How I Read A Tarot Card – instructional

Good morning to my (day late) tarot instructional. I’m using the Children of Litha tarot, which doesn’t get enough of an outing with me. I’ve been very conscious of Ostara coming up, the Quickening of the Melbourne landscape, and the warmer days and nights. I tossed out a handful of native wildflower seeds on the weekend, and they were hammered into the soil by rain over the next two days. I’m hoping the sympathetic magic will spill over into writing success. I’m entering several competitions this week. The Moon’s waxing, so a good time to sow the seeds of what’s to come. Building energy.

So, the question I have this morning….you know, I first was going to ask if doing these weekly instructionals on how I read tarot are of any use to anyone. But I decided the answer might be too disheartening. I’m aware my blog has a small reach, and even though I share the link to FaceBook, very few take the time to read the entry.

Instead, I’m going to ask what dividends my current effort in sending my writing to competitions to journals will have, if any. Yes, I’m feeling all-over disheartened today. I slept in AGAIN, and feel soggy and overslept. Lockdown symptoms, I think.

What is the outcome of my current effort in sending my writing to competitions and journals? It’s a complex question, so I’m going to draw three cards.

Okay, it’s suddenly a five card spread, because I had three cards leap out together for my last shuffle(when doing multi-card spreads, I shuffle for each draw, which is a new habit for me, and one I’ve found to be super-effective. It re-hones my mind on the question.).

King of Cups: Cups suit is that of Water emotions, feelings, intuition. The King here is decked out in gold and black, with a hint of purple echoing the purple, or violet, of the walrus. He is the King of intuition, feeling, someone who is creative but not naive. I know full well that I am a good writer, but one who needs a bit more discipline and reining in on her whimsy. Latent ADHD has come out in the past eight years or so, and makes following a theme through to the end more of a difficulty. Thus, I need to edit my writing more carefully. This card tells me that I know full well that, even though I’m a good writer, I might not be the best, or appeal to certain editors. I know the odds, but won’t give up hope.

The Magician: an elvish creature with multiple arms and legs, wielding all four elements(pentacles, cups, swords, wands). To me, the Magician represents someone who is only just beginning to realise their own power. It’s a card that comes fairly early on in the journey of the Major Arcana and speaks to power and magic, but an immaturity, or lack of confidence also. I know this is not the usual Magician interpretation. The card speaks of gaining experience, and reading the booklet that comes with the deck, I can now see that the man is fused with a spider. Dexterity, skill, doing multiple thing at once. And yes, I do write on many fronts at once. I am currently working with creative non-fiction and poetry. But I feel this poetry phase is on the wane, and soon, another aspect of my writing will come forth. I hope it’s short story. This card tells me that I am possibly spreading myself too thin on too many fronts, but that I have the skill and dexterity needed to succeed. I am re-learning the discipline of concurrently writing, rewriting and editing, offering things to journals and competitions, and keeping track of those offerings, and doing market research. If I am careful with my energy, there is no reason why continuing to do this is not a path for me.

Queen of Cups: a woman of lush curves is accompanied by a seal, again with plenty of intuitional colours violet and purple(crown chakra, our connection to the cosmos). A crescent moon is behind her. The Queen is someone of strong emotional attachments. Am I fully prepared to endure the rough and tumble of the writing marketplace? Not at the level I dream of. I am no Angela Slatter, Stephen King, Marge Piercy. I need to work at the level I feel comfortable with. I know I am not the robust writer I used to be, so this card comes up to say ‘take it at the pace you can cope with’. Also a remark that taking a look at what I want from publication and competition winnings would help refine what it is I’m doing. Right now I’m using the splatter gun approach. Sending stuff out on the off-chance. The Moon hints that perhaps using Her energies, and some magic might not go astray.

Two of Cups: two seahorses face each other, their tails entwined. Two cups are superimposed on them. They are surrounded by pink and purple seaweeds. A card of companionship, love, harmony, union. Yes, I am married to writing for life. It’s a positive card, very much so, so is there perhaps a hint of ‘good will come of this’?

Seven of Swords: Two galahs sit on a branch, looking at each other, while down below, a black snake steals their eggs. This card indicates that I could be ignoring things that should be priorities. Well, yes, I’ve had several months to prepare something to submit to EYE TO THE TELESCOPE, and today’s the last day. I’ve created unnecessary pressure on myself. It’s also an admonition to perhaps curate my offerings a little better, instead of mostly submitting to small markets. I once told off MotorCycleMan for selling his work to the lowest bidders, and now here I am, doing the same. I am being a bit of a galah, to use a very Australian phrase. It means I’m being an idiot. (The booklet says these are love birds. They look like galahs to me.) And the snake has a red-belly. Red-bellied black snakes are venomous, but shy, slithering away from people. They are deadly to the even more venomous brown snakes, and kill and eat them. They are a necessary part of a balanced Australian eco-system. They keep the brown snake populations in check. But yes, they also eat eggs.

Ace of Wands: A fiery fairy creature looks out of the card, wand clutched in her hands. The skull of a carnivore is in her arms. Birds of Paradise flowers surround her. This card talks of a primal surge of creativity, inspiration, power, ambition, motivation. I have my creativity, but it’s feeling muted at the moment. It sounds like some magical energy is needed to kick things up to the next level. I half-laughingly note that, some years ago, I wrote a poem about a writers’ conference, where I likened it to climbing into a cage of cheetahs and other big cats. All the predators prowling around each other, being nicey-nice on the surface, but underneath, all killers. Is this card telling me I need to develop a bit more of that fiery, energetic instinct and start prowling myself, hunting down opportunities?

Have I had my question answered? It’s spoken more to my inner workings than to the actual question of results of current journal and competition offerings, so I’m going to insist on one more card that really speaks to the question. Please Children of Litha card, cough up.

7 of Pentacles: a young yak contemplates a flower rising out of what looks like snow. The season is turning, and the Quickening is in more than just the land around me. It’s in me, too, and my work. The yak knows if he eats the new shoot, the plant will never grow. Best to invest in a longer term future of burgeoning plants. The seeds I’ve sown with my writing will have, in the short term, small results, but given time, I can resurrect my career at a pace I can cope with. Perseverance, vision of the future. Small results for now, but slow and stead endurance is key.

Thankyou, tarot deck, for this clear final message.

I hope this reading helps you on your tarot journey. It’s an example of the tarot addressing issues around the issue, and when pushed, answering the darned question. Yes, it’s absolutely okay to pull qualifier cards if the spread isn’t answering what you asked. Mind you, if the qualifier card doesn’t clear things up, then either you’re not meant to know, or it’s best to pay attention to what the cards are actually saying, and attend to those issues.

Moar patience, discipline, and all those Capricornian things I have in my Sun, Mercury and Mars, but that my Venus in Aquarius, and Scorpio Moon think are a real drag.

Until next week, tarot fans, by which time, I will have sent writing to two competitions, and one journal, and have a piece of creative non-fiction underway for KNOT LITERARY JOURNAL, who are so very kind to request something for each issue.

By the way, people, my piece in KNOT, The Fog Thins, is nominated for a Pushcart Award. Just sayin’.

Prose whimsy

From the Poets and Storytellers United prompts: Magaly would like us to write poetry or prose inspired by the following Jim Rohn quote: “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.” Feel free to use the phrase literally or figuratively.

*****

There’s a lady on the internet, as there always is. She’s called FlyLady and she teaches people how to conquer their household chores, and life, so that they can have more leisure and pleasure. She sends RATHER A LOT of emails if you sign up. I signed up for a week, then unsigned again. However, her methods of taming the house are useful to me.

Anyone can do any unpleasant chore for 15 minutes. It usually takes me longer to yank out my leg hairs, on the odd occasion I do that. Never in winter. A werewolf needs their thick coat to stay warm.

Monday is vaccuuming day. I give myself an all over dry brush, and wash my hair. I’m squeaky clean afterwards.

I do dishes every day, just like I clean my teeth. I believe the dish soap and toothpaste come from the same organic company.

Twice a year, I oil all door hinges. It’s an old house. I dose myself with so much fish oil, flaxseed oil, and evening primrose oil that I’m surprised I don’t slide off my yoga mat. I do yoga so all my hinges still move.

Grouting is the bane of my life. I hate flossing my teeth.

Sometimes I paint a bit of the house. I wear make-up maybe once a year.

My house is laden with books. My soul is coated with words.

My windows are dirty, as are my glasses. But I still see from both.

I have a green fluorite crystal on my lounge room windowsill. Slowly, arthritis crystals are building up in my left shoulder.

I live in me, in my house, in my mind, as a small brown bird on the wing.

*****

Prose offering – Learning to drive

Poets and Storytellers United offered a small note about a child taking driving lessons. This wasn’t a prompt. Those came later in the newsletter. However, it sparked me, so here’s a wee prose offering. Or maybe it’s prose poetry. I don’t know. It’s a thing.

My boyfriend looked down at me.

“Why don’t you drive?” he asked.

I shrugged. “I don’t know.” I felt foolish saying: “I’m terrified of getting behind the wheel of a killing machine.” Which was my real reason.

I also caught trains, trams, and buses, walked long distances, and saw the world that way. I knew every shop in Bentleigh, what was growing in gardens, train time tables by heart, and when the Glenferrie Road tram would arrive to shunt me to Victoria College from Malvern Station.

“I couldn’t wait to start driving,” he said. The implication hung heavy in his bedroom’s air. Normal people got their licence as soon as they could, and started driving to the places that trains don’t go. Normal people assumed an adult life as soon as they turned eighteen.

I was nearly nineteen, and still not driving. He played me ‘Sugar Mountain’ by Neil Young. Again. A song about growing up, or refusing to. “You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain”.

I began driving lessons in a manual car, but didn’t have enough arm strength to haul around the wheel of the heavy Nissan Stanza. That sent me, eventually, on a whole other journey into gym work and weight training, which later fed a feature article for my creative writing course. The Bachelor of Arts to which I travelled by train and tram.

I stopped lessons.

I began again a month later. The gears, the clutch, brake pedal, accelerator, indicators, mirrors, my driving instructor, me, and my fear had some more lessons. I wept during and after every lesson, flustered by everything to do and remember.

“You’re at least supposed to have been around Southland Shopping Centre on a Sunday,” my boyfriend said. “Had some sneaky practice before you get behind the wheel.”

I hadn’t done that. My dad was either not home, or laughing at the idea of me driving. My mum didn’t drive. Dad was teaching her, back in the day, but she took a corner a little sharply, he said words, she said words back, hopped out of the car in a snit, and never got behind the wheel again.

I stuck at my third set of lessons, in an automatic, with a man called Frank as my driving teacher. He was saving up for flying lessons, so willing to let me dawdle through as many lessons as I thought I needed. I still sweated during every lesson. I must have had fifty lessons.

My friend Sue had tried for her license four times. “The third time,” she said, “I got so nervous I drove on the footpath.”

Her words haunted me, and I wouldn’t even park in my parents’ driveway, because entering meant crossing a footpath.

Frank talked me into my first license test by simply booking it. I failed it within five minutes, when I couldn’t park between two bollards. Frank had never taught me that one.

We practiced parking between two bollards for a month, then I went for my license again.

I’d been warned about a particular assessor.

“Mr Smiley never smiles. He gets into the back seat and reads the paper the whole time. He’s got grey hair and thick glasses.”

I prayed for Not Mr Smiley. My first ever lesson in the universe never hearing the word ‘not’. Mr Smiley got into the back of Frank’s car. Off we went. Passed the parking. Out onto the road and off to Oakleigh Shopping Centre, which had a lot of different speed signs, traffic, and a few one-way streets. I passed everything, I supposed. We were on our way back to the testing station.

I pulled up behind a truck. The truck driver must have taken his foot off the brake because slowly the truck started rolling back towards us. I watched for a second then honked the horn. The driver slammed on his brakes so hard that the whole truck jerked back and forth. The rear doors of the truck swung open. A porcelain toilet fell out onto the bonnet of Frank’s car, and rolled off. Toilet rolls bounced free all around us.

Slowly, shaking, I clicked on the hazard lights, and parked the car. Frank leapt out to assess the damage to his baby, and swap phone numbers with the astonished truck driver who glared at me as though it was my fault. Mr Smiley stopped reading his paper and stared.

On his way back to the car, Frank scooped up some toilet rolls and popped them in the back seat with Mr Smiley.

“Drive on,” said Mr Smiley, his voice flat.

I sat in a pool of sweat, and I must be a good driver, because I drove on automatic back to the testing station.

“Sometimes I look at you young girls and I wonder if you should be on the road at all,” said Mr Smiley. “You didn’t avoid that accident, but I suppose it wasn’t your fault.”

Of course it wasn’t my fault, dickhead. I was more than the legal distance behind the truck. It rolled back.

Mr Smiley granted me my license. I drove home, staggered out of the car, went into the house. I cried, telling Mum I’d passed. She gave me a tin of celebratory vodka and orange.

“Let’s go for a drive,” she said, starting to put her shoes on.

“I can’t,” I said. “I’ve just drunk alcohol.”

Whew. Crisis averted. I didn’t have to get behind the wheel all on my own just yet. I would find excuses not to drive for six years, until after I had my daughter, and was so isolated that I made myself drive, just to be out of the house and find company.

Socially Awkward Writers Society

I had a long chat with a sister writer today. We are both socially awkward writers. Meet me on paper and I’m witty, wild, full-on. Meet me in uncurated person and you’ll realise I’m the group doofus who will suddenly announce, in a silence: “Don’t eat polar bear liver. It contains a lethal dose of Vitamin A. In fact, I think most predator species have that going so, so don’t eat predators.”

I suppose, in some ways, my super power is my autism. I’ve been high masking all my life, so what’s one more mask, right?

I was a bookworm, introvert, smartypants, nerd, geek, and all round low-rung girl in high school. I couldn’t wait to leave. When I walked out of that last exam on a warm, humid November afternoon, in Year 12, I literally muttered: “Goodbye shitty old life” as I left the school grounds. I was done wi,th my teenage self who got bullied, got ignored, got dropped as a friend when football, boys, or more normal girls came along.

My first day of university, I stood in the centre of the lecture hall building, watching people racing around me as they got to their first class of the year. I stood there in my sweet summer dress, and cork-soled heels, a pair of bell-shaped tiny earrings dangling from my ears, and just a drop of Chimere perfume on my wrists. The quintessential Nice Girl. Adult learners, teachers-in-training, and the Arts department students who were easily spotted swarmed around me. I took a breath. I could continue being a Nice Quiet Girl, and mouse my way through university, or I could woman up, and find a different part of myself. So I took another breath, and walked up the most unusually dressed woman I saw and asked where Lecture Hall 230 was. She was a first year Arts student like me, 3 years older, with short crimson hair, wild leggings, and red boots. We walked to the lecture hall together. This was how to get on. Step outside my true self, put on the sociable mask, and be Out There.

I’ve pretty much lived in that persona for the rest of my life. Even when I have to take days to recover from being socially out there. Even when I’m talking too much and being too loud and I know it. Call it a mask, a persona, my Gemini Ascendant, whatever. Call it the advocate loudmouth self I had to become when I had two kids with disabilities. Call it cranky older woman if you like.

But it’s served me well when it comes to gushing over the work of fellow writers, being brave enough to go up to someone famous and introduce myself, to friend sister and fellow writer folx on social media, to interact with them online and sometimes in person. Even if I’m quailing inside, I do it.

Writing is a lonely business.

I figure that even if I’m dorky, geeky, nerdy, sometimes far too much, sometimes not enough, I’m still a human being, or masquerading as one, and I might as well make the best of it, even if Imposter Syndrome sits on me like a fat hen. So I shake hands with Lee Kofman, I ask for Robert Silverberg’s autograph, I verbally admire Lois McMaster Bujold’s jewellery, I admire architecture with a famous agent, and….oh dear, teach dodgy lap dancing at a publisher’s party. I admire artwork and ask to meet the painter. I sit and happily watch people create jewellery or whatever they’re doing.

I dunno. Maybe they’re all thinking ‘who is this schmoozing creeper?’

Mostly, the relationships are what they are, and I hope they get as much out of it as do I.

But every now and then, someone knows someone, and puts me in contact with just the right person to ask a question of, to read a book that I needed to read, to be lead down a new path. Even more occasionally, there’s a book blurb or some such that comes from this, for which I am profoundly grateful.

But mostly, it’s me careening through the galaxy like one of the hippos in Fantasia, tutu rustling, mouth open wide, and spouting information about polar bear liver. Even if inside I’m dying, I still do it, because the friendships are worth it.

How I Read Oracle Cards – Hedgewitch Oracle Deck

Good morning, cardslingers. I’m a day early this week. Why? Because I’m up and about with time to spare before yoga kicks off (via zoom, because lockdown 5).

The Hedgewitch Oracle is a sweet little deck, very minimalist. I’m not familiar with the deck. I have it because of the name, and the artwork, but it shouted last night that it wanted some attention, so here it is, sitting in the weak winter light through the front room windows.

I’m asking for guidance as to what happened to a novel I started back in 2014 in Paris: what did I do with the unfinished manuscript?

Burdock: Tenacity. It’s a plant that has spread all over the world from Europe. It’s leaves are prickly and stick to clothing. It’s used in beauty products, skin care, and Chinese medicine, as well as western herbals.

I’m not overly familiar with burdock, as it doesn’t grow in my garden. I’ve no doubt encountered it in the wild. Famed as a liver treatment, I know that much.

In terms of divination, does this mean that I’ll find the manuscript if I dig through my files enough? Or the fact that burdock has long roots mean that I could, if I wanted, rewrite the 10,000 words I’ve deleted? I suppose I could, but the idea doesn’t fill me with warmth. It was a fun idea I started, but I had no real plot, and a character was taking over which would have meant a lot of research, and a totally different direction. Besides, I was exhausted after travelling, and the whole thing just fell apart.

The purple colour in the card suggests to me that I should trust my instincts here, that it’s not worth resurrecting, even though a friend wants to get ahold of it and play with it.

Yes, the idea could grow easily, and if it does, it would likely come to fruition in the summer, when Burdock flowers.

Bowing to the Tenacity of Burdock, I will faithfully do a search through my files more thoroughly, but my intuition says I deleted it as utterly stupid, a damned foolish notion at a time when I had no energy to give.

A tarot spread for honouring creative time and space.

This spread saved, with gratitude, from an interview conducted by TypeWriter Tarot.

Honouring Your Creative Time and Space.

  1. How can I detach from other life activities when it’s time to create?
  2. How can I invoke the creative spirit when I set out to create?
  3. How can I honour my work before I enter the world again?

The interview was a really nice one, and I recommend TypeWriter Tarot. I subscribe to the newsletter, thus I get notifications of new interviews.

This was from Cosmic Rescue Episode 3, an interview by Cecily Sailer(founder of TypeWriter Tarot) with Claire Campbell.

*****

To apply this spread to myself, I’m using my Slow Tarot, created by Lacey Bryant. It’s not a deck I use often, but as a reminder to myself to slow down (I love to pile up the Monday tasks), I dug it out today, and all over again, I’m astonished by the beautiful, detailed artwork.

I took Claire Campbell’s example and opened my writing session today with a tarot pull. 5 of Cups. I am slowly going through all my old unpublished stories, the unfinished ones, the ones that have little more than a few notes, and seeing what I can apply my mind, sewing scissors, and patches to. In the card, a small boy crouches on the floor, crying over several broken teacups. Two whole teacups sit on the table behind him. A mirror reflects a closed door. The scene beyond the window is hazy, almost as if it’s raining, but there appears to be a figure in a cloak and top hat outside. A black cat washes its paw in the corner. Was it the one who knocked the cups over, and the boy believes he will get the blame? The cat is looking pretty smug: “Yeah, I did that, so what?”

I’ve been pretty sad over the years at the amount of first drafts, unfinished stories, bare bones ideas, and stuff I never followed through on that are in my writing files. I only had to look into Writing: Fiction: Short Stories, and get to the A’s before I found the first old, old story that I’d never rewritten or done anything with.

No use crying over what’s past, the broken cups. There’s still 2 full cups. It’s up to me how I sell the situation to myself. I can continue to bend over the broken stuff, or I can say: “The fucking cat did it”, point to the whole cups, and say: “But look at these whole ones. There’s still good stuff here.”

I’m not at the stage of allowing this fiction out into the public yet. It’s still pretty smelly stuff, that needs cleaning up. But that possibility, of the public seeing what I’ve written, is out there beyond the window. Hazy, but there.

So that was my solace to myself as I opened today’s writing session.

Now to the 3 card spread.

  1. How can I detach from other life activities when it’s time to create? 8 of Cups. Walk away and shut the door. A figure walking away from stacked tea cups. 8 geese flying overhead against the full moon. A long road ahead, but the decision is made. Walk away. I did this just today for the first time – announced to my daughter and husband that I was starting work at 1.30pm, and wouldn’t be available again until after 3.30pm.
  2. How can I invoke the creative spirit when I set out to create? Queen of Cups. Go with my emotions and intuition. I feel like this one says ‘make a water offering to the female creative Goddess of your choice’. Well, that’s what sense I can make of this. The shell is very Aphrodite, but She is not a Goddess to whom I would make devotions when it comes to creativity. Love and lust, yes. Brigid is a Goddess of poetry, but she is a Fire Goddess. And this is definitely a Queen, not a King or Knight, so I’m not feeling Apollo here. My instinct, looking at the face of the Queen of Cups, is Saraswati. She is someone I have worked with in the past.
  3. How can I honour my work before I enter the world again? 6 of Swords. Safe haven. The journey across the sea to the lighthouse. The sea isn’t calm, but it’s not threatening yet. The cloudy sky indicates challenging times ahead. Well, I don’t switch well from creative world to mundane world, so yes, it’s always a challenge to pull my head out of the well of creativity, in whatever form I’m playing with, and turn back to the ‘real’ world. How can I honour my work? A moment to recognise that I went deep, and moving to quiet, pleasurable, safe activity to ease my way back in. The last thing my anxiety needs is me wildly swinging my consciousness about, as I am wont to do. Gentle retreat, and a slow journey back to ‘reality’.

Claire Campbell also finishes her creative sessions with another card pull to close the session off, using a question like ‘what have I learned”?

So, what have I learned from today’s creative session (which was doing a quick and dirty rewrite of an old 1000 word story, and then blogging here).

Balance: “Equity, harmony, executive decision, liminal times, impartial perspective, ritual.” “The world is only in balance because everything is always in flux. What this card demands is for the Seeker to acknowledge the external forces arrayed against them and to react in a dispassionate, measured and deliberate way.” Today, I planned my working session. I didn’t drift into it, without telling family and friends that I was going to be working. Thus, I wasn’t disturbed. I asked my creative buddies to co-work via zoom with me, so I showed up, and was accountable. Thankyou UnicornGirl, and….dammit, I’ve forgotten what I’ve dubbed my other friend. AmericanScatter will do today. I set up my doors, shut them, and invoked the space in which I would create. I knew I’d be doing this today, because it was on the calendar, so my mind was ready to work. I drew a tarot card to invoke the session, and in I went. I thought I’d be spending the whole time on one story, but the rewrite was quick, so I could bring in some of that ‘flux’ by shifting to blogging instead, which is still writing, or writing-adjacent. The girl stands in what looks like a wheat or corn field. She is holding a chalice and a candle. there are glowing sigils on the haystacks. Above her flies the raven, messenger from the beyond. The card is painted in yellows – the colour of Air, the element of the mind.

Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation – week 3(?) of maintenance

I’m well settled into the schedule of two treatments a week now. Tuesdays and usually Wednesdays for an hour each, still bi-lateral.

Alas, I have my anxiety back. Not as bad as it was, but it’s getting to the stage of me being too fraught to front appointments. I cancelled a myotherapy session yesterday, because I was late getting to lunch, and couldn’t face the rush of eating, then driving admittedly only 1km to the appointment. Dammit, this is not on! Not on at all.

A reminder that I have well and truly slipped with my visualisation, and breathing techniques. Time to use my hour in the chair to get that going again. If I don’t own my own doing in this situation, I’m a fool. I have chosen, over the past few weeks, to skitter away from writing and art time, and use it to go out in the world. Mainly to drag around shopping centres and do nothing with my days, then call myself busy. What am I distracting myself from?

Certainly the uncomfortable fact that my writing is going nowhere much, and I have not fulfilled my hopes and dreams for myself. Getting published professionally in a newspaper at the age of 17 was heady, and head-inflating. I’m surprised my ego fitted through doors. However, I have not carved out the shining, award-laden career I thought I would. And now anxiety has seen to it that it’s difficult for me to settle to writing sessions. And when I do, I tell the story in the first draft, and my mind says ‘done with that story now, on with the next one’. Rewriting, and crafting, and submitting until publication – not part of the deal. And I’m not just being babyish about it. I have real weird blocks here. Possibly a pouty toddler or teenager moping that ‘the story’s done and if it’s not perfect first time out, well, leave it behind’.

Anyway, this is all to say that anxiety is starting to creep back, and it’s impacting, and has greatly impacted, on my ability to write, rewrite, edit, submit, and publish.

Fuck you, anxiety. Settle down.

Poem – Mrs Mavis Wanczyk

Mrs Mars Wanczyk wants to send me money.

She has a large donation

from an anonymous benefactor,

and she wants this done quickly,

as she is retiring from the legal business.

Oh, what will you do, Mrs Mavis Wanczyk,

when you retire?

You’ve been busy handling all the cases left

on your shining desk,

and perhaps I’m the last one.

Mrs Mavis, will you take up fishing?

What will you do, Mrs Mavis,

when there’s just you in your house,

rattling around with money

and my bank account details?

Do the Swiss Alps call, with bank accounts in snow drifts?

What about a Carribean pirate destination?

Mrs Mavis, are you prepared

for long hours of Netflix and no chill?

Mrs Mavis, what will you do

for those thirty years until you die?

Is email enough, Mrs Mavis?

Is it?

Poem – Underworld

The past three months, I’ve forgotten to write and enter the Furious Fiction contest. Once again, the deadline slipped past, because of the torrent of emails that come in. I spent a productive 4am wake up stupid o’clock unsubscribing from many many things. Now it’s a case of working my way through the backlog of stuff and once again trying to ‘zero my inbox’.

Anyway, here’s the Furious Fiction prompt that I’m going to attempt to poem.

“The story must take place as some type of contest. It must include a character who forgets something. The story must include the words PRESS, FLING, and GROUND.”

What’s stuck in my mind is the most recent episode of my favourite WebToon: Lore Olympus. So, some idle ‘watching the work guys put up my new side fence’ time, and then into a new a poem.

*****

The world above presses down.

I’ve been flung from above,

so I’m told.

I’m under ground, under world,

so under the weather that I’m dead.

I don’t remember.

Something or someone golden has left me here,

by the bank of an ice river.

A ferry comes silent,

hooded figure.

I have a coin in my hand.

There are others around me.

We all press forward

while wishing to press back.

I force my way through the insubstantial pack.

We drift and glide through each other,

light and dark as shade.

Our last striving moments, I feel.

Did I spend time up there,

wherever that is,

wanting, doing?

It’s all gone.

I am on the ferry,

but I don’t remember how.

I would be afraid,

if I knew how to do that.

I once did.

Maybe.

Am I dead?

I don’t remember.