RESURRECTION by Barrie Purnell

RESURRECTION by Barrie Purnell

 When I fell in love with her beauty

We were young, naïve and free

We were so close there was no air between us

I was her and she became me

It was for her that I had been waiting

It was for her that my body yearned

But she told me she gave away nothing

Any favours would have to be earned


But she quickly overcame my defenses

She had developed love to an art

Before I knew it she had me surrounded

And had slipped past the guards to my heart

She carried me away with her dancing

To a place where I’d never been

She transported me with her love songs

To places I’d never seen


Expecting nothing from all our devotions

Caring not for who it was on the cross

We weren’t looking out for a saviour

To the priest we were already lost

We were drowning in oceans of kisses

Bathing in lakes of freshly shed tears

The smell of her skin stupefied me

Her arms held the noose tight on my fears


I surfed on the waves of her ardour

I was helpless she gave me no choice

She beguiled me and hypnotized me

With the tilt of her nose and the lilt in her voice

We thought that we’d be together forever

But at the bank of love our balance was low

We knew you have to give back what you’ve taken

You have to pay all the debts that you owe


Yes real life intruded into our passion

There were decisions which had to be made

We’d exhausted our credit with Eros

The piper had to be paid

She said she’d become a jet setting model

On the catwalks of Rome and Berlin

And I would be an industrial chemist

Making drugs that kept models thin


 Our affair never overcame separation

Our passion soon cooled and was spent

Addresses were lost or forgotten

The promised letters never were sent

We lost touch and found other lovers

Then by chance our paths crossed again

It was at a charity event that I saw her

Surrounded by urbane looking men


I wondered if she would remember

Or act as if we’d never met

I’d be hurt if she had forgotten

Was I that easy for her to forget?

I slid into the sphere of her vision

Did she find fortune and fame?

With relief I saw her smile at me

It was a sad smile just the same


We talked of our past infatuation

And the journeys we’d taken since then

But we were now both different people

That love was something we’d never regain

We breathed the same air at that moment

But we were no longer as one

Even when her arms were around me

The closeness we had once was gone


When I saw that the party was ending

I couldn’t let that be the end of the line

I offered to deputise for her taxi

To be with her for just one last time

She lived in a posh part of Cheshire

At number six Montgomery Drive

As we approached I could see that the houses

Were designed to impress those who arrive


I stopped at her gates and turning to me

She said I’ll e-mail you sometime next week

We’ll arrange to have lunch together

Her lips brushed a kiss on my cheek

But I knew that this wouldn’t happen

Our worlds had moved too far apart

I could see that despite her affection

There was no room for me in her heart


She may not have become a model

But achieved the lifestyle just as well

Sashaying up her catwalk of a driveway

In her little black dress by Chanel

I watched as she disappeared through her doorway

I hoped she’d turn round for my pride

But she went in without glancing backward

The gates closed with me still outside


Did I see her steal a look out the window?

In my mind I’ll pretend that she did

But in my mind I know that it’s over

In love’s gamble I had been outbid

I pushed her into the recess of remembrance

Where she’d lived for decades before

Her ghost had been finally exorcised

I didn’t need her love in my life anymore


But I hope sometimes she thinks of me fondly

Of promises made when we were young

And when she’s lonely and searching for someone

It will be my name on the tip of her tongue

She’ll never know how much I missed her embraces

How she hid in my heart all this time

How I remembered the way that she loved me

Because she will never be reading this rhyme


Your first love may always be special

But remember looking back it’s always the same

You only remember the good times

Forgetting all of the hurt and the pain

To avoid rejection and aching disappointment

Just remember your first love with affection

Don’t try breathing life into dead lovers

You will very rarely achieve resurrection


STERLING STUFF by David R Graham

David’s flash fiction response to our trigger ‘Air’. He is really moving into thriller mode.

STERLING STUFF by David R Graham 09.06.16

DI Walsh stood to one side and watched as Richard Sterling stepped from beneath the portal of the Old Bailey. Flanked by police officers, the multi-billionaire was immediately mobbed by a frenzied scrum of reports and cameramen. Head and shoulders above the hoard, Sterling had a broad grin on his overfed face.


Sterling presented his pudgy palms to the babbling hoard, but his eyes were on DI Walsh when he said ‘I have always had the utmost admiration, confidence, and respect for the British justice system. Under its auspices, an innocent man can take comfort in the knowledge that he will be assured a fair hearing and a fair trial. My confidence in our system has been vindicated this morning. Having been presented with the Fraud Squad’s fabricated evidence; trumped up charges, and shoddy presentation. The jury had no hesitation in returning a not guilty verdict. I am an innocent man. The guilty, were my detractors.’

As tall as Sterling, Walsh was leaner and fitter. He was also seething with anger. His anger was not so much directed at Sterling as that of his own investigation team. Some of whom – without his knowledge – had tried to fabricate evidence against the crooked tycoon. The fact that he had no prior knowledge of the illegal methods his team had employed held no water for Walsh. He was in charge of the investigation.  


‘No. I’m not going to sue! What I am going to do is have my chauffeur drive me to the airport. Then I’m going to get aboard my jet, and have my pilot fly me to Naples. Then I’m going to take a boat across the bay to Marina de Capri, go aboard my yacht,  put to sea, and have one big, wild, celebratory party. I could be away for at least a week!’

On cue a bottle green Bentley drew to the kerb. A uniformed chauffeur unfolded his tall frame from behind the wheel, moved with catlike assurance round the vehicle, and opened the rear passenger door. Sterling gave Walsh a cold stare, then cut his way through the throng like an icebreaker and got into the vehicle. His aide, Charlie Haines, got in the other side. ‘Were you serious about the party?’ He asked when the vehicle had joined the light traffic. 

‘I was. Organise it.’ Sterling said.

‘It’s done.

Sterling looked at him.

‘There were two contingencies, Rich.’ Haines said. ‘Prison. Or party.’

Sterling looked away. ‘And what if it had been prison?’ He said.

‘You wouldn’t have wanted for anything.’

‘I would have wanted for one thing,’ Sterling said looking back. ‘Freedom.’

‘You have that now. The yacht is ready and waiting. It’s loaded with beautiful food, beautiful wines, beautiful drugs, and beautiful people.’

You can keep the drugs, Sterling said to himself. ‘Good.’ He said aloud. ‘That court made me feel dirty. I need to get out to sea and let the wind blow all that dirt away.’

The yacht in question was an eighty metre, four deck, Blohm and Voss Golden Odyssey. Sterling had christened her Sterling Stuff. She had cost him two hundred million dollars. He had another one on order for his wife’s birthday. She and her idiot friends can stay out of my hair then, he thought as he boarded the white and green liveried vessel.

His arrival was greeted by loud cheering from scores of his acquaintances, friends, business partners, well-wishers, and useful hangers on. His enemies numbers as many. Sterling didn’t care. He liked to be surrounded by the mega rich. As soon as his feet had touch the deck, the crew cast off and the vessel put to sea.

They took with them six explosive charges. 

The Sterling Stuff boasted two swimming pools: a twelve metre pool on the forward sun deck, and a six metre one on the lower stern deck. There were two charges place beneath this pool: close to the steel flange that secured the prop shaft housings to the stern bulkhead. Two more charges were concealed beneath the twin engines fuel feeds. The remaining two charges were concealed behind the bridgehouse navigation and steering controls console. Each charge consisted of a battery powered travel clock circuitry wired to one hundred grams of PETN.

Sixty minutes after the Sterling Stuff had motored out to sea, the two charges in the lower deck detonated and blew away the stern. Less than a second later, the remaining four charges blew in sequence; ignited the fuel system, and destroyed the communication and navigation systems.

In accordance with the explosive sequence, the stern of the crippled vessel sank rapidly beneath the waves.

The Sterling Stuff should have sunk like a stone. But a freak wave hit the rising hull and caused the vessel to turn turtle. Trapped air belched from the vessel in a series of ever decreasing geysers. Then the Sterling Stuff settled upside down on the water.

Those revellers who had been thrown into the sea, tried vainly to scramble onto the upturned hull. Those trapped inside the stricken vessel were doomed.

One of them was Richard Sterling.

Sterling was trapped naked inside a shower cubicle in absolute darkness.

The cubicle was rapidly filling with water.

He could feel the shower head beneath his thighs.

He was upside down.

He cried out in fear.

The water was rising.

The sound of his fear terrified him.

He scrambled to his feet.

The water reached his thighs and kept on rising.

He pushed hard against the cubicle door.

But the rapidly growing water pressure was too great.

The door did not budge.

The water reached his waist.

He pressed his back to the door and his hands on the wall and pushed back with all of his considerable weight.

The door did not budge.

The water level reached his chest.

Terror threatened to overwhelm him.

He stood up straight.

The water reached his chin.

He went up on his toes.

The water reached his mouth.

He whimpered.

He pressed his nose against the granite shower tray. I’m going to drown.

But the water stopped rising.

The upturned vessel had settled on the surface of the water.

Maybe I can hold out.

He was unable to bear his own weight.

He took a deep breath and lowered his heels.

He braced his hands against the cubicle walls, went up on his toes, and exhaled slowly.

Time and again he did the same thing.

Could he hold out until rescue arrived?

Did anyone know?

He felt dizzy and light headed. His arms and leg shook with the strain of supporting his own weight.

I’m going to die.

He thought of all that he had: all that he was leaving behind. The island, the yacht, the plane, the mansions, the houses, the apartments; the global companies and businesses, the billions of dollars, the cars, the race horses, the fine clothes, the fine food, the fine wines, the fine woman.

In his final moment, Richard Sterling thought of all he had in the world. And he knew that he would gladly give it all away in exchange for just one more mouthful of air. 

Image – Wikipedia

Night Flight By David R Graham

A flash – just a flash – of inspiration

Night Flight

By David R Graham 28.06.16

‘It’s time. Get back and to the camp and bring the others up. And tell Grace to keep the baby quiet.

It was raining when the rest of the Fellowship gathered in the trees at the edge of the road. 

Suddenly there came the urgent sound of tramping feet.

Moonlight glinted off burnished iron.

A troop of Roundheads filled the narrow road.

Led by a horseman, the soldiers drew abreast of our hiding place.

We froze in our fear.

The patrol was about to pass us when Melody the baby, hiccupped.

The patrol turned on us with their swords raised.

A WAYWARD SPARK? by Faymarie Morris

Fay’s piece re Fire. Was this what really happened? Also uses another trigger to tell a story form a minor player’s point of view.
    ‘But, Mr Farriner, sir, it weren’t me… it were you, sir. You said you’d check it. You said, go to bed Katie, I’ll see to the oven. So that’s what I did, sir.’                   
     Thomas Farriner wiped his brow and spread ash and muck over his harrowed face. Flames were licking up the wall but at least his wife and children were safe. ‘Katie, did Nell get out like I telled ‘er?’
Kate the young scullery maid was watching the flames spread across the narrow laneway to the chophouse opposite.
     ‘No Mr Farriner, sir, she didn’t. She were afeared of the height and wun’t jump. I kep tellin’ ‘er, sir. She just stood at yon winder screamin’ and then she stopped. It were ‘orrible, sir. She just stopped.’
They heard a loud crash and fearful wailing as the roof of the chophouse suddenly collapsed and horrid, malicious, blood red flames went raging onwards. It had been a dry autumn. Strong easterlies with their own agenda and momentum only added to the dangerous mix. Several warehouses containing pitch, tar and cordage helped fuel the fire and soon the whole of Pudding Lane was alight. 
       Thomas Farriner couldn’t believe the devastation and speed of the conflagration that was playing out before his eyes. Had it been his fault? Was he truly to blame for this?
Sam Barker, publican of The Baker’s Arms said that the Lord Mayor, Sir Thomas Bludworth had been informed but had said the fire was insignificant and went back to bed. What folly was this because if firefighters had been mobilised then, at 2.00 am, the fire might have been contained. Creating back-breaks by pulling down buildings the fire’s path was the usual method, but now it was too late.
     By 4.30 am, 300 houses had already gone and the waterside was thronged with people endeavouring to save themselves and at least some of their meagre belongings. It was chaos. The choking heat, the unmistakable stench of death and the din of terrified people screaming amid the infernal background noise of hungry, crackling, rushing flames, coalesced into something like hell.
      ‘I ‘eared that the Lord Mayor was asked to order fire-breaks and all he said was, but who’ll pay for the rebuildin? So a government man called Pepys went directly to the King at Whitehall who issued instructions to spare no ‘ouses but to pull down everything in the fire’s way.’ 
Sam Barker might have been a hopeless gossip, but he always knew what was going on. 
      Action was now finally being taken but the blaze just continued, up Fish Street Hill, along Canning Street, Gracechurch Street, Lombard Street, Cornhill and Fenchurch Street and as darkness fell, there seemed to be no way of stopping it.
     Across the river people watched in bewilderment as St Paul’s Cathedral, illuminated from inside with flames against the darkened sky, while the Tower Of London stood nearby, unscathed. Suddenly, a collective cry of anguish and disbelief went through the crowd as the roof of St Paul’s cascaded down in a torrent of molten lead. St Paul’s Cathedral, with it’s perfect symmetry, the epitome of the stonemason’s art, was reduced to a hideous facsimile of the original. It soon became apparent that the reason The Tower remained untouched was entirely due to the razing of every house that stood nearby.
   On King Charles’s orders the same action was taken to stop the blaze reaching the Inner Temple area and he and his brother James were now in charge or operations. They worked amongst the flames in bucket chains and even rewarded the men’s efforts, directly, from bags of guineas hanging at their belts. 
    By September 6th, 89 churches, including St Paul’s, had gone, 13.200 and almost half of the area inside the city walls was destroyed. 100.000 Londoners were homeless and camping on Moorfields, but Charles chose to ride among them to try and dispel rumours that were spreading, like flames, that the Dutch or the Jesuits had deliberately started the fire.
      The king’s baker, Thomas Farriner of Pudding Lane was plagued with doubt as he surveyed the desolate expanse before him, marked only by odd heaps of blackened stone. Maybe I’m not wholly to blame, he reasoned. Maybe it was the Lord Mayor’s fault or…fate, and if no-one finds out…it might all just go away. But on September 10th, a broadsheet was published by an observer, the diarist John Evelyn, who lived 6 miles from the city in the country village of Kensington.
       ‘You would have thought for 5 days that it had been Doomsday from the fire, the cries and howling of the people. My gardens were covered with ashes of paper, linens and plasterwork blown there by the tempest and I cannot help but wonder if someone is currently wrestling with their conscience.’
       ‘Well it ain’t me, muvver, ‘onest it ain’t.’ Kate Warner sobbed as she tried to read the broadsheet aloud. ‘Mr Farriner telled me to go to bed and ee’d see to the oven. He kep’ sayin’ it were me to blame but it weren’t. An’ it weren’t Nell neiver. Nell weren’t just an ‘ousekeeper she were loverly. She allus made sure I ‘ad plenty of food…an’…I miss ‘er.’
Mrs Warner had listened intently and when her daughter finally stopped sobbing and went to sleep, she crept slowly away from Moorfields. Kensington couldn’t be too far away, could it?      
Faymarie Morris      

Surreal by Michael Healy

We moved on from the triggers of the essential elements into firstly the Surreal – for which this is Micheal’s piece by way of introduction, then up to ‘Impression’.


In the colourful world in which we live The skies are blue and our land has a tinge of green birds fly by squeaking in agitated  flocks. And fields of corn wave golden across a tree-punctured landscape or Crashing waves form a Dark storming sea.

But, not everything has to be painted by an artist in exact form. They may have their own interpretation of the world, As the work of our artists John Constable and JMW Turner.

Although these two highly skilled men had a famous artistic feud, their work led to some romantically famous, beautiful trees, cottages and ships, on canvas representing the British countryside of the 1880s.

But not all contemporary painters  used romantic realism – some of the painters used their own representation of things,  a style that finally became known as Surreal.

Salvador Dali was one such exponent.  Born in 1904 he was a great self-publicist for his work.

Pablo Picasso was another great artist of the Surreal style.

Like Dali, Picasso was born in Spain, in 1881, and became probably the leader of the Surreal Movement and sold his many paintings for fortunes.

Surreal art was not just restricted to painters on canvass.  Sculptors also indulged in that medium.  Henry Moore became internationally famous, for his sculptoral gigantism. He established the Henry Moore Foundation as a school to develop Massive  metal Sculptures, as was his style.

Not everything had to be obscure or massively oversize in the Surreal.

For example, the matchstick Men of Lowry: highly powerful but realistic and original imagery.

Michael Healy



Nathanial Baines by Peter Dome

Nathanial Baines by Peter Dome
Poor Nathaniel Baines
For it  it never pours
But always rains
The unluckiest lad in the world.
Seven foot tall
Skinny as a lat
Had a nesting bird 
In his Topper hat
Trousers half mast
Holes in his shoes
Holes in his trouser bottom 
Where the wind blew through
Wild starring eyes
Crooked green teeth
Sticking out ears
That in the wind
Flapped lie leaves.
Nathaniel was such an unlucky lad
And I have to say its really sad
When he was three he fell out of a tree
Later caught ring worm rickets and fleas
Once he fell head first in a well
He was there days and it didn’t half smell
Children threw stones and called him names
But they’d always miss
Because of his skinny frame
He’d sway backwards and forwards in he wind
He had his own foul fragrance that lingered 
So you’d know where he’d been
He lived in a rickety smelly house
With Nora the rat and Ethel the paranoid cat.
Everything Nathaniel tried went wrong
He entered the Eurovision song contest
But at the vital moment forgot the song
Always falling in the village pond.
Poor Nathaniel Baines
For it  it never pours
But always rains
The unluckiest lad in the world.
One day out of the blue
Postman Percy said
”Eh Nathaniel got a letter for you”
It says you have won a competition
A cruise and dome travel money too.
Everyone in the village were so pleased
”Our Nathaniel’s won a trip overseas”
The Mayor declared a  holiday
Where locals danced and children played.
”At last it seemed Nathaniel’s lick has changed hurrah!.
Te day came and Nathaniel packed his bags  
And even wore his smartest rags
And headed  for he ship
Crowds gathered to wave him off
As the ship slipped away
On Nathaniel’s grand day
He looked down at his ticket 
And what did it say?
1st class ”Titanic’
Poor Nathaniel Baines
For it  it never pours
But always rains
The unluckiest lad in the world.
When news broke
The village locals were very sad
Poor old Nathaniel wasn’t that bad
They even erected a statue in the town
But with Nathaniel’s luck that fell down.
They say in the village at night
They see his ghost wander around
And he leaves his smell in the ground.
Poor Nathaniel Baines
For it  it never pours
But always rains
The unluckiest lad in the world.
Peter Dome. Copyright.2016 July


Barrie’s piece on the Fire trigger


 When I look in the fire I see flickering traces

Of forgotten faces and faraway places

But who is it I see is it an enemy

Seeking indemnity from previous duplicity?

Or buried family

Reminding me?

Barrie's fire 

When I look in the fire I see the Second World War

Did Dresden settle the score for what went before?

The London blitz, Coventry, Auschwitz

Victory it will assist the air marshal insists

Do you think god acquits

All hypocrites?


When I look in the fire I see Hiroshima in flames

Did you feel any shame? Who was to blame?

Killers flew high in the Japanese sky

Do they ask why? Do they cry?

As thousands die

American Samurai


When I look in the fire I see Joan of Arc at the stake

She fought for Christ’s sake that was her mistake

Her battle was won in the town of Orleans

But she was undone by the bishop Cauchon

Burnt in Rouen

Only nineteen years gone


When I look in the fire I see a Guy Fawkes bonfire

The flames going higher on his funeral pyre

Gunpowder plot was mooted Guy Fawkes was recruited

Catholics persecuted thirteen executed

Bonfires instituted

Fireworks distributed


When I look in the fire I see a million suns

Born when there were none now dying one by one

Making me think of infinity the Holy Trinity

Of earth’s fragility the laws of relativity

Sun’s nuclear activity

Sustaining humanity


When I looked in the fire I see an image of hell

Will I be able to tell when I say my farewell

Am I on Satan’s list for being atheist

Or as a humanist will I just cease to exist

Or by angels be kissed?

Will I be missed?