pleased with pleb vitality
contempt for hothouse blooms
I was a dandelion, she thought
from under tons of concrete, tons
through a hundred metric tonnes of rock
a smiling flower at the tip
© Alex Ankarr 2017
Image – Orest Ukrainsky, public domain
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.
Crazy 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.
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The 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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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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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!)
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.
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’.
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.)
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.
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/