Yellow Rat - Tamusz
Introduce Ourselves 4. Interview - Paul Tinworth 6. VelvetLungs 10. Stills Competition 12. CheekyChen 16. Videos Competiton 18. Story Board - Animuser 20. Music Competition 22. Robyn Jones - No Sun to Warm Our Hearts 24. Daniel Grosvenor - Don’t Drink The Water (Chapter) 26. Tade - Bone Fragments 28. Syd - Reflection: A Novel (Chapter One) 32. Taymaz Valley - Butterflies 36. Pete - When I am Tired 40. Applause-Junkie - Topaz Prologue 42. Wirrow - Some Late Night Thoughts 44. Fern Yates - Teddy & Francis 46. Rosiemarie Short - New Forest 1992 52. Luke Rowett - My Legacy 54. Haiku Off 56. Robyn Jones - The Writer Back
You I Know The Reason Why by LoveWhenYouLove - Megan
Welcome to the first edition Tailspin, the monthly magazine for the online community for artists at tailcast. This month’s Tailspin features some of the best work from our writers, musicians, video makers and artists in March & April 2008. Tailcasting is all about throwing out your creative work and seeing what happens. As the site develops we are looking forward to getting to know you more and letting you know a bit about ourselves (we have to throw it out too!). The Cast comprises Jon, Olli, Paul and Pete (see mugshots). You can get a bit more info on each of individually here. Our goal is to create a brand new community site where you are defined only by what you do (and not what you say or think about yourself). We want Tailcast to be a shiny new playground for you creative people to hang around in, publish your work, collaborate on projects and create your own communication channels (much more on this in the future...) and generally have fun whilst making some money from your creative output.
Last month we decided that it made sense to have one site for writers, musicians and artists and so it has been a bit of a wrench for our writers who were on a different site. Thankfully most of them are really pleased to now be on tailcast given the quality of the community here and it is great to see the interaction between artists and writers. Watch out for June’s special Collaborate competition where we will be looking to pair up artists, musicians and writers to create new videos (with some prizes thrown in of course).
Beach Kissing - Oliver Day
Competitions - Introduce Yourself
We are giving away a total of £500/$1000 to winning members who upload a short video about themselves and their work as an artist, animator, photographer, musician or writer. Make it smart, honest, touching or tortured.. as long as it is creative. Entries in by 25th May.
News - Coming Soon
We are currently redesigning the website to make it easier for artists to share their work and for their fans to follow it.We have set up a forum where we ask you to leave your suggestions for features you would like to see. Drop us a line there as we will try to build what you would like to see...:) The new platform is not likely to be ready till July but we will upload some images from time to time to see what you think.
When the new site launches there will be much more space and attention given to music, art and writing (each will have its own minisite). As the site grows we will need help to ensure the best new content gets featured and therefore gets a chance to be seen. If you are interested in helping us in this we are looking for volunteers. The role will involve receving email updates in categories which you have an interest in, coming up with cool competitions, suggesting which content should be featured on homepages, subpages and in the magazine and generally helping us ensure the site develops in a way that maximises promotion of our member’s great work. More info to follow, in the meantime if you are interested please ask to join the “Theditors Group”. Finally, if we have missed featuring your great work we apologise in advance. To err, is human; to forgive, is divine. Hasta Luigi the Cast 5.
Ramblings of a Lightstalker
Name/screenname … Paul Tinworth Born/Home … Born in Essex, currently living between South Wales and Cornwall (United Kingdom) Career/about me … Undergraduate student, former sailing instructor, and amateur photographer Who or what have you sacrificed for the sake of your art? Time! Always make time for the things you enjoy. (I’m fairly certain money comes into it as well...) What was the last arts event you enjoyed? Seeing Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore in an open-air theatre. Theatre isn’t normally my thing, but I loved it! I’m afraid I haven’t been to any photographic exhibitions yet, but I plan to change that soon. What’s the greatest threat to art today? I’m not sure what applies to art in general, but I share the concern that photographers and enthusiasts are being discriminated against by those paranoid about terrorism. I haven’t been affected personally yet, but I’m not looking forward to the day it happens. Who would you most like to work / collaborate with? (tailcast member or otherwise) There’re so many people joining Tailcast that I can’t really do all of the good photographers justice, but just off of the top of my head, I wouldn’t mind if Amy Jenkins taught me something about off-camera flash, SR took me to some of his fantastic locations, and Carrie and Trisha Rolph showed me how to make the most of capturing animals!
Is there an art form you don’t enjoy? In all honesty paint has never has any effect on me. I have respect for those who paint, but I just can’t get excited about it. Different strokes for different folks (pun intended). What would you like to see in the future from Tailcast (on a broader note, what are your thoughts on social networking sites for creators in the arts?) I’m looking forward to a more intuitive, social Tailcast that’s slightly more friendly to the eye and cursor, but my main concern is devolving the ‘stills’ category; there are so many talented folks here that it just doesn’t seem to do them justice to lump all the aesthetic arts under one heading. I am a fan of social networking as a whole; I think it’s possibly one of the better inventions the internet has spawned in the last few years. I am an avid Facebook-whore, but I really do want to see niche networks for the artistic community. Hopefully Tailcast will spearhead the charge! How did you discover your talent for art, what do you enjoy about it? There’ve always been cameras in the background for me, but it wasn’t until a year after I bought my first digital and film SLR cameras that I really began to appreciate photography. At the risk >>
The Red October @ Cardiff Barfly I - Paulish
>> of sounding vain (despite the fact I don’t own a comb), I am extremely driven by aesthetics, and to have a medium introduced to me where I could record and manipulate the way things appear to me was – and still is – very seductive. Going shooting throws me into such pleasurable concentration that it becomes a form of escapism for me. Event photography especially makes me excited because it exposes me to challenging environments and people, and while I am very shy and usually too polite to push about at a noisy gig, I don’t think I would enjoy it as much if I didn’t have my camera on hand. I could mention the clichéd drivel about capturing Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment, which by all means has its own appeal, but I honestly just enjoy taking photographs. Whether I have talent or not is debatable, but I certainly have no intention of giving photography up any time soon.
You’ve mentioned Cathal McNaughton, an award winning press photographer on your Tailcast homepage…What is it about his work that appeals to you? Truth be told I know very little about the man, but I stumbled across a small selection of his work on the BBC News website and instantly liked it. It amazes me how he manages to bring such vivid artistry into a profession dominated so fiercely by objectivity; two particular shots in my mind are of a group of three soldiers silhouetted by the sun and the reflection of Big Ben in a puddle, naturally framed by the legs of two walking Londoners. I admire the fact that he manages to bring a great deal of taste into potentially touchy subjects, which I feel is hard to come by with the prevalent nationalism and Islamaphobia in the UK.
Patriot - Paulish
Jabez and the Grocery Store Popstar
I don’t know I don’t know anyone here my lips are bright I can only feel the weight of color all around me ribcage, soul suspended in the space between a liver soaked in alcohol and lungs on the baptism list signed, mr. and mrs. applicable. forget me. forget the stinging hazel/curtain lashes batted/batting/playful/de sperate theres a hole that drains the tiger and clover fields with an assertive, no, thank you, young girl in my bed, clothed only in the static of her hair. river of blonde girls, skin ripening and spoiling in a florescent merciless haze. prayer and worship and bake and self-mutilation this unknown omnipotent God in a bottle of tanning oil. I want to snow on you. a painless, quick frost pale pink and shimmering on a tree that sings for you. blood whispers, disease embedded, ready for child. motherless, you were an idea. you were my caption for twelve seconds I want a God who writes me lullabies to the rhythm in my veins. Collaborate, procrastinate, impregnate the soil with times new roman, extra-bold who circumcised my roots? lay with me in april grass.
Left - Lazersnow - Velvetlungs Right - got a light? - Velvetlungs
New Stuff 359 ManDartin
Original Elliott Boswell
what colour are you?
Video - Make Art
Here is the final edit of the open collaboration I organised a couple of months ago over on YouTube. I started the project because YouTube fail to have a video category dedicated to Art. To me, this is just plain ignorant, as Art has such an impact on every one of us, whether we realise it or not. It is so deeply rooted in all of our cultures, that to ignore it’s existence on such an influential website is actually suppressing Artists and making it a lot more challenging for us to connect with our audience and meet other Artists. So I recorded and posted [a very dodgy] video on the spur of the moment, inviting everyone and anyone to make a one minute video clip that incorporated the words ‘MAKE ART’. I was completely overwhelmed when I received over 350 videos, and ended up leaving my job to put the edit together. It took me a week, and I managed to include 102 video clips. The video got featured on the homepages of 4 different countries and has been 16.
viewed over 100,000 times to date, yet still YouTube haven’t given us our category. Luckily for me, [and other Artists], Tailcast came along to fulfil all our needs, and as soon as I found the site I had to get involved. I emailed Pete with a whole load of feedback on how I’d like the site to function, and two months down the line, here I am heading up community and running various creative projects with you guys! So I guess what I’m trying to say, is that this video has had a massive impact on my life, and will hopefully be a seed from which a mighty Tailcast can grow! Much love, cheekychen x
‘Gobblynne’ - Gobblynne Animation
2D mixed media animated music video about a small girl who wants a more colourful life than routine and work. Created at Norwich School of Art and Design as my final major project. Music by Tim Davis
‘art vlog’ velvetlungs
‘Painting a Painting “Salt Water” Micheal Shapcott
Flies are ace! Animuser
Elora Dannon is/are Tommy and Steve... They have been writing songs together since 2003... They have compiled 4 albums to date, with another in production... Tommy currently lives in New Zealand, and Steve in Mexico... Thanks for listening...
My Name is Robert Waddell, formerly Pyatt. I am a 40 yr old, Singer Songwriter, Musician, Amateur Photographer,Artist..Father, Grandfather, Husband, Brother, Cousin, Son,...I am a father of a 16 yr old girl and a 11 yr old boy and a 10 yr old boy and a 23yr old man now.I am also a grandfather of a 1yr old boy named Jordan.. 40 yrs old...I have been playing guitar and writing songs for about 30yrs.
You don’t have to have a background in art history or formal training to appreciate art, I says Elliot Boswell, Boswell Gallery owner in Decatur, Ga . Making art available to all is central to his philosophy on sharing the beauty of art.
Dancing Feet - Annie Taylor
No Sun to Warm Our Hearts
We are cautiously stepping across the arctic glaciers. The rocks in the sea capped with ice make a passage- where to, none of us know. We just understand following the path is right, why we exist. We climb over them, concentrating on the rock before us. Small steps or we will fall into the freezing water around us. As we pause for breath, and look around us. Ocean everywhere, deep blue, almost black. The sky is frost white, cloudless and bare. No sign of the sun to warm our cold hearts. No life except ours. We have been stranded, forgotten. I smile. Forgotten. Hysteria sets in, as the cold and the emptiness of our surround close in. My school friends are frozen still, their faces showing a dreamy look. Their minds are far away, no longer conscious, yet in the positions they were before. I am the only one who watches as the dark water begins to stir in the distance, and I turn to watch. Rock rises from the water, higher and higher it reaches. A mountain-like collection of stone has appeared, now bold and solid. Behind a grey and brown boulder, three boys appear as specks, scrambling to reach the other side. My friends unfreeze, and stare at the boys. They are not shocked or surprised; they have a glazed look on their face, almost bored. The silence is piercing, ringing in my ears. The boys turn and see us. They wave, and swim across the water to reach us. They climb the rocks on which we stand, and join us as we travel. As we clamber up the jagged stone, we see a wooden cart on tracks
and a tunnel, like a mine. We approach it and the arctic scene fades away. We are in darkness. The only thing illuminated is the tunnel and cart. Now we are closer, it takes the form of an old fairground ride, a ghost train. The tunnel entrance was an arch with a painted sign. The paint had faded, and the sign looked at least fifty years old. The ride was clearly abandoned, dusty and in need of repair. We felt drawn to the cart, and without thinking, we boarded it. As we did, it began to move. It started slowly, and then gathered speed. We moved in darkness, the dust overwhelming our senses. There was a smell of burning, but no fire. As the cart twisted out of control ricketing down the never ending tunnel along the wooden track, the darkness was softened as a candle-like light spread around the tunnel. We watched as old paintings of clowns and circus animals appeared on the walls. And a slow, steady tune grew into the scene. It was striking-pipes played a fairground tune. And the cart went faster, the lighter flickered quicker, the song gathered pace. And the cart grounded to a halt. A boy with a mans face stood holding a torch. His monotone voice filled the tunnel. ‘Thank you for riding your soul. This way please.’ The ghost walked towards a ladder. We climbed obediently. As we reached the top, a blinding light surrounded us. And then we were falling. Falling.
Pier - Daniel Tyrell
Thailand: Chapter 1
(Intro/Don’t Drink the Water)
“Don’t Drink the Water” My mother’s voice echoed around my head. Whatever you do, don’t drink the water. It’s the single most dangerous thing out there. We weren’t sure why, but we were being chased by men with guns. Fresh-faced backpacker virgins, clutching everything they own in easily stealable rucksacks, are easy prey in any country – and robbing tourists is a first-come-first-served market. They’d spotted us getting out of the cab and had given chase before we’d closed the door. There were around twelve of them: drunk, frenzied Thais in masks, their dress a menacing amalgam of tribal warriors and Calvin Klein models. Designer jeans below mud-spattered bare chests adorned in hand-crafted jewellery. If it had happened to someone else I would have stopped and stared at these artistic madmen, but as it was, they were clutching weapons and heading straight for us. Realising we were about to be beaten and robbed, we grabbed our backpacks and ran out into the road. I’d been in the country thirty minutes and had already done enough to give my mother a seizure.
Organic stairwell to Infinity - CheekyChen Waterfall, Scotland - Lucy Rolph
Weighed down by our luggage, we were pursued easily and would probably have been caught had they been sober. We ran right out of Khao San – the backpacker’s safe haven – and into the dilapidated streets of the outlying unknown: an area without police or fellow travellers to bail you out of a tough spot. A car’s brakes let out a piercing screech as we cut across its path and dived down a cluttered, dead-end alley between two houses (which, in retrospect, wasn’t a great move). Thinking the wall of traffic would keep the mob away, we stopped to catch our breath. I turned to Austin, his eyes nervously darting back and forth beneath his ‘Canada’ cap and eventually settling on me: “How... how far’s the hotel? We should... make a run for it,” he panted. The map had been in my hand as we’d got out of the taxi. I’d cleverly thrown it on the floor the moment the gang had appeared. “Beats me; you have the map,” I lied. “Let’s ask for directions.” Austin frowned, regaining his posture. “I gave it to you.” To feign sincerity I lifted my shirt, revealing my travel pouch, and opened it in front of him. “Passport, tickets, money… no map. You have it.” It must’ve worked as Austin’s head tilted down, his face disappearing beneath the visor of his cap so that only his chin was visible – a sign I later learnt meant he was thinking. “AIEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” We spun around to see a topless figure in a Scream mask running towards us with flailing arms. Behind it an array of voices began to echo down the alley – shouting things in both a pitch and language we couldn’t comprehend: Thai always sounds fast and excited to a Western ear; the difference between joy and seething rage is generally indistinguishable. As we did our best to look like third-dan black belts, ‘Scream’ strutted forth and, with a sharp movement of his hands, slapped us both in the face. Continue reading >>
I used her brand new kitchen set, except it was not brand new. It was forty years old. It was new forty years ago, a wedding present that Clare and I decided not to open until we moved into a ìproperî house, one that had a ìproperî kitchen. The kitchen set knives were stainless steel, high gauge, powerful grips, shiny. They had an electric sharpener and magnetic rack. Youíd think for the work at hand the meat cleaver would be best. It was not. There was only one bone left. It was twenty-two centimeters long, which, from my studies, was just below the average length for a right humerus. The left humerus had gone 153 days ago. I could now comfortably say that a murdererís carcass takes 402 days to dispose of. It was tiring, frustrating work when I started. At first I tried the meat cleaver, but it wrecked my shoulders and elbow joints, me not being a professional butcher. Then I tried one of those electric blades with two serrated edges and a vibration that rivals the highest setting on the spin drier. Good for soft tissue, but useless on bone. I never remarried because who do you marry after Clare? She was light and darkness in equal measure, the embodiment of that Yinyang symbol you see everywhere. I lived with her for three weeks, and that wasÖwell, that was enough.
A cut along the head of the humerus opened the cavity, where the bone marrow used to be, which was now home to the foulest of odors, swiftly yanked upwards by the extractor fan in my kitchen. There were probably easier ways to have done this, but none that would give me half the satisfaction. Somewhere in the aether this manís soul wafted back and forth, or he was in hell or purgatory or wherever putrid lives went in his chosen religion. I often wished he would come back as a ghost so that I could torment him. I had assurances about that; the living can torment the dead. We did many things, Clare and I. What I missed the most was her nuzzling my neck from behind while I cooked. I imagined she would have done that while I created bone fragments.
heartache - horrorshock666
Kiing - Reid Sumner
Reflection: A Novel (Chapter One)
I took a deep breath, taking in the fresh air of the early morning. The bright sun had barely peeked over the mountaintops and I did not have to use my flashlight anymore. Every morning I got up around five and walked about a half a mile behind my house to the Magnolia Grove (I just called it the Grove). Magnolia trees were lined up in countless perfect rows. This was the best time to go…in the very early morning, when the first rays of sunlight shone between the thick, mysterious branches and through the translucent, bowl-shaped leaves. So beautiful was the sight, it nearly cast an eerie feeling. As I thought about the strange dreams that haunted me almost every night, I racked my brain for something to write about. As I realized I had nothing to write about, my poetry journal fell from my hands and tumbled to the ground. Everything had already been written by others before me. Things unknown to man… I tried to give myself a boost. Unknown… what do we not know about? What do we not see?“We do not see…” I whispered to the tree, “Air. Air cannot be seen by anyone.” Suddenly the urge to write the poem overcame me, so I swung onto another branch protruding from the one I sat on, and dropped to ground eight feet below. While I climbed back up into the tree I thought about the words that would be on the paper as soon as I pulled the pencil from my sloppy ponytail. I situated myself on another branch, higher than the first time, and this time about halfway up the tree. My poem-tree, I thought happily, leaning my head back on the smooth bark of the Magnolia. “Do you give me the power to write?” More questions hit me. I’d have to make a list. “Magnolia, who has sat upon your branches?” I jotted it down on the pad. “What words have been exchanged here? Has anyone cared
about you as I have? When were you planted, and by whom?” The words couldn’t get onto the paper fast enough. “Are there carvings beneath your flesh, perhaps put there by lovers who spent their last moments here? Has anyone or anything fallen from your limbs?” I grinned to myself. This was brilliant. The series on the Poem-Tree. The Magnolia. And it was all mine. Then I laughed. Not a chuckle or a giggle, but a loud, joyful, musical laugh that echoed around the Grove and resonated through the cold air. This was all too good to be true. The trees…they had a power of their own! “The power of trees,” I whispered, and added it to the list. “These are all unknown to man. But what of nature? What have we not discovered?” I contemplated this thought for a few minutes, and when I was unable to come up with an answer, I simply added it to the list written in my brown leather journal. The questions and poems on the pages inside were my life. They contained my feelings, my stories, my past, and hopefully my future. Yet I had no one to share them with but the trees. I sighed sorrowfully, wishing there was someone here with me, to share dreams with and talk about other things. But since there was no one, even at school, I took in the cool air and made a mental list of the small things I was thankful for. I must make the best of things. This is what I would do. And I laughed again. My mind still in the Grove, I slammed my locker shut and dropped my science books. I knelt to gather them and when I came back up, a girl was in my face. It took a moment for me to realize it was the class “weirdo,” Jewel. “Hey,” she said softly. “Hi,” I replied, a bit confused. “How are…you…?” “Good. Great. Better than ever, since I finished my book last night. I wasn’t reading it. I was writing it.” “Oh…good.” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. >>
Hiding Tree? - Syd
>> “Yeah. Guess how long it is? It’s 302 pages long.” My eyes were the size of plates probably. “Seriously?” She nodded. “You can read it if you want.” Jewel didn’t sound weird when she said that. I saw past her green color contacts, frizzy brown hair, and somewhat baggy clothes, and saw a caring fourteen-year-old who, like me, had nobody to talk to. “Sounds great. What’s it about?” I hoped it was the kind of books I read, and not an autobiography or something like that. We began to walk down the hall. “Well, there’s this girl who’s about our age. She almost dies in a fire, and all her siblings and parents die, so she’s the only one left. She has burns (like third-degree ones) all over her, and she has no idea how she survived. She can’t let anyone see her, because she doesn’t want anyone to ask her questions or arouse suspicion. Then she figures out she has fire powers. So long story short, she finds out that someone purposefully set the house on fire, and she goes to a school for people like her to train, and she goes off to find this person and kill them.” That sounds really good. “Wow. That is so cool. When can I read it?” “I can bring it tomorrow.” “Great!” I wondered if I was actually getting excited. “We can meet out front after school?” “Sure. I never do anything after school. Nobody, well…everyone seems to always be busy.” Was it my imagination, or did she sound sad? “Me neither. I usually go to…” No. I can’t tell anyone about the Grove. “Well, I usually just write poetry and do boring stuff.” “No way! I love to read poems,” Jewel exclaimed. “Awesome! We can trade?” “Definitely. Hey, I’m at my class now, so I’ll see you tomorrow.” “Okay, bye Jewel.” She smiled. “Bye Rose.” I have made my first friend since we moved here, I thought happily.
Cypress Creek, Land O’Lakes, Florida - Armida
Short Story - Butterflies
I was sitting in my badly lit room, with a glass of red wine, smoking my tenth cigarette of the day. I had already finished a bottle, and I was into my second bottle of Pinot Noir. Jean-Dominique Bauby’s celebrated novel was in front of me half open, half read. I wanted to savour every word of that tortured man, so magnificently written, so immaculately described. In my drunken haze, I had let my mind wander off to that great city of lights Paris, picturing Seine, strolling around the Luxembourg Garden, visiting Oscar Wilde in Pere Lachaise Cemetery and telling him that he was right about Love; when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, appeared this small butterfly, coloured with the same splendour of a rainbow. It circled my room a few times, getting a feel for the place, seeing everything so familiar and unbearable to me, anew and fascinating. I watched it in amazement, bewildered by the fact that no window was open in our small house, and I had the curtains drawn as I had come to despise sunlight. Yet, this papillon had appeared in my room. In my room which smelt of melancholy and despair, in which I had been imprisoned by a self convicted solitary confinement sentence, enforced by my own sense of contempt for this wretched, unfair world, occupied by uncouth, conniving men. The butterfly finally and nonchalantly landed on my half open copy of “The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly”, and at first the importance of this ironic coincident was lost on my then numbing mind, full of sorrow and self loathing. I stared blankly at the scene for a few minutes, in trance. In transit from Paris. And, finally a knowing smile found its way across my lips. For you see, that butterfly had reminded me of she. She, who had been part of me for a short period of pure joy and happiness. She whose body I made inseparable from my own for as long as I could. She, who had made my life meaningful, even for a short while. She who by leaving had made me attempt my own death, as the idea of being without her had driven me insane. I shall not tell you her name, simply because her name would not inspire the same emotions, lest you have experienced her love like I have. She does not belong to this world with its benighted worldly problems. What importance is a name, unless you are able to catch her attention, so that you could at least find a meaning to this insignificant life. No, she shall remain nameless, for you see, her name meant much more to me than just a meaningless unappreciated label. It would be wrong and dirty to separate her from my own thoughts. And now, even though she has gone, and we are physically apart, her memories and sprit are still one with my own, and I am going to try and put to words the significance of that spring day.
I met her, like many meet their love, by chance, and in the most unexpected way, in the most unthinkable place. I met her, walking down Boulevard St Laurent, downtown Montreal in a hot summer day. I was looking for a friendly face to direct me to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, when I saw her walking away into the distance. I noticed the butterfly tattooed on her shoulder first, and as if under a spell, I was pulled toward her, unaware of my feet, which as far as I was concerned were walking mid air. I reached her, and felt for the first time that soft perfect skin. I had touched her on the shoulder. She turned, and I was happily lost in depth of that hazel labyrinth of her eyes, swimming in a sea of emotions and wonderment. She must have felt my total surrender, as she smiled, and I shan’t forget her lips so enchanting and bewitching. I managed to utter some words unconsciously, and I was then asked to follow by her. We flew like two doves, never taking our eyes off each other, till we reached the Museum. At the foot of those marble steps, I panicked for the sake of losing her, and begged her to join me for a tour of the galleries, which she agreed upon. We walked down those gallery corridors, surrounded by past’s great masterpieces, yet the only fine work I was interested in was the contemporary beauty walking beside me, whom could have only been created by the Gods themselves. After we reached the end of the gallery, I asked her to join me for hot beverage, which she accepted. At that cafe we sat, looking at each other with affection, talking and laughing like fools in love. I spent the next nine month with that splendid creature. It was truly the happiest time of my life. We were content together, full of comfort jut being. Days past, with I at my writing desk watching her lying half naked on the bed reading Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Eliot and Plath, smiling sometimes, trying to share their genius with me; and I would smile back in incantation and tell her she was delightful. The mornings she had to leave to attend her classes at the University, left me in despair. Depression would take a hold of me, and breathing would become a chore. I had memorised her timetable, so that I would know when her classes would end. I would add around half an hour to the final minute of her class, and wait for the sound of her footsteps, which like a hard drug would bring me instant pleasure. I was addicted to her, and just like an addict I would crave her presence and her touch. If she was late coming back, my mind would wander to the darkest depth of fear. Fear of harm having befallen her; fear of abandonment; fear of solitude. But she did return, and with each return she made that day glorious. All I wrote in my time with her were love poetry. Line after line I wrote her name. Her name had become my escape from the world. Those letters, so fine and poetic had formed a rope which tight around my waist, pulled me away from this abominable world, and carried me to safety, away from the dangers of loneliness. We lived humbly. She, a student, and I, an unpublished writer. We would stroll down the Port of Old Montreal, feeding birds. At nights, we would visit a small family ran bistro, and order the cheapest bottle wine. I had started learning French, and could comfortably pronounce and order food from the menu. I had even attempted reading Baudelaire and Hugo the way they were meant be read. Montreal Cafes, with their wooden chairs, and their flavoured coffees are made for lovers. Life came easy to us, and we
embraced it with open arms. No one had prepared me for such heart wrenching experiences as endings are, and inevitably all good things must end. Our ending began with a letter which offered an opportunity to work alongside some of the great minds of the twenty first century; something which was everything she aspired to. Something that an ordinary, inadequate mind like mine would never comprehend. This was a chance for her to be somebody, who is admired by many successful men; and my dreamy beggared admiration for her was just too insignificant at that moment, and it did not suffice. I begged her to stay, knowing deep down she should be more. I knew I could not give her a life befitting an angel. I knew then and know now, that I will never be able to live a comfortable life, and be able to easily provide for another. So, I had to let her go, whether I liked it or not. I was ended with. Tossed aside, and buried miles under the clouds where I had been so bold to reach. I was once again where I belonged, down on earth with other mortals, some of whom I dare not call human. Down in the mud, tasting dirt, crushed by the weight of daily struggles. She was gone within a week, leaving me in charge of our small flat. The place became a nightmarish space, with bare walls and haunting memories. I drank myself to sleep every night for a week. Refusing to eat, refusing to go out. Bitter tears fell from my eyes. Sadness engulfed my body, gnawing at my flesh till solitude filled me in. After a week, I could not recognise myself in the mirror anymore. All that was left of me was a blurred image of a broken man. I decided that I did not want to be part of this world anymore. I could see no chance of improvement, no light in the distance. My purpose, so bound to her, was then pointless and insincere. How could I live knowing that I would never be happy, never feel the same. So, I decided to end my life; end it with extreme prejudice; end it as easily as she had ended with me. I opened the flat window, and stepped onto the edge. I lit my cigarette, and inhaled as hard as I could, letting those smoky fingers caress my lungs. I dropped the cigarette, and watched it make its freefall till it disappeared from my vision. Tears gathered in my eyes, even though I tried to resist it. My mind started wandering off. I started picturing her and me, just being together, and my body let out a cry previously or since unheard. In that moment, nostalgia took a hold of me, and all I could do was to picture London, my home. I could see the street that I had grown up in, with its shops and houses. I could hear sounds of laughter and birds. The sun had come out, and its heat warmed my battered face. I thought it wrong to end my life in that strange city. I did not belong there. It wasn’t home. So I climbed back into the room, and sat on the floor, wiping the tears from my eyes. I came to the conclusion that I should return to England, and let my fate be decided. That spring day, was four years and three month after I had returned to London. And I had spent it thinking of her. I used to walk around London, just watching people. I used to see her face reflected on others. I would walk up to strangers and asked them whether they had seen my love. I spent hours
feeding the swans, so that perhaps I would feel her presence again. I missed her dearly. Day after day I felt worse. Whomever said that time will heal all, was never in love. I would read the classics so that maybe I would find some advice for my broken heart, but alas, all that I read would bring me more alienation from the world. I was incomplete without her. I missed her with all my being. So I withdrew from the society. I stopped receiving visitors, and stopped writing. I drew my curtains, and stopped the sun shining into my life. The time stood still for me, and day and night lost their meaning. Till that day in spring. The butterfly, which had ventured into my room, finally brought meaning to my thoughts. It stood for something greater than my sadness. It stood for love, and I finally understood it. My passionate love for her was just like that glorious butterfly. It had appeared by chance, and now it was stuck in my room. The choice was mine, to let it die in my presence or let it fly free. I understood that I was lucky to have seen it, and it had favoured me by its visit; and even though I shall never see another like it, I could always cherish the experience as mine. All butterflies have short lives, some longer than others, but what’s important is that they are there to be enjoyed by all, only if we let them. And like us, they will perish one day, and all that will remain will be their myth, which shall inspire many greater than I. It was time to let the butterfly free. And I was ready. I gently trapped it inside my hands and open the curtains, and then the window. I took a last look at it, and let it fly out into the distance. The curtains shall never be drawn again. The butterfly of my love had lived its short life, but I take comfort in the fact that there will always be butterflies for all, as long as there are springs to come.
Poem When I am Tired
When I am dead Bury me Beneath a tree Then shall my soul At last take root Keep most people Away from me Just a clearing Where the wind Will whisper Forget-me-nots And the rain To cleanse me & befriend me I will eat The sun And be full With my breath And the earth Beneath my feet Or Just let me sleep Such blessed relief
40. Atsocstretch - Rhonda R. Carpenter
Swing - Constance
Wolf-Licking Red - Amy Abbott
Chapter - Topaz - Prologue
A cold wind surged up to greet me as I teetered over the edge of the icy stone wall. I shuddered, but embraced the cold. The altitude was dizzying, but all fear dissolved as I surveyed the terrific beauty of the wilds of Navé below me. With its sloping green hills and gently trickling streams, like slivers of the purest silver from my place on the ledge, it appeared to be a place of the greatest harmony. I could see far beyond the confines of Ellemera Academy, as far off as the dense, menacing splendour of the notorious Monsoon Woods. The piercing cry of an eagle sliced through the deafening silence, almost knocking me over. But as I stumbled, my heart remained still. There was nothing to fear from the altitude. I gazed up into the azure skies above me, clearer and more vibrant than I had ever before witnessed, and knew that that was where I belonged. The eagle screamed again, and I saw its black silhouette cut through the air. I envied its grace, its fearsome beauty. To fly, to roam the everlasting, unchanging expanse that stretched over and above all else, would be an honour. I glanced behind me, and thought of the small stone room where I had spent my last eight years. Imprisoned. I was meant for more… So much more. The sky seemed to call out to me, pleading with me
to spread my wings and escape the boundaries that had gripped me almost all my life. A figure shot into the sky from the density of Monsoon Woods, Too human to be a bird, yet with two majestic wings of the deepest ebony. The figure soared towards me at an amazing speed, unflinching. I wanted to join it – leap from the balcony and soar, but something was holding me back. I had to break away. I had to. Another gust of wind surprised me, knocking my off my balance. But this time came a fear. The very real fear of falling from the sill, plummeting down past the electrifying beauty of Navé to land, a crumpled pile of broken bones. I couldn’t fly. Deep down in my heart I knew I couldn’t. Desperately I scrambled to regain balance, but it was no use. In an instant, my feet left the safety of the stone window ledge, and I began to fall. Icy wind rushed by my cheeks, as adrenaline pumped through my veins. The insurmountable terror building, the earth below was drawing closer by the second. I could almost hear the inevitable clunk as I hit the ground… But still I fell, further, faster, until…
Gulls Waiting - Craig Carter
Blog - Some Late Night Thoughts
pieces of a shattered object coming to life for revenge, peoples private thoughts appearing in bubbles above their head, random 3d geometric shapes floating through a forest, butterflies misguidedly falling in love with fluttery bits of paper in the wind, tiny people inside my tv, vomiting actually being an occasion of splendor and beauty and is received with applause like a well played point in tennis, cloning myself a hundred times and killing them in all the violent ways like in video games,
god actually being a bunch of people in suits around a large desk all shouting out ideas to one guy with a typewriter, like the writers of an american comedy show, being too scared to kill a fly incase its a reincarnated friend desperately trying to communicate with me, fields of rusty old radio antennas receiving all the celestial signals of our solar system, being chased but forgetting how to run, forgeting to breathe, parents casually revealing that they are vampires and my time has come,
angels raining down on me to the sound of cathedral organs and adopting a pose like the shawshank redemption poster, the president sneezing halfway through addressing the nation about some global catastrophe, raining upwards, if everything floated, opening an old chest and bats fly out, taking a nap on the couch and i wake up floating through space
Scatteredlightstill - Wirrow
Short Story - Teddy & Francis
He tottered. He stumbled. Landing heavily on his chest with a loud “Oooooophf.” He lay still at last, panting heavily - tiredness was winning this battle. He had to make it to the lake. The sun was going down. Soon neighbourhood cats would be gathering in the park. At least on the water, he had a chance. The bull rushes had turned a fiery red and poker orange in the glorious summer sunset. A cool breeze touched his feathers snaking its way over his body around his beak where a piece of glistening fishing line dangled. Three days had gone by. Three days since Francis had dived for a beautiful looking fish on the lake floor. Three days since he had felt the cold metal hook lodge itself in his mouth. Three days since he had last been able to eat. Three days of falling on his chest because of fishing wire tangled around his feet. His one foot was swollen now, red and sore. But… he just had to make to the lake. Weakly flapping his wings he managed to stand on his one good leg. The water was so close, he could smell it, and he could see it. He tottered. He fell. Landing heavily on his chest with a loud “Oooooophf.” The bush rushes near him rustled then parted. I’m done for, thought Francis as he saw the large silhouette emerge from the plants. “Hallo,” barked the new arrival. “My names Teddy and I’m a Husky.” He lowered his front paws as he looked at Francis, his bottom remained in the air as he wagged his fluffy tail in the air. “Wanna play? Huh? Huh? Huh? I’m a puppy and I love to play?” “No,” whispered Francis, his throat and mouth was so sore. “Why’re you lying on the ground? I’ve seen your kind before on my walks and they’re always on the lake. What’s your name?” “I’m hurt, can’t you see?” Francis glanced down at his webbed feet. I’m trying to get to the water, I’m Francis,” he rasped. “Oh I can help you with that,” Teddy walked around to Francis’s feet 46.
taking hold of the tangle of fish wire around his feet. “What’re you going to do?” Francis’s eyes widened in fear. “Don’ worr-ee,” Teddy spoke between gritted teeth. “Uh’ll jus’ hull yoo to the water.” He yanked Francis by his feet. “No!” quacked Francis. “Ouch! “No’ ‘uch fur’er,” Teddy growl with determination. Reaching the water’s edge Teddy released his hold. “So how’s that?” His tail wagged furiously with pride. “I told you I could do it. Whawhat’s wrong?” Francis had begun to cry. Big tears ran down his beak onto the ground. “Thank you.” “If you’re so happy then why are you crying?” Teddy cocked his head to one side. “I’m still trapped in this wire and I can’t eat. I can’t walk!” Teddy sat down next to Francis, a slight scowl on his forehead. In the distance a man was calling. “Teddy! Teddy where are you? Come here boy.” A high pitched whistle reached them both. “I know,” Teddy jumped up, tail wagging once again. “I’ll get >>
Robot Dreams - Jessica Donofrio
Brian the Hawaiian Lion - Kosta
>> my owner to help you.” “Wait!” shouted Francis. “I’m scared of your owner types. They are the ones that left this stuff I am tangled in now when they have been fishing?” “My owner’s different,” Teddy called over his shoulder as he disappeared into the bull rushes. “He’s an animal doctor.” The sounds of the lake continued – Francis lay back his hope restored by Teddy.. Ducks called to one another on the lake, the breeze rustled the bull rushes and the light got dimmer. Francis sighed - this was usually his favourite time of day. Then he smelt it. CAT! “Well, well what have we here?” The low voice purred. “Dinner, Supper.” “Who are you? Get away from me?” Francis weakly quacked. “Sorry, I can’t hear you.” The Siamese cat placed its paw next to its ear. “Cat got you tongue” “Please, leave me alone,” Francis begged. The Siamese laughed at her own joke. “Yeeees! Well maybe not yet but very soon I will have your tongue.” “Who are you?” “Who am I?” The cat placed his paw against his snow white chest. “I am Ming.” She showed off a paw full of razor sharp
claws then smiled at Francis. “Teddy!” he choked. “Teddy.” “I’m afraid your dear sweet Teddy is half way across the park.” Francis’ eyes grew in disbelief. “Yeeees! I’m afraid so, what do human’s say, out of sight out of mind. He’s on his way home to have din-dins. Speaking of which I’m rather hungry myself. Oh well, it was nice chatting to you, sorry to be a kill joy but conversation is highly overrated at dinner time.” Ming placed her paw on Francis’ chest, closed her eyes and bowed her head. “For what I’m about to receive may the Lord may me truly Thank – MEIOW. OWOWOW – Miaw. Hiss.” Ming had grown to twice her size at the re-emergence of Teddy. “Go on, run you fur ball,” he barked. “Here he is. I told you, I told you.” Teddy jumped circles around his owner’s legs. Francis looked up into the face of a kindly man. “Well done Teddy. What have we got here boy. Oh dear, you need some tender care. He gently lifted Francis into his arms. “Teddy, where is he taking me,” Francis began to struggle. “Calm down there,” the man crooned. “We’ll just get you sorted out and then we’ll put you back on the lake. Its okay, no one is going to hurt you, you’re safe now.” Teddy ran at his owners heels. “Maybe we can be friends and play together when you’re better. Hey, hey, waddaya say?” Francis sighed. He felt safe and knew all his pain would soon be gone. “I guess so Teddy, I owe you big time,” he whispered as he nodded of to sleep in the cradle of the man’s arms.
Chapter - Prologue New Forest - 1992
Her breathing was ragged. The shouts of the enemy were getting closer - and she’d run out of places to hide. Backing away from the entrance of the wooden barn, she pressed herself against the farthest wall, and prayed. Her heart hammered as she heard someone try to open the door. The tugging on the handle soon turned into banging on the thick wooden door. It would offer her no lasting protection. Their formidable numbers would guarantee their success in breaking down the door. It was only a matter of time. Sliding down the wall, she clenched her fists, futilely trying to gather together any last remnant of power from inside her. She knew it was hopeless. Her powers had long since been used up, towards the middle of the battle. That had been nearly three hours ago now. Squeezing her eyes shut, she willed herself not to think about her husband. Blasted in the back with a bolt of Electric Fire. She had seen him fall, heard his last whisper of breath… A small spark emerged from her right hand. Barely anything. Despite the desperateness of the situation, she allowed herself a small smile. For three years, she had been one of the best Casters in the entire Resistance. She’d trained many young people in the art of discipline, the art of holding something back, just in case. Now, because she had ignored her own most important lesson, she was going to die. In the back of her mind, there was a small thought which wouldn’t go away. She would be glad to be dead. To join her husband, and escape the hell that England had turned into. Hell on Earth. Yet there was something which held her back. Something which she felt she had to live for. Her daughter. Alexa was only six months old. She’d never know her father, and now, it looked like she were to become an orphan. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she tried to focus on the increased banging on the door, her final, failing protection. There was an enormous bang, and the door caught fire in several places. She’d wondered how long it would take for them to use Electric Fire on the door instead of countless pointless Razing Curses. She carefully pulled herself up from the floor. Her pride wouldn’t allow her murderers to see her exhausted and defeated. She wanted to face them. The door blew off it’s hinges, weakened by the Electric Fire and Razing Curses, and splintered into hundreds of small pieces. They whizzed towards her, many causing small cuts all over her body. She didn’t flinch. For some reason, it was important that she seemed strong. Five men and two women poured into the barn. They formed a jumbled semi-circle around her, blocking off the only exit. One of the men stepped forwards, his black eyes glinting with the reflections of the fire. It looked to her as though he were filled with flames, and she clenched her hands to fight off the fear.
“So,” he murmured, his voice smooth and calm, “This is what the infamous Lianna Hawke has become,” he let out a small snarl of laughter, and then continued, “I was expecting more. However, sometimes the reputation of Casters is a mere… fabrication.” Lianna fixed her eyes upon his, and replied with a fierceness in her voice, “You must be used to that kind of thing Aaron. You never were as impressive in the flesh as your brother.” Immediately, Lianna knew she had struck a nerve, as she had intended. Aaron’s eyes flashed dangerously, and he fixed her with a look of pure venom. “My brother,” he hissed, “Was nothing. He betrayed his cause and showed himself to be what he truly was. A coward. His death was no loss to me, and even less so to our parents.” He breathed carefully, as though releasing his anger, and favouring it for the same cool, composed demeanour as before, continued, “However Lianna, enough talk. You surely know you cannot delay your death? You chose the wrong side and now you must pay the price for it.” He walked forward, and threw a bolt of Electric Fire at her. It was strong, but not enough to kill her. Instead, she fell to her knees, biting her lip until it bled so as not to cry out. Aaron walked forward, and lifted her chin, so that she was looking straight into his cruel, hard eyes. “You should have stayed, Lianna,” he whispered, “You should have married me.” She looked up at him, and spat in his face. Aaron barely flinched. He merely raised his free hand and wiped his face clean. “You are not the… man you were Aaron,” she gasped, trying as hard as she could to fight the pain, “You… died the day you joined…. the Government, and… now I don’t know who you …are anymore.” He looked at her for a moment more. Behind him, the men and women who had entered with him were exchanging glances, and some were muttering excitedly. “Enough!” he shouted, ending all communication, verbal or other, behind him. He pushed Lianna away from him, so that she was half lying, half sitting on the floor. He stood before her, staring down at her battered and broken form. “Goodbye Lianna.” he murmured. Aaron raised right hand, and from it came a bright light, so bright those behind him shielded their eyes. Lianna Hawke’s last thought was filled with wonderment. For a moment, she thought she had seen the boy she had first met when she was eight years old. For a moment, his eyes had softened, and he had looked as though he…felt something. Some kind of sorrow at her death. However, before she had time to ponder this, her vision filled with a dazzling light, and she knew no more.
farm - Anirudha
Silhouettes at a lake - Tim
Poem - My Legacy
My inch deep footprints In sand still soaked Stand unbroken. My path- My long march Drawn out to see Indelibly. The sound of oceans Still echoes, still Braes for its fill And my voice rises Harmonises And falls again. But tides are still tides Waves are waves and Footprints can’t be saved.
Japanese dolls - NISHI
The finalists were John Woudberg & Chukwuma. Chukwuma won for the following Haiku on ‘Rain’:
Also notable was John Woudberg’s Haiku on Easter: Christianity! Born when Pilate washed his hands Died when I washed mine
John Woudberg Easter
“ ” “
He weeps so often, this god to whom our lives are insignificant.
and Luke Rowett’s ‘The Haiku’:
Cross legged, I sit still. Haiku butterfly arc, twist, Settle on the page.
Luke Rowett’s ‘ The Haiku’
I twist, I turn I search your mind For that strand of imagination That spark of a dream Which will shape your story Make your mark on life
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Billinge (my sister) - Robyn