Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Bletchley Girl

I kept my secrets but saw them sold with

no recompense for all those years of

silence, of pretending to parents, husband,

children, friends that I did something

awfully dull during the War when everyday

I handled the enemy’s most

precious jewels set in a

brooch of other people’s cleverness.

 

I worried that secret would tumble after

secret, that my loved ones would learn

just how promiscuous I was in that

wartime whirlwind of hard work and

boredom in which lust was as

easy to kindle as a

bushfire in a drought and

just as hard to put out.

 

It was difficult not to ladder my

hard-earned stockings as I knelt on

rough floors learning to enjoy the taste until a

worldly RAF man taught me how

with a little cooking oil and a

moment’s discomfort I could avoid a

pregnancy and remain virgo intacta for my

blessedly oblivious husband.

 

Grandmothers aren’t supposed to have done all that

are they? We look so frail and

frumpy but we lived once

ferociously in the face of

death and disaster and in the end

no one asked any awkward questions as they were

uninterested in what we did, only in

what we achieved.

Mannikin

Image

 

That face has nearly one hundred years of

dust on it and yet it so much

reminded me of you, dead thirty years–the

boyishness, strong nose, strong

jaw, the sense that under

dense clothes she might be all bones and

noli-me-tangere angles but once

bared reveals, as you did,

curves, ripe fruit, thickets,

unselfconscious pleasure and an

unknowable core as much a

mystery to herself

as to you or me.

 

(The photo is Georgia O’Keefe taken by Alfred Stieglitz in 1918)

Freedom?

We sing obsessively about freedom because

we don’t understand it or

practice it in our lives but rather

squander it in jealousy,

possessiveness, selfishness while it

drifts away from us on

rafts of cameras, tailored

advertisements, dodgy Projects and

spam.

Porridge

He seethed in silence since

everyone else made so much noise and

that heat subducted the

stiff solid continent of his mind

melting it to the

consistency of the

porridge served him now

every day for breakfast.

Conclave

A conclave of crows took over the

still-bare tree debating

something of great import their

caws almost turning their bodies

inside out with quarrels and

fights erupting in

sudden explosions of

ragged black fury.

¿Qu’es de ti, desconsolada?

Like dribs of rain on a drab day your

worries leaked through the roof making

puddles in the public rooms that I

couldn’t hide or adequately

explain to those astounded by the

unexpected deliquescence of your

seemingly solid persona.

Just Yesterday

I look like the ghost at my own feast

spectral in mirrors artfully placed to

startle: and who is that

crying in the nether room? Should I

seek to comfort or let the

sound settle as a

sad soliloquy for worlds

long past just yesterday?

Taken by Foxes

Darkness begins just a few feet from the

back door and we might venture out there

armed with a torch or at least

courage or maybe despair but we

quail at our pets piercing our

frail nimbus of light in case they

encounter nature or are

taken by foxes.

Cloud Kingdoms

Gossip from the Sky

Venus and Jupiter are sidling slowly towards an

assignation, very much a May-September thing—

make that November in Jupiter’s case, lol– but

I’ve heard he has a trick or two

to please the ladies and

Venus has never known doubt

has she?

 

The Moon cruised by last month and apparently

considered a threesome but

didn’t feel at her best, sources say, as the

damned Earth made her look

fat but not full when she so much wanted to

look Venus eye to lustful eye

as equals.

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