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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

On the spot

Four days of fumbling, scratching lines
Mixed thoughts cajoling round and round
While trying to slice and deal out time
To put down something that might rhyme

Perhaps a late return to prose
But lengthy business, explanations
Not quite trials and tribulations
And the frivolous and bland
Refuse to move from head to hand

Importance hardly recognized
Old ideas somehow compromised
Profusions of inanities
Serve to confuse
That’s how it is

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So here I sit to think what I’ll
deliver for the thousandth time.
Well, first my thanks to you who come
to visit and to comment on
my ramblings: subjects quite diverse
in prose and mostly rhyming verse.

I much enjoy your company
that bits and bytes make possible.
A social gathering designed
to air the thoughts that spring to mind;
share joy and sadness that pertain
to days exciting and mundane.

Although the Twitter sirens call
with powers to quip and mesmerize
a blog can offer broader charms:
while welcoming with open arms
it serves to share those pearls that rise
stirred by the muse in gentler guise.

A new millennium is near
just one more step and I’ll be there
advancing on time’s ladder tall
the past below always on call.
I hope you’ll join the climb with me.
Where will it lead? We’ll wait and see.

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Twittering is quite exhausting
Now I’ve done it for a while
Watching followers and followed
Reading things often futile

Lots of selling, also products
Whom to shun and to allow
Fighting to keep within limits
With a deeply furrowed brow

Blogging now almost forgotten
Though it comes more naturally
So I’m back here for a breather
Be it temporarily

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Cursor flashes
Waiting for a sign
“Word”
Behind the scenes
Patient to a degree
Only software can muster

Eyes watching
Waiting for a sign
Memory
Behind the scenes
Patient to a degree
Only cells can muster

Thought rages
Sifting
Dragging
Throwing
A word appears
Help!

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Heated up

It’s too hot here under the roof
With sun rays burning down
The fan is blasting air of sorts
But can’t relieve my frown

The perspiration’s on my brow
My skin feels clammy too
It’s really not ideal today
To write something for you

I hope it’s cooler where you are
Perhaps out in the shade
With gentle breeze that rustles leaves
A soothing serenade

But if like me you’re needs inside
A climate tropical
May inspiration soon provide
Words waxing whimsical

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Writer’s cramp

This not meant to be a complete guide to grammar, which those who succeed in wading through it will probably welcome. Some may not agree with everything – luckily 🙂

The usage of that, which, who, whom
will often leave for doubt some room,
and faulty grammar can offend
the ones on which you might depend.
Here whom should replace which, of course,
as all good teachers will endorse.

Yes, that and which are used for those
who cannot count how many toes.
Oh dear, I’ve done it once again
that should replace who, it is plain.

When following a comma which (,which)
an element is one to ditch,
while if it follows that, no doubt,
it’s one that cannot be left out.

Now who and whom are next to be
placed firmly under scrutiny.
Here is a sentence to inspect
“To see whom will the fault detect”
Those who would here use who instead
most will delight, it must be said,
though there’s a rule called “her or she”
that makes it clear for all to see.
You answer thus: “She will detect”;
the test says who is here correct.

And here’s another one to test
“The girl who I just know the best”
Applying now the rule once more,
“I know her best” will work for sure
The rule now says that whom is right
so that is what you then must write.
To sum up, it is simply true:
Her gives whom” and “She gives who”.

I trust this leaves you less confused
and hopefully somewhat amused,
you that now having reached this far
might needs be heading for the bar.
Oops!

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Replica

Bound as I am by unseen cords
My mind a figment of some dream
The words I speak are nought but sounds
And those I write a squiggly stream.

Until, dear Reader, you decide
By searching memories within
A meaning for these lines of verse
Released when found each squiggle’s twin

With success yours there will appear
A replica for you to read.
If after this, it disappoints
Then that would be a shame indeed.

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It would seem odd, you might agree
if there were two who wrote like me,
and an impossibility
to find one that would then make three.

Expect some similarity
for minds are never quite alone,
and ideas from the same old stream
rise up when called to feed each dream.

You smile or grimace, just look bland,
at words that urge as a command
your memory to serve a dish
containing some of what I wish

to feed the hunger here inside
seasoned, perhaps, to bring some pride.
Would that your silent voice could speak
of admiration or critique.

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One of the nightmares of writers is spelling mistakes that can change the meaning of a clause or sentence. I did it again yesterday in a post that because of its serious nature does rather demand accuracy. I used the word “metal” for “mettle”. I know I had the correct meaning in my head at the time but somehow the wrong word survived into the published version. The spelling and grammar checker in Word did not catch it, of course, because of the subtle nature of the fault. In such cases, one can but hope for kind understanding from the reader.

(more…)

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So, Obama’s accepted his Nobel War Prize. Oh I know it’s not being called that specifically, but the word ‘war’ is a synonymous with the word ‘peace’ these days apparently.
If one is peaceful, Mr. President, then one doesn’t continue to find excuses to invade other countries to protect and further the interests of the military/industrial complex.
The war in Afghanistan is being fought against the local tribes whose members don’t appreciate American colonialism forcing democracy down their throats. What are the invading nations getting out of it? Well, there are the oil and heroin riches, of course, which one doesn’t hear much about, and the military commanders do get to test their weaponry on real human flesh and people’s homes for a change instead of replicas.
The only role for the military in a peaceful society is to protect one’s borders against external aggression, Mr. President.
The fact that waging expensive colonial wars abroad is not only killing many young soldiers and local innocents, but also bringing further hardship to those back home who are already suffering from the devastating effects of the continuing financial debacles, doesn’t seem to bother the politicians much.
Well, that’s my opinion for what it’s worth.
On the bright side, the sun keeps coming up every day even if it is often grayed out by wintry clouds and occasional drizzle. Even Nature seems to be holding her breath in expectation of the outcome if the Copenhagen Conference. Well, we’ll soon know whether the conspiracy theorists are right. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you’ve probably just returned from a long holiday in the Himalayas. If you’re one of those self sufficient types then maybe I’ll be envying you before long.
I’ve been watching the monologues of Alan Bennet, an English writer of repute, that have been screened on the BBC TV this week. They fall under the general title of ‘Talking Heads’ and feature various lonely woman, in mediocre marriages, discussing their lives. Though it all sounds rather depressing the dialogs are brilliant, containing much dry humor, and the actresses involved were excellent.
I liked the observation of an English woman being forced by her husband’s circumstances to live in Marbella, Spain which she obviously doesn’t enjoy. It has come to her attention that there are a few people in the area who, for various reasons, are there to escape British justice. She remarks dryly that they are perhaps just sitting out their sentences there.
In personal readings from his works, Bennet tells at one point of a rather well proportioned woman who was having some difficulty getting on a bus. I cannot remember the exact words but it went something like this:
The driver says, ’Why don’t you try getting in sideways madam.’
She looks at him tiredly and says, ‘Young man, I don’t have a sideways.’

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You may not like what I write but I can write what I like – send patterns of thought’s products across the ether, whether of a naughty, hoity-toity, humble, solid, or drippingly fluidic nature.
I read yesterday that there were around six and a half million new posts published on WordPress in November – staggering isn’t it?
I’m imagining now my blog as a tree in a huge forest, situated not near the edge but not in the middle either. The posts might then be the leaves and the pages branches. As in a real forest no two trees are alike so it is possible somehow to keep one’s bearings. There are all sorts of trees: some tall with luxuriant growth and others wilting and devoid of new leaves but with the old ones still hanging on to catch the wandering eye.
Of course, come to think of it I could just take the b from the word blog and make it a log and WordPress would then simply be a huge (b)log jam. The moderators would then be like those loggers who keep the logs in some sort of order and moving. So, we have bloggers and (b)loggers.
One could get even more adventurous and compare WordPress to a galaxy like our Milky Way, with the administration in the central whatever-it-is and each blog a star. The pages would then be each star’s planets and the posts those smaller bodies further out from the star known in our neck of the woods as dwarf planets, some of which have yet to be discovered (written). Google’s Blogger, for example, would then be a nearby sister galaxy.
As an aside, in the real solar system the latter bodies inhabit the so called Kuiper Belt, after its Dutch discoverer, or to be completely fair we should include two others who earlier saw the light (however dimly) and then we have the Leonard-Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt.
Here is an artist’s impression of the structure of our solar system with the said belt – see the resemblance to a blog?

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In the diagram above one sees the known objects in the Kuiper belt, derived from data from the Minor Planet Center. Objects in the main belt are colored green, while scattered objects are colored orange. The four outer planets are blue. Neptune’s few known Trojan asteroids are yellow, while Jupiter’s are pink. The scattered objects between the Sun and the Kuiper belt are known as centaurs. The scale is in astronomical units. The pronounced gap at the bottom is due to obscuration by the band of the Milky Way. (Thanks to Wikipedia and Author WilyD)

Is it just coincidence that we mimic Nature in so many ways? I don’t think so.
Anyway after this more serious stuff, which I hope you found at least a tiny bit interesting, let’s get back to basics.
So WordPress is huge, gigantically huge if one reduces its content to zeros and ones. In the forest analogy, one can search for some tree at the forest’s Information Center, where each tree has a name and a place. One can also just take a stroll amongst the trees, all of which have small plaques of information on the ground before them, perhaps dropping pebbles as one goes just to be on the safe side (the history recorded by the browser). Although there’s a huge map on the wall of the Center where every tree is marked, they don’t have any maps to take away :-). There are colored paths marked out on the map which follow certain categories (tags) of trees, so if one is looking for something special then one can follow one of these paths.
Fortunately, it’s always daylight in the forest so one can quite safely wander around during actual days and nights, and it’s only very occasionally closed for maintenance so if one does come at the wrong time one probably won’t have to wait long.
One does wonder a bit about the size of the forest getting out of hand. What if a fire started somewhere or some pranksters mess around with the plaques or steal the map or something?
I expect the owners have covered all eventualities as well as they can. Fortunately, one can make a clone of one’s own tree and replant it if necessary (via import and export).
Well, if the weather stays dry I might take a walk in the woods nearby this afternoon. Unfortunately, most of its trees are void of posts with winter approaching though there are still a few evergreens.

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The pot sat on the shelf a lot
but sometimes next to Fireman Bill,
who stood there on the window sill
his brain void of a safety drill
for if the pot’s contents should spill.

————–

Writers are those blighters who
will tell you truths and lies.
They’re often good with metaphors
they hope you to surprise,
and turns of phrase made to amaze
they’ll feed to hungry eyes.

Whether prose or poetry
or scripts or even hymns,
with idioms and similes,
anto- or syno- nyms,
they’ll sweep up your emotions wild
to chase away megrims.

—————

Please tell me your secret or give me a clue
Is it an illusion or could it be true?
Magic it may be but then also a trick
I guess from your silence I can take my pick.

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I was visiting someone’s site this morning which contains the author’s poetry and some short stories. The latest poem was full of feeling and quite moving but, for me, the flow could have been better. There were just too many pebbles causing disturbing eddies.
I got to thinking how difficult it is to comment on poetry, especially as I don’t consider myself anyone who is qualified to pass judgment on another’s work. This author gets more visitors than I do, for heavens sake!
Of course, on a personal level, what it boils down to is, “Do I like it or not?”
But I don’t find it easy to convey the reason why using such an impersonal medium as the internet. One naturally tends to be overly considerate of the other’s feelings and to often hide negative comments by not commenting at all, though this does rather defeat the object of the exercise. Then again, poets are often those teetering on the edge of insanity so one must be wary of giving them a push in the wrong direction :-).
An added disadvantage is the fact that commenting hardly ever takes the form of a dialogue in real time.
So commenting does tend to give, at best, a distorted view of one’s talents. If one desires better qualification, one can throw one’s efforts to the wolves by posting them on a site where “experts” are gathered and constantly shifting in their seats waiting to cast their opinions. I have occasionally done this, though it can be quite an unnerving experience – definitely not for the squeamish.
Of course, there’s still a lot of disagreement concerning style and technique.
Should poetry be punctuated like prose or only when necessary to avoid confusion? Should first letters be capitals?
Flow is important though rhyming is not necessary in achieving it.
Getting a poem to flow without recourse to rhyming is a most demanding task, one I avoid as much as possible. Anyway, I like rhyming.
I must admit to having a preference for poems of a more philosophical nature and humor can be quite refreshing. Deeply personal emotional outbursts often leave me floundering in the dark desperately trying to find a light switch. Come to think of it many less hard hitting poems do that too, though no doubt this can often be put down to a dismal failure on my part to comprehend.
That’s another thing, lack of comprehension. I personally avoid adding explanations to poems as they seem to me to rather destroy the element of discovery. Of course, this implies that one should equally strive to avoid a lack of clarity, something in which I am undoubtedly not always successful especially when delving into more abstract topics.
And there you have it again, commenting is the desired means of communication between author and reader also to restore clarity, though for the reasons given above its usefulness is too often limited.

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Where have you gone now Rupert Bear
Who took my hand and lead me there
Into a world of childhood bliss
That all too soon I had to miss?

With Badger, Trunk and Algy Pug
There I would lie upon the rug
And only moving legs could show
When off from Nutwood we would go

To seek adventures far and near
That brought a smile and then a tear
The wonder of magicians’ spells
And meeting elves in leafy dells

Then off back home to Mum and Dad
With memories both good and bad
To safety of their loving care
Tomorrow off to who-knows-where.

Information on the stories of Rupert Bear can be found here

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Well, for those of you who might have missed me :-), I’ve been busy in the garden the last two days. Rotting stakes had to be replaced around raised flower beds and across a stepped pathway. Not that I’m talking about anything big, you understand, but just fiddly because it’s all crammed into such a small area. We have clay soil here which tends to hold anything is comes into contact with in an iron grip, making stake replacement a strenuous, backbreaking task.
For those who might be interested, my tools are a rubber mallet for whacking the stakes sideways and downwards, a trowel for general digging, an old metal knife for the tricky corners, secateurs for cutting away unhelpful roots and knee pads for support and to relieve pain. The use of feeling fingers is an unfortunate necessity for some operations. This inevitably results in soft hands becoming blistered and cut while peeling layers of clay from stakes that, apart from one or two friendlier types, have no intention of being removed. All in all, not really work conducive to the fermentation of literary ideas.
I’m taking a break today to recover before continuing. A few more stakes have yet to be replaced and a portion of a somewhat sunken tiled terrace has to be raised. Getting the six sided tiles together and in a horizontal line, of even height but sloping gently downwards to carry rain water away, is the tricky part which has captured my imagination lately. I wonder how I did it last time but that was so long ago and the information is apparently buried deep. I seem to remember long planks, sticks with string attached and a spirit level of course, or in this case a spirit almost level :-). Oh, and some luck.
Although my own career has been in meteorology, a largely theoretical pursuit, I somehow mostly manage to make a good showing when working with the hands in and about the house, not that I’ve had any formal training but possibly because of something hereditary I always like to think. My grandfathers, whom I unfortunately never knew, were both builders. My father was also successful as an engineer in heavy industry, climbing eventually on merit into management circles. So something might have rubbed off, as it were. Who knows?
The sunlight has been very strong here lately, partly because it’s midsummer but also due to the high ultraviolet content. The authorities are saying that more than fifteen minutes direct sunlight can be harmful to exposed epidermal layers. The northeast wind we now have is bringing relatively cooler air from Scandinavia which is very clear due to its passage over largely non-industrial terrain or water. So shade seemed imperative and to this end I employed an old portable parasol which worked fine.
I would have preferred to have carried out the work in the later spring but somehow the weather just didn’t play ball. Lands with a sea climate, such as ours, have exceedingly changeable weather, rarely remaining dry for more than a few days at a time, except in summer when the garden really needs it :-). Then it can remain dry for three weeks at a time.
Well, the garden has a renewed fresh look about it already, which makes all the work and pain worthwhile. I hear showers are underway from the south this evening and tomorrow so it might be a while before operations can recommence.

Have a better one!

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A little bit of everything
I try to bring to you,
a little bit of everything
the most of which is true.

I really do my very best;
I really, really do,
to bring a bit of everything
across from me to you.

I’ll make you laugh and make you cry
and bring a smile or two.
Lift up your heart when you are sad
or when your friends are few.

Tales ancient told when time was young
and songs that once were sung,
the myths and legends speaking now,
some of a different tongue.

The stories born of yesterday
that tell of things to come,
of heartaches mixed with happiness
and challenges begun.

And those that from my own depths spring
the senses have procured,
the world I’ve seen and heard and felt
and thoughts that have endured.

If you should seek for wisdom’s bower,
that place where truth resides,
all I can do is point the way
to where, for me, it hides.

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Books don’t contain any information. They are just full of symbols (letters and punctuation marks) that are used by the brain to retrieve visual, audible or tactile information already stored somewhere within the body. If the images cannot be found then the symbols reveal only their intrinsic form.
The interpretation of the written word is, therefore, different for each reader and cannot be fully determined by the writer.
The same is true of all forms of communication, of course. In speech, for example, sounds replace visual symbols.

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So the computer’s finally showing signs of old age. It’s managed to survive five years of rather intense usage, not that I’m a gamer or video fanatic, but even so. Yesterday it made a sort of grating sound that brought a light panic to its user.

Thinking that something might be blocking something else, perhaps a beetle or a dead mouse, I immediately revealed its innards and set about cleaning and poking around with a vacuum cleaner and a small brush. It’s amazing how much dust accumulates in such a short time.
I know, I know, there are air sprays that some recommend, but I’ve had a bad experience with one I tried. Liquid appeared instead of air, even after shaking, which according to my “expert” couldn’t do any real harm, but it didn’t seem quite right somehow. The bottle is still standing in the cupboard waiting for a final decision as to its fate.

Anyway, after the cleanup operation the beast started normally with its usual purr, so I thought the old thing was happily free of whatever it was that was getting between something and something else, but it was not to be.

This morning there it was again, the wretched grating sound, somewhat less than the first time but still definitely hinting that all is not well.
On further inspection the noise seems to be coming from the power supply module where another fan is situated, which one can’t get at easily to inspect. Of course, one can never be quite sure where noises are coming from when there are several around in the vicinity, which you’ve almost certainly noticed. Anyway, maybe something’s worked its way inside that should have remained somewhere else.
As this is a bit more technical than what I’m normally used to – I’m more of a software man myself – I’m a bit apprehensive about fiddling around with it. The “expert” isn’t around to help any time soon so I guess I’ll have to take a look, if I want to reduce the possibility of a meltdown or fire. Oh my G…!

I’ve put the operation off for a time while I consider the situation, which really means I’m trying to pluck up enough courage to do it. You know how it is.
The noise did die down pretty fast after a minute or so, once the old thing had come up to speed, so that’s a bit of a temporary relief.

According to a check using my trusty SpeedFan software (highly recommended for keeping an eye on the innards of the beast) the two hard discs are still in fine shape and three of the four fans too. I have had two extra of the latter installed as it can get hot up here under the roof in summer. Those that I can visibly inspect are whipping around in a blur so that would seem to be some sort of confirmation.

So it must be the power supply module then, mustn’t it? Please say yes, I’m sure I’ll pick up the vibes.

I’ll let you know what enfolds.

Call me an old deranged fool, but all this Bilderberg stuff and the rest of the strange goings on in the world of finance and politics, that have even reduced the UFO experience and the explanations for the “face on mars” to the far background of the psyche, are definitely having an effect on the writing and especially on the subject matter. Being a caring soul, I would like to be able to convince the children that utopia is still on the cards. I would like to be able to say that the future will, with the help of or in spite of technological innovation, evolve to become a predominantly positive one.

Perhaps if enough of us have similar deep down feelings, then something outside human influence might again be stirred into action.

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Creating news when there is none
Is half the task and half the fun,
Of those who feel they must inform
To urge the masses to conform.

The words in patterns mesmerize
The one behind the seeing eyes.
To waken thoughts held deep inside
That serve the ones who, smiling, hide.

Exaggeration’s not a crime
And lying not a waste of time.
The message must be loud and clear
That breeds uncertainty and fear.

The pen’s the power as someone said,
And who is not at some time lead
By stories that emotions fuel,
Of deeds by those corrupt and cruel?

The media when chained and bound
By those whom others will confound,
Is propaganda, nothing less,
Designed as always to suppress.

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Empty words

Turn me up, turn me down
Turn my ideas round and round
Twist them any way you wish
Tear apart, or shred, or burn
Bury deep ne’er to return
So no more these thoughts will play
On my vocal chords to say
Things that only layer my shield
And sharpen that which I must wield.

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