Wednesday, 19 April 2017


Here is my contribution to this wonderful blog hop hosted by Denise and Yolanda who do wonderful things for the WEP community, thank you both for all your hard work.

The theme this month, as you can see, is Peace and Love, it is also Poetry month and also in the month of April runs another fantastic blog hop of the A-Z challenge.  So Peace and Love fits in with poetry and with the P post for the date of 19th April for those who have taken on the A-Z challenge.

I have a poem followed by a short flash fiction.


Born too late to be a hippy
Incense sticks of Patchouli
The smell of musk
From dawn to dusk
Fringes and bells
Long skirts a tripping hell
The mantra of peace and love
A symbol of a pair of doves
Free spirited non-conforming
Tall tales and story telling
Still needed to earn a crust
Paying rent was a must
Never mind finding food
For me not the starving in the world
A chance in a lifetime of a trip
An adventure can’t be missed
Three days in a field of grass
A flimsy tent pitched in a morass
Of people, unwashed, unclean
But proud to be seen


They said the words peace and love
Far out man, out of sight, white dove
Music played fierce and loud
Rocking out over the crowds
They smoked the peace pipe
Looking like the stereo type
Unwashed, long haired hippies
Bell bottom jeans covered idiosyncrasies


The sights and sounds, smells
Hell and jingling bells
She wanted to go home
Where she belonged
She couldn’t pretend anymore
She didn’t want to score
It wasn’t her scene
She wanted to be clean



Several decades later a dim and distant memory
Growing hazier as life crowds her story
The elusive peace and love
Striving for the two white doves
Letting go, giving in, standing strong
So much that went wrong
Everyone makes mistakes
It is life’s outtakes
Learn and move forward
Chin up, don’t be a coward



Some people find peace and love from spirituality
Some find peace and love from Christianity
Or other forms of worship and beliefs
They bring comfort and relief

A creed, a tenet to live your life by
Sometimes you stray
The path meanders
The lines blur
You become an actor
Scrabbling for an anchor
Holding back the pain of the past
Looking for forgiveness at last

You take a wrong turn
You should have learned
To slow down and consider
The pros and cons before you answer

Before you jumped or leapt
Maybe you should have sidestepped
Not backwards but sideward
Before moving pieces on the chessboard



The wind blows through the trees as she steps on the cushioned carpet of bluebells, her hair whips around her face, sticking to her lips with their protective covering of lip salve on them.  The breeze lessens as she walks in to the lee of the copse.   The air hangs and hovers, a feeling of peace envelopes her, stilling her mind, calming her heart.  She becomes one with the earth, grounding herself in to the soil.  The smells of the wood, the iron musky odour of moist undergrowth assails her nostrils. She breathes even deeper, ingesting the power of the ancient world.

She touches the gnarled bark of the closest tree.  Her palm feels the roughness of the wood, she watches a battle of man against beast, spears are flung; they find their mark grievously wounding the animal.  A horde of men dismember the flesh, inner organs a delicacy before they remove the carcass to their womenfolk.  The meat will feed the tribe for many days.

She places her other hand round the side of the tree, pressing her body against the girth of the tree, through her outer garments she becomes aware of another scene, this time the birth of a young child and her heart is filled with joy and love.  It is a precious boy, long awaited to take his rightful place, in due course, as leader of the clan.

She presses her cheek against the bark, it scratches her, marking her skin.  She pulls back, recoiling at the sudden shock of the pain.  Where did the peace go?

Stepping back she looks around her.  There.  Movement at the edge of the wood.  The shrill notes of a mobile phone disturbs the air, discordant, dissonance sounds, a baritone voice answers the insistent instrument.

‘I’ve found her.  Yes, I’ll bring her back to the car, don’t worry, she’ll be fine.’

Michael steps in to the line of her vision, he holds out his hand, encouraging her with a smile to come forward in to his embrace. 

Jane shakes her head.  ‘I’m not ready,’ she whispers, ‘I need more time.’

Michael pulls her gently away, he strokes her arms, strokes her hair, pushes strands behind her ears, kisses her forehead.  ‘I’ll stay with you.  You know I love you so much my darling.  I’ll always love you but you know we need to get back.  The doctor is waiting for you.’

Jane nods in acknowledgement.  They think she needs help.  They think she is going mad, maybe she is but she knows what she feels is true.  She does see things.  She does feel things.  Michael thinks all he has to do is to love her more each day and she will get better.

She knows his love will help her to find peace, she knows she will love him until the end of her days.

Another vision fills her mind.  It is too abstract to make any sense of.  She starts to tell Michael she needs to go back to the tree.  He is firm in his hold as he leads her to the car park.  He seats her gently and straps her in.   Jane feels as though the seat belt is strangling her, she pulls the webbed strap becoming more and more agitated. 

She wants to go back.  She wants to feel calm.  She want to feel peaceful.  She wants to feel love surrounding her.

The doctor greets them both at the entrance to the home.  He welcomes Jane with his kindly demeanour.  He knows how hard this is for her and for Michael.  A nurse settles her in her room as Jane curls up in to the foetal position on her bed.  

Michael’s tears flow as he watches his wife succumb to the drugs the medical profession deem necessary to bring her back to an ordinary life.


  1. Oh no.
    Such an unexpected and tragic ending.
    Michael's tears are joined by mine.

  2. Sally, I can't explain the effect your post had on my--the poetry and the flash combined. Wonderful. Reminiscent of the Glastonbury festival, Woodstock and others...a cautionary tale of the hippie era and beyond. Finishing with the poignant flash was inspired. You really had me hugging trees with Jane. How ironic, the prescription drugs at the end.

    Thanks Sally, for an extremely well-thought-out entry for the April WEP. Super glad to have you!

    Peace Man!!

    Denise :-)

  3. Your poem and your flash fiction is filled with imagery that touches some part of the soul. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Shalom aleichem,

  4. Anything that doesn't conform to one idea of normal we deem as insanity - in truth there is more than one reality and one way to be sane. Your post gets this across piercingly well. Thought provoking. Enjoyed both the poetry and the flash. Double thumbs up.

    Best wishes,

  5. What a poignant story on the heels of your poetry. Why is it that our society always equate being different with mental illness?

  6. Heart-touching story. And greta poetry.

  7. You flash read like poetry too. So sad, she seemed non-violent, why the need for drugs? Gosh, that's awful, a beautiful mind wasted!
    Well done!

  8. Poems and a flash fiction story. You gave so much for this challenge. The story had me considering how we deal with those who we don't understand. Perhaps we should listen to them and try to understand. Well done.

  9. Ugh, what is ordinary? So often the gifted are mistaken for the mentally ill.

    A beautiful story Sally.

  10. A sad ending to a brilliant story. You've given us plenty to think about, and reminded me how much fun I've had in the mud at Glastonbury!

    Another day in Amble Bay!

  11. Their so-called help sure isn't what it is cracked up to be. Great ending and story indeed. Can't go wrong with verse too, works for our zoo.

  12. I know that feeling Michael has of watching your loved one be dosed with life-protecting drugs. In the old days, Jane might have been considered a seer. Well done, and I like how the juxtaposition of a poem about the sixties and a realistic scene bring us back to the present.

  13. The opening part of the poem reminds me of my mom.
    So does the first 3/4 of the story portion.
    I obviously like this for reasons that other people wouldn't have. So thanks for that. I may need to share this work with her next month.