Paper Trail

We’re over half way through these Strange Prompts, and storming along! I absolutely LOVED today’s contribution, from Caroline Walling…

Scattered white across the floor,

rejected shapes,

massacred trees,

corners missing;

scarred from ill equipped fingers

snip, snip, snip.

Imagination confetti (discarded or arranged?)

spoke from the carpet

I’ve been busy.

She followed trials of rejects up the stairs

drawn by a gentle song about

snipping paper trees for Muuumyyy.

Losing the trail at the door

she leaned in.

A moment to observe:

cherub fingers busy

cheeks blown out

busy brow

buried under costume layers

snip, snip, snip;

paper snow,

paper rain,

paper dolls,

snip, snip, snip;

paper shapes,

paper lengths,

paper points.

That gaze outshines constellations

her smile launches a thousand ships.

Mummy, trees for you.

Thank you my darling

They are beautiful.

 

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And here’s my true tale, written in the chaos of January – the traditional, annual Tax Returns Panic!

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The Peripatetic School

Welcome to the Peripatetic School! Are you paying attention, class? We will start with a flash fiction from Ann Cuthbert, to be read in your best Miss Jean Brodie voice:

Hello? Mrs Harris-Tottle, Chair of Governors, speaking.

Yes, it has gone walkabout again. Prime Mover knows where we’ll find it this time. At least it waited until everyone had left before it sauntered off. Well, I say everyone. Mr Temperance was in the boiler room – oh yes, that’s true – at least the heating will still be on – and Honor had stayed to put a display up.

Let’s hope it’s ambled over flattish ground. Remember when it tried to climb Roseberry Topping? ‘Seeking the moral high ground’ was its excuse, though how it could justify the mess I do not know. Classrooms tipped sideways, tech toppled, staffroom topsy-turvey, all the cups mixed up. If only it had some sense of balance.

No, I’ve given up asking ‘Why?’ Goes against the grain but there you have it.

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Mine is a dystopian acrostic (not something you hear every day!)

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And I leave you with a gentler invitation, from Caroline Walling:

Walk with me awhile so that we might talk.

Your mind is a riddle I would like to solve.

Let us answer the clues together so that we might know one another better

Perhaps along the way we might share an anecdote or two.

Shall we start with the theory or the facts?

If you’d like to know what we’re up to, or to join in with your own poems, check out all thirty prompts and learn how I made them up via convoluted means as part of my writing residency at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art…