The Barbary Knife

Do not know where this poem came from. I must have been shivering me timbers off somewhere after being caught in a squall😄. I’ve never been to the Barbary coast in my life, my ancestors, a few being sailors, probably did though. I have got a fascination with the sea and ships so maybe the idea was buried deep down below in Davy Jones’s locker (a definite ancestor if I ever saw one)😄

There’s one ship that flows through my veins and my life,

She’s carved in my skin with a Barbary knife,

Her sails cut a gash through the buttery surf,

Her frame is majestic, colossal her girth.

She rolls and she reels on the waves as they pound,

She creaks and she sighs though her timbers be sound.

Her name is adventure. Her blood is my life

She’s carved through my heart with a Barbary knife.

Lynda M Roberts © 2022

The Secret Garden

Another haiku from my End of Days series. No, partygate will not be gotten rid of, forgotten nor forgiven. They partied whilst people died alone.

And the beast goes on… and on

The secret garden

24 hour party people

Stage their own lock in.

The threshold of No.10 where 24 hr people disappear, only to emerge as amnesiacs with peerages and promotions. A magical world where Grey fades to whitewash and suitcases transform into wine cabinets. Brigadoon? Or a bridge too far? An unmasked ball full of Bullington bullshitters, carefree and unconscionable. Whooping, careering down slides, revelling, rolling in their bacchanalian exceptionalism and celebrating that sense of sneering superiority whilst lesser mortals abide by THEIR rules, that THEY made and have had to suffer their loved ones to die alone.

Amnesia sets in. These gas lighters would have you believe it was all a Winter, Spring, Midsummer’s night dream, a Will- o’ – the – wisp piece of trivial political ‘fluff’ to be blown away and forgotten. It isn’t and it won’t be.

Sunglasses image here

Poster here

Book Review: ‘The Silent Companions‘ by Laura Purcell

The Silent Companions

The first book I have read in absolutely ages. I have made a resolution to read books which have been piling up for ages. At last I have managed to get my concentration back by reading a little per night. Before I knew it, I began to get absorbed again into the pages, just like I always used to be. It’s hard to review a book without giving too much away, but I shall try.

More info here

Newly widowed Elsie inherits her Late husbands childhood home ‘The Bridge’ in a run down desolate village. The superstitious villagers view her with dread and suspicion. The scene is set. Elsie’s inheritance proves to be a strange dark eerie house complete with a couple of weird servants, who serve to add to the foreboding and hostile atmosphere.

At home

Gothic corridors, shadows and a loaded foreboding atmosphere permeate the chapters of the book as it time shifts, starting from the present, where Elsie is undergoing treatment for extreme trauma. Slowly, gradually her story begins to unfold to her incredulous doctor.

The narrative then jumps from Elsie’s present (1865) and we then hear Anna’s voice. She was the past mistress of the house in 1635. She relates the eerie happenings which are to set off the strange happenings in Elsies story.

The chain of events relating to the women’s stories are both tragic and disturbing. Against a backdrop of strange noises, turret doors which open and close mysteriously, the weird, tight lipped fearful servants creeping around and a sense of intrigue and secrets, Elsie finds herself living in a waking nightmare.

18th century dummy board

The silent companions are actually dummy boards, popular in the 17th century. They are painted figures which were used to deter would be robbers from looting empty affluent homes. One is never alone with a silent companion it seems, and this is certainly the case here. But these particular boards harbour a dark malevolence which offer no security and no comfort.

‘The Silent Companions’ flips back and forth between the two narrators, Elsie and Anna, as each give their disturbing horrific story. This intriguing page turner delivers gothic like shivers that one associates with long wintery nights, huddled around an open fire whilst a flickering candle quivers.

Images from Here

A Dummy Board Mystery Here

More thanks to This site

Ps. Pm…

I stand with Ukraine 🇺🇦

Part of my series ‘End of Days’. Each new day feels like exactly that, the end of life as we once knew it. With endless atrocities deceitful lies, corruption and scandal after scandal ever unfolding, we are indeed living in dark times. So many ‘gates’ of evil opening, all leading to a desolate landscape.

‘Partygate’ , the one that recently uncovered Tory revellers, including the PM Johnson partying in lockdown whilst loved ones died alone has now been replaced by the Russian war on the Ukraine. This has fully exposed the extent of money laundering and the greasing of Tory party palms by Russian oligarchs. Whilst Putin murders innocent people in cold blood, our ‘worldbeating’ claptrapper has given a few sanctions out and given the oligarchs a 30 day a head start to clear their desks. He is up to his neck in it and he knows it.

The Tories policy on refugees is disgraceful. A lot of people in this country are disgusted with their government’s attitude and think we should welcome and help the Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing for very their lives from this hell that had been wrought upon them, just as any descent human being would. Thoughts and prayers go with those people who are fighting for their country.

Shame on Putin and shame on our government!

Traitors Gate image

Into the Read

In the beginning, Echostains, my art blog, featured art history, design, film, book reviews – in short a pot pouri of art/arts related topics.

I then decided to transfer the book and film reviews and subjects to another blog. Thus Bookstains was born.

Content on Bookstains has been sporadic, to say the least over the years. I now have an Instagram version, which at this present time features mostly poetry and a lot of haiku. There is a reason for that….

This years resolution is to read more books. For the last couple of years, my concentration has been all over the place. I used to be an avid reader: reading every night before I went to sleep. I spend far too much time online now – yet somehow, I don’t actually get anywhere. I am going to have to get physical with some books. I have several books I haven’t read so I really must bring this physical habit back into my life.

Now to decide on which order🤔

Films. I watch a lot of films and series. Yet again, I’ve lost the will to write about them. Again, I put it down to lack of being able to concentrate.

So, I am challenging myself to read the last books I bought or was bought, starting tonight. I want to see how long it takes me AND do a review of each of them.

The Runaway Train

Carrying on the back track

Yet another train of lies

Are Shunted northwards

The runaway mouth ran over the hill and he blew it. Again. Unfortunately, the last I heard he was going still… Yet another empty promise for the North. The abandonment of HC2.

Second in my new occasional series ‘End of Days’ where I dilute (and believe me, I do dilute) my political outrage into a Haiku. Its been a daily occurrence (my outrage and despair) since this ‘government’ got into power. There’s so much more to this Dystopian nightmare I find myself in. So many things have been spoiled and ruined. I know that things will never be the same again (and also that I’m coming over all McArthur Park😮 Oh No!😮🙄

Train image here

‘A Betrayal of the North’

Haiku: Lords a reaping

With reference to the Lord of Misrule. Traditionally, he is appointed at Christmas time to preside over the Feast of Fools.

First in my new occasional series ‘End of Days’ where I dilute (and believe me, I do dilute) my political outrage into a Haiku. Its been a daily occurrence (my outrage and despair) since this ‘government’ got into power. Johnson has awarded more peerages (including family, donors and friends) than any other PM. The scandal of cash for peerages is still raging Here and I dare say many Lords in Waiting will ready to leap and reap their reward.

Lords a leaping

Slathering with cash

Paths of their greasy tenure

The Lords of Misrule.

With reference to the Lord of Misrule. Traditionally, he is appointed at Christmas time to preside over the Feast of Fools.

Elastoplast for the Past

Slipping behind again with my blogs again. Where does the time go🤔 When I first started my blogs up, the plan was to post a few times a week. So much for plans🙄 I’d have been better off doing a diary (as I write in that every day.

Anyway… here’s a short poem I wrote the other day when I was thinking about some matters I haven’t completely dealt with. I get them out so often, puzzle about them, decide they’re too painful or difficult to deal with – and back they go, safely under lock and key. This is a way of ‘dealing’ with em. The new shelving🙄

Elastoplast for the Past

Feeling

Healing

quick fix hack.

Abrupt

Clean up

the latest bombast

Drummed up

Dumbed up

Paper the crack

Stickily

Wickedly

Leaving it’s mark

Snapped shut

Wrapped up

Sent back to the dark.

© Lynda M Roberts

Random Haiku from my Covid-19 Diary (Day420)

The Black Dog

This was written on one of the down days. This pandemic has impacted on a lot of peoples mental health. Being forced to live life in an abnormal way doesn’t sit well with me. The day I start to accept the abnormal as ‘normal’ is the day I give up railing against this machine. No chance of that.

Though freedom beckons,

The Black Dog stubbornly clings

And dictates the scene.

© Lynda M Roberts