Good things come in small packages

It's been a very busy few months with the second novel in its third draft, short stories and poems for various anthologies, critiques for clients and various competitions.  A writer's work is never done.

A flash fiction story called Resurrection won first place over at Lily Child's Feardom, inspired by and using three words - Legionnaire, envelope and scry.  Not exactly the easiest words to work with, but a challenge nevertheless, and writers love a challenge.


Shallow thoughts and sallow eyes - she stared at the churned earth, scrying ghostly images in her mind, wresting death from its muddy hole to invite the light.

She held a sullied, rotted leather pouch in her hands, like a prayer book, careful not to disturb the disintegrated envelope scattered inside. 

The suffocating cloud of time slowly lifted on the Legionnaire’s last days; broken words on perished paper to loved ones back home; now lost and forgotten and blemished.

Urged by a breeze, the garnished green fields of Champagne wafted at her feet.

As one by one, his bones emerged.

Repetition and Sibilance in poetry

A recent poem for the One Word Challenge over on Writer's Talkback made me examine the relationship between two devices used in fiction - repetition and sibilance - a way of teasing and toying with a reader, and I wondered how I could apply these together in poetry.

Repetition is well known in poetry, but for Something Hidden, I wanted to create a sense of creeping tension, of drawing the reader to wonder what that Something was, and why it was hidden.  I used the sibilance on each opening stanza, coupled with repeating the something hidden mantra to try to give it that dark quality.

Does it creep beneath the skin?  Judge for yourself.

Something Hidden

Slithering, simpering
Something hidden
Facade built, your
Pearlesque crust
Smiling from within.

Soiling, spoiling
Something hidden
Cleaving your way
Through life, and
Slicing with passion

Heaving, leaving
Something hidden
Sharp words, your
Forked tongue
Mocking with fashion

Bending, folding
Something hidden
Blunting your blade
Around soft throats
Betrayal bidden

Creeping, masking
Something hidden
Your deceitful sheen
Stretched tight
Across a burnished