Shakespeare Sonnets and Static Trees

Sometimes it doesn’t matter where things start, it’s where they takes us.

For the past several days, I’ve been reading Shakespeare’s sonnets aloud. I’m finding that this practice not only improves my control of the iambic line, but also helps me understand how to use punctuation, line breaks and rhyme more effectively. I’m also becoming more and more unforgiving of forced rhymes and poetic inversions in the work of others.

When on the twelfth day I got to Sonnet 12, beginning ‘When I do count the clock that tells the time,’ and – and I’m prepared to forgive that ‘do’ in the line, since it was probably written in the late 16th Century and all – I immediately started thinking of the song ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’, sung by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Are they linked together? Does it matter? Today I heard radio static while passing a tree and it seemed as though the tree itself had static. Things spark and catch on fire due to rogue winds.

I love dark ballads best


Just bought an issue of Mojo Music Magazine, because there was an exclusive interview with Nick Cave in it and a CD stuck to the cover. The blurb on the cover said that it contained ’15 original tracks’ that ‘inspired Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’. I’ve been listening to it, and it’s wonderful, even though the sound quality is a wee bit harsh at times. But hey, some of the songs on the CD are from the 20s!

Today I started obsessively listening to an old American lullaby for children from it called ‘All The Pretty Little Horses’ , sung by Pete Seeger (pictured), which has these lines:

Don’t you cry,
Go to sleepy, little baby.
Way down yonder
In de medder
There’s a po’ lil lambie,
De bees an’ de butterflies
Peckin’ out its eyes,
De po’ lil thing cried, “Mammy!”
Don’t you cry,
Go to sleepy, little baby.

So disturbing! And it’s the peaceful soothing nature of the piece that makes it all the more troubling. And there’s also this cruel ballad called ‘Knoxville Girl’ by The Louvin Brothers on it, and the ballad ‘Katie Cruel’, which is not as cruel, which has the following lines:

‘Through the woods I’m going
And through the boggy mire
Straight way down the road
‘Til I come to my heart’s desire
If I was where I would be
Then I’d be where I am not
Here I am where I must be
Where I would be, I can not’
Anyway, these old songs stimulate me to write more, and to write more darkly.
Bye now,


A chain of good news

Tagged onto the end of the other good news, I’ve just received word my flash fiction piece, ‘Sometimes, there are bears’, has been accepted for the August edition of Blue Fifth Review, an online quarterly of art, flash fiction, essays, reviews, and poetry.


It’s seems I wrote too soon. The ‘unrestrained’ werewolf story that I mentioned in May, ‘Against the Wall’, has also just been accepted for publication in the August 2017 issue of The Siren’s Call Ezine. The issue contains stories on the theme ‘Feel the Fear’.