We who with songs beguile your pilgrimage / And swear that Beauty lives though lilies die, / We Poets of the proud old lineage / Who sing to find your hearts, we know not why ... (James Elroy Flecker)


Can Artificial Beat the Real Thing?

I  contemplate, on the one hand, the rise of Artificial Intelligence in a form which can mimic human writings and ideas, and, on the other, the just-announced death of the music legend Tina Turner. Our written words may be stolen, rearranged, mimicked, but at least the performing arts seem safe for now. How could anything artificial reproduce Tina in action? 

Er ... famous last words? I don’t know, and perhaps can’t even imagine, what the future may produce. 

Well, Tina is dead now and will never know. She gave us her best, she rocked our world, she gained universal respect. She broke free of subjection and abuse, to find a long, happy and private love; a blazing, brilliant career; a new home in a peaceful country.

May we all be inspired to find ourselves and live our truth!

when the Great Mother

gathers me in finally

may I be replete

Written for Friday Writings #78: Artificial Intelligence at Poets and Storytellers United.


She Came to the Sea

She came to the sea.

It was bleak and windy.

It matched her dreary mood.

It’s the end, she thought.

I’m going nowhere else now.

There’s nowhere left to go.

She sank on to the sand,

crouching behind a large rock,

her arms cradling her head.

She didn’t even want to

remember all the ugly things 

which led her to this.

She thought she’d get up

soon, or eventually, and

slowly enter the sea.

A deliberate act, she thought,

must surely count for something –

even if only to herself.

It would be a statement

of a kind, a declaration.

She could make one decision.

Tired from all the walking

she had done to arrive

at this distant, lonely place,

she unintentionally drifted into sleep.

How much later was it

that a voice woke her?

She came to with a start,

bewildered by her surroundings.

A man leaned over her.

She looked up and screamed.

He flinched and rocked back

as if she’d hit him.

‘Don’t worry,’ he said then,

collecting himself and straightening up.

‘Are you all right, miss?’

Written as an exercise in my LitChix monthly offline writers' group. The exercise was to write for a certain length of time to the prompt of this opening sentence. I made up an extra game for myself: five words per line, three lines per verse. I forgot all about this work of fiction for a couple of weeks, then rediscovered it in my files and decided it only needed the addition of one comma to be 'finished'. After further consideration, I also changed one word. Of course the story could have many more chapters, but this unexpected turning-point seems like a good place to conclude. (I don't know what would have happened next. To know that, I would have to continue writing.)


Mercury Retrograde

I never paid much attention to it before, felt unaffected. This time, I’m strangely conscious of it, instinctively delaying important communications. Instead I’m inert, and in between escapist reading I seem to be doing some kind of life review, many scenes from the past arising in memory, spontaneously – and also playing out, with new conclusions, in dreams. Am I unconsciously expecting death? I’m 83, I know time must run out, but I feel alive enough.

immersing myself
in reading, in fantasy –
am I just lazy?

I check the finishing date (today) and find other details I never bothered to learn before.

It doesn’t always affect every sign. (Ah!) This time it particularly affects the fixed signs, which include mine. (Aha!)  It can be a time of reflecting on the past, but only if something there is unresolved. (Hmm.) It is not necessarily a bad thing; it can be peaceful, useful, time out for recharging. (OK.)

dead loves awaken –
to be filed away at last
or fully revived?