Division Bell

A yawn almost cracked the jaw of the MP for South Staffordshire. The trials and tribulations of his constituents bored him to tears. Threats of eviction, troublesome neighbours, an unresponsive local council were all grist to the mill of a constituency MP but did nothing to further his ambitions. The sun blazing through the window of Portcullis House didn’t help. He wondered how many other MPs snoozed away their mornings, waiting for the business of the House of Commons to start at 11am.

With a sigh, he called his parliamentary researcher through. “Sam, look into this for me?”

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Life Lessons

Weary, the boy crests the ridge.

School today!

He looks valleywards. Instead of neat buildings, smouldering roof embers greet him. Torn, flapping pages signal defeat. He pelts downwards, juddering to a halt. A stench hits him in the stomach. One he knows.

Tears flow; his dreams too have died.

© 2019, northie

Education is vital, whoever and wherever you are.

Your comments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Being Partisan

I gaze at bees toiling away, in all their many-hued variety
A tawny miner surfaces; common carders delve deep into foxgloves
Both ignore a brobdingnagian white tail lumbering past.

A wasp interrupts my reverie, causing me to start and flinch
It mistakes a floral pattern, some mysterious scent perhaps
Or even me as nature’s store writ large, despite my efforts to the contrary

They are both endangered pollinators – essential, deserving of our respect.

© 2019, northie

Another sevenling, again concerning what I see around me. Your comments and constructive criticism are always welcome. For another poem about bees by my fellow Pencil blogger, Parker Owens, see Buzz Biz

Image by Janneke Alkema from Pixabay

À La Carte

On a sunlit terrace, lunch is served
Woodpigeons feast on glossy seeds, a robin sneaks morsels away
But all leave the table when the finicky squirrel arrives.

The dinner menu attracts new guests
Mealworms are the star attraction as hedgehogs hold sway,
Climbing onto the table, in the unseemly haste to eat their fill.

Everyone deserves to eat well, no matter who they are.

© 2019, northie

Another try at a sevenling. Your comments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Image by analogicus from Pixabay

Dragonfly Time


Long sunlit days lighten my soul
I marvel at dragonflies, their bejewelled
Brilliance reflected in so many blooms

Leaden skies threaten and lower
Winds howl their fury, rain slashes down
Nature’s rage let rip

Alas, this too is summer now

© 2019, northie

This is my first attempt at a sevenling. Your comments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Image by JensG from Pixabay 

At Dawn

She squeezes through the scullery window, abandoning her shadowed toil. A golden dawn awaits bleary eyes. She breathes deep; each precious minute. Daffodils glow in the rainbow-coloured silence.

One bell tinkles. Others follow.

“Girl!” The housekeeper spots her. “Work! Now!”

© 2019, northie

I welcome your comments and constructive criticism.

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Willpower – Part 3

I thought it time to offer you another longer fiction piece. It’s taken from my home site, Gay Authors and will post in three parts. Here is the story’s conclusion. You can find Part 1 here and also Part 2 here . Enjoy. 

After hearing more from his father’s former lover, Will has decisions to make.

Will listened intently, keeping his eyes fixed on Saul’s image.

The older man appeared to be having trouble keeping his composure. “This next part was very distressing for me at the time, and even now, thinking about it again for the first time in years, it gives me pain. You’ll forgive me, if I keep it to the bare bones?”

Will nodded.

“I tried to keep in touch with Max, your father, after he phoned me. I’d gotten the sense that he’d already come to a decision, though he didn’t share it with me. I wanted to offer support … just to be with him in spirit.” A moment’s silence. “It was so much more difficult then to communicate privately. The few phone calls I risked, weren’t returned. Nor were my faxes. I didn’t dare write him. Even at home. I knew he had live-in staff. I suppose his refusal to respond, on its own, should have warned me which way he’d decided to go.”

Will watched as Saul’s image wiped away tears. It was all he could do, not to join him. He thought he could see where Saul’s story was going, and it depressed him utterly.

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Willpower – Part 2

I thought it time to offer you another longer fiction piece. It’s taken from my home site, Gay Authors and will post in three parts. You can find Part 1 here. Enjoy. 

Will has made a breakthrough in understanding the word his father keeps repeating. This is only the start of another search for meaning; one he must do himself, without his sick father’s help.

In the hotel, Max jerked awake.

It’s just coming up to six o’clock, and you’re listening to Today on BBC Radio Four …

God, did it have to be so bloody loud? He turned his head and blearily tried to focus on the glowing red numerals of the radio alarm clock. How long had he been asleep? Not long enough.

And the headlines this morning …

His heart rate settled again after the sudden alarm call. Max smiled contentedly – the lack of sleep didn’t matter. For a moment or two, he luxuriated in being where he was, and who was with him. In the curtained, morning light, he could see Saul’s outline, only partially concealed by the sheet. God, he was satisfied in so many ways. And happy. Any shortage of sleep would soon be cured by naps while Saul attended his conference. His own solitary meeting was first thing.

The radio still blared, so Max raised himself up on his elbow, trying to work out how to turn the wretched thing off. As he peered at the controls, an arm wrapped itself round his waist, and a bristly chin leant up against his neck.

“Morning, handsome.” A soft, sexy chuckle resonated right in Max’s ear. “Is it too early to resume where we left off?” A kiss, and the hand round his middle moved down to between his legs.

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Willpower – Part 1

I thought it time to offer you another longer fiction piece. It’s taken from my home site, Gay Authors and will post in three parts. Enjoy. 

Will Carmichael visits his father who lives in a nursing home. One word which the older man keeps repeating, holds the power to change Will’s life. During his journey to uncover the word’s meaning, Will makes discoveries that affect both them both deeply.

“Sau…” The man sitting in the institutional armchair drooled slightly, his jaw slack. He tried to speak again. “Sau…”

“What’s he trying to say?” A sharp, demanding female voice. “He’s sore? How much are we paying this place to look after him properly? … William! Call a nurse. It’s not good enough.”

Will Carmichael’s nostrils flared. Visits to his father were always difficult; doubly so with his mother in tow. She spent so much time making a fuss and very little actually interacting with her husband. A sour thought occurred to him – maybe all the noise disguised the fact that she’d abandoned him to this place. As soon as they confirmed the  diagnosis, she invoked the power of attorney, and had him put away. Yes, looking after someone with dementia – Alzheimer’s disease, in his case – was hard, demanding, upsetting work. Plenty of people did it, wanted to do it, with love and determination; not his mother, though. She could afford to pay for twenty-four hour home care if she wanted. She obviously didn’t. And his money paid for it, for fuck’s sake.

“Mother, if you want to make a complaint, you know the way to the matron’s office. And the manager’s as well. I came to talk to Dad. How often do I get to visit? I want to spend all the time with him.”

His mother stared at him, outraged. “William! Right, well, I suppose I’ll have to do it for myself then.” She snatched up her ever-present phone, pulled her handbag off the arm of the chair she’d been sitting in, and stalked out of the room, her high heels clacking on the institutional flooring.

Will sighed. Good – peace and quiet for a few minutes. Hopefully longer, if his mother stopped for a vaping session as well. She would try to create problems for the staff, but generally, they were efficient, if soulless. It was unlikely his father suffered any real discomfort. He’d seen that before, and his father got agitated when anything bothered him. The few times he’d visited the nursing home, Will noticed they spent little time stimulating the residents, treating them as individuals with value beyond the mere financial. His father needed that, and exercise, and social interaction. The Alzheimer’s wasn’t that far advanced; yet, there he sat, slumped in his armchair. Was he asleep, or just comatose? Will bent down and tenderly stroked his father’s cheek.

The older man surfaced briefly. “Sau …”

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