The Esplanade Escapade


MorgueFIle March2020 5505949277945981e863844c582745fc

The Esplanade Gang met in front of the ice cream kiosk at the appointed hour.

“Okay, everyone seems to be here,” A, their leader said.

“Not yet,” C observed. “F is missing.”

“No, I have her on a job,” A responded.  “Okay, you lot know that things have been tight lately with the Lock-down and all.”

“Yeah, hardly even enough to eat,” chubby G piped in.

“Exactly, tourism is down, and so are our pickings,” A observed.  “Well all that is about to change.  We are going to expand our patch and muscle in on the Cliffies’ turf.”

“Is that smart, Boss?” C challenged.

“I thought about that, and as I see it, there is one area that we can move in on that they won’t raise a fuss over.”

“Were’s that?” C asked skeptically.

“The lighthouse,” A announced.

“That place is a fortress,” several objected.

“Yes, but workman have been seen with sandwiches and even chips,” A said with an enticing voice.

“Count me in,” G said immediately.

And so the Lighthouse Escapade was hatched by the gulls of the Esplanade Gang.




FOWC with Fandango — Escapade


Inspiration: Musings on Muses (Part 1)

Terrifying Explosion in Beirut Wasn't Nuclear, Experts Say, And ...

image: ScienceAlert

Why do I write?  In one sense it is to express myself.  In yet another, it is a deeper art in which I express possibilities.  The idea of ideas – possibilities beyond expressions of myself, but of things not experienced (at least) by me.  These inspired thoughts are the subject of this rambling musing on muses and musings.

Inspired is a simple word – “to breath in,” “to receive spirit.”  But what is the muse?  Love poems come easy to me when I am in love.  My lover is the best muse possible for such poetry.

But what of my darker works?

It is amazing how diverse prompts from daily life can come together to take-on lives of their own.  It is evident in the writing process of my poem Saving Face.  This poem was virtually spontaneous at about midnight after a long day.   The night before, I had watched a film which informed it.  The day was ending with news of a huge explosion in Beirut.   Deja vu was my initial reaction, alongside with a cold shudder having had friends killed in the 1983 bombings there.  This began a series of free associations which culminated in the poem.

So what was that process?  The shock of an explosion in Beirut brought about memories of the young men killed there in the 80s.  This in turn led to the patriotism they (we) felt about service.  It made the loss seem greater.  Then the realisation, that in 2020 we send our young women to war and its horrors, as well as our “boys.”  Memories of my own service, and of the iconic image from Apocalypse Now of a camouflage-painted face became an image of the “face of war.”  The idea of war as a political agenda, and of politicians needing to “save face,” brought to mind Saving Private Ryan.  Who then would save these young faces of today – this new generation of “camouflage faces?”

But the process does not end with the dual meaning of “saving face.”  The structure itself had its muse.  That inspiration was the aforementioned film watched the day before –  Blade Runner 2049,  Face, Face, Face.

So why do I write?  I write to sort the bombardment of ideas into something tangible, something less chaotic.  I write to give the struggling ideas dome rest and peace.




I will revisit the Muse musings soon, and how love and loss, and new love inspire me.



(The) Devout of Africa

Wool, Cat'S Cradle, Hand Labor, Crochet, Fluffy


“I had some yarn in Africa”*


It is amazing what faith and determination can accomplish.

There are many, when misfortune befalls them, that will bemoan their lot and blame the world.  Others will turn to criminality or immorality to “make ends meet.”

This is not the story of one of those, but of a woman of faith.  Her’s was a faith in her God, herself, and in the principles of enterprise and thrift.

She had found herself in the situation of having to provide for her own needs, and those of her three children.  She had practical talents in arts and crafts, but little monetarily.  What she had – she invested; not in speculative ventures, but in real feet-on-the-ground practicality.  She knit, she crocheted, she fabricated slippers.  She above all believed in her principles.

She secured for herself a market place.  While only a stall on the pavement – it produced.  It produced income.  It produced an outlet for her creativity.  It produced an enduring example of what true character can achieve.

Through it all, her devotion remained strong.   Through her servant nature, her children were not only provided for, but believed themselves secure.  And secure they were in her love.

She had some yarn in Africa, but she wove more than mere crochet.




*With apologies to Meryl Streep


Enter a caption


Welcome to my abode –

Here in Mayfair fine

I welcome up-and-coming talent

To decorate this place of mine


You might think that I’ve more money –

Than I do – common sense

In running down my property –

Driving down the rents


No, it’s kind of an art academy

As I hope you can plainly see

Some day, I will be the proud owner

Of a work – by the next – Banksy




Photo Challenge #326

Lakeland Forever!

Architecture, Fence, Border, Closed, Protected, Secret


The “Riven Times” were coming to an end.  For a half-century, the country had been divided as the result of a partition after the late war.  But the war was not the only thing that seemed to have been lost, the very sense of a national identity had been abandoned by many in the South as well.

To be fair, the idea of reunification and of being a united nation had arisen twenty years before, when international affairs seemed to favour self determination, but this proved to be evanescent.  A hopeful few, which held a faith that the land would again be one, verecundly waited their day to come.  And this would be that day.

Alex walked his post on the partition line.  Across the fenced boundary he could see the vague silhouette of the Northern soldier, as he too walked his post.  Who is this man? Alex allowed himself to wonder.  Was this a total stranger with different values, or some long lost cousin separated from him by time and political events?

Alex shook the thoughts from his mind and stared up at the stars.  There were several hours to go yet before the break of day, and the changes that the new morn would bring.  Till then he would need to do his duty and walk his post as yesterday’s snow crunched softly underneath his feet.

About an hour before dawn people began to arrive along the frontier.  This created some apprehension on Alex’s part.  He knew the border was to open, but his orders were sketchy at best.  Will it be as soon as the sun rises?  Noon maybe?  That would symbolic an hour, he mused.

The sun rose to a chilly morning, and hundreds of people now gathered near the crossing.  As the morning wore on, the crowds grew, and many were showing a distinct lack of patience.  Alex felt the weight of his duty all the more now.  The standing orders were clear, “No person without explicit clearance shall cross the border on pains of death.”  How could I stop such a crowd?  Would I want to?  Not today of all days.

At Nine O’Clock, Alex’s relief failed to arrive.  At Ten, an officer came and after a brief conversation on the radio, began to obfuscate to the frustrated crowd.

“The border will open today, as per the treaty agreement, and you will be able to freely pass.  The details are being arranged as we speak,” he assured them.

At noon, several official vehicles, along with dignitaries and reporters arrived.  A boring speech was made, and Alex was ordered to slowly open the gate.  News cameras captured the moment when young Corporal Alex Alexson lifted the barrier, and was the first to step across the frontier, and into the arms of the welcoming Northern soldier.

Jubilant crowds then streamed both ways across the border chanting “Lakeland Forever!”



Wordle #200:  “We have a special 20 word wordle in honor of the 200th Wordle . . . . Choose at least 15 words.

Obfuscate– to make obscure or unclear: to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
Evanescent– vanishing; fading away; fleeting.
Verecund– bashful; modest

Intelligence Report

Ufo, Spaceship, Aircraft, Drive, Nozzles, Research


“Is the intelligence report ready, Lieutenant Zorg?”

“Yes Commander” the Vivivian replied.

“A brief synopsis, please,” the Commander instructed.

“Very good, Commander.  The third planet has limited useful resources owing to over exploitation, but may well be a viable contact opportunity.  Our analysis of the communications from the planet suggest that the two dominant species seem to be “Humanians” and “Covidians,” though we have only really been able to decipher the communications of the former.  It seems that there is presently a conflict, and the Humanians are in disarray at recent offensive moves by the Covidians.”

“Interesting” the Commander said. “Continue.”

“As I have said, this is all from the Humanian perceptive and they are divided in their responses.  The two biggest factions seem to be Maskers and Anti-Maskers.”

“Maskers?” the Commander queried.

“Ah yes – masks seem to be some sort of artificial barriers that are placed over the respiratory organs of these creatures.”

“Hmm,” the Commander said contemplatively.

“The whole thing seems to have led to unrest as well with many Humanians avoiding the hostilities by isolating themselves and maintaining a distance from others of their species of what we calculate to be 0.6 of a Xeih.   Others, however seem to be calling for the “taking of a knee,” some sort of bending of one of their self-propulsion organs.  This seems to be resisted by one of the three main species leaders, a um, yes that’s it, Trump.”

“So they have a divided command structure?”

“Yes Commander – the other world leaders seem to be a Fauci, and a Greta.  That is all we have at the moment though.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant. I think we will wait for their hostilities to end before we land and offer them universal health and happiness.  They don’t seem prepared for it yet.”



Raw Deal

Abstract, Beef, Britain, British, Brown, Carrots

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

Strange things can happen

Wherever you may be

Funny to you,

Not so much to me

When planning a dinner – guests to impress

Hoping they won’t see

That the kitchen’s a mess

But that’s not the odd part

No – not even – the start

It’s raw roast and potatoes –

As your a la carte

When turning the oven on –

Is the thing you forget –

Filling you with confusion

Filled with regret

So of course there’s – just one thing to do:

Pass around the copy – of the delivery menu




*  Unfortunately based on a true event.


Sunday Writing Prompt: A funny thing happened on the way to the kitchen/bedroom/laundry.


Crowning Glory


Unicorn, Forest, Fairy Tales, Mystical


Dora was the plainest maiden in all the kingdom.  Some even said that she was ugly.  It was precisely that fact that led to her retaining her virtue far beyond the time in which it was relinquished by her peers.

This purity, however, was also her crowning glory, for she could see and converse with unicorns.

“Oh, I wish I was as beautiful as you,” she said to Daisy, one day.

“And I wish I had your lovely voice,” the unicorn replied.

They were suddenly transformed, but Dora could tell no one – for she had become a little horse.




Flash Fiction Challenge


Once Upon A Time

Fee, Elf, Fairy, Fae, Kneeling, Expression, Beauty


There was a long time ago,

In days of old, as you may know –

Fairies, and all kind of folk fey –

That we seldom see around us today.

Among these was – Princess Jacaranda – Royal,

Whose mother Queen Pandorea – did tend to spoil.

She was so accustomed to getting her way

That in the Blackberry Patch Kingdom –

She refused to stay.

So she did wander so far from home

That she found herself lost and quite alone.

Thus isolated in an unfamiliar land

With no one to guide her or give her a hand  –

She succumbed to her fears

And she fell into tears –

Ultraviolet streaks down her face.

And if you go near –

Even today – you will hear –

Her sobs as you pass by the place.




Paint Chip Poetry Prompt #31:

Once Upon a Time –  “you must use all four of the paint chip words, which are royal, jacarandaultraviolet, and blackberry. You can either include the angel card word or just allude to the concept of obedience (or disobedience, if you prefer).

The Lounge


‘Cigar Bar Evening Lounge’ by Brent Lynch

Lush melodies drew her to the door of the lounge, the friendly smiles enticed her inside.  Chardonnay hadn’t intended at stopping here, as was on the way to her usual haunts for a night of clubbing.  There was something about this place that captured her imagination though, and just one drink wouldn’t take too long.  But just in case, she typed Might be late onto her iPhone.  Hmm, no signal she observed. That’s weird. 

She glanced around the place, the ambiance was wild, almost like it belonged in a Mickey Spillane novel.  She was a little self-conscious as she made her way to the bar, as her clothes didn’t exactly fit into her surroundings.  But hey, a little black dress fits in anywhere, she reassured herself.

As she reached the bar, the barman cast a suspicious eye at her.

“Can I have a house white please?” she asked.  This merely resulted in the barman’s expression changing to puzzlement.

“Make it a Manhattan, Louie,” a sharply dressed gentleman seated at the bar said.  “And put it on my tab.”

“Um, okay,” Chardonnay said a little suspiciously.  “Thank you.”

“So what’s your name Doll-face,” the rugged stranger asked.

“Chardonnay, like the wine,” she responded.

The man stared quizzically for a moment, and then said, “That’s an unusual name.”

“My mom, loves the stuff,” she replied with a shrug and a feigned giggle.  “You know I have never been in a theme bar before,” she said.

The man gave another brief look of confusion and then said, “My name is Edgar, but everybody calls me Edge.  What brings a girl like you into a place like this, Chardene?”

“Chardonnay,” she corrected.  “I was on my way to The Galaxy,” she said, “but stopped here because of the music.”

The Galaxy?” he queried.  “That dive ain’t a place for a dame like you.”

“Um – thank you,” she said, again unsure of how to respond.

“You know the mob has their finger in that pie,” Edge said.  “Though it’s a good place to find information sometimes, as long as I’m discrete.”

“Information?” Chardonnay asked.

“Yeah, I’m a P. I..  Maybe you’ve heard of me – Edge O’Malley.”

“Oh, that Edge,” she said with feigned admiration, in an attempt to play along with the establishment’s theme.   This might be fun to do some night with Zoe and Cari, she thought. We could dress up and it would be a ball, playing make believe.

“Well Edge, thank you for the drink, but I need to get over to The Galaxy and meet some of the dames from the office,” she said.

This again drew an uncertain look from Edge, but he shook her hand and said, “You take care of yourself, Doll.”

Chardonnay then made her way across the lounge, and out into the streets of 1947 Los Angeles.




First Line Friday: Lush melodies drew her to the door of the lounge, the friendly smiles enticed her inside.