Poem: …dandelion

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pleased with pleb vitality

contempt for hothouse blooms

I was a dandelion, she thought

from under tons of concrete, tons

broke anyway

through a hundred metric tonnes of rock

a smiling flower at the tip

poking through

© Alex Ankarr 2017

Image – Orest Ukrainsky, public domain

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Poem: …star corsage

 

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a bouquet of roses,

of diamonds and baby’s breath

a few stars thrown in

to confuse over scale

and Satan peering from a black black hole

deep, deep, deep in the vase

a bouquet of roses

roses, foxes and diamonds

diamonds and baby’s breath

breath, and a few stars

the scale is confused

and Satan’s in there too

peeping out a black hole

gravity in the vase

down deep, deep

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2017

Image – Vaughan’s Seed Company; Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection, no known copyright restrictions.

What I’ve been reading – Crazy Vanilla by Barbara Wersba

Crazy VanillaCrazy Vanilla by Barbara Wersba

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I expected a little more from this than I actually got – it felt as if at any moment a profound epiphany might appear, but that promise was never quite made good. Still, I did enjoy it. The best thing was reading about Tyler’s love of nature and animals, which felt deeply real. His opinions and reading about the anthropomorphization of animals in human culture was especially interesting – more so than his personal relationships, really. I found his issues with his older brother’s sexuality a bit tacked-on and not really credible. Still a worthwhile read though.

View all my reviews

What I’ve been reading – The Little Grey Men by B.B.

The Little Grey MenThe Little Grey Men by B.B.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very gentle, sedate fantasy adventure, with just a few moments of high excitement. I give it four stars for the quality of the writing, although I usually like fantasy novels with more of the fantasy equivalent of car chases, explosions and alien invasions. The characterization is good enough that one does suffer along with the gnomes, lots of angst hoping for their safe journey and eventual reunion. If you invest the effort into really getting into the book then I think it pays off, although it might take a bit of doing.

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call of the wild

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“He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.”

― Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/ via https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

What I’ve been reading – Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down (Watership Down, #1)Watership Down by Richard Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve loved this book for years. My favourite parts are mostly about the Black Rabbit of Inle and El-Ahrairah, and Fiver’s visions. Also adore Bigwig’s fight with Woundwort. This book is so emotionally involving, I found it almost draining and too much to process as a kid. Probably easier for an adult to handle.

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Random Quest – 08/12/2017

image – Jan (Arny) Messersmith https://www.flickr.com/photos/boogieswithfish/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/, not modified

The inaugural post in an occasional series!  (I was going to call it Random Element, and then I thought no, let’s honour the fantabulous sf short story by John Wyndham.  Excellent, recommended, go forth and read it!)

image – Holly https://www.flickr.com/photos/strangefrontier/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ not modified

In this series, I’ll take a random element – words out of a random word generator online, out of a casually grabbed book, a snatch of conversation on the radio – and interpret them.  Or possibly interpret the results of inputting these few random terms into the searchbox of a website – Twitter or Youtube or any one of a number of others.  Interpret, in the sense of give meaning to them, a nudge from the Universe, a voice in the (tinfoil-hatted) head, a prod between the shoulderblades.

image – John Keogh https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvk/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/, not modified

Hey, it’s every bit as valid as friggin’ astrology, ‘kay?  And it keeps me amused, out of trouble and off the streets.  Where’s the bad?

Today’s random quest – soup, ant, knee.  And knitting.  I always want to add ‘knitting’.

 

Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water*

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image _foxy on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/27395274@N00/  licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

I was obliged to take a walk into town today, due to transport issues – GOSH-DARN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES, WHY WERE THEY EVER INVENTED?  But there were compensations along the way, abundant compensations.  Primary amongst these were the vetches in the hedgerows and the woods – multi-headed purple vetches, and purple vetches are almost my favourite vetches.  (Apart from birdsfoot trefoil, and that’s an unfair competition, because birdsfoot trefoil is also colloquially called eggs-and-bacon in the UK, AND HOW CAN ANY DECENT WILDFLOWER BE EXPECTED TO COMPETE WITH THAT?)

Vetches are the prettiest things.  The internal combustion engine is the annoyingest thing, but vetches are the derndest prettiest things.

Also the blackberries are not quite yet finished off – or pissed on by Satan and rendered inedible, as the folklore has it.  (It’s the maggits in wild brambles that bother me more than Satan’s theoretical outdoor hedgerow slashes while out on the piss.  Copious amounts of salted water, to deal with the wildlife, can render them uneatable anyway.)

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image Andrew Barclay https://www.flickr.com/photos/electropod/ on Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

There were even some unripe blackberries still hanging high, fruit and flower everywhere, nature in profusion and gloriously fertile.

It rained a little, and I’d forgotten my brolly.  But I didn’t feel I had too much to complain about, all told.  I came back with biscuits, after all – and biscuits are the comfortingest things.

*Brian Jacques.

call of the wild

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“He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.”

― Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/ via https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

Wolves: Heat & Chill – Gay Werewolf Romance!

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Buy Wolves: Heat And Chill by Alex Ankarr!

Three platonic human buddies take a break. Skiing week-end, great idea right? So do three werewolf friends, likewise. They end up sharing a ski-lodge: and it’s cool. Until it’s very hot indeed: when one of the wolves goes into heat…

Image – Metassus https://www.flickr.com/photos/metassus/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/