Binary

This is my response to the earlier Flashback Track Friday prompt, where today we are thrown the track Wah Wah and asked to answer:

What conversation would you like to have with your parents, that you never had yet?

I set the prompt this week and I already offered an answer from my point of view. So I thought I’d answer it from my daughter’s perspective. While I had an averagely close relationship to my mother, she and my daughter were inseparable, and when Grandma died, it hit my daughter, just eleven at the time, very hard. So I’ve tried to construct my poem as an eleven-year-old might to describe that event.

Continue reading “Binary”

Recollections

This is my response to the earlier Flashback Track Friday prompt, where today we are thrown the track Momma Told Me and asked to answer:

What did your momma tell you?

At home, as my bedtime drew near,
My mom made her wishes quite clear,
That before my last blink,
I should visit the sink,
And, with soap, wash face, neck and ears.

or

I despaired of my homework, lost hope,
So I swore at my mum, couldn’t cope,
Then before I could blink,
She dragged me to the sink,
Where she there washed my mouth out with soap

I don’t remember much about my mum, in terms of pearls of wisdom. But I did jot down some random memories about her. I don’t mean them to be positive or negative, they’re certainly not a eulogy, just recollections. But I’ll stick with prose for the rest of the response ‘cos it’s easier to understand.

Continue reading “Recollections”

Deceptive

This is my response to the earlier Flashback Track Friday prompt, where today we are thrown the Beatles track Tomorrow Never Knows and asked to describe:

what helps us to relax, to float downstream.

I rouse from sleep,
I see your form,
I hear your gentle snore,
I never dreamed,
In twist of fate,
I’d meet with such rapport.

Continue reading “Deceptive”

Blunt

This is my response to the earlier Flashback Track Friday prompt, where today we are thrown the Dylan track Forever Young and asked:

What is your best advice for the next generation?

My sole advice to children,
It’s easy to deduce,

Continue reading “Blunt”

Turfed Out

This is my response to the earlier Flashback Track Friday prompt.


James Delaney was having a bad day. Not particularly things going wrong, he was just pissed at having to cover the Sunday shift.

Continue reading “Turfed Out”

Nightingale

This is my response to the earlier Flashback Track Friday prompt. Fancied some music today… eventually!


This fresh-faced boy, the new addition,
Invisible, no bode,
But golden voice betrayed the gift,
With which he’d been bestowed..

This crystal-clear soprano,
A voice of honey, sweet,
From bud to fragrant beauty,
With talent he’s replete

A malleable infant,
A songbird to perform,
His pitch might be an angel’s
In holy uniform.

Uneasy moments followed,
Not caring to belong,
With such abundant talent,
What needs had he beyond?

A voice he took for granted,
No inkling of the worth,
Just something that came natural,
A talent had since birth.

Brilliant prompt, KK. I would never otherwise have even thought of this. I have found this with FBTF – that was why I jumped at the chance to get involved. It has me looking in crevices that I had long since forgotten even existed.

I was about eight or nine, and the music teacher at school announced that the local church was looking for new recruits to its choir. I have no idea why, but along with a couple of others, I stepped forward. Within a few weeks, I was the most junior member of the choir at St David, Childwall.

I stuck with it. From this timid creature to start with, I rose gradually through the choir, made a place for myself. I never really appreciated the talent I had, but in hindsight, I must have been good. When the local churches banded together for some event, as they did frequently, I was the one who sang solo. I was embarrassed by this – this ability set me apart when I just wanted to be a part of the crew. There was jealousy from other boys, but looking back I did not help myself. I knew I was talented, I was conceited, I must have been a nightmare to work with. But that’s part of growing up, no? The realisation that we are not the centre of the universe? Bear in mind, I’m probably talking about a twelve-year-old boy here.

I started attending soccer matches. Shouting, chanting, not caring about my voice. As it was breaking by then, I cared even less. And, to my shame, there are no recordings of my voice. I know that this disappointed my parents, especially. I remember wiping over one cassette, not long after leaving the choir. Again, no appreciation of the precious gift I once had.

My experience in that church was very formative, I ended up walking away, extremely disillusioned, and my experiences were the seed for many of the views that I hold today – not views on religion, per se, but more specifically churches. I posted on this here, if you would like to read, but today I wish to confine myself to the music.

So, I lastly wanted to present some music today. It is a solo I once performed, although the version you hear is not me. Not just me, but quite universally, this is a challenge among challenges. . You’re straight in, at the very top of the range, you have to hit that top note clear as a bell, no run-up.

I do wonder, now, just how good I was. I know I took my talent for granted, but I guess we’ll never know how much of it I actually had. But I stood there and performed this piece, to an audience of hundreds. Possibly not as well as this recording, but it can’t have been that far short. That’s how good I must have been.

The whole piece is just over 4 minutes.

Reblog: Flash Back Track #11 Cosmic Dancer

As my regular readers will have read last week, I have joined KK as a co-presenter of the Flashback Track Friday prompt. Rather than each of our sites containing half of the prompt posts, we thought it would be a good idea to link them all to be together, so we set up a third WordPress site, just to host the prompt questions.

KK just published today’s prompt, so I’m looking forward to publishing a response of my own once I’ve put my thinking cap on. Plus, to reading any other responses to the prompt.

Oh, and if you’d like WordPress to notify you directly, rather than waiting for KK or I to repost, please start following our new blog.

Songshine Sounds

Welcome once again to Flashback Track Friday. Each week, either KK or Mister Bump will present a song to you, and out of that song, will prompt you with a question.

If you choose to respond, your response can be anything – a poem, a short, some music, an image, anything you like. Be creative.


“Cosmic Dancer” is a hit track off of T. Rex’s 1971 album, Electric Warrior, often cited to be the first glam rock album of all time. My two sisters and I enjoyed dancing to this track in the evenings while washing the dishes.

I enjoyed the song’s crescendo into a long guitar solo long before I knew it was a song about reincarnation (this according to the singer/songwriter Marc Bolan). To me, the song is about recognizing your innate talents and pursuing your passions. In an interview, Bolan shares that he intended the song…

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Devoted

This is my response to my earlier Flashback Track Friday question. Fancied some flash today.


A contact had tipped him off. He saw a marvellous image on the web site they both shared. “Where were you?”, he had asked, and the friend had revealed, just passing on the GPS tag. Within a few yards. Gold dust. A rare species, the people who knew did not normally disclose specifics.

He plotted. They were most active at sunrise, plus he had to travel for an hour first. An early summer’s morning, but it could be done.

One hot, July, Saturday evening, everything was prepared. Clothes folded into a neat pile, equipment, spares, fully charged. His own GPS, ready to record the ride. He double-checked that his alarm was set to trigger at 4 AM the next morning, and took an early night.

He need not have worried, for the alarm correctly woke him. Rising silently so as to avoid waking the family, a very brief shower, enough just to rinse his slumber. Dressed, he packed the car. Quietly closing the front door behind him, he started the engine.

A still Sunday morning, he saw no traffic at this early hour. He drove quickly and reached his destination ahead of schedule. He’d already studied this. The supermarket car park was free, unmonitored, and was the closest to his eventual destination. He stepped out of the car and took his bearings. Towards the bypass. The irony was not lost on him – that these creatures enjoyed their existence so close to busy humans, scurrying past in their oblivion.

Excited, he was tempted to start trotting, but for the expensive equipment he carried. Two hundred yards out, he crossed the bridge, and found the stile just past, as expected. Manoeuvring himself carefully over, he dropped into the water meadow. The still-light traffic from the bypass was audible now, just a quarter mile away.

And this was it, he had arrived. They might be anywhere around here, so he was already alert. He walked toward a small copse. Extracting a lightweight, aluminium stool from his baggage, he settled to wait. Over his shoulder, the sun was gradually hoisting itself into the sky. Fifteen minutes, thirty minutes. He could not resist – nibbling on the sandwiches he’d packed for his lunch. On sentry duty again, he waited.

An hour, and then he saw it. That unmistakeable flash of electric blue, and then his first glimpse, as it settled on a branch, no more than five yards away. A lifetime of birdwatching spent waiting for this moment. He held his breath. He dared move only enough to press the viewfinder to his eye. He could not believe his good fortune.


I would like to pretend that this is just flash, but:

Rare in the UK, the Kingfisher usually announces its presence with a flash of blue as the observer realises that they just missed a flypast. Making their homes on river banks, they are very elusive, and adept fishermen. But this chap happily perched for several seconds, just ten or fifteen feet from me.

And, as a bonus:

Otters live wild in very few aquatic habitats in the UK, although fortunately, those habitats are growing in number as humans begin to understand the otter’s preference for an unspoilt, unpolluted environment.

To photograph either a kingfisher or an otter, in the UK, is a rare, memorable experience. To capture both, during the same excursion, is unforgettable.

A visit to Blandford Forum in Dorset, UK in 2011.