50 Word Stories: Snaking

The river swept around our village like a constricting anaconda. From the tip of the serpent’s tail to the willow that marked its tongue was exactly two miles. I knew every tree, shrub and grass blade in between, but nothing beyond it. I lowered my boat: Time to shed skin.


50 Word Stories: Passing Through


Another town,

another day,

another view,

I never stay.

I hum the same song. The words chug out with the same repetition as the tracks, a beat only I appreciate. It’s no life, mum claimed, travelling without a destination. She never understood. No one does. Only the songwriter and me.

Keep On Dreaming (The Writer)

No time for the stories, the problems, the lies,
I’m too busy staring at clear blue skies,
Watching the cloudbursts fly over the hill,
Whilst people accumulate trying to fill
The holes in their hearts and the black in their souls;
This life is for living not dragging through coals.
Perhaps I’m a dreamer, a lightheaded fool?
Or worse still a writer whose pen is his tool?
I know I’m the odd one, of that there’s no doubt,
But I’ll keep on dreaming whilst you work it out.

Moments of Faith


I am not a religious man and would not pretend to be for the sake of others. That does not mean I don’t have faith. But there are times in our present day world when faith is a hard commodity to hold. There are some terrible things happening and for a person who is not like that, they are also very hard to accept. Personally, I don’t care what someone looks like, what colour, race or creed, they are, only that they are good people. I have always been that way. I also still firmly believe there are more good out there than bad. It is just that the bad often have the loudest voices.
This morning, I was out running early, as I always am, and was stewing over some bad experiences of the last week — I often stew. Some of the bad I have mentioned above had got to me, coupled with some very intense editing of my second book, to have it ready for the publisher by next week, terribly humid weather, which I hate, and various other things, and was just glad to be outside and alone. I ran through the estates, down the main road, and turned left into a quieter area of a common and fields. I saw this, and I make no apologies for my own flamboyant retelling.
To my left, behind a hawthorn hedge already spewing forth berries, lay a common — a large, open grassed area with livestock, in this case horses — which was immersed in a layer of mist. The horses periodically emerged from said spectral veil only to disappear almost instantly. To my right, the preparations for a flood catchment area had been paused and the fields they were set in were catching the first licks of dawn. Above, a flock of seagulls (not the eighties band) were flying overhead in almost quiet. My footfalls were silent, my breathing relaxed and everything just seemed to fit into place. I realised how lucky I was to be alive, to be happy, and to be looking forward to writing when I got home. Just then, I thought, do you know, I couldn’t give a **** about the bad folk because the ones I’m closest to are good. That was a special feeling.
Never forget the good. It will always outweigh the bad.

Thank you for reading my ramble.

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals

The Colours of Life


Come with me.

There are places in this world where the colours of our past have vanished to be replaced by a tepid, monochrome wash. Cities are one such place, those murderers of trees and flowers. They stole the light, our green and gold, and replaced it with shadow, chill breaths of misting grey and the detritus of colours lost.

Yet, whilst a city has its parks and gardens, birds and occasional wildlife, hope remains. It would, if they did not diminish, were not extinguished in traffic noise and creeping bricks, broken fences and boarded doors! Such is this thing we term progress.

But there is beauty, the city folk shout, and maybe in minuscule quantities of window-ledge daffodils there is. Yet turn down the wrong alley, turn left when you should have turned right, and all is bitter regret. Darkness engulfs behind the trash and trailers. Places bereft of light give birth to wretched shades of black and deformed puce. They are lightless. They are lifeless. They are everywhere.

Instead, we unwrap broad wings and take flight. We rise over the towers and over the concrete jungle, looping for joy and to shed the grime. We fly as fast as the wind will assist us out of the smoke and smog, beyond the train lines and cobweb of roads, until we see liquidity, first pools of swirling freedoms, then a never-ending expanse of blue.

The ocean is a dark place to the city folk. They could never understand how the brilliant white of chalk cliffs or those places where rims of golden sands split the distance between verdant wood and frothing tide; worlds in contrast, yet living side by side. Colours are everywhere here, but still we press on.

We journey over the breakers, which cool the heels of seas travelled far. Past the granite promontories and bone coloured lighthouses, the ones with their golden beams of life. On and on we speed as the sun dips from behind the evening cloud to burn in tangerine and crimson upon a restless sea. Here it begins. Here, what once was everywhere remains. It is sentient, one might say. All the properties of life are wrapped in the colours of today, tomorrow and yesterday. Here, where every moment brings a different hue, a shade of colour so fine as to make one weep, we find a natural world lost to others. It’s in the sunbeams, that blinking single eye of universal hydrogen. And yet it is in so small a creature as a jellyfish that sparkles in those last moments of wetted sun; the silver-sided fish; the floating seaweed and thronged life they harbour. It is in these pools of light that imagination runs wild. It is a miracle, magic, an eternal moment.

However, this is only one sea, the ocean’s offspring. Elsewhere, the mountain plateaus call to us, the steppe and brilliant white of Arctic winter beckon. There’s the emerald jungles and jade of woods, the russet of Autumn and Saffron of Summer. Ah, and Spring, what of Spring?

Use your imagination. Dream in pools and cleanse your thoughts, my friends. Live for a day, a week, a year. Breathe again in gasps of joy.

I am. I will. I do.

The End

Dallas 2016

Dallas 2016

There was a time when the world stood still, the planet no longer revolved, no longer spun on its axis. Our small part of the universe took a breath that somehow caught in the throat and wouldn’t exhale. One might have said it a last gasp, a finale.

But it couldn’t be. And we wouldn’t let it be. Because we’re better than that. We are all better than that.