Aug 31st

Tron: Coolness in a Can

By Meta Tam When Hi Non
Tron was the first film I can remember seeing and feeling like I was watching something different, not Star Wars or something that defined a era of film, but something truly magical to a world insane a computer. Sure, if you consider the story is pretty flat, but a story was nothing when you see the light-cycles and huge solar vessel traveling along wires of light. The film, for me personally, was never about storytelling, it was something more then that.....a way to see beyond simple ideas of the Matrixs (I never liked Matrixs....kind of a bore fest).

Tron was a world of mystery and awesomeness and one those inspiration to write kind of things, becasue of a world with wonders beyond wonders.....and now there's a sequel and I shall see it the day of release.
Aug 31st

Ode to a blind cat

By Padma

You purr, you sing, you bare your soul

Of need, hunger and sorrow

You arch your back and let us know

You need some loving, Paro

 

Your ears and feet are trained to see

For eyes you cannot borrow

One wonders how you gambol so

With blinding frolic, Paro!

 

You govern, eyeless in the dark

A princess till the morrow

At dawn, you’re queen of every heart

That wakes up to you, Paro

 

You and I are hesitant friends

The lane we share is narrow

We touch each other gingerly

But we care, don’t we, Paro?

 

Your blind and Gothic black-cat-ness

Once chilled me to the marrow

But love begins in the strangest ways

Let’s just accept it, Paro

Aug 30th

The Cat-Flap Cows and the Fluff Bears

By Vin

The Cat-Flap Cows and the Wagon Wheel Bears

 

 

    Kitten Kaboodle was a small black and white cat.  She had a furry white bib on her chest and wild and unruly whiskers which would have made any walrus proud.  They went in every direction.  The rest of Kitten Kaboodle was black apart from her feet.  Her legs were black but her feet were white.  She looked as if she was wearing two pairs of tennis shoes.

    Kitten Kaboodle had taken to sleeping under the bed every night to hide from the cows which came in through the cat-flap.  They would hang around in the living room and jostle her with their big, wet noses.  Sometimes they would prod her gently with their pointy horns and moo menacingly beneath their breath.

    That is why Kitten Kaboodle slept under the bed, because being jostled by cows isn't very nice when you are a small black and white cat.

    You might ask how a herd of cows get in through a cat flap?  Why, one at a time silly.  (And another thing; did you know that more than 12 cows together is called a flink?)

    Every morning Kitten Kaboodle would try and tell her people.  She would sit in the middle of the kitchen floor, looking up at them with eyes wide with worry and summon up the only word of human she knew - 'Cows', she would say - 'Cows'.  Sometimes she thought if she said the word really hard, her people would understand. 

'Coooooooows'.

But it always came out as 'Meow' and her people would look at her and go 'Aah' and scratch her between the ears and fill her bowl with crunchies.  'Cows' she would try again.  But she had such a strong cat accent that they couldn't understand her.  Instead they poured milk into her other bowl.  Kitten Kaboodle liked milk.  She liked milk only slightly less than she liked cream.

Kitten Kaboodle had a friend, Basil, who lived a few doors down.  Basil also had a problem.  He had bears living beneath the floorboards and every night they would drill for fluff.

'Prrrrrrr.  Prrrrrr.  Prrrrrr.' 

Every night. 

Basil would try and alert his people by imitating the drilling sound.  They just thought he was happy and filled his bowl with food, which was nice but not very helpful.  Kitten Kaboodle had taught him the one human word she knew and Basil tried it out but he thought it probably only confused his people; he was saying 'Cows' when he meant 'Bears'.  But of course he didn't know the Human for bears.

Both Kitten Kaboodle's and Basil's command of Human was limited.  In fact the language refused to obey them at all and the words squirmed away from them and twisted themselves into funny shapes whenever they tried to say them.  And so 'Cows' remained their only Human word.

Kitten Kaboodle's people never realised they had cows bothering a small cat every night in their living room.  At first she tried raising the alarm; she would sit at the foot of the stairs calling, 'Cows, cows,' and the top of her voice.  But the top of her voice didn't reach very high - certainly not to the top of the stairs.

The must have been rough cows because they all had ear rings - yellow and blue tags - and numbers tattooed on their bottoms.  Kitten Kaboodle thought that must be because they were all in the same gang. 

Sometimes, if Kitten Kaboodle's people had put some laundry in the washing machine overnight, the cows would wait for the cycle to finish before opening the door and stealing some of the socks.  Not complete pairs, mind, just single socks.  They reasoned that the owners wouldn't notice if one sock was still there.  But of course they did. 

It was a constant puzzlement where socks went and why they didn't disappear in pairs.  So in some ways the cows weren't very clever.  In other ways, though, they were.  They used the socks to muffle their bells, you see.  They would stuff an Argyle or a pop sock inside to silence the clapper.  An un-muffled bell was a dead giveaway when a cow was trying to sneak in through a cat flap.

They had the knack of leaving before her people came downstairs in the morning.  They left the same way they came in - through the cat-flap in an orderly single file.

Often Basil's people would come down in the morning to find him crouched and staring intently at a section of skirting board.  Basil was a study in stillness; his ears pitched forward, his eyes wide - the green pushed to the edges to make room for the huge pupils.

'What is it?' his people would say.  Basil wouldn't move.  He would just maintain his vigil at the skirting board where he had heard the bears drilling beneath the floor.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

'Tea-break', said Boss Bear.  Arnold pushed his miner's helmet back from his forehead and wiped his brow with a red spotted handkerchief.  Ted lay down his drill, sat on a mound of earth and put his tin lunch box on his lap.  It contained a small thermos flask of very, very milky tea and a piece of rice pudding wrapped in a cloth.   Ted, Arnold and Boss Bear took their breaks very seriously and never missed one.  After all, tea breaks were a right won for bears by their union.

          Boss Bear was big and strong and he wore an emerald green waistcoat with a fob watch in the pocket.  On his huge furry head a neat little Bowler hat sat snugly between his ears.  Boss was an impressive bear and the others looked up to him, because he was taller than they were and because he had the hat.  You've always got to respect a bear who wears a hat.

          Why?  Because how many bears do you know who could even recognise a hat, let alone know what to do with it.  That's why Boss Bear was boss bear - because he knew about hats.

          Anyway, the three bears took their break from digging for fluff beneath the floorboards of Number 23 Pleasant Crescent.  Arnold looked up at the underside of the floor which was, of course, their ceiling.  'I think the cat is back,' he whispered.  They all gazed upwards - Boss lifted his Bowler hat slightly as if he could hear better without it and Ted stopped halfway through unwrapping his rice pudding.. 

          They were right; Basil was back and at that moment he was crouched on the floor with one ear pressed to the carpet.  It was a funny sort of quiet; it was the kind of quiet when you can hear someone is really trying to be quiet.

          Down below Ted was trying to unwrap his rice pudding quietly but the lunch box slid off his lap and clattered to the floor.

'Shh!' said Boss.

'Sorry,' Ted whispered back and put leaned forward to pick up the tin box..

          Just then, up above, Basil was startled by the 'Clip-Clap!' of the cat flap and Kitten Kaboodle came bounding in, her tail bolt upright and looking like something you would use to clean a clarinet with.   (Although I'm sure Kitten Kaboodle wouldn't like her tail to be used to clean any kind of musical instrument.  Cats are very sensitive about their tails.  They're very proud of them - just like you are of your red boots)

          'Shh!' went Basil.  'Listen.'

Kitten Kaboodle, being a very well-meaning but not-very-bright cat sniffed Basil's ear as if the sound was in there. 

'No, here,' said Basil.

Kitten Kaboodle listened very hard.

Nothing.

'What is it,' she said eventually when it was obvious, even to her, that the sound was refusing to be heard.

'It's the bears,' said Basil.

'Oh,' said Kitten Kaboodle.  She stood up and started kicking her own ear with her hind leg, thinking maybe the sound was stuck and hadn't reached the bit of her brain for hearing bears.  If it was jammed it didn't budge.

'I think there's two of them,' said Arnold as the bears continued to stare up at the floorboards.  Boss Bear sneaked a look at his fob watch.  It was solid stainless steel.  (I bet you thought I was going to say it was solid gold, but what would a bear be doing with a solid gold fob watch?).  It had been a gift from a princess he had once rescued from a man pointing a gnu at her.  (No, I don’t mean a gun – I mean a gnu.  He was threatening her with a moose-type animal).  The watch was the only thing which bore Boss Bear's real name; it had an inscription which said, 'To my brave De……' but I'm forgetting our story.

          The watch told Boss Bear that tea-break was almost over.  Well, it didn't tell him - that would be silly.  Only dogs have talking watches - you've heard of watch dogs, haven't you?  They're the ones who can tell the time.  They tell it what to do and time does it.  So the next time time seems to be racing along or dragging its feet, blame it on the dog. 

          (By the way, if you are wondering if this story is going anywhere, worry not.  It's staying right here until it's finished - however long that takes).

 

One day Basil had an idea.  It wasn’t much of an idea but he was proud of it.  Kitten Kaboodle didn’t think it was much of an idea, either, but it was the only one they had so that made it the best idea they had.

‘Let’s go and visit Phoebe,’ said Basil.

Phoebe lived in the big house at the end of the lane.  Phoebe’s people were very posh and therefore, thought Phoebe, so was she.  She was an elegant cat - she was sleek and black, save for a small splash of white on her chest as if she had spilt some cream.  But Pheobe would never be such an untidy eater.  There was definitely something of the Siamese in Phoebe.  Well, that is what she told anyone who would listen.

    She was, she said, originally from the court of the King of Siam.  She would sit on the arm of his throne whilst he gave wise judgement and ruled his Kingdom with an iron hand inside a velvet glove.  She would often start a sentence with, ’When I was right-hand cat to the King of Siam……’  Or, ’I was taking my morning stroll through the palace……’.  Often these interruptions had nothing to do with the conversation at the time.  But all the other cats thought Phoebe was very wise and very clever so they often went to her for advice.

    But the truth was, Phoebe didn’t know anything.  She looked clever and she sounded clever but really she was quite clueless.  And she had never lived in the court of the King of Siam.  She had been bought from the local animal shelter.  She had been one of a box of kittens left in a box outside the gate one night.

    And that wasn’t Phoebe’s only secret.  The other was the name her People called her.  The problem with People is they can be very lazy.  They give a cat a name and for a few weeks they are very pleased with how inventive they are.  But very soon a cat’s name becomes squashed and mangled.  Kitten Kaboodle was already shortened to Boo.  And Basil was simply Baz to his People.

    Phoebe’s People had been particularly clumsy with her name.  At first Phoebe seemed to capture her grace and poise.  But after a few weeks they started playing around with her name.  Phoebe’s name acquired a tail of its own.  She became Phoebe-Weeby.  Her people liked the way it rolled off the tongue.  For Phoebe, though it didn’t so much roll off the tongue as fall off the end and land with a thud before rumbling towards her like a dropped cannon ball.

    But Phoebe-Weeby was only the beginning.  Short time after that she became Phoebley-Weebley.  She sometimes wondered if those people in uniforms who devoted themselves to stopping cruelty to animals might like to hear about this humiliation.   But a lack of thumbs prevented her from picking up the phone.

  Pheobley-Weebley became Phibbly-Wibbley.  And for a while it was simply Wibbley.  Then Wibbley-Wobbley.  Then Wibble-Wobble.  That was shortened to Wib-Wob.  And finally Phoebe, cat to the King of Siam, cat of cats, became…

Simply…

…Wibble.

Oh, the humiliation.

Kitten Kaboodle and Basil knew none of this.  To them she was Phoebe, cat of cats.  And if anyone knew what to do about the Cat-Flap Cows and the Fluff  Bears, she would.

   

 

Kitten Kaboodle and Basil sprang on the ivy-covered wall at the end of Pheobe’s garden.  They jumped down the other side.  It was a large garden with the wall at one end and a conservatory at the other.  Two small apple trees stood side by side and between then hung a white canvas hammock.  As the sun shone down it made the fabric slightly see-through, revealing a small black shape nestling inside.

‘Um…Pheobe,’ said Basil.

Nothing.

‘Pheobe,’ he said again.

The black shape stirred and stretched.  A long black limb appeared over the edge of the hammock, pulling it down to reveal two black ears, with tiny furry tufts on the tips, and two amber eyes. 

‘And whom might you be?’ she said.  Her voice was slow and defined, as if each word was hand-made, polished and tied with a neat bow before being allowed out.

    Kitten Kaboodle bobbed her head.  ‘Kitten Kaboodle, please your Lady.’

Basil, never the cleverest of cats, forgot his own name.

‘……and this is Basil,’ added Kaboodle.

    Pheobe stretched and yawned.

‘Go away,’ she said and her elegant head disappeared into the hammock.

Kitten Kaboodle and Basil looked at each other.

‘Er, please Miss,’ said Basil.  ‘We were hoping you might help us.’

‘It’s my afternoon nap,’ came the voice from the hammock.  ‘Kindly leave my garden or I’ll set the dog on you.’

‘You have a dog?’

It was rumoured that Pheobe had a pet dog which was totally in awe of her.  Others said the dog really belonged to Pheobe’s people.  But a cat with a pet dog must certainly be shown respect.  Kitten Kaboodle had a pet worm once.  She brought it in from the garden and dropped it at her Peoples’ feet.  They didn’t seem very pleased and took it outside.  Kitten Kaboodle tried to find it again but all the worms she asked denied being the one she was looking for.  Only a very well-to-do cat would have a pet dog.

    ‘We’d better go,’ said Basil.

Kitten Kaboodle didn’t want to be chased by a dog because she was only small and just the right size to fit in a large mouth.

‘Wib!’

A human voice was calling from the big house at the other end of the garden.

‘Wib!  Wibby!’

‘Who’s that?’  asked Kaboodle.

‘Er, never you mind,’ answered Pheobe, ‘You just be on your way or I’ll call my dog.’

‘Wibbsy!  Puss, puss.’

‘Oh dear, some poor cat is called Wibbsy,’ chuckled Basil.

‘Off with you.  I’m warning you,’ said Pheobe.

‘Where’s my Wibbly-Wobbly?  Are oo in your hammocky?’

    A stout lady human appeared in the doorway of the conservatory.

‘Puss, puss, puss.  Wibble!’

She started walking down the garden, her vastness almost creating a visible wake in the air as she came towards them.

‘She’s coming this way.  I think she’s calling for you,’ said Kitten Kaboodle.

The effect on Phoebe was electric.  She was up and out of the hammock in a flash.

‘Oh no, she can’t mean me.  She must be thinking of another cat.’  This was said as Pheobe ran passed them towards the garden wall.

‘Ah, there you are Pheobe,’ called the lady.  ‘Come here my little pussle.’

‘Run,’ called Pheobe, who was already half-way up the wall, scrabbling up the ivy.  The urgency in her voice urged Kaboodle and Basil into action, too, and they turned tail and followed Pheobe.

    Kitten Kaboodle saw Pheobe’s pink and puckered bottom disappear over the wall like a very small, and quick, sunset.   She was quickly over the top, followed by Basil who was rather less nimble.  The three gathered at the foot of the wall.

‘Who was that human?’ said Basil between gulps of air.

‘She’s mad,’ said Phoebe.

‘But she called you Wib,’ said Kaboodle.

‘And Wibbsy,’ added Basil.

‘And Wibbly Wobbly,’ offeed Kaboodle.

‘And Wi…’

‘Yes, I heard,’ snapped Pheobe.

Kitten Kaboodle and Basil fell silent and looked at their paws, a little embarrassed.

‘Look,’ said Pheobe when the silence grew too uncomfortable to bear, ’My people like to call me that.  They never took such liberties when I was in the court of the King of Siam.  But what can you do?’

‘You could set your pet dog on her,’ said Kaboodle.

‘Actually it’s smaller than I am.  It’s not much of a dog at all.  Not much use for anything.’

    This was news to Kaboodle.  She had never seen a dog smaller than a cat before.  The only dogs she had seen were big and smelly and barked a lot of nonsense and sniffed each others’ bottoms.  A dog smaller than a cat?  Well, it couldn’t be a dog - it must be something else.

    ‘Look, I would be grateful if you didn’t tell anyone about this,’ said Pheobe.  ’Perhaps I can help, after all.  Maybe I was a little hasty just now.  You say you have a problem?’

    Kaboodle and Basil explained their problem whilst Phoebe nodded and said things like ’Oh dear,’ and ’My oh my,’ as their stories unfolded. 

‘Well, that is a problem,’ concluded Pheobe.

‘What should we do?’ asked Kaboodle?

Pheobe didn’t have the faintest idea.  But she would never admit she didn’t have answer.

‘In my experience,’ she said, ’There isn’t a problem which can’t be solved by brains, brawn and beauty.  As you know I have brains and I have beauty.  Am I not beautiful?’

Basil nudged Kitten Caboodle.  ’Oh, you are,’ said Kitten.

‘Very beautiful, indeed,’ added Basil.

‘Thank you, you are too kind,’ purred Phoebe.

‘As I was saying, I have beauty and I have brains.  The brawn I leave to my associate, Ugly Tom.’

 

    A big cat lumbered up to them.  His fur was a smoky brown and both Basil and Kitten Caboodle could see the muscles rippling underneath.  The most striking thing about Ugly Tom was his right ear; whilst his left ear stood pert and triangular his right was crumpled and torn.  It looked like a fur-covered crisp.  Ugly Tom wasn’t his full name - although it described him well.  His full name, applied by the Humans, That-Ugly-Tom-From-The-End-Of-The-Street.

Curiosity got the better of Basil; ‘What happened to your ear?’

‘I chewed it off for a bet,’ he growled.

‘How could you chew your own ear off?’

‘I stood on a chair.’

‘Aah,’ said Basil and Kitten Caboodle together.

 

    ‘Ugly Tom, my friends here have a problem,’ said Phoebe.

‘Yes, boss?’

‘Tell Ugly Tom your problem,’ said Phoebe.

Kitten Caboodle took up the story and told the big old cat about the cows, the sock-stealing and the jostling.  Ugly Tom nodded and said, ‘Hmmm’ and ‘I see.’

When Kitten had finished, Ugly Tom asked, ‘And how exactly do the cows get through the cat flap?’

Basil and Kitten Caboodle couldn’t help looking at each other.  Basil had to stop himself blurting out, ‘What a silly question!’

It was Kitten Caboodle who answered; ‘Why, one at a time of course.’

‘I see,’ said Ugly Tom as if that was a crucial piece of information.  In truth he was as bumfuzzled as Phoebe.

    Phoebe sat up, scratched an ear and said, ‘I think we need to see for ourselves.  Let’s all meet at young Caboodle’s house after Midnight.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 30th

any pianists?

By mike

Any pianists? (a re-post)  It seems not to have appeared.

Published by: mike on Sunday 30th August 2009 11:08am
There seems to be a few pianists on 'Word Cloud'  
I cannot really claim to be one of these,  but find practising the piano relaxing.   I was only attemting the 'papillions' because they were in a music magazine that comes out every couple of months.   I have gone back to some simple Mozart pieces.  Simple Mozart?
Did anybody watch the proms a few nights ago when Lang Lang played?
In the interval someone called Petroc Trelawney  spoke of the Chinese Cultural  Revolution when pianos were smashed to pieces.  They were, for the Chinese, the extreme symbol of 'Western bourgoisie decadence'  Things have changed completely and 25,000,000 pianos re bring constructed.  How weird!  There was a surreal shot of a huge piano factory.
I argued with a someone from Singapore over Lang Lang  when he played at the Proms, the previous year, and claimed that the Chinese were coming.   I argued that the triumph had been Mozart's and not Lang Lang's.
Aug 30th

ryhmed couplets Academics High Romantics. A reply from Mike

By mike

Tony has posted two poems in rhymed couplets, another post has been  a comic horror story - again in rhymed couplets  - and yet another post had been a modern interpretation of Anna Karena, I think?    There have been many  other postings of comic narrative verse.

The collected verse of Pam Ayres has appeared in the library.  It is no longer on the shelves; this cannot be said for many volumes of poetry.  I know  Pam Ayes has achieved fame by appearing on QI  but, I can inform ‘Word Cloud’  that she fills concert halls by reciting her poetry,  I heard a version of Tartuffe in radio 3 which had been translated into rhymed couplets by Roger Mcgough  ( I was reminded of Gilbert and Sullivan.)

A musical about a poet trying to write a successful poem might seem rather daft but ‘My Fair Lady’ is, for the most part, songs joined together by Shaw’s dialogue.  Mozart’s operas are musical bits joined by recitatives which provided the narrative.    I know things are rather more complex than I have suggested,  but there is no reason why poems should not provide the narrative link in a musical - or music drama.

I am interested in the comments on my grandfather’s poem  ‘A symphony in Trees’ that I posted last week.  There might well be a consensus on interpretation and response.  (Also - It may not seem so - but the poem is very ‘politically correct’)

The poet speaks of ‘romance’s ebb and flow’ but there has not been a return of the romantic movement in the twentieth century.  I did describe the poet as a Victorian hippy but that is as far as I could go.   John Lennon might be the closest, but, as far as I am aware, John Lennon did not ascribe to any creed of the romantics - either politically or musically?   Neither did Bob Dylan.  Jimi Hendrix certainly let himself go musically and his take on the American Anthem can be given a romantic interpretation but he did not ascribe to the romantic movement.  There was a recent showing of the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park and Mick Jagger recited Shelley in estuary English. 

  I am post hippy and pre-punk which makes me part of a forgotten generation.  I have been told this was the generation of New Romantics but I lost interest in popular music  long before them.    Does anybody think there had been a very brief romantic revival in the late sixties?  

Mike

Aug 30th

Peter Bradshaw: The physical form of annoyance:

By Meta Tam When Hi Non
So, on any of these days, when I'm reading a review for any film you can sort of pick up what the person is generally like. Charlie Brooker is the cynical type who we wouldn't want any other way, for his fantastic view of life, television and the world in general.

Peter Bradshaw is the complete opposite, he's a complete and utter prick in all prick-ness type glory (not a good thing). He's comes across as someone who doesn't enjoy his job of reviewing films--from reading his review of Inglourious Basterds. I'm pretty sure this guy is a prick, because he comes across as....as someone who doesn't seem able to enjoy a film like it. The film is a fantastic epic of fantasy of killing nazi's.

I read his review and it's clear Peter Bradshaw is annoying beyond belief, it just comes across in his writing style of being unable to enjoy a film. And I know people are entitle to their opinion of anything, but still, this guy is a prat and doesn't come across as likable.

Sorry if I repeat stuff, but this guy really gets to me.
Aug 30th

Kiss Of The Black Wizard

By G.O.D.
    
Dramoo was a weaver of the bridge between life and illusion, the bridge upon which all souls pass between this world and the next.

He was a good weaver, although sometimes he would confuse the threads between reality and illusion and the pattern would become erratic but he would quickly find the right thread again.

Dramoo was also a romantic soul.

He had carved a ring from the centre of his heart to give to the Maid of the Seven Seas when next she came visiting but for now, he kept the ring loosely tied about his kneck.

Tonight was the night of the Dreamers’ Dance where Dramoo hoped he would see the Maid. 
If he did, he would ask her to honour him with the Night Waltz and would give her the ring which hung about his neck. 

However before the dance, Dramoo still had a long shift at the Laughing Loom with many patterns to design and weave. 

He was both excited and nervous thinking about his forthcoming encounter with the Maid of the Seven Seas. 

She was as fresh as a spring blue sky and smelt as sweet.
She was both intresting and intriguing and whenever she was near his heart sang a new song.

When he watched her he saw she walked on waves of air and her hair moved liked the long tendrills of light that sung through every atom of her being.

He felt being with her as natural as the songs his heart sang whenever they were near.
His heart yearned to touch hers and knowing the same was true was what Dramoo needed to find out.

His plans had been well thought out but there was one small vital piece missing; the ring had disappeared from around his neck.

Dramoo searched everywhere, he retraced all his steps but found nothing.
He looked in places where he knew he hadn’t been, just in case he might have been there and not remembered, but still he could not find the ring.

He had a ghastly feeling that he knew where the ring had gone and was trying to convince himself that it wasn’t possible. 

At that moment Hector, a messenger of the Master Weaver, came down to inquire why the Laughing Loom had been silent. 

Dramoo told him of the ring he had lost and how he had been searching but could not find it anywhere. 

Hector came to the same conclusion as Dramoo. 

The ring had fallen from Dramoo’s neck and been lost within the Weave.

“Oh dear, you are in trouble” Hector said.  “I could tell the Master but I know what he’ll say, so you might as well go and do it anyway before he notices.”

Dramoo looked at Hector, “What? What will I have to do?”

“Go into the Weave and retrieve the ring of course” replied Hector, as though the answer was as visible as the distress on Dramoo’s face.

Dramoo looked in horror towards the bridge then back at Hector.

“Go into the Weave?” he said, “but how will I find the ring and how will I find my way back again? The Weave is a very big place you know”.

“Of course I know” Hector replied.  “How you find the ring and how you get back here is something you’re going to have to figure out for yourself.  Know that it will only be a matter of time before the Master finds out what has happened.  I suggest you be on your way.”

Taking over from Dramoo, Hector sat down before the Laughing Loom and continued the Weave.

Dramoo stood upon the edge of the bridge and remembering where his last pattern was, placed himself within the Weave.

As he disappeared from the Weavers’ World, Hector looked to where Dramoo had been and said “Dream beautiful Dramoo and please return safely.”


                                                     ******


The kiss of the Black Wizard was like no other. 

It was terrifying, it was seductive, it was passionate and consuming. 

Afterwards it left the receiver with an emptiness and an ache that could not be filled until, once again, the taste of the Wizard’s kiss was upon their lips.

This gave the Black Wizard enormous power over the many who had fallen into his web of seduction.

Kings, princes, princesses, queens and scullery maids were all willing to do his bidding, if only to find relief from the aching emptiness which had consumed their lives from his first kiss.

The Black Wizard had come far from his days as an apprentice, not that long ago.

His master had died mysteriously.

Some said it was from a spell that had gone wrong, others that he had been poisoned from a drink laced with powdered dragon’s breath and still others thought that it had just been a common cold. 

The Black Wizard knew better. 

His master had died from an all consuming ache of emptiness, which captured his soul and erased any memories of love or peace, leaving madness his only relief. 

Of course it had been the Black Wizard himself who had caused his sad master’s demise, using the power of a ring he found one day while walking through the Attica forest.

At first he had thought it only a curiousity when he saw it lying on the ground, until he placed it on one of his fingers and began to realise the power it held within.

A power designed for love but when placed upon the wizards finger, had become twisted as it reflected the disturbed darkness within his soul.

After his masters death, it did not take the Black Wizard long to expand his web into the royal court where his master had once been held in high esteem.

Any opposition he faced was soon erased by his magic kiss wether it be through husband, wife or lover.

The only thing he cared for was control and power and it mattered not the cost extracted from those who fell under his spell.

Many lives had been ruined but no one would blame the Black Wizard for this misfourtune.

Mistaken love can be a blinding thing, especially to those who know not the true meaning of Love and its all giving and all taking embrace.


                                                     *******


Dramoo found his pattern easier than he thought.

The songs of Love guided him to where his pattern lay within the wonderful weave of Life and then it was a simple matter of transmuting the essence of his being within the confines of its reality and its illusion.

He had never experienced being a part of his own creation but soon found his way around until he found the rite thread and from there on it would be smooth sailing or so he thought.


                                                       *******


The Black Wizard had absolute control over the Royal family and their servants, in fact he had poisoned the soul of everyone within the Royal kingdom except for the Royal Fool Adyan.

The poor man was too stupid to fall under any spell and certainly not worth kisssing, as he contained no power at all within the kingdom and would forever be the servant of he who reigns.

Besides, he was an ugly bastard thought the Black Wizard as he walked out onto the top of one of the castles towers.

A dark storm was approaching, filled with savage forks of lightning that licked the ground with obscene menace.

The wizard smiled and began to laugh for he felt the power he could summon to be greater then the raw energy of the eternal elementals.

He was immortal, invincible.
Nothing could hurt him or defeat him.
He was scared of nothing and then he turned about and went inside before he got wet.

The dark, bruised purple black clouds, rolled heavily across the ground with a scream of wispy faces that could no longer contain the unfolding of their being.

The lightning burned in fiery streaks across the storms bloated body and the stabbing rain erupted in savage fury as the Black Wizard sat at his table discussing sinister plans with his shadow.

Why?

Because he was just a very nasty person at heart, that’s why they called him black not brindle or cream or muave as that fool Adyan called him all the time.

But what can you expect from an idiot who can’t even tell you what day of the week it was much less the colour of a colour.

First though he needed to find out what other powers this ring posessed, he was getting rather tired of having to kiss people all the time, except when the pleasure took him.

The only person who could remotely have any answers to what he needed to know, was a old mad man called Pook who lived up in the Fairyway Mountains.

It looked cold up there in those mountains and the journey wasn’t going to be an easy one.

It was at  times like these that the Black Wizard wished he’d studied the art of body transferance a little more closely, because whenever he tried it he always ended up in places he didn’t wan’t to be in. 


                                                           *******


Pook was also called the Father of the Mountain Dasies and as he sat talking to his petaled children, he saw a wizard flying through the air towards him, this is a sad man he thought.

The Black Wizard was using an old broom he’d stolen from a defenceless witch many years ago and was shakily trying to guide it to a safe landing upon the ground.

He almost made it but the broom was just as frightened of landing as he was and they crashed with an undignified thump.

The Black Wizard quickly picked himself up from the ground, brushed himself off, straightened his hat and gave the broom a swift kick for the landing and turned towards Pook the mad man.

He didn’t know why, but for some reason this old loony frightened him. which wasn’t a good thing.

In the future he’d have to do something about it but for now he questioned the old man about the ring.

Where does it come from?

Who made it and what else can it do?

The old man refused to say a word until the Black Wizard let him wear the ring, so he just rolled around amongst the tickling daisies until the wizard finally gave in and let the old mad man put the ring upon his finger.

Pook began to kiss the ring and ran off through the dasies showing them all what a lovely thing it was.

The Black Wizard stood up and shouted for him to come back but the Father of the Mountain Daisies was lost in the passion of Love for his children.

The exasperated wizard finally found the mad man making daisy chains on the other side of the mountain and when he finally got close enough, he snatched the ring back off the old mad man and demanded some answers to his questions.

Pook giggled and stared into the joy of a daisies heart.

The Black wizard contemplated turning the old loony into fire wood and would have, except for the fact that that also was a spell that tended to backfire upon him.
Damn he wished he’d paid more attention to his studies.

The old mad man suddenly stopped giggling and looked at the Black Wizard with the clearest, sanest eyes he’d ever seen and said “The only true magic in this ring is in the heart of that who made it and no other can unlock its secrets, would you like a cup of tea?”

As the old man started giggling again in his mad, mad world, the Black Wizard who understood nothing the old man had said, turned around and stomped back to his broom crushing as many innocent daisies as he could along the way.

The old man was worse than the fool. He’d have to find out what other powers the ring held himself, the Black Wizard cursed darkly to himself as he flew shakily back to the castle.

When he arrived back at his room, he carried out his threat of burning the broom if it didn’t land safely and then he pulled out of his cuboards a whole bunch of secret ingredients and proceeded to experiment with them upon the ring.

All through the cold, dark night he experimented until finally the sun rose in all its glory heralding the brand new tapestry of another day.

The Black Wizard was exhausted and had not learnt a thing, the only power he could use from the ring was that of a kiss and nothing else would be granted.

Disappointed and sulky, he lay down on his cold bed and quickly fell into the comforting arms of the nightmares that lived in his dark, dark sleep.

When the Black Wizard woke, he was greeted with the saliva dribbling sight of the Royal Fool sitting upon the table before him.

“What do you wan’t?” the wizard gruffly asked as he rolled over onto his other side.

The fool started playing with one of the bells that hung from his hat and began to recite a nursery rhyme......

“There was a man with a heart so black,
darker than the night.
Who found a most powerful ring,
fashioned from the light.
He used its power in a selfish way
and now his darkness is here to stay.
What the dark man needs he lacks
and the owner of the ring now wants it back.”

The Black Wizard quickly opened his eyes and turned back towards the fool who was happily playing naughts and crosses with himself with some of the secret powdered ingredients upon the table.

“What did you say?” said the Wizard in disbeleif.

“I said, give me back my ring” replied the fool.

“What do you mean your ring?” asked the Wizard.

“I made it, it’s my ring”, the fool said simply.

“You’re a fool, what would you know about magical rings? You don’t even know the colour of my heart” said the Wizard.

“It’s black but it wasn’t always’ replied the fool.
“It used to be of a most beautiful blue until you found the ring and put it on, then your lust for power and your fear of yourself twisted your heart and soul. The ring only reflects what lies there and it was my mistake to have lost it and now I want it back, please”.

The Black Wizard tried to laugh bravely but it was obvious that he was scared, not because of what the fool had said but simply because the fool was no fool at all and was not scared of the Black Wizard.

 “I should have kissed you long ago, who are you?”

The fool hopped up off the table and walked slowly towards the wizard and said “Who I am and of my name is of no use to you wizard, I have very little time left and I want my ring back.”

The Black Wizard felt the ring on his finger softly pulsing as the fool walked towards him.
When he was close enough, the Black Wizard suddenly jumped forward, grabbed the fool and planted a kiss upon his lips.

The Black Wizard then laughed out loudly, thinking the fool was now in his power but he quickly realised that something was wrong.

His heart began to quicken in pace and his eyes swam with dizziness as he fell unconcious to the floor.

When he woke, the fool was gone and so was the ring.
He couldn’t remember who he was or where he was.

The spells he had cast through the magical kiss were lifted from all who were under them and they remembered nothing of the Black Wizard or his dangerous kisses.

They resumed their lives as though nothing had happened.

The wizard was found wandering aimlessly through the corridors of the castle and was promptly ejected through the servants entrance landing in a puddle of muddy water.

When he looked up he saw a little girl walking along the street talking to a daisy and he then remembered that he was invited to a cup of daisy tea up on the Fairyway Mountains.

As he picked himself out of the muddy puddle and started walking towards them, the old mad man Pook giggled and prepared to receive his guest.


                                                     *******


Dramoo rose up out of the weave and walked over to Hector who was happily operating the Laughing Loom.

“All is well?” asked Hector.

“All is well” replied Dramoo and took over the operation of the loom as Hector bade him farewell until the Dreamers Dance.
 
Dramoo thought of what a tale he would be able to tell the Maid of the Seven Seas when he told her of his adventure.

He thought tenderly of the ring he had made her, which was safely nestled in the pocket of his shimmering jacket.

“I hope she likes it” he thought and began to hum a few bars of a new song he was composing as he weaved another pattern of his Love into the bridge between the worlds of reality and illusion.
                                                
              
                                                   THE END
                                                     *******        
   
Aug 29th

Exchanging Scents

By LittleS

Exchanging Scents

He mislaid his jacket

Left it hanging on her hook

Surrounded by her silk scarves and hats

Leather aroma surreptitiously drifts

On the train to work

Bringing a flush to her cheeks

And speeds up her heart

Later, when he wears his coat

He smells her perfume

And smiles

Aug 29th

[TESTS THE WATER]

By sonof
[SAUNTERS IN, MUTTERING] If I plonk myself over here, write a bit of tat, someone might come along and throw a groat in the cup.  I know, I'll put up a sign saying 'working - do not disturb'.  That's bound to get people hammering on the door asking if they can read the meter or borrow half a cup of lentils.  Am I really the only one with neighbours who, seeing I'm at home, think it's fine to come round for a chat about cats thirty seconds after the richest ever creative seam is discovered?  It's particularly galling since I live in a small town whose idea of culture is anything that can be staged on a trailer and involves rhinestone.  Okay, yes, I'm a terrible snob but I'm hoping you all are too.  
Aug 29th

Tom's Letter

By Vin
When my Gran died in 1982 I inherited a tin of old letters covering 1917-1955.  Among them were some letters from her brother Tom Butler - who would've been my Great Uncle.  This is one of Tom's letters to his sister who was living in Greenbottom in Cornwall by then.  The events he talks about would've taken place in Middlesborough in around 1900.  Although it's undated I think this one was written one Christmas in the late 1930s.

In an age of e-mails, texting and Twitter I think this demonstrates something we've lost - the art of letter writing.  All of Tom's letter make great reading.  This one has everything, story-telling, family folklore, humour and, at the end pathos.  So this is not written by me - I've transcribed it exactly as Tom wrote it.
***************************************************************

                                                                                     19 Althorp Road,

                                                                                      SW17.

To the Kindred of Greenbottom, severally and collectively.

 Wotcher folks.  This is the night when folks wot are getting old crowd round the fire and tell ghost stories and crack jokes and eat Liquorice All-Sorts.  Characters wot are younger fare forth into the cold for purposes which we will not enquire into – having ourselves been young and like to think our elders didn’t know what we were up to.  Still younger folks crawl between the elders’ legs close to the fire and listen to the creepy stories, fascinated and fearful.

 I suppose at this moment Harriet, Lizzie and Brian are sitting round the fireplace and warming while Fordie is away visiting.  It could be that you have been talking about us.  We are sitting comfortably by the wireless waiting for Wilfred Pickles.  A few parties are being thrown in Althorp Road, amateur pianists are belting the ivories regardless, keeping time with one foot, while the remainder are singing ‘Moi ‘art sighs fo-ah yew-ah’ and kindred ditties.  The pubs are full of people whose pockets are full and their bladders likewise too.

 It’s nice and quiet here.  Ethel is reading and if you had three guesses, you’d be right three times in saying wot I’m a-doing of.  Yes Sir, I’m a-writin’ ter wot’s left of the family at Greenbottom, the fam’bly wot used to live in Cooper Street in the old days.  When old Dad used to sit in the official chair, flanked by his spit bucket on one side and carboy of ale on the other, reading ‘Jack, Sam and Pete.’  When Mother used to be pottering about doing odd jobs and sitting on the bottom step but one onf the stairs eating a meal.  The young – God forbid – were banished upstairs and there was only Harriet, Edie, Ted, Liz and me.  Me, the Pride of the Army.  (OH yes I was young, Brian).

 I often muse about those days.  I like to remember them – especially the surprised look on Mother’s face when she broke the meal dish over Lizzie’s head and the determined expression she wore when she was unable to smack Lizzie’s bottom ‘cos she was sitting on it and, very sensibly, refused to get up.  Young Billy looking sternly over his ‘comic cuts, and saying, ‘Make less row there!’ 

 Blimey!  I could fill many pages of such reflections.  Harriet whipping off her nightie to dislodge the black beetle.  Harriet hiding the broken lamp glass in the closet and Dad sitting on it.  Ted tiptoeing across the parlour, casting scared glances over to where Granny lay before the funeral.  Poor old Ted, he was nearly as sacred as I was.  The night Granny died I had to sleep alone in the house.  Aunt Maggie saved the situation by sleeping in the kitchen.  Young Billy washing Granny’s skinny arm and saying, ‘Oh Granny, your arm hasn’t got hardly any meat on!’  Lizzie being compelled to wear red clogs!  Ted being compelled to wear that disastrous Sherlock Holmes cap with a peak front and back.  If you haven’t got anything better to do, Brian, get Mum and Aunt Harriet to tell you about these things.  Some of these tales are damned funny and I know a lot more before they were born.

 Me finding a pair of boots under the bed!  With feet in ‘em and legs!  I was about 5 or 6 and I wasn’t frightened ‘cos Dad was there and I believed that Dad was capable of handling any situation.  Grandad Crowe’s feet were in the boots.  He had a glorious booze-up that night.  Dad and George Whiteside were dispatched, one after another.  George was sent first by Granny to find Grandad.  George failed to return and then Dad was sent to find Grandad.  He failed to find his man, too.

 George returned and went to look for Dad.  They looked in all the pubs, finally Dad found George working his way round the railings of the garden in the middle of Dockwray Square, alternately swearing in three languages and filling the night with such melodies as Daisy Bell and Trilby.  George had been round the garden seventeen times and couldn’t find his way out. 

 Dad brought George home.  They enquired if Grandad had come home and when they found he was still lost they declared the intention of looking for him again.  Granny vetoed this and denounced them as two drunken twerps.  All this was very interesting to me – when I grew up I would be able to get drunk and lost and found, just like Dad and George Whiteside.

 Then I saw the boots under the bed.  At first I took no notice.  Boots under the bed – so what?  Then my brain took charge.  Boots – empty boots – don’t stand up like that.  ‘Something screwy here,’ I thought.  I must have a look at this.  I got down on my hands and knees.  The boots stood up on their heels.  I feel ‘em.  Blimey!  There were feet in ‘em.  Curious and a bit frightening.

 Granny always looked under the bed at night to make sure there wasn’t a man under it.  Somehow, though I wasn’t afraid of men normally, a man under a bed seemed to be a rather serious matter and one which should be reporter forthwith.  ‘Granny,’ I said, ‘Granny, there’s some feet under the bed.  At last I succeeded in making myself heard.  ‘Don’t be silly,’ said Dad. ‘Time you were in bed!  Now be quiet.’

 As I was always afraid of Dad I shut up, but it worried me.  If these were feet under the bed, there’d be legs and a man.  There never had been a man under Granny’s bed in all her life.  She told me that herself when I asked her why she always looked under the bed.  Now there was.

 Blimey!  Then I was scared – more scared of the boots than of Dad.  So I made them listen.  ‘There is feet under the bed,’ I said, ‘Feet – two feet with boots on.’  Dad looked, George Whiteside looked, Granny looked.  I think they were all a bit scared.  George got hold of one boot and Dad the other and drew out .......Grandad!  He’d been there all the time sleeping it off.  Poor old Grandad.  Everybody abused him and I went to bed feeling sorry for him.

 Poor old Grandad Crowe.  He was only about 50 when he died.  I’m always sorry I didn’t try and be kind to him.  He was rather a pathetic figure, a lonely old man.  I suspect it was his illness.  He was always good to me but he was a sort of lodger in our house.  Well, it’s a long time ago and an old story.  I won’t spoil the evening by telling you the details.  He left very little behind him.

 When Granny died and I went through her few souvenirs, all there was of Grandad was his discharge from the Army.  Just that.  Lance Corporal Thomas Crowe, 12 years with the colours in the 42nd Highlanders.  Joined in Stirling, I forget
the date.  He fought on the North West Frontier and at Darghai, too – won a medal for gallantry, but that I never found.  I often think of him, always have done.  Pathetic, lonely, retiring old man.  Only time he lived, it seemed, was when he was drunk.  He was no sot, though.  I think he only drank because he was unhappy.

 Blimey!  I’m getting morbid.  And that’s a story the family have never shared.  Dad never told me but I found out by accident and put Granny through the third degree.  It was religious bigotry at the bottom of it.  That’s why I’m so bitter about religious dogma.  Most of the suffering and cruelty in the world was, is and will continue to be caused by religious bigots.

 Tom.