She will be back

Here is beautiful poem which has to be shared.

Stine Writing

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 517https://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides
Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a haunted poem.

When I look in the mirror 
I see nothing. 
I wander the halls of my home 
waiting for her to come back. 
She left abruptly 
without any notice. 
She has not come back yet 
and does not try to reach me. 
I will wait for her 
for I know someday she will look for me. 
The rooms are quiet 
yet her belongings are still here. 
Soon, I know, she will come. 
Soon, I know, we will be together again.  

©2020 CBialczak

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Three clicks may find me?

Eric is a master of short works with deep meanings. His blog is well worth a visit
Here is a timely reminder for us all.

EDC Writing - Believing Sight Unseen

Three clicks (Your Site/WP Admin/Comments) in spam may find me?

#

Now and then a comment made

no sight upon beguiling page

not read not moderated yet

WordPress displacement more likely bet

with you in words and thought assured

In spam maybe please look?

(first posted 11th August 2019)

#

Daily routine

checking admin

comments, spam

three clicks

getting better

less of your words

now where should be

upfront on posts

where can be seen

if you’ve lost me

bemused no comment

three clicks

may find me?

(first posted 6th December 2019 and re-blogged 20th January 2020)

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Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIII

Pt XIII… The Arrival of Storm Clouds (No, Jolliness…all gone)

‘Hello there Aureyborealice,’ Whinsome, said flatly and not moving from her reclining position.

Aureyborealice on returning to Whinsome detected a certain coolness and a distinctly casual slouch, like she owned the place. The princess told herself the strain of being left as the representative  of the throne had obviously caused a strain on the poor little dear. She would make it well and danced across to the couch, placing slightly grubby hands on Whinsome’s shoulders.

‘You have been so brave to have kept my royal presence,’ trilled Aureyborealice in Whinsome’s left ear ‘ole, the pitched being somewhat discomforting ‘But not to worry for I have returned swiftly by secret ways to make things right,’

‘No kiddin” replied Whinsome, in a long drawn out drawl ‘Gladsome day and happy thoughts indeed,’

Aureyborealice stood up, a trifle perplexed. There was more than a hint of the sardonic there, nothing like the Whinsome she had taken under her wing.

‘Dear Whinsome. What ails you, my sweet spouse? Have the courtiers, Chancellor of the Exchequer, High Diplomat and near relatives of mine been bothering you with questions of state and no doubt in the latter case some sly scheme to gain ill-deserved appointments? I will speak with them all crossly,’

‘No need,’ Whinsome said with a dismissive gesture ‘I made examples. Your  sword waving cousin Sipulsnoot I did thwack with a staff and his parents being swift on the uptake have now locked him in a tower. My agents brought me details of a plot by Murddlethyn to have me stabbed. That was very rude and since he was paying to have it done, somewhat cowardly. I rode over to his manse and thwacked him too. He has now been de-nobled of titles and in addition is tithed, with the aid of a chain to his left ankle, to the owner of a location wherein very dirty socks and underwear are washed . Your other cousin Wyrthlethum fled the country, for no good reason we can discern of,’ there was a pause ‘Yet.  Anyway I sold off all of his possessions for charitable purposes,’

Aureyborealice‘s head spun. She did not care for the sensation in this sort of circumstance. Cousins thwacked, personally by Whinsome? One fleeing the country? What had been going on? In one planned situation she would be rescuing Whinsome from being besieged by rebellious cousins. And yet finding them cowed? What the frib? And agents???? (Truth be known they were the High Diplomat’s agents but he had advised Whinsome to say they were hers as it sounded more authoritarian-a style they had bother agreed was required for the present)

In the meantime Whinsome was still lounging and speaking in that rather flat, but somewhat commanding way she appeared to have adopted.

‘Anyway Spouse. All is under control. So you can go and get bathed, changed into clean clothes and rest in your private apartments thus recover from your long journey. Tomorrow we can discuss your duties,’

‘Uhhp?’ was Aureyborealice‘s first reaction, however being a quick wits soon recovered ‘Duties? My duties? My dear spouse,’ there was no affection in the term ‘dear’ and since Whinsome was not using first names…Well! It was looming over and hands on hips time!!! ‘Has the strain of being my representative fatigued you beyond reason. Have I to remind you who is the next in line to the throne of this realm?’

There was a brittle smile, Aureyborealice found Whinsome’s brittle smile rather unsettling and for the first time observed she had her russet hair all tied back tight.

‘Slightly inaccurate. It should be your brother Frendlehanz. But you arranged for him to be captured by Fiery and Proudful Magnificalorin, the flame-haired daughter of Gurt Broadsword a northern barbarian of some renown; she being incensed that her trysting with Hulstorm was now being curtailed,’ Whinsome produced from a pocket in her long, dark heavy clothed skirt a long piece of rather dirty and ragged parchment ‘Although from additional intelligence he supplied in this long letter, written in a rather hasty hand he reports he and Magnificalorin have reached a certain accord (that is a polite way of putting it). He has renounced the Official Teachings of Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One as, to quote ‘Since I am up here in the north he can go and, as they say here, hurpsvendeldorr. I am marrying Magnificalorin, renouncing my title to the throne of Dingledong and you can tell my scheming little sister my last official act is the pass the rulership of Dingledong to you dear Whinsome and the best of luck! So Spouse, that is that,’

And brittle smile still intact Whinsome neatly folded to parchment and placed it back into her pocket.

At this stage Princess Aureyborealice’s incomparable beauty was marred by rather nasty twist of the mouth,  in exasperation she raked one less than clean hand through her long currently tangled blonde hair; some tiny twigs fell out. She was currently disinclined to be generous and kindly to anyone, be they person, bird or small furry creature and the only dance in her mind was a rather boisterous and jovially vulgar rural one known as ‘I’ll kick thee arrrsss’ (Only this version was to be without any joviality)

Before she could tirade in busied Bishop Quirrblelong carrying that crown Whinsome was not so keen on.

‘Ah Queen Regent Whinsome, Lorina, Maydearlene, Theseeleee, Ingomin, Flaridia, Rhyledelli, Porrido of Dingledong,’ bowed ‘Please placeth on thy crown, for do cometh thy council,’ and he plonked the thing of Whinsome’s head. She swiftly sat up and adjusted it.

”Tis mine!’ squawked Aureyborealice, making an undignified lunge, which Whinsome, neatly swerved to avoid so the princess collided with cushions, as Whinsome adjusted the crown to a proper angle.

Just in time for the arrival of the same bunch of fellows who had first acclaimed her in the garden. They bowed in unison, having finally worked out how to do this without knocking each other over.

‘Oh your Majesty Queen Regent Whinsome of The Stave,’ the one with the grey and black beard said, sonorously ‘Fifty Days of your reign hath passed. We bring you greetings and statements of thanks from many communities,’ and they all produced boxes crammed with rolls of parchment and tied with colourful strings, some with bells attached.

‘Eh?’ Aureyborealice said surfacing from the cushions and to her horror witnessing Whinsome walking with admirable grace towards the clutch of, as Aureyborealice saw them, noodles. The girl stood before them and with small yet elegant hand gestures bade them rise.

‘Good lords. I am truly blessed this day. So much affection and encouragement from so many. I thank the Supreme Being for guiding me thusly and to be rewarded so. Good Bishop Quirrblelong, please go and arrange a prayerful ceremony of thanks unto The Supreme Being,’ this said and the bishop exiting Whinsome turned lightly on one ankle and gestured to the dishevelled figure on the couch ‘And look,’ pause for everyone to stare ‘Princess Aureyborealice hath return(ed),’ pause ‘finally. To explain where she has been and why,’

The council stared. The sight, coupled with the leave of absence when compared with the way in which Whinsome had stayed and conducted herself, dutifully did not engender much enthusiasm for the return of the princess. There was a faint air of the sort of unease which arises at a party when a drunk or the unpleasantly eccentric one everyone had hoped wouldn’t, arrives. Each man seemed quite lost for words, well suitably tasteful and mundane ones.

‘How very nice,’ one fellow managed, cleared his throat and managed to stammer on ‘Was the journey…ah…particularly trying?’

‘Indeed, ’twas,’ Aureyborealice said, standing up and shuffling closer to Whinsome so she could inadvertently tread on her toes ‘I journeyed north to seek out,’ she managed a forlorn tearful sniff ‘To seek out the body of my poor, slain father and-‘

‘Such a tragedy!’ announced Whinsome stepping in front of Aureyborealice and grasping her hands tightly, so she could not move ‘When the body was already found by a group of peasants who wrapped it cabbage leaves and sailing down the River Murf arrived here some ten days ago. Worry(eth) not dear Aureyborealice for they were rewarded and your poor father was buried with all due ceremony,’

 (The ceremony had actually been a rather short and perfunctory one. The day had been cold and heavy with rain and despite the low temperature and the efforts of the peasants his large fleshy body was a bit ‘off’)

‘I appreciate this is very distressing for you,’ Whinsome said artfully slipping one arm around one of Aureyborealice‘s in something of a lock  ‘Come let my retinue of ladies assist you in refreshing you with a bath and clean clothes, food and drink too. In fact you must be so thirsty, for your eyes are squinting, a sure sign,’ Whinsome made a soft clicking sound with the fingers of her free hand. A chosen servant reacted.

As Aureyborealice opened her mouth to protest a cup of wine with an extra little something was handed to Whinsome who tipped the contents in her spouse’s mouth. Aureyborealice spluttered a little.

‘I fribble-burble,’ she announced, puzzled paused, tried again ‘Smoozle, gongi, ding-dong,’ she said as her eyes crossed and uncrossed. She took a deep breath and then with a very unhinged smile but an air of deep sincerity said ‘There are pixies at the bottomly of my garden, I do dance with them under the moonlight,’ No, that was not right, she had only meant for folk to think she thought that, while she had plotted and planned. Why weren’t her tongue and brain working together? And where had pixie come from, peeking behind the couch ? ‘I-‘ she began, then giggled ‘You gotta a big blue bubbly ting on your noggin’ Whimbly,’ she leaned against Whinsome free arm flopped about the regent queen’s shoulder ‘She’s so sweet,’ she told the very bemused assembly ‘And I wonder if one day she will….Hah-actually try an’ take my underwear off….. ‘cas she hasn’t yet….but she can….’cas we’s married an’ all…. an’ so can con-kon-sooommm-ble..No. S’not right…con-sooommm-muph!’

And thus did Princess Aureyborealice, daughter of the late King Genially of Dingledong leaning against Regent Queen Whinsome slither down to the floor to end up in a bit of a heap.

‘Oh dear,’ said Whinsome crouching down and making to cradle Aureyborealice’s snoring head in her lap ‘The poor girl. I fear the events of the past few months have proven to be very weighty upon her,’ she gestured elegantly to the small clutch of ladies-in waiting all selected from families who had historical issues with the diminishing royal family ‘My ladies please aid The Princess Aureyborealice to her apartments, she is to be attended to with all due care and civility, but make sure she is not allowed to wander,’

The council members thought for slips of things the assembly of ladies-in-waiting were very impressive in the ease with which they picked up and exited with the incapacitated, drooling and alternately giggling or snoring princess.   

‘Such a shame,’ Whinsome said to the council ‘My lords. Is there something untoward in the family blood?’

Whereas they were generally not the most impressive of fellows to be intrusted with very high office, they were possessed of enough wit, foresight and general acumen to get the drift of a very pointed question from a very promising and capable young woman.

‘It has been suggested,’ one said in an opportunistic tone

‘All that dancing in the garden barefooted,’ another said with an air of sadness which would have done justice in a modest professional theatre company.

‘What is to be done?’ asked another, rather pointedly, as would have been expected of one of them.

‘Now that Frendlehanz has indeed foresworn the title and The Princess Aureyborealice is obviously….’

As he stumbled for the acceptable word Whinsome resisted the urge to roll her eyes rotate one finger next to the side of her head and say ‘Gone whoople-wheeble-who-hoo’

‘Sadly incapacitated by ill-humours of the mind,’ another said, managing to sniff while wiping one, presently not tearful, eye.

Another murmured (loudly enough to be heard) a prayer to The Supreme Being for the safety of Princess Aureyborealice‘s mind and soul.

‘Your Majesty,’ they all said and bowed ‘You must be formally crowned Queen of this unhappy realm,’

‘For as long as The Supreme Being sees fit,’ she added, humbly.

They all ‘quite so’d’

Whereas Whinsome in other circumstances could see an end to the business, the end being firmly ensconced on the throne. There were two slight problems

King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin and his army still in the north.

And well, to be honest Aureyborealice was still around with a potential to still be sneaky.

 

From a very discreet place where folk could be unseen to make observations.

‘She handled that very well,’ The Chancellor  of the Exchequer said ‘And with only the barest of guidelines,’

‘She has great potential for serious, dutiful rule,’ said The High Diplomat ‘See how she is already thinking on the next problems. We should not underestimate her,’

‘A narrow squeak, thus far. Aureyborealice had played a sly and long game. Good fortune for us she could not contain her vanity. Displaying to you she knew of secret passages while not having a secure power base to rely on; that was sloppy,’

‘Aye,’ replied the High Diplomat ‘Still there were sufficient agents in place to uncover the work. And now more of the necessary waiting,’

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XII

Pt XII… The Conflicts of Jolliness

Princess Aureyborealice slipped back behind the tree, softly tittering.

Aureyborealice,’ chided her aunt Lady Frastreiayal  of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng ‘I am sure throwing a soggy snowball at King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin is not a move conducive to our enterprise,’

‘Dearest Aunt, he is a sour ol’ fizzog and deserves it. See how he glares about in all directions puzzled by an act of random frivolity. An arrow he would expect, it befits his rank. He will be more unsettled by a soggy snowball. For grim kings are not normally the targets of such missiles. It is when he is unsettled when he will be at his most vulnerable,’

Frastreiayal had to admit when you accepted the unconventional approach, her niece did have a certain point. And since as part of their revised and now joint plan Frastreiayal had caused the wet snow to fall thus delaying the advance of the army out of Chilbin she could not really complain if her niece chose to take an opportunity to spread her own form of planned mischief. What was equally unsettling was her niece’s earlier discernment of and resulting wheedling out an admission of Frastreiayal’s guilty little secret.

Frastreiayal had an attraction for Vilfahengo (Iron, King, Grim), in spite of his sour ol’ fizzog, although she preferred to think of his features as serious, reflective and a little careworn. She, having observed most of the male nobility of the six kingdoms from the vantage of her castle, had grown over the years attracted to his lack of frivolity, strength of purpose, reasonable amount of intelligence and his willingness to bathe his taut, muscular, scarred body regularly and thoroughly. Frastreiayal had had absolutely nothing to do with the death of his wife who used to go out bear hunting to calm down and thus work off the urge to murder her, (as she saw him), infuriating husband (their’s as you will recall was a lively marriage). On one jaunt in her exasperation to get away from the man she had not checked her favourite hunting snack of Chilbinian hard cheese for mould and this had been the cause of her demise.

Thus Frastreiayal‘s true plan had begun to work. With the resulting chaos at the wedding Vilfahengo had indeed marched south, as had the barbarians. The next stage would have been in the guise of Frizgrunstar Wylde Wyfe, Spouse of  Thugnnorran The God of a Thousand Peaks she would have encouraged the barbarians to rebel (in a smallish way) against Vilfahengo, which since he was committed to the south would have left him extended, a bit. She would have then appeared before him (in a revealing dress) in her true identity as The Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng offering to use her influence to stop the revolt, flip back and forth between identities, win the barbarians back to him while always wearing her revealing dress in his presence. Her niece, the annoyingly astute Aureyborealice, having deduced by the way her aunt went slightly  breathless when ever the subject of Vilfahengo turned up soon found out the plan.

She had said.

‘It has a good strategy dear aunt, but to be frank its execution lacks a certain dignity. You should know by now how the folk of Chilbin are notoriously sniffy and serious; their king being the most sniffiest ever. Flaunting yourself will serve to annoy him and make you look slightly trollopish. You must be your true self of dignity and poise at which you are magnificent. We shall meld our plans together, playing on the distain he has for Dingledong’s historic predilection for being jolly,’

Thus she had explained her ideas

Which was why they lurked on the edge of  snow heavy forest. And Aureyborealice with whispered glee said.

‘Now dear aunt, stalketh forth,’ nudging Frastreiayal out.

So stumbling a little, but recovering, turning to the forest and magnificently raising her cloak about her arms gesturing she cried out.

‘Away thee, fey creatures of mischief, shadow and confusion! Away thee I say!’

‘Ppbbbth!’ said Aureyborealice peeking from behind a tree, then as her aunt feigned a glare did her own feigning of fear and skipped away, squeaking.

For melodrama and stagecraft as an art it lacked a great deal, to a king whose army was held up by damp snow, some of which was dripping down his neck it had the desired effect. He strode over to Frastreiayal.

‘Lady! Art thee of these frivolous lands? What comes to pass(eth) here?’

‘Sir,’ she said, with all due poise and dignity ‘King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin. Know ye thus, I am The Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng, come here to aid thee in thy enterprise and free these benighted lands of fey enchantments and mischiefs,’

Although Vilfahengo’s sole intention had been to march in a no-nonsense manner and knock some sense into these foolish folk then take the throne it had not even occurred to him there were fey enchantments and mischiefs; he did not want to seem unaware as it were, for he was a king of purpose and not a night-pot head like Genially.  Thus with a clearing of the throat and  slight bow, he said.

‘Lady. Thy reputation as scholar and sober possessor of knwoledge precedes thee and I do give thee some small thanks for thy aid. Let me escort thee to my encampment while thee explain unto me the fel grip within this land,’

From the cover of the trees Aureyborealice with hand to mouth stifled a little triumphant giggle and skipped away lightly o’er the snow. She would spread a few more tricks and bits of mischief and then in silly high voices say The Dread Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng had arrived and everyone had better scatter ‘cas she was mighty and would be fearful cross at them.

The rest would be up to Aunt Frastreiayal

Meanwhile she could get back home. With mother turning her back on the nation; her brother Frendlehanz captured by the flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin- thanks to intelligence of his location delivered from Aureyborealice by one of her messenger hawks; the miserable ol’ northwest now likely falling under Hulstorm’ s stern but dull and fayre rule, again thanks to several hawks to several folk and Whinsome ensconced as a reminder of who of the royal family was was still around she could journey back and take the throne; woe betide any cousins etc who tried to sneak in as she had several plans in those directions!

Though she didn’t quite have a plan for her titular brother-in-law Hanselfrendlesten. But she supposed he was having tremendous fun fighting those barbarians cluttering up the north of his own homelands and also making such a mess in Grunzelpratz so he would not be her problem, not for a while anyway.

It was a bit of a shame about Father, he hadn’t been such a bad old duffer. He should have fled to Trundlealong to garner support as she had intended. Let that be a lesson to all men who get into a severe huff when things do not go their way.

Those ‘natural’ children though, they would have to be told What was What and where to go, gold would help. There was a lot of gold, thanks to The Chancellor of The Exchequer’s activities over the years and of late with the burgeoning Lychee market. He might think she didn’t know just how much gold there was and that was because for all those years everyone had thought when she was not around she was just skipping and dancing in gardens and small woods, as opposed to moving deftly from Here to  There and teaching her many pets how to do her bidding. It had indeed been a very busy childhood, adolescence and of late exceptionally productive couple of years.

And it would be nice to see Whinsome again.

 

Whinsome was pacing. When you had to survey a map which was four times as long as you were tall and three times as wide, pacing was something of a necessity when making decisions which would have an impact on the ordinary folk living within the six kingdoms and if one was fayre also a lot of barbarians whose energies she was sure could be directed in more productive ways.

Upon the were a large number of flag stuck onto little bits of wood, each flag was part of a complex arrangement of kings, nobles, armies, areas of various types of production, religious affiliations, groups of common folk who thought they ought to be heard, and whether she liked it or not specifically Lychee potential.

‘It still looks a complete tangled mess,’ she said to the High Diplomat. ‘ Of course this is a bit old by weeks. Later news may change it. Yet waiting for the replies to sundered despatches is heavy burden,’

‘I fear it is Your Majesty,’ she could not remember when folk had started to call her ‘Your Majesty’, she had been so busy dealing with local matters. Those were on another map on another table. A map which was but twice her height in both length and width; there were less flags. This was because she had made it so. She had required a reputation, by degrees and not so much by planning or conniving but more by circumstance.

The first potentially  great challenge had been the arrival of one of Aureyborealice’s cousin without invite or request. This was Sipulsnoot, a fellow with an expression as if he had nettles up his nose he was followed by a small retinue of fashionable dressed young men all appearing to suffer from similar nasal encumbrances.

‘I am the male heir to the throne. ‘Tis mine,’ he said waving a fashionable sword in her direction. His timing was unfortunate, Whinsome had had little sleep the previous night, having read a box full of urgent papers, then while trying to catch up on other work had eaten her breakfast too quickly, thus had terrible indigestion and a headache.

‘Do you parents know you are here?’ she snapped looking up from a report on the Lychee trade which some clerk had carelessly slipped in. Whinsome had previously made it clear she didn’t care a snootle (a quite vulgar word) about the stupid trade and thus was even more annoyed.

‘Ha!’ he had said, not being one for intelligent replies ‘My presence here is enough,’

At this point she alighted from her throne picking up the clerical staff she had acquired a while back, rapped it on his hand, making him drop his sword, swiftly brought it up betwixt his legs, severely thwacked his knees and when he fell over addressed his hindquarters with several other thwacks which she personally felt should have been administered by his parent long ago.

‘Now go an’ take this wibbler here n’  swithezzle off… The ghunzstat lot of you!’ she told his smallish retinue who were currently picking him up and shocked to hear such language from a young woman of whom they had been told was shy, retiring and of modest speech.

What they did not know and those of her close and trusted were getting used to was that her brother and his friends when she was still of child years had allowed her to join in their boisterous games and taught her how to use stave, sword and knobbly club. She had also picked up the language they had picked up from the soldiers and lads of the stables. Her parents not being the most attentive after two years or so had eventually found out and  had had her partitioned off to be taught by religious folk, which she had accepted, if only to pass the time. She had not forgotten those more rough and tumble lessons though. To stop going insane at being droned at she had also learned how to sew, but having selected matronly types of ladies had missed out on the interesting things which passed between men and women, or men and men or women and women.

After the disposal of Sipulsnoot‘s attempted coup she had found when walking about the place when the staff over her shoulder folk who did  not have much contact with her treated her with respect, and when she smiled at them, they displayed much relief.

Apparently Sipulsnoots parents, the Duke Fusselbritches and Duchess Lacedoylee who had invested heavily in Lychees were so horrified by his actioned they had him placed in a tower to be lectured by the very dullest clerics and lawyers they could find. His retinue’s parents equally concerned over their profits from Lychee investments boxed ears, kicked bottoms and stopped allowances. Some of the lads were placed in smaller towers since their parents could  not afford tall ones and had old wise men from villages to come and ‘talk sense unto ee’. Others were put sent to the army, which didn’t want them and gave them unhappy tasks.

Whinsome was not told of the fate of these lads; she had told her court she couldn’t have cared a bovine hindquarter’s natural digestive produces, although she didn’t quite phrase it that way.

One day after a busy day of listening to and thence discussing with various meetings of common folk the best way to address social matters. and then duelling with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about funding she had just flumped down in a very comfy chair, to congratulate herself she had managed to wheedle three-quarters of what she wanted.

Then there came a cheerful ruckus and in breezed, sunny, smiling and somewhat travel stained Aureyborealice.

‘Hi dearest spouse!’ she trilled ‘I’m home!’

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Saluting The Heroes On World Day of Social Justice

There are some things some us take for granted. Spare some time for those who laid down their lives.
And never take anything for granted.

The Human Lens

The UN celebrates annually 20 February as World Day of Social Justice (Social Justice Equality Day) an international day that recognizes the need to promote social justice. 

It also promotes and strengthens efforts for tackling issues of poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections. 

Its vital for any healthy society that can provide equal rights to its citizens because that’s the only way societies and nations flourish without any discrimination under peaceful circumstances.

2020 Theme: “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice”

The mission of social justice and equity cannot be achieved without the presence of human rights workers, defenders, activists, writers, common people, youth and others that continue to battle on the front lines, in their communities and through open spaces despite the risks involved.

This post is dedicated to all such courageous heroes of 2019 that lost their lives in the fight for human rights.

Front…

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Tax Scams

OK, this has nothing particular to do with writing or musings. Unless of course you are having an income from your writing.

Filth-bags claiming to be from a tax office and demanding money is a scam on the rise again.

As a retired tax official, this is one area where I am waiting for one of the filth-bags who try to scam to phone me and demand money in an aggressive or smarmy fashion I have so many questions to ask them.

Fine for me, but if like most honest folk you are a bit nervy of the ‘Tax Officials’ it can be a scary experience which these creeps prey on. Because for ordinary folk, how are you expected to know all the ins and outs of a system?

Therefore  here are just two official links where you can seek advice from:

UK: HMRC- https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing/report-hmrc-phishing-emails-texts-and-phone-call-scams.

USA: IRS- https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts.

For other nations you will find most tax authorities have a similar advice page.

If they make any phone threats that they will be calling with legal notices then contact the official authorities.

If you are worried about anyone calling always have your mobile handy with the tax authority number handy (yes getting through might take 30 minutes), but you saying ‘Excuse me, I was talking to someone from your office’ and dialling will put some off. You can also say ‘Really? Let me just phone my accountant,’ and dial any old number. Otherwise close to door, phone both tax office and police.

There will never, ever be any requests out of the blue. If you owe anything you will be getting all sorts of official paper with details on it and a whole host of ‘advising you of your right’.

Don’t pay unless you are expecting to.

And make sure you pass this information on to any vulnerable people you may know.

New Release! Poetry & Prose: Mr Sagittarius by M J Mallon

Certainly worth a re-blog

Rachael Ritchey

I’ve been revealing a lot of book covers lately, and you might remember having seen this one. Mr Sagittarius by M J Mallon is now available to own, and I’m so excited to share this new book with you! The first month’s profits will be donated toward the Australian Bush Fire Charity.

I was privileged to design the cover for Mr Sagittarius and work with the lovely M J Mallon on its whimsical design. The author’s photography within the book helped to inspire her poetry, and it’s all contained quitely lovingly within a touching story.

Come meet the curious Mr Sagittarius

Where to get your copy

Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B084DQV3HW
Amazon US:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084DQV3HW/


Who Is Mr. Sagittarius?

Find Mr Sagittarius on Goodreads too!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51004313-mr-sagittarius

M J Mallon writes YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, Horror/Ghost short stories and multi-genre flash fiction as well as micro poetry – haiku and Tanka.She shares book reviews, poetry…

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Come Find Me, Come!

Here is a wonderfully atmospheric and haunting poem from Sha’ Tara.

~Burning Woman~

[a poem by   ~burning woman~ ]

The wind howled in the night,
The long shadowed night.
It was the Chinook wind,
I had smelled it earlier
As clouds greyed and darkened,
Disappearing sun and moon.

An owl barked, hooted, laughed
Down in the gully’s copses
And I thought, I hear the owl
And it’s calling my name –
Only it wasn’t me he was calling,
It was a mate and I had no wings.

These two things I mention,
They happened a long time ago.
I wasn’t thinking of death then,
Not by a long shot. I was young,
Barely old enough to feel
That troubling sense in my heart
Which I learned was the call to love.

It is said around here (or was said)
That when the owl calls your name
Your number’s up-death is riding.
Well, I heard the owl again
Last night in the woods
Bordering…

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Fighting For Rights of Indigenous Orang Asli In Malaysia

One of the many group with small voices on the world stage. Forget them at our peril.

The Human Lens

The Orang Asli indigenous group from West Malaysia are the oldest inhabitants of this country, official figures cite 18 Orang Asli tribes categorized under three main groups according to their different languages and customs.

The Orang Asli tribes have a close and unique connection with the lands and environments in which they live since long and have established distinct systems of knowledge, innovation and practices relating to the uses and management of biological diversity on these lands and environments.

Today Malaysia’s oldest populations with unique cultural practices are under threat  due to complex issues including modernization, external pressures, and land grabbing, loss of their ancestral lands.

The Malaysian national state policies however do not reflect clear measures for the protection and preservation of the oldest peoples, citizens of its own country.

One of the core issues that Orang Asli population faces today is the customary land rights, which is though…

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Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

Pt XI… How Princess Whinsome stopped with the jolliness and started being constructive 

Princess Whinsome (Spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor to Princess Aureyborealice)  had seen fit to drop all of the complimentary words which proceeded the phrase ‘Princess Aureyborealice’. Whereas she had been feeling for some time, in varying degrees rather cool to the rest of the family for sundered reasons such as frivolity, hysteria, ill-judgement and general lack of maturity, Aureyborealice had always seemed in addition to being sweet and loveable;  also dependable, resourceful and intelligent. However of late she had breezed off without much of an explanation for an extended interlude.

The result had been to leave Whinsome to discuss or debate with numbers of clerics all of whom wanted her to listen them to repeat the arguments she had already heard, several times, as if they alone had thought of them. She had also been obliged to diplomatically deal with various young women of rank who had wanted to know if she and Aureyborealice had been obliged, because they were married to ‘err…umm…well…you know….’. As regards this delicate subject Whinsome had started off quite well with discreet variations on the theme of ‘Oh no’ and changing the subject. Of late she had found she had been grinding her teeth and supressing the urge to empty to contents of flower vases over some of the more vapid giggly types. Also a couple of lesser merchants had managed to sneak in and ask her if she could put a good word in with her father for their marketing scheme for Lychees. Mischief had taken over there and she had said if they travelled to see him personally he would no doubt listen (As far as she knew he might well…and both parties deserved each other.)

Thusly….One morning Whinsome sat in the garden, firstly giving quiet thanks for the gift of warming sunshine and no one being around, thence the sweet bounties of nature with no Lychees in sight and finally praying quite heavily for all the fighting to stop. This peaceful interlude was broken when in scampered, strode, bustled or blundered as befitted their characters and physiques a group of courtiers; the ones who had managed to have caste-iron excuses not to be dragged along with Genially (now short on jolliness) on his march north to confront King Vilfahengo (The Iron and very cross) of Chilbin. She could not imagine why they were heading to her in such a purposeful manner, unless for some, possibly understandable reason they no longer had much faith in the local bishops and clerics and wanted to organise an impromptu gathering for prayers of deliverance.

‘Oh Princess Whinsome,’ one fellow cried out ‘Great calamities are abounding,’

At the first instance, for The Life of her she could not imagine why a bunch of middle aged men of some rank were coming to tell her about it. Reasons soon tumbled out as would a large collection of unfavoured clothes once shoved hastily into a wardrobe whose doors had been slammed shut and locked, only to be idly opened by someone else.

‘King Genially rode north to do battle with Vilfahengo of Chilbin. He and his lords got into a loud dispute as whether to parley, charge or manoeuvre to refuse a flank. Regrettably everyone came away with a different idea. Thus the army moved or didn’t move before dawn, in differing directions. The king’s retinue seeing the foe charged, dragging the king along with them, he fell off his horse and expired on a thorny bush. By the Supreme Being’s Grace….’

‘Wisdom,’ she interjected ‘I am sure Wisdom, your tone suggests some small comfort, so it must be Wisdom,’

There was a hasty mumbling resulting in agreement, the fellow proceeded.

‘As seen fit by The Supreme Being there came a great unseasonable snow storm which has stopped any further progress by the invaders. Apparently Chilbin armies respect such weather, they have a saying which translates as ‘Travelling Idiot’s Weather’. Thus they halteth,’

‘The demise of Genially. How very sad for Dingledong,’ Said Whinsome no longer a little guilty at not feeling sad at all  ‘What is Prince Frendlehanz doing in reaction?’ as soon as she asked the question she had a feeling there would be an ‘Err’. There was. Followed by…

‘A message was passed by some vulgar barbarian, using an arrow as means of transport. Apparently the prince has been captured and transported into some barbaric clime by the notoriously fearsome harridan named Magnificalorin, the flame haired and fiery daughter of Gurt Broadsword. A barbarian of some standing,’

Whinsome wondered on the circumstances of the capture.

‘How very unfortunate  a coincidence. Then is Queen Domesticia acting as regent?’

The group looked as unhappy as any group of men could when having to admit their leader had been found wanting in more ways than one.

‘Apparently the Lady has become aware of the king’s infidelities, thus in shock and distain she hast quit the realm by means secret,’

As that came across to Whinsome as Domesticia being the last to find out, Whinsome found she was drumming her fingers on her book of Prayers for a Goodly Thoughts, only she found she could not summon Goodly Thoughts  for the present.

‘Ah then by royalness does not Princess Aureyborealice become Regent Queen by Ascent?’ (and thus get her frivolous bottom back here)

There was a shuffling. A red faced fellow of girth was by combined effort of the rest shoved to the fore.

‘She is not to be found your lady,’

Whinsome did not feel comfortable at the sound of the reverence in ‘your lady’, nor the slight bow. Overall she felt very uncomfortable. Especially when one gaunt fellow of beard and hair of black and iron grey, elbowed the other one out of the way, then somewhat marring his initial impression of being grave and serious by nearly dropping the red leather box he carried, the act causing the lid to slop open and reveal out Whinsome a crown of gold, a few minor jewels  and all topped with a fluffy blue leather cap of (she felt) undignified design.

‘Your lady,’ he said a deep voice shaking ‘ Princess Spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor. Acceptheth this the Regent’s Crown of Dingledong for as long as the Supreme Being see fits,’

‘Sees fit,’ the rest intoned in the sort lot musical discord which would give even the most casual and forgiving of choir masters a bout of dyspepsia .

At this juncture, previously unseen, appeared Bishop Quirrblelong who seizing the crown from the box, advanced on poor Whinsome.

He commenced to sing. Those birds of previously stronger spirit not already unsettled by the preceding chorus decided enough was enough and took flight.

‘Oh Supreme Being. By thy infinite wisdom and beneficence. We crown Whinsome, Lorina, Maydearlene, Theseeleee, Ingomin, Flaridia, Rhyledelli, Porrido.  Fayre Maiden Princess of Trundlealong by thy Grace Regent Queen until thy see(est) necessary of Dingledong,’

And with his strength spent plonked the crown ,at a slight angle, on Whinsome’s head.

While she was remembering how she really disliked that last silly name Porrido, (and how her brother up until quite recently had still been inanely  fond of calling her ‘Porrido-Porridon’t ‘) some other fellow pressed into her grasp a staff with the image of a very surprised bovine, seeing as how it was on two legs. This presumably meant something to do with office. Meanwhile everyone was down on one knee (each that is, not one particular knee) and mumbling very quickly some sort of oath. She hadn’t even had the time to say ‘But….But’

She was gathering her breath to say ‘But….But’ when into the garden march six very over-dressed fellows, the business accentuated floppy hats; they all bore silver trumpets, which they commenced to deafen everyone with, happily in tune. This seemed to be some sort of signal for at once the garden became very crowded with folk, who judging by the goodly state of their clothing were at least ‘quite affluent’. As one they chanted.

Hail to the Regent Queen Whinsome

                                            Hail. Hail. Hail

Loudly,three times, worrying Whinsome that the effort might well induce that sort of weather.

It was then from the crowd, moving in a deferential manner but nonetheless with confidence and purpose came The Chancellor of The Exchequer and The High Diplomat, who knelt very briefly , then rose, turning to the clutch of men The Chancellor of The Exchequer saying.

‘My Good Lords. Would you please excuse us if we took a slight interlude of Regent Queen Whinsome’s time. ‘Tis The Matter of Policy regarding The State of The Lychee markets,’

Since everyone there had recently made investments in the said commodity there was no argument, although several serious guards of both men, politely kept the host at bay while Whinsome was shuffled off.

As her nerves were getting somewhat frayed by the whole business and the crown a slight size too large was weighing heavily on her ears Whinsome felt cross, thus she could not help herself, when out of earshot of the mob, to blurt out to the pair, irrespective of their rank.

‘I do not care a spiffle about the stupid Lychee market!’

‘At present,’ confided The High Diplomat with a brief nod from The Chancellor of the Exchequer ‘Nor do we,’

 

It was in a small drawing room where light wine and cakes were served that Whinsome was introduced to the present geo-political situation. Hulstorm was securing the north west but was being acclaimed  which she judged was not something the centre should be content with, even had been generously funded, this however had been for the express purpose of securing, acclaiming had not been part of the arrangement.  The north in general was of course being invaded by snow and The Chilbin, the former delaying the latter, so two of the reason why she was Regent Queen did not have to be laboured over. Part of North Trundlealong and most of north Grunzelpratz was being overrun by barbarians (it was a commonly held belief of the times that barbarians did not have the astuteness to invade they just ran about the place, overrunning). Taking advantage of everyone else’s preoccupations Hasselduff and Moochenmuch’s smallish armies were marching back and forth in front of each other to prove they had the right to protect Turgidan (the very small chunk belonging to  The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One, located where the borders of  Dingledong’s four neighbours met) , in exchange for a modest tax donation (modest being equivalent to the gross-nation product of either of the nations)

‘You have not mentioned my own fayre’ (Whinsome said the word with slight sarcasm) ‘Trundlealong. Pray let me guess my good lords. There are riots by farmers objecting to having their lands turned over to Lychee production. Thus while mobs march this way and that, no one cares a stale cake about to whom I am married, or who else is invading whom?’

‘Succinctly and accurately put your Highness,’ said The High Diplomat.

‘Have we any idea where my,’ clearing of the throat in a cold manner ‘ Aureyborealice,  Spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor has noodled off to?’

The men exchanged brief glances whereas the words were not up to the standard of a artisan’s tavern at closing time, there was a noticeable edge to the tone and usage of words expressing dissatisfaction creeping into in the manner of the Regent Queen’s mode of speech.

‘No your Highness,’ they both said. She noted their tones were devoid of alarm.

‘Oh spiffly-diddles!’ Whinsome exclaimed and eyebrows were raised ‘I will give her nose such a tug when she comes back!’ and this in a state of agitation which nevertheless suggested purpose Whinsome rolled up her sleeves (her reasonably beautiful features somewhat screwed up in concentration and her russet hair dishevelled by the crown-currently considered by her as ‘stupid’) ‘Good lords and gentlemen! Bring me forth a map of the whole mess of the six kingdoms and another solely of this realm which has been for far too long benighted by jolliness!’

They were impressed.

‘And by the way,’ she added ‘Get someone to release that pair of old stodgies (stodgies???…both men thought), bishops Hylorididoda and Humfelsteffstong from whatever tower they are in so I can formally pardon them and tell them to do something useful with their fat heads. I cannot abide having martyrs around the place, even if they are turnip heads and deserve being dunked in a goldfish pond! They attract even bigger gazumbos (a word not for polite company) who start a following!’

‘Gazumbos eh?’ murmured The Chancellor to the High Diplomat as they took leave to find maps and issue orders. ‘I am beginning to like this girl,’

‘And!’ came the voice, quite strong from the room ‘Have a despatch sent to my brother Prince Hanselfrendlesten who no doubt is having a splendid time fighting barbarians across the north Trundlealong and Grunzelpratz telling him I now rule in Dingledong and I want to know just what sort of progress he is making,’

The High Diplomat swiftly returned.

‘Of course Your Highness. Should we inform your parents?’

Whinsome’s eyebrows arched and her nostrils almost flared. Her tone dripped sarcasm.

‘Please do. And bid them to send me a crate of Lychees as a gift!’

‘I beg your pardon your Highness,’ said The High Diplomat sucking in a grin ‘Is that in the literal and not a secret family code?’

‘Hah! If they tried they would only forget it!’ she smirked ‘Actually tell them I demand a dozen crates of Lychees as is my recently proclaimed, that is NOW,  right as their daughter. And all the lands which are mine in Trundlealong I will donate to farmers cast off of their land because of those Lychees!’ she paused for breath ‘Oh yes. And the despatch to my brother. Be so good as to add in whatever code he uses, what lands does he intend to snaffle for his own, and not to think I don’t know he intends too!’

The High Diplomat had a feeling he might start to enjoy his job again.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VIII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt X