And I felt a lurch in my stomach as I spoke. People always think they feel things in their hearts, but they don’t – it’s all in the stomach. On Valentine’s Day there should be big red stomachs hanging up in shops, and the cards should say – you are my sweet-stomach, my stomach is all yours, and stuff like that.
I love rain; rain is my friend. When I walk in the rain it falls all around me but I never get wet. It makes me feel secure, enclosed; it reminds me of when I was young, sitting in a window seat reading “Little Women”.
A rattle of keys at the back door
We waited – wary
His face shut tight against us
Like a fist
Toed-in, he crouched over furtive whiskeys
Over chin and cigarette
And we ghosted from the room
With nervous grins
But once he showed me Dickens
And Maurice Walsh
And he was The Small Dark Man
Alone in a house of women
Cut off by his country voice
From the town
From an old melodeon
Sometimes – surprised
His face would lift with love
And fall again
Now I surprise myself
Toed-in, crouched over flagrant whiskeys
Fingers curled over chin and cigarette
And I have to leave the room.
Tinted warm by rose and amber light
Melanie smiles and pouts her painted mouth
Exotic spider, webbed in scarlet silk
She wears the face of Venus, Helen, Circe
Drawing one-hour lovers to extol her grace
And wit. She lends her body, listens, comforts
Promises a paradise of lust
The door lets in the shocking light of day
Melanie leaves, her pockets full of gold
Her eyes are clean and cold and bold
And know the secrets of the world.
- Child of my child, I
scoop you up and hug you, breathe
you in and keep you.
2. Daffodils today;
chuir siad gliondar ar mo chroí,**
glowing, golden bright.
3. A rose, heart-stopping
red, intoxicating scent,
irony of thorns.
** Irish for “they bring joy to my heart”.
I love a good thriller and “Keep Your Eyes on Me” doesn’t disappoint. It truly is a page-turner. The premise is based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel – Strangers on a Train, and of course, Hitchcock’s movie of the same name. However, that doesn’t take away from this novel. The two protagonists are women, two very different women, but equally determined to avenge the wrongdoers.
Lily and Vittoria meet in a waiting lounge in an airport and before long they get into conversation, becoming more and more intimate as time passes. Lily tells Vittoria about how her brother, Jack, was taken advantage of in a card game; he has lost the family shop to a man with a suspicious history in the Art business. Why would he want Jack and Lily’s shop? Was he dealing drugs? Laundering money? Or what? And Vittoria – she is tied up in a prenuptial agreement with her unfaithful husband and would do anything to get out of it before she is left with nothing.
Lily is the softer of the two, more worried about her brother than anything. Vittoria is tougher, and it is she who works out the plan of revenge. At this point the reader is fully involved and reading quickly; the tension makes it hard to put it down. You know there is more going on than you’re aware of – something devious at the back of everything but what could it be?
The prose is straightforward, without fluff or padding; the dialogue is terrific; the plot ingenious and the characters believable. And the ending – it’s ambiguous, and all the better for it!
It took me a couple of chapters to get really into this book but apart from that it’s terrific and I am happily giving it 4.5 stars.
- Death in Venice – I read the short story, but oh, that wonderful movie!
- Gone with the wind – again, unforgettable movie.
- The Godfather – I read the book decades of years ago. I couldn’t read it now but the movie is still terrific.
- The Forsyte Saga: I have this (in three volumes) three times over the years, but I have to admit that the very first series, with Eric Porter as Soames, was tremendous.
- Brideshead Revisited – who could forget that wonderful series, so rich and deep and colourful, every character perfect.
- A Room with a View. I have read all of E M Forster’s books, and I have seen the movies but this one in particular is an absolute joy and delight.
- Misery. I find it almost impossible to read Stephen King – he’s too much for me – but Misery was a great movie – I’ve never trusted Cathy Bates since!
- The Shining – again a great movie. Who could ever forget Jack Nicholson?
- The Shawshank Redemption. I think I’ve seen it three times, I’ve only read the short story once.
- Brokeback Mountain. When I first read this book, I thought it was the loving-est love story I had ever read and I made everyone I knew read it too. I worried about a movie coming out but it was great, the two guys were marvelous and it looked lovely too.
I have been nominated by Carll @ The Pine-Scented Chronicles for this award. Here are the rules:
Put the award logo on your blog.
Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
Nominate any number of people linking to their blogs and let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blogs.
Come up with 7 questions for the people you nominated.
So here are my answers to Carll’s questions:
Tell me more about your blog; what motivated you to start?
Two things: First, I had just published a book myself on Amazon Kindle and wanted to post excerpts from it on a blog. And secondly, I was tired of creative writing and thought I would post some poems I wrote a long time ago, and also write reviews of other books – which I love doing.
What inspires you to keep on blogging or writing?
I’m enjoying the process; I love to comment on other blogs; talking about books and writing is such fun.
Off the blogs you’ve written, which do you like the best?
I think I like best the review of Patrick de Witt’s first novel “Ablutions” because I love the book so much.
What book or movie best depicts your life?
Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac. She had a very strict father!
How are you coping with lock down?
I hate when all the shops are shut – it reminds me of Sundays long ago.
What three things have I learned during lock down?
I live alone and I love it, and during these days I’m very happy to have an excuse to spend more time alone. I hate wearing a mask – it steams up my glasses. There are two kinds of people – those who follow the social distance rule, and those who won’t.
Give one piece of advice to those who would like to begin a blog of their own.
Have everything clear in your mind; what you want to blog about, how often you want to do it, and learn from those you are following.
Thanks Carll @ The Pine-Scented Chronicles for the nomination, I appreciate it; it’s a real fun thing to do.
My nominees are:
- How much time to you spend blogging every day or week?
- How many bloggers do you follow?
- Have you more time to blog during lock down?
- Do you have a long list of books to read, music to hear, blogs to write?
- Who is your absolute favourite author/musician?
- Do you feel under pressure to blog, or write, or review, or read?
- Do you really enjoy blogging?
I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.
“Primroses in a
ditch, surviving wind and rain,
lighting up the gloom.”