#writephoto : Fresco

This week Morgarna and Gail are still helping Paul and his dog Sam come to terms with their traumatic end. Apologies for any repetition.


Morgarna had explained everything to Paul but she could tell he really was still very confused.
“Okay I can see this is not working …I think the best thing I can do is take you back to Hellmand and let you see what happened, that way you’ll see with your own eyes and you can then relax.” Getting up Morgarna took her C.O.T.A.S. and called Merlin. A minute later the anomaly arrived and they all including Sam jumped.

Photo by Bruno Cervera on Pexels.com

Landing on the hot sand was a pleasant sensation for Gail she had not liked the snow at all as she’d been dressed for the beach.
They were standing by the side of the road they could see an army convoy approaching, walking towards them was a man carrying what looked like a child, he was praying quietly to himself. Paul went to make a move towards him.
“No point” snapped Morgarna, no one can see, hear or feel you.” Paul stopped short and looked at her. ‘We are only here to watch.” She added.

The driver of the armoured car at the front of the convoy stopped, from the lorry behind a young man wearing jeans and t-shirt jumped down to the road. Pushing his sunglasses up with his middle finger he walked up towards the man holding the child. “Salam alaikum” he called and smiled as he approached the man.
As they watched the passenger door of the armoured car opened Paul and Sam got out and followed Rashid.
Watching, Paul was fidgeting, but Sam seemed restful and relaxed.
Rashid was asking the man about the child…. The man was sweating profusely and shifting from foot to foot. He was definitely on a high…
Rachid knew the guy was stressed. He sensed rather than saw Paul approaching, taking off his sunglasses he looked straight at Paul
and slowly, very slowly he ran his left hand over his jet black hair.
“That’s it that’s his sign for danger” said Paul to Gail “he’s warning me ” …
Gail watched as Paul, on the road, made several flapping movements with his hand.
The driver of the vehicle watching through binoculars saw this and understood. He put his arm out of his window , first he did a thumbs down the a gun signal followed by two fingers and finally a backwards motion.
The vehicle at the rear of the convoy started to reverse the other vehicles followed suit. The second vehicle in the convoy was a Foxhound, out of its two front windowd two soldiers appeared guns trained on the man with the child.

Morgarna lit a cigarette as she watched Paul walk up and stand alongside Rashid, his arms outstretched offering to take the child.
The man was shaking and Paul and Rashid were stock still. The man suddenly dropped the child…. Paul and Rashid saw there was no child just a bundle of clothes. Paul and the man were eye to eye, Paul shouted at Rashid “run” while he stared at the man who had tears running down his face. His tunic had opened slightly and Paul could see the suicide vest and the man’s sweaty hand on the device’s trigger.
Rashid started to back away, Sam moved towards the man and lay at his feet.
Paul held the man’s gaze willing him not to move.
Back at the Foxhound both soldiers hand the bomber in their sights, and waited their signal.
Rashid had turned now and was sprinting back towards the convoy. Paul said to the man you don’t have to do this you really don’t.

Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) MOD 45155791.jpg

Foxhound Army Vehicle

Rashid was almost back at the convoy when the two soldiers got the signal to fire, they both aimed at the head of the bomber. Unfortunately for Paul and Sam the man depressed the trigger seconds before he was hit in the head.
An earth shattering explosion took the two men and dog out! Paul watched open mouthed as he, Sam and the bomber were blown to pieces, there was blood and body parts all over the place.
Looking towards the convoy he saw Rashid was safe and in one piece .

“You saved Rashid ” Gail said gently.
Paul took Gail’s hand and said to her and Morgarna, ” thank you ladies ….what happens now?”
Morgarna smiled and said you saved Rashid , he went home to his family and he is still alive. He and his wife have a photo of you and Sam in their house…
“What about the bomber” Paul asked “He has gone to his end, his destiny”
Gail looked askance but Morgarna motioned to her not to say anything !
Paul looked at Sam , “Oh! You beautiful boy you have been so loyal to me ” He bent down and hugged Sam who licked him and wagged his tail. Then turning to Gail and Morgarna he asked “what happened to us? “
“You were flown back home together, buried together and your family celebrated your beautiful partnership.” Morgarna touched his arm… Now you and Sam need to go!”
“Where?” asked Paul .
Gail smiled, “this way over here ” A door with a huge rainbow on it had appeared, Gail smiled there a special concession for you two , you are both going through the rainbow door together. Neither of you have to wait for the other. “

After Gail had seen Paul and Sam through the door and had a glimpse of them crossing fields towards a group of people and dogs he seemed to know she turned to Morgarna and asked.
“Why the snow, why the fort?”
“Last thoughts” Morgarna smiled “he was so hot and nervous, his mind had taken him back to a winter of his childhood when his family had visited the fort one New Year “…..
Gail was just about to say more when the Anomaly appeared and they jumped.

Fresco, For visually challenged writersthe image shows a beautiful, vibrant painted frescos on an otherwise dilpadated building

The two landed bump in what looked like an excavation. There was a protective roof above them and they were standing in front of a beautifully vibrant painted fresco in an otherwise dilapidated building.
“What now Merlin” Morgarna hissed as her C.O.T.A.S. started to ring

This is part of K.L. Caley’s #writrphoto. Fresco.

K.L.Caley’s #writephoto : Fort.


This week’s story is sensitive so I apologize in advance ….but I feel it is a relevant story… It will conclude next week.

For visually challenged writersthe image shows battlements, a strait of water, then a large fort


Deciding to stay paddling for a while she carried on alongside the prints in the sand until the paw pints turned up the beach away from the sea. Eventually Gail came to some battlements which formed part of a large fort overlooking a strait of water.
Gail followed the paw prints up the steps to the walkway and looked to see if there was any sign of the creature who had made them .
There was a door to the right and she could not resist, she pushed it open and went inside.

It was dark cold and damp inside after the heat of the afternoon. There was a damp musty feel to the place which made her shiver. Moving forward Gail began to hum …more and more of late she’d found a good hum always lifted the spirits.
There was a door ahead of her and she reached for the handle, as she did she felt a shudder as a young man in army combats ran straight through her and out of the door hot on his heels was a dog. The young man left the door ajar and so Gail followed him into the sun……. But it wasn’t sun it was snowing and it was night. Gail looked along the pathway edged by the fortifications and saw the young man just up ahead , he had a Labrador on a lead. Looking at his uniform Gail could see he was equipped for dessert combat and the dog had a stab proof vest on similar to the soldier’s body armour.
He turned in her direction and that was when he saw her!

“Hello” he said, “do you know where we are “
“Well not really but I was on a beach in England on a hot sunny afternoon when I followed what I assume was your dogs paw prints in the sand” Gail stopped to see if the young soldier had anything to say but he just stood still looking at her. “I followed the prints through from the otherside of that tunnel” she said pointing to the door behind them.
Suddenly he found his voice and he smiled at her. ” Well I was in Hellmand province we were travelling through a village when a man ran out into the road carrying an injured child.” He stopped and rubbed his side and then stroked the dog, “that’s so strange” he said.
“What is?” Asked Gail.
“Well, err, no let’s stick to the facts for now. We stopped and our interpreter Rashid jumped down to speak to the guy. I got this feeling that things were not right so I got out of the armoured car and walked up the road to see what was occurring!” … suddenly he sat down on the pathway and the dog nuzzled him. “Sam, here follows me everywhere, he’s a very clever dog his job is to sniff out explosives.”
Gail walked across and sat down next to the soldier. “So this is Sam” she said stroking the platinum Lab, who licked her and wagged his tail. “I am Gail ,so who are you?”
“I’m sorry where are my manners my name is Paul and I am so confused. I was in Hellmand and now I am here.”
Gail smiled and said “well if you continue your story we might work out what is happening to you.”
“Yes! I walked up the road towards the two men and the child in arms with Sam at my heels. As I got close Rashid signaled to me to stop. He turned towards me and signalled danger. Sam suddenly moved forward and I could tell he was sensing explosives . I signalled back to the others to withdraw then I shouted to Rashid and asked was there a problem. As the vehicles moved back Sam and I joined Rashid. I went forward and put my arms out to take the child. Just then Sam lay down at the man’s feet , I screamed at Rachid to run! “
Paul stopped and fought to catch his breath. Gail put a reassuring hand on his chest and gently asked him to carry on.
Paul shuddered then continued. ” All hell let loose, the man threw the child, which I could now see was a bundle of rags, to the ground and I saw the suicide vest he was wearing, he looked me in the eyes, Gail, and I knew we were dead. I felt Rachid run past me and I prayed that he could get far enough away from the blast to survive.”
Taking another deep breath Paul, continued. ” The man and I held eye contact for at least a minute I saw he had the trigger device in his hand I willed him not to active it …… One of the guys back at the convoy obviously had a clear shot and I felt the bullet whistle past me, too late because he’d triggered the the device and the whole world exploded. I remember flying and hearing Sam cry out too. Then we were falling fast then thud into black nothingness. I felt like I was lost in a blizzard “
Gail looked at Paul and Sam and she felt tears burning in her eyes.
Paul stood up and looked out to sea then he turned to Gail who was sitting with Sam’s head on her lap and said “I am dead aren’t I, and Sam too, we were blown to pieces weren’t we? Where are we and what happens next?”
Gail looked at Paul and said, ” I am not sure where we are but I am pretty sure that I am here to get you and Sam to where you are meant to be. “
Paul looked at Gail and said, I am scared, I am so grateful that you are here but I feel I have to stay here until I know what happened to Rashid and the others in the convoy .”

Back at the house an alarm was going off in the lab Merlin was in the library looking at star charts while Morgarna had just jump back from Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool… Looking a tad dusty.
“What’s that alarm for Merls isn’t it the one you fitted to Gail to let us know if she got into problems?”
Merlin was by her side immediately, ” it is lets see what the problem is.”

Morgarna landed at the fort and went through the tunnel out into the snow and the night. She found Gail, Paul and Sam looking out to sea.
“Morgarna” Gail was supprised to see her standing there. ” What are you doing here?”
“Merlin and I picked up your alarm… We all have one so who ever is back at the house can make sure we are okay.”
“I didn’t know that “
” Well it’s a good job we do your stress readings were off the scale my girl. Right cigarette anyone, and I have whiskey and lemonade. I have been back to Hellmand province 2007 and I found out exactly what happened. Paul , are you ready to hear the outcome? …….

THIS IS OF K.L.Caley’s #writephoto: Fort.

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 314, 4/4/23


短歌 火曜日

Colleen said :”April is my anniversary & birthday month. So, let’s have some fun! This week’s challenge is to write a specific form with a twist!

Write a shadorma, or a series of shadorma poems using three to five of the random words provided: scale fish month (soup) (smile) (sticks)
(slave)property (songs) bushes (rock)
disease (shade) clouds (giants) (spring)
grape books polish (wing) approval
comparison (walk) front hot. “

I have been a little greedy and used eleven words which I have bracketed above. My poem is about War and big bully countries invading or keeping smaller ones down… It’s about all war really.

image from Pixabay.

I am a
Slave to hopes and dreams
I fly on
Wings of fire
Landing on giants shoulders
To make them want peace

Sticks and rocks
Thrown land at their feet
Riding armoured tanks they fire
Their bullets and bombs

Can we grow
Green bushes for shade
Could we walk
Hand in hand
And eat soup in harmony
Can we learn to smile

Can we stop
Fighting ? Together
We should all
Be as one
Underneath we are the same
Sing of peace not war.


Love Is In Da Blog: All we are saying is give Peace a Chance.

Bee’s prompt for today is “A Love Song For Ukraine and all other countries troubled by violence.” Most countries seem to have war or unrest. We mustn’t forget them as we must not forget the Ukrain . It is easy to forget how hard it really is for those at war from the comfort of our livingrooms.

I am going to let the videos speak for themselves. Please read the information at the end second video…is worse now. Why can’t we have peace: because it’s too lucrative for those in power.

Ronovan Writes SIJO Wednesday Poetry Challenge #46. Use FORTUNE as your inspiration this week.

Ronovan Writes Sijo Challenge Image

I do not apologize for basing my Sijo this week on News story: Jan. 24, 2023, at 2:14 p.m. LONDON (Reuters) -British voluntary aid workers Chris Parry and Andrew Bagshaw were killed during an attempted humanitarian evacuation in eastern Ukraine, Parry’s family said on Tuesday, weeks after they were reported missing in the war-torn country.


Caught up in the theatre of war, two heroes gave their lives for others.
Winter showed no pity, the enemy gives no quarter.
Four seasons witness atrocities, the miss fortune of war.

Part of Ronovanwrite’s Weekly Sijo.

One-Liner Wednesday & #JusJoJan the 25th, 2023 – How I know.

Today is the anniversary of the Birthday of Robert Burns.

“Man’s inhumanity to man makes countles thousands mourn” Robbie Burns. Still as reliant today as when he said it.

part of LindaGHill’s One-Liner Wednesday and JusJoJan

When will it ever end?

Two poems I wrote almost a year ago, not thinking the war between the Ukraine and Russia would still be waging.

Painting:Title: Russian Dancers
Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Date: 1899 via https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/

Russian Dancers


Whirl and stamp, heel, toe high
Stamp those boots, drown out lies.
Hear truth before it dies
Don’t trust Putin.

Mother Russia blushes
Her Boots are made to stamp
Ukraine caught in her clamp
Don’t trust Putin.

Don’t listen to the news
Open your eyes, look
The man’s an evil crook
Don’t trust Putin.

© willowdot21.


painting by Franz Marc, killed at Verdun in 1916.


The washing hangs abandoned
In the Ukraine, blooded and singed
Cowering not from the wind but from the bombs .
It is tethered to a line, an invisible line
Everyone has forgotten and it stays Abandoned in the cold wind and snow.

It’s a symbol of the people
Made refugee
Hanging between life and death
Bombarded by those with no conscience
Empty promises of safe passage
Hanging on the invisible line
We must not dessert them.

© willowdot21.


TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 298, 11/15/22 #Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt


This challenge explores Ekphrastic poetry, inspired by visual art or photographs. David provided the photo for this month’s challenge:


I have chosen to do a Tanks, hopefully less words more meaning.

“Ukrainian Figurines” by Kirill Shevchenko (Groder) Image by Кирилл Шевченко from Pixabay

We stand together
United in heart and voice
Music lifts us up
Surrender is not a choice
We are a choir of hope

This is part of Colleen’s Tuesday Tanka Challenge

Lest we forget.

During  the  two  wars they also served who stayed behind.


Remember the women left back home.

They made the ammunition for Tommy

Dangerous work,they died too it was not funny.

Women became officers of the law

Something never heard of before.

Nurses, drivers  even pilots for planes

Remember  them  we  will never  know  their  names

Someone had to give  the  farmers a hand

Remember   the men  were  at war  in a  foreign  land.

The members  of  the ” fairer  sex ”

Drove  the  buses, trains  and  lorries

Kept  all essential job going , however  complex

They  also  fed  the family  and kept  the Home Fires  Burning


All images  from  Google Images  women  at  war  ww1 and  ww2

Those Bright Young Things.

We sent them off to war,

These bright young men

We had no knowledge what they saw,

They came home, bright young men no more .

Yes though brave they were no longer whole

Those that survived had no soul.

Many died, the lucky ones, death to them was kind.

Those who returned were faded in body and in mind.

Their loved ones at first relieved

Soon found they had much cause to grieve.

Though there, in body broken,

Their fears left unspoken

Their minds were left behind.

They went out whole, these bright young things.

They returned lost, holding on by gossimar strings

Taplow Court

They went full of pride for God and King

They ran head long into hell

On return they could not relinquish it’s spell.

So we had a nation of half men, half ghosts

Fearful, their heads still had them at their posts.

The trenches and the blasts of bombs, the smell of death

Clung to them and bled them dry, the whole in body, the blind of eye

The amputee, it was as if they had never left.

We sent them off to war,

These bright young men

We had no knowledge of what they saw,

They returned, bright young men no more.


Paintings by William Rothenstein.


The Red and the White.



Both were brave

Each had their own

Principles to up

Hold. Neither less than bold.

One would carry a weapon

The other a stretcher, no gun

Both men died for their own beliefs

They were both lost and that loss brought much grief.


Then there is the Purple Poppy in remembrance of all the animals who died in service during conflicts and serve with us still in modern conflicts.

They pulled the gun carriages until they dropped

They carried messages and they got shot.

They search out the unexploded mines

They save lives a thousand times.

Spare a thought for the horse, pigeon, donkey, dog and many more

Remember them, they all help us in times of war



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