All posts by Richard Ankers

Richard is a writer and author of The Eternals Series published by Creativia. A former Authonomy.com gold medalist, part of HarperCollins, Richard has had many short stories and poetry published and always feels extremely privileged each time. A prolific writer, a constant source of clearing his mind, Richard has created this website to share just some of the many poems and prose he has written that would otherwise have fallen by the wayside. Reading and writing have always been Richard's main love along with the pursuit of keeping fit. Running, walking, and anything that provides a spectacular view always feature highly for him. Running in the rain with his headphones on whilst dreaming up some future storyline is just about perfect. It would be nicer still if that run was in Switzerland or Norway, but we can't have everything. Oh, and coffee, lots and lots of coffee.

Sometimes

Sometimes I stand and cry in the rain

Sometimes I hide away from my shame

Sometimes I walk and howl at a gale

Sometimes I worry that I may fail

Sometimes I kneel and sink to the earth

Sometimes I wish my mum hadn’t give birth

Sometimes I sleep outside in the sun

Sometimes I just want to run and to run

Sometimes at night when the darkness sets in

And everything’s quiet and calmer within

Then those are the times that I’m glad to be here

As sometimes you visit and your breath is near

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Unlit

In an unlit room,

Sat an unlit man

In an unlit suit

Writing his plan.


With an unlit smile

And an unlit laugh

And an unlit flourish

They’d feel his wrath.


So, with unlit ink

On an unlit pad

Into an unlit envelope

He’ll show them who’s mad.


But the unlit man

Made an unlit mistake

As he’d written in crayon

Oh, to miscalculate!

THE JOURNEY

Condensation ran like blood down the clouded surface of the window.

I looked left, then right. I was hemmed in.

The particularly overweight individual sat next to me was breathing my air. I want it back.

What to do? What to do?

I stared in-between the gap in the high backed seats. 

A nasty looking individual was looking back at me. 

Shifty eyes and a rain jacket when it’s not raining.

Just didn’t add up!

If it came down to the pair of us I reckon I could take him.

He was closer to the door, but I had desperation on my side.

I was getting more nervous by the second.

I licked the salt from my arid lips. 

My tongue sampling the fusty air like a snake.

The thing next to me took out a mobile phone.

Stubby fingers made quick time across the keyboard.

Rat-a-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat.

I had to make my move soon, but where was I?

I peered into the moisture covered window.

I just couldn’t be sure. Everything was so distorted.

Dark shapes slid past; they could be buildings, but maybe not?

How could I be sure? What if they weren’t?

I looked to the sign ahead. It remained unlit, dormant.

My hand twitched on my lap. I was palpitating.

Time stopped. My breath dissipated to nothing.

My headphones played a song into my ears but I was past listening.

I had to make my move it was now or never.

TOO LATE!

STOPPING. The  cherry-red sign illuminated the gloom.

I was ready to move but the lump of lard beside me wasn’t.

I felt the sweat drip down over my eyes. I wiped it quickly away on the back of my sleeve.

Glancing forward, I was just in time to see my nemesis sneer through the shadows.

He was off before me. Maybe, he’d make it to the coffee shop before me, too.

That did it. I had to get out.

I surged past the lump-thing into the aisle. 

Past the milling horde, a force of nature, I was not to be stopped.

My anger was such that I would not even say goodbye to the orchestrator of my hell.

His beady eyes gazed at me as his fingers played across the steering wheel.

I stepped out into the cool, fresh air of an English morning.

Thank God. I lapped it up. Relief washed over me.

Another bus journey over. I’ll be counting down the days to the next.

I’ll be better prepared then.

I’ll even bring the correct change.

Now for the coffee shop. Get back here pal!

Pitter-patter

I lie on my back as the storm rages outside my darkening room

The rumble and clash of the pantheon’s percussion

Plays an unsteady beat through an electric atmosphere 

Children cower; birds take flight; the world quivers

But not me, for a new life is being born

I look deep into the pouring rain

Past the lightening bolts, beyond the trees, over the river and into the sky

Up into the roiling clouds I cast my mind and smile

As a trembling raindrop unfurls from the horde

Rolling from its cotton pillow it falls, and falls, and falls

Tumbling towards solidity

A tear created especially for me

Downwards it slides through intangible air

Faster and faster, sweeping the sky clean in its wake

I feel it nearing my home

Then, splat! 

I fear for my little friend, but I shouldn’t

He is gathering, rejoining his brethren

Becoming more than the sum of the parts

Cascading down roof tiles

Part of a torrent he sluices over the guttering

Hanging for a moment suspended in thin air

Before he and his ilk, fall

Down and down, tippling over and over 

A procession of hydro environmentalists

I listen to his and their sacrifice 

Giving their own lives to bring life to others

The flowers in my window-box bow solemly

I hear the pitter-patter of the rain on their petals

And wonder which was he?

The Mer-girl

I know you won’t believe me, but I need to tell you what happened to me that day, back when I was twelve, before I leave for good.

How I had been thrown clean through the windscreen to land at the edge of a little stream, whilst my Mum and Dad, both safely fastened into their seats, had been killed, I will never know? What I do know is, that as I lay there and the blood from my cut head ran into the crystal clear water of the mountain stream a voice told me not to die. It wasn’t a voice in my head, nor was it a voice from someone near by, it was just a voice. 

I didn’t die that day although for a time I wished I had. The next six months of my life spent living at the edge of the North Sea with my grandparents, was a very unhappy one. My time convalescing was incredibly lonely. Everyday, I would hobble along the shoreline on my crutches and cry. My nana and granddad showered me with more love than a child could ever wish for, but the only thing I wanted was gone. My mum and dad would never be coming back and I wanted to be with them so much, wherever they were. 

One day, when I had managed to discard my crutches and realised that the stick I had to use would always be with me, I decided to take my own life. I would like to say it had been a hard decision, but it wasn’t. I’d simply had enough. My sorrow mirrored the depths of the sea that I gazed at every day, and I couldn’t take it anymore. 

I had kissed nana on the cheek and said thank you for such a lovely breakfast, it was only cereal, but I didn’t know how else to say goodbye. I had collected my walking stick that granddad had carved my name into so that nobody mistook it for their own and left my seaside home for the last time.

I hopped my way along the seashore for the last time and watched a sea mist roll slowly in. Good I had thought, I would slip away under the cover of God’s breath. I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending. I had chosen a particularly rugged set of rocks to jump from. I knew it might hurt for a moment, but it was worth it to spend the rest of eternity with my parents.

The climb up the wind-polished granite had been a difficult one, but I eventually stood overlooking the raging, froth-topped sea and smiled. It was a smile of satisfaction rather than pleasure. I knew I had made the right decision because it was the only decision I could make. I wedged my walking stick in-between two rocks so that granddad would get it back after all his hard work chiselling my name into it and jumped. It was as easy as that. No thought required.

The sea was so cold it chilled me to the core instantly. Salt water slipped into my open mouth and my tears merged with the undercurrent. It didn’t hurt, I relaxed into infinity. 

But my death was a short lived one, as I felt strong arms wrap around me and gently lift me upwards, coughing and spluttering to the surface. I was laid on my back across a rock and watched as the most beautiful woman in the world stroked my brow.

“I could not let he who gave me life perish below the ocean. Not yet.” 

I said nothing. I imagined I was dreaming even though I knew I was not.

“I was just a fish until your blood that seeped into the mountain stream gave me the life of something more. I could not let my father die.” She smiled at me and I smiled back.

Her voice was like the rolling of the tide, it lulled and caressed me. Seaweed covered her human body like a dress of emerald green, whilst her fish tale slapped occasionally at the roaring waves. She rested over me protecting my body from the sea spray until I felt able to move. 

She said nothing else, just smiled again, kissed me on the cheek, and ducked back below the surface of the thrashing sea. 

I had returned every year to the point where my old walking stick still marks the place where I first met her. I had sat for hours and waited patiently for the seed of my blood to show herself once again: she had not done so. 

But now, as I slip from the rock in old age, I know it is her hands that guide me into the waters. I know that I will never see my mum and dad. The depths of the ocean will be my burial home.  I swallow my last breath and trust to the care of my only daughter. She smiles to me with the look of a water-bound angel and I am happy at last.

“Now it is time to die,” she whispers. And it is.

THE CALLING

I hear the clock strike two 

Only another five hours until morning

The moon is high and illuminates the room in spectral light

It is the same every month

How I miss you so

A rustling from the garden heralds the return of a fox

I envy him his freedom

To run in the night wild and free without constraint or master

Then silence

It is though the world freezes

The universe watches on impassively

And I hear it

The long howl of pain

The cry of what was once mine but now is lost

I ponder the whys and ifs as I do every full moon

Will she still remember me

Will she still care

Will she return

The clock ticks on 

My own malaise deepens

Whilst my love runs free

Only another few hours until morning

I’ll get the kettle on just in case

A Whisper to Grandpa

Some things will always be special

They can never be stolen away

Journeys where their care allowed you to sleep

Times where a smile meant more than gold

To be proud of who you are 

Not because of how you see yourself

But because of how they saw you

Swelling esteem from a nod and a wink

To be offered your favourite biscuit

A cup of tea when you need it most

Knowing they would never say no

Would always be there when others were not

A place of no judgement

Where you were always happy to be seen

A plaster for a scratch

Always an interest in what you’ve done

Who you’ve seen

But all things come to an end

Nothing lasts forever

It is how we look back and return the pride

How we smile at their memory

Wishing they were still with us

It is the dreams they appear in 

The loving voice in a forgotten memory

Thoughts of what was

Hopes of what could be

And wishing you’d had one last chance 

To whisper I’ll miss you