Vanishing and Tibet

Head down I struggled step by step up knife-edge mountain tracks
When I came across a stalwart Drong;
(The Tibetan name for Yak)
He stood there in his majesty his horns a metre wide,
his girth foretold a tragedy if passed on either side.
After many hours climbing I wasn’t for turning back,
it was clear to me as it was to him,
it was either me or the yak.
I never met a yak before and was wary of his looks,
but was fortified by knowledge I’d remembered from some books,
was this in fact bos mutus the domesticated yak,
or indeed was this bos grunniens with a risk of wild attack.
I studied him quite slyly from the corner of my eye,
his colour was unusual and he stood two metres high.
The colour! The colour! I cried with joy, and again cried with dismay,
for he was the endangered golden yak, the colour of summer kissed hay.
One hundred and seventy golden yak still roam this diminishing earth,
my moments euphoric discovery left me as his eyes studied mine for their worth.
I returned his gaze and stood my ground, my reflection strong in his eyes,
he pawed the ground once,  bowed his head and,  lay down to my surprise.
He beckoned to me with a toss of his head to climb over his shaggy back,
which I nervously did and upon my dismount
there stood;
yak!
upon yak!!
upon yak!!!
Oh, I said what to do now? As I stood between horns and hoof.
There was no way forward, no way back, I simply couldn’t move.
Then one by one they all lay down, in a shag pile horn rimmed track.
And on an over, and over an on, I climbed across ninety nine yak.
All heading toward our destiny on track with no going back.
When finally I reached my over night stay,
my story was fuel for the fire,
but the locals mocked my magical tale,
now I ramble the mountains in ire,
a camera to capture my golden yak though the odds against it grow higher;
the less I see, the more I yearn, to satisfy my desire.
I’ll search the tracks to track down my yaks
their Golden Fleeces my quest,
until my memory’s a fantasy tale,
vanishing with yaks and Tibet. 

© Howard Beaumont 2015

Yak smaller bw

Image: courtesy of travelwayoflife/creative commons

Thursday Afternoon

Outside the rows of bookshelves pricked up their ears.
Inside the room, tension was mounting. On the table, recent scribbles curled and shuddered, pens hatched and scratched. Ink was being spilt.
There could be no doubt – the Disambiguaters were divided and opposing camps were forming. The exclamation marks felt threatened, maligned. The apostrophes were smug, triumphal. The semi-colons were keeping their heads down, aware of ethnic cleansing elsewhere.
The commas and full-stops couldn’t have cared less; they knew they were safe.
The capital letters rose head and shoulders above it all.
From deep under the table a digital cat meowed.

© Patrick Prinsloo

The Build-up to the Letdown (based on John Betjeman’s famous poem)

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Howe,
on Tebbitt, Hurd: they’re past it now.
They’d wheel out Thatcher (Holy Cow!)
were she not dead!
Come, votes, and blow to smithereens
the Coalition (not the Greens).
Make UKIP’s zombie mob has-beens.
And what of Ed?

“This mess was left by Gordon Brown,”
says Gove, the miserable clown,
“And we have brought deficit down
in just 5 years.”
There goes that man with double chin
(and only Pickles’ mind is thin).
It’s others who apply the spin
brings us to tears.

Then there’s that Paddy Ashdown bloke
hears exit polls and makes a joke.
“I’ll eat my hat!” which he’ll revoke
when tolls the knell.
Now unemployment’s dropped a tad,
though Zero Hours will drive them mad.
Do they think eating’s just a fad?
Go roast in Hell.

“It’s tough to juggle lots of dough,
rent an address in Monaco
to keep one’s income taxes low
or white be bled.”
whilst low paid workers bear the scars
and serve the drinks in “caffs” and bars
But back to Huw’s and Andrew Marr’s
long night ahead.

Predictions come, predictions scare.
though Sunderland, first to declare,
sees Labour up, Lib Dems despair
and chew their nails.
Come, friendly bombs, no need to “Pow!”.
Ed, Nick and Nige have all said, “Ciao”
The Tories rule the roost somehow
and greed prevails.

Now a PS: the SNP
swept Labour into misery.
Perhaps Scotland’s the place for me?
So northward ho?
Tuition’s free and NHS
‘s protected from that Osbourne jess.
Their monster’s confined to Loch Ness.
5 years to go!

© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 14th. May, 2015

don’t forget your sweater – Charlie’s lyrics

the boss man came and froze my cards
and there’s no heat, he froze my home
so if you’re coming over, don’t forget your sweater,
you won’t want to forget your sweater

there’s no food in the freezer, there’s no power
and there’s no water in the tap, there’s no money in the meter,
so if you’re coming over, don’t forget your lunch
you won’t want to forget your lunch

the boss man came with his bold action
and there’s no money, he says go to work
and there’s no work, he says I’m worthless
so if you’re coming over, don’t forget your shotgun,
you won’t want to forget your shotgun

there’s no light in this tunnel, no blankets on the beds
I had to let the children go, couldn’t afford to pay the rent,
guess they call this squatter’s rights but there’s nothing right about it
and I’m breathing in the living room, not sure who’s air it is
I can’t afford it and life is only yours if you can afford it

there’s no cash in my wallet, no hidden money in the couch,
the boss man took it all because we’re all in this together,
but the boss man’s in a world of his own.

Drowning_in_a_matelrialistic_world

Image: Tim Houlihan. Drowning in a Materialistic World. Wikimedia Commons

What We Do

The Macclesfield Creative Writing Group, also known as the Maccwriters, meet weekly, 2 – 4pm on Thursdays at Macclesfield Library on Jordangate, to discuss and produce fiction writing, poetry and other forms of creative writing.

Each session costs £3, the first one is free, the cost includes tea/coffee and biscuits.

Guest speakers also sometimes attend.

Individual members occasionally lead sessions on different themes on a voluntary basis, the emphasis is on having a go and testing your skills in a supportive environment. Occasionally we have read-arounds where we read pieces we’ve produced, the group give feedback, useful tips etc.

The Group have released two compilations of members’ work, ‘Maccwrites’ and’ Cloudbursts’, and occasionally organise evenings where we read our work to the public.

The group does not meet during the months of April, August and December.

People come to the group for differing reasons – they may want to improve their work in order to sell it commercially, they may want to entertain locally, or family and friends, enter competitions, or just socialise with other people who enjoy the written and spoken word.

If you are interested in joining us, you can just turn up, or email Joy Winkler on joywinkler@sky.com to find out more.

Maccwriters on holiday

I spoke to a lovely lady yesterday who complained she once turned up at the library for a Maccwriters’ session and sat with a couple of other people until they realised no-one was coming. I said that didn’t sound right, as the Maccwriters are usually quite well-attended. It did occur to me that she and those others may well have arrived during one of the three recesses the group has each year.

So, for information to all those unaware of this, the Maccwriters’ last session was on 26th March, the next one will be 7th May. Normally, we meet upstairs in Macclesfield Library on Thursdays, 2 – 4pm, costs a very reasonable £3, first session free, tea and biscuits too.

April, August and December are recesses, due to the amount of holidays taken in those months. If you want to keep updated, please press the ‘Follow’ button. Hope this helps.

LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH MY LAPTOP

Keyboard-PamSomething I’m passionate about is finding a more balanced relationship with my laptop.  Recently I’ve been getting caught up in the next click, the next and the next…  An hour’s Skype call, then check emails and Google something I was looking at earlier – and most of the morning has past.  I thought it was only computer games that caught players in addiction, now I’m realising it’s the whole online world and can affect us all.  My searching is like exploring fractals, always another layer, something more to be curious about, spend time with and be fascinated by, only to remember much later that I haven’t started on my list of ‘things to do today’.

My life online seems to be taking over my everyday life.   I’m happy and involved when I’m online, and my back aches, my eyes are dry and I feel a bit disorientated when I stop.  And worst of all, a long session working on the laptop in the evening before bedtime guarantees a restless, sleepless few hours before sleep finally comes.

So how to bring more balance?  I can make a plan and stick to it, set a timer, have a break, do some unsubscribing.   I can be more aware of what I’m doing when I’m doing it, that’s being mindful.  And if I pause now and again I’ll be able to make real choices – to click or not to click!

What would a balanced relationship with my laptop feel like?  It would feel really good.  I’d regard my laptop as a brilliant resource, with me fully empowered to be its controller and I’d be appreciating the connecting, communicating and information it brings me every day.  I wish!

© Photograph and Words by Pamela Carr 2015

Many thanks to new group member Pam for sending in this great post.  JD