The Future of A Hopelessly Wandering Mind. Possible Creation of Blogging Challenges.

I’ve come a long way in six months, and I would like to take a time out from my ventures into the literary at this moment to thank each and every one of my followers that have taken this journey with me. It’s been a rough ride from the uneasy, ranty beginnings, slowly progressing to what I hope is now a slightly more polished and focussed site consisting of the creative side of my work, and gradually finding my own voice. For reference, the more news-orientated articles which I used to write have been transposed to another platform, www.tremr.com/benedict-nicholson, so if you’re interested in reading that stuff again, do feel free to check it out and follow me there.

In terms of the development of this blog, I am now working at least part time for the foreseeable future and as such may not have the time I would like to devote to the project to write the amount of posts that I want to write, at least at the length I would like to write. With that in mind, I will probably be posting a lot of shorter stuff,  maybe one poem and one short story a week, but nothing too long too frequently. I will also be looking at doing some six word stories, so look out for those coming your way in the near future.

And now to the exciting bit, I’m also thinking about organising some blogging challenges, probably a poetry one but maybe also a very short flash fiction one. I would only do this if I could garner enough people’s interest in doing it though, so in order to gauge whether or not this is worth doing, if you would think about taking part  something like that, would you mind awfully commenting below stating your interest and saying if you would prefer poetry or fiction? This is just so I can hopefully think about what form it would take in the future. I’ve participated in these in the past, and am currently enjoying a couple of them immensely, but I can never find enough of them to satisfy the amount I want to write, so I think it can’t hurt to get another one or two out there.

To sign off on a soppy note, my time on WordPress has been an absolute blast so far, and I’ve loved every minute of my interaction with the site, and everyone who reads and comments is a part of that, so, once more, sincerely, thank you.

Ben

Sleep: Poetry Rehab 101

Poppy2004Sleep now, little one
In your makeshift cradle.

No blanket to warm you,
Only Belgian mud
caked on your clothes
to keep out the cold.

So peaceful, like you didn’t
feel a thing,
when the shell fell down,
ending your fitful waking hours.

No.

Too young to imagine
You are gone forever.

I’ll see you again,
I know.
But not yet, not yet.

When we both awake,
in some other, better place.
When our fight is over,
and the war is done.

Then shall we two meet again.

Sleep now, little one,
though you’ve not
seen enough of this world.

You’ve earned your rest.

Shoutout to Mara Eastern and her Poetry 101 Rehab as always.

Poetry Rehab 101: Away

Walking_away_from_the_Third_World

Away

Away, away
Have to find a way
To express how
I feel when you’re
Not here.

Away.

Such an innocent
Sounding little word
But the source
Of so much pain in
This world.

Away!

Absent fathers,
Missing mothers,
Children gone,
Friends forgotten and
Loved ones lost.

Away.

Don’t go,
Stay here
With me.
We’ll face
The fear
Together.
Don’t go

Away.

Once again, shoutout to Mara Eastern, who organises these wonderful prompts.

Freestyle Writing Challenge: Knots

So, I’m not normally one for the whole nominating others for things, especially the awards that go around, but this seemed too much like an actual challenge for me to turn down. The story is this, today Inquisitive Minds And Stubborn Hearts nominated me for a freestyle writing challenge, and you can find me effort below. It’s not the way I normally write, so I decided to take him up on his challenge, and will be challenging several other bloggers below.

Knots

There are things in our lives
that tie us down,
knots that stop us
from following
those dreams

that we had when we were young.

The way to deal with them
is simple and plain.

Don’t waste your precious time
untangling the labyrinthine threads
that, snakelike,
bite when
you try to untangle.

Instead, as the Great Alexander,
Take the path of least resistance.

Raise your sword high,
cut through those Gordian ropes
and cast them aside.

Then, and only then the
chains can fall away

And you can crown yourself
King or Queen of your own life,
Your own destiny,
As that great king of old.

Time: 7 minutes
Words: 107

So there we have it, my first ever timed free write, which was something that I enjoyed a lot, though it was certainly challenging and not my best work. I’ll nominate some people below, but first, here are the rules.
RULES
1) Open an MS Word document (or any other editor)
2) Set a stop watch or your mobile of 5-10 minutes.
3) Your topic is at the foot of this post, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH A TIMER.
4) Fill the word document with as much words as you want. Once you began writing do not stop.
5) Do not cheat by going back and correcting spellings and grammar with spell check (it is only meant for you reflect on your control on sensible thought flow)
6) You may or may not pay attention to punctuation and capitals.
7) At the end of your post write down the number of words
8) Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic.

Nominations Below is a list of five people that I would love to see attempt this challenge as I think they would provide really differing approaches to the prompt word. Obviously, I completely understand if you have no interest in doing this sort of challenge, but yeah, would love to see you attempt it.

Stumbling For Balance
Listen To The Babe
Trimmed Words
Mara Eastern
In Noir Velvet

Prompt Word: Skin

Right, that’s me done, and you won’t hear me bothering anyone else any time soon, this one just caught my attention as being particularly interesting. Hope you enjoyed it.

Adonis

New_Forest_ClearingIn a sheltered grove, the young hunter’s life ebbs away.
His prey, catching him unawares, became
His predator, and now
The forest floor is a canvas for
His dying masterpiece.

The flowers, that were the rainbow,
Now crimson and black as they mourn, ready for
When his last, struggling breath finally
Leaves his mauled body.

Through this scene passes Love herself,
Riding upon her gallant white horse.
Drawn in by the picture of the man,
She cautiously approaches,
Ever weary of the hunter’s traps.

Love, for the first time, is struck by her son’s own arrow,
Lost in the pools of his eyes and blood.
His flawless face, perfection
As he gazes helplessly up at her, pleading.
A gaze that becomes ever weaker
As his life flows out through his wounds.

It is too late now, though he returns her affection.
The tree stump must serve as their marriage bed,
The nightingales as witnesses
To their untimely union.

Majestically, as befits such a woman, she carries him
To his final resting place, where,
Laying her head down beside him,
She watches as he drifts away from her.

To A Dry Elm Tree

A_dead_elm_tree_at_Nenthorn_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1435493

To the old elm, split by lightning
and rotten to its core,
who,
with the rains of April and the sun of May,
has begun to sprout some fresh green leaves.

The old elm up on the hill by the river.
Whose worm-eaten, dusty trunk
is stained by a yellowish moss.

It will never be one of those poplars,
those that guard the road and the riverbank,
a shelter for the nightingale to sing.

Even now, an army of ants march in file
through it, while in its entrails
the spiders spin their silver webs.

Before the woodsman cuts you down
with his axe, old elm of mine,
and the carpenter makes of you
a bell frame, or a yolk for a wagon.

Before you burn red
at the hearth of some miserable hut
at the wayside,
or a river carries you to the sea
through valleys and ravines.

Before that, Elm, I want to take note
of the beauty
of your green-speckled branches.

And secretly, despite the beauty of the
here and now,
my heart still wishes that you
defy the odds
and that next year, there will be
one last miracle of Spring.

This poem is a translation and adaptation of a work by Antonio Machado entitled ‘A Un Olmo Seco’.

Poetry 101 Rehab: Sugar

Sugar_cubes

Sugar

The sun smiles down on me,
Inspired by my own mood.
There’s even a spring in my step
As I go about my day.

The luckiest man in the world,
That’s how I feel
When I think about
Having you by my side.

Maybe this is all too sickly sweet,
Full of clichés and
Too sugary for my
Bitter taste.

For once, though, I don’t care,
Because this time,
This is for you, not me.

Two lives intertwined
With a spoonful of sugar on top.
To me, that sounds ideal.

A response to Mara Eastern’s Poetry 101 Rehab Challenge, go check it out!

Among The Ruins

Castle_Rising_Castle_chapel_in_Victorian_period In an unnamed grove
There lie the jilted remains
Of a fortress, once great.
Nothing more now than
Skin and bone,
The broken skeleton
Of a long ruined citadel.

Today, these walls are dwarfed
By pebbles,
Though once they were crowned by the sky.

The terror they used to inspire
Now replaced,
Deafened by the far eerier sound
Of nothing.

The shadows flit
As the day passes by,
Cloaking the mourning mountains
In black.

The tooth marks
Of Time;
That great devourer of worlds.
It has snacked upon its towers,
And dined upon its guns.

Where once a mighty structure stood,
Now a body lies.

These halls used to be ruled by Lords,
Great feasts echoing into the night.
Now the echoes are the screeches of owls,
As they hunt the lonely mice.

The fortress moans in pain,
Begging a simple shroud from the grass,
And a silent tomb of
The hills.

As its wild inheritors,
By night the birds perform
The funeral rites,
While a chorus of crows
Sing it to its final rest.

Here, in this green cemetery,
This brutal monument to
Our triviality,
I took a lesson.

In this cathedral of the dead,
I learned one thing.
This was a glory of the world,
And even it must die.
As this fortress must go
All our marks upon the world,
Powerless before the passage
Of unstoppable Time.

This post took inspiration from a work by Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo, whose work I translated and updated to suit my own style.