For the Jungian course July 2017

 

Resonating Choices
This or That.
I choose That.
It Resonates,
This does not.
Then comes the Other
That or the Other?
The Other really Resonates.
I choose it.
But what of That?
What of loyalty, commitment?
I was really happy
to choose That over This.
So now, going with the Other
I am left with
A sense of
Having betrayed That
Which does not Resonate
At all.

 

The mechanical metal arms
Come coldly down
One on each side of my psyche,
Great fused fingers of freezing metal
Approach, close in on
my warm psych-mind,
About to touch icily and squeeze
And squeeze into an area of unspeakable pain
Or, in Dune terms, of no-pain, a pain not sensed,
Beyond sensation,
A long dark suffocation of the soul

Caused in tiny part
by much beloved but ancient dog’s
Demanding whirring whine
Late at tired night
When deep dreams beckon

Or, more significantly,
a ‘friend’ interrupting a share
with matters mundane when
My psyche silently screams for
Communication, for connection

And, closest, my spouse, would be beloved,
Pathetically, incessantly,
pleading for help
With his chaos,
invariably caused by another, of course,
for help which cannot be given,
with his impossible
agenda which exists, unrecorded, only in his head

While I crave
And my soul yearns for
A soul mate,
Or
A mate
or
Perhaps just for myself
At peace.

&&&

Hello I am jean, wee jean they call me
To distinguish me from the Grandmother
Who would ever be Jean, way beyond the grave.
I am friendly, small girl friendly
I need a friend,
To play with
And talk with, with whom
To share the fun of learning, of
Little girl observing, of playing
And dreaming

But

I am told to shut up
And listen
To the garbage
That emerges from mouths attached to unaware minds
And I start to think
That to be heard, to have friends,
To belong
I need to spout inane inconsequentialities,
Which wee jean eschews, can not do,
so gets buried
And so I enter a life
As jo
of drugged unawareness
Ever defined by others

But jo knows there is a moreness beyond
And searches in all the wrong places

And, after years of walking death,

jo learns to reach out,
A pleading hand stretching through the bars
Of the cage formed
By cognitive constructs,
by misunderstandings nourished by
A fear filled ego
Nourished and confounded by
the seven deadly sins

And there is a path from that cage
Which emerges,
Rocky, steep, but her own,
On which at first she stumbles a lot,
Helped by many different teachers
On the way
And still she stumbles
But always she remembers to reach out
And so returns to the path

So
Perhaps
It is not too late
For wee jean
To once more emerge
And find friends
With whom to share
The fun
Of learning
And playing
And dreaming.

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Three wee ones

The maguffin

Sitting down to work
Ha! What intention is this?
The tool has a mind of its own.
Office to be updated, emails to be read
FB screaming read me
Creation could be dead
until another day
But not … is this not
A window
Of opportunity,
Of thinking lateral,
What else to do?
There is always my corner
My poetry corner
The maguffin
That is my friend.

***
And she sits and sips black rooibos
Her hands around the mug,
Ruing lack of weight loss,
She throws in a towellish shrug

So she reaches for a biscuit,
Ginger and cinnamon yum
She blocks all thoughts but risk-it
Despite the growing tum.

***
Procrastination
Thief of life
Thief of creation
Thief of achievement.

But what if not?
How about back burner? Melting pot? Think a lot?
Quiet time, down time, time to reflect and cry?

Time to play games, to potter, to play with the dog.

To notice the dirt, to notice colour, beauty.

The attractions of just being, I live, I breathe.

Review of Elephant Box

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Short story review in Harare News

http://www.hararenews.co.zw/2015/12/book-review-writing-mystery-and-mayhem/

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Last month Weaver Press launched the short story collection series, Writing Mystery and Mayhem edited by Irene Staunton. The popular Writing series, now in its 8th edition, has been presenting the best of Zimbabwean short story writing since 2003 when the first of the series, Writing Still was released.

The series aims to tell stories that reflect Zimbabwean life.Writing Mystery and Mayhem is perhaps the series’ most daring incarnation yet, delving deep into the darker side of human existence with stories that have a sharp element of suspense bursting off every page.

The stories in this anthology are unflinching daring and bold. Everyone has read a news story where someone disappears, is murdered, or faces calm, everyday brutality or arrest on the sunniest of days. Our daily papers are full of them. But what makes the tales in this book exceptional is the fact that they manage to convince you that some element of them, some part of them, is real and happening to your neighbour, your neighbour’s neighbour or someone you know. The ‘mayhem’ of the title shows up in dark intentions, and a deep, muted violence that comes out in the most unexpected ways.

The stories start off calmly but then lead us down paths that alternately unsettle and intrigue. The first story grabs the reader’s attention with a bang, showing us that we can never underestimate the irresistible allure of a diamond-studded, golden gun. Then, there is the detective with a twist in Naishe Nyamubaya’s brilliant mystery that entangles sibling rivalry and the supernatural in what is easily the best story in the collection. Another standout is Goddess Bvukutwa’s evocative tale that introduces us to the unbridled forces of political violence – youths with nothing to lose who traffic in fear and misery. It is a story about those who have nothing to lose.

In Donna Kirstein’s tale, a character crouches in the shadows of an alleyway, blood dripping down his face, fearful and anxious, hoping for escape. In yet another, Jo Saunders introduces us to an impeccable and thoughtful ZRP officer and his companion, a dog called Ninja, who sniff out petty crimes, and then something more on a farm belonging to a nouveau riche family. In Farai Mudzingwa’s tale, we meet the cool, calm certainty of a fratricide, and Isabella Matambanadzo takes us through the mournful account of a daughter whose mother is ripped from her by an overzealous community.

Extraordinary and gripping, this book is a must-read, and a must-give for Christmas this season.

Available at the National Gallery shop or from Weaver Press at 38 Broadlands Rd, Emerald Hill.

I’ve been published! Not only once but several times this year!

One – Two of my three Flash Fictions are coming out in a small private printed anthology in England.

Two – Weaver Press Zimbabwe printed my short story, “Agnes takes the Rap” in an anthology called ‘Writing, Mystery and Mayhem’. Printed books only.

Three – Alan Seeger published my very short story, “Baskets  of Energy” in his quarterly publication called 559. ePublication only.

Four – Laura Probert published my poem, “Awake and Aware” in her compilation of 29 artists and poets in “Warrior Soul” on Amazon, printed copy only.

Five – Elephant Box has at last made it into the marketplace as an eBook!  See http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B019CTC8TK/?tag=protecticslim-21 but it is also available in other Amazon locations, and on Smashwords. eBook only.

200 word Flash Fiction – A Flower called Township Awesome Thing

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AWESOME THING -200 WORD FLASH by Jo Saunders

Once upon a frog there was a small flower called Township. Township liked to rap squirrels on their knuckles especially when they exposed their nuts in autumn. They said they had to retrieve them then awesome cool dude hedgehog would come and nick them.
Township had other interests beside rapping. She liked to slide down the frog’s back when it rained and this became very exciting especially when Planet, for that was the frog’s name, jumped into the pond. Awesome-where else.
Planet would plummet to the bottom, just for fun, and because it was cool, and Township held on by her roots coiled round Planet’s legs awesome slight movement would sweep her away. She loved the feeling of whizzing through the water, trailing behind the Planet with her petals flowing like long hair in their wake.
In this manner Township travelled around, unusual for one of her kind; most were rooted in the soil, awesome call it loam, so it didn’t matter when they soiled themselves.
This is the story of Township, awesome may think it was about Planet. Others would say the two were intertwined if not symbiotic. Awesome thing.

Written as a protest against the overuse of a lovely word that I’ve always associated with the Greatness of God – saddening. The times they are a-changing.

Why Christianity, Why Buddhism?

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Why Christianity?

What is the mystery?
Two thousand years.
Great art
Wonderful Music
Glorious Cathedrals.
A calendar resequenced
Mystical tales
Of magical happenings
A winning tale
Of mother and son.
A hopeful story,
Of death and resurrection.
A Lord
Preaching love
And caring
And non-violence
And joy.
The Cross
And the plus sign
Similar.
Let us praise and give thanks
Together.

……………………..
Why Buddhism?

Chinrezig
image of the leering monkey
Up close showing
Harmony of movement
And stillness
Lotus tranquil
Folk together
Flowers round it
Sky surrounds it
My projection
Leering monkey
My projection
Here’s protection
from wrong thinking
And the Buddha
Up there no idol
Just a method,
A reminder
the reflection
Of my Buddha nature
And the courses
Mindfulness,
Insight
A mind cannot see itself,
Reflection
Presence
Meditation
Awareness

3 x 100 word Flash Fictions

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1 The Baxxix

Once upon a time there was a baxxix who lived in our roof. Like all self respecting baxxixs he slumbered his way through summer. But when the evenings got chilly and my arthritcs kept me in bed in the mornings the baxxix woke up. And he was hungry.
Most years, that is, after the disastrous first year, we prepared for his surfacing, and left bread and birdseed, Cointreau in an eggcup, and a bowl of water to welcome him.
This year the cat, in fright, knocked over the Cointreau.
So the baxxix raided the booze cupboard then ate the cat.

2 Shards

His happy bride, agog with excitement of what was to come, still floating on music and gifts, feasting and dancing, left her parent’s home on his arm. Christmas lights reflected all around. As they approached their car, their feet crunched on rainbow shards, frosty. Like in the movies; maybe there’d be snow, she joked. She was transported.
But.
He saw it first. One window gaped black, left open? (The shards!) To revealed their beautiful hired limo, empty. Devoid of bags and trousseau. The warm Zimbabwean night froze as she entered a soul winter. His test of connubial understanding had begun.

3 The Oddity

Golly it’s cold, more like winter than January in the tropics. I am meditating on the lawn outside our isolated hut, well bundled against the cutting mountain winds. But I am distracted by my border collie, her warm body nestling up against my leg. Her low growl and her trembling cause me to open my eyes. Stay alert, my training tells me. I first notice the hackles, rigid along her black back. Looking up I see the others, five of them. A black, a grey, a chestnut and two roans, quite surrounding us. We are the oddity of their day.

These were written for a competition in the UK and the top 2 were published in an anthology.

So Bribe Me

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So Bribe Me

So you want this so bad?
Incorrigible lad
Your excesses will come back to haunt you,
But we may do a deal
Under this seal
Unless common sense doth daunt you.

Should push come to shunt
You’ll bear the brunt
Of an outlying cost that may shock you,
A bribe? You dare say
And ask me a game to play
For which the police will surely up-lock you.

Me too? Oh joke on,
You son of a swan,
They’ll never catch me this millennium
For my name is quite clean
By all I am seen 
As the pillar upholding nobelium.

My bribe price, you ask?
I’ll take you to task
For using a term disrespectful 
I’ll write it down here
… stop looking so queer
Or I’ll change my tone to neglectful.

When I’m gone on my way 
You can see my say, 
The paper is here ‘neath my placemat
And if you agree
My lawyer you’ll see
To comply you’ll be sporting a lace hat.

He'll sort you out,
You son of a trout
And see that we both get our wish met
But don't try to pump us
Or he'll cause such a rumpus
That you'll want soon to face your Kismet.

So farewell for now
Oh son of a cow
We’ll not see each other again
For I’m off to travel
And mysteries unravel
Along the Brazilian main.

A Poetry Soup competition - I misread the requirement - I should have
been trying to bribe the sponsor for a winning place!

In The Bath

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I was musing
the title
Of this
When I first lay back 
And forgot to be aware
As I lay back,
Forgot the anticipation 
Of joy
Which always comes
Before I lie back 
Before the hot water 
Reaches, and needles
Into my nervous system
All along my back
And small hot wavelets
Make their way 
Round my neck …
It only really works
When 
I first, in a 
Hot bath and after
Activity, or when 
In pain
And I, with an 
Open mind
Empty of Titles,
Empty of
Everything 
But the bath, 
There is only this bath
The bath …
Sit, and then
… slowly …
To extend the bliss
Lie back
Even the whim, the
Inclination to  write
In the bath nay to write
… I must write
About the bliss
Of lying back
… I do it …
And yet do I revel in it
Sit, and then slowly,
To extend the bliss
Lie back
Oh so 
Slowly
Feel the water …
The water
The hot water
As it Meets 
… Every …
… Point …
Along … my … spine
Feel the lapping
As I become
submerged
Bit … by … bit
Oh! the shoulders
Glory
The lower neck
And shudders go through me
Of delight
And more,
Feeling the wavelets
About my neck and
Arms and knees
Ecstatic
Body ecstatic, the water
Love and caresses
Sending
To all parts of me.
Yea to all parts,
Indeed
The heat and the cleansing
Reach my soul …
… Ecstasy …
… Bliss …
… Only this …
But
Now comes the sound
 of sweeping
  Broom wielded by blue-clad worker
   Outside the window
    Sweeping the drive
      With systematic strokes 
        Outside the window,
 The sweeping
  Bringing a rush of thoughts
   Unwelcome now 
    And emotions …
     Too many to name …
Peace … 
Water …
Peaceful water all about me
I am entering a new now
A new present
To be enjoyed
So …
Time to put down my pencil,
To wash, to get out
And smile.

Got a highly Commended in a Poetry Soup competition