Moons of Mountain Ana: Rituals… Stuart France


Regardless of content, our most intense moments have a habit of assuming ritual clarity.

Together, the figures our characters cut are colourful, and bright, and amusing;

the wheel-spinning white car which your mother read about in my story, or Roma’s amber earrings, Louise and Paula, uncharacteristically, dressed in black.



who plays football,

and for whom love… is too painful?


Continue reading at Stuart France

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Span #midnighthaiku

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Rewinding Time ~ James Pyles #writephoto

the road

© Sue Vincent

Sixty-six year old Douglas Collier was shocked to find that he was walking out of the foothills toward Idaho State Highway 21 somewhere between Idaho City and Boise. In fact, he didn’t expect to exist at all, let alone be on his feet.

“What the hell just happened?” He stumbled across a low, grassy rise near some abandoned fence poles, gazing down at the asphalt pavement just below the hill.

“Are you talking to me?” The voice sounded like a snarky teenage boy, someone you’d find on social media flaunting their progressive values alongside their World of Warcraft online scores. The harness on Doug’s body, concealed under his faded blue jeans, tan, long-sleeved pullover shirt and dark blue jacket glowed a brilliant white and green as the AI spoke each word.

In a momentary burst of anger, he shot back, “Who the hell are you, Robert De Niro?”

“Well, in a pinch, I could also be Michael J. Fox parodying De Niro.”

The cold morning air stung the man’s face and head, short-cropped gray hair and a white and gray beard stubble doing nothing to protect him. His feet slid down gravel for a moment, and then he got his footing back and continued to walk. “I’m not kidding. I’m not supposed to be here, and you’re supposed to be going home. That was the deal, right?”

Continue reading at Powered by Robots

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Onward ~ Sisyphus #writephoto


We stop at the top of the small hill, and look down at the road meandering away from us. The bikes lie on the short grass, next to tall poles that remind us that, here, the snow can erase everything, and level the landscape, but we are too early for it. The air is cold, the pale rays of the winter sun lit the distant crags. Soon the night will fall. We set the tent not far from here, and lit a fire. Tomorrow is another day.

Reblogged from Of Glass and Paper

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Epiphany in the Park ~ Jeff Grant

Reblogged from besonian:

At about eleven o’clock the other morning, I was coming back through the park from the shops. It was a morning like many we’ve had in London recently – quite cold, about 7C, slightly misty, and although not actually raining, the atmosphere was damp enough to make the metalled path wet.


There was no other person in sight. The children’s playground was silent and deserted. There was no wind to move the bare branches of the trees. The only birds I was aware of were a robin singing his poignant little song somewhere in a tree or hedge close by, and one of the park’s resident band of crows stalking imperiously through the damp grass.

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Life ~ Tina Stewart Brakebill #writephoto

timelapse photo of trees with background of star

the road tempts onward

but deep down in the dungeon

memories unspool

Continue reading at Tina Stewart Brakebill 

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Hands of the Future

Sun in Gemini

It was cold, very cold on that Friday… just five days ago.

Across the road, people were trickling out of the railway station and along the busy main road through Penrith. Three hours from now it would fill with commuters both leaving and arriving in the Cumbrian town on the main west-coast line to Glasgow.

But not yet…

“Full Circle: Finding the Way Home’ was the name of the Silent Eye’s weekend workshop. The town of Penrith its base for the three days; and the bitter Cumbrian wind was seeing it start in true local style. The land of lakes and mountains was mounting a traditional Winter welcome…

Nine of us had Penrith Castle to ourselves and I was standing by the English Heritage notice-board quite stunned by what I was looking at. The word ‘Cycles” had just taken on a quite different meaning, and I was staring at an…

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From there to here…

There will be tales to tell, experiences and photographs of wonderful places to share… but for now, I am just back and beginning to catch up on the comments and emails I could not answer while in the north.

The days were taken up with the Silent Eye workshop and the road, and the old hotel, nestled beneath the hills and with walls several feet thick, had the patchiest signal imaginable. I gave up trying to keep up and have a lot of catching up to do, a fish tank to cleana nd a dog who needs cuddles when I get home from work…

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Onward ~ Alethea Kehas #writephoto


Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

Talk to me about silence

I can’t hear your words

A mind closed by fear shuts

the ears and averts the eyes

while the voice calling out

to be heard

becomes a child

waiting to be seen

Continue reading at Not Tomatoes

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Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Search and rescue, Munros and Ben

As soon as winter comes, I have to be on search and rescue duty. I am one of the lucky ones… I only have to rescue abandoned toys from the garden. Some dogs have to climb mountains and look for lost two-legses. Some look after sheep and go out in all weathers while the rest of us stay warm and dry indoors. Some have to be eyes, ears and support for their two-legses, while I am just a foot warmer on cold nights (though with her cold feet, that is pretty heroic, let me tell you…).

Dogs like Trigger who looks after Kevin Morris deserve a special thought… as do all dogs who spend their lives helping two-legses. But then, you are mostly in need of a bit of love and looking after, you know. And that’s okay… so are we.

My mate Ben is doing something pretty heroic to help too… he doesn’t just write poems, he climbs hills… and they are not just little ones either, a hill has to be over three thousand feet high to qualify as a Munro! I think he deserves a good Christmas!

Ben’s Christmas

Lights and love and laughter

Lying in till late

Cuddles frame the morning

Postman at the gate.

And the tree

(but not for a pee!)

Drips with gorgeous baubles

Just beyond my paws

Hiding all my presents

Left my Santa’s Claws.

And the food

(I’m right in the mood)

Cinnamon and turkey

Make my nose go warm

Sausage rolls and mince pies

A culinary storm.

And the pub

(but not for the grub 😦  )

Beer and wine and whiskey

Though water is my Zen

Dancing fire and friendship

Bingo, Boots and Ben.

And the snow

(No longer a foe – I’m braver now 🙂 )

Flakes of white soft moisture

Settle on the ground

Artist with her vision

Makes a helping hound.

And the day

(excitement rules OK)

Tearing at the paper

See what lies within

Treats and toys and titbits

This must be win win.


Me and my people hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas and wish you every joy, peace and happiness in 2019


Love Ben, the dog poet 🐾

About Ben

I am a four year old Border Collie who was orphaned, and then rescued by my people, at the age of 6 months old. One of my main purposes in life is to be Munro Buddy for my female person on a big exciting charity challenge. We aim to climb all the Munros in ten years. They are the 282 mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet high. This is before I am 10 and my person is 70. It’s v. v. v hard work. As we go we go we aim to raise £32,000 for two good causes, both of them are charities where we canines are put to work in the service of 2 legged things. I’m not even allowed to buy one treat with all the dosh. So far we have completed 52 Munros 🙂


I started my blog to record all my adventures as I go and they are just here:

Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws

I would love it if anyone wanted to have a peep and especially if they put paw to paper in my comments box. I need all the support I can get to haul the old thing up all those hills. Then, responding to a poetry challenge, I became the dog poet adding a whole new paw to my literary career. All my poems are HERE.

Ben, The Dog Poet | Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws

My time off from the Munros in 2018 resulted in a rather contemplative Ben so… I thought I would turn these musings into a touch of rhyme, trying my v. v. v best to get the best possible words in the best possible order.


An Invitation from the Small Dog

If you would like to help Ani make her advent calendar this year, send your letters to Santa, festive memories, short stories, flash fiction or poems to the Small Dog. She will post them every day through December until Christmas…and there are still spaces left!

She would especially like to hear from her four-legged or feathered friends (she has a special place very close to her heart for turkeys)… but she says that two-legs are better than none, so she will accept submissions from humans too (and even no-legs if there is the odd literary snake out there…). To get in touch, please use the form on the contact page or email Ani at

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