be buried out at sea
I will never find it again
Like a sponge, the mind springs back
A new idea shines brighter, bigger
You run with it, hoping it will not fade 
Before you get it done
I have squeezed my mind every which way
Until it felt flat. This I find, doesn’t work
The mind pops back in strange ways
Fantastical thoughts run through like a raging sea
Each thought lodging in its own space
To be wondered at another day
How marvellous is that little grey matter…

© Anita Dawes2021