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EXPLOITS OF THE VOLEQUEEN

On Being Creative, A Mother & Bipolar

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poetry

50 percent funded!!

Lovely Blog Followers.

I am now 50 percent funded with my novel, Blood On The Banana Leaf, on Unbound.  This is the same publisher who is responsible for the best-seller, ‘The Good Immigrant’.

Halfway there is a huge milestone and I would like to thank all of you who have supported my novel on Unbound or who support my writing by following this blog.

Pledge rewards have been lowered recently so you can have amazing stuff like a personalised, original poem written by me. You never know it might be worth a quid or two one day 🙂   You can click here to pledge and remember even at entry level your name or, if you choose, the name of a loved-one will be printed in the back of the book of every edition.

It would be marvellous to have some of you who follow my blog featured on the Patron page of the novel because you will accompanying me on this thrilling literary journey.

Recently Accepted Work

It has been a great couple of months for acceptances. My flash fiction, Plague Song, was accepted by Literally Stories. I’ve had poetry published in the Feminine Collective and will also be published in their new Chapbook in February.  A zombie story of mine will be published in Twister Sister mag soon.  I love the zombie genre and have a much neglected 8 chapters of a zombie novella, Light Crisis, on Wattpad.  Why don’t you have a look if you like zombie literature.  It’s unusual because there quite a bit of dark comedy written into it.  I’d love to know what you think!

Thats all for now but thank you so much for reading and think about pledging.

Love, Tabby x

Meds.

Sometimes, I come off my meds and it can be for varying reasons. But the one that never changes is my visceral need to ‘feel’.  My medication is wonderful stuff.  It keeps me from being actively suicidal or embarking on high-risk behaviour (you know, the fun stuff).  It keeps me fat.  It keeps me flat. It keeps me slow.

So sometimes, I stop taking them to feel again and this is what it’s like.  This jagged, blunted cycle that I am for the rest of my days and nights.  Dedicated to all of you who know what even some of this feels like. xuntitled-crazy

Unbound Pledge Reward

One of the best things about being with Unbound is creating the rewards that supporters receive when they generously pledge.  For £150 pledgers receive not only their names in the back of the book, signed copies and tickets to the launch party but also a personalised poem written by me.  I love writing poetry so these challenges are really enjoyable.  I posted ‘Our Boy, Jack’ earlier and here is the second one written for a dear friend Johnny whose twin loves are South Africa and his sons.

I’d love to know what you think and please consider pledging for my novel if you haven’t already.  Just click on Unbound ^^^^^^ up there.   Thank you so much!  Tabby x

VAN DAAR HIER

When Africa was my dream, my heart

It’s red earth blistered beneath my feet

A hard lemon Sun blasted it’s radiance

And the veld was baked hard like copper.

The South spread out in waterless plains

And Fever trees blessed an endless sky.

Good wine settled deep in our blood.

The braai spit hot, the dogs panting

For meat, ears flattened for an easy hand.

 

Afrika still visits late some nights

When the fire is down to ash and

Memories cut me to my weary wick.

Reaching for the warm, dull glass

By my elbow. Breathing in the

Comfort of leather and the weight

of dog on my feet. I remember Connal’s

hair, whipping in the choppy wind.

Eyes fixed ever forward, loaded with

Spirit and a gift for light. More at home

With the bush lifting the lions song

Than the mechanical grind of the West.

 

Now the ripe, green pitches of Sussex

Stay my hand, as heads leans in for

The knock of leather on willow.

Two boys in whites delivering runs.

And wickets before a jammy tea.

My life means something here with

you. Your boyish sweat is sweet and

I will always be your guard, my soul

alive with the weight of fatherhood

A polished, eager stone in the shape

Of someone constant and perpetual.

 

 

Jack’s Day

I’ve been horribly neglectful of my blog and I apologise to all my followers.  As you know, I am now an Unbound author and raising pledges for my book, Blood On The Banana Leaf.

One of the rewards for being my 50th supporter was a personalised poem for my friend Jilly.  She was keen to have something to read to her 4 year old, Jack.  He is a wonderful boy and they are very nature-friendly and outward bound so I hope the poem below reflcts that.

Jack’s Day

See, Jack, see the rosy sun begin to rise

A morning mist gives little drinks to bees

The birds begin to sing their first,

the moon will rise before their last.

See how the mountains range & beam

In their Sunday best they are proud to gleam

Goats a bleating on hillsides green

Chewing softly, they are gentle things.

 

See, Jack, see the wind that runs on speedy legs

Through tree tops full of nests & speckled eggs

Look! A lizard sunbathes in the tea-time sun

It’s tail sways in time with nature’s dozy hum.

The lawn is green, the sky so blue,

The stone so cool, the sweetpeas new

The long shadows begin their journey old

As afternoon blazes green & gold.

 

See, Jack, see the Swallowtail on a flower

Taking sips before flying on, hour after hour

See those fields of corn, yellow glinting in the sun

Ripening quickly through the Summer’s run

Field mice squeaking, tails a leaping.

Dusk comes down and from the dark a-peeping

A wise old owl of many years, hoots and swoops

Til glowing moon dips low and he must roost.

See, Jack, see your comfy bed & toys all near

The stars are out, the night is here

Cuddle up with Mum and Dad,

Read a book and feel cosy glad

A glass of milk to bring you happy dreams

You’re eyes are sleepy, droopy things

Smile once more & stretch your toes

Goodnight, our Jack, we love you so.

And please remember to pledge for my novel & at the very least have your name in the published book as a supporter @ https://unbound.com/books/blood-on-the-banana-leaf.  Thank you x

Sonnet to a Beagle’s Greed.

My Beagles’s brain is nothing like a collie
Who has skills, can smile and round up sheep
The Beagle thinks a thousand times, ‘Oh Golly!’
That Ham is but a yummy hunk of meat.
My Beagle’s brain is nothing like a Jack
With quivering nose down tunnels, it doth run
And whisp-ers to rabbits how to avoid the sack
Once more to jump, and hop lazy in the sun.
My Beagle’s Brain is nothing like a poodle
That struts along the road, so proud and foolish
While Beagle lies on bed with stolen noodles
Ears twitching, deep in sleep and clueless.
Greedy, moulting, licking dog of waggy tail
Your heart is huge, your appetite, a whale.

Stopped.

The butterflies stopped visiting the meadow

the year your light went out.

Daffodils were joyless and sadness

weighed down the Barn owl’s flight.

The sun struggled to do it’s yellow best,

The moon simmered in shock.

One hundred fireworks refused to shower the night sky

with colour, rain was colder and stung my face red.

Traffic became exhausted and biscuits stale.

My coffee, cold and clingy.

 

Peacocks screamed your name that night

Tossing it to-and-fro with wretched joy.

And now I sit, vodka-eyed, watching the walls cry,

my shale grey grief decorating the room like

broken fingernails.

Long Way Home

I’m finding it very hard to get ‘home’ today and feeling rootless and disengaged from the world.  My writing seems mediocre and half-baked so just a poem today.

About trying to get back to *that* place.

 

Long Way Home

 

It’s a long way home

To the cats, the barns, the belfry’s

Rape-seed gorges and ever-distant voices

To the dusty halls and houses

And you.

It’s a long way home

To the view of saffron from our tiny hill

A message in damson, the Fishers regal bill

And to the total, utter thrill

that’s you.

Bales and dragonflies plus twice-kissed wine

Seeds, pollen and nothing that was ever mine

Picture-books bulging in pockets

For nostalgia raids

And my particular addiction withering with

each day for you.

It’s a long way home

To a creamy moon & shell-pink yarrow

Names that entangle tongues, the roar of salt & shadow

To the love, the hate, the marrow

Of you.

I Will Not Be That Woman

 

 

Not today.

Even when the Isar

rolls so cool and deep

and I could wade and

wade ’til sleep.

 

Not today.

When I have the tablets

in a drawer

in a box

winking chalkily at me.

 

Not today.

When the church tower soars

and it’s bells toll out

a seductive beat

for me to fly to.

 

Not today.

for me the oven,

the blade and bath.

I shall not meet

Sylvia by God’s

own hearth,

 

Today,

I leave a legacy

of love, of life,

not regret and guilt

for my bairns to

doubt.

52 LOVES – Writers from around the world – short stories and poems.

It seems rather apt that with social media struggling to achieve a balance between hatred and compassion a rather lovely ‘rattle bag’ is being published.

52 LOVES is a beautiful collection of quirky and extremely well-written stories and beautiful poetry of every persuasion.   Authors and Poets who have contributed include, Tina Rath [UK] of Cake and Quill fame, TSW Sharman [USA], Parveen Sethi, Wing-Ho Lin—[Hong Kong / UK], Katy Maxwell—UK, Liam Hogan—UK, Alex Lindquist—USA, David T. K. Wong—China / Malaysia, Ndaba Sibanda—Zimbabwe / Angola, Brenda Anderson—Australia.  The charismatic and talented, Yolanda Christian contributed and edited the project.

And I have a couple of poems inside.

It is available here 52LOVES for the UK and here 52LOVES (USA) for America but is available on all the amazon international sites.

‘To have a story or a poem for each week of the year strikes me as a very cool idea. This international collection featuring writers from all over the world had such an interesting ring to its title. And I must say that my curiosity has been whetted by what I have read so far. Tina Rath’s Carnival and Nalini Priyadarshni’s Your Name and Blooms of Dawn are short, sensuous poems that I enjoyed immensely. Meet Roderick by David Bentley is an altogether a different flavor. So many different hues of love in one book….a fantastic read for the Valentine month. I don’t think I will wait till December to finish it’.   Vikas Singh

‘What a beautiful and powerful collection’  Laura A R

‘Each time I read them, I see something new. They are like paintings I keep coming back to stare at, again and again’  MamaCooks

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